No. 5
21st December 1866
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward a letter from the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Victoria requesting that its enclosures might be submitted for Your Lordship'sconsiderationManuscript image consideration.
2. In his despatch, No. 15 of 21st March 1865, Governor Kennedy forwarded certain Resolutions passed and Statements made by the Chamber of Commerce. These Resolutions and Statements were published in the local papers and as they attributed somewhat unworthy motives to the Government of this Colony, I commented on them in my despatch No. 30 of 21 March 1865. This despatch was, with myentireManuscript image entire consent, printed and presented to Parliament. It was transmitted with other papers to Vancouver Island and laid officially by Governor Kennedy, I know not why, before the Legislative Assembly. My remarks having thus been made public, the Chamber of Commerce conceived themselves challenged to take notice of them. Hence has arisen the very unnecessary communication I have now the honor to forward.
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3. As my reflections on the accuracy of the Statements made by the Chamber of Commerce, I must say that we differ in regard to the natural features of the Coast. These speak for themselves; also as to the motives which governed my Administrative and Legislative Acts. On this latter point, with all due deference to the writers, I still claim to be the best judge.
4. I briefly notice theargumentsManuscript image arguments used in the papers I forward.
1st. No one can deny that Esquimalt possesses an excellent harbour, but if that is to be considered a portion of the Port of Victoria, Burrard Inlet, one still superior, should be given to the credit of New Westminster.
2nd. I supported my description of the several Ports on this Coast by the evidence of Captain Richards, Hydrographer of the Navy, Vice AdmiralKingcomeManuscript image Kingcome, and Captain Lord Gilford, authorities amply sufficient in my opinion.
3rd. It is sought to establish some sort of analogy between the position of Victoria under Sir James Douglas' administration and New Westminster under mine. This fails. I referred to the fact that the public Establishment of Vancouver Island under the former state of things was mainly supported by the taxation levied on another community.InManuscript image In New Westminster at all events whatever has been expended has been raised from the labour and capital of the Colony of which it was the Chief Town. I dread to enter on questions of veracity with persons now brought into official relations with me. Can I however withdraw the charge of looseness of Statement in face of the letter I now enclose from the Auditor General?
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4th. As to the present condition of New Westminster (a matter totally irrelevant to the discussion the Chamber of Commerce would have with me) I quote the following words from the Address presented to me by the Municipal Council on my return from England:
While we cannot point to any very great progress made by this City during Your Excellency's absence, yet it is asatisfactionManuscript image satisfaction to know that some substantial advancement has marked that period, and that the commercial crises which has overtaken these Colonies, has fallen with less severity upon this Community.
5. I will not offer any further explanation. I will not find fault with the selection of Newspaper Articles to represent Public opinion in the Colony. I honestly believe that now the two Colonies with conflictinginterestsManuscript image interests are united under my administration I should best meet the wishes of the Chamber of Commerce by consigning the papers I now forward to the flames. With me the discussion as to motives and soundings has left no bitterness.
6. The whole question is now out of date. Its essence was the spirit of rivalry which prevailed between the two constituent parts of the present Colony ofBritishManuscript image British Columbia.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
If you read the pamphlet—or reply of the Chamber of Commerce—you should commence at P. 18. It consists of a defence of the Chamber against certain statements made 2 years ago—March /65—by Govr Seymour in wh. he rather depreciated the chief Harbors of V.C.I., and contrasted the affairs of B.C. with those of V.C. more favorably than the Chamber liked. The whole subject is, as Govr Seymour observes now quite out of date; and the best policy we can pursue, who have nothing to do with the dispute, is to say something that will satisfy both sides, if that is possible.
ABd 27 F
I annex a separate minute.
TFE 1/3
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The Chamber of Commerce send their printed paper to the Governor with a request that it may be forwarded to the Secretary of State. It is indispensable therefore to acknowledge it's receipt. But beyond this I think that it will be judged expedient to give as little importance as possible to this superfluous but bitter revival of old discussions. The last despatches afford reason to hope that Governor Seymour is in a fair way of conciliating the good will of the Vancouver as well as the Columbia section of the United Colony.
I should be disposed to advise some such an answer as follows. Tell the GovernorthatManuscript image that he is to inform the Chamber of Commerce that Lord Carnarvon does not think it necessary or advisable to enter into or prolong a controversy upon the contents of the despatch written two years ago under circumstances entirely different from those of the present time, and upon a subject on which no practical question of administration now depends. His Lordship indulges a hope that before long any feelings of rivalry between different sections of the Colony will disappear, and that all parties will cheerfully give that cooperation, which is so necessary to the reputation and the welfare of their Country, in developing the appropriate resources ofeachManuscript image each part of the United Colony.
TFE 1 March
CBA 2/3
I agree with Mr Elliot in the policy & the proposed outline of the answer.
C 2/3
I think this correspondence shd be omitted. It only shews the strong feelings which have prevailed, & whh we hope are subsiding. It adds no real informn.
ABd 27 March
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Kennedy to Seymour, 3 October 1866, enclosing documents from the chamber of commerce for submission to the secretary of state.
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James Lowe, President, Chamber of Commerce, to Colonial Secretary, 1 October 1866, forwarding documents in response to a despatch of Seymour's dated 21 March 1865 and asking that they be forwarded to the secretary of state.
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Printed copy of "Reply of the Victoria V.I. Chamber of Commerce," 1 October 1866 (23 pages).
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Robert Ker, Auditor General, to Colonial Secretary, 15 December 1866, responding to allegations made by the Chamber of Commerce with regard to the financial arrangements of British Columbia.
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Lowe, Chairman of Committee, to chamber of commerce, 19 September 1866, making various observations in relation to Seymour's despatch of 21 March 1865, and forwarding copy of a proposed answer, with enclosures.
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Proposed response of the Chamber of Commerce to Seymour's despatch, as noted above, signed by Lowe, 19 September 1866 (48 pages).
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List of Enclosures in above report (45 pages):
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1. Victoria and Esquimalt Harbor Dues Act, 1862.
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2. Victoria Pilot Act 1864.
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3. Statement of Vessels that have entered into and cleared from Victoria Harbor from 1862 to 1865.
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3a. Statement of Seafaring Vessels that have entered into and departed from Victoria Harbour between 20th November 1860 and August 1866 with their draught of water duly certified by the pilots.
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4. Statement of Imports and Exports.
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5. List of Vessels discharged in Esquimalt and their tonnage.
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6. List of property held by Merchants and others on the waterside of Esquimalt Harbor .
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7. Letter from Hibben and Carswell on the arrival of the editions of the "Vancouver Island Pilot."
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8. Certificate from Captain Swanson.
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9. Certificate from Captain Lewis.
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10. Certificate from John Titcomb.
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11. Certificate from Honorable Roderick Finlayson.
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12. Letter from A.C. Anderson Esquire. [Pages out of order on reel].
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13. Newspaper clipping, British Columbia Government Gazette, December 1864, containing extract of "Notices to Mariners."
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14. Newspaper clipping, San Francisco Bulletin, 20 August 1866, "The Colony of Vancouver Island to be Abolished."
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15. Copies of British Columbia Tribune, 13 August 1866 and Cariboo Sentinel, 20, 23 and 27 August 1866 (not on microfilm).
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Carnarvon to Seymour, No. 19, 6 March 1867.
Seymour, Frederick to Carnarvon, Earl 21 December 1866, CO 60:25, no. 1930, 281. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B66205.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)