No. 12
23 April 1863
Sir,
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 4 of the 14th of February, enclosing reports by Chief Justice Cameron, Mr. Justice Begbie, and Mr. Good, Chief Clerk in the Office of the Colonial Secretary for British Columbia, on the subject of the complaints which have been preferred by Mr. E.E. Langford,Manuscript image relating to an Electioneering placard which was published in Victoria in 1859-60 and to proceedings in the Supreme Court of Vancouver Island in an Action for libel arising out of that publication.
I annex a copy of the letter in which I have caused my decision on the subject of Mr. Langford's complaints to be communicated to him.
While, however, I have declined to pursue an enquiry into the Authorship of the placard complained of by Mr. Langford, I wish you to understand, and to make it understood by the Government Officers of Vancouver Island and British Columbia that an OfficerconnectedManuscript image connected with the Administration of Justice is in my opinion bound to abstain scrupulously from all interference in party politics, and that other permanent Officers of Government, though their duties are of necessity in some respects political, cannot without injury to the public interest be permitted to adopt that personal and aggressive mode of political warfare which is perhaps allowable to those who are not identified with the Administration of affairs.
I must also add with reference to one sentence in Mr. Begbie's letter, that it is impossible for me to consider a communication addressed to mebyManuscript image by a public Officer in answer to a charge made against him as being in any sense confidential.
I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble servant
Newcastle
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Copy, Rogers to Langford, April 23, 1863, acknowledging the receipt of documents and informing Langford that it is "unnecessary and undesirable" for the government to have the matter "taken up."
Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes to Douglas, James 23 April 1863, NAC RG7:G8C/03, 212. 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/V637012.html.

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