No. 21
9th March 1871
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward to Your Lordship, with the usual Report from the Attorney General, an authenticated copy and two others of an Act entitled: An Act to repeal the CustomsAmendmentManuscript image Amendment Ordinance 1870.
2. The circumstances relating to this Act are peculiar and require some explanation, having regard to the proposed Union with Canada.
3. The Customs Amendment Ordinance 1870, which I transmitted in my Despatch No 51 of 28th April1870Manuscript image 1870 made a special addition of Half a Dollar per Gallon to the duty on Spirits for the particular purpose of providing funds to reestablish the Telegraph to Cariboo. This was no part of the ordinary Tariff, and avowedly was only a temporary impost, for although the limitation was not expressed in the Act it was understoodthatManuscript image that this extra duty should only be levied for a year.
3. In the event of the assent of the Canadian Government to the proposals made by the Legislative Council respecting a modification of the present British Columbian Tariff on entering the Union, which proposals I havecommunicatedManuscript image communicated to Your Lordship in my despatch No 12,
Not yet arrived.
of the 16th February, the Act which I now forward would be useless. But if these proposals are declined then British Columbia by the Terms of Union will enter the Dominion with "the existing Customs Tariff," which may be fairly considered as thepermanentManuscript image permanent Tariff existing at the time when Terms were proposed by British Columbia, and of which the Legislature regard this extra temporary provision as forming no part. In legal strictness, however, there may be some doubt upon this point; as the temporary character of the additional dutydoesManuscript image does not appear on the face of the Ordinance it is desired to repeal, although I acknowledge that there was an understanding between the Council and the Government that it should only be continued for a limited period.
4. This Act has therefore been passed in order to keep faith with the local Legislature but asuspendingManuscript image suspending clause has been added to do the same with the Canadian Government, and enable me to explain to Lord Lisgar as well as to your Lordship the circumstances of the case before the Act is allowed to take effect. I think the Canadian Government can not equitably object to theremovalManuscript image removal of this extra duty, and I shall request Lord Lisgar if his advisers assent, to communicate that decision to Your Lordship.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
Humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Herbert
See Gov: 6114, B of Trade 6416 & Ty 6638.
The Governor's despatch No 12 to which he refers has not yet come to hand. It probably will be here soon with other despatches which are missing as we know by the numbering of those recd.
CC 4 April
Mr Holland
We must, I suppose, wait for the missing despatches.
RGWH Ap 5/71
Yes, & also for a despatch from Lord Lisgar, as he has been asked to communicate to Lord Kimberley the views of the Canadn Ministers upon the question.
HTH 5/4
Wait as proposed.
K Ap: 4/71
Subsequent 12/3466 16/2/71.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Three printed copies of act not on microfilm.
George Phillippo, Attorney General, to Musgrave, 6 March 1871, reporting on the act as per despatch.