Lugard to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
9th July 1866
I am directed by Secretary Lieut. General Peel to transmit for the consideration of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with a view to such steps being taken as may appear to be advisable, the accompanying petition from several men of the Royal Engineers in regard to the unconditional grant of Land in British Columbia to which they consider themselves entitled,
This for the consn of C.O.
together with a letter from Major General Moody Royal Engineers on the same subject. I am to add thatManuscript image a communication has been addressed to the Military Secretary, Horse Guards, relative to the commuted allowance in lieu of deferred Pension referred to in the first part of the petition and letter herewith forwarded.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient Servant
Edward Lugard
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
In desph 92/Oct 65 No 113 the conditions are quoted on wh. 30 acres of Land in B.C. were to be granted to the Engineers after their term of 6 yrs service in the Colony. They served however only 5 years, which appears to be a cause of complaint on their part. Maj. General Moody says in the annexed Letter that the men were aware of the above conditions & declined the Land (with one exception: see 92). He also points out an error the men make in computing the value at wh. they ask for compensation for the Land they wd not take. In my opinion the Petitioners fail to make out aManuscript image sufficient case for relief. I don't think they have suffered any wrong at the hands of the Govt—[quoad?] the Land—for the Govt is not blameable if the price of skilled labor is so high in the Colony as not to make it worth the mens while to accept the Land offered them. And yet the Engineers did good service whilst they were soldiers, and are still capable of excellent service to the Colony as Civilians. If, therefore, it were possible to meet their claims and not dissatisfy other people they might perhaps be converted into contented instead of discontented Settlers.
ABd 11 July
I think that it would be advantageous to submit this case to the investigation of the Land & Emigration Cmrs. Transmit to them a copy of the present letter from the War Office, with the Enclosures in original. Send to them at the same time the whole of the correspondence in the case of McColl. State that Lord Carnarvon will be glad to receive any observations which may occur to them on the petition now received from the men of the Royal Engineers relative to their claims to Land in B. Columbia.
TFE 14 July
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Petition, late Royal Engineers to Duke of Cambridge, 12 March 1866, asking for compensation in lieu of deferred pension, seven signatures.
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Statement of persons last serving in the Columbia detachment of Royal Engineers making application as noted above.
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"Instructions for Volunteers for British Columbia," detailing the conditions under which the men agreed to serve in the colony.
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R.C. Moody, 2 November 1863, describing the financial regulations of the service in relation to compensation for William Hall, late corporal in the Royal Engineers.
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Moody to Assistant Adjutant General, Royal Engineers, 5 June 1866, commenting favourably on the appeal of the petitioners, with explanation.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 23 July 1866, forwarding correspondence regarding compensation for observations and suggestions.