Murdoch to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
20th March 1865
In my letter of 17th instant I mentioned that we had been in communication with the Hudsons Bay Company on the subject of the reconveyance of Vancouvers Island to the Crown, and that we had prepared a Deed for the purpose. The Draft of this Deed we communicated, unofficially, to Mr Maynard the Solicitor of the Company, in orderManuscript image that the Company might supply a Map or plan showing distinctly the blocks or Lots of Land which they claim to have excepted from the reconveyance, in virtue of the Agreement of 3rd February 1862.
2. We have just received back from Mr Maynard the two accompanying Maps which show the exceptions as claimed by the Company. These consist of two whole sections marked 31 and 32 on the official plan of the Island, and the greater portion of section 18 in which the Town of Victoria is situated. The three sectionsManuscript image are in the District of Victoria, and all the lots in section 18 which have been sold by the Company previous to the 1st January 1862, or are to be retained by them under the agreement of February of that year, are coloured pink and marked respectively with the letters H.B.C. If these plans be correct there will be no difficulty in the reconveyance as far as the parcels are concerned. But from a recent Despatch from the Governor of Van Couvers Island on which I reported in my letter of 17th inst, it appears that the Company's Agent in the Island had declined to produce toManuscript image the Colonial Authorities any evidence of the Sales made by the Company previous to the 1st January 1862. Until this evidence is produced the accuracy of the Plan now furnished by the Company cannot be tested. The want of this evidence has, as the Governor reports, been the cause of the delay in sending home the Deed of reconveyance which has been prepared in the Colony.
3. I enclose a Draft of the Reconveyance which we have prepared with the two plans furnished to us by the Company's Solicitor. In aManuscript image matter of so much importance I presume that Mr Cardwell would wish to submit the proposed Draft for the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown. Should they consider it sufficient in form and legal effect, I would submit that it be communicated to the Company for their approval, with an intimation that it would be forwarded to the Governor for verification as to the Lands proposed to be excepted from the Reconveyance, before it is finally submitted to the Company for execution.
IManuscript image
4. I beg to add that we have no copy of the enclosed Plans nor have we in this Office any means of getting them copied. It would, however, be obviously desirable that copies should be retained here or in the Colonial Office when those now enclosed are forwarded to the Colony.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient
humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Defer acting on this report until the Land Bd shall have had an oppy of reporting on Governor Kennedy's despatch 2637.
ABd 21 March
Mr Blackwood
I agree. But in sending 2637 to the Comrs, do so with reference to their present report and say that Mr Cardwell will defer acting upon this until they shall have had time toManuscript image consider and give their opinion on the despatch now referred to them.
TFE 21 March
EC 8 April
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Draft deed for the reconveyance of Vancouver Island, no date, no signature (seven pages).
Sketch maps, as per despatch, not on microfilm.