No. 44
23 August 1862
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Your Grace's Despatch No 101 of the 2nd June last, referring for report copy of letters from Mr E.E. Langford, formerly a resident of Vancouver's Island, containing complaints against certain of the OfficersconnectedManuscript image connected with my Government; & I have also the honor to acknowledge receipt of Your Grace's Despatch No 106, of the 19th June, transmitting, for the same purpose, copy of a further letter of complaint from Mr Langford upon the same subject.
2. I have in accordance with Your Graces instructions called upon the officers concerned for any remarks they may have to offer in respect of the allegations of Mr Langford, and so soon as I receive their replies I will forward them to Your Grace with such report thereon as the circumstances of the case may require. MrBegbieManuscript image Begbie, the Judge of British Columbia, one of the gentlemen inculpated by Mr Langford, is absent on Circuit, and by last Accounts was at Carribou, it may therefore be some time before I can hear from him.
3. With respect to the latter portion of your Despatch of the 2nd June, which refers especially to Mr Cameron the Chief Justice of Vancouver's Island, I will take an early opportunity of placing before Your Grace all the circumstances in connection with the appointment of MrCameronManuscript image Cameron. I may however at present maintain that so far as I am aware Mr Cameron performs his duties with much ability, and his decisions give general satisfaction. Individually I believe him to be much respected throughout the Colony. The allegations of Mr Langford in regard to the administration of justice in Vancouver's Island I have no hesitation in at once pronouncing to be unfounded. I hear for the first time that "the proceedings in the Law Courts of the Colony are the theme ofscornManuscript image scorn and derision amongst the Colonists." Had such a state of things existed I must have known it; and I think I should, in such case, long ago have put an end to it. I did indeed once receive a letter of complaint against Mr Cameron from Mr Langford, and in that he asserted that "Life and Liberty had been illegally sacrificed and jeopardized and the ends of Justice defeated"—but as the allegation was merely a general one, and as I found on inquiry that just at that time Mr Langford had beenveryManuscript image very properly committed by Mr Cameron for a gross contempt of Court, the cause of this letter as well as its object was so evident, that—anxious as I may be that no just complaint should go unnoticed—I yet felt that in this case it would be most inexpedient for me to interfere.
4. Mr Langford is the same person who brought the complaint against Mr Pemberton the Colonial Surveyor General, for unjust, partial, and improper conduct in respect of the sale of some Land, which complaint I forwarded to your Grace in my DespatchNoManuscript image No 14 of the 23rd March 1860. Mr Pemberton was fully exonerated from the charge as will be seen by the Secretary of State's Despatch No 28 of the 26th July 1860. I would respectfully request your Grace's attention to both these Despatches, as serving to give some insight into Mr Langford's character, and to throw some light upon his present proceedings.
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
Await further report &c.
ABd 10 Octr
TFE 10 Octr
N 11
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 23 August 1862, CO 305:19, no. 9897, 244. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V62044.html.

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