British Columbia, Legislative Council: Debate on the Subject of Confederation with Canada (9 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 5-18.
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DEBATE ON THE SUBJECT OF CONFEDERATION WITH CANADA.
WEDNESDAY, 9TH MARCH, 1870.
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The Hon. Attorney-General Crease opened the debate on Confederation, as follows :—
Mr. President—I rise to move that this Council do now resolve itself into Committee of the Whole, to take into consideration the terms proposed for the Confederation of the Colony of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada, in His Excellency’s Message to this Council.
In doing so, I am deeply impressed with the momentous character of the discussion into which we are about to enter, the grave importance of a decision by which the fate of this our adopted country of British Columbia must be influenced for better, for worse, for all time to come. And I earnestly hope that our minds and best energies may be bent to a task which will tax all our patriotism, all our forbearance, all our abnegation of self, and selfish aims, to combine all our individual powers into one great, united effort for the common good.
May He who holds the fate of Nations in the hollow of His hand, and crowns with success, or brings to nought, the counsels of men, guide all our deliberations to such an issue as shall promote the peace, honour, and welfare of our Most Gracious Sovereign, and of this and all other portions of Her extended realm.
And now, Mr. President, I must dwell a few moments on the exact practical import of the motion before the House, and the issue which is involved in the “Aye” or ” No ” which each Honourable Member will be called upon to cast upon the question which you, Mr. President, will put to the House in that familiar Parliamentary phrase ” That I do now leave the Chair?”
This issue is, Confederation or no Confederation?
The motion assumes that the principle of Confederation has been already fully adopted by this House—and having so assumed, asks you now to go into Committee of the Whole to discuss the Terms on which the Colony would be content to be confederated with the Dominion.
Your question, therefore, Mr. President, “That I do now leave the Chair?” means—Will you refuse Confederation at any price? or, Will you have it on favourable terms? That is the issue before us now.
Now, therefore, is the time for those Honourable Members who, notwithstanding the previous Resolutions of this House so frequently affirming the principle [“No, no,” from Dr. Helmcken], still conscientiously object to the principles of Confederation, to come forward and explain to this Honourable body, and to the country at large, their views,—why they still refuse to aid in the consolidation of British interests on the North American Continent, by the Confederation of this Colony with the Dominion, and the creation of one homogeneous nationality from sea to sea.
Some Honourable gentlemen say “No, no ” to my statement that the House has affirmed the principle of Confederation. But I appeal to the Journals of this House, in proof of what I state. I well remember, on the 19th March, 1867, when the “British North America Act, 1867,” was being framed by the Imperial Parliament, this Council, anxious to be embraced within the purview of its provisions, passed by an unanimous vote the following Resolution:—
“Resolved, That this Council is of opinion that at this juncture of affairs in British North America. east of the Rocky Mountains, it is very desirable that His ‘Excellency be respectfully requested to take such steps, without delay, as may be deemed by him best adapted to insure the admission of British Columbia into the Confederation on fair and equitable terms, this Council being confident that in advising; this step they are expressing the views of the ‘Colonists generally.”
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And more than that, this Resolution was followed up by a deputation of individual members to Governor Seymour, who at their instance telegraphed to the Secretary of State the purport of that Resolution; and on the 22nd March, the following Message was sent down to the Council on the subject :—
“The Governor has received the Resolution of the Legislative Council, dated the 18th instant, in favour of the admission of British Columbia with the proposed Confederation of the Eastern British Colonies of North America. He will place himself in communication on the subject with the Secretary of State, with Viscount Monck. Governor-General of Canada, and with Sir Edmund Head, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.”
Whatever construction may be put upon this Resolution by Honourable Members who have said “No, no,” one thing is certain, it affirmed, in the most distinct manner, by this Council, the principle of Confederation, the advisability of our joining at some time or other the Dominion of Canada. That principle has during every subsequent session, down to the present day, been confirmed, either directly or indirectly, by a specific Resolution of this House [“No, no,” from Dr. Helmcken and Mr. Wood]. Thus, on the 28th April, 1868, a Resolution was passed by this Council confirming the previous Resolution, in the following terms :—
“That this Council, while confirming the vote of last Session in favour of the general principle of the desirability of the Union of this Colony with the Dominion of Canada, to accomplish the consolidation of British interests and institutions in North America, are still without sufficient information and experience of the practical working of Confederation in the North American Provinces, to admit of their defining the terms on which such an Union would be advantageous ‘to the local interests of British Columbia.”
What is that but a confirmation of the principle? Now let us look to the Journals of 1869, There I see that, on the 17th February, 1869), when, owing to the position of other political issues then current in the Colony, it would have been easy, had it been so desired, to procure an adverse verdict on the principle of Confederation, the House, though invited to do so, refused to go any further than to request Her Majesty’s Government (while the North-West Territory was still out of the Dominion) not to press the present consummation of Union. The word “present” was an express amendment of my Honourable colleague opposite (Mr. Trutch) and myself, so as to preserve the principle, and bide our time. The House, therefore, I take it, has thoroughly and uniformly committed itself to the principle of Confederation, and may very properly be invited now, setting aside all causes of difference, for the common good, calmly, frankly, and cordially to enter upon a discussion of the terms. But if any Honourable Members think the principle has not been decided. now is the time and now the hour to settle that point (as far as this Session and this present Council is concerned) once and forever. They are bound, in support of their views, to lay before the Council the reasons for the faith that is in them, and to explain why we should not consolidate counsels with the Dominion.
And here, Mr. President, let me say a few words upon the position the Official Members of this Council have occupied throughout the whole of this matter
Their action has been much misunderstood—I will not say misconstrued―both in England and at Ottawa.
Until the receipt of Earl Granville’s Confederation Despatch of 14th August, 1869, they did not feel themselves at liberty to go further in the direction of Confederation than to affirm the general principle of its propriety, carefully abstaining from the expression of opinion on the merits of any particular mode, details, or time of carrying that principle into practical effect.
That, they considered, could most effectually be done by Her Majesty’s Government, and Executive peculiarly qualified for the task, this Legislature, and the People of this Colony all acting in concert together, as it is now proposed to do.
I do not at present intend to enter into the details of what particular terms would or would not be most advantageous to this Country in any proposal for Confederation.
That will be a question for the House to settle when, if ever, we get into Committee on the subject; but, inasmuch, as the principle of Confederation means the advisability of consolidating British interests on the North American Continent, it is impossible to lose sight altogether, in a debate upon the principle, of the general advantages to be derived by British Columbia from a participation in that great scheme.
I readily confess that there are drawbacks to material union, such as distance, lack of communication, and, to some extent, want of identity of interest, which can only—but yet which can—be removed, either wholly or in a very great degree, by suitable conditions of Union.
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It is for us to determine those conditions in this House, and, after negotiation upon them with Canada, to submit them to the decision of the popular vote, the people being the parties principally affected by the change, who will have to pass in the last resort, once and forever, upon the whole question.
The circumstances, political, geographical, and social, under which we are at present placed, compel us to political movement in one direction or another, and the question is now—In what direction shall we go?
We are sandwiched between United States Territory to the north and south―indeed on all sides but one, and that one opening towards Canada. Our only option is between remaining; a petty, isolated community 15,000 miles from home, ekeing out a miserable existence on the crumbs of prosperity our powerful and active Republican neighbours choose to allow us, or, by taking our place among the comity of nations, become the prosperous western outlet on the North Pacific of a young and vigorous people, the eastern boundary of whose possessions is washed by the Atlantic.
This is the only option left to faithful subjects of the British Crown.
Now look at our condition as a Colony, with a climate far finer than any other in the world, with magnificent harbours, rivers, seas, and waters for inland navigation, with unrivalled resources of almost every description you can name—coal, lumber, spars, fish, and furs— mines of gold, silver, copper, lead, cinnabar, tin, and almost every other mineral throughout the land; with a soil and climate admirably adapted to pastoral and agricultural pursuits— with almost every natural advantage which the lavish hand of Nature can bestow upon a country—the undoubted fact remains :—
We are not prosperous.
Population does not increase.
Trade and commerce languish; coal mining does not advance; agriculture, though progressive, does not go forward as it might.
The settlement of the country, though increasing, yet falls short of just expectations.
No public works for opening the country are on hand, and a general lack of progress (that is, proportioned to the extraordinary resources of the Colony) is everywhere apparent.
And why is this?
It is not, as some allege, because of the particular form of Government we at present enjoy (if it were, Confederation in that would effect a change).
It has among other things a Public Debt altogether disproportioned to our means.
Our close proximity to an active and powerful neighbour whose interests are foreign to our own. [” Hear, hear,” from Dr. Helmcken.] But the chief reason of all is that policy of isolation which has kept us aloof from the assistance and sympathy of a kindred race, and left us in the infant state of one of England’s youngest Colonies, to support the burdens and responsibilities of a thickly peopled and long settled land.
Do Honourable Members ask what would Confederation do for us?
It would at once relieve us from the most if not all the present ills from which we suffer, if properly arranged.
For Confederation in some sense means terms. It would assume our Public Debt.
Greatly increase our Public Credit, and thereby aid in the utilization of our varied resources.
It would leave us a good balance in our Exchequer to carry on all local works and open out the country.
It would give us a Railroad across the Continent. and a quick and easy access to Ottawa New York, and London.
It would cement and strengthen, instead of weaken, our connection with the Mother-land, and ensure the protection of her Fleet and Army.
It would attract population, over tending in a continuous wave towards the West.
It would promote the settlement of our Public Lands, and the development of Agriculture.
Under it Trade and Commerce would take a fresh start. It would enlarge, not contract, our political horizon, and it would infuse new hope and life blood into the whole system of the Colony, and not leave us a more detached Municipality, as some suppose, any more than Scotland is separate from the rest of Great Britain, or the County of Kent from England.
I leave to others to dilate upon the advantages which Canada would derive from the connection, the possession of a Far West (Canada’s great want) into which her rapidly increasing population may pour, instead of going to swell the bulk of the adjoining States.
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Those gentlemen will be able to show that the ultimate importance—nay possible existence—of the Dominion as a Nation may hereafter, in some measure, depend upon her Union with ourselves.
To them, also, I leave the task of dwelling on the healing of old internal feuds of race and language of which Confederation is the only cure.
If we watch the progress of events, they all point to the same end, to the growth of a new universal sentiment of nationality in British America.
It is clear that events all gravitate in that direction.
[Mr. DeCosmos—” In the direction of Confederation or Nationality?”]
[Hon. Attorney-General Crease:] I say, Sir, that the current of events points to Confederation and ultimately to Nationality.
Confederation is evidently our ultimate destiny—Our own interests—Canadian aspirations —and Imperial policy, as enunciated in the Secretary of State’s Despatch, all point the same way.
We shall, therefore, best consult the real interests of the Colony, the sooner bring on a new era of progress and prosperity in this favoured land, by not delaying to debate and consider over the advisability of the principle itself, but at once to go into Committee of the Whole, and there combine all our energies upon the best scheme to be submitted in the last resort to the decision of the people, for carrying out the principle of Confederation, under God’s blessing, successfully into practical effect.
The motion was seconded by the Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, who was excused from speaking at this stage of the debate on the ground of indisposition, under which he was manifestly suffering.
The Hon. Mr. Helmcken said:―The subject of Confederation was introduced by His Excellency the Governor in his Speech, in the following terms :—
“The community is already acquainted with the Despatch which I have recently received from Her Majesty’s Secretary of State on this subject: and the careful consideration of it cannot longer be deferred with courtesy to Her Majesty’s Government, or advantage to the Colony. I commend it to your earnest thought. For my own part I am convinced that on certain terms, which I believe it would not be difficult to arrange, this Colony may derive substantial benefit from such an Union. But the only manner in which it can be ascertained whether Canada will agree to such arrangements as will suit us, is to propose such as we would be ready to accept. With the assistance of my Council, I have prepared a scheme which I shall cause to be laid before you. Resolutions framed upon that basis will enable me to communicate with the Government of Canada and ascertain whether they will be willing to accede to our propositions.
While the views of Her Majesty’s Government have been clearly. and forcibly expressed upon this- question, I am sure there is no desire to urge the Union, except in accordance with its general acceptance by British subjects in the Colony. I do not, therefore, propose that any terms agreed upon by the Government of Canada should be finally accepted, until ratified by the general verdict of the community, so far as that can be ascertained through another Council, of which the Unofficial Members shall have been re-elected.”
Before proceeding to the consideration of the subject, I will reply in a very few words to the speech of the Hon. Attorney-General. The Hon. gentleman laid great stress upon the consolidation of British interests on this coast. but I say, Sir, that however much we are in favour of consolidating British interests, our own interests must come first; Imperial interests can well afford to wait. We are invited to settle this question now and for ever, but I say that we are not called upon to do so; the matter will come before the people after the proposed terms have been submitted to the Dominion Government, and it will very likely happen that, if these terms are rejected and others of a mean nature substituted by the Government of Canada for the consideration of the people of this Colony, other issues may come up at the polls, and amongst them, the question whether there is no other place to which this Colony can go but Canada; whatever may be the result of the present vote, it is impossible to deny the probability of the less being absorbed by the greater; and it cannot be regarded as improbable that ultimately, not only this Colony, but the whole of the Dominion of Canada will be absorbed by the United States. The Hon. Attorney-General has not attempted to prove the advantages which will result from Confederation; he has contented himself with vague assertions of advantages.
The question is only brought down by the Governor in consequence of the Despatch of Lord Granville; all we have to do is to agree to a series of resolutions. It is not pretended […]
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[…] that it is the voice of the people, or the voice of this Council. It is well understood that it is a Government measure. And we all know what that means—it means that this series of resolutions is to be passed. And we have it from the Governor that he desires to send these resolutions to Canada; they will not go, they are not intended to go, as the opinion of the people, but when certain terms have been agreed upon between the Government of this Colony and the Dominion Parliament, they will come back to the people for ratification. It remains then for the people to organize, so as to be ready at the proper time to give their verdict, for the responsibilities will ultimately rest with the people, and it is for them to say whether they will have Confederation or not.
I do think, Sir, that the question ought to have been an open one.
Her Majesty’s Government ought not to have interfered; they are not justified in interfering in business which we could very well manage for ourselves.
I feel certain that His Excellency will act uprightly, fairly, honestly, and generously, by, and for, the Colony [hear, hear]; and, Sir, I fully believe that if these terms are declined now, in any future negotiations that may take place, if the people support the Governor, no terms will be accepted, or ever proposed, which would lead to this Colony being sacrificed to Canada, and that the people will have every opportunity afforded them to organize for the final vote when the time arrives for the settlement of this question “finally and forever,” as the Honourable Gentleman has put it.
I see no reason, Sir, why Her Majesty’s Government should interfere with our affairs; there is no reason that the Members of this Council shall be coerced.
The desire of Her Majesty’s Government is in reality a command to the Executive.
A new election ought to have been called before this question was brought on; but there is one satisfaction left us, it is that Her Majesty’s Government have left the terms to the Colony.
It is for the people to use that power rightly, wisely, and well, to see that Confederation means the welfare and progress of the Colony.
Now, Sir, in the first place, it is necessary for the people to see that Confederation must be for the general good of the Colony.
I am opposed to this question being brought down now.
I believe it to be most inopportune. It is believed by most people that this Colony is on the verge of great changes. That the new gold discoveries will bring a large population to this Colony, and that the slight despondency which now exists will be swept away, and that this Colony will once more enter upon an era of prosperity not inferior to that which belonged to it a few years ago.
I say, Sir, that this is an inopportune period to bring this question up, because when that population which is expected arrives, our position to negotiate for terms will be much better, because with a larger population and greater prosperity, we may demand far better terms than now; and, Sir, it is my firm conviction that if prosperity comes shortly the people of this Colony will not desire to change certainty for uncertainty.
Another reason there is that we ought to wait until after 1871. In that year Canada has to take a census of the population, and when that is taken we shall know the amount of the debt per head. I have no doubt it is greater now than when Confederation was first inaugurated. It is increasing, and I believe that instead of 22 cents per head it will now be 25 cents.
I should like, then, to wait until after 1871, because we shall then have a better opportunity of knowing the financial condition of those with whom we would connect ourselves
It is inopportune, also, for the reason that the present difficulties in the Red River Settlement: are sufficient to cause us great anxiety: I will not take up the time of this House by inquiring whether the people of that Territory are right or wrong. I know not, and shall not discuss the question; but this I do know, that if they induce the Indians to join them it will cause a great delay in the settlement of that country; and we do not even yet know that the Red River Settlement will prove so inviting to emigration as is reported. Again, Sir, I may state that Confederation, so far as it has at present gone, is but a mere experiment. It is nothing more or less than an experiment. And I believe that considerable dissatisfaction has resulted from it. If we wait a little longer before seeking to enter within its pale ourselves, we shall know better about the faults of its machinery, and perhaps be able to learn what are its drawbacks, and how we can best avoid them. These, Sir, are good and sufficient reasons for delay. It is absurd to attempt to ally ourselves with a people 3,000 miles away, without […]
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[…] any settlement of the intervening country, with no communication except through the United States, and with no telegraphic communication. Canada is for all practical purposes further removed from us to-day than England; we know less about her. When we asked for a copy of the Canadian Tariff we were told that there was no copy to be had. [” Yes, yes,” from Hon. Members.] No official copy then.
This, then, shows forcibly the intimate nature of the relations subsisting between us. When we desire to refer to the Canadian Year Book, a most useful work, which during the present discussion ought to be in the hands of every member, we find but two copies. This, again, shows the extent of our communication with Canada. Her Majesty’s Government seem to think that they know best what is for our interest, and it seems much as if they said to us ” You are a Crown Colony, and you ought to remain one. You are not fit to govern yourselves ; we do not want you ; we will hand you over to Canada.” I would rather that we were governed from Downing Street. It is not, in my opinion, necessary or desirable that this Colony should be Confederated with Canada. And now, Sir, let us glance at this Colony. I need not dilate upon what is known to all. I maintain, Sir, that this Colony is one of the richest portions of the world’s surface ; that it has unlimited supplies of lumber and spars ; that it possesses coal, gold, and other minerals in abundance ; that her waters teem with fish ; that it is rich in everything. Take the climate ; it is far better than that of England, far more temperate, far more bright and sunny, and, I may fairly add, far more healthy.
We are asked by the Honourable the Attorney-General why the country does not get on ; and I will now proceed to tell you, Sir, why the country has not prospered as it ought to have done. It is because the Government has paid too little attention to the acquisition of population. One very great drawback to its progress and the settlement of its land, is its proximity to the United States. That proximity is one of the chief reasons that it has not been peopled as it would have been. When we look at the energy and enterprise there, and at the field which the United States offers for emigrants and the enterprising of all nations, how can we wonder that that country is preferred to ours, and that people when they become dissatisfied here should leave for the United States. The United States hem us in on every side ; it is the Nation by which we exist ; it is the Nation which has made this Colony what it is ; but, nevertheless, it is one of our greatest drawbacks. We do not enjoy her advantages, nor do we profit much by them ; we do not share her prosperity, and we are far too small to be her rival. The effect of a large body and a small body being brought into contact, is, that the larger will attract the smaller, and ultimately absorb it. [” Yes, yes,” and ” No, no.”]
[Hon. Member for Kootenay—How about Switzerland?]
[Hon. Mr. Helmcken:] I say more, Sir. I say that the United States will probably ultimately absorb both this Colony and the Dominion of Canada. [” No, no, no,” from Mr. Trutch, Mr. Crease, and others.] Canada will in all probability find it quite as much to her advantage to join her ultimately. as we do now to join the Dominion. I say, Sir, that one cause of our want of prosperity has been the neglect of acquisition of population, and particularly of agricultural population. The next cause is that we have driven people out of the Colony.
I need only allude to our having deposed the Free Trade system. That deposition took population out of the Colony which has never been replaced. There was a depopulation of the cities without any attempt having been made to obtain a substitute rural population. We are now asked to undergo another revolution which will ruin our farmers, and do no sort of good to those engaged in commercial pursuits.
I do not intend, Sir, to follow the details of the proposed terms at present, but there seem items which I must notice.
I hold in my hands the published returns of the Custom House receipts for last year, and this document shows plainly, that no less than half a million of dollars are sent out of the Colony every year for the purchase of agricultural productions—wheat, barley, flour, and cattle ―all of which, considering the fertility of our soil, its abundance, the magnificent, salubrious, healthy, sunny, and more than temperate climate, we ought to produce ourselves. This Colony probably raises another half million’s worth. If we adopt the Canadian Tariff we shall throw away this million of dollars; that is, the half million which we raise, and the half million which can be raised—and for what? For the sake of problematical benefits which some think likely to arise from Confederation. If Confederation should come and bring with it the Tariff of Canada, and it will do so, the great inducements which we now have to attract population, […]
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[…] will be taken away. So far from Confederation benefiting the commercial community, I say it is much rather calculated to do them harm. No doubt if public works are undertaken, as we are told will be the case under Confederation, employment will be given for a time, but the supplies required will come from the United States, and our public works will actually be of more benefit to the United States, during their construction, than to this Colony. What we want, is an enlarged outlet for our resources. We want markets for our coal and lumber ; we want our local industries fostered ; and all of these can be obtained by a judicious arrangement of our own Tariff. Next, we want agricultural population, and any increase of this kind of population must depend upon the encouragement given. If our agricultural interests are left without encouragement, we shall not get an increased agricultural population ; and, therefore, the country will not reap so much benefit from public works, as the supplies will come from the United States.
We shall find it difficult, Sir, to get a Tariff from Canada that will suit us, and I think that I shall be able to show you, Sir, that Confederation will not produce population Anything that deprives this Colony of the power of protecting the local industries and interests of the Colony, and of regulating and fostering its commerce and trade, cannot be otherwise than dangerous and injurious to the country.
I feel perfectly sure, Sir, that if Confederation should come, bringing with it the Tariff of Canada, not only will the farmers be ruined, but our independence will be taken away. It will deprive our local industries of the protection now afforded them, and will inflict other burdens upon them. It will not free trade and commerce from the shackles which now bind them, and will deprive the Government of the power of regulating and encouraging those interests upon which the prosperity of the Colony depends.
There can be no permanent or lasting union with Canada, unless terms be made to promote and foster the material and pecuniary interests of this Colony. The only link which binds this Colony to Canada is Imperial. The people must be better off under Confederation than alone, or they will not put up with it. We are told, Sir, that public works are to be undertaken. I answer that they may do good to some, but the supplies both of food and raiment will come from the United States, who will in reality reap the lion’s share of the benefit ; and, what is more, as soon as the money was expended the people would begin to consider whether they were equally well off under Confederation, as they might be under another Government ; and if a change should be desired, it is perfectly plain that Canada cannot use force to keep the people of this Colony within the Dominion. They must he better off under Confederation than alone, or they will not stop in the Confederacy.
Our true course, Sir, judging from the statistics, is not to look to Canada, but to seek to extend our markets for our natural productions, and to obtain an agricultural productive population. I say, Sir, that there is no necessity for us to join Canada ; we can get on very well by ourselves at present.
The Hon. Attorney-General says Canada will take over our debts ; but I say, Sir, that our debt in proportion to our population is very little more per head than that of Canada. When I state this, I mean that Indians are very large consumers and producers, and ought to be reckoned with the population. Our expenses will soon be much smaller. What I mean, Sir, is that at the end of 1871 this Colony will save $50,000, for one of the loans will have expired, thus saving as $36,000, and floating loans will be funded, and we shall save ten or twelve thousand by that.
I shall not go into the question of Canada being able to defend this Colony ; I do not believe, Sir, that Canada is able to defend itself. Great Britain has taken away her standing army. Canada will very soon be required to pay for the few troops that are left, and in the next place they will be asked to contribute to the expense of keeping up the navy.
Confederation would make the Dominion territorially greater, but would, in case of war, be a source of weakness. It is people, not territory, that makes a country strong and powerful. To be strong, the union must be of people, and in my opinion that condition is wanting. I feel certain that Her Majesty’s Government has no wish to be put to the expense of defending the country ; no wish to be involved in quarrels with the United States ; no wish to keep Canada depending upon her support, but rather a wish to force her into independence—to get rid of her altogether.
I am opposed to Confederation, because it will not serve to promote the industrial interests of this Colony, but, on the contrary, it will serve to ruin many, and thus be detrimental to the […]
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[…] interest and progress of the country. I say that Confederation will be injurious to the farmers, because protection is necessary to enable them to compete with farmers of the United States. The Tariff and Excise Laws do not supply that. They will be inimical to brewers.
Inimical to the Spar Trade ;
Inimical to Fisheries ;
Inimical to Whaling Pursuits ;
Inimical to Spar and Lumber Business.
Turn to the Canadian Tariff and you will find grain admitted free. I maintain that if the tariff now imposed upon certain cereals and agricultural produce be taken away, farmers of this Colony will be brought into competition with the farmers of the United States, and will succumb [Mr. DeCosmos—Lower Country Farmers]
[Hon. Mr. Helmcken:] Yes, and here the Resolutions are silent where they ought to be loudest.
I shall not attempt to prove that farmers did not prosper under Free Trade ; be that as it may, they are now prosperous and becoming rich. There is no better advertisement for population than the fact of the present prosperity of the farmers. Take away that prosperity, and you do away with the chief inducement which you have for agricultural population.
I go on to brewers, and these interests, though in point of fact small, are in proportion as large with us, as larger interests would be to a larger population ; moreover, we, having so small a population, cannot afford to risk a change, because we cannot recuperate quickly. Under the Canadian law a brewer must take out a brewer’s and maltster’s license, and has to pay one cent per pound on all malt made, and as there is an average amount of 1,248,000 pounds of malt consumed in the year, the average duty would amount to $12,680 per annum, in addition to which they will have to pay a maltster’s and brewer’s license. The duty upon that amount of malt now is $3,750. Confederation therefore will increase the malt duty by nearly $9,000. Brewers would probably buy all their malt from abroad or cease to brew, especially when we take into consideration the annoyances connected with the bonding system. You will see, Sir, that this quantity of malt would take 500 acres of land to raise it, so that in addition to injuring the brewers, the farmers are also injured.
Under the Canadian Law, salmon must not be taken at the mouth of any river when they are going up for the purpose of spawning. We all know that they must be taken. If we are not allowed to catch them as they go up, we should never get them at all. They never come down again ; they go up to die.
Again, according to Canadian Law, whales must not be taken by means of bombs or firearms; and I am told they cannot be taken without firearms in these waters, so that under Confederation whales would be free to spout as they pleased.
Under Canadian Law, tobacco cannot be grown without excise duty ; it has to be bonded, and its cultivation would be abandoned. Alkaline soil suits the tobacco plant, and I have very little doubt that tobacco could be grown profitably in many parts of British Columbia [Hon. Holbrook—It is grown] ;
[Hon. Mr. Helmcken:] but the excise duty.
When we come to lumber we find that there is an export duty on logs of $1 per 1,000 feet ; this will affect the spar business. [Hon. Barnard—No, it will not affect spars ; the duty is upon logs only, which is cut into lumber, and is a protection to Canadian Lumber Mills.]
[Hon. Mr. Helmcken:] I have now, Sir, given you reasons why the general interests of the Colony will not be promoted. Farmers, Brewers, the Lumber Trade, and the Fisheries will not be benefited ; who will? Canada will take no coal nor lumber from us, and will not increase our trade at all ; but they will take our money, and much of that money derived from the very fact that we have to pay more for Canadian manufactures than the Eastern Provinces, or rather we are obliged to pay duties upon foreign articles, simply because we cannot obtain Canadian, and yet we are told that Confederation will reduce our taxation. Our Tariff is as low as that of Canada, save upon spirits and tobacco.
It would be absurd for us to sacrifice our interests in order that laws may be made for us by a people who know little of our condition and wants, and who in fact must necessarily legislate for the greater number―the people of the Atlantic Provinces. It is dangerous to place ourselves at the disposal of superior numbers.
I believe, Sir, that we are quite capable of making laws for ourselves.
If we are united, or rather absorbed, everything will centralize in Canada, and the whole country will be tributary to Canada. The number of Representatives sent to Ottawa from other places would overwhelm the number sent from British Columbia. Even in the matter of […]
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[…] appropriations, where the scramble always is, this Colony would be overborne ; we should be laughed at by the victors for our pretensions. It is the case in all other Colonies, and would be here.
It is absurd to suppose that the same laws, whether civil, commercial, or industrial will be found equally advantageous to all parts of this great Continent. It manifestly cannot be so ; the conditions are different. We know what is best for ourselves, and are able to legislate to effect that. We have no wish to pay Canada to do our legislation.
No union between this Colony and Canada can permanently exist, unless it be to the material and pecuniary advantage of this Colony to remain in the union. The sum of the interests of the inhabitants is the interest of the Colony. The people of this Colony have, generally speaking, no love for Canada ; they care, as a rule, little or nothing about the creation of another Empire, Kingdom, or Republic ; they have but little sentimentality, and care little about the distinctions between the form of Government of Canada and the United States.
Therefore no union on account of love need be looked for. The only bond of union outside of force―and force the Dominion has not—will be the material advantage of the country and pecuniary benefit of the inhabitants. Love for Canada has to be acquired by the prosperity of the country, and from our children.
I say, Sir, it is absurd for us to ally ourselves with a people with whom we have, and can have, no communication. The Tariff and Excise Laws of Canada will ruin the dominant interests of this Colony, and we are told that those laws must rule accordingly to the conditions of “The British North America Act.” A Tariff perhaps excellent to the Eastern Provinces, is ruin to British Columbia. Our Tariff imposes a large duty on spirits, and a duty on agricultural produce. The Canadian Tariff imposes none on agricultural produce, and a small duty on spirits.
If we are Confederated with Canada we become its tributary, and in all that concerns us chiefly Canada has to act for us. In all our chief concerns, commerce, shipping, and mercantile laws, agriculture, trade, navigation, fisheries, currency, banking—Canada rules. She may tax us to any extent, and in any manner she pleases, so that it is quite possible we may have export duties on gold and coal.
All such things as require money for their performance are left for the Colony to provide ; those that require intellect are supplied by Canada.
The expense to Canada is constantly decreasing, her revenue constantly increasing. The expense of the Local Government on the other hand, is constantly increasing, and out of proportion to any increase of its revenue.
Is it necessary that we should pay for the intellect of Canada? Is our own not as good? Do we not know what is best for ourselves? Cannot we do all as well as they? Cannot we pay our Colonial intellect to do our business well, instead of theirs to do it badly?
The very means by which we ought to make our roads are taken from us, so that, as time rolls on, we shall have to provide other taxes, and raise loans for the purpose. The other countries have gone into Confederation with roads ready made, and large loans and large debts.
It is not fair to put this country upon a footing of its present population ; on its present income ; a future income ought to be calculated upon.
I do not think it wise to ruin the present population for the sake of the future.
Remember that to have a population, that population must be able to live. Confederation will ruin the farmer, and destroy at once the greatest inducement to immigration ; will ruin the brewer and the fisheries ; do no good to commerce ; afford no larger market for lumber, coal, or anything else ; in fact do a great deal of harm and no good, save that which is problematical and fanciful.
In conclusion, I have to say that I sincerely trust that our deliberations may result in good, and that whatever may be the issue of this debate, it may be for the good of the Colony.
I accord most heartily with the learned Attorney-General in the belief that―
“There’s a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how we may,”
The Hon. Mr. Drake, Member for Victoria City, rose and said:—Sir, I will move an amendment to the Resolution of the Hon. Attorney General―” That the consideration of this question be postponed for six months.” I need not state, Sir, that I have always been opposed to Confederation. I have consistently opposed Confederation on any terms up to the present time, and […]
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[…] I do not see any reason now to change my opinion. I do not say that Confederation must be bad for all time, the time may come when it will be a benefit or a necessity ; but at present, I do not believe that Confederation would be a benefit to British Columbia. The time has not yet arrived for it. I was sent to this Council as an opponent of Confederation. I oppose it from conviction, and I shall still continue to oppose it.
The question of Confederation has been advocated by certain parties for some years past, and why? Because there has been a general feeling of dissatisfaction throughout the Colony, a general feeling of pressure from heavy taxation on a daily diminishing basis. The people have been suffering under a desire for change ; that is what is at the bottom of this discussion.
Confederation has been discussed outside, in the public press, and in other places, and now, after years of agitation, by secret and unknown partizans, it has cropped up in this Council as a Government measure. I know, Sir, that I have no chance of carrying this amendment. I have not the slightest hope of carrying it, but I move it with the view of bringing the question fairly before the public. I should deeply regret that this Council should be able to bind the Colony for ever. The question is one of the greatest magnitude, greater by for than any other which has ever come before this Legislature. I am glad that it must hereafter be referred to another Council, the majority of whose members will have to come before the people for election I think, however, that it is waste of time to bring this measure before this Council.
There are some points in Confederation, I admit, which are worthy of consideration, or would be under different circumstances. The idea of consolidating the British Possessions on this Continent, is an idea which is likely to carry people away. The idea of assisting to found a large and wide-spreading country might be dazzling to some. But if we are to be turned over to Canada with no change in our form of Government, no alteration in the management of our political affairs, where is the advantage of any change. It will simply be a change from ” King Stork” to ” King Log.” The Officials will be chosen by the Dominion Government instead of the Crown ; we should be transferred from the rule of Statesman at Downing Street to that of Politicians at Ottawa. [“No, no.” from Mr. DeCosmos.] All our political rights will be taken away, the whole of the legislation will pass out of our hands into that of the Dominion at Ottawa ; those laws upon which we shall be entitled to pass an opinion, will be much of the same nature as those upon which a municipality or vestry may vote ; but which are beneath the dignity of a Colony. All power of raising taxes, except as the Hon. Member for the District reminds me, for provincial purposes, we shall be subject to the provisions of the Organic Act, which we have no power to change. Any terms which we can impose, must be subject to the provisions of ” The British North America Act.” My position, therefore, is correct, when I say that our power will not exceed that of a municipality. We are told that we are not fit for Representative Institutions or Responsible Government. Then we shall go into the Dominion as a Crown Colony—bound hand and foot. The few Members that will represent us at Ottawa, will not have the power to do anything for us. I do not trust the Politicians of Ottawa. I do not desire to give them the power to raise money upon our vast and rich territory, whilst we should get nothing from Canada in return. I would rather remain as we are, with some change and modification in our Government.
I admit that Confederation offers great advantages to those Provinces which are contiguous to Canada ; there they have a mutuality of interests ; they are able to use the products of the Dominion ; they have community of interests ; and there is no extent of wild, unsettled country between them and the seat of Government. We are divided by upwards of 4,000 miles from Halifax, 2,000 of which is an unknown wilderness. Some explorers who have travelled by that route say, that the greater part of the country is alkaline and unfit for settlement. There is, no doubt, a large tract of fertile land in the valley of the Saskatchewan, but much of the intervening territory is unknown. I ask, Sir, is not our position as a territory of Great Britain, far in advance of what it would be as a Province of the Dominion? Will not the change operate disadvantageously?
We know that our interests can hardly conflict with those of Great Britain ; can we say the same as regards the Dominion. Canada is hampered by her vast territory, and the larger that territory becomes, the greater her weakness will be. But, Sir, I ask of what use is this vast territory, unpeopled and uncultivated. Canada wants population and capital ; this Colony wants the same. Upon looking at the returns of population, I find that two-thirds of the emigrants go over the border to the United States, and many native-born Canadians go to the United States, because they find there a more genial climate, and more work to do. If Canada teemed […]
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[…] with population like England, where people cannot find work for their hands to do, I could conceive it likely that we might acquire population through Canada, but I cannot see how we can gain population unless a Railway were not only commenced, but in such a state of progress as to be a means and inducement for population to come into the country, and this is not likely, in my opinion, to be the case. I have listened to what my Honourable colleague has said about the agricultural interests, and I entirely coincide with him. Our farmers cannot compete with the farmers of the United States under the Canadian Tariff. In the United States, farmers are able to get everything that they want within their own country, whilst here everything comes from abroad. Until the farmers of this Colony can make everything that they require for their own use, they cannot compete with those of the United States. We can always import American goods, even under a heavy duty, cheaper than Canadian goods, and this, Sir, will put this Province under a different condition as compared with other Provinces.
Let us then suppose this Confederation scheme carried out; we will consider the sacrifice completed, the victim decorated with the conditions which have been graciously accorded by the more powerful contracting party. What will become of our farmers? I refer more particularly to the farmers of the Island and of the Lower Fraser. This class I look upon as the bone and sinew of the country. They, Sir, I say, will be driven out of their own market by the cheaper productions of the States. And, I would ask, what industry it is supposed will take the place of agriculture? Moreover, Sir, I would ask it we be confederated upon these terms, what guarantee has the Colony that the terms will be carried out? We all know that when compacts are made between a large and a small power, the larger can break the treaty with impunity when an emergency arises. Would Canada hesitate, in the event of having to repel a Fenian invasion, to abandon the Railway? We have no guarantee that the Dominion will carry out: the terms to which her statesmen may agree. We may be abandoned at any time. The benefits of the larger Provinces of Canada will always take precedence of those of British Columbia, whose representatives will be in a small minority. And I would never consent to Confederation on any terms without an Imperial guarantee that the terms would he observed and kept. History tells us that in a compact between a larger and smaller country, the smaller must go to the wall.
I sum up my objections to Confederation in a few words:
At the present time, I think that any terms will be inimical to this Colony, on account of our distance from Canada; on account of, the smallness of our population, for we never can have an equal vote in the Dominion Parliament with other Provinces; on account of the danger of our farming interests being killed and crushed; and on account of the unsettled state of the intervening territory; and even it the North-West Territory were confederated, what advantage would it be to us?
Our Confederation would be a source of weakness to Canada, and to ourselves.
We are so far separated from Canada, that she can only communicate with us by telegraph through the United States, and by ships round the southern extremity of the American Continent.
We are told that Confederation is an Imperial necessity. We have nothing to do with this. We must look to our own interests. Confederation is a political idea; it may be part of the Imperial policy, but what of that? We are told that Great Britain desires to get rid of all her Colonies.
These are serious matters for consideration, and this question ought not to be dealt with as a party measure. I offer these remarks in the hope that any legislation which may result from this debate, after it has received popular sanction, may be enduring and of advantage to the Colony.
The Hon. Mr. Ring, Member for Nanaimo, said :—Mr. President, I rise to second the amendment of the Hon. Member for Victoria, and in doing so I abstain from dealing with the merits of the question. It appears that the Governor wishes to have a popular vote upon the question of Confederation. I say, then, let there be an extended suffrage given, so that the voice of the people may be heard in this House. I hope that the people will have the opportunity of expressing their opinion, Aye or No, whether they will have Confederation. The people should not be bound by what occurs in a Council constituted as this is.
I say, Sir, that the material question for decision is not that of terms. The Government, it this amendment is carried, will have the opportunity of hearing the voice of the people. On behalf of my constituents, I say they do not want Confederation; they believe that it is undesirable […]
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[…] at present. The proper way to find out the opinion of the country is for the Governor to give us the enlarged representation promised. Let the question come before the people in a fair way.
I do not desire to go into the general question of terms of Confederation upon this occasion. But I must say, Sir, that these resolutions are not based upon the minds of the people. I protest, Sir, against the people’s name being mixed up with those resolutions. I reserve what I have to say on the question of terms, and support the amendment of the Hon. Member for Victoria, in order that the people may have an opportunity of passing their vote upon the question of Confederation.
The Hon. Mr. Humphreys, Member for Lillooet, moved the adjournment of the debate.
The Hon. Mr. Robson, Member for New Westminster, rose and said :—Sir, I had intended to reserve any remarks that I intended to offer until the terms submitted by the Government were under debate in Committee, but I have an objection to the adjournment of the debate at this early hour. I cannot, however, allow certain expressions which have fallen from the Honourable the senior Member for Victoria City to pass unnoticed. I believe the question for us to consider is,—Shall we have Confederation, and upon what terms?
I believe this House is ready to say Aye to the first question, and to go into Committee of the Whole on the second.
I am surprised to find an Honourable Member of this House, who is a Cabinet Minister, expressing his regret that this measure has come down to this Council as a Government measure. I think that the freedom of his remarks contradicts the idea that it is a Government measure, in the sense that Government Members must vote for it.
I was also surprised to hear the Honourable Member, who is a Cabinet Minister, say that Confederation would not be the only issue at the polls, but that there was another place besides Ottawa to which we could go. “I had hoped that all allusion to this matter would have been kept out of this debate; for I say, Sir, that this vague language can have but one meaning, particularly when it is added that the United States will ultimately absorb British Columbia, and Canada as well. The Honourable Member evidently means—Shall we have Confederation, or accept, as an alternative, Annexation? As everything that comes from the Honourable Member is entitled to great weight, and especially as he is a Member of the Government, I think we have a right to know whether that is really the issue or not. I had hoped that this debate would have been carried through without the necessity of making use of the word “Annexation”; but as the subject has been dragged in by a Member of the Government, I trust I shall be pardoned for alluding to it. I say, Sir, that if the Government really means to ask whether the people desire Confederation or another union, let us know it. [“No, no,” from the Attorney—General and Mr. Trutch] I am at a loss to understand the position of the Honourable Member for Victoria. I am anxious to have it explained. If he has not represented Cabinet views correctly, this House should be set right.
Waiving these matters, and assuming that the Honourable Member will be able to explain the apparent paradox, I pass on to the objections raised. I find the Honourable Member distinctly setting himself in opposition to Confederation. I will not follow him for the purpose of rebutting so-called arguments against Confederation.
The Honourable gentleman tells us that confederation is unnecessary, that this Colony is one of the richest spots on the face of the earth, with a climate inferior to no part of the world—why should it not go on alone? And he tells us that this view of the question is taken by the majority of the people of the Colony. Why, Sir, the Colony has had all this opportunity for fifteen years; and what is the fact? Ten years ago the Colony had a very much larger population than now, and very much larger commerce. Are we, then, under these circumstances, to ask the people to wait and work out their own salvation? But, Sir, in addition, we are told in a State paper that we are not to be allowed to hang on the skirts of Great Britain, like a mendicant’s child. I can hardy reconcile the position of manly independence with the position of hanging on to unwilling Imperial skirts. Rather than that, I would ask for union with the Sandwich Islands, or with Hindostan. British Columbia has tried long enough to get on by herself. After fifteen years hard struggle, she finds herself worse off than she was at the beginning. Her progress has been like that of the crab—backward.
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She might make progress, but, unfortunately, her form of Government has rendered progress impossible. I believe that the illiberal form of Government has had much to do with keeping away population—with driving away population,—and with destroying the spirit of manly enterprise of those who are here. Apart from its being the policy of the British Government to unite all the British American Colonies in one great Confederation, if we persist in remaining alone we shall be told by the Imperial Government that we are not fit for liberal institutions, and not prepared for self-government. We should get no amelioration. Downing Street officials would say that we are not fit for Responsible Government, and that we ought to confederate.
There is no difficulty in showing that Confederation will be beneficial to British Columbia; that is to say, Confederation on proper terms. I do not say that Confederation would be entirely satisfactory on the terms proposed in the Government programme. The terms, although excellent, do not go far enough; but I can hardly understand any man taking the position that under those terms, even as they are, Confederation would not be beneficial. The public works proposed would make the population of the Colony double what it is now. No man can conceal from himself, looking at the question dispassionately, that the construction of the Railway alone would bring a very great increase to our labouring and productive population.
We are told that the tariff of the Dominion would crush our farming and industrial interests. Why, Sir, that tariff is a little more than a third lighter than ours, and would relieve us of that one-third of present taxation; and our Customs duties, it must be borne in mind, are taken by the Dominion Government. Although, in its present form, the tariff would be ill-adapted to some of our local interests which we desire to protect, it should be remembered that the Canadian tariff is now under revision, as regards the free admission of American productions; and under Confederation we shall in all probability have a treaty of reciprocity; or, if not, certainly a revised tariff which would meet American productions, which now find a free market in the Dominion, with a protective duty. The argument of the Honourable Member with regard to tariff and farming interests is then swept away by that fact. [Dr. Helmcken—” Is it a fact?”]
[The Hon. Mr. Robson:] This subject is one of the greatest importance. All other questions are overshadowed by it. It is the most important one ever debated on the British Pacific. It has been justly said it is a step for life, for better for worse. The question must be approached in a fair spirit, and in dealing with it we ought to be thoroughly honest with ourselves; and in dealing with facts, I hope that allowance will be made for what has been said, for I believe that much of the present opposition arises out of ancient prejudices. Why do we find an Honourable gentleman who has grown grey in the service of his country, and for whom we have respect amounting to veneration, talking of centralization of every interest under Confederation at Ottawa? Does the union of Washington Territory and Oregon with other States of the Great Republic mean centralization at Washington? [Dr Helmcken “Yes.”]
[The Hon. Mr. Robson:] Then, Sir, where would be the advantage of union in that other direction that has been alluded to? Certain persons are fond of talking about the advantages of Annexation; all arguments in its favour can be brought with redoubled force in favour of Confederation. British Columbia as a member of the Union would have a Pacific frontage, but only in common with other countries of the Union. As a part of the Dominion she would have more, for she would be the only outlet of the British Confederacy on the Pacific Coast.
Exception has been taken by the Honourable gentleman to the fishery laws of the Dominion; and it is said that the whales and salmon will cry out for Confederation to protect them. If the Canadian fishery laws were enforced in their present form, it is possible that the salmon might escape, and the whales might spout with impunity; but we have a right to expect that the Dominion Parliament will adapt these laws to this Colony, on the representations of the Members from this Province. It would be absurd to suppose that, if the fishery laws of the Dominion were inimical to British Columbia, they would be enforced; the nature of the union will be such as to make the interests of this part of the Dominion identical with other parts. We cannot suppose that the Dominion Parliament would seek to injure this Province. A man would not wantonly injure the smallest member of his body. He could not do so without feeling it. No man can neglect or injure any member of his own body with impunity. If one member, however humble, suffers, all the members will suffer with it. Community of interest is the best guarantee for fair play to every section. The Dominion is made up of Provinces, and the prosperity of the Dominion means the prosperity of the Provinces of which it is composed.
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If we could believe that the Government of the Dominion were composed of men of so little wisdom as the opponents of Confederation seem to think, I would say, do not let us join them. But I believe, Sir, and the Imperial Government believes, and British Columbia believes, that the Government of the Dominion is composed of statesmen. And I say, Sir, that since these statesmen have grasped the great idea of Confederation, they have proved themselves fit to govern an empire. I am surprised to find any Honourable Member venturing to suggest that Canada either could not, or would not, fulfil her pledges. The Dominion Government is one and the same in this matter with the Imperial Government. The Imperial Government stands at the hack of the Dominion Government, and will be equally concerned in the fulfilment of the stipulations in their integrity. It will be time to impugn the honour of Canada when she refuses to keep the terms. With regard to Nova Scotia, a departure was made from the terms of union. The Imperial Government, and the Canadian Government, considered that certain concessions ought to be made, and they were made, but only to add to the terms in favour of Nova Scotia. British Columbia places herself in a false position before Canada, and before the world, in saying that there is any doubt as to whether the Dominion would fulfil the terms
With regard, again, to the tariff. I think that the only arguments against Confederation worthy of consideration, are against the present Canadian Tariff. The Customs Tariff is a federal matter, and I confess that the arguments against the applicability of the present scale to British Columbia are entitled to notice; but, Sir, as I said before, I think these arguments are to a great extent met by the fact that we shall have an amended tariff, or a reciprocity treaty. But if we could hit upon some scheme that, Without infringing the Dominion prerogatives, would meet our requirements, it would be most desirable, and shall have my hearty support:
In conclusion, Sir, the Government measure shall meet with my hearty support, so far as it goes.
It affords me unspeakable gratification to find that Government has sent down a measure for Confederation which can hardly be cavilled at.
While feeling pleasure in giving a hearty general support to this measure, I shall reserve to myself the right to suggest that other items shall be placed in the list now before the House.
I believe there are terms of the greatest importance which ought to be added. But anything that can be added will not meet the wishes of the people of this Colony, unless the fundamental principle of self-government accompanies them. I believe that the Canadians are a great, a wise, and a conservative people; but I conceive we should be doing a great wrong to ourselves, to our children, and to those who are to come after us, if we left out Responsible Government.
Suppose, Sir, the case of three persons forming a partnership; if the third partner, coming in subsequently, should consent to leave the management of his private affairs to the firm, he would not only be giving up his own rights, but he would be throwing into the partnership a great element of discord. I say, then, that while Canada necessarily and properly asks us to surrender the larger questions, she does not ask us to relinquish our smaller and local rights, and if we give them up we shall be doing a wanton thing and a great wrong.
In promising my support, therefore, I make this reservation: That, if this Colony is to become a Province of Canada, the people of British Columbia shall have the right to manage their own local affairs, as fully as every other Province has. For, while I agree with the Honourable Junior Member for Victoria, that the change from Downing Street to Ottawa would be useless without a change in the system of Government, I say that it would be most injurious to go into Confederation upon terms which might inaugurate a fresh era of political agitation, which would probably continue for a series of years.
Hon Mr. Helmcken—Sir, I rise for the purpose of explaining.
I deny that I uttered any such thing as that the choice would be put to the people by the Government between two issues of Confederation and any other union. But that if the Canadian Government refuses to agree to terms equivalent to these, but chooses to offer some mean terms for consideration, when it comes to the polls the people themselves will raise the issue between Confederation and the only other change which offers itself for consideration.
The debate was here adjourned until Thursday, at 1 o’clock.