Sargeaunt to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Offices of the Crown Agents for the Colonies
Spring Gardens, London, S.W.
21st May 1868
Adverting to my letter of even date I have the honor to report for the information of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos on the present state of the British Columbia account with this Office.
The amount of £2250 due to the Trustees of the Sinking Funds on the 1st January has not been paid, nor has the further sum of £1125 likewise due on the 1st proximo.
The funds at the disposal of the Crown Agents are, the cash balances at the Bank of England £745 and Bills which will mature on the 15th June for £2500.
The amount overdue is therefore£3375Manuscript image £3375, the amount available on the 15th proximo will be £3245.
The very irregular manner in which the contributions due to the Sinking Funds have been paid over to the Trustees, besides involving a breach of faith to the Debenture Holders is open to the further objection that the amount of these Sinking Funds is seriously diminished by the loss of a portion of the compound interest.
The amount overdue might be met by discounting the Bills for £2500 and a small advance from "General account," but the Crown Agents hesitate recommending such a course as further fundsManuscript image will be required in the month of July to pay interest.
The amount required to meet the interest due on the 1st & 15th July is £4200, when there will be a further sum due to Sinking Funds of £3050.
It is true that some five or six weeks intervene between this and that date, but if Bills should reach this country between now and then, they will probably be at 30 or 60 days sight.
The Crown Agents would be glad to be informed whether under these circumstances they are to pay over to the Trustees, the amount due to the Sinking Funds since January & April last, and trust to further remittancesforManuscript image for meeting the large amount (£7250) due in July, or whether the funds now available should be retained to meet so far as they would go, the July dividends.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient Servant
W.C. Sargeaunt
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
Whatever is done the interest on the Debentures must be paid, & I think it would not be safe to trust to further remittances to meet the interest due on 1 & 15 July i.e. £4200.
CC 22 May 68
Manuscript image
I agree. It is a breach of faith & loss ofManuscript image interest not to invest in the Sinking funds, but when assets are less than liabilities some liability or other must be left undercharged.
I wd therefore recommend to Treasy that HG shd authe the Agents to retain the payment to the Sinking Fund.
Copies of correspondence to go to Governor.
FR 22/5
CBA 23/5
Manuscript image
Yes. Apply to payment of dividends & call serious attention to the financial matter.
B&C 25/5
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Elliot to Secretary to the Treasury, 30 May 1868, forwarding copy of letter from Crown Agents and requesting authorization to retain the amounts due the sinking fund and apply them to payment of the July dividends.