Watson to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
41 Ann Street Edinburgh
9 November 1867
Sir,
I have the honor to report for the information of His Grace the Secretary of State that, in pursuance of my last letter to You on the subject of my salary as Colonial Treasurer of Vancouver Island, I presented to the Crown Agents my draft for £100, that sum being the difference, undrawn, betwixt my full pay, or the salary appertaing to my office, and the rate of £400 per annum for the six months ended the 31st October last and that the draft was returned unpaid, answer, "no advice to accept at present." Annexed to my draft was Governor Seymour's despatch dated the 30th March 1867, that being the document upon which my claim is basedandManuscript image and not the "Certificate of Leave" which was handed to me in London and which I cannot regard as an authentic document for the following reason. At the suggestion of Mr A.N. Birch, in order to save him trouble, I drew up in accordance with the Colonial Regulations and submitted for the Governor's Signature the usual form of "Certificate" required to be furnished to Officers leaving a Colony which document purported to authorize me to draw full pay for six months as Colonial Treasurer of Vancouver Island in terms of the Governor's despatch already referred to. The Colonial Secretary and the Private Secretary both assured me that the said document would be signed and duly forwarded to me before my departure and upon the faith of these assurances I actually embarked, with my family, for England. The Certificate, however, was not forthcoming until my arrival at the Colonial Office in London when it appeared that the words "Four Hundred Pounds"hadManuscript image had been inserted after the words "full pay" without my concurrence. I have no evidence that His Excellency was aware of the alteration having been made and his original offer to me thereby impaired to the extent of £200 per annum. But Mr Birch was certainly aware that such an alteration in the Governor's words "full pay" was contrary to my expectations and not what I understood at the time when His Excellency made me the offer.
Having left the question of compensation for loss of office entirely in the hands of Her Majesty's Government I was willing to submit to the temporary inconvenience arising out of the loss of "full pay" for six months but as nearly a year has already elapsed since the abolition of my office without my having received any satisfactory communication from the Government on the subject, I have only to add—and I trust that you will submit the circumstances to His Grace at your early convenience—that the balance of pay due to me by the Colonial Government is now necessary to enable me to availmyselfManuscript image myself of other employment which I have accepted and that the withholding of said balance of salary can only have the effect, in my humble judgment, of increasing the embarrassment of the Colonial Authorities in dealing with my claim for compensation for the loss of a Crown Appointment from no fault of mine.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient
and humble Servant
Alexander Watson

Minutes by CO staff
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See separate Minute annexed.
TFE 14 Feb
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Some time after the date of this letter, Mr Watson called at this Office and had an interview with me.
Governor Seymour gave him leave on full pay. The Legislature had only voted £400 for his place and this was assumed therefore to be full pay, and he has been so paid accordingly.
But Mr Watson says that he never consented to serve for £400 per annum. The Law rendered it necessary that he should continue to be actually Treasurer of Vancouver until March 1867. He consented to remain as the Law required it, and he contends that he was therefore entitled to the salary he had always had of £600perManuscript image per annum, and that when Governor Seymour said full pay, he was entitled to understand it as meaning £600.
I think it will be found, if ever there is need to re-examine these papers—and if so, it certainly is curious—that Governor Seymour did not in any of the letters which have reached us ever distinctly name to Mr Watson the amount of his pay.
I told Mr Watson that there seemed to be a certain difference as to matters of fact which it was almost impossible to clear up in this Country, and he told me that he was on the eve of sailing for British Columbia. I have ascertained that he did accordingly sail on the 2nd of December 1867, having received the appointment of Resident Inspector of the BankofManuscript image of British Columbia.
Therefore all these papers may now be put by. I have only made this memo in case it should be of use if ever the subject be revived. Put by at once.
TFE 14 Feby
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See subsequent Govr/6/4509, Feb 5 1867. Watson 3110, Jan 14 1867.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Certification granting Watson six months leave of absence with full pay at the rate of £400 per annum.
Watson, Alexander to Elliot, Thomas Frederick 9 November 1867, CO 60:31, no. 11037, 412. 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/B676W08.html.

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