p. 4118

No. 1564.


Downing Street, 12th April 1815.

To Joseph Berins Esq.,

Sir :
I am directed by Lord Bathurst to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd instant in which you communicate for the information of His Majesty's Government the intention of the Hudsons Bay Company to enrol arm & place under the orders of persons qualified to discipline & command them the Servants of the Hudsons Bay Company settled within their Territories in North America, & this for the express purpose of defending the settlement lately made at Red River & protecting what they consider to be the rights of the Company in that quarter. In reply I am directed to acquaint you that so long as a prospect was afforded of bringing the disputes of the Hudsons Bay & North West Companies to a judicial decision by the Trial of Mr. McDonell before the regular Tribunals of Canada Lord Bathurst was unwilling to exercise any interference which might have the effect of prejudging the question at issue. But as it subsequently appeared that there were legal objections to the mode of proceeding adopted against Mr. McDonell which precluded all hope of investigating in that manner the real rights of the Hudsons Bay Company Lord Bathurst thought it incumbent upon him to take other steps with a view to prevent those dangerous consequences with which His Majesty's Dominions in North America were threatened in consequence of the pretensions advanced by the Hudson's Bay Company & the resistance given to theist by the Agents of the North West Company. His Lordship had therefore, as a preliminary measure, and with a view to ascertain the extent of jurisdiction, which the Hudsons Bay Company can legally claim under their Charter, refered the case to the consideration of His Majesty's Law Servants. As soon as their report shall be received a communication of Lord Bathurst's views on the subject will be made to you.
In the interim his Lordship has only to express his decided objection to the measure announced in your letter of creating an Armed Force for the defence of a Territory, the title to which in the extent to which it is asserted is to say the least of it extremely doubtful. Nor can his Lordship believe that under the circumstances stated, the company can have any disposition to incur the responsibility of persisting in the measure which you have announced to be in their contemplation. Downing Street, 12th April 1815.

I have the honour to be &c.


Partnered Projects Government and Politics - Table of Contents Site Map Search Heritage Web Site Home