Peel to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
2 September 1862
In answer to your letter of the 22nd Ult. relating to the Hudsons Bay Company, I am directed by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury to acquaint you for the information of the Duke of Newcastle that My Lords have wished to allow to that Company all that they could fairly claim on the resumption by the Crown of Vancouvers Island. They claimed an unexpectedlylargeManuscript image large balance of £53,569 afterwards reduced by the withdrawal of an Item of £15,113 to £38,456 for which they proposed that they should be paid, as a compensation, a sum of £35,000.
They were however unable to satisfy Mr Andoe and Mr Murdoch on behalf of the Government, that more than £29,000 ought to be paid to them, and even that sum included some Items which Mr Andoe passed, not as a matterManuscript image of account, but by way of concession only, and on the ground of Public convenience, and the Interests of the Colony.
My Lords therefore considered that they were acting in a liberal spirit towards the Company when they offered a sum of £30,000 in full satisfaction of their claims, and they had trusted that the Company would have accepted that sum without further reference to the particular claim, which they had not fully succeeded in establishing, fortheManuscript image the passage and maintenance of Settlers.
In the claim, as it was first made by the Company, they assumed that of Seven Hundred Settlers expected to be sent out to the Colony, one half would be taken up by the Puget's Sound Company, and they charged the Government, in consequence, with Passage-Money for Three Hundred and Fifty Settlers amounting, at £23 each Settler, to £8050, and with £17,500 for Maintenance at the rate of £50 a head.ItManuscript image It then appeared, as stated in a letter from the Governor of the Company, that only about Six Hundred and Thirty went out, that the sum spent in Maintenance was very much under £17,500, and that the cost of Maintenance was only £23 for each Settler instead of £50.
That took off £9,450 from the original claim; but, on the other hand, it was said that the Puget's Company took only Eighty, and that the 550 otherswereManuscript image were all chargeable to the Colony: and, the cost of the additional 200 Settlers for Passage-Money and Maintenance being about £9200—the Claim as amended came out nearly the same in amount as before.
My Lords concurred with Mr Andoe and Mr Murdoch in not thinking the explanation satisfactory either generally or as to why the first statement of numbers should have been erroneous, and they considered that the Government was entitled to takethatManuscript image that number as the basis of the calculations. They think it, however far better that the terms for the reconveyance of Vancouver's Island should, if possible, be made acceptable to both parties than that recourse should be had to Legal Proceedings—and £5,000 being the difference between the sums asked by and offered to the Company—they would not, desirous as they are of assisting His GraceinManuscript image in coming to an amicable settlement with the Company, object to give half that difference and thus to raise the balance payable to the Company to a sum of £32,500.
I am, Sir
Your obedient Servant
F. Peel
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 2 Sepr
TFE 4 Sepr
I sent this to Mr Murdoch and now forward it to the Duke of Newcastle with a memo: which I have received from Mr Murdoch today.
TFE 8 Sepr
I shall be obliged to Mr Elliot if he will see Mr Maynard telling him that I would have done so myself it I had been in Town. I do hope the H.B.C. will be wise enough to accept this compromise. I am sure they must feel that I have done all in my power for them.
I am convinced that the Treasury will not consent to more even if I thought it right to [propose] it which I [one word off microfilm] do not.
[A partially illegible minute from Elliot is included on the microfilm at this point, but has been reproduced, almost in its entirety, on the following page. This second, more clearly written copy, has been utilized.]
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I saw Mr Maynard today and I am happy to say that he has promised to advise the Hudson's Bay Company to agree in the compromise—advice which I see that he expects to be followed as a matter of course. As he is just leaving Town, and it is so desirable to secure a favorable issue, I have ventured to sign and despatch the enclosed letter without delay.
TFE 11 Septr
A good arrangement for both Parties.
N 12
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Mr Elliot
The sum proposed in this letter from the Treasury vizt £32,500 is, I think, as much as the HBCo are entitled to, even on a liberal consideration of their claim. But I would suggest whether it would not be better that you should have personal communication with some member of the direction or with Mr Maynard before the offer is made to them officially. It would I think facilitate the settlement ofManuscript image the matter very much.
TWCM 6 Septr/62
Other documents included in the file
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Colonial Office to H.H. Berens, 11 September 1862, forwarding copy of the letter and proposing the sum of £32,500 in full settlement of their claim.