Corry to Under-Secretary of State
20 April 1859
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to forward to you to be laid before Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, a copy of a Letter from Rear Admiral Baynes, C.B., Commander in Chief in the Pacific, pointing out the pressing necessity for Lights on Vancouver Island—both at the Race Rocks and at the entrance of Esquimalt Harbour, in which recommendation their Lordships entirely concur.
I am etc.
H. Corry
Minutes by CO staff
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See Memn 21 April.
Manuscript imageV.C. Island. 4250 - Admy )
3721 - B. of Trade )
3328 - Admiralty ) 1859
3270 - Governor )
2737 - " )
2588 - Board of Trade )
Lord Carnarvon
Adverting to the very strong memorandum which accompanies the Letter from the Board of Trade of the 7 April, to Capn Sulivan's unofficial communication attached thereto, and to the letter of R. Admiral Baynes, which has been received from the Admiralty (4250) this morning I am reluctantly constrained to say that I think this office would be neglecting the interests of the British Men of War, and of all Commercial vessels frequenting the Ports of VanCouver Island and British Columbia if we do not recommend the Manuscript imageTreasury, as a matter of national importance & concern, to ask Parlt for a vote to establish Lights & houses in the places indicated in the correspondence. It must be borne in mind that safety of access to a commercial port—such as we indulge the hope that Esquimalt or Langley will become—will encourage vessels to frequent it. But let one or two Ship-wrecks occur and the navigation will obtain the reputation of being dangerous—the rate of insurances will be increased, and trade will be deterred; to say nothing of the loss of money which would ensue from such a disaster. It is true that the proposed Manuscript imageLights are required for the trade of these Colonies—but to whom will the vessels constituting that trade belong? Surely, for the chief part, to British Merchants, on whom, or on Lloyds, the losses of ships would devolve. This Country, therefore, in the end, will suffer from the absence of Lights, and we shall have to pay a heavy expense, when a ship is lost, which might have been avoided by the comparatively small charge of £7000. You will probably observe that this argument might be applied to all other Colonies similarly situated, and that the result would be to impose on Great Manuscript imageBritain a very serious charge for the erection of Colonial Light-houses. I ansr that I am unaware of the necessity arising in any of our Colonies for a demand like this; those Colonies being, from one source or other, already provided with the needful accommodation, and that if there be any in the position of V.C.I. & Bh Columbia in this respect it is our duty, in the interests of our commerce, to render the needful aid. But to guard against too great a disposition to impose upon us charges which the Colony should have in some measure to bear I would propose that V.C.Isd & Bh Columbia should together pay a moiety of the expense Manuscript imagenot exceeding £7000—& that they should be at the expense of maintaining the lights. I would recommend the Treasury, as the matter is very urgent, to take a vote for the amount—and explain that Sir Edward Lytton will instruct the Governor to repay to the Imperial Exchequer the colonial proportion of the cost.
ABd 21 April/59
I have considered this question very carefully and I do not see that we have any alternative. The division of the cost proposed by Mr Blackwood is fair: for it will be borne in mind that if one half of the Trade going to B. Columbia is Colonial, Manuscript imagethe other half coming from the Colony is general & British.
The necessary communications sd be made at once to the Treasury in order to apprize the Govr, if possible, by the mail of the 1st.
C Apl 23
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 29 April 1859, recommending they apply to parliament "for a vote of £7000 to establish the two lighthouses recommended by the Board of Trade."
Minutes by CO staff
I pass this on, seeing that the point is already decided. I confess that I think that Gr Britain might reasonably have given the whole cost of the lights, having the maintenance costs provided for by the Colony.
TFE 26/4
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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R.L. Baynes to Secretary of the Admiralty, 2 November 1858, urging the importance of placing lighthouses at Race Rocks and in Esquimalt Harbour, and the desirability of having one also on Bonilla Point opposite Cape Flattery.