Ripon to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
16 January 1863
I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to request that you will acquaint the Duke of Newcastle that Colonel Moody and several of the Officers of the Royal Engineers serving in British Columbia under his command will have completed the usualtermManuscript image term of Foreign Service in October next, and His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding has enquired whether steps should be taken for their relief.
Before giving any directions in the matter, Sir George Lewis would wish to be informed whether, in His Grace's opinion, it is probable that the services of the Royal Engineers will be required intheManuscript image the Colony for any lengthened period, in which case it will be necessary to relieve the Officers in question.
I have etc.
de Greys Ripon
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 17 Jan
I think I am not wrong in stating that the opinion has long been entertained at this Office that the Corps of Royal Engineers at B. Columbia is too costly and does not yield commensurate advantages. The Duke of Newcastle's view, nearly to that effect, appears incidentally at the end of His Grace's minute on a Foreign Office letter of 1860, 10510. But any action on the question was suspended in consequence of the question that arose of stationing a Regiment in these Colonies. That question seems now to have dropped, and I should doubt whether it would at present be thought advisable to revive the proposal.
Next October the Officers of Engineers will have been out for 5 years and so their term expires. But Mr Jadis tells me that the privates were sent out on the condition that they might acquire land at the end of a service of six years. If this were the only obstacle to breaking them up on the departure of their present officers, it might easily be met by allowing them to obtain their land at the end of five instead of six years. To the men this would be a boon, whilst to the Colony it would give the advantage of being relieved so much the sooner of the heavy cost of their pay. The local authorities have never shown any great desire for the presence of a military force.
TFE 22 Jany
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I think the Engineers may well be dispensed with, and I would certainly give the men the boon of 5 instead of 6 years service as entitling them to a grant of land.
There may be some risk in having no military force at all where such affairs as Sa Juan have heretofore occurred, but it is an experiment well worth trying. I trust encouragement will be given both by the W.O. and in the Colony to Volunteers, and as the Admiralty has now established a station at EsquimaltManuscript image there will generally be some Marines in case of an emergency.
N 27
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Mr Elliot
The information we have on record as to the terms in which the Non-Commissioned Officers & Men of the Engineers were to receive Grants of land is contained in a letter to Colonel Moody dated 1st Septr 1858. (Marked in bound Vol. 4.) A Copy of this letter was sent to the War Office for information, in a letter dated 2nd Sepr—and the Govr was briefly informed of the arrangements in a Desp. of the same date, of which I annex an Extract—the remainder of theManuscript image Despatch relates to other matters.
There was no doubt some personal communication on the subject between Sir Edward Lytton and the Military Authorities, as reference is made in the letter to Colonel Moody to the "suggestion of the Director General of Fortifications," which suggestions are not on record, and the letter itself was, apparently, written on verbal directions.
In answering the War Office they should I presume beManuscript image referred to our letter of 2d Sepr 1858, and their concurrence in the Duke's proposal requested, and I do not see that any further steps can be taken in the matter till we receive their reply?
VJ 29 Jan
Mr Jadis
On this information, I think that, under the terms of the Duke's minute on 546, we may prepare a draft to WO, saying that we are willing to dispense with the Engineers by the end of the year. Will you write such a draft?
TFE 26 March
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Under-Secretary of State, War Office, 28 March 1863, expressing Newcastle's view that the services of the Royal Engineers could be dispensed with at the end of the year, with explanation.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
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1. Colonial Office to War Office
Downing Street
2nd September 1858
I am directed by Secretary Sir E.B. Lytton to transmit for the information of Secretary Major General Peel a copy of a letter to Colonel Moody and also a copy of a despatch to Governor Douglas stating the terms on which the non-commissioned Officers and men of the Detachment of Royal Engineers who are about to proceed to British Columbia, may receive grants of land in the Colony.
I am &c
Herman Merivale

The Under Secretary
of State for War
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1.1 Extract, Lytton to Douglas, No. 14, 2 September 1858

I transmit to you, herewith, for your information the copy of a letter which I have addressed to Colonel Moody on the subject of granting land on certain conditions to the Non-commissioned Officers and men of the Royal Engineers, who are now going to British Columbia.

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1.1.1 Lord Carnarvon to Colonel Moody
Downing Street
1st September 1858
In case there should be any misunderstanding as to the suggestions of the Inspector General of Fortifications, that the Non Commissioned Officers and men of the Royal Engineers, who are going out to British Columbia, should receive grants of Land, Secretary Sir Edward Lytton directs me to statethatManuscript image that he is willing, and the Governor shall be instructed accordingly, that the men should be allowed such grants of agricultural, not mining land, not exceeding 30 acres each after six years continuous good faithful service in British Columbia on condition of residence, and Military Service within the Colony if called upon.
I am to suggest to you that it might be advisable, with the concurrence of the Governor, to locate the men, if they should be located atallManuscript image all, along the frontier, or in the neighbourhood of future Naval and Military posts.
Sir E. Lytton will send a copy of this letter to the Secretary of State for War, for his information as well as to the Governor, with whom you will confer on this subject.
I have &c