No. 24, Financial
22 April 1863
The accounts which I transmit in my despatch of this date No 22, reveal the fact that the expenditure of The Royal Engineers within the Colony during the year 1862 amounts to the sum of £22,325. This is irrespective of the sum of£1200Manuscript image £1200 Civil Salary of Colonel Moody Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, which is paid in England direct to his Agents. The sums actually drawn and capable of being drawn from the Imperial Treasury in aid of these expenses during 1862 amounts in round numbers to about £10,500, which being deducted from the first named sum, leavesaManuscript image a balance provided by the Colony of nearly £12,000.
2. From a Return which I have just received from Colonel Moody, I find that the value of the works performed by the Royal Engineers during 1862 may be estimated at about £3500.
To this I would add
Estimated cost of a Civil Surveyor General
and Assistants, whose duties are now performed
by The Chief Commissioner ofLandsManuscript image Lands and Works £3,500
and Staff of Engineer Officers, say, 1,500
Making a total of 5,000
be deducted from 12,000
leaving a sum of £7,000 actually paid out of the Revenue of the Colony, for which no appreciable return is received, and which, added to the sums before mentioned of £10,500 and £1200 makes a total cost over and above the value of the worksperformedManuscript image performed of £18,700. This item must be viewed as the Military cost of a body of men sent to the Colony to perform Civil duties and only required for Military duties upon emergency; for the heavy expenses of Transport of men and provisions when on detached service, and other incidental extra expense connected with the employment of the men on works, do not enter into thesefiguresManuscript image figures, such charges being placed to the particular work performed and included in the general Civil Expenditure of the Colony.
3. I have before upon various occasions expressed my belief that the system of combining Civil with Military duties has not in this Colony been attended with the success anticipated but the results now given are so startling, and the drain upon the Funds oftheManuscript image the Colony so great while I am struggling to raise means to devote to the work of opening the communications—a work in which the very vitality of the Colony is concerned—that I feel bound to bring the matter to the immediate notice of your Grace.
4. I have long intended to represent to your Grace the heavy expenses incurred by this Detachment—expenses that IcannotManuscript image cannot but think are not proportionate to its strength, and are certainly not proportionate to the circumstances of the Colony—and I desired to accompany my representation with certain statistical information which I could only obtain from Returns to be furnished by Colonel Moody. I have called upon Colonel Moody for those Returns but from the delay that has takenplaceManuscript image place in procuring them in the shape I wished, and from a positive refusal being made in one case, I regret that I cannot testify to Colonel Moody's cheerful co-operation in the matter. With respect to the case of refusal, as a very serious point is involved I beg herewith to enclose Colonel Moody's letter upon the subject: for I feel that it is scarcely justthatManuscript image that the Colony should be compelled to bear so heavy a burden, without having the least control in the matter of expenditure. Colonel Moody declines to comply with my request upon the ground that it would be an infringement of Military Rule. It is remote from my desire to trespass in any way upon Colonel Moody'sprovinceManuscript image province so far as his Military duties are concerned, and I have always made it a point most carefully to abstain from doing so; but as it seems to me that the request I made, which was simply to be furnished with a nominal List of all persons rationed at the public expense, has more of a financial than a Military bearing, I cannot acceptasManuscript image as satisfactory Colonel Moody's explanation for declining to render the required Return. My reason for asking for it was this: I was anxious to place before your Grace, the numbers and qualities of the different persons rationed, more especially the women and children, the wives and families of officers and men; but as several attemptstoManuscript image to obtain the numbers properly classified, failed, I, to avoid further correspondence and delay sought to obtain a nominal list of the persons rationed, from which, the information I required, could have readily and satisfactorily been gathered.
5. The expenditure of the Detachment during 1862 has exceeded the expenditure in 1861 by £2271. The increaseisManuscript image is mainly to be found under the head of Rations—the Provisions in 1861 costing £6020 in 1862 £7805 a difference of £1784. At present I do not exactly know how to account for this large increase, but a portion of it is no doubt attributable to the greater number of persons rationed—the number of children in the Detachment having been more than trebled since it left England, and the number is increasing everydayManuscript image day.
I believe the number of the women and children rationed at the present moment exceeds 150 and as this is beyond the strength of the whole detachment I believe it is out of all proportion to what is authorized by the regulations of the Army.
6. Under these circumstances I do not hesitate to beg that your Grace will authorize me to reduce the establishment bygrantingManuscript image granting a discharge to those who may have large families and to those who may wish to settle in the Colony; I believe many so circumstanced would readily avail themselves of the offer, and in the cases of invariable good conduct the grants of land referred to in Sir Edward Lytton's Despatch No 14 of 2nd September 1858, might be made, by whichmeansManuscript image means the cost of the Detachment could be considerably reduced.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedt
humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
This report strengthens the propriety of the measure resolved upon by the Duke of Newcastle of withdrawing the R. Engineers from B. Columbia. I understand that shipping has been taken up for the conveyance of the detachment to England.
ABd 18 June
Mr Fortescue
I quite agree with Mr Blackwood's remark. ThisManuscript image despatch contains proof of the great costliness of the Engineers and affords evidence of their having rendered a very disproportionate amount of service to the Colony. It seems to me to show that they are likely to have been so much spoilt as to render it questionable whether we should endeavour to retain any of them for a further period, as recently suggested, but on this point I will submit a report to you and the Duke as soon as I have made some enquiries at the War Office.
Coll Moody may probably have been wrong to withhold information from the Governor on a technical ground, but on the other hand I am bound in candour to say that I think it would have been better if the Governor had more distinctly explained to him the object with which the information was sought.
TFE 19 June
CF 24
N 28
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
R.C. Moody to Douglas, 1 August 1862, declining to forward a nominal role of troops under his command, the request being "so far out of all Military Rule that I trust your Excellency will not press it."
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 22 April 1863, CO 60:15, no. 5956, 243. 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/B63024.html.

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