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Minutes of the House of assembly of Vancouver Island, August 12th, 1856, to September 25th, 1858 [Vancouver Island (Colony). House of Assembly]; Provincial Archives of British Columbia 1918

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  THE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA
LIBRARY ARCHIVES OF BEITISH COLUMBIA
MEMOIR NO. III.
;:    MINUTES
OP  THE
House of Assembly of
Vancouver Island.
AUGUST 12TH. 1856. TO
SEPTEMBER 25TH. 1858.
•-      THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
PRINTED BY
AUTHORITY   OF  THE   LEGISLATIVE   ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by William H. Collin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1918.  Provincial Library,
Victoria, November 4th, 1918.
The Eon. J. W. de B. Farris, K.C.,
Attorney-General of British Columbia,
Government Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to transmit to you herewith Bulletin
No. III. of the Archives Department, entitled H Minutes of the House
of Assembly of Vancouver Island, 1856 to 1858." The official report
of the votes and proceedings of our first House of Assembly is both
interesting and instructive. The document is worthy of preservation
in print—if for no other reason—because it is the only record of the
inauguration of the first representative legislature in British Northwest America.
In opening the first session on 12th August, 1856, Sir James
Douglas delivered a notable Speech from the Throne;' but the whole
Journal is replete with historical information: In some respects it
is a very human document.
The Minutes have been printed at this time in order that no risk
of destruction may be incurred, especially as the original is rather
frail. If by any mischance an accident should befall the original an
interesting chapter in the early history of British Columbia would
be lost. Besides, one cannot afford to overlook the educational value
of such papers, the publication of which will make available information hitherto locked up in a well-guarded manuscript.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
E. O.  S.  SCHOLEFIELD,
Librarian and Archivist. f!
\L PREFACE.
FROM 1850 to 1851 the government of the Colony of Vancouver
Island was administered, by Governor Richard Blanshard
j without the aid of either Council or Assembly. From 1851
to 1856 Governor Douglas administered the Colony with the assistance of a Legislative Council, the three or four members of
which held their Commissions directly from the Crown. From
1856 to 1866 the government was carried on by a Governor, a
Legislative Council, and a House of Assembly.
These, roughly, were the three stages in the evolutionary
expansion of the Colonial Government.
Some time after the discovery of gold in the adjacent Mainland an adumbration of an Executive or Cabinet Council- came
into existence.
The House of Assembly was called together in 1856 in accordance with the explicit instructions of the Right Honourable
Henry Labpuchere, then Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Vancouver Island thus became one of the first of the British
Colonies to reap the benefit of Lord Durham's enlightened Report.
Governor Douglas refers to this point in the first paragraph of
his first Speech from the Throne.
The reasons for this step, and the immediate effect of the
Downing Street policy, are shown in the clear and self-explanatory
despatches set forth below, and of which it may be said in passing
they are well worth reprinting here, as they are now available
only in an old parliamentary return, long since out of print and
now scarce :—■
(No. 1.)
Copy of Despatch fbom the Right Honourable H. Labouchebe,
M.P., to Governor Douglas.
Downing Street, 28 February, 1856.
Sir,—By the Commission and Instructions which your predecessor, Governor Blanshard, received when the Colony 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 this 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 by 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
Govt,   of V.I.
1850-1866. Preface.
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 authorized by the present constitution of the Island. I
have, accordingly, to instruct you to call together an Assembly in
the terms of your Commission and Instructions.
(6.) For this purpose it will be within your power, as provided
by the 9th 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.
(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 as to 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, authorized 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 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
I distinctly reserved to yourself.    And it is very essential that a con-
L Preface.
stitutional 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. 7.)
Extract op Despatch from Governor Douglas to the Right
Honourable H. Labouchere, M.P., dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 22 May, 1856..
" 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, I 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.
I 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.
II 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 of 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
Governor
Douglas tot
Right Hon.
L&boucnere,
M.P.,  22 Mi
1856. Preface.
Governor
Douglas to
Bight Hon.
H. Labouchere,
M.P.,   7 June,
1856.
Governor
Douglas to the
Right Hon.
H. Labouchere,
M.P., 22 July,
1856.
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 conditions 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."
(No. 8.)
Extract of Despatch from Governor Douglas to the Right
Honourable H. Labouchere, M.P., dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 7 June, 1856.
" Since I had the honour of addressing you on 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 which 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 qualifications of members should be
freehold estate of the value and not lower than 300Î. 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."
(No. 9.)
Extract of Despatch from Governor Douglas to the Right
Honourable H. Labouchere, M.P., dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 22 July, 1856.
" 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 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 300Ï. of
freehold estate or upwards. To have fixed upon a higher standard
of qualification  would have  disqualified  all  the  present  representa-
j^HjH Preface.
tives, 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 poll 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"
(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 and its dependencies, to
authorize, 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 Assembly of our said
Island of Vancouver.
And whereas, Her Most Gracious Majesty, having further in
her aforesaid instructions in that behalf, commanded and authorized
me in the terms and manner following, viz. :—- .
You are therefore for the purpose of electing the members of
such assemblies, hereby authorized 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 authorized 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, 10
Preface.
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 Assembly, 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.
ji And also that we have divided the said Island and its dependencies
into districts, as follows, to wit:—
District of Victoria. District of Nanaimo.
District of Esquimalt District of Soke,
and Metchosen.
And also, that the number of representatives shall be as follows,
to wit:—
District of Victoria      3 members.
District of Esquimalt and Metchosen      2 members.
District  of Nanaimo      1 member.
District of Soke      1 member.
And also, that we have hereby constituted and appointed the
following persons returning officers for the aforesaid âËSQSets, to
wit :—
Andrew Muir   Victoria District.
Herbert W. O. Margary . .Esquimalt and Metchosen District.
Charles E. Stuart Nanaimo District.
John Muir,  Jr Soke District.
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.
*iill§§| (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 fully into effect; and
the Council adjourned at 5 o'clock p.m. till Monday, the 9th of
June.
Ig^gjl Preface.
11
June 9th, 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.
Tfye right of absentee proprietors to be represented in the general
assembly. '-^■y^
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 voters should be 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 settlement should be divided into
four electoral districts, viz. :—
Victoria. District—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.
Esquimalt District—The country west of Victoria Arm and east
of Pedder Bay, including M'Kenzie's and the farms west of
Colquot's River.
Soke District—From Pedder Bay to Otter Head, the headland
beyond Soke.
Nanaimo District—Colvile Town.
It was then resolved, That this Council do now adjourn.
Extract of Despatch  from  Governor Douglas  to the Right
Honourable   H.   Labouchere,   M.P.,   dated   Victoria,   Vancouver's Island, 20th August, 1856.   •
" 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 approbation.
As mentioned-in one of my previous ' communications,  the House of
Assembly consists of seven members, viz. :—
" John Muir Soke District.
John S. Helmcken    ) ^      .     ..  _.. . . ,       .
Thomas Skinner        I Esquimalt District
J. D. Pemberton       |
James Yates [ Victoria District.
E. E. Langford j
John F. Kennedy Nanaimo District Preface.
"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 iStates, 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 such 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"        •
The rise and growth of popular or representative government in any community, no matter how small it may be, is always
an interesting and sometimes an arresting study, for it deals
with the inborn thirst of the people to regulate their governance
in accordance with' their own innate ideas of liberty and justice
and freedom of speech. It seems to be the general if not the
absolute rule among nations that representative parliamentary
administration, or responsible government, may be attained
only after years of unremitting effort and self-sacrifice. The
domestic history of nearly all of the British Colonies, now
the powerful Overseas Dominions of the Empire, also exemplifies the truth of this general statement. It is interesting,
therefore, to find a colony wherein there existed no organized
demand for representative government. It is perhaps still more
interesting to find the Home Government nevertheless insisting"
upon the creation of an elective Assembly, long before a popular
demand for such arose. One finds this rather,anomalous condition
of affairs in the case of the then small and far-distant Colony
of Vancouver Island. Strange to relate, before any such demand
had been actually formulated by the settlers, the Secretary of
State for the Colonies issued a mandate to the effect that a
representative Assembly must be elected forthwith, according to
the tenor of the terms laid down in the Governor's Commission
and instructions. In this peaceful way the Colony of Vancouver
Island obtained its representative House of Assembly.
E. O. S. SOHOLEFIELD,
Provincial Librarian and Archivist. MINUTES
OF THE
House of Assembly of Vancouver Island.
1856 to 1858.
Opening of the House of Assembly, Victoria, Vancouver's
Island, August 12th, 1856. By His Excellency the Governor, attended by  .
At 11 o'clock a.m. precisely, after prayers by the Rev. Edward
Cridge, Colonial^ Chaplain, His Excellency the Governor proceeded
to deliver the following speech, viz :—
Gentlemen   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 the present and future inhabitants ; and remarkable
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 struggle with the disorganizing 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 country.
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 that our
legislative labours will "be distinguished alike by prudence, temperance, and justice to all classes.
12 Aug., 1856.
Opening of first
Legislative ,
Governor's
Speech.
Colony's
peculiar
situation.
Slow but hardy
growth.
Governor
desires aid
and support
of Assembly. 14
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
12 Aug.,  1856.
Reciprocity
advocated.
Coal, timber,
and fisheries.
Northern
Indians.
Armed savages.
Military
protection.
~ Naval
protection.
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.
Negotiations are now pending with the Government of the
United States which may probably terminate in an extension of
the Reciprocity Treaty to Vancouver's Island.
To show the commercial advantages connected with that
treaty, I will just mention that an import duty of £30 is levied
on every hundred pounds' 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 coals
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 overestimated.
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 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 number 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 us, the Conoly (sic) have arranged with the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that the " President " frigate should be
i Vancouver Ièland.
15
sent to Vancouver's Island, and that measure will, I have no doubt,
be carried 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 constitua
tional 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.
Thé 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 improvements of the internal communications of
the country, and providing for the education of the young, the
erection of places for public worship, the defence of the country,
and the administration of justice.
Gentlemen, I fëèl 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.
Chief Justice Cameron then proceeded to administer the oath
of allegiance to James Yates, J. D. Pemberton, J. S. Helmcken,
J. F. Kennedy, and E. E. Langford.   The first four delivered the
12 Aug., 1856.
Native^ tribes
to be treated
with justice
and forbearance.
Money Bills.
Ways and
means.
Poverty of
country.
Speculative
improvements-.
Roads,   education,  public
worship,  etc.
Responsibility
resting upon
House.
Chief Justice
Cameron to
administer
oath.
Members sworn.. 16
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
12 Aug., 1856.
Election of
Speaker.
Hon.  J.   S.
Helmcken.
Robert Bârr,
Clerk.
Speaker
presented to
Governor.
necessary qualification, but E. E. Langford read a protest, after
which Chief Justice retired.
The House then proceeded to elect a Speaker.
It was proposed by Mr. Helmcken, seconded by Mr. Kennedy,
That Mr. Pemberton be Speaker of the House.
An amendment proposed by Mr. Langford, seconded by Mr.
Yates, That Mr. Helmcken be Speaker of the House, the same being
put to the vote
Mr. Helmcken was duly elected Speaker and accordingly took
the Chair.
It was proposed by Mr. Pemberton, That Robert Barr be
appointed to act as Clerk pro tern. Seconded by Mr. Yates. The
said Robert Barr duly accepting of said office.
It was proposed by Mr. Skinner, That an application be made
to the Governor that proper and efficient books, &c, be supplied to
the said House.    Seconded by Mr. Pemberton and carried.
Previous to the foregoing
Oath of Allegiance.
resolution, Mr.  Skinner took the
It was proposed by Mr. Skinner, seconded by Mr. Langford,
That the. House adjourn until Tuesday, the 19th day of August,
at the hour of 11 in the forenoon.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
ADJOURNED   SESSION.
August 19th, 1856, 11  o'clock a.m.
Present :    *
The Speaker (Mr. Helmcken),
Mr. Pemberton,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. Skinner, ^»X^
Mr. Muir,
Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Langford.
A deputation consisting of Mr. Pemberton and Mr. Kennedy
waited upon, and presented to His Excellency the Governor, the
Speaker, Mr. Helmcken.   His Excellency most graciously received
the Speaker, and briefly expressed his satisfaction to the same.
The deputation then withdrew.
L 1
Vancouver Island.
17
The Speaker informed the House that the Oaths of Allegiance
and Qualification were to be taken by the Members of the same.
Oath of Allegiance administered to Mr. Pemberton, Member for
Victoria.
Declaration of Qualification received.
Oath of Qualification administered to Mr. Pemberton, Member
for Victoria.
Oath of Allegiance administered to Mr. Kennedy, Member for
Nanaimo.
Declaration of Qualification received.
Oath of Qualification administered to Mr." Kennedy, Member
for Nanaimo.
Oath of Allegiance administered to Mr. Muir, Member for
Soake.
Declaration of Qualification received.
Oath of Qualification administered to Mr. Muir, Member for
Soake.
Oath of Allegiance administered to Mr. Skinner, Member for
Esquimalt.
Declaration of Qualification received.
Oath of Qualification administered to Mr. Skinner, Member
for Esquimalt.
Oath of Allegiance administered to Mr. Yates, Member for
Victoria.
Declaration of Qualification received.
Oath of Qualification administered to Mr. Yates, Member for
Victoria.
Mr. Langford's Declaration of Qualification not received by
the Speaker, but a protest was read to the House by that
gentleman.
A motion was then made by Mr. Skinner and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
" I beg leave to move, That the document just read by Mr.
Langford may be recorded in the Books of this House."
Motion carried.
Copy of Mr. Langford's protest.
I subscribe in the most solemn manner to the Oath as now
administered to me, with the exception of declaring myself possessed of immovable property to the amount of £300.
Having been chosen by the people of Victoria, both electors
and non-electors, it is my firm belief that according to the Constitution of Great Britain I am duly qualified to take my seat in this
House of Assembly, and that the Act of Council imposing a fixed
property qualification was not legal without the consent of thé
House of Assembly ; and therefore I beg now in a formal manner
2.
19 Aug., 1856.
Oaths of
Allegiance  as
Qualification.
Mr. Langford's
declaration not
received.
Motion No. 1.
Mr.  Langford
protests. men
18
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,.
19 Aug., 1856.
First election
petition.
Mr.  Langford's
return disputed.
Mr. Pember-
ton's qualification.
to protest in the name and on behalf of my constituents against it,
and to request that my protest may be recorded.
(Signed)    Edward Edwards Langford.
(Dated)   August 12th, 1856.
Oath of Allegiance administered to Mr. Langford.
A petition was presented by Mr. Pemberton from Mr. McKay
complaining of the return of Mr. Langford.
Ordered to be laid upon the table.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Kennedy, viz. :—
" That Mr. Edward Edwards Langford, not subscribing a
proper Declaration and in the usual form, his return as a Member
of the General Assembly of Vancouver's Island is null and void."
Opposed by Mr. Skinner as follows, viz. :—
11 beg to oppose the motion of Mr. Pemberton that Mr. E. E.
Langford's election shall be null and void."
Ayes—Mr. Pemberton, Mr. Kennedy.
Noes—Mr. Skinner, Mr. Yates, Mr. Muir.
Amendment carried.
A petition was then presented by Mr. Yates setting forth that
Mr. Pemberton on the day of election was not duly qualified.
Ordered to be laid upon the table.
A motion was then made by Mr. Langford and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
" I beg to move, That application should be made for the use
of the law works, the property of the Colony."
Opposed by Mr. Pemberton, but eventually withdrawn.
It was then proposed by Mr. Langford and seconded by Mr.
Skinner, That the House adjourn until Tuesday, the 26th day of
August next ensuing, at the hour of 11 o'clock in the forenoon.
The House then adjourned.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
ADJOURNED SESSION.
Jg^gf August 26th, 1856, 11 o'clock a.m.
Present :
The Speaker (Mr. Helmcken),
Mr. Pemberton,
Mr. Muir,
Mr. Skinner,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. Langford.
m Vancouver Island.
19
Petitions and petitioners against Members, &c. :—
The Speaker (Mr. Helmcken), Esquimalt.
Petition against Mr. Pemberton, Victoria.
Petition against Mr. Muir, Soake.
Petition presented from Mr. Yates ag. Mr. P., Victoria.
Petition against Mr. Langford, Victoria.
Mr. Skinner, Esquimalt.
The Speaker took the Chair at 12 o'clock precisely.
The Speaker informed the House that any law books, the
property of the Colony, could be placed upon the table, the names
of such books being given, with this proviso, that none be taken
away, but given up again immediately that the House adjourned,
as the said books are placed under the immediate charge of His
Excellency the Governor.
The Speaker informed the House that Mr. McKay had entered
into sufficient sureties for his election petition against Mr. Langford
in the sum of ....
Ordered to be referred to Committee.
The Speaker informed the House that Mr. Yates had not
entered, into sureties for the due performance of his election
petition against Mr. Pemberton.    (\)
A motion was then made by Mr. Muir and seconded by Mr.
Skinner, viz. :—
"I beg to move, That any Member being late 15 minutes
from this House after the hour of meeting shall be fined the sum
of $20.00."    (2.)
Opposed by Mr. Pemberton that the sum of $10.00 be inflicted
as a fine, afterwards withdrawn.
Motion carried.
A motion was then made by Mr. Langford and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
" I beg to propose, That for the purpose of transacting the
business of this House it shall be necessary that four Members
and the Speaker be present."
Motion opposed by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by Mr. Muir.
Motion carried.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Skinner, viz. :—
" That the House having met, and not quorum, after waiting
half an hour is at liberty to adjourn until the following day, provided that the following day be not Saturday or Sunday."
Motion carried.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Skinner, viz. :—
" That the Rules of Debate and Standing Orders in the House
of Commons in England be also adopted in this Assembly."
Carried.
Law books
placed on
table.
Election petition against
Mr. Langford.
Election petition against
Mr. Pemberton.
Members 15
mins. late to
be fined.
British Rules
and Standing
Orders adopted. Ul J—
20
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
26 Aug., 1856.
Mr. Pemberton
duly qualified.
Mr.  Langford's
election  null
and void.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton, seconded by Mr.
Muir, viz. :—
"That the Speaker be added to the list of the Committee of
Elections."
Motion opposed by Mr. Skinner, seconded by Mr. Yates viz. :—
" I move, That the Speaker may not be on the Election
Committee."
Amendment carried.
A motion was then made by Mr. Muir, seconded by Mr.
Skinner, viz. :—
11 beg to move, That this Committee go into business tomorrow at 11 o'clock a.m."
Motion carried.
Previous to the aforesaid motion, the Speaker's Warrant was
presented to the House calling upon Messrs. Skinner, Muir, and
Kennedy to act on the Election Committee.
A motion was then made by Mr. Muir and seconded by Mr.
Skinner, viz. :—
" That the House adjourn until Thursday next, the 28th inst.,
at the hour of 11 o'clock."
The House then adjourned.
(\)   Sureties afterwards entered into by Mr. Yates.
(2.)  The time to be taken from the Surveying Office.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
ADJOURNED  SESSION.
August 23th, 1856, 11 o'clock a.m.
Present :
The Speaker (Mr. Helmcken), 111111
Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Muir,
Mr. Skinner,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. Pemberton.
The Chairman of the Election Committee informed the Speaker
that, after examining carefully the petition presented by Mr. Yates
against Mr. Pemberton, they were unanimously of opinion—
" That Mr. Pemberton is duly qualified to act as a Member of
the House of Assembly, and that the opposition was not frivolous
or vexatious."
The Chairman of the Election Committee then informed the
Speaker that, in reference to the petition presented by Mr. Pemberton from Mr. McKay against Mr. Langford, they were on the
preceeding day prepared to enter into the same, but Mr. Langford ——.
Vancouver Island.
21
failing to appear to defend the petition, the Committee had come
to the following conclusion, viz. :—
" That Mr. Langford having been called upon and not appearing to defend his qualification, his election therefore be declared
null and void; and that Mr. McKay having neglected to question
the qualification of Mr. Langford previous to the votes being given,
the Committee were of opinion that a new writ ought at once to
be issued for the election of a new Member."
A motion was then made by Mr. Skinner and seconded by
Mr. Muir, viz. :—
11 beg to move, that a new writ be immediately issued for a
Member to be elected for the District of Victoria in the room of
Edward Edwards Langford, whose election has been declared null
and void."
Motion carried.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton, seconded by
Mr. Skinner, viz. :—
I That respectful application be made to His Excellency the
Governor for a correct copy of the Grant of the Island and of any
other documents of a public nature calculated to throw light upon
the political position of Vancouver's Island Colony, likewise a
general Abstract of Colonial Accounts since the first formation
of the Colony up to the present time, showing the present annual
income and expenditure."
Motion carried.
A motion was then made by Mr. Skinner, seconded by Mr.
Kennedy, viz. :—
" I beg to move, That this House, being now legally constituted, is prepared to receive any Message from His Excellency the
Governor or Council.
Motion carried.
It was then proposed* by Mr. Kennedy and seconded by Mr.
Muir, That the House adjourn until this day week, viz., Thursday,
the 4th day of September.
The House then adjourned.
J. S. HELMCKEN.
HOUSE  OF ASSEMBLY.
September 4th, 1856.
Adjourned to Thursday, September 25th, 1856.
September 25th, 1856.
Adjourned to Thursday, October 2nd, 1856.
28 Aug., 1856.
New election
in Victoria
District.
Grant of Vancouver's Island.
Colonial
Accounts. 2 Oct., 1856.
Public funds.
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
October 2nd,  1856.
Adjourned to Thursday, October 23rd, 1856.
October 23rd, 1856.
Adjourned to Thursday, November 13th, 1856.
November 13th, 1856.
Adjourned to Thursday, November 27th, 1856.
J. S. HELMCKEN.
HOUSE  OF  ASSEMBLY.
November 27th, 1856.
Present :
The Speaker (J. S. Helmcken),
Mr. Skinner,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. Pemberton.
Adjourned to Wednesday, December 3rd, 1856.
J. S. HELMCKEN.
HOUSE   OF ASSEMBLY.
December 3rd, 1856.
Present :
The Speaker (J. S. Helmcken),
' Mr. Skinner,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. Pemberton,
Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. J. W. McKay.
The Oath of Allegiance was administered to Mr. J. W. McKay,
Member for Victoria.
Declaration of Qualification received and Oath of Qualification
administered to Mr. J. W. McKay, Member for Victoria.
A motion was then made by Mr. Yates and seconded by
Mr. Pemberton, viz. :—
" I beg to move, That this Assembly be informed what funds
are subject to the control of this Assembly, if any; what is the
amount, and from what source does it come, and what fund is
the royalty on coal paid into."
A motion was then made by Mr. J. W. McKay and seconded
by Mr. Skinner, viz. :— Vancouver Island.
" I beg to move, That a letter of thanks be presented to His
Excellency the Governor for his Message of November 27th, and
that the subjects contained therein will be taken into consideration
by the House at an early period."
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
" That Thos. Jas. Skinner, Esqr., be appointed Deputy Speaker
and Chairman of Committees."
Carried.
A notice was then given by Mr. Pemberton of his intention to
bring before the House, at their next meeting, "An Act for the
Adoption and Regulation of Customs Duties in Vancouver's Island."
Adjourned to Saturday, December 6th, 1856.
The following documents were received by the House from
His Excellency the Governor:—
(Copy.)
Government House,
Victoria, Vancouver's Island,
27th 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 of the 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 £6,193
has been received from .the Hudson's Bay Company for lands
purchased on their account within the Colony. 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 foi* their information in future, as 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, as I have no other copy.
(Signed)    James Douglas,
Governor, Vancouver's Island.
3 Dec., 1856.
Governor
thanked for
Message.
Deputy
Speaker.
Colonial
Accounts.
Sale   of   public
lands.
Expenditure,
year  ended
Nov. 1st, 1855.
£6,193 from
H.B.  Co.  for
lands.
Copying
documents. t.
24
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
3 Dec, 1856.
Documents
accompanying
Governor's
Message.
Customs Duties
Bill withdrawn.
First  Committee of
Supply.   *
Governor
thanked.
License Fund.
Extract from Governor Douglas' Despatch to W. G. Smith,
Esqr., Secretary, Hudson's Bay Company, dated 19th July, 1855.
Extract from Governor Douglas' Despatch to W. G. Smith,
Esqr., dated 16th October, 1856, containing an Abstract of Accounts
from November, 1854, to November, 1855.
Abstract from Surveying Department showing Sales of Land
from the commencement of the same up to December, 1854.
Copy of the Charter of Grant of Vancouver's Island.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
HOUSE  OF ASSEMBLY.
December 6th,  1856.
Present :
The Speaker (J. S. Helmcken),    JSsp
Mr. Skinner,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. Pemberton, ^||t'jfè
Mr. McKay,
Mr. Kennedy.
Mr. Pemberton withdrew his notice of his intention to bring
before the House "An Act for the Adoption and Regulation of
Customs Duties in Vancouver's Island."
A motion was then made by Mr. McKay and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
11 beg to move, That this House resolve itself into a Committee of Supply on Wednesday next, the 10th inst., at 11 a.m.,
for the purpose of considering the Governor's Message of November
27th last."
Carried.
A motion was made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by Mr. -
Skinner, viz. :—
"That the Speaker be requested to thank His Excellency
on behalf of the House for the information so promptly and
courteously afforded, and further to apply respectfully to His
Excellency for similar information for the year ending November,
1856, and likewise to ask whether there is any charge against the
License Fund, to come under their control from that date."
Carried.
The following documents were received by the House from
His Excellency the Governor:— Vancouver Island.
25
(Copy.)
Government House,
Victoria, V.I.,
6th 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 witn 31st day of October, 1853 and 1854.
I have received your Speaker's address of the 3rd 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 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. The revenue derived from the tax on licenced
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 licenced
houses for the respective years mentioned is given in the annexed
table :—
£     s.   d.
Year 1853  220   0   0
I    1854  460   0   0
„     1855  340   0   0
Those sums are also embodied in the Abstract of the Colonial
Accounts transmitted to the House.
(Signed)    James Douglas,
Governor, Vancouver's Island.
Abstract of Income and Expenditure of the Colony of Vancouver's Island for the Year ending 31st October, 1853 and 1854.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
Public Accounts,  1853
and 1854.
Funds subject
to control of
Legislative
Assembly.
Tax on licenced
houses only
revenue.
Revenue derived from
licenced houses,
1853-5.
—J 26
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
10 Dec, 1856.
Revenue from
licenced houses.
HOUSE  OF ASSEMBLY.
December 10th, 1856.
Present :
The Speaker (J. S. Helmcken),
Mr. Skinner,
Mr. Pemberton,
Mr. McKay,
Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Yates.
The following documents were received and read to the House,
viz. :—
(Copy.)
Government House,
Victoria, 10th 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 licenced houses for the year 1856, I have to inform the
House that 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.
Abstract of Income and Expenditure on account of Vancouver's
Island Colony for Twelve Months ending 31st October, 1856.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Skinner, viz. :—
" That the Speaker be requested to thank His Excellency the
Governor for his Message of this date."
Carried.
Notice was then given by Mr. Pemberton of his intention to
move for a Special Committee to inquire into the postal arrangements on Saturday next, the 13th instant, at 10 o'clock. mmmmmmmm
10 Dec, 1856.
Committee
of Supply.
Supply voted.
Vancouver Island.
The House then adjourned.
The whole House then went into a Committee of Supplies,
when the following sums were voted and passed, viz. :—
£    s.   d.
To the Governor for furnishing copies of public
documents 50   0   0
To Mr. R. Barr for services as Clerk up to 31st
December, 1856   10   0   0
Mr. A. Muir for services as Sergeant-at-Arms to
December 31st     5   0   0
Annual stipend for Clerk  25   0   0
„ for Sergeant-at-Arms    15   0   0
For heating, lighting house, &c.  20   0   0
For Stationery for House     5   0   0
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. ;—
" That the above amount be paid out of the Licence Fund for
1856.      ||1|É
Carried.
The Chairman (Mr. Skinner) reported progress and asked
leave to sit again.
The House then resumed its sitting, and the Chairman brought
up the report from the Committee of Supplies, which was agreed
upon.
The House then adjourned to Saturday, the 13th inst., at 10
o'clock.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
HOUSE  OF ASSEMBLY.
December 13th, 1856.
Present :
The Speaker (J. S. Helmcken),
Mr. Yates,
Mr. McKay,
Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Pemberton.
The " Bill for the Passing of certain monies voted by the Committee of Supplies " was read and passed.
A motion was then made by Mr. Yates and seconded by Mr.
Pemberton, viz. :—
11 beg to move, That the money received from licenses on
spirits on the 16th July, 1856, should be withdrawn from the credit
of the Trust Fund."
Licence Fund
Trust Fund. «psi
28
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
10 Dec, 1856.
Postal arrangements.
Committee
appointed.
*
Message.
Census returns.
A motion was then made by Mr. Pemberton and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
" That a Special Committee be appointed to inquire into our
postal arrangements, from what funds supported, and whether
capable of improvement."
Carried.
The Speaker then appointed Mr. Pemberton, Mr. Skinner, and
Mr. Yates to act on said Committee, and report thereupon.
A motion was then made by Mr. McKay and seconded by
Mr. Yates, viz. :—
" I move, That a requisition be made to His Excellency the
Governor for a copy of the last census of the population of the
Island, and other such statistics connected therewith."
Carried.
The House then adjourned to Thursday, December 18th, 1856.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
HOUSE  OF ASSEMBLY.
December 18th, 1856.-
Present:
The Speaker (J. S. Helmcken),
Mr. Pemberton,
Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Yates,
Mr. McKay.
The " Bill for the Passing of certain Monies voted by the
Committee of Supplies" was read the third time and passed.
The following documents were received and read to the House,
viz. :—
(Copy.)    „
Government House,
Victoria, Vancouver's Island,
17th December, 1856.
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly:
I have received Mr. Speaker's communication of the 13th 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 honor of forwarding with this letter the
documents described in the annexed Schedule. Vancouver Island.
29
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, Vancouver's Island.
No. 1. Census Returns, Vancouver's Island Colony, 1855.
No. 2. Indian Population, Vancouver's Island, 1856.
Mr. Pemberton informed the Speaker that the Committee
appointed to inquire into the postal arrangements had not yet met.
The Speaker instructed the Clerk to acknowledge the receipt
of the aforesaid documéhts from his Excellency the Governor.
The House then adjourned to Wednesday, December 24th, at
11 o'clock.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
' Committee upon
a copy:—
December 24th, 1856.
Not being five Members present, the House adjourned
April 7th, 1857.
Present :
The Speaker,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
Kennedy,
Yates,
Skinner.
Mr. Skinner brought up the report of the
postal arrangements," of which the following
We, the undersigned, appointed as a Special Committee to
enquire into the existing state of the postal arrangements., and
make any suggestion for improving the same that may occur to
us, have unanimously adopted the following report:—
That the General Post Office as at present" arranged is
conducted within a public office, and letters exposed under
circumstances which your Committee do not consider safe. Your
Committee are of opinion that the Post Office ought to be removed
to an office more private and more secure.
(Signed)     T. J. Skinner,
Chairman
James Yates.
J. D. Pemberton.
The above report was then read, and a motion made by J. W.
McKay, seconded by J. F. Kennedy, " That a copy of the same be
sent to His Excellency the Governor."
Carried nem. con.
18 Dec, 1856.
Report of Committee on postal
arrangements. 30
Minutes of Eouse of Assembly,
1857.
7 Apr.
Dangerous
descents on
roads.  .
Road to Mount
Douglas.
.Roads to
Gonzalo Pt.,
Cadboro Bay,
Deadman's
. River.
Clerk of House
resigns.
Applications
for vacant
Supply  Bill
amendments.
Mr. J. Yates presented a petition signed by a number of Colonists, complaining of the dangerous descents to bridges, the roads
being very steep and unprotected, also praying for certain improvements in roads generally, and that a road be opened to Mount
Douglas. %3tî'?'
The above petition was ordered to be read, and then Mr. J.
Yates proposed the following resolution :—
"That the consideration of His Excellency the Governor be
earnestly requested to the substance of the enclosed petition; at
the same time mentioning \ That a road to accommodate settlers in
the neighbourhood of Gonzalo Point is still more required, and a
road leading to Cadboro Bay much required. Also that the circumstances in this respect of settlers in the neighbourhood of Dead-
man's River be taken into consideration.' "
Seconded by T. J. Skinner. Carried nem. con., and a copy of
the petition ordered to be sent to His Excellency the Governor.
Mr. Barr having resigned his office of Clerk of the House, after
having performed his duties in the most exemplary manner,
T. I. Skinner proposed the following resolution : " That
the thanks of this House be given to Mr. Robert Barr for the
exemplary manner in which he has performed the duties of Clerk
of the House of Assembly of Vancouver's Island."
Seconded by J. D. Pemberton.    Carried nem. con.
A copy of the above to be sent.
The Speaker then laid upon the table a number of letters
containing applications for the vacant office of Clerk of the House.
Mr. Secretary Golledge brought a Message from His Excellency
the Governor, of which the following is a copy, of certain amendments to-the "Bill for granting certain Sums of Money for the
Use of the House of Assembly, &c." :—
1st amendment. That the words " attending the conduction of
the business " in the Preamble be omitted.
2nd amendment. That the following words, (in the 8th clause,
viz., Licences of July 16th, 1856," be expunged, and the following
inserted, vizt. ; " That the above items be paid out of the revenue
derived from the duty charged on licensed houses."
J. D. Pemberton moved, That the amendments be agreed to.
Seconded by J. W. McKay.
T. J. Skinner opposed the reception of the amendments, and
proposed the following resolution :—
"That, in the opinion of this House, the funds derived from
the licenses graiited in July, 1856, are under its control ; and that
the 8th clause of the Bill remain unamended."
Seconded by J. Yates.
The question being put, the following was the result :
Ayes—Yates, Skinner, Kennedy.
il Vancouver Island.
31
Noes—McKay, Pemberton.
Mr. Skinner's amendment was therefore carried.
Upon motion of Mr. Pemberton, the House adjourned till this
day fortnight, April 21st.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
April 21st, 1857.
The House assembled this morning.
Members present :
The. Speaker,
T. J. Skinner,
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
Kennedy.
A communication was received from His Excellency the
Governor, of which the following is a copy :—
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Speaker's
several communications of the 7th April, with the accompanying
documents.
With those documents is the " Bill providing for the Ordinary
Expenses of the House of Assembly," which the House has objected
to pass as amended by the Council.
I would observe, in reference to that Bill, that the duties
raised on licensed houses for the year 1856 were paid into the
General Colonial Fund and expended, with other proceeds of
revenue, in the service of the Colony, prior to the Convention of
the House of Assembly in August last, and for that reason are
not at our disposal.
The Council, in amending the Bill, by charging the sums
thereby granted to the revenue derivable from the same source
in 1857, were influenced solely by the knowledge of that fact, and
not from any desire to interfere with the arrangements of the
House of Assembly.
I have received the report of the Committee on postal arrangements and the petition from certain Colonists praying for the
improvements of part of public roads and for opening new roads
in the District of Victoria.
Feeling the great importance of the objects recommended in
those papers, I am of opinion that no time should be lost in providing means for initiating a postal system, securing at once the
twofold object of safety and despatch in the transmission and
delivery of letters, and also that a provision should be immediately
voted by the House for the improvement and opening of public
roads.
Revenue   from
licensed  houses
for 1856 not
available.
Public roads.
Postal system.
.   ._ j-jy 32
Minutes of House of Assembly,
Postal Estimates, £500.
Road Estimates,  £900.
Mount Douglas.
Point Gonzalo.
House  accepts
amendts.  to
Supply Bill.
The Council will cordially co-operate in all measures suggested
by the House for the attainment of those objects.
I herewith annex a scheme of the probable outlay which will
be thereby incurred.
(Signed)    James Douglas,
Governor.
Estimate of Expenditure.
Postal Expenses.
Postmaster, salary   £100
Post Office, rent, &c     100
Transmitting mails     300
£500      £500
Road Expenses.
Improvements of public road  £200
Opening road from Victoria to Mount Douglas   450
Opening road from Victoria to Point Gonzalo   250
£900
900
£1,400
The above communication having been read, Mr. Skinner moved
and Mr. McKay seconded the following resolution :—
" That on account of the communication from His Excellency
the Governor explaining that the money derived from the duties
on licensed houses had been expended previous to the creation of
this House, this House do agree to the amendments proposed by
the Honble. Council, that the various items be paid out of the
revenue derived from licenses of 1857."
Carried nem. con.
It was then moved, That the House adjourn until this day
fortnight, 10 a.m.
Carried nem. con.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker. Vancouver Island.
33
May 5th, 1857.
The House met this day.
Members present :
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
T. Skinner,
A. Muir,
. Kennedy,
The Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Pemberton asked leave to bring in "A Bill to define the
Boundaries of the Town of Victoria."
2nd. " A Bill to enfranchise the Town of Victoria."
Leave granted, and the Bills ordered to be read a first time
to-morrow morning at 10 a.m.
The House then went into Committee to take into consideration the Governor's Message relating to postage and roads. Mr.
Skinner, Chairman.
Mr. McKay moved, That the sum of £1,400, as required by His
Excellency the Governor, be voted out of the Trust Fund for the
purpose of making and repairing roads and for a better system of
postal arrangements.
Seconded by Mr. Yates.
Mr.   Helmcken  then  moved  an  amendment,   viz.,   That  the
following  Address  be  respectfully  sent  to  His  Excellency   the
Governor :—
The House of Assembly to His Excellency the Governor:
The House of Assembly respectfully acknowledges the receipt
of Your Excellency's important communication suggesting " that
means should be provided for initiating a postal system, and also
that a provision should be immediately voted for the opening and
improvement of public roads."
The House, in replying, does so with the best feeling and the
greatest respect towards Your Excellency, and wishes to observe
that there are not at present any funds at its disposal to meet the
suggestion relating to the construction of a postal system, and
considers the Colony unable to bear so large an annual expenditure
as the one contemplated (£500), the number of letters passing
through the Post Office being too small to pay the tenth of the
estimate, even supposing a heavy tax were imposed upon each.
The House therefore cannot adopt Your Excellency's suggestion, but at the same time consider and acknowledge that the
Colony is under great obligation to the Honble. Hudson's Bay Company for the kind and liberal manner in which they have carried,
gratuitously, the letters from the American shore to this Island.
Boundaries  of
Town of
Victoria.
Expenditure
of £1,400
proposed.
Governor proposes postal
system.
courtesy i
carrying
letters. Minutes of House of Assembly,
5 May,  181
Road
Estimates.
No taxation
without
representation.
House   desires
to  control
public   funds.
Taxation
injudicious.
Votes rejected.
I
Income and
expenditure.
Colonial debt.
With regard to appropriating £900 .for roads, &c, the House
is of opinion that the legitimate funds for such purposes are those
derived from sales of land, royalties, &c, but the House, having
been given to understand that the sums derived from these sources
are not under the control of the Legislature, cannot make any
appropriation therefrom, and, indeed, the documents already laid
before the House indicate that such funds have been already
exhausted.
The House has also reason to believe that the income of this
year will not more than balance the expenditure, and therefore,
if the appropriation were made, this House would be under the
necessity of raising the amount.
But the House is humbly of opinion that it would he unconstitutional to levy taxes until the Legislature be more complete,
and the towns represented as well as the districts, and the House
further conceives that before such a step were taken, as that of
raising taxes, the entire revenue ought to be placed under the
control of the Legislature of this Island, to be by them appropriated as might be deemed most expedient to the welfare of the
Colony.
The House agrees that at the present time taxation would be
injudicious, and that,the sum would press too heavily upon each,
the number of Colonists being so small.
Upon these grounds the House cannot make the appropriations
suggested.
The House can only suggest that if the roads cannot be made,
it would be advisable that their course should be plainly marked,
in.order to save settlers about such lines the labour and expense
of removing fences when the time arrives that sufficient funds shall
be at hand to complete such ways of communication.
The House of Assembly begs to assure Your Excellency of
every respect and confidence.
Mr. Kennedy seconded the above. IJlÉllf
After much discussion, Mr. McKay withdrew his motion.
Mr. Pemberton did not agree with either, as it left the question
in statu quo, but still would give his support.
The Address was then agreed to nem. con.
The House then resumed its sitting, and Mr. Skinner, Chairman of Committee, brought up the report, which was agreed to.
Mr. McKay moved, That requisition be respectfully made to
His Excellency the Governor for an Abstract of the Annual Income
and Expenditure of the Colony from its commencement until the
end of 1856. Also, if possible, to know what sums have been
expended in England by the Honble. Hudson's Bay Company
and for what purposes. If the Colony be in debt, to know to
whom such debt is owing; or if liquidated, to shew how and by
II w^m^m
mamm
- ■
Vancouver Island.
35
whom, and whether any interest is or has been paid or charged
upon such sum lent to pay the debt ; and, if so, the rate of interest
per annum and the amount already paid.
The  business  being  completed,   the  House  adjourned  until
to-morrow, 10 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
May 6th, 1857.
The House met this day.
Members present :
Mr. Speaker,
T. Skinner,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
Dr. Kennedy,      i^^
J. Yates.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That the " Bill to enfranchise the Town
of Victoria " be read a first time, and explained tfiat the " Act to
define the Town of Victoria " had been incorporated therewith.
Whereas it is advisable that the interests of all Her Majesty's
loyal subjects holding and owning fixed property in Vancouver's
Island as hereinafter described shall be represented in the Legislature of the said Island ; and whereas provision has not yet been
made for electing representatives to cities, towns, &c, as they may
arise; and whereas the Town of Victoria does at present contain
more house property and more inhabitants than some of the districts
allowed representatives in the Legislature, and is not represented;
and whereas the Legislature of Vancouver's Island has the privilege and power of extending the franchise as occasion may require :
Be it enacted, by and with the consent of the Legislature of
Vancouver's Island,—
1st. That the Town of Victoria shall from and after the
passing of this Act possess the privilege of electing two members
to serve in the House of Assembly of Vancouver's Island.
2nd. That the qualification of members to represent the constituency of Victoria be the same as required of the representatives
of districts and subject to the same laws, rules and regulations.
3rd. That the right to vote for such member or members shall
rest exclusively with the loyal subjects of Her Majesty being males
of mature age and sound intellect, able to read and write, not
convicted of any criminal offence, inhabiting and poss(ess)ing in
his own right freehold property consisting of houses or buildings
of the value of £50 (fifty) sterling or upwards in the aforesaid
Town of Victoria.
5. May,  1857.
Bill  to enfranchise and to
define Town of
Victoria.
Preamble.
Victoria
without
representation.
Two members.
Qualification
of members. 36
Minutes of House of Assembly,
6  May,  1857.
Town of
Victoria Bill
(continued).
Three months'
residence.
No  voting  by
proxy.
Companies to
vote through
principal agent.
Civil   Servants
not allowed
to vote.
Nor member
of Council.
Dispute as to
qualification  to
be settled by
arbitration.
Fee of 5s., by
whom  payable.
Town defined
as radiating
% mile from
Govt. House
(i.e., first
Govt. House
on Govt. St.).
Mr. Skinner
objects and
gives notice
of amendts.
Freehold property of 40s.
Rental of £10.
Literacy test.
4th. That no person be allowed to vote who has not resided
and possessed the required property qualification at least three
months before the day of such election.
5th. That the voting must be done in person and not by proxy,
and the voter be allowed but one vote for each member however
many houses or buildings such voter may possess in his own right.
6th. That in the event of the property to be represented belonging to a company associated together with the object of gain and
the majority of whose shareholders are British subjects, the right
to vote shall rest exclusively with the principal agent of such
company for the time being, who shall have one vote on behalf
of such company, the qualification of such company being equal to
and subject to the same regulations as that of an individual voter ;
but if the majority are not British subjects, the principal agent
shall not have a vote on behalf of such company.
7th. That no salaried officer of the Executive be allowed to
vote.
8th. That no member of Council be allowed to vote.
9th. That in all cases the proof of being a British subject shall
rest with the person tendering.
10th. In case of any dispute as to the qualification shall arise,
it shall be settled by three arbitrators or assessors, one chosen by
the claimant, a second by the Reviser, and the third by the former
two, whose decision and judgment, or that of the majority of them,
delivered upon oath to the Reviser aforesaid of the list of voters,
shall be final and binding as to the point at issue.
11th. That a fee of five shillings be payable to each assessor
for each final decision, chargeable against the revenue, if in favour
of the proposed voter, on the written order and certificate of the
Reviser of the lists of voters, appointed by the Executive, and
chargeable against the proposed voter, if such decision shall be
unfavourable, the amount being recoverable in.any Court of Law
in Vancouver's Island on the certificate of such Reviser.
12th. That for the purposes of this Act and for electoral purposes only, the Town of Victoria shall be defined as that portion
of the District of Victoria comprised within the circle whose radius
is three-quarters of a mile and whose centre is Government House.
Mr. Kennedy seconded the above Bill.
Mr. Skinner could not agree with the whole Bill, and gave
notice that he intended moving, when the Bill went into
Committee,— èv^sl?
That freehold property to the amount of forty shillings per
annum shall be entitled to a vote.
That persons paying a rental of £10 per annum be allowed to
vote.
That I not able to read and write " be expunged. ___■_
Vancouver Island.
37
Mr. McKay intends moving in Committee, That the eighth
clause be expunged.
The Bill then passed the first time, and the second reading
ordered for the 13th day of May at 10 a.m.^ until which time the
House adjourned.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
May 13th.
House  adjourned until Monday  on  account of unavoidable
absence of Mr. Pemberton.
May 18th.
House met this day.
Members present :
W. McKay,
, Yates,
. D. Pemberton,
. J. Skinner,
Kennedy,
The Speaker.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That requisition be respectfully made
for copies of laws passed by the Council and at present in force in
the Colony.
Agreed to.
Mr. McKay gave notice that at the next meeting he intended
^moving for a Select Committee to enquire into the state of education in Vancouver's Island.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That the " Bill for the Enfranchisement
of Victoria " be read a second time.
Read accordingly a second time and agreed to.
Mr. Pemberton gave notice that, on the Bill going into Committee, he intended moving, That the 7th clause be expunged.
Notice was also given that in Committee a new Clause would
be proposed : " That nothing in this Act should prevent its being
repealed, altered, or amended."
The business having been completed, the House adjourned until
Thursday week, 28th ult., at 10 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
Laws
by  Council.
Select Committee on
education.
Victoria Enfranchisement
Bill.
J s
ï
38
Minutes of House of Assembly,
28 May,  1857.
Inferior Court
of Civil
Justice.
Message from
Governor covering Public Accounts, 1855-6.
Education
Committee.
Enfranchisement of
Victoria.
Literacy test
rejected.
Mr. Speaker
votes as
member.
Freeholder's
qualification.
May 28th,  1857.
The House met this day.
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
T. Skinner,
J. Yates,
Kennedy,
The Speaker.
T. J. Skinner moved, That requisition be respectfully made
to His Excellency the Governor for information relating to the
progress of the negotiations for a Reciprocity Treaty affecting this
Colony.
Agreed to.
Mr. Yates moved, That requisition be made with every respect
to His Excellency the Governor for information relating to the
" Inferior Court of Civil Justice," the constitution of the same, and
by whose authority the said Court has been constituted.
Agreed to.
Secretary Golledge brought in a Message from the Governor,
being an Abstract of Income and Expenditure for Years '55 and
'56. Also a copy of Laws and Orders in Council as moved for
by Mr. Yates.   Neither returns being complete.
Mr. McKay—Committee on Education was then appointed,
viz., J. W. McKay, J. Yates, J. Kennedy, J. S. Helmcken, Speaker.
Mr. Yates moved, That the House do now go into Committee.
Agreed to.
Mr. Skinner in the Chair. The subject for the consideration
of the Committee being the " Bill for the Enfranchisement of
Victoria Town."
Mr. Skinner withdrew his notice of motion that 40-shilling
freeholders should have a vote.
On the reading of the third clause, Mr. Skinner moved, That
the- words " read and write " be expunged.
After discussion, the House divided.
Ayes—J. Yates, J. Kennedy, J. Skinner.
Noes—J. S. Helmcken, J. D. Pemberton, J. W. McKay.
The votes being equal, the Chair voted with the Ayes, and
therefore the words ordered to be expunged.
In the same clause J. Skinner moved, That after the £50 freeholders the following words be added: " and with similar persons,
who shall have occupied such house property for twelve months
previous to exercising the said right at a rental of £10 sterling
per annum for the entire building so occupied."
Agreed to without division.
Clause 7 being read,
Mr. Pemberton moved that the same be expunged. Vancouver Island.
39
J. Kennedy seconded the motion. After some discussion the
House divided.
Ayes—J. D. Pemberton, J. Kennedy, J. W. McKay:
Noes—J. S. Helmcken, J. Yates, T. J. Skinner  (2).
The numbers being equal, the Chairman gave the casting vote
with the Noes, and the clause therefore retained unaltered.
Clause 8 being proposed,
Mr. McKay moved that the same be expunged.
Dr. Kennedy seconded the same, o^ij
After warm discussion relating to privilege, &c, the House
divided.
Ayes—J. W. McKay, J. D. Pemberton, J. Kennedy.
Noes—J. Yates, J. S. Helmcken, T. J. Skinner  (2).
The votes being equal, the Chairman gave the casting vote
with the Noes, and therefore the clause was retained unaltered.
J. S. Helmcken, moved, That the following clause be added :—
I That the provisions of this Act shall remain and be enforced
until revoked or altered by the Legislature."
Seconded by J. D. Pemberton.
Agreed to unanimously and ordered to be placed as the final
clause, viz., 13.
The Committee having finished, the House resumed its sitting.
The Chairman of Committee then brought up the report, which
was agreed to nem. eon., and the Bill ordered to be read a third
time on Monday next.
The House then adjourned until Monday, June 1st, at 10 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
-   "        Speaker.
June 1st (1857).
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Skinner moved,—
" To know whether any royalties upon coal have been received
from Nanaimo for the year 1856; and, if not, the reason for their
being withheld."
Mr. Pemberton then moved the third reading of the " Bill for
the Enfranchisement of the Town of Victoria."
J. Kennedy seconded the motion.
28 May,  1857.
Discussion   on
Bill to Enfranchise Town
of Victoria.
1 June,  1857.
Enfranchisement of
Victoria.
I 40
Minutes of House of Assembly,
1 June, 1857.
Victoria Enfranchisement
Bill passed.
11 June, 1857
Births, Deaths,
and Marriages
Bill.
Spirituous
Liquors.
Colonial.
Church*
The Bill was then read a third time, passed, and ordered to
be sent to the Governor and Council.
The House then adjourned until Thursday week at 10 a.m.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
June 11th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
J. Yates,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Kennedy,
Mr. Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. McKay asked leave to bring in " A Bill for the Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages."
Also for "A Bill to define the Width of Roads, &c."
. Leave granted, the Bills to be read a first time at the next
meeting.
The returns previously moved for not having been received
on account of the absence of the Governor, it was proposed by
J. D. Pemberton and seconded by T. J. Skinner, "That the House
do adjourn until this day fortnight, 10 a.m."
Agreed to nem. con.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
June 25th.
The House assembled this day.
Members present:
Mr. Skinner,
Mr. McKay,
Mr. Pemberton,
Mr. Kennedy,
Speaker. ~'^1|
The Speaker laid upon the table the following returns :—
1. | An Act regulating the Importation of Spirituous Liquors." .
2. "An Act prohibiting the Gift or Sale of Spirituous Liquors
to Indians."
3. "An Ordinance establishing Regulations for the Arrangement of the Affairs of the Colonial Church at Victoria."
4. Copy of  a Communication from  Chief  Justice  Cameron,
dated Belmont, May 30th, 1857. Vancouver Island.
41
The following communications were then read by the Speaker,
from His Excellency the Governor, being returns upon these several
subjects, viz., relating to—
1. The Inferior Court of Civil Justice.
2. The Non-receipt of Royalties upon Coal for the Year 1856.
3. The Negotiations with the American Government for a
Reciprocity Treaty.
4. Copy of a Communication from Chief Justice Cameron to
His Excellency the Governor.
Mr. Skinner moved, That on the 9th of July the House resolve
itself into Committee to consider the above communications.
Seconded by Mr. Kennedy.
.Carried nem. con.
The-business of the day was now brought forward.
Mr. McKay brought forward "A Bill for the Registration of
Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Vancouver's Island and its
Dependencies.   The Bill was then read.
Mr. McKay moved that it be read a first time.
Seconded by Mr. Skinner.
Carried nem. con.
The second reading ordered for July 16th.
Mr. McKay then brought forward " A -Bill to define the Width
of Roads."    Seconded by Mr. Kennedy.
Read a first time, but will be opposed by Mr. Pemberton on
the second reading.
The business of the day having been disposed of, House
adjourned until July 9th, 10 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN.
July 16th, 1857.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
J. D. Pemberton,
Kennedy,
The Speaker in the Chair.
McKay moved, That the "Bill for the Registration of
Deaths, and Marriages " be read a second time.
Seconded by J. F. Kennedy.
Agreed to, and the Bill read a second time accordingly, and
ordered to go into Committee on July 21st.
Mr. McKay moved the second reading of the " Bill to define
the Width of Public Roads."
Seconded by J. F. Kennedy.
Mr.
Births,
25 June, 1857.
Message.
Inferior Court.
Coal royalties.
Reciprocity.
Births, Deaths,
and Marriages
Bill.
Mr.  Pemberton
opposes Bill.
Births, Deaths,
and Marriages
Bill.
Width of
Roads Bill. if
42
Minutes of House of Assembly,
I
Motion
rejeeted.
Communications from
Governor.
1856  royalties
due.
H.B. Co.'s
10 per cent,
royalty  and
Nanaimo
Coal Co.
Reciprocity
Treaty.
Address on
subject.
J. D. Pemberton opposed the Bill, and moved that it be read
that day six months.
T. J.  Skinner seconded the amendment.
The voices being equal, the Speaker voted for the motion, and
the Bill passed a second reading accordingly.
The House then went into Committee, pursuant to notice,
to consider the communications received from His Excellency the
Governor, June 25th (for which see Correspondence Book).
T. J. Skinner in the Chair.
The communication relating to the non-payment of royalties
upon coal for the year 1856 having been read,
Mr. Helmcken moved, That the following Address be agreed
to in answer to the same:—
The House of Assembly having considered Your Excellency's
communication of the 8th June, being the returns relating to the
non-receipt of royalties upon coal from Nanaimo for the year 1856,
beg humbly to observe—
That the form of indenture to land usually issued subjects
the purchaser to the payment of a royalty of 2/6 per ton upon
all coal gotten, whether sold or not, on the first day of January
in every year.
It follows, therefore, that certain royalties are due for the
coal raised during the year 1856.
This House is well aware and fully appreciate the great efforts
made by the Nanaimo Coal Company towards the improvement
of the Colony, and much regret the disadvantages under which
they at present labour.
The House, without giving an -opinion as to whether the
royalties be judicious or not, do not know whether the Hudson's
Bay Company would be willing to surrender in favour of the
Nanaimo Coal Company their private interest, viz., 10 per <;ent.
upon the royalties, or not.
The House begs to assure Your Excellency of every respect.
Agreed to unanimously.
The Committee next considered the communication from His
Excellency relative to the progress of the Reciprocity Treaty with
the American Government.
Mr. McKay moved, That the following Address be adopted in
answer thereto:—
The House of Assembly begs to acknowledge the receipt of
Your Excellency's communication of June 1st, replying to a requisition for returns regarding the progress of the negotiations with
the American Government for a Reciprocity Treaty.
This House observes with regret that such negotiation has
been brought to an abrupt termination. Vancouver Island.
43
Ever mindful of Your Excellency's manifold and earnest
endeavours to procure the free interchange of the productions
of this Island with the United States by means-of Reciprocity
Treaty, this House cordially agreeing to the propriety, advantage,
and honorable fairness of such a treaty, beg to convey their thanks
for such past exertions (as well in this as other matters calculated to promote the interest and welfare of this Colony), but
lament that such endeavours (as far as regards the Reciprocity
Treaty) have not met with the desired success, occasioned probably
by circumstances adverse and foreign to the subject itself.
The House sincerely trusts that such disappointment may not
deter from a further prosecution of the scheme, which under
happier circumstances may lead to the completion of a treaty, and
thus prevent the levying of import duties, a system cumbrous and
filled with manifold disadvantages.
Carried unanimously.
The Committee then dissolved.
Mr. Skinner, the Chairman, brought up the report, which was
adopted, and ordered to be transmitted to His Excellency.
The House then adjourned.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
July 21st.
There not being a sufficient number of Members present, the
House adjourned until
August 3rd.
The House met this day.
Members present :
J. D. Pemberton,
T. J. Skinner,
HS^'    J. Yates,
J. W. McKay,
- J. Kennedy,
The Speaker.
The House went into Committee upon the order of the day.
Mr. Skinner in the Chair.
The " Bill for the Registration of Birth, Deaths, and Marriages " was then considered, and unanimously agreed to without
amendment or erasure.
The " Bill for defining the Width of Public Roads " was then
brought forward.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That the first clause be expunged, as he
considered the Bill unnecessary and incomplete.
16 June, 185'
Address of
House on
reciprocity
negotiations.
21  July,  1857.
No quorum.
Births, Deaths,
and Marriages
Bill.
Width of
Public Roads
Bill.
Motion to
expunge
clause 1. 44
Minutes of House of Assembly,
1
i
3 Aug., 1857.
Width of
Roads Bill.
Mr. Speaker
opposes motion.
Bill lost.
Chairman';
vote.
J.
H.,
J. S. Helmcken,
Speaker.
Murderers of
Jas. Newbird.
Governor to
take proper
11 Aug., 1857.
Chairman's
vote on Width
of Roads Bill.
Bill to be
recommitted.
Mr. Helmcken opposed the motion, and considered the Bill
very much wanting (sic) and would prevent much trouble and
litigation in future. Moreover, would show every Colonist how
much the authorities could take from his estate in shape of roads,
and thus in some measure prevent the present arbitrary system.
Several members then made observations and the House
divided.
Ayes—J. D. Pemberton, J. Yates, J. Kennedy,  j
Noes—J. S. Helmcken, J. W. McKay.
The Bill was therefore considered lost. (But there is a
mistake here, as the Chairman did not vote.—J. S. H.)
Mr. Skinner brought up the report, the Speaker being in the
Chair.
Mr. Skinner wished to know whether the Executive intended
taking any steps for the apprehension of the murderers of James
Newbird.
The Speaker answered that, from a conversation he had had
with His Excellency, it appeared that steps would be taken for
their apprehensions, but as they resided in Russian Territory some
time would be consumed.
The House then adjourned.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
August 11th.
Members present :
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
J. W. McKay,
J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
The Speaker directed the attention of the House to an error
which -had been committed at last meeting, viz., that the Chairman
of Committee had not voted upon the " Bill for defining the Width
of Roads."
Mr. Skinner declared that he intended voting in favour of the
Bill.
The House after discussion considered it expedient to renew the
Committee on Friday next and to take the Bill into consideration ; upon the principle that an error having been committed was
capable of remedy.
The Speaker informed the House that a Message had been sent
from His Excellency the Governor, and read the following:— To the Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly:
I have received your Speaker's communication of 16th July
last, transmitting two Addresses from the House of the same date,
which shall have my best consideration.
I have on the present occasion to call the attention of the
House to the Ordinance of the 29th of March, 1853, which
authorises the licensing of inns, public or beer houses, and regulates the amount of duty chargeable for general wholesale and
retail licenses, but does not fix the rate of duty chargeable on
houses licensed for the sale of beer only.
An application for a beer license having been made to the
Licensing Magistrates at their late annual meeting by a respectable citizen of Victoria, it was granted accordingly, and in the
absence of a legally fixed rate, the sum of £20 was charged for
the said license.
I have now to recommend to the House that the license law
be remodelled, or a clause added to that law fixing the amount
of duty to be hereafter charged for licenses to sell beer and other
malt liquors.
(Signed)    James Douglas,
Governor.
This communication having been read, several Members made
observations censuring the assumption of extraordinary powers
by the Magistrates, whilst others defended the same on the score
of expediency. The House at last agreed to go into Committee on
the 14th inst. to consider the steps to be taken relative thereto.
Mr. McKay moved, That the " Bill for the Registration of
Births, Deaths, and Marriages" be read a third time.
The Bill was then read a third time, and upon the motion
that the Bill do pass being put, there was no opposition, and the
Bill passed accordingly, and ordered to be transmitted to His
Excellency the Governor and Council for their consideration.
The House then adjourned until August 14th, then to go into
Committee as above stated.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
Governor's
Message.
License  of
inns,  public or
beer  houses.
Recommends
license be fixed
by law.
Committee
of Whole.
Births, Deaths,
and  Marriages. SIP
46
Minutes of House of Assembly,
I
14 Aug., 1857,
Committee of"
Whole to consider  liquor
licenses.    .
Conversation
touching
licenses.
Width of
Roads Bill
withdrawn.
August 14th.
Members present:
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
J. D. Pemberton,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
The Speaker informed the House that there was no business
on hand.
The House then went into Committee pursuant to notice.
Mr. Skinner in the Chair..
The subject of the Governor's communication was then brought
forward by the Chairman reading the communication.
The Members made observations thereon, and determined that
the levying of £20 for beer licenses without the consent of the
Legislature was a breach of privilege and contrary to constitutional usage, but considered that it had not been done with such
intention, but nevertheless considered that notice ought to be taken
of the fact. The House also considered it inexpedient to legalize
the act as being a dangerous precedent.
The House therefore embodied the following resolution brought
forward by Mr. Pemberton at the instance of the Committee,
seconded by J. S. Helmcken:—
To His Excellency,' James Douglas, Governor, Vancouver's Island:
The House of Assembly in Committee have the honor to
acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency's communication of
the 5th August, 1857, suggesting their consideration of the
Ordinance of the 29th March, 1853, with a view to remodelling
the same, and beg to say the subject shall receive their closest
attention at a future period.
The House is further of opinion that the sense of the House
should 'have been taken previously to fixing the £20 rate, which
they would respectfully suggest was a breach of their privilege.
The above resolution was then unanimously agreed to.
A conversation then took place upon the subject of the amount
of the licenses, and the general opinion appeared to be that the
rates were too high, but no conclusion on this subject was come
to, the conversation being with the intention of knowing the
opinion of Members with the intention of embodying the same
in a Bill.
The next Bill brought forward was "An Act to define the
Width of Public Roads."
Mr. Helmcken begged to observe that, with the permission of
the House, he would withdraw the Bill for the present, provided
I-ai Vancouver Island.
47
that the House would consent to its réintroduction in another form
on a future occasion.
The House agreed to the proposal.
The business before the Committee having been completed,
the Chairman reported progress, &c, &c.
The Speaker then took the Chair.
.  Mr. Skinner, Chairman of Committee, brought up the report,
which was agreed to.
Upon mutual agreement the House adjourned until September
11th, previous to which, however,
Mr. Skinner asked leave to bring in "A Bill on the Subject
of Licenses to Inns, Beer Houses, &c, with a view to fix the Rate
of the Same."
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
September 11th, 1857.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. Yates,
T. Skinner,
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker.
Mr. Skinner withdrew his notice of motion on the subject of
the licensing of public houses, &c.
There being no other business before the House, the House
adjourned until this day fortnight.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
September 25th.
No business.
On the motion of Mr. Pemberton, adjourned until this day
four weeks.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
October 23rd.
No business.
I Skinner,
Kennedy,
Yates,
McKay,
The Speaker in the Chair.
14 Aug., 1857.
Liquor licenses
withdrawn.
25 Sept., 1857.
House adjourns
for four weeks.
23  Oct.,   1857.
3Œ-H I&
48
Minutes of House of Assembly,
23  Oct.,   1857.
Adjournment
for two weeks.
20 Nov., 1857.
4 Dec.,  1857.
Public   Schools
Committee
appointed.
Removal of
Victoria
School.
On the motion- of Mr. McKay, the House adjourned until this
day two weeks.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
November 6th.
No business.
Adjourned until 20th November.
November 20th.
No business.
Adjourned- until December 4th at 11 o'clock a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
December 4th.
The House met this day.
Members present :
J. Yates,
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy,
J. Pemberton,
The Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. McKay brought up the report of the Committee appointed
to enquire into the state of the Public Schools.
The Report was then read and ordered to be laid upon the
table.
Mr. McKay then gave notice, " That the House go into Committee at its next meeting for the purpose of considering the
propriety of removing the Victoria School to a position near the
Town of Victoria."
The House was then adjourned by motion to December 11th
at 10% a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker*.
if -*
Vancouver Island.
December 11th.
The House met this day.
Members present :
J. W. McKay,
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
J. D. Pemberton,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker in the Chair.
J. Yates moved for information respecting the " Bill to extend
the Franchise to the Town of Victoria," also concerning the " Bill
for the Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages."
J. Kennedy seconded the motion.
Agreed to nem. con.
J. Kennedy moved, That a copy of the Colonial Accounts for
^the year 1857 be laid before the House as early as convenient.
T. J. Skinner seconded the motion.
Agreed to nem. con.
The House then went into Committee, there being no objection
thereto.   Mr. Skinner, Chairman.
Mr. McKay then moved, That the House consider the propriety
of removing the schools to a position nearer the Town of Victoria.
J. Yates seconded the motion.
After discussion it was agreed to unanimously.
J. D. Pemberton moved the next resolution, That the school-
house at Craig Flower, being in a very delapidated condition, be
thoroughly repaired before being taken off the contractor's hands.
J. W. McKay seconded the motion.
It was also moved, That information be requested, whether
any land be legally attached to the District Schools or not; and,
if any, what extent of land is attached to each school;
The report of the Committee on Schools was ordered to be
transmitted to His Excellency the Governor and Council, with
the request that he would direct his attention to the subjects
mentioned therein.
On motion the House adjourned until next Tuesday a week
Dcmbr. 22nd.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
49
11 Dec., 1857.
Bill  to Enfranchise Town
of Victoria.
Births, Deaths,
and Marriages
BUI.
Craigflower
School in
dilapidated
condition.
Land attached
to District
Schools.
Report of
Committee  on
Schools.
ii
J mmmmmmgm
50
Minutes of House of Assembly,
I
1
22 Dec.,  1857.
Enfranchisement of
Victoria.
Births, Deaths,
and Marriages.
Liquor licenses.
Schools
"and fees.
Vote of thanks
to His Excellency:
December 22nd,  1857.
The House met this day.
Members present:
T. J. Skinner,
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Secretary Golledge brought in a communication from His
Excellency the Governor, which was opened and read,  relating
to:—
1st. The "Bill for the Enfranchisement of Victoria."
2nd. The "Bill for the Registration of Births, Deaths,  and
Marriages," which Bills are to be laid before the Council ; as also
3rd. Certain  Resolutions regarding the  Licensing of  Public
and Beer Houses.
4th. A Communication relating to Schools, and a Notice regarding the Fees authorized to be taken by Teachers.
5th. An  Account  of  the  Expenditure  for  the Year  ending
October 31st, 1857.
For all these communications see Correspondence Book, December 19th.
Mr. Skinner proposed a vote of thanks to His Excellency the
Governor for his communication.
Carried nem. con.
The  House  then  adjourned  until  the   second  Thursday  in
January.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
i/Xt"*-- Speaker.
January  14th,  1858.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy,
T. J. Skinner,
J. D. Pemberton,    '
The Speaker in the Chair.
No business.
Adjourned for a month. Vancouver Island.
51
February 14th.
No House.
No House.
March   14th.
April  8th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
J. W. .McKay,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. McKay moved, That the House go into Committee at its
next meeting to consider whether any alteration is required in
- the laws relating to the licensing of houses for the sale of spirits,
beer, &c.
Agreed to.
The House then adjourned until Monday.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
April   11th.
The House met this day.
Members present :
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
The Speaker.
His Excellency the Governor's Message of the 6th August,
1857, was then read.   After which the House went into Committee
to consider Mr. McKay's notice.
The Committee, after due consideration of the subject, adopted
the following resolutions without division:—
That no alteration is at present necessary in the law relating
to the granting of licenses for the sale of spirituous liquors.
That £50 shall be paid for a license to sell beer only.
That this can be limited to one year from its passing.
The House then adjourned until Monday next, April 15th.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
14 Feb., 1858.
14 Mar., 1858.
Committee on
Liquor Laws.
11 Apr.,  1858.
Committee on
Liquor Laws. .,     ,   ■-■■.4JS-
Minutes of House of Assembly,
III
15 Apr.,  1858,
Inns, Public
and Beer
Houses Bill.
Ale, beer, etc.,
cyder and
perry.
* One year
license.
April  15th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker.
The " Bill to amend the Law relating to the Licensing of Inns,
Public and Beer Houses " was read a first time, and is as follows :—
An Act to amend the Law relating to the Licensing of Inns,
Public and Beer Houses.
Whereas by an Ordinance published March 21st, 1853, provision was made for licensing houses for the sale of spirituous
liquors ; and whereas no provision .was at that time made for
licensing houses for the sale of beer and other malt liquors, cyder,
and perry:
Be it enacted—
That the sum payable for a beer license shall be £50 sterling
per annum.
2nd. That such license shall permit the sale of ale, beer, porter,
or other malt liqours, as well as cyder and perry:
3rd. That the law relating to licensed houses shall terminate
at the expiration of one year from the passing of this Act.
The Bill was then read a first time and agreed to nem con.
The second reading ordered for April 19th, 1858.
The House then adjourned.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
April  19th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. T. Skinner,
J. Kennedy,
J. W. McKay,
J. Yates, i-^""1iy
fS!-.'  The Speaker.
The " Bill to amend the Law relating to the Licensing of Inns,
Public and Beer Houses" was then brought forward, and the
second reading agreed to nem. con.
The House then adjourned to April 22nd. *l
Vancouver Island.
53
April 22nd.
No House.
April 29th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,     "
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
On motion of J. W. McKay, the " Bill to amend the law relating to the Licensing of Inns, Public and Beer Houses" was read
a third time.
After discussion the third reading was agreed to nem. con.
Ordered to be forward (ed)  to His Excellency the Governor
and Council.
House adjourned until this day fortnight.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
May 12th.
Members present:
J. Yates, *0|M|s'^il
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
Kennedy,
The Speaker.
Mr. Pemberton gave notice of intention to bring in " A Bill
on the Subject of Castration of Cattle crossing the Plains."
Mr/McKay asked leave to bring in "A Bill to impose a Duty
of 5 per Cent, upon all Goods imported into Vancouver's Island."
* Leave granted.
The House to go into Committee at next meeting.
House adjourned for a week.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
22 Apr.,  1858.
29 Apr., 1858.
Third reading.
12 May, 1858.
5 per cent,
duty on
imports. ff
54
Minutes of House of Assembly,
19 May, 1858.
Castration of
Cattle Bill
withdrawn.
10 June,  1858.
Petition
- against proposed 5 per
cent. duty.
Mr.   Yates  and
Surveying
Department.
Mr. Yates to
move that
iTraser River
District be
attached to
V.I.
May 19th.
The House met this day.
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
Kennedy,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Pemberton withdrew his " Bill upon the Subject of Castration of Cattle," owing to the numerous difficulties besetting the
subject, but would bring it forward on a future occasion.
Mr. McKay hoped the House would grant him a longer period
to prepare the " Bill for levying an Import Duty of 5 per Cent,
on all Goods imported into Vancouver's Island."
Leave granted.-
The House then adjourned until the second Thursday in June,
to meet at 11 a.m.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker*
June  10th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker.
Mr. J. D. Pemberton presented a petition signed by upward
of eighty Colonists against the proposed import duty of £5 per cent.
Permission was granted to read the petition, which was done
accordingly.
Mr. Yates gave notice that at next meeting " I intend putting
a question to the Surveyor-General to know by what right and
authority the services of the Colonial Surveying Department .are
employed in laying out and disposing of the private property of
the Hudson's Bay and Puget Sound Cos. ; and also whether these
Companies pay for the time and expenses occurred in doing so."
Mr. Yates also gave notice that at next meeting the House
go into Committee to consider the subject of petitioning the Home
Government to attach Frazer's River and the surrounding country
to Vancouver's Island, and to remove the same from the dominion
of the Hudson's Bay Company. Vancouver Island.
-The House then went into Committee upon Mr. McKay's
motion to levy a duty of 5 per cent, upon all goods imported
into Vancouver's Island; but allowing a drawback for all goods
re-exported. ' Mr. McKay considered a revenue necessary, and that
this was the easiest way of raising one; being a tax upon
merchants, who up to the present have not paid any taxes at all,
whilst the land-owners have paid 18 shillings upon every acre of
land they purchase.
Mr. Pemberton seconded the motion; not that he intended
supporting the same, but merely to give it discussion.
Mr. Yates rose to oppose the motion and to move, That the
Bill be read this day six months.
Mr. Helmcken seconded the amendment, and shewed that the
question had been already considered, and that the House had
already come to the decision: 1st. That before taxes were raised
the representation should be more perfect, the towns being represented as well as the districts. 2nd. That before taxes were raised
the whole revenue of the Island should be placed under Colonial
Legislature. He meant to adhere to these decisions and not to tax
people who were not represented ; moreover, no reason had been
assigned for the tax.
. Mr. Pemberton, although he seconded the motion, did not mean
to support it, because it (he) considered it illegal and injudicious
to levy duties upon British manufactures.
After some further discussion, in which it was complained that
the Bill already passed by the House for the enfranchisement of
Victoria had not been taken any notice of, the House divided.
For the motion—J. W. McKay.
For the amendment—J. Yates, T. W. (J.) Skinner, J. Kennedy,
J. S. Helmcken, J. D. Pemberton.
The motion of course lost.
The Chairman reported progress, and the House adjourned
until Tuesday next, 11 a.m.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
June   16th,   1858.
The House met this day.
Members, present :
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker.
10 June, 185S.
Import duty of
5 per cent.
No taxation
without representation.
Control of
Victoria En-,
franchisement
Bill.
1
16 June, 1858. *mm
56
Minutes of House of Assembly,
16 June,. 1858.
Colonial Surveying Dept.
and H.B. Co.
(see p. 44).
Mr. Pember-
ton's reply.
Insult to
House.
Fraser River.
H.B. Co.'
rights.
Future
Government of
district.
Conference
with Governor
Annexation of
Fraser River
District.
Mr. Yates rose and asked the questions of which he had given
previous notice.
Mr. Pemberton did not consider himself bouncl to give any
answer, and thought the House arrogated to themselves powers
they did not possess. He was not under the jurisdiction of that
House. The House did not vote his salary—in fact, he was
engaged to the Hudson's Bay Company, and to them alone was
he answerable for any official act; if he had been called upon by
the Governor and Council as well as the Assembly he would have
taken a different course, but, constituted as this House was, he
at all events would not serve them supposing he was under their
jurisdiction.
Mr. Yates considered the answer an insult to the House generally ; and would take other steps to ensure his end.
The subject was then dropped.
Mr. Skinner rose to move,—
1st. The rights and privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company
as far as relates to the exclusive navigation of Frazer's River.
2nd. Whether the Executive have assumed any authority over
that river.
3rd. By whose authority the sufferances to navigate Fraser's
River are granted ; and by what right the Hudson's Bay Company's
goods only are allowed to be carried up.
" 4th. What the intentions of His Excellency the Governor and
Council may be with regard to the future Government of the
district around Fraser's River.
5th. The House begs to assure Your Excellency that the Conference is requested solely with the intention of promoting the
interest of this Colony.
The House will meet again on Thursday at. 11 a.m., and trust
to receive an answer naming the time and place for holding the
Conference and convenient to Your Excellency.
Mr. Yates seconded the motion.
Mr. McKay opposed the motion upon the grounds that we had
no right to ask a Conference, that, in fact, we were interfering
where we were not concerned and stultifying ourselves.
. Mr. Pemberton seconded the opposition, and considered that
notice ought to have been given previous to bringing on the subject.
Mr. Skinner could only draw the attention of the House to the
importance and urgency of the subject as an excuse for the present
mode of proceeding.
After some further unimportant discussion the House divided.
For the Address—J. Yates, T. J. Skinner, J. Kennedy.
Against it—J. W. McKay, J. D. Pemberton.
Address carried.
Mr. Yates asked leave to postpone his motion for a petition to
the British Government to annex the country about Frazer's River nm
Vancouver Island.
57
to this Colony, for a week, as the Conference might afford information most important to the subject.
Leave granted.
The House then adjourned until June 18th at 11 a.m.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
June  18th.
The House met this day.
Members present :
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
The Speaker.
A Message was brought from His Excellency the Governor, of
which the following is a copy :—
The Message having been read, the House consented to meet
at the time and place appointed, and the Speaker was deputed on
the part of the House to conduct the Conference; and also to
convey the thanks of the House to His Excellency for the courtesy
shewn.
At 3 o'clock p.m. the Members mentioned as having been
present at the House assembled at Government House, and there
met His Excellency the Governor, John Work, and Roderick
Finlayson, Councillors.
His Excellency commenced by stating that any information he
possessed would be cordially given ; but that which was in process
of negotiation he could not inform the House excepting in confidence, and that this part must by no means be made public.
1st. With regard to rights of the Hudson's Bay Company:
These rights were granted to them by license.
The Speaker suggested that this license referred to trade with
Indians only, and not to white men ; but His Excellency suggested
that there were no white men at that time in the country ; but,
further, he had received advices from the Home Government which
left no doubt that the Hudson's Bay Company did possess the
exclusive right of navigation and trade.
2nd. As to whether the Executive had assumed any authority
over that river: He had not assumed any power, but he being
the representative of the Crown had stepped in to preserve law
and order as in duty bound, and had made regulations enforcing
the navigation laws of Great Britain. He had allowed persons to
go up and granted them a license to mine; he had appointed
Custom-house officers ; he had appointed Justices of the Peace ; and
16 June, 1858.
Conference
with Governoi
on Fraser R.
At Government House.
Councillors
present.
Confidential
communications.
Governor defines  position.
Liw and order
preserved.
Government
established. f
58
Minutes of House of Assembly,
18 June, 1858.
Conference
with  Governor
on Fraser R.—
(Continued).
Speaker's
query  touching
navigation.
Governor's
reply.
No power to
abrogate  Co.'s
rights.
Treaties sacred
and binding.
H.B. Co's exclusive rights
of trade and
navigation.
Miners'
supplies.
No authority
to lessen Co.'s
Tights.
Serious situation of miners
Governor
replies.
Action illegal,
but not unjust.
Danger of
starvation.
Injurious
effect of trade
restrictions.
he had called upon H. M. S. " Satellite " to aid and assist in the
prevention of the violation of the navigation laws..
The Speaker wished to know whether, having taken or undertaken the government of Fraser's River, this in itself did not
abrogate the right of the Company to exclusive navigation; but
His Excellency replied that it was entirely out of his power to
abrogate any of the rights or privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company ; in fact, as far as he had gone he had received the sanction
of the Hudson's Bay Company's officers out here. Moreover, that
the British Government regarded treaties as sacred and binding
in all cases.
3rd. As regards the point by whose authority the " sufferances " to Frazer's River are grant(ed) ; His Excellency replied,-by
the power vested in him as representative of the Crown, and also
by consent of Hudson's Bay Company's agents ; and as regards the
point as to what right the Hudson's Bay Company's property only
is allowed to be carried up, he must reply that the Company, as
already said, having the exclusive right to the trade and navigation, necessarily excludes any other's property being taken up
except by permission.
The Speaker suggested that the miners having been allowed
to go up, and as the Government had more or less taken control
of the river, it would almost be supposed (to) follow that these
people had a right to be supplied with provisions exclusive of the
Company's monopoly, and therefore that British vessels had the
right to proceed there (having cleared here, of course) for that
purpose ; that is to say, to supply their natural wants.
But His Excellency replied that he" must say again he Had
no (authority) to diminish or lessen the Company's rights and
privileges.
The Speaker suggested that the H. B. Co. had not the means
of supplying the large number of persons that would be at the
mines within a short time; and that it appeared probable that
starvation, or matters equally seriotts, would probably happen; it
would therefore be considered be proper to allow vessels to trade
provisions.
His Excellency replied that all these matters had received very
serious and severe, deliberation, and already permission had been
granted to two American steamers to carry passengers and provisions under certain restrictions; and in allowing this he had
been compelled by necessity, and that necessity had also compelled
him to act more or less illegally, but not unjustly; if necessity
should compel, of course permits would be granted to other vessels
for like purposes, and that everything possible would be done to
avoid the dangers of starvation.
The Speaker suggested also that merchants in England, seeing
the restrictions put upon trade, would be very unlikely to send out Vancouver Island.
59
ships with supplies and emigrants or passengers, thus committing
a double injury, first to our country, and secondly to our Colony ;
and also it was to be feared that merchants would suppose that,
as the Hudson's Bay Company could be the only or at least the
only great purchasers, they would be more or less at the mercy of
this Company, who would only give whatever price they pleased;
that is to say, the ships could not have any other market to take
their supplies to.
But His Excellency replied that, far from haying the effect
the Speaker so much feared, it would have exactly the contrary;
and that he thought it offered greater inducements to British
merchants than an open trade would do. And as regards the
price of articles, that depended entirely upon supply and demand,
and he was quite sure, and the House must also know, that the
Hudson's Bay Company were upright and honorable and not likely
to stoop to unfair dealing.
4th. As regards the fourth clause relating to the future Government of Frazer's River, he must apprize the deputation that,
as this was a matter at present under negotiation, he could not
make it known ; but in confidence, and that the House might know
the general outline of his policy, he would read extracts from his
last Despatches to the Home Government.
The Speaker wished to inquire whether the Hudson's-Bay
Company having the exclusive right to trade could transfer any
part of their right to others; that is to say, whether they could
grant sufferances to other vessels to trade.
The Governor suggested that the Company ^did not transfer
their rights ; in fact, that the regulations and stipulations did not
interfere with their rights ; and that the House must recollect that
it was the conjoint act of the Governor and the Governor as part
of the Hudson's Bay Company.
His Excellency. remarked that he-had been actuated by motives,
in the first place, to do every justice to the Hudson's Bay Company; and, secondly, to promote by every legitimate means the
welfare and prosperity of the Colony. He would be always willing
to give the House every information and was pleased that this
Conference had been asked. .
The Speaker replied that the Conference had been asked, first,
for the sake of information ; it being the misfortune of the House
of Assembly not to possess any Government Member ; that is to
say, any one to supply information upon the acts and intentions
of the Governor and Council; and, secondly, that the information,
afforded verbally would save His Excellency an immense amount
of trouble in writing, which it was also intended to obviate, as the
House was well aware that His Excellency was at the present
time very much harrassed, and they did not wish to add unneces-
18 June, 1858.
Conference
with  Governor
on Fraser R.—
(Continued).
Monopoly  of
supplies feared.
Governor declares control
by Co. would
have  contrary
effect.
Future govt,
of Fraser  R.
District.
Confidential
negotiations.
Power of Co.
to transfer
rights.
Co.'s rights not
affected by
Colonial
regulations.
Justice to Co.
and advancement of
Colony.
Mr. Speaker
explains position of House. m
60
Minutes of House of Assembly,
18 June, 1858.
Conference
with  Governor
on Fraser R.—
(Concluded.)
25 June,  1858.
Motion to
attach Fraser
R. District
falls.
3 July, 1858.
Application for
charter to
supply Victoria
with water.
Mr.  Pemberton
asks for
particulars.
sarily to his trouble ; but as the House had a duty to perform,
viz., to endeavour to promote the interest and welfare of their
constituents, or rather of the Colony, that had chosen to ask
information previous to pledging themselves on the subject. He
in the name of the House begged to thank His Excellency for the
courtesy shewn, and did not think any great difference of opinion
existed (now that all had been explained) between those entertained Joy the House and His Excellency.
The deputation then withdrew.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
June 25th.
No House.
Mr. Yates' motion relating to a petition to the Home Government to attach Fraser's River to this Colony falls to the ground.
July 3rd.
The House called together at the request of His Excellency
the Governor.
Members present :
T. J. Skinner,
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
The Speaker.
The Speaker read a petition received from the Governor, and
signed by Messrs. Peck, Anderson, Young, and Pearse, offering "to
form a company for supplying the Town of Victoria with water
at one cent the gallon, provided that the monopoly of supplying
the Town of Victoria with Water were graerted to them for the
term of fifty years,  at the expiration of which period all the
property of the said company should fall to and be vested in the
Corporation of the said Town of Victoria.
After some discussion thereon, in which the urgency of the
case was allowed and the necessity for a supply of water admitted
by all,
Mr. Pemberton (Victoria) proposed the following resolution :—
That this House is of opinion that an exact and definite scheme
should have been proposed, with correct plans and estimates shewing its feasibility and probable profits. The water company should
also state all particulars as to its formation, the number and
amount of shares and stockholders, and the amount of capital that
would be lodged previous to obtaining any grant of monopoly from
this House. Vancouver Island.
61
Mr. Yates (Victoria) seconded the resolution, which was
unanimously agreed to.
Mr. McKay (Victoria) then asked leave to bring in "A Bill
upon the Subject of the Registration of Real Estate."
Leave granted. The first reading to be taken on Thursday
next.
The Speaker next informed the House of his intention to ask
permission of Honourable Members to retire from his present
position, and hoped that the Honourable Members would elect
another to fill the Chair.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
July 9th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
A petition was presented from Messrs. Anderson and Pearse
remarking upon the subject of the resolution of the House of the
3rd inst., intending to shew the impossibility of forming a company
excepting the House should first grant them the privileges prayed
for in their petition.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That this House cannot re-enter upon
the question excepting the resolution of the House be complied
With.
He remarked 'Miat in all cases of companies being formed
plans and calculations were made shewing the feasibility of the
enterprise. He "also considered that the House could not enter
upon such subjects without having accurate data upon which to
found an opinion. The object of Government in such cases being
to prevent ill-informed perlons sustaining severe losses by fraudulent or frivolous schemes. Moreover, he did not consider it becom
ing the dignity of the House to pledge themselves upon any private
question. He was also well aware that preliminary expenses were
incurred, but such expenses could not be avoided and were part
of the scheme. He felt quite sure that the House would lend their
assistance to any scheme which would tend to advance the prosperity and comfort of the Colony.
T. J. Skinner seconded the resolution, which was unanimously
agreed to.
3 July, 1858.
9 July, 1858.
•Petition frc
Water Co.
Full information demanded.
Motion carried.
ii
—
r 62
Minutes of House of Assembly,
9 July, 1858.-
Land Registry
Bill.
Resignation of
Speaker.
Dissolution
of House
suggested.
Speaker
withdraws
resignation.
Excited period.
19 July, 1858.
Mr. McKay asked leave to postpone the first reading of the
" Bill on the Subject of the Registration of Real Estate " for ten
days.
Leave granted.
The Speaker then brought forward the request of which he
had given notice, viz., to allow him to resign the office of Speaker.
Mr. Pemberton hoped Mr. Speaker would reconsider the matter.
He was only speaking the sentiments of the House in saying that
every Member would regret to lose the services of one who had
become invaluable.
Mr. Skinner coincided with the views of the Honourable
Member for Victoria, and hoped that Mr. Speaker would reconsider
the question, but if Mr. Speaker persisted in his wish to retire
he would propose that His Excellency the Governor be requested
to dissolve the House.
Mr. Yates would support the Honourable Member for Esquimalt, but would beg Mr. Speaker to retain the Chair some time
longer, as it must be well known that as soon as the Government
of the Island was changed the House would be dissolved.
The Speaker expected fully to be allowed to resign, but as
the question had now become so complicated, that is to say, that
if he resigned the House would petition to be dissolved, he must
consent to act for a time longer, because he did not consider the
present excited period a fit time for a general election, although
he considered a new election advisable.
The House then adjourned for ten days.
J. S, HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
July 19th.
Members present:
J. Yates,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy, %
The Speaker.
A petition was presented from Messrs. Young, Anderson, and
Pearse. WÈ&ÊÈ
Ordered to be taken into consideration on Tuesday next.
Mr. McKay begged leave to postpone his motion for two weeks.
Leave granted.
House adjourned until Tuesday next, July 27th.
j. s. helmcken;
Speaker. Vancouver Island.
63
July 27th.
House met this day.
Members present :
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy,
T. J. Skinner,
J. Yates,
The Speaker.
The Speaker begged to call the attention of the House to the
great need at present existing of some place to provide for the
destitute sick, of whom several existed.
. Also to call the attention of the House to the subject of the
funds still remaining unappropriated from the License Fund of
last year, and also hoped the House would move for returns of
the amount derived this year from the same source, with a view
to the House going into Committee to vote supplies for the ensuing,
or rather present year.
A petition was presented by Mr. Skinner from Henry Toomy
for self and associates upon the subject of obtaining the privilege
of supplying the Town of Victoria with gas.
Petition ordered to be taken into consideration on Tuesday
next, and Mr. Toomy requested to be present upon the House going
into Committee.
Mr. Skinner then brought forward the following resolution :—
That an humble request be presented to His Excellency th(
Governor that he will cause the springs and" land adjacent to the
old well which formerly supplied the Town of Victoria with water
to be reserved for the uses of the public, and on no account to be
sold at present to any private individual or joint stock company.
Agreed to unanimously after having been seconded by Mr.
Yates.
The House then went into Committee upon the subject of th(
petition of Messrs. Anderson, Young, and Pearse concerning the
water company.
After the petition had been read and the question discussed,
Mr. Pemberton moved, That the Committee are of opinion thai
the resolution of the House of July 3rd had in no way been complied with by the petitioners, Messrs. Anderson, Young, and Pearse,
but would recommend the House to grant a monopoly for a term
of ten years to a joint stock company proving itself the best quali
fled to supply the Town of Victoria with water in the most
economical and satisfactory manner and at the earliest period.
Mr. McKay seconded the resolution, which was subsequently
agreed to nem. con.
Destitute sick.
License Fund.
Address to
Governor.
Reservation of
springs for
public use.
Monopoly for
ten years.
Motion carried.
—— 64
Minutes of House of Assembly,
Dangerous
condition of
bridges and
pathways.
Committee
appointed.
The House then resumed its sitting. Mr. Skinner brought up
the report of the Committee, which being agreed -to,
A desultory conversation took place upon the subject of the
dangerous condition of the bridges and obstruction to the pathways
at present. Mr. Pemberton undertook to lay the whole matter
before the Executive; not that he had any authority, but because
he had hitherto undertaken that Department, and had formerly
caused a notice to be published prohibiting galloping over the
bridges, which he foresaw would lead to the evil now complained
of.
The House then adjourned until Tuesday next to meet at
11 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
August 3rd.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,.
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
Mr. Yates moved, That a Committee be appointed to enquire
into the state and discipline of the Public Prison, and to report
thereon at the very earliest period.
Mr. Skinner seconded the motion.
The Speaker suggested that notice ought to have been given
of the motion, but if the House had no objection to enter upon the
subject they might do so.
The House agreed to the motion, and the following members
appointed to act on the Committee: T. J. S&inner, James Yates,
J. Kennedy.
The Committee to deliver report, on Thursday next.
Mr. McKay begged to move for returns of monies received, for
the licenses from inns, public and beer houses, the names of the
parties holding such licenses, and for any other funds at the disposal of the House.
Agreed to.
Mr. McKay then brought forward the "Bill for the Registration of Deeds, &c."
The Bill having been read, Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion,
After which the first reading was  agreed  to  and the Bill
ordered to be printed
The second reading to be taken this day fortnight. Vancouver Island.
The Speaker informed the House that the Committee of the
House to enquire into the petition of Mr. Henry Toomey relating
to a gas company had been postponed until Thursday at 10 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
August 5th.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton, .
J. Yates,  •
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker. *
Mr. Skinner begged leave to ask whether the Colonial school-
house had been taken for a private residence ; and, if so, by whose
authority.
Mr. Pemberton tried to explain the matter, but information
to be requested from the Governor.
Mr. Skinner, seeing the Honourable Member, the Colonial Surveyor, in his place, begged to be informed whether the Victoria
Bridge is capable of being opened or not, and if sufficient room
existed for the passage of ships.
Mr. Pemberton explained that the bridge could be opened, by
(but) that it was difficult and he thought dangerous to the struck
ture. When opened it would only admit small craft, for which it
had been at (in)tended. There might be some temporary means
adopted whereby ships of larger size could be admitted.
Ordered to be considered at 'next meeting.
Mr. Skinner brought in the report of the Committee appointed
to enquire into the state and discipline of the Public Prison and
to report thereon.
Ordered to be read and the recommendations of the Committee
to be" taken into consideration at next meeting, Tuesday next at
11 a.m., and in the meanwhile the report to be sent to His Excellency the Governor.
At the next meeting it was proposed to take into consideration
the propriety of erecting a Public Hospital.
The House then went into Committee to consider Mr. Toomey's
petition with regard to supplying the Town of Victoria with gas.
After much discussion the following resolution was agreed to :—
That your Committee would do all in their power to promote
/lighting the Town of Victoria with gas; but until the Town of
Victoria is represented and incorporated, your Committee do not
think it advisable that any steps should be taken in the matter.
The House then resumed.
5
3 Aug., 1858.
Gas Co.
Victoria
Bridge.
Opening
dangerous.
Report on
Public Prison.
Public
Hospital. 66
Minutes of House of Assembly,
5 Aug., 1858.
10 Aug.,  1858.
I
Returns.
Licenses.
Old wells.
Fees.
Securities.
Com.   adjourns.
The Chairman brought up the report, which was agreed to.
The House adjourned until Tuesday next, 11 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
August 10th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. D. Pemberton,
T. J. Skinner,
J. W. McKay,
J. Kennedy,
The Speaker.
Communication received from His Excellency the Governor
relating to:—
1st. Returns of Monies arising from Duties on Public Houses.
2nd. Information of Instructions having been given to reserve
the Springs and Lands adjacent to the Old Wells for the Use of
the Public.
3rd. Information regarding the School-house, Victoria, being
Information asked for as per Resolution of the House of August
5th.
4th. A Communication relative to the Necessity of enlarging
the Prison and raising .Funds for the Erection of the same and
other matters
For which see Correspondence Book.
Mr. Skinner gave notice that at the second reading of the
" Bill for the Registration of Deeds," he intended to move,—
1st. That in lieu of £1,200 salary, the office and officials should
be paid by fees received from those registering.
2nd. That a Schedule of Fees should be made out.
3rd. That securities should be required of the Registrar.
Upon motion that the House go into Committee,
Mr. Pemberton moved, That the Committee adjourn for a week,
in consequence of the indisposition and absence of certain Members
whose presence was desirable, particularly since the communication
from His Excellency.
Mr. McKay seconded the motion, which was agreed to nem.
con., and the House adjourned until Tuesday next at 11 a.m.
-^p^ J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker. Vancouver Island.
August 17th.
The House met this day at 11 a.m.
Members present :
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
J. Yates,
J. Kennedy,
I  J. Muir.
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.       pa§p
Mr. Skinner presented a petition from Mr. Toomey upon the
subject of a gas company.
Ordered to be laid upon the table.
Mr. Yates moved for returns of the number of vessels entered
at the Custom-house since March 1st, 1858, and the amount of
dues collected from the same.
The number of officers engaged in the Customs Department,
with their salaries, and whether they are British subjects or not.
Also for a copy of the Customs Regulations as passed by
the Governor and Council, and to what purpose the dues are
appropriated.
Agreed to.
Mr. McKay moved the second reading of the "Bill for establishing a Registry of Deeds."
Mr. Skinner moved, That in lieu of £1,200 a year salary, the
office and officials should be paid by the fees received from those
registering.
2nd. That a Schedule of Fees should be made out.
3rd. That securities should be given by the Registrar.
After some discussion, Mr. McKay consented to No. 2 and 3,
and it was agreed that No. 1 should be considered when the House
went into Committee upon the Bill.
The Bill was then read a second time, and ordered to go into
Committee, August 24th at 11 a.m.
The House then resolved itself into Committee as agreed upon
to consider the communications received from His Excellency,
August 10th.   Mr. Skinner, Chairman.
The Communication of His Excellency relating to the Prison
at Victoria and Hospital was first brought forward, and after
discussion the following address agreed to nem. con. •*—
The House begs to acknowledge thé receipt of Your Excellency's communication of August 9th relating to the Public
Gael, and incident upon the report transmitted to Your Excellency.
The House of Assembly, in answer to that communication,
adopt the recommendations of the Committee appointed to enquire
into the state and discipline of the Public Gaol, a copy of which
17  Aug.   1858.
Harbour -dues.
Customs
Department.
Customs
Regulations
and dues.
Second reading.
Prison and
Hospital.
Public Gaol. 68
Minutes of House of Assembly,
I
17 Aug., 1858.
Public Gaol
and   Hospital.
Hospital.
Object of
public   charity.
Government
assistance.
Removal of
school-house
P. 39.
School   grant.
Effect  of
gold-rush.
School properly
placed.
is herewith transmitted, and furthermore think it advisable that
a portion of the new addition to the Prison should be so planned
as to serve the place of an Hospital for sick prisoners, and that
the building should be made chiefly for the purpose of keeping
the non-convicted from the convicted.
The House considers that the expense of such a building need
not exceed the sum of £500, and the mode of defraying the same
will be considered in Committee of Ways and Means.
With respect to the erection ,of a Public Hospital, the House
does not consider that such an institution should be supported by
the Colonial Government, but think that such benevolent objects
should be left to the good feeling and charity of the public; but
at the same time the House agrees that when such an institution
is properly projected and in process of being carried out, the
Government should lend assistance to the scheme and promote
the same in every constitutional way, always premising that the
Medical and Surgical staff of such Hospital should be composed
of British subjects possessing a proper diploma. ^St-jfe
The preceeding Address proposed by J. Yates and seconded by
J. • D. Pemberton, and agreed to unanimously.
The second communication brought forward was that relating
to the Victoria School-house.
The House begs to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency's communication of August 9th relating to the Victoria
School-house, being information asked for as per resolution,
August 5th.
The House with every respect would observe that by a resolution of the House of December 11th, 1857, and transmitted to Your
Excellency, the removal of the school-house was recommended, but
the House not having received any answer to that recommendation
supposed that such resolution was not deemed advisable by the
Executive, particularly as 10 acres of land surrounding the same
were secured to the school after the recommendation of removal
was made.
In consequence of the discovery of gold in considerable quantities about Frazer's River, Victoria, from being a small village
of a few acres in extent, has now increased (judging from the
quantity of land sold) to three or four miles in circumference, and
likely to become a place of importance, and the Victoria School-
house instead of being a mile away from the town is actually at
present upon the very border of it.
It is also to be observed that the said school-house belongs to
the District of Victoria and paid for out of the funds derived from
the sales of land, &c, and being situated in the District of Victoria
may be now considered as properly placed, particularly as the
Town of Victoria when incorporated or properly organized will 9k
Vancouver Island.
69
require a school for its own inhabitants and payable out of its
own funds.
With respect to the school-house (Victoria) being made over
to the Customs Department, the House would humbly submit
the proceeding to be impolitic, and considers it inexpedient, unnecessary, and unadvisable to supply the officers of the Customs
Department with private residences, as this would be entailing
an unjustifiable and superfluous expense upon the Colony, and
which in process of time would become a great evil and burden
of some magnitude. Moreover, the House considers that officers
of the Customs Department should reside near to where their
services are most likely to be required, and the school-house being
at least a mile from any part of Victoria Harbour, the House deems
that building under any circumstances unsuited for the purpose.
For these reasons the House would humbly submit:—
1st. That the Victoria District School-house be allowed to
remain in its present situation and be put into a proper state of
repair.
2nd. That it is inexpedient, unnecessary, and. unadvisable to
supply officers of the Customs Department with private residences.
The above answer brought forward by J. S. Helmcken and
seconded by Mr. Yates. v     .
Mr. Pemberton moved, That the words " unnecessary and
unadvisable" be left out; but after discussion the sense of the
Committee was against, and subsequently the Address was agreed
to unanimously.
Mr. Kennedy then moved the following Address in answer to
the returns of money over which the House had control.
Seconded by Mr. Muir.
The House begs to thank Your Excellency for the returns of
money over which the House has controul.
The House observes with surprise that no licenses have been
taken out by any one for the District of Nanaimo, although it is
very well known that large quantities of spirituous liquors are
consumed there.
The House trusts that enquiry will be made into this matter
and steps taken to enforce the law in that district.
The House also observes that no notice has been taken of the
balance remaining in hand from the License Fund of last year.
The House further considers that the income of the Customs
Department is also under the control of thé Legislature, such
income being derived in virtue of regulations made by the Colonial
Government.
Unanimously agreed to.
Mr. Pemberton then moved the following resolution relating
to the Victoria Bridge, .concerning which he had been asked at last
meeting :—
17 Aug., 1858.
School-house
as  residence
for Customs
officers.
Revenues
controlled
by House.
Nanaimo
licenses.
Victoria
Bridge. 70
Minutes of House of Assembly,
Victoria
- Bridge.
24  Aug.   1858.
Capt.  Stamp.
Mr. Toomey.
Bridge
question.
Swing bridge.
The Committee is of opinion that the Colonial Surveyor be
empowered to widen the opening in Victoria Bridge, with a construction proper for the purpose, and that a sufficient sum be
placed at his disposal for that purpose.
This resolution was agreed to upon the understanding that
the expenses should not exceed £1,000.
The business of the Committee being now completed, the
House resumed its sitting.
The report of the Committee was brought up and agreed to.
After which it was moved, That the House go into Committee
of Ways and Means this day fortnight.
Agreed to.
The House then adjourned until Tuesday next, 11 a.m.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
August 24th.
The House met this day.
Members present:
J. D. Pemberton,
J. W. McKay,
J. Yates,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
A petition was presented from Messrs. Nelson &
praying for permission to lease the springs and old well for the
purpose of supplying the Town of Victoria with water.
Also a petition from Captain Stamp for permission to form
a company to supply the Town of Victoria with water.
These two petitions, also that of Mr. Toomey, to be taken into
consideration this day week.
A petition was also brought forward, but being written in
French was turned back, as the House could not receive petitions
presented in a foreign language.
Mr. Pemberton then wished the House to reconsider the question of opening the bridge. Whether it would not be better to
build a new one at Point Ellis.
The Speaker informed the Honourable Member that, according
to the Rules of the House, the same subject could not be twice
considered during the same Session; excepting permission was
obtained by motion from the House.
Motion made that reconsideration be granted.
Granted nem. con.
Mr. Pemberton then moved, That the resolution of the House
of the 16th inst. to make a swing bridge in the present Victoria Vancouver Island.
71
e be reconsidered, with the intent to make a new bridge at
Ellis, with proper" approaches and containing a draw or
bridge.
Dhe House agreed to go into Committee upon the subject on
next at 11 a.m.
Jpon motion that the House do now go into Committee upon
'Bill for Registration of Deeds," Mr. McKay explained that
id. not been able to prepare a Scale of Fees, and begged to
draw the Bill in order to render it more complete and reintro-
it at a future period.
Leave granted.
The House then adjourned until Friday next at 11 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
Certain communications were also received from His Excellency the Governor which were ordered to be taken into consideration on Friday next.
September 17th.
House met to-day, the first time since August 24th.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
The Speaker.
Mr. Pemberton presented a petition from certain restaurant-
keepers (French)  complaining of their not being allowed to sell
wines (an indispensable commodity)  to their customers.
Mr. Pemberton gave notice of leave to bring in a Bill upon
the subject, and moved that it be read a first time to-day after
Committee.
The House then went into Committee upon His Excellency's
letters received at last meeting.
The first brought forward was that relating to licenses not
having been taken out for Nanaimo.
Mr. Skinner (Chairman) thought the Message disrespectful
to the House ; they were not common informers, and had done theii
duty in calling the attention of the Executive to the subject.
Mr. Pemberton considered the letter a very sensible one and
to the point ; he did not think the Executive was the proper power
to prosecute.
After discussion the following Address was agreed to:—
, 1858.
dge at
Registration of
Deeds Bill
withdrawn.
See Correspondence  Book,
Aug. 24,  1858,
17 Sept., 1858.
indispensable
commodity."
Governor's
Message.
Message
disrespectful. Minutes of House of Assembly,
17 Sept., 1858.
House replies
to Governor.
Revenues  and
expenditures,
1S57-1858.
" Insult  to
the House."
Address
in reply.
. School  land
(grant.
With every respect the House of Assembly acknowledge Your
Excellency's communication? of August 23rd in answer to theirs of
17th of same month. wÊÈÈk
The House, in replying, do so with all deference, and beg to
thank Your Excellency for the suggestion contained in the first
paragraph, but find themselves relieved from following the same
in consequence of the Nanaimo Coal Company (these being the
only land-owners in that district) having taken out a license.
In regard to the second paragraph wherein it is stated " That
the House has consequently the means of ascertaining through i+
own records what sums were voted for the service of the year, and
what balance, if any, remains disposable for the current yeai " :
The,House begs with all deference to observe that although an
account of the expenditure for the year 1857 to 1858 had been laid '
before the House, yet the account of the income of the same year
had not been received.
The House therefore was under the necessity of taking the
trouble to refer to Your Excellency for information which doubtless
would have been willingly given had Your Excellency been aware
of the circumstance alluded to above. ,
The House regrets giving Your Excellency so much trouble,
but beg for an account of the income for the year ending October
31st, 1857, particularly distinguishing the amount received from
the licences to inns, public and beer houses.
The next letter was that relating to the Victoria District
school-house.
Mr. Helmcken brought forward the following, after stating
that he considered part of the letter an insult to the House:—
House of Assembly,
September 17th, 1858.
The House of Assembly, in Committee assembled, beg to
acknowledge Your Excellency's communication of August 23rd,
being an answer to an Address of the House of the 17th inst.
relating to the intended removal of the Victoria District School,
and the occupation of the school-house by the Customs Department.
The House, in replying to the communication of August 23rd,
do so with the utmost respect, and remark that the contract for
building the new school-house not having yet been issued from the
office, and the designs even unprepared, it would not seem impossible that the wish of the House not to remove the Victoria District
School might not be agreed to or complied with, and in the hope
that such may still be done the House with all deference would
remark that the ten acres of land attached to the Victoria District
School are the peculiar property of that school and cannot be
b. Vancouver Island.
73
alienated excepting with the consent of the Legislature. The
House of Assembly object to the same being alienated, as they
consider that ultimately this estate will be of the greatest importance to the institution in question, and even supposing the school
to be removed (which they trust may not be the case) the estate
must still remain the property of the Victoria District School.
With regard to the school-house being removed to the Church
lands, the House is further of opinion that the same is unadvisable,
the school not being in any way connected with the Church, has no
right whatever to usurp her land, which ere long she may require
for her own peculiar purposes ; in fact, it would appear unconstitutional to alienate the one or appropriate the other.
The House beg leave also to remark that the representatives
of the District of Victoria, to which the school belongs, are the
exponents of the opinions of the inhabitants of Victoria.
A rather stormy discussion ensued, in which members retreated
from the former deliberate opinion, and ultimately
Mr. Pemberton moved the following amendment :—
" That this House is of opinion that Your Excellency's answer,
dated August 23rd, in relation to removal of a certain school-house,
is quite satisfactory, and that it is not their province to take active
Steps in such matters until required to do so by petition or by
the voice of the people otherwise expressed."
After considerable merriment at the expense of the author, the
House divided.
For the amendment—J. D. Pemberton, J. W. McKay.
For the Address—J. S. Helmcken, J. Yates, J. Skinner.
The Address consequently carried..
The Governor^ Address with reference to the Public Gaol now
came on, and the following answer thereto brought forward:—
House of Assembly,
September 17th, 1858.
The House of Assembly, in Committee, beg to acknowledge
Your Excellency's communication of August 23rd relating to the
enlargement Of the Victoria Prison; wherein reasons are given
shewing such recommended enlargement to be both unadvisable
and impossible. ^^£;S
The House was not aware of the objection entertained by the
Hudson's Bay Co. upon the subject, but such being the case the
House presumes a new one will have to be erected, and is moreover of opinion that the proper funds for (that purpose are) (sic)
defraying the expenses of. such building are those derived from
the sales of land, and over which funds the House, as stated by
Your Excellency, has no control.
17 Sept., 1858.
District School
land grant.
Removal of
school to ■
Church  lands
undesirable.
Governor's
proposal
satisfactory.
Amenât, lost.
Message,
Victoria
Prison.
New Prison.
Cost charged
to land sales. 74
Minutes of House of Assembly,
17 Sept., 1858.
New Prison.
Customs
returns.
Salary,
Collector  of
Customs.
Customs
Regulations.
Harbour da
Liquor Licenses.
Act amended.
Sale of wines.
Billiards,
bowling, etc.
The House therefore is relieved from voting any sum of money
for the above purpose.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That in place of " the House presumes "
the words " the House strongly recommends " be substituted.
After much spirited discussion the same was negatived and
the Address carried.
Now came forward thé subject of the Customs returns, and
the following Address agreed to:—
The House of Assembly beg to acknowledge the receipt of
certain returns from the Customs Department, but would beg to
represent that the income of the Collector of Customs has been
omitted in those returns.
The House would therefore request returns shewing the income
of the Collector of Customs and also a copy of the agreement with
the said Collector, as referred to in Your Excellency's communication of August 23rd. The House would also be glad to know
whether those officers engaged at the Custom-house are paid by
the Government or by the Collector out of his salary.
With reference to the second paragraph, wherein it is stated
"That the Governor and Council have not framed any Customs
Regulations," the House would observe that, although the laws
relative to shipping are enforced according to the " Customs Consolidation Act," still the revenue arising from the same is in virtue
of a tax levied upon ships, &c, in the shape of entrance and clearance. The amount payable for such entrance and clearance being
regulated entirely by the Colonial Government, and therefore being
funds raised within the Colony by the Colonial Government are
under the control of the Legislature.
The House would therefore request that the funds arising
from this source be kept separate and distinct from those over
which the House is said to have no control.
Carried unanimously. ^|StfetS
The House then resumed its sitting, and Mr. Skinner brought
up the report, after which
Mr. Pemberton moved the first reading of the following Bill :—
Whereas it is expedient that the law relating to licensed
houses be extended: Be it enacted by the House of Assembly, by
and with the consent of His Excellency the Governor and Honourable Council :—
1st. That on and after the passing of this Act it shall be
lawful for the Licensing Magistrates to grant licenses to houses
for the sale of wines only, and also to grant licenses to keep billiard
tables or bowling alleys or skittle grounds for hire or gain.
2nd. That the annual slim to be paid for a license to sell wines
only, shall be and is hereby declared to be twenty-five pounds. Vancouver Island.
75
3rd. That the license to keep a billiard table or bowling alley
or skittle ground for hire or gain shall be ten pounds for eacl-
and every one singly, but for each additional billiard table, bowling
alley, or skittle ground the sum of five pound shall be paid.
4th. Any person infringing this law shall be fined for each
offence the sum of not less than five nor more than ten pounds, or
in default of payment, imprisonment for not less than five nor
more than twenty days.
Seconded by Mr. McKay.
The Bill agreed to for the first reading, but various amend*
ments to be proposed in Committee.
The business having been completed, the House adjourned until
September 21st at 11 a.m.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
September 17.—Additional and omitted in its proper place.
Mr. Pemberton, with the consent of the House, rescinded the
resolution of August 17th empowering the widening of the opening
in the Victoria Bridge, and then postponed the consideration oi
motion to build a new bridge at Point Ell ice.
Mr. Toomey's petition for the erection of gas works rejected
in order not to throw any impediments in the way of a new Government.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
HOUSE  OF  ASSEMBLY.
September 21st, 1858.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
Mr. McKay moved, That the House go into Committee at next
meeting to consider the propriety of voting £2,000 for roads in
Victoria, and £600 for improving the road to Esquimalt Harbour.
Mr. Skinner asked leaver to bring in " A Bill for the Preservation of Game during certain Seasons of the Year."
Business of the Day.
Mr.  Pemberton moved the second reading
extend the License Law."
Mr. McKay seconded the motion.
Second reading carried.
of  the  "Bill to
17 Sept., 1858.
First  reading.
Correction of
Minutes. Minutes of House of Assembly,
21 Sept., 1858.
Committee.
License Law
amendments.
23 Sept., 1858.
Withdrawn.
Liquor
Licenses
amendments.
into Committee on the Bil]
Thursday next
House to
at 11 a.m.
Amendments to be proposed:—
1st. To be drunk on the premises only.
2nd. That fifteen pounds be put in lieu of twenty-five pounds
annually.
3rd. To exclude all that portion relating to billiard table,
skittle grounds, &c,
4th. That a licensed house to sell spirituous and malt liquors
may keep one billiard or bagatelle table.
5th. Several verbal amendments.
House adjourned until 23rd.
|§pl J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
HOUSE  OF ASSEMBLY.
September 23rd, 1857  (Sic).
Members present :
J. W. McKay,
T. J. Skinner,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
The Speaker.
Mr. Skinner brought forward " A Bill for the Preservation of
Game during certain Seasons of the Year."
Seconded by Mr. Pemberton.   Opposed by Messrs. Skinner and
McKay.
Bill withdrawn with the consent of Honourable Members.
The House then went into Committee.   Mr. Skinner in the
Chair.
The " Bill to extend the Law relating to. Inns, Public and
Beer Houses."
Mr. Helmcken moved, That " to be drunk on the premises only"
be inserted. „.
Agreed to.
Mr. Pemberton moved, That all that portion of the Bill relating to billiard, bagatelle tables, skittle grounds, &c, be left out
After discussion, carried.
The various clauses of the Bill were then read and a "few
verbal alterations made.
In first clause, instead " of licenses to houses," " licenses to
persons keeping hotels" inserted.
The other portions of Bill agreed to.
Mr. Helmcken then brought in a Bill of Supply. Vancouver Island.
77
ing
the
olo
Str<
Go?
Str<
Whereas it is necessary that certain sums of money, amount-
in all to £3,000 be supplied for certain useful purposes within
Be it enacted by the House of Assembly of Van-
5 Island, by and with the consent of His Excellency the
5r and Honourable Council :—
i That £2,000 sterling be supplied for improving the wagon
certain portions of the District of Victoria, via. : Wharf
from Victoria Bridge to the south end of Fort Victoria;
nent Street, from the Ravine to Humboldt Street; Johnson
from Victoria Bridge to Government Street ; Yates Street,
from Wharf to Government Street.
2nd. That £600 be applied to improving the road from Victoria
to the Hospitals at Esquimalt.
3rd. That  £150 be  granted  for  the  use  of  the  House  of
Assembly of Vancouver's  Island.
4th. That £250 be granted for the purchase of a Library for
the use of the House of Assembly.
5th. That these, various items be paid out of the funds received
from the licenses to inns, &c.
Agreed to.
J. S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
September 25th, 1858.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
J. Yates,
T. J. Skinner,
J. D. Pemberton,
The Speaker.
The Bill of Supply for £3,000 was read a second time.
House adjourned until 27th, 11 a.m.
September 27th, 1858.
Members present:
J. W. McKay,
J. D. Pemberton,
J. Yates,
T. J. Skinner,
The Speaker.
The " Bill to extend the Law relating to Inns, Public and Beer
Houses" was read a third time and passed.
: Sept., 1858.
ipply  Bill.
First Library
appropriation.
Paid out of
liquor licenses.
Inns and
PnbUc Houses
Bill. 78
Minutes of House of Assembly.
House
adjourns.
The Bill of Supply for £3,000 0s. Od. was read a third time
and passed.
Both ordered to be transmitted to His Excellency .the Governor
and Council.
The business of the House being completed, the House
adjourned until Thursday week to receive any Message from His
Excellency the Governor.
J.  S. HELMCKEN,
Speaker.
VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by William H. Ctjllin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty
1918.   »^^ ^-^ : = — ^
sp
ft 15
DOWBILS
RARE * FINE BOOKS
VANCOUVER, B. C É
A

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