Fane to Under-Secretary of State
Board of Trade, Whitehall
3rd September 1866
Sir,
I am directed by the Board of Trade to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 11th ultimo, forwarding, with reference to previous Correspondence, a Copy of a further Despatch from the Governor of Vancouvers Island, relative to the loss of the Mail Steamer "Labouchere" (on the Coast of California)—and to the Inquiry held in the matter.
With reference to the opinions of the Chief Justice and the Acting Colonial Attorney General (referred to in the Despatch) as to the power of the Governor of V.C. Isld to hold such Inquiry—and to the request of the Governor for Information as to the propriety or otherwise of the course hehasManuscript image has pursued—and for any Instructions that may be deemed necessary for his future guidance.
I am to offer the following observations for the consideration of Lord Carnarvon:
In most of the British Colonies there are Colonial Acts authorizing Inquiries into Wrecks—but it would appear, from the opinion of the Acting Colonial Attorney General, that there is no such Act in Vancouvers Island:
Even where there are these Acts the Board of Trade are led to doubt whether they would apply to such a Case as the present, as it seems at least questionable whether a Colonial Legislature can authorize an Inquiry into the loss of a British Ship not registered in the Colony, if the loss of such Ship happens outside the limits of Colonial Jurisdiction—andthisManuscript image this is a point which will be borne in mind when the Imperial Act is amended.
In the present Case however the Board of Trade are of opinion that notwithstanding the want of Statutory sanction the conduct of the Governor in holding the Inquiry in question should be approved.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant
W.D. Fane
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Acknowledge rect of the Governor's despatches Nos 34, 37 & 40—send him a copy of this Letter for his information, & approve his proceedings in the matter.
The report referred to in 7160 was made to the Governor—therefore it is unnecessary to send it to him: but perhaps we may express Lord Carnarvon's disapproval of the want of care in conveying "Her Majesty's Mails."
ABd 4 Sepr
I infer from the manner which the Packet is [one line off microfilm] Colonial Government. Therefore after acknowledging and approving as above proposed I should simply add the following Par:
The report of the Board of Inquiry states that HM's Mails were not stowed in a proper part of the Ship and were less attended to than private letters and papers. I do not doubt that your attention will have been attracted by this passage, and that in any subsequent contract for the carriage of mails you will have inserted any provision which may appear best suited to ensure proper attention to their safety.
TFE 5 Septr
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Carnarvon to Kennedy, No. 11, 11 September 1866.
Fane, W. D. to Adderley, Charles Bowyer 3 September 1866, CO 305:30, no. 8593, 61. 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/V665TA02.html.

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