2 June 1859
I duly received your Confidential Despatch of the 24h March last, upon the subject of the appointment of Mr James Cooper as Harbour Master at Esquimalt for British Columbia, and acquainting me that you consider the faith of the Government is pledged to the appointment of Mr Cooper to an office of the value promised.
IManuscript imageI feel sure that you cannot have anticipated that any action of mine would designedly compromise the faith of Her Majesty's Government, or that I should willingly hesitate in carrying out any instructions they might see fit to issue to me. Mr Cooper was, in accordance with your intention and direction, appointed Harbour Master at Esquimalt upon his arrival here. He has since resided at that place, and has been in the receipt of the Salary attached to the Office.
3. I cannot however conceal from you the fact that there is nothing whatever in connection with British Columbia for Mr Cooper to do at EsquimaltManuscript imageEsquimalt, and it is difficult, if not impracticable, to connect his Services with any office in British Columbia for which he is fitted, unless he occasionally resides in that Colony. I have proposed such a course to Mr Cooper, but he declined to accept any appointment which would require him to leave Esquimalt. He, therefore, now remains at that place in the position of Harbour Master receiving a Salary of Four Hundred pounds per annum out of the Revenues of British Columbia.
I have etc.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
I think it will be impossible to keep Mr Cooper at Esquimalt in VanCouvers Island where he does nothing except receive his £400 per annum. [As] he is an Officer of B. Columbia the Govr must be [de]sired to find him employment there, pending [the] accession of business for a harbour Master. If Cooper persists in refusing to go to B.C. I suppose there is no alternative except to relieve him of a place which we [ha]d much difficulty in creating [for] him.
ABd 26 July
Mr Fortescue
This requires an amount of explanation which can hardly be given except in conversation, as there are I think no minutes to refer to. But though on principle agreeing with Mr Blackwood, I am not sure that the best course may not be to put this by for the present.
HM July 27
Duke of Newcastle
Mr Charles Villiers can tell you all about this gentleman.
CF Aug [off microfilm]
I have enquired into this case. It is most unfortunate to leave an idle man even for a time drawing salary in a Colony without surplus Revenue—but I must wait for further notice.
Put this despatch by for the present.
N [off microfilm]
Manuscript image
I think that the order of the Duke of Newcastle that all B. Columbia Officials shall reside in that Colony will necessitate Mr Cooper to either take up his quarters there, or else give up his appointment. And as His Grace prefers "waiting for further notice" to taking any instant & peremptory steps I presume that his direction to "put this despatch by for the present" should be obeyed.
ABd 4 Novr/59