Hawes to Under-Secretary of State
War Office,
Pall Mall, S.W.
23 February 1859
Sir
In consequence of the loss by fire of the "Briseis" bound to British Columbia with Stores for the Royal Engineer Detachment employed in that Colony, an application has been received from the Quarter Master General to replace them—and I am directed by Secretary Major General Peel to state that directions will be given to that effect if approved of by Sir E.B. Lytton.
I have etc.
B. Hawes
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
This is most serious not alone as to the expense of renewing the supplies, if it shd so be determined, but as to the delay to the Engineers in receiving the stores. I was informed that only "Houses" had been sent in the "Briseis." On applying at the War Office for a List I find, however, that Articles of the most necessary description were sent in her. These are Manuscript imageall lost. But what surprizes me most is if Mr Talbot is right, that a public Dept, when employing a Vessel not belonging to the Govt, should not insure. I suppose there are good reasons against insuring: but they are not apparent at first sight.
It might be well to ask the War Office officially, if they insured these stores. If they have not so done I fear we have no alternative except to renew the order at our own charges, omitting however the Houses—for the Engineers will have constructed some for themselves long before the fresh supply can reach them.
ABd 28 Feb
HM Mh 1
Annex draft at once to this report.
C March 2
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Under-Secretary, War Office, 4 March 1859, asking that Lytton be informed whether the stores aboard the Briseis were insured.
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Draft, Merivale to Under-Secretary, War Office, 15 January 1859, requesting a detailed account of all War Department expenses for the Royal Engineers.
Hawes, Benjamin to Carnarvon, Earl 23 February 1859, CO 60:6, no. 2096, 253. 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/B595WA02.html.

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