17th April 1867
My Lord,
On my appointment to the Government of the United Colony of British Columbia Your Lordship was pleased to state that you had come to the conclusion that the salaryoughtManuscript image ought to stand at five thousand pounds (£5,000) a year with an allowance not exceeding one thousand pounds (£1,000) for travelling expenses. Your Lordship further observed (Letter of 13th August 1866), it is true that the Revenue is in a deficit and that retrenchments are necessary to equalize the income and expenditure but I think that the arrangement which I now propose is on all grounds and for all parties the fairest.
2. On my return to the Colony I found the financialdepressionManuscript image depression much greater than I had been lead to expect. There were outstanding debts of considerable magnitude to meet, and heavy expenses to make in the way of compensation to Public officers for loss of situations and passages home. There were cases of great hardship brought under my notice daily and I thought it would look very badly for me, when bringing forward the Estimates to move for any increase to my pay. Nor was there any necessityforManuscript image for my doing so. Four thousand pounds (£4,000) a year was guaranteed to me by Law and I could of course have, with Your Lordship's sanction taken one thousand pounds (£1,000), a third of Governor Kennedy's salary, from the fund from which he drew it, the Crown Fund of Vancouver Island.
3. I have now to apply to Your Lordship for instructions in the matter. I am ready cheerfully to forego one thousand pounds (£1,000) a yearshouldManuscript image should Your Lordship require it not doubting that the loss will be made up to me in some other way. But I would beg to receive the titular possession of five thousand pounds (£5,000) a year in order not to weaken my claims when the time for applying for a pension shall arrive.
4. I have already surrendered for this year five hundred pounds (£500) of my travelling allowance. But this generosity is more apparentthenManuscript image than real. I shall not this year undertake the very expensive journey to Cariboo, but confine myself to visiting all the settlements of Vancouver Island and making myself as familiarly acquainted with it as I am with the mainland.
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
The letter of the 13th Aug referred to by Mr Seymour in the margin of the despatch is not on record—& I amManuscript image informed that nothing is known upstairs about his increase of Salary.
CC 17 June
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Mr Bryant
Perhaps you would find out from Mr Graham whether any record of a letter from Lord Carnarvon to Governor Seymour dated 13 August 1866.
TFE 18/6
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HSB 18.6.67
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Sir F. Rogers
This is a delicate matter, which I can only leave for you to take the duke's directions upon. We have obtained an extract of Lord Carnarvon's private letter referred to. Nothing official was recorded. Govr Seymour treats it as having settled the matter, & it's language is certainly very decided. British Columbia is very embarrassed.
The plan of paying a Salary of £4,000, and calling it £5,000, appears hardly feasible?
TFE 10 July
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Mr Seymour was appointed Govr of B. Columbia in 1863Van Couver I. was added to his Govt in 1866 and his tenure of Office will (I presume) expire in 1869.
Lord Carnarvon, acting evidently on representations of Mr Seymour, has promised, or consented or "proposed" that his salary shall be enlarged by 1000£ a year for the last 3 years of his Govt. It is question therefore really of 3000£.
Mr Seymour proposes to give this up (in effect) (1) on a tacit understanding that it shall be "made up to him by a better appt hereafter" (2) on his being deemed to be in receiptManuscript image of £5000 for the purposes of a pension.
It does not appear to me satisfactory that a Secretary of State should accept an arrangement of this kind; and I would tell Mr Seymour so.
I would inform Mr Seymour that although Ld C.'s letter was doubtless written under a very mistaken impression as to the resources of B.C. yet that H.G. felt bound to give effect to the expectations raised by that letter—and authorized him to take the 1000£ from the Crown Fund of V.C.I. if as he states the money was available for that purpose. I wd tell him to inform the Legislature that unless the Revenue recovers this addition to the Govrs Salary [it] wd not be continued beyond the expiration of the usual term of the Govrs Office viz 1869. (Verify.)
Add that the allowance "not exceeding 1000£" wh Ld C. contemplated for travel will of course not exceed a fair equivalent for the expenses actually incurred by the Govr in travelling.
FR 12/7
CBA 12/7
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See back of annexed extract of letter.
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What authority was necessary to fix the Salary of the Govr & to make a charge upon the revenues of the colony for that purpose.
B&C 13/7
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Sir F. Rogers
I should say on authority from the Secy of State given with the conManuscript imagecurrence of the Treasury to introduce into the Council an Ordinance fixing the amount of the Salary of the Govr at the increased rate?
CC 23 July
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The salary wd not be effectually fixed I conceive till either (1) the Ordinance was passed if the salary was to be charged on the General Revenue, or (2) the Secy of State with concurrence of the Lds of the Treasury had sanctioned charging it on the Crown Revenue.
FR 23/7
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It shd be made quite certain that the Crown Revenue is still under the full control of the Crown.
CBA 24/7
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But I am informed that while the private letter treating it as a proper arrangement is dated Aug. 13—in October it appears that a letter is written with Lord Carnarvon's concurrence & initial to draft applying for allowance from Treasury for passage because the Salary is only £4000. Is this so—and if so what is the explanation.
B&C 24/7
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This is quite so—the letter to the Ty which is dated 9th Oct. last says "& consider further that altho' named to a more extensive & responsible Govt than before his Salary remains the same, Lord Carnarvon would strongly recommend that he be allowed to draw the sum of £400Manuscript image or half the regulation amount as a contribution towards the expence of his return to the Colony with his Wife & Suite."
B. Columbia not having been under my charge when the letter to the Treasury was written—nor was I aware of it until I read your Grace's minute—I am unable to offer any explanation from my own personal knowledge. But in the absence of Mr Elliot, by whom the draft was written, I would say that it is quite clear from his minute (579) that when he prepared it he wasManuscript image unaware of the existence of Lord Carnarvon's private letter to Mr Seymour. And I should have little doubt that when passing the draft the passage did not at the moment strike Lord Carnarvon as being in conflict with his letter—& it will be seen that this passage was in excess of the minute, approved by Lord Carnarvon, on which the letter was written.
It no doubt was an unfortunate additionManuscript image & really was not needed, if the other reasons given were not sufficient in themselves I do not think this additional one would have justified the allowance.
CC 25 July
FR 26/7
CBA 26/7
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Memo for the Duke of Buckingham
I have only just observed, on taking up these papers in order to execute Your Grace's Minute, that by accident it has not received the completing words. I therefore send it back for your remaining instructions, and ItrustManuscript image trust that Your Grace may not be put to inconvenience by the few days which have elapsed before making the discovery.
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There appears to be no official record of any increase of Govrs salary beyond the £4000 per anm.
The private letter from Lord Carnarvon appears to convey his opinion that the Salary was not high enough and "ought to stand at £5000 with an allowance not exceeding £1000 for travelling expenses"—Lord C. then refers to the deficit & retrenchments necessary—and concludes by saying "I think the arrangement which I now propose is on all grounds and for all parties the fairest." This arrangementManuscript image however required the sanction of the Treasury or the passing of an ordinance to give it effect—and no step was taken to effect this during the 6 or 7 months Lord C. remained in office. And in October Lord C.'s letter to the Treasury recommends that passage allowance of £400 should be granted because the Salary is only £4000. And the passage referred to has an alteration of expression in the draft all in Lord C.'s own handwriting—& could not therefore have been passed unnoticed.
Lord Carnarvon's impression therefore as conveyed in his note of the 18th would appear to be erroneous, and the fact to beManuscript image that the salary was never fixed at £5000 and the allowance not exceeding £1000 although Lord C. had expressed a very decided opinion to that effect. The tenour of Govr Seymours letter also bears out this—as he refers to the circumstances of the colony & says "it would look very badly for me when bringing forward the Estimates to move for any increase to" his pay—and again "£4000 a year was guaranteed to me by law."
The reply should I think be that the Sec. of State concurs with Govr Seymour's opinion of the inexpediency under the circumstances of moving for any increase in his salary beyond the £4000 a year at which it is now fixed—that the circumstances of the colony render everyManuscript image economy necessary & that "of course the allowance" as minuted by Sir F.R. on 5797.
B&C 10/9
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 65, 19 September 1867 discussing Seymour’s salary and appeal for a raise Carnarvon promised in a private letter.