Despatch from Viscount Monck to the Earl of Carnarvon, No. 184 (3 November 1866)
By: Viscount Monck
Citation: Despatch from Viscount Monck to the Earl of Carnarvon, No. 184 (3 November 1866) 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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COPY of a DESPATCH from Viscount MONCK to the Right Hon. the Earl of CARNARVON.
Quebec, November 23, 1866.
(Received November 21, 1866)
MY LORD, (Answered. No. 104. November 23, 1866. Page 50)
REFERRING to your Lordship’s Despatch, No. 63, * of September 26th and enclosure, I have the honour to transmit for your information a copy of an approved Minute of the Executive council of this Province on the subject of that Despatch.
In obedience to your Lordship’s instructions i have already transmitted a copy of this Minute to the Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island.
I have, &c.
The Right Hon. the Earl of Carnarvon, (Signed) MONCK
&c. &c. &c.
Enclosure in No. 23
COPY of a REPORT of a COMMITTEE of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor-General in Council on the 22nd October 1866.
The Committee of Council have had under consideration the Despatch of the Colonial Secretary to Your Excellency of the 26th September last, and the accompanying resolution of the delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and they now beg leave to report.
That the resolution referred to is as follows: —
“At a meeting of the Delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick held at the Alexandra Hotel, London, on the 22nd day of September 1866, all being present expert the Hon. Mr. Wihnot. It was unanimously resolved that inasmuch as the co-operation of Prince Edward Island, though not indispensable to a union of the British North American Provinces, is on many accounts very desirable and as the settlement of the land question which has so long and so injuriously agitated that Colony, would be attended with great benefit, and at the same time place the local government of the island, by the possession of the proprietary lands, more on a footing with the other Provinces which have Crown Lands and minerals as a source of local revenue.
“Therefore resolved —
“That in case the Legislature of the Island should authorize the appointment of delegates to act in conjunction with those from the other Provinces in arranging a plant of co-operation prior to the meeting of the Imperial Parliament, the delegated from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are hereby pledged to support the policy of providing such an amount as may be necessary for the purchase of the proprietary rights, but not to exceed eight hundred thousand dollars. ($800,000).”
It would seem from this resolution that the gentlemen from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick pledge themselves as delegates, and not as representing the governments of their respective Provinces, to support the policy of providing the amount mentioned.
As their powers will expire with the settlement of the scheme of union, it is to be inferred that their pledge can only be carried out by their advocating the insertion of a clause in the Imperial Act, binding the future Government and Legislature of United British North America to pay the sum of $800,000.
The Canadian Government do not consider that they have any power or right to consent to the payment of that or any sum without the previous consent of the Canadian Parliament, and they therefore cannot consider upon their delegates power which they do not themselves possess.
The Committee fully appreciate the motives which induced the delegated from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to adopt the resolution, and they agree with the delegation as to the desirableness of bringing Prince Edward Island into the contemplated union.
The Committee are of opinion that ever proper exertion should be made for that purpose, and recommend that the subject of the adjustment of the land question should be fully discussed by the delegates from the three Provinces in London, in […] liberal spirit. Should the result of the discussion be that in the opinion of the delegates pecuniary compensation should be given to the proprietors for the surrender of the proprietary rights, the Committee would further recommend that the Canadian Delegation be authorized to join with those from the Maritime Provinces in a strong representation to the first Government and Parliament of the united Provinces in favour of their granting the compensation agreed upon by them.
W. H. LEE, C. E. C