Hawes to Under-Secretary of State
War Office,
Pall Mall, S.W.
11 April 1859
In reply to your Letter of the 23rd of March, on the subject of the supply of Stores for British Columbia, to replace those lost in the "Briseis";
I am directed by Secretary Major General Peel to acquaint you, for the information of Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, that the stores in question will be provided as requested, (with the exception, in conformity with your Letter, of the "Iron Houses" and the "Hay & Oats") as speedily as possible.
With reference however to the question raised as to the cost of the new supply being defrayedManuscript imagedefrayed out of Military funds, "in conformity with the general practice of the Department, which acts as its own Insurer," I am to observe that although it is the practice of the War Department not to insure the Stores sent by Sea—of which, as it appears by Mr Merivale's Letter, the Colonial Office was fully aware, there is no reason for charging the loss of these Stores upon this Department.
Not at the time: it has only been ascertained since the loss of the Briseis called attention to the point.
An application however must necessarily be made to the Lords of the Treasury, if the value of the Stores in question is to be charged to Imperial Funds, and therefore Major General Peel is of opinion that such application should be made by the Colonial rather than by the War Department.
In the case of any future supplies of Stores for the Colonies which may be required to be furnished by this Department, Major General Peel requests that you willManuscript imagewill move Sir E. Bulwer Lytton to consider whether the Insurance for such supplies should not in all similar cases be effected by the Colonial Office, and the priced Bills of Lading transmitted to the Colonial Agent who may be appointed for the purpose.
In the present case, the priced Bills of Lading were sent to Col. Moody before he left England, who could have insured the Stores had he thought fit to do so.
I have etc.
B. Hawes.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
There is nothing to be done, I imagine, except to send copies of the correspce to the Treasury and recommend that Authority be given to this Dt to insert a sufficient sum in our Colonial Estimate for B. Columbia to cover the expense of the loss sustained in the Briseis—which this Country must pay for.
ABd 13 Ap
I am afraid that there is no alternative. Sir E. Lytton in the letter to the W.O. of the 23 March says that the lot of the articles consumed in the Briseis must be replaced—the only question being under what head Military or Colonial the expense is to be placed.
Perhaps however under the circumstances it will be best to send corresp. to Treasury & drawing their Ldships attention to the necessity, wh is admitted on all hands, of replacing the missing stores request to know their opinion as to the proper head under wh the sum sd be placed.
C Apl 14
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 25 April 1859, enclosing correspondence with the War Department respecting the loss of the Briseis and asking which department should properly defray the cost of replacement.