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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Mr. Adderley of the 1st December last, were not made at our suggestion, although we
▼ere disposed to think (and so informed his Grace) that if the Company accepted them
the Canadian Parliament might be persuaded to undertake the duties of legislation and
government in the territories on the conditions specified.''

Your letter of the 13th inst. may be considered as a rejection of those proposals, and
as thus terminating the negotiations instituted by the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.
But in your letter you propose that the matter should be settled by the immediate payment
at a fixed sum of money, or by the delivery of bonds, and you express yourself prepared
to enter into further communication with Lord Granville on this subject.

It is of course obvious that this negotiation for the purchase of the Hudson's Bay
Oompan/s territory is really between i^e seller and the buyer, the Company and the
colony, and Lord Granville is of opinion that if the negotiation is revived on this or any
other basis. Her Majesty's Government, can, at present^ do no good by assuming to frame
or suggest terms of accommodation ; but can merely offer to act as a channel of commu-
nication between these two real parties to the transaction, using its best endeavours to
remove any difficulties not inherent in the nature of the case.

Acting on this view. Lord Granville communicated to Sir G. Cartier and Mr.
McDougall a copy of your letter of the 13th. The enclosure to this letter is the answer
which he has received.

The material sentences, for the present purpose, are those with which the letter

You will observe that the representatives of the colony state the principles on whioih
they consider the cost of the territory should be calculated, indicating Uie opinion that the
sum of £106,431 is the highest which could on any hypothesis properly be demanded by
the Company ; and express their strong conviction that no money offer, which either the
Imperial or Canadian €k)vernment would deem reasonable would be accepted by the
Company. Assuming this to be the case, they ask on the part of the Dominion Govern-
ment either the immediate transfer of the sovereignty of the whole terrritory, subject to
the rights of the Company, or a transfer of the sovereignty and property of all the
territory not heretofore validly granted to, and now held by the Company under its Charter.
Under these circumstances. Earl Granville directs me to communicate to you the
enclosed letter, which taken in connection with previous correspondence, appears to him
to leave little present hope of bringing matters to a settlement by way of compensation.
If the Directors of the Company should still think any such arrangement possible, his
Lordahip will of course be prepared to transmit to the Canadian representatives any

*SeM. Papers, Can., 180^ No. 2S.

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modified proposal on the part of the Companj. Failing this, he thinks it proper to invite
from the Directors, not any argument respecting the true nature and extent of the-
Company's claims from which, as not being before a court of law, he could anticipate no
result, but a statement of any objections they may have, whether of principle or detail
to the two counter proposals now made by Sir G. Cartier and Mr. Af cDougall on behalf of
the Canadian Dominion.

And it might not be immaterial to add what course the Company would propose to
take, for securing that life and property are adequately protected, and international
obligations duly performed in their territory, so long as they remain responsible for its-

I am. Sir, your most obedient Servant,

Frederic Rogers.

The Bight Honourable Sir Stafford Northcote, M.P.

The Governor op the Hudson's Bat Company to the Under-Secretary.*

Hudson's Bay House,

London, February 26th, 1869.

Sir, — I have the honour to acknowledge your letter of the 22nd lost., transmitting,
by Earl Granville's direction, a copy of a letter addressed to his Lordship by Sir George
Oartier and Mr. McDougall, on the subject of my letter to yourself, dated the 13th ultima

The Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company understand from your letter, that it
is not Earl Granville's wish that they should enter into a discussion of the communicatioii
from the Canadian delegates, and they therefore refrain from making any comments upon
its tone or criticising and correcting its assertions. If thero aro any of those assertions'
to which Earl Granville himself attaches weight, the Committee will gladly, on their being
pointed out to them, offer such observations upon them as may appear to be necessary.

As regards the manner in which the Ccmadian delegates trcwkt Uie suggestions contained
in my letter of the 13th ultimo, — that the Canadian €k)vemment should complete the^
purchase of the Company's territory at once, by the payment of a sum of money or by
the delivery of bonds, — the Committee desiro me to observe that they might have had
some dilEculty in gathering, from the terms in which the delegates express themselves,
whether they were or were not propared to entertain that suggestion, and to open a
negotiation with this Company. But as Earl GranviUe, who has had personal communi-
cation with the delegates, is of opinion that their letter, taken in connection with previooB-
correspondence, leaves little present hope of bringing matters to a settlement by way of
compensation, the Committee are forced to adopt the conclusion that it is intended as a
virtual rofusal on the part of the delegates to entertain the question in a serious spirit

Should Earl Granville at any time come to the conclusion that it is desirable thatthe-
Oommittee should renew the offer of fully communicating with him on the subject of a
money sale which they made in my letter of January 13th, they will hold themselves

C spared to do so. For the present^ and in accordance with what they gather to be his'
rdship's views, they consider this matter at an end.
It becomes my duty, then, to answer Earl Granville's questions, (1) Whether the
Committee have any objections, either of principle or of detul, to make to the " counter
proposals " of Sir G. Cartier and Mr. McDougall, and (2) What course the Company
would propose to take for securing that life and property aro adequately protected, and
Internationa] obligations duly performed in their territory, so long as they romain respon-
sible for its government.

*Sesa. Papery, Can., 1869, No. 25.

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With r^;ard to the first of the two counter-proposals, viz., that the sovereignty of the
whole of the territory in question should be immediately transferred to the Dominion.
(Government << subject to the rights of the Company,'' the Committee desire to ask whether
it is intended that the rights of the Company should be ascertained and defined before
the transfer takes place, or after it. If the former be Earl Granville's intention, the
Committee have no kind of objection to ofier to the proposal ; but if it be meant that the
transfer should take place first, and that the rights of the Company should then be made
the subject of litigation in Canada, with a right of appeal to the courts of this country,
I must remark that such a course is likely to lead to much inconvenience, expense and
annoyance to all parties concerned, as well as to prove detrimental to the interests of the
settlement itself by the prolongation of an irritating and disturbing controversy. As-
r^iards the injustice to this Company involved in such a proposal, I beg leave to refer
Earl Granville to Sir K Head's letter of the 25th January, 1868, to the Duke of Buck-
ingham and Chandos, in which a similar proposal is very ably discussed, and to which,
and to the extracts from speeches delivered in the Canadian Parliament which it encloses^
the Committee desire to invite Earl Granville's particular attention.

The second counter-proposal is for a transfer to the Dominion Government of both
tiie sovereignty and the property of " all the territory not heretofore validly granted to,
and now properly held by the Company under its Charter." Upon this proposal also the
Committee desire respectfully to ask whether the limits of the territory so to be transferred
are to be distinctly set out in the instrument of transfer, so that there may be no room-
for disputes as to the limits of the respective jurisdictions. Even with the utmost care
in this respect, the Committee cannot but feel apprehensive that difficulties will arise in
dealings with the Indians and with the various classes of hunters and traders f requenting^
those distant regions, if two different Eiystems of administration are introduced into those
portions of the extreme North- Western Territory which would be effected by the proposed
transfer, especially as the great distance of that territory fifem Canada, and the difficulty
of the communications, will render its administration by the Dominion Government very
troublesome. Should, however. Her Majesty's Government decide on this measure, the^
Committee will do all in their power to arrive at a good understanding with the Dominion
Government as to the details of the arrangements which should be made in the two-
portions of the now united territory, and to facilitate the establishment of a strong
administrative system in both.

As regards any transfer of the sovereignty without a distinct definition of the limita
to be assigned to it, and by virtue merely of vague general words, the Committee feel
that they need not point to Earl Granville that such a step would not only be open to the
objections which I have already mentioned in the case of the former counter-proposal, but
to the further, and very serious one that it must lead to constant conflicts of authority
and to frequent political embarrassments. The Company can hardly be expected to
provide for th^ security of life and property, and the due performance of international
obligations if their boundary is left unsettled, and their title to important parts of their
territory unrecognized. It is probably unnecessary for me to pursue this argument at any

I have now to advert to the last question put by Earl Granville, — that relating to the
ooorse which the Company would propose to take for the government of their territory,.
80 long as they remain responsible for it.

The Committee desire me, in the first place, to remind his Lordship that they have
no authority to give a pledge on the part of the shareholders of the Company, and that
they can oidy undertake to submit certain proposals to them, and to use their own infiuenoe
to secure their adoption. Subject to this reservation, the Committee are prepared to enter
at once into communication with Earl Granville, as to the measures which should be
adopted for the purpose to which he adverts. As his Lordship^ is aware, a resolution wa»
agreed to by this Committee, as long ago as in August, 1863, to the effects that in the
opinion of the Directors it was expedient that the authority, executive and judicial, over
Ited River settlement and the south-western portion of Bupert's Land, should be vested
in officers deriving such authority directly from the Crown, and exercising it in the name
of Her Majesty. In adopting this resolution, the Committee intended to indicate their

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desire for the establishment of a Crown oolony in this portion of their territory. Thej
still believe that this would be the most satis^tory plan that could be pursued, and they
Are prepared to discuss it with Her Majesty's Ooyemment, if they are encouraged to do sa

I am to state that the Committee would be willing either to advise the surrender of
«uch proportion of the Company's proprietary rights as might be found to be a fair equiva-
lent for the charge which the establishment of a Crown colony would throw upon the
Imperial Exchequer, or to recommend the Company, retaining its proprietary rights, to
take upon itself the whole of the pecuniary buiden. The Committee are satisfied that a
territory, which in the present undeveloped state of its communications supports a trade
of the annual value of more than £400,000, and which possesses a large amount of highly
fertile soil requiring no great expenditure for its clearance and cultivation, is perfectly
capable of supporting the expense of any government that it may be required to maintain ;
and they have little doubt tliat if the state of the case were fairly laid before the share-
holders, and if the moral support of the Imperial Government were distinctly assured to
them, tiie necessary funds would readily be forthcoming.

Of course, if Her Majesty's Government should be of opinion that the great objects
in view could be equally well attained by the exercise of the powers actually possessed by,
or which might be granted to the Company, and should consider that it would be prefer-
able to adopt this method of government rather than to erect the territory into a Crown
colony, the Committee would at once fall in with such a suggestion, and would request
Earl Granville to state to them what establishment would, in the opinio nof Her Majesty's
Government, be sufficient to meet the necessities of the case.

It can hardly be necessary for me to add that, in the event of such an arrangement
being made, the Company would rely upon the cordial co-operation of the Government in
submitting any needful measure to Parliament, and in protecting the settlement from any
trespass or interference on the part of Canada.

In conclusion I am to observe that it is on many accounts important that the Directors
of this Company should soon communicate to the shareholders the progress of this
negotiation, and should lay the correspondence before them. They trust that Earl Granville
will have no objection to their doing so.

I have, eta,

Stafford H. Northcotb,

Sir Frederic Rogers, Bart,
Colonial Office.

Thb Unbbb-Skobbtart to thb Govbbvob of thb Hudson's Bat Qompant.*

Downing Stbbbt,

9th March, 1869.

Sir, — Earl Granville has had under review the correspondence which has passed
respecting the proposed transfer to Canada of the jurisdiction and territorial rights* of
the Hudi^n's Bay Company in North America.

It is, in Lord Granville's opinion, of very great importance that this question should
be settled on a permanent footing, and with little delay. He does not disguise the
interest which Her Majesty's Government have in this settlement. It is not creditable
to this country that any inhabited part of Her Majesty's dominions should be without a
recognized Government capable of enforcing the law, and responsible to neighbouring
countries for the performance of international obligations. The toleration of such a
Btate of things in parts of the Hudson's Bay Territory is unjust to the inhabitants of
that territory, and is not without danger to the peaceful relations between this coun^

•Sett. P*pen, Cmu, 1889, No. 25.


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4Uid the United States ; and this danger and injustice are likely to increase in proportion
ss the mining and agricultural capabilities of what is called the " Fertile Belt " begin to
attract settlers from the east and south.

To Canada the settlement of the question is not less important, as removing a cause
of irritation' between it and its neighbours, and even with the mother country itself ; as
•destroying an obstacle to that which has been looked upon as the natural growth of the
Dominion ; as likely to open an indefinite prospect of employment to Canadian labour
4md enterprise ; and lastly, as enlarging the inducements which Canada is able to offer
to the British immigrant. It is no small matter that it would enable Her Majesty's
Oovemment at once to annex to the Dominion the whole of British North America
proper^ except the colony of British Columbia.

To the Hudson's Bay Company it may almost be said to be necessary.

At present the very foundations of the Company's title are not undisputed. The
boundaries to its territory are open to questions of which it is impossible to ignore the
importance. Its legal rights, whatever these may by, are liable to be invaded without
law by a mass of Canadian and American settlers, whose occupation of the country on
any terms they will be little able to resist ; while it can hardly be alleged that either the
terms of the charter, or their internal constitution, are such as to qualify them under all
these disadvantages for maintaining order and performing the internal and external
duties of government.

The prejudiqial effect that all those uncertainties must have on the value of the Com-
pany's property is but too evident.

The interests of all parties thus evidently pointing towards an immediate and definite
adjustment, Lord Granville has been most unwilling to abandon the hope of bringing it
about by way of amicable compromise. He is fully alive to the difficulties of such a
compromise. He does not conceal from himself that the estimate which the Company
form of the nature and value of their rights is widely different from that which is
formed by the gentlemen who represent Canada ; nor can he undertake to express any
opinion whatever as to the relative correctness of those estimates. Indeed, it would be
impossible to do so without knowing to what exten^ the claims of the Company would
be supported by the judgment of a court of law.

But after repeated communications with both parties, his Lordship is convinced that
he will be serving the interests of the Dominion, of the Company, and of this country,
by laying before the Canadian representatives and the directors of the Company a dis-
tmot proposal, which, as it appears to be, it is for the interest of both parties to accept^
and in support of which Her Majesty's Government would be prepared to use all the
influence which they could legitimately exercise.

If the proposal is really an impartial one. Lord Granville cannot expect that it will
be otherwise than acceptable to both of the parties concerned. But he is not without
hope that both may find, on consideration, that if it does not give them all that they
^aoeive to be their due, it secures to them what is politically or commercially necessaryi
and places them at once in a position of greater advantage with reference to their peculiar
objects than that which they at present occupy.

The terms which his Lordship now proposes are as follows : —

1. The Hudson's Bay Company to surrender to Her Majesty all the rights of govern-
ment^ property, etc., in Rupert's Land, which are specified in the 31 and 32 Vic, c. 105,
sec. 4 ; and also all similar rights in any other part of British North America, not com-
pnsed in Rupert's Land, Canada, or British Columbia.

2. Canada is to pay the Company £300,000 when Rupert's Land is transferred to
the Dominion of Canada.

3. The Company may, within twelve months of the surrender, select a block of land
adjoining each of its stations, within the limits specified in Article 1.

4. The size of the blocks is not to exceed acres in the Red River Territory, nor

3,000 acres beyond that territory, and the aggregate extent of the blocks is not to exceed
M,000 acres.

5. So far as the configuration of the country admits, the blocks are to be in the
shape of parallelograms, of which the length is not more than double the breadth

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6. The Hudson's Bay Company may, for fifty years after the surrender, claim in
any township or district within the Fertile Belt, in which land is set out for settlement^
grants of land not exceeding one-twentieth part of the land so set out : the blocks so
granted to be determined by lot, and the Hudson's Bay Company to pay a ratable share
of the survey expenses, not exceeding an acre.

7. For the purpose of the present agreement, the Fertile Belt is to be bounded as
follows : — On the south by the United States boundary ; on the west by the Rocky
Mountains ; on the north by the northern branch »of the Sasksftchewan ; on the east by
Lfikke Winnipeg, the Lake of the Woods, and the waters connecting them.

8. All titles to land up to the 8th of March, 1869, conferred by the Company, are
to be confirmed.

9. The Company is to be at liberty to carry on its trade without hindrance, in its
corporate capacity, and no exceptional tax is to be placed on the Company's land, trade,.
or servants, nor any import duty on goods introduced by them previous to the surrender.

10. Canada is to take over the materials of the electric telegmph at cost price, such
price including transport, but not including interest for money, and subject to a deduction
for ascertained deteriorations.

11. The Company's claim to land under agreement of Messrs. Yankoughnet and
Hopkins to be withdrawn.

1 2. The details of this arrangement, including the filling up the blanks in articles 4
and 6, to be settled at once by mutual' agreement. ,

It is due, both to the representatives of Canada and to the Company, to add — that
these terms are not intended by Lord Granville as the basis of further negotiation ; but
a final effort to effect that amicable accommodation of which he has almost despaired,
but which he believes will be for the ultimate interest of all parties.

If this be rejected either on behalf of the Dominion or the Company, his Lordship
considers that his next step must be to procure an authoritative decision as to the rights
of the Crown and the Company, and with this object he will recommend Her Majesty to
refer their rights for examination to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, whose
decision will form a basis for any future legislation or executive action which Her
Majesty's Government may find necessary.

Whatever may be the result of this proposal, his Lordship desires to express his
sense of the openness and courtesy which he has experienced throughout these negotia-
tions, both from the representatives of Canada and from the Governor and Deputy-
Governor of the Company, and the patience with which they have entertained proposals
which, from their point of view, must no doubt have appeared inadequate.

Lord Granville is aware that a proposal of this kind will require consrideration ; but
he hopes that you will lose no time beyond what is necessary in acquainting him wilii
your decision.

I am, Sir,

Tour most obedient servant,

Frederic Rogers.
Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., etc.

The Undbr-Seorstary to the Canadian Delegates.'*'

Downing Street,

9th March, 1869.

Gbntleken, — Lord Granville transmitted to the Governor of the Hudson's Bay
Company a copy of your letter of 8th February, and I enclose, by his Lordship's direc-
tion, a copy of the answer which he has received.

The conclusion to which he has been led, after a careful consideration both of the
correspondence which has passed and of the various representations made orally to him

• Sess. Papers, Can., 1869, No. 26.

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bj joorselves and by the Governor and Depaty-Govemor of the Company, are embodied
in ibe enclosed letter, which he has directed me to address to Sir S. Northoote, and which
jcm will be good enough to consider as conveying to yoorselves also the views of Her
Majesty's Government. His Lordship is confident that you will give it your earliest

His Lordship desires me to add that, in case the terms suggested in this letter
should be accepted by the parties concerned, Her Majesty*s Government would be pre-
pared to fulfil the expectations held out in Mr. Card well's despatch of 17th June, 1865,
and to propose to Parliament that the Imperial guarantee should be given to a loan of
£300,000, the sum which is proposed to be paid over by Canada to the Company on the
transfer of the Company's rights. As this is a matter in which the Company has no
interest, it is not adverted to in my letter to Sir Stafford Northcote.

I am. Gentlemen,

Your most obedient servant,

Sir G. E. Cartier, Bart.,
W. McDougall, Esq.

Frbdbbio Roqsbs.

Ebsolutions of thb Govbbnor and Committbb of tab Hudson's Bay Company,
PASSED March 12th, 1869, tbansmitbd to the Canadian Dblboatbs.*

Resolved, that the Committee will recommend the shareholders to accept the pro-

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 31 of 86)