Edward Whelan, [Quebec Conference] (18 October 1864)
By: Edward Whelan, The Examiner (Charlottetown), Quebec Conference
Citation: Edward Whelan, “Inter-Colonial Union,”The Examiner (24 October 1864) and Edward Whelan, “Inter-Colonial Union,”The Examiner (31 October 1864).
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Note: Any endnotes come from our recent publication, Charles Dumais, The Quebec Resolutions: Including Several Never-Published Preliminary Drafts by George Brown and John A. Macdonald, and a Collection of all Previously-Published Primary Documents Relating to the Conference (CCF, 2021).
TUESDAY, Oct. 18.
Conference met at 10 a.m. Debate on the mode of constituting the Council for the Confederate Parliament resumed. I am informed that nomination by the Crown was the mode which met with the approval of a large majority of the Delegates when the vote was taken at the 2 o’clock adjournment. The age and property qualifications of Legislative Councillors were the next points discussed. The age was settled, I understand, at 30 years—none but British-born or naturalized British subjects to be eligible for nomination; and as for the property qualification, I believe that is an open question at the time I write, (Tuesday, 4 p.m.), but I am inclined to think the qualification will not be less than four thousand dollars in real estate, above debts and incumbrances, and may be more. All these points afford an immense field for speculation; but as my readers will understand that my information comes to me in the most incomplete and unofficial form, it would be profitless to indulge in speculation at this stage of the proceedings of the Conference. I shall continue to write down, from day to day, the result of my observations, and communicate such items of information as I think I may do without any breach of propriety.
I am yet nearly a stranger to the historic places in this old City, as well as to the great monuments of skill, industry, art, and enterprise, which abound in every street; but I hope to get time to form an acquaintance with all these things; and I hope, also, that my good friends, the readers of the Examiner, will not consider my remarks concerning them unworthy of their perusal.
QUEBEC, OCT. 18, 1864
When I closed my last letter at this date, I understand that the debate in Conference was then in progress touching the constitution of the Upper House under the Federal Government, as intimated in my last. I believe this principle was agreed to: that in choosing Councillors, the choice should be confined to the several Legislative Councils in existence in the respective Provinces at the time the Union was to take effect, excepting Prince Edward Island. That favoured place was to have the whole Island for a choice. Whether this may be deemed complimentary to the Island, or whether it was supposed that the present Legislative Council there does not, or is not likely to afford suitable materials for a selection, are points which I am not prepared to discuss. But certain it is, the principle, as I have stated it, was carried.