Moody to Under-Secretary of State
H.M. Mail Steam Packet "Shannon" At Sea
19 Decr 1863
Sir,
I have the honour to enclose for the information of His Grace the Secretary of State copies of a correspondence between the Governor of British Columbia and myself on the eve of my departure from the Colony.
I venture to hope His Grace will approve of the step taken by me in not acquiescing in the appointment of an officer possessing many good points yet lacking the qualifications that are absolutely indispensable for the office named.
Immediately on my arrival in England I shall have the honour to report myself at the Colonial Office.
I am Sir,
Yr most obedient humble Sert
R.C. Moody

The Under Secretary
of State for the Colonies
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
This protest of Colonel Moody's against the appointment of Captain Luard as Commissr of Lands & Surveyor General in B. Columbia is somewhat embarrassing. The Duke's despatch appointing Capt Luard is signed and would have been despatched according to His Grace's desire,byManuscript image by tomorrow's Mail, but it cannot now I conclude be sent till the Duke has seen & considered Col. Moody's representation. I annex the former papers with the signed Despatch.
VJ 31 Decr
Mr Elliot
Nor is there any use in sending it as Capt Luard has arrived in England.
FR 31/12
See minute annexed.
TFE 5 Jany 1864
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The despatch to the Governor has been held back upon the receipt of this intelligence, and the appointment has never been so much as offered to Capt. Luard, so that the Secretary of State is still entirely free to deal with it as he may deem best for the public service.
I have not yet seen Coll Moody myself as I was absent in the Country for part of last week, but I understand from Mr Jadis that he expressed the most unhesitating and confident opinion of Capt Luard's unfitness for this particular post. Far from having any prejudice against Capt Luard, he spoke very favorably of him both in his private capacity and as a Military Officer, but said that he knew nothing of surveying, and could hardly be unaware himself of his want of qualification for the control of such a Department.
IfManuscript image
If Coll Moody felt that he had such good reasons for this opinion, I think that he was quite justified in not leaving Capt Luard behind. The inconvenience of what has occurred (and after all it is but a slight one, since the detachment has reached England just at the moment of decision) is owing to Sir J. Douglas's departure from the proper course in not consulting the Commanding Officer of the Engineers before he selected one for recommendation to the Secretary of State. This was evidently very irregular, and neither just to the Officers themselves nor to the one by whom they were commanded. Coll M. has told Capt Luard that he cannot recommend him.
Coll Moody, I understand, spoke in a friendly manner of his other Officers, but said (giving his reasons) that there was only one of them who would at all answer the purpose, if it should be desired to make a selectionfromManuscript image from them for this appointment.
The main reason for that course is however removed by the fact that they have all come home. And whilst an Officer of Royal Engineers is the best Surveyor General if he is also to be the Commander of a body of Sappers and Miners, I confess that when that is not the case, I doubt whether a Civil Surveyor General is not best suited to a new Colony. Coll Moody confirms the favorable account already received of Mr Trutch. The Governor's estimate of him will be seen at page 6 of the despatch of the 14 of Sept., which is amongst these papers. It is difficult to conceive higher terms than those in which Sir J. Douglas speaks of Mr Trutch, and supported as this is by Col. Moody's good opinion, and by the convenience of employing a gentleman already conversantwithManuscript image with Colonial wants, habits and resources, there seems a strong union of considerations in favour of the selection of Mr Trutch.
I have written this minute in concert with Mr Jadis, in order to be sure that I repeated faithfully his impression of his conversation with Col. Moody.
TFE 5 Jany
I think there can be no doubt that to send Captn Luard back again would be unadvisable.
I am inclined to appoint Mr Trutch, but a final decision may stand over till my return to Town.
N 7
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Duke of Newcastle
In pursuance of Your Grace's directions, I send you again herewith the papers connected with the filling up of the appointment of Surveyor General in British Columbia. Your last direction was in the following words: "I am inclined to appoint Mr Trutch, but a final decision may stand over until my return to Town". Since that time I have had an opportunity of conversing on the matter with Coll Moody who expressed a favorable opinion both of Mr Trutch's abilities and of his integrity and character. I afterwards met with Captn Richards R.N. who was employed by the Govt in a Survey in Columbia and is now HydrographerofManuscript image of the Admiralty, and he spoke highly both of Mr Trutch's professional qualifications and of his character. I have no knowledge myself of Mr Trutch, but these appear strong testimonies in his favor. On the other hand, in order that everything on the subject may be before Your Grace, I think it right to mention to you that in a private conversation with Mr Seymour, I gathered that he would have been glad, if proper opportunity occurred, to confer a place of this kind on Captn Ramsey of the Artillery who served with Mr Seymour in Honduras.
TFE 6 Feby
I do not think it at all advisable to appoint Captn Ramsey to the situation of Surveyor General ofManuscript image British Columbia. Mr Seymour may have acquired a knowledge of his merits in Honduras, but in that Colony and as a Captain of Artillery he can have acquired no special aptitude for this very important post.
On the other hand Mr Trutch is educated for the duty. I have good testimony to his professional qualifications and character. Moreover he already knows the Country, & the necessity of quickly beginning work is urgent. I will therefore appoint Mr Trutch, & wish his appointt to go out by Mail of 16th.
N 13
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Douglas to Moody, 11 November 1863, advising that he had recommended Captain Luard for the post of Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and asking that Luard be allowed to remain in the colony pending a decision on his appointment from England.
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Moody to Douglas, 13 November 1863, declining to permit Luard to remain in the colony as the captain, though an able officer, was not qualified for the post of chief commissioner.
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Moody to Douglas, 14 November 1863, advising that if the need were imperative, he could select from among his officers a man capable of assuming the post, but stressing his desire to avoid this course.
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Douglas to Moody, 14 November 1863, stating that it would not contravene his orders to leave Luard in the colony pending a decision from the colonial office on the proposed appointment.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
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1. Douglas to Moody, 11 November 1863
11 Novr 1863
Sir,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th Inst detailing the number of Officers and Men who will return to England under your Command.
2. I have to acquaint you that I have recommended Captain H.R. Luard to the Secretary of State for appointment as Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works in this Colony. Of course at the present moment I am not aware whether Captain Luard will be appointed: as the Secretary of State may have made other arrangements prior to the receipt of my recommendation; but as it is highly desirable that the Lands and Works Department should not remain inactive—which it must do under the only arrangement which at present it is within my power to make—by employing a non-professional man in charge of the Dept. I have to request that you will authorize Captain Luard to delay his departure for England until I can receive an answer from the Secretary of State—so that in the meantime I can usefully employhimManuscript image him in the Service of the Colony.
3. I do not apprehend that any inconvenience can arise from this arrangement. The orders from home for the withdrawal of the Detachment give the end of the year as the period, and I therefore submit that by permitting Captain Luard to remain until that date, when I shall probably either have received an answer to my application; or a Successor to yourself may have arrived, you will not be infringing even the letter of those instructions, but will be acting in their spirit by enabling the Lands and Works Dept to be carried until the close of the year. I further notice that if Captain Luard does not return with you, you will still have with you 3 Officers and 8 Non Commissioned Officers while the number of Sappers is only 8.
4. I shall not fail to explain to the Secretary of State, this requisition upon you, in such manner as to relieve you of the responsibility of having deferred the departure of Captain Luard.
I have the honour to be Sir
Yr most obedt Sert
James Douglas



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2. Moody to Douglas, 13 November 1863
13th November 1863
Sir,
I have had the honour to receive your letter of yesterday's date.
Your Excellency informs me you have recommended Captain Luard to the Secretary of State for the Office of Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
For Captain Luard I have a very high regard. My good opinion of him and friendship towards him are of long standing and well known, but I know also the exact nature of his qualifications and it becomes my duty to state (your Excellency's letter alone obliges it) that valuable as they are, among them are not comprised what are indispensable at all times for the Office of Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and in a most marked degree requisite in the Colony of British Columbia.
I can scarcely suppose Captain Luard himself has applied for the office.YourManuscript image Your Excellency's letter at this moment places me in a position very embarrassing and most repugnant to my disposition and to all my desires.
I wish sincerely you had consulted with me prior to recommending Captain Luard to the Secretary of State for this Office in particular.
Had I been aware at a sufficiently early period you desired an Officer of Royal Engineers I could have officially named for recommendation others to you well qualified, and available and I might have had the gratification of seconding your desire to aid Captain Luard in some other way advantageous to the Public Service.
When consulting with you as the steps to be taken—after I received orders closing our Service in British Columbia, and directing distinctly (naming each one in the order) that all were to return to England, I submitted proposals to you and among others we considered Mr Trutch a civil Engineer well known to your Excellency and myself and a Resident inthisManuscript image this Colony, to be peculiarly well fitted for the office; considering however the close of the Season and the notification to your Excellency that a successor would be forthwith appointed from England you finally decided on a temporary arrangement and selected Mr Brew to take over temporary charge—retaining a few of the well qualified subordinates for current work and to supply what information Mr Brew might require.
This arrangement has been effected. I have given over charge. We have entirely broken up, and left the Colony. The Admiral has arranged for the passages of all of us, and at this late hour—the Mail Steamer by which we depart being expected tomorrow—my orders clear and explicit, I do not well see at present how I can take on myself to leave an officer behind for a re-delivery and to resume charge.
I would also with the greatest respect beg your Excellency to remember myresponsibilityManuscript image responsibility to the Commander in Chief in a matter so important as discriminating the duties and recognizing the relative claims and fitness of Officers placed under my immediate command.
I have the honour to be
Yr Excellency's most obedient humble Servant
R.C. Moody
Col RE Comy

His Excellency the Governor
P.S. I trust sincerely nothing whatsoever in the above may be taken as reflecting on Captain Luard's value to the Service. I would gladly use any language that would guard against an impression of that kind.

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3. Moody to Douglas, 14 November 1863
14th November 1863
Sir,
Your Excellency will have received my letter of yesterday's date, and if after considering what I have therein ventured to lay before you—you should deem it indispensable for an Officer of Royal Engineers to remain and to resume charge of the Lands and Works Department in British Columbia from Mr Brew, I will take the responsibility of giving the necessary orders, selecting one qualified for any matter you may at present desire and for anything that may arise, but I would press you not to require it unless indispensable.
An early answer will greatly oblige me as the Steamer by which we depart is expected tonight.
I have the honour to be
Yr Excellency's most obedient humble Sert
R.C. Moody
Col RE Comy



His Excellency the Governor
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4. Douglas to Moody, 14 November 1863
14th November 1863
Sir
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 13th Inst acquainting me, in reply to my request, that Captain Luard might be instructed to delay his departure from the Colony so that I could provisionally place him in charge of the Lands and Works Department, that, as your "orders" are clear and explicit, you do not well see how you can take on yourself to leave an Officer behind.
2. I have also received your further letter of this date in which you offer—if I consider it indispensable—to select an Officer of Royal Engineers to remain behind in charge of the Lands and Works Dt but you urge me not to require it unless indispensable.
3. I should be sorry to ask you to take any step that might conflict with the orders you have received. My object in begging you to cause Captn Luard to postpone his departure was simply to forward the Public Service. If the Secretary of State approves my recommendation, and makes arrangement for the appointment of Captn Luard, not only—if Captain LuardnowManuscript image now proceeds to England—will additional cost be incurred for his return passage, but the Colony will be the longer deprived of a professional head to the Dt of Lands and Works. If the Secretary of State does not appoint him, after you have left him behind, the only inconvenience, in a military point of view that I can see is, that Captain Luard may arrive in England a month or so after the rest of the Detachment. No additional expense would be incurred, and the Colony in the meantime would receive the benefit of his Services; and so far as the Military question is concerned I venture to think the arrangements of the War Office and Horse Guards will not be impinged, as these arrangements distinctly contemplate the withdrawal of the Troops at the end of the year.
I have the honour to be Sir,
Your most obedient Sert
James Douglas

Colonel Moody
Royal Engineers
Moody, Richard Clement to Fortescue, Chichester 19 December 1863, CO 60:17, no. 12465, 494. 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/B636M02.html.

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