Peel to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
17 February 1863
With reference to Mr Elliot's letter of 6th Instant, I am commanded by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury to acquaint you, for the information of the Duke of Newcastle, that they will not object to the Agents General for Crown Colonies being authorized to supply the articles required for the Assay and Melting Departments in British Columbia, at an expense of £289.10.5, provided they have funds in hand belonging to the Colony out of which the expensecanManuscript image can be defrayed, but Their Lordships are unable to sanction any advance being made for the purchase of these Articles out of the Vote for British Columbia, or out of other Imperial Funds.
I am, Sir
your obedient Servant,
F. Peel
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Agent Genl (Mr Sargeaunt) writes to us that B.C. is considerably in debt to him, about £486. This is abominable on the part of Governor Douglas, who has had repeated instructions to keep the Agent General in funds, & enable them to pay those charges which he is constantly asking the S.S. to sanction. The present case is a strong example of the inconvenience occasioned by his not remitting money: for if we are unable to persuade the Treasury to sanction the necessary advances the assay business will, in aManuscript image measure, be impaired in its efficiency, and the public revenue correspondingly diminished.
ABd 19 Feb
I should authorize Mr Sargeaunt to procure and send out the articles, and should tell the Governor that we have done so.
I should then write a separate official letter to Mr Sargeaunt desiring to be informed how long the Government of B. Columbia has been in debt to the Agents and of the dates and amounts of the successive remittances they may have received from that Colony since the 1st Jany 1862, and also to be apprized whether the Agents have from time to time acquainted the Governor with the state of the accounts and applied to him for any remittances.
I think we ought also to receive a precis from upstairs, showing the exact dates and particulars of the Instructions, to which Mr Blackwood alludes, to Governor Douglas to keep the Agents supplied with funds.
When this information is collected, there will be better means of judging whether simple directions are still required to Governor Douglas, or whether there are just and sufficient grounds for any dissatisfaction with him and for an admonition.
TFE 21 Feb
I agree.
CF 23
N 24
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Mr Elliot
The precis you ask for is annexed. The observations I made—writing from memory—were not intended to be confined to B.C. Whether as Govr of B. Columbia or Van Couver Isld I felt persuaded that Mr Douglas had been often cautioned to keep us in funds for the demands he makes upon us, & Mr Pennells statement confirms the impression.
Since writing my minute on the 19th I learn that the Treasurer, Major Gossett, now on leave here, has not drawn his 1/2 pay and contemplates applying for it. How is he to be paid if the Govr has omitted the necessary provision.
ABd 25 F
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Despatch to Govr of B. Columbia No. 69, 2nd March 1861.
Directing him on all future occasions on which stores are required for service of his Govt to remit to Agents Genl the funds requisite for meeting the expenditure—but stating that is wd be preferable to send them some general remittance sufficient to meet all current demands of this sort.

Manuscript image Septe to Govr of Vancr Island, 3rd June.
On the subject of the negligence of the Colonies generally, in not supplying Agents with funds for services of Colonies—Instruct Govr to keep Agents supplied with funds in advance.

No. 116, to Govr of Vancouver Island, 30 Augt/62.
Instructs Govr to remit funds to Agents Genl to meet current demands.

Manuscript image No. 2 to Govr Vancr Island, 6 Jany/63.
Instructs Govr to remit funds to Agents Genl to meet current demands.

There are also other despatches to the Govr of Vancr Island instructing him to repay sums expended by Agents on stores—and the last two despatches above mentioned telling the Govr to keep Agents generally supplied arose on particular applications for repayment of sums advanced.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Crown Agents, 26 February 1863, asking to be furnished with a statement showing the state of their account with British Columbia, and inquiring whether they have "from time to time acquainted Governor Douglas with the state of the accounts."
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
I shd make this applicable also to V.C. Island for the reasons in my minute of this day on 1887.
TFE 25/2
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Crown Agents, 26 February 1863, authorizing them to procure and ship the stores required for the assay department of British Columbia.