24th September 1867
My Lord Duke,
I would venture to call Your Grace's particular attention to my despatch No. 127 of even date, shewing the exertions that are being made to pay the heavy interestandManuscript image and Sinking fund on our London Loans, and the position in which the payment of the Salaries of the Public Officers stands.
2. For myself I have only to say that were the Salary assigned to me paid regularly I should have but little, if any, surplus at the expiration of my term of Service. As it is, any small savings I made in Honduras have long since gone and I am living on an overdrawn account at the BankonManuscript image on which eighteen per cent is charged. Yet I cannot reduce my expenditure. I have two Government Houses to keep up. Two Capitals in which I must entertain. There are now six ships in harbour and a very large number of American officers, including lately two Generals, here. Some from San Juan, others on their way to Sitka. Two on a special mission to me toarrangeManuscript image arrange matters respecting our Northern Boundary and to concert on Indian policy. All these visitors, at least, I am bound to invite to my house, as I know well how difficult I might find my position here, if I once allowed the present friendly terms which exist between our republican neighbours and myself to cease.
3. Additionally, I have to contribute to every ChurchfundManuscript image fund and charity. To give pecuniary support to every public amusement.
4. I would venture respectfully to submit that a portion, at least, of my Salary should during the present depression be paid from Imperial Funds. British Columbia is now in a position which would be called in the neighbouring Republic that of a "territory." Its population is small andscatteredManuscript image scattered, the majority I think consists of aliens, and I need not conceal from Your Grace that the energetic efforts now being made by the Americans to garrison the miserable territory they have recently purchased from the Russians and develop its meagre resources, causes, with some, a feeling of repining at their connection with a far distant country which does, Your Grace willforgiveManuscript image forgive me for saying, but little for them. A small matter such as relieving the Colony of payment of a portion of my Salary, say £2,000 or £3,000 would I am sure be looked upon as a mark of interest. It would relieve me of some embarrassment as I cannot help thinking as I receive each payment, what bridge the money would have built, what road itwouldManuscript image would have repaired.
5. Yet I cannot see how my pay can be reduced with the important political and social duties I have to perform, nor do I think the United Colony on the Pacific ought to be allowed to degenerate into a second rate Government.
6. I do not propose the above as a permanent arrangement. I believe that the Colony will relieveitselfManuscript image itself in time from the present painful embarrassment.
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
You have all the Columbia Finance Papers before you.
CC 6 Nov
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Sir F. Rogers
I have transferred them to your hands. Mr Seymour makes out rather a powerful case for a Salary from Imperial Funds. Every Governor is to a certain extent an Imperial officer, and it is much to be lamented when any difficulty arisesManuscript image about his being paid both adequately and regularly. Lord Grey used to be of opinion, I think, that all Governor's Salaries should be viewed as Imperial charges, like those of Ministers and Ambassadors. This would doubtless be considered to be going too far, but the reasoning might seem to vindicate providing such Salaries in difficult cases.
TFE 7 Nov
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Mr Seymour's case personally is very hard indeed. To have to borrow your Salary at 18 per cent interest—Manuscript imagebeing 9 months in arrear is bad enough. (Vide 10837.)
But what is the origin of the B.C. distress?—that the Colony has spent profusely in roads &c and is now suffering from a reaction. But this suffering is a very wholesome suffering—& calculated to produce care & economy in the future.
If in every distress the purse of the U.K. is to be drawn upon, the Colonies will be always in some distress or other.
If it was possible to view the Govr of B.C. as charged with quasi diplomatic duties (in the absence of any F.O. agent) or special duties of representation—this mt be a claim for Imperial assistance. But I do not see that this can be made out to the requisite extent.Manuscript image Therefore I really do not see that we can do anything. I think however that the inconvenience to wh Gov Seymour is subjecting himself deserves to be handsomely acknowledged. Vide table in 10837.