Hammond to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
22 April 1862
With reference to my letter of the 21st of January 1861, I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you a copy of a letter from the Hudson's Bay Company relative to their claim for compensation, on account of the losses alleged to have been incurred by that Company through the maintenance of theirEstablishmentManuscript image Establishment on the island of San Juan, and I am to request that in laying this Paper before the Duke of Newcastle, you will state to His Grace that Lord Russell apprehends that the question is one entirely for the consideration and decision of the Colonial Office, and the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company has been informed that a copy of his letter has been sent tothatManuscript image that Department.
I am,
Your most obedient,
humble Servant,
E. Hammond
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
If Mr Berens should address this Office, in consequence of the reference made to it by Lord Russell, I think that no other ans: can be returned than that which was given to him on the 26 Jany/61.
ABd 24 Apl
The Duke of Newcastle will probably recollect this subject, into which His Grace entered at some length in his minute on 11771. The Hudson's Bay Company have been told by the Foreign Office that their letter is referred here. We must therefore send them an answer.
I would suggest that this time it might be of advantage to make some such remark as follows: In your present letter and in a former one from you to this Dt on the same subject, you affirm that the H.B. Company, formed their Establishment on San Juan, not with a view to their own advantage, but at the instigation of HM's Govt. I am desired to remark to you that not the slightest trace of any such instigation is recorded in this Office. On the contrary, the subject is referred to in a letter from this office to the Company dated the [blank], in the following terms: "correspondence relating to the occupation for the benefit of the Company of the Island of San Juan." The Duke of Newcastle is sure that you must perceive that when youManuscript image advance a pecuniary claim on the Queen's Government upon the plea that the Company had formed one of it's trading Establishments for the benefit and at the request of the Govt, it is incumbent on you to produce some evidence of so material a fact. Neither is such a fact one upon which indefinite allegations of supposed conversations would suffice. In order to make good such a claim, it would be necessary that the Company should produce some written and official application to them to render the alleged service which they now desire to make the ground of a demand on the public Treasury.
TFE 24 April
This will be the proper way to answer one of the most extraordinary demands I ever heard of.
N 25
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Berens, 30 April 1862, advising that the government could not consider compensating the company for the expense of establishing a settlement on San Juan Island unless evidence could be given proving that the settlement was established at the instigation of the government.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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H.H. Berens, Hudson's Bay Company, to Russell, 11 April 1862, explaining the company's claim to compensation for expenses incurred in the settlement of San Juan Island.