AICKIN v. BEALEY.
The following is an extract from a letter from Mr. Selfe to his Honor the Superintendent upon the subject of the action brought by Mr. Aickin to recover damages for his dismissal from the office of Provincial Engineer. Appended'is the letter in which Mr. Aickin offered his services in that capacity to Mr. Selfe, who was acting on behalf of the Provincial Government: —
I was much interested in the report of the case of Aickin v. Bealey. Ido not, I confess, understand how the first issue (abandoned at. the trial) -ame to be raised, and I regret it. It certainly would have been difficult to contend that a Superintendent who had authorised an agent to enter into a contract on behalf of the Provincial Government, and had approved of the specific contract after it was made, was not liable to an action for breach of the contract. I apprehend that the circums<ance that I described myself in the contract as the agent of the Government, and »cting on their behalf, ib in no respect inconsisient with the fact that I was acting under your instructions ; and- I don't think it required any Colonial Ordinance to enable a Superintendent to be sued in such a case. I do not doubt that wilful disobedience "to a reasonable order justified in law the dismissal of Mr. Aickenf; but I think it to be regretted that the issues were so framed as to give the jury the opportunity of finding a contradictory verdict. Certainly either the serond or third issue should have been struck out as well as the first.—and I should have been glad if the Government had put plainly before Mr. Aickin the alternative of obeying orders, or being dismissed from his office before deciding upon the latter course. Mr. Aickin's extraordinary assertion, that I told him architectural work would form no portion of his duties, is a mistake on his p, ir t—I made no such statement. Even had I done so. it would have been wholly beside the question whether the designing a lock-up in a police barrack was architectural work. Your Honor will see by Mr. Aickm's original application to mc, which I enclose herewith, that designs and drawings for barracks, hospitals, and police buildings, were just the work in which he claimed to be most practised and proficient.
46, Carlton Hill, N.W., London, Feb. 17,1864. Sir, —I have the honour of offering myself a candidate for the appointment of Provincial Engineer at Canterbury, New Zealand, which office is, I understand, at present vacant; believing that the varied information derived during a period of twenty years in the practice of civil and mechanical engineering and architecture qualify mc in a peculiar degree for colonial service, and will, I trust, ensure mc your most favourable consideration. Having been articled for five years at an engine factory in Lancashire, and afterwards engaged with Messrs Fox, Henderson, Grinell, Cochrane, and others, a thorough practical knowledge of iron work in all its branches, so requisite in the conduct of almost every modern construction, was acquired. For seme years I was engaged on railway works under those eminent engineers Messrs. John Fowler and Peter Bruff, partly in surveying and levelling, and partly in designing bridges and other railway works. 1 have also been engaged for nearly three years at the Admiralt}, principally in preparing designs and working drawings for barracks and hospitals, and rendering assistance in the formation of docks, basins, and other works connected with marine engineering. For upwards of ten years 1 hive been engaged in business on my own account as an engineer and architect j my practice consisting in the laying out of.grounds for building, the formation of roads, the drainage of lands, and designing and superintending the erection of buildings— several of them public ones; and, as evidencing some degree of perseverance may state that, in conjunction with my late partner, I have been successful in no less than thirteen competitions. The preceding are the sources whence my varied experience has been gained, added to which, bein-; reedy of resource in cases of emergency, of an active and energetic character, and in the prime of life,no exertion would be snared or opportunity lost in endeavoring to discharge faithfully and with zeal the several duties that may be imposed upon mc., Should I be fortunate enough to be selected for the appointment, about two months would suffice to make the requisite arrangements previous to my departure. I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, Geo. Aickin, A.1.0E. H. S. Selfe, Esq., New Zealand Emigration Office, 16, Charing Cross.