No. 21
New Westminster
18th March 1868
My Lord Duke,
I have had the honor to receive Your Grace's despatch of the 10th of January, calling for my promised report on an OrdinancepassedManuscript image passed by the Legislature of this Colony in 1866 and entitled; No. 10. An Ordinance conferring certain privileges on the Williams Creek Bed Rock Flume Company.
2. The Ordinance having been passed during my absence I thought it prudent to consult the Executive Council before offering to Your Grace an opinion on the subject.IManuscript image I was unanimously advised to recommend that the Ordinance should be left to its operation. Which advice I likewise beg to tender to Your Grace.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your most obedient
humble Servant.
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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CC 17 June
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Sir F. Rogers
The only report that the Govr gives is that his Executive Council unanimously advised him to recommend that the Ordinance should be left to its operation.
This is not a very satisfactory answer to the request for a report made so far back as 28 June 1866, ie 2 years ago.
HTH 18/6
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Mr Birch could probably give us some infn about this.
FR 18/6
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Sir F. Rogers
I have no hestitation in recommending that the Ordinance be left to its operation. I took great pains to arrive at a full knowledge of the subject on my visits to the Mining District of Cariboo & I must have received more than 20 deputations on the matter. Although the Bill may be considered as a Private Bill granting privileges to a company of speculators the successful carrying out of the undertaking will be of immense Public Advantage to the Colony & give employment to hundreds.
The origin of the speculationManuscript image was this—
"Williams Creek" which has proved the richest mining ground in the Cariboo district is a small Mountain stream some 4 miles in length. A mile & half of the upper portion runs through a comparatively level bed & the soil on either side is deep bog & no pumps hitherto sent up have been able to drain the water from the several claims recorded on this mining ground. It has consequently remained undeveloped and below this again there are many "faults" in the bed rock preventing the ground being worked. It was the opinion of Engineers that by taking the lowest level of the "Bed Rock" and blasting & cutting a ditch or "Flume"Manuscript image through the entire length of the Creek the whole ground wd be drained & the hitherto unprofitable ground worked to advantage. All the best Miners combined to carry this work out, but a few idlers managed to possess themselves of Some of the ground useless to them without the drainage & refused to part with it (the portion required for the ditch)—thus without Legislative Assistance Williams Creek must have remained partly undeveloped. I gave nearly a year's notice of my intention to allow an Ordinance to be introduced. I may have had some half dozen individual Petitions against the measure. I was careful to have Enquiries made into each case & if I remember rightly with one exception the Petitioners had obtained their interest in the groundManuscript image after it was known that a combined attempt was to be made to drain the ground. I received hundreds of signatures in favor of the Ordinance.
I visited Cariboo after the Ordinance had become Law. I do not remember a complaint & this coupled with the fact that the Ex Council are unanimously in favor of the Act after watching its operation for two years is I think sufficient to justify the Allowance of the Ordinance.
ANB 19.6.68
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I should write that as HG infers that the Ordinance has been in force for two years witht producing inconvenience or a complaint it will be allowed to remain in operation.
FR 19/6
CBA 22/9 [6]
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But call attention to the long delay in reporting.
B&C 22/6
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 39, 26 June 1868 conveying “Her Majesty's Gracious Confirmation and allowance of…Ordinance No. 10, of 1866, conferring certain privileges on the Williams Creek, Bed Rock Flume company.”