The Confederation Debates (1865) P. 4 (of 4)

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amendments to the resolutions, which do appear to me to have been resolved upon with some degree of haste for matters fraught with such vital interest and importance to these provinces. If indeed, sir, the hon. gentlemen who so recently held their deliberations in this city had been composed of men perfect in intellect, and possessing intelligence unalloyed by the baser ingredient of ordinary humanity—liability to err, then it would, I say, have seemed more consistent to ask this or any other legislature to adopt the Constitution which they had framed for us and for posterity without amendments, to ask us to receive, as we would or as we do, the articles of our religious faith—to ask us to have faith, and to believe that these delegates had embodied in these resolutions all the requisites and necessaries for a perfect Constitution. I had hoped, sir, we should be able to apply ourselves to the calm, deliberate, impartial consideration of these important resolutions, and, being divested of all party spirit, endeavor to arrive at such conclusions as would be advantageous to all the provinces, But, sir, notwithstanding all this; however much it may have been desired, and whatever alterations we may have wished for ; whatever further benefits and advantages Upper Canada may have desired to secure in this great national copartnership; and although I should myself have preferred alterations in some of the resolutions, as well as in some of the details, yet I am not, after having listened patiently and anxiously to the able arguments in favor of Confederation, as well as against it—I am not, I repeat, prepared to state that I will take upon myself to say that Confederation, as a scheme, should be rejected—that I will state that I shall vote against the creation of a new nationality. (Hear, hear.) I will state some reasons why I am not prepared to do so. In the first place, when I look abroad and see the neighboring American Republic engaged in one of the mosu terrible and disastrous wars that has ever racked this continent; when I read in almost every journal issuing from the press of that country anathemas against the British Empire ; when I see that press teeming with threats against this country; when I know that that nation has by sea a navy prepared to cope with the strong powers of the old world, and a force on land, in point of numbers at least, astonishing the generals of the most advanced of warlike nations—when, I say, I see that nation in a warlike, and not only in a warlike, but in a threatening attitude towards us, I am led to consider, as paramouut to every other consideration, what ought to be done for the safety of this country. To preserve its territory from invasion, to protect the lives and property of its subjects, is, I conceive, the fiist important duty towards which the attention of every govern ment should be directed. (Hear.) Then, sir, upon the well-understood maxim that union is strength, I am inclined to believe that the union of the British North American Provinces would give strength to us all. (Hear, hear.) I confess I fail to see a source of weakness in this union, as is very ingeniously argued by some hon. gentlemen opposed to this scheme in toto. It does appear to me that the very political and national status given to these provinces by a union, would become immediately a source of strength ; that the very new name to be given to the new nationality would be an immense fortification of defence in itself. (Hear, hear.) When, sir, I consider the interest evinced by the people of England, the people of France, and, I may say, of all Europe, the very apprehension that seems to exist with regard to this Confederation of the British North American Provinces, it appears to me that the very announcement of the creation of this new nationality has given us already a position and a strength which in the palmiest days of the old régime we might never have hoped for. (Hear, hear.) When I remember, sir, that great Constitutions in the old world have been founded in the blood of contending nations ; that in the Mother Country the heirs of contending houses, at times through various centuries, struggled for supremacy ; and that authority, power and good government have been established only after being wrenched from opposing factions by the sword—when I remember, sir, that history records the revolution which terminated the long struggle between the sovereigns in England and their parliaments—how, from union, order and freedom, established only by the sword, sprung a prosperity hitherto unknown in the annals of human affairs; when I trace their history from the days of feudalism down to the present, I am led to believe that if we have the opportunity of securing greatness, prosperity, and an established and well-regulated freedom, comparing favorably with all that is enjoyed by the Mother Country, and without the cost of a single drop of blood, and, if the financial

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statements are correct, with little loss, if any, of treasure, we would not act wisely in letting pass the opportunity. (Hear, hear.) I think, on the first proposition, that our defensive position would be strengthened by this union. First, because were we to remain as we at present staud, separate provinces, there would be greater temptation to the adjoining republic to acquire possession of our territory, believing, as they undoubtedly would, that this could be dune with advantage and little cost to themselves; whereas the magnitude of our uatioiial position, under the Confederation, would be tne means, I am satisfied, of deterring them from such an enterprise And I am satisfied, too, that the people of England would be more alive to our interests, more willing to spend their lives and their treasure in assisting in our defence, composing a strong, united, new nationality on this continent, than they would if we were to remain isolated colonial dependencies. (Hear, hear.) I believe the very intimation of this Confederation has awakened the world to the greatness, the vastness of the resources of this country. (Hear, hear.) That these views are shared in by eminent statesmen in Europe is also a significant fact. Lord HOUGHTON, on seconding the Address on the late Speech from the Throne, very emphatically declared, in regard to that portion in which allusion is made to Confederation, ” that he was glad of this movement, because he confessed that he believed the future of the world rested not in isolated municipalities, but in great empires.” And the Earl of DERBY, too, in his remarks on that occasion, also said :—

Under the circumstances, I view with the utmost satisfaction that most important step to which Her Majesty’s Speech refers—the Confederation of the Canadian Provinces. I hope to see in that Confederation of the Canadian Provinces a determination to constitute themselves a power strong enough, with the aid of this country (which I am sure will never be withheld from them), to defend themselves against all aggression.

(Hear, hear.) Now, I ask, what would have been the consequences if the political combination that has taken place, for purposes well understood and declared, had Dot been made ? We have seen the political party strifes that agitated this country; we have seen the bitterness with which opposing parties contended for office; we have seen the business of the country neglected, and its legislation brought to a stand-still, while parties assailed each other in our legislative halls on some personal, individual ground of malice; we have seen Lower Canada refusing to Upper Canada her fair represents ation in Parliament; we have seen sectional and religious difficulties and dissensions growing more and more complicated, and portending strongly a dissolution of the union, because we of Upper Canada could not have much longer submitted to waive our fair and equitable right to be represented according to our population upon the floor of this House. (Hear, hear.) Looking, then, at the matter from this point of view, I deem the circumstances opportune that have opened a way for a solution of the difficulties that surrounded us, and at the same time afford a wider and more extended and ample scope to the people for their defence, for their commercial, manufacturing and mining interests, and tor their social intercourse. Believing, then, that in respect to the solution of the political differences so recently existing, the Confederation of the provinces is exceedingly desirable; believing that in order to maintain an honorable existence, the union has become expedient, as affording a means of defence against aggression, I have, I think, at least two exceedingly strong grounds upon which I may favor the scheme in a general point of view. (Hear, hear.) Admitting that Confederation on general principles is a proposition that admits of being strongly entertained ; that I feel convinced in my own mind that something requires tobe done; that necessity demands strong and vigorous action on the part of the Government to relieve us from the difficulties into which political differences have thrown us, to guard and defend us against difficulties not only political at home, but warlike abroad— I am, nevertheless, not one of those who are willing to accept, without investigation and careful enquiry, a Constitution cut and manufactured without the measure of the people it is proposed to fit having been taken. (Hear, hear.) I desire that the garment of the Constitution should be made to fit the people and at their request. (Hear, hear.) If I had any apprehension that this scheme was distasteful—was not acquiesced in—was notendoised by the people, I should be the last man in this House to endorse these resolutions; and I should like every information afforded to this House that can be possibly given. I will not, however, pretend to dic-

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tate to the Government of the day what amount of information they shall furnish and lay before us. I shall not charge them with dereliction of duty in not giving more information. I do not pretend to say that they should at this stage give further intimation of the line of policy proposed to be pursued and adopted by them with regard to the local governments. They, in their wisdom, no doubt, have laid down a course they deem judicious and advisable to pursue, and which may be so. But at the same time I reserve to myself the right to be satisfied or dissatisfied with the reasons given, and with the information laid before us, and I conceive no blaoie can be attached to the man from Upper Canada who is anxious to know, before he votes for Confederation, what the results will be to that section of the country. (Hear, hear.) Gentlemen will, I hope, take it in no wrong spirit when I say that upon others than themselves—upon the young men of this House and this country—will fall the consequences of this scheme, if carried into effect, whether beneficial or disastrous ; and upon us who now cast our votes in its favor will fall the responsibility, if, after its adoption, the working of its machinery shall prove disasfrous and injurious to Upper Canada. I maintain that the merit for the time being of framing a new nationality will attach to the few who have conceived and accomplished it ; and they will no doubt be removed to places of honor, trust and emolument beyond the reach of the people, while we shall be left to see that the cog-wheels and straps and appurtenances of this gigantic invention are made to adhere to their respec- tive and destined positions. (Hear, hear.) And woe to us if a wheel becomes displaced, or a single accident happens in its future working. Is it then, sir, improper to desire to see the fullest programme before we enter upon the play ? Though fovorable to Confederation, we might be unwilling to swallow some of its indigestible ingredients, if any such it should, upon examination, be found to contain. (Hear, hear.) Now, upon examination of these resolutions, I find the first one contain I think nothing but that which would be acceptable and be gladly received by every truly loyal British subject—a Federal union under the Crown of Great Britain. No one has attempted to address this House but has given the fullest expression of his desire to see the connection with the Mother Country maintained and preserved—to see the great arm of the British Empire, which we all so much esteem, respect, and admire, strengthened. (Hear, hear.) It has been argued here that the British connection will be endangered by this scheme, that growing in strength, we shall by and by become iniependent, throw off our allegiance, become coveted, and finally swallowed up by the neighboring republic. I believe the interest now exhibited in England in our welfare, in our prosperity, in the formation of our new nationality—the affection shown for us in the hearts of many English statesmen, exhibited in their declarations of their belief in our loyalty, is sincere. (Hear.) I cannot believe that as we grow great, prosparous, and valuable, their interest in us will grow less or be in the slightest degree diminished. The contrary is the reasonable deduction. If that nation has been in times past so solicitous with regard to us ; if when poor, small, and unknown comparatively, she has sent her best blood and her richest treasures for our defence and support, it is unjust to her now and unreasonable to assume that she will ever, unless at our own request, abandon, neglect or forget us. (Hear, hear.) The recollections of our childhood and of the anxious care extended toward us will be ever fresh, I trust, in the mind and heart and memory of our Island Parent, and when maturity overtakes us, I am sure she will not forget the child she has so loved I trust not. I see no occasion for apprehension on this account in this direction. (Hear, hear.) I see, Mr. SPEAKER, embodied in this second resolution— if we are to have a union of the provinces— the only method which I think could be at all satisfactory to the various sections It is alleged by some that a legislative union would be desirable. For my own part, I see many difficulties that would inevitably arise out of a legislative union, which it appears to me would be insurmountable. I do not believe that a general government would be as capable, even if it were as willing—which I doubt if it would be—to deal with the local affairs of the different sections as the local governments would be. I believe a general government, charged with matters of common interest to the whole country, and local governments for the province, as proposed by this resolution, is best adapted to secure efficiency, harmony and permanency in the working of

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this union. The second resolution, too, opens up a mighty page on our historic future. It points a significant finger to the day when millions of inhabitants shad people the verdant valley of the Saskatchewan, when railways and telegraphs shall thread the almost boundless territory of the North- West, where the war-hoop of the savage alone is heard It points to the vast commercial enterprises yet to be engaged in upon the Pacific shores, to the rich gold fields of Columbia and the fertile shores of Vancouver. (Hear, hear.) We rise, Mr. SPEAKER, in this resolution, from the simplicity of small colonial dependencies to a vastness in extent of territory to which the little islands that compose the mighty Empire to which we belong are insignificant. We may look forward, even with hope and pride, without, I think, too great a stretch of imagination, to some distant day, when in the rocking of European thrones, perhaps, we shall be able to send out our fleets and our armies, gathered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, to afford aid and assistance to that very Empire to which we now, in our weakness, appeal for support and strength and aid. (Applause.) Who will say that the conception of this scheme has not a grandeur about it commending itself to the minds of those who rise superior to the cries of party strife— commending itself to the favorable consideration of those who desire to move onward with gigantic strides to greatness, to wealth, to a more perfect civilization—to break out from the narrow grooves of prejudice, and selfishness,and bigotry, and desire to take to the broad gauge of an enlightened and expansive policy ? (Hear, hear.) Resolutions three, four and five I may pass over. They all have for their tendency the planting of the roots of the Constitution of this new nationality in the firm soil of the British model ; of coupling to the firm car of British freedom this new nationality, the wisdom, and expediency and policy of which course is not attempted to be denied by a single voice in this House. I pass to the consideration of the eleventh resolution, which has been the subject of much discussion among the people outside of this House, and has been referred to as one very strong ground for the rejection of the scheme. Those of the old Reform party who contended—and I am sure conscientiously contended—for the elective principle in the Upper House, ever jealous as they have a right to be of those rights and privileges, for which they have long and ardenth contended, see in this resolution a retrograde rather than a progressive principle—a backward rather than a forward movement —instead of a salutary reform, a return to the old-fogyism of the past, if I may be allowed the expression. (Hear, hear.) Well, sir, I in some measure agree with those who entertain these opinions. I would, for my own part, very much prefer to see the elective principle retained in the Legislative Council, and I very much desire, if this scheme is to be adopted at all, that in pursuance of the intimation given in the despatch of the 3rd December, 1864, from the Imperial Government, acknowledging the despatch of this Government of the 7th of November, 1864, the provinces should enter again upon the consideration of the resolution respecting the appointment by the Crown of the members of the Legislative Council. As this suggestion is one that 3omes not from either of the provinces— arises from no sectional nor provincial prejudices— none of the provinces can well refuse to entertain it if they are really actuated by a desire to arrived at a form of Constitutional Government based upon principles just to the several provinces, as is declared to be their desire in the very first of these resolutions. (Hear.) I will not, sir, enter into further details upon this subject; I will not discuss the advantages of an Intercolonial road, or its disadvantages ; but I will simply say, that in the hour of emergency, when our position is such that we cannot, we must not stand still—when we are hurried along by the resistless power of circumstances—when dangers threaten, on the one hand, and bright prospects of greatness lie in immediate unity of action on the other, we should not descend to the penurious position of being unwilling to spend a dollar to accomplish a great and mighty project that will live in the memory of all future ages—of founding a nationality that will, it may be, exist, as the learned histoiian quoted by my hon. friend from Quebec has said : ” When some traveller from New Zealand shall stand upon a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St Pauls.” (Hear.) I would not, sir, on the other hand, be willing to adopt a scheme which would, in a financial point of view, endanger the best interests of Upper Canada; but I am assured by the facts and figures intro-

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duced by my honorable friends from South Oxford and from Sherbrooke, who, I am sure, do not wish to be taken in in respect to this scheme any more than I do, or than any other man from Upper Canada— I am assured, I say, by them, that our financial position will be benefited by the Confederation. I have compared those facts and those figures, and I must confess I have confidence in their conclusions. (Hear, hear.) I have heard it urged, sir, that because some counties in New Brunswick have rejected the men who have adopted Confederation as a policy, we ought therefore to abandon the scheme. Well, sir, we are either bound in good faith to carry out the engagement entered into at Quebec or not, and I say with my friend the Honorable Attorney General West, we are bound in all conscience and honor, and in every principle of law or equity, to adhere to the agreement entered into. (Hear, hear.) The tu quoque argument is not a good defence to such a breach of good faith. What a sorry figure should we cut, sir, before the Imperial Government with this argument in our mouths :— ” The Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island broke faith, violated their pledges, were untrue to their engagements, and we followed their example.” I think, sir, such a position would be pitiable, and would tend to lower us in the eyes of the Imperial Government. (Hear, hear.) I maintain that the principle enunciated by my friend the Honorable Attorney General West is correct ; we must adopt these resolutions, and we must take them before the Imperial Government, in order to maintain the respect of that Government, in order to maintain the respect of the Empire, in order to maintain even our own self-respect. (Hear, hear.) When that is accomplished, our duty will be ended. If the Maritime Provinces will not adhere to the arrangement, we shall have done our duty, and shall have secured the good-will and respect of the Mother Country. (Hear, hear.) Before taking my seat, I will say, sir, with regard to the putting of the previous question, I am sorry that has been done. I am one who is desirous of giving to every man, of every party, of every shade of political opinion, the most extensive scope for the expression of his opinions, the fairest opportunity of giving them utterance and of recording his votes, so that they may appear upon the Journals, ready to be referred to, in order both to protect himself and to benefit others. This, sir, is, however, a technicality ; and however much I may regret that the question has been put in that form, I cannot on that account reject the whole scheme of Confederation. (Hear, hear.)

MR. GEOFFRION said—Mr. SPEAKER, when I moved the adjournment last night, it was not my intention to offer to-day a general review of the scheme which is under discussion ; for I am of opinion that it has been sufficiently discussed to enable the country to judge of its merits and of its disadvantages. My intention was rather to confine myself to certain points in the plan which, in my opinion, have not been held up in a sufficiently salient point of view, and to make a few remarks on what has been said, both in this House and in the Legislative Council, in relation to the protection of the institutions of Lower Canada. In the Upper House the Hon. the Prime Minister (Hon. Sir ETIENNE PASCAL TACHÉ) , in his speech of the 3rd February last, said :—

If we obtain a Federal union, it will be equivalent to a disunion of the provinces, and thereby Lower Canada will preserve her autonomy, together with all the institutions which are so dear to her, and over which she may exercise all the surveillance which is necessary to preserve them from danger.

And the Hon. Solicitor General (Hon Mr. LANGEVIN), after having explained, in his way, the resolutions respecting marriage and divorce, expressed himself as follows, in his speech of the 21st February last :—

This is an important point, and the French- Canadian members ought to congratulate themselves on observing that their fellow-countrymen did not fail in the performance of their duty in relation to a question of such importance. It is needless to say that on many other pointa some of them will not admit that we performed our duty well ; but on the point in question, there can be no difference of opinion, for we have all a common rule, and, I repeat, they should be satisfied that their co-religionists in the Con ference were not forgetful of their duty on that occasion.

It then behoves this honorable House, Mr. SPEAKER, to see that our national institutions are really protected by the resolutions which are submitted to us. In order that this end may be fully attained, it is necessary to define the peculiar features of our position as a people. I can say, with the utmost sincerity, that for my part I have

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never found any other points of difference between the English and the French-Canadians who inhabit this country, but these arising from their religion, their language, and their laws ; for we have the same attachment that they have to the British Empire, and I am convinced that no hon. member of this House will express a contrary opinion. (Hear, hear.) This being admitted, Mr. SPEAKER, I beg to call the attention of the House to the twenty-ninth resolution. It reads as follows :—

The General Parliament shall have power to make laws for the peace, welfare and good government of the Federated Provinces (saving the Sovereignty of England), and especially laws respecting the following subjects :— * * *

Then, after a long enumeration of subjects on which the General Government is to have power to legislate, we come to the 31st paragraph, which relates to marriage and divorce. Ou the 2nd July, 1864, the Prime Minister, (Hon. Sir ETIENNE PASCAL TACHÉ), in the course of an eloquent speech delivered on the second reading of the Benning Divorce Bill, spoke as follows in the Legislative Council :—

I oppose the second reading of the bill, and I do so on the principle that divorce is antichristian and antinational. [And after having cited various passages from the Bible, he continued :] Divorce is immoral in its consequences, and, worse still, it destroys society by destroying the family. [And again : ] I should be sorry to wound the feelings of any one, but we have to protect society in general, and we have certain duties to discharge. For my part, I should be acting against my conscience, my religion and my country, if I did not oppose the bill. Death alone can dissolve marriage— that is the teaching of the Apostles, and it is also the doctrine of all the Fathers and Councils.

On the 9th July of the same year, the Ron- Solicitor General for Lower Canada, in his speech delivered in this House on the same subject, expressed himself as follows :—

If I oppose the bill now before the House, it is not because I do not believe that the person petitioning for it has just grounds of complaint, but because we are asked to do that which is diametrically opposed to my principles in this matter ; and because, moreover, I consider that the House has not the right to dissolve the marriage contracted between the parties interested, and to permit them to marry again.

This opinion of the Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada was supported by the whole of the French-Canadian and Catholic members, who declared, on that occasion, by voting even against the first reading of the bill, that they were opposed to the principle of divorce ; and their opinion was concurred in and supported by the greater part of the newspapers in Lower Canada. The Canadien said, on that occasion :—

The Divorce Bill was, we regret to say, read a first time yesterday evening. The division was 61 votes against 42. There is, therefore, no hope of this antisocial measure being defeated. The duty of reflecting men, nevertheless, is to warn society of the danger in which it is placed ; to protest strongly against the deadly assaults made upon it. Messrs. LANGEVIS, MCGEE and CARTIER discharged, yesterday evening, that high and important duty, and, as representatives of Lower Canada society, they addressed in eloquent terms warnings to society in Upper Canada.

The Courrier du Canada, with reference to the same question, said :—

If any one says that the Church is in error when, for various reasons, she decides that a separation between married persons, in so far as regards the marriage bed or cohabitation, may take place for a definite or an indefinite period, let him be anathema. That is the doctrine of the Catholic Church as to marriage, and in this instance, as in every other, it is in accordance with the laws of nature, which themselves repel divorce as something monstrous.

The Journal de Québec of the 9th June, 1864, says :—

The question of divorce recurs periodically to occupy the attention of the House and afflict the consciences of Catholics. Divorce is the most powerful agent for effecting the dissolution of society, for marriage is the social formula ; once you open the flood-gates of divorce, no matter under what pretext, how are you to dam up the tide and prevent it from submerging the whole of society ?

Now, Mr. SPEAKER, as I said a moment ago, these were the opinions of all French- Canadians, and, with reference to this question, I cannot imagine anything to justify the change of opinion which has manifested itself amongst a certain number of French- Canadian members and our Catholic ministers If it be true that a Catholic cannot adopt the principle of divorce, and if we are in conscience bound to oppose it in our capacity as legislators, by voting against every measure tending to sanction it , I ask how we can vote for a resolution purporting to vest in the Federal Legislature the power of legislating on the subject? The hon. member for Montmorency, in the course of his speech in this House the day before yesterday, told us that if it had not been recorded in the resolutions

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that the Federal Parliament would have the right of legislating on divorce, that power would have been exercised not only by the latter, but by the local legislatures also. The 43rd resolution, article 15, tells us that property and civil rights, excepting those portions thereof assigned to the General Parliament, are to be left to the local governments. It is evident, therefore, that if it had not been stated in the resolutions that the Federal Government was to have the right of legislating on marriage and divorce, that power would have remained vested in the local legislatures.

HON. M . CAUCHON — And if that resolution had not been inserted in the scheme, what would have been the effect ?

ME. GEOFFRION—The insertion of that clause places us precisely in the position we should have occupied under a legislative union. By one section of that clause, the Federal Legislature is vested with the power of legislating, not only on the question of marriage and divorce, but also on the civil rights of the French-Canadians. It can, whenever it chooses, attack our civil laws. The hon. member for Montmorency admits that the 43rd clause, and paragraph 15, assure the protection of our civil rights, and says that if that portion of the resolutions had not been inserted, the local legislatures would alone have had the right to deal with the matter. Mr. SPEAKER, a single glance at our civil code is sufficient to convince any one of this. Under article 74 of title 5, I find the following :—” Marriage is dissolved solely by the natural death of one of the parties; so long as they both live, it is indissoluble.” If it be true that our French civil law declares that marriage cannot be dissolved by any means whatsoever, nor by any authority ; if the right of legislating on marriage and divorce had not been left to the General Legislature, no person could have obtained a divorce and leave to marry again.

HON. SOL. GEN. LANGEVIN—What happens at the present moment ?

MR. GEOFFRION—What happens? It is true that the Legislature furnishes us with precedents, but every time that a divorce has been asked from the Legislature, the Catholic members have voted against it. As the resolutions stand, the Federal Legislature may grant bills of divorce, thanks to the insertion ot thus clause in the scheme. We are told that this has been done in order to remove a danger which already existed in the local legislatures ; but a great error has been committed; for, under the new system, any one can make application to the General Legislature and obtain a bill of divorce. And if that right had not been given to the Federal Legislature, it would have been impossible to obtain a divorce in Lower Canada, inasmuch as the majority in the Local Legislature will be French-Canadian and Catholic, and marriage and divorce would be under the control of that legislature. (Hear, hear.) The Honorable Solicitor General LANGEVIN said in his speech—and I fancied that he had much difficulty in explaining the article relative to divorce, that the Catholic members of the Conference were not opposed to that article, and that, though they were opposed to the principle of divorce, he admitted that there were cases in which Catholics were allowed to separate. I cannot help saying, Mr. SPEAKER, that this was a very poor argument for granting to the General Government the power of legislating in the matter of divorce. The same resolution says that the Federal Government is to have the right of legislating on marriage, and the Honorable Solicitor General, in his speech, explains that article as follows :—

The word ” marriage ” has been placed ia the draft of the proposed Constitution to invest the Federal Legislature with the right of declaring what marriages shall he held and deemed to b» valid throughout the whole extent of the Confederacy, without, however, interfering in any particular with the doctrines or rites of the religious creeds to which the parties may belong.

I must acknowledge that the statement is very skilfully made, and to persons who accept it without close examination, I admit that it is calculated to convey the idea that the Government hold that the Federal Legislature cannot decree that a civil marriage is obligatory, and that a marriage must be celebrated under the Catholic or the Protestant Church in order to be valid. But any one who closely examines that portion of the clause will easily see that it cannot possibly be interpreted in any such sense, and that the existence of that clause in the Constitution will enable the Federal Government to enaot that civil marriage alone shall be valid, sothat children the issue of marriages contracted in the Church and not ratified by a civil magistrate, will be illegitimate. I maintain that the clause is susceptible of no other intrepretation, and I defy the Honorable Solicitor General for

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Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. LANGEVIN) to interpret it correctly in any other sense. (Hear, hear.) He has really given us a magnificent explanation of the clause, but it seems to me that as the House is called upon to deal with written resolutions, we must interpret them as they are laid before us ; the House cannot scrutinise the hidden intentions of the Government in the matter. If the resolutions have any other meaning than that expressed on the face of them, the House is entitled to call upon the Government to explain and correct them. The motion now before the House is as follows :—

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that She may be graciously pleased to cause a measure to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament, for uniting the Colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island in one government, with provisions based on certain resolutions which were adopted at a Conference of Delegates from the said Colonies, held at the city of Quebec, on the 10th October, 1864.

I assert, then, that if we vote this Address, we cannot complain if the Imperial Government should declare that the Federal Legislature shall have the right to legislate on all matters relating to marriage and divorce.

HON. MR. CAUCHON—Who is to draw up the Constitution ?

MR. GEOFFRION-The Imperial Government.

HON. MR. CAUCHON—Not at all. It will be drawn up here and submitted to the Imperial Government.

MR. GEOFFRION — If I am not mistaken as to the meaning of the motion, the Address asks Her Majesty to cause a measure to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament for the purpose of uniting the Colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island in one government, with provisions based on certain resolutions which were adopted at a Conference of delegates from the said colonies. Now, if the Imperial Government is to adopt the measure, they can do as was done in 1856, with reference to the Legislative Council, and we cannot complain if they should amend it in a sense dista-teful to us, since our resolutions declare that the Local Government shall have the right to legislate on property and civil rights, except such portions thereof as shall be vested in the Federal Government—and amongst the subjects left to the latter are marriage and divorce. (Hear, hear.) I know the answer that will be made to me on this point. It will be said that it is through party spirit I am standing up to defend religion, and that I desire to lead this Honorable House to believe that by voting for these resolutions we endanger our religious institutions. But it appears to me, Mr. SPEAKER, that for all of us Catholics, the indissolubility of marriage is an article of religion, and that if the resolutions do not admit that doctrine of the Church, they must be rejected by every on of us. But it will perhaps be asked—”How does it happen that our Catholic clergy remain passive whilst one of the dogmas of our religion is thus being undermined ? ” I deny, Mr. SPEAKER, that the Canadian clergy are in favor of the Ministerial scheme, and l am supported in this by the lact that the petitions sent here against the scheme were signed by several priests.

HON. MR. CAUCHON—By how many ?

MR. GEOFFRION—Several of them have signed the petitions; I can fancy that some members of the clergy are in favor of the project, but I deny that the clergy in general profess the same sentiments. We have not received a single petition in favor of Confederation, and every day large numbers of them reach us, praying for the abandonment of the scheme.

HON. MR. CAUCHON—DO not drag the clergy into the debate: we have not done so.

MR. GEOFFRION—Yes, you have done it. The Honorable Attorney General for Lower Canada said in this House that the clergy were in favor of the scheme. Now, I maintain that a great many priests are opposed to Confederation. (Hear, hear.) I find in the Canadien of this day a letter written by a member of the clurgy, who expresses himself in the following terms on the subject of Confederation—

MR. ROBITAILLE—IS the letter really written by a priest ?

MR. GEOFFRION —If the honorable member has any doubt on that point, he can solve it by applying to the honorable member for the county of Quebec, who is the proprietor of the paper. This is what the reverend gentleman says :—”The clergy are not in favor of your Confederation as it is proposed ; a great many of them, it is true, have faith in it, and trust in our public men, but a good many of them also dread it, and would like to see it amended.” It is quite easy for any one who takes the trouble to reflect on this matter,

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to understand that among the clergy, as among the people, there may be a great many persons who, having always had confidence in the Lower Canada Ministers, and having been accustomed to look upon them as the natural protectors of religion and of our national institutions— are ready to accept the declarations and explanations made in this House by our Ministers. Now, these explanations simply stated that the legislation of the Federal Government would merely go the length of declaring the validity of marriages contracted in any one of the provinces of the Confederation when the parties entered Lower Canada ; but it is evident that if they accept such explanations, those members of the clergy who have always had confidence in the present Ministers are not easily susceptible of alarm. But if we take the trouble of interpreting that clause of the resolution in its true sense, it must be admitted that the legislation of the Federal Government on marriage and divorce may in many ways run counter to our sentiments as Catholics, since it may declare that marriage is nothing more than a civil contract, and that religious marriages contracted either by Protestants or Catholics, and not ratified by a magistrate, shall not be valid. Let us now see what will be the effect of these provisions as regards our laws. The Honorable Attorney General for Lower Canada gave us a pompous eulogy of our civil code ; he went so far as to state that it was infinitely superior to the French code, and to any code he was acquainted with. We are told that our institutions and our civil laws will be fully protected, and that the Federal Legislature can only legislate on the laws of the other provinces, our civil laws being placed beyond its reach. If this provision relating to marriage and divorce be adopted, what will be the effect on our civil laws ? The Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada told us that the object or that resolution was to render valid throughout the Confederation a marriage contracted in any one of the provinces. It seems to me very extraordinary, Mr. SPEAKER, that a gentleman in the position of the hon. member for Dorchester, and who, in virtue of that position, may aspire to a seat on the bench, and who already enjoys precedence over the majority of the Bar of Lower Canada, should evince such deplorable ignorance of our civil law. In article 19, title 5 of the Civil Code, relative to marriage, I find the following :—”A marriage celebrated out of Lower Canada between two persons, either or both of whom are subject to its laws, is valid, if celebrated according to the formalities of the place of celebration, provided that the parties did not go there with the intention of evading the law.” Thus, Mr. SPEAKER, since the marriage of a Lower Canadian contracted in another country in accordance with its laws, is valid in this country, the explanation and interpretation given by the Honorable the Solicitor General, of the clause relating to marriage and divorce, has no force whatsoever, and the clause may as well be struck out of the resolutions. (Hear, hear.) If I rightly understand that clause, the legislature will have power to deal with a host of matters relating to marriage ; thus it may change that part of the civil code which defines the age at which a child may marry without the consent of parents ; it may alter the mode of contracting marriage, change the mutual rights and duties of married persons ; it will also have power to modify our civil code in the matter of our obligations arising from marriage, in the matter of tutorship, paternal authority, &c, &c, in fact in a multitude of its provisions. If that be the great protection afforded by the new Constitution to our laws, to our religious and civil institutions, there is every reason to fear that they may one day receive a fatal blow. I will now call the attention of the House, and particularly of the French-Canadian members, to the forty-sixth resolution, which relates to the use of the French language in the Federal Legislature. It is as follows :—” The English and French languages may be used simultaneously in the proceedings of the Federal Legislature as well as in the Legislature of Lower Canada, and also in the Federal courts and in the courts of Lower Canada.” A close examination of this resolution shews at once that it does not declare that the French language is to be on the same footing as the English language in the Federal and Local Legislatures ; in place of the word ” shall,” which ought to have been inserted in the resolution, the word used is ” may,” so that if the British majority decide that the Votes and Proceedings and Bills of the House shall be printed only in English, nothing can prevent the enactment taking effect. Of course we shall be allowed to use the French language in debate, but on the other hand, it is evident that the majority may, whenever they choose, enact that the bills and proceedings of the House shall not be printed in French, and consequently the clause affords no security whatever to us French-Canadians. I take it for granted that as regards all the bills or resolutions of this House, the meaning to

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be given to words is that given to them by the law of the country, and I am therefore justified, when explaining the resolutions before us, in holding to the very letter of their resolutions, and it needs no effort of the imagination to discover the intention of those who prepared them. The provincial statute 22 Victoria, chap. 29, relative to the interpretation of the statutes, says:—”Whenever by any act it is provided that a thing shall be done, the obligation to do it is to be inferred; but when it is said that a thing may be done, the power of doing it is permissive.” In the resolutions submitted us, the word used in the English version is “may,” which is translated into French by the word “pourront” and it is said that the English and French languages may be used simultaneously in the proceedings of the Federal Parliament as well as in the Legislature of Lower Canada, and also in the Federal courts and the courts of Lower Canada. It is easy to see, then, that the use of the French language is rendered extremely precarious, and that the majority may proscribe it in our Votes and Proceedings, and in our Legislature. The Lower Canada members who have always supported the Ministry ought to urge them to insert a clause in the resolutions declaring that the French language shall be on the same footing as the English language ; the guarantee afforded us by the resolutions, as they new stand, amounts to nothing. I am not the first to point out the danger to our institutions and our laws ; the Canadien of this city has enumerated them over and over again, and the honorable member for Montmorency himself, who quite recently admitted in this House that he was the editor in chief of the Journal de Québec, wrote as follows in that paper on the 18th January, 1865. After having spoken of the past conduct of the Upper Canadians, and more particularly of the Honorable President of the Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN), he says :—

For I ower Canada there are other questions still besides the question of money ; there are the religious, social and national questions. Here it is that the greatest difficulties exist in the way ot the success of the scheme, for a few slight changes in the letter of the scheme—changes which will in no way affect the interests of the other provinces—will cause the project to be accepted by the immense majority of the population of the country. We do not hesitate to say that it is astounding that the Conference should have approximated so closely tc equity, after a few days only of work, and in the midst of innumerable obstacles.

It seems to me, Mr. SPEAKER, that if the honorable member for Montmorency was right in telling the Ministry that our nationality and our institutions were in danger, and that changes were required, we French-Canadian members are bound to see that the resolutions submitted to us afford sufficient protection to those institutions, and that the resolutions are not written in such a way as to be susceptible of two interpretations. How has the discussion of the scheme of Confederation been conducted in Lower Canada ? In this way: in the fust place, all the Ministerial journals begged and prayed the peoplf not to condemn the scheme before being made acquainted with it ; they proclaimed stoutly that the Government must be allowed to elaborate its measures in peace, and then, when the scheme was made public, the same journals declared that certainly the scheme must be amended in certain particulars before being adopted by the country, and that they would be the first to call for these changes, which, moreover, could be obtained without difficulty from the Administration ; if not, they would oppose the scheme as dangerous to Lower Canada. Even the Mercury made that statement. It was also said : “The Government will not make a Ministerial question of the adoption of the scheme as it is ; the project may be discussed, and if it is found to involve anything dangerous for our religious and national institutions, that danger can be obviated by amending the resolutions.” More than that, at the opening of the discussion of the sc heme, the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada himself declared in this House that members might propose amendments, and that the House would dispose of them. Now what have we seen since? We have seen the same Hon. Minister declare that the scheme must be accepted as it was, and that the Government would not tolerate any amendment. Is such conduct calculated to inspire confidence in the scheme, and in the Administration who bring it forward ? I appeal to honorable members from Lower Canada, and I ask them if they are prepared to ratify by their verdict the unjustifiable course adopted by the Government, and whether it is not their duty to insist on the Government affording us better security for our religious and national institutions (Hear hear.) I trust that the Lower Canada members will not shirk their duty, and that they will insist on the Government declaring, in their resolutions, that all these things we hold so dear shall be pro-

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tected from the attacks of our adversaries. Every danger of false interpretation ought to be removed from these resolutions. If, as it is stated, our language is to be fully protected under the new system, I do not see why it is not so stated clearly in the Constitution. The explanations of the Honorable Solicitor General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. LANGEVIN) are all very well, but they are not sufficient, and I should much prefer a written statement in the Constitution itself, formally setting forth that these matters shall not be affected by any legislation of the Federal Government. (Hear, hear.) I trust the English members of this House will not take offence at my insisting on more ample guarantees for our religious and national institutions, and that they will see that it is not through a spirit of hostility to their institutions, and that the same motives that induce them to demand more ample guarantees for their national minority in Lower Canada— guarantees which were claimed the other evening by the honorable member for Montreal Centre (Hon. Mr. ROSE)—make me ask for the same guarantees for my fellow-countrymen.

HON. SOL. GEN. LANGEVIN—Will my honorable friend allow me to say a few words in explanation ? He said he hoped the Government and members on this side of the House would admit that his desire was to defend the religious and national interests of Lower Canada. The honorable member for Verchères need not be uneasy on that point. For it must always be taken for granted—and every member on this side of the House will agree with me in this—that every sentiment expressed on the floor of this House by honorable gentlemen opposite, relative to those questions touching our nationality and our religion, is frank and sincere, and we, therefore, feel that in expressing himself as he has done, the honorable member for Verchères is perfectly frank and sincere. However, I take th liberty of answering him on two points. The first question is that of marriage. The honorable member did not quote the whole of that portion of my speech which relates to marriage; he simply quoted the fiist part, but he ought to have given the second, which is as follows :—

The fact is that the whole matter amounts to this— the Central Government may decide that any marriage contracted in Upper Canada or in any of the Confederated provinces, in accordance with the laws of the country in which it was contracted, although that law might be different from ours, should be deemed valid in Lower Canada, in case the parties should come to reside there, and vice versa.

This was merely a development of what I said. I stated before that the interpretation I had given of the word ” marriage” was that of the Government and of the Conference of Quebec, and that we wished the Constitution to be drafted in that sense. The honorable member for Verchères quoted that part of the draft of the civil code which states that one of the articles provides that a marriage contracted in any country whatever, according to the laws of the country in which it shall have been contracted, shall be valid, and he argues from that, that since it was declared by the civil code, there was no necessity for inserting it in the resolutions. But the honorable member must be aware that that part of the code may be repealed at any time, and that if this occurred, parties married under the circumstances referred to would no longer enjoy the protection they now have md which we desire to secure for them under the Constitution. I maintain, then, that it was absolutely necessary to insert the word ” marriage” as it has been inserted, in the resolutions, and that it has no other meaning than the meaning I attributed to it in the name of the Government and of the Conference. Thus the honorable member for Verchères had no grounds for asserting that the Federal Legislature might change that part of the civil code which determines the age at which marriage can be contracted without the consent of parents. Another point on which the honorable member for Verchères insisted, no doubt with the view of obtaining information, which I shall be delighted to afford if it should induce him to vote for the resolutions—and I am perfectly certain it ought to be sufficient—is the point as to the use of the French language under Confederation. The forty-sixth resolution is as follows :—

The English and French languages may be used simultaneously in the proceedings of the Federal Parliament as well as in the the Legislature of Lower Canada and in the Federal courts and in the courts of Lower Canada.

The honorable member for Verchères says— ” It is true that the French language may be used in the Federal Parliament and in the Legislature of Lower Canada, as well as in the courts of justice of the Confederation, but the resolutions do not affirm that that language may be used in the drafting of laws and in the Votes and Proceedings of the Federal and Local Legislatures.” Well,

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Mr. SPEAKER, I am quite sure the honorable member for Verchères will be delighted to learn that it was perfectly well understood at the Conference of Quebec that the French language should not only be spoken in the courts of justice, in the Federal Parliament and in the Legislature of Lower Canada, but that, precisely as is now the case, the Votes and Proceedings of the Legislature, as well as all the Federal laws and those of the Legislature of Lower Canada, should be printed in both languages. And what is still more, under Confederation the French language will be spoken before the Federal tribunals, an advantage which we do not possess at present when we apply to the Court of Appeals of Great Britain. So that the honorable member for Verchères and this honorable House will gladly admit that its representatives at the Conference of Quebec did not fail in their duty on that point. These are the principles upon which the new Constitution will be based, and I feel justified in going so far as to say that it was impossible to secure more effectually this essential privilege of our nationality, and at the same time our civil and religious institutions. I was anxious to offer these explanations to the honorable member for Verchères and to the House, and I trust they will completely satisfy the country.

MR. GEOFFRION—The honorable member for Dorchester (Hon. Sol. Gen. LANGEVIN) has explained to us that the intention of the members of the Conference of Quebec was, not only that the French language should be used in the Federal Legislature and the Local Government of Lower Canada, as well as before the tribunals of the country, but that it was to be a right guaranteed to the French population by the Constitution under Confederation. The honorable gentleman has also told us that the word ” marriage” inserted in the resolutions does not signify anything else but what he explained to the House in his speech, and that we ought to be happy to see that the representatives of the French population at the Conference had thus secured the safety of their civil and religious institutions. For my part, Mr. SPEAKER, I must say that I cannot bring myself, like the honorable member, to see the splendid protection he vaunts so highly. If the resolutions now before this House have any meaning, that meaning is only to be derived from the strict letter of the resolutions themselves. It will always be optional with the British majority to avail themselves of the letter of the Constitution, and they may at any time say to us : ” You cannot have it, we oppose it, and the Constitution does not confer on you the rights you claim under it.” And it will be the more easy for them to do so from the fact that the resolution does not affirm that these matters cannot be disturbed. If the Conference had any other intention than what appears in the resolutions, the House should be made aware of it before being called upon to vote on these resolutions. For if the intention of the Conference was as stated by the Honorable Solicitor General for Lower Canada, and if that intention be carried into effect, the House will run the risk of discovering that on all the. other resolutions the intention is different from the letter, and will be in like manner carried out, for the resolutions must be interpreted as they stand, without reference to the intention of the members of the Conference. And for that reason I cannot help declaring that we French-Canadians would be guilty of an act ot unpardonable imprudence in adopting a resolution which declares fhat the Federal Legislature is to have the right of legislating on marriage and divorce, and which merely declares that the French language may be used in the Federal Legislature. We French-Canadian members, I repeat it, ought to insist that the word “shall” be substituted for the word ” may” in the resolution relating to this matter, with reference to the publication of the proceedings of the Legislature. If this is not done, and if we do not take every possible precaution, sooner or later the English speaking majority in the Federal Legislature will unite against us on this point, and enact that the laws shall be printed in the English language only. And if we rest satisfied with the understanding referred to by the Honorable Solicitor General for Lower Canada, we shall be told when we exclaim against that injustice: “You should have obtained more full and complete guarantees, and you should have seen that the Constitution was made more explicit and more precise on this point.” An i we shall have no answer to make. We must perforce be resigned, and put up with all the restrictions the majority may impose upon us. I maintain, therefore, that it is the duty of the French-Canadian members of this House to induce the Government to embody the understanding arrived at amongst the members of the Conference in the Constitution, and to require tliat the guarantees said to be afforded to us by the Constitution shall be more clearly expressed than they are in the resolutions. If we vote

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these resolutions as they are, we shall vote without knowing exactly the nature of the guarantees they afford us. (Cheers.)

MR. RÉMILLARD said—Mr. SPEAKER, the question of a Federal union oí the British North American Provinces is one of such importance, that at the present time it is engaging the attention, not only of this honorable House, but also of the whole political world. I consider, therefore, that it is the duty of those to whom it is submitted to express, each in his own way, the reasons which induce them to adopt or reject the union in question. When for the first time, in the year 1861, the county of Bellechasse did me the honor to send me here as its representative, I had not the slightest idea that I should be called upon, in the beginning of 1865, to take part in the discussion of such a measure, upon which, in my opinion, our whole future depends. So rapid, however, is the growth of events in this age of progress of every kind, that there is no reason to be surprised that we are to-day called upon to grapple with the subject of the political position of our youthful country. I am prepared at or.ce to acknowledge, Mr. SPEAKER, that that position has not for several years past appeared to me to be an enviable one ; and in fact what has the political aspect been ? Within the precincts of this House we have looked upon scenes that are to be regretted and that were of frequent occurrence. We have looked upon bitter and incessant strife between our public men on the subject of certain sectional difficulties, which should be settled in a friendly way, if it is our wish at a later period to avoid serious troubles. We have seen Ministries succeed each other at intervals of hardly six months—Ministries which were daily accused, and in many cases with good reason, of having been guilty of acts of corruption in order to prolong their feeble existence. Without these precincts we have seen public journals filled with personal attacks and insults of every kind, general elections every year, carried in many counties by means of fraud, and the fomenting of wretched prejudices. (Hear, hear.) To such a degree had this been carried, that the people had come to consider it a highly meritorious action to calumniate a member or a candidate, and to deprive him of that good character which he had, in some cases, acquired by many and great sacrifices. (Hear, hear.) Honest men can experience no feeling other than disgust at such a political course, which is inimical to every feeling of patriotism, and is fraught with danger to our institutions. The Canadian people, by nature brave, intelligent and courageous, are called upon to play a more noble and a more worthy part than that. Upon our statesmen, let them belong to what party they may, it devolves to provide them with a career which is, suitable to them, without taking into consideration either prejudices or opinions expresbed at another period and under other circumstances. (Hear, hear.) We French- Canadians especially, if we are desirous of continuing to enjoy, in the midst of the various races who inhabit this vast continent of America, the institutions which have been so carefully preserved for us, and which are more precious to us than life itself, require to seek an alliance with the inhabitants of the other British American Provinces, with which we have interests in oommon, which will have, in case of invasion, the same enemies as ourselves to repulse, and which, like ourselves, enjoy the advantage of living under the protection of Great Britain. At a time when we are, so to speak, threatened by the United States, ought we to be so foolish as to disregard the advice which comes to us from Great Britain, without whom we could do nothing for our defence, and to pretend seriously that we can without danger overthrow the Federal union which we are discussing, in the preparation of which our statesmen themselves prescribed the conditions which they considered to be most equitable and the best calculated to preserve the interests which are most dear to all ? Should we act in this way, we should be forming a very incorrect estimate of our position in relation to England, and our formidable neighbours the United States. The distinguished men who took part in the Conference held at Quebec in the month of October last, unanimously declared that ” the best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America will be promoted by a Federal uuion under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such union can be effected on principles just to the several provinces.” The most eminent men in England have repeated the same thing, and have approved of the scheme of the Conference. I do not propose. Mr. SPEAKER, to discuss the several articles contained in the plan of union ; the honorable members who have preceded me

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in this debate have, in my opinion, said all that can be said on each of the articles. Moreover, the erudite and carefully-weighed papers on the subject which have been published in this city in the Journal de Québecand the Courrier du Canada have contributed to diffusing a knowledge of the scheme in no less degree than the numerous speeches which have been delivered in this House. Despite the good opinion which I have of some of the honorable members who have endeavored to prove to this House and to the country that the proposed union would be more disastrous than advantageous in its results to the several provinces affected by it, I must acknowledge that their arguments have not convinced me—I will even say did not appear to me to be convincing. (Hear, hear.) The hon. member for Lotbinière for example, in whom, as he is aware, I have confidence, and from whom I greatly regret to differ in opinion on a measure of such importance, is opposed to any alteration in our present Constitution. He finds that everything has been for the best. The following is what he said in his eloquent speech :—

Let us not be dazzled by the ambition of becoming, all at once, a great people. The United States are a great people, but what people, however smal1 it may be, is there which now envies their greatness? Let us be satisfied with our lot; few people have a better.

I agree with my honorable friend to a certain extent. Like him, I do not envy the lot of the United States, but I disagree with him as to the means to be taken to protect us against our adversaries, even against the United States, and to preserve our nationality. The honorable member, to prove that the union proposed would be an evil, quoted to us the following extract from Lord BROUGHAM’S work on Political Philosophy:

The Federal union, by keeping up a line of separation between its members, gives the freest scope to these pernicious prejudices, feelings which it is the highest duty of all governments to eradicate, because they lead directly to confusion and war.

I may mistake, but it appears to me that this extract from Lord BROUGHAM’S work is not so much opposed to a Federal union, such as that which is proposed to us, as it is to the existing situation of the French- Canadians. In fact there is a strong line of demarcation in this province between the inhabitants of Upper Canada and those of Lower Canada; it is that very line of demarcation which has given rise to the sectional difficulties which our statesmen have undertaken to settle in a friendly way. The leaders of the Opposition themselves undertook to settle these difficulties in a manner much less advantageous to Lower Canada. If then the opinion of Lord BROUGHAM is to be an authority in this case, it would bo the duty of the Government of this province to remove the line of demarcation to which I have alluded as existing between the inhabitants of Upper Canada and those of Lower Canada. This, I am satisfied, is not what my honorable friend desires. (Hear, hear.) When speaking of the seven United Provinces (now Holland and Belgium), the hon. member for Lotbinière read the following extract from the first volume of Lord MACAULAY’S History of England :—

The union of Utrecht, rudely formed amidst the agoniea of a revolution, for the purpose of meeting immediate exigencies, had never been deliberately revised and perfected in a time of tranquillity. Every one of the seven commonwealths which that, union had bound together retained almost all the rights of sovereignty, and asserted those rights punctiliously against the Central Government.

This is all that the honorable member quoted from Lord MACAULAY. As may be seen, Mr. SPEAKER, this author is not opposed to a Federal union ; he simply points out the defects of the union of Utrecht. That union had been rudely formed, in the midst of a revolution, for the purpose of meeting immediate exigencies. But our plan of union was weighed with deliberation, in a time of tranquillity, and this tranquillity is certainly the result of the formation of the present Coalition Government. Therefore, the author who has been quoted merely demonstrates one thing, and that is, that we should be wrong to await the convulsions of a revolution, or of an invasion, in order to discuss the bases of a Federal union. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member for Lotbinière gave us to understand that the most certain method of obtaining the friendship of the Maritime Provinces, and of securing their sympathy and zeal in case of attack, was, so to speak, to have nothing in common with those provinces. I believe, on the contrary, that Lower Canada would gain by causing herself to be better known, and by causing the spirit of justice and of liberality which prevails among her inhabitants and her institutions, as they at present exist, to be

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better known. Does not the best understanding exist between the people of different origins in all classes of society ? We every day perceive with pleasure, and I am happy to say it, that Lower Canada has risen greatly in the estimation of hon. members from Upper Canada, since it has been their lot to reside in our midst, and to see for themselves what our institutions are, and what we are ourselves. (Hear.) I hope that my honorable friend the member for Lotbinière will forgive me if I take the liberty of discussing, for a few seconds longer, certain portioas of his speech ; but I am very anxious to convince him that I listened to him with great attention, and that if he did not succeed in convincing me, it was from no fault of mine. To set us on our guard against the proposed union, the hon. member laid before us a hasty sketch of the history of Ancient Greece, in order to shew us the hatred which the Athenians bore to the Spartans. No doubt he fears that that hatred, should the union be consummated, will manifest itself between the inhabitants of Lower Canada and the inhabitants of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. He also took us a long journey through various countries, in which he pointed out to us frequent insurrections, échauffourées and troubles of all kinds among people living under a system of Federal union, and therefrom he drew the conclusion that Federal unions are bad and pernicious. But did the honorable member shew us lhat the political condition of those nations, previous to their Federative union, was analogous to ours? Did he shew us that the basis of those Federal unions was similar to the basis of that which we propose to establish ? Did those unions cause those nations to pass from a state of prosperity, tranquillity, and happiness, to the state in which they have been held up to our view? Were they situated as we are ? Had they the same proclivities, the same tastes, and the same antecedents as we have ? Did they, as we do, trace their descent from the two wisest, the two greatest nations in the world ? Lastly, had they, as we have, the Crown of England to protect them ? No ! they were not possessed of any of the advantages of which we are possessed, and no comparison between the two cases was possible. (Hear hear.) Besides, Mr. SPEAKER, is it not sufficient to cast a glance at the history of all countries, to perceive that everywhere, under all possible institutions, there have arisen, not only échauffourées, but even frequent wars and sanguinary revolutions, characterized by the greatest horrors ? Have not the institutions of England and France been consecrated in rivers of blood ? All these arguments and reasonings adduced by the honorable member for Lotbinière are therefore not applicable to the question which is submitted to us, and are not of a nature to change the opinions of those who are in favor of a Federal union of all the British North American Provinces. (Hear, hear.) I now return to certain objections offered by other honorable members of the Opposition to the present scheme of the Government. Thus, they spoke to us of divorce, and tried to show us that great inconvenience would result from leaving to the Federal Parliament the right of legislating on that subject. But they do not remark that by this means the members from Lower Canada, that is to say, in the Local Legislature, will be exonerated from taking those questions into consideration. At the preseut day, all the Catholic members from Lower Canada are opposed to divorce as a matter of expediency and of conscience, and yet, even in the existing Legislature, they cannot prevent it. Why, therefore, blame the Government for not having prevented in the Federal Parliament that which they cannot even prevent here ?

HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE—They could prevent divorces in Lower Canada.

MR. RÉMILLARD—Has it ever been very easy to impose in Lower Canada laws upon the English inhabitants of that province, and to prevent them from obtaining what they consider as a right ? No ; it would have been an act of injustice to endeavor to force our opinions on this subject on the filnglish and Protestant population of Lower Canada ; and if an attempt had been made to do so, Confederation would probably have failed, because the majority of the members of the Conference would have maintained their claims, and this would have been sufficient to prevent Confederation. (Hear, hear.) It is not to be urged as a crime against the Government that they have permitted the F’ederal Legislature to have the power of legislating upon subjects upon which we ourselves may legislate. For my part, Mr. SPEAKER, I did not enter upon this question in order to judge the scheme of Confederation. I have sufficient confidence in the clergy to admit that on this question they

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are the best judges, and it is they who ought to decide whether there is danger or not; and there can be no doubt but that the bishops and the clergy have consulted together respecting this article, and that they came to the conclusion that it is an evil which there are no means of preventing. The honorable member for Verchères (Mr. GEOFFRION) maintained that it was necessary to state clearly in the resolutions what were the intentions of the members of the Conference in relation to marriage and divorce, in order that the Imperial Government may not impose upon us a Constitution other than that for which we ask. Now, I have more confidence than he has in the word of our public men, and in the sense of justice of the Imperial Government. Our public men having made a compromise, and asked a Constitution for the British North American Provinces, which is to do away with the difficulties which exist in the province, are we for a single instant to believe that when this scheme, which is framed to reestablish that peace, harmony and concord of which we stand in need, is carried to England that a clause will be inserted which would raise the Lower-Canadians like one man ? In such a case we should see petitions pour into the House headed with the signatures of the principal members of the clergy, exclaiming against such injustice; in such a case we should see real petitions agiinst this attack upon our religious rights. If our institutions should be so menaced, the Lower Canadian people would do themselves justice, if it was refused to them, and we should no longer enjoy that peace which now prevails in Canada between populations of different origins and belief, in consequence of the absence of disquietude among the people— (hear, hear)—I have confidence enough in the clergy and bishops of Lower Canada to believe that if that clause, on which so much stress is laid, was of a nature to do any inj ry to our religious interests, they would loudly exclaim against it and have justice done us. Our bishops are not in the habit of standing in fear of the civil authorities, when their duty calls them to defend the interests which are entrusted to them. (Hear, hear.) It is stated also that the clergy are not in favor of the scheme of Confederation, because two or three of its members have written in newspapers and have signed petitions opposed to the scheme. But is that a manifestation of the opinion of the clergy? No; for they do not write in the name of the clergy, but simply in their individual capacity as citizens ; for they sign their writings under their title as citizens. Certain members of the clergy may differ widely in opinion from the remainder of their brethren ; as citizens they may believe that the scheme of Confederation is a bad one, but those who hold that opinion are certainly a minority, just as in the House it is the minority of the members who are opposed to Confederation. (Hear, hear.) Mention is also made of the use of the French language ; it is said that it cannot be used in the Federal Parliament. But, for my part, I am of opinion that if the scheme is adopted, tho French language will be more used and will be held in higher estimation in the Federal Parliament, than it has been in this Legislature for same years. It is feared that the laws, the documents and the proceedings of the Federal Parliament are not to be printed in the French language. But what does the 46th clause of the resolutions say? It says:—

Both the English and French languages may be employed in the General Parliament, and in its proceedings, and in the Local Legislature of Lower Canada, and also in tha Federal courts, and in the courts of Lower Canada.

Thus, if the use of the French language can be excluded, so also may the use of the English language be excluded, for both are on an equal footing. Because it is not stated that the laws and the proceedings of the Federal Parliament shall be printed in the French language, the conclusion is drawn that they will be so in English ; but the same thing might be said of the Eüglish language, as it is not stated that they will be printed in that language. The hon. member for Verchères (Mr. GEOFFRION) would have something more; instead of the resolutions setting forth that the French language may be used, he would have them declare that it shall be used ; in that case the members from Lower Canada might be compelled to speak French ; but are the Upper Canadian members also to be forced to speak that language, they who do not. understand a word of it? I should be with the hon. member for Verchères if we could compel Lower Canadian members to speak French, and Upper Canadian members to speak English, as in that case each would learn the language of the other. I am really of opinion that if the Hon. Attorney General

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for Lower Canada had never spoken anything but French in this House, the members from Upper Canada would have learned that language in order to understand him; but as he wishes to make them understand him without putting them to that trouble, he most frequently speaks English. (Hear, hear.) It is said that in the resolutions the guarantees which we seek to have for our language, our laws and our institutions are not clearly enough expressed, and that the Imperial Government might, consequently, confer upon us something other than that for which we ask. But could not the Imperial Government impose Confederation upon us as it did the union ? And as it does not do so, but is merely desirous of being consulted, we ought not to believe that it will impose upon us conditions which are opposed to our interests.

HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE—It is proposed to impose it on the Lower Provinces, who do not wish for it.

MR. RÉMILLARD—Certain hon. members consider our present position an excellent one, and say they do not wish it altered. But that is not the opinion of the greater number, and nearly ail the hon. members of the Opposition have declared that changes are indispensible and necessary. The hon. member for Hochelaga has acknowledged it, and has expressed his opinion on the subject. When I was a supporter of the MACDONALD-DORION Administration, I understood that the members of that Government were of opinion that changes were necessary, and that we could not very long remain in our present position. The hon. member for Hochelaga has admitted that the opinion of Upper Canada must be respected, and that to it would have to be granted representation based on population ; and the influence of Upper Canada made itself felt by the MACDONALD- DORION Administration ; it made itself felt especially when, just before the last general elections, it bec ime necessary to oust the Honorable Mr. SICOTTE from the Ministry to satisfy Upper Canada. By means of Mr. SICOTTE, elections had been secured sufficiently advantageous in their results to overthrow the CARTIER-MACDONALD Administration, to which I was opposed, because I did not wish to see a coalition between the parties, and because I considered that that Government had made too free a use of the public money. But I foresaw that sooner or later I should return to the Conservative party, from which I had detached myself in consequence of the extravagant conduct of two or three of its leaders, and in consequence I was thon elected without the assistance of any party. Alone I strove with the Conservative party in my county. I was faithful to the friends with whom I went at the time, and I do not regret that I went with them ; so long as they stood in need of me, I supported them in order that they might avail themselves of circumstances to bring about a change in the financial affairs of the country. I would not change my party then, but matters and circumstances having changed, I consulted my friends in the county which I represent, and I was then able to go with the men whom I consider able to protect and preserve our institutions and the interests of the country in general. For this reason I am prepared to accept the scheme of Coofederatiou prepared by them, for I have more confidence, as regards the preservation of our rights and our institutions, in the men who are now in power than in those with whom I formerly worked. (Hear, hear.) I cannot do otherwise than declare it. It is not my wish to insult any one; I merely state the reasons which have decidsd me to go with them ; and as I find that it is always necessary to be in favor of one party or the other in this House, that is to say, for that one which is considered to be the best, I do not hesitate to state my opinion and to declare myself in favor of the Conservative party. (Hear, hear.) I t was my intention to reply to the speech of the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. PERRAULT), but I perceive that my ideas do not flow rapidly, and moreover, I do not wish longer to fatigue the House.

SEVERAL VOICES—Go on ! go on !

MR RÉMILLARD—Well, I listened with pain to the language used by the hon. member for Richelieu. Should what he said in French be repeated by some one in English, I should greatly fear that it would give rise to prejudice against us among the English members. (Hear, hear.) Last year he said to the members from Upper Canada,—” The French-Canadians are learning the use of arms, and if you insist upon having representation based upon population, they will be turned against you ;” and this year he says that one Lower Canadian can stand against ten Upper Canadians. He considers himself fortunate in being under

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the protection of the English flag, and yet his whole speech was ons insult to the English Government. (Hear, hear.) Does he forget, then, that the French-Canadians are in a minority ? He talked a great deal about the great men who saved our nationality ; but if those men had made use of such language as the hon. member has done, they would not have obtained that which they did obtain. (Hear, hear.) Our nationality would long since have passed away ; for, I repeat it, his whole speech was one insult to England and Englishmen. Fortunately his speech was not understood by the English members of this House, and consequently it could produce no effect upon them ; and those who did understand him, moreover, are aware that he spoke for himself alone, and that he does not represent the opinions of the Lower Canadian members or of the Lower Canadian people. I am therefore convinced that they will bear no ill-will to the French-Canadians in consequence of that speech. (Hear, hear.) It has been said that the scheme of Confederation would entail the imposition of enormous taxes, and that we should have to provide for the defence of the country. And yet most of the hon. members who oppose this scheme acknowledge that the defence of the country must be provided for, or at least that we must contribute our share to it. Under the present régime, the Government has the right of presenting a bill respecting the militia or the defences, and the members may accept it or may reject it it they consider it too burdensome for us ; and will the case be different in the Federal Parliament? We shall lose nothing, under Confederation, in respect of defence, for we shall have allies who will assist us in economising and in preventing the adoption of any measure which would be beyond the strength of the country, for the people of the other provinces are no fonder of taxation than are those of Lower Canada. It is perfectly well known that any change in our position would be only to our advantage, under Confederation, in relation to defence ; for if the United States should attack the English provinces, they would attack all the provinces together; they would probably begin by attacking Canada, because they think more of Canada than of the Lower Provinces. In case of difficulties arising between England and the United States, the burthen of war would fall upon us, for we should be first attacked. It is, therefore, our interest to be able to receive aid from the Maritime Provinces, and to be able to convey the reinforcements which they would send us, and which England would send us, by railway. As regards defence, I am of opinion that Lower Canada would be found to occupy the most advantageous position in the Confederacy, being situated in the centre of all the provinces. (Hear, hear.) In a material point of view, we could not but grow and advance. The annexationists of the district of Montreal only are afraid of Confederation. Indeed, all the commercial transactions of the district of Montreal are with the United States. But if we are not desirous of being annexed to the United States, and if we are desirous of preserving the institutions which are so dear to us, I maintain that weimust construct a Confederacy which shall be competent to protect us from the United States. If we will do nothing to show England that we are disposed to improve our position in relation to the defence of the British North American Provinces, wo expose ourselves to see England withdraw her forces and abandon us, because she cannot, unaided, carry on the strife with the United States. Wiih our help, she would be certain of victory. (Hear, hear.) We ought, therefore, to build up a Constitution which will establish such relations between all the provinces as shall make of them a single state and a single people, who will unite in case of war. We may change our Constitution without altering our institutions, and I maintain that the more monarchical our government is, the safer will our institutions be, for in those institutions the monarchical principle especially predominates. It is in consequence of our having always been at peace that those institutions have grown and prospered. If England should abindon her colonies, the United States would take possession of us, and we should soon disappear, for the American Constitution is not sufficient to protect our institutions. The citizens of the United States would show but little respect for those institutions, and the law would not be powerful enough to prevent the masses from spreading themselves in our midst, and from depriving us of what we hold most dear. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, I say that I unite witli pleasure with the men who are now proposing a –chenie which I consider to be of a nature to preserve our institutions, our language, our laws and our

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religion with that great party which possesses the confidence of a large majority of the inhabitants of this country. (Cheers.)

DR. PAQUET—Mr. SPEAKER, although I am not in the habit of addressing the House, and although the question now under consideration has already been discussed at great length, I cannot allow so important an occasion to pass without making known the reasons which induce me to protest against the constitutional changes which are now pro posed, and which tend to nothing less than the complete overthrowing of the Constitution under which we have been governed since the union of Upper and Lower Canada. Since the prorogation of Parliament in June last, I have endeavored in vain to explain to myself the advantages which we, Lower Canadians, would derive from Confederation, and I had lost myself in the motives and the object of a union of this kind, when I had the opportunity of reading in the speech of the honorable member for Sherbrooke that ” the scheme of Confederation had not been a new question since the days of Lord DURHAM, that only the question of carrying it into effect was wanting.” After having read this significant passage, I set myself to work to study and ascertain what were the tendencies and spirit which actuated Lord DURHAM, and more especially, what object he had in view. I did not take long to convince myself, as any Lower Canadian member may do on reading his celebrate! report, that everything he had in view was calculated to secure our annihilation as French-Canadiins, and that he desired neither more nor less than to subject us to a ruling power exclusively English. When we see, Mr. SPEAKER, the hon. members from Upper Canada rejoicing over such a scheme, and declaring themselves so much the more satisfied from the fact that they would obtain, by this fine stroke of policy, more than they had at first hoped for, when the honorable member for Lambton (Mr. A. MACKENZIE) , whilst avowing, as he has always done, that his views are but incompletely expressed in the language which I am about to read, there is reason for some little alarm. This is what that honorable gentleman said in the House the other night :—

I believe then, sir, in the first place, that Confederation is desirable ; in the second, that it is attainable; and in the thud place, that it is the best thing we can get, and this last is perhaps the strongest reason of all for accepting it. It is quite clear that we must have a settlement of our difficulties in some way, and I think the scheme proposed is a very favorable settlement of them. I think it is more than, perhaps, some of us expected, at the time when the present Government was formed, to bring about a settlement, and I do think, sir, it would be the gieatest act of madness that western members of this House could perpetrate, to vote against it. (Hear, hear.) I am not, however, afraid that it will be voted against by them. I believe that under it we have obtained representation by population, that we have obtained what we have leng contended was justly due to us, that we have obtained our legitimate influence in framing the financial policy of the country, and that beyond this we have obtained the prospect of building upa great British union on this continent. We should therefore, I think, in view of these great advantages, overlook those objections which may be regaided as antecedent to the scheme, and endeavor hearuly to cany out the work successfully. I shall willingly jield my support to the scheme, and I believe it will be acceptable to the people I represent—not only to the people Of the locality, but to those who surround me in Upper Canada.

If, Mr. SPEAKER, honorable gentlemen from Upper Canada are permitted tc give utterance to such opinions as these, I hope that my fellow-countrymen from Lower Canada will permit me to vindicate their rights. (Hear , hear.) But let us proceed to examine this Confederation, to which the practical question is alone wanting. I read from the report of Lord DURHAM :—

I entertain no doubts as to the national character which must be given to Lower Canada ; it must be that of the British Empire ; that of the majority of the population of British America; that of the great race which must, in the lapse of no long period of time, be piedominant over the whole North American continent. Without effecting the change so rapidly or roughly as to shock the feelings and trample on the welfare of the existing generation, it must henceforth be the first and steady purpose of the British Government to establish an English population, with English laws and language, in this province, and to trust its government to none but a decidedly English legislature.

A little further on in the same report, I read as follows :—

If the population of Upper Canada is rightly estimated at 400,000, the English inhabitants of Lower Canada at 150,000 and the French at 450,000, the union of the two provinces will not only give a clear English majority, but one which would be increased every year by the influence of English emigiation ; and I have no doubt that the French, when once placed, by the legitimate couise of events and the working of natural causes, in a minority, would abandon their vain hopes of nationality. (Hear, hear.)

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HON. MR. CAUCHON—He was in error. That all related to the Union Act and to nothing else.

MR. PAQUET —Yes; it had reference to the beginning of the end. (Hear, hear.) A little further on I read as follows :—

A general Legislative union would elevate and gratify the hopes of able and aspiring men. They would no longer look with envy and wonder at the great arena of the bordering Federation, but see the means of satisfying every legitimate ambition in the hiah offices of the judicature and executive government of their own union.

Again I find the following passage :—

But even in the administration of justice, an union would immediately supply a remedy for one of the most serious wants under which the provinces labor, by facilitating the formation of a general appellate tribunal for all the North American colonies.

And again :—

The completion of any satisfactory communication between Halifax and Quebec would, in fact, produce relations between these provinces that would render a general union absolutely necessary. Several surveys have proved that a railroad would be perfectly practicable the whole way.

And thus we come to the Intercolonial Railway ; and it is easy to perceive that Lord DURHAM, from the beginning to the end of his report, preaches in favor of the very Confederation which we are about to have imposed upon us. Even before Lord DURHAM, Judge SEWELL, in 1814, had expressed opinions nearly similar to those of the noble lord, and in 1839 the whole of the present plan of Confederation was traced out. The honorable member for Montmorency pretends that Lord DURHAM was mistaken ; but for my part I find, in addition to the other causes of reproach which have been accumulated against the members of the Conference, we may urge this, that they did not give Lord DURHAM credit for the work he had already done, and that they did not endorse upon the scheme of Confederation now laid before us the words ” True copy of the scheme of Lord DURHAM as set forth in his report to the British Government.” (Hear, hear.) French-Canadian nationality has been talked about. Lord DURHAM speaks of it in his report in the following terms : ” The error of Lower Canada consists especially in that vain attempt to preserve a French-Canadian nationality in the midst of Anglo-American states and colonies.” When is the imposition of a new nationality spoken of, if not at the time when it is sought to snatch from a people that which it already possesses ? There will be opposition, I trust ; for otherwise, Mr. SPEAKER, I cannot comprehend the logic of honorable members who emphatically declare that they will stand by it at any risk. I am well aware that the nationality of a people cannot be changed by a mere act of the Legislature ; but why should obstacles be placed in our path, why should we submit to the yoke of the oppressor, when there is no legitimate ground for imposing it upon us ? Another reason which gives me good ground for hoping that the work of destruction will not be accomplished in a hurry, as desired by the honorable members of the Administration, is that it is a difficult matter to ostracise a people which numbers more than a million. The example of Belgium sufficet to prove it to us, and also that of Greece, which, after three centuries of tyranny and oppression, stood up manfully and exclaimed, ” We are still Greeks.” I am confident, then, that following their example, in defiance of all the constitutions that may be framed for us, and of all the vexations to which we may have to submit, we also shall come out triumphant from our trials, exclaiming, ” We are still French-Canadians.” (Hear, hear.) The honorable members of the Government, and especially those from Lower Canada, ought not to forget, either in our interest or in their own, that a generation which detaches itself from the generations which preceded it runs the risk of being repudiated by the generations which come after ; that social existence is not concentrated in a single period, that it influences the future. These honorable gentlemen would do well to reflect on this before imposing upon us the practical question of Lord DURHAM. Passing now, Mr. SPEAKER, to the financial question, I regret that I cannot agree in the views expressed by the honorable member for Dorchester (the Honorable Solicitor General for Lower Canada), who claims to have expressed an official opinion on this head. Although he has affirmed that he drew them from authentic sources, the results which he has obtained from his calculations differ from those which I have obtained, founded upon the figures which he has made use of to establish his proposition. He bas declared that we shall have a surplus of $200,000.

MR. ERIC DORION—And he added that we should be in a position to lend the amount.

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MR . PAQUET—I shall now submit to this honorable House a s tatement of the expen- diture which will be incurred by the Government of Lower Canada :—

Administration of justice, $364,785
Deducting the salaries of the judges 50,000
Deficit $314,785
Education 254,000
Scientific institutions 5,900
Hospitals and charities 124,949
Board of Arts and Manufactures 3,5110
Agriculture 50,000
Repairs and public buildings 15,000
Colonization and roads 113,000
Timber cullers 35,000
Office and other contingencies 77,000
Public works 30,000
Slides 15,000
Surveys 30,000
Court houses and gaols 10,500
Rent of site of Parliament house 4,444
Legislation 200,000
Executive Government 100,000
Public departments 100,000
Public lands 37,000
Publication of the laws 20,000
Elections 15,000
River police 30,000
Unforeseen expenditure 10,000
Interest on the Federal debt, share of
Lower Canada 300,000
Total expenditure $1,885,078
Local revenue estimated at about 1,400,000
Deficit $485,078

These figures are taken from the Public Accounts for last year. Subtracting from that sum the estimated amount of the revenue of the Local Government, instead of a surplus there will be a deficit of $485,088; and I ask you, Mr. SPEAKER , how are we to meet it otherwise than by direct taxation, or by diminishing the public appropriations, which are by no means excessive now ? (Hear, hear.) If we do not adopt the latter alternative, there will remain, I say, no other means than direct taxation. The Hon. Minister of Finance, moreover, told us so expressly, in these words :—

The Federal Legislature will have power to impose any system of duties which they may think proper to meet the expenses of its administration, whilst the local legislatures will be obliged to have recourse to direct taxation for the same purpose, if their revenues prove insufficient.

For my part, Mr. SPEAKER , I affirm that the country is not ready to submit to such a state of things , and in this matter, as also upon the scheme itself, I am quite certain that I express the opinion of my county. (Hear, hear.) A third point, which I would humbly submit for the consideration of the House, is the expediency of pressing for the adoption of this measure before an appeal has been had to the people. I believe and I hope that the House will have too much respect for itself and for the people to vote at once upon the resolutions now submitted to us. If, however, public opinion is not to be regarded, I flatter myself that at all events precedents will not be treated with contempt. We find in the History of Canada, by CHRISTIE, that in 1823, when a proposition was made in the Lower Canadian Parliament to effect changes in the Constitution, the following decision was come to by the Government of Lower Canada, and the paragraph I am about to read formed part of the Speech from the Throne : —

I am commanded to inform you that His Majesty’s Ministers proposed to Parliament certain alterations in the act thirty-first George the Third, chapter thirty-one, principally with a view to unite into one the two legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada ; but the measure was withdrawn and postponed to the next session, in order to afford an opportunity ot ascertaining the sentiments of the people of those provinces upon it.

(Hear, hear.). In the same history we find another example, which will, I believe, strongly support me in the position I have taken :—

In 1839 Lord JOHN RUSSELL gave notice in the Hous of Commons, on the 3rd June, of certain resolutions which he intended to submit relating to the projected union of the Canadas. He was, however, induced, on the suggestion of Sir ROBERT PEEL, to waive them, and at once to introduce his bill for the purpose. In doing which he stated it to be his intention to carry it only through a second reading, in order that it might undergo discussion, but that having received a strong protest, on the part of Upper Canada, against the intended union, he did not deem it advisable to legislate that session finally on the subject.

Here we have another fact which proves that in England, in 1839, the measure was opposed at its second reading, and that a year was given to the Canadian people to reflect upon the merits of the proposed union of the two Canadas. (Hear, hear.) I trust then, Mr. SPEAKER , that what was done in 1839 will again be done in relation to the

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project of Confederation. For those reasons I am of opinion that the Government ought Dot, in the first place, to humiliate us by taking from us the privileges to which we are entitled, then ruin us by a scheme which must triple the expenditure, and lastly, fail in thé respect which they owe to the popple, by refusing to consult them before changing the Constitution. If I am not greitly mistaken, the party which is seeking these constitutional changes is the very party which calls itself Conservative, who obtained their elections to preserve and guard the Constitution, and which has always opposed us becmse, it exclaimed, we were the allies of the hon. member for South Oxford (Hon. Mr. BROWN), to whom, said they, we were ready to concede representation by population, the powerful lever which was to endacger all our civil and religious institutions. Well, what do these hon. gentlemen do to-day ? Instead of preserving the Constitution, they change it and iudeed destroy it, by granting to Upper Canada preponderance in ths representation. I prove this by citing the following extract from the speech of tho Hon. Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. GALT) :—

Now it became necessary to introduce into the constitution of the Lower House the principle of repiesentation proportioned to population ; for without that, Upper Canada, who has so long demanded this reform, would never have consented to enter into the Confederation.

If Upper Canada would never have consented to enter into the Confederation without representation by population, then she has obtained it, as she has consented to enter the Confederation; and why say that that measure has not been conceded ? In conclusion, I affirm that the proposed Confederation of the provinces is only a Legislative union in disguise, and I will cite the language made use of a short time ago by a man well known throughout the country for his talents and his eloquence, at a meeting, held in the city of Montreal, to condemn the Ministerial scheme, that the present Confedeiation is but the chrysalis of a Legislative union, and that the butterfly would not be long in making its appearance. (Cheers.)

MR. O’HALLORAN—Before proceeding, Mr. SPEAKER, to offer a few observations on the resolutions in your hands, I may say that if I had any hesitation in pronouncing on the merits of this scheme, I might have taken a preliminary exception to the jurisdiction of this House to pass this measure. You, sir, and I were sent here to make laws, not legislatures. (Hear, hear.) We were sent here to work out the Constitution of this country—not to undermine and destroy it. There is not an elector from Graspé to Sarnia, however humble he may be, who has not just as much right to pronounce upon this question as you and I have. Therefore, if it were my wish to shirk this question, which it is not, I could justify myself by saying it was no part of my mandate, or of the compact between me and those who sent me here. When we assume the power to deal with this question, to change the whole system of Government, to effect a revolution, peaceful though it be, without reference to the will of the people of this country, we arrogate to ourselves a right never conferred upon us, and our act is a usurpation. But I rise not for the purpose of discussing this scheme in detail, as it has already been discussed so fully—and I cannot possibly say much which may not already in substance have been said, and much better said than I could expect to say it — but I rise to record my protest against the usurpation which this House, in my humble opinion, is guilty of in undertaking to pass this measure, or, so far as in its power lies, to impose upon the people of this country a Constitution contrary to their wishes—a Constitution which they will never have an opportunity of seeing, until they are called upon to submit to it and obey it. I rise to protest also against this parliamentary gag by which the attempt is made to suppress free discussion in this House, and to compel it to adopt against its will, or against its reason and judgment, a measure with which, perhaps, a very large number of the honorable members of this House have no real sympathy. It is no auswer to me to say that I may express my views freely—that I may fully discuss this question. It is no answer to say that I have the privilege of pointing out the defects of this measure, if I am denied the privilege of obtaining the sense of this House, and of putting on rejord what I may consider its objectionable features—if I am denied the right of submitting to the House substantive motions and resolutions, which might perhaps meet the sense of the majority of this House, and which at all events would afford to the people of this country the opportunity of knowing the views of the honorable members of this House upon possible amendments which might be proposed to this measure. At an early period of this session, I gave notice

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of substantive resolutions which, however little they might have met the sense of the majority of this House, express the views of a large majority of my constituents. It would interest them to see how far those views met the approbation of the representatives of the people here ; it would interest them to know how far honorable gentlemen from Upper Canada are prepared to go to insure to the English speaking minority of Lower Canada those rights and liberties which they claim for themselves ; it would afford us some criterion by which we might measure the degree of protection we should find in the Federal Parliament, from possible oppression in our Local Parliament. For if honorable gentlemen from Upper Canada, on the floor of this House, will not hear us today, if they manifest an indifference to the injustice about to be inflicted upon the English speaking inhabitants of Lower Canada by the proposed Constitution, what guarantee have we that similar selfishness may not mark their conduct after we shall be powerless to rebuke it ? I will read those resolutions which I had designed to propose, for the purpose of obtaining the opinion of the House on a modification of this measure, which, if it must be adopted, might possibly have been so amended as to remove many serious objections now entertained to i t by a large portion of the people of Lower Canada. They are in these words :—

Resolved, That assuming the Federal system of government to be a political necessity in a uniun of the Biitish North American provinces, any Confederation of those provinces which ignores the difference of race, language and religion of the inhabitants of the respective states or territories sought to be thus united, and is not framed with a view to secure to the inhabitants of each such state or territory the management of their own local affairs, in accordance with their own peculiar views and sentiments, is unwise and inexppdient, and not conducive to good government, or to the peace and tranquillity of those for whom it is framed.

This resolution I put forth simply for the sake of ¡shewing the idea which I had in my mind, without, I am free to confess, any expectation that the particular modification which I was about to propose would meet the sense of the majority of this House, but as giving an indication of the direction in which the English-speaking inhabitants of Lower Canada would consider that their interests might be best preserved. The second resolution I designed to propose is as follows:—

Resolved, That with a view to secure to that portion of the inhabitants of Lower Canada speaking the English language, the free exercise and enjoyment of their own ideas, institutions and rights, in any proposed Confederation of the provinces, Canada should be divided into three civil divisions, to wit : Western, Central, and Eastern Canada.

Why is it that objection is made to a legislative union ? The reason why so large a portion of the people of Lower Canada of French origin will not consent to a legislative union, is the very reason that makes it desirable to the English speaking population of Lower Canada. We are in favor of a legislative union. We desire that Canada should be a united people, ignoring sectionalism, and basing our institutions upon one broad principle of Canadian nationality, which shall blend all races, and in time obliterate all accidental distinctions of language, religion, or origin. Our French-Canadian fellow-subjects will not consent to this. If they will not hear our arguments, let them listen to their own. If Federalism is necessary for the protection of their rights, it is necessary in a tenfold degree for the protection of the rights of the English speaking minority. They tell us we may rely upon their well-known liberality and toleration. We cannot consent to hold our liberties by mere sufferance, when we are entitled to hold them by right. It would be unworthy of us to submit to such humiliation. In these remarks which are forced from me, and which I am compelled to make in défonce of the rights and liberties of those who sent me here, I mean no disrespect to those of another origin —to the French-Canadian honorable gentlemen whom I see around me. (Hear, hear.) In many respects I sympathise with them, and have always sympathised with them. I desire to live among my French-Canadian fellow-subjects in peace. I desire to maintain those amicable relations which have always subsisted between the English-speaking and the French-Canadian populations of Lower Canada. As I said before, I sympathise with my French-Canadian fellow-subjects in many respects. I respect their character, I admire their laws. Bu t this antagonism is not courted by me. It is forced upon me. Let me call the attention of honorable gentlemen, more especially of those from Upper Canada, to the position in which this proposed Constitution now before the House would place the English-speaking people of Lower Canada. I may say at the outset, that although they number only one-fourth of the population, they possess at least one-third of the property,

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and pay one-half of the taxes. The French- Canadian differs very materially in many respects from the Englishman, or the Anglo- Saxon. He is more simple in his habits, more frugal in his mode of life, and less disposed to novelty. He is content to ride in a carriage of the same fashion as that of his grandfather. He is wedded to his institutions, his old customs, and old laws. It is different with the English-speaking people. They are, as a people, more extravagant, more eager for novelty, and in many other respects widely different from the French-Canadians in their tastes and habits. Of course a comparison would be invidious, and I do not desire to institute one. But I am not at liberty to ignore the facts. Let us see how, under this proposed Constitution, the English-speaking people would be placed in reference to their peculiar interests and their peculiar ideas. In the first place, I would desire to direct your attention to the 14th resolution, by which it is provided how, especially after the local governments are established, the Legislative Council of the General Government is to be constituted—by its members beingappointed by the Federal Government on the nomination of the respective local governments. We must bear in mind that in this Local Legislature which will be imposed on Lower Canada, the English element will not certainly be more than one-fifth in number. Under these circumstances, and under the peculiar provisions with reference to the powers granted to the local governments, by which the legislative councillors are to be appointed by the General Government on the recommendation of the local governments, and in the case of Lower Canada, when its Local Government will be four-fifths French-Canajian and only one-fifth of English origin, think you how many English members from Lower Canada would ever find their way to the Legislative Council ? How would it be possible, when the Legislative Council is to be appointed on the recommendation of the Local Government, and that Local Government four-fifths French-Canadian, for the English element to obtain fair representation in the Legislative Council ? When, I say, would an English-speaking inhabitant of Lower Canada ever receive such a recommendation, unless he approved himself more French than English? (Hear, hear.) Again, by the 23rd resolution, it is provided that ” the Legislature of each province shall diude such province into the proper number of constituencies, and define the boundaries of each of them.” How easy would it be, under the provisions of that clause, for the Local Legislature to snuff out one-half of the English constituencies in Lower Canada. They might arrange their bounds in such a manner that the English-speaking element would be confined within very narrow limits. There would be a few constituencies left entirely English, but the English population would thus be deprived of the influence which their numbers and wealth should give them in the Local Legislature. (Hear, hear.) Again, the Local Legislature will have power to alter or amend their Constitution from time to time. We to-day may frame a Constitution—the English-speaking majority in this House may frame a Constitution which would give proper protection to the English-speaking population of Lower Canada. But, by this scheme it will be in the power of the local legislatures to change that, and to modify it so as to suit it to the wishes or prejudices of the French majority. We would be powerless, after we leave these halls, any longer to conserve our rights, and the privileges which this Parliament might give us may be taken away at the very first session of the Local Legislature. Then look at the powers which, under this Constitution, are conferred on the Loca! Government. The first I find is the power of direct taxation. In the case of all governments, the power of taxation is the most important power they can possess. It is that which concerns all portions and all classes of the community, and which gives rise to the greatest controversy, and the greatest amount of difficulty. It is the most important of all legislative powers, and this power is to be conferred on the Local Legislature of a province, where one nationality has four-fifths of the numbers, and the other nationality contributes one-half of the taxes. Then the Local Legislature is to have the control of immigration—a very important subject, which deeply interests the English-speaking population of Lower Canada—but they woula have no voice in framing the measures which might be adopted for directing and controlling that important matter. Then the Local Legislature is to have the control of education. And what subject can there be of greater importance ? And what subject is there which might be a source of greater strife between the two nationalities; which by this provision would be brought into antagonism ? Even under our present system, with sixty-five Upper Canadiau English- speaking members, who would naturally

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be expected to sympathise with the Englishspeaking people of Lower Canada, it is a crying grievance with the latter that they cannot get such legislation on the subject of education as they desire. What, then, would they have to expect if they went into a Legislature wheie four-fifths of the representatives were of a different nationality and a different religion, and whose prejudices and interests were in opposition to the claims of the one-fifth minority ? (Hear, hear.) Then the Local Legislature is to have control of ” the establishment, maintenance and management of hospitals, asylums, charities, and eleemosynary institutions.” Now it is a positive fact, as I have stated before, that the English-speaking population of Lower Canada, on account of their wealth and expensive mode of living, their extravagant habits, their desire for change and progress, their different ideas generally from the French- Canadians, consume more than one-half of the dutiable goods that are brought into this country, and pay one-half of the taxes ; and yet the money which they would pay into the public chest would be distributed by a majority over whom they had no control—a majority who would not in any manner sympathise with them; and their taxes would be applied to objects which they might not deem desirable—which they might, perhaps, consider detrimental to their interests. And they would be completely without remedy, should this proposed Constitution unfortunately be imposed upon them. (Hear, hear.) It is painful to me to be compelled to refer to these matters. It is not with pleasure that I bring before the House the antagonism* which would inevitably arise between the two nationalities, should they be brought together into one Legislature, with such a vast disproportion between their means of taking their own part We are told, and told very truly—I rejoice that it is the fact —that hitherto the two races in Lower Canada have lived in peace. But it would be impossible that they could any longer live in peace ; it would be impossible that with such a disparity of numbers, and with such antagonistic interests, they should not come into conflict. It would be a constant warfare, and this new Constitution, instead of settling the sectional difficulties in this country, instead of bringing peace to this country, instead of removing jealousies and heart-burnings would have the very opposite effect. From the fact that the field of conflict would be smaller, that the arena would be more circumscribed, the strife would be all the fiercer. You are not bringing peace, but a sword. (Hear, hear.)

Opposition in Lower Canada assent to that ? (Hear, hear.)

MR. O’HALLORAN— It is not my province to inquire what any hon. gentleman assents to or dissents from. What I have to do is to see that the interests of those who sent me here are not put in jeopardy. And it will be for the leader of the Opposition to see that he too, on his part, faithfully discharges his duty to those he represents. But, sir, the English-speaking people of Lower Canada are to be amused, and their attention is to be diverted from a full examination of those serious matters which press themselves upon our consideration, by cleverly drawn abstractions and sophistries, such as new nationalities—union is strength —a great empire—and the other plausible pretexts that are attempted to be imposed upon them. It would be easy to refute and show how baseless are all these schemes of greatness with which the people of this country are sought to be misled. We are gravely asked : ” What man would remain poor, when he could at once become rich ? What man would remain weak, when he could at once become powerful ? Who would be diminutive, when by merely taking thought he could add cubits to his stature ? What people would continue to be a mere colony, when by the stroke of a pen they could at once become an empire, under a new nationality?” Sir, these sophistries will not impose upon the people of this country. Where is the demonstration furnished us that by this scheme you would add one dollar to the wealth of this country, or one human being to its inhabitants, or one inch to its territory ? We do not find it afforded during the course of this debate. I have listened attentively to the arguments in favor of the scheme, but no attempt has been made to demonstrate these things. It has been repeatedly stated that we are about to consolidate the strength of this country, in order to resist invasion ; but I should like to know in what manner such an end is promoted by this measure. Are we not already united under one Government? Are we not already living under the control of the same executive power ? Do we not fight under the same flag, and pay allegiance to

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the same Sovereign ? Is not every man in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island just as much under the control of the head of our Government as the inhabitants of this province ? It is all sophistry this idea that we are going to increase the strength of this country by the proposed union with the Lower Provinces. An attempt is made to alarm us by sensational rumors about invasion, and it is stated that we must put forth every possible strength to save ourselves from being swallowed up by the neighboring republic ; and we are gravely told that through the action of a number of selfconstitutod delegates assembled around a green table, and adopting certain resolutions, the whole of the physical laws relating to our country are to be changed. Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island are to be brought up into Lake Ontario, and the whole of our territory is to be compacted, consolidated and strengthened. Our extended frontier is no longer to be exposed to attack, and, if attacked, will be much more easily defended. Is not this the most absurd sophistry ? Can paper resolutions change the laws of nature, or modify the physical geography of the country. Will not Newfoundland be as isolated from this piovince after Confederation shall have been adopted, as it is to-day ? I think, sir, it is generally admitted that Canada is unequal to the defence of its own frontier against invasion from the only quarter from which it is apprehended. It is also admitted that the Maritime Provinces are alike unequal to the defence of their own frontier. By what process then will you demonstrate to me, that by adding the frontier of the Lower Provinces to that of Canada, and by adding the force of those provinces to our own, there will not be the same defencelessness as at present ? Will there not be the same disproportion between the defensive power and the object to be defended? (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, in the first place I perceive no immediate necessity for those constitutional changes. I think that our present Constitution is ample for the wants of the people of this country, and that all the difficulties, either real or imaginary, under which we labor, might be solved within the limits of our present Constitution. I consider all our difficulties to be merely sectional, arising neither from differences of religion, of origin, of language, or of laws. On examination it will be found that they are merely fiscal difficulties, and that they arise from the fact that our General Government does not confine itself to the true end and object of its existence. Do away with your local grants, and your absurd system of compensating for one improper expenditure by the creation of another. Let there be no expenditure for merely local purposes, or for purposes that do not properly come within the functions of the General Government. (Hear, hear.) By what rule of right, for instance, are the inhabitants of Upper Canada called upon to pay for the redemption of the seigniorial tenure of Lower Canada; and what right has Lower Canada to be called upon to meet the extravagant municipal indebtedness of Upper Canada ? If our difficulties arise from differences of language and races, how comes it that the English-speaking people of Lower Canada have so long harmonized and sympathized with the extreme Ultramontane party of Lower Canada? (Hear, hear.) I think you cannot find any reason for it, except on the supposition that they remain united for the purpose of maintaining their sectional power and influence, under a system by which the common exchequer is deemed a legitimate object of public plunder. Each section seems to have always regarded the public chest as fair game ; and it is undeniable that Lower Canada has generally had the best of it. These things caused dissatisfaction in the minds of people from other sections of the country, and they undertake to form combinations for the purpose of obtaining from the public chest similar undue advantages. The remedy for this state of things is to deprive the Legislature of the power to make grants for local objects. Let there be no revenue collected more than is absolutely necessary for the general expenses of the country, and let it be distributed for those general purposes with due economy, and we shall hear nothing more of sectional difficulties. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, in connection with this same idea, I find in my own mind another very important consideration connected with the administration of the government of our country. It has now, I believe, ceased to be a crime to ” look to Washington.” Not long ago, the term ” looking to Washington ” was one of reproach. But that time has passed away, and our friends on the other side of the

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House have not only looked to Washington, but absolutely gone there, and imported the worst features of the republican system for incorporation in our new Constitution. While they were doing this, I regret very much that they did not import from Washington, or from some other parts of the United States, their ideas of economy in the administration of the fiscal affairs of the country. (Hear, hear.) I regret they did not import from that country a very important principle prevailing there, to the effect that the Government of the day shall impose as few burdens upon the people as possible To-day, sir, we are paying the man who stands at that door to admit you to this chamber a greater annual salary than is paid to the Governor of the State of Vermont. We are paying the man who stands in that corner with his paste brush to wrap up our papers, more than the indemnity allowed to a United States senator. We pay the Governor General a greater allowance than is received by the President of the United States of America. We are the most heavily taxed people, and pay larger salaries for the work performed, in proportion to our resources, than any other people in the world.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD—We pay ourselves well too. (Laughter.)

MR. O’HALLORAN—It has been said, and it seems to be thought a strong argument in favor of this scheme, that we must do something ; that our affairs cannot with advantage go on in the same channel in which they have been doing ; and that there is a necessity for some change. It is made a complaint that legislation is obstructed by party strife, and that the country suffers for the want of new laws. Sir, if there is one vulgar error in political economy more false and unsound than another, it is that the prosperity of any country depends on the amount of its legislation. We have, as a general thing, too much legislation. If I may use the term, we are legislated to death. And when I have seen bills pouring into this House t y the hundred at every session, I have said to myself:— ” What, in Heaven’s name, will become of this country if all these bills should, by any possibility, ever become law ? ” (Laughter.) The idea seems to prevail, that in this country even the grass cannot grew unless its growth is regulated by an Act of Parliament. No change in the Constitution of this country will remedy the difficulties of which you complain, for they have their source within ourselves. It is honest, economical administration you require, not legislation, or a change in our form of Government.

“‘Bout forms of government let fools contest,
That which is best administered is best.”

You may remove your seat of government to Ottawa, and increase your Legislature from 130 to 194 members, but you will find the same difficulties under any system of government which you may adopt, so long as you continue extravagant sectional expenditure. Those difficulties will still meet you in the face, so long as the legislature or legislatures of the country are permitted to exercise functions that do not properly belong to a general government ; so long as you refuse to compel localities to meet their own local expenditure by local means, you will find the same causes producing the same effects in Ottawa as in Quebec. Coelum non animam mutant qui trans mare currunt. (You but change your skies by the proposed constitutional changes.) I remarked, at the outset, that I must deny to this House the right to impose on this country this or any other Constitution, without first obtaining the consent of the people. Who sent you here to frame a Constitution ? You were sent here to administer the Constitution as you find it Throughout the length and breadth of British North America, there is not one other government that has dared to arrogate to itself the right of changing the Constitution of their people without consulting them, except ours. I am surprised, sir, that even this strong Government of ours have dared to assume this power, when, sooner or later, they must go before the people of the country. (Hear, hear.) There comes to my hand, this evening, a resolution proposed by the Honorable Attorney General of Newfoundland in the Legislature of that colony. It is instructive as shewing that there was one uniform sentiment, throughout all the Lower Provinces, in favor of submitting the question to the people It was so submitted in New Brunswick—it met its fate. It is now about to be submitted to the people of Nova Scotia. The Administration of this province have been wiser in their generation than those of the Lower Provinces. They did üot dare to submit it for the consideration of the people—a course which, if not exhibiting wisdom on their part, shows, at the least, that skill and craft in public matters for

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which most of them have become famous. (Hear, hear.) The resolution I have referred to, and which embodies the policy of the Government of Newfoundland on this question, is as follows :—

Resolved,—That having had under their most serious and deliberate consideration the proposal for the formation of a Federal union of the British North American Provinces, upon the terms contained in the report of the Convention of delegates, held at Quebec, on the 10th of October last—the despatch of the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated December 3rd, 1864—the observations of His Excellency the Governor in relation to this subject in his opening Speech of the present session —and the report of the Newfoundland delegates— this committee are of opinion, that having regard to the comparative novelty and very great importance of this project, it is desirable that before a vote ot the Legislature is taken upon it, it should be submitted to the consideration of the people at large, particularly as the action of the other provinces does not appear to require that it should be hastily disposed of, and as (the present being the last session of this Assembly) no unreasonable delay can be occasioned by this course ; and they, therefore, recommend that a final determination upon this important subject be deferred to the next meeting of the Legislature.

(Hear, hear.)

AN HON. MEMBER—That is the report of a committee.

MR. O’HALLORAN—Yes , it is the report of a committee ; but it was submitted to the Legislature by the Hon. Attorney General as the policy of the Government. Of course, if the resolution is not carried in the Legislature, then the scheme is doubly defeated. In this little, petty province, whose interests, as compared with ours, are of trifling importance in relation to the scheme, the Government considers that the question is one of sufficient moment to demand that before the slightest action is taken upon it by the Legislature, the people should be consulted ; but in this large province, with its comparatively large population, and with important interests to be affected, the scheme is to be hurried through without allowing the people to have a voice in the matter, or even to have time for its consideration. (Hear, hear.) They are to have no voice in determining what kind of government they and their children are to live under for years to come. Mr. SPEAKER, I know very well that it is a bold declaration for me to make, that this Parliament has no right to deal with this question ; but, sir, I make it not hastily nor unadvisedly, because I defy honorable gentlemen to find a precedent for their proposed action in any free country under similar circumstances. We are not living to-day in a time of revolution or of great emergency ; but , even if our circumstances were different, I doubt very much if any of the precedents that have been referred to, as having occurred many years ago and in troublous times, could again be practised or adopted, even in England, from which country we draw all our precedents. The precedents which have been invoked in approval of the course that has been adopted by the Government prove too much. If they form a justification for the course we are pur suing, then you might prove by the same means that this House had the power to perpetuate its existence beyond the limit fixed for the termination of the present Parliament , or vote ourselves members for life. We might just as well constitute ourselves life members of the Federal legislature of the proposed Confederacy, as to take the action that is contemplated. I know that it is represented as very important that the measure should be carried into immediate operation ; but that is a mat ter of mere expediency, and has nothing to do with constitutional principles. (Hear, hear.) The Irish union has been triumphantly referred to as a precedent for this measure. To my mind it is a most unfortunate one, and little deserving of our imitation. Let me show you how this matter has been regarded by one, whose authority will not be disputed. I read from MAY’S Constitutional History of England, page 505 of the 2nd volume. Speaking of the union of Ireland with England, he says :—

A great end was compassed by means the most base and shameless. GRATTAN, Lord CHARLEMONT, PONSONBY, PLUNKETT, and a few patriots, continued to protest against the sale of the liberties and free Constitution of Ireland. Their eloquence and public virtue command the respect of posterity ; but the wretched history of their country denies them its sympathy.

This, sir, is the judgment of the impartial English historian upon the means by which this great national crime was consummated, and it is the just enconium on the noble few whose patriotic efforts failed to prevent it. I read it, in anticipation, as the future history of the wrong now about to be perpetrated on the people of this country ; and while it implies, on the one hand, in no doubtful terms, the well-merited praise of

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the small band who stand here to-night for the rights of the people, in opposition to this scheme, it pronounces, oo the other, the just condemnation of those who trample on those rights, and who forget, in the pride of their brief authority, who it was that raised them to the positions they occupy, not that they might coerce, but carry out the will of the people, the only rightful source of all political power. (Cheers.)

MR. J.S. ROSS—I will not attempt to address the House at any great length at this late hour of the evening, as I think it very desirable that this debate should be brought to a close at as early a day as possible ; and believing that that is the prevailing opinion in this House, I shall endeavor to be as brief as I can. The hon. gentlemau who has just taken his seat has referred to one matter on which I shall not at present say anything, on which I shall not commit myself. I suppose that it will be very well understood what I refer to, without my alluding to it more particularly. But there was another statement which he made—that there was no necessity for any change—on which I shall dwell shortly, ana endeavor to show that there was a necessity for a change. It must be in the recollection of every hon. member in this House, that one year ago affairs were in such a state— such difficulties presented themselves, that legislation was becoming almost impracticable. No better proof of this could be desired than that the Government of the day found themselves so surrounded With difficulties in the House, that they declared themselves unable to carry on the administration of the affairs of the country in a satisfactory manner. Now, why should a Government possessing so much talent and ability as that Government did, make that declaration, if there was no necessity for it ? (Hear, hear.)

HON. J . S. MACDONALD—If you had voted with us, it would have been all right. (Hear and laughter.)

MR. ROSS—Although I always entertained a very high opinion of the honorable gentleman who was Premier of that Government, I differed horn him politically. Then, Mr. SPEAKER, there is another matter to which I shall reler, to show that this House did acknowledge that there were difficulties in the way. A motion was made by the honorable member for South Oxford for the appointment of a committee on constitutional changes. That committee reported to this House, and I will just read the last paragraph of that report in support of what I have said :—

A strong feeling was found to exist among the members of the committee in favor of changes in the direction of a Federative system, applied either to, Canada alone, or to the whole British North American Provinces, and such progress has been made as to warrant the committee in recommending that the subject be again referred to a committee at the next session of Parliament.

Now, this was signed by twelve gentlemen, and among them I find the honorable member lor Chateauguay, who then declared that there was a necessity for some change. I think, Mr SPEAKER, that this clearly shows that the matter was not brought upon us in a hurry, that the scheme now before us is a subject which has been looked forward to for some time. When we refer to that period, we find that the Government of the day placed their resignations in His Excellency’s hands, a new Government was formed which met the House on the 3rd of May, and on the 14th of June they were defeated. At that time, I believe, they had obtained from His Excellency permission to dissolve the House. An effort was made, however, to effect a change in the Administration, in order that it might command a majority of this House, and be enabled to carry ou the business of the country. After some time, a reconstruction was effected, and in the programme which the present Government adopted, they did announce that they would take up this question, and that when they met the House the next session, they would-be prepared to lay before the House a measure for the purpose of removing existing difficulties, by introducing the Feaeral principle into Canada, coupled with such provision as will permit the Maritime Provinces and the North-West territory to be incorporated with the same system of government. If there were objections to a change, why were they not made at that time ? Did not the House commit itself, then, by receiving it without any objection ? Hence I think that the Government pursued a manly, straightforward course in coming down and announcing what their scheme was ; and whether that scheme is a good or a bad one, they have redeemed their pledges ; they have met this House with a scheme for the Confederation of the British North American Provinces. (Hear.) Whether this scheme is all that we could desire or not, is perhaps a matter on which

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we shall not be unanimous. I for one, ever since I have thought anything about politics, have always looked forward to the time when such a scheme as this might be carried out. I have been an advocate of a legislative union. I think that is the correct principle, but I am not ashamed to say that I am open to conviction, and in dealing with a gnat question like this we must not expect to have everything to meet our own views ; we must be prepared to make concessions, and take the best we can get. (Hear, hear.) We know the hesitation with which the Constitution of the United States was accepted; that WASHINGTON—the father of that great country—expressed himself, as well as many other eminent persons, against it, but accepted it as the best that could be had. We find the same expressions falling from the gentlemen of the Conference which prepared this measure. They believe that it was the very best that could be had under the circumstances. (Hear.) Now, if we look for one moment at the work of the Conference which met here in Quebec, whether the scheme is what we all could desire for the benefit of the country or not, we must admit that the gentlemen who composed that Conference were men of ability, men of mind, men who have for years been the guiding spirits of public affairs. (Hear, hear.) And the honorable gentlemen from the Lower Provinces stand in their respective provinces equally high with those who represented Canada, and I am ready to believe that the delegates who composed this Conference approached the question in a spirit of the truest patriotism, with the honest endeavor to settle the difficulties of the country, and in the hope that the scheme would be acceptable to the people, and be the means of bringing us together, and consolidating and building up in this part of the glorious Empire, a government that would be lasting and stable. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) And, Mr. SPEAKER, I think there has been nothing that has proved more acceptable, or that has been better received by the people of the country. (Hear, hear.) So far as I am concerned, I took the opportunity of bringing the subject before my constituents, and when I read the first clause of the resolutions— ” The best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America will be promoted by a Federal union under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such union can be effected on principles just to the sevtral provinces,” sir, it met with their hearty cheers. (Hear, hear.) Although I have not the honor to represent one of the largest constituencies in Upper Canada, yet I represent one that I am proud of—the people of the good old county of Dundas are sound at the core ; they do glory in British connection, and nothing would induce them to support me or any other representative who would give an uncertain answer to the question of whether we should retain that connection or not. (Cheers.) Sir, I believe that the time is upon us, when we look at the surrounding difficulties, for us to make some change, and there is an uncertainty in the minds of Canadians at present that we ought to get rid of, and the sooner we approach the subject the better. The sooner we find out that we have a great future to establish, that we have a country here of which we may feel proud and rejoice in, I think, sir, the sooner that state of things is brought about the better. (Cheers.) Not only in a Canadian point of view is this desirable, but also for the sake of our position alongside of our neighbors, with whom, I am sure, we all desire to remain at peace, if they will only leave us in quiet amongst ourselves. That is all that we desire, but at the same time it is well that these people should understand that we have no desire whatever, not the most remote intention, of connecting our destinies with theirs. (Cheers.) Now, Mr. SPEAKER, it is said that this matter is new, and that it is forced upon us. I recollect reading, some years ago, most able letters written by Hon. Mr. HOWE, of Nova Scotia, addressed to Lord JOHN RUSSELL, to show how necessary this union was.

DR. PARKER—I would like to ask the honorable gentleman if those letters were not in favor of a legislative union ?

MR. ROSS—I think they were; but I believe that if he—the writer of them—had found himself at Quebec as one of the delegates, he would have done just as they did. Again, I find that at another time in our country, in 1849, in the city of Kingston, one hundred and forty gentlemen, chosen by the people— the ablest and foremost men of the country, and presided over by a gentleman who has since left this state of action — a gentleman of high mind, and universally respected —I mean the late Hon. GEORGE MOFFATT— that organization, the British League, acknowledged that to lay a basis for the future of this country, a union of the British North American Provinces was essential. (Cheers.) If I had time, sir, I could show that at several

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periods in the House of Commons, the union of these provinces has been spoken of as what must eventually take place. And since the subject has been under discussion in this country, I have read with the greatest satisfaction, in the press of the United States, articles showing the advantages of this union ; and in particular one very able article in the Chioago Times, in which the writer pays the people of this country a high compliment for the foresight with which they are seeking to protect their interests in the future. (Hear, hear.) There are other authorities to which I could refer to show the advantages of a union of these provinces. Whether Legislative or Federal unimportant—union is strength, and union is desirable if we expect future growth and greatness. I think the arguments are in favor of a legislative union. When we approach the subject fairly, we must acknowledge that it is not reasonable to suppose that the people of the Lower Provinces should prefer a Federal to a Legislative union. I can quite understand why they appreciate the advantages of the local parliaments ; to ask them to give up their whole machinery of government, and to place themselves in the hands and at the tender mercies of a people who would have the commanding influences in the legislation of the country, and with whom they are comparatively little acquainted, would be asking rather too much. There is also some reason to fear why a legislative union would be too cumbersome. Many think that too much of the time of the Legislature of the country would be taken up with the local business of the different sections of the province. I believe, after this machinery has been well in operation, and after we have become better acquainted with each othei, that we shall find we can work together, and that this has been a movement in the right direction, by bringing together the people from all parts of the country. We shall find that our interests are better understood, indeed that they are one ; it will be the more easy to do away with the local parliaments, and to merge them all into one. (Hear, hear.) Then, sir, there will be this advantage from the present scheme—we shall have the machinery for governing the whole country in existence; and it will be easy for those who desire it—if in the wisdom of the people who will be living under the institutions of the country at that time, it is thought desirable—the necessary machinery will be in existence for consolidation, and the change will not be of that radical nature that it would be at the present moment. Take another view of the case, which I believe will be borne out by the facts ; if we are united— if we shew to the world at large that we have resolved upon a more enlarged sphere of existence for the future—the population of this country will increase to such an extent, that there will be work enough for the local governments as well as for the General Government. I think, also, that the system will have the effect of inducing, on the part of the local administrations, a spirit of emulation in the way of conducting their respective governments as cheaply and as economically as possible. I have no doubt, too, that when the local parliaments are once established, the people will see the advantage of material changes in the municipal institutions of the country ; those institutions being to a greater degree subordinated to the local governments. At all events, these are all matters for future consideration, and possibly for future action. (Hear, hear.) I shall now, Mr. SPEAKER, refer briefly to the question of Confederation in a commercial point of view. It is stated that in this respect no benefit will accrue to the country—that there will be no increare of trade between the provinces. But I ask this House to look at the matter in this light—and I am sorry to say that we have good reason for so viewing it—there can be no doubt of the fact. The United States have given notice of the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty, and there is too much cause for the apprehension that the bonding system will also be done away with. Well, if we are cut off from all these facilities and advantages, what is our position ? We are cut off from the ocean for six months of the year, and in this respect our position of dependency on a foreign power is a most humiliating one. (Hear, hear.) The construction of the Intercolonial Railway has been insisted upon as a commercial necessity, and although it may be an expensive work, I think the time has come when it must be built. I may briefly state my own position in regard to that undertaking. When the appropriation was brought up for the Intercolonial Railway survey, so strongly was I opposed to that scheme at the time that I voted against it. But, as I have already stated, I now see the necessity for it. I believe the time has come when this railway should be constructed. (Hear, hear.) I hope it will be constructed in a proper and economical manner, and, when it is built, I believe that in a commercial point, our position will be greatly improved. (Hear, hear.) It is impossible for any honorable gentleman to shew that by means of that railway no increase of trade will spring up between the

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different provinces. Western Canada is decidedly an agricultural country ; it has a large surplus of grain, and it must find an cutlet for it. Shut out from the United States, and deprived of winter communication, where are we to go ? To store and house it throughout the winter months would be a great cause of loss. It is said that the export of grain during the winter is not profitable. But do not the United States ship continuously large quantities of flour and products to England and to other parts of the world in the winter season ? And what should hinder us from pursuing the same course if we have the Intercolonial Railway? (Hear.) Hon. gentlemen may attempt to argue that such is not the case, and endeavor to conceal the face; but I firmly believe it to be the policy of the United States to introduce coercive measures, with the view of making us feel that our commercial interests are identified with them, and I believe they will continue that course of policy towards us, not perhaps to the extent of immediate invasion and attempted subjugation, but I fear that their policy will be one of a restrictive kind, so as to make us feel as much as they can our awkward position of dependence. Such, I believe, is their policy. They do not intend immediate invasion, but instead of that, they will, so to speak, put on the screws, in order, if possible, to make us feel that our interest is wita them and not separate from them. (Hear, hear.) I can very well see and very well understand the meaning of this desire to annex Canada, although many have maintained that such is not their wish. Going back to the early history of the United States, I find that even in the articles of Federation of the United States, it is provided by the 11th article that Canada, acceding, shall be entitled to participate in all the rights and privileges of the union, whilst they refused to allow any other country to come in unless with the eonsent of nine states. The war of 1812, too, evinced a strong disposition on the part of our neighbors to attach Canada. And I believe that the statesmen of the United States, in our own day, are animated by the same far-seeing policy in regard to tbis country, and that they are now applying a little gentle pressure to make us feel that our interest is no longer to remain isolated from them, but to connect our destiny with theirs. Not long since I listened to a certain lecture in this city, in which it appeared to me that inducements were purposely and designedly held out for us to oonnect our destinies with those of the people of the neighboring States. It was said that the great cause of difficulty in the United States was now removed, and that there was no obstacle now in the way of their material and social progress. Well, sir, I acknowledge that they are a great people, and that their advancement has been great ; but I fail to perceive that, if true to ourselves, we have not the same advantages. (Hear, hear.) At all events, if our advantages are not so great, they are sufficient for all our purposes, and we ought to be satisfied. There is one other consideration to which I desire to allude. When we look at the people who inhabit these provinces, and consider from whence they come and what are their characteristics, that they are a progressive, enterprising and go-a-head people, is it reasonable to suppose that we are always going to remain in this state of uncertainty ? Is it reasonable to suppose that we are always to be divided into different provinces, with an imaginary line ? Have we no desire or wish to expand and grow ? And, I ask, is it possible that we can hope to attain national greatness in a separate state of existence ? I think that the interests of the several provinces should be consolidated. There is no disputing the resources of the country, so far as territory is concerned. Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, it is ample for the support and sustenance of a great people. I have even heard it said, by persons who are good authority on the subject, that they believe the child is now born who will see British North America inhabited by a population of 60,000,000. This may be going too far, but I think there can be no doubt a large increase to our numbers will take place when we shall have given effect to the scheme now in contemplation. (Hear, and cheers.) The honorable member for Hochelaga (Hon. Mr. DORION) stated in the course of his remarks that it would be a dark day for Ca nada should these resolutions be adopted. Mr. SPEAKER, that may be that honorable gentleman’s opinion ; but I must say that I differ from him entirely. On the contrary, I believe it will be a dark day for the whole country if we cannot agree upon some plan for securing our speedy union. (Cheers.) The honorable gentleman also stated that the scheme was far too conservative in its character. Well, I can understand why the honorable gentleman should find fault with it on that account, but I confess that that does not trouble me in the slightest degree. (Cheers.) He declares that it will destroy

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the great Liberal party. I should be sorry to see such a calamity. I have always professed to be a liberal—a moderate man in politics. (Hear, hear.) While I would be sorry to see any great pirty destroyed by this scheme, I would particularly regret to witness the destruction of the great Liberal party. (Heir, hear.) I believe, however, that that party will not be destroyed in any such manner. After this great scheme is perfected, we will have parties the same as before. There may be some changes as regards individuals, but I trust that at all events there will Still be a great Liberal party. (Cheers and laughter.) Party is necessary for the good government of the country ; but I trust that party feeling will not be manifested for the sake of creating divisions and discords, but that all parties will unite to build up a power here which will be felt and respected throughout the world. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) The honorable member for Brome (Mr. DUNKIN) made some remarks which it struck me were very singular in their character, but which are a fair instance of the manner he adopts to illustrate and substantiate his views. He quoted from English statesmen and English publications all that could possibly be cited to throw doubt upon the scheme ; but the moment English opinion was invoked in its favor, he turned round and declared that English views on Canadian affairs were entirely unreliable. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) As, however, that honorable gentleman is not present, I shall not refer further to his statements. The honorable member for Cornwall (Hon. J . S. MACDONALD), for whom I have always entertained the highest respect, said that the cry of annexation had been raised in order to push this scheme through. Well, sir, if I am not mistaken, the honorable member for Hochelaga (Hon. Mr. DORION) said that this was the very measure to bring about annexation. (Laughter.)

HON. J . S. MACDONALD—The Premier stated that we were being driven towards annexation, and that this scheme would stop it.

MR. ROSS—I think I have detained the House too long already ; and if opportunity presents itself I will claim the indulgence of the House while I refer to oue or two other points hereafter. (Cries of ” Co on!”) As I said before, I believe the gentlemen who met in Quebec approached the matter in a spirit and with a desire to adopt a Constitution which would be for the good of the whole country. And although I do not entirely concur in the resolutions—although there are some things about them which I would desire to see changed, I shall give them my support as a whole. Take the Constitution of the Upper House for instance—I would prefer rather to see the present system retained ; but as the delegates thought fit to change it, I would not feel justified in voting against the whole scheme on account of my objection to one or two items of detail. (Hear, hear.) We must expect to give up to a certain extent our opinio::s in order to the attainment of greater benefits than we at present enjoy. I, at any rate, feel it my duty to act in this manner, and I feel also that the honorable gentlemen will deserve the best thanks of the country if the scheme which they have brought down shall be carried into effect. I do hope that whatever may take place — that whatever checks this scheme may meet with —it will eventually be successful, and that Addresses will be passed by the respective legislatures asking Her Majesty to pass a measure giving effect to this scheme. When this Constitution shall have been perfected and ratified—when there shall no longer be any doubts nbout its containing the principles upon which the government of the country is founded—every true-hearted and loyal Canadian will have cause to rejoice that his lot has been cast in such a highly – favored land. (Cheers.)

MR. BOWMAN — As the discussion on this great question appears to be rapidly drawing to a close, I desire to offer a few remarks upon the scheme of Confederation before voting for it. The question of constitutional reform is not a new one in Canada. It is a question which has occupied the attention of the statesmen, the press and the people of this country for a number of years ; and so urgent have been the demands for reform on the part of the people of Upper Canada, that it has been found impossible to form a Government under our present system, for several years past, which could command a majority in the House sufficiently large to carry on the business of the country with success. The people of Western Canada have, for a number of years, agitated strongly for increased representation in Parliament, the justice of which few will pretend to deny. Owing to the disparity in the population of the two sections of the province, and the manifest injustice which is done to Upper Canada, I am satisfied that some change must be made soon, with a view of establish-

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ing a more satisfactory system of government. (Hear, hear.) The people are so thoroughly in earnest on this question, that I am persuaded they are prepared to give a fair trial to any scheme which offers a reasonable prospect of inaugurating a better and more satisfactory state of affairs. (Hear, hear.) There are, in my opinion, two methods by which this may be done. The first is a legislative union between Upper and Lower Canada, based upon representation by population ; the second is by a Federal union either between the two Canadas or between all the British North American Provinces. Unless one or other of these two remedies is speedily applied, there is great danger that an entire separation of the two provinces may ultimately take place, which, in my opinion, would prove fatal to our existence as a British colony. (Hear, hear.) Our proximity to the United States makes it necessary that the union should be maintained at almost any cost. In order to effect a change in our Constitution, it is highly desirable to obtain the consent of a majority of the representatives of both sections of the province ; for, although a scheme might be adopted by the majority of one section, aided by the minority of the other section, it would not give such general satisfaction as could be desired. The demands made by the people of Upper Canada for representation by population under the existing union, have hitherto been resisted by the people of Lower Canada with a degree of determination that has convinced even the most sanguine advocates of that measure that it is impracticable, at least for some time to come. Admitting, then, that representation by population under the existing union cannot be obtained, I think it is our duty to endeavor to find some other solution of our sectional difficulties. In my opinion the formation of a system of government based upon the Federal principle, with a Central Parliament which shall have the control of matters common to all the provinces, and a Local Legislature for each province to manage local affairs, is the only system which will prove satisfactory to the people of these provinces. Such is the scheme now under discussion by this House. It is said by some of the opponents of the present scheme that there is no necessity for a change, that the people of Upper Canada have abandoned their agitation for constitutional reform, and that they are perfectly content to go on as they are. I can only say to those honorable gentlemen, that they are entirely mistaken. The desire for a change is as strong now as ever, and the people of Western Canada will never be satisfied until their just demands are conceded in some shape or other. (Hear, hear.) We are not the only people who have found it necessary to alter their Constitution. There is hardly a nation in the civilized world which has not, from time to time, found it itself compelled to change its form of government in order to keep pace with the ordinary progress of events ; and we generally find that those great political changes which result in the consolidation or disruption of empires, are brought about by violent civil commotions, involving the sacrifice of thousands of valuable lives and the expenditure of millions of money. Of this fact we have a melancholy example in the present condition of the United States. The Constitution of that country was laid down by some of the wisest and ablest statesmen, yet in less than a century after its formation, the people who have hitherto looked upon it as being the most perfect Constitution in the world, find themselves in the midst of a most disastrous war, trying to remove a constitutional difficulty which has given them a vast deal of trouble. Now, if we shall succeed in laying down a permanent basis for the consolidation of these provinces — if we shall succeed in forming a union which will result in the perpetuation of British institutions on this continent, and thus check the absorbing influence of the neighboring republic — we shall confer a great boon upon posterity, and prevent much bitter strife among ourselves. (Hear, hear.) While deliberating upon this scheme, we should divest our minds as much as possible of old political associations, in order that we may give it that calm and deliberate consideration which its great importance demands. When we consider the sectional difficulties to be adjusted, the conflicting interests which are to be reconciled, and the prejudices which are to be overcome, it is evident that we must consider this scheme in the spirit of compromise. Mutual concessions must be made, so as to respect the rights and feelings of all, so far as it can be done without doing an injustice to any. In reference to the scheme now before the House, allow me to say that although there are some of its details to which I am opposed, yet, taking it as a whole, I believe it is the best that can be obtained under our peculiar circumstances, and therefore I feel it to be my duty to support it. That part of the scheme whioh provides for a nominated Legislative

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Council I believe to be contrary to the wishes of a majority of the people of Western Canada, and particularly of my own constituents. I think it will be admitted that the elective system has given us a class of representatives in that body which would do honor to any country in the world, and I should prefer to see that system continued. But while I would be prepared to vote for an amendment which would have for its object the perpetuation of the present system, provided it could be done without interfering with the success of Confederation, yet I do not believe that my constituents are prepared to reject the whole scheme, simply because there are a few features in it which are not exactly in accordance with their views. And I can assure you, Mr. SPEAKER, that I have no desire to do so. The opponents of the scheme appeal to the French population, telling them that their nationality is in danger, that they will be entirely absorbed in the Central Legislature, and that their rights and liberties will be interfered with. Then the same parties tell the English of Lower Canada that their nationality and their schools will be entirely at the mercy of the French in the Local Legislature. And, with a view of obtaining the defeat of the scheme in the west, they appeal to the pockets of the people of Upper Canada, asserting that they will have to bear the greater proportion of the taxation under the new system. Now, I think it has been clearly shown that the Maritime Provinces will contribute their full share towards the public revenue—that they will pay as much per head as Upper Canada, and much more than Lower Canada, so that the financial argument against Confederation cannot be substantiated. Those honorable gentlemen who are trying to defeat the scheme by appealing to the pnjudices and sectional animosities of the people of Lower Canada, should bear in mind that they are pursuing a course whieh is calculated to mar the harmonious working of any system of government, and that if they should succeed in defeating the scheme, it would go very far to convince the people of Upper Canada that Lower Canada is determined not to consent to any measure of justice to Upper Canada. (Hear, hear.) It is also asserted that this scheme will bring about a separation from the Mother Country. Now, I believe that the advocates of union are as desirous to perpetuate our connection with Great Britain as its opponents, and that it is desirable to maintain that connection as long as possible. But assuming that we are laying the foundation of a British North American Empire, which is destined to become independent of the Mother Country, after our resources have become sufficiently developed, and our vast territory has been filled up with an industrious, intelligent and thrifty population, I do not think such an anticipation should induce us to vote against it. Another objection which is raised against this scheme is the supposition that the Maritime Provinces will oppose the opening up of the North-West territory, which is an unwarrantable assumption on the part of the opponents of Confederation ; for I think it will be found that even the people of those provinces will see that it is for their interest to have that portion of our dominions opened up for settlement. Such a course would extend their field for trade and commerce, in which the Maritime Provinces are extensively engaged, so that the advantages would be of a mutual character. A great deal has been said about submitting the scheme to the people before it is finally adopted, and I must say that I could never make up my mind to vote for it without first having an expression of popular opinion upon it in some way or other, unless I were perfectly satisfied that a large majority of my constituents are in favor of it. I took the precaution to hold a number of public meetings in the constituency which I represent, in order to obtain the views of the people upon it, and, in almost every instance, a large majority present at those meetings, not only expressed themselves in favor of the general features of the scheme, but also expressed a desire that it should be dealt with and adopted by this Parliament without first holding a general election. I shall take much pleasure in voting for the scheme now before the House, believing that by so doing I shall best discharge my duty to my constituents and to the country at large. (Cheers.)

MR. WALSH said—It was my intention, during the earlier stages of this debate, to have asked the House to bear with me while I made some lengthened reniaiks on the important subject embraced in the resolutions now in your hands. It was my intention to review the circumstances which made it necessary that the scheme now submitted should be placed before the inhabitants of British North America—to trace fully the course of the sectional agitation with reference to the difficulties between Upper and Lower Canada—and to show how it had gradually grown in importance, until the time had arrived when we had to accept

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one of two alternatives—a dissolution of the existing union between Upper and Lower Canada, or some larger scheme, such as that now. contemplated by the people of these provinces. I should also have stated at some length my reasons, if we had to decide between these alternatives, for opposing the former. I believe—and I think hon. gentlemen almost unanimously in this House agree with me—that the union existing between these provinces at the present time has, in all its important bearings, more than realized the most sanguine anticipations of those who were concerned in bringing it about We have seen, since the union, an increase in the population, revenue and resources of these provinces seldom witnessed in the history of any country. We have seen two peoples entirely dissimilar in race, language and institutions—having nothing in common but their joint allegiance to the same Crown —we have seen those two peoples rapidly becoming one people—one in name, one in object, one in feeling. And I believe that in every respect the union under which we now live has been most happy in its results. If I had gone, therefore, into the subject, as I originally intended, I should have stated fully my views upon it in all its bearings. And I should have stated, as I now state, that if I had had to give my vote whether the connection between these two provinces should remain, or whether it should be dissolved, and we should go back to the state of separate existence in which we were before the union, I should have been found for one most hostile to a dissolution of that union. (Hear, hear.) But circumstances, over some of which this House has not control, while others are within our control, have led to a probable termination of this debate at an earlier period than I had anticipated, and I will not trespass on the patience of the House, at this late hour, by detaining honorable members with any lengthened remarks. In the few observations I shall offer, I will confine myself to a reference to some of the leading features of the scheme now before us I shall not, as many honorable gentlemen have done, go into lengthy quotations of other men’s opinions, or comment on the effect of different systems of government in other countries. I will confine myself to what I consider, from the best means of information I can obtain, the probable effect and bearing of this proposed scheme upon ourselves. (Hear, hear.) I agree with many honorable gentlemen who have preceded me, when I say that since I first gave attention to public matters, I have looked forward to the time when a more intimate connection between these British American Provinces would not only be desirable, but would become absolutely necessary. I look upon it as desirable in a military point of view, and in a commercial point of view. I t must be evident to any honorable gentleman who has occupied a seat in this House—even for the short period that I have had the honor of a seat here—that the opinion of the House of late years has very materially changed with reference to the defences of the country. I am satisfied that we have, irrespective of party, become more alive to our duty in that respect; and that the people of this country, acting through those who sit here as their representatives, are prepared to take upon themselves their just share of responsibility for the defence of these provinces. (Hear, hear.) And I look upon this scheme of union as a most important step in that view; because while we rely, as we do rely to a great extent, on the assistance of the home Government for the defence of this country, it must be evident to all of us that these provinces, acting in concert with each other, and all acting in concert with the home Government, can organize a more effective system of defence than we could do if we remained separate and isolated. (Hear, hear.) I believe this question should be considered chiefly from a commercial point of view. We must necessarily consider the question in connection with the more intimate commercial intercourse which it is contemplated will result from the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. A new market for our commodities will be opened up by the removal of the barriers to trade which now exist between us. Believing, as I do, that our commercial relations with our sister provinces should be free and unrestricted, I am heartily in favor of the construction of this railway. After stating that upon these general principles I am in favor of the union of these provinces, I may also state that had I my choice, and were my vote to decide the question, I would say ” give us a Legislative union,” because I believe it would have, for its effect, the bringing of all the colonists more immediately into contact and connection with each other, rendering our interests much more identical than by the Federal plan But I infer, from the speeches made on the floor of this House at the opening of

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this debate, by honorable gentlemen who were delegates to the Conference held in this city, that the tw schemes were discussed in that Conference—the Legislative and the Federal—and that the former was found to be impracticable. It is, therefore, not possible for us now to decide the question in favor of a legislative union. Wo have evidence before us that is satisfactory to my mind, that probably all of the other provinces would refuse to take part in a legislative union. The Honorable Attorney General West, in his speech at the opening of the debate, gave us sufficient information on the point to convince the House that this question had been fully discussed in the Conference, and the legislative plan rejected, on account of its being impracticable. For this reason, sir, believing that the choice before us is either to accept a Federal union or reject the proposal entirely, I give my assent to the present scheme without hesitation, (Hear, hear.) It is brought as one of the strongest arguments against this union that the Federal Government will be far more expensive than our present system. That may be true to some extent; but my impression is that it will not be found true to the extent represented. We must bear in mind that we have in each province a Government fully constituted, with all the machinery necessary for carrying on the business of government. Therefore the new machinery required would be very little, and would amount simply to the local legislatures for Upper and Lower Canada. Upon these general principles then, I must say that I shall give my adhesion to the scheme of union submitted to us ; and as was well remarked by the hon. member for Dundas (Mr. J . S. Ross), the language in which the scheme has been laid before us must prove very acceptable to all who arc in favor of a union such as that proposed. The gentlemen composing the Conference could not have used language more acceptable to me than that in which the first resolution is couched, except in the use of the word “Federal,” instead of ” Legislative.” The resolution reads :—

The best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America will be promoted by a Federal union under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such a union can be effected on principles just to the several provinces.

Now, sir, I am prepared to say here, and I think I but echo the voice of every hon. gentleman present, that all the people ask is that the union be based upon principles just to the several provinces. (Hear, hear.) We ask nothing more. Again, sir, the language employed in the third resolution is most satisfactory :—

In framing a Constitution for the General Government, the Conference, with a view to the perpetuation of the connection with the Mother Country, &c, to the promotion of the best interests of the people of these provinces, desire to follow the model of the British Constitution, so far as our circumstances will permit.

Surely, sir, we all agree that no better model can be found, or better system of government followed, than that of the British Constitution. (Hear, hear.) One of the features of this scheme that commends itself strongly to my approbation is the marked distinction between the system that is submitted to us, and that which is in existence in the neighboring republic. I believe that to a great extent we may trace the unfortunate difficulties that exist in that country to the absurd doctrine of state rights. Instead of their Central Government having, in the first instance, supreme power, and delegating certain powers to the local or state governments, the very reverse is the principle on which their Constitution is founded. Their local governments possess the principal power, and have delegated certain powers to the General Government. In the scheme submitted to us, I am happy to observe that the principal and supreme power is placed in the hands of the General Government, and that the powers deputed to the local governments are of a limited character. (Hear, hear.) I am glad also to observe that in the proposed organization of the General Legislature of the united provinces, that question which has so long agitated the people of Canada—representation by population—is in a fair way of being satisfactorily solved. It is proposed that in the General Legislature, or House of Commons as it is to be called, each province shall be represented in accordance with its population, thereby removing that which has been so long a source of agitation in Upper Canada, and of vexation to Lower Canada, and which has led to the discussion of the scheme now before the House. In reference to the organization of the Legislative Council, I may say that I have always been found among those who opposed the introduction of the elective principle into the constitution of that body

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in this province, and I, therefore, find no difficulty in giving my hearty assent to the change now proposed. I have always believed, and I still believe, that we could not expect two branches of the Legislature, owing their existence to the same source, and being elected by the same class of voters, to work in harmony for any length of time. (Hear, hear.) It may be called a retrograde movement, yet I can heartily asseat to it, because, in my opinion, it places things where they should have been left. In pressing upon this House the adoption or rejection of these resolutions as a whole, I believe the Government are actuated by the best motives, and that it is their duty to do so. But whilst I am prepared to give my vote in that direction, I am also quite willing to admit the force of the objections urged by the Colonial Secretary in his despatch to the Governor General of the 3rd December last, in relation to the constitution of the Upper House, so far as the limiting of the number of members is concerned. I for one, although there is no doubt that these resolutions will be passed by this House precisely in the form in which they have been submitted to us, am quite content that the Imperial Parliament should make such alterations in that, or any other respect, as they consider necessary, and I shall bow with very great satisfaction to such amendments. (Hear, hear.) There are two or three questions in connection with these resolutions upon which I desire to offer a few remarks. One of them is that of education. We have already had, in the courje of this discussion, a good deal said on this subject. I would simply say, as one of those who gave effect by my vote to the present law of Upper Canada for the establishment of separate schools, that in doing so I believed that I was according to the minority of one section of the province what I conceived the minority of the other section were entitled to, thus doing justice to all. It gives me, therefore, great satisfaction to observe the recognition in these resolutions of the principle that the rights of the minorities, in each section, with respect to educational facilities, should be guaranteed. I confess that if I were living in Lower Canada, I should not feel that I was being justly treated in being called upon to contribute by taxation to the support of schools to which I could not conscientiously send my children. (Hear, hear.) I have the satisfaction of knowing that, after giving my vote upon the last Separate School Bill, and going back to my constituents, they were fully satisfied with the explanation I gave them, and my action was endorsed by them. Another question that I look upon as of very great importance to these colonies, is not dealt with in these resolutions in that manner to which its importance entitles it. I refer to the management and sale of our Crown lands. I am very sorry to observe that they are to be confided to the control of the local legislatures. I believe that if, in any one question more than another, the Government of this province have failed in their duty in times past, it is in the management of our Crown lands. The complaint I have to make is that they have not made use of those lands in establishing a wise and liberal system of immigration, by offering them free to all who would come and settle upon them. I t cannot but be humiliating to every person having a stake in this province to observe the torrents of immigration that pour from the Mother Country into the neighboring republic ; and especially so when they see them passing through the whole length of Canada by multitudes to the Western States. (Hear, hear.) We have, in times past, failed to hold out such inducements as would stop that tide of immigration from flowing past us. I fear that by leaving those lands in the hands of the local legislatures, the immigration question will be dealt with, in future, in the same narrow spirit in which it has been treated in times past. I would have been very highly pleased if I could look forward to the future with the hope that our General Legislature would adopt a large, enlightened, and liberal scheme of immigration, sending their agents to all the European ports from which the largest tide of immigration sets in, for the purpose of explaining to the people the advantages they could derive from settling in these provinces. I ana, therefore, very sorry to see that the delegates were obliged to make the arrangement they have made with reference to thir. important question. (Hear, hear.) Now, sir, in reference to another of the questions embraced in these resolutions, though not forming a part of the proposed Constitution, I am prepared to admit here that my opinions have undergone a very material change since I first came into this House. I refer to the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. I came here, in 1862, decideily hostile to our assuming any portion of the expense of constructing that road. I believed, at that time, that it

[Page 809]

construction would be of no advantage to Canada; but the course of events has convinced me that the time has now arrived when we should take upon ourselves our fair share of the expense of constructing this important work. It cannot be satisfactory to any Canadian, on going to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, to find that he is a stranger in a strange country, and among a people who, though living so close to Canada, have no commercial intercourse with us. Although they are neighbors of ours, in one respect, yet they are neighbors with whom we have no intercourse. It is very desirable that the barriers to our intercourse should be removed, and the construction of the Intercolonial Railway is, in my opinion, the only effectual means of removing them. Mr. SPEAKER, it has been argued by a great many of those who have taken part in debating this subject that this House is assuming for itself a power that it does not, or ought not to possess, in disposing of the question without submitting it to the popular will. It is said that before these resolutions take effect an expression of public opinion should be had through a general election. Some of those honorable gentlemen who have taken this position have stattd as a reason for advocating that course that the public mind was not yet properly informed as to the effect of the proposed change, and that, therefore, time should be given until public opinion is prepared to decide upon it. But with a strange inconsistency those same gentlemen are flooding this House with petitions from the electors, not asking for delay, not asking for further time to consider the matter, but asking that the scheme be not adopted. They in effect show by their petitions that they have considered the subject—that they know all about it—that their opinions are fully formed— and that the measure ought not to be adopted. Either the public mind is fully ripe for the adoption or rejection of the scheme, or else those electors are signing petitions without having sufficient information on which to base the opinions they express. But, sir, there is such a thing as obtaining public opinion on almost any question, and very correctly too, without going to the polls; and, for my part, I find elections very inconvenient. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I believe the majority of the electors of Upper Canada have read those resolutions, and understand them about as well as many members of this House ; and, sir, we have every reason to believe that the sentiment of Upper Canada at least is largely in favor of the adoption of this scheme. (Hear, hear.) I took occasion to consult my constituents before coming to this House on the present occasion. I held meetings in the various municipalities in the county, and I believe, sir, according to the best of my ability, I did submit this scheme to the electors of that portion of the province. I have heard a good deal said here about the importance of having the question submitted to a vote of the people.

MR. M. C. CAMERON—I would like to ask the gentleman whether he laid any figures before his people to shew the difference between the cost of a Legislative and a Federal union. Unless he did that, the people were not in a position to express an opinion as to what was best for their interests.

MR. WALSH—I did not submit figures to shew the difference in cost between a Federal or Legislative union, for the simple reason that until the organization of the local governments is decided upon, it is not possible to give reliable figures, and I therefore think the people as competent to make calculations on this subject as myself or my hon. friend, lawyer though he be. (Hear, hear.) I may say, however, in answer to the hon. gentleman, that I did state to my constituents that the, resolutions now under consideration place in the hands of the present Legislature the preparation of the constitutions and the organization and composition of the local governments of Upper and Lower Canada ; and that as the Federal Government is to payan annual subsidy of eighty cents per head of its population to the respective provinces, for carrying on their local governments and the construction of local works, any sum required over and above that subsidy must necessarily be raised by direet taxation, and in that fact we have the strongest possible guarantee that in the arrangements made by this Legislature, and in the subsequent management of their domestic affairs by the local governments, the strictest simplicity and economy will be observed. (Hear, hear.) So much, Mr. SPEAKER, in answer to the question of the hon. gentleman. The difference between us on this question being that whilst we are both advocates of a legislative union, he will accept none other. I, believing that unattainable at present, am prepared to accept

[Page 810]

the system now proposed, hoping that the experience of the people will soon induce them to agree to the abolition of the local governments, and the adoption of the legislative system. (Hear, hear.) I may add— and I do so with great personal satisfaction— that the meetings which were held in my own county were largely in favor of the scheme, and that resolutions approving of it were moved and seconded, in almost every instance, by persons of different political opinions. (Hear, hear.) I was going on to remark, that it is said by many members of this House that the scheme could not be submitted to the people, because the Government in sending the resolutions to the members of the Legislature marked them ” Private.” Now, sir, I managed to get over that difficulty without trouble. A copy of the resolutions was sent to me, and as I was precluded from making use of them in that form without violating the confidence reposed in me, I turned to the newspaper version of the same resolutions, and finding it to be a verbatim copy of the original, when I attended my meetings I read from the newspaper and not from the private document itself. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I think other hon. gentlemen might have taken the same course with safety to themselves and profit to their constituents. (Hear, hear.) Without wishing to detain the House longer, I shall content myself by simply expressing my regret that on a question of such paramount importance—a question which towers in magnitude above all others that have ever come before this House —a question which not simply affects Canada, but the whole British North American Provinces— a question which does not only interest us, but will be felt in its influence upon future generations—I have, I say, to express my deep regret that such a question should not have been treated apart from party feeling, party prejudices, and a desire for party triumph. (Cheers ) Our object in considering this subject should not be to put one party out of office and another party in, but to determine what will most conduce to the present and future prosperity of the British North American Provinces. (Hear, hear.) It is a matter of indifference to me, so far as it affects this question, who occupy the seats on the Treasury benches. I look upon this question irrespective of party feelings. From the present position of these provinces, I think it is our duty and our interest alike to give effect to these resolutions so far as we can do so. If they fail through the action of the Lower Provinces, we shall not be responsible. I f we believe that the resolutions will he conducive to our interests, we are bound to sustain the hon. gentlemen who agreed to them as a basis of union. Believing this to be the proper course to be pursued, I shall, as I have already said, have great pleasure in giving them my support. (Hear, hear.) There is just one other remark that I may perhaps be permitted to refer to, which fell from tho hon. member for North Waterloo (Mr. BOWMAN), that I decidedly dissent from. The hon. gentleman spoke of this scheme as one which, if adopted, would conduce to independence. I must object to that view being taken of it. If I thought that the adoption of the scheme now before us could in any respect have the effect of severing these colonics from the Mother Country, whatever the consequences might be, I should have no hesitation in giving my voto against it. I believe there is nothing more ardently to be desired—no greater glory attainable than for these colonies remaining for all time to come, as we are now, dependencies of Great Britain.

HON. MR. COCKBURN—The honorable member for North Waterloo referred to it as a means of maintaining our independence against the United States.

MR. WALSH—I do not desire to misrepresent the hon. gentleman, and I am glad to hear that I have misconceived the tenor of his remarks. Mr. SPEAKER, I have detained the House longer than I purposed doing when I rose. I have touched very briefly on some of the general features of the scheme ; but I have not occupied valuable time in quoting authorities, or in reading passages illustrative of the past political history of hon. gentlemen on either side. It matters very little to me, in considering this question, what certain hon. gentlemen thought twelve months ago about representation by population or any other subject. This is a question to be decided by itself and upon its own merits ; and believing that the adoption of this scheme, so far as we in Canada are concerned, will be fraught with great benefits to ourselves as well as to those who may come after us, I repeat that it will afford me great pleasure in giving my support to the resolutions. (Cheers.)

MR. GIBBS said—Mr SPEAKER, in rising at this late hour, I feel, in common with

[Page 811]

many hon. members who have preceded me, that the debate has been sufficiently protracted, and should be brought to a close, as speedily as possible. Nevertheless, as a member lately elected to represent a wealthy and populous constituency, largely engaged in commercial, manufacturing, and agricul- tural pursuits, I deem it my duty to state my views on the proposed unioa of the British North American Provinces, now under the consideration of this House. In my opinion, sir, the gentlemen who occupy the Treasury benches deserve credit for the earnest and energetic manner in which they have applied themselves to carry out the pledges which they gave the country during the course of last summer. (Hear, hear.) I look upon it that the vote about to be taken is a foregone conclusion, and, for all practical purposes, might as well have been taken as soon as the resolutions had been read and spoken to by the Hon. Attorney General West. I have remarked, sir, that almost every hon. member that has spoken has expressed himself as fovorable to a union of some kind or other with the Maritime Provinces. When the delegates from the eastern provinces met at Charlotte town,Prince Edward Island, they contemplated a legislative union among themselves; but when invited to visit Quebec for the purpose of holding a conference with a view to a union of the whole of the colonies, the Federal principle was sustituted for the Legislative, Lower Canada and the eastern provinces voting as a unit for it, while the members representing Canada West were divided, the Hon. Attorney General West preferring a Legislative union, and the Hon. President of the Council a Federal one. The subject of ” Union of the Provinces ” has been looked upon with favor, not only by our own statesmen, who have of late years regarded it as a measure calculated to remove the difficulties which have surrounded the legislation of the country, but by leading statesmen of England as well, who view the proposal favorably, as being the means of building up a great nation, and also of preserving monarchical institutions on this continent. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, whatever may have been the points of difference which gave rise to the lengthened discussions of the Conference, there was one’ upon which, judging by the speeches of the delegates, and also from the resolutions themselves, there was perfect unanimity—that of loyalty and attachment to the Throne of Great Britain. (Hear, hear.) One would have thought it unnecessary to incorporate such a sentiment in the resolutions, yet the first of the series gives utterance to it and is thus expressed :—

The best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America will be promoted by a Federal union under the Crown of Great Britain.

With regard to the future of this proposed union, it is curious to note what is said and written in reference to it, some urging that its inevitable result will be a separation from our present happy connection with the Mother Country, and ultimate independence; while another class, equally confident, declares that it will lead to annexation with the United States. (Hear.) Whatever the ultimate fate of such a union may be, it is conceded by all parties that there exists a neeestity for a change of some kind in the political relations existing between Upper and Lower Canada; and it is gratifying to reflect that an expedient has been devised for allaying the rancourous party spirit that has been too frequently exhibited on the floor of this House. (Hear, hear.) We may congratulate ourselves, sir, that while our republican neighbors are engaged in bloody strife, one portion spilling its best blood in order to obtain a new Constitution, we can discuss the propriety of making a change in our own, which has not been iuaptly termed a “bloodless revolution,” without let or hindrance, but on the contrary with the full consent and authority of the power to which we owe allegiance. (Hear.) The provisions of this new Constitution have been widely disseminated, and in some sections thoroughly discussed. In the riding wñich I have the honor to represent, public attention was drawn to Confederation during the recent election, and I am fully justified in stating, that with a few exceptions here and there, there were not to be found maDy dissentients to it. (Hear, hear.) It is true that upon one or two occasions there were found leading men who took the ground that they did not think it desirable to enter into this union, but such instances were rare.. One of these gentlemen, the reeve of one of the most important townships in the riding, attended a meeting, where he met a large number of the electors ; but after he had delivered his address, he could not find one to

[Page 812]

respond to the sentiments he had expressed. (Hear, hear.) Another gentleman, an exreeve and an ex-member of Parliament— although Le never had the honor of taking his seat in this House—also addressed a large meeting, but with the same result as in the previous case. The only opposition which was manifested throughout the contest was not to tbe scheme itself, but to points of detail. (Hear, hear.) The Constitution of the Legislative Council was the principal one referred to, my opponent contending that the Upper House should continue an elective body, as at present, instead of being a nominated Chamber, as it is proposed to make it. I can sustain the view taken by the Hon. President of the Council in his opening address the other evening, when he said he would not hesitate to go into any liberal constituency in Western Canada and obtain their sanction to this principle. (Hear, hear.) Such at all events was the result in South Ontario. I am free to admit that a change was not asked for in the constitution of the Legislative Council; but although the resolutions make the change, there is a feeling abroad in the country that on this account the scheme as a whole should not be rejected. (Hear, hear.) Whenever a point was attempted to be made against me that I was endeavoring, by my advocacy of the nominative principle, to build up an aristocracy in this country, and that the result would be the locking up of the lands of the province in the hands of a privileged class, I replied that such had not been the case in the past, and that in a country like ours such could never be its results; and I further stated that the leader of the Reform party, the Hon. President of the Council, had himself stood almost alone on his side of the House in 1850, in resisting the change from the nominative to the elective principle. My desire, sir, is to see the union carried out only on a fair and equitable basis, and this, I think, is likely to be attained in the manner proposed for the assumption by the Central Government (at $25 per head) of the debts or portion of debts for which each province is now liable. I regret, however, that so high a figure as 80c. per head has been fixed upon a.s the subsidy to the local legislatures, for I fear the revenue will be so large that taken in connection with the revenues derivable from local sources, the surplus, after defraying the expenses of government, may induce that extravagance which has been so frequently deprecated in the past, and which by this arrangement may be continued in the future. I have taken some pains, sir, to ascertain what will be the probable position of Upper Canada under the arrangement as proposed, and I find that its revenue and probable expenditure will be aboub as follows :—


Law fees $100,000
Municipal Loan Fund 180,000
U. C. Building Fund 30,000
Grammar School do 20,000
Crown lands 280,000
Education Fund 8,000
Public works 64,000
Subsidy at 80 cents 1,117,000
Other sources 32,000


Administration of justice $275,000
Education 265,000
Literary and scientific
Hospitals and charities 43,000
Agricultural societies 56,000
Gaols, from Building Fund 32,000
Roads and bridges 75,000
Expense of managing
Crown lands
Interest on liabilities over assets 225,000
Interest on proportion of debt
to be assumed, say
Balance available 625,000

In this statement I have not included the Municipality Fund, as the receipts are distributed the following year amongst the municipalities. Estimating the expense of the Local Government at $150,000, we have a balance of $475,000 per annum for local purposes. I regard the subsidy as altogether too large, and shall hope to see it very materially reduced. (Hear, hear.) My bon. friend from North Ontario, upon the hypothesis that the Maritime Provinces contribute one-fifth of the revenue of the proposed Confederacy, and the balance by the Canadas, in the relative proportion of two dollars by Upper Canada to one dollar by Lower Canada, founds an argument thereon, shewing that each additional representative gained for Upper Canada will cost $17,000. Now, Mr. SPEAKER, I apprehend that when the union is accomplished and the duties equalized, this seeming objection will, to some extent at least, be removed, for it is well known that the Maritime Provinces consume much more largely of imported

[Page 813]

goods, per head, than we do. (Hear.) But let this principle be extended to county and township matters, aüd it would necessitate appropriations to the wealthier townships, in the proportion each contributed to the revenue of the county—a principle which has never been contended for, and facts will go to show that it is seldom done even upon popu- lation, as is proposed by this scheme. But as it was necessary to establish some basis for contributing to the expenses of the local governments, without compelling them to resort to direct taxation, I think the principle adopted, that of population, is not unjust. (Hear, hear.) Again, it is argued that as Canada West contributes in the proportion already alluded to, that in the payment of subsidies she will contribute more than her fair proportion in the proposed Confederacy. To this I reply, if the hypothesis that the proportion which Upper and Lower Canada respectively contribute to the general revenue be correct, and that the subsidy should be based upon revenue and not population, then undoubtedly the argument is a good one. Bat, sir, let us see if the proposed arrangement is not a great improvement on the present method of distributing the public funds. It is well known, sir, that the complaint which Upper Canada has made in the past was that the appropriations were made, not upon revenue, nor even according to population, but in utter disregard of both. Under the system which has hitherto prevailed for dividing money grants, of the proposed subsidy to the two Canarias ($2,005,403, or 80 cts. per head),

Upper Canada would have received one-half $1,002,701
Whereas, according to population 1,116,872
Difference in favor of the proposed system over the old one $ 114,171

As the moneys have been distributed equally in the past between Upper and Lower Canada, I maintain that the balance of the public debt, say $5,000,000, to be apportioned between them, should be divided in the same way, and not, as proposed by the Hon. Finance Minister, on population. But it is said the scheme will lead to extravagance. I had hoped, Mr. SPEAKER, that an alliance with the frugal and thrifty population of the eastern provinces would induce the very opposite, and lead to greater economy in the public expenditure than we have had in the past. (Hear, hear.) With reference, sir, to the cost of the local governments, that subject has been left in the hands of the local legislatures entirely, the resolutions shewing whence their income shall be derived, and what the subsidy shall be without compelling a resort to direct taxation. I claim for this scheme, Mr. SPEAKER, that it will give us national importance. (Hear.) But here again it is objected that to obtain this we must have a vast population. When the colonies now forming a portion of the American union severed the connection from the parent state, their population was set down at 2,500, 00, and although an impression has very generally obtained that they have increased in population faster than we have, an examination into the facts shows that such is not the case—for in 1860 their population reached 30,000,000, an increase of 1,200 per cent, while ours in the same period had increased from 145,000 in 1784, to 3,000,000 in 1861, or over 2,300 per cent. (Hear.) Confederation, sir, would give us nationality —I speak of British nationality—a nation created from the fragmentary portions of the provinces of Britain on this continent, but still retaining its allegiance to the British Crown. Then, sir, it is claimed that the commercial advantages which may arise from Confederation of the provinces can as readily be obtained by a Legislative as a Federal union. This is admitted; but as that is not obtainable, and as a union would remove the barriers to commercial intercourse and foster the trade between the colonies (each of which now effects more exchanges with the United states thin with all the rest of the provinces), it is desirable that the union should take place. (Hear.) This leads me, sir, to remark upon the probable abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty. The country will be glad to know, from the announcement made to the House on Monday last, that the Ministry if alive to the importance of entering into immediate ne gotiations,through the English Government, with that of the United States, for the renewal of this treaty. (Hear, hear.) I am not of the number who believe that the advantages accruing from this treaty have been all on the side of Canada; for, from the statements lately published, it appears that the whole trade of 1854 was… $24,000,000 And in 1863 ……….. 43,000,000

An increase in ten years of

[Page 814]

nearly 180 per cent $19,000,000

The exports from Canada to the United States amounted in ten years to $150,000,000
Imports into Canada in do 195,000,000

The difference in favor of the United States being paid in gold.

In 1854 free goods imported into Canada from the United States amounted to $ 2,000,000
And in 1863 19,000,000
Increase in ten years 850 per ct. $17,000,000

I do not fear, sir, but that the treaty will be renewed ; enlightened counsels will prevail, and, with the better feeling existing between the two countries, the subject will be taken up in a proper spirit, and legislated upon accordingly. (Hear.) The construction of the Intercolonial Railway is said to be a necessity of the proposed union, and without it there can be no union except in name. Calculations have been made which show that this road cannot be used for carrying heavy merchandise at remunerative rates, mote especially flour, which it has been shown would cost $2.25 per barrel from Toronto to Halifax, at two cents per ton per mile. The Grand Trunk Railway now carries flour from Toronto to Montreal for 25 cents per barrel during winter, and at the same rate a barrel of flour would cost $1.22. If this could be done, the difference in cost between winter rates and shipping via the St. Lawrence in summer, at 85 cents per barrel, would be made up in a saving of storage, interest, and insurance. Then there is the military aspect of the subject, which has already been thoroughly discussed. I contend, sir, that union with the Maritime Provinces not only allies us more closely to them and to each other, but also to that power which alone could render us aid whenever subjected to attack ; and, regarded fiom this point of view, this railroad is said to be a necessity. Lord DURHAM in his report said :—

An union for common defence against foreign enemies is the national bond of connection that holds together the great communities of the world, and between no parts of any kingdom or state did the necessity exist of such a union more obviously than between the whole of these colonies.

(Hear, hear ) In concision ; sir, if we reject the proposed union, what is offered as a substitute ? In the absence of anything better which will settle our existing difficulties, shall we reject the opportunity now presented and that may never recur ? Rather let us, as members of the same family, unite for weal or for woe. By it we secure enlarged commercial intercourse, greater security in case of attack, a remedy for the existing difficulties between Upper and Lower Canada, and also render more lasting the connection now existing with the Mother Country. (Hear.) While in favor of this measure, but believing that it should be submitted for the approval of those who are to be affected by the contemplated change, I shall feel it to be my duty in the first instance to vote against the ” previous question,” in order that such an amendment may be put, reserving the right to vote for the amendment of the hon. member for Peel, when that shall come up for discussion, its object being to submit the question for popular sanction. (Cheers.) If this, however, shall fail, I shall vote, Mr. SPEAKER, for the resolution now in your hands.

The debate was then adjourned.

THURSDAY, March, 9, 1865.

MR. D. FORD JONES resumed the adjourned debate. He said — I rise, Mr. SPEAKER, to address the House on the resolutions which you hold in your hand in favor of a Confederation of all the Provinces of British North America. I feel that the question is one involving such very great interests, involving a change in the whole Constitution of the country, and involving consequences which may plunge us into great difficulties, or which may have the very opposite effect — that I feel great diffidence and embarrassment in approaching it. But I feel it is a duty I owe to myself and to those who sentmc here, that I should express my opinions on this proposed union, before I record my vote on the resolutions now before the House. I desire to do this, because I cannot give my approval to the whole scheme, some of its details being such that I cannot support them.

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HON. MR. HOLTON—Hear, hear.

MR. JONES—The way in which I look at this question does not at all depend on whether this hon. gentleman or that hon. gentleman may be at the head of affairs in this country; or whether we may have a Coalition Government or a purely party Government ; but I consider we should look at the sheme on its own merits, and deal with it as a whole, giving a fair and square vote on the resolutions as a whole. (Hear, hear.) I think, therefore, that the course which has been taken by the Government to obtain such a vote is the wise and honest course. (Hear, hear.) I think they deserve credit for the step they have taken with a view to bringing this debate to a close. We have been debating this question day after day for a number of weeks, and I must say that the opposition given by hon. gentlemen on the other side has been of a very factious character ; time after time they have risen to make motions on this, that, and the other thing, keeping the House from addressing itself to the matter really under debate, and protracting unnecessarily the decision of the question. Only the night before last, when an hon. gentleman had risen for the purpose of addressing the House, they cried out that it was too late, and called for an adjourment of the debate ; and yet, when that was agreed to, they wasted two or three hours in moving additions to that motion for adjournment. This was done, too, by hon. gentlemen who we’re well conversant with the rules of this House, and who must have known that these motions were not in order. At midnight they were too tired to allow the debate to go on, and yet they kept the House sitting after that till three in the morning, discussing mere points of order. (Hear, hear.) That has been the course pursued by hon. gentlemen opposite. And what, on the other hand, has been the course pursued by the Administration ? Did they not put a motion on the notice paper—amotion which the factiousness of hon. gentlemen opposite prevented from being put to the vote—to give further time for the discussion of this question, by resolving that instead of its being taken up at half-past seven, it should be taken up at three, the whole time of the House being devoted to it ? We have been debating the question for weeks, and though hon gentlemen opposite have bean in their places they have not proposed a single amendment. And yet, after this had gone on for such a length of time, so soon as the ” previous question ” is moved, those hon. gentlemen get up and cry out that they are gagged. Even after the House began to discuss the question at three o’clock, these hon. gentlemen day after day wasted the time by getting in one sidewind after another, in order to create delay, to see if something might not turn up against the scheme. Now, at last, they have got something. Something has turned up in New Brunswick, and I suppose they will now permit us to come to a vote. (Hear, hear.) In discussing this question, I do not see any necessity for going back eight or ten years to the speeches of hon. members. I do not see why lengthy extracts should be read to shew that the hon. member for Montmorency opposed the union of the provinces in 1858, or that the hon. member for Hochelaga, at that time, was in favor of it. I do not see what that has to do with the question before us. It is now submitted in a practical form for our decision, and what we have to do is to give a square vote, yea or nay, that we are in favor oi this Confederation, or that we are against it. Our circumstances have changed within the last few years ; but it is noton thataccount merely that I now support this union. I have always, upon every occasion, on the hustings at public meetings and elsewhere, advocated a union of the British North American Provinces ; and were our relations with the United States in the same favorable form that existed some five or six years since, I would still give my support to a union. It is, therefore, sir, not because I think there is a great present necessity for the scheme being brought to a speedy conclusion that I now support it. That present necessity, however, now exists, and I do not see why other hon. gentlemen, after a lapse of five or six years, when times have changed, and a greater urgency has arisen for such a union, should not be allowed to change their minds. ” Wise men change their minds ; fools have no minds to change.” (Hear, hear.) Shortly before the meeting of this House, I advertised that I would hold a series of meetings in the riding of South Leeds, for the purpose of placing my views upon this question before my constituents, and to see whether their views accorded with my own ; men of all shades of politics were requested to attend these meetings, and they were very numerously and respectably attended, not only by those who supported me, but also by those who were my most bitter opponents at the last

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election. And at all of those meetings, some six or seven, not a single voice was raised against the union of these provinces with the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. All appeared to think such a union advisable and necessary, not only for commercial purposes, but because it would tend to strengthen the ties that bound us to the Mother Country. I t has been said that this union has never been before the people, that it has never been a test question at the polls. Now, sir, so long ago as the year 1826, this union was advocated by Sir JOHN BEVERLEY ROBINSON, one of the most able men this country has ever produced ; subsequently, on different occasions, it was adverted toby Lord DURH A M in his celebrated report—also by the British American Leaftue, presided over by the late lamented Hon. GEO. MOFFATT of Montreal, and latterly in that despatch to the home Government in October, 1858, over the signatures of the Hon. Messrs. CARTIER, GALT and ROSS. Why action was not taken upon that despatch, I cannot say; I leave this matter in the hands of. those who at that time administered the affairs of this country, and who are responsible for the course they pursued in allowing it to be dropped. Sir, the union of these provinces would, in my humble opinion, be of the very greatest advantage to us in many points. It would strengthen, and not weaken, as has been said by its opponents, the ties that bind us to the Mother Country. It would give us a standing in the eyes of the world. Instead of being several small, disjointed and fragmentary provinces, as was so ably expressed in the Speech from the Throne, we would form one great nationality, with a population to begin with of nearly 4,000,000 people, which would place us among the list of the first countries of the world. (Hear, hear.) It would tend to strengthen our securities both here and in the Mother Country. Instead of our stocks and our bonds being quoted as if by accident on the Stock Exchange in London, they would be looked for daily, and sought after. It would give us an increased market for our produce and our manufactures, and it would tend more than anything else to cause a tide of emigration to flow to our shores. (Hear, hear.) Now the emigrant in coming to America is preplexed to know to which of the different provinces he shall go. and when he speaks of going to America, the only place he thinks of is New York. It would create a daily line of steamships from the different points of Europe to Halifax, the nearest point and shortest sea voyage to this country—and with the Intercolonial Railway to bring the emigrant directly through to Canada, who will say that we shall not have a tide of emigration to our shores such as we can scarcely imagine ? The only emigration we now have is that induced to come by friends who have made this country a home and have prospered. These, sir, are the reasons, from a political point of view, why I support the resolutions now in your hand. And, sir, in speaking in a commercial sense, and as a commercial man, they shall also have my full and hearty support. (Hear, hear.) Does any one pretend to say that by the addition of yearly a million of inhabitants to these provinces, a thrifty and intelligent people, that this country will not be made more prosperous? Does any one pretend to say, that by taking away the barriers that exist to trade, with a million of people living close alongside of us, that this country will not be advanced ? Will we not have largely-increased markets for our manufactures when tho?e hostile tariffs that now meet us at every port in the Maritime Provinces, restricting our trade with them, are removed ? Will we not have an increased market for our produce when we are linked together by the Intercolonial Railroad, and when a free interchange of all our commodities exists ? Can we remain, as at present, without any highway of our own to the Atlantic, for ingress or egress, for five months of the year ? (Hear, hear.) When we see the hostility existing towards us, and forcibly shown towards us, by the press, the people, and the Government of the United States, by the enforcement of the obnoxious passport system, by the notice of the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty, hy the annulling of the bonding system, by the notice given to the Government of Great Britain that the treaty regarding armed vessels on our lakes is to be done away with—when our farmers cannot send their produce for five months of the year to a market ; when our merchants, for the same period, cannot get their stocks of merchandise for the supply of the wants of the country ; when we are dependent on the generosity of a foreign country even for the passage of our mails to Old England—when that is our position, shall it be said that this union with the Lower

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Provinces is not desirable, and that we shall not, as soon as possible, have a railroad across our territory to the Atlantic seaboard, to Halifax, one of the best harbors in the world? Shall we be indebted,be subservient to, be at the mercy of a foreign country for our very existence ? (Hear, hear.) Sir, shall we remain dependent upon that country for all these things, or shall we not rather put our own shoulders to the wheel, throwing off our supineness and inertia, and by building the Intercolonial Railway, provide an outlet for ourselves? (Hear, hear.) And simultaneously with the construction of that great work, I hold that for the benefit of the commercial interests of the country we ought to enlarge and deepen our canals. (Hear, hear.) I desire now to read a Minute of the Executive Council, issued by the SANDFIELD MACDONALD-DORION Government, under date 19th February, 1864. It is as follows :—

Although no formal action, indicative of the strength of the party hostile to the continuance of the Reciprocity treaty, has yet taken place, information of an authentic character, ag tp the opinions and purposes of influential public men in the United States, has forced upon the committee the conviction that there is imminent danger of its speedy abrogation, unless prompt and vigorous steps be taken by Her Majesty’s Imperial advisera to avert what would be generally regai ded by the people of Canada as a great calamity.

And in another place it is stated :—

Under the beneficent operation of the system of self-government, which the later policy of the Mother Country has accorded to Canada, in common with the other colonies possessing representative institutions, combined with the advantages secured by the Reciprocity treaty of an unrestricted commerce with our nearest neighbors in the natural productions of the two countries, all agitation for organic changes has ceased, all dissatisfaction with the existing political relations of the province has wholly disappeared.

From this Minute it appears to have been the opinion of the SANDFIELD MACDONALD- DORION Government that the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty would probably be a great calamity to this country. But I am not of that opinion, and I believe that the people of this country will never be so reduced as to go on their knees to pray the Government of the United States to continue the treaty. (Hear, hear.) Indeed, for the past year or two, in consequence of the difference in the currency between the two countries, we have felt almost as though that treaty had been put an end to already. In consequence of the state of the currency, many of the best interests of this country have been injured, the mining interest of the province has been put a stop to, and the lumbering interest, one of the most important of our many important interests, crippled and paralysed. (Hear.) What much greater injury can befall us, by the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty, than that we now suffer through the derangement of the currency ? Instead of the repeal of the Reciprocity treaty being a great calamity, it will lead to an agitation for organic changes which cannot fail to be of the greatest advantages to the fufure prosperity of the country. For my part I do not at all like the idea of a document of that kind, emauating from our Canadian Government, falling into the hands of the American people, and leading them to believe that in our estimation the repeal by them of the Reciprocity treaty would be calamitous to this country. (Hear, hear.) I repeat that I do not believe that the abrogation of that treaty will eventually be detrimental to our interests. It is true that we may suffer for four or five years, and suffer greatly, but we will be thrown upon our own resources, and ultimately become strong and self-reliant. Our merchants will no longer be denied an outlet to the ocean during five or six months in the year, except by the favor or forbearance of our Yankee neighbors. Let us put our hands into our pockets to build this Intercolonial Railway, and we will be opening a way to the ocean to our merchants and our farmers for shipping their products over their own territory. And when we are in that position, we shall be able to say to the people of the United States—” You shall no longer be allowed to participate in the benefits of our fisheries—we will close the navigation of our canals against you—and we will cease to permit, without the payment of a heavy duty, the importation into this country of your coarse grains for the supply of our distillers and brewers.” And, sir, when it is stated that the importations of these grains have amounted to nearly two millions of bushels annually, it will be seen that after all the reciprocity is not altogether on one side. (Hear, hear.) I think that they will then acknowledge it will be better (or them to be on more friendly terms with this province, seeing that we control the navigation of the Welland and St. Lawrence canals, ths

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natural outlet for the products of the Western States, which in 1863 amounted to the enormous quantity of five hundred and twenty million bushels of grain—they will be dependent upon us, iustead of our relying upon them. Compared with the St. Lawrence navigation the Erie canal is but a ditch, and it is closed by the irost earlier in the season than our lake and river navigation. When all these advantages which we enjoy are considered, the people of the United States will see how much better it is to live on terms of friendship at d amity with us, instead of, to use a vulgar but forcible phrase, ” cutting off their nose to spite their face.” (Hear, hear.) With regard to the proposed resolutions, I stated at the cutset that there were portions of the scheme to which I objected, and I may now, sir, be allowed briefly to advert to them. I would prefer that the whole powerwas concentrated under one head by a Legislative union, rather than a Federal union. I fear that the machineiy will be complex, and that we will find, under the proposed system, that the expenses of the Government will be much greater than if we had one General Government without these additions of local legislatures for each of the provinces. (Hear, hear.) But I am happy to say that the proposed Federal system is not a reflex of the old Federal union of the United States. Notwithstanding some honorable gentlemen have praised the Federal system in the States as worthy of imitation, full I think our proposed system much to be preferred. It differs in this—the United States Federal system was formed from a number of sovereign states, with sovereign powers, delegating to a central power just as much or as little of their power as they chose ; thereby the doctrine of state rights obtained, aud, as we have seen within the last four years, has been the cause of bloodshed and civil war, it may be to the probable destruction of that Federal union. Our case is exactly the reverse instead of the Central Government receiving its power from the different provinces, it gives to those provinces just as much or as little as it chooses. Hear what the 45th resolution says—” In regard to all subjects in which jurisdiction belongs to both the general and local legislatures, the laws ot the General Parliament shall control and supersede those made by the local le- gislatures, and the latter shall be void so far as inconsistent with the former.” This places the whole control in the hands of the General Government, making the union as nearly legislative as the circumstances of the various provinces would admit. So much is this the case that the hon. member for Hochelaga fears that it would eventually result in a legislative union—a result to my mind most devoutly to be desired. (Hear, hear.) There are two or three more of the points of the resolutions to which I have objection. The public lands are placed at the disposal of the local legislatures; immigration also is in the hands of the local legislatures, and the seacoast fisheries are in the hands of the local legislatures. These are matters common to the whole, and should, for many reasons, be under the control of the General Government. These various interests, however, are all covered by the 45th resolution of the Conference which I have just read, and which declares that when consistent with the welfare of the General Government, their control will be taken from the local legislatures. (Hear,hear.) I have, as briefly as possible, shewn that in my opinion, in our political and our commercial relations we would be benefited by the union of Canada with the Maritime Provinces. I have also adverted briefly to the objections which I bold to the proposed mode of carrying out the union. I shall now endeavor to show that as a means of defence it is highly desirable. If there is one thing more desirable than another, it is to have the whole forces of the country under one governing power. How might it fare with us, in case of war or invasion, with the provinces disunited ? Objections could now be made against the withdrawal of a porticn of the militia from one province to the others, without the consent of the government of that province, and before they could be brought into the field, valuable time would be lost, red-tapeism would stand in the way, and the delay might be dangerous. (Hear, hear.) By being united and controlled under one head, troops could be thrown upoa any point attacked, at a moment’s notice. Objections have been made by hon. gentlemen to any expenditure for the purpose of building fortifications, at proper points, for the defence of the country ; but I am satisfied there is no reasonable sum that may be required that will be grudged by the people of Canada; for if thtre is any purpose for which they will contribute cheerfully, it is for the defence of their country, aud to continue the connection and cement the tie that binds us to the Mother Country.

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(Hear, hear.) It has been also stated that we could not defend ourselves against an overwhelming power such as the United States. Time was when we did defend ourselves, and that successfully ; and if the time should ever come again, the people of Canada and of the Maritime Provinces will not be found backward to defend everything they h ld sacred and most dear. (Hear, hear.) It has also been said that we should keep a strict neutrality ; in fact that our neutrality should be guaranteed by England, France and the United Siates, in case war should unfortunately take place between them. But such an idea is too absurd to be considered for a moment. Would the people of this country submit to such an arrangement even if attempted to be carried out ? Would we allow England, if forced to go to war with the United States, want the assistance of her Canadian subjects ? Could we restrain the people of Canada from doing their duty, when they saw the Mother Country battling with her foes ? If I thought such would be the case, I should deny my country, for we should be held up to the scorn and derision of the world. (Hear, hear.) On the question of our defences, I desire to read an extract from the report of Col. JERVOIS, the able engineer sent out to report upon the practicability of defending Canada against attack :—

The question appears tobe whether the British force now in Canada shall be withdrawn in order to avoid the risk of its defeat, or whether the necessary measure shall be taken to enable that force to be of use for the defe ice of the country. The sum required for the construction of the proposed works and armaments at Montreal and Quebec would only be about one year’s expense of the regular force we now maintain in Canada. It is a delusion to suppose that force can be of any use for the defence of the country, without fortifications to compensate for the comparative smallness of its numbers. Even when aided by the whole of the local militia that could at present be made available, it would, in the event of war, be obliged to retreat before the superior numbers by which it would be attacked, and it would bb fortunate if it succeeded in embarking at Quebec, and putting to sea without serious defeat. On the other hand, if the works now recommended be constructed, the vital points of the country could be defended, and the regular army would become a nucleus and support, round which the people of Canada would rally to resist aggression, and to preserve that connection with the Mother Country which their loyalty, their interests, and their love of true freedom alike make them desirous to maintain.

Such is the report of Col. JERVOIS, one of the ablest men on those subjects in the En- glish service, and I think it can with greater reason be relied upon than all the mere assertions of hon. members, who are not supposed to know much, if anything at all, upon a subject which they have never made a study, and upon which they have had no experience whatever. (Hear, hear.) Sir J. WALSH also, a few days since, in a speech upon an Address to Her Majesty for papers and correspondence with the American Government in relation to the Reciprocity treaty, and the notice for a finality of the treaty restricting the number of armed steamers upon our inland waters, spoke thus :—

There might be some hon. gentlemen who would contemplate, without shame or regret, the total and entire severance of the connection between England and Canada, and who would say that this country would get rid thereby of a source of much embarrassment, expense and trouble. He would, however, tell those hon. gentlemen that Great Britain could not, if she would, cut Canada adrift. As long as Canada retained her desire to be connected with this country—as long as Canada preserved her spirit and her resolution to be independent of America, so long would England be bound by her honor, by her interests, and by every motive that could instigate a generous or patriotic nation, to sustain, protect and vindicate ‘he rights of Canada, and to guard her, whether as an ally or a dependency, against the aggressions of the United States ; it was impossible for England to shrink from the obligation. The day might come when the Chancellor of the Exchequer would come down, and in happy phase and with mellifluous eloquence, congratulate the House upon having emancipated itself from a source of military expenditure. He might felicitate the House that Birmingham was sending admirably finished Armstrong and Whitworth guns to arm the new naval forces of America on the Canadian lakes. He might congratulate the House that Birmingham was sending out a plentiful supply of fetters and handcuffs to be used in coercing the refractory Americans. The right hon. gentleman might, at the same time, be able to congratulate the House upon a vast amount of commercial prosperity, and announce that he was able to reduce the income tax a penny or two pence on the pound. But if ever that day should come, and if ever that speech were made, the whole world would observe that the old English oak was not only withered in its limbs, but was rotten at its heart. There was, in fact, no escape from the obligation which bound Great Britain, by every tie of national honor and interest, to maintain and defend Canada. The question was not one merely between England and Canada, but was one between England and the United States. It appeared to him that the notice given by the American Government was an act of such unmistakable hostility, that it almost

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amounted to a declaration of war, and at a much earlier period of our history, it would have been so regarded.

When such views are held in England, when so strong a desire is manifested in Canada to maintain our connection with England, and to remain under the sheltering folds of that flag we love so well, shall it be said that we have not the spirit left to defend ourselves ? I know, sir, that the people of Canada will not bebackward, should ever that time arrive. I feel that there is some of the spirit of 1812 still left among us. I am convinced that the blood of those men who left the United States, when they gained their independence, and who gave up all in order to live under the protection oí the laws of Old England—the blood of those old U. E. Loyalists, I say, still courses through our veins. (Hear.) Sir,I trust that this union may be consummated, in order that British power on this continent may be consolidated, our connection with the Mother Country cemented and strengthened, and that under this union this country may be made a happy home for hundreds of thousands of emigrants from the Mother Country—a happy and contented home for all now living here, and for our children and children’s children for generations to come. (Hear, hear, and cheers.)

MR. CARTWRIGHT, said—Mr. SPEAKER, the turn which this debate has assumed of late is somewhat remarkable. Up to a very recent period, hon. gentlemen opposite have dwelt chiefly on the extreme—I think they even said the indecent—haste with which this project has been pushed forward. They have asserted that this scheme was the sole, the only bond of union between the members of the present Ministry, and further, that so rash, so inconsiderate was their eagerness to effect theii end at any cost, that they have seriously compromised our interests by undue concessions to the remaining provinces, and notably to Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Latterly, however, the question has assumed a new and different phase. It has been discovered that so far from being a bond of union, the project of Confederation is a mere pretext, a blind to cover their predetermination to maintain their position at all hazards. Now, sir, passing over the obvious inconsistency of these contradictory accusations, passing over the absurdity of calling the Confederation the sole bond of union, and yet a sham to cover that union, I shall have a few words to say as to the reasons which induced me, in common with a great majority of this House, and I believe with a great majority of the people of this country, to support honorable gentlemen on the Treasury benches, not only as regards the project we are now discussing, but as to their general policy in effecting the extraordinary fusion of parties which took place last summer. Sir, it is idle to talk of that step as if those honorable gentlemen were alone responsible for their conduct on that occasion. What they did was done with the full knowledge and consent of their supporters, and reflects on our honor, if wrong, quite as much as on theirs. But, sir, I am very far indeed from admitting that we were wrong. I think the reasons which influenced us then were strong enough to justify us fully ; those reasons are tenfold stronger now. To understand them, Mr. SPEAKER, we need only glance at the parliamentary history of the last few years, and then ask ourselves whether any language is too strong, any sacrifice too great, to put an end to the state of things which prevailed throughout that period. But first, sir, let me pause to deal with the charge of undue haste. Doubtless the rapidity with which these negotiations have advanced was as remarkable as it was unexpected. I believe there is hardly an instance in which a political project of such magnitude and delicacy has made such astonishing progress in so short a time; and so far from holding it an objection, so far from allowing that this is any evidence that the country has been taken by surprise in assenting to this scheme, I hold that it is, on the contrary, the best possible omen of its ultimate success, no matter what temporary checks it may encounter, because it shows conclusively not only how zealously and honestly Ministers have devoted themselves to the task of carrjing it into effect, but, which I think of even more importance, because it proves how powerfully the events of the last few years have contributed to mature men’s views on this subject, and shows that, so far as this province is concerned, my honorable friends are but aiding to carry out a foregone conclusion—a conclusion long since arrived at by every man among us who desires to maintain our independence or our connection with the British Crown; that in this, or some such scheme as this, lies our best, if not our only hope of escaping absorption into the great republic which adjoins us. Sir, this is an argument which perhaps has more weight with we than with some hon.

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gentlemen before me. It may be that there are gome even here who are secretly dazzled by the magnificent vision, so dear to American statesmen, of an empire which shall spread from sea to sea, and unite every scattered state and province from the Grulf of Mexico to Hudson’s Bay under one law and one rule. Sir, I can understand the fascination which such an idea can exercise ; I can even sympathise with it to some extent ; and it is just because I do understand it that I am prepared to oppose it to the utmost, believing that in the long run the establishment of a power so gigantic could not fail to be fraught with the greatest misfortunes to those who might live under it, if not to the whole human race. And now, sir, to return to my subject, I would like to take a rapid glarce at the perils from which we have but lately escaped ; and in so doing, I shall speak only of those of which I have myself been cognizant in my own parliameiitary career, brief though it is ; and I appeal again to the consciousness of every honorable gentleman, whether there is anything in the events of the past two sessions of which we have much reason to feel proud, save, perhaps, their closing scene ? What was our position, Mr. SPEAKER ; what was that position which some honorable gentlemen have the hardihood to affect to regret ? Two dissolutions granted (though in the latter case the Royal prerogative was not exeicised); three changes of Ministry within the space of a single twelvemonth ; the fate of cabinets dependant on the vote of a single capricious or unprincipled individual, in a House of 130 members ; a deficient revenue and a sinking credit; all useful legislation at a stand-still—these, sir, were circumstances which might well have filled us with apprehension, had they occurred in a time of profound peace ; but which, sir, coming, as they did, at a period when we are menaced with the gravest danger which can befall a free people, would have argued us deaf and blind to every lesson which the misfortunes of our neighbors ought to teach us, had we not embraced the very earliest opportunity to extricate ourselves from such a position ; and the wonder to me is not that our statesmen should have shown themselves williug to bury their private grudges and pdltry personal animosities, but rather that we could have been infatuated enough to permit such a state of things to continue at such a crisis for two whole years. It is not for me to say who has been most to blame in the past. I judge no one, still less do I undertake to defend them ; but I speak of acts patent and known to all, when I say that the position of parties in this province, the bitterness and virulence of party feeling, and the narrowness and acrimony to which those feelings gave rise, were degrading and demoralizing us all to a degree which it is not pleasant to look back upon even now. And so far from regarding the union of parties which has taken place as a political misfortune in itself, or as tending to deprive the people of any safeguard, I say that it was of the greatest importance to our people that they should be relieved, if only for a brief period, from the desperate party struggles in which they have been engaged —that a lull of some kind should be afforded, that they should have some opportunity of considering the grave daugers which encompass them, some chance of escaping from the state of practical anarchy into which they had been drifting. It is to their credit, Mr. SPEAKER, and to the credit of those who control the press of this country, that ever since this project has been fairly before us a very marked improvement has taken place in the whole tone and temper of public discussion. Of the press, in particular, I must say that the moment they were relieved from the necessity of supporting party manoeuvres—the moment a subject of sufficient importance was submitted for consideration, they seem to have risen at once to the level of the subject, and to have abandoned all those unhappy and rancourous personalities which, in times past, were too apt to disfigure their pages. Sir, I believe the people of Canada have learned a lesson which they will not easily forget. I believe that henceforward it will not be found so easy to array citizen against citizen, race agaiust race, as it has been heretofore. I believe our people have discovered that men wbo rise to be the heads of great parties are not of necessity villains and scounura s—that both sides may have great political principles to maintain—that the words Reformer and Revolutionist, Conservative and Corruptionist are not absolutely cunveitible terms, and that men who have given up the best part of their lives, and sacrificed too often, the best part of their fortunes in the service of their country, have had some better and higher reasons than mere love of

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jobbery and intrigue for doing so. To me, sir, this appears a matter of great moment. It is only too notorious how much of the misery and misfortune which has befallen the United States, is to be traced to the systematic degradation of their public men. It is well for us that the matter is still in our own power. It is well for us that we have still the choice whether we will have statesmen or stump orators to rule over us— whether this House shall maintain its honorable position as the representatives of a free people, or whether it shall sink into a mere mob of delegates, the nominees of caucuses and of wire-pullers. It is still in our power to decide whether we shall secure a fair share of the best talent we possess to carry on the affairs of the country, or whether we will ostracise from our councils every man of superior ability, education or intelligence— with what practical results we need not look far abroad to see; and I think, sir, it is fast becoming apparent that in this, as in other matters, the people of Canada are well disposed to adhere to the traditions of their British ancestry. There is one objection, Mr. SPEAKER, which has been advanced perpetually throughout this debate by some hon. gentlemen who, while unable or unwilling to show any valid reason against Confederation in itself, profess themselves bitterly scandalised at the political combination by which it is likely to be brought about. Now, sir, I admit at once that there is a prejudice, a just and wholesome prejudice, against all coalitions in the abstract. I admit that that prejudice is especially strong in the minds of Englishmen, and that, in point of fact, a coalition is always an extreme measure, only to be had resort to in cases of extieme emergency. A coalition, Mr. SPEAKER, may be a very base act, but it may also be a very nobis one. It may be a mere conspiracy, for purposes of revenge or plunder, on the part of men hating and detesting each other to the uttermost— or it may be an honorable sacrifice of private personal enmity before the pressure of overwhelming public necessities, to escape from great daDger or to carry a great object. Sir, I shall not insult the intelligence of the House by enquiring whether this present existing Coalition has proposed to itself an object of sufficient impoitance to warrant its formation Even those who censure the details of this scheme most strongly are fain to do homage to the grandeur of the project, and are compelled to admit that a union which should raise this country from the position of a mere province to that of a distinct nation, is a project well worthy of the utmost efforts of our statesmen. To determine the remaining question whether the position of our affairs were so critical as to require the utmost energy of all cur leaders, and to justify auy union which gave a reasonable hope of extricating ourselves from our difficulties, I must again revert to the co.oition in which we found ourselves during the last few years, and I ask every hon. member to answer for himself whether it was one which it gives him any pleasure to look back upon ? Was it pleasant for us, Mr. SPEAKER, a young country without one penny of debt which has iiot been incurred for purposes of public utility—was it pleasant for us, I ask, to find our revenue yeaily outrunning our expenditure in the ratio of 20, 30 or even 40 per cent, per annum ? Was it pleasant for us to know that some of our once busiest and most prosperous cities were being depopulated under the pressure of exorbitant taxation ? Was it pleasant for us, inhabiting a country able to sustain ten times its present populatiou,to find capital and immigrants alike fleeing from our shores, even if they had to take refuge in a land desolated by civil war ? Was it pleasant tor us, sir, the only colony of England which has ever vindicated its attachment to the Empire in fair fight, to know that our apathy and negligence in taking steps for our own defence was fast making us the byword to both friend and foe ? And lastly, Mr SPEAKER, I ask was it pleasant for us, needing and knowing that we needed a strong Government above all things, one which should maintain a firm and steady policy, and possess the good-will and support of at least a large majority of our people—I say, sir, was it pleasant for us at such a crisis to find ourselves the victims of a mere political see-saw—to be sure only of this one fact, that whatev er course of policy was adopted, the circumstance that it emanated from one party would cause it to be viewed with jealousy and suspicion by the whole remaining moiety of the nation ? I would not have it thought, Mr. SPEAKER, that in saying this, I am blind to the difficulties with which our statesmen have had to struggle. So far from this I believe that it has been quite too much the fashion to underrate them in times past. We have spoken of them as if it were the easiest task in the

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world to blend together, in less than one generation, two distinct peoples—peoples differing from one another in race, in language, in laws, customs and religion—in one word, in almost every point in which it is possible for men of European origin, and professing one common Christianity, to differ from each other. Sir, this could never have been an easy task. It is one which has again and again baffled the ablest statesmen of the most powerful monarchies of Europe; and I will not undertake to say whether it is ever capable of complete accomplishment. Be that as it may, I know that in every empire which has ever existed, from the English to the Koman, which has held different races under its sway, it has always been found necessary to make large allowances for distinctive national traits—has, in fact, been found necessary to introduce in some measure the Federal element, though it is equally, true that in every state which deserved the name of an empire, the supreme authority of the central power in all that concerns the general welfare has been acknowledged unreservedly. And, sir, it is just because this seems to have been effectual in all essential points in the scheme now before us—because, while reserving to the General Government the power of the purse and the sword, it accords the amplest defensive powers to the various local bodies—because, even where there may be some conflict of jurisdiction on minor matters, every reasonable precaution seems to have been taken against leaving behind us any reversionary legacies of sovereign state rights to stir up strife and discord among our children. For all these reasons, I say, I am disposed to give my hearty support to the scheme as a whole, without criticising too narrowly the innumerable details waich it must inevitably present to attack. All I hope is that in adjusting our new constitutions, local and general, we shall not allow our minds to be warped by antiquated notions of the dangers which threaten our liberty. No fear here, Mr. SPEAKER, for many a day to come at least, of perils which await us irom the tyranny of hereditary rulers, or the ambition of aristocratic oligarchies. No, sir, no; and while it is true that here as elsewhere, there are always dangers enough to retard our progress, I think that every true reformer, every real friend of liberty will agree with me in saying that if we must erect safeguards, they should be rather for the security of the individual than of the mass, and that our chiefest care must be to train the majority to respect the rights of the minority, to prevent the claims of the few from being trampled under foot by the caprice or passion of the many. For myself, sir, I own frankly I prefer British liberty to American equality. I had rather uphold the majesty of the law than the majesty of Judge Lynch. I had rather be the subject of an hereditary monarch, who dare not enter the hut of the poorest peasant without leave had and obtained, than be the free and sovereign elector of an autocratic President, whose very Minister can boast the power of imprisoning one man in New York and another in St. Louis by the touching of a bell-wire ! I said, sir, that there were many reasons why we should all unite in furthering this project. It is not merely because of the barriers to material progress which it will remove—though I am far from undervaluing their importance ; it is not merely because of the higher prizes which it will throw open to individual ambition— though I do not affect to despise this either ; but it is chiefly, after all, because I believe it will be found to have the most beneficial results, in elevating our politics and in inspiring our people with those feelings of dignity and self-respect which lie at the bottom of all real national greatness. Sir, I can only liken our position for some time past to that of a youth who has been allowed to take possession of his inheritance at an age when he is not yet legally responsible for his actions. I do not believe that such a position is good either lor a nation or an individual, and I for one rejoice that it is about being brought to a close. There were several other subjects, Mr. SPEAKER, which I had inteaded to allude to ; but I find my voice is still too weak to allow more than a few remarks. Still, sir, I do not wish to sit down without saying briefly that I am glad to find one lesson at least, which the British Constitution ought to teach us, is beginning to be impressed upon our people. That Constitution, Mr. SPEAKER—though we have not always been sufficiently alive to the fact— while it does not require the possession of those lofty, impracticable virtues which most republican institutions demand nom their votaries, does nevertheless presuppose a reasonable amount of discretion at the hands of those who are intrusted with the

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carrying out of its details. And, sir, though it is true that it docs recognise the calm, deliberate, just decision of the majority—and the calm aud deliberate decision is almost always just—as final in the last resoit, it does still so abound with safeguards—with latent checks of all kinds—checks established, m.iny of them, more by custom and usage than by positive law—as to make it all but impossible for any majority, however strong, to perpetrate any gross act of injustice on a minority, so long as that minority could command but one or two resolute representatives on the floor of Parliament. Sir, it is impossible not to feel that it is iu a very great degree to this fact; to the instinctive sense of the inherent powers of self-defence which our customs give to the weak against the strong—to the conviction that to drive any party to despair would create an inevitable dead-lock—that England owes it that she has contrived to administer her affairs for near two hundred years witbout any overt acts of tyranny or one direct collision or irregular interferenee with the ordinary course of law. Sir, I rejoice to see that we will continue to adhere to a system which has borne such good fruit, as a whole, in the parent land; aud I think the reflection how difficult, if not how dangerous, it is to oppress a determined minority under such a system, miy serve to calm the fears of those hon rabie gentlemen who dread the loss of local rights and privileges at the bauds of the stronger race. For the rest, Mr. SPEAKER, though I will venture upon no predictions—though I know we must expect many difficulties, many checks before we can hope to bring so great an enterprise to a successful issue—I trust I may be p-irdoned for expressing my conviction that the loyalty and fidelity of the early settlers of this country—and I speak here without regard to any special nationality— is destined to be rewardad in the way in which they would most have desired to see it rewarded if they had lived to see this day, by the establishment of a kingdom on the banks of the. St. Lawrence, which, without binding itself down to a slavish adherence to the customs of the old world, would yet cherish and preserve those timehonored associations our American neighbors have seen fit so recklessly to cast away. Sir, our forefathers may have had their faults ; but still, in spite of all, I dare affirm that the brave, self-sacrificing spirit they displayed—their manful struggle against heavy odds—and last, but not least, the patient, law-abiding spirit which has ever induced them to prefer reform to revolution, even when engaged in sweeping away the last vestiges of worn-out feud al systems in Church and State from their midst—I say, sir, that these afford us ample proof that the men to whom, I hope, we shall soon look back as the founders of a new nation, were ancestors of whom any people might be proud; and I trust that we, their descendants, may prove ourselves but half as capable of administering and developing the vast inheritance which awaits us. Sir, I believe that even we ourselves are but just beginning to grow aware of the immense resources, whether in field or forest, in mine or in minerals, in seas or in fisheries, with which it abounds ; that we are but just beginning to appreciate the advantages which surround us—our all but unparalled internal navigation ; a healthy and far from over-rigorous climate, and a country which, even if it does not present the same facilities for accumulating enormous fortunes in the hands of a few individuals which some other lands may afford, still promises, and, I think, will continue for many a day to promise, comfort and competence to every man who is willing to work for it. Older nations, Mr. SPEAKER, are working for us even now. Older nations are accumulating the skill and the capital which will yet be transferred to our shores, if our own folly do not prevent it. Older nations are even now busied in solving those problems which advanced civilization is sure to bring to us in our turn ; and we, if we are wise, may learn and profit by their example. A little patience, a little forbearance, a little timely concession to mutual prejudices, a little timely preparation against possible dangers, and we may well hope to establish a state which, in all essential attributes of power and happiness, need not fear comparison with any other on this continent. Let us not be daunted by any accidental checks—we must lay our account to meet such in matters of not onetenth its importance—this is the time and this the hour ; never again can we hope to enter on our task under circumstances better fitted to remove the natural, the inevitable prejudices, which must exist between so many different provinces—never again can we hope to receive a warmer and more energetic support from the Imperial authorities— never again can we hope to see a

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Ministry in office which shall command more completely the confidence of the great mass of our people, and which shall possess the same or equal facilities for adjusting those sectional difficulties which have disturbed us so long ; and I trust that in this most important crisis, this House will show itself not altogether unworthy to be intrusted with the destinies of three millions of their countrymen. My own years are not very many, Mr. SPEAKER, but yet even I can remember when Canada was but a petty province, an obscure dependency, scarce able to make its voice heard on the other side of the Atlantic without a rebellion ; forgotten or ignored, as if, as the French Minister said when he signed the treaty for its surrender, ” it mattered not what became of a few barren aores of snow !” And yet, sir, in less than thirty years I have lived to see Canada expand into a state equal in numbers, in resources and power of self-government to many an independent European kingdom —lacking only the will to step at once from the position of a dependency to that of an ally—a favored ally of the great country to which we belong, and to take that rank among the commonwealth of nations which is granted to those people, and to those only, who have proved that they possess the power as well as the wish to defend their liberties. This, sir, is what I think Canada can do ; this is what I think Canada ought to do; and if, as I believe, this project of Confederation would contribute most powerfully to enable us to do so, there are few sacrifices which I would refuse to make for such an object—much more, forgive my honorable friends yonder for having in time past spoken somewhat over harshly and hastily of each other. Let them only persevere, let them only go on and complete the task which I will say they have so nobly begun, and they will hare made good their claim—I do not say to the forgiveness—but to the regard, the affection, the esteem of every man who shall hereafter bear the name of Canadian. (Cheers.)

MR. HARWOOD said—Mr. SPEAKER, the importance of the proposed measure; the fatal consequences which would result to the country if the plan of Confederation were rejected by this House; the sources ot social, political and commercial prosperity with which the measure of Confederation is pregnant, if it is adopted with a firm determination on the part of all to contribute their part towards its perfect working, are such, that notwithstanding the eloquent speeches delivered on the subject on both sides, and which seem to have completely exhausted it, I consider it my duty to make known to the country the reasons which influence me to assist in passing it. Called, as we all are, to record our votes either for or against this great constitutional change, it is no more than right that every one should in his own way account for the part which he may take in a measure which will naturally inaugurate a new era in the parliamentary annals of Canada. (Hear, hear.) I have listened attentively to the opponents of the measure, and read their speeches again and again, and truly the only effoct they have had on my mind is a stronger conviction that in the anomalous position of the country, a Federal union of all the Provinces of British North America is the only remedy for all the innumerable difficulties which are shadowed forth on our political horizon. (Cheers.) The opponents of the measure, not being able positively to deny the advantages of Confederation to all the five provinces of British America, endeavor to get up a cry that this union would involve the loss to us French-Canadians, and Catholics, of our nationality, our language, our laws and institutions. I, for my part, cannot look upon it in so terrible a light—having all history before me, I cannot come to that conclusion. I shill soon shew clearly that there exists throughout the world confederations in which are included different nationalities, different religious sects, and in which, nevertheless, the most thorough equilibrium prevails of the political, civil and religious rights pertaining to the different classes of which they consist. Do we find any other means of settling our difficulties of all kinds besides this of Confederation ? No, I find none ; and none is proposed to us by the opponents of the plan now before the House ! Mr. SPEAKER, the country is come to a political dead-lock ; we have arrived at a crisis ; ambition, the thirst of power, political passions worked upon in all ways and on all sides, have so clogged the wheels of the machine of government, that it has been brought to a stand-still ; and those who guided its movements have had to rack their brains to find some way of continuing the transaction of public business—a way by which we may arrive at a solution of the difficulty, and escape from the slough of status quo in which the wheels of government are stuck fast, and by which we may return to the

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high road of progress and improvement. Truly, Mr. SPEAKER, if the bitterest enemy of Canada had had it in his power to invent an inclined plane on which he might place us to hurry us to ruin, he could not have done it better than the different political parties have done it within the last few years. Elections on elections, one Ministry succeeding another ; one crying out extravagance, the other issuing commissions of inquiry to try to make places for its friends —what, in short, has been the course of events for the last few years ? Since the 21st May, 1862, have we not had four or five governments who have managed the affairs of the country ? One we had which seemed to be ” the darling of the nations,” the paragon government of economy and retrenchment, the MACDONALD-DORION Government. What did it do for the country ? Nothing, absolutely nothing ; it had not even the moral courage to stand by its own measures. In the beginning of February, 1864, it brought in a bill (that respecting sheriffs). Well, what did it do in the circumstances ? Afraid of its own work, it stood aghast at the remonstrances of some of its own partisans, who were contumacious— despair fell upon the leaders— the camp was a scene of confusion ; and lo ! one fine day this Ministry, which was to bring back the golden age of happiness and prosperity, sank placidly to rest—became a thing of the past, and left ” not a wreck behind” to mark its accession to power. In a word, that pattern Administration died in its virginity, died with the famous scheme of retrenchment in its hand, and a still-born ” budget” on its conscience ! (Continued laughter and cheers.) I ask every man of sense how many such governments as that we should require to take the ship of the country’s welfare into port—to redeem us from our unhappy condition—to calm the strife of parties—to settle the many questions, often irreconcilably incompatible with each other, which had so long agitated the different sections of the country—a strife which threatened to become perpetual ? What would have become of us if a providential piece of good fortune had not brought together the men who compose the present Administration ? Every one can conceive that the Coalition Government, the only possible one in such circumstances, came in just in the nick of time ; and, as a proof of its fitness for its mission, it ” took fortune by the forelock,” as the proverb says, and cleverly made use of opportunity. In fact, three months after the present Ministry was formed, three of the Lower Provinces, comprehending the utility of a union among themselves, conceived the idea of forming one from which might flow strength and prosperity to all; being convinced that a state of disunion such as theirs had always been— their commerce paralyzed by hostile tariffs— was a political suicide. They therefore sent delegates to Charlottetown, to devise a plan among themselves for the purpose of solving, in some profitable manner, the difficulties which beset them, the three provinces. What course did our Government then take ? The members of the Cabinet—too wise to disregard the importance of the movement— too statesmanlike to neglect its advantages— found means to take part in the proceedings at Charlottetown ; and being convinced that a Federal union of all the Provinces of British North America would be the real salvation of the country, laid before the delegates at Charlottetown a large, well-digested scheme based on a regard for justice and equality in respect of the rights and privileges of all ; a scheme by which each origin and each belief will enjoy full and complete protection ; a scheme of Federal union, in a word, having for its apex the powerful aegis of England ; for its foundation, social, political and commercial prosperity ; and for its cornerstone, Constitutional liberty in all its amplitude and strength. (Cheers.) This idea of a Confederation of the provinces is not a new one. All who are in the slightest degree acquainted with the parliamentary history of the country, are aware that a plan for the Confederation of the British North American Provinces was one of the base-s upon which the programme of the CARTIER-MACDONALD Administration rested in 1858. It may be asked—” Why should we have Confederation ?” “Why should we not remain as we are ?” It is impossible, and its impossibility is proved by the past. Let those who do not see the seasonableness of the Confederation look at what is going on on the other side of the line—what do they see there ? The threatened abrogation of the Keciprocity treaty. The abrogation of the transit system is threatened. A passport system, which throws the greatest possible obstacles in the way of our free travel through the States, and does serious injury to the development of our trade, has been inaugurated. We have no means of com-

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municating during the winter with the Mother Country, except by passing over American soil, and our passage over that soil is merely tolerated ; we may at any moment be deprived of this privilege, and in that case wejshould find ourselves all at once, during the long winter season, without any possible means of communication with Europe. These reasons are more than sufficient to cause us to seek to improve our position, and the only possible means by which to effect that, object, is a commercial, social and political union with our sister colonies, the Maritime Provinces. I hear honorable members say—” Why not rather have the repeal of ; the union?” “Why not leave Upper and Lower Canada separate as they were previous to 1840 ?” Such a measure would probably put an end to the reiterated demands of Upper Canada for representation Jmsed upon population, and the fears entertained by Lower Canada, the fear of seeing her institutions endangered, should that system of representation be conceded ; but that measure would be rather a retrograde one, which would throw the country back, and would place it in the position which it occupied previous to the union. That measure would abrogate an agreement which has long existed—a union which has proved to the country a well-spring of progress, riches and prosperity. Such a dissolution would only tend to weaken us still more, and we should be but two weak and insignificant provinces, whereas our union has converted us into one province comparatively strong. We can realize the gigantic works which have been carried out when we look upon our canals and our railways. I3 there any one man endowed with ordinary fairness —any one man who has not completely taken leave of his senses, who will venture to say that Upper and Lower Canada would have been as far advanced, each of them, as they now are, if they had remained separate, with tariffs inimical the one to the other? ” Sooner than have Confederation,” will exclaim an opponent, root and branch, of the scheme proposed, ” let us concede to Upper Canada representation adjusted on the basis of population wholly and entirely, as the honorable member for Hochelaga would appear in his celebrated manifesto of 1865 to desire ;” but this is positively absurd—it is a violation of the spirit and the letter of the Union Act of 1840 ; it is the principal source of all the difficult es of a sectional nature which have proved the source of difficulty, both in this House and throughout the country, for several years past. It would be asking for the utter ruin ot the civil and religious rights of the French- Canadians. Under such melancholy circumstances, Mr. SPEAKER, what is then left for us ? There is left for us the Confederation of all the British Provinces in North America. That is the only possible remedy under existing circumstances. Of two alternatives we must select one. Either we shall form part of a Confederation of the British North American Provinces, or we shall fall into the unfathomable gulf of the Confederation of the neighboring States, formerly the United States. (Hear, hear.) How absurd are they who believe that the United States do not want us, with our mineral wealth and our fisheries, which latter are rf themselves an inexhaustible source of riches to the country ! The United States did not, in 1776, number more than four millions of inhabitants ; there were then only thirteen states ; now there are thirty one states and seven territories—at least that was the number before the war— and a population of more than thirty millions. We know that the prodigious growth of the United States is owing to their purchases, their treaties and their conquests. They want us, and would stir heaven and earth to have us in their grasp. (Hear, hear.) Let us beware ! We stand on the brink of the yawning gulf of the American Confederation, falling into which we encounter, first, our share of liability to pay a national debt of three thousand millions of dollars, and an annual expenditure of five hundred millions ; and next, a share of their national quarrels and civil wars. Exposed to persecution by the conqueror, and loaded with the heavy burthen of enormous debts incurred in the prosecution of a cruel and fratricidal war—a war of which, be it said, everybody knows the beginning, but of which nobody knows the end — the uncalculating opponents of the measure before us will regret their obstinacy and their disregard of their country’s weal. Then they will see the naked features of those democratic institutions which are in reality inconsistent with true liberty—of those boasted institutions, under whose influence the last vestiges of liberty have faded away, as does the light at the close of a bright day. Under them the liberty of the press is unknown ; under them, liberty is but a name, a dream, an illusion, a mockery, often a snare ; under them no man can venture to speak frankly what he thinks, and must take care

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that what he says is in unison with the opinions of the majority of his audience ; under them the rights of the minority are unacknowledged, ignored, as if they had no existence : the will of the majority is law. For my part, Mr. SPEAKER, democratic institutions have no charms for me. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ! How many sad and mournful memories are connected with those three words in France ? In the name of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, in the year 1793, that country saw the best of kings led to the guillotine, provinces laid waste, blood flowing like water ; the standard of rebellion and insubordination raised and borne triumphantly ; flie pillage of churches and monasteries, the desecration of the altar ; priests, nuns, old men, women, and even children, murdered ! Those three magic words were the signal and vindication of the ” drownings at Nantes,” sometimes called by the fine sounding name of ” republican marriages.” Yes, Mr SPEAKER, civil war rages among our neighbors ; but let us hope that Divine Providence will guard these new countries from the disasters and the horrid crimes which, to the eternal shame of civilization, stain the history of certain portions of Europe at the close of the last century. It was after a civil war that the terrible proscriptions of MARIUS and SYLLA commenced. Let peace once be made between the Federal and Confederate States, then we shall see the harvest of rancorous hatred cover the earth, the fires of revenge burst forth; then woe to those who have given offence to men of the type and character of the famous General BUTLER. What is incumbent on us, then, if we would escape sharing the horrors of the situation ? What but to unite, one and all—to combine all our means, our resources, our en rgies, and to have confidence in ourselves and in one another — to show England that we intend to emerge from the state of isolation in which each several province has lain as regards the others ; that we intend to organize a system, so as to be prepared to do our part in the hour of danger ? We have every assurance that England will spend her last man, her last shilling, in defending and protecting us. Having a Federal union, all the wealth which abounds in the five provinces will be most highly developed ; our mineral riches, our timber, our fisheries, our commerce, internal and external, our industrial arts and manufactures, will all receive a fresh impulse ; capital will flow in, and with it the means of defence of every description. I do not pretend to say that the mere fact of a ” Confederation ” will render us invincible. No, far from it, especially when opposed to so formidable, so warlike a foe as the neighboring Confederation has now become ; but I do venture to say that if we do our best, England will never desert us, and if the armies of the neighboring Confederacy should occupy our country, it would not be hers to keep it long. It is not essentially a necessity, Mr. SPEAKER, that a small Confederation cannot exist by the side of a large one without being swallowed up and absorbed. If all great nations are bound to subject to their yoke all the little ones, why are there so many small states in Europe ? (Hear, hear.) It may be that the mutual jealousies of the great powers are the cause ; then who bhall say that France— France which fought side by side with England in the Crimea— France which, looking at Mexico, is so deeply interested in the affairs of this continent—would not join with England in a war between that power and the neighboring States, if the latter should undertake to drive the English from the banks of the St. Lawrence ? When a nation, strong in its rights, is determined to preserve them, it is often invincible. When XERXES, with a million of men, fell upon Greece, was lie not driven back with the total loss of his immense army ? When war was declared against the South, was not the North, with its population of twenty millions, going to annihilate the South in three months ? It is now more than four years that the war has been raging, and the South, without friends, without allies, is not yet conquered and made to pass under the yoke. Thd history of Prussia affords a proof of what bravery can achieve, even when opposed to an enemy infinitely superior in numbers. In 1740, the youthful Prince FREDERIC ascended the Throne of Prussia. The country contained no more than 48,000 square miles, and had a population of only two millions and a half, less than the population of Canada alone, as it now is. Her frontier northward was a wall of ice, all the seaports were closed during the winter season ; her only ally was lukewarm ; to the east, west and south, she was bounded by powerful empires, the population of each of which alone far exceeded that which she could boast. The country was long and narrow ; it was flat and well adapted at all points for the movements of troops ; no country could be more exposed to an invasion ; nevertheless the Prince, unchallenged, threw himself headlong

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into a bloody war—as the aggressor—with all his neighbors. Alone, and simultaneously, he had on his hands Austria, France and Russia. Yet he left to his successor a kingdom of 74,000 square miles, and a people numbering nearly six millions. The small and heroic republic of Holland did not hesitate to enter into a war with the mighty monarchy of Spain, then mistress of tlie wealth of the Indies. At this day her vessels are found in every sea. Java and Sumatra belong to her. Yet her population is smaller than that of the Provinces of British North America. Single-handed in 1848, Piedmont dared to enter on a struggle with Austria. The King of Piedmont had then four millions of subjects ; he now reigns over twenty-two millions. Even poor little Greece, with a million of inhabitants, must have its share in revolutions, choose a king, and talk of its rights, its pretensions, and its aspirations. No, Mr. SPEAKER, the one, the only means of safety for us, in the circumstances, is to have a Federal union of all our provinces—a social, political, commercial and military union. Happen what may, when we have done all that men of courage and energy can be expected to do to mend our position, our future will not be so dark as the friends and advocates of the status quo would have us believe. Do these wonderful patriots really believe in their hearts, that continuing to be isolated as they are from each other, having no cordial alliance, almost no relations or intercourse, the Provinces of British North America would be either stronger or less exposed to the attacks of the Northern States than they would be if united ? Are those persons not original in their ideas who allege that the endeavor of the Provinces of British North America to form a Confederation is a kind of provocation and defiance to the Northern States ? If the Northern States made this allegation, the most that could be said of it would be, that it would be a vain pretext, as futile as it would be ubsurd. Not less ridiculous and misjudging are those persons who pretend that the Confederation of the Provinces of British North America would be a step towards annexation to the Northern States. Truly, there arc some minds which have an odd way of looking at things. If, indeed, the opponents of Confederation would only prescribe some other remedy to obviate the evils which threaten us as an effect of Confederation, we should have at least the benefit of a choice ; but no—nothing of the sort—they attack, criticise, but suggest nothing. On the other hand, the principa journals of Europe and several respectable journals in the neighboring States have recorded their approbation of the sckenie of Confederation submitted by the Government, and predict a brilliant future for the new empire which is about to arise on this side of the frontier line. (Hear, hear.) Referring to history, we find that confederations have been formed in nearly all ages, and that the principal cause of their formation has been, not only the purpose of mutual protection, but a military object. These two motives combined with a third, that of commercial advantages, suggested the project which now occupies our attention. Among the ancient Greeks there were several Federal unions, the two principal being the AEtolian and the Achoean ; the former, dating from a period long antecedent to that of ALEXANDER, was broken up by the subjection of the states composing the league to Rome, about 180 years B. C. ; the second, which was formed about 280 years B. C., was destroyed by the Romans about 150 years before the vulgar era. The AEtolian Confederation comprised all the northern parts of Greece on the confines of Thessaly and Epirus, a portion of Central Greece, and several of the islands of the AEgean sea. This was a union rather of provinces than of cities. It had a “Constitution” ” States General,” a chief magistrate, a commander-in-chief, and different public officers, with different functions or powers ; the power of declaring war and that of making peace, of levying taxes coining money current at that time—all were intrusted to the Central Government. The Achocan League, on the contrary, was a union, not of provinces, but of cities or towns—not less than seventy in number. There was a Federal capital, a ” Constitution,” different public officers, each invested with privileges and certain powers and duties, too many to be enumerated in this place. Who has not read the life of ARATUS and that of PHILOPOEMEN, the lavter one of the greatest statesmen, the other the greatest captain of the Achoean union ? In reading the history of these nations we shall find that it was their union which saved them so long from the inroads of their enemies, and which, for ages, preserved their autonomy. We next come to the Italian Confederation of the middle ages. Like those of Greece, they derived their origin from military necessity. The League of Lombardy, and that of the Tuscans, were projected principally Las a mutual protection

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against the emperors, who were greedy of conquest, and among them against FREDERIC BARBAHOSSA. In that of the Tuscans, there was evea an ecclesiastical element of a decided character, inspired by Pope INNOCENT III., its principal author. The famous Ronvin Tribune RIENZI tried to form a Confederation of all the Italian States, but perished without realizing this dream of his existence. Rome was to be the Federal Capital. RIENZI died in 1352. The Swiss or Helvetic Confederacy existed from the twelfth century. In 1474 Louis XI . of France endeavored to subdue it, but lost his trouble. In 1477 CHARLES THE BOLD of Burgundy lost his kingdom and life while foolishly assailing this Confederate power. In 1488 the Emperor MAXIMILIAN tried also in vain to subjugate the country. Spain likewise endeavored on many occasions to subdue the Confederate States, but failed. In 1798 the Cantons of Switzerland became the Helvetian Republic. In 1803 they fell under the protection of NAPOLEON I., and in 1813 the allies overran them. In virtue of the Federal Act signed at Zurich in 1815, important amendments were made in their Constitution. The purpose of the Helvetian Confederation is the protection of the country against foreigners, the maintenance of peace and tranquility at home, the preservation of public liberty in the Confederation, and the increase of its general prosperity. This Confederation has survived two European revolutions, without mentioning internal troubles, and it is now fifty years old. We must bear in mind that a population the most various, the most mixed in point of origin, language and religion, lives under this Constitution. The people number about two millions and a half; about one and two-thirds of a million speak German, half a million speak French, and the remainder Italian and other languages. One half of the population is Catholic, the other Protestant. Their interests arising from locality, race and faith, are as complicated and as various as are their manners, language and customs, and yet they all are free, all live securely, respected, happy and prosperous. They all enjoy the greatest and the purest liberty. Theie are twenty-two Cantons, and what is astonishing is that the chief of the Canton of Neufchâte is a king, the King of Prussia. (Hear, hear.) I shall not speak of the Confederation of the United States of the Netherlands, which had their day, their glory and their use ; but I shall say a word of the great Germanic Confederation. This is composed of forty states of very different size, and contains thirty-four millions of inhabitants. There belong to it kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities and free cities. In this vast association are Catholics, Protestants, Jews, in short different religions and nationalities, and yet none tyrannise over others; all live happily under the same Federal union and under the protectorate of the Emperor of Austria. Of these states, Austria is, properly speaking, the first in importance ; her army in time of peace is 280,000 men, in time of war she can bring into the field 800,000. Prussia is the second, with an army of 200,000 men, and a national militia of 400,000 men. There are, as I have said, in these states various nationalities and different sects of religion, and, nevertheless, the rights of each are preserved in all their integrity. Why then should not we, French- Canadians and Catholics, become a component part of the Confederation of the Provinces of British North America, without anyapprehension of seeing our language, our laws, our religion and our institutions endangered? It seems to me that we could find no perfect and complete protection otherwise than by a Confederation of this nature, inasmuch as it is a union based on equity towards the inhabitants of the five provinces as its most vital and fundamental principle. As to the Confederation of the United States, I shall merely name them. Every one knows that in 1775, whon the thirteen colonies revolted against England, they believed that the only means of securing internal prosperity and of defending themselves against the common enemy, was to unite together for their mutual protection ; clearly perceiving that if they remained separate, and without any bond of union, as the uncalculating opponents of the present plan of Confederation would wish the Provinces of British North America to remain, their defeat was certain, and instead of coming victoriously out of the struggle, they would be easily conquered. I shall now, Mr. SPEAKER, ask to be allowed to say a few words on the other confederations which have existed on the continent of America. In the first place I shall mention that of Central America, or Guatimala. That Confederation was situated on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It consisted of five states—Guatimala, Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. These states were peopled by Creoles, Mestizos, Indians and Negroes. Until the year 1821 this Confederation was rich and

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prosperous. Guatimala, then, imitating the ill-advised example of other Spanish colonies, declared ils independence, and thought fit to set up as a Federal republic; but in 1839 an insurrection detached the state of Honduras from the Confederation, and shortly after the other states also declared themselves to be independent (1847) ; and what are they now ? They have fallen into complete insignificance, a prey to the ambition of numerous dictators, without any common bond, disunited, and therefore without vitality or strength. (Hear, hear.) We next come to the united provinces of Rio de la Plata, now constituting the Argentine republic. The Confederation of La Plata comprised fourteen states, the greater part of which formed at one time a portion of the immense Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1778, being united to the present province of Bolivia, to Paraguay and Uruguay, they formed a particular Viceroyalty, that of Rio de la Plata. In 1810 they took part in the important insurrectionary movement which shook all the transatlantic dependencies of Spain ; from that time everything tended to republicanism ; separate and independent states became republics. They are now a prey to anarchy and the confusion which attends such institutions. The industrial arts are unheeded, and the commerce limited. If, sir, that Confederation had proved to be faithful to the cause which gave it life, if union had prevailed instead of disunion, strength, power, prosperity and wealth would have fallen to the lot of the association, in place of poverty, misery, and decay, which seem now to be their inevitable fate. (Hear, hear.) But some of the honorable members of this House have maintained that the union would be beneficial to none but the Maritime Provinces, that they alone would derive advantage from it, as they are comparatively poor, while Canada is rich by means of its trade, through its industrial pursuits, its manufactures and its agriculture. I maintain for my part that we are as much in need of them as they are of us—(hear, hear)—both in regard to industry, to trade, and to military power. In the first place, let us consider the various resources of the several Maritime Provinces. Nova Scotia is not, certainly, altogether an agricultural country, but it contains valleys in which the soil is as deep, as rich, and as well suited for farming as the best lands of the West. A large portion of the population are devoted to fishing, and skilled in drawing from the bosom of the deep the inexhaustible treasures which will be a perennial source of wealth and prosperity to that country ; moreover, such a life tends to form men to brave the dangers of the sea, and, in case of need, those hardy seamen would be ready and willing to lend their aid and do their part in the defence of the country. Nor is this all ; the country exports prodigious quantities of timber of all kinds, which will not be exhausted for ages to come. Every year they build a great number of ships, and, in proportion to its population, Nova Scotia has a larger amount of “tonnage” than any other country in the whole world. (Hear, hear.) Another source of wealth is possessed by that country, ever abounding, never failing. One would say that nature has especially favored it and endowed it with the most bountiful of her gifts —I mean the rich mines of coal which superabound in that country, which the hand of Providence has placed, as if by express design, not in the interior of the country, but along the sea side. Everybody knows that coal at the present day, when steam does so much that the hand of man formerly did, is one of the principal aliments which nourish the industry of mankind throughout the civilized world. Situated on the shores of the Atlantic, these mines can be worked very cheaply, and are easily accessible to ships of all nations. The charges of loading are small indeed, there is scarcely any land carriage required to convey it to the bays and ports to which the different trading ships resort for their lading. Geologists celebrated for their knowledge have explored these regions, and declare that there are thousands of square miles of coal, and in some places seventy-six beds or layers of coal one above the other. What a fertile source of revenue, of wealth ! And when we reflect that the main source of the prosperity of England has been and still is her mines of coal, small in comparison with those of Nova Scotia, we shall find that no change of circumstances, no political ties or relations could ever prevent that province from possessing in it coal measures, a source, an element of wealth, incomparably greater than the famous gold and silver mines of Peru. Thousands of years must pass away, no doubt, before they will be exhausted. I say nothing of the mines of gold, silver and copper, with which the country seems to be covered. And now, am I to be told that Canada, having the benefit of free trade with such a country, is to be no better for it ? Does not everybody know that firewood is beginning to run short in the district of Montreal and elsewhere in Lower

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Canada, and that if we have no coal to take its place, the country people will in thirty years’ time be obliged to abandon their farms for want of means to enable them to bear the cold of our long winters ? We shall obtain wood from a distance, some will tell you ; but thinking men know very well that firewood is not to be carried far without great expense, which must raise the price so as to put it beyond the reach of the great majority of consumers. Perhaps we shall find coal in Canada. No, says Sir WM. LOGAN, our learned geologist—impossible; science tells us that it does not exist. (Hear, hear.) Now every man who has the least idea of public order, of political economy, must be well aware that a mere commercial union, a union for the levying of customs—a “Zollverein,” in a woid—would not suffice to create the wellbeing and general prosperity of the five provinces. The Maritime Provinces are immensely important to us in a social, industrial, commercial, political, and especially a military point of view. New Brunswick has also considerable resources. Looking at the seasonableness, and the other points making for the union of the provinces, we must not omit to consider it in its relation to our means of defence. In this point of view, Newfoundland is of paramount importance. Casting a glance at it on the chart, we find it lying across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, commanding the two straits by which the trade of the countries surrounding the gulf and vhe river reaches the ocean. Let that island but fall into the hands of foreigners, the trade of Canada would in war time be as completely stopped as if the ice of winter had erected its permanent domicile in the middle of the gulf. (Hear, hear.) These are the reasons which have led our statesmen to secure, by all possible, means, the alliance of that province, as they well understood tint, that wanting, the Confederation would lose the benefit of all other advantages and would be in continual danger. The seaboard of Newfoundland is 1,200 miles in length, and it possesses the finest harbours in the world, roadsteads which might shelter whole fleets. The main source of her wealth is her fisheries, in which more than 30,000 men are annually engaged—men accustomed to brave the waves of a tempestuous sea. Her trade in fish with foreign nations brings her in contact with nearly all the maritime countries of Europe, and with the United States, and yet she has at present scarcely any such connection with Canada. What is her position with relation to us at this moment ? Her merchants are forced to resort to the States to transact their business, for, in order to reach Montreal, they must pass through Halifax and Boston. The establishment of a line of steamers between that island and Canada would be a great advantage to both provinces; for Newfoundland possesses what we want and requires what we have. I t appears that-the Island buys from the United States to the amount of several millions of dollars yearly, and exactly those articles which we are able to furnish; and that the current of trade having taken its present direction, is owing to certain fiscal impediments to trade between the two provinces. With free trade, Newfoundland would buy from Canada woollen stuffs, cutlery and hardware—everything, in short, which she requires. Under Confederation, the town of St. Johns, in Newfoundland, would be the most easterly sea-port of the union, and by making it a port of call for our transatlantic steamers, it would bring us within six days of the Mother Country. As to Prince Edward Island, that also has its importance. Its revenue is well managed ; it is in a prosperous state, and has no debt ; on the contrary, it has a considerable reserve fund. Accordingly, now is the time to take a step in the right direction. This union of the provinces ¡3 a political necessity, and any delay would entail the danger of losing the opportunity altogether, which might never occur again. Canada, with her immense commerce, is indebted for her access to the seaboard during six months of the year to the tolerant good-will of a neighboring nation. If that permission were withdrawn, our merchants must import during the summer all the goods which they require in the year. This would, in the long run, be the loss of the consumer, because everything must, of course, be paid for at a higher rate. Finally—and this is the most important consideration of all for every one, and one which would of itself be sufficient to make us desire the union of the provinces—it would be the most effectual means of procuring the building of the Intercolonial Railway—a road which would open an uninterrupted line of communication between Sarnia and Halifax, thus connecting the two extremities of the Confederation. Three things are necessary, nay, indispensable, to the prosperity of a great empire—the personal element, the territorial, and the maritime element. In Canada we have the personal and the territorial elements ; the maritime element alone is wanting, and this we may obtain by tha union of the provinces.

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(Hear, hear.) As to us, French-Canadians and Catholics, what have we to fear from Confederation ? Our language, our rights and our privileges are guaranteed to us. Look at the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ; does it not consist of three distinct nations, holding several religious creeds ? Those three nations have fought side by side on sea and land for ages, against the enemies of their country. What glorious victories, what noble deeds in arms have they achieved ! And the most perfect harmony exists among them. In England, are the Jews persecuted, deprived of their rights and privileges ? Are the Roman Catholics ? Is there not residing in the very capital of England a prince of the Romish Church — Cardinal WISEMAN ? And, Mr. SPEAKER, who would have believed the fact?—the last census shows that the city of London contains 100,000 Catholics more than Rome itself—Rome the seat of the Catholic Church ! And a greater number of Jews than there are in Judea or all Palestine ! (Hear, hear.) And yet all these people enjoy their respective rights and privileges, and worship their Creator according to the traditions of their forefathers, unmolested, undisturbed by any. (Cheers.) I now come to the plan of Confederation considered intrinsically. I shall not enter into a discussion of its details ; four members of the Administration have given us explanations of it which were so clear and lucid, that it is useless to enter on the subject anew. There are, no doubt, certain points which are not all that we could desire ; there are certain articles which I should be disposed to reject if I were not aware that we are to look at the question from five different points of view, and not from one sectional point of view. I can conceive that the Conference considered the plan as a compromise—a treaty in which the five provinces were the contracting paities; that many concessions were found to Le necessary, to satisfy the interests of individuals or of localities ; that great conciliation was an important element, wit a strong wish, by great concessions on all sides, to carry iorward an important negotiation, which in their absence would have utterly failed ! I am, moreover, convinced that the Ministers of Canada did everything in their power to promote and guard our general and local interests; that their only aim was to make us agi eat and strong nation ; that the dominant idea in their minds was that ” a Federal union,” under the protection of England, would be for Canada a harbor of refuge from all storms, particularly that whkh now assails us, as well as conducive to advance the best interests and the prosperity of all the provinces ; that this union would secure to us the cortinued enjoyment of our laws and institutions, of our liberties and our relations with the Mother Country, while it would facilitate the development of our national, social, commercial and political prosperity. If we do not adopt it as a whole, if we meddle with its clauses to make radical changes in it, the other contracting parties, justly offended, will reject it wholly, as they understand that we have no right to depart from its provisions without their consent; or if, follovyog our example, the Maritime Provinces should also make changes in it, the whole plan would be so mutilated and disfigured, that it would become a mark for universal disapprobation, and all the labors of the Conference would be rendered usejess and abortive. Moreover, if in the meantime the Maritime Provinces, taking up again their old scheme of a union among themselves, should refuse to listen to any overtutes we might make, we should, like madmen, have lust the golden opportunity. Nothing would remain for us but annexation to the United States— an idea most abhorren’ to my feelings, but one which is, perhaps, in reality, the cherished desire of the unreasoning opponents of the present measuie. (Hear.) As a British subject, I find most pleasure in that article of the scheme which declares the Sovereign of Great Britain to be the head of the Executive. The monarchical element will predominate in the Constitution, and we shall thus escape that weakness which is inherent in the Constitution of the neighboriog States. Their President, Mr. SPEAKER, is no more than the fortunate chief of a party ; he can never be regarded as the father of his people; his reign is but temporary; i.e is, for four years a kind of despot, with unlimited power and immense patronage ; his favors fall ou those ouly who have elected him, and who can elect him anew at the expiration of four years; none feel the refreshing dews of his favors, save his party. Woe to the unlucky ones who have voted against him at his election ! For them there is no smile, no gracious acceptance, no favors. Under the working of our Constitution, on the contrary, as the sovereign is permanent (“the King is dead— God save the King ! ” ) we have at all times in him a father, whose interest and whose

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inclination it is to extend his protection equally over the cottage of the poor and over the palace of the rich, and to dispense equal justice to both. (Cheers.) Our Ministers will still be responsible to the people. In the States, the President is under no obligation to consult his Cabinet, which is composed merely of the heads of departments. Tn the scheme which now engages our attention, all matters of general interest, which are not left to be disposed of by the local legislatures, will be settled by the General or Central Government, and the disposal of local matters will belong to the local governments. Accordingly all necessary power has been «assigned to the general as to the local legislatures; and that source of weakness has been avoided which has been so frequent a cause of trouble in the neighboring States—the conflict of jurisdiction and authority between single states and the Federal or Central authority. It is really astonishing to see the different means employed by the journals in the interest cf the unreasoning opponents of the plan of Conlederation. They utter cries of distress, amidst which the veil of party is easily seen through. According to their views, no good can come out of the system for either party in the commonwealth. “Think twice of what you are doing; you English Protestants of Lower Canada ! The Local Government will swallow you up,” cries the Montreal Witness. ” Take care of yourselves, you French-Canadians of the Catholic Church !” bellows the Montreal True Witness ; ” if the plan of Confederation is sanctioned by the Legislature, you will disappear like a dream : the hydra of the Central Government will poison you with its pestiferous breath ” (Hear, hear.) And the other journals of the same party, inspired by the same spirit, open full cry on the plan of Confederation, as nothing less than a ” political suicide !” Others there are— and some in the interest of the present Government—who have some misgivings, some doubts, touching the clauses relating to marriage and divorce. With respect to the provision of the instrument which bears on these two important questions, they seem at first sight, I confess, a little alarming to Catholics—to us who have learned from the Church the indissolubility of the marriage bond, who look upon marriage not only as a civil contract, but ” a sacrament.” With reference to this subject, I answer that the system on which the new Constitution will be based is to be considered in the aspect which it bears to all the provinces. We are not all Catholics, and the majority are Protestants. Again, if the control of matters connected with marriage and divorce had been assigned to the local governments, what would have been the fate of our co-religionists in Upper Canada, who are in a minority in that province ? Add to this, we have not in Canada at present any divorce law, and we need not apprehend that the Federal Government will impose one upon us. Nothing indicates that the proportion of Catholic members in the Federal Legislature will not be about equal to what it is in the Parliament of United Canada. Moreover, everybody is aware that it was by the help of the Protestants, who think as we do on this subject, that we have hitherto escaped the passing of a divorce law. Divorce is not looked upon with a favorable eye by all Protestants ; far from it, and we must hope that at no distant time that source of disorder and scandal of every species will be effaced from the parliamentary records of every Christian community. (Hear, hear.) We must bear in mind, also, that there are Catholics elsewhere besides in Lower and Upper Canada ; they are to be found in all the Lower Provinces, aud what would be their position if these questions were left to the local legislatures ? The Catholics, therefore, of both Upper and Lower Canada, as well as those of the Lower Provinces, are directly interested in the removal of these questions from the local legislatures. It seems to me that every man who studies this question in a Catholic point of view, as it stands in the five provinces, will find that the Conference was perfectly right in not leaving the question of divorce to the control of the local governments I shall not enter into all the details of the plan of Confederation, inasmuch as hereafter ench of its clauses will be disoussed. I shall reserve, however, the right of adding a few words. I think, therefore, Mr. SPEAKER, that every man who has the interests ot his country at heart—every man who will take the pains to read history, the great teacher of kings aud nations, will be convinced that situated as are the five provinces of British North America, separated, disunited, with no social, political or commercial ties to bind them together, but having tariffs calculated to injure each other, but no free interchange ot commodities—without railways by which they might hold communication during the long winters, when the rivers are obstructed with

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ice, and taking into consideration the exceptional position of Canadain respect of its near neighborhood to the United States, and the political troubles which have so long wounded it in its bosom—a Federal union of all the provinces is our only harbor of reiuge, and the only means of securing to the Provinces of British North America sure aad durable prosperity. (Hear, and cheers.) Now, Mr. SPEAKER, we have seen that in ancient days, in the middle ages, and in modern times, states, provinces and kingdoms desirous of growing in strength, wealth and prosperity—desirous of acquiring power internally, and making themselves formidable to rivals abroad— desirous of means to repeal ambitious assailants and enterprising neighbors—combined together—formed confederations with a view to increase the general prosperity, and the means of a common defence and mutual protection. We have seen that it was the surest, the most rational, and the most generally adopted plan in all ages ; and why should not we, profiting by the experience of others, do the same? How long has union been a cause of weakness ? Is not England, united under one ruler, infinitely more powerful than in the days of the Heptarchy or Seven Kingdoms ? Are not the forty states which compose the Germanic Confederation stronger, more powerful, united, than they would be if isolated and separate ? Would each individual state, if alone, left to its own resources, without free trade with its neighbors, without social, political or commercial relations, be richer, more prosperous than it is now, joined, united and allied to the rest ? And in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, where a kind of Federal union is found, is not each nationality, every sect and every religion iully and entirely protected and guarded from the attacks of bigotry and of political and religious intolerance ? After the States had separated from England in 1775, would they have done better to remain in the position of thirteen colonies detached from each other, without social, commercial, or political relations, as the colonies of British North America now are, than to form a compact as they did ? Is it not from that union that their strength has grown, that they have become so powerful, so rich, so independent of the rest of the world, and the admiration of modern times ? So would they have continued to advance too, with giant strides, in the path of progress and improvement, if the demon of civil war had not arisen to break up a union but lately so happy and so prosperous ! Let us avail ourselves ot the example of others, and of the auspicious circumstances which seem to have occurred expressly and opportunely for our benefit, and let us resolve to become a great empire. Is it not asserted that, if a union of the provinces should be effected, we should be, at the least, the fourth maritime power in the world ? Are there not kingdoms—confederations— in Europe which would be numerically inferior to us ? Belgium has no more than 4,500,000 of inhabitants; Denmark, including the Duchies, no more than 2,500,000 ; the Kingdom of Bavaria, 4,500,- 000; the Kingdom of Greece, 1,000,000 the States of the Church, 3,000,000; Portugal, 3,500,000 ; Sweden, 3,500,000 ; Norway, 1,500,000 ; the Helvetic Confederation, 2,500,000 ; while the proposed Confederation will soon contain 5,000,000 ; and yet these provinces are but in their infancy, we may say. Any one who has the slightest knowledge of the natural riches and the resources of the five provinces, and of the energy and love of labor which characterise the different races which people them, may safely predict a brilliant future for our new Confederacy. (Hear, hear.) Is there a single Canadian who does not know that Canada will always hold the first and most exalted position in the Confederacy ? Lower Canada, especially, will be the centre of the industrial arts and commerce, the point towards which all the rich produce of the west, and the oil, fish and coal of the east, will naturally be brought ; Lower Canada, especially, which is so rich in mines, ores, and minerals. Do we not know that certain great capitalists have recently formed companies on a vast scale, to work the rich gold and silver mines of the district of Beauce ? Do not the geologists, who have explored that region, tell us that it contains copper, silver and gold, scattered in rich abundance over hundreds of square miles. (Cheers.) Canada possesses a territory of about 360,- 000 square miles—160,000,000 of acres of land, of which 40,000,000 are conceded ; 11,000,000 are under cultivation. Canada possesses above 2,000 miles of railway, which intersect the province in all directions ; it has 4,500 miles of telegraph line ; it possesses, moreover, 250 miles of canal, which carried, in 1863, 3,000,000 tous of freight, and gave a revenue to the Provincial Government of nearly $400,000. (Hear, hear.) There are hundreds of

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rivers in Canada, three of which, with I their tributaries, water a surface of 150,000 square miles. Five or six of the lakes cover a surface of 84,000 square miles. The mails are carried over 15,000 miles of road, in which distance there are 2,000 post-offices, which annually distribute 11,000,000 of letters, besides newspapers. (Hear, hear.) The mineral wealth of Canada is almost fabulous, and awaits only the introduction of English and American capital to astonish the world. (Hear, hear.) The Acton copper mine, in Lower Canada, is perhaps the richest existing. The copper mines of Lake Superior are already famous for their extent and the richness ot the ore ; and the iron mines of St. Maurice and Lake Superior are supposed to be inexhaustible According to Sir WILLIAM LOGAN, our learned geologist, there are iron mines of great value in the scignii ry of Vaudreuil and on tlie outskirts of the parish of St. Martha, in the county of Vaudreuil. The diggings in the auriferous river of the Chaudière and the Gilbert, in the Eastern Townships, have been very productive during the last two years. A new company has just been formed at New York, with a capital of five millions of dollars, to work on the Chaudière. The capital stock of the companies and private persons now engaged in this pursuit is reckoned by millions. The Trade Returns shew that the produce of the mine exported Irom Canada has been nearly nine hundred thousund dollars. The manufactures of Canada are extensive. Those of lumber occupy upwards of two thousand sawmills, which turn out annually neaily eight million leet of timber. There are more than two hundred distilleries and breweries, which producid last year more than nine million gallons of spirituous or fermented liquors, yielding an excise duty of more than $700,000. (Hear, hear.) These distilleries and breweries consume more than 1,500,000 bushels of grain and malt The couutiy coutaius at least 1,000 grist mills for the grinding of wheat and oats; 250 carriage factories, nearly 200 foundries, 200 carding mills, 180 cloth mills, and 500 tanneries. Other establishments of less acoyuntare innumerable. Canada produces annually between 20,000,000 and 30,000,000 bushels of wheat, 12,000,000 bushels of peas, 40,000,000 bushels ot oats, more than 1,500,000 tons of hay, 18,000,000 bushels of buckwheat, 28,000,000 bushels of potatoes, and 10,000,000 bushels of turnips. Canada consumes 30,000,000 pounds of beef, shears 5,500,000 pounds of wool, and makes from 42,000,000 to 45,000,000 pounds of butter. The cattle, milch cows, horses, sheep and p;gs owned in Canada are above two millions in number. The fisheries yield to the value of two million dollars anuually. It appears that Lower Canada alone owns 2,500 fishing vessels. The Magdalen Islands, which belong to Canada, send out to the fisheries 270 boats. The capita! stock of the banks in Canada, which have a charter, amounts to $33,000,000. Here is real wealth, and yet our country is still in its infancy, if I may be allowed to use the expression ; and the third part of this beautitul country is still uninhabited ; what will it be when inhabited, cleared and settled in every direction ? From all quarters men will come—some to obtain a nook of land which they can really call their own ; others to escape from the horrors of civil war and the ruinous taxes which bow them down to the earth. Here we have peace and tranquillity—good air—room enough — a superabundance of land—and the virgin forest wooing the axe of the woodman, to be converted into fertile farms; here, above all, we have the ” birth-right of man,” liberty in all its purity. (Hear, hear ) It is time, Canadians, that we should withdraw from the political dilemma in which we are involved. If we reject the plan of Confederation, we fall back into a species of status quo ; now, for a new country like ours, to remain stationary is to retrogade ! Let us not forget that British North America contains other provinces besides these of ours, namely, British Columbia, Vancouver, &c., which will hereafter form a part of the Confederation ; that those vast countries are in extent as large as all Europe ; that the soil in many places is of marvellous fertility; that the day will come when the greater part of all those countries and provinces will be inhabited; that there will be a net-work of railway connecting the extremities of all those possessions, and lines of steamboats connecting us, not with the Mother Country only, but with the whole of Europe, and that at all seasons of the year. When we all, without exception, animated by the same spirit, struggling after the good, after the prosperity of our common country, shall see rising around us a vast empire under the protectorate of England, we shall then understand the political sugacity of those who, now steering the vessel

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of State, have brought before us and carried through the scheme of Confederation proposed. There may be certain faults of detail in the system : I grant that there are. But does not every work of man bear the impress of imperfection ? Is the celebrated Code Napoléon perfect? The most celebrated French lawyers do not think it so; and yet this production is a master-piece of legi-lation in many respects. Does not the Constitution of the United States contain faults ? and yet it is said to be a model work of its kind. I am of opinion that the plan of Confederation, taken as a whole, is the best we could desire or hope for, adapted, as it had to be, to the well-understood interests of the five provinces. To consider it from a purely sectional point of view, would be to misunderstand the position which a statesman should occupy. If however, Mr. SPEAKER, the unreasoning opponents of the proposed measure were able to suggest any means of meeting eventualities, and point out a way by which, while rejecting the scheme proposed, we might find some practical mode of escape from our difficulties, I should then be disposed to listen to them, and to compare their scheme with that which is now before us ; but those gentlemen think it sufficient to blime and criticise. The celebrated Mr. RAMEAU even (the author of La France aux Colonies), from his retirement in distant France, sends forth a cry of alarm at the dangers with which he thinks Confederation is pregnant, but not a word of good counsel or of a better remedy of his own. Others cry aloud from the house-tops that this scheme is not a ” Federal union,” but a Legislative one in every point ! If it were so, Mr. SPEAKER, I should be the first—and I proclaim it iiere before the whole country—I should be the first to scout and reject the scheme with all the power which Providence has given me ; but as it is, on the contrary, a Federal union, in the full force of the term, having a Central Government invested with all the power necessary to obviate and remedy the weakness which characterises Federal Government in the American union, giving, in a special a anner, to each province the management of its own local affairs, and to its inhabitants full and unrestricted power to make its own laws, I cannot, for the interest of my constituents, for my country’s interest, help approving of a measure which, while it respects the rights and privileges of all, will have the effect of increasing the individual and collective strength of ths five provinces, will secure to us the confidence of the Mother Country, and m.ike of this section of British North America, under the powerful aegis of England, another imperium in imperio. (Cheers.) I return to those whose cry is, ” But our, nationality will be lostl Our language, our civil and religious institutions will disappear.” O ye who cry so loudly, and who find such charms in the neighboring republic, do you think that if we fell into thft whirl of divers nations and different religions composing the American Confederacy, which have no common traditions nor common history with us, French-Canadian nationality would long enjoy a separate existence, or that it would not speedily be lost amidst so many others ? Answer if you can, and I will believe you. (Cheers.) Consider the fate of Louisiania, inhabited chiefly by French ! Is not the English element in a majority in the Parliament of United Canada ? And have I not, nevertheless, the honor to adaress you at this moment in French ? in that beautiful language of our ancestors in which JACQUES CARTIER, in 1535, extolled the glories of our majestic St. Lawrence! (Cheers.) Would you know one of the reasons assigned against General FREMONT when he was a i andidate for the Presidency of the United States a few years ago ? ” Do not vote for FREMONT,” was the cry on the huntings and in the papers of the day; ” FREMONT is a Frenchman”—”FRÉMONT is a Catholic”— and FREMONT lost his election accordingly. However, FREMONT was not a Catholic ! but they said he was, and it was a crime sufficient in their eyes to disqualify him in his candidateship for their confidence, notwithstanding that they proclaim ” liberty of conscience !” , (Hear, hear ) Do they reject a man in England because he is a Catholic ? Does that fact debar him from enjoying the confidence of his Sovereign and his fellowcitizens ? Certainly it does not, and there are instances to prove it. Have we not often seen, in Canada, Catholics representing counties essentially Protestant? Was not the county of Vaudreuil, a county in which Catholics are a majority, lately represented by an English Protestant ? Why should the English, under the Confederation, seek to destroy French-Canadian nationality? What interest could they serve in doing so ? In

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1775, and in 1812, the French-Canadians, at the call of their clergy, rose as one man to defend the Crown of England. (Hear, hear.) What interest have the English to induce them to sweep away our religious institutions ? In what school or college are youth educated with greater talent or greater success—wheie do they receive a more thorough classical education—than in our colleges? Where dees a young man learn his duty to God, to himself, to his country and to his Sovereign better than in our Catholic colleges? (Cheeis.) I passed ten years of my life, Mr. SPEAKER, in a Catholic college, that of Montreal, and if I did not profit by the instruction I received, mine is the fault; in that house, I heard none but the counsels of wisdom, saw only examples of virtue in the venerable priests who were intrusted with the care of my youth. (Cheers.) Where is better instruction in agriculture to be had—agriculture, the source of the prosperity of a country —than in two or three Catholic colleges in Lower Canada ? Who has better appreciated the force of the maxim, ” The soil is the country,” than the Catholic clergy ? What are the model farms founded by the Government compared with the model farms of two or three of our colleges ? (Hear, hear.) Is it the Catholic cleigy themselves who would be endangered by the Confederation ? There is not a single right-thinking Englishman in the land who will not stand up and testify to the virtues of our clergy and their usefulness in the country ! Whtrever there is an asylum to be built, or a house of refuge for the poor, the insane, the aged or the orphan, then and there you see the clergy foremost in the work, first to set the example, and often defraying all the cost ! (Hear, hear.) If the Queen of England desires to see a faithful subject, on this side of the Atlantic, She will asi-uredly find him in the ranks of the clergy ! If the country calls for a zealous citizen, animated by the noblest patriotism, the call will first be answered unmistakably by a priest—I y one of those men who seek no other teward for their actions than the approbation of their own conscience—by oue of those who perfectly comprehend the maxim that ” the poetry of life is the fulfilment of duty”—by one of those wise but modest men, as humble as they are pious, who, standing ever constant at the post which Providence has assigned to them, instruct the young, encourage the good, seek to bring back the sinner into the paths of virtue, obey the laws and teach that obedience to others, pray daily for the happiness and prosperity of ” Our Gracious Sovereign” and of the Mother Country, visit the poor in garret and cellar, soothe the sufferings, moral and physical, of the sick and dying, and finally point out the road to heaven—they themselves leading the way ! (Prolonged cheers ) What have such men to fear from Confederation ? Nothing. No, Mr. SPEAKER, such men have nothing to fear ! England loves and reveres our clersry, and sees in them loyal and faithful subjects of the Queen. (Cheers.) Would you see an instance of what the Catholic clergy can do when the country wants a man of courage ? All know that the country is in a political dilemma, that the machine of government is at a stand, that the sound of a mighty tempest is heard from afar ; that the fate of the country is traced out in feeble and wavering lines in an uncertain future, overshadowed with threatening clouds filling a void of conjecture and doubt ; hat the moment is come for the true friends of their country—for men of education—to declare their views on the course to be taken to save the country from the danger impendiug and the perils of actual everts. Well, here too we have a member of the Catholic clergy boldly standing forth to give his opinion on the subject, and counsel us in this melancholy crisis ! I will lead to you an extract of the letter of the Catholic Archbishop CONNOLLY of Halifax, on the subject of Confederation :—

Instead of cursing, like the boys in the upturned boat and holding on until we are fairly on the brink of the cataract, we must at once begin to pray and strike out for the shore by all means, before we get too far down on the current. We must, at this most critical moment, invoke the Arbiter of nations for wisdom, and abandoning in time our perilous position, we must strike out boldly, and at some risk, for some rock on the nearest shore—some resting place of greater security. A cavalry raid visit from our Fenian friends through the plains of Canada and the feitile valleys of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, may cost more in a single week than Confederation for the next fifty yeais; and if we are to believe you, where is the seeuiity, even at the present moment, against such a disaster ? Without the whole power of the Mother Country by land and sea, and the concentration in a single hand of all the strength of British America, our condition is seen at a glance. Whenever the present difficulties will terminate- and who can

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tell the moment ?—we shall be at the mercy of our neighbors; and victorious or otherwise, they will be eminently a military people, and with all their apparent indifference about annexing this country, and all the friendly feelings that may be talked of, they will have the power to strike when they please, and this is precisely the kernel and the only touch-point of the whole question. No nation ever had the power of conquest that did not use it, or abuse it, at the very first favorable opportunity. All that is said of the magnanimity and forbearance of mighty nations can be explained on the principle of sheer expediency, as the world knows. The whole face of Europe has been changed, and the dynasties of many hundred years have been swept away within our own time, on the principle of might alone—the oldest, the strongest, and as some would have it, the most sacred of titles. The thirteen original states of America, with all their pi-ofessions of selfdenial, have been all the time, by money power and by war, and by negotiation, extending their frontier until they more than quadrupled their territory within sixty years ; and believe it who may, are they now of their own accord to come to a full stop ? No ; as long as they have the power, they must go onward : for it is the very nature of power to grip whatever is within its reach. It is not their hostile feelings, therefore, but it is their power, and only their power, I dread ; and I now state it as my solemn conviction, that it becomes the duty of every British subject in these provinces to control that power, not by the insane policy of attacking or weakening them, but by strengthening ourselves—rising, with the whole of Britain at our back, to their level, and so be prepared for any emergency. There is no sensible or unprejudiced man in the community who does not see that vigorous and timely preparation is the only possible means of saving us from the horrors of a war such as the world has never seen. To be fully prepared is the only practical argument that can have weight with a powerful enemy, and make him pause beforehand and count the cost. And as the sort of preparation I speak of is utterly hopeless without the union of the provinces, so at a moment when public opinion is being formed on this vital point, as one deeply concerned, I feel it a duty to declare myself unequivocally in favor of Confederation as cheaply and as honorably obtained as possible— but Confederation at all hazards and at all reasonable sacrifices. After the most mature consideration, and all the arguments I have heard on both sides for the last month, these are my inmost convictions on the necessity and merits of a measure which alone, under Providence, can secure to ,us social order, peace, and rational liberty, and all the blessings we now enjoy under the mildest Government and the hallowed institutions of the freest and happiest country in the world.

This letter is dated in January, 1865. The Catholic Bishop of the Island of Newfoundland, Monseigneur MULLOCH, has also written a magnificent letter in favor of Confederation. Moreover, Mr. SPEAKER , when the time comes, our Catholic clergy—our Canadian clergy—will make their voices heard in favor of the proposed measure, and will show the whole world that now, as formerly, they can keep pace with the times—that they can distinguish the true from the false, and that their paternal eyes watch with the tenderest solicitude over the destinies of their children. (“Loud cheers.) Now, Mr. SPEAKER, let us cast a glance over the English colonies in Australia. They, like us, are desirous of taking steps to form a Confederation, to break from their state of isolation, stretching forth their arms to each other as beloved sister?, and making efforts to lay the foundation of a great empire ou the distant shores of Oceania. (Hear, hear.) As to ourselves, let us show England that our hearts yearn to maintain our connection with her, and she will spend her last soldier and last shilling to keep and defend us against all the world, and to assist us to become a great and powerful nation Back ! back ! those who think that England will cast us off, and leave us to our hard fate. Back ! all those who, like BRIGHT, COBDEN, GOLDWIN SMITH, and others of that school, weary the ear with crying that England loses more than she gains by her colonies ! They are confronted by the logic of facts. England, wi thout her colonies, would be a power of the second class. Let us hear what Mr LAING, late Minister of Finance for India, said, in answer to GOLDWIN SMITH and others : —

I would have you observe, said he, that our foreign possessions are by far our best customers. Taken together, they make up nearly a third of our import trade, and a half of our export trade British India holds the first place on the list, and giies us nearly £50,000 000 sterling of impurts, taking in return £20,000,000 of exports. In the present year these figures will be greatly exceeded, and the rate of pro rress is more distinctly marked : the imports having been, 10 vears ago, £10,672,000 only, and the exports £9,920,000. We find in Australia still more astonishing results, if we consider the recent date of her establishment as a colony, and her limited population. Besides gold, she sends about £7,000,000 of imports, and takes from us £13,000, 00 of exports. The North American colonies, with a population also British, give us £8,00 ,000 of imports, and take from us nearly £5,000,000 of exports. The small island of the Mauritius, which enjoys British Government and thrives with British capital, sends us nearly £2,000, 00 worth per year, and takes in return £5,000,000. These figures clearly show the advantages derived to commerce

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from colonies, and confute the false theories of those men who would persuade us to abandon our distant possessions as useless.

Observe, Mr. SPEAKER, that these enormous amounts are not in dollars, but pounds sterling : each pound being worth nearly five dollars of our money. This is information for those who think that colonies are of no importance to England; that they add nothing to her grandeur, her power, or her commerce ! Those who know anything at all of England, know perfectly well that she is an essentially commercial nation—perhaps the most commercial nation in the world— that “that nation of shop-keepers,” as it was called by NAPOLEON I., has always found in its commerce the chief element of its strength ; for with commerce comes money, from money men to carry on its wars The ancient Romans knew how to conquer provinces, countries, kingdoms, because their genius was essentially warlike ; but they did not know how to keep them, because they had not what chiefly distinguishes England—a genius for commerce. Accordingly when the English make themselves masters of any territory, you immediately see a crowd of traders rush into it, build stores, find out the resources of the country, and next come a body of soldiers to second the authority ot justice, and enforce respect for law and order. In a short space of time you see a nation, but lately barbarian, buried in sloth and inaction, shake off the slough of infancy, assume a different aspect, grow rich and prosperous, and in turn cooperate in adding to the greatness of the Mother Country. (Hear, hear.) Yes, Mr SPEAKER, England is bound to keep us. Losing us, she would, at a future day, lose her West Indian possessions, and would entei on the first phate of an eclipse which she is too far-seeing not to anticipate and avoid. (Hear, hear.) England sees with pleasure the effoits which our Government is making to carry out the union of all the provinces, and looks upon our future union as a step in the right direction—the only practical means of increasing our resources and strengthening our power. One word, Mr. SPEAKER, on the appeal to the people. There are three classes of men in society: those who deceive, those who are deceived, and those who are neither deceivers nor deceived. I take my place advisedly among the last. I will not rank as a deceiver ; aud as I hare promised my constituents that I would lay before them, and explain the scheme of Confederation, with all its details, before giving my vote finally, I am at all times ready to do so. For the present, I shall vote purely aud simply for the “resolutions,” because I am in favor of the principle of Confederation, and because, herealter, when the Ministry shall have laid before us the plan for the local governments with its details, then will be the time to demand an appeal to the people, if my county requires it of me. To ask for it only with reieienoe to the principle of Confederation, and to ask for it again when we shall have the plan and all the details relating to the local governments, would be an absurdity ; for it would be a double appeal to the people on two parts of the same scheme oí Confederation, and consequeutly two elections on the back of each other—a needless excess of expense and trouble, both for the country and the members. We must bear in mind that after the two elections constituting the double appeal to the people, we must have still more general elections to inaugurate the new Parliament, for the present session is the third of this Parliament. I would not be one of the deceived ; and I should be so in a striking degree if I allowed myself to be cajoled by the gentle purrings of the Opposition, who makes a show of agitation for the appeal to the people, only that they may have an opportunity, at any cost, of defeating the scheme fo Confederation. I maintain, Mr. SPEAKER, that the Opposition have not the slightest wish to go to the country; and why? because if the Opposition had really and truly wished for an appeal to the people, they would at any time, within this last fortnight at least, have made a motion in this House expressive of their desire–as a preliminary–for such an appeal! The House has been debating this measure three or four weeks, but the Oppo- sition have not shewn the least disposition to move for an appeal to the people; and, when it is too late, they will come forward with such a motion–(hear, hear)– and then, when they do not carry it, they would go crying throughout the land, in town and country, that if the people have had no voice in the business, it is no fault of theirs; that they moved heaven and earth –but such was the bull-headed obstinancy of the Ministry, it was not to be obtained; and the people will believe them; and we, who are the real, the best friends of the people, we shall be pointed at as the real

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criminals ! Poor people ! why do you allow yourselves to be deceived ? If the Ministers are desirous of pushing on the measure, it is because of the check which the Ministry of New Brunswick have just had, aud because it is for us to use all diligence to show the Mother Country that we do not hang fire, but are ready to do our part to carry out the treaty or compromise agreed on by the delegates at the Conference held at Quebec. It is time we should do something to improve our position ; for the intended revocation of the treaty of reciprocity, the probable abolition of the “transit” system, and other tokens of ill-feeling with which President LINCOLN’S Message of the present year is filled, are enough to warn us to prepare to meet the storm which is blowing up on the political horizon, that we ought immediately to look out for better shelter than we have at present. (Hear.) If, hereafter, an appeal to the people, relative to the plan and details of the local governments, becomes necessary, I am convinced that a majority of the counties of both Canadas will understand their true interests, will be able to distinguish their real friends from those who aim at deceiving them by flattering their preiudices, and that we shall be sent back to this place with full powers to vote the final adoption of the scheme of Confederation. (Cheers.) But if I, for one, am civilly told that I must stay at home, I shall have the satisfaction of saying that I have fallen like a man who preferred his duty to a fleeting popularity ; and although it may be an easy matter for the fair and intelligent county of Vaudreuil to send to this House, as its representative, a member more competent in many respects than I am, I venture to affirm that it will be difficult to find any one who has more at heart than I have the interests, the happiness and the prosperity of his country ! (Continued oheers ) I have abundant reason to believe that the people will comprehend the position of the country, will see that a measure of this kind is necessary—nay, indispensable, and that when once the union of the five provinces of British North America has been perfectly settled, we shall enter on a new era, an era of progress in all things—industrial, manufacturing and commercial, and shall begin to take a prominent place among the nations of this vast contiuent; the people will understand, finally, that the vessel of the state has fallen into the hands of able pilots, well qualified to take it into port, notwithstanding the storms and rocks with which its course is beset. (Cheers.) I for one, Mr. SPEAKER, have full confidence in our future in the bosom of Confederation. The day is, I think, not far distant when the ” Good Genius” who rules over the future destiny of the new Empire of British North America will ory aloud, with one foot on the shores of the Pacific while the other rests on that of the Atlantic—” All this is ours This wealth, these fair fields, those pretty hamlets, those vast cities, in which thousand? of people enjoy the fruits of their toil, and live without fear under the English flag, belong to us ! See those factories, those works of all kinds, those canals and railways crossing each other in every direction, fostering trade throughout the length and breadth of this vast domain ! We arc no w a numerous anda mighty people— our population has grown—Europe has contributed its contingent ot brave and courageous hearts, who have been attricted hither by the hope of an amount of happiness and prosperity which their native country had denied them.” Then too. this “Good Genius,” turning his eyes in the direction ot Great Britain, will say with truth—”ALother, behold your eldest-born, worthy of such a parent !” (Cheers.) And posterity, glorying in their ancestors, will exclaim—” Behold the fruits of the conscientious and patriotic labors of that chosen band of thirty-three, who sat in high conference at Quebec, in October, 1864.” (Loud cheers.)

HON. ATTY. GKN. CARTIER—After hearing the eloquent aud talented speech which the hon. member for Vaudreuil has just delivered, I have one emotion of regret: it is, that the venerable ancestor of that gentleman (the Hon. ALAIN CHARTIER DE LOTBINIÈRE) , who was one of the first Speakers called to the Chair of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, whose portrait adorns this House, has not, from the tomb, heard the accents—the well-considered, loyal and heart-felt expressions of his descendant. How justly would he have been proud of him ! (Cheers.)

HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE—Mr. SPEAKER, the honorable member for Vaudreuil asked, a moment ago, what we Prench-Canadians had to fear under Confederation ? Well, I will tell him at once, or rather when his friends have done congratulating him. The honorable gentleman read us a couple of letters from bishops of the Lower Provinces in order to convince us that all must be for the best under Confederation for our Catholic

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population ; with the permission of this honorable House, I will rea for his benefit the letter of a Lower Canadian priest, who, having the advantage of a somewhat closer view of things than the bishops of the Maritime Provinces, is in a better position to judge whether our special institutions and our nationality will be sufficiently guaranteed under the Federal system now about to be imposed upon us. (Hear, hear.) This letter appeared in the Canadien :—

To the Editor of the Canadien.

SIR,—If the Confederation of the provinces may be considered a thing decided upon, there is nevertheless no denying fact that the minds of the people are filled with a fear and anxiety which nothing can remove. I have read the speeches of our representatives; I have heard their explanations ; and far from being reassured, I am more uneasy than ever. The necessity of Confederation has indeed been demonstrated, but has there been any attempt to explain certain clauses of a dangerous character in a French-Canadian and Catholic point of view ? Promises, eulogies, dazzling pictures of our future prospects, figures more or less successfully £rouped,all these we have had ad nauseam ; but what I have looked for in vain is a satisfactory explanation as to our future liberty of action under Confederation. With your permission, sir, I will state as briefly as possible my objections to the scheme of Confederation, end the features which cause it to be dreaded so much by almost all those who have studied it. I leave aside the question of divorce; the ecclesiastical authorities being silent upon the matter, I do not pretend to be more Catholic than the Pope. Let every one bear his own responsibility. When, at some future day, Catholic Lower Canada will be dishonored by the presence of a divorce court, every one will, no doubt hasten to wash his hands of the matter, and repudiate all responsibility for * * * * * the circumstances in which we are placed. My objections to Confederation as proposed, are— first, the dangerous centralization it establishes ; second, the enormous expense it entails. Centralization ! Behold the great danger of modern governments. In place of endeavoiing to confer on each of our provinces the greatest measure of liberty compatible with a central power, one would fancy that our Ministers had done their best to leave us but the very smallest measure possible. In endeavoring to avoid the excess of power vested in the states of the American Confederation, they have given us a scheme tolerably closely copied from the Swiss Confederation. They wished to avoid state independence, which caused the war between the North and the South, and they expose us to a new Sonderbund with all its disasters. Let us see what are the powers of the Central Government, and the rights of the provinces, and of Lower Canada in particular, under our Confederation. The Central Government will be composed of—first, an elective Chamber, based on population ; second, a Senate ; third, an Executive Council, and Responsible Ministers, and a Governor. The Lower House will be composed of 194 members. Of these 194 sixty-five will be Lower Canadians, and fifty French-Canadians. In the House of Representatives we shall therefore be one to three, or, if we count as French-Canadians, 1 to 4. How many Lower Canadians or French-Canadians are we to have in the Executive Council ? One, perhaps ; two at most. Such is the measure of our influence in the Central Government. And this is the Government that is to appoint our senators after the first selection is made. It will appoint, or rather impose upon us, a governor. It will have the power of veto over all our local measures. It will also enjoy that power through the governor, its creature 1 Was there ever a more dangerous centralization ? What liberty of action, then, is there left to our legislature ? An Orangeman will perhaps be sent to govern us ; and what can we say ? Our senators will be selected, if it should please the central power, from the ranks of our enemies ; to whom shall we apply for redress ? All our most cherished local measures, our acts of incorporation, will be reserved or vetoed ; and who will redress our grievances ? But all these are mere imaginary dangers ! Imaginary, forsooth ! Heaven grant that they may be 1 But do we not knowthe Orangemen? Is not the example of Ireland before our eyes? But the Sonderbund war ! Be quiet, we are told ; men so well tried, so honorable as our leaders, would never propose the measure for our adoption if it could possibly be of a fatal character. I do not desire, in any way, to accuse our statesmen or to question their motives. But have our statesmen always avoided contradiction—dangerous measures? Is it prudent to trust solely to men, without scrutinizing- their measures ? What of the experience of the past? What of the maxim, ” Measures, not men ?” “Fear not,” we are told again, ” none of the dangers you fear can arise; the thing is impossible.” Impossible ! Why, then, leave a possibility of danger in the law? Why so much haste with a measuie of such importance ? The authors of the Constitution of the United States labored for months and years at the draft of their Confederation, and after eighty yeais it is found defective. Our statesmen elaborate a Constitution in a lew days, in the midst of the noisy rejoicings of hospitality, and we are told that Constitution is perfect ! “You must not touch it; you shall not amend it.” But, we say. it contains dangerous clauses, it gives our enemies power to annihilate us. The answer is : ” Be silent ! It is the creation of our Ministers, our leaders ! Trust in their honor, in their talents.” Excellent reasons, no doubt ! And yet, strange to say, people are still uneasy, still distrustful ! But, are not the clergy, are not the people for Confederation? As to the clergy, no ; they are not all for your Confederation as it is proposed. A great many of them, it is true, feel no uneasiness, and trust all to our statesmen ;

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but many of them, also, dread it, and would wish to see it amended. As to the people they know nothing about your scheme, and until the time comes when they shall undergo the ordeal of taxes and imposts, they will, I fancy, exhibit the utmost indifference. Iiut let the Confederation be carried out, let the fabulous expenses be commenced connected with the defence of the country, the support of a militia, the creation of a marine, the construction of the Intercolonial Railway and other public works, and, as the proverb says, ” Time will tell.” Yes, we shall then perceive the disastrous results of this measure, but it will be a little too late. I now come to my second objection to the scheme of Confederation. With your permission I shall treat it on a future occasion. A CITIZEN.

Quebec, March 6th, 1865.

Well, Mr. SPEAKER, if I am not mistaken, that reveren gentleman, a member of our clergy, seems to be somewhat less convinced than our Ministers and the honorable member for Vaudreuil of the safety of our religious interests, and of our nationality. Are not his expressions sufficiently energetic and significant. But let us now see whether the reverend gentleman has grounds for his alarm, and whether he is not somewhat carried away by his zeal and patriotic anxiety for the welfare of his fellow-countrymen. Let us see whether, on the contrary, he does not appreciate more correctly than our Lower Canada Ministers the position in which we shall be placed by Confederation. I think we shall be enabled to judge from an article which appeared in a late number of the organ of the Honorable President of the Council. The Toronto Globe of the 6th March inst.,—a paper which is now one of the principal organs of the present Government—publishes an article, written perhaps by the Honorable President of the Council himself, in which I find the following kindly expression applied to our honored clergy :—

We trust that those well-meaning but mistaken friends of the Common School system of Upper Canada, who have been censuring the educational agreement in the Quebec resolutions, will now see something of its value. Bishop LYNCH’S bold letter should be a warning to us all how utterly unsafe our schools are under the present Constitution. The Romish Church is ever aggressive— getting to-day concessions with which it professes to be entirely satisfied, only to come back and demand new ones at the first opportunity. (Under our present parliamentary system, it is never safe to say that the Romish bishops in Canada cannot, with a little labor, get all they may ask. Under Confederation, while gladly ” crying quits” and leaving them what they now have and can keep in spite of us, we should be placed in a position to refuse them anything more. But let our present Constitution last five years longer, and the chances are that the new demands of the hierarchy will be conceded.)

If the honorable gentleman is not satisfied now that the fears of the clergy are well founded, I really cannot see how he can possibly be convinced. (Hear, hear.) That honorable member gave us a splendid and perfectly just eulogium of the admirable merits and devotedness of our Lower Canadian clergy —an eulogium which expresses the thought of every man who has any feeling of admiration for deserving merit, wherever it may be found, and whatever may be his own nationality or religion—an eulogium which I endorse with my whole heart. (Hear, hear.) But, Mr. SPEAKER, I am not the less convinced that everything foreshadowed by the extract I have just read from the Globe is destined to occur one day, if we adopt the measure now before us. And what is the meaning of the petitions pouring in every day by thousands , why all these crosses affixed to these energetic and patriotic protests—crosses formed by rude hands guided by noble hearts ? (Hear, hear.) I will tell you, Mr. SPEAKER, why there are so many crosses ; it is because, previous to the union of the Canadas, the Legislative Council was composed of enemies of the Lower Canadians, who refused, for a great number of years, to make even the most paltry grants for our Lower Canada schools. Thanks to this tyrannical proscription, the schools were closed by hundreds, and the children of our people were un ible to obtain the benefits of education, of which they would most certainly have availed themselves. Hence it is that the petitions pouring in upon us from all quarters, to protest against the oppression about to be established, are in great part signed with crosses—crosses certainly of equal value with the magnificent signatures of certain honorable members of this House, who have attempted to turn into ridicule the signatures of these petitions. At that period, Mr. SPEAKER, the Canadian clergy were, as they are to-day, the leaders of the education movement, and the British oligarchy did all in its power to contract the limits of their noble work—the education of the children of the soil. (Hear, hear.) But thanks to the constant and energetic protests of patriotic men—thanks to the struggles they maintained for many a long year—struggles which culminated at last in open rebellion against the authority of Great Britain—we gained the liberties we now enjoy. And with reference to the rebellion, I think;

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the Honorable Attorney General East must remember that he himself was one of those who raised the flag of freedom at St. Charles, and donned the cap of liberty. At that period, Mr. SPEAKER. the Honorable Attorney General East did not shrink from open rebellion against the Crown, in order to secure what he considered the legitimate liberties of his fellow-citizens; to-day he does not shrink from a baronetcy, the reward of the treason he is prepared to consummate against his same fellow-citizens. (Hear, hear.) I said a moment ago that French-Canadians had every reason to fear for the safety of their institutions under Confederation, and I will prove it by quoting a few passages from the celebrated report of Lord DURHAM—a report which has been used as a model by the Government in preparing their scheme of Confederation—in fact the latter is copied almost word for word from that able summary of the means to be adopted for the utter annihilation of French nationality in this country. (Hear, hear.) To those who may feel inclined to consider my fears unfounded, I have but one thing to say : you may rest assured that the English members will not allow themselves to be led by the few French-Canadian members of the Federal Government, and that they will strive conscientiously, and in some sort naturally, to carry out the work initiated by Lord DURHAM, and carried on up to this day with a degree of skill and ability which, though defeated in some instances, was none the less calculated to produce the results foreseen and desired by Great Britain. I will read to the House an extract from the report in question ; for it is good to remind the representatives of Lower Canada of these facts :—

Never again will the British population tolerate the authority of a House of Assembly in which the French shall possess, or even approximate to a majority.

Such, Mr. SPEAKER, are the expressions used by Lord DURHAM in his despatch to the English Government ; and I will show how faithfully the plan has been carried out. It was begun by a union of the two Canadas, and it is to be continued by a Confederation of all the Provinces of British North America, and consummated at last by a legislative union, under which the French race will be absorbed and annihilated for ever. (Hear, hear.) An honorable member who addressed the House during yesterday’s sitting, told us that Confederation would be the beginning of the end, and the destruction of the Lower Canadians. It would have been impossible to describe more truly the position in which we shall find ourselves placed under Confederation. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member for Vaudreuil (Mr. HARWOOD) said there were as many Catholics in London as there were in Rome itself, the centre of Catholicity. Well, what is the value of that assertion ? Does it prove anything in favor of his argument? How many members are there in the English Parliament to represent the Catholics of Great Britain ? If I am not mistaken, I think there are but two or three. Now I ask what influence can the Catholic population have in that Parliament, and what power have they to protect their institutions and their liberties? If the honorable member for Vaudreuil thinks he has brought forward an unanswerable argument, he is very much mistaken, for the argument turns entirely against him. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member for Vaudreuil also brought forward, in favor of Confederation, an argument which bears a certain appearance of plausibleness and weight. He said that if we adopt Confederation, Lower Canada will enjoy the rich coal mines of New Brunswick. Does the honorable member fancy that the coal is to be delivered to us free of all cost and charges, and without our having to give anything in exchange for it ? (Hear, hear.) Really, Mr. SPEAKER, it seems to me that when only such arguments as these are available in support of a case, it would be quite as well to say nothing about it. It may be that the praises profusely bestowed by the Honorable Attorney General East on” the honorable member for Vaudreuil are well deserved. It may be that the Honorable Attorney General thinks so ; but for my part—I say it in all sincerity — I consider that the style of eloquence displayed here by the hon. member for Vaudreuil was better calculated to win the applause of a parish meeting; the hollow tinsel of that style of eloquence may take with a certain class of men, but I do not hesitate to assert that it is hardly the kind of speech suited to this House. What is required here is a speech calculated to bring conviction to the minds of those who listen. No doubt the hon. member for Vaudreuil turned many pretty and elegant phrases, but for all that, I cannot help thinking that the Honorable Attorney General’s compliments were somewhat extravagant, and that he only spoke as he did in order to remove the im-

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pression of the contempt he affects to entertains for his fellow-countrymen holding seats in this House, who hold opinions different from his, and for all the French speeches delivered on this side of the House since he brought down his Confederation scheme. After all, the Honorable Attorney General has a perfect right to pay compliments to any one he likes, and whenever he likes ; and in making these remarks I do not complain of his having formed that opinion of the honorable member for Vaudreuil. The honorable member also told us that the Government had done everything in their power, and that they had examined the question of Confederation from the stand-point of the five parties to the contract. I think so too, and I do not hesitate to say that if our French-Canadian Ministers present at the Conference had examined the question from a Lower Canadian point of view—since they were charged with the protection of our interests—it is highly probable that many things unfavorable to those interests, which the scheme now presents, would have been removed. But the honorable member for Vaudreuil must know that the Lover Canadian Ministers at the Conference ought to have gone there to represent the interests of their fellow-countrymen, and to defend those interests if necessary, in the same way that the representatives cf the other nationalities went there to represent those of their fellow-countrymen ; and the event shows but too clearly how strenuously the latter worked for their own interests. The scheme of Confederation shows clearly that the English race have in this, as in every other instance, been favored, to the detriment of the French element. They obtained everything, or nearly everything, they desired.

It being six o’clock, the Speaker left the chair.

After the recess,

HON. ME. LAFRAMBOISE resumed his remarks as follows— Mr. SPEAKER, as a prelude to the remarks I proposed making against Confederation during the first part of this sitting, I answered some of the arguments brought forward by the honorable member for Vaudreuil, in support of the scheme as proposed for the consideration of this House. I shall now proceed to examine certain portions of the scheme, and show the absurdity of the arguments brought forward in support of it. It has been stated by honorable gentlemen opposite that Confederation is a compromise. Well, Mr. SPEAKER, what is the meaning of the word ” compromise” ? It means an understanding arrived at by means of mutual concessions ; and in the ease now before us, I find concessions made only on one side and none whatever on the other. I find that the concessions have all been made by Lower Canada to Upper Canada: the concession of representation based upon population, the concession to the Federal Parliament of the right to legislate on marriage and divorce. Not a single concession to Lower Canada. All the Lower Canadian members of the Administration have, in their turn, told us that Upper Canada has made concessions to Lower Canada, but not one of those honorable gentlemen have pointed out a single instance of the kind. In looking over a pamphlet which has become celebrated for many reasons which I need not enumerate— I mean the pamphlet of the honorable member for Montmorency—I find that Upper Canada has made one concession to Lower Canada. The honorable gentleman says, with reference to the concession of representation based upon population :—

Every confederation is a compromise, and where would be the compromise if nothing weie conceded by both sides? The compromise made by Lower Canada is representation bused upon population in the Lower House, and the compromise on the part of Upper Canada is the concession of equality in the Upper House in exchange for represen ation based upon population in the Assembly. The same compromise occurs between the two Canadas and the Maritime Provinces, and it is based upon the same principle.

Thus, Mr. SPEAKER, the only concession the honorable member for Montmorency has succeeded in shewing in favor of Lower Canada, notwithstanding the eminent talents we all admit he possesses, and his well-known zeal for the Ministerial scheme, is that which I have just mentioned, and in my opinion it is no concession at all, since Lower Canada had and still has the right to claim an equal representation in both Houses of the Legislature. Let us now see what is the nature of the concessions made by Lower Canada to Upper Canada. In the first place, I find this, the most important of all. and which by itself is worth all the rest—I mean the concession of representation based upon population. No one has forgotten the animated discussions which occurred, both in this House and elsewhere, relative to this question. What means were not employed and what efforts were not made by the Conservative party in order to make political capital out of that question, and what success have not this same party,

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who now concede representation based upon population, obtained in Lower Canada by loudly proclaiming that the Liberal party, or rather the ” Rouge party,” as they were pleased to style us, were ready to grant to the Honorable President of the Council representation based upon population ? Well, Mr. SPEAKER, the accusation made against the Liberal party, oí being prepared to grant to the Honorable President of the Council his cherished measure, I shall leave to that hon. gentleman himself the task of answering. We heard him declare in this House that he had offered the hon. member for Hochelaga to continue to work with him if he was willing; to concede the principle oí representation based upon population, and that that gentleman having refused to comply with the demand, he had accepted the alliance of the Hon. Attorney General East, who gave him all he asked. (Hear, hear.) But, Mr. SPEAKER, there is something still more important than that. A few days ago, the Hon. President of the Council, addressing the hon. members for Hochelaga and Chateauguay, said, ” I had long considered that you were the best friends oí Upper Canada, but I can see to day that your are not, and that our real friends are the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada and his Lower Canada colleagues.” (Hear, hear.) After having granted the favorite measure of the great Clear Grit chief, the Lower Canada delegates doubtless considered that that was not sufficient, since they also made another important concession to Upper Canada and to the Protestants of Lower Canada, by vesting in the Federal Government the power of legislating on marriage and divorce—(hear, hear)—two questions upon which the French-Canadians were united by the bonds of a common faith, and on which they could not tolerate any discussion ; and the Ministers, therefore, ought not to have made those concessions, which are utterly opposed to the religious doctiines they themselves profess. I say that power has been given to the Federal Government to legislate on divorce and to legalize it, and I am not mistaken in saying it, for the principle is adopted by the fact of giving to the Federal Legislature the right of legislating on this question. This power ought to have been granted to the lceal legislatures, and not to the Federal Legislature, as has been done ; and I shall prove it in this way : the other day, the Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. LANGEVIN) told us. that as regards Lower Canada, there was no necessity tor granting to its legislature the power of legilating on divorce, because, said he, ” the religious authoiities are recognized; but it was necessary and proper to grant that power to Upper Canada.” (Hear, hear.) Now, I ask, if Lower Canada did not require that power of legislating, why has it been given to the Federal Legislature, which will be composed in great majority of Protestants, who do not hold the same opinion that we do on these questions, when it is evident that that Legislature will probably grant bills of divorce to all persons who apply for them, without considering whether the parties are Catholics or Protestants ? If divorce is condemned by the Catholic religion, I maintain that it is wrong to grant that power to a Legislature which will be composed in great part of Protestant members, ready to legislate on divorce, and to grant divorces to those who bring forward what they may consider reasonable grounds, sufficient to entitle them to obtain divorce, without considering whether the religious faith of the parties permits or does not permit divoree. If divorce be condemned by the Catholic Church —and all the world knows that it is so condemned in the most formal manner—the power of the Legislature in this matter ought to have been restricted, and not made general, as it is proposed to make it in the scheme of Confederation submit ted to us. Mr. SPEAKER, I have shown, I think, that Lower Canada has gained nothing, but that she has conceded everything iu this compromise; true, in order to cover these guilty concessions, we are told, ” But the protection of our institutions and the maintenance of our laws are fully and amply guaranteed to us by the new Constitution.” In the first place, under the Confederation, our institutions will not be protected—as it has vainly been attempted to demonstrate they will; but, even though it were the case, does not the Constitution under which we now live afford us infinitely better guarantees for all our dearest liberties? Let us examine, for a moment, what species of guarantee we have under the present system, and what guarantees we shall have under the Federal system The guarantee which the French-Canadians have under the present system, eonsists in the fact that out of 65 members, they count at least 51 of their own origin and faith, and that they

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possess in the country and in the Legislature so powerful an influence, that the existence of any and every government depends on their good-will, and that no legislation can be carried on without their consent ; whereas, under the new Constitution, the General Legislature will be composed of 194 members, Lower Canada having 65, of whom 14 at least will be English and Protestants, leaving thus 51 French-Canadian or Catholic members. Now, even if these 51 members act together as one man, they will have to struggle against 143 members of a different origin and a different faith from themselves. Thus, Mr. SPEAKER, I am convinced that the guarantees we enjoy under our present Constitution— guarantees which are assured ta us as long as we do not change our system of government—are infinitely superior to those offered to us by the new Constitution which it is sought to force upon the people. But we are told that the Federal Government will have the Catholic minority to deal with, and that the assistance of the latter will be absolutely necessary to carrying it on. Well, I ask, Mr. SPKAKER, what can a minority composed of 51 members do against a majority of 143 ; and what protection can it offer to our laws, our institutions and our language ? No; it is evident that all these things which we hold so dear may, under the Federal system, disappear and be annihilated at any moment ; they will be constantly at the mercy of our natural enemies. In order to secure Confederation, you have granted to Upper Canada representation based on population—a principle against whieh the people of Lower Canada have always voted as one man, and you have also granted everything that the Upper Canadian delegates desired to obtain for themselves and their co-religionists. It is quite natural that the English membeis in Lower Canada should be nearly all in favor of the scheme, since they have a sure guarantee in the veto power of the Fedeial Legislature Thus the Local Legislature of Lower Canada cannot pass a single law without submitting it to the sanction oi the Federal Legislature, which can, by its veto, amend, change or completely annul, if it thinks proper, any law or any measure so submitted to it But what guarantee will the Federal Legislature offer to the French-Canadian majority of Lower Canada, and to the Catholic minority of Upper Canada ? None whatever. How can the great Conservative party which boasts so loudly of representing the interests of the Catholics of Lower Canada, which takes its stand as the natural protector of the religion and thefaith of Catholics—(hear, hear)—very absurdly I must admit—how can that great party, I say, have forgotten, as it evidently has forgotten, that there are Catholics in Upper Canada who expected and are entitled to its protection ? How will the Catholic minority in Upper Canada be protected in the Local Legislature of Upper Canada, composed of Englishmen and Protestants? Shall I tell you how, Mr. SPEAKER ? Weil, they will be protected by two members only, the hon. members for Cornwall and Glengarry (Hon. Mr. J . S. MACDONALD and Mr. DONALD A. MCDONALD) . The great Conservative party, which styles itself the protector of Catholicism, has simply handed over the Catholic minority of Upper Canada to the tender mercies of their enemies And to give an idea of the kind of protection they will enjoy under the new system, it is sufficient to state that a few days ago, Bishop LYNCH, of Toronto, was forced to address himself publicly, through the press, to the citizens of Toronto, to protest against the insults offered in broad daylight, in the public streets of that city and elsewhere, to revered Sisters of Charity, and to ask protection for the venerable ladies of that community ; and then look at the fanatical and intolerant writings, such as those I read to this Honorable House before the recess, from an article in the Globe of the 6th March—a paper which represents the opinions of the present Government, and which is the organ and property of the Hon. President of the Executive Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN) . Can it be said that we have nothing to fear, that the religious institutions of Upper Canada will be perfectly safe under the system sought to be introduced into the country ? Does not the bon. member for Montmorency admit, in his famous pamphlet of 1865, that our religious institutions have many a time been insulted in this House ? And has not the BLhop of Toronto just complained that Sisters of Charity have been insulted in the streets of the capital of Upper Canada, and that they have been turned into ridicule at masquerades and masked balls, frequented by the best society of that locality ? And in order that every one may be convinced of the fact, I take the liberty of reading his letter, which is as follows :—

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The Sisters of Charity have been from time to time grossly insulted in this city. Men have rudely seized hold of them in the public streets whilst going on their errand of charity ; they have been pelted with stones and snow-balls. They have been called the most opprobrious and insulting nanes; their costume has been contumeliously exhibited in masquerades on a skating rink. We, confiding in the honor and justice of the gentlemen of Toronto, most respectfully ask protection in the premises.

Your obedient servant,

Bishop of Toronto.

But even though many hon. members of this House doubted the truth of the statements made in that letter, is not the danger we shall incur, as Catholics, once we are placed at the mercy of our enemies, exemplified by facts which they cannot have forgotten ? I mean the numberless injuries and insults offered by an honorable member of this House to everything Catholics hold dear. Have we forgotten the infamous charges uttered by one of the friends and warm supporters of the Hon. President of the Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN) on the floor of this House ? Well, I ask you now—you, the great Conservative party, the natural protectors of our religion and of its admirable institutions—what have you done to secure protection for the Catholics of Upper Canada in the new Confederation ? Nothing whatever ! (Hear, hear.) But if Lower Canada has obtained no new concession, and if her position is no better under the new system than under the present one, why are we to have Confederation ? I can answer the question, and, in fact, the answer is patent to every one : our Ministers had recourse to Confederation simply because it presented a pretext for clinging to office, and enjoying the sweets of power for a lew years longer. That is the reason, and the one only reason, for their alliance with a man who despises them in his heart, and who joined them only because they advance his plans and ambitious designs. The Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada explained to us the other evening the intentions of the Government. It sounded very well, no doubt ; but every one knows that the intentions of a government are not unchangable, that they may change them, and that they have, in fact, already done so. At the time of the formation of the present Ministry, did not the Lower Canada Ministers tell their friends in this House, and was it not repeated in every shape by their newspapers, “Don’t be uneasy, Confederation will not be carried out.” The Hon. Commissioner of Public Works (Hon. Mr. CHAPAIS) did not deny having stated to a priest of this district, “that he must be quiet; that there was nothing to fear; that Confederation would not be carried out ; that the whole thing was done in order to entrap the great Clear Grit leader and to get rid of him for ever, and of the Lower Canada Liberal party.” (Hear, hear.) It seems that our Lower Canadian Ministers did not take into account the pressure of the Upper Canada members, nor that of the delegates from the Maritime Provinces, who, by combining together, obtained all the concessions they desired from the infinitesimal Lower Canadian minority representing us at the Conference of Quebec. They were told that Confederation must be carried out under such and such conditions; and these brave patriots, in order to avoid losing their cherished ministerial places, did not hesitate to sacrifice their fellow-countrymen. They accepted all the conditions of the Protestant delegates, and now they are striving to induce the House, and particularly the Lower Canadian members of it, to ratify their shameful concessions. Unhappily for Lower Canada, I iear the House will vote for the destruction of French- Canadian nationality in this province. There is one important point which must not be lost sight of, namely, that the great majority of the Upper Canadian members are in favor of Confederation, because everything in it is entirely to their advantage; but I cannot conceive how a majority of Lower Canadian members can be in favor of the measure. True, many of these members are repudiated by their counties, and do not represent the opinions of the majority of their constituents on this question, and it is certain that many of those who will vote for this scheme will never have an opportunity of voting for the project, if an appeal be made to the people. (Hear, hear.) With reference to divorce, I say that if the doctrines of the Catholic religion tell us that it is wrong and criminal to grant it, and that Catholics cannot accept it, it was the duty of our Ministers at the Conference to do all in their potver to restrict it. True, it was not possible to prevent it in Upper Canada and in the Maritime Provinces, but it might have been done as regards Lower Canada ; and if it was deemed right to grant the power of

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legislating on this question, it ought to have been given to the local governments. But divorce was granted in this way because England had established a special tribunal for this matter, and England desired that divorce should be granted in Lower Canada as well as in every other province of British North America. Our Lower Canadian Ministers have simply jielded to the British influence which has been omnipotent in the Convention. (Hear, hear.) They say ” It is very true that the Catholic religion prohibits divorce, but vote in favor of its establishment ; for if you do not, the Rouge party will return to power and destroy all your religious institutions, if you give them the control of the government of the country.” Well, gentlemen upholders of religion, ought you not to use every means to prevent these dreadful Rouges from making use of the law, which you yourselves are about to establish, which will enable them to obtain divorce whenever they please, and thus to insult the dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic Church ? The Hon. Sol. Gen. East (Hon. Mr. LANGEVIN) gave us, the other night, what he pretended were satisfactory explanations—satisfactory to him, perhaps—on the law of divorce. Well, Mr. SPEAKER, let us examine these wonderful explanations. That hon. gentleman told us that it was simply a law authorizing the declaration that a marriage contracted in any of the confederated provinces, in accordance with the laws of the province in which it was contracted, should be deemed to be valid in Lower Canada in case the husband and wife came to reside there. Well, I ask you, Mr. SPEAKER, if there was any necessity for making this provisipn in the new Constitution ? Would not a marriage, under the present Constitution, contracted under the circumstances referred to by the Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada, be as valid as it would beundcr the Confederation ? Certainly it would ! Then what do the Government mean? I am well aware that the Catholic members from Lower Canada will not admitit, and I know that they refused to believe me when I made the assertion, but I do not hesitate to repeat it here, that it is the intention of the Convention to legalize civil marriages. The Lower Canadian section of the Ministry has not ventured to admit it, because they well knew that they would draw down upon themselves the disapprobation of the clergy of the country, and of all their fellow-countrymen. It the power conferred on the Federal Legislature in relation to this matter means anything at all, it is that and nothing else, and all the explanations given by the Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada and his colleagues are utterly valueless, and cannot be accepted by the Catholic members. Why say that divorce will be permitted ? If the existing law authorizes divorce now, it was quite unnecessary to make a new law on the subject, and to make it an article of the new Constitution The Government takes every means in its power to conceal the real intentions of the Conference on this important point of the scheme, bul I am firmly convinced that their object is perfectly understood, and the future will prove whether or not I am mistaken when I assert that it is intended to make civil marriages legal in this country. One of the reasons—and the only one which I have been able to discover—for which the present Government has granted power to the Federal Legislature to decree divorce, is that the Protestants of Lower Canada would never, but for that provision, have given their support to the Confederation measure proposed by our Ministers. I am well aware that there are certain Protestant denominations whose doctrines forbid divorce, but I do not hesitate to say that the only reason of the concession is the one I have just stated. Besides, in the pamphlet of the lion, member for Montmorency, I find a very strong admission :—

Catholic opinion urged that a question of such social importance should be left to the local governments, but let it be understood that in leaving it as regards Lowsr Canada to a Protestant majority, we only maintain the present condi- tion of that important question. By so referring it to the Federal Government, we avoid many causes of contention and many violent complaints which might eventually be listened to by the Mother Country, where divorce is legalized and operates as a social institution.

Who can say that the Protestants—who are in great majority in our present Parliament, and who will constitute the two-thirds of the Confederation —would ever have consented to localize legislation on the subject of divorce?

The hon member for Montmorency knows just as well as I do that the Protestants of Lower Canada would not have liked it, and that to obtain their support, it has been said to them, ” Oh yes, let us concede that too ; we have yielded representation by population, let us also give them divorce and anything else they like.”

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HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE–The hon. member may exclaim “Hear, hear,” as loudly and as often as he likes, but those who heard him deliver the (I will not say eloquent, because that would not be true) speech which he made in opposition to the first reading of the Benning Divorce Bill, and who now behold him imposing on Catholics, who do not desire it, the consequences of a principle which we then refused to apply to Protestants who sought for it—those I say are justified in believing and in saying that the Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada lias either renounced his foimer opinions on divorce, inasmuch as he authorizes the Federal Legislature to legislate on this subject, and to grant divorces either to Protestants or Catholics, and either to Upper or Lower Canada, or he could not have been very sincere in his opposition to the Benuitig Bill. (Hear, hear.) There is one certain fact, and that is that the Protestants of Lower Cauada have said to the Government, “Pass a measure which shall guarantee to us the stability and protection of our educational system and of our religious institutions, and we will support your seheme of Confederation ; unless you do, we will never support you, because we do not wish to place ourselves at the mercy of a Local Legislature the three-fourths of the members of which will be Catholics.” They were perfectly justifiable in acting as they did, although it is generally admitted that we Catholics have much more liberality than the Protestants— and this is to a certain extent proved by the fact that seveial of cur Lower Canadian counties are represented by Protestants. I do not, however, Mr. SPEAKER, I do not wish to reproach the Protestant minority of Lower Canada for having protected its own interests. I admit that in doing this they have only done their duty ; for who can say, after all, what ten years may bring forth ? Ten years henee ideas may be changed upon this question, and if it be true, as stated by the Torou to Globe—and the Ministry cannot say that this journal does not speak the truth, as it is the organ of the present Government—if it be true that the Catholic clergy are an encroaching body, that they are never satisfied, and that they seek to take possession of all they see— if that be true, Mr. SPEAKER, who will say that in a few years the Lower Canadians will not be disposed to say to the Protestant minority, ” We insist that all the schools should be Catholic,” as the majority in Upper Canada has said to the Catholic minority there, many and many a time, and as it will before long say again if Confederation takes place. (Hear, hear.) I need not say that T do not believe that the Catholics of this section will ever push intolerance to that extent ; but on the other hand, I cannot but approve of the determination of the Protestant minority to protect themselves from all eventualities of this nature ; and for the same reason, I say that we also ought to take every precaution, and that we ought not to suffer our dearest interests to be at the mercy of a Protestant majority in the Federal Legislature. (Hear, hear.) We are not justified in asking for any concessions which we are not ourselves prepared to yield. (Hear, hear.) Before the House rose at. six o’clock, I slated, Mr. SPEAKER, that the plan of Confederation was, so to speak, traced word for word upon the famous report of Lord DURHAM. With the permission of the House, I will take the liberty of reading a few extracts from that report, in which the author, after having asserted a number of falsehoods in relation to our race, which I will not trouble the House with reading, declares that we ought to be merged into the English nationality. Observe how similar the ideas of the noble lord are to those which are expressed in the plan of Confederation. I cite for the second time the following paragraph :—

Never again will the British population tolerate the authority of a House of Assembly in which the French shall possess, or even approximate to, a majority.

Here, Mr. SPEAKER, we have a sentiment which shews that England has followed, step by step, the advice of Lord DURHAM. The hon. member for South Leeds said the other night that he hoped that we should soon attain to a legislative union. Well, a legislative union was also one of Lord DURHAM’S dreams I proceed to read auother extract from his report :—

It will be acknowledged by every one who has observed the progress of Anglo-Saxon colonization in America, that sooner or later the English race was sure to predominate, even numerically, in Lower Canada, as they predominate already by their superior knowledge, energy, enterprise and wealth. The error, therefore, to which the present contest must be attributed, is the vain endeavor to preserve a French-Canadian nation-

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ality in the midst of Anglo-American colonies and states.

A little further, Mr. SPEAKER , I read as follows:–

These general pnnciples apply, however, only to those changes m the system of government which aie required in order to rectify disorders common to all the North American colonies, but they do not, in any degiee, go to remove those evils in the present state of Lower Canada, which requue the most immediate remedy. The tatal feud ot origin, which in the cause of the most extensive mischief, would be aggravated at the piesent moment by any change which should give the majonty more power than they have hitherto possessed A plan, by which it is proposed to insure the tranquil government ot Lower Canada, must include in itself the means of putting an end to the agitation of national disputes in the Legislature by settling, at once and for ever, the national character of the province. I entertain no doubts as to the national character which must be given to Lower Canada—-it must be that of the Bntish Empire—that of the majority of the population of British America—that of the great race which must, in no long period of time, be predominant over the whole North American continent Without effecting the change so rapidly or so roughly as to shock the feelings and trample on the welfare of the existing generation, it must henceforth be the first and steady purpose of the British Government to establish an English population, with English laws and language, in the province, and to trust its government to none but a decidely English Legislature.

And further on find what follows:—

It may be said that this is a hard measure to a conquered people, that the French were originally the whole, and still are the bulk, of the population of Lower Canada, that the English are new comers, who have no light to demand the extinction of the nationality of a people, among whom commercial enterprise has drawn them It may be said that if the French are not so civilized, so energetic, or so money-making a race as that by which they are surrounded, they are an amiable, virtuous and a contented people, possessing all the essentials of material comfort, and not to be despised or ill-used because they seek to enjoy what they have without emulating the spirit of accumulation which influences their neighbors. Their nationality is, after all, an inheritance, and they must not be too severely punished because they have dreamed of maintaining, on the distant banks of the St. Lawrence, and transmitting to their posterity the language, the manners and the institutions of that great nation that, for two centuries, gave the tone of thought to the European continent. If the disputes of the two races are irreconcilable, it may be urged that justice demands that the minority should be compelled to acquiesce in the supremacy of the ancient and most numeious occupants of the province, and not pretend to force their own institutions and customs on the majority.

But before deciding which of the two races is now to be placed in the ascendant, it is but prudent to enquire which of them must ultimately prevail; for it is not wise to establish to-day that which must, after a hard struggle, be reversed tomorrow. The pretensions of the French-Canadians to the exclusive possession of Lower Canada would debar the yet larger English population of Upper Canada and the townships from access to the great natural channel of that trade which they alone have created and now carry on. The possession of the mouth of the St. Lawrence concerns not only those who happen to have made their settlements along the anrrow line which borders it, but all who now dwell, or will hereafter dwell in the great basin of that river. For we must not look to the present alone. The question is, by what race is it likely that the wilderness which now covers the rich and ample regions surrounding the comparatively small and contracted districts in which the French-Canadians are located, is eventually to be converted into a settled and flourishing country? If this is to be done in the British dominions as in the rest of North America, by some speedier process than the ordinary growth of population, it must be by immigration from the English Isles or from the United States–the countries which supply the only settlers that have entered, or will enter, the Canadas in any large numbers. This immigration can neither be debarred from a passage through Lower Canada, nor even be prevented from settling in that province. The whole interior of the British dominions must, ere long, be filled with an English population, every year rapidly increasing its numerical superiority over the French. Is it just that the prosperity of this great majority, and of this vast tract of country, should be forever, or even for a while, impeded by the artificial bar which the backward laws and civilization of a part, and a part only, of Lower Canada, would place between them and the ocean? Is it to be supposed that such an English population will ever submit to such a sacrifice of its interests?

The French-Canadians, on the other hand, are but the remains of an ancient colonization, and are and ever must be isolated in the midst of an Anglo-Saxon world.

And is this French-Canadian nationality one which, for the good merely of that people, we ought to strive to perpetuate, even if it were possible? I know of no national distinctions marking and continuing a more hopeless inferiority. The language, the laws, the character of the North American continent are English, and every race but the English (I apply this to all who speak the English language) appears there in a condition of inferiority. It is to elevate them from that inferiority. It is to elevate them from that inferiority that I desire to give to the Canadians our English character.

There can hardly be conceived a nationality

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more destitute of all that can invigorate and elevate a people than that which is exhibited by the descendants of the French in Lower Canada, owing to their retaining their peculiar language and manners. They are a people with no history and no literature. The literature of England is written in a language which is not theirs, and the only literature which their language renders familiar to them is that of a nation from which they have been separated by eighty years of a foreign rule, and still more by those changes which the revolution and its consequences have wrought in the whole political, moral and social state of France.

Well, Mr. SPEAKER, Sir EDMUND HEAD, when he called us an inferior race, without our French-Canadian Ministers protesting in any way against this gross and foolish insult —drew his inspiration from the report from which I have just cited an extract, and which, from its first to its last page, breathes the most bitter hatred of all that bears the French name or stamp. A little further on Lord DURHAM continues as follows :—

In these circumstances I should be indeed surprised if the more reflecting part of the French- Canadians entertained at present any hope of continuing to preserve their nationality.

Probably, Mr. SPEAKER, Lord DURHAM was desirous of alluding to the members of the present Administration who to-day evince a disposition to sacrifice their nationality for the honors and titles which Lord DURHAM counselled the Imperial Govermenment to bestow on those of our reflecting French- Canadians who would rot refuse to take the gilded bait which Great Britain might dangle before their eyes. I continue my citations :—

Lower Canada must be governed now, as it must be hereafter, by an English population ; and thus the policy which the necessities of the moment force upon us, is in accordance with that suggested by a comprehensive view of the future and permanent improvement of the province.

A little further on Lord DURHAM proceeds as follows :—

It is proposed either to plaee the legislative authority in a governor, with a conncil iormed of the heads of the British party, or to contrive some scheme of representation by which a minority, with the forms of representation, is to deprive a majority of all voice in the management of its own affairs.

The plan of Confederation now submitted for our adoption is exactly that dreamt of by Lord DURHAM. Our Ministers have copied it, so to speak, word for word. Lord DURHAM indicates all its essential points; and if I cite his report, it is with the view of proving that the real author of the Confederation, which it is sought to impose upon us, is, in fact, Lord DURHAM himself. (Hear, hear.) I quote again from his report :—

The only power that can be effectual at once in coercing the present disaffection anl hereafter obliterating the nationality of the French-Canadians, is that of the numerical majority of aloyal and English population ; and the only stable government will be one more popular than any that has hitherto existed in the North American colonies. The influence of perfectly equal and popular institutions in effacing distinctions of race without disorder or oppression, and with little more than the ordinary animosities of party in a free country, is memorably exemplified in the history of the State of Louisiana, the laws and population of which were French at the time of its cession to the American union. And the eminent success of the policy adopted with regard to that state points out to us the means by which a similar result can be effected in Lower Canada.

Lord DURHAM was perfectly correct in suggesting the adoption of this policy. He did not wish to put his foot on our necks, but he advised that we should be made to disappear little by little under English influence, and when we should be weak enough to be no longer dangerous, then that we should have the coup de grâce As in Louisiana, our nationality was to disappear under the influence of foreign elements.

MR. SCOBLE—Will the hon. gentleman permit me to observe to him, that it is only justice to the memory of that great statesman to say, that he wrote his report having only in view a legislative union, and that circumstances have changed since that day? Now we are only discussing a Confederation, and consequently Lord DURHAM’S views do not apply to it.

HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE—I think that the plan conceived by Lord DURHAM was that of a legislative union and a Confederation of all the British North American Provinces. We are about to begin with Confederation, but we shall finish with a legislative union. Confederation, as has been well observed by that eminent statesman, is the first step to a legislative union. ” Act with prudence,” he says in his famous report to the British Groverrment ; ” we must not crush the French race too suddenly

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in these colonies ; they might resist and give trouble, but make use of diplomacy, lavish honors and titles on their leading men, and perhaps you will succeed.” I am convinced that we shall have a legislative union in a very few years if the plan of Confederation is adopted, and I am not the only one who says so, for the other night the hon. member for South Leeds stated in this House that in a short time we should have a legislative union and all its consequences. Well, Mr. SPEAKER, if we are threatened in this way, the hon. member fir South Leeds ought not to be surprised that as a Lower Canadian I have something to say against the opinions expressed by Lord DURHAM in his report. I can perfectly understand that he could not possibly have the feelings of a Lower Canadian, and that he could not consequently feel as I can feel, the affront and the wrong which that statesman inflicted on my fellow-countrymen. (Hear, hear.) But neither, on the other hand, does he feel as I do that the plan of Confedeiation will bring the French-Canadian race to the social condition conceived and predicted by the noble lord whose report I have just cited. That hon. member, as an Englishman and a Protestant, is in favor of a legislative union, in preference to any other system of government. He would behold with pleasure but one race—and that the British race—inhabiting these colonies of Great Britain. I do not blame him for these sentiments, which are perfectly justifiable when held by an Englishman ; but, on the other hand, I am thoroughly convinced that he will not deem it a strange thing that a French- Canadian should entertain entirely different views on these points. (Hear, hear.) Thus, Mr. SPEAKER, that great statesman, Lord DURHAM, the reost dangerous enemy of French nationality, makes use of the following language in his famous report :—

If you are deairous of gaining over the political leaders of the Lower Canadians, act as follows :—Begin by giving them offices, titles and honors of evcy kind; flatter their vanity, give them a vast field in which to satisfy their ambition.

Lord DURHAM came into this country after the rebellion, and perceived that his predecessors in the government had been guilty of political errors which had alienated the French-Canadians from Great Britain, and he thought that he ought to leave behind him, to serve as a guide to his successors, that famous report in which he has collected together all the means that diplomacy could furnish him with, to crush out a nationality which he saw with regret living happily and contentedly on the soil of its birth, and from which it drew its sustenance. Lord DURHAM, like the hon. member for South Leeds would have preferred a legislative union of all the British Provinces to the union of the two Canadas ; but the British Government considered it more prudent to begin with this partial union, knowing well that later it would easily find the means of accomplishing a legislative union. England reasoned in this way : if wo give the English race time to develope itself, we can easily, at some future period, impose a legislative union on the French-Canadians. Today the Canadian Government, accepting the views of Lord DURHAM, come down and ask us to take this first step towards annihilation by accepting Confederation, which they present to us in the most brilliant and tempting guise. (Hear, hear.) For want of argument, they say such things as these to excuse the culpable step which they are ready to take—”What is the use of resisting ? We must have sooner or later the Confederation now proposed to you, and ultimately a legislative union ?” Well, Mr. SPEAKER, I think, for my part, that we might easily escape this last danger to our nationality, if all the Catholics and French-Canadians in this House were to league themselves together to defeat the measure before us, which denies to the latter that legitimate influence which they ought to have in the Federal Government. Why not concede to us the guarantees and concessions which we have given to our fellow-countrymen of other origins ? The Lower Canadian Ministers, who have not insisted upon obtaining for us that protection, have rendered themselves highly culpable towards their fellow-countrymen. (Hear, hear.) Under the Federal union, Lower Canada can never have more than sixty-five members in the Federal Legislature, notwithstanding the explanations to the contrary made on this head by the Hon. Solicitor General East. All who have discussed the question in this House could not do otherwise than admit it. Well, notwith standing this injustice, and notwichstinding any increase that our population may attain under the Federal régime, our representation will always remain at the same figure, and we shall pay our share of the public debt in the ratio of the number of our population.

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Well, Mr. SPEAKER, is there not injustice in thi s provision ? We have been told that we shall have the management of our public lands. I admit that this would be of great benefit to us, if we were in a position to assure those who might settle in our midst that they would have a voice in the councils of the nation. But no, Mr. SPEAKER ; immigration to this country will always be impossible under the Confederation perparing for us, and it will be diverted towards the territories of Upper Canada, where the settlers can be represented in the Provincial Legislature, where the climate is more favorable and the soil more fertile. But from another point of view, can we consider advantageous to Lower Canada the possession and administration of its public domain under the circumstances in which we shall be placed by Confederation ? Assuredly not, and for this reason: each province is to assume its public lands, with the debts due upon the lands. On the public lands situated in Upper Canada, and which she is to assume, there is a debt of six millions of dollars due to the province, whilst on those in Lower Canada there is only a debt of one million, consequently Upper Canada will obtain from Lower Canada a claim for five million of dollars in excess of that which she yields to Lower Canada. Here we have one of the few great advantages which have been pointed out to us since the beginning of the discussion ; and I ask you, Mr. SPEAKER , whether it is advantageous to Lower Canada ? On the contrary, while highly advantageous to Upper Canada, it is grossly unjust to Lower Canada. Is it not evident that the Confederation is entirely for the benefit of Upper Canada? And is not a sufficient proof of it to be found in the fact that we find in this House but two or three members from that section of the province who are opposed to the scheme ? If all the members from Upper Canada, to what party soever they may belong, unite to-day to support the scheme of the Government, it is because they perfectly under s tand that everything has been conceded to them, and that they have obtained all that they wished for—all (he concessions that they sought for, and for which they labored and struggled so energetically and so long. (Hear, hear.) That is perfectly well understood. But if influences hostile to Lower Canada, which worked against us dur ing the preparation in England of the law respecting the change in the constitution of the Legislative Council, had not caused the removal from the Union Act of the clause requiring the assent of two-thirds of the members of the Legislature to effect a change in the basis of our representation — if those influences had not worked to remove that safeguard of our interests, Upper Canada would never have been so persistent in striving to obtain representation based on population. She would have seen the impossibility of obtaining it, and the inutility of asking for it, and would, iu consequence, have abandoned it. But from the moment whsn that clause was removed from the Union Act, it was competent to the Legislature to enact a change in the Constitution by a mere majority ; and it may consequently be said that through that influeuce which worked against us, Upper Canada now obtains representation based on population. (Hear , hear.) The members from Upper Canada will observe that I do not maintain that the principle of representation based upon population is in itseif an unjust principle; but I maintain that as they refused us the application of it when the population of Lower Canada was iu a majority, it is unjust of them to demand it now because they are in a majority, and I cannot see by what right they wish to obtain it now. I say that if the application of that principle was unjust twenty years ago, it is also unjust to-day; and that if it is just to-day, it was equally just twenty years ago. (Hear, hear.) A member considered it very extraordinary that the Rouge party—let us call it by that name, since it is the one by which the Liberal party is designated in this country, and we have no reason to take exception to it—since the Rouge party in Canada have washed away from that name all the stains with which the Rouge party in France had covered it, and that here th banner of that party is spotless—(Hear, hear.)–a member, I say, considered it extraordinary, and ridiculed the idea that the Rouge party should have constituted themselves the protectors and defenders of the religion, the nationality and the institutions of Lower Canada, during the discussion of the scheme of Confederation. But when we see at the head of the movement, hostile to that Confederation, a man like Mr. CHERRIER of Montreal, who will certainly very favorably bear comparison with all the members of the Conservative party of Lower Canada in respect of devotion, honor, national feeling and ability—when we see, I repeat, a man

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like Mr. CHERRIER at the head of the movement hostile to Confederation, I say that it is wrong to cast ridicule on that movement, and to makea pretence of believing that the members of the Liberal party, or of the Rouge party, have no religious, national or patriotic feelings. I say that the Conservative party were greatly iu the wrong in endeavoring to ridicule Mr. CHERRIER, because he is a man who is too well known as a man of probity and of religious sentiments—and the same cannot be said of several of those who have attacked him ; and I am convinced that that gentleman sincerely believes that the nationality, the institutions and the religion of Lower Canada are in danger. (Hear, hear.) Besides, admitting, as the Ministerial party pretend, that the Rouge party were not authorized to speak for the clergy and to defend our religious and national rights, it does not follow that all that the members on this side of the House stated on this subject is not strictly true ; and if it had been possible to reply to it, it would have been better to meet it by arguments of a serious character than by personal attacks, the latter means being only employed as a blind. And those who exclaim so loudly to-day against the Liberal paity, and who pretend to see in that party nothing but disloyalty and treason, did not always hold the monarchical and loyal ideas which they profess today; they were not always such ardent supporters of monarchical government as they are now. (Hear, hear.) Thus, all the worid knows right well that the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. CARTIER) was at the head of the party which stirred up the troubles of 1837-38.

MR. J . B. E. DORION—No, no ! he was at the tail of it ! (Laughter.)

HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE—I do not know whether he was at the head or at the tail of it ; but at any rate, he was in it He was at St. Denis a few minutes before the battle. (Laughter.) I do not know whether he remained there ; but I know that it is reported that he was deputed by the rebel camp to go and fetch provisions, although they could not then have been in any great need of piovisious, for the moment at least. (Laughter.) At any rate, he was in the rebel camp. But he has now corrected all his democratic errors ; he has renounced all ideas of that nature, and has substituted monarchical ideas for them; he is now in favor of a great monarchical power on this continent, and would be prepared to accept the position of Royal Prince if it should be offered to him. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) The Hon. Solicitor General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. LANGEVIN) explained to us why he had so assumed monarchical ideas, when ho told us that he would receive his reward. (Hear, hear.) After having assumed monarchical ideas, he is ready to assume their livery. (Hear.) But why should he be rewarded, as the Hon. Solicitor General has said he will be ? He will be so, that gentleman says, because the Hon. Attorney General brought about the passing of a measure for the abolition of the seigniorial tenure—because the censitaires and the seignior? brought their title-deeds to him, and he returned them a measure which was satisfactory both to the seigniors and to thecensitaires. Now, I am really surprised that the Hon. Solicitor General, who, in the position which he occupies, ought to be acquainted with the history of the laws of this country, is not aware that it was the Honorable Mr. Justice DRUMMOND who prepared and brought about the passing of the law for the abolition of the seigniorial tenure, and not the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada at all. (Hear, hear.) That is, therefore, no reason why he should deserve a reward. The Hon. Solicitor General also said that the Hon. Attorney General was entitled to the gratitude of his country, because he had brought about the passing of the law for judiciary decentralisation, and had thereby conduced to the interests of suitors, advocates, judges, and every one in general. The Honorable Solicitor General is free to admire the laws of his chief, the Hon. Attorney General; but I may say, that if ever an Attorney General made crude, incomprehensible and impracticable laws, it was undoubtedly the present Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada. He has never been able to make a single law which it has not been absolutely necessary to amend and touch up every session, and the worst in this respect is his judicature law. ” But,” says the Hon. Solicitor General, ” he has passed a registration law.” Well, his registration law contains similar defects, and proves his complete inability to prepare a passable law. And to so great a degree is this the case, that it has been impossible to put it in practice, and it has been necessary to amend it during five consecutive sessions, without that course having very greatly improved it. (Hear, hear.) Those two laws, then, do not entitle him to

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a reward. The Hon. Solicitor General also says that the Hon. Attorney General deserves a reward for having introduced the French law of Lower Canada into the townships. But here again he awards him praise and reward which are not his due, for it was Hon. Judge LORANGER who made that law, and had it passed and enacted by the House. For this law, then, also he is not deserving of reward. (Hear.) These are the three reasons for which the Hon. Solicitor General says that the Hon. Attorney General is entitled to a reward; but I consider that he hardly deserves any, as it was not he who brought about the passing of the first and the last of those laws, and the other two are so ill-made that he deserves anything but a reward ibr having conferred them upon the country. (Hear, hear.) Yet I must say that he deserves a reward, but from whom, and why ? Ah ! he deserves a reward from England for having done exactly what Lord DURHAM advised the doing of in relation to the Canadians, in his famous report on the means to be taken to cause us to disappear ; he deserves a reward for having caused the setting aside of the French laws and the substitution for them of English laws ; he deserves a reward for having done the will of England in every respect ; and, lastly, he deserves a reward for having devised the present scheme of Confederation, and caused it to be accepted by a majority of this House. (Hear, hear.) While on this subject, and to show how he has deserved and received rewards, it will be well to read a passage from Lord DURHAM’S report, in which he points out the means to be adopted to corrupt the leaders and to get the mastery ot the Lower Canadian people. The following is the passage to which I allude :—

While I believe that the establishment of a comprehensive system of government, and of an effectual union between the different provinces, would prodaee this important effect on the general feelings of its inhabitants, I am inclined to attach very great importance to the influence which it would have in giving greater scope and satisfaction to the legit mate ambition of the most active and prominent persons to be found in them. As long as personal ambition is inherent in human nature, and as long as the morality of every free and civihzod community encourages its aspirations, it is one great business of a wise government to provide for its legitimate development. If, as is commonly asserted, the disorders of these colonies have, in great measure, been fomented by the influence of designing and ambitious individuals, this evil will be best remedied by allowing such a scope for the desires of such men as shall direct their ambition into the legitimate chance of furthering, and not of thwarting their government. By creating high prizes in a general and responsible government, we shall immediately afford the means of pacifying the turbulent ambitions, and of employing in worthy and noble occupations the talents which are now only exerted to foment disorder.

Lord DURHAM well knew what he was about when he recommended the bestowal of places and honors on the ambitious individuals who made a disturbance, and the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada made a great disturbance and stir in 1836 and 1837; he was present at the meeting of the five counties, when he donned the cap of liberty. (Hear, hear.) Lord DURHAM says, ” Give places to the principal men, and you will see how they will sacrifice their countrymen and submit to England.” And indeed it is that course which has met with the greatest success ; and it has been seen that all those who impeded the movement in Lower Canada against the union, and all those who exclaimed, ” Hold your tongues ; the union has saved us !” have been rewarded. Some have been knighted ; on others, honors, places and power have been conferred; and the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada will receive his reward, as they did, and will be made a baronet, if he can succeed in carrying his measure of Confederation—a measure which England so ardently desires. (Hear, hear.) For my part, I do not envy him his reward ; but I caunot witness with satisfaction the efforts he makes to obtain it by means of a measure of Confederation which I believe to be fatal to the interests of Lower Canada. I am determined, therefore, to do everything in my power to prevent the realization of his hopes. (Cheers.)

MR. J . B. E. DORION—Before I proceed to examine the question which engages our attention, Mr. SPEAKER, I wish to premise that in any expression of my sentiments, I speak on behalf of no political party, but for myself only. In discussing a proposition which so intimately affects the destiny of Canada, and ail that we value most, I would rise above personal and party considerations, in order that I may look at it from a vantage point removed from party influences. Why, Mr. SPEAKER, are we engaged this evening in discussing a Confederation of the Provinces of British North America ? Because we had, last year, a Ministerial crisis, from which arose a proposal for the union of the two political parties who divided public opinion.

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The MACDONALD-TACHÉ Ministry, who represented the Conservative party in the country, had just been defeated in the Legislative Assembly ; they were obliged to resign. It will be recollected that the Government were beaten on a question of mal-administration of the public business. I allude to the advance of $100,000 made to the Grand Trunk Kailway without authority of Parliament, for which act several members of the Cabinet were responsible. Could you inform me, Mr. SPEAKER, what has become of the $100,000 question? Alas ! it disappeared in the Ministerial crisis, and left us the extraordinary Coalition which now governs us, composed of men who for ten years treated each other as men devoid of political principle! (Hear, hear.) The Conservative party clung so tenaciously to power, that they were not appalled by the position to which they had brought the country. Any union or coalition between two political parties, of opposite principles, proves an abandonment of principle by one or the other. All coalitions are vicious in their very foundation : they have always been hold as proofs of political profligacy, in England as everywhere else ; and they are the more dangerous that they are generally strong. To the present Coalition we are indebted for the scheme of the Confederation of the British Provinces in a tangible form. Had that Coalition never been formed, we should never have heard of the Quebec Conference, nor of the resolutions adopted at that meeting in October last, and now submitted to our consideration. Now, who authorised the holding of that Conference? What right had that body to arrogate to itself the power of proposing a radical change in our political condition ? How was Canada represented there ? Three-fourths of the Canadian delegates were men under the ban of parliamentary condemnation. How was the voting carried on at that Convention ? Was it not by provinces ? Have not the four little provinces below had twice as many votes on each question as the two large provinces of Canada ? These questions all occur naturally. If to each of them a categorical answer were rendered, we should be able to throw some light on the way in which the interests of the country have been neglected, overridden, and sacrificed. If we only think that to the last question no other answer could be rendered than an affirmative, there is no room for wonder that the Lower Provinces had all the advantage in the arrangements concluded at the Conference. Notwithstanding that the compromise was in their favor, the great number of the provinces concerned now repudiate its provisions, according to information which reaches us every day. They seem to be afraid of us ; and notwithstanding the offers of money made to them, they will have nothing to do with a union. Our reputation for extravagance must be very bad to frighten them to that degree ; and, no doubt, when they saw us spena in the course of a month or two, for receptions, in traveling and in feasting, sums equalling in amount the whole of revenue of Prince Edward Island, they must have gone back with a sorry idea of our way of managing public business. (Hear, hear,) I do not mean to repeat what has been said during the debate ; but before proceeding, I may be allowed to draw a contrast between our manner of acting and that of our neighbors in the United States when constitutional changes are in question. In the United States—that country which people take so much pains to represent as the hotbed of all political, social, moral and physical horrors— they do not play with the written constitutions of the several states, any more than with that of the American union. There, whenever a constitution is to be amended, generally, it requires a vote of two-thirds of each of the two Houses. If it is the Constitution of the United States which is to be amended, the measure must also be sanctioned by a majority in each of the legislatures of the several states. If the amendment relates to a local constitution, besides a two-thirds vote of the two Houses, the amendment must be ratified by a convention of delegates from the different parties in the state, selected specially for the occasion. The United States are now occupied with the consideration of an amendment of their Constitution, the object of which is the abolition of slavery. The amendment has been adopted by the Congress and by the Senate of the American union, and must be ratified by a majority of the local legislatures, before it forms a part of the Constitution. It will even be necessary to take into the account the states which are now in rebellion. We see at once the guarantees they are provided with, that no radical change shall be adopted without the consent of the people, who are allowed sufficient time to weigh all the considerations which may operate in favor of any projected change. This is the method of proceeding among our sagacious neighbors in matters of importance; and, as a thing of course, they have established a political status which leaves far behind it all that human

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wisdom had previously devised to secure the peace and prosperity of the nations of the New World. But in our dear Canada, with all the English precedents of which so much account is made,we do not require such precautions. It is quite enough that men should have been found guilty of misapplication of the public money, that they shall have abused each other as political robbers for ten years, to bring about a coalition of the combatants, to make them hug each other till all feeling of personal dignity is lost, and all regard for principle is forgotten. It is enough, I say, that we have a scandalous union—a state of political profligacy— like that perpetrated in 1864, to believe in our right to do what we please. (Hear, hear.) With a majority of thirty or forty votes, we hesitate at nothing. The Constitution, which hampers the curvetings and praneings of our leading chiefs too much, and rather curbs their personal ambition— which circumscribes in short the range of their speculative operations, is found to be inconvenient. It is assailed with relentless blows ; it is to be thrown down without asking the leave of those most concerned ; and in its place is to be set up a new order of things under which there is to be no more regard for political principles than for the rights and wants of the people. A simple parliamentary majority of one will be sufficient with us to overthrow the entire political order of things, and we have no appeal from so important a decision, save an appeal to an authority three thousand miles off, which may add something to the scheme to make it less acceptable to us than it already is. (Hear, hear.) The people may hereafter condemn their representatives, but the mischief will be done ! This is all the consolation we shall have. Is not the contrast between our stupid method of dointc things, and the prudent rational proceeding of our neighbors, a very striking one ? And truly they are our superiors in all political respects. Now, let me justify my opposition to the projected change. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because the first resolution is nonsense and repugnant to truth ; it is not a Federal union which is offered to us, but a Legislative union in disguise. Federalism is completely eliminated from this scheme, which centies everything in the General Government. Federalism means the union of certain states, which retain their full sovereignty in everything that immediately concerns them, but submitting to the General Government questions of peace, of war, of foreign relations, fortign trade, customs and postal service. Is that what is proposed to us ? Not at all. In the scheme we are now examining, all is strength and power, in the Federal Government; all is weakness, insignificance, annihilation in the Local Government ! I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because, far from removing the difficulties complained of between Upper Canada and Lower Canada, it must, if adopted, simply multiply them tenfold. There will be a constant conflict of authorities, particularly as to questions submitted to the double action of the local and general legislatures. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because the Constitution in which it is to be embodied will be faulty in its very basis. We are told that the representation is to be based upon population in one House, and that the principle of equality is to prevail in the other ; and to-day that principle is violated as regards Newfoundland, as it will be, no doubt, to morrow in favor of British Columbia and Var.couver Island, should those colonies think proper to enter into our proposed Confederation. What is to prevent the smaller provinces forming a league together, and thus getting the upper hand of the larger but less numerous provinces, on purely local questions ? That is one of the great defects of the Ministerial scheme, in my opinion. But, moreover, the autonomy of Lower Canada is menaced and placed at the mercy of a parliament of one hundred and ninety-four members, of whom forty-seven, or at most forty-eight only, will represent the views of the majority of its people. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because it takes away from the people of this country political rights which they have won by many years of struggles; among others that of electing its representatives in the Legislative Council, as it does its representatives in the Assembly. Since 1856, we have enjoyed an elective Council. For more than half a century that reform had been asked for. Our claims were urged in the press, in public meetings, in petitions to Parliament and to the home Government, and in the form of direct motions in the House. The Legislative Council, as constituted previous to the Act of 1856, had become highly unpopular ; it had also fallen into a state of utter insignificance. By infusing into it the popular element by means of periodical elections, it was galvanised iuto life and becaxe quite another body in the estimation of the people. The electoral system completely restored its prestige, entitled it to

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the respect of the people, and gave it an importance it did not previously possess. Since the Council has been made elective, not a single complaint has appeared against its new constitution, in the press, or in the form of public meetings, petitions or motions in the House. Has it produced any evil effects in the administration of the affairs of the country ? Has the Government suffered from it ? Has the Mother Country found any bad results from it? Has the country been the worse for it? And in what respect? Answer, you who desire to deprive the people of the right to elect that House, though they have not asked you to do so, and though you yourselves hold your seats by their will ? The elective Legislative Council represents better the character, the wants and the aspirations of our Canadian society, than the Council appointed for life ever did. With regard to the talent of the country, it has vepiesented it as well as it was represented under the old system. With regard to its moderation and its conservative spirit, experience has shewn that it possessed these two qualities to a degree surpassing the expectation of all parties. I do not hesitate, therefore, to say that the change was a change for the better in eveiy respect; that it satisfied and tranquillized public opinion, and that it secured to the countiy a more direct control over public affairs. Lower Canada has tested both systems of nomination, that by the Crown anil that by the people, and it does not ask to return to the former. We had a life-nominated Council for half a century in Canada. Every one knows that the acts of that very Council drove the people of Lower Canada into rebellion in 1837 ! One of the great arguments advanced in support of the proposed scheme is that the electoral divisions are very extensive, and that the rich alone, by means of their wealth, can attain a seat in that House. It costs so much now-a-days, it is said, to carry an election ! If that argument were of any value as regards the Legislative Council, it should have equal weight as regards the House of Assembly. To be consistent, you you should have asked also for the appointment of the memtiers of the Assembly, in place of having them elected by the people ! But that is not the true reason. And besides, let those who do not wish to spend money remain at home, if the people refuse to elect them without being paid. Let corruption cease ; adopt vote by ballot, which will destroy corruption, and there will be no need of inventing imaginary grievances in order to restrict the liberties of the people. This Tory scheme will throw us back fifty years. It is nothing else than a plot ! (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to this scheme of Confederation, because we are offered local parliaments which will be simply nonentities, with a mere semblance of power on questions of minor importance. When we shall have seen the Local Parliament in operation with its restricted powers (restricted except as regards expenditure, extravagance, and the power of taxing real property), it will soon be found, as it is in fact destined to become, a mere taxing machine. Nothing more, nothing less ! The expenditure of Lower Canada for justice, education, asylums, hospitals, courts, prisons, interest on the debt, &c, &c, added to the expense of a Local Government and Parliament, will exceed $2,000,000. The revenue will fall far short of that amount. Direct taxation would be a necessary consequence of the establishment of the new system, without any compensation for the fresh burthen which the people must bear. I have said enough to shew the difference between the American federal system and that proposed for our adoption. In the American union each state is sovereign over all that immediately concerns it. Here, everything would be submitted to the General Parliament. Lower Canada is opposed to free trade in money, and desires to limit the rate of interest ; and yet this she could not do, inasmuch as that very ordinary question would be under the control of the General Parliament. Whether the principle be a sound one or not, it is admitted that nine-tenths of our people desire that the rate of interest should be fixed. Each state of the American union regulates questions of this kind as it chooses, without the intervention of neighboring states, or of the Washington Government. Thus, the rate of interest varies in a great many of the states, and in others it is not fixed. In Vermont the rate is six per cent.; in New York, seven per cent.; in Ohio, ten per cent.; in Illinois, thirty per cent.; and in the other states, trade in money is free. These are facts which prove that the real Federal system resembles in no sense that which we are asked to adopt. (Hear, hear.) I might give a host of facts of this kind in support of my position ; but I shall confine myself to one. It is well known that the people of Lower Canada are almost unanimous in repudiating the principle of divorce. Nevertheless, under Confederation the Parliament of Lower Canada is not to have the right of regulating

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that question according to its wishes ; but the Federal Parliament, sitting at Ottawa, will be empowered to force upon us principles utterly opposed to our own, and even to establish a Court of Divorce at Quebec. Under the Federal system, nothing so unjust, nothing so revolting to the feelings of the people could occur. In the American union there are some states in which divorce is permitted, and others in which it is not—another proof that sovereignty may be vested in each state, without detriment to the union. (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because the courts of justice of Lower Canada will be under the control of the General Governn.ent. We should have courts of justice in Lower Canada, but the judges who would sit in them would be appointed by the Government of the Confederation. It would be the same in the other provinces ; but Lower Canada, with her laws, which are peculiar to her, ought especially to resist the interference of the General Government in the administration of justice. It will be said that the Conference endeavored to cause their intentions to be suspected, ard it has already been urged that this arrangement is a stroke of the lawyers, who would prefer to see the nomination of the judges vested in the General Government, because they would receive higher salaries, rather than see them appointed by the local governments, who would be obliged to recourse to direct taxation in order to pay their salaries. But setting aside this idea, I assert that the appointment of the judges in each province by the General Government appears to me an uncalled-for interference, an anomaly which cannot be too strongly opposed. (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because the local governors would only be tools in the hands of the General Government, who would interfere in the local matters by the continual pressure they would bring to bear on them whenever they desired to change the opinions of the local parliaments, elected by the people in each province, on any question which they might have to discuss. Why have the local governments, with the insignificant powers which it is proposed to confer upon them— why, I say, have they not been allowed to elect their respective governors ? Would there be any more harm in this than results from the elections of mayors in our large towns ? There was once a time when even the wardens were appointed by the Government. Has the election of mayors and wardens been productive of evil or discontent throughout the country ? I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because by means of the right of veto vested in the Governor by the 51st resolution, local legislation will be nothing but a farce. They may try to make us believe that this power would be but rarely exercised, and that it differs in nowise from that exercised by the present Governor when he reserves bills for the Royal assent ; but all the country knows that it would not be so. From the moment that you bring the exercise of the right of veto more nearly within the reach of interested parties, you increase the number of opportunities for the exercise of the right—you open the door to intrigues. As, for instance, a party will oppose the passing of a law, and not succeeding in his opposition in Parliament, he will approach the Ministers and the Governor General, intriguing to obtain as a favor that the law may be disallowed. Take an example. I suppose your Confederation to be established ; that a bill is passed for the protection of settlers, such as we have seen pass the House six times in ten years without becoming law, on account of the opposition to it in the Legislative Council by the councillors from Upper Canada; what would happen ? The few interested parties who were opposed to the measure would rush to the Governor General to induce him to disallow the law. By an appeal to the right of property, to the respect due to acquired rights, and to other sophistries, they would override the will of the people on a measure which is just in itself, and which is sought for and approved of by all legal men of Lower Canada in the present House. The people of Lower Canada will be prevented from obtaining a law similar to those now existing in thirteen different states of the American union, and which would in no way affect the principles of the existing law in Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) This is one instance out of a thousand, and will serve to illustrate the effect of this right of veto. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because I cannot see why, on the one hind, it has been agreed to give all the public lands to the Government of each province, and on the other hand that the Government should purchase the lauds in the Island of Newfoundland. The General Government gives up the fertile lands of Upper and Lower Canada, but it purchases the barren lands of Newfoundland at the enormous price of $150,000 per annum, a sum representing a capital of $2,500,000. Is not this a grand

[Page 861]

speculation for the country ? The Government at Ottawa will not possess a single inch of land in Canada, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, but they will have a Land Department for the management of their superb possessions in Newfoundland ? Is it imagined that if the publie lands of that island had been of any value, they would have been given up to the General Government for any amount? No, the fact is that these lands are utterly useless for cultivation, that the whole island does not produce hay enough for the town of St. Johns, and that every year large quantities of it are imported. I know a farmer in Three Rivers who has sent cargoes of hay to Newfoundland, and who is now only waiting for the navigation to open to send more—and these are the lands which it is proposed to buy for a fabulous price, in order to induce that province to come into the Confederation. (Hear.) But there is also another matter for consideration with respect to this arrangement regarding the public lands. I am of opinion that it is more advantageous to the progress of colonization of our wild lands that they should remain in the hands of the present Government, rather than come into the possession of a local government, which might, perhaps, be obliged to maintain itself by direct taxation ; for in that case the very uttermost farthing due on these lands will have to be collected. In a country like Lower Canada, with its rigorous climate, colonization must be aided and encouraged if reasonable progress is demanded. In that view the Government have made free grants, and have remitted many claims for interest on the public lands. Had they not done so, the population in certain sections would have been forced to leave the country. Remissions and free grants will disappear with the appearance of direct taxation. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because it is most unjustly proposed to enrich the Lower Provinces with annuities and donations, to persuade and induce them to enter iüto a union which will be injurious to all the contracting parties. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because the division of the public debts of the several provinces has been made in an unjust way, and because no portion of these debts ought to have been imposed on the local governments, which, in the event of the union, ought to have begun anew without being burthened with debt. I am opposed to the Confederation, because I foresee difficulties without number in relation to the concurrent powers on several points conferred on the general and local governments, Collisions on these points will always be settled in favor of the stronger party, to the advantage of the General Government, and to the detriment of the often just claims of the different provinces. I am opposed to Confederation, because the premium offered to New Brunswick is of a most extraordinary character. It has been agreed to pay her $63,000 per annum for ten years. The sum to pay this will have to be borrowed every year. Interest will have to be paid upon it, so that at the expiration of ten years the Confederation will have paid to New Brunswick :

Capital $630,000.00
Interest on capital 105,000.00

And what will it have received in exchange ? Nothing whatever ! For the sum agreed to be paid to Newfoundland there is at least a semblance of direct compensation in the cession which it makes of its barren lands. But in the case of New Brunswick, there is nothing to be got from her for these $735,000, on which interest will have to be paid long after the ten years have expired. (Hear, hear.) And that is not all; we are to pay interest to New Brunswick, at the rate of five per cent., on $1,250,000, for the difference between her debt and that of Canada in proportion to their respective populations. (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because it has been agreed to construct the Halifax Railway without a notion of what it will cost, and at a time when we have already as much to pay as our resources can bear, without plunging into ruinous and unproductive enterprises of this kind. There is no exaggeration in the statement that at least $20,000,000 will be required for the execution of that enterprise. Of what use will it be ? Doubly useless in a military and in a commercial point of view. We are not in a position to undertake it for the mere pleasure of having a road which will place us in direct communication with the sea over English territory. What would the Intercolonial Railway be worth in a commercial point of view ? In summer we have the St. Lawrence, which affords means of communication much more economical in their nature than any railway. In winter, without taking into account the difficulties caused by the vast quantity of snow which falls between Quebec and Halifax, is it supposed that there will be many travellers who will adopt that route, six hundred miles in length, to reach the seaboard at

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Halifax, when they may reach Portland by a railway not more than one-third as long as the proposed road ? Does any suppose that a person having flour to export will send it to Halifax, when he can despatch it by Port- land ? There is no sentiment in trade ; it takes the road which it finds to be the shortest and the most profitable, and all your Confederation will not change this immutable law of trade in all countries. (Hear, hear.) But , it is said, this road will be of great use in time of war as a military route. Have those who talk in this way ever thought of the trifling distance that separates that road from American territory in certain places ? Have they ever thought how easy it would be, in a single night, to destroy enough of it to make it unserviceable for months together ? Have they ever thought how many soldiers would be required to protect it and keep it in operation ? The experience of the present American war teaches us that to keep a railway in operation, nearly as many soldiers are required as there are lineal feet to protect. (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because it is proposed to ensure, to guarantee the fulfilment of all engagements which shall have been entered into with the Imperial Government by all the piovinces up to the time of union on the subject of the defence of the couutiy, without the nature and extent of those engagements being known. There is perhaps no question in all the resolutions of the Conference of higher importance than this. Yet it is wished to make us ratify all these engagements with, our eyes shut. What do we know about the engagements which the Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island may have entered into on the subject of their respective defences ? What do we know even of the engagements entered into by our own Government with the English Government in relation to the same question ? Nothing ; we can know nothing of them. We are told that the correspondence on the subject of the defences cannot be submitted to Parliament under existing circumstances. Why then should we blindly vote on questions of such grave importance ? I am opposed to Confederation, because it is wished to make us enter into a financial arrangement which it is frightful to consider, and one which is most diametrically opposed to the interests of Canada. Let us see what is proposed in this respect. The Confederation would have us to pay—

For land in the Island of Newfoundland $ 2,500,000
Indemnity to New Brunswick 735,840
For the Halifax Railway 20,000,000
Difference in the debt of the provinces :
Nova Scotia 3,000,000
Newfoundland 2,300,000
New Brunswick 1,250,000
Prince Edward Island 1,840,000
For fortifications in the six provinces 25,000,000
For the North-West road 5,000,000
For military expenditure 5,000,000
Add the public debt of Canada 873,000,000
Other unliquidated liabilities of Canada 5,000,000
Debt of Nova Scotia 8,000,000
Debt of New Brunswick 7,000,000
Debt of Prince Edward Island 244,673
Debt of Newfoundland 946,000

Here we have a pretty balance-sheet, not one item of which is exaggerated, and which is offered to us by Confederation. All this is exclusive of the enormous expense of the general and local governments. Some of the sums just mentioned will not be payable at once, but nearly all of them will be so before five vears have elapsed ; sums as considerable will be payable at once, it may be said, if we enter in the account the expenses of the Confederation and its unforeseen enterprises. At the last census, all the provinces only contained 3,294,056 souls. Supposing them to contain 3,500,000 at the time of the union, the debt, with the foregoing liabilities, would amount to $45 for each man, woman and child, and of that debt we should have to pay the interest. (Hear , hear.) I am opposed to Confederation, because I cannot see the use or the necessity of it in a commercial poiut of view. Countries yielding different products may gain considerably by uniting. What do the Lower Colonies produce ? Do they not live in a climate similar to ours ? Do they not produce similar grain to that grown in Canada ? What trade could there be between two farmers who produced nothing but oats ? Neither one nor the other would want for them. They might stand and stare at each other with their oats before them, without ever being able to trade together; they would require a third person—a purchaser. In such a position are we with regard to the adjacent

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colonies. Should we go for ice to the Lower Colonies ? I think there is enough of it in Canada, especially at Quebec, and will be so long as sufficient spirit of enterprise is not displayed to export it to hot climates. They talk to us of fish—but those we have in our own waters—and of coal as a very great affair.

MR. T. C. WALLBRIDGE—-The Lower Provinces have reserved the right of placing an export duty on their coal.

MR. J . B. E. DORION—My honorable friend reminds me that we shall not be able to obtain coal from the provinces which will form part of the Confederation, without paying them a tax. Is not that admirable ? We are to constitute a single people, a single country, but there will be taxes to pay for tradirg with each other in certain articles. (Hear, hear.) I should understand the commercial advantages which we should gain if the English Provinces were situated in different climates, yielding every kind of produce, which should be freely exchanged. That which built up the commercial prosperity of the United States is their geographical position—their immense territory, in which is to be found every climate imaginable, from the north producing ice, to the south producing the most delicious fruits. An inhabitant of Maine may load a vessel with ice, proceed to New Orleans and barter his cargo of ice for rice, sugar, tobacco, &c, with which he may return home without paying a single farthing of customs duties. It is this free and continual exchange of their various products from Maine to California which has placed the United States in the first rank of commercial nations in so short a time. (Hear, hear.) Let us not, therefore, be lulled with fancies of the great commeruial advantages we shall derive from a Confederation of the provinces. We have wood, they produce it ; we produce potash, and so do they. All that they would require would bo a little flour, and that Upper Canada can supply to them now without paying any tax for doing so. Again, our trade with them cannot be very considerable, because there are natural obstacles in the way to prevent its being so. Situated in the same degree as ourselves in respect of climate, they produce what we produce, and what wo want they want—a foreign market wherein to dispose of their surplus products. Besides, the commercial advantages may all be obtained by a mere commercial union, apart from a political union. England concluded a commercial treaty with the United States, by means of which we trade freely with them in all products of the soil and of the fisheries. What objection could there be to the establishment of a system of free trade between the colonies, which are all subject to the same authority ? They would then enjoy all the advantages that could result, without entering into a political union, the depths of which we aro not able to fathom. (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to Confederation, because instead of giving us strength to defend ourselves, it will prove to be a source of incalculable weaknes-. How can it be believed that by adding 700 miles to our long frontier, we shall strengthen ourselves against the enemy, when the territory to be added does not yet cmtain inhabitants enough to defend it ? Is it supposed that if we had a war with the Americans, they would not attack the English Provinces at all points? They would attack Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, as well as the two Canadas. A country without depth, like that which it is proposed to form here, has not its like under the sun. It would be vulnerable at all points along its frontier of 1,600 to 1,800 miles. In geographical form it would resemble an eel. Its length would be everything, its breath nothing. Nothing would be easier than to cut it into little pieces, and none of the parts so sliced off could send help to the others. The more of such country as the provinces which it is wished to unite to us that we have, the weaker shall we be, and the greater will be our difficulties in relation to military defend. (Hear, hear.) I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because I consider that it is the result of a conspiracy against popular rights in Canada, and that the hope is to impel the people into a course fatal to their real interests, by causing to shine before their eyes all sorts of wonders which would be accomplished in the end to the prospeiity of the couutry, if that country would only accept the new form of Government which it is proposed to force upon it. (Hear.) I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because it is proposed to perpetuate, on a still greater scale, a state of things which is not suitable to the populations of America when they attain to years ot discretion—-a state of things which evidently was not intended for a country in which there are no castes, no privileged classes and no hereditary aristocracy—in which all arc equal, socially and politically, by force of circumstances. I am opposed to the scheme of Confederation, because I am desirous that we should be as untrammelled as possible in

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the selection of the future form of Government for Canada, when we shall emerge from the colonial condition. I am free to admit that I do not participate in the illusions of certain persons in respect to the magnificent destinies of the empire to be founded by us in North America, and that I am far from believing that it would be to our advantage. I am opposed to the scheme of Con – federation, because I deny that this House has power to change the political constitution of the country, as it is now proposed to do, without appealing to the people and obtaining their views on a matter of such importance. These are the principal reasons which induce me to oppose the scheme brought down by the Government. But these are not all ; I have yet many other considerations to urge. The gate of the future destinies of the country was opened when this scheme was laid before us, and I too am desirous of penet rating within its portals. I have said that the new organization which it is wished to establish here decs not suit either our resources or our wants. It would appear that we cannot attain in Canada a reasonable limit as regards the administration of public affairs. Our system is not found to be extravagant enough, and it is wished to substitute for it one still more costly. Our neighbors have established an economical political system, which is much more advantageous to them than ours would be to any country. We pay here much more than is paid in the United States, although that people is infinitely richer than we are. If we prepare a list of the salaries paid to the governors of the states in the union, with a view of comparing it with the list of salaries which we pay here to our principal public employés, we shall be surprised at the difference which will be found to exist to our disadvantage. Here is a table of the salaries of the governors, together with the population of each state :—

States. Population. Salaries.
1. Maine 628,276 $1500
2. New Hampshire 226,073 1000
3. Vermont 315,098 1000
4. Massachusetts 1,231,066 3500
5. Rhode Island 174,620 1000
6. Connecticut 460,147 1100
7. New York 3,880,735 4000
8. New Jersey 672,035 3000
9. Pennsylvania 2,906,115 4000
10. Delaware 112,216 1333 1/3
11. Maryland 687,049 3600
12. West Virginia 393,234 2000
13. East Virginia 1,261,397 3000
14. Kentucky 1,155,684 2500
15. Ohio 2,339,502 1800
16. Michigan 749,113 1000
17. Indiana 1,350,428 3000
18. Illinois 1,711,951 1500
19. Missouri 1,182,012 3000
20. Iowa 674,942 2000
21. Wisconsin 775,881 2000
22. Minnesota 173,855 1500
23. Kansas 107.206 2000
24. California 379,994 7000
25. Oregon 52,465 1500

There are also ton other states which were in rebellion at the beginning of the year 1864, the date of the table which I have given. It will be seen that Ver – mont pays only $1,000 a year to an elective governor. That is less than we pay here to the mayors of our great cities. The State of New York, which is by itself more rich and populous than the whole of Canada, only pays $4,000 a year to her Governor. I will not compare this salary with that of our Governor, amounting to $32,000 ; but by comparing it with that of our judges of the second-class, it will be found thai the latter receive higher salaries than the Governor of the State of New York. (Hear, hear.) The State of Ohio, more rich and more populous than Canada, only pays $1,800 to her Governor. If the salaries are comparatively small in the United States, it is because it was understood there that good administration of public affairs might be obtained by the practice of a wise economy, without that display of luxury which is ruining us here. Another comparison, on a smaller scale, might be made between the State of New York and Canada, in respect of another matter. It is this :— The State of New York possesses magnificent canals, which cost her an enormous price ; but the revenue produced by them has paid their cost, whilst here our canals, which also cost us very dear, do not even pay the interest of the debt which was contracted for their construction, and that is a point of difference by no means of small magnitude. The State of New York contracted a further debt for the enlargement of her canals after the revenue produced by them had paid off that which had been contracted for their construction ; and the revenue which they yield is sufficient not only to pay the interest of that debt, but also to create a sinking fund which will allow of its liquidation in five years from the present day. Last year the State of

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New York received from her canals the sum of $5,118,501.35; the expenses of manage- ment amounted to $111,503.78, and those of repairs to $659,378.74, forming a total of $770,882.52, which left a net revenue of $4,347,618 83, after paying all expenses of management and costs of maintenance. (Hear, hear.) Do you know what was done with that surplus ? It was applied as follows :—

Sinking Fund under 1 Art. 1 $1,700,000
do do 2 Art. 7 350,000
do do 3 Art. 2 1,116,242
To the Treasury towards paying the expenses of the state 200,000

Leaving a balance of $981,376.17 after having met all engagements in relation to the Sinking Fund, and paid a sum of $200,000 towards the cost of the government of the state. Here, when a school or sinking fund is created, it is expended, or borrowing has to be had recourse to in order to meet it. Let us then compare the management of our cinals with that of the canals of New York. Here the tolls on certain of our canals are abolished with the view of favoring trade, instead of a reasonable revenue being levied from those great works ! (Hear, hear.) The total debt of the State of New York on the 30th September, 1863, was as follows :—

Consolidated debt $6,505,654 37
Canal debt 23,268,310 25
Total recorded $29,773,964 62

In the course of the same year, $3,116,242 was paid into the sinking fund, and there remained still five and a half millions in hand produced by the canals, so that in less than ten years the canal debt and the special debt of the state will be entirely paid off. Shall we be able to say as much of our own debt in ten years time ? (Hear, hear.) I repeat then, that the financial system of our neighbours is greatly superior to ours, and that they pay reasonable salaries to their publio officers, while such payments here are on an extravagant scale. If I speak of all this, it is because I am opposed to the scheme, and because it is wished to establish a monarchy, a new kingdom on this continent, and because a desire is manifested to have a court, a nobility, a viceroy, tinsel, and so on I am alarmed at the position in which it is wished to place us, for from extravagance it is proposed, with all these absurd and ridiculous schemes, to pass to folly. (Hear,hear.) The commercial crisis through which we passed in 1846, when England repealed the import duty on foreign grain brought to her markets, will be remembered. Before that period our grain and other produce were protected on the English markets in being admitted free of duty, while that from the Black Sea and the United States was subject to a duty which was high enough to afford great protection in favor of ours. This new policy in relation to the colonies was productive of disastrous consequences to Canadian trade. The exportation of grain to England was completely put a stop to. There was no longer an outlet for that produce. To get to the United States markets twenty per cent, had to be paid. Well, the long and terrible crisis which followed the abolition of this protection of our produce, and which raged during the years 1847,’48,’49, may be remembered. Beginning in 1847 there was a disastrous commercial crisis in Canada. Failures followed each other with rapidity, and difficulty was everywhere felt. Matters had not greatly improved in 1848. It was evident that a fresh outlet for the agricultural produco of Canada must be fouud in order to ensure to her satisfactory relief. Discontent manifested itself, and agitation became apparent. Arguments and negotiations were had with the political men of England, but without any satisfactory result being attained. It was then thought that a solution of the commercial difficulties of the country was to be found in political changes. Hence followed the annexation movement of 1849. The obtention of a political change of this character would at once open to Canada all the markets of the United States, and would, without any doubt, have ensured the material prosperity of the country. The annexation movement met with considerable sympathy in the Northern States of the American union, but in the South it excited alarm. Fear was entertained of the influence which would have been conferred upon the North, by the accession of territory of suoh considerable extent as the two Canadas, at first, and subsequently of all the English Provinces. The Government of the United States was in the hands of political men from the South. To avert the danger which threatened their influence, that Government shewed themselves favorable to a commercial agreement with the

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English Government. Both were interested in a commercial connection which left us nothing to envy in the lot of our neighbors. In the Canadian Parliament the question of commercial reciprocity with the United States was taken up. The Imperial Government approved of the steps taken by the Canadian Government, which tended to place their agriculturists on a footing of equality with the Americans on their markets. On the 16th March, 1855, the Reciprocity treaty entered into by the United States and England, came into force, after having been ratified by the Canadian Parliament. Lengthy debates took place in the American Congress upon the question, but southern influence carried the measure through. The Reciprocity treaty was to continue for ten years, from the 16th March, 1855, without its being possible to repeal it ; but if one or the other of the contracting parties should think fit, after the expiration of the ten years, they might demand the abrogation of the treaty, by giving the other party one year’s notice. The question of the repeal of that treaty has, therefore, for two or three years, been agitated in the American Congress with some warmth, by those who found their interests to suffer by it. The opponents of the Reciprocity treaty succeeded in Congress fur two reasons : first, on account of a feeling of indignation raised up against Canada, by a part of our press, which displayed hostility to the Northern States ; and second, because the rebellious Southern States were not represented in the American Government. On the 16th March next, the President is to give that notice, and on the 16th Maroh, 1866, the markets of the United States will be closed to us. (Hear, hear.) We have seen that atthe time the American Government, which was then in the hands of politicians from the Southern States, was not favorable to the annexation of Canada to the United States, because those statesmen dreaded the influence which two new free states in the ULÍOU would bring to bear in relation to slavery. The ten years of the treaty consequently terminate on the I6th March in the present year, and thanks to the behavior of a very large portion of the Canadian press in relation to the Government of the United States, since the beginning of the war which now desolates the American Republic, the notice of the final abrogation of that treaty within a year is to be given to us. It will have existed for eleven years, and its abrogation will certainly be a great misfortune to our country. I t may be said that the treaty is as advantageous to the United States as it is to ourselves, and that its abrogation will do as much harm to them as to us ; but the ill they will undergo in consequence will not remedy our evil, and will not prevent the United States markets from being closed to us, and our being subsequently compelled to pay a considerable duty for the privilege of carrying our produce thither, such as our oats, our horses, our horned cattle, our sheep, our wool, our butter, &c The 16th March, 1865, will be a day of mourning for Canada, but the 16th March, 1866, will be a day of much deeper mourning, for it will mark the commencement of a commercial crisis such as we have never perhaps undergone, and the disastrous results of which to the future of the country are beyond calculation. (Hear, hear.) In order to understand the whole importance of this treaty to the prosperity of the country, it is necessary to know what passes in the country parts, as I myself am in a position to know through my constant relations with those parts. All the o ts produced in the country from Trois Pistoles to the upper extremity of the province are exported to the United States, where they find a ready market, because they are wanted there. This year persons went as far as Three Rivers for them by way of the Arthabaska Railway. This branch of trade is now very considerable ; but the very moment we have to pay an export duty of 25 per cent, upon our produce on entering the United States, we shall have a commercial crisis which will derange all business operations throughout the land. When the Reciprocity treaty is declared at an end, our oats will be worth no more than 1s. or 1s. 3d., as in former times, instead of 1s. 8d. or 2s., as at present ; and it is clear to all that the farmer can derive no profit from growing them at that price. Formerly, before the treaty was made, the farmer could make something by selling his oats at that price, because food was cheaper and taxes less than they now are. The latter were no more than 2 1/2 per cent, and 5 per cent., whereas they are now 20 per cent., and will be increased rather than diminished, under Confederation, as certain members of this House have alleged (Hear, hear.; I am thoroughly acquainted with all that passes in the country parts; and when I think of the consequences of the repeal

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of the Reciprocity treaty, I say again, I am alarmed. What is going on at this present moment ? We all know that for several years past there have been bad harvests ; that of last year was not good, not in Lower Canada only, but also in Upper Canada ; and since New Year’s day, half the country people in Lower Canada have been buying the flour necessary for their subsistence. All they spend in the purchase of flour, from this time till the harvest is gathered in, is capital which ought to be applied to the payment of their numerous debts. I t is capital withdrawn from the working and improvement of their lands. Trade already feels the effects of it. The imports are more limited ; a good deal of last year’s stock of goods in the cities remains unsold. The publio revenue will be considerably affected by it, and the surplus of 1864 will in 1865 become a deficit. It is not necessary to be a prophet to augur so much. (Hear, hear.) I say, then, that we are on the brink of a commercial crisis, and it is not such a scheme as that before us that will enable us to avoid it, when we need rather to practise the strictest economy in our public expenditure. There is a great movement in progress from Lower Canada to the United States, notwithstanding the war ; that is to say, people are obliged to leave Canada for the United States in order to earn money to pay debts which they have been compelled to contract for the necessaries of life. In many country places people are shutting up their houses and setting off to the States ; if any proof of this assertion is necessary, visit Acton—Acton which has become a small city since the discovery of the copper mines now worked there. Well, Mr. SPEAKER, half the houses in Acton are now Shut up, although as lately as last year the village presented every appearance of the highest prosperity. This year the inhabitants are driven to leave home and country to support their families. (Hear, hear.) I say that a movement of self-banishment like that which is now going on in the winter season, is alarming; for when half the country people are obliged to buy their flour as they now are, it proves that they must continue to buy it until next autumn, after the harvest is gathered in ; and as many of them have not the means of waiting till then, they must leave the country to try to supply the wants of their families, by applying for work to our neighbors. (Hear, hear.) This movement is in progress among the rural population as well as among the mechanics, in the new townships as well as in the old. After the commencement of the war, a considerable number of Canadians, who had returned home to escape from its evils, brought with them a small capital; but seeing the situation of affairs in this country, and having spent what they had, they are going back to the United States, preferring rather to take their chance of the conscription for the army than to eke out a miserable existence here. I repeat, then, Mr. SPEAKER, that a great many houses are shut up in the new settlements. I can specify them by the numbers of the range and lot in the counties which I represent. An unseen but very extensive influence is at work in all the country south of the St. Lawrence, above Nicolet and as far as the frontier. I shall explain it to you. In all that part of the country, a great many young men go to the united States to look for employment. These children of the people find there a wider field for their enterprising minds ; in fact, they are forced to leave Canada in order to earn money. When onoe they are established in the United States, they correspond with their relatives whom they have left behind them. In all their letters they describe the treatment they receive, and boast of their position, the footing they are on in their social relations with the Americans, the good wages which they receive, and the state of prosperity at which they soon arrive. Not only do they correspond, they visit Canada to see their families from time to time. Un these occasions, Mr. SPEAKER, their communications are made with greater freedom ; they relate all that they have seen, and heard, and all they have learned. Be sure of this, Mr. SPEAKER, these communications, these intimacies between Canadians established in the States and their home friends, have greater effect to produce favorable feelings towards the Americans in our country than all the newspapers in the world. It is a portion of the heart of the country removed into a strange land by the force of circumstances. The accounts they hear from their friends prove to them that the Americans are not such horrible monsters as they are said to be in certain quarters, and that their political institutions are far superior to ours; that eveiy man is on a footing of equality with his neighbor, and that he possesses politioal rights of whioh he cannot be deprived. This influence of which I am speaking is very great, and certainly it is

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not to be counteracted, nor the feeling of sympathy for the people and the institutions of the United Stites to be repressed in the minds of thosa who confess it, by such changes as those now proposed to be made. (Hear, hear.) I say that the people of Lower Canada are alarmed at the scheme of Confederation, and the unknown changes which are on foot. I do not say that this feeling prevails in the district of Quebec, for in that locality everybody seems to be fast asleep ; but it exists, beyond doubt, and very warmly, in that of Montreal, and even as far as Three Rivers, on both sides of the river. Nothing tends more to alienate the people from their government, and render them disaffected to England, thau the attempts now made to impose on them a new Constitution without oousuhing them; for we must recollect that we are no longer in the same social state as in 1812; we no longer think in the same manner, and people would be greatly in error who should believe that the same feelings prevail which then prevailed. (Hear, hear.) I will not say that the people are disloyal ; far be it from me to express such an idea !—they are as loyal as those who accuse them of disloyalty, but they are inclined tn form free opinions on the acts cf their government and their own interests, and there is a great difference between being loyal to Great Britain and fighting for a system of government and a principle imposed on us and accepted regretfully. I maintain, then, that the people are affrighted at the expense proposed to be made to organize what is called the defences of the country, and naturally ask each other whether it is right to call upon them to bear a share of the burthen of such defences, in the event of a war between our neighbors and England, a war in which they could neither say anything to avoid it, nor in its progress take any other part than that of shedding their blood and paying their money. They ask, moreover, whether it would not be better to remain in our present condition—whether it would not be better, even, to be smaller than to seek greatness— to try to compete with our neighbors in order that we may be the sooner crushed. They say, moreover, that a struggle between us and the United States would be a struggle between a dwarf and a giant ; for no man in his senses will say that we could stand out against them. It is pretended that in case of a war with them, we should have assistance from England. That is very well; but to any body who recollects the Crimean war, it will be very evident, that when England shall have sent us 30,000 soldiers, she will have given to the extreme limits of her power, and that she must resort to Spain, and France, and Germany and the whole continent of Europe to find soldiers. When we have 1,600 miles of frontier to defend, where should we be with our 30,000 English troops ? It would not be nineteen men to a mile. (Hear, hear.) No, we are not to imagine that a war with the United States now would be like that of 1812, and that a company of 60 men would put the American army to flight, as in the palmy days of Chateauguay ! (Hear, hear.) At this time, the army and navy of the United States are the strongest in the world, and the resources of the country inexhaustible. In four years they have built 600 vessels of war; and the number of their soldiers is told by hundreds of thousands. Now, peace will be made between the North and South, although it may happen not to please our politicians, who are friends to slavery, and have always despised and depreciated the Government of the United States ; for the South cannot hold out long now that it has lost all the towns and cities through which it could receive assistance from abroad. The American Constitution will come out triumphant from the trial which it is now undergoing. It will come out purified and refioed, and stronger than ever in the affectiuus of the people who live under it. I t was not against the form of Republican Government that the rebellion was undertaken in the United States, seeing that the Rebel States adopted exactly the same system when they declared their independence. They too have a President, a Senate, Representatives, a Government and a Legislature for every state, just the same as uuder the American Republic. (Hear, hear.) When peace is made between the North and South, should we be able to resist the combined forces of both sections of the United States of America ? Should we be able to make a stand agaiust their ships of war, which would overspread the ocean and the lakes—their guns which throw balls of several hundred pounds’ weight a distance of eight or ten miles— from one end of a parish to the other ? The State of New York, with it four millions of soulg, oan turn out more soldiers than all the colonies of England together ; and there are still thirty-four rich and populous states

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besides, to help in case of war. (Hear, hear.) No, we are not to imagine that a war at this time would be a war of 1812, and the people know it perfectly well. If a Confederation like this which is now proposed is imposed upon the people without consulting them, and even against their will—if they are forced to bear a burthen much heavier than they now bear—and if the treaty of reciprocity is not continued— if a commercial crisis should eusue, aud if war should break out between England and the United States, you must not suppose that the people will fight as they fought in 1812, when you have driven them to discontent, and rendered their position harder than it now is. You may toll off the population into regiments, and they will not rebel, because they are loyal and submissive, but their hearts will not be in the cause, and they will assuredly not fight with the same spirit as they would shew if they were defending a constitution and a state of things of their own choosing. They will not fight with the same courage as the southern rebels have shewn, for they were fighting to defend institutions—bad ones it is true, but which they were attached to, and which they were desirous of preserving. (Hear, hear.) In the event of a war with the United States, and being under a Confederation, the people would be called upon to defend a state of things which they dislike—a Constitution imposed upon them, to which they would not be attached—a Constitution in which they would have no interest. The war might result from a difficulty originating in China ! They would be compelled to fight against a people whom they look upon not as enemies, but as friends, with whom they keep up daily relations ; and, I repeat it, it would not be possible for them to fight as they did in the last war. (Hear, hear.) But I return to the Reciprocity treaty, and I say that we shall feel its great value once it has been repealed. It is like a bridge over a river between two parishes ; so long as the bridge stands, every one takes advantage of it without a thought of its utility, but let the bridge be carried away or destroyed, and every one feels what an advantage it was, and the people realize the loss they have suffered, when they are once more compelled to resort to the old system of flats and boats every time they require to cross the river. (Hear, hear.) And if the Reciprocity treaty be repealed, it will be due to the conduct of several members of the Ministry, and to the papers that support them, and which they support in return ; it will be due to the conduct of Tory politicians and journalists in Canada, who, since the beginning of the war, have constantly done everything in their power to irritate our neighbors and to embroil us with them, by displaying misplaced sympathy. (Hear, hear.) For my part, Mr. SPEAKER, I know that the people of Canada do not ask for annexation to the United States, for they are in the enjoyment of peace and contentment as things now stand. The people do not desire any change ; but if you wish to establish a new order of things, if you desire to create a new nationality, I fancy we have the right to say what we consider suited to us ; and if you desire to establish a new kingdom on this continent, we surely are entitled to examine what it is to be, and the basis upon which it is to be erected. I say it would be a misfortune for us if we attempted to establish a system founded upon a political principle contrary to that of the United States—on the monarchical principle. If we must inaugurate a policy, let it not be a policy calculated to give umbrage, a policy of distrust and provocation. Let it rather be a policy of conciliation and peace. Let it not be a policy of armies, of useless walls and fortifications— a policy of ruin and desolation 1 What would be the use of all these fortifications, all these walls, if they load us with an unbearable burthen of taxation, restriot our commerce, paralyse our industry, shut us up within our own narrow limits, with our vast products cut off from a profitable market ? (Hear, hear.) Do you fancy that the people would then care much whether the flag floating over them bore a cross or a stripe ? The people are satisfied to remain as they are ; they do not wish for anything better now ; but if you desire to change their political relations, they have the right to examine your scheme in all its phases. They have the right to ask themselves whether what you offer them is not a permanent state of war for themselves and their children. (Hear, hear.) The Constitution of the United States is certainly far superior to that proposed to us, and far better suited to our habits and the state of society amongst us. This scheme of Confederation, this scheme of an independent monarchy, can lead but to extravagance, ruin and anarchy ! You may decry as much as you choose the democratic system, and laud the

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monarchical system—the people will ever estimate them both at their proper value, and will ever know that which will suit them best. And when the farmers of Upper Canada are compelled to sell their wheat, after sending it to Montreal, ten cents a bushel lower than they now sell it at home, in consequence of the repeal of the Reciprocity treaty, there will be a general demand throughout the whole of Upper Canada, as well as of Lower Canada, for a change other than Confederation. And as to this point, here is what was said by a gentleman who, but a few months ago, held a seat on the Ministerial benches—I refer to the Hon. Mr. BUCHANAN. He said :—

The continuation of the Reciprocity treaty with the United States is favorable, not only to the farmers of Canada, and to all other claases through them, but also to the English Government ; for, without the existence of that treaty, the Canadians are in a position to be greatly benefited, in an industrial and commercial sense, by the annexation of Canada to the United States, unless other industrial or intercolonial arrangements should take place.

Annexation is far preferable, in an industrial point of view, to our ” free trade in raw products,” which is unaccompanied by protection for home industry.

” Those who speak the truth to the people in times of crises like the present, are really the most loyal men,” adds Hon. Mr. BUCHANAN ; and he is right ; therefore, it is that I take it upon myself to speak thus frankly and to tell the truth to the people. (Hear, hear.) ” But,” it will be said, ” annexation is national suicide, and the people will never consent to it ! Look at Louisiana, which has lost itself in the American union !” The people of Lower Canada will reply, that Louisiana contained but 30,000 whites when it was sold to the United States for $14,000,000, and that Lower Canada counts more than 1,000,000 of inhabitants; that there is, therefore, no comparison between the position of Louisiana at that time and that we now occupy. Besides, those 30,000 whites in Louisiana were not all French ; for thirty years previous to 1800, Louisiana had belonged to the Spaniards. No one can deny that. It was in 1803 that it was ceded by France to the United States, and yet its French population has not been absorbed and has not disappeared. (Hear, hear.) Since it was ceded to the United States, Louisiana has always governed itself as it liked, and in its own way. It is true that the official use of the French language has been abolished in its Legislature, but why and by whom ? It was abolished by the people of the country themselves, to mark their dissatisfaction at having been sold by France. But notwithstanding that fact, and the great influx of foreign population, the original population have remained French, their laws are published in French, the judges speak French, pleading is carried on before the tribunals in French, numerous journals are published in French ; in a word, the country has remained as thoroughly French as it was under the domination of France. (Hear, hear.) To those who tell our people that annexation would annihilate them as a people, and destroy their nationality and their religion, they will reply that there is no danger of their being transported like the inhabitants of Acadia, and that Lower Canada would be as independent as any of the other states of the union ; that they would, therefore, manage their own affairs, and protect their interests as they thought proper, without fear of intervention on the part of the General Government or of the other states ; for they would possess, like all the other states, full and entire sovereignty in all matters specially relating to their own interests. They would be obliged to submit to the Federal Government only as regards matters of general interest, such as pestai matters, the tariff, foreign relations, defence against enemies, &c, &c. With regard to local matters, they would be perfectly sovereign in their own country, and they could make all the laws they thought proper, provided such laws were not hostile to the other states. Thus, as regards the question of divorce, they might legislate so that divorce could not be effected within their limits. At present some of the states have divorce laws, while others have not; divorce is not permitted everywhere. (Hear, hear.) In the same way as regards the militia ; the people will tell you that they might do like Vermont, which has formed part of the American union since its foundation, and which never adopted a militia law until January, 1864, because the political organization of the United States never rendered it necessary for the American people to maintain armies in each state in time of peace, and each state is perfectly free as regards the organization of its militia, provided it furnishes the number of soldiers assigned to its population, in time of war. (Hear, hear.) They do not ruin themselves in time of peace to organize the militia. A

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great obstacle to the political progress of our country arises from the vast number of persons who arrive amongst us each year from the British Islands; they are here, bodily,it is true, but their minds wander over the sea between the two hemispheres, and they act as though they were in England, in Scotland, or in Ireland, without considering our position, our social and political relations ; and they think they need only cry out ” Loyalty, loyalty !” to make the people rush to arms ; but I repeat again, that if it be attempted to force the people into a change such as is now proposed, the people of the rural districts will become hostile to those who force it upon them, and they will not fight in defence of such a Constitution, as they would fight in defence of a principle thev approved of, and of a political position with which they were satisfied. (Hear, hear ) I have but one word more to say on this subject, and it is this : it is all very well to say that the debt of the United States is enormous ; that will not frighten the people, for, notwithstanding the war between the North and the South, if we consider the wealth and resources of the United States, that debt will not be by any means so formidable a matter to deal with as we have been told In January last, the receipts of the United States Treasury amounted to S31,000,000—one million a day ; and notwithstanding that fact, despite the heavy taxes paid, and paid willingly, by the American people, commercial prosperity is far greater in that country than it is here, as those who now visit the country cannot fail to notice. On the first of December last, the close of the fiscal year, the debt of the United States was $1 740,690,480. With a population of 32,000,000 this debt does not, therefore, exceed $56 per head. I have already shewn that under Confederation, our debt would be $40 per head in Canada. Comparing our resources with those of the American union, we were much more deeply indebted than they were at the period of the last annual report of the Treasury. It is easier for them to collect two dollars than for us to collect one. But with their immense resources, their boundless commerce, their ever-increasing manufactures, if the war were to end to morrow, the United States would pay off their debt in a few years, if the government continued to levy the same umount of taxes that they now do. A revenue of a million a day, $365,000,000 per annum, $3,650,000,000 in ten years !— double the amount of the national debt at the beginning of the year, notwithstanding the terrible four years’ war ! If the Government were to reduce the present imposts by one-half, the debt would be paid off in ten years; whereas in ten years from now our own debt, which is proportionably considerable, will have doubled itself, or, it may be, increased in a much greater ratio, if we are to judge by present appearances. (Hear, hear.) I repeat, I do not ask for the annexation of Canada to the United f tates, nor do the people desire it ; but I assert that changes such as those proposed in our social and political condition, are the surest means of bringing it about, because they are of a nature to create serious discontent, and a constant conflict between us and our neighbors ; and the people, far from being satisfied with that, will be but ill-inclined to defend such a state of things. I beg, in conclusion, to call the attention of hon. members to the fact, that while it is proposed to change our Constitution, the Government refuse to give us any details or explanations as to the proposed changes ; and I assert that it is our duty not to vote for these changes blindly. With reference to what I have said, I have not said it without well weighing the bearing of my words ; I am ready to abide the consequences that may follow. I am in a position to speak frankly, and I have done so ; for I am not here to represent my own personal interests, nor the interests of any individual. I have spoken the language of facts, I have spoken as the people would speak throughout all the rural districts on the south side of the St. Lawrence, if they were frankly told how matters stand, and if the consequences of the violent changes sought to be effected in our political condition were explained to them. (Cheers.)

Mr. DENIS —MR . SPEAKER, for a few days past we have heard very extraordinary speeches from the honorable members of the Opposition, occupying seats on the other side of the House. Those honorable gentlemen have taken the interests of the country in hand, and undertaken to set them right by such speeches as we have just heard from the honorable member for Drummond and Arthabaska (Mr. J . B. E. DORION).

HON. MR. HOLTON—Don’t crush him.

MR. DENIS—I do not wish to crush any one ; but I must say conscientiously what I think of the extraordinary speech which he has just delivered. The honorable members of the Opposition have, since the commencement

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of this debate, held one course—they have constantly appealed to the prejudices of a class who, for the protection of their interests, uniformly depend on those who represent them here, and who, in order to make sure of their allegiance and perpetuate it, work secretly and in the dark to obtain the signatures of unsuspecting parties to petitions which they send round the country, and use afterwards to ensnare the confidence of members of this House. (Hear, hear.) Fortunately, they have hitherto had hut little success in their undertakings, and have made but small progress in their attempts to injure us. These gentlemen make a loud outcry against the resolutions introduced by the Government ; but if they are as bad as they say they are, why do they not themselves prepare some remedy for the troubles and difficulties of the country, instead of limiting their exertions to cries and reproaches ? But no. It is always the same thing with them. ” Great cry, and little wool.” (Hear, hear.) The Opposition have always had hut one object in view, and that was, not the good of the country, but the attainment of power. This has been the aim of all their actions, and when they did actually, by an accident, acquire power, their conduct was far worse than that of which they accused their predecessors in office. Their intention is to frighten the people, as they did on the militia question, by enlisting prejudices of all kinds against the measure now under discussion—trying every petty subterfuge and shabby artifice to bring back the honorable member for Hochelaga (Hon. Mr. A. A. DORION) to power. But it will not work— their little game will have no luck. To be sure, we cannot deny the honorable member for Drummond and Arthabaska, for his part, the credit of knowing how to work upon the people, or rather how to agitate them, while they, good souls, trust blindly to the integrity of the men who represent them here. It was in this spirit of truth that he stated in his strictures on the Militia Bill introduced by the CARTIER-MACDONALD Government that it was a measure which would entail a tax of $20 a head on every habitant, and it is in the same spirit that he now tells them Confederation will entail one of $40 a head. One assertion is as true as the other—neither of them is worth much. How can the honorable member venture on such assertions, since he knows nothing of the details of the measure—that is, the measures of detail which are to come after ? He can only talk on supposition, and his hypothesis is false and unfounded. He declares, for instance, t at the intention of the Government, in moving for Confederation, is to introduce monarchy into America, and to create princes, viceroys, and an aristocracy, and make the Honorable Attorney General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. CARTIER) Governor of Lower Canada. Such ideas could never enter any head but those of men who are incapable of self-government, and who are good for nothing but to become demagogues. In good truth, they mean nothing but to agitate—to make trouble and sow discontent throughout the land, with relation to the great question which has for months been the subject of discussion. For this end, they get up little petitions, to be signed in the concessions, saying to the women,—” If you would not lose your husband, sign. He is sure to bo drafted for the Confederation. Sign, if you would not have your children deprived of their religion ! ” (Hear, and laughter.) It is by such means that they gain their little advantages. I have just been informed that these men, who have always cried out that the clergy ought not to interfere in politics, are doing all they can to enlist the clergy and swell the cry against Confederation, by proclaiming that the Church is in danger. But the clergy know them too well, and will let them shout. When I hear these hon. gentlemen of the Opposition pretend that the clergy are on their side, because two priests have written against Confederation in the newspapers, I cannot help laughing. They are now, forsooth, the saviours of religion and of the clergy, loving and respecting them above all things. They spoke another language when they insulted religion and the clergy in their journals ; when they declared, in their Institut Canadien, that prk sts ought to be forbidden to talk politics, and not to be allowed to vote at elections. Let them recollect the famous parody on excommunication, published in the Pays, which never existed save in the narrow and diabolical mind which rules the Siècle. But now all this is to be forgotten; now they say,—”Give up your leaders—the traitors who intend to sell the country, betray your religion, and drag your nationality through the mire—and come, follow us !” You smile, because you know that all these protestations which you are making in favor of religion, of the clergy, and our nationality, are a fine piece of acting. The people know this, and will not believe you ; they will remain true to their leaders and to those tried friends who have always served them well and faith-

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fully. Those who are now in power have on their side the people and the ecclesiastical authorities, whom you would use as a stalking horse in your campaign against Confederation. All your efforts, all your tricks, will not succeed in shaking the confidence of the people in their representatives. You talk of public meetings, of the people’s opinion, petitions, &c, but why did you not call these meetings when the members were at home in their counties, when they might have met you face to face ? You waited, like cowards, till they had come here to attend their duties in this House, and set hireling agents to work to get up those meetings, expecting an easy victory. We know perfectly well, for we have proofs, that agents well paid by a political committee at Montreal, were sent to all the parishes to get up meetings against Confederation, at which they made use of the most contradictory arguments, varied as occasion required, to suit their object, which was to induce the people to declare against the scheme, and sign petitions accordingly. (Hear, hear.) These petitions bear the names of children, and, in fact, of sucklings, as was proved the other day by the honorable member for Boucherville. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) And if (Hat much is certain, we are justified in thinking that those agents must have done something still worse, with which we are not acquainted, for the purpose of prejudicing the people against the Government scheme. Now, I say that in view of all this—in view of all this underhand trickery and hypocrisy of the Opposition — all French-Canadians should unite together in support of a just, frank and straightforward measure, such as that now submitted to this House. Was it not stated, long before the meeting of Parliament, that the measure should receive a calm and fair consideration ? And yet since the beginning of the discussion we have had nothiag but appeals to prejudice made by the adversaries of the measure, in place of discussing it on its merits, as they ought to have done. The honorable member for Richelieu (Mr. PERRAULT) has distinguished himself in the way of appealing to national and religious prejudices, and in order to attain his object he cited facts long past—drawn, in fact, from ancient histcry. We all know the facts he mentioned ; but why cite them as he did in such a body as this ? It is neither politic nor right. Our duty as members of this House is to make laws for the well-being and prosperity of the country and of all classes of the population, and not to excite the hatred and prejudices of one section of the community against another section. (Hear, hear.) Then, again, what was the gist of the speech just made by the honorable member for Drummond and Arthabaska (Mr. J . B. E. DORION)—who certainly, I must admit, possesses oratorical ability, as well as other gifts? I t was just simply a comparison between our Goverment and that of the United States, and of course he gave the preference to the latter. The honwable member is never weary of looking to Washington with one eye. (Hear, hear.) Why does not the honorable member tell us frankly at once that he desires the annexation of Canada to the United States ? For, if wo are to believe his statements, the American Government is an extraordinary government, a model government, a government unequalled in the world! But no; instead of giving us the benefit of his real thoughts, he stops short at insinuations, and comparisons of tae expenditure attending the two forms of government, in order to leave an impression on the minds of the people. (Hear, hear.) Another hon. member of this House, who is not in the habit of appealing to the religious or national prejudices of the people—the hon. member for Bagot(Hon. Mr. LAFRAMBOISE)— has thought proper, this evening, to join in the outcry of the Opposition on this subject. He cited an event which has just occurred at Toronto, and which everybody regrets, and used it as an argument against the scheme of Confederation submitted to us by the Government. Why drag that fact into the discussion of a great question, and at a solemn moment like this ? I do think that it was hardly becoming in an honorable ex-minister of the Crown to say to this House,—” Two sisters of charity have been insulted in the streets of Toronto; ergo, sisters of charity will not be tolerated under Confederation ; the clergy will be persecuted, and religion annihilated.” But this style of argument is resorted to somewhat too tardily. These protestations of devotedness to religion and to the clergy come too late to be believed by the people of Lower Canada, or to make any impression, on them. (Hear, hear.) The hon. member for Richelieu also indulged in insinuations against, the Honorable President of the Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN), and stated that he was still as great a fanatic as ever against our religion and our clergy. Certainly, the Honorable President of the Council was wrong in speaking as he formerly did,

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when he was in the ranks of the Opposition ; but how much more culpable was it not in the Rouges to support him at that very time ? The members of the Opposition reproach us to-day with supporting the Hon. President of the Council, and blame us for things we have not done. We blamed the Hon. President of the Council for attacking our clergy and iusulting what we respect most. We opposed him with all our strength, but at that very time the Opposition supported him, and approved of everything he said. The people know that perfectly well ; they know and appreciate thoroughly the difference between our motives and yours, in opposing the hon. member for South Oxford, and you cannot deceive them. The people will say to you,— ” Give us a proof of what you can do ; and if you are better than these you attack, we will accept your leadership.” What crime are we charged with to-day by the Opposition ? After numberless fierce struggles, and two general elections, it had become impossible for any party to govern the country. The people were weary of the whole thing, and wished for a change. It was then that a coalition took place between the two parties who formed the majority in either section of the province. The Opposition should not condemn that alliance ; on the contrary, they ought to continue to give their support to the honorable member for South Oxford (Hon. Mr. BROWN), since he has formed an alliance with the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada, in order to find some means of carrying on the Government, and of removing the difficulties by which we are surrounded. It has been stated that the delegates to the Quebec Conference were not empowered to prepare a scheme such as that now before us : but can it be said that the Government had not the right to do so ? The Ministry have prepared a scheme which they now submit to us, and the question is not as to whether they were or were not empowered to prepare it, but whether the scheme is a good one, whether it is deserving of the approval of the people, and for the best interests of the province. This it is for us to say, and it is all we have to say ; but it is not right to accuse hon. Ministers, who have endeavored to discharge their duty and to relieve the country from its difficulties—it is not right to reproach them, after they have labored day and night at their task, and to tell them they had no right to do what they have done. We had a right to expect a serious discussion of the Government scheme ; but no, we have had nothing of the kind ; we have had nothing but personal attacks, appeals to prejudice, and underhand attempts out of doors against the scheme. We have had a crop of suppositions and insinuations against this man and that man. It is ” supposed ” that the Honorable Attorney General for Lower Canada desires to become a governor ; another is accused of desiring to be made a judge of a Federal court, and every hon. member of this House favorable to the Government scheme is accused of aiming at making money, obtaining a place or honors, by betraying and selling the cause of the people. This is certainly most unjust, and every one of these suppositions is utterly unwarranted. Those who indulge in them have not a shadow of proof to bring forward in support of their assertions, and they would, therefore, be much better employed in a calm and deliberate discussion of the measure itself. (Hear, hear.) Other hon. members, with a view of opposing the Government scheme and depreciating it in the opinion of the people, have made use of the name of an honored citizen, now living in the retirement of private life. The honorable member for Bagot (Hon. Mr. LAFRAMBOISE) told us that Mr. C. S. CHERRIER, of Montreal, was strongly opposed to the scheme of Confederation, and that his opinion should have great weight, because he is a ” devout ” man. Now, I should like to know, Mr. SPEAKER, what connection there can possibly exist between religious devotion and a discussion such as this? I was really sorry to hear such language fall from the honorable member for Bagot, for he is not in the habit of making use of arguments of that kind. It is utterly astounding to see the party who wanted to shut up the priests in their vestries, and deny them the right to hold any political opinions, using Mr. CHERRIER’S devotion as a weapon wherewith to combat Confederation. (Hear, hear.) But what is the origin ot the great agitation promoted by the hon. member for Hochelaga (Hon. Mr. DORION), since the alliance of the Conservative party with the Hon. President of the Council ? Has he forgotten that he himself carried out implicitly the behests of thai hon. gentleman all the time they worked together ? And if not, how can he possibly make it a crime in others to work with himii Was he not aware that his own Government—the Government of the hon. member for Cornwall (Hon. J.S. MACDONALD)— existed only at his will that the

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Hon. President of the Council chastised that Government for its most trifling backslidings ; and that whenever he threatened, the Government quickly mended its ways ? To-day you speak of the vast expenditure of the province ; but you formed part of a Ministry which promised wonders to the country, and what did it do after all ? The facts are there ; and surely it ill-becomes you to speak of extravagant expenditure. Hon. gentlemen exclaim— ” $40 per head !” They do not, it is true, tell us that the high price of molasses is due to CARTIER and J . A. MACDONALD—(laughter)— but they everywhere assert that these gentlemen want to ruin the people, increase the taxes, and plunge the country into an ocean of debt. And yet honorable gentlemen opposite have themselves been in power, and notwithstanding all their previous denunciations of taxation and extravagant expenditure, they were forced to admit the necessity of customs duties, and to work out responsible government ; they found it necessary to retract all they had said in former speeches, when they themselves held the reins of power. But they did not remain in office long enough to get rid of the old leaven completely, and now that they are out of power once more, we find them taking up their former cries. We have the honorable members for Chateauguay and Hochelaga, who once had a Confederation scheme of their own, opposing the scheme of the Government, simply because it did not originate with themselves, and opposing the adoption of any measure for the defence of the country. These honorable gentlemen stated, through their organ Le Pays, that if England desires to retain Canada, she should pay for its defences. This is not said so openly now, but the great wealth of the United States; the immense number of their guns, ships of war and armies, are used as arguments to shew the uselessness of any attempt on our part to defend ourselves in case of attack, and also to lead the people to the conclusion that it is better for the country not to expend anything for defence. Wheu the CARTIER-MACDONALD Government was defeated on a question of loyalty towards the Imperial Government, the whole Opposition voted against the principle of organizing the militia for our defence. The leaders of the Opposition then voted unflinchingly against a Militia law ; but three or four days after, when they had succeeded in taking the place of those whom they had defeated, they themselves voted, without scruple or hesitation, 1600,000 for the organization of the militia. They appointed instructors throughout the whole country, for they had learned that as British subjects they had duties towards the Imperial Government. To-day they are acting as they then acted, and they desire once more to play a double game. They do not want Confederation, but they admit that there is need of a remedy for our sectional difficulties, of the existence of which there can bo no question. Yet they refuse to say what remedy they propose for our difficulties. They keep it all to themselves, shut up in their own minds, as they did with the celebrated budget of the honorable memBer for Chateauguay, which was to be the cure for all our financial difficulties, but which never saw the light. Eighteen months of incubation did not suffice to bring forth the bantling. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) If the Government should not succeed in inducing all the provinces to accept the scheme, they, at all events, will have kept their word and kept the faith which is due to a treaty solemnly contracted between the Provinces of British North America. The hon. member for Chateauguay (Hon. Mr. HOLTON) has told us that he had received a telegraphic despatch, by which he had positive information that the people of the Lower Provinces had rejected Confederation, and that they had pronounced against it in New Brunswick. But what does all that amount to? Ought we on that account also to reject the scheme of the Government? Are we not bound to this scheme by the word of our Ministers? No, we hold to this great scheme of Confederation, and we want no little schemes such as are proposed by the honorable gentlemen on the other side of the House—schemes by which they would appoint little judges and divide Canada into little districts. The Opposition, it is true, have , created a certain amount of distrust in this scheme among the people, by harping on direct taxation, and declaring that Canada will be obliged to tax herself in order to pur chase and defend the territory of the Lower Provinces. They hope by these means to gain the confidence of the people, and to return to power ; but even if they succeeded, they would be obliged to do later what they have already done, what they now condemn, and what the men now in power are desirous of doing in the interest of the people ; they would be obliged to organize the defences of the country, as the Government propose to do, and as the Imperial Government desire. At the present moment we have to choose one of two alternatives—either we must annex

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ourselves to the United States, or we must respect the wishes of England and accept Confederation «with the Maritime Provinces. If we do not desire either Confederation or annexation, we must remain as we are and continue to struggle with Upper Canada; and in the meantime the people will remain behind their plough, business will be at a stand-still, and the debt will be increased by millions. (Hear, hear.) For several days past, Mr. SPEAKER, we have listened to pompous speeches made by honorable members of the Opposition, appealing incessantly to the religious and national prejudices of the population of Lower Canada, with the view of defeating the Government scheme. These honorable gentlemen draw pictures which are really heartrending. They tell the Protestants that under Confederation they will lose all their rights in Lower Canada in respect of the education of their children; and, on the other hand, they tell the Catholics that their religion is in danger, because the Federal Government will have the right of veto in respect of all the measures of the Local Government. But this right of veto must of necessity exist somewhere, in order that the minority may be protected from any injustice which the majority might attempt to do them. We cannot hope to have the majority in the Federal Parliament, when we French Lower Canadians and Catholics have never had it under the existing union. And yet we cannot but congratulate ourselves upon the relations which have always existed between us and our fellow-countrymen of other origins and religions. The Benning Divorce Bill affords a proof that we are in a minority in the present Legislature, for the Protestants all voted in favor of that measure, and the Catholics against it, and the bill was passed. The Catholics, then, are wrong when they exclaim that we ought to unite and carry out our own religious views and secure the triumph of French-Canadian nationality; doing so will only have the effect of exciting the Protestants and the British-Canadians to do the same thing, and then we should fall into a state of anarchy. One night last week, about midnight, an honorable member of this House, an ex-Minister, the honorable member for Cornwall (Honorable J . S. MACDONALD) forgot his position so far as to seek to excite religious jealousies and hatreds ; but I am happy to see that he has not succeeded in his attempt, and that Catholics and Protestants have treated his fanatical appeals with contempt, and have made no response. After having heard this, can any one believe in the reality of all these anticipations of danger paraded in the newspapers, in the House, and throughout the country ? No, it is impossible to believe in it, and not to perceive that it is all hypocrisy, with the view of exciting the prejudices of the people. (Hear, hear.) It has been also said that the use of our language was in danger, and that the French laws would disappear when Confederation was accomplished. But is it not a well-known fact that we owe the protection of our French laws to the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. CARTIER), and is not the Code Civil, which he has just laid before us, a sufficient answer to all that can be asserted on this head? The French laws will be maintained and respected in Lower Canada, and this we owe to the Hon. Attorney General (Hon. Mr. CARTIER). We shall have a statute to assimilate the law of evidence in commercial matters in Lower Canada ; but the French laws will not be abolished. If there is a man in the whole country who possesses real legal judgment, and who is perfectly acquainted with the laws and statutes of Lower Canada, it is certainly the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada, Mr. GEORGE ETIENNE CARTIER. No one will deny this, and there is not a man who can compete with him in this respect.. Why come here and tell us that our language is about to disappear, and that its use is to be abolished in the Federal Legislature ? Is it because lies must be told in order to oppose the scheme of the Government, and real reasons for opposition cannot be found ? A drowning man catches at a straw, and that is what the Opposition are doing to-day. But they ought to be just, and to admit that we shall have our code, which will guarantee to us the maintenance of our laws in Lower Canada, just as the Imperial Act will guarantee to us the use of our language. Why, too, should personal recrimination be indulged in in this discussion? “CARTIER, ” they say, ” does this because he wants to be Governor.”

MR. GEOFFRION—Hear, hear.

MR. DENIS—The honorable member for Verchères, who cries “Hear, hear,” is a man of too much talent and good sense to approve of such language, and especially to make use of such arguments. He ought to leave that to the honorable member for Richelieu (Mr. PERRAULT), who openly tells us in this House that the majority is venal and servile. Such language as this ought not to be made

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use of here, out of respect for ourselves and for the French-Canadians in this House. It is a great mistake on the part of a beardless youth, with no more experience than the honorable member for Richelieu, particularly when he is addressing men of the experience and capacity of the Honorable Attorney General for Lower Canada. All parties agree in saying that the Hon. Attorney General East is capable, honest, and of the highest integrity ; but all do not approve of his policy, and that is perfectly legitimate. But that is no reason for attacking his private character, and putting in his mouth opinions which he has never uttered. They say he is honest and upright, and yet we read in the newspapers that he is willing to sell his country, his religion and his nationality for a tide or an appointment as Governor. This is very unfair. (Hear, hear.) The members of the Opposition demand an appeal to the people upon the question of Confederation. But if it were granted, you would see, Mr. SPEAKER, to what lengths they would go. These demands for an appeal to the peopleare only made with the view of serving the purposes of a clique, who would say to those who desired to discuss frankly the question before the country—” Hold your tongues and vote against the Government !” This is what they have already attempted to do by means of meetings which they have caused to be held in different counties ; but I must say that in mine they did not succeed in their designs. They sent three agents there, under different pretexts, who tried by every possible means to induce the people to pronounce against the Ministerial scheme ; but they did not succeed ; and yet I am the humblest member of this honorable House. But as I happened just at that time to be attending to the daties of my profession at the court of the district of Beauharnois, I observed that these agents had been sent by the Montreal committee, and I was enabled to defeat their little plans and their little games. They tried to make little speeches, and hold little meetings, but as I was on the spot they gained nothing by it. But all this serves to indicate the means that have been employed by the partisans of the Opposition to excite the people against the measure of Confederation. I do not want to be too hard upon them, because they naturally were desirous of obtaining a triumph for their party, and they employed these means as they might have employed others, although they do not care a rush for the holy cause of nationality or religion. (Hear, hear.) I remember very well what used to be said and what used to be done in the Institut Canadien of Montreal, and I observe with satisfaction that the present conduct of the honorable members of the other side of the House who belonged to that Institut is a direct protest against what they did in the Institut, in which we have had Suisses coming and preaching religious toleration. Then it used to be said—” We must advance with the times,” and they used to read the Pucelle. (Hear, hear.) Now, the Government does not propose to establish the annual parliaments, that the hon. member for Hochelaga used to cry out for, but they are engaged in settling the difficulties of the country. They call upon every man of talent to aid them in this task, or to inverft a better remedy for these difficulties, and to submit it to the country. But if those who oppose the Government measure are contented with mere opposition, without proposing any better measure in its stead, what will the people say to them if they present themselves to their constituents, to ask them to pronounce between them and the Government ? They will say—” What have you done ; what have you to offer to compare with what the Ministers have done and offered to us ?” They will ask them for their measure, but they will keep it hidden away with that famous budget of the honorable member for Chateauguay, which has not yet been hatched after eighteen months’ incubation. (Hear, hear.) We know perfectly well that the Government measure is not perfect, and that it has defects, as all plans made by men must have. For my part I admit it most willingly; but it must be remembered that it is a compromise, and this the gentlemen of the Opposition take good care not to allow for or to state. In public they say that the French-Canadians are going to be overwhelmed by the English element in the Confederation, and that they will lose their language. But do they not know that in Upper Canada the French language has been preserved as pure and unalloyed as in Lower Canada, wherever there is the smallest nucleus of French inhabitants ? The members on the other side propose giving us lessons in the art of preserving our language and our nationality— they, annexationists at heart and in their actions, who are always looking to Washington. I do not say that it is a crime to be an annexationist, but at least let them frankly admit what they are. Thus the honorable member for Chateauguay (Hon. Mr. HOLTON) is more of a Yankee than any one. He told us

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to-day he did not like great undertakings, but it seems to me that certain great undertakings in which he has had a band, have not had the effect of emptying his purse. (Hear, hear.) Why should the country be prevented from advancing in the way of progress ; why prevent the construction of means of communication, which will have the effect of keeping our French-Canadians in the country? You seem to forget your words and deeds of yesterday. When he occupied a seat on the Treasury benches, the honorable member for Chateauguay was constantly rising to tell us that we were a factious Opposition, a dreadful Opposition, because we did not allow the Government to do just what they liked. But he does not think his own opposition today factious, he who has risen fifty-five times in the course of this debate, and who cuts up every question like fresh butter. He says today that the Government wishes to choke off discussion and to prevent the members of the Opposition from speaking, and yet he has spoken fifty-five times ! The hon. member for Lotbinière (Mr.JOLY) told us, the other day, that the people are in a condition of torpor, and that they must be awakened. If they are in a condition of torpor anywhere, they are certainly not so in Lower Canada ; but if they were, they would undoubtedly be awakened by all the fine speeches delivered by honorable members on the other side of the House, and on observing the great resistance which they offer to divorce and their fervent energy in maintaining family ties unbroken. Those gentlemen loudly proclaim to us that we ought not to vote for divorce ; but it is quite unnecessary for them to tell us so—all Catholics are perfectly well aware that it is their duty to vote against divorce. We know that the laws of Parliament cannot prevail over those of the Church. And we are not voting for divorce in voting for the scheme of Confederation ; and the declamations of hon. members on’ the other side of the House, on this subject, cannot carry conviction into the minds of any one. Nobody asks us to enact a law to allow civil magistrates to celebrate marriages, and all that is said by the Opposition in relation to this question only amounts to a tempest in a tea-pot. At any rate we may congratulate ourselves upon the conversion of hon. members, and now they need only tell the truth for the future, and their past sins will be forgiven them. However, although they constitute themselves the protectors of our religion and nationality, it is evident that the people do not yet very firmly believe in their conversion, and that they have not yet attained the confidence of the country ; for otherwise the plan of the Government is sufficiently new and sufficiently little understood to allow of their having a chance of returning to power. (Hear.) The people, in view of all their fine declarations, will probably think that they are going to ally themselves with our friends ; but if they do not do so, it will then be perceived that they are not sincere, and then so much the worse for them. In the meantime the people will consider the scheme which is submitted to us, and will judge it upon its merits, without allowing themselves to be led away by appeals to prejudices and insinuations made by honorable members on the other side of the House. I shall, at a later period, speak upon the question itself, but I will not follow the example of the honorable member for Richelieu, who gave us a long speech with the help of GARNEAU’S History of Canada, which he read out nearly from one end to the other. Nor will I utter threats either, and no one. of us will say, ” If matters do not go on in this way, or in that, you will see.”, In a country like ours, we do not say “you will see !” To do so is to try to create useless excitement among the people, and all honest en should reprove such conduct. Besides, who is the man who has influence enough to raise the people at the present moment? Certainly not our worthy fellow-citizen, Mr. CHERRIER, for he is too peaceable, too devout, and too good a Catholic to tell the Canadian people to rise and fight against the scheme of the Government by force of arms. No, he will rather tell them to respect authority, and claim their rights if they consider themselves injured, because he is aware that it is better to respect one’s father than to fight against him. As to Hon. Mr. PAPINEAU, that distinguished man has undergone mortification enough in his public life, and feels enough regret for his friends and fellow-countrymen who perished at St. Denis and elsewhere, to pievent his wishing to recommence playing that game. The honorable member for Bagot reproached the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada with having been present at St. Denis, and with having returned from thence. Would he have preferred to have seen him lying amid the dead and mingling his ashes with those of the victims who perished there ?

HON. MR. LAFRAMBOISE—Oh ! there was no danger.

MR. DENIS — You reproach him with

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having done this when he was young, and yet you say that you would do the same if you were powerful enough to undertake it. That is no argument, and that is not what we ought to do. We ought to say to England that it is our wish to remain under the shadow of her noble flag; that we stand in fear of our neighbors, and are desirous of knowing what she can do to help us. It is in this way that our Ministers should approach the Imperial Government, and if the negotiations do not terminate in a satisfactory manner, then it will be time to separate and to seek another state of existence. The debate has taken too personal a turn, and we have listened to accusations and insinuatious against this person and that person ; but as the Opposition has nothing better to suggest to us than what is proposed to us by the present Government, they cannot hope that members on this side of the House will support them with the sole object of defeating the Administration. Gentlemen on the Opposition benches call for the details, but their leaders may be called upon to say what they suggest to bring the country forth from the difficulties in which it is plunged. What they desire is the status quo. But let them propose something practical to us ; let them say what they want and what they can do. Iûstead of this we hear from them nothing but recriminations and perpetual fault finding. They ask why the Government does not now state how the local governments are to be organised ; but the reply to this question made by the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada, was very just, when he told them that the Government wished first to know whether we were favorable to Confederation, and that then they would bring forward the details. This is perfectly fair, and we must not mix up the cards. (Hear, hear.) I do not wish to speak at greater length at present; but I must allude, however, to the continual assertion of tha honorable member for Huchelaga (Hon. Mr. DO- RION) with respect to the enormous national debt which Confederation will entail. Why does he not take account of the reasons which induce the Lower Provinces to refuse Confederation ? Is it because those reasons are fatal to his arguments ? In fact the Lower Provinces declare that our Ministers wished to obtain too much for Canada, that the burthens to be laid upon them are too heavy, and that an alliance with us would ruin them ; whilst honorable members on the other side of the House declare that they will none of this alliance, because we grant too much to the Lower Provinces. Those provinces say that Confederation will not be advantageous to them, because they will be compelled to pay for the canals, the railways and other improvements in Canada, and because they would derive no tdvantage from an alliance with us. Besides, those provinces are now in the hands of agents of the United States, whose great object is to prevent the success of Confederation, because it would be fatal to their trade with the provinces. That is why they labored, and labored successfully, to prevent the election of the partisans of Confederation in New Brunswick, just as they would do all in their power to prevent our elections here, if an appeal to the people should be had on the question, for they would work in the interest of the United States. (Opposition laughter ) I see the honorable member for Diummond and Arthabaska laughing—

MR. J . B. E. DORION—I am laughing at the silly stuff you have been talking to us for the last hour.

MR. DENIS—If there is a man in this House who has talked silly stuff and holds narrow ideas, that man is undoubtedly the honorable member for Drummood and Arthabaska— he who has never done anything but stir up and foment the prejudices of race—he who writes little letters to get petitions against Confederation signed in his county by all the women and children in it. Although I have not, like the honorable member, at my command a little newspaper like the Défricheur, which never cleared (défriché) anything except when the honorable member for Hochelaga was Attorney General for Lower Canada, and then the honorable member knew very well how to make clearings among Government jobs and advertisements—I am quite able to reply to the honorable member. It is truly laughable to hear a man like him talk of the “silly stuff” of others, when we think of his newspaper articles in which he said :—” Pay ! wretched people — molasses and tea are dear “—and what he said about the Seigniorial bill and the Municipal bill— two measures which have called forth the admiration of the whole wurld—and about the Reciprocity treaty, which was, by his shewing, to do all sorts of harm to the country, but which has done all sorts of

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good. Ah ! it is the same school all over. The ins tant a man holds a different opinion from those gentlemen, he is good for nothing, and all that h e says is silly stuff. Truly, these are the foolish virgins who have no oil in their lamps.

MR. J . B. E. DORION—You are charming!

MR. DENIS — The honorable member told us, a short time since, that we were passing from extravagance to folly ; with one stroke of the pen he sweeps away all the apices of the country, and declares that they are merely heaps of fools and simpletons ; but I forgive him, for I believe that he is not compos mentis. As to those who set themselves up here as the defenders of religion, we shall, before believing them, wait for an expression of opinion on the part of those to whom is intrusted the duty of speaking on the subject ; and as to the protection of our nationality, we shall hearken to the men to whom the people have delegated the duty of watching over and protecting it, and we shall not follow the leading of men like those who are opposed to the plan of Confederation. (Ministerial cheers, and ironical Opposition laughter . )

MR . POULIOT said — Mr. SPEAKER , it was my intention, before recording my vote on the resolutions which are now before the House, to make some remarks respecting them at much greater length than I shall now do ; for now we find that this new being, which was to be brought forth in order to save the country, has already perished while still in embryo, from the violent blow which it has received in New Bruns – wick ; and if we still turn our attention to it, our doing so is certainly only in order to relieve the womb of its mother, whom it greatly inconveniences, and who would ultimately have been destroyed by it . There is, therefore, nothing left for us to do, Mr. SPEAKER , but to join in the libera and to chant requiescat in pace—(laughter)—and that, I think, ths whole of Lower Canada will sing with a great deal of pleasure, giving, at the same t ime, thanks to that Providence which, we love to think, watches with special care over our beloved Canada, for haviag preserved us from being plunged into the abyss, on the verge of which we were standing, and to charge the honorable gentlemen who sit on the other side of this House to go to England and deliver its funeral oration. (Hear, hear.) Yet , though such is the case, Mr . SPEAKER , the exceptional position in which the county which I have the honor to represent here, and the position which an effort has been made to describe me as occupying in this House, by the assertion that I do not represent the opinions of my constituents in relation to this great question, compel me, before voting, to hold up to view the special situation of my county and to shew that in voting as I propose to do, I shall be doing no more than carrying out and executing the wishes of the electors whom I represent. I should wish that several of the members who are going to vote on the opposite side may be able to shew as good grounds in support of their votes. (Hear, hear.) It is true that a meeting, called by myself in my double capacity as warden of the county and member representing it, was held in my county, and that at that meet ing there was some disturbance which prevented an expression of opinion in relation to Confederation ; but, Mr . SPEAKER , it is well to know that that meet ing was held only two days before the balloting for the militia, and that in consequence great agitation had been got up among the young men, who are not even electors, in order to divert the attention of the meet ing from the subject, to discuss Which it had been called together ; and it is acknowledged, Mr . SPEAKER , that it is always easy to find a certain number of people, in any county whatever, who will be ever ready to create a disturbance if only they are provided with what is needful, and such is what took place on the occasion in question. Since then, however, several of the principal parishes have pronounced upon Confederation, as will be seen by the following resolutions, which I shall take the liberty of reading to the House : —

At a special meeting of the municipal council ot the parish of St. Arsène, in the county of Témiscouata, duly called by special and public notice, and held in the said parish of St. Arsène, in the public hall, on Monday, the thirteenth day of the month of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, in conformity with the provisions of the Municipal Act of Lower Canada of 1860, and at which meeting were present : J. PRIME ROY, Esquire, Mayor, and Messieurs FRANCOIS DUBÉ, J . BTE. PELLETIER, HECTOR ROY, GERMAIN TERRIAULT, JOSEPH ROY and CLOVIS BERUBÉ, members of the said Council and constituting a quorum ; the said J. PRIME ROY, Esquire, presiding as Mayor ; and at which meeting was also present a large number of the principal inhabitants and electors of the said parish, Councillor FRANCOIS DUBÉ moved, seconded by Councillor HECTOR ROY :—

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That it be resolved that this Council being of opinion that the Scheme of Confederation of the British North American Provinces now before the Legislature, would be disadvantageous to Lower Canada, considers it their duty to request J. BTE. POULIOT, Esquire, member for the county, to do all in his power to prevent the adoption of the scheme in question, or at least to obtain the postponement of that adoption until after an appeal to the people shall have been had, in such way as the Legislature shall think most expedient.— Unanimously adopted.

Mr. CLOTIS ROY moved, seconded by Mr. Jos. ROY : –

That a copy of the foregoing resolution be at once transmitted to the said J. BTE. POULIOT, Esquire.—Unanimously adopted,

(Signed) J. PRIME ROY, Mayor.

I have also other resolutions, identical in character, adopted in several other parishes in the county, but I shall abstain from reading them. (Hear, hear.) Now, Mr. SPEAKER, in order to explain clearly to honorable members the peculiar position in which the county which I have the honor to represent is placed, I have to inform them that whatever line is adopted for the Intercolonial Eailway, if it should be built—and I hope that it will be built without Confederation— it must, in any case, pass through the whole of the county—an extent of more than fifty miles—and subsequently be carried through a great extent of virgin forest, to which the inhabitants of my county are the most nearly situated. The advantages reaped by the localities, Mr. SPEAKER, in which works of such magnitude are being carried out, both as regards their construction and their subsequent maintenance, and the other advantages accruing to settlements from the building of a railway, are well known. All this has been perfectly well understood by the inhabitants of my county ; that is to say, that in respect of material interests.Confederation might be beneficial to us—an opinion which I also hold myself; but they have also, however, understood that as it is with individuals, so it is with nations—that the richest are not always the happiest. And believing that the French-Canadian nationality would be endangered if Confederation should be carried out, they did not hesitate for an instant to pronounce against the scheme, and charged me, as their representative, to oppose it here in their name ; so that in acting as I am doing, MR. SPEAKER, I am merely carrying out their wishes. (Hear,hear.) I must say, Mr. SPEAKER, that I greatly regret that several of the gentlemen with whom I have worked and with whom I still work, should have so strongly based their objections to Confederation on the construction of the Intercolonial Eailway. To listen to those gentlemen, one would really believe that Canada ends here at Quebec, or that the part which is situated below is not worth occupation. I invite those gentlemen to examine with a little more attention the map of the province as far as its lower extremity— the Bay of Chaleurs and Gaspé, and they will perceive that it contains a tolerably vast territory and good land adapted for colonization—a fact of which they may also convince themselves by glancing at the colonization reports. They will perceive, I say, that if the Intercolonial Railway were made by the line called Major ROBINSON’S line, but not by New Brunswick, as recommended by the resolutions submitted to us, we should, before many years had elapsed, see an immense population settled on that territory, which is capable of containing more than 100,000 souls; and several of the gentlemen who oppose the construction of that road, and who reside in counties in which there is no room for tha surplus population, might induce that surplus population to go and settle on the territory in question, and would have no reason to regret having done so. (Hear, hear.) And, Mr. SPEAKER, besides the advantages which that road would bring to the trade of Canada in general, it would, if made to communicate with the Gulf of St. Lawrence by way of Ristigouche, have the immediate effect of imparting an impulse to the working of our fisheries, which are capable of giving employment to several thousand more persons than are now engaged in them. The effect of this would be to keep our young men at home, and even to bring them back from the United States, where many of them now are. I, therefore, invite the gentlemen who are opposed to the railway in question to join with us in hurrying the construction of it, for it will be one of the best means of restoring equality of population between the two provinces, and of stifling the cry which is so deafening to us Lower Canadians —the cry for representation by population. I willingly admit, Mr. SPEAKER, that public opinion below Quebec appeared at first to be favorable to Confederation, or at least that there was a disposition to submit to it, be-

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cause the public, had been made to believe that government was no longer possible, and that Confederation was the only weans of settling our difficulties ; but I believe that that opinion has greatly changed since the Ministerial explanations have been made public ; for every one expected, and it was everywhere asserted, that amendments would be made, and that we should be informed as to the nature of the local governments, and as to the debt of Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) With these few remarks, Mr. SPEAKER, I shall conclude by saying that I shall vote against the resolutions in order to carry out and to comply with the wishes of my constituents. (Cheers.)

MR. J . J . ROSS—I propose, Mr. SPEAKER, that the speech of the honorable member should be printed in pamphlet form, apart from the official debates, and that several thousand copies should be struck off to be distributed freely throughout the country. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)

MR. BIGGAR—As the resolutions on the Confederation of the Provinces are looked to with a very great deal of interest by the couutry, I think it necessary to make a few remarks in explanation of the vote which I intend to give. But before doing so, I think it necessary for me to state, as briefly as possible, the position that I hold toward the present Government, as also the two governments that have preceded them. In my canvass in 1861, I most distinctly and unhesitatingly stated to my constituents that I had no confidence in the CARTIER-MAODONALD Government, who were then in power, as I considered that they had managed the finances of the country very badly, and had, by their extravagance, brought us to the eve of bankruptcy ; and that if I were elected to the House as their representative, I should feel it my duty to vote want of confidence in that Government, if such a vote was proposed. In 1862 the Militia Bill was introduced by that Administration. Believing that some legislation was necessary in that direction, and admitting the principle of the bill, I voted with the Government on it. Some of my political friends, with whom I was then acting, found fault with me for the course I theu took and the vote I then gave ; but I am happy to say that they have since been induced to take the same view of the matter that I did at that time, and they would now be willing to go a little farther in the same direction than I would perhaps feel it prudent to go with our great public debt. It is gratifying to me, however, to find that the course I took ou that occasion has been approved of now by them. That Government was defeated on that vote ; and when the new Government was formed, known as the MACDONALD-SICOTTE Administration, I was not satisfied with their policy. I had promised my constituents that I would support representation by population, and vote against separate schools; and as that Government proposed to make representation by population a close question, and to bring in a Separate School Bill, I felt that I should have to vote against them when representation by population would be moved as an amendment to the Address. I accordingly voted for the amendment; and when Mr. SCOTT’S Separate School Bill was introduced, I felt it my duty to vote against it, in accordance with the pledges I had made to my constituents. That Government was defeated, and a new Governm.’ nt w,as formed, in which I advised you, Mr. SPEAKER, and my friend the late Hon. Postmaster General, to take office. I stuted to you, Mr. SPEAKER, and to the Hon. Mr. MOWAT, that I would not advise you, as my friends, to take office, unless I woald feel it to be my duty to support you ; and that if the question of representation by population was again moved as an amendment to the Speech from the Throne, I wouid vote against the amendment, and that I would go before my constituents, as a general election was approaching, and state what I had done, and if they did not sustain me in what I had done, I was quite willing to remain at home. I believe that Government did right in resigning when they found t ley could not carry on the business of che country in a satisfactory manner; and when the TACHÉ-MACDONALD Administration was formed, I decided to give them a test-vote, but I was willing that they should proceed without any opposition from me, if they could control a majority of the House; but when the reconstruction took place, I felt that I could not be a party to a government of that kind — that the demoralizing influence of a coalition such as that Government contained would counteract all the good they could ever do, and that the alliance was an unhappy one. (Hear, hear.) I was not willing, after having voted a want of confidence in them on the 14th of June last, for having misappropriated one hundred thousand dollars of the funds of the province, to come down to the House eight days after and say b

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that I would support them, now that they had promised to give the Hon. GEORGE BROWN, on behalf of himself and two other members of the Liberal party, the selection of three seats in the Cabinet, when they had done no act to merit my confidence, but simply state that they would grant constitutional changes, which they might or might never do. I was not prepared, however, to give them any factious opposition, but was willing to support any good measures that they might bring forward. That Government met delegates from the Maritime Provinces, at a Conference in this city, and agreed upon the resolutions that are now submitted to this House. In them I find principles which do not harmonize with my pledges to the people, and without an appeal to the people I cannot support the measure now before the House. (Hear, hear.) I will not here say anything of the merits of the resolutions, but simply state that they embrace priLciples which I cannot support on account of the promises that I have made to my constituents. The people of my county have been led by the Globe to believe that the Intercolonial Railway would be a very dangerous affair for the country, and that it would not be useful either as a military or commercial undertaking. Looking at it from a military point of view, it is well known that part of the proposed line would run within twenty-six miles of the American frontier, and that communication could be cut off at any moment by an American army ; and that as a commercial undertaking it could never compete with the water route during the season of navigation ; and in the winter it would be comparatively useless on account of the depth of snow. They have been told that it would never pay for the grease that would go on the axles. (Hear, hear.) When I went before them and Stated that I would support the MACDONALD-DORION Government, they said that Government should be looked upon with suspicion, as tliey had granted ten thousand dollars for the survey of the Intercolonial Railway; but I told them that the best guarantee that they ceuld have that that work would not be proceeded with, was that the Hon. Mr. DORION was in the Cabinet, and that he had previously resigned his seat as Provincial Secretary ia the MACDONALD-SICOTTE Administration, rather than agree to the construction of that railway. Another question that I found a little embarrassing was that of separate schools. The present Hon. Solicitor General for Canada West came into my riding and very ingeniously told the people that I was responsible for the Separate School Bill having been forced upon them, inasmuch as I had supported the general policy of the Government that had carried the bill, although I had voted with the hon. gentleman against the bill in all its stares from the beginning to the end. They were satisfied, however, when I told them that I was prepared to vote to rescind the amendments to the Separate School Bill as introduced by Mr. SCOTT. Now, as these resolutions propose to perpetuate separate schools in Upper Canada for all time to come, I feel that they would conflict with the pledges that I have made to the people, and that I cannot support them. (Hear, hear.) I was a little surprised to find the Honorable President of the Council get up and say that he did not fear any of the evil results that might proceed from the present Separate School Bill. Was that the language of the hon. gentleman in 1862 ? Was that the way the subject had been treated in the columns of the Globe when the bill was being discussed in 1862 and 1863 ? Every member of this House will remember how the thirteeen members, even spoken of in the Globe in 1862, for having had the courage to vote against the second reading of Mr. SCOTT’S Separate School Bill—when 95 members of the House were willing to vote for the second reading—and in 1863 when the bill was being passed into law by the MACDONALD-SICOTTE Government— how the members were warned to be true to their pledges, no matter what might become of the Government. Even Dr. RYERSON, the Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, who had devoted twenty years of the best of his life in perfecting a system of education, was denounced in the columns of the Globe as a deserter of the best interests of education in Upper Canada, for having consented to the amendments as proposed in Mr. SCOTT’S Separate School Bill. I cannot help referring to another remark made by the Hon. President of the Council. He said—” Let any one vote against these resolutions and dare to go before the people.” Is he not prepared to allow others the same freedom of thought which he enjoys himself? (Hear, hear.) I can only say that I for one will not be coerced into anything of that » kind. (Hear, hear.) I am not responsible to the Hon. President of the Council for my votes. I am responsible to the people that sent me here, and to a higher power, and I

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am not going to be coerced into giving a vote which I cannot approve. (Hear, hear.) I cannot say whether I will ever be called upon again to represent the county that I now have the honor to represent ; whether I do or do not, it is a matter of no consequence to me; but I do say that I will not, under any circumstances, be coerced by the honorable gentleman. He should not forget, however, that his influence in Northumberland is not what he might have anticipated, and that when he thought proper to come down from Toronto, in April last, to oppose the Hon. Solicitor General, when he was contesting the West Riding with a very respectable farmer, that notwithstanding the very powerful speeches of the Hon. President of the Council, the Hon. Solicitor General was returned for that riding by a Very large majority. I suppose that, had the Hon. President of the Council anticipated that he was, within two months, to have had a seat in the same Cabinet with the Hon. Solicitor General, he would have acted differently. I myself had a very strong invitation to go up to the West Riding to oppose the Hon. Solicitor General, but I was willing to act upon the principle of returning good for evil. I was quite willing to allow the electors of West Northumberland to choose for themselves whom they would elect for their representative in Parliament; and in regard to the Hon. Solicitor General, I must say that, as far as I can learn, he has discharged the duties of his office with satisfaction to the Government and the people that he represents, and with credit to himself. It is not my intention to give the Government any factious opposition. I will cheerfully support any good measures for the benefit of the country which they may bring forward for our adoption ; but I wish the Government to understand, as I do not wish to occupy any doubtful position in this House, I am no supporter of theirs, and if a vote of want of confidence is at any time proposed, I am prepared to vote againgt them (Hear, hear.)

MR. JACKSON—I think it right to say a few words on this question before the vote is taken ; but at this late hour, I will not detain the House very long. The subject has been discussed from various points of view. In the early part of the debate, one gentleman, the hon. member for Hochelaga (Hon. Mr. DORION), objected to the scheme mainly on the ground that it approximated too closely to a legislative union, and that it would interfere with the privileges which the parties to the union exercise in their respective localities; and if I remember rightly, he said that the plan of the Government would have the effect of interfering with the language and religion of Lower Canadians. It occurred to me at trîe time he was making his speech, that ho was taking untenable ground, and I felt grateful then, and I do so now, that that hon. gentleman is not in a position to exercise more power, at this crisis, than an ordinary member of the Legislature. I admire the ability of that honorable gentleman, and I consider it unfortunate that at this important juncture he did not rise above narrow and limited sectional views, and take more statesmanlike ground. (Hear, hear.) Then the hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. M. C. CAMERON) objected to Confederation from a different point of view, but he arrived at his conclusions from arguments of an entirely different character. Strange to say, he did not regard this with satisfaction, while a legislative union would meet with his approval. He professed to believe that the Maritime Provinces would combine with Lower Canada, and form a Union detrimental to the interests of Upper Canada, placing the people there in a worse position than that which they at present occupy with an equality of representation. As he made that remark, I asked him what difference it could make then, whether we had a Federal or a Legislative union, which he professes to admire, as it would have charge of all the important general interests. His answer convinced me that there was nothing to support his argument. It seemed to me that he took too much for granted in assuming that there would be a union between Lower Canada and the Maritime Provinces as against Upper Canada. It is hardly to be oonoeived that gentlemen called together for the performance of certain high purposes would attempt to do an injury to one part of the country over another. (Hear, hear.) If such a sectional alliance was possible, it would be much more likely that the union would be formed with Upper Canada, inasmuch as that part of the proposed Confederacy has a much larger aggregate business than any or either of the other separate sections. But I will not dwell upon this, as it appears to me to carry with it its own refutation. This principal reason for opposing this scheme is. I think, founded on the fact that the hon. gentlemen now united together in

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the Government do not possess his confidence. He referred to their antecedents, and spoke of their being opposed to each other before, and said that it was impossible for them to unite now for any good object. I think, sir, it will scarcely be denied that in looking back upon the antecedents of our public men, there is hardly one of any note who has not, during some portion of his life, found himself in such a position as to render it necessary for him to abandon views which he had previously maintained, and that no government has been successful which has not been founded upon mutual concessions. It is necessary that public men on both sides should unite in great emergencies in order to promote the general welfare. We know very well that those who are open to conviction very frequently change their course, and it is no disgrace to any one that under the influence of increased knowledge he has shaped his conduct in accordance with the degree of light which has surrounded him. The honorable gentleman knows very well that we must judge the actions of individuals not merely by-their motives—for these we cannot often penetrate—but by the character and results of their actions. And so we must look upon the scheme now before us as it really is. We must examine it for ourselves, and unless we see clear evidence to the contrary, we ought to give its promoters credit for honesty and sincerity. I have no sympathy with those who willingly attribute the actions of public men to the influence of unworthy motives, when they may fairly claim to originate in the higher qualities of the mind and heart. It is the duty, I think, of all right-minded men to give this Government the credit of acting from high-minded motives. But supposing, for the sake of argument, that these honorable gentlemen had united for dividing among themselves offices of profit and emolument. It is fortunate that the germs of evil seldom attain to their complete development. Professions of patriotism do not always betoken the absence of selfishness. He has read history to little purpose who has not discovered that political dishonesty has frequently been not only harmless, but has been practically the minister of public good. The hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. M. C. CAMERON) stated the other day, that under Confederation Upper Canada would contribute an unequally large proportion of the amount necessary to sustain the machinery of the Confederacy. He had a large array of figures before him ; but as I took no notes of these figures, I am not prepared to dispute their correctness. But he forgot this, which is a matter of great importance to be considered, that under Confederation there will be a uniformity in the tariffs of the several provinces, and if the tariff of Canada is reduced so as to bring it into conformity with those of the Maritime Provinces, the disproportion will disappear. An hon. gentleman who afterwards addressed the House, and who, I regret, is absent from the House by reason of indisposition—the hon. member for Brome (Mr. DUNKIN)—I understood to say that nations and constitutions and governments owed their origin to that creative power to which all are indebted for existence and the means of perpetuating it. The idea is well expressed in the words of a celebrated writer :—” There is a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we may.” He (Mr. DUNKIN) then went on to question the honesty of the purpose of those gentlemen, Hon. Messrs. ROSS, GALT and CARTIER, who signed the despatch of 1858, which resulted in the Conference of last September. He described all the intermediate stages as ” accidents,” and then found fault with every item of the conferential arrangement. The hon. gentleman, on his own principles, should not criticise too severely the action of the Government. They might be only instruments in the hands of the Supreme Architect. The reasonable method would be to examine the arrangements or agreements of the Conference, and if the scheme is found to be based upon just and equitable principles, it must recommend itself to favorable consideration, and the inevitable conclusion is that it ought to be adopted. I confess I admire the arrangement, which has no doubt been arrived at after much cave and deliberation. The commercial and financial parts of the scheme seem to me to be as just as, under the circumstances, they possibly could be. It is a very ordinary accomplishment to be able to find fault. It is much easier to destroy thau to build up. We know that those so disposed might take up the best schemes ever devised by human ingenuity, and draw improper conclusions therefrom. In fact there is no form of government in the world but what, if badly administered, woald bo productive of evil. On the other hand, a scheme somewhat defective in itself, if placed in the hands of good and patriotic men, might be made to

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conduce to the advantage of the country— ” That which is best administered is best.” Mr. SPEAKER, no scheme can be entirely perfect. Indeed, it is scarcely desirable it should be so. There should be room for the exercise of political virtue, and scope for the exercise of that executive responsibility which attaches to our system of government There is a great deal of discretion left to our public men, and they are expected to use their powers for the general weal and welfare. I am disposed to place confidence in the Government, and believe that they will, so far as their ability goes, work out this scheme to a desirable result, and in this I hope and trust they will succeed The hon. member for Lennox and Addington (Mr. CARTWRIGHT), in his speech to-day, which, like all his other speeches, was of the most admirable kind, made some profound observations. He had thought deeply upon the subject of which he was treating. He remarked that the Government were merely giving effect to a foregone conclusion. He, no doubt, recognized that the public sentiment and public opinion had attained a certain state— had arrived at such a point, that the Government were compelled to go with the stream, and endeavor to consummate that which the people had already brought into such a condition of forwardness. And I thought, sir, that this was the proper and philosophical view to take of the matter. It is true, to my mind at all events—and I think that those who have made themselves acquainted with political history, and the political history of England in particular, must come to the conclusion that those governments act most wisely who take advantage of existing circumstances, and adapt legislation to the real wants and exigencies of the country. The question is not at all times what is best in the abstract, but what is most useful and advantageous to the people. My idea of a statesman is that he should be influenced to a large extent by motives of expediency. Abstract propositions can seldom be reduced to practice. It is foolish for gentlemen placed in the position of the Government to go against the popular stream, and they best manifest their prudence, their ability, and their adaptation to the discharge of their important duties, who make use of passing events for directing the vessel of state into a secure harbour. The honorable member for Missisquoi (Mr. O’HALLORAN) said the other night that there was too much legislation— that the country was governed to death, and I admit that to a certain extent there is some propriety in his remarks ; but they did not apply to the present subject. I presume we are not here for the purpose of discussing the past acts of the Government, but for the purpose of considering the scheme now before us, and it will be an evidence of our good sense and wisdom—it will show, too, our seriousness—if we give it our calm and impartial consideration without reference to extraneous matters. (Hear, hear ) I think, sir, we are now pasting out of the season of political childhood, and that we are being called upon, in the course of events, to enter upon the duties and responsibilities incidental to the period of youth. We are required to practise and inure ourselves to the discharge of important duties, which require discretion and self reliance. And as it is in nature, so it is in communities— there are various stages of progress through which we must pass before we can arrive at the position of manhood. There are only two kinds of animals that attain to eminence—things that fly and things that creep. Thiugs which fly are never secure —they are frequently brought down ; whilst things which creep proceed firmly and cautiously, if slowly, and by degrees arrive at the topmost point. And so people who pass at a bound from a state of political childhood to a state of political manhood, violate the order and arrangement observed in nature. We have seen instances where people have disregarded the various stages of political existence ; but in so doing they have deprived themselves of the advantages of that experience which is necessary to a vigorous manhood, and which previous training alone can secure. I trust we shall not make this mistake, but that we shall observe the order and gradations of nature, and pass through the various political stages of beis g, from childhood upwards, in such a way that we may learn to discharge the duties of our position in a spirit of selfreliance ; that we shall have been taught how to make the best of our circumstances, and prove that the training we have received during our pupilage has been such as to fit us for a vigorous and prosperous future. (Hear.) I think that this view of the subject is one of some importance—so much so, that it has been said the logical conclusion of it would be our independence.

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Well, I do not think there is anything disloyal, that there is anything improper, in supposing that the time may come when this British North American territory shall be the abode of a great and independent people. I do not with to live to see it. But I know very well that when the time comes, there will be no interference on the part of Great Britain with that which seems to be a condition of the inevitable order of things ; that the country with which we are now connected and allied—and itis not only apolitical alliance, but a social alliance, an attachment of affection and esteem—would not at all feel jealous if in the course of events the people inhabiting British North America should be prosperous enough and numerous enough to aspire to independence. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, the circumstances which have brought about the contemplated measure— and I trust it will be a successful one—are such as have torced themselves on the consideration of the Government. I have already alluded to one of these, circumstances, and that is the ract that we are passing from the stage of childhood to a higher and more responsible position—that the Government of this country has for some time been in a state of transition, and that this is the only relief which ihe circumstances present to us, the only way in which an amelioration can be found. During a number of years, and especially since I have taken an active part in politics—in the course of my various election contests—I have invariably stated, that while I looked upon representation by population as a remedy for the political inequalities which existed as between the two sections of the province, a Federal union of the British North American Provinces seemed to me to be the only proper and legitimate conclusion to be ultimately arrived at. Therefore, in advocating this scheme and in giving my vote for it, as I shall do when the matter is brought to that stage which will enable a vote to be taken, I am only doing that which I have for a number of years looked forward to, and which I believe the exigencies cf the country necessitate. (Hear.) There are other circumstances besides that to which I have alluded, which render me favorable to the adoption of the resolutions now before the House. The war in the United States, and the, at one time, apparently imminent disintegration of that republic, strongly directed our attention to the necessity and desirability of uniting with our neighbors for defensive purposes. I do not say that the desire for a union of the provinces grew out of the war in the United States, nor am I going to give any opinion in reference to that war. We all regret its existence, and will all be grateful when it is brought to a close, and the blessings of peace shall again visit our oontinent. I hope that the commercial relations as between us and the United States will be continued ; that we shall have the freest intercourse with that people, and that the passport system being removed, the time is not far distant when our relations with them shall be as friendly and as cordial as they have heretofore been. (Hear, hear.) The threatened repeal of the Reciprocity treaty is another thing that has led to the strong feeling that has been aroused in favor of this scheme. We hope by this union to obtain a large number of customers for our products, intercourse with whom will not be subject to those interruptions that characterise trade with foreign nations. We shall have a large territory under our own government, trade with which and through which will secure to us mutual advantages. Having made these remarks, I would pass on to observe that the expressed desire on the part of the leading men, both of the Government and of the Opposition, in all the provinces, for a close connection, is another strong reason why we should at once take the necessary steps for enabling the union to be carried out. It is a most remarkable and most frvorable circumstance that the best men, the ablest men, the wisest men and the most patriotic men in all the provinces—men whose integrity and abilities have raised them to the highest places in the regards of the people, and whose wisdom in the management of public affairs has sustained them for a long period in those high and honorable positions—met together and agreed upon a scheme of union without any dissension. This agreement in forming a basis of a Constitution, and a foundation to what may become a great nation, I look upon as a most favorable omen indeed. I look upon this union of sentiment as another strong reason for our taking the necessary steps to carry out the union so happily inaugurated, as also a strong evidence of the propriety and wisdom which characterised the course of the hon. gentlemen who composed the respective delegations. The gentlemen representing the Lower Provinces gave

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evidence of ability of a very high order, and I am sure the country will regret that any of the gentlemen who so well adorned the Conference, and who occupied such honorable positions in the government of their provinces, should have lost those positions through attachment to the scheme, for I had learned to look up to those men with a great deal of interest and hope for the future. (Hear, hear.) They are men of such a superior order, that they would grace any legislature in which they might be called upon to take part, and I trust they may be soon again placed in the positions of power and trust from which they have been so unhappily ejected. (Hear, hear.) There are other reasons to which I might refer, that are pressing the subject upon our attention. I will first, however, briefly refer to one important point connected with the subject, about which a good deal has been said by those who have spoken against the resolutions, and it is a matter that will be made the utmost of among the electors of Upper Canada. I mean the question of referring the scheme to a vote of the people, at a general election or some other, way, to ascertain what their views are upon it before taking final action in this House. Previous to the opening of the present session, I touk occasion to visit several townships in the county I have the honor to represent. I laid the whole matter as fully before them as I could well do, and I did not meet with a single individual who did not recognize it as the duty of the present House of Parliament to carry the measure into effect as speedily as possible, so far as it was in the power of our Legislature and Government to do. At various meetings resolutions were voluntarily proposed by individuals in the audience, instructing me to support the measure, and further stating that they would consider it a calamity if a general election were resorted to for the mere purpose of obtaining the consent of the people on the subject, nine-tenths of whose press endorse it. So satisfied were my constituents of the fairness of the scheme on the whole, and of the importance of having it go into operation with the least delay possible, that I feel that I shall be sustained in the vote I am about to give, by the sentiment of those whom I represent in this House. For these reasons, then, I am prepared to vote for the proposed union of all the British American Provinces, as provided for in the resolutions now before the House. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, I trust the House will not regard me as desirous of assuming the office of a censor, if I express my belief that many of the speeches that have been made upon this question have contained a vast quantity of matter quite irrelevant to the question under discussion. There may be parts of the arrangement proposed that are unsatisfactory to many hon. gentlemen, but it is utterly impossible to devise a scheme that will be acceptable to everybody, or that will not be open to the criticism of seeming to bear harder on one section of the country than on another. But it should not be judged in that manner, but by its general fairness and by its being calculated to promote the welfare of the entire country embraced and to be embraced in the Confederacy. It would be absurd to suppose that a scheme could be devised for the purpose that would please and satisfy every section. The scheme under consideration should not be treated and criticised in this narrow, contracted view. Some portions of the country may have to make concessions and sacrifices for the public good, but these should be cheerfully borne, if not of too aggravating a nature. If Upper Canada is blessed with more wealth than any of the other provinces, it ought not to be forgotten that its accountability and its responsibility are greater— that they are in proportion to its riches—and while the people of that important section of the Confederacy may be called upon to concode some things that they have valued-very highly for the general welfare, yet it is not for a moment to be supposed—and no one who dispassionately examines the whole subject can come to that conclusion—that Upper Canada will not receive very important advantages in return, in other respects. There must be conciliation and compromise between the several conflicting interests found in so large and so varied a territory, and we never can have a union without meeting and accommodating ourselves to this difficulty. (Hear, hear.) The question of our defences is another important consideration in connection with the subject ; but I am not going to discuss that, because I am not a military man. I cannot, however, see how any hon. gentleman can deliberately stand up and express as his candid conviction, that the proposed union will not in any manner increase our defensive power. To me, such statements seem most extraordinary. But this portion of the question has already

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been quite fully discussed ; and not being, as I before remarked, a military man, I do not think anything I could say upon it would add much to the enlightenment of the House at this late stage of the debate. I will, therefore, Mr. SPEAKER, simply say that I look forward to the union with great hope for the future of our land. In the first place, the union will vastly enlarge our ideas of the greatness and ultimate destiny of these provinces, and give scope for higher aspirations. It will make the young men of this country feel that they have a better inheritance than they now feel to be theirs, and an opportunity of rising to higher points of distinction in this the land of their birth or adoption. The same opportunities will also be open to the young men of the Lower Provinces, and in this connection I have no hesitation in saying, from what I know of them, that the inhabitant’s of the Lower Provinces, for enterprise, industry and general intelligence, will compare favorably with any other portion of the territory that will be embraced in the union. It will be an advantage to us to have their cooperation in working out the future of this country, and our connection with them will give birth and life to those ideas that lie at the foundation of a nation’s prosperity and happiness. (Hear, hear.) And now, Mr. SPEAKER, having thus rapidly glanced at some of those important particulars that to my mind render the proposal under con sideration a wise and desirable one for our adoption, I shall conclude, because I do not desire to protract the debate, by stating, that for the reasons I have briefly adduced, and from the process of reasoning I have been led to adopt, it is my intention to support the motion for the adoption of the resolutions respecting Confederation, proposed by my friend the Hon. Attorney General West. (Cheers.)

MR. McCONKEY said—Mr. SPEAKER, at this late hour of the night I rise to address you with very great reluctance, but I feel that I would not be doing justice to myself and the people who sent me here, did I allow the vote on this momentous question to be taken without expressing my opinion upon it, however briefly. In doing so, Mr. SPEAKER, I shall not invoke the aid of history, or exhume old newspaper files to give the opinions of other men, but shall simply confine myself to stating a few of the ideas which have suggested themselves to my own mind in considering the subject. The task is the more difficult at this stage of the debate, as the arguments for and against the measure have been already so ably and lengthily elaborated by members of this honorable House. Mr. SPEAKER, we have had eventful times in Canada. The union of the Canadas was an important event in this country; and, sir, although latterly it has not worked satisfactorily, I am not one of those who are prepared to say that under that union we did not prosper. From a very small population, we have grown, under the union, to be a very considerable people, comprising a population of two millions and a-half. We have also grown in wealth, intelligence, and everything else that tends to national greatness. But difficulties between the provinces have sprung up ; Upper Canada rapidly increased in population and wealth over Lower Canada, and has for the last ten or twelve years demanded an increased representation on the floor of this House. She argued, and very properly, that her position was a degraded one—that with a population in excess of that of Lower Canada by 400,000 people, and contributing about three-fourths of the revenue of this country, she was entitled to such a constitutional arrangement as would place her on a perfect equality with the sister province, and that she would not be satisfied until that was conceded, as the demand was a just and honorable one. Sir, just although this was, Lower Canada, with, I have no doubt, just as much honesty and quite as much determination, resisted their demand. Hence the terrific struggles which ensued between the sections for the last few years. Within the past three years we have had no fewer than three Ministerial crises. Neither the one party nor the other could govern, so evenly were parties balanced in this House and the country. The machinery of government was almost entirely stopped, and a chronic crisis had set in. Sir, it was apparent to every discerning mind that some solution of existing difficulties must be sought. The present state of things could not continue. Mr. SPEAKER, I well recollect the announcement of the Honorable Attorney General West. After the defeat of his Government, in June last, that honorable gentleman manfully acknowledged the political difficulty in which this country was placed. He informed the House that His Excellency the Governor General had granted the Government carte blanche,

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involving a dissolution of Parliament, if they chose, but that they, nevertheless, hesitated to exercise the power ; that while individual changes might be made in the constituencies, the two great parties would come back nearly the same ; and added, that he had had an interview with the hon. member for South. Oxford (Hon. Mr. BROWN) of a most satisfactory nature, from which he thought he saw a solution of our difficulties, and asked an adjournment of the House. Subsequently, interviews were had between the members of the Government and the member for South Oxford, which resulted ft the present Coalition Government. Sir, after a full consideration of the subject in all its bearings, I decided to give the new Government my support, trusting they would be able, as I believed they desired, to put the affairs of this country on a more satisfactory and enduring basis. But, while I support this Government, I must not .be understood as approving of coalitions generally. I hold that to a country enjoying representative institutions and responsible government, it is indeed a matter of very little consequence which, of the political parties are in power, so long as there is a strong party to scrutinise their acts, and exercise a general surveillance over them. When, however, the two great parties coalesce, and there is no strong party in the country to watch them, there is more or less danger of abuses and corruption creeping in. I do not, however, desire that the gentlemen on the Treasury benches should understand that I apply this remark to them. They, sir, I believe, are not only pure, but, like CESAR’S wife, above suspicion. And, if even a necessity existed in any country to justify a coalition, it was in Canada ; and I rejoice to know that we had statesmen among us who could rise above the petty political and personal squabbles, in which they had been unfortunately too long engaged, to grapple with a great national difficulty. (Cheers.) I think, too, it was most fortunate—providential, I might say—that this country had a strong, vigorous Government during the past season, when complications between us and the United States were gathering. To the strength of the Government we owe the prompt manner in which raiders and others, desirous of creating a difficulty between England and America, were put down. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, I have read the resolutions of the Conference, now in your hands, carefully ; and while, in my opinion, many of the details are objection- able, from an Upper Canadian point of view, I have, nevertheless, no doubt they were framed with a desire to do justice to all the provinces. No person can read those resolutions without coining to the conclusion that mutual concessions must have been made all round. They clearly bear the impress of compromise. No doubt, sir, much difficulty was experienced by the gentlemen composing the Conference, in fitting and dovetailing the heterogeneous parts or provinces into a homogeneous whole. I have listened attentively to the speeches of the Opposition, and have so far failed to hear of a better proposition than the one before us; and, indeed, I am not surprised that a better proposition should not have been presented to us, considering that this scheme was compiled by the master minds in British America. (Hear, hear.) I stated, sir, that some of the details were objectionable, and I now repeat that had the Government permitted amendments to the resolutions, I certainly would have supported them ; but in view of the very critical position in which this country stands, I will not assume the responsibility of opposing this scheme as a whole. (Hear, hear.) Although I admit the building of the Intercolonial Railroad to be just as necessary to the proposed Confederation as the spinal column to the human frame ; nevertheless, in view of the jobbing and extravagance committed with the Grand Trunk, I have a dread of the amount its construction and working will cost this country. Sir, I am not as sanguine as some honorable gentlemen in this House in reference to this road. I have no faith in it as a commeicial enterprise ; I look upon it as a military necessity, and a bond of union between the Confederated Provinces. Sir, we have been told that the Imperial Government has been notified of the intention of the Government of the United States to abrogate the Reciprocity treaty. To my mind this will be most unfortunate for Canada, and I sincerely trust that the members of the Government who will shortly visit England will urge the Imperial Government to secure a renewal cf it, if it can be obtained on honorable terms. While hoping this treaty may be renewed, I do not participate in the feeling that its abrogation will drive us into the United States. (Hear, hear.) Sir, I regret to hear

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gentlemen speak so glibly of annexation. One tells us that if Confederation is not consummated, annexation is the other alternative— that we are already on an ” inclined plane”—and that the abrogation of the treaty and refusal to adopt the resolutions in your hands will certainly ” grease the ways.” Sir, I believe nothing of the kind. The assertion is a libel on the people of Canada, who, I believe, are truly loyal to the British Crown, and have no desire to change the state of their political existence. (Hear, hear.) But while provision is made in these resolutions for the construction of the Intercolonial Railroad, I am sorry to see that no decisive provision is made for the western extension. And I would not be at all satisfied myself with the resolutions as they stand, were it not for the positive assurances ef the Government that that matter would be attended to simultaneously with the construction of that road. For I hold it to be of essential importance that we should proceed, as soon as possible, with the opening up of the North-West country and the extension of our canal system. (Hear, hear.) And while on this subject, I may be permitted to say that I hope, that in going on with the canals, the Government will not overlook the necessity which exists for the construction of the great Georgian Bay Canal. (Hear, hear.) I reside on the shores of the Georgian Bay, and am satisfied that that is the best feasible route by which we can hope to bring the trade of the Great West-through this country. (Hear, hear.) Ido hope the Government will seriously consider this when they are framing their canal scheme. I am glad to see the Hon. Attorney General West listening closely to what I am saying on this subject, and I trust he will not overlook it.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD — Hear ! hear !

MR. McCONKEY—I have no hesitation in expressing my desire that these resolutions as a whole may be carried into effect, and that the whole of the other provinces will come into the arrangement. I hope they will. I would be sorry to see the British Government attempt to coerce them against their will—but I trust that before many months they will see the propriety of coming in—and that before this time twelve months we shall have been formed into one great British American Confederation. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt that the consummation of this union will give peace and contentment to the whole country. I have no hesitation in stating my own conviction that it will give peace and contentment to Upper Canada, by giving us the management of our own local affairs without let or hindrance, while Lower Canada in like manner will have the management of her own local affairs. It will also give Upper Canada, at least in the House of Commons, what we have so long contended for— representation according to our population. I am happy to find that this is fully conceded to us in the popular branch of the Legislature. (Hear, hear.) I cannot do otherwise than approve of the proceedings of the Government the other day, on the intelligence reaching us of the result of the elections in one of the eastern provinces., When I heard that many of those elections in New Brunswick had gone against the scheme, I was at a loss to decide what would be the proper course—whether the scheme should still be pressed, or whether we should turn our attention to some othef scheme. On full consideration of the subject, I have arrived at the conclusion that the Government have acted properly, and that they deserve every credit for the prompt action they have taken to get a speedy decision on this question. It is clear that the question of our defences, and that of our commercial relations with the United States, must be immediately looked to. Some steps must, as soon as possible, be taken to put the country in a proper state of defence. The season is approaching when we would be in a very unsatisfactory condition for meeting a hostile force, and it is the duty of the Govnerment to take prompt action, that we may be prepared, should the hour of need arise. (Hear, hear.) A good deal has been said during this discussion about the propriety of an appeal to the people. I hold that great revolutions of this kind ought to receive the .sanction of the people. But, in view of the fact that it is well known that ninety out of every hundred, in Upper Canada at least, are in favor of the scheme, I do not complain that it has not been considered advisable to submit it to a direct vote of the people. For my own part, being fully alive to the great responsibility I had to assume in voting upon these resolutions, I felt it my duty, before coming here, to hold meetings through my county, in order to consult my constituents. Those meetings were held all through the

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riding, and at every one of them the people were unanimous in supporting the scheme. (Hear, hear.) Some of the details were objected to, but the scheme as a whole was approved of. These meetings were attended by men of all parties, and the resolutions were moved and seconded in many cases by my political opponents. I did not find more than three gentlemen, at all of those meetings, who gave opposition to the measure. And I may say further, that, when an appeal to the people was mentioned, the expression of opinion was, that it was not at all desirable or necessary, as it was known that the measure was so generally approved of. The result was, that my constituents instructed me to support these resolutions, giving me authority at the same time to propose amendments to such details as I might disapprove of, if the Government would allow any amendments to be made. (Hear, hear.) I find, from conversation with several hou. members from the west, that I differ from them with reference to the composition of the Legislative Council. I hardly approved of the preposition of the Government when an innovation was made on the constitution of the Legislative Council in 1855 I felt it was a wrong step, and fully sympathized with the opposition given to it at that time by the present Hon. President of the Council (Hon Mr. BROWN) and the honorable member for Peel (Honorable J . H. CAMERON). Had I then been in a position to give effect to my views, I should have joined those honorable gentlemen in protesting against that encroachment upon the Constitution. I approve entirely of the proposition contained in the resolutions now before the House, with reference to this matter. If a necessity exists at all for a check upon hasty and ill-digested legislation of the popular branch, that check should not derive its power from the same source, and in the same manner. I have, however, for some time inclined to the opinion that the Legislative Council might, with safety, be abolished altogether, and that thereby there would be effected an immense saving to the country. In carrying out this scheme, very much, of course, will depend upon the character of the local constitutions. If such a system can be adopted as will render the working of the local governments simple and inex^ pensive, it will conduce very much to the prosperity of ths whole Confederation. I must say, sir, that if I am permitted to have a voice in the framing of a Constitution for Upper Canada, I shall insist upon it being of the most inexpensive kind, dispensing with a great deal of the paraphernalia that we see so much of here. (Hear, hear.) In bringing the new system into operation, and laying the foundations of the new nationality of British North America on a permanent and enduring basis, a weighty responsibility indeed devolves on the governments of these provinces, and the most rigid economy consistent with propriety ought to be, and I trust will be, a leading feature in their arrangements. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, I am no alarmist, but disguise it as we may, this country is at the present moment deeply depressed. I entirely dissent from sentiments enunciated by honorable gentlemen on the floor of this House as to the general prosperity of Canada; the actual state of matters is not as they represent it. Through a failure of crops for a number of years back in Upper Canada, that section of the province is in a state of agricultural aod commercial prostration ; farmers and others are unable to meet their engagements to the merchant, who, in consequence, is unable to meet his liabilities to the wholesale dealers, and the result is that scores, I may say hundreds, are obliged to collapse and go into liquidation ; bank agencies are being withdrawn from the country districts, and banking accommodation very much curtailed. Mr. SPEAKER, these are facts that cannot be gainsayed. Every branch of industry is almost paralyzed at the present moment, and a general gloom hangs like a pall over the land. Under these circumstances, it behoves the Government to do everything in their power to revive and foster industry in the country. Sir, I will not say that this Government does so, but governments have been too much in the habit of borrowing from the banks that capital which ought to go into circulation for the benefit of the trade of the country. I hold that it is the duty of all governments to refrain from doing anything that will bear upon the people’s industry; and I implore this Government to turn their attention to the position of this country just now, and do all they can to better the condition of the people. While, sir, there are features in the proposition before you which, if they stood alone on their merits, I should certainly oppose, yet, as I stated before, I do not think them of sufficient importance to justify me in rejecting the scheme, which is certainly calculated to elevate us from the position of

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mere colonists to that of citizens of a great British American nation, covering as it will half a continent, stretching from the mighty Atlantic on the east, to the golden shores of the Pacific on the west, bounded on the south by the great American Republic, and on the north by—sir, I was going to say the North Pole—with, not an intercolonial railroad merely, but an interoceanic communication, stretching from sea to sea. Mr. SPEAKER, I deeply feel the great responsibility that attaches to the vote I will shortly be called upon to give. I have weighed well this matter, and taking all things into account, I can arrive at no other conclusion than that it is my duty to vote for the resolutions in your hands, and I am now prepared to do so, believing that I am carrying out the views of the great bulk of my constituents. (Cheers.)

On motion of Mr. TASCHEREAU, the debate was then adjourned.

FRIDAY, March 10, 1865.

On the Order, for resuming the debate upon the motion ” That the question be now put” upon the Resolutions relating to Confederation, being called—

HON. MR. HOLTON rose to a point of order, objecting that the ” previous question” was in the nature of an amendment, and that no member could move an amendment to his own motion.

After some discussion,

MR. SPEAKER decided as follows:— ” The original motion, made by the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada, is that the House should concur in certain resolutions relating to a Federal union of the provinces. Debate having arisen thereon, the Hon. Attorney General fur Upper Canada moves, not in amendment in my opinion, ‘ that that question be now put.’ The substance of an amendment is to alter the original question. Does this motion alter the original question ? So far from that, it is a proposal to bring that question before the House for immediate decision. The authorities cited to show that this motion is an amendment sustain the contrary view in my judgment, because they only state that the previous question is ‘ in the nature of an amendment.’ If it were really an amendment, or were to be used as an amendment it would be stated that it was in fact an amendment. The motion to adjourn is also spoken of as being in the nature of an amendment, but it is not an amendment, and like ‘The previous question,’ does not displace the original proposition, if carried. Hence I conclude that ‘ The previous question’ is not an amendment. The objection that the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada cannot move it, on account of having proposed the original motion, in my opinion is not valid.”

MR. TASCHEREAU said —It is not without hesitation, Mr. SPEAKER, that I rise at this late period of the debate to offer a few observations on the measure before us—the plan of Confederation of .the British North American Provinces; and my hesitation is the greater that I am under the necessity, not only of speaking on a question which has been so long and skilfully discussed, that it would appear almost impossible to say anything which may interest hon. members, but also and more especially that after long and deliberate consideration—after carefully weighing the gist and tendency of these resolutions, and tracing out the effects which cannot fail, I believe, to result from the measure of which they are the exponents— I feel myself bound, Mr. SPEAKER, to abandon, on this question, those with whom I have always acted hitherto, to differ in opinion from those whose talents and judgment I have never ceased to admire, and to record my vote against the new Constitution which is proposed to us in those resolutions. (Hear ! hear ! from the left.) It could not fail to be to me a particular cause of regret that I felt compelled to come to this conclusion. I could not understand that this measure was a simple party matter—one of those questions on which those party feelings which have prevailed in Canada so many years ought to influence any body. I could not conceive how, in considering a question which, in my opinion, imperils all that we hold most dear, and opens to us, if it is carried, the prospect of a future, dark with clouds, portending evil not only to us Lower Canadians, but perhaps no less to all British North America—I could not conceive, I say, how I could be unmindful of my convictions, and lay aside my fears and the sense of duty which binds me here, to yield blind obedience and submission to the influence of political party. I thought myself at liberty to think

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for myself, even on so important a question ; and I am persuaded that if there are members of this House who consider themselves authorized to doubt the sanity of those who do not always think as they do, they aro not in a majority here. For my own part, Mr. SPEAKER, I respect every man’s opinion. I am willing to allow all who are so disposed to think differently from me, and do not, on that account, hold them to be either prejudiced or dishonest ; on the contrary, I am willing t» believe that they act according to their convictions, and with perfect good faith. I desire that others will judge me in the same manner, and that those from whom I am now dissentient on the subject of the resolutions in your hand, Mr. SPEAKER, will believe, at least, that I too am acting in this matter according to my honest convictions and with good faith ; that I , too, am animated by love for my country and my nationality ; that I, too, have at heart the preservation of that nationality and those institutions which have been transmitted to us by our fathers, as the reward of so many struggles and sacrifices. (Hear, hear.) At this advanced stage of the debate, it is not my intention to combat or discuss all the arguments which have been urged in favor of Confederation. I must, however, observe that I have not been convinced by the hon. gentlemen who have spoken before me, that the Constitution offered to us embodies guarantees sufficient to protect our rights. I am of opinion, therefore, that the vote which I shall give against Confederation would be given by a large majority of my constituents, and a large majority of the people of Lower Canada; and my opinion on this subject is so firmly grounded, that I should despise myself if, for the sake of not separating from my party, I were to vote for Confederation, my convictions being so strong and so sincere. (Hear, hear.) We were taught to believe, till within the last two or three days, that the most ample discussion of the question would be allowed ; but, by the moving of the previous question, the face of things has undergone a change. This House, and all Lower Canada, supposed that before being called upon to vote on the main question, we should have had an opportunity of obtaining an expression of the opinion of the people. I am persuaded that if, after a full and complete discussion ot the measure in this House, the people were called upon for their opinion, they would be more decidedly opposed to Confederation than they ever were to any measure. (Hear.) Unfortunately, as the previous question has been moved, we must vote on the resolutions as they stand, without being able even to move amendments which might render them less objectionable to the country. I now come to the appeal to the people. Well, I maintain that in voting to change the constitution of the Government, without consulting the people on the subject, the members of this House are exceeding their powers ; and that even if the people were in favor of Confederation, they ought not to pass it, as they are now about to do, without special authority. (Hear, hear.) The hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. MORRIS) has told us that this is no new question—that it has been for a long time a subject of discussion—that the people understood it thoroughly, and that the members of this House were privileged to vote on it without referring it to their constituents. I am quite aware that much has been written on the subject of the Confederation of the provinces ; but has the question ever been discussed before the people at elections ? I am fully convinced and perfectly certain this question was never brought up at any election, nor the question of any Confederation at all. It has never been laid before the people, and the people have never expressed an opinion on the subject. (Hear, hear.) It appears to me that the amendment which is to be moved by the hon. member for Peel (Hon. J . H. CAMERON), after the present resolutions have been voted by the House, will be in a singular position. (Hear, hear ) I have understood the explanations given by the Honorable Attorney General for Upper Canada (Hon. J . A. MACDONALD), relative to the resolution of the honorable member for Peel—that the resolutions before the House would be passed first, and that afterwards, when the House went into committee, the hon. member for Peel would move his amendment, namely, ” that the House will vote the Address to Her Majesty this evening, in order that the -Government may despatch it to England to-morrow, if they please, and that on Monday afternoon the hon. member for Peel will come and move an Address to His Excellency, praying that he will refer these resolutions to the people.” (Hear, hear.) I confess that I do not understand how the members of this

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House, who are in favor of the appeal to the people, can vote for Confederation after the previous question has been decided, any more than I can understand how the hon. member for Peel can move the appeal to the people after the resolutions have been passed. The hon. member has said that he would endeavor to move his resolutions before the Address is presented to His Excellency, or before it is referred to a committee of the whole House ; but I think I understood likewise that the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada will not allow this, and has said that the hon. member for Peel is not entitled to do so. (Hear, hear.) I am not alone in feeling the apprehensions which I have expressed relative to the new Constitution intended for us. A member of this House, who wrote, now a long time since, on the subject of Confederation, has allowed us to see indistinctly that the resolutions as presented to us did not afford sufficient guarantees to settle all our sectional difficulties at once. The honorable member for Montmorency could not, in his pamphlet written in 1865, avoid saying as follows :—

But, nevertheless, it is clearly evident that concurrent legislation is full of danger for the future ; that is plainly laid down even in the clause that we are now discussing, since, to obviate it, central legislation has invariably been made to predominate over local legislation. Will it be possible to avoid the points of contact likely to be produced by concurrent legislation, or to define them with such precision that these conflicts would be impossible, or nearly so ? Without harmony the system would be worth nothing, and would soon destroy itself ; and the harmony of the system cannot be found exclusively in the predominant power of the Government and of the Federal Parliament. It is necessary that this harmony should also exist in the inferior machinery, and be felt throughout the whole system.

And afterwards, in the same chapter, he adds :—

In fact, will not the elements upon which the local institutions will be based, be reproduced in all their vivacity in the Government and in the Federal Parliament ? And this local power which it has been their object to compress will react dangerously on the whole system. At one time it may be Lower Canada that will be punishing its Ministry and its members for having wounded Lower Canadian feelings and striking at its interesta ; and another time it may be Upper Canada, or perhaps the Atlantic Provinces, that may make similar complaints. This should not be, and to avoid it our eminent statesmen must put their heada together to find a better solution to the problem.

While the hon. member for Montmorency was writing that article, he naturally saw that Confederation would have some very complicated parts in its machinery, and that the difficulties which might occur woald not be easily surmounted—that the resolutions would need to be amended. That was, no doubt, the opinion of the hon. member for Montmorency when he wrote those articles, but since he has found that the Ministry are resolved not to allow any amendment of the resolutions, the honorable member has thought it better to take them as they art, with all their imperfections, than to risk losing Confederation altogether. (Hear, hear.) I believe, Mr. SPEAKER, that we needed a remedy for the constitutional difficulties in which we were involved, but I believe also that the remedy proposed would be worse than the disease sought to be cured. (Hear, hear.) I believe that the country has suffered from those difficulties, but on the other hand I see in Confederation internal strife in the local legislatures, not to speak of that strife which will infallibly spring up at an early day between the federal and the local legislatures. (Hear, hear.) I t is evident that the federal will never be able to satisfy the local legislatures. In Lower Canada, for instance, we shall have a pretty strong party—the English party, Protestants, who will carry their complaints to the Federal Government, just as, in Upper Canada, they made complaints relative to representation based on population, and that party being a minority in Lower Canada, will seek a remedy for their evils, real or imaginary, at the hands of the Federal Government. Moreover, we shall have constant contests and sectional heart-burnings between the local legislatures themselves, on all those subjects on which their interests may come into collision. (Hear, hear.) Let us suppose, for instance, that the Legislature of Lower Canada should make some perfectly just demand, something to which that province is clearly entitled, and that the representatives of Upper Canada and the Maritime Provinces should combine to hinder it from obtaining its demand—would the Lower Canadians be well satisfied with such treatment ? And this might easily happen. The hon. member for Vaudreuil (Mr. HARWOOD) has spoken in pompous language of the prosperous future which awaits us under Confederation. To hear him we are not only to have coal mines,

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but lakes of gold at our disposal. I think the honorable member’s figures of rhetoric have carried him rather too far ; and I sincerely believe that instead of that prosperous and happy future foreseen by him, we are preparing for ourselves a state of things which will cause us to repent in ten years of what we are now doing. I believe that we are commencing Confederation ten years too soon. (Hear, hear.) We should have an Intercolonial Railway at least five or six years before thinking of Confederation. At present we are as much strangers to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as we were previous to last autumn. We may perhaps know them a little better than we did before we began to discuss Confederation ; and we ought, in the first place, to establish easy methods of communication between those provinces and ourselves, as a means of bringing about Confederation at some future day, if it be practicable. I say that the Intercolonial Railway ought first to be built, and that Confederation might be put off even several years after that. (Hear, hear.) Article 41 of the resolutions before us says as follows :—

The Local Government and Legislature of each province shall be constructed in such manner as the existing Legislature of each such province shall provide.

If I understand that article right, the local constitution of Lower Canada will be settled by the present Legislature; just as in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, &c, the present legislatures will decide on the constitution of their legislatures under Confederation. Very well ; but in that case Upper Canada will give us a constitution, as we may give her one. The effect of that clause will be, that in order to the organization of its local constitution, Lower Canada will stand with 47 French-Canadian votes, against 83 votes of members of other origins. We shall therefore not stand on the same footing as New Brunswick or Nova Scotia in this respect; the difference will be very great. (Hear, hear.) We have only 47 French-Canadian votes out of 130, and we could not count on Upper Canadian members for the safety of our interests—either local or religious—whereas they would have the support of all the English and Protestant members from Lower Canada. (Hear.) And in Confederation the English minority of Lower Canada will not make common cause with the French-Canadian party, but, on the contrary, with the Upper Canadian party ; for they will look to Upper Canada for protection. (Hear, hear.) We are told that all our interests and institutions are protected, and that the clergy are in favor of Confederation. I, for my own part, have seen no proof of the truth of that assertion ; I believe that the clergy have not made any display of their opinions on this question. I am moreover convinced that those of that body who have considered the question, have looked upon it as fraught with danger for us—as pregnant with evils, the development of which may be grievous to us as a nation hereafter. Another part of the resolutions which we should not adopt without consideration, is that contained in the 34th article of clause 29. It reads as follows :—

The General Parliament shall have power to make laws for the establishment of a General Court of Appeal for the Federated Provinces.

We have a guarantee that we are to have our own local tribunals, chat our judges will be taken from the bar of Lower Canada,and that our civil laws will be maintained. Why then establish a Federal Court of Appeals, in which appeals will lie from the decisions of all our judges? We are told, it is true, by the Hon. Minister of Finance, that the resolutions did not create a Court of Appeals, but only gave the Federal Parliament the power to create it. But what difference is there between creating the court forthwith and granting a right to create it hereafter? The principle is the same. If the Government may lawfully create such a court, no one can prevent the Federal Government from establishing it whenever they think fit. Would this tribunal be an advantage to us French- Canadians, who are so attached to our civil code ? I t will be composed of judges from all the provinces—from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Upper Canada, &c. ; and notwithstanding the talents and the learning of all those judges, we Lower Canadians cannot hope to find the same justice from such a tribunal as we should receive from one consisting of judges from Lower Canada; for our laws being different from the laws of those provinces, they will not be able to understand and appreciate them as Lower Canadians would. (Hear, hear.) And, moreover, when this new Court of Appeals is instituted, the appeal to England will not be abolished, so that we shall have one more means of producing delay and increasing the costs of suitors. Lower Canadians will

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assuredly be less satisfied with the decisions of a Federal Court of Appeals than with those of Her Majesty’s Privy Council. In good truth, I do not see why this clause was imposed upon our delegates. I do not suppose that the delegates of the other provinces can have very strongly insisted on it; but even if they had, I do not see why ours submitted to it. Of course our laws would not be understood in such a court, and most of the judges would render their decisions according to principles of jurisprudence unknown to Lower Canada. I am convinced that those Lower Canadian members who are in favor of Confederation are not in favor of a legislative union ; but have they not read the speech made at Toronto by the Hon. President of the Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN) ? And did they not hear that of the honorable member for South Leeds (Mr. FORD JONES), and the speeches of the members from Upper Canada generally, who nearly all spoke in favor of a legislative union, declaring that they accept Confederation as an instalment—a first step—towards a legislative union, which we shall have in a few years ? It is not necessary for me to discuss, on this occasion, the advantages or disadvantages of a legislative union, for all the members are perfectly well acquainted with the question ; but I am well convinced that the Confederation will be converted into a legislative union in a few years. I believe that the Hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. member for South Leeds were sincere in saying that, and that they were perfectly convinced of its truth. (Hear, hear.) It has been said, as a reason for hurrying on the passing of the measure, that if we wish for Confedeiation, now is the time to obtain it ; that if we wait another year it will be too late ; that the Lower Provinces are ready for Confederation, and that England is disposed to grant us a new Constitution. I believe that the Lower Provinces have proved to be a little slack in fulfilling their engagements, and that the policy of the Government might therefore, with great safety, undergo some modification. (Hear, hear.) But if we must absolutely have Confederation, if there is no getting on without it, why was not an appeal made to the people last autumn, when the scheme was quite prepared ? (Hear, hear.) For my part, I think that the want of the measure of Confederation is not so urgent as it is said to be, and that time should be taken to mature the plan Does anybody believe that the question of Confederation would have been thought of if the TACHÉ-MACDONALD Ministry had not been overthrown last summer ? No ; we should not have heard a word about it. (Hear, hear ) So that Confederation was not so very pressing at that time ! And if the want of it was so little felt in the Constitutional Committee appointed last year at the instance of the hon. member for South Oxford (Hon. Mr. BROWN) , that many members who this day vote themselves, and induce others to vote for Confederation, thought themselves authorized to oppose it then, and to vote against any proposition of the kind, I think that it is not so needful to unite us by Confederation as we are told it is. I believe that if the adoption of the measure is urged forward so anxiously, it is only because there is fear of public opinion being roused to examine it, and fear especially of its not being accepted hereafter, when the people have pronounced upon it. (Hear, hear.) And, I repeat, I believe in my heart, if the Government had not been overthrown on the 14th June last, we should never have heard a word about Confederation this year. (Hear, hear.) As I said when I commenced speaking, I will not discuss every question connected with this scheme, because the House must be tired of such a long discussion. I am bound, however, to declare again, that all the reasons hitherto alleged in favor of Confederation, and all the magnificent pictures presented to our view of the prosperity we are to enjoy under its auspices, have entirely failed to convince me that it is our bounden duty to adopt the resolutions laid before us ; and notwithstanding the eloquent speech made to us yesterday by the hon. member for Vaudreuil (Mr. HARWOOD), I cannot say, as he does, that our posterity will be grateful to us for having opened the way for them to become members of the great empire of the Provinces of British North America. I shall say, on the contrary, what will be soon found out, that this Confederation is the ruin of our nationality in Lower Canada— that on the day when Confederation is voted, a death-blow will have been dealt on our nationality, which was beginning to take root in the soil of British North America. (Hear, hear.) Our children, far from feeling grateful for what we are now doing, will say that we made a great mistake when we imposed Confederation on them. (Cheers.)


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cannot permit the vote to be taken on this important measure, without placing on record some of the reasons which induce me to give it my support, and to show why, to some extent, I have changed my views on a few of the leading details of the scheme. When, sir, the people of the first commercial city in Western Canada elected me to represent them on the floor of this House, I publicly stated that by every legitimate means I would oppose the construction of a railroad between Canada and the Lower Provinces—then, as I do now, believing that in a commercial point of view, that Intercolonial road would never pay, nor be even beneficial to Upper Canada. But at the same time, sir, I pledged myself to urge upon the Ministers of the Crown and this House the vast importance to the country of an enlargement of our canals and the extension of our canal system. Since theD, Mr. SPEAKER, our political and commercial positions are very much changed. (Hear, hear.) Threatened with the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty, a very serious loss will be entailed on Canada—if the threat be carried into execution—without any advantage accruing to the United States. Indeed, from the nature of our commercial relations with the United States—the natural result of a trade fostered and carried on between the United States and Canada for years—the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty cannot be otherwise than attended with great distress and serious loss to the business men of this country. In addition to this, sir, we are threatened with the abrogation of the bonding system. Surely this is much to be deplored. To every thinking mind a resort to such measures must seem absurd, and what could induce a people so thoroughly commercial as the people of the United States, to desire the abrogation of a treaty which, while it benefits us by permitting the transit of goods through their territory, also benefits them largely by increasing their carrying trade, and fosters an immense trade in the purchase of goods of all descriptions in bond—I must declare my inability thoroughly to understand. But, however strange, Mr. SPEAKER, all this may seem to us, angry men, it must be admitted, frequently do indulge in strange antics, and it need not surprise us that a nation plunged in all the horrors of civil war should, under the excitement of some real or fancied wrong, do the same thing; as has been exemplified in the adoption of the despotic system of passports, the abrogation of the Reciprocity treaty, and the annulling of the treaty for the extradition of criminals. Yet, Mr. SPEAKER, I cannot believe that the United States will abrogate either the one or the other, and I do not believe that the great and high-minded and honorable men who control the moneyed institutions of the United States will permit it. But, sir, it is only right on our part to do the next best, and only thing we can, to protect ourselves from the loss and inconvenience to our trade in winter, and that is, to build the Intercolonial Railroad—for we must have a highway to the ocean at all seasons for our mails and otfr merchandise. But, Mr. SPEAKER, while I admit that I have changed my mind with regard to the Intercolonial Railroad in voting for the scheme in which it is a prominent measure, I am more and more convinced of the paramount necessity of immediately settirgabout the enlargement of our canals. We hear of schemes to connect the Georgian Bay with Ottawa by way of the French River route and the Trent route, and sir, perhaps the only practicable and shortest route via Toronto and Lake Simcoe ; but all these only divert attention from what really can and ought to be done, at a very trifling cost in comparison with any other scheme—I mean the enlargement of the canals we now have. (Hear, hear.) We have now nine feet of water in the St. Lawrence canals, and ten feet in the Welland, and the cost of increasing the depth of those canals to twelve feet, I am told by men competent to judge, would be trifling indeed—probably not over two or three millions of dollars. But if it cost as many pounds, I contend that it would not really cost the country one cent. If the toll of one cent per bushel on grain outward and a proportionate rate on inward merchandise were enacted, the canals would not only be self-sustaining, but would become a source of revenue to the provinces. Take for instance, what I believe a small estimate, one hundred millions of bushels outward, and an equal amount inward for other merchandise, and you would have a revenue of two millions of dollars—a sum more than sufficient to pay interest and working expenses. Then, Mr. SPEAKER, see the impetus it would give to our inland shipping trade, if we could—and we could then do so—attract to the St. Lawrence route the immense grain crops of the Great West. I might also refer, Mr. SPEAKER, to the ship-building suited to the wants of our country, and the immense advantage

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shippers of grain would have if their vessels proceeded to sea without the ruinous delay of transhipment, and the mixing and destroying of property round the wharves and storehouses at the different points at which grain, under the present system, has to be transhipped. I only wish I had the eloquence of the Hon. Attorney General West ; with the little practical knowledge I have of those things, I think I would be able to interest both western and eastern members alike on the necessity of improving, and at once, this great and vital avenue to our futuro prosperity. (Hear, hear.) Now, sir, with regard to our defences ; while I do not object to some expenditure to please the English people if you choose ; I am of opinion our best defence is to cultivate with the United States friendly commercial and political relations, and then, sir, I do not fear that if we do what is right, they will do us any wrong. Sound and honorable conduct on our part is of more strength than all tho forts of masonry or earthwork that we shall ever see. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, the prompt and manly course that our Government has pursued with regard to the Alien Bill, and calling out a portion of our volunteers to repress raiding and piracy, will entitle them to the gratitude of every right-minded man in this country. Sir, had they commenced to build forts and arm ships, instead of the manly and honorable course which they did pursue, they would, in my opinion, have found use for their volunteers and their forts too ; while I hope that in a very short time they will not require either. (Hear, hear.) I wish now to say a few words about this great Confederation, from which so much is expected, commercially and politically. I am of opinion that the advantages will be very evenly divided—they taking our grain and flour, while we buy their fish and oil. We will have an open market for our manufactures with them, and they will have the same for theirs with us, so that it is a mere matter of who gives most. But at present the Maritime Provinces import from the United States flour and grain, if I am correct, to the amount of three or four millions of dollars’ worth per annum, which our political and more intimate relations would in a more or less degree attract to Canada ; and I have no doubt our merchants would know how to turn those advantages to account. Mr. SPEAKER, these are some of the reasons why I gave this Confederation scheme my hearty support, believing that the honorable gentlemen who have brought this treaty before this House have no other motive, and can have no other motive, but the promotion of the best interests of this our adopted land. (Hear, hear.) I think the scheme as proposed is, as near as it can bo, fair to all the provinces Before I close, I would just say a word with reference to the course pursued by my respected and honorable colleague from Toronto West (Mr. J . MACDONALD). I have no hesitation in saying that I am confident that he is sincere in his opposition, and he may be right ; twit I am not so sure that he represents the wishes of his constituents. I attended a large and influential meeting of the citizens of the city of Toronto before the meeting of this House, and a gentleman there proposed that the scheme should not be carried into effect until it was referred to the people, but he could not get even a seconder to his resolution. For myself, I feel justified by tho result of that meeting in supporting this scheme throughout. The meeting was extensively advertised—all had an opportunity to attend, and both sides of the question were ably argued. I shall record my vote for the scheme, and shall be happy to see it carried into early consummation. (Cheers.)

MR. SHANLY said—In rising to address the House on tho great question under debate, it is not my intention to go minutely into the subject; for after all that has been said, and the great length to which the debate has dragged on, I cannot expect to be able to fix the attention of my hearers for very long, even were the subject one to which I could speak authoritatively, instead of being, as it is, one that the ablest and most statesmanlike among us must in a great measure accept upon faith—trusting to the future to dcvelope the excellencies claimed for it on the one hand, or to establish the faults that are charged on it on the other. But though I do not pretend to be able to say anything new on the subject, or to throw any light on the uncertain future that lies before us, still I would be unwilling that in, perhaps, the most important division ever taken in a Colonial Legislature, my vote should be recorded without my first stating some, at all events, of the reasons that actuate me in voting as I intend to vote. One feature has been strikingly observable in the debate, and that is, that from first to

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last, as far as it has yet gone, no new thing has been offered or suggested. The programme of Confederation stands now exactly as it was presented in a quasi private form to the representatives of the people of this country some four months ago. The promoters of the scheme have added nothing to, taken nothing from the original bill of fare, and they have as good as told us, frankly and squarely, that they would add nothing to, take nothing from it if they could. The opponents of the project on the other hand, while giving it a sweeping condemnation, offer nothing, suggest nothing to replace that which they so summarily reject. Nothing is easier than to find fault with other men’s work ; it is a talent that we all possess, and that few of us ever think to hide under a bushel. For myself, though in favor of the scheme, being equally at a loss with other honorable members to say anything new upon it, I, too, will have to turn to my fault-finding instincts in the first instance. The honorable member for Montreal Centre (Hon. Mr. ROSE) has said in his able speech that if we could not improve on the project, we should forbear to find fault with it. I do not agree with him. On the contrary, I conceive that even though approving of the resolutions as a whole, it is the duty of members speaking to the question to point out and place on record the faults that strike them as likely to require correction by and by. And first of all—coming to discuss Confederation from my own standpoint— I would say that I have long looked forward to the time when the whole, of the British North American Provinces would be united under one stable government ; believing, as I always have believed ever since I came to know this country well, that wc possess all the elements, in natural resources and endowments, and in distinctive geographical position, to form the ground-work of a power on this continent. I feared, nevertheless, when the project was foreshadowed here last year, that the time was not yet full for bringing about the desired combination. I feared that the almost total separation, political and social, which had heretofore existed between ourselves and the provinces below, might possibly cause a premature union to result in permanent estrangement. I t appeared to me that we should first have cultivated social and commercial relations with our kindred on the seaboard before uniting, for better for woise, in a political alliance. These were the views which I took of the Confederation project when it was so suddenly sprung upon us at the close of last session ; and I confess that I still entertain grave apprehensions that we may be about to come together upon too short an acquaintance, before we have an opportunity of knowing one another, and learning to adapt ourselves the one to the other. In this consists my broad and general objection, not to the principle of Confederation, but to the hastiness with which it is sought to be carried out—threatening, as I fear, to mar our destiny in striving to overtake it. To the details of the scheme itself I hold one strong and marked objection, which I desire to record, though I know that this is not the time or place for remedying defective details. I allude to the Federal feature of the project. I own to a rooted dislike, if not to the Federal principle or Federal theory, at all events to the practical results of the working of the system ; and Deither the warm eulogium which the Hon. President of the Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN) has passed upon the system as illustrated by its working in the United States, nor the milder defence of the system pronounced by my hon. friend the Hon. Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. MCGEE) , has served to clothe it in other than most distasteful colors in my sight. However the Federal system of government may have tended to promote the material growth of the United States—and it would not be safe to assert that such a country, with such a people, would have failed to attain to early greatness under any form of free government—however, I repeat, the Federal form of government may have promoted the material progress of the United States, it does not seem to me to have elevated, politically speaking at all events, the moral standard of the people of the United States. One most marked and evil result of the system has been to produce politicians rather than statesmen—swarms of the former to a very limited proportion of the latter ; and I would much fear, if we are to see Canada redivided, that the petty parliaments of the separated provinces will prove to be but preparatory schools for that class of politicians who take to politics as to a trade, and whose after-presence in the greater Assembly—to which they would all aspire—would serve to depress the standard of political worth, to lower the tone of political morality, which we might hope to see prevail in a Confederated Parliament of British North America under a purely legis-

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lative union, which is the description of union into which I trust to see the present imperfect Constitution, or proposed Constitution, eventually merge. For the reasons stated I have looked upon this Federal scheme of union with dislike and distrust. But the promoters of the scheme, most of whom, it must be admitted, have appeared here rather as its apologists than as its upholders, tell us that it is a necessity of circumstances, an unavoidable consequence of difference in language, laws and local interests between Upper and Lower Canada on the one part, and an absence of community of local interests between us here in Canada and the Maritime Provinces on the other hand. The latter part of the argument is undoubtedly correct ; but, admitting the whole of the premises, for argument sake, the other question naturally suggests itself: Is Confederation, even in the faulty form in which it is laid before us, to be accepted as a likely remedy for the evils under which we now labor in Canada, and as a possible antidote against the greater evils which threaten us in the near future ? I would answer that question in my own way, and from my own point of view by and by ; meanwhile I would ask to be permitted to say a word in respect of the financial phase of the Confederation project; and upon that point I feel it difficult to agree with my hon. friend the Eon. Finance Minister, in assuming that the joint expenses of the two local governments here in Canada may be kept so much below what we are now paying for our single form of government, as to leave a wide margin towards defraying, if not wholly to cover, our proportion of the expenses of the General Government. I can hardly venture to take such a couleur-de-rose view of our position as that. I will not weary the House with estimates and figures, which, after all, can be but problematical and conjectural ; but I would venture to predict that under our new condition of existence, with its quasi national obligations, our expenditure must increase largely beyond the present limits that we have hitherto been accustomed to. I believe that to be an inevitable result of the Confederation ; but I also believe that there is a future looming upon us—Confederation or no Confederation— which will involve us in duties and responsibilities which we must not shirk—which, in fact, we cannot shirk if we would. The signs of the times are not to be mistaken, and I fear we have an expensive future before us for some time to come. But if, in bringing about a union of all these provinces, we were in reality laying the sure foundation of social, commercial, and political prosperity—if we felt that in reality we were laying the. ground-work, as it were, of a new nation on this continent—we might justly, along with the great benefits we bequeath to posterity—benefits which we, in our generation, cannot hope to enjoy in thenfulness— bequeath to them also the financial burden which would seem to be the ordained and inevitable accompaniment of progressive nationality. And if I felt assured in my own mind that this measure of Confederation, faulty as it is, promised even a fair chance for successfully solving a great political difficulty, I for one would not fear to take my share of the responsibility of increasing the expenses of government and adding to the debt of the country. I have alluded to the expenses attendant on Confederation as being, to a certain extent, conjectural and problematical ; but there is one item of its cost which is not of that character. The Intercolonial Railway is a vital part of the Confederation project—the latter could have no useful, practical existence without the former. As a commercial undertaking, the Intercolonial Railway presents no attractions, it offers no material for a flattering prospectus; we could not invite toit the attention of European capitalists as presenting an eligible investment for their surplus funds. But for the establishing of those intimate social and commercial relations indispensable to political unity between ourselves and the sister provinces, the railway is a necessity. It will, therefore, have to be undertaken and paid for purely as a national work, and it is right that the people of Canada should know and understand in the outset what the probable addition to our public debt would be in connection with the 68th resolution. I do not think the proportion of the cost of the railway falling to the share of Canada can be much short of what we have already given towards the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway—at all events from twelve to fourteen millions of dollars. If it shall come about that the sense of the people is to be taken on the Confederation question, the Intercolonial Railway feature in the plan will prove the most difficult to reconcile the people to, and especially the people of Upper Canada. In my own constituency—and I

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may venture to assert that there are not many honorable members in the House stronger in their constituencies than I am —if I were to come before my electors purely on the Confederation issue, and as the advocate of Confederacy, I know that denunciation of the 68th resolution would be a tower of strength in the hands of any anti-Confederate opponent who might choose to measure swords with me in the electoral field ; but I would be prepared to face that difficulty, and in the fullest confidence that I could do so successfully and triumphantly, if satisfied that I could—and I think I could — show to my people that the scheme of Confederation, even with the Intercolonial Railway inseparately interwoven in its web, is essential to our existence as a British people. (Hear, hear.) Reverting to the objectionable features I have alluded to in the resolutions before us, I have asked myself this question—Is Confederation, as offered to us, faulty, as the plan may be likely to work well for the future of the country ? Is it likely to prove a satisfactory solution of the very grave political difficulties that beset us ? It would be in vain to attempt to conceal from ourselves that Canada is at this moment approaching the most critical period of her hitherto existence. Threatened with aggression from without, we are not in a gratifying condition of prosperity within, let blue-books and census returns say what they will to the contrary. Great ani momentous events are transpiring just beyond our frontier—events which have already seriously and injuriously affected us commercially, and which must inevitably, in some way or other, affect us politically. A people until recently devoted only to industrial pursuits and the development of their country, have suddenly expanded into a great military power. To use their own expression, the Americans are ” making history very fast,” and it is impossible that that eventful history can be manufactured in a territory separated from our own by little more than an imaginary line, without our having eventually some part in its pages, for good or for evil. In fact we cannot con cealf rom ourselves that some great change is impending over the destinies of our country—a change that will present itself to us in some form or other, and that before long, without its being in our power to avert, though it may be in our power to shape it. There is fast growing up in England a feeling of want of confidence in Canada. We see it in the tone of the press, in the parliamentary debates and elsewhere. We are told that we are giving more trouble to the Mother Country than we are worth. A similar feeling of want of confidence, amounting almost to contempt, has always prevailed towards us in the United States. The ignorance of everything relating to Canada —of our political and social condition— of our resources and our commerce—our growth and our progress—that exists among our kindred across the border, cannot fail to have surprised those who have mingled much among them, and if not altogether creditable to them is certainly very humiliating to us ; but, great as the ignorance is there, it is fully equalled by that which exists with respect to Canada, and all pertaining to Canada, among our nearer and dearer kindred in the old world. What can we do to remedy this unfortunate and humiliating state of things ? What can we do to inspire confidence in us abroad ; to command respect ; to defy contempt? These appear to me to be the practical questions with which we have to deal. We are plainly told by England that we must rely more upon our own resources in the future than we have done in the past, and it is right and just we should do so. It appears to me that there are just three states of political existence possible for us here, when we emerge from the chrysalis-form in which we have hitherto existed. First, there is the attempt to stand alone as a separate nationality on this continent—that is one alternative. Secondly, there is the prospect held out to us in the resolutions—namely, a union of all the British North American Colonies, under the flag of England, becoming more and more every year a homogeneous British people, and building up a consolidated British power on this continent. The last and inevitable alternative, if we reject the other two, is exactly that stated by my honorable friend from South Lanark (Mr. MORRIS)— absorption into the United States. I t is in vain to shut our eyes to that fact, or that the time is at hand when we will have to make our selection. I know that the latter alternative—and I can speak from as thorough an acquaintance with the wants, feelings and wishes of the people of Canada as any honorable gentleman in this House possesses—would be most distasteful to the gieat mass of the people of this country. (Loud cheers.) To myself personally, it would be so distasteful that it

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would amount to a sentence of expatriation, rupturing the ties and associations of a quarter of a century. (Hear, hear.) When my honorable friend the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada introduced the resolutions to the House, he gave us to understand that the question, or the details of the question, were scarcely to be considered as open for debate. He told us plainly and squarely that the project must be viewed as a treaty already sealed and signed between the contracting parties, and would have to be accepted as a whole or rejected as a whole. I felt the force of the situation then, and when the same honorable gentleman came down here a few days since, and, in reference to the new phase of difficulty resulting from the turn taken by the elections ia New Brunswick, announced that prompt and vigorous action was necessary, in a somewhat different direction from that originally contemplated, I felt the force of the situation even more fully than at first. (Hear, hear.) And I would here ask to be allowed to digress a moment from the main question. I wish to take this opportunity of saying that I never had more than a sort of a half-confidence in the Government as now constituted. When the leaders of the Conservative party, with whom I have always acted, saw fit last year to make certain political combinations which, even they must admit, astonished and startled the country—combinations resulting in the present Coalition Ministry—I claimed that I and every member of the Conservative party, in this House or out of it, who chose to dissent from the course adopted by our leaders, had a right to hold ourselves absolved from all party ties and obligations whatever. I claimed then as I claim now, that from thenceforward I owed no political allegiance, no party fealty, to any man or any body of men on the floor of this House. In electing to adopt for myself the anomalous and hybrid position of an ” independent member,” I knew full well that it was to ” burn my ship “—to cast away from me all chances of political advancement; but I never had political aspirations that warred with my own notions of political honor and consistency, or with my love of personal independence. But when great changes in our political relations are taking place ; when all feel, as I believe all do feel, that a great and momentous event is impending ; when, under such circumstances, my hon. friend the Honorable Attorney General for Upper Canada announces, as he has done, in a frank, bold, manly and statesmanlike manner, prompt and vigorous policy on the part of the Government in dealing with an unlooked-for difficulty—I allude to the difficulty growing out of the New Brunswick elections—I will tell that hon. gentleman that he and his colleagues may now—and always when boldly grappling with the political emergencies of the country —count on a cordial, earnest and admiring support from me. (Hear, hear.) Without further discussion or debate, I cast my vote for and my lot with the Confederation, and this I do in the fullest confidence and belief that, however faulty may be certain of the details of the scheme, and however awkward it may be to work out some of its provisions successfully, the resources of the people of these provinces, their innate adaptation for self-government, will be found fully equal to overcoming all the difficulties and obstacles that may beset their path. I fully believe that the faults which I now object to in the plan of Confederation will, like the diseases incident to childhood, grow out of our system as wo advance in political strength and stature, and that when another decade has passed over us we will be found a strong, united British people, ready and able, in peace or in war, to hold our own upon this continent. (Cheers.)

It being six o’clock, the Speaker left the chair.

After the recess,

MR. SHANLY, resuming his remarks, said—Before the House rose, I had expressed my belief that the people of this country would be found equal to any emergency that might arise in working out the Constitution embraced in the resolutions, and would prove themselves capable of altering or amending it until it worked effectually and well for the benefit of the whole country. And in making the choice which I know the people of this country will make—as between annexation to the United States and connection with Great Britain—as between republicanism and monarchy—as between Canada our country, or Canada our state —I believe they will be choosing that which will best advance the material prospects, and best ensure the future happiness and greatness of the country. If we were to be absorbed into the republic, and become a state of the union, that would in no way relieve us of the great undertakings that are before us for the improvement and de-

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velopment of our resouroes. We would still have a large debt on our hands, of which, unaided, we would have to bear the burden ; our canals and other public works would be treated, not as national, but as state enterprises, and the expense of enlarging or extending them would have to be charged upon a diminished revenue, for nearly the whole of the revenue we now raise from customs and excise would go, not to the improvement of this state of Canada, but would be poured into the coffers of the General Government at Washington. I can not understand how any patriotic Canadian, even of those who regard political matters from a material point of view only, can advocate annexation to the United States. I believe there are many persons in Canada who, though entertaining feelings of true loyalty to the Crown of England, imagine that in some way or other—they cannot exactly tell how— annexation would bring about an extraordinary and sudden state of prosperity. I differ entirely, even in the material and practical points of view, from the theorists and visionaries who entertain so fahe a conviction. How, I would ask, is this country, with diminished means at its command, to be enabled to carry out those great works through which alone it could hope to become great, but the ways and means for constructing or improving which still puzzle our financiers ? I have always been of opinion, since I first came to ponder carefully the future of Canada, that that future does not depend so muoh upon our lands as upon our waters. The land—the terra firma—of Canada is not inviting to those who have tilled the soil of Great Britain or explored the vast fertile plains to the west of Lake Michigan. Our country is just on a par with the northern part of the State of New York, and with the States of Vermont and New Hampshire in respect of climatic conditions and conditions of soil. But we possess one immense advantage over those countries, an advantage which gives us a distinctive position on this continent—the possession of the noble river which flows at our feet. It is through that river and our great chain of inland waters that the destiny of this country is to be worked out. But we cannot fulfil our destiny—or the destiny of this country rather—by standing idle in the market place ; by, as one honorable member has suggested, doing nothing to improve our natural highways or cveate artificial ones, trusting to fortune or to Providence for the development of our resources. I believe that we have a high and honorable destiny before us, but that it has to be worked out by hard toil and large expenditure ; and we certainly would not be in a better condition to work it out were we to be united to a country that would at once absorb four-fifths of the revenue on which we now depend for our very existence. The improvement of our internal navigation is the first great undertaking we should consider, whether for commercial purposes or for purposes of defence. And as regards the promoting of our commercial interest in the improvement of our navigation, what advantage, I would ask, could we expect to gain by becoming a state of the American union ? There is not one of the seaboard states but would be in every way interested in diverting the western trade from our iuto their own channels, and in endeavoring to obstruct the improvements calculated to attract that trade to the St. Lawrence. The Western States, doubtless, would have interests in common with us, but they are not in a position to render us material aid for the construction of our works, being themselves borrowers for the means of carrying out their own internal improvements. I believe, then, that even from a material point of view, every unprejudiced thinker must admit that our future prosperity and importance lie in preserving our individuality, and in making the most of our heritage for our own special advancement. (Hear, hear.) I feel quite certain that nine-tenths of the people of Canada would not be deterred from taking their chance as a nation through the fear that they may some day have to strike a blow in defence of their country ; and of all else, whether of reality or of sentiment, that should be dear to a brave and loyal people. We stand here the envied possessors of, take it all in all, the greatest river in the world; the keepers of one of the great portals to the Atlantic; and I trust that Canadians will never be found to yield possession of their heritage till wrested from them by force ! And that must be a force, they may rest assured, not merely sufficient to over-match the people of these provinces, but all the power of the Empire besides. (Hear, hear.) Now, though I have said I would not enter into details, I must claim the attention of the House for a few moments longer, while I touch upon one very important point. I refer to the 69th resolution, foreshadowing the colonizing by Canada, and at the expense of Canada,

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of the North-West territory. There is not in this House one hon. member who appreciates more fully than I do the great natural resources and great future value of that territory ; but I am not of that clash of sanguine and visionary politicians who would risk losing all by grasping too much, and in the vast dominion extending from Lake Superior to the shores of Newfoundland, the Confederacy will have ample scope for the energy and enterprise of her people for a long time to come. The North-West territory, from its geographical position as regards us, is very difficult of access. A broad tract of barren and inhospitable country intervenes between Lake Superior and the fertile plains of the Eed River and the Saskatchewan, which for seven months out of the twelve are, in fact, wholly inaccessible to us save through a foreign country, rendering it next to impossible for us alone to effect close connection with and colonization of that country. We cannot jump all at once from the position of colonists to that of colonizers. That great territory can only be developed, colonized and preserved to us by the exercise of that fostering care which the Empire has ever bestowed upon her colonies in their infancy. The Hon. President of the Council (Hon. Mr. BROWN) , in the course of the debate, said he hoped to see the day when our young men would go forth from among us to settle the North-West territory. I harbor no such wish. On the contrary, one of the fondest hopes I cherish as a result of Confederation is, that it will so attract capital and enterprise to the provinces, so tend to develope our internal resources, as to offer to the youth of the country a field for the exercise of tint laudable energy and ambition which now cause so many of them to leave their own hearths and cast their lot with strangers. One of the greatest ills that Canada now suffers from is, that the young men born and brought up in her midst look abroad for their future, and bestow their energies and talents on another land ; and, although an immigrant myself, I know and admit that a man born and brought up here is worth any two immigrants for the arduous task of clearing and settling what remains to us of the public domain. I hope and trust that the Confederation of the Provinces will create sufficient inducements to keep the young men of the country at home. (Hear, hear.) It is in that hope that I support the measure. I trust at the same time that the great North-West territory will be preserved to our flag, and that, fostered by tfie Mother Country, it will in time become great and populous, and finally extend the British American nation to the shores of the Pacific. It would be unfair, at this late stige of the debate, to enter further into details. I promised that I would not do so. With details, indeed, it has all along appeared to me we had little to do now. If the project as a whole be good, surely means will be found, as we go on, to remedy objectionable details. With all its defects—and I admit there are many defects —there never was a written Constitution but had its defects—I feel confident that the general design set forth in the resolutions meets with the approval of a large majority of the people of Canada at all events ; and it would be an insult to the sound common sense of a people that have so long proved themselves capable of judging for themselves and of governing themselves, to suppose them incapable of adjusting, from time to time, as occasion arises, the minor details or defects of a system of government to which they have resolved on according a fair trial. (Hear, hear.) And now, Mr. SPEAKER, what I had to say on this important subject of Confederation I have said. I promised that I would not weary the House by entering into details ; I trust that I have not done so ; but I may be permitted to express a hope— a hope founded in a deep and abiding belief—that the people of these provinces are and will prove themselves equal to fhc great undertaking that is before them ; that aided by all the commercial power of Britain in time of peace, by all her military and maritime power in war, should war unhappily come about, we will show to the world that we are not unworthy scions of the noble races of which we come, but that we are competent to successfully work out to a great end the task that is intrusted to us—the noblest and worthiest task that can be intrusted to an intelligent and enlightened people—that of making for themselves a name and a place among the nations of the earth ; that of building up—to borrow a quotation aptly introduced into his able speech by my hon. friend from South Lanark—a quotation from the speech of a renowned British statesman, when speaking on a great colonial question —that of building up “one of those great monuments with which England marks the records of her deeds— not pyramids and obelisks, but states and commonwealths,

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whose history shall be written in her language.” (Cheers.)

MR. SCOBLE—If I were to consult my own feelings or my convenience, Mr. SPEAKER, I should certainly not rise at this advanced period of the debate, to offer any observations on the great question which has now been so long under discussion ; but having somewhat altered the opinions that I entertained of the scheme submitted to the House by the Government, I feel it necessary to make a few remarks in explanation and vindication of the vote I intend to give. In approaching the consideration of the question, I shall divest myself, as far as possible, of all party predilections, of all personal preferences, and of all sectional jealousies, and shall endeavor to discuss it upon its merits, fairly and impartially—first, with reference to the great difficulties which unhappily exist between Upper and Lower Canada ; and, secondly, in relation to the proposed union of the British North American Provinces for purposes and objects common to them all. These branches of the main question, or rather these two questions, are not necessarily connected, and may, therefore, be discussed separately; for it is possible we may not be able immediately to secure the union of the provinces, and in that case we shall still have to deal with the difficulties of our own position, and try, if possible, to find a satisfactory solution for them. (Hear, hear.) And first, sir, with reference to the difficulties which have so long distracted and disturbed us, and which hitherto we have in vain attempted to remove. If we may believe the hon. member for Brome (Mr. DUNKIN), whom I regret to see is not in his place, the difficulties to which I have referred are imaginary, not real. He told us, in his elaborate and exhaustive speech, that in Lower Canada the Catholic and non-Catholic, the English and French-speaking populations, were living in the most entire harmony with each other ; and this statement was confirmed by the honorable and learned gentleman the Hon. Atty. Gen. East (Hon. Mr. CARTIER), who declared that so great was that harmony, that he enjoyed the confidence not only of the Catholic, but the Protestant section of the community, and in fact represented them both. Now, sir, I am not disposed to question the fact proclaimed by these honorable gentlemen; on the contrary, I fully believe it, and ascribe the circumstance to their having common objects to pursue, and common intereste to maintain. (Hear, hear.) But the hon. member for Brome went further. He affected to believe that no difficulties of any moment existed between Upper and Lower Canada, and that any dissatisfaction that had been manifested by the upper section of the province, might be easily removed without resorting to an organic change in our present Constitution. At least, so I understood the hon. gentleman. On this point I am at issue with him, for I believe those difficulties to be of a most formidable character, and that they threaten at no distant day, unless they be adjusted, the peace and the prosperity of the province— perhaps its disintegration—perhaps its annexation to the United States. Every lover of his country must deprecate such results, and ought to strive to prevent them, or either of them. The House and the country will sustain me in the view I take of the danger of our position, and consequently of the importance of the measure now under consideration, as one means ot removing it. (Hear, hear.) If, sir, we can ascertain the true cause of our difficulties, we shall not have to seek far or long for their remedy. In what do they originate? Some tell us in difference of nationality, of religious creed, of civil institutions, and of language. I am not disposed to ignore these, or to deny that they may be made to play a conspicuous part in the non-settlement of sectional questions ; but I utterly deny that they are the cause of our difficulties. Take the question of nationality, for instance. Those among us who are of French extraction may be justly proud of their ancestry of their traditions, and of their history. They can boast of the mighty empire which those of kindred blood with themselves have founded in Europe, and of the vast influence which it exerts over the civilization and politics of the world; but as they are no longer subject to France, but are within the allegiance of the British Crown, and enjoy all the franchises of British freemen, it appears to me that the question of French nationality disappears, whilst that of origin only remains ; and that now the only nationality that can be recognized among us is a British nationality, unless indeed we are prepared to sever our connection with the parent state, commence a new nationality of our own, or merge our political existence in the neighboring republic. But who, sir,

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among us is prepared for either of these alternatives ? Am I to suppose that the people of this province of French origin are less loyal to the British Crown than those of Anglo-Saxon descent ? Am I to believe that were the opportunity afforded them, they would reunite themselves with France ? These questions, I am assured, they will answer indignantly in the negative. At all events, of this I am satisfied, and I believe they are satisfied, that under no government in the world can they enjoy so large an amount of civil, political and religious liberty as under British sway. The Scotch have their history and their traditions as well as the French, but where is the Scotchman now that is not proud of his alliance with England, or that would wish to dissever the connection, though thereby he might regain his parliament or his king? I believe that every enlightened French-Canadian is of the same opinion, whatever hot-blooded and hairbrained demagogues may assert to the contrary. (Hear, hear.) Take the question of religious creeds. These are said to present an insurmountable obstacle in the way of the settlement of our sectional difficulty. If, sir, we had established in this province a non-Catholic or Protestant creed, to which all would be required to subscribe, or if not to subscribe, at least to support by compulsory taxation, then, sir, I could conceive that difference of religious opinion might operate in the way alleged ; but as among us the most complete religious liberty is enjoyed— yes, a larger amount of religious liberty than Catholic Christians are allowed in France—I can see no valid ground for the supposition that they would suffer in this respect, or that they ever had the shadow of a reason to fear that in doing an act of justice to Upper Canadians they would be doing injustice to themselves. (Hear, hear.) We are, all of us, too much and too deeply interested in the question of religious liberty, to trespass on the rights of conscience, or to allow of state interference in matters of such transcendent importance as our relations to the Divine Being, and the service and worship we owe to Him. Differing as we do in our creed and modes of worship, religious equality is necessary to the peace and good order of government, as well as to the life of religion itself among the people. We thus become the guardians of the most precious of all liberties, the right to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience, without let or hindrance from each other or the state. (Hear, hear.) But it is said that the civil institutions of Lower Canada would suffer, were Upper Canada allowed a representation in the Legislature and the Government in proportion to its population. I marvel, sir, much that such a difficulty as this Should ever have been started. I t is well known that the policy of Great Britain has ever been of the most liberal and comprehensive character in relation to matters of this kind. Trace her history in connection with her conquest in any part of the world ; and when, except with the consent of the people, has she imposed upon them the body of her sta ute laws ? Her Constitution and her common law of right belong to the peoples subjected to her sway, and these are the guardians of personal and public liberty ; but beyond these she allows the largest freedom in respect of customs, the peculiar institutions, and the administration of civil justice throughout the length and breadth of her dominions. However desirable the assimilation of the laws between Upper and Lower Canada may be, uniformity would be purchased at too dear a rate, if it led to dissatisfaction among any considerable class of the people. Time may accomplish what force might destroy. As an Englishman, whilst I believe our laws, in the main, as well as our whole judicial system, are the best in the world, I do not believe either the one or the other to be perfect. To improvo them by importing into them whatever is more excellent in other systems, is the dictate of common sense, and will always have my hearty concurrence. The institutions of Lower Canada are perfectly safe in the keeping of Lower Canadians, for practically nothing could bo gained by Upper Canadians in changing them, supposing they had the power to do so, which they neither have nor desire to have. (Hear, hear.) And then, sir, with respect to language, I can hardly suppose Lower Canadians serious when they imagine that any desire exists to destroy the use among them of their mother-tongue. It may do well enough to excite a prejudice ameng ignorant people to say so, but surely among those that are intelligent it can have no effect. It remains with French-Canadians themselves to determine whether they will abandon the use of their native tongue, and adopt ours, or not. They are free to use either, or both, at pleasure. If, sir, in Lower Canada the English are

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compelled to learn the French language for business purposes and for social intercourse, and in Upper Canada the French are compelled to iearn English for similar purposes, surely that need not be a subject for regret to the one or to the other, inasmuch as both will gain by it. And this further advantage will accrue to those skilled in both languages: Ik they will have access to the literature, the philosophy and the scier ce of the two foremost nations of the world. No attempt will be made to ignore the French language among us, so long as those who prefer it to all others shall deem it worthy of preservation. (Hear, hear.) Give the people of Upper and Lower Canada a common object to pursue, and common interests to sustain, arid all questions of origin, and creed, and institutions, and language will vanish in the superior end to be attaiued by their closer union among ourselves, or by their wider union with other colonists under the proposed scheme of Confederation. (Hear, hear.) The great difficulty under which we labor, and which we seek to overcome, is a political and not a social one. It has its root in the Constitution imposed upon the province in 1841 by the Imperial Government and Legislature. That Constitution vras founded on injustice to Lower Canada, and its fruit, as was then foreseen, has produced the grossest injustice to Upper Canada. Had the principle of representation based on population been then adopted, and the line which separated Upper from Lower Canada been obliterated, except for judicial purposes, we should now be working harmoniously together, instead of seeking organic changes in the Constitution, in order to preserve ourselves from revolution and anarchy. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member for Bagot (Hon. Mr. LAFRAMBOISE), in his speech, quoted largely from the report of Lord DURHAM, to show that that distinguished nobleman was prejudiced against Lower Canadians, and was indisposed to do them justice. By selecting here and there passages from that able document, the hon. gentleman gave a colorable appearance to his accusation, but nothing more. I deem it an act of justice to Lord DURHAM to supplement the extracts read by the hon. member, by further extracts which will shew that His Lordship was governed by exact and impartial justice in the measures which he recommended to heal the divisions which then existed in Canada. With the prescient sagacity of a true statesman, he said :—

As the mere amalgamation of the two Houses of Assembly of the two provinces would not be advisable, or give a due share of representation to each, a parliamentary commission should be appointed for the purpose of forming the electoral divisions, and determining the number of members to be returned on the principle of giving representation, as near as may be, in proportion to population.

Where, I ask, is the injustice of this recommendation ? Lower Canada had then the larger population, and was entitled to the larger representation in the united Legislature. But the Imperial authorities based the Constitution which they gave to Canada, not on representation according to numbers, but on equality or equal numbers of representatives for the two sections of the province, and the result we have to deplore this day. His Lordship goes on to say :—

I am averse to every plan that has been proposed for giving an equal number of members to the two provinces, in order to attain the temporary end of outnumbering the French, because I think the same object will be attained without violating the principles of representation, and without any such appearance of injustice in the scheme as would set public opinion, both in England and America, strongly against it; and because, when emigration shall have increased the English population in Upper Canada, the adoption of such a principle would operate to defeat the very purpose it is intended to serve. It appears to me that any such electoral management, founded on present provincial divisions, would tend to defeat the purposes of union, and perpetuate the idea of disunion.

These are words of wisdom, but they were not listened to at home, and the consequences have been lamentable. We find Upper and Lower Canada in a state of antagonism, and collision imminent. We find the Legislature brought to a dead-lock, and our public men driven to their wit’s end. All this was foreseen by Lord DURHAM and provided for in his admirable suggestions for the future government of this important province. And then, in reference to the peculiar institutions of Lower Canada, its religion and its laws, he said :—

I certainly should not like to subject the French-Canadians to the rule of the identical English minority with which they have been so long contending ; but from a majority emanating from so much more extended a source, I do not think they would have any oppression or injustice to fear ; and in this case the far greater part of the majority never having been brought into collision, would regard them with no animosity thnt would warp their natural sense of equity. The endow-

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ments of the Catholic Church in Lower Canada, and the existence of all its present laws, until altered by the united legislature, might be secured by stipulations similar to those adopted in the union between England and Scotland. I do not think that the subsequent history of British legislation need inclme us to believe that the nation which has the majority in a popular legislature is likely to use its power to tamper very hastily with the laws of the people to which it is united.

Such were the opinions and such the basis of that great scheme of union which Lord DUR- HAM contemplated, and which he aimed to secure to Upper and Lower Canada. I t consisted of two parts : representation based on population in the Legislature ; and guarantees that the peculiar institutions of Lower Canada should be protected, and her rights respected. But His Lordship had larger views before him than the union of Upper and Lower Canada. He was anxious that all the British colonies in North America should be consolidated under one government. When His Lordship received his commission from the British Crown, he was strongly in favor of the Federal principle in its application to the then state of Upper and Lower Canada ; but a more profound study of the question when in this country, and from consultation with the leading men in the several American Colonies, he arrived at the conclusion that a Legislative would be preferable to a Federal union of those colonies. The change in his opinion is thus stated in the extracts from his report, with which I shall now trouble the House. By a legislative union he means ” a complete incorporation of the provinces included in it under one Legislature exercising universal and sole legislative authority over all of them, exactly in the same manner as the Parliament legislates alone for the whole of the British Isles.” After a careful review of the whole subject, Lord DURHAM says :—

I had still more strongly impressed upon me the great advantages of a united government ; and I was gratified by finding the leading minds of the various colonies strongly and generally inclined to a scheme that would elevate their countries into something like a national existence. I thought that it would be the tendency of a Federation, sanctioned and consolidated by a monarchical government, gradually to become a complete Legislative union; and that thus,while conciliating the French of Lower Canada, by leaving them the government of their own province, and their own internal legislation, I might provide for the protection of British interests by the General Government, and the gradual transition of the provinces into an united and homogeneous community. But, [His Lordship adds,] the period of gradual transition is past in Lower Canada, [and therefore he says,] that the only efficacious government would be that formed by a Legislative union.

Having thus dealt with the question in its application to Upper and Lower Canada, he extends the range of his observations to the whole of the British possessions in North America, and remarks :—

But while I convince myself that such desirable ends would be secured by a legislative union of the two provinces, I am inclined to go further and enquire whether all these objects would not be more surely obtained by extending this legislative union over all the British possessions in North America; and whether the advantages which I anticipate for two of them might not, and should not in justice be extended over all. Such an union would at once decisively settle the question of races ; it would enable the provinces to co-operate for all common purposes ; and, above all, it would form a great and powerful people, possessing the means of securing good and responsible government for itself, and which, under the protection of the British Empire, might in some measure counterbalance the preponderant and increasing influence of the United States on the American continent.

His Lordship had no fears that such an union would lead to separation from the Mother Country. He rather looked upon it as a means of strengthening the bonds which united them, and of its proving an advantage to both. On this point he says :—

I do not anticipate that a colonial legislature thus strong and thus self-governing would desire to abandon the connection with Great Britain. On the contrary, I believe that the practical relief from undue interference which would be the result of such a change would strengthen the present bond of feelings and interests, and that the connection would only become more durable and advantageous by having more of equality, of freedom, and of local independence. But, at any rate, our first duty is to secure the well-being of our colonial countrymen ; and if in the hidden decrees of that Wisdom by which this world is ruled, it is written that these countries are not for ever to remain portions of the Empire, we owe it to our honor to take good care that when they separate from us they should not be the only countries on the American continent in which the Anglo-Saxon race shall be found unfit to govern themselves. I am, [says His Lordship,] in truth, so far from believing that the increased power and weight given to these colonies by union would endanger their connection with the Empire, that I look to it as the means of fostering such a national feeling throughout them as would effectually counterbalance whatever tendencies may now exist towards separation.

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His Lordship then strongly recommends the union of the two Canadas under one Legislature, and of reconstituting them as one province ; and ” the bill,” he says, ” should contain provisions by which any or all of the North American colonies may, on the application of the Legislature, be, with the consent of the two Canadas, or their united Legislature, admitted into the union on such terms as may be agreed on between them.” These remarkable passages drawn from Lord DURHAM’S report, appear to me to embody the very spirit of the scheme submitted to our consideration by the Government, and coming to us recommended by so high an authority, merit our best attention ; and if realized, though not in the precise form many of us might desire, we may hope it will heal our intestine divisions, and open to us a glorious future. Representation based on population is denied to Upper Canada, unless coupled with the Confederation of all the British North American colonies ; the separation of Upper Canada, pure and simple, is not to be thought of; to return to the position we occupied only a year ago, would be to plunge once more into political contests, with feelings embittered by disappointment ; and therefore, with reservations affecting details only, I shall feel it to be my duty to give the motion before the House my best support. (Hear, hear.) And now, sir, I propose to consider the scheme submitted to us in relation to the larger question of the union of all the British North American Provinces under one government, for purposes common to them all. I needed not the arguments or the eloquence of honorable gentlemen on the Treasury benches to convince me of the immense importance of such a junction as shall lead to the development of a new nationality, and secure to generations yet unborn the advantages of unity and power. With the permission of the House, I will read an extract from a letter which I addressed to the Duke of NEWCASTLE in 1859, when that nobleman visited this country in the suite of His Royal Highness the PRINCE OP WALES, bearing directly on this point. Having briefly stated the grounds which induced me to write to His Grace, I said :—

The possessions of Great Britain in North America are not only vast mextent and marvellous in resources, but for facility of internal communication by lakes and rivers, are unrivalled ; and their geographical position is such as to make them of the very last importance to the political and commercial greatness of the British Empire. Possessing the control of this magnificent part of the American continent, with comparatively easy access through it from the Atlantic to the Pacific shores, Great Britain need not fear the rivalry nor dread the preponderance of the United States. But in order that she may derive from it all the advantages it is so well calculated to afford, she must have a fixed and determinate policy, wisely conceived, practical in its details, and perseveringly carried out. In the planting of future colonies in British North America, care should be taken to make them as few as possible. I regret, therefore, that it appears to have been determined to give the Bed River settlement a distinct political existence. Canada should have been allowed to expand westwards to the Rocky Mountains, instead of being cooped up within her present limits. She would then have been able to absorb more easily the outlying colonies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island on the Atlantic, and British Columbia and Vancouver’s Island on the Pacific. Consolidated ultimately under one government, after the model of the Mother Country, with such modifications as the circumstances of the case might require, an empire might be formed over which, hereafter, some one branch of the Royal Family might reign a constitutional monarch, over a free and united people. In the meantime there is nothing to hinder the appointment of a Prince of the blood royal to he Viceroy over all the possessions of Great Britain in North America, and under him, lieutenant-governors to administer the affairs of the separate dependencies, until they could be gradually and permanently united. Your Grace will perceive from this statement that I object to the American system of federation, and would oppose to it the unification of the British colonies in this part of the world. One government, one legislature, one judiciary, instead of many, with their conflicting institutions, interests, and jurisdictions, is what I would respectfully venture to recommend as the true policy of the Mother Country on this side of the Atlantic, as it has been with the most splendid results on the other. A Federal Government, such as that of the United States, for instance, is and must be weak in itself, from the discordant elements of which it is eo’mposed, and will be found to contain within itself the seeds of disorganization and dissolution. The multiplication of colonies in a new country like this is tantamount to the multiplication of petty sovereignties, and the creation of rivalries and antagonisms which, sooner or later, will manifest themselves, and prevent the development of that greatness, power and prosperity which an opposite policy, wisely administered, would, in my judgment, effectually promote and secure. By unification, however, I do not mean centralization. I am no friend to the bureaucratic system ot Franoe, Austria, and Prussia. A government, to be strong and respected, must leave to the people the largest amount of liberty consistent with the safety and advantage of the whole, in the manage-

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ment of their local affairs. Such a municipal system as we have in Canada is all that is necessary to secure that end. With the political franchise extended to all classes of the community, whether native-born or naturalized, the national life could not fail to develope itself in forms that would give permanence to its institutions, contentment to its people, and strength to its government.

The opinions which I entertained in 1859 I entertain now. Now, as then, I am in favor of the unification of the British American Provinces. Now, as then, I am opposed to the Federal principle, as exemplified in the formation and practical working of the Government of the United States. The greatest statesmen, the wisest men, who became conspicuous during the American revolution, were clearly of opinion that a government to be strong must be a unit, and must possess within itself, and in all its organs, supreme power and a commanding influence. To diffuse those powers, or even to share them with state or local governments, they felt would weaken it in its most vital parts. They would, therefore, have stripped the States of every attribute of sovereignty, and confined their action to matters of a purely local or municipal character ; but they had not the power, and the consequences are visible in the fratricidal war now raging among them, devastating their fairest provinces and filling the land with mourning and woe. The lessons of history and the experience of other peoples should not be lost upon us ; and for myself, I hesitate not to say that if, in the proposed Federation of the British American colonies, we were to follow the example of the framers of the Government of the United States, or to copy its Constitution, it would have my most determined opposition. The scheme before us, however, is formed after a different model, and in its essential features is in perfect contrast to that on which the Constitution of the United States is based. I t is true it creates local governments with large legislative and executive powers; it is true it gives those governments concurrent powers with the General Government ; it is true it gives them possession of the public lands within their several jurisdictions; it is true it allows two of those governments to levy export duties on lumber, coal and other minerals,—and looked at in the light of an advanced political science, this is to be lamented ; but looked at in the light of possible and practicable statesmanship, it was unavoidable. I am, therefore, prepared to accept it as a whole, as in fact the best that could have been produced under the circumstances in which it was framed. (Hear, hear.) A careful analysis of the scheme convinces me that the powers conferred on the General or Central Government secures it all the attributes of sovereignty, and the veto power which its executive will possess, and to which all local legislation will be subject, will prevent a conflict of laws and jurisdictions in all matters of importance, so that I believe in its working it will be found, if not in form yet in fact and practically, a legislative union. (Hear, hear.) Taking this general and, as I believe, correct view of the case, I shall abstain from all criticism of its minor details, in the hope that what is found hereafter immature or unworkable will be abandoned by general consent. The Imperial Government will take care, no doubt, that that part of the scheme which conflicts with the prerogatives of the Crown will be removed, or, at all events, be brought into harmony with them. On one or two points brought out very fully by the Catholic members of the House in opposition to the scheme, I shall venture to offer a few remarks. They take exception to the power conferred on the General Government in the matter of marriage and divorce. I think, sir, the power is very properly placed there. I respect their religious convictions ; as a Protestant, I ask them to respect mine. We owe each other mutual toleration. If the Protestant section of this House and this province do not regard marriage as a sacrament, and, therefore, inviolable and indissoluble, I believe they will be found to have as high an opinion of the sacred obligations involved in it, and admit it to be as binding upon the conscience of all who enter upon that holy and honorable state, as their Catholic fellow-subjects. But quod the state or the civil government of the country, Protestants at large, regard marriage as a civil contract only, and consequently dissoluble on cause shown. This view ought not to be offensive to the judgment or the conscience of our Catholic friends, for it will not and cannot interfere in the slightest degree, either with the form or the continuity of their marriages; and surely they will grant to us, the non- Catholic section of the province, that liberty of conscience in this matter wi ich they claim and enjoy themselves. (Hear, hear.) Another point touched upon by my honorable friend the member for Peterborough (Col. HAULTAIN) demands from me a passing remark. I believe that my honorable friend correctly interpreted the feelings of Protestants in Lower

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Canada, when he referred to the probable effect of the Pope’s encyclical on the Catholic mind of the country. They think that if the principles inculcated in that letter were acted upon, their religious liberties and privileges would be in peril. But it would appear that my honorable friend had not the true key to the interpretation of that famous document. Catholic commentators find it to be perfectly innocuous when properly understood. Be that as it may, I rely rather on the good sense and good feeling of Catholics themselves, and above all, on the religious liberty secured to us in this province, than on the Pope’s encyclical, for the protection of our liberties, whether civil or religious. Let us be united in object and in interest as a people, and I have no fear, however diversified our opinions may be on matters personal to ourselves, but that we shall grow up to be a great nation, and that a glorious future awaits us. (Hear, hear.) As there are yet several honorable gentlemen to address the House, I shall not trespass on its attention much longer, as I am anxious the debate should be brought to a close as soon as possible, in order that the Government may be able, by its representatives in England, to perform those important duties which are so urgent and so necessary at the present moment. (Hear, hear.) Before sitting down, however, I wish to make one or two remarks on the conflicting opinions entertained by honorable gentlemen on the permanency of our relations to the Mother Country. I do not believe there is any large party there who desire to separate themselves from us. On the contrary, I believe the great bulk of the British people are proud of the connection, and are prepared to maintain it if we do our part in cultivating that connection by meeting their just and reasonable demands. There can be no doubt that one cause of dissatisfaction expressed in England towards us has resulted from our fiscal policy. I shall venture no opinion on that policy just now, whether it was wise or otherwise, but it strikes me very forcibly that we have it now in our power to set ourselves right on that point, and to it I would respectfully invite the attention of the Government. The question of our defences is very earnestly pressed on our attention by the authorities at home ; but that is undoubtedly an Imperial as well as a provincial question, and might be dealt with in this way. If the British Government and people really desire to maintain their connection with the Canadas, they are under the obligation, both moral and political, to afford them adequate defence in money, material and men, in case of necessity ; for it is clear that without these our position, except at one or two points, is clearly indefensible. On the other hand, if we are anxious to continue our relations with the Mother Country, then we are bound by the highest considerations of policy to adjust our tariff on imports in such a manner as to give no real cause of complaint to the people at home. I am persuaded that if we do this it will smooth the way for the removal of any hostility that may have been shown towards us by any class of politicians in England. Privileges and duties are reciprocal, and should be met in a cordial spirit ; and let it be remembered that material interests are, of all others, the most binding upon nations in amity with each other, and are the best calculated to maintain our relations undisturbed with the parent state. (Hear, hear.) With me, sir, it is a matter of extreme importance that our relations with the Mother Country should be settled on a firm and permanent basis. (Hear, hear.) I therefore quite agree with the hon. gentleman (Mr. SHANLY) who has just sat down, on the necessity of pressing this point on the attention of the Imperial Government. Mr. SPEAKER, my most earnest desire and prayer is that by a well-considered scheme of union—a union that shall embrace the whole of the British possessions in North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, under one government—results may follow of the most beneficial character, both to the colonies and the Mother Country ; and that Providence may so guide the counsels and influence the acts of those who now direct our affairs, as to secure to the people of this country, and to succeeding generations, the blessings of a well-ordered government and a wise administration of public affairs. (Cheers.)

COL. RANKIN—Mr. SPEAKER, never has there been an occasion, since I have had the honor of occupying a seat in this House, when I have been so deeply impressed with the importance of the subject under consideration, as I am to-night. Every honorable gentleman who has addressed the House during the course of this debate has told you, sir, that he rose under some degree of embarrassment. I, too, might give you the same assurance, but I shall not dwell upon it ; suffice it to say, I only speak because I think it my duty to explain the reasons which induce me to take the view I entertain of the subject before the House. I have

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listened, sir, with great attention to the speeches which have fallen from honorable gentlemen on both sides ; and it is to me a matter of congratulation to observe, that at last, something has arisen which has given a higher tone to the debates of this House, and to the utterances of our public men. (Hear, hear.) I attribute this improvement in a great measure to the fact that we are discussing a question of greater importance than has ever before been brought under our consideration ; that we are at length turning our attention to something worthy of the consideration of gentlemen who aspire to establish for themselves the reputation of statesmen, while it has unfortunately happened heretofore that too much of our time has been spent in discussing questions which ought properly to be left to the consideration of a municipal, rather than of a legislative body. (Hear, hear.) Inasmuch, sir, as I have reasons, which perhaps are somewhat peculiar to myself, for entertaining the views which I hold upon this question, I trust I may be pardoned if I refer to some of the most prominent events connected with the progress of affairs in Canada for some years past. And here I may remark, that though the country has become more important, though our population has increased, and our prosperity advanced, in perhaps as rapid a degree as any reasonable person could have expected, there are still some respects in which we have not advanced, but rather retrograded than otherwise. I mean that the tone of feeling among the prominent men of the country has rather deteriorated than improved, since the introduction of responsible government. I , sir, am old-fashioned enough to believe, that although there may have been some objections to the mode of government which existed prior to the union, there was a higher tone among our public men in those days than has prevailed for some years past. Still, no doubt, there was much cause of complaint on the part of those who originated the agitation, which resulted in the rebellion of 1837. And speaking now in the light of the experience, many of us would probably be prepared to admit those gentlemen who took a prominent part in bringing about that rebellion, and whom we then considered it a duty to put down, were in reality true benefactors of the country. (Hear, hear.) The result has proved that they differed only from thone who thought it their duty to oppose them, in that they were in advance of the men and the sentiment of that day. They foresaw, indeed, earlier than their neighbors, that the state of things which then existed could not long continue—they appreciated grievances sooner than others. (Hear, hear.) And thence arose the political struggles, which resulted, unfortunately, in a resort to arms. That insurrection was happily suppressed ; and the statesmen of the great nation of which we are proud to be subjects, after the rebellion was ended, immediately applied themselves to the consideration of the best means of removing the just causes of complaint which had led to the revolt. The first step was to bring about a union of the two provinces. That union was distasteful to many, who were forced reluctantly to accede to it. There were at that time gentlemen worthy in every way of the respect of their fellowcountrymen who denounced the union, and predicted evil results from it. But is there an intelligent man in this country who will now say that those predictions have been realized ? I do not think tliere is an hon. member of this House, on either side, who would expect anybody to believe he spoke sincerely if he asserted that the union had been attended by disastrous results. The time has passed for hostile feelings to exist between the people of the two sections of this country—I say the two sections, for I have never allowed myself to speak of Upper and Lower Canada as separate and distinct provinces or countries, as has been too much the practice. From the moment the union was consummated, I felt that we should look upon ourselves as inhabitants of one country, and not as the people of two distinct provinces. In some instances legislation might operate with greater advantage to one section, while in others it would be more beneficial to the other section. But whatever was for the benefit of one was for the good of the whole, inasmuch as it added to the importance, the wealth and the influence of the whole. (Hear, hear.) But there were many people who, for many years after the consummation of the union, writhed under the state of things thereby brought about, and were disposed to sneer at responsible government, and to speak of it as a misfortune rather than as a boon. Sir, we have had some severe lessons, such as all individuals passing through the period intervening between childhood and manhood must to

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some extent be subjected to, and to which communities rapidly growing from insignificance to importance must also submit. The first lesson we were taught under the system of responsible government was in the passage of the bill for the indemnification of losses sustained during the rebellion in Lower Canada. I, sir, happened to belong to a class in Upper Canada, at that time, who would have considered it almost, if not quite, justifiable to resort to arms in order to resist the enforcement of that law. But, as time has rolled on, I have become more capable of appreciating the course then taken, and I am now prepared to admit thnt it was but just and reasonable that ihat law should be enacted. (Hear, hear.) I then sympathised with those who burned the Parliament House in Montreal, and am willing to admit, that if I had been there, I would probably have been one of the first to apply the torch to that building, while under the influence of the feelings which inspired me at that time. But experience and reflection have since taught me to regard things from a very different point of view. We were then taught practically to feel that we really did govern ourselves. We were made to taste the consequences of self-government. We were taught that questions like these must be decided by the will of the majority of the people, as made known through their representatives in Parliamant. (Hear, hear.) There was no mistake in that case as to what the will of that majority was ; and I am free to admit that the rebellious spirit then indulged in, on account of the passage of that bill, was in some respects more woithy of condemnation than the conduct of those who resorted to arms to redress the real grievances which caused the rebellion ; and, in course of time, many of those who were most incensed at the passage of this measure, began to realize the fact that it was only one of the natural consequences of the new state of things ; and, step by step, the people of Canada have come to understand and appreciate the advantages of self-government. They have come now to understand that whatever is deliberately expressed as the will of the majority of the people, ought to he submitted to by the minority. (Hear, hear.) And I hope we have arrived at that stage in our political education, that there is no man in Canada who would now justify a resort to violence to resist any enactment by this Legislature, no matter how unpalatable it might be to the minority, and no matter how important that minority might be. Mr. SPEAKER, we are now invited to direct our attention to another union of a different kind, and on a larger scale. Of that union I have long been an advocate. I have looked forward to it for years, as a desirable event ; and in proof that I have done so, I may be permitted to read two or three lines from the Votes and Proceedings of this House, so far back as the year 1856. I do not desire to claim for myself any special credit in the matter, but merely wish to establish my consistency, in being now, as I am, the uncompromising advooate of this measure— in being prepared to go so far, as I declared was my intention the other day, as to vote for the motion submitted by the Hon. Attorney General West for the previous question, which, under ordinary circumstances, I should look upon as a very high-handed and objectionable proposal. Sir, in 1856 I called the attention of the Hon. Attorney General West—who, if in his place, would readily recollect the fact—to a scheme such as that now under consideration. I urged it upon him, and prayed him to bring his great abilities to bear upon the attainment of an end of sufficient importance to be worthy of his continued exertions. I endeavored to convince him that, by identifying his name with the attainment of some great and important end, he would establish for himself a reputation worthy of his talents. I failed, however, to enlist the sympathies of that hon. gentleman with my views. His idea was, that it was premature to entertain any such project—that it might be well enough, perhaps, at some future period, but that it was then quite out of the question ; I nevertheless proceeded to draft a series of resolutions, and gave notice of them two or three weeks in advance of the day I intended to move them. During the intervening period, I addressed myself to honorable members of the House, but, I regret to say, met with no encouragement from any quarter, with one single exception—the late Hon. Mr. MERRITT cordially approving of the idea. Finding that sufficient support could not be obtained in the House to commend the idea to the country, I felt it to be prudent— as even leaders of parties sometimes do under similar circumstances—not to make an exhibition of my own weakness ; I came to the conclusion that the resolutions would not

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receive favorable consideration from any considerable number of hon. members, and that to move them would only be to attract attention to what might be looked upon as my own eccentricities. I accordingly abandoned the idea of pressing them at that time. But, with the leave of the House, I will now read the motion, which is as follows :—

Mr. RANKIN—On Wednesday next (30th of April, 1856)—Committee of the Whole on the general state of the province, for the purpose of considering the subject of a union of the British North American Colonies, with a view to an address to Her Majesty to recommend the same to the consideration of the Imperial Parliament.

This, sir, I am happy to say, is the proposal which the Government are now carrying out. (Hear, hear.) This was what I proposed nine years ago, and I shall have the greatest pleasure now in giving them my hearty support while they endeavor to carry it into efiFect ; and I congratulate them on having, though so long after myself, arrived at the same conclusion. (Hear, hear.)

HON. J . S. MACDONALD—It was advocated long ago by Bishop STRACHAN and other gentlemen.

MR. RANKIN—Far be it from me to deny that these gentlemen are entitled to the credit of having suggested the idea, long before I was of an age to think of anything of the kind. But I may congratulate myself that I had conceived the same idea—without borrowing it from them—which had been previously advocated by men so distinguished and illustrious. (Hear, hear.) The result shews, however, that in looking upon the movement as then premature, the Hon. Attorney General was right, and that he correctly understood the feelings of the country ; for I am willing to admit that the course of events has proved that it was premature. But, had it not been for certain occurrences which I shall not comment upon (since to do so might savor of a spirit unbecoming on this occasion)— had it not been for the extraordinary state of things brought about before the formation of this Coalition, I am not prepared to acknowledge that it would have been thought of, as a practical scheme, for twenty years to come. But now honorable gentlemen have taken it up, and it only remains for me to congratulate them on having done so. When this Coalition was proposed, after the vote which resulted in the defeat of the CARTIER-MAODONALD Ministry, the honorable member for South Oxford, the Hon. President of the Council, and then recognized leader of the Opposition, did me the honor to invite me to a meeting of his supporters. Though I never was one of his followers—having been all my life, in the proper sense of the word, a conservative—still I was associated, for the time, with the gentlemen forming the party of which he was chief; and I think they will do me the justice to admit, that while allied with them, I acted in good faith, and they all knew that, though I was with them, I was not of them. (Hear, hear.) At the meeting of the Opposition, called by the Hon. President of the Council, the project now under consideration was submitted and in justice to that gentleman, I am bound to say he made a frank, clear and intelligible explanation of the terms which had been agreed upon between himself and the other section of the Government. He informed us fully of all that had taken place between the negotiating parties, and submitted to us the question whether we would support him in the step ho had taken, and support the Government which was to be organised for the purpose of carrying out this project. Much was said after those explanations, and to the best of my recollection of what occurred—for I have not since refreshed my memory by reading the report of the proceedings—there was a general assent to the project. Though some hon. gentlemen did entertain views peculiar to themselves, and expressed opinions that perhaps did not convey a hearty or cordial assent,yet there was a unanimous consent that this Government should be formed. (Hear, hear.) I think every one absented to that proposal. I, at all events, fully assented to it in good faith—(hear, hear)—and in doing so, my meaning was to allow the iullcst latitude to those hon. gentlemen to concoct the best scheme they could, and to sustain them in working it out. I had no trick in my mind. I did not mean, as some honorable gentlemen seem to have meant, to place them in a false position, and afterwards assail them. (Hear, hear.) I honestly meant to empower them to confer with delegates from the other provinces, and to endeavor to bring about an understanding by which a union of some sort might be accomplished. (Hear, hoar.) It is true that there was one feature in the explanations given by the Hon. President of the Council which was not acceptable to me, but it was not of a character which rendered it necessary for mc to make any remark at the time. To prevent misapprehension, I

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however, will explain what I mean. One idea suggested was, that failing the Confederation of all British North America, the Federation should be carried out with reference to Canada alone.

HON. MR. BROWN—With provision for its extension, so as to embrace the other provinces, whenever they were prepared to come in.

COL. RANKIN—Certainly ; but though I did not approve of a Federation of Canada alone, I did not feel that it was part of my duty to rise and protest against any such project. I felt it was right to empower these hon. gentlemen to frame that scheme, which they found to be the best and most practicable—although I certainly had a mental reservation with reference to the point I have mentioned; and I did not then, nor will I at any future day, assent to a Federation of the Canadas alone, with a local government for each section. Rather than accept such a Constitution, I would prefer to remain as we are ; for I never can be a consenting party to the making of two or three paltry provinces out of Canada. But I am prepared to give my hearty support to the project now under consideration — not because I consider it perfect; for if 1 were so disposed, I might raise many valid objections to the scheme; but I am not so disposed. I really believe the gentlemen who have taken it in hand have applied themselves to the task committed to them in a spirit of patriotism and faithfulness to their trust, and I shall not permit myself to indulge in any remark with reference to the-position they occupied towards each other previous to the Coalition now established. While on this subject, I may remark that the Hon. President of the Council seemed most favorable to the idea of a Federation of the two provinces of Canada alone, and I am bound to say, when he made his explanations, he appeared deeply impressed with the gravity of the step he was about to take, and perfectly well aware that he was exposing himself to be assailed by parties uniriendly to him, on points where he was, perhaps, open to attack. I do not say he is not vulnerable, but 1, at all events, shall not assail him now. If I have any attacks to make upon him, I shall suspend them till some future time; and if he succeeds in carrying out this project, he will find in me one who will always be ready to accord to him the highest meed of praise, and, for the good he will do in bringing this about, I, sir, will be prepared to forgive him for all the evil he has heretofore done. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)

HON. J . S. MACDONALD—You have great faith.

MR. RANKIN—We ought all to profi by the lessons of experience. In the course of this discussion, it has been a pleasure to me to observe the general spirit of loyalty which has been displayed by hon. gentlemen who have addressed the House. Even those who are adverse to the scheme have not been behind its greatest advocates in their declarations of attachmeat to British institutions and British rule on this continent. (Hear, hear.) And I am not disposed to insinuate that there is a solitary member of this House who entertains sentiments of disloyalty to Great Britain. We all have a right to express our views, and in fact it is our duty to do so, since we are sent here to consider what is best for the interests of Canada first; for though we owe allegiance to England, Canada is our country, and has the strongest and best claims to our devotion. (Hear, hear.) I, sir, am not one of those Canadians who place the interests of England first, and hold those of Canada in secondary estimation. I t would be better if we could regard the interests of both with the same degree of concern—and I trust they always may be united ; but we ought not to permit ourselves to lose sight of the fact, that with nations as with individuals, the time does arrive when it becomes each person to be responsible for himself, and when he can no longer look to his parents to give him a standing in the world. Sir, the time must come, sooner or later, when this country must cease to be a colony dependant on Great Britain ; and whatever we do, whatever arrangements for the future we may make, we ought always to keep the fact plainly before our eyes, that passing events are calling upon us, either to commence the establishment of a nationality for ourselves, or make up our minds to be absorbed in the republic lying along our southern borders. I, sir, do not desire to see the latter state of things brought about. Nothing could be more distasteful to me thau to become what is called a citizen of the United States, though I admit the enterprise and intelligence which characterise the people of that country. Mr. SPEAKER, it is within the recollection

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of every honorable member of this House, that some fifteen years since a movement was set on foot in Montreal, which had as its avowed object the severance of Canada from its connection with England, and its annexation to the United States. The gentlemen who inaugurated that movement were men of influence and high standing in the country, and some of them, as we all know, now occupy prominent positions in this House ; they claimed then, as they do now, to be good and loyal British subjects, and yet they deliberately framed a document to which they attached their signatures, in which they prayed their Sovereign to allow this province to withdraw from its connection with England, and attach itself to the United States. Sir, the framers of the document to which I refer—the Annexation Manifesto— were not animated by a rebellious feeling against the Mother Country, but by feelings of loyalty to the interests of this country ; their arguments were logical, and founded upon those material considerations which, after all, do exercise, and must continue to exert a more powerful influence over the minds of intelligent men in the nineteenth century, than any mere sentiment, or preference for any particular form of government ; and sir, we all know that but a short time after the publication of the annexation manifesto, a new era dawned upon the country. The Grand Trunk Railway and other important public works were inaugurated. British capital flowed into the province in copious streams, the pockets of the annexationists were replenished, and their loyalty reestablished, upon a basis which has lasted ever since. The reciprocity, too, contributed largely to the removal of the depression which engendered the annexation movement; and under the operation of that treaty, the material interests of the country have prospered to a degree that will only be fully appreciated when we have been deprived of its advantages. Sir, no conceivable state of things would have induced me to become a party to that movement in favor of annexation, but I am free to confess that the arguments advanced by the framers of the document to which I have referred were sound and logical—regarding them from a material point of view ; and if they were so at that time, why should they not be equally so now ? For the last ten years, we have enjoyed all the advantages of free intercourse and free trade with our powerful neighbors of the United States. We are now in danger of being deprived of both—and if we are, what will be the condition of this country three years hence ? Shall we not be reduced to a state more disastrous to our agricultural and other important interests, than we have yet experienced ? And am I wrong, sir, in assuming that similar causes would once more produce the same effects ? It is all very well tor hon. gentlemen to say ” No, no,” but I maintain that I am right; and, Mr. SPEAKER, it is our duty to look the existing state of things in the face. The impulses of mankind have been the same in all ages. We cannot change human nature, nor make men honest or disinterested, by act of Parliament. But, sir, I have only referred to the past in the hope that the recollection of the events and the state of things to which I have alluded, may have some influence upon the minds of hon. gentlemen — may, perhaps, induce some modification in the course of even a single member, who has hitherto been prejudiced against the scheme of union brought down by the Government. That we have arrived at a critical period in the history of this continent, is universally admitted. Events of the most momentous character are transpiring upon our borders, and I regret to say there exists towards us among our republican neighbors a deep-rooted feeling of hostility. Occurrences have taken place during the progress of the war which have tended, step by step, to intensify that feeling, which has displayed itself in the stoppage of unrestricted intercourse, and the threatened abrogation of the treaty of reciprocal free trade. In view of this state of things, Mr. SPEAKER, if we wish either to continue our connection with England or to maintain a separate national existence of our own, it is our duty to devise some means by which we shall be enabled at all seasons to obtain access to the seaboard through our own territory; to strengthen ourselves numerically; to increase our wealth materially, aud to add to our importance territorially. All these results, Mr. SPEAKER, may, in my opinion, be obtained by the union now proposed. Sir, it is because I entertain this opinion that I am prepared to accept the proposition under consideration without criticising its details. If I were disposed to enter into details, I would most earnestly object to that part of the project which relates to the development of the North-West, and the

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uncertain period of the introduction of that territory into the Confederation; indeed I should object to the Federal principle altogether—for what I would prefer, Mr. SPEAKER, would be a Legislative, rather than a Federal union ; but, sir, I am willing to award the highest credit to the Government for having accomplished as much as they have done. If we are not to have a legislativo union in name, we shall have something very closely resembling it. In fact, to have expected that any body of delegates, representing a number of different provinces and a great variety of conflicting interests, could concoct a scheme which would prove acceptable to everyone, would have been most unreasonable ; and I think it ought to be admitted that the Administra- tion are entitled to the gratitude of the country, for the great pains and patient labor they have evidently devoted to the consideration of this project. I t must be borne in mind, sir, that the scheme of Federation agreed upon by the delegates is not final ; and we should remember that the House of Commons, or Parliament of British America, will have power to make such modifications and changes as the interests of the country may render advisable. If it is found that the working of the Federal system is objectionable, that the people would rather have their local affairs managed by municipal councils than by local legislatures, they can make their wishes known to the Federal Parliament in a constitutional manner, and that body can, and doubtless will, find means of abolishing the petty provincial parliaments provided for by the plan now before the House, and replacing them by extending the municipal system throughout the whole of British America. Indeed, sir, the Federal Parliament will possess the same power to change, alter or amend for the whole country, as we now possess for Canada alone, and therefore it is that I so willingly accept the present scheme, believing it to be the best we can now obtain, and leaving to those who are fortunate enough to hold seats in the British American Parliament to detect and remedy its defects. And, sir, we have seen that the opponents of the union between Upper and Lower Canada were mistaken in their predictions of the disasters which they insisted would flow from that union. May we not venture to tell the opponents of the larger and more important change which we are now discussing, that their predictions will prove still more unsound, their apprehensions still more groundless ? Mr. SPEAKER, our destinies are in our own hands; by the consummation of this union, we shall lay the foundation of a great and important nationality ; while on the other hand, if we reject this scheme, even if we are permitted to remain unmolested as we are, what is there in our present condition that we can reflect upon with pride or satisfaction, We are but a province, a dependency at best ; the reputation of our statesmen is but local; their fame is confined to the limits of the colony ; our Ministers of the Crown, as it is the practice to call them, are but the advisers of a deputy sovereign, upon subjects purely provincial, wholly unknown to the rest of the world, and attracting no attention beyond our own borders,—while the public men of the most insignificant European power would take precedence of them in any other country—even Mexico, with its mongrel and semi-barbarous population, enjoys the standing of a nation, and has its diplomatic representatives, and its foreign relations—and shall we be content to stand still, while all the rest of the world is moving on ? Sir, the most experienced, the most distinguished statesmen of the Mother Country appreciate the importance of the proposed change, and regard the movement as deserving of the highest commendation ; and a writer in a recent number of the London Times remarks, that the Parliament of British America will exercise sway over a larger portion of the earth’s surface than any other legislative body in the world. Some hon. members have objected to this project on the score of expense ; they have argued that some of the conditions were too favorable to the Maritime Provinces ; while, on the other hand, the people of those provinces complain that we are getting the best of the bargain. I, however, shall not detain the House by discussing the question, of whether we have or have not undertaken to pay a few thousands more than any of the other provinces, than some may think they were fairly entitled to ; for I hold that the advantage to be derived from this union would be cheaply bought at a cost far greater, than any liability we shall incur in carrying it out. Mr. SPEAKER, the extent of the British possessions which it is proposed to unite under this soheme includes some four millions square miles— more than the whole of the United States, North and South together, and

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equal to one-tenth of the surface of the whole world; the resources of the Lower Provinces are of incalculable value, while the boundless prairies of the North-West, with the fertile soil and genial climate of the Saskatchewan and Red River may be made the home of millions upon millions of our fellow beings. Our population, including the Maritime Provinces, is at least equal in numbers, and far superior in intelligence and enlightenment, to that of the United States when they asserted their independence ; and under the rule of the proposed Federal Government we may grow in strength and importance as rapidly as our republican neighbors; for though in some respects they are more favorably situated than we are, there are others, and important ones too, in which we have greatly the advantage over them—for instance, a far more advantageous line of communication from the Atlantic to the Pacific can be established through our country than through theirs; indeed so great is the superiority of our route, that they never could compete with us for the through traffic from Asia to Europe, which, within a few years I trust, will pour in a continuous stream through British territory from one ocean to the other. Sir, in support of these views, I trust I may be permitted to read an extract from an interesting and instructive pamphlet by an hon. member on my left (Mr. MORRIS), in which he quotes from the words of a distinguished American statesman as follows :—

The route through British America is in some respects preferable to that through our own territory. By the former, the distance from Europe to Asia is some thousand miles shorter than by the latter. Passing close to Lake Superior, traversing the water-shed which divides the streams flowing towards the Arctic sea, from those which have their exits southward, and crossing the Bocky Mountains at an elevation of some three thousand feet less than at the south pass, the road could be here constructed with comparative cheapness, and would open up a region abounding in valuable timber and other natural products, and admirably suited to the growth of grain and grazing. Having its Atlantic sea-port at Halifax and its Pacific depot near Vancouver’s Island, it would inevitably draw to it the commerce of Europe, Asia and the United States. Thus British America, from a mere colonial dependency, would assume a controlling rank in the world. To her other nations would be tributary; and in vain would the United States attempt to be her rival, for we coald never dispute with her the possession of the Asiatic commerce, nor the power which that commerce confers.

Sir, this is not the language of an enthusiast or a visionary, but the opinion of one perfectly acquainted with the subject, and eminently capable of discussing it—one, too, whose judgment was certainly not biased by national prejudice. And again, Mr. SPEAKER, on a more recent occasion we find the Premier of the United States, the Hon. Mr. SEWARD, using the following language :—

Hitherto, in common with most of my countrymen, as I suppose, I have thought Canada—or to speak more accurately, British America—to be a mere strip, lying north of the United States, easily detachable from the parent state, but incapable of sustaining itself, and therefore ultimately— nay, right soon—to be taken on by the Federal union, without materially changing or affecting its own condition or development. I have dropt that opinion as a national conceit. I see in British North America, stretching as it does across the continent from the shores of Labrador and Newfoundland to the Pacific, and occupying a considerable belt of the temperate zone—traversed, equally with the United States, by the lakes, and enjoying the magnificent shores of the St. Lawrence, with its thousands of islands iu the river and gulf, a region grand enough for the seat of a great empire.

Mr. SPEAKER, the great consideration with me is how can we best preserve for ourselves and for our children the essence of British institutions; by what means can we best prolong the connection which now so happily exists between England and ourselves, with mutual advantage and with equal satisfaction to both parties ; and how can we best prepare, when the time comes, as in the natural course of events it most assuredly will, to assume the responsibility of a separate and independent nationality ? Sir, by uniting the scattered and now insignificant British Provinces under one general government, we shall, in the first place, consolidate and strengthen British feeling and British influence on this continent. By the adoption, on the part of the proposed Federal Government and Parliament, of a bold, enlightened and progressive policy, British America may be pushed forward in material wealth, in the numbers of her population and in general importance, to a point which will qualify her to take her place among the nations of the earth, in a manner and with a standing alike honorable to ourselves and creditable to the great country under whose glorious flag we have been sheltered, and by whose example we have been stimulated, while prosecuting that course of political studies which must in

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time qualify us to oommence a national career of our own—as I would fain hope, under the sway of a constitutional monarch descended from the illustrious Sovereign who now so worthily fills the British Throne. But, sir, some honorable members object to this union from the apprehension that it will subject us to serious financial embarrassments. If the only effects of the union were to be the increased extent of our territory, and the addition which the inhabitants of the other provinces would make to the number of our population, I should be inclined to admit the force of their reasoning ; but surely no one can anticipate that the Federal Parliament will be composed of men incapable of appreciating their responsibilities, or without the capacity to deal with the important interests committed to their charge. Mr. SPEAKER, no one thing has done so much to attract emigration to the United States as the great public works that have been constantly going on in that country for the last five and twenty years. We hear much said about the superiority of their climate and the other advantages which, it is alleged, they enjoy in a greater degree than we do; but I can assure the House that those advantages have been greatly overestimated, and that such considerations have had but little weight in the minds of emigrants, compared with the knowledge of the more important fact, that in that country the demand for labor was always greater than the supply, and that the emigrant arriving without a shilling in his pocket need be under no apprehension about the maintenance of his family, knowing that he could always find employment at rates of compensation sufficiently liberal to enable him in a few years not only to secure a home of his own, but to surround himself with comforts which would have been far beyond his reach in his own country. Sir, the construction of the Intercolonial Railway will afford employment to thousands of laborers, it will open up vast tracts for settlement, and render accessible an extensive region abounding in mineral wealth and other natural resources of incalculable value. Then, Mr. SPEAKER, the next great public work that should be undertaken is the improvement of the navigation of the Ottawa, so as to render that magnificent river the shortest, safest and most advantageous outlet to the ocean for the products of the fertile and boundless west, with its rapidly increasing millions. Mr. SPEAKER, the expenditure which it would be necessary to incur to render the Ottawa navigable for seagoing ships, great as it would be positively, would be insignificant when compared with the extraordinary advantages which it would confer upon the country by the thousands whom it would attract during the progress of the work, in the first place ; and, secondly, by the immense manufacturing power which it would place at our disposal, thereby affording profitable employment for a dense population, throughout a line of some three hundred miles of country, the greater part of which is now b at a comparative wilderness ; for, considering the unrivalled water power which would thus be secured along the main line of communication between the west and the commerce of Europe, it is not too much to expect that that power would attract the attention of men of capital and enterprise, and that a succession of mills and factories of every conceivable description would soon grow up, along the whole line, which would afford employment for a numerous, industrious and valuable population. And then, sir, there is that still more important and magnificent project, the Atlantic and Pacific Railway. All the best authorities agree that a far better, shorter, and cheaper line can be constructed through British than through United States territory. Mr. SPEAKER, it would be impossible to over-estimate the advantages which any country must derive from being possessed of a line of communication destined to become the highway from Europe to Asia. Sir, the acquisition of this advantage alone would be sufficient to justify us in advocating this measure ; but when we reflect upon the almost boundless extent of fertile agricultural territory through which this line must pass, the millions upon millions of human beings which that territory is capable of supporting—when we bear in mind that by means of this union we shall not only secure the control of a larger portion of the world than is now under the sway of any power on earth, but that, by the adoption of such a policy as I have suggested, our population may be more than doubled within ten years, and that though our liabilities will have increased, those liabilities will fall upon the shoulders of so greatly augaiented a population, that the burden to be borne by each individual will be more likely tobe deminished than increased—when we remember, sir, that it will be in our power so to shape the

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destinies of British America, that even the census of 1871 may show that we possess a population of from eight to ten millions. I must confess, Mr. SPEAKER, that I cannot understand how any hon. gentleman can stand up here, and labor to perpetuate our present insignificance, by interposing obstacles to the carrying out of the only really great or statesmanlike idea which has ever been brought under the consideration of a Canadian Parliament. And now, sir, though I have already trespassed too long upon the patience of hon. members, I must crave their indulgence a moment longer, while touching briefly upon the subject of defence. Mr. SPEAKER, without discussing the question of how much or how little we ought to contribute towards the defence of the Empire, in a war with any other nation than the United States, I assume that every true Canadian, whether of French or British origin, will be prepared to resist the invasion of his native soil ; and if I am right in this, I take it, all we have to do is to inform the home Government that we are determined —not to contribute so much in men, and so much in money, to the defence of Canada, but that we are resolved—that every man and every farthing we can control shall be sacrificed before we submit to the power of our republican neighbors, and that all we ask of England is to pursue a course becoming the glory of her ancient renown. That she will do this, sir, we have no reason to doubt ; but I regret to observe that Colonel JERVOIS, in his report upon the subject of fortifications, seems altogether to have ignored the Western Peninsula, for he makes no mention of any point west of Hamilton as capable of being fortified, from which I infer he must have come to the conclusion that in the event of war with the United States, it would be impossible for us to hold the country above the head of Lake Ontario. Sir, this may be the opinion of that gallant officer, and it may be correct ; but, as the representative of the most exposed portion of the western frontier, I am bound at least to say that the people of that part of the country would be most unwilling to admit that they are less able now to hold their own than their fathers wore in 1812. Mr. SPEAKER, our chief danger lies in the possibility of a reunion with the North and South, upon the basis of the Monroe doctrine; for unhappily the course pursued by England, so far from conciliating either party, has only engendered feelings of hostility in the minds of the people of both sections ; and for the belligerents to combine their united forces against a common enemy, and that enemy one whom they both hate as intensely as they do England, would be an event which could excite no surprise in the minds of any one acquainted with the feeling which prevails among the masses of republican America. Sir, talking of fortifications and defence, no force we can bring into the field, no line of forts we can build, nor, indeed, any course that could be adopted, would so effectually protect us, so absolutely guarantee the inviolability of our soil as the recognition of the independence of the Southern States by Great Britain ; and when the proposed deputation from this Government reaches England, I trust they will feel it to be their duty strongly to urge the consideration of this fact upon Her Majesty’s Government ; for with a powerful British fleet upon their coast, a formidable, warlike and bitterly hostile nation bordering them upon the South, and some half million well armed and resolute Canadians in their front, depend upon it, Mr. SPEAKER, we need be under no apprehension of war’s alarms. And now, sir, it only remains for me to thank honorable members for the patient hearing they have accorded me, and to express a hope that the deputation to England will not swerve from the course they have informed us they intended to pursue, in consequence of anything that has transpired in any of the other provinces, but that they will impress upon the home Government the fact that fourfifths of the people of British America are represented by this House, which sustains the scheme of union by an overwhelming majority ; that they will urge the Imperial Ministry to exert all the influence they can command in a constitutional manner, to induce the people of the Lower Provinces to reconsider their recent course, and to acquiesce in the project agreed upon by the Quebec Conference as the basis of an arrangement by which a balance of power may be established on this continent, the spread of republicanism checked, and our own immediate prosperity and future influence insured to such an extent as to secure for us a higher degree of consideration while we retain a colonial position, and qualify us hereafter to take our place among the family of nations, still animated by sentiments of reverence for the great people under whose fostering

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care we have attained our majority, and with whom, I trust, we shall always continue to maintain the closest alliance. (Cheers.)

MR. DUFRESNE (Montcalm) — Mr. SPEAKER, in rising at this moment to express my humble opinion on the merits of the resolutions now under discussion by this House, I do not intend to follow the formula or preamble hitherto invariably adopted, by saying that I approach the subject with fear and trembling. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) But though I do not approach the question with anxiety and hesitation, it is not that I feel myself more competent than others for the treatment of it; it is simply for the good reason that I rely upon the indulgence of this House. We all know how difficult it is for a person who is not an habitual public speaker, or a member of the legal profession, to express himself with facility before a distinguished and highly educated body of men such as I now have the honor to address. I look upon the resolutions submitted to us as expressing the sentiments of the people, through their constitutional organ the Legislature. We ask our Sovereign and the Imperial authorities to unite, by means of a Federal union, all these Provinces of British North America. In examining this question, and in order to express more clearly and fully my opinion of these resolutions, I may say that I accept them for many reasons, but chiefly as a means of obtaining the repeal of the present legislative union of Canada, and securing a peaceable settlement of our sectional difficulties. I accept them, in the second place, as a means of obtaining for Lower Canada the absolute and exclusive control of her own affairs. I accept them, thirdly, as a means of perpetuating French- Canadian nationality in this country. I accept them, fourthly, as a more effectual means of cementing our connection with the Mother Country, and avoiding annexation to the United States. I accept them, fifthly and lastly, as a means of administering the affairs of the country with greater economy. Such are my reasons for accepting the Confederation scheme submitted to us by the Government. (Hear, hear.) I shall not undertake to discuss the merits of all the resolutions, for the honorable gentlemen who have already spoken have ably and fully developed the merits of the whole question ; and, besides, if I may dare say it without being thought ridiculous, I have undergone a heavy loss—I have, in fact, been plundered. The honorable member for Vaudreuil (Mr. HARWOOD) is the offender —(laughter)—but I cannot complain much of this, for the theft has turned to the advantage of the House. What he has stolen from me is the history of the Helvetic and Germanic Confederations ; but inasmuch as he has set forth thej facts in a far more able manner than I myself could have done it, and as the House has been a gainer thereby, I must endeavor to practise a proper degree of resignation under my own heavy affliction. (Hear, hear.) I intended to have said something on the Helvetic and Germanic Confederations, but as I have been thus despoiled., and as the honorable member for Vaudreuil has treated the subject so powerfully, I shall refrain from entering into the matter. Audi here again the House will be the gainer. ( Laughter.) As the question of Confederation> itself has already been fully treated with far more ability than my own feeble powers would enable me to bring to bear upon the discussion, I will confine myself to answering certain statements made by honorable members of the Liberal party par excellence. Contrary to the opinions of the Church, or rather of the Head of the Church, who declares that the name Liberal cannot be allied with the doctrine of the Church, we nave seen the extreme Liberals coming forward in this House as the champions of the Church and of its ministers. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) The honorable member for Richelieu gave us in pompous terms a sketch of the benefits derived from the union of the Canadas. I must say that I listened to him with no little astonishment, for it was the first time I ever heard a democrat— a demagogue—lauding the union and the public men whom the country has, since the union, placed at the head of affairs. (Hear, hear.) He told us that we had had statesmen who succeeded in securing a triumph for the rights of Lower Canada—men who protected our interests and caused us to advance in the path of progress. ” We see them in their works,” he says—” see the progress the country has made under the union ; look at our primary-school system and our university system ; look at the establishment of our ocean line of steamers, bearing our products to Europe, and returning to us freighted with the wealth of every foreign country ! See that magnificent work, the Grand Trunk Railway, which is without a parallel in the world ! See our splendid canals, the finest works of the kind in existence.” Really, Mr. SPEAKER, I am utterly

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astounded at these laudations falling from the lips of the honorable member for Richelieu, and more especially at bis praise of the Grand Trunk Railway ; and I feel certain that every honorable member who heard his speech must have been delighted with that portion of it. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) And while it will probably be admitted that other portions of that speech might well have been omitted, it is surely a good thing that the honorable member should have discovered at last that the statesmen of his country in his own day had done their duty. (Hear, hear.)

MR. PERRAULT—Yes, but they might have done better still.

MR. DUFRESNE—The honorable member says that they might have done better still ; but that was not what he said in his speech, since he declared that they were men of the very highest order of merit, and deserved the greatest possible praise for the works and improvements they had carried out. Now this is indeed peculiarly gratifying to one in my position, after contending for years with the party of the honorable member for Richelieu, and opposing them because they constantly strove to excite popular prejudice against all improvement and every great undertaking. I shall have occasion to exhibit to the House the means resorted to by that party, in order to prejudice the people against every man who labored in behalf of real progress, and I shall endeavor to contrast the prejudices they appealed to ten years ago with those they are now striving to excite. (Hear, hear.) The. honorable member for Richelieu also stated that since the union we had advanced the settlement of our townships, and that this is why he wishes us to remain as we are at present. He says the union has not completed its work. He is right, only it is unfortunate that he and his party should not have succeeded in making that discovery a few years ago ; it is unfortunate that they should only make that discovery now, when they themselves and the whole people are convinced that a change in the Constitution is unavoidably necessary— for we French-Canadians, a minority in the country, cannot dictate to the majority. (Hear, hear.) I shall not endeavor to excite popular prejudices, as the honorable member for Richelieu has done. I do not desire to be too severe with the honorable member, or to condemn him too strongly ; for his mode of treating this question may be simply the result of some peculiarity of mental organization ; I merely wish to show that his views as to the dangers of the future are not a whit more sound than the views upon which he must have acted during the past. He has exhausted the library of Parliament in order to show, in black and white, that the people of England are the greatest oppressors on the face of the earth—(hear, hear, and laughter) —in order to demonstrate a fact which is not true, for he has cited to us nothing beyond the mere views of certain historians, whose opinions only go for what they are worth. (Hear, hear.) It is not my purpose to undertake the defence of a people who have no need of me to defend them, nor to avenge the insults offered them by the honorable member ; but I must say that I repudiate all he has said against the English people and against England, against the institutions and government of that country, and against her system of colonial administration. (Hear, hear.) What good can result from thus ransacking history in order to hold up a single page, the record of an evil deed ? What was the condition of public manners among nations at the period of the events he has spoken of, connected with Acadia ? Why bring up that matter now ? What good can it do ? Does the honorable member desire to provoke the prejudices of a sensitive and powerful nation against us ? Does he want to bring about the ruin of this country? The honorable member, in his youth and inexperience, has rendered us a very questionable service. (Hear, hear.) He rakes up an event which occurred one hundred years ago, and taunts a conquering nation with her mode of dealing with the vanquished ! Surely this is a strange way of serving his fellow-countrymen—of laboring to promote their welfare and interests ! Am I not right in saying that the honorable member has displayed an utter want of tact and experience ? I trust, for the honorable member’s own sake, that the charge of inexperience is the heaviest charge to which he may be held amenable ; for I cannot think it possible that he was in any way actuated by malicious motives. (Hear, hear.) But, Mr. SPEAKER, the honorable member tells us that ” the union has not yet done its work.” I s he not aware that the population of Upper Canada—that the British population vastly outnumber our own population in the province ? What then does he mean ? Can it be that he really thinks because the union has not finished its work, that it ought to be preserved, and that we ought to remain as we are ? I cannot be convinced that he is so

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completely devoid of information and judgment as really to desire thatwe should remain as we are. (Hear, and laughter.) Does he not perceive that if the present union he continued, the Upper Canada members will unite together as one man, in order to carry representation based upon population in the Legislature ? Notwithstanding the facts we have witnessed during the past few years ; notwithstanding that he is aware that three-fourths of the Upper Canadian members were sent here by their electors in order to secure representation based upon population, he says the union has not done its work, and we must remain as we are ! No, I cannot, I repeat, believe him to be sincere in that. He knows that we cannot remain as we are. We are in favor of Confederation, not because we believe it to be the very best possible remedy for our evils, but because we are convinced of the necessity of providing a remedy for our sectional difficulties. The honorable member for Richelieu may play the alarmist as loudly as he likes. I can assure him that the vast majority of his fellow-countrymen are too intelligent to be deceived. They know full well that the minority cannot control the majority. The duty of the minority is to better their position as far as possible, but they cannot pretend to dictate to the majority—more especially when that majority is composed, if we are to believe the honorable member for Richelieu, of men who delight in oppressing others. (Hear, hear.) The speech of the honorable member for Richelieu is the speech of a mere youth, and is devoid of weight and importance ; but it is a speech which would have been extremely injurious to the best interests of Lower Canada, had it emanated from a man possessing a wider reputation or greater importance than that honorable gentleman enjoys. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) He also stated that ” the cry of representation based upon population had been used in Upper Canada merely for the purpose of securing the success of party leaders, of enabling them to get into power.” But we know that commanders are kaders of men ; that commanders are to be dreaded when they have followers at their back ; and the Upper Canada leaders surely do not lack followers. The honorable member for Richelieu went on to say :—” But we are in a good position ! The liberals passed the Separate School Bill ! ” I believe he was in the House when the Separate School Bill was passed ; but if he was not present, he may be somewhat excusable for that statement. I ask the honorable member how many liberals —how many supporters of the Government of the day voted for the Separate School Bill ? If he did not know when he spoke, it would have been better for him to have kept silent on that point, and not to have referred to the matter at all.

MR. PERRAULT—It was the MACDONALD- DORION Government that passed the measure.

MR. DUFRESNE—No. It was not the Government that introduced the measure, and carried it in the House ; it was an independent member of this House—Mr. SCOTT, of Ottawa—who introduced the bill. The Government of the day supported the measure, but only two of their Upper Canada supporters voted for it, and one of the two, the honorable member for South Wentworth (Mr. RYMAL) , did not do so until I had called upon him to give his vote, and foiced him to record it. (Hear, hear.) These are the facts as they occurred, and they are proof positive that liberalism is no better here than elsewhere. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member for Richelieu loudly accuses the majority of servility and venality. There was a time when he spoke in a different tone, when he himself formed part of the majority, and when he availed himself of that position to make a little trip to the Saguenay at the expense of the Government, and to write a little romance afterwards. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) For my part, Mr. SPEAKER, as one of the majority at present, I have yet to learn when and in what I have been servile towards my friends in the Government ; nor am I aware how or when the majority have evinced venality, as the honorable member asserts. (Hear, hear.) The honorable mem ber for Richelieu has himself experienced the mode in which a majority evinced venality, and the lesson has evidently not been lost upon him. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member says—” We have a magnificent public domain in Lower Canada; we have an immense quantity of land, while Upper Canada has none left ; we can establish magnificent settlements, and increase our population. Let us remain as we are under the union.” Now, for my part, I assert that for that very reason we ought to accept Confederation in order that we may get the complete control of that noble domain, instead of holding it only in common with Upper Canada. He gives us a grand outline of all we could do with that splendid domain, and then says he does not

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care to have possession of it. Well, for my part I do desire to have possession of it. The honorable member also said that we are to have direct laxation under Confederation, and that the local governments are to be mere municipal councils. I shall refer presently to the question of direct taxes ; but I must say that municipalities having at their disposal millions of acres of land, will be something new in the way of ” mere municipalities.” I rather think the honorable member does not quite do justice to the importance of the functions of the local governments. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member compares the local governments to municipalities. Now, I find that the Local Government of Lower Canada will have a tolerably wide ranjre of matters to deal with ; for besides the public lands, it is also to have control of the following :—

Direct taxation, and in New Brunswick the imposition of duties on the export of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber ; and in Nova Scotia, of coals and other minerals.

I call the attention of honorable members of this House to these provisions, and I will say a few words with reference to each provision in its turn. If some do not understand their importance, others will. ” Direct taxation.”— I know that even your ultra democrat will cry out—” But, for my part, I prefer having the right to tax myself to leaving the power in the hands of others, for I never will use the right, and others might perhaps enforce it. I quote again :—

Borrowing money on the credit of the province.
The establishment and tenure of local offices, and the appointment and payment of local officers.
Education; saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minority in both Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools, at the time when the union goes into operation.

As to education, the honorable member for Richelieu has eulogised our system of education; but do those honorable members who cry out so loudly against Confederation take a very deep interest in the education of our youth? Are they really anxious that that education should be in accordance with our principles, and the principles they themselves have advocated since they have constituted themselves the defenders of the altar and the throne ? (Laughter.) We are to have the control of the public laws and of education, and yet are to be a mere municipality ! Emigration and colonization are mere trifles—the functions of a mere municipality ! (Laughter.) Be it so, but hereafter we shall be very glad to enjoy all this :—

The sale and management of public lands, excepting lands belonging to the General Government.
Sea coast and inland fisheries.
The establishment, maintenance and management of penitentiaries, and of public and reformatory prisons.
The establishment, maintenance and management of hospitals, asylums, charities and eleemosynary institutions.
Municipal institutions.
Shop, saloon, tavern, auctioneer and other licenses.
Local works.
The incorporation of private or local companies, except such as relate to matters assigned to the General Parliament.
Property and civil rights, excepting those portions thereof assigned to the General Parliament.
Inflicting punishment by fine, penalties, imprisonment or otherwise, for the breach of laws passed in relation to any subject within their jurisdiction.
The administration of justice, including the constitution, maintenance and organization of the courts, both of civil and criminal jurisdiction, and including also the procedure in civil matters.
And generally all matters of a private or local nature, not assigned to the General Parliament.

Now, I call the attention of hon. members of this House to the powers here granted to the local governments, and which would consequently be granted to us in Lower Canada. When we opposed representation based upon population, was it because we feared that the majority would pass a tariff weighing unequally on the two sections of the province ? Was it because we feared they would erect no more light-houses in the Gulf or elsewhere ? Was it because we feared that Upper Canada,by means of its majority, would establish a greater number of post-offices, or increase the rates of postage on letters ? No, Mr. SPEAKER, it was not for any of these reasons ; but it was because we properly and rightly feared that when Upper Canada obtained a larger number of representatives in the Legislature than Lower Canada, they would invade our rights and endanger all that we hold most dear. That is what we feared. (Hear, hear.) And at the very moment when the Government presents a measure securing the safety of all our rights and institutions, with guarantees for the minority, honorable members declare that the union must be maintained, even with

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representation based upon population. No, they are not sincere in this ; it is a mere subterfuge on their part, for they cannot propose anything to the country in place of the Government project. (Hear, hear.) The Opposition attempt to shew that a Federal union and a Legislative union are the same thing, but the whole world knows that the two kinds of union are not in any way alike. In a Federal union the Legislature cannot go beyond the rights and powers assigned to it, whereas in a Legislative union it is vested with all power—it is sovereign. And is it to be supposed that under a legislative union, with representation based upon population, the majority would refrain from encroaching on our rights, our institutions, and all that we value as important for our well-being ?

MR. PERRAULT—Hear , hear.

MR. DUFRESNE—The hon. member distinctly sees the mote in his neighbor’s eye, but he cannot in any way discover the beam in his own ! He forgets that he wearied this House for five or six hours, reading passages from history calculated to excite prejudice against a nation which is in a majority both here and elsewhere. I can only account for his having forgotten his own speech so soon, by taking it for granted that the honorable member did not himself make the research required in order to swell it up to its vast dimensions, for it was nothing but a mass of scraps with which he wearied the House during five long hours. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I do not wish to be severe, but I trust the hon. member will pay attention to the remarks I now desire to make. He asserted, on the floor of this House, that the liberals had struggled to obtain responsible government. If he said that of the men wùo really did do so,it would be all very well; but if he asserts it of those who form his own party, he is greatly in error ; for we all know that that party has always protested against the union and against responsible government. (Hear, hear.) That party declared, at elections and elsewhere, on every occasion, that responsible government was a deception and a snare—an insult cast in our teeth by England. (Hear, hear.) That has been the cry of his political party ever since we obtained responsible government. How, then, can he have the hardihood to assert that we owe it to them? (Hear, hear.) The hon. member for Richelieu also said that the clergy were wrong in 1837, and that they are wrong now in supporting the Government.

MR. PERRAULT—I did not say that.

MR. DUFRESNE—I made a note of it at the time, as I did of his remark, that ” even in the episcopacy there were men of talent.” (Hear, hear, and laughter.) He thought that ” the bishops themselves might possess talent.”


MR. DUFRESNE—Let the honorable member retract his words, and I shall be quite satisfied.

Mr. PERRAULT—You have completely distorted the meaning of what I said.

MR. DUFRESNE—The honorable member stated that the clergy were wrong in 1837 ; that they are wrong now ; and that there were men of talent even among the bishops.

MR. PERRAULT—Will the honorable gentleman allow me to say a word in explanation, and in order to set him right ?

MR. DUFRESNE—With pleasure. I do not wish to take advantage of the honorable member’s blunder, and his words certainly require explanation.

MR. PERRAULT—I have often heard words spoken in this House misquoted, but I must say I have never heard that species of tactics carried to such excess as it has been in this instance, with regard to myself, by the honorable member for Montcalm. (Hear, hear, from the Opposition.) What I said with reference to the episcopacy and the men of talent who adorn it, was this—I stated that with our present system of public instruction in our rural districts, every child is enabted to receive such an education as will fit hiin to aspire to the highest position in the country, and to the highest rank in social life. I then added, in proof of my assertion, that we now see in the highest ranks in society men belonging to humble country families, whose parents posset sed neither the fortune nor the influence necessary to push their children forward, and that they had succeeded only through their own talents, their industry, and the advantages afforded by our system of education. I also said, in proof of my assertion, that the children of the rural population had attained seats on the judicial and ministerial benches, and even among the episcopacy. Now, any one who understands the obvious meaning of words will admit that it is impossible to interpret that sentence as an expression of astonishment that there should be men of talent in the episcopacy, as the honorable member makes a pretence of doing. On the contrary, by reserving the most forcible expression to the

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last, when I said that even in the ranks of the episcopacy are to be found the sons of farmers who advanced themselves by their own talents, I wished to shew that even the episcopal chair, the first and most elevated position in our country, was within the reach of our men of talent, thanks to our system of education, which enables all to compete for the highest dignities. And I defy any one capable of understanding the sense and use of words, to deduce any other meaning from my remarks, unless it be done with the set purpose of foisting upon me words I never used. (Hear, hear.)

MR. DUFRESNE—I have allowed the honorable member for Richelieu to explain what he said, or wished to say, but he had no right to conclude with an unjust insinuation. However, I am not greatly surprised, “for I am aware that it is the habit of his party, and that those honorable gentlemen never lose an opportunity of insulting those who differ from them in their opinions. (Hear, hear.) A few days ago, when I begged leave to interrupt the honorable member for Richelieu, he consented courteously, and in replying to my remark—which was not of an insulting nature —he told me that he was not like me, for my speeches and my works were as yet things of the future. It was quite true, though it is not always well to speak the whole truth, nor, in fact, to hear it. (Laughter.) But I must tell him that in my humble position, not being fully informed of all that takes place in the world, I have neither the means nor the leisure to briug forth works of such vast importance as those of the honorable member. I content myself with coming here to discharge my duty towards my constituents, and I do it myself. I do not employ an official in making researches in the library to enable me to make long speeches. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I do not require a paid employé of the Government to prepare my speeches ; and, moreover, I have not as yet found means to live at the expense of the Government. And if my speeches and works are as yet things of the future, I am not, at all events, in the habit of supporting myself, like the honorable member for Richelieu, by drawing upon the public chest, with or without any just claim or right. (Hear, hear.) I have now done with the honorable member for Richelieu. I have a word to say to the honorable member for the county of Bagot. Though his speech was not an excessively brilliant one, yet he did not weary the House like the honorable njiem^gi- for Richelieu. He told us that we did not represent the sentiments of our electors, but that there was no danger of our voting for an appeal to the people on the question of Confederation, because the people are so strongly opposed to the project that the Government dare not submit it for their approval. He was not the first to make the assertion, and I shall refer to the point presently. He then told the Government ” that it never was their intention to have the question of Confederation seriously discussed, and that they did not desire a discussion of their scheme. But how did the honorable member expect to be believed? Was not the Government plan laid before the House at the commencement of the session— seven weeks ago ? Have not the Government and their friends done everything in their power to promote the discussion of the question, while honorable gentlemen opposite were unwilling to do so, and constantly strove to prevent its discussion ? What was their motive in so acting ? The honorable member for Bagot was, therefore, wrong in stating that the Government did not desire a discussion, and that they stifled discussion ; for it is perfectly clear that the Opposition did not desire it, and persistently refused it. (Hear, hear.) The honorable member for Bagot is not in his seat ; but when he returns I shall have a few words to say in reply to certain points in his speech. The honorable member for Drummond and Arthabaska (Mr. J . B. E. DORION) also told us that the movement throughout the country is so strong that it cannot be resisted ; that the people are discontented, and that the consequences of that discontent will be highly disastrous. He spoke of the vast number of petitions presented to the House against Confederation, in order to shew that the people are opposed to it. Well, if all the honorable members of this House who sent petitions to their counties for signature have followed the same course as the honorable member himself, it is not surprising that they should be numerously signed, for we all remember the honorable member’s letter, which was read in this House a few days ago by the Honorable Attorney General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. CARTIER). There can be no two opinions as to the character of that document. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) The House will bear in mind that he wrote to the wardens of his county, directing them to get the petitions he forwarded signed by the men, the women, and the children ! (Laughter.) And when his letter was read in this House, instead of blushing with shame and confusion,

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the honorable member said he gloried in having written it ! ” It was an energetic step,” said he, ” and I am not ashamed of it.” (Laughter.) I do not desire to make any insulting remarks, nor to indulge in painful comparisons; but it must be remembered that it is not the hardened criminal that blushes for his evil deeds ; the rogue that blushes may still mend his ways ; but those who have lost the power of blushing are in final impenitence. (Laughter.) The honorable member told us of the astonishing progress of the United States, in spite of the war and the enormous expenses it has entailed ; and he told us that in five years from the present time New York will have paid off its debt ; then why not unite ourselves with the State of New York? He did not say all that, but nearly all ; it is the natural conclusion to be drawn from his speech. He tells us that the people are discontented, and that they will rise up in rebellion if we force Confederation on them. But what means does he employ in order to excite the prejudices of the people ? We may judge of the means he resorts to in this instance by those he employed in former days to prejudice the people against a measure favorable to their own interests, but uajust in some of its provisions, involving the spoliation of a particular class in society—I speak of the abolition of the Seigniorial Tenure. Were it not for the abolition of the Seigniorial Tenure, the seigniors would now bo extremely wealthy. The effect, then, of that law was to despoil the seigniors for the benefit of the people— whom the honorable member for Drummond and Arthabaska pretends to represent. But, Mr. SPEAKEE,how did the honorable member act at the time ? How did he attempt to deceive the people, and excite prejudices against that measure ? I have endeavored to find the pamphlet written by the honorable member at the time, but it is not to be found in the library of Parliament—it has disappeared. However, the democratic journals of that period are still forthcoming, and as they published a portion of the honorable member’s pamphlet, I will read a few passages, in order to shew what a pot pourri it was. The means then used succeeded so well with the people, that an attempt will probably be made to resort to similar expedients now against Confederation. The people, convinced of the truth of what the hon. member wrote against the seigniors and against the Government, were incensed against the ” traitors,” and in the county of Lotbinière they prevented the commissioners charged with the preparation of the schedules from proceeding with their duties during a certain period. It is well to bear in mind the existence of these documents, now that our adversaries are loading us with abuse ; and it is time the people should know who are their friends and who are the ” traitors.” (Hear, hear.)

MR. J . B. E. DORION—You will awaken the House !

MR. DUFRESNE—I trust I may be pardoned if I have spoken too strongly, but I feel so strongly on these matters that I must reply to the statements made. (Hear, hear.) Well, here is the treatment awarded at the time to the men who introduced the measure for the abolition of the Seigniorial Tenure—a measure exclusively in the interest of the people :—

SEIGNIORIAL TENURE.—PAY, WRETCHED PEOPLE ! PAY ! The people will learn properly to appreciate the tendency of our political institutions only by the evil effects that must result from them, and the day will come when the disease will work its own cure.

This is a dark day, but the hour is coming when light shall succeed to darkness.

Such were the writings then distributed amongst the people.

MR. J . B. E. DORION—Go on.

MR. DUFRESNE—Of course, I do not expect to see the honorable member exhibit any sense of shame ; he has got beyond that. He would find it as difficult to blush as it would be for a negro to turn pale. (Laughter.) I quote again :—

TO THE CANADIAN PEOPLE.—People ! I am one of your sons ; JEAN BAPTISTE, I am one of your brothers. When a brother does you a wrong, I feel that wrong ; when you pay, I pay ; when you are struck, I feel the blow ; when you are brought low, I feel myself abased ; when you suffer, I suffer; when you moan, I moan; when you weep, I weep. [Laughter.] When anything good betides you, I rejoice at it ; when you prosper, I am happy ; when you laugh, I laugh ; when you sing, I sing. [Laughter.]

People ! Here I am ; look at me from head to foot. A simple rustic, living in the midst of you, I desire to render you a service. I ask but one favor—that you will read the following pages. I seek no reward, for if I can only make you understand your position and induce you to claim the restoration of your violated rights, to bless what is good and curse what is evil, I shall deem myself fully rewarded. [Prolonged cheers and laughter.]

” Yes, take the cup and drink the poison to the very dregs,” were the words of a democrat

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and demagogue. (Hear , hear, and laughter.)

In these evil days, when political prostitution holds the place of civic virtue, when feebleness and sluggishness hold the place of courage and action, when a flood of demoralization rushes forth from the very fountain head of power—put on the armor of patience, be of good heart, be vigilant and doubly vigilant, so that you may escape far worse evils. Your son,

MR. J. B. E. DORION—That is as true now as it was ten years ago. (Hear , hear, from the Opposition.)

MR. DUFRESNE—I shall not read the whole of it, for it is too long ; but I will read another short extract :—

Pay ; for your most sacred rights are of no weight against the privileges, extortions and brigandage of which you have so long been made the victims by the seigniors. Pay ; for MIGHT IS RIGHT, aud justice ceased to prevail in Parliament on the 15th December, 1854. * * * Then we shall have the rehearsal of the legal farce which is to be played, with a view of convincing Jean Baptiste that he is to get justice done him. The fourteen high judges of Lower Canada will form a special court to decide questions in dispute between the seignior and the censitaire. If they do not agree, an appeal may be had to England. The dissent of a single judge will suffice to cause the matter to be referred to England. Is not this also an admirable arrangement, more especially when it is borne in mind that the judges, who are, in some cases, themselves seigniors, may act as judges in their own cause ? What a mockery !

The whole pamphlet is in the same style. I do not desire to occupy the House any longer with it, for I have quoted enough to show how the demagogues acted ten years ago with reference to a measure of such importance to the country. When the Government presented a measure for the despoiling of the seigniors, and voted an enormous sum for the redemption of the Seigniorial dues, that was the incendiary and dishonest language in which the people were addressed. And it is by the use of similar language that an attempt is now made to excite popular prejudice against the Government, when they present a measure giving to Lower Canada the full and complete control of her institutions, of her public lands and of education. (Hear , hear.) It is by means of similar incendiary pamphlets that the attempt is now made to excite the feelings of the people against those who are working in behalf of the interests of their fellow-countrymen. (Hear, hear.)

MR. J. B. E. DORION—Will the honorable member for Montcalm allow me to say a few words ? I merely desire to state that I am not ashamed of what I wrote at that time, and that so defective was his great Seigniorial law when I wrote that document, that it took five years to amend it into anything like proper shape.

MR. DUFRESNE—It is true, nevertheless, that the first law took the burthen of the Seigniorial Tenure off the shoulders of the censitaires, and from that moment the seigniors were despoiled of their rights for the benefit of the censitaires. I admit that the bill was defective, and in fact I voted against the Act of 1854 ; but I did not act like the honorable member, and my only object was to compel the Government to do better. The honorable member may say what he likes—I maintain that the demagogues did everything in their power to ruin us, in connection with that question, and they are doing the very same thing now as regards Confederation. (Hear, hear.) We French-Canadians form to-day but one-third of the population, and despite the progress we have made under the union, any man of sense who reflects on the position we now occupy, must admit that we ought to be delighted to accept the scheme of Confederation, since it will give us the control of our system of education, our institutions, and all the interests of Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) I have made a note with reference to the speech of one of my friends in this House — the hon. member for Beauce (Mr . TASCHEREAU). I was really surprised to hear him express himself as he did with reference to this question of Confederation. I am quite sure he was sincere ; but I must say I think he might have expressed his own opinions and refrained from adopting the false arguments in vogue on the other side of this House. (Hear , hear.) I feel that with a friend one must not be severe. Between the honorable members for Drummond and Arthabaska and Richelieu, and myself, there need be no such reticence of expression ; but with the hon. member for Beauce it is qui te a different matter. He told us that Confederation would give the death-blow to our nationality ; but how can he possibly think so ? I can easily understand such arguments being used by honorable gentlemen opposite, because they are in the habit of distorting facts ; but I am pained to see the honorable member for Beauce resort to such tactics, tor I am convinced that the legislative separation about to take place under Confederation, cannot fail

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to have the effect of restoring French-Canadian nationality to the position it occupied previous to the union, coupled, moreover, with all the improvements jiince effected. (Hear, hear.) I do not desire to occupy the time of the House any longer ; but as I have still a brief extract or two to read, I trust I may be permitted to say a few words more. (Cries of ” Goon,” “goon.”) The honorable members opposite reverence as their special apostles and patrons, Louis BLANC, CONSIDÉRANT, BLANQUI, &c., &c., Now as to BLANQUI, I shall quote his own words to shew what his principles are. His sentiments are not very edifying, but it is necessary to read them in order that we may be enabled to judge of the disciples from the teaching of their masters. I quote :—

The people planted the red flag on the barricades of 1848. Let no one seek to scout it down. It was red solely with the generous blood shed by the people and by the national guards ; it floats wide spread over Paris ; it must be upheld. The victorious people will not remove their flag.

I shall not quote anything from Louis BLANC, who is well known to the Democrats ; the following passage is from CONSIDÉRANT :—

Duty, says this singular apostle, comes from men, and attraction comes from God. Now, attraction is the free tendency of our passions. Every attraction is a thing natural, legitimate, and to which it is impious to resist. To yield to one’s attractions is true wisdom, for the passions are like a fixed compass which God has placed within us.

A free run then to your passions ! The impulse comes from God ! (Laughter.) Such are the doctrines of the democrats, the great leaders of our demagogues. I now quote FOURRIER :—

All the passions of our nature are holy and good : they are like the notes in music, each one has its special value.

The passions, then, are to be man’s guides Good or bad, it is all one. (Laughter.) These are the principles of the men who have taken religion under their protection. (Laughter.) I would beg of them not to degrade the sacred name of religion, by using it as a political engine ; not to drag the ministers of the gospel through the mire. The other day your cry was, ” Let them remain in the vestry ;” why, then, do you drag them forth ? They know our opinions, and they do not need you to defend or protect them. (Hear, hear.) I say, moreover, to the honorable members opposite—show yourselves French- Canadians in earnest, and as your country requires your assistance and that of all its childien to rescue it from its difficulties, give a helping hand to those who are working in the good cause. The ship is in danger ; join hand in hand with the party which desires to save our nationality and our institutions ; unite with us for the safety of our language, our laws, and all that we hold dear. I am aware that a famous demagogue, next to VOLTAIRE, the chief promoter of the French Revolution, used these words at a public meeting :—

When the last of the GRACCHI was expiring, he east a handful of dust towards heaven, and from that dust was born MARIUS—MARIUS who earned his greatness less by defeating the Cimbri, than by driving the aristocracy out of Rome.

That was the language of a great demagogue, a great orator, a great citizen—of a man who might have been great in every way, but who brought his country to a sad position. Attempts have often been made to blacken the reputation of the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada, and to depreciate the fruits of his labors ; for my part I cannot entertain a doubt but that posterity will yet say that the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada was great by his works, great by the codification of the laws, great by the abolition of the Seigniorial Tenure, and great, above all, in that he overcame and routed the demagogues. (Cheers.)

MR. J. B. E. DORION—Oh !

MR. DUFRESNE—AS I now see the honorable member for Bagot in his place, I desire to make a few remarks in English, with reference to his speech. [Mr. DUFRESNE having hitherto spoken in French.] The honorable member for Bagot stated to us in this House :—

You are robbing Lower Canada of $500,000, and for what? To give it to Upper Canada. Upper Canada will vote almost unanimously fe r this scheme of Confederation, because you rob Lower Canada of this amount for its benefit. And how so? Because there are only $100,000 due for public lands mLower Canada, while theie are $500,000 due in Upper Canada; and you in Lower Canada will receive only $100,000, while you give to Upper Canada $500,000. You are thus committing a spoliation of Lower Canada for the benefit of Upper Canada.

The proposition of the honorable member for Bagot is then, if I understand it aright—and I took down his language at the time—to

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take from Upper Canada one-half of the dues on publie lands and apply it for the benefit of the Local Government of Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.)

MR. J. B. E. DOBION—He never used such language.

MR. WEBB said—Mr. SPEAKER, in the consideration of the scheme presented by the Government for the Confederation of the Provinces of British North America, I must say that I find a great deal of difficulty in dealing with it. It appears to me that before asking for a vote, the Government should have come down to the House with a more full and explicit statement of the measure in its entirety, so that honorable members might be able to arrive at a reasonable and just conclusion as to the merits of the case. (Hear, hear.) And I think, sir, that taking into consideration the position in which the greater part of the population are placed who live in the section of country which other honorable gentlemen as well as myself have the honor of representing in this House, this line of argument is of much greater force coming from us than if it had been advanced by the people of any other part of the proposed Confederation. We all know that if this scheme is adopted, the English-speaking part of the population of Lower Canada will be in a very small minority in the Local Legislature ; we all know that those who first opened up and settled the country which I allude to spoke the English language, and that the great majority of the people now living there are English-speaking Protestants ; and, therefore, when their representatives are called upon to vote for a measure of this kind, which so deeply and intimately affects their future position and prosperity, I believe that all the details of it, all parts of it, should be fully and clearly placed before them, in order that they may know exactly in what position they stand with regard, and how it is to affect the interests they represent. (Hear, hear.) The honorable gentlemen on the Treasury benches, in introducing this scheme and asking our assent to it, have thought proper to take a different course ; they merely bring down the resolutions which consent to Confederation, reserving the all-important details for future consideration. I t may be the right course, but I doubt it very much. (Hear, hear.) Although the Government has not given all the information which I would desire, I do not, however, think that the people of the section of which I am one of the representatives would be justified in opposing a seheme that may prove beneficial generally, merely because some of their interests may possibly be affected by it. I shall, therefore, vote for the resolutions in your hands, reserving to myself the right of voting for or against the details of the scheme for the local constitution as in my judgment may seem advisable. (Hear, hear.) I consider that by voting for this measure I do not pledge myself to anything more than the general principle of a union of the Provinces of British North America. I admit, sir, that last summer the political affairs of this country were in a state of extreme difficulty, and I admit, too, that it was necessary something should be done to get rid of that difficulty. I would have thought, however, that the Conference which met here in October last, to consider a subject that has been before the people of this country since 1858, would have proposed, for the consideration of the respective legislatures, a legislative union of the British North American Provinces. It appears to me that a legislative union would be far more effective in binding the provinces together, and far more economical than the Fedaral union proposed. (Hear, hear.) I admit, however, that there may be very great difficulties in bring ing about a legislative union, that may not be in the way of a Federal union ; and under all the circumstances of the case, the scheme, proposed may have been the best that could have been devised. The greatest objection I now have to it is that many of the people do not understand—that its details are not yet fully comprehended by the country. I believe that if hon. gentlemen had come down with the scheme in its entirety—presenting all its details, and the results expected to flow from them—that there would be far less opposition to it than there is in the country and in this House. (Hear, hear.) But as it is now, they call upon the representatives of the people to give their consent to a measure that neither they nor the people thoroughly understand. These objections have been made to the scheme, and in my opinion they have great weight, more particularly in the part of the country which I have the honor to represent. It is not to be wondered at that the English-speaking part of the population of Lower Canada view it with apprehension, or rather have fears in their minds as to the working of it, when gentlemen like the honorable member for Peterborough, who are far removed from any of the difficulties that surround our position, have entertained the same feeling of apprehension. They have thought proper to express doubts and fears as to the

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result, and it cannot, therefore, be surprising that we should have our doubts and apprehensions about it. (Hear, hear.) I take it that the Protestants of Lower Canada have no cause of complaint against our French- Canadian neighbors. We have lived together since the union on good terms, and all our intercourse has been founded on equity and justice. (Hear, hear.) But there is a feeling amongst our community that they should be removed beyond the possibility of danger from any aggression by the French- Canadian population, and it is difficult to satisfy them that the scheme before the House and country will permit them to indulge in that feeling of security. (Hear, hear.) It is not necessary for me, sir, to enter into any lengthy remarks upon this subject, nor to follow those honorable gentlemen who have gone into the matter thoroughly. I have no doubt that if a union of all the British. North American Provinces can be brought about on terms that shall be just and equitable to all sections and interests, it would be veiy advantageous to all of them. (Hear, hear.) I shall not, sir, detain the House any longer, but shall conclude by expressing my sincere hope that when we are again called upon to legislate upon this subject, we shall find that the details of this important change of our Constitution will be founded on justice and equity to all, and that we shall also find that honorable gentlemen who have now in a great measure the future destinies of Canada on their hands, may be found equal to their task, and that Canada, in connection with the other provinces, may become the lanid fit in every respect for the home of the free. (Cheers)

HON. ATTY. GEN. CARTIER—I have listened, Mr. SPEAKER, with great interest to the observations of the honorable member for Richmond and Wolfe, who has just sat down. There is not the least doubt that the honorable gentleman represents a constituency and population, the majority of which is Protestant in its religious belief; and we know very well that great efforts have been made by those opposed to this scheme to create apprehension and distrust in the minds of the Protestant minority in Lower Canada in regard to it. Bat I now reiterate what I have already stated to this House, as a Catholic, and as a member of the Canadian Government, that when the measure for the settlement of the Local Government of Lower Canada comes before this House for discussion, it will be such as to satisfy the Protestant minority in Lower Canada. (Cheers.)

MR. RYMAL said—Mr. SPEAKER, relying upon the pledge given by the Hon. Attorney General West, that the members of this House would have a fair opportunity of expressing their views upon all the details of this measure, I had proposed reserving what little I had to say till such time as amendments embodying my views were before the House, But the pledge which I expected would be carried out in good faith has been violated by that hon. gentleman, and I am compelled now to raise my voice, and in my weak way, to assert what I would much rather have recorded by my vote. You are well aware, sir, and every member of the House is aware, of the circumstances that called into existence the present Government, and the avowed object for which it was formed ; and all they asked, so far as I am aware, was that a certain degree of forbearance should be shown to them, in order that they might form a scheme that would remove the difficulties existing between Upper and Lower Canada, and, perhaps, tend to bring about a union of all the provinces. As I understood the policy of the Government, the Federation of the Canadas was the first object aimed at, arranging it in such a manner as to allow the Lower Provinces to come in when they desired to do so. Mr. SPEAKER, that has by some been denied ; but reading the memorandum drawn up and read by the Government at the time explanations were given to this House, and understanding as I do the purport of it, I think there is no loop-hole of escape from the obligation the Government were under to carry out the Federation of the Canadas first, leaving it to the other provinces to come in afterwards if they saw fit. (Hear, hear.) I bring, then, two charges against the Government—one against the Hon. Attorney General West, and the other against those hon. friends in the Government with whom I have so long acted. The first is, that the Hon. Attorney General West broke faith with the House in preventing amendments being moved ; and the second is, that the Reform members of the Government broke faith in not bringing down a measure for the Federation of the Canadas. (Hear, hear.) I had hoped, sir, that the infusion of some pure blood into the Government— the addition of two or three men who had denounced all sorts of wickedness and corruption so loudly as the hon. gentlemen who went into the Government last summer— would at least have brought about some

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improvement in the other members of the Administration—(laughter)—and although I have been deceived and disappointed in my expectations, had the scheme propounded to this House been such as to commend itself to my judgment, and convince me it would remove the sectional difficulties long complained of, it would have received my approval. I had hoped, too, and fully believed, that when it came to be pronounced upon by the Legislature, it would, before final adoption, be submitted to the people for their approval. (Hear, hear.) that this was the opinion of a large majority of the people of Upper Canada, in November and December last, is, I think, beyond doubt. The local papers in all sections of Upper Canada asserted that the Government could not take upon itself the fearful responsibility of forcing such a measure upon the people, wi thout asking whether they consented to it or not. Allow me, sir, to read an extract from one that has accidentally fallen into my hands, in order to show the feeling of the people of Upper Canada upon thi s point. I am not in the habit of addressing the Hous e very often, and when I speak I fear I do not acquit myself very creditably ; and feeling on this occasion an unusual sense of responsibility, I am afraid I shall be worse than usual, which at all times is very indifferent. But I am impelled by a sense of duty to give my views upon the subject, and the House, I am sure, will overlook any shortcomings that I may exhibit. (Hear, hear.) The extract to which I have alluded reads as follows :—

Whatever mode may be finally chosen to bring the matter before the public, we feel certain that the people of this province, and of either of the Maritime Provinces, will tolerate no proceeding on the part of any one that has a tendency to despotism. The Canadians have battled for a long series of years for the liberties now enjoyed by them, and we greatly mistake if they allow the present or any other Government to make such sweeping alterations in the Constitution of the country without consulting them. The members of the respective governments were not appointed to frame a new Constitution ; neither were the members of the various legislatures chosen for that purpose.

Mr. SPEAKER , I feel that in my own case in its fullest force. (Hear, hear.)

The question, as we have already said, was not even hinted at during the last election.—

I never, sir, heard it mooted. (Hear, hear.)

Nor was the voice of public opinion in its favor so strong, that it was forced upon the Government or Legislature. So far as Canada is concerned, it was the conception of the Government itself, and was taken up by its members to serve a necessity. This being the case, we contend that the people have a right to be asked to say yea or nay on the subject.

AN HON. MEMBER—What is the name of the paper ?

MR. RYMAL—It is the Norfolk Reformer, a paper the several issues of which, for the months of November and December last, were full of sentiments like those I have quoted ; but, looking over the numbers that have appeared since that magnetic or mesmeric circular was sent out from the Provincial Secretary’s Office, I see that it has sung dumb. (Laughter.) I fearlessly assert that the Confederation of the British North American Provinces has taken no strong hold of the public mind of Canada. It never was demanded, and I believe as certainly as that I am now speaking, that if this mat ter were submitted to the people, and fully understood by them, they would reject it. (Hear, hear.) I have endeavored to obtain from the leading men in the riding which I have the honor to represent, an expression of their opinions with reference to thi s scheme. At the time the resolutions were printed here, I secured from twenty to twenty-five copies, and mailed them to my constituency, asking an expression of opinion as to the propriety of adopting them. Only two sent anything like a favorable verdict, and all they were able to say in their favor was, that they thought the scheme might be advantageous in a national point of view, but they feared the expense of carrying it out would more than counter-balance the advantages. These are the most favorable expressions of opinion I have got, while in other instances they are denounced in toto. Allow me to read an extract from a letter I have received from one of the most influential gentlemen residing in South Wentwor th, and who is withal a st rong practical reformer, having received a part of his political education from the Globe. (Hear, hear.) He says :—

I did at one time allow myself to fancy that Confederation was destined to afford a means of escape from most of the evils which surround our political fabric. When I glanced over the printed resolutions now before the Legislature, I thought that we, the strongest member of the proposed Confederation had, in some respects decidedly the

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worst of the bargain. I now feel satisfied that this is the case.

Mr. SPEAKER, I am glad to find that I am not the only man resident in the South Riding of Wentworth who questions in a very slight degree the honesty of purpose of some members of the Government in bringing down a scheme of this kind, while, at the same time, refusing to give the House that information by which it ought to be accompanied. My correspondent goes on to say :—

I do not believe there is so much patriotism as is pretended among the advocates, or at least the parents of the scheme. I fear they see in it a nice arrangement by which they can extend their term of office, either in the General Government or in the present one. Their departure from the plan proposed by themselves last session ; their hurrying the resolutions through the House without giving the country time to consider them ; their great reluctance to give information on the subject, and some other things, lead me to doubt whether they are actuated solely by patriotic motives. I should not have been so uncharitable as to doubt their sincerity, had not their conduct on former occasions been characterized by a lack of that quality.

And I must say, Mr. SPEAKEK, that to a certain extent I entertain the same opinion. I de not propose to go over the whole ground in discussing this scheme. I do not feel competent to that task. But since this debate commenced, I have listened carefully to almost every speech that has been made, with tho view of receiving that light which would qualify me to give a vote satisfactory to myself and to my constituents. And I have come to the conclusion that taking this scheme all in all, I am not in a position to approve of it. (Hear, hear.) The refusal on the par tW the Government to submit it to the people of this country, who have the deepest interest in it, proves conclusively to me that there is something in it which they do not wish the people to know. Their refusal, also, to give the fullest information on a matter of such importance, imparts to me a suspicion, that to use a homely but expressive phrase, “there’s a nigger in the fence.” (Laughter.) It has been contended that with a view to our security, it was necessary to combine our strength. Now the strength, in my humble judgment, which we would obtain by consummating this union, is just that kind of strength which a fishing rod would obtain by fastening to it some additional joints. (Hear, hear.) If you can, by some convulsion of nature, bring Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, and place them where the uninhabitable mountains, fifteen or twenty miles nortli of this place, now are, or leave a couple of them in the bos im of Lake Ontario, we might have additional strength. But, under our actual circumstances, you propose merely to add to us several hundred miles more of length; without any additional hands to defend them (Hear, hear.) I must allude to one matter, which is to bring upon us almost unlimited and unknown expenses, if this union is consummated. To undertake the construction of the Intercolonial Railroad is, in my judgment, to start upon a career of extravagance which will swamp this young country. As one of the agriculturists of Canada, and speaking in their name, I beg to assure the House—if it needs any assurance on a point so palpable—that the agriculturists of Canada are not in a very flourishing condition. The failure of the crops, with low prices, and the heavy burdens they have hitherto borne, have left them ia a bad position to bear increased burdens. (Hear, hear.) The balance-sheet of our public financial operations, I think, should be a warning to every one of us, that no uncalled-for or unnecessary expense should be entered upon, but that our means should be economised, and that a balance should, if possible, be shewn in our favor for the first time in ten years. We also see many of our business men at present rushing into the bankrupt courts. I find no fewer than 905 insolvent notices in the Canada Gazette, from the 1st September to the 24th December last. (Hear, hear.)

MR. A. MACKENZIE—But did all these become bankrupts during the year ?

MR. RYMAL—I cannot say. They at all events gave the notice during the year. And I believe the misfortunes which have befallen these men will, in each case, affect at least half a dozen, making an aggregate of 5,000. (Hear, hear.) I am satisfied, therefore, that this is not the proper time for these increased burdens being thrown upon the people of Canada. I think hon. gentlemen must agree with me, that we have lived as it were too fast, that we have gone beyond our means, and that we are reaping now the bitter fruits of this in tlie heavy debt which we at present bear. Without enlarging upon the reasons why I feel it my duty to oppose this measure, I may mention some half

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dozen which to my mind justify me in opposing it. In the first place, I oppose it because this is not the scheme which the Government pledged themselves to submit to the House this session, nor the one which has been considered by the people of Upper Canada. I oppose it also, because I was not sent here to change the Constitution, or to enter into partnerships, without those who sent me here having an opportunity of pronouncing their opinion concerning them. I oppose it, because of the arbitrary conduct of the promoters of the scheme in endeavoring to wrest from the people privileges which they have enjoyed without abusing, and which they do not wish to give up. I refer here to the proposed mode of appointing the Legislative Council. I oppose it. because the expenditure which this scheme involves, in my opinion, far outweighs the advantages to be derived from it. Further, I oppose it, because I do not believe it will settle the sectional difficulties we have complained of, but, on the contrary, will multiply them to the same extent as we take in new partners, and will leave upper Canada the victim, not of one, but of several smaller provinces. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, I think honorable gentlemen will agree with me, that in 1850 Canada was the admiration and the envy of most of the people who were acquainted with our position. I would compare the position of Canada at that time—and I think I may without impropriety—to that of a young man of eighteen or twenty, handsome in figure, with a good constitution, of robust strength, and under the care of a tender and loving parent (as I presume England is to Canada), and this parent has committed the health of this child of his— this lovely youth—to the care of a family physician, who, however, has transferred him from time to time to the care of other physicians of different schools. Some of them were allopaths, some were homoeopaths, some were hydropaths—but they all bled— (laughter) — they all blistered—they all sweated. (Continued laughter.) Under huch treatment this lovely youth became pale and sickly. The ruddy hue of health passed from his countenance, and instead of his step being firm and bounding, he began to stagger in his gait. Then the parent began to call the physicians to account, for they were acting or pretending to act under responsibility for the result of their treatment. And what answer did they make ? Each one of them protested that his own nostrum was sufficient to cure the malady, although it was evident that he was sinking under the treatment. But in order that he might have the benefit of the craft, and themselves not be dismissed for want of skill, they agreed to join, and, making an admixture of their several nostrums, to administer that to the patient. (Great laughter ) Under this treatment, however, the kind parent began to think that his son had lut a poor chance. He remonstrated—as I presume our parent (England) has done—and declared that this could not be allowed, that the patient would die, and that the neighbors were wondering at the amount of the patient’s endurance, and the parent’s folly in permitting this bleeding, blistering, sweating process to go on so long. And what do you suppose the quacks, in order to satisfy the parent, proposed to do ? After acknowledging, as they could not help, but acknowledge, that they had brought the lovely youth to the brink of the grave, they proposed now to the parent that he should hand over three or four other members of the family, that they might experiment upon them also. (Laughter.) But, Mr. SPEAKER, I am glad to say, that when they heard ot this proposition, the other children said — ” We will have none of it—no quack doctors for us from Canada—we will manage our own affairs and select our own physicians for ourselves.” (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I have spoken in a figurative manner, but I trust my language has convoyed the sum and substance of our present position to the minds of hon. gentlenen. (Hear, hear ) It conveys exactly, at all events, the opinion I entertain of the treatment which Canada has received at the hands of her rulers for a number of years past. They have been playing their parts, one arguing “I am right,” and the other, ” You’re wrong “—each party arrogating to itself the greatest amount of wisdom—until Canada has been reduced to a state of poverty—I won’t say how low; I do not like to describe it—but to a position in which every one admits we cannot remain. And now the men who have brought her to that position, who have been instrumental in creating the sectional difficulties and religious states that have embroiled the people of Canada, are to be the doctors who are to cure this malady ! If they can do it, I shall be happy to assist

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in my humble way. But believing the nostrum they are about to administer will aggravate the evil rather than cure or alleviate it, I feel it to be a duty I owe to my constituents and to my own conscience to vote against the scheme, be the consequences what they may. (Cheers.)

DR. PARKER—Mr. SPEAKER, before the debate closes, I desire to make a few observations in explanation of the vote it is my intention to record on this question. I shall not trespass on the indulgence of the House, but will compress in a few sentences the explanations I desire to make. It is pretty well within the knowledge of the House that I entertain strong objections to the Address on the table—not only objections of principle, but detail—objections not only as an Upper Canadian, but as a British North American, and objections as to the time and manner in which it is sought to give to these resolutions the force of law. If it was possible to propose or secure certain changes, I would make them or warmly support them. The motion of the ” previous question” by the leader of the Government precludes all amendments; for it I am not responsible, but by it I am forced to give a yea or nay vote on the Address as it now stands. I have no choice but to accept or reject these resolutions as a whole. If I could take the responsibility of the latter, I would state my objections to the basis of Confederation fully, perhaps strongly. I refrain from this expression, because, under the circumstances to which I have alluded, it would serve no good end or purpose. It has been persistently urged during this debate that the opponents of this measure should propound a better. A sufficient answer to that argument is, that they are not allowed to do so. But aside from this, the opponents of a public measure are not always called upon to submit an alternative proposition, but may stand on their strict logical and parliamentary right of proposing nothing and conceding nothing, not even attempting to prove the particular measure to which they are opposed bad, but that its supporters have not proved it to be good. Upon all questions of ordinary magnitude and importance from which I dissented, I would feel justified by that answer. But, sir, this is not a question of ordinary magnitude and importance ; our domestic and external difficulties are pressing and importunate, and I feel in rejecting this measure, I am bound morally and in duty to the country and the people I represent, to see my way to something better. On this part of the issue I am entirely with the Government. I believe the period has arrived when it is necessary to remodel our institutions, even for the purpose of conducting the civil government of the country. The time has come when it is necessary to carry some measure of constitutional reform. The public opinion of the country—all the events of the last year—the reconstruction of the present Administration expressly to settle this question, places us in a position whence we can neither recede nor stand still. The status quo is impossible. Under these circumstances, the practical question is— Can a better measure than that now before us be secured? Better measures could, perhaps, have been devised, but it is doubtful if they would have secured general concurrence or be carried. The only question, however, I have to determine is, that under the necessities of the time and the restriction from all choice—for neither of which I am in any way responsible—I can see my way to nothing better, and I have therefore determined to record my vote for these resolutions. (Hear, hear ) Conceding, as I honestly do, the necessity of constitutional changes, I accept this as the only practical measure at the present time. If I could see a reasonable probability of securing anything better, I would vote otherwise. But from some of the remarks made by leading members in opposition to this Address, the changes which they would probably propose I could under no circumstances support ; because then, sir, circumstances, over which I have no control, make this the only practicable change possible ; and, as the necessity is urgent, I accept these resolutions as a necessity of the time and situation. In voting tor this Address, however, I reserve to myself the right of judgment on every question in these resolutions, which may hereafter become the subject of deliberation in Parliament, should I have the honor to hold a seat in this House. In voting for these resolutions, I hold myself in no way committed to any proposed improvement; and will vote on them, and particularly thj Intercolonial Railway, as though they were in no way mentioned in these resolutions. Should this measure fail, either in the House of Commons or by the persistent refusal of the Maritime Provinces to

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make good their contract, I shall consider the Government still bound to find some other solution for our difficulties. Seasonable time and allowance being made for the difficulties of their task, I will continue to hold them responsible for some satisfactory measure of settlement. Should British North America become united on the basis of these resolutions, a serious responsibility will rest on those public men who will be called in the first days to administer these several governments. Should they fall into prodigal hands, the most serious injury, even ruin, may be entailed on the country. These dangers may be averted by prudence and economy in our future legislators, by which happier results may be achieved. But, sir, under the most favorable auspices, I believe difficulties and embarrassments will grow up under this new Constitution. I hope it will not then be considered a finality, but capable of amendment as time goes on. I sincerely trust that so far as its future defects may have their origin- in matters of law, they will be redressed by wise, legal and enlightened means ; and, so far as they may have their foundation in matters of sentiment or opinion, that they will be redressed by the cultivation of better and more fraternal feeling between the people of the different provinces. I trust and believe that by such happy means, although it is not now such a Constitution as we can all approve, that it may in the future be so modified and administered as to meet the requirements and expectations of the country, and that under it all the residents of these six provinces may become one united, firm, prosperous and happy people. (Hear, hear.)

HON. MR. HOLTON said—MR. SPEAKER, I endeavored to catch your eye in the early part of the evening, with the view of offering a few observations, both upon the merits of the subject referred to in the motion in your hands, and of replying to some of the arguments adduced by the friends of the measure ; but, knowing the extreme anxiety that existed on the part of many others to speak to the resolutions before the vote is taken, and feeling that there would be another opportunity to address the House, when the motion, of which notice has been given by my honorable friend from Peel, comes up, I have determined not to claim the attention of the House for any lengthened remarks at the present time. There are, however, just one or two points to which I feel that I ought briefly to refer, before a division is taken. My honorable friend from Granville (Mr. SHANLY), in the course of his very interesting speech —a speech to which I listened with a great deal of attention—took occasion to remark upon what he characterised as the bold and manly course adopted by the Government, on learning of the rejection of this scheme by the people of New Brunswick. Sir, on that point, I join issue with that gentleman. The course of the Government ought to be bold and manly, to entitle it to the support of a bold and manly mind like his, that was so much in doubt as to what course to pursue before this bold and manly policy was adopted. But, sir, instead of its being a bold and manly course, I hold that it was a mere running away from the difficulty which the defeat of those resolutions by the people of New Brunswick presented. What was the position at that moment ? We were discussing the desirability and feasibility of having a union of all these colonies, founded upon resolutions adopted by a conference of delegates from the various colonies, which met in this city in October last. These resolutions were to be concurred in by all the provinces, and were represented to us as being in the nature of a treaty. Suddenly we hear that the Province of New Brunswick, the only one whose territory adjoins ours, had, in effect, refused to ratify that treaty, and henee the treaty falls to the ground, and the refusal of that province to join the union renders a union impossible. My hon. friend says it was a bold and manly course to insist on going on with that which it had become impossible to carry out; but, sir, I maintain, as I said before, that their course was merely a method — cunning and adroit, perhaps, but neither bold nor manly— which they adopted of running away from their duty. (Hear, hear.) The refusal of New Brunswiek to join the union, or to ratify the treaty, having destroyed it, a new duty then devolved upon our Government—a duty growing directly out of the obligation under which those gentlemen placed themselves in the re-formation of their Government in June last. That obligation was to settle the Canadian difficulty this session, either by a Confederation of all the provinces, or by a Canadian Federation. The one now under consideration for the former object being dead, they were bound to deal with the Canadian question apart altogether from that relating to the Federation of all the British North American

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Colonies. Instead of dealing with it, however, I say that they have run away from it. And that is what is called a bold and manly course. (Hear, hear.) Instead of that it was, in my opinion, a most cowardly course to pursue. (Hear, hear.) It was a stratagetic course, the effect of which was to avoid the difficulty, and hold their places in the Government ; but was anything but a manly one. The honorable gentleman spoke of this as a treaty. I am surprised that a gentleman for whose astuteness I had learned to entertain a very high estimation, should be carried away by such a fallacy as that. I maintain, sir, that no treaty has been submitted to us. It is not found in the resolutions, nor yet in the despatch of the Governor General transmitting them to this House. Neithei the resolutions nor the despatch contain any intimation of there having been a treaty between the respective provinces, and certainly we have had no correspondence laid before us purporting to relate to a treaty between this and the other provinces. (Hear, hear.)

MR. SHANLY—The treaty was constructed in Conference, and therefore no correspondence was necessary.

HON. MR. HOLTON—Well, we know that there was correspondence between the colonial governments which has not been submitted to us. It was referred to in the resolutions submitted to the Legislature of Nova Scotia. That correspondence, though moved for in this House on the first day of the present session by my hon. friend from Hochelaga, has never to this day been brought down, and yet, sir, it has been pretended that it is a treaty. If it is a treaty, why did not the Government submit the treaty or the correspondence which proved the existence of a treaty ? The seventeenth clause, sir, is the only one that can be quoted as having any bearing whatever on the question of a treaty. It reads as follows :—

17. The basis of representation iu the House of Commons shall be population, as determined by the official census every ten years ; and the number of members at first shall be 194, distributed as follows—Upper Canada, 82 ; Lower Canada, 65; Nova Scotia, 19; New Brunswick, 15 ; Newfoundland, 8 ; and Prince Edward Island, 5.

Of course, sir, the honorable gentlemen undertook to briNg before their respective parliaments the propositions which they had agreed upon in conference, and which, if acceptable to all the legislatures, were to serve as a basis of a Constitution for the contemplated union. But there is nothing in that clause to show that the governments, or the provinces which they represented, were to be bound to regard this whole scheme as a treaty, and to lay it before their respective legislatures as such. On the contrary, we find Ministers in the Lower Provinces stating that the whole of the scheme might be modified. (Hear, hear.) And, sir, if it is a treaty, and the governments were bound as by that treaty to stand or fall by it, that treaty has been grossly violated by the other parties thereto. What, sir, was the course pursued in Newfoundland ? Why, the leader of the Government himself moves a resolution in the Legislature, to the effect that the consideration of the whole question be postponed until next session, with a general election intervening. If there was a treaty binding on all parties—and there cannot be a treaty unless it is binding on all parties—that is the very nature and essence of a treaty. If honorable gentlemen are justified in their statement that it is a treaty, do they not, by necessary implication, thereby charge the governments of all the other provinces with a breach of faith ? (Hear, hear.) But, sir, there was no treaty, and it was never intended to consider these resolutions as being in the nature of a treaty. It was simply intended that these heads of agreement—for they are hardly worthy of the name of resolutions, so clumsily are they strung together— should be brought before each Legislature in the shape of propositions, to be considered and voted upon separately, at the same time keeping in view the importance and expediency of adhering to the agreement arrived at in the Conference. Any other agreement in a conference composed of members of the Opposition, as well as of the governments of the Lower Provinces, would have been simply absurd; but our Government were shrewd enough to see the difficulties that were likely to arise in considering the resolutions separ- ately, and that it would be impossible to obtain the assent of this House to all of the self-contradictory, and, in some cases, absurd propositions, contained in this scheme ; and therefore, they hit upon this expedient of pro- claiming it to be in the nature of a treaty, of using their strength as a Government in it favor and of asking the honorable members of tbis House to vote for it en masse—to vote in stultification of all their antecedents upon every question that has engaged the attention of this Legislature, or that has been the subject of discussion in our Provincial Parliament during the last quarter of a cen-

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tury. (Hear, hear.) Sir, up to a recent period there might possibly be said to have been some little life in this debate ; but during the last week it has been to me not without its ludicrous aspects. When I have heard honorable members get up day after day and argue gravely for union with a people who we now know will have no union with us, and arguing that that union will be a means by which we could emerge from our sectional difficulties here in Canada, it has presented to my mind a most ludicrous aspect. I cannot conceive why hon. gentlemen, in the face of the intelligence we have had from New Brunswick and Newfoundland, and for what we know is likely to be the action of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, should go on gravely arguing in favor of this as a live scheme, from which anything else could come than the perpetuation of the official life of a few hon. gentlemen, brought together by means that I shall not now allude to more particularly, but which I shall take another occasion to characterise in such terms as I think are appropriate. Their Confederation scheme is dead, sir, and they know it is dead ; and yet they go on and ask their supporters here to vote for this string of seventy-two propositions. The hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat, said he was going to vote for the motion, but wished it to be distinctly understood that he was not in favor of any one of the propositions which the motion embraces. I tell my honorable friend that he is going to record his vote in favor of every one of these propositions. I tell him that the Government will not give to him, or to this House of Parliament, the privilege of recording a vote on one proposition alone, unless it is recorded in favor of the whole scheme.

DR. PARKER—What I said was this— that I reserved to myself the right of voting as I pleased on every resolution which might become the subject of parliamentary action on another day.

HON. MR. HOLTON—I understood my honorable friend perfectly ; but notwithstanding any declaration that he may make in reference to the subject, the fact still holds good that by his vote he will place himself on record as being in favor of those seventy-two resolutions. That is the inevitable result of the mode in which these resolutions are put to this House—a very unsatisfactory mode, a very unparliamentary mode, and a mode which I maintain is an insult to this House as a free Parliament, representing British freemen—and I trust that before the final passing of the resolutions and Address, this House will resist this endeavor to tamper with its freedom, and condemn with it the men who have been the authors of the attempt. Well, sir, the scheme is dead, and yet it is to keep the men alive. (Laughter.) That is the whole object of this discussion. The honorable gentlemen know very well that the scheme is dead. (Hear, hear.) They know perfectly well that I am uttering the simple truth when I say that when they came down with their new programme, they were in the greatest possible difficulty ; and it was to retire from this difficulty, and not to force it, that they hit upon the expedient we saw them resorting to—proclaiming the refusal of the Lower Provinces to come into the union as the strongest reason why they declared in favor of the union. (Hear, hear.) These are the few observations I proposed making to-night, reserving any further remarks I may have to make for the debate which will probably arise on the motion of the honorable member for Peel (Hon. Mr. CAMERON). But while I am up, I desire to call the attention of the House to a somewhat startling statement which appears in the English newspapers that arrived to-day. I hold in my hands the Times of February 21st, containing the extended report of the debate in the House of Lords, of which we received a summary by telegraph a few days ago, and in respect to which some information was recently conveyed to the House by a member of the Government, on the authority of a telegram which had been received from New York. It will be remembered that the first telegraphic report we had of the conversation in the House of Lords represented an appropriation of £50,000 as having been made towards the defences of Quebec. Although we had applied for this information, it was refused us, but it was given unhesitatingly by Lord DE GREY, the Secretary at War, in the House of Lords, connected with some other statements respecting the share in the defences of the country to be undertaken by the people of this country. The honorable gentlemen, however, improved the opportunity which the news afforded them in their own way. They made it the basis of a new flank movement. It served as an excellent excuse for moving the previous question, in order that they might close this debate at the earliest possible moment, and start for England with the greatest haste, in order to save the country from impending invasion. The telegraphic report created a good deal of excitement in the

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House. It will be remembered that when my honorable friend from West Middlesex (Mr. SCATCHERD) was making some remarks in reference to this subject, the Hon. President of the Council rose in his place and told the House that either he himself or some other party had telegraphed to New York to learn the precise facts as to the alleged appropriation by the Imperial Government of £50,000. The honorable gentleman stated he had learned that the sum was not £50,000.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD— Thirty thousand pounds.

HON. MR. HOLTON—£30,000, or £50,000—it was variously stated—but £200,000. “Well, sir, we have the extended report at length, and it appears that £50,000 is the sum to be placed in the estimates this year. They look to the expenditure of £200,000 in the course of four years, beginning this year with an appropriation of £50,000. I t appears from this that they do not consider the case as so very urgent—not, at all events, so urgent as to require the business of the Parliament of this country to be suspended, in order that Ministers may hasten thither to make provision for the defence of the country. (Hear, hear.) So much would follow from the fact of their spreading the £200,000 over four years. But that is not all. Very startling statements on the subject of the defence of Canada were made in this debate in the House of Lords. We know how persistently our own Government have refused us the necessary information to guide us on the subject—seeking, in the absence of that information, unfairly to use the subject of defence as a means of persuading honorable gentlemen to support their measure of Confederation. (Hear, hear.) Now I hold this doctrine, that quoad Canadian affairs, our Ministers are bound to furnish us with the same ample information as the Imperial Government are bound to furnish the Imperial Parliament, quoad Imperial affairs, when it is not inconsistent with the public interest so to do. (Hear, hear.) Well, we find that weeks ago this debate came up in an incidental manner in the House of Lords, on a motion of a noble lord (Lord LYVEDEN), for information on the subject, and that the Government at once entered into the fullest explanations, in the course of which they made some rather startling statements as to their negotiations on the defence question with this Government, and in îespect to which all information has been withheld from us. In answer to Lord LYVEDEN, Earl DE GREY said :—

The Government undertook to provide for the necessary improvements in the defence of Quebec, which had always been considered as an Imperial fortress, and which, though formerly of great strength, like other fortifications, required improvements to meet the altered circumstances of warfare. They had proposed to the Canadian Government to undertake the fortification of Montreal and the western points. The Canadian Government was well aware of the obligations which rested on them, and when they had received the necessary answer fiom the Canadian Parliament, were ready to undertake these works.

Mark this, that the Canadian Government are ready to undertake the fortification of Montreal and the western points. (Hear, hear.) Such is the information which we get from Earl DE GREY, that our Ministers have entered into this understanding, provided that they can get the assent and authority of the Canadian Parliament to incur the whole expense of permanent defensive works westward of Quebec. (Hear, hear.) And yet, sir, although information on this subject has been sought for at almost eveiy stage of the debate —almost daily—they have persistently withheld it from us. But now fortunately before this debate is closed, we learn from the lips of the Secretary at War that in so far as in them lay, they pledged the resources of this country to an untold amount for the construction of fortifications throughout the province, with the exception of Quebec. They have agreed to this, I say, subject to the approval of Parliament, and which approval they dare not ask until this scheme, the whole of the seventy-two resolutions, with all their clumsy contrivances, is adopted by this House—in order that their official existence may be lengthened out for a few months longer. (Hear, hear.) The whole amount which will be required for permanent fortifications, as stated in a leading article in the the Times, is £1,300,000 sterling—about $7,000,000, of which the Imperial Government propose to expend £200,000, or about, $1,000,000. We therefore learn that our Government have really bargained for the expenditure by Canada of $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 towards the permanent defences of the country, in respect of which we have had no information whatever. (Hear, hear.) There can be no doubt that they have made this bargain, because I have quoted the words of Earl DE GREY stating in precise terms that the Canadian Government had agreed to it, subject to the approval of our Parliament. I say that this is a startling fact, and I hope that the honorable gentlemen

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who intend voting for these seventy-two resolutions, which in reality sanction this arrangement—because the Government have insisted upon it and urged it throughout this debate—will pause before they add other $6,000,000 to the untold millions to which we shall be pledged by the adoption of the scheme now before the House. (Hear, hear.)

MR. FORTIER—In rising to speak at such an advanced stage of the debate, it is not my intention to occupy the attention of the House for any lengthened period, especially as the topic of Confederation which has been under consideration for several days past, has been pretty thoroughly exhausted. I do not, however, consider that I should be doing my duty were I to allow this question to pass without remark, and without stating to the House and to the country the reasons which have brought me to the determination to vote as I have resolved to vote on this great question of Confederation. What, I would ask, Mr. SPEAKER, do Ministers call upon us to do on this occasion ? To pass an Address to Her Majesty, praying Her by a single stroke of the pen to cancel our present Constitution, and to substitute another based on the seventy-two resolutions adopted by the Conference at Quebec, held on the 10th October last, and which resolutions are now before the House. I am convinced that the Quebec Conference, when they framed the basis of our new Constitution, far from being actuated by any sentiment of disinterestedness, were on the contrary influenced by the desire of personal advancement. I may be deceived, Mr. SPEAKER, and I sincerely hope that I am. I hope that the electors of New Brunswick, who have just rejected the scheme of the Quebec Conference, and at the same time passed a direct vote of censure against the most illustrious men in that province, for having agreed to this scheme, and, by so doing, compromised the interests of their country— I hope, I say, that these electors have also been mistaken, knowing, as I do, that obedience must be yielded to the majority, and that, in spite of their triumphant opposition, Confederation will be imposed upon us as now projected. It its sought by a single stroke of the pen to abrogate our Constitutional Act, and to substitute for it a Constitution of the details of which we are altogether ignorant, of which, indeed, every effort is made to keep us in ignorance. We are urged to exchange what we now have or something that they propose to give us. FRANKLIN has told us that ” a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” I am one of those who would prefer the bird in the hand, and for that reason I am not prepared, without further guarantee, to change the Constitution of the country. (Hear, hear.) I hold to the Constitution of 1840, because it consecrates a great principle in favor of Lower Canada, that of equality of representation in the Legislature ; and I adhere the more firmly to it, Mr. SPEAKER, when I bear in mind that it is one of the express conditions of my presence in this House as the representative of the county of Yamaska, and I do not intend to betray the confidence reposed in me. In relation to this subject, I will take the liberty of reading to the House extracts from two letters which have been addressed to me by two electors of great influence in my county:—

ST. MICHEL D’YAMASKA, 29th Jan., 1865.

MY DEAR FRIEND,—From the little information Í have been able to obtain in relation to what has taken place in the House since the beginning of the session, I observe that the true patriots, far from being able to avert, will not even have the satisfaction of delaying, the storm which threatens our unhappy country. The French-Canadian egotists are, as usual, in the majority, especially in this nineteenth century—the age of progress it may be, but the age of selfishness, of hazardous speculations, in which conscience (now, alas ! only a by-word) takes no part—the age of usurious loans, to the great detriment of the poor people, whom, not content with pillaging and ruining, it is now proposed, with the view of securing a few years of power and position, to deprive of their nationality, their laws and their religion. * * What ought we to do under these circumstances, when we see our country threatened by its own children, allied with its bitterest foes ? Treat the traitors with disdain, and maintain with firmness (no matter how few in numbers we may be) an energetic and constitutional opposition. It may be that at last the Catholic clergy will awake from their dream, and will manfully aid the Opposition, whose sole object is the preservation of its most cherished rights.

Mr. SPEAKER, I read such language with pride, and I now proceed to read the views of another of my electors, no less patriotic than the onewhose letter I have just read :—

RIVIÈRE DAVID, 21st Feb., 1865.

DEAR SIR,—I have received a copy of the resolutions in relation to the projected union of the Provinces of British North America, and after having examined and studied them, and having read with care all that the papers on either side have to say for and against them, I beg to state as my opinion, that they are very far from meeting with my approval. Even were they better

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than they are, I should be very sorry to see them adopted before an opportunity has been afforded to the electors to pronounce upon them, and to authorize their representatives to vote in favor of them. I shall abstain, in view of the want of space in a simple letter like this, from discussing the reasons which have led me to form this opinion. Suffice it that I unite my voice with that of the best friends of our country in telling you that you were not elected to destroy, but rather to promote the working of our Constitution.

These remarks, Mr. SPEAKER, are so true and so reasonable, that I should be ashamed did I not agree with them ; yet if I had reason to anticipate that our country would be endangered by the refusal of this House to pass the scheme of Confederation now proposed to us, I would not hesitate to vote in favor of it. But I am very far from believing that our Constitution cannot be made to work with benefit to the country for many years to come. If the TACHÉ- MACDONALD Government had not been defeated last year, and if it could have retained a majority of one or Iwo votes only, as has been so well observed by the hon. member for Beauce, Confederation would still be in the clouds, and the hon. member for South Oxford would still be at a great distance from his long-sought haven. It is, however, to be hoped that the offspring of the present Administration—composed, as it is, of such heterogeneous elements—will not be the victim of premature birth, and that the Government will have something else to present to the country than a still-born child. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, that great principle of sectional equality was consecrated anew by the Legislative Council Act of 1856. And by whom was it consecrated ? By the men who are now in power. On the 14th March, 1856, the hon. member for Montmorency, seconded by the Hon. Mr. SPENCE, moved the adoption of a law establishing equality in the Legislative Council between Upper and Lower Canada, and rendering that branch of the Legislature elective. The principle of that law was assented to by eighty-three votes against six. I read from the Journals of this House as follows :—

The order of the day for the second reading of the bill to change the constitution of the Legislative Council, by rendering the same elective, being read, the Hon. Mr. CAUCHON moved, seconded by the Hon. Mr. SPENCE, and the question being put, that the bill be now read a second time the House divided, and the names being called for, they were taken clown aa follow :—

YEAS.—Messrs. Aikins, Alleyn, Bell, Bellingham, Biggar, Bourassa, Brodeur, Bureau, Cartier, Casault, Canchón, Cayley, Chapáis, Chisholm, Christie, Conger, Cooke, Cook, Chas, Daoust, Jean B. Daoust, Darche, Delong, Desaulniers, DeWitt, Dionne, J. B. B. Dorion, A. A. Dorion, Dostaler, Atty. Gen. Drummond, Dufresne, Felton, Ferrie, Foley, O. C. Fortler, Fournier, Frazer, Freeman, Gamble, Gould, Guévremont, Hartman, Holton, Jobin, Labelle, Laporte, LeBoutillier, Lemieux, Loranger, Lumsden, Lyon, John S. Macdonald, Atty. Gen. Macdonald, Mackenzie, McCann, Marchildon, Masson, Mattice, Meagher, A. Morrison, Munro, Papin, Patrick, Poulin, Pouliot, Powell, Prévost, Price, Rhodes, Sol. Gen. Ross, J. Ross, Sanborn, Shaw, Sol. Gen. Smith, S. Smith, James Smith, Somerville, Southwick, Spence, Stevenson, Thibaudeau, Turcotte, Valois, and Wright. —83.

NAYS.—Messrs. Bows, Brown, Cameron, Crawford, Robinson, and Yeilding.—6.

So it was resolved in the affirmative.

Thus, on this exciting question of representation by population, eighty-nine members from Upper and Lower Canada voted and took part in the discussion, forty-four from Upper Canada, of whom only six demanded representation by population (the Hon. Mr. BROWN being one of them), and forty-five Lower Canadians, ten of English and thirtyfive of French-Canadian origin, constituting eighty-three votes against six. Observe the immense majority who voted upon the constitution of the Upper House, and ratified the Constitutional Act of 1840 to which I have just referred. Not only was this principle consecrated by a large majority in both branches of the Legislature; as I have just shewn, it was also confirmed by the Government of the Mother Country, ior whose sanction this law was reserved, at most eight years ago. And, Mr. SPEAKER, these two Constitutional Acts have been the means of establishing the peace, happiness and prosperity of the country since the troubles of 1837 and 1838 ; behind these two acts the French-Canadians have sheltered themselves as behind an impregnable rampart, and yet these two acts the present Administration, sustained by a majority of French- Canadians in this House, are ready to scatter to the four winds (Hear, hear.) For the last quarter of a century, Canada has enjoyed responsible government and the advantage of equality in the representation. What then is there to complain of, and by whom are complaints made ? Who have complained during the last ten years—have the French- Canadians, have the Upper-Canadians ? No, sir, it is the hon. member for South Oxford

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(Hon. Mr. BROWN), and on what ground ? On the question of representation based upon numbers. Why has that hon. gentleman created such a turmoil in Upper Canada, and why has he tried to tread under foot that which the French-Canadians hold most dear—their religion ? It was to attain power, to reach the seat which he now occupies on the other side of the House, supported by the honorable members for Kamouraska and Dorchester, like altar posts on each side of a statue. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) Who are those who have opposed that hon. member in this House ? All the members for Lower Canada, both French and English without distinction. Never have the members from Lower Canada been divided on this vital question. Bleus and Rouges, Mr. SPEAKER, have united as one man to preserve that which guaranteed to them their future as descendants of old France. And what was the cause of this union of French- Canadians against the hon. member for South Oxford? To refuse him that which the present Administration has conceded to him, by the Quebec Conference. What was the reason given by the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada, during the session of 1863, to the member for South Oxford, who reproached him for having governed Upper Canada by a Lower Canadian majority ? He replied—and his words are still ringing in my ears—” Never,” said he, ” has Upper Canada had to complain of anything which my Government has imposed on Upper Canada by means of a Lower Canadian majority. You have no grounds of complaint, and you will never obtain your extreme demands.” This was the lauguage used at that time. But things are changed, and unfortunately autre temps autre chose. O tempora ! O mores ! And afterwards, the honorable member for Montreal East added expressions more or less ironical, more or less founded, comparing the Grits of Upper Canada to so many codfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was then, Mr. SPEAKER, that the honorable member for South Oxford took an active part in the discussion. (Hear, hear.) You, no doubt, remember the occasion, for then you yourself, Mr. SPEAKER, were, in the eyes of the hon. member for Montreal, only a codfish eager for the bait. Mr. SPEAKER, I have always admired the energy displayed by the hon. member for Montreal East in resisting the hon. member for South Oxford; his courage and boldness were boundless, and there was such a vast difference of principles, and so much animosity existed between those two hon. gentleman-and their respective supporters, that you could never for one moment have imagined that they could endure each other as neighbors on the Treasury benches. This mutual reconciliation, Mr. SPEAKER, reminds me of the effect produced on my mind by the happy family, which I had an opportunity of seeing at New York a few years ago, when the rat was to be seen between the paws of the cat, the monkey running after the rabbit, and the sparrow coquetting with the owl. (Hear, and laughter.) How long have the men to whom I have just raferred paid any attention to the claims of the hon. member for South Oxford ? How long have they listened to him ? It is only since those hon. gentlemen have found themselves in a minority in this House, since the TACHÉ-MACDONALD Government have resolved per fas aut nefas to retain office—never before. Now, all this has not tended to inspire me with any confidence in the plan of Confederation, and has indeed made me resolve to vote against the whole, because this scheme is to be accepted in toto or not at all. (Hear, hear.) The Government tells us, Mr. SPEAKER, that these resolutions cannot be amended in any particular; the seventy-two resolutions, they say, must be voted all together, so as to give no ground for complaint on the part of the Maritime Provinces. It is a treaty from which no deviation can be allowed. But how is it that the Honorable Mr. TILLEY, of New Brunswick, offered to allow the Opposition in that province to amend this treaty? And did not the Government declare, -at the end of the last session, that they intended to propose an amendment of some kind to the Constitutional Act, and that they would submit it to the people for their consideration before seeking its adoption ? And now they refuse to do this. Ah ! I repeat, all this is very far from inspiring me with the least confidence in the scheme of Confederation, and in the present Administration. You must swallow the whole scheme without hesitation, without power to offer a single amendment. Let those who please vote for such a measure, the humble member for Yamaska assuredly will not. I therefore declare that I am prepared to vote against the measure now under consideration. (Applause.)

HON. MR. EVANTUREL said —Mr. SPEAKER, in return for the indulgence

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extended by the House, I have to say that I do not rise to make a long speech, but that I shall content myself with giving a silent vote. However, before recording my vote upon the measure which is submitted to us, I wish to put a question to the Government. I acknowledge that if I confined myself to consulting my own ideas, I should not put this question ; but I do so in order to meet the wishes of several of my friends, both within this House and beyond its precincts. Those friends have expressed alarm in relation to one of the clauses of the resolutions, and have requested me to ask an explanation from the Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada, as to the interpretation of that clause. I have therefore to ask Rim whether article 46 of the resolutions, which states that ” both the English and French languages may be employed in the General Parliament and in its proceedings, and in the Local Legislature of Lower Canada,” is to be interpreted as placing the use of the two languages on an equal footing in the Federal Parliament ? Instating the apprehensions entertained by certain persons on this subject—and I consider that it is a mark of patriotism on their part, and that their apprehensions may be legitimate—I hope the Government will not impute to me any hostile intention, and will perceive that the course I adopt is in their interest, as it will give them an opportunity of dissipating the apprehensions in question (Hear, hear.)

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD—I have very great pleasure in answering the question put to me by my hon. friend from the county of Quebec. I may state that the meaning of one of the resolutions adopted by the Conference is this, that the rights of the French-Canadian members as to the status of their language in the Federal Legislature shall bo precisely the same as they now are in the present Legislature of Canada in every possible respect. I have still further pleasure in stating that the moment this was mentioned in Conference, the members of the deputation from the Lower Provinces unanimously stated that it was right and just, and without one dissentient voice gave their adhesion to the reasonableness of the proposition that the status of the French language, as regards the procedure in Parliament, the printing of measures, and everything of that kind, should be precisely the same as it is in this Legislature. (Hear, hear.)

HON. MR. DORION— I do not rise to offer any lengthened remarks, but to draw for a moment the attention of the members of the Administration, with a view to obtain some information in connection with this scheme ; but before doing so, I would say a word in reply to the explanation given by the Hon. Attorney General West to the question put by the hon. member for the county of Quebec (Hon. Mr. EVANTUREL) , with regard to the use of the French language. The Hon. Attorney General West stated that the intention of delegates at the Quebec Conference was to give the same guarantees for the use of the French language in the Federal Legislature, as now existed under the present union. I conceive, sir, that this is no guarantee whatsoever, for in the Union Act it was provided that the English language alone should be used in Parliament, and the French language was entirely prohibited ; but this provision was subsequently repealed by the 11th and 12th Victoria, and the matter left to the discretion of the Legislature. So that if, to-morrow, this Legislature choose to vote that no other but the English language should be used in our proceedings, it might do so, and thereby forbid the use of the French language. There is, therefore, no guarantee for the continuance of the use of the language of the majority of the people of Lower Canada, but the will and the forbearance of the majority. And as the number of French members in the General Legislature, under the proposed Confederation, will be proportionately much smaller than it is in the present Legislature, this ought to make hon. members consider what little chance there is for the continued use of their language in the Federal Legislature. This is the only observation I have to make on this subject, and it was suggested to mc by the answer of the Hon. Attorney General West.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD—I desire to say that I agree with my hon. friend that as it stands just now the majority governs; but in order to cure this, it was agreed at the Conference to embody the provision in the Imperial Act. (Hear, hear.) This was proposed by the Canadian Government, for fear an accident might arise subsequently, and it was assented to by the deputation from each province that the use of the French language should form one of the principles on upon which the Confederation should be established, and that its use, as at present, should be guaranteed by the Imperial Act. (Hear hear.)

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HON. ATTT. GEN. CARTIER—I will add to what has been stated by the. Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada, in reply to the hon. member for the county of Quebec and the hon. member for Hochelaga, that it was also necessary to protect the English minorities in Lower Canada with respect to the use of their language, because in the Local Parliament of Lower Canada the majority will be composed of French – Canadians. The members of the Conference were desirous that it should not be in the power of that majority to decree the abolition of the use of the English language in the Local Legislature of Lower Canada, any more than it will be in the power of the Federal Legislature to do so with respect to the French language. I will also add that the use of both languages will be secured in the Imperial Act to be based on these resolutions. (Hear, hear.)

HON. MR. DORION—I am very glad to hear this statement; but I fail to see anything in the resolutions themselves which gives such an assurance, in proof of which we have the honorable member for Quebec county asking how the matter really stands. But it is not simply for the use of the French language in the Legislature that protection is needed—that is not of so great importance as is the publication of the laws and proceedings of Parliament. The speeches delivered in this House are only addressed to a few, but the laws and proceedings of the Houee are addressed to the whole people, a million or nearly a million of whom speak the French language. I now beg to address one or two observations on a different subject. When the question was first brought before us, I drew the attention of the Government to the discrepancy between the printed resolutions which are now submitted to us, and the resolutions which were despatched to the members of the Legislature, during the recess, by the Hon. Provincial Secretary. The discrepancy consists in the cording of the third section of the 29th resolution. In the resolutions which were sent us by the Hon. Provincial Secretary, the 29th read as follows :—

The General Government shall have power to make laws for the peace, welfare and gocd government ot the Federated Provinces (saving the Sovereignty of England), and especially laws respecting the following subjects.—[The subjects, 37 in number, follow, the 3rd reading thus]: — 3. The imposition or regulation of duties of customs on imports and exports, except on exports of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals, and sawn lumber, and of coal and other minerals. [The 43rd of the same resolutions states] : The local legislatures shall have power to make laws respecting the following subjects :— Direct taxation and the imposition of duties on the export of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals, and sawn lumber, and of coals and other minerals.

So that the General Government are forbidden to place export duties on lumber, coals, and other minerals found in any of the several provinces, such right being reserved to the local legislatures. But in the resolutions submitted to the House in English, there is a most importaut and invidious distinction, and I drew the attention of the Hon. Finance Minister to it early in the debate. It states : —

The General Parliament shall have power to make laws, etcetera, respecting the following subjects :— * * * 3. The imposition or regulation of duties of customs on imports and exports—except on exports of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals, and sawn lumber from New Brunswick ; and of coals and other minerals from Nova Scotia.

By the first of these series of resolutions the General Government was deprived of the right of imposing export duties on lumber, coals, and other minerals in regard to all the provinces ; whilst by the resolutions now before the House, the General Government is allowed to impose such duties except on lumber exported from New Brunswick, and coals and other minerals exported from Nova Scotia. Then the 43rd resolution now before the House says :—

The local legislatures shall have power to make laws respecting the following subjects:—1. Direct taxation, and in New Brunswick the imposition of duties on the export of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals, and sawn lumber; and in Nova Scotia, of coals and other minerals.

That is to say, in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia they have a right to impose duties, for local purposes, on the export of lumber, coals, and other minerals, whilst in Canada and the other provinces that power is withheld ; and while the timber and minerals from Canada can be taxed by the General Government for general purposes, the timber of New Brunswick, and the coal and minerals of Nova Scotia, oan only be taxed by the local governments of these provinces, and for local purposes only. This is a most unjust arrangement for both Upper and Lower Canada. Now, sir, I find in an official document, published in Nova Scotia under the sanction of

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the Government of that province, and submitted to parliament now sitting, that the powers of the General Government and of the local governments in respect to the export duties upon lumber, coals, and other minerals, are exactly the same, word for word, as are set forth in the printed copy sent to the members during the recess. (Hear, hear.) It has been asserted that this was a treaty entered into by the delegates of the several provinces ; but it seems to be a treaty in which alterations have been made. (Hear, hear.) I called the attention of the honorable gentlemen opposite to this discrepancy, and asked which was the true and correct copy of the resolutions, and I was told that it was the copy which had been submitted to the House. There has been an alteration somewhere ; and in a matter of this serious importance, the Government ought to tell us how and where it occurred— they ought to inform us if it is not the case that the treaty was changed after the Conference had ceased to meet, and at whose request and by whom the change was made. It is evident that we are called to vote for a scheme, here, different from that submitted to the Legislature of Nova Scotia, and one more unfavorable to us than that which the delegates from Nova Scotia have reported to their Government. While on this subject, I will also remark that there is also a discrepancy between the French and the English versions of the resolutions submitted to the House, the French version being the same as the one communicated to the members by the Hon. Provincial Secretary, and also to those submitted to the Nova Scotia Legislature. This would indicate that the change has been made in these resolutions submitted to this House, and it is well that we should have some information, and know what has taken place about this pretended treaty since the separation of the delegates. (Hear, hear.) There is another important matter which demands the attention of the House. It has been stated here that the whole of the delegates had agreed to the resolutions of the Conference. (Hear, hear.) The name of Mr. PALMER was mentioned as being an exception, and to that the honorable gentlemen opposite declared th it all the delegates had agreed to these resolutions. Is not that what was stated ?


HON. MR. DORION—But I find that besides Mr. PALMER, who asserted publicly that he had signed the resolutions of the Conference to authenticate them, and that he had not agreed to these resolutions, there is also Mr. DICKEY, another delegate, who has taken the same course. Mr. DICKEY even went so far as to address a letter to the Lieutenant- Governor of Nova Scotia, Sir R. GRAVES MCDONNELL, in which he says:—

The Honorable Provincial Secretary has submitted for my inspection a report to Your Excellency, dated 5th December last, and signed by himself, the Honorable Attorney General, the Honorable J. McCULLY, and A. G. ARCHIBALD, Esq., of the result of a mission with which we were charged by Your Excellency, to attend a Conference at Quebec upon the subject of Intercolonial union. In that report I am happy to be able cordially to concur, except as to that portion of it which would seem to imply the unanimous action of members of the Conference. As I had the misfortune to differ from my colleagues in several important details of the schdme submitted to Your Excellency, I feel myself constrained to withhold my signature from the report, unaccompanied by this explanation. My regret at this circumstance is greatly diminished by the reflection that the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in his despatch of 3rd December last, sustains my view that the scheme is susceptible of modification and improvement.

(Hear, hear.) These are two points which I think are very important, and the honorable gentlemen opposite ought to offer some explanation— on the first point, at all events. In the return of correspondence presented to the Nova Scotia Legislature, I find also a very important letter which was addressed on the 9th of January last, by the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia to the Governor General of Canada. That letter has never been communicated to us, although an Address for all the correspondence in reference to this Confederation scheme was proposed and carried several weeks ago. This letter of Sir E. GRAVES MCDONNELL was in answer to a despateh from Lord MONCK of the 23rd December, 1864, and the third paragraph reads as follows :—

It is evident from the communication of the Right Honorable the Secretary of State, that Her Majesty’s Government expects to be aided in the preparation of a bill embodying the suggestions of the Quebec Conference, by deputations from the several provinces. It also appears to myself and the members of my Government, that to avoid the probable multiplied divergence of opinion in each Legislature, inseparable from discussing a great variety of details in several independent parliaments, despite of a general agreement in the main objects and principles of the general scheme, it is better for these provinces to avail themselves of the friendly arbitrament of the

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Queen’s Government and send delegates to consult with the latter during the preparation of the proposed Imperial Bill. The peculiar ” views”— and this is the point—of each legislature might, if necessary, find expression in instructions to the delegates from each.

(Hear, hear.) So we find in this letter, which has been withheld from us, a suggestion that amendments can be made to the scheme in the form of instructions to the delegates from each of the several legislatures ; and yet honorable gentlemen have stated that these resolutions were, in point of fact, a treaty, which this Legislature could not alter or amend in the least important particular, but that honorable members must say ” aye ” or ” nay ” upon them precisely as they stand ! (Hear, hear.) There are three material circumstances here cited—first, the discrepancies in regard to the export duties on lumber, coals and other minerals ; second, the discretion which is reserved to the Lower Provinces, by their legislatures, to alter and amend the resolutions ; and third, the dissent by two of the delegates to the so-called treaty, although we have been informed by our own Government that the Conference was unanimously in favor of it. (Hear, hear.) I desire explanations from the Ministry on these important points. (Hear, hear.)

HON. MR. GALT.—As to the first point, I can only say that full explanations have already been given on several occasions ; with reference to the second point, the Canadian Government is not responsible for the opinions of the delegates after they left this country ; and as regards the third point, His Excellency the Governor General sent down the correspondence to this House as fully as he thought proper, and I presume the lieutenant-governors of the other provinces did the same.

HON. MR. DORION—I will remind the honorable gentleman that there is another discrepancy. The French copy of the resolutions before the House is exactly in accordance with the printed document sent from Nova Scotia, and with the copy sent to members by the Hon. Provincial Secretary, while the English copy now before the House is different. Now, of these different versions which is the correct one, and where has the alteration been made? The importance of the question is, I think, very tgreat ; for if the version given in this Blue-Book from Nova Scotia, and in the French copy, be correct, we in Lower Canada will have a right to impose, for local purposes, an export duty on all timber, either from Upper or Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) The resolution is in plain terms, and declares that the General Government shall have no right to impose an export duty on timber, but that the local governments shall.

HON. MR. BROWN — The right copy is that in the Speaker’s hands, of course.

HON. MR. DORION—But there are two versions of it—the one in English differing from that in French.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD—I moved the resolutions in English, and if there is any difference in the French copy, it is an error in the translation.

HON. MR. DORION—Well, if the English copy is the right one, the General Government will have the right to impose an export duty on all timber except that exported from New Brunswick, and on all coals and minerals except from Nova Scotia.

SEVERAL MEMBERS—That is the right one.

MR. DE NIVERVILLE—Mr. SPEAKER, as the junior member of this honorable House, it was proper that I should be the last to speak on the question which now engages pur attention. A very few days before the commencement of the present session, I did not know that I should fill the seat which I now occupy in this chamber, and should be called on to vote on the question of Confederation, and take part in the debate upon it. Accordingly, I have not had time, as most of the honorable members who have spoken on the scheme submitted to the House have had, to prepare myself to treat it in apolitical and diplomatic sense, and to examine the basis on which it rests. If, on the other hand, I had had the time necessary to make myself thoroughly acquainted with it in all its hearings, I should have acted not otherwise than I shall now act. I should have left, as now, to other members of this House better qualified than I am in respect of knowledge, and the discussion and consideration of great political questions, which are the fruit of a long service in Parliament— I should have left to such honorable members the office of viewing the question in the various aspects which distinguish it. (Hear, hear.) As member for the chief place of the district of Three Rivers, and a French-Canadian, I ought to speak in explanation of my views. The difficult position of the country for the last few years, arising from the equal strength of the two parties m the political arena, and rendering the-administration of public affairs arduous to the va-

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rious ministries which had, one after another, come into power—that position, I say, necessitated a change which might put an end to such a deplorable state of affairs. Our situation was like that of the Roman Empire when near its fall. The union, as the Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada (Hon. Mr. CARTIER) SO well said, had lasted its time ; it now became necessary to try something else. I t was necessary that the nation which, of all the different races which inhabit the British Provinces in North America, is foremost in duration, energy and prosperity, should take the lead and initiate that measure which was to deliver the country from its difficulties Well, Mr. SPEAKER, the most natural remedy which occurred was the scheme for the Confederation of the English Provinces oo this continent, and as the opponents of the measure —men who have thrown all their powers, courage and perseverance into their opposition— have never moved any other, it seemed to be the only one which found acceptance. This scheme has not had the effect of producing fear in my mind, as it has in several members who have spoken before me. After careful examination, I have arrived at the conclusion that it is practicable, and that it ought to be adopted. I am well aware that it is not perfect, for there is nothing perfect in this nether world. It was not possible to take every advantage for Lower Canada, and to leave nothing for Upper Canada and the Maritime Provinces. Some concessions were necessary to be made in common justice, as we were obtaining great material advantages, together with the preservation and protection of our dearest interests. In short, it was necessary that we and they should make what is generally termed a compromise, and that compromise was such as to be in our favor in every respect. I do not profess to be a religious man, but I may venture to assert, without transgressing the bounds of modestyl that I love and revere my religion as much as any other man in this House. Before, therefore, I could form any decided opinion on the question that is now before the House, and give my vote in favor of it, I did not omit to consult our priests. I have always blamed the conduct of those priests who interfered in elections and matters of policy, acting the parts of canvassers and ultra-partisans, instead of endeavoring from the pulpit—the very abode of truth—to calm the animosities of parties, and to aid the people in making an honest, free, independent and judicious choice. mi kraiog in a manner the pulpit of truth itself into a political tribune, from which they promulgate principles which might be termed seditious. Such conduct I have always condemned. I love to find in the members of the clergy those virtues which ought to characterise them; and as now the business in hand is not the election of a member of Parliament, but a complete change in the Constitution of the country, it is my opinion that they ought to be considered citizens, and to enjoy as fully and completely as any other class the endowments and privileges which belong to others, and that, as others have, so should they have a right to examine the new Constitution which we are to receive, and to give their opinion on its merits and imperfec tions. Relying on the judgment and the intelligence of certain of this order, I thought it right to consult them. I had recourse to two members of the clergy of the district of Three Rivers—men of great learning, and eminently qualified to give an opinion on the scheme of Confederation—men who were perfectly free from the spirit of party, without political bias or personal ambition to be gratified in preference to the interests of the country, and whose opinions were entitled to respect as being the fruit of a life of study and labor constantly employed to increase the happiness and prosperity of their fellow-citizens and their country, and to protect our religious institutions. (Hear, hear.) I have no intention to name those two venerable men, who are known throughout the country as two of the most distinguished members of our Canadian clergy and most eminent citizens. “Well, Mr. SPEAKER, I consulted those two men, and both agreed in making answer that they were favorable to the project of Coniederation of the British North American Provinces on this continent. Resting, then, on my own convictions that Confederation is the best means we have at hand of escaping from the present difficult position of the country, and on the authority of members of the clergy —an authority which I take pleasure in mentioning, because the opponents of the Ministerial plan have affected to believe that all the clergy in the country are opposed to the measure—thus supported, Mr. SPEAKER, I hold it to be my duty, and I do not hesit ite to give my vote in favor of the principle and the project of Confederation. Certain apprehensions have arisen in the public mind relative to the project in question ; these fears, I need not say, have been excited by the opponents of the measure, who make them- selves hoarse with orying that French-Canadian,

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nationality would be swallowed up by Confederation, and that in twenty-five or thirty years’ time there would not be a single French- Canadian left, in Lower Canada. Well, Mr. SPEAKER, I appeal, to prove the falsehood of these declarations, to the men who in 1840 —the time of the union of the two provinces— labored with so much zeal and energy to guard the natural depository of our social and religious rights from danger—I appeal, to prove it, to those men who applied all their energy, their abilities, and their patriotism to prevent the union ; to those men who, endowed with a singleness of mind at least equal to that which animates the opponents of Confederation, procured numerous petitions to be signed against the union of Upper and Lower Canada ; to those men, in short, who predicted that in ten years’ time there would not be a single French-Canadian left—these men I summon to the bar of public opinion, and I ask them—” Gentlemen, did you predict truly? What has become of that French- Canadian nationality which was to be swallowed up by the union ? Has it disappeared, as you said it would ? See and judge for yourselves.” That nation, which was doomed to be annihilated, has built up Montreal, the first commercial city in the two Canadas— Montreal, on which the honorable member for Richelieu (Mr. PERRAULT) pronounced such a pompous eulogy in his speech the other evening—an eulogy that he extended to the country generally—praising its immense resources and growing prosperity. It was under the union ajd through the union that the splendid Victoria Bridge was erected, the most magnificent work of the kind in the world. Under its auspices, also, we constructed those immense canals which have received honorable mention from the lips of the honorable member for Richelieu ; and everybody knows that that honorable member is eminently qualified to pronounce a judgment on such matters, having seen and examined the canals constructed in Europe. Accordingly we are justified in saying that our canals are immeasurably superior to the canals of Europe, as he tells us in respect to several of our canals, that a boy in the smallest of skiffs could touch the reoêtement walls with his two tiny oars. I must say that I do not accept the interpretation put on that part of the honorable member’s speech by the honorable member for Montcalm (Mr. JOSEPH DUFRESNE), in which he said that there were men on the bench of bishops as well informed and tw eminent as any that were to be found in any ministry. This is the interpretation I put on that phrase of the honorable member for Richelieu, and I do not think I mistake in saying that it turns against those who, at the time of the union of the two Canadas, did everything they could to prevent it. In 1840 those men, those good and zealous patriots, told the people, by way of serving their cause, that in twenty-five years there would not be a single French-Canadian left in Lower Canada ; and now the honorable member for Richelieu comes out and gives them the lie direct by saying that, at this present time, the Roman Catholic bench of bishops numbers among its members men—of course French-Canadians—who are as eminent for their talents and acquirements as the most distinguished members of our political world ; and that religion is amply protected by the present Constitution, which was nevertheless destined, according to those great patriots, to swallow us up and sweep us from the face of the continent.

MR. DENIS—That is very true.

MR. DE NIVERVILLE—One word to comfort those French-Catadians who are afraid of suffering wrong in the Federal Parliament, being as they say an insignificant minority of that body. Ever since nations began to comprehend their true interests, a certain equilibrium has been established which it will always be their aim to maintain. This constitutes the protection which the union of two weak parties affords against a strong one, which would aggran dize itself at their expense. This law of equilibrium is reproduced in all times and places—among nations and among individuals : it is found even among animals. For what purpose did the two first nations in the world, France and England, unite together to resist the invading forces of the powerful despot of the north—the Emperor of Russia, and what was the object of the campaign in the Crimea ? Was it to reap the barren glory of shouting that the French soldiers rushed to the assault with the impetuous speed of the thunderbolt ; that the English soldiers received the enemy’s fire without yielding a foot ; that they marched with the cool determination of a wedge of iron against the enemy’s squares, and that nothing could resist their onward movement ? By no means. Those two powers were perfectly acquainted with the qualities which distinguished their respective armies, and did not need to put them to the proof. Their intention was simply to prevent the

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Emperor of Russia from extending the frontiers of his states indefinitely, to the detriment of the surrounding nations. Why did the present Emperor of the French go to war with his cousin the Emperor of Austria ? For exactly the same reason. I will go even further, and ask why the beast grazing in a pasture drives away the first strange animal which enters it ? It is a mere instinct of self-preservation. (Hear, hear.) Well, Mr. SPEAKER, as that instinct of self-preservation prevails among all created beings on the earth, why should it not be produced among the different provinces of the Confederation ? If Upper Canada should ever seek to act unjustly towards Lower Canada and the Lower Provinces, the latter would naturally and instinctively strike up an alliance to resist the encroachments and injustice of the sister province. I am certain, therefore, that in this respect we have nothing to fear. As a French- Canadian, it is my business to speak of what concerns us most nearly : our religion, our language, our institutions and our laws Well, then, with respect to our language, I ask whether there is the least danger of our losing it in the Confederation ? Far from being in danger, I believe it will be more in vogue under the new régime, as it can be spoken and made use of not only in tke Federal Parliament and local legislatures, but also in the supreme courts which will be hereafter instituted in the country. I say that when that time arrives—that is to say, when the Confederation is established, we shall have a fuller use of our language. For what liberty have we in its use in this chamber ? That liberty which the liberals have vaunted so highly, which cae not be touched without destroying it, in what way ha^e we it here ? Has it been conceded to us in the full acceptation of the word ? By no means, Mr. SPEAKER ; we have it, but it is as TANTALUS had the water—he was thirsty, but he drank not ; though the water bubbled to his lips, the water receded as soon as he attempted to receive it. (Hear, hear. ) In truth, what kind of liberty have we, who do not understand the English language ? We are at liberty to hold our tongues, to listen, and to understand if we can. (Hear, hear, and continued laughter.) Under the Confederation, the Upper Canadians will speak their language, and the Lower Canadians theirs, just as we do now; with this difference, that they who count a large majority of their countrymen in the House, may hope to hear their language spoken the oftenest, as new members will use the language of the majority. I intend no reproval to the honorable members who have spoken in English on” the question now before the House, thus depriving us of the pleasure of understanding them, and, therefore, of enjoying their eloquence, and being convinced by their logic. What they have done on the present occasion is a simple act of justice due to the majority of this House, and one which the French- Canadians have always rendered with pleasure. But if we follow the example of most French- Canadians in days gone by, we shall not keep our language long How often do we find in the towns, nay, even in the country parts, Canadians who have no sooner caught up two words of English than they run off with delight to repeat them to their neighbors. Emigration to the United States, which will cease under Confederation (for we shall have the management of our public lands), has been a principal cause of that stupid mania with which all seem to be seized who havo lived some time among our neighbors and returned to Canada. To give you an idea of that lamentable mania, I shall relate a circumstance in which I was one of the actors. Not two months since, I was on the platform at the station where the branch from Arthabaska to Three Rivers leaves the Grand Trunk, when two young men, dresaed in the American fashion, came to the hotel One, as he came in, called out in a loud voice, ” Where is the ostler ?” The man, who was a stout Canadian, soon made his appearance, and as soon as he set eyes on the gentleman, called out in his turn, “What ! Joe, is it you ?” (Tiens! c’est toi, Joh !) Of course our pretended American was taken aback, and for the moment dumbfounded. Seeing his embarrassment, and willing, in pity to the poor victim of affectation, to relieve him from it, although it had its comic side, I called to the stableman and said, ” Go and take the gentlemen’s horses ; don’t you see they are Americans, and that they don’t understand you.” Well, Mr. SPEAKER, such scenes frequently occur ; nay, those who move now and then from home may see them every day. So if we do not wish our beautiful language to lose its influence, we must not fail to discountenance the affectation of Canadians talking English when they hardly know a word of it. Otherwise we must take to talking English, and let our own language

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sink into disuse and oblivion. For our I religion I have no fears. The experience of the past is a guarantee for the future. We live no longer in those times when Paradise was the promised reward of all who ill-treated those of a religion different from their own. These are not the days in which wars and troubles between nations were begotten oi religious hatred. The world is too civilized to renew the scenes which were then constantly exhibited. Every man is free to practise his religion as he pleases, and this tolerant spirit is especially to be noted as characterising the English nation. True, we find some fanatics both among the English and the French population : unfortunately we had two instances of the working of this spirit in one evening in this House— the one from a Catholic, the other from a Protestant. The former cried out loudly that Confederation would be a mortal blow to the Catholic religion, while the other cried as loudly that it would be the ruin of the Protestants. I must confess, Mr. SPEAKER, that I am not one of those Who live in fear and distrust of British domination. As long as we live under the sway of free England, I have not the least doubt that our language will be fully protected, and that in fifty years from this present time, good Catholics will be allowed the exercise of their religion as freely, as safely and as piously as this day, and that the wicked will not be compelled to be more religious than they now are. (Hear, hear.) The hon. member for Bagot told us that there are a great number of Catholics in England, and that they are perfectly at liberty to exercise their religion at their pleasure, but that they are not represented in the English Parliament. This, far from being a proof of intolerance, I take to be a proof of their tolerant character, since, although able to oppress the Catholics, they leave them at fall liberty to fulfil the pious exercises of their religion. I repeat it, Mr. SPEAKER, there are faaatios in all religions ; happily for humanity, they are but a small minority, and men of good sense hold them in contempt. (Hear, hear.) Our institutions are secured to us by our treaties with Great Britain ; our laws by the artioles of Confederation. What coercion, what restraint or opposition have we to apprehend from the Mother Country, when the subject of the British Government is acknowledged throughout the whole world to be of all men the most free ? Most free in the exercise of his rights as a citizen ; as free in speech and action as he is secure in his person, wherever he may find occasion to assert his rights, to uphold them and defend them. I say “wherever,” because the English people can, with as perfect freedom and perfect confidence, state their grievances before any tribunal and all authorities, from the highest to the lowest, as they can in the bosom of their families or in a circle of intimate friends. We, moreover, possess one.infallible means—based on the laws of Nature herself—of preserving to the French-Canadians in all their purity their language, their religion, their institutions and their laws; and that means is education—the education which we receive first from the authors of our existence in our childhood, and which is afterwards continued in our elementary schools and our seminaries ; that education— Christian, moral and religious—which is so carefully, wisely and anxiously instilled into us in our youthful days by the masters and tutors of our colleges ; that practical education which we acquire in the course of our dealings and transactions with men of business. That education it is, Mr. SPEAKER, which renders nations prosperous, rich and great, which elevates them to the rank of which they are worthy, and maintains them in it, It never fades from the mind on which it has been impressed—it remains fixed on the memory, like the characters which we engrave on the bark of a young tree, and which are found long years after, when it falls under the woodman’s axe. As the representative of the city of Three Rivers, I may be allowed to say a few words relative to the advantages which Confederation will bring to that district. Every one knows that it possesses immense tracts of land not yet opened out to the settler, magnificent forests of timber of all kinds, and mines of inestimable value. It is beyond question that Three Rivers yields the best iron in the country. This was proved at the Great Exhibition at London, where the first medals were awarded to the Radnor Ironworks Company for the best iron-wheels, in respect of durability, elegance and quality. The St. Maurice has been grossly neglected by the various Administrations which, during the last ten years, have held office, although the district yielded a revenue of $30,000 or $40,000 to the public chest, which might have entitled it to some compensation. Nevertheless, the

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district of Three Rivers is not behind other districts in the country, either in industrial success or in the energy and enterprise of its inhabitants. The Arthabaska Railway, whioh it was said would not pay running expenses, is at present more productive than any part of the Grand Trunk Railway. We need colonization roads and railways, and I am convinced that under the Confederation, when we shall have the management of our own funds without the interference of Upper Canada, we shall build railways in all parts where the requirements of trade and industrial pursuits call for them. We shall then offer to the settler well-made and well-kept roads, and the district of Three Rivers will derive precious results from them, as well as other districts of the country. (Hear, Hear.) We have a proof of the rapidity with which the district of Three Rivers would grow, it it were encouraged. This is found in the parishes of St. Maurice, St. Etienne, Ste. Flore and Shawinigan. It is nearly twenty-five years since St. Maurice was a mere forest; now it is a large, rich, and beautiful parish, of which the district of Three Rivers has reason to be proud. I t numbers upwards of five hundred voters with the parish of Mont Carmel, which is an offset from it. The extensive trade in timber which is carried on in the valley of the St. Maurice, and which employs thousands of laborers, is an important element in the commercial business of the country, exporting to a great amount the lumber which is taken from the extensive territory— if I may be allowed the expression— belonging to the district of Three Rivers ; and these vast tracts which await the settler, those iron mines so rich and so well known, those mines of other minerals still hidden in the mountains and valleys of the St. Maurice, those riches of all kinds which abound there await only the hand of man to render the district and city of Three Rivers an important part of Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) The Ministers of the Crown in Canada have been accused of bringing up the question of Confe ieration only as a means of retaining power and increasing it. The Hon. Attorney General for Lower Canada has been accused of moving that measure only that he may become Lieutenant- Governor of Lower Canada. Well, Mr. SPEAKER, I am thoroughly convinoed that that honorable Minister has too much energy, is too laborious, to seek or to accept an office in which he would have nothing to do. (Hear, hear.) For my part, I make a present to the Opposition of all the profit I am likely to derive from places or dignities under Confederation, when we have it. I repel the idea that Canadian statesmen allowed themselves to be influenced by paltry notions of personal interest, when they set about devising means to extricate us from the difficulties in which we were involved. They had in view only the interests of the nation, and never had a thought, as some have insinuated, of delivering the country up to ruin and desolation. I conclude, Mr. SPEAKER, by declaring that I am in favor of Confederation, and opposed to the appeal to the people, because I believe it to be perfectly useless. An hon. member who spoke yesterday told us that the clergy are not qualified to form a judgment on the project of Confederation. Now, I ask you, if the clergy are not qualified to form a judgment on such a question, how; the people can form one who have not the necessary education ? How can they comprehend the aggregate and the details of the scheme, and ascertain whether it would be beneficial to them or not ? I repeat that I am in favor of the project now under consideration—first, because I declared myself favorable to the measure when I presented myself to my constituents ; and, secondly, because I thiuk it necessary and even indispensable, and calculated moreover to promote the iuterests of the country in general, and those of Lower Canada and the district of Three Rivers in particular.— (Cheers.)

MR. GAGNON — Mr. SPEAKER, the scheme of a Confederation of the provinces now before this House is one too deeply interesting to be received in silence. If I rise to speak on this occasion, it is for the simple purpose of justifying my opinion on the subject, by stating my reasons for entertaining it ; and as I am not in the habit of making speeches, I crave the indulgence of the House. It is the opinion of members on the other side of the House that the country will derive great advantages from this union ; but those advantages depend, as most people think, on the contingencies of an unknown future, and by others, are looked upon as the doubtful results of a hazardous and dangerous speculation, which will involve the ruin of our credit. Not only, Mr. SPEAKER, do we risk our capital, which will be lost in the execution of this great scheme ;

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not only do we ruin, by this new union, the credit of our country, but we Lower Canadians risk everything that is dear to us, even our nationality, while knowing that we can gain nothing by the change. As an inducement to Lower Canada to accept this scheme, we are promised a railway to open up an intercourse of commerce with the Lower Provinces, and we are given to believe that this great commerce to be opened up by the grand line of communication will be a vast benefit to us ; but those who will take time to reflect may come to a different conclusion, without any danger of being mistaken, for those provinces have nothing to exchange with us. We have the same productions as they have, and in greater abundance than any of them. They have nothing but coal which we do not possess, and that is not transported by railway. This railway will, as a matter of course, lead to the expenditure of enormous sums for building it, and will afterwards cost us agreat deal in repairs and working expenses, and after all, will only be of use as a substitute for a few schooners which carry down our produce to the Gulf Provinces every season. This, Mr. SPEAKER, will be a dear price to pay for the complete destruction of our little inland navigation, which ought rather to be protected. The amount of expenditure involved in the building of this railway, if wisely applied to the opening of colonization roads, to the improvement of roads and bridges, and the clearing of the public lands, would be much more beneficial to the people of this province, who would find in these things a degree of satisfaction and happiness which would enable them to do without Confederation, which would be no cure for our political troubles. A little more good-will and calmness in discussing the question, would have stifled the cry for representation based on population, and our country would have been able to go on under the actual union, which is less dangerous and less expensive than that which is now proposed by the Government. I should have had other remarks to offer, Mr. SPEAKER, but I am obliged to postpone them, as hon. members must be worn out with their long sittings, and the lateness of the hour. (Cheers.)

HON. MR. HUNTINGTON said—I do not intend, Mr. SPEAKER, to occupy the time of the House in any lengthened remarks ; and yet as a member representing a constituency of this country, I do not feel disposed to give a vote on this question, without saying at least a word upon it. And it occurs to me—and I say it in the best spirit, and with no intention to cast a reflection upon honorable gentlemen opposite —that if there is so great a desire as appears to exist to-night on the part of honorable members to express themselves upon this question—many of them who are favorable to the scheme as well as opposed to it—and if it is found that the opportunity is curtailed, the responsibility does not at any rate rest upon this side of the House. (Hear, hear.) I do not, as I have said, propose at this late hour to enter at any considerable length into a discussion of this measure ; but there are points that present themselves to me as possessing considerable importance, that have not, I believe, been brought out during the progress of the debate ; and if an opportunity is subsequently given for remarking upon them, I may avail myself of it. But I cannot forbear remarking now, in reference to the announcement made by the Government the other night, that in a certain sense I consider it was a step in the right direction. I believe it was then stated that a mission would be sent to England to consult with the Imperial Government with a view of arranging definitely the question of the defence of this country, and the proportion of the cost of defence to be borne by the respective countries. Now, without desiring or intending to occupy the time of the House by raising a debate upon this point, I cannot help observing that it was desirable, before this scheme of Confederation was adopted at all by the Conference, that this arrangement should have taken place with the Imperial Government—that it should have been preliminary to the plan of union proposed, and that the Conference should have taken apon itself to arrange with the Imperial Government the proportionate expense which is to be borne by the two countries in relation to the defence of these provinces ; for, let it be borne in mind that this question has been forced upon us in Canada as the only means of preparing the country against the aggression of our neighbors ; and yet we are asked in adopting this scheme, to go to a great extent in the dark. We are asked to adopt it, and at the same time it is known that the result must be a I change in respect to the proportion of de- I fence we in this country will be called upon

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to bear. It has been said that the disposition in England to take part in our defence was owing to the fact that Canada had manifested a disposition also to make provision for defence. Now, supposing we should fail at any time hereafter to bear what may be considered in England a fair proportion of this, cost, what would be the consequence ? Why, we might be placed again in precisely the same position in which we find ourselves to-day. England might withdraw her troops from this province, and refuse to engage in any defensive works, unless we undertook more than in the opinion of the people of this country we are able to bear ; and hence it is my opinion that if it was desirable that this question of Confederation should be submitted to the people at all for their adoption, the first and indispensable step to have taken was to arrange with the Imperial Government the terms and conditions as regards the question of defence upon which we are to enter this new state of political existence, in this sense I do not regret that the scheme, as far as the Lower Provinces are concerned—judging from recent events in New Brunswick and the utterances of public men in the other colonies—is likely to be delayed in its accomplishment ; and I am not sorry that the Canadian Government, by this action of the Lower Provinces, will be compelled to consult with the Imperial authorities and arrange with thein the proportion we are to bear of the cost of maintaining the defence ot the country. (Hear, hear.) I t may be almost providential that we are compelled, by the force of circumstances in the Lower Provinces, to take this step now ; and I must say that heretofore there lias been a disposition manifested on the part of the Government to ketp the people in ignorance upon this subject; but I trust that when these negotiations shall have taken place with the Imperial Government, we shall know piecisely what the Government has done and what it has agreed to do, and that the exact proportion uf expense that we are expected to bear will be laid before this House and submitted to the opinion of the people of this country. (Hear, hear.) I make these remarks, sir, merely because to me the point appears to be a very important one, and becaube I believe the fullest information will be indispensable to this House in the future discussions that may take place upon this subject. (Hear, hear.) There is another point that has suggested itself, to which, perhaps, I may be permitted to allude in a few words. I wish to do so without reflecting upon any hon. member of this House; but I cannot help feeling and expressing extreme regret, as a Canadian and a British subject, at the spirit that has characterized this discussion upon Confederation and defence on the part of those hon. gentlemen who support this scheme. Sir, in a British Legislature, where it is proposed to build up a great monarchical constitution on this continent, on the model which has flourished in England, I regret that any honorable gentleman should have found it necessary to charge a seditious and disloyal intention upon all those who cannot agree with them in supporting this scheme. (Hear, hear.) For myself—I say it sincerely and earnestly, though I have boasted less of my loyalty and attachment to the British Crown and Constitution than some hon. members of this House—I think I may say there is no one who loves more than I love the British constitutional system, no man who desires more than I desire to see copied here that British constitutional-monarchical system, and no man who believes more firmly than I believe that it would give to the people of these colonies that greatness, prosperity and freedom that have distinguished the people from whom we have sprung on the other side of the water. (Hear, hear.) But if this debate is considered to be of sufficient importance to have a place among the records of the country—to go down to posterity as the serious utterances of our public men, I think it is a cause of deep regret that hon. gentlemen opposite, in view of that great patriotism of which they have boasted so much, and which they affirm has induced them to sink minor considerations of party and personal antagonism for the sake of carrying a principle of which they profess to be the disinterested and self-denying exponents, have not seen fit, in the discussion of this question, to discuss it like statesmen, and not brand as infamous, traitorous and rebellious those who differ from them in their view of it. (Hear, hear.) I think the people of this country, whether belonging to the Conservative or the Reform party, will feel a deep regret at this ; and if there i» one thing more than another that indicates that the present like past coalitions is going to result in advantage to the Conservative at the expense of the Reform party—if there is one thing more than another that makes me fear that

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the Reform members of the Government, for whom I have a strong political as well as personal sympathy, will be overwhelmed by their conservative colleagues—it is this cry, this bugbear, this bête noire of annexation raised by hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. Why, sir, it is only a few months since we had the great Constitutional party organized in this country, and baptized with an amount of eloquence and parade such as never attended the birth of a party in any other country. We were told by the leaders of this great Constitutional party that the British Constitution in this country must be defended ; that the country was divided into two parties—the Annexation party and the Constitutional party—and that the reformers composed the former, while the conservatives desired to perpetuate British connection. My hon. friend the member for Lambton was singled out for attack, and told that he and those with whom he acted desired to hand the country over to the Americans ; that he was unfaithful and untrue to his allegiance; that he carried the sign of democracy on his face ; and the whole Reform party was branded last summer by the Conservative leaders as annexationists, who desired to uproot and overthrow the British institutions of this country. Well, sir, what do we find now ? We find the same charges hurled at the minority in this House—my hon. friends who sit around me—by the leaders of this same great Constitutional party ; and we find the Honorable Provincial Secretary, the Honorable Postmaster General, and the Honorable President of the Council—for all of whom, I confess, I yet feel a strong political sympathy—sitting silently by, while their old friends and former colleagues are suffering the same abuse that was dealt out to them by their present colleagues only a few short months ago. Have they suddenly turned to view these charges as just, or do they still think, as they thought last summer, that they are unfair and unfounded ? If they were unfair then, is it right now that, without a word of expostulation, they should allow them to be hurled at us without a word of expostulation from the great Liberal party of Upper Canada, that has suffered with us from these disgraceful, foul and slanderous imputations ? (Hear, hear.) Is it liberal, is it just, is it fair, is it manly, sir, that they should now sit silently by and see the handful who compose the minority in this House—honorable gentlemen with whom, but a short time since, they acted and in whom they had confidence—branded, as they themselves were branded six months ago, with the name of annexationist and democrat? (Hear, hear.) I have thought, as I have heard these charges reiterated, that they might have interposed; I have thought they might have pitied us a little for the sake of former associations. I have thought that the great Ljberal party of Upper Canada might have come a little to the rescue of their former colleagues, and said to those who uttered these false accusations—”Don’t hound down these men too much ; we know and have acted with them : they are not annexationists, they are not rebellious, and we know that your accusations against them are unfair and ungenerous.” But, sir, throughout this debate these members of the Government have listened to attacks of this kind—the great Reform party of Upper Canada, which only yesterday, as it were, was smarting under the lash that is now cracked over our heads, which only yesterday writhed under the odium of these false representations—sat silently by, without a word of expostulation, without a word in defence of their old friends, whom they know tobe unjustly and slanderously accused. (Hear, hear.) Now, why I speak of this matter is because I fear that these gentlemen, who have long been the exponents of that great Liberal party, which has gained for us responsible government- and everything worth living for under the political system we now enjoy, will be overwhelmed by the preponderance of conservative feeling in the Government and conservative influence in the country. I know that they do. not ieel comfortable under the present state of affairs. I know how the McKELLARS, the MACKENZIES, who have been so long the victims of conservative sneers, and others who have long fought the battle of reform, must feel; but I fear that the conservative leaven is about to leaven the whole lump.

MR. RYMAL—Except me.

HON. MR. HUNTINGTON—My hon. friend, in the able speech he made upon this subject, excepted himself, and there is no need for me to except him. I say, sir, it is but yesterday since the organs of hon. gentlemen opposite, who lead the Constitutional party of this country, denounced us all as Americans and annexationists ; and I warn the hon. members of the Liberal party, who sit quietly by while these charges are still made against the minority, that the measure which

[Page 956]

is meted out to us now, and to them last summer, may again be dealt out to them without mercy. (Hear, hear.) I repeat, sir, I have, since this Coalition took place, seen no sign so perfect and so convincing to me, that the conservatives have had the best of the bargain, as this—to see those hon. gentlemen sitting tamely and silently in their seats, and not rising to say a word while the old cry under which they had writhed for so many years is fulminated aeainst their former allies, and we have no indication from them that they are not the party which they once were. With these remarks, *nd reserving to myself the right of speaking more at length on the scheme, which I would be glad to discuss somewhat fully if time had been allowed, I have simply to say that the constituency which I represent is not disposed to permit me to vote for this scheme. I say this from knowledge, having been compelled to be a good deal among them while attending to my business. in the Eastern Townships, both among the French and English, the general opinion is strongly against this scheme. I have had such opportunities of learning the views and wishes of my constituents with reference to this matter, as few other hon. gentlemen have enjoyed for learning the opinion of those whom they represent, and I come back to this House very much strengthened in the couviction that in the Eastern Townships, and especially in the constituency which I represent—

MR POPE—Hear, hear

HON. MR. HUNTINGTON—The hon. member says ” Hear, hear,” but I think I may speak in behalf of a large number of petitioners in the county of Compton— (hear, hear)—there is a large majority of the people opposed to this scheme I have felt it to be my duty, as no one had risen to speak from the point of view I have taken, that I should say a word for those who were opposed to the scheme, and that as there was no one here to speak for the Eastern Townships, where so strong a feeling pervaded the masses against the scheme, I would but discharge my duty in rising to state what I found to be the feeling in those townships. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt that the Conservative party have large following in the Eastern Townships I have no doubt that a great many of those who follow the hon. member for Sherbrooke are disposed to follow him in supporting the scheme but I speak for the Liberal party of those townships, with whose opinions I have had an excellent opportunity of becoming acquainted. I do not say that the hon. member for Compton is not supported by that party in the position which he has taken, but I do say that those people in the Eastern Townships, as a general thing, who sympathize with the Liberal party, are opposed to the scheme in the circumstances under which it has been presented to the people. I was not a little surprised by a remark which fell from my hon. friend the member for Richmond and Wolfe (Mr. WEBB). I know perfectly well the hon. gentleman’s sincerity, and therefore I was singularly struck with the position he took. While he seemed to admit the general feeling of apprehension which prevailed, and the unpopularity of the scheme in the Townships, yet he would vote for the whole scheme, reserving to himself the right to deal with details. The scheme having been adopted by this House as a whole, there is no probability whatever of the honorable gentleman getting a chance to vote upon the details a second time.

MR. WEBB—The resolutions have not been adopted, nor yet concurred in by the other provinces.

HON. MR. HUNTINGTON—Well, I am speaking of them as if they had been adopted. It makes no difference whether they are adopted or not in the other provinces for some time to come. So far as Canada is concerned, the scheme will be carried before this House rises, and there will be no further opportunity of dealing with its details. But suppose we should get the opportunity hereafter of voting on those details, in what position would be my hon. friend from Richmond and Wolfe, or my hon. friend from North Wellington (Dr. PARKER)—in what position would they stand when they rose to move amendments to resolutions which they had only so short a time previously voted for ? Would they not be reminded by honorable gentlemen opposite that they had swallowed the whole bait, hook and line, bob and sinker ! (Laughter.) They say they will oppose the details in future; but if the details are incorrect, and they believe so, and they say they do, why not oppose them, now ? It was said by the honorable member for South Grenville (Mr. SHANLY) that we ought to carry the whole scheme, let the details be ever so unsatisfactory, trusting to the Federal Legislature to detect and remedy them hereafter. Now I think that Canada

[Page 957]

has had some experience in that way of doing things. Those details become vested right, and the sections benefited by them claim them as such, and tenaciously cling to them. (Hear, hear.) Mr. SPEAKER, I have not time to go into this subject at this point, and show how objectionable are many of the details ; but I maintain the position that it is most absurd and illogical to ask us to accept the scheme as a whole, and leave such objectionable details to be regulated hereafter. When the union of these provinces took place in 1841, the discussion in relation to it in the British Houses of Parliament showed that the framers of the Union Act expected that any difficulties that might grow out of it would be easily regulated by the united Parliament of Canada— that such questions as representation by population could be dealt with at any time. But what happened ? Why ! Lower Canada treated equal representation as a vested right, and stood firmly on that right. This being the case, there was no process provided by which the evil could be regulated. The result was that a great struggle came on, the difficulties arising out of which, honorable gentlemen opposite tell us, have proved our Constitution to be a failure From this experience of the past, we ought to learn that it is very bad policy to deliberately put errors in our Constitution and trust to the future to remedy them. If you speak of a union of all British North America, nobody objects. Everybody is in favor of a union, provided the details are satisfactory; but providing imperfect details and trusting to the future for rendering them what they ought to have been made at the outset, reminds me of an incident a friend related the other day. A carter was about to take a friend of mine with his baggage to the railway station, when my friend observed that one of the tugs was nothing but a piece of rop e. Says my friend, ” You are not going to take me through these twenty miles of woods with that string, are you?” “Oh ! never mind,” says be, ” I have more strings in my pocket with which I can regulate that on the road.” So hon.geotlemen on the Treasury benches ask us to follow them in their rickety concern, assuring us that they have a pocketful of strings with which they can regu’ate things on the way. (Laughter. ) But, sir, they will find no little difficulty in bringing their pocketful of stiings into operation. They will find almost insurmountable difficulties in the way of removing the vested rights that will grow up under any system that may be established. I believe that a number of circumstances connected with this scheme, a discussion of which I cannot now go into, render it the general opinion of those whom it is my business to represent on this floor, that in its present shape this scheme ought not to be carried into effect. First of all, so sweeping a measure as this—one for sweeping away our entire Constitution and substituting a new one unknown to the British flag—ought not to be carried out until it is submitted to the people; and, secondly, the multitude of details which it embraces ought to be calmly and critically considered, with a view to their amendment, where found defective, before being incorporated in our Constitution. I do not say that this is the feeling of the Conservative party of my own constituency, or of the Eastern Townships ; but I do say that even among that party there are grave apprehensions of difficulty growing out of such a jumble as is presented for our adoption, when no time is to be allowed even for their consideration, to say nothing of their amendment. And many of that party have no hesitation in giving expression to those feelings. I have not met with a man, conservative or reformer, during my absence from this session of the House, who has not been ready to contend that it was the first duty of the Government to provide for consulting the people, and ascertaining from them, in a definite manner, whether they desired the change proposed or not. (Hear, hear.) Having thus briefly expressed my views, Mr. SPEAKER, in order not to weary the House at this late hour of the night—or rather of the morning, for it is now after three o’clock—I will conclude by stating that I feel it my duty, as a true representative, to record my vote against the resolutions. (Cheers.)

MR. COWAN—Mr. SPEAKER, the honorable member for Shefford says that he and his friends sympathised with the Reform party of Upper Canada when they were branded as rebels and writhing under the charge of disloyalty, and blames us for not extending the same sympathy to him and his friends when laboring under a similar accusation. I don’t deny, sir, that the reformers of Upper Canada have often been branded as rebels, but I do most emphatically deny that they ever writhed under the false accusation. Conscious of their fealty to both their Queen and country, they treated with the most sovereign con-

[Page 958]

tempt every such foul, unfounded imputation against their loyalty. And I would advise the hon. member for Shefford to keep equally cool under similar provocation. If he and his friends are really loyal—and I have no doubt they are—all such aspersions of their loyalty, instead of affecting them, will only recoil on the heads of their accusers.

MR. T. R. FERGUSON said —Feeling and knowing as I do, Mr. SPEAKER, the great desire that is felt by the honorable gentlemen on the Treasury benches, and also, I am ready to admit, by the large majority of the honorable members of this House, that discussion should not be continued unnecessarily, and that no obstructions should be thrown in the way of an immediate decision on the question before us, I beg to state that it is not from choice but from necessity, that it is not from any desire of self-gratification, but from a deep sense of duty, that I rise to say a single word upon this occasion, particularly as so much has been said, and as the night is now so far advanced. I hope, therefore, that as I have remained silent during the debate up to the present moment, the House will bear with me while I briefly express my views on this allimportant matter, and assign a few of the reasons that induce me to record my vote in the manner which I design. Sir, I would say that I stand here in a different position from that of many honorable members who submitted the resolutions embodying the Confederation scheme to their constituents, and who held public meetings on the subject, and who received from them positive instructions as to how their vote should be recorded. I received a circular from the Government, marked ” Private,” but took no action to ascertain public opinion on its contents, so that I am, I regret to say, without a single word of advice as to how I should act in the matter. I may say, sir, that after reading the resolutions over again and again, I found many things in them that I could not endorse. I felt that they were not that which we had expected from the Government, when we gave our assent to the Coalition that was formed for the purpose of bringing down some proposition for the settlement of our sectional difficulties. I had expected that if a union of the colonies took place at all, and a change of our Constitution in that direction was proposed, we would not have had a Federal but a Legislative form of Government. It has been stated, since we had the pleasure of meeting together m the present session, that the honorable gentlemen who went to the Conference to represent Canadian views, and engage in preparing a scheme of union, could not obtain that union without its being based upon the Federal system. Sir, I feel that this is very much to be deplored, as I believe that with a union based on the Federal system, wo shall have constant dissension, and before very many years, if this scheme goes into operation, we shall again have agitations for constitutional changes of various kinds, and that the ultimate result must be a perfect union under one Legislative Government for the whole country, and that now was the best time to settle the matter finally. If in the end, however, that should be the result of the long discussion we have had upon this Constitution, then I shall feel that though no amendments have been allowed on the floor of this House, yet the discussion has been productive of some good purpose. (Hear, hear.) I had resolved upon offering amendments upon various points in the scheme before us, but the motion for the ” previous question ” has shut them out, which I very much regret. It is too late now to enter into an explanation of these several amendments I was about to move, or to state what I contemplated accomplishing by proposing them. It is sufficient for me to say that the previous question having been proposed, I feel that there has not been that opportunity for the full consideration of the scheme in all its parts that was expected, or that ought to have been given to this House, in view of the fact that the people are not to be consulted in any other manner than by a vote of their representatives. (Hear, hear.) Being one of those, sir, who earnestly sought for a constitutional change, and who joined in the very just complaint of Upper Canada that she was compelled to labor under great grievances—the lack of equal rights with Lower Canada on this floor, man for man, while she also contributed much the larger proportion of the revenue—it is needless for me to say that I earnestly desired some change, that I sympathized with the prevailing sentiment of Upper Canada, and used my best endeavors, in the House and out of it, to assist in bringing about a remedy for our political and sectional ills. But, sir, we found we could not get representation according to population ; and since the present scheme was announced, and knowing the strong feeling which exists against it on the part of many of the Lower Canada members, I endeavored to ascertain, on coming down here, the opinion of hon. gentlemen

[Page 959]

from Lower Canada, and I found that, notwithstanding their opposition to the scheme of Confederation, which they were willing to do almost anything to defeat, they were still persistent in denying to Upper Canada a single shadow of a hope that her grievances would be redressed, if this scheme were rejected, by the granting of representation according to population. (Hear, hear.) Before coming here, too, I entertained the opinion that those hon. orable gentlemen from Upper Canada, who had fought so long and so uselessly for representation according to population, would join with me in endeavoring to get an amendment to the seheme before us adopted, giving us a Legislative instead of a Federal union. I soon found out, however, that there was little hope of getting such an amendment carried, because nine-tenths of them were determined to accept the scheme as it stood, simply because their leaders were in the Government. (Hear, hear.) My hon. friend the member for Shefford (Hon. Mr. HUNTINGTON), complains of this measure being forced upon the country ; but if there is one hon. gentleman more than another chargeable with bringing about this state of affairs, it is that honorable gentleman. He once held a high and honorable position in the Government of this country. He is possessed of great ability, and being highly popular with his constituents, could well have afforded to have lent a helping hand to those who were desirous of having the union as it was work satisfactorily. I am satisfied that when he held the reins of power, if he was so anxious for the good-will, as well as for the reputation of the great Protestant and Reform party of Upper Canada, and so desirous of maintaining and protecting the rights which he now desires to have given to his friends, he would have used his power in the Government and his eloquence in the House to obtain even-handed justice for Upper Canada, and to relieve his friends in that portion of the province from the difficulties under which they labored. But, instead of doing that, he joined a Government that denied its members the privilege of voting for representation according to population — a Government that made it a close question, and which, instead of dealing with it as they ought to have done, or even giving us reason to hope well of the future, took such a course in relation to that great question as left a dark and dismal future before those who had been struggling for their rights on that question. As regards the position of that Government, after it was reconstructed, I believe I am right in saying it was thoroughly understood that its members were not to vote for it.

HON. J . S. MACDONALD—No ; they were to vote as they liked.

MR. FERGUSON—Well, whatever may have been their privileges, we all know that there was nothing done in the matter, although they might have seen that it would be better to come out honestly and say that even-handed justice should be done to both Upper and Lower Canada. As this was my impression, Mr. SPEAKER, and seeing that no change could be made in the Constitution that would benefit Upper Canada, I felt I had a duty to perform—I felt that if they would not give us a change in the mode we desired, it was not for me to say that I would play the part of the dog in the manger. I feel it would be better to have almost any scheme, than to endure the difficulties we had labored under for so many years past ; and I told the honorable gentlemen from Lower Canada that if that were the course they were to pursue, they would change my mind to a considerable extent. Another thing which had a peculiar effect on my mind, was the report of Col. JERVOIS on the defences of our country. It is impossible for me to deny that the speeches whieh have been made in the English Parliament, expressive of a want of sympathy with the Canadian people, and of a desire to get rid of Canada, have not been pleasant to me ; and although I think I have a loyal heart, and am bound by powerful obligations to maintain British supremacy, I find it hard that English statesmen should express a willingness to shake us off and leave us in the power of a foreign nation. (Hear, hear.) But Col. JERVOIS was sent out to ascertain what defences were necessary, and what could be done to defend this country if at an unfortunate moment a difficulty might arise. When I see that his report declares that we have a difficult country to defend—that it would take a large number of men to put us into a condition to defend ourselves—and when I see that the British Government, true to its real instincts, is resolved to aid us in our defence— this, I say, has a great effect upon my mind, and makes me think it would not be my duty, under the circumstances, to refuse assent to the Government measure at a moment when I feel that the lives and property of my constituents, 30,000 in number, are open to an attack at any time from the powerful armies a foreign people might choose to bring up against them. (Hear.) The scheme seems to me to be an expensive and trouble-

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some one ; but I do not think it would be right for me to reject any measure calculated to ensure to us that assistance of which we stand so much in need. The United States are, perhaps, more willing to injure their neighbors than other countries are, owing to the universal idea that they must carry out the Munroe doctrine of complete domination over at least the American continent. They are at this moment a war-making and a warloving people. For four years they, have been practising the art of war upon their own flesh and blood, and have shown little sympathy with those who have been in congress with them and jointly concerned in every great enterprise—who grew with their growth, and strengthened with their strength ; and I feel that they would have very little sympathy indeed with us in the event of any trouble arising either between us and them, or between them and the Mother Country. We are in a very difficult position. The Americans have done a great deal to provoke the wrath of England and to insult Canada. At this moment they want to abrogate the Reciprocity treaty, and talk of doing away with the bonding system. They lately imposed a passport system, which has only just been removed. Well, seeing that there was no redress for the grievances of Upper Canada, one Ministry falling after another withaut doing anything,- and viewing our condition relatively to the United States, 1 feel it my duty to forego opposition to this new arrangement. When I saw the telegraphic despatch, too, relating to the debate in the House of Lords a few days ago ; when I saw that there people were so interested in Canadian affairs, that on the question being put in the House of Lords it was declared by the leader of the House that no steps should be taken respecting the Hudson’s Bay Company until some information should be received from Canada respecting the Confederation system ; when I found that they were willing to be with us in peace and with us in war ; when they said ” Help yourself and we will help you ” ; when they said, in language stronger than words can convey, ” Not a hair of your head shall be touched without returning the injury tenfold,” I felt that we must support these new resolutions. (Hear.) I do not think, with my honorable friend who spoke to-day, that in three years there will be a cry for annexation. I think that in three years we shall be a stable people—that in three years we shall have sufficient defences to resist aggression—that in three years we shall have risen in the estimation of England and the world at large—that our boundaries will extend from Canada to the Red River and the Saskatchewan. I agree with another honorable gentleman who has spoken to-day, and do not desire to see the young men of this country sent away into another country, when we have spacious limits of our own. I desire to keep our young men among us, and our old men too, as long as they live. (Hear, hear.) When I think that England is going to do much for us in other respects, I think she will be willing to open up that country ; she will not be an unkind mother to us, and demand from her children that, when she has placed us in a position of difficulty, we should bear all the burdens. I believe, however, that we ought to put our shoulders to the wheel and do something for ourselves. That is the true spirit of Britons ; for if we did not, we should be open to insult —and insult is worse than injury. Rather than have to bear with it, I am willing to risk the consequences of even a larger debt than we yet have—to give some of the means that I possess ; and in saying and acting thus for myself, I am speaking and acting for my constituents too, who sent me here without any other pledge or bond than that I should do for them the best I could. I have made this the land of my adoption, and it is evident that any injury I impose on their children I impose on my own too. (Hear.) Whatever may be the result of the scheme—and I trust it will not turn out so badly as some hon. gentlemen seem to expect, and which I much dreaded myself-—I trust we shall have such arrangements made with the Maritime Provinces, if arrangements are made with them, that we shall have a real union—not union mixed with disunion. (Hear, hear.) I believe that in the course of the summer we shall see millions of British capital spent here for our defence, and I see clearly that we shall have to contract debt for this purpose ourselves. But we have a e the r duty to perform : we have to prepare the strong-hearted yeomen of this country to man our fortifications. England cannot supply us with all the men and money necessary to defend the province—that is the duty of our young men, and our middle aged men too. If we do not perform this duty, we shall not be worthy of the name of a people, not be worthy of the rights, liberties and privileges we enjoy. I will not detain the House much longer ; but I must say that one remark I heard addressed to this Chamber to-day, seemed to me very

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uncharitable. This House will believe me when I say that I was as much astonished as others to see a Government formed, composed of men of different parties ; but, sir, I came to the conclusion that the state of parties at that time, and the conduct of some so-called friends of the Ministry then in power, led to such an event ; and I do not blame the Conservatives who were in that Government for taking in other gentlemen, if by that course they could advance the interests of the country. I have heard it said that some members of the present Government were actuated in entering that Government by the greed of office, its emolument and its power ; but I will not be so uncharitable as to make such an accusation against them. I believe they suffered a good deal personally in making the arrangement, and I should be sorry to say they did it for any other object than to satisfy the obligations of their conscience. Their object, sir, was, no doubt, the good of the country, not the small gain or the temporary pleasure of holding for a few years the position of Ministers. (Hear.) I trust they will discharge their duty as Ministers in such a way as to enable the people of the country to regard their advent to power with satisfaction— not to condemn them for wrong-doing as traitors to their country. (Hear, hear.) I think, sir, there are Ministers in the Cabinet who could make far more money in the pursuit of their various avocations than in governing the country, and I trust they will be as economical as they can in all their expenditure, while not losing sight of one great aim —that the people of this country must be prepared to defend themselves, so as not to be afraid of the threats and alarms that reach us every day. If in the end we arrive at a union of the colonies, good results will flow from it. I think we have no evil results to fear, though I would at this moment, if I eould, remedy some of the faults in these seventy-two resolutions. I am sorry, for instance, for one thing—that the clause relating to the general education of the people of this country was inserted in its present shape into the resolutions. I am sorry the separate school system is to be retained for Upper Canada. I am sorry that bone of contention is to be incorporated into the permanent Constitution of this country. Though 52,000 Roman Catholic children in Upper Canada attended school in 1863, no more than 15,000 of them ever availed themselves of the separate schools.

A VOICE—You are wrong.

MR. FERGUSON—NO, I beg the honorable gentleman’s pardon, I am not wrong. I take the figures of the Superintendent of Education, Dr. RYERSON. And of my own knowledge, in places where separate schools have been established and are still existing, the Roman Catholics have grown weary of them, and I am satisfied they would now be willing that their children should get their education along with the children of the rest of the community, without any fear that their respect for their own religion would be interfered with, or their consciences injured. (Hear, hear.) I trust the day will come when they will all take the right view of it, and the question with them with reference to education may be—not what church they belong to— but how their children may receive the best education, and grow up with other youth in peace and harmony. I regret that the subjeet is mentioned in these resolutions. I had a resolution prepared on that matter, as well as another with regard to our canals, and I am sorry I have not had an opportunity of moving them. I trust, however, that the assurances given by the Honorable President of the Council will be carried out, and that a canal and a direct and unbroken communication from Lake Huron to Quebec will be an accomplished fact at no distant day. The people of Western Canada will be dissatisfied and bitterly disappointed if the honorable gentlemen on the Treasury benches neglect this ; and if they do, they may rest assured that another cry will come, by and by, from Upper Canada which will remove them from their seats, as others have been removed from those seats before. (Hear, hear.) While money contributed by the west is spent in the east, we insist that the improvements necessary for the prosperity of Upper Canada should also receive the attention of the Government ; and there is not a man in Upper Canada who does not see the necessity of having our navigation improved and a sufficient channel for seagoing vessels made to the seaboard. If this is attended to, there will not be so much to complain of about the Intercolonial Railroad being built, although we should like to have it built at a cheaper rate. In conclusion, I would say, that notwithstanding all the objections I may have to details—yet, in view of the relations in which we stand to the neighboring country—the urgency of the defence question, and the threatening aspect generally of our present position, I take upon myself, though with great reluctance, the responsibility of voting for this scheme. (Cheers.)

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The House then divided on the motion for the previous question, ” that that question be now put ,” which was agreed to on the following division :—

YEAS—Messieurs Alleyn, Archambeault, Ault, Beaubien, Bell, Bellerose, Blanchet, Bowman, Bown, Brousseau, Brown, Burwell, Cameron (Peel), Carling, Attorney General Cartier, Cartwright, Cauchon, Chambers, Chapais, Coekburn, Coruellier, Cowan, Currier, Be Boucherville, Denis, De Niverville, Dickson, Dufresne (Montcalm). Dunsford, Ferguson (Frontenac), Ferguson (South Simoe), Gait, Gaucher, Harwood, Haultain, Higginson, Howland, Irvine, Jackson, Jones (North Leeds and Grenville), Jones (South Leeds), Knight, Langevin, LeBoutillier, Attorney General Macdonald, MacFarlane, Mackenzie (Lambton), Mackenzie (North Oxford), Magill, McConkey, McDougall, McGee, McGiverin, Mc- Intyre, McKellar, Morris, Morrison, Pope, Poulin, Poupore, Rankin, Raymond, Rémillard, Robitaille, Rose, Ross (Champlain), Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Scoble, Shanly, Smith (East Durham), Smith (Toronto East), Somerville, Stirton, Street, Sylvain, Thompson, Walsh, Webb, Wells, White, Willson, Wood, Wright (Ottawa County), and Wright (East York).—85.

NAYS—Messieurs Biggar, Bourassa, Cameron (North Ontario), Caron, Coupal, Dorion (Drummond and Arthabaska), Dorion (Hochelaga), Duckett, Dufresne (Iberville), Evanturel, Fortier, Gagnon, Gaudet, Geoffiion, Gibbs, Holton, Houde, Huntington, Huot, Joly, Labreche-Viger, Laframboise, Lajoie, Macdonald (Cornwall), Macdonald (Glengarry), Macdonald (Toronto West), O’Halloran, Paquet, Parker, Perrault, Pinsonneault, Pouliot, Powell, Rymal, Scatcherd, Taschereau, Thibaudeau, Tremblay, and Wallbridge (North Hastings).—39.

The question being put on the main motion (of Hon. Mr . Attorney General MACDONALD) , it was agreed to on the following division :—

YEAS—Messieurs Alleyn, Archambeault, Ault, Beaubien, Bell, Bellerose, Blanchet, Bowman, Bown, Brousseau, Brown, Burwell, Cameron (Peel), Carling, Attorney General Cartier, Cartwright, Cauchon, Chambers, Chapais, Coekburn, Cornellier, Cowan, Currier, De Boucherville, Denis, De Niverville, Dickson, Dufresne (Montcalm), Dunsford, Evanturel, Fergucon (Frontenac), Ferguson (South Simcoe), Gait, Gaucher, Gaudet, Gibbs, Harwood, Haultain, Higginson, Howland, Huot, Irvine, Jackson, Jones (N. Leeds and Grenville), Jones (South Leeds), Knight, Langevin, Le Boutillier, Atty. Gen. Macdonald, MacFarlane, Mackenzie (Lambton), Mackenzie (North Oxford), Magill, McConkey, MeDougall, McGee, McGiverin, Mclntyre, McKellar, Morris, Morrison, Parker, Pope, Poulin, Poupore. Powell, Rankin, Raymond, Rémillard, Robitaille, Rose, Ross (Champlain), Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Scoble, Shanly, Smith (East Durham), Smith (Toronto East), Somerville, Stirton, Street, Sylvain, Thompson, Walsh, Webb, Wells, White, Willson, Wood, Wright (Ottawa County), and Wright (East York).—91.

NAYS—Messieurs Biggar, Bourassa. Cameron (North Ontario), Caron, Coupai, Dorion (Drummond and Arthabaska), Dorion (Hochelaga), Duckett, Dufresne (Iberville), Fortier, Gagnon, Geoffrion, Holton, Houde, Huntington, Joly, Labreche-Viger, Laframboise, Lajoie, Macdonald (Cornwall), Macdonald (Glengarry), Macdonald (Toronto West), O’Halloran, Paquet, Perrault, Pinsonneault, Pouliot, Rymal, Scatcherd, Taschereau. Thibaudeau, Tremblay, and Wallbridge (North Hastings).—33.

The House then adjourned.

MONDAY, March 13, 1865.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD—When the House was about to adjourn on Friday night , it was arranged that we should finish to-day the proceedings connected with the Address . I therefore now move :—

That a select committee, consisting of Hon. Messrs. Attorneys General MACDONALD and CARTIER, and GALT and BROWN, and Messrs. ROBITAILLE and HAULTAIN, be appointed to draft an Address to Her Majesty on the resolution agreed to on Friday last, the 10th instant, on the subject of the union of the colonies of British North America.

HON. J . H. CAMERON—Before that motion is carried, I propose to move—as I think this is the proper time—the resolution of which I gave n otice some days ago. I therefore now desire to put into your hands , Mr. SPEAKER , seconded by Mr . M. C. CAMERON, that resolution, which is as follows :—

That all the words after ” That ” be left out, and the following inserted instead thereof: ” an humble Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General, praying that His Excellency, in view of the magnitude of the interests involved in the resolutions for the union of the colonies of British North America, and the entire change of the Constitution of this province, will be pleased to direct that a constitutional appeal shall be made to the people, before these resolutions are submitted for final action thereon to the consideration of the Imperial Parliament.”

I understood the other day that it was the intention of the Hon. Attorney General West to raise a question as to the propriety

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of moving this resolution at the present stage of the proceedings. I desire to know whether it is still his intention to raise that objection, because, if it is, I should confine myself in the first place to arguing that point.

HON. ATTY. GEN. MACDONALD—I do object. But I do not mean to enter into any argument, but merely to ask the decision of the Speaker on the point of order.

THE SPEAKER—Having learned that the point of order was to be raised, I have looked into the matter, and decide that the resolution is in order.

HON. MR. CAMERON—Then, I will proceed to offer to the House the observations which I think it necessary to make, as well on the general subject as on the particular matter embraced in this motion. And as the House is aware that I very rarely trouble it with a speech on any matter, unless I consider it to be one of importance, and that when I do I seldom detain hon. members at any considerable length, I trust they will bear with me in those observations. Considering the length of time that the subject has been discussed, and the great desire that exists in the mind of every one to have this subject brought to a conclusion as rapidly as possible, I promise on this occasion to be brief. I have already, so far as my own individual vote in this House is concerned, done exactly what I would have done if I had only been an elector called upon for his vote. We have pronounced upon the resolutions submitted to the House, and I have shewn my own conviction of their propriety by having voted in their favor ; and if I were to exercise my franchise as an elector, I would do outside the House what I have done inside the House, and declare in favor of those resolutions, though not satisfied that the scheme for the Confederation of the provinces would be so advantageous as the larger scheme of a legislative union. But I have always felt that if you desire to obtain something which you believe for the benefit of the country, you should not iusist upon that which is impossible— that which cannot be carried, but should endeavor to obtain that which you can fairly reach, and by and by you may get that which, at a far distance, seems impossible. (Hear, hear.) I believe the Confederation of the colonies will lead hereafter to a legislative union. The only difficulty I have felt is, that I believe it would have been infinitely better if all the powers given to local governments should also be given to the General Government, so that when the time came—when all those smaller stars should fall from the firmament—the General Government would possess all those powers, and there would be no necessity then for framing a new Constitution. This subject, I think, may be fairly considered under three aspects. First, as regards the necessity of a change in the Constitution at all. Secondly, as regards the nature of the change proposed, and how it will affect the interests involved in it. And, thirdly, as regards the propriety of the measure being submitted to the people, before it is finally enacted by the Imperial Legislature. As to the first point—the necessity of a change—I believe there are very few people in the country, in whatever part of it they may be found, who will be prepared to say that some change in the Constitution of the country has not become necessary. I believe we are all satisfied that things cannot go on as they are now. I believe we are all satisfied that the people are looking out for some alteration, by which they hope a greater amount of prosperity may come lo the country, than that which has been around it and about it for some years past. I am firmly convinced in my own mind—against the opinions of one or two hon. gentlemen, who stood up here the other night—that there has not been, since the union of these provinces, a greater amount of depression, a greater want of feeling of prosperity throughout the whole western portion of Canada, than exists there at this moment. I believe that into whatever part of the country you go, you will find that a succession of bad crops, and the difficulties which have arisen from large sums of money having been borrowed at high interest, and the necessity of large remittances to England—that all these have pressed heavily on the energies of the people, and tended to paralyse them; and they are looking out, therefore, in every direction, with the best hopes they can conjure up, for some change or alteration, such as they believe will place thetu on a better footing than that which they have hitherto occupied. (Hear, hear.) The Hon. President of the Council for many years past, with a great number of those who have always been in the habit of acting with him, has believed that if we obtained, in the western portion of Canada, represen-

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tation by population, it would have great influence in stimulating the energies of the people, and placing them on a much more satisfactory footing than that on which they now stand. I am satisfied, with that hon. gentleman, that it would have had this effect to a very great extent. But we know very well the antagonisms which existed between the two sections, and that that measure, while pressed by Upper Canada, was resisted by Lower Canada. We have felt— and no doubt many in Lower Canada have felt—that this Confederation of the British North American Colonies would probably not have reached the point it has reached, had the demands—the just demands—of Upper Canada been conceded by Lower Canada ; had we been placed in that position on the floor of this House, which we thought the interests of the western portion of Canada required at the hands of the Legislature. (Hear, hear.) But we have not found that that was done. Lower Canada felt that if representation by population were conceded, there would have been dangers incurred to her own institutions, which she was not willing to place in the hands of the increased number of representatives from Upper Canada. I think the peoplo of Lower Canada were mistaken in that feeling. I do not believe that her institutions would have been dealt with in a way unsatisfactory to her people. The people of Upper Canada, I think, have always been prepared to do what was fair and just towards the people of Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt, however, that the people of Lower Canada would be much more ready to take up such a scheme as this, which would give them a Local Legislature to manage their own local affairs, rather than adopt a measure which would place them in what they might conceive to be an inferior position in point of their numbers on the floor of this House, and an inferior position in respect of power—supposing representation by population in the united Legislature of Canada were carried. There can be no duubt that the idea that there is a necessity for change has not only grown up from the feeling to which I have referred, but from the circumstances connected with our relations to the neighboring republic during the last three or four years. The Reciprocity treaty was passed ten years ago, at a time when the value placed upon the Canadas by the neighboring country was very different from that now placed upon them— when the statesmen of the United States believed the effect of that measure would be gradually to ripen the pear of this country, until it would be prepared to fall into their hands. And, unquestionably, the views of many of those who consented to the Reciprocity treaty, at the time of their consenting to it, were that they expected that its effect would be gradually to facilitate the passage of these colonies into the arms of the United States—to create a feeling in favor of annexation, and to check the feeling which was springing up of an entirely opposite character. But now there is no doubt that the disposition to abrogate the Reciprocity treaty has not arisen alone from angry feelings against England by the people of the United States, and in consequence of the fancied raids from this country—but also from the fact that there has been a great pressure of taxation upon themselves, and the necessity of raising the tariff, and from the belief that if a tax were placed upon the produce coming in to them from Canada, an increased revenue would result. All these circumstances have given rise to the desire on the part of the people and the Government of the United States to place this question on a different footing frgm that on which it has stood for ten years, and to repeal that treaty which they represent to be entirely in favor of Canada, though in point of fact it is very largely in favor of the United States. (Hear, hear.) Another reason why a change is necessary, is—as we cannot conceal from ourselves—that our position as a colony has been greatly altered by the events which have taken place in the United States. We cannot now expect that we can sit with our arms folded, praying that Providence may be good to us, though we do not prepare to defend ourselves. We cannot expect that England will be prepared to take on her shoulders almost the whole of the burden, and that we are to be neither the hewers of wood nor the drawers of water. We must be both. And if we obtain, as I hope, through the rosolutions which have been passed, when the proper time comes, we will obtain—if we get the name and status of a nation, we should not be afraid also to take the responsibilities of a nation ; and the course most likely to save us from attack is that we should learn in the time of peace to be prepared for the exigency of war, and to put ourselves-a people of four millions, as we will bo when united together—in a posi-

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tion to defend our liberties from whatever quarter they may be attacked. (Cheers.) We cannot therefore help seeing that a necessity exists for this change, a necessity urged upon us, both by our political position, with reference to the state of the representation in Parliament, and by the position in which, in common with the colonies below, we stand with reference to the probabilities of hostilities from the United States, and the placing of the country in a proper state of defence. The necessity of change then being admitted—and I believe there is scarcely one honorable gentleman on either side of the House who does not admit it—some think that change should be brought about in one way, some think that it should be brought about in another way. Some think—and the Hon. President of the Council at one time apparently was of that opinion—that the most desirable change would be the smaller scheme of the Federation of Canada, divided into two or three provinces—that that would be the best way of averting the evils which threaten us. Some believe we can go on as we are now.

HON. J . S. MACDONALD — Hear ! hear !

HON. MR. CAMERON —And others think that the only way by which we can get into a satisfactory position, would be by a union of the colonies, either in accordance with this scheme, or by a legislative union. I would like to know how many there are who believe that we can go on as we are now.


HON. MR. CAMERON—I believe there are nota half a dozen members of this House who believe that, with the difficulties of our position, we can work the union on present terms. If we cannot, then we have the alternatives of the dissolution of the union— goiûg back to the old position we occupied before the union, which no man would entertain for a moment—or a Federation of the Canadas—or this larger scheme of a union of all the British North American Colonies. If any one for a moment will consider all those projects in the true view in which they ought to be considered, he will see that with reference to the second branch of my subject—the nature of the change, and the magnitude of the interests involved in it— this soheme is the one to wbiph the Legislature and the people of this, country must necessarily come. (Hear, hear.) We are desirous of assuming a position on this continent, which will place the whole of these feeble colonies under one united government. And when that united government is formed, when that union does take place, we shall then stand in a position which, according to the facts and figures that have been used from time to time in this debate, will establish us as a power on this continent, and enable us to assist in working out the three problems presented by the three governments— the despotic government of Mexico, the republican government of the United States, and the constitutional government of these colonies. (Hear, hear.) I trust the result would be, that we should see the government of these colonies standing longer than any of the others, inasmuch as we believe it is based on the more free exercise of the true will of the people, and carries out institutions which in the Mother Country have stood the test of time, toil and wear, until they have become more firmly cemented now than at any former period of their existence. (Hear, hear.) And I cannot help feeling that if there is that necessity for a change, the nature of the change proposed must commend itself to every one who is a true lover of his country on this side of the Atlantic. (Hear, hear.) We are five colonies with a population of 4,000,000, and we shall have a debt of about $80,000,000, or about $20 for each inhabitant. In the neighboring republic, from a statement made at the close of last year, we learn that the debt in that country, on the first of July next, will be no less than about $150 on the head of every inhabitant. Hence our young nation, with a debt of only $20 upon each inhabitant, will stand in a position, in reference to debt, far different from what the people of that country will stand. Let us take a glance over the whole of the British Colonial Empire. England has thirty-eight colonies, containing ten millions of people. Six millions of these are white and four millions are black. Of the six millions of white people, four millions are inhabitants of these British American Colonies. We have for Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, no less than five millions of tons’ capacity of sea-going vessels, and on the lakes seven millions, making a total tonnage of twelve millions, which, in point of tonnage, places us as the third power in the world. No other nations but England and the United Status possess a larger tonnage than that,

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Nova Scotia itself bas a larger tonnage than the great empire of Austria. If this is to be our position in relation to our population, our debt and our tonnage, one cannot well help seeing that we must strengthen ourselves by coming together in a political and commercial union. We have now five independent, and I may say hostile tariffs—a different one in each of the colonies ; and we have five different governments. We will then have one strong independent government, and one system of customs taxation. Although we shall not have the same concentrated power that we would have in a legislative union, still we shall have a power that will hold over this country that great force that must be possessed to enable it to bring the whole military force of the country to bear in case its defence becomes necessary, and which will place us in a much better position than ever before. Look at the whole of the colonies of England, and let us inquire whether, in point of the magnitude of the trade they bring to England and the amount of English goods they consume, compared with the expenditure that England is called upon to make, there is really any valid foundation for the position taken by thoso political economists of England, of the Manchester and Birmingham school. Take the whole of the exports of England to the colonies, and her imports from those colonies, and what do we find ? The exports of England last year amounted to nearly £100,000,000 sterling, while the exports from the colonies to Great Britain amounted to £40,000,000 sterling. Place the colonists, man for man, with foreign countries, and you will find the trade of the colonies is of much more advantage to England than that of foreign nations, independently of all those other great interests which are involved in the retention by England of her colonial possessions. Take the fact that the whole of England’s expenditure is £40,000,000 sterling, exclusive of the interest of the national debt, while her expense for colonial purposes annually, exclusive of India and of the casual expenses arisingfrom sending troops to colonies where hostilities are taking place, was only some £2,000,000 sterling, of which amount Canada only had but little more than £500,000 sterling. When these things are taken into consideration, I say it will be found that the colonies are of much more value to the Mother -Country than is generally supposed, and much more than the school of politicians to which I have referred would have people believe. If what the Mother Country obtains from our connection with them is of so little importance as to give currency to the doctrines of that school, I do not think it would be hard to shew that what we get from our connection with Great Britain is of no very great importance to us, except in the matter of defence. If we desire to live under the glorious old flag, and to maintain the honored name of British subjects, is it right for our brethren in England, who are ” free from touch of spoil,” to say that unless we provide for our own defence, we shall be cast off? We should be looked upon as disloyal if we took the same stand, and dec’ared that we would choose our own connection if we provided the whole expense of our defence. (Hear, hear.) Sir, I think we should be able to tell the Mother Country that we are prepared to do all in our power for self-defence. When I have stated that the debt of Canada is only $20 per head, and that that of the United States will soon be, if it is not now, $150 per head of the population, I am ready to say that I would most unhesitatingly be willing, for the purpose of completing our connection with the seaboard, of building the Intercolonial Railway, and avoiding the liability we now labor under, of having our connection with Great Britain cut off. I say I would be willing to place $10 additional upon every inhabitant of the country, in order that we might be placed on the true footing on which we ought to stand in the estimation of the people of England and of the world—that of a people who do not consider the mere sacrifice of money as anything to be compared to the duty of defending themselves. (Hear, hear.) Sir, I think that when a delegation of our Government goes to England, those who compose it ought to be able to say what we are prepared to do for our defence. They ought to be able to say to the English Government that although we were a young and a comparatively poor country ; though we have a rigorous climate and are shut out from the sea for a great portion of the year, yet we are a people that have shown more than once that our liberties could not be taken away from us by force of arms, and we are not prepared that they shall be taken in any other way, but that we are ready to take our just share in any scheme that the Mother Country may adopt; but we are not prepared, and cannot be expected, to take the whole burden of defending this exposed portion of the British Empire upon

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ourselves. Look at our bonds in the English market. The British public are under the apprehension that we may at any moment be invaded by the United States, or that the views of the Manchester school may prevail, and our 5 per cents stand at 80. The position of the United States along our long exposad border is such that in their present excited and ready-armed condition we might be plunged into hostilities at any moment, and therefore our Government ought to say to the Imperial Government that it was absolutely necessary to make arrangements for defence on a large scale—that we are prepared to do that which we ought to do, but you cannot expect us to go to the whole of the expense which would be entailed by the depreciation of our bonds in the market. If we are to do so, or even to go to any large expense, you must guarantee our debentures. With the knowledge that you are our security, we need not care whether the United States is going to cross our border with hostile intent or not. If our neighbors know that any requisite amount will be given us either upon your loan or upon endorsement, so that our bonds will stand on the market at par, they will have reason to think twice before attacking us. When the English Government are prepared to back us in that way, then I say we ought to go forward and cooperate with them in carrying out an extended system of defensive works, bearing at least the principal portion of the burden. We do not care for their spending £50,000 a year in dribbling up a few fortifications at Quebec, while we put another small sum out in patching up earth works in the west, just to invite the Americans over when the works are half built, forming a trap for ourselves in which we may be more effectually caught. I am sure every member of this House, and every citizen of Canada must have been surprised at the position taken by English statesmen in reference to Canadian defences, and at their speaking of there being only a few days in the year in which men could work, in this climate, in building fortifications. I read the other day, that it had been stated in England that there was only a month of the year that men could work out of doors to advantage. Although it is true that for about half the year our communication with the sea is cut off by the formation of ice, yet men can work out of doors in Western Canada all the year round, and during the other half in Eastern Canada, and with the exception of a few very stormy days, at one or another branch of the work required in erecting fortifications. But so far as guarding against attack from tbe United States is concerned, the great thing is to let them know that, whether we spend the money immediately— this summer—or not, we have it to spend. It should be known that both the Imperial Parliament and the Provincial Parliament have voted the money, and that it would be put into the most approved fortifications as rapidly as it could be. The people of the South soon built fortifications, behind which to fight for their liberties, and we too should be prepared to fight for our liberties. It is to the money they spent in fortifications that they owe their existence as a formidable power at the present time. The idea should not go abroad that we are about to spend a little matter of fifty or a hundred thousand pounds in doing a little plastering here and a little mason work there, but we should proceed as rapidly as possible to show that we are prepared to expend in effective works all the money that may be necessary to put ourselves in a condition to resist invasion, even with a handful of troops, until more can be sent us. As we are at present, the Government of the United States feel that we are at their mercy, and that they can deal with us as they please. To-day they impose an obnoxious passport system upon us, and to-morrow they relieve us from that source of annoyance. To-day they threaten us with a repeal of the Reciprocity treaty, and to-morrow will, perhaps, be prepared, if we are good children, to continue its operation. To-day the bonding system is to be repealed ; to-morrow we hear no more of it. Next we hear of their intention of placing a force of gunboats on the lakes, and then we hear that the intention has been abandoned. What are all these fair promises they indulge in, and good feelings they endeavor to call up, but blinds of their real purpose ? Does anybody believe that it is not in their hearts to do all those things with which they threaten us, and is it not our duty to be prepared to meet the consequences of their threats being carried into execution ? They now see that we are being aroused in this country, and they begin to treat us more mildly, until they come to some settlement with the South. They begin to see that they have acted aggressively against this paw of the British lion a little too soon—that the British lion is in danger

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of being waked up. (Hear, hear.) And, Mr. SPEAKER, I think it would be a good thing if we were a little more aroused in this country by the events that are transpiring about us, and that the people of England should become a little more in earnest, so that the people of the United States should not fall into the habit of regarding the British lion, as the Paris Charivari called it, as a stuffed lion. I sometimes wish the British lion would roar —(laughter)—as it has roared in times past, and as it roared when it made the Emperor of all the Russias tremble in his shoes. (Hear, hear.) I am afraid our neighbors are getting into the very false notion that it is only the skin of the animal that we have now—(laughter)—and that if the voice were heard, it would not be a roar, but a bray. But they must not trust too much to this idea, or they will be rudely awakened some day by finding the bones, and the blood, and the muscle of the mighty old animal of yore. I feel, sir, that we cannot do our duty to the Imperial authorities, nor they to us, unless we become united into one Confederation, instead of remaining in the scattered position in which we now stand. What would be our position if we were thus united ? The opponents of Confederation say we should only get a more extended frontier to defend, and have no more men to defend it with ; that the frontier we should acquire would be more difficult to defend with the addition of men we would acquire, than our present frontier wouid be to defend with our own force ; that Canada might be called upon to send troops to the Lower Provinces, thus leaving our own frontier exposed, or they would have to send their militia force up here, leaving their borders open to attack. But, in reply to that reasoning, I would say that it is not likely we should be attacked at all points at once. We might bo compelled to withdraw entirely from one portion of the territory in order to defend more important portions, or to obtain more defensible positions ; but no man can hesitate to agree that it is infinitely better, for all purposes of defeusive action, that the whole militia force of the country should be under the control of one executive head, who could grasp the whole force in one hand, than that they should be scattered over a wide domain of exposed territory, under the command of different executives, all of whom would have to be communicated with before any concentration could take place. The true position in which we should stand before the world is, that the whole militia force should be understood to be under the control of one Central Government; for in that way, common sense ought to tell everybody, they would be of far more value in defense than they could possibly be if divided, and the moral effect produced upon a foreign power, contemplating attack would be very greatly enhanced, were it understood we were one united people, instead of being a divided community. Our entire population would be four millions of people, which, at the ordinary rate of computation, would give us an available militia force of five hundred thousand men. If we believe that our people are really and truly a loyal people, warmly attached to the Constitution of the good old land, because believing that the engrafting of the institutions of that country upon the soil of this continent offers the best and greatest security for every man who desires to enjoy the blessings of a free country and free institutions, then we would, if united, have not only this sentiment of attachment to the English Throne, but we would have the machinery, which this great Constitution provides, in our hands by which we could carry out and defend our liberties and our people in the enjoyment of their free constitutional government. (Hear, hear.) Our opponents say we are hardly ripe, hardly of age fit to enter upon a new nationality. Why, sir, there are none of the lesser powers of Europe, except Belgium and Bavaria, that have a population of four millions. If we cannot establish a nation when we have four millions of people, what shall we say of Greece with its population of only one million ? If we are ever to form ourselves into a nationality—and few will deny that it is our destiny to be united at some time—what better time will ever be likely to present itself for handing down to posterity the boon of a united and free nation—the greatest boon that a government and people can transmit—than the opportunity which the present favorable state of affairs presents to us? It is offered to us freely and openly in the face of the world, and we hope to convince the world hereafter that of the three systems of government now in existence on this continent, ours is the best. We have the despotic throne of the MONTEZUMAS filled by a foreign prince, and propped up by foreign bayonets; we bave the republican government of the United States, based on the principle that all men are free and equal

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and that the will of the majority must govern and be right ; and we have the responsible government provided by the British Constitution, under which the English nation has existed so long, and beneath the protection of which her colonies have spread out, until upon their wide expanse thesun never goes down. (Cheers.) This latter form of government we believe to be the best we can adopt for present purposes, and for the purpose of transmission to cur descendants upon this continent. Mr. SPEAKER, if we have institutions, population, wealth and territory of such extent and of such immense value to protect, and have the opportunity of uniting for their protection so freely given us, then is the end sought to be accomplished by the change that cannot but conimend itself most clearly and distinctly to the mind of every one who desires to see a united and happy people inhabiting the territory of British North America, and stretching from ocean to ocean, under the protecting segis of the British Constitution, the British form of government, and the British Crown. We have, in my own humble opinion, but two future states of existence to choose for ourselves. We have, on the one side, the opportunity to make ourselves a nation, able and willing to protect ourselves, with the aid of the Mother Conntry, and to grow wealthy and prosperous under that form of existence. On the other hand, we have the certain prospect of absorption, at no distant period, into the United States. There is no alternative. (Hear, hear, ironically.) We must either adopt the one or make up our minds to submit to the other. I have no doubt but that an immense number of the people would not be williug to remain and submit to the latter alternative, but like the eld U. B. loyalists, would even abandon all they possessed rather than cease to have the protection of the British flag, and bear the name of British men—men in whom loyalty is not a mere lip sentiment, but in whom it forms as much a constituent element of the blood as the principle of vitality itself. (Hear, hear.) I am satisfied, sir, that there is no other alternative—no choice for us between the endeavor on our part to concentrate British power and British feeling on this continent, and falling into the open arms of the republican government of the United States (Hear, hear ) And, Mr. SPEAKER, when we examine the extent of the domain open to us, when we reflect that we would rest with one foot upon the broad Atlantic and the other upon the Pacific, and remember the vast, fertile and salubrious territory that lies between us and the Rocky Mountains—those rich valleys of the Saskatchewan and the Assiniboine, the fertility of which are said to be far superior, and are certainly equal to any portion of this country—when we think of them and of the vast number of people that could be poured into them from the old world to develope their resources and bring their treasures down the lakes to our marts — I say when we see all these things, we see a future arising for us which is to me, and ought to be to others, so bright that no man should hesitate to accspt that rather than the only other alternative— drifting in small provinces into the United States, where we cantfot but be borne down by their burden of taxation. (Hear, hear.) But some people say we will escape taxation by going over to the Americans ; that they would take us in to-morrow, and agree to put no taxation upon us for their war debt ; but is not that idea chimerical, when they entertain no doubt that they can overrun and conquer us at any time, and force us to share in their debt, as well as discharge our own ? With regard to our prospects in the way of settlement and the extending of our population aud wealth, look at what we could do towards attracting emigrants from the old country to our lands. But here I must refer to one feature of the scheme that has been adopted by this House that I hope to see changed. I believe it is a fatal error to place the wild lands in the hands of the local governments, who may thereby enter into regulations for immigration that will be antagonistic, and that will tend to retard rather than promote the settlement of this country All those lands ought to have been placed in the hands of the General Government, in order that one comprehensive system of immigration might be adopted. When we look at Upper Canada, and ascertain that of her eighty millions of acres there are only thirteen and a half millions in the hands of proprietors—an average of nine acred to each inhabitant—when we see the vast quantity of land in this country available for cultivation, not yet turned to account, we cannot help coming to the conclusion that we have a vast field for immigration to fill up, and which ought to have been placed under control of the General Government—

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not left to be speculated upon by the local governments. Now, sir, when one sees all that, and feels and knows that the great change which will be brought about by this union will give us so many things that are desirable, I say the magnitude of the interests that ate involved ought to recommend to us, in the strongest manner, a change of the character of which I have been speaking—a change that would tend to place this country on such a footing that none can fail to see that wc would eventually become the members of a great community, and that in a much shorter space of time than many people imagine. (Hear, hear.) Allow me for a moment, sir, to allude to the history of the United States, to see the position in which that country once stood. In 1792, the United States, with a population, at that time, of nine millions of people, had a revenue of a little over four and a-half millions of dollars, while in Canada, in 1863, with a population ot two and a-half millions, we had a revenue of fourteen millions of dollars. In 1821, when their population had greatly increased, the whole of their exports and imports amounted to ninety-eight millions of dollars, while ours, in 1863, with a population of only two and a-half millions, was no less than eighty-nine millions of dollars ; that is, within nine millions of the entire imports and exports of the United States in 1821. It is true that since that time all those facilities which have made the United States a great power on this continent—the construction of railways and telegraphs, the application of steam power to all kinds of machinery, and other inventions of the past two or three decades—have sprung into existence, and they have reached forward to greatness with railroad speed. But, still, it is nothing against the argument to say that as we have, within the memory of man, risen so rapidly not only in population, but in everything that tends to place Canada on a footing that ought to be satisfactory to every well-wisher of his country, there is any reason to imagine, for one moment, that all the changes have been made that will be made, and that with the enterprise and exertions of a common and enlightened people, we will not be in a position to continue the prosperity that has sprung up within so short a time, and which has increased until within the last three or four years, when, from natural causes and the war in the United States, it received so serious a check. We shall find ourselves, in my opinion, so soon on the highroad to prosperity, by means of the union now contemplated, that we shall not care to envy the progress of any nation whatever. (Hear, hear.) Now, sir, when I have stated my reasons for believing that there is a necessity for such a change, and having endeavored to show the nature of the change proposed, I shall now proceed to show why the resolution which I hold in my hand, and which I oifer for the adoption of this House, is one that ought to be accepted. I have said, sir, that I , as an individual member of the Legislature of Canada, had not hesitated io take upon myself the responsibility of votinr in favor of the resolutions respecting Confederation, although they had not been accepted by the people of this country in any constitutional manner. I said that I did so upon the same principle as I would have done if I had been voting upon them outside of the House instead of inside. I would have voted for them as an elector, because I believe they form a just basis for the contemplated union; and, sir, I desire to offer exactly the same opportunity to every elector to pursue the same course that I would pursue, and I make the same claim on their behalf that I would make to this House on my own. I think that they are entitled to have this matter submitted for their consideration before the resolutions that have passed this House are finally acted upon by the Imperial Legislature. (Hear, hear.) . Now, sir, it has been said that the effect will be to postpone the accomplishment of the union for an indefinite period, whereas the pressure of circumstances are such that no time should be lost in placing ourselves in such a position of defence that we should be able to meet and hold back any force that might be sent against us. Well, sir, there is nothing in the resolution I have proposed that would, in my judgment, interfere with the immediate carrying out of the project. The Government have told us that they propose to prorogue Parliament in a few days,and they have also told us that we are to be called together again in the summer. What is to prevent us from considering the subject at the summer session ? It is to be presumed that the Imperial Government will endeavor to come to some conclusion upon the resolutions which have been framed by the Conference, and which have been laid on the tables of both Houses of the English Parliament, and I see nothing to prevent the Im-

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perial Government from declaring their views upon the subject. I think there would be nothing whatever to prevent our Government from going to England, and offering these resolutions for the consideration of the Imperial Legislature, allowing that Legislature to act upon them as they might think proper ; but, at the same time declaring that the law to be passed ought not to come in force in the different colonies until it had been accepted by the legislatures of those colonies. There would be no time lost. It would be as easy for this Parliament to be dissolved and to meet together again in time to take up the consideration of the measure, which Great Britain had in the meantime passed, as it would be to meet again in the summer, and go through the same process. Way is Canada to be treated upon an entirely different rule from that which has been adopted in the other provinces ? The Legislature of New Brunswick was dissolved in order that the people might be appealed to on this question. The Hon. Attorney General of Newfoundland has declared that it is the intention of the Government of that colony to appeal to the people upon it, and that nothing will be done until their opinion is obtained. (Hear, hear.) In Nova Scotia, too, the Gov ernment do not, as I understand, make it a government question. It is not to be put in that position, and if a difficulty arises in having it adopted by the Legislature, the Government of Nova Scotia are prepared to dissolve their Legislature too. I do not say anything about Prince Edward Island—its acceptance or rejection of the scheme would be ol very small account. But their Legislature will, no doubt, also be dissolved, in order that the people may have an opportunity of expressing their opinions upon it, if their House of Assembly is found hostile, —a step which, no doubt, our Government would have taken if this House had shown itself hostile to the measure. Because this House is not hostile, and because Ministers found themselves strong enough to carry it by a large majority, they declared they would take the course they have adopted, although in the other provinces the case has been put on an entirely different footing. (Hear, hear.) Now, sir, let us consider why we should be placed in the same position in which the legislatures and people of the Lower Provinces are placed. We hear it stated on all sides of this House that the whole country is in favor of this measure. If so, why should there be any hesitation about asking the country to confirm by an election that which is so clearly advantageous and which is so sure to be carried ? But, sir, I hear it said, inside of this House and outside of this House, that the people of Lower Canada are opposed to this measure. If that be so then—if they are so strongly opposed to it as has been represented —is it a wise step for us to force it upon them against their will? (Hear, hear.) We are arranging to adopt an entirely new state of governmental existence, and are proposing to embrace a large area of country under this new form of government. We are claiming for it, and desire that it shall have its best and safest foundation in the hearts of the people. And, sir, will you not find it stronger in the hearts and more deeply rooted in the estimation of the people, if you appeal to them and obtain their sanction to it and their support in carrying it out ? (Hear, hear.) In proposing that it shall have the sanction of the people, I do not contemplate the absurdity, unknown to our form of government, of asking them for a direct yea or nay upon it. No such thing as that has ever been entertained in my mind. I propose to have it done in a constitutional manner. My whole political history would have shown any man acquainted with it, that there could have been no such democratic idea harbored by me as to go without the walls of the Constitution in order to do an act which could be better done within it. Therefore, any one who had for a moment the belief, that while I was endeavoring to build up, I was at the same time putting forth what may be called a sacrilegious hand to pull down, was very much mistaken as to the course I was to pursue—the only proper and safe course that could be pursued. If you wish to erect this monument of a new nationality on the true feelings and hearts of the people, you must erect it upon an appeal to them. You should not be afraid of it. You may say that difficulties will arise –that other questions will be raised—that the elections will not always turn on the direct issue—for Confederation or against Confederation. But I tell you that it will, if the people are so much in favor of this project as you say. (Hear, hear.) The merits or demerits of the candidates will be passed to one side, and the vote will be taken on the true merits of Confederation— otherwise the people are not worthy of

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having that appeal made to them. An appeal has been made to history, and it has said that appeals to the people on questions of this kind are unknown under the British Constitution. The cases of the union between England and Scotland, of the union between Great Britain and Ireland, and of the union of the Canadas themselves, have been referred to ; and it has been asked if in any of those cases an appeal was made to the people, and an answer given in the negative I am not prepared to accept that answer as altogether correct in point of fact. Iu the first of those cases, where the resistance was perhaps the greatest, au appeal was made to the people. It was nut until long after the matter was first mooted that the union between England and Scotland was brought about. It was questioned at that time—just as afterwards, in 1799, with reference to the uuion of Ireland—whether the Scottish Parliament had power to deliver up the franchise of the people into the hands of the English Parliament. With reference to the union of Scotland with England, the matter was brought before the people—not in one, or in two, but in many ways. There were commissioners appoiuted, and conventions, and various attempts to bring about that union before it was finally consummated. It was attempted in JAMES the First’s time, in CHARLES the First’s time, in CROMWELL’S time, and again in the reign of King WILLIAM, and finally carried out in the reign of Queen ANNE. The proclamation summoning the Scottish Parliament of 1702 declared that among other things, it was to treat of the union of Scotland with England. (Hear, hear.) We have still extant iu the books the very words of that proclamation, which declared that that Parliament was summoned in Scotland for the very purpose of treating of this question That Parliament did not finally decide upon the matter, but the following Parliament did, and the union was consummated. And that Parliament was in exactly the position of that of 1702, having been called together by precisely the same kind of proclamation. (Hear hear.) That matter of the union between England and Scotland was, I believe, the only subject that was discussed. And. although subsequently the greatest hostility was aroused, and troops had to be sent from the north of Scotland, it was not until after that Parliament had been for sow time assembled that petitions came in from any of the burghs against it. (Hear, hear.) We have been told in this debate that there is now the satisfaction of content all over the province in reference to this measure. Allow me to tell you that in many localities, it is the deadness of apathy and not the satisfaction of content. This has arisen, not because the people do not feel an interest in the question, but because there has been a pressure upon them from many causes, and that they have had to contend with a great number of difficulties of one kind or another, resulting in an unexampled want of prosperity. (Hear, hear.) They are, therefore, looking out apparently for anything–they are not particular what—which they believe would tend to relieve them from the difficulties of their present position. I say this, although I should be glad that it was not apathy, or deadness, or death, but contentment, throughout the length and breadth of the land, which was leading to the general acceptance of this measure. I believe that in the western part of the country—I cannot speak for the eastern part, unless in so far as it is shewn by the petitions which have been sent in, and the opinions which have been expressed in this House by honorable members from Lower Canada—but in the western portion of the country, I am satisfied, from my own personal knowledge of the feeling existing there, that a large majority, equal to if not greater than that which voted the other night on the floor of this House, would be returned at another election in favor of this measure (Hear, hear.) And it is because I believe that, and would not leave it for any one to say that the people had not had an opportunity of expressing themselves, through an election, on a matter of such vital importance—that I claim that it should be submitted to them, in order that they shall declare by their votes whether they are in favor of this measure or not. (Hear, hear.) In speaking of the union of Scotland, of the union of Ireland, and the union of the Canadas, we must recollect that the same circumstances to a great extent existed. In the case of the Scottish union, there were those desolating wars between England and Scotland in which the best blood of both lands had been shed, and there had long existed a perpetual feud and hostility which had left the border country—now a smiling and fertile territory—a barren and desolate waste. Then again, when the union of Ireland with Great Britain took place, there was a rebellion just quenched—there were

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40,000 troops in the country—there were one hundred and sixteen placemen in the House —and there may hav