No. 77
23 August 1860
My Lord Duke,
At the earnest solicitation of Captain Gosset the Treasurer of British Columbia I forward herewith to your Grace, copy of a correspondence having reference Manuscript image reference to his appointment to the Office of Colonial Secretary.
2. Under the circumstances of the style and tone of Captain Gosset's letters I would willingly refrain from any comment, but as established rule requires me to report upon the application, I am con strained Manuscript image strained to offer a few remarks on certain prominent points.
3. Your Grace will observe that Captain Gosset endeavours to establish a grievance because I have not appointed him to an Office which is not vacant, or at all events because I will not bind myself to create the vacancy and appointment Manuscript image appoint him at an early period, and, while having done no more than his duty, he would strive to shew that he has thereby been conferring a great obligation upon me, which I was bound speedily to repay. It is unnecessary for me to dwell upon this point, Your Grace is perfectly aware of the circumstances Manuscript image circumstances under which the British Columbia Treasury was originally established and continued for a period, at Victoria. It was not out of "complaisance to me" that Captain Gosset opened his office here; and I leave to the judgement of your Grace his misapplication of these circumstances, circumstances that did in reality save Manuscript image save him from much of that hardship and inconvenience which he labors to prove it has been his misfortune to experience.
4. I do not presume that Captain Gosset when accepting the appointment of Treasurer had any assurance given him that he would be appointed Colonial Manuscript image Colonial Secretary upon arrival in the Colony, and I therefore am at loss to conceive where he has cause of complaint, for he has been enjoying the appointment conferred upon him by Her Majesty's Government, and neither he nor his family have been exposed to any greater inconvenience than they must have anticipated when leaving Manuscript image leaving England, probably far less.
5. I must further remark that were the Office of Colonial Secretary vacant, I could not appoint Captain Gosset to it, for my experience of him during the last eighteen months has shewn me that he is not fitted either by habit or disposition Manuscript image disposition, for a post where tact, discretion, and a conciliatory manner are important specialities.
I give this opinion reluctantly, but it is forced from me by the course Captain Gosset has adopted.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
See also 9602.
The course to be taken on this case seems so clear that I do not feel it necessary to submit certain facts respecting Captain Gossett [Gosset] whh otherwise it wd have been my duty to mention. As the Office of Col: Secy of Brith Columbia is still held by Mr Young, and as, if vacant, the Governor has Authority to fill it up by a nomination on the spot it will probably be enough to instruct the Governor to inform Capn Gossett that his representations have been recd & considered and that the S. of S. has nothing to add to the communication addressed to him by direction of the Governor on the 23 August last (in 9602).
ABd 10 Octr
Mr Fortescue
Capt Gosset, though evidently a man of a faulty temper, appears to have been an able & useful public servant and I think it would be rather more respectful to him to add a few words to the dph proposed by Mr Blackwood even though they were rather of a reproving character.
Qu[ery]. Ackne observe that Mr Y's acceptance for the present of the office of Col Secretary renders it unnecessary to advert to Capt Gosset's application for that office. Add that with reference to the correspondence wh has passed and particularly to the concluding sentence of Capt Gosset's letter of the 23rd of Aug the S. of S. cannot refrain from observing that the Civil Service would be overwhelmed by personal controversies if every Public Servant was entitled to demand a public examination into his general conduct in case the Govr of the Colony in wh he serves shd consider him (& therefore represent him to the S. of S.) as unfitted for any particular office.
Manuscript image Such a refusal is quite consistent with a high respect for Capt Gosset's integrity & ability, and a full appreciation of the manner in which he may have filled an office of a different character in another Colony.
FR 12/10
I agree.
CF 16
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W.D. Gosset to W.A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, 18 August 1860, submitting a further application for the position of colonial secretary and asking that it be forwarded to the secretary of state.
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Gosset to Young, 27 September 1859, promoting himself as an applicant for the position of colonial secretary, in anticipation of Young's resignation.
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Gosset to Young, 11 August 1860, asking for reply to his letter of 27 September 1859, with extended explanation of his claims upon the office of colonial secretary (twelve pages).
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Young to Gosset, 17 August 1860, advising that he had reconsidered his resignation, and stressing that even if a vacancy should occur in the future, Gosset would have no particular claim upon the indulgence of the governor.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 53, 20 October 1860.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 23 August 1860, CO 60:7, no. 9597, 43. 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/B60077.html.

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