No. 25
11th January 1867
My Lord,
With reference to My despatch No. 24 of this date forwarding the several applications of Mr Needham and Mr Begbie for the Office of Chief Justice of this Colony,IManuscript image I beg now to state that concurring in the view entertained by the latter officer I considered the whole Government Staff of Vancouver Island abolished by the proclamation incorporating that Island with British Columbia.
2. It seemed somewhat hard, however, urgently as the Legislature had prayed for the extinction of the separate existence of the island as a Colony that all the Public Servants should at once be thrown out of Employment. Some were morecompetentManuscript image competent to fill the particular situations they held than those of corresponding designations on the Mainland.
3. Under these circumstances I have considered Your Lordship's despatch of the 14th September 1866, (addressed to me in London) which authorizes me to effect, subject to Your Lordship's sanction, such reductions in the Civil Establishments of British Columbia as our financial difficulties may require as a sufficient authority for me to lessen somewhat the severity of the effect of Union upon the Government Officers ofVancouverManuscript image Vancouver Island. I am selecting the most competent from among the two Establishments and will submit their names for Your Lordship's consideration. Many Gentlemen, I fear must lose their offices.
4. I enclose copy of a circular which I caused to be issued to the Public Officers of Vancouver Island.
5. I am proceeding gradually, but firmly, in the difficult task of reducing the Public expenditure and it isprobableManuscript image probable that every officer of the Government, myself included, will have to make heavy sacrifices in order to relieve the financial embarrassments of our position. It was indeed time that the Colonies were united. On the Mainland the Customs receipts alone have fallen upwards of £20,000 below the estimate, and the Island was in such a position as to be unable to meet its liabilities without a change in the system of taxation or a decided revival of prosperity.IManuscript image I shall submit to your Lordship a Return showing the financial position of each section of the Colony on the 19th of November when the union was effected.
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 the Ho: of Assembly of V.C.I. cd have been induced to alter its system of taxation, the Colony would not have been in such a bankrupt state as it now is. In consequence of the abolition of the free port system, Customs Laws & an altered financial policy mustManuscript image be established; & it may fairly be hoped that before long more cheerful prospects may be seen in Van Couver.
Wait further reports?
ABd 26 Feb
TFE 26 Feb
CBA 27/2
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A selection of Papers on the Union of these Colonies must before long be made for Parlt. This sd be one.
C 28 Feby
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Printed circular to Heads of Public Departments of Vancouver Island, 13 November 1866, giving notice of possible termination of their positions due to union of the colonies.