No. 51
28th April 1870
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward to Your Lordship an authenticated and two plain Copies of an Ordinance passed by the Legislative Council entitled— An Ordinance to create a further duty of Customs for the Public service.
2. It has been passedspeciallyManuscript image specially to provide the means of maintaining the Telegraph, from the lower Fraser to Cariboo, which was about to be abandoned by the Western Union Telegraph Company, who offered the line to the local Government if the working of it would be undertaken. Much pressure was brought to bear upon me for this purpose; but I regarded myself as precluded from assuming this new service in the present financial position of the Colony without some special provision for the expense. It was importanttoManuscript image to establish the principle that disbursements must not be promised when there are no funds from which to make them. But I brought the subject before the Council in my opening Address as Your Lordship will have seen.
2. The result after much discussion, is the imposition of an additional duty of half a dollar per gallon upon Spirits which I think the least objectionable mode of raising the required funds, and it will probably furnish more than the required amount.
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3. Great importance is attached to the maintenance of the Telegraph by the people of the Mainland, and not unnaturally. For purposes of Police, and the transmission of official intelligence it is very valuable. And on many occasions it might save greater expenditure than it will cost.
4. Under these circumstances I have no hesitation in recommending the Ordinance for Her Majesty's confirmation, and herewithI haveManuscript image I have the honor to annex the Attorney General's Report to the same effect.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Holland
As the Legislature are willing to tax the Colony specially for this Telegraph Service I [see] no reason why they should not be allowed to do so. It possibly may pay its way some time.
CC 8/6
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I see no objection to this Ordinance, but as it imposes an Import Duty it should be sent to the Treasy & B of Trade.
HTH 9/6
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At once.
FR 9/6
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 Musgrave, 25 April 1870, reporting on the ordinance as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Holland to Assistant Secretary, Commercial Department, Board of Trade, 11 June 1870, forwarding copy of the ordinance and report for opinion and comment.
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Holland to Secretary to the Treasury, 11 June, 1870, forwarding copy of the ordinance and report for opinion and comment.
Musgrave, Anthony to Leveson-Gower, Granville George 28 April 1870, CO 60:38, no. 6114, 384. 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/B70051.html.

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