Ontario. Legislative Assembly.

Correspondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario online

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to which, I may be permitted to add, I saw what appeared to me to be the gravest
objections. I refer to these matters in connection with the amendments which were
made in the draft report first submitted to the Committee, to show that there was a wide
difference of opinion in that body as to the best mode of dealing with the subject under
consideration.

The recommendation of the report was in effect : —

1st. That the Province should be free to annex to her territory such portions of the
land in her neighbourhood as may be available to her for the purposes of settlement—
with which lands she is willing to open and maintain communication, and for which she
will provide the means of local administration. The districts on the Red River and the
Saskatchewan are those particularly referred to, and the recommendation, therefore,
involves the giving to Canada power to assume the whole of the extensive territory
.bounded on the south by the United States, and on the west by the Rocky MountainB,
and as far north as the soil and climate fit for agricultural settlement extends, leaving to
Her Majesty's Government to effect any necessary arrangements vrith the Hudson's Bay
Company, whose authority over the country annexed to Canada would entirely cease.

2nd. The reassuming by the Imperial Government of Vancouver's Island, and the
making provision for developing the natural resources of that colony, and extending it
over any portion of the continent to the west of the Rocky Mountains, on which per-
manent settlement may be found practicable.

3rd. Subject to these recommendations, the continuance of the privil^;e of exclusive
trade to the Hudson's Bay Company.

On this latter recommendation I would remark, that for the reasons set forth in my
despatch of the 27th March, 1857, 1 thought temporary renewal of the license of exclusive
trade would be advisable. It also appeared to me, that to throw that trade at once and
unreservedly open, would be, in effect, to givo an immediate advantage to the fur traders
from the United States, while its benefit to the people of Canada was remote and con-
tingent. For the former, with establishments near the frontier (at Pembina, for instance),



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FINAL REPOBT OP CHIEF JUSTICE DRAPER. 69



already obtainmg a considerable number of furs from the British territory, would be ready
at once to extend their operations — to enter into active arrangements with the half-breeds
and Indians, and to lay ike foundation for an immediate connection with them, and so to
gain a start of our own people that must be extremely disadvantageous to the latter.
And there is a further danger, the apprehension of which arises from an answer given
by the Right Hon. Edward Ellice, in his examination before the Committee, when he
says in reference to the "servants" of the Hudson's Bay Company in the interior,
" Even if it was necessairy, and if the attempt were made to deprive them " (as, for
instance, by taking away the exclusive right of trade) " of what are, in short, their sole
means of existence, they would find means, either by communication with America or
somewhere else ** (possibly Russia, whose possessions join the British territories on the
north), " to carry on the trade and exclude every other party." This warning or covert
menace (for it is capable of that construction, though unintentionally) from a gentleman
who must know the disposition of those of whom he speaks, and the influence their inter-
course with the Indians has given them, is not to be overlooked, and it will not have the
less point and significance when it is remembered that though settlements within the
Or^on Territory had been formed under the protection of the Hudson's Bay Company's
"servants;" and though that Company had no chartered rights there, but only such
privil^l^ as the exclusive right of trade gave them ; yet when the Ashburton Treaty was
made, and the north branch of the Columbia River yielded up to the United States, the
transfer of these settlements created no difficulty, while an article was inserted into the
treaty by which the possessory rights of the Company were to be respected, under which
article the Company have now a great claim in discussion "before the Congress, for
indemnity for the surrender of their possessory rights." These reflections are calculated
to add to the importance of interposing a body of British settlers between the line of 49*
north, and the most valuable fur-bearing country, before the privilege of exclusive trade
is entirely abrogated, and strengthen the suggestions oflfered in favour of a temporary
renewal of the license for exclusive trade.

The report points also to the necessity of making communications to the Govern-
ment of Canada - as well, I apprehend, on the subject of boundary, as respecting such
other arrangements for the settlement and administration of the territory as may be
deem^ expedient. Its language and expression evince a disposition to sustain and
advance the welfare of the Province, and to strengthen its position as a part of the
British Empire.

I cannot better conclude this report than by recapitulating the points which, appear-
ing to me to come within the scope of my instructions, seemed to be of the greatest present
importance, and were presented by me in that light in my communications with the Home
authorities.

1. The determination of the proper limits between Canada and the territories (what-
ever they may be) belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company.

2. The marking out the boundary between the possessions of Great Britain and the
United States to the Pacific.

3. The adoption of measures to protect the possessions of the Crown from intrusiver
settlement.

4. The granting to Canada, for a fixed period, powers to explore and survey, to open
communications by land and water, and to lay out and settle townships to become, as fast
as they are laid out and settled, integral portions of the Province, and, over the territory
in which Canada is to possess these powers, to abrogate at once every right and privilege
of the Hudson's Bay Company, excepting the right to their factories and other buildings
erected within the same, with a sufficient portion of land immediately attached to such
factories, eta, necessary for their convenient enjoyment and occupation.

5. The making a provisional arrangement for the government of the Red Biver
Settlement entirely independent of the Hudson's Bay Company, until that settlement can
be incorporated with the Province of Canada.

6. The reservation to the Crown of a power to lay out a line of railway, and to use
all lands necessary for that purpose throughout the whole territory to the Pacific Ocean.

All which is respectfully submitted.

W. H. Draper.



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60 PROPOSED RENEWAL OF THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S LICENSE, 1868.



The Umder-Seorbtary to the Ooybrnor of the Hudson's Bay Company.*

Downing Street,

January 20, 1858.

Sir, — Her Majesty's Government have had under their consideration your letter of
the 22nd December, 1856, containing an application on behalf of the Governor and
Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company, for a renewal of their license for exclusive
trading with the Indians in the North- Western Territories of America. They have
also, since the receipt of that letter, paid full attention to the Report of the Select
Committee of the House of Commons appointed during the last Session of Parliament
to consider the state of the Britissh Possessions under the administration of the Hudson's
Bay Company, and I have now to acquaint you, by direction of Mr. Secretary Labouchere,
with the result of their deliberations on the whole subject.

2. They are disposed to advise Her Majesty to execute the powers vested in her by
the Act 1 and 2 Geo. IV. c. 66, by renewing the existing license of the Hudson's Bay
Company for the further term of twenty-one years from its approaching expiration on
the 30th May, 1859, on the following conditions :

3. The reservation, as in the present license, of any territories which may be
formed by Her Majesty's Government into colonies.

4. Vancouver's Island to be exempted from the license as already constituted into
a colony. .On the subject of this Island I am to refer you to another letter of even
date herewith, in which the views of Her Majesty's Government in relation to it are
communicated to you.

I am further to state that Her Majesty's Government consider it very desirable to
ascertain, by the decision of some competent authority, the boundary between the Pro-
vince of Canada and the Territories claimed by the Company under their charter.

5. It has been suggested by Her Majesty's law advisers that this might be effected
through the intervention of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on their being
moved to entertain the question. You stated in your letter, addressed to me on the 18th
of July last, that the Directors of the Company were prepared to recommend to their
shareholders a concurrence in this course. But I have no authority to state that the
Province of Canada is also prepared to concur in it unless allowed at the same time to
discuss the farther validity of the charter itself, a question which, on public grounds,
Her Majesty's Government do not consider themselves authorized to raise. If, therefore,
any parties in Canada propose to take measures towards contesting the Company's rights to
the full extent before a legal tribunal, Her Majesty's Government must leave them to take
that course on their own responsibility. If, on the other hand, Canada thinks it expe-
dient to agree to the course now proposed, namely, that of trying the question of
boundary alone with the consent of the Hudson's Bay Company, Her Majesty's Govern-
ment will afford every facility in their power for its determination. It is, therefore,
Mr. Labouchere's intention, in the first place, to submit this proposal to the option of
the colony.

6. But supposing that no such proceedings were taken, and that the colony declines
to contest the naked question of boundary in the manner suggested, Mr. Labouchere is
of opinion that the objects recommended by the Committee may be attained by another
course. He will then be prepared to propose to Canada, and to the Company, on the
part of Her Majesty's Government, as a further condition for the renewal of the license,
that the Company should surrender to the Crown such portions of the Territory now
claimed by it under the Charter as may be available to and required by Canada for
purposes of settlement.

7. It is stated in the report that the districts likely to be required for early occupa-
tion are those on the Red River and Saskatchewan. If that should be the case, the
portion of territory thus generally indicated should be rendered free for annexation to



* Sess. Papers, Can., 1858, Vol. 16, No. 3.

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PROPOSED RENEWAL OF THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S LICENSE, 1868. 61



Oumda ; such annexation to take place, whether in this or any other direction, when
Canada has made a road or any other line of communication connecting the territory
she requires, and when Canada has given satisfactory evidence of her intention to take
steps for laying out townships, and settling and administering the affairs of these dis-
tricts. Thus the annexation might be gradual in case it should be found to suit the
convenience of the several parties interested.

8. For the purpose of ascertaining the satisfactory performance by Canada of the
terms thus required, the period when such annexation should consequently commence,
md the manner in which it should be carried into execution, Mr. Labouchere would .pro-
pose the appointment of a Board of three Commissioners, one to be nominated by the
Province of Canada, one by the Company, and one by Her Majesty's Government.

9. The same Board should be authorized to consider and report on the following
question, namely, — ^the amount of pecuniary compensation which, under all the circum-
stuioes of the case, may become justly payable to the Company in consequence of such
contemplated annexation, and in respect of property which they may be required to
sorrender.

10. The Commissioners should be instructed to dispose of further questions connected
with the transfer which, in the course of these proceedings, it may appear desirable to
refer to theni.

11. Her Majesty's Government have further to propose that, if it should at any
^e be made known to them that there is a good resuion to believe that mining operations
or fisheries may be advantageously conducted in any portion of the territory held by the
Hndaon's Bay Company under their charter, facilities should be afforded to Her Majesty's
sabjects for engaging in these pursuits within limited districts. For this purpose it
would be necessary that Her Majesty's Government should be authorized to grant
licenses or leases, or in some other manner which may be arranged by mutual consent, to
place the parties engaged to prosecute such undertakings in possession of the land
required for the purpose, any territorial rights of the Company notwithstanding. On
the other hand, it should be fully understood that Her Majesty's Government will not
grant any such facilities unless the parties applying for them give to Her Majesty's
Government and the Company substantial proof of their competency, and of the bona
fide nature of their intentions ; nor unless proper security be taken against the interfer-
ence of such parties with the fur trade of the Company with the Indians. The mode of
carrying into execution these arrangements would be matter for subsequent consideration
if the ^mpany should agree to the principles now suggested.

12. If the Company should signify through yourself their willingness to consent to
theee proposals. Her Majesty's Government will proceed forthwith to submit them to the
Local Government of Canada for their consideration, and in the event of their concur-
rence, they will be prepared to take the necessary means for carrpng them into effect.

I have, etc.,

H. Mbrivalb.
John Shepherd, Esq.



The Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company to the Colonial Secretary.*

Hudson's Bay House,

21st January, 1868.

Sir, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Merivale's letter of the
20ih instant, communicating the result of the consideration which Her Majesty's Govern-
ment had given to my letter of the 22nd December, 1856, and adverting to the full
A^^ticm paid to the report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, which

* SesB. Papen, Oan., 1868, YoL ie» No. 3.

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62 PROPOSED RENEWAL OP THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S LICENSE, 1868.



inquired last session into the state of the British' possessions under the administration of
the Hudson's Bay Company, detailing the conditions on which Her Majesty's Qoyem-
ment are prepared to advise Her Majesty to renew the existing license for a further term
of twenty-one years, and informing me that if the Company should signify their willing-
ness to consent to these proposals, Her Majesty's Gk>vemment will proceed forthwith to
submit them to the local Government of Canada for their consideration, and in the
event of their concurrence, will be prepared to take the necessary measures for carrying
them into e£fect.

. In reply, I beg leave to state, that after full consideration with my colleagues in the
direction, we shall be prepared to recommend to our proprietary body :

1st To agree to the reservation, as in the present license, of any territories which
may be formed by Her Majesty's Government into colonies.

2nd. To agree to the proposed exception of Vancouver's Island from the license ;
and upon this subject we beg to refer you to the answer to the communication which you
have forwarded to us, conveying the views of Her Majesty's Government in relation
thereto.

3rd. We concur in your suggestion that in the event of the Government of Canada
declining to be a party to the proposed reference of the Boundary question to the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council upon the footing which Her Majesty's Government are
prepared to recommend, and which this Company has already expressed their wIUingnesB
to adopt, the objects recommended by the Committee of the House of Commons may be
attained by another course, the detailed arrangements of which should be carried out
under the supervision of three Commissioners, one to be appointed by the Crown, one by
the Canadian Government, and one by the Hudson's Bay Company.

I trust that the ready acquiescence of the Hudson's Bay Company in the plan pro-
posed for meeting the requirements of the Canadian Gk)vemment, will be accepted as an
earnest of their desire to be on terms of harmony and friendship with their countrymen
in Canada.

4th. In communicating this assent on the part of the Hudson's Bay Company, it is,
however, right to notice that the territories mentioned as those that may probably be
first desired by the Government of Canada, namely, the Red River and Saskatchewan
districts, are not only valuable to the Hudson's Bay Company as stations for carrying on
the fur trade, but that they are also of peculiar value to the Company, as being the only
source from which the Company's annual stock of provisions ia drawn, particularly the
staple article of Femiecmy a regular supply of which is absolutely necessary to enable the
officers of the Company to transport their goods to the numerous inland and distant
stations, and to feed and maintain the people, both European and Indians, stationed
thereat. It is proper, therefore, that I should draw your attention to the fact that the
ultimate loss of those districts will most probably involve the Hudson's Bay Company
in very serious difficulties, and cause a great increase of expense in conducting their
trade. The Company assume that the Canadian Grovemment will be responsible for the
preservation of peace, and the maintenance of law and order in all the territories ceded
to them, and that they will prevent lawless and dishonest adventurers from infringing
from thence the rights of the Company over the remaining portions of their territories.

5th. With respect to the eleventh paragraph of your letter, in which it is proposed
that '* Her Majesty's Government should be authorized at any time to grant licenses or
leases, or in some other manner which may be arranged by mutual consent, to place
parties engaging to prosecute mining operations or fisheries in possession of the land
required in any portion of our territory for the purpose, any territorial rights of the
Company notwithstanding," — assuming that the principles stated in the 9th paragraph,
as applicable to cessions to Canada, apply equally to any cessions which may take place
in virtue of the 11th clause, I beg to state that we shall be prepared to recommend our
shareholders to concur in this proposal.

6th. In conclusion, allow me to refer to the sentiments expressed in the fifth and
last paragraph of my letter of the 18th of July last, as explanatory of the continued
views of myself and colleagues. We are willing to enter upon a new tenure of our
engagements under the renewed license, upon being assured of the support of Her



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PROPOSED RENEWAL OF THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S LICENSE, 1858. 63



Majesty's Groyemment, and of the cordial co-operation of the neighbouring Government
of Canada, in maintaining tranquillity and order among the Indian tribes, and protecting
the frontiers of the whole adjacent Britbh territories from foreign encroachment.

The interests of the Hudson's Bay Company, we are convinced, are closely united
with the real prosperity of Canada, and we trust that the humane and beneficent objects
of Her Majesty's Government will prosper under our united exertions.

I have, etc.,

John Shepherd,

Right Hon. H. Labouchere.



The Colonial Secretary to the Governor-General.^

Downing Street,

22nd January, 1858.

Sir, — ^In sending for your consideration and that of your Council, a correspondence
which has recently passed between the Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company and this
Department (Oolonial Office to Hudson's Bay Company, 20th January, 1858; do. do.
Hudson's Bay Company, 21st January, 1868 ; do. do.) on the subjects embraced by
the investigation of a Committee of the House of Commons in the last year's session of
Parliament, it is not necessary that I should add much to the information which that
oorrespondence conveys.

The relations in which the Company is placed, both towards Canada and towards
Her Majesty's Government in this country, have naturally attracted in no common degree
the attention of the Canadian community, and they were also carefully investigated by
the Committee to which I have referred.

It is the anxious desire of Her Majesty's Government to take the opportunity
afforded by the approaching termination of the Company's license of exclusive trade over
what is termed the Indian Territory, for placing these relations upon such a footing as
shall be consonant with justice, and at the same time conducive to the satisfaction and to
the interests of the great Province under your government.

It is for the purpose of promoting these oQects that I have carried on the corres-
pondence which I now transmit to you, and I make no question but that it will be con-
sidered in a similar spirit by the Legislature and people of Canada.

I do not propose to discuss the question of the validity of the claims of the Company,
in virtue of their charter, over the whole territory known as Rupert's Land. Her
Majesty's Government have come to the conclusion that it would be impossible for them
to institute proceedings with a view to raise this question before a legal tribunal, without
departing from those principles of equity by which their conduct ought to be guided.
If, therefore, it is to be raised at all, it must be by other parties on their own responsi-
bility.

With regard to the question of boundary, as distinguished from that of the validity
of the charter. Her Majesty's Government are anxious to afford every facility towards
its solution, a mode of accomplishing which is indicated in the correspondence, if such
should be the desire of Canada.

But I trust that in any case a machinery may be provided through the course now
proposed which will afford to Canada the means of olltaining any districts which she may
require for the purpose of settlement, and to which she may be able to afford the benefits
of administration and protection. The tracts claimed by the Company under its charter
are conterminous on the north and west with the whole of that great Province which is
now united under your government. I therefore look to the gradual aggregation of such
portions of these tracts as may be found available to that Province which contains within

• Seat. Papen, Can., 1868, VoL 16, No. 3.

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64 MR. GLADMAN ON PROK>SED SURRENDER OP DISTRICTS FOR SETTLEMENT, 1858.



its limits the noble water commanication afforded by the Lakes and the St. Lawrence to
the Atlantic.

I recommend this important subject to the early consideration of yourself and your
advisera Her Majesty's Government can have no other wish regarding it than, con-
sistently with the principles of good faith, to promote the prosperity and consult the
feelings of the people of Canada in this matter, as well as to provide for the security of
law and order in these vast regions, in the maintenance of which Canada has herself so
deep an interest. —

I have, eta,

H. Labouohbrb.
Oovemor the Right Honourable Sir E. W. Head, Bart,
etc., etc., etc.



Mr. Gladman^ to the President of the Council (Canada).!

Toronto, 26th March, 1858.

Sib, — Permit me again to offer a few remarks relative to the correspondence
between the British Colonial Office and Mr. Shepherd, on the affiiirs of the Hudson's
Bay Company.

Li Mr. Shepherd's letter to Mr. Labouchere, of 21st January, 1858, he observes,
** It is, however, right to notice, that the territories mentioned as those that may probably
be first desired by the Government of Canada, namely, the Saskatchewan and B^ Biver
districts, are not only valuable to the Hudson's Bay Company as stations for carrying on
the fur trade, but that they are also of peculiar value to the Company, as being the only
source from which the Company's annual stock of provisions is drawn, particularly the
staple article of pemican, a regular supply of which is absolutely necessary to enable the
officers of the Company to transport their goods to the numerous inland and distant



Online LibraryOntario. Legislative AssemblyCorrespondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario → online text (page 14 of 86)