Sargeaunt to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Office of The Agents General for Crown Colonies,
6, Adelphi Terrace, London, W.C.
1 January 1863
I transmit to you, for the information of the Duke of Newcastle, a letter from the Acting Colonial Secretary of Vancouver Island, and I have the honor to request you to be so good as to furnish me with His Grace's authority for taking such steps as may be necessary for placing the whole amount of the Debentures referred to (£40,000) on the market, and for complying with the other requests of the Government of that Colony as expressed in the aforementioned letter.
The Report called for at thesuggestionManuscript image suggestion of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury by the last paragraph of your letter of the 18th Ultimo, upon the mode in which the Government of Vancouver Island should provide for the expenses of the Agency with respect to this Loan will be comprised in the General Report on this Office Establishment, which the Agents General are now preparing.
I have the honor to be,
Your most Obedient,
Humble Servant,
W.C. Sargeaunt
Agent General
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Agent asks for authority for placing the Debentures on the Market. Can this authority be properly given till the Act is confirmed? See paragraph 3 of the Governor's letter to the Agents annexed. The Act has been sent to the Council Office & will be confirmed at the next Council.
VJ 2 Jan
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Sir F. Rogers
This is what may be called only a point of form, but I must say that I think it an important one. Your are aware that the public Press shows that the proceedings on the loans for British Columbia and Vancouvers Island are watched by jealous observers.
I am quite clear that actually to borrow the money before the Act has been confirmed in Council, would be unjustifiable. What Mr Sargeaunt wishes (see his note within) is that they should issue their advertisements before the Act is confirmed, trusting to that measure's having been completed before the date on which they receive their tenders. I believe that a Council prior to the 15h is reckoned on as certain, on account of the necessity of a further prorogation of Parliament by the 13th. Such being the facts, the question is, may the Agents be authorized or not to advertize at once for the Sale of Vancouvers debentures on the 15th inst?
TFE 3 Jany
Duke of Newcastle
I think this might be done, inasmuch as the Colonial Act—not being aManuscript image suspending clause, is already in operation.
The Canadian Government would probably not hesitate Even to borrow money without authority of an Act of this kind. And I think therefore that the Agent of the V.C.I. Govt (who however do not stand upon the same footing) should be allowed to advertise.
But in authorizing the Agents to take this course I think their attention should be pointedly drawn to the following sentence of the Treasury letter of the 4h of Decr. My Lords desire that there should be a distinct understanding that in thus borrowing money for a Govt which possesses the control over its own General Revenue witht the supervision of H.M.G. the Agents General are acting merely in the name of the local Govt and that HMG can come under no responsibility on account of their transactions in that capacity or otherwise in connection with the Loan. In the present case it will be seen that the Treasy have not even the means of judging "as to the adequacy of the security provided to payment of interest and for the redemption of the Loans."
There will be a Council on the 12th latest, & I see no objection to the advertisement being issued at once.
Other documents included in the file
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Colonial Office to Agents General, 6 January 1863, authorizing them to "take such steps as necessary for placing on the Market the whole amount of the debentures," and calling attention to Treasury instructions for such transactions.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W.A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, to Julyan and Sargeaunt, Agents General, 4 November 1862, forwarding copy of "The Vancouver Island Road and Harbour Loan Act 1862" and asking that the necessary debentures be placed on the market as soon as possible.