Berens to Newcastle
Hudson's Bay House
13 January 1862
On the 18th ultimo, Mr Colvile, one of the Directors of this Company, addressed a letter to Your Grace, in which he accepted, on behalf of this Company, Your Grace's suggestion that the question as to the claims of the Hudson's Bay Company to certain lands in Vancouver's Island should be referred to Mr Dallas and the Company's Solicitor, Mr Maynard, on the part of the Company, and to Mr Walcott and any other Gentleman Your Grace might think fit to appoint on the part of Her Majesty's Government, and some days afterwards MrColvile received a letter from Mr Chichester FortescueinformingManuscript image informing him that Your Grace had appointed Mr Murdoch and Mr Walcott to act on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.
Since that period these Gentlemen have had several interviews upon the subject and have virtually agreed to a Memorandum of Arrangement, which we understand has been submitted to Your Grace with a recommendation that the arrangement therein proposed should be accepted by Her Majesty's Government, and which Mr Dallas and Mr Maynard, at the request of the Government referees, have submitted for the consideration of the Governor and Committee of this Company.
I have now the honour of acquainting Your Grace that having consulted my Colleagues upon this question we have determined (intheManuscript image the expectation that the arrangement will be ratified by Her Majesty's Government) to accept the terms proposed, and I hereby do so on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company. The Board, though feeling that they have been called upon to make a sacrifice of what they believed to be the just rights of the Company, have been induced to do so from a wish to avoid litigation and in the hope that as all other questions have been amicably arranged, Her Majesty's Government will be induced to come to a Settlement of the still outstanding Colonial accounts without further delay—a measure the more necessary—as our arrangement must be arrived at before the final revocation of the Grant to the Company.
I, herewith, transmit a Copy of the Memorandum of Arrangement handedtoManuscript image to us and initialed by Mr Walcott—Your Grace will observe that there are a few words added in red ink. They were mutually agreed to by the referees, on both sides, after the Copy transmitted to Your Grace was sent in, and they do not in any degree alter the original terms of the Agreement—their only object being to clear up one or two points which, if left unexplained, might have been liable to misinterpretation.
I would further venture to suggest to Your Grace that if this arrangement is to be adopted on the part of Her Majesty's Government, it would be of great advantage to the Colony that directions should be given, without delay, for its being carried into execution. The doubts as to the Company's titles to the lands sold have been asourceManuscript image source of annoyance and loss to the purchasers, and it would be a satisfaction to this Company to be able to relieve their minds on that point as soon as possible.
In conclusion I beg to request that Your Grace will have the goodness to direct the decision of Her Majesty's Government on this subject to be communicated to me at as early a date as may suit your Grace's convenience, in order that the necessary directions may be sent to the Company's Officers in Vancouver's Island to carry the arrangement into effect.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most Obedt Servant
H.H. Berens Govr
Minutes by CO staff
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The Hudson's Bay Company express their assent to the arrangement agreed upon by the Referees. We have ascertained by personal inquiry that Mr Murdoch and Mr Walcott have been parties to the verbal alternations in red ink. To save time I annex drafts prepared by Mr H. Irving conveying the acceptance of the arrangement by the Secretary of State.
The instructions to the Governor will require a little more time, and can be drafted afterwards.
TFE 16 Jany
N 17
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Berens, 18 January 1862, conveying the concurrence of Newcastle to the proposed conditions, and that advising Murdoch and Walcott had been authorized to complete the agreement on the terms of the memorandum enclosed in his letter.
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Colonial Office to Murdoch and Walcott, 18 January 1862, forwarding copy of the letter from Berens and advising that as Newcastle also accepted the proposed conditions, they were authorized to complete the agreement.
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 84, 24 January 1862, summarizing at length the events which led to an agreement "between H.M. Govt and the Hudsons Bay Company respecting the Compy claims to Land in Vancouver Island." A copy of the agreement is included.
Minutes by CO staff
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Vide 681. As the agreement will no doubt be completed before the
mail goes I have included the suggestions in the E.Crs letter 681 in this Draft.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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"Memorandum of Arrangement recommended for the final Settlement of the claims of the Hudson's Bay Company to Lands in Vancouver's Island," no date, as per despatch.