19 April 1869
I have received your Confidential Despatches respecting the Appointment of Mr. Philip Hankin as Colonial Secretary of British Columbia.
The absence of any sufficient ground for the strong opinions which you have expressed as to Mr. Hankin's unfitness for that office, joined to the evident animus which I regret to perceive in your Despatches lead me to doubt whether the disturbances which you anticipate from Mr. Hankins appointment are really much to be apprehended.
It appears to me howeververyManuscript image very unfortunate that you did not long ago make up your mind as to the fitness of Mr. Young for Colonial Secretary, which there seems to me even on your own statement to be no sufficient reason for questioning. If this appointment had been made all public inconvenience and private hardship would have been avoided.
As you did not do this, and as Mr. Hankin has consequently been appointed it is your plain duty to do all in your power to enable him to perform the functions of his office effectively.
I learn from private sources that Mr. Hankin had been six weeks in the Colony before the Mails just received were despatched from it, but of this I have received no information fromyou,Manuscript image you, and I am left to conjecture whether the disastrous consequences foretold by you have arisen or are likely to arise.
Under these circumstances it is impossible for me to give you any encouragement to suppose that you will have been warranted in any other course than that of giving effect to the arrangements decided upon by my Predecessor.
I desire to know whether that course has been taken and if not what has been done, and with what result.
I have etc.