No. 9, Legislative
29 February 1864
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor of transmitting the following Ordinances, with the accompanying reports, for Her Majesty's approval viz—
No 1 "An Ordinance to promote the Drainage of Mines"
No 2Manuscript image
No 2 "An Ordinance confirming certain Proclamations"
No 3 "An Ordinance to apply the sum of One Hundred and thirty five thousand six hundred and thirty nine pounds Sixteen Shillings and seven pence Sterling (£135,639.16.7) out of the General Revenue of the Colony of British Columbia and its Dependencies to the service of the year 1864"
No 4 "An Ordinance to extendandManuscript image and improve the Laws relating to Gold Mining"
No 5 "An Ordinance for the construction of a Toll Bridge across Thompson River"
2. No 1. To promote the Drainage of Mines. The object of the Ordinance is to promote a species of enterprise essential to the progress of Carribou. There is generally throughout that District a great flowofManuscript image of water into the Shafts and the working expenses are in consequence greatly enhanced by the cost of constantly employing a number of hands at the present high rate of wages, say 10 dollars a day to Keep the shafts free and in a workable state.
This ordinance authorizes the introduction of a system which will effect that object, at a much smallercostManuscript image cost by means of subterranean Drains, carried on the bed rock underlying the deepest Shafts, with such gradients, as will lead off the water—by its own gravity—and empowers the Gold Commissioner to grant such rights and privileges as may induce people to embark in such undertakings. This measure has been strongly recommendedbyManuscript image by the great body of the Mining population and will be of incalculable advantage to the country at large; as independently of the direct saving in the working expenses, it will effect, by the cheapest process, the thorough drainage of Mines now almost valueless from the excessive flow of water, and render others uniformly productive, which are now workable only foraManuscript image a few Months in the year.
3. No 2 Confirming certain Proclamations was passed in conformity with the instructions in Your Grace's Despatch No 35 of the 14th July last, to remove doubts as to the validity of proclamations issued in the interval between the passage of the Order-in-Council of the 11th day of June 1863 revoking the Order-in-Council of the 2nd day of September 1858 and the opening of theLegislativeManuscript image Legislative Council at New Westminster on the twenty first day of January last.
No 3 Is a Bill providing for the current expenditure of the year.
No 4 To extend and improve the Laws relating to Mining. Contains many useful and necessary provisions for the working of the Gold Fields; it grantssomeManuscript image some additional privileges to Miners, by increasing the number of claims that can be acquired and legally held at one time by occupation and working, and recognizes their right to all the Gold in duly acquired Claims. It sanctions the sale or Mortgage of Mining Claims provided the full consideration paid, be stated in the DeedandManuscript image and a fee of one per cent on the amount of that consideration be paid to the Gold Commissioner for the use of Her Majesty. The mutation Fee will I believe yield a large amount of Revenue without oppression to the Miner, who will be largely benefited by the increased security given to property under the present act, which will greatly add to its marketable value; this is in fact merely carryingoutManuscript image out the plan which I had the honour of laying before Your Grace, in the 9th Paragraph of my Despatch Separate of the 13th November last.
No 5 "For the construction of a Toll Bridge across Thompsons River;" a broad and rapid Stream, where a Bridge is much required for the accommodation of the public. The actcontainsManuscript image contains only the ordinary provisions for the levying of tolls &c usual in such cases.
I would further beg to refer Your Grace to the accompanying Reports from the Attorney General.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Graces most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
ABd 2 May
Sanction, except No 3 wh I suppose shd be referred to the Treasury.
I am glad that No 2 is fairly passed.
I think the practical reform of B. Columbia legislationManuscript image under Mr Douglas has all along been very creditable to him. Whatever may be his faults he has never allowed the material advancement of the Colony to be obstructed by deficits in the state of the Law. And this is no small praise in a rapidly advancing community.
As to No 3 there is an absurd phrase "in Parliament assented" wh shd not be repeated. It shd be pointed out to Mr Seymour that a Legislative Council is not a Parliament and that in future Laws this phraseology should be avoided. Otherwise I see no legal objection to the Law.
Whether there is any objection to the financial arrangement is a matter for consn with Mr Elliot—the department & the Treasury.
But this may be a proper occasionManuscript image for considering whether & to what extent the B.C. finance should be controlled by the Treasury.
B.C. is a Crown Colony only because it is impossible to frame the details of a representative system in a Country so anomalously occupied; and the present Council is a contrivance for giving virtual witht technical representation. Ought it not therefore to have the independence wh is enjoyed in respect of finances by Vancouvers Island?
I shd be disposed to suggest to the Treasury that although it mt be advisable for some time longer to retain in B.C. the system of ImperialManuscript image Audit, Mr C. was of opinion that the principle of representation has virtually introduced the control the financial arrangement of B. Columbia should be treated as much as possible upon the footing of those in Colonies having representative institutions & that no objeciton, shd be raised by the Home Govt except in the case of some very manifest violation of principle.
Indeed it mt be better to suggest that even the form of reference to the Treasy shd be dispensed with.
FR 4/5
I agree.
CF 7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Colonial Secretary, 1 February 1864, reporting on the Mining Drains Act 1864.
Manuscript image
Crease to Colonial Secretary, 3 February 1864, reporting on the Confirmatory Ordinance 1864.
Manuscript image
Crease to Colonial Secretary, 16 February 1864, reporting on the ordinance providing for current expenditure.
Manuscript image
Crease to Colonial Secretary, 16 February 1864, reporting on the Gold Fields Act 1864.
Manuscript image
Crease to Colonial Secretary, 24 February 1864, reporting on the Thompson Bridge Toll Act 1864.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 31 May 1864, forwarding a copy of the ordinance to provide for current expenditure and advising that as it was passed by a partially elected council, it would be unwise to object "except on account of some cogent reason of policy or important violation of principle."
Minutes by CO staff
The remainder of the minute to be dealt with in the Department.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Seymour, No. 9, 7 June 1864.