Pemberton to Newcastle
174 Euston Road N.W.
July 6th 1860
My Lord Duke
Having for the last nine years filled the office of Surveyor General of Vancouver Island, in which capacity I still act although temporarily absent in this country on furlough, I venture most respectfully to draw Your Grace's attention to the peculiar position in which I am placed.
I was originally appointed to the office of Surveyor of Vancouver Island in 1851 by the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company. That engagement transpired at the termination of the Company's Grant when the Island having been raised into a Crown Colony, Governor Douglas was pleased to continue my services in the same capacity on behalf of the Colony.
During the period Manuscript image
During the period I have had the honour of serving the Colony, the efficiency of my services has been frequently acknowledged both by the Hudson's Bay Company and Governor Douglas: and I have reason to believe that on more than one occasion His Excellency was pleased to recommend the confirmation of my appointment to Your Grace's predecessor and probably to Your Grace also.
Before leaving Vancouver Island I represented to Governor Douglas the awkwardness of the position in which I was placed being considered and at the same time acting as Surveyor General of the Colony, and still being without a Commission either from the Colony or Her Majesty's Government and applied to Him to put an end to the anomaly by granting to me the usual appointment, but he informed me that a fresh commission could only be granted by Your Grace.
I take the liberty of transmitting herewith for Your Graces information a copy of the letter addressed to me by WilliamManuscript imageby William A.G. Young Esqre Colonial Secretary informing me that Governor Douglas had granted me leave of absence for Eight months: that period has now nearly Expired and it will be necessary If I am to retain the office, that I should at once return to the Colony.
In these circumstances, I venture humbly and most respectfully to hope that Your Grace will be pleased to grant me the usual commission confirming me in the position of Surveyor General of the Colony, and I do so with the more confidence as I believe that it will be as much for the good of the public Service as it will be for my own personal satisfaction that all doubts as to my precise position should cease to exist.
I venture further to add that I have recently received a letter from Governor Douglas reminding that my leave of absence was nearly expended and urging my speedy return. It will therefore be necessary that I should take my departure at an early day; and,Manuscript imageand, it would be a great satisfaction to me if by Your Grace's Kindness I were able to return to the Colony in possession of the regular Commission.
I have the honour to Subscribe myself
Your Graces very obedient
and very humble Servant
J. Despard Pemberton

His Grace The Duke of Newcastle
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
There are only two persons in V.C. Island—besides the Councillors—who have Commissions from the Crown—viz: the Govr and the Judge. There has been nobody of sufficient official importance established in this Island, unless you except the writer, for whom it has, as yet, been necessary to give Commissions. VanCouver's Island has not been formally retransferred to the Crown; but I should not think that wd constitute any reason against giving a regular commission of appointment to the Surveyor General. The Hudson's Bay Co were only Lords of the Soil for the time during which the grant existed.
The Governor speaks highly of Mr Pemberton. See 2317/60.
ABd 11 July
(See separate minute, addressed to Mr Gairdner.)
TFE 11 July
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Mr Gairdner
You will best be able to say whether according to usage it is desirable that the Surveyor General of this Island should have a Commission. If the decision be in the affirmative he certainly had better be informed beforehand of the sum it would cost him. As I am on the eve of departure, perhaps you will address your answer to Sir F. Rogers.
TFE 11 July
He would naturally have a Commission and as the cost is only 30s/- the draft is [prepared] at once in the usual manner.
GG 16 July
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Fortescue to Pemberton, 10 August 1860, advising his commission had been granted.
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Draft reply, Fortescue to Douglas, Separate, 11 August 1860.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W.A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, to Pemberton, 24 December 1859, stating he had been granted an eight month leave of absence by the governor.