No. 3
11 July 1870
Sir,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No. 52 of the 29th April enclosing "An Ordinance," No. 14 of 1870 "to prevent desertion from Merchant ships" which has been passed by the Legislative Council ofBritishManuscript image British Columbia.
This Ordinance has been referred for the consideration of the Board of Trade, who in their reply have expressed a fear that it will be very difficult to prove any offence against the Ordinance. They also consider that the penalty under the 1st Section for inciting Seamen to desert and harboring deserters should be inflicted in all cases in which the defendant cannot prove that he or she had no means of knowing or did not know that theseamenManuscript image seamen or apprentice was so harboured or secreted.
As this is the principle upon which the Law with regard to the prosecution of persons for illegal possession of secreting of wreck, is framed the Board of Trade are of opinion that it would be well to adopt it in regard to crimping.
Although the preamble of the Ordinance refers to the merchant ships only there may be some doubt whether its provisions would not include deserters from theRoyalManuscript image Royal Navy. As the Attorney General in his report refers to the cost of sending marines or Seamen in men of War ships from England, it has been thought desirable to ascertain whether the Lords of the Admiralty wished the Ordinance to be applied to deserters from the Royal Navy, their Lordships however have stated in reply that such is not their desire, as the 25th and 26th Sections of the Naval discipline Act apply to any part of Her Majesty's Dominions.
Under thesecircumstancesManuscript image circumstances I have to suggest that the Ordinance No. 14 of 1870 should be repealed, and a new one passed adopting the suggestions of the Board of Trade, and making it clear that the provisions apply to merchant vessels only.
I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Kimberley
People in this document

Musgrave, Anthony

Wodehouse, John

Organizations in this document

Board of Trade

Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty

Places in this document

British Columbia

Wodehouse, John to Musgrave, Anthony 11 July 1870, NAC RG7:G8C/17, 253. 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/B707103.html.

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