No. 72
Downing Street
9 October 1861
I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a copy of a letter addressed to me by Mr. John Irving applying to be allowed to give up certain lands which he had purchased in Vancouver Island previously to the reduction of the price of Crown Lands from £1 to 4s/2danManuscript image an acre, and to receive back a deposit of £50 which he has paid for them.
I am not aware of the Course that may have been followed in similar cases (of which doubtless there are several in the Colony) but it is obviously impossible to allow purchasers at the higher price the option of cancelling purchases actually completed. To do so would unsettle the whole Land transactions oftheManuscript image the Colony and might involve the Colonial Government in liabilities beyond its powers to meet. The purchaser moreover must be held to take the land under the circumstances of the moment and subject to the contingencies and implied conditions attaching to it; and one of those contingencies obviously is the liability (especially in a new Country) to such changes in the land granting system as the general welfare of the Colony may demand.
All therefore that canproperlyManuscript image properly be conceded to Mr. Irving is to allow him to select £50 acres of land of his allotment for the 50 he has actually paid, and to relieve him from his liability to complete the rest of his contract. But as it is essential that all purchasers in this position should be treated alike, I shall refrain from conveying this decision to Mr. Irving until I learn from you that it does not conflict with the course you may have followed in dealing with similar cases.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient Servant,
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Irving to Newcastle, 23 September 1861, seeking restitution for the reduction of land prices by the government [document not in file].
George Hunter Cary, Attorney General, to Colonial Secretary, 13 March 1861, stating many others are in a similar position to Irving, and subject to a reply from the Colonial Office, that the land should be forfeited and resold [document not in file].
People in this document

Cary, George Hunter

Douglas, James

Irving, John

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

Walcott, Stephen

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Places in this document

Vancouver Island