No. 82
25 August 1860
My Lord Duke
I regret to be compelled to trouble Your Grace with additional correspondence upon the subject adverted to in my letter of the 23rd instant, but Manuscript image but I forward a further communication from Captain Gosset, lest, as he has urged it, he might complain of not having had every opportunity of making good his case.
2. In transmitting the previous correspondence, I said as little as I could, for I felt loth to make any remarks that might injure Captain Gosset's prospects, but as he has by the letter now Manuscript image now enclosed, placed himself in a position antagonistic to myself, I must request Your Grace will take such notice of his continued attempts to coerce me into bestowing the Appointment of Colonial Secretary upon him, as you may, under the circumstances, think just and proper.
3. Your Grace was pleased to leave the appointment of a Colonial Secretary in my Manuscript image my hands. Mr Young resigned solely because the Salary was inadequate. Your Grace accepted his resignation for that reason alone. Mr Young was contented to remain, for the time, at my request, under the hope that the increasing prosperity of the Colony would bring with it a corresponding increase of Salary. This arrangement was reported to Your Grace, and Manuscript image and I presume you were satisfied with it. By it the Public Service has not suffered, but on the contrary, has been receiving the benefit of the services of a gentleman in every way qualified for the Office, and my opinion of whose merits, I have already conveyed to Your Grace.
4. Captain Gosset has had these matters explained to him by me in several personal Manuscript image personal interviews; and I trusted he would have had the delicacy to cease his importunities, for since September last he has perseveringly endeavoured to bind me to a promise of making him Colonial Secretary; and he has never missed an opportunity of parading before me his appreciation of his own talents, encumbering the most common place business letters with references to his Manuscript image his "superior experience"; in fact, to such an extent had this practice attained, to the serious detriment of Public business, that I was obliged to request Captain Gosset to confine his communications to clear and concise statements of facts, and each letter to one subject. Mistaken regard for his feelings has, perhaps prevented me sooner telling him in distinct Manuscript image distinct terms, that I could not recommend him for the office of Colonial Secretary, even if it were vacant, at all events unless he greatly changed both in his manner to me individually, and to the other Officers of the Government; for I regret to say, that, with scarce a single exception, I have received personal representations from the principal officers of the Government Manuscript image Government, as well as from others, of the rudeness of manner exhibited to them by Captain Gosset in their official communications with him, and judging from the attitude Captain Gosset has chosen to adopt towards myself, I could not discredit these complaints. These however, were incidents which, although causing me much regret and annoyance, I did not desire to take serious notice of, for I trusted Manuscript image trusted by gentle measures to make matters go smoothly, but at the same time I could not discard such considerations from my mind.
5. I could speak far more specifically, and could mention the cases to which I now only superficially allude, and I could cite other points of equal consequence in regard to qualification, in support of my opinion as to the unfitness Manuscript image unfitness of Captain Gosset for an office where tact, judgement and urbanity, are pre-eminently required, but I do not now consider it necessary, as I am not bringing any complaint against Captain Gosset, but merely mentioning my opinion, were it requisite to make the appointment he desires.
6. In the responsible position I hold, I am bound to exercise my judgment in Manuscript image in selecting Officers to fill particular offices, and by considering any particular Officer unfit for any any particular office, I do not, I conceive, "inflict any stain" upon that Officer's character, as Captain Gosset alleges, nor can he be thereby compelled to leave untried "no legitimate means" to combat my action.
I have Manuscript image I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
See 9597.
ABd 10 Oct
CF 16
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W.A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, to W.D. Gosset, Treasurer, 23 August 1860, advising his application would be forwarded to the secretary of state, but stressing that the office of colonial secretary was not vacant.
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Gosset to Young, 23 August 1860, advising that despite Young's decision to remain as acting colonial secretary, he considered the "Permanent or Fixed Appointment" to be vacant and again asking that his application be submitted to London.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 25 August 1860, CO 60:8, no. 9602, 135. 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/B60082.html.

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