Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant-Governor Richard Graves Macdonnell, No. 29 (24 June 1865)

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Date: 1865-06-24
By: Edward Cardwell
Citation: Despatch from Right Hon. Edward Cardwell to Lieutenant-Governor Richard Graves Macdonnell, No. 29 (24 June 1865) in UK, Parliament, Correspondence respecting the Proposed Union of the British North American Provinces (London: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1867).
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No. 5.

COPY of a DESPATCH from the Right Hon. EDWARD CARDWELL, M.P., to Lieut.-Governor Sir R. G. MACDONNELL, C.B.


Downing Street, June 24, 1865.

SIR,–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 Nova Scotia 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 be combined in order to secure for these Provinces, 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 connexion, and of love for British Institutions, by which all these Provinces are animated alike, Her Majesty’s Government recognize 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 advantages,-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 Nova Scotia. Looking to the determination which this country bas ever exhibited to regard the defence of the Colonies as a matter of Imperial concern, the Colonies must recognize a right and even acknowledge an obligation incumbent on the Home Government to urge with earnestness and just authority the measures which they consider 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 efficient preparations for national defence which would be easily undertaken by a Province uniting in itself all the population and al the resources of the whole.

I am aware that this project, so novel as well as so important, bas not been at once accepted in Nova Scotia 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.

I have, &c.


Lieut-Gov. Sir R. G. MacDonnell, C.B.,
&c. &c. &c.

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