Murdoch to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
18 November 1862
As it is understood that an arrangement has been finally concluded between H.M. Govt and the Hudsons Bay Co, for the retransfer to the Crown of Van Couvers Island on payment to the Company in all of the sum of £57,500, I think it right to call the attention of the Duke of Newcastle to that portion of the grant of 13th Janry 1849 which relates to Sales of Land.
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2. By that Grant it is provided that for all sales of land affected by the Company they shall be entitled to deduct, by way of profit, a sum not exceeding 10 per cent on the gross amount. This they have accordingly done up to the present time. Until the Island is formally reconveyed to the Crown all Sales and grants of Land, though practically made by the Government, must continue to be nominally made by the Company, and according to the strict letter of the Grant of 1849 the Company might perhaps be entitled to claim percentage on such Grant. But in justiceManuscript image they clearly are not entitled to any such payment, and it may fairly be expected that no such claim will be made. But perhaps it may be considered right, to prevent any future misunderstanding, that this point should at once be set at rest. As some delay may occur in settling the terms of the reconveyance of the Island the question is not without its practical importance.
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 19 Nov
Sir F. Rogers
Mr Murdoch's suggestion is evidently well founded. I think that a short letter should be written to the Company, not arguing the point, but taking it for granted. WithManuscript image reference to the recent correspondence with them on the forms by which the reconveyance of the Island to the Crown is to be effected, I should point out to them that the completion of these may possibly occupy some time, but that on the other hand, as the money agreed upon for entitling the Crown to this reconveyance has been actually paid to the Company, it is of course right that the Govt of the Crown should at once enter upon it's consequent rights. Such being the case, I should remind the Company of the proviso in the grant, by which so long as the lands belong to the Company they were entitled to deduct by way of profit a rate of 10 per cent on the gross amount, and I should say, that as in the interval up to the formal reconveyance of the Island all sales and grants though practically made by the Govt, must continue to be nominally made by the Company, the Duke of Newcastle proposes to send out explanatory instructions to theGovernorManuscript image Governor that nevertheless any deduction by way of profit will no longer be claimable by the Company, and that His Grace has no doubt that the Directors will be prepared immediately to convey a corresponding intimation to their Officers.
TFE 19 Novr
FR 19/11
So write.
N 19
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to H.H. Berens, Hudson's Bay Company, 22 November 1862, advising that as the Crown had paid the agreed upon sum for the reconveyance of the colony, the governor and company agent should each be instructed that the company would no longer be entitled to a ten per cent profit on the sale of land, with explanation.