No. 45
8 April 1871
My Lord,
Referring to my Despatch No 39, of the 31st ultimo, transmitting the "Civil List Act, 1871," I have the honor to forward a Copy of a Letter from Mr Rocke Robertson the Mayor ofVictoriaManuscript image Victoria with Resolutions passed at a Public Meeting held at Victoria on the 31st ultimo respecting that measure.
2. I need scarcely point out to Your Lordship that it by no means follows that these Resolutions at a meeting of a section of local"politicians"Manuscript image "politicians" in Victoria express the views of the people of the Colony at large; nor that I have not regarded it as opposed to the Imperial Policy to keep good faith with a class of persons who have been appointed to their present Offices by Her Majesty's Government, and whooughtManuscript image ought not to suffer from proposed political changes. The Act is only in a limited sense of a permanent character. It simply secures that no changes shall be hastily made without deliberation, and without the approval of the Governor General advised by his Ministers; while it does notinManuscript image in any manner confer a claim to pensions. The efficiency of the present staff may be held to be sufficiently tested by experience; and, as Your Lordship is aware, the payment of Salaries by Warrant from the Governor is only the usual mode of proceeding.
3. In fact Your Lordship will perceive that theResolutionsManuscript image Resolutions are based upon misrepresentations, although these have been authoritatively contradicted. And, that such erroneous views should have been entertained and persisted in, I must admit does not tend to create a very high opinion of the common sense of the Meeting; or, if theywereManuscript image were fairly represented there, of the ability of the people to form correct opinions upon public questions, and their fitness for self-government.
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 4323.
The Civil List Act is to be confirmed & the necessary letter &c to the Council Office is [prepared?] for this purpose.
The object of the Act is to prevent a scramble for the loaves & fishes as soon as the Union is a fact.
Mr Musgrave's dispatch seems quite to justify the confirmation of the Act. I send you a Newspaper with the Debate where on the 2d Reading the Act was passedManuscript image by 8 to 5.
CC 10 May 71
Mr Holland
It is so obvious that these resolutions have been passed with a sufficient knowledge of the circumstances which have rendered the Civil List Act necessary, and of the power of the Legislature to repeal it that perhaps there is no need to do more than acknowledge. But it was a strongish thing to pass so large a civil list, and to raise existing salaries in it; and I think the officials will suffer hereafter for their eagerness to secure their positions.
RGWH May 10/71
I would acknowledge, & instruct the Govr to inform the Mayor that Ld K considers that no sufficient reason has been addressed to warrant His Lordship in advising HM to withhold her assent from the Act.
HTH 11/5/71
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I do not at all like this proceeding. It is the only act of Mr Musgrave in the matter of the Union which seems to me a mistake. It may have been right to pass a Civil List but I cannot see any justification for the increase of salaries by an official majority in a moribund legislature. I think the Act must be sanctioned as it would be too great a rebuff to the Governor and the majority to disallow it, but in sanctioning it I would say that whilst I am not disposed to deny that there are advantages in placing the Civil List on a more permanent footing than that of an annual vote, and looking to all the circes of the case I could not advise the disallowance of the Act, I cannot but regret that such an occasion should have been taken to increase salaries. Instruct the Govr to inform the Mayor that theManuscript image resolutions forwarded by him have been carefully considered by me, but that looking to all the circes of the case I have not thought it my duty to advise HM to withold her assent from the Bill.
K May 11/71
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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A. Rocke Robertson to A. Musgrave Jr., Private Secretary to Musgrave, 5 April 1871, asking that the enclosed resolutions be placed before the governor.
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Resolutions recording a protest to the "Act to Provide for a Permanent Civil List."
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Kimberley to Musgrave, No. 44, 15 May 1871.
Minutes by CO staff
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I suppose this Act will pass at the Council on Tuesday?
K May 14/71
Yes. This Act & and the Constitution Act.
HTH 15/5