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EXPENDITURE OF THE ISLAND OF ST. LUCIA.
only reduces the sum of the receipts into the Colonial Treasury to £. 17,409. 45. 1 d. instead of £. 18,026. 145. id. Mr. Busteed observes upon the first representation, (and the observation would apply in substance to the subsequent one, though the figures would be different,) that, if it be correct, £.5.490. 10 s. 41 d. has been received and unaccounted for, and consequently fraudulently appropriated by the Governor or Treasurer. He adds, “ I believe the Treasurer's accounts as sent “ home will fully exculpate the Governor from any knowledge of its misapplication, “ but it certainly is a circumstance which calls for the most minute enquiry and “ examination,” It is difficult to understand this remark in any other light, than, as intended to throw suspicion upon the integrity of the Treasurer; I presume, how, ever, that that Officer's accounts for 1830 were examined by the Council, and I trust there is every reason to suppose that the incorrectness is not in them, but in the Statement now under consideration. It was, however, clearly the duty of Lieut. Colonel Bozon forthwith to refer the Statement, together with Mr. Busteed's remarks, to the Treasurer, in order that he might have an opportunity of offering such explanations on the subject as should clear the question of every doubt, I regret that this course was not taken, and I request that the error may be immediately rectified by making the necessary communications to the Treasurer, You will acquaint him at the same time, that this is done as an act of justice to him, and with no intention whatever of questioning his probity in the discharge of the trust reposed in him. I find from the recent correspondence with St. Lucia, that a difference of opinion has existed between the Secretary and the Treasurer, upon questions in which the former was personally interested ; and I cannot buť regret that remarks so prejudicial to the Treasurer should have been made by Mr. Busteed, without having been immediately communicated to the Treasurer, to give him the opportunity of counteracting any impression which they mght be supposed to be calculated to convey.
Whilst instituting a comparison between the expense of the Civil Establishment in 1824, and the same in 1831, the Members of Council represent the Governor's, Salary to have been in 1824, £. 1,500. and to have been since raised to £. 2,500.; whereas the truth is, that the £. 1,500. was received in 1824 by the acting Governor, as his moiety of the salary of £. 3,000, which was then attached to the office of Governor, and was subsequently reduced to £.2,500. The salary has therefore been reduced, and not raised, since 1824; and on the next appointment it is my purpose, as I announced some months ago, to direct a further reduction to the extent of £.500.f I perceive it to be stated, that Lieutenant Colonel Bozon has drawn from the Treasury the full salary of Governor, at the rate of £. 2,500! instead of the half salary, which alone was his due ; if thiş be the fact, you will call upon that officer to refund forthwith the money which he has received beyond the half salary, and to explain in what manner he was induced to contravene the rules of the service upon this head,
The Letter of the three Members of Council, in which this subject is mentioned, is dated the 29th August, and is distinct from their general Statement, which is dated the 1st August; but it is said in a Posteript, that a copy of it had beeu sent to Colonel Bozon, whose silence respecting it I am therefore unable to account for.
In the same Letter of the 29th of August, it is stated that the other officers who have recently administered the government of St. Lucia provisionally, have also drawn full salary: You will be pleased to convey to any officer who may have done so, my desire that he will immediately refund the sums overdrawn; and that he will transmit to me, through the Governor of the colony in which he may be now. stationed, such explanations of his conduct in this respect, as he may wish,
It is further stated, that Mr. Musson las drawn the full salary of First President; at the rate of £. 2,000; of this fact I had been previously apprised, and my Despatch of the 1st September last, conveyed, to Lieutenant-Colonel Bozon, instructions, that Mr. Musson should refund whatever he had drawn beyond the salary at the reduced rate of £. 1,200. In issuing these instructions, however, I over: looked the fact that Mr. Jeremie's tenure of the office had not expired, and that Mr. Musson was only holding it provisionally during Mr. Jeremie's absence on leave;
* By Despatches subsequently received, the Treasurer is wholly exempted from any imputation of misconduct.
+ This reduction has since taken effect.
and this fact having been brought to my notice, I instructed Lieutenant-Colonel Bozon, on the 22d September, to consider Mr. Musson as entitled for the present to one half of the salary of £.2,000, instead of the salary of £. 1,200. I have now to acquaint you, that Mr. Jeremie definitively resigned the office of First President of St. Lucia on the ist instant; and that His Majesty has been pleased to appoint Mr. Musson to be his successor, at the reduced salary of £.1,200., to the receipt of which in full, Mr. Musson will be entitled from the ist instant. As this salary was fixed as the entire and only remuneration for the performance of Mr. Musson's duties, the allowance which is stated to be made to him for a house, must be discontinued.
On the subject of the general arrangements for constituting a new Judicature in St. Lucia, and their effect upon the expenditure of the Colony, I shall have occasion to address you in a future Despatch. I will confine myself in this to the remark, that whether that Judicature be founded upon the principle of a Circuit Court, or of a stationary one, the office of First President could not by any possibility be dispensed with, nor could it be properly remunerated with a less emolument than
. 1,200 per annum. In comparing it with the office of Chief Justice in St. Vincent, the Members of Council should bear in mind, that no fees are permitted to be received by the First President of St. Lucia. You will, however, assure the Members of Council, that when the constitution of the new Judicature is decided on, every attention will be paid to the suggestions which they have made for the reduction of unnecessary Law Officers. The salary of £.600. per annum is not too large a remuneration of the Chief Secretary to the Government, and I cannot assent to its being reduced; but I have already given directions, in my Despatch of 4th September, for Mr. Busteed to refund the salary of £. 100. which he appeared to have received as Captain of the Fort, which I presume is the same salary that is described by the Members of Council as attached to the Tapion Battery ; and unless there are some reasons, of which I am not apprized, for continuing this office, you will cause it to be abolished.
In comparing the salary assigned to the Protector of Slaves in St. Lucia, to that of the Protector in Barbadoes, the Members of Council have overlooked the circumstance, that the resemblance between the offices is merely nominal. The business of the Protector in St. Lucia, is to look to the execution of laws which have no existence in Barbadoes. The Protector in that Colony receives the small salary mentioned by the Members of the Council, merely as a subsidiary source of emolument; he is a practising Solicitor in the Island. : I can by no means concur in the expediency of abolishing the office of Registrar of Slaves. Those, of Patentee of the Record Office and Colonial Agent, will not be again filled up.
The recommendation, that the Interpreter should cease to receive a salary, and that his services should be paid for when wanted, is met by the statement of the Chief Secretary, that such had been the mode of payment heretofore, and that the present is more economical. I apprehend that the economy of the one mode or of the other will depend upon the circumstances of the time. Some officers who may be in the administration of the Government, will probably require the services of an interpreter much more frequently than others. It might be desirable perhaps to discontinue the services of a salaried Interpreter, when they are not constantly required. The fact, of how much or how little they may happen to be in requisition at one time or another, can only be known upon the spot; and if the Colonial Authorities are at variance respecting it, it is not in my power to assist in determining which may be the cheapest mode of proceeding, otherwise than by recommending it to the careful attention of the Officer administering the Government. Mr. Busteed observes, that besides the salary of £. 560. enjoyed by the Treasurer, he has “ five per cent. on the condemned slave fund, and that he also " draws five per cent. on the parish and parochial taxes, though Mr. Busteed is "not aware by what authority he does so. Colonel Bozon, if he was involved in the same doubt upon the subject, should have called upon the Treasurer to state the authority under which he received these per-centages; and I request that you will supply the omission, and report to me your opinion, whether the Treasurer is or is not warranted in receiving the emolument in question.*
It has since appeared that the Treasurer was duly authorized to receive the per-centages.
EXPENDITURE OF THE ISLAND OF ST. LUCIA.
With respect to the Customs Establishment, I took an opportunity, some months ago, of requesting the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to place it, if it be not already placed, upon the most economical footing which shall be compatible with its efficiency.
I have now adverted to each of the topics in these papers which have appeared to me to require notice ; but in order that no doubt may exist as to the alleged augmentation of Salaries and Emoluments, since the year 1824, I have to request that you will distinctly ascertain whether any and what officers in the Island, besides the First President, are in the receipt of any emolument in addition to that which the like officers received in 1824 ; whether such additional emolument has been authorized by the Secretary of State, and if not, by whom it has been authorized; and you will report to me upon every office in which any such augmentation has taken place. You will also ascertain and report, whether any new office has been created since 1824, and if so, under what authority, and what emolument is attached to it.
In making these inquiries, it is my wish that the Members of His Majesty's Council for St. Lucia should have every opportunity which they may desire, of affording information, and expressing their opinions on the several subjects of inquiry, and you will assure the Council, that I shall be ready to give every proper attention and consideration to any statements proceeding from them; trusting, however, that their statements will not have any reference to judicial offices, unless when vacant, since an obvious principle requires that judicial officers should be independent of all local influence. You will be pleased at the same time to favour me with your own personal opinions upon these, as well as all other questions that may arise, during your administration of the Government.
I have transmitted for the concurrence of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, the Draft of a Circular Despatch to the Governors of the Crown Colonies, the object of which is to bring more regularly under the control and revision of His Majesty's Government, every item of the Expenditure of those Colonies in every year, as well as the system of annual Taxation which prevails in them. It is intended to call to the assistance of His Majesty's Government, in exercising this control, the local knowledge of the Colony which the Members of His Majesty's
I have, &c.
rho the be
EXTRACT of a Despatch from Lieut.-Colonel Bozon to Lord Viscount Goderich,
&c. &c. &c. ; dated St. Lucia, 10th September 1831.
In the allusion made regarding myself, and some of my predecessors, military
Moore, Captains Delhoste aud Mullon, now Majors; Major Power, and latterly Major-General Farquharson, on the decease of Governor Stewart; and I am borne out in this by the opinion of the highest personage in these Colonies, and by Lord Bathurst's Letter of the 12th of August 1826, and also by an extract from the King's Commission to the Governor of this Ísland.
“ In case of the death or absence of the Governor, should there be no Lieu“ tenant-Governor, the officer commanding the troops is to assume the adminis“ tration of the government, and to execute the commission and instructions as " therein directed.'
The circumstance of the First President, Mr. Musson, drawing salary at £.2,000 per annum, subject to your Lordship’s final approval, I have already explainede
With regard to their second complaint, being called upon to “sanction Taxation “ in the application of which they have no control;” this has been already entered into in my last communication; no new offices have been made during my administration of the government.
The error which they acknowledge to have committed, in the amount of money paid into the Treasury during the year 1830, and placed at the disposal of the Governor, is much greater than they state to be. This has also been commented upon in my last Despatch to your Lordship.
Their desire of the revisal of the whole of the Establishment of the Customs, and for its reduction, I will not presume to offer any remarks upon.
I cannot conclude without requesting your Lordship will be pleased to consider the very uncourteous manner of their sending me a copy of their communication to your Lordship, without having previously in the most distant manner hinted that such was their intention. Such a procedure authorizes me to conclude, they were most anxious your Lordship should be in possession of the same, without my having the possibility of making any replies thereto until some time after, in which they have succeeded.
The merits of their said Letter, and the Statements previously made by Messrs. Jackson, Ferguson, and Muter, I beg leave to submit to your Lordship's superior judgment and decision."
To His Excellency Colonel Bozon, &c. &c. &c.
Castries, 2 September 1831. WE beg leave to transmit to Your Excellency, copy of a Letter which we deemed it advisable, under existing circumstances, to address to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, by the packet to sail to-morrow.
We have the honour, &c.
To the Right honourable Lord Viscount Goderich, Principal Secretary of State
for the Colonies. My LORD,
Saint Lucia, 29th August 1831. Vide Enclosures in However reluctant to trespass upon your Lordship's valuable time, We, as members of the acting Gover the Privy Council of Government in this Island, feel the absolute necessity of approaching nor's Despatch, your Lordship, on the subject of the heavy Expenditure of this Colony, and of transmittiog 19 August 1831. copy of a Representation which we solicited His Excellency the Acting Governor, at the
last meeting of Council, to forward to your Lordship.
As it may be proper to explain particularly what grounds gave rise to some of the appre bensions and complaints
set forth in that Representation, we beg leave to state, with regard to our ist Observation, “ A daily increasing Taxation."
That having for some years past considered the Colony to be already more heavily bur. dened than it could possibly bear, we were alarmed on the Governor notifying to us officially the nomination of a new Protector of Slaves, with a salary of [.800. sterling; We were also much disappointed on discovering that the acting Governors had drawn, and that Colonel Bozon was actually drawing upon the Treasury at the rate of £.2,500. sterling per annum, and the Provisional First President for £. 2,000. sterling, when we understood that all Acting Governors were only ențitled to half salary, and that the President's emolu
ments were fixed at £.1,200. sterling. We humbly beg leave to draw your Lordship's attention to these particulars, in order that they may be corrected, if found irregular.
With reference to our ad Complaint, “ Being called upon to sanction a Taxation “over" the application of which we have no control;"
We allude in the creation of new offices, and to the salaries settled upon the individuals appointed to fill them. In most cases, the duties of several offices might be executed by one individual, and that indvidual would be sufficiently remunerated for his services, on receiviug the salary at present allowed to any one office.
We beg leave also io correct an error in our 3d Observation, viz.“ That the amount" of “ Money paid into the Treasury, during the year 1830, and placed at the disposal of the “ Governor, was £.18,026. 14. 1. sterling:
It appears, in that amount was comprehended a sum arising from Slave Manumission Deposits of £.409. and an advance from the Vacance Office of £. 208. 10., together £.617. 10. to be deducted from £. 18,026. 14. 1.; leaving 4.17,409. 4. 1. sterling; the real amount of taxation for 1830.
With reference to our “ Statement of Public Offices and Salaries,” we beg to impress upon your Lordship, that formerly the whole establishment of the Customs was paid by the Shipping Interest; at present, that expense is wholly borne by the Colony, and falls extremely heavy upon our limited population. This Establishment should be revised, and reduced as much as possible, in order to enable the Colony 10 support it.
The late disastrous Hurricane, that visited this Island on the 11th instant, having unroofed the manufacturing buildings upon the plantations, thrown down all the houses of the slaves, and ruined their provision grounds, the proprietors are compelled 10 mortgage the crop of 1832, which is fully one half destroyed by the hurricane, to be enabled to feed the people, and to rebuild their dwellings and the manufacturing works; and unless the Proprietors are aided by a grant or loan from Government, the distress to individuals from seizure and sacrifice of property, to meet the Taxation of 1832, will be utterly insupportable, and drive many individuals to despair.
We have the honour to be, &c.
Peter Muter. (Copy of above handed His Excellency Colonel Bozon, Acting Governor.)
DESPATCH from Lord Viscount Goderich to the Officer administering
the Government of St. Lucia.
Downing-street, 17th November 1831. I have received Colonel Bozon's Despatch of the 10th of September last, enclosing the copy which had been forwarded to him of a Letter addressed to me by three Members of the Council, Messrs. Jackson, Ferguson and Muter, on the contents of which I have already observed in my Despatch of the 5th instant. I have nothing to add to these observations, except that I see no sufficient reason in what Colonel Bozon has alleged, for withdrawing my directions, that the officers who have received more than half the Governor's salary, whilst in the temporary administration of the Government, should be called upon to refund the excess. The rule of the service admits of no distinction between the case of an officer administering a government vacant by death, and one who administers it during the temporary absence of the governor. I agree with Colonel Bozon in considering the mode of communication adopted by Messrs. Jackson, Ferguson and Muter, to be extremely inconvenient and objectionable. To transmit a copy of their Letter to Colonel Bozon, at a time when he had no longer a fair opportunity of forwarding his Report upon it by the same packet, was merely complying with the letter of the regulations upon that head, and defeating their intention. In truth, there is every reason to wish, that such communications should be made to the officer administering the Government, in the first instance, for his consideration, and if his decision should fail to satisfy the parties, they may then be made matters of reference by him to the Secretary of State. Such a course of reference will always be most acceptable to this Department, and will carry with it a presumption of fairness and propriety, which can scarcely so fully attach to any other mode of proceeding. You will be pleased to intimate my sentiments on this subject to the gentlemen concerned.
I have, &c.