Hamilton to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
7 January 1861
With reference to Mr Elliots letter of the 27th ult submitting a proposal of the Governor of British Columbia for the negotiation in this country of a Loan of £50,000 for the purpose of completing the construction of Roads to the newly discovered Gold diggings on the Southern Frontier of the Colony; I am directed by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majestys Treasury, to acquaint you, for the information of the Duke of Newcastle, that Their Lordships, having had this proposal under Their consideration, are fully prepared to appreciate the importance of an early development of the the Resources of the Colony,byManuscript image by the Construction of Roads, and They would be unwilling to throw any impediment in the way of the undertaking; but They would remind His Grace that there are several important considerations to be dealt with, before the proposal of a Loan can be finally adopted.
Their Lordships would observe that They have not, up to the present time, received any account of the Revenue and Expenditure of British Columbia, since its first establishment as a Crown Colony.
I have called attention to this fact several times.
[ABd]
Nor have They received the accounts, that have been called for, of the appropriation of the sums, that have been drawn from time to time, by Bills upon thePaymasterManuscript image Paymaster General, for the service of the Colony;
Written for 5 May and 25 Oct.
which might enable Them to adjust the advances made from the Treasury Chest account, a question which formed the subject of the correspondence noted in the margin;
Treasury to Col. Office, (6434) March 1860.
Treasury to Col. Office, (4174) 5th April 1860.
Col. Office to Treasury, (7717) 7th May 1860.
Until They have before Them some further information in regard to the general Financial condition of the Colony, My Lords are unable to form an opinion, how far They would be justified in assenting to the present proposal of The Governor.
It will be incumbent on the Governor to shew clearly, that thelocalManuscript image local Revenue is able to meet the Charge for the Loan, together with all other legitimate Colonial Charges; with the exception of The Colonial pay of the Royal Engineers, which may for the present, under the circumstances of the newness of the settlement, be borne by the Imperial Government. It will also be necessary, before any steps can be taken for raising a Loan in this Country, that some adequate provisions should be made by Local Enactment, for the payment of the Interest, and for the Redemption of the Principal of such Loan; as any uncertainty on these points might cause considerabledifficultyManuscript image difficulty in raising the Money in the English Money Market.
In the event of the Governor's furnishing satisfactory information as to the Financial condition of the Colony, together with a complete statement of the expenditure of the sums drawn from this country, and upon the passing of an Act, or Ordinance, providing for the raising of the money required, on the security of part, or the whole, of the Revenue of the Colony, Their Lordships will be prepared to entertain the proposal, and They would suggest for the considerationManuscript image of His Grace, that the negotiation of such loan might be most conveniently effected eventually, through the Agents General for Crown Colonies.
Their Lordships approve of the instructions which His Grace proposes to give to Governor Douglas in regard to the Funds already raised by him on the security of Colonial Bonds, and in regard to the necessity of obtaining the sanction of Her Majesty's Government for raising money on the security of Colonial Revenue.Manuscript image Before concluding this communication Their Lordships would point out, what appears to Them to be an oversight in the statement contained in the 2nd Paragraph of Mr Elliot's letter, in regard to the pay of the detachment of Royal Engineers, being the "only" charge upon the Imperial Treasury for British Columbia; and that all other Expenses are provided for out of the revenue of the Colony.
A reference to the Estimate for this Colony, for the year 1860/1 shews, that, apart from the Salary of the Governor, provision is madeforManuscript image for the Salary of the Commissioner of Lands, and for the Colonial pay of the Royal Engineers, who are, so far as Their Lordships are aware, engaged in a civil, rather than a Military, capacity for the service of the Colony; their Military or Regimental pay still chargeable on the Army.
I am etc.
Geo. A. Hamilton
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
Assuming that the views expressed in this Letter coincide with those entertained by the Duke of Newcastle in reference to the question of a Loan to B. Columbia it will be best, I think, to frame a desph to the Governor upon this Letter, and send him copy of our Lr to the Treasury. And perhaps His Grace wd suffer us to introduce some remark upon the almost complete ignorance of the financial affairs of B. Columbia in which we are kept notwithstanding that this Office has, on 2 distinct occasions, if not more, ordered the Govt to keep the S. of S. well informed thereon.
There is a Treasurer, specially for B. Columbia, who, if he had attended to his own business might without any great labor, have supplied the information of which the Govr is deficient.
ABd 12 Jany/61
Mr Elliot
I think this matter will be safer in your hands than in mine.
FR 14/1
Manuscript image
Mr Fortescue
This is a subject on which you bestowed much attention. I do not myself see why our letter to the Treasury should not be sent out, as well as their answer to us. The particular to which they allude as being not quite accurate is one in which you altered the draft that I had proposed. I agree with Mr Blackwood that the neglect to send home good financial returns is a fair subject of blame, such blame being chiefly due to Capt. Gossett, the Treasurer, and not to the Governor, but the requisite admonition on this subject will be given still more naturally on another despatch which I today send you in circulation and therefore I should think it better not to mix up so important a question as that of the loan with the necessary exhortations to the Officals on the discharge of their regular duties.
TFE 20 Feby
See 911.
The statement of our letter to the Ty, as altered by me, was certainly rather too favorable to the Colony, but still the R. Engineers were sent in lieu of other Troops.
CF 22
Manuscript image
I have passed a draft to the Govr reproving the great negligence evinced in not forwarding the Financial Accounts. It only remains therefore to instruct him in the matter of the Loan in accordance with the Treasury letter.
In looking at a former Minute I see I commented on the appointment of a Person as "Treasurer". I find Captn Gossett is Treasurer of B.C. It must have been Vancouvers Island to which Mr Gordon (the Person I referred to) was gazetted.
N 24
Such was fact.
Hamilton, George Alexander to Rogers, Frederic 7 January 1861, CO 60:12, no. 153, 190. 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/B615TE02.html.

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