No. 43
New Westminster
12th May 1868
My Lord Duke,
I have had the honor to receive your Grace's despatch No. 73 of the 6th of November 1867 on the subject of the Laws relating to Gold Mining in this Colony.
2. Your Grace requiresmyManuscript image my opinion as to whether an amendment of the present Ordinance allowing an appeal from the verdict of a Jury in cases above a certain amount would in my opinion be desirable and whether such an amendment would be likely to meet with the assent of the Legislative Council.
2. [sic] It will be seen from the report of the Attorney General that the question was fullyconsideredManuscript image considered during the recent Session [of] the Council and that the decision was against the right right of appeal being granted.
3. I agree in opinion with the Council and am supported by Mr Brew, the present Gold Commissioner of Cariboo, and by Mr O'Reilly the Senior Gold Commissioner of the Colony. Mr Ball whom I moved from Cariboo during the Grouse Creek disturbances, undercircumstancesManuscript image circumstances detailed in my despatch as noted in the margin,
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Gov. Seymour to Secy of State
No 99 of 4th Sept 1867
differs, but he has had but little experience in the mining districts, and besides has not yet got to look with perfect calmness on the events which signalized his short administration of affairs at our principal Gold mine.
4. Being totally without material force at Cariboo, it became necessary for me tomakeManuscript image make the best I could of my position, but I am convinced that an appeal to Mr Begbie, in the ordinary course of things would not have settled the dispute, or his decision have been obeyed by the Company, to which it happened to be adverse. I look upon it as a fortunate circumstance that Mr Begbie declined to rehear the case. The riot was verging on Rebellion, if it had notalreadyManuscript image already crossed the line.
5. I venture to recommend to Your Grace, for approval the Ordinance as it now stands. The less we interfere with the Legislation affecting the Cariboo, the better. I cannot, after my experience of last year, divest myself of a certain amount of nervousness in regard to the Government of a large mining population upwards of five hundredmilesManuscript image miles from the Sea.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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CC 1 July
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Sir F. Rogers
When the Mining Ordinance was transmitted last year the Attorney General protested against a clause which took away appeals in certain cases, & he pressed for disallowance or alteration of the Act. The Govr in the then excited state of Cariboo "hardly ventured to recommend it for allowance" (see 10372).
The question has been fully reconsidered by the Council who have adopted the views of the Gold Miners & the Govr now recommends that the Act shouldManuscript image be allowed. In that opinion I concur, & wd sanction the Ordinance.
HTH 4/7
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I agree.
FR 7/7
CBA 8/7
B&C 9/7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Minute, H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, 5 May 1868, commenting on the Gold Mining Ordinance of 1867.
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Special Committee for Assimilation of the Laws to Seymour, commenting on the ordinance as noted above, 14 February 1867.
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Special Committee for Assimilation of the Laws to Seymour, second report commenting on an amended version of the ordinance, 17 February 1867.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 49, 14 July 1868 conveying “Her Majesty's gracious Confirmation and allowance of the British Columbia Ordinance No. 34 of 1867, entitled, "An Ordinance to amend the Laws relating to Gold Mining."”