Pemberton to Newcastle
London, Euston Hotel
6 August 1863
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to acquaint Your Grace that when I was ordered in Letter dated 3d April to procure machines in England for the improvement of Victoria Harbour, in Vancouver Island, it was His Excellency's intention that I should be instructed at the same time, to secure the services of mechanics who having been employed upon the machines during the construction in this country might be able to work upon them and direct other workmen to advantage in putting the machines together in the Colony and in using them afterwards.
And I have the honor further to inform Your Grace that although no mention of this matter is made in that letter, His Excellency impressed upon me verbally the necessity of sending to the Colony from England, with or in advance of the machinery,mechanicsManuscript image mechanics competent for the purposes stated.
And I have the honor to suggest, that such agreements will have most weight with the persons to be engaged, if made by the Agents General, advised by Messrs J. and A. Blyth, who have the Contract to supply the Machines.
I therefore submit herewith, forms and particulars of proposed agreements with (one) Chief and (one) Assistant Engineer and make application that Your Grace will be pleased to empower the Agents General to act in the matter.
I have the honor to be
Your Grace's most obedient
and most humble Servant
J. Despard Pemberton
Surveyor General
Vancouver Island Colony
His Grace
The Duke of Newcastle
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Van Couver Isld is a Colony with a representative form of Govt—has practically control over its own finances—& the Govt is carried on by the means of Executive Officers who, with the exception of the Governor, are not under the exclusive control of the Col. Office. Therefore unless the Governor Asks the S.S. to allow his Agents in this Country to negotiate the business of the Colony, implying thereby that the Colony is prepared to stand by the engagements contracted, at his request, by the S. State's Agents here, it is not very safe for the Col. Office to become a party in the transaction. A dispute may arise—there may exist difficulties as to payment, & the Col. Office gets involved in a Lawsuit. In this instance we are asked by a Subordinate Officer of the local Govt to undertake the responsibility of becoming contractors to a legal engagement. The Governor has not made this request. For aught we know even the Govr may find fault with us if we assent to the Surveyor General's proposition. If the Colony were, in common prudence, a Crown Colony, the case wd be different. As it is, my opinion is unfavorable to a compliance with Mr Pemberton's request.
ABd 7 Augt/63
I agree with Mr Blackwood. In answer to his letter I would tell Mr PembertonthatManuscript image that the Duke of Newcastle thinks that it would be better that he should enter into the proposed agreements with the Mechanics who are to go out to Vancouver to be employed in the improvement of the Harbor, and that His Grace cannot instruct the Agents General to undertake the matter.
TFE 7 August
I agree.
CF 10
N 11
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Proposed form of agreement for the engagement of a chief engineer, no date, as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Pemberton, 13 August 1863, suggesting that it would be better if he made the agreements with the mechanics himself.