Sub-series consists of diplomatic despatches created and maintained by the Privy Council Office. Until the creation of the office of the Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1909, despatches directed to the Government of Canada were handled by the Privy Council Office. Most of the despatches were addressed to the Governor General and originated with the Colonial Office, the British Minister at Washington, governors of British colonies, or the Canadian High Commissioner in London. There is, in addition, correspondence addressed to the Government of Canada and forwarded through the Governor General's Office.
Those despatches requiring the consideration or action of a government department were registered with despatches and then forwarded to the responsible department. Consequently, many of these items are no longer found in this sub-series and must be sought in the records of the relevant department.
The documents are arranged according to an alphabetical-numerical registry sequence. Each has a letter and a number, (e.g. A 507), the letter referring to the register book (see the registers sub-series RG2-A-2-b) in which receipt of the despatch was recorded. Every few years a new letter was assigned and a new numerical sequence started.
Volume 6310 contains a copy of the Proclamation of 1867.