No. 101
11th August 1868
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward two applications addressed to me by Officers of this Government praying for compensation for the losses they have sustainedbyManuscript image by permanently removing from New Westminster to Victoria.
2. The first application is signed by:
Mr Robert Ker, Auditor General.
Mr Charles Good, Assistant Colonial Secretary.
Mr A. Calder, Clerk in the Treasury.
Mr John Graham, Officer in Charge of the Treasury.
Mr John Westgarth, Inspector of Steamers.
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3. I have but little to add to the perfectly accurate statements of these Gentlemen. They were forced to proceed to New Westminster. But the so called New Westminster was at that time a dense forest out of which each public officer had to hew a spot for his residence. I fear nearly all of them performed the operation on borrowed money.
4. After living forsomeManuscript image some time in a hut, Mr Ker purchased a very pretty cottage from a Captain of the Royal Engineers. By dint of labour, he has made his garden one of the prettiest in the Colony. He has bought and cleared an acre of land adjoining. All this is for the present valueless.
5. Mr Charles Good has built himself a house on the outskirts of the town and cleared a considerable pieceofManuscript image of land of rock and forest. He could not sell his house nor find a tenant for it.
6. Mr Calder has likewise built a very good house.
7. Mr John Graham purchased a town lot, cleared it and built a house upon it for a residence. I understand that he has spent between three and four thousand dollars in this way.
8. Mr Westgarth's case is one of equal hardship. HeformerlyManuscript image formerly resided in Victoria, but the Legislative Council of British Columbia passed the Resolution that they would increase his Salary if he came to reside in New Westminster or refuse to vote it at all if he remained in Victoria. He came to the former town, bought a house and now resides in Victoria having had his Salary abolished and being supported by Fees. The caseofManuscript image of these Gentlemen appears to me to be one of extreme hardship.
8. [sic] I add for Your Grace's consideration the Salaries drawn respectively by each of these Officers and the length of their period of Service:
Mr Ker $2,400. May 1859.
Mr Good $2,540. April 1859.
Mr Calder $1,450. February 1860.
Mr Graham $1,700. April 1859.
Mr Westgarth. Fees. January 1864.
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9. With the exception of the officer whose name appears first on the list, the signers of the Second petition do not appear to me to have the same claim to Your Grace's consideration as those of the first. Mr Crease, however has every claim to any indulgence which the Government can extend. He too was ordered to live at New Westminster and hetooManuscript image too built a house, exceeding in size and comfort that of any other applicant for compensation. I fear not entirely with cash. He has not the means of even paying the passages of his wife and large family down to Victoria. Much less of providing a house for them if they come. He has now to begin the work again and alone.
10. The case of Mr HamleyIManuscript image I do not think can be very widely separated from the General question of compensation to the proprietors in New Westminster for the losses they have sustained by the withdrawal of the Public Officers and the almost total ruin of their town. Mr Hamley had quarters provided for him in the Custom House and having no reason to suppose that he would everbeManuscript image be removed invested considerably in land in the town, cleared it at a large expense and it is now almost valueless. Yet Mr Hamley was specially sent from England to reside at New Westminster and it was not at his own choice that he was moved.
11. Mr Bushby has not been brought down from New Westminster, nor his position changed. There his land is much deteriorated invalueManuscript image value by the late great change, but he cannot be separated from the general claim of all householders. I do not ask for Your Grace's special consideration for him.
12. Mr McCrea has bought land and built a house on the faith of his permanent appointment to New Westminster.
13. Mr Fry [Frye] the same.
14. Mr Brew has unquestionably been a loser by the changeinManuscript image in the Seat of Government. At the same time it has always been held that the Magistrates are liable to be removed from one Station to another. His house and land have undoubtedly lost a considerable amount of their value by the removal of the Capital from New Westminster.
15. I hardly know what specific recommendations to make to Your Grace inthisManuscript image this matter. There can be no doubt that most of the petitioners, all those who signed the first petition and Mr Crease, have suffered very great losses from no fault of their own.
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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Sir F. Rogers
The principal officers under the Govt of B. Columbia ask for compensation for the losses occasioned to them by the change of their residences to the new Capital of the Colony.
Nine years ago they were desired by the S of S to remove from Victoria to N Westminster or to resign if they declined to do so.
TheirManuscript image case is doubtless of considerable hardship but I really do not see how it can be ameliorated though the circumstances of the Colony are so peculiar that a compliance with their application would hardly form a precedent.
Mr Seymour makes no recommendation either in favour of compensation by a grant of money or of land, neither is there any estimate of the individual loss.
WR 14 Oct 68
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These are certainly very lamentable cases: and any of H.G's patronage wh may be available wd be well bestowed in lightening the loss of some of these gentlemen. But I am not aware that Imperial funds can be applied [to?] relieve them and it is for the Govr rather than for H.G. to suggest how Colonial funds can be obtained or made applicable to that object. I should answer that H.G.Manuscript image sincerely lamented the losses to which these gentlemen had been subjected by the consolidation of the two Colonies and would gladly learn that the Colonial Legislature had voted them in land or money some compensation for those losses. But that it was for the Col Govt & Legislature to consider how & to what extent this could be done, as it was not in HG's power to recommend that any indemnity shd be given them from Imperial Funds.
FR 14/10
B&C 17/10
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Petition from Ker, Good, Calder, Graham and Westgarth to Seymour, 28 July 1868, seeking compensation for personal losses suffered as a result of their removal from New Westminster.
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Petition from Crease, Hamley, Brew, Bushby, McCrea and Frye to Seymour, 14 July 1868, seeking compensation for personal losses resulting from the removal of the capital from New Westminster, and including papers submitted by Crease to show that residence on the mainland had been a condition of his appointment.
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W.A.G. Young, Colonial Secretary, to Ker, Good, Calder, Graham and Westgarth, 1 August 1868, acknowledging receipt of their petition and advising that the governor admitted their case was "a hard one."
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 91, 24 October 1868 lamenting the losses officers established in New Westminster suffered from having to move to Victoria and informing Seymour that the Government and Legislature of British Columbia have the power to provide compensation to the officers, not the Colonial Office.