No. 67
24 February 1861
I have the honor to acknowledge your despatch No. 97 of the 28th of November, accompanied by a return of Customs Revenue in the Quarter ending on the 30th of September last.
I feel compelled to take this opportunity of once more drawing your attentionManuscript image to the neglect to furnish really adequate returns of the Revenue and Expenditure of British Columbia.
The volume of Colonial Regulations contains in Chapter VII, from pars 217 to 243 inclusive, a statement of financial returns which ought to be periodically sent to this Country. The first Article in this portion of the Regulations is expressed in the following terms: 217. Her Majesty's Government attach the highest importance to the regular and punctual transmission of the followingReturnsManuscript image Returns, and Governors are desired to impress this upon those Officers whose duty it may be to prepare them.
Similar Instructions have frequently been repeated in despatches from the Secretary of State No. 58 of the 24th of December 1858 and No. 3 of the 6th of January 1859 supplied copies of the forms in which the Accounts of the Colony ought to be kept. In No. 22 of the 5th of May last, and again in No. 55 of 25th of October, the necessity of transmitting the Returns demanded by the ColonialRegulationsManuscript image Regulations was inculcated. Notwithstanding these repeated directions, I can only find, since the commencement of the Colony, one solitary report of the general Revenue and Expenditure, being an abstract which was transmitted in your despatch No. 127 of the 8th of April 1859, showing the amounts received and expended up to the preceding month of February.
This remissness not only infringes the general rules of the Service and deprives Her Majesty's Government of informationwhichManuscript image which it ought to possess, but it operates at this very moment most prejudicially to the interests of the Colony by it's effect on the proposal which you have made for raising a moderate loan to improve the internal communications. For it can hardly be necessary to say that no Capitalist in England could be induced to lend money to a Colony in the absence of any information as to the total amount of it's Revenue and Expenditure.
IManuscript image
I am well aware of the multiplicity of affairs which demand your attention, and although I cannot but address this despatch to yourself as Governor of the Colony, I am sensible that you may not be personally answerable for the neglect of which I am obliged to complain. But there is a Treasurer whose sole duty if he confine himself to his proper functions, is to keep the Accounts of the Colony in a clear state, and to furnish, with theManuscript image punctuality and regularity suitable to the Office with which he is entrusted, the Returns demanded by the rules of the Colonial Service. If he has supplied you with such Returns, I can hardly imagine that you would have omitted duty to forward them to this country. On this point you will doubtless give me the requisite information. But if he has not supplied you with those documents, I should wish to know whether he has been furnishedwithManuscript image with the volume of Colonial Regulations, or whether he has had his attention called to the particular part which I have quoted, and also whether any communication has been made to him on the occasion of the different despatches to which I have above referred, and unless he can plead that he has been wholly in ignorance of these requisitions on him, I have to call upon him to explain his omission to produce the informationwhichManuscript image which he was bound to furnish.
You will have the goodness to communicate a copy of this despatch to Captain Gossett [Gosset] and to transmit to me any report which he may make on the subject.
I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble servant,
Newcastle
Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes to Douglas, James 24 February 1861, LAC RG7:G8C/9, 390. 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/B617067.html.

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