No. 39
Downing Street
6 July 1860
I have received your despatch No. 44 of the 4th of May, relative to the position of Mr James Cooper, the Harbor Master of British Columbia.
I can only consider this case on public grounds. Mr Cooper was appointed for the service of British Columbia, and derives from it his whole income. There can be no reason therefore to exempt him from theManuscript imagethe rule that it's public officers are to reside within the Colony. Nor can I sanction his being again permitted on any future occasion to charge travelling expenses for proceeding to the Country which is expressly the scene of any duty that may be found for him to perform.
I am not sure whether I clearly understand from your other despatch of the 4th of May that Mr Cooper is in habitual public opposition to the Government, as a member of the Legislature of Vancouver's Island. But I need scarcely inform you that this is not a position which in any part of the World it is allowed to Officers holding permanentManuscript imagepermanent Government appointments to assume. If therefore such be the fact in the present instance, it will be necessary for you to inform Mr Cooper that, in case he feels that he cannot do otherwise than oppose the Government, he must relinquish his office. It is competent to any man to make his choice between political life and official life, but he cannot expect to be an active opponent of the Government, and to remain a public servant. For the same reason it is the general rule that Officers holding permanent appointments cannot be allowed to be writers in, or Editors orManuscript imageor Proprietors of political Journals, or to be otherwise engaged in the conduct of such journals, and to this rule Mr Cooper must conform in like manner with all other permanent servants of the Government in other parts of the World.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble Servant