Despatch from Lieutenant Governor Richard Graves Macdonnell to Viscount Monck (9 July 1864)
By: Richard Graves Macdonnell
Citation: Despatch from Lieutenant Governor Richard Graves Macdonnell to Viscount Monck (9 July 1864) in Nova Scotia, Journal and Proceedings of the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia, Appendix No. 3—Union of the Colonies (1865).
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Government House, Halifax, N. S.,
9th July 1864.
It was only yesterday afternoon that I received your Lordship’s Despatch of the 30th ult.
2. Your Lordship therein requests information as to the time and place appointed for the meeting of the Delegates, to be named on behalf of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, for the purpose of considering the feasibility of a Union of those Provinces.
3. Your Lordship further wishes to know whether it would be acceptable to this Government to receive a deputation from the Government of Canada, to invite attention to the larger question of Federal Union of all the British North American Provinces.
4. In reply I have to state that no action has yet been taken in the matter, since the Resolution authorising the appointment of Delegates for the above purpose was adopted by the Legislatures of the three Maritime Provinces.
5. I am availing myself of your lordships inquiry to revive the subject and, with the full concurrence of my executive council, I am addressing communications to the administrator of the government of New Brunswick, and to Lieut.-Governor Dundas, suggesting the expediency of appointing delegates, and also leaving the time and place of meeting to be fixed according to the views and convenience of the respective governments.
6. As Nova Scotia originate in the proposal, it seems desirable that I should suggest the expediency of some further early movement into the matter; but I have abstained from putting forward my claim on the part of Halifax as the place of meeting, lest my doing so might have the semblance of assuming a superiority where the most perfect equality is an essential basis of the intended negotiation.
7. When any decision has been arrived at by the governments of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, I shall report the same to your Lordship, though you will probably learn it sooner through some other channel.
8. In the meantime I can assure your lordship of the extreme pleasure which it will afford this government, to confer unofficially with any delicate sent from Canada. It is, however, necessary to remind your Lordship that no resolution has yet been passed by any of the Legislatures of the Maritime Provinces, authorising the appointment of delegates for any purpose but that of considering some plan for the union of the three Provinces. Therefore, neither I nor any ministry have the power to go beyond the exact powers conferred by that resolution.
I have, &c.,
(Signed) RICHARD GRAVES MACDONNELL,
Governor-General Viscount MONCK.