Corry to Under-Secretary of State
21 February 1859
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to request you will state to Secretary Sir Edward Lytton that in consequence of the non delivery of the Admiralty letters & despatches of September & October last, addressed to the Admiral at VanCouver's Island, and forwarded by the Consul at Panama on board the United States Mail Steam Packets, My Lords have ordered the Admiral to place himself in communication with the Consul
What Consul? At Panama?
and make suitable arrangements for the safe transmission of the Mails of this Department, between Panama & Van Couver.
I am etc.
H. Corry
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Had we not better ask if we can send our despatches by the same means? The only precaution we need then take is to put our Mail bag to Govr Douglas in another Bag addressed to the Consul at Panama with instructions to forward it on.
If this arrangement can be effected acquaint the Treasury, who have now under their consn a proposal from a Mr Stamp to conduct the Mail Service between San Francisco & V. Couver's Isld, receiving a very Manuscript imagelarge subsidy.
ABd 24 Feby
HM F 24
I never read a letter which less expressed what it is necessary to know & what I believe the Admiralty wished to convey to us.
What they meant to say I believe is this.
1st that certain mail bags containing despatches of Sepr & Oct last have gone astray & have never been heard of since.
2. That it is consequently desirable to have a common understanding & a joint arrangement with this Office by wh all desp. shall be transmitted without risk of failure.
3. That the best mode of doing this is by conveying all official mail bags to the Consul at Panama to be broken up by him; & as far as the V. Couver I. & B. Columbia letters are concerned, forwarded by some special & Trusty messenger.
This I believe to be the real meaning of this letter and I quite concur in the desirability of the plan.
C Feb 24
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EBL Feb 27
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Secretary to the Admiralty, 4 March 1859, asking to be advised when arrangements for mail delivery were settled, so that the Colonial Office could join in the new system.