No. 62
Downing Street
20 November 1860
Sir,
I transmit to you the copies of a despatch from Sir H. Ward, late Governor of Ceylon, and of it's enclosures reporting the discovery of defalcations in the Department of the Surveyor General of that Island to the amount of £755-1-6 1/2, and of a robbery of the sum of £342-6-7, belonging to that Department, on the 1st of July last.
It is unnecessary to enter into a detailed statement of the modeManuscript imagemode in which the frauds involved in the defalcations were committed, inasmuch as all the circumstances relative to this part of the subject and to the manner in which those frauds were ultimately detected exposed and punished will be found set forth with great clearness in Sir H. Ward's despatch.
The defalcations in question, however, have been clearly traced to the fraudulent practices of a Clerk in the Department of the Surveyor General, named Bartholomensy to whom the financial transactions ofManuscript imageof the Department were entrusted; and it appears that the money misappropriated by him was abstracted from the money advanced on Impost from time to time by the Colonial Treasurer to the Surveyor General; that the sums so abstracted were fraudulently charged by Mr Bartholomensy in the Departmental accounts to the Surveyor General; that they figured in the balance of the statements of accounts sent quarterly to the Colonial Treasury and Audit Office, with the signature attached thereto either of the Surveyor General, or (in his absence) of some officerManuscript imageofficer acting on his behalf; and that the settlement which was required to be annually made with the Treasury in respect to the advance account was effected by paying into the Treasury the balance appearing to be due on that account, out of advances made by the Treasurer for the ensuing year.
The malpractices commenced in 1856 and were continued until discovered by Captain Sim, the present Surveyor General in November 1859. During that period theManuscript imagethe Department of the Surveyor General had been under the Superintendence of Captain Gosset from October 1856 to the 26th of April 1858, of Mr Evatt from the 27th of April 1858 to the 12th of March 1859, and of Captain Sim from the 12th of March to November 1859. But as it appears from the Minutes of the Executive Council that Mr Evatt merely officiated temporarily on the responsibility of Captain Gosset, the responsibility of Captain Gosset must be taken to extend from October 1856 to the 12th of March 1859. The amount of deficiency duringManuscript imageduring that time was £598-0-4.
You will be good enough to furnish Captain Gosset, at present the Colonial Treasurer of British Columbia, with copies of this despatch and of it's enclosures, and instruct him to furnish me through you with some explanation in regard to the omission on his part to verify the balances of the accounts of his Department sent quarterly to the Colonial Treasury and Audit Office with his signature attached thereto, and to shew cause why he should not beManuscript imagebe considered responsible for the amount of the defalcations that occurred during the period he held the office of Surveyor General, which period, for the reasons stated, must be considered as extending from October 1856 to 12th of March 1859.
I have the honor to be
Sir
Your Obedient Servant
Newcastle
Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes to Douglas, James 20 November 1860, LAC RG7:G8C/9, 369. 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/B607062.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)