No. 71, Legislative
23 November 1863
I have the honor of transmitting herewith the following Acts with the accompanying reports of the Attorney General for Her Majesty's approval. vizt:
No 10Manuscript image No 10 The "Alexandra Bridge Toll Act 1863"
No 11 "New Westminster Municipal Extension Act 1863"
No 12 "Crown Officers Salaries Act 1863"
2. The Attorney General's reports are so full and precise that there remains little for me to add in regard to the principle or objects of these Acts; I would however draw your Grace's attentiontoManuscript image to the unusual condition in the "Alexandra Bridge Toll Act" granting to the Contractor rights of tolls on goods passing under as well as over the Bridge.
3. I have to offer in explanation that the "Fraser" though always dangerous, and from Yale upwards to Alexandria, not continuously navigable at any season, ispartiallyManuscript image partially so every year for a few weeks, at the low stage of water in spring and winter. Goods in considerable quantities have always been forwarded by water from Yale to Lytton at that season, both on account of the cheapness of water carriage compared with the cost of transport by the formermountainManuscript image mountain trails—and of the insufficiency of means by land carriage alone, to supply the demands of the trade.
4. In negotiating with the Bridge Contractor he represented that the Tolls we proposed to grant on goods passing over the Bridge would not yield an adequate remuneration for the outlay—and positivelyobjectedManuscript image objected to incur the expense, unless all goods whether passing by land or water-borne should be charged with Toll, and there was no alternative but to yield the point—or to give up the Bridge, which is an indispensable adjunct to the road. I was further influenced by the consideration, that the completion of the carriageroadManuscript image road would cause so great a reduction in the cost, and so much increase the facilities of transport that the concession would not be felt as a sacrifice, and that together with the dangerous character of the River, and the distressing loss of life and property continually occurring from accidents in the rapids, will I should thinkaltogetherManuscript image altogether remove the inducements to forward goods by water, a view in which I am fully supported by public opinion in the Colony.
5. The New Westminster Municipal Extension Act No 3 was passed at the instance of a majority of the inhabitants possessing lots in Suburban Blocks V, VI, and VII, their object beingtoManuscript image to enforce, as a general measure, under the Municipal regulations the felling and removal of the trees and Brush-wood on these lots—a measure which will conduce to the comfort of all concerned, and relieve them from the danger arising in dry weather, from conflagrations of the forest.
6. "The Crown Officers"Salaries"Manuscript image Salaries Act 1863" has been prepared in conformity with the instructions contained in Your Grace's Despatch "Separate" of the 15th June last.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr E.
Sir F. Rogers
The salaries assigned by the Act (62) correspond with those directed by the S.S. instructions. I observe that the Act provides for a residence for the Governor "properly furnished." We must howr confine him, as indeed we have already done, to obtaining furniture at the expense of the Colony for the reception rooms only; otherwise we shall create an awkward precedent. See 239/64.
ABd 1 Feb
Sir F. Rogers
When we acted on 239Manuscript image B. Columbia, we were obliged to confine ourselves to the letter of the Colonial Regulations, because we had no opportunity of previous communication with the Colony. We could not without their concurrence assume that they could do more than is required by strict regulation. But I have heard of other Colonies' furnishing the Govt House entirely, and indeed so well are some such instances known, that Mr Seymour himself mentioned one to me and told me that he understood it was not improbable that B. Columbia would follow the example. I know no reason at all why a Colony which is willing to do so should not be allowed to defray the expense of all the furniture of the Govt House. Governors are heavily taxed in going to a new post, and every alleviation should in my opinion be encouraged.
I agree.
The precedent cannot hurt us, because in the case of any Colony which does not make the same provision, we have merely to inform the Governor of the fact.
TFE 3 Feb
Mr Blackwood
As to the first Proclamation, I shd be glad to know whether the agreement on which it is based was sent home & approved.
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Sir F. Rogers
The Agreement referred to was not sent home.
Mr Fortescue
I am aware of no legal objection to the Proclamation No 10, but agreements for these purposes shd be reported home when made. It may be impossible (and probably is) to delay their practical completion, but HMG shd be placed in a position to express disapproval (if they do disapprove) of so strange an arrangement as taxing water carriage for the support of a bridge, so as to stop the precedent. I would express an opinion to this effect and sanction the arrangement in reliance on Mr Douglas' judgement as to its necessity, observing that such anomalous expedients could only be justified by exceptional emergencies. Sanction 11 & 12, as to the latter I agree with Mr Elliot. Let Mr Seymour see the whole.
CF 8
Draft.
FR 9/2
N 22
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Colonial Secretary, 30 August 1863, reporting on the Alexandra Bridge Toll Act 1863.
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Crease to Colonial Secretary, 7 September 1863, reporting on the New Westminster Municipal Extension Act No. 3.
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Crease to Colonial Secretary, 19 September 1863, reporting on the Crown Officers Salaries Act 1863.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Seymour, No. 1, 18 February 1864.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 23 November 1863, CO 60:16, no. 871, 314. 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/B63071.html.

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