Despatch from Anthony Musgrave to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (1 May 1866)

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Date: 1866-03-21
By: Anthony Musgrave
Citation: Despatch from Anthony Musgrave to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (21 March 1866) in UK, Parliament, Correspondence respecting the Proposed Union of the British North American Provinces (London: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1867).
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No. 11.

Copy of a DESPATCH from Governor MUSGRAVE to the Right Hon. EDWARD CARDWELL., M.P.

(No. 103.)

Government House, Newfoundland, May 1, 1866.
(Received May 21, 1866.)
(Answered No. 15, May 25, 1866, page 175.)


I HAVE had the honour to enclose copies of the speech with which I have to-day closed the legislative session.

2. It has not been regarded as expedient by the advocates of Confederation to make any further movement on this subject at this time ; and as the session has already been protracted, and members of the Legislature are becoming impatient to return to their ordinary employments at the commencement of the busy season of the year, it does not seem desirable to defer the prorogation which my Ministers urge.

3. If the progress of events in the other Provinces towards the completion of the Union should prove to be more rapid and decided than I at present anticipate, it will always be open to me to call the Legislative together when necessary. But notwithstanding recent Resolutions of the Council and Assembly of Nova Scotia, the political complications in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island lead me to think it practically impossible that the question of union can be brought into a shape fit for the action of the Imperial Parliament during the present session ; and in this case I see no harm likely to result from temporary inaction on our part, while present caution may eventually assist in effecting the final settlement of the question.

I have, &c.

(Signed) A. MUSGRAVE.

The Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.,
&c. &c. &c.

Enclosure in No. 11.

EXTRACT from SPEECH of his Excellency Governor MUSGRAVE on closing the First Session of the Ninth General Assembly, May 1, 1866.



I have been officially acquainted with the passing of a resolution by the Legislature of Nova Scotia authorizing the Governor of that Province to appoint delegates to arrange with the Imperial Government a scheme of Union which will effectually ensure just provision for the rights and interests of that Province.

From information which I have received, there appears to be reason for expecting that the Legislature of New Brunswick will speedily adopt a like proceeding. And it is not improbable that the Legislature of Prince Edward’s Island will take the same course during their present session. It will remain for you, when you next meet, to finally consider and decide upon this question, whether Newfoundland is to be disregarded in the consolidation of British interests, and the formation of a State which, ceasing to be a mere group of Colonial dependencies, cannot fail to become a great and important portion of the British Empire.

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