Romaine to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
22 October 1860
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you for the information of the Secretary of State for the Colonies that the term of Service Abroad of the Detachment of Royal Marines who have been at San Juan since March 1860 has now expired—the bulk of the Men having embarked for Service in China in August 1857—and my Lords being about to recall them to this country, hope that immediate steps may be taken to have theManuscript imagethe duties otherwise provided for.
The Detachment consists of 4 officers and 83 Non Commissioned Officers & Privates.
I am etc.
W.G. Romaine
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
This is a matter on which I think it may be necessary to take the directions of the Duke of Newcastle, to obtain a little more information from the Admiralty than is afforded in this letter, and perhaps to communicate with the Foreign Office.
These Marines were sent from China to B. Columbia shortly after the establishment of that place as a Colony, when the naval force stationed there was inadequate for its protection and, I think, before the Royal Engineers had [one word off file] the Colony. I do not believe that after all they were employed on shore, or at any rate that their land Service was of any duration, and that ultimately they were distributed amongst the Squadron. Since that period the San Juan difference arose, and the The Foreign Office, on the part of H.M. Govt, ordered the Admiralty to station 100 Marines on the Island, the United States placing a corresponding Military force there. Of this Order of Lord J. Russell's the Admiralty are necessarily cognizant. Whether or not the Admiral could have detached 100 Marines to San Juan if he had not had in hand the supernumerary Marines from China I am unable to say as we are not acquainted at this office with the strength of the Marines in the Squadron in the N. Pacific. I only know that when, about this time last year, it was proposed to diminish the Marines the Duke of Newcastle considered the moment for doing so unopportune, and that the force has since then been kept up at Manuscript imagethe full strength plus the men from China. It now appears that the period of service for these Marines has expired and that in ordinary course they must be relieved. The question thence arises whether if they are sent home the Admiral on the Station has Marines enough left to perform their duties on board of Ship, and the service at San Juan also. On this point the Admty should, I think, be requested to afford some information. If the answer be that the force is strong enough to fulfil both services I presume that the Supernumeraries may be recalled, but if it be insufficient I conceive that other Marines must be sent out to replace those who are withdrawn. I am assuming that the San Juan difficulty has not made that progress towards solution which Manuscript imagewould enable the two Governments to withdraw their respective military detachments. It is on this point that some communication with the Foreign Office may be requisite.
ABd 22 Oct/60
Mr Fortescue
I suppose the first step is to ask the Admy the question proposed by Mr Blackwood.
And perhaps it mt be as well to ask the F.O. at the same time whether there is any reason for hoping that it may shortly become unnecessary to keep 100 marines at San Juan.
FR 24/10
This is mainly a F.O. affair, and I wd. send the letter to them & ask Ld. J.R's. opinion.
CF 26
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Rogers to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 2 November 1860, forwarding copy of the Admiralty letter for opinion.