No. 91
Downing Street
15 March 1862
Sir,
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 77 of the 28th of December, reporting that Mr. George Tomline Gordon, Treasurer of Vancouver Island, had been committed for trial upon a charge of embezzlement of the public funds and that you have consequently suspended him from his Office. I have also received your despatch No. 78 of the 28th of DecemberManuscript image reporting that you have appointed Mr. Alexander Watson to act as Treasurer in the place of Mr. Gordon.
I have received this intelligence with much concern. It is incredible that three of the persons recently appointed by you to Offices of trust and responsibility in your Government would have proved defaulters, if you had exercised proper care in the distribution of the patronage which has been left so unreservedly in your hands. These repeated instances of defalcation are discreditable to your Government and cannot fail to deprive the Executive of the respect and confidence of the Colonists.
Nor can I pass unnoticed the irregularity which you have committed in appointing without my sanctionManuscript image a permanent successor to Mr. Gordon. It is your duty in all such cases to make none but provisional appointments, and to submit them for the approval and sanction of the Secretary of State. In the present instance you have practically placed the appointment beyond my control since it appears that in accepting the Office of Treasurer Mr. Watson has resigned the place of Accountant in the Bank of British North America and it would be a hardship, which I should not be prepared to inflict on that gentleman, were he now to be deprived of the appointment for which he has relinquished his career. On this ground, and on this only, I haveManuscript image decided to confirm Mr. Watson in the Office of Treasurer and I shall forward to you the Royal Warrant for his appointment by an early opportunity.
I have the honor to be
Sir
Your obedient Servant
Newcastle

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes to Douglas, James 15 March 1862, NAC RG7:G8C/3, 44. 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/V627091.html.

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