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RETURN To a Resolution of the Legislative Assembly, "That the Government be requested to send down to… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1884

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To a Resolution of the Legislative Assembly, "That the Government be requested
" to send down to this House all letters, papers, and correspondence, or copies
"thereof, in connection with the dismissal, at the end of August last, of
" Assistant Gaoler Rogers, at Victoria."
Provincial Secretary's Office, Provincial Secretary.
11th December, 1883.
Mr. A. W. Rogers to the Attorney-General.
Feedeeick Steeet, Victoria,
3rd September, 1883.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that, on Tuesday last, the 28th August, Mr. Todd
met me in the street and told me that you had directed him to notify me that the Executive
Council had decided that I would have to leave the service of the Government at the end of
that month, then three days distant.
I subsequently learned from Mr. Todd that a successor had been appointed to the position
from which I had been removed.
No reason has been assigned for my dismissal, and I have not received any written or
verbal communication on the subject, other than that stated above.
My summary discharge, without any cause assigned, is calculated to injuriously affect my
future prospects, and, as I have a large family dependent on me for support, I beg respectfully
to submit that, in adopting this course, a serious hardship has unintentionally been inflicted
on me by the Executive Council.
I am informed, on good authority, that it is not usual to dismiss officials of any rank,
either in the local or provincial (sic) Government service, without giving due notice or adequate
compensation for the loss and detriment they would otherwise sustain, and I am not aware of
any reason why I should be treated with exceptional severity.
It has been customary to allow Government officials of all ranks two weeks vacation in
each year.
I have been in the service of the Government for nearly eight years and, though my duties
were extremely monotonous and required my attendance daily, not excepting Sundays, I have
had no vacation throughout the whole of that period.
Thus I have worked, during the eight years above mentioned, four months longer than I
should have done had I taken the customary yearly vacations, and I would respectfully submit
that compensation to the extent of that extra time is fairly due to me.
Trusting that these representations will receive your favourable consideration.
I have, &e,
(Signed)       A. W. Rogers.
Mr. A. W. Rogers to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor.
Frederick Street, Victoria,
4th September, 1883.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that I have been in the service of the Government
for nearly eight years, and that I was summarily dismissed from the position of assistant
gaoler at the end of last month, without any cause being assigned and without any compensation for loss of place being awarded. 208 Dismissal oe A. "W. Rogers. 1883
My being dismissed without clue notice, and without any cause being stated, is likely to
have a prejudicial effect on my future prospects and to interfere with, if not prevent, my
obtaining other employment. I would therefore submit that a hardship has been inflicted for
which compensation is clue.
During the term of my service of the Government I had no vacation whatever. Having
worked continuously without having the benefit of the customary recess of a fortnight in each
year, I have done four months extra duty, and I submit that compensation to that extent, at
least, is now due to me.
It is with much reluctance that I appeal to Your Honour in this matter, but having a
large family dependent on me for support I am left without any alternative.
Trusting that you will recognize the justice of my claim and that it may be favourably
considered. I have, (fee,
(Signed)       A. W. Rogers.
Ashcroft, Sept. 23rd, 1883.
Referred to the Honourable the Attorney-General, this day, for his report hereon.
(Signed)       C. F. Cornwall,
The Provincial Secretary to Mr. A. W. Rogers.
Victoeia, B.C., 7th September, 1883.
Sie,—Your letter of the 3rd instant, addressed to the Honourable the Attorney-General,
asking for compensation for loss of office to the extent of four months' salary, that being the
time to which it is claimed you were, according to the custom of the service, entitled as vacation
during the eight years you have been in the Government employ, has been referred to me.
I have to inform you that the custom of allowing Government officials of any rank two
weeks' vacation in each year was peremptorily abolished when the Walkem administration
came into power and has never been revived; but even if such a custom had prevailed during
the period of your service, I submit that the mere circumstance of not having availed yourself
of it could scarcely have been construed into a claim for compensation now.
There are not wanting instances, however, where a month's salary has been given in lieu
of a month's notice, and the Executive will be invited to consider whether that might not with
propriety be done in the present case.
I have, &e,
(Signed)        Jno. Robson,
Provincial Secretary.
Mr. A. W. Rogers to the Honourable the Provincial Secretary.
Feedeeick Steeet, Victoeia,
15th September, 1883.
Sie,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant,
informing me that my letter of the 3rd instant to the Honourable the Attorney-General had
been referred to you, and stating in reply that the custom of giving to officials of any rank in
the service two weeks' vacation in each year, had been peremptorily abolished when the
Walkem Government came into power, and that even if such a custom had pervailed without
intermission during the whole of my period of eight years' service, that the fact of my not
having (periodically) availed myself of it, would annul my claim on that account to compensation for summary dismissal from the service now.
In reply to this, I beg respectfully to submit for your consideration the following
observations :
The institution of a previously unrecognized practice by a former Government need not
necessarily be accepted as constituting a precedent to be invariably followed by succeeding
Governments, if that practice should be illiberal in its nature and not necessary to the
efficiency of the public service.
That the custom of granting leave of absence for a limited period, as a matter of right,
prevails in every other Government service under British rule is, I believe, so generally understood, that any statement in support of the fact is unnecessary. 47 Vic. Dismissal of A. W. Rogers. 209
The Victoria City Police are allowed ten days' leave in each year, which each constable is
entitled to, no matter how recently he may have joined the force.
That the practice observed in other British dependencies, where the magnitude of the
service has rendered well defined regulations necessary, might well be followed in this Province,
where the number of officials is extremely limited, but the maintenance of the principle
involved is to each individual of substantial importance.
In the Government service in India, and in the Australian Colonies, it is not considered
that the privilege lapses and becomes extinct by not being timely availed of, but on the
contrary, instances are quite frequent in which officials have allowed their leave to accumulate
and then take a vacation for the whole period then accrued at one time.
But should the Executive decline to entertain my claim to compensation on the ground of
accumulated leave, which I still am of opinion is a reasonable and valid plea, and should of
right be regarded as the chief factor in determining the amount of indemnity to be awarded,
I respectfully submit to your notice the following facts, which have a close relation to the case
at issue.
When Mr. Page was discharged from the position of constable at Omineca, in consequence
of the abolition of the office, he was awarded three months' pay.
When Mr. Todd was discharged from the office of Superintendent of Provincial Police,
under the Elliott administration, he was awarded three months' pay and also received a
courteous letter of explanation.
When Mr. James Robson resigned his position of Gaoler, he was, I am informed, awarded
three months' pay.
These instances come within my own knowledge, but research would probably extend the
I am fully warranted in stating that the summary dismissal of officials without stated
reason, has been avoided, if possible, by former Governments, and that in every instance it
was considered expedient, when such dismissal was inevitable, to award three months' pay as
Two instances occurred during the administration of a former Government, in which the
then Lieutenant-Governor, in the exercise of the authority vested in him, refused to sanction
the summary dismissal of officials at the instance of the Executive, and the contemplated
action of that body was, in those cases, abandoned. I could not furnish you with the particulars
of those cases as such matters are not to be disclosed, but I could cause the Lieutenant-Governor
to be assured that such is the fact, if confirmation of my statement should be required. I
should, however, in that case, have to correspond with an absent gentleman, which would cause
delay. I merely state the circumstance to show that a former Government was restrained on
two occasions when the dismissal, without due reason, of officials was contemplated.
I believe that the three instances I have cited above, show that abundant precedent exists
for the indemnifying of officials, when summarily discharged, to the extent of at least three
months' pay.
I am reluctant to trouble you with prolonged correspondence, and trust that the Executive
will consider my claim to three months' pay is reasonable and just and sustained by instances
above cited, and that a further continuance of the subject will be therefore unnecessary.
I have, &e,
(Signed)        A. W. Rogees.
Mr. A. W. Rogers to the Honourable the Provincial Secretary.
Feedeeick Street, Victoria, 2nd October, 1882.
Sie,—I have the honour to respectfully call to your notice a letter which I addressed to
you on the 15th September last, and to which I have received no reply.
As it is not my present intention to stay in Victoria longer than I am obliged to do, I
respectfully beg that I may be favoured with a reply to the letter mentioned above at your
earliest convenience.
I. have, (fee,
(Signed)       A. W. Rogers, 210 Dismissal of A. W. Rogers. 1883
The Honourable the Provincial Secretary to Mr. A. W. Rogers.
Victoeia, B.C., 8th October, 1883.
Sie,—I have . the honour to acknowledge receipt of yours of the 15th ultimo and 2nd
instant, and to say, in reply, that the matter to which they refer has been duly considered by
the Executive, and the conclusion arrived at that your application cannot be entertained.
I have, (fee,
(Signed)   ,   Jno. Robson,
Provincial Secretary.
The Attorney-General to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor.
Victoria, 10th October, 1883.
May it please Your Honour,—I beg respectfully to report for the information of Your
Honour, and in obedience to your request for a report, that Mr. Rogers, late Assistant Gaoler
in the Victoria Gaol, was discharged in the interests of the public service, after deliberation
by members of the Executive Council, who do not propose to recommend to Your Honour to
authorize the payment to Mr. Rogers of any moneys in lieu of notice.
I have, &e,
(Signed)       A. E. B. Davie,
A ttorney-General.


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