No. 75
16th April 1869
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward an Authenticated and two plain Copies of an Ordinance of the recent Session of theLegislatureManuscript image Legislature of this Colony entitled; No. 21. An Ordinance to establish Public Schools throughout the Colony of British Columbia.
2. I add the report of the Attorney General.
3. It seems to me that the measure is not in any way dangerous. On the whole I recommend it for Your Lordship's favorableconsideration.Manuscript image consideration.
I have the honor to be
My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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CC 3 June 69
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Sir F. Sandford
Common Schools Ordinance.
I see no legal objection to this Ordinance, but before it is sanctioned it should be sent to the Treasury with a reference to subsect 9 of sect 6.
You will be better able to judge than I am whether the Ordinance is likely to work satisfactorily, and I will only observe that I do not agree with the AG in thinking that the Govr can give grants of public money to denominational schools.
HTH 4.6.69
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I think it is plain that no grant could be made under this Ordinance to any denominational School. It proposes to establish a "uniform system of public Education" by means of "Common Schools" and it appears to me that these "Common Schools" alone can claim any grant under the provisions of this Ordinance.
There is, however, no definition ofManuscript image a "Common School," and on turning for one to the Act of 1865, which is repealed, I find SS xiii that these schools are to be "conducted strictly upon Non-Sectarian principles." No books being used which teach "Denominational Dogmas."
This might admit of Grants being made either to (1) Secular Schools properly so called, in which there is no Religious Instruction at all—or (2) to Schools conducted on the system of the British & Foreign School Society—in which the Bible is read, but no dogmas taught.
From SS xii, however, in which Religious Instruction seems to be left entirely to the Clergy, I infer that the Common School is to be a Secular School "in [actcating] the Highest Morality" (SS xiii Act of 1865).
As the consent of a large proportion (2/3) of the Resident Householders is required before a new School District can be formed—and as there are some denominational Schools, with tolerablyManuscript image large incomes the [prass] of which may prevent the necessity of setting up new Common Schools—I presume that this Ordinance may be sanctioned. From the Attorney Generals report, I gather that, it is a compromise—but the Blue Book for 1867 gives no means of assuming anything as to the relative numbers of the different denominations, who wd be likely to decline to take part in a "Common School" system.
The outlay on education in 1867 was $5,064.
The population is (?) about 10,000 exclusive of Indians.
I presume that the Governor must have had some estimates of the probable Cost of the system submitted to him, which he ought to have forwarded.
FRS 4/6
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He ought also to provide a copy of the Rules (the Code) under which he proposes that the grants shall be administered. His powers (in Council) under the Act are large. I think this had better be delayed until Mr Keenan's report comes in. It will be here in a day or two.
WM 10/6
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Keenans report is 9377 Trinidad. It has been sent to Govr Gordon for remarks.
[?] 11 Sept
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Recd in Dt 6.9.69.
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Send up again with the observations for which I have asked respecting Mr Keenan's Report.
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Sir F. Sandford
See Earl Granvilles minute. The Trinidad papers have gone on to Earl Granville.
RE 5/11
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FRS 5/11
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You wished to have these Papers about B Columbian Education when Mr Gordon replied on Mr Keenan's scheme.
RM 6/11
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I am inclined to sanction.
G 10/11
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Three printed copies of ordinance not on microfilm.
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H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Seymour, 16 April 1869, reporting on the ordinance as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Secretary to the Treasury, 18 November 1869, forwarding copy of the despatch, ordinance and report, and recommending the expenditure be sanctioned.