No. 19
6 June 1859
I regret much to have to report to you that certain irregularities and apparent frauds have recently been discovered in the Custom House at Victoria, in consequence of which I have deemed it my duty to suspend Mr Charles A. Anderson, the CollectorManuscript imageCollector, from any further exercise of the functions of his office, until a searching investigation has taken place into the whole matter. For this purpose I have appointed a Commission consisting of Judge Begbie, and Captain Gosset, the Treasurer of British Columbia, and as soon as their Report is received it shall be transmitted to you without delay.
3. As you are doubtless aware, it has been the practice hitherto to collect the duties for British Columbia at the Custom HouseManuscript imageHouse at Victoria, and shortly after the arrival at this place of Mr Hamley, the Collector of Customs for British Columbia, I, in consequence of the arrangements for the collection of the duties at Queensborough not being complete, directed him to undertake and continue the collection at Victoria. The Books were in consequence transferred to him, and almost immediately his suspicions were awakened by the discovery of some very glaring errors in the Permit Book, and a closer investigation soon showed the general state of inaccuracy in which the Books had been kept andManuscript imageand that in numerous cases wrong entries had been made, and in some cases the permits issued and the duties charged on them were not brought to account.
4. It appearing that the monies were generally received and the entries made by a Mr C.A. Angelo, one of the Clerks in the Department, and suspicion attaching strongly to him, proceedings were immediately commenced against him, conducted by Mr Pearkes the Crown Solicitor, aided by Mr Carey the Attorney General. The case was resumed to-day, and resultedManuscript imageresulted in an adjournment until this day week, for the production of further evidence.
5. The amount of deficiencies so far as investigation has gone at present is about Eight Hundred Dollars.
6. It does not appear that Mr Anderson, the Collector, is in any way connected with the supposed frauds, but his negligence in the conduct and supervision of his Department is so great and so unpardonable, that I fear it will be utterly out of my power to recommend that he should beManuscript imagebe re-instated in his office.
I have etc.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Reserve for further reports & the result.
ABd 25 July
HM July 26
CF 27
N 28
Douglas, James to Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer 6 June 1859, CO 305:10, no. 7342, 196. 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/V59019.html.

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