No. 26
Downing Street
19 May 1860
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 24 of the 17th of February last on the subject of the grant of endowments in Land to the clergy of the principal Christian Communities established in British Columbia.
I approve of the grants of about one acre each which you have already made to the Clergy of the Church of England and the "Methodist Episcopal Church"Manuscript imageChurch" as sites for a Church, School and Dwelling House, and you will also be at liberty to make similar grants in all Towns in the Colony where ordained Ministers of the Gospel may take up their residence, and where congregations may be established and require their assistance; but care should be taken that the land shall be appropriated to the purposes for which it was intended, and that it shall be so conveyed as to be secure against the possibility of misapplication in future years. Your further proposal that free grants of 100 acres of rural land should be made in aid of every cureManuscript imagecure established in British Columbia and not otherwise supported at the Public expense, I consider to be open to serious objections.
The experience afforded by other Colonies tends to shew that where a clergyman in a new Colony has to depend on his land for his principle means of subsistence, he must, to make it answer, devote to it so much of his time as seriously to interfere with his usefulness. Unless he does this the endowment becomes only an apparent, not a real, provision for him. He cannot let it because land in a new settlement is never, except under veryManuscript imagevery peculiar circumstances, taken on lease, and to employ hired labour would generally be beyond the means of a clergyman so situated.
For these reasons I am unable to sanction the measure which you propose. The practice of making grants of Land as endowments to livings in the Colonies has been generally discontinued for many years, and I much doubt whether it is not better for a Clergyman to depend entirely on the liberality of his congregation than to be provided with an endowmentManuscript imageendowment which, though no substantial assistance to him, may be an excuse to such of his Congregation as are disposed to withhold their aid.
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient Servant
People in this document

Douglas, James

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

Places in this document

British Columbia