No. 4
11 July 1870
Sir,
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No. 73 of the 23rd May, reporting that with the unanimous approval of the Executive Council, and in accordance with the almost unanimous resolutions of the Legislative Council, you had suspended Mr. S. Basil HumphreysfromManuscript image from the exercise of his office as a member of the latter body in consequence from the abusive language alleged to have been used by him at a public meeting held in Victoria.
It is always much to be regretted when language unnecessarily strong and liable to be misconstrued is used at meetings with reference to the public men or institutions of a Colony, and Mr. Humphreys cannot have failed after reflection to perceive that he behaved very improperly in holding up the Chief Commissioner of CrownlandsManuscript image lands, and the Council of which he was a member to the contempt of an excited assemblage.
On the whole, however I am disposed to think that the apology tendered by Mr. Humphreys explaining as it did that he intended no reflection upon the honesty of the Chief Commissioners nor any disrespect to the Council itself, but merely dissatisfaction at its non-representative constitution, was such as the Council might have accepted without any derogation from its dignity. It appears in fact to me that there is nosubstantialManuscript image substantial difference between the apology dictated by Council and that tendered by Mr. Humphreys except that the former required Mr. Humphreys to declare that he had not intended to impute any improper misconduct whatever to the Chief Commissioner, or any one connected with the Lands and Works office. With regard to this point it is unnecessary for me to observe that if Mr. Humphreys desired to express any dissatisfaction with the manner in which the business of that Department was conducted, the proper course would have beenforManuscript image for him to do so in his place in the Council. As however as he was ready to declare that he made no charge against the character of the Chief Commissioner, it was perhaps requiring more than an opponent of the Government could concede, when he was asked to state that he had no intention of expressing dissatisfaction with the manner in which that Gentleman's Department was administered. It is indeed obvious that Mr. Humphreys believed (I trust quite wrongly that the administration of the Crown Lands Office wasopenManuscript image open to censure, and he therefore could not be expected to express confidence in it.
In making these observations I do not desire to be understood as justifying in any degree Mr. Humphreys' conduct at the meeting, which I strongly reprobate, but looking to the length of time during which Mr. Humphreys would have been under suspension, and hoping that the Legislative Council may now be prepared to accept an apology which in their first moments of indignation they deemed inadequate I think thattheManuscript image the requirements of the case would be met if the Resolution of the Council were recinded [rescinded] upon Mr. Humphreys presenting himself before the Council and making an apology of the nature of that which he had previously offered.
It would be very satisfactory to me if both parties could agree in this [blank] but otherwise I should not be prepared to withhold my confirmation of a decision recommended by so large a majority of the Council.
I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant
Kimberley
People in this document

Humphreys, Thomas Basil

Musgrave, Anthony

Wodehouse, John

Places in this document

Victoria

Wodehouse, John to Musgrave, Anthony 11 July 1870, NAC RG7:G8C/17, 258. 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/B707104.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)