A.G. Doughty “Notes on the Quebec Conference, 1864” in The Canadian Historical Review (1920)

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Date: 1920-03 (Originally October 1864)
By: A.G. Doughty
Citation: A.G. Doughty, “Notes on the Quebec Conference, 1864”, The Canadian Historical Review, Volume I (March 1920).
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(FOUNDED 1898)








Published Quarterly
At the University of Toronto Press


a :V7


No. 1. MARCH, 1920



Canada and the Imperial War Cabinet

By George M. Wrong 3

Notes on the Quebec Conference, 1864

Edited by A. G. Doughty – 26


A British Secret Service Report on Canada, 1711

Edited by James F. Kenney – 48

An Unpublished State Paper, 186S

Edited by A. H. U. Colquhoun 54



No. 2. JUNE, 1920.



The Growth of Canadian National Feeling

By W. S. Wallace – 136

The Struggle over the Laws of Canada, 1763-1783

By William Smith 166 ^

The First Canadian War-Time Prohibition Measure

By the Hon. W. R. Riddell – – 187

A Plea for a Canadian National Library

By Lawrence J. Burpee – – 191


The Death of Poutrincourt

By H. P. Biggar – 195



No. 3. SEPTEMBER, 1920



The Captains of Militia

By Benjamin Suite – – 241

Who was the Chevalier de la Verendrye?

By A. H. de Tremaudan – 246

Canadian Opinion oj Southern Secession, 1860-61

By F. Landon – 255

The Imperial Ideas of Benjamin Disraeli

By J. L. Morison – – 267

German Publications Relating to Canada, 1914-20

By L. Hamilton – 281


A Spanish Account of New France, 1608 ‘- 283

The Memorial of J. M. Cawdell, 1818

Edited by Adam Shortt – – 289



No. 4. DECEMBER, 1920.



Canada as a Vassal State

By Archibald MacMechan – 347

The First “New Province” of the Dominion Jj

By Chester Martin – – $54


The Portrait of Champlain (illustrated)

By H. P. Biggar – – 379

The Journal of Walter Butler

Edited by James F. Kenney – 381



INDEX ——— 431

Historical lUtneto

VOL. I., No. 1 MARCH, 1920


THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, of which this is the first
number, is not wholly a new venture. It is, in fact, merely
a continuation and development of The Review of Historical
Publications relating to Canada, an annual survey of Canadian
historical literature which has now been in existence for nearly a
quarter of a century. The new REVIEW will continue to furnish
a critical bibliography of all new publications having reference to
Canadian history; but it will be published quarterly instead of
annually, and it will extend the work of the earlier periodical by
serving as a medium for the publication of original articles on
Canadian history and allied subjects, of important documents,
and of correspondence relating to questions of interest to students
of Canadian history.

The decision to embark on this change was due, in the first
instance, to the increasing volume of publications dealing with
Canada that have issued from the press in recent years. To
review all these publications in a single annual volume has become
more and more difficult. It is conceivable that an authoritative
review of an important book may be of scarcely less value than
the book itself; but a reviewer, in order to write such a review,
must have elbow-room. It is hoped that, in a quarterly, it will be
possible to give to reviewers of important books the latitude they
require; and at the same time to preserve the bibliographical
feature of the old Review by printing in each number a full annotat-
ed list of recent publications relating to Canadian history, im-
portant and unimportant.


There were other reasons, moreover, which seemed to suggest
that the time was ripe for enlarging the scope of the Review.
Historical studies in Canada, which were in some respects in their
infancy a quarter of a century ago, have become every year more
vigorous ; and there is now a large body of historical students, not
only in Canada, but also in England and the United States, en-
gaged in sifting the vast masses of new material relating to Cana-
dian history which recent years have brought to light. Apart,
however, from some admirable French-Canadian periodicals, such
as the Bulletin des Recherches Historiques, the Revue Canadienne,
and Le Canada Fran$ais, there is almost no medium in Canada
through which the occasional work of these historical students
may be given to the public. In the United States there are many
such historical journals. Not only are there periodicals of a
national character, like the American Historical Review, but many
sections of the country, many individual states even, have their
own historical quarterlies. It seemed, therefore, a reproach to
Canadians to English-speaking Canadians, at any rate that
they had no similar vehicle for the publication of original materials
relating to their own history.

It is intended, for the present, to confine the scope of the
REVIEW to Canadian history. But an attempt will be made to
interpret this programme in the most liberal sense. As in The
Review of Historical Publications relating to Canada, not only
Canadian history in the stricter sense, but geography, economics,
archaeology, ethnology, law, education, and imperial relations, in
so far as they relate to Canada, will fall under review. Nor will
history in the making be neglected, as against history that is made.
It will, moreover, be the aim of the editors to make the REVIEW
as broadly national as possible. The services of historical scholars
in all parts of the Dominion will be enlisted, both as contributors
and as reviewers; and in particular, an attempt will be made to
make the REVIEW a connecting link between English-Canadian
and French-Canadian scholarship. There is an amount of
admirable historical work being done by French Canadians, of
which English-speaking Canadians are, unhappily, all too ignorant.
THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW has no editorial opinions.
Its object is merely to provide a forum for the discussion of
questions relating to Canadian history; and with this object in
view, it invites the widest expression of opinion, whether in con-
tributions or in correspondence.


OUR knowledge of the proceedings at the Conference on the
confederation of the British North American provinces, held
at Quebec in October, 1864, is far from satisfactory. The sittings’
were held behind closed doors, and little except the official Report
of Resolutions adopted was made public at the time. Sir Joseph
Pope found among the papers of Sir John Macdonald a mass of
documents relating to the Conference, including printed draft
Minutes of Proceedings, up to October 20; the original rough
minutes in the handwriting of the Executive Secretary, Lieut. -Col.
Hewitt Bernard; Col. Bernard’s notes of speeches and other pro-
ceedings; the original texts of motions and amendments; and
many other memoranda. From these he published, in his Con-
federation Documents, the “Minutes of Proceedings” and the
“Discussions”, which together form our chief source of informa-
tion as to what happened in the Conference. They are, however,
obviously incomplete. The Minutes are quite meagre, and, to-
wards the end of the Conference, are in places entirely wanting.
The ” Discussions”, based on the long-hand notes of Col. Bernard,
are necessarily fragmentary. Any further evidence is, therefore,
of peculiar importance.

The following document is an account of the proceedings by the
Hon. A. A. Macdonald, one of the delegates from Prince Edward
Island, drawn up from his own notes taken at the Conference.



From notes taken at the Quebec Conference held at Quebec
on October 10, 1864. (By A. A. Macdonald).

On the assemblage of the delegates from all the Provinces at
the Parliament building in Quebec there were present besides the
ministers of the w,p Upper Provjpre.s,, seven delegates from New
Brunswick five from IN ova Sco”tia seven from Prince Edward Island
and two from Newfoundland.

1 From the Papers of Sir John A. Macdonald in the Public Archives of Canada.



It was moved by Colonel Gray, who had been Chairman of the
Conference at Charlottetown and seconded by Mr. Tilley that
Sir E. P. Tach should be Chairman and carried unanimously.

Hon. Dr. Tupper then moved that Hon. Wm. Pope, delegate
from P.E.I., be appointed secretary which was agreed to.

After some discussion as to mode of procedure it was decided
that besides the secretary for the whole convention an additional
secretary should be appointed for each Province.

A certified list of the delegates representing each province was
handed in and tabled. 1

Sir E. P. Tache, Chairman then addressed the delegates and welcomed
them to Quebec. 2 He said that the object of the Conference was
to do away with some of the internal hindrances to .trade, and to
unite the Provinces for mutual defence. Without unity of action
and comity of sentiment a great Country could not expect to exist.
The majority of the people believe if their rights and privileges are
left to the local Legislatures they will be safe in the liberties guaran-
teed to them and ratified by solemn treaties even if we do not come
to an understanding on the subject of confederation. He hoped
that this meeting of the leading statesmen of the British Provinces
who are here assembled may be productive of an amount of good that
will be beneficial in the highest degree “to all the Provinces.”

A lengthy discussion followed as to the means of voting on such
questions as were to be considered. Were the delegates to vote
individually, or should the votes be given by Provinces! Should
each Province have the same status whether large or small in deciding
a question respecting which there were different views! Were the
members of the Conference to first express their opinions in the
general meeting! Were the senior members to explain what had
been already done! The discussion of these preliminaries having
taken up some time. It was finally agreed that each Province
should have one vote. That free discussion should be allowed.
That the delegates from each Province might retire to discuss among
themselves any question before voting, etc., etc. It was also decided
that the Conference should meet at 11 o’clock a.m. daily and sit
continuously until 4 p.m. (fifteen minutes being allowed for a light
lunch in the room adjoining.)

1 The following is a list of the delegates:

CANADA. Sir E. P. Tache, John A. Macdonald, G. E. Cartier, George Brown,
Oliver Mowat, Alexander T. Gait, W. McDougall, T. D’Arcy McGee, Alex. Camp-
bell, J. C. Chapais, H. L. Langevin, J. Cockburn.

NOVA SCOTIA. Charles Tupper, William A. Henry, Jonathan McCully,
Robert B. Dickey, Adams G. Archibald.

NEW BRUNSWICK. Samuel L. Tilley, W. H. Steeves, J. M. Johnson, P.
Mitchell, E. B. Chandler, John H. Gray, Charles Fisher.

NEWFOUNDLAND. F. B. T. Carter, Ambrose Shea.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND. J. H. Gray, E. Palmer, W. H. Pope, A. A. Mac-
donald, G. Coles, T. H. Haviland, E. Whelan.

2 Nothing of the speeches and discussion of the first day is found in Bernard’s


Hon. G. E. Cartier then gave an exposition of the first delegation to
Charlottetown and what followed until the Conference had reassem-
bled now/ at Quebec. He said: We thought if the Legislatures of
the different Provinces were brought together they would legislate
more for the general advantage. The United Provinces have about
4^ millions of inhabitants we have therefore the personal element
which is essential. Then it is evident that no nation can attain
great power without the Maritime element. We must have Com-
mercial intercourse with Europe during more than six months of the
year. You who live down by the sea have seaports open all the
year found and it is better that you should have the benefit of our
trade than that a foreign power should have it. We thought that a
Federation scheme was the best because these provinces are peopled
by different nations and by peoples of different religions. There is
the question of a Tariff for the United Provinces. The regulation
of postal communication and rates of postage, national works which
might be brought before the general government without detriment
and without offending any party or interest. We have now Cus-
toms and Tariffs in the different Provinces all now differing from
each other each Province looking out only for its own interest. As
to defence we all know the position England has assumed towards us.
Separated as we are we can not defend ourselves. Cobden and
Bright say what is the use of sending an army to defend Prince
Edward Island. It would be a great question if England would
send an army or bring the power of Britain to defend any province
from invasion. When we bring the Country all together all our
means would be united to repel an enemy. We would also have
the seamen and we would have about 60,000 of them on the St.
Lawrence. The position that England has taken now shows
that we must be under one system of Government. Our financial
interests also demand that we should be united. We all desire that
these provirices should be as great as possible. There is always
something better to be done something greater to be attained. I
would never advocate this Union if I thought we would not thereby
I perpetrate 1 the power of Queen Victoria in this Province.

Colonel Gray, P.E.I., said: When I spoke of establishing a nationality
I only referred to what has been the dream of my life to be one day
a citizen of a great nation extending from the Great West to the
Atlantic seaboard. He sincerely hoped that the delegates from
all the provinces would unite to accomplish this great work. Prince
Edward Island was but a small province but it could be to the other
Provinces all that the little state of Rhode Island was to the great
American Union, etc.

Hon. Mr. Carter, Newfoundland. Spoke in favour of the general
principle of Federation and its bearing on Newfoundland which
was a Commercial Colony possessed of immense wealth in its
Fisheries. Many people had made fortunes there and retired to
Britain to spend them. He looked to Federation as opening up a
wide field for enterprise in this Continent and it might be the

1 Sic. Doubtless a typist’s error. Read “perpetuate”.


means of inducing such persons to live here instead of retiring to the
old country to spend their fortunes. The debt of the Colony was
only 200,000, while the exports are in excess of the imports. The
Provincial debentures bearing 5 per cent command a premium.
We can supply your navy with seamen for we have a hardy race
inured to the dangers of the deep and ready to defend the country
when they are required to do so. Our province is larger than
either England, Ireland or Scotland and comprises 40,000 square

While I am a member of the administration my co-delegate
is a member of the opposition in that Colony but our interests
are alike in desiring to do all we can to benefit the Province we come

Hon. Mr. Shea, Newfoundland, agreed with Mr. Carter as to the favour-
able consideration which should be given to the proposed measure.
We have the strongest feelings in favour of Confederation and as
Newfoundland stands as the key to the Atlantic it is the interest of
Canada that we should not be taken hold of by any foreign power.
We stand at the entrance of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the power
which holds the Colony would control the trade of the Gulf by both
entrances. Our fisheries employ 30,000 men a hardy and indus-
trious class of men unsurpassed for daring and energy by any other
seamen in the world. We have 350 vessels engaged in the seal
fishery alone with 14,000 men.

Our imports are about six millions and our exports exceed
our imports by nearly a million dollars annually. Our Revenue
per head is larger than that of any of the other provinces. Our
debt does not amount to more than $900,000. We can raise all the
money we want @ 4J^ per cent. Our financial position is better
I believe than that of the States of the American Union. A very
small portion of our imports come from Canada while a very con-
siderable portion come from the United States. Our people have no
facilities for trade with Canada, they had to go to the United States.
It took a month for a reply to be received to a letter addressed to
Canada and the postage was double what it was between Canada
and Britain. We looked to Confederation to remedy this state of
affairs. We have what Canada requires and we want the class of
goods that Canada can supply. We must have steam packets plying
regularly between Canada and the Colony and then trade would
soon follow that channel.

Hon. Mr. Gait referred to the observations of previous speakers at some
! length and the benefits which would be conferred upon all the
provinces by a uniformity of tariffs, postage, banking, currency, etc.,
and gave a number of statistics bearing on the subject. The Inter-
colonial Railway would be the great highway between the Canadas
and the Maritime Provinces, if the Union could be accomplished
and the road completed. It would be the bond of Union between
the East and the West. . . . The debt of Canada was some-
what less per head than that of New Brunswick. In Newfound-
land and Prince Edward Island the case is different. It is not so
much what the debt of a colony is as what the expenditure is per


head of the population. Provision must be made for the Local
Governments. All the revenue from Customs and Excise would go
to the general government. The expenses of the Local Govern-
ment would be lessened by the works they have now to provide for
being lessened. In Canada it was thought the General Government
could contribute towards the wants of the local Governments. The
debts and taxation of the Provinces offered no material objection
in our view. Many of us are of opinion that direct taxation is what
is best but we must not insist on our individual opinions.

Mr. Mitchell. I believe it is desirable as a means of perpetuating British

\ rule in these Colonies. We want a general system of currency and

\ Post Office arrangements. We want restrictions of trade removed

and that we may be united and act with one mind for the defence

of our rights. I hope that no peddling policy will be adopted.

Hon. Mr. Coles. We must not expect that Prince Edward Island will
come into a confederation to be taxed three dollars per head instead
of one dollar as at present. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and
Newfoundland have the Crown lands and other Revenues which
we do not possess in our province. If Prince Edward Island was to
give up her excise and customs she would have no revenues left
with which to carry on the business of the province.

Hon. Mr. Haviland. We are here to throw away our party views and to
look on the questions before us in a broader spirit. As a British
American I will go heait and soul for a Federal Union of all the

Hon. Mr. Pope. When the proper time arrives to do so I will show how
Prince Edward Island will be effected [sic] by withdrawing her
general revenues.

Hon. Mr. McCully spoke at some length but chiefly as to opinions on
Legislative Union which he stated were prevalent in his Province.

Hon. Dr. Tupper thought we should have a fuller exposition from the
Canadian Ministry of what was intended at the present time.
If it can be shown that the difficulties can be removed I shall be
pleased, as it will elevate our Status, improve our social position
and enable us to occupy a higher place in the national family. . . .

Hon. John A. McDonald. We all meet here for the purpose of dis-
cussing the general principles of a Federal Constitution, leaving it
thus open to all parties to express their views freely. Unless
the details can be made satisfactory the whole thing must break

Hon. Mr. Dickie. The question must depend on what the details are
to be and it should be more discussed before we give our vote one
way or the other.

Hon. Mr. Brown thought it inexpedient to have a general debate on one
resolution and then afterwards the same to be again gone over.

Hon. Dr. Tupper stated the purport of the former Conference at which
owing to the statements of gentlemen from Canada it was decided
not to report finally until it was known what has been done at the
present Conference. . . .

After some further discussion it was decided to adjourn until
tomorrow at 11 a.m.


Conference opened at 11 a.m.

It was resolved after debate that Mr. H. Barnard should be
appointed Executive Secretary to the Conference to keep a record
of the official decisions of the Conference.

It was also decided after debate that each Province by whatever
number of delegates it was represented should have one vote in
deciding all questions except those of order.
Free discussion to be allowed.
Conference to be in committee of the whole.
No discussion allowed after vote taken.
Each Province delegation may retire for consultation.
Afterwards all resolutions to be with speaker in chair.
At close of Conference decision as to publication.
Conference then resumed the consideration of motion in favour
of Federal Union as_per Resolution 1 and

Hon. John A. McDonald said: 2 As we can’t have the same scale of

duty throughout the various provinces, we must continue with

hostile tariffs unless we have the Union which is the only alternative.

How is this to be done? Now as to the Constitution of the Legisla-

; tures we should have two Chambers, an upper and a lower house.

‘ In the upper house equality in numbers should be the basis. In the

lower house population should be the basis. Upper Canada had at

I last census 1,400,000, now it has 1,600,000. Lower Canada had

: then more than 1,000,000, now 1,200,000. Nova Scotia say 350,000.

! New Brunswick 260,000. Newfoundland 125,000. Prince Edward

1 Island 85,000. Upper Canada would be taken as one division say

with 60 members. Lower Canada 60 members and Acadia and

Maritime 20 each.

| The mode of appointment to the Upper House

I Many are in favour of Election and many are in favour of appoint-

i ment by the crown. My own opinion will be made up on having

: arguments on both sides of the question as my mind is open on the

1 subject. I may say however that I am favourable to appointments

by the Crown. I am,after experience in both systems, in favour of

returning to the old system of nomination by the Crown. It is

asking too much to require the members of the upper house of each

province to extinguish themselves. We have 72 members in the

Upper house, 48 elected and balance nominated by the Crown.

If a ballot were taken for 20 in the old house to represent in the new

house it might answer, or the new house might be elected from the

old Upper house. There should be a large property qualification

for the Upper house which is then the representative of property.

1 This Resolution, introduced by John A. Macdonald and S. L. Tilley on October
10, was “That 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, pro-
vided such union can be effected on principles just to the several Provinces.”

2 By comparison with the text in Pope’s Confederation Documents it will be seen
that the present writer has omitted all the earlier portion of John A. Macdonald’s speech.


It should be an independent body as far as property goes. First
election to be made by the present constituency and afterwards
qualification of Electors to be fixed by the general parliament. We
must have a strong Central Government with all authority except
what is given to the local governments in each Province and avoid
the errors of the American Constitution.

Hon. Mr. Dickie enquired what authority we have from the British
Government to agitate this question. May we not have those

J advantages we look for without legislative and administrative
arrangements . . . referred to flour trade . . . Taxation
in Canada is here on roads and bridges and also for education.
There is also Municipal taxation besides the general tax; therefore
such a measure must increase taxation very materially in the Mari-
time Provinces and if Municipal taxes are not included in the Cana-
dian statement it must make taxes more than they really appear
to be.

(Note) Despatch of 6th July 1862 was read in reply to Mr. Dickie’s

Hon. Mr. Gait replied at some length: There is no doubt but what the
free trade between the Provinces might be extended, even as we are,
but it could not be done so effectually. I think it necessary to give
certain ‘amounts from the general revenue to local wants.

Hon. Mr. McCully addressed the conference in a long speech but his
remarks very general.

Hon. Mr. Brown said he differed in many details which he would discuss

Jin other resolutions when they came up. The first resolution was
then unanimously agreed to. The second resolution in favor of
Federation of the Provinces with general Government and local
Governments for each of the Canada’s and for the Maritime Pro-
vinces in local matters, with provision of admission of N.W.T., B.C.
and Vancouver 1 then submitted by Hon. Mr. Brown who said
that the British Government have offered the North West Country
to Canada already and that we should open up roads into that
Country, etc., etc., etc.

Hon. Mr. Archibald approved of the general principles of allowing the
increase of territory as contemplated in the resolution. … A good
deal of general discussion followed when four o’clock having arrived
the Conference adjourned until 11 A. M. to-morrow.

1 The following is the wording of this Resolution as given in the Minutes:
“That in the Federation of the British North American Provinces the system of
government best adapted under existing circumstances to protect the diversified in-
terests of the several Provinces and secure efficiency, harmony and permanency in the
working of the Union, would be a General Government, charged with matters of common
interest to the whole country ; and Local Governments for each of the Canadas and for
the Maritime Provinces, charged with the control of local matters in their respective
sections, provision being made for the admission into the Union on equitable terms of
the North- West Territory, British Columbia and Vancouver.”


Conference assembled at 11 A. M.

A number of communications addressed to the Conference by various
societies and individuals inviting the Conference to visit public
institutions, etc., and also from the press for reports of the pro-
ceedings were read and the minutes of previous meetings were
agreed to.

A discussion relative to inviting the Western Territory and British
Columbia to unite with the Conference then ensued, and thereupon
and owing to other circumstances connected with the delegation,
the Canadians adjourned to hold an Executive Council meeting. 1
The delegates from the Maritime Provinces remained and discussed
a resolution submitted by Hon. George Brown, that the Lower

; Provinces be admitted as one, and Upper and Lower Canada as one

{ After considerable debate all the delegates from the Lower Provinces
– disagreed to this resolution.
Conference adjourned till 11 A. M. to-morrow.


Conference met pursuant to adjournment. Minutes of previous
meeting adopted.

Hon. Mr. Brown agreed to withdraw his resolutions of the previous day.

Hon. John A. Macdonald then read several resolutions which the Cana-
dians had prepared to submit as to the Constitution of the Legis-
lature, viz.,

That the Legislative Council consist of 72 members, 24 from Upper
Canada, 24 from Lower Canada and 24 from Lower Provinces, to
be chosen from the present Councils and appointed by the Crown
under great seal of Executive Government and to be for life. Execu-
tive Government to be responsible. Local Governments to consist
of two branches. The Lieutenant Governor to be appointed under
great seal of General Government. Mr. Macdonald explained these
resolutions in his address to the Conference, and then

Hon. Mr. Fisher moved that the General and Local Governments shall
be formed on the model of the British Constitution as far as possible.
A long discussion then ensued as to the propriety of passing such
a resolution, which, after several amendments were proposed, re-
sulted in the adoption of the amendment of Mr. Tilley that the
word “Local” be struck out of Mr. Fisher’s resolution which was
then agreed to as amended.

1 The delegates from Canada were appointed a committee to prepare resolutions
to be submitted to the Conference.

2 There is no reference to this matter in this day’s Minutes or Discussions as
published by Pope.

1 Bernard’s notes of the sittings from October 13 to October 18 inclusive, if
prepared, are now missing. The present document, therefore, becomes of primary
importance for these days.


Hon. John A. Macdonald moved that there be a general Government
consisting of a Legislative Council and a House of Assembly.
2nd. That the Council consist of 72 members, 24 for each of the
Canada’s and 24 for the Lower Provinces.

A lengthy discussion followed this point and Mr. Tilley moved
that the Canada’s have 24 each and the Lower Provinces 32 mem-
bers or a House of 80 members, and in his remarks stated that these
would be appointed, 12 to Nova Scotia, 10 to New Brunswick,
6 to Newfoundland and four to Prince Edward Island. Many of
the delegates spoke on this subject and the hour of 4 O’ Clock ensuing
the Conference was adjourned until 11 A. M. tomorrow.


Conference met at 11 A. M. and resumed the consideration of the
motion respecting Legislative Council.

The members from the Lower Provinces strongly urged their

V contention for a larger relative representation which the Canadians

opposed. Many of the members of the Conference took part in

the discussion of this question and many amendments were offered.

I The Maritime delegates contended that population should not decide
the numbers in the Federal Legislative Council. Each Province had
its own Constitution under which the smaller Provinces had the
same powers as the larger ones and could thus with reason claim
the right to a fuller quota in the Council than proposed by the
Canadians. The only safeguard the small Provinces would possess
was in the Council. If numbers in the other House were based on
population they should not also decide the representation which the
weaker Provinces were to receive in the Upper Chamber, etc., etc.
At 4 O’Clock Conference adjourned till 11 A. M. tomorrow.

Conference resumed.

It was resolved that on and after Monday the 21st inst., Conference
meet @ 10 A. M. and sit till 8 P. M. Meet again at 7.30 P. M.
and sit as late as desirable.

The further consideration of representation in the Legislative
Council was resumed and the general subject of Federation was
discussed in connection with this resolution.

The delegates from Prince Edward Island were not satisfied with
the number of representatives proposed for their Province.

Hon. Mr. Langerin 1 claimed that Quebec should have an equal number
with Upper Canada but did not appear to urge a smaller number
than Mr. Tilley proposed for the Lower Provinces.

(Note). I think that Hon. Mr. Brown contended for a larger number for
Ontario than for Quebec.

Nearly all of the delegates expressed their views at some length but
no other notes were taken by the writer of their speeches on this

1 Stc. Read “Langevin.”


day, as he was engaged in compiling statistics of P. E. I. in Dollars
and Cents, and at 2.30 P. M. the Conference adjourned until 10
O’Clock A. M. on Monday.

Conference met at 10 A. M.

The resolution submitted by Mr. Brown on Tuesday last was taken
up setting forth that the system of Government should be Federal
with Local Governments in each Province and provision for admis-
sion of the North West Territories, Newfoundland, British Columbia
and Vancouver, and further debate following the resolution was
adopted and entered on the record. 11

The adjourned debate on the constitution of the Federal Legis-
lative Council was then resumed.
Hon. A. A. MacDonald said:

That he considered each Province should have equal repre-
sentation in the Federal Upper house and instanced the different
States of the Union which however “diversified in area were each
x represented by two Senators in the General Government. It was he
thought understood at first that while the Lower house should have
its number of members based on population, the Upper house should
t>e more representative of the smaller Provinces as it was to be the
guardian of their rights and privileges. Each Province now possesses
a constitution of its own similar in the case of the smallest to that in
the largest Province and equal rights and privileges were accorded
to all alike. It was therefore a good reason why the smaller Pro-
vinces should claim better representation in the Legislative Council
than the resolution provided. The Canadians make no allowanre
_for our present condition. We are not specially desirous of changing
it. What are the inducements for us to give up our Constitution!
What is Canada conceding to the Lower Provinces! Canada pro-
poses a certain number of Councillors to suit the ideas of its own
people and will not admit of any deviation from that proposal. Each
Province has now a fixed number of Provincial Legislative Coun-

1 According to the Minutes this resolution (see note 6 above) had been passed on
October 12. It was now reconsidered and amended so that the latter portion reads:
“and Local Governments for each of the Canadas and for the Provinces of Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, charged with the control of local matters in
their respective sections, provision being made for the admission into the Union on
equitable terms of Newfoundland, the North-West Territory, British Columbia and

The change in status of Newfoundland is interesting, but neither Bernard nor
Macdonald throws light on it. The Newfoundland delegates had hitherto been parti-
cipants in the discussion and voting, apparently on equal terms, but, according to the
Minutes, at this sitting a resolution was carried: “That the Colony of Newfoundland,
having sent a deputation to this Conference, be now invited to enter into the proposed
Confederation, with a representation in the Legislative Council of four members.”

This resolution was, we are told, communicated to the Newfoundland delegates,
and the invitation accepted by them, the right being reserved to press their claims for a
larger representation in the Legislative Council.


cillors and in a general Council half the number would be a fair
representation for each Province. The two Canadas have 72 Legis-
lative Councillors. The Maritime Provinces with Newfoundland
have the same number. I suggest that we take the numbers in the
present Councils as our basis and allow each Province half that
number in the Federal Legislative Council. This proposal was
not entertained and farther debate ensued. It was advocated by
some delegates to allow the Crown to add to the number of Legis-
lative Councillors at any future time as they might deem necessary,
but this was objected to by the Prince Edward Islanders and some
others as it would destroy the equilibrium established between the
Provinces and would be difficult to work out satisfactorily.

The resolution that for the pupose of forming a Legislative
Council the Federated Provinces shall be considered as consisting
of three divisions, 1st Upper Canada, 2nd Lower Canada, and 3rd
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island as the
third division with equal representation from each division, was
then submitted to vote, and carried ; Prince Edward Island delegates

The resolution fixing the number of Legislative Councillors at
24 for each division was then submitted to vote. The Hon. Dr.
Tupper proposed 24 for each of the Canadas, 10 for Nova Scotia,
9 for New Brunswick, and 5 each for Prince Edward Island and

This after debate was withdrawn.

Hon. Mr. Colee proposed 20 each for the two Canadas, 8 each for
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and 4 each for Prince Edward
Island and Newfoundland.

This after debate was also withdrawn.

Hon. A. A. MacDonald proposed that half the present number in
each Province constitute the number in the Federal Legislative

This resolution was also withdrawn.

The question on the main motion was then put and Prince Edward
Island having retired and consulted decided against it by a majority.
The Chairman for P. E. I. announced that decision, an’d all other
Provinces having voted for the resolution it was declared carried^

It being now 2 o’clock Conference adjourned until 7:30^p71nT^

At 7:30 Conference again met and a resolution was moved

“that the members of the Legislative Council shall be appointed

by the Crown under the great seal of the General Government and

hold office for life.”

Hon. John A. McDonald, George Brown, Dr. Tupper and others spoke

on this resolution but I have no notes of their addresses.
Hon. Mr. Coles moved, seconded by Hon. A. A. MacDonald “That at
the first and all subsequent Elections of members to serve in the
Upper House they shall be chosen by a majority of both branches

1 Much of this matter is not found in the Minutes, and it is there stated that the
resolution fixing the number of Legislative Councillors was carried unanimously.


of the Provincial Legislative from such qualified persons as are
thirty years of age or upwards. One half of such Council to go out
every four years after the first Election, to be decided by lot in first
session.” 1

Mr. Coles spoke in advocacy of his resolution.

Hon. A. A. MacDonald in seconding it considered that in this way only
would the popular opinion of the Province be expressed whereas in
appointments made by the Crown such would not be the case and
the nominee of the Crown might be the most unpopular person in
the Province.
At 12 midnight Conference adjourned till 10 a. m.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, Conference met at 10 o’clock a. m. and
resumed the adjourned debate, etc.

“That the members of the Legislative Council shall be appointed
by the Crown under the great seal of the General Government and
hold office for life.” The Prince Edward Island delegates withdrew
and consulted as to their action. The question was asked: Shall
appointment be open to all persons? and on a vote being taken,
5 voted nay, 1 voted yea. It was then asked: Shall appointments
be made from present Councillors as far as qualified? Ans. No, by
majority, only one voting yea.

On returning to the Conference Chamber the question was put
on the main motion and it was carried unanimously by Provinces
(although individual members in all Provinces did not agree).

The qualifications necessary for eligibility to serve as Legislative
Councillors was then considered, and it was proposed to select them
by lot from the present Legislative Councils except in Prince Edward
Island, this proposition was defeated. It was then proposed to
select the Legislative Councillors with due regard to local parties,
to be appointed by the General Executive Government on recom-
mendation of the local Executive from present Legislative except as
regards Prince Edward Island, this was also lost.

It was proposed that the first selection be made from duly
qualified members of the Legislative Council in Canada but in the
other provinces to be opened to all who possess the requisite qualifi-
cations whether now members of the Legislative Council or not, this
was withdrawn.

It was then proposed to select the Legislative Council with due
regard to local parties, appointments to be made by the Federal
Executive on recommendation of the Local Executive from present
Legislative Councils.*

At 11.30 the motion for adjournment was carried.

1 This interesting motion is not entered in the Minutes as published.

2 It would seem from the Minutes and Col. Bernard’s notes that Mr. Macdonald
has included in this day’s business some matter that did not formally come before the
Conference until the following day.


The Conference met at 10 a.m. WEDNESDAY OCT. 19, * and consider-
ation of the adjourned debate resumed on resolution.

That the members of the Legislative Council for the General
Government shall in the first instance be selected from the Legis-
lative Councils of the various provinces with the exception of Prince
Edward Island, so far as qualified, and debate ensuing the Prince
Edward Island delegation retired to consult and on a vote of that
province being taken a majority was against the resolution, which
was adopted by the vote by provinces in the General Conference.

The resolution that the first Council in the Federal Legislative f

[sic] shall be appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the \

Local Governments with due regard to claims of the opposition was I

\then proposed and after long debate it was adopted. \

Hon. Peter Mitchell being called away on his private business
got leave of absence for the remainder of the Conference.

Conference adjourned at 2 p. m. until 7 p. m.

Conference resumed at 7 :30 p. m.

Resolution that the basis of representation in the House of Commons
shall be population and 194 members viz., Upper Canada, 82,
Lower Canada 65, Nova Scotia 19, New Brunswick 15, Newfound-
land 8, Prince Edward Island 5, was then put. Debate thereon con-
tinued until 10 o’clock when the motion for adjournment was carried
for 10 o’clock tomorrow. 2

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, Conference met at 10 a. m.

Several resolutions respecting sessions of Legislatures and the
powers thereof were submitted. Also Resolution respecting mode
of appointment of Lieutenant Governors and the duration of their
holding office led to lengthy debate before they were finally adopted
by the Conference.

(Note) Major Barnard the Executive Secretary of the Conference has
given a fuller and better report of this days debates than could be
made out from my notes, so I have taken his report for the 20th.


Extracts from the minutes of Major Hewitt Barnard from Appendix
VI Page 351 Vol. 1 Pope’s Sir John MacDonald.

1 Bernard’s notes for this day are quite extensive.

i.^1 * According to Bernard, a long discussion arose on this and the following day
from Prince Edward Island’s objection to the small representation allotted to her in the
House of Commons. Unfortunately Macdonald, although a delegate from the island,
says nothing on the subject.

8 In this Appendix to the first volume of his Memoirs of Sir John Macdonald Sir
Joseph Pope published some extracts from Col. Bernard’s notes, the whole of which were
subsequently published in his Confederation Documents.



Mr. Brown:

As to local Governments, we desire in Upper Canada that they
should not be expensive, and should not take up political matters.
We ought not to have two electoral bodies. Only one body, members
to be elected once in every three years. Should have whole legis-
lative power subject to Lieutenant Governor. I would have
Lieutenant Governor appointed by General Government. It would
thus bring these bodies into harmony with the General Government.
In Upper Canada executive officers would be Attorney General,
Treasurer, Secretary, Commissioner Crown Lands, and Commis-
sioner Public Works. These would form the Council of the Lieu-
tenant Governor. I would give Lieutenant Governor veto without
advice, but under certain vote he should be obliged to assent.

During recess Lieutenant Governor could have power to
suspend executive officers. They might be elected for three years
or otherwise. You might safely allow County Councils to appoint
other officers than those they now do. One Legislative Chamber
for three years, no power of dissolution, elected on one day in each
third year. Lieutenant Governor appointed by Federal Govern-
ment. Departmental officers to be elected during pleasure, or for
three years. To be allowed to speak but not to vote.

“Mr. Cartier:

I entirely differ with Mr. Brown. It introduces in our local
bodies republican institutions. Mr. Brown moved: “That in the
local Government there shall be but one Legislative Chamber.”

“Sir E. Tache:

This motion is made merely to elicit opinion of Conference.

“Mr. Tilley:

New Brunswick differs from Mr. Brown. They propose to
keep the existing things as they are, so far as consistent with expense.
They propose Lieutenant Governor, five departmental officers, with
seat in House.

“Mr. Dickey:

Before details, settle principles. Will Conference take present
local Governments as models?

“Mr. Fisher: I am opposed to Mr. Brown’s views. I approve of the
present system of Local Legislatures. I agree with Mr. Brown that
the Lieutenant Governor should be appointed by the Federal

Mr. Carter:

In 1842 we had one chamber in Newfoundland partly appointed by
Crown and partly by people. It worked well. An object to reduce

Mr. Henry:

I think uniformity is very desirable, but you should first consider
what is to be left to the Local Legislatures before you proceed to
discuss their constitutions.

Mr. McGee:

No. Institute your body and then assign its powers.


Mr. Chandler:

We are here to form a constitution for Federal Government. Let
the provinces otherwise remain as they are, so far as possible.

Dr. Tupper:

I agree with general principles laid down by Mr. Brown that the
Governments should be as simple and inexpensive as possible. We
should diminish the powers of the Local Governments, but we must
not shock too largely the prejudices of the people in that respect.

Mr. McCully: We must have miniature responsible governments.
Adjourned at 2 o’clock until Friday, 21st, 10 a. m. 1
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1864, 10 A. M.

– A. A. Macdonald’s notes resumed.

Financial resolutions from No. 1 to No. 9 on the minutes were dis-
cussed by the leading members of the Conference which continued
in session without adjournment until 5 o’clock P. M., when the
Chamber being required for other purposes the Conference ad-

A number of resolutions besides those above mentioned were
discussed and several changes made in the original drafts of some
of them. There was a very general debate in which the leaders
chiefly took part. Many questions and explanations were required
by the other members, and all relating to finance were replied to
by Hon. Mr. Gait who has all information on that point in his head
and does not often require to refer to the printed statistics, but I
have no other notes of the day’s debate, as I was engaged in making
up a number of statistical tables along with Hon. Mr. Pope. Con-
ference adjourned until 10 A. M. 2

Conference reassembled on 22nd October at noon and

Hon. Mr. Gait said: It is desirable that all the Provinces should enter
the Federation with the same liabilities, and secondly that all should
be admitted on just principles so that no claim can hereafter be
advanced on account of claims now existing. He then read the
resolutions respecting financial arrangements with the Provinces and
stated the reasons at length of such an arrangement. He stated that
$80,000,000 was the present gross debt of all the Provinces, $25 per
head is the aggregate of the debt as nearly as possible. The debt
of Canada on the 1st of January last was $65,000,000= Miscellaneous
$64,000, Common School debentures $1,181,000, Indian fund
$1600,000, Capitalization payable to seignorial tenures $2,900,000,
Municipal $600,000, Jesuits, etc. in all $4,000,000, Total
$75,578,000 is the debt of Canada. Credits on Sinking fund
$4,883,000, Common School fund $1,200,000, Cash $2,848,000, Net
Liabilities $68,445,953 on 1st January last. Three fourths of this
debt has been incurred for public improvements tending to conduct

1 This is not correct. There was an evening session on October 20.

8 No reference to the discussion of financial matters on this day is made either
in the Minutes or in Bernard’s notes of the discussions. The subject of consideration
was the powers of the General Legislature.


trade from the great West in this direction, 1st by Canals, 2ndly
by Railways. We have expended $24,908,000 for Canals,
$29,302,000 for Railways, about $15,000,000 in the Grand Trunk
line is deferred until it realizes a certain rate of interest. Great
Western Railway $2,500,000, a preference claim of $1,000,000 comes
in before us, but it is now paying interest on the Railway debt,
Northern Railway $2,300,000, Municipal Loan funds about

The liabilities of Nova Scotia about $5,000,000

41 ” New Brunswick 5,700,000

” ” ” Newfoundland 1,000,000

” ” ” Prince Ed. Island 250,000

” ” ” Canada 68,445,950

Making a total indebtedness of $80,395,950

$25 per head will represent $62,500,000 for Canada while the debt
is $69,000,000. In New Brunswick it will about represent the same
proportion; in Nova Scotia also. In Newfoundland the debt is
about $8 per head, they will be charged with interest on that and
will receive credit for $25 per head. The debt of Prince Edward
Island is $3 per head, consequently it will benefit by $22 per head
as a subsidy. It is plain the Local Governments cannot exist without
a subvention from the General Government, or resorting to direct
taxation, a subvention is the best means. The General Government
must desire to make the charges for local Governments as light as
possible while the Local Governments would have an opposite
interest. I trust whatever the amount of the subvention may be
that it will not be changed hereafter. It should be definitely settled
now and not doubled when the population of any Province doubles.

Hon. Mr. Tilley stated the objections he held against Mr. Gait’s scheme.
The Federal Government would take all the public property and
proposed nothing in return for this . Our Railway now pays one and
a half per cent on the cost of the road or $60,000 over working
expenses, wear and tear. Mr. Gait proposes to take this from us
and allow us nothing in return. A large part of Canada’s debt arises
from interest on its railway debts. I should like to know what the
value of your Railway debt would be after paying preference bonds?
The Great Western Railway is the only one I look upon as a valuable
asset, as it pays the Interest or part of it on its indebtedness. Sup-
pose we construct the line between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
a part of the Intercolonial, will the receipts from it go into the general
Revenue and are we to have no benefit from them?

Hon. Mr. Gait: I admit that the question of what future liabilities you
incur is one of great importance that we should consider. The whole
of the public works are given to the Confederation, etc., etc., etc., etc.

Hon. Messrs. Tilley & Brown, Tilley & Gait discussed this question at

Hon. Dr. Tupper said that $20,000,000 of Canada’s debt in the Grand
Trunk line is not represented by any assets paid into the public


Treasury, while Nova Scotia’s Railways could be sold tomorrow
for fifty per cent of cost, etc., etc., etc. Dr. Tupper continued his
criticism of the financial aspects of the Lower Provinces and the
position they would find them selves in if such proposals were
adopted. He spoke at considerable length but the writer had no
opportunity to note his remarks, as the other Island delegates had
requested him to get up certain statistics respecting their Province,
and to convert the Island Currency as given in the official returns,
which gave only the Island Currency, into Dollars and Cents,
Canadian Currency. 1

The debate on the foregoing questions was continued by
Messrs. Gait, Tilley, Archibald, Tupper, McCully, Coles, Chandler,
Steeves, Dickey, Henry and nearly all the members of the Con-
ference took part in it. The debate continued until 10 o’clock when
the Conference adjourned until Monday, the 24th at 10 A. M.,
when being met a lengthy discussion followed chiefly on the financial
resolutions, for report of some of the speeches I again refer to Major
Barnard’s report as given in Appendix vi page 352, Pope’s Sir John
Macdonald, a copy hereto annexed.


Extract from minutes of Major Hewitt Bernard from Appendix vi
page 351, Vol 1 Pope’s Sir John Macdonald.
Mr. Mowatt moved (a resolution defining the powers of the Local
Legislature 2 ) .

Mr. Chandler: I object to the proposed system. You are adopting
a Legislative Union instead of a Federal. The Local Legislatures
1 should not have their powers specified, but should have all the
powers not reserved to the Federal Government, and only the powers
to be given to the Federal Government should be specified. You
are now proceeding to destroy the Constitutions of the Local Govern-
ments, and to give them less powers than they have allowed 1 them from
England, and it will make them merely large Municipal Corpora-
tions. This is a vital question, which decides the question between
a Federal and Legislative Union, and it will be fatal to the success
of Confederation in the Lower Provinces.

Dr. Tupper: I have heard Mr. Chandler’s argument with surprise.
Powers undefined must rest somewhere. Those who were at
Charlottetown will remember that it was fully specified there that
all the powers not given to Local should be reserved to the Federal
Government. This was stated as being a prominent feature of the
Canadian scheme, and it was said then that it was desirable to have
a plan contrary to that adopted by the United States. It was a
fundamental principle laid down by Canada and the basis of our
deliberations. Mr. Chandler says that it gives a Legislative instead

1 We have here, however, a much better report of this important discussion than
that published from Bernard’s notes.
8 Read ” Legislatures..”
1 Read “have had allowed.”


of a Federal Union. I think that a benefit. Is the Federal Govern-
ment to be one of mere delegates? We have provided for a legis-
lative representation and for the representation of every section of
all the Provinces. Such a costly Government ought to be charged
with the fullest powers. It will be easier for every one of the re-
motest settlers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to reach the
Federal Legislature than the present Local Legislatures. If it were
not for the peculiar condition of Lower Canada and that the Lower
Provinces have not municipal systems such as Uppef Canada, I
should go in for a Legislative Union instead of a Federal. We pro-
pose to preserve the Local Governments in the Lower Provinces
because we have not Municipal Institutions. If Conference limit
the powers of the General Legislature, I feel that the whole platform
is swept away from us.

Mr. Coles: I did not understand this was laid down as a basis at Char-
lottetown. I thought there the only thing specified was representa-
tion by population in Lower House. I agree with Mr. Chandler’s

Mr. Haviland: I disagree with Messrs. Chandler and Coles. I under-
stood the basis of our scheme, so as to avoid difficulties of United
States, is to give limited powers to local Legislatures.

Colonel Gray, N. B.; Mr. Cole’s memory is hurt 1 (Quotes from Mr.
McDonald’s speech at Charlottetown and from Mr. Brown’s that
Federal Government was to have general powers and limited as to
local). Whatever conclusion we may now arrive at, such was the
basis of the Canadian scheme.

Mr. Chandler: My argument is not met as to merits, but as to what was
laid down at Charlottetown. We all agree that local Government
should have local powers, we differ as to whether such powers should
be defined.

Dr. Tupper: Under Mr. Chandler’s view the Governor General would
be less than the Lieutenant Governor, and the Federal Government
less than the local.

Mr. Dickey: I propose a Supreme Court of Appeal to decide any conflict
between general and state rights. I am rather inclined to agree with
Mr. Chandler. Immense interests omitted in Mr. Mowat’s motion.

Mr. Brown: This matter received close attention of Canadian Govern-
ment. I should agree wih Mr. Chandler were it not that we have
done all we can to settle the matter with sufficient powers to local

I would let the Courts of each Province decide what is local,
and what general Government jurisdiction, with appeal to the
Appeal or Superior Court.

Mr. McCully: I refer to New Zealand Act, which is evidently framed to
meet difficulty. It strongly 2 defines what the local Governments
shall not do. In 53rd clause General Assembly to make laws, etc.,
for government of New Zealand, and shall control and supersede

1 Read “short.”

2 Read “strangely”.


those of local Governments repugnant thereto. Mr. Brown will
land us in position of United States by referring matter of conflict
of jurisdiction to Courts. You- thus set them over the General

Mr. Attorney General MacDonald:

New Zealand constitution was a legislative Union, ours federal.
Emigrants went out under different guarantees. Local charters
jarred. In order to guard these they gave the powers stated to
local Legislatures, but the General Government had power to sweep
these away.

That is just what we do not want. Lower Canada and the
Lower Provinces would not have such a thing. There is no analogy
between New Zealand and ourselves in such respects. Our Courts
now can decide where there is any conflict between the Imperial
and Canadian Statutes. I think the whole affair would fail, and
the system be a failure, if we adoptedMr. Chandler’s views. It would
be adopting the worst features of the United States. We should
concentrate the power in the Federal Government, and not adopt
the decentralization of the United States. Mr. Chandler would give
sovereign power to the local Legislatures, just where the United
States failed. Canada would be infinitely stronger as she is than-
under such a system as proposed by Mr. Chandler. It is said the
tariff is one of the causes of difficulty in the United States. So it
would be with us. Looking at agricultural interests of Upper
Canada, manufacturing of Lower Canada, and maritime interests
of lower Provinces, in respect to a Tariff, a federal Government
would be a mediator. No general feeling of patriotism exists in the
United States. In occasions of difficulty each man sticks to his
individual State. Mr. Stephens, the present Vice President, a
strong Union man, yet, when time came, he went with his State.
Similarly we should each stick to our Province and not be British
Americans. It would be introducing a source of radical weakness.
It would ruin us in the eyes of the civilized world. All writers point
out errors of United States. All the failings prognosticated by
De Tocqueville are shown to be fulfilled.

Mr. Johnson : Enumerate for local Governments their powers, and give
all the rest to general Government but do not enumerate both.

Mr. Palmer: Easier to define what are general, than what are local sub-
jects, but we cannot define both. We cannot meet every possible
case or emergency.

Mr. Henry: We should not define powers of general Legislature. I
would ask Lower Canada not to fight for a shadow. Give a clause
to give general powers (except sucji as given to local Legislatures) to
federal Legislature. Anything beyond that is hampering the case
with difficulties. If we are to have Confederation let us have one
on the principles suggested by Attorney General MacDonald. In
United States there is no power to settle cpnstitutionality of an Act.
Hereafter we shall be bound by an Imperial Act, and our judges will
y have to say what is constitutional under it as regards general or
local Legislation.


Mr. DLckey: Why did Imperial statutes give the powers they did to
New Zealand General Government?

Mr. Chandler: My plan is not precisely the same as United States,
because Government does not in United States appoint the Lieu-
tenant Governors and the Legislative Councillors. If my plan is
not adopted, I should have elective Legislative Councillors.

Colonel Gray, N. B.: The power flows from Imperial Government. We
propose to substitute the Federal Government for the Imperial ./
Government but the Federal Government is itself subordinate to
the Imperial Government. And as to the policy of the thing, I
think it best to define the powers of the local Governments, as the
public will then see what matters they have reserved for their con-
sideration, with which matters they will be familiar, and so the
humbler classes and the less educated will comprehend that their
interests are protected.

end, of Major Bernard’s notes **.


The financial arrangements still formed the chief subject of
discussion. Several sets of resolutions on other subjects were sub- \
mitted and agreed to chiefly those referring to the jurisdiction of I
the local and general legislatures, the judiciary, etc.

On consideration of the subject of Education it was moved by
Hon. Darcy [sic] McGee and seconded by Hon. A. A. McDonald.

“That it be resolved that all rights and privileges which any
denomination now possesses in respect to denominational schools or
in educational matters shall be preserved to them by the constitu-
tion and shall not be abridged by Legislation.”

(Note) This may not be the literal wording of the resolution, but such
is its import. My note on it being an imperfect draft. 1

This resolution was unanimously adopted.
Conference adjourned until 10 a. m. on Wednesday.*

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 1864. Conference met at 10 a. m.

Hon. Mr. Pope submitted a statement of the position in which Prince
Edward Island would stand in the financial arrangement proposed
if it entered Confederation on those terms, and nearly every member
of the Island delegation spoke on this question showing that it was
impossible for the Government to be carried on there with such
limited income.

Hon. Mr. Coles moved seconded by Hon. A. A. MacDonald, Whereas the
question of Land tenures in Prince Edward Island is the cause of
great discontent and the source of much agitation, and in order to

1 According to the Minutes, the amendment consisted in adding to the clause
which assigned education to the control of the local legislatures the words:

“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 Con-
stitutional Act goes into operation.”

2 Bernard’s notes end with this day’s discussion.


settle the same it is necessary that the lands held by Absentee pro-
prietors should be purchased at a reasonable rate by Government
and resold to the tenants and whereas Prince Edward Island has no
Crown lands, mines or minerals from which money can be realized
to purchase the said proprietary lands and it is requisite for the
prosperity of the Island that the said land question should be settled.
Resolved therefore that a sum equal to the interest of the amount
necessary to purchase the said lands be paid annually to Prince
Edward Island in consideration of this question.

Hon. Mr. Coles spoke in support of his resolution as to the present state
of the land question and what the local Government had done in
its efforts to have the land tenures settled. He referred to the
general benefits such a measure would have and its effect upon the
views of the people on the subject of Confederation.
Hon. A. A. MacDonald said that the only advantage he could see that
would accrue to the people of his Province under the proposed Con-
federation would be to have the lands purchased by the Govern-
ment. This the local Government might accomplish through time
without entering into Confederation but it must take many years
to do it. Even if the lands were to be purchased by the general
Government and handed over to the local Government to be dis-
posed of to the tenants the funds arising from the sale would not con-
stitute a permanent source of revenue. They would be all disposed
of in a few years and the money would be expended for local im-
provements owing to the necessities of the Province while we would
be taxed as much per head as we now pay and have besides to pay
our proportion of the Federal taxation the same as all the other
Provinces. Our local and Federal taxation would be more than we
could bear. We would have to pay our portion of the railway debt
without a railroad throughout our Province. It is a matter of
indifference to our people whether the Intercolonial Railroad is
built at all or not. Being an insular Province and entirely cut off
from the mainland by the Ice for nearly half the year we need fear
no foreign invasion and being but a small Province offer no induce-
ments to a foreign invader to make war on us while so many richer
Provinces offer more prizes and lie between us and any possible foe.
We are loyal subjects of our gracious Queen and she would not see
us cut off from protection while we put forth our own efforts to
protect our shores. It would require more liberal financial terms
than any yet proposed to induce our people to support a Federal
Union if they were to form a portion of it. (He referred to the in-
creased Tariff as compared with present local).

Hon. Mr. Gait said that the duties of Canada will be materially lessened

under any circumstances and will be readjusted with reference to

the position of all the Provinces and their duties after Confederation.

Conference adjourned at midnight after a number of resolutions

had been passed.

THURSDAY, OCT. 27, 1864. Conference met at 10 a. m.
A number of resolutions which had been under consideration at
previous sessions were adopted this morning and the whole read


over. Most of the delegates left early. I was the only Islander at
the Conference during these formal proceedings. It was decided
to have the resolutions of the Conference printed and submitted
to the delegates at Montreal to be authenticated by their signatures
and the Conference then adjourned to meet at Montreal tomorrow.
A brief session was held at the St. Louis Hotel 1 on October
29th but the printed report of the Conference resolutions was not
ready and an adjournment was agreed upon till arrival at Ottawa. 2

1 The Minutes read “St. Lawrence Hall, Montreal.”

2 There is no reference in the Minutes to this adjournment to Ottawa.

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