Despatch from Viscount Monck to the Duke of Newcastle, No. 110 (7 November 1863)

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Date: 1863-11-07
By: Viscount Monck
Citation: Despatch from Viscount Monck to the Duke of Newcastle (7 November 1863) in UK, HC, Return to an Address of the Honourable The House of Commons, dated 30 June 1864; for Copy of Correspondence between any of the North American Provinces and the Imperial Government, relating to their Application for Assistance in raising a Loan for an International Railway (1864).
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Government House, Quebec,
7 November 1863.

My Lord Duke,

I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Grace’s Despatch, No. 108,* of 20 October, in reference to the last Minute of the Executive Council of this Province, which I transmitted to your Grace on the subject of the contemplated survey of the proposed line of the Intercolonial Railway.

In reply, I have to inform your Grace, that the Government of Canada considers that the disagreement between the Imperial Government and the delegates of Canada with regard to the terms on which it was proposed to grant the Imperial guarantee for the loan necessary for the construction of the line has rendered further proceedings on the basis of the agreement of 1862 impossible, and that, as a necessary consequence, neither the Imperial Government, nor that of Canada, should be considered as concluded by any of the stipulations entered into on that occasion.

The Canadian Government is however impressed with the importance of the proposed work, and desirous of taking every measure calculated to lead to its execution.

This Government entertains the strongest conviction, that in order to render the scheme acceptable to the public of Canada; and thereby to secure for it that support in the Legislature, without which it is useless for the Executive to enter into any further preliminary negotiations on the subject, a survey, which will afford a trustworthy basis for an estimate of the probable cost of the work, is indispensable.

Should the results of the survey prove satisfactory, the Canadian Government look forward to obtaining at some future period the co-operation and assistance of the Imperial Government in the execution of this work, and it is with the design that Her Majesty’s Ministers may be officially satisfied with the competence of the persons appointed to conduct the proposed survey, and of the trust which should be reposed in their reports that I have, at the desire of the Executive Council, requested your Grace to appoint an engineer to act on the part of the Imperial Government in the survey with those nominated by the Provinces interested in the work.

It is a matter of great satisfaction, both to myself and to the Executive Council of Canada, that your Grace is disposed to join with us in the proposed survey, and to express your approbation of the selection we have made of Mr. Sandford Fleming, as the engineer to represent Canada in the duties connected with it.

I have, &c.
(signed)           Monck.

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