No. 216, Financial
10 September 1859
My Lord Duke
I have the honor to forward herewith to your Grace, the copy of a Letter, dated August 12th addressed to me by Captain Gosset the Treasurer, requesting that a supply of coins may be sent out from England, with as little delay as possible, soManuscript imageso as to avoid the inconvenience and loss which is now daily experienced in consequence of the absence of such coins.
2. I submit the application to the favourable consideration of your Grace, and I trust you may see fit to cause it to be complied with, as the matter is one of great interest to the Colony, both socially and politically.
3. With reference to Captain Gosset's remarks as to the establishment of a Decimal system of Currency, I am not prepared at present to offer myManuscript imagemy opinion thereon, but I may mention that although in the Government offices, every financial transaction is carried on in British Currency, yet throughout the whole of both Colonies the Mercantile Community have adopted the Decimal system of the Dollar and Cent, and Captain Gosset's proposed new coin suitable to that system
How?
would be found most appropriate and convenient, and probably of more practical utility, than either pence or halfpence.
4. Captain Gosset suggestsManuscript imagesuggests that the Coins sent out should be paid for in Gold dust, and with this suggestion I perfectly concur, for at present all the Gold dust from British Columbia finds its way in the first instance to San Francisco, and there becomes incorporated with the Gold produced in that State, so that up to the present time the people in England have had no tangible proof of the auriferous character of British Columbia, and I shouldManuscript imageshould be glad to establish the fact, for there is no doubt that the circumstance of the entire produce of the country having hitherto been absorbed in a Foreign Market, has tended to create a feeling of doubt and apprehension in England as to the true nature of the Colony, and has undoubtedly retarded what I have a most earnest desire to see established, and what I am convinced would be equally beneficial to both a direct Trade between the MotherManuscript imageMother Country and the Colony, as well as a direct emigration from the Mother Country.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
It will be proper to send this despatch &c to the T-y—for consideration. The T-y Letter 6790 contains observns on the establishment of a decimal or other Coinage in these parts.
ABd 2 Novr
TFE 2 Novr
N 3
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 18 November 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch for consideration.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W. Driscoll Gosset to Acting Colonial Secretary, 12 August 1859, promoting a scheme of decimal currency for British Columbia.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 10 September 1859, CO 60:5, no. 10780, 127. 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/B59216.html.

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