Laird to Newcastle
11 St James Place
29 May 1862
My Lord
I beg to enclose a letter that I have received from Mr C.R. Janion of Liverpool, a Merchant engaged in Trade with Van Couvers Island and British Columbia, pointing out the great irregularity in the Postal Service between those Colonies and this Country.
The great disadvantages these Colonies labour under from the present irregular conveyance of the mails, is so clearly shown in Mr Janion's letter that I hope it will be possible for the Government to take some steps to remedy the evils complained of.
Mr Janion is a Merchant of the highest respectability, carrying on business in Liverpool and having branch houses at Vancouvers Island and other Ports in the Pacific.
I beg also to enclose copies of two documents forwarded to me by Mr Janion—one being Plan of the proposed Postal route from Panama to Vancouvers Island—the other copy of the Memorial referred to in his letter.
I remain Your Grace's Most obedient Servant
John Laird

His Grace the Duke of Newcastle KG
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
VanCouver Isd & B. Columbia are paying £5000 for a fortnightly postal communication for 6 months—with which fact Mr Janion is of course acquainted. If the B. Treasury will not grant a subsidy, which is not likely to happen, the only alternative is for these Colonies to keep up the payment they have begun to make. Nor indeed do I think otherwise than that it is fair to leave it to them [to] do so.
ABd 30/5
I should acknowledge the letter and say that theManuscript image Duke of Newcastle is very sensible of the importance of good and regular postal communications between this Country and Vancouver's Island & B. Columbia. I should acquaint him that HM's Govt have not felt at liberty to apply to Parliament for a grant of British money towards this service, but that His Grace has sanctioned some appropriations towards it which have been made out of the Colonial Revenues, and that the Governor is fully alive to the expediency of affording every legitimate encouragement to this desirable object.
TFE 31 May
I agree.
CF 2 June
N 4
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Laird, 5 June 1862, advising that Newcastle was very aware of the problem and had taken such steps as were felt proper in the matter.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Robert Janion to Laird, 26 May 1862, discussing at length the deficient mail service to the colonies.
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Map showing the proposed postal route from Panama to Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
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Memorial to the Treasury, no date, promoting the cause of improved postal communications and requesting a subsidy from the imperial treasury for conveyance of the mails between California and Victoria, 121 signatures.