Murdoch to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
13 December 1862
I have to acknowledge your letter of 11th instant with one from the Hudson's Bay Co on the subject of the Land transferred to the Crown in the Town of Victoria Vancouvers Isld by the Agreement with the Hudsons Bay Co of the 3rd of February last.
2. When that agreement was communicated to Governor Douglas he observed that the effect of it, so far from restoring any land to the Crown would be to confirm theManuscript image Company in claims which they had not before been able to establish and he intimated that Mr Dallas had availed himself of his local knowledge in the matter to obtain this advantage over the Government. Governor Douglas' despatch was referred to the Company—but in their answer they took no notice of this charge. Their attention was called to the omission and Mr Berens letter is his explanation of it.
3. He states that in his previous answer he had purposely avoided noticing the imputation, because he was aware that the Governor himself was in possession ofManuscript image Land which Mr Dallas considered ought to belong to the Government and because he was unwilling to give rise to a discussion which must produce disagreeable feeling but could have no useful result. He adds that as far as he is aware there were no means in this country at the time the arrangement was entered into of ascertaining precisely the unsold lands—but he sends plans of the lots which the Company's Agent proposed should be surrendered to the Crown.
4. It is, I believe, known at the Colonial Office from other sources that Governor Douglas owns a considerable extent of land in Victoria,
Yes. From the Returns of Land Sales sent here by [the?] Company.
and I do not see thereforeManuscript image that there would be any use in sending Mr Berens' letter to the Governor. It would no doubt produce a rejoinder from him and could not, as far as I can see, lead to any practical result. But it might be desirable to furnish the Governor with copies of the plans enclosed in Mr Berens' letter, that it may be ascertained whether they represent accurately the land which will be surrendered to the Crown under the Agreement.
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
Send the Plans to the Govr as suggested with reference to the Duke's Despatch No 121—15 Novr?
VJ 15 Decr
So proceed.
FR 15/12
CF 16
N 17
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 123, 19 December 1862, sharing copies of maps provided by Berens and asking if Douglas believes they are accurate.