Mackean to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
The Bank of British Columbia
80 Lombard Street, E.C.
11th February 1864
I take the liberty of drawing your attention to the importance of establishing a mint in British Columbia for the purpose of coining the Gold that is produced in that Colony.
At present all the gold has to be sent to San Francisco to be coined, and two months elapse before the coin can be received back in British Columbia, causing a loss in Interest alone, at Colonial rates, of four per cent, and two per cent more for freight and insurance—in all a loss of six per cent.
The Banks and Merchants of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island keep all their accounts in the Dollar Currency, and the Bank Notes in circulation in the two Colonies are in Dollars, and as this is also the case in Canada, I would strongly recommend that any gold that may be coined in British Columbia should be in dollars and cents. Most of the Commerce of the two Colonies being with the United States, in whichManuscript image the dollar currency prevails, is also another argument in favor of the adoption of that currency.
The Canadian Government, as you are no doubt aware, have, for the last few years abandoned the Halifax Currency, and now keep their accounts in Dollars and Cents.
I have the honor to be, Sir
Your Obedient Servant
Thos. W.L. Mackean
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
I send you 2 Treasury Letters on this Subject, dated 27 May & 5 July/59. The objections therein raised together with the serious expense of erecting a Mint have hitherto conspired to defeat the object sought for by the writer. It wd be impossible to deal with this proposition witht consulting the Govr & ascertaining whether the interval of time between (59 &) 64 has removed the difficulties entertained by the Treasury 5 years ago.
ABd 13 Feby
Mr Fortescue
A memo: and draft which I annex dated in April and May 1863 will show you that Mr Mackean brought forward this subject at that time, but that he seemed, after hearing the Treasury views, to doubt whether the existing Assay Office might not be sufficient. The letters from the Treasury embodying those views were dated 27 May, 5 July & 2 Sept. 1859. I think that with reference to those letters from the Treasury we had better send them a copy of this letter from Mr Mackean and request to be favored withManuscript image their views on the subject. After hearing them we can write to the Governor to better purpose than at the present stage.
I spoke with Mr Seymour who knows that he will hear from us in time.
I may add that the above mentioned letters from the Treasury are written with great power and ability, and contain ample proof that they have treated the question with the fullest consideration.
TFE 16 Feby
To Try accordingly.
CF 17
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 22 February 1864, forwarding copy of Mackean's letter and requesting their views on the subject.