No. 116
18 March 1859
Sir,
I have had the honor of receiving your Despatch No 60 of the 30th December last, acknowledging receipt of certain of my Despatches, and favoring me with a few observations thereon.
TheManuscript image2. The highly gratifying manner in which you are pleased to express to me your own approval of my course of action, and in which you assure me of the sense entertained by Her Majesty's Government of my humble endeavours faithfully to discharge the trust reposed in me, is most acceptable and pleasing.
3. My subsequent Despatches will have put you in possession of the information which you express your anxiety to receive, uponManuscript imageupon the subject of the resources of the Colony, and the probable revenue to be derived during the present year.
4. I feel much indebted to you for your remarks in regard to the duty imposed upon imported Articles, and in respect to the amount of the duty itself. In all financial matters I have borne the axiom in mind that a true policy of all Nations is to be found in unrestricted industry, and that a system of high dutiesManuscript imageduties will lead to fraudulent Invoices, to smuggling, and to other attempts to defraud the Revenue. I conceived that those evils would be inseparable from an extravagant rate of duty, and that smuggling, especially, would be created if the duties exceeded the risk and expense of illicit intercourse, but in adopting a duty of 10 per Cent ad valorem, I believed I was not departing from these principles, for I did not consider that such an amount would bear too heavily upon industry nor that it would furnish sufficientManuscript imagesufficient inducements for smuggling, except, perhaps in the single article of spirits, which might be surreptitiously introduced by the overland route from the American Frontier. However, under the Proclamation of the 3rd of December
Approved by desph 19 March /59.
last (Copy transmitted in my Despatch of the 4th December No 42) there is a considerable modification of the duties upon imports, many Articles being free, and others at a low specific rate, so that the general ad valorem duty is dispensed with, and I am led toManuscript imageto believe that upon the average a very large reduction is made upon the 10 per Cent rate.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Lord Carnarvon
Copy to Bd of Trade for information. Print for Parlt.
ABd 10/5
C May 12
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to J. Booth, Board of Trade, 14 May 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.
Douglas, James to Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer 18 March 1859, CO 60:4, no. 4802, 222. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B59116.html.

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