No. 31
27th November 1869
My Lord,
I think it my duty to report to Your Lordship the anomalous position in which I found the office of Treasurer in this Government on my arrival in the Colony.
2. It is the principal department of Revenue,ExpenditureManuscript image Expenditure, and Public Accounts, and yet has been allowed to remain for nearly three years without any recognized head—left to the administration of a clerk who has given no security for the safe custody of the Public monies.
3. In Mr Seymour's Despatch No 58 of the 6th April, 1867, he has mentioned his recommendation which was subsequently acted upon, that Mr Franks, thenTreasurerManuscript image Treasurer of the Continental portion of the Colony, should be relieved from his duties, and his further suggestion that Mr Watson, late incumbent of the office of Treasurer of Vancouver Island, which Mr Seymour treated as having been abolished, should be appointed Treasurer of the United Colony.
4. In the same Despatch Mr Seymour stated however that he foundtheManuscript image the financial embar[r]assment much greater than he anticipated, and also that what he mentioned as the light duties of the office of Treasurer could be performed without much trouble or increase of pay by the Collector of Customs.
5. I now find that this arrangement was never carried out, although Mr Watson was removed from the office of Treasurer,andManuscript image and that, as I have stated, the Department has remained merely in charge of the Chief Clerk, who has given no security and has required the assistance of two subordinates in the discharge of his duties. While in effect there is no responsible official to whom the Governor can look for assistance in the adjustment and administration of thefinancialManuscript image financial arrangements of the Colony.
6. I have no doubt that the amalgamation of the Customs and Treasury into one Revenue Department under the Collector of Customs, or any other Officer who might be selected as Receiver General, would have been a most desirable arrangement, though my own experience does not teach me that the duties of the officeofManuscript image of Treasurer and Public Accountant in any Colony are so light as to be performed without trouble or increase of expense in another department. But such a reorganization of these public departments, which would have been easy and most desirable two years and a half ago is not now to be so readily accomplished, nor is it now free from objection. In view of the Union of this Colony withtheManuscript image the Dominion of Canada it would be profitless to consolidate offices which would have to be again disunited, as the Customs would be a Department of the federal Government and the local administration would require a Treasury of its own. On the other hand, having regard to the necessity which exists for economy in the management of the finances, and totheManuscript image the fact that for nearly three years the office, though not the duties, has been practically abolished I am not at present prepared to recommend the appointment of a Treasurer. Yet it is obviously improper on general principles that the public should be without security for the safe custody of the public monies, while at the same time it would be hard upon Mr Graham, the ClerkinManuscript image in charge after being allowed to remain so for more than two years and a half without any objection on this score, to be required now without further remuneration to give security which would probably entail upon him some expense.
7. I admit that under the complicated circumstances which I have brought to Your Lordships notice, I am disinclined for the presenttoManuscript image to attempt any alteration of existing arrangements from which no absolute evil has yet arisen, but I feel them to be so irregular that I could not allow them to continue without acquainting Your Lordship with the state of affairs and my reasons for not immediately taking some steps in the matter, in order that Your Lordship may be able to furnish me with any instructions thatyouManuscript image you may think expedient under the circumstances.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Sandford
I conclude that the Chief Clerk only draws Salary as such tho' performing the duties of Treasurer, which ought not to be. In the B. Columbia Civil List Act (No 62 of 1863) there is a Salary of £500 a year for the Treasurer but in the Estimates for 1869 I see that a Treasurer, is not even included by name.
It appears to me quite a question whether the Chief Clerk ought not to have half the SalaryManuscript image assigned to the Treasurer as long as he acts—but he ought not to be allowed to continue acting without giving security.
CC 7/1
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We have had practical proof in the past year—within which the Colony has paid up a large arrear of debt—that the Finance department is being efficiently managed. I think that Mr Graham may [be] left as he is, therefore, for the present, but he ought certainly to be called upon to give Security. This will entail expense before him, and I think the Governor sd be authorized to raise his Salary to £500 (or whatever sum short of that he may on enquiry think sufficient).
FRS 8 Jan
WM 16/1
G 17/1
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Granville to Musgrave, No. 3, 20 January 1870.
Musgrave, Anthony to Leveson-Gower, Granville George 27 November 1869, CO 60:36, no. 177, 509. 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/B69231.html.

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