No. 39
25th April 1866
I have the honor to forward a letter addressed to me by Mr Justice Begbie relating to the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts of British Columbia and Vancouver Island.
2. I have informed MrBegbieManuscript image Begbie of the probability that the subject will have been arranged by the Union of these Colonies before the receipt of this Despatch. I am anxious however that the enclosed correspondence should be laid before you in reference to Mr Begbie's remarks, in the latter portion of his letter of the 23rd Instant, as to the position he would occupy on the Union of Vancouver Island with British Columbia.
3. The Colony is largely indebted toMrManuscript image Mr Begbie for the manner in which he has discharged the duties of the high Office he has held with satisfaction to all classes since 1859, and I cannot suppose Her Majesty's Government will allow Mr Begbie to occupy an inferior position to the one he has hitherto enjoyed.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Arthur N. Birch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I should suppose that when the Colonies are united there must still be a Chief Judge in B.C. It wd be impossible, I shd say, for one Judge of the United Colonies to do all the travelling work. The amount of Law business might perhaps be got through by one man, if the cases cd all come to him.
It is fair to add that Mr Begbie has proved an excellent appointment for B.C. He is brave (a necessity amongst the miners) very active, and, I speak under correction, able in a professional point of view.
Answer that Mr Bs claims will be duly considered.
ABd 15 June
I do not think that anything more is required.
FR 16/6
WEF 16/6
EC 19
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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M.B. Begbie to Officer Administering the Government, 23 April 1866, reporting as per despatch, with query as to his status in the event of unification.
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Begbie to Douglas, 22 December 1862, earlier report on jurisdiction between the two colonies.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Officer Administering the Government, No. 35, 23 June 1866.