Peel to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
27 February 1862
With reference to your letter of the 21st Inst. I am directed by the Lords Commissoners of Her Majesty's Treasury to acquaint you that My Lords concur in the terms of the Despatch which the Duke of Newcastle proposes to address to the Governor of British Columbia in reply to his Despatch, No 74, of 13 November last on the subject of the Estimates ofRevenueManuscript image Revenue and Expenditure of that Colony for the year 1862, conveying to him instructions to curtail some of the different services proposed in those Estimates, so as to admit of the payment, during the year 1862, from the Colonial Revenue, of a moiety of the expense of the Royal Engineers;
Their Lordships will not object to that part of the other Draft Despatch to the Governor which undertakes to discharge out of Imperial Funds theotherManuscript image other moiety of the cost of maintaining during the year 1862/3 the Detachment of Royal Engineers serving in the Colony, amounting to £11,000, of which the sum of £7200 is to be provided by a Parliamentary Grant, the remainder, viz £3800, being already borne on the Army Estimates.
My Lords will not object to provision being made, in the Civil Service Estimates for the same year, for the Salary of the Governor to the end of that year—the Salary after thatdateManuscript image date to be paid from the Colonial Revenue.
With reference, however, to the past expenditure from Imperial Funds, Their Lordships desire to draw His Grace's attention to the Returns transmitted in Governor Douglas' Despatch No 56, of 16 September 1861, enclosed in Mr Elliot's letter of 7 November last, of the bills drawn upon the Paymaster General, and of the Expenditure of the sums drawn on account of the Detachment of Royal Engineers fortheManuscript image the years 1859 and 1860.
For the service of the year 1859 The Governor has drawn Bills to the extent of £39,320—viz
For Colonial Pay £15189. 8.6
other Expenses £24130.11.6
£39320. 0.0
against the sum of £27,000 which was provided in the Parliamentary Estimates—viz
Estimate 1859/60 For Colonial Pay £11000
Do To meet Bills drawn for
current service in 1859 £16000
£27 000
ThusManuscript image Thus involving an excess of payments beyond sums voted, for the service of the year 1859 of £12,320—viz
Colonial Pay £ 4 189. 8.6
Other Expenses £ 8 130.11.6
£12,320. 0.0
For the year 1860 the Governor has drawn for £22,856.6.4—viz
For Colonial Pay £11,929. 8. 2
Other Expenses £10 926.18. 2
£22,856. 6. 4
against the sum voted for 1860/1vizManuscript image viz £11,000 for Colonial Pay only—thus involving an excess of payments beyonds the sum voted for 1860/1 of £11,856.6.4
viz Colonial Pay £ 929. 8. 2
other Expenses £10,926.18. 2
£11,856. 6. 4
Payments have also been made in this country in excess of the sums provided on account of the expenses of the Royal Engineers prior to their arrival in British Columbia, as well as on account of the Salaries oftheManuscript image the Governor and Commissioner of Duties.
I am to enclose a statement which has been prepared in this Department, showing the particulars of the several payments, and exhibiting an amount unprovided for, to the extent of £26,958.9s10d. This is exclusive of the claim of £6,900 for the Silver Coins which were sent to British Columbia in October 1860, and though the Governor was told that that claim wouldbeManuscript image be settled out of the grant, and that he must instruct his Treasurer to diminish his Drafts accordingly, he has continued to draw Bills as if no such claim existed.
My Lords request that the attention of the Governor may be drawn to the large amount of expenditure from Imperial Funds on his Requisitions in excess of the sums provided by Parliament, and that he may be called upon to furnish the fullestexplanationsManuscript image explanations in his power of his proceedings in the matter.
Their Lordships request also that His Grace's attention may be called to the subject—with a view to some prompt arrangement being made for the repayment of the whole excess from the Funds of the Colony.
My Lords would further observe, with reference to the Governor's Despatch, No 72, of 23 November last relating to the above-mentionedManuscript image sum of £6900 supplied in specie in 1860, that he has already authorized the Treasurer to draw Bills on account of the year 1861/2 to the extent of £9000 against the grant of £11000 for the Colonial Pay of the Royal Engineers, and he remarks that, if the Coin is not to be deducted from the grant, there will remain a sum of £2000 available before the 31 March 1862 for that service.
My Lords apprehend that the Despatch informing him thatHerManuscript image Her Majesty's Government must be repaid the value of that specie will not arrive in time to prevent the drawing for the sum of £2000.
The sum of £6900, for the specie, will be chargeable to the grant His Grace proposes to limit to £7,200.
Not so, I think.
According to this arrangement the sum remaining to be drawn against the grant for 1862/3 will amount to £300 only;
My Lords would furtherobserveManuscript image observe that the Salary of £1200 a year, of the Commanding Officer of the Royal Engineers, Colonel Moody, has been hitherto paid in this country.
After the 31 March next there will be no funds, except the sum of £300 above mentioned, to meet the Salary in England and Their Lordships will, therefore, be unable to direct any further issues on that account beyondtheManuscript image the 31 March next.
I am Sir
Your obedient Servant
F. Peel
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
VJ 27 Feby
Mr Fortescue
The present letter has arrived this afternoon: the Columbia Mail goes tomorrow. In the draft despatch which has already been settled, the Treasury express their concurrence, and therefore that despatch at all events can be sent if thought proper.
But you willManuscript image find, I suspect, that any further proceedings to be taken on the present letter from the Treasury will require much care and deliberation. What I should have thought expedient would have been summed up in the old stock phrase of "indemnity for the past and security for the future". The Treasury however in this letter want to treat the over-supply of specie as a set-off against the amount which is about to be voted by Parliament for the current year, a course which would obviously enough, as the Treasury themselves point out with some satisfaction, reduce the Colony to bankruptcy. With all respect, I cannot but think this more petulant than statesmanlike. In fact, to say the truth, instead of upholding the cause of regularity, it would be a sort of fraud upon Parliament, for we should be asking them to vote money for the pay of the Engineers and of the Governor, and then applying it to repay old debts. If the Treasury can really be supposed to be earnest, and not merely writing in a moment of heat, the true course would be to ask Parliament to vote a certain amount for refunding the cost of specie, and to announceatManuscript image at the same time that neither the Governor nor the Royal Engineers serving in the Colony are to have any provision made for their pay. Whether such a course be possible, it is not for me to judge.
TFE 27 Feby
Duke of Newcastle
I have added a P.S. to the draft to Govr Douglas, wh. I wd. propose, in [tenorun?] and as a preparation for any course wh. you may think it right to take. Whatever we may think of the tone & temper of the Try, they have disclosed to us conduct on the part of the Govr, most insubordinate and unfair to the Sec. of State.
CF 28
I approve of they P.S. to the despatch for tonights Mail.
N 28
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to Hamilton, Treasury, 22 March 1862, concerning the accounts of British Columbia.
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to Peel, 22 April 1862, requesting consideration of measures proposed by Newcastle to settle the financial affairs of British Columbia.
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 123, 13 May 1862, admonishing Douglas for spending without authorization and outlining the measures which have occurred to me for the settlement of the financial affairs of British Columbia.
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to Peel, 14 June 1862, forwarding two despatches from Newcastle to Douglas for the governor's guidance.
Minutes by CO staff
This draft is proposed, as I hear that the Treasury will like to see our despatches. The recent one from Gov Douglas will, I think, go better in a separate letter, which I am about to prepare.
TFE 12 June
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Statement of accounts for British Columbia.