No. 91
15th July 1867
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward a certificate shewing that I have granted six months leave of absence to Mr Birch Colonial Secretary of BritishColumbiaManuscript image Columbia. Mr Birch being on the Staff of Your Grace's department I need make no statement as to the circumstances under which he accepted Office in this Colony and now returns to Downing Street. My object in giving Mr Birch leave of absence was not so much to provide him with a Salary as to enable him should he think fit, to resume the duties of his Office here which he has filled greatly to my satisfaction. It will therefore be desirable that should MrBirchManuscript image Birch re-enter the Colonial Office on full pay that his British Columbia Salary should cease.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I understand that Lord Carnarvon left it to Mr Seymour to appoint a Successor to Mr Birch. I suppose therefore Mr Birch may be allowed to receive 1/2 Salary until he comes back to this Office which I presume will be very soon.
CC 2 Sept.
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But his decision to return or not must not be delayed after his return to Office.
B&C 28/9
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Mr Adderley
I am sorry to say I cannot recommend that this leave shd be confirmed.
I annex the copy of the Minutes of 1863 recording the terms on wh leave of absence from the C.O. and the temporary apptmt at B. Columbia (with the option of keeping it) was given to Mr Birch—at his request.
The maximum salary of a Junior Clerk (wh Mr Birch then was) is £300—he was also Private Secretary wh is an addition of £150. The minimum of an assistant to wh class Mr Birch was likely to be soon promoted was £350.
The Salary of the Col Secy at B.C. was £800 with the chance of succeeding to the Admn of the Govt with half salary ofManuscript image £[blank] (both exclusive of travelling expenses). Mr Birch held the adminn for 14 months on a half salary of £2000.
I think arrangements of this kind very useful, both because it is convenient that offices in the Colonies shd be occasionally filled by Gentlemen who understand the transaction of business in this department and because it is still more useful that some member of this office shd know a little practically of the Colonies (though this has its drawbacks occasionally). But I think that arrangements of this kind should always be such that the temporary increase of Salary & pleasure & change of scene shd sufficiently compensate those who are thus detached for any incidental expenses involved in the change witht imposing any cost either on the Colony, or on any other Member of this Office or of the Colonial Service.Manuscript image I think in this case the temporary increase of Mr B's Salary and, while Admg the Govt, of position, is sufficient to cover all such incidental expenses & inconveniences: and that Mr Birch when he "elected" to give up his Colonial Secretaryship & resume his place in this Office was on the same footing as any other officer who resigns his Colonial Office after two or three years service witht any claim on the Colony for indulgence or compensation.
When he thus resigned, he had no claim on the Colony for half salary during his journey home; & still less was there any ground for permanently withholding that half salary from the officer provisionally appointed to do his work, to whom that salary wd become properly due if he was confirmed in his office. It appears at first sight that Mr Young—having been Coll Secretary of V.C.I.Manuscript image has a strong claim to the appointment though I learn from Mr Birch that his Vancouver connections or inclinations render him distasteful to the B Columbian party.
I think however that considering that the arrangement—though made at Mr Birch's request, is on principle useful a one and (particularly) useful to this Office, Mr Birch may well be considered as absent from the Colonial Office on leave (i.e. with the full salary of a junior,) from the date at which he ceased to draw Salary in B. Columbia. This will be at the rate of 300£ per ann instead of the rate £400.
On Mr Jadis' retirement a place will be vacant in the Assistant Class to wh Class I wd then propose that Mr B shd be advanced taking at once the place, in point of priority to wh he wd have been entitled had he remained at home & been promoted in order of seniority. Of course he cd only come in at the minimum salary.
FR 21/9
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This seems to me the right view.
CBA 27/9
B&C 28/9
[Annexed copy of the 1863 minutes referred to above:]
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Mr Blackwood
The Duke of Newcastle has appointed Mr A.N. Birch at his own request Colonial Secretary of British Columbia. He is to retain his position in this Office unaffected in any respect by this appointment (except of course that he will not draw any Salary from the Colonial Office)—but he is to be liable to be recalled at the end of two years from taking up the Appointment—unless he then elect[s]toManuscript image to give up his Clerkship here and to retain his office in the Colony. At the same time it is understood that it will be open to him to apply for an extension of this period to three years, if it can be granted without inconvenience to the requirements of the Office. The Duke wishes this to be recorded in order that there may be no misunderstanding hereafter.
C.O. Dec 12 1863
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Certification granting A.N. Birch leave of absence for six months, signed by Seymour.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 68, 7 October 1867 advising Seymour that Birch’s leave of absence could not be confirmed and requesting a report from Seymour on who will be the next Colonial Secretary.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Birch called on me, and represented that the passage which I have marked A in pencil at page 2 of this draft is not accurate in fact, as he did personally apply for leave, although he did so at Mr Seymour's suggestion. I therefore submit for consideration a sentence (marked B) to be substituted for the sentence marked A. It does not alter the decision, nor the drift of the despatch.
The despatch has been signed by the Duke, but not yet sent off.
TFE 17 Octr
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B&C 18/10