Law to Under-Secretary of State
Treasury Chambers
10th June 1868
Sir,
The Lords Commissoners of Her Majesty's Treasury have had before them your letter of the 30 ulto, inclosing a letter from the Crown Agents for the Colonies respecting the mode of meeting the Dividend shortly falling due on the British Columbia Debentures.
My Lords desire me to state that, under the circumstances mentioned in Mr Sargeaunts letter of 21st ulto They consider that there is practically no alternative to the course proposed by the Secretary of State; and They accordinglyrequestManuscript image request that His Grace will direct the Crown Agents to retain the Funds now in their hands to the credit of British Columbia, towards meeting the Interest on the Debentures of that Colony falling due in the course of next month; and to postpone all payments to the Sinking Fund until fresh remittances have been received.
Their Lordships much regret that the representations already made to the Colonial Government by the Secretary of State should have proved so ineffectual.
His Grace will recollect that, in the Letter from this Department of 18 May 1867, it was observed that"theManuscript image "the Governor should be directed to consider Liabilities in respect of Loans to stand in the position of primary charges on the Revenue, even before the Salaries of Public Officers." Although this rule is, in effect, no other than that laid down by the Colonial Acts No 5 of 1862 Sect 6; No 5 of 1863 Sect 6; & No 7 of 1864 Sect 4, it is but too clear that it is not being adhered to; and My Lords feel it necessary to add that its non-observance implies serious culpability on the part of the local Administration, and an indifference to the punctual discharge of just liabilities which cannot fail to haveaManuscript image a most prejudicial effect as regards the future credit of this Colony.
I am,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant
William Law
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
A copy of this letter & of ours to which it is an answer should be sent to the Crown Agents for their information & guidance & as the answer to their letter 5303.
And it then remains toManuscript image decide what further instructions should be sent to Govr Seymour as to the non-remission of funds to meet the liabilities of the Colony—the last despatch to him was the 14 June 1867—see Ty 4858.
But at the same time it must be remembered that nothing has yet been done on Govr Seymour's despatch of the 13 Dec. last in which he applied for help to enable the Colony to meet its Financial difficulties.
CC 11 June
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It seems to me that unless the GovernmentManuscript image employs (and pays) at least those public officers concerned in the collection of the Revenue & the maintenance of order, the Revenue will not accrue & be collected, and instead of the Sinking Fund payments falling into arrear, the whole debt of the Colony will have to be repudiated.
I also doubt to what extent the salaries have been paid to a period beyond that which the payments to the Sinking Fund have been kept up. I remember Mr Seymour, writing, privately or publicly, that his own salary was greatly in arrear, I think 9 months.
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Mr Hemming are there any evidences of this?

Since writing the above I have received a private letter from the Govr in wh he says that he has recd noManuscript image salary for 6 months.
I should be disposed to say that H.G. hesitates to communicate their Lps letter to the Colony for two reasons 1. because unless certain of the officers of Govt are paid they cannot be required to do their work, and if they were to neglect that work, the Revenue to which the public creditors must look for payment will not be collected, 2ndly because H.G. is not informed how far the Salaries of public officers have been paid, and is led to believe that the Govrs salary at least has not been paid for the last 10 months.
FR 16/6
CBA 17/6
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And has also reason to believe that the Salaries of the Judges are largely in arrear.
(Sir W. Borill showed me a letter of Needham's a short time since.
B&C 17/6
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Crown Agents, 22 June 1868, advising that the Treasury had agreed funds on hand should be directed toward meeting the interest on the debentures, postponing all payments to the sinking fund until further funds received.
Rogers to Secretary to the Treasury, 22 June 1868, advising funds received would go towards interest payments, but explaining why their letter would not be directed to Seymour.
Law, William to Adderley, Charles Bowyer 10 June 1868, CO 60:34, no. 6051, 378. 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/B685TE05.html.

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