Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant Governor Anthony Musgrave, No. 31 (24 June 1865)
By: Edward Cardwell
Citation: Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant Governor Anthony Musgrave (24 June 1865) in Newfoundland, Journal of the Legislative Council of the Island of Newfoundland, Appendix No. 52—Papers relating to the Conferences which have taken place between Her Majesty’s Government and a Deputation from the Executive Council of Canada appointed to confer with Her Majesty’s Government on Subjects of Importance to the Provinces (1866).
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24th June, 1865.
I have the honor to transmit to you the copy of a correspondence between Viscount Monck and myself on the affairs of British North America which have lately formed the subject of Conferences between Her Majesty’s Government and a Deputation from the Canadian Government.
This correspondence having been presented to both Houses of the Imperial Parliament by command of Her Majesty, I have to direct you to communicate it also to the Legislature of Newfoundland at its next meeting.
You will, at the same time, express the strong and deliberate opinion of Her Majesty’s Government, that it is an object much to be desired that all the British North American Colonies should agree to unite in one Government. In the territorial extent of Canada, and in the Maritime and Commercial enterprise of the Lower Provinces, Her Majesty’s Government see the elements of power, which only require to ho combined in order to secure for the Province which shall possess them all a place among the most considerable communities of the world In the spirit of loyalty to the British Crown, of attachment to British connection, and of love for British Institutions, by which all the Provinces are animated alike,—Her Majesty’s Government recognise the bond by which all may be combined under one Government. Such an union seems, to Her Majesty’s Government, to recommend itself to the Provinces on many grounds of moral and material advantage, as giving a well founded prospect of improved administration and increased prosperity But there is one consideration which Her Majesty’s Government feel it more especially their duty to press upon the Legislature of Newfoundland Looking to the determination which this country has ever exhibited to regard the defence of the Colonies as a matter of Imperial concern,—the Colonies must recognise a right, and even acknowledge an obligation incumbent on the Home Government, to urge with earnestness and just authority the measures which they consider to be most expedient, on the part of the Colonies, with a view to their own defence. Nor can it be doubtful that the Provinces of British North America are incapable, when separate and divided from each other, of making those just and sufficient preparations for National Defence, which would be easily undertaken by a Province uniting in itself all the population and all the resources of the whole.
I am aware that this project, so novel as well as so important, has not been at once accepted in the other Provinces with that cordiality which has marked its acceptance by the Legislature of Canada ; but Her Majesty’s Government trust that after a full and careful examination of the subject in all its bearings, the Maritime Provinces will perceive the great advantages which, in the opinion of Her Majesty’s Government, the proposed union is calculated to confer upon them all.
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