Lugard to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
28 May 1863
Referring to your letter of the 28th March last, relative to the withdrawal of the detachment of Royal Engineers from British Columbia, I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to transmit to you for the information oftheManuscript image the Duke of Newcastle, the enclosed copy of a letter from the Horse Guards stating that steps are being taken for carrying out this arrangement.
I have etc.
Edward Lugard
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Acquaint the Governor: & request him to inform Colonel Moody that the Duke of Newcastle will under these circes select a successor to him in the Office of Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
I think we must be careful not to employ any terms which will give Coll Moody an oppy of offering to stay in B.C. inManuscript image the capacity of Ch. Commr. He is not unlikely to offer to leave the Army, if he cd be continued in his present office—an arrangement which I judge the Duke of Newcastle wd not listen to.
ABd 29 May
TFE 29 May
Duke of Newcastle
The only question connected with this matter, about wh. there may be a doubt, is whether or no a few of the Engineers could be retained for the purposes of the Land Office. Unless some of them be retained in that service, it will fall into confusion. But when discharged, they may no doubt be employed as civilians, though at a much greater expense. I sent you lately a mem. of Capt. Gossett's on this point. Would it not be worth while to ask the W.O. to leave say 25 of the men?
CF 30
Manuscript image
This despatch takes no notice of the proposal of Jany last that some of the men should be allowed to settle in the Colony at the expiration of 5 years service instead of six.
I have no doubt the retention of a few of the Men and the Officers for the work of the Office & superintendence of the Public Works would be very valuable. The proposition to the W.O. for three Officers & 25 Men to be selected for this purpose or allowed to volunteer may be made.
I suppose they must form a little Colonial Corps.
N 31
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Newcastle to Moody, 10 July 1863, advising of the withdrawal of the Royal Engineers, and of his removal from the temporary appointment of commissioner of crown lands.
Minutes by CO staff
Such a letter as this would not in ordinary course be signed by the Secretary of State, but I have sketched the draft in that form, entirely subject to consideration, in case the Duke should be disposed to pay Coll Moody the compliment of writing to him himself.
TFE 8/7
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 34, 10 July 1863.
Minutes by CO staff
In forwarding this draft, I could take the opportunity of recalling attention to the necessity of naming a Civil Comr of Crown Lands. On 3913 I have submitted what little occurs to me on that point.
TFE 8 July
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Fortescue
Since the minutes on this letter from the War Office were written I have called by desire of the Duke of Newcastle on Sir E. Lugard, in order to seek information on the practicability of separating a section of the Royal Engineers for further service. Sir E. Lugard said that it would be very difficult and deprecated the measure on the ground that this particular Company of Engineers appeared by all the accounts that we receive to have been somewhat overindulged, and that it was probable that retaining a part of them might only prolong heart burnings and difficulties.
The recent eposé by Governor Douglas of the fact that the whole of the numerous wivesandManuscript image and families of these Engineers were drawing rations, at an immense cost to the public, whilst the Governor could not obtain so much as even a list of the recipients, and whilst the whole value of the labor performed by the Royal Engineers for the Colony in 1862 was £3,500, will not have escaped the attention of yourself and the Duke of Newcastle. The despatch is annexed.
There is also the consideration which I lately mentioned to you, and to which I think I am right in believing that you attached some weight, that as all the men were entitled to their discharge at the end of six years, and five will already have elapsed, the question becomes onlyoneManuscript image one of retaining a portion for a single year.
Looking at all these circumstances, I am anxious to submit that perhaps the best course will be to let the release of the Engineers from military service take place Simplicitur, and without endeavouring to except a portion of the Force. The orders have, I believe, gone out.
TFE 4 July
Duke of Newcastle
I am disposed to agree with Mr Elliot—mainly for the last reason mentioned above.
CF 6
Manuscript image
I agree, though I am sorry to deprive the Colony at once and altogether of the assistance of this Corps in directing works.
I think something must be done to fill up the void from home. Has Govr Douglas ever written anything which would guide us in making such provision? Perhaps however (if the orders are gone from the W.O.) there may be time to secure a report from him.
N 7
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
W.F. Forster, Horse Guards, to War Office
Horse Guards
21 May 1863
With reference to your letters of the 4th & 30th Ultimo I am directed by the FM Commanding in Chief to request you will inform the Secretary of State for War that as HM. Govt have deemed it expedient that the Detacht of RE &c stated in the margin
Royal Engineers
Colonel (Col Moody)
Capt J.M. Grant
" R.M. Parsons
" H.R. Luard
(Lieut H.S. Palmer)
9 Sergeants
17 Rank & File
43 Women
29 Children
R. Artillery
1 Sergeant
1 Corporal
1 Woman
3 Children
15 Hussars
1 Sergt have already
1 Corporal returned home
Staff Asst Surgeon
(J. Seddall MD)
which was sent to B Columbia in the year 1858, to assist in the formation of that Colony, should now be withdrawn HRH has submitted to the Queen&Manuscript image & HM has been pleased to approve that steps be taken for bringing the services of this Detacht to a close at the end of the present year & that orders be issued for its return home; such NC Officers & Men as prefer it, being allowed to take their discharge receiving grants of Land on the terms specified at the time of their embarcation for that Colony.
I have to add that measures are in progress to carry out the above arrangements accordingly.
I have &c
W.F. Forster

The Under Secy of State
War Office