Despatch from Viscount Monck to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (11 January 1865)

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Date: 1865-01-11
By: Viscount Monck
Citation: Despatch from Viscount Monck to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (11 January 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. 2.

Copy of a DESPATCH from Viscount Monck to the Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.

(No. 12.)                                                                                                                                                           Quebec, January 11, 1865.

SIR,                                                                                                                                                                               (Received, February 1, 1865.)

I HAVE the honour to enclose for your information a copy of a Despatch from the Governor of Newfoundland relating to measures for carrying out the proposed Union of the North America Provinces together with a copy of my answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 I have, &c.

The Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.,                                                                                                      (Signed)                      MONCK.

&c.            &c.            &c.

Enclosure in No. 2.

My Lord,                                                                                                               Government House, Newfoundland, December 27, 1864.

I HAVE received from the Secretary of State a Despatch enclosing a copy of his two your Lordship. No. 9[.], of the 3rd […], […] which he states that it appears to Her Majesty’s Government that you should now take immediate measures, in concern with the Lieutenant-Governors of the several Provinces for submitting to the respective Legislatures the project of the recent Quebec Conference for the Confederation of the British North American Colonies.

2. I now communicate with you Lordship for the purpose of acquainting you that the Legislative Session of 1865 will be opened here on Friday the 27th January, when the Report of the Delegates will be laid before the Council and Assembly.

The postal service from Halifax to Newfoundland is limited to a monthly mail during the winter season. The next should leave Halifax on the 10th January, and if it should happen that your Lordship desires to afford me any information or recommendation on the important subject which is likely to engage so much of the time of the Legislature during the next Session, I should be glad to receive it by that opportunity.

3. From all that I have been able to gather in various quarters, I am of opinion that the proposal of the Conference will meet with little or no important opposition in this Colony, and it is possible that the necessary measures might be perfected her during the next Session by the present House of Assembly, which will expire in the spring. The chief measures is felt with regard to the effect of the Union upon the local tariff, which is much lower than that of Canada, and it is feared may be increased. If dread of any greatly disadvantageous alteration can be prevented, I should not anticipate serious difficulty in procuring a harmonious settlement of any other questions which may be raised.

4. It is possible, however, that the state of circumstances in Canada or the other Provinces may render it immaterial to press for any prompt decision in this in this Colony, and local causes may then make it inexpedient ; upon this point I shall be glad to be favoured with your advice, and I take this opportunity of assuring your lordship of my cordial co-operation in your efforts to complete an arrangement which I believe to be fraught with so great future advantage to this Colony, in common with the rest of the North American Possessions of the Crown.

I have, &c.

His Excellency the Right Hon. Viscount Monck,                                                                                          (Signed)          A. MESGRAVE.

Governor-General of Canada.

Enclosure 2 in No. 2.

SIR,                                                                                                                                              Government House, Quebec, January 9, 1865.

I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of you Despatch of 27th December 1864, respecting the steps which it is advisable to take in order to carry into effect the instructions of the Secretary of State on the subject of the proposed Union of the British North American Colonies contained in his Despatch to me of the 3rd December 1864.

I have the hour to acquaint you that the Canadian Parliament is summoned to meet on the 19th inst., and it is intended by my Government to prose an address to the Queen from both branches of the Legislature, embodying the resolutions of the Quebec Conference, and praying Her majesty to cause a Bill to be introduced into the Imperial Parliament to enact the Union of these Colones on the basis of these resolutions.

I would suggest that a similar course should be adopted in Newfoundland.

With respect to the question of the customs tariff of the proposed Union, it is obviously impossible for the Government of our Province to give any pledge which would be binding upon the Government or Parliament of the Union ; but I am in a position to state that if the decision rested with the members of the present Canadian Administration, their desire would be to arrange the charges in the tariff so as to meet the views of all the members of the proposed Union.

I may express my own opinion that the course of action will be in a direction that will be satisfactory to your Legislature, and that no apprehension need be entertained in Newfoundland that a system of excessive import duties will be introduced.

I cannot conclude without expressing my gratification at the account you give of the State of public feeling in your Province on this important subject, and to beg of you to accept my best thanks for your hearty promise of co-operation with me in completing this great work, which had commended so auspiciously.

I have, &c.

Governor Musgrave, &c., &c.,                                                                                                                           (Signed)                     MONCK.


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