No. 80, Legislative
20th September 1865
I have the honor to transmit copies of the Acts named in the margin
28 and 29 Victoria, Nos 1 to 17.
which passed during the last Session of the Legislature of this Colony, accompanied by the remarks of the Attorney General thereon.
Several of these Acts are inmyManuscript image my opinion erroneous in policy and manifestly faulty in detail, which is no more than can be reasonably expected from the peculiar constitution of the Legislative Assembly without a professional man or public officer responsible for the drafting or carriage of any Bill.
No 9 "An Act to amend the manner of taking the Verdict of a Jury in Civil Cases," wasimperativelyManuscript image imperatively called for in consequence of the frequent failure of justice, and I would be glad to see it extended to criminal cases as well.
The late Attorney General informed me that he had indicted 15 persons at different times for murder without having obtained a single conviction.
The free use of revolver andbowieManuscript image bowie knife in the neighbouring territory undoubtedly influences the minds of some classes in this community, and almost insures one or more sympathizers on a Jury.
Nos 10 and 11, imposing import duties on certain stock and carcasses, carrots, potatoes, turnips, cabbages or other roots, while all the luxeriesofManuscript image of life are admitted duty free, are in my opinion opposed alike to common sense and sound policy—enhancing the price of the necessaries of life while luxeries are untaxed.
One of the results of the latter Act is that a person taking his own horse from Victoria to Cariboo (or any other place in British Columbia short of it) is taxedforManuscript image for his horse, saddle and bridle on landing in British Columbia, and is again taxed on his relanding them in Vancouver Island.
The remaining Acts do not require any particular remark from me.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 9 Novr
Previous papers as to these Acts wh have formed the subject of Previous correspondence or minutes—viz I think Nos 2, 3, 8, & 16.
I cannot help thinking that I have seen some of these Laws before.
FR 11/11
Also copies of Telegraph Act 1864 [and] Harbour dues 1862.
Sir F. Rogers
I annex the previous Papers on N. 2, 3, 8, & 16 with a Note appended to each bundle shewing how they have been disposed of. The Harbour Dues Act is marked in the Vol of Acts for 1862 & the Telegraph Act 64 will be found with the Papers on Ap. 8 [remainder off microfilm].
No 1 Mayor of Victoria—Sanction. No 2 Justice's Salary—Sanction (it is amended by No 17 in conformity with Mr C's directions). No 3 Barristers—Sanction (It has been apprd as a bill). No 4 Appropriation—Sanction (if financially unobjectionable). No 5 Land Registry—Sanctn. No 6 Common Schools—Sanction. No 7 Declaration of Title—Sanction. No 8 Telegraph—Sanction. Passed by direction of Mr C. to repeal grant of exclusive privilege. No 9 Jury. Disposes with unanimity in civil cases. The Governor says that it is impossible to get men convicted for murder (the Atty Gen. deposes to 15 acquittals) because there is sure to be somebody who thinks the use of revolver or bowie knife legitimate (at least this is what it comes to)—& so a unanimous verdict is hardly to be obtained.
This is a Case for remedy. I see no reason to insist entirely on unanimity. Suppose we say 3/4?
He consequently wishes the extension of this law to criminal cases—including capital ones.
My own opinion is that an English system of unanimous verdicts is a standing iniquity—making the administration of justice dependent on personal caprice or obstinacy and securing an enormus amount of perjury per annum, in those jurors who allow themselves to be bullied out of their opinions. But on the general ground of avoiding changes wh could be thought violent I can understand keeping up the necessity of unanimity in capital cases—even although it is true that these cases are in hypothesis the cases in wh it is most necessary that crime shd not escape punishment.
But I shd allow or even encourage each Colony to adapt its institutions to its special necessities—and if in B. Columbia outrage cannot be effectually repressed witht doing exceptional violence to an English prejudice—I wd allow (or encourage) the doing of that violence. Sanction the Act. No 10, 11 Harbour dues, Permit dues. These seem to me Carting Duties under an alias. Refer therefore to Treasury & B of Trade. This is important in its bearing on the character of Victoria as a free port & therefore on the prospects of union betn B.C. & V.C.I. Nos 12, 15, 16 shd be taken together. No 12‹Taxes
Auctioneers (2 1/4 per cent on
proceeds of sales.)
Bankers 1000$ per ann
Opium dealers 100$ per ann
Various trades specified 10$ per ann
in S. 3 of Act of 1862*
Liquor sellers 1/2 percent on
(under Licence) proceeds of sales
*Between 20 or 30 callings are specified. Extending from underwriters to "washerwomen". Barristers, architects & others are taxed by S. 2 of Act of 1862. No 15 1/2 percent on the "value" of real property (whether this means "value of fee simple", or "annual rental" does not appear. I suppose the latter). No 16 One per cent on all wages and salaries above $725.50cts per ann (say 150£ per ann).
Sanction 12 and 15—but as to No 16 refer to dph of 23rd Sept in wh the Govr was told that the salary tax must not extend to officers receiving Imperial Salaries. Nos 13, 14. Appropriation Acts—Sanction unless there is any financial objection. No 17 Justices Salary Amendment. Required by Mr Cardwell—Sanction.
FR 15/11
EC 16
The appropriation Acts have been examined in the Dept & compared with similar Acts of former years. There is nothing unusual in them. There is a slight increase of Expenditure provided for by the two Acts of 1865 as compared with those of last year.
VJ 30 N
Then sanction them.
FR 30/11
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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T.L. Wood, Acting Attorney General, to Colonial Secretary, 14 September 1865, reporting on seventeen acts passed during the recent session of the legislature.
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Printed schedule of the seventeen acts, giving the title and date of passage only.
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 2 December 1865, forwarding copies of "An Act to amend The Victoria & Esquimalt Harbour Dues Act, 1862" and "An Act to impose Landing Permit Dues on the Importation of certain Stock & Carcasses," and asking whether they may be confirmed.
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Rogers to J. Booth, Board of Trade, 2 December 1865, forwarding copies of the two acts as noted above and asking whether they may be confirmed.
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 70, 1 December 1865.
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 69, 1 December 1865.
Minutes by CO staff
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This Act is one of the enclosures to 10734 V.C.I.—& is founded on
the minute to that dph.
Other documents included in the file
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Cardwell to the Lord President, 2 December 1865, submitting a list of fourteen acts to the Queen in Council and recommending that they be left to their operation.
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Schedule of the Vancouver Island Acts recommended to be left to their operation, as noted above.