No. 33, Legislative
12th May 1866
Referring to your Despatch No 41 dated 3rd October 1864, I have the honor to inform you that I caused a Bill to establish a Volunteer Force in this Colony to be introduced by the proper officer in the Legislative Council.
The Bill after undergoing certain amendments passed that BodyinManuscript image in the form I now enclose.
It was transmitted in due course to the Legislative Assembly where it was objected to on the allegation that it was "a money Bill," and thrown out without discussion.
An honorable Member of the Legislative Assembly thereupon asked leave to introduce a Bill having the same object. Leave was refused, one Member alleging that "the Bill wasunnecessaryManuscript image unnecessary," and another honorable Member "did not consider such a Bill advisable in a small community like this."
I have reason to think that the 9th Clause of the enclosed Bill (which was introduced in conformity with your Despatch No 66, 7th November 1865)
Manuscript image
Which refused the admission of non naturalized residents into the Corps.
was the main obstacle to the passing of the Bill—indeed the language used in debate by the principal objector confirms this view.
EnclosedManuscript image
Enclosed are newspaper reports of the Debates—the only information which has, or is likely to reach me on the subject.
Looking to the peculiar circumstances and surroundings of this Colony, I cannot but regard the decision arrived at by the Legislative Assembly as very unfortunate.
About 110 men have been enrolled, equipped and drilledunderManuscript image under competent and loyal Officers, never doubting that a local Act to legalize their organization would pass.
I do not propose for the present to interfere with their military training in the hope that a better spirit may prevail in a future Session.
You are aware that provision is made for an Inspector, Serjeant and five policemen only for the whole Colony, and that I amwithoutManuscript image without troops of any kind. In this state of things a Volunteer Force becomes all the more necessary.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Copy to W.O. for information. See the annexed former papers. As Victoria is composed of a chiefly American population it wd seem more than hazardous to drill and equip a body of men who might use their knowledge & arms agt ourselves. So long as the force consists of British Subjects it may be as valuable to the community as volunteers are elsewhere.
ABd 10 July
Manuscript image
To War Office for information?
TFE 10/7
Manuscript image
At once.
CBA 11/7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Printed copy of "A Bill Entitled An Act to establish a Volunteer Force," as per despatch.
Manuscript image
Newspaper clippings, British Colonist, 8 and 10 May 1866, and Chronicle, 8 and 10 May 1866, reporting debate on the volunteer bill.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Elliot to Under-Secretary of State for War, 14 July 1866, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures.

Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
[Note on above:]
Lieutenant Sir E. Lugard presents his compliments to Mr Elliot and begs to return the enclosures of his letter of 14 Instant relative to a Bill to establish a Volunteer Force in Vancouver Island.
War Office
19 July 1866