Childers to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
31st October 1865
With reference to your letter of the 3rd Instant, and its enclosures, I am desired by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury to state for the information of Mr Secretary Cardwell, that Their Lordships have had under consideration the Ordinance No 3 of 1865, which has been passed by the Legislature of British Columbia, entitled "An Ordinance to amend the duties of Customs" together with the despatches from the Governor, and other papers relating to the objections that have been takenManuscript image to the measure in the adjoining Colony of Vancouver Island.
Their Lordships desire me to request that you will state to Mr Secretary Cardwell that They see no sufficient reason, on legal grounds, for interfering with the proceedings of the Legislature of British Columbia in this matter, or for witholding Her Majesty's confirmation of the Ordinance.
I am, however, to add that my Lords observe that the value of articles subjected by this Ordinance to ad valorem duties is to be reckoned according to their value at the place of Shipment instead of at the place of Entry. Such a regulation is, so far as My Lords are aware, without precedent in the CustomsLawsManuscript image Laws of British Possessions; and it will have the result of subjecting articles, identical in all respects, and of the same price to the Consumer, to different rates of duty, according to the Country from which they may have been shipped; thus, in effect, if not in words, establishing a system of differential duties.
Before, therefore, the Ordinance is submitted for Her Majesty's confirmation, Their Lordships suggest that this point should receive the attention of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
I am Sir
Your obedient Servant
Hugh C.E. Childers
[P.S.] The printed enclosures to your letter, except the Ordinance, are returned herewith.
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
The Colonists of Vancouver took the strongest exception to the clause about value at last place of Shipment, which they considered to be levelled against them. This letter supports the same view, that it is contrary to principle and I should think that the Enactment ought not to be assented to.
TFE 3/11
I think so too—till this clause is altered.
It is a differential duty in favour of those countries in which production is cheap. This form of objection (as a differential duty) justifies Imperial interference more than that wh I made in a Minute on 6176 B.C. In substance the two objections are one.
FR 3/11
EC 4
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Mr Jadis
See the minutes on this letter.
Will you prepare a draft sending to the Colony the extract which I have marked of Bd of Trade dated 13 Octr and a copy of the present Treasury letter.
Draw attention to the remarks made by the Board of Trade on the subject of the high rate of duty on some of the articles included in the proposed tariff.
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The Acting Governor will perceive the remarks made by the L.C. of the Treasury on the provision for subjecting articles indentical in all respects, and of the same price to the consumer, to different rates of duty, according to the Country from which they may have been shipped. State that until this Enactment, which is contrary to precedent and unadvizable in principle, shall be altered, it would be out of Mr Cardwell's power to recommend the Manuscript imageOrdinance for confirmation, but that he refrains from advising it's disallowance until there shall have been time for correcting the objectionable clause.
TFE 6 Novr
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Officer Administering the Government, No. 89, 11 November 1865.