No. 76, Financial
19 December 1863
I have had the honor to receive Your Grace's Despatch No 56, of the 2nd October last, instructing me, in pursuance of the decision of Her Majesty's Government, to remit the sum of £10,704.10.7, or to authorize the Agents General to pay it overtoManuscript image to Her Majesty's Treasury, in repayment of certain advances in excess of Parliamentary Grants.
2. The balance of the £50,000 Loan in the hands of the Agents General has already been reduced to the lowest limit, and I am therefore at present precluded from the course suggested in respect to repayment from that source. The Balance in the Colonial Treasury is not more thanoneManuscript image one fifth of the required sum, and consequently I cannot fall back upon it to arrange a remittance; but I hasten to assure Your Grace that I will take the earliest measures possible to effect the repayment, of which I trust to advise you by the next Mail, or the one following.
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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Mr Elliot
Treasury. This £10,704 is chiefly due on account of the Barracks—see 6th page of Governor's desph 2135/63.
I cannot but think that for reasons [one word cut off microfilm] to the past which I need not repeat, and having regard to the future it wd only be a wise policy for the Imperial Govt to pay for & retain the Barracks as their own. If in the course of a few years a war shd break out between England, & the United States, & the Barracks have previously become the property of the Colony they will, in all probability, have been sold & broken up, & there will be no place to house the Troops. It will be much more expensive to build fresh Barracks than to maintain them in repair till wanted.
ABd 13 Feb
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Mr Fortescue
So far as regards the case at large, such views as I could offer are embodied in a very full minute on 2135 of 1863, and I need not trouble you by their repetition.
In point of fact we at a subsequent date left the matter to the judgement of the Treasury, and they resolved in their letter of the 11th of Sept, which this Department adopted, that the Colony must pay the sum of £10,704. Governor Douglas does not resist the decision, but merely says that he must defer the payment for a mail or two more.
So far therefore as it is a matter of correspondence, the question may be considered as settled. On the other hand there is certainly much weight in the views to which Mr Blackwood draws attention. It will be for you to judge. If there really is a chanceofManuscript image of our having to send out Troops to British Columbia within some short time, it might be worth the while of this Country to bear this charge of £10,000 and keep the Barracks for itself. But unless Troops are likely to be sent pretty soon, there would be something anomalous in keeping a large building in an eligible site empty, besides it's entailing all the charges of people to take care of it and of repairs &c. Moreover, as the Duke pointed out in His Grace's minute on 2135, the £10,000 originally formed part of an item called "Roads & Bridges," and it appeared to be a sort of after-thought to say that it had been spent in making the Barracks. In short the charge is suspicious in it's origin, and the Treasury, annoyed at Governor Douglas's apparent want of regularity in money matters, has after full debate claimed repayment, with the assent of this Department and the acquiescenceofManuscript image of the Governor himself.
Under these circumstances, the question for you to decide is whether you will continue to treat the matter as settled, and merely forward this despatch to the Treasury as explaining a short delay in their receiving the expected payment, or whether you are prepared to reopen the whole question which will undoubtedly involve very uphill discussion with the Treasury, and is not, as appears to me, clearly expedient in itself.
TFE 19 Feby
Duke of Newcastle
I would adhere to the decision already arrived at, and merely forward this desp. to the Treasury.
CF 20
Independently of other considerations I do not think it would be desirable to retain an empty barrack, alwaysManuscript image inviting a demand from the Colony for Troops to fill it. We felt for some time this inconvenience in the case of P. Edward Island. If we should ever be at war with the United States & Land Forces should be required in B. Columbia much larger accommodation for troops would be requisite than any [of] these barracks would afford.
Transmit to Treasury as proposed.
N 22
Other documents included in the file
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Vote of Parliament—1859/60 Colonial Pay £11,000
Current services £16,000
Vote of Parliament—1860/- Colonial Pay £11,000
The Bills drawn upon the Treasury by Governor Douglas against these votes amounted to £63,026, leaving a debt as against the Colony, under the head of Royal Engineers for these two years of £22,026.
Provision was made by Parliament for part of this debt £11,322
leaving due from the Colony 10,704
The sum of £10,704 was to be repaid during the year 1863.
It consisted of, according to a statement of the Acting Auditor General, dated 16 Sept 1861, in despatch No 61, 16 Sept/61,
Works and Buildings 9078.7
Roads, Streets & Bridges 70.
Surveys & Explorations 40.19.6
9189.6.6 1860
Works and Buildings 1498.2.5
Roads &c 22.7.8
GovernerManuscript image
Governor Douglas's despatch No 6 of 10 Jany 1863, gives further details of this expenditure:
A Erecting Military Barracks at New Westminster 8758. 6.7
B Do at Langley 230. 0.5
C Military Trail to Burrard Inlet 92. 7.8
Reconnaissance—Fort Hope to Fort Colville 40.19.6
Erecting Hospital & Officers Quarters,
New Westminster 1392. 6.4
Temporary Buildings for R. Marines, Esquimalt 100.16.1
The Governor states—"The works marked A,B,C were undertaken by Colonel Moody who represented them to be an indispensable necessity. They are entirely of a Military character not required by the Colony, but arising out of the compact with the soldier."
The Governor also explains the other items and submits that they are all justly chargeable to Imperial Funds.
The Treasury letter of 11 Sept 1863, expressed an opinion that Colonial Revenue should still be liable for the amount.
The Detachment of Royal Engineers has now been withdrawn. The Officers and men, except those discharged from the service, have returned to England. Manuscript imageThe Barracks and Hospital erected with the money drawn from the Imperial Treasury are probably now unoccupied.
Until the cost of their erection has been repaid they should be considered as Imperial property.
Col. Moody left them in charge of the Colonial authorities. Col. Moody also left in the same charge a quantity of stores, the remains of those sent out in 1858 and 1859.
Unless Mr Douglas has made arrangements for the repayment of the £10,704, Mr Seymour might be instructed to attend to the matter after his arrival.
He should also furnish a report as to the value of the stores left, and as to the best mode of disposing of them, either by public sale, the proceeds to be credited to the Imperial Government, or if the Colonial Government should retain them, by payment of the value to Her Majesty's Government.
Colonel Moody might be able to advise as to the best mode of proceeding.
February 1863
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Elliot to Frederick Peel, Treasury, 26 February 1864, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.