Province of Canada, Legislative Council, Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of the Confederation of the British North America Provinces, 8th Parl, 3rd Sess, (28 February 1865)

Document Information

Date: 1865-02-28
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of the Confederation of the British North America Provinces, 8th Parl, 3rd Sess, 1865 at 512.
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).
Note: All endnotes come from our recent publication, Charles Dumais & Michael Scott (ed.), The Confederation Debates in the Province of Canada (CCF, 2022).

Click here to view the rest of the Confederation Debates.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Before the House rises, I desire to submit a statement of the revenue of the Island of Prince Edward, which has come into my hands since the close of the debate on the proposed union of Canada and the Lower Provinces. The hon. member for Niagara [James Currie] seemed to take exception to what I said in relation to that particular point, and I am therefore happy to be able to satisfy the hon. member that what I then stated is fully sustained by the authentic return now before me. I hold in my hand a “Report of the Comptroller of Customs and Sundry Statistics[1] of that colony for the year 1863, which shows that the total revenue of the island for that year was £61,688 14s. 4d., island currency, equal to £41,125 16s. 3d., sterling, an increase over the previous year of nearly 35 per cent.

The hon. member seemed to think it impossible that such a sum as I had stated should have been raised, and suggested that a great part must have come from local sources. Well, the amount derived from excise and duties on imports for 1863 was £46,057 6s. 7d., island currency, from the post office £1,590, and from custom house office fees, £71 9s. 9d.; together £47,718 16s. 4d., island currency, or about £32,000, sterling, equal to $156,000 or thereabouts. There are a good many other items of revenue, but I have selected these three, as those certain to come into the treasury of the General Government, and there may be others. But it will be seen that these alone would make up the sum I gave as the revenue of the island, which would be available for the general purposes of the Confederation.

James Currie [Niagara, elected 1862]—I did not question the correctness of the figures of the Honorable Commissioner of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell], but I felt and expressed some surprise at the sum, which, when compared with former years, exhibited, as I thought, an almost incredible increase. Will the Honorable Commissioner state what proportion of these imports was foreign, and what came from the provinces it is proposed to unite, as after the union no revenue would of course be derived from the latter?

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—There are tables showing the imports and exports, and the imports from the following places were in 1863:—

United Kingdom £122,880 5 6 ½
Nova Scotia 66,890 11 5 ½
New Brunswick 19,975 3 11
Newfoundland 1,865 15 3
Bermuda and West Indies 3,969 5 1
Saint Pierre 292 11 3
Canada 6,152 8 3
Magdalene 302 3 0
United States 71,103 0 8
Total, sterling £293,431 4 11


Taking from the above the imports from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Canada, amounting to £94,883 18s. 10d., the balance of nearly £200,000 was all foreign, and such as would pay duty to the General Government. The exports were £209,472 9s. 6d, to which was to be added the value of 24,991 tons of shipping built in the island, which at £5 sterling per ton, was equal to £124,955, and raised the credit side of the sheet to £334 427 9s. 6d., against £293,431 4s 11d to the debit side, thus showing a balance in favor of the colony in 1863 of £40,996 4s. 7d.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear. 

The hononable member here handed the report to the Hon. Mr. Currie, who, after having examined it, seemed to concur in the statement of the Hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell].


[1]      Prince Edward Island, “Custom House Returns,” [Appendix (O.)], Journal of the House of Assembly of Prince Edward Island (1864).

Leave a Reply