No. 12, Financial
7 February 1861
With reference to my despatch No 7 of the 26th Ultimo I have now the honor to forward to your Grace herewith the detailed Estimates of the Revenue and ExpenditureofManuscript image of the Colony of British Columbia for the year 1861, prepared in as complete and formal a manner as the present infant state of the Colony will admit.
2. My despatch above alluded to contains most of the explanatory remarks pertinent to these Estimates, and it is therefore unnecessary for me to encumber this despatch with a repetition, but there is one point inparticularManuscript image particular which I will now take the liberty of bringing to your Grace's attention.
3. In previous correspondence I have asked your Grace for a reconsideration of the Salaries fixed by Her Majesty's Government for the principal Officers of this Government, and your Grace although at that time unable to sanction any increase, has kindly held out the hope that when I was able tofurnishManuscript image furnish more definite information as to the Revenue of the Colony, the subject would again be taken up. The information I have conveyed in my despatch of the 26th January will exhibit to your Grace the very satisfactory condition in which the Revenue of the Colony at present stands, and will shew that not only has the Colony not applied one sixpence of Imperial Funds towards liquidatingtheManuscript image the Civil expenditure within the Colony, but that she has, in addition to defraying from the first every farthing of such expenditure, been enabled in 1860 to apply the sum of Thirty six thousand pounds (£36,000) towards public works indispensable
Notice—reckoning no part of the cost of the R. Engineers as civil expenditure.
to her progress and development; and thus to make an investment which has undoubtedly proportionately increased her Revenue,andManuscript image and materially promoted her advancement and stability.
4. The character of the Colony as a gold producing Country is now so far established that there is but little fear of any decrease in the present population; on the contrary the population would seem to be steadily increasing just in proportion as we can open up roads, and, reducingtherebyManuscript image thereby the cost of provisions, make the less profitable diggings remunerative, and day by day is the work of advancement slowly but no less surely progressing.
5. I think therefore that your Grace need be under no apprehension of the Mother Country being called upon to defray any part of the Civil Expenditure of the Colony, and that the time has come whenIManuscript image I may confidently ask that the salaries which I have inserted in the Estimates for the superior Civil Officers may be confirmed.
6. The entire Civil Expenditure of the Colony may perhaps appear large to your Grace, but your Grace is well aware of the vast extent of Territory included within the Colony, and of the necessity, for the preservation of law and order, and for the interests of the Revenue,toManuscript image to establish a Government Agent at every spot where the miners may congregate and form a settlement; and to prove not only the expediency but the correctness of this policy, I would merely advert to the remarkable tranquillity, and almost total absence of crime within the Colony, and I would further observe that these outstations are not only in nearly every case self supporting, but in somecasesManuscript image cases add a considerable amount to the general Revenue. The salaries of some of the Magistrates at the distant outstations may appear large in comparison with the salaries asked for the principal Officers of the Government, but in both cases I would assure your Grace that no more has been inserted than is sufficient to procure a bare subsistence, and that thesalariesManuscript image salaries now placed on the Estimates for the superior Civil Officers are not at all commensurate to their position, nor approximate to the salaries paid by the Mercantile Community; for I am informed on good authority that the Actuary of the Bank established here, whose labours are insignificant as compared with those of the Treasurer, received a salary of£2000Manuscript image £2000 per annum, while his two Clerks receive the salaries of £800 and £600 respectively, and that from £400 to £600 per annum is the usual sum paid by Heads of Firms to their Clerks and Assistants. Compare this with the present salaries of the Colonial Secretary, Treasurer, and Collector of Customs, Gentlemen of position, education,andManuscript image and ability, who by their very position and education are incapable of availing themselves of those advantages which their ability would secure to them.
7. I trust your Grace will not think I am unduly pressing this matter upon your attention, but I know many of the officers cannot live upon their salaries, unless indeed, as some are obliged to do, they havecourseManuscript image recourse to the expedient of taking their meals at a Restaurant and sleeping in their Office. I have merely related these few facts for your Grace's information, for I feel satisfied it would be your desire as soon as the Colony can afford it to relieve the Officers of the Government from this embarrassing position.
8. With reference to the sum inserted in theEstimatesManuscript image Estimates to be expended under the head of "Roads, Streets and Bridges", I trust I may in this early stage of the Colony be permitted to depart from customary rule, and be left free to expend upon the important public work of extending the communications of the country—all the Revenue that may become disposable.
9. The accounts of the Colony for 1860 are in an almost complete state,onlyManuscript image only requiring certain distant district accounts to render them perfect, and they will I hope be forwarded to England within the prescribed period. The accounts for 1859 are also nearly complete but they have been delayed until now, in consequence of the difficulties attendant upon their entire reconstruction, and the references that were necessary in connectionwithManuscript image with the Military Expenditure, and other expenditures during the early stage of the Colony, and before a regularly organized system was established.
10. As bearing upon the subject of this despatch I take the opportunity of enclosing a Return of all the Appointments made by me to Offices in British Columbia up to the 31stDecemberManuscript image December 1860.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Fortescue
Annexed you will find a useful statement which has been prepared for me in the Division upstairs, showing the exact particulars of the Governor's recommendations and also the remuneration of Offices of the same class in several other Colonies. The result is in my opinion to shew that the Governor's recommendations are moderate and ought to be acceded to. If this view be adopted it could be requisite to apply fortheManuscript image the concurrence of the Treasury, expressing to them an opinion that the time has come when the principal Officers in British Columbia ought to receive an accession to their incomes and that the amounts proposed by the Governor appear to the Secretary of State to be moderate, both with reference to the scale of remuneration in other Colonies and to the high cost of living in a Country situated as British Columbia.
TFE 15 April
I agree.
CF 16
Apply to Treasury.
N 20
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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List of two enclosures; however, the enclosures to not appear in file.
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"Statement shewing the present Salary of the Principal Civil Officers in British Columbia, and the increase of Salary Recommended by the Governor."
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"Statement shewing the Salaries of the undermention Officers in Canada, South Australia, Tasmania and Natal."
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 7 May 1861, forwarding a copy of the despatch and recommending that Douglas's proposed salaries for public servants in British Columbia be approved.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Draft, Rogers to Hamilton, 12 June 1861, agreeing with the Treasury's recommendation that Douglas's proposal to provide the colonial secretary of British Columbia with an additional £200 in compensation for taking on the duties of auditor be denied.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 83, 7 June 1861, which approves of Douglas's previous financial reports, and of increased salaries for certain colonial offices.