Reference numberNLB/1/339
Alternative reference numberNLB/1 p246-249
TitleCopy letter from Michael Foster, to the Secretary, the Treasury
Date6 January 1887
DescriptionFoster replies as Secretary of the Royal Society to the Secretary of the Treasury's letter of 23 December 1886 which has been laid before the 'Challenger' Committee.

Foster quotes instruction five from the conditions for the publication of the 'Challenger' reports proposed by the Royal Society in a letter of 3 August 1882, and authorized by the Lords concerning Mr Murray producing an end of financial year report to the Committee. This instruction means that the estimates prepared by Murray were to be presented to the Lords by the Committee. It has come to the Committee's notice that the Lords had applied direct to Murray for the estimates and Foster explains why this is not in accordance with their Lordships instructions to the Committee, nor to the advantage of the public service.

Foster was directed to express in his letter of 1 June 1886 that the Committee were willing to consider and report on the estimates at an earlier date than the original instruction. The Committee have carefully considered the copy of Murray's letter of 18 Dec 1886 enclosed in the Secretary of Treasury's communication but do not understand Murray's unwillingness to lay before them the estimates requested. It seems Murray thinks he is directly responsible to Treasury for the estimates and that his duties towards the Committee are limited to reporting to them 'for their information' the estimates already sent in. If this is the case Foster asks the Lords to explain to Murray his exact position towards the Committee.

The Committee are quite satisfied with the care, energy and ability displayed by Murray in the publication of the reports but until they have the estimates for the coming year they are unable to report upon them to the Lords.
Access statusOpen
Related materialFor Foster's June 1886 letter see NLB/1/126
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8220Foster; Sir; Michael (1836 - 1907); physiologist1836 - 1907
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