No. 148
22nd November 1867
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward an Authenticated and two plain Copies of an Ordinance of the last Session of the Legislature of this Colony, entitled;No. 39.Manuscript image No. 39. An Ordinance to amend and assimilate the proceedure of the County Courts in all parts of the Colony of British Columbia.
2. The Attorney General and several members of the Legislative Council were strongly opposed to the principles of this measure and I had intended to reserve it for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure. During the Grouse Creek dispute however it becamenecessaryManuscript image necessary to send Mr Needham to Cariboo and recall Mr Begbie. This latter officer expressed great reluctance to going down to Victoria to act as Judge during Needham's absence. He informed me that he was fully aware that if he set his foot in Vancouver Island the question would at once be brought before him as to the existence of the Separate Court of "the Colony of Vancouver Island."HeManuscript image He should feel himself compelled, which would be painful to him, in Mr Needham's absence, to pronounce that the Supreme Court had ceased to exist on the day when the Island became merged in the Colony of British Columbia.
3. As I cannot believe that I have the right to make use of the Public Seal of the "Colony of Vancouver Island," and as many cases of debt had to be tried, andasManuscript image as each Steamer carried off absconding debtors there was nothing for it, but to assent to the Ordinance I now transmit.
4. Under its provisions I appointed Mr A.F. Pemberton, Police Magistrate of Victoria to be a County Court Judge.
5. The Attorney General's Report is enclosed.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your most obedient humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
This Ordinance extends to all the present Colony of B.C. the provisions of County Court Ordinance of 1866 with some alterations, which are unobjectionable. The Ordinance of 1866 was sanctioned in spite of the objections raised by the Attorney General.
This present Ordinance may (I think) be sanctioned. But I would point out that sections 8, 9, 11 & 14 will require some alterations when the Ordinance has passed which establishes the Supreme Courts. I should be disposed to add anManuscript image expression of hope that this last mentd Ordinance has passed so as to put an end to the uncertainty & confusion which must necessarily be detrimental to the proper & effective administration of justice in the Colony.
HTH 17/3
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I think also the Supreme Ct Ordce necessitates alteration of all the sections of this Ordce relating to it. The rest should be redrafted. Legislation merely by wholesale reference to half a dozen Impl Acts is slovenly, & dangerous. The necessary haste of this enactment alone excuses it.
CBA 19/3
B&C 20/3
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Seymour, 24 October 1867, reporting on the ordinance as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 20, 25 March 1868 conveying “Her Majesty's Gracious Confirmation and allowance of…No. 39, "An Ordinance to amend and assimilate the procedure of the County Courts in all parts of the Colony of British Columbia"” and discussing what changes will be necessary with the passing of the ordinance establishing two supreme courts.