No. 76a, Legislative
28th September 1866
My Lord
I have the honor to submit for consideration the enclosed Acts passed by the local Legislature during the last Session and to which I have assented on behalf of Her Majesty, together with the reports of the Acting Attorney General thereon.
I do not propose to trouble your Lordship with any remarksinManuscript image in addition to those of the Attorney General.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 13 Nov
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Reserved for Sir F. Rogers.
TFE 13/11
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No 11 the Harbour Dues Act shd be referred to the Bd of Trade. The rest may I think be allowed to remain in operation. The only ActsManuscript image with respect to wh I see any question are the Liquor Licence Act No 2 and the Homestead Act No 6.
The first is simple. It merely reduces the suburban Liquor Licence from 60£ per ann—the urban rate—to 12£ the rural rate. It will, I suppose transfer a certain number of spirit shops from within the town limits to spots just beyond the limits. Considering the great evils of liquor shops in Colonies where Indians exist, I think this a step in the wrong direction. I would observe upon this and reserve HM's confirmation of the Law till a report shd be recd shewing why this relaxation is made.
The homestead act is a very singluar one and deserves to be read. In view of the exigencies of a new Country, it reestablishes in modified shape the principle—obsolete in England—of exempting real property from liability for the debts of its owner. That is it enacts that any person [may] register a "homestead" of a value not exceeding about [partly off microfilm] £—wh when so registered he may retain in spite of his insolvency.
This is also to my mind [is?] a questionable [question?]. I cannotManuscript image but think that the spirit of Anglo Saxon law is too lenient towards insolvents: and encourages dishonesty under the name of "spirit" "enterprise" "smartness" &c.
In this law it is to be said—1. That it is a protection to the innocent family of a bankrupt who cannot be turned out of their home.
2. That it enables people to do honestly under protection of the Law, what they will otherwise effect by more or less dishonest or questionable shifts.
Against it—that when a man can thus secure himself to the extent of 500£ he is very likely to play a reckless (i.e. dishonest) game with the other 500£.
If I had been legislating in this matter I shd have been inclined to add one or both of the follg Checks in dishonesty.
1. That the homestead shd not be exempt from seizure in case of bankruptcy, unless the assets divided among the creditors were (say twice) the value of the homestead.
2. (If such a provision cd be made to work) That the after acquired property of the bankrupt shd remain liable for his debts (like that of an insolvent [family?]) to the extent of the value of the homestead wh he did not surrender to his creditors on his Bankruptcy.
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I do not like interfering from this Country with the struggles wh a young community makes to adjust its laws to its exigencies. I wd therefore deal gently with this Law—& wd acknowledge the propriety of the motives with wh it was passed—wd point out that Legislation of this kind tends to encourage recklessness in the transaction of business—& wd suggest these two amendments.
All the other Acts, i.e. all but the Harbour Act, the Liquor Act & the Homestead Act may I think be sanctioned.
FR 30/11
C 8 Dec
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Thomas L. Wood, Acting Attorney General, to Colonial Secretary, various dates, seven separate reports commenting favourably on the different acts passed during the recent session of the legislature (twelve pages).
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"List of Acts assented to during the Session of the Legislature of Vancouvers Island 1865-66," signed by W.A.G. Young, 28 September 1866, as follows:
I. The Harewood Railway Company Extension
Act 1886.
II. The Liquor License Act 1866.
III. The District Court Act 1866.
IV. The Temporary Loan act 1866.
V. The Partnership Act 1886.
VI. The Homestead Act 1886.
VII. The Debtors Relief Act 1866.
VIII. The Coroners Jury Act 1866.
IX. District Road Amendment Act 1866.
X. The Bills of Sale Amendment Act 1866.
XI. The Harbor Dues Act 1866.
Other documents included in the file
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Carnarvon to the Lord President, 7 January 1867, submitting eight acts to the Queen in Council and recommending that they be left to their operation (list appended).
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Elliot to T.H. Farrer, Board of Trade, 7 January 1867, forwarding copy of harbour dues act for opinion.