No. 71, Financial
11 November 1861
I have had the honor to receive Your Grace's Despatch of the 9th September last No 71 upon the subject of the difficulty experienced in identifying the Bills, drawn by me from time to time, with the sums and services mentioned in my DespatchestoManuscript image to the Secretary of State.
2. Your Grace may rest assured that I will endeavor to avoid a recurrence of this difficulty; but I trust that it has already ceased to exist, for since the receipt of your Despatch, No 59 of the 12th June, upon the same subject, we have always been careful to note upon the Bills themselves the particular service upon which each might be drawn.
3. The fact of my signing the Bills drawn upon the Paymaster General from two separate Colonies might perhaps have led to confusion,butManuscript image but with the view of avoiding this, and in order to render the Bills from each Colony easily distinguishable, the Bill Forms for Vancouver's Island were printed in red ink, and those for British Columbia in black ink, and each form has the name of the Colony to which it pertains conspicuously printed at its head.
4. With respect to the different services upon which Bills upon the Paymaster General have been drawn by me, they are as under .of 25 From Vancouver Island To defray Expenses connected with Military occupation of San Juan. .of 25 FromManuscript image From British Columbia 1. For Colonial Pay and Expenses of maintenance of Royal Services. .of 25 2. For Regimental Pay of Royal Engineers. The Bills drawn for Regimental Pay have a distinct series of numbers from those drawn for Colonial Pay &c.
5. Upon every separate occasion of a Bill having been drawn a Letter of Advice has invariably been forwarded to the Paymaster General furnishing the No, Date, and amount of the Bill, together with the name of the Payee, and the nature of the service upon which it was drawn; and indeed such care has always beentakenManuscript image taken to prevent inconvenience or confusion that I regret to find our desires to that end have not been fulfilled.
6. I have in previous Despatches explained the difficulty which exists in obtaining Coin for Bills. A good market is not yet to be found here. Frequently weeks elapse before a favorable, or indeed any offer is made, and then the Bill has generally to be drawn for the sum particularly wanted by the purchaser. Under such circumstances it is out of mypowerManuscript image power, when advising Your Grace of having authorized a certain Sum to be drawn, to give at the same time the particulars of the Bills which will Eventually make up the amount; but if Your Grace should desire it I can afterwards from time to time acquaint you as the Bills may be negociated, although I venture to submit that the concurrent advice to the Paymaster General should have the practical effect of rendering the BillseasyManuscript image easy of recognition.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Send to the Treasury for information—see 410.
VJ 14 Jan
TFE 14/1
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 22 January 1862, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.