No. 159
Government House, Victoria
Vancouvers Island
26 May 1859
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No 28 of the 3rd of March last in which you have signified your approval of Mr Young's appointment as Colonial SecretaryManuscript imageSecretary for British Columbia.
2. I was fortunate in having the opportunity of securing for the Public service of the Colony, a gentleman so well known and in all respects so highly qualified by his talents, experience, and thoroughly practical acquaintance with the details of public business. I know and appreciate the value of his services, and therefore have the more regret in forwarding aManuscript imagea communication from Mr Young, in which you will observe he declines accepting the appointment, not because he overlooks the high position offered him, but simply for the reason that the proposed salary of five hundred pounds (£500) per annum, which you alone authorize me to offer, is altogether insufficient to maintain him in this expensive Country, and really places him in a worse position than he now occupies.
3. Gentlemen of education andManuscript imageand high character may probably be found in England to accept Official appointments in this Country at the present rates of Salary, which may there be sufficient for their decent support, but they will not be long in discovering that those sums are wholly inadequate to the support of their social position in this country.
4. The Treasurer and Collector of Customs, have, as you will observe by anotherManuscript imageanother communication transmitted by the present Mail, both applied to me for relief, as they cannot live on their present salaries a state of things which it must be admitted is at once degrading and dangerous to the public service.
5. I will retain Mr Young in the service of the Government, until a successor is appointed toManuscript imageto relieve him, and if it were possible, I should gladly retain his services altogether, as I know his sterling worth and can work cordially with him.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
This also is part of the question of a revision of the B. Columbia Officers Salaries.
Mr Young declines to accept the place of Secretary at £500 a year. I am persuaded that if the Governor had so chosen it he might have found several English Gentlemen, who have gone out to the Colony with Letters of introduction from Sir E. Lytton, who wd gladly have accepted the office on the terms named. I Manuscript imagethink it would be impossible to blend the Colonial Secretaryship with any other appointment; otherwise such combination might have been worth entertaining. But a Secretary is too much of a personal officer to a Govr who has so much on his hands as Mr Douglas has to justify the depriving him in any degree of assistance of which he stands in need. It is not quite clear whether or not he expects a Successor to be found at home, & sent out to him. See Minutes on 1919/59.
ABd 13 July
See 6954. I rather believe the Colonial Secretary is also Auditor, there being no separate officer of that title; and I agree with Mr Blackwood that there seems no opening for farther consolidation.
HM Jy 13
Duke of Newcastle
It seems plain enough that these officials (see 6954) cannot live decently in such an extravagant place as Vancouver's Island upon the Salaries paid by Sir E. Lytton. You wd. of course make no alteration in the Estimate for the present year, but if the Salaries were revised, the Govr might be directed to pay the increase out of Colonial revenue. I see Mr Merivale originally proposed £800 for the Col Secretary (on 544)—and Govr Douglas Manuscript image£1800 per ann each for Col. Sec., Attorney General and Treasurer—with £700 for an "Accountant," an office performed by the Col. Sec. In your answer of the other day (23 June) to Col. Moody's application, you declined to entertain individual cases—but Col. M., at all events, is far the best paid functionary in B. Columbia.
CF 15
I am satisfied that the salaries fixed for the Officers of this Colony are too low, & we shall either be very insufficiently served or what is worse robbed. The temptation to raise their income by unfair means is such as Men ought on no account to be exposed to.
It is impossible however to raise the estimate this year. I believe indeed it was voted last night. I see nothing for it but to authorize the Govr to offer that Secship to the best man now in the Colony—I cannot find anybody here to accept £500—and say I shall be ready to entertain any proposal for increase of salary when the Colonial Revenue will bear it—and I would give the same answer to 6954.
N 16
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 6, 26 July 1859.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
W.A.G. Young to Douglas, 16 May 1859, on his tentative appointment as colonial secretary and salary expected.