Hamilton to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
23rd February 1864
With reference to your letter of the 2nd Instant I am desired by the Lords Commissoners of Her Majesty's Treasury to state, for the information of the Duke of Newcastle, that before coming to any decision in regard to the remission of any portion of the Passage Money to British Columbia of the Wife & Family of Serjeant McColl—of the Royal Engineers—They wish to be furnished with further information on the subject of the payment of the cost of the passages of the wives & families of the Men who went to British Columbia.ItManuscript image It appears that some of the married Men & their families were conveyed free in the Troop Ship "Thames City," and My Lords assume that the cost of their Transport was paid by the Admiralty as a Naval Charge. It further appears that ill health prevented Mrs McColl & her family availing herself of that opportunity of proceeding to the Colony, & that the question of providing them with a passage at the public expense was referred to the Secretary of State for War, on which subject no opinion is expressed in these papers;
By your letter of 1 October 1860 My Lords were requested to give directionsforManuscript image for the payment of the cost of the passage of the wives & families of certain non-commissioned Officers & Men as an advance to be repaid by the Colony,
The words used but the intention was that the money should be recovered from the Mens pay vide Moody/5416.
and in November 1861 My Lords issued the sum of £217.11.2 to the Emigration Commissioners on account of their passages per "Marcella." It is now stated that the cost of these and other passages was to be defrayed in the first instance by the Imperial Treasury, but to be recovered by stoppages from the Men's pay;
My Lords presume, from this circumstance, that the War Department did not accede to the grant of a free passage to Mrs McColl, but that it wastoManuscript image to be recovered in common with the cost of the passages of the other wives & families sent in the "Marcella;"
My Lords request to be informed whether the sums advanced have been fully recovered from the Men whose families were sent in this Vessel, & to what account they have been credited, which information might be obtained from Colonel Moody. They also desire to be favored with the opinion of the Secretary of State for War whether any remission of the Passage Money of the Wife & family of Serjeant McColl would be allowed under Military Regulations on the grounds set forth by that person.
I am - Sir
Your Obedient Servant
Geo. A. Hamilton
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Treasury enquire how the passages of the women and children who went out free were paid for. In the case of those who sent out in the "Thames City" it was settled between this office and the Admiralty, after a previous correspondence between this office and the Treasury, that the Admiralty should pay for their passage but the consent of the Admiralty does not appear to have been communicated to the Treasury.
Other women and children went out in the "Euphrates" but the Admiralty does not appear to have presented a claim for their passages, perhaps in consequence of the decision arrived at in the case of the "Thames City."
The Treasury further enquire as to the repayment of the sum of £217.11.2 advanced for the passageManuscript image of Mrs McColl, her children and others. We have Colonel Moodys Statement that Sergeant McColl has repaid £52.10 out of £105 due from him. Colonel Moody will also perhaps be able to furnish information as to the amounts obtained from the other men concerned.
Mrs McColl was to have gone out with her children in the Thames City in 1858 but she was prevented by illness. The W.O. objected in 1860 and again now (though I think exception may be taken to their objection) to allowing them free conveyance on Military grounds but consider that it is for the Treasury to decide whether they will remit under the circumstances of the cases a portion of the money advanced for their passages to be repaid by Mr McColl.
In 1858 the W.O. was asked to send out 35 women and their children accommodation for whom was ordered on board the "Thames City."
(Afterwards in compliance with a request made not to the W.O. but to the Admiralty 5 more women and their children were accommodated in the "Euphrates.")
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In 1860 and again now the W.O. objected to granting a free passage to McColls family on the ground that accommodation was provided as requested for 35 women and their children and that if Mrs McColl was prevented by illness from taking advantage of it, yet her place was supplied by some other woman but I find that in a list furnished by the Admiralty in 1859 of women and children on board the "Thames City," 34 women only are given and claimed for. The inference is that Mrs McColls place was not supplied and that the objection of the W.O. may consequently not be valid.
The W.O. certainly remark that 35 were beyond the regulated number but this fact could hardly be used as an objection to allowing free conveyance to McColls family inasmuchas it would apply to each of the women who went out in the "Euphrates."
Whatever view is taken of this case there would seem to be fair ground for the remission to Sergeant McCollManuscript image of the whole or portion of the £105, and as the public would bear the charge and the case must be solitary, circumlocution would be avoided if the Treasury would bear it.
With regard however to Mr McColls statement that the passages did not cost more by the "Marcella" than they would have done by the "Thames City."
Those by the "Marcella" were £35 per adult, and £105 for Mrs McColl & four children (= 3 adults I suppose).
The charges by "Thames City" would have been it appears
Mrs McColl £19.8
4 children at 9.14 each 38.16
RE 26/2/64
Mr Ebden
Will you try to answer these numerous & minute questions of the Treasury, as well as you can. We did not view it as a matter of special [funding?]. The question was whether, as a matter of consn for a very deserving Non Cd Officer who has lost all further pay from the public, he might be allowed the remaining part of an indulgence which was originally intended for him of which he was only deprived by a misfortune.
TFE 26/2
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Hamilton, 2 March 1864, explaining the circumstances of the case and asking whether an indulgence originally intended might now be extended to Sergeant McColl.