No. 62
13th October 1864
Your despatch No. 7 of the 1st of June was opened in my absence by the Colonial Secretary and he at once made the communication, copy of which I enclose, to the California State Telegraph informing the Company that the exclusive privileges conferred on them by the 5th Clause of the Ordinance No. 9 of 1864, could not be allowed by HerMajesty'sManuscript image Majesty's Government. I enclose a copy of the reply.
2. I would however mention that Mr James Gamble, the General Superintendent of the Company, has been on a visit to me in New Westminster and that I have settled matters satisfactorily with him. He is convinced that the disallowance of the special and exclusive privileges was only consistent with the general policy of Her Majesty's Government in these matters and will proceed with his undertaking. As compensation however for his disappointment I am going to give him considerableassistanceManuscript image assistance in laying the line of wire between New Westminster and the frontier.
3. It is not impossible that in two months I shall be able to communicate to you by telegraph, at least as far as Newfoundland, and under these circumstances I would beg for instructions as to the cipher or otherwise. Mr Gamble has been good enough to promise to have a branch wire carried into my office at the Camp, a mile from New Westminster.
4. I will have Ordinance No. 9 amended at the next meeting of the Legislative Council.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Governor Kennedy has already sent a similar letter from Mr Carpentier. See 10963. Mr Seymour asks for instructions as to the use of a Cypher.
VJ 20 Decr
Sir F. Rogers
You will have to consider of the weight to be attached to the appeal against allowing exclusive privileges.
As to the Cipher, there are objections to using a Cipher consisting of numbers in the Telegraphs of young Countries, where numbers are apt to require telegraphing as words, and I think that there would also be more general objections to trusting to an infant Govt in the back-woods the regular, official cipher of the British Govt.
At time of the Trent Crisis, I framed one on purpose for Canada, which was adopted.
Explanations, if desired.
TFE 20/12
The difficulty appears to have been got over by Mr Seymour. Mr S. shd I think be informed that Mr C. is glad to learn that he anticipates no difficulty in settling this matter, wh, if injudiciously handled, mt have become embarrassing. As to the cypher, I have nothing to say except that it appears to me that it wd be easy (if requisite) to argue that when a telegram commenced with a certain sign the telegram shd be understood to be numbered the first ten letters of the alphabet being taken to represent the 10 numbers.
FR 21/12
Of course the two Governors will communicate about the Telegraph. But they mt as well be told to do so.
Vide 10963 V.C.I.
CF 22
EC 27
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy, A.N. Birch, Colonial Secretary, to President of the California Telegraph Co., 5 August 1864, advising of the prohibition of the imperial government against the granting of exclusive privileges.
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Horace Carpentier, President, to Colonial Secretary, 22 September 1864, advising that the telegraph link to New Westminster would proceed as planned.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 60, 29 December 1864, acknowledging receipt and approving of Seymour’s handling of negotiations with the telegraph company.