No. 102
Victoria
18th August 1868
My Lord Duke,
Referring to my despatch No. 59 of 8th June, I have now the honor to forward the financial Returns called for in YourGrace'sManuscript image Grace's despatch of the 10th April, No. 22, replying to my despatch enclosing the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1867 and the Appropriation Ordinance No. 13 of 1867, and to that of the 30th November, enclosing Ordinance No. 27 of 1867, to confirm an Expenditure of $96,918 11/100 for the Service of 1866 not authorized in the Grant for that year.
2. Your Grace regrets thattheseManuscript image these Estimates and the Ordinances founded upon them have been detained so long in the Colony. I would plead as an excuse for the delay in transmitting the supplementary Supply Ordinance for 1866, that I did not receive the Auditor's report upon the Supplementary Estimates with the details in full, until the 27th of November.
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He should have called on the Auditor for an explanation of delay.
My despatch of the same month transmitteditManuscript image it to Your Grace.
3. As regards my despatch of the 27th of September, I would venture to state that at the date of the Auditor's detailed report I was engaged on Public business in the neighbourhood of Queen Charlotte's Island. A few days after my return to Victoria I received a telegram with intelligence which appeared to my Council absolutely to require my presence attheManuscript image the mines of Cariboo, 600 miles from hence.
4. Your Grace directs me to furnish a definite and detailed report upon the retrenchments which have been made in order to meet the difficulties of the Colony, showing the periods at which they were made, whether by way of reducing Salaries and Offices or by way of stopping Public Works.
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5. I enclose a detailed statement of the reductions we have made drawn up by the Acting Colonial Secretary. Union found the storehouses in Victoria filled with Cigars, Tobacco, Wines, Spirits, Silks, and all the Articles we depend most on for our Revenue, brought in while the Port was still free, and which passed untaxed to the mainland.
6. I do not see how intheManuscript image the present state of the Colony we could resort to additional taxation. The people who still remain are in a wavering state and the slightest Grievance would drive hundreds away, and add to the already large number of empty houses in New Westminster and Victoria. The Engineer Camp Buildings for which we had to pay to the Imperial Government £10,700 are totally desertedandManuscript image and I have to pay an ex-Sapper to prevent the Indians occupying them or setting them on fire.
7. In connection with this subject I would call Your Grace's attention to Mr Young's Minute transmitted in my despatch No. 72 of 28th July.
8. I lay before Your Grace a schedule of all the Offices that I have abolished since I assumed the Government of the Mainland and of allthoseManuscript image those abolished since Union with Vancouver Island. It shows that I have had no easy or agreeable task in my administration of the Government.
9. The supply of dutiable articles in Victoria is however gradually being used up. The mines are prosperous. The almost cruel reductions I have made will, at great individual suffering, ultimately relieve the expenditure. Confidence seems to be returning.TheManuscript image The Revenue is increasing and if we could but be assisted with a loan at a moderate rate of interest by the Home Government to pay off the Bank of British Columbia I think the Colony would do well. A quiet but progressive prosperity is setting in more beneficial in the long run than the tide of immigration which rushing in turned peoples' heads and on its ebb left disappointed expectations,embarrassmentsManuscript image embarrassments and misery behind it.
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 Estimates for 1868 have only just been sent to the Treasury, and this despatch should be sent for their Lordships conson in connexion with the Estimates.
The Govr & Col Secy again ask for an Imperial Loan, or grant in aid.
The Returns show what great economy has been effected by the Union.
WR 14 Oct
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Four things were asked for
1. Statement of retrenchmentManuscript image by way of reducing salaries & offices. The large reply is that the aggregate establishment of B.C. & V.C.I. upon Union cost $306,930, while the establishment of the consolidated Colony costs in 1868 157,000. I do not doubt reduction has been carried to its extreme limit.
2. Retrenchment in public works. "Services" cost the two colonies in /65, $1,119,005 in /68 $415,543. This seems also quite as much as can be expected.
3. New taxation—is said to be impossible.
4. Of Increased efficiency of collection nothing is said.
Send correspondence to Treasy as proposed by Mr Robinson.
FR 16/10
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This lets light in on the worth of [our W.T. Govts?] & the 3-fold staff of authority. Sending the R.E. was a mistake.
CBA 19/10
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Send to Treasury.
B&C 23/10
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Minute, W.A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, 28 July 1868, reporting the financial state of the colony, with enclosures.
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Printed copy of "A Comparative Statement showing the Civil List of British Columbia in 1868, and that for the United Colony in 1867."
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"Return shewing the Retrenchments which were made in the Year 1867 in the Colony of British Columbia."
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"Return of the Offices which have been done away with, since Governor Seymour assumed the Government of the Mainland of British Columbia, and of all those abolished since Union with Vancouver Island."
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Secretary to the Treasury, 30 October 1868, forwarding copy of the despatch for consideration.
Seymour, Frederick to Grenville, Richard 18 August 1868, CO 60:33, no. 11064, 276. 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/B68102.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)