Gray to Under-Secretary of State
Board of Trade,
Whitehall Gardens
25th June 1870
Sir,
I am directed by the Board of Trade to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Holland's letter of the 11th Instant, transmitting for any observations which may occur to them a copy of an ordinance, by the Legislature of British Columbia "to prevent desertion from British Ships."
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In returning the Ordinance herein I am to state that while the Board of Trade think that the Ordinance may be left to its operation they fear that it will be very difficult to prove any offence against it.
In their opinion the penalty under the 1st Section, for inciting Seamen to desert and harbouring deserters should be inflicted in all cases in which the defendant cannot prove that he or she had no means ofknowingManuscript image knowing and did not know that the Seaman or Apprentice was so harboured or secreted.
This is the principle upon which the law with regard to the prosecutions of persons for illegal possession or secreting of wreck[s] is framed, and the Board of Trade are of opinion that it would be well to adopt it in regard to crimping.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant
Thomas Gray
Minutes by CO staff
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CC 27/6
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Sir F. Rogers
Before sanctioning the Ordinance we must wait for the answer from the Admiralty. When sanctioning it, state that the ordinance was referred to the B of Trade & that their Lordships have suggested &c (embodying the report) & request that this point may receive consideration.
HTH 27/6
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At once.
FR 27/6
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See subsequent fr. Admy 6877—June 28, 1870.
Gray, Thomas to Monsell, William 25 June 1870, CO 60:42, no. 6791, 121. 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/B705TA02.html.

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