No. 84
Downing Street
24 January 1862
Sir,
I have the honor to acquaint you that the questions which have been so long under discussion between Her Majesty's Government and the Hudson's Bay Company respecting the Company's claims to Land in Vancouver Island under a title anterior to the grant ofManuscript image the Island have been brought to a close.
It had been determined as you are aware to submit those claims to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and the preliminary steps had been taken for that purpose. But a long time must necessarily have elapsed before the decision of the Council could have been obtained, a protracted and expensive investigation must have been undertaken, and a delay incurred, which could not fail to create a serious impediment to the progress oftheManuscript image the Colony.
Under these circumstances I readily agreed to a proposal from the Hudson's Bay Company that an attempt should be made to settle the matter by arbitration. Mr. Dallas and Mr. Maynard on the part of the Company and Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Walcott on behalf of Her Majesty's Government were accordingly appointed to confer upon the subject and after due consultation agreed to a memorandum of arrangement, the terms of which have subsequently been incorporated in the Agreement of whichaManuscript image a copy is annexed to this Despatch.
The Company having signified to me their acceptance of these terms, I have felt no hesitation in likewise acceding to the arrangement. The concessions thus made by the Company appear to me to be as great as can be demanded from them; and, moreover, the speedy settlement of these questions of title which, by keeping the public mind in suspense, retard the progress of the Colony, must be of far more valuetoManuscript image to the community than the issue however favorable to the Government of a tedious and expensive litigation.
It only remains for me to instruct you to carry the present arrangement into effect, and to authorize you, with this view, to prepare under the directions of the Colonial Attorney General for execution by the Company the necessary Deeds of reconveyance of the portions of Land to be surrendered to the Crown.
I have the honor to be sir,
Your most obedient
humble servant
Newcastle

Governor Douglas C.B.
&c &c &c
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Copy, Draft Indenture, February 1862 between the Queen and the Hudson's Bay Company, signed by R.W.C. Murdoch and S. Walcott, regarding anterior land claims.
Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes to Douglas, James 24 January 1862, NAC RG7:G8C/3, 1. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V627084.html.

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