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Vancouver's Island. Return to an address of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 25 June 1857;-for,… Taunton, Henry Labouchere, Baron, 1798-1869 1857

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   XJ
'***>
VANCOUVER'S   ISLAND.
RETURN to an Address of the Honourable The House of Commons,
dated 25 June 1857 ;—for,
"*' COPIES or Extracts of any Despatches that have been received by
Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, on the subject of the
Establishment of a Representative Assembly at Vancouver's Island"
Colonial Office,
28 July 1857.
C. FORTESCUE.
(Mr. Secretary Labouchere.)
Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,
3 August i 857.
229—Sess. 2.
Srtr
^•icj*-*&i 3Ps» f^W
.J4S2
SCHEDULE.
DESPATCHES FROM THE RIGHT HON. H. LABOUCHERE, M. P.
Number
in
Series.
Date.
28 Feb.   1856
No. 5.
23 Aug. 1856
No. 16.
21 Oct.    1856
No. 18;
10 Nov.  1856
No. 19.
24 Jan.   1857
No. 4.
24 Mar.  1857
No. 6.
SUBJECT.
Directing that a Representative Assembly be convoked without
loss of time.    Instructions and Suggestions for his guidance 4-
Acknowledging his Despatches of 2-2d  May and 7th June.
, festructions in regard to his proposals for an Extension of
the Suffrage       ---------
Acknowledging his Despatch of the 22d July, enclosing Minutes
of Council, and Copy of Proclamation convening Assemblies
of Freeholders in the Island ------
Acknowledging his Speech on Opening the Session of the
Legislature. Difficulties experienced in forming a Committee
to inquire into the validity of Disputed Elections
Acknowledging his Despatch of 31st October, reporting the
Proceedings of the House of Assembly -        -        -        -
Acknowledging his Despatch of the 9th January, reporting.the
Proceedings of the House of Assembly to the 18th December
1856	
Page.
6
DESPATCHES FROM GOVERNOR DOUGLAS.
10
li
12
13
22 May   1856
No. 12.
(Extract.)
7 June  1856
No. 14.
(Extract.)
22 July   1856
No. 15.
(Extract.)
20 Aug.  1856
No. 19.
(Extract.)
31 Oct.   1856
No. 30.
9 Jan.   1857
No. 2.
Acknowledging Despatch of 28th February, conveying Instructions in reference to the formation of a Representative Assembly in Vancouver's Island   -------
Reporting the Steps taken in carrying out the Instructions
conveyed in Despatch of 28th February       -
Enclosing Minutes of Council of 4th and 9th June. Reporting
the termination of the Elections, and that the Assembly is
convened for the 12th August     ------
Reporting the Opening of the House of Assembly on 12th
August. Enclosing his Address on the Occasion. Election
of a Speaker, and Petitions against the Return of certain
Members   ----------
Reporting further Proceedings of the Assembly, and the Adjustment, without his interference, of Party differences -
Further Proceedings of the Assembly reported up to 18th
December i856 ---------
24 Feb.   18,57     Acknowledging Mr. Labouchere's Despatches of 21st October
No. 5. and 10th November, and reporting further Proceedings of the
Legislature, up to 24th February 1857 -
10
12
18 C    3    J
Copies or Extracts of any Despatches that have been received by Her
Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, on the subject of the establishment of a Representative Assembly at Vancouver s Island*
Despatches from the Right Hon. H. Labouchere. m. p..
Secretary of State.
(No. 5.)
— No. l.
No. i.
Copy of DESPATCH from the Right Honourable H. Labouchere, m. p., to Right Hon. H. La-
Governor Douglas.
a'
Sir, Downing-street, 28 February 1856.
By the Commission and Instructions which your predecessor, Governor
Blanchard received when the colonv of Vancouver's Island was first founded,
he was directed to summon General Assemblies of freeholders, qualified by the
ownership of 20 acres of land, and with their advice and that of his Council, to
make laws and ordinances for the good government of the island.
2. I am aware that the same Commission contains another clause, professing;
to empower the Governor to make such laws with the advice of his Council only.
Perhaps \hm was introduced with the view of creating a legislature to meet the
immediate wants of the community before Assemblies could be summoned. But
I am convinced, as well bv the general tenor of the documents themselves as
by the information which I have been able to obtain of the intention of Her
Majesty's Government in framing them, that it was then contemplated that such
Assemblies should be summoned as soon as it should be practicable to do so.
3. Causes over which the local Government had no control, and which are too
well known to need recapitulation, have hitherto prevented the settlement from
acquiring that development which its founders may have expected. Considering
the small number of established colonists, you thought it advisable to act on the
power apparently given to yourself to conduct the affairs of the island with the
advice of your Council only, and to pass certain laws which you considered most
required by the exigencies of the time. In doing so, you proceeded on a fair
understanding of the authority conveyed to you, and Her Majesty's Government
are fully satisfied with the course which you took.
4. Nevertheless, it has been doubted by authorities conversant in the principles of colonial law, whether the Crown can legally convey authority to make
laws in a settlement founded by Englishmen, even for a temporary and special
purpose, to any legislature not elected wholly, or in part, by the settlers themselves. If this be the case, the clause in your Commission on which you relied
would appear to be unwarranted and invalid.
5. It appears to Her Majesty's Government, therefore, that steps should be
taken at once for the establishment of the only legislature -authorised by the
present constitution of the island. I have, accordingly, to instruct you to call
together an Assembly in the terms of \rour Commission and Instructions.
6. For this purpose it will be within your power, as provided by the ninth
clause of your Instructions, to fix the number of representatives, and, if you
should consider it essential, to divide the colony into districts, and to establish
separate polling places, although with so small a number of settlers you may
find this inexpedient.
229—Sess. 2. a 2 7. I leave
bouchere, m. p., to
Governor Douglas,
28 Feb. 1856.
St* ffiH tt«>
4 CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
7. I leave it to your local knowledge and discretion, with the advice of your
Council, to suggest to the Assembly, when thus summoned, to pass such measures
as you may yourself deem most required, and in particular, such as may be
necessary, in order to leave no doubt of the validity of proceedings already taken-
without the authority of an Assembly.
8. But it appears to me, that in a community containing so very limited a
number of inhabitants, the maintenance of a constitution on the model of those
considerable colonies, with a House of Representatives and a Council, may be
inexpedient: and that a smaller and more select body will, for the present, and
probably for some years to come, perform in a satisfactory manner the functions"
really required in the present stage of progress of the island.
9. Such a body, however, can be constituted only by enactment of the Legislature, authorised by the Commission, that is to say, of the Assembly and
Council, together with yourself. It would be no unusual circumstance for a
legislature thus constituted to surrender its powers into the hands of a single chamber.   It has been successfully done in some of the smaller West India Islands.
10. I leave it to yourself to consider, with the advice of the local authorities,
the numbers and proper qualification of the members of such a single Council;
but in the event of your determining to introduce the elective principle into it,
a certain proportion, not less than one-third, should be nominated by the
Crown. The power of assenting to, or negativing, or suspending, for the assent
of the Crown, the measures passed by such a Council, should be distinctly
reserved to yourself. And it is very essential that a constitutional law of this
description should contain a proviso, reserving the initiation of all money votes
to the local Government.
11. An additional reason in favour of the course which I now prescribe
(namely, that of calling together the Assembly, and then, if the Legislature so
created think proper, establishing a simpler form of government) is to be found
in the circumstance that the relations of the Hudson's Bay Company with the
Crown must necessarily undergo revision before or in the year 1859. The
position and future government of Vancouver's Island will then unavoidably
pass under review, and if any difficulty should be experienced in carrying into
execution any present instructions, a convenient opportunity will be afforded for
reconsidering them.
12. I am aware that Her Majesty's Government are imposing on you a task
of some difficulty as well as responsibility in giving you these instructions,
especially as they have to be carried into execution with so small an amount of
assistance as the present circumstances of your settlement afford. But I have
every reason to rely on your abilities and public spirit; and you may, on your
part, rely on the continuance of such assistance and support as Her Majesty's
Government can render you, and on their making full allowance for the peculiarities of your position.
I have, &c.
(signed)        H. Labouchere.
No. 2.
Right Hon. H. La-
bouchere, m» p., to
Governor Douglas,
-23 Aug. 1856.
* Pages 6, 7.
— No. 2. —
(No. 16.)
Copy of DESPATCH from the Right Honourable H. Labouchere, m.p., to
Governor Douglas.
Sir, Downing-street, 23 August 1856.
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches, Nos. 12 and 14,# of
the 22d of May and the 7th of June last.
I am very sensible of the responsibility imposed upon you by my despatch of
the 28th of February last, instructing you to convoke a Legislative Assembly,
but I am satisfied from your language, that you are fully prepared to encounter
that responsibility, and to take the necessary steps.
With A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.
,)
With respect to the franchise, you have, I do not doubt, very good reason for
considering that it is too much restricted by the terms of your Commission. It
seems to me, however, that the best course will be not for the present to alter
the Commission ; but that you should act on it in the first instance, and bring
upon the Assembly convoked with it, a measure for extending the suffrage in the
manner which you propose.
I have, &c.
(signed)        H. Labouchere.
— No. 3. —
(No. 18.)
Copy of DESPATCH from the Right Honourable H, Labouchere, m.p., to
Governor Douglas.
Sir, Downing-street, 21 October 1856.
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch dated 22d July,* No. 15,
enclosing minutes of the proceedings in the Council of Vancouver's Island, on
the 4th and 9th of June last, together \v ith the copy of a Proclamation con-
vening Assemblies of freeholders, and remarking generally on the state of the
colony.
I have, &c.
(signed)        //. Labouchere.
No. 3>
Right Hon. H. ta*
bouehere, m. p., to
Governor Douglns,
2]  Oct. 1856.
. * Page 7.
(No. 19.)
— No. 4.
No. 4,
Extract of DESPATCH from the Right Honourable H. Labouchere, m.p., to    Right Hon. H. Lei
Governor Douglas ;  dated Downing-street, 10 November 1856. bouchere, m. p., to
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch, No. 19,f of the 20th of
August.
I have read with satisfaction the speech with which you opened the Session
of the Legislature on the 12th August. With respect to the difficulty you
experience in constituting a committee to inquire into the validity of the disputed elections ; it is probable that that difficulty will have been removed before
the receipt of this despatch.
I shall, therefore, await your further report upon the subject.
Governor Douglas,
10 Nov. 1856.
fPage Id
— No. 5.—
(No. 4-)
Copy of DESPATCH from the Right. Honourable H. Labouchere, m.p., to
Governor Douglas.
Sir, Downing-street, 24 January 1857.
I have to acknowledge your despatch, No. 30,J of the 31st October last,       +Page 12*
reporting the proceedings of the House of Assembly of Vancouver's Island.
I have, &c.
(signed)        H. Labouchere.
No. 5«
Right Hon. H. Labouchere, M. P., tO
Governor Douglas,
24 Jan. 18571
229—Sess. 2„
A 3
2*-#
R*Sf 6   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
No. 6.
Right Hon. H. Labouchere, m.p., to
Governor Douglas,
24 Mar. 1857.
Page 12.
— No. 6. —
(No. 6.)
Copy of DESPATCH from the Right Honourable H. Labouchere, m.p., to
Governor Douglas.
Sir, Downing-street, 24 March 1857.
I haVe to acknowledge your despatch, No. 2,* of the 9th January, reporting
the proceedings of the House of Assembly of Vancouver's Island, from the 13th
of November to the 18th of December 1856.
I have, &c.
(signed)        H. Labouchere,
Despatches from Governor Douglas.
— No. 7 —
(No.-12.)
Governor Douglas  Extract of DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to the Right Hononourable
T» •     1   .     TT «»■ -r-r       -r       -, t 1       j 1   TT'       , f 17 » T     1 .1 ^/»    H   f ,  m^^>
to Right Hon. H
Labouchere, m. p.,
22 May 1856.
* Page 3.
H. Labouchere, m.p.; dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 22 May 1856.
(Received, 12 August 1856.)
(Answered, No. 16, 23 August 1856, page 4.)
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 5* of the
28 February last with its enclosures.
It is, I confess, not without a feeling of dismay that I contemplate the nature
and amount of labour and responsibility which will be imposed upon me, in the
process of carrying out the instructions conveyed in your despatch. Possessing
a very slender knowledge of legislation, without legal advice or intelligent
assistance of any kind, 1 approach the subject with diffidence; feeling, however,
all the encouragement which the kindly-promised assistance and support of Her
Majesty's Government is calculated to inspire.
Under those circumstances, I beg to assure you that every exertion on my
part shall be made, to give effect to your said instructions, at as early a period
as possible.
I have not had time since the arrival of your despatch, to consider the
subjects treated therein as thoroughly as their importance requires; and therefore have not arrived at any definite conclusion, as to the precise plan for
carrying your instructions into effect. I will, however, take the liberty of
addressing you again on the subject. I observe that the terms of my Commission only empower me "to summon and call general assemblies of the
inhabitants owning 20 or more acres of freehold land within the said island,"
apparently restricting the elective franchise to the holders of 20 acres of
land and upwards, to the exclusion of holders of houses and other descriptions
of town property, a class more numerous than the former. I am utterly
averse to universal suffrage, or making population the basis of representation;
but I think it expedient to extend the franchise to all persons holding a fixed
property stake, whether houses or lands in the colony; the whole of that class
having interests to serve, and a distinct motive for seeking to improve the moral
and material condition of the colony.
With those remarks, I would here take the liberty of enquiring, if it is the
desire of Her Majesty's Government to restrict the elective franchise to the
holders  of 20 acres of land or upwards, or to give the representation a more
extended basis. .
The mail is on the point of leaving, and I am therefore compelled to bring
my remarks thus abruptly to a close.
-"^L A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.    7
— No. 8. —
(No. 14.)
v J No. 8.
Extract of DESPATCH from  Governor Douglas to the Right Honourable Governor Douglas
to Right Hon. H.
Labouchere, m. p.,
7 June 1856.
H. Labouchere, m.p.; dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 7 June 1856.
(Received, 12 August I859.)
Answered, No. 16, 23 August 1856. page 4.)
Since I had the honour of addressing you on the 22d May last,* I have held
a meeting of Council for the purpose of taking into consideration the instructions
contained in your despatch No. 5, respecting the summoning of Assemblies
of the freeholders of this colony. I read to Council a draft of the proclamation
whieh I intend to issue for convening the Assembly; proposed that the island
should be divided into four electoral districts, and should return seven members;
and that the property qualification of members should be freehold estate of the
value and not lower than 300 /. sterling. The property qualification of voters
to be according to the terms of Her Majesty's Commission, 20 acres or upwards
of freehold land.
The Council adjourned without coming to any decision till to-morrow, for
the better consideration of the subjects laid before them.
The proclamation for convening the freeholders will probably be issued in the
course of this week, and the Assembly will probably meet about the first week
in August.
There will be a difficulty in finding properly qualified representatives; and
I fear that our early attempts at legislation will make a sorry figure; though at
all events, they will have the effect you contemplate, of removing all doubts as
to the validity of our local enactments.
* Page 6.
No. 9.
(No. 15.)
No.
f Supra.
Extract  of DESPATCH from Governor Douglas, to the Right Honourable Governor Douglas
H. Labouchere, m. p. ; dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 22 July 1856. 1° ,RiShJ Hon- H-
Labouchere, m. p.,
(Received, 14 October 1856.) 22 July 1856.
(Answered, No. 18, 21 October 1856, page 5.)
I have the honour of enclosing herewith minutes of the proceedings in the
Council of Vancouver's Island, on the 4th and 9th of June last. I stated in my
communication of the 7th of June, | the subjects which had been laid before the
Council on the 4th of that month. The propositions in respect to the convening
and constitution of the Assembly, were approved and passed without alteration
at the meeting of the 9th of June.
In order to suit the circumstances of the colony, the property qualification of
members was limited to the ownership of 300 I. of freehold estate, or upwards.
To have fixed upon a higher standard of qualification, would have disqualified
all the present representatives, leaving no disposable persons to replace them,
and it appeared to me impolitic, as well as unconstitutional, to dispense
altogether with the property qualification.
You will observe by the said minutes, that absentee proprietors of freehold
estates are allowed to vote through their resident agents or attorneys, after the
example of British Guiana.
The division of the settlements into four electoral districts, admits of a more
equal representation, and has given more general satisfaction to the colonists,
than a single poli opened in any one district.
The electors are so few in number, that the returns were mere nominations in
all the districts with the exception of Victoria, where the contest was stoutly
maintained by no fewer than five rival candidates.
The elections are now over, and the Assembly is convened for the 12th day of
August.
229—S ess. 2.
A4
^# 8   CORRESPONDENCE'RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
End. l, in No. 9.
Enclosure 1, in No. 9.
Whereas it having pleased Her most Gracious Majesty, our Lady the Queen, in a
commission under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland;
constituting me, James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver's Island aud its dependencies, to
authorise, empower, and command me in the manner and terms following; to wit,
We do hereby give and grant unto you full power and authority, with the advice and
consent of our said Council, from time to time as need shall require, to summon and call
general assemblies of the inhabitants, owning 20 or more acres of freehold land, within the
said island and its dependencies under your Government, in such manner and form, and
according to such powers, instructions, and authorities as shall be at any time hereafter
granted or appointed under our sign manual and signet, or by our order in our Privy
Council, or by us, through one of our principal Secretaries of State, and our will and pleasure
is, that the persons thereupon duly elected by the major part of the said freeholders, and so
returned, shall, before their sitting, take the oath of allegiance ; which oath you shall
commission fit persons under the public seal of our said island and its dependencies, to
tender and administer unto them, and until the same shall be so taken, no person shall be
capable of-sitting, though elected.
And we do hereby declare, that the persons so elected and qualified, shall be called and
deemed the General Assemby of our said island of Vancouver.
And whereas, Her most Gracious Majesty, having further in her aforesaid instructions
in that behalf, commanded and authorised me in the terms and manner following, viz.:—
You are therefore f^r the purpose of electing the members of such assemblies, hereby
authorised to issue a proclamation, declaring the number of representatives to be chosen by
such freeholders, to serve in the said General Assembly, and if you should see fit, dividing
our said island and its dependencies into districts or counties, towns or townships, and
declaring the number of representatives to be chosen by each of such districts or counties,
towns or townships respectively.
And you are hereby authorised and empowered to nominate and appoint proper persons
to execute the office of returning officer in the said island, or in such districts or counties,
towns or townships respectively ; and you are, as soon as you shall see expedient, to issue
writs in our name, directed to the proper officers in the said island, or the proper officers
in such districts or counties, towns or townships respectively, directing them to summon
the aforesaid freeholders to proceed to the election of persons to represent them in the
General Assembly, according to the regulations and directions to be signified in the proclamation to be issued by you as aforesaid.
Now let it be known unto all Her Majesty's loving subjects of Vancouver's Island, and
its dependencies, that I, James Douglas, Governor of the said island and its dependencies,
with the advice and consent of the Council, have issued out writs in due form and according to law, calling a general assembly of the freeholders aforesaid of Vancouver's Island and
its dependencies, for the purpose of electing members to serve in the said General Assemby,
which writs are to be returnable on Monday the 4th day of August next, and that the said
election shall be held at the several precincts hereinafter appointed and named.
And also, that the said freeholders shall thereupon proceed to elect seven fit and discreet
persons to serve in the said General Assembly.
And also, that we have divided the said island and its dependencies into districts, as
follows; to wit,
District of Victoria.
District of Esquimalt and Metchosen.
District of Nanaimo.
District of Soke.
And also, that the number of representatives shall be as follows; to wit,
District of Victoria     ------        3 members.
District of Esquimalt and Metchosen    -        -        -
District of Nanaimo
District of Soke -
2 members.
1 member.
1 member.
And also, that we have hereby constituted and appointed the following persons returning
officers for the aforesaid districts ; to wit,
Andrew Muir -
Herbert W. O. Margary -
Charles E. Stuart
John Muir, jun.
Victoria District.
Esquimalt and Metchosen District.
Nanaimo District.
Soke District.
And A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND. 9
And also, that the said returning officers shall be directed to give due and proper notice
of the place and time at which the poll is to be taken in each of such districts respectively.
Given under my hand and seal, at Government House, Victoria, this 16th day of
June, in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six, and in the
nineteenth year of Her Majesty's reign.
(signed)       James Douglas, Governor.
God save the Queen.
Enclosure 2, in No. 9.
Minute of Council.
Vancouver's Island, 4 June 1856.
The Council having met this morning, pursuant to summons, the Governor being
present and the following members; to wit, John Tod, senior member, James Cooper,
Roderick Finlayson, John Work,—
The Governor proceeded to lay before the Council certain instructions lately received by
him from the Secretary for the Colonies, instructing him to call general assemblies of the
people for the purpose of carrying Her Majesty's instructions rally into effect; and the
Council adjourned at 5 o'clock p.m. till Monday the 9th of June.
9 June 1856.
The Council having met this morning, pursuant to adjournment, the Governor being
present, and the following members; to wit, John Tod, senior member, James Cooper,
John Work,—
Resume the consideration of Her Majesty's instructions for calling general assemblies of
the freeholders of Vancouver's Island.
The subjects under consideration on the 4th instant were as follows; to wit,
The property qualification of members serving in the general assembly.
The property qualification of voters.
The right of absentee proprietors to be represented in the general assembly.
The Governor laid down as a principle that the custom or practice observed in England
should, as far as possible, be adopted in this colony in framing the rules for elections, and
proposed,
That the ownership of 3001, of freehold property or immovable estate should constitute the qualification of a member of the Assembly.
That  absentee  proprietors  shall be  permitted to vote  through their agents or
attorneys.
That the qualification of votera should he the ownership of 20 acres of freehold land
or upwards, as required by his instructions from the Crown.
The Council expressed their unanimous concurrence with those suggestions, and the
proposed regulations are finally settled and approved.
It was then resolved that the settlements should be divided into four electoral districts;
viz.,
The country east of the Victoria Arm, and of a line
running in a northerly direction towards Sanitch,
so as to include Peer's Farm.
Encl. 3, in No. 9
Victoria District
Esquimalt District
Soke District   -
Nanaimo District
The country west of Victoria Arm and east of
Pedder Bay, including M'Kenzie's and the farms
west of Colquot's River.
From Pedder Bay to  Otter  Head, the headland
beyond Soke.
Col vile Town.
It was then resolved, That this Council do now adjourn.
229—Sess. 2.
B
J3*#
j John Muir
John S. Helmcken 1
Thomas Skinner J
J. D. Pemberton l
James Yates    - >
E. E. Langford J
John F. Kennedv -
10 CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
— No. 10. —
(No. 19.)    I   • . ,||    .   , •  , jgg|v
Extract of DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to the Right Honourable
m.p. ;   dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 20 August
(Received, 28 October 1856.)
(Answered, No. 19, 10 November 1856, page 5.)
The House of Assembly was opened on the 12th of the present month. The
affair passed off quietly, and did not appear to excite much interest among the
lower orders.
I" herewith forward a copy of my address to the Assembly on that occasion,
which I can only hope will meet with your approbatiou. As mentioned in one
of my previous communications, the House of Assembly consists of seven
members, viz.,
Soke District.
Esquimalt District.
Victoria District.
Nanaimo District.
J. S. Helmcken has been elected Speaker of the House, but nothing further
has been done ; in consequence of objections having been raised to the validity
of the election in one instance, and to the property qualification in two cases,
making three out of the seven members against whose return petitions have
been sent in, leaving only the Speaker and three members at liberty to act, and
that number is insufficient to form a committee of inquiry, the House, therefore,
hardly know how to get over the difficulty. One of the petitions is evidently
got up for mere party purposes, and if that were withdrawn, there would be
four members and the Speaker, who might proceed to regulate the affairs of the
House. In the territorial governments of the United States!, the practice in
such cases is, for the governor to grant certificates of qualification to a majority
of the members, who then proceed to constitute the House, but I am not certain
if e«uch a course would be in harmony with English law; nevertheless, if the
House should appeal to me on the subject, I will have recourse to that expedient^
End. in No. 10.
Enclosure in No. 10.
The Governor's Address on opening the General Assembly at Victoria,
Tuesday, 12 August 1856.
Ge^emen of the Legislative Council, and of the House of Assembly.
I congratulate you most sincerely on this memorable occasion ; the meeting in full convention of the General Assembly of Vancouver's Island, an event fraught with consequences of
the utmost importance to its present and future inhabitants ; and remarfeable as the first
instance of representative institutions being granted in the infancy of a British colony.
The history and actual position of this colony are marked by many other remarkable
circumstances. Called into existence by an Act of the Supreme Government, immediately after the discovery of gold in California, it has maintained an arduous and incessant
•straggle with the disorganising effects on labour of that discovery. Remote from every
other British settlement, with its commerce trammelled, and met by restrictive duties on
every side, its trade and resources remain undeveloped.
Self-supporting, and defraying all the expenses of its own Government, it presents a
striking contrast to every other colony in the British empire, and like the native pines of
its storm-beaten promontories, it has- acquired a slow but hardy growth.
Its future progress must, under Providence, in a great measure depend, on the intelligence, industry, and enterprise of its inhabitants, and upon the legislative wisdom of this
Assembly.
Gentlemen, I look forward with confidence and satisfaction to the aid and support which
the executive power may in future expect to derive from your local experience and
knowledge of the wishes of the people, and the Wants of the country. I feel assured that,
as public men, holding a solemn and momentous trust, you will, as a governing principle,
strive with one accord to promote the true and substantial interests of the country ; and
■)M that
wm
**€3 A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVEE'S ISLAND,   n
that our legislative labours  will be  distinguished alike by prudence, temperance, and
justice to all classes.
Gentlemen, I am happy to inform you, that Her Majesty's Government continue to
express the most lively interest in the progress and welfare of this colony.
Negociaftons are now pending with the Government of the United States, which may
probably terminate in an extension of the reciprocity treaty to Voncouver's Island.
To show the commercial advantages connected with that treaty, I will just mention that
an import duty of 30 Z. is levied on every 100 Z.'s worth of British produce which is now sent
to San Francisco, or to any other American port; or, in other words, the British proprietor
pays as a tax to the United States, nearly the value of every third cargo of fish, timber, or
GQal, which he sends to any American port The reciprocity treaty utterly abolishes
those fearful imposts, and establishes a system of free trade in the produce of British,
colonies.
The effects of that measure, in developing the trade and natural resources of the colony,
can, therefore, hardly be over-estimated.
The coal, the timber, and the productive fisheries of Vancouver's Island, will assume
a value before unknown; while every branch of trade will start ^into activity, and become
the means of pouring wealth into the country.
So unbounded is the reliance which I place in the enterprise and intelligence possessed
by the people of this colony, and in the advantages of their*geographical position, that, with
equal rights and a fair field, I think they may enter into successful competition with the
people of any other country.
The extension of the reciprocity treaty to this island once gained, the interests of the
colony will become inseparably connected with the principles of free trade, a system which,
I think, it will be sound policy on our part to encourage.
Gentlemen, the colony has been again visited this year by a large party of northern
Indians, and their presence has excited in our minds a not unreasonable degree of alarm.
Through the blessing of God, they have been kept from committing acts of open violence,
and been quiet and orderly in their deportment; yet the presence of large bodies of armed
savages, who have never felt the restraining influences of moral and religious training, and
who are accustomed to follow the impulses of their own evil natures, more than the dictates
of reason or justice, gives rise to a feeling of insecurity, which must exist as long as the
colony remains without military protection.
Her Majesty's Government, ever alive to the dangers which beset the colony, have
arranged with the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that the " President" frigate
should be sent to Vancouver's Island; and that measure will, I have no doubt, be earried
into effect without delay.
I shall, nevertheless, continue to conciliate the good will of the native Indian tribes, by
treating them with justice and forbearance, and by rigidly protecting their civil and agrarian rights; many cogent reasons of humanity and sound policy recommend that course to
our attention, and I shall therefore rely upon your support in carrying such measures into
effect.
We know, from our own experience, that the friendship of the natives is at all times useful,
while it is no less? certain that their enmity may become more disastrous than any other
calamity to which the colony is directly exposed.
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly, according to constitutional usage, with you must
originate all Money Bills; it is, therefore, your special province to consider the ways and
means of defraying the ordinary expenses of the government, either by levying a Customs
duty on imports, or by a system of direct taxation.
The poverty of the country and the limited means of a population struggling against the
pressure of numberless privations, must necessarily restrict the amount of taxation; it
should, therefore, be our constant study to regulate the public expenditure according to the
means of the country, and to live strictly within our income.
The common error of running into speculative improvements, entailing debts upon the
colony, for a very uncertain advantage, should be carefully avoided.
The demands upon the public revenue will at present chiefly arise from the improvement
of the internal communications of the country, and providing for the education of the younc,
the erection of places for public worship, the defence of the country, and the administration
of justice.
Gentlemen, I feel, in all its force, the responsibility now resting upon us. The interests
and well-being of thousands yet unborn may be affected by our decisions, and they will
reverence or condemn our acts according as they are found to influence for good or for evil
the events of the future
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly, I have appointed Chief Justice Cameron to administer the oath of allegiance to the Members of your House, and to receive your declarations
of qualification; you may then proceed- to choose a Speaker, and to appoint the officers
necessary for the proper conduct of the business of the House.
(signed)        James Douglas, Governor.
22 J—Sass. 2.
B 2 No. u.
Governor Douglas
•to Right Hon. H.
Labouchere, m. p.,
31 Oct. 1856.
* Page 4.
No. 15,
22 July 1856.
No. 19,
20 August 1856.
12 CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
— No. 11.—
.      (No. 30.)     . jfe.
Copy of DESPATCH from Governor Douglas, to the Right Honourable
H. Labouchere, m. p.
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 31 October 1856.
(Received, 14 January 1857.)
g[r (Answered, No. 4, 24 January 1857, page 5.)
1. I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch, No. 16* of
the 23d of August in reply to my communications, Nos. 12 and 14 of the 22d May,
and the 7th of June last, reporting my proceedings in respect to carrying out the
instructions contained in your despatch of the 28th of February 1856, for convoking a Legislative Assembly in this colony, and requesting advice and instructions from you on various subjects connected with that measure.
2.1 have since, in my several despatches of the numbers and dates mentioned in
the margin, reported to you. the several steps taken towards carrying those instructions into effect, and the formal opening of the House of Assembly on the
12th day of August last, together with the objections raised to the property
qualification of certain members, who took their seats on that occasion, and the
consequent difficulty experienced in organising the House,
3. After repeated adjournments the Speaker with much tact and address,
finally succeeded, without my interference, in adjusting party differences, and
forming a committee, which immediately proceeded with an inquiry into the
qualifications of the members elect, and declared the return of Edward E. Lang-
ford null and void, in consequence of his not having sufficient property to constitute a legal qualification, and then adjourned to the 24th day of October
(present).
4. A fresh writ was in consequence issued, and Joseph William M'Kay was
returned without opposition as member for the district of Victoria, in the place of
Edward E. Langford.
5. The House met on the 24th day of the present month (October), and after
some necessary arrangements adjourned to the 13th day of November next, when
they will be prepared for serious work.
6. Those delays have not been without their use, as the members have had
time to prepare for the proper discharge of the public duties they have to perform, and their minds have been disabused of many false notions, which were
commonly entertained here, concerning the powers and jurisdiction of the House
of Assembly, so that on the whole I do not regret the time spent in constituting
the House.
7. I observe with satisfaction that in abiding by the terms of my Commission,
in respect to the franchise, I have acted in conformity with the instructions, on
that point, contained in your despatch, and we shall further carry out your instructions by bringing a measure before the Assembly, when it is found desirable
to extend the suffrage.
I have, &c.
(signed)        James Douglas,
Governor.
1jr(
to
Nc. 12.
vernor Douglas
Right Hon. H.
ibouchere, m. p.,
Jan. 1857.
\ Supra.
— No. 12.—
(No. 2.)
Copy of DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to the Right Honourable
H. Labouchere, m. p.
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 9 January 1857.
(Received, 17 March 1857.)
gjr (Answered, JNo. 6, 24 March 1857, page 6.)
1. My last report of the 31st of October f, on the proceedings of the House of
Assembly, closed with its adjournment to the 13th day of November, when it
again met, and remained in session till the 18th of December, it then adjourned
for the Christmas recess.
2. The A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.   13
2. The House has been so far chiefly occupied with matters of detail, connected with the expenditure and financial condition of the colony. I furnished
every means of information in my power connected with those subjects, as you
will observe through my correspondence with the House, which is herewith forwarded.
3. A Bill granting the sum of 130/. sterling, for paying the servants, and
defraying the ordinary expenses of the House, was passed on the 18th day of
December, and the same will be brought before the Council at an early day.
4. I am now preparing a Bill for imposing a Custom's duty on imports, as a
means of meeting the ordinary expenses of Government; but the subject must
be approached with caution, as there is a very general feeling in both Council
and Assembly against taxation under any form, and I am prepared to encounter
much clamour and opposition in carrying so unpopular a measure through the
Houses.
I have, &c.
(signed)        James Douglas,
Governor.
Enclosure in No. 12.
Victoria, Vancouver's Island.
Returns to three addresses of the Honourable the House of Assembly, numbered
respectively 11, 12, 13, without date, viz.:
Address, No. 11.
For a new writ for the election of a member for the district of Victoria.—(Mr. Skinner.)
Address, No. 12.
For a correct copy of the Grant of Vancouver's Island, and of any other documents of
-a public nature calculated to throw light upon the political position of Vancouver's Island.
Likewise a general abstract of colonial accounts, since the first formation of the colony,
showing the present income and expenditure.—(Mr. Pemberton.)
Address, No. 13.
That this House is prepared to receive any message from his Excellency the Governor
-or Council.—(Mr. Skinner.)
Schedule.
No. 1.—A writ for a new election of one citizen for the town of Victoria; with return from
sheriff.
No. 2.—Charter of grant of Vancouver's Island to the Hudson's Bay Company, dated 13
January 1849, and correspondence between the Colonial Office and the Hudson's
Bay Company thereon: with circular, colonization of Vancouver's Island.
No. 3.—Extracts from the Governor's despatch to William G. Smith, Esq., Secretary,
Hudson's Bay Company, dated 16 October 1856.
No. 4.—Extracts from the Governor's despatch to William G. Smith, Secretary, Hudson's
Bay Company, dated 19 July 1855.
Encl. in No. 12.
Government House, Victoria, Vancouver's Island,
27 November 1856.
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,
I herewith transmit the documents described in the accompanying schedule, for your
information. The colonial accounts, extending to the close of 1855, are not yet completed,
and therefore cannot be laid before the House in full.
You will, however, find, among the documents now transmitted, a full account of all lands
appertaining to the public domain of this colony, which have been sold up to the 10th day
of October last, and also a classified abstract of the expenditure of4he colony, for the year
ending with the 1st day of November 1855.
In addition to the proceeds arising from sales of the public domain appearing in the
documents herewith, the sum of 6,1931, has been received from the Hudson's Bay Company, for lands purchased on their account within the colony.
229—Sess. 2. b$ Further
V*-*£
JM? m& f
14   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
Further documents, relative to the financial state of the colony, will be sent to the House
as soon as they are made up.
I have to recommend that a sufficient money appropriation be made by the House to
defray the expense of preparing any documents required for their information in future, a&
there are at present no funds at my disposal for that purpose.
I beg that the charter of grant of Vancouver's Island may be returned when convenient,
as I have no other copy.
(signed)        James Douglas,
Governor, Vancouver's Island.
Extracts from the Governor's Despatch to William G. Smith, Esq., Secretary, Hudson's
Bay Company, dated 16 October 1856.
I have the honour of transmitting herewith a statement of the lands, forming part of
the public domain, which have been sold in this colony since the 12th day of July 1855, up
to the 10th day of this present month of October 1856.
You will observe, by statement No. 1, that the whole quantity of land sold since last
year, amounts to 2,137 acres. The extent of unimprovable rock, added to the allowance
made for roads, somewhat exceeds 837 acres, leaving 1,299 acres 3 roods and 26 perches
chargeable to purchasers, on which 5121. 17 s. 6d. has been already paid in, and there
remains payable by annual instalments the sum of 787 /. Os. 10 d„
The public expenditure of the colony for the twelvemonth ending with the 1st day of
November 1855, amounts to the sum of 4,107 /. 2 s. 3 d. The income arising from the
duty on licensed houses, sales of public land, and other sources, produced the sum of
693 Z. 2 s. 10 d.
The balance of the account in this country remaining unpaid, is therefore 3,4131. 19 s. 5 d.,
as will appear in the following exhibit of the public objects to which that outlay was applied;.
viz.:—
Government premises -       -       -       -       --
Surveying department supplies    -        -       -       -     £118318    1
„ „ wages       -       -       -       - 500   -   -
Construction of bridges       ----- 720 14   7
„       „      roads 667 10 10
Victoria church -       -       --
Public schools    ----------
Victoria parsonage      ---------
Chaplain, salary and board -        -------
Collector's office ----------
Poor-rates -----------
Administration of justice     ---_-«--
Gaol expenses    ----------
Militia -----
Sundry expenses ---------
Overcharge from last account       -------
£•
The sums placed to credit of the colony are as follows; viz.:—
Sundry credits.     -       -       -       -       -       -       -   £.   18    5    4
Land sales, &c     -------        334 17    6
Duty on licensed houses        -----        340   -   —
Leaving a balance unpaid as beforesaid of   -   -   -   £.
£.
7
s.
5
d.
10
683 18    1
1,388
5
5
■  877
1
-
320
4
11
117
9
4
368
7
1
1
7
6
10
10
3
100
—
—
30
9
2
81
8
8
107
14
1
12
—
11
4,107    2    3
693    2 10
3,413 19    5
There is a further sum of 65 /. 6 s. 8 d. arising from proceeds of land sale* effected last-
year, which was omitted in the fur trade books, but will be brought forward this. year.
**fi A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND. 15
Extract from the Governor's Despatch to WiHZum G. Smith, Esq., Secretary,* Hudson's
Bay Company, dated 19 July 1855.
A complete account of all the land sales {see No. 1) made on Vancouver's Island, the
company's purchase at Nanaimo excepted, since the commencement of the colony, is herewith transmitted.    A proportion of the land has been paid only in part, but the payments
will be completed as soon as the title-deeds are ready for issue, otherwise the titles will not
lie issued to the purchaser.
The amount of receipts for land sold, and stamps, as per this account is
Remitted per last account, dated 10th October 1853
Paid by the Paget's Sound Company in London -
Paid by W. C Grant and J. Huggins in London
3,577
2,574
120
5    2
£.
6,871
9
d.
4
6,271    5    2
Remains on hand
As per statement No. 2 :
2001. of this balance was paid over to the fur trade—say
bill from Arthur W. Owen - £.150
-   -   -   £.
Transfer from W. H. M'Neil
50
And credited the colony in the books of outfit 1854,
and the balance, say       ------
Has been paid over to the fur trade on account of outfit,
1855. |i
£.
600   4    2
200    -    -
400    4    2
I
600   4    2
600   4    2
You will observe by statement No. 2, an account of land sales effected and monies received
for stamps at this place since my last report of land sales, dated 6th October 1853, the
amount being 600 /. 4 s. 2 d.
House of Assembly, Vancouver's Island,
3 December 1856.
The Speaker begs to inform his Excellency the Governor that the House of Assembly
met this day adopted the following resolutions, and ordered the same to be presented to
your Excellency.
1st. That the thanks of this House be presented to his Excellency the Governor for the
communication of November 27th, 1856, and that the subject "relating to a supply of
money for copying documents, &c." shall be taken into consideration at an early period.
2d. It was resolved, That respectful application be made, on the part of the House of
Assembly, to know I what funds are subject to its control (if any), the amount of the same,
and from what source derived; also, what fund is the royalty upon coal paid into ?"
3d. That T. J« Skinner, Esq. was elected Chairman of Committee and Deputy Speaker.
The House stands adjourned until Saturday next, December 6th ; then to meet at
10 a. m.
(signed)        J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
Government House, Victoria, Vancouver's Island,
6 December 1856.
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,
• I have further to transmit with, this communication abstracts of the income and expenditure of the colony for the two years ending respectively with the 31st day of October
1853 and 1854.
I have received your Speaker's address of the 3d day of December, and highly appreciate
your complimentary message.
In reply to the following questions of the House, * What funds are subject to its control?" "the amount of such funds?" " from what source derived?" and "to what fund is
the royalty upon coal paid into?" I would observe that I am not at present prepared to
229—JSess. 2.
B 4
give f^VF
>**
^W
16 CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
give the House a reliable and decided answer. My own impression, however, is, that the
House can exercise a direct control only over the revenue raised in the colony through the
act of the general Legislature.
O ,     O t%
The revenue derived from the tax on licensed houses is therefore, I conceive, the only
fund absolutely 'at our disposal; the proceeds arising from " land sales," " royalties," and
" timber duties" being remitted and placed to account of the Reserve Fund in England,
which is, however, also exclusively applicable for colonial purposes, With the exception of
10 per cent., allowed by virtue of the charter of grant to the Hudson's Bay Company.
The amount of revenue derived from the duty on licensed houses, for the respective
years mentioned, is given in the annexed table:—
£.     s.   d.
Year 1853   -       -       -       --      -       -       -   220   -   -
1854 ' -        -    460    -    -
1855 -340--
Those sums are also embodied in the abstracts of the colonial accounts transmitted to the
House.
(signed)        James Douglas,
Governor, Vancouver's Island.
a
si
House of Assembly, Vancouver's Island,
The Speaker, 6.December 1856.
Has the honour to inform' his Excellency the Governor, that the House of Assembly
resolved this day:
" That the Speaker be requested to thank his Excellency the Governor, on behalf of this-
House, for the information so courteously and promptly afforded;" and further, " to apply
to his Excellency for similar information for the year ending November 1856 ;" as also to^
ask, " Whether there is any charge against the Licence Fund, to come under their control
from that date."
The House of Assembly will meet again on Wednesday next, at 11 a. m., and resolve
itself into a Committee of Supply.
(signed)        J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
Government House, Victoria,
10 December 1856.
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,
I have received your address, through Mr. Speaker's communication of the 6th December, and I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind message.
I herewith transmit, for your information, an abstract of the expenditure and income of
the colony, made up to the 31st day of October last, excepting, however, the income derivable from the royalty on coals, and the duty on timber, of which a statement will be
sent to the House as soon as the returns are received.
With respect to your inquiry touching the application of the duty on licensed houses for
the year 1856, I have to inform the Housexthat the whole sum derived from that source of
revenue was paid over to the Hudson's Bay Company immediately after collection, and was
carried, with the other proceeds of revenue, to the credit of the General Colony Account,
as shown by the abstract of the year's income transmitted with this communication.
(signed)        James Douglas,
Governor, Vancouver's Island.
House of Assembly, Vancouver's Island,
The Speaker, 10 December 1856.
On the part of the House of Assembly, begs respectfully to acknowledge the receipt this
day of a gracious communication, and an abstract of the income and expenditure for the
year 1856 from his Excellency the Governor, and to inform his Excellency that the House
of Assembly unanimously resolved:
" That the thanks of this House be presented to his Excellency the Governor for the
same.
(signed)        J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
House of Assembly, Victoria,
The Speaker, 13 December 1856.
Has the honour respectfully to inform his Excellency the Governor, that the House of
Assembly resolved this day.
"That a requisition be made to his Excellency the Governor, for a copy of the last
' Census' of the " population of Vancouver's Island/' and further, " that any other information connected therewith will be thankfully received."
Tne House will meet on Thursday next, the 18th instant, at 11 o'clock, a. m.
(signed) J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
v^fC A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.
n
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 17 December 1856.
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,
I have received Mr. Speaker's communication of the 13 day of December, containing
the Requisition of the House " for a copy of the last Census of the population of Vancouver's,
Island;" and I have in' consequence the honour of forwarding with this letter, the documents
described in the annexed schedule.
Not having time to procure copies, I have sent the original documents, which the House
will probably cause to be returned when convenient.
(signed)       James Douglas, Governor.
Schedule No. 1.—Census Returns, Vancouver's. Island Colony, 1855.
„       No. 2.—Indian Population, Vancouver's Island, 1856.
House, of Assembly of Vancouver's Island,
The Speaker, ) 18 December 1856.
On behalf of the House of Assembly, begs respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of
"the Census of the white and Indian population of Vancouver's Island," from his
Excellency the Governor, and has the honour in -*Jie name of the House, " to thank his
Excellency for the same," and that they shall be returned at an early period.
He also begs to inform his Excellency that Mr- R. Barr wishes to resign his office of
clerk of the House pro tern.
(signed) J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
/
House of Assembly of Vancouver's Island,
The Speaker, 18 December 1856.
Begs to inform his Excellency the Governor and Council, that the enclosed Appropriation Bill was first voted in Committee of Supply, and has subsequently passed through, the
usual stages of first, second, and third readings, and that it is now presented by order of
the House for the consideration and approval of his Excellency the Governor and Council.
(signed) J. S. Hebnchen, Speaker.
A, Bill for the Appropriation of certain Monies for the use of the House of Assembly of
Vancouver's Island.
Whereas it is necessary that certain sums of money be voted for defraying the unavoidable expenses attending the conduction of the business of the House of Assembly of
Vancouver's Island, be it enacted:
1st. That 501, sterling be placed at the disposal of his-Excellency the Governor to defray
the expenses of copying statistics and documents for the use of this House^
2d. That 101, sterling be granted to Mr. Robert Barr for his past services as clerk of this
House.
3d. That 5 I. sterling be granted to Mr. Andrew Muir for his -past service of sergeant-
at-arms.
4th. That 25 7. be allowed for the salary of the clerk of the House, for the year 1857.
5th. That 151, be allowed for the salary of the serjeant-at-arms and messenger, for the
year 1857.
6th. That 20/. sterling be granted for lighting, heating, and furnishing the House of
Assembly, for the year 1857.
7th. That 57. sterling be granted for stationery, for the use of the members of the House
of Assembly.
8th. That the above items be paid out of the revenue derived from the licenses of July
16th, 1856.
Read the third time this 18th day of December 1856, a.d., and ordered to be forwarded
to his Excellency the Governor and Council.
(signed)       J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.'
i i
229—Sess. 2.
C
The
M *- ^"^- f
18 CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
The following resolution relating to the preceding Appropriation Bill, was also agreed to
13thPecember 1856:
" That in the opinion of this House, the revenue received on the 16th day of July 1856>
from the licenses to sell spirituous liquors, &c, ought to be withdrawn from the credit of
the " Trust Fund."
(signec)        J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
To his Excellency James Douglas, Esq., Governor, &c. &c. &c.
Sir, House of Assembly, Victoria, 19 December 1856.
I am instructed by the Honourable the Speaker of the House of Assembly to acknowledge
the receipt of your Excellency's communication and documents of the 17th instant, and to
thank your Excellency for the same; and also to inform your Excellency that the House
will again meet on Wednesday next, the 24th instant, at 11 o'clock, a.m.
I have, &c.
(signed)        Robert Barr, Clerk pro tern.
No. 13.
(No. 5'.)
No. 13.
Governor Douglas
to Right Hon. H.
Labouchere, m. p.,
24 Feb. 1857.
Page 5.
Copy of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to the Right Honourable
H. Labouchere, m. p.
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 24 February 1857.
Sjr (Received, 29 April 1857.)
1. I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches, Nos. 18
and 19,* of the 21st of October and the 10th of November last.
2. It is very gratifying to learn that the speech with which I opened the
Legislature on the 12th of August, has received your approval.
3. The House of Assembly not having met for regular business since my
report of the 9th of January, there is nothing of importance to add to the information then communicated respecting its proceedings.
4. The Council was convened on the 14th day of the present month, for the
consideration of an Act passed by the House of Assembly on the 18th day of
December granting the sum of 130 7. sterling, chargeable to the duties on
licensed houses, to be applied, in the manner stated in the several clauses of the
Act, as it appears in the minutes of Council forwarded herewith. This Act, with
some few verbal alterations, passed the Council on that day, and will be transmitted after receiving the final approval of the House of Assembly.
5. The consideration of the Rules and Regulations of the Supreme Court for
the administration of justice in civil cases, as submitted by Chief Justice
Cameron, with a communication of which I herewith forward a copy, was taken
np on the 14th, and finally passed the Council without alteration on the 17th of
February,
6. A copy of those rules will also be transmitted for Her Majesty's final approbation or disallowance, as soon as transcribed and carefully revised, and by
that time the official seal of the court, for which I took the liberty of sending a
requisition with my despatch, No. 18, of the 14th of August last, will probably
have arrived in this country, and will be attached to the document as directed
by Her Majesty's Order in Council.
7. A copy of the proclamation of the Rules and Regulations of the Supreme
Gourt, published on the 18th of this month of February, is also forwarded with
this despatch.
8. Hoping that those proceeding may meet with your approval.
I have, &c.
(signed)       James Douglas,
Governor.
_\y
=**«' A REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.    19
Enclosure 1, in No. 13.
Copt of Minutes of a Council held at Victoria, Vancouver's Island, on the 14th, and
following days of February 1857.
Saturday, 14 February 1857.
The Council having met this morning pursuant to a summons issued on the 13th of this
present month; the Governor being present, and the following members, viz.: John Tod,
senior member, Roderick Finlayson, John Work.
The Governor then proceeded to lay before the Council, an Act granting the sum of
130 7. for defraying the unavoidable expenses of the House of Assembly, which was read
for the third time, and passed the House on the 18th day of December last.
The Council having read the several clauses of the said Act, it was proposed as an amendment that the following words should be omitted in the preamble, that is to say " attending
the conduction of the business," and the following words in the 8th clause, viz.: '• Licences
of 16th July 1856", and that the Act be as follows:
End. l, in No. 13*
A Bill granting certain Sums of Money for the use of the House of Assembly of Vancouver's
Island.
Whereas it is necessary that certain sums of money be voted for defraying the unavoidable expenses of the House of Assembly of Vancouver's Island, be it therefore enacted;
1st. That 50 7. sterling be placed at the disposal of his Excellency the Governor to defray
the expenses of copying statistics and documents for the use of this House.
2d. That 10 7. sterling be granted to Mr. Robert Barr for his past services as clerk of
this House.
3d. That 5 7. sterling be granted to Mr. Andrew Muir for his past services as serjeant-
at-arms.
4th. That 25 7. sterling be allowed for the salary of the clerk of the House for the year
1857.
5th. That 15 7. sterling be allowed for the salary of the serjeant-at-arms and messenger,
for the year 1857.
6th. That 20 7. sterling be granted for lighting, heating, and furnishing the House of
Assembly for the year 1857.
7th. That 5 7. sterling be granted for stationery for the use of the Members of the House
of Assembly.
8th. That the above items be paid out of the revenue derived from the duty charged on
licensed houses.
1
The Act so amended was approved, and passed.
The Governor then proceeded to lay before the Council a letter from Chief Justice
Cameron, transmitting a copy of the rules and manner of proceeding to be observed in the
Supreme Court of Civil Justice of Vancouver's Island, drawn up in virtue of the authority
vested in the Court by Her Majesty's Order in Council, dated the 4th day of April 1856,
which was submitted for the approval of the Council.
This document was before the Council until evening, when an adjournment took place to
Monday, the 6th instant.
Monday, 16 February 1857,
The Council met this morning, pursuant to adjournment, the Governor and the same
Members being present, as on Saturday the 14th instant.
Proceeded with the reading and consideration of the rules and manner of proceeding of
the Supreme Court for the remainder of the day, and then adjourned to Tuesday the 17th
instant.
Tuesday, 17 February 1857.
The Council met this morning according to adjournment, the Governor' and the same
Members being present, as on Monday the T 6th instant. Completed the reading and consideration of the rules and manner of proceeding of the Supreme Court, which were
unanimously approved and passed in Council.
The Council then adjourned.
(signed)       James Douglas, Governor.
229—Sess. 2.
D
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20
CORRESPONDENCE, &c. -.—VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.
Encl. 2, in No. t3«
Enclosure 2, in No 13.
Copy of Letter from Chief Justice Cameron to Governor Douglas.
Sir, Belmont, 12 February 1857.
I herewith transmit, for the approval of your Excellency and your Honourable Council,
a copy of the rules and manner of proceeding to be observed in the Supreme Court of Civil
Justice of Vancouver's Island, drawn up in virtue of the authority vested in the Court by
Her Majesty's Order in Council, dated the 14th day of April 1856,
As no seal has yet been received for the use of the Court, I have authenticated the copy
by my signature, which I hope may suffice for its passing your Council. And as these
rules cannot take effect until three months at least after publication, I hope your Excellency and Council will take action on them as speedily as possible.
I am, &c.
(signed)        David Cameron, C. J.
Encl. 3, in No. 13..
Enclosure 3, in No. 13.
Proclamation by his Excellency James Douglas, Governor and Commander-in-Chief
of the Colony of Vancouver's Island and Dependencies, and Vice Admiral of the same,
&c. &c. &c.
Whereas it hath pleased the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice
of Her Most Honourable Privy Council, in an order from the Court at Buckingham Palace,
bearing date the 4th day of April 1856, to constitute a court for the administration of
justice in civil cases in her colony of Vancouver's Island, and to vest in the said court
power and authority to frame, constitute, and establish such rules and regulations as shall
seem meet, touching and concerning the forms and manner of proceeding to be observed in
the said court, and the practice in pleadings and other matters, as set forth and declared
in Her Majesty's said Order in Council.
Now, be it known unto all Her Majesty's subjects, that the rules and regulations of the
said court, as submitted by Chief Justice Cameron, have been approved, and passed the
Council this 17th day of February 1857, and will take effect three months from the date
hereof.
Given under my hand and seal, at Government House, Victoria, this 18th day of
February in the year of our Lord 1857, and in the 20th year of Her Majesty's
reign.
(signed)       James Douglas, Governor,    (seal.)
By his Excellency's command,
(signed)        Richard Golledge, Secretary. p
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