No. 86
18 August 1869
I have to acknowledge the despatch from the Officer Administering the Government No. 21 of the 24th June last, submitting the British Columbia Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the current year.
2. I have to draw your serious attention to the total disregardofManuscript image of instructions which has occurred in connection with these Estimates. In the Duke of Buckingham's despatch No. 105 dated the 7th December 1868, acknowledging the Appropriation Ordinance and Estimates for that year, Governor Seymour, received for his guidance, and for adoption so far as applicable to British Columbia, a copy of a despatch to the Governor of the Straits Settlements prescribing rules and forms of statement, to be followed in the case of that Colony, in the submission of the annual Estimates and Appropriation Ordinances and Blue book returns. Governor Seymour replied, in his despatchNo.Manuscript image No. 32 dated the 9th March last, that the instructions enclosed to him "were not applicable to British Columbia." He gave but little explanation of his reasons for this opinion, but, as expressed, it extended to the whole of the instructions and accordingly they appear to have been entirely laid aside. In the Governor's despatch No. 45 dated the 19th March, the Appropriation Ordinance for 1869 was submitted without the Estimates and now that these have been received in the present despatch dated the 24th June, they are found to be unaccompanied byanyManuscript image any statement of Assets and Liabilities, or any other of the financial returns required by the Duke of Buckingham's instructions.
3. I have therefore to instruct you in the first place not to separate in future the Appropriation Ordinances and the Estimates on which they are founded, and secondly, I have to repeat the instructions given to your Government by the Duke of Buckingham, to be guided by the rules prescribed in the despatch to the Straits Colony, so far as applicable to British Columbia. I for the present leave yourself to decide, for the purpose of preparingtheManuscript image the Estimates and Appropriation Ordinance for 1870, what precise portions of the instructions referred to should be adopted or not adopted, by your Government, but I request that you will report fully and distinctly your reasons for considering inapplicable or postponing whatever portion is not adopted. The most essential accompaniments of the Estimates and Ordinances will unquestionably be the returns or Estimates of Assets and Liabilities for the beginning and ending of years. These will be indispensable. It is also essential to the due supervision of the Colonial Finances by Her Majesty's Government,whoseManuscript image whose duty it is to exercise such supervision very fully, so long as the present Crown system of Administration continues, that the Annual Appropriation Ordinances should be passed, and Estimates and accompanying information despatched at a much earlier date than has been done in the case of the Ordinance and Estimates for the present year. I am aware of no reason why the date for despatch prescribed in the case of the Straits Colony, viz, before the end of the year preceding that of Estimates, should not be considered applicable to British Columbia. With respect totheManuscript image the remainder of the Duke of Buckingham's instructions, I shall be prepared to sanction modification or postponement, so far as required by the circumstances of the Colony, but I rely on your carrying out the Instructions as far as circumstances may permit. You will bear in mind that a proper framework of financial statements is quite as essential for the information of yourself and the Colonial Legislature and community as for that of Her Majesty's Government.
4. I annex a corrected copy of the instructions to the Straits Colony referred to, a slight errorhavingManuscript image having been found at page 3 in the copy before sent.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble Servant