Hamilton to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
2 April 1861
With reference to your letter of the 27th February last, transmitting copy of a Despatch from the Governor of Vancouvers Island enclosing Bill of Exchange for £1000 on account of Troops occupying San Juan, I am directed by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majestys Treasury to request that you will state to the Duke of Newcastle that the sum of £1000 mentioned in the Despatch from the Governor of Vancouvers Island No 48 of 14 November last is stated to be required for extra pay of Marines at San Juan and appears to have no referencetoManuscript image to the similar amount reported in the Despatch No 43 of 8 October enclosed in your letter of the 8th December last—the latter having been applied for on account of the erection of Temporary Barracks at San Juan.
I am directed to enclose herewith copy of a letter from the War Office of 1 January and of the reply thereto of [11] January relating to the Barracks, and I am to request that you will move the [His] Grace to inform My Lords whether any arrangement has been made in regard to the Funds from which the extra pay of the Marines is to be defrayed.
I am etc.
Geo. A. Hamilton
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 3 Apl
See minute attached.
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Mr Fortescue
The Treasury are right in what they point out. This is in fact a fresh complication arising out of the very peculiar and anomalous circumstances connected with the detachment of the Royal Marines transferred from China to British Columbia.
You will of course remember that owing to the high cost of living and to their having volunteered they were to be allowed higher pay. We authorized double pay, but in the meantime they had been receiving much higher pay on account of executing public works. On hearing of it the Duke of Newcastle sanctioned that higher pay for so long as theyremainedManuscript image remained in British Columbia. But they were transferred to San Juan and hitherto we have not known what they were receiving there.
But it now appears that in virtue of the first authority to give them double pay, the governor has accordingly drawn for that amount for the time subsequent to their leaving off public works and being stationed at San Juan.
Considering that the place is doubtless dear, and that the officers and men are detained there, as we have been distinctly apprized, contrary to the rules and practiceofManuscript image of their service, I think that it must be desirable and almost indispensable, to give them some such premium in order to reconcile them to a duty lying beyond their proper sphere of service.
Where is the money to come from? The Admiralty will assuredly not pay, for they have long been remonstrating against the detention of this detachment. And moreover, as was submitted on a former occasion, it would probably create confusion and discontent if they issued different rates of pay from Naval funds to any portions of the Naval Forces. The War office might be invited to pay on the ground that they have not been called upon to find troops for this unusualexigencyManuscript image Exigency, and that the Marines form a substitute. But still we should have great opposition there to paying a naval force from Military Funds. Can the Colony be asked to pay? We have remarked in former minutes that it is hardly fair to ask a particular locality to defray the Charge of an international dispute between England and a Foreign Power.
The amount is small but the principle is large, and this is my excuse for the length of the present minute. On the whole I am inclined to believe that the best issue from the difficulties will be to introduce a special item on the B. Columbia Estimate to defray the Extra pay of the Royal Marines.
TFE 9 April
P.S. I annex a memm of Mr H. Irving, showing the amount that
will be required.
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Duke of Newcastle
The Colonial Office had nothing directly to do with sending these Marines to San Juan. It was the result of a diplomatic arrangement between the F.O. and the U.S. Govt acc[ording] to wh. the island was to be occupied by an equal military force of both nations. The substitution of Marines for Troops of the Line was only a matter of accident & convenience. I would therefore inform the Try that you considered this a military expenditure, which sh. be borne upon the Army Estimates—or defrayed by the War Department.
I believe that extra pay for Marines employed on special services on shore—as in the China war—has before now been so defrayed.
CF 12
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I am not aware of any such precedent as Mr Fortescue mentions for paying Marines when serving on shore out of Army Estimates. If there is such a precedent it may be followed in this case, but if not I feel assured that the W.O. will resist a proposal to make one on the present occasion.
Perhaps the better course will be to suggest it to the Treasury—observing at the same time that the alternative is a special vote on the Columbia Estimate. I suspect this will prove to be the only available course.
N 13
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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B. Hawes, War Office, to Assistant Secretary to the Treasury, 1 January 1861, requesting sanction for payment of the barracks expenditure.
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Hamilton to Hawes, 11 January 1861, approving of the expenditure.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Hamilton, 25 April 1861, expressing Newcastle's opinion that the expense of the extra pay should be met "in the Army Estimates for the Ensuing year," with explanation.