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Correspondence respecting the North-west Territory including British Columbia 1868

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To an Address of the House of Commons, dated 17th March,
1868; for Copy of att Correspondence had with the Government respecting the North-West Territory, including British
Columbia, since the 5th Decembeiyl867.
By Command.
Secretary of~ State.
Department of the Secretary of State,
Ottawa, 24th March, 1868.  CORRESPONDENCE.
The Governor General to the Duhe of Buckingham and Ohandos.
(Copy, No. 107.)
Government House,
Ottawa, 21st Dec, 1867.
My Lord DtJKE,—I have the honor to transmit a joint Address
to Her Majesty the Queen, from the Senate and House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, praying that Her Majesty will
be graciously pleased to direct that an Order in Council may be
passed, in conformity with the provisions of the 146th Section of
the British North America Act, 1867, for annexing to the Dominion
of Canada the territory of Prince Rupert's Land and the Bed
River Settlement.
I have the honor to request that your Grace will lay this Address at the foot of the Throne.
I have, &c,
(Signed,) Moxck.
His Grace the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos,
&c, &c, &o.
Lord Monck to the Duke of Buckingham.
(Copy, No. 1.)
Government House,
Ottawa, Canada, January 1, 1868.
28th December.    My Lord Duke,—Referring to my Despatch No..
Commons  pro-107, of 21st December, 1867,1 have the honor to
®e*a'nSs' 5t^i transmit to Your Grace an approved Minute of the
18th Dee.    ' Privy Council of Canada, together with the Resolutions of both Houses, and the proceedings  upon
Senate proceed- them respecting the proposed annexation of Prince
iDgs, 17th Deo. Eupert's Land and the North-West Territory to the
Dominion of Canada. 6
Resolutions. X desire especially to call Your Grace's attention
to the Eighth Kesolution adopted by both Houses, and which was
not incorporated in the Address to Her Majesty.
If Her Majesty's Government should approve of the proposed
incorporation with Canada of this Territory, on the terms contained in the Address to the Queen and these Besolutions, it would
be of great advantage to my Government if I could be informed
of the decision by telegraph, in order that all necessary steps may
■ be taken for carrying the arrangement into effect.
I have, &c,
(Signed,)       Monok.
His Grace
The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos,
&c,       &c,       &c,
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honorable the Privy
Council, approved by Sis Excellency the Governor General in
Council, on the 2&th December, 1867.
The Committee have had under consideration the annexed
Memorandum from the Honorable the Minister of Public Works,
submitting, for the approval of Your Excellency in Council, certain recommendations on the subject of the negotiation with the
Imperial Government for the transfer of Bupert's Land and the
North-West Territory to Canada, and they respectfully advise that
a copy of the same, when approved by Your Excellency, be forwarded to His Grace the Secretary of State for the Colonies, as
embodying the views of the Canadian Government on that important question.
Wm. H. Lee,
Clerk P. C.
The undersigned has the honor to submit, for the consideration
of Your Excellency in Council, the following recommendations on
the subject of the negotiation with the Imperial Government for
the transfer of Rupert's Land and the North-West Territory, to
I. That in addition to the joint Address of both Houses on the
subject, Your Excellency wHl be pleased to transmit to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Besolutions as they were finally
adopted by the House of Commons and the Senate, with the votes
and proceeding of both Houses thereon.
II. That the attention of His Grace the Duke of Buckingham 1
be specially called to the Eighth Besolution, which was not embodied in the Address, and was not intended by the Canadian
Parliament to express a term or condition ofthe Order in Council,
authorized by the 146th Section of the British North America
III. That Your Excellency will be pleased to express to His
' Grace, as the opinion of the Canadian Government, that it is
highly expedient that the transfer which the Imperial Parliament
has authorized, and the Canadian Parliament approved, should not
be delayed by negotiations or correspondence with private or third
parties, whose position, opinions and claims have heretofore embarrassed both Governments in dealing with this question.
IY. That in the opinion of the Canadian Government, the
terms of the Address cannot be materially altered or extended
without causing injurious delay, and greatly embarrassing the
people and Government of Canada in their efforts to open communications with the Territory, to encourage emigration and settlement, to establish law and order, and to provide for the speedy
organization of Municipal and Local Governments therein.
Y. That recent proposals in the Congress of the United States
in reference to British America, the rapid advance of mining and
agricultural settlements westward, and the avowed policy of the
Washington Government to acquire territory from other powers by
purchase or otherwise, admonish us that not a day is to be lost in
determining'' and publishing to the world our policy in regard to
these territories.
VI. That Your Excellency will be pleased to request His Grace
to inform Your Excellency by Atlantic Cable (if the information
can be so communicated), whether the Imperial Cabinet will at
once advise Her Majesty to approve of the transfer on the terms
of the Address, in order that the Canadian Government may be
prepared to submit appropriate measures on the subject on the reassembling of Parliament in March next.
Bespectfully submitted,
(Signed,)       Wm. McDouqall.
December 28th, 1867.
lhe Duke of Buckingham to Lord Monck.
(Canada, No. 16.)
Downing Street, 18th January, 1868.
My Lord,—I have received your despatch, No. 107, of the
21st of December, accompanied by an Address to Her Majesty
from both Houses of the Canadian Parliament, proposing the an- nexation of Prince Eupert's Land and the North-West Territory
to the Dominion of Canada. I have also received your Lordship's
subsequent despatch, No. 1, of the 1st January, enclosing Besolutions adopted by the two Houses on the same subject, and an approved Minute of the Privy Council.
These proceedings will receive the early and serious attention
of Her Majesty's confidential advisers.
The decision of Her Majesty's Government will be communicated to you as early as possible; but the consideration by them
of so important a subject will necessarily occupy some short time.
I have &c,
(Signed,) Buckingham and Chandos.
Governor the Eight Honorable Viscount Monck,
Requisition to his Worship the Mayor of Victoria :
We, the undersigned citizens of Victoria, would respectfully request your Worship to call a public meeting in the Theatre, on an
early day, for the purpose of enquiring of His Excellency the
Governor, what progress has been made in the negotiations respecting the admission of this Colony into the Dominion of Canada,
and to consider the advisability of taking further steps to accomplish that object.
George J. Findlay, . J. W. Powell,
Lowe, Bros., Eobert Wallace,
Lumley Franklin, J. E. Stewart,
J. H. Turner & Co., and fifty-five others.
Victoria, January 27, 1868.
Gentlemen,—In reply to your numerously signed Eequisition,
asking me to call a public meeting for the purpose named therein,
I have great pleasure in acceding to your request, and therefore
appoint Wednesday evening next, at 7J o'clock, for said meeting.
I have the honor to be, yours, &c,
James Trimbde,
Mayor of Victoria.
To Messrs. Geo. J. Findlay, J. W. Powell, Lowe, Bros., Eobert
Wallace, Lumley Franklin, J. R. Stewart & Co., and others. Mr. De Cosmos then offered the following Preamble and Eeso-
Whereas, we recognize in the successful consolidation of Canada,
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, into one great Government,
constituting a new Nationality, the hand of destiny pointing unerringly to the speedy consolidation of all British North America;
And whereas, the recent action of the Canadian Parliament in
asking the Imperial Government to transfer the North-West Territory to the Dominion, making British Columbia its western
boundary, removes all obstacles" of a territorial character to our
admission into the Confederacy;
And whereas, the Legislative Council, at its last session, unanimously passed an Address to the Governor, asking him to apply
to the Government of Canada to admit this Colony into the
Dominion; and whereas, information respecting such admission
has not, as yet, been communicated to the public through the
Legislative Councillors as was expected;
Resolved, That we deem it expedient that steps should be taken
to conclude negotiations with the Government of Canada, for the
immediate admission of this Colony into the Dominion, on fair
and equitable terms; and that an essential condition to such
admission should be the construction by the Dominional Government, within two years, of a trans-continental wagon read, connecting Lake Superior and the head of navigation on the Lower
When put to vote, the resolution in favor of Confederation, with
the Overland Wagon Eoad as an essential condition, was successful
amidst the wildest enthusiasm. Only about twenty hands were
raised in opposition. A resolution appointing a Committee to
wait upon the Governor to ascertain what progress had been made
in the matter, and to take steps to further negotiations for the
Union of this Colony with the Dominion was unanimously adopted,
and the meeting broke up with three cheers for the Mayor.—
Mr. Seelye offered the following resolution, which was seconded
and carried unanimously:—
Resolved, That a Committee of six, including the Mayor, be
appointed by the Chair to wait on His Excellency the Governor,
and urge the adoption and carrying out of the views of this meeting, and that such Committee be authorized to transact any other
business that they may deem expedient to further the cause of
The Mayor appointed Messrs. Lumley, Franklin, A. De Cosmos,
Dr. Powell, H. E Seelye, Eobert Wallace and G. J. Findlay, who,
with His Worship added, completes the number called for iu the
resolution. 10
Three cheers were given for the Mayor and three for Confederation, after which the vast assemblage separated, and thus
ended the most enthusiastic meeting in favor of Confederation
ever held here.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honorable the Privy
Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor General in
Council, on the Qth March, 1868.
The Committee have had under consideration a Memorandum
dated 5th March, 1868, from the Honorable the Minister of Public
Works, stating that certain Besolutions on the subject of Union
with Canada, adopted at a public meeting of the inhabitants of
Victoria, British Columbia, on the 29th of January last, transmitted through the Honorable S. L. Tilley to the Secretary of
State for Canada, were on the third instant referred to a Committee
of the Honorable the Privy Council, and by the Council referred
to him the Minister of Public Works for immediate Beport.—-
That he has read and duly considered the purport of these Besolutions, the circumstances under which they were passed, and the
action which ought to be taken by the Government of Canada
That it appears from these Besolutions and the Memorial of the
Committee appointed at the public meeting, which accompanies
them, that the Legislative Counoil of British Columbia, on the
18th of March, 1867, unanimously adopted a Besolution requesting His Excellency, Governor Seymour, " to take measures
" without delay to secure the admission of British Columbia into
" the Canadian Confederacy on fair and equitable terms."
That it appears further that neither the people of British
Columbia, nor the Government of Canada, have been apprised of
any measures that may have been taken by the Government of
British Columbia, in pursuance of the Besolution of the Legislative Council.
That the Besolutions adopted at the public meeting of the 29th
January, which was called and presided over by the Mayor of
Victoria, the chief city of the Colony, and the statement of the
memorial signed by the Mayor and by Members of the Legislature
and others, leave little room to doubt that the people of that
Colony are willing and anxious that it should be admitted into
union with Canada, if the terms of admission can be agreed upon.
The Minister of Public Works calls attention to the 146th section
of the British North America Act, which applies to the case of
British Columbia in express terms.—That it will be seen-the Besolution of the Legislative Council was passed before the British North 11
America Act came into force, and that it did not specify the: terms'
of admission which the Council asked the Government to secure.
That it is evident therefore that further action is necessary by the
Legislature of British Columbia, before admission can take place
under the provisions of the Imperial Act.
That it is suggested in the Memorial of the Mayor and other
Citizens of Victoria, that the Legislature of the Colony, being
largely composed of officials, is not so zealous for Confederation as
the people whose opinions and wishes it ought to represent.
The Minister submits that considering the peculiar Constitution
of the Legislature and Government of British Columbia, and that,
notwithstanding the Besolution of the Legislative Council in
March of last year, and the Besolutions of Public Meetings, and
the expression of opinion through the Press of the Colony, before
and since the Act of Confederation, in favor of union with Canada,
no official communication on the subject from British Columbia
has reached this Government, he would recommend that Your
Excellency communicate to His Grace the Duke of Buckingham a
Copy of the Memorial and Besolutions referred to, and request His
Grace to instruct Governor Seymour to take such steps as may be
deemed proper to move the Legislative Council of British Columbia
to further action in terms ofthe Imperial Act. He further recommends that His Grace be informed that the Government of Canada
will be prepared to submit to Parliament a proposal for the admission of British Columbia into the Union, in the expectation
that the Imperial Government will lose no time in transferring the
intervening North-Western Territory to the jurisdiction of the
Canadian Government.
The Committee concur in the above recommendations, and submit the same for Your Excellency's approval.
Wm. H. Lee,
To the Honorable the Secretary of State, Canada,
&c, &c, . &0.
The Governor General to the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.
(Copy—No. 35.) Government House,
Ottawa, 7th March, 1868.
My Lord Duke,—I have the honor to transmit, for your Grace's
information and favorable consideration, an approved Minute of
the Privy Council of Canada, on the subject of certain Besolutions
adopted at a public meeting of the inhabitants of Victoria, British —*
Columbia, with referenoe to the desire of that Colony to be incorporated with the Canadian Union.
I have, &c,
His Grace (Signed.)        Monck.
The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos,
&o.,  f^mi   &c. .    &c.
Victoria, V.I., B.C.,
1st February, 1867.
Sir,—I am instructed by the Committee to inform you that the
reason for sending this Memorial, jrevious to calling upon Governor
Seymour, is, that the Governor resides at New Westminster, 90
miles from Victoria, and there being no steamboat communication
to that place for one week; and, in consequence of the sailing
of the Mail steamer to-day, it was necessary to send them now, or
suffer a delay of one month.
I have, &c,
(Signed,)       E; E. Seelye,
Hon. S. L. Tilley, C.B., Secretary to Committee.
Minister of Customs, &c.
To His Excellency the Governor General, and the Honorable the
Queen's Privy Council of Canada.
The Memorial ofthe undersigned, a Committee appointed at a
public meeting ofthe Citizens of Victoria, B.C., held on the
29th January, 1868 :—
Eespectfully Sheweth:
1. That on the 18th of March last a Besolution was unanimously
passed by the Legislative Council of this Colony, asking His Excellency Governor Seymour to take measures, without delay, to
secure the admission of British Columbia into the Canadian Confederacy, on fair and equitable terms.
2. That a public meeting was held at the same time, in Victoria,
expressing concurrence with the action of the Legislative Council.
3. That the people of Cariboo, the next most populous and influential portion of the Colony, held, in December, a highly enthusiastic meeting, and unanimously passsed resolutions in favor ot
immediately joining the Dominion of Canada.
4. That the Daily British Colonist, the leading newspaper of the
colony, has and does, strenuously support Confederation. The
Cariboo Sentinel, a paper of local influence, pursues a similar course. 13
The British Columbian, a semi-weekly, published at New Westminster regarded as somewhat subject to Government influence, has
expressed itself in favor of Confederation, but not very earnestly.
The Columbian has only a local influence. The Examiner, a semi-
weekly, published also at Westminster, advocates Confederation.
The Morning News, a weekly, published in Victoria, the only other
paper in the colony, is in favor of annexation to the United States,
failing that, supports • Confederation. The only paper that circulates through the whole Colony is the Colonist, and represents
the general feeling of the country on Confederation.
5. That public opinion throughout the Colony, so far as we can
learn, is overwhelmingly in favor of Confederation.
6. That there is a small party in favor of annexation to the
United States, and if it were practicable or possible their number
would be largely increased.
7. There is a small party, other than annexationists, who are
opposed to Confederation.
8. Nearly all the office-holders of the colony are allied to the
latter party.
9. The total number of those opposed to Confederation, on fair
and equitable terms, is numerically small, but supported by the
office-holders, they may exert a good deal of resistance to the
popular will.
10. That from information in a telegram from Ottawa, dated
January 22nd, 1868, we learn, that Governor Seymour has not
made any propositions to the Dominion Government respecting our
admission, as was expected.
11. That the Legislative Council, the only Legislative body in
the Colony, is made up of a majority consisting of Heads of Departments, Gold Commissioners, Magistrates, and others, subject to
Government influence, and cannot be relied upon to urge on Confederation, as it ought to be at the present juncture.
12. That the only popular institutions in the Colony are the
City Councils of Victoria and New Westminster.
13. That, therefore, the people of this Colony are really without
the means of expressing and carrying out their wishes through the
14. We, therefore, representing, as we do, the views' of the
people of this the most "populous and influential section of the
Colony, and acting in unison with the general and expressed wishes
of the people throughout the Colony, would respectfully ask the
Government of the Dominion to take immediate steps to bring this
Colony into the Dominion, by telegraphing or communicating with
Her Majesty's Government, to issue instructions, with as little
delay as possible, to Governor Seymour, or otherwise to conclude
negotiations as to the terms of our admission. 
15. We feel that without the help and support of the Government of the Dominion, the time will be remote when this Colony
will be admitted into the Dominion, but with the aid which we
solicit, we believe that there is no obstacle to prevent our admission
by the first of July next.
16. We would further represent for the information of the Government of the Dominion, that the terms of admission which would
be acceptable to the people of this Colony, would ba.i—
(1.) Canada to become liable for the entire Public Debt of this
Colony, estimated at $1,500,000.
(2.) Canada to provide for Federal Officers and Services.
(3.) To grant a sufficient fixed subsidy, and per capita subsidy;
to insure the support of the local Government, in addition to the
powers of taxation reserved to Provincial Governments in "British
North America Act."
(4.) Bepresentation in the Senate and Commons of Canada.
(5.) The construction of a Trans-Continental Wagon Boad, from
Lake Superior to the head of navigation on the Lower Fraser,
within two years after the time of admission. This is regarded as
an essential condition.
(6.) Popular representative institutions, insuring responsible
control over the Government.
17. Hereafter we hope to communicate further information.
In the meantime, we confidently trust, the Government of the
Dominion will cheerfully aid the people of this Colony in furthering their wishes, for immediate admission into the Confederation.
18. Enclosed we send you a Copy of Bequisition to the Mayor,
to call a public meeting, and also Besolutions passed at said meeting, held on the 29th January, 1868.
We have the honor to bo,
Most respectfully and obediently yours,
(Signed,)       James Trimble,
Mayor of the City of Victoria and Chairman of Committee.
(Signed,)       A. DeCosmos,
Member of Legislative Council.
(Signed,)       J. H. Powell, M.D.,
Member for the City of Victoria, in the late Legislative Assembly
of Vancouver Island.
(Signed,)       E. Wallace,
(Signed,)        H. E. Seelye,
One of the Editors of the British Colonist, and Secretary to the
Victoria, B.C., February 1st, 1868i  


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