No. 10
27 February 1862
I have had the honor to receive Your Grace's Despatch No 79 of the 4h December last conveying for my information copy of correspondence with the Hudson's Bay Company arising out of the applicationmadeManuscript image made by this Government to the Supreme Court of the Colony for an injunction to restrain the Company from further independent action in the disposal of land, their claim to which was disputed by Her Majesty's Government, and from the sale of portions of the Park, Church Reserves, Public Streets &ca.
2. I observe that the instructions given in May last to the Company's Agent in Vancouver's Island were not confined to a certain portion of the waterFrontageManuscript image Frontage, as I had previously supposed from the perusal of Mr Beren's letter to Your Grace, but were intended to apply to the whole of the 3084 Acres claimed by the Company under a title anterior to and irrespective of the Charter of Grant.
3. While those instructions are in our respect perfectly satisfactory, as evincing the desire of the Hudsons Bay Co voluntarily to put a stop to the acts complained of by this Government,theyManuscript image they nevertheless have the practical effect of retarding the progress and settlement of the Colony, and if accepted, of relieving the Hudson's Bay Company from the onus thereof, inasmuch as most of the land still in the hands of the Company is capable of being immediately utilized, and would find ready purchasers if offered for Sale at public Auction; some, indeed, is in the best business portion of the Town, and just now is eagerly sought after.
4. The present is a criticalperiodManuscript image period for this Colony. Every Steamer brings intelligence confirmatory of the expectation that a large emigration will flow from California during the Spring. Indeed business men from that State are already flocking hither to form Establishments, and land is consequently much in demand.
5. Some time, I presume, must yet elapse before the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council can be obtained as to the ownershipofManuscript image of the disputed 3084 Acres. Appeal to the Supreme Court of the Colony is precluded, that Court having already refused to interfere, on the ground that the case of dispute is at present before a Superior Court. In the mean time it is highly desirable and necessary to prevent, as far as possible, injury to the progress of the Colony. I would therefore earnestly beg Your Grace to obtain from the Hudson's Bay Company an arrangement whereby land may be disposed of with the concurrence in each individualcaseManuscript image case of the local Government, the proceeds either being deposited in the Bank of British North America, or placed in charge of a Receiver, to await the decision as to ownership already sought from the Privy Council.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
The Duke of Newcastle's desph of the 24 Jany last (which the Govr will have recd abt the beginning of March) containing the agreement of the H.B.C. & H.M. Govt as to terms of settlement to the Co's reserves in V.C.I. will relieve the Governor's embarrassment. But refer this to Mr Murdoch.
ABd 23 Apl
TFE 23/4
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 24 April 1862, forwarding copy of the despatch.