Trutch to Kimberley
London
May 17th 1871
My Lord
Having been informed on Saturday last at the Colonial Office by Mr Herbert and Mr Holland that the Government of the Dominion had referred to Her Majesty's Government to decide the specific provisions to be made by the Dominion under clause 6 of the Terms of Union of British Columbia with Canada "for those of Her Majesty's servants in the Colony whose position and emoluments derived therefromwillManuscript image will be affected by the Union," especially as to the precise amounts of the pensions to be provided, and whether such officials are to have the absolute right of claiming such pensions upon and after Union unless at their own option they accept any such appointments as may be offered to them in lieu thereof, and it having been intimated to me that I should communicate in writing to Your Lordship whatever I might deem pertinent to the subject, I have the honour to submit for consideration the following remarks.
I beg in the first place to express the desireManuscript image on my own behalf and, as I believe, in the interest of the Executive Officers generally of British Columbia, that all doubt on this question now raised so unexpectedly to us—may be speedily set at rest by an authoritative definition of the claims on the Dominion of those officers collectively considered, rather than by the settlement on its individual merits of each particular case as it might be presented.
Those claims are based primarily on the engagement by the Dominion set forth in general terms in the 6th clause of the Union Address to provide for those officials upon Union suitable pensions such as shall be approved by HerMajesty'sManuscript image Majesty's Government, and farther and, as to the specific details of the provisions to be made, more particularly on the assurance conveyed by the Governor General of Canada at the request of his responsible advisers to Governor Musgrave in a Despatch dated July 7th 1870 that such provisions should be made for the retiring allowance of Public Officers in British Columbia as he (Governor Musgrave) should approve.
This assurance was given by the Dominion Government to Governor Musgrave after the details of the pension arrangements proposed by him had been submitted by me under confidential instructions from Governor Musgrave for their consideration, and had been fully discussed between a Committee of the Privy Council of Canada and myself at Ottawa. The pension arrangements so proposed are set forth in Governor Musgrave's minute of inManuscript imagestructions to me on my leaving Victoria for Canada dated 9th May 1870, a copy of which minute was by His Excellency's direction handed by me on my arrival at Ottawa to Sir George Cartier at that time acting as Premier of the Dominion during Sir John A. McDonald's illness.
I beg to enclose herewith the original minute to which I refer, and to point out that the assurance conveyed by the Governor General's DespatchtoManuscript image to Governor Musgrave was in direct response to that minute, as I was given to understand before I left Canada for England; and that that assurance has been unhesitatingly regarded by Governor Musgrave—as well as by his Executive Officers—as a specific engagement—(which in fact it undoubtedly is)—by the Canadian Government to adopt the views therein expressed by Governor Musgrave, embracing the provision of retiring pensions to certain named officials, and such other reasonable concessions as he (Governor Musgrave) might approve of.
But although the Dominion Government thus readily adopted GovernorManuscript image Musgrave's suggestions for retiring pensions to the officials who upon Union would be deprived of their positions and emoluments; and engaged to provide pensions in accordance with those suggestions, Sir John A. McDonald and Sir George Cartier on my return to Canada from England in September last expressed to me their desire to avoid the actual payment of any such pensions by offering to the officials entitled to such retiring allowance employment of such character—and at such salaries as would ensure their acceptance thereof temporarily at least, and it was with special reference to this desire so expressed to me by those ministers, andbyManuscript image by me communicated at their request to Governor Musgrave on my return to Victoria, that His Excellency's Despatch of 22nd Novr 1870 was addressed to the Governor General.
That Despatch conveyed an intimation of the willingness of the officials individually—as expressed by them directly to Governor Musgrave on his consulting them in the matter—to meet the wishes of the Canadian Government that they should take service under the Dominion whilst still retaining their right to claim retiring pensions on their resignation of—or declining to accept—such employment as might be offered to them.
Subsequently, on receipt of Lord Lisgar's furtherManuscript image Despatch on this subject dated 9th January 1871 the matter was brought by Governor Musgrave before his Executive Council whose views thereon were expressed in a memorandum which was concurred in by the Governor, and a copy of which was forwarded by His Excellency to the Governor General of Canada in a Despatch dated 9th February 1871 copies of which Despatch and of its enclosure have been transmitted to your Lordship.
The views of the Executive Officers of British Columbia are so fully set forth in their Minute, and Governor Musgrave so clearlyandManuscript image and forcibly upholds in his Despatch their absolute right to claim from the Dominion upon and after Union of British Columbia with Canada retiring pensions at the rate of at least two thirds of their present emoluments that the claims of those officers in this respect appear to me to require no further advocacy, and I scarcely think that Governor Musgrave, if again applied to on the subject, could strengthen those claims by anything he might add to what he has already written in support of their rights.
Many other reasons of much force—some of a personal nature—might indeed be adduced to show how inequitable it would be—Manuscript imageparticularly in special individual cases—to transfer compulsorily the services of the Executive Officers of British Columbia from the Imperial to the Canadian Government even if the latter had in their gift—which they certainly have not—permanent appointments of equivalent position and emoluments to those now held by those Officers, and affording like reasonable prospect of promotion, and it might also be urged how valueless to Canada such involuntary service would be; but the claims of those officers to the right of choosing between pensions of at least two thirds of their present emoluments and whatever employment the Government of the Dominion may offer them rest securely on theManuscript image assurances to that effect so distinctly made to them by Governor Musgrave on the faith of the engagement of the Canadian Government to him that such provision should be made for retiring pension as he might approve of.
In full reliance on those assurances those officers have aided loyally and actively to the best of their ability in carrying out to its present happy consummation the work of the Union of British Columbia with Canada in furtherance as they believe of the policy of the Imperial Government; and they cannot doubt that the confident Expectations which Her Majesty's Representative in the Colony has led them to entertain will be fully sustained.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient Servant
Joseph W. Trutch

The Rt Honourable
The Earl of Kimberley
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary
of State for the Colonies
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mem
The Enclosure in original must be returned to Mr Trutch.
AAP
Manuscript image
Mr Herbert
Mr Trutch of Pensions to Columbian Officers displaced by Union.
See 4556. Canada.
CC 19/5
Lord Kimberley
After discussing the question with Mr Holland & me by your desire, Mr Trutch has put in this statement on behalf of himself and his colleagues, showing their understanding as to the position which was to be secured to them in respect of pensions at the Union. The Canadian Government entertaining a different view of what the Columbian officers are entitled to claim, you are requested to decide between them (Canada 4556).
I have considered the matter again withMrManuscript image Mr Holland, and he agrees in suggesting that you should determine as follows:
1. That Governor Musgrave has throughout maintained the claim of his officers to have the option of refusing any employment, and that they are entitled to refuse all offers of employment and to demand their pension.
2. That such pension is to be at the rate of 2/3 of their present salary and emoluments, but not at the higher rates proposed by the Executive Council of Columbia in the minute of Feb 1871, unless Canada agrees to those higher rates. (Enclosure (page turned down) in Canada 4556.)
3. That in the event of any of them accepting re-employment with salary and emoluments greater than he now receives under the Canadian or any other Colonial or the Imperial Government his pension is to be in abeyance during such re-employment.
4. That each officer for whom a pension is thus secured is bound morally and equitably to accept any such reemployment as above mentioned if in pointofManuscript image of salary, climate and other conditions it is in the opinion of the Secretary of State suitable; and that if a suitable offer is declined by any officer he should not be considered eligible for further employment under the Colonial Office.
RGWH May 24/71
Lord Kimberley
When Mr Trutch delivered this letter into my hands, he expressed his desire for an interview with you, before you gave your decision on the case.
ERW May 24/71
Will Mr Herbert speak to me about this to-morrow?
K May 25/71
I agree generally with Mr Herbert. Let me have a draft for consideration.
K May 26/71
Manuscript image
Manuscript image
Mr Cox
How much per ann. would be 1/60th of Mr Philippo's salary in British Columbia for each year of his service in that Colony adding one year for abolition of office & 7 years for professional Service?
RGWH June 1/71
Manuscript image
Mr Herbert
Mr Philippo's salary is 800£ a year.
1 years actual service
1 year for abolition
7 years for professional
9 9/60 of 800 is 3/2 of 80 = £120.
[CC]
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
Minute, Musgrave to Trutch


The Article of the Terms which proposes that Officers whose position will be affected by Union should be provided, with suitable pensions, will require your special attention. I wish you to explain my views to the Government of Canada and to ascertain whether they will adopt them or what modification they may deem to be necessary.
In my opinion there are two Classes of Officers whose position will be injuriously affected by UnionunlessManuscript image unless some provision is made.
The First comprises:
The Colonial Secretary.
The Commissioner of Lands & Works.
The Attorney General.
The Collector of Customs.
The Auditor General.
On the introduction of Responsible Government which I look upon as certain sooner or later, all these offices would in future be held by political tenure, except that of Collector of Customs, but as that Officer now holds a position as a Member of the Council ofGovernmentManuscript image Government which would not afterwards belong to his office and would also forego his claim to further patronage or promotion from the Imperial Government, I think that he in common with the other heads of chief public departments may with propriety look for a retiring allowance.
The principle has been well established throughout the North American Provinces and Australian Colonies that on the introduction of Responsible Government the existing Incumbents should beallowedManuscript image allowed retiring Pensions. As that form of Government will almost certainly follow the Union, the claim of our Public Officers might almost rest upon that circumstance alone, but there are also other grounds upon which it can be based and which are known to you, in the changes which must follow in any case from the Union and which must so far affect the position of the present Officers as to give them a fair claim to be allowed to withdraw on equitable terms.
Manuscript image
The only question indeed appears to be who should pay these Pensions—the Government of the Dominion or the local Government—but it is made part of the terms of Union, that the Dominion should assume this liability as an incidental expense of carrying out the desired arrangement.
As regards the amount of Pension my proposal is that it should be two thirds of the existing Salary.
The second class of Officers is formed of the seven StipendiaryMagistratesManuscript image Magistrates stationed in the different Districts, who are also County Court Judges, and general Government Agents at their several Stations hundreds of Miles apart. I think that as a Rule these appointments are singularly well filled, and I regard the successful administration of this government, and the remarkable maintenance of Law and Order, as compared with the neighbouring territories, as mainly due to the services of these Officers.
As the Supreme governmentofManuscript image of the Colony, as well as the administration of all affairs relating to the Indian Tribes will rest with the Dominion I regard it as of the greatest importance to the tranquillity of the Province and the success of the Union, that these Officers should be Officers of the Dominion, and not be transferred to the control or caprice of local party governments who through mistaken motives of economy by the substitution of unpaid and irresponsible magistrates, or some other such policy, might entailuponManuscript image upon the government at Ottawa an amount of trouble and expense not easily to be computed.
I propose therefore that these Officers should be Officers of the Dominion, subject of course to the authority of the Lieutenant Governor as the Deputy of the Governor in Chief and rendering aid under his direction in the administration of local affairs as they do now in the business of the Lands and Works, the Post Office service, and collection of Revenue and other miscellaneous duties. But I would have thempaidManuscript image paid by Canada and not amenable to the local administration except through the Lieutenant Governor as representing the central authority.
This being conceded I wish for an assurance to these Officers that their appointments will be considered permanent—that is, that they shall not be removed without cause shewn—and that in event of any organic change in the official arrangements they shall either be provided with appointments of equal value, or allowed to retire on pensions oftwoManuscript image two thirds of their present emoluments, which may be estimated in each case as £500, Five hundred pounds, though in some instances an extra allowance has been made on account of the greater expense of living in distant districts.
I think it may justly be urged upon the Canadian government that a spirit of fairness, indeed of liberality, in dealing with the two Classes of Officials which I have indicated is almost essential to the successofManuscript image of the negociations for Union. Under the present form of government, and probably under any which may at present be substituted, the Officials concerned would possess considerable influence in deciding the question; for it is not likely that Her Majestys Government would insist upon the Official vote being used to carry out a measure which would entail manifest injury upon a large body of the public servants; and without the willing aid of that body it isdoubtfulManuscript image doubtful that the advocates of Confederation would be able to conduct the question to a successful issue under any circumstances; and they certainly would not in the Legislature as at present constituted.
As regards the subordinate Officers in Public Departments I assume that they will continue to hold their present posts whether the Offices to which they are attached should be transferred to the Dominion or remainunderManuscript image under the administration of the local government, subject of course to any modification which may be found necessary and from which no agreement could reasonably be expected to protect them.
The administration of Indian affairs is a matter to which my attention has been called by Lord Granville as requiring special care in respect of the arrangements for Union. But under the provisions of the British North American Act it is one of a class of subjectsspeciallyManuscript image specially confided to the Government of the Dominion. It will be necessary, however, that I should be acquainted, for the information of the Secretary of State, with the mode in which the Government of Canada propose to deal with this subject. You will be able to point out to them the policy which has been hitherto pursued with considerable success. But it will be necessary to explain that the Tribes are far more numerous and are less civilized than those of any part of theDominionManuscript image Dominion, and that the circumstances in which they are placed are different. At present they are loyal, and amenable to the control of the Government, because they have confidence in the protection afforded them. But indiscreet change of policy or injustice on the part of any local administration might lead to very serious results. It is for this reason among others that I think it so highly expedient that the Magistrates who are in fact Government Superintendents intheManuscript image the outer Districts and have to administer so ma[n]y Laws in which the Indians are interested, should be Officers of the Dominion and not of the local government and should be able to conduct this department of affairs directly under the authority of the Lieutenant Governor himself who will be responsible to the Government at Ottawa.
A. Musgrave

9th May 1870

Manuscript image
Supplementary Minute, Musgrave to Trutch


The question respecting the introduction of local Responsible Government after Union I have not thought it expedient to make part of the formal terms of Agreement with Canada. My position as regards this is that the matter is one which the Province is fully competent to deal with for itself after due deliberation.
But the view which the Government of Canada may take of this subject is likely to havemuchManuscript image much influence here with a certain section of political agitators. And I wish you to ascertain what that view may be, as the knowledge would greatly affect the policy which I may think it expedient to adopt or the course which I should pursue in the later stages of this negociation.
I think that a stipulation on the part of Canada that Responsible Government should be introduced on Union, while it would suit the purposes of some political parties, would not be certain to receivegeneralManuscript image general acquiescence. I believe that the system is very likely to be introduced at no distant time, but at present I doubt that the Community is ripe for it, or that they have upon the whole determined to adopt that form of Government. For this reason I think it would be wisest to leave this an open question to be settled by British Columbia. The mode in which it may be determined is not material to Union and really only concerns local interests. Time alone after the discussion of the terms of Union with the CanadianGovernmentManuscript image Government will shew whether the introduction of Responsible Government simultaneously with Union would or would not assist the more important arrangements. But I should have no objection to a separate undertaking or promise from the Canadian Government that they will not interpose to prevent the introduction of the system if the Community should deliberately elect to adopt that form of administration for their local affairs.
A. Musgrave

9th May 1870
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Kimberley to Lisgar, Canada, No. ?, 3 June 1871.
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Draft reply, Kimberley to Musgrave, No. 56, 5 June 1871.
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Herbert to Trutch, 6 June 1871, forwarding copy of draft reply to Lisgar as noted above.
Trutch, Joseph William to Wodehouse, John 17 May 1871, CO 60:44, no. 4910, 358. 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/B716T01.html.

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