Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant Governor Arthur Gordon (12 April 1865)

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Date: 1865-04-12
By: Edward Cardwell
Citation: Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant Governor Arthur Gordon (12 April 1865) in Journal of the Legislative Council of the Province of New Brunswick (1866).
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Downing Street, 12th April, 1865.

SIR,—I have received by this Mail your two Despatches of the 27th March. The first informs me that the elections for the Legislative Assembly have terminated, and that nine Members have been elected favourable to the Scheme of Confederation, twenty eight unfavourable, and four doubtful, and that the Members of your Executive Council have resigned their offices.

It thus appears that the Scheme adopted by the Conference at Quebec, and approved by Her Majesty’s Government on the ground, among others, that it was eminently calculated to render easier and more effectual the provisions for the defence of the several Provinces, is likely to be rejected in New Brunswick.

Your next Despatch replies to the observations of Colonel Pipon upon the best mode of training the New Brunswick Militia,—which I had received from the Secretary of State for War, and forwarded to you,—by admitting the plan proposed by Colonel Pipon to be “in itself preferable in many respects to that recommended by the New Brunswick Militia Commission.”

You proceed to remark that those who are unacquainted with New Brunswick do not appreciate the significance of the fact that the population of the Province is, in number, that of an English manufacturing town, and you give in detail the reasons why the adoption of the Scheme most desirable for the training. of its inhabitants. is, as you observe, impracticable.

You will doubtless take care to bring this opinion under the consideration of your new Advisers, and will point out to them the intimate connection which you perceive to subsist between the numbers of the population and the measures proper to be taken for the defence of the Province.

It will be the duty of Her Majesty’s Government to review, in all its bearings, the question of confederation, after the several Provinces shall have had the opportunity of expressing their sentiments upon it through their respective Legislatures. In the meantime, it will only he right for New Brunswick to bear in mind that, if the views which you have now expressed are to be regarded as sound, New Brunswick, as a separate Province, appears to be able to make no adequate provision for its own defence, and to rest in a very great degree upon the defence which may be provided for it by this country. It will, consequently, be likely to appear to your Advisers reasonable and wise that, in examining the question of the proposed Union, they should attach great weight to the views and wishes of this country, and to the reasons on which these views and wishes have been based.

I have, &c. (Signed) EDWARD CARDWELL.

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