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BC Sessional Papers

RETURN To an Address of the Legislative Assembly for copies of all correspondence that has not already… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1879

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 42 Vic. Correspondence, Royal Commission, Kootenay. 351
To an Address of the Legislative Assembly for copies of all correspondence,
that has not already been printed, between the Government and the Commissioners appointed in connection with the Kootenay Enquiry, 1878.
By Command.
T. Basil Humphreys,
Provincial Secretary's Office, Provincial Secreiary.
14th February, 1879.
Copy of a Eeport of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved\jby His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council on the 3rd day of December, 1878.
The Committee of Council have had under consideration a Eeport from the Minister
of Finance, dated 12th November, 1878, submitting Eequisition No. 1, Kootena/ Commission, April to October, 1878.
XIII.-—MiscELLANEOus Expenditure.    Vote 78 $988 87
The Committee are of opinion that a warrant should be approved for payment of
all the items therein set forth, except the following, viz :—
W. G. Bowman, hire of horse and buggy conveying Mr. Justice Crease to
and from Supreme Court Buildings to residence  $24 00
Do. do. do    16 00
$40 00
Captain Layton, Secretary, from 15th July, to 14th August,  1878, to
copying 360 folios $45 00
(Signed)       T. Basil Humphreys,
Provincial Secretary and Clerk Executive Council.
The Deputy Treasurer to Chairman of the Royal Commission
Treasury, 12th November, 1878.
Sir,—I am directed by the Honourable the Minister of Finance to acknowledge the
receipt of a  Cheque,  No. E51291,  dated 30th October, 1878, amounting to $131 53,
balance of advance made to the Kootenay Eoyal Commission.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Jas. Judson Young.
The Minister of Finance to the Chairman Eoyal Commission.
Treasury, 17th December, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that Eequisition Mo. 1.—XIII. Miscellaneous
Expenditure, Vote 78. Eoyal Con,mission, Kootenay, has been placed before the
Executive Council, and I mi: ii sliucled that the teivices of G. E. Layton, as Secretary,
can only be allowed to the 15th July, 1878; this will reduce the amount paid to him,
viz.: $SJ5, to $37 08.   A. further sum of $45, for copying 360 folios, is also disallowed.
I have therefore to request that you will cause the sum of $102 92 to be refunded
to the Treasury Department. 1 have, &c,
(Signed)       Eobert Beaven.
The Chairman of the Royal Commission to the Minister of Finance.
Victoria Court House,
24th December, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th inst.
On behalf of myself, Mr. Justice Crease, and Mr. Justice Gray, with whom I had
the honour to sit on the late Eoyal Commission, Kootenay, I have to state that we are
26 852 Correspondence, Eoyal Commission, Kootenay. 1878
not in possession of any moneys, on account of that Commission, applicable to the complying with your request.
When we undertook the business of the Commission, it was, as we have already
had the honour of stating in our previous correspondence with the Provincial Secretary,
on the distinct official assurance of the responsible head of the then existing Administration, that we were to have the uncontrolled management of the investigation, and
that no person subject to the direction or influence of the Government was to interfere
with it in any manner.
This was, we think, in conformity with the views of the House of Assembly.
Without such an assurance we should certainly have declined to act; and probably no
persons would have more strenuously insisted upon such a condition than the Members
of the present Administration.
For any moneys received by the Commissioners in respect of the vote of the House,
and expended by them in an unusual or extravagant manner, they hold themselves, of
course, liable to account to the Treasury. But they have proceeded according to the
precedent of the Texada Island Commission (sanctioned by the Members of the present
Administration, who were then in office) in selecting and appointing their own paid
Secretary. And as to economy, a tolerably exhaustive investigation has been concluded
at a cost of less than one-half of the sum (§2,000) voted by the late House, at the
suggestion of the late Administration; which sum of $2,000 the present Administration
deemed it prudent to recommend for reiterated sanction by the present House—and
which sum was, at the time of the vote, alleged by many to be quite inadequate for the
purpose of the enquiry.
The Commissioners' accounts and vouchers sent in on the 30th October, were
designedly drawn out not in a debtor and creditor form, nor with any formal vouchers,
as will be seen at a glance. If any vouchers appear upon Government forms, these
were mere blank forms, not originating from the Commissioners, but such as were given
to them by the recipients of the money.
The .Requisition No. 1, XIII., to which you refer in your letter of the 17th December,
was signed and given several weeks after the 30th October, on the personal application
of the Deputy Treasurer, in order, as I understood, to effect a transfer of the matter
from a cash account to a vote account.
I stated at the time that I should decline to sign any other acknowledgments than
those already given, if it was contemplated to affect, in any way, the position already
taken up by the Commissioners, or at all affect our liability. But I was assured that
the signature of that requisition was a mere matter ot form, for the purpose above
mentioned, of effecting a change of account in the Treasury books. In their previous
correspondence the Commissioners had expressly declined, for reasons then stated, to
give any requisition beforehand, in detail, for the estimated expense of steps as yet
under consideration only. They refused to submit to such a check on their discretion,
and offered rather to withdraw from the whole enquiry. When, many months after the
expenditure had taken place, this Eequisition, No 1, XIII., was presented for signature,
the assurance that it was matter of form was readily credited, because it could not have
been intended as a check on any further proceedings of the Commissioners.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Matt. B. Begbie, C. J.
The Minister of Finance to the Chairman of the Royal Commission.
Victoria, 30th December, 1878.
SIK)—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th. I
regret that the gentlemen forming the Eoyal Commission, Kootenay, have not complied
with the respectful request contained in my letter of the 17th instant, and am not aware
that the attachment of your signature to Requisition No. 1.—XIII. Miscellaneous, Vote
78, has in any way changed the liability of the Commissioners.
Without expressing any opinion upon the many subjects raised in your communication, I regret to say I find myself unable to agree with you in many respects.
I have, iVc,
(Signed)       Eobert Beaven.


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