No. 3, Legislative
12th February 1864
My Lord Duke,
The Legislative Assembly has, for some days past, been employed on the Estimates; and as suggested in my report of the 15th January last, "Separate" has taken exception to the amount required to meet the Civil list proposed in YourGracesManuscript image Graces Despatch "Separate" of the 15th day of June 1863, on the ground that it is disproportionate to the means of the Colony.
That decision was communicated to me in a Resolution received from the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly with a request that I would transmit, as I have now the honor of doing, a copy of the same to Your Grace.
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2. The Assembly set forth, in this Resolution, as the reasons which have induced them to decline the proposed Civil List, the inadequacy of the present Revenue to meet the ordinary expenses of the colony, and the cost of the various public undertakings essential to its progress; the smallness of the white population and their inability to bear a larger measure of taxation for the increase of Revenue; theveryManuscript image very moderate sum say £4500 realized in 1863 from the Sale of Crown Lands, and the probability that in future years the revenue from that source may be less.
The Assembly moreover declares, as its deliberate opinion, that the "absolute separation" of the Colonies will be injurious to both; at the same time, however, it "deems the amalgamation of the Colonies at the present time "unadvisable"ifManuscript image "if not impossible", and is of opinion that "an intimate connexion" may be maintained by having one civil establishment for the two Colonies.
The House, for these reasons, urges that there should be "but one Civil establishment, as far as practicable, for both Colonies" and adds that it is prepared in that case, to vote a sum "equal to one third of the Salary now voted by British Columbia", as a Salary, from Vancouver Island,forManuscript image for Officers serving both Colonies.
3. Having thus briefly stated the views entertained by the Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island, with respect to the future Government of the two Colonies as set forth in the Resolution now forwarded, I will take the liberty of remarking that I fully coincide with the opinions expressed in this Resolution, both as against the fusion of thetwoManuscript image two Governments into one, and the absolute separation of the two Colonies by the appointment of a Governor for each Colony.
I also concur in the opinion of the Assembly on another point—that there should be "but one Civil Establishment as far as practicable", but I am not disposed to extend that limit beyond the GovernorandManuscript image and Colonial Secretary; with these exceptions I believe all the other and subordinate Officers now employed in both Colonies are indispensably necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of the duties of Government. These points however virtually embrace the whole question—for these being conceded, there would be no difficulty in providing Salaries for all the otherOfficersManuscript image Officers designated in Your Graces despatch. This would in substance amount to the continuance of the present system of Government, which has grown up naturally out of the existing circumstances and conditions of the Colonies, and may for that reason, be presumed to be better adapted to their wants than any untried system that could be devised.
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4. I would therefore strongly recommend to Her Majesty's Government, that but one Governor should still continue to represent the Crown in both Colonies, and that there should be but one Colonial Secretary—both these Officers to be maintained at the joint cost of the two Colonies, while all the other public Officers should be at the exclusive cost of the Colony employing them.ThatManuscript image That the Colonies should each have its own separate Legislature, make its own Laws; raise and apply its own Revenue, as at present, for its individual benefit. That the principal Seat of Government should continue to be at Victoria—as the most convenient and accessible place for communication with other Countries, and that the services of the Colonial Secretary who would residethereManuscript image there, should thus be made available in administering the Government of Vancouver Island, during the frequent absence of the Governor in British Columbia.
This plan would involve no violent changes of system, which are always to be deprecated; would secure an ample Salary, adequate to the position, for the GovernorofManuscript image of the Colonies; would unite the utmost practicable economy with efficiency of administration; would prevent discord and the clashing of local interests, and would I believe give very general satisfaction to the people in both Colonies.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The contents of this despatch do not at all surprise me. I, for one, never expected that the Van Couver Island community wd relish having to pay for its civil Establishment. Down to the late period several of the B. Columbia officials, paid by B.C. used to work for V.C. Isld without pay from that Isld. It is now to be different.
It seems to me that it wd be most advisable to desire Govr K[enned]y to favor the S.S. with his views on the subject propounded in these documents, & then His Grace would consider it. In the meanwhile I should direct the Governor to help himself to his salary out of the Crown Revenue, & to divide the rest proportionally amongst the officials. If the Legislature will not vote the difference, & the public Officers resign others of a lower grade & at less salaries would be appointed.
ABd 31 March/64
Mr Fortescue
The refusal to vote the required salaries creates a serious embarrassment.
As to Union or Separation, there appears to me a great deal to be said for the scheme which Sir J. Douglas advocates. If the Governor of Vancouver is to be consulted, Governor Seymour's opinion must equally be invited. I think that you will probably wish Sir F. Rogers to see this, but in his absence, I send on the despatch at once for your persual.
TFE 31 March
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Sir F. Rogers
I pass this unexpected and embarrassing desp. through you. The strongest part of it is the strong expression by Sir Jas. Douglas of an opinion, wh. he ought to have conveyed to the Sec. of State long ago. The system in favour of which he declares so decidedly (i.e. the system wh. has existed until now) would evidently be the most acceptable one to Vancouver Id. He says it wd give satisfaction to both Colonies. We know that it created much dissatisfaction in B. Columbia. It is possible, however, that the grant of Executive & Legislative Councils, and the removal of a Governor, who, rightly or wrongly, was suspected by the B. Columbians of favouring the sister colony unduly, from personal interest,Manuscript image might have been enough to satisfy them. I must say that, in view of the insignificance of the population and revenue (7500, and £35,000) of Vancouver Id, I have some misgiving as to the necessity of sending them one of our best Governors. The Duke of Newcastle, however has instructed both Mr Kennedy & Mr Seymour to endeavour to effect a union of the two Colonies, as soon as possible. Meantime, what is to be done at once? Nothing, I suppose, until we shall have heard from the two new Governors on the subject. It will then have to be decided, whether a complete union can be effected now, or whether the connection under one Govr must be renewed. For the present year, probably, the salaries of Govr Kennedy, and Mr Young can be paid out of the Crown Fund.
CF 1 April
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Mr Blackwood
I think on occasion of writing these dphes you furnished me with some financial statements calculated to shew that the Crown Revenue was such as would enable the Govt to meet its obligations to its appointees.
I should like to see a short statement shewing how matters stand in this respect.
What are the present salaries & how paid?
What are the increased salaries and how paid?
What has been the actual & is likely to be the future net Crown Revenue?
Under what authority are the present Salaries paid? Under a temporary or permanent Law? [Marginal note: annual. ABd]
FR 8/4
Sir F. Rogers
I annex a memorandum which I preparedManuscript image on this subject in May last, and which was submitted to you when you wrote the despatch of the 15 June explaining the new form of Govt in B. Columbia. I think the information it contains will tell you pretty nearly all you wish to know.
You will observe from this memorm what slender knowledge we possessed at the moment respecting the value of the Crown Revenue of V.C. Island, and I might add on every matter of a financial description having reference to that colony. It was on that account that I suggested at P. 11 that we should not come to any settlement as to the surrender of the Crown Revenues in exchange for a Civil List until after a report had been recd from a new Governor. That suggestion seems to have been overruled, and the scale of salaries at once declared by despatch.
I quite endorse Mr Fortescue's remark that Sir J. Douglas ought to have expressed the opinions he now declares at a much earlier period. The question of separating the Govts of V.C.I. & B. Columbia has been long in agitation; & he has hadManuscript image abundant opportunity to form and express the opinions he now announces.

The present salaries are as follows £
Governor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 808
Besides this sum he had £1800
a year as Govr of B. Columbia.
Col. Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505
Chief Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 808
Attorney Genl . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505
Surveyor General . . . . . . . . . . . . 404

The Salaries proposed by D. of Newcastle desph
Govr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
Col. Secy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600
Chief Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800
to be increased to £1200 when a
Lawyer is appointed.
Attorney Genl with practice . . . . . . 300
Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600
Surveyor Genl . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500

The augmentation we propose is, consequently £2467 over & above the sum now voted by the Legislature.
The sources whence the Legislature derives its supplies are, according to an abstract of the probable Revenue of the Colony for 1863—which is to be found as an enclosure to the Governor's desph 4166 of 1863, as follows

Harbor dues 19 400
Real Estate tax 48 500
Trade Licences 21 825
Land sales (Crown property) 24 250
Liquor Licenses 19 400
Fines, forfeitures, fees 8 730
Postage dues 2 037
Fees of Office 3 201
Manuscript image Miscellaneous 1 455
Rent 485
Stamp tax 2 425

This Abstract I laid before you last year, previously to yr writing the despatch.
You will observe from it that the Crown Land fund was estimated to amount to 24250 dollars—in sterling say £5000, but we know from the enclosure to this despatch that the Revenue fell short by £500. It amounted, however, to £4500 leaving only £1300 for the Colony to provide to make up the sum of £5800 which we have asked for. I really cannot think this difference is excessive. The Colony has great prospects, and though its expenditure may increase, I shall be much mistaken if its revenues do not increase in a much larger proportion.
ABd 11 April/64
Mr Fortescue
I think as you suggest that we can only wait. But you will see that the Crown Fund appears sufficient to enable us to keep faith with recent appointees.
FR 11/4
CF 12
EC 14
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy, J.S. Helmcken, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, to Douglas, 9 February 1864, setting forth the views of the Assembly with respect to the separation of the governments of the two colonies, as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 2, 30 April 1864.
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 4, 30 April 1864.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 12 February 1864, CO 305:22, no. 2905, 14. 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.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)