No. 20
10th March 1866
I have the honor to transmit the copy of a letter from Mr Watson the Treasurer of this Colony complaining of the reduction of his salary.
I cannot but regard this proceeding of the House of Assembly as unreasonable and impolitic. The services of respectable officerscannotManuscript image cannot be retained on such conditions.
It is impossible for a married officer to maintain a respectable status upon the salary voted for the Treasurer, namely $1700 (£350). A cook, a gardener, or a groom in this Colony can command $500 a year wages in addition to their board and lodging which may be estimated at $250 more.
The salary for a Treasurer's clerk has also been disallowed and I have as a temporary arrangement been obliged totransferManuscript image transfer the clerk in the Survey Office to the Treasury to prevent the public accounts and records falling into confusion.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
We have no money to spare from Crown Funds wherewith the deficiency in the Salary of the Treasurer could be supplied. Besides this is not an Officer whom it is usual to pay out of Crown Funds in any Colony where there are Representative Institutions. This reduction is very hard upon Mr Watson, who is an honest & excellent officer. But I see no relief for him at present. The Colony is clearly bankrupt & the Legislature has refused to reform its system of taxation which would enable it to pay its way creditably. I think it would not be prudent to let the Colony imagine that the Crown will assume the liquidation of just claims upon it of its public servants, & yet it would only be fair towards Mr Watson to let him understand that his interests will not be lost sight of when the proper time arrives for considering them.
ABd 15 May
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I am afraid that the last is a promise which cannot be held out. It is a great misfortune to a Man to find himself in a country to which representative institutions have been given prematurely, but the Imperial Govt cannot [bear any work?] for supplying the deficiencies of all [subsidized?] Governments.
TFE 15/5
EC 17
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Alexander Watson, Treasurer, to Colonial Secretary, 19 February 1866, protesting the recent reduction in his salary at the hands of the Legislative Assembly.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 20, 23 May 1866.