No. 58
6th April 1867
My Lord,
The situation of Treasurer of Vancouver Island necessarily ceased to exist when the Colony was merged into that of British Columbia. I had, when in England, recommended to YourLordshipManuscript image Lordship that Mr Franks, the Treasurer of the continental portion of the Colony should relieved from his duties and Mr Watson appointed Treasurer of the United Colony. You were pleased generally to assent.
2. On my return to the Colony however, I found the financial embarrassment much greater than I anticipated and also that the light duties of the office of Treasurer could be performed without troubleorManuscript image or increase of pay by the Collector of Customs.
3. The late Assembly of Vancouver Island having refused to grant any remuneration for a clerk to the Treasurer the work of that Department was much in arrear at the time of Union and the Revenue from direct taxation suffered largely in consequence of these arrears. I therefore offered to continue Mr Watson in charge of the Treasury DepartmentatManuscript image at Victoria with the same Salary as heretofore receiving and disbursing money as sub accountant. I promised at the same time to consider his claims to the appointment of Treasurer in the event of that office being continued. Mr Watson replied, I regret that I should be called upon to discharge duties of an inferior position of trust to that which I have so long held in the Colony. I do not object to performthoseManuscript image those duties if necessary, simply, as an interim arrangement for the convenience of the Government but it must be under a distinct Official Guarantee that the position which I now hold under Her Magesty's Commission will be fully recognized under the contemplated alteration. Mr Watson has lately addressed another letter to the Colonial Secretary in which he requests that I will will make sucharrangementsManuscript image arrangements as will relieve me from the anomalous position in which solely for the convenience of the Public Service I have placed myself.
4. I regret Mr Watson's disinclination to continue in an appointment of equal pecuniary value to the one recently held by him. While holding a high opinion of Mr Watson as an accountant I do not consider his services as an executive officersufficientlyManuscript image sufficiently valuable to justify me in continuing the appointment of Treasurer merely with a view to retaining Mr Watson in the Colony. I therefore have offered him, for himself, wife and family a free passage to England and full salary for six months. I have further promised to place his claims for reemployment before your Lordship. Mr Watson was for some time accountant in the Bank of BritishNorthManuscript image North America at Victoria, and was induced by Sir James Douglas to relinquish that employment for the appointment of Treasurer of Vancouver Island. He has now been four years in the Government Service and I can confidently recommend him as a Gentleman of strict integrity—very valuable in any financial matters, but on the other hand I ought to state that his information on matters beyondtheManuscript image the scope of his present department is not very extensive.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient,
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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The payment of Passage & the 6 months full Salary will I conclude require Treasury sanction—he will get Salary for two months longer than he wd receive as compensationManuscript image for abolition of Office, namely a months Salary for each years—4—service.
I suppose he will be considered a Candidate for Office, tho' he appears to me to have damaged his claim on the Secy of St: by throwing his last employment.
A Clerk in the Auditors Office at Singapore £500 a year is wanted.
CC 30 May
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I think that the passage and 6 months salary may be recommended to the Treasury. Although there is a little excess in the number of months, the Governor should in such matters be supported.
With regard to the future, I think that Mr Watson has altogether denuded himself of any claim on the Office. He has voluntarily thrown up an Appointment of equal emolument to his original one.
I should therefore employ him or not exactly as he may happen to appear the best candidate for any particular Office. The place at Singapore is worth £100 less than his place at Vancouver, and it is also a subordinate one; which facts induced him to throw up the appointment at Vancouver. I apprehend therefore that either he would not go to Singapore or would only go with discontent for fear of being altogether dropped.
TFE 30 May
CBA 1/6
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I shd not hold out any prospect of reemployment to him. I doubt him being [remainder cut off microfilm]
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See subsequent—31-177 Nov. 22, 1859.
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Secretary to the Treasury, 8 June 1867, forwarding copy of the despatch for consideration and recommending that the governor's terms be sanctioned.