No. 39
31st March 1871
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward to Your Lordship the usual copies of an Act which has been passed by the Legislative Council entitled— An Act to provide for apermanentManuscript image permanent Civil List.
2. The Attorney General's Report is enclosed.
3. A suspending clause has been inserted in order that the measure should have your full consideration before coming into effect, but I have no doubt that your Lordship will regard it as an act of common justicetoManuscript image to the present Official servants, that the appointments which they hold should be placed upon a legal basis before the changes take place which will be consequent upon Confederation. It has not surprised me, however, that the measure has been met with a good deal of opposition both in and out of the LegislaturefromManuscript image from a certain class of politicians. These have little sense of justice, and would have none of mercy towards incumbents whose Offices they covet. And they view with disapprobation any course which tends to prevent summary extrusion of present office-holders to make room for themselves or their adherents.
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4. I need not repeat the explanations which are given in the Attorney General's Report. It will be obvious to Your Lordship that the provision now made is permanent only in a limited sense. If the Government which shall be established after Union with Canada should desire deliberately to modify the CivilEstablishmentManuscript image Establishment it will be quite practicable to amend the Act; but until this is done the measure will protect present Office-holders from sudden stoppage of their Salaries by refusal of the annual votes on the Estimates; and on the other hand guard against jobbing combinations for the increase of emoluments topopularManuscript image popular favorites, and additions to the number of offices, which are quite as likely. It will probably be some little while before Responsible Government becomes sufficiently organized to preclude those contingencies, and unjust effects from them.
5. The amounts named in the Schedule to the Act, withexceptionManuscript image exception of a few additions for which I think there is good reason, have been voted annually for several years. The value of the Salaries here is less than half that of the same sum in Canada and they do not in my opinion admit of reduction. The additions to which I refer are the increase of the Salary oftheManuscript image the Surveyor General, or Assistant to the Commissioner of Lands and Works, Mr Pearse, from Nineteen hundred Dollars to Two thousand, Four hundred and Twenty-five Dollars, which had in fact been promised to him by my predecessor; and of the Attorney General's Clerk to Seventeen hundred and Fifty Dollars. This latterOfficialManuscript image Official is a capable and deserving person, and his functions will be of greater importance to the Attorney General as Assistant when that Office forms part of a moveable political administration. A slight increase has also been made to the Salary of the Magistrate's Clerk at Victoria and to the pay of the printing branch of theColonialManuscript image Colonial Secretary's Department. But none of these matters of detail have been objected to in the Council or otherwise.
6. The amounts for Heads of Departments, the Colonial Secretary, Commissioner of Lands and Works and Attorney General have been retained as in the Crown Salaries Act 1863. I think it would be especially unwise to reduce themandManuscript image and lessen the inducement to men of education and character to come forward to assist in the administration of public affairs at this juncture.
7. It may be proper to observe that this Act does not include any of the Officers or Departments to be transferred to the Government of the DominiononManuscript image on Union with Canada, it having been arranged specially, as the Attorney General remarks, with reference to the requirement of the local Government after Confederation; and I do not believe that any part of the Establishment provided for can be reduced with advantage.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
Humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
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CC 3 May
Sir F Rogers
I have nothing to add to the observations upon this Act made by the Govr & the Attorney General.
As the Act does not include any of the Officers or Departments to be transferred to the Government of the Dominion I see no legal reason why it should not be sanctioned.
I may remark that this Act & the Responsible Govt Act have been passed with Suspending clauses. By a Circular of 12 Jany we informed some of the Colonies that Ld K proposed to change the practice laid down in rule 51 of Col. Regulations & to sanction in the ordinary manner by Despatch laws with suspending clauses. But that before deciding upon the change he wished to have the views of the Colonies upon the point.
This Circular only went to the West Indies. Shall we sanction these 2 Acts by Order in Council or by Despatch?
HTH 3/5
Order in Council, I shd say, contemporaneously with or rather just prior to Union. Take care as to the priority.
FR 5/5
EHKH 5/5/71
Order in Council.
K May 7/71
See subsequent Gov. 45-4545 April 8, 1871.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Three printed copies of act not on microfilm.
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George Phillippo, Attorney General, to Musgrave, 29 March 1871, reporting on the act as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Kimberley to The Lord President, 12 May 1871, forwarding copy of the act and recommending that it be submitted to the Queen in Council for confirmation.