No. 40, Separate
4th June 1866
Sir,
Referring to my Despatches named in the margin
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34, 17th May 1866.
37, 2nd June 1866.
I have now the honor to transmit copies of a correspondence which preceded the inquiry into the loss of the Mail Steam Packet "Labouchere."
You will observe that the Acting Attorney General in his Minute (No 248 dated 27th April) advisedmeManuscript image me that "no inquiry could be held here." Dissenting from that opinion and impressed with the great importance of having the cause of such a grave disaster inquired into and placed on record, I addressed myself confidentially to the Chief Justice, who in a verbal reply advised me that my Commission alone conferred general powers for such a proceeding. The evidence and Report you have already before you.
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My object in now addressing you is to ascertain your opinion of the propriety or otherwise of the course I have pursued and to receive any instructions you may deem necessary for my future guidance.
You will not fail to observe that the wreck of the "Labouchere" occurred on the coast of California and therefore beyond my jurisdiction in ordinary cases.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Bd of Trade—sending also G.P.O. Lr of 26 July.
ABd 8 Augt
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At once. Yes. I think so as they have the matter still before them & as the Atty G. may be wrong about the effect of the Mercht Shipping Act.
FR 8/8
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Charles Mason, Acting Consul in San Francisco, to Kennedy, 20 April 1866, assuming that the cause of the wreck would be investigated by authorities in the colony, and discussing future transmission of mail to Vancouver Island.
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Mason to Kennedy, 20 April 1866, reporting the total loss of the steamer Labouchere off Point Reyes on 15 April with forty-six bags of mail destined for Vancouver Island, only two bags of newspapers being saved.
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Minute of W.A.G. Young, Colonial Secretary, 26 April 1866, advising the matter had been referred to the Attorney General for report whether an official inquiry should be commenced.
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Memo, T.L. Wood, Acting Attorney General, 27 April 1866, advising that he could find "no authority for an inquiry being held in this Colony as to the particulars of the wreck," with explanation.
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Young to Chief Justice, 28 April 1866, asking whether the requisite authority was conferred in his own commission, or was within Kennedy's power, to institute an inquiry, the governor disagreeing entirely with the opinion of the attorney general.
Other documents included in the file
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Colonial Office to T.H. Farrar, Board of Trade, 11 August 1866, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures for information.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Blackwood
See your Minute on 7601. Is it necessary to send a Copy of the Post Office letter of 26 July? The Report of the enquiry (last enclosure) was received by the Post Office from the Bd of Trade and as the information contained in the second enclosure is identical with that sent by the Govr
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I think not under the circes stated.
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 4 June 1866, CO 305:28, no. 7601, 418. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V66040.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)