No. 65, Military
15th August 1865
Having given every encouragement to the formation of a Volunteer Corps in this Colony, I have the satisfaction to state that a Company numbering 60 efficient men, British Subjects, has been enrolled and drilled under highly respectable Officers, andIManuscript image I intend to introduce the necessary law for their legal embodiment at the next meeting of the local Legislature.
There is now a movement on foot for the formation of a second Company which many Residents who are not naturalized British subjects are anxious to join—Prussians, Germans, and some Americans. These persons naturally objecttoManuscript image to taking the "Oath of Officer and Volunteer" contained in page 29 of "Regulations for the Volunteers Force" dated War Office 18th September 1863, and some of them waited upon me to know whether they would be permitted to join, on taking the oath referred to, omitting the words "be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria and that I will." The oath wouldthenManuscript image then stand thus I, A.B. do sincerely promise and swear that I will faithfully serve Her Majesty Queen Victoria in Vancouver Island and its Dependencies for the defence of the same against all Her enemies and opposers whatsoever according to the conditions of my service.
I have simply deferred giving any reply to this application and would feel obliged foryourManuscript image your instructions.
I may observe that such a force would never in all probability be employed except in cases of emergency against Indians and in the event of any national rupture the subjects of any nation with which we were at war would immediately resign. Some of our most active and respectable residents are foreigners.
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I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 5 Oct
This is a serious political question whether we shall allow the armed force of Victoria to be composed in great part of foreigners who will not unreservedly take the oath of allegiance. The dangerous elementManuscript image wd of course be the Americans.
Qu[ery] allow it as to privates but not officers.
FR 5/10
This is certainly a serious question. All that I can decide at present is to forward it to W.O. & ask for any observations which Lord deGrey may favour me with respecting it.
EC 7
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to War Office, 14 October 1865, forwarding copy of the despatch for their observations.