Romaine to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
29 March 1865
I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Mr Secretary Cardwell, a Duplicate Letter from Rear Admiral Denman, No 34, dated the 19th October last, representing the necessity for an increase to the Pacific Squadron, owingtoManuscript image to the addition contemplated by the United States Government to their Naval Forces in consequence of the large French Force on the Coast of Mexico; and recommending that a powerful Vessel of War should be employed for the protection of Esquimalt, and for the prevention of aggressions by Native Tribes, upon British Traders.
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In forwarding Admiral Denman's remarks relating to the employment of Colonial Steamers, My Lords desire me to observe that the question is applicable not only to Vancouver's Island, and British Columbia, but to all other Colonies which are similarly situated.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
W.G. Romaine
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I have never known an instance of a Colonial vessel—kept for Colonial uses & paid and Officered by a Colony which did not continue to embarrass the Imperial Govt in its foreign relations. Hence I am of opinion that if a vessel is required by V.C. Island & B. Columbia to preserve order on the Coasts & prevent illicit trading with the Indians she should be under the direct orders of the Admiralty & the Admiral on the Station. But we cannot act without knowing 1st whether these Colonies want such a vessel, and 2y whether they are prepared to pay for and maintain her. My persuasion is that V.C.I. will reject the offer if made to her. B. Columbia may accept. But the practical step to take is to ask these Colonies what they wish. And with that view I should send them a copy of Adml Denman's Letter, at least of Sections 5 and 6, & call on the Governors to report explaining that in the event of a colonial vessel being established she wd be paid by them & in all probability officered and manned by the Admy.
The question raised by Admiral Denman as to increasing the Naval Force in the Pacific on account of the augmented strength put on by France and the United States is one which the Admiralty should propose to the Foreign Office, & not to this Office.
ABd 31 March
Mr Fortescue
I should ask the Governors' opinion on having a Colonial vessel—but I should be against any proviso about her being manned or officered by the Admy, or being under the orders of the Admiralty. I would have either a Colonial Vessel or none.
TFE 31/3
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An armed vessel at the disposal of the Govts of B.C. and V. Id. is probably the very best, most effective & most economical mode of keeping the Indians in order; and I think there wd. be good grounds even for applying to Parlnt for a vote to enable the two Colonies to procure and maintain such a vessel—seeing that we afford them no military aid and that the vessel proposed would apparently save the expense of several gunboats now employed virtually for the same purposes. But if the Colonies can & will pay, so much the better. Refer to the two Governors accordingly?
CF 1 April
Send out Copies of the Colonial Naval Reform Bill, with Extracts from Adml Denman's Letter: & suggest to the Governors the advantages which they may derive from availing themselves of such arrangements as are contemplatedManuscript image by the Bill.
EC 3 April
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Denman to Secretary of the Admiralty, 19 October 1864, "representing the necessity for an Increase to the Pacific Squadron," as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 20, and Seymour, No. 17, 11 April 1865.