British Columbia, Legislative Council: Debate on the Subject of Confederation with Canada (25 March 1870)
By: British Columbia (Legislative Council)
Citation: British Columbia, Legislative Council, Debate on the Subject of Confederation with Canada: Reprinted from the Government Gazette Extraordinary of March, 1870 (Victoria: William H. Cullin, 1912) at 150-157.
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DEBATE ON THE SUBJECT OF CONFEDERATION WITH CANADA.
FRIDAY, MARCH 25TH, 1870.
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On Mr. Humphreys’ motion on roads being read, the Hon. Attorney-General said :—
I regret to say that my honourable colleague, the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, is still too much indisposed to attend to his place in this House. I would, therefore, suggest that the Honourable Member should postpone his notice until he is present.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I have no objection to defer it, on the understanding that it comes up on Monday.
Hon. Attorney-General —On Monday, or this day, if: the Committee get through with their other motions on Confederation.
Hon. Mr. Ring —I desire to introduce a motion with regard to free port, but I do not intend to inflict upon the House a speech. I move that His Excellency he respectfully requested to place in the terms a clause to restore to Victoria the system of free port antecedent to Confederation. The Honourable Member for New Westminster was indignant with me yesterday for not supporting his resolution. I only say that his proposition was hypercritical. I ask that we may have free port restored before Confederation. We have now the right to legislate for ourselves on this point. Hereafter we shall he at the mercy of the, Canadian Parliament at Ottawa. i would make free port one of the conditions of Confederation; but first restore free port.
On the Clerk reading the first words of the resolution,—
Hon. Dr. Carrall —I rise to a point of order. I say that this question has been already decided.
Chairman —I think the Hon Member for Nanaimo is not out of order on that point. The question of free port yesterdav related to free port after Confederation. The resolution of the Hon, Member for Nanaiino is in reference to free port antecedent to Confederation.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —The Hon, Member is surely out of order, this Committee having met to consider Confederate resolutions.
Chairman — I rule that the Hon. Mr. Ring is in order, as his resolution refers to the terms of Confederation now before this Committee.
On the Hon. Mr. Ring’s motion being but to vote, it was lost.
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Hon. Mr. Holbrook —I have very great pleasure in bringing this resolution forward with reference to the Indian tribes.
Hon. Attorney-General —I ask the indulgence of the Hon. Member whilst I interpose a few words. On a former occasion a very evil impression was introduced in the Indian mind on the occasion of Sir James Douglas’ retirement. I ask the Hon. gentleman to be cautious, for Indians do get information of what is going on.
Hon. Mr. Holbrook —My motion is to ask for protection for them under the change of Government, The Indians number four to one white man, and they ought to be considered. They should receive protection.
Hon. Attorney General —These are the words that do harm. I would ask the Hon. Magisterial Member for New Westminster to consider
Hon. Mr. Holbrook —I say they shall be protected. I speak of Indians of my own neighbourhood on the Lower Fraser.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I rise to a point of privilege. I think that the warning of the Hon. Attorney-General is necessary This is the sort of discussion which does harm.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —Don’t report it.
Hon. Mr. Holbrook —I do not view it in that way. I say that the Indians of the Lower Fraser are intelligent, good settlers. I ask that they receive the same protection under Confederation as now.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I would ask what protection they have now?
Hon. Mr. Holbrook —They have protection in being allowed to occupy land, and they enjoy equally with white people the protection of the law, and I ask the House to keep them in the same position.
Hon. Attorney-General —If the Indians had no better protectors than the Hon. Magistrate from New Westminster, I should not envy them their protection. The Hon. gentleman must have forgotten the directions of the Imperial Government to His Excellency the Governor, in Lord Granville’s despatch.
Hon. Mr. Robson —The Hon. Mr. Holbrook has told you that he speaks in behalf of 40,000 Indians. I speak in the name of 65,000. I am inclined to think we should not pass this matter over entirely; we ought to point out our desire that the Indians should be cared for. Now, the Canadian Indian policy has been characterized as good, even by American statesmen. Our own policy is not worth the name. I consider it to be a blot on the Government. I will. therefore, propose as an amendment the following :—
“That the Indian policy of Canada shall be extended to this Colony immediately upon its admission into the Dominion, and that the necessary agencies and appliances for an efficient administration of Indian affairs may be at once established.”
The Canadian Government occupies the position of guardians to Indians. They are treated as minors. There is a perfect network of Indian Agents in Canada, and through them the Indians are made presents of agricultural implements, seeds, and stock. Now, if we let it go forth to the Indians that their interests are being considered, and that this will be greatly to their advantage. I say, by making the Indians feel all this, there will be less danger of exciting any unpleasant feeling among them. We should set the Indian mind at rest and let them feel that Confederation will be a greater boon to thorn than to the white population.
Hon. Dr. Carrall —I rise to state my intention of voting against the resolution and the amendment We have the full assurance in Lord Granville’s despatch that the Indians must be protected, I do think the Hon. gentlemen are only heaping up resolutions trusting to overload the whole system. The Hon. Member for New Westminster has affirmed how good the Canadian system is. The goodness of that system is in itself sufficient to render the resolution needless. I shall, therefore, vote against it and the amendment,
Hon. Mr. Holbrook —I must vote against the amendment
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I disapprove of what both the Hon. Members stated. These gentlemen know nothing of the question. I will show you why. Take away the Indians from New Westminster, Lillooet. Lytton. Clinton, and these towns would he nowhere. I say the Indians are not treated fairly by us, and all they want is fair dealing from the white population. At Lillooet I was told there were upwards of 16,000; and $17,000 gold dust was purchased from Indians. Take away this trade and the towns must sink. I say, send them out to reservations and you destroy trade; and if the Indians are driven out we had all best go too.
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Hon. Mr. Robson —The Hon. Member for Lillooet says that the Canadian policy will ruin the country and the Indians. I say. then, to be consistent, he must move an amendment that it shall not apply. To say that the Canadian policy will ruin the country shows simply ignorance.
Hon. Mr. Barnard —I am convinced that the Hon. Attorney-General is right.
Hon. Mr. Alston —I must support the Hon. Member for New Westminster. I say there is no Indian policy here, and I am sure that the Canadian policy is good.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I was induced to put an amendment because there is a resolution; otherwise I would not have interfered.
Hon. Attorney-General —My esteemed colleague the Hon. Registrar-General says we have no Indian policy. I say our policy has been, let the Indians alone. [Hon Mr. Alston —” No, no!”]
Hon. Mr. Barnard —The reason I ask for the withdrawal of the resolution is that we cannot keep back from the Indians anything that happens here, and it will have a bad effect.
Hon. Attorney-General —As these words may go forth, I wish to state on behalf of the Government that the care of the Indians will be the first care of the Imperial Government and of the Local Government.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I do not apprehend any danger from any discussion in this House.
Hon. Mr. Alston —I suggest the withdrawal of the resolution.
Hon. Dr. Carrall —I say that the Canadian policy has caused them to grow and prosper. I am at a loss to understand why Honourable Members should be afraid to trust to it.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —The Honourable Member for Cariboo seems to find it difficult to understand my position. I think it right to endeavour to get the best terms we can, and to point out difficulties. It is the duty of every man to do so. I am perfectly willing to sit here and make the best terms possible. When they come back from Canada it will be time enough for me to decide whether or not I shall support Confederation. I am now anti-Confederate, but I may become Confederate if the terms are good. I say it the Indians are to he stuck on Reservations there will be a disturbance. I think, Sir, that it will be well that there should be some opposition.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I wish to state I will withdraw my amendment if the Honourable Member will withdraw his motion.
Hon. Mr. Holbrook cannot do so consistently with my duty.
The amendment was withdrawn.
The resolution of the Hon. Mr. Holbrook was lost by a vote of 20 to 1.
Hon. Mr. Robson moved that an Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor, asking that Canada shall cause a Geological Survey of this Colony to be made, commencing within one year after Union. He said that a fund of $100,000 had been set apart by the Canadian Government for the specific object of carrying out a systematic Geological Survey; that sum to be spread over a period of five years. Canada had the good fortune to possess a very efficient Geological staff. The Red River country had received the first year’s survey under that arrangement, and would probably receive the second this year. British Columbia will possess a greater mineral interest than any other Province, and a thorough Geological Survey will be of the utmost importance to her, and reflexly [sic] to Canada, and it was not too much to expect such a survey to follow close upon Union.
Hon. Attorney-General —I am sure no one can have the slightest objection to support a motion for a survey. I assure you it has not escaped the notice of the Government, but I regard it as a matter of certainty that British Columbia will come in for her share. I do not object to the consideration of the question between this Government and that of Canada, but I do object to inserting it in the terms. I think it may lead to the danger of the Canadian Government saying, when other things come to be considered: ” You don’t want this, it is not mentioned in the terms; had you really required this it would scarcely have been omitted in terms so full as these.”
Hon. Mr. Robson —In reply, I say that the Government has inserted a number of special things in the terms; and with reference to the Geological Survey, I believe Newfoundland got this very matter inserted under the direction of Governor Musgrave.
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Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I rise to support the motion. I cannot understand the opposition. [Hon Attorney-General—I don’t oppose; divide. divide, divide]
[Hon. Mr. Humphreys:] I desire to Show the necessity for a Geological Survey. We are now eleven years old as a Colony, and nothing is hardly known of the country. We are behind our neighbours of the United States. In California there is a Geological Surveyor, who has to explore and publish the result of his survey. We should have something of the sort here, and, in addition, a record of the number of available acres of land in the Colony. If or 30 farmers arrived here I would undertake to affirm they could not get any information from the Land Office as to where they could settle down.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —I should not like that statement to get abroad uncontradicted. I think these assertions should not be made; they are likely to do much harm. I should like to see the 25 or 30 farmers come; let them go to the mouth of the Fraser. There may be some difficulty in getting land in any part or locality, but it is absurd to bring up this fuss about the Land Office.
The resolution was put to the vote and carried.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken moved, “That it is desirable that the Dominion Government shall maintain telegraphic communication with this Colony.”
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —It is absolutely necessary that there should be some telegraphic communication with the outer world. It is palpable that we must have it with the seat of Government.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —It will be in the recollection of some of the Hon. Members that, some years ago. a question was sent out for discussion from the Secretary of State as to the payment by Vancouver Island of a subsidy towards the Trans-Continental Line of Telegraph. She could not afford it. Canada has the wire now taken over from the Hudson Bay Company. I shall support the resolution. I do not regard it as a sine qua non, but very essential. I have no doubt Canada will do it.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I understood the Hon. Member for Victoria City intended to ask the Canadian Government to maintain the existing telegraph line, which runs through a foreign country.
Hon. Attorney-General —From the general wording of the resolution I am at a loss to know what is meant. I think this is a matter which had best the left out, or we shall be overloading the terms. If I vote against it, it is because we have fully too much on the terms.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —Why did not the terms come down to us more perfect?
Hon. Dr. Carrall —I am sorry the resolutions did not come down more perfect, but if they had been ever so perfect Hon. Members would have found fault. I look upon the conduct of Hon. Members in bringing forward the additional resolutions as being inimical to Confederation.
Hon. Mr. Ring —I shall support the resolution. I think our care will enhance our value in the estimation of Canada.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —It is admitted that if we are to have union we must have telegraphic communication. Why it was left out I don’t know. it must have slipped out, for it was before the Executive. Surely Hon. Members will not have the idea that $3,000 or $4,000 inserted here will stop Confederation.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —3,000 or 4000 dollars?
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —At present, yes. The only means of communication is through America.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —I thought this was a trans-continental telegraph. I am sorry I said anything about it.
The Chairman then put the motion, which, on division, was lost.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —When I first rose to address this House on the question of Confederation, I made some passing allusions to nation-making. Now, Sir, I believe we are engaged in that great work. Our posterity will, I believe, control the northern end of this continent for a thousand generations. We find the American continent in the possession of two nations. The northern part in the possession of the Anglo-Saxon race, and the southern part in the possession of the Spanish race. Then again we find the Anglo-Saxon race in the north divided into two nations. with a great mission before them. The first object of the great nation to the south of us may, perhaps, be said to be the acquisition of territory, and they have a […]
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[…] united piece of territory from our boundary to Mexico. With regard to the northern Anglo- Saxon race—to which we belong—we find that they possess all the north except Alaska. If the United States have a single and compact piece of territory to the south, we want the same in the north. Look at history as regards the acquisition of territory by nations: Lorraine by France, Poland by Russia, Scotland by England, Texas and Alaska by the United States. How has this been brought about but by a national policy. For hundreds of years it was the policy of France to acquire Lorraine; so it was with Russia and Poland. It has been said that republics cannot have a national policy as monarchies can; I say that they have a policy with regard to land, And I say that we should have a policy of the same kind. Let us lay down this principle, that we intend to create a great nation, and intending to do so, we should have all territory north of the United States. I have no objection to the United States gaining territory to the south, but I do object to her coming north or holding Alaska.
Let us glance at Alaska for one moment. The country is similar to our own. It has coal. fish, and lumber, as we have, and its contiguity to our country ought to induce us to believe that there is a natural alliance between us. We all know how much the purchase of this piece of territory cost the United States in hard cash. Then its annual cost is nearly two million dollars. or forty millions to support it as a United States Territory for twenty-five years, Then look at the population, a mere nothing; and its revenue, hardly worth taking into account. It is said by many that America is sick of her bargain, and that Russia sold the United States. I think this is a favourable time to bring it up. Canada can well afford to pay for an extended frontier on the Pacific Coast. If we purchased Alaska the Americans could still come in to fish and gather furs; so. commercially, there need be no difficulty. I believe we could get along smoothly; therefore, I have to move this resolution :—
“That Canada shall purchase the Territory of Alaska, if possible.”
I hope, Sir, in all our relations for the future we shall remain international, not national.
Hon. Dr. Carrall —I rise to support the resolution of the Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. The only objection I can see is, that perhaps it is a little premature. That Canada will ultimately acquire it, I can have no doubt. In supposing that the acquisition of this Territory, and the consequent hemming in of British Columbia would have the effect of leading the people of Canada to believe in the ultimate destiny of the British American possessions being drawn into annexation, or absorption, the Hon. W. H. Seward made an egregious blunder; he did it in his ignorance of the Canadian character. It is not necessary for Canadians to get up and show their loyalty daily, they are ready and able to occupy their position of imperium in imperio. There may be some people in Canada who do not like the Government. In what country are there not some uneasy spirits? The United States has them, and England is not free from them. I shall decidedly support the Hon. member. although, I think, he is, perhaps, a little in advance of American statesmen as to the acquisition of territory.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I think Mr, Seward understood what he was about when he effected the purchase of Alaska. I feel convinced that the Government of the United States will not consent to let us have it. I have a strong feeling in favour of the United States, and am satisfied that they should have Alaska. I don’t think Canada can afford to repurchase the Territory; nor do I think she has men to pit against the intellectual giants of America. I think the Hon. Member for Victoria District has perpetrated a joke on this Council; I shall, however, support his motion.
Hon. Mr. Ring —I rise to support the motion of the Hon. Member for Victoria District.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I think this a subject of too great importance to be disposed of hastily. It ought to be fully discussed. I agree with the Hon. Member for Victoria District that such is desirable, but I also agree with the Hon. Member for Cariboo that it is somewhat premature. I think the people of the United States would like to get rid of it; would be rather glad to back out of it,”their policy is to let it ” paddle its own canoe.” If we wait it will probably fall into our hands. If we are to make a suggestion as to the acquisition of territory we should not confine ourselves to Alaska only. Let us have Maine also. It impinges upon Canada on the Atlantic; and it is a portion of land out of which England allowed herself to be cheated. It is well known that Maine is most important, as giving an open winter seaboard to Canada ; a large portion of Canadian trade has had to pass through Maine in bond. I believe the Dominion of Canada will eventually utterly absorb America. (Laughter.) Some may laugh, but that is my conviction. The United States have made great progress, but the Constitution is very defective.
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It cannot hear the creation of another nation, especially one of such a liberal and enlightened constitution as the Dominion of Canada. alongside of it. One of two things is perfectly certain to my mind: That the Dominion will absorb the United States, or that they will meet as one nation, each giving up something. I think it is contrary to nature that they should continue separate. I believe that so great will be the success of the new British North American Empire. that it will absorb all the English-speaking people on this continent. The people of Maine desire to belong to Canada, and have done so for years. If, on the Pacific. the Dominion acquires Alaska, and the State of Maine on the Atlantic, I assert that the great destiny of the Empire is assured. I move that the State of Maine be included.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —All we lack now is a Leech or Douglas Jerrold. I think we shall immortalize ourselves; probably we shall appear in Punch. I think Mr. Seward won’t blame us.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —I must move an amendment. We shall be absorbed before this absorption can take place. I shall move to leave out the words ” if possible.” I think the frog has swollen to the size of an ox.
Hon. Mr. Robson —These debates should be carried on with becoming gravity.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken — think so, too. and I think it would he the duty of any Leech amongst us to secure a correct sketch of the movers of the resolution and amendments.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —I think the Hon. the Attorney General should give his opinion.
The words “if possible.” on vote, were struck out.
Hon Mr. DeCosmos —Shall the words ” State of Maine” be included?
Several Members —Yes, yes.
The motion “That Canada shall purchase the Territory of Alaska and the State of Maine” was carried.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —Mr. Chairman, as there is no further resolution before the Committee, except my own upon roads, I shall, without further words, move its adoption.
Hon Mr. Barnard —I think it unwise to hamper these conditions, but I consider this an important question. I am here to protest on behalf of persons who pay road tolls. The excuse made for this imposition is that the Colony is indebted for the construction of these roads. People have looked to Confederation to relieve them of the $4 per barrel duty upon flour, which they have been paying for so long. I desire to move an amendment to strike out the Douglas Road, as I believe it to be unnecessary. I know that the Upper Country people will raise their voices against the continuance of the road tolls.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —The question was alluded to by myself when the terms were under discussion. I think the roads. if not national, ought to be local. I think the matter ought to be approached differently in dealing with this road. I think that shortly this plank in the platform of terms will be useless, because the railway will span the distance if Confederation is granted on the terms proposed; therefore, I do not see the wisdom of handing them over to Canada. I. think it desirable that road tolls should be abolished, and that we must have something to compensate us for giving them up.
Hon. Attorney-General —I cannot assent to either the original motion or the amendment. I promise by saying the matter has received considerable consideration The original resolution, which was suggested by the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, tool; up this whole matter. I am sorry the House has not adjourned to give him an opportunity to explain his views upon this question. His opinion is that the road from Yale to Cariboo would not be so well managed by the Government at Ottawa as by the Local Government, The Hon. Member for Yale ‘ that there are no reasons for road tolls. There is one. as stated by the Hon. Chief Commissioner. It is being continually improved, therefore a road of that description ought to carry with it a road toll for its construction and maintenance as a matter of principle, even after the original cost is paid.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys, with the consent of the House, withdrew his resolution in order to make some verbal alterations in it.
Hon. Mr. Barnard —I shall move the same amendment as I moved to the former resolution. I will read it:—
“That the Government be requested to insert in the Terms of Confederation to be proposed to Canada some such clause as the following: All public roads and property of British Columbia at the time of admission to belong to British Columbia, except such public works and […]
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[…] property as shall properly belong to the Dominion under the ‘British North America Act,’ and such portions of the Main Trunk Line through British Columbia, or other roads then constructed, as may be necessary to complete a continuous line of coach road from a point at or below Yale to a point at the fool: of the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, and that the ” same shall be free of toll of any kind whatever.”
Hon. Mr. Ring —I agree that some road tolls ought to be kept up.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —My only object is to bring this matter before the Executive. I cannot agree with the Hon. Member for Yale. I have not opposed any proposition of any man from personal motives.
Hon. Mr. Barnard —I oppose the motion of the Hon. Member for Lillooet. I think it does not meet the question.
Hon. Attorney—General —The objection to the whole matter in shape of a resolution is that by talking of road tolls we raise expectations we cannot probably fulfil. I had hoped Hon. members would not press the subject. I assure the Hon. gentlemen that the petitions sent up have been the subject of earnest consideration. I attach weight to what the Hon. Member for Yale says in this House, and regret that such a feeling should go abroad.
Hon. Dr. Carrall —I, as Member for Cariboo, should say something upon this matter. I have some doubt upon it. I would say this much, as a member of the Government, that is, that many of the resolutions brought up here and vetoed will probably form the subject of negotiation with the delegation in settling the terms. They will be a sort of substratum. I regard the taxing of those who use the roads as the proper means for the keeping up the road, and, furthermore, I fear to overload the terms.
Hon. Mr. Holbrook —For such roads as were made on the petition of the people tolls are justifiable, but tolls should not be kept up after the debt is defrayed. No doubt when this road comes under the rule of Canada she will construct turnpikes. Our road tolls are too high.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I regret the absence of the Hon. Chief Commissioner. I think that he has an impression that some such resolution as this is necessary. I regret that the matter was brought up to-day at all.
Hon. Attorney General —I proposed that the matter should be left open until Monday.
Hon. Mr. Robson —Then let it he left open.
Hon. Attorney-General —I have pointed out the Hon. Chief Commissioner’s objections. He says that the road can be better kept up by the Local than the Dominion Government. I regret the absence of the Hon. Chief Commissioner. He did not state to me any certain impression, but I am sure he would have been glad to have joined in the discussion. It has, I have no objection to state, been discussed in Executive Council and this discussion will do no good. I must oppose such resolutions going up to the Governor. for it may create expectations which, when the terms go to the polls, cannot be fulfilled. ,
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —I have no doubt when the terms come to the polls there will be one howl of discontent at the financial part of them from Cariboo to New Westminster. I wish to see road tolls free but I do not wish to see the Dominion Government taking charge of our local interests, such as tolls. With regard to terms, I say that the financial terms will kill Confederation when it comes to the polls. The people from Cariboo to New Westminster want these road tolls abolished.
Hon. Mr. Robson —The Attorney-General suggests, on behalf of the Hon. Chief Commissioner, that we shall lose the revenue; but this is a gain if we get free from the maintenance of the roads. The Government should consider themselves part of the people, and endeavour to relax taxes. Another objection is, that under this arrangement roads would not be kept in repair so well as at present. I say, under Confederation, the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works would have control of roads. The Dominion Government is less likely to be penurious than a Local Government. The Hon. Chief Commissioner spoke to me after making that objection. and my distinct impression is that the Hon. gentleman would support some such proposition as this. We ask what is in perfect harmony with reason. We may just as well ask Canada to do the whole thing, and to maintain the whole road.
Hon. Mr. Ring —It astonishes me that Hon. gentlemen are connecting revenue with these tolls. It can only be justifiable to keep tolls for the repair of roads.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —I am on the horns of a dilemma. If I vote for road tolls being taxable, I shall be told I want to make the terms too heavy; it against them, I should be told I am against Confederation.
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Hon. Mr. Walkem —Sir, I have made few speeches during this debate, but this is a question on which I must ask leave to say a few words. Session after Session the question has been brought down We have had always a large Victoria element, and this question has. unfortunately, always taken a Victoria and Mainland issue. I have studied this matter carefully. With regard to the Acts themselves they are very strong; they commence with preambles as to construction, maintenance, and repair. The toll was not mentioned as to continue merely until the debt was extinguished, therefore I think the vote should be taken on another view. The benefits accrue equally to Victoria and the Upper Country; probably the farmer gets the lion’s share; I know the Upper Country pretty well: formerly the miner used nothing outside of bacon and flour. This should not he made an Island and Mainland question.
Hon. Dr. Helmcken —I do not regard the subject as a joke. We have paid $60,000 for roads on Vancouver Island—roads not one-twentieth the length of those on the Mainland. Victoria gets more kicks than halfpence. Victoria pays the greater part of the tolls. I belong to a company who pay a large proportion. What do they propose in place of a road toll? Some one must pay it. Thirty thousand dollars per annum is required to keep roads in repair. I say Victoria and Vancouver Island are more concerned with What is for the good of the Colony, generally, than any part of the Mainland.
Hon. Mr. Humphreys —I rise to bear testimony to the fairness of the Hon. Members for Vancouver Island in whatever concerns the Mainland. I have always seen a desire on the part of Vancouver Island Members to legislate for the whole, and not for a part, of the Colony. I am as tired of this bickering as any Member of the Mainland. I consider it our duty to be more united. It the Hon. Members for New Westminster and Yale would talk less about injustice to the Mainland it would be better. I regret the action of the Hon. Member for Yale; it is factions.
Hon. Mr. Barnard —Vancouver Island has always made practical jokes of any questions from the Mainland.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos rose to order.
Hon. Mr. Barnard —I referred to the Hon. gentleman for Victoria City. There are no road tolls on Vancouver Island. [Yes a road tax! —Hon. Dr. Helmcken] As soon as the roads are paid for the people or the Mainland will, to a man, refuse to pay any more road tolls. Every item has been used as a threat against Confederation. I do not offer any such threat. I believe the Upper Country would accept Confederation on the terms proposed; but if the Government expect that they will be able to collect this $60,000 from the population of the Upper Country they are mistaken.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos —The Hon. Member for Yale is unjust to Vancouver Islanders. The Whole of this Colony is paying large sums of money for interest on debt on roads.
Hon. Mr. Barnard —I did not say what I did with reference to Vancouver Island Members without consideration.
Hon. Mr. Robson —I hope that Government Members. in view of the absence of the Hon. Chief Commissioner, will vote so as to allow this resolution to go forward.
Hon. Attorney General —I must express a contrary hope.
The amendment of Hon. Mr. Barnard was carried.
The Committee rose and reported the resolutions complete.
Council resumed, and the resolutions passed in Committee were adopted, except those with regard to the purchase of Alaska and the State of Maine.