No. 31, Financial
4th June 1864
My Lord Duke
1. I have the honor to transmit herewith the copy of a letter addressed to me by the Surveyor General of this Colony which in view of all the defalcations which have occurred I deem it my duty to lay before you.
2. I may shortly state the origin of this letter. An advance warrant for the large sum of$10,000Manuscript image $10,000 was lately submitted for my approval, which I was informed was the usual course. I questioned the propriety or necessity of making such large advances to an officer who was not under bond for pecuniary trust and on making further inquiries ascertained that the Surveyor General (or his office) was virtually a colonial accountant, that he was the Officer who judged whether accounts coming into his office were correct, and then paid them himself, thus destroying the usual, and proper check, had they been paid by the Treasurer.
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3. A conversation with the Surveyor General resulted in his writing the accompanying letter.
4. I have informed the Surveyor General that I will take immediate steps to have his accounts audited and all pecuniary responsibility as far as possible transferred to the proper office, that of the Treasurer.
5. While addressing you on this subject, it is proper for me to inform you that there is no Auditor in this Colony, Mr Ker late Auditor for the two Colonies having resigned, and the provision made for the salary of an auditorbyManuscript image by the local Legislature in the Estimates for 1864 (seven hundred and twenty five dollars) wholly inadequate to secure an efficient Officer to replace him. I therefore propose to employ Mr Ker at the salary I have at my disposal (if he will accept of the office) till more suitable arrangements can be made.
6. The result of this shortsighted and mistaken economy is that the public accounts of the Colony which in my opinion ought to be audited monthly have not yet been audited for 1864, thus throwing additional trouble upontheManuscript image the Treasurer, and opening the door to great irregularities.
7. The Treasurer concurs in my views, and I only bring the subject under your notice to guard myself from any responsibility resulting from a system of which I disapprove.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Graces very obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
The Governor is quite right, I think, in appointing an Auditor, and the Surveyor Genl also judges rightly in seeking to be relieved from money responsibility. But I conceive that if an Auditor is appointed the Ho: of Assembly must pay his salary. No provision was made for such an Officer in the desph proposing to surrender the Crown Revenue to the Assembly in exchange for a Civil List. I hope the Govr does not contemplate making payments out of the Crown funds which were not contemplated in that desp. He will have enough to do to pay his way as it is out of the Crown Estate. At present, however, his intention seems to be only to appoint an Auditor on the salary
I think, clearly so. Approve his proceedings the result of wh (add) Mr C understands to be that the sum of 725 dollars voted by the Assembly will be paid from the Gen. Revenue to Mr Ker for auditing the Accounts of V.C.I.
FR 28/7
appropriated for the Office by the Legislature. See 6971.
ABd 27 July
Mr Bd
I assume that Mr Ker does not hold office in B. Columbia.
So do I, but I am not able to verify the impression.
ABd 2 Augt
See 9646 recd since the above from which it appears that Mr Ker is a British Columbian.
ABd 22 Oct.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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J.D. Pemberton, Surveyor General, to Acting Colonial Secretary, 23 May 1864, requesting an audit of the Land Office accounts, and asking to be relieved of the financial responsibilities of the office.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 30, 4 August 1864.