No. 56
10 September 1867
Sir,
With reference to your despatch of the 3rd July and the Ordinance No. 14 intituled "An Ordinance to establish a Standard of Weights and Measures," I have to observe that while fully acknowledging the utility of such a measure, calculated as it is to ensure uniformity and fair dealing incommercialManuscript image commercial transactions, I think it desirable to call your attention to certain points concerning the details of that measure which may require amendment, and upon which, at all events, I wish for information before I can advise Her Majesty to sanction the Ordinance.
I may observe in the first place that the reference in section 1 to the "Weights and Measures of Her Majesty's Exchequer" is not strictly correct, and should be amended. By the Imperial Act of 29 and 30 Vic. C. 82, a copy of which I transmit for your information, the Imperial StandardswereManuscript image were transferred from the Exchequer to the Board of Trade, and the working secondary standards are now called "The Board of Trade Standards."
The reference in sec. 1 of the Ordinance should therefore be either to the "Imperial Standards for Weights and Measures in Great Britain" or, if thought better, to the "Board of Trade Standards."
I presume that there is in the Colony an authorized copy or model of each of the Imperial Standards, but should such not be the case, provision should be made for theimportationManuscript image importation into the Colony of such authorised copies or models, and the Ordinance should further provide, that these should be kept in the custody of the Treasurer, or some other high public officer, and should be the authorised standards from which all weights and measures used in the colony should be derived.
There is no provision in the Ordinance for making and verifying copies of such standards, though in the absence of such verified copies the working of the measure would be hardly practable [practicable]. Unless therefore suchcopiesManuscript image copies are in existence the Ordinance should require that copies of such standard Weights and Measures verified by the Treasurer should be provided and kept by each Inspector of Weights and Measures appointed under the Ordinance, or at certain places in the colony as may be thought most convenient for the purpose of comparison in carrying out the provisions of the Ordinance.
It appears to me that it would be better in section 5 to follow the wording of the 28th section of the Imperial Act 5 and 6 Wm IV, C 63, and to show how proof of the weights is to bemadeManuscript image made. It would only be necessary for this purpose to insert after the word "examine" the words, and compare and try all weights, in measures, steelyard balances, or other weighing machines with the copies of the standard weights and measures required to be provided under this Ordinance. The power to seize would then follow as it does in the present section.
A question has been raised in England upon words similar to those at the beginning of section 5, whether they enable an Inspector to inspect the weights of a person selling goods in thepublicManuscript image public street or in any open place. This question was set at rest by the 3rd section of the Act of 22 and 23 Vic C. 56, and I transmit a copy of that section for your information and guidance in case it should be thought desirable to give the inspectors like powers in British Columbia.
I have only to add that I concur with the opinion of your Attorney General that there should be a summary reference to a Magistrate.
I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Buckingham & Chandos
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Print, Victoria Reginæ, dated 6 August 1866, "An Act to amend the Acts relating to the Standard Weights and Measures and to the Standard Trial Pieces of the Coins of the Realm.
Manuscript image
Print, Victoria Reginæ, dated 13 August 1869, "An Act to amend the Act of the Fifth and Sixth Years of King William the Fourth, Chapter Sixty-three, relating to Weights and Measures."
People in this document

Grenville, Richard

Seymour, Frederick

Organizations in this document

Board of Trade

Treasury

Places in this document

British Columbia

Victoria

Grenville, Richard to Seymour, Frederick 10 September 1867, NAC RG7:G8C/14, 340. 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/B677156.html.

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