No. 24
13th March 1865
Sir,
I have the honor to submit a Resolution passed by the Legislative Council praying that some protection be furnished by the Mother Country to this Colony. As the local funds will not allow of our asking for Troops upon the usual conditions,theManuscript image the Council prays that a sufficient portion of Her Majesty's Pacific Squadron be permanently in the Fraser and on the Coast of British Columbia to meet any sudden emergency that may arise.
2. I have been greatly struck since my arrival in this Colony with the change of policy adopted towards it by Her Majesty's Government. Formerly every thing was done to afford protection against Indians or Alien immigrants. Now the Colonists, considerably reduced in number, are left almost entirelytoManuscript image to depend upon their own resources. I would venture to call your attention to Sir Edward Lytton's despatch of 1st July 1858, marked "Confidential," with its enclosure from the Admiralty. To that of 30th July, marked No. 5, No. 30 of 16th October, No. 55 of 16th December, No. 61 of 30th December, No. 30 of 10th March 1859, which expressly states that two Gunboats will be "fitted for Service in British Columbia," The Duke of Newcastle's despatch No. 31 of 21st October 1859.
3. When the outbreak oftheManuscript image the Chilicoten Indians took place last year much time was lost in obtaining assistance from Esquimalt.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Admiralty have been very shuffling about affording naval protection to B. Columbia. Sir E. Lytton insisted on some Gun boats & adequate help being afforded to the Colony by the Admiral on the Station, but the place has virtually been neglected. I think that the Admy ought to be desired to pay more attention to B.C. though as to "permanently" keeping there a sufficient portion of the N. Pacific Squadron I should hold that requirement to be out of the question. See 6170.
ABd 4 July
See minute annexed.
TFE 4 July
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Mr Cardwell
I am so obtuse that I never could quite understand why we were so anxious to Colonize British Columbia & Vancouver, and I certainly always felt that inasmuch as for practical purposes they are the most inaccessible spots on the Globe to either British Forces or Immigrants, they must unavoidably be for us the weakest, if not the most useless.
I am not surprised therefore that when we have established this Colony there, the Governor should find himself obliged to point out that he is very vulnerable.
But I own that I cannot much sympathize with the complaints about want of support from the Navy. Something about Naval aid may have been said at the formation of the Colony. But a greater number of encouragingthingsManuscript image things were then said, than probably anyone would now repeat, about the sword, and the shield, and other figurative attributes of Great Britain.
The truth seems to me to be this. We are beginning now to deny that any Colonies ought to look for purposes of internal defence to even the Military forces of this Country, which formerly were assumed as matter of course to be available for that purpose. Surely it would be inconsistent if we took that opportunity of contending that the Navy ought to be made subservient to internal security, when that doctrine was never entertained even in the days most favorable to undertaking Colonial protection.
The business of theQueen'sManuscript image Queen's Ships is to protect British commerce and repel Foreign enemies. But the Fleet would have enough to do if it should also be required to maintain the internal tranquillity of the Colonies.
There is probably a little local jealousy in this matter. Vancouver affords, I believe, the finest Harbor on the Coasts of the Pacific, and our Squadron in that Ocean frequents Vancouver because it is for it's own advantage. But the access to the Fraser is detestable: we nearly lost a sloop there lately, and I do not see that we could reasonably urge the Admiralty to be often sending their vessels into a perilous and intricate navigation, in order to coerce the Indians or to impress the European neighbours of British Columbia.
TFE 7 July
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To Admiralty, with [blank]
A Despatch I recently returned in which B.C. proposes to adopt the Col. Naval Defence Act.
CSP 5
stating that I do not expect the Navy to maintain the police of B.C.; that Governor Seymour is on his way to this country, and that when I have seen him, I will communicate further on the subject: that meanwhile some general instructions might perhaps be given to Admiral Denman, acquainting him with the Resolutions of the Council, & desiring him to consult their wishes as far as the other duties of the Station will permit.
EC 28 Augt
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Resolution of the Legislative Council, 20 December 1865, asking the imperial government to station a portion of the pacific squadron permanently in the Fraser River.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Secretary to the Admiralty, 9 September 1865, forwarding copy of correspondence relating to the naval defence of the colony, and recommending that general instructions be given to Admiral Denman to consult the wishes of the colony when possible.

Minutes by CO staff
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[Minute on above:]
Mr Elliot
I think that these despatches might be sent to the Admy in pursuance of Mr Cardwell's minute on 6169. The sending of them to the Admy will not conflict with the decision, whatever is may ultimately be, on the question, awaiting Govr Seymour's arrival, as to the question of a Colonial Vessel.
ABd 7 Sepr
Seymour, Frederick to Cardwell, Edward 13 March 1865, CO 60:21, no. 6169, 154. 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/B65024.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)