No. 18, Military
19 February 1861
With reference to my Despatch No 12 of the 7th Instant, transmitting the Estimates of the Civil Expenditure of the Colony of British Columbia, I have the honor to forward herewith Estimates of the Expenditure necessary on behalf of the Royal Engineers employed in this Colony, amounting in the aggregate to the sum of Sixteen Thousand,SevenManuscript image Seven Hundred and Fifty pounds, which is the very lowest at which the annual cost of the Royal Engineers can be calculated.
2. From this Your Grace can readily comprehend how impossible it is for this Colony to defray the expenditure from her own resources unless the whole, or greater part, of the public works so imperatively demanded be brought to a stand still, and the progress of the Colony most disastrously retarded, and I therefore most earnestly trust Your Grace will be able to continue the helping handofManuscript image of the Mother Country in defraying the expenses of this body of men, who in reality are of more value to British Columbia on Imperial than on Colonial account.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant,
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 19 Apl
Mr Fortescue
You will, I think, see with regret the very heavy demands for these Engineers, whose introduction into this Colony has proved so costly and been attended as far as we know by so little commensurate advantages.
The demand for this year is £16,750, and I suppose that the Column headed 1860 must mean that the expenditure on them for that year was £20,966. The votes submitted to Parliament for their Colonial pay for the corresponding periods have been £12,200 for each year. I suppose that the only recourse will be to tell the Governor that he must pay the difference out of Colonial Revenue, but it certainly is very hard upon a Colony which never has had the smallest need for their military services, and which has been obliged to use more practical forms of labor for its public works.
TFE 20 April
Duke of Newcastle
I cannot but think that the time has come to remove the Engineers.
CF 25
I agree (see a former minute of mine) but they cannot be removed till some decision is come to on the next question of sending a Rgt—or part of one—to V.C. Isd.
N 26
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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"Estimate of the probable sums required to defray the Expenditure of the Military Department from January 1st 1861 to December 31st 1861," signed by Douglas.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 78, 11 May 1861, informing Douglas that Parliament has only authorized £12,200 toward the cost of the Royal Engineers and that the colony of British Columbia will have to pay any costs in excess of that amount.