No. 7
New Westminster
6th February 1868
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward Copies of a Correspondence which has passed between Rear Admiral Hastings and myself respecting the construction of a Dock of considerable sizeinManuscript image in this Colony.
2. I hardly like to place myself in opposition to Admiral Hastings in a matter of which his professional knowledge makes him a much better judge than myself. There is no doubt but that Esquimalt possesses an admirable harbour. My only objection to it was its extreme accessability. Day or night any ship might run in. But it is not even necessary to run in as avesselManuscript image vessel lying outside might shell any buildings in the Dockyard or any vessel in the harbour.
3. Admiral Hastings appears to believe in the supremacy of the English fleet in the North Pacific under any circumstances. If such supremacy always exists Esquimalt is clearly the place most desirable for the Establishment of a Dockyard. I cannot but consider on the other hand,theManuscript image the possibility of our being worsted. In such a case Burrard Inlet would have immense advantages, inasmuch as ships might run some 10 or 16 miles up the Inlet, having a certain number of men and guns at the entrance where a hill 180 feet high rises immediately over the deep channel. In Burrard Inlet are to be found abundance of fine timber and plenty of fresh water.
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4. A Dock in Esquimalt or Burrard Inlet would however be equally valuable to the Colony in time of peace and I hope that no hesitation I may feel as to the wisdom of Admiral Hastings' suggestion may stand in the way of his recommendation.
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
See concluding paragraph in letter from Admiral Hastings to the Admiralty in Admiralty letter 3404.
The correspondence herein is of old date, & has no doubt been long since in the hands of the Admiralty. As I have kept this some time on the chance of the return to the Dt of the previous Papers relating to Defence & a Dockā€”but they are still in circulation.
CC 20/4
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I suppose this shd go to the Admy.
FR 20/4
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Duke of Buckingham
A man who believes in the Supremacy of the British Fleet in these Quarters cannot be a wise man to follow. I hope this won't go to the Admy as expressing an opinion favourable.
CBA 21/4
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Send to Admiralty for information.
B&C 21/4
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Rear Admiral G.F. Hastings to Seymour, 20 August 1867, forwarding report recommending a site for a proposed dock at Esquimalt.
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Report, Board of Officers to Hastings, 31 July 1867, concerning the selection of a dock site.
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Hastings to Seymour, 16 October 1867, confirming his choice of Esquimalt harbour over other suggested locations for the dock.
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Seymour to Hastings, 31 October 1867, offering to support the recommendation despite the advantages offered by the Burrard Inlet site.
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to the Secretary of the Admiralty, 27 April 1868, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures for information.