No. 14, Financial
7 March 1863
I have the honour to enclose herewith for your Grace's sanction, the Estimates for the Colony of British Columbia for the year 1863.
2. These documents have been prepared for some time, but I did not forward thematManuscript image at an earlier date, as I gleaned from your Grace's Despatch No 135 of 1st August last, the Estimates for 1862 were still under consideration, and I was desirous of possessing myself of your Grace's views thereupon prior to the departure of the 1863 Estimates. I fear however that inconvenience may arise were I to delay further, and I therefore nowtransmitManuscript image transmit them.
3. Your Grace will observe that the proposed expenditure exceeds the Revenue by £44,670. This is caused by the sum of £70,000 being inserted for Roads. The detail to be found under that head exhibits work that the Country most urgently demands—that there is indeed an almost indispensablenecessityManuscript image necessity should be vigorously prosecuted in order to keep pace with the rapidly increasing requirements of the Colony. Of such work however only the most pressing has been admitted: there are numerous other roads trails and improvements in the communication of almost equal importance; but they must of necessity be deferred until the incoming RevenuewillManuscript image will pay the cost. As it is, the works that are named cannot be carried on without extraneous aid, and that aid I have confidence will be sanctioned by your Grace upon a consideration of the plain facts I presented in my Despatch No 58 of the 15th December 1862. It is necessary for me here to repeat the arguments I thenadvancedManuscript image advanced in favor of the policy of contracting another loan of £50,000. The enormous cost of transport, is crippling enterprise, chilling immigration, and retarding the development of the vast auriferous wealth of the Colony upon which at the present moment its existence depends, and to reduce that cost by thecontinuedManuscript image continued construction of roads in a Colony so impracticable of access as British Columbia is, I conceive not only an indispensable necessity and an imperative duty on the part of the Government, but also a measure of sound policy, the reproductive efforts of which, would, as I shewed in my aforesaid Despatch, in their beneficial effects, be immediately realized.
4. InManuscript image
4. In accordance with the instructions contained in your Grace's Despatch No 120 of the 9th May 1862, I have made provision in the Estimates for the salary of the Governor to be paid out of the Colonial Revenue.
5. I have placed upon the Estimates a sum of £500 in aid of the Admiralty SurveynowManuscript image now being prosecuted on the coast of British Columbia an accompanying copy of a letter from Captain Richards, recently conducting the survey in these waters, explains the necessity which existed for affording this aid, and under the circumstances I did not hesitate to anticipate your Grace's approval to a sumsoManuscript image so well applied.
6. I have also placed upon the Estimates the sum of £5052 to reimburse Her Majesty's Government the advances by overdrafts &c. A memorandum is enclosed with the Estimates exhibiting how this amount is arrived at. I have omitted the sum of £10,704, which by the Treasury letter of 16th June 1862,forwardedManuscript image forwarded in your Grace's Despatch No 140, 16th September last, was (as I believe under a misconception of its nature) also required to be repaid this year on like account. I feel sure that the explanation I rendered in my Depatch No 6, 10th January 1863 respecting the particular application of this sum, willhaveManuscript image have satisfied your Grace that it was purely a Military necessity, independent of the Colony and therefore not chargeable to it.
7. In the preparation of the Estimates I have endeavoured to avoid the superfluous detail as to the salaries objected to in the Estimates submitted for the past year, and IhaveManuscript image have sought to afford the full information required upon other points. I trust therefore that the present Estimates may be found satisfactory.
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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Mr Elliot
As the Governor has succeeded in getting two loans of £50,000 each, there is nothing to object to in his appropriation of £70,000 to Roads and Bridges. Instead, therefore, of his future expenditures being in excess of revenue he will have money in hand.
I think he has stolen a march upon us in regard to his own emoluments. He had £1200 a year from B.C. revenues, and £1800 from Parlt. B.C. now has to pay the whole £3000.
But we never intended that he should have £3000 plus £800 from V.C.I. It appears fromManuscript image documents which have been lately undergoing examination that, under the authority of V.C.I. Supply Acts this sum has been voted to the Governor for the last two years. As one of those Acts has been sanctioned it may be said that this salary has been tacitly recognized, and as the Governor will shortly be superseded it may be best to say nothing on the subject.
You will see that the overdrafts, and the claim of the T-y are provided for, which is satisfactory.
The Estimates are got up in a manner worthy of the best machinery of an old Colony, instead of one of the latest.
ABd 15 May
See Minute annexed.
TFE 19 May
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Mr Fortescue
You have to consider 1st the point about the Governor's salary which is raised by Mr Blackwood, and 2nd the questions which are raised by the despatch.
About the salary, I wished to ascertain the facts exactly, and therefore requested Mr Ebden to furnish an abstract of the correspondence which is annexed. I think it proves that the Colonial Office transacted it's business rather indefinitely at the time of creating these Governments, but not that we could maintain any charge of deception against the Governor. You will see that, strange to say, the Colonial Office never fixed his salary at all, but after announcing a grant of £1800 from Parliament, merely added that there would be no objection to a large increase from local funds if they would bear it. The two Governments were created, as you are aware, in 1859. Immediately afterwards this office assented to an addition of £1200 fromtheManuscript image the local funds of British Columbia. As to Vancouver Island we cannot find any record in 1859, but in August, 1860, the Governor sent home an Ordinance meant to provide £800 for his salary whenever the Land Revenue may be given up, and he has since sent home two successive Appropriation Acts, making the same contingent provision of £800. It might have been better if he had drawn attention more particularly to the matter and it certainly would have been better if this Office had either fixed his salary more distinctly beforehand, or else made some inquiry about it afterwards, but I cannot think that the circumstances would justify an accusation of anything fraudulent against the Governor. For these reasons I entirely agree in the conclusion that it is better to say nothing about the matter.
The Governor professes to provide for the Treasury claims, but it remains to be seen whether the provision can be accepted as satisfactory. Their demand was£17,000Manuscript image £17,000 and he provided £5000, on the assumption that the remainder is either remitted or otherwise disposed of.
I think that the proper course will be to send a copy of the present despatch to the Treasury for their consideration, to say that it will be observed that the Governor assumes that a claim for £10,704, in respect of drafts for Royal Engineers in a former year, will be remitted, together with the minor charge of £69 for the passage of the Bishop. On these points I would refer to our letter of the 2nd April last in which the Duke of Newcastle submitted to the Lords Comms of the Treasury some reasons why these claims might perhaps be relinquished. If it be correct that £2000 of the vote for the year 1863 is left undrawn, the Governor may properly take credit for that sum, since this is the most convenient method of his paying off a debt to the British Treasury, but whether it be a fact that such an amount has remained undrawn is a point which their Lordships can best ascertain. The excess of £70,000 in the estimated expenditure is founded on the permission which the GovernorhasManuscript image has received to raise two successive Loans of £50,000 each.
TFE 29 May
Duke of Newcastle
There seems nothing more to be said about these points, until the Try answer our letter of 2 April. I agree with Mr Elliot.
CF 5 June
N 8
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Mr Elliot
In a confidential despatch dated the 16th July 1858, the Govt of B. Columbia with a salary of at least £1000 a year, to be paid for the present by the Imperial Government, was offered to Mr Douglas.
This Govt was to be held in conjunction with that of Vancouver I, the salary of which as distinct from that of the other Colony was left undetermined but with the assurance that the administrator's interests would not be overlooked.
On the receipt of a despatch from Mr Douglas accepting these appointments but objecting to the salary as too small, it was intimated to him that Parliament would be asked to provide a salary of £1800 a year for the Governor of B. Columbia and Vancouver I, with the further intimation that there would be no objection to a large increase of the salary from local funds if able to bear the charge.
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In two subsequent despatches—No 70 of the 23rd May 1859 and Confidential of the 13th February 1860—£1200 was sanctioned as the contribution of B.C. to the Governors salary conditionally upon the attainment of its Revenue to £50,000.
But no further steps appear to have been taken by the Home Govt relative to the salary of Vancouver I Govt as distinct from that of B.C.
And the Governor appears for some time to have drawn £1800 + £1200 = £3000 as Governor of the two Colonies.
In the Colonial Estimates (of B. Columbia) for 1863, the Governor has inserted £3000 for his salary, Parliament having ceased to provide the £1800.
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Apart from the ability of B.C. to bear the increased charge there is the question how far the contribution of B.C. may have to be modified by any on the part of V.I.
An act of the V.I. Legislature "for the payment of certain salaries" passed in August 1860 and received in April 1861 provided conditionally for £800 for the Governor. This act has only lately been returned from circulation but is to be left unnoticed and is therefore in operation.
But in two subsequent Appropriation Acts, one for 1862 which has been allowed and another for 1863 not yet acted upon, there has been inserted an item of £1800
On the same condition as that mentioned in the "Salaries" Act of 1860.
for the Governor's salary.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Colonial estimates of probable revenue for the year 1863.
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Colonial estimates of sums required to defray expenses for 1863.
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Estimate of probable sums required to defray military expenses for 1863-64.
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Colonial sums owing to the Treasury for 1862-63.
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Captain G.H. Richards to Douglas, 10 December 1862, requesting financial assistance of £500.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 17 June 1863, forwarding copy of despatch and estimates and discussing the disposition of finances in the colony.