Stamp to Carnarvon (Parliamentary Under-Secretary)
4, Mansion House Place,
2nd Feby 1859 To The Right Honorable The Earl of Carnarvon Under Secretary of State for the Colonies &c &c &c
My Lord,
Referring to the proposals which I have already submitted to His Excellency the Governor of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia, and to the letter which I addressed His Excellency on the 4th Novr last on the subject of a Contract with Her Majestys Government for the conveyance of the English Mails from San Francisco to Victoria and Langley on the Frasers River and vice versa, I have now the honor to state that having been resident for the last two years on Vancouvers Island and its neighbourhood whence I have just returned, and being practically acquainted with the details of the postal service in question, I am now prepared to enter into a Contract with Her Majestys Government for the performance of the above Service on the following conditions—viz:
To convey the Mails twice a month from San Francisco to Victoria and Langley and vice versa.
To leave San Francisco within twelve hours after the arrival of the American Mail Steamer.
To allow the postmaster at Victoria Manuscript imageforty eight hours and the postmaster at Langley twenty four hours to prepare the return Mails.
In the Winter when the Frasers River is frozen up the Mails for Langley to be delivered at Victoria.
Officers & Troops in Her Majestys Service to be carried at the Customary Transport rates.
The Service to be performed by a first class Steam Ship of not less than 800 Tons burthen and 180 nominal Horse Power.
Delays and detentions arising either from foggy weather (when it would be impossible for any steamer to run with safety) or from stress of weather rendering it impossible for the Mail Steamer to enter the Fraser River, are not to be considered an infraction of Contract.
In the event of the American Mail Steamer not arriving at San Francisco in due time the Contractor shall not be bound to wait longer than forty Eight hours at the expiration of which time he may proceed to Victoria without an over due Mail.
The Contractor to be allowed to convey the Mails in Steam Ships of any Nation until sufficient time elapses to allow him to provide a Steam Ship from England & to have the same privilege in the event of any temporary accident to his own Steam Ship.
The Contractor to be ready to reserve the English Outward Mails due at San Francisco on the 28th May next ensuing.
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Any other safe port in British Columbia not at a greater distance from Victoria than Langley may be substituted for that place by the Govt.
The sum required for the performance of this service to be Twenty thousand pounds Sterling per Annum and the duration of the Contract not less than 7 or 10 Years.
Should the Govt desire it I am further prepared to extend the service to Fort Hope the head of the Light draft Steam Navigation on Frasers River for the Additional Sum of Five thousand pounds Stg. per Annum.;.nam I have the honor to be My Lord Your Lordships Obedt Humble Servt Edwd Stamp
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
The postal irregularity, of which the new settlements in this quarter of the Globe are beginning already to complain, & whh for the sake of completing a successful piece of colonization it wd be most desirable to correct, takes place between San Francisco, and Victoria, & B. Columbia. The writer, backed by the Govr—see 1069—proposes to establish steamers to perform this service for not less than 7 or 10 years—for a subsidy of £20,000 a year. The question is whether this amount is too much, & who shall pay it. I presume it wd be divided between England & the Colony; but can the Letters to this new Place produce half that sum, or even a quarter? Howr the first step, I apprehend, is to refer the subject as already proposed (1069) to the T-y for consn & report, and afterwards to confer with the Governor.
ABd 3 Feby
Refer to the Ty. But useful as the project is, I am inclined to think it is premature?
HM F 3
I am inclined to believe that in arranging any postal communication with B. Columbia, for the present at all events the interval between S. Francisco & Frasers River is the object to be aimed at: and so far Mr Stamp's Manuscript imageplan deserves consideration: but it strikes me that £20,000 for one ship only on the line (when he talked to me on the subject he gave me to understand that he sd have two) and a contract for seven years are of very questionable expediency. The latter proposal is one wh I sd not like to agree to under any circumstances.
I had some conversation with Mr Stamp and found him a sensible man. He says nothing in this communication as to his references.
Refer to the Treasury at once?
C Feby 5
[Project?] premature at present.
EBL Feb 9
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to G. Hamilton, Treasury, 14 February 1859, forwarding copy of the letter, and a previous one from Stamp, for opinion.