No. 25
15th March 1865
The eleventh clause of Her Majesty's Royal Instructions "direct and require" me "to frame and propose" to the Legislative Council "for their adoption such Standing Rules and Orders as may be necessary to ensure punctuality of attendance of the MembersofManuscript image of the said Council and to prevent Meetings of the said Council being holden without convenient notice to the several Members thereof, and to maintain order and method in the despatch of business, and in the Conduct of all debates in the said Council and to secure deliberation in the passing of Laws. All which Rule and Order not being repugnant" to my Commission and Instructions, or to any other Instructions with which I may be honored by Her Majesty "shall atallManuscript image all times be followed and observed, and shall be binding upon the said Council" unless the same, or any of them shall be disallowed by Her Majesty.
2. I felt that very great power was given to me by this Instruction and I trust that I have exercised it to your satisfaction. I had to bear in mind that an elected Assembly will in all probability ere long Legislate in this, as in most of the Colonies, and therefore thattheManuscript image the more Independence I could give to the Council the more popular would our present form of Government be, and the more advanced the education of the people in the art of Self Government. Any appearance of straining the vast power which the Governor now possesses would, I felt, dispose the people to clamour for representative Institutions for which the Colony is not yet ripe. I am happy to say that the Standing Orders I have the honor to enclose haveworkedManuscript image worked extremely well and that there is every prospect of the Session closing without a single expression, even in the local press, of a wish for a change in the Legislative Constitution.
3. The Standing Orders are mainly taken from those I assisted in framing for the House of Assembly of British Honduras.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I am not sufficiently acquainted with the habits of Legislative Bodies to be able to form any very confident opinion as to their rules. I can only say that they appear to me to be free from objection.
ABd 29 June
Article 4 strikes me as very stringent, and would rather astonish the Members of our deliberative Bodies at home. But this it must be remembered, is a Council.
I think we may say to the Governor that the rules appear to have beenManuscript image devised with pains, and do credit to the consideration which must have been bestowed on the subject, and that Mr Cardwell hopes that they may work to the satisfaction of the Council and of the Public.
TFE 29 June
EC 30
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Printed copy of "Standing Orders of the Legislative Council of British Columbia."
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 37, 3 July 1865.