No. 17
9th January 1867
My Lord,
I have had the honor to receive your Lordship's despatch No. 17 of 30th October 1866 informing me of the circumstances under which the Crown Agents had beencompelledManuscript image compelled to satisfy from funds in their possession the claims for Interest and Sinking Fund on the Loans of British Columbia to the amount of four thousand one hundred and twenty five pounds (£4,125).
2. As the circumstances which imposed this obligation upon the Crown Agents arose before my resumption of this Government, I have called upon the Officer lately Administering the Government for an explanation. ThisIManuscript image I have the honor to enclose.
3. Your Lordship may depend upon the punctual remittance of sufficient means to meet the claims of our London Creditors.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
As the Manager of the Bank of B.C. did not fulfil his promise of communicating with the Directors in England Mr Birch was necessarily put into a wrong position. I should say that the Bank ought to be made acquainted with the neglect of their late Officer by way of explaining Mr Birch's proceeding. Govr Seymour promises to keep faith with London Creditors.
If Lord Carnarvon thinks their explanation sufficient a despatch shd be written saying so.
ABd 25 Feb
Manuscript image
I annex a draft to the Bank of Columbia. The reply to the Governor might, I think, be deferred for their answer.
TFE 26/2
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Under the British Columbia Loan Ordinance the following sums become annually due and are paid by the Crown Agents; vizt
1st January £6250
1st April £4125
1st July £6250
1st October £4125
These sums are to provide for both the interest on the Debentures and for the Sinking Fund.
On the 27th of June the Crown Agents informed this Office that they had been requested by the Govt of British Columbia to draw a Bill on the Govt for the payment of the £6250, due on the 1st of July. The Agents also gave a statement of the account between themandManuscript image and the Govt of B.C, by which it appeared that if they did not draw the Bill and if the Treasury did not pay over to the Colony the £9000 due on Military Account, the sum of £6713, would have to be met on the 17th of July. This letter was referred to the Treasury (28 June), and the Crown Agents told to pay the £6250 on the proper date. The Treasury acquainted us in answer (Treas/6449) that the Agents had been supplied with sufficient funds, to meet the £6713 on the 17th of July, partly from the balance of the Vote for B.C. for the year 1863-64 and partly from Civil contingencies.
On the 16th of October the Agents again reported (Agents/9847) the request of the B.C.Manuscript image Govt that the payment of the interest and sinking fund to the amount of £4125, due on the first of the same month, might be met [by] a Bill drawn on the Bank and to be honoured by the Bank of British Columbia, in London, that the Agents had done so but that the Bank declined to honour the Bill, and that they had therefore paid the sum out of funds belonging to other Colonies, to save the credit of the Colony. This was approved by the Secy of State on the 31st of October and a very severe despatch to the Governor (No 17 of the 30 October) calling his attention to the subject, and instructions to immediately repay the advances thus made and to provide for future payments.
But on the 26th of December the Agents (Agents/12205) once more called attentionManuscript image to the fact that there were no funds to pay the sum of £6250 falling due on the approaching 1st of January and asking from whence it was to be paid. They were informed in reply (29 Decr) that the interest £3000 was to be paid out of the funds in their hands, belonging to other Colonies, but that all payments on account of the Sinking Fund were to be deferred; and a still stronger despatch (No 1 1st Jan/67) than the one of the 30th of October, was sent to the Governor instructing him to repay these sums, and to send home money to provide for future payments. On the 17th of January the Agents sent to this Office (Agents 497) a correspondence between the Colonial Govt, themselves, and the Bank with reference to the means of providing for the payment, due on the 1st of January by drawing Bills.
Manuscript image
This letter was sent to the Treasury (14th Feby) with a proposal that the Governor should be informed that this plan of providing for these payments by drawing Bills on a Bank, is most objectionable and that it must cease.
The Treasury have not yet answered this letter.
In the mean time Mr Birchs explanation has been received (Gov 17/1942 9 Jan), and by this it appears that it was agreed between himself and the Manager, in the Colony, of the Bank, that the Bank in London should honour the Bill and it is apparently owing to the neglect of the Manager to report this arrangement to the Directors in London that the Agents have had to apply sums belonging to other Colonies for theManuscript image service of B. Columbia.
This minute of Mr Birch's has been sent to the Bank (28 Feb) for any observations, which however as yet have not been received.
EHW 15 March/67
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
See Minutes on the Governor's despatch 1942 & the draft to Mr Mackean. As Mr M. never ansd "put by"?
CC 9 July
Yes, put by.
FR 9/7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Minute of A.N. Birch, no date, giving particulars of an arrangement made with the local manager of the Bank of British Columbia for acceptance of the colonial bills.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Elliot to T.W.L. MacKean, 28 February 1867, forwarding copy of Birch's minute for information, with reference to bills previously refused by the bank.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
We might as well wait to see what answer is made to this letter before writing any reply to the Governor.