No. 29
16 June 1862
I have had the honor to receive your despatch No 112 of the 17th March last referring to the appointment of Mr A.T. Bushby as "Registrar General" of British Columbia, under the "British Columbia Land Registry Act 1861" and calling for certainfurtherManuscript image further information in connection with this appointment.
2. With reference thereto, I beg to acquaint your Grace that upon the appointment of Mr Bushby to the Office of Registrar General he was relieved from his duties as Registrar of the Supreme Court, and another gentleman (Mr G.C. Mathew as already reported) was selected to perform them.
It appears in the periodical Returns but the appointment should have been separately reported.
The continuationofManuscript image of the two offices is not practicable, from the fact that the principal Office of the Registrar General must be at the Capital, and that either he or his deputy must be constantly present, while the Registrar of the Supreme Court is for probably more than six months in the year and at uncertain periods, absent from the Capital on Circuit with the Judge. To explain this the more fully as well as to exhibittheManuscript image the varied duties of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, I enclose copy of a letter—dated the 4th February 1861 addressed to me by Mr Begbie, bearing testimony to the value of Mr Bushby's services as Registrar of the Supreme Court and soliciting for him an increase of salary. It was owing to this and to previous and subsequent strong recommendations from Mr Begbie, that I was induced to select Mr Bushby for the very responsible Office of"RegistrarManuscript image "Registrar General."
3. With regard to the Salary, Five Hundred Pounds per annum, I assure your Grace that in this country it is really not justly commensurate to the responsibility of the Office. It cannot, indeed, be considered equivalent to a salary of Three hundred Pounds per annum in England, for although at present at New Westminster the common articles of food are moderately cheap—that is to say Beef is 1s/- perpoundManuscript image pound, and Bread -/4d per lb—yet House Rent, and Servants wages, and many other necessary requirements, are so extravagantly high, an ill built wooden tenement, not containing the accommodation afforded in England by a brick house of from £15 to £20 annual rental, commanding a rent of £120 per annum, and a very ordinary servant being difficult to obtain attheManuscript image the wages of £84 a year while the cost of washing is from 6s/- to 8s/- dozen. I trust your Grace will pardon my entering into these particulars, but I do so to shew that in fixing salaries, as well as in all other matters of expenditure, I have endeavoured to practice the strictest economy compatible with enabling the Officers of the Government to live as gentlemen.
4. In reply to your Grace'senquiryManuscript image enquiry as to whether a Deputy Registrar is necessary for the execution of the provisions of the Law, I have the honor to acquaint you that up to the present time no such appointment has been made. As business increases and Registration extends, such an Officer will be indispensable, but as a present expedient, the Registrar General forming thewholeManuscript image whole of the Establishment and the services of a second person being requisite to compare the copies registered with the Original deeds, I have authorized the employment of the Attorney General's Clerk, granting him an allowance at the rate of £50 per annum for the extra duty imposed upon him, which I believe is the most economical arrangement it is possible to adopt.
5. From the date ofopeningManuscript image opening the Office 1st Novr 1861, till the end of the last month there have been registered 163 Deeds containing 78,300 words or 783 folios of 100 words each, and the business of the office is steadily on the increase.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
If it is decided that the Govr has assigned sufficient grounds for the separate appointments of Registrar of the Supreme Court & Registrar General of Land Titles the first step will be to send the correspondence to the Treasury with reference to 976 and recommend approval?
VJ 18 Aug
I think so.
FR 18/8
N 20
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Begbie to Douglas, 4 February 1861, recommending a salary increase for Bushby, whose conduct had given "every satisfaction."
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Rogers to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 30 August 1862, forwarding copy of the despatch and recommending the proposed salary of £500 be approved.