Despatch from Viscount Monck to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (23 September 1864)


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Date: 1864-09-23
By: Viscount Monck, Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Despatch from Viscount Monck to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (23 September 1864) in Journals of the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada, 8th Parl, 3rd Sess, 1865 at 36-48.
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(Copy, No. 135.)

Quebec, 23rd September, 1864

SIR,—Referring to my Despatches, No. 124, of August 26th, and No, 129, of September 1st, I have the honor to transmit a copy of an approved Minute of the Executive Council of Canada, requesting me to invite the Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, to send Representatives to a Conference with the Ministers of Canada at Quebec, to be held for the purpose of considering the question of the Union of these Provinces, and to digest a practical plan for the realization of the idea which should be submitted for your approval.

The desire for a closer union amongst these Colonies than has hitherto existed appears to be very generally felt, both in Canada and in the Lower Provinces.

It appears to me that the mode of proceeding suggested in this Minute is the only one in which the views entertained by the leading politicians of the British North American Colonies, on this important subject, can be brought intelligibly and in a practical form before your attention.

This course is also, I think, that which was pointed out by the Duke of Newcastle in his Despatch to Lord Mulgrave (Nova Scotia, No. 182), of July 6, 1862, transmitted to me for my information, on the same day, as that which ought to be pursued in the circumstances.

I have therefore had no hesitation in complying with the request of my Executive Council, and I have addressed identical communications—of which I enclose a copy to the Lieutenant Governors of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and to the Governor of Newfoundland,—inviting them to nominate deputations to represent these respective Provinces at the proposed Conference.

I have, &c.,

MONCK.

The Right Hon. E. Cardwell, &c.

Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Executive Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor General on the 23rd September, 1864.

The Committee of Council has the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Deputation from the Executive Council who met the Delegates from the Maritime Provinces, at Charlottetown, on the 1st instant, in accordance with the Order in Council of the 29th ultimo, have reported that such Conference duly met, and that the question of a Confederation of the British North American Colonies was discussed at length, and such progress made that it was thought desirable by the Conference that the subject should be resumed in a formal and official manner, under the authority of the Governments of the several Provinces.

The Committee have, therefore, the honor to advise and submit for Your Excellency’s approval, that the several Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland be invited to appoint Delegates under the authority of the Despatch of the Secretary for the Colonies to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, dated 6th July, 1862, and communicated by the Colonial Office to Your Excellency by a Despatch of the same date, to confer with the Canadian Government on the subject of a Union or Federation of the British North American Provinces.

The Committee beg leave further to recommend that Quebec be selected as the place, and the 10th of October next the time, for the meeting, as they have ascertained that such time and place will meet the views and convenience of the several Governments.

(Certified,) Wm. H. LEE,

C.E.C.

Lord Monck to Lieut.-Governors of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

(Copy.)

Quebec, 23rd September, 1864.

SIR,—I have the honor to transmit a copy of an approved Minute of the Executive Council of Canada, respecting the proposal to hold a Conference of Delegates from the Colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, with the Ministers of Canada, to consider the question of a Union of these Colonies, and to digest a scheme for the practical realization of the idea which may be submitted as embodying the joint opinions of the Governments of the several Provinces to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with a view to obtaining his sanction for legislation on the subject.

In conformity with the request contained in this Minute, I have the honor to invite you to name a deputation to represent your Province in the approaching Conference which will meet at Quebec on the 10th October.

I have, &c.,

(Signed,) MONCK.

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