No. 225, Military Expenses
24 October 1859
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Grace's Despatch of the 6th August No 11 acquainting me of the requisition made by the Agents of Colonel Moody Manuscript imagefor the Balance of Salary due to him as Commissioner of Lands and Works up to the 31st of March last, and that you had recommended to the Lords Commissoners of the Treasury, that the payment thereof should be added to the advances already made from the Imperial Chest to meet the expenses of the Engineers in British Columbia the Colonial Revenue being unable to bear the charge.
2. Your Grace is also pleased Manuscript imageto remind me that the Colonial Pay of Colonel Moody is to be paid from the Colonial Revenue, and that it cannot continue to be advanced from Imperial Funds unless there should be no means in the Colony of meeting the charge, in which case you direct me to make a special report on the subject.
3. I would beg very respectfully to request the attention of your Grace to two Despatches I had the honor to address to the Secretary Manuscript imageof State on the 2nd of July last, Nos 182 and 183, in which I particularly refer to the expenses of the Royal Engineer Establishment, and to the inability of the Colony at the present moment to provide out of her Revenues the means necessary for their support.
4. The experience obtained since that date has made no change in the views I then expressed, but on the contrary has also clearly proved to me that the experiment of uniting Civil and Military duties hasManuscript imagehas not been attended with the success that was anticipated.
5. Could the Royal Engineers be wholly and solely employed in Civil Labor, I doubt not that their services would be invaluable, but when it is considered that their Military duties must be attended to, and that under all circumstances strict Military Discipline must prevail, it is easy to comprehend how restricted their services in reality become, and how expensive is the cost of their labor, the more especially as the Manuscript imageactual number of working hands is always considerably reduced by Guards, Orderlies, Servants and Sick.
6. I have upon various occasions requested Colonel Moody to use every exertion to reduce the expenditure of the Royal Engineers, and I doubt not that he has endeavoured to do so, to the best of his ability, but still their expenses are far beyond the means of the Colony to provide for.
7. I regret that it should be so, for I hopefully anticipated a large Revenue, and indeed looked to the Royal Engineers as in part the Manuscript imagemeans of producing that Revenue, but my hopes have not been realized.
8. The whole cost of the civil establishment, I do not hesitate to assert, the Colony is able to meet in a befitting manner, and it must be remembered that she has as yet received no assistance from the Mother Country on Civil account. All the advances made from the Imperial Chest are solely for services either directly or indirectly in connection with the Military.
9. I have therefore no alternative but to state that the Colony cannot at present Manuscript imageprovide the Funds necessary for the maintenance of the Military establishment. At some future day I not only hope but confidently anticipate she will be in a condition to repay the Advances that have been made to her, but it is beyond her power to do so at this time. One point however must not be forgotten. Rapid progress cannot be made under present circumstances, and large Revenues must not be instantly expected. The Country of British Columbia is not one easy of access and development, it is not an extensive plain intersected by RiversManuscript imageby Rivers easy of navigation, but on the contrary it is rugged and mountainous, without natural roads, and with Rivers filled with Rapids and Shallows, and rich as it may be, as it undoubtedly is, in auriferous wealth, the difficulties that attend Colonization are only to be overcome in course of time and by much labor, and in proportion as we are enable to devote funds to the construction of Roads, and by other means to render its distant Districts accessible, so will the Country advance Manuscript imagein population and wealth.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Colonel Moody's salary was to be paid from the Land sales—and it was not included amongst the salaries for which Provision was made by Parliament. When therefore Col Moody's agents applied as a matter of course, for payment of the salary, it was thought desirable to point out to the Governor that the charge was one which shd fall on the Colonial Revenue and could only be paid by the Imperial Treasury if there were no Colonial Funds to meet it. Governor Douglas Manuscript imagetherefore gives this explanation of the inability of the Colony to provide for it, and shews that the salaries paid to the Engineer officers are not practically for Civil duties performed by them, but constitute part of the Military expenditure.
HT Irving 20 Dec
Recommend, I suppose, to the Treasury?
HM D 20
CF 20
N 21
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 31 December 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.