No. 100
3rd December 1864
Sir
1. I have the honor to transmit the copy of a letter from Mr A.F. Pemberton, the Commissioner of Police, covering a letter from Mr Horace Smith, tendering his resignation as Superintendent of Police, accompanied by a second letter denying that he had ever given Mr Pemberton any money onaccountManuscript image account of "bribes."
2. While I deem it unnecessary to trouble you with voluminous documents relating to this subject, it is desirable that you should be in possession of a summary of the facts.
3. My attention had been for some time directed to the discreditable condition of the Police and Gaol of this Colony when the complaint of a discharged Sergeant of Police afforded a clue to the discovery of allegedirregularitiesManuscript image irregularities.
4. Having instituted inquiry and consulted the Acting Attorney General he advised that Mr Horace Smith, Superintendent of Police should be indicted for misdemeanour for having received numerous bribes to permit gambling in various public houses and for other immoral purposes.
5. When all legal and some questionable means had been resorted to for the purpose of defeating the case before the Magistrates(ofManuscript image (of whom Mr Pemberton was one) the case was sent to trial before the Chief Justice and a common Jury who could not agree, ten being for conviction, and two for acquittal.
6. Mr Smith by his counsel then made application for trial before a special Jury which was granted by the Court, and on this occasion there were ten for acquittal and two for conviction.
7. On the day after the last trial Mr Smith anticipated my intention to dispense with hisservicesManuscript image services by tendering his resignation, which I accepted subject to your approval.
8. The proceedings in this case have made it very clear that the Police Force has been corrupt and inefficient from a period anterior to Mr Smith's entering it, and that Mr Smith, the sergeants, and privates of the Force have been compensating themselves for insufficient salaries by receiving bribes on a large and systematic scale.
9. TheManuscript image
9. The organization and system pursued in the Department facilitated the proceeding to the utmost.
10. Previous to and for some time after my arrival here, the whole patronage of the Department was vested in the Commissioner—and Superintendent of Police, Sergeants, and privates were appointed and dismissed without any regular inquiry or reference to superior authority, and I met with some opposition and much dissatisfactionwhenManuscript image when I put a stop to this practice.
11. Mr A.F. Pemberton holds the incompatible appointments of Commissioner of Police, Governor of the Gaol, and Stipendiary Magistrate—an arrangement which I think ought never to have existed, and which after recent disclosures cannot be permitted to continue.
12. Without attributing any criminality to Mr Pemberton I cannot acquit him of very great neglect or want of capacity as Commissioner of Police, therehavingManuscript image having been in my opinion ample grounds to raise his suspicions long before the complaint of bribery and corruption reached me.
13. I will at an early period report for your information and approval the measures I adopt to prevent a recurrence of such a scandal to the public Service.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Ack & approve the Governor's acceptance of the resignation by Mr Smith of his Office of Superintendant of Police.
ABd 13 Feb
Every mail brings fresh evidence of the gross neglect (at best and if nothing worse exist) of the Administration of these Countries by Sir James Douglas K.C.B.
It is someManuscript image satisfaction to see the efforts at improvement which have begun since these Colonies have received Governors of different origin and more regular training. Mr Kennedy earned his credit in the Colonial Service by his courage in grappling with abuses at Sierra Leone.
Acknowledge this despatch and approve what he has done?
TFE 13 Feby
A Governor of the character & calibre of Mr Kennedy was evidently much wanted in Vancouver.
CF 14
Express satisfaction that the Governor is taking vigorous measures to eradicate abuse, & to establish a sound & satisfactory administration of the Police.
EC 15
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy, A.F. Pemberton, Commissioner of Police, to Henry Wakeford, Acting Colonial Secretary, 30 November 1864, forwarding copies of two letters from Horace Smith, Superintendent of Police.
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Copy, Smith to Pemberton, 30 November 1864, tendering his resignation.
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Smith to Pemberton, 30 November 1864, denying that he had told Sergeant Blake that Pemberton had ever received bribe money from himself or any other source.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 7, 17 February 1865.
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 3 December 1864, CO 305:23, no. 1333, 473. 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/V64200.html.

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