15th January 1864
My Lord Duke,
Though there is nothing of much importance, in the proceedings of the Legislature to communicate, I beg to state, for Your Grace's information, that the Legislative Assembly has since the commencement of the present Session been principallyManuscript image occupied with local matters. The following Bills have gone through the several stages in the Lower House and are now before the Legislative Council.
1. "Act to repeal the Stamp Act, 1862".
2. "Legal Profession Act, 1863"
3. "Writ of Capias restriction Act 1863"
4. "Victoria Pilot Act, 1863"
5. "Representation Extension Act, 1863"
6. "Bills of Sale Amendment Act, 1863"
7. "Oaths Act, 1863".
8. "Fireman's Act 1863".
AndManuscript image
And my assent was given on the 30th October last to a Provisional Act for the election of a Mayor and Councillors for the City of Victoria for the year 1863; the object of which I will briefly explain. In the Act for incorporating the City of Victoria it was provided that the first election of a Mayor and Councillors should be made by the persons then registered as votersforManuscript image for the election of Representatives for the Town of Victoria, and that all subsequent elections for these offices should be made by persons rated in the Municipal Assessment Roll of the City at £20 Freehold or Leasehold Estate. In consequence of unexpected delays the Municipal Assessment Roll was not completed in time for the elections, and there being noAssessmentManuscript image Assessment Roll in existence, there could be no qualified voters, and no election of Municipal Officers. It was to provide for this want and to authorize the election of Municipal Officers by persons qualified as in the first election, that is the registered electors of the Town of Victoria, that the provisional Act was, in haste, and at the last hour, passed and assentedto.Manuscript image to.
2. No definitive action has been taken by the Lower House in the matter of the financial arrangements recommended in my opening speech, as a provision for the permanent support of the Government. A Committee was duly appointed to prepare a report on the Crown Lands of the Colony—to enable the House to settle the questions of the Civil list, but theCommitteeManuscript image Committee has as yet made no report; having been engaged ever since their appointment, in the, somewhat irrelevant, task of enquiring into the management of the Land Office, during the Administration of the Hudson Bay Company; the financial question therefore remains absolutely in the same position it was in, four months ago.
3. I have this day sentinManuscript image in the Estimates for the year 1864,
Not arrd 8 Apl/64.
made up on the increased scale of salaries for the Civil Establishment. This step will soon bring the House to a decision. I fear that will be unfavourable—as from what is known about the opinions of the Members I infer that they are not disposed to grant a Civil list on the proposed Scale—nor without making a large reduction in the Governor's proposed salary—whichManuscript imagewhich is generally considered as excessive, in so poor a Colony as this.
4. The composition of the Lower House is very respectable, and there has, so far, been no marked exhibition of party feeling—all questions having been considered very much on their own merits—the general policy of the Government is moreover so well known and so thoroughly endorsed bytheManuscript image the great body of the respectable public that neither reputation nor influence could accrue from a course of factious opposition.
There being nothing further of much interest to communicate.
I have the honour to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's Most Obedient Servant,
James Douglas

His Grace
The Duke of Newcastle K.G.
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot [and] Sir F. Rogers
Wait further reports on the subject of the Acts & of the Civil List question.
ABd 16-3
Sir F. Rogers
Wait as proposed?
TFE 16/3
FR 16/3
CF 17
N 18