Telegram
House of Assembly
Victoria V.I.
20th June 1866 10 P.M.
Viâ New York
28th June 1866 2.10 P.M. To The Right Hon Edwd Cardwell Her Majesty's Provincial Secty of State for the Colonies London Eng (mail N.Y.)

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The House of Assembly of Vancouvers Island having considered the condition of the colony is of the opinion,
First—That the country suffers intensely from causes in a great measure attributable to the continued separation of Vancouver Island and British Columbia and to the very Expensive and irresponsible character of the governments of British Colonies.
Second—That the Population of Vancouver Island and British Columbia which exclusive of Indians does not exceed Ten Thousand (10,000) persons cannot with other weighty liabilities afford more than a salary of Two Thousand Pounds for a Governor with proportionate Salaries for necessary heads of Departments.
Third—In view of the above facts the House is of opinion that nothing short of immediate Union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia under a constitution apportioning the representations according to population and giving to the Peoples Representatives control over the mode and amount of Taxation and Expenditure can stay the rapid decline of both Countries and restore the confidence of the Public.
Fourth—The House on transmitting the above to Her Majestys Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies feeling deeply the Injury which both Vancouver Island and British Columbia are sustaining from the present state of uncertainty & suspense on the question of Union would respectfully ask for a Reply by Telegraph as to the intentions of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the matter during the present session of the Imperial Parliament.
Fifth—By unanimous resolution the Speaker is ordered to forward the foregoing resolutions because the Government declines Telegraphing them unless approved by the Legislative Council, Five eights (5/8) of whom are officials.
J.S. Helmcken
Speaker
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
These resolutions ask for "immediate Union" under a constitution with Representative Govt.
The Speaker further requests the S.S. to telegraph the intentions of H.M. Govt with respect to Union.
I should hope this requestManuscript image would not be complied with. The Govr has been privately informed by Mr Cardwell that H.M.G. intended introducing a measure for uniting the two Colonies into the Houses of Parlt and Mr Forster desired me to send unofficially a copy of the proposed bill to Govr Kennedy and to Mr Birch at B.C. This I did by the mail of the 15 June, taking the precaution [meo mote?] to inform those Officers that they were not, on any account, to make the contents of the Bill public. I suspect, however, that this precaution will have been unavailing, for I conclude that as soon as a Bill has been ordered to be printed by the Ho: C. any body can purchase a Copy. If so the Bill of the late Govt will have found its way to V.C.I. This might have been inconvenient, for Mr Cardwell's bill contained a clause giving the V.C.I. Legre the opportunity of not concurringManuscript image in an Address to the Crown for Union, whilst the Bill of the present Govt proposes to give no option whatever in the matter to the Legislature of either Colony. I trust that no mischief will result from the knowledge in V.C.I. of the intentions of the late Govt for the bill of Mr Cardwell cannot reach the Colony before the 1 August—at which date the Ho: Assembly will have died a natural death.
Under the foregoing circes I shd myself be of opinion that it would be best not to telegraph at all to the Governor, but to inform him by next Mail that tho' the telegrams have been recd Lord Carnarvon must, for the present refrain from entering upon the subject of the contemplated union of the two Colonies. At the same time I think it wd be due to both Governors to send them confidentially copies of the new Bill, as soon as it hasManuscript image been ordered to be printed by the H.C.
ABd 12 July
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No House of Assembly whatever can correspond direct with the Secretary of State, and I apprehend that it is very undesirable to admit any such precendent. The Legislature consists of Governor, Council and Assembly, and the Constitutional course is for the Assembly to address the Governor upon any matter which they wish to bring before either the local Executive or the Queen's Government.
If they wished for greater expedition, it would have been open to them to address the Governor, if they pleased, with a request that he would telegraph.
We have received at the same time a telegram from the Governor showing that he has heard of this telegram, and saying that he will report upon it by the Mail. This isaManuscript image a sufficient indication that he has the good sense to see that constitutional changes cannot be conveniently discussed by telegraphing across half the Globe.
I agree therefore with Mr Blackwood in thinking that it would be better to communicate with the Governor by despatch as soon as there is anything to tell him. If indeed the Bill for Union should be carried this Session, it may be proper that the fact itself should be announced to the Governor by telegraph; but I should doubt the expediency of adding any particulars or comments.
TFE 13 July
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I agree with Mr Blackwood & Mr Elliot. Write to the Govr in Mr Blackwoods terms stating the receipt of the telegraph & adding that I understandManuscript image from the Govr that a report on the case from him will follow by the next mail. When the bill has passed we can inform the Governor by telegraph [of the Cast?].
C 14 July
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Carnarvon to Kennedy, No. 1, 16 July 1866.
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 20 June 1866, CO 305:28, no. 6614, 474 [478]. 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/V66044T.html.

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