[Maillefert & Raasloff to Begly, 4 Aug 1854]QUEBEC, 4th August, 1854.
SIR,-The undersigned have had the honor in their former communications to the Department, especially in their letters respectively of 24th and 27th of June last, to call your attention to the insufficiency of the sum of £2000 originally appropriated for the survey of the St. Lawrence Rapids, they beg now most respectfully to lay before you the following statements of disbursements made by them up to 1st of this month, for which proper vouchers can be presented to the Department whenever desired, to wit
The disbursements to be made by the undersigned in the course of the present month, for outfit and for the surveying operations proper during the month of July, will amount to about £500; consequently the sum of £2000, originally estimated for these operations, will be entirely exhausted by the expenditure incurred up to the 1st of August. It is, as on several occasions we have had the honor of explaining, the insufficiency of the materials furnished by the Department for these operations, which placed us in the necessity of going to the considerable expenditure for outfit above stated, and which, together with the delays occasioned the lateness of the season, and the extraordinary high prices of labor, and all necessaries, has increased the cost of these operations so much beyond what was originally contemplated.
We need not insist upon the fact that any delay in procuring the material strictly wanted for the operations would have occasioned a loss of time, which could not at any price be recovered; and having in view only the progress and satisfactory execution of the work, we had no hesitation in procuring the material, which we found to be absolutely necessary, convinced at the same time that the Department would take our motives in doing so into consideration, and not allow us to suffer pecuniary loss in consequence of the zeal with which we had tried to forward a work of great importance, in the success of which we knew the Department to take the most lively interest.
We now therefore confidently thrust ourselves upon the generosity of the Department, and respectfully solicit that they would be please to take off our hands the material belonging to our outfit, which has been produced and paid by us to the amount above mentioned of £1186 12s. 3d., and that consequently, and to this effect, the Department would authorize us to send in vouchers for the material and to the amount mentioned, together with an act of transfer; and that upon the vouchers, &c., having been examined and found correct, the Department would order the amount to be refunded to us. We trust that in consideration of what we have had the honor of stating above, as well as in our former communications, the excellent quality and general usefulness on the Canals of the material procured by us, and also the satisfactory progress of the work, which could not have been attained without the material mentioned, nor without the most strenuous efforts and exertions from our side, the Department will be pleased to grant the above request. In case, however, the Department should not be pleased to grant this request, we beg most respectfully to solicit that for the same reasons which we have stated above the Department will be pleased to allow the sum of £3000 instead of £2000, as originally estimated and appropriated, to be spent by us on the operations towards exploring the Rapids of the St. Lawrence. We need not mention that with the present extraordinary high prices on everything, it will still require a most severe economy on our part to meet the expenses necessarily connected with the surveying and blasting operations, which we desire to extend as late in the season as the climate will permit, with a view of being able to submit as full and satisfactory a Report as possible.
Your most obedient servants,
MAILLEFERT & RAASLOFF.
Thomas A. Begly, Esquire,
Secretary, Department Public Works.
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