No. 20
8 June 1859
Great inconvenience is Experienced in dealing with the postal arrangements both in this Colony and in British Columbia in consequence of our not being provided with Colonial Postage Stamps. Checks cannot be applied to guard against fraud withoutManuscript imagewithout inconvenience, delay and expensive machinery; and indeed so long as the prepayment of postage is made in coin no check or supervision is really effectual.
2. Partly to correct the evil we have hitherto employed the Postage Stamps of the United States, but for obvious reasons the use of them in a British Colony should not be continued longer than really necessary.
3. I am therefore induced to apply to you with the hope that you will kindly issue the necessary directions that we may be supplied with Stamps from Her Majesty's StampManuscript imageStamp Office, designed to serve both for Vancouver's Island and British Columbia. The expense, which I understand would not be heavy, we would gladly repay, and the plates could remain in England so that a fresh supply of Stamps could be obtained when the first stock was exhausted.
4. To lessen expense we propose to have only one description of Stamp, of the value of Two Pence Halfpenny and of such design as may be deemed most fit by those competent to judge. A rough sketch is forwarded herewith.
5. We would ask for a ThousandManuscript imageThousand Sheets of Stamps as a first supply, presuming there will be about 240 in each Sheet,
A small instalment by post would be very acceptable.
and if the Post Office Authorities in England would kindly permit a supply of about Three Dozen obliterating Dies, with a proportion of Ink & Boxes, to accompany the Sheets, it would add greatly to the benefit conferred upon the Colonies, and would increase the obligations we should feel.
I have etc.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Treasury, I presume, requesting Compliance.
ABd 25 July
And also, I think to the agent general directing him to place himself in communication with the Ty. Mr Julyan has schemes of his own about the supply of colonial postage stamps.
HM Jy 26
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, July 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch and asking for compliance.
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Draft, Merivale to E. Barnard, Crown Agents, 6 August 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch and asking that they contact Treasury to discuss the subject.
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 12, 16 August 1859.
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Robinson
When Mr Merivale is done with this will you let me have it that it may be prepared for the Dukes signature.
Douglas, James to Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer 8 June 1859, CO 305:10, no. 7343, 199. 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/V59020.html.

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