No. 60, Legislative
30 December 1862
I have the honor to inform Your Grace that I closed the third Session of the second Parliament of Vancouver Island by prorogation on the 22nd day of the present month; and IforwardManuscript image forward herewith a copy of my address to the Legislature on that occasion.
2. The object I have in view, in, at this time, taking that step, is to bring forward the estimates for 1863 previous to the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly which will close by limitation, on the 28th of FebruarynextManuscript image next,
Is it usual for an expiring Assembly to vote the supplies in fall [full?] for the service of the coming year.
and I feel there would be a degree of irregularity in having the estimates for two successive years voted in the same Session of Parliament. It is moreover obvious, that, there should be no delay in providing supplies for the coming year to relieve one from the unpleasant dilemma of being Compelled,eitherManuscript image either to expend the public moneys without authority, or, altogether to suspend the public works in progress. To await the meeting of a new Parliament would involve several months delay, as the time occupied in the registration of voters renders the completion of the lists, in the manner prescribed by Law, impossible before the first week in March,soManuscript image so that we could hardly be through with the Elections, and get a new Parliament into the regular course of business, before the month of June next. It was, therefore, indispensably necessary to take the course which I have adopted, though, under less urgent circumstances, I should have preferred the alternative offered by the meeting of a new Parliament.
3. TheManuscript image
3. The Legislature is Convened for the transaction of business on the 2nd of January next, as there are measures of the utmost importance to the Colony, for instance—the Grant of a Charter authorizing the Construction of a Rail-road from Esquimalt Harbour to Victoria, demanding immediate attention.
4. Having, in myreportsManuscript image reports, accompanying the several acts passed during the late Session, apprized Your Grace of the object and character of our recent Legislation, I will not now trespass, at much length, on Your Grace's time.
5. Twenty one acts including two Supply Bills, have altogether been passed by both Houses, and receivedmyManuscript image my assent during the Session.
6. The Act incorporating the Town of Victoria is a measure from which much practical good is anticipated, and it will also have the desirable effect of relieving my Government from a vast amount of labor and responsibility, and of awaking a lively interest, and enlisting, in a peculiar degree, the sympathiesandManuscript image and energies of the public at large on behalf of the improvement of the Town.
7. In preparing the Incorporation Act the greatest care has been taken to place a check on the improper or improvident expenditure of the City Funds by empowering the Governor, for the time being, absolutely to disallow, or, at his option, toreferManuscript image refer any By-Law to the Municipal vote, thereby investing rate-payers with the fullest powers for self protection.
8. The "Stamp Act," and the "Victoria and Esquimalt Harbour dues Act," are properly speaking, revenue Acts imposing taxes for defraying the annually accruing interest, and forming a Sinking Fund expresslyapplicableManuscript image applicable to the gradual repayment of the principal of the Loan of £40,000 which, it is proposed to raise by virtue of the "Vancouver Island Road and Harbour Act" 1862. These taxes will yield an amount of revenue fully equal, I believe to the object proposed.
9. The "Real Estate Amendment Act" 1862 and the "Trades Licence AmendmentActManuscript image Act" 1862, are merely repetitious of former acts, modified and rendered at once practical and more productive of Revenue.
10. The "City of Victoria Representation Act," 1862, increases, from two to four, the number of Members to be returned hereafter by the City for the Legislative Assembly, with the view of reducing the existing disparity intheManuscript image the ratio of population to representation in the City and Country Districts.
11. An Act has been passed for establishing a decimal Currency in Vancouvers Island: a necessary and very useful measure, as the system has, for years past, been practically adopted in all Commercial transactions, and will now be introduced,withManuscript image with advantage, into the public accounts.
12. Copies of the acts referred to in this Despatch, excepting such as have been already forwarded, are herewith transmitted with the Attorney General's reports.
Not yet received.
WAN 17/3/63
With Duplicate.
Received 2 April.
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 E.
Sir F. Rogers
The Attorney General's report will probably come in a fortnight or 3 weeks.
Mr McClure (of V.C.Isld) has complained that the representation of Victoria is insufficient. By an Act, now sent home, two M.Ps are added. Mr McClure's Letter—which treats generally on the desired alterations in the Constitution of B.C. & V.C.I.—is with His Grace.
ABd 18/3
TFE 18/3
Mr Blackwood
Wait for the Atty Genls report.
FR 19/3
The Attorney Genl's Report on 5 Acts has arrived, & is annexed. Perhaps you [should] examine these five Acts.
ABd 7 April
I think that of these five Acts The Real Estate Tax Amendment act and the Victoria Representation act may be sanctioned. The latter (as mentioned by Mr Blackwood) doubles the number of the representation for Victoria. The Victoria & Esquimalt Harbour Act shd , I think be referred to the Bd of Trade.
The decimal currency Act to the Treasury. The Stamp Act it is not necessary so to refer but it wd be a kindness to the Colony to send it to the Treasy with a request that the Board of Inland Reve wd favour H.G. with their opinion whether it is in any material point defective or objectionable.
FR 8/4
N 10
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy of prorogation speech by Douglas to the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 22 December 1862, as per despatch.
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George Hunter Cary, Attorney General, to W.A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, 21 January 1863, reporting favourably on five acts passed by the legislature.
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Schedule of Acts passed during the recent session of the legislature, forwarded to the attention of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, twenty-two acts in total.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 23 April 1863, forwarding copy of the Stamp Act to be referred to the Board of Inland Revenue for their comments.
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 11, 20 April 1863, acknowledging his despatch and informing him that Newcastle will wait to receive Attorney General Cary's reports on all the acts passed in the colony before recommending any for approval.
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
If the Acts on which the Attorney General has not reported are not to be acted on until he does so—ought not this draft to be sent to the Govr to remind him.
EBP 17-4/63
I think that the Governor or his Secy shd not have slipped the Attorney Genl's observationsManuscript image into a duplicate despatch, the contents of which might have been overlooked.
The omission to send the "observations" involved the necessity of a fresh desph when forwarded.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to James Booth, Board of Trade, 23 April 1863, forwarding copy of the Victoria and Esquimalt Harbour Act and asking whether there was any objection to its passage.
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Newcastle to Lord President, 23 April 1863, forwarding two acts to be submitted to the Queen in Council and recommending that they be left to their operation.
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, no number, 31 May 1862, introducing James Davidson Walker as the new manager of the Bank of British Columbia in Vancouver Island.
Minutes by CO staff
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Written on a Note from the Manager of the Bank which is amongst Sir
's Semi official Letters.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 23 April 1863, forwarding copy of the Decimal System of Accounts Act and asking whether there was any objection to its passage.
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[Newcastle] to The Lord President, 4 August 1865, submitting the Decimal System of Accounts Act to the Queen in Council and recommending that it be left to its operation.