No. 56
14 September 1863 My Lord Duke,
The Mail bringing me Your Grace's Despatch of the 10th July No 34, relative to the withdrawal of the Royal Engineers, has just arrived, and I hasten to avail myself of the very short interval before its departure to address Your Grace upon one point which IconsiderManuscript image consider very essential to the future well-being of the Colony, and that is, the selection of a fit and proper person to succeed Colonel Moody, as the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
2. Your Grace is perhaps aware that the entire Department of Lands and Works has been conducted by the Officers and men of the Royal Engineers, no Civilian assistance having been called in for the discharge of the office duties, and that therefore when the Troops are withdrawnfromManuscript image from their Civil duties, not one single person will remain who has any knowledge of the Records, or of the system which has been pursued for the transaction of business connected with the Department. Your Grace informs me that before long you will name a Successor to Colonel Moody. From what I have stated it is very evident that the Successor should enter upon the duties of his Office at the earliest possible moment, and prior to Colonel Moody relinquishing his Civil duties; and above all it is especially desirable that the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works should be a man thoroughlyacquaintedManuscript image acquainted with the character and resources of the Country from personal knowledge and experience, and cognizant of all the events that have transpired connected with its development by means of the road and land systems which have been introduced. As Your Grace may have some difficulty in selecting a person so qualified, who may in other respects be fitted for the responsible Office referred to, I trust I may be pardoned for submitting to you the names of two Gentlemen either of whom, I think, would most efficiently and satisfactorily discharge all the duties of the head of the Department.
TheManuscript image
The first is that of Captain Henry Reynolds Luard, now serving with the Detachment of Royal Engineers. Captain Luard is a gentleman who since his residence in the Colony has gained the good will and esteem of all; and he is, I believe, a person of good professional standing, and from my own knowledge, I can safely say, of excellent business habits. He has almost from the first had charge of all the office details of Colonel Moody's Department, and from the moment of his taking charge a great increase in order, method and correctness was perceptible. He is thoroughly versed in every matter of detail, and has a perfect general knowledge of all that hastranspiredManuscript image transpired since the erection of the Colony. I could have no better officer than Captain Luard to fill the position of Surveyor General or Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3. Should however any Military difficulty arise which would prevent Captain Luard from being appointed to the office in question—even were Your Grace inclined to confer it upon him, I would take the liberty of placing before you the name of Mr Joseph William Trutch, a Civilian, now and for the past five years resident in the Colony. Mr Trutch is a Civil Engineer by profession, and has contracted for many of the works undertaken by the Government, always executinghisManuscript image his Contracts in the most thorough and satisfactory manner. From the experience I have had of him I believe his general professional knowledge, the more especially as adapted to the peculiar requirements of a new country where precedent and rule cannot always be followed, to be equal to any in the Country. He is a gentleman of good social standing, and he bears a character in the place of the highest integrity. I believe him also to be a man of thorough business habits; methodical but at the same time quick and accurate, and from the close personal knowledge I have had of him I believe there are not many men who would better discharge the duties of Surveyor GeneralinManuscript image in a new Colony. Mr Trutch was introduced to me by Your Grace's predecessor, Sir Edward Lytton, and I annex a copy of a private letter which I received from him in addition to the official letter of introduction of the 29th October 1858. Nearly five years experience of Mr Trutch has shown that the favorable mention of Sir Edward Lytton was not undeserved.
4. With reference to the last paragraph of Your Grace's Despatch now under reply, I would beg to observe that I do not anticipate any difficulty in finding suitable persons to fulfill the Surveying and Engineering duties hitherto performed by the Royal Engineers.TheManuscript image The difficulty which presents itself is in immediately providing a head to carry on in the current work of the Department—a difficulty which I could have met by a provisional appointment, but I fear now to take any such step lest I might unintentionally interfere with Your Graces arrangements. I will, however, Your Grace may rest assured make the best provision I can under the circumstances for relieving Colonel Moody and his staff of their Civil duties.
5. I trust Your Grace will pardon this hurried Despatch, written to save the outgoing Mail, but I am so sensible of the up-hill taskitManuscript image it would be for any person personally unacquainted with the Country to enter upon the duties of the office and hinderance that would arise in the transaction of business and the execution of public works, that I desired not to lose an instant in submitting these circumstances to Your Grace.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
This is related to the appointment of a successor to Colonel Moody—on which see minutes on 3913 and 5193. The salary is to be £800 per/63 ann.
ABd 29 Oct/63
FR 29/10
I have no doubt that all the inconvenience anticipated byManuscript image Sir J.D. would be the consequence of sending out a new Head who would find none of the old Staff remaining. I only proposed it under the idea that there was no fit man in the Colony. Of the two now recommended I should think the antecedents of Captn Luard is the most likely to qualify him for a position which, independently of Professional attainments, ought to be one of considerable social importance in the Colony. But will he quit the Army?
Perhaps Mr Blackwood can find at the W.O. something more than we at present know of Captain L. especially as to his character and conduct and as to his views of a Military or Civil career.
N 30
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Duke of Newcastle
In pursuance of your Grace's direction I had instituted the necessary enquiries at the War Office, & at the Office of Engineers H. Guards. I am informed that Captain Luard's conduct & character are unimpeachable, and that, in his Military capacity he is a very "sharp" Officer. There will be no difficulty in placing him on the "seconded" list, on a requisition to the H.O. from hence. There is no necessity for Capn Luard to quit the Army: The "seconding" him will be sufficient. We have already several Officers of Engineers, serving in Civil capacities in the Colonies (Sims at Ceylon, Morrison at Mauritius, Col: Ord at Bermuda) who have not therefore quitted the Army.
I presume the Governor must have very good reasons for selecting Capn Luard; or else that Capn Grant R.E. if the offer was made to him, has thought proper to decline the place for there is no question as to the eminent qualifications of the latter officer and also of Lt Palmer for the duties of C. Commr of Lands & Works.
If yr Grace shd decide on appointing Capn Luard it wd be well to do so by the earliest oppy, as the Engineers are under orders to come home, & Capn L. may have quitted the Colony.
ABd 31 Octr/63
Mr Blackwood
Unless there is a mail before the 11th instt let this stand over & I will see you about the other Offrs on that day.
N 3
It has been ascertained since the preceding minute was written by me, that the military authorities only acquiesce in the "seconding" of officers when their Colonial employments are of a temporary, not a permanent nature.
ABd 7 Sept/65
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Lytton to Douglas, 29 October 1863, private letter introducing Joseph Trutch.
Minutes by CO staff
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These are the papers relating to the selection of a Chief Commissioner of Lands for British Columbia. Captn Luard R.E. is strongly recommended by the Governor. Mr Blackwood ascertained at the War Office that his conduct and character are unimpeachable, and there is no military obstacle as he can be seconded without difficulty.
Unless therefore there should be some objection which does not appear on the face of these papers, I should think that Captn Luard would seem the fittestManuscript image person to appoint? The Governor's testimony on the 1st page of sheet 2 is exceedingly strong, and seems to show the reason why this Officer more especially had been selected as the object of his recommendation.
TFE 19 Decr
I agree. Let Captn Luard's appointment go out by next Mail.
N 21
See minutes attached to M/12465/63 respectingManuscript image the appointment of Mr Trutch instead of Captn Luard.
[AA]
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to War Office, 24 December 1863, requesting the release of Captain Luard from military duties in order that he might assume a post in British Columbia.
Minutes by CO staff
N.B. I leave out the subject of "seconding" advisedly—it possibly may not arise for 3 years, & at all events we had better leave the military details to the W.O.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 68, 16 February 1864.
Minutes by CO staff
Prepare for sig for today's Mail.
TFE 16/2
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Mr Elliot
Will it not be advisable to write a despatch by the next Mail to the Govr of B. Columbia to say that Mr Trutch—the newly appointed Surveyor General—must give up his contracts & other professional pursuits, if he has any. Mr Trutch has lately built a bridge over the Fraser at his own expense in return for which he is guaranteed the tolls for 7 years. I send you the Proclamation (append) No 60 & refer you to 10453/63 from Govr Douglas in whhManuscript image he mentions Mr Trutch having contracted for many public works.
ABd 18 Feb
Sir F. Rogers
We have as you are aware written a Circular to the Colonies interdicting public Officers from trade or from engaging in the active management of banking or trading Companies.
The present appears to me a different matter. Mr Trutch, before becoming a public Officer, has built an iron bridge at his own expense on condition of receiving certain tolls during seven years. He is much in the same position as if he were one of the Proprietors in this Country of Battersea or Fulham or any of the other private Bridges on which we areexposedManuscript image exposed to the nuisance of paying a toll. I do not see that we could reasonably call upon him to divest himself of this private property, or that his possession of it will conflict with his public duties.
The contracts for public works may possibly involve some difficulty. The Governor's language appears only to allude to works which are already executed. We might however, if you think proper, address a despatch to the Governor saying that if Mr Trutch should accept the Office of Commissioner of Crown Lands and Surveyor General, he will of course not be at liberty to enter into any fresh contracts for the execution of public works. In case he should attheManuscript image the present time have any such contracts which remain to be fulfilled, I should request the Governor to consider and report how far they are liable to conflict with his public duties, and how soon they can be completed, and whether any plan can be suggested for enabling Mr Trutch to divest himself, without undue sacrifice, of such of them as would both continue for a considerable time in execution, and would also appear incompatible with his official position.
TFE 19 Feby
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Treating the appointment as provisional till either Mr Trutch has divested himself of these contracts or the Secy of State is satisfied that they are of a nature & duration wh will not affect the perfce of his duties?
FR 19/2
I agree.
CF 20
N 22
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Sir F. Rogers
I hope you will not think me troublesome if I ask a moment's further consideration of the last sentence in this draft. Mr Trutch's Warrant is signed and he has been gazetted. There is not the least reason to suppose that he would be rebellious if hereafter it were wished to supersede him, nor if he were so disposed would he have any power to resist.
But there are personal reasons, as you will see by a note at the end of this draft, why it is very undesirable to show any wantofManuscript image of consideration for the gentleman whom we have only just selected for this office.
Under these circumstances I should myself decidedly prefer the omission of the last sentence. It appears to me sufficiently to follow from the previous one, that the Duke calls for the required report in order to deal with Mr Trutch absolutely as it's contents may show to be proper for the public service.
What I mean is that there might be something ungracious in selecting a candidate one dayandManuscript image and casting doubts on him the next day, and that this might bear especially hard upon him when the Governor happens to have a rival candidate for the same place.
TFE 25 Feb
Mr Fortescue
Omit the last paragraph of the draft?
FR 25/2
I think so.
CF 28
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Seymour, Separate, 26 February 1864.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Blackwood
The Commission has been signed by The Queen & gazetted. Can the appointment be "considered provisional"? It might be made conditional on Mr Trutch complying with certain terms?
I thinkManuscript image that whenever the warrant is sent to the Governor he might be instructed to withhold acting upon it until Mr Trutch had complied with the terms of this despatch.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 14 September 1863, CO 60:16, no. 10453, 133. 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/B63056.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)