Walcott to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
7th October 1864
I have to acknowledge your letter of the 3rd inst with a copy of one from Mr W.A.G. Young, the late Colonial Secretary of Vancouvers Island, on the subject of his Conveyance to the Surveyor General of Fisguard Island.
2. Mr Youngs letter is in reply to a communication addressed to him by direction of Mr Cardwell for the purpose of obtaining an explanationManuscript image of the circumstances under which the sale and conveyance of Fisguard Island took place.
3. It will be remembered that Governor Kennedy in his despatch of the 21st June last mentioned that he had made enquiries on the subject, of the Treasurer, the Acting Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, and the Surveyor General, that they had respectively disclaimed all knowledge of the execution or existence of the Deed—and that there was no record of it in the Colonial Secretary's Office. The only circumManuscript imagestance which appeared to be known was that £150 had been paid to Mr Young nearly four years and a half before the execution of the conveyance.
4. Mr Young's present explanation gives a different complexion to the case. He states in effect that in 1859 Fishguard Island, then the property of his wife, having been selected by a Board of Naval Officers as a site for a Lighthouse, Mr Pemberton the Surveyor General applied to him to name a sum for its purchase by the Colonial Government—that looking at hisManuscript image official position he declined to give a price, but stated his willingness to accept such sum as might be settled by competent authority—and suggested to the Surveyor General to consult with the Governor on the subject—that shortly afterwards the Surveyor General named £150 which Mr Young accepted although at the time he considered it under the value of the property—that Mr Pemberton or his Assistant Mr Pearse shortly afterwards presented to him a Purchase Deed to be executed byManuscript image himself and his Wife—that he personally submitted this Deed to the Attorney General—that he attended with his wife before the Chief Justice in order to go through the formalities necessary for passing a married woman's Estate—that for the lack of certain Certificates the transaction could not then be completed—that he instantly applied, but without success, to the Attorney General for the required Certificates—that on failing in several subsequent applications both to the Attorney General and Chief Justice to get the matter completed, he allowed it to stand over, and did not in fact execute thetheManuscript image Deed until the eve of his departure from the Colony. Mr Young adds that the Draft of the deed and the plan of the property attached to it was actually prepared in the Surveyor General's Office—and he denies that the purchase money was paid to him by the Surveyor General upon his order as Colonial Secretary. He explains however that although his name appeared on the requisition authorizing the expenditure, in common with other items, this conveyed no authority from him individually, but merely certified according to establishedManuscript image custom, that the Documents having been laid before the Governor, the outlay had been by him approved and the Treasurer authorized to pass it. Mr Young concludes by stating the readiness of himself and his Wife to do what may be necessary for perfecting the Conveyance; and without making a direct claim he appeals to the Secretary of State against the inadequacy of the price he received for Fisguard Island, which, had it been sold by auction would, he considers, have realized not less than $5000 or about £1000.
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5. In justice to Mr Young I would suggest that a copy of his letter should be forwarded for the information of the Governor as it is difficult to reconcile its statements with those of some of the officers he consulted.
6. The practical step which remains to be taken is to obtain from Mr Young and his Wife a fresh conveyance of the fee simple of Fisguard Island as suggested in my report of the 8th ultimo. The form of this Conveyance—to whom it should me made—and whether MrManuscript image Pemberton Pemberton should be a party to it are matters which Mr Cardwell will doubtless wish to have referred for the consideration of the Solicitor of the Treasury.
7. With regard to Mr Young's implied claim for additional compensation for parting with the Property, I may remark that Governor Kennedy considers that the intrinsic value of Fisguard Island is "merely nominal" and that Mr Richards, the Hydrographer to the Admiralty, who was consulted on this matter, states in his letter to Mr Elliot of the 20th AugustManuscript image last, that although the Island is very small and of no intrinsic value, yet looking to parallel cases he did not conceive that the remuneration paid to Mr Young was unreasonable. I should presume that Mr Young's appeal on this point will not be entertained.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient
Humble Servant
S. Walcott
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Adopt these suggestions? See your query on 9031.
ABd 8 Octr
Proceed as proposed requesting the Solicitors advice as to the steps if any wh shd be taken to convey property to the Govt of V.C.I. & to frame the requisite deeds.
FR 8/10
EC 9
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Yes. Conveyance reciting facts and purporting to convey to the Queen the rights of Mr & Mrs Young & Mr Pemberton?
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 42, 13 October 1864.
Minutes by CO staff
It occurs to me on considering this case that the consideration how
this deed shd be framed belongs to the Govr of V.C.I. and to the Colonial Office. There may be laws or practices in V.C.I. wh render a particular form of conveyance applicable or inapplicable in such a case—and duly of little consequence.