No. 2, Legislative
20 January 1863
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor of transmitting herewith a copy of my speech to the Legislature of this Colony on opening the Chambers upon the second day of the present month, and also copies of the addresses of the Legislative Council and Legislative
Assembly
Assembly in reply thereto.  
2. In opening the Session I strongly recommended that steps should be immediately taken to expedite the passage through the Legislature of the preliminary measures affecting the construction of the Victoria and Esquimalt rail-way, that no time may be lost in commencing so important a work; And I propose in the course of a few
days
days to bring forward the Estimates for the service of the year 1863, and to introduce a Bill intended to modify the procedure and reduce the cost of collecting small debts which will complete the programme of Government business for the present brief session which, as I announced in a former despatch, will
close
close by limitation on the 28th day of February next.  
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your most obedient humble Servant,
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
Acke rect.  
ABd
31/3
Draft at once.  
FR
N
1-4
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Copy of speech given by Douglas at the opening of the Legislative Assembly, no date, as per despatch.  
  • Copy of Address from the Legislative Council to Douglas, 26 January 1863, signed by Roderick Finlayson, President, as per despatch.  
  • Copy of Address from the Legislative Assembly to Douglas, 6 January 1863, signed by J.S. Helmcken, Speaker, as per despatch.  
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 9, 6 April 1863, acknowledging the receipt of Douglas's despatch.  
  • Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
    Copy
    Ju 3/40/63
    James Douglas


    Honourable Gentlemen of the Legislature Council and of the House of Assembly:
    The requirements of the Public Service have rendered it necessary to call you again together at this time after an unusually brief respite from your legislative duties. 
    The business which I have to press upon your attention is the consideration of the Estimates intended for the service of the current year;- and also of certain bets for enabling compromises, properly Constituted, to acquire the land necessary for their operations. 
    The importance of such measures in their present bearings on the employment of labour, and on the prospective interests of the Colony, is so well known and so generally recognized that I feel assured no unnecessary delay will occur in their passage through the Legislature - 
    Government will have to extend its fostering care of the recently formed settlements at Cowichan and Comox - to provide for their protection and securily and to furnish such aid as may be deemed advisable for the secular and religious instruction of the settlers in those Districts_ 
    It affords me great satisfaction to state that the returns received from the Land office show that there is a rapidly increasing demand within the Colony for the acquisition of public land,- the areas conveyed by sale and occupied under the pre-emption get without purchase, for the year 1862, being about 90 per cent in excess of the quantities sold, and otherwise conveyed, in 1861
    I may also allude to the gratifying circumstance that a highly respectable English Association is about to form a settlement at “Questions on the West Coast of Vancouver Island- they propose to open Mines of Coal, to establish Fisheries, to embark largely in the Export of Deals and Ships Spars; and in other branches of trade that Promise remunerative employment for capital- 
    I will make no comment on the character of an enterprize of such obvious importance to the progress of the Colony- I shall not fail to extend to it all the protection and encouragement in my power, and I trust it may prove completely successful, and fully realize the hopes of its spirited projections- 
    I will again call the attention of the Legislature to the great importance of providing for a Geological survey of the Colony- a measure well calculated to develop its true interests and resources. The mountain ranges which now so unprofitably occupy a large portion of the Island are, with good reason, supposed to abound in valuable minerals. When that feet is demonstrated by carefully conducted scientific explorations a new era will dawn upon the Colony, and sources of wealth will be laid open which must eventually place it at the summit of material prosperity. 
    Assistance will be asked from the House for the purpose of carrying that object into effect; and also for encouraging that taking of cod and other fish on the coasts of the Island: and as a means of stimulating trade and settlement, I shall propose a small grant, to be employed in subsidising a steam vessel to ply, at stated intervals at Cowichan, Salt Spring, Nanaimo, and other intermediate settlements. Gentlemen of the Legislative Assembly. The estimates for the year will shortly be laid before you, wherein I have provided for the various services before alluded to, and for otherwise not herein specially noticed. 
    Honourable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House of Assembly _ 
    A Bill to legalise the collection of small debts, and to reduce the costs, and modify the present procedure, will together with other measures, be introduced and submitted in course of the session for your consideration_ 
    Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
    Vancouver Island.
    In 3/40/03
    Council Chamber

    26th January, 1863

    To His Excellency James Douglas Esquire, Companion of the most Honourable order of the Bath, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Colony of Vancouver Island and its Dependencies, Vice Admiral -
     &c &c &c
    The Humble Address of the Legislative Council of the Colony of Vancouver Island
    May it please your Excellency The Legislative Council begs to acknowledge your Excellency’s Speech on the occasion of the opening of the fourth session of this present Parliament_ 
    The Council begs, respectfully, to congratulate your Excellency on the continued prosperity of the Colony arising out of the increase of Governance and Trade; the increase of population and capital; and the increased demand for agricultural lands.
     and
    The Council desires to assure Your Excellency that the business
    which
    which your Excellency has been pleased to submit to the Legislature will be carried through this Branch of the Legislature with all possible Dispatch consistent with the importance of the measures. 
    (signed) Rodk Finlayson
    President
 
Despatch to London:
Douglas to Newcastle, 20 January 1863, National Archives of the UK, 3140, CO 305/20. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. http://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/getDoc.htm?id=V63002.scx. Accessed 29 February 2020. 

Last modified: 13:30:13, 18/12/2019