Confederate Council of the British North American Colonies, Minutes of the Proceedings [Resolutions] (15 September 1865)


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Date: 1865-09-15 – 1865-09-18
By: Confederate Council of the British North American Colonies: Governor General Monck, George-Étienne Cartier, George Brown, Alexander Galt, George Brown, James Pope, Robert Wilmot, John A. Macdonald, Ambrose Shea, and John Ritchie, W.A. Himsworth (Secretary).
Citation: Confederate Council of the British North American Colonies, Minutes of the Proceedings, (Quebec: 2-3 15 September – 18 September 1865) in Nova Scotia, “Reciprocity Treaty Correspondence” (Appendix No. 7), Journal and Proceedings of the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia, 1866.
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Minutes of the Proceedings of the Confederate Council of the British North American Colonies, on the negotiation of Commercial Treaties, assembled at Quebec, in compliance with the suggestions contained in the Despatch of the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 22nd July, 1865.

FRIDAY, September 15th, 1865.

The Council met in the Executive Council Chamber.

PRESENT:

His Excellency the Governor General.
The Honorable G. E Cartier,
“ George Brown,
“ A. T. Galt,
“ James C. Pope, and
“ Robert D. Wilmot.

In consequence of the Representatives of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland not having arrived, no business was transacted.

SATURDAY, September 16th, 1865.

The Council met.

PRESENT:

His Excellency the Governor General,
The Honorable G.E. Cartier,
“ George Brown,
“ A. T. Galt
“ Ambrose Shea,
“ James C. Pope,
“ John W. Ritchie, and
“ Robert D. Wilmot.

W. A. Himsworth, Esq, Acting Clerk of the Executive Council, was appointed Secretary to the Council.

Read the Despatch, No. 122, dated 22nd July, 1865, from the Right Honorable H. M. Secretary of State for the Colonies, suggesting the assembling of a Confederate Council, chosen by all the British North American Colonies, and presided over by the Governor General, for the purpose of expressing an opinion to Her Majesty’s Government in the negotiation of Commercial Treaties.

Read the Despatch, dated 7th August, ultimo, from His Excellency the Governor General to the Lieutenant Governors of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and to the Governor of Newfoundland, respectively, communicating to those Governments the suggestion of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and requesting that the representatives of each of the Provinces should meet at Quebec, on Thursday, the 14th September, instant, for the purpose of consulting on the important matters referred to by Mr. Cardwell, and reporting their joint opinion to Her Majesty’s Government.

Read the order of His Excellency the Governor General in Council, of 14th September, 1865, appointing the Honorable John A. MacDonald, George Cartier, George Brown, and A. T. Galt to represent Canada in the proposed Confederate Council.

The Governor General communicated to the Council, in explanation of the appointment of four gentlemen, instead of two, to represent Canada, that this arrangement was determined on in consequence of Messrs. MacDonald, Cartier, Brown, and Galt having constituted the Deputation from the Canadian Government which lately had conferences with Her Majesty’s Government in relation to this question, and that it was considered desirable that these gentlemen should all be enabled to take part in the discussions of the Council; but with the distinct understanding that in case of a division in the Council, only one vote each should be allowed to Upper and Lower Canada.

Read a Despatch, dated 7th September, instant, from the Administrator of the Government of Prince Edward Island, intimating that he had appointed the Honorable James Colledge Pope to represent that Colony in the proposed Confederate Council.

Read a Despatch, dated 8th September, instant, from the Administrator of the Government of New Brunswick, intimating that he had appointed the Honorable Robert Duncan Wilmot to represent that Province in the proposed Confederate Council.

Read a Despatch,. dated 11th September, instant, from His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, stating that he had nominated the Honorable John W. Ritchie to represent that Province in the intended Confederate Council.

Read a Despatch, dated 4th September, instant, from His Excellency the Governor of Newfoundland, intimating that lie had appointed the Honorable Ambrose Shea to represent that Colony in the proposed Confederate Council.

Resolved, That the Honorable Messrs. MacDonald, Cartier, Brown, Galt, Shea, Pope, Ritchie, and Wilmot, be constituted a Committee of the Confederate Council, to report to the Council on Monday, the 18th instant.

The Council then adjourned until Monday, the 18th instant, at Eleven o’clock, A.M.

MONDAY, 18th September, 1865.

The Council met.

PRESENT:

His Excellency the Governor General,
The Honorable Mr. Cartier,
“ “ Brown,
“ “ Shea,
“ “ Pope,
“ “ Ritchie, and
“ “ Wilmot.

The Minutes of the last meeting were read, and approved.

The Report from the Committee appointed on the last day of meeting, was read, and in conformity with its purport, the following Resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Council:—

1st. That the existing Treaty of Trade with the United States is acceptable, and that its renewal, as it now stands, would be assented to by the respective Provinces.

2nd. That in the opinion of the Council, any reasonable proposals for the modification or extension of the Treaty that may be suggested by the United States Government, ought to be entertained by the Provinces.

3rd. That in the event of a new Reciprocity Treaty being negotiated, it would be highly desirable that the Coasting Trade and the Registration of Vessels should be included in its provisions.

4th. That in the event of the abolition of the Treaty by the United States Government, it is the opinion of this Council that all the British North American Provinces should combine cordially together in all commercial matters, and adopt such a Common Commercial Policy as will best advance the interests of the whole.

5th. That in the opinion of this Council, it would be highly desirable that application be made to Her Majesty’s Imperial Government, requesting that steps be taken to enable the British North American Provinces to open communications with the West India Islands, with Spain and her Colonies, and with Brazil and Mexico, for the purpose of ascertaining in what manner the traffic of the Provinces with these countries could be extended, and placed on a more advantageous footing.

6th. That in the event of negotiations for a new Treaty of Reciprocity with the United States being opened by Her Majesty’s Government, but not concluded before the 17th March next, applications be made to Her Majesty’s Government suggesting that an arrangement be entered into with the ‘United States Government for such a continuation of the existing Treaty as may afford time for concluding the pending negotiations.

7th. That Her Majesty’s Government be requested to authorize the Members of this Council, or a Committee to be appointed from amongst them, to proceed to Washington, in the event of negotiations being opened for the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, in order to confer with the British Minister there, and afford him information with respect to the interests of the British North American Provinces.

The Council then adjourned.

W. A. HIMSWORTH,
Secretary.

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