No. 20
Downing Street
16 September 1858
I have received your despatch of the 26th July No 31 1 with it's enclosures reporting the public measures which you have adopted for the Government of British Columbia since the 1st July.
It affords me much satisfaction to signify to you generally the continued approval by Her Majesty'sGovernmentManuscript image Government of your proceedings in the difficult position in which you have been so unexpectedly placed, but there are a few points mentioned in your despatch on which it is necessary that I now should touch.
First, however, I request that you will convey to the Officers Commanding H.M's Ships "Satellite" and "Plumper" my best acknowledgments for the cordial and practical assistance which they have rendered to you an all occasions, and express my persuasion that they will continue to afford the same whenever the service on which they are engagedwillManuscript image will admit of their so doing.
2. I notice with regret, though not with surprise, that boats &c have ascended Frazer's River without a Customs' permit, or the prepayment of the regulated Mining fee. It is certainly much to be desired that you possessed a force adequate for the protection of the Revenue Laws of the County; but it is totally impossible for Her Majesty's Government to provide you with such a force from England. The most thatweManuscript image we can do is to supply you with suitable and well recommended public Officers whose experience and capability will enable them to assist you in raising a force in the Colony itself, capable of preserving order, and causing the Law to be obeyed. On this point I have to observe that for the infraction of the Revenue Laws, and for all ordinary purposes, the use of military force, even if this Country were able to supply it, is full of danger, and better not resorted to unless in case of absolute necessity.
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3. As to the "lawless intrusion of foreign ships and people into Frazer's River," if I correctly understand this expression, you will have received such definite instructions from me that it leaves me nothing to add on this point, unless it be to refer you particularly to my [Vancouver Island] despatch of the 16th July, No 4. 2
4. I have to make the same observation with respect to your statement that you have endeavoured to protect the trading rights of the Hudson's Bay Company as by law established. Those rights never existed to the extent whichyouManuscript image you appear to have supposed, and by the time this despatch reaches you they will have ceased altogether, if the instrument forwarded to you for that purpose has been put into operation, as I trust it has, without delay.
5. I entirely approve the course you are following with respect to applications for Crown land, and for the prevention of Squatting. The party of Royal Engineers which has been despatched to British Columbia will relieve you from much anxiety on this score, as they will immediately,onManuscript image on their arrival, proceed to survey and lay out lands for sale and occupation.
6. I approve your nomination of Messrs Travaillot and Hicks, to be Assistant Commissioners of Crown Lands at Thompson's River, and Fort Yale, also of Mr Wm Henry Bevis to be Revenue Officer at Fort Langley.
7. In an earlier [Vancouver Island] despatch No 8 of the 14th August I mentioned my intention of selecting a Collector of Customs for British Columbia. 3
I have now to state thatIManuscript image I have appointed Mr Wymond Hamley to this Office with a salary of four hundred pounds (£400) per annum. He will proceed in the "Thames City" in the course of a few days. With respect to Offices generally, which the public exigencies may compel you to create, and for which selections should be made in England, I have to observe that I consider it of great importance to the general socialwelfareManuscript image welfare and dignity of the Colony that gentlemen should be encouraged to come from this Kingdom, not as mere adventurers seeking employment, but in the hope of obtaining professional occupations for which they are calculated, such for instance as Stipendiary Magistrates or Gold Commissioners. You will, therefore, report to me at your early convenience, whether there is any field for such situations, and describe as accurately as you can the peculiar qualifications which are requisite in order that I may assist you by makingtheManuscript image the best selections in my power. It is quite natural that the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company should, from their knowledge of business, their abilities, and services, have a very fair claim to consideration and share in the disposal of the local patronage. But caution should be observed against yielding to any appearance of undue favor or exclusiveness to the servants of that Company. You will carefully remember that the public interests are the first consideration; and that it should be knownthatManuscript image that employment in the public service is as open and fair in British Columbia as in every other of the Queen's Colonial Possessions. For these reasons it is still more desirable that careful appointments should be made in England.
7 [8]. I have to thank you for the Newspaper from Victoria. It furnishes useful and interesting intelligence and I shall be glad if youwillManuscript image will occassionally transmit to me any other newspapers which contain matter worthy of attention. You will not fail to write to me fully by each Mail as Her Majesty's Government wish to know everything that passes of importance in British Columbia.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient,
humble servant
E B Lytton