Despatch from Charles Tupper and Samuel Leonard Tilley to Lord Carnarvon (12 September 1866)

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Date: 1866-09-12
By: Charles Tupper, Samuel Leonard Tilley
Citation: Despatch from Charles Tupper and Samuel Leonard Tilley to Lord Carnarvon (12 September 1866) in Journal of the Legislative Council of the Province of New Brunswick (1867).
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Alexandra Hotel, September 12th, 1866.

MY LORD,—As Delegates from the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, appointed to confer with Delegates from Canada and with Her Majesty’s Government, upon the question of a Confederation of the British North American Provinces, we are naturally anxious to terminate the suspense in which we have been left since our arrival here, relative to the time when we may hope to accomplish the object of our mission.

Believing, as we do, that the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty and the Fenian invasion of Canada, were largely owing to the failure of the Provinces we represent to agree promptly to form a united Government, as proposed by the Quebec Conference in 1844, and approved by the Imperial Government, and that the adoption of Confederation would be the best means of securing the renewal of that Treaty and discouraging Fenian designs upon British America, the Governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been most anxious that no time should be lost in accomplishing the Union of the Provinces.

With that view, Messrs. Tupper and Archibald visited Ottawa on the 29th of June last, and after conferring with His Excellency the Governor General and the Canadian Government, it was mutually agreed that Delegates from the two Lower Provinces should proceed to England by the Steamer leaving Halifax on the 19th July, and that Delegates from. Canada should follow by the Steamer leaving Quebec on the 21st July.

Subsequently, Lord Monck intimated by Telegraph that the change of Government in England would render it necessary to hear from England before the departure of the Delegates. The. Delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, after the arrival of the latter at Halifax, jointly communicated to the Canadian Government their views as to the necessity for immediate action, and their intention to leave on the 19th July, as arranged at Ottawa; and it was only on the eve of their departure that they received a telegram from the Hon. J. A. M’Donald, saying that Lord Monck declined to go to England or to send a Delegation until authorized by the new Secretary of State. At the interview with which we were honored by Your Lordship on our arrival in London on the 30th July, we understood Your Lordship to say that you would send a message by the Atlantic Cable to the Governor General, asking if the Canadian Delegates had left, and if not, requesting that they would come without delay. Your Lordship subsequently did us the honor to inform us that a Despatch had been sent on the 11th August, requesting the Governor General to arrange .for the Canadian Delegates to proceed to England as soon as possible, and expressing the hope that in any case they would not be later than the latter part of September.

Although we have, since our arrival, been favored with frequent opportunities of discussing the question of Confederation with Your Lordship, and other Members of Her Majesty’s Government, we have, up to the pre- sent time, received no information as to the period when we may expect the Delegates from Canada. We feel it therefore due to the Provinces we represent, that we should respectfully solicit Your Lordship to ascertain, and communicate to us, how soon we may expect the Delegates from Canada to arrive here, in order that we may govern ourselves accordingly.

We have, &c. (Signed) CHARLES TUPPER,

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