No. 10, Financial
Government House
New Westminster
16 March 1864
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward herewith to Your Grace Ordinance No 7 entitled "The British Columbia Loan Act 1864," by which the Governor of the Colony is empowered to raise a Loan upon Debentures for such sum or sums not exceedingOneManuscript image One Hundred Thousand pounds Sterling (£100,000), as may be required for the purposes of surveying, constructing, and maintaining Roads, Bridges, and other public works within the Colony.
2. The Debentures are to bear interest at the rate of Six per cent per annum, and are redeemable at the expiration of 30 years from the 1st April 1864.
3. This arrangement will place this Loan in as good a position as the Loans of 1862 and 1863, inasmuch as, like those, it will for the last twoyearsManuscript image years of its term become a first charge upon all the Revenues of the Colony.
4. The benefits that have already resulted to the Colony from the great public works which the preceding Loans enabled me to undertake, are so remarkable, and the necessity of continuing those works is so apparent, that but one opinion exists in the Legislature as to the great expediency of at once raising additional funds for investment in sources so reproductive, and so well calculated topromoteManuscript image promote the great and lasting interests of the Colony.
5. I have before so frequently and at such length represented to Your Grace the difficulties existing to the development of the mineral wealth of the country, the great distance of the Gold Fields from the port of entry, the enormous cost of transport which absorbs the produce of mines that otherwise would be abundantly remunerative, and therefore kills enterprise and checks development, that I trust it is not necessary for me now to enter further into these considerationstoManuscript image to satisfy Your Grace of the propriety of a measure by which the work of improvement may be continued, and these barriers to wealth and prosperity gradually mitigated and removed.
6. So far as the financial condition of the country is concerned, I think it fully justifies the present measure. The Revenue for the year 1863 reached the Estimate, viz. in round numbers One Hundred and ten thousand pounds (£110,000), an increase over the preceding year of more than 23 per cent.TheManuscript image The Revenue this year bids fair to exhibit a corresponding increase over that of last year; as up to the present time the receipts from customs dues at the port of entry are £3000 in excess of the same period last year; and as this increase of imports will materially swell the receipts from roads tolls, nothing can be more satisfactory than our financial prospects for this year; and this satisfactory state of things is attributable, indisputably, to the opening up of the country with the means afforded by the Loans alreadyraisedManuscript image raised. The work of improvement however, cannot be stayed: it must still be energetically prosecuted err a tithe of the vast mineral resources of the Colony can be developed.
7. I enclose the Attorney Generals Report upon the Act, and under the circumstances I have stated, I hope Your Grace will see no objections, to advising Her Majesty to leave the Act to its operation.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Sir Jas Douglas closes his Govt with another Loan for £100,000. He points to the great benefits which have accrued to the Colony in consequence of the construction of roads & bridges & other public works which the last Loan of £100,000 enabled him to accomplish, & alleges that the progressive increase of the Revenue places the Loan on a sound footing. I conclude that the Governor's policy must be endorsed, though I think it wd have been more satisfactory if Mr Seymour had had an opportunity of stating his views on the subject. But this oppy has been denied him.
If the Gold in the Colony lasts for 30 years I suppose the Loan is safe enough. But all mines come to an end: and I think that a burden of debt amounting to £200,000 is fully as much as this infant Colony can carry. We shall hear what the Treasury think on the subject, to whom it will be necessary to make a reference.
ABd 12 May
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Mr Fortescue
In 1862 the Governor of British Columbia was authorized to provide for raising one Loan of £50,000, and in 1863 for raising another of £50,000: total £100,000. The first loan was raised through a Bank in the Colony, the second by the Crown Agents in this Country, which last is considered the proper mode.
If Mr Cardwell should wish to trace the origin of this policy, and to see the motives on which the first loan was sanctioned, they will be found recapitulated in a letter from hence to the Treasury (annexed) dated the 22nd of April 1862. The reasons which led to authorizing a repetition of the loan in the next year are contained in the Governor's despatch of the 15th of 1862. I should think that with reference to the former correspondence, this despatch may be sent to the Treasury with an opinion in favor of sanctioning the measure. The Revenue, it will be observed, is growing rapidly.
It would be satisfactory no doubt, as Mr Blackwood mentions, to know the views of the new Governor.ButManuscript image But I think we may be pretty sure that he will be glad to get a good sum at his command, and it will not be necessary, merely because the law on the subject is sanctioned, to raise the whole of the money at once. We shall probably be able to gather his opinions from his reports after he has been a little time in the Colony.
TFE 13 May
I agree.
CF 13
EC 23
Mr Elliot
4382 is I think the Despatch to which you refer.
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Mr Jadis
Defer adopting this letter to the Treasury, I should like to refer to the Governor's despatch sending home the Loan ordinance, or to any other despatch—it there be another—recommending it. I think I remember a Minute in which Mr Blackwood suggested doubts whether Sir J. Douglas ought to have passed a Loan Ordinance at such a time, and a Minute by me in which I said that we should have time to hear from Mr Seymour, & that the ordinance could be sanctioned without necessarily ordering at once the money to be raised.
TFE 17 June
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Colonial Secretary, 9 March 1864, reporting on the Loan Act 1864.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 26 May 1864, forwarding copy of correspondence on the subject of a proposed £100,000 loan and asking whether the ordinance should be submitted for sanction.