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A further despatch relative to the proposed union of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. (In continuation… Great Britain. Parliament 1866

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A   FURTHER   DESPATCH
RELATIVE  TO
THE  PROPOSED  UOTON
OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND VANCOUVER ISLAND.
(In continuation of Papers presented 31st May 1866.)
Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty. 
25th June 1866.
LONDON:
PRINTED BY GEORGE EDWARD EYRE AND WILLIAM SPOTTISWOODE,
PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN'S MOST  EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.
16077. 	
1866.
[Price 1/2d.]  ( 1 )
A    FURTHER   DESPATCH
RELATIVE TO
THE  PROPOSED   UNION
OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND VANCOUVER ISLAND.
{In continuation of Papers presented 3\st May 1866.)
Copy of a  DESPATCH   from   the  Officer Administering the Government to
the Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.
(No. 41.)
Sir, New Westminster, British Columbia, April 28, 1866.
(Received June 14, 1866.)
I have the honour to forward a memorial presented to me this day for transmission. The Municipal Council request me to forward their memorial by the mail
steamer leaving within a few hours. I am consequently unable to comment on the
several subjects brought forward. Mr. Seymour's presence in England will render this
of little importance.
2. Rumours are continually reaching this Colony of secret sessions of the Assembly of
Vancouver Island on the subject of union of these Colonies, and of resolutions and representations being constantly forwarded to Her Majesty's Government adverse to the
interests of British Columbia. The Municipal Council of this city consider the silence of
British Columbia may be taken as apathy, hence the origin of the memorial.
3. I cannot agree with the memorialists that the union of Vancouver Island with British
Columbia will be " contrary to the well-understood wishes of the people."
I have already stated my conviction that the majority of the inhabitants in the upper
country care little whether there is union of the Colonies or continued separation.
All classes are, however, united in the opinion that the present uncertainty as regards
the future of these Colonies is seriously interfering with the progress of both.
I have, &c.
(Signed)       ARTHUR N. BIRCH.
The Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.,
Memorial from
Municipal
Council of New
Westminster,
26th April
1866, in
original.
Despatch to
Secretary of
State, No. 16,
of 3rd March
1866.
Vide Papers
presented 31st
May 1866,
Page 42.
&C
&C.
&C.
Enclosure in No. 41.
Copy of a Resolution in relation to a Memorial to the Secretary of State for the Colonies respecting
union with the Colony of Vancouver Island, adopted by the Municipal Council of the city of New
Westminster, April 26th, 1866.
Resolved,—
That the report of the committee be adopted, and that a copy be prepared by the clerk, to be signed
by the president and clerk of this Council, and to have the corporate seal attached thereto, and that the
president appoint a special committee to wait upon his Honour the Administrator of the Government
with the request that the contents of the memorial be sent home by telegraph; at the same time asking
his Excellency to explain to the Secretary of State for the Colonies that, had time permitted, the
memorial would have been signed by the colonists generally.
Thomas McMickikg,
Clerk.
16077.
A 2 2      UNION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AND VANCOUVER ISLAND.
British      To tne Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, &c, &c, &c.
Columbia        (l.s.) .
_   AND The Memorial of the Municipal Council of the city of New Westminster in council assembled,
Vancouver '
Island.      Humbly sheweth—
  That the people of British Columbia are and have always been strongly opposed to union with
Vancouver Island.
That such opposition has been expressed by petition, through a delegate, and by resolutions unanimously passed during two different sessions of the Legislative Council.
That the people of this Colony have heard with regret that Her Majesty's Government has decided
upon uniting the Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island contrary to the well-understood
wishes of the people of the former Colony.
That, should Her Majesty's Government persist in carrying out this determination, your memorialists
would respectfully but earnestly submit the following:—
1st. That the capital of the united Colonies should be permanently fixed by an Act of the Imperial
Parliament at New Westminster. The site of this city was, your memorialists believe, wisely
selected by a commissioner sent out by Her Majesty's Government, and specially charged with
that duty ; received its name direct from Her Majesty, and was officially proclaimed as the
permanent capital by a statute law of the Colony (vide the Proclamation of 14th February
1859). This fact induced large investments, which would not otherwise have been made.
The capital could not now be disturbed without breaking faith with the people, and inflicting
gross injustice upon large-vested rights; and it could not be transferred to Victoria—the
extreme south-western limit of Vancouver Island—without entailing serious inconvenience
upon the people of British Columbia, and reviving those feelings of dissatisfaction and discontent so painfully felt prior to the establishment of a distinct government in this Colony ; while
to leave the location of the capital an open question, to be dealt with by the united Legislature,
would inevitably give rise to agitations and disputes calculated seriously to disturb the harmony, and jeopardize the peace, of both sections of the country, and which could only be
ultimately settled by a direct reference home.
2nd. That in the event of union being forced upon British Columbia, the people feel that they have a
right to expect that their interests and just claims will receive due consideration at the hands of
Her Majesty's Government, and that the question of the capital will not be left open as a bone
of contention, but that it will be finally and for ever set at rest by the establishment of New
Westminster as the capital of the united Colonies.
3rd. That, in fixing the basis of representation, due regard should be had to the larger territory,,
resources, and revenue of British Columbia, and that in any representation which may be conferred, this Colony would be fairly entitled to enjoy at least two-thirds thereof.
4th. That a uniform fiscal system for the united Colonies is absolutely essential to the successful and
harmonious administration of the government. To maintain free trade on Vancouver Island,
and a customs tariff in British Columbia, would give rise to fiscal complications and local
jealousies which would entail interminable difficulties here, and perpetual perplexity to Her
Majesty's Government at home. Your memorialists, therefore, believe that a uniform customs
tariff would form the safest and most satisfactory basis of revenue for the united Colonies.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Signed by direction and on behalf of the Council.
W. J. Armstrong,
President.
City of New Westminster, British Columbia, Thomas McMicking,
April 26th, 1866. Clerk.
LONDON:
Printed by George E. Eike and William Spottiswoome,
Printers to the Queen's most Excellent Majesty.
For Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

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