Prince of Wales Island I said that every settlement which, by its own revenues or advantages, would support the expense, and did not require an European force, was beneficial, as tending to the general increase of commerce: but I very much disapprove the dissipation of Europeans, in scattered military detachments, although I know too much of the eastern islands, not to know that unarmed factories would be ruinous and disgraceful, as constantly exposed to be cut off. I meant only such settlements as are in the ordinary line of communication, so as to have an eventual security against invaders or where natives of a different part of India could be employed for the protection of the settlement, which ought always to be established in a place of natural strength, where a few men could defend it against a number of assailants; and all such settlements should be calculated for defence against Indians only: for if defences are raised to maintain it against an European force, the expense and embarrassment becomes enormous; at the same time I much question if any settlement will support itself without territorial revenues.
LORD GRENVILLE TO THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE ADMIRALTY, 11 February 17911
His Majesty having judged it expedient that an expedition should be immediately undertaken for acquiring a more complete knowledge than has yet been obtained of the north-west coast of America, I am commanded to signify to your Lordships His Majesty's commands that the necessary measures should be adopted for that purpose. The Discovery and Chatham Brig being, as I understand, in readiness for this service, it is desirable that no time should be lost in their proceeding to the Sandwich Islands, where the officer commanding those vessels should be instructed to winter.
During the time of his remaining at those islands he is to employ himself in the survey and examination of them; and as soon as the weather is favourable, which may be expected to be in February or at latest in March, 1792, he should be instructed to repair to the American coast for the purpose of his survey.
It having been agreed by the late convention between His Majesty and the Catholic King that the buildings and tracts of land situated on the north-west coast of the continent of North America, or on islands adjacent to that continent, of which the subjects of His Britannic Majesty were dispossessed about the month of April, 1789,____________________