Romaine to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
14 Septr 1865
I have laid before My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your Letter of the 9th Instant, enclosing Copies of two Despatches from the Governor of British Columbia, accompanied by a Resolution passed by the Legislative Council, praying that some further protection might be furnished to the Colony by the Naval Squadron in the Pacific.
In reply, I am to acquaintyouManuscript image you for the information of Mr Secretary Cardwell, that My Lords have referred back to the correspondence of 1858-9, alluded to in Governor Seymour's Letter of the 13 March 1865, and They find that the orders given by the Admiralty were for two Gun Boats to be fitted for Service in British Columbia. Their Lorships believe that, at that time, British ColumbiaincludedManuscript image included Vancouver's Island, and the undoubted intention of the Admiralty was to place those two Gun Boats under the orders of the Admiral, for the protection of British Territory, whether on the Mainland, or the adjacent Islands.
Esquimalt has now been made the Naval Head quarters, and My Lords consider thatitManuscript image it would not be advisable to give any orders that would remove any of the vessels from under the Admiral's immediate control. That Officer is instructed to give every support in his power to the Governors of the respective Colonies, and My Lords think that it would be most unwise to limit his discretion by sending orders from England, to so distant a Station, as to the disposition of his Squadron.My LordsManuscript image My Lords would further observe that the presence of two Gun Boats in the Fraser River would afford but little protection from any attack that might be made from the interior, or from inroads by the Indians, while their absence from the straits would materially weaken the power of the Admiral to meet any attack from without, and his means of affording protection to the settlers in the various creeksandManuscript image and Bays both of the Islands and Mainland.
I am,
Your most obedient Servant
W.G. Romaine
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Copy to Govr Seymour instructing him to communicate it to the Legve Council as the decision of H.M. Govt upon their resolution of the 20 Decr requesting that a sufficient portion of H.M. Pacific Squadron might be permanently stationed in the Fraser River, & on the Coasts of B.C.
And, I think, send a copyManuscript image also to the Governor of Van C. Island for his infn?
ABd 15 Sepr
Mr Cardwell
I agree.
If you adopt this view, the Colony should be informed that you concur with Their Lordships in the views they express, and will answer accordingly the representation received from B. Columbia on this subject.
TFE 15 Sepr
EC 16
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Secretary to the Admiralty, 19 September 1865, stating Cardwell concurred with their view on the subject of naval protection to British Columbia.
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 70, 20 September 1865.
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, Vancouver Island, No. 48, 19 September 1865.