No. 30
17th January 1867
My Lord,
I have the honor to report that I have constituted a Legislative Council for the United Colony of British Columbia, as follows:
2. In obedience to HerMajesty'sManuscript image Majesty's commands I have re-appointed the Colonial Secretary (Mr Birch) the Attorney General, (Mr Crease) the Surveyor General, (Mr Trutch) and the Collector of Customs (Mr Hamley). The Office of Treasurer is in abeyance on account of my having been compelled under circumstances detailed in another despatch
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Not recd in Dept.
[ABd] 20 March
to relinquish the services of Mr Franks. On that Gentleman's departure from the Colony, I propose as a temporary arrangement toplaceManuscript image place Mr Young, late Colonial Secretary of Vancouver Island, in the office of Treasurer, in order that I may make use of his local knowledge and experience in the Executive and Legislative Councils.
3. I have further appointed on my own responsibility nine gentlemen whose names are on the Commission of the peace, to be members of the Council
1st Mr Wood, late Acting Attorney General of Vancouver Island, to act as Solicitor GeneralduringManuscript image during the Legislative Session at a rate of Salary equal to that which he drew when holding his late appointment. I think his services will be valuable in the amalgamation of the Laws of the two sections of the Colony with which I am now proceeding.
2nd Mr Henry Ball is one of our ablest Magistrates and acted successfully as Colonial Secretary during Mr Birch's temporary administration of the Government.
Mr.Manuscript image
3rd Mr Chartres Brew is the Police Magistrate of New Westminster. He possesses fully the confidence of the people and has frequently been mentioned in terms of commendation by Sir James Douglas & myself.
4th In the appointment of Mr Clement Cornwall, I sought to represent the agricultural interests and to secure for the Colony the intelligent but unfettered assistance of an English Barrister and Gentleman of large stake in the Country. Mr Cornwall represented the Yale Lytton District in the lateCouncilManuscript image Council. I regret to say that a pressure of private business will prevent his attendance in Council during the present session. I hardly know yet whether I shall have to fill up his place. Mr Cornwall is an unpaid Justice of the Peace.
5th Mr William Cox represents the Mining District of Cariboo.
6th Mr William Macdonald is the Mayor of Victoria. I have placed him in the position of an independent Member of Council as a markofManuscript image of the interest I feel in the welfare of our principal town.
7th Mr Charles Nicol also comes in as an independent Magistrate. He is the Manager of the Nanaimo Coal Company and will with Mr Southgate the popular Member, represent the second town in Vancouver Island and one of our most important branches of trade.
8th Mr Peter O'Reilly is the Chief Gold Commissioner of the Colony and one of the best of our PublicOfficersManuscript image Officers.
9th Mr Edward Sanders is the Stipendiary Magistrate of the Yale-Lytton district. An efficient and respected Public Officer.
4. I appointed nine seats to be filled on the recommendation of the People. In this way, five to the Mainland, four to the Island. The mode of selection was the same as that previously existing in each section of the Colony. On the Island the old franchise was retained andtheManuscript image the Voters stood on the Electoral Role. On the Mainland the selections took place previous to My return to the Colony and were made by Universal Male Suffrage of the inhabitants assembled in public meeting—Indians and Chinese however not being allowed to vote.
The following is a list of the Gentlemen selected and appointed.
1st Mr John Sebastian Helmcken is the late Speaker of the extinct House of Assembly of Vancouver Island although asomewhatManuscript image somewhat vehement politician and disposed to consider principally the interests of the town of Victoria, I view his return to the Council with satisfaction.
2nd Mr John Robson is the President of the Municipal Council of New Westminster and ardently devoted to the interests of the town he represents. He is editor of the "British Columbian" a journal of considerable local influence.
3rd Mr Joseph Despard Pemberton, late Surveyor General of VancouverIslandManuscript image Island represents Victoria District.
4th Mr Joseph Southgate, has been selected by the people of Nanaimo. He is a respectable and intelligent Merchant of Victoria.
5th Mr George Anthony Walkem, a barrister, represents for the third time the Miners of Cariboo.
6th Mr Robert Thompson Smith, one of our most enterprising Miners has been chosen by the inhabitants of the Gold districts of the Kootenay and Big Bend of the Columbia.
7th Mr Edward Stamp, Manager ofanManuscript image an English Saw Mill Company has been chosen by the people of Lillooet.
8th Mr Amor de Cosmos one of the most active of the Victoria politicians has been selected as second Member for that town.
9th For Yale and Lytton, Mr George Wallace, a newspaper Editor was selected. He resigned and on a new writ being issued Mr Francis J. Barnard was selected. I know Nothing about Mr Barnard except that he is the energetic Government Contractor for the conveyance oftheManuscript image the Mails between New Westminster and the Upper Country.
5. It is allowed by general consent that such good elements for the constitution of a Legislative Body have never before been collected in these Colonies and I beg to recommend the Councillors generally for Your Lordship's confirmation.
6. I have made the appointments for two years.
7. It is not to be expected that all will pass over quietly in the first session of the combinedLegislatureManuscript image Legislature of two Colonies whose rivalry has disturbed this Coast for many years, yet I allow myself to hope that no serious obstacles will be placed in the way of the transaction of Public business.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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With the exception of Mr de Cosmos (properly Smith) I should say that the Governor is most happy in the composition of his first Council. They are practical & respectable men.
Acke & approve?
ABd 20 March
TFE 20/3
CBA 21/3
B&C 21/3
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Mr Gairdner
Before we write to the Governor I think you had better see the desph of Governor Seymours. The selections & elected Members are good enough. The question may be how to reconcile them with the Royal Instructions to Govr Seymour—whh were left unaltered when the ActManuscript image was passed for the Union of the two Colonies.
ABd 22 March
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Mr Blackwood
The Legislative Council is constituted under the Authority of the 5th Clause of the Order in Council of the 11 June 1863: and I do not perceive in these arrangements anything inconsistent with that Clause. But this is now rather a question for Mr Holland than for me.
GG 25 March
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ABd 25-3
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Mr Blackwood
I understand the Governor to have appointed of his own selection 9 gentlemen—& to have further appointedManuscript image 9 who were recommended for appointment by the people. But in the latter case, though the Govr did not select, he "appointed" & thus the case falls within the Order in Council clause 5, & the meaning of the Act of Union 29 & 30 V. c. 67.
It would be well to see if Sir F. Rogers agrees before the despatch is sent out.
HTH 25/3
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ABd 25/3
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I agree.
FR 26/3
CBA 27/3
B&C 28/3
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 13, 30 March 1867 sending “the Queen’s Approval of the appointments which [Seymour has] made” for “the Legislative Council for the United Colony.”