No. 51
9th July 1866
I have the honor to submit for Your consideration a copy of a Memorial drawn up at a large and influential Public Meeting held in this City on the 22nd Ultimo.
The Memorialists pray that I will apply for a portion ofHerManuscript image Her Majesty's Forces to act as a permanent guard to this Colony. I consider that Your despatches No. 70 of the 20th September and "Confidential" of the same date, in reply to Governor Seymour's representations on this subject, convey the decision of Her Majesty's Government as regards the Imperial Protection to be afforded to British Columbia and that it is needless for me to refer again to the defenceless state of the Colony.
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2. I am however glad to have this opportunity of reporting, in the words of the Memorialists, the enthusiastic unanimity with which the people have voluntarily placed themselves at my disposal on the first rumour of an intended invasion and the zeal and military ardour which now pervades the entire community. I think I may safely estimate that more than two thirds of the settled populationofManuscript image of the Lower Fraser have come forward, taken the Oath of Allegiance and are giving up a large portion of their time to Drill and Rifle practice.
3. At the request of the Officers of the several Corps I was present yesterday at a volunteer gathering at Langley. I found the new Corps progressing in their drill and in their rifle practice most satisfactorily. Nothing could exceed the loyalty and good feeling that pervadedtheManuscript image the entire proceedings.
4. I cannot say that I entertain the popular belief as regards the invasion of British Columbia by the Fenian Brotherhood, at the same time the independent and self-reliant manner in which the Colonists have come forward without hesitation will I trust receive some acknowledgement of satisfaction from Her Majesty's Government.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient humble Servant
Arthur N. Birch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Adderley
The Memorialists apply for a Garrison for B. Columbia. The neighbouring Colony of Vancouver is the Head Quarters of the whole British Naval Force in the Pacific, and it seems to me that these two Colonies are thereby placed under specially good protection. I hardly imagine that it would be thought possible to undertake to furnish Troops for the Garrison of a place which practically is about the most remote on the earth from Great Britain.
TFE 30 August
Lord Carnarvon
Will it not be wise at once to put an end to any expectations of Troops being ever sent there referring at the same time to the amount of naval protection? I think we sent out some Sappers in 1858 but only for opening roads.
CBA 31/8
Dft that it is not possible for H.M.G. to hold out the hopes of a garrison being stationed in B.C.—that there is a considerable naval force and express gt satisfaction at loyal spirits of the inhabitants & their alacrity in enrolling and drilling &c.
C 1 Sep
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Memorial, Inhabitants of British Columbiato Officer Administering the Government, 22 June 1866, describing the defenceless state of the colony and asking that a garrison be established in the colony, signed by W.J. Armstrong, Chairman of the Public Meeting.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Carnarvon to Officer Administering the Government, No. 10, 4 September 1866.
Minutes by CO staff
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Passed by Lord Carnarvon. See his alterations at the end. For Sigre.
TFE 4/9