Romaine to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
17 May 1860
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, a Copy of a Letter from Rear Admiral Baynes, dated the 28th March, No 42, enclosing a Copy of his Correspondence with the Governor of Vancouver Island relative to the withdrawal of the Royal Marines employed as a Military Guard at Fort Victoria for service on the Island of San Juan, and pointingManuscript imagepointing out that whilst the Royal Engineers serving in Vancouver Island and British Columbia are paid very highly, the Officers and men of the Royal Marines have not received any Colonial Pay since the Commencement of August 1859.
My Lords consider that the conduct of Admiral Baynes in this matter should be approved; he has acted in strict accordance with the general spirit of his Instructions, and with reference to the general question as to the mode in which Military Protection is to be afforded to Victoria and to other portions of the TerritoryManuscript imageTerritory of British Columbia their Lordships can only advert to the observations contained in their Letter of the 9th June 1859 to the Secretary of State for War, a Copy of which Letter appears to have been sent on the 16 June to the Colonial Office from the War Department.
I am etc.
W.G. Romaine
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Perhaps the Governor may address a despatch to the S. of State on this subject, whh may make it advisable to defer ansg this Letter for a short time. In the meanwhile I may observe that as no reason ever existed for stationing a Military force of any Kind at Victoria so neither have any orders been issued for that purpose by the Home Authorities. I therefore think the Governor has no excuse for keeping even one Marine at the seat of Govt when Marines are so much in request elsewhere. As for robbing the Treasury the Legislature had better provide a staff of Constables, if they have any fear on that head.
The answer to the suggestion for extending to the Marines a colonial (extra) allowance is that no provision has been made for any, and that there does not appear to exist any sufficient grounds either in point of service or climate which would justify such extra payment.
ABd 22/5
I think that it is unnecessary to wait on the chance of hearing from the Governor. The Admiral's view is beyond all doubt correct. These Marines were brought from China not as substitutes for a Police, but to protect the Colony against foreign aggression, and how could they be more strictly Manuscript imageemployed on such a service than in occupying the Island of San Juan? I would submit that we may convey an entire concurrence in the approval which the Admiralty propose to express of the Admirals views, and that we may add that the Governor will be so informed. He should then be written to accordingly.
Governor Douglas is rather too fond of entering into debate with the Admiral.
On the question of extra-pay, a further Minute will be circulated with some papers now in my hands.
TFE 29 May
I quite agree.
CF June 1
N 4
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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R.L. Baynes to Secretary of the Admiralty, 28 March 1860, forwarding copies of correspondence with Douglas regarding the detachment of Royal Marines on Vancouver Island, with explanation.
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Baynes to Douglas, 20 March 1860, advising that the marines currently stationed at Fort Victoria would be immediately required for service on San Juan Island.
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Douglas to Baynes, 20 March 1860, suggesting that if it was intended that the entire detachment be removed, it would be advisable to leave twenty-five men as a guard at Victoria.
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Baynes to Douglas, 21 March 1860, advising that in order to match the American force on San Juan Island, all the Royal Marines at Victoria would be removed to the island.
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Douglas to Baynes, 21 March 1860, expressing regret at the Admiral's decision, and again emphasizing the need for a guard at Victoria.
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Baynes to Douglas, 23 March 1860, declining to alter his decision, with further explanation of his position in the matter.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 23, 9 June 1860.
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Draft, Elliot to Secretary to the Admiralty, 13 June 1860, expressing Newcastle's approval of the Admiral's actions.