Watson to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Hawthorn Villa
Edinburgh
19th Sept 1867
Sir,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your despatch dated the 18th instant acknowledging the receipt of my letter of the 13th instant and acquainting me that you had laid before His Grace the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos my letter of the 24th of August last referring to the subject of the abolition of my office of Colonial Treasurer andMemberManuscript image Member of the Councils of Government of Vancouver Island.
As the extract from Governor Seymours report communicated in Your despatch is not in accordance with what I understand to be the facts of the case I have to request that You will submit to His Grace, that,
A temporary and subordinate appointment was offered to me by Governor Seymour, on the 17th of January last, which I accepted conditionally, for the convenience of the Public Service, at a Salary of £400 in lieu of my former appointment the salary appertaining to which was £600 borne on the Fixed EstablishmentManuscript image of the Colony at the time of Union.
See 5080.
I continued to perform the duties of the office until the 6th of March when I received a letter from the Govenor proposing that I should continue to act as Sub-Accountant at Victoria on my "present Salary" which had been officially stated in the Council, by the Hon A.N. Birch, to be £400.
My reasons for declining to accept this appointment, as set forth in my letter to the Governor of the 13th March 1867, are already before His Grace. But I may here add, that from a retrospective view of those reasons I have no moral cause to regret having endeavoured, by assertingmyManuscript image my rank in the Colony, to maintain the honor and dignity of The Queen's Commission which I held.
So far from the Six months' leave of absence and the passage money of myself and family being accepted as compensation for the loss of a Crown Appointment of the value of £600 per annum, I merely fell in with the Governor's proposition believing it to be a part of the Scheme which His Excellency laid before the Council, namely, that he intended to recommend to the Secretary of State, the removal of Officers, whose services were not required under Union,to otherManuscript image to other Colonies. A Scheme which several subordinate officers were enabled to avail themselves of whilst I was detained in the Colony at great disadvantage to myself for the convenience of the Government.
My acceptance of the Governor's offer of Six months leave was obtained through his promise to recommend me for employment elsewhere.
Having thus, at the suggestion of the Governor, surrendered my position in the Colony and removed my family to this Country at the cost of great personal sacrifice and pecuniary loss, I amManuscript image now—in consequence of the announcement "that His Grace is unable to hold out any prospect of re-employment"—thrown on the world in search of another position, at a period of life and under circumstances which render my prospects of success very problematical.
As it is evident that there has been some misapprehension on the part of the Colonial Government, in my case, and as I am desirous to do what is in my power to relieve Her Majesty's Government from any responsibility which may have arisentherefromManuscript image therefrom, I am willing to return to the Colony, at my own Expense, and assume a position not inferior, in rank and emolument, to that which I held under the Government of Van Couver Island.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient
and humble Servant
Alexander Watson

Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Mr Watson denies that in the "inferior appt" he received the same Salary as he did when he was Treasurer but that he received £400 instead of £600.
On the merits of Mr W see Minutes on 8482 & 5080.
I have nothing to add excepting that Mr Seymour appears to have sent away these officers, who lost their appts, with a fixed idea that they wd be immediately provided for elsewhere.
WR 20 Sept 67
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I should state that as his Statements are in contradiction to those of the Govr his letter will be forwarded to Gov. Seymour—but (if this is HG's view) that HG is not able to offer him reemployment either in VCI or elsewhere.
FR 21/9
CBA 22/9
B&C 24/9
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Watson, 28 September 1867, advising that his letter had been referred to the governor for report, but reiterating that no prospect of re-employment could be offered.
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 66, 28 September 1867 forwarding Watson’s letter and asking for a report from Seymour regarding Watson’s situation.
Watson, Alexander to Rogers, Frederic 19 September 1867, CO 60:31, no. 9327, 402. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B676W05.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)