No. 13
1st March 1865
Sir,
In obedience to the Instructions conveyed in the Duke of Newcastle's despatch No. 41 of 31st July 1865 [1863], I have the honor to forward the Returns connected with the Assay Department in New Westminster for the Year ended 31st of December 1864.
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2. The balance, though but a small one, is at last shown in favor of the Department, and I am happy to say that the working of the Office gives very general satisfaction. I strongly therefore urge that it be not broken up.
3. The reduced Establishment which performed the work of the Assay Department in 1864, consisted of an Assayer, Mr Claudet, with a salary of five hundred pounds a year, and a Melter, Mr Hitchcock with one of three hundred pounds.ItManuscript image It seems however likely from present appearances that the business of the Department will be greatly extended this year by the inducement to assaying offered by the Gold Export Ordinance, which allows of the exportation of Assayed Gold at six pence an ounce less than the Metal in the less pure state. New gold mines too of great promise have been discovered on the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers and I have therefore thought it necessary toincreaseManuscript image increase the strength of the Office.
4. As the present Treasurer has none of the scientific acquirements which would enable him to give assistance to Mr Claudet, I have thought it unnecessary to recommend that the Assay Department be still under his direction.
Mr Franks had plenty of time before he went to B.C. to acquire some knowledge on this subject. His predecessor Capn Gossett, did so.
I propose therefore, should you see no objection, to confer on Mr Claudet the title of Superintendent of Assay, without any increase of Salary. He would have direction of the whole Department. It willbeManuscript image be absolutely necessary to give him an Assistant for whom a Salary of three hundred and fifty pounds has been already voted by the Legislative Council. Mr Hitchcock has had an additional hundred pounds a year voted to his pay, and I propose to make him Chief Melter with a subordinate under him at one hundred and fifty pounds a year. It is confidently expected that the receipts of the Department will this year more than cover this increaseofManuscript image of expenditure.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
This will have to be sent to the Treasury who are better able than we are to decide on the propriety of these charges. The Assay Dt has been unprofitable since its establishment, but as soon as there is a symptom of a surplus the Authorities propose an increase in the strength of the Office and in the expense. I can [forsay?] that Mr Peel will demur.
ABd 17 May
Forward to the Treasury for consideration.
TFE 12 June
Mr Cardwell
If you will be good enough to look at the noteManuscript image on the margin of the annexed draft, you will see that Mr Blackwood shows strong reasons for doubting the propriety of the additional charges proposed by the Governor in this despatch. I quite agree in substance with Mr Blackwood, and I would on no account let the Treasury suppose that we support these recommendations. But as their's is the proper Department of financial control, and especially as it is they who are technically conversant with the requirements of an Assay Office, I think that instead of merely sending the Governor a demurrer from ourselves, I would forward this despatch to the Treasury.
In that case I would send it for consideration, and would add that whilst Mr Cardwell think[s] it proper to bring the despatch under their Lordship's notice, he entertains the views, and would make the suggestion &c (the same as Mr Blackwood has embodied in his minute.)
TFE 15 June
EC 17
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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"Return shewing the Total Receipts and Expenditure of the Assay and Melting Department of British Columbia; and the Profit and Loss on the sale of Gold bars during the year 1864," signed by C.W. Franks, Superintendent, 20 January 1865.
Other documents included in the file
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Colonial Office to F. Peel, Treasury, 24 June 1865, forwarding copy of the despatch for consideration, and expressing the opinion that the changes proposed were premature.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Will you look carefully at this? On further consideration I have some doubt about referring this despatch to the Treasury at present. Under the expectation of increased business it proposes an additional charge of £600 a year for a hitherto profitless Dt. And because Mr Franks, the Treasurer, is ignorant of the assaying art an Assistant to the Chief SuperintendentManuscript image is found necessary to whom is to be assigned a Salary of £350 a year. The Governor moreover informs us of another Assay Office being contemplated at the Kootainie Mines. I shd be in favor of telling the Govr that Mr Cardwell cannot recommend this additional expense to the Treasury until it has been proved by experience that the business & profits of the Dt realize his expectations.
ABd 14 June
Resubmitted with the addition rendered necessary in consequence of Mr Elliots suggestion, approved by Mr Cardwell.
ABd 21 June
Seymour, Frederick to Cardwell, Edward 1 March 1865, CO 60:21, no. 4587, 85. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B65013.html.

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