No. 18
10th January 1867
My Lord,
I have had the honor to receive Your Lordship's despatch No. 15 of 26th October, 1866, directing the return of Mr Arthur N. Birch to his post in the Colonial Office.
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2. I would beg Your Lordship to extend for a few months—until the conclusion of the Legislative Session—Mr Birch's leave of Absence. There is no one here who could so appropriately preside over the new Legislative Council as the Officer recently Administering the Government. There will be much irritation evinced in the settling of many questions incidental to the Union of the Colonies and Mr Birch has most happily escapedfromManuscript image from creating enmity towards himself in either section. He is totally unimbued with the local jealousies which prevail and the mere fact that his connexion with the Colony will soon cease will give a weight to his opinion in controverted matters which I fear would not attach to that of any other Public Servant at my disposal.
3. Under the very peculiar circumstances, I feel assuredYourManuscript image Your Lordship will pardon a delay in carrying out your orders.
4. I enclose a letter which Mr Birch has addressed to me on the subject of Your Lordship's despatch.
I have the honor to be
My Lord
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 25 Feb
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TFE 26/2
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Mr Birch wrote to me privately on this subject—& I answered that it could not be done. There are now absent from the Office Mr Irving at Jamaica, Mr Birch in BC, Mr Hemming from illness—wh may last some time, & it is found necessary to detach Mr Macdonald from his department in order to assist Mr Graham. Moreover Mr Blackwood is about to retire & the new junior will of course not be fully useful for some time. Mean time a redistribution of work is to take place. I should reply by telegraph "Mr Birch's return to the office cannot be delayed."
FR 26/2
CBA 27/2
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I sd be glad to see Sir F. Rogers on this point.
C 27/2
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Lord Carnarvon
I am disposed to think that I am wrong in the minute on this—& that your doubt is well founded. I find Mr Hemming is expected back soon, & I think we can get on as we are till August, (or a little before it) when Mr Jadis returns.
Shall a telegraph accordingly in the contrary sense to what I had suggested—"Mr Birch can remain in B. Columbia for the present."
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Yes, I wd telegraph. It will set Mr Seymour's mind at ease.
C 6/3
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Mr Blackwood
What has become of the application that Mr Birch shd remain in B. Columbia.
It shd be ansd by dph as well as telegram.
FR 16/3
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Birch to Seymour, 8 January 1867, regarding expected departure.
Other documents included in the file
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Telegram, Carnarvon to Her Majesty's Consul at New York, 7 March 1867, asking that Seymour be advised that Birch could remain in the colony "for the present."
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 7, 16 March 1867 agreeing to extend Birch’s leave of absence in British Columbia until the first of August.
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Probably the Legislature is in session now. If it lasts 2 or even 3 months the close will be the end of May, giving Mr Birch June & July for his journey home. The beginning of the month of August wd, I think, be a fitting time to specify for his appearance at this Office.
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