No. 44, Separate
22nd June 1866
Sir,
I have the honor to transmit Enclosures numbered from 1 to 5 being communications which have passed between the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council, and myself, and to offer the following remarks and explanation.
DuringManuscript image
During the week ended the 16th June 1866 the Legislative Assembly had (according to newspaper statements) sat on several occasions with closed doors—or in secret—a course which of late they have frequently adopted. On Saturday morning the 16th June I read in a newspaper (the proprietor and editor of which have both seats in the Assembly) an epitome, of the Resolutions marked No 1, andsomeManuscript image some hours afterwards I received the Resolutions themselves.
The Speaker subsequently called upon me (Saturday 16th June) and pressed me to transmit the Resolutions without an hour's delay. I pointed out to him the Colonial Regulations laid down for my guidance in Section VI under the head of "Correspondence," and informed him that I could not take any such step without consulting my Executive Council,andManuscript image and further that I apprehended you would at the same time expect me to forward the opinion of the other Branch of the Legislature on the important changes in the form of Government &c which the Legislative Assembly proposed.
I consulted my Executive Council at the earliest moment (Monday the 18th June) when they concurred unanimously in the reply marked No 2 dated 18th June which I sent to the Assembly. I at the same time transmitted theResolutionsManuscript image Resolutions of the Assembly with the Message marked No 3 for the "consideration and opinion" of the Legislative Council.
On the 20th June I received the Resolutions of the Assembly marked No 4, and on the 21st June I received the Resolutions marked No 5 which were passed unanimously by the Legislative Council.
The Despatches which I have had occasion to address to you from time to time leave me little to add in the way of comment upon these Resolutions.
IManuscript image
I must however draw your attention to the Resolution of the Assembly dated 20th June as follows—"Mr Speaker is ordered to telegraph the foregoing Resolutions because the Governor declines telegraphing them unless approved by the Honorable Legislative Council, five eighths of whom are officials." This you will observe by a reference to my Messages is a manifest misstatement. My reply to the Assembly was as follows—"I have now submitted these Resolutions to the LegislativeCouncilManuscript image Council and on receiving the opinion of that Body will lose no time in transmitting them with my report thereon to Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies."
I gave this matter careful consideration and my Executive Council unanimously concurred in my opinion that I should not be justified in transmitting the original Resolutions of the Assembly, passed in secret session (and for aught within my knowledge by a narrow majority) withoutaffordingManuscript image affording the Council and the public an opportunity of knowing their purport and forming an opinion upon them.
I entirely concur in the views expressed in the Resolutions of the Legislative Council; and I may here remark that several of the "officials" composing the Council possess considerable Real Estate in the Colony, and the three non-official Members own more real property and have a larger stake in the ColonythanManuscript image than the 15 Members of the Assembly in the aggregate.
The constitution of the Legislative Assembly of this Colony whether as regards character or capacity is I think very unfortunate and I fear that few persons possessing any self respect will be found willing at any time to undergo the ordeal necessary to an election to a seat in the House.
I will not further occupy your time than by begging you to believe that I have exercisedmyManuscript image my best judgment and endeavoured to pursue an impartial course in this matter, and by expressing a hope that the course I have adopted will meet your approval.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
Ack. rect and say that the Governor acted most properly on this occasion, & that Lord Carnarvon entirely approves his proceedings.
ABd 8 Augt
Manuscript image
Vide 7609.
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
See minutes on 7609.
TFE 28 Sep
Manuscript image
Let these despatches be at once copied out for signature & returned to me with all the previous correspondence for considn. They will have to go on 1st Nov.
C 24 Oct
Manuscript image
Fair copies annexed. Correspce returned.
ABd 25 Oct
Manuscript image
Desp: altered & returned for fair copy & signature— my attention being called to it.
C 26 Oct
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Newspaper clipping, unnamed, no date, detailing four resolutions passed by the legislative assembly on 15 June 1866 in support of union of the two colonies, and asking that the governor forward the same to the Secretary of State without delay.
Manuscript image
Kennedy to Legislative Assembly, 18 June 1866, explaining that the resolutions would be forwarded once the opinion of the legislative council had been ascertained, with explanation of the regulations regarding correspondence to the imperial government.
Manuscript image
Kennedy to Legislative Council, 18 June 1866, forwarding copy of the resolutions for consideration and opinion.
Manuscript image
Newspaper clipping, unnamed, no date, protesting the governor's refusal to transmit the resolutions and unanimously approving the decision to immediately telegraph the resolutions to England, such decision confirmed 20 June 1866.
Manuscript image
Newspaper clipping, unnamed, no date, detailing resolutions passed by the legislative council on 21 June 1866 responding negatively to the resolutions passed by the legislative assembly as noted above, with explanation.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Carnarvon to Kennedy, No. 15, 31 October 1866, extensively altered.
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Carnarvon to Kennedy, No. 15, 31 October 1866.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Correct Draft for entry as altered by Lord Carnarvon.
[VJ]
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 22 June 1866, CO 305:28, no. 7605, 443. 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/V66044.html.

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