No. 2, Military
13 January 1862
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Your Grace's Despatch No 62 of the 25th of June last, enclosing Copy of a Correspondence with theWarManuscript image War office relative to the Erection of Barracks in Vancouver Island, and directing me to report upon the question of a site for those Buildings.
2. As the object of Your Grace's enquiries has more especially reference to the question whether the land for the site of the Barracks will have to be purchased, or if unsold land be available for the purpose, I beg to offertheManuscript image the following remarks.
3. It will no doubt seem to Your Grace a very extraordinary circumstance that at this early stage of the Colony's Existence, when so much of the public land remains at the disposal of the Crown, and so small a proportion of the actual area of the Colony is occupied by settlers, Her Majesty's Government should be put to the Expense of purchasing a site for Barracks; suchisManuscript image is nevertheless the case; no precautions having been taken in the early days of the Colony to reserve land in the District of Victoria for that purpose: a remark which I would observe applies only to Victoria, and not to the other Districts, in all of which large reserves of land have been made for public use. The latter being sparsely settled are hardly yet of sufficient importance toattractManuscript image attract an Enemy's attention, it being more probable that his efforts would be directed to the capture of the Town and District of Victoria, the present centre of wealth and population; and it should be mainly our object to protect that part of the Colony from attack.
4. For these reasons Colonel Moody proposes to quarter the Troops in the neighbourhood of Victoria, and mentions two eligiblesitesManuscript image sites near the public Park, on one of which he recommends the Barracks should be placed, having it in view to use the Park as a Drill and Parade Ground; the space requisite for the Buildings would therefore not exceed 10 Acres.
5. To that extent it will be necessary to purchase land, as all the property in that neighbourhood belongs to the Hudson's Bay Company and to private individuals; unless Her Majesty's Government should approve of holdingtheManuscript image the site under a lease for a period of not less than 21 years with the option of purchase at a fixed price.
6. An arrangement on that basis could be effected which would not involve an annual charge of more than Sixty Pounds (£60) and would not press heavily upon our resources, even should the Colony be called upon to provide the sum.
7. As it may be assumedthatManuscript image that Troops will ere long be stationed here, I am of opinion that it would be a wise and proper step to secure a suitable site for Barracks at once, before the land rises in price. It would not, I think, be advisable to delay the acquisition until the decision of the question pending with the Hudsons Bay Company; for in the case of their claim not being confirmed by the Privy Council, the outlay on the site maybeManuscript image be re-imbursed by the sale of part of the land which will thereby fall to the Crown.
8. I have further the honour of transmitting herewith for Your Grace's information, a Communication from Colonel Moody on the subject of this Despatch.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Since the date of the Correspondence to which the Govr refers the claims of the Hudsons Bay Company to Lands in V Couver Island have been adjusted, and there is therefore no question, so far as these claims are concerned, for the adjudication of the Judicial Committee. Before Communicating the Despatch to the War Office would it not be as well to refer it for the Report of the Emigration Commiss: by whom the arrangement with the Company was negociated & the Agreement (see 6011) prepared?
VJ 17 M
To L & EC.
FR 17/3
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Colonel R.C. Moody, Royal Engineers, to Colonial Secretary, 18 December 1861, discussing the two sites he feels are the most suitable for the establishment of the barracks.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 21 March 1862, forwarding copy of the despatch and additional correspondence relating to the establishment of barracks in Vancouver Island, and asking whether either of the proposed sites lie within the lands reserved to the Crown under the recent settlement with the Hudson's Bay Company.