No. 57
3 December 1862
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your Despatch No 119, of the 1st October 1862, communicating to me that a payment of the sum of £32,500, was about to be made by the Imperial Treasury to the Hudson's Bay Company, in dischargeofManuscript image of the Company's claims on the Crown in consequence of its assumption of Vancouver Island.
2. I regret that I should still be unable to inform Your Grace of the precise nature and bearing of the Indenture of the 3rd February 1862, forwarded to me in your Despatch No 84, for notwithstanding my repeated applications for information upon the subject I am up to this moment in utter ignorance astoManuscript image to whether any, and if so what land, has to be surrendered by the Company under that Indenture.
3. I endeavored to bring the matter to an issue by forwarding to the local Agent of the Company Sketch Maps of the lands specifically mentioned in the Agreement as to be conveyed to the Crown. In nearly every case however the Boundaries have been disputed by the Company, and in one casevizManuscript image viz. the Reserve for the Harbour Master's Office at the foot of Fort Street, as mentioned in the Indenture, the site has been altogether changed. I cannot however bring these matters clearly before Your Grace except as a whole, and I cannot do that until I obtain from the Company a Map exhibiting distinctly the lands that will revert to the Crown under the Indenture.
4. As various Plans are alluded to by the Indenture I presume some must have been referred toatManuscript image at the time of discussion. Should such have been the case, it would be very desirable that I should be supplied with Copies; for, notwithstanding that the "Company's Plan" is frequently mentioned in the Indenture—from my inability to procure a Copy, from the Surveyor General having been unable even to obtain a sight of any such Plan when specially sent by me to inspect it, and from his having been refused any account of lands sold previous to the 1st January 1862, coupled with thefactManuscript image fact that since the receipt here of the Indenture, Surveyors have been seen placing Boundary posts, and apparently running lines upon portions of land that is still unoccupied and was supposed to be unsold—I am really constrained to doubt the existence in the Colony at the time the Indenture was received of any properly constructed general Map or plan upon which the Sales of the still unoccupied land to the South of James Bay had been made. Upon no other hypothesis can I account for the remarkable difficulty I have experienced in my endeavors to obtain the information I was bound to seek,andManuscript image and which the Company are bound to furnish, unless indeed it be the object of the Company to secure from Her Majesty's Government the payment referred to in Your Grace's Despatch now under reply, before rendering statements that would disclose the true character of the Indenture of Agreement of February last, and would shew how little the Crown benefitted by that Indenture.
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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Mr Elliot
Land Board.
ABd 31 Jany
Refer. (This should be done without delay.)
TFE 31/1
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 2 February 1863, forwarding copy of the present and a subsequent despatch relating to the agreement with the Hudson's Bay Company for their suggestions and observations.