Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant Governor George Dundas, No. 24 (15 October 1864)

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Date: 1865-10-15
By: Edward Cardwell
Citation: Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant Governor George Dundas (15 October 1864) in Journal of the House of Assembly of Prince Edward Island (1865), Appendix E. (1865).
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15th October, 1864.

The state of the Militia in the different British North American Provinces having lately engaged my attention, I have observed, with satisfaction, that in Prince Edward Island a Volunteer movement has arisen which reflects much credit on the loyalty and spirit of the Inhabitants. On the other hand, I learn that a law exists among the Statutes of the Island which declares that the Militia shall not be called out “except only in times of war, civil commotion, or other sufficient emergency.”

It appears that this enactment was passed simultaneously with the concession, to the Legislature, of Responsible Government, so that the time when the Inhabitants obtained exclusive power to manage their own affairs, they inaugurated their career of self-Government by depriving their Militia of the opportunity of becoming an organized and efficient body.

You will, I am sure, concur with me in the opinion, that if, in time of peace, a community neglects those measures of precaution by which its independence against foreign aggression can be secured, its safety must be more than imperilled in time of war. Her Majesty’s Government are very desirous that no British Colony should be left in this situation; and I wish that you would confer with the Members of your Council with the view of remedying a state of affairs, as respects the Militia, which has no parallel in British North America.

I have, &c.,

Lieut. Governor Dundas,
&c., &c., &c.

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