John Hamilton Gray, Confederation; Or, The Political and Parliamentary History of Canada […] (1872)

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Date: 1913-04-11
By: John Hamilton Gray
Citation: John Hamilton Gray, Confederation; Or, The Political and Parliamentary History of Canada, From The Conference at Quebec, in October, 1864, to the Admission of British Columbia, in July, 1871 (Toronto: Copp, Clark & Co., Printers, 1872).
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Umpire between Great Britain and the United States under the Treaty of Washington,


//. M.’s Commissioner on the Tenant Question in Prince Edward’s Island, 1860-1861.
Dominion A rbitrator between the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, under the British

North American Act, 1867.
Formerly Attorney-General, and Speaker of the House of Assembly in New Brunswick.

One of the Delegates to the Charlotte Town and Quebec Conventions, in 1864.
And Member for the City and County of Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1850 to 1872.




Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and seventy-two, by JOHN HAMILTON GRAY, D.C.L., M.P., in the
Office of the Minister of Agriculture.

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/ 28 1




” Si quid novisti rcctius is (is,
Candidus imperil. Si non-his utere mecum”

Hor. Epist. 6.


OTTAWA, April n, 1872.






Preliminary observations as to the Imperial Colonial Policy, from the time of
the American Revolution to the adoption of Free Trade Progress of
opinion in England Concurrent progress of opinion and political deve-
lopment in Canada and the Maritime Provinces Lord Durham’s -mis-

\ ^.jsion Intercolonial Trade Intercolonial Railway Frontier disputes
ith the United States Ashburton Treaty Consequences Intercolo-
nial negotiations respecting commercial union Abortive Gait’s policy
on joining the cabinet in 1858 Imperial policy undecided American
troubles in 1862 Trent affair Effect on Imperial policy Dead locjsJn
Canada Brown joins the government in 1864 Ministerial explanations
^lavements in the Maritime Provinces towards Legislative Union
Charlottetown Convention Attendance of Canadian Ministers Dis-
cussions Halifax Macdonald and Brown’s speeches Saint John
Cartierand Gait Aj). 1776 to 1864.


Meeting of Delegates at Quebec, October 10, 1864 Reflections on the time,
place and circumstances American war Sittings with closed doors
Reasons for Voting by Provinces Adoption of Federal instead of
Legislative Union Submission of Resolutions defining proposed Consti-
tution Discussion of do Contrast of source of power in the proposed
Constitution and that of the United States Policy of free trade No
distinction in political rights Difficulties in representative and financial
arrangements Electoral Divisions of Lower Canada Representation by
Population Rule exceptional on entering Confederation Absolute for
subsequent guidance Similarity to original provision in the American
Constitution Upper House, territorial and nominative Provision for
primary selection Admission of North- West Territories and British
Columbia Adjustment of the financial arrangements FJirect taxation
for genqral purposes unknown in Maritime Provinces Crisis Sub-


Committee of Finance Ministers Report Apportionment of powers
Crown Lands and Minerals to Local Governments Reasons for Judi-
ciary Court of Appeal Uniformity of Laws Intercolonial Railway
Crown Landsin Newfoundland Exceptions for Prince Edward Island-
Export duty on lumber in New- Brunswick Royajtiesin Nova Scotia
Resolutions b inancIaTSlatement ol the position of Canada as competed
with the other Provinces A.D. 1864.


Banquets at Quebec and Montreal Public sentiment in Lower Canada
Conduct of the Press Custom of the ancient Germans followed by the
English Speeches at Quebec Reception by the Laval University
Reception at Montreal Education of the public mind Remarks of Dele-
gates and Local Members at Montreal A.D. 1864.


v Public sentiment in Upper Canada (now Ontario) Selection of Ottawa as the
seat of Government Description Reasons for Propriety of Ultimate
future and requisites for, as the Capital of the Dominion American legis-
lation and action on the selection of Washington Banquet at Ottawa
Observations of speakers Banquet at Toronto Ditto Explanations of
details by Hon. Geo. Brown-^fRucle awakening of the Maritime Delegates

” ^ jon their return toNova Scotia and New Brunswick A. D. 1864.


Assent of the Imperial Government Despatch from the Colonial Secretary,
December, 1864 Public sentiment in England, Scotland and the United
States on the proposed Confederation Seward A.D. 1864.


The Situation Relative position of Great Britain and the B. N. American
Provinces as to the internal government of the latter As to Trade Re-
lations with Foreign Countries Despatch to Lord Elgin, December,
1846 Objection to policy by manufacturing interests in England and
Scotland Reiteration of policy by the Imperial Government Excep-
tional and liberal conduct towards the Provinces in matters of Recipro-
city with the United States Position of Inter-Provincial Trade Objec-
.Jions to Confederation from different stand-points Political aspect

Canada from Great

Britain Observations in the Imperial Parliament Mr. Roebuck Mr.
Adderley Sir Cornwall Lewis Mr. D’Israeli Lord Palmerston, and


Mr. Baring The Times Pamphlets Irritative effect in Canada
Examination of the subject Position 20 years hence Views of the ” Com-
mittee on Commerce” of the House of Representatives of the United
States Free Trade Policy of Canada Hincks Imports Exports
Character of Comparison Breadstuffs to England Change in 17 years
Export trade to the United States Change Effect on British producer
Tea trade Affected by Pacific Railway Returns Pumpelly on
Russian Asiatic Trans-continental Railway Canada as a market United
States diminution of shipping Internal trade Merger of Canada in the
United States Loss of Asiatic trade to England Action of United States
not to be tested by ordinary rules of reasoning Interest of Canada as
separate Intercontinental carrying trade Effect of separation upon Great
Britain in case of war Canadian neutrality Effect on Canada Loss
Loss greater to Great Britain Mutual interest to continue the connection
Blackwood Letter of an American statesman.


Debate in the Canadian Legislature on Confederation The Governor-
General’s Speech Motion in the Legislative Council Do. in the House
of Assembly Character of the Debate Division in the Council on the
main motion Names Do. in the House Names Synopsis of speeches
of men representing views of all parties A. D. 1865.


Death of Sir E. P. Tache Character Reconstruction of the Government
Ministerial negotiations Action of the Government after reconstruc-
tion Confederate Council on Trade Resolutions Deputation to Wash-
ington Negotiations at Washington for renewal of the Reciprocity
Treaty Failure Report to the British Minister at Washington Terms
proposed by Canada Counter terms by the United States Public
satisfaction at the rejection of the latter EJf(e^t_joji__^onfederation
A. D. 1865 & 1866.


Resignation of Mr. Brown Parliamentary explanations Reasons assigned
Examination of minutes of Council and Mr. Gait’s memorandum
Reasons existing Subsequent conduct A. D. 1865 & 1866.


Deputation to England Defence J[mperia| policy on^Confederation after
defeat in New Brunswick The West Indian and BrazilianCommis-
sion Instructions Report Imperial Despatches Relaxation of the
rule with reference to the Inter-Provincial Trade as to British North


America Constitutional question Gait Macdougall Difficulty of
dealing with the West Indies Gait on Colonial Taxation Action of
the Imperial Government Negotiations in 1862 with France Remon-
strance Removal of Baron Boilleau Importance jjfJTjade question
Necessity of concession to Canada by the Imperial Government to
make exceptional reciprocal arrangements with South America, and
with all the British Colonies wherever situate Changed position of
Canada Increased responsibilities necessitate increased powers
A.D. 1865.


The Fenian-4*^ionof i366-^Lower Canada Education Bill Action of the
GovernmentGait’s resignation Subsequent conduct Constitution of
the Local Governments and Legislatures for Upper and Lower Canada
Resolutions and amendments Parliamentary action of prominent Upper
Canadian Politicians on Representation by Population Address to the
Queen Announcement of Deputation Expiry of the Parliament of Old
Canada A. D. 1866.


Vancouver Island Canadian Pacific Railway Thunder Bay Mining Region
Departure of Deputation for England Legislative action of Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick -Future consideration of details of contest inthose
Provinces Political Acrobats Departure of Deputations from New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia Remonstrance on non-arrival of Canadian
Deputation Reply Proposition relative to Prince Edward Island
Formation of London Conference Resolutions Differences from Quebec
Resolutions Discussions and Bills framed Additional Clauses in Act as
ultimately passed Propositions on Intercolonial Railway Guarantee
Imperial Legislation Return of Deputation Legislation 1 !!! New Bruns-
jvickand Nova Scptiapn Dual Representation Resignations of Members
Imperial Honours Royal Proclamation Charge of corruption against
Canadian statesmen First of July, 1867 A.D. 1866 and 1867.






OCTOBER, 1864, TO JULY, 1871.


Preliminary observations as to the Imperial Colonial Policy, from the time of
the American Revolution to the adoption of Free Trade Progress of
opinion in England Concurrent progress of opinion and political deve-
lopment in Canada and the Maritime Provinces Lord Durham’s mis-
sion Intercolonial Trade Intercolonial Railway Frontier disputes
with the United States Ashburton Treaty Consequences Intercolo-
nial negotiations respecting commercial union Abortive Gait’s policy
on joining the cabinet in 1858 Imperial policy undecided American
troubles in 1862 Trent affair Effect on Imperial policy Dead lock in
Canada Brown joins the government in 1864 Ministerial explanations
Movements in the Maritime Provinces towards Legislative Union
Charlottetown Convention Attendance of Canadian Ministers Dis-
cussions Halifax Macdonald and Brown’s speeches Saint John
Carder and Gait A.D. 1776 to 1864.

The policy of the Imperial Government towards its possessions
in British North America for many years after the American
Revolution, was one of disintegration, rather than consolidation.
” Ships, Colonies and Commerce,” remained the chosen motto of
the Empire. The strength acquired by the union of the thirteen
United States indicated, as it was conceived, future dismember-
ment and severance of the remaining Colonies, should they be
allowed to coalesce too much.

Convenience for the administration of local affairs in countries

so widely extended and so sparsely settled, also in some degree

tended to keep the remaining Provinces apart. New Brunswick

was separated from Nova Scotia ; the two Canadas were divided ;



Cape Breton was constituted a distinct government; Prince
Edward Island, with its scant population and limited area,
retained its old isolation, and Newfoundland was made a post
captain’s appointment. Separate governments, separate parlia-
ments, different laws, and hostile tariffs fostered local prejudices
and created divergent interests.

Thirty-five years ago the voice of Free Trade was heard in
England. Protection was assailed. The change was rapid. In a
few years the preferential duties in favour of colonial timber were
abolished. The old idea of restricting the trade of the Colonies
to the mother country was abandoned. The Cromwell code of the
navigation laws lost its hold upon the country ; the corn laws were
swept away. ” Buy in the cheapest market, sell in the dearest,”
was heard from Manchester and Birmingham, echoed in Liverpool
and London, and rolled back from the Solway and the Clyde.
The policy of the Empire was changed. The United States were
better customers than the British North American Provinces.
Why, then, it was asked, retain the latter at the expense of the
over-taxed citizens of England? British interests, it was said,
required that they should be severed from the parent state.
British honor forbade that they should be abandoned, until able
to take care of themselves. They must be taught self-reliance ;
to share largely, nay, to bear almost entirely, the burden of their
own defence. Having the entire and absolute control of all local
sources of wealth, with unrestricted powers of legislation in all
matters save those affecting Imperial interests, they had been for
fifteen years past, in all but the tie of a willing allegiance, inde-
pendent countries. But they must not be allowed to fall into the
United States, and add to the aggressive power of that already
great Republic. The loyal sentiment of the people must be
nurtured ; the attachment of a free people to the mother country
must not be rudely rent asunder. Sustained and strengthened by
the Imperial connection, they must be guided on to a development
of power, of nationality, that would enable them at a future day
to take their place amid the nations of the earth, the friend, and
not the foe of England. Opinion changed. Union is strength ;
and Consolidation becomes the policy of the Empire.


Such was the working of the public mind in England. But
during these same thirty-five years, the public mind in British
North America had not been stationary. Equally progressive, it
had passed from the weakness of infancy and pupilage to the
strength of maturity and manhood. Thirty-five years ago, these
Provinces were governed from England; local appointments of
honor and emolument were made from England. A few favored
families held the patronage of the country. The debates of the
legislative councils were held with closed doors. Irresponsible
office-holders, bishops and judges were members. They admitted
no right in the people to question the sacred character of their
proceedings. The public lands and public revenues, the mines and
minerals, were Imperial property, and disposed of by Imperial
direction ; sometimes to pay the debts of a spendthrift duke, some-
times to provide for a needy baronet, and sometimes for the colony.
Treaties were made by which Provinces were dismembered without
consulting the Colonial authorities or considering the Colonial
interests ; engendering future complications with foreign countries,
and leaving to the Colonies the seeds of future permanent injury,
though giving to the mother country a temporary relief from
anxiety. Measures of internal vital importance, passed by the
local legislatures, were ignored. Complaints against public officers
were studiously disregarded, or, if acceded to, neutralized by the
action of irresponsible ministers, holding their appointments from
abroad, irrespective of the wishes of the people whose interests
they were to serve. Sustained, though condemned, the official
retained his place. ” Hie est damnatus inani judicio at tu victrix
Provincia ploras”

This could not last. Howe in Nova Scotia, Wilmot in New
Brunswick, Papineau in Lower, and Baldwin in Upper Canada,
struggled for reform. They demanded for the people the control
of the local revenues, the appointment of Provincial officers, and
the constitutional selection of ministers responsible to the people
of the country for the adnrnistration of local affairs. Theirs was
no pigmy contest in those days ; every vested interest arrayed its
hydra head against them. Persons whose families had held office
until they deemed the succession should be hereditary, denounced


them as rebels as disloyal. Misrepresentation and calumny
followed them abroad, social ostracism at home. The Lieutenant-
Governors, regardless of their duty, became partizans in the
contest, and put themselves in personal antagonism to the friends
of progress. To such an extent did this go, that Sir Archibald
Campbell, the sturdy old conqueror of Burmah, the then Lieu-
tenant-Governor of New Brunswick, coolly informed the Legis-
lature of that Province, in answer to an overwhelming address
from that body for his removal, ” that he had served his Sovereign
so long abroad, that he did not care for their opinion.” Between
Mr. Howe and Lord Falkland, the Lieutenant-Governor, the alter-
cation went so far, that the indignant Nova Scotian threatened to
hire a black man to horsewhip the representative of the Sovereign.
Papineau did not stop on the verge of rebellion, and the language
of Rolph and Baldwin had the ring of Massachusetts Bay in

American experience was not thrown away on England. The
broad intellect of Lord Durham and the constitutional knowledge
of Charles Buller quieted the storm. The practical concession of
their rights having been established, the people of British North
America set themselves to work, each Province in its own way, to
develope the resources of its own locality. A healthy climate
and great natural advantages bore them onward, but no one
common direction governed the general movement. Each did
what was best for itself, regulated its tariif by its own immediate
wants, built its little Chinese wall round its own frontier, and
taxed the manufactures of a sister Province as readily as those of
Russia or the United States. Resting on its mother’s leading
hand, each toddled along in its own harmless way. But science,
steam, telegraphs and railways, had taught a new education. The
stupendous progress of the United States, with an unrestricted
commerce from Florida to Maine, stood out in bold contrast to
the narrow policy of Provincial isolation ; and thinking minds, in
advance of their time, conceived that if all the Provinces of
British North America were united, with a common tariff and an
unrestricted internal trade, a similar result, to a certain extent,
might be obtained.


The dream of the political economist was brought about by
ca uses, the effect of which, at their inception, was not foreseen
Many years previous to the Ashburton treaty as far back as
1834 or 1835 John Wilson, an enterprising merchant of St.’
Andrews, in the Province of New Brunswick, had originated a
company for the construction of a railway from St. Andrews to
Quebec; and a survey of the same had been made, under the
direction of Major Yule, an officer of the Royal Engineers. This
line, though countenanced by the British Government, owed its
contemplation more to its commercial than to its military impor-
tance. Its course was comparatively straight and short. But,
pending this survey, the United States Government claimed the
territory through which it passed. The border difficulties of 1839
and 1840 during which war was only averted by the prudence of
Sir John Harvey and -General Scott terminated in disgraceful
concession. The “Ashburtoii capitulation,” as Lord Palmerston
called it, was signed in 1842. A wedge of foreign territory was
thrust up between Canada and New Brunswick, without consulting
those Provinces ; and the opportunity of constructing, on British
soil, speedy and direct land communication between the two, was
lost forever.

Resulting from the disturbances in Canada previous to and
during the years 1837 and 1838, the circumstances attending the
claim of the United States to the frontier boundary, and other
occurrences about the same time, the attention of the British
Government, which had before been turned to the construction of
a military road from Halifax to Quebec, sufficiently far removed
from the American frontier to be always available, was materially
strengthened. The proposition to substitute a railroad in lieu of
such military road had been thrown out by Lord Durham, but in
no way acted upon. In 1845, the Governor of Nova Scotia applied
to Her Majesty’s Government to conduct a survey under the
direction of competent military engineers, either at the expense of
the British or Colonial Governments ; suggesting at the same time
that the importance of the ultimate object was so great, that he
hoped this preparatory step might be deemed worthy of Imperial
assistance. Her Majesty’s Government assented to the application,


but declined granting Imperial aid ; and a survey and exploration
of a line from Halifax to Quebec, through the northern part of
New Brunswick, made at the joint expense of the three Provinces
of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada, under the direction
of Major Robinson, an officer of the Royal Engineers,’ was com-
menced -in 1846, and completed in 1848. No immediate action
was taken on this survey ; but, after several years of negotiations,
principally through the exertions of Mr. Howe, the Imperial
Government, in 1851, by the Colonial Secretary, Lord Grey, made
a specific offer to aid with an Imperial guarantee the construction
of a railway on the route surveyed by Major Robinson, if the
Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia would
undertake to build one, subject to the approval of Her Majesty’s
Government. A re-formation of the Government of New Bruns-
wick, in 1851, based upon a demand for a similar extension of the
Imperial guarantee to the construction through New Brunswick of
the European and North American Railway, then lately originated
at a railway convention held at Portland, in the State of Maine,
and legislated upon by the Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia and the State of Maine; and the refusal of the British
Government to extend that guarantee upon the ground that the
newly proposed road could not be regarded as of the same Imperial
character or importance as the Intercolonial, and that the language
of the despatch, upon which such demand had been made, was
misunderstood prevented at that time any action upon the offer.
In the subsequent year, 1852, Canada (through the instrumentality
of Messrs. Hincks, Young and Tache, members of the Government)
and New Brunswick agreed upon a line to be built by their Govern-
ments, through the valley of the St. John ; but to this Nova Scotia
objected ; and the Colonial Minister having refused the guarantee
to the new route, upon the ground that the negotiations had been
based upon the Major Robinson line, or an approximation to it,
efforts for its construction ultimately died out. The three Pro-
vinces, therefore, if they desired to act conjointly and obtain the
Imperial guarantee, were compelled to adopt a line sufficiently
removed from the American frontier to comply with the military
character of the work for which the guarantee was originally offered.


Though, owing to these different complications in the Provinces,
the work was thus retarded, the idea was never abandoned, and at
various times between that period and 1860, numerous negotiations
were had between the Provinces touching its construction. In
1862-3, these had proceeded so far, that an apportionment of the
relative expense to be borne by the Provinces separately had been
agreed upon, and laws passed in the Legislatures of New Bruns-
wick and Nova Scotia to confirm the arrangement. From some
cause, which to the maritime Provinces was never satisfactorily
accounted for, the arrangement was not adhered to by Canada.
During the same period efforts had also been repeatedly made by
the several Governments to bring about a union of postal and
fiscal regulations, and a similarity of tariffs, but the local necessi-
ties of each, and the supposed divergence of interests, had rendered
those efforts ineffectual.

No serious attempt, however, at a political union had been
made; but the public mind was rapidly expanding both to its
importance and necessity. In 1854 the question had been brought
up in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and the great leaders
of the Conservative and Liberal parties, Messrs. Johnston and
Howe, throwing aside the rivalry of party, had delineated with
equal power the advantages that would result from combining the
scattered elements of prosperity and strength separately possessed
by the several Provinces.

In 1858, in the Canadian Parliament, the movement assumed a
more tangible shape, and union was made a part of the policy of
the Government. Mr. Gait, on his becoming a member of the
administration, insisted on its being made a cabinet question ; and
Sir Edmund Head, in his speech at the close of the session,
intimated that his government, during the recess, would take
action in the matter. These tendencies, however, were all abor-
tive ; they produced nothing. On this subject, at that time, the
Imperial Government itself had no definite policy. In 1857,
when, in furtherance of the movement in the Nova Scotia Parlia-
ment, the Hon. Messrs. Johnston and Adams G. Archibald had gone
to England to confer with Her Majesty’s Government on that as
well as on other matters, Mr. Labouchere, the Secretary of State


for the Colonies, intimated to them that it was a question entirely
for the Colonies themselves, and that no obstacle to its accomplish-
ment would be thrown in their way. In 1858, when, in further-
ance of the then adopted policy of the Canadian Government,
Messrs. Cartier, Gait and Ross specially waited upon the Imperial
Government, requesting authority for a meeting of delegates from
each of the Colonies, to take the question into consideration, Sir
Edward Bulwer Lytton, the then Secretary, replied that the ques-
tion ” was necessarily one of an Imperial character,” and declined
to authorize the meeting because, with the exception of one, he
had received no expression of sentiment from the Lower Provinces
on the subject. In 1862, the Duke of Newcastle, the then Colo-
nial Secretary, in a dispatch to the Governor-General, after stating
in explicit terms that Her Majesty’s Government was not prepared
to announce any definite policy on this question for a similar
reason, added that ” if a union, either partial or complete, should
hereafter be proposed, with the concurrence of all the Provinces
to be united, I am sure that the matter would be weighed in this
country, both by the public, by Parliament, and by Her Majesty’s
Government, with no other feeling than an anxiety to discern and
promote any course which might be the most conducive to the
prosperity, the strength and harmony of all the British communi-
ties in North America.”

The war in the United States, however, and the Trent affair of
1861-2, put an end to all vacillation on the part of the Imperial
Government ; and from the Prime Minister to the peasant, whether
Liberal or Conservative, whether Tory or Radical, but one policy
. for the future was to prevail. British America was to be consoli-
^ dated ; British America was to be made self-reliant ; British
America was to be put in a position to require as little from the
British Government as was possible, with an allegiance that was
voluntary, and a connection that was almost nominal. The integ-
rity of the Empire was to be preserved, but the outlying frontier
was to be mainly instrumental in preserving it. Union received
an astounding impulse. It perhaps never before occurred that
two independent bodies, moving in their own orbits, so suddenly
and so simultaneously received an influence from different causes,


impelling them in the same direction, and that direction to result
in their mutual good. The force was irresistible ; it was to the
same end, but neither body was to be coercive of the other. The
outward pressure of mutual necessity and mutual advantage broke
like light upon the public mind. Both parties were to be strength-
ened, but the result was to be obtained by the voluntary action of
a free people, the exercise of their constitutional rights, the assent
of the national judgment. Events moved on with startling
rapidity. What, up to 1861, had been the shadowy outline of a
patriot’s broad conceptions, or the enthusiast’s dream, suddenly
sprang into a tangible creation, “rudis indigestaque moles” at
first, but soon to be moulded into shape, each fragment taking its
proper place, each individual part fitting to its proper sphere, and
standing forth a compact and substantial fabric.

In the winter of 1864, though the public mind was thus agitated,
all reasonable hopes of effecting any arrangement with Canada,
either of a fiscal nature or for the construction of the intercolonial
road at an early day, seemed to have been abandoned in the Lower
Provinces ; and the Legislatures of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island had, at their sessions in that year,
severally passed resolutions authorising their respective Govern-
ments to enter into negotiations, and hold a Convention for the
purpose of effecting a union of the Maritime Provinces, political,
legislative and fiscal. That Convention was appointed to meet at
Charlottetown, in Prince Edward Island, in the month of September

It is necessary here to retrace our steps for a moment, and take
a rapid glance at the position of Canada. During the previous
ten or fifteen years, though politically united, the conflicting
interests of Upper and Lower Canada had become more divergent.
At the union of the two Provinces, under Lord Sydenham, in
1841, the Parliamentary representation was rather in favor of
Lower Canada; and the rule of equal territorial representation,
which, in the interests of Upper Canada, was at that time adopted,
in order to neutralize the supposed inequality, was, -owing to the
more rapid increase in wealth and population of that Province,
found soon to operate to its disadvantage. In a short time Upper
exceeded Lower Canada in its population by many hundred thou-


sands (nearly half a million), without having received any corres-
ponding increase in representation, or influence in the raising or
disbursement of the revenues obtained from the taxation of both.
Thus, prominent among the political questions of the day became
Representation by Population.

But the governing by double majorities was equally a source of
difficulty. It was necessary that the portion of the cabinet formed
from each Province should carry with it the support of the majority
of the representatives of the Province from which it came. A more
absurd mode of government could hardly be conceived ; for while
the leading ministers and statesmen of both Provinces might be
thoroughly united on a question of general importance to the
whole, the local jealousy of a part of either one particularly
affected might deprive the portion of the cabinet belonging to that
Province of its support, and thus defeat a ministry commanding
the confidence of the whole country, and a majority of the Parlia-
ment, but unable, from some local cause, to carry a particular
section. Under such a system, local jealousies are fostered, broad
and liberal views are abandoned, sections become powers, principles
degenerate into personalities, consistency is sacrificed for place, and
the parliamentary debates become remarkable for the acerbity they
display, rather than for the talent they evolve.

The jealousies between the Upper and Lower Canadas increased;
party lines became more clearly defined (if adherence to persons
and sections more than to principle can be called party) ; and
government, in a parliamentary sense, became practically impos-
sible. In the session of 1863, on all questions affecting the then
existing ministry, under the leadership of the Hon. John Sandfield
Macdonald, the divisions were so nearly equal that the Government
ceased to command its proper influence. At the re-assembling of
Parliament in February, 1864, finding that no additional strength
had been acquired during the recess, though a dissolution had
taken place and a general election had been held for the purpose of
testing public opinion, the Government resigned ; and in March,
1864, a new administration, under Sir E. P. Tache, was formed.
Up to June the divisions shewed a similar position for the new
Government. On the 14th of June the Journals of the Legislative
Assembly have the following entry: “The Hon. Mr. Brown


from the select Committee appointed to enquire into tlie important
subjects embraced in a dispatch, to the Colonial Minister, addressed
to him on the 2nd Feb., 1864, by the Hon. Geo. E. Cartier the
Hon. A. T. Gait and the Hon. John Ross, then members of the
Executive Council of the Province, while in London, acting on
behalf of the Government of which they were members, in which
they declared that ‘very grave difficulties now present themselves
in conducting the Government of Canada in such a manner as
to show due regard to the wishes of its numerous populations.’
That ‘ differences -exist to an extent which prevents any perfect
and complete assimilation of the views of the two sections/ That
‘ the progress of population has been more rapid in the western
section, and claims are now being made on behalf of its inhabi-
tants for giving them representation in the Legislature in propor-
tion to their numbers.’ That ‘ the result is shewn by an agitation
fraught with great danger to the peaceful and harmonious work-
ing of our constitutional system, and consequently detrimental to
the progress of the Province,’ and that ‘ the necessity of provid-
ing a remedy for a state of things that is yearly becoming worse,
and of allaying feelings that are daily being aggravated by the
contention of political parties, has impressed the advisers of Her
Majesty’s Representative in Canada with the importance of seek-
ing such a mode of dealing with the difficulties as may forever
remove them,’ and the best means of remedying the evils therein
set forth, presented to the House the Report of said Committee,
which was read as followeth : ” That the Committee have held
eight meetings, and have endeavoured to find some solution for
existing difficulties likely to receive the assent of both sections of
the Province.” ” A strong feeling was found to exist among the
members of the Committee in favor of changes in the direction of
a Federative system, applied either to Canada alone, or to the
whole British North American Provinces, and such progress has
been made as to warrant the Committee in recommending that the
subject be again referred to a Committee at the next Session of

” The whole respectfully submitted.


” Chairman”


On the same day the Government was defeated by 60 to 58, on
a vote of censure relative to some transactions connected with
bonds of the City of Montreal, and to the Grand Trunk Railway
in 1859, five years before, under a previous administration. The
contest was personal, the Dead Lock had come. Between that
day and the 30th of June the supplies were hurried through,
and the House was prorogued. On the 23rd of June, previous to
the prorogation, when the Orders of the Day were called, the
Hon. Attorney-General Macdonald rose to make ministerial ex-
planations in regard to the recent negotiations for strengthening
the Government. He read the following statement of what had
passed between the Government and Mr. Brown from the com-
mencement to the close of the negotiations.

” Immediately after the defeat of the Government on Tuesday
night (the 14th), and on the following morning, Mr. Brown
spoke to several supporters of the Administration, strongly urging
that the present crisis should be utilized in settling forever the
constitutional difficulties between Upper and Lower Canada, and
assuring them that he was prepared to co-operate with the exist-
ing, or any other Administration that would deal with the ques-
tion promptly and firmly, with a view to its final settlement.

” Messrs. Morris and Pope asked, and obtained leave, to com-
municate these conversations to Mr. John A. Macdonald and
Mr. Gait.

. ” On Thursday, at three, P.M., just before the Speaker took the
chair, Mr. John A. Macdonald said to Mr. Brown while standing
in the centre of the Assembly Room, that he had been informed
of what he, Mr. Brown, had stated, and he wished to know if
Mr. Brown had any objections to meet Mr. Gait and discuss the
matter ? He replied, certainly not.

“Mr. Morris accordingly arranged an interview with Mr.
Brown; and on Friday, the 17th June, about one, P.M., Messrs.
Macdonald and ,Galt called on Mr. Brown, at the St. Louis Hotel.
Mr. Brown stated that nothing but the extreme urgency of the
present crisis, and the hope of settling the sectional troubles of
the Province for ever, could, in his opinion, justify their meeting


together with a view to common political action. Messrs. Mac-
donald and Gait were equally impressed with this, and stated that
on that footing alone the present meeting had been invited.

” Mr. Brown asked in what position these gentlemen came to
him, whether as deputed by the Administration, or simply as
leading members of the Ministerial party. They replied they
were charged by their colleagues formally to invite his aid in
strengthening the Administration, with a view to the settlement
of the sectional difficulties of Upper and Lower Canada. Mr.
Brown then stated that, on grounds purely personal, it was quite
impossible that he could be a member “of any Administration at
present, and that even had this been otherwise, he would have
conceived it highly objectionable that parties who had been so
long and so strongly opposed to each other, as he and some mem-
bers of the Administration had been, should enter the same cabi-
net. He thought the public mind would be shocked by such an
arrangement, but he felt very strongly that the present crisis pre-
sented an opportunity of dealing with this question that might
never occur again. Both political parties had tried in turn to
govern the country, but without success, and repeated elections
only arrayed sectional majorities against each other more strongly
than before. Another general election at this moment presented
little hope of a much altered result ; and he believed that both
parties were far better prepared than they had ever been before,
to look the true cause of all the difficulties firmly in the face, and
endeavour to settle the Representation question on an equitable and
permanent basis. Mr. Brown added that if the Administration
were prepared to do this, and would ‘pledge~themselves clearly and
publicly to bring in a measure next Session that would be accept-
able to Upper Canada, the basis to be now settled and announced
in Parliament, he would heartily co-operate with them, and try to
induce his friends (in which he hoped to be successful) to sustain
them until they had an opportunity of presenting their measure
next session.

” Mr. Macdonald replied that he considered it would be essen-
tial that Mr. Brown himself should become a Member of the
Cabinet, with a view to give guarantees to the Opposition and to
the country for the earnestness of the Government.


” Mr. Brown rejoined that other Members of the Opposition
could, equally with himself, give that guarantee to their party
and the Country, by entering the Government in the event of a
satisfactory basis being arrived at. He felt that his position had
been such for many years as to place a greater bar in the way of
his entering the Government, than in that of any other Member
of the Opposition.

” Mr. Macdonald then said that he thought it would be neces-
sary that Mr. Brown, himself should, in any case, be identified
with the negotiations that would necessarily have to take place,
and that, if he did not himself enter the Cabinet, he might un-
dertake a mission to the Lower Provinces, or to England, or both,
in order to identify himself with the action of the Canadian Go-
vernment in carrying out the measure agreed upon.

” It was then suggested by Mr. Brown, and agreed to, that all
questions of a personal character, and the necessary guarantees,
should be waived for the present, and the discussion conducted
with the view of ascertaining if a satisfactory solution of the sec-
tional difficulty could be agreed upon.

” Mr. Brown asked what the Government proposed as a remedy
for the injustice complained of by Upper Canada, and as a settle-
ment of the sectional troubles. Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Gait
replied that their remedy was a Federal Union of all the British
North American Provinces ; local matters being committed to
local bodies, and matters common to all to a General Legislature,
constituted on the well-understood principles of Federal Govern-

” Mr. Brown rejoined that this would not be acceptable to the
people of Upper Canada as a remedy for existing evils. That he
believed that Federation of all the Provinces ought to come, and
would come about ere long, but it had not yet been thoroughly con-
sidered by the people ; and even were this otherwise, there were
so many parties to be consulted, that its adoption was uncertain
and remote.

” Mr. Brown was then asked what his remedy was, when he
stated that the measure acceptable to Upper Canada would be
Parliamentary Reform, based on population, without regard to a
separating line between Upper and Lower Canada.


” To this both Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Gait stated that it was
impossible for them to accede, or for any government to carry
such a measure, and that unless a basis could be framed on the
Federative principle suggested by the report of Mr. Brown’s Com-
mittee, it did not appear to them likely that anything could be

” After much discussion on both sides, it was found thart a com-
promise might probably be had in the adoption either of the
Federal principle for all the British North American Provinces,
as the larger question, or for Canada alone, with provision for the
admission of the Maritime Provinces and the North Western
Territory, when they should express the desire. I Mr. Brown con-
tended that the Canadian Confederation sHould be constituted
first, in order that such securities might be taken, in regard to
the position of Upper Canada, as would satisfy that section of the
country ; that in the negotiations with the Lower Provinces, the
interests of Upper Canada would in 110 case be overlooked.

” Further conversation ensued, but as the hour for the meeting
of the House had nearly arrived, an understanding was come to
that the state of the negotiations was such as to warrant the hope
of an ultimate understanding ; and it was agreed that that fact
should be communicated to Parliament, and an adjournment until
Monday asked for.

” On Friday evening Mr. Gait saw Mr. Brown, and arranged
for an interview next morning, at which Sir Etienne Tache and
Mr. Cartier should be present.

” On Saturday, at ten, A. M., other engagements requiring a
change in the hour appointed, Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Gait called
on Mr. Brown, and after further discussion a second appointment
was made for one, p. M., when the gentlemen named, with Mr.
Cartier, met in the Provincial Secretary’s room, Sir Etienne Tactic*
being out of town.

” The consideration of the steps most advisable for the final
settlement of the sectional difficulties was then entered upon fully,
and a general accord seemed to exist that, as the views of Upper
Canada could not be met under our present system, the remedy
must be sought in the adoption of the Federal principle.


” Mr. Brown then requested to have the views of the Adminis-
tration, as expressed to him, reduced to writing, for the purpose
of being submitted confidentially to his friends. The following
memorandum was then proposed, and having to be submitted to
the Cabinet and to the Governor-General, Mr. Brown enquired
whether any objection existed to his seeing His Excellency, where-
upon he was informed that no objection whatever existed.

” Mr. Brown, accordingly, waited on the Governor-General, and
on his return the memorandum approved by Council and by the
Governor-General was handed to him, and another interview ap-
pointed for six, P. M., Mr. Brown stating that he did not feel at
liberty either to accept t>r reject the proposal without consulting
his friends.


” ‘ The Government are prepared to state that immediately
after the prorogation they will address themselves, in the most
earnest manner, to the negotiations for a confederation of all the
British North American Provinces.

” ‘ That failing a successful issue to such negotiations, they are
prepared to pledge themselves to legislation during the next Ses-
sion of Parliament, for the purpose of remedying existing difficul-
ties by introducing the Federal principle for Canada alone, coupled
with such provisions as will permit the Maritime Provinces and
the North- Western Territory to be hereafter incorporated into the
Canadian system.

” ‘ That for the purpose of carrying on the negotiations, and
settling the details of the promised legislation, a Royal Commis-
sion shall be issued, composed of three members of the Govern,
ment and three members of the Opposition, of whom Mr. Brown
shall be one ; and the Government pledge themselves to give all
the influence of the Administration to secure to the said Commis.
sion the means of advancing the great object in view.

” ‘ That subject to the House permitting the Government to
carry through the public business, no dissolution of Parliament
shall take place, but the Administration will again meet the pre-
sent House.’ ”


” Shortly after six, p. M., the parties met at the same place,
when Mr. Brown stated that, without communicating the contents
of the confidential paper entrusted to him, he had seen a sufficient
number of his friends to warrant him in expressing the belief that
the bulk of his friends would, as a compromise, accept a measure
for the Federative Union of Canada, with provision for the future
admission of the Maritime Colonies and the North- West Territory.
To this it was replied that the Administration could not consent
to waive the larger question, but after considerable discussion an
amendment to the original proposal was agreed to in the fol-
lowing terms, subject to the approval, on Monday, of the Cabinet
and His Excellency.

” ‘ The Government are prepared to pledge themselves to bring
in a measure, next Session, for the purpose of removing existing
difficulties by introducing the Federal principle into Canada,
coupled with such provision as will permit the Maritime Provinces
and the North- West Territory to be incorporated into the same
system of government.

” ‘ And the Government will seek, by sending representatives
to the Lower Provinces, and to England, to secure the assent of
those interests which are beyond the control of our own Legisla-
tion, to such a measure as may enable all British North America
to be united under a general Legislature based upon the Federal
principle.’ ”

” Mr. Brown then stated that having arrived at a basis which
he believed would be generally acceptable to the great mass of
his political friends, he had to add that, as the proposition was
so general in its terms, and the advantage of the measure depend-
ed so entirely on the details that might finally be adopted, it was
the very general feeling of his friends that security must be given
for the fairness of those details, and the good faith with which
the whole movement would be prosecuted by the introduction into
the Cabinet of a fair representation of his political friends. Mr.
Brown stated that he had not put this question directly to his
friends, but that he perceived very clearly that this was the strong


opinion of a large majority of them, and that his own personal
opinion on this (to which he still adhered) was participated in by
only a small number. Messrs. Macdonald, Cartier and Gait re-
plied that they had of course understood in proposing that Mr.
Brown should enter the Government, that he would not come
alone, but that the number of seats at his disposal had not been
considered by their colleagues. Mr. Brown was requested to
state his views on this point, and he replied that the Opposition
were half of the House, and ought to have an equal influence in
the Government, Messrs. Macdonald, Cartier and Gait said this
was impossible, but they would see their colleagues and state their
views on Monday.

” On Monday, at 10.30, A.M., Messrs. Macdonald, Cartier and
Gait called on Mr. Brown at the St. Louis Hotel, and stated that
Sir E. P. Tach6 had returned to town. Mr. Brown accompanied
them to the Provincial Secretary’s room, when Mr. Brown having
been asked to explain how he proposed to arrange equal represen-
tion in the Cabinet, replied that he desired to be understood as
meaning four members for Upper Canada, and two for Lower
Canada, to be chosen by the Opposition.

” In reply Messrs. Cartier and Gait stated that as far as related
to the constitution of the Cabinet for Lower Canada, they be-
lieved it already afforded ample guarantees for their sincerity, and
that a change in its personnel would be more likely to produce
embarrassment than assistance, as the majority of the people of
Lower Canada, both French Canadians and English, had implicit
confidence in their leaders, which it would not be desirable to
shake in any way. That in approaching the important question
of settling the sectional difficulties, it appeared to them essential
that the party led by Sir E. P. Tache should have ample assurance
that their interests would be protected, which, it was feared, would
not be strengthened by the introduction into the Cabinet of the
Lower Canada Opposition.

” Mr. Macdonald stated that as regards Upper Canada, that in
his opinion the reduction to two of the number of the gentlemen
in the Cabinet who now represented Upper Canada, would involve
the withdrawal of the confidence of those who now support them


in the House of Assembly, but that he would be prepared for
the admission into the Cabinet of three gentlemen of the Oppo-
sition, on its being ascertained that they would bring with them a
support equal to that now enjoyed by the Government from Upper

” Mr. Brown asked in what manner it was proposed the six
Upper Canada ministers should be selected, was each party to
have carte-blanche in suggesting to the head of the Government
the names to be chosen 1 To which Mr. Macdonald replied that,
as a matter of course, he would expect Mr. Brown to be himself a
member of the Administration, as affording the best, if not the
only, guarantee for the adhesion of his friends. That Mr. Mac-
donald, on Mr. Brown giving his consent, would confer with him
as to the selection of Upper Canada colleagues from both sides,
who would be the most acceptable to their respective friends, and
most likely to work harmoniously for the great object, which alone
could justify the arrangement proposed.

” Mr. Brown then enquired what Mr. Macdonald proposed in
regard to the Upper Canada leadership. Mr. Macdonald said that,
as far as he was concerned, he could not with propriety, or with-
out diminishing his usefulness, alter his position, but that he was,
as he had been for some time, anxious to retire from the Govern-
ment, and would be quite ready to facilitate arrangements by
doing so. Of course he could not retire from the Government
without Sir Etienne TachS’s consent.

” Mr. Brown then stated that without discussing the propriety
or reasonableness of the proposition, he would consult his friends
and give an early reply.

” Tuesday. The respective parties being occupied during the
forenoon in consulting their friends, a meeting was held at two,
P.M., at which were present Sir E. P. Tache, Mr. Macdonald, Mr.
Cartier, Mr. Gait and Mr. Brown.

” Mr. Brown stated that his friends had held a meeting, and
approved of the course he had pursued, and the basis arrived at,
and authorized him to continue the negotiation.

” Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Cartier also said that they had re-
ceived satisfactory assurances from their friends.


“A further meeting was appointed at half-past eight, P.M.,
at which the details of the arrangements, in case Mr. Brown and
his friends accepted office, were discussed at much length.

” Mr. Brown contended strongly that the Government should
concede a larger representation in the Cabinet than three mem-
bers. To which it was replied, that the Administration believed
that it was quite impossible to satisfy their own friends with a
different arrangement.

” Mr. Brown then asked whether he could be sworn in as an
Executive Councillor, without department or salary, in addition
to the three departmental offices to be filled by his friends. Mr.
Macdonald replied that the principle of equality would in this
case be destroyed, and he was satisfied it could not be done.

“Mr. Brown asked whether it was a sine qua non, that he
should himself enter the Cabinet. To which it was replied that
to secure a successful issue to the attempt to settle the sectional
difficulties, it was considered that Mr. Brown’s acceptance of office
was indispensable.

” Mr. Brown then stated that it was now for him to consider
what course he should pursue, entertaining as he still did the
strongest repugnance to accepting office.

“A meeting was then appointed for the following day.

“On Wednesday a little after one, the same parties met when
Mr. Brown stated as his final decision, that he would consent to
the reconstruction of the Cabinet as proposed, but inasmuch as
he did not wish to assume the responsibility of the Government
business before the House, he preferred leaving till after the pro-
rogation, the consideration of the acceptance of office by himself
and the two gentlemen who might be ultimately selected to enter
the Administration with him.

“Sir E. P. Tache and Mr. Macdonald thereon stated that after
the prorogation, they would be prepared to place three Seats in
the Cabinet at the disposal of Mr. Brown.”

On the 30th of June, simultaneously with the prorogation, a
new Government was announced. The Hon. George Brown, with
Messrs. Mowat and -Macdougall, two other prominent Reformers,


had taken the place of Messrs. Foley, Buchanan, and Simpson,
in the existing Administration. A coalition had been formed
between the leaders of the Reform and Conservative parties, with
the general assent of their supporters. They agreed to unite to
bring about a measure, which they hoped and believed would
remove the difficulties then obstructing the successful administra-
tion of Constitutional Government of Canada. That measure was
the Confederation of the Provinces of British North America, on
the Atlantic side, with the prospect, at some ultimate day of
bringing in the North West and Hudson Bay Territories, and
British Columbia.

We now resume the current of events in the Maritime Pro-
vinces. The action of Canada had not been unnoticed, but the
Governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward
Island proceeded with their original design. In order that the
question of their Union might, as much as possible, be removed
beyond the pale of party conflict, the delegates to attend the
Convention at Charlottetown were selected from the Liberal and
Conservative ranks alike. Dr. Tupper, the leader of the Govern-
ment of Nova Scotia, with his own colleague Attorney-General
Henry, and Mr. Dickey, a Conservative supporter, had included
the Hons. Adams G. Archibald and Jonathan McCully, long and
well-known leaders of the Liberal party. Mr. Tilley, the leader
of the Government in New Brunswick, with his own colleagues,
Messrs. Johnston and Steves, had included the Hons. Edward
Barren Chandler and John Hamilton Gray, prominent and well-
known leaders of the Conservative party there ; whilst in Prince
Edward Island the Premier had, with equal consideration, selected
the Island delegates from both sides of the House. The recom-
mendations of the respective Governments were approved by the
Lieutenant-Governors, and the Convention was opened in due
form at Charlottetown, September 8th, in the Chamber of the
House of Assembly.

The Premier of Prince Edward Island, the Hon. John Hamilton
Gray, was unanimously chosen Chairman, and the Convention as
organized, stood thus :

Nova Scotia The Hon. Messrs. Tupper, Henry, Dickey, Archi-
bald and McCully.


New Brunswick The Hon. Messrs. Tilley, Steves, Johnston,
Chandler, and Gray.

Prince Edward Island The Hon. Messrs. Gray, Coles, Pope,
Palmer, and Macdonald.

The first question submitted was, whether the sittings of the
Convention and its deliberations should be with closed doors, or
open to the public? After consideration it was determined that
the proceedings should be with closed doors, to avoid as much as
possible, any undue pressure upon the Island delegates from their
constituencies, which surrounded them, to ensure an unrestrained
freedom of discussion, and a clear, candid, and business like
consideration of the important questions involved, in a word, to
remove all inducements to “buncombe.” There being no occasion
for display, the speeches were practical and to the point. It is to
be borne in mind that this Convention was not a public represen-
tative body having power to legislate, determine, or finally affect
the public interests, but rather a committee of public men, deputed
by their several Governments to enquire and report upon a pro-
position which might or might not ultimately be adopted, but
which before either its adoption or rejection, would be subject to,
a searching and exhaustive public discussion in the several Legis-
latures of the Provinces.

The departure from Quebec of certain members of the Canadian
Government who had been deputed by the Governor-General to
attend the Convention, having been announced by telegram, and
it having been determined to receive the deputation, and to consider
any propositions they might make with all fairness, it was agreed
to postpone the consideration of the union of the Maritime Pro-
vinces, until after the Canadian deputation had been heard. The
following morning the Canadian Government steamer arrived, the
deputation was received with a cordial welcome, and in due time
introduced to the Convention. The Hons. John A. Macdonald,
Geo. Brown, Geo. E. Cartier, Alex. T. Gait, Thos. D’Arcy McGee,
Hector L. Langevin, Wm. McDougall and Alex. Campbell, were
men who had made their mark in their own country, and had
been wisely selected to put the case of the broader union of British
North America as contra-distinguished to the more limited one of


the Maritime Provinces before the Convention in a clear and
comprehensive manner. The advantages of such a union, and the
outlines of the proposed constitution should a* union be effected
were submitted by the Hon. John A. McSSonald, ably supported
by Messrs. Brown and Cartier. The financial position of Canada
was contrasted with the several Provinces, their several sources of
wealth, their comparative increase, the detrimental way in which
their conflicting tariffs operated to each other’s disadvantage, the
expansion of their commerce, the expansion of their manufactures,
and the development of the various internal resources that would
be fostered by a free intercourse of trade, and a greater unity of
interest were pointed out with great power by Mr. Gait. In a
speech of three hours, statistics were piled upon statistics con-
firming his various positions, and producing a marked effect upon
the Convention. It might almost be said of him on this occasion
as was once said of Pope though speaking of figures in a different
sense “He lisped in numbers for the numbers came.” Messrs.
McGee, Langevin, and McDougall briefly but strenuously corrobo-
rated the views of their colleagues, and after two days command
of the undivided attention of the Convention, the Canadian depu-
tation withdrew.

Before doing so, however, they had proposed, that the Conven-
tion should suspend its deliberations upon the immediate subject
for which they had met, and should adjourn to Quebec at an early
day, to be subsequently named by the Governor-General, there,
further to consider the wider and broader Union which had been
proposed. On the following day the Convention deemed it better
for the general interests of British North America that an adjourn-
ment should take place, and agreed to report to their respective
Governments what had occurred.

During the sitting of the Convention the well-known hospitalities
of the Island had been extended to the members of the Convention
and the Canadian deputation. At a public festival given in the
Government Buildings the proposed coming Union of the Colonies
had been toasted and received with the most enthusiastic cheers,
and the general expression of Union sentiments was warm and
strong. Mr. Dundas, the Lieutenaiit-Govemor of the Island,


cordially cheered on the movement, but it was well-known to the
New Brunswick delegation, that Mr. Gordon, the Lieuteiiant-
Governor of New Brunswick (who was on a visit to the Governor
of the Island during the first day of the sitting of the Convention, )
was not friendly, though with diplomatic reticence he was most
cautious in expressing his opinions, and it was believed that the
Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia was equally unfriendly.

From Charlottetown, the members of the Convention and the
Canadian deputation, went to Halifax, a pro forma meeting of the
Convention was held on the 10th September in the Legislative
Council Chamber, no business of any consequence was done, and
the further .consideration of Confederation was by unanimous
consent postponed until after the details should be fully entered
into at the proposed Conference at Quebec. A short report to
that effect to be presented to their several Governments by the
delegates, was agreed upon. On Monday, the 1 2th of September,
the Canadian deputation and the delegates were entertained at a
magnificent banquet in the Halifax Hotel. The Hon. Dr. Tupper,
one of the delegates, and Premier of Nova Scotia, acted as chair-
man. The Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Richard Graves McDonell,
the Admiral commanding on the Station, Sir James Hope, the
leading public men of all parties, the merchants and prominent
citizens attended, a buoyant feeling seemed to pervade the com-
munity and the union of British North America, in one great
political Confederation, was the apparent and expressed wish . of
those representing the Imperial Government, and those represent-
ing the influential masses in the Province of Nova Scotia. At the
banquet, Sir Graves McDonell, speaking with the guarded caution
of the representative of a Sovereign, whose desire was to act in
accordance with the best interests and wishes of the people, as
testified by themselves, stated : ” That, whatever might be the
result of the deliberations of the delegates of the British Provinces,
the Crown of England, and the British Government had but one
object in view, namely to give the most indulgent consideration to
whatever plan they might themselves devise, with a reasonable
hope and prospect of promoting the social welfare and material
progress of Her Majesty’s subjects in British America,” while Sir


James Hope, with the characteristic bluntness of a sailor, taking
a sweeping view of the extended Empire of Great Britain, and
boldly relying on the loyalty and devotion of the people, declared,
” That it was, therefore that he, looking to the glory and interest
of his country, was able to say to them, in this project as in any
other, which was for their advantage and welfare GO ON AND

The Hon. George Brown, President of the Executive Council of
Canada, replied to the toast of ” The Provincial Delegates,” in a
speech of great power. We give it in full, not only for the valu-
able statistical information with which it abounds, but as being
the first of a series of speeches, which, delivered then and during
the subsequent month by the delegates throughout the Provinces,
gave a practical shape and mould to the agitation of the public
mind, and, gathering the floating ideas respecting Union into a
tangible form, found for them at last ” a local habitation and a
name.” After a few introductory remarks, complimentary to the
people of Halifax for their large and generous hospitality, he said :

” It may be expected that I should say a few words as to the
object of our present mission ; and perhaps I cannot begin better
than by noticing certain statements that have appeared in the
public press, and which have received some credence, in reference
to our visit. It has been said that we have had the opportunity
before now of entering into closer union with Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick, but we did not avail ourselves of it ; that we
were offered an intercolonial railway, but refused to undertake it ;
and that we only come now seeking union with these Provinces to
escape from our own sectional difficulties at home. Now, I am
a member of the party in Canada which up to this moment has
been most strenuous in its resistance to the intercolonial railway ;
and I am persuaded there is not one man in this assembly who,
under similar circumstances, would riot have acted precisely as we
did. In these -Lower Provinces you have all had your political
troubles, but we in Canada have had sectional difficulties to distract
us vastly more serious than any you have had to contend with.
Our constitution of 1840 brought together under one government


two countries peopled by two races, with different languages,
different creeds, and different laws and customs ; and unfortunately,
while making us nominally one people, it retained the line of
demarcation between Upper and Lower Canada, and gave the
same number of representatives in Parliament to each section,
without regard to their respective populations, their contributions
to the general revenue, or any other consideration. The dispro-
portion between the two sections gradually increased, until Upper
Canada has 400,000 people more than Lower Canada, and pays
full three-fourths of the whole national taxation ; but all the while
the Lower Canadians had equal representation with us in both
Houses of Parliament. A systematic agitation for the redress of
this great wrong was commenced in Upper Canada ; and as the
only means of enforcing justice, we resisted all large schemes of
improvement; we refused to enter into any new undertakings,
involving an increase of our public debt, until a reform of our
constitutional system was obtained, and we knew what our future
position as a people was to be. We regarded the apparently far-off
scheme of federation of the whole Provinces as no remedy for our
present wrongs, and we scouted the idea of building more railroads
from the public chest until the tax-payers who were to bear the
burden of their construction had their just share of control over
the public purse. Long and earnestly did we fight for the justice
we demanded ; but at last light broke in upon us. Parties were
nearly equally balanced ; the wheels of government had nearly
ceased to move; a dead lock was almost inevitable; when Mr.
Cartier, who wields great power in Lower Canada, boldly and
manfully took the ground, that this evil must be met, and he
would meet it. On this basis, I and two political friends joined
the administration, and the existing coalition was formed, expressly
for the purpose of settling justly and permanently the constitu-
tional relations between Upper and Lower Canada. We have
agreed to a principle of settlement acceptable to a large majority
of the representatives in Parliament, and, I am also persuaded, to
the great mass of our people in both sections of the Province.
We are pledged as a government to place before Parliament, at its
next session, a bill giving effect to the conditions of our compact ;



and should the union of the whole Provinces not be proc^
with, our Canadian Reform Bill will go on, and our grievances f ioii
redressed. You will therefore clearly perceive that we have not 1
come here to seek relief from our troubles, for the remedy of our
grievances is already agreed upon ; and, come what may of the
larger scheme now before us, our smaller scheme will certainly be
accomplished. Our sole object in coming here is to say to you :
We are about to amend our constitution ; and before finally doing
so, we invite you to enter with us frankly and earnestly into the
inquiry, whether it would or would not be for the advantage of all
the British American Colonies to be embraced under one political
system. IfLet us look the whole question steadily in the face. If
we find it advantageous, let us act upon it; but if not, let the
whole thing drop. This is the whole story of our being here ; this
is the full scope and intention of our present visit. But, there
is another objection raised. It is said that the debt of Canada is
very great, that our taxation is heavy, and that we seek to throw
a portion of our burdens on the shoulders of our neighbours.
Now, I belong to the party of economy in Canada ; the party that
has resisted the increase of the public debt and taxation, and has
loudly complained of their rapid advance. But, large as our debt
and taxation undoubtedly are, for a young country, the people
of Canada are abundantly able to bear it all, and much more,
without assistance from any quarter whatever. Were our bur-
dens much greater than they are, we would have but to stand still
in our extraordinary expenditures for a few years, and the rapid
increase of our population, industrial energy and wealth, would
easily enable us to overcome it all. And if gentlemen who make
this suggestion would look narrowly into the finances of their own
Provinces, and, having regard to the populations of their respective
countries, will compare them with ours, I fancy they will find no
great disparity between our respective burdens. It ought not to
excite any surprise that the federation of all the British North
American Provinces is at last presented to us as a practical ques-
tion. The subject has often and again been discussed in the press
and in Parliament ; but at no time has any provincial statesman
ever expressed a doubt that the fitting future of these Colonies was,



two CO” united under one government and legislature, under the
diffoereignty of Great Britain. But two questions ever sprang up
“at once in considering so great a movement : Have the Colonies
yet gained such a strength as to warrant their undertaking such a
charge? and, could such terms be agreed upon, and such a consti-
tution be framed, as would be acceptable to the whole of the
Provinces 1 These questions are as serious, and as needful to be
met, at this hour, as they ever were in the past. It is no light
matter to change the whole political and commercial relations of
&ny country. In these Colonies, as heretofore governed, we have
enjoyed great advantages under the protecting shield of the mother
country. “We have had no army or navy to sustain, no foreign
diplomacy to maintain; our whole resources have gone to our
internal improvement ; and notwithstanding our occasional strifes
with the Colonial Office, we have enjoyed a degree of self-govern-
ment and generous consideration such as no colonies in ancient or
modern history ever enjoyed at the hands of a parent state. Is it
any wonder that thoughtful men should hesitate to countenance a
step that might change the happy and advantageous relations we
have occupied towards the mother country 1 I am persuaded there
never was a moment in the history of these Colonies, when the
hearts of our people were so firmly attached to the parent state by
the ties of gratitude and affection, as at this moment ; and for one
I hesitate not to say, that did this movement for colonial union
endanger the connection that has so long and so happily existed,
it would have my firm opposition. But, far from fearing such
a result, a due consideration of the matter must satisfy every one
that the more united we are, the stronger will we be; and the
stronger we are, the less trouble we will give the Imperial Govern-
ment, the more advantageous will be our commerce, and the more
proud they will be of us as a portion of the Empire. Our relation
to the mother country does not, therefore, enter into the question.
Whether the right time for a general union has arrived, must be
determined by a close examination into the present position of all
the Provinces, and the possibility of such an arrangement being
matured as will be satisfactory to all concerned. And that has
been the work in which the conference has been engaged for


two weeks past. We have gone earnestly into the consideration
of the question in all its bearings, and our unanimous conclusion
is, that if terms of union fair to all and acceptable to all could be
devised, a union of all the British American Provinces would be
highly advantageous to every one of the Provinces. In the first
place, from the attitude of half a dozen inconsiderable colonies,
we would rise at once to the position of a great and powerful state.
At the census taken on the 12th January, 1861, the population of
the Provinces was as follows :

Upper Canada 1,396,091

Lower Canada ? . ..1,111,566

Nova Scotia 330,857

New Brunswick 202,047

Newfoundland 122,635

Prince Edward Island 80,857

Total in 1861 3,244.053

But since then nearly four years have elapsed, and the average
increase meanwhile, calculated at fifteen per cent., makes the popu-
lation of the six Provinces at this moment 3,787,750. And if to
this we add the large numbers necessarily omitted in countries so
vast and sparsely settled, we will find that our total population,
in the event of a union, would from the start be not much less
than four millions of souls. And there is perhaps a better
way of measuring our strength than by mere numbers, and that
is by comparing ourselves with other countries. Now, there are
in Europe forty-eight sovereign states. Of these there are no
fewer than thirty-seven containing less population than would the
united British North American Provinces ; and among them are
no less prominent countries than Portugal, Holland, Denmark,
Switzerland, Saxony, Hanover and Greece, all of which are
inferior to us in population. There are but eleven states in
Europe superior to us in population, and three of these are so little
in advance of us that a very few years would undoubtedly send
us far ahead of them. The three are, Sweden and Norway, con-
taining 6,349,775 people; Belgium, containing 4,782,255; and
Bavaria, >vitli 4,689,837. These three once passed, and but eight


European states would be in advance of us. And let us see how
we would stand in regard to the question of defence. I find by
the census returns of 1861, that the male persons then in the
Provinces were as follows :

Upper Canada From 20 to 30128,740

30 to 40 84,178
40 to 50 59,660
50 to 60 36,377

L_ 308,955

Lower Canada From 20 to 30 93,302

30 to 40 59.507
40 to 50 42,682
50 to 60 30,129


Nova Scotia From 20 to 60 67,367

New Brunswick From 21 to 40 33,574

40 to 50 10,739
50 to 60 7,312


Newfoundland From 50 to 60 25,532

Prince Edward Island From 21 to 45 11,144

45 to 60 3,675


Total Males from 20 to 60 693,918

Of this enormous body of men, about 150,000 were between
the years of 45 and 60 ; but striking them all off, and throwing
off fifty thousand for the lame and the halt, we would have still
left half a million of able-bodied men ready and willing to defend
their country. But let us look at the aspect we should present
to the world in an industrial and commercial point of view.
And first let us examine the agricultural interests. From the
census returns it appears that there were in 1861 no fewer than
333,604 farmers in the six British American Provinces, and
160,702 laborers, of which, doubtless, a very large proportion are
farm laborers. It also appears that the land granted by Govern-
ment, and now held by private parties in the Provinces, is not less



than 45,638,854 acres, of which 13,128,229 are under cultiva-
tion, and the balance has yet to be brought into use. These lands
are thus distributed :


Upper Canada 17,708,232 6,051,619

Lower Canada 13,680,000 4,804,235

Nova Scotia 5,748,893 1,028,032

New Brunswick 6,636,329 835,108

Newfoundland, about 100,000 41,108

Prince Edward Island 1,365,400 368,127

45,638,854 13,128,229

And mark the enormous amount of produce obtained from these
cultivated lands. I compile from the Census Returns of the
several Colonies the following results as our united crop in the
year 1860 :

Wheat bushels,






Indian Corn


Potatoes. ,

Other Roots

Grass Seed



Maple Sugar


Flax and Hemp



Beef bbls., 200 Ibs.

Pork ,

At a fair valuation these crops will be found to sum up to the
enormous amount of nearly one hundred and twenty millions of
dollars ; and if to this we add the increase on the number and
value of the farm stock during the year, and the value of garden





































00 Ibs.





and orchard produce during the year, and the improvements in
clearing and fencing and buildings during the year we will come
safely to the conclusion that the product of our fields and gar-
dens in 1860 was not less than $150,000,000. The assessed
value of our farm lands in 1860 was upwards of $550,000,000.
And then, if we consider that our agriculture is yet in its
infancy j that only a small portion of the thirteen millions of
acres in pasture and under the plough is yet in high cultivation,
and much of it almost in a state of nature ; that thirty millions
of good lands, over which the plough has not passed, are yet in
private hands, and that vast quantities still remain with Govern-
ment for disposal ; some slight conception may be gained of the
future agricultural capabilities of the united British American
Provinces. But if our position would be so remarkable as an
agricultural people, our union would give us almost as high an
attitude before the world as a great Maritime State. By the
census of 1861 it appears that four years ago the sailors and fisher-
men of the six Colonies summed up no fewer than 69,256. They
were :

In Upper Canada 808

In Lower Canada 5,150

In Nova Scotia 19,637

In New Brunswick 2,765

In Newfoundland 38,578

In Prince Edward Island 2,318

Total sailors and fishermen 69,256

Setting aside the unspeakable value of such a body of men in
defence of the country, the commercial returns from their industry
must be very great. The exports of fish alone from the united
Provinces amounted to no less a sum than nearly ten millions of
dollars. I have been unable to ascertain with accuracy the num-
ber and tonnage of the shipping owned and sailed in British
America ; but this we do know, that last year no fewer than 628
vessels were built within our borders, having an aggregate ton-
nage of 230,312 tons. These vessels were distributed thus :


Built in Canada 158 vessels 67,209 tons.

Nova Scotia ….- 207 ” 46,862 ”

” New Brunswick 137 ” 85,250 ”

” Newfoundland 26 ” about 6,000 ”

” Prince Edward Island. .. 100 ” 24,991 ”

Total 628 ” 230,312 ”

And highly gratifying as are these results, they are the pro-
duct of two branches but yet in their infancy, and both capable of
great extension. I might continue this analysis through our
whole industrial pursuits, and show you one and all of them in the
same high state of efficiency ; I might tell you how we exported
last year $15,000,000 in timber alone ; I might expose to you the
rapidly increasing importance of our coal mines, our gold fields,
our copper mines, our iron works, and our petroleum wells.
I might enlarge on the fast rising importance of our manufac-
tures ; but already I have detained you far longer than I intended,
and must come to a close. Let me, however, wind up with this,
that were the Provinces all united to-morrow, they would have
an annual export trade of no less than sixty-five millions of
dollars, and an import traffic to an equal amount ; they would
have two thousand five hundred miles of railway ; telegraph
wires extending to every city and town throughout the country,
and an annual government revenue of nearly thirteen millions
of dollars. It needs no special wisdom to perceive that a state
presenting such resources, and offering such varied and lucrative
employment to the immigrant and capitalist, would at once occupy
a high position, and attract to it the marked attention of other
countries. It would be something to be a citizen of such a state..
Heretofore we have been~known as separate colonies, and the me-
rits and disadvantages of each compared and set off against the
other ; but with union the advantages of each would pertain to
the whole a citizen of one would ? be a citizen of all and the
foreign emigrant would come with very different feelings of con-
fidence to our shores. In England we should occupy a very dif-
ferent position from what we have ever done as separate and
feeble colonies. I cannot agree with my hon. friend, Mr. Cartier,


in his opinion as to the great political party in Great Britain that
lias done so much to break the fetters of trade, and raise the com-
merce of England to its present unexampled point of high pros-
perity. But regretting, as all must do, the extreme colonial views
of Messrs. Bright and Cobden and their political friends, who
can fail to see that a union of the whole Provinces would have
the effect of inspiring respect even with that school of public men,
and commanding confidence in our commercial future ] The doubt
and uncertainty as to the future of these colonies that have hung
so long and so injuriously over us, would be greatly modified by
the union ; and our securities would sensibly feel the effect in the
money market of the world. How different a position, too, would
we occupy in the eyes of our American neighbors. Instead of
appearing in their commercial returns as separate buyers, we
would stand out unitedly as their very best customer ; and we
would be able to deal with them for a permanent renewal of the
Reciprocity Treaty, under advantages that we have not enjoyed
before. But far in advance of all other advantages would be this,’
that union of all the Provinces would break down all trade bar-
riers between us, and throw open at once to all a combined mar-
ket of four millions of people. You in the east would send us
your fish, and your coals, and your West India procluce, while we
would send you in return the flour and the grain and the meats
you now buy in Boston and New York. Our merchants and
manufacturers would have a new field before them the barrister
in the smallest provinces would have the judicial honors of all
of them before him to stimulate his ambition a patentee could
secure his right over all British America and in short all the
advantages of free intercourse which has done so much for the
United States, would be open to us all. One other argument
there is in favor of the Union that ought with all of us to
weigh most seriously, and that argument is, that it would
elevate the politics and the politicians of our country. It would
lift us above the petty strifes of small communities, and give to
our public affairs a degree of importance, and to our leading pub-
lic men a status very different from what they have heretofore
occupied. On a survey of the whole case, I do think there is no


doubt as to the high advantages that would result from a union
of all the Colonies, provided that terms of union could be found
just to all the contracting parties, and so framed as to secure har-
mony in the future administration of affairs. That is the unani-
mous conclusion of the Conference, and I am persuaded that when
the facts are before the country, it is a conclusion that will be
cordially endorsed by the people of all the provinces. But it were
wrong to conceal for a moment that the whole merit of the scheme
of union may be completely marred by the character of its details.
The consideration of the details has already received, in an infor-
mal manner, the earnest attention of the Convention. I commit
no indiscretion in saying that as yet we have arrived at no formal
conclusion as to any of those details ; and I am sure you will feel
we are right in studiously refraining at present from all discussion
of our views in regard to them. A formal meeting for their
earnest and mature deliberation will be held at an early day ; and
when difficulties have been removed and our plans matured, the
whole scheme will be placed fully and frankly before our consti-
tuents in all the Provinces.”

The honorable gentleman resumed his seat amid applause.

The Hon. Mr. Cartier, in following, after a brief but vigorous
resumi of the population and territory of Canada, enunciated that
idea which has since become so well known and popular, and
regarded as so eminently characteristic of his mode of dealing
with great public questions :

” I need hardly bring to your notice, gentlemen,” said he, “that
we in Canada have those two great elements of nationality, the
personal and territorial elements. But we know our shortcomings.
Though great in territory and population, we want the other
element, which is absolutely necessary to make a nation, that is,
the maritime element. What nation on earth has obtained any
amount of greatness, unless it has been united’ with a maritime
element ? ”

In replying to the toast of ” Colonial Union,” the Hon. John
A. Macdonald, Attorney-General of Canada West, remarked :


ie question of colonial union was one of such magnitude,
that it dwarfed every other question on this portion of the conti-
nent. It had assumed a position that demanded and commanded
the attention of all the Colonies of British America. He was
able to announce that they had arrived unanimously at the opinion
that the union of the Provinces was for the advantage of all ; and
the only question remaining to be settled was, whether it could be
arranged with a due regard to sectional and local interests. We
were at present states of one sovereign, and all paid allegiance to
the great central authority ; but as between ourselves, there was
no political connection, and we were as wide apart as British
America was from Australia. But we must have one common
organization, one political government. It has been said that the
United States government is a failure. I do not go so far. On
the contrary, I consider it a marvellous exhibition of human
wisdom. It was as perfect as human wisdom could make it, and
under it the American States greatly prospered until very recently.
But being the work of men, it had its defects ; and it is for us to
take advantage of experience, and endeavour to see if we cannot
arrive, by careful study, at such a plan as will avoid the mistakes
of our neighbours. In the first place, we know that every indivi-
dual State was an individual sovereignty ; that each had its own
army and navy, and political organization ; and when they formed
themselves into a confederation, they only gave the central autho-
rity certain specific powers, reserving to the individual States all
the other rights appertaining to sovereign powers. The dangers
that have risen from this system we will avoid, if we can agree
upon forming a strong central government, a great central legisla-
ture, a constitution for a union which will have all the rights of
sovereignty except those that are given to the local governments.
Then we shall have taken a great step in advance of the American
Republic. If we can only obtain that object, a vigorous general
government, we shall not be New Brunswickers, nor Nova
Scotians, nor Canadians, but British Americans, under the sway
of the British sovereign. In discussing the question of colonial
union, we must consider what is desirable and practicable ; we
must consult local prejudices and aspirations. It is our desire to


do so. I hope that we will be enabled to work out a constitution
that will have a strong central government, able to offer a powerful
resistance to any foe whatever, and at the same time will preserve
for each Province its own identity, and will protect every local
ambition ; and if we cannot do this, we shall not be able to carry
out the object we have in view. In the conference we have had,
we have been united as one man ; there was no difference of
feeling, no sectional prejudices or selfishness exhibited by any one.
We all approached the subject feeling its importance, feeling that
in our hands were the destinies of a nation ; and great would be
our sin and shame if any different motive had intervened to
prevent us carrying out the noble object of founding a great
British monarchy, in connection with the British Empire, and
under the British Queen. * * *. * * * I do not hesitate
to say that with respect to the intercolonial railway, it is under-
stood by the people of Canada that it can only be built as a means
of political union for the Colonies. It cannot be denied that the
railway, as a commercial enterprise, would be of comparatively
little commercial advantage to the people of Canada. Whilst we
have the St. Lawrence in summer, and the American ports in time
of peace, we have all that is requisite for our purposes. We
recognize, however, the fact that peace may not always exist, and
that we must have some other means of outlet if we do not wish
to be cut off from the ocean for some months in the year. We
wish to feel greater security to know that we can have assistance
readily in the hour of danger. In the case of a union, this railway
must be a national work ; and Canada will cheerfully contribute
to the utmost extent, in order to make that important link without
which no political connection can be complete. **”.* Here
we are now in a state of peace and prosperity. We can now sit
down without any danger threatening us, and consider and frame
a scheme advantageous to each of these Colonies. If we allow so
favourable an opportunity to pass, it may never come again. But
I believe we have arrived at such a conclusion in our deliberations,
that I may state, without any breach of confidence, that we all
unitedly agree that such a measure is a matter of the first neces-
sity, and that only a few (imaginary, I believe) obstacles stand in


the way of its consummation. I shall feel that I have not served
in public life without a reward, if, before I enter into private life,
I am a subject of a great British American nation, under the
government of Her Majesty, and in connection with the Empire
of Great Britain and Ireland.”

From Halifax, the Canadian members and delegates went over
to St. John, in New Brunswick, and in that large and thriving
commercial city again availed themselves of the opportunity of
speaking on the question of the day. On the 12th September
they were handsomely entertained at a public dinner at Stubb’s
hotel. As in Halifax, the leading public men, the prominent
merchants, politicians of all shades, and the representatives of the
press, were present. The chair was occupied by the Hon. John
H. Gray, the member for the county of St. John and one of the
delegates. A warm feeling towards the guests, and a spirit of
enthusiasm on the subject of Union, pervaded the meeting. The
speeches were listened to with deep and earnest attention. There
was no Governor present, and no Admiral. But there were
business men ; men of energy and enterprise ; men of trade, whose
ships were far away, carrying the commerce of the world ; men of
science ; mechanics men of the steam engine and the forge, whose
works of toil and labour were telling on the progress of a young
country ; men of the railway and the telegraph ; men whose life
was work.

In answer to the toast, ” Our friends from Canada, Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island,” the Attorney-General for Canada East,
Hon. George E. Cartier, said :

” Prosperity such as this great country was capable of attaining
to, could never be fully enjoyed until the several sectional parts of
it were united under the same political and commercial systems,
their respective popiilations brought into closer relations with each
other, and all the maritime facilities alike afforded to all, which
nature had so bountifully bestowed upon some of the parts. This
was what Confederation proposed to accomplish. Canada has
population and territory sufficient to make a great nation in course


of time; but she wants what the Lower Provinces possess, an
outlet to the sea. As the Lower Provinces now stand, they are
comparatively weak and powerless; and the wealth, labour and
industry which Canada possesses, go in a great measure to enrich
such cities as New York, Boston and Portland. This must con-
tinue to be the case until the Intercolonial Railway, of which he
had ever been an advocate, shall be built; and as soon as the
Colonies were confederated, the construction of that work would
undoubtedly commence. With regard to the question of defence,
which was inseparable from the general subject, he was confident
that when England saw we were self-reliant to a great extent, and
capable of organizing a large military and naval force for mutual
protection, and which union only would enable us to do, she would
cheerfully come to our assistance, with all her vast power, in any
difficulty that might arise. Canada had been accused of insincerity
in her dealings with the Maritime Provinces, and this led to the
formation of a strong prejudice against accepting the proposals of
his Provirice for confederation ; but he assured every one who
listened to him, that Canada was unjustly accused, and that her
ministers did not come there to urge them by undue means into
the adoption of any scheme of union, but fairly to point out to
them the enormous advantages which, in a commercial point of
view, their merchants, traders and manufacturers would derive
from having a market of four millions of people for the exchange
of their several commodities, instead of being restricted to the
small and scattered populations which now compose the Lower
Provinces, where their industry is hampered by custom-house
regulations different in each.”

Hon. George Brown followed Mr. Cartier, reiterating with much
effect his arguments reported so fully as delivered at Halifax.

Hon. A. T. Gait, Finance Minister of Canada, in answer to
a call made upon him, reviewed the financial condition of the
several Provinces, referred to the efforts that had been made in
Canada to improve the communication between the St. Lawrence
and the ocean, the large expenditure for the construction of rail-
ways, and to the advantages that were resulting, and must continue


to result from these expenditures. He referred to the relative
taxation of the several Provinces : Nova Scotia $2.32 per head,
Canada $2.50, New Brunswick $2.56. In answer to the objection
that Canada sought the union to be relieved of her burdens, spoke
of the Intercolonial Hailway, of the benefit it would confer on the
Maritime Provinces, whilst the expense under the proposed union
must be borne principally by Canada, an arrangement entirely
different from that which had been contemplated while the Pro-
vinces were separate. He then referred to the commercial advan-
tages of a union, which would confer upon the Colonies benefits
similar to those which have been enjoyed by the United States in
consequence of their union, their free trade and uniform tariff.
In framing the constitution for British America, the errors of the
Republican Union were to be avoided. The rebellion which distract-
ed that Union was, in some measure, caused by slavery, and to a
very great extent, by what was known as State rights. Of course,
the question of slavery could never be an element of discord with
the united Provinces, and as regards “State rights,” collision might
be easily avoided in reference to that subject by clearly defining
the powers of the Central Government as totally distinct from the
authority which should be vested in the Local Legislatures.

Hons. Mr. Me Cully and Dr. Tupper of Nova Scotia, Messrs.
Palmer, Coles and Gray of Prince Edward Island, and Messrs.
McDougall and McGee of Canada, with the Chairman, and Mr.
Tilley, also spoke briefly on the occasion, supporting the views
that had been expressed, and urging the adoption of the measure
by the public.

Shortly afterwards the delegates presented their report to their
respective Governments, and the Prince Edward Island Conven-
tion was at an end.


Meeting of Delegates at Quebec, October 10, 1864 Reflections on the time,
place and circumstances American war ‘Sittings with closed doors
Reasons for Voting by Provinces Adoption of Federal instead of
Legislative Union Submission of Resolutions defining proposed Consti-
tution Discussion of do Contrast of source of power in the proposed
Constitution and that of the United States Policy of free trade No
distinction in political rights Difficulties in representative and financial
arrangements Electoral Divisions of Lower Canada Representation by
Population Rule exceptional on entering Confederation Absolute for
subsequent guidance Similarity to original provision in the American
Constitution Upper House, territorial and nominative Provision for
primary selection Admission of North-West Territories and British
Columbia Adjustment of the financial arrangements Direct taxation
for general purposes unknown in Maritime Provinces Crisis Sub-
Committee of Finance Ministers Report Apportionment of powers
Crown Lands and Minerals to Local Governments Reasons for Judi-
ciary Court of Appeal Uniformity of Laws Intercolonial Railway

.Crpwn T.npfk jp Newfoundland -Exception s for Prince Edward Island
^Exportcluty on Dumber in New Brunswick Royalties in Nova Scotia

ResoTuTTorTfT^Fmancial Statement of the position of Canada as compared

with the other “Provinces A.D. 1864.

In accordance with the recommendation of the Canadian Minis-
try, the Governor-General had addressed the several Lieutenant-
Goveriiors of the Maritime Provinces, including Newfoundland,
to send delegates to a Convention to be held at Quebec on the
10th October. The request had been responded to. The same
gentlemen had been re-appointed, with the addition in New Bruns-
wick of the Hon. Peter Mitchell, a member of the Legislative
Council and of the Government, and the Hon. Charles Fisher, a
prominent member of the Liberal party, twice Attorney-General
in the Government of New Brunswick with Mr. Tilley and one of
the oldest members of the House of Assembly ; in Prince Edward
Island, of the Hon. T. Heath Haviland, a Conservative, and the
Hon. Edward Whelan, a Liberal, and editor of the ” Charlotte-
town Examiner.” In Newfoundland, the Hon. F. B. T. Carter,
Speaker of the House of Assembly, and the Hon. Ambrose Shea,
had been appointed.

The Canadian Government steamer ” Victoria ” had been sent
down to Pictou for the delegates. On the 5th October, Sir Richard



Graves McDonell and Lady McDonell, and the Nova Scotia dele-
gates, embarked. On the 6th she called at Charlottetown for the
Prince Edward Island delegates, and thence proceeded to Shediac
for the New Brunswick delegates. On the 7th she bore away for
Quebec. Many ladies were on board, members of the families of
the gentlemen from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince
Edward Island. Every provision had been made for comfort. Oil
Sunday evening, the 9th, she arrived at Quebec ; and on Monday,
the 10th October, 1864, at 11 a.m., in the Parliament House of
old Canada, the Conference was opened.

The respective Provinces were represented as follows :

CANADA. Hon. Sir Etienne P. Tache, Premier, M.L.C. ; Hon.
John A. Macdonald, Attorney-General West, M.P.P.; Hon. George
E. Cartier, Attorney-General East, M.P.P. ; Hon. George Brown,
President of the Executive Council, M.P.P. ; Hon. Alex. T. Gait,
Finance Minister, M.P.P. ; Hon. Alex. Campbell, Commissioner
of Crown Lands, M.L.C. ; Hon. William McDougall, Provincial
Secretary, M.P.P. ; Hon. Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Minister of
Agriculture, M.P.P. ; Hon. Hector Langevin, Solicitor-General
East, M.P.P. ; Hon. J. Cockburn, Solicitor-General West, M.P.P. ;
Hon. Oliver Mowat, Postmaster-General, M. P. P. ; Hon. J. C.
Chapais, Commissioner of Public Works, M.L.C.

NOVA SCOTIA. -Hon. Chas.Tupper, Provincial Secretary, M.P.P.;
Hon. W. A. Henry, Attorney-General, M.P.P. ; Hon. R. B. Dickey,
M.L.C. ; Hon. Adams G. Archibald, M.P.P.; Hon. Jonathan
McCully, M.L.C.

NEW BRUNSWICK. Hon. Samuel L. Tilley, Provincial Secretary,
M. P. P. ; Hon. John M. Johnson, Attorney-General, M. P. P. ;
Hon. Edward B. Chandler, M.L.C. ; Hon. John Hamilton Gray,
M.P.P.; Hon. Peter Mitchell, M.L.C.; Hon. Charles Fisher,
M.P.P. ; Hon. William H. Steves, M.L.C.

NEWFOUNDLAND. Hon. F. B. T. Carter, M.P.P., Speaker of the
House of Assembly ; Hon. Ambrose Shea, M.P.P.


PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND. Hon. John Hamilton Gray, Premier,
M.P.P. ; Hon. Edward Palmer, Attorney-General, M.P.P. ; Hon.
W. H. Pope, Provincial Secretary, M.P.P. ; Hon. George Coles,
M.P.P. Hon. A. A. Macdonald, M.L.C. ; Hon. T. H. Haviland,
M.P.P. ; Hon. Edward Whelan, M.L.C.

Sir Etienne P. Taclie, Premier of Canada, was unanimously
chosen President ; and Major Hewitt Bernard, of the Staff of the
Attorney- General “West, Private and Confidential Secretary.

Thus was organized a Convention, whose deliberations were to
have a marked bearing upon the future of British North America.
The time, the men, the circumstances, were peculiar. The place
of meeting was one of historic interest. Beneath the shadow of
Cape Diamond, on the ruins of the old Castle of St. Louis, with
the broad St. Lawrence stretching away in front, the Plains of
Abraham in sight, and the St. Charles winding its silvery course
through scenes replete with the memories of old France, where
scarce a century gone the Fleur de Lys and the Cross of St. George
had waved in deadly strife, now stood the descendants of those
gallant races, the Saxon and the Gaul, hand in hand, with a
common country and a common cause. Met with the full sanction
of their Sovereign and the Imperial Government, attended by the
representatives and ministers of the Crown, sent from the Parlia-
ments chosen by the people, they were called upon to lay in peace the
foundations of a State that was to take its place in friendly posi-
tion beside that Republic, which wrenched from the parent land in
strife, had laid the foundations of its greatness with the sword and
baptized its power in blood.

Ninety years before, when the first Congress of the thirteen
States met at Philadelphia, it was in defiance of the authority and
of the country from which their people sprung. How different f
How much more auspicious was the gathering of the Provincial
representatives at Quebec ! In their deliberations and the fram-
ing of their constitution they would have the benefit of the expe-
rience of the working of that constitution, which under conditions
in some degree similar to their own as to country, institutions,
and people, had carried the United States through half a century


of triumphant progress. It would be for them to avoid those
causes of dissension which had created the then existing troubles
of that country.

But apart from this, the time at which they had assembled was
one of deep import. The civil war in the United States, between
the North and South, was raging in all its fury. No one could
tell how soon its crimson flood might burst upon our shores.
Causes of great irritation were already existing. The imperious
demand of England for the immediate surrender of Mason and
Slidell, and the disavowal of the act of the officer who had boarded
the ” Trent,” and violated the sanctity of her flag ; the sympathy
of a portion of her people with the Southern cause, and the preda-
tory character of the “Alabama” and other cruisers, fitted out and
leaving her ports through the alleged indifference of her officers or
the insufficiency of her laws, were rankling in the breasts of large
numbers of the American people.

The piratical seizure of the steamer ” Chesapeake,” her subse-
quent escape to Nova Scotia, the alleged plottings of Southern
refugees in Canada, and the St. Albans raid, notwithstanding the
vigilance of the Canadian authorities, and their prompt efforts to
apprehend and punish the offenders all tended, however unjustly,
to intensify the bitterness of the national mind in the United
States, and little, but very little, was wanted to cause a war
between the two countries.

Under such circumstances, great prudence should govern the
deliberations of men, who, however limited their authority, or how-
ever remote from the cause of dissension the subject referred to
them, might yet by some unguarded act precipitate difficulties
which it should be the interest and object of all to avoid.

On the men who formed the Conference was directed the atten-
tion of British America. They had all served many years in pub-
lic and parliamentary life in their several Provinces. All had
filled prominent public positions had had the cares and respon-
sibilities of government, and the stimulus of opposition. From
fifteen to twenty years had been the average of their public ser-
vices. All were young enough to feel that, contrasting the past
with the future, there was still before them a career of honorable


ambition in a greater country and a greater cause. All were old
enough to know that rashness was the folly of a statesman, and
that the future influence, character and position, as well as the
prosperity of their country, would depend on the wisdom and
practicability of their conclusions.

The venerable chairman and two others might perhaps claim
exemption from any personal ambition for the future. To Sir E.
P. Tache half a century of public life had brought gravity with
age, and had given to a spotless name the right to command
respect, and to preside with dignity over the councils of his coun-
try. The Hon. E. B. Chandler, by his quick and restless move-
ments, showed that seventy years had no,t dulled the activity of
his mind or body ; but forty years as a representative and member
of the Legislative Council of his own Province he declared had
rendered him personally indifferent to the future ; whilst the gal-
lant Premier of Prince Edward Island, the rugged outlines of
whose gaunt frame still bore the vigorous impress of its Scotch
lineage, seemed to glory only in the future greatness of his coun-
try, and to hope that the prowess of her sons might rival the
glories of that land whose flag he had followed for so many years
in every quarter of the globe.

We will now proceed to the work of this Convention. After
much consideration it was determined, as in Prince Edward Island,
that the Convention should hold its deliberations with closed doors.
In addition to the reasons which had governed the Convention at
Charlottetown, it was further urged, that the views of individual
members, after a first expression, might be changed by the discus-
sion of new points, differing essentially from the ordinary current
of subjects that came under their consideration in the more limited
range of the Provincial Legislatures ; and it was held that no man
ought to be prejudiced, or be liable to the charge in public that he
had on some other occasion advocated this or that doctrine, or this
or that principle, inconsistent with the one that might then be
deemed best, in -view of the future union to be adopted. The
relation of a federation of Provinces towards each other the con-
stitutional necessities operating upon the united body, might be so
different from the necessities hitherto operating upon .each in the


separate administration of its local affairs, that it was well held
that no man should be governed by opinions given under phases of
circumstances entirely dissimilar, and which might be altogether
inapplicable. Liberals and Conservatives had there met to deter-
mine what was best for the future guidance of half a continent, not
to fight old party battles, or stand by old party cries, and candour
was sought for more than mere personal triumph. The conclusion
arrived at, it is thought, was judicious. It insured the utmost
freedom in debate ; the more so, inasmuch as the result would be
in no way binding upon those whose interests were to be affected,
until and unless adopted after the greatest publicity and the fullest
public discussion.

As the course pursued by the Convention on this point was at
the time made the subject of much mis-aiiimad version, and in some
of the Provinces, of grave censure, iipon the ground that the
discussion of its proceedings by the press and public pending its
sittings would have been of great advantage, it is as well to
observe, that in addition to the reasons influencing the members
at the time, history afforded an excellent precedent. In the
convention of 1787, which sat at Philadelphia by authority of the
then existing Congress, for the purpose of devising a constitution
for the more perfect confederation of the United States, a conven-
tion, presided over by Washington, led by Hamilton, and sustained
by the wisdom and experience of Franklin, then eighty-four years
of age men who, if the men of any nation or time could be con-
sidered as above sordid or selfish motives, must be so regarded
the proceedings, though lasting four months, were conducted in
secret ; and all that is known of what was then said and done,
save the constitution devised and adopted, was known by notes
kept by Madison, and which he some time after made public.*

It was further determined, after debate, that, inasmuch as the
Canadian representation in the Convention was numerically so
much greater than that of any of the other Provinces indeed
equal to that of any two combined the voting in case of division
should be by Provinces, and not by members ; Canada, as composed

* ” Alexander Hamilton’s Times,” by Muller.


of two Provinces, having two votes ; thus ensuring to the smaller
Provinces that in the adoption of any proposition, equal weight
should be given to all. Consequently, on each particular proposi-
tion on which a difference of opinion was expressed, the represen-
tatives of each Province consulted thereon apart, determined by a
majority its acceptance or rejection, and reported the result by
their chairman to the Convention. In the arrangement of the
sittings, Canada occupied the central position, with New Bruns-
wick and Nova Scotia on one side, and Prince Edward Island and
Newfoundland on the other.

It was in a very short time decided that a Federal in preference
to a Legislative Union would be best suited to the exigencies of the
country; its extended area and comparatively sparse population
rendering it utterly impossible that the local wants of distant
districts could be attended to in the General Parliament, parti-
cularly as in several of the Provinces municipalities were not
established, direct taxation was unknown, and the people were
accustomed to look to their local legislatures for all those measures
which would increase the settlement, open the communications,
afford education, and tend to develope the resources of their

On the second day, the outlines of a contemplated Confederation
were submitted, in a series of resolutions, by the Hon. John A.
Macdonald, substantially in accordance with the views that had
been more generally expressed in the meeting at Charlottetpwn.
They were elaborated in a clear and comprehensive speech, pointing
out with minuteness the distinction between the constitution pro-
posed and the model from which it might be supposed to have
been framed that of the United States and claiming emphati-
cally that it was intended ‘ to be, as far as circumstances would
permit, similar to that of the Imperial Government, and recog-
nizing the Sovereign of Great Britain as its sole and only head.

In the course of the arguments that followed on the submission
of these resolutions, and which extended over several days, it was
clearly shown that whereas in the United States all powers not}
specifically conceded by the several States to the Federal Govern-
ment were still to remain with the several States, here, on the


contrary, all powers not specifically conceded by the Imperial Par-
liament in the proposed constitution to the separate Provinces were
to remain with the Federal Government. The source of power
was exactly reversed. At the time of the framing of their consti-
tution, the United States were a congeries of independent States,
which had been united for a temporary purpose, but which recog-
nized 110 paramount or sovereign authority. The fountain of con-
cession therefore flowed upward from the several states to the
united government. The Provinces, on the contrary, were not
independent States ; they still recognized a paramount and sove-
reign authority, without whose consent and legislative sanction
the Union could not be framed. True, without their assent their
rights would not be taken from them ; but as they could not part
with them to other Provinces without the Sovereign assent, the
source from which those rights would pass to the other Provinces
when surrendered to the Imperial Government for the purposes of
confederation, would be through the supreme authority. Thus
the fountain of concession would flow downward, and the lights
not conceded to the separate Provinces would vest in the Federal
Government, to which they were to be transferred by the para-
mount or sovereign authority.

This was in accordance with the theory of the British constitu-
tion, which, while boasting its old Saxon popular origin, yet
claims the unparalleled expansion of its present freedom as
wrenched from the sovereign authority by the struggles of a thou-
sand years, and recognizes that authority as the source of power.

” That land of old and fair renown,
Where Freedom slowly broadens down
From precedent to precedent.”

In the United States, on the contrary, the theory is that the power
springs from the people, and what they have not chosen to part
with they still retain.

Practically, in both countries the result is the same. The peo-
ple are the source of power, and in them the power resides, under
whatever name it may be called ; but in the framing of a consti-
tution for a congeries of states, to be governed by one central au-
thority, the result is different. In the one case the separate


states, in their individual capacities, retain the undefined and un-
conceded power. In the other the central authority holds it.
The latter form, it was contended, gave greater strength, com-
pactness and facilities for intercourse with other countries, and
removed causes of disintegration.

The question of states rights, which led to the frightful war in
the United States, was forcibly enlarged upon, and an earnest de-
sire expressed that, in the framing of the new constitution, defects
which might lead to such results should be avoided.

It was well observed, that in British America no taint of slav-
ery existed to create a hostility of sections, or raise the cry of
” squatter sovereignty,” that no diverse productions of climate
suggested a diversity of tariffs, that no manufactures of the
North would demand an antagonism to the productions of
those fertile lands whose southern sun gave forth spontaneous
wealth, which asked for exchange and not protection, that lying
in almost one continuous line on the same parallel of latitude
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the interests of all parts of the
country for which the new constitution was to be framed would
be identical, that its trade should be free, and the surplus of its
products not used for home consumption should with equal privi-
lege seek the markets of the world, that no distinction of race
or color or creed was known, and that therefore it was sound that
that body which would be vested with the responsibility of guard-
ing the interests of the whole country, should be clothed with
power adequate to the circumstances with which it might have to
deal. Thus the Central Government took all, and the powers of
the Provincial Governments were to be exercised strictly within
the limits defined.

But it was in the apportionment of the representation in the
Federal Parliament, and of the financial burdens and benefits, that
the greatest difficulties arose. Representation by Population had
been for many years the demand of the most populous and most
powerful of the Provinces, and had indeed been one of the causes,
if not the main cause, of that constitutional embarrassment which
on the part of Canada had led to the proposition for federation.


The principle, therefore, was recognized, and was proposed to be
acted upon, so far as consistently with existing arrangements in
the several Provinces it could be.

The Electoral Divisions of the Province of Lower Canada (now
Quebec) at the time were sixty-five. In New Brunswick the
fourteen counties, with the city of Saint John in addition, making
fifteen constituted Electoral Districts. In Nova Scotia there were
nineteen, the county of Halifax being divided into two. It was
considered politic not to disturb these divisions, but making Que-
bec as the pivot, to give to each district or division, as then exist-
ing, one representative ; and taking Upper Canada, (now Ontario,)
to give to her eighty-two representatives, the number that her
presumed population would entitle her to.

The actual proportions throughout the four Provinces were not
the same, for while taking the then last census of the several Pro-
vinces as f the guide, Quebec would have one representative to
about 16,500 of her population New Brunswick would have one
to 16,800 Nova Scotia, one to 17,500 Prince Edward Island,
one to 16,000 Newfoundland, one to 18,750 and Ontario, one
to 17,070 ; but it was determined that every future re-adjustment
of the representation in the several Provinces, at the completion
of each decennial census, should be, as to the number of members,
upon the same proportion to the population of the Province that
the number 65 bore to the population of Quebec at the same cen-
sus, the number for Quebec being fixed at 65.

Thus at the first inception on entering into the Union, population
was not intended to be held as the only rule for representation.
Though taken as a guide, the apportionment must be more or less
arbitrary. Existing arrangements, territorial and other consider-
ations must be taken into account, and modifications to suit cir-
cumstances necessarily made ; but, after entering the union,
future changes of the entire representation were to be governed
by that principle. Such seemed to be the views on this subject.
The principle itself was affirmed simply and explicitly in the 17th
Resolution in the Conference at Quebec ; but in the constitution
as subsequently settled at Westminster, and enacted by the Bri-
tish North America Act, 1867, while the re-adjustment made by


the Quebec Resolution is adhered to, the principle so explicitly
laid down, ” That the basis of representation in the House of
Commons shall be by population ” is not re-declared. So marked
a distinction, it must be presumed, was intentional to remove
any doubt that the confederation of the four Provinces then formed
should have free scope for terms that might be necessaiy there-
after to bring in other portions of British North America.

In the United States representation by population is simply
numerical. Each so many thousand of recognized voters is
entitled to a representative ; though by such calculation twenty
representatives might come from one city or place, New York,
Philadelphia, or Brooklyn, for instance. But in the plan adopted
at the Conference the electoral districts would have the same repre-
sentation, though one district might number 50,000 and another
only 5000. For instance, the County of St. John, with a popula-
tion of nearly 50,000, would have only one representative, while
Cornwall, Sherbrooke, Niagara, Montreal Centre, Hestigouche or
Algoma, with populations under 7000, would each equally have
one. To meet any objections arising of this nature, it was pro-
posed and declared that the Local Legislature of each Province
should divide its own Province into constituencies, and define
their boundaries, and should have power from time to time to
alter the electoral districts for the purposes of representation in the
House of Commons, and to distribute the representation to which
each Province might be entitled in such manner as its Local
Legislature might see fit. It is but proper, however, to state,
that from a correspondence which subsequently passed between
the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick and the Governor-
General, it appeared that this stipulation had been altered by the
‘Canadian Ministry, and was, in the resolutions laid before the
Canadian Parliament, restricted to the representation in the Local
Legislatures only ; it being alleged that the error arose from an
improper wording of the resolution at the Conference, and that
the power was not intended to apply to the representation in the
Federal Parliament.

The Conference, therefore, while taking population as the basis,
and laying down that strictly as the rule, acted upon the principle


that in the first instance territorial area and local circumstances
must also be considered.

Something of a similar character seems to have taken place at
the formation of the original constitution of the United States,
for in the second section an arbitrary number of representatives
was assigned to the thirteen states separately, though the rule was
strictly defined as to the subsequent increase or decrease the
franchise at the same time being expressly denied to Indians and

The representation in the Upper House was a matter much
more easily disposed of. It was at once arranged territorially,
the Provinces being formed into three divisions, namely, Quebec
(Lower Canada), Ontario (Upper Canada), and the Maritime Pro-
vinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island),
with equal representation, 24 to each division. An exceptional
provision was made for Newfoundland, with a representation of
four members. The selections in the first instance were to be
from the existing Legislative Councils of the several Provinces,
(excepting Prince Edward Island), as fairly as possible from all
political parties. This provision, it being naively expected, would
facilitate the passage of the necessary measures to effectuate the
Union in those branches of the Local Legislatures.

The question of an elective or a nominative Legislative Council
was fully discussed, and decided by an overwhelming majority in
favor of the [latter, the President of the Canadian Council, the
Hon. George Brown, leading the liberal section of the Canadian
Cabinet strongly in support. A particular exception of the mode
of selection of the members for this branch was made as regards
Prince Edward Island, at the urgent demand of its delegates.

With reference to the North-west Territories and British Colum-
bia, inasmuch as they were in no way represented at the Confer-
ence, and their admission at the time seemed remote, no observa-
tion of any kind was made as to their representation in either
branch ; but all matters relative to them were left to future con-
sideration, and “such terms as might be deemed equitable or

*Shephard’s ” Constitutional Text Book.” Edition of 1856.


agreed upon, when they were admitted or applied for admission
into the contemplated union.”

Concurrently with the consideration of these questions the adjust-
ment of the financial burdens was also under discussion.

The simplest and the shortest mode would have been at once to
determine that each Province should by its own direct taxation
bear the burden of its own local expenditure and wants, and that
the general revenues should all be distributed solely for general
purposes. But this was simply out of the question. The system
existing in Upper Canada of governing by municipalities, and pro-
viding for local wants by local taxation, though fully understood
had never been adopted by the people of the Maritime Provinces.
The Government was to them “a nursing mother” of children.
Bridges, roads, schools, wharves, piers, bye-roads, internal improve-
ments and communications of all kinds, in addition to the Legis-
lative, fiscal, postal, and executive expenses of every kind, were
paid out of the general revenues, arising from customs, sales of
crown lands, or other public revenues. A toll-gate did not exist
in the Provinces, and if a bridge were built across a public navi-
gable river like the Petitcodiac by a company for its own private
gain, under the sanction of an Act of the Legislature and aided by
public grants, the members for and the inhabitants of the adjoining
counties rebelled at the idea of being charged for crossing it, and
agitated until the $20,000 or $30,000, that it was said to have
cost, was paid to the company out of the public funds, and the
bridge thrown open to the public free of charge. But two toll
bridges existed in the Province of New Brunswick, both expensive
suspension bridges at the Upper and Lower Falls of the River St.
John 240 or 250 miles apart, and from the Restigouche to the
St. Croix in the other direction, 300 miles along the sea coast,
across the mouths of broad rivers, and over deep ravines, well
roaded and well bridged, except at one of these suspension bridges
no toll-gatherer stopped the traveller. The same might be said of
Nova Scotia.

It was absurd, therefore, to suppose that the delegates from
those Provinces could consent to any propositions for union that
did not make adequate provisions for meeting the existing wants


and contributions to which their people had been accustomed. It
was equally hard to make the representatives of the people of
Upper Canada understand that that was right. In vain was
argument used. It amounted to nothing. Unless some compro-
mise could be effected the discussion about union might as well
cease. Subsidies were proposed, the expenses of each Local Gov-
ernment were in calculation, reduced to the smallest figure the
General Government assumed the burden of every expenditure
that could possibly be considered of a general character but still
as the distribution was to be by population the Province of Upper
Canada would receive what it did not want, while the others did not
get what they did want. Agreement seemed hopeless, and on or
about the tenth morning after the Convention met, the conviction
was general that it must break up without coming to any conclu-
sion. The terms of mutual concession and demand had been drawn
to their extremist tension, and silence was all around. At last a
proposition was made that the Convention should adjourn for the
day, and that in the meantime, the Finance Ministers of the several
Provinces should meet, discuss the matter among themselves, and
see if they could not agree upon something. Accordingly, Messrs.
Brown and Gait on behalf of Canada, Dr. Tupper and Mr.
Archibald of Nova Scotia, Mr. Tilley of New Brunswick, Mr.
Pope of Prince Edward Island, and Mr. Shea of Newfoundland,
withdrew for that purpose.

On the following morning they reported the conclusions at which
they had arrived. These with some modifications, after discussion,
were ultimately adopted^ by the Convention, reduced to resolutions,
and the “financial crisis” passed away.

The Convention resumed its labors and proceeded to define the
respective powers of the General and Local Parliaments, and of
the rights and properties under their control. The retention of
the ungranted Crown lands and of the mines and minerals by the
several Provinces, in which they were situated was deemed best,
as affording to them severally additional sources of revenue,
stimulus for local improvements, and the means of encouraging
immigration; but more particularly as removing causes of conflict
and dissension between the Local and General Governments, and


relieving the latter of duties which ought to be municipal. The
regulation and management of lands and royalties within a Pro-
vince by a Government other than that of the Province would
only be creating an “imperium in imperio,” which would surely
become antagonistic.

The question of the judiciary was not so easily settled, and led
to long and animated discussions. Wliile it was admitted that
the public interests would be best promoted by having the highest
tribunals of the countiy deriving their authority from the highest
source of power in the country, and that a uniform Bar extending
throughout the whole would tend to its elevation, by the greater
conflict of talent, and the wider sphere of action, it was urged that
until the laws were in some measure assimilated the benefit with
reference to the Bar would be more seeming than real. And with
reference to the Bench, a vague dread of the overawing power of
Canada, led some of the delegates from the Maritime Provinces to
fear that the courts of their Provinces might be filled with judges
who were strangers to their laws, and whose traditions were with
other lands. The representatives from Lower Canada at once put
their Province beyond the pale of consideration. Their juris-
prudence was governed by the Civil Law, and admitted of no
uniformity with the codes of the other Provinces. The result was
a provision for rendering uniform the laws of the five otbor^ ‘
Provinces, Upper Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, New- !
foundland, and Prince Edward Island, relative to property and ;
civil rights, and that until such uniformity took place, the judges
of the Courts of those Provinces should be selected from the
respective Bars of those Provinces; the power of appointment of
the judges in all Lower Canada included with this restriction
being placed in the hands of the General Government, to which
already the duty of paying their salaries had been assigned. It
was admitted with one voice, that the criminal law must be the
same throughout the whole, and that the Parliament of the General
Government must form the criminal code.

Thus was this question disposed of, but temporarily only, for
the time must come when substantially one code, and a similar
administration must pervade the tribunals of those Provinces, the
basis of whose jurisprudence is the Common Law of England.


Provision was made for the establishment of a Court of Appeal,
and for the completion without delay of the Intercolonial Railway
from the Riviere du Loup through New Brunswick to Truro in
Nova Scotia, without an express understanding to which effect
those two Provinces would not have assented to enter the union.
An expression of opinion was also given as to the importance of the
communications with the North- West Territories and the improve-
ments in the canals requisite to develop the trade of the West with
the sea-board, and a declaration made that they should be prose-
cuted at the earliest possible period, that the finances of the country
would permit.

Other provisions, with reference to existing laws in^the several
Provinces, and some contingent liabilities, for which, under their
existing laws, they might become responsible, were also made.
The necessities of Newfoundland compelled a departure, with
reference to that colony, from the principle the Convention had
adopted as regards the ungranted Crown lands in the other Pro-
vinces. The agreement for the transfer of those in that island to
the General Government was only carried after much discussion.
It was stoutly urged that if Newfoundland required $150,000 per
annum more than the general plan proposed, it was better to give
it at once, or forego her admission ; but the former could not be
conceded without injustice to the other Provinces, and a departure
from the terms on which they were induced to come in ; and the
latter could not be assented to without a departure from the broad
scheme of the consolidation of all British North America. The
acceptance of her lands was therefore carried ; and, at the request
of her delegates and those of Prince Edward Island, an exception
was made, that the qualification for members of the Legislative
Council from the two Islands might consist pf personal as well as
real property, leaseholds being extensively in use in both.

No other exceptional provision was made with reference to
Prince Edward Island, save as to the members of the Legislative
Council not being in the first instance selected from the existing
Council, that body in the Island being elective, and her delegates
especially requesting that with reference to that Island the question
of nomination or election might be left open for further considera-
tion ; and as to any particular claim she might have on the British


Government for the Lieutenant-Governor’s salary, in consequence
of that salary having been always paid by the British Government,
and not by the Island; though during the discussion on the repre-
sentation in Parliament, and on the financial arrangements, her
representatives were restive and perhaps exacting ; but after the
report of the committee appointed to devise the financial arrange-
ments, on which she was represented by her Provincial Secretary,
no dissatisfaction was expressed.

Among the provisions relating to the imposition or regulation
of duties on imports and exports, for which power was to be given
exclusively to the General Government, was an exception, which
led to much discussion, and demands explanation, namely, the
exemption from the power of the General Government of affecting
(if not increased) the export duty on timber, logs and lumber from
New Brunswick, and of coal and other minerals in Nova Scotia.
Not only was the principle of export duties denounced, but it was
observed that no such power was permitted to the other Provinces,
and that most of them dealt quite as largely in the lumber trade
as New Brunswick, and the reason for such exception was not
apparent. It must be remembered that the Crown lands and
mines and minerals in each Province were to remain the property
of each Province, as a part of its source of local revenue. Many
years previously, the Legislature of New Brunswick, finding the
expenses of collecting the stumpage dues unnecessarily great in
fact, so far as the public revenue went, rendering her forests
entirely unproductive had simplified the matter by the substitu-
tion of an export duty in lieu of stumpage ; and that law having
been in successful operation for many years, and still being in
force, could not be interfered with. It was simply another mode
of collecting cullers’ dues, as known at the port of Quebec, and
was more the irregular application of a term or expression, than
the adoption of a general principle in trade. The same observa-
tion is applicable to the exemption in favour of coal and other
minerals in Nova Scotia, being simply a more convenient mode
there in use of collecting the royalties. In this way an exception
was introduced into the constitution, which would otherwise appear


The foregoing details, with others deemed essential, were embo-
died in seventy-two resolutions, which were to be authenticated by
the signatures of the delegates, to be transmitted to their respec-
tive Governments for submission to their Legislatures, and to the
Governor-General for the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Throughout the resolutions the present Provinces of Ontario and
Quebec were spoken of as Upper and Lower Canada. Though, as
at present, more generally recognized under the former designation,
they are indifferently so referred to in this work.

The Resolutions were as follows :


1. The best interests and present and future prosperity of Bri-
tish North America will be promoted by a Federal Union under
the Crown of Great Britain, provided such Union can be effected
on principles just to the several Provinces.

2. In the Federation of the British North American Provinces
the system of government best adapted under existing circum-
stances to protect the diversified interests of the several Provinces,
and secure efficiency, harmony and permanency in the working of
the Union, would be a General Government charged with matters
of common interest to the whole country, and Local Governments
for each of the Canadas, and for the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, charged with the control of
local matters in their respective sections ; provision being made for
the admission into the Union, on equitable terms, of Newfound-
land, the North-West Territory, British Columbia and Vancouver.

3. In framing a Constitution for the General Government, the
Conference, with a view to the perpetuation of our connection with
the mother country, and to the promotion of the best interests of
the people of these Provinces, desire to follow the model of the
British Constitution, so far as our circumstances will permit.

4. The executive authority or government shall be vested in the
Sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
and be administered according to the well-understood principles of
the British Constitution by the Sovereign personally, or by the
representative of the Sovereign duly authorized.

5. The Sovereign or representative of the Sovereign shall be
Commander-in-Chief of the Land and Naval Militia Forces.


6. There shall be a General Legislature or Parliament for the
Federated Provinces, composed of a Legislative Council and a
House of Commons.

7. For the purpose of forming the Legislative Council, the
Federated Provinces shall be considered as consisting of three
divisions: 1st, Upper Canada; 2nd, Lower Canada; 3rd, Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, each division
with an equal representation in the Legislative Council.

8. Upper Canada shall be represented in the Legislative Council
by twenty-four members, Lower Canada by twenty-four members,
and the three Maritime Provinces by twenty-four members, of
which Nova Scotia shall have ten, New Brunswick ten, and Prince
Edward Island four members.

9. The colony of Newfoundland shall be, entitled to enter the
proposed Union with a representation in the Legislative Council
of four members.

10. The North- West Territory, British Columbia, and Van-
couver, shall be admitted into the Union on such terms and
conditions as the Parliament of the federated Provinces shall deem
equitable, and as shall receive the assent of Her Majesty ; and in
the case of the Province of British Columbia or Vancouver, as
shall be agreed to by the Legislature of such Province.

11. The members of the Legislative Council shall be Appointed
by the Crown, under the Great Seal of the General Government,
and shall hold office during life. If any Legislative Councillor
shall, for two consecutive sessions of Parliament, fail to give his
attendance in the said Council, his seat shall thereby become vacant.

12. The members of the Legislative Council shall be British
subjects by birth or naturalization, of the full age of thirty years,
shall possess a continuous real property qualification of four thou-
sand dollars over and above all incumbrances, and shall be and
continue worth that sum over and above their debts and liabilities ;
but in case of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, the pro-
perty may be either real or personal.

1 3. If any question shall arise as to the qualification of a Legis-
lative Councillor, the same shall be determined by the Council.


14. The first selection of the members of the Legislative Council
shall be made, (except as regards Prince Edward Island,) from the
Legislative Councils of the various Provinces, so far as a sufficient
number be found qualified and willing to serve : such members
shall be appointed by the Crown, at the recommendation of the
General Executive Government, upon the nomination of the res-
pective Local Governments ; and in such nomination due regard
shall be had to the claims of the members of the Legislative
Council of the Opposition in each Province, so that all political
parties may as nearly as possible be fairly represented.

15. The Speaker of the Legislative Council (unless otherwise
provided by Parliament) shall be appointed by the Crown from
among the members of the Legislative Council, and shall hold
office during pleasure, and shall only be entitled to a casting vote
on an equality of votes.

16. Each of the twenty-four Legislative Councillors representing
Lower Canada in the Legislative Council of the General Legislature
shall be appointed to represent one of the twenty-four Electoral
Divisions mentioned in schedule A of chapter 1 of the Consolidated
Statutes of Canada, and such Councillor shall reside or possess his
qualification in the division he is appointed to represent.

17. The basis of representation in the House of Commons shall
be population, as determined by the official census every ten years;
and the number of members at first shall be one hundred and
ninety-four, distributed as follows :

Upper Canada 82

Lower Canada 65

Nova Scotia 19

New Brunswick 15

Newfoundland 8

Prince Edward Island 5

18. Until the official census of 1871 has been made up, there
shall be no change in the number of representatives from the
several sections.

19. Immediately after the completion of the census of 1871,
and immediately after every decennial census thereafter, the repre-


sentation from each section in the House of Commons shall be
readjusted on the basis of population.

20. For the purpose of such readjustments, Lower Canada shall
always be assigned sixty-five members ; and each of the other sec-
tions shall, at each readjustment, receive, for the ten years then
next succeeding, the number of members to which it will be
entitled on the same ratio of representation to population as
Lower Canada will enjoy according to the census last taken by
having sixty-five members.

21. No reduction shall be made in the number of members
returned by any section, unless its population shall have decreased,
relatively to the population of the whole Union, to the extent of
five per centum.

22. In computing, at each decennial period, the number of
members to which each section is entitled, no fractional parts shall
be considered, unless when exceeding one half the number entitling
to a member, in which case a member shall be given for each such
fractional part.

23. The Legislature of each Province shall divide such Province
into the proper number of constituencies, and define the boundaries
of each of them.

24. The Local Legislature of each Province may, from time to
time, alter the Electoral Districts for the purposes of representa-
tion in the House of Commons, and distribute the representatives
to which the Province is entitled in any manner such Legislature
may think fit.

25. The number of members may at any time be increased by
the General Parliament, regard being had to the proportionate
rights then existing.

26. Until provisions are made by the General Parliament, all
the laws which, at the date of the proclamation constituting the
Union, are in force in the Provinces respectively, relating to the
qualification and disqualification of any person to be elected or to
sit or vote as a member of the Assembly in the said Provinces
respectively; and relating to the qualification or disqualification of
voters, and to the oaths to be taken by voters, and to Returning
Officers and their powers and duties ; and relating to the proceed-


ings at elections, and to the period during which such elections
may be continued ; and relating to the trial of controverted elec-
tions, and the proceedings incident thereto ; and relating to the
vacating of seats of members, and to the issuing and execution of
new writs in case of any seat being vacated otherwise than by a
dissolution, shall respectively apply to elections of members to
serve in the House of Commons for places situate in those Pro
vinces respectively.

27. Every House of Commons shall contimie for five years from
the day of the return of the writs choosing the same, and no
longer; subject nevertheless, to be sooner prorogued or dissolved
by the Governor.

28. There shall be a session of the General Parliament once at
least in every year, so that a period of twelve calendar months
shall not intervene between the last sitting of the General Parlia-
ment in one session and the first sitting thereof in the next session.

29. The General Parliament shall have power to make laws for
the peace, welfare and good government of the federated Provinces
(saving the sovereignty of England), and especially laws respecting
the following subjects :

1. The public debt and property.

2. The regulation of trade and commerce.

3. The imposition or regulation of duties of customs on

imports and exports, except on exports of timber, logs,
masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber, and of coal and
other minerals.

4. Tl^e imposition or regulation of excise duties.

5. The raising of money by all or any other modes or systems

of taxation.

6. The borrowing of money on the public credit.

7. Postal service.

8. Lines of steam or other ships, railways, canals and other

works connecting any two or more of the Provinces
together, or extending beyond the limits of any Pro-

9. Lines of steamships between the federated Provinces and



10. Telegraphic communication, and the incorporation of

telegraphic companies.

11. .All such works as shall, although lying wholly within

any Province, be specially declared, by the Acts autho-
rizing them, to be for the general advantage.

12. The census.

1 3. Militia ; Military and Naval service and defence.

14. Beacons, buoys and light-houses.

15. Navigation and shipping.

16. Quarantine.

17. Sea-coast and inland fisheries.

18. Ferries between any Province and a foreign country, or

between any two Provinces.

19. Currency and coinage.

20. Banking, incorporation of Banks, and the issue of paper

money. .

21. Savings Banks.

22. Weights and measures.

23. Bills of exchange and promissory notes.

24. Interest.

25. Legal tender.

26. Bankruptcy and insolvency.

27. Patents of invention and discovery.

28. Copyrights.

29. Indians, and lands reserved for the Indians.

30. Naturalization and aliens.

31. Marriage and divorce.

32. The Criminal Law, excepting the constitution of the

Courts of criminal jurisdiction, but including the
procedure- in criminal matters.

33. Rendering uniform all or any of the laws relative to

property and civil rights in Upper Canada, Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince
Edward Island, and rendering uniform the procedure
of all or any of the Courts in these Provinces ; but
any statute for this purpose shall have no force or
authority in any Province until sanctioned by the
Legislature thereof.


34. The establishment of a General Court of Appeal for the

federated Provinces.

35. Immigration.

36. Agriculture.

37. And generally respecting all matters of a general charac-

ter, not specially and exclusively reserved for the Local
Governments and Legislatures.

30. The General Government and Parliament shall have all
powers necessary or proper for performing the obligations of the
federated Provinces, as part of the British Empire, to foreign
countries, arising imder treaties between Great Britain and such

31. The General Parliament may also, from time to time,
establish additional Courts; and the General Government may
appoint Judges and officers thereof, when the same shall appear
necessary or for the public advantage, in order to the due execution
of the laws of Parliament.

32. All Courts, Judges and officers of the several Provinces
shall aid, assist and obey the General Government in the exercise
of its rights and powers, and for such purposes shall be held to be
Courts, Judges and Officers of the General Government.

33. Thie General Government shall appoint and pay the Judges
of the Superior Courts in each Province, and of the County Courts
of Upper Canada, and Parliament shall fix their salaries.

34. Until the consolidation of the laws of Upper Canada, New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island,
the Judges of these Provinces appointed by the General Govern-
ment shall be selected from their respective Bars.

35. The Judges of the Courts of Lower Canada shall be selected
from the Bar of Lower Canada.

36. The Judges of the Court of Admiralty now receiving sala-
ries shall be paid by the General Government.

37. The Judges of the Superior Courts shall hold their offices
during good behaviour, and shall be removable only on the address

of both Houses of Parliament.




38. For each of the Provinces there shall be an executive officer
styled the Lieutenant-Governor, who shall be appointed by the
Governor-General in Council, under the Great Seal of the Fede-
rated Provinces, during pleasure ; such pleasure not to be exercised
before the expiration of the first five years, except for cause ; such
cause to be communicated in writing to the Lieutenant-Governor
immediately after the exercise of the pleasure as aforesaid, and
also by message to both Houses of Parliament, within the first
week of the first session afterwards.

39. The Lieutenant-Governor of each Province shall be paid by
the General Government.

40. In undertaking to pay the salaries of the Lieutenant-
Go vernors, the Conference does not desire to prejudice the claim
of Prince Edward Island upon the Imperial Government for
the amount now paid for the salary of the Lieutenant-Governor

41. The Local Government and Legislature of each Province
shall be constructed in such manner as the existing Legislature of
such Province shall provide.

42. The Local Legislatures shall have power to alter or amend
their constitution from time to time.

J^43.- The Local Legislatures shall have power to make laws
respecting the following subjects :

1. Direct taxation and the imposition of duties on the export

of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber,
and of coals and other minerals.

2. Borrowing money on the credit of the Province.

3. The establishment and tenure of local offices, and the

appointment and payment of local officers.

4. Agriculture.

5. Immigration.

6. Education ; saving the rights and privileges which the

Protestant or Catholic minority in both Canadas may
possess as to their denominational Schools, at the time
when the Union goes into operation.


7. The sale and management of public lands, excepting lands

belonging to the General Government.

8. Sea-coast and inland fisheries.

9. The establishment, maintenance and management of peni-

tentiaries, and of public and reformatory prisons.

10. The establishment, maintenance and management of hospi-

tals, asylums, charities, and eleemosynary institutions.

11. Municipal institutions.

12. Shop, saloon, tavern, auctioneer and other licenses.

13. Local works.

14. The incorporation of private and local companies, except

such as relate to matters -assigned to the General

15. Property and civil rights, excepting those portions thereof

assigned to the General Parliament.

16. Inflicting punishment by fines, penalties, imprisonment,

or otherwise for the breach of laws passed in relation
to any subject within their jurisdiction.

17. The administration of justice, including the constitution,

maintenance and organization of the courts both of
civil and criminal jurisdiction, and including also the
procedure in civil matters.

18. And generally all matters of a private or local nature,

not assigned to the General Parliament.

44. The power of respiting, reprieving and pardoning prisoners
convicted of crimes, and of commuting and remitting of sentences,
in whole or in part, which belongs of right to the Crown, shall be
administered by the Lieutenant-Governor of each Province in
Council, subject to any instructions he may from time to time
receive from the General Government, and subject to any provi-
sions that may be made in his behalf by the General Parliament.


^45) In regard to all subjects over which jurisdiction belongs to
both the General and Local Legislatures, the laws of the General
Parliament shall control and supersede those made by the Local


Legislature, and the latter shall be void so far as they are repug-
nant to, or inconsistent with the former.

46. Both the English and French language may be employed in
the General Parliament and in its proceedings, and in the Local
Legislature of Lower Canada, and also in the Federal Courts and
in the Courts of Lower Canada.

47. No lands or property belonging to the General or Local
Government shall be liable to taxation.

48. All bills for appropriating any part of the public revenue,
or for imposing any new tax or impost, shall originate in the
House of Commons, or in the House of Assembly, as the case
may be.

49. The House of Commons or House of Assembly shall not
originate or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill, for the
appropriation of any part of the public revenue, or of any tax or
impost to any purpose, not first recommended by message of the
Governor-General, or the Lieutenant-Governor, as the case may
be, during the session in which ‘ such vote, resolution, address or
bill is passed.

(&lJi Any bill of the General Parliament may be reserved in the
usual manner for Her Majesty’s assent; and any bill of the Local
Legislatures may in like manner be reserved for the consideration
of the Governor-General.

51. Any bill passed by the General Parliament shall be subject
to disallowance by Her Majesty within two years, as in the case
of bills passed by the Legislatures of the said Provinces hitherto ;
and in like manner any bill passed by a Local Legislature shall be
subject to disallowance by the Governor-General within one year
after the passing thereof.

52. The Seat of Government of the Federated Provinces shall
be Ottawa, subject to the Royal Prerogative.

53. Subject to any future action of the respective Local Govern-
ments, the Seat of the Local Government in Upper Canada shall
be Toronto; of Lower Canada, Quebec; and the Seats of the Local
Governments in the other Provinces shall be as at present.



54. All stocks, cash, bankers’ balances and securities for money
belonging to each Province, at the time of the union, except as
hereinafter mentioned, shall belong to the General Government.

55. The following public works and property of each Province,
shall belong to the General Government, to wit :

1. Canals.

2. Public harbours.

3. Light-houses and piers.

4. Steamboats, dredges and public vessels.

5. Biver and lake improvements.

6. Railways and railway stocks, mortgages and other debts

due by railway companies.

7. Military roads.

8. Custom houses, post offices and other public buildings,

except such as may be set aside by the General Gov-
ernment for the use of the Local Legislatures and

9. Property transferred by the Imperial Government and

known as ordnance property.

10. Armories, drill sheds, military clothing and munitions

of war.

11. Lands set apart for public purposes.

56. All lands, mines, minerals and royalties vested in Her
Majesty in the Provinces of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, for the use of
such Provinces, shall belong to the Local Government of the terri-
tory in which the same are so situate ; subject to any trusts that
may exist in respect to any of such lands, or to any interest of
other persons in respect of the same.

57. All sums due from purchasers or lessees of such lands,
mines or minerals at the time of the union, shall also belong to the
Local Governments.

58. All assets connected with such portions of the public debt
of any Province as are assumed by the Local Governments shall
also belong to those Governments respectively.


59. The several Provinces shall retain all other public property
therein, subject to the right of the General Government to assume
any lands or public property required for fortifications or the
defence of the country.

’60. The General Government shall assume all the debts and
liabilities of each Province.

61. The debt of Canada, not specially assumed by Upper and
Lower Canada respectively, shall not exceed at the time of the
union, $62,500,000; Nova Scotia shall enter the union with a
debt not exceeding $8,000,000, and New Brunswick with a debt
not exceeding $7,000,000.

^62. In case Nova Scotia or New Brunswick do not incur
liabilities beyond those for which their Governments are now
bound, and which shall make their debts at the date of the union
less than $8,000,000 and $7,000,000 respectively, they shall be
entitled to interest at five per cent, on the amount not so incurred,
in like manner as is hereinafter provided for Newfoundland and
Prince Edward Island ; the foregoing resolution, being in no respect
intended to limit the powers given to the respective Governments
of those Provinces by Legislative authority, but only to limit
the maximum amount of charge to be assumed by the General
Government. Provided always that the powers so conferred by
the respective Legislatures shall be exercised within five years
from this date or the same shall then lapse.

*7″63. Newfoundland and Prince Edward Is-land not having in-
curred debts equal to those of the other Provinces, shall be enti-
tled to receive, by half-yearly payments, in advance, from the
General Government, the interest at five per cent, on the differ-
ence between the actual amount of their respective debts at the
time of the union, and the average amount of indebtedness per
head of the population of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

?>64. In consideration of the transfer to the General Parliament
of the powers of taxation, an annual grant in aid of each Province
shall be made, equal to 80 cents per head of the population, as es-
tablished by the census of 1861, the population of Newfound-
land being estimated at 130,000. Such aid shall be in full
settlement of all future demands upon the General Government


for local purposes, and shall be paid half-yearly nTadvance to each

65. The position of New Brunswick being” such as to entail
large immediate charges upon her local revenues, it is agreed that
for the period of ten years from the time when the union takes
effect, an additional allowance of $63,000 r per annum shall be
made to that Province. But that so long as the , liability of that
Province remains under $7,000,000, a deduction equal to the
interest on such deficiency shall be made from the $63,000.

66. In consideration of the surrender to the General Govern-
ment by Newfoundland of all its rights in the mines and minerals,
and of all the ungranted and unoccupied lands^of the Crown, it is
agreed that the sum of $150,000 shall each’ year be paid to that
Province, by semi-annual payments. Provided .that that Colony
shall retain the right of opening, constructing and controlling
roads and bridges through any of the said lands, subject to any
laws which the General Parliament may pass in respect of the

67. All engagements that may, before the union, be entered
into with the Imperial Government for the defence of the country,
shall be assumed by the General Government.

68. The General Government shall secure, without delay, the
completion of the Intercolonial Railway from Riviere-du-Loup,
through New Brunswick, to Truro in Nova Scotia.

69. The communications with the North- Western Territory,
and the improvements required for the development of the trade
of the great West with the seaboard, are regarded by this Confer-
ence as subjects of the highest importance to the Federated
Provinces, and shall be prosecuted at the earliest possible period
that the state of the finances will permit.

70. The sanction of the Imperial and Local Parliaments shall
be sought for the Union of the Provinces, on the principles adopted
by the Conference.

71. That Her Majesty the Queen be solicited to determine the
rank and name of the Federated Provinces.

72. The proceedings of the Conference shall be authenticated
by the signatures of the delegates, and submitted by each delega-


tion to its own Government, and the Chairman is authorized to
submit a copy to the Governor-General for transmission to the
Secretary of State for the Colonies.

It will be observed that these resolutions differ in some material
respects from those ultimately adopted at Westminster, which
formed the final basis of the articles of Confederation, and were
embodied in the British North America Act 1867.

As the financial arrangements constituted the principal difficulty
throughout the preliminary negotiations, and were afterwards in
the Confederated Parliament frequently made the subject of much
discussion, and of many very different constructions, it would be
as well to preserve the statements and figures made and used at
the Quebec Conference. They were subsequently tabulated* and
arranged under the direction of Mr. Gait, the Finance x Minister,
and were officially published in the early part of the winter of 1865.




Banquets at Quebec and Montreal Public sentiment in Lower Canada
Conduct of the Press Custom of the ancient Germans followed by the
English Speeches at Quebec Reception by the Laval University
Reception at Montreal Education of the public mind Remarks of Dele-
gates and Local Members at Montreal A.D. 1864.

On the 28th October, the Convention closed its sittings at
Quebec, and adjourned to Montreal.

We will now pause, and, looking at the current events that
surrounded the Convention while at Quebec, endeavour to trace
the formation of public opinion on the important subject under
the consideration of its members.

The Resolutions themselves were not made public in extenso,
because the delegates had first to report them to their respective
Governments ; but the purport of them was sufficiently known,
through the instrumentality of the press, to enable a tolerably
correct .estimate to be formed of their character. The one broad
fact, at any rate, was proclaimed that the representatives of the
several Provinces had agreed upon a plan for union of all British
North America, and that its future consolidation was to some
degree secured. It is with the reception of this one fact by the
public, rather than with the details of the plan, that we have at
present to deal.

It would be superfluous to observe, that during the sitting of the
Convention, the well-known hospitalities of Quebec were extended
to its members. Those graceful courtesies which in private life
had made its society the delight of strangers, and the capital of
old Canada the most acceptable station to Her Majesty’s forces
when serving abroad, were offered in profusion. But it is to public
matters our attention must be turned.

The proceedings of the Convention were watched with intense
interest by the representatives of the press from the different
centres of influence throughout the country ; and though, by the
determination of the Convention to sit with closed doors, the


individual action of members was but little known, the results, in
some way, were always sure to reach the public ear. Thus day
by day the public mind became imbued with the nature of those
changes which were being suggested ; and though the actual tran-
script might not go abroad, yet sufficient information was obtained
to indicate their tendency and character. The conduct of the press
was most admirable. No attempt was made to foster party preju-
dice, or create local jealousies ; no effort to advance the individual
triumph of one politician over another ; no fulsome eulogy. All
was fair a determination to wait until the whole projet was
promulgated; not to anticipate, not to prejudge from objections
to any particular part. The fabric must stand from its general
solidity, what was weak sustained by what was strong, or it must
fall, from its entire insufficiency to accomplish the end proposed.

Tacitus, in his ” De Moribus Germanorum,” states that it was
the custom of that ancient people, when any great measure was to
be proposed, or any great work undertaken, to gather together in
general assembly, when much feasting took place, and great drunk-
enness prevailed, and there and then to discuss with the fullest
freedom the subject matter they had met to consider, but not to
determine upon it until the day after. Thus, he tersely observes,
” Deliberant dum fingere nesciunt, constituunt dum errare non
possunt.” They deliberate while they cannot feign ; they deter-
mine when they cannot err.

Whether it be that this custom has descended, in some modified
form, to our ancestors or not, we cannot exactly say ; but true it
is, that it is the habit of the English-speaking race and their
descendants in every part of the world, to inaugurate great under-
takings with eating and drinking. If a railroad is to be built, a
constitution to be framed, a lord-mayor to be sworn in, a states-
man to be complimented, a prince to be received, a charitable
institution to be founded, a dock to be opened, an. asylum to be
built, a call for money for any great work to be made, a banquet
must be held. An Englishman is a queer man. Hard-fisted,
hard-headed, hard-hearted, you may nevertheless lead him to any-
thing you can drive him to nothing. He has plenty of money
he will refuse it ; he has certain political rights he will defy you


to touch them ; things are good enough as they are he does not
want any change. But reason with him, show him that a thing is
right ; he is a gregarious animal ; convince his neighbours with
himself ; make out your plan ; prove it to be solid and sensible,
and likely to be productive of good; appeal to his generosity;
give him time, and he will become as enthusiastic as before he was
obdurate, as liberal as before he was close, as generous in the
concession of rights as before he was reserved, and as ready to go
heart and soul into the great change as before he was opposed.
Have a banquet he becomes uncontrollable ; and mid the cheers
of the wine-cup, and the flowers of speech, his heart and hand and
purse are open. But try to take his money from him against his
will, and^ he would not yield it, if it was to build a pathway to
heaven ; try to trample upon a right, and no power on earth would
make him concede it.

This utilizing of a banquet is characteristic of the race in every
part of the world, from Australia to Hudson’s Bay. By its
means the movers in any great measure of progress become the
expounders of their own proposition, and the public receive
authoritatively the outlines thus announced. Fortunately, unlike
the ancient Germans, we have not to discuss or determine at or
after the banquet. The work is in some measure moulded before.
It is only for heralding the birth we make use of the banquet, and
to ask the public to become sponsors for the organism, whose sub-
sequent attainment to maturity must depend upon their approval.

Quebec had its banquet under the auspices of the Board of
Trade ; its citizens gathered together to do honor to the occasion
a day or two before the Convention adjourned, and there, amid
fruit and flowers, mid the drapery of friendly flags, mid the strains
of martial music, and the cheers of excited men, the proposed
Federation of British North America was first authoritatively
announced by the representatives of the several Provinces to their

It is not proposed to give in full the speeches made on this and
similar occasions, or in any of the parliamentary debates or public
demonstrations throughout the three succeeding years immediately
preceding Confederation. Selecting the leading points, condensing


without weakening the information conveyed, and avoiding, as
far as possible, the reiteration by different speakers of the same
idea, will afford, it is believed, a correct estimate of the gradual
process by which a change in the constitutional government of
the Provinces was brought about a change for which the public
mind was prepared, and to which its tendencies were directed.

On this occasion Mr. Joseph, the President of the Board of
Trade, who presided over the hospitable board, in giving the
toast of the evening, ” Our Guests, the Delegates from the Mari-
time Provinces,” declared :

” That while the merchants of Quebec did not think they
were called upon to express an opinion on the question of
confederation itself, they all heartily desired some change in
their then position. They desired a thorough commercial union.
They desired that the unequal and hostile tariffs of the several
Provinces should disappear. They wanted one tariff instead of
five. They wanted a commercial union under the nag of Eng-
land, strengthened still further by the iron ties of the Intercolo-
nial Railway. They had long been in the habit of calling the
Maritime Provinces sister colonies ; but notwithstanding this
appellation, they were strangers 1;o each other, as was shown by
the diversity of tariffs ; but they hoped a new era was about
dawning upon them.”

The Hon. Dr. Tupper, the Provincial Secretary of Nova Scotia,
on behalf of that Province remarked :

” That assembled as the delegates were in an endeavour to devise,
under the authority and with the sanction of the Crown of Great
Britain, a better system for their country, they were obliged to
observe that confidence as to their proceedings which was so ma-
terial to the success of the undertaking. It would be very embar-
rassing if the opinions of the Conference were sent broadcast
throughout the country, and made a bone of contention before
they were matured. They believed that the time had come when
it was desirable to choose a sounder and more judicious system for
the British North American Provinces..” He briefly referred to


a few of the advantages likely to accrue from a union with the Mari-
time Provinces. ” It was true,” he observed, ” that the Canadians
possessed a boundless country and a large population ; but with
all their territory, population and resources, the Maritime Pro-
vinces could offer them something necessary in forming a great
nation. They would bring with them fifty or . sixty thousand
square miles of country, and an additional population of eight
hundred thousand souls ; and it was needless to say that an addi-
tion of eight hundred thousand consumers of the growing manu-
factures of Canada was no small item. They did not require to
unite with Canada for the purpose of taking anything from it, or
of drawing -upon its wealth or its resources. It was needless to
say what Canada owed to the St. Lawrence, that great natural
highway between the productive regions of the West and the
ocean ; but great as it undoubtedly was, it was imperfect, inas-
much as it was closed to navigation for five months of the year.
The remedy for this state of things was the construction of the
Intercolonial Railway. This work would provide a highway to
the ocean over British territory, giving not political greatness alone,
but commercial greatness likewise. The question under consider-
ation was, however, a great and important question in all its bear-
ings. It was so great that the voice of faction was hushed.
Throughout the whole of British North America the feeling pre-
vailed that the magnitude of this question demanded that all
partisanship should cease while the matter was being discussed.”

The Hon. Mr. Tilley, the Provincial Secretary of New Bruns-
wick, replied for that Province with equal frankness, and remark
ing upon the cordial feeling, observed :

” The delegates from the Lower Provinces were not seeking this
union. They had assembled at Charlottetown in order to see
whether they could not extend their own family relations, and
then Canada intervened, and the consideration of the larger ques-
tion was the result. He considered it right to make this remark,
inasmuch as it had been asserted that the Maritime Provinces,
weak and impoverished, were endeavouring to attach themselves
to Canada, in order to reap the benefits arising from such a union.


This was not the case. He was in a position to state that, for the
year 1864, after paying the interest on all their debts, and after
providing liberally for roads, bridges and other public works, they
would have a surplus of half a million.” * * * Next alluding
to the Intercolonial Railway project, he said, ” their feeling on this
subject was : ‘ We wont have this union unless you give us the
railway.’ It was utterly impossible we could have either a politi-
cal or commercial union without it.”

In replying to the toast of ” The Commercial Prosperity of
British North America,” which had been given by Mr. James Bell
Forsyth, one of the most prominent and respected merchants of
Quebec, accompanied with the fervent wish that ” we would have
not only a railroad, but a uniform tariff, and not only a uniform
tariff, but such a union, whether federal or legislative, as would
give us unity of sentiment and community of interest,” Mr. Gait,
then Finance Minister of Canada, said :

” With regard to the question of commercial prosperity arising
out of this subject, he might remark, that in commerce we should
never be contented with the minor advantages if we could get the
major. What depressed the commercial energies of this country ]
Because we had hitherto been confined to two markets English
and the United States. Now a union with the Lower Provinces
would not only give the benefit of their local markets, but would
also open up to us the benefit of their foreign trade a trade
which, in one or two instances, Canada had once possessed, but
lost. We had in our own Province a certain amount of the
maritime element ; but not so much as we should have after a
union with the sister Provinces. In these circumstances it was
gratifying that those points in which they might be deficient
would be amply supplied by the other Provinces. They were
trying to encourage manufacturing in Canada. A supply of coal
was a most important element of success in this respect, and Nova
Scotia possessed that element. The great resources of the Mari-
time Provinces had been amply shown, and it had been abundantly
proved that they came not as seeking assistance, but in a broad
and national spirit. He was glad their speeches would go forth


to the public, and that it would be seen that the Provinces came
together with a liberal and patriotic desire for mutual advance-
ment, and to perpetuate and preserve British institutions in a truly
British spirit.”

Sir Etienne Tache, the venerable Chairman of the Convention,
in replying to ” Her Majesty’s Ministers,” remarked :

” The existing administration in Canada had been formed for the
express purpose of cariying out the important measure for which
the delegates from the other Provinces were then assembled at
Quebec the Confederation of the British American Provinces.
The union of British America had been recommended by Lord
Durham, and though not then adopted, yet that portion of his
report which had been adopted, namely, the union of Upper and
Lower Canada, had doubled our population and trebled our
resources in twenty years.”

With equal frankness, Hon. Mr. Carter, from Newfoundland;
and the Hon. and gallant Colonel Gray, the Premier of Prince
Edward Island, and Chairman of the Charlottetown Convention,
replied for their respective Provinces.

But it was not solely at public dinners and on festive occasions
that the public approbation of the proposed change in the position
and constitution of the Provinces was manifested. The literary
institutions were equally earnest in their cordial expressions of
concurrence. Among others, the Laval University, renowned in
the old city of Quebec for the number of distinguished scholars
and able men it had already supplied to Canada, arranged a public
reception at the University, and presented the Delegates from the
Maritime Provinces with an address which is well worthy of being
remembered. The venerable Bishop of Tloa, the administrator of
the diocese of Quebec, the Rector, Deans, Professors and officers
of the institution, with the pupils from the Quebec Seminary,
assembled in their hall, and gave to the occasion the solemnity
which their presence among their fellow citizens always commanded.
The Rector then read the following address :


HONORABLE GENTLEMEN, There are in the lives of nations, as
in those of individuals, moments of solemn import, on which their
destiny hangs.

The British Colonies of North America are now in one of those
critical periods, the influence of which may even surpass our

History will hand down to posterity the names of those whom
the confidence of their fellow-citizens has entrusted with this great
mission of examining the basis of our political constitution, and
of proposing fundamental modifications.

It is not the part of a literary and scientific institution to ex-
press an opinion on the all-important questions of the day ; yet it
cannot remain indifferent to debates which concern our common
country, understanding as it does how well worthy of the best
wishes of all are the eminent personages on whoso shoulders weighs
so heavy a responsibility.

Moreover, the prosperity of an institution such as this is too
closely connected with the future of the country not to partake in
the anxiety with which, from the sources to the mouth of the St.
Lawrence, five millions of British subjects await the result of your
important labors.

The students of the Quebec Seminary and those of Laval Uni- ^s
versity, whom you see here united, also share in our emotion ; in /
after years some of them may, in their turn, be called on to guide < the ship of the state, and to continue the construction, the foun- \ dations of which it is your mission to lay. "Whatever may be the issue of your deliberations, pemit us to assure you, honorable gentlemen, in the name of all our pupils and alumni, that your visit will be long borne in mind by them. Nor will it be without result, for, while engaged in the task of developing their intelligence, they will be animated by the grateful remembrance of the honor conferred on their alma mater by the presence of the most eminent and most influential men of this immense territory. Hon. Dr. Tapper, on behalf of himself and associate delegates, read the following reply : 88 CONFEDERATION. To the Very Rev. E. A. Taschereau, D.C.L., Rector of the University of Laval. VERY REVEREND SIR, We beg to express our grateful estimate of the very flattering terms in which we have been addressed by you on behalf of the Faculties and Alumni of this distinguished University, and of the Professors and Students of the Quebec Seminary. Engaged as we are in the important duty of endeavouring, in conjunction with the Government of Canada, so to improve the political institutions of the British American Provinces as to pro- mote the common interests of all, we are much gratified to learn that our high mission is duly appreciated at a great seat of learning from which the public sentiment of the country must be largely influenced. The Students of the Quebec Seminary, as also the Faculties and Alumni of Laval University, may rest assured that our best efforts will be exerted to find a wise solution of the great question which has been submitted to our deliberations ; but in any event, we will not soon forget the distinguished mark of respect which you have been pleased to offer us on the present occasion. (Signed) CHARLES TUPPER, W. A. HENRY, J. McCuLLY, R. B. DICKEY, A. G. ARCHIBALD, Nova Scotia. S. L. TILLEY, W. H. STEEVES, J. M. JOHNSTON, E. B. CHANDLER, J. fl. GRAY, CHAS. FISHER, New Brunswick. F. B. T. CARTER, J. AMBROSE SHEA, Newfoundland. J. H. GRAY, E. PALMER, W. H. POPE, A. A. MCDONALD; GEORGE COLES, T. HEATH HAVILAND, EDWARD WHELAN, Prince Edward Island. Thus, in every way in which public opinion could be judged of in Quebec, the movement in favour of Union was cordially approved of. But the enthusiasm was not less warm as the Convention moved its deliberations westward. On the 28th October the sittings were CONFEDERATION. 89 adjourned to Montreal. The press was to a great degree united in its approbation of the contemplated measure. The citizens of Montreal were not less generous in their public demonstrations and hospitalities, than had been the citizens of Quebec. Public receptions and municipal courtesies were extended on every side. A magnificent banquet was given at 'the St. Lawrence Hall. The Ministers of State, the Commander of the Forces (Sir Fenwick Williams), the Governor of Nova Scotia (Sir R G. McDonnell), the Mayor, prominent merchants and leading citizens of all shades of politics attended. When in the Maritime Provinces, the members of the Canadian Government, at the request of the delegates of those Provinces, had availed themselves of similar occasions to explain to the people of those Provinces the reasons and advantages which appeared to them to render the Union desirable for the Maritime Provinces. On thev occasion of the public demonstrations in Canada, they, in return, called upon the delegates from the Maritime Provinces to point out to their people the reasons which would render the Union desirable for Canada; and thus, as it were, we have an outline of that education of the public mind on this subject which, commenced with a definite aim at the Prince Edward Island Convention, was followed up until it terminated in the successful accomplishment of Confederation a few years after. But there is yet another reason why the observations made on these occasions should jbe recorded. Public men ought to be as much bound by their public declarations, openly made, on the public affairs of their country, as private individuals are by theirs in the affairs of private life. All confidence in negotiations, all combinations of states or communities for their common good, would be utterly worthless, if those who are vested with power to act, and do act, can repudiate compacts solemnly made and publicly announced, because some unexpected circumstance may make what they have done temporarily detrimental to their personal advantage. Public morality and public faith ought to be exacted even more scrupulously than private morality or private faith. A violation of the latter may be injurious to the individual, but a violation of the former reflects dishonor upon the country, and lowers the 7 90 CONFEDERATION. standard of those who have been chosen by the people to fill places of trust and honor, in reliance on their integrity. On returning to their respective Provinces, and finding that the measure was not there as popular as they expected, some of the delegates immediately repudiated their acts and words at the Con- vention, and joined in resisting the Union, to the consideration of which, as members of the Government of their Province, they had acceded, and as members of the Quebec Convention had agreed to. Thus the original plan of Confederation to this day remains incomplete. The Island of Prince Edward, which, from its pecu- liar position with reference to the Fisheries would have been, and will yet be, an important acquisition to the Confederation, remains isolated ; and Newfoundland, notwithstanding the earnest efforts of both Mr. Carter and Mr. Shea, who most ably represented that Island at the Convention, has not yet, by the action of its people or Legislature, expressed its assent. On the occasion of the banquet at the St. Lawrence Hall, in reply to the toast of his health, Sir R. G. McDonnell, Governor of Nova Scotia, after some preliminary observations, said : " The moment was a very critical one in the history of the Pro- vinces ; and suggestions, however patriotically made, ought not to be all at once accepted without due consideration. The whole future history, both of Canada and the Maritime Provinces, would no doubt be materially affected, for the better or for the worse, by the decision which the community at large and the different Legis- latures might make on these proposals. He trusted it would not be thought necessary to build up such a Union on a mass of guarantees and mutual suspicions. If you are to become a nation," he said, " you must lay its foundations in mutual confidence. On the other hand, if you once begin with the system of guarantees against one another, where is it to end 1 The end in view, with mutual confidence one towards another, might just as easily be attained by simple as by complicated means." To the toast of " The Delegates from the Maritime Provinces," the Hon. Adams G. Archibald, M.P., from Colchester, replied on behalf of Nova Scotia. He said : CONFEDERATION. 91 " From the little acquaintance he had with Canadian gentlemen, he found that there existed a very limited idea of the Lower Pro- vinces, of their resources, and of the character and habits of the people. He was not surprised at this. The business relations of Canada connected it with the United States and the old world, and its communications carried it beyond the Lower Provinces. The people of Canada saw nothing of the Lower Provinces, and had little knowledge of their resources or position ; little know- ledge, in fact, of that which the Lower Provinces desired Canada should know. The Delegates came here with a view to disseminate such information and state such facts as would shew that Lower Provinces would cheerfully assist in the construction of a nation. If the Lower Provinces could not equal Canada in grandeur and magnificence, they far exceeded her in the number and variety of their resources. He would not assume to speak of the resources of all the Lower Provinces, but take as an instance his own Pro- vince of Nova Scotia, which was hardly known. The people of Canada imagine that they possess the finest agricultural soil on the continent, but he could take any Canadian who wished it to Nova Scotia, to some of the fertile valleys of the west, and point out land equal to the best in the western peninsula. But though the agricultural interest in Nova Scotia was an important one, it did not predominate. A large portion of the people were engaged in the fisheries, and drew from their inexhaustible stores immense quantities of that which added to the richness and value of the country. And this pursuit trained up a large body of hardy men, who, if we become one nation, would be ready in the hour of dan- ger to bear the flag of England. But Nova Scotia was exten- sively engaged in manufactures and in the export of lumber. In that interest which was mixed up with the lumber interest, name- ly, shipping, he believed that, man for man, the people of Nova Scotia had a larger tonnage than any country in the world. It was a fact, that for every man, woman and child in Nova Scotia there was about a ton of shipping. On the entire coast of Nova Scotia there were inexhaustible mines of that which influenced the industry of the world coal. No change of circumstances or poli- tical relations could ever prevent the people of Nova Scotia from 92 CONFEDERATION. having that material which all the Atlantic States of the neigh- bouring country must have, and .which they could get from no other place. Since 1858, when they were opened to free mining, twenty- five large coal mines had been opened, and it could be easily seen that with such resources the future of that country did not depend on its relations to any other country. As the Delegates from Canada travelled over the country what did they find ? That there were in one harbour no fewer than 80 square rigged vessels, representing a capacity of 16,000 tons, employed to convey coals to the Americans on the Atlantic border. This was a scene re- peated in many harbours ; nevertheless, with all this supplying power, the Province was unable to supply the demand for coal. The time had arrived when we were about to assume the position of a great nation, and such being the case, we should not shrink from its responsibilities. The people of the Lower Provinces en- tertain a magnificent idea of the grandeur which awaits us all. A united nation, we shall become a great country ; and the time is not far distant when a colossal power, growing up on the conti- nent, shall stand with one foot on the Pacific and the other on the Atlantic, and shall present to the world, even on this side of the Atlantic, the proof that monarchial institutions are not inconsis- tent with civil and religious liberty, and the fullest measure of material advancement." Hon. Lieut.-Col. Gray, M.P. for St. John, New Brunswick, responded on behalf of that Province. He observed : " That while it was unquestionably the duty of statesmen to consider the bearing any question of importance might have upon the material interests of the people, it was equally their duty to remember there were occasions when kindred emotions and senti- ments rose superior to the cold calculations of interest, and pointed the way to honor and to patriotism. That was such an occasion. The presence of that vast assemblage was the public recognition of the fact that a question was then before the people of the greatest importance, momentous in its character, and pregnant with in- fluence upon the future destinies of the country. The public men of the Maritime Provinces had for years looked to a union with CONFEDERATION. 93 Canada. Year after year they had turned their attention to the construction of the Intercolonial Railway, as tending towards that object. Their legislatures had passed bills, had granted subsidies ; arrangements had been made with Canada : yet year after year, from causes which it would be difficult to explain, the object had eluded their grasp, and it was only when it appeared beyond at- tainment that the Parliaments of the Maritime Provinces had directed certain of their leading men to assemble at Charlotte- town in Prince Edward Island, to consider how best a union could be effected among themselves, since one with Canada seemed unattainable. When assembled for that purpose the Ministry from Canada came down and proposed that, instead of remaining divided, they should come together, and lay the foundations of an empire to perpetuate 011 this continent the principles of British constitutional liberty. The proposition was received with un- qualified satisfaction. The Maritime Provinces were worthy of their regard. The amount of capital, the resources they would bring into the Union, their exhaustless mines, their broad coal fields, their deep sea fisheries, their hardy and enterprising popu- lation, would form no inconsiderable elements in the foundation of a great nation. The revenue of the four Maritime Provinces for the year 1863 by the official returns amounted to $2,340,000, but so far as had yet been ascertained for the year 1864, there had been an increase of 20 per cent., bringing the amount to nearly $3,000,000, (three millions), an increase which, judging from the past financial history of those Provinces, might fairly be counted upon as still progressive. The imports and exports of the four Provinces from the same returns for the year 1863, amounted to $44,200,000. He believed those of Canada had amounted to between $80,000,000 and $90,000,000. Thus it would be seen the trade of the Maritime Provinces was nearly the half of that of Canada. The population of the Maritime Provinces, as shewn by the census of 1857 and 1861, (they were not taken in each of the Provinces in the same year), was 804,000 ; but allowing for the natural increase since those periods, might now be safely put down at 900,000. With reference to the shipping of the Mari- time Provinces, he said " the registered tonnage by the returns 94 CONFEDERATION. of 1863 amounted to 645,530 tons, which at $40 per ton, a not unreasonable valuation, represented an available transferable pro- perty of $27,821,200, in one article alone ; and as an evidence of the soundness of the financial position of those four Province, during the then year, 1864, after paying all debts and liabilities, they would have a clear surplus of between $450,000 and $500,000, to be applied to the future exigencies of the several Provinces as their respective legislatures might determine, each disposing, of course, of its own surplus. While, however, the revenue and position of Canada could not but be appreciated, he must observe that for six months in the year they were without the power of access to one mile of sea coast, except through the territory of their neighbours, They held their trade at the beck of a nation that might be their foe a position, apart from all other consider- ations, inconsistent with the dignity of any country which desired to take its proper position in the world. The Maritime Provinces proposed to add their marine to that of Canada. British North America would then become the fourth maritime power in the world, England, France and the United States alone having a marine superior. Canada alone could not claim that position, nor could the Maritime Provinces. Isolated, their position was insig- nificant ; but united, there was no country save England from whom they claimed their birth, save the United States whose power was derived from the same parent source, save France from whom many of those present had sprung could take rank before them. In Canada were combined the talents and characteristics of the most industrious and energetic, as well as of the most cul- tivated and spirituel races in the world. Written on the pages of the history of this country were records of heroic deeds. From the Plains of Abraham the ascending spirits of Montcalm and Wolfe, united in their death, left them the heritage of a common country and a glorious name. Many men believed that a commer- cial union, a Zolverein, might accomplish the object sought to be obtained ; but in the opinion of practical men of integrity and experience, this could not be done. For the past ten or fifteen years the Provinces had been separately carrying on great public works, for which the public credit had been pledged, and it was CONFEDERARION. 95 the duty of each Province, as it was indeed a point of honor, to maintain its credit intact. While this was the case, it might be- come the interest of one Province to impose duties on articles that clashed with the interests of the other Provinces. Trade would be governed by no great or permanent principles. The tariff would fluctuate with local expediency, and be varying and uncer- tain. Therefore, in the absence of any general arrangement, by which the individual liability of each Province could be removed, and the general credit afterwards effectually maintained, it was plain that a commercial union of the kind referred to was impos- sible. It would fade away before the necessities of the occasion. Turning to the subject of national defence, he asked them to bear in mind how little each man contributed towards the defence of his country. He asked them to turn to Europe, to Russia, to France, to England, to the United States, and say upon what spot they could place a finger where the people contributed so little towards the defence of their homes as did the people of British North America. They would be unworthy of their heritage and race if they did not take cognizance of the fact, and when the mother country declared that the time had come for them to act for themselves, they did not show that they were prepared to do so. Without violating any rule of secrecy, he might state that the Maritime Provinces had gone hand in hand with the repre- sentatives of Canada, and were prepared to place all their re- sources, all their wealth, all their power, in one general fund for the maintenance of the liberty and honor of all. If they approved of this union of their common interests, their first step would be to sanction, by the expression of their strong and earnest opinion, the construction of the Intercolonial Railway, that work which was alone required to bring them together, which would give them in the depth of their long winters free access to the sea, and would make the people of the Maritime Provinces and of Canada, now strangers to each other, brothers in identity of interests as well as of race. The question of the union of the Provinces was one of deep importance. And," continued the honorable gentleman, " I now call upon you, Canadians, by your own name, here in the presence of your own hills, which rose to their majestic height ere yet your 96 CONFEDERATION. race began, here in the presence of your own St. Lawrence, hal- lowed by the memory of Cartier, and spanned by one of the noblest triumphs of modern skill, by the memory of the past, by the spirit of the present, by the hopes of the future, I call upon you to rally round a proposition which will tend to perpetuate the glory of your name, and promote the prosperity and happiness of your people." Hon. John Ambrose Shea, of Newfoundland, on rising to return thanks on behalf of the colony which he represented, was greeted with hearty cheers. He said : " In considering a union of the Provinces, it became necessary to take into account the position of the proposed Confederation with regard to safety and defence. In this view, the position of the Island of Newfoundland became one of marked significance. Were this colony in the hands of a hostile power in war time, the trade of Canada would be hermetically sealed, as if perpetual winter prevailed. Newfoundland had a coast of twelve hundred miles, with some of the finest harbours in the world, in which ships might repose in security. The main stay of Newfoundland, the main element of its wealth was, however, its fisheries, in which were employed 30,000 men, able, hardy, industrious, fit sailors for anything in which daring and energy were required. In the article of fish it had commercial relations with almost every maritime nation in Europe, with Brazil and the United States. With the Colonies of British North America, however, its relations were very limited. The imports of Newfoundland were from five to six millions annually ; the exports were six or seven millions per annum. The exports almost invariably exceeded the imports. Three hundred and fifty vessels were employed in seal fishing, manned by about fourteen thousand men, the very best and most active portion of the community. The revenue of Newfoundland was higher than that of any of the British North American Provinces, man for man of the population, because it imported almost everything it required. With a population of 130,000, it had a revenue of $500,000 to $550,000. The debt, he was CONFEDERATION. 97 happy to say, was not very large, compared with the other colo- nies, being about $900,000. Represented by public buildings of various descriptions, the Province had ample tangible value for all the money it had expended ; while such was the credit in which its securities were held, that the Government had no difficulty, even at the present moment, when the rate of interest in England was unusually high, in raising money at 4^ per cent. There were about twelve hundred vessels entering and clearing annually, going to all countries. With regard to the financial position of the Island, he might say that perhaps it was sounder than that of any of the Colonies or States of America, in spite of the unusual' vicissitudes of trade. He had said that the imports amounted to between five and six millions. Now, of this they received from $1,500,000 to $1,750,000 in value from the United States, chiefly in flour, butter, and other articles of that description. A very small proportion of imports came from Canada. Why ? Was it because the United States offered superior commercial advantages 1 This was not the case; they could generally purchase on better terms in Canada than in the United States. It would no doubt bo said that political arrangements could have no effect, could exercise no control over matters of this kind. That doctrine, however, had its limits, which were in some cases very remarkable. But let them look at the Intercolonial Railroad as an illustration. That road would be productive of the most important commercial advantages to the people of these Provinces ; and yet, every one knew, that might have remained for years without any progress towards completion, had it not now become a political necessity. How did Newfound- land stand towards Canada at the present moment? Its people had to go to the United States to do business, for they had to pass by way of Halifax and Boston to reach Montreal. It took nearly a month to carry letters between Canada and Newfoundland and back, and the rate of postage was double what it was between the Colonies and Great Britain. If arrangements had been made designed for the purpose of preventing commercial intercourse, they could not have been made more effective than these. Give Newfoundland the means of entering into trade relations, and trade would soon spring up. A close connection with the mother 98 CONFEDERATION. country was what lie believed all the Colonies desired ; and speak- ing for his own Province of Newfoundland, he would say he hoped the day was far distant when she would have forced upon her any other allegiance than that she now rejoiced to acknowledge." Hon. Edward Whelan, M.P., of Prince Edward Island, in speaking on behalf of that Island, said : " The Confederation, if perfected, would give all the Colonies a national and indivisible character \ and commercial and pecuniary motives, if no other of a sterner nature prevailed, should certainly teach them to unite. There should be no hostile or restrictive tariffs between the several Provinces, no dissimilar postal regula- tions, no dissimilarity in currency and exchange. Our commerce, so much of which now flows into other channels, where we get little thanks for it, would diffuse its enriching streams amongst ourselves, and nothing could possibly prevent us from becoming a great and powerful confederacy. It would be the duty of public men in each and every Province, whose representatives were then in Canada, to educate the public mind up to the adoption of their views. The task might be a tedious, difficult and protracted one ; but no great measure was ever yet accomplished, or worth much, unless surrounded with difficulties. Deferring reverently to the public opinion of his own Province, he would cheerfully go amongst its people, and, explaining it as well as he could, would ask them to support a measure which he believed would enhance their pros- perity. Few and comparatively poor as the population of the Island of Prince Edward may be now, its fertile fields and valleys are capable of supporting a population at least three times greater than it is at present. It was once designated the garden of the St. Lawrence, and it was a valuable fishing station for Canada during the occupation of the French under Montcalm. It still possesses all the qualities of a garden, and its rivers and bays still abound with fish. He desired that those great resources should become as well known now and in the future as they were in by-gone days ; and regarding the advantages which modern improvements and institutions afforded as auxiliaries to the CONFEDERATION. 99 natural resources of his Colony, he was satisfied that she could not fail to become very prosperous and happy under the proposed Confederation." Hon. T. Heath Haviland, a delegate from Prince Edward Island also, followed in a short and effective speech, expressing his con- viction of the benefits that would accrue to his own Island as well as to the other Provinces from the contemplated union. Hon. George E. Cartiei\ M.P., Attorney-General East, having been called upon, rose amidst great cheering, and said : "The question which, we may say, brings us together this evening, is of great moment. Every one knows that throughout the British North American Provinces at this time, people are discussing the question whether it is possible for those Provinces to form a strong government under a system of administration which will allow all the general interests of the Provinces con cerned to be dealt with by a general government, and will leave all purely local matters to a local government. This is the question which is agitating all the American Provinces. I know that it may be expected from me, perhaps on account of what has fallen from some of the speakers, to disclose the proposals of the Conference at this entertainment ; but that cannot be the case. The proceed- ings of those who have taken part in these deliberations are confi- dential ; they must first be made known to our Governments, and they have to be made known to the Imperial Government. Every one must understand the delicacy of the trust reposed in us. With regard to this question of Confederation, and with regard to my political alliance with Mr. Brown, I must say that he has kept faithfully to his work. I must repeat to you what I stated while in the Lower Provinces, that while we possessed the personal and territorial elements which go to constitute a nation, we were want- ing in the maritime element. During six months of the year we had to knock at the door of our neighbour in order to carry on our trade. This cannot be tolerated. This Confederation must be be carried out. I know that every citizen of Montreal will under- stand that at this critical time we should look to Nova Scotia, to 100 ) CONFEDERATION. few Brunswick and Prince Edward Island for the elements want- ing in Canada to make a great nation. I do not mean a nation distinct from the mother country. I wish that all the powers granted by the mother country to the Colonies should be combined, in order to make, as far as we can, one great nation. I am confi- dent and I have stated it on many occasions that the union of Upper and Lower Canada has achieved wonders for the two Pro- vinces. The prosperity to which we have risen under the union of the Provinces, encourages a still larger union. In treating of the question of race, with regard to this great Confederation, looking to England you will find three distinct nationalities. Each of these has contributed to the glory of England. Who would like to take from England the glory conferred on her by any one of the three nationalities by the son of Erin or the Scot ? I think the glory of England might not have been equal to what it is, if the three nationalities had not been united. Was it sur- prising that some should try to find difficulties in the way of the formation of a union, because there happened to be different races and religions 1 I have already spoken of the elements which are necessary to constitute a nation. Every one knows that England is great ; she has achieved a great deal more than any nation whose history we know. The Romans could not keep their colonies, because they were wanting in 'one of the elements which England possesses the commercial element. Without detracting from the power of England, I think, when we come to analyse it, we will find that it will not be so great without taking into account her commercial power. As soon as a colony is conquered by the bravery of her soldiers and seamen, the work is taken up by her merchants, who cause the colony to prosper to sucn an extent that it is the interest of England to bring her army and fleet to protect it. The prosperity of the two sections of Canada illustrates this fact. With our prosperity we are enriching the American States, whereas we ought to be enriching our own States ; we ought to be enriching such harbours as St. John and Halifax. And then, with regard to Newfoundland, as had been stated by Hon. Mr. Shea, she stands at the bottom of the St. Lawrence, and is the key to foreign trade. When we are politically connected with Newfound- CONFEDERATIOX. 101 land, this will afford an opening that we cannot yet appreciate. There will be no direct taxation, if the Government be wise and prudent." The honorable gentleman referred with great force to the advan- tages to be derived from union in case of hostile attacks upon the country from abroad, and concluded his observations amid great applause. The Hon. Thos. D'Arcy McGee, M.P., was loudly called for, and rose amidst great cheering. His reception was a perfect ovation, and proved how deeply seated was the feeling in his favor among the citizens of Montreal. The waving of handkerchiefs almost constituted a canopy above the heads of the guests, and it was not until after long protracted cheering he could be heard. Subsequent events have cast a melancholy interest around his name, and it is gratifying to recall that proof of the esteem in which a statesman was held, whose power for disturbance at the time was incalculable, but whose efforts were devoted to conciliation, and whose life was ultimately sacrificed for his country. He said : " It was necessary that those engaged in the work should have with them, and he trusted they would have with them, the public opinion and the countenance of the people of Montreal, and of the people of Canada." He then proceeded to touch upon what the Delegates might tell their constituents upon their return home. " They might say that we desired the Confederation for the sake of self-defence, common advancement, coming into union well dowered. They might say that Canada desired this union, though at present the public mind was not fully alive to the ad- vantages to be derived from it ; that if she goes into it she goes into it for no small or selfish purposes ; that the people of Canada are year by year becoming more liberal and enlightened in their views ; that we did not speak of cutting each other's throats for the love of God : they could say that in Canada religious bigotry was at a discount. He could point them to the place where that bigot withered upon his stock ; that where he was held in honor no man is now so mean as to do him reverence. That we have 102 CONFEDERATION. not amongst us bigotry of classes or bigotry of race ; or the belief that no good could come out of Nazareth, or any religion but their own. That the day of these small things had passed away in Canada ; that we respected one another's opinions, and had shown ourselves fit to be freemen by allowing every class, every sect and every creed to manage their own affairs, so long as they did not trouble the peace and happiness of the community. He thought they might say all this in regard to Canada." Hon. Mr. Gait being loudly called upon to speak, rose and observed : " He hoped that the discussion of this public question would induce gentlemen to look at it in all its bearings, and that they would find that what was good for Canada would be good for the Lower Provinces, and for all sections of the British dominions. If our institutions have borne any fruit at all, they have borne the fruit of harmony. He believed we were united in one common movement for the benefit of Upper and Lower Canada. He be- lieved the union would be productive of good to both Canada and the Maritime Provinces. If we want an open port, we could find it in St. John or Halifax. He was not disclosing any secret when he said this, that so far as the protection of the interests of the people of Upper and Lower Canada was concerned, there was no secret to be kept ; the arrangements were made in a way to do honor to his friend, Mr. Cartier. It was not a light thing for people to trust their prosperity and happiness in the future to others. But he was sure that a very prudent effort had been made to try and bring about a state of things that would rescue them from the troubles that threatened." Thus closed the demonstrations in the Province of Lower Canada. [103] CHAPTER IV. Public sentiment in Upper Canada (now Ontario) Selection of Ottawa as the seat of Government Description Reasons for Propriety of Ultimate future and requisites for, as the Capital of the Dominion American legis- lation and action on the selection of Washington -Banquet at Ottawa Observations of speakers Banquet at Toronto Ditto Explanations of details by Hon. Geo. Brown Rude awakening of the Maritime Delegates on their return to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick A. D. 1864. On the 31st October the members of the Convention, having formally closed their sittings at Montreal, and concurred in the report to be made to their respective governments, proceeded by invitation to visit the important cities of the Province of Ontario, at that time, though its separate political organization had been merged by the act of union of 1841, still bearing its old name of Upper Canada. Except from the somewhat general approval of the press of that Province general because .the details of the pro- posed Confederation were yet unknown there had been no cer- tain test of the manner in which the proposition would be there received. Holding the position of greatest power among the Provinces, greatest in wealth and population, foremost in enter- prise and progress, restless in political development, and the home of that great liberal party which, commencing with the demand for responsible government, had concentrated its energies on the absolute assertion of representation by population, to such a de- gree that the powers of the combined parties who wielded the administration of the government of Upper and Lower Canada had been paralysed, and the material and political advance of the country stayed, it was a matter of deep anxiety to know how, when speaking for themselves, in their public demonstrations, in their masses when brought together, when crowds speak unfetter- ed by the restraints of party or personal considerations that great lower voice which, like the rumbling that precedes the earthquake, tells after all of the great power of the people, and of their determination, how, under such circumstances, the ener- getic people of that Province would receive the proposition. 1 04 CONFEDERATION. It must not be supposed for one moment that the speakers at the festivals hitherto or hereafter referred to, were the promulga- tors of new ideas, or the sole possessors of the knowledge then put forth. The public mind throughout the whole country was im- pressed with the necessity of some change, and a change in the direction of the character proposed. The speakers merely had the effect of concentrating the public attention, of fusing the public power and the public energy into molten action. We have often seen scattered throughout a field the materials of a great confla- gration, or still more in the workshops of science the rude and fragmentary elements of great strength lying here and there inert and powerless, suddenly, by the application of the torch or the power of the forge, bursting into flame or running into molten masses resistless in their course. Such was the state of the public mind, and such the consequences of its power when wakened into movement, and Ontario 011 this occasion shewed her strength. The agricultural districts, the great grain producing division of Canada, was not less loud or less generous in its approval than the more commercial division of its rival, the Province of Quebec. From Montreal to Ottawa, from Ottawa to Toronto, from Toronto to Hamilton, all along the line there seemed to be but one ex- pression of opinion, welcome to the representatives and assent to the proposition. It would be impossible, as it is unnecessary, to give in detail all that was done or all that was said. Adhering as much as possible to the plan adopted with reference to Quebec and Montreal, it is proposed to limit observation to a synopsis of the remarks made at Ottawa and Toronto. x A magnificent repast had been prepared by temporary arrange- ment in some of the rooms of the parliamentary buildings, then in course of construction at Ottawa, by Messrs. Jones and Haycock, the contractors. " At Ottawa," it is as well to pause for a moment. To most of the delegates who were there assembled, particularly those from the Maritime Provinces, the place was entirely unknown, or if known beyond the mere discussion regarding its selection, was known only as a shanty town, where lumberers resorted and faction fights were wont sometimes to take place. Its name had been made familiar by the poet's verse, and " How, brothers, row, the CONFEDERATION. 105 stream runs fast," with its gentle melody, had given it an ideal existence but its political value was a myth. What were its claims for the future position it was to hold? Why was old Quebec, with its historic name why growing Montreal why Kingston why Toronto why were those cities to be ignored ? The selection of Ottawa, nevertheless, as the seat of government for the proposed Confederation was the exercise of a sound dis- cretion. At first extremely unpopular, the place was declared to be in the wilderness, and fit only for the habitation of the Indian and the bear. The American's graphic instructions to find it were quoted with evident relish : " Start from the north pole ; strike a bead for Lake Ontario ; and the first spot where the glacier ceases and vegetation begins that's Ottawa." But it had been wisely chosen. In old Canada, after the union of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841, the seat of Government under Lord Sydeiiham had been at Kingston ; in 1849, under Lord Elgin, at Montreal ; but after the public disturbances and burning of the parliamentary buildings in that year in that city, it assumed a migratory charac- ter, and with the erratic course of a comet revolved from Quebec to Toronto, and from Toronto back to Quebec, every four years. The jealousies of the two Provinces would permit it to rest in neither. In the legislature of the union for many years the dis- advantages of such a course were pointed out, but the claims of rival cities, under the system of popular representation, are not so easily disposed of. At length a compromise was effected, and the selection was left to Her Majesty the Queen. The far-seeing judg- ment of Sir Edmund Head, the then Governor-General, receives credit for the choice. Attracted greatly by the beauty of its surrounding scenery, he at the same time saw its commanding position both for a seat of government and of a great manufacturing town. Shortly after the American war in 1814, the British Government, availing themselves of its strategic advantages, to avoid the rapids of the St. Lawrence and the dangers of a hostile frontier, had commenced and constructed a canal which, breaking through the cliffs and fol- lowing the course of the Rideau River, afforded a safe communi- cation through the interior of the country for munitions of war 8 106 CONFEDERATION. from Montreal to Kingston. In later years, as the dangers of war passed away, and the great advance in military science neutralized its supposed value, the government ceased to attach to it the importance it formerly possessed, and handed it over to Canada. Situated on the banks of the Grand River, with the falls of the Chaudiere above, and the falls of the Rideau like a curtain below, the unaspiring little village at the time rejoiced in the name of Bytown, so called from Colonel Bye, the commanding officer of the Royal Engineers who built the canal. The river formed the dividing line between the two Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, which were thus within pistol-shot of each other. The name of Ottawa was given to the proposed capital; and after a ministerial crisis or two, brought about by unavailing efforts to reverse the decision, the location was finally adopted, and the public buildings commenced. In 1860, on the Prince of Wales' visit to the country, the corner-stone was laid with imposing ceremonies. Large expenditures were incurred ; and notwithstanding local grumblings and strong expressions of disapprobation occasionally from prominent politicians, the question was considered as definitely settled, and agitation ceased. From that time its advance became steady and sure. At the Convention it was proposed and carried that it should be the future capital of the Confederation, and the inhabitants of the Dominion will have no reason to regret the decision. Few cities possess greater local advantages. "Watered in front by the Grand River, on the right by the Rideau, and intersected by the canal, it possesses, for sanitary arrangements and sewerage, the very greatest facilities. Originally well planned and laid out by Colonel Bye, who foresaw its future destiny as a large town, its broad parallel streets, and reserves for public purposes, afford accommodation and security. Built on a lofty table-land, eighty or a hundred feet above the river, with bold escarpments in front, the eye is arrested on every side by scenes of unequalled beauty. The Gatineau Hills,* the * Sir Charles Lyell says that it is 240,000,000 of years since life lias been known on earth ; and before that period, for indefinite ages, the Eozoon Canadiensis had lived and died in the Laurentian limestone of Canada. CONFEDERATION. 107 first amid the primeval upheavings of the great Laurentian range, which, far back in the countless ages of chaos, began the formation of our solid globe, bound the horizon to the north, and the spread- ing plains toward the south afford scope for unlimited expansion. But its importance lies not simply in its attractive appearance. It is the centre of a rich agricultural district, and its great water powers on the Chaudiere and Eideau have given it the largest manufacturing establishments in lumber at present on the North American continent. This latter circumstance is due, in a great measure, to the energy and enterprize of American citizens, who, seeing its immense natural advantages, and knowing the unlimited extent of its forests beyond, and the water tributaries of those partially unexplored regions, made it their home. Twenty years ago, its capabilities were not utilized. An Ameri- can millman looked at the Chaudiere. His was not a tourist's dream ; it was the practical gaze of a man of business. To use his own expression, he " thought the river might be put in har- ness." The river was put in harness ; and now the spot, which at that time was simply known as a scene of beauty, is crowded with mills and machine shops, and, including both sides of the Falls, affords unceasing employment to twenty thousand people, daily creating untold wealth, and, with its schools and churches, spread- ing the comforts of life around. Its position with reference to the entire Dominion, as extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific an achievement brought about far more rapidly than at the time of the Convention was conceived is admirable. On the line along which the Canadian Pacific Railway must run, it will command equal facilities for access to Quebec and the Maritime Provinces on the one side, and the Western Territories and British Columbia on the other. Nature seems to have formed an interior valley for communication on the northern and eastern side of the Ottawa, from Quebec to the Falls of the Chaudiere, and thence along the valley of the Ottawa to the shores of Lake Superior, and on towards the north-west. If properly managed, the vast trade of this productive country must gravitate towards the capital of the Dominion as its natural and cheapest outlet. Thus, both politically and commercially, the selection was judicious. 108 CONFEDERATION. But nevertheless, viewed from the stand-point of 1871, it is apparent that at the time of the Convention one mistake occurred : no provision was made for creating a federal district for the capital, and withdrawing it from the exclusive control of the local legisla- ture of one of the Provinces. That which was destined to be the capital of the Confederation might fairly rest its claim for support upon the people of the Dominion. Its order, well-being, sanitary arrangements, police regulations, adornments and improvements are essential to the comfort and security not only of the represen- tatives who attend Parliament, but of all those who are compelled to resort to it as the capital of the country in the discharge of the various duties attendant upon the administration of public affairs. Its reputation should be national, not provincial. It belongs no more to Ontario than it does to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, or any of the Provinces constituting the Confederation. The expenses incident to its civic control must necessarily be far greater than would devolve upon it if merely an ordinary munici- pality. It is no answer to say that the increased value in property is sufficient consideration for the increased burden put upon the inhabitants. That does not meet the question. They may not choose to accept the responsibility ; and the Dominion Parliament, under confederation, has no power to legislate upon the matter. The legislation for the capital in all civil matters is entirely under the control of one Province, differing in its laws from the others- The employes and officials of the Dominion Government, residing at Ottawa, numbering almost two thousand men, in every respect competent as voters, and, under other circumstances, capable of enjoying and exercising their franchise, are wisely interdicted, by the policy of the Government of the Dominion, from interfering in the local Provincial politics, or taking part in the elections for the Provincial Legislature. Yet they are subject to the taxation imposed upon them by that Legislature ; and bluff old Harry the Eighth never unfrocked a bishop with more satisfaction than the Ontario Legislature, for local purposes, taxes a body of men whom they do not pay, and who are debarred from exercising any influ- ence upon the selection of their body. The experience of the United States had pointed out the course to be pursued. In their original constitution, no permanent or CONFEDERATION. 10D national capital had been determined on by legislative enactment. An insult to the Congress, when sitting at Philadelphia, in June, 1783, by a band of mutinous soldiers demanding arrears of pay, brought up the subject for debate. After four years' discussion, bv the constitution adopted in convention in 1787, and carried into effect in 1789, it was decided that the Congress should have power (sec. 8, art. 17) "to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Con- gress, become the seat of Government of the United States," and to make all laws necessary and proper for that purpose. In due course of time, by the action of the States of Maryland and Virginia, a selection was made upon the banks of the Potomac : Washington was declared the capital of the Republic, and Congress undertook to make liberal expenditures in the furtherance of such improvements and adornments as would be becoming the capital of a great nation. By an act passed February 27th, 1801, (up to which time the congress had met at Philadelphia, pending the preparations neces- sary for the removal, and for the accommodation of the public departments and business at Washington,) provisions had been made for the establishment of the proper tribunals, the creation of the necessary authorities, the maintenance of existing laws until superseded by other legislation, and the general exercise of those territorial duties which are essential to the good order and govern- ment of a district. Other legislation has since taken place in accordance with the exigencies of the times, and the federal dis- trict has been controlled and regulated by the national congress alone, until within the last few years, when a territorial govern- ment was arranged for it. The people of the United States are well satisfied. Their capital is the national capital of their coun- try, and not the municipality of a section. The President thus alludes to this subject in his message of the 4th December, 1871 : " Under the provisions of the act of Con- gress, (approved February 21st, 1871,) a territorial government was organized in the District of Columbia. Its results have thus far fully realized the expectations of its advocates. Under the 110 CONFEDERATION. direction of the territorial officer, a system of improvement has been inaugurated, by means of which Washington is rapidly becoming a city worthy of the nation's capital, the citizens of the District having voluntarily taxed themselves to a large amount for the pur- pose of contributing to the adornment of the seat of government." Thus we see that the character of a national capital, the security of those who attend it, the elimination of sectional and provincial interests in its government, the preservation of the national public property, the protection of the public interests, and the mainte- nance of the national reputation in its status, are too important to be left to local councils, however good they may be. Americans have their capital, Canadians have no capital for their country. They borrow a municipality from Ontario, and whether they come from the Provinces of the Atlantic or the Pacific, whether from Quebec or Manitoba, their representatives in the Dominion Parliament have no power to legislate on any matter touching the property or civil rights of the so-called capital of the Dominion, however great the wrong to be redressed or the evil to be remedied. This should not be. The City of Ottawa, with a certain area around it, should be created a Federal District; the laws for its future govern- ment (not interfering with private rights, or the city's present municipal privileges without adequate consideration), should be passed by the Dominion Parliament, and carried out by officers responsible to the Dominion Government, aud through it to the people of the whole Dominion ; or by a territorial arrangement, as in the District of Columbia, the legislatures of Ontario and Quebec ceding such portion of territory 011 both sides of the river as would make the District thoroughly unprovincial, and stipu- lating such terms in the cession as would preserve existing rights and interests. But to return to the banquet. After the usual courtesies and toasts had been attended to, Hon. W. A. Henry, Attorney-General of Nova Scotia, on behalf of that Province, said : " The people of Nova Scotia entertained no selfish views when they proposed to enter into a confederation with the other colonies. CONFEDERATION. Ill They knew that their position commanded many advantages not equally enjoyed by the rest. They felt that their principal port, Halifax, was one of commanding importance. Situated as it is upon the most easterly peninsula of British North America, and of paramount importance to be retained by England while any portion of the West Indies remains connected with the British empire, it would be the last spot of territory 011 this continent to be yielded up by the parent state, and would always receive, even more than the other colonies, the protection of the home govern- ment. The time, however, may come, and may not be far distant, when, from great political changes, from which we cannot expect to be always exempt, the protection of the parent state may be withdrawn ; and if we wait imtil that unfortunate event arrives, it may be too late to form associations for our local defence. "We were favored by an invitation from the Canadian Government to meet in conference at Quebec, to consider how far a general con- federation was practicable. The invitation was accepted by all the colonies, and the delegates were chosen, not exclusively from the several governments, but were selected from the ranks of parties representing all classes and interests in the several communities, in order that all party prejudices and sectional feelings might be laid aside in the contemplation of an object of such vast importance. Difficulties of a grave character had to be surmounted. First, each individual forming part of the delegation entertained his own views upon every one of the infinite number of important questions to be solved ; and, drawn as they were from different classes of opposing politicians in the several Provinces, with the influence of party relations upon them, and the interest of each Province clashing to a certain extent with those of the others, it required the greatest exercise of moderation, and frequent modification of personal, party and local views and interests, to arrive at any- thing like a successful issue. None but those who took part in the conference, or had deeply weighed the importance of the con- siderations involved, could have any idea of the difficult task of reconciling antagonistic views and interests, and nothing but the absorbing feeling of the importance of their mission and its results could have produced anything like a satisfactory conclusion. In 112 CONFEDERATION. contemplation of this great object, the people of every section must be prepared to yield a portion of their feelings and interests to the common stock, and in the contemplation as well as in the working out of the union this sentiment must not be forgotten." Hon. John M. Johnson, Attorney-General of New Brunswick, observed : "At the Conference all agreed to set aside their own peculiar opinions for the common good, and the advantages of union were so great that all minor differences on political matters should be sunk and forgotten. This was the way he hoped the people would meet the question : either declare against it like men, if they believed the union to be without advantage, or, if they believed it would prove beneficial, to lay aside all questions of mere party, in order to secure it." Hon. George Coles, on behalf of Prince Edward Island, said : " He stood there in a different position from the gentlemen from the other Provinces, who had just .addressed them, both of whom were members of their respective governments, while he 'happened to be one of the opposition. They were aware that the opposi- tions of all the Provinces had entered into the delegation to assist in carrying out the views of their respective governments. Generally, when an opposition joined in carrying out the views of government, they were looked upon with suspicion by their consti- tuents ; but the present case was one which stood entirely by itself, and he claimed that in going for federation the government of Prince Edward Island were carrying out his views views which he had entertained for many years. In former times he had found many opposed to his sentiments on this question. Mr. Coles went on to speak of the advantages of Prince Edward Island as a delightful summer residence, and of its various resources, particu- larly the inexhaustible treasury it had in the fisheries of its waters. Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fish were taken from their waters by the American fishermen. He trusted that soon Canada would take that fish for the consumption of her inhabi- CONFEDERATION. 113 taiits, and send her fishermen to catch them. He said that although there was no man more disappointed than himself with respect to some parts of the constitution, yet, by mutual conces- sion, they had arrived at a result which they could all agree in supporting and submitting to the people, for he held that it must be submitted to the people. They could not force it on the people >
they must endeavour to show them that it was for their benefit,
and thus induce them to accept it.”

Hon. A. T. Gait, Finance Minister of Canada, then spoke sub-
stantially as follows :

” I believe we are making a move in the right direction, in
confederation ; and if we gave more strength to the monarchical
element on this continent, it was because we thought that through
this form of government we could more effectually add to the
peace and happiness of our people. Those who could recall twenty
years could remember the position in which Lower Canada then
stood. They could recall the advantages which arose from the
union of these Provinces. It could be seen that in that short
period (twenty years) this country had grown to a position in
importance such as never could have been hoped for as long as she
remained in a disunited state. It was because we felt that dis-
united, Canada was weak, united, she became stronger. We now
ask the other Provinces to join us in the race of improvement
and progress, and in extending through the whole of the British
dominions in North America the advantages we now derive from
union, that which gives us essential power, which enables us
to control various matters and maintain our strength. With
regard to the question of the commercial prosperity of these Colo-
nies, there could be no doubt whatever that the union of these
Provinces would tend to promote our prosperity. We had seen
the effects of union in regard to matters of free trade in the United
States. He knew perfectly well that if one thing more than
another had tended to promote the prosperity of that great country,
it had been the free trade that had existed between its various
parts. He desired to bring about that same free trade in our
own Colonies.”


After leaving Ottawa, at Kingston, at Cobourg, at Belleville,
similar cordial greetings were extended. On the arrival at To-
ronto at night the city seemed one blaze of light, and repre-
sentatives of the Corporation of Toronto and the surrounding
municipalities tendered their hopitalities. On the following day
the literary institutions of Toronto, not less courteous than the
institutions of Quebec, gave to the measure their fullest sanction.
The Upper Canada College under Professor Cockburn, and the
University under the Rev. Dr. McCaul, vied with each other in
the expression of their hopes that ” by this confederation the
British North American colonies would be bound together for
mutual advancement, prosperity and strength”

At a magnificent banquet given at the Music Hall in Toronto,
the Hon. Geo. Brown, as President of the Council, first gave to
the public the full details of the contemplated constitution, and
in a clear and lucid manner explained his reasons for their adop~
tion. He was preceded, however, as was usual on the occasion of
the festivities in Canada, by the members from the Maritime
Provinces. In answer to the toast of ” The Delegates,” Hon. Mr.
McCully responded for Nova Scotia. He said :

” They had framed a constitution for this great confederation.
He trusted in all hopefulness that it would meet their approbation.
It had been the work of men of some experience. Their discus-
sions had been characterized by the most friendly intercourse. If,
after so weighing and considering it, they had anything to say
against it, let it be in a spirit of moderation. He asked that with
the more confidence because, a member of the opposition of Nova
Scotia, invited to take his share in this task, he had been content
that party feeling and party action should, for the moment, be
hushed and stilled in presence of so great a question. He asked
of the members of the governments of all the Provinces, if they
desired that this enterprise should be successful, that there be no
attempt to make out of it any local political capital. Nothing, in
his opinion, could be more fatal to the measure. But let me say,”
said he, ” that if there is one thing connected with this grand
scheme of confederation which ought more than another to be


kept in the minds of the public men of all these Provinces it is
this : that it shall not financially weigh too heavily on the people.
In Nova Scotia, whence he came, they had an ad valorem tariff of
ten per cent., and one of the greatest difficulties they would have
to contend with in that Province in inducing their people to come
into the confederation, would be to reconcile them to the raising
of that tariff to any very large extent, unless it were for the public
defence of the country, or some great public improvement, advan-
tage or necessity.”

Hon. Charles Fisher, M.P., from Fredericton, one of the New
Brunswick Delegates, spoke ably on behalf of that Province.
Speaking of the unanimity of action throughout the country, he
observed :

” Men of every party, of every denomination men from every
section of the country, cognizant of their different ideas in politics
and theology, met together resolved to lay their differences as an
offering upon the altar of their country. No event had occurred
in modern times equal bo this. New Brunswick expended annually
30,000 a year for schools, 35,000 a year for roads, and small as
their Province was, they then had at that moment 15,000 miles
of roads, 7,500 of which might be traversed in a carriage and four.
They had besides 200 miles of railway, equal to any tiling of the
kind on the continent. Did they know why the intercommunica-
tion between these Provinces had hitherto been so limited ] It
did not arise from poverty of soil, or from local and political
causes. Until 1845 the country between New Brunswick and
Canada was locked up. And then what was done ? Why, a large
tract of land was taken away from New Brunswick and Canada,
and handed over to the United States. Did they think, if this
confederation had then been formed, that the interests of New
Brunswick would have been sacrificed to the cotton spinners and
the tobacco dealers ] The result of the differences which took
place was that this part of the country long remained a wilderness,
and a large portion of it, equal to the State of New Hampshire,
with a large settlement of French Canadians, was handed over to the
United States. They had built roads through New Brunswick, but


if they were to have complete intercommunication the Intercolo-
nial Railway must be built, and he hoped its necessity was
recognized as fully in Western Canada as it was in New Bruns-
wick. He had almost hoped against hope for its construction,
but he had ever felt that that was an advantage to New Brunswick
which must be supplied. When built the district between the two
Provinces, now almost uninhabited, would speedily be filled up,
and the two countries connected. He had been an advocate of
the railway ever since it was proposed. He had always argued
for it as a link in the great chain of railways which would yet
connect Halifax with Vancouver Island. He had read with great
interest the descriptions of that country, especially those given by
the scientific men sent out by Canada to explore it, and he had
always argued that communication with that country was a com-
mercial necessity to the west. They enquired would such a road
pay ? Had the Grand Trunk Railway paid ? Ask the rapid
improvement of Canada if it had not paid ] Ask the hundred
thousand people of Montreal the result of that great instrument
of progress. Ask the increase given to the value of land and to
the products of the west. Ask all these, and let their testimony
to the great benefit derived be the reply. When the resources of
the interior were brought into action, what would be required to
cany these products to the ocean] Would not a railway be
needed? But, after all, possessing as they did such complete
elements for the formation of a great nation, what would they be
without a free government ] The members of the Convention
had met together for the purpore of framing a government adapted
to these colonies, and they had endeavoured to do it upon the
principles of the British monarchy. They had kept in view the
great original of the parent state, but they had so constructed the
constitution as to preserve intact the rights of each separate Pro-
vince. They had left to the local bodies of the confederation
local matters, and when they found any condition of things which
it was necessary to preserve, they had provided that these should
be untouched forever. They had endeavoured to build up a strong
central power, which should have control of matters of common
interest. As in the confederation local questions would be left to


the local legislatures, he had high hopes that in the general legis-
lature the smaller politics would be forgotten, and that a desire)
for national honor would arise, without which national greatness
could never be attained.”

Hon. Mr. Carter, of Newfoundland, said :

” Newfoundland w r as a commercial place, and was not very
celebrated for its agricultural capabilities. The reason of this was
that the attention of the people had been chiefly taken up by the
prosecution of the fisheries, which had been most valuable to the
people along the coast, furnishing inexhaustible mines of wealth,
from which, from time to time, immensely large fortunes had been
drawn. Speaking of the Provinces, he said: we have mutual
wants, and may be of great benefit the one to the other. You
want the maritime element, and we are able to give it to you.
You may by and by require seamen to man your navy, and where
will you be able to get them more readily than in. Newfoundland 1
A more hardy and enterprising people than that colony contains
are not to be found. From their earliest days they have been
‘ rocked in the cradle of the deep.’ The area of this country, so
little known in Canada, is over forty thousand square miles. He
hoped sincerely if this confederation was formed, that it would
tend to do away with petty party spirit and prejudices, and that
acerbity of feeling which at one time w r as characteristic of us ; for
we generally find that the intensity of the acerbity is proportion-
ate to the narrowness of our limits. And, said he, do we not
find here, as everywhere else, a combination of men who, like our-
selves, are of different shades of politics, but who have united
together to promote the same reform 1 Have you not the ablest
men from both sides of the house represented in the administra-
tion, combining together to carry out this noble object 1 ”

Hon. Edward Palmer, Attorney-General of Prince Edward
Island, on behalf of that colony said :

” As to the proposed union. Your friends came down, and we
listened to them, and we resolved since then that there should be
a union. In the first place, we resolved that the union should be,


as far as the circumstances of the country would permit, in accord-
ance with the British constitution. The Provinces were unani-
mous in this. We then resolved that each of the colonies should
preserve its peculiar privileges .and institutions, and that there
should be 110 higher power to interfere with them. We next
agreed that as far as possible the debts of the colonies should be
dealt with fairly and equally, and that the tariffs should be equal
throughout. We next agreed that as regarded the outside world
we should, between and amongst ourselves, enjoy free trade. I
confess that in my Province there was at first no little anxiety
with regard to this proposition, because we stand at present as
happy and contented a people as any of the British Provinces.
Yet I hesitate not to say that from all that has been witnessed by
the delegates representing that Island, they will not hesitate to
recommend to their people the great union which I hope soon to
see accomplished. It is not the great hospitality alone that we
have met with since we entered within your borders it is not the
kindness which we have received individually or collectively from
the people of this Province that causes us to desire to come into
this union ; your excellent institutions of all kinds, and your pro-
gress in everything that goes to make up a great country, impel
us to such a desirable consummation tojbrm part of the great
empire or colony, or whatever you choose to call it, which is to
be constructed out of these provinces of British America, sharing
the glories of the mother country, which we all desire to see per-
petuated and increased.”

Hon. Geo. Brown, in the course of his observations, remarked :

” It was an old saying, that England loves not coalitions ; and
he was sure if the adage was true of England, it was doubly true
of Canada. Except under the pressure of a most grave and urgent
necessity, the combining of public men of opposite political senti-
ments to form a government under the British parliamentary
system, is very strongly to be deprecated. But if ever there was
a coalition that had a sufficient object to justify its formation, he
thought it was the administration which he represented that day.
It was formed for a special purpose, for a great public end ; it was


formed in the light of day ; its whole object and end was fully and
openly proclaimed to the world, and no charge of intrigue or desire
for personal aggrandisement could with justice be laid at the door
of any party to the compact. The Government was formed upon
the express understanding that the constitutional difficulties of
Canada should be met immediately ; that a measure for that pur-
pose should be submitted to Parliament at its first session ; and
that in the meantime they should strive with all their energies to
ascertain whether or not a just and satisfactory arrangement for
the union of all the British North American Provinces could be
effected, so that they might present it at the next session of Parlia-
ment in lieu of the lesser scheme. A conference of representatives
from the several Provinces had, as they knew, assembled at Quebec,
on the invitation of the Governor-General, to consider this subject.
For sixteen days they were earnestly engaged in considering all the
details of the scheme ; and though, of course, it was impossible
that such a body of men could be without differences of opinion,
looking at matters as they did from different points of view, and
with different interests to protect ; stiU it was highly questionable
whether any body of thirty-three gentlemen, even if composed of
men of the same country and the same party, could have sat
together for so long a period, discussing matters of such grave
importance, with more entire harmony and more thorough good-
will and respect than prevailed throughout the whole of their
deliberations. The various details of the confederation scheme
were brought up for consideration by the Conference in the form of
resolutions. Those resolutions were separately discussed, amended,
and adopted ; and as finally adopted by the unanimous consent of
the whole Conference, they now stand on record. As the only
practicable scheme, and as, in his opinion, the best, they adopted
the plan of constituting a general administration and general legis-
lature, to which should be committed matters common to all the
Provinces, and local governments and legislatures for the several
sections, to which should be committed matters peculiar to their
several localities. By committing all purely local matters to local
control, they secured the peace and permanence of the new con-
federation much more effectually than could possibly have been


hoped for from a legislative union. It was unnecessary to say that
the Governor-General of the united Provinces was to be appointed,
as heretofore, by the Grown. The duration of Parliament would
be limited to five years, and of course it would be composed of two
branches a Legislative Council, appointed by the government of
the day on the principle of equality of the sections, and a House
of Commons, in which we are to obtain that so long desired, so long
earnestly contended for reform, Representation by Population.
In his opinion, an appointed Upper House and an elected Lower
House would be much more in harmony with the spirit of the
British parliamentary system than two elected bodies. The Upper
Chamber was to consist of seventy-six members, distributed as
follows :

Upper Canada .’ 24

Lower Canada 24

Nova Scotia 10

New Brunswick 10

Newfoundland 4

Prince Edward Island 4

Total 76

The House of Commons was to be constituted on the basis of
representation by population. It was to be composed, at first, of
one hundred and ninety-four members, distributed as follows :

Upper Canada 82

Lower Canada 05

Nova Scotia 19

New Brunswick 15

Newfoundland …… 8

Prince Edward Island 5

Total 194

After each decennial census the sectional representation was to be
readjusted according to population, and for this purpose Lower
Canada was always to have 65 members, and the other sections
were to receive the exact number of members to which they would
be severally entitled in the same ratio of representation to popu-
lation as Lower Canada will enjoy by having 65 members. Thus


the representation would be strictly based on population, the
disparity of population between the several sections would be
accurately provided for every ten years, but the number of
members in the House would not be much increased. The general
government was to have control over all questions of trade and
commerce ; all questions of currency, finance and coinage ; all
questions of navigation and shipping, and the fisheries ; all
questions of defence and militia ; all matters connected with the
postal service, and all questions affecting the criminal law. To
it would belong the imposition of customs and excise duties, and
all other modes of taxation ; the construction of great public
works of common benefit to all the Provinces ; and the incorpora-
tion of telegraph, steamship, and railway companies. It would
also have control of banks and savings banks, bills of exchange
and promissory notes, interest and legal tenders, bankruptcy and
insolvency, copyright and patents of invention, naturalization and
aliens, marriage and divorce, immigration and quarantine, weights
and measures, Indians and Indian lands, the census, and generally
all matters of a general character not specially assigned to the
local governments. These were the duties proposed to be assigned
to the general government. As to the constitution and powers
of the local governments. It was proposed that each Province
should be presided over by a Lieutenant-Governor, who would be
advised by the heads of the various public departments. As to
the constitution of the local legislatures, there was so much
difference of opinion on the subject, some of the Provinces desir-
ing to retain their present institutions, while we in Canada must
necessarily establish new ones, that we thought it the wisest plan
to leave the constitution of the local legislatures to the existing
parliaments of the different sections. The powers and duties of
the local governments have been clearly defined by the Conference.
They are to have the power of imposing direct taxation ; the sale
and management of the public lands in their respective sections ;
the maintenance and management of prisons, hospitals, asylums,
and charitable institutions ; the construction of local works ; the
promotion of agriculture ; and the imposition of shop, saloon,
tavern and auction licenses. The control of all the national


schools and school property is to be vested in the local govern-
ments ; and they are to have authority over municipal corpora-
tions and all municipal matters. They are also to have power to
make laws in all matters affecting property and civil rights, and
for the administration of justice. And generally, while on the
one hand, all matters of a general character and common to all
the Provinces are to be committed to the general government ; so>
on the other hand, all matters of a local character will be com-
mitted to the local governments. The separate powers to be
exercised by each will be clearly defined in the Constitution Act
to be passed by the British Parliament, so that there will be no
danger of the two bodies coming into collision. There was one
point to which he was desirous of calling particular attention,
namely, to the fact that in framing their constitution they had
carefully avoided what had proved a great evil in the United
States, and that is the acknowledgment of an inherent sovereign
power in the separate States, causing a collision of ‘ authority
between the general and state governments, which, in times of
trial, had been found to interfere gravely with the efficient admi-
nistration of public affairs. In the government to be formed
under this new constitution while we have committed to the local
governments all that necessarily and properly belongs to the
localities, we have reserved for the general government all those
powers which will enable the legislative and administrative pro-
ceedings of the central authority to be carried out with a firm
hand. With this view we have provided that the whole of the
judges throughout the confederation, those of the county courts
as well as of the superior courts, are to be appointed and paid by
the general government. We have also provided that the general
parliament may constitute a general appeal court, to which an
appeal will lie from the decisions of all the provincial courts.
We have likewise provided that the general government shall be
specially charged with the performance of all obligations of the
Provinces, as part of the British empire, to foreign countries.
The Lieutenant-Governors of the different sections are to be ap-
pointed by the general government, and the power of disallowing
all bills passed by the local legislatures is to be vested in the


Governor-General in council. In this way we will have a com-
plete chain of authority, extending down from Her Majesty the
Queen to the basis of our political fabric. The Queen will appoint
the Governor-General ; the Governor-General in council will
appoint the Lieutenant-Governors ; and the Lieutenant-Governors
will be advised by heads of departments responsible to the people.
Tlras we will have the general government working in harmony
with the local executives, and in hearty accord with popular sen-
timent as expressed through the people’s representatives. All the
debts and assets of the different Provinces were to be assumed by
the general government. A confederation of five states was about
to be formed, and it was to the credit of the whole that not one of
them had ever been unable to meet its obligations to the day ; and
still further, that the finances of all were now in such a satisfactory
condition that every one of them had a, large surplus of revenue
over expenditure for the current year. He desired to call atten-
tion to the fact, that the delegates had unanimously resolved that
the united Provinces of British America should be placed at the
earliest moment in a thorough state of defence. We have agreed,
said he, to build the Intercolonial Railway. I have not been
in favor of that scheme per se, situated as we have been. But
I have been quite willing to admit and I repeat it heartily
to-day that without the Intercolonial Railway there could be no
union of these Provinces ; and after a careful consideration of the
question in all its bearings, and after counting the full cost, I am
prepared to advocate the building of that road, in order to accom-
plish the great objects we have in view in the scheme of confede-
ration. In agreeing to build the Intercolonial Railway, it should
also be stated that due regard was had to the interests of the west.
With the unanimous consent of the members of the Conference,
we have resolved on the ^extension of our canal system. While we
have sought confederation with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island, we have not been
neglectful of the Far West ; but we have made it a condition of
union that the great North-west may come into the federation on
equitable terms at any time it pleases, and that British Columbia
and Vancouver Island may also be incorporated with us. We


have likewise made it a condition that so soon as the state of the
finances will permit, communication is to be opened up from
Western Canada to the North-west territory. On the whole,”
said the honorable gentleman, ” when we look at the probable
results of this union, I think there is 110 man from one end of the
Provinces to the other who ought not to give it his most hearty
approbation. He would repeat what had been so well said by Mr.
McCully : all danger was not past. They had still to meet the
legislatures of the different Provinces, and it required the greatest
harmony of action to obtain a favorable result. Therefore I would
say with my honorable friend, Mr. McCully, if there is one thing
more than another necessary at this moment, it is that we should
banish our party discords ; that we should forget for the moment
that we were at one time arrayed against each other ; and what-
ever we may do after union is accomplished, let us forget until it
is obtained our feuds and differences, in securing to the country
the great boon which this Confederation promises to bring about.”

A few days after, on the occasion of the public reception at
St. Catharines, the ‘Hon. Mr. Pope, of Prince Edward Island,
responded on behalf of that Province, and in strong language
declared his endorsation of the views already expressed by his
colleagues, Hon. Messrs. Palmer, Coles, Haviland and Whelan,
from that Island.

Thus closed the demonstrations in Ontario. A rude awakening,
however, awaited those gentlemen from the Maritime Provinces
who, thus far floating on smooth seas and amid fairy scenes, fancied
that on their return to their constituencies all would be well. The
storm that burst upon the delegates from New Brunswick was like
the hurricane of the tropics. Fair as had been the voyage up to
this time, fragrant as were the breezes that bore them onward, the
sky in a moment became suddenly overcast. The moaning of the
surge was heard, the blackened clouds closed upon the fated ship,
and sail and mast went down before the fearful gale. In vain was
there a temporary lull, in vain a seeming hope of safety. The
storm burst out from the opposite quarter with more fearful
violence ; the darkness was more tangible, and destruction seemed


inevitable. In New Brunswick the storm came first from political
foes, but was followed quickly from political friends. Hurled from
place and power, they were condemned by their constituencies in
the most emphatic manner, and a more thorough defeat in the first
instance was never meted out to the advocates of a political change.
In Nova Scotia, though not at first so disastrous, the shock was
more lasting, and ultimately more severe. The narrative of the
action of those two Provinces must, however, for the present bo



Assent of the Imperial Government Despatch from the Colonial Secretary,
December, 1864 Public sentiment in England, Scotland and the United
States on the proposed Confederation Seward A.D. 1864.

As soon as possible after the adjournment at Quebec, the
Governor-General, Lord Monck, transmitted to Her Majesty’s
Government the Resolutions that had been adopted by the Con-
ference, and in the month of December received, in thefollowing
despatch, the strong expression of its approval : .

DOWNING STREET, 3rd December, 1864-

‘ MY LORD, Her Majesty’s Government have received with the
most cordial satisfaction your Lordship’s despatch of the 7th ult.,
transmitting for their consideration the resolutions adopted by the
representatives of the s’everal Provinces of British North America,
who were assembled at Quebec.

With the sanction of the Crown, and upon the invitation of the
Governor-General, men of every Province, chosen by the respective
Lieutenant-Governors without distinction of party, assembled to
consider questions of the utmost interest to every subject of the
Queen, of whatever race or faith, resident in those Provinces, and
have arrived at a conclusion destined to exercise a most important
influence upon the future welfare of the whole community.

Animated by the warmest sentiments of loyalty and devotion
to their Sovereign ; earnestly desirous to secure for their posterity
throughout all future time the advantages which they enjoy as
subjects of the British Crown ; steadfastly attached to the institu-
tions under which they live, they have conducted their deliberations
with patient sagacity, and have arrived at unanimous conclusions
on questions involving many difficulties, and calculated, under less
favourable circumstances, to have given rise to many differences of


Such an event is in the highest degree honourable to those who
have taken part in these deliberations. It must inspire confidence
in the men by whose judgment and temper this result has been
attained, and will ever remain on record as an evidence of the
salutary influence exercised by the institutions under which those
qualities have been so signally developed.

Her Majesty’s Government have given to your despatch, and to
the resolutions of the Conference, their most deliberate considera-
tion. They have regarded them as a whole, and as having been
designed by those who have framed them to establish as complete
and perfect a union of the whole into one government, as the
circumstances of the case and a due consideration of existing
interests would admit. They accept them, therefore, as being, in
the deliberate judgment of those best qualified to decide upon the
subject, the best framework of a measure to be passed by the
Imperial Parliament for attaining that most desirable result.

The point of principal importance to the practical well-working
of the scheme, is the accurate determination of the limits between
the authority of the central and that of the local legislatures, in
their relation to each other. It has not been possible to exclude
from the resolutions some provisions which appear to be less con-
sistent than might perhaps have been desired with the simplicity
and unity of the system. But upon the whole, it appears to Her
Majesty’s Government that precautions have been taken which are
obviously intended to secure to the central government the means
of effective action throughout the several Provinces, and to guard
against those evils which must inevitably arise if any doubt were
permitted to exist as to the respective limits of central and local

They are glad to observe that although large powers of legisla-
tion are intended to be vested in local bodies, yet the principle of
central control has been steadily kept in view. The importance of
this principle cannot be overrated. Its maintenance is essential
to the practical efficiency of the system, and to its harmonious
operation both in the general administration and in the govern-
ments of the several Provinces. A very important part of this
subject is the expense which may attend the working of the central


and the local governments. Her Majesty’s Government cannot
but express the earnest hope that the arrangements which may be
adopted in this respect may not be of such a nature as to increase,
at least in any considerable degree, the whole expenditure, or to
make any material addition to the taxation, and thereby retard the
internal industry, or tend to impose new burdens on the commerce
of the country.

Her Majesty’s Government are anxious to lose no time in
conveying to you their general approval of the proceedings of the
Conference. There are, however, two provisions of great impor-
tance, which seem to require revision. The first of these is the
provision contained in the 44th resolution, with respect to the
exercise of the prerogative of pardon. It appears to Her Majesty’s
Government that this duty belongs to the representative of the
Sovereign, and could not with propriety be devolved upon the
Lieutenant-Governors, who will, under the present scheme, be
appointed, not directly by the Crown, but by the Central Govern-
ment of the United Provinces.

The second point which Her Majesty’s Government desire should
be reconsidered, is the constitution of the Legislative Council.
They appreciate the considerations which have influenced the Con-
ference in determining the mode in which this body, so important
to the constitution of the Legislature, should be composed. But
it appears to them to require further consideration whether, if the
members be appointed for life and their number be fixed, there
will be any sufficient means of restoring harmony between the
Legislative Council and the popular Assembly, if it shall ever
unfortunately happen that a decided difference of opinion shall
arise between them.

These two points, relating to the prerogative of the Crown, and
to the constitution of the upper chamber, have appeared to require
distinct and separate notice. Questions of minor consequence,
and matters of detailed arrangement, may properly be reserved for
a future time, when the provisions of the bill intended to be sub-
mitted to the Imperial Parliament shall come under consideration.
Her Majesty’s Government anticipate no serious difficulty in this
part of the case, since the resolutions will generally be found


sufficiently explicit to guide those who will be intrusted with
the preparation of the bill. It appears to them, therefore, that
you should now take immediate measures, in concert with the
Lieutenant-Governors of the several Provinces, for submitting to
the respective Legislatures this project of the Conference ; and if,
as I hope, you are able to report that these Legislatures sanction
and adopt the scheme, Her Majesty’s Government will render you
all the assistance in their power for carrying it into effect.

It will probably be found to be the most convenient course that,
in concert with the Lieutenant-Governors, you should select a
deputation of the persons best qualified, to proceed to this country,
that they may be present during the preparation of the bill, and
give to Her Majesty’s Government the benefit of their counsel
upon any questions which may arise during the passage of the
measure through the two Houses of Parliament.
I have, &c.,

(Signed) E. CARDWELL.
Governor Viscount Monck,


or her pride, by the Canadian her name will be venerated, and
her conduct on this occasion be pointed to by the future genera-
tions of the Dominion as an instance without parallel, of a great
country, under no compulsion, conceding privileges, and consoli-
dating powers, which might at some future day be used to her
disadvantage of a great country relying upon the justness of her
intentions and the soundness of her principles, without regard to
what might be the consequences to herself, in the diminution of
authority, or the contraction of her domain.

The English press was not less outspoken. Almost on the same
day, as if the national pulse were vibrating to the same sensation,
from England and from Scotland came words of cheer. It is
well, they should not be forgotten. The Conference was at this
time sitting in Quebec, and amid the Anglo-Saxon races of the old
and the new world the subject engaged attention. What had
occurred in the Convention at Charlottetown, and the subsequent
meetings at Halifax and St. John during the previous month, was
then well known in England, and the favorable comments which
came across the Atlantic to the delegates at Quebec, added to the
zeal with which they pressed on the work. No doubt was left that
if they could arrange the details in a way satisfactory to their
several Provinces, public opinion would sustain them on the gene-
ral question in England. In after years this record of the impres-
sions of the day may be interesting if not useful. A rebellion
was no longer j necessary to waken the public mind in the old
country to the affairs of the colonies in the new, and the message
was conveyed to them in very unequivocal terms, that they could,
without interference from the mother country, shape their future
course in the way they thought best for their own interests con-
nected, if they chose to remain ; separated, if they preferred to be.

The London Daily Telegraph, which its special commissioner in
Canada, Mr. Sala, stated had a daily circulation of 120,000, and
represented an influential phase of public opinion in England,
observed in its issue of the 12th of October, 1864 :

” Seldom has there been held a more important conference of
statesmen than that which assembled recently at Halifax to con-


sider the proposed federation of the British North American Pro-
vinces, On their deliberations depends, to a very great extent,
the future of a country which possesses magnificent resources, and
which contains within it the germs of a mighty empire. The
statesmen of British North America have conceived the grand
idea of a federation. They wish to build up a nation ; but they
also wish and this is the true imperial justification of their
scheme to have this nation still linked by the closest ties to
Great Britain. In other words, they have no notion of seceding ;
they wish, rather, by increasing their own strength, to become
worthier members of the central state. To this end their nota-
bles have met together, and so far is the movement from having
any separatist tendency, that it received, two years ago, official
encouragement from the Imperial Government. Add to this fact
the equally significant circumstance that the officials of the Pro-
vinces and the Admiral of the British fleet upon the American
station joined in the recent proceedings, and it will at once be
seen that the object is one in which the .mother country can.
heartily co-operate with her thriving children across the Atlantic.
It may be possible that a few Canadians would prefer incorpora-
tion with the northern portion of the late United States ; but the
number of these is insignificant, and the disloyal faction would
at once be overwhelmed and swept away by the creation of the
new confederacy. We must not forget that, granted certain
changes in American politics, the enforcement of the Monroe doc-
trine would be one of the first objects sought by our restless cousins :
all the better will it be, by welding the British Provinces into one
compact nationality, to proclaim at once that we regard this
famous doctrine as an insolent threat, which we hold ourselves
prepared to resist by force of aims.

” Firmly believing that the project will be immensely beneficial
to the colonies, we are convinced that it will be equally accept-
able to the home government. As the matter already stands,
England is committed to the protection of every acre of her soil,
be it on the Indus, the Murray, the St. Lawrence, or the Thames.
Doubtless the responsibility is great ; doubtless the work is ar-
duous ; but the duty exists. The best way, indeed, to lighten it


is to call upon our colonies themselves to take measures for their
own defence, assuring them that whenever the odds are too heavily
against them, whenever the danger becomes serious, we pledge
the British Empire to their aid.”

The London News of October 12th, 1864, remarked upon the
inception of a ” Great British American Nation : ”

” Monday last, the 10th of October, is likely to prove an im-
portant date in the history of British North America. It was
the day which the Governor-General of Canada, acting under the
authority of the Imperial Government, had appointed for a formal
conference at Quebec, of the Governments of Canada, Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, for
the purpose of considering and agreeing upon a complete scheme
for embracing all those Provinces in a federal union.

” * * * It is proposed, then, to organize the confederation
at first in three sections, of which Upper Canada will form one,
Lower Canada another, and Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince
Edward Island and Newfoundland united a third. The reason
for separating the two Canadas will occur to every one who has
followed the recent history of those Provinces. The scheme of
confederation will admit of the subsequent accession of the North-
west Territory, British Columbia and Vancouver Island ; but the
work immediately in hand is the federal union of the Provinces
we have enumerated.

” Happily the finances of the various Provinces offer no insur-
mountable obstacle to the assumption of all their liabilities and
assets by the federal government, inasmuch as the debts and
annual burdens now borne by the people of the several Provinces
are pretty nearly equal, and the revenue of each is somewhat in
excess of the expenditure. More difference of opinion exists as to
the constitution of the local or sectional legislative assemblies.
Some are for two chambers, while others prefer the simplicity of
one only ; some would make the local executive responsible to the
legislature ; others desire that the Lieutenant-Go veriior and 9ther
chief officers may be directly elected by the people. As, however,


it is not absolutely necessary that the several sections, in order to
bear their part in the common system, should be organized alike
for local purposes, differences of opinion on these points will not
seriously obstruct the formation of the general union. The first
requisite in the constitution of the confederation is that the powers
of government be so distributed between tho federal and sectional
authorities, that each portion of the whole shall feel that its local
interests are safe in its own power, while the strength of all may
be combined to promote the general prosperity.

” “We see no reason to doubt that the delegates now assembled
at Quebec will succeed in their great work, and having done so,
they will have constituted, in the words, thrice repeated, of one
of the ministers of Canada, ” a great British American nation,”
redeemed from provinciality, richly endowed and secure in the
present, and able to look onward with confidence to the future.”

The Peterhead Observer, of October 14th, 1864, said :

” The leading men of Canada are no tardy reformers. Instead
of spending years in aimless controversy, as would have been done
at home, the Governor of Canada summoned the Colonial Gover-
nors to a conference at Quebec on the 10th instant, for the
‘purpose of arranging the confederation of the British Provinces.’
Of course, only when met would the real difficulties be fully
realized, but then, too, would they be grappled with by earnest
and able men. It is a remarkable fact indeed, altogether unpre-
cedented that in this country the most of our influential j ournals
have given the great scheme a prompt and hearty support ; while
generally throughout the country it has called forth deep and
genuine sympathy. We can assure our friends in Canada that
this movement is watched here with profound interest, and that
the result of the conference at Quebec is waited for with an
anxiety only greater in degree among those whose social well-
being and national dignity will be directly and mightily affected.
Some narrow-minded and ungenerous souls have characterized the
proposal as one emanating from selfish and ambitious men. They
see in it, or say they see in it, the ‘ germs’ of an entire separation,


and the establishment of another and more dangerous enemy, in
the shape of a new United States. Their feeble utterances have
scarcely been heard, and have nowhere been heeded. If carried
out in the spirit which has hitherto distinguished those who have
hitherto taken the initiative, and who must continue to take the
leading part, there can be no doubt that the parent country, as
well as the Provinces, will be directly and manifestly benefited.
The nature and objects of this proposed confederation of the
British Provinces have been more than once discussed in these
columns, and we can only say that the farther they are developed,
it becomes more apparent to us that they merit the active sym-
pathy of all who have faith in national progress.

* # * * #

” The material aspect of this question is certainly rather im-
pressive. Since these remarks were written, we see it stated in a
southern cotemporary that the confederation would have a popu-
lation little short of four millions, with half a million able-bodied
men available for the defence of the country, placing them before
thirty-seven out of forty-seven sovereign states. Upward of
45,000,000 acres are held by colonists, and of these 13,000,000
are under cultivation. The crops, according to the estimate of
the Hon. George Brown, would value nearly 120,000,000 of
dollars. The exports of fish alone, we are further informed and
this fact is peculiarly interesting to us amounts to ten millions
of dollars, and those of timber to fifteen millions. The total
annual exports are no less than 65,000,000 dollars, and the im-
ports are of an equal amount. The confederation would have an
annual government revenue of thirteen millions of dollars. These
facts afford food for thought, and show what stuff there is out of
which to make a nation.”

The London Stcvr of October 10th, 1864, thus spoke :

” The important conferences which are being held in the colo-
nies of British North America, and which are still far from
having terminated their weighty labours, have under considera-
tion perhaps the most momentous question which can stir the


heart of a great community. They are endeavouring to weld
together those scattered populations which have heretofore only
been united in their allegiance to the mother country, and to lay
the foundation of what will one day be both a nation and an
empire. Up to the present moment those colonies have been
divided divided not less by rival interests and unfriendly tariffs
than by geographical lines of demarcation. The time and energy
of their public men have often been frittered away by petty con_
troversies, instead of being concentrated on objects worthy of the
high destiny which lies jbefore the inhabitants of a country that
rivals the United States in the extent of its superficial area and
the magnificence of its resources. Now all this bids fair to termi-
nate. Adopting for their motto the principle that union is
strength, the best men of each Province and of all parties have
combined together to establish a grand confederation of states,
which shall combine in its ample folds the maritime colonies of
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward
Island, the noble cities and the far-reaching settlements of the two
Canadas, and the vast colonizable regions of the Hudson’s Bay
Company which stretch westward to the Rocky Mountains.
Truly the scheme is a grand one, and as wise and practical in its
objects as it is bold in conception. Happily, too, there is no con-
quest to be achieved, no blood to be shed, no native races to be
exterminated, no Cortes required to plant his cruel banner in the
halls of some western Montezuma. The new empire has long
been occupied by Anglo-Saxon communities, who have carried
with them British enterprise and the laws and institutions of the
land from which they have sprung, and who now desire to build
up a nationality which shall prove a source of strength not only
to themselves but to the empire at large. As we have before had
occasion to remark, the object is one which must excite the deep-
est sympathy of every Englishman who prizes the greatness of his
country and his race.”

The London Times of October 15th, 1864, observed :

” The American press has for a long time given us the fullest
information as to the visions which float before the eyes of the


politicians of the North with reference to the conclusion of the
war. That event they regard, 110 doubt, with the most anxious
desire for its accomplishment ; but their reasons for desiring it are
very peculiar, and well worthy our attention. They look forward
to the time when the North and South having been by some
magical process, of which we can as yet form no idea, welded once
more together into a single harmonious whole, can unite together
for the purpose of subjugating the colonies of Great Britain.
Even the South herself, as we are informed in recent letters, while
refusing to admit the probability of being subdued, consoles itself
for the possibility of defeat by the agreeable reflection that she
could in that case, at any rate, join with the North in a crusade
against England, whom she seems to hate worse for not coming to
her assistance in a war which she chose to enter into without con-
sulting us, than she does the North for having formed a benevo-
lent project for her extermination. The situation of the colonies
is thus exceedingly critical ; they know not how soon, or on what
pretext, or what absence of pretext, the vast armies now engaged
in mutual destruction may unite together for the purpose of sub-
jugating them.

” A conference has been held, and as far as we understand, is
still sitting at Halifax. Nothing can be more in accordance with
the interests and the wishes of this country than that the North
American colonies should gather themselves up into a nation,
which should be, not Canadian, nor Nova Scotian, but British
American. Conscious as we are of our inability to protect these
colonies by land in case of war, we must naturally rejoice at any
event which seems to place them in a position in which they
would be better able to protect themselves. There was a time, no
doubt, when the uniting of the colonies in a single state would
have been regarded by England with considerable jealousy, as
forming a powerful dependency which it might be difficult for the
mother country to coerce in case of its desire for separation ; but
the difficulties exist no longer. We have freely, and I hope for-
ever given up the idea of retaining our discontented colonies by
the sword. The power we desire to exercise is entirely a moral
one, and, strong or weak, the dependency that wishes to quit us


has only solemnly to make up its mind to that effect. * * * We,
looking at our colonial empire from the central seat of authorrity,
are apt to consider it as an organized whole, because we have
clearly denned relations with each part of it, forgetting that each
of these parts has no common relation with the other. It is time,
at least, in the presence of so powerful a military state as the
American Union has become, that some connection between the
foreign dominions of the Queen should be established. In our
view the closer the connection the better. Something, doubtless,
must be left to the local Assembly of each Province ; but we sin-
cerely trust that the precedent followed will not be that of a num-
ber of sovereign states delegating certain definite functions to a
central congress, but rather that of a full central authority, out of
the powers of which are excepted certain municipal functions.
We hope, in short, that everything which is not specially assigned
to the local governments will be central, rather than that every-
thing not assigned to the central government will be, as in the
United States, local.”

Practical Scotland spoke her views with equal plainness.
The Glasgow Mail, October 14, 1864, said :

” The project which contemplates the establishment of a federal
union between the six great provinces of British America, wears
a stately aspect. Its very magnitude gives it an imposing air,
and in itself proves an attraction. In an age of little men and of
peddling measures, it comes upon one with a grateful surprise to
find a scheme of such breadth and scope put forward. Even as a
speculative idea it is sure to win the favourable regard of every
political student, who has imagination and foresight enough to
keep him from confounding two things that are too often viewed
as identical the merely paltry and the truly practical. And it is
no mere day-dream, the magnificent conception of some hair-
brained thinker. It possesses solid recommendations; it opens
up a way out from pressing difficulties, and on to desirable attain-
ments; and it has secured the warm approval, and the hearty
advocacy of experienced and sagacious men men who are really


practical in the proper sense of that much-abused word. It now
seems that a Conference at Charlottetown, attended not only by
representative men from the two Canadas, but also by delegates
from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island,
have unanimously approved it. The close of the Conference was
signalised in true British fashion, by a public dinner, held in
Halifax, on the 19th ultimo. Among the guests were Sir R.
Macdonnell, the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, and our
countryman, the gallant Sir James Hope, the Admiral on the
station. Speeches were made by Messrs. Cartier, Brown, and
Macdonald, of Canada ; Tupper and Archibald, of Nova Scotia ;
Johnson and Gray, of New Brunswick ; D’Arcy McGee, the
quondam Young Irelander, who is now Canadian Minister of
Agriculture, and others all in enthusiastic praise and support
of the scheme. Particular interest attaches to sundry pregnant
words let fall by the Lieutenant-Governor. It was in this wise
that Sir Richard Macdonnell spoke : ‘ I have already alluded
to the change which has come over the colonial administration
in late years how very different it is from the days when we
lost one of the finest portions of the earth, the neighbouring
States, through what would now be considered very great ignor-
ance of the first principles of government, and very culpable
mismanagement. Any gentleman serving her Majesty in the
capacity that I do, must feel very differently from what one would
in former days. He is not sent out to build up or maintain any
monopoly here for the benefit of parties in England. He has no
such mission now ; and I have no hesitation in saying that her
Majesty’s Government, though for obvious reasons unlikely to
initiate any scheme of union amongst you, yet looks with an
affectionate and parental interest on the proceedings which you
have initiated. Though there may be a difference of opinion as to
the measures which you are considering, her Majesty’s Govern-
ment, equally with yourselves, is desirous that you should agree
upon some unity of action, as to many matters in which you have
a community of interest. Her Majesty’s Government have not
forbidden me to say this much, and I believe it is its intention to
give the most favourable consideration to the result of the deliber-



ations of the gentlemen who are now around this board.’ These
are frank and wise words, which we trust Mr. Cardwell, or who-
ever comes after him at the Colonial Office, will be called on to
redeem. They indicate the only course which a patriotic and
sensible Minister could think of pursuing. Beyond taking care
that none of the minor colonies are coerced into the proposal, he
has no duty in relation to it. Their freewill he is bound to
protect ; but there his function ends. Nobody can doubt that a
union freely formed, resulting in one system of laws, a single
Parliament, and a single Ministry, with judicious provision for the
maintenance of local powers, would be a vast advantage to the
colonies themselves. As little can it be questioned that the
change would be advantageous to the mother country. To cite but
a few instances of the benefits that must needs accrue : It would
be attended with less cost, for the Federation, while presenting a
broader area for internal taxation, would be stimulated by a
proud desire to do without British help ; it would be attended
with less trouble, for the whole brood of sectional jealousies would
at once be swept out of the ken of the Colonial Office, which
would stand face to face with a Government, strong in talent and
respectable in position it being inevitable in such a case, that the
ablest men should come to the top ; in a word, it would set a
wholesome example of how to deal with that vexing problem,
which lies ahead at no great distance in other cases as well as in
this, the problem of how to transmute a jealous dependency into a
cordial ally, which, though retaining mayhap the golden link of
the crown, should in all respects evince an unbought and unforced
loyalty, an allegiance without constraint, co-operation without
coercion, bonds without bondage, the only fitting guerdon that
freemen should care to seek or be willing to yield !”

The Caledonian Mercury, October 12, 1864, said :

” The British North American Confederation project continues
to make hopeful progress. The latest Canadian papers bring
intelligence of a Conference held at Charlottetown, Prince Edward
Island, and attended by representatives of all our North American


colonies, the proceedings of which, so far as they had gone, must
be considered as highly favourable to the scheme. It is true that
the Conference has as yet given forth no official declaration of the
results, at which it has arrived ; but its most prominent members,
at an important banquet given in their honour at Halifax, have
stated that the delegates were unanimously of opinion that it is
highly desirable that all the British colonies in North America,
should be united in one Confederation. This is so far good, and
we trust that the further labours of the Conference will be
equally successful. The most difficult part of the task, it is true,
still remains to be done, when matters of detail, interfering possi-
bly with local interests, will require to be adjusted ; but sectional
prejudices must be strong indeed if they render abortive a plan,
which is, beyond all question, one of the grandest that has been
proposed for the adoption of any people within this generation.
It may be worth while to look again at this scheme for a British
American Confederation. We, in the old country, cannot be
indifferent to the interests of our colonies. Their interest, in
effect, is our interest. Their prosperity benefits us, and their
adversity can seldom fail to re-act more or less injuriously upon us.
We think it will not be difficult to show that, whether we look
upon the proposal from a colonial or from an imperial point of
view, the proposal of a Confederation is deserving of the most
hearty support from all concerned. Our North American colonies
are six in number Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.
Upper and Lower Canada might as well have been separate, for
any comfort that their union, on unequal terms, in 1840 has ever
done them. They are separate from the other parts of British
North America, which again, in their turn, are all separate from
each other. They are separate in their government and systems
of taxation. They fence themselves in from each other by the
barriers of high protective tariffs. While they all acknowledge
their common allegiance to the Queen, they nevertheless treat
each other pretty much as if they were dealing with foreigners
and aliens, instead of fellow-subjects. The merchants of Halifax,
where the delegates to the Conference were so hospitably enter-


tallied, cannot send their wares across the Bay of Fundy without
having to pay customs duties at St. John. The Nova Scotiaiis, in
their turn, do not fail to levy their mail on the merchandise of
New Brunswick, when it seeks entrance within their ports. The
little island of Prince Edward, again, as if anxious to be left
alone in its own sovereign dignity, levies a tax on all her sister
colonies, who venture to bring her commodities which she cannot
produce for herself ; and they naturally respond to such a policy
by subj ectiiig her traders to a tax whenever they set foot within
their borders. There are similar terms of intercommunion
between Canada and the smaller colonies. Certainly this is by no
means a satisfactory state of matters. If the old-world doctrines
of protection are absurd anywhere, it is assuredly when they
interpose barriers in the way of the free intercourse of citizens of
the same kingdom. Free-trade may have its difficulties, as
between one nation and another; but surely the most bigoted
Tory would never object to its being carried out to the full within
the bounds of his own country. It is not only, however, as
regards this matter of customs that the position of our North
American colonies is incongruous, and calls for a change such as
that proposed. While they have so many common interests, they
have no common action. Some of the speakers at the banquet
put great stress upon the question of defence against a possible
attack by the United States. While we believe that any fear of
this kind is utterly chimerical, we are still of opinion that these
colonies ought to be in such a position that they would be able to
use the resources which they do possess, and which, under a
united government, would be readily forthcoming for their com-
mon defence against any enemy whatsoever. Instead of being
half a dozen inconsiderable colonies, not one of which would have
any weight in the councils of the world, the people of British
America may, .by means of this scheme of a Confederation,
become a great and powerful state. The separate governments,
under which these colonies live, have hitherto answered no pur-
pose that might not have been better served under a common
government ; while, on the other hand, they have produced and
perpetuated causes of division and mischief. Brought under a


common government, they would at once attain to the dignity of a
nation. With a population little short of four millions, and with
half a million able-bodied men, available for the defence of the
country, they would rank before thirty-seven out of the forty-
eight sovereign States of Europe. Then, what scope they have
alike for the increase of their population, and the extension of
their territory ! The Old World States have bounds which they
cannot pass, while the British American colonies, after they have
filled up their as yet thinly-peopled territories, will have still
before them an opening for their enterprise towards the north-
west. The agriculture and commerce of the Confederation would
be as imposing as its population. * *

” Statistics go to show that if our North American colonies
would heartily adopt the scheme of a Confederation, they would
at once take up a prominent and important position on the map
of America and of the world. If there is anything to fear
from the United States that great bugbear of the governing
classes of this country, and of some Canadian politicians of the
official home type they would be able to hold their own against
any invasion. In the peaceful domains of commerce they would
be the best customers of the United States ; and both nations
would find the advantage of free intercourse and unrestricted
trade. The strength that is, under the present system, to a great
extent frittered away to little purpose, would by union accomplish
much for the common good.. While there would be no invasion
of the privileges of local self-government, the machinery of half a
dozen petty administrations would be advantageously replaced by
one common central Government for the whole Confederation.
There would probably be a saving in point of expense, as well as
a gain in point of efficiency. The advantages that would be
reaped from the free interchange of trade can hardly be exag-
gerated. If free trade, indeed, were to be the only result of
union, the adoption of the Confederation scheme would be highly
desirable, even on this one account. Union and free trade among
these colonies imply each other. When they become one State,
their interests are recognised to be identical, and customs duties
between one part of the Confederation and another would be as


incongruous as between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Thus, by the
free interchange of their productions, the wealth of all parts
of the Confederation will be increased, and their growing pros-
perity will not fail to give an impetus to the trade of the mother
country. If any of our brethren in British America have the
idea that we on this side of the water look with the slightest
jealousy on this scheme of Confederation, they labour under a
great mistake. The people of Britain will hail with much satis-
faction the establishment of such a Confederation. It will make
the American colonies stronger and more independent, and will
prepare them for the day we unite with them in wishing that it
may be far distant when they shall resolve to stand alone. We
suppose that the arrival of such day is inevitable, and it would be
well for the colonists to be beginning to know their own strength.
United in a great British American Confederation, with if they
please a Prince of our Royal Family for their head, they would
at once take the position of a powerful nation. Instead of being
a source of weakness to the parent country, as in times of trouble
our scattered colonies so often are, British America might prove
not only an outlet for the millions for whom we have not room
and work at home, and a profitable market for our commerce, but
might be found, if need be, ready to fight side by side with us
against ‘ the three cornel’s of the world in arms.’ ”

The London Economist of November 26th, 1864, which is an
able and influential exponent of public opinion, contained the fol-
lowing article upon the text of the Federal Constitution for the
British American colonies :

” The thirty-three delegates of the British American Colonies
have completed their work, and have published the basis of the
federal scheme which they intend to submit to the Imperial
Government. When revised and accepted by the cabinet, it will
be presented to Parliament, we imagine very much in the form of
a treaty, to be accepted or rejected en bloc, and will then finally be
referred to the colonial legislatures, for a vote which must of course
be a simple yes or no. Six Provinces Upper Canada, Lower
Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island,


and Newfoundland will, it is believed, accept it, but provision is
made for the adhesion of all the North American Colonies from
Maine to the Pacific. The resolutions, which are full and very well
considered, do not modify greatly the information already placed
before our readers ; but there is a great difference between deduc-
tions from after-dinner speeches and draft bills, and we may per-
form an acceptable service to our readers by describing from the
official record the machinery selected for the last new effort at the
manufacture of empires.

“JThe object of the American colonists, it is clear from every
clause of the resolutions, is to form a Nation and not a Union.
They have been obliged upon points to differ as to sectional
jealousies and fears ; but they have not given way in any direc-
tion, save one, to the desire of small communities for indepen-
dence. From the very beginning each colony that accepts the
scheme avowedly surrenders its claim to independence, declares
itself by act of its local parliament a province a part, that is, of
a much greater whole. It will lose its separate Governor respon-
sible only to Great Britain, and receive one appointed by the
1 Acadian ‘ ministry ; while, though it retains its separate legisla-
ture, the powers of that body will be reduced to very narrow
dimensions. It will still be absolute in the domain of civil law,
commercial legislation excepted ; it may still impose direct taxes,
and provide for all municipal works and events, but the right of
criminal legislation, of fixing custom duties, of levying general
taxes, of arranging great public works, of appointing judges, of
providing defences, of doing anything which can in any way be
considered of national importance, is surrendered. Moreover,
even within its limited sphere every act must be submitted to
the general government ; and even should the measure not be
disallowed, it only runs subject to the general principle that, in
the event of collision between a provincial and a national law, the
courts are to act only upon the latter. The federation, it will be
evident, is not one to be composed of sovereign states,

“All the powers thus surrendered, and all to which, saving the
Queen’s prerogative, an independent nation can lay claim, are
transferred to a central authority, as unlike that existing at


Washington as it is well possible to conceive. It will consist, in.
the first place, of a Viceroy appointed by the Crown, wielding all
the powers of the Crown, protected like the Crown from attack
or removal, and fettered like the Crown by the necessity of
acting through ministers responsible to parliament. This parlia-
ment is composed of an Upper House to be called the Council,
and composed of seventy-six members selected by the Crown
for life, in proportion of twenty-four for Upper and twenty-
four for Lower Canada, ten for Nova Scotia, ten for New Bruns-
wick, four for Prince Edward Island, and four for Newfoundland,
the immense number given to Lower Canada in proportion to its
resources being a concession to the French element which in the
Lower House will be overborne. In that House the basis is to be
population, arranged on the fixed idea that Lower Canada is to
have sixty-five members always. When, therefore a Province
amounts to double her numbers, it will have one hundred and
thirty members, the present proportions being :

Upper Canada, 82

Lower Canada 65

Nova Scotia 19

New Brunswick . 15

Newfoundland 8

Prince Edward Island 5

” The object with which this number has been settled is appa-
rent at a glance. The constitution has been arranged to meet
the susceptibilities of the Lower Province, and Upper Canada is
not mistress of the situation as against Lower Canada, unless she
can gain over more than one other entire colony. This Central
Government, thus constituted, will, acting through responsible
ministers, make all laws required for the ‘ welfare and good
government ‘ of the nation, all laws on criminal matters, com-
merce, currency, banking, immigration, marriage and divorce, and
all subjects not specially named in the constitution. It will have
the entire control of taxation, internal and external, of the na-
tional defences, local militia included, of the post, and of all inter-
provincial means of communication, will appoint all judges (who
are to be irremoveable), exercise generally all except really local


patronage, and possess the right of annulling within twelve
months any act of the Provincial Councils. These powers are
very extensive may, indeed, be easily so interpreted as to meet
all likely contingencies ; but then nations are killed by unlikely
contingencies ; and we would still advise the Canadians to submit
to the insertion by Mr. Card well of one more clause, enabling the
Viceroy and his ministry, in time of rebellion or visible emergency,
to ‘ proclaim ‘ any district or province, and while it remains pro-
claimed, to exercise absolute authority therein. On some such
provision we trust Mr. Cardwell will insist, and we think it is
the only one in which parliament should interfere. The principle
being granted, there is nothing in any of these details which should
offend the mother country, and much to gratify her pride and
benefit her interest. The delegates affirm in their very preamble
that their first object is to perpetuate their connection with the
mother country, they jealously reserve the prerogative throughout
their arrangements, they specify that the constitution requires the
assent of the Imperial Parliament, and they insert this invaluable
clause into their fundamental law : * All engagements that may be
entered into with the Imperial Government for the defence of the
country assumed by the Confederation.’ That clause
gives us the right to call on the Canadians as allies under contract
to perform their due share in the work of their own defence, and
removes the anomaly under which we are bound to defend men
who may refuse to help us who may shut out our trade, and
decline any assistance to our revenue. It is not, that we know
of, the duty of parliament to see that its colonial allies choose con-
stitutions such as Englishmen approve ; but even if it were, the
ministry could not object to a scheme which, except in the essen-
tial point of the absolute authority reposed in the central legislature,
is a counterpart of their own. They may recommend certain
modifications, such, for instance, as the insertion in the act of the
provincial constitutions, left by the delegates’ resolutions to the
provinces themselves, but they are not bound to press any point
not of pressing imperial interest.

” There is, however, one for which no provision is made, and
for which a clause will one day be urgently required. This is the


matter of boundaries. The Acadians expect to induce tlie people
of the Pacific colonies, and, perhaps, the settlers on the territory
now held by the Hudson’s Bay Company, to enter into their
compact ; but they have made no provision for the settlement of
boundaries. Vancouver’s Island, for example, might like to stay
out, while its mainland dependencies might like to go in, and who
is to settle that quarrel ? The vast expanse of the interior, too, is
entirely without demarcations, and some appellate authority should
be provided in case of serious dispute. That authority must, of
course, be the Queen in Council, and the new Act, which may be
interpreted a hundred years hence word by word by statesmen
who see imperial interests depending on its construction, should
contain some definite provision for the difficulty. Inter-co-
lonial questions, too, such as have sprung up between New
South Wales and Victoria, should be generally reserved, so that
no ministry, strong in its new militia, its maritime power, and its
semi-independence, should be able to commence a legislative war-
fare with a colony outside its authority.”

Upon the general features of the scheme the Liverpool Journal
has the following :

” The exercise of the franchise in the union encourages the
belief that the federation of the British colonies in North America
would be followed by the best possible consequences. The Cana-
dians themselves have arrived at that conclusion ; and it may be
regarded by her Majesty’s ministers in this country as a proceed-
ing absolutely required to enable our trans-atlantic colonies to put
themselves in a position to render it unnecessary that they should
desire or require any assistance from the mother country. The
new federation in Canada will extend over territories or may be
made to extend over territories much larger than those of the
United States ; but it may be observed that the United States go
far to the South, and are not affected as Canada is, and ever will
be, by a winter of frost. The disadvantage of a Canadian winter
will, however, in all probability be overcome by the federation of
the inland and maritime colonies.”


Equally cheering were the observations of the more enlightened
portions of the American Press and prominent among all must
stand forth the expressions of Mr. Seward, one of the greatest
statesmen of the Republic :

” Hitherto, in common with most of my countrymen, as I sup-
pose, I have thought Canada, or, to speak more accurately, British
America, a mere strip lying north of the United States, easily
detachable from the parent state, but incapable of sustaining itself,
and therefore ultimately, nay, right soon, to be taken by the
Federal Union, without materially changing or affecting its own
condition or development. I have dropped the opinion as a
national conceit. I see in British North America, stretching, as
it does, across the continent, from the shores of Labrador and
Newfoundland to the Pacific, and occupying a considerable belt of
the temperate zone, traversed equally with the United States by
the lakes, and enjoying the magnificent shores of the St. Lawrence,
with its thousands of islands in the river and gulf, a region grand
enough for the seat of a great empire in its wheat fields in the
west, its broad ranges of the chase at the north, its inexhaustible
lumber lands the most extensive now remaining on the globe
its invaluable fisheries, and its yet undisturbed mineral wealth.
I find its inhabitants vigorous, hardy, energetic, perfected by the
Protestant religion and British constitutional liberty. I find them
jealous of the United States and of Great Britain, as they ought to
be ; and, therefore, when I look at their extent and resources, I
know that they can neither be conquered by the former nor
permanently held by the latter. They will be independent, as
they are already self-maintaining. Having happily escaped the
curse of slavery, they will never submit themselves to the do-
minion of slaveholders, which prevails in, and determines the
character of, the United States. They will be a Russia to the
United States, which to them will be France and England. But
they will be a Russia civilized and Protestant, and that will be a
very different Russia from that which fills all Southern Europe
with terror, and by reason of that superiority, they will be the
more terrible to the dwellers in the Southern latitudes.


” Tlie policy of the United States is to propitiate and secure
the alliance of Canada while it is yet young and incurious of its
future. But, on the other hand, the policy which the United
States actually pursues is the infatuated one of rejecting and
spurning vigorous, perennial, and ever-growing Canada, while
seeking to establish feeble States out of decaying Spanish pro-
vinces on the coast, and in the islands of the Gulf of Mexico. I
shall not live to see it, but the man is already born who will see
the United States mourn over this stupendous folly, which is only
preparing the way for ultimate danger and downfall. All Southern
political stars must set, though many times they rise again with
diminished splendour. But those which illuminate the pole re-
main forever shining, forever increasing in splendour.”

The Boston Commercial Bulletin after remarking on the friendly
feeling of Canada towards the United States, adds :

” But any one who undertakes to travel in this part of the
British Provinces will soon become disabused of the erroneous
idea, if he has ever harboured it, that this amicable feeling and
desire for free commercial intercourse, on the part of the Canadian
population, has anything to do with politics or a spirit of annex-
ation. Politically speaking, they are thoroughly loyal to their
home and local governments. They have no reason for discontent
on that score; they fully believe themselves to be in the enjoy-
ment of the most liberal, free and paternal government upon the
face of the earth, and they can raise no objection to it which does
not apply with equal and even greater force in any new relation.

t( The English portion of the people are proud of their nationality
and do not wish to change it ; while the French population of
Lower Canada are still more attached to the traditions and
institutions of the Old World, and, if they changed at all, would
prefer to return to the alliance of la belle France. To be sure,
there is a liberal sprinkling of Americans from the Northern
States, who have emigrated across the border from purely business
motives. But they are equally satisfied to let well enough alone ;
and though they do not mix or assimilate readily with the


extreme European element, they are by 110 means the most
ardent partisans of annexation.

” The only political scheme which excites much interest in that
quarter is the proposed Confederation, which, though at first
meeting with strenuous opposition, especially from the Maritime
Provinces, is now slowly but surely gaining ground, with a better
understanding of its financial bearings, and aided by the influence
of leading politicians and the home government. There can be
little doubt that this scheme, for a consolidation of British
America upon a basis nearly akin to the American Union, (except
in the tenure and appointment of some of its chief officers,) will
be successfully consummated. This will put at rest the question
of annexation now being agitated with us to defeat a liberal com-
mercial policy, and certain much needed measures of internal im-
provement. Hence, combining all the elements of a great and
/ independent nationality, we must learn to look upon Canada as an
integral part of that Northern empire which must hereafter form
one of the political divisions of this continent, and frame our foreign
policy with a view to live in peace and amity with the kindred
races which will be gathered to its bosom.”

Thus on every side the advantages of Confederation were seen.
It was opposed by some whose views were bounded by consider-
ations of sectional interest ^by others again who, it is feared,
permitted their allegiance to party, to over-ride their perceptions of
duty to the country but the clear common sense of the main
body of the people of the Provinces in turn rose superior to such
influences and with overwhelming strength pronounced in favor
of the movement.



The Situation Relative position of Great Britain and the B. N. American
Provinces as to the internal government of the latter As to Trade Re-
lations with Foreign Countries Despatch to Lord Elgin, December,
1846 Objection to policy by manufacturing interests in England and
Scotland Reiteration of policy by the Imperial Government Excep-
tional and liberal conduct towards the Provinces in matters of Recipro-
city with the United States Position of Inter-Provincial Trade Objec-
tions to Confederation from different stand-points Political aspect
Misapprehension in England on the severance of Canada from Great
Britain Observations in trie ‘Imperial Parliament Mr. Roebuck Mr.
Adderley Sir Cornwall Lewis Mr. D ‘Israeli Lord Palmerston, and
Mr. Baring The Times Pamphlets Irritative effect in Canada
Examination of the subject Position 20 years hence Views of the ” Com-
mittee on Commerce” of the House of Representatives of the United
States Free Trade Policy of Canada Hincks Imports Exports
Character of Comparison Breadstuffs to England Change in 17 years
Export trade to the United States Change Effect 6n British producer
Tea trade Affected by Pacific Rail way— Returns Pumpelly on
Russian Asiatic Trans-continental Railway Canada as a market United
States diminution of shipping Internal trade Merger of Canada in the
United States Loss of Asiatic trade to England Action of United States
not to be tested by ordinary rules of reasoning Interest of Canada as
separate Intercontinental carrying trade Effect of separation upon Great
Britain in case of war Canadian neutrality Effect on Canada Loss
Loss greater t6 Great Britain Mutual interest to continue the connection
Blackwood Letter of an American statesman.

Before proceeding to the consideration of the reception which
the proposition for Confederation met with in the different Pro-
vinces, it would be as well briefly to review the position of the.
Provinces in reference to Great Britain a position, it is not
going too far to say entirely anomalous, and without parallel in
the history of any colonial dependencies. The mother country
had entirely abjured the right of interference in any matters of
local concern. Each Province regulated its own internal affairs
in accordance with the wishes of its own inhabitants as expressed
through their own representatives in their own Legislatures. The
Crown had not the power of appointment of a single officer,
except the immediate representative of the Sovereign in the person
of the Governor General or the Lieutenant-Governors. From the
Constable to the Chief Justice, from the tide waiter to the Col-


lector, from the Curate to the Bishop, from the youngest clerk
in every department, to its chief, the people in their various
municipal, corporate, legislative or executive capacities had the
sole and absolute power of appointment. No shilling raised from
their taxation could be devoted without their consent to any pur-
pose outside of their own Province, and no taxation for any
purpose could be imposed upon them by any authority except their

On the other hand for local or internal purposes Great Britain
was relieved of all expenses on their account she was not called
upon to pay the salary or charges of a single person employed
for their benefit. The salaries of the Governor-General and of
the several Lieutenant-Governors, and their respective secretaries,
fixed by the Imperial Government on a scale more commensurate
with Imperial than Colonial ideas were borne entirely by the
Provinces to which they were appointed. The patronage was in
the Crown, but the burden was the Colony’s. The latter was
borne with readiness by a people who saw in the mimic fictions of
a Colonial Court, the only visible tie that still connected them
with the monarchy of England. This fact must be borne in mind
in regarding the colonial question thoughout its various phases,
that for no purpose of a purely local character was the British
Treasury charged one farthing. The expenses incurred for the
maintenance of troops or the construction of fortifications in
British North America were for Imperial purposes and were
increased, curtailed or abandoned as the Imperial necessities in
the opinion of the advisers of the Crown in England required,
without regard to the wishes or representations of the authorities
in the Provinces. When in 1862, war was impending between
Great Britain and the United States, it was for an insult to the
Imperial flag, on an Imperial ship, an insult which Great Britain
would have had to resent anywhere, whether she had a foot of
ground in British America or not, and the expense incurred in
sending troops to Canada, in 1862 was as much for the mainten-
ance of her honour and her interests as sending them to the
Crimea in 1854. Thus it is essential that we permit no confusion
of ideas between the cause and the place of expenditure, to the


first alone can the last be chargeable, and in the consideration
hereafter of the events which took place in Canada in 1866 and
1870, this distinction becomes the more necessary.

But while, so far as relates to local affairs, this principle of non-
interference was strictly adhered to, Great Britain retained the
control of such legislation as would affect foreign countries. Of
all questions of trade she particularly claimed the supervision.
Having adopted the principles of free trade, she desired that that
policy should pervade all parts of the Empire ; having made
treaties with foreign countries, and with the United States, which
placed all on the same terms with the most favoured nations, it
would have been inconsistent in the imposition of duties on foreign
commerce, by the Colonial Legislatures, to have permitted dis-
criminating duties. But the Imperial Government went further,
and restrained the Local Legislatures not only from imposing
discriminating duties upon the products of foreign countries, but
even from differential duties in favour of her own. Thus, what-
ever might have been the inclination of the colonists, no dis-
tinction was permitted in favour of an article manufactured in
England or her colonies, over a similar article manufactured in
the United States, in Russia, or in any foreign country.

It has often been urged by speakers in Birmingham, Sheffield,
Manchester, Glasgow, and the other great manufacturing towns of
England and Scotland, that Canada imposed heavy duties on.
British goods, and made no distinction in their favour, as against
the goods of the United States, which had all the advantage of
vicinity of market, and cheapness of transport ; and, therefore,
that Canada was of no advantage to the Empire, while her
protection added to the burden of the English taxpayer. Without
admitting in any way the correctness of such a position, it is
sufficient to observe that it was, and is, the policy of England, and
not the policy of Canada of which they should complain. Canada
has incurred, and is daily incurring, large expenditures for opening
up and developing the vast extent of her territory. She must
raise a revenue and in accordance with the Imperial trade policy,
that revenue must bear alike upon the goods of England and of
foreign countries. When the manufacturers of England make


their own Government reverse their policy, it will be time
enough to complain of Canada ; but in this respect, at any rate,
not until then.

By a despatch, addressed to Lord Elgin on his assuming the
Government of Canada, this policy is clearly laid down :

DOWNING STREET, 31st December, 1846.

MY LORD, Your Lordship is about to assume the Government
of British North America at a time when a change of policy is
in progress, which is of no ordinary importance to the interests of
every part of the British Empire, and perhaps of none more than
of that large portion of the Queen’s Dominions in which Her
Majesty has been pleased to select you as her Representative. I
need scarcely say that I refer to those commercial changes which,
in the last session, after long and anxious deliberation, received
the sanction of Parliament. By the Acts then passed, it has
been provided, that with respect to some of the chief articles of
national consumption, there should be a considerable immediate
reduction, and an eventual abolition of those duties upon imports
from foreign countries, which has hitherto been imposed, not for
the purpose of raising a revenue, but with the avowed object of
giving an advantage in the markets of this country, to the
domestic or colonial producer, over his foreign competitor.

It has’been enacted that after a brief interval, the Canadian in
common with the British farmer, and in common also with the
sugar planters of the British Colonies, must encounter in the sale
of his produce in this country, the unrestricted competition of the
foreign grower. The same relief from the burden of differential
duties, which has thus been granted to the British consumer ; one
of the Statutes to which I have alluded (the 8th and 9th Victoria
c. 94), has enabled their respective Legislatures to extend to the
British Colonies, by empowering them to repeal the differential
duties in favour of British produce, imposed in these Colonies by
former Imperial Acts.

This is not an occasion upon which I could with propriety,
enter into any discussion of the grounds upon which this change
of policy has been adopted ; but without doing so, I may express


my firm conviction that, eventually, the welfare of the Colonies,
even more than that of the mother country, will be promoted by
the abandonment of a system of artificial restrictions upon trade.
Looking to the great natural advantages possessed by the
British Colonies, and especially by the fine Provinces of North
America, I cannot doubt that, adopting a policy of which the
object is to render industry productive, by leaving it to follow its
natural channels of employment, and by affording every possible
facility to commerce, must lead to their rapid advancement in
wealth and prosperity. But with a view to this result, it is of
the utmost importance that the Provincial Legislatures should
strenuously co-operate with the Imperial Parliament. So far as
the repeal of the differential duties, hitherto imposed upon imports
into the Colonies from foreign countries, for the purpose of favour-
ing the British producer, I can have no doubt that the Colonial
Legislatures will gladly avail themselves of the power conferred
upon them, by at once putting an end to these duties ; indeed, so
obvious does it appear, that this measure ought to be the con-
sequence of repealing the differential duties imposed in this
country, to favour the importation of Colonial produce, that
Parliament instead of merely enabling the Colonial Legislatures
to abolish the duties alluded to, would probably have at once
proceeded to do so by its own authority, had it not been for the
late period of the session, at which alone it was possible that the
subject should be considered, and the difficulty of determining
without more information than could at the time be procured, how
far the simple repeal of these duties, unaccompanied by any
precautions, might have affected the finances of some of the

I assume, therefore, that these duties will be speedily put an
end to.

(Signed) GREY.
To the Right Hon. the Earl of Elgin.

This despatch was laid before the Canadian Parliament by Lord
Elgin, at their first sitting after its receipt, in June, 1847, and in


accordance with the policy therein recommended, an Act was
passed by the Canadian Parliament abolishing the then existing
differential duties in favour of British produce. This Act was
transmitted to England and confirmed, as appears by a despatch
to the Governor-General from the Colonial Secretary, dated the
llth of May, notwithstanding that, as appears by documents
transmitted by the Colonial Secretary about the same time, the
character of the Act had been specially complained against to the
Imperial Government, by the merchants and manufacturers of
Glasgow by petition, setting forth “That the said Colonial Act
proposes to place the mother country in a more unfavourable
position than the United States of America, in so far as it repeals
the differential duties hitherto maintained in favour of British

The policy of the Imperial Government, thus pointedly declared
to the Governor-General of Canada, was reiterated in the strong-
est manner in a series of despatches in 1848-49, 1855-56 & 59,
and to such an extent as to declare objectionable any arrangements
made or proposed to be made between the colonies themselves, by
which a preference or differential duty or abolition of duties, in
favour of the productions of one should be given over the produc-
tions of another, or of any foreign country, in return for similar
concessions extended by any such colony or country to Canada.
And in one of the despatches (15th July, 1856), in order to meet
the objection that the immediate effect of the Reciprocity Treaty
of 1854 with the United States was to establish differential duties
on such of the enumerated articles as were before subject to duty,
it was declared that that treaty was ” concluded under circum-
stances of political exigency, with the immediate view of termi-
nating questions in dispute as to the rights of fishery,” and that
to meet the objection in some measure, special provision had been
made in colonial Acts, referring particularly to Acts in Newfound-
land and Nova Scotia, and to the modification of the tariffs in the
North American Provinces generally, and pointing out to Canada
the desire of Her Majesty’s Government that such legislation
should take place with reference to the articles enumerated, as
would place all countries on the same footing.


It is unnecessary to make further observations 011 this point,
but it should be stated that in other respects, with reference to
some foreign countries, England gave great latitude to the British
North American colonies. Thus, in the Reciprocity Treaty referred
to, made by Lord Elgin with the United States in 1854, for the
exchange of productions between the Provinces and the United
States, the adoption or rejection of that Treaty, so far as its appli-
cation to each particular Province, was left to the legislature of
each Province to determine. Power was also given about the
same time by order in council, to the Provinces, by proclamation
of their respective governments, to permit the vessels of foreign
countries to pass from any one port in one Province to any one
port in another Province a quasi coasting trade owing to the
configuration of the Provinces, though no such privilege was
given in the United States to British or Provincial vessels to pass
from State to State. And as will appear when the events of 1871
are under consideration, in a still more emphatic manner, in a
treaty made with the United States principally for the settlement
of an Imperial dispute, in those parts which have any direct bear-
ing on the interests of Canada, the adoption or rejection of such
parts is left exclusively to the action of her own parliament. A
more liberal policy could hardly be pursued by any power to a
portion of its own empire.

The fact has already been referred to, that as between the Pro-
vinces themselves, they regarded each other as foreign countries,
and that in matters of trade it made no difference as to the customs
dues whether goods came from Massachusetts or from Nova Scotia,
in Canada or New Brunswick they were taxed alike ; and the same
in Nova Scotia as to goods from Massachusetts, Canada or New

The postal arrangements were distinct. The criminal laws were
different. Each Province borrowed, each Province built, each
Province taxed, to suit its own interest, without the slightest
reference to its neighbour, and the custom-house officer was as
important an individual on the dividing lines between New Bruns-
wick and Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick and Canada, as on the
lines between France and Belgium, or France and Spain yet


tliese Provinces were all under the same flag, and their dividing
lines not more marked than between Middlesex and Surrey, or
Middlesex and Kent. Their material interests always pointed to
an amalgamation ; local self-importance and local jealousies to
some extent aided in keeping them apart ; but the real difficulty
was the necessity each Province felt to maintain its credit by pro-
viding for the payment of its public debt, and an unwillingness to
part with the control of its own revenues and its own patronage.

When, therefore, in the articles of the Confederation provisions
for the assumption of the public debt of each Province by the
General Government, and the concession of an equivalent pecu-
niary grant for local purposes to each Province were made, with
the power to each still to legislate and govern for itself in all
matters affecting civil rights and property, the more substantial
objections to confederation were removed.

But it must not be disguised, that even at this early date there
were many who objected to the movement, as the primary step
ultimately leading to the separation of the Provinces from the
mother country, and their final absorption into the United States.
Many of those who thought so were solid, good men, staid,
honest, loyal men men who would sacrifice everything for British
connection, but who perhaps were not in the modern phrase, ” men
of progress,” and who would prefer moving on in a well-known
beaten track, to speculating in an unknown future. There were
others again, who opposed the movement because they believed
that it would prevent annexation to the United States. They saw
that the contracted sphere in which each Province moved, the
utter want of markets for its manufactures, the striking contrast
between the freedom of trade in the separate States of the United
States, and the isolation caused by Provincial restriction must, in
the end, produce discontent and dissatisfaction the larger mar-
kets and the unrestricted intercourse that Confederation would
give, they well foresaw would at least remove that ground of dis-

Outside, however, of both of these parties, and with the main
body of the people of all the Provinces, there was another feeling,
feeling of uncertainty as to what their future might be, and


that it was necessary to prepare for it. The material and com-
mercial advantages of Confederation were apparent to all men of
enlightened views or enlarged intelligence. The spirited manu-
facturer and enterprising merchant alike, welcomed a change
which would extend their field of operations ; but the statesmen
and public men, who were accustomed to look at the causes of
events and their consequences, could not fail to see that at this
time the public mind of England was unsettled, as to the value or
importance of the retention of the Colonies, and that unless the
latter, particularly those in British North America, placed them-
selves in a position to speak on their own behalf with the
language of strength, the best interests of the country territorial
and otherwise might be frittered away without a moment’s con-
sideration, and in pure ignorance of the value of the concession.

To such men the political aspect of the question had its impor- ,
tance. Not less loyal in their devotion to the mother country,
and equally desirous to avoid a separation, they felt that to
prevent it, the surest way was to make British North America
prosperous and strong to give her an influential voice in the /
adjustment of all questions that affected her interests, either ]/
internally or externally, and whether in apparent conflict with
Imperial policy or not. As a part of the Empire she was
prepared to do her duty or share the loss ; but where the course to
be adopted was principally to aftect herself, her consideration and
decision upon the point ought to be had. If the agitation of the
public mind in England, on this question, should culminate in a
determination to throw off the Colonies, by the Confederation
they would be the better prepared to meet the emergency. If it \
oscillated the other way, they would not be the worse for the
preparation. Thus in either case, in a political view, the Con-
federation was desirable.

To the Canadian it does not seem that this question of the
retention of the British North American Colonies, has ever been
clearly understood in England.

In pamphlets, in speeches, in debates in Parliament, in articles
in the press, the severance of Canada from England was shadowed
forth as essential to the preservation of the latter.


The unexpected development of the military power of the
United States during the civil war, seemed almost to have created
a panic in the British Isles. Canada was declared to be indefen-
sible, and for the first time in the history of the British soldier, it
was gravely contended, that on the landing of the first hostile
American on Canadian soil, Her Majesty’s troops should forthwith
retire within the walls of the citadel of Quebec, to save the honour
of the British arms ! ! !

In the debate which took place in the Imperial Parliament in
July, 1862, on the subject of the action of the Canadian Parlia-
ment, with reference to the maintenance of an effective militia,
much was said that tended to promote the feeling of uncertainty,
as to the future. Treating a mere party manoeuvre, which led to
the defeat of a ministry in Canada, and the introduction of a
temporary measure for the subsidiary defence of the country, in
the absence of any immediate danger, with all the gravity of a
great crisis, member after member in the Imperial Parliament
spoke as if Canada was a burden to the Empire, and that the day
of her separation would be hailed with acclamation by the people
of England. Mr. Roebuck, the member for Sheffield, spoke in
very strong terms, and, in singular ignorance of the action of the
Imperial Government, denounced the Canadian Parliament for
taxing British manufactures. He said :

” The first thing we have to consider is the feeling of the
people of Canada with respect to England. My opinion is that
the people of Canada have been led to believe that we consider
them of such wonderful importance that we shall undertake any
expense to maintain dominion over them. What I want them
to understand, and what I want our Government to make them
understand, is that we do not care one farthing about the
adherence of Canada to England. We have never drawn from
our colonies anything like tribute. Other nations do at this
moment derive tribute from their colonies, but we have never
done so. The only chance of benefit we ever expected from our
colonies was perfect freedom of trade. What has Canada done in
that matter 1 The Canadians have laid 20 per cent, upon the


introduction of all English manufactures into their country,
thereby following the bad example of their friends on the other
side of the St. Lawrence. I want them clearly to understand
that England has no benefit from her connection with them, and
that if we maintain, not our dominion, but their independence, it
is for their advantage and not for ours. There is nobody in this
country who is in a position to speak with more freedom than
myself with respect to Canada. Many years of my life were
spent in that country. I have intimate relations with it now, but
though I do not love Canada less I love England more, and my
opinion is that if to-morrow we were to get rid of Canada Eng-
land would not lose a single farthing of benefit. But the case of
Canada would be very different. When the hon. and gallant
member for Westminster says that the United States cannot
over-run Canada I must say that I think he has studied history
to very little purpose if that be his real opinion. I quite agree
with the noble lord in another place who said that if the Federal
Government were victorious to-morrow they would turn round
upon England, and the first thing they would do would be to
pour their armies over the St. Lawrence into Canada; while if
they were to be defeated in their struggle with the South, out of
mere vengeance they would do the same thing. What would be
the consequence’? Canada, ceasing to be what she is now a
powerful and independent people, governing themselves, doing
exactly as they like with their own, would be under the dominion
of an overbearing and overpowering democracy. She would be
one among what were once 37 United States. Her people would
have one or two votes in the American Senate ; whereas now they
govern themselves, for England has given up dominion over them,
and all we do is to send our soldiers those redcoats whom the
Mayor of Montreal talks about to protect their independence.
I want the Canadians clearly to understand that England would
not be sorry to see her depart from us to-morrow. They do us no
good, or, at least, not more than New York ; they do not even
receive our manufactures, and they treat us like aliens. We have
been told that the House of Commons should not dictate to the
Parliament of Canada. Do we ever dictate now 1 I have stood



up in my place against the dictation of this House to the people
of Canada, but that system has been abandoned long. ago. The
very veto of the Crown is entirely ignored, and that which we
ought to have done viz., protect the manufacturing interests of
England we have ceased to do. I say, therefore, we are now
bound to look after the interests of our constituents, and I si i .’ill
be the very last man to lay one farthing of expense upon the poor
people of Sheffield in order to maintain the independence of the
rich people of Canada.”

Mr. Adderley spoke in terms no less disparaging, while Sir
George Cornwall Lewis, whose estimable personal character, and
high official position as Secretary of State, lent great weight to
his observations, after pointing out that the cause of the antici-
pated difficulty with the United States arose from an affront to
the British flag, which was a question of purely Imperial interest,
in which Canada was not directly concerned, said :

” If Canada had been invaded in a war arising from the United
States in consequence of that quarrel, the feelings of the Canadians
would naturally have been that they were involved in a quarrel in
which they had no direct concern, and that it was incumbent on
the Imperial Government, through connection with which they
were involved in hostilities, to give them effectual assistance.”
He went on, among other things, to say : ” Before I sit down I
will make one allusion to the remarks of my honourable and learned
friend upon our future relations with Canada. I for one can only
say that I look forward without apprehension, and, I may add,
without regret, to the time when Canada might become an inde-
pendent state ; but I think it behoves England not to cast Canada
loose or send her adrift before she has acquired sufficient strength
to assert her own independence. The feelings of the Canadian
people were undoubtedly those of attachment and loyalty to the
mother country. I do not believe that the recent vote upon the
militia bill was the result of any deliberate policy or deep seated
design. It was actually thrown out by the play of party politics,
and I cannot but wish to impress upon the House, that any mea-


sure such as the right honourable gentleman recommends, of a
menace on the part of England, that under certain circumstances
if they do not take efficient steps for organizing a powerful militia
our troops would be withdrawn, would be unworthy of this country,
and would seem to be the result of hasty displeasure, rather than
of that dignified and prudent forbearance which has always been
the characteristic of the Imperial policy.”

In most gratifying contrast to the observations of Mr. Roebuck
and Mr. Adderley, and the more philosophic contemplation by Sir
George Cornwall Lewis of the severance, were the sentiments
expressed by Mr. T, Baring, Mr. D’Israeli, and Lord Palmerstoii.
Mr. T. Baring said :

“Being in constant communication with Canada, he was informed
that a feeling had recently arisen in that Province, and was now
increasing, that there was a wish on the part of a great portion of
that House to force upon it a precipitate separation from the mother
country ; and he must say that if anything could strengthen that
feeling it would be the recurrence of speeches like that of the right
honourable member for Staffordshire and the honourable member
for Sheffield, telling the Canadian people that they had not the
least desire that they should adhere to their allegiance to the
Sovereign and their attachment to this country ; that they wished
they would separate entirely from England, and that they would
see that separation not only without regret, but with satisfaction.
He would not enter into questions of colonial policy. He believed
that colonies might be a source of wealth and power to the mother
country ; that the union between the two might be one of mutual
benefit ; that it might be maintained without an extravagant ex-
penditure ; but to say that such a connexion was merely a question
of ‘ pounds, shillings and pence,’ was quite unworthy of us, when we
had to a certain extent to protect our fellow-countrymen, and had
at least to regard them as our fellow-subjects until they themselves
desired to separate from us. Certain speeches which had latterly
been delivered in another place, together with the tone of the
public press, were calculated to make the Canadians believe that


in this country there was no kindred feeling towards them a
result which he thought was much to be deprecated. The measure
which had been referred to was defeated from a party manoeuvre,
without pledging the Province to any policy of hereafter refusing
to establish a sufficient militia, and with the expression, at the
same time, on the part of those who opposed it, that they were in
favor of a militia that should co-operate with our troops in defence
of the common country. These persons, he believed, would at
this moment rise as one man in support of their union with Eng-
land ; and they had shown that when questions not merely of
colonial but of Imperial concern arose, and when they have suffered
all the injury of invasion, they did not shrink from expressing
manfully their hopes for the success of England and her colonies.
It was said, ‘ leave Canada entirely to herself ; ‘ but as long as
they wished to remain British subjects, that was not language
which ought either in honour or duty to be held to the Canadian
people. He was convinced that Canada felt so much the advan-
tage of her connection with England, that, without burdening our
resources, she would adhere to us from sentiments of loyal

Mr. D’Israeli said :

” I cannot contemplate with the same feeling as the Secretary.
of State, a separation taking place between this country and
Canada. I think that a great Empire, founded on sound princi-
ples of freedom and equality, is as conducive to the spirit and
power of the community, and as valuable as commercial pros-
perity or military force ; and, therefore, I should be very sorry
under the present circumstances, after all that has occurred, to
suppose that the connection between the mother country and this
important colony should end. The resources of Canada are great
and various. It has had the advantage of having been colonized,
during a number of centuries, by two of the most distinguished
nations of Europe. Canada is, in fact, a reflex of those two
powerful races, differing in their manners and even in their
religious opinions; and has many of those diverse elements,
which tend to change a mere colonial into a national character.


I do not think that the importance of Canada can be over-
stated ; but, unfortunately, we feel every day more and more that
the relations between the mother country and those colonies, in
which what we call self-government has been established, are not
altogether of a satisfactory nature. The Secretary of State con-
templates the possibility, and more than .the possibility, for he
informs us that, under certain circumstancess, it would be matter
of congratulation of the severance of the tie between the mother
country and Canada, and says that we ought to be very careful in
training the Canadians before the connection terminates, so that
they may be able to go by themselves, and not fall into the hands
of any vigilant neighbour, watching for an opportunity of appro-
priating and absorbing them. But what I think to be the fault
of the Government in this particular case is, that they have not
been thoughtful on this subject of training the Canadians. On
the contrary, it appears to me that they have not trusted to the
resources and energies of the Canadians, but have rather unneces-
sarily anticipated duties which the Canadians were probably ready
to perform themselves.”

Lord Palmerston said :

” I agree rather with the right honourable gentleman who has
just spoken, than with the right honourable gentleman the member
for North Staffordshire, in the view which he takes with respect
to the connection subsisting between the mother country and her
colonial dependencies. With the former, I quite concur in think-
ing that we should look upon our colonies as part and parcel of
the British Empire. Our fellow-subjects when they remove from
this country, do not cease to be our fellow-subjects ; their spirit is
the same as ours ; their interests should be our interests ; we
should be each to one another a source of mutual honour and
mutual strength. I also quite concur with the right honourable
gentleman in wishing that the day may be very far distant when,
from various causes, those great communities may deem it to be
their interest to separate from us, because I do not think such a
course would conduce to their benefit, while I feel assured it
would not tend to the advantage of the mother country. The


connection between us, however, as was justly stated by the right
honourable gentleman, can be maintained only by the adoption of a
policy, which will leave the colonies free to regulate their own
affairs, binding to the mother country by links of mutual interest,
and allowing the exercise of perfect freedom in matters in which
the one or the other happens to be more particularly concerned.”

The Times, which is regarded as representing most correctly, the,
existing public feeling of the day, in England, thus commented
upon the question, in its issue on the day the debate took place,
23rd July, 1862 :

” The conduct of the Canadian Ministry, in refusing to provide
for the defence of the country the destinies of which are intrusted
to their charge, neither raises our opinion of themselves or of the
community over which they preside. They were brought into
power by a vote refusing to create for the colony a militia con-
sisting of 50,000 effective troops and 50,000 reserves. For this
plan they have substituted the following : The Canadian militia
consists of two classes A., numbering 5,000 men, who have
hitherto been drilled six days in the year, receiving in payment
one dollar for each day’s drill ; and B., which consists of 8,000
men, who have hitherto received 110 pay at all. It is felt in
Canada that under existing circumstances a necessity has arisen
for doing something towards putting the country in a respectable;
position of defence, and they have accordingly set about it in the.
following manner : They take 5,000 men out of class B. and add
them to class A., thus raising class A. to 10,000 men, and these
10,000 men they propose to drill for 12 days in the year at half-a-
dollar a day, instead of six days at one dollar. They propose,
besides, to give some allowance in lieu of clothing. The 3,000
left in class B. will probably quit the service, as they are to
receive nothing, and we cannot think that the prospect of half-ii-
dollar a day will be a very efficient stimulus to enrolment in class A.

” This is absolutely all that Canada is disposed to do at the
public expense for her protection. Whatever military force she
requires beyond this must be made up of volunteers and tumultuary


levies called together at the very moment of danger. We know
by the experience of the American war, and partly by our own,
the value of militia, and we know also what importance to attach
to the services of persons untrained to arms and acting together
for the first time. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that such
an organization is worthless, and no exaggeration at all to say
that it could riot afford even the semblance of protection against,
any one of the several great armies now contending in the United
States. Canada assures us of her loyalty, of her wish to remain
a portion of the great British Empire, of the value she sets on
her free, and even democratic institutions, of her aversion to
American forms of thought and forms of Government. She
furnishes us here with a fair measure of her sincerity. We see
the exact value she really sets 011 the connection with this country
by the efforts she is ready to make and the sacrifices she is ready
to incur in order to preserve them. She has incurred loans and
liabilities to the extent of some twelve millions sterling by
pledging the public revenue for public works undertaken for the
benefit of municipalities having no claim 011 the central Govern-
ment beyond the influence they may exert in returning members
of Parliament. She has created over the St. Lawrence a magni-
ficent bridge which has cost two millions sterling, mostly supplied
by this country, for which not one farthing of interest is now
received. She raises revenue by taxes on British commerce, she
allows us the privilege of repairing her fortifications, supplying
her with artillery, musketry, and ammunition, and of garrisoning
her fortresses with 12,000 regular troops, and she estimates the
value of this connection at, perhaps, $120,000, or 25,000 a year.
She is never weary of boasting of her loyalty, but this is the
value she sets on British connection. We, on the other hand,
seem never weary of contributing to those expenses which every
other country in the world, except a British colony, is expected to
pay for itself, and, should war come, we are ready to spend
millions of treasure and risk thousands of valuable lives for
people who not only will not defend themselves, but will not give
us any efficient assistance towards defending them. They have
money for many other things, some necessary, others unnecessary,


money for jobs of all kinds, money for the most questionable
public works, but money for honour, money for liberty, money for
independence, for the privileges of being governed by their own
laws and knowing no master for these merely secondary ad-
vantages, as we suppose they consider them, the Canadian Parlia-
ment and Ministry have nothing to spare. They are so taken up
in providing for superfluities that they have nothing to give for
what other countries account the very essentials of existence,
without which, to a nation’ or man of spirit, life is hardly worth
possessing. They are rich for all other purposes ; but when asked
to do something towards their own defence, ” their poverty, but
not their will,” as we are told, consents to do nothing.”

At a still later date, February 27th, 1868, the same paper in
speaking of the effect of a war with the United States, says :

” We are quite aware that in the event of war we should not be
able to render effectual aid to our Canadian Dominion, and that
our fellow- subjects out there would either have to fight at a
terrible disadvantage, or mortify our pride by anticipating defeat
or yielding to terms. In a material point of view that would be
no loss to this country.”

Pamphleteers and philosophers did not leave the unfortunate
question alone. Among others, Mr. A. Allison author of the
” Philosophy and History of Civilization,” a work favourably
commented upon by the Observer and the Athenaeum issued a
pamphlet from 72 Sloane Street, London, April 19th, 1865, in
which Canada was to be disposed of in a very summary manner.

” I am of opinion,” he says, ” that England should not only not
interfere with the Civil War now raging in America, but that she
should retire altogether from the North American Continent, by
declaring Canada an independent State. So long as Canada
belongs to us we hold out a bait to the United States to go to war
with us, with a view to its annexation. That being so, it is
manifestly the interest both of England and Canada to separate.
The press and our leading statesmen are unanimous in expressing


their readiness to give up Canada, if the Canadians themselves are
willing to accept independence ; and if these liberal professions on
our part are sincere, there will be no difficulty in effecting that
object. The great Trajan who restored the glories of Rome, con-
tracted the limits of the Empire both in Europe and Asia, and
when we withdraw our troops from Canada and declare her
independent, we shall strengthen the British Empire, for instead
of that vast country contributing to the strength of England, it is
a constant source of weakness. We have only to look at the map
to convince ourselves that it is essential to the stability of the
British Empire, that Canada should be given up. By giving up
Canada we lose nothing for our trade will go on with her after
she is independent the same as now. So far from losing anything,
we shall be great gainers by the change; for we shall save the
expense of maintaining an army and navy for her defence, which
would materially add to the taxation of England. ,
“If Canada should prefer dependence, that would be no reason
why we should not make her independent. We must look to our
own interests as well as to the interests of others, and if it can be
shown that it is the interest of all parties that Canada be inde-
pendent, we ought not to hesitate in making her so, even although
she should object to it. Two great nations like England and the
United States, meet each other in every quarter of the globe, and
all the disputes which are ever occurring between them, must
eventually be settled on Canadian ground. But let Canada be an
independent State, and she will be a neutral power in the event of
a war breaking out. Let this view of the question be clearly
explained to the Canadians, in a despatch properly drawn up from
the Foreign Office, and the objections which they have hitherto
had to Independence will be removed.

” But would the Canadians be able to defend themselves and
remain independent if they were separate from England 1 This I
do not doubt, provided they adopted a form of Government calcu-
lated to maintain peace and advance the interests of the nation.
Such a Government would at once be recognised by the European
powers, and to these powers Canada might appeal in the event of
any uncalled for attack on them by the United States. Let


Canada elect a King and Parliament, and she will be acknow-
ledged by all the powers of Europe, when she will be in a much
safer position than she is at present, although she was studded all
over with camps and fortifications. If the Canadians should elect
one of our Princes for her King, the chances are they would
succeed in obtaining the consent of England and the other powers
to that election. This would keep up a connection between
England and Canada, which would be beneficial to both parties
whereas the present connection, as shown by the Canadians them-
selves, is prejudicial to the interests of both countries. A
commercial treaty upon the principles of free trade could be made,
and, if necessary, a loan guaranteed by England and France, or
by England alone, might be arranged as in the case of Belgium
and Greece, when they were made independent States.

” Now is the time for us to make up our minds to give up
Canada, for the step will not only save us a world of money for
the armaments which are now called for, but it will prevent the
danger of war with the United States. To postpone the con-
sideration of this important question until after we have spent
our money, or until we have drifted so far into war that it is
impossible to give up Canada, consistent with honour, would be
the height of folly.”

The remainder of this pamphlet is filled with prognostications
of the future of the United States, as resulting from the civil war
then raging, every one of which to this time has proved untrue.
More inconsequential reasoning, or more vague ideas, could hardly
have been put together by any man professing to deal with subjects
bearing upon the interests of an empire, or the welfare of millions
of people. Other pamphlets and documents on the same subject,
some from noble peers, some from, men whose names stood high on
questions connected with political economy, emanated from the
English press. Men who wrote of the institutions of republican
America almost with idolatry, but who in later life learned, from
a personal knowledge of their working, to cast down the image of
their early worship, did not hesitate, the former to admit the
tendency of the public mind in favour of separation, the latter to


denounce Canada as an incubus on the realm that ought to be cut

It may be doubted whether the oblivion into which such compo-
sitions ultimately descend, is not the best criterion of their value ;
but it must not be forgotten that, at the time, they are taken as
indications of the public sentiment, and tend, in the irritation,
they engender, to bring about consequences which no subsequent
sound reasoning can prevent. There can be 110 doubt that the
constant reiteration of such sentiments by English writers and
speakers did produce in Canada a strong feeling of imcertainty as
to its future connection with England, and in silence laid the
foundations of a party which may hereafter have a marked in-
fluence upon the future destinies of the country.

This question of the severance .of Canada from Great Britain is
too important in its bearing upon the interests of both countries,
to be passed over without remark. In the discussion, the narrative
of the past must cease, and a view be taken from the stand-point
of 1871, both as it will affect the future of .Great Britain, and as
it will affect the present and future of Canada, in the light of
peace and trade, and in the light of war. The position and policy
of the United States must not be disregarded.

It is solely as to the future that the question need be considered
in relation to Great Britain. To her at present, the separation
could not be of much consequence. On the contrary, as relieving
her of an apparently assailable point from the United States, by
many it would be thought desirable. But perhaps it is not tres-
passing too far on the realm of prophecy to say, that twenty or
thirty years hence, her retention of place as the first trading and
maritime power in the world may depend upon her connection
with Canada.

A few words as to what Canada is. In February, 1862, in the
House of Representatives, in the Congress of the United States,
pending the discussions relative to the expiry and the renewal of
the reciprocity treaty with the United States, ” the Committee on
Commerce, to whom was referred the concurrent resolutions of the
State of New York, in relation to the treaty between the United
States and Great Britain commonly known as the reciprocity
treaty, made their report.” In that report, which certainly did


not receive its instigation from any Canadian source, and which
cannot be regarded as exceptionally friendly, it is thus said :

” The great and practical value of the British North American
Provinces and possessions is seldom appreciated. Stretching from
the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, they contain an area of at least
3,478,380 square miles : more than is owned by the United States,
and not much less than the whole of Europe, with its family of
nations. The ‘ Maritime Provinces,’ on the Atlantic coast, include
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New-
foundland. Geographically, they may be regarded as a north-
easterly prolongation of the New England system. Unitedly,
they include an area of at least 86,000 square miles, and are
capable of supporting a larger population than that at present
existing in the United States, or Great Britain. They are equal
in extent to the united territory of Holland, Greece, Belgium,
Portugal and Switzerland.

” Canada rather a nation than a province, in any common
acceptation of the term includes not less than 346,863 square
miles of territory, independently of its North- Western possessions,
not yet open for settlement. It is three times as large as Great
Britain and Ireland, and more than three times as large as Prussia.
It intervenes between the great North- West and the Maritime

“The habitable but undeveloped area of the British posses-
sions, westerly, from Lake Superior and Hudson’s Bay, comprises
sufficient territory to make twenty-five states equal in size to

” The climate and soil of these Provinces and possessions, seem-
ingly less indulgent than those of the tropical regions, are precisely
those by which the skill, energy and virtues of the human race
are best developed.

“It is computed that Canada alone, if her past and present rate
of increase is continued, will have twenty millions of inhabitants
at the end of this present century numerically exceeding the
population of Great Britain when the century began.”

Since that report was made, this whole country, with the excep-
tion of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, but embracing


in addition British Columbia and Vancouver Island, beyond the
Rocky Mountains, has been confederated into one Dominion, is
governed by one central authority, has but one uniform commercial
policy, and, as ” Canada,” guides and rules those vast territories
from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The policy of that ” Canada ” at present is in accord with the
policy of England Free Trade. Her tariff” is imposed for revenue,
not for protection. That rule, since confederation, may have been
temporarily departed from on one occasion, to accomplish a parti-
cular object, namely, the attainment of a free or more reciprocal
trade with the United States.* But in no instance has it been
departed from to encourage a mere local industry, at the cost of
the main body of the people.

The policy of the United States, on the contrary, has been and
is Protection. The trade returns show that for 18 70, with a popula-
tion nearly ten times as great as that of the Dominion, the import 8
from Great Britain into the United States were but three times
as great as into the Dominion in round numbers, 21,000,000
sterling to 7,000,000, or but lls. to 35s. sterling per head.

Sir Francis Hincks, the Finance Minister of Canada, in his
speech of the 10th March, 1871, on making his financial statement
to the Canadian Parliament for the financial year terminating 1st
June, 1870, referring to the same subject, said :

” I referred last year, to the very satisfactory position of
this country, as compared with that of other countries our im-
mediate neighbours to the south of us, and the mother country,
both with regard to the rate of taxation and the amount of debt.
I will not trouble the House by going any further into that matter
now, but there is one point which I think is deserving of atten-
tion, in reference to the position of the country, and that is that
Canada has in the last year, with regard to its business transac-
tions with the mother country, risen from the rank of No. 11 in
the list to that of No. 8. The exports to Canada exceed those
to Russia, China, Brazil and Turkey, all countries having a

* The imposition of duties on coal and flour by the tariff of 1870, under what was then
termed the national policy, repealed by the tariff of 1871.


very large trade with Great Britain. But there is a very impor-
tant fact in connection with this, which should not be lost sight
of, that there is no country which trades with England that re-
ceives from her so large a proportion of her goods as Canada in
proportion to her population. I have ascertained from statistics
that the United States, with forty millions of people, took during
the last nine months, the returns of which I have been able to get,
.20,000,000 worth of goods, being at the rate of ten shillings per
head of the population. During the same period Canada, with
four millions of people, took 6,000,000 worth, being at the rate
of 1 10s. per head, or exactly three times as much for our popu-
lation as the United States.

” Hon. Sir Geo. E. Cartier. Each of us worth three Americans.

” Hon. Sir Francis Hincks. When you look to other lands
which are put down as being the great countries with which there
is trade, to British India, for instance, which stands very high
after the United States, the difference is even greater. It must be
remembered that British India has a population of 155,000,000,
and, therefore, the exports to that country amount to about two
shillings per head. Russia receives one shilling and six pence per
head ; Germany, which also stands veiy high in the list, about
eight shillings per head ; so that we have the satisfaction of know-
ing that this country is the one which in proportion to its popula-
tion carries on the most commerce of any country in the world.
This is a very satisfactory statement of our relations with the
mother country.”

That portion of his budget speech of the previous year (1st April,
1870,) to which Sir Francis Hincks referred, it may not be inap-
propriate here to quote :

With regard to the means of the country with regard to its
ability to discharge all its liabilities and with regard to its taxa-
tion, I would desire to say a few words, and to institute a com-
parison between its condition and the condition of other countries
with which we are acquainted. I find, if we take Great Britain
that the debt of that country is about $135 per head of the


population. The debt of the United States is about $60 per
head. I may here observe that although the ratio of debt is lower
in the case of the United States than in that of Great Britain, it
would be unfair to estimate the burdens of the people according to
the same ratio, for it is pretty well known that the debt of Eng-
land carries a very small rate of interest, while the debt of the
United States carries a large rate. Now, while the debt of
those countries is what I have stated, the debt of Canada is about
$22.50 per head of the population. Then, again, taxation in
Great Britain is at the rate of about $10 per head, and in the
United States about $9.25, while in Canada it is only about
$3.50. I do not think, bearing these figures in mind, that we
need be afraid of any slight increase of taxation which it may be
necessary to impose upon the people in order that there shall not
be the least cause to apprehend deficits in the future. I find, too,
that if we take the customs revenue of the United States, it is
about $4. 50 per head of the population, while the customs revenue
of Canada is about $2. I may be permitted to draw attention to
the remarkable point, that although our customs contributions
appear to be large in proportion to those of the United States,
honourable gentlemen will see just now, when I draw a compari-
son between the internal revenue of the two countries, that the
revenue from customs approaches more nearly, though still very
far below that of the United States than the internal revenue
does. And the reason of that is obvious. The United States
have such high protective duties upon everything imported, that
importations are much reduced, and the customs revenue per
head does not come up as in Canada, where on leading articles the
duties are much lower. The internal revenue of the United
States is about $4 per head of the population, whereas in Canada
the excise revenue is only about sixty-seven cents per head.”

In connection with these remarks of Sir Francis Hincks, it is
not unimportant, in answer to those political economists, who
deem England would be better without her colonies, to observe
that commercial returns shew that at the period above mentioned,
when as compared with the United States, Canada was taking of


British goods at the rate of 35s. per head to 11s. ]$Tew South
Wales, with a population of 450,000, was taking 3,000,000 stg.,
or, 6 13s. sterling per head, New Zealand, with a population of
220,000, was taking 1,700,000 sterling, or, 7 14s stg., per head,
South Australia, with a population of 170,000, was taking
1,200,900 sterling, or about 7 sterling per head, and Victoria,
with a population of 700,000, was taking 6,000,000 sterling, or
nearly at the rate of 8 5s sterling per head thus shewing that
at that time Canada, Australia, and New Zealand alone, con-
sumed more than six times as much of British Industry in
proportion to population, than did the United States, and within
a little under 2,000,000 of the total amount, viz., 18,900,900
sterling to 21,000,000 sterling. The increase since that time
will more than make them equal.

The returns for the financial year terminating 1st June, 1870,
shew an increase in the Canadian importations from Great Britain
over the preceding year, viz. : 1869, $35,764,470, or 7,348,863
sterling; 1870, $38,595,433, or 7,930,568 sterling; and those of
1871, a still larger increase, viz., $49,200,557, or 10,109,703
9s. lOd. sterling an increase in two years of $13,436,087, or
2,760,840 9s. lOd. sterling.

The following extract from Patterson’s statement, (Secretary to
the Board of Trade, Montreal,) for 1870, shews that the increase
in each year is general, and therefore likely to continue :

1868. 1869. 1870.

Cotton, piece goods, ….’…yds. 29,944,569 29,233,462 42,848,973

Haberdashery, value, 611,129 670,471 352,277

Woollen manufactures yds. 2,163,317 1,901,641 2,791,127

Carpet and druggets ” 495,574 468,652 666,565

Worsted stuff ” 5,233,536 5,354,039 8,266,907

Apparel and slops, value 128,805 157,470 203,635

The total Canadian trade, both imports and exports, in ten
years (from 1860 to 1870), excluding the Hudson’s Bay and North-
West Territories, and British Columbia, but, during the last two
years, including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, had more



than doubled itself, viz., from $68,000,000* to $148,387,829 ; f
and in the year terminating 30th June, 1871, has gone up to
$170,000,000,1 of which $95,857,408 have been imports; and of
those imports $49,200,557 came from Great Britain. J

The following is the official statement of the Commisioner of
Customs :

COMPARATIVE STATEMENT showing the total value of exports, the total
value of goods imported and entered for consumption, and the
amount of duties collected in the Dominion of Canada during the
fiscal years ending respectively on 30th June, 1870 and 1871.


Total Ex-

Total Ira-

Entered for


Ending June 30,
Do. do.

Increase . . .





11,864,291 77
9,462,940 44




2,401,351 33


Commissioner of Customs.
Customs Department, Ottawa, Oct. 18, 1871.

Moreover, it is to be observed that on the 28th day of April,
1871, the new tariff came into force, which reduced the annual
taxation by a million and a half, and would necessarily have a
sensible bearing upon the quarter terminating the 1st June, 1871.

It may fairly be assumed therefore, that, during the next ten
years, the increase will be the same, if not in a greater ratio.

Again, while the importation of bread stuffs into Great Britain
from the United States, during a period of seventeen years, from
1853 to 1870, increased but in the ratio of a little over two to
one, viz., from 12,869,433 bushels to 28,122,480 in 1870, except-
ing extraordinary fluctuations during that period, rising to

* Tear Book, 1871, page 41.

t Bouchette’s official statement, Oct. 18, 1871.

I Deputy Minister of Customs.



40,000,000 in 1862, and descending to under 2,000,000 in 1866 ;
the importations from Canada during the same period increased in
a ratio of nearly six to one, viz., from 1,365,595 bushels in 1853
to 6,422,936 in 1870, excluding similar fluctuations, rising to over
9,000,000 in 1862, and falling in 1866 to 111,255 ;* thus shewing
that while similar causes produced in both countries a corres-
ponding increase or depression, yet the comparative increase was
in favour of Canada of four to one, and when it is remembered
that these exports were paid for by the imports of British manu-
factures, the balance is found in favour of Canada, as a customer
to Great Britain of four to one.

Again, the effect of the Repeal of the Reciprocity Treaty with
the United States in 1866, was to divert an immense volume of
Canadian trade from the United States to Great Britain, decreas-
ing the exports to the United States, viz., $7,500,000 in the years
1866 and 1867, and increasing the exports to Great Britain from
13,000,000 in 1866 to 21,000,000 in 1868,t to be repaid again in
British manufactures, affording a significant intimation to the
British producer what would be the result of a connection of
Canada with the United States, based upon an unchangeable
political incorporation instead of a temporary treaty, maintained
or broken off as the passions or interests of the dominant party
may dictate.

Again, the following table compiled from the ” Trade and Navi-
gation Returns,” shows the total quantity of tea imported into the
Provinces of Ontario and Quebec during the two fiscal years
1868-69 and 1869-70 :

Fiscal’year Fiscal year

1868-69. 1869-70.

Whence. Ibs. Ibs.

Great Britain > 6,210,099 3,717,561

United States 1,639,121 2,674,900

China 625,625 2,373,043

Japan 95,113

Other Countries 2,024 406

Total 8,476,869 8,861,023

* Patterson 187014.

t Lowry’s Pamphlet, page 10.


” It will be seen from this comparative statement that there has
been a very remarkable decrease in importation, of tea from Great
Britain. The imports in bond from the United States showing a
large increase, while there was a great augmentation in the direct
trade with China.”*

The returns of the importation of tea into the same two
Provinces Ontario and Quebec for the fiscal year 1870 and
1871, terminating 1st June, 1871, are as follows :

Great Britain 3,343,024 Ibs.

United States 5,081,675

China 1,280,777

Japan 675,453

Other Countries 6,056 ,,

Total 10,386,985 Ibs.

Showing with an increase of nearly two millions over the
preceding year yet even less came from Great Britain than
during that year and taking the whole importations of tea into
the Dominion for the latter year, which the Returns show to be
13,781,087 lbs.,t in which Great Britain had the direct communi-
cation by sea with the maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick, the total importation from Great Britain into
the Dominion is less than it was two years ago into the two
Provinces of Quebec and Ontario alone viz., 6,009,684 as against

From these tables and facts, which show the revolution that
one railway has produced in the tea trade alone in two years, a
fair inference may be drawn as to what will be the effect upon the
Eastern trade of Great Britain, when the various lines of railways
throughout the United States and Canada to the Pacific are com-
pleted, and the still more varied productions of the East their
silks, their spices, their rice, cottons, and sugars, as well as their
teas, seek the shorter and less expensive routes, saving both time

* Patterson, 1870, p. 93.

t Deputy Minister of Customs.


and insurance ; and having a continent with its main Trunk Lines
of traffic, tapped by a thousand diverging streams, for distribution
as purchasers on the way.

In view of England’s future, this question of the transcontinen-
tal railways is of very serious importance. Pumpelly in a late
work, ” Across America and Asia ; Notes of a Five-years’ Journey
round the World,” speaking of the tea trade from China, mentions
the remarkable fact, that of two shipments of the same tea from
Hankaw, the one going by sailing vessel to England and St.
Petersburg, the other by the long land route, through China in
boats and vessels, through Tartary on camels, through Siberia on
sleighs, and through Russia by railroads, that which took the long
land route cost nearly the same in St. Petersburg as that which
went by the sea. ” This,” he says, ” may be owing in part to the
excess of duty at the Atlantic port of Russia over that on the
Siberian frontier, and partly perhaps to the fact that the tea
which takes the ocean route requires more manipulation before
shipment than the other. The tea trade alone between China and
Europe is very large, and seems, when taken in connection with
many other reasons, to warrant the belief that the near future
will see a railroad along this important route.” He points out
that there would not be any very serious obstacles in the way,
though the distance from Shanghai to Kazan, the eastern terminus
of the Russian railroad, is about 4,600 miles, and the total distance
from Shanghai to St. Petersburg 5,600 miles ; and observes :
“Aside from international difficulties, the construction of such a
road would, notwithstanding the greater length, seem to be a
simpler problem than that of the Union Pacific line, for the
European Asiatic road, besides connecting the two greatest mar-
kets of the world, would be sure of an immediate and extensive
way traffic, because in the vast regions it would traverse, all the
elements necessary thereto already exist.”

It may be said that a work of this magnitude is so remote that
it has no practical bearing on the discussion ; but it is not more
remote than was the construction of the American lines to the
Pacific fifteen years ago, or the construction of the Canadian line
ten years ago, and we are speaking of England’s position twenty


years hence. The British statesman, therefore, who, by now
ignoring Canada, places the great lines of Eastern traffic under the
control of Russia on the one side, and the United States 011 the
other, is incurring a grave responsibility, and may leave to his
countrymen the inheritance of diminished influence and power.

Thus Canada is becoming daily a better market for British
industry than the United States, and with its increasing popula-
tion and rapidly extending area, must become still more so.

But it is said that the United States will change their policy,
and the above position would then be no longer tenable. On this
point several important facts have to be taken into consideration.
It is argued that the great diminution of American shipping, and
the loss of the carrying trade, will awaken the Americans to the
unsoundness of their policy.

The Americans attribute this diminution and loss to the con-
duct of the British Government during the civil war, and demand
a corresponding compensation ; but many of their ablest politicians
and statesmen contend that, owing to the great extent and inter-
nal resources of the United States, the loss or diminution of its
foreign trade is not of so much consequence as it would be to other
countries differently situated ; that the duties of excise alone had,
during the year 1869-70, paid off $100,000,000 of the national
debt, and would, in a few years, wipe it away altogether (assuming
that there was no increase from unexpected causes), and then that
the United States would be strong and prosperous as a nation,
even though she had not a merchant ship upon the seas, and no
foreign carrying trade whatever. They urge that as the United
States embrace within their territories both the temperate and
tropical regions, they have within themselves all those produc-
tions which, with other countries not so situated, constitute objects
of exchange ; and as they have coal and iron in abundance, a popula-
tion equal to that of Great Britain, and the best cotton in the world,
they can, whenever other avocations do not pay them better, enter
into competition with Great Britain in the manufacture of those
fabrics, of which she now claims pre-eminently to be the work-
shop, and as her immense continent fills up with people she will
have a market without competition, and under her own exclusive


control, quite as large as all Europe, or even India can afford to
Great Britain. Further, that her vicinity to China, Japan, and
the Eastern Archipelago, with her present and contemplated rail-
ways, must give her that market with which Great Britain cannot
compete, except by means of transit through her country, or a
transit by the consent of other foreign nations, or by a long and
circuitous route round the Cape of Good Hope. That, taking all
these things into consideration, it is of no serious consequence
whether she trades with Great Britain or not. That she can do
better without the fabrics of Great Britain, than Great Britain
can without her market, and that it is better for the United
States, however theorists may draw other conclusions, to legislate
in such a way as to consolidate her domain, and make her people
have within themselves all the habits and pursuits that will
render them perfectly independent of other nations.

Now, these arguments may be sound or unsound, but they are
acceptable to a large body of people who like to have their own
way, and are willing to pay for it. The same principles which
may suit a dense population crowded into a small space like the
British Islands, with fixed habits and institutions, and great
extremes of wealth and poverty, do not necessarily apply to a
population like that of the United States, with a more generally
diffused competence, and with an unlimited space for expansion.
Such a people with such a country may succeed even in spite of
wrong theories, and no sound conclusion for a change in its policy
can be based upon any inference that such a change, under such
circumstances, would have to take place in England.

In advocating, therefore, a separation upon any expectation
that the United States will prove as good customers in the future
as Canada will, is relying upon an uncertainty. As long as
Canada remains separate from the United States, she can regulate
her own tariff with England ; and, it is reasonable to expect, that
in a few years the fact of her now owning immense tracts of
those great Prairie Lands, which have formed so attractive a
feature in drawing emigration to the United States, will have a
similar effect with her, and a population increasing in the same
ratio, will afford to England the market which she is losing in the


United States. But sever Canada from England, annex her to
the United States, and you will seal a whole continent against
British manufactures, or, at any rate, place it in the power of one
Government to do so viz., the United States.

It is argued that the Eastern market will answer the purpose of
England, even if she should be comparatively excluded from the
United States ; but the railways across the American Continent
afford, the shortest route to the East, and will divert the trade in
that direction. If Canada were merged in the United States, the
latter would have the entire control of those routes. Canada is
now -building, or proposing to build, a direct line from Halifax to
Vancouver Island, and while she remains a British possession, that
route cannot be closed. It is said that the influence and the
interests of the proprietors of these great roads in the United
States will be against closing them, and that the United States
Government must bow to such influence; yet to accomplish a
national or a retaliatory purpose, the Federal Government would
not hesitate to stop the passage of British goods in tratisitu,
either from or to the East. The President of the United States
in his Message to Congress, December, 1870, when endeavouring,
as Canadians allege, most unjustly to force them into an abandon-
ment of their Territorial Fishery rights, rights as exclusively
their own. as the Fishery rights on the coasts of England, Scot-
land, or Ireland are the rights of the people of those countries,
did not hesitate to say, ” Anticipating that an attempt may possi-
bly be made by the Canadian authorities in the coming season, to
repeat their tmneighbourly acts towards our fishermen, I recom-
mend you to confer upon the Executive the power to suspend, by
proclamation, the operation of the laws authorizing the transit of
goods, wares, and merchandize in bond across the Territory of the
United States to Canada ; and, further, should such an extreme
measure become necessary, to suspend the operation of any Laws,
whereby the vessels of the Dominion of Canada ‘are permitted to
enter the waters of the United States.” How, then, can England
rely upon an influence which, in the time of emergency, would be
unavailable, and which would be rendered even the more impotent
from the very effort to use it in her favour, at a time of popular
excitement or national hostility.


Then laying aside the Suez Canal, the future utility of which
seems still to be in the balance, and the capacity of which, as-
suming that it was not controlled in any way by Foreign Powers,
would hardly be sufficient for the entire Eastern Trade of Great
Britain ; the latter country without Canada would in that respect
be entirely at the mercy of the United States.

The interest of Canada on the contrary, as separate from the
United States, is to make her country, both by the great natural
highway of the St. Lawrence and by means of railways, the great
path of transport for the traffic of Western America, and of Asia
to Europe by means of light duties and cheap fares, aided by the
more equal temperature of the climate to divert the cereals of
the Prairie States from the expensive routes to New York and
Pennsylvania, to Montreal and the other Canadian seaports, and
in return to supply those rapidly increasing interior States with
the productions of Great Britain and Europe, by means of her
canals and superior natural communications.

As illustrative of how strongly this is the interest of Canada,
and how conclusively therefore it may be relied on, as a policy
likely in the future to influence her statesmen, thereby keeping
her separate from the United States, and leaving her open to
make or continue her own arrangements with Great Britain, so as
to be mutually advantageous to both, it may be mentioned that
in 1864, during the discussion in the United States on the subject
of the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, in pointing out the
benefit that accrued to one country from having the transit trade
of another, and as a reason why the United States should continue
the Reciprocity Treaty with Canada instead of putting an end to
it, Hunt’s Magazine, one of the ablest and most authoritative
works in the United States, on the Commercial Policy of the day,
among other things stated, that the mere transit of 300,000 bushels
of Canadian white wheat alone, from Detroit to New York, left,
in ” droppings on the way” in costs and charges on the road to
the benefit of the people of the United States, (without paying
one farthing of the purchase money) $111,676 and gave the
items as follows :


For elevating and shipping , $6,000

Insurance against fire 1,125

Freight to Buffalo at 6 cents per bushel 18,000

Transfer 3,000

Canal freight 60,000

Measuring . 3,000

Commission on value in New York, at $1 90 per bushel …. 14,250

Lake Insurance 2,191

For odd numbers . 730


During the war, a war-tax on freight on the lakes was fur-
ther imposed, which created an additional charge of. . . 3,380

A total benefit to the United States Government
and people for the transport of merely 300,000
bushels of Canadian grain $111,676

Throwing off the war tax and reversing the position, giving to
Canada the transit of goods from the Western States, instead of
to the United States the transit of goods from Canada, see what
an advantage it would be to Canada.

Thus in whatever light it may be viewed, in the interests of
peace and trade, the political connection of Canada with Great
Britain twenty years hence will be of great importance to the

But it would be unstatesman-like to look at the question solely
in the light of peace. The mere patronage that Canada affords
the British Government in the nomination of one solitary Gover-
nor-General for all British North America is not worth, naming,
and therefore we must look at the question in the light of war,
not of war solely with the United States, or as regards Canada,
(for if ‘the latter were separated from England there would be no
cause of war between the United States and themselves), but as
regards Great Britain in a war with any of the nations of Europe.
The enormous trade of England makes her the most vulnerable
nation in the world. Her extensive colonial possessions counter-
balance the danger, and give her the means of greatest efficiency
as a maritime power ; but unless she retains within her own em-


pire the compensating advantages derivable therefrom, in the pos-
session of ports where her commerce may resort for shelter, and
her fleets may rendezvous and coal, which her antagonists do not
possess, she must suffer in a degree greater than they, for it is
assumed that in any future war Great Britain without allies is not
likely to invade any of the territories of Europe, and the conflict
would be one of maritime warfare.

By the advancement of science, in the application of steam, the
adoption of ironclads, and the invention of powerful guns of pre-
cision at long distances, other nations have been brought more on
an equality with Great Britain. The dashing days of Nelson and
close quarters, of nautical skill in gaining the weather guage and
boarding at the yard arm, have passed away forever. A Prussian
or a Frenchman may not be as good a sailor as an Englishman,
but he may be quite as good, if not better, as an artillerist, and
future contests between ships will be regulated as much by science
as by courage. England’s commerce is spread over every sea.
Let us suppose that Canada is separated from her either by annex-
ation to the United States, or by having become an independent
power. In such a case what self-producing coaling station will
England have in America 1 What rendezvous for her fleets 1 As
neutrals, if separated, the same law must be extended to herself
that is given to her foes twenty-four hours in port and 110 muni-
tions of war ; for it is vain to suppose if Canada be separated the
rich coal fields of Cape Breton or Nova Scotia, of British Colum-
bia or Vancouver Island, in time of war would be at her command.
The noble harbour of Halifax, with its splendid dockyards and
impregnable fortifications of Esquimault, with its wide and deep
bay, will no longer be under the British flag. There can be no
Gibralter in America, and when England withdraws from British
America, she hauls down her flag from every rock and hill.

Reference may be made to the last Russian war, and it may be
said that during that war British commerce needed no American
ports. Perhaps not. But a war with France and Russia com-
bined, or Prussia and any other European power possessing
Mediterranean as well as Baltic ports, or ports on the English
Channel, and many of them, from which fleets and privateers
could issue, would make a great difference.


Thus in any future war in such a case England would lose
the immense advantages she has hitherto possessed. But if this
should be so, in case of a European war, how much more disas-
trous would it be in case of a war with the United States
England without a place of shelter on the whole North Atlantic
and North Pacific coasts, and the United States with a thousand
harbours on each, from which vessels could issue to prey upon
England’s European commerce on the Atlantic, and her Eastern
commerce on the Pacific. The United States at the same time
possessing, in her own great interior continent, a field for internal
trade so vast, that the loss of her foreign commerce by the war
would not be felt. It may be said, there are to be no more wars,
and all disputes between nations are henceforth to be settled by
arbitration. It would be well if it were to be so ; but it is
hardly worth while to cut one’s muscles until one is sure there will
be no more fighting. The history of the last twenty years does
not authorise any such conclusion, and the unceasing note of
preparation, which rings throughout England, shows that she does
not place much reliance on the doctrine that she preaches.

Thus, in the light both of peace and war, the retention of
Canada as a part of the Empire, may be of the very greatest con-
sequence to England.

On the other hand, how would separation affect the present and
future of Canada 1 It may be stated at once, that on the part of
the groat very great majority of the people of Canada, there is
no desire for any change. Apart from all questions of material
advantage, the feeling with them is one of sentiment. They
identify themselves with the glory and prestige of England j they
inherit the feelings of attachment to the old soil, their fathers
brought with them to this country ; and they no more desire to
get rid of their allegiance than an honest son would of the attach-
ment that binds him to his father, even though that father may
have ceased to afford him pecuniary aid. The recurrence of a
second shock, like that created by the ” Ashburton surrender,”
would, in the present day, arouse a very bad feeling ; but the
modern policy of England renders that improbable, and it may
safely be affirmed that the ” status quo ” is one which will not be


disturbed for many years, except by England’s own action. A
separation involves two distinct phases one of annexation to the
United States, one of independence as a distinct sovereign power.
“With reference to the first, it is difficult to see any advantage to
be gained by Canada, except the internal market of the United
States, while it would be accompanied with their increased taxa-
tion, and the entire loss of her own autonomy, besides which,
whether beneficial or not, the people are against it. Co-existent,
however, with this latter feeling, it may not be inappropriate to
observe that the opinion is also prevalent throughout Canada,
that in all negotiations with the United States, touching affairs
in which British America has been interested, the United States
have on every occasion got the advantage of England that in eveiy
instance, on the question of boundary, she has been deceived that
on the question of the Fishery rights phe has been trifled with ;
and though the question of the Alabama Claims is one so entirely
of an Imperial character, and the burden if a pecuniary compensa-
tion should be awarded so purely a question of home policy
that Canada has nothing to do with it, yet, whether it be right or
wrong, the impression does exist, that English diplomatists are no
more fitted to compete with American diplomatists in statecraft
on questions affecting American interests, than a Londoner would
be with an Indian in woodcraft in an American forest.*

In order to understand the second, that of independence as
a sovereign power, the enquiry suggests itself, what are the
material advantages derived from being connected with England 1
Let all dread of the United States, so far as Canada is con-
cerned, be removed from the consideration of the question. As
between the two countries, in case of a separation, there is 110
likelihood of any cause of disturbance. Apart from the Fenian
and rowdy element in the United States, a kindred sentiment
prevails between the two peoples, and their better class of citizens
are in favour of the more Conservative element still existing in
the Canadian Institutions, though it has ceased in their own. In
case of the continued connection with England and a war arising

* See Howe’s Comments on Imperial Policy. APPENDIX B.


between that country and the United States, in which, perhaps,
the brunt of the land conflict might have to be borne on their
soil, Canadians not only do not admit the position taken by the
Times and the other writers and speakers referred to, as to the
defence of their country ; but on the contrary, they contend that
if England will only do her duty, and stand by them with a fair
proportion of military and naval aid, the country can be as well
defended now as in 1812. The St. Lawrence and the lakes, if
Great Britain promptly availed herself of her maritime superiority
and made good use of it, afford a frontier sufficiently defensive as
well as offensive to prevent any very great dread of an invasion
on the part of the two Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. With
reference to the Maritime Provinces, the sea is their safeguard.
Apart, therefore, from .such contingencies, what are the material
advantages 1 As a matter of pounds, shillings and pence, it has
been shewn that Canada bears all her own expenses of every kind,
not only for internal self-government and local development, but
for those external aids in the maintenance of lights and marine
establishments along her coasts, which are as essential to British
and foreign commerce as to her own. By the entire withdrawal of
Her Majesty’s troops, the burden of military defence, in all cases
except of an Imperial contest, has been thrown upon the Dominion.
To this, there can possibly be no objection. The troops were sent
here for an Imperial purpose, when the Imperial advisers of the
Crown thought for the purpose of concentration in England or
otherwise, they should be withdrawn, they were withdrawn. They
had accomplished the object for which they were sent, and Cana-
dians were, and are indebted to them for that military instruction
and bearing which has tended so materially to instil into them the
principle of self-reliance, and when on duty, of military subordina-
tion. For revenue purposes, and a coast guard over the fisheries,
Canada has to bear the expense. In all her civil and military
departments the same, not a shilling from the English Exchequer
finds its way into Canada for a Canadian purpose. On the other
hand, Canada derives a great pecuniary advantage, indeed an in-
calculable advantage from the connection, in the benefit of protec-
tion to her commerce by the British navy. Already the third


maritime country in the world, her ships under the British flag
are spreading over every sea, and as British ships bear with them
wherever they go, that power, which, though unseen, like the
atmosphere, is felt everywhere. To this navy she contributes no
portion of the expense. Again, in the representation of her
interests at foreign courts, in the protection of her citizens abroad as
British subjects, she has the same benefit as the tax-payer of the
British Isles, who bears all the burden of the Imperial expenses,
while she contributes none. An Englishman with every privilege
without his burden it is difficult to conceive, practically a more
independent position. True it is, this Navy and Foreign Re-
presentation would equally have to be kept up, if Canada were in
no way connected with England, not a ship is added to her navy,
or a man to her army, on account of Canada, yet that in no
way derogates from the fact that Canada has the benefit, without
the payment.

Reviewing then the whole subject, and balancing the considera-
tions on both sides, the conclusion must be that in the hour of
Great Britain’s difficulty with European nations, or with the
United States, the loss from the separation in the future would be
greater to England than to Canada. Canada, if separated and
independent, would have to assume a burden equal to all her pre-
sent expenditure for the maintenance of a navy and diplomatic
representation with foreign governments, to say nothing of the
humiliations to which a weak power may sometimes have to sub-
mit when assorting with others whose means are immeasurably
greater. But England, on the other hand, would lose, in the
event of Canadian independence, the most available means of pro-
tecting her commerce in case of war ; and in the event of annexa-
tion to the United States, would be for all time to come, in mat-
ters of trade, both in the east and in the west, entirely at the mercy
of the United States, in peace as well as in war.

Thus it would seem to the interest of both parties to continue
the connection. Canadian pride might be nattered by Canada
being classed amid the great family of nations, but her public
unproductive expenditures would be largely increased. British
prudence might deem that the empire had got rid of an element of


trouble with one nation, but might find that the removal of that
element had left her powerless in her contests with six others, if
not all. Viewed in either light in the cold aspect of material
calculation, or the warmer glow of a more generous patriotism, the
true friend of both countries would desire that 110 severance should
take place.

With the cementing of a friendly feeling with the United
States, and the joint rivalry of Great Britain and Canada and
themselves in works of progress and civilization, it might well be
anticipated that the humanities of life would be promoted, and
civil and religious liberty become more widely diffused.

The importance of the connection of Canada with Great Britain,
in view of the future position of the latter, ought not to be too
lightly estimated. In a late article in one of the leading periodi-
cals of the day (Blackwood), ” How is the country governed,”
it is said : “-The departments of state in which the people of Eng-
land take, as is natural, the deepest interest, are the Home Office,
the War Office, the Admiralty, the Treasury, and the Foreign
Office. The business, as well of the Colonial as of the Indian
Office, may be, and doubtless is, both weighty and important, but
it attracts, comparatively speaking, little notice out of Downing
Street, and beyond the doors of the Houses of Parliament, for
this sufficient and obvious reason, that whether ill or well con-
ducted, it affects the interests of the masses only in a secondary
degree.” The truth of the above statement can hardly be ques-
tioned, but the reason assigned may well be. The failure or inse-
curity of the commerce of England would affect the interests of
the masses more than the result of the question whether the
elections should be conducted by ballot or viva voce, and quite as
much as the settlement of the question whether Alsace or Lorraine
belonged to Germany or France.

The point to be looked at is, whether England, with the whole
continent of North America sealed against her in peace by an
antagonistic policy, and in war if with a European power by the
law of neutrals, should Canada be independent, and of necessity
if with the United States, should Canada be merged in the latter
can retain her commerce. In Canada the impression is she could


not. The following observations from a leading American states-
man, and one of the most eminent staticians of the United States,
whose opinion is of marked weight in that country,* tend strongly
to confirm the views before expressed. He writes :

“The internal and coastwise trade of our country greatly
exceeds our foreign trade, and consequently we feel the loss of
our tonnage in foreign trade muqh less than it would be felt by
other countries. That our prosperity depended more upon our
internal resources and exchanges than it did upon the carrying
trade ; that our revenues from the excise on tobacco and liquors
would, this year, meet the interest on our whole debt, and suffice
to pay the principal before the close of the century; that by the aid
of our internal revenues we had last year paid $100,000,000 of our
debt. And that when English politicians assumed that our power
was crippled by the loss of a quarter of our tonnage, they fell
into a serious error because they did not appreciate the magni-
tude of our internal resources. England measures the resources
of nations by their exports and their imports and tonnage engaged
in foreign trade. We adopt a different standard. We have less
ships, and less exports and imports in foreign trade than England.
Our commerce is chiefly coastwise and continental ; but while the
entries and clearances of shipping in the British Isles are less
than 40,000,000 of tons annually, ours exceed 87,000,000 of tons.
Our inland movement by railways and canals is still larger. The
inland traffic by railway and canal of the single State of New
York, this year, exceeds 14,000,000 of tons. By my estimate,
the agricultural productions of the United States annually
exceed $3,600,000,000; their minerals and manufactures will
reach $2,800,000,000 ; their exports and imports will equal
$1,200,000,000; their growth in wealth annually $1,5 00, 000, 000;
their annual growth in population 1,200,000. If our country has
lost shipping, it has built 56,000 miles of railways more rail-
ways than all Europe has constructed. Last year our country
raised 4,200,000 bales of cotton; 1,200,000,000 bushels of corn;
500,000,000 bushels of other breadstuff’s ; 200,000,000 gallons of

* Mr. Derby of Boston ; September 15th, 1871.


petroleum. It sustains, also, more than 100,000,000 of cattle,
sheep, and swine. As respects our commercial policy, our country
has since the war repealed more than $300,000,000 taxes and
duties, without materially reducing its net revenue. It struck off
last year $24,000,000 of duties and $56,000,000 of taxes, and
can, I think, this winter spare $80,000,000 more, and still reduce
its debt rapidly. Should we do so, the nation in eight years more
should a crisis occur would be able to raise, by taxes, duties,
and loans, twice the amount it did raise in 1865 in which year
we drew from our people in taxes and duties $530,000,000, and
by home loans $500,000,000 more. We are now increasing our
shipments to England more rapidly than ever before, and can
spare her manufactures more easily than she can dispense with
the food and raw material we furnish.”

However much, therefore, English political economists may
question the soundness of the trade theories of the United States,
it is plain that until her great continent becomes as densely
peopled as the British Isles, she. need not trouble herself much
about the discussion. In the presence of such a power twenty
years hence, should England rashly throw away Canada, British
commerce may bow its head.



Debate in the Canadian Legislature on Confederation The Governor-
General’s Speech Motion in the Legislative Council Do. in the House
of Assembly Character of the Debate Division in the Council on the
main motion Names Do. in the House Names Synopsis of speeches
of men representing views of all parties A. D. 1865.

Wlieii tlie Canadian Legislature met in February, 1865, it at
once entered warmly and boldly into the question of Confeder-
ation. There was no faltering either on the part of the Govern-
ment or the people. Strong in the conviction of its advantages,
the Cabinet were a unit, the several ministers vieing with each
other only in the generous rivalry who should be most earnest in
the work. The Governor-General brought the subject before the
House in his opening speech :

” I informed you that it was my intention, in conjunction with
my ministers, to prepare and submit to you a measure for the
solution of the (bonstitutional problem, f the” discussion of which
has for some years agitated this province. | A careful consideration
of the general position of British North America, induced the
conviction that the circumstances of the time afforded the oppor-
tunity not merely for the settlement of a question of provincial
politics, but also for the simultaneous creation of a new nation-
ality. I Preliminary negotiations were opened by me with the
Lieut.-Governors of the other provinces of British North America,
and the result was that a meeting was held at Quebec, in October,
composed of delegates from these colonies, representing all shades
of political party in their several communities, nominated by the
Lieutenant-Governors of their respective Provinces, who assembled
here, with the sanction of the Crown and at my invitation, to
confer with the members of the Canadian ministry, on the possi-
bility of effecting a union of all the provinces of British North
America. This Conference by lengthened deliberations arrived at
the conclusion, that a federal union of these Provinces was
feasible and desirable, and the result of their labour is a plan of


constitution for the proposed union, embodied in a series of
resolutions, which, with other papers relating to the subject, I
have directed to be laid before you. The general desire of a
union, and the particular plan by which it is proposed to carry
that intention into effect, have both received the cordial approba-
tion of the Imperial Government. An Imperial Act of Parlia-
ment will be necessary in order to give effect to the contemplated
union of the colonies ; and I have been officially informed by the
Secretary of State, that Her Majesty’s ministers will be prepared
to introduce a Bill for that purpose into the Imperial Parliament,
as soon as they shall have been notified that the proposal has
received the sanction of the Legislatures representing the several
provinces affected by it. In commending to your attention this
subject, the importance of which to yourselves and to your
descendants it is impossible to exaggerate, I would claim for it
your calm, earnest, and impartial consideration. With the public
men of British North America it now rests to decide, whether
the vast tract of country which they inhabit shall be consolidated
into a State, combining within its area all the elements of national
greatness, providing for the security of its component parts, and
contributing to the strength and stability of the empire; or,
whether the several Provinces of which it is constituted, shall
remain in their present fragmentary and isolated condition, com-
paratively powerless for mutual aid, and incapable of undertaking
their proper share of Imperial responsibility. In a discussion of
such moment, I fervently pray that your minds may be guided to
conclusions which shall redound to the honour of our Sovereign,
to the welfare of her subjects, and to your own reputation as
patriots and statesmen.”

On the 3rd February, the report of the Convention, in the
shape of the resolutions already given, were brought up for
discussion in the Legislative Council, on the following motion by
Sir E. P. Tache”, viz. : ” That an humble address be presented to
Her Majesty, praying that she may be graciously pleased to cause^
a measure to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament, for the
purpose of uniting the Colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New


Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, in one
Government, with provisions based on the resolutions, which were
adopted at a Conference of delegates from the said Colonies, at
the city of Quebec, on the 10th October, 1864.”

The resolutions are then set forth, and are the same as those
already given 011 page 66, except the 24th, which has the altera-
tion before adverted to, and is as follows : “24. The Local Legis-
lature of each Province may from time to time alter the Electoral
Districts for the purpose of representation in such Local Legisla-
tures, and distribute the representation to which the Province is
entitled in such Legislature in any manner such Legislature may
see fit.”

A similar motion was made in the other House.

It may be said of the debate which followed in both Houses,
that it would have reflected credit on any assembly. Sustained
throughout, over a succession of many weeks, by courtesy and
forbearance in the speakers and members towards each other,
it was nevertheless characterized by a fearless and exhaustive
examination of the propositions. Overruling all, there breathed
throughout a lofty patriotism, and an abiding confidence in the
future of Canada. It is impossible to give this debate in full it
would be injustice to summarize it. The Legislature caused it to
be published in a distinct volume by itself, so that it is open to all
parties, without labour or difficulty of attainment.

The views of Messrs. Macdonald, Cartier and Brown on the
one side, and of Messrs. Sandfield Macdonald and Holton on the
other, as the leaders of their respective parties ; of Mr. Gait, from
his admittedly high financial position and commercial knowledge ;
of Mr. Dorion, as the leader of the Rouge section of the liberal
party of Lower Canada; of Mr. Joly, as an educated French
Protestant, and representative of the rural and landed interests ;
of Mr. Langeviii as a French-Canadian, a member of the Cabinet,
and assumed to speak with the authority, and to a great degree
the sentiments, of the Roman Catholic clergy and party ; of Mr.
Hose, as an eminent barrister of Montreal, a banker, and politician
of much experience ; of Mr. Dunkin, as a critical lawyer, analysing
the subject with microscopic power ; and of Mr. Shanly, an inde-


pendent member of Parliament, touching upon a point not referred
to by the other speakers, cannot fail to command attention. The
speeches of Messrs. Cartier and Brown, on different occasions, have
already been given at great length. It is considered that the sub-
stantial observations of the other members, now selected as repre-
sentative men of different interests and classes, condensed as much
as possible and added to theirs, fairly represent and consolidate the
opinions of all parties at the time. The omission of the observa-
tions of other speakers is simply to avoid unnecessary reiteration.
In the Legislative Council the discussion was equally able.
On a review of the whole debate, one is perceptibly struck with
the greater depth of view, the broader forecast, and more states-
man-like positions of the supporters of the measure, than of its
opponents. It would indeed have been a melancholy day for
Canada, if the sectional jealousies and purely local considerations
which were urged by the opposition, however disinterested may
have been the motives of its leaders, had prevailed.

Laying aside the ministerial difficulties, and the antagonistic
attitude of the two divisions of old Canada proper, which had
rendered constitutional government impossible, and made some
change essentially necessary, it is plain that the future interests of |
British North America required a broader development than could I
have been afforded by any congeries of Provinces, working in I
indifferent if not hostile relations towards each other.

To the Maritime Provinces the change was as essential as to
Canada. It is true, the machinery of their local governments was
working smoothly, and no pressing internal difficulty necessitated
any departure from the existing system. But the horizon was
circumscribed, and very limited. No Province could speak with
any weight of position. Trade was daily seeking further expan-
sion ; but negotiations with half-a-dozen Provinces, each regulating
its own tariff, rendered complications with foreign countries and
the Imperial Government, through whom they had to speak, so
great, as to neutralise action. The British Government looked
upon the affairs of British North America and its six or seven
Governments, as an endless chain of trouble, perpetually revolving,
and always showing the same unending types.


One strong hand, one strong will, presiding over and cementing
all, constitutionally speaking to the parent state through its
Parliament and ministers, would do more in one year to advance
the material progress of the whole country, and remove the
difficulties of dealing with foreign states, so far as British North
America was concerned, than would a dozen years of negotiation
with the separate Provinces. The greater homogeniety that would
be engendered, the fusion of interests in the undertaking of great
works, the national character and national spirit that would be
created, would all tend to strengthen those elements which lie at
the foundation of a nation’s greatness.

It is absurd to suppose, that British North America, with its
half a continent of boundless domain can always hang a de-
pendancy upon England. Its people will and must develop their
material interests, and on the spot, they are better judges of IIOAV
that is to be done, than those who only think for them at a
distance. It requires no separation, no change of sovereignty,
but it requires a cessation of dependance Canada must not en-
tangle Great Britain in any way. The latter’s position towards
all other countries ought to be such, as to leave her free, to act
for her own Imperial interests, without being constrained by
considerations for Canada, and the only way to accomplish that
end, is by Canada becoming united and strong.

Those who foresaw, and boldly shadowed forth this consumma-
tion, who advocated not only the union of the Atlantic Provinces,
but the admission of the North- West Territories and of British
Columbia, will hereafter rank among the class of statesmen, who,
rising above the influences of their time, or the pressure of local
causes, grasp the future in their hand, and mould the destinies of

But to the debate. Sir Etienne Tache, in the Legislative
Council, in a fair and temperate speech, moved the resolution,
observing :

” The reasons for its introduction were two-fold. They related,
first, to the intrinsic merits of the scheme itself, divested of all other
considerations, and next, to the settlement of the domestic difficul-


ties which for some years had distracted the country, and the means
we might and ought to employ to restore good feeling, harmony
and concord therein. He would first address himself to what he
considered the intrinsic merits of the scheme of Confederation, and
he would therefore say that if we were anxious to continue our
connection with the British Empire, and to preserve intact our
institutions, our laws, and even our remembrances of the past, we
must sustain the measure. If the opportunity which now presented
itself were allowed to pass by unimproved, we would be forced into
the American Union by violence, and if not by violence, would be
placed upon an inclined plane which would cany us there insensibly.
In either case the result would be the same. In our present condi-
tion we would not long continue to exist as a British colony. The
people of the Northern States believed that Canadians sympathized
with the South much more than they really did, and the consequences
of this misapprehension were : first, that we had been threatened
with the abolition of the transit system \ then the Reciprocity
Treaty was to be discontinued ; then a passport system was in-
augurated, which was almost equivalent to a prohibition of inter-
course, and the only thing which really remained to be done was
to shut down the gate altogether and prevent passage through
their territory. Would any one say that such a state of things
was one desirable for Canada to be placed in? Will a great
people in embryo, as he believed we were, coolly and tranquilly
cross their arms and wait for what might come next? For his
part he held that the time had now arrived when we should
establish a union with the great Gulf Provinces. He called them
great advisedly, for they had within themselves many of the
elements which went to constitute greatness, and of some of
which we were destitute. No one could deny that the Gulf Pro-
vinces were of immense importance, if only in respect of their
fisheries. Then they were rich in minerals. Their coal alone was
an element of great wealth. It had been said that where coal was
found the country was of more value than gold. Look at Eng-
land, and what was the chief source of her wealth if not coal 1 ?
Deprived of coal, she would at once sink to the rank of a second
or third rate power. But Canada had no coal, and notwithstand-


ing all her other elements of greatness, she required that mineral
in order to give her completeness. What she had not, the Lower
Provinces had ; and what they had not, Canada had. Then as to
ship-building, it was an industry prosecuted with great vigour and
success in those provinces, especially in New Brunswick, and some
of the finest vessels sailing under the British flag had been built
in the port of St. John, which annually launched a considerable
number of the largest class. They were not beggars, nor did they
wish to come into the union as such ; but as independent Provinces,
able to keep up their credit, and provide for their own wants.
They would bring into the common stock a fair share of revenue,
of property, and of every kind of industry. As to Canada itself
from the 21st May, 1862, to the end of June, 1864, there had
been no less than five different Governments in charge of the
business of the country. Much had been said 011 the war of
races, but that war was extinguished on the day the British
Government granted Canada Responsible Government, by which
all its inhabitants, without distinction of race or creed, were
placed on a footing of equality. The war of races found its grave
in the resolutions of the 3rd September, 1841, and he hoped never
to hear of it again.”

The attack was led by Mr. Currie, ably supported by Mr.
Letellier cle St. Just and Mr. Sanborn. They pointed in succes-
sive columns of statistics to the inequalities of the burdens, as they
alleged, to be borne by Canada, and to the constitutional objec-
tions put forward 011 behalf of the French Canadians ; but as
their arguments were substantially the same as those urged by the
opponents of the measure in the Lower House, they will be found
in the speeches hereinafter quoted from.

The result in both Houses was the same : the motion was sus-
tained by large majorities ; in the Lower House, on a division, by
ninety-one members to thirty-three, only five members being
absent out of a house of one hundred and twenty-nine, namely :

Yeas. Messieurs Alleyn, Archambault, Ault, Beaubien, Bell,
Bellerose, Blanchet, Bowman, Bown, Brosseau, BroNvn, Burwell,


Cameron (Peel), Caiiiiig, Attorney-General Cartier, Cartwright,
Cauchon, Chambers, Chapais, Cockburn, Cornellier, Cowan, Cur-
rier, De Bouclierville, Denis, De Niverville, Dickson, Dufresne
(Montcalm), Dimsford, Evanturel, Ferguson (Fronteiiac), Fergu-
son (South Simcoe), Gait, Gaudier, Gaudet, Gibbs, Harwood,
Haultain, Higginson, Howlaiid, Huot, Irvine, Jackson, Jones,
(N. Leeds and Grenville), Jones (South Leeds), Knight, Lange-
vin, Le Boutillier, Attorney-General Macdonald, MacFarlane,
Mackenzie (Lambton), Mackenzie (North Oxford), Magill, McCon-
key, McDougall, McGee, McGiverin, Mclntyre, McKellar, Morris,
Morrison, Parker, Pope, Pouliii, Poupore, Powell, Rankin, Ray-
mond, Remillard, Robitaille, Rose, Ross, (Champlain), Ross
(Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Scoble, Shanly, Smith (East
Durham), Smith (Toronto East), Somerville, Stirton, Street,
Sylvain, Thompson, Walsh, Webb, Wells, White, Willson, Wood,
Wright (Ottawa County), and Wright (East York) 91.

Nays. Messieurs Biggar, Bourassa, Cameron (North Ontario),
Caron, Coupal, Dorion (Drumrnoiid and Arthabaska), Dorioii
(Hochelaga), Duckett, Dufresne (Iberville), Fortier, Gagnon,
Geoftrion, Holtoii, Houde, Huntington, Joly, Labreche-Viger,
Laframboise, Lajoie, Macdonald (Cornwall), Macdonald (Glen-
garry), Macdonald (Toronto West), O’Halloran, Paquet, Perrault,
Pinsonneault, Pouliot, Rymal, Scatcherd, Taschereau, Thibaudeau,
Tremblay and Wallbridge (North Hastings) 33.

And in the Upper House by an equally commanding division,
namely :

Contents. Honourable Messieurs Alexander, Allan, Armaiid,
Sir 1ST. F. Belleau, Bennett, Fergusson Blair, Blake, Boulton,
Bosse, Bull, Burnham, Campbell, Christie Crawford, De Beaujeu,
Dickson, A. J. Duchesnay, E. W. J. Duchesnay, Dumotichel,
Ferrier, Foster, Gingras, Guevremont, Hamilton (Iiikerman),
Hamilton (Kingston), Lacoste, Leonard, Lsslie, McCrea, McDonald,
McMaster, Macpherson, Matheson, Mills, Panet, Price, Read,
Reiiaud, Ross, Ryan, Shaw, Skead, Sir E. P. Tache, Yidal and
Wilson. 45.

Non-contents. Honourable Messieurs Aikins, Archambault.
Armstrong, Bureau, Chaffers, Currie, Flint, Letellier de St. Just,


Malhiot, Moore, Olivier, Proulx, Reesor, Seymour and Simp-
son. 15.

In the Lower House, the campaign was opened on the 6th
February, 1865, by the Attorney-General West, John A. Mac.
donald introducing the resolutions, and making a motion similar
to the one moved by Sir E. P. Tache” in the Upper House. He
remarked substantially as follows :

” That in fulfilment of the promise made by the Government to
Parliament at its last session, he had to submit a scheme for the
Confederation of all the British North American Provinces one
which, as propounded through the press, had received almost no
opposition. This subject was not a new one. The attention of
the Legislature was first formally called to it by the Minister of
Finance, Mr. Gait, some years ago ; but it was not taken up by
any party as a branch of their policy, until the formation of the
Cartier-Macdonald Administration in 1858. A despatch was
addressed by three members of that Administration to the
Colonial Office. The subject, however, though looked upon with
favour by the country, did not begin to assume its present propor-
tions until the then last session. Then the leading statesmen on
both sides came to the common conclusion, that some step must be
taken to relieve the country from the dead-lock and impending
anarchy that hung over it. With that view, a committee was
struck, composed of gentlemen of both sides of the House, of all
shades of political opinion, without any reference to whether they
were supporters of the Administration of the day or belonged to
the Opposition, for the purpose of taking into deliberation the
evils which threatened the future of Canada. The committee, by
a wise provision, agreed that the discussion should be freely
entered upon without reference to the political antecedents of any
of its members, and that they should sit with closed doors, so as
to be able to approach the subject frankly and in a spirit of com-
promise. The committee included most of the leading members
of the House. The report of that committee was laid before the
House, and then came the political action of the leading men of
the two parties in the House, which ended in the formation of the


then Government. The principle upon which that Government
was formed, was for the purpose of carrying out the object which
received, to a certain degree, its completion by the resolutions.
All agreed as to the expediency of effecting a union between all
the Provinces, and the superiority of such a design, over the
smaller scheme of having a Federal Union between Upper and
Lower Canada alone. By a fortunate coincidence the desire for
union existed in the Lower Provinces, and a feeling of the neces-
sity of strengthening themselves by collecting together the scat-
tered colonies on the sea-board, had induced them to form a
convention of their own, for the purpose of effecting a union of
the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and
Prince Edward Island, the Legislatures of those colonies having
formally authorized their respective Governments to send a dele-
gation to Prince Edward Island, for the purpose of attempting to
form a union of some kind. The Canadian Government appeared
before that Convention, and submitted the scheme of the larger
union. On its acceptance, though unofficial, they returned to
Quebec ; and then the Government of Canada invited the several
Governments of the sister colonies, to send a deputation from each
of them for the purpose of considering the question, with some-
thing like authority from their respective Governments. The
result was, that on the 1 Oth October they met at Quebec, and the
first resolution before the House was passed unanimously. The
resolution is, ‘ That the best interests, and present and future
prosperity of British North America, will be promoted by a
Federal Union under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such
union can be effected on principles just to the several Provinces.’
It seemed to all the statesmen assembled, that the best interests,
and present and future prosperity of British North America,
would be promoted by a Federal Union under the Crown of Great
Britain. If we wish to form a great nationality, commanding the
respect of the world, able to hold our own against all opponents,
and to defend those institutions we prize ; if we wish to have one
system of government, and to establish a commercial union, with
unrestricted free trade, between the people of the five provinces,
belonging, as they do, to the same nation, obeying the same


Sovereign, owning the same allegiance, and being, for the most
part, of the same blood and lineage ; if we wish to be able to
afford to each other the means of mutual defence and support
against aggression and attack this can only be obtained by a
union of some kind between the scattered and weak boundaries
composing the British North American Provinces. He said there
were only three modes that were at all suggested, by which the
dead-lock in affairs, the anarchy which was dreaded, and the evils
which retarded the prosperity of the country, could be met or
averted. One was the dissolution of the union between Upper
and Lower Canada, leaving them as they were before the union of
1841. That proposition by itself had no supporters. The next
mode suggested, was the granting of representation by popu-
lation. That of itself was not desirable, because it would
have left serious grounds of discontent in Lower Canada.
The third and only means of solution was the junction of the
provinces either in a federal or a legislative union. As regards
the comparative advantages of a legislative and a federal union,
if practicable, he thought a legislative union would be preferable.
But on looking at the subject in the Conference, it was found that
such a system was impracticable. In the first place it would not
meet the assent of the people of Lower Canada. There was also
as great a disinclination on the part of the various Maritime Pro-
vinces to lose their individuality, as separate political organiza-
tions, as was observed in the case of Lower Canada herself. There-
fore, those who were in favour of a legislative union were obliged
to modify their views and accept the project of a federal union as
the only scheme practicable, even for the Maritime Provinces.
Because, although the law of those provinces is founded on the
common law of England, yet every one of them has a large
amount of law of its own colonial law framed by itself, and
affecting every relation of life, such as the laws of property, muni-
cipal and assessment laws ; laws relating to the liberty of the
subject, and to all the great interests contemplated in legislation ;
in short, the statutory law of the different provinces was so varied
and diversified that it was almost impossible to weld them into a
legislative union at once. The Lower Provinces evinced a great


desire for the filial assimilation of the laws. One of the resolu-
tions provides that an attempt shall be made to assimilate the laws
of the Maritime Provinces and those of Upper Canada, for the
purpose of eventually establishing one body of statutory law,
founded on the common law of England. One great objection
made to a federal union was the expense of an increased number of
legislatures ; but it would be shown that the expenses under a
federal union would not be greater than those under the existing
system of separate governments and legislatures. The admixture
of subjects of a general with those of a private character in legis-
lation mutually interfere with each other ; whereas, if the atten-
tion of the legislature was confined to measures of one kind or the
other alone, the session of parliament would not be so protracted,
and therefore not so expensive. Nominally there was a legislative
union in Canada, yet, as a matter of fact, since the union in 1841
it was a federal union ; in matters affecting Upper Canada solely,
members from that section exercised the right of exclusive legisla-
tion, while members from Lower Canada legislated in matters
affecting their own section. The whole scheme of Confederation,
as propounded by the Conference, as agreed to and sanctioned by
the Canadian Government, bears upon its face the marks of com-
promise. It must be considered in the light of a treaty. Just
so surely as this scheme is defeated, will be revived the original
proposition for a union of the Maritime Provinces, irrespective of
Canada. We know that the United States at this moment are
engaged in a war of enormous dimensions ; that the occasion of a
war with Great Britain has again and again arisen, and may at
any time in the future again arise. We cannot foresee what may
be the result ; we cannot say but that the two nations may drift
into a war as other nations have done before. It would then be
too late when war had commenced to think of measures for
strengthening ourselves, or to begin negotiations for a union with
the sister provinces. At this moment, in consequence of the ill-
feeling which has arisen between England and the United States,
the Reciprocity Treaty, it seems probable, is about to be brought
to an end ; our trade is hampered by the passport system, and at
any moment we may be deprived of permission to carry our goods


through United States channels ; the bonded goods system may be
done away with, and the winter trade with the United States put
an end to. If we do not, while one avenue is threatened to be
closed, open another by taking advantage of the present arrange-
ment, and the desire of the Lower Provinces to draw closer the
alliance between us, we may suffer commercial and political dis-
advantages it may take long for us to overcome. In adopting a
federal union we had the advantage of the experience of the United
States. It is the fashion now to enlarge on the defects of the
constitution of the United States, but I am not one of those who
look upon it as a failure. I think and believe that it is one of the
most skilful works which human intelligence ever created ; is one
of the most perfect organizations that ever governed a free people.
To say that it has some defects, is but to say that it is not the work
of Omniscience, but of human intellect. By a resolution it is pro-
vided, so far as we can legislate for the future, that the head of
the executive power shall be the Sovereign of Great Britain. By
adhering to the monarchical principle, we avoid one defect inhe-
rent in the constitution of the United States. By the election
of the President by a majority and for a short period, he never
is the sovereign and chief of the nation ; he is never looked up
to by the whole people as the head and front of the nation ; he is
at best but the successful leader of a party. This defect is all the
greater on account of the practice of re-election. During his first
term of office, he is employed in taking steps to secure his own
re-election, and for his party a continuance of power. We avoid
this by adhering to the monarchical principle. In the constitution
it is proposed to continue the system of Responsible Government,
which has existed in the province since 1841, and which has long
obtained in the mother country. This avoids one of the great
defects in the constitution of the United States. There the Pre-
sident, dining his term of office, is in a great measure a despot,
a one-man power, with the command of the naval and military
forces with an immense amount of patronage as head of the
Executive, and with the veto power as a branch of the legislature,
perfectly uncontrolled by responsible advisers, his cabinet being
departmental officers merely, whom he is not obliged by the con-


stitution to consult with, unless he chooses to do so. With us the
Sovereign, or in this country the representative of the Sovereign,
can act only 011 the advice of his ministers, those ministers being
responsible to the people through Parliament. Ever since the
union of the United States was formed the difficulty of what is
called ” State rights” had existed, and this had much to do in
bringing on the present unhappy war in the United States. We
have adopted a different system.’ We have strengthened the
General Government, have given the General Legislature all the
great subjects of legislation and expressly declared that all subjects
of general interest not distinctly and exclusively conferred upon
the Local Governments and Local Legislatures, shall be conferred
upon the General Government and Legislature. The desire,”
said the honourable gentleman, ” to remain connected with Great
Britain and to retain our allegiance to Her Majesty was unani-
mous. Not a single suggestion was made, that it could, by any
possibility, be for the interest of the colonies, or of any section or
portion of them, that there should be a severance of our connec-
tion. Although we knew it to be possible that Canada, from her
position, might be exposed to all the horrors of war, by reason of
causes of hostility arising between Great Britain and the United
States causes over which we had no control, and which we had
no hand in bringing about yet there was a unanimous feeling of
willingness to run all the hazards of war, if war must come,
rather than lose the connection between the mother country and
these colonies. The Executive authority must be administered
by Her Majesty’s Representative. No restriction is placed on
Her Majesty’s prerogative in the selection of her representative.
The Legislature of British North America will be composed of
King, Lords and Commons. The Legislative Council will stand
in the same relation to the Lower House, as the House of Lords
to the House of Commons in England, having the same power of
initiating all matters of legislation, except the granting of money.
The Lower House will represent the Commons of Canada, in the
same way that the English House of Commons represents the
Commons of England, with the same privileges, the same parlia-
mentary usage, and the same parliamentary authority. In settling


the constitution of tlie Lower House, it was agreed that the
principle of representation based on population should be adopted,
and the mode of applying that principle is fully developed in the
‘resolutions. By representation by population, universal suffrage
is not in any way sanctioned. The three great divisions into
which British North America is separated, would be represented
in the Upper House on. the principle of equality. Each of the
three great sections would be represented equally by twenty-four
members. The only exception to that condition of equality is in
the case of Newfoundland, which has an interest of its own,
lying, as it does, at the mouth of the great river St. Lawrence,
and more connected, perhaps, with Canada than with the Lower
Provinces. There was not a dissenting voice in the Conference
against the adoption of the nominative principle for the Legis-
lative Council except from Prince Edward Island. The provision
in the constitution, that the Legislative Council shall consist of a
limited number of members that each of the great sections shall
appoint twenty-four members and 110 more, will prevent the Upper
House from being swamped from time to time by the ministry of
the day, for the purpose of carrying out their own schemes or
pleasing their partisans. The fact of the government being pre-
vented from exceeding a limited number will preserve the inde-
pendence of the Upper House, and make it, in reality, a separate
and distinct chamber, having a legitimate and controlling influence
in the legislation of the country. The objection that has been taken,
that in consequence of the Crown being deprived of the right of
unlimited appointment, there is a chance of a dead-lock arising
between the two branches of the legislature a chance that the
Upper House being altogether independent of the Sovereign, of
the Lower House, and of the advisers of the Crown, may act so
independently as to produce a dead-lock, is not sound. It will
never set itself in opposition against the deliberate and understood
wishes of the people. The members of the Upper House will be
like those of the Lower, men of the people, and from the people.
The man put into the Upper House is as much a man of the
people the day after, as the day before his elevation. Springing
from the people, and one of them, he takes his seat in the Council


with all the sympathies and feelings of a man of the people, and
when he returns home, at the end of the session, he mingles with
them on equal terms, and is influenced by the same feelings and
associations, and events, as those which affect the mass around
him. Referring to the constant changes which took place in the
Legislative Council he called attention to the following facts : At
the call of the House in February, 1856, forty- two life members
responded; two years afterwards, in 1858, only thirty-five answered
to their names ; in 1862 there were only twenty-five life members
left, and in 1864, but twenty-one. So it is quite clear that, should
there be 011 any question a difference of opinion between the
Upper and Lower Houses, the government of the day being
obliged to have the confidence of the majority in the popular
branch would, for the purpose of bringing the former into accord
and sympathy with the latter, fill up any vacancies that might
occur, with men of the same political feelings and sympathies
with the government, and consequently with those of the majority
in the popular branch ; and all the appointments of the Adminis-
tration would be made with the object of maintaining the sympathy
and harmony between the two houses. To the Upper House is to
be confided the protection of sectional interests; therefore is it
that the three great divisions are there equally represented, for
the purpose of defending such interests against the combinations
of majorities in the Assembly. It is provided that the selection
shall be made from those gentlemen who are now members of the
upper branch of the Legislature in each of the colonies, for seats
in the Legislative Council of the General Legislature. In the
formation of the House of Commons, the system of representation
by population has been introduced without the danger of an in-
convenient increase in the number of representatives 011 the re-
currence of each decennial period. The whole thing is worked by
a simple rule of three. For instance, we have in Upper Canada
1,400,000 of a population; in Lower Canada, 1,100,000. Now,
the proposition is simply this if Lower Canada, with its popula-
tion of 1,100,000, has a right to sixty-five members, how many
members should Upper Canada have, with its larger population of
1,400,000? The same rule applies to the other provinces the


proportion is always observed and the principle of representation
by population carried out, while, at the same time, there will not
be decennially an inconvenient increase in the numbers of the Lower
House. At the same time, there is a constitutional provision that
hereafter, if deemed advisable, the total number of representatives
may be increased from 194, the number fixed in the first instance.
In that case, if an increase is made, Lower Canada is still to re-
main the pivot on which the whole calculation will turn. If Lower
Canada, instead of 65, shall have 70 members, then the calculation
will be, if Lower Canada has 70 members, with such a population,
how many shall Upper Canada have with a larger population ?
The existing laws relative, to elections in the separate provinces,
were to obtain in the first election to the Confederate Parliament,
so that every man who has now a vote in his own province should
continue to have a vote in choosing a representative to the first
Federal Parliament. And it was left to the Parliament of the
Confederation, as one of their first duties, to consider and to settle
by an act of their own the qualification for the elective franchise,
which would apply to the whole Confederation. The duration of
Parliament will be a period of five years. A good deal of mis-
apprehension he said had arisen from the accidental omission of
some words from the 24th resolution. It was thought that by it
the Local Legislatures were to have the power of arranging here-
after, and from, time to time of re-adjusting the different con-
stituencies, and settling the size and boundaries of the various
electoral districts. The meaning of the resolution is simply this,
that for the first General Parliament, the arrangement of con-
stituencies shall be made by the existing Local Legislatures ; that
in Canada, for instance, the present Canadian Parliament shall
arrange what are to be the constituencies of Upper Canada, and to
make such changes as may be necessary in arranging for the
seventeen additional members given to it by the constitution ; and
that it may also, if it sees fit, alter the boundaries of the existing
constituencies of Lower Canada. In short, this Parliament shall
settle what shall be the different constituencies electing members
to the first Federal Parliament. And so the other provinces, the
Legislatures of which will fix the limits of their several constitu-


encies in the session, in which they adopt the new constitution.
Afterwards the Local Legislatures may alter their own electoral
limits as they please, for their own local elections. But it would
evidently be improper to leave to the Local Legislature the power
to alter the constituencies, sending members to the General Legis-
lature after the General Legislature shall have been called into
existence. Were this the case, a member of the General Legisla-
ture might, at any time, mid himself ousted from his seat by an
alteration of his constituency, by the Local Legislature in his
section. After the General Parliament meets, in order that it
may have full control of its own legislation, and be assured of its
position, it must have the full power of arranging and re-arranging
the electoral limits of its constituencies as it pleases, such being
one of the powers essentially necessary to such a Legislature. As
a matter of course, the General Parliament must have the power
of dealing with the public debt and property of the Confedera-
tion. Of course, too, it must have the regulation of trade and
commerce, of customs and excise. The Federal Parliament must
have, the sovereign power of raising money from such sources and
by such means as the representatives of the people will allow. It
is provided that all ‘ lines of steam or other ships, railways,
canals, and other works, connecting any two or more of the
provinces together, or extending beyond the limits of any prov-
ince,’ shall belong to the General Government, arid be under the
control of the General Legislature. In like manner ‘ lines of
steamships between the Federated Provinces and other countries,
telegraph communication and the incorporation of telegraph com-
panies, and all such works as shall, although lying within any
province, be specially declared by the Acts authorizing them, to
be for the general advantage,’ shall belong to the General Govern-
ment. For instance, the Welland Canal, though lying wholly
within one section, and the St. Lawrence Canals in two only, may
be properly considered national works, and for the general benefit
of the whole Federation. Again, the census, the ascertaining of
our numbers and the extent of our resources, must, as a matter
of general interest, belong to the General Government. So
also with the defences of the country. One of the great


advantages of Confederation is, that we shall have a united,
a concerted, and uniform system of defence. The criminal
law too the determination of what is a crime and what is not,
and how crime shall be punished is left to the General Govern-
ment. This is a matter almost of necessity. It is one of the de-
fects in the United States system, that each separate state has or
may -have a criminal code of its own ; that what may be a capital
offence in one state may be a venial offence, punishable slightly,
in another. But under our constitution we shall have one body
of criminal law, based on the criminal law of England, and oper-
ating equally throughout British America, so that a British
American, belonging to what province- he may, or going to any
other part of the Confederation, knows what his rights are in that
respect, and what his punishment will be if an offender against
the criminal laws of the land. This is one of the most marked
instances in which advantage is taken of the experience derived
from the observations of the defects in the constitution of the
neighbouring Republic. The 33rd provision is of very great im-
portance to the future well-being of these colonies. It commits
to the General Parliament the ” rendering uniform all or any of
the laws relative to property and civil rights in Upper Canada,
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward
Island, and rendering uniform the procedure of all or any of the
courts in these provinces.’ The great principles which govern
the laws of all the provinces, with the single exception of Lower
Canada, are the same, although there may be a divergence in de-
tails ; on the part of the Lower Provinces a general desire exists
to join together with Upper Canada in this matter, and to pro-
cure, as soon as possible, an assimilation of the statutory laws and
the procedure in the courts, of all these provinces. At present
there is a good deal of diversity. It was understood that the first
act of the Confederate Government should be to procure an assi-
milation of the statutory law of all those provinces, which has, as
its root and foundation, the common law of England. But to
prevent local interests from being over-ridden, the same section
makes provision that, while power is given to the General Legis-
lature to deal with this subject, no change in this respect should


have the force and authority of law in any province until sanc-
tioned by the legislature of that province. The General Legisla-
ture is to have power to establish a general Court of Appeal of
the Federated Provinces. Besides all the powers that are speci-
fically given, the Constitution confers on the General Legislature
the general mass of sovereign legislation, the power to legislate 011
‘ all matters of a general character, not specially and exclusively
reserved for the local governments and legislatures.’ This is pre-
cisely the provision which is wanting in the constitution of the
United States. It is in. itself a wise and necessary provision. It
strengthens the central Parliament, and makes the Confederation
one people and one government, instead of five peoples and five
governments, with merely a point of authority connecting them to
a limited and insufficient extent. With respect to the local govern-
ments, it is provided that each shall be governed by a chief exe-
cutive officer, who shall be nominated by the General Government.
The General Government assumes towards the local governments
precisely the same position as the Imperial Government holds with
respect to each of the colonies now ; so that as the Lieut. -Governor
of each of the different Provinces is now appointed directly by the
Queen, and is directly responsible and reports directly to her, so
will the executives of the local governments hereafter be subordi-
nate to the representative of the Queen, and be responsible and
report to him, Objection has been taken that there is an infringe-
ment of the Royal prerogative in giving the pardoning power to
the local Governors, who are not appointed directly by the Crown,
but only indirectly by the chief executive of the Confederation,
who is appointed by the Crown. This provision was inserted in
the constitution on account of the practical difficulty which must
arise if the power is confined to the Governor-General. It is a
subject, however of Imperial interest, and if the Imperial Govern-
ment and the Imperial Parliament are not convinced by the argu-
ments we will be able to press upon them for the continuation of
that clause, then, of course, as the over-ruling power, they may set
it aside. There are numerous subjects which belong, of right,
both to the local and the general Parliaments. In all these cases
it is provided, in order to prevent a conflict of authority, that


where there is concurrent jurisdiction in the General and Local
Parliaments, the same rule should apply as now applies in cases
where there is concurrent jurisdiction in the Imperial and in the
Provincial Parliaments, and that when the legislation of the one is
‘ adverse to or contradictory of the legislation of the other, in all
such cases the action of the General Parliament must overrule, ex
necessitate the action of the Local Legislature. We have intro-
duced also all those provisions which are necessary in order to the
full working out of the British constitution in these Provinces.
Let me again/ said the honourable gentleman, as he closed his
clear and powerful speech, ‘ before I sit down, impress upon this
House the necessity of meeting this question in a spirit of compro-
mise, with a disposition to judge the matter as a whole, to consider
whether really it is for the benefit and advantage of the country
to form a Confederation of all the provinces ; and if honourable
gentlemen, whatever may have been their preconceived ideas as to
the merits of the details of this measure, whatever may still be
their opinions as to these details, if they really believe the scheme
is one by which the prosperity of the country will be increased,
and its future progress secured, I ask them to yield their own
views, and to deal with the scheme according to its merits as one
great whole. One argument, but not a strong one, has been used
against this Confederation, that it is an advance towards indepen-
dence. Some are apprehensive that the very fact of our forming
this union will hasten the time when we shall be severed from the
mother country. I have no apprehension of that kind. I believe
it will have the contrary effect. I believe that as we grow
stronger, that, as it is felt in England we have become a people,
able from our union, our strength, our population, and the deve-
lopment of our resources, to take our position among the nations
of the world, she will be less willing to part with us than she
would be now, when we are broken up into a number of insignifi-
cant colonies, subject to attack piecemeal without any concerted
action or common organization of defence. I am strongly of
opinion that year by year, as we grow in population and strength,
England will more see the advantage of maintaining the
alliance between British North America and herself. Instead


of looking upon us as a merely dependent colony, England
will have in us a friendly nation, a subordinate but still a power-
ful people, to stand by lier in North America in peace or in war.
We all feel the advantages we derive from our connection with
England. So long as that alliance is maintained, we enjoy, under
her protection, the privileges of constitutional liberty according to
the British system. We will enjoy here that which is the great
test of constitutional freedom we will have the rights of the
minority respected. In all countries the rights of the majority
take care of themselves, but it is only in countries like England,
enjoying constitutional liberty, and safe from the tyranny of a
single despot or of an unbridled democracy, that the rights of
minorities are regarded. So long, too, as we form a portion of the
British Empire, we shall have the example of her free institutions,
of the high standard of the character of her statesmen and public
men, of the purity of her legislation, and the upright administra-
tion of her laws. In. this younger country, one great advantage
of our connection with Great Britain will be, that, under her
auspices, inspired by her example, -a portion of her empire, our
public men will be actuated by principles similar to those which
actuate the statesmen at home. These, although not material,
physical benefits, of which you can make an arithmetical calcula-
tion, are of overwhelming advantage to our future interests and
standing as a nation. In conclusion, I would again implore the
House not to suffer this opportunity to pass ; it is one that may
never recur.”

He was ably sustained by the Attorney-General Cartier on the
following day, and by Mr. Gait, who dealt mainly with the com-
mercial and financial interests involved : he said

” The subjects on which he proposed to address the House were
those connected with the trade, resources and financial condition
of the several Provinces of British North America. He should
divide his remarks into five distinct heads : 1st. Do the commer-
cial and material interests of the several Provinces point to their
union as an advantageous measure 1 2nd. Is their financial con-
dition such as to permit of this union being carried into practical


effect at this moment, with justice to them all ? 3rd. Are the
measures proposed in the resolutions before the House fair to each
and to all 1 4th. Is there a reasonable prospect that the machinery
through which these interests are proposed to be governed, will
work smoothly and harmoniously ? 5th. Does the proposed system
for the government of the united Provinces appear likely to prove
so expensive as to render it impossible for the people of Canada to
consent to it 1 In dealing with the first question, it was well to
offer to the House some few remarks as to the resources of British
North America. Possessing as we do, in the far-western part of
Canada, perhaps the most fertile wheat-growing tracts on this con-
tinent ; in central and eastern Canada facilities for manufacturing
.such as cannot anywhere be surpassed ; and in the eastern or Mari-
time Provinces an abundance of that most useful of all minerals,
coal, as well as the most magnificent and valuable fisheries in the
world; extending as this country does for two thousand miles,
traversed by the finest navigable river in the world, we might well
look forward to our future with hopeful anticipation of seeing the
realization, not merely of what we have hitherto thought would bo
the commerce of Canada, great as that might become, but to the
possession of Atlantic ports, which we should help to build to a
position equal to that of the chief cities of the American Union.
But it is riot so much by the extent of a country that its power
and real greatness are to be estimated, as by its containing within
itself the elements of different interests \ for it is in the diversity
of employment that security is found against those sad reverses to
which every country depending mainly on one branch of industry
must always be liable. The resources of these colonies, and the
extent to which the industry and intelligence of their inhabitants
have developed them, are most significantly shown in the trade
and navigation tables, which are in the possession of the public.
The returns of the trade of Canada in 1863, taking exports and
imports conjointly, show an aggregate of $87,795,000. Taking
the census of 1861, this trade represents $35 per head of the popu-
lation. The value of the import and export trade of New Bruns-
wick for the same year reaches $16,729,680, amounting to $66 per
head of its population. The aggregate trade of Nova Scotia for


the same period amounted to $18,622,359, or $56 per head of its
people. In the case of Prince Edward Island, the import and
export trade amounted to $3,055,568, representing $37 per head
of the population of that colony. The value of the total trade of
Newfoundland was $11,245,032, or $86 per head. The whole of
these figures represent an aggregate trade of all the Provinces
amounting to $137,447,567. Notwithstanding the large popula-
tion, and the very large amount represented by the trade of
Canada, when it is divided per head it falls considerably short of
the trade of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, being a little more
than half per head of the former, and not more than two-thirds
of that of Nova Scotia. Passing from trade to the ship building
and tonnage of those colonies. The returns of 1863 show, in
that year, the number of ships built in all thpse colonies to be no
less than 645, with a tonnage amounting to 219,763 tons. This
statement of the enormous amount of tonnage built in one year,
is as good evidence as can be offered of the facilities we possess
for becoming an important maritime power. The industry repre-
sented by those figures shows an export value of nearly nine
million dollars ! The lake-tonnage of Canada amounted to
6,907,000 tons. The sea-going tonnage of Canada amounted to
2,133,000 tons; of New Brunswick, 1,386,000; of Nova Scotia,
1,432,000 tons. Consequently the amount of sea-going tonnage,
subject only to a small deduction, was actually about 5,000,000
tons, of which about 2,133,000 was that of vessels trading
between the St. Lawrence and foreign ports.* In making this
statement it is due to the House, that it should be made aware
that some portion of this trade will not be represented after the
contemplated union has taken place. At present, the internal
commerce between these colonies appears in the returns of each
as imports and exports, but I should be glad if I were able to
make on this account a large deduction from the figures I have
given. It is matter for regret on the part of all of us that the
trade between these colonies subject all to the same Sovereign,
connected with the same empire has been so small. Inter-
colonial trade has been, indeed, of the most insignificant character ;

* The above figures are intended to indicate the annual total of the daily ingoing and
outgoing tonnage engaged in the sea and lake trade.



we have looked far more to our commercial relations with the
neighbouring, though a foreign, country, than to the interchange
of our own products, which would have retained the benefits of
our trade within ourselves ; hostile tariffs have interfered with
the free interchange of the products of the labour of all the
colonies’, and one of the greatest and most immediate benefits to
be derived from their union, will spring from the breaking down
of these barriers, and the opening up of the markets of all the
provinces to the different industries of each. If we require to
find an example of the benefits of free commercial intercourse, we
need not look beyond the effects that have followed from the
working of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States. In
one short year from the time when that treaty came into
operation, our trade in the natural productions of the two
countries swelled from less than $2,000,000 to upwards of
$20,000,000 per annum, and when we are threatened with an
interruption of that trade, it is the duty of the House to provide,
if possible, other outlets for our productions ; to seek by free
trade with our own fellow-colonists for a continued and uninter-
rupted commerce, which will not be liable to be disturbed at the
capricious will of any foreign country. In considering the second
and, perhaps, the third division whether the material condition
of these Provinces is such as to make the union practicable; and
whether the details of the measures proposed are equitable to
each and to all, it is necessary first to review the liabilities of each
province, the reasons why they were incurred, the objects which
have been sought. The public debt of Canada, New Brunswick,
and Nova Scotia has, with some slight exceptions, been incurred
for public improvements, intended to develope the resources of the
country. The public improvements of Canada, her great canals
intended to bring the trade of the vast countries bordering on the
lakes down to the Gulf of St. Lawrence ; the railway system
forced upon us in our competition with American channels of
trade, stretching from the extreme west to the extreme east of the
Province ; and the public works that have been undertaken in
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick practically form parts of one
great whole. Taking the present engagements of the several


Provinces, beginning with Canada, I find that our whole debt,
exclusive of the Common School Fund, which does not form a
portion of our engagements relatively to the Lower Provinces,
amounts to 167,263,995. The debt of Nova Scotia is $4,858,547,
and that of New Brunswick $5,702,991 ; Newfoundland has only
incurred liabilities to the extent of $946,000, bearing interest at
five per cent., while Prince Edward Island owes $240,673. The
total liabilities of those Provinces are, therefore, $11,748,211,
against the interest on which may be placed the net revenues of
the railways which are the property of those Provinces, and which
produced last year a net amount of about $100,000. In addition
to the existing liabilities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
there are certain further engagements they have incurred for the
extension of their railway system requiring future provision to
the extent, in the case of Nova Scotia, of $3,000,000, and in that
of New Brunswick of $1,300,000. Taking all the engagements,
present and future, of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it was
found that, relatively to their populations, they amounted to about
$25 per head, and this amount, as applied to Canada, would
entitle us to enter the union with a debt of $62,500,000. Some
difficulty might have occurred in reducing the Canadian debt to
this amount had it not been apparent, on examination, that a con-
siderable portion of it was connected with local advances, such as
the Municipal Loan Fund, which does not properly belong to the
same category as debt contracted in connection with the system of
public improvements, the management of which is intended to be
confided to the General Government, but rather partakes of a
local character, and should more properly be left in the hands of
the Local Legislatures. It will, therefore, be found provided in
the resolutions, that in assuming for itself, apart from the General
Government, the surplus of debt of about $5,000,000, the
Province of Canada became entitled to withdraw from the general
assets all those items which were of a local character, and for
which a portion of its debt had been incurred. It was wise, then,
to confine the liabilities of the General Government simply to
those debts which had been incurred for purposes of general
improvement, and to provide locally, in this country, for the


assumption of the surplus, together with the assets which had
been created by it.”

Hon. Mr. Dorion ” Do the $67,263,995, stated as the debt of
Canada, include the original seigniorial indemnity given to Upper
and Lower Canada, under the Act of 1854 1 ”

Hon. Mr. Gait ” Yes ; that amount does include the indemnity,
and among the arrangements contemplated by the Government,
assuming that Confederation does take place, they will submit for
the consideration of this House, a project for the assumption by
Lower Canada of the seigniorial indemnity provided by the Act
of 1859, whereby it will be rendered unnecessary to give an
equivalent indemnity to Upper Canada, thus saving upwards of
three millions of dollars. It now becomes my duty to submit to
the House, a statement of the resources which the several prov-
inces propose to bring into the common stock, for which purpose
the financial returns of 1863 have been taken as the standard.
From these returns, it would appear that the income and expen-
diture of the several provinces stood in that year as follows :
Nova Scotia, with a population of 338,857, had an income of
$1,185,629, her outlay being $1,072,274; New Brunswick, with
a population of 252,047, had an income of $894,836, and an
outlay of $884,613; Newfoundland, with a population of 130,000,
had an income of $480,000, the outlay being $479,420 ; Prince
Edward Island, with a population of 80,000, had an income of
$197,384, the outlay being $171,718. The total revenue of all
these colonies amounted to $2,763,004, and the total expenditure
to $2,608,025 the united surplus over expenditure for 1863
being $154,979. It will be observed that as regards these Pro-
vinces their income and expenditure are such that they will enter
the Confederation with a financial position in no respect inferior
to that of Canada. If an objection were made with respect to
any Province in regard to its financial position, it would be against
Canada. The Lower Provinces have been and are now in a
position to meet, from their taxation, all their expenses, and can-
not be regarded as bringing any burthen to the people of Canada.
It is not necessary to say anything in reference to the financial
position of Canada in 1863, but it is gratifying to know that the


deficiency which unfortunately existed during that year was re-
moved in 1864, and that, therefore, we are not obliged now to
enter the Confederation in an inferior position, in this respect, to
that of the sister colonies. The revenues of each of these Pro-
vinces are collected under different systems of taxation, suited to
the local industry and the wants of their several populations. It
is, therefore, one of the first duties of the General Legislature to
consider the modes by which the burden of taxation can be most
easily borne by the industry of the whole country, and to as-
similate the several sources of revenue which are now in existence
in such manner as will least interfere with the profitable exercise
of the industry of the people. -One thing must be evident that
where the taxation is about equal per head, the adjustment of it
cannot be attended with any injustice to the people of any of the
several provinces. Apart from the advantages from the free trade
which will hereafter exist between us, the credit of each and all
the Provinces will be greatly advanced by a union of their re-
sources. A larger fund will be available as security to the public
creditor, larger industries will be subjected to the action of the
Legislature for the maintenance of public credit, and some of those
apprehensions which have latterly affected the public credit of this
country will be removed. It is proved by the fluctuating quota-
tions of the securities of these Provinces in London that the
apprehension of war with the United States which has affected
the prices of Canadian bonds has not to the same extent affected
those of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which are less exposed
to hostile attack ; and the union, while it affords greater resources,
will, at the same time, carry with it a greater sense of security.
I now propose, to refer to the means which will be at the disposal
of the several Local Governments to enable them to administer
the various matters of public policy which it is proposed to entrust
to them. In the case of Canada the sum of nearly five millions
of the public debt has to be borne by Upper and Lower Canada.
It will hereafter be for the House to decide how this sum shall be
apportioned, but the probability is that the Government will re-
commend that it shall be divided on the basis of population.
Canada will have at its disposal a large amount of the local assets,


including especially the sums due to the Municipal Loan Fund,
which will produce an income for the support of their local in-
stitutions. As a matter of account between Upper and Lower
Canada and the General Government, they will be charged with
the interest on their respective proportions of the five millions
against the subsidy which it is proposed shall be given to them,
while they themselves will collect from the municipalities and
other local sources all the revenue and amounts which now enter
into the general revenue of the Province of Canada.”

Hon. Mr. Dorion ” Will Lower Canada be charged with the
municipal loan fund, the seigniorial indemnity, and the educational
indemnity ? ”

Hon. Mr. Gait “As regards the original seigniorial indemnity
and the municipal loan, they are both included in the sixty-seven
millions already stated as the liabilities of Canada, and cannot,
therefore, form any additional charge against Lower Canada. In-
deed, as regards the Municipal Loan Fund, instead of being stated
as a liability, it appears that the sums due under it are to be
regarded in the light of assets, because we are considering the
sums received as assets by Lower Canada. The Municipal Loan
Fund being one of them, the sums due to it under the existing
provincial arrangements will become payable as an asset to that
section of the Province. It will be observed that in the plan
proposed there are certain sources of local revenue reserved to the
Local Governments, arising from territorial domain, lands, mines,
&c., sources of revenue far beyond the requirements of the public
service. If the local revenues become inadequate, it will be
necessary for the Local Governments to have resort to direct
taxation; and one of the wisest provisions in the proposed con-
stitution is to be found in the fact that those who are called upon
to administer public affairs will feel, when they resort to direct
taxation, that a solemn responsibility rests upon them, and that that
responsibility will be exacted by the’ people in the most peremp-
tory manner. I do not hesitate to say, that if the public men of
these Provinces were sufficiently educated to understand their own
interests in the true light of the principles of political economy, it
would be better now to substitute direct taxation for some of the in-


direct modes by which taxation has been imposed upon the industry
of the people, I do not, however, believe that at this moment it
is possible, nor do I think the people of this country would support
any government in adopting this measure unless it were forced upon
them by the pressure of an overwhelming necessity. The local
revenue of Upper Canada during the last four years has averaged
the sum of $739,000, and that of Lower Canada $557,239. Together
they amount to nearly $1,300,000, independent of the 80c. per head
which it is proposed to allow the local governments out of the
general exchequer, for the purpose of meeting their local expendi-
tures. These local expenditures include such items as the adminis-
tration of justice, the support of education, grants to literary and
scientific societies, hospitals and charities, and such other matters
as cannot be regarded as devolving upon the general government.
The whole charge, exclusive of the expenses of local government
and legislation, 011 an average of the last four years, has in Lower
Canada amounted to $997,000, and in Upper Canada to $1,024,622
per annum. To these sums will have now to be added such
amounts as may be required to meet the cost of the civil govern-
ment of the country and of legislation for local purposes. In the
case of Nova Scotia, the estimate of outlay in 1864, for objects of
a local character, required an expenditure of no less than $667,000.
Some portion of this expenditure was for services that did not
require again to be performed ; but they have undertaken to
perform the whole service in future for $371,000. In the case of
New Brunswick, in 1864 the estimated expenditure was $404,000,
which they have undertaken to reduce to $353,000 ; and at the
same time they have further undertaken within ten years to make
an additional reduction of $63,000, thus reducing the whole
expenditure in the future to $290,000. Prince Edward Island,
with an expenditure of $124,000, proposes to perform the same
local duties that formerly required $170,000; and in Newfoundland
an outlay of $479,000 has been similarly reduced to $350,000.
The House must now consider the means whereby these local
expenditures have to be met. I have already explained that in
the case of Canada, and also in that of the Lower Provinces,
certain sources of revenue are set aside as being of a purely local


character, and available to meet the local expenditure ; but I have
been obliged, in my explanations with regard to Canada, to advert
to the fact that it is contemplated to give a subsidy of 80c. per
head to each of the Provinces. In transferring to the General
Government all the large sources of revenue, and in placing in
their hand with a single exception, that of direct taxation all
the means whereby the industry of the people may be made to
contribute to the wants of the state, it must be evident to every
one that some portion of the resources thus placed at the disposal
of the General Government must in some form or other be avail-
able to supply the hiatus that would otherwise take place between
the sources of local revenue and the demands of local expenditure.
The members of the Conference considered this question with the
most earnest desire to reduce to the lowest possible limits the sum
that was thus required, and I think that the figures I have already
given to the House afford the best possible evidence that no dis~
position existed, at any rate on the part of our friends from the
Lower Provinces, to take from the public exchequer one shilling
more than the necessities of their respective communities absolutely
demanded. In the case of Canada, perhaps it will be said that a
smaller sum would have met our immediate wants, but it was felt
that it would ba impossible to justify any distinction being drawn
between subjects of the same country. A subsidy of 80c. per
head was provided, based upon the population according to the
census of 1861. The agreement does not contemplate any future
extension of this amount. It is hoped that being in itself fixed
and permanent in its character, the Local Governments will see
the necessity of exercising a rigid and proper control over the
expenditure of their several Provinces. The last question neces-
sary to be decided on the present occasion is, whether under the
proposed Confederation such additional expenses will be incurred
as to render it undesirable. On the one hand we shall be free
from the empty parade of small courts entailed by our present
system on each of these Provinces, keeping up a pretence of regal
show when the reality is wanting; we shall have the legislation
of the General Government restricted to those great questions
which may properly occupy the attention of the first men in the


country; we shall not have our time frittered away in considering
the merits of petty local bills, and therefore we may reasonably
hope that the expenses of the General Legislature will be con_
siderably less than even those of the Legislature of Canada at the
present moment, while, on the other hand, the Local Legislatures
having to deal rather with municipal than great general questions,
will be able to dispose of them in a manner more satisfactory to
the people, and at infinitely less expense than now. I believe,
therefore, the simple cost of the Government of the country will
not be in reality any greater under the new than under the old
system ; but there are other items of expenditure for great public
objects, the absence of which from the estimates of any country
is an indication rather of weakness and of dependence than a
subject that ought to form a source of satisfaction. If such items
are not now found in the public expenditure, either of Canada or
the Lower Provinces, it is the best proof that could bo given that
our position is one of inferiority, and that we do not possess either
the power or the means to undertake such works as make such
items necessary. First I will instance the great question of defence,
the absence of items of expenditure for which can only be an indica –
tion that we are lacking in one of the chief elements of national
greatness, that we do not properly value the institutions under
which we live, and that we are not willing to make the sacrifices
that every free people must make if they are desirous of preserv-
ing them. The same argument applies to public works, in con-
nection with which it might be said that great advantage would
arise from large expenditure ; but with limited resources and an
undeveloped territory it might be impossible for any small country
to undertake the necessary outlay. Many works of this kind
are not directly productive of revenue, although indirectly of the
utmost advantage, and if the resources of a country generally
cannot be applied to that outlay, the absence of such expenditure
ought to be a subject of regret in the community, and not of re-
joicing. Let us endeavour by this measure to afford a better
opening than we now possess for the industry and intelligence of
the people. Let us seek by this scheme to give them higher and
worthier objects of ambition. Let us not reject the scheme with

‘2’2(i < ONFEDERATION. the bright prospect it offers of a nobler future for our youth, jind grander objects for the emulation of our public men. Let us not refuse it on small questions of detail, but judge it on its general merits. Let us not lose sight of the great advantages which union offers because there may be some small matters which, MS individuals, we may not like. Let the House frankly look at it us a great measure brought down for the purpose of relieving the country from distress and depression, and give it that consideration which is due, not to the arguments of the Government, feeble as they may be in view of the great interests involved, but to the fact that the country desires and cries for, at the hands of the House, some measure whereby its internal prosperity, peace and happiness may be developed and maintained." Hon. Mr. Holton led the attack on behalf of the opposition. He did not answer the arguments of the supporters of the mea- sure, but denouncing their incompetency and inconsistency, with caustic sarcasm declared that he was not afraid that their speeches should go to the country unanswered. Compared with others, his speech is extremely short. Being the first in opposition, and strikingly characteristic of a prominent member of Parliament, and a leading opponent of confederation, it is given in full. Per- haps also hereafter it may be referred to as a scathing review by a cotemporary liberal, of the style and efficiency of the leading politicians of the day, his Conservative opponents. He said : " We on this side had some doubts lest the Opposition might be placed at a disadvantage, by allowing the speeches of the Go- vernment to go to the country without any comment on them. But if the five speeches to which we have now listened contain all that can be said in favour of this scheme, we have no fear of letting them go unanswered. I listened to the speech of the Attorney-General West with great disappointment. The cause of that disappointment was simple enough. The honourable gentle- man was, in that speech, giving the lie to twenty years of his political life. He was offering to the cause he is now advocating one speech against his continuous voice and vote for twenty years. He was struggling, all through that speech, against the conscious- CONFEDERATION,, 227 ness of the falseness of liis political position, and what every one conceived would be the brightest effort of his life was the feeblest address he ever delivered on any important question during the twenty years he had sat in this House. The Attorney-General West was followed by the Attorney-General East. I know not how to characterize the speech of that hon. gentleman, further than to say that it was quite characteristic. It was perfectly character- istic. I doubt whether any attorney-general who ever existed, since attorneys-general were first invented, besides that hon. gentleman, could have delivered, on an occasion like this, the speech which he delivered. It may be said of that hon. gentleman, as the poet said of a very different style of man one who was not an hon. gentleman in the sense in which we are now speaking ' None but himself can be his parallel.' No attorney-general, I repeat, since attorneys-general were first invented, could have delivered a speech at all like that pronounced by the Attorney-General East, in open- ing his side of the great question now submitted to the consider- ation of Parliament. Then followed the singularly able speech of my honourable friend, the Finance Minister, which was delivered with all that ease and grace that mark all his efforts in this House, and with that fluency of diction which we all admire, and which I am always ready to acknowledge. But I think it will also be admitted by that honourable gentleman's own friends, that his speech was chiefly remarkable for an adroit avoidance of the very topics on which he was expected, or might have been expected, to address the House, and for a very adroit assumption of those very things which he might have been expected to prove. Such, at least, was the impression which that speech made upon my mind. Then came the speech, the herculean effort of my honour- able friend, the President of the Council. That speech was a dis- appointing speech. I did expect, from the conspicuous part which that honourable gentleman has so long played in the politics of the country, from the leading part he has had in all the proceedings which have conducted to the project now before the House, that we should have had from him, at all events, some vindication of the steps which he has seen fit to take some vindication of the principles of the proposed union, so contrary to all those princi- 228 CONFEDERATION. pies which he has hitherto advocated. I say, we did expect that we would have had something of that kind from that honourable gentleman. But, instead of that, his whole speech was mainly an apology for his abandonment of all those objects for which he has contended through his political life, saving only the shadow of representation by population, to attain which shadow he seems to have sacrificed all the material objects, all the real objects, for the attainment of which the agitation for that change has proceeded on his part. Then we have had, to-night, the speech of my honourable friend, the Minister of Agriculture, a speech which I admit was one of very great interest as a historical essay one which will read very nicely in those reports which we are to get in a few days one which does very great credit to his literary research and literary taste ; but one which, I do venture to say, had very little practical bearing on the question that is now before us. Well, I repeat, I am not afraid that these speeches should go to the country unanswered. The country will see that these honourable gentlemen have utterly failed to establish a cause for revolution. They are proposing revolution, and it was incumbent upon them to establish a necessity for revolution. All revolu- tions are unjustifiable, except on the ground of necessity. These honourable gentlemen were, therefore, bound to establish this neces- sity. The country will see, too, that they have failed to explain, to vindicate and to justify the disregard of parliamentary law and of parliamentary usage by which they are attempting to extort from this House an assent, not merely to the principle of union which would be perfectly proper but to all the clumsy contriv- ances adopted by that self-constituted junta which sat in Quebec a few weeks since, for giving effect to that union, and to all those huxtering arrangements by which the representatives of the Lower Provinces were induced to give in their adhesion, and, so far as they could, the adhesion of their provinces to this scheme. I say, they quite failed to explain this and to vindicate it. The country too will see that these honourable gentlemen have carefully re- frained from entering into any explanation of the concomitants of this scheme of the proposed constitutions of the local govern- ments, for instance, which are, at least, as important as the con- CONFEDERATION. 229 stitution of the Federal Government. It is quite manifest that a union, even if generally desirable, might become undesirable from the bad, or inconvenient, or expensive arrangements incident to the adoption of that union. And that really explains the posi- tion of many honourable gentlemen in this House, who like myself, are not opposed to the Federal principle, but who find themselves obliged to go counter apparently to their own convic. tions, because they cannot accept a union clogged with such condi- tions as this union is. Then it might have been expected that some further, some more distinct information might have been given than has been given, on the all-important question of edu- cation, in respect of which we have been given to understand that some final and permanent system will be enacted by this legislature, in view of the proposed federation of the Provinces. We might also have expected that some information would have been vouchsafed to us in respect to the Intercolonial Railway, which we are in fact voting for, without having gone into commit- tee of the whole. Without having in point of fact any informa- tion with regard to it whatever, we are voting the cost of that road, so far as this legislature can do so a road which will cer- tainly cost us $20,000,000, and, for aught we know, may cost us $40,000,000. I do think we should have had some information with respect to that road from these honourable gentlemen, in order that the whole case might have gone to the country. And then, with respect to the defences of the country, what sort of utterances have we had on that subject ? We were told by the President of the Council that the subject was engaging the atten- tion of the Imperial Government, and he vindicated union, because defence can be better given by united than by separate colonies. And what have we been told to-night by the Minister of Agriculture'? That despatches are received by every second mail from England, telling us that we are entering 011 a new era with reference to the question of defence. What does all this mean 1 It means that, in connection with this union, we are to have entailed upon us untold expenditures for the defence of the country. Ought they not to place this information, these des- patches, before the House and the country, before any final and 230 CONFEDERATION. irrevocable action is taken with regard to the scheme 1 These are a few, and but a few of the leading topics which constitute the contents of this scheme of Federation, in respect to which we had a- right to expect the fullest possible information, but in respect to which honourable gentlemen have either maintained a studied reserve, or have spoken, like the Delphic oracles, in language which defies interpretation. I say, then, let these speeches go to the country; and if the country, by perusing them, is not awak- ened to the dangers which threaten it from the adoption of this crude, immature, ill-considered scheme of honourable gentlemen, a scheme which threatens to plunge the country into measureless debt, into difficulties and confusions utterly unknown to the pre- sent constitutional system, imperfect as that system confessedly is if the country is not awakened to a sense of its danger by the perusal of these speeches, I do not say I will despair of my coun- try, for I will never despair of my country, but I anticipate for my country a period of calamities, a period of tribulation, such as it has never heretofore known." On the 16th February, Hon. Mr. Dorion followed in support of Mr. Hoi ton, and in resuming the adjourned debate, after remark- ing that he had heard no sufficient reasons assigned for changing the views he had before entertained on the subjects of the Elec- tive Council and Intercolonial Railway, and the question of union, when first proposed by Mr. Gait in 1858, proceeded to observe that the present scheme was submitted on two grounds^ first, the necessity for meeting the constitutional difficulties which have arisen between Upper and Lower Canada, owing to the growing demands on the part of Upper Canada for representation by population; and, secondly, the necessity for providing more efficient means for the defence of the country than now exist. The first time representation by population was mooted in this House, on behalf of Upper Canada, was, I believe, in the session of 1852, when the Conservative party took it up, and the Hon. Sir Allan Macnab moved resolutions in favour of the principle. We then found the Conservatives arrayed in support of this con- stitutional change. It had been mooted before on behalf of CONFEDERATION. '2'11 Lower Canada, but the Upper Canadians had all opposed it. I think two votes were taken in 1852, and on one of these occa- sions the Hon. Attorney-General West (Hon. J. A. Macdonald) voted for it; it came up incidentally. In 1854, the Macna-b- Morin coalition took place, and we heard no more of represen- tation by population from that quarter that is, as mooted by the Conservative party, who from that moment uniformly opposed it on every occasion. It was, however, taken up by the present Hon. President of the Council (Hon. Mr. Brown), and he caused such an agitation in its behalf as almost threatened a revolution. I never hesitated to say that something ought to be done to meet the just claims of Upper Canada, and that representation based on population was, in the abstract, a just and correct principle. I held, at the same time, there were reasons why Lower Canada could not grant it. In 1856, when Parliament was sitting in Toronto, I suggested that one means of getting over the difficulty would be to substitute for the present legislative union a con- federation of the two Canadas, by means of which all local questions could be consigned to the deliberations of local legis- latures, with a central government having control of commercial and other questions of common or general interest. The first time the matter was put to a practical test was in 1858. On the resignation of the Macdonald-Cartier administration, the Brown- Dorion government was formed, and one of the agreements mad e between its members was that the constitutional question should be taken up and settled, either by a confederation of the two Provinces, or by representation according to population, with such checks and guarantees as would secure the religious faith, the laws, the language, and the peculiar institutions of each section of the country from encroachments on the part of the other. I still hold to the same views, the same opinions. I still think that a federal union of Canada might hereafter extend so as to embrace other territories either west or east ; that such a system is well adapted to admit of territorial expansion without any disturbance of the federal economy, but I cannot understand how this can be regarded as any indication that I have ever been in favour of confederation with the other British Provinces. On 232 CONFEDERATION. the contrary, whenever the question came up, I set my face against it. Such a confederation could only bring trouble and embarrassment; there was no social, no commercial connec- tion between the Provinces proposed to be united nothing to justify their union at the present juncture. Of course I do not say that I shall be opposed to their confederation for all time to come. Population may extend over the wilderness that now lies between the maritime Provinces and ourselves, and commercial intercourse may increase sufficiently to render confederation desirable. The confederation I advocated was a real confeder- ation, giving the largest powers to the local governments, and merely a delegated authority to the general government ; in that respect differing in toto from the one now proposed, which gives all the powers to the central government, and reserves for the local governments the smallest possible amount of freedom of action. There was, then, another cause for this Confederation scheme, of which representation by population was made the pre- text. It is not so well known, but far more powerful. In the year J861, Mr. Watkiii was sent from England by the Grand Trunk Railway Company. He came with the distinct view of making a large claim on the country for aid, but in the then temper of the people, he soon found that he could not expect to obtain that. He then started for the Lower Provinces, and came back after inducing people there to resuscitate the question of the Intercolonial Railway. Parties were readily found to advocate it, if Canada would only pay the piper. A meeting of delegates took place, resolutions were adopted, and an application was made to the Imperial Government for a large contribution to its cost, in the shape of an indemnity for carrying the troops over the road. Mr. Watkin and Hon. Mr. Vankoughnet, who was then a member of the Government, went to England about this scheme, but the Imperial authorities were unwilling to grant the required assistance, and rejected their propositions. Mr. Watkin, although baffled in his expectations, did not give up his project. He returned again to Canada, and induced the Hon. J. S. Macdonald, and other honourable members of his Cabinet to enter into his views. As to the advantages of the Intercolonial Railway, my CONFEDERATION. 233 honourable friend had no suspicion whatsoever of the motives which animated these Grand Trunk officials, and that their object was to have another haul at the public purse for the Grand Trunk, but this was the origin of the revival of the scheme for constructing the Intercolonial Railway. At a meeting of dele- gates of the several Provinces, which took place in September, 1862, a new scheme for building the. Intercolonial was adopted, by which Canada was to pay five-twelfths and the Lower Pro- vinces seven-twelfths. So unpopular was this arrangement that when its terms were made known, if a vote of the people had been taken upon it, not ten out of every hundred, from Sandwich to Gaspe, would have declared in its favour, although Canada was only to pay five-twelfths of its cost. This project having failed, some other scheme had to be concocted for bringing aid and relief to the unfortunate Grand Trunk, and the Confederation of all the British North American Provinces naturally suggested itself to the Grand Trunk officials, as the surest means of bringing with it the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. Such was the origin of this Confederation scheme. The Grand Trunk people are at the bottom of it. I repeat that representation by popula- tion had very little to do with bringing about this measure. Again, is the scheme presented to us the same one that was promised to us by the Administration when it was formed 1 There were two propositions. The first was that the Govern- ment would pledge themselves to seek a Confederation of the British American Provinces, and if they failed in that to federate the two Canadas, and this was rejected ; the second, which was accepted by the President of the Council, pledged the Govern- ment to bring in a measure for the Confederation of the two Canadas, with provision for the admission of the other Provinces when they thought proper to enter." Hon. Attorney-General Macdonald " "When they were ready." Hon. Attorney-General Cartier " Everything is accomplished." Hon. Mr. Dorion "But, I may be asked, granting that the scheme brought down is not the scheme promised to us, what dif- ference can our bringing in the Provinces at once make ? This I will explain. When they went into the conference, hon. gentle- 16 234 CONFEDERATION. men opposite submitted to have the votes taken by Provinces. Well, they have now brought us in, as was natural under the circumstances, the most conservative measure ever laid before a Parliament. When the Government went into that conference they were bound by the majority, especially since they voted by Provinces, and the 1,400,000 of Upper Canada with the 1,100,000 of Lower Canada together 2,500,000 people were over-ridden by 900,000 people of the Maritime Provinces. Were we not expressly told that it was the Lower Provinces who would not hear of our having an elective Legislative Council 1 If, instead of going into conference with the people of the Lower Provinces, our Government had done what they pledged themselves to do, that is, to prepare a constitution themselves, they would never have dared to bring in such a proposition, as this which is now imposed upon us by the Lower Colonies to have a Legislative Council, with a fixed number of members, nominated by four Tory Governments. Taking the average time each councillor will be in the Council to be fifteen to twenty years, it will take a century before its complexion can be changed. The new House for the Confederation is to be a perfectly independent body these gentlemen are to be named for life and there is to be no power to increase their number. How long will the system work with- out producing a collision between the two branches of the Legis- lature "? I venture to prophesy that before a very short time has elapsed a dead lock may arise, and such an excitement be created as has never yet been seen in this country. Now, if this consti- tution had been framed by the members of our Government, we could change some of its provisions ; but it is in the nature of a compact, a treaty, and cannot be changed. The composition of the Legislative Council becomes of more importance when we consider that the governors of the Local Legislatures are to be appointed by the General Government, as well as the Legislative Council ; their appointment is to be for five years, and they are not to be removed without cause. I will venture upon another prediction, and say we shall find there will be no such thing as responsible government attached to the Local Legislatures." Mr. Dunkin " There cannot be." CONFEDERATION. 235 Hon. Mr. Dorion " There will be two, three, or four minis- ters chosen by the Lieutenant-Governors, who will conduct the administration of the country, as was formerly done in the times of Sir Francis Bond Head, Sir John Colborn, or Sir James Craig. You will have governments, the chief executives of which will be appointed and hold office at the will of the Governor. Is this House going to vote a constitution with the Upper House as proposed, without knowing what sort of Local Legislatures we are to have to govern us 1 The whole scheme is absurd from beginning to end. The instincts of honourable gentlemen opposite, whether you take the Hon.. Attorney-General East or the Hon. Attorney-General West, lead them to this they think the hands of the Crown should be strengthened, and the influence of the people, if possible, diminished and this constitution is a specimen of their handiwork, with a Governor-General appointed by the Crown; with local Governors also appointed by the Crown; with Legislative Councils, in the General Legislature and in all the Provinces, nominated by the Crown; we shall have the most illiberal constitution ever heard of in any coun- try, where constitutional government prevails. The Speaker of the Legislative Council is also to be appointed by the Crown this is another step backwards, and a little piece of patronage for the Government. Another point : It is said that this Confeder- ation is necessary for the purpose of providing a better mode of defence for this country. You add to the frontier four or five hundred more miles than you now have, and an extent of country immeasurably greater in proportion than the additional population you have gained ; and if there is an advantage at all for the defence of the country, it will be on the part of the Lower Provinces, and not for us. As Canada is to contribute to the expenditure to the extent of ten-twelfths of the whole, the other Provinces paying only two-twelfths, it follows that Canada will pay ten-twelfths also of the cost of defence, which, to defend the largely extended country we will have to defend, will be much larger than if we remained alone. Why, take the line dividing New Brunswick from Maine, and you find it separates on the one side 250,000, thinly scattered over a vast territory, from 750,000 on the other, 236 CONFEDERATION. compact and powerful. These 250,000, Canada will have to defend, and it will have to pledge its resources for the purpose of providing means of defence along that extended line. And, if rumour be true, the Intercolonial Railway, this so-called great defensive work, is not to pass along Major Robinson's line. The statement has been made I have seen it in newspapers usually well informed that a new route has been found that will satisfy everybody or nobody at all ; and, while I am on this point, I must say that it is most singular that we are called upon to vote these resolutions, and to pledge ourselves to pay ten-twelfths of the cost of that railway, without knowing whether there will be ten miles or one hundred miles of it in Lower Canada, or whethei it will cost $10,000,000 or $20,000,000." Hon. Mr. Holton " It will be nearer $40,000,000." Hon. Mr. Dorion " It is folly to suppose that this Inter- colonial Railway will in the least degree be conducive to the defence of the country. We have expended a large sum of money and none voted it more cordially and heartily than myself for the purpose of opening a military highway from Gasp6 to Rimouski ; and that road, in case of hostilities with our neighbours, would be found of far greater service for the transport of troops, cannon, and all kinds of munitions of war, than any railway following the same or a more southern route possibly can be. That road cannot be effectually destroyed ; but a railway lying in some places not more than fifteen or twenty miles from the frontier, will be of no use whatever, because of the readiness with which it may be attacked and seized. The battles of Canada cannot be fought on the frontier, but on the high seas and at the great cities on the Atlantic coast ; and it will be nothing but folly for us to cripple ourselves by spending fifteen or twenty millions a year to raise an army of 50,000 men for the purpose of resisting an invasion of the country. Now, when I look into the provisions of this scheme, I find another most objectionable one. It is that which gives the General Govern- ment control over all the acts of the Local Legislatures. What difficulties may not arise under this system 1 Now, knowing that the General Government will be party in its character, may it not CONFEDERATION. 237 for party purposes reject laws passed by the Local Legislatures, and demanded by a majority of the people of that locality. This power conferred upon the General Government, has been com- pared to the veto power that exists in England in respect to our legislation ; but we know that the statesmen of England are not actuated by the local feelings and prejudices, and do not partake of the local jealousies that prevail in the colonies. It is quite possible for a majority in a Local Government to be opposed to the General Government ; and in such a case the minority would call upon the General Government to disallow the laws enacted by the majority ? The men who shall compose the General Government will be dependent for their support upon their political friends in the Local Legislatures, and it may so happen that, in order to secure this support, or in order to serve their own purposes or that of their supporters, they will veto laws which the majority of a Local Legislature find necessary and good. What will be the result of such a state of things but bitter- ness of feeling, strong political acrimony and dangerous agitation? Then, among the powers granted to local legislatures, we find the power to pass by-laws imposing direct taxation. That is the first power they have, and I have no doubt that, before many months have passed after they are constituted, they will find it necessary to resort to it. But, in addition to this, I find that New Bruns- wick and Nova Scotia, which, no doubt, are the favoured children of the Confederation, have powers not granted to the other pro- vinces. New Brunswick, tha resolution declares, shall have the power to impose an export duty on timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber, and Nova Scotia on coal and other mine- rals, for local purposes ; so that while our timber and minerals exported from Upper and Lower Canada will be taxed by the General Government for general purposes, the timber and mine- rals of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will be exempt, the revenue derived from them going to the benefit of the local gov- ernments, to be expended on local objects. Now, among the other powers granted to the General Government is its control over agriculture and immigration, as well as the fisheries. What will be the operation of this provision 1 ? The local legislature 238 CONFEDERATION. will pass a law which will then go to the General Government ; the latter will put its veto upon it, and if that does not answer, it will pass a law contrary to it, and you have at once a conflict. I shall now pass to the consideration of a portion of the financial scheme. I shall certainly not attempt to follow the Hon. Finance Minister in what I admit was the able statement, or rather able manipulation of figures, he made the other day. When that honourable gentleman was able to prove to the satisfaction of the Barings, the Glyns, and the leading merchants of England, that the investment they would make in the Grand Trunk Railway would yield them at least eleven per cent., it is not astonishing that he was able to show to this House that the finances of the Confederation will be in a most flourishing condition, and that we shall have a surplus every year of at least a million dollars. I have a million more than I want, he exclaims, and I will reduce the duties to fifteen per cent. But the honourable gentleman for- gets that he has the Intercolonial Railway to provide for, as well as that military and naval defensive force which we are going to raise. He forgets all this, but the promise is there ; aad just as he held out to the expected shareholders of the Grand Trunk Rail- way the eleven per cent, dividends upon their investments, he now tells the people of these several colonies that the customs duties will be reduced to fifteen per cent. The first thing that the Confede- ration will have to provide for is the Intercolonial Railway, which will certainly cost twenty millions of dollars, the interest upon which, at five per cent., will amount to one million of dollars annually. Then to Newfoundland we are bound to pay $150,000 a year, for all time to come, to purchase the mineral lands of that colony ; while, as regards the other provinces, all the public lands are given up to the local governments. But this is not all, for, in order to manage these ' valuable lands ' in Newfoundland, we shall have to establish a Crown Lands department under the Gene- ral Government. Now, supposing the increased extent of terri- tory to be defended under the Confederation, augments the militia expenditure to the extent of a million a year. Then add the interest of the sum required to build the Intercolonial Railway, five per cent, on $20,000,000, and we have an annual payment of CONFEDERATION. 239 $1,000,000 more, which is increased by $150,000, the indemnity paid to Newfoundland for its valuable mineral lands. Then we have to pay the local governments, at the rate of eighty cents per head, $3,056,849, The interest on the debt of Nova Scotia, $8,000,000, will amount to $400,000 ; on that of New Brunswick, $7,000,000, to $350,000; that of Newfoundland, $3,250,000, to $162,000 ; and on the debt of Prince Edward Island, $2,021,425* to $101,071. Adding all these sums together, we find that the annual expenditure, in addition be it remembered to the bur- dens which we now bear, will be $6,237,920, representing a capi- tal of $124,758,400. The share of Canada in this annual expenditure will be $1.89 per head, amounting to the sum of $4,725,000. This is altogether irrespective of the debt of $62, 500,000 with which Canada enters the union. The whole expen- diture of the province, exclusive of interest on public debt, cost of legislation, militia, subsidy to ocean steamers, and collection of revenue, which will have to be paid even with Confederation, if it takes place, does not amount to more than $2,500,000, or one dollar per head of the whole population. Then sup- posing that Upper Canada pays two-thirds of that sum, or $1,666,666, and Lower Canada one-third, Upper Canada would only pay $266,666 more than her share according to population. And it is to get rid of this expenditure of a couple of hundred thousand dollars that the Upper Canadian members of the Govern- ment propose that their section of the country should pay an addi- tional yearly expenditure of $3,181,000, yielding no return what- soever, and to saddle on Lower Canada an additional expenditure of from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 a-year, the amount depending on the proportion which they respectively contribute to the revenue of the country. And this was only the immediate and necessary expenditure that would fall upon the people of Canada at the very outset. There was not a single sixpence in this estimate for any improvement to be made in the eastern or western portion of the Confederacy. Respecting the defences of the country, he should have said, at an earlier stage of his remarks, that this scheme pro- poses a union not only with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, but also with British Columbia 240 CONFEDERATION. and Vancouver's Island. I must confess, Mr. Speaker," said the honourable member, " that it looks like a burlesque to speak, as a means of defence, of a scheme of confederation to unite the whole country extending from Newfoundland to Vancouver's Island, thousands of miles intervening without any communication, except through the United States or around Cape Horn." Hon. Attorney-General Cartier " There is an interoceanic rail- way to be built." Hon. Mr. Dorion "Yes, I suppose that is another necessity of confederation to which we may soon look forward : some western extension of this Grand Trunk scheme, for the benefit of Messrs. Watkin & Co., of the new Hudson's Bay Company. So far as Lower Canada was concerned, he need hardly stop to point out the objections to the scheme. It was evident from what had transpired, that it was intended eventually to form a legislative union of all the Provinces. The local governments, in addition to the general government, will be found so burdensome, that a majority of the people will appeal to the Imperial Government for the formation of a legislative union. I may well ask," said he, " if there is any member from Lower Canada, of French extraction, who is ready to vote for a legislative union"? This confederation is the first necessary step towards it. The British Government is ready to grant a federal union at once ; and when that is accomplished, the French element will be completely overwhelmed by the majority of British representatives. Perhaps the people of Upper Canada think a legislative union a most desirable thing. He could tell those gentlemen that the people of Lower Canada are attached to their institutions in a manner that defies any attempt to change them in that way. They will not change their religious institu- tions, their laws or their language for any consideration whatever. A million of inhabitants may seem a small affair to the mind of a philosopher who sits down to write out a constitution. He may think it would be better that there should be one religion, one language and one system of laws, and he goes to work to frame institutions that will bring all to that desirable state; but the history of every country goes to show that not even by the power of the sword can such changes be accomplished. If a legislative CONFEDERATION. 241 union of the British American Provinces be attempted, there will be such an agitation in this portion of the Province as was never witnessed before : you will see the whole people of Lower Canada clinging together to resist, by all legal and constitutional means, such an attempt at wresting from them those institutions that they now enjoy. I think that the whole scheme, apart from the con- struction of the railway, is worse than* the railway scheme itself, and ought to be still more strongly opposed. It is a mere revival of a scheme that has been rejected by the people on every occasion on which it has been presented to them during the past seven years. In 1841, nearly twenty-five years ago, Lower Canada entered into the union of the Provinces with a debt of 133,000. Since the union, $12,000,000 have been expended for public works in Lower Canada, with perhaps another million for other small works ; in all $13,000,000. Twelve or thirteen millions of dollars' worth of public works is all we are able to show for an increase of our debt from 133,000 at the time of the union, to $27,500,000, which, on going out of the union to enter into the confederation, is the Lower Canada proportion of the $62,500,000 of public debt we are bringing into it. I do not take into consideration the Municipal Loan Fund indebtedness, nor the Seigiiorial Tenure redemption, because if we have received any benefit from the outlay, we are going to be charged for those items separately, over and above our share in the $62,500,000. From the explanations given the other day by the honourable Finance Minister, I infer that by putting the Seignorial Tenure to the charge of Lower Canada, and by Upper Canada abandoning its indemnity for the Seignorial Tenure expenditure, there is no necessity for taking those items into account as part of the liability of Cana'da in the Confederation ; that the charge for the redemption of the Seignorial Tenure, the township indemnity [under the Seignorial Act of 1859, the interest on that indemnity, the liability of the Province to the Superior Education Fund, and the loss on the Lower Canada Municipal Loan Fund, amounting in all to about $4,500,000, will have to be paid by Lower Canada alone. Upper Canada came into the union with a debt of 1,300,000. Immediately after the union, 1,500,000 sterling was borrowed for public works, most of which amount was 242 CONFEDERATION. expended in Upper Canada ; and yet Upper Canada goes out of the union by simply abandoning its claim for indemnity under the Seignorial Tenure Act, having nothing to assume but its Municipal Loan Fund and its share in the Federal debt ; while Lower Canada, on the contrary, goes out with a load of $4,500,000 of local debt, besides the $27,500,000 which falls to its share to be paid through the General Government. I submit that no such project ought to be voted by the House, before we have the fullest information necessary to enable us to come to right conclusions. We ought? besides, to have a clear statement of what are the liabilities speci- ally assigned to Upper and Lower Canada. It is well that Upper Canada should know if she has to pay the indebtedness of Port Hope, Cobourg, Brockville, Niagara, and other municipalities, which have borrowed from the Municipal Loan Fund, and what these liabilities are ; and it is important for Lower Canada to be told what are the amounts they will be required to tax themselves for. And we ought to obtain some kind of information upon the subject of the Intercolonial Railway what is the proposed cost, and what route is to be followed ; and before these facts are before the House, we ought not to take it upon ourselves to legislate on the subject. Still further, the people of the country do not understand the scheme. There is a provision that the nomination of the judges of the superior courts shall be vested in the General Government, but it would seem that the constitution of the courts is to be left to the local governments; and I put the question what does this mean 1 Do you mean that the local governments are to establish as many courts as they please, declare of how many judges they shall be composed, and that the General Government will have to pay for them 1 Is a local government to say, Jiere is a court with three judges ; we want five, and those five must be appointed, and paid by the General Government 1 ? He could well understand what was meant by the regulation of the law of divorce ; but what was meant by the regulation of the marriage question? Is the General Government to be at liberty to set aside all that we have been in the habit of doing in Lower Canada in this respect 1 It is said that the division of the debt is a fair one. We have given, say the Government, $25 of debt to each inhabitant. There is CONFEDERATION. 243 another aspect in which this question of debt is to be considered. To equalize it, the Conference have increased it on the basis of the population of the several Provinces. This is fair enough at present, supposing that each Province contribute the same proportion to the general revenue, and would continue to be so if their popula- tion progressed in the same ratio of increase ; but, from the natural advantages of Upper and Lower Canada, and their greater area of arable lands, there is no doubt they will increase in population and wealth in a much greater ratio than the Lower Provinces ; and in ten years hence, this proportion, which this day appears a fair one? will have much increased for Upper and Lower Canada, while it will have diminished for the Lower Provinces." He maintained that we ought not to pass this measure now, but leave it to another year, in order to ascertain in the meantime what the views and sentiments of the people actually were. On the 20th, Mr. Joly, sustaining Messrs. Holton and Dorion, expressed his want of confidence in all confederations, denouncing them for their instability and tendency to intestine wars and com- motions. He referred to the confederacies of Greece and Italy, citing Lords Brougham and Macaulay, and illustrated by refer- ence to the South American confederacies the correctness of his position, particularly objecting to the weakness of the central power, which he declared to be not the fruit but the root of the system; that the central power now wielded by England over us was free from the weakness incident to the federal system, and we felt only its benefits; that there was nothing exceptional in Lower Canada to alter the rule ; that in Lord Durham's time, as described by himself, there was an antagonism between its two races, French and English ; that the union had removed it, and they worked in harmony ; but place them in their former position, and the old sentiment would revive again. He referred to a reso- lution then before the House, suggesting that for the proposed confederation Canada should be divided into three civil divisions, "Western, Central and Eastern, as illustrative of his position ; that at the mere idea of a legislature in which the French ele- ment is to be in a majority in Lower Canada, the passions 244 CONFEDERATION. described by Lord Durham are evinced. "I do not believe," said lie, "that the French Canadians will abuse the power of their majority in Lower Canada, by striving to oppress the English Canadians ; but there are too many points on which they dis- agree to allow of their living long in peace together, in spite of their sincere wish to do so, under the system of local government which is proposed to us. The honourable Prime Minister said in the Council : ' I believe the French Canadians will do all in their power to render justice to their fellow-subjects of English origin ; and it should not be forgotten that, if the former are in a majority in Lower Canada, the English will be in a majority in the General Government, and that no act of real injustice can take place with- out its being reversed by the Federal Parliament.' But who is to decide whether any act of the French Canadians is really an act of injustice 1 The Federal Parliament in which the English ele- ment will be all-powerful ! In political matters, a disinterested opinion is but seldom come to ; the sympathies of the majority in the Federal Parliament will be against us. I see in this the pros- pect of a position which may prove to be a most dangerous one for us ; if the strife should commence, no one can tell when it will end. Confederation, by changing the state of things which established harmony between the English and French races in Lower Canada, will destroy that harmony, and the consequences may be only too easily foreseen. In Upper Canada there is much more homogeiiiety, and, by consequence, the danger of intestine trouble there is much less great. True it is that the enormous power of the Orangemen, and the law respecting separate schools, may give rise to difficulties, but I fear more for the relations of Upper Canada with the other provinces, and especially the Atlan- tic Provinces. Upper Canada objects, in general terms, to the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. Its wish is to see the resources of the future Confederation applied to opening up the immense territory of the North- West, and to the enlargement of its canals. The Atlantic Provinces desire the Intercolonial Rail- way ; but they hold in dread the expenditure which would be en- tailed by the opening up of the North- West territory and the enlargement of the canals. Upper Canada already fears lest the CONFEDERATION. 245 Atlantic Provinces should unite with Lower Canada against her ; the French Canadians fear for their nationality, threatened by the English majority from the other provinces, and yet Confederation only exists as a scheme. But when the different provinces shall meet in the Federal Parliament as on a field of battle, when they have there contracted the habit of contending with each other to cause their own interests, so various and so incompatible with each other, to prevail, and when, from repetition of this undying strife, jealousy and inevitable hatred shall have resulted, our sen- timents towards the other provinces will no longer be the same ; and should any great danger, in which our safety would depend upon our united condition, arise, it would then perhaps be found that our Federal union had been the signal for our disunion. In such a position the greatest danger would result from the neigh- bourhood of the United States, a nation which for a long time has looked on our Provinces with a covetous eye. They will follow up our political struggles closely, will encourage the discon- tented, and will soon find an opportunity for interfering in our internal affairs, being called in by the weaker party. History is full of similar occurrences. The Government, knowing well how much the people fear direct taxes> tell
them that Confederation involves them in no such risk. What
new method are they going to invent then for raising money ?
It is perfectly clear that confederation will largely increase
our expenditure. And, in face of this increased expenditure,
our chief source of revenue is to be considerably diminished.
I refer to the import customs duties. We are told that Lower
Canada will have a revenue of nearly a million and a half to
meet her local expenditure with what shall we meet our propor-
tion of the Federal expenditure, which will be far larger] But I
shall now deal with the advantages which we are told must
certainly result from confederation. They may be divided into
three classes political, military, and commercial. The honour-
able Minister of Finance, faithful to the doctrine that the greatness
of a State is proportioned to the greatness of its debt, announces
to us that our. credit will be considerably increased, and that we
shall be enabled to borrow much more extensively than we have


hitherto done, a prospect at which he seems greatly to rejoice.
This facility of borrowing is not always an unmixed good ; but it
must be remembered that our credit will depend entirely on the
success of our Confederation. If it should not succeed, if any
serious difficulty should arise within it a thing which is possible
public opinion will be more prompt to take alarm, in that our
Federal form of government does not afford strong guarantees for
the maintenance of order and peace, and our credit will soon be
worth less than the credit of a single Province is worth to-day.
Let us be content with our lot ; few nations have a better one.
The territorial formation of the future Federation will also be an
insurmountable obstacle to the establishment of a strong govern-
ment ; it amounts to a deformity. We do not need Confederation
to give us that unity which is indispensable in all military oper-
ations unity of headship. A commander-in-chief will direct the
defence of all our Provinces; he will forward troops, and, if he
can, vessels of war, to the points most seriously threatened, and
will assist each Province to defend the post which Providence has
already assigned to each in our long line of battle. Moreover, in
the event of war with the United States, if we were to trust to
numbers we should be sadly disappointed. What we need above
all is enthusiasm ; our citizen soldiers must be convinced that
they are risking their lives for something worth while ; that they
are happier in being under the flag of England than they could
be under that of the United States, and that they must lose by
an exchange. In the present position of the United States it is
not difficult to make them understand that ; the taxes alone with
which the Americans are now crushed down, and of which the
vast volume is growing from day to day, suffice to shew, at a first
glance, how far our position is superior to theirs in a material point
of view. But if, in order to meet the extravagant expenture the
Confederation must bring with it, the people find themselves taxed
beyond their resources, the case will be different. Deprive the
French-Canadians of their nationality, and you deprive them of the
enthusiasm which would have doubled their strength. I concur
with the Government in their desire to form more intimate
commercial relations between the different Provinces ; but it is as


well to form a proper appreciation of those advantages, and see
whether we cannot secure them without Confederation. The
Gulf Provinces possess timber, coal, and fisheries ; our own two
great articles of export are timber and wheat. With regard to
timber, the Gulf Provinces have no more need of ours than we of
theirs. As to coal we import from England what we need for our
present wants, in ballast, on board the numerous ships which
come here for our timber, and we thus get it cheaper than we
could import it from the Gulf Provinces. When this supply
becomes insufficient to meet our growing wants, it will be neces-
sary to look somewhere for a supply of coal. If the Lower Pro-
vinces can furnish it to us at cheaper rates than we can get it in
the United States, we shall buy it from them. Upper Canada
will probably get its coal from the Pennsylvania mines, which are
in direct communication with Lake Erie, on the north shore of
which the richest and most thickly settled portion of Upper
Canada is situated. As regards fisheries, Canada has a stock of
fish in its waters sufficient not only to supply all its own require-
ments, but to enable it to export largely from Gaspe” to Europe.
Now as to wheat. The Honourable President of the Council
told us that in a single year the Atlantic Provinces paid
$4,440,000 to the United States for flour, and that a portion of
that flour came from Upper Canada ; and the honourable gentle-
man asks why should not we ourselves sell our flour to the Lower
Provinces ? For the simple reason that, instead of having to pay
$4,447,000 to the United States, they would have to pay us
$5,000,000, and they would, therefore, refuse to buy from us.
There is no such thing as sentiment in matters of business ; men
buy in the cheapest market. The Gulf Provinces will buy their
flour from the United States so long as they can obtain it at a
lower price there than in Canada ; and the fact that they do
obtain it cheaper from the United States is clearly demonstrated
by their buying from the Americans and not from us. But a
single glance at the map will account for the difference in price.
I do not believe that the Intercolonial Railway can be advantage-
ously employed for the transport of flour from Riviere du Loup
to Halifax. He contended that they could secure every one of


these commercial advantages without the Confederation. What
hindered them from having free trade with the Gulf Provinces 1
To sum up all in a few words,” said he, “all the advantages are
negative, that is to say, Confederation will do no harm to our
interests, military or commercial, but neither do they require it.
As to the inconveniences of which it may be productive, I leave
them to the judgment of the House, who will decide whether they
are positive. I am asked : ‘ If you will have nothing to do witli
Confederation, what will you have ? I answer we would remain
as we are. That, I am told, is impossible, in our present position
with respect to Upper Canada. But are we really bordering on
civil strife 1 Of course it is representation based on population
which is the exciting cause. Do the people of Upper Canada
demand representation based on population as a condition sine
qua non of the continuation of our peaceful relations with
them 1 Has this desire to obtain representation based on popu-
lation taken such deep root in the bosom of Upper Canada,
that it is ready to plunge us and itself into the horrors of
civil war in order to achieve it? Or is not representation by
population rather one of those political clap-traps which ambitious
men, who can catch them no other way, set to catch the heedless
multitude 1 I look upon this threat of civil war as resembling a
farce. These two reasons advanced by ministers are merely
intended as a veil to conceal the true motive for this complete
revolution in our constitution ; that true motive is simply a desire
on their parts to remain in power. He then turned to the
details of the scheme, and objected to the provisions respecting
the representation, also to the declaration made by the leader
of the Government that the Government would accept no
amendment, but that the resolutions must be adopted in the
shape brought down. He then addressed himself especially to
the French Canadian members, and asked them if proper steps
were taken to protect the interests of Lower Canada, and sought
to arouse their sectional fears by pointing out that the English of
Lower Canada might join with the English of Upper Canada,
and by means of their majority in the Federal Parliament im-
pose upon them measures objectionable to their interests as French


Canadians. He objected to the proposed military system, and
asked : ” why should we vest in the Federal Government the right
of giving instruction in the military art, and of arming the other
provinces at the expense of Lower Canada ? Why, while there
is yet time, should we neglect to take those salutary precautions
on which our existence as French-Canadians depend 1 Our Local
Government ought to have the same active part in the organiza-
tion, instruction and equipment of our militia which belongs to all
local governments which form part of other confederacies. They
offer to protect the French-Canadians ; but when, under the pre-
sent constitution, they can protect themselves, why should they
abdicate the right of so doing ? The French-Canadians, at the
present day, are in a better position than they were at the time of
the union. They are at the same time both judges and suitors.
They are asked to adopt a new form of government ; it is not im-
posed upon them ; and, to induce them to do so, the Hon. Minis-
ter of Agriculture tells them that this new form of government
was recommended successively by Chief Justice Sewell, Judge
Robinson and Lord Durham. The names of “these three men
ought to suffice to open our eyes ; their avowed object always was
to obliterate French-Canadian nationality, to blend the races into
one only, and that the English ; and to attain that end they
recommended the system of government now submitted for our
approval.” The honourable gentleman concluded his address in a
powerful appeal to his fellow French-Canadians to preserve their
nationality by resisting confederation.

Mr. Joly was immediately followed by the Solicitor-General
East, Mr. Langevin, himself a French-Canadian, born and edu-
cated in Lower Canada, and identified with its people, its inte-
rests, and its prejudices. He observed :

“This question of confederation is bound up with the common
interests of empires and the general policy of nations, for it is 110
unimportant matter for the great nations who bear sway among
mankind to know into what hands the Provinces of British North
America may fall. On the present occasion the thousand voices
of the press proclaim the interest which the question of con-


federation excites both in America and in Europe itself, and how
closely the governments observe our proceedings ; and this interest
which they feel and proclaim is legitimate and natural, for the
measure is destined to make us rank among the nations of the
earth. It has been charged that the plan of a confederation was
adopted and moved by the present administration, for the mere
purpose of stifling the cry of ‘representation by population.’ Is
it not most important that we should stop that cry for representa-
tion based on population, in our present condition. Representation
by population would have left us Lower Canadians_iii_aji inferior
position relatively to that of Upper Canada would have conferred
on the JattejLJJie^pri vilege of legislating for us, not only in general
but in local matters. But the_ob]ect of the confederation^ is not
merely to do away with existing difficulties. It has become a
necessity, because we have become sufficiently great ; because we
have become strong, rich and powerful enough ; because our pro-
ducts are numerous enough, and considerable enough ; because our
population has become large enough to allow of our aspiring to
another position, and of our seeking to obtain an outlet through
some seaport for our products. At the present day we stand in a
position of vassalage to the United States : with respect to the
exportation of our products to Europe, we are at their mercy.
The plan of confederation of the two Canadas would only have
settled one difficulty, and would have allowed others of the greatest
importance to arise ; and among others, that respecting our com-
munication with the seaboard. That plan, for instance, would not
have allowed vis to construct the Intercolonial Railway ; for it is
almost impossible that so great an enterprise should succeed unless
it is in the hands of a great central power, and if it is necessary
to consult five or six governments before commencing it. But the
question of the confederation of the two Canadas is not the only
one which is presented as a means of escaping from our difficulties.
Some propose that we should remain in the position in which we
now are ; others wish for annexation to the United States ; some
would, perhaps, be in favour of complete independence ; others
would favour a confederation of the two Canadas ; and, lastly, the
confederation of all the British North American Provinces is pro-


posed. Well, let us cursorily examine these various propositions.
It may be that there are some members who are desirous that we
should remain as we are. The honourable members for Hochelaga
and Lottbiniere (Messrs. Dorion and Joly) consider our position
an excellent one, and so, in their speeches, they have told us.
They consider that we are extremely prosperous, and that we have
nothing to wish for. For my part, I consider that in our present
position we are under a great disadvantage : it is, that if we remain
isolated and alone, we cannot communicate with the metropolis,
except through the United States; if we remain alone, we can
aspire to no position, we can give rein to no ambition as a people.
Again, we have at the present time as many systems of judicature
as we have Provinces ; with confederation, on the contrary, this
defect will be removed, and there will be but two systems one for
Lower Canada, because our laws are different from those of the
other Provinces, because we are a separate people, and because we
do not choose to have the laws of the other populations, and the
other for the remainder of the Confederation. All the other Pro-
vinces having the same laws, or their system of law being derived
from one and the same source, may have one and the same system
of judicature ; and, in fact, a resolution of the Conference allows
them to resolve that they will have one code and one judicial sys-
tem ; but an exception is made in favour of Lower Canada and
our laws. There are also as many different tariffs as there are
different Provinces as many commercial and customs regulations
as Provinces. Currency and the interest of money are also regu-
lated by different systems in the several Provinces. But, with
confederation, all these matters would be placed under the control
of one central legislature ; the currency would become “uniform
throughout, and capital might be everywhere invested without
obstacle. So also it will be with respect to the rights of authors,
patents for mechanical inventions, &c. When speaking of the
Intercolonial Railway, I made no mention of the Pacific Railway,
because I consider that we ought to devote our attention to accom-
plishing the works of which we at present stand in need. At a
later period, when our resources and our population shall have
sufficiently increased, we may direct our attention to the Pacific


Railway. And should it become necessary, we can, with confede-
ration, hope to build it in less than ten years; whereas, by remaining
by ourselves as we are, we could not hope to have it for perhaps one
hundred years. I think that I have now held up in a salient point
of view the disadvantages of the status quo. The necessary conse-
quence of what I have just demonstrated is, that we cannot remain
in the position in which we now are, whether we will or not. The
question of representation based on population must be met ; that
question must be settled. To say that we will grant it, is to wish
to place us in a position of inferiority ; and I, for my part, will
never consent to place my section of the Province in that position-
Then there is another alternative that is proposed annexation to
the United States. I do not believe there is a single member in
the House or out of the House who would consent to the annexa-
tion of Canada to the United States. I now come to the other
alternative proposed that of independence. Men may be found,
both in the House and out of it, who would be disposed to say
that we had better have independence than confederation. For
my part, I believe that the independence of the British North
American Provinces would be the greatest misfortune which could
happen to them ; it would be to leave us at the mercy of our neigh-
bours, and to throw us into their arms. Lastly, we have the fourth
alternative the confederation of the two Canadas, proposed by the
honourable member for Hochelaga. The position in which con-
federation will place us is very different from that which we should
have occupied under the system proposed by the honourable mem-
ber, inasmuch as the seventeen members which Upper Canada will
have more than Lower Canada will have nothing to do with our
local affairs, our religious questions or particular institutions ; and
the honourable member for Hochelaga, by his scheme, would have
entrusted all that to the good-will of the Upper Canadian majority;
but for my part, I wowld rather entrust the management of these
matters to my own people than to them. As regards the seven-
teen additional members which Upper Canada will have in the
Federal Parliament, I am not alarmed at their presence, any more
than at that of the members from the Lower Provinces, because
in Parliament there will be no questions of race, nationality,


religion or locality, as this legislature will only be charged with
the settlement of the great general questions which will interest
alike the whole Confederacy, and not one locality only. But,
supposing that an unjust measure was passed in the House of
Commons of the Federal Legislature, it would be stopped in the
Legislative Council ; for there we shall be represented equally with
the other sections, and that is a guarantee that our interests will
be amply protected. In the Legislative Council we shall have
twenty-four members, like Upper Canada and the Lower Provinces.
I repeat that the confederation of all the Provinces of British
North America is our only remedy. The Confederation would
have 1 the effect of giving us more strength than we now possess ;
we should form but one nation, one country, for all general mat-
ters affecting our interests as a people. Having confederation,
the Central Government will be in a position to have its orders
carried out over its whole territory ; and when the question of
defence comes up, it will not be obliged to consult four or five
different legislatures, but it will be able to organize our defences
immediately and without obstruction. Besides, we shall have
acquired a standing which we have not hitherto attained in our
relations with other countries with which we have dealings. It is
of no small importance for the inhabitants of a country to have a
standing in foreign countries, and not to be treated as men of
inferior position. When Canadians go to London or elsewhere
out of their own country, they have no recognized position, be-
cause we are only a simple colony. But under the Confederation
we shall be protected by England, and besides we shall have a
position in foreign lands, the position which every man enjoys who
belongs to a great nation. Under confederation England will
consult us in all matters which affect our interests, and we shall
be able to make ourselves effectually heard in London. But we
are told: ‘ You wish to form a new nationality.’ What we
desire and wish is to defend the general interests of a great
country and of a powerful nation, by means of a central power.
On the other hand, we do not wish to do away with our different
customs, manners and laws ; on the contrary, those are pre-
cisely what we are desirous of protecting in the most complete


manner by means of confederation. Under confederation, all
questions relating to the colonization of our wild lands, and the
disposition and sale of those same lands, our civil laws and all
measures of a local nature in fact everything which concerns
and affects those interests which are most dear to us as a people,
will be reserved for the action of our local legislature ; all our
charitable and other institutions will be protected by the same
authority. There is also the question of education. That question
has been left to our Local Legislature, so that the Federal Legisla-
ture shall not be able to interfere with it. It has been said that
with regard to agriculture, the powers of legislation would be exer-
cised concurrently by the Federal Legislature and the local Legis-
latures. Certain general interests may arise, respecting which the
intervention of the central Legislature may be necessary ; but all
interests relating to local agriculture, everything connected with
our land will be left under the control of our Lower Canadian Legis-
lature.” After answering the objections that had been taken to
the constitution of the Legislative Council, he pointed out that,
in the appointment of the Lientenant-Governors by the Federal
Government, we secured a privilege which we had not before pos-
sessed ; that under the existing system, the Lieutenaiit-Governors
sent from England were responsible neither to the people nor the
House but to the English Government alone ; Avhereas, under the
proposed arrangement, the Federal Government that appointed was
responsible both to our own people and Parliament. He repudi-
ated the imputation thrown upon the delegates, that they would
betray and deliver up their several Provinces for an appointment,
even of a Lieutenant-Governor or a Chief Justice. In answer to
the position taken by Mr. Dorion 011 the defence question, that
our best plan was to remain quiet, and to give 110 pretext to our
neighbours for making war upon us, he well observed, that while
our wish was to live with them in peace and quietness, yet the
most certain way to avoid an attack and subjugation by our
neighbours, to have our independence and our privileges respected,
was to show them that we were prepared to defend them at any
cost. He clearly explained the power of disallowance in the
Federal Government of bills passed by the Local Legislature, and


shewed that neither injustice nor inconvenience could ensue. He
entered into the question of Finance, and shewed that under the
arrangement, Lower Canada would have a clear revenue of nearly
$1,500,000 for local purposes, a revenue sufficient to meet all its
expenses ; that the interest on the portion of the public debt to
be assigned to Lower Canada would be above $90,000, and that
the total yearly expenditure would reach $1,237,000, leaving a
surplus revenue of $209,000. Referring to the statement made
by Mr. Dorion, that the share of the surplus debt beyond the
$62,500,000 which would be apportioned to Lower Canada would
be $4,500,000, he stated that it would not be so ; that Lower
Canada would only have its just share of the $5,000,000 to be
divided. Mr. Dorioii reminded him that he had forgotten the
explanation of the Minister of Finance, who stated that the debt
incurred for the redemption of the Seigniorial Tenure, which
amounted to $3,000,000, was not included in the general debt.
Mr. Langevin then observed, that the Minister of Finance stated
the whole debt, in his speech at gherbrooke, at $67,263,994. The
amount of the debt is $75,578,000 ; but it is necessary to deduct
the Sinking Fund and cash in bank, $7,132,068, reducing it to
$68,445,953. The Minister of Finance also deducted the Common
School Fund, which amounts to $1,181,958, and he arrived at the
result I have just given, that is to say, that the real debt of Canada
is $67,263,994. He then defended the financial arrangements
with the other Provinces, and passed to the consideration of the
future admission of the North- West Territory and British Columbia,
quoting from Professor Hind as to the character and facilities of the
country. In answer to the endeavours by Messrs. Dorion and
Joly to instil mistrust into the minds of the French- Canadian and
Catholic population of Lower Canada, he read extracts from letters
from the Roman. Catholic Archbishop of Halifax, and the Roman
Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland, strongly in favour of confedera-
tion, and not seeing in it any danger for their flocks ; and referred
to the fact that Mr. Joly, himself a Protestant, represented a
Roman Catholic constituency, as did also several other Protestant
members in the House abundant proof, as he alleged, of the liber-
ality of his fellow-countrymen. Again, referring to the statements


made by Mr. Dorion of the debt with which Lower Canada entered
the union in 1841, and that with which she would leave it on
confederation, he described in strong terms the position at the two
periods. He said that that gentleman conceived he had produced
” an argument that would be irresistible by asserting that th^
distribution of the debt was unfair and burdensome to Lower
Canada. To give a greater force to this argument, he stated that
Lower Canada entered into the union with a debt of $400,000,
and that she would leave it with a burden of $30,000,000, after
having only expended in the interval the sum of $12,000,000 for
public works within her limits. This argument is most specious.
Supposing that our debt was $400,000, and that to-day it is
$30,000,000, the honourable member must, at all events, admit
that the circumstances also have very much changed. At the
time of the union our population was only 630,000, and to-day it
is 1,250,000. The honourable member, too, must not forget that
at the time of the union our territory only produced 21,000,000
bushels of grain, whilst to-day it produces more than 50,000,000
bushels. At the time of the union we had only 1,298 schools,
and to-day we have 3,600. At the time of the union these
schools were attended only by 39,000 children, whilst to-day they
are attended by more than 200,000. At the union the expor-
tations from the ports of Quebec and Montreal amounted to
$9,000,000 ; to-day they exceed $18,000,000. At the union the
number of vessels built annually in our ship-yards was 48 only ;
now we have 88, and the tonnage is quadrupled. At the time of
the union our importations amounted to $10,000,000, and to-day
they reach $45,000,000. At the time of the union our expor-
tations and importations amounted to $16,000,000; to-day they
reach the enormous sum of $87,000,000. And it is with such
figures as these before us, that we are to be told that we are leav-
ing the union with a debt of $30,000,000 ! At the time of the
union, the revenue arising from the tax on bank notes, which
affords a fair indication of the extent of business done, amounted
to $2,200 ; to-day it amounts to $15,800. At the time of the
union, the number of merchantmen arriving in Quebec every
year was 1,000 ; now it is 1,660, and the number of vessels


arriving at all the ports in Lower Canada is 2,463. At the time
of the union, the tonnage of these vessels was 295,000 tons ; and
now in the port of Quebec it is 807,000 tons, and for the whole
of Lower Canada 1,041,000 tons. At the time of the union,
25,000 sailors arrived here annually ; now we have 35,000. In
1839 the revenue of Lower Canada was $588,000 ; when we enter
the Confederacy, although we are not called upon to pay any
of the expenditure for general purposes, our revenue will be
$1,446,000, that is to say that we shall have, under the confeder-
ation, a revenue three times as large as what it was at the time of
the union ; and instead of having, as we then had, an excess of
expenditure amounting to about $80,000, the total expenditure of
Lower Canada, under the confederation, will be about $1,200,000,
leaving a surplus of more than $200,000 ! If then our debt has
increased, we have made most rapid progress, and we have
received the full value for our money. Nor must it be forgotten
that at the time of the union of Upper and Lower Canada, the
country had not a single railway, and now it is traversed from
end to end by one of the finest railways on this continent ; and
ere long, let us hope in the interest of our commerce and our
safety, that this iron band will connect the extreme west with the
Atlantic ocean. We entered the union when the Welland Canal
had hardly been begun ; we leave it with one of the most magni-
ficent canal systems the world has ever seen. And then the
telegraph lines. We leave the union with a debt greater than
that with which we entered it, but we leave it with a most perfect
system of lighthouses, wharves, piers, slides, in fact with a large
number of other public works, which have mainly contributed to
the settlement and the prosperity of the country, and which have
more than doubled its resources since the union. The Grand
Trunk Railway alone, for the $16,000,000 which it has cost us,
has contributed to increase the value of our lands by millions and
millions of dollars, by enhancing the value of our agricultural
productions, which are by its means brought with greater ease to
the different markets, and has, moreover, entailed an expenditure
in our midst of more than $70,000,000 for its construction alone.
If we entered the union with a debt of $400,000, and if to-day


we leave it with a debt of $30,000,000, we can, at all events,
show what we have done with the money, by the immense extent
of territory, then uncleared, which is now covered with abundant
crops, and which have served to keep in the country, not indeed
all the children of our farmers, but at least a very great number
of them, who but for these improvements would have emigrated
en masse to the neighbouring country.” He then defended the
provisions of the proposed constitution, relative to the judiciary
and the administration of justice, and pointed out that the civil
rights of Lower Canada were preserved. Referring to the power
given to the Federal Government in matters touching marriage
and divorce, and stating that as Roman Catholics they acknow-
ledged no power of divorce, he claimed credit to the delegates
from Lower Canada for the course they pursued. After mature
consideration he resolved to leave it, the question of divorce, to
the central Legislature, thinking thereby to increase the difficul-
ties of a procedure which is at present so easy. He found this
power existing in the constitutions of the different Provinces, and
not being able to get rid of it, he wished to banish it as far from
us as possible. He then, after referring to the argument of Mr.
Joly, as to the weakness inherent in confederations, turned to the
subject of the increase of representation from the increase of
population, and observed that the resolutions do not prevent
Lower Canada from having more than sixty-five representatives,
if its population should increase faster than that of the other
Provinces. The French translation of these resolutions is errone-
ous, for it says that “for the purpose of determining the number
of representatives from each Province at the end of every
decennial census, Lower Canada shall never have either more or
less than sixty-five representatives,” whereas the English version
of the resolutions, which is the official version, says, ” Lower
Canada shall always be assigned sixty-five members.” This does
not mean that Lower Canada can never have more than sixty-five
members, but that it cannot have less than sixty-five members.
He then concluded his able speech with a well-merited defence of
the Attorney- General for Lower Canada, the Hon. Geo. E. Cartier.
He referred to the numerous public measures he had introduced,


and to the esteem and gratitude in which he was held by his
countrymen in Lower Canada. ” In the midst of a terrible
crisis,” he said, “his country confided to him all its interests, all
its rights, all its institutions, its nationality, its religion, in a
word everything it held most dear. The Hon. Attorney-General
received the whole trust into his safe and faithful keeping, and
when called upon to render an account, lie exhibited all those
interests, rights and institutions, our nationality and religion,
in fact everything that the people held dear, and restored them
guaranteed, protected, and surrounded by every safeguard in the
confederation of the British North American Provinces.”

On the 22nd February Mr. Rose resumed the adjourned debate
in support of the motion. He presumed

” There were few who, in the abstract, would not favour the
idea of a union between a number of small states adjoining each
other, rather than that they should remain isolated under separate
governments. To the idea of union in the abstract between states
so circumstanced, no one would be opposed. But the principle
ground of the opposition to the present scheme is this, that the
mere abstract principle of union does not apply with full force to
the five colonies that are parties to this scheme. It is feared by
many that it is the first step towards independence ; that it may
probably result in not only severing our connection with the
mother country, but in forcing us to a union with the neighbour-
ing republic. The change will be of that character, that, instead
of loosening, or weakening, or diminishing the connection with
the mother country, it will tend to put it on a footing which will
make it stronger and more enduring. It cannot be denied that
there is a state of public feeling growing up in England just now,
not confined, as it was a few years ago, to a class of extreme theo-
rists, that the connection which subsists between the colonies
Canada especially and the mother country, is a source of expense
and danger. There is another consideration which makes this
subject stand out more prominently before the people of England
at the present time than otherwise it would do, and that is the
state of its relations with the republic adjoining us, and the enor-


mous military power which the United States have shewn, within
the last two or three years, that they possess. It is this which
has forced public opinion so strongly in England to a considera-
tion of the actual relations between this country and the mother
country, and it is this state of facts with which we must deal
now. It is our duty to see whether we cannot find in the union
of these colonies security to ourselves and a source of strength to
the empire at large. We find in our position towards the United
States, and in the great preponderating power they possess, a
guarantee that we need not apprehend that there will be anything
like practical independence of England asserted by the colonies of
North America ; because, from the very necessities of our posi-
tion, we shall always have to look up to her for protection and aid.
I put aside, for the moment, the instinct of attachment to the
mother country, and I put the case on this ground alone, that the
necessity of self-preservation will for centuries for generations at
all events prevent the possibility of these colonies asserting their
independence of England, unless it were, indeed, to become a por-
tion of the republic which adjoins us, and to which, I think, it is
neither the interest nor the inclination of any member of this
House to become united. Whatever fate may be in store for us,
that is a destiny to which no one looks with favour. The genius
and instincts of our people are monarchical and conservative
theirs levelling and democratic. I believe that the attachment
to England will be increased tenfold by this proposed union. We
will have a sentiment of nationality among ourselves ; and I con-
sider it to be one of the first duties of a statesman to inculcate
that national feeling that gives the people a strong interest in their
country’s welfare. With a stable government and a strong cen-
tral power controlling an immense territory, we shall 1)3 able to
enter upon a well considered, well devised and attractive system
of immigration. In this continuous recruiting of our population
I see one of the great elements we will have to look to for
the perpetuation of the attachment of this country to the Crown.
But, it may be said, that from the necessity of our position there
is danger that we shall feel our material and commercial interests
so strongly bound up with the United States, and feel so reliant


in our own strength as a great country, that we will eventually
form a closer alliance with that republic than any of us desire,
and that the formation of the present union is the first step
towards annexation. I do not think our interests would lead us
in that direction. /At the present time we are almost entirely
dependent upon the United States commercially. We are depen-
dent upon them for an. outlet to the ocean during the winter
months. If they choose to suspend the bonding system, or by a
system of consular certificates make it practically useless ; if they
abolish the reciprocity treaty, and carry the passport system to a
greater degree of stringency, we should feel our dependence upon
that country, even in a greater and much more practical way than
we do at the present time. And perhaps it is worth our while to
consider, whether this may not be the real motive which dictates
the policy they are now pursuing ! But give us this Intercolonial
Railway, affording us communication with Halifax and St. John
at all seasons of the year, and we shall be independent of the
United States commercially as we now are politically. We may
not find this route to the ocean more economical, especially in the
winter season, than to go through the United States, but if we
have a route of our own to which we may resort, in case of neces-
sity, our neighbours will find it to their interest to give us the use
of their channels of communication at a cheaper rate. I see that
if we do not unite and form one central Government, giving it
the power to direct all the physical energies of this country in
whatever direction may be necessary, that we are liable to be
overrun by the United States. And this I conceive to be one of
the very strongest arguments in favour of the confederation of the
Provinces, that it enables us to prepare appropriate defences along
the whole frontier of our country. I believe that the formation of a
Government having the power to direct the whole strength of five
colonies would greatly add to our security. I do not believe that, if
we reverted back to our original condition, the Imperial Govern-
ment would be as much disposed to aid us in the construction of the
works necessary for our defence, as if they found that in the
presence of a common danger we were united together to repel
the common enemy. I say the Imperial Government would not,


in such a case, be actuated simply by a regard to the expense of
constructing these works, in which I understand the Lower Pro-
vinces will have to bear a share, but she would be deterred from
so doing by the further consideration that when built, these works
would be less likely to serve the purpose they were designed to
accomplish. What we have to guard against is this : a sudden
conquest or surprise, for which we might be unprepared. I
believe myself that, if works can be constructed, by means of
which we can effectually defend the country against sudden
attack, no one will grudge the expense. We know that in modern
warfare, if you can erect certain works which will compel an
enemy to sit down before them, so as to prevent him from making
progress into the country, you may by such means defend it for
many months. By the construction of certain works at various
points, the manning of which is quite within the compass of our
power, we can arrest the progress of an invader for many months,
we can compel him to expend and exhaust liis strength before
these works, and we could throw embarrassments in his way such
as would take an invading force many months to overcome. It is
impossible to have more than a six months’ campaign in this
country. An aggressive warfare in this country is one thing, and
a defensive warfare another, and a very different. Our country is
well adapted for defensive purposes, and it is next to impossible
to subdue us. The badness of our roads, the difficulties presented
by our winters, our deep, broad, and unfordable rivers, and the
means we could establish for keeping an enemy in check at
certain points for the necessary time, would enable us to resist
the United States with all their power and resources. Do
we not know that in the event supposed we should find the
Atlantic coast swarming with English vessels carrying moveable
columns of troops, menacing and landing at every point. The
navy of England, the arsenals of England, the purse of England,
and all the appliances and requirements of war would be brought
to bear upon and be available to us in such a straggle. We
should not suffer from the lack of the material of war, which is
perhaps the very thing of all other things the most essential.
Neutrality has been spoken of. But how could neutrality be


possible in a struggle between England and the United States 1
The country which cannot put forth an effort to defend itself occu-
pies a despicable position, and forfeits on the score of weakness
even the wretched privilege of being neutral. If we show that
we are in earnest on this question of defence, England will be
encouraged to come to our assistance in time of danger, knowing
that she can look to us not only to contribute towards the con-
struction of works, but effectually to defend them when constructed.
If we show England that she can depend on a population of four
millions, with a strength wielded from a common centre, she will
be encouraged to aid us with both men and material of war, and
will lend us the assistance necessary to protect ourselves both now
and in time to come. I will now say a few words in reference to
the objections which have been urged against the character of this
scheme, viz., because it embraces those elements of disruption
which are to be found in every federal union. That is the objec-
tion of many who, while they would be willing to go for a purely
legislative union, object to one of a federal character. That is at
present utterly impracticable. It is remarkable that a proposition
having so few of the objections of a federal system, should have
been assented to by the representatives of five distinct colonies,
which had heretofore been alien, practically independent, not only
of each other, but almost of England, and almost hostile to each
other. As to the charge of inconsistency against honourable
members on this question, I have only to say that a man who
does not change his opinions is a very unsafe man indeed to guide
the affairs of a nation. Such a man is like an old sign-post on a
road that is no longer used for -travel. The sign-post is consistent
enough, it remains where it had been placed ; but though a type
of consistency, it is an emblem of error. There are two main
features which to my judgment commend themselves to the atten-
tion of every one who has any doubts as to the stability of the
system, and which give us a sufficient guarantee, that guarantee
which federal unions have heretofore wanted, namely, that it
establishes a central authority which it will not be within the
power of any of the Local Governments to interfere with or rise
up against. It appears to me that they have avoided the errors


into which the franiers of the American constitution not unnatu-
rally fell. The great advantage which I see in the scheme is this,
that the powers granted to the Local Governments are strictly
defined and circumscribed, and that the residuum of power lies in
the central Government. You have, in addition to that, the local
governors named by the central authority, an admirable provision
which establishes the connection of authority between the central
power and the different localities ; you have vested in it also the
great questions of the customs, the currency, banking, trade, and
navigation, commerce, the appointment of the judges, and the
administration of the laws, and all those great and large questions
which interest the entire community, and with which the General
Government ought to be entrusted. There can, therefore, be no
difficulty under the scheme between the various sections, no clash-
ing of authority between the local and central Governments in
this case, as there has been in the case of the Americans. The
powers of the Local Governments are distinctly and strictly
denned, and you can have no assertion of sovereignty on the part
of the Local Governments, as in the United States, and of powers
inconsistent with the rights and security of the whole community.
Then, the other point which commends itself so strongly to my
mind is this, that there is a veto power on the part of the General
Government over all the legislation of the local Parliament. That
was a fundamental element, which the wisest statesmen engaged
in the framing of the American constitution saw, that if it was
not engrafted in it, must necessarily lead to the destruction of the
constitution. These men engaged in the framing of that consti-
tution at Philadelphia saw clearly, that unless the power of veto
over the acts of the state Legislatures was given to the central
Government, sooner or later a clashing of authority between the
central authority and the ‘various states must take place. What
said Mr. Madison in reference to this point 1 I quote from The
Secret Debates upon the federal constitution, which took place in
1787, and during which this important question was considered.
On the motion of Mr. Pinkney, ‘ that the National Legislature
shall have the power of negativing all laws to be passed by the
state legislature, which they may judge improper,’ he stated that


lie considered ‘ this as the corner stone of the system, and hence
the necessity of retrenching the state authorities in order to pre-
serve the good government of the National Council.’ And Mr.
Madison said, ‘ the power of negativing is absolutely necessary ;
this is the only attractive principle which will retain its centrifu-
gal force, and without this the planets will fly from their orbits.’
I believe this power of negative, this power of veto, this con-
trolling power on the part of the Central Government is the
best protection and safeguard of the system; and if* it had not
been provided, I would have felt it very difficult to reconcile it to
my sense of duty to vote for the resolutions. But this power
having been given to the Central Government, it is to my mind,
in conjunction with the power of naming the local governors, the
appointment and payment of the judiciary, one of the best features
of the scheme, without which it would certainly have been open
to very serious objection. I will not now criticize any other of
the leading features of the resolutions as they touch the funda-
mental conditions aud principles of the union. There has been
throughout a most wise and statesman-like distribution of powers,
and at the same time those things have been carefully guarded
which the minorities in the various sections required for their
protection, and the regulation of which each province was not
unnaturally desirous of retaining for itself. But there is another
objection made to it, that is with reference to the manner in which
the rights of the various minorities in the provinces have been pro-
tected. I believe that the rights of both minorities the French
minority in the General Legislature and the English speaking
minority in the Local Legislature of Lower Canada are properly
guarded. This is an era in the history of both races the ear-
nest plighting of each other’s faith as they embrace this scheme.
It is remarkable that both should place such entire confidence in
one another ; and in future ages our posterity on both sides will
be able to point with pride to the period when the two races had
such reliance the one on the other, as that each was willing to
trust its safety and interest to the honour of the other. But
although this feeling of mutual confidence may be strong enough
at this time, the Attorney-General East, as representing the


French majority in Lower Canada, and the Minister of Finance,
as representing the English speaking minority, have each carefully
and prudently endeavoured to place as fundamental conditions
in this basis of union such safeguards and protection as the
two races may respectively rely upon. Looking at the scheme,
then, from the stand-point of an English Protestant in Lower
Canada, let me see whether the interests of those of my own
race and religion in that section are safely and properly guarded.
There are certain points upon which they feel the greatest in-
terest, and with regard to which it is but proper that they
should be assured that there are sufficient safeguards provided
for their preservation. Upon these points I desire to put some
questions to the Government. The first of these points is, as
to whether such provision has been made and will be carried
out that they will not suffer at any future time from a system of
exclusion from the federal or local legislatures, but that they will
have a fair share in the representation in both ; and the second is,
whether such safeguards will be provided for the educational system
of the minority in Lower Canada as will be satisfactory to them.
Upon these points some apprehensions appear to exist in the minds
of the English minority in Lower Canada ; and although I am free
to confess that I have not shared in any fear of injustice at the
hands of the majority, as I consider that the action of the past
forms a good guarantee for the future, yet I desire, for the full
assurance of that minority, to put some questions to my honorable
friends in the Government. I wish to know what share of repre-
sentation the English-speaking population of Lower Canada will
have in the Federal Legislature, and whether it will be in the
same proportion as their representation in this Parliament 1 This
is one point in which I think the English inhabitants of Lower
Canada are strongly interested. Another is with regard to their
representation in the Local Legislature of Lower Canada : whether
the same proportion will be given to them as is now given to them
in this House, that is to say, about one-fourth of the Lower
Canadian representation, which is the proportion of the English-
speaking to the French-speaking population of Lower Canada, the
numbers being 260,000 and 1,100,000 respectively. Now, the


spirit of the resolutions, as I understand them and I will thank
my honourable friend the Attorney-General to correct me if I am
in error in regard to them provides that the electoral districts in
Lower Canada for representatives in the first Federal Legislature
shall remain intact as they now are ; and, although the resolution
is somewhat ambiguously expressed, I take that to be its spirit.”

Hon. Mr. Holton ” Have the kindness to read it, and see.”

Hon. Mr. Rose ” The 23rd resolution reads : ‘ The Legislature
of each Province shall divide such Province into the proper number
of constituencies, and define the boundaries of each of them.’
Then the 24th resolution provides that ‘ the Local Legislature
may from time to time alter the electoral districts for the purpose
of representation in such Local Legislature and distribute the
representativs to which the Province is entitled in such Local
Legislature, in any manner such Legislature may see fit.’ In
these resolutions I presume that power is given to the Legis-
lature of each Province to divide the Province into the proper
number of constituencies for representation in the Federal
Parliament, and to alter the electoral districts for representation
in the Local Legislature. Now, to speak quite plainly, the
apprehension which, I desire to say again, I do not personally
share in, but which has been expressed to me by gentlemen in
my own constituency is this, that with respect to the Local
Legislature, it will be competent for the French majority in
Lower Canada to blot out the English-speaking minority from any
share in the representation, and so to apportion the electoral
districts that no English-speaking member can be returned to the
Legislature. That is an apprehension upon which I would be very
glad to have an expression of opinion by my honourable friend the
Attorney-General East. As I read the resolutions, if the Local
Legislature exercised its powers in any such unjust manner, it
would be competent for the General Government to veto its action,
and thus prevent the intention of the Local Legislature being
carried into effect, even although the power be one which is
declared to be absolutely vested in the Local Government, and
delegated to it as one of the articles of its constitution.”


Hon. Attorney- General Cartier “There is not the least doubt
that if the Local Legislature of Lower Canada should apportion
the electoral districts in such a way as to do injustice to the
English-speaking population, the General Government will have
the right to veto any law it might pass to this effect, and set it at

Hon. Mr. Hoi ton “Would you advise itl”

Hon. Attorney-General Cartier ” Yes, I would recommend it
myself in case of injustice.”

Hon. Mr. Rose ” I think that under this scheme the French
minority in the General Legislature and the English minority in
Lower Canada will both be amply and satisfactorily protected.
Now, in reference to the education measure which the Government
has promised to bring down to the House, I believe this is the first
time almost in the history of the country that there has been any
serious apprehension aroused amongst the English Protestant
population of Lower Canada regarding the elementary education
of their children. I am not aware that there has ever been any
attempt in Lower Canada to deprive the minority of their just
rights in respect to the education of their youth. We cannot
forget that in no way was there any attempt to prevent us educat-
ing our children in the manner we saw fit and deemed best ; and
the distribution of state funds for educational purposes was made
in such a way as to cause no complaint on the part of the minority,
I believe we have always had our fair share of the public grants.
in so far as the French element could control them, and not only
the liberty, but every facility for the establishment of separate
dissentient schools wherever they were deemed desirable. A single
person has the right, under the law, of establishing a dissentient
school, and obtaining a fair share of the educational grant, if he
can gather together fifteen children who desire instruction in it.
Now, we cannot forget that in the past this liberality has been
shown to us, and that whatever we desired of the French majority
in respect to education, they were, if it was at all reasonable,
willing to concede. I would ask my honourable friend, the
Attorney-General East, whether the system of education which is
in force in Lower Canada at the time of the proclamation is to


remain and be the system of education for all time to come, and
that whatever rights are given to either of the religious sections
shall continue to be guaranteed to them 1 ? After affirmative
answers by Attorney-General Cartier to the questions on several
points put by Mr. Rose, the latter observed : The manner and
spirit in which the Government have given explanations on the
subject, ought to be satisfactory to the people of Lower Canada of
the Protestant religion. So far as the three questions to which
I have made allusion are concerned, the apprehensions of being
shut out from the General Government being handed over to the
French in the Local Parliament of Lower Canada, and our educa-
tional rights being interfered with, I feel every assurance that the
spirit of the answers just given will be carried out.

After referring in terms of approbation to the debates in the
House of Lords on that portion of Her Majesty’s speech which
referred to the proposed confederation, to the financial position of
Lower Canada at the time of entering the union of 1841, and the
then present day, in language corroborative of the statements
of Mr. Langevin, and stating that of the $62,000,000 which is
regarded as Canada’s proportion of the joint debt, $49,000,000
had been actually expended on and was represented by public
works of that value, he turned to the question of the Intercolo-
nial Railway, and answering the objection that it was one of
doubtful advantage, if not of positive uselessiiess, asked : ” Can
we safely continue in our present position of commercial depend-
ence on the United States 1 Shall we be denied access to the
seaboard for a bale of goods or a bag of letters 1 Are we to be for
all time to come dependent on the fiscal legislation of the United
States’? Is it to come to this, that in the winter season the
Upper Canada farmer shall have no means whereby he can send a
barrel of flour, or the Lower Canada merchant a bale of goods, to
the seaboard, without the leave of the United States 1 Are we to
be left in this condition of commercial dependency for ever?
Under what conditions shall the expense of constructing the
Intercolonial Railway be incurred 1 ? I believe that that work
is a great and grave undertaking, and one that will involve a
serious charge on the wealth of the country. But then it is


one which we cannot avoid it is a necessity. We must have
it. It is called for by military reasons and commercial necessity,
and the date of its construction cannot safely be postponed.
Why, what have we not seen within a very recent period?
Restrictions have been put on goods sent through the United
States, by the establishment of consular certificates, to such an
extent that you could not send a bale of goods through the States
without accompanying it with one of these certificates, the cost of
which I am told was nearly two dollars perhaps more than the
worth of the package, or more than the cost of the freight. Still
further, the Senate of the United States had also before them a
motion to consider under what regulations foreign merchandise is
allowed to pass in bond through the neighbouring country ; and
this was evidently done with an intention of abolishing the sys-
tem under which goods were permitted to pass in bond from
England through the United States. I do not hesitate to say that
if the bonding system were done away with, half the merchants
in Canada would be seriously embarrassed if not ruined for the
time. In the winter season you could not send a barrel of flour
to England you could not receive a single package of goods
therefrom. The merchants would have to lay in a twelve months’
stock of goods, and the farmer would be dependent on the condi-
tion of the market in spring, and would be compelled to force the
sale of his produce at that moment, whether there was a profitable
market for it then or not, instead of having as now a market at
all seasons, as well in England as the United States. So that
whatever sacrifices attach to the construction of the Intercolonial
Railway, we must have it, seeing that it is impossible for xis to
remain in our present position of isolation and suspense. It is
one of the unfortunate incidents of our position which we cannot
get rid of. No one can foresee what the future of the neighbour-
ing States will be whether they will be constructed as one union,
or split up into two or more confederacies. If we are alive to the
natural advantages of our position, unless we deliberately throw
them away, we can, whatever that future may be, secure a profit-
able intercourse with them. Unless the St. Lawrence and Ottawa
cease to flow, and the lakes dry up, those roads to the ocean are


the natural outlets for the west, and we can turn them to good
account. We know something of the great productiveness of the
Western States. There is, in fact, no limit to that productive-
ness, and the necessity of their having another outlet to the sea,
without being altogether dependent on New York and Boston, is
to my mind very plain. This necessity of the powerful western
interests must have a controlling influence on the commercial
policy of the United States ; and if we can direct the trade of the
Western States down the St. Lawrence by giving them additional
facilities, it cannot be doubted that we shall find therein a great
element of security for the future peace of the two countries.
Then, give us the Intercolonial Railway, give us the command of
the St. Lawrence, give us a government by which we can direct
our national policy, give us the control of the fisheries, and we
will be able to secure such reciprocal trade with the United States
for Upper Canada as it requires. But if we are disunited if the
Lower Provinces retain the control of the fisheries, and Canada
has nothing to give in exchange for the concession she seeks from
the United States in the way of commercial intercourse, in bread-
stuffs and otherwise I say that in such a case as this we are very
much hampered indeed.” Turning to the suggestion that there
ought to be a dissolution and an appeal to the people, he contended
that such a course would be so anomalous and absurd as not to
commend itself to the common sense of the country ; that the
elections would not be limited to the consideration or merits of the
scheme itself, but be governed by individual predilections and
local questions ; that the measure was already stamped with the
approval of the people, because their reason and judgment con-
vinced them not only that it was desirable, but a necessity of their

Mr. Dimkin, in replying to Mr. Ros3, addressed the House for
two days and two nights. His speech was certainly the most
elaborate and the most exhaustive of all the speeches either for or
against the proposition. Every conceivable and almost incon-
ceivable objection was taken and worked out to its extremest
limit. All that a well-read public man, all that a strong party
politician, all that an ingenious lawyer, all that a thorough sophist,


a dexterous logician, a timid patriot, or a prophet of evil could
array against the scheme was brought up and pressed with un-
flagging energy. Though worthy of attentive perusal, its extreme
length forbids its transmission entire to these pages, and from its
one hundred and twenty columns of the official reports, we must
endeavour to extract substantially its salient points. Throughout
this long speech it must be observed, no improper motive is attri-
buted by Mr. Dunkin to the promoters of the measure. The
question is fairly argued upon its merits ; too minutely perhaps,
bnt with perfect candour. Amid the asperity of party, such an
example cannot be too highly commended.

He feared there was a foregone conclusion in the House against
the views he was about to express, and declaring that, abstractedly
speaking, he was a unionist in the largest sense, he proceeded to
detail his objections to the scheme proposed. He believed it was
a measure of disunion instead of union ; that it would certainly
lead to the severance of Upper and Lower Canada, and would
tend to an early separation of the Provinces from the British
Empire ; that the proposition of a federal union, or any union of
the British North American Provinces, had not been discussed
until very lately ; that in 1858 the proposition could not even
obtain a hearing in the House, and all parties were utterly indif-
ferent to it ; that study strengthened him in his convictions
against the scheme every day ; that in the very announcement of
it the Canadian Government stated it was their own difficulties
which made them desire -to bring it about ; that down to 1862 the
public mind was not occupied with it, and in 1864 it was a mere
matter of accident resulting from a vote of the House adverse to
the administration, following on the same day 011 which a report
from a committee suggesting confederation was brought in, which
report itself was a mere accident, was received by the House witli
more than cool indifference, and was followed by a succession of
accidents more extraordinary than the state of things to which
those accidents led ; that he himself voted for the committee and
sat on it, on the express ground he believed it would do no harm,
and that the Attorney-General for Upper Canada, the leader of
the House, was on that committee, and voted against the report,


so that what had since happened was unexpected even by the
actors in the occurrences ; that the scheme was got up in haste,
yet it was brought down as a treaty, and the House was told that
its details were not to be criticised ; that it was got up with great
ingenuity to catch everybody legislative councillors, Lieutenant-
Governors, uniformity of the laws for all but Lower Canada
promised everything to everybody, but when it was examined it
was found to be ambiguous, imsubstantial and unreal ; that it
displayed a great deal of that cleverness which might be character-
istic of an astute politician, but was far from the wisdom of a
statesman ; that the representation of the House of Commons
was based on a set of special shifting districts, which from a
British point of view was unsound ; that the mode of readjust-
ment of the decennial census was a bad innovation on our usages,
and destructive of convenience and stability ; that the Legislative
Council, as proposed, would operate as no federal check, was based
on no public opinion, could not last, and was a near approach to
the worst system which could be devised in legislation ; that the
difficulties in the formation of the cabinet would be insurmount-
able ; that it could not be formed on any other principle than that
of a representation of the several Provinces in the cabinet ; that
such a formation was inconsistent with British practice and prin-
ciple ; that the British cabinet was no cabinet of sections ; that if
in Canada they had not been able to work satisfactorily with a
cabinet of two sections, how were they going to do so with this
schemed ” It starts,” he said, to use his own words, “with a
principle, as to the election of the House of Commons, which must
involve the arraying 011 the floor of that House, not of a set of
members of Parliament coming there to judge and to act each for
the whole of British North America, but of a certain fixed number
of Upper Canadians, a certain fixed number of Lower Canadians,
a certain fixed number of Nova Scotians, of New Brunswickers,
of Prince Edward Islanders, of Newfoundlanders, of Red River
men, of men from Vancouver’s Island, of British Columbia men,
of Saskatchewan men each to act there for his own Province.
If we ever get all these territories laid out into provinces, we are
to have just so many sections, numerically most unequal, upon


the floor of this House, and the only abiding distinctions between
members will be those represented by the territorial lines between
their provinces. The Legislative Council, we have seen, will not
be the check which these sections will require. The Executive
Council has got to be that check, and in the Executive Council
these sections will have to reproduce themselves. Apart from the
provinces or vast territory to the west of us, we shall thus have
over six such sections on the floor of the Commons House, with
their six corresponding sections in the Executive Council, and six
parliamentary majorities to be worked together, if possible, while
hitherto we have found our two sections and two majorities one
too many. Our constitutional difficulties, I repeat, are referable
to that very practice, and so it is proposed that we should try a
system three times and more than three times more complex
still. That cleverest of politicians who, for two or three years
running, under such a system, shall have managed to carry on his
cabinet, leading six or more sections in our Commons House, six
or more sections in the Legislative Council, and, forsooth, six or
more local parliaments and lieutenant-governors, and all the rest
of it besides that gifted man who shall have done this for two or
three years running, had better be sent home to teach Lords Pal-
merston and Derby their political alphabet. The task will be
infinitely more] difficult than the task these English statesmen
find it none too easy to undertake.”

Hon. Attorney-General Cartier ” There will be no difficulty.”
Mr. Dunkin ” The honourable gentleman never sees a diffi-
culty in anything he is going to do.” Then he contended that,
even assuming the cabinet was brought down to the number it
would be possible to allow, say eleven, twelve or thirteen, it would
be difficult to satisfy not only the sectional demands for places in
it, but the national sub-divisions of the sections, for instance, in
Quebec the French, Irish and British ; that the mode of appoint-
ment and tenure of office of the Lieu tenant-Governors was objec-
tionable ; that the federal system itself was simply inconsistent
with the first principles that must prevail in a properly organized
British responsible central government ; that the Federal and
Local Governments must come into collision on many subjects


by way of illustration, fisheries, agriculture, immigration, marriage
and divorce. He objected to the looseness of the wording of the
resolutions ; to there being no provision for a separate district for
the federal capital ; to the provisions respecting the judiciary ; to
the confusion as to the criminal law, and described in graphic
language the painful position of a judge under the proposed system.
” We are not quite sure,” he said, ” whether we are going to have
any distinctively federal judiciary or not. There is a power given
to have one there may be one ; but we are expressly told that
perhaps there will not be. But what are we told on the other
hand ? Oh, there is no doubt whatever, according to the resolu-
tions laid before us 110 doubt whatever that whether we have
a federal judiciary or not, the provincial judiciaries are to be a
sort of joint institutions. And a very curious kind of co-partner-
ship the Federal Government and the Provincial Governments
the Federal Legislature and the provincial legislatures are thus
to have in the judicial institutions of the country generally. All
the courts, judges, and other judicial officers of the provinces are
to be, for all manner of federal purposes, servants of the Federal
Government. There is an old saying, ‘ No man can serve two
masters.’ But all these unfortunate courts, and all their officers,
and specially all their judges, must serve two masters, whether
they can or not. All the Superior Court judges and, in Upper
Canada, the judges of the County Courts are to be named and
paid by the Federal authority, and are only to be removable by
the Federal authority, on a joint address of the two Houses of the
Federal Parliament. But, on the other hand, the provinces are
to constitute the courts, are to say what their functions shall be,
what the number of the judges, how they are to perform their
function, are to give them more work or less, to make their work
pleasant or disagreeable, high work or dirty Avork, as they like.
In this way they can wrong a judge just as much as they please ;
the only check on them being the power of the Federal Govern-
ment to disallow their legislation. The Federal Government,
forsooth, names the judges, and pays them, and alone can remove
them. Does that take away the power from the local parliaments
and governments, the power to change the constitution of the


court, to change it in the way most distasteful to those judges, to
legislate away the court altogether, to legislate down its functions
in such a manner as may drive the judge to resign 1 And we are
told there will be no clashing ! I have no doubt the honourable
Attorney-General East thinks he could manage courts on this
system ; could have one authority constituting the courts, and
another naming and removing the judges, and have the system
work harmoniously. He may think so. I do not. I am satisfied
if ever the scheme is tried, it will be found that it will not work.
Human nature is human nature ; and here is a first-rate lot of
matters to quarrel over, and to quarrel over seriously. Why,
there is even a special refinement of confusion as to criminal
matters. Criminal procedure is to be Federal ; civil procedure,
Provincial ; criminal legislation proper, is to be Federal ; but with
a most uncertain quantity of what one may call legislation about
penalties, Provincial ; civil rights, in the main, Provincial ; but no
one can tell how much of Federal interference and overruling, and
all with courts Provincial in constitution, but whose judges hold
by Federal tenure and under Federal pay. I pity the poor man
who is at once a criminal judge and a civil judge. Between the
clashing of his masters and the clashing of his book authorities, he
had better mind what he is about, with the painful doubt rising
at every turn whether Provincial legislation may not be over-
ridden by Federal legislation. His Province may well have legis-
lated on what it holds a local matter, while the Federal Parliament
may have legislated on it, thinking it a Federal matter. Anywhere
there may well be some bit of Federal legislation contradicting
something in a local statute. And do our resolutions say that
the federal statute shall always override the local statute 1 No,
only in cases where there is concurrent jurisdiction. And yet
our judge, who is to decide these nice questions, is paid by one
power and removable by that power, and may have his functions
taken away and be persecuted to the death by the other.
He will have a bad time of it.”

He objected that the disinctions andvdifierences between Upper
and Lower Canada would be kept up, instead of being obli-
terated, and were prophetic of disaster. He exhausted the


comparison between the constitution of the United States and
the one proposed for the Confederation, to the disadvantage of
the latter, and denounced the financial part of the plan from
beginning to end. ” The system proposed for adoption,” said he,
” is not one of entire and simple separation of the Federal from
the Provincial treasuries, but a system of the most entire and
complex confusion between them. One has to think a good deal
upon the subject, and to study it pretty closely, to see precisely
how the confusion is going to operate ; but there it is, unmistaka-
bly, at every turn. I do not mean to say that under all the
circumstances of the case, something of this sort was not unavoid-
able. Of course, in the mere view of making the scheme palatable,
it was clever to make the Federal treasury pay for Provincial
expenditure ; but the system that had need be established should
bear testimony, not to cleverness, but to wisdom. Is the system
proposed for our acceptance as good, then, as statesmen ought to
and would have made it? I think not; and the extraordinary
thing is, that it is brought out with a flourish of trumpets, on the
ground that in some undescribable way it is to work most econo-
mically ! Well, to test it, I will take it up in three points of view :
first, as to assets ; next, as to debts and liabilities ; and, lastly, as
to revenues. As to the asset part of the question, the tale is soon
told. The assets of these Provinces, speaking generally, are of very
little commercial value. They are much like the assets of an
insolvent trader, with lots of bad debts upon his books ; it is of
small consequence to whom or how they are assigned. The
general principle upon which the scheme proceeds, is to give the
Federal Government the bulk of these assets. The only excep-
tions of any consequence I am not going into the details of the
scheme, but still I must present to the House so much of detail as
to show that I am making no rash statement, not borne out by
facts the only important exceptions, I say, to this rule are those
1 am about to notice. Certain properties, such as penitentiaries,
prisons, lunatic asylums, and other public charitable institutions,
and other buildings and properties of the kind, which, together
with those I have just mentioned, may be characterized as excep-
tional properties, are to be assigned by the General to the Provin-


cial Governments. Also, with the exception of Newfoundland,
the several Provinces are to take the public lands, mines, minerals
and royalties in each, and all assets connected with them in com-
mon parlance, their territorial revenues. The General Govern-
ment is, however, to have the mines, minerals and public lands of
Newfoundland, paying for them of course. Then, Upper and
Lower Canada are severally to have those assets which are con-
nected with the debts reserved for payment by them respectively ;
but these will not be worth much, and I shall not take the trouble
of saying much about them. It is enough to know that the
proportion of the debts to be assumed by the two has not yet, for
some reason, been stated, and that the assets connected with them
amount to very little.” The debts are disposed of in an equally
unsatisfactory way, but in the length of discussion the revenues
ultimately escaped further attention. He proceeded to point out
that the proposed financial system would, if adopted, lead to
further demands upon the Federal treasury from each of the
Provinces, and that in such demands they would mutually support
each other, observing : ” With OUT Upper and Lower Canada
have had pretty good proof of this. We know that whenever we
anything has had to be done for one section of this Province, it
has constantly been found necessary to do something of the same
or of some other kind for the other. If either needed anything
very badly, then the ingenuity of the Minister of Finance had to
be exercised to discover something else of like value to give the
other. In one word, unless I am more mistaken than I think I
can be, these local governments will be pretty good daughters of
the horse-leech, and their cry will be found to be pretty often and
pretty successfully, * Give, give, give ! ‘ He expressed his dread
of the expenses connected with the defences, the Intercolonial
Railway, the communications with the North- West, the enlarge-
ment of the canals, the purchase of the Hudson’s Bay Territory,
the acquisition of Vancouver’s Island, and the making ” a grand
road all across the continent, which Great Britain shrinks from
contemplating herself;” and asked, ” Well, with this certain pros-
pect before us of a gigantic outlay, what is the prospect for a
gigantic income?” He contemplated the decrease of the revenue,


from the necessity of meeting the wishes of the people of the
Lower Provinces, whose tariffs were less ; and if so, dreaded the
taxation that was to meet the deficiency. “We are marching, said
he, fast and steadily towards free trade. We must meet the views
of the people of the Lower Provinces, who are hostile to high
tariffs, and the demand of the Imperial authorities that we should
not tax their manufactures so heavily as, in their phrase, almost to
deprive them of our market. And if, with this state of things
before us, to oblige the Imperial authorities and the Lower Pro-
vinces, under pressure of an. inevitable state necessity, we are “to
reduce our customs rates, or any number of them, below what I
may call their figure of largest productiveness, then surely it is
little to say that we cannot look forward to an increase in the
revenue, or even to a continuance of our present income ; and it is
rather strange that we should be called upon withal, at the same
time, so to change our whole system as to involve ourselves in the
enormous extravagances here contemplated. No taxing scheme
can ever meet the case. Nothing can be looked to but a device
of borrowing without limit the incurring of an amount of debt
that, in interest and sinking fund, must prove to be simply unen-
durable hereafter. But, in fact, we cannot even borrow to any
large amount, unless under false pretences. We cannot borrow
without telling tales of our condition, resources and expectations,
that in the end will be found out to be lies. We must awaken
hopes in the minds of money-lenders abroad, that cannot but prove
delusive the memory of which must work us hereafter an aggra-
vation of punishment that we shall then scarcely need. And when
that time of reckoning shall have come, then, staggering under the
load, without credit at home or abroad, the country will have to
choose whether it will have heavy direct taxation for heavy taxa-
tion there must be or have recourse to more or less of repudiation,
or even run some risk of both. If ever that time shall come, the
public men of that day, and the people on whom the burthen will
then press, will not bless the memory of those who held out the
false hopes and inducements under whichat is now sought to decoy
us into wild expenditure and crushing debt.” He objected to a
federation of the Provinces, but wanted a federation of the Empire,


and suggested a Colonial Council something, perhaps, after the
manner of the Council for the East Indies. He asserted that the
tendency of the present proposition was rather to separation than
to a closer connection with the Empire, and that it must inevita-
bly lead to the former. He declared that a legislative union with
the United Kingdom was utterly impossible, and that if the ques-
tion should arise, whether we are so to be merged in. the United
Kingdom, or are to separate entirely from it, the answer could
only be, At whatever cost, we separate. And it was because he
believed that the present scheme would lead to separation, even if
it bid fair to answer ever so well in the other respects because he
was an Englishman, and held to the connection with England, he
would oppose it. He believed that a commercial union with the
Lower Provinces could take place, and he anticipated that the
United States would be jealous, and possibly aggressive, if the
scheme was carried out. After stating that he had gone through
the leading points of his argument so far, he observed : If I am
not entirely wrong, the only way in which this proposed machinery
can be got to work at all, will be by an aggregation, so to speak, in
the first Federal cabinet, of the leading men of the different
existing Provincial administrations. The attempt must be made
to combine .the six majorities, so as to carry on an administration
in harmony with the understood wishes of the six several Pro-
vinces, irrespective of every consideration of principle, or of sound,
far-seeing policy. I do not see how, although this thing may be
done at starting, it can be carried on I was going to say, for any
length of time I might say, for any time, long or short, unless
by a system of the most enormous jobbery and corruption.”

He objected to the haste with which the measure was pressed,
and combatted the grounds on which it was pressed considera-
tions connected with the United States, with Great Britain, the
Lower Provinces, and with our own domestic affairs. He discussed
all these points at great length. With reference to the United
States, our attitude would be one of semi-defiance, for which there
was no reason. With reference to Great Britain, he referred in
strong language to the latent feeling which was showing itself there
against the Colonies ; quoted largely from the Edinburgh Review ;


denounced the Goldwiii Smith school ; read extracts from the Times
and the Edinburgh Review to show that the measure was hailed
as a step towards independence ; and declared that he regarded the
cutting the tie as a certain result of this measure; and “of that
again, I hold, said he, the inevitable result to be our early absorp-
tion into the Republic south of us, the United States, or the
Northern States, be which it may.” After several further observa-
tions, he concluded as follows : “I feel that I have taken up a great
deal of the time of the House, and that I have presented but
imperfectly the views I am anxious to impress upon it as to this
great question. But for sheer want of strength, I might have felt
it necessary, at whatever risk of wearying the House, to go into
some matters more thoroughly, and more especially into that
branch of the subject which relates to what I may call the alter-
native policy I myself prefer to this measure, and would wish to
see adopted and carried out. As it is, I have but to say, in con-
clusion, while warmly thanking the House for the attention and
patience with which it has for so many hours listened to me, that
I have said nothing but what I firmly believe, and felt myself
bound to say j and that I trust the sober good sense of the people
of these Provinces, after full reflection and discussion, will decide
rightly upon this the largest question by far that has ever been
before them for decision.”

The House listened to this long and able speech with much
attention, it only being occasionally interrupted by observations of
incredulity from the Hon. Attorney-General Cartier, and playful
expressions of confidence in his own ability to meet the dreaded
emergencies wherever they arose. The conclusion, as Mr. Dunkin
himself said, was foregone against his views.

Mr. Shanly, with clear practical common sense, put the issue of
Confederation or Annexation before the House in a remarkably
lucid manner. After observing that the opponents of the project
while giving it a sweeping condemnation, offer nothing, suggest
nothing to replace that which they so summarily reject, and after
stating his objections to the Federal system and his preference for
a Legislative Union, and finding fault with some of the details,


referring to the public opinion in England and the United States
with reference to Canada, and the events then pending in the
latter country, he observed :

“It appears to me there are just three states of political
existence possible for us here when we emerge from the chrysalis
form in which we have hitherto existed. First, there is the
attempt to stand alone as a separate nationality on this continent
that is one alternative. Secondly, there is the prospect held
out to us in these resolutions, namely, a union of all the British
North American Colonies under the flag of England, becoming
more and more every year a homogenous British people, and
building up a consolidated British Power on this continent. The
last and inevitable alternative if we reject the other two is exactly
that stated by the honourable member for South Lanark (Mr.
Morris) absorption into the United States. It is in vain to shut
our eyes to that fact, or that the time is at hand when we will
have to make our selection. The latter alternative, he was
satisfied, would be most distasteful to the great mass of the
people of this country. * * And in making the

choice which I know, said he, the people of this country will
make as between annexation to the United States and connection
with Great Britain as between republicanism and monarchy as
between Canada our country, or Canada our state I believe they
will be chosing that which will best advance the material pro-
spects, and best ensure the future happiness and greatness of the
country. If we were to be absorbed into the republic, and
become a state of the union, that would in no way relieve us of
the great undertakings that are before us for the improvement
and development of our resources. We would still have a large
debt on our hands, of which, unaided, we would have to bear the
burden ; our canals and other public works would be treated, not
as national, but as state enterprises, and the expense of enlarging
or extending them would have to be charged upon a diminished
revenue, for nearly the whole of the revenue we now raise from
customs and excise would go, not to the improvement of this state
of Canada, but would be poured into the coffers of the General


Government at Washington. I cannot understand how any
patriotic Canadian, even of those who regard political matters
from a material point of view only, can advocate annexation to
the United States. I believe there are many persons in Canada,
who, though entertaining feelings of true loyalty to the Crown of
England, imagine that in some way. or other they cannot exactly
tell how annexation would bring about an extraordinary and
sudden state of prosperity. I differ entirely, even in the material
and practical points of view, from the theorists and visionaries
who entertain so false a conviction. How, I would ask, is this
country, with diminished means at its command, to be enabled to
carry out those great works through which alone it could hope to
become great, but the ways and means for constructing or im-
proving which still puzzle our financiers 1 I have always been of
opinion, since I first came to ponder carefully the future of
Canada, that that future does not depend so much upon our lands
as upon our waters. The land the terra Jtrma of Canada is
not inviting to those who have tilled the soil of Great Britain or
explored the vast fertile plains to the west of Lake Michigan.
Our country is just on a par with the northern part of the State
of New York, and with the States of Vermont and New Hamp-
shire in respect of climatic conditions and conditions of soil.
But we possess one immense advantage over those countries, an
advantage which gives us a distinctive position on this continent
the possession of the noble river which flows at our feet. It is
through that river and our great chain of inland waters that the
destiny of this country is to be worked out. But we cannot
fulfil our destiny or the destiny of this country rather by
standing idle in the market place ; by, as one honourable member
has suggested, doing nothing to improve our natural highways or
create artificial ones, trusting to fortune or to Providence for the
development of our resources. I believe that we have a high and
honourable destiny before us, but that it has to be worked out by
hard toil and large expenditure ; and we certainly would not be
in a better condition to work it out were we to be united to a
country that would at once absorb four-fifths of the revenue on
which we now depend for our very existence. The improvement


of our internal navigation, is the first great undertaking we should
consider, whether for commercial purposes or for purposes of
defence. And as regards the promoting of our commercial interest
in the improvement of our navigation, what advantage, I would
ask, could we expect to gain by becoming a state of the American
union 1 There is not one of the seaboard states but would be in
every way interested in diverting the western trade from our into
their own channels, and in endeavouring to obstruct the improve-
ments calculated to attract that trade to the St. Lawrence. The
Western States, doubtless, would have interests in common with
us, but they are not in a position to render us material aid for the
construction of our works, being themselves borrowers for the
means of carrying out their own internal improvements. I
believe, then, that even from a material point of view, every un-
prejudiced thinker must admit that our future prosperity and
importance lie in preserving our individuality, and in making the
most of our heritage for our own special advancement. I feel
quite certain that nine-tenths of the people of Canada would not
be deterred from taking their chance as a nation through the fear
that they may some day have to strike a blow in defence of their
country, and of all else, whether of reality or of sentiment, that
should be dear to a brave and loyal people. We stand here the
envied possessors of, take it all in all, the greatest river in the
Avorld ; the keepers of one of the great portals to the Atlantic ;
and I trust that Canadians will never be found to yield possession
of their heritage till wrested from them by force ! And that
must be a force, they may rest assured, not merely sufficient to
over-match the people of these Provinces, but all the power of the
Empire besides.



Death of Sir E. P. Tach6 Character Reconstruction of the Government
Ministerial negotiations Action of the Government after reconstruc-
tion Confederate Council on Trade Resolutions Deputation to Wash-
ington Negotiations at Washington for renewal of the Reciprocity
Treaty Failure Report to the British Minister at Washington Terms
proposed by Canada-r Counter terms by the United States Public
satisfaction at the rejection of the latter Effect on Confederation
A. D. 1865 & 1866.

Before the close of the session the result of the elections in
New Brunswick, and the consequent temporary defeat of Confe-
deration in that Province, was known. The Government there-
upon at once closed the business of the session, took a vote of
credit, including $1,000,000 (one million), for defence, and deter-
mined to send a deputation to England to confer with the Imperial
Government. In the month of April the Attorney-Generals
West and East, Macdonald and Cartier, and Messrs. Brown and
Gait, set out for that purpose, receiving on their way, as the
steamer stopped at Halifax, a perfect ovation, indicative, as was
supposed at that time, of the feeling in favour of Confederation in
the important Province of Nova Scotia.

About this time the assassination of President Lincoln at
Washington created a profound sensation throughout the whole of
British North America. Public demonstrations of respect were
shewn, and resolutions of sympathy and condolence passed by
every legislature then sitting, and by almost every municipality
throughout the Provinces. Some little anxiety was entertained
at the time as to the course his successor, Mr. Johnson, might
pursue towards Canada, urged on as he was by that portion of the
press in the United States well known for its hostility to England.
It however passed away in a very short time.

Not long after the prorogation of the Legislature, in the month
of July, the President of the Council, Sir Etienne P. Tache, died
at the ripe age of seventy-one. A Canadian by birth and affec-


tion, he had long filled a distinguished position in the country.
Of undoubted loyalty to the Crown of England, his practical mind
was not led astray by the theories of the French Revolution, or
the meretricious glare of the Empire. The rapid advance of the
United States, in trying contrast to the slower progress of his
own Province, caused no deviation in his devotion to the Bri-
tish cause. In 1812 he gallantly threw himself into the ranks of
those who were struggling, and successfully struggled, to preserve
Canada to England. In later years, on the establishment of the
principles which gave to Canada the unconditional control of her
own local affairs, he entered political life, and became a warm
supporter of those measures of progress which tended so rapidly
to develop her resources and promote her interests. With the
correctness of instinct, he saw that the preservation of the pecu-
liar institutions and privileges of Lower Canada, guaranteed by
the treaties of Paris of 1763, and of Versailles of 1783,* could
only be maintained by the continued connection with England,
and his is the well-known saying, ” that the last shot that would
be fired on the American continent in the defence of the British
flag, would be by a French-Canadian.” He had from the first
been a warm advocate of Confederation, and the closing act of his
public life was in its support in the legislature. He passed away
full of honours and of years, and the future historian of Canada
will refer to him as one who left to his countrymen of French
descent a name without reproach ; to his countrymen of English
descent the noble example of a man rising above the prejudices of
race, and devoting himself to the advancement of all without dis-
tinction. A good man and a true patriot, his memory will long
be revered by the statesmen over whom he presided, and by the
people whom he loved.

His death caused an important vacancy in the cabinet, and
developed in a strong light the hollow nature of the alliance be-
tween Messrs. BrOwn and Macdonald, and the latent causes which
in a few months later led to the resignation of the former, and his
subsequent bitter hostility.

* The stipulations of the Treaties of Paris and Versailles are given in Appendix.


The facts cannot be better set forth than in the official narrative
of the Ministerial negotiations which took place for the recon-
struction of the Government, and which was laid before Parlia-
ment in the session of 1865, namely :

No. 1. Memorandum made 4th August, 1865, of conversation,
held on the preceding day between Messrs. Macdonald and

Mr. Macc^nald, yesterday, sought -an interview with Mr. Brown
and informed him that His Excellency the Governor-General had
sent for him, that morning, and had stated his desire that the
Administration, as it was formed in 1864, should continue in
office, with as few changes as possible, in order to carry out the
policy announced by the Government on its formation that,
with that view His Excellency had expressed the opinion that
the most obvious mode of supplying the place, vacated by the
death of Sir Etienne Tache, would be for Mr. Macdonald to
assume the position of first minister as being the senior member
of the Ministry and that Mr. Cartier would, on the same
principle, become the leader of the Lower Canadian section of the
Government and – that, for the purpose of carrying those views
into effect, he had commissioned Mr. Macdonald to take the post
of first minister at the same time requesting all the other
ministers to retain their offices. Mr. Macdonald further informed
Mr. Brown that he had assented to this proposition of His
Excellency, and had seen Mr. Cartier, who, at once, agreed to it.
He then invited Mr. Brown to accede to the proposal of His

Mr. Brown replied that he was quite prepared to enter into
arrangements for the continuance of the Government in the same
position it occupied previous to the death of Sir Etienne Tache” ;
but that the proposal now made, involved a grave departure from
that position. The Government, heretofore, had been a coalition
of three political parties, each represented by an active party
leader, but all acting under one chief who had ceased to be
actuated by strong party feelings or personal ambitions, and who
was well fitted to give confidence to all the three sections of the


coalition that the conditions ‘which united them would be carried
out in good faith to the very letter. Mr. Macdonald, Mr. Cartier,
and himself (Mr. Brown) were, on the contrary, regarded as party
leaders, with party feelings and aspirations ; and to place any one
of them in an attitude of superiority over the others, with the
vast advantage of the Premiership, would, in the public mind,
lessen the security for good faith, and seriously endanger the
existence of the Coalition. It would be an entire change of the
situation. Whichever of the three was so preferred, the act
would amount to an abandonment of the ^coalition basis and a re-
construction of the Government on ordinary party principles,
under a party leader unacceptable to a large portion of those on
whose support the existence of the Ministry depended. Mr.
Brown reminded Mr. Macdonald that when the coalition was
formed, the Liberal party in opposition, constituted a majority of
the House of ‘Assembly : that, solely for the accomplishment of a
great measure of reform essential to the peace and progress of the
country, they had laid aside, for the time, party considerations,
and consented to form a coalition with their opponents, on con-
ditions which nothing but the strongest sense of public duty could
have induced them to accept. He reminded Mr. Macdonald of the
disadvantageous and embarrassing position he (Mr. Brown) and
his colleagues, Mr. McDougall and Mr. Rowland, had occupied
during the past year, united as they were with nine political
opponents, who held all the important departments of state ;
and he asked him to reflect in what light the liberal party must
regard this new proposition to abandon their distinctive position,
and place one of their chief opponents in the premiership, though
his conservative supporters in Parliament were much inferior,
numerically, to the Reform supporters of the coalition. Mr.
Brown stated his conviction that the right mode of settling the
question, would be to invite some gentleman, of good position in
the Legislative Council, under whom all the three great parties
to the coalition could act with confidence, to become the successor
of Colonel Tache. In no other way, he thought, could the
position, heretofore existing, be continued. Mr. Brown concluded
by saying that the proposal of Mr. Macdonald was, palpably, one


for the construction of a new Government, and that if the aid of
the Reform party of Upper Canada in the Assembly were desired
in its formation, a distinct statement of the policy of the new
Government must be made, and a definite proposition submitted.
Speaking, however, for himself alone, he (Mr. Brown) occupied
now precisely the ground that he had held in the negotiations of
1864; he stood prepared to give an outside but frank and earnest
support to any administration that might be formed, pledged like
the Coalition Government, to carry through Parliament, in the
spring session of next year, either a measure for the final com-
pletion of the Confederation scheme of the Quebec Conference,
or one for removing existing difficulties in Canada, by the intro-
duction of the Federal principle into the system of Government
coupled with such provisions as will permit the Maritime Pro-
vinces and the North-West Territory to be incorporated into the

Mr. Macdonald stated in answer that at the time the Coalition
was effected in 1864, Sir Etienne Tache held the position of
Premier with him (Mr. Macdonald,) as leader of the Lower House,
and of the Upper Canadian section of the Government. That on
reference to the memorandum containing the basis of Coalition, it
will be seen that Mr. Brown at first preferred to support the
Government in its policy as then settled without entering the
Government, but that it was afterwards agreed in deference to
the wishes of his supporters and at the pressing instance of Mr.
Macdonald that he and two of his political friends should enter
the Government. These terms were acceded to, the offices that
happened to be then vacant placed at Mr. Brown’s disposal, and
the Coalition was completed. Mr. Macdonald further stated that
Sir Etienne Tache was not selected at the time of the Coalition or
as a part of the agreement for the Coalition, as first minister, but
he had been previously and was then the head of the Conservative
Government, and was accepted with all his Lower Canadian
colleagues without change. That on the lamented decease of Sir
Etienne, His Excellency had, without any previous communica-
tion of his opinion to him or (as he understood) to any one else,
come to the conclusion that the best mode of carrying on the


Government was .(as already stated) for Mr. Macdonald to take
one step upward ; that Mr. Cartier, as next in seniority should
do so also, and that the other arrangements should remain
as before. That he (Mr. Macdonald) thought with His Excel-
lency that this was the best solution of the matter, and
could not but accede to it; that, however, he had 110 personal
feeling in the matter, and that if he had, he thought it his
duty to set aside such feeling for the sake of carrying out the
great scheme so happily commenced to a successful issue. He
therefore would readily stand aside and waive his pretensions,
so that some other party than himself might be appointed to
the Premiership; that he thought Mr. Cartier should be that
party ; that after the death of Colonel Tache Mr. Cartier, beyond
a doubt, was the most influential man in his section of the coun-
try, and would be selected by the Lower Canadian supporters of
the Government as their leader ; that neither Mr. Brown nor Mr.
Macdonald could dictate to Lower Canada as to their selection of
leader ; that the Premier must be, according to usage, the leader
or senior member either from Upper or _ Lower Canada ; and that
as he (Mr. Macdonald) had, in consequence of the position taken-
by Mr. Brown, waived his own pretensions, it followed that Mr.
Cartier should be appointed as Prime Minister. Mr. Macdonald
stated in conclusion that although he had no reason to suppose
that His Excellency would object to the selection of Mr. Cartier,
yet he must of course submit the proposition to him, and obtain
His Excellency’s assent to it.

Mr. Brown replied that in some of the views suggested by Mr.
Macdonald, there was a difference between this proposition and
the original one ; but still that this, like the other, would be a
proposal for the construction of a new Government, in a manner
seriously affecting the security held by the Liberal party. Before
saying anything upon such a proposition, however, were it formally
made, he would desire to consult his friends, Mr. McDougall and
Mr. Howland.

The interview then terminated, and the following correspond-
ence took place :


2\fo. 2. Hon. John A. Macdonald to Hon. George Brown :

QUEBEC, August 4) 1865.

MY DEAR SIR, Immediately after our conversation, the heads
of which we have reduced to writing, I obtained His Excellency’s
permission to propose to you that Mr. Cartier, as being the leader
of the ministerial majority of Lower Canada in Parliament, should
assume the position of Prime Minister, vacated by the death of
Sir Etienne Tache, the other members of the administration con-
tinuing to hold their position and offices as before. All the Lower
Canadian members of the Council assent to this proposition ; so
do Mr. Campbell and myself; and I am sure I can also speak for
Mr. Solicitor-General Cockburn, who is now absent. May I
request the favour of an early reply ?

Believe me, my dear Sir, yours faithfully,


Hon. Geo. Brown, c. &c. &c.

j\r g Hon. George Brown to Han. John A. Macdonald :

QUEBEC, August 4, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR, I have received your letter of this afternoon,
inviting me to retain my present position in a Government to be
formed under the Premiership of Mr. Cartier. In reply I have
now to state, after consultation with Messrs. Rowland and
McDougall, that we can only regard this proposition as one for
the construction of a new Government, in a manner seriously
affecting the security heretofore held by the Liberal party. Anxi-
ously desirous as we are, however, that nothing should occur at
this moment to jeopardise the plans of the Coalition Government
on the constitutional’ question, we cannot assume the responsibility
of either accepting or rejecting it, without consultation with our
political friends. This I am. prepared to do without any delay, and
to that end it will be necessary that I have clearly stated in writing
the basis on which Mr. Cartier proposes to construct the new

I am, my dear Sir, yours truly,

Hon. John A. Macdonald, &c. &c. &c.


No. 4 Hon. John A. Macdonald to Hon. George Brown :

QUEBEC, Saturday, 5th August, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR, I regret to learn from your note of yesterday,
that you cannot assume the responsibility, without first consulting
your political friends, of either accepting or rejecting the proposi-
tion that Mr. Cartier should be placed at the head of the Govern-
ment, in the stead of the late Sir Etienne Tache, with the under-
standing that the rest of the Council should retain their present
offices and positions under him. I have conferred with Mr. Cartier
on the subject, and we agree that, at this late hour, it would be
highly inexpedient to wait for the result of this consultation.

Parliament is to assemble on Tuesday next ; and in our opinion,
it would greatly prejudice the position of the Government, as well
as the future prospects of the great scheme in which we are all
engaged, if we met Parliament with the administration in an
incomplete state, and therefore with no fixed policy.

I have His Excellency’s permission to state his concurrence in
this view, and his opinion that the public interests require the
immediate reconstruction of the Ministry.

Under these circumstances, and to prevent the possibility of the
scheme for the confederation of British North America receiving
any injury from the appearance of disunion among those who
coalesced for the purpose of carrying it into effect, Mr. Cartier and
I, without admitting that there are any sufficient grounds for
setting either of us aside, have agreed to propose that Sir Narcisse
Belleau shall assume the position of First Minister and Receiver-
General, vice Sir Etienne Tach6 ; that the position and offices of
the other members of the Executive Council shall remain as
before, and that the policy of the Government shall be the same
as was laid before Parliament in July, 1864, as the basis of the
Coalition which was then formed. His Excellency authorizes me
to make this proposition, and expresses his desire for an early

Believe me, my dear Sir, yours faithfully,

Hon. George Brown, &c. &c. &c.


j^o. 5. Hon. George Brown to Hon. John A. Macdonald :

QUEBEC, 5th August, 1865.

Saturday, 5 P.M.

MY DEAR SIR, Your note of this afternoon was handed to me
by Colonel Bernard ; and having communicated its contents to my
colleagues, I now beg to state the conclusions at which we have

Without intending the slightest discourtesy to Sir Narcisse
Belleau, we deem it light to remind you that we would not have
selected that gentleman as successor to Sir Etienne Tachd ; but as
he is the selection of Mr. Cartier and yourself, and as we are
equally with you desirous of preventing the scheme for the con-
federation of British America receiving injury from the appearance
of disunion among us, we shall offer no objection to his appointment.

I think, however, that it will be necessary that Sir Narcisse
Belleau shall have stated to him, and shall accept, in more distinct
terms than you have indicated, the policy on which our Coalition
now rests. It is quite right that the basis of June, 1864, should
be stated as the basis still ; but he should also clearly understand
the modification of that agreement, rendered necessary by succeed-
ing events, and which was ratified by Sir Etienne Tache” in March,
1865. The agreement of June, 1864, was as follows :

” The Government are prepared to pledge themselves to bring
in a measure next session, for the purpose of removing existing
difficulties by introducing the Federal principle into Canada, cou-
pled with such provisions as will permit the Maritime Provinces
and the North- West Territory to be incorporated into the same
system of government. And the Government will seek, by send-
ing representatives to the Lower Provinces and to England, to
secure the assent of those interests which are beyond the control
of our own legislation to such a measure as may enable all British
North America to be united under a general legislature, based
upon the federal principle.”

Sir Narcisse Belleau should understand that occurrences in the
Maritime Provinces unfortunately prevented this agreement from
being carried out, so far as regards time ; that it became necessaiy


to consider what course ought to be pursued in consequence of
these occurrences; and that we came to an agreement that we
should earnestly strive for the adoption of the scheme of the
Quebec Conference ; but should we be unable to remove the objec-
tions of the Maritime Provinces in time to present a measure at
the opening of the session of 1866, for the completion of the Con-
federation scheme, we would then present to Parliament, and press
with all the influence of Government, a measure for the reform of
the constitutional system of Canada, as set forth in the above
agreement of June, 1864.

I remain, my dear Sir, yours truly,

Hon. John A. Macdonald.

No. 6. Hon. John A. Macdonall to Hon. George Brown :

QUEBEC, August 7, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR, Sir Narcisse Belleau returned from the country
yesterday, and I am happy to inform you that he has, though with
great reluctance, acceded to the request of Mr. Cartier and myself,
&nd accepted the position of First Minister, with the office of

He accepts the policy of the late Government, as stated in your
note of Saturday to me, and adopts it as that which will govern
his administration.

This policy will of course be announced in both Houses of Par-
liament, as soon as possible.

Believe me, faithfully yours,

Hon. George Brown, &c. &c. &c.

The Government thus re-formed proceeded with apparent ear-
nestness in the work they had undertaken. The progress of events
in New Brunswick was becoming more favourable to the confede-
rate cause, and its ultimate triumph was loudly proclaimed by its
friends. But there was a disturbing element in our relations with
the United States which boded no good. Most unjustly, an inten-


sity of bad feeling towards Canada had been fostered in that
country by designing men a class who for selfish purposes en-
deavoured to promote a conflict with Great Britain, and to encour-
age a pretended desire for revenge for alleged injustice to Ireland.
The matter of the St. Alban’s raid, throughout which Canada had
acted in the most honourable manner towards the United States
had not only repaid the loss sustained, with the inflicting of which
she had nothing to do, but had actually legislated, almost in con-
travention of the sacred right of asylum, to prevent such occur-
rences for the future was grossly misrepresented. An invidious
passport system was established between the two countries by
the United States ; notice for the abolition of the Reciprocity
Treaty, and the convention respecting the armaments on the lakes,
served upon Great Britain ; and every means adopted to prevent
their renewal and the re-establishment of friendly intercourse.
Insulting preparations were openly made, in direct defiance of the
United States laws, by Fenians, for the purpose of invading
Canada ; the public arsenals pillaged of their arms in the very
presence of the authorities ; wordy proclamations issued, and
bombastic drillings carried on, avowedly to seize a portion of an
empire with which the United States were at peace, and to inflict
injuries on a community which had done them no wrong.

In the presence of such circumstances the Canadian Govern-
ment acted with moderation and discretion. They permitted no of-
fensive demonstrations to be made, quietly prepared to meet any
emergency, and relying upon the loyalty of their countrymen, and
the good sense of the main body of the American people, endea-
voured to open negotiations for the renewal or temporary continu-
ance of the treaty. The farming interests of Upper Canada had
become accustomed to the markets of the United States for the
surplus productions of their growing country. An immense
trade had sprung up across the lines ; not only were friendly rela-
tions promoted, but business connections had been made, the
disruption of which would lead to serious complications. To those
so deeply interested no equivalent trade at the moment suggested
itself. There were others, however, who were of a different opi-
nion, who did not regard the treaty as of such vital importance,


though they did not hesitate to approve of its renewal, and desire
that all reasonable means should be taken to bring it about.
They thought the country would not be injured by being thrown
upon its own resources, by being compelled to ascertain what
other avenues of trade could be opened up. South America, the
West Indies, and the Mediterranean markets wanted their fish
and lumber. By Canada these countries and markets had been
almost ignored, and Canadian goods filtered through the United
States supplied but to a limited degree the demand under a foreign
name and foreign character. The internal markets of their own
Provinces were open to them. The Maritime Provinces wanted
the flour and cereals, the homespuns and tweeds of Canada, and,
in return, the coal and fish and manufactures of those Provinces
were wanted in Canada. Why not seize these markets and throw
down the internal barriers ‘?

In the conflict of opinion the Government adopted the wise
course of preparing for both emergencies. On the 15th of July a
minute of Council was adopted to send two members of the cabi-
net to Washington to confer with Sir F. Bruce. This decision,
however, subsequent events rendered unimportant. Arising out
of an application made by Nova Scotia, the British Government,
by a despatch dated the 22nd of July, 1865, suggested to the Go-
vernor-General the formation of a Confederate Council, chosen by
the different Provinces, and presided over by himself, for the pur-
pose of expressing an opinion to Her Majesty’s Government on the
negotiation of commercial treaties, and instructed him to commu-
nicate with the several Lieut-Governors accordingly. On 14th
of August the Governor- General did so, and in the early part of
September the Council was formed at Quebec, and was called the
” Confederate Council on Commercial Treaties.” Under the sug-
gestion of this Council a commission was organized late in the au-
tumn, and sent to the West Indies and South America, and
negotiations with the United States in due time opened.

With the latter it is our duty first to deal :

Of the Council on Commercial Treaties Messrs. Brown and
Gait were members for Canada, Ritchie for Nova Scotia, Wilmot
for New Brunswick, Pope for Prince Edward Island, and Shea


for Newfoundland, being members of their respective Executive
Councils. Messrs. Macdonald and Cartier were by courtesy fur-
ther admitted on behalf of Canada to be present at the Council
and take part in the discussion. Under the notice from the
United States the treaty was to expire on the 17th of March, 1866.

On the 18th of September, 1865, this Council reduced their
views to resolutions, in which they declared the colonies satisfied
with the treaty ; but that if a new one was entered into, that the
coasting trade and registration of vessels ought to be included ;
and that if terms could not be agreed upon with the United
States bsforethe 17th March, it would be desirable that the Im-
perial Government should endeavour to obtain a prolongation of
the treaty to such a period as would enable the negotiations to be
brought to a successful issue ; and that in the event of negotia-
tions some of the members of the Council should attend at Wash-
ington to confer with the British Minister, and afford information
in respect to the interests of the British North American Provinces.
They also recommended that steps be taken to enable the Provinces
to open communication with the West Indies, Spain and South
America for the purposes of trade.

The text of the resolutions was as follows :

Monday, 18th Sept., 1865.

The Council met.

Present : His Excellency the Governor-General, the Honourable
Messieurs Cartier, Brown, Shea, Pope, Ritchie and Wilmot.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.

The report from the committee appointed on the last day of
meeting was read, and, in conformity with its purport, the follow-
ing resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Council.

1st. That the existing treaty of trade with the United States
is acceptable, and that its renewal, as it now stands, would be
assented to by the respective Provinces.

2nd. That in the opinion of the Council, any reasonable pro-
posals for the modification or extension of the treaty that may be
suggested by the United States Government, ought to be enter-
tained by the Provinces.


3rd. That in the event of a new Reciprocity Treaty being
negotiated, it would be highly desirable that the coasting trade,
and the registration of vessels, should be included in its pro-

4th. That in the event of the abolition of the treaty by the
United States Government, it is the opinion of this Council that
all the British North American Provinces should combine cordially
together in all commercial matters and adopt such a common com-
mercial policy as will best advance the interest of the whole.

5th. That in the opinion of this Council it would be highly
desirable that application be made to Her Majesty’s Imperial
Government, requesting that steps be taken to enable the British
North American Provinces to open communications with the
West India Islands, with Spain and her colonies, and with Brazil
and Mexico, for the purpose of ascertaining in what manner the
traffic of the Provinces with these countries could be extended,
and placed on a more advantageous footing.

6th. That in the event of negotiations for a new treaty of
Reciprocity with the United States, being opened by Her
Majesty’s Government, but not concluded before the 17th March
next, application be made to Her Majesty’s Government suggest-
ing that an arrangement be entered into with the United States
Government for such a continuation of the existing treaty, as
may afford time for concluding the pending negotiations.

7th. That Her Majesty’s Government be requested to authorize
the members of this Council, or a committee to be appointed from
amongst them, to proceed to Washington, in the event of negotia-
tions being opened for the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, in
order to confer with the British Minister there, and afford him
information with respect to the interests of the British North
American Provinces.

The Council then adjourned.

(Signed) W. A. HIMSWORTH,


On the 1st January, 1866, Messrs. Gait and Howland of Canada,
Smith of New Brunswick, and Henry of Nova Scotia, delegates


from their respective Governments, of which they were members,
went to Washington. Negotiations, with the concurrence of the
British Minister, were opened with the United States, and conti-
nued until the month of February, without any successful result.
,The demands of the United States were totally inadmissible; and
on the 6th February, the Delegates delivered the following memo-
randum (marked A) in reply to the Committee of Ways and
Means (Congress being then sitting), to which Committee, under
the action of the American Government, they had been referred :


WASHINGTON, February 6, 1866.

In reference to the memorandum, received from tine Committee
of Ways and Means, the Provincial Delegates regret to be obliged
to state, that the proposals therein contained, in regard to the
commercial relations between the two countries, are not such as
they can recommend for the adoption of their respective Legisla-
tures. The imposts which it is proposed to lay upon the produc-
tions of the British Provinces, on their entry into the markets of
the United States, are such as, in their opinion, will be in some
cases prohibitory, and will certainly seriously interfere with the
natural course of trade. These imposts are so much beyond what
the Delegates conceive to be an equivalent for the internal taxa-
tion of the United States, that they are reluctantly brought to the
conclusion that the Committee no longer desire the trade between
the two countries to be carried on upon the principles of recipro-
city. With the concurrence of the British Minister at Washington,
they are therefore obliged respectfully to decline to enter into the
engagement suggested in the memorandum ; but the present views
of the United States may soon be so modified as to permit of the
interchange of the productions of the two countries upon a more
liberal basis.

On the following day they made their report to Sir Frederick
Bruce, Her Majesty’s Minister at Washington, and returned to
their several Governments ; Mr. Henry, the Attorney-General of
Nova Scotia, having taken the place of Dr. Tupper, and Mr.


Howland, Postmaster-General of Canada, the place of Mr. Brown.
The Report was as follows :

WASHINGTON, February 7th, 1866.

SIR, We have the honour to inform your Excellency that our
negotiations for the renewal of reciprocal trade with the United
States have terminated unsuccessfully. You have been informed,
from time to time, of our proceedings, but we propose briefly to
recapitulate them.

On our arrival here, after consultation with your Excellency, we
addressed ourselves, with your sanction, to the Secretary of the
Treasury, and we were by him put in communication with the
Committee of Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.

After repealed interviews w ; .th them, and 011 ascertaining that
no renewal or extension of the existing treaty would be made by
the American, bub that whatever was doae must be
done by legislation, we submitted, as the basis upon which we
desired arrangements, the enclosed paper (marked B).

In reply we received Ihe memorandum from the Committee, of
which a copy is enclosed (C) ; and finding, after discussion, that
110 important modifications in their views could be obtained, and
that we were required to consider their proposition as a whole, we
felt ourselves under the necessity of declining it, which was done
by the memorandum, also enclosed (A).

It is proper to explain the grounds of our final action.

It will be observed that the most important provisions of the
expiring treaty, relating to the free interchange of the products of
the two countries, were entirely set aside, and that the duties
proposed to be levied were almost prohibitory in their character.
The principal object of our entering into negotiations was, there-
fore, unattainable, and we had only to consider whether the minor
points were such as to make it desirable for us to enter into specific

These points are three in number.

With regard to the first the proposed mutual use of the waters
of Lake Michigan and the St. Lawrence we considered that the
present arrangements were sufficient, and that the common interests


of both countries would prevent their disturbance. We are not
prepared to yield the right of interference in the imposition of tolls
upon our canals. We believe, moreover, that the privilege allowed
the United States, of navigating the waters of the St. Lawrence,
was very much more than an equivalent for our use of Lake

Upon the second point providing for the free transit of goods
under bond between the two countries we believe that in this
respect, as in the former case, the interests of both countries would
secure the maintenance of existing regulations. Connected with
this point was the demand made for the abolition of the free ports
existing in Canada, which we were not disposed to concede, espe-
cially in view of the extremely unsatisfactory position in which it
was proposed to’ place the trade between the two countries.

On both the above points, we do not desire to be understood as
stating that the existing arrangements should not be extended and
placed on a more permanent basis, but only that, taken apart from
the more important interests involved, it did not appear to us at
this time necessary to deal with them exceptionally.

With reference to the third and last point the concession of
the right of fishing in the Provincial waters we considered the
equivalent proposed for so very valuable a right to be utterly
inadequate. The admission of a few unimportant articles free,
with the establishment of a scale of high duties as proposed, would
noo, in our opinion, have justified us in yielding this point.

While we regret this unfavourable termination of the negotia-
tions, we are not without hope that, at no distant day, they may
be resumed, with a better prospect of a satisfactory result.

We have the honour to be,
Your Excellency’s most obedient servants,

A. T. GALT, Minister of Finance, Canada.
W. P. HOWLAND, Postmaster-General, Canada.
W. A. HENRY, Attorney-General, Nova Scotia.
A. J. SMITH, Attorney-General, New Brunswick.

His Excellency Sir F. Bruce, K.C.B., &c.



1st. Free trade in the natural productions of the United States
and the Provinces ; subject, on both sides, to the internal revenue

2nd. That the present arrangement with regard to the fisheries
shall continue.

3rd. The free navigation of the internal waters of the continent,
coupled with an effort to improve Canadian water communications.

4th. That Canada would adjust her excis3 duties upon spirits
beer and tobacco, in accordance with a revenue standard to be
mutually adopted.

5th. A continuance of the present bonded system through both,


1st. That they should decline to admit free any article whatever
from Canada, with the exception of burr millstones, rags, fire-
wood, grindstones, plaster and gypsum.

2nd. That they ask a right to fish as at present. They would
abolish the present fish bounties, but impose an import duty more
than an equivalent to these bounties.

3rd. That the navigation arrangement would continue, pro-
viding that no discrimination as to tolls should be made between
United States and British craft.

4th. That the present bonding system should continue.

5th. That the following should be the duties levied on other
articles proposed to be included in this treaty :

Animals, living, of all sorts, 20 per cent, (ad valorem.)

Apples, and garden fruit and vegetables, 10 per cent, (ad val.)

Barley, 15 cents per bushel.

Beans, except vanilla and castor oil, 30 cents per bushel.

Beef, 1 cent per pound.

Buckwheat, 10 cents per bushel.

Butter, 4 cents per pound.

Cheese, 4 cents per pound.

Corn, Indian and oats, 10 cents per bushel.

Cornmeal, Indian and oatmeal, 15 cents per bushel.


Coal, bituminous, 50 cents per ton.

Coal, all other kinds, 25 cents per ton.

Flour, 25 cents (ad valorem.)

Hams, 2 cents per pound.

Hay, $1 per ton.

Hides, 10 per cent (ad valorem.)

Lard, 3 cents per pound.

Lumber, pine, round or log, $1 50 per 1,000 feet.

Pine, sawed or hewn, $2 50 per 1,000 feet ; planed, tongued and
grooved, or finished, 25 per cent, (ad valorem.)

Spruce and hemlock, sawed or hewn, $1 per 1,000 feet.

Spruce, planed, finished, or partly finished 25 per cent, (ad

Shingle bolts, 10 per cent, (ad valorem.)

Shingles, 20 per cent, (ad valorem.)

All other lumber of black walnut, chestnut, bass, whitewood,
ash. oak round hewn or sawed, 20 per cent, ad valorem.)

If planed, tongued and grooved, or finished, 25 per cent, (ad

Ores, 10 per cent, (ad valorem.)

Peas, 25 cents per bushel.

Pork, 1 cent per pound.

Potatoes, 10 cents per bushel.

Seed, timothy and clover, 20 per cent, (ad valorem.)

Trees, plants and shrubs, ornamental and fruit, 15 per cent,
(ad valorem.)

Tallow, 2 cents” per pound.

Wheat, 20 cents per bushel.

Thus ended the efforts to renew a treaty which had covered a
reciprocal trade of sixty-eight millions per annum, and which had
been looked upon by its promoters in 1854 as tending to cement
perpetual amity with the United States. The action of the dele-
gates at Washington met with the universal approval of the people
of the Provinces. The propositions of the Government of the
United States, as conveyed through the Committee of Ways and
Means, it was considered would simply have made the British


Provinces insignificant, outlying portions of their territory, con-
trolled by their laws, without having any voice in their legislation,
dependent for their trade and commerce upon the fluctuating
views of the preponderating party for the time being in the
United States; governed one day by the restrictive policy of
Pennsylvania coal owners, and the next by the necessities of gold
speculators in New York ; unable to enter the British or any
foreign market, but with the badge of American vassalage ; and
having to Iqok in their own legislation and their own parliaments,
not to the interests of their own country, but to the directions
they might receive from their commercial masters at Washington.
It was well for the governments of the day that their delegates
returned without having given even a qualified assent. The Pro-
vinces were thrown together, and confederation was secured,

To this action of the American Government on the question of
reciprocity, and to the Trent affair, the rapid achievement of
Canadian union may be mainly attributed. It would have come
in time, but the latter acting upon the British Government, and
the former upon the British Provinces, brought it about at once ;
and if hereafter a great northern nation should spring from the
confederation, rivalling the United States in power, in constitu-
tional freedom, in commercial enterprise, and in the development
of all those elements of strength which indicate a progressive and
contented people, rivals in all the pursuits of peace, and equals in
the emergencies of war, the United States will have to look back
to their own action in 1862 and 1865 as one of the main con-
ducing causes.



Resignation of Mr. Brown Parliamentary explanations Reasons assigned-
Examination of minutes of Council and Mr Gait’s memorandum
Reasons existing Subsequent conduct A. D. 1865 & 1856.

But the events narrated in the previous chapter did not take
place without producing in the Canadian Cabinet a change of
singular significance. In the month of December Mr. Brown,
owing, as it was said, to a difference with his colleagues as to the
mode in which the negotiations with the United States should be
conducted, resigned his seat as President of the Council, and left
the cabinet. Mr. McDougall was at that time absent with the
West India Trade Commission, and the leader of the Government
tendered to Mr. Howland, the remaining member of the Reform
party in the cabinet, the position held by Mr. Brown, with the
assurance that the conditions on which the Coalition Government
had been formed were still to continue. Mr. Howland, after
consulting his friends, accepted the position. Mr. Fergusson Blair,
another Reformer, and avowed supporter of confederation, was
offered and accepted the situation of President of the Council,
with the full consent and approbation of his party, went back for
re-election, and was triumphantly returned.

Though it was well understood throughout the country that it
was 011 the question of the negotiations for the renewal of the
Reciprocity Treaty with the United States that Mr. Brown’s
resignation had taken place, and, so far as the facts were supposed
to be, his views in that respect approved of; yet no specific
statement of the difference between himself and his la,te colleagues
had been made either on behalf of the Government or himself,
official prudence requiring that pending the negotiations reticence
should be observed. The meeting of Parliament was therefore
looked forward to with interest when it was known the necessary
ministerial explanations must be given. In the meantime the
seat of government had been removed to Ottawa. The public


attention was occupied with the Fenian invasion in the spring of
1866. The treaty had been disposed of, and no anxiety was felt
on that account. The new elections in New Brunswick had
terminated in favour of the confederate party ; the Nova Scotian
legislature had passed resolutions authorising their government to
act in that direction ; and thus when the Parliament assembled at
Ottawa on the 8th of June, 1866, and for the first time held its
sittings ” in the magnificent buildings erected in the city chosen
by Her Majesty as the seat of government,” the assembled repre-
sentatives were prepared to consider dispassionately the reasons
which had induced an influential member of the cabinet, and the
leader of the liberal section, to abandon his post at the moment
when the great object for which he had joined it, and for which he
had entered into a coalition contrary to the avowed policy of his
political life, was passing through its darkest hour.

Immediately upon the opening of the House, the Attorney-
General West, the Hon. John A. Macdonald, introduced in lieu
of the ordinary formal bill to assert the privileges of the House,
before going into consideration of the speech from the throne, a
bill for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus, and the Attorney-
General East, Hon. Geo. E. Cartier, a bill for extending to Lower
Canada, the Act then in force in Upper Canada for the trial of
hostile marauders. These two measures were passed without
opposition, were sent up to the Council, passed there and received
the Governor-General’s assent the same day.

On the re-assembling of the House in the following week, and
so soon as the ordinary business had been disposed of, the question
of Mr Brown’s resignation came up. The mere fact of a particular
individual joining or leaving a Government would not as a “general
rule demand an exhaustive narrative [of the causes which led to
it ; but Mr. Brown’s position was peculiar the history of Con-
federation would not be complete without his name. His per-
sistent assertion of a policy had brought about the dead-lock,
which had rendered Constitutional Government almost a mockery
in Canada. In 1864 his .entering the Government of the day,
which he had always persistently opposed and denounced, to bring
about a great constitutional change, had met with the approbation


of both friends and foes, and had extorted from his opponents,
the admission, that for a good purpose, he was strong enough to
treat with indifference, the charges of inconsistency and change
which might have deterred a weaker man that like Peel he could
boldly throw himself upon the nation’s judgment, and rise above
the trammels of party. When, therefore, he left the ship, just
as she was going into action, every one looked for a good reason
for it.

The fairest way is to give the explanations as they were made
in Parliament by the parties themselves.

In the Legislative Council, the Hon. Sir N. F. Belleau on
rising to give the Ministerial explanations touching the resigna-
tion of the late President of the Council in the autumn previous,
observed :

” It was generally known all over the country that Mr. Brown
resigned upon a question regarding the renewal of the Reciprocity
Treaty with the United States. The best way to make known to
the House the policy of the Government on the subject at the
time, was to read the minute in Council on which that gentleman
had resigned. It was as follows :

Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Executive Council, ap-
proved by His Excellency the Administrator of the Govern-
ment, on the 2%nd December, 1865.

The committee have had under consideration the memorandum
dated 18th December, 1865, from the honourable the Minister of
Finance, submitting for the consideration of your Excellency in
Council, that it appears from the report to Congress, of the
Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, as well as from
the information obtained by him, the Minister of Finance, in
recent conversations had at Washington with the Secretary of
State and the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, that
the American Government are not disposed to submit to Congress
any proposal for the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, but con-
sider that the commercial relations between the United States
and the British North American Provinces should form the sub-
j ect of concerted legislation.


That under these circumstances he submits that inasmuch as
the treaty will expire on the 17th of March next, there is no
reasonable probability that the Congress of the United States will,
before that date, decide in any way upon their policy in this
respect, while it is manifest that no corresponding legislation could
possibly take place in each of the British Provinces ; that it is
therefore evident that unless some understanding be arrived at
with the American Government, for a temporary continuance of
existing arrangements, the trade between the two countries must
be subject to serious disturbance, by the expiry of the treaty on
the 17th March.

That the proposal of the Secretary of the Treasury to substitute
legislation in lieu of the treaty, can only apply to those portions
of the treaty which refer to commercial subjects. That the
national rights involved in the engagements relative to the
fisheries, and to the navigation of the great lakes, and the St.
Lawrence, cannot, he believed, be dealt with otherwise than by
treaty or convention between Great Britain and the United States.

That the subjects embraced in the Reciprocity Treaty are two-
fold. That those relating to trade and commerce can, if it be so
determined, be reserved for the action of the respective Legis-
latures, each country pursuing the policy that is most in accord-
ance with its own interests, while those relating to International
engagements must either be continued by treaty or each nation
will revert to its position prior to the execution of the Reciprocity

That as the latter class of subjects has not been referred to by
the Secretary of the Treasury, it is possible it has not received
full attention in the decision that would appear to have been
arrived at for the abrogation of the treaty, as it can scarcely be
supposed that the United States desire to reproduce that state of
things which was happily put an end to by the execution of the

That the concessions which were considered to be made by
Great Britain in relation to the fisheries question were, however,
so intimately blended with the commercial advantages alleged to
have been granted by the United States, that it does not, at this


moment, appear possible to consent to the concessions by Great
Britain being continued and made permanent in favour of the
United States by a new treaty, while the latter country de-
termines to retain within its own control, all the subjects by
which equivalents were considered to have been given to the
British Provinces.

That if the objections by the United States to a renewal of the
commercial treaty rest upon its being an unconstitutional act on
their part, it no longer becomes a subject of discussion, and some
other course must be devised for the division of the subject, deal-
ing with national rights by treaty, and with commercial relations
by legislation. And he offers as his opinion that no insuperable
difficulty need be apprehended in this course, if the subject be
approached in a spirit of mutual desire to perfect and to perpetuate
the friendly intercourse and trade between the two countries ; but
that it is manifestly impracticable, within the time limited for the
termination of the treaty, to give the required consideration to the
subject, and to settle all the various details connected with it ; and
that it is therefore very much to be apprehended that the whole
engagements of the treaty will end on the 17th March, unless the
Government of the United States acquiesce in their temporary
continuance with a view to negotiations. But in case it should be
ultimately found necessary to deal with the question of trade by
legislation, it must be apparent to the United States Government
that extreme difficulty must be experienced in bringing into har-
mony the views of so many different legislatures, and much time
will be required for the purpose. That in view, therefore, of the
proposed confederation of the British North American Provinces
probably taking place at an early day, it would appear more desir-
able to defer, if possible, any legislative arrangements with the
United States to the Legislature of the Confederated Provinces,
especially as the earliest duty of that body will be to revise and
assimilate the existing separate systems of finance and trade now
existing in each ; thus affording the most favourable opportunity
for the consideration of any proposals of the American Govern-
ment relating to trade and revenue.


He, the Minister of Finance, therefore recommends that com-
munication be had with Her Majesty’s representative at Wash-
ington, for the purpose of submitting to the Government of the
United States a proposal for the continuance of the existing
treaty for such period as may be agreed upon, for the purpose of
negotiation, and that two members of the Council be instructed
to put themselves in communication with His Excellency and
(subject to his concurrence), with the authorities at Washington
on the subject.

The Minister of Finance further recommends that the action
proposed to be taken for the purpose of obtaining delay in the
abrogation of the treaty be communicated by your Excellency to
the Lieutenant-Governors of the Maritime Provinces, and that
they be requested to inform their respective governments that it
is not the intention of the Canadian Government to depart from
the course proposed by the Confederate Council on Commercial
Treaties, or act in any manner separately or distinctly from the
other Provinces, in the ultimate discussion and decision of the
various questions involved ; but solely in view of the vast interests
in Canada affected by the possible termination of the treaty, to
use every exertion, in the meantime, to obtain delay, with the
intention hereafter of considering, in connection with the sister
Provinces, any suggestions that may be made on the part of the
United States, in relation to the future commercial intercourse
between the two countries, and that the Maritime Provinces bo
invited to send representatives to Washington for the same pur-
pose, and be informed that it is proposed to hold a meeting of the
Confederate Council on Commercial Treaties at Ottawa, as soon as
the position of that question would warrant it, founded upon the
information to be received from Washington as to the probable
extension or final abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty.

(Certified.) W. H. LEE, C. E. C.

At this stage Mr. Brown, after a long and earnest discussion,
said he could not concur in the policy indicated, and if the Council
adopted it he would be obliged to take other steps. The question,
however, was put and unanimously carried, the Provincial Secre-
tary alone being absent. Upon the declaration that it was passed


Mr. Brown rose and said lie would not sign it, and would resign.
Before giving his resignation that honourable gentleman had
stated, however, that he would support the policy of confederation,
and, as far as possible, the general measures of the Government.
These were the sensible facts, and it was now for the country to
judge them.

On Friday, June the 15th, 1866, in the House of Assembly,
the Speaker took the chair at the usual hour.

After the ordinary routine business had been disposed of, on the
order of the day being called, the Hon. John A. Macdonald rose
and said :

” In accordance with the promise made yesterday, he would give
explanations regarding the changes which had been made in the
Administration since last session. The explanations, so far as the
Government are concerned, would be short, simple, and occupy the
attention of the House but a very brief period. It was known
the honourable member for South Oxford had retired from the
position of President of the Council, and had been succeeded by the
Hon. Fergusson Blair. It was also known, from public rumour,
which in this case, contrary to general rule, was correct, that the
member for South Oxford had retired from the Government in
consequence of a difference of opinion with the majority of the;
Executive Council on the subject of the best mode of continuing
negotiations for the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty with the
United States. The majority of the Council, after long and
serious discussion, and full consideration of the whole question,
came to a certain conclusion as to the best policy to pursue under
the circumstances, and the honourable gentleman who had resigned
would not assume the responsibility of adopting that policy. The
subject in question had occupied the attention of the whole country
for a considerable time indeed ever since the honourable gentle-
man entered the Coalition Cabinet it engaged continually the
attention of the Government. In December last the members of
the Government (who were all here except the Provincial Secre-
tary, then absent on a commercial mission) came to a conclusion
upon the best mode of conducting negotiations with the United


States for the renewal of the old Treaty, or for securing by some
other arrangement the advantages which flowed to the Province
and to the United States from the Treaty of 1854. The Govern-
ment exceedingly regretted that he could not conscientiously assent
to that policy, as in accordance with his view of what was right,
and, yielding his opinion to that of the rest of his colleagues,
remain in the Council. However, he, like every political man,
was the only judge of what was the proper course to pursue ; and,
while he was subjected to a degree of pressure by his colleagues
to withdraw his resignation and yield his opinion, he could not
bring himself conscientiously to do so, and said that the only
thing that remained was for the Administrator of the Govern-
ment to accept his resignation, and for the vacant place to be
filled up by another. The House knew the honourable member
for South Oxford did not hold an ordinary position in the Govern-
ment as Minister of the Crown. He was not only a Minister
holding office like the rest of his colleagues, but he was the repre-
sentative of a great party, and the leader of the three gentlemen
who, at the time of the coalition, went into the Government for
the purpose of effecting the great object which now, he was happy
to say, was so nearly accomplished; and it was an additional
source of regret that the honourable gentleman was not now in
the Government, as a minister of the Crown, to witness the success
of that project, for which he had sacrificed so much, and worked
so earnestly and patriotically. He had, however, pursued the only
course that was open to him as a statesman to resign when he
found he could not honestly and conscientiously approve of the
course which the Government had made up its mind to follow.
Having done so, he (Hon. John A. Macdonald), on behalf of his
colleagues, and with the approbation of His Excellency the Admin-
istrator of the Government, invited the Postmaster-General, then
the head of the Liberal section of the Government, from Upper
Canada, to assume the task of filling up the vacancy, and that
gentleman replied that he could not give an answer without an
opportunity of considering the matter and consulting his friends.
He (Mr. Macdonald) could not do better than read to the House a
report made by that hon. gentleman on the subject, as follows :


‘ Mr. Howland reported to the Council, that by the resignation
of Mr. Brown, he was placed in a position in which he felt that
great responsibility rested upon him ; and that before coming to a
decision as to whether he should continue in the Government,
he felt it to be his duty to consult and obtain the advice of those
members of both branches of the Legislature who belonged to the
Reform party. Pending this, he would decline to take any part
in the proceedings of the Council. He therefore asked the consent
of the Council to the step he proposed.’

This consent was accorded, and a letter was at the same time
placed in Mr. Rowland’s hands, which read as follows :


OTTAWA, Dec. 20th, 1866.

MY DEAR HOWLAND, I have only time, before you leave, to say
to you that the policy of the Coalition Government will in no
respect be changed by the resignation of G. Brown ; that all the
conditions entered into at the time of the formation of the Coali-
tion Government will be fully carried out ; that I ask you to take
Mr. Brown’s position in the Government, and that you have carte
blanche in the choice of a gentleman of your party to fill the vacant
seat in the Council.

In haste, yours sincerely,

To Hon. W. P. Howland.

P.S. When I speak of the conditions on which the Coalition
Government was formed, I of course refer to original arrangements
under Sir E. P. Tache, and to continuations of them when Sir
N”. F. Belleau became Premier. J. A. M. .

Mr. Howland, continued Mr. Macdonald, after seeing his friends,
consented to remain in the Government, and, as he had said before,
the Hon. Mr. Blair had accepted the office of President of the
Council, with the consent and approbation of his party. These,
so far as Government was concerned, were all the explanations
they had to offer. The papers on the subject would be submitted
to the House.”


Hon. George Brown ” Before proceeding to enter into explana-
tions on the subject of his retirement from the Government,
desired it to be distinctly understood that his resignation was
entirely on account of the course which had been pursued on the
question of the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty. He was
bound to admit that no slight cause would justify him in leaving
the Government before the great question of Confederation, for
the carrying of which he had taken office, had not been finally
disposed of. At the same time, he thought that Confederation
had even then reached that point where no danger of its failure,
need have been apprehended. He had entered the Government
with very great reluctance and would have preferred, as he had
stated at the time, to have remained on his own side of the
House and sustained the gentlemen opposite in maturing the
great question and carrying it to a successful issue. He thought
still that it would have been the proper course for himself and
his friends to have sustained the Government from their own side
of the House, than to have joined in the Government, and he
was still prepared to give the Government his hearty and cordial
support in carrying out that measure. With regard to the
occasion of his leaving the Government, the policy on the
Reciprocity question the matter in connection with it which led
to his resignation, was the negotiations of Canada with the United
States. It was in the course pursued by the Hon. Finance
Minister, that he had found his reasons for the course he had
taken. He was glad, however, that the policy on which he had
resigned had not been carried out, and thought his resignation
had done some good in preventing that policy from bearing fruit.
The honourable gentleman opposite knowing he (Mr. B.) was
present, had not thought fit to give his view of the case, and he
begged to state before entering upon it, that he had left the
Government in perfect friendship and without any difference or
disagreement upon any other question than that of Reciprocity.
As the Attorney-General had stated that question was before the
Cabinet from the time of the formation of the Coalition Govern-
ment, and on the 15th July, 1865, feeling it necessary that the
Government should know what were the views of the United


States Government that ministers might come down and meet
the House with a statement of policy, it was proposed to send a
deputation to Washington. A long discussion took place upon
this point. The Council did not agree upon it, but 011 applying
for the document it could not be found. A deputation was sent
to Washington to ascertain the views of the American Govern-
ment. We were satisfied with the treaty ; they were not, there-
fore they should make a proposition to us and not us to them
as a basis for renewal of negotiations. The result of that mission
was that the American Government desired some arrangement
with regard to certain articles in which a great deal of smuggling
was carried on from this country to the United States, and he was
perfectly satisfied to enter into an arrangement of this kind from
first to last. During the last session of Parliament on discussion
on the enlargement of the canals, the honourable Minister of
Finance had made some remarks which he supposed members
would recollect, and which he did not hesitate to say conveyed an
idea of the policy of the Government. (Mr. B. then read from
Mr. Gait’s speech showing that enlargement of canals would only
be wise policy for Canada as an inducement to Americans to renew
the treaty, &c.) The Ministry last year had suggested to the
Imperial Government the propriety of consulting the British
American Colonies in any negotiations that might take place for
a renewal of the treaty. The British Government had agreed,
and appointed the Inter-Colonial Council of Trade. The Canadian
Ministers who were members of that Council were the Hon.
Attorney- Generals East and West, Hon. A. T. Gait and himself
(Mr. B.) He held in his hand the resolutions which had been
agreed upon at that Council, after a full discussion, which it was
proper he should read. Mr. Brown read resolutions to the effect
that the Colonies were satisfied with the present treaty, but willing
to enter upon a new one upon any reasonable basis ; that in any
new treaty the coasting trade should be included j and in case of
the failure to negotiate before the 17th March, then the Imperial
Government should be appealed to, to get a renewal of the then
existing treaty for a brief period, to enable negotiations to be
carried to a successful issue. These resolutions were agreed to on


the 1 7th September last. Shortly after that time the departments
were removed to Ottawa, the cabinet meetings were held in Mon-
treal, so that, properly speaking, the Government had no abiding
place. On the 17th November he had gone to the Lower Pro-
vinces on a mission connected with our trade relations, and shortly
after his return to Toronto he had been surprised to see in the
American papers a statement that Messrs. Gait and Howland,
who had been sent on a mission to New York to confer with the
Internal Revenue Commissioners, were negotiating with the Com-
mittee of Ways and Means in Washington. He thought there
surely must have been some mistake, as no authority had been
given our delegation to make any propositions, and he feared that
this step would have a most dangerous effect on the Lower Pro-
vinces, and even be detrimental to the prospects of confederation,
as indicating that Canada desired to act without consulting the
other governments equally concerned. It was desirable to know
exactly what had taken place, and though he had no doubt his
honourable friend had acted in the best of faith, still from the
course pursued, had it not been for the great question of confede-
ration, he (Mr. B.) would not have stayed in the Government
one hour. Mr. B. then read the following memorandum :

” When the Council met at Ottawa on the 13th December Mr.
Gait gave a full narrative of his proceedings in the United States,
but did not submit it to writing. I asked him to do so, but he
thought it unnecessary, which I think is to be regretted, He
stated that he met the Commissioners at New York, and arranged
with them that they should report to their Government in favour
of a renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, and of a year’s extension
of the existing treaty, to enable a new one to be arranged by the
Commissioners. He also stated that he had agreed with them for
the assimilation of duties during the year, so as to prevent, or at
least render unprofitable, smuggling on the border. Mr. Gait
then went on to say that after seeing the Commissioners at New
York, he proceeded to Washington, where he saw Mr. Seward
and Mr. McCulloch. He said both were very friendly, and depre-
cated any interruption to our commerce; but that Mr. Seward
declared no new treaty could be made, and that only reciprocal


legislation could be assented to. Mr. Gait said he combatted
this proposal, and shewed the difficulty of getting all the Pro-
vinces to consent to reciprocal legislation, to which Mr. Seward
replied that he did not care about the Lower Provinces, it was an
arrangement with Canada he wanted. Mr. Gait said he urged
that the fishery question could not be arranged except by treaty,
to which Mr. Seward replied that he did not care about the
fisheries, and also that that could be separately arranged. The
result was that Mr. Gait proceeded to discuss with Mr. Seward
and Mr. McCulloch (separately, I understood) the arrangements
possible under reciprocal legislation. He suggested to them that
such manufactures of the two countries, as the United States
might designate, might be admitted free, provided the same
articles from England were admitted into Canada free. He
suggested that all the natural products of the two countries
should be admitted free, with this exception, that when the
Americans impose an excise duty on articles made or grown in
their country, they might impose an equal customs duty on the
same articles coming in from Canada. He suggested that our
inland waters and canals might be made a highway, common to
both countries, and maintained at the joint expense of both. He
suggested that the customs duties on foreign merchandise of the
two countries should be assimilated as far as possible, and when
the rate of duty was the same in both countries, such articles
should pass free from country to country, and a settlement be
made between the governments at the end of each year, on a
balance of accounts from the customs entries on the lines. Other
suggestions were made by Mr. Gait equally important, and all
likely to cause much agitation in the Provinces. Mr. Gait
followed up his narrative by proposing that a minute of council
be adopted, endorsing what he had done, and authorising him to
proceed to Washington and continue his negotiations. A discus-
sion of several days followed. I contended that Mr. Gait had no
authority for going on to Washington, and had acted most
indiscreetly in making such suggestions, even on his own personal
responsibility. That what he had done was in direct opposition
to the deliberate decision of the Government and Confederate


Council, and calculated to be most seriously injurious to us in tlie
coming negotiations, I contended that even had Mr. Gait full
authority for going to Washington, and had the council not
previously determined the line of discussion to be then adopted,
the action taken was worse than folly. Mr. Gait had flung at the
heads of the Americans every concession that we had in our
power to make, and some that we certainly could not make, so
that our case was foreclosed before the commission was opened.
Every suggestion he had made would be regarded as a boon
we were seeking, and our eagerness in making them would
convince the Americans more than ever that we were, and
that we thought ourselves, at their mercy. But I went on
to contend that the worst part of the matter was that all
these sacrifices were to be made to secure ” Reciprocal
Legislation,” that is, an Act of Congress and an Act of
the Canadian Legislature which either might repeal at any
moment. I pointed out the astuteness of these suggestions on
the part of the United States Government that it simply meant
an arrangement by which the Americans could get over their
present difficulties and have our aid in collecting their revenues
the one sole thing they were then bent on, and after that hold
our people dangling from year to year on the Legislation of the
American Congress, looking to Washington instead of Ottawa as
the controller of their commerce and prosperity, knowing, as I
well did, the determination of the leading United States public
men to absorb the Provinces into the Union, I pointed out how
admirably this scheme was designed to attain their end, and what
a position we would be in, with the public mind excited before
each meeting of Congress by articles in the United States press,
threatening ruin to our trade and resolutions proposed in Congress
by protectionist members. I also pointed out the effect all this
would have on the Lower Provinces. Here had Mr. Gait been
settling the basis of a new treaty without one word of communi-
cation with the sister colonies, nay, in direct opposition to what
they had determined was the best course to pursue. I told my
colleagues what had been done by the Confederate Council, that
I was bound in honour to stand by the course taken by, and the


promises made to, the members of the Confederate Council. I
expressed my fear that great offence would be taken if Mr. Gait’s
proposal was persisted in, and that result might be the loss of
Confederation as well as Reciprocity. I stated that I could not
be responsible for Mr. Gait’s proposed order in Council, and for
his continuing the negotiations alone, and if it were insisted on I
must leave the Government. I was asked to state what course
I suggested. I said treat Mr. Gait’s proceedings at Washington
as unofficial, call the Confederate Council together and at once by
telegraph, and commence anew. Make a dead set to have this
reciprocal legislation idea upset before proceeding with the dis-
cussion, and if you fail after every exertion has been made to
restore the proposal for a treaty, then, before breaking off all
negotiations, ascertain the conditions proposed, for the purpose of
seeing whether all the present advantages of our position should
be sacrificed for a boon dependent from day to day on American
whim. I endeavoured earnestly to impress my colleagues with
the dangerous nature of this reciprocal legislation. I pointed out
that, until Mr. Gait met Mr. Seward, such an idea had never
been broached by any one. I pointed out also that, apart from
its political effect, no extension of the scope of the treaty would
be worth much that was capable of repeal at any moment. Who
would put his money in any enterprise that might be knocked on
the head at a month’s notice. I also reminded them that even in
the United States those friendly to Reciprocity, and who were striv-
ing for its renewal, would be equally dissatisfied with us at such an
unreliable arrangement. At last Mr. Gait, after consulting with
others, made a suggestion for a compromise. He consented that
his proceedings at Washington should be treated as unofficial, that
no order in Council be passed on the subject, and that he and
Mr. Howland, be sent down to Washington to secure a treaty if
they could, but, if not, to find the best terms that could be got,
and report to the Government without delay, for their approval.
I replied that I quite understood this as intended to strike my
name from the Confederate Council of trade, and place Mr.
Rowland’s in lieu of it, that I would not 011 that account object
to the proposal, but accept the compromise. I supposed the matter


settled, but Mr. Gait then proposed that a second draft minute he
had placed before the Council should be adopted. I said I
thought no minute whatever was to be passed, and on his reading
what he proposed now to be adopted, it appeared that the
document referred to Mr. Gait’s mission to Washington, endorsed
his policy, and, instead of calling the Confederate Council to-
gether, ordered that an intimation of what had been done, and
what was proposed to be done, should be sent to the Governments
of the Lower Provinces, so that they might if they chose send
representatives to Washington. On pointing out these objections
a clause was added intimating that a meeting of the Confederate
Council would be held when Messrs. Gait and Howland re-
turned from Washington. He (Mr. B.) had not been able
to read the first memorandum, though he had applied for
it, but could not get it, that was the reason why the ex-
planations had not been given yesterday, and not as stated
in one of the papers, that he required time to refresh his
memory. Had both minutes been withdrawn he would have
been satisfied, but as only one was withdrawn and the other
being substantially the same, he could not consent to undertake
the responsibility involved in agreeing to substitute reciprocal
legislation for the provisions of a treaty. The Secretary of the
Treasury had more than a week to prepare his report, after his
conference with our Finance Minister, and even in that report the
objection of the treaty . being unconstitutional, was not so
decidedly put as in Mr. Gait’s report. The Secretary only said
there were grave doubts whether such treaties were not uncon-
stitutional, as infringing the rights of Congress to legislate,on all
matters of commerce, and he (Mr. B.) was surprised that his
honourable friend should have fallen in with such an absurd
proposition. It was a mere delusion -to suppose that there could
have been any constitutional objection to the treaty, because the
United States had made twenty treaties of a similar import since
the one of 1854. Having fully considered this matter, and
having viewed it in the light of an improper concession to the
United States, being of opinion that the Minister of Finance was
not authorised to proceed to Washington, and offer terms on


behalf of Canada, and believing that reciprocal legislation would
be no rightful substitute for the treaty, he had come to the
conclusion that it was his duty to resign his position in the
Government. Having decided upon this step, he then considered
how he should carry it out. There were two ways, one to place
his resignation at once in the hands of the leader of the Govern-
ment, the other to wait upon the administrator of the Govern-
ment. He, considering the peculiar circumstances under which
he had entered the Government, considered it his duty to adopt
the latter course, and lest there should have been any appearance
of discourtesy to his friend at the head of the Government, he at
once sent his resignation to the Premier. His Excellency the
administrator had received him with great kindness, indeed he
would never forget the consideration extended him on that
occasion. After explaining the whole matter, the administrator
said, ‘ Then, Mr. Brown, I am called upon to decide between your
policy and that of the other members of the Government.’ He
(Mr. B.) replied, ‘ Yes, sir, and if I am allowed to give advice in
the matter, I should say that the Government ought to be sus-
tained, though the decision is against myself. I consider the
great question of confederation as of far greater consequence to
this country than reciprocity negotiations. My resignation may
aid in preventing their policy on the reciprocity question from
being carried out, or at least call forth a full expression of public
opinion on the subject, and the Government should be sustained
if wrong in this for the sake of confederation.’ Mr. Brown
continued that he was as much in favour of a renewal of the
reciprocity treaty as any other member of the House, but he
wanted a fair treaty ; and they should not overlook the fact,
while admitting its benefits, that the treaty was attended with
some disadvantages to us. He contended that we should not
have gone to Washington as suitors for any terms they were
pleased to give us. We were satisfied with the treaty, and the
American Government should have come to us with a proposition
since they, not we, desired a change. There was something in
building up a great country besides mere commercial advantages,
and he did not desire that by a system of reciprocal legislation
Canada should be bound to sail in the wake of Washington.


Hon. Mr. Gait, after complimenting Mr. Brown on the temper
of his explanations, said that he, too, would endeavour to refrain
from the use of any word which could provoke acrimonious discus-
sion. He would have been glad if there had been no necessity for
him to add a single word to the explanations of Mr. Macdonald,
but Mr. Brown had represented him (Mr. Gait) as acting without
authority in his first visit to Washington. The fact was that Mr.
Brown had left, after some preliminary discussion, for the Lower
Provinces ; and on subsequent days, in council, he had received
the sanction of all his colleagues to the course adopted, and had
been authorized, at the same time, to proceed to Washington to
lay papers respecting the threatened Fenian invasion before Sir
F. Bruce. In his interviews there with the Secretaries of State
and Treasury he had not presumed to speak as authorized by the
Canadian Government to propose any definite line of policy. He
had only endeavoured to ascertain what was the practicable method
of obtaining the advantages of continued commercial intercourse.
He would not follow the honourable member in the discussion of
of the policy actually adopted and pursued by the Government ;
that would probably be brought up by itself apart from mere per-
sonal issue ; but for himself he would only say that in the course
taken he and his colleagues had sincerely at heart a desire to secure
for the people of Canada the benefits derivable from unfettered
commercial intercourse with the United States. In respect of the
proposal to proceed by legislation, mutually agreed upon, instead
of by treaty, there was a good deal to be said in its favour. A
treaty must have been negotiated for a term of years ; and to
settle the basis of a treaty now in 1866, with the burthens of a
recent war pressing on the United States government, and pre-
venting them from acting with liberality, and agreeing that it
should continue in force until 1876, would be a most disadvan-
tageous manner of proceeding. Legislation on the subject would
be as much under our control as under that of the Congress of the
United States. We could change ours at any time as well as
they, adapting on both sides year by year to changing circum-
stances, till the United States again found themselves in a position
to grant as liberal terms as in 1854. In regard, therefore, to this


basis they had not sacrificed or offered to sacrifice any of the in-
terests or independence of Canada ; and as for looking to Wash-
ington, or subjecting the country to “Washington influences, if his
colleagues or himself could have been weak or base enough to
entertain any such designs as hinted at, the country had in the
last few weeks shown unmistakably what their will was in this
regard. The people had spoken in a manner no Ministry could
misunderstand or venture to disregard. One more matter of a
personal nature : the honourable gentleman had complained that
he had not been furnished with the memorandum submitted by
him. Now, that had been rejected at the instance of the honour-
able member himself. He (Mr. Gait) withdrew it, and it ceased
to be a public document. It did not belong to the Executive
Council, but to him (Mr. Gait). Yet, lest it might be thought
there was anything in it which he had an interest to conceal from
the Council, he would himself read it to the House :

‘ The Minister of Finance has the honour to submit for the con
sideration of his colleagues in the Government, that the approach
of the period when, under the notice given, the Reciprocity Treaty
will expire, renders it necessary to consider the steps necessary to
be taken to procure such an extension of the notice from the
Government of the United States, as will afford time for fully
considering and arranging the best mode for establishing perma-
nent regulations for the trade, navigation and intercourse between
the United States and Canada, under the circumstances, and with
the view of defining the general limits of the discussion of the
question of reciprocity with the American authorities. It appears
necessary to decide upon the principles by which the Canadian
Government would be guided, in case it should become necessary
to proceed by concerted legislation. The Minister of Finance,
therefore, respectfully recommends that the following points be
now settled as expressing the views of the Administration in
regard to the commercial relations of Canada with the United
States ; and in the event of the Government of the United States
declining to make a treaty of commerce with Great Britain as
regards Canada and the other British North American Provinces,


the Canadian Government are willing to endeavour to effect such
arrangements by concerted legislation as will establish such regu-
lations as it may agree upon to adopt.

1st. Canada would be willing to agree to the reciprocal inter-
change of the natural productions, shipping and manufactures of
both countries, provided she were not required, in any case, to
impose differential duties in favour of the United States.

2nd. Canada would be willing to place the navigation of the
great lakes and the St. Lawrence on a footing of perfect equality,
and hereafter to consider the best mode of perfecting the canals,
so as to afford the greatest possible facilities to the trade of the
west. If practicable, the coasting trade of the two countries
should be made reciprocal, and the regulations for the transit
trade made permanent and satisfactory.

3rd. With the view of preventing illicit trade, Canada would
be willing to agree upon the assimilation of the excise duties upon
spirits, beer and tobacco, and of the customs duties upon the same
and cognate articles. She would also willingly consider any sug-
gestion, by the United States, for the extension of such assi-
milation to other articles, provided the settlement of the whole
commercial relations between the two countries be made upon the
principle of perfect reciprocity, and the greater freedom afforded
to the citizens of both countries to purchase and sell in the mar-
kets they may prefer.

4th. Canada may state that the Maritime Provinces are prepared
to unite with her in the discussion of all the subjects arising out
of the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty, and she therefore
desires that the negotiations should be carried on with Commis-
sioners appointed to represent the several Provinces. But as such
negotiations could not possibly be completed before the 1 7th March
Canada suggests that the notice for the abrogation of the Treaty
be withdrawn, pending negotiations, reserving, however, to both
countries the right of imposing customs duties upon any or all of
the articles enumerated in the 4th section of the treaty, pro-
vided the same do not exceed the duties now levied by the Internal
Revenue Act of the United States ; or, if necessary, Canada would
accept a declaration from the United States, that they will not


act upon the notice given for the abrogation of the treaty, further
than to impose such duties as aforesaid upon the productions of
British North America, and will not consider such duties as incon-
sistent with the reciprocity provided by the treaty, which shall in
all other respects be held to be in force.

5th. If no other course can be taken for obtaining an extension
of the treaty, the Canadian Government are prepared to recom-
mend, at the next session of Parliament, the enactment of such
measures as may, meantime, be agreed upon with the American
Government, provided the legislation of both countries be made
concurrent and reciprocal.

(Signed) A. T. GALT, Minister of Finance. 1

” Hon. Mr. Howland said, on ‘Mr. Brown’s resignation, he felt
placed in a position of peculiar difficulty. Had he consulted his
own feelings he would hare followed the leader of his party out
of Government. But he was convinced that he (Mr. Brown) was
wrong and his colleagues right in the course taken. Under these
circumstances, seeing that coalition had been formed to effect a
certain great object, and that great object might be endangered if
coalition were altogether dissolved, he had to call his political
friends together at Guelph, and afterwards at his own house in
Toronto, and they decided he ought to remain in. In the first
instance, he was authorised to offer a seat in the Cabinet to Mr.
McKenzie, who, after consultation with Mr. Brown, declined.
This place was then offered to Mr. Ferguson Blair, who accepted.
This was all he had to say, for he felt it inexpedient to discuss
apropos of these personal explanations the policy of the Govern-
ment respecting reciprocity.”

No further explanations were made, nor was any action after-
wards taken upon the subject.

On an examination of Mr. Brown’s speech, we find the reason
assigned for his resignation was the policy suggested by Mr. Gait,
with reference to the negotiations, and the adoption of that policy
by the Government. That policy, according to Mr. Brown’s
statement, was embraced in two draft minutes by Mr. Gait, one


of them, he says, he could not get. It was, however, subsequent-
ly in. the debate produced by Mr. Gait, and for the sake of
elucidation may here be called No. 1. The other was produced
by Sir N. F. Belleau, in. the Legislative Council, and for the same
reason may here be called No. 2.

No. 1 was abandoned by consent and withdrawn. No. 2, Mr.
Gait afterwards proposed, should be adopted, and on an objection
made by Mr. Brown, a clause suggested by him was added.

Mr. Brown then says : ” Had both minutes been withdrawn
he would have been satisfied, but as only one was withdrawn and
the other being substantially the same, he could not consent to
take the responsibility involved in agreeing to substitute recipro-
cal legislation for the provisions of a treaty.”

First, then Were the two substantially the same 1

Secondly Was any proposition to substitute legislation for
treaty adopted by the Government ]

In No. 1, Mr. Gait Suggested for the consideration of his
colleagues certain points as guides in case a treaty could not be
obtained, and concerted legislation became necessary.

1st. A reciprocal interchange of the natural productions, ship-
ping and manufactures of both countries, provided Canada was in
no case required to impose differentia] duties in favour of the
United States.

2nd. To place the navigation of the great lakes and the St.
Lawrence on a footing of perfect equality and afterwards to
consider the best mode of perfecting the canals. The coasting
trade to be made reciprocal, and the negotiations for the transit
trade permanent and satisfactory.

3rd. An assimilation of Excise duty on certain named articles,
and a readiness to consider the extension of such assimilation to
other articles provided it was on a reciprocal footing.

4th. That Commissioners from the other Provinces should be
included in the negotiations and that the notice for the termina-
tion of the treaty be withdrawn, pending negotiations reserving
the right to each country of imposing duties on the articles in the
free list, &c.


111 minute No. 2, after pointing out that certain rights must be
the subject of treaty, and others may be the subject of concerted
legislation and that if the United States Government adhered to
their position, viz. : ” that such a treaty on their part was con-
stitutional,” there was not time to consider the question before the
1 7th March, and that in view of the proposed Confederation of the
Provinces, it would be better to defer any legislation, assuming it
was necessary. He recommended

1st. A proposal for the continuance of the existing treaty for
an agreed period for the purpose of negotiation and that two
members of Council be sent to Washington therefor.

2nd. That the proposed steps be communicated to the Govern-
ments of the Maritime Provinces ; and that they be informed that
it was not the intention of the Canadian Government to depart
from the course proposed by the Confederate Council on Commer-
cial Treaties, but, solely in view of the vast interests in Canada
that would be affected by the treaty, to obtain delay, with the
intention of considering with the sister Provinces any suggestions
made by the United States ; and that the Maritime Provinces be
requested to send representatives to Washington ; and that a
meeting of the Confederate Council on Commercial Treaties should
be held at Ottawa as soon as circumstances would warrant, founded
upon the information to be received from Washington as to .the
probable extension or final abrogation of the treaty.

Throughout No. 1, the adoption of concerted legislation was
only a dernier resort, and in no case does Mr. Gait propose to
substitute it in place of a treaty, if a treaty could be obtained ;
but if no treaty could be obtained, then he names certain points to
be considered. But that minute was never adopted by the Govern-
ment, and was, by consent of Mr. Brown and Mr. Gait, withdrawn.

In No. 2, while the possibility of having ultimately to deal with
the question by concerted legislation is referred to, the substantive,
proposition is to obtain an extension of time for the purpose of
considering with the sister Provinces any suggestion made by the
United States ; and the reiteration is clearly made, of the deter-
mination of the Canadian Government “not to depart from
the course proposed by the Confederate Council on Commercial


Treaties;” which course, Mr. Brown states, had been agreed upon
by the Council when he was a member, and to which lie was a
party, and which, it must be remembered, contemplated nothing
but a treaty. Thus the two minutes are not substantially the

In Sir F. 1ST. Belleau’s explanation, in the Legislative Council,
he states, ” A discussion took place on this minute (No. 2), and it
was the contemplated adoption of this minute, to which Mr. Brown
objected, and announced his determination of resigning, and on its
adoption did resign.”

While, therefore, Mr. Brown was right in his abstract proposi-
tion, that legislation for such a purpose was not as good as a
treaty, he was wrong it is considered in its application at that time,
because it was not proposed. The minute of Council which was
proposed to be adopted, and which would be the guide to the
instructions the Government would give the delegates, would not
authorize them to agree to legislation. They were to obtain a
renewal, or an extension of time. If they could not, and legis-
lation only was offered, it would be very proper to see on what
terms it was proposed to base such legislation proper, both in the
interests of a renewal of friendly intercourse, and of eventuating
if possible in some arrangement that could be adopted, or in ascer-
taining the terms which might form the basis of a treaty, if one
could ultimately be obtained, and to report the same accordingly.
Indeed Mr. Brown himself said, ” If you fail, after every exertion
has been made to restore the proposal for a Treaty, then before
breaking off all negotiations, ascertain the conditions proposed, for
the purpose of seeing whether all the present advantages of our
position should be sacrificed for a boon dependent from day to day
on American whim.” And that was exactly the plan the nego-
tiations assumed at Washington. When the delegates found the
authorities would not hear of a treaty, they submitted a basis for
the desired arrangements. In reply, the committee of ways and
means submitted theirs. On both sides both propositions were
rejected, and the delegates reported accordingly. Had they ven-
tured to transcend their instructions, Mr. Brown’s position in the
Cabinet would have been more influential to prevent the wrong


the Country would have sustained, than leaving it at the time he
did. Throughout the whole official correspondence, or the public
records, nothing can be found to justify the assertion that legis-
lation in lieu of a treaty was to be accepted. The time for sub-
mitting that proposition had not come, and never did come.

No other explanations on the subject were made in Parliament,
and the conclusion is irresistible, that the reason assigned for the
resignation was not the reason which existed. Mr. Brown’s
resignation at such a time, when confederation was about to be
put upon its trial, and when the great measure in which he had
taken so prominent a part, required the aid of all the talents and
patriotism and, if necessary, self-abnegation of the leading men in
the country, cannot, it is conceived, be justified. He himself had
said, “that the appearance of disunion in the Government would
be injurious to the cause of confederation.” Either he ought not
to have joined the Government, or. he. ought not to have left it at
that time. The people sustained him in the first, they condemned
him in the latter. The reason he gave no one accepted as the
real reason, and his opponents did not hesitate to say that he left
the Government because he was not permitted to be its master,
and that jealousy of its other leading men was the true cause.
Whether it was so or not, unfortunately because it is a mis-
fortune, when a political man of high standing affords even
plausible grounds for the public to attribute his conduct, in the
discharge of public duties, to other than public considerations,
still more so when that conduct precludes even his friends from
justifying the position he has taken Mr. Brown’s subsequent
conduct gave too much reason for the charge. His endeavour
from that time to revive the old internecine quarrels, that had
existed previous to the coalition ; to renew the charges of corrup-
tion against his old opponents, which, if true, he at any rate had
condoned, by going into the Government with them ; his attacks
upon his own colleagues of the Reform party, who had joined
him in the effort for conciliation, because they would not follow
him in his flight ; his unceasing attempts to blacken the personal
character of the men, who but just previously had been his col-
leagues, and joint sworn advisers of the Crown ; his efforts to sow


disunion among the friends of confederation, and divide its sup-
porters into old party lines at the very moment it needed the
greatest consideration, and the most united action ; his jeopar-
dising a great national question, in which not only the interests
of Canada but of all British America were involved, to gratify
personal or political animosity brought, as they usually do, their
own punishment. In one year the work of his suicide was
accomplished. At the elections for the Dominion Parliament in
1867 throughout the vast Province of Ontario, in which he had
been wont to be a moving power, no constituency returned him,
though a candidate, to that first Parliament of the confederation,
in which it had been expected he would play so conspicuous a
part. The people pronounced him to be an impracticable man,
who allowed his temper to over-ride his judgment. A powerful
debater, an experienced politician, of indomitable energy, in
many respects, but for one weakness, great, he passed away from
the sphere of a statesman, and destroyed a power which, wielded
with moderation, might have been of incalculable service to his
country. A more painful episode never occurred in political life.
Requiescat in pace.



Deputation to England Defence Imperial policy on Confederation after
defeat in New Brunswick The West Indian and Brazilian Commis-
sion Instructions Report Imperial Despatches Relaxation of the
rule with reference to the Inter- Provincial Trade as to British North
America Constitutional question Gait Macdougall Difficulty of
dealing with the West Indies Gait on Colonial Taxation Action of
the Imperial Government Negotiations in 1862 with France Remon-
strance Removal of Baron Boilleau Importance of Trade question
Necessity of concession to Canada by the Imperial Government to
make exceptional reciprocal arrangements with South America, and
with all the British Colonies wherever situate Changed position of
Canada Increased responsibilities necessitate increased powers
A.D. 1865.

In order that the narrative might be unbroken on subjects of
importance, it has been necessary occasionally to omit reference
to concurrent circumstances that were equally bearing on Con-
federation. It has been already mentioned that at the close of
the session in 1865 a deputation of the Canadian Ministers had
been sent to England to confer with the Imperial Government on
the questions then agitating the country. The position was at this
time critical. The American civil war had virtually closed ; but
the irritation engendered towards Canada and Great Britain
during its progress continued. The American Government still
enforced the Passport system, and had given notice to the British
Government both for the termination of the Reciprocity Treaty,
and of the Convention restricting the naval armament on the
lakes. The proposal for Confederation, which it was urged would
tend to consolidate and strengthen the Provinces for the purposes
of defence had been rejected in New Brunswick on an appeal to
the people, in the spring of 1865, and its advocates signally
defeated. The whole line of frontier from Windsor in Upper
Canada to St. Andrew’s, in New Brunswick, was threatened
with invasion by lawless Fenian marauders. The rapid disband-
ment of the American army was casting loose a body of reckless
adventurers whose desire was plunder, and whose consequent


object was to embroil the two countries. Even the well regulated
classes of the American citizens were callous or indifferent. The
abnormal excitement resulting from their long war had not yet
subsided, and though they could not exactly approve of the act,
they did not regret to see the Canadians or the British Govern-
ment worried at the prospect of invasion or International trouble.
It was to them a species of inexpensive revenge. All this tended
to create a sense of insecurity. The uncertainty was almost
worse than the actual conflict would be.

When, therefore, this deputation went to England, the question^
what share the latter was going to take in defending the country
was a serious one. Three important points were to be discussed.

First. The proposed Confederation, and by what means it could
most speedily be effected.

Secondly. The arrangements necessary for the defence of Canada
in the event of war with the United States, and the extent to
which the same should be shared between Great Britain and

Thirdly. The steps to be taken with reference to the Reciprocity
Treaty, and the rights conferred by it upon the United States.

The Deputation did their duty well. The third point has
already been disposed of. Sir Frederick Bruce, Her Majesty’s
Minister at Washington, was instructed to negotiate for a renewal
of the treaty, and act in concert with the Government of Canada.
What took place has been stated.

On the second point, we learn from the report made by the
Deputation to the Governor-General, on their return, in July,
1865, that after much discussion with the Imperial Government,
the result arrived at was, ” that if the people of Canada under-
took the works of defence at and west of Montreal, and agreed to
expend, in training their militia, until the union of all the Pro-
vinces was determined, a sum not less than is now expended
annually for that service, Her Majesty’s Government would com-
plete the fortifications at Quebec, provide the whole armament
for all the works, guarantee a loan for the works undertaken by
Canada, and, in the event of war, undertake the defence of every
portion of Canada with all the resources of the Empire.”


The annual expenditure on the militia had been that year raised
from $300,000 to $1,000,000 ; and a report on the whole subject
of the defence of Canada, with plans and estimates by the highest
military and naval authorities, had been asked for, and confiden-
tially communicated to the Canadian Ministers, which was calcu-
lated to remove all doubt as to the capability of defending Canada,
so long as the people remained attached to the British flag, and the
power of England was wielded in their defence.

Thus satisfactorily was this matter arranged ; but the necessary
legislation of the Imperial and Provincial Parliaments, and the
further consideration of the defensive works, was postponed for
the action of the Government and Legislature of the proposed
Confederation ; the Imperial Government stating, however, at the
same time, that they should prosecute with despatch the works for
the improvement of the fortifications at Quebec, for which they
had obtained a grant, and which had already been commenced.

On the third point, Her Majesty’s Government gave the assur-
ance, that it would urge every legitimate means for securing the
early assent of the Maritime Provinces to the union, and also
renewed the promise of the Imperial guarantee for the construction
of the Intercolonial road. It is unnecessary to observe that the
idea of coercion towards the Maritime Provinces was not for a
moment entertained by any party. The Secretary of State enclosed
to the Governor-General a copy of the following despatch, which
he had already transmitted to the Lieutenant-Govemor of New
Brunswick, as indicative of the policy and wishes of Her Majesty’s
Government :

DOWNING STREET, 24th June, 1865.

SIR, I have the honour to transmit to you the copy of a
correspondence between Viscount Monck and myself, on the affairs
of British North America, which have lately formed the subject
of conferences between Her Majesty’s Government and a Deputa-
tion from the Canadian Government.

This correspondence having been presented to both Houses of
the Imperial Parliament by command of Her Majesty, I have to
direct you to communicate it also to the Legislature of New
Brunswick, at its next meeting.


You will at the same time express the strong and deliberate
opinion of Her Majesty’s Government, that it is an object much
to be desired, that all the British North American Colonies should
agree to unite in one Government. In the territorial extent of
Canada, and in the maritime and commercial enterprise of the
Lower Provinces, Her Majesty’s Government see the elements of
power, which only require to be combined in order to secure for
the Province which shall possess them all, a place amongst the
most considerable communities of the world. In the spirit of
loyalty to the British Crown, of attachment to British connection,
and of love for British institutions, by which all the Provinces are
animated alike, Her Majesty’s Government recognize the bond by
which all may be combined under one Government. Such an
union seems to Her Majesty’s Government to recommend itself to
the Provinces on many grounds of moral and material advantage,
as giving a well-founded prospect of improved administration and
increased prosperity. But there is one consideration which Her
Majesty’s Government feel it more especially their duty to press
upon the Legislature of New Brunswick. Looking to the deter-
mination which this country has ever exhibited, to regard the
defence of the Colonies as a matter of Imperial concern, the Colo-
nies must recognize a right and even acknowledge an obligation
incumbent on the home Government to urge with earnestness and
just authority the measures which they consider to be most expe-
dient on the part of the Colonies with a view to their own defence.
Nor can it be doubful that the Provinces of British North America
are incapable, when separated and divided from each other, of
making those just and sufficient preparations for national defence,
which would be easily undertaken by a Province uniting in itself
all the population and all the resources of the whole.

I am aware that this project, so novel as well as so important,
has not been at once accepted in New Brunswick with that cordi-
ality which has marked its acceptance by the Legislature of Canada;
but Her Majesty’s Government trust that after a full and careful
examination of the subject in all its bearings, the Maritime Pro-
vinces will perceive the great advantages which, in the opinion of


Her Majesty’s Government, the proposed union is calculated to

confer upon them all.

I have, &c.,


To His Excellency the Lieut. Governor of New Brunswick.

Plain and simple as this dispatch was, fair and creditable as it
seemed to the British Government, the enemies of confederation
denounced it in the strongest terms. In every line they saw a
covert meaning. It was an instruction that the saleable were to
be bought, the obstructive to be removed ; that the British
Government wanted confederation for the purpose of getting rid
of the Provinces, and whatever the means that might be neces-
sary they must be adopted. Roman traditions were invoked,
Tarquin and the poppies revived, and the dispatch itself sar-
castically translated :

” Hoc Ithacus velit et magno mercenter Atreidoe.”

During the summer the Lieutenant-Governor of New Bruns-
wick went to England an anti-confederate. Like good Madeira,
mellowed by the voyage, in the autumn he returned a ripened
confederate. Dissensions broke out in his council, new trade
revelations were discovered, a modern Ulysses whispered behind
the throne, and it was gravely said that the back stairs days of
George the Third had come again, though responsible Govern-
ment had been conceded to the Province.

From Nova Scotia Sir Richard Graves Macdonnell, an anti-
confederate, was promoted to Hong Kong, and Sir Fenwick
Williams of Kars, a gallant soldier, who could hold a fortress, or
carry a Province, was sent out to his native land to tell his
countrymen that confederation was for their good, and he did it.

The British Government in expressing its wishes in favour of
confederation, and in instructing the Lieutenant-Governors, their
own Imperial officers, to aid the movement, and afford the people
of the country every opportunity of constitutionally expressing
their wishes and opinions on the point, acted legitimately, as the
confederates contended, and should not in any way be held
responsible for the means adopted by local politicians to attain


the same end. The anti-confederates on the contrary contended,
that such influences, however legitimate, were not fairly used,
that the self interested motives of local parties tainted the whole
measure, and stamped it as one for personal aggrandisement, and
not for the general good. Grave as these charges were the
consideration of them must for the present be postponed.

The commission appointed at the suggestion of the Confederate
Council on Commercial Treaties, mentioned in the preceding
chapter, “to proceed to the British West Indies and to the
Foreign West India Islands, Brazil and Mexico, for the purpose
of enquiry as to the trade of those countries, and of ascertain-
ing how far it might be practicable to extend the commerce then
existing between them and British North America,” was composed
of the Hon. William Macdougall, a member of the Canadian
Government, (Chairman), Messrs. Ryan, Delisle, and Dunscomb
on behalf of Canada ; of Messrs. Macdonald and Levisconte on
behalf of Nova Scotia ; of Mr. William Smith, Comptroller of
Customs at the Port of Saint John, on behalf of New Bruns-
wick ; and of Mr. William H. Pope, a member of the Govern-
ment, on behalf of Prince Edward Island.

Having obtained the sanction of the British Government, and
the necessary authorisations from the Foreign and Colonial
Secretaries of State in England, to the Foreign and Colonial
Governments, and after due consultation in December, 1865,
with the authorities in London, as to the general nature of the
policy to be pursued, these gentlemen proceeded on their mission
in the month of January, 1866.

The instructions under which they were to act were contained
in the following letters :

OTTAWA, 17th November, 1865.

GENTLEMEN, By command of His Excellency the Administra-
tor of the Government, I have the honour to inform you that His
Excellency has been pleased to appoint you Commissioners to
proceed to the British West Indies and to the foreign West India
Islands, Brazil and Mexico, for the purpose of enquiring into the
trade of these countries, and of ascertaining how far it may be


practicable to extend the commerce now existing between them
and British North America.

The countries referred to all produce articles which enter very
largely into the consumption of the people of Canada and the
Maritime Provinces, while at the same time they consume the
staples of production here to an immense amount. Naturally,
therefore, trade should exist, and be carried 011 between them
under the most favourable conditions. Practically, however, it i
found that the commerce is very restricted in amount and of slow

The causes for this state of things may be found partly, no
doubt, in the difficulty which always attends the opening of new
markets and the diversion of trade ; but principally in the fiscal
laws which both on our part and on theirs interfere with the free
interchange of our respective commodities. The rapid extension
of the productive power of Canada in lumber, cereals and fish,
and the early prospect that the great resources of the Maritime
Provinces will equally be brought under an uniform commercial
policy for all British North America, render it in the opinion of
the Government most important than an enquiry should be made
into the circumstances and conditions of our trade with the West
Indies and South America, and into the best mode by which it
can be developed.

The subject becomes of the utmost importance at a time when
our important trade with the United States is threatened with
interruption, and will certainly hereafter be continued under
different conditions from those which have hitherto existed.

Knowing then that the countries to which you are about to
proceed offer a market for all the surplus products of British
North America, and that they can afford us in exchange all the
productions of the tropics, it is most desirable that an effort should
be made to remove the artificial obstructions which exist to free
commercial intercourse.

The Government have decided to confide this important duty
to you, in which it is probable you will be aided by one or more
representatives from the Maritime Provinces. It is confidently
believed that the views of these gentlemen will coincide with your


own on all points, but if unfortunately material divergence of
opinion should be found to exist, it will then be your duty to act
under the authority now given you, on behalf of Canada alone,
reporting the circumstances to His Excellency to enable him to
communicate with the Governments of the Sister Provinces for
the purpose of re-establishing joint and united action.

The instructions under which you will act must necessarily be
of a very general character, and their application must be left in
a great measure to your own discretion, in which the utmost
reliance is placed.

You will in all cases report the nature and extent of the pro-
ductions of the respective countries you visit, their trade, tariffs
and all other burdens imposed upon commerce, the ordinary prices
current, &c. It will also be desirable to note the several customs
of trade among merchants, and other points valuable for the
information of our commercial community.

It will then become your duty to consider whether you can
offer any suggestions for removing what may appear to you to be
obstructions to direct trade with British North America.

It would be improper for the Government to anticipate the
action of the Legislature in reference to taxation; but it is
necessary that you should be informed that this Government
would be prepared to recommend to Parliament the reduction or
even the abolition of any customs duties now levied on the pro-
ductions of these countries, if corresponding favour were shown
to the staples of British North America in their markets.

Your first attention will probably be directed to the British
“West Indies, and subsequently to the Spanish, French and other
foreign islands, ultimately visiting Demerara and Brazil. If time
will permit you will visit Mexico, but in the disturbed state of
that Empire it is not desired that you should much delay your
return for this purpose. It is hoped that your labours will be
completed by 1st April next.

You will proceed to England as soon as possible, reporting
yourselves to the Secretary of State for the colonies, to whom His
Excellency will furnish you with letters, and you will, I am sure
receive from him such introduction to the British authorities in


the places you intend to visit as will secure every facility for your

You will be pleased to report to me, for the information of His
Excellency the Administrator of the Government, from time to
time, the progress you make, with advice as to the points at which
you may be addressed.

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,

Your obedient humble servant,

Minister of Finance of Canada.

The instructions to the Commissioner from New Brunswick
were communicated to him by the Governor of that colony, and
were as follows :

FREDERICTON, KB., December 15th, 1865.

SIR, Her Majesty having been pleased to authorize the appoint-
ment of Commissioners charged with a mission of enquiry into
the most available means of extending the commerce of the British
North American Provinces, I have nominated you as Commissioner
for the Province of New Brunswick on that behalf, having the
fullest reliance on the ability and zeal with which you will discharge
the duties entrusted to you.

I have now to instruct you to proceed to the West Indies, there
to join and co-operate with the Commissioners appointed on behalf
of the other British North American Provinces.

You will, in conjunction with them, endeavour to ascertain how
far it may be possible to effect arrangements with any of the British
Colonies or foreign possessions in the West Indies, or with the
Empires of Mexico or Brazil, by which the trade between these
countries and the British North American Colonies would be
further developed and extended. You are not authorized to make
any engagement or give any pledge on behalf of the Government
of New Brunswick, but you are at liberty to make any suggestions
which may appear to you to be suitable, and you will discuss the
subject of your mission with those appointed to confer with you
in the fullest and frankest manner. It will be your duty, ill these
conferences, to obtain all possible information as to the mutual


commercial concessions and corresponding changes in the respective
tariffs of the several colonies and countries referred to, which may
seem calculated to facilitate the attainment of the object desired.

You will further generally collect such information at the
different places visited as may, in your opinion, be of utility to
the commercial community of New Brunswick, or which may tend
to open up new markets for the productions of the Province, and
new fields for the employment of its industry.

You will from time to time report your proceedings to the Hon.
the Provincial Secretaiy, and on your return to the Province, will
make a general report of the information you have obtained.

I have, &c.,


W. Smith, Esq., Comptroller of Customs, &c.

The 10th paragraph of the Canadian Instructions should be
noted. How far it was in contravention of the Imperial policy
as to discriminating duties remains to be seen.

In the month of May, 1866, the Commissioners returned, and
in due time made their reports to their respective Governments.

After the usual acknowledgments of the attention and hospi-
talities with which they were received, the Commissioners make
” suggestions ” by themselves briefly stated as follows :

” 1st. To establish promptly a line of steamers suitable for the
carriage of mails, passengers and freight, between Halifax, Nova
Scotia, and St. Thomas, in the West Indies, touching (until the
completion of the Intercolonial Railway) at Portland, in the United
States, so as to ensure regular semi-monthly communication
between the ports mentioned.

2nd. To make a convention or agreement with the Postal
authorities of the United States for the prompt transmission of
letters, &c., from Canada and the Maritime Provinces, by every
United States mail which leaves the ports of Boston or New York
for the West Indies, Brazil, Mexico, &c., and also for the trans-
mission through United States mails of correspondence originating
in those countries.


3rd. To establish a weekly line of steamers between Montreal
and Halifax, and to complete as soon as possible the Intercolonial

4th. To procure, by reciprocal treaties or otherwise, a reduction
of the duties now levied on flour, fish, lumber, pork, butter, and
other staple productions of British North America, in the West
Indies, and especially with Brazil and the Colonies of Spain.

5th. To obtain, if possible, from the Spanish and Brazilian autho-
rities a remission of the heavy dues now chargeable on the trans-
fer of vessels from the British to the Spanish and Brazilian flags. ‘

6th. To procure, by negotiation with the proper authorities, an
assimilation of the Tariffs of the British West India Colonies
in respect to flour, lumber, fish, and other staples of British North
America, a measure which would greatly facilitate commercial
operations, and may well be urged in view of the assimilation
about to be made in the tariffs of Canada and the Maritime

7th and lastly. To promote, by prudent legislation ‘and a sound
fiscal policy, the rapid development of the great natural resources
of the British North American Provinces, and to preserve, as far
as lies in their power, the advantage which they now possess, of
being able to produce at a cheaper cost than any other country
most of the great staples which the inhabitants of the tropics
must procure from northern ports.”

The report then proceeds to give very valuable statistical infor-
mation of the trade and productions of the various West India
Islands, of British Guiana, and of Brazil, with evidence of the
desire of the authorities in those countries to enter into the con-
sideration of any propositions tending to promote the object for
which the Commission was sent out.

From the return of the Commission to the present time no
action has been taken upon this report. For the first two years
immediately following it may be said that the moulding of the
constitution under the new Confederation, which had come into
being on the 1st of July, 1867, commanded the undivided atten-
tion of the Government. But with reference to all that part of


the report and ” suggestions ” which related to the establishment
of trade by means of ” Reciprocal Treaties or otherwise,” it may
be questioned whether its contravention of the Imperial policy as
to discriminating duties was not of itself a sufficient objection.

The 10th paragraph says : “It would be improper for the
Government to anticipate the action of the Legislature in refer-
ence to taxation ; but it is necessary that you should be informed
that this Government would be prepared to recommend to Par-
liament the reduction, or even the abolition, of any customs duties
now levied on the productions of those countries, if corresponding
favour were shown to the staples of British North America in
their markets.”

Among the enclosures transmitted by the Colonial Secretary to
the Governor-General, on the 14th of February, 1851, and on
record in the Canadian Journals, was the following, which had
been previously sent as an instruction to the Lieutenant-Governor
of New Brunswick :

No. 220. DOWNING STREET, 1st Nov., 1850.

SIR, It is with much regret that I have learnt from your dis-
patch, No. 59 of the 7th ultimo, that dissatisfaction has been
occasioned among the inhabitants of New Brunswick, by the
instructions given you to withhold your assent from any Acts
which may be passed by the Provincial Legislature, in contraven-
tion of the system of commercial policy, which the Imperial
Parliament and Her Majesty’s Government have judged it advis-
able to adopt, with a view to the interests of the empire at large.

2. While it is the desire of Her Majesty’s Government to
advise the Crown to use its authority in such a manner, as to
interfere as little as possible with the management of their own
affairs, by the Legislatures of the several colonies, there are
subjects 011 which measures cannot be adopted by an individual
colony, without affecting the interests of others, and perhaps of
the whole empire.

3. Measures for the regulation of trade are of this description,
and from the very foundation of our colonial empire the Imperial
Parliament and Government have always claimed, and exercised,


the right of deciding on the commercial policy, which should be
adopted by all British colonies.

4. Until a recent period, this authority was used for the
maintenance of restrictions upon trade, in many cases very
onerous both to the mother country and the colony. These have
now, for the most part, been abolished, and Her Majesty’s Gov-
ernment are not prepared to consent, that they should be partially
re-imposed on particular colonies, without considering the effect
of such re-imposition, upon that general system of policy, which
has been adopted in their place.

5. As you have pointed out, bounties might be given in
particular colonies, in such a manner as might be very injurious
to others ; and the imposition of differential duties on foreign
produce by a particular colony, on the grounds stated in the
memorandum of the Executive Council, would be still more
objectionable, as they might probably clash with the engagements
of this country under treaties.

6. .It is true” that there are still differential duties levied in the
Australian colonies, but these are the remains of a former system,
which has not yet been entirely changed. They were imposed by
authority of Parliament, and Parliament has now empowered the
Local Legislatures to abolish them ; at the same time prohibiting
those Legislatures from imposing any differential duties in future.

7. These are the general considerations on which Her Majesty’s
Government have acted with reference to this subject, and being
satisfied that a steady adherence to that system of commercial
policy which has been sanctioned by Parliament, is the course
best calculated to promote the general welfare of the British
empire as a whole, and the interests of New Brunswick as an
important part of that empire, it is. out of my power to withdraw
or modify the instructions I have already transmitted to you.

I have, &c.,

(Signed) GREY.

In 1855 Mr. Hamilton Merritt, a distinguished member of the
Canadian Parliament, had as ” chairman of a Committee of the
Legislative Assembly of Canada, appointed to inquire into the


Commercial intercourse between Canada and Great Britain, the
British North American Colonies, the West India possessions, the
United States, and other Foreign Countries,” himself opened com-
munication with the Government of Barbadoes on the subject
matter embraced in the report made by the Committee to the
House, though the report had not been adopted, or any action
taken thereupon either by the House or the Canadian Government.
The Council and Assembly of Barbadoes acquiesced in the propo-
sitions put forward by Mr. Merritt, and passed the following
resolutions :

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, I7tk April, 1855.

Whereas a message has been sent to this House by His Excel-
lency the Governor, under date the 20th March, 1855, enclosing
copy of correspondence relative to a proposed free interchange
between this Island and Canada of the native products of the two
countries, and recommending the same to the favourable consider-
ation of this House.

And whereas this House has given the subject, as set forth in
the said message and enclosure, most careful consideration, and
has come to the conclusion that the pioposed interchange of com-
modities, the native products respectively of this Island and of
Canada free of duty, would be ultimately beneficial to both coun-
tries, and be attended with peculiar advantages to the people of
this Island in particular, and that it is to the interests of the
people of this Island to accede to the same ; therefore,

I. Resolved, that this House pledge itself to pass an act for
admitting articles being the native productions of Canada into
this Island free of duty, so soon as information shall have duly
reached this House that a similar act has been passed by the Legis-
lature of Canada, for admitting into that country, cluty free, articles
being the native productions of this Island.

II. Resolved, that it be made a special provision of such acts
respectively, that the free commercial intercourse thus entered
upon between the two countries may be terminated at any time
by either country, on giving one whole year’s notice of such
intended termination, to the other country, through their respective


executives, moved thereunto by a resolution of the Legislature of
the country giving such notice.


Clerk of the Geiwral Assembly.

These resolutions with the addresses founded thereon, were in
due course transmitted by Sir Wm. Colebrooke, the Governor of
Barbadoes, to the Governor-General of Canada, and also to the
Colonial Secretary in London. The Governor-General of Canada
in his despatch of 20th July, 1855, to the Secretary, Lord John
Russell, explained Mr. Merritt’s position, and stated he had not
been aware of the steps taken by Mr. Merritt until he had re-
ceived the communication from Barbadoes. In reply he received
the following circular, which, he was informed, was transmitted
for his information and guidance, and which had already been
addressed to the Governors of the several West Indian Colonies
on this subject :

DOWNING STREET, llth August, 1855.

SIR, I have to acquaint you that the attention of Her
Majesty’s Government has been called to a proposal which has
been made for the mutual abolition of custom duties upon the
productions of Canada and of the West India Colonies.

In a recent despatch from the Governor-General of Canada,
dated the 20th ultimo, I am informed that the communication in
which that arrangement was proposed for consideration, emanated
from the chairman of a committee of the Legislative Assembly of
Canada. It appears, however, that neither the suggestion itself
nor the Report of the Committee, which was subsequently pre-
sented to the Legislative Assembly, has been discussed by the
Legislature of Canada, and that it would be premature to suppose
that the Executive Government or the Legislature of Canada are
committed to the adoption of the policy therein indicated.

I transmit to you for your information a copy of a letter from
the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, to whom
a despatch from the Governor of British Guiana, respecting this
proposition, was referred for consideration.


Her Majesty’s Government would regard the proposed arrange-
ment as very objectionable ; on the grounds, First, that it would
separate commercially so far as such an arrangement is concerned,
the colonies who entered into it from the rest of the Empire;
Secondly, that it would be injurious not only to the interests of
consumers in the colonies, who were a party to the arrangement,
but to the interests of producers in every other part of the
Empire; and, Thirdly, that it would be inconsistent with the
Imperial policy of free trade.

It is the earnest desire of Her Majesty’s Government to main-
tain and extend a course of policy which shall closely unite to-
gether by ties of mutual interest the whole of Her Majesty’s
Colonial Empire with the mother country. To such a policy any
measures tending to form the colonies into separate groups with
peculiar and exceptional commercial relations, would be opposed,
and Her Majesty’s Government, therefore, trust that they will not
be asked to submit for Her Majesty’s approbation, acts or ordin-
ances, giving effect to measures of that character.
I have the honour to be,

Sir, yours, &c., &c.,

In a despatch of the 12th July, 1855, the Imperial policy had
with equal precision been declared to embrace the intercourse
between colony and colony. It says :

” But this policy of freedom for the producer and the trader, as
well as the consumer, would be seriously affected, if colonial legis-
latures were to establish differential duties in favour of their own
natural productions or manufactures, whether against the British
or the foreign producer. And a similar violation of the principles
of free trade would result, if favour were shown in the legislation
of a colony, to one colony over another, by the reduction or total
abolition of duties in favour of particular colonies.”

In a still later despatch, of the 15th July, 1856, already cited
in a previous part of this work, Mr. Labouchere, in referring to
the treaty then lately made with the United States, and suggesting


certain modifications in the Canadian tariff as desirable in conse-
quence thereof, observes :

” It must be admitted that so long as any articles are admitted
duty free from the United States, which are subject to duty when
the produce of the United Kingdom, the British colonies or other
foreign countries, this treaty clashes with the provisions of several
existing treaties with other countries, while at the same time it
presents an exception to the whole course of recent legislation ;
a state of things which certainly tends to encourage other proposi-
tions equally at variance with economical principles such, for
instance, as that which has been put forward for the mutual aboli-
tion of duties between the West Indies and the North American

By a correspondence on the subject of a renewal of the Reci-
procity Treaty with the United States, laid before the Canadian
Parliament in May, 1869, after confederation, it will be seen from
the report of Mr. Rose, then Minister of Finance, that with
reference to the trade between the North American Provinces
themselves, a departure from this principle had been acquiesced in
for several years, and in 1861 was distinctly recognized by Her
Majesty’s Government. In 1868, by a despatch, dated 24th July,
to the Governor-General, it is declared that no objection is made
” to the power taken to admit the produce of any of the neigh-
bouring North American Provinces duty free;” and a bill, passed
by the Legislature of Prince Edward Island, to admit Canadian
flour into that Island duty free, which had passed through the
United States, whilst flour the growth of the United States was
liable to duty, was, after discussion assented to ; but no extension
of the modification is made to the British West Indies or other

In the despatch and enclosures from the Secretaiy of State for
the Colonies, approving of the minute of the Confederate Council
on Trade, and transmitting Her Majesty’s approbation of the
proposal to send out the commissioners to the West Indies and
South America, the Imperial Government, in the most delicate
but at the same time in the most distinct manner, calls ” attention


to the difficulties which may arise with respect to foreign countries
having reciprocity treaties with this country, if any colony or
colonies should make arrangements for giving to one foreign
country advantages which are not given to others,” and gently
reminding the Canadian Government ” that this point had been
so much discussed on the occasion of negociating the treaty between
the United States and British North America, that it is not neces-
sary now to do more than express a hope that it may be found
possible to avoid similar difficulties in the present case.”

From these despatches, it is difficult to see how the mission,
under its instructions, could prove otherwise than abortive.
Judging from the report made by the Commissioners, it must
be presumed, they took the same view wisely avoided the diffi-
culties, and contented themselves, on their return, with stating
that they had had a pleasant voyage, and recommending steam
communication between Halifax and St. Thomas, with other simi-
lar conveniences for passengers and letters, ” and the completion
of the Intercolonial Railway as soon as possible.”

But this matter is too important to be thus lightly passed over.
The names of two prominent Canadian statesmen are involved.
Mr. Gait had been for years the Finance Minister of Canada the
unflinching advocate of the right of Canada to regulate her own
taxation, without interference on the part of the Imperial Govern-
ment ; of all men in Canada, perhaps, the most familiar with the
Imperial despatches on this subject; the minister who, on the
mere suggestion thrown out by the Duke of Newcastle, in 1859,
of the bare possibility that Her Majesty might have been advised
to disallow the Canadian Tariff Bill of that session, indignantly
replied, “that Her Majesty cannot be advised to disallow such
acts, unless her advisers are prepared to assume the administration
of the affairs of the Colony, irrespective of the views of its inhabi-
tants ;” an avowed advocate of free trade, and most earnestly desi-
rous of opening the West Indian and South American markets to
the productions of Canada. Mr. Macdougall was equally known
as a bold and advanced Liberal, a Free-trader, and one not likely to
succumb in anything affecting Canadian interests to Imperial dicta-
tion. Both were then members of the Government ; both were


earnest advocates of confederation ; Mr. Gait, from the first its
early friend, having, as far back as 1858, made it his declared
policy when he joined the Government of that day. Yet this 10th
paragraph in the instructions was prepared by them, and acted
upon by them in apparent opposition to the Imperial policy, so far
as the public can judge from the published official journals and

As a constitutional question, in the present more demonstrative
position of Canada, it becomes one of great importance. As
applied to the mere question of this past West India commission
it is of none. In the future, it is plain the question of the West
Indian and South American trade cannot much longer be delayed,
other important questions springing immediately out of confeder-
ation may have deferred its consideration for a time, but whatever
Government may be in power action must be taken upon it soon.
As a matter of fact, though the British Government did not by
any despatch assent to the instructions given by Mr. Gait, yet
those instructions were made the subject of earnest discussion
with Her Majesty’s Government, by Mr. Macdougall and his
co-commissioners when in London, and as asserted by Mr. Mac-
dougall, assented to by the Government, as far as the proposition
concerned the British West India Islands. No official record
however, or report of the circumstances can be found in Canada,
among the papers laid before Parliament.

The instructions it is said were prepared by Mr. Gait, in full
assertion of the right of Canada to make such reciprocal arrange-
ments with other countries, or with colonies having responsible
governments. And it is to be observed, that the language used
does not necessarily imply that it was the intention to introduce a
system of differential duties, if the negotiations succeeded ; on
the contrary, the object could be accomplished by rendering duty
free similar articles from all countries. Then what was the
use of the commission 1 It would look like deception towards
the country to which Canada sent the deputation, and proposed,
in consideration of reciprocity, to extend certain privileges, at the
same time to pass an act, giving the same privileges to other
countries which refused reciprocity in return. Such a change, if


general, would be a mere matter of internal legislation as to the
tariff, requiring no negotiations abroad. Either the instructions
were hampered by the despatches or they were nugatory, as they
could not be carried out in the direction indicated.

The difficulty of making trade arrangements with the West
India Islands is increased, both by their number as separate
governments, and by the fact that they do not possess responsible
government. More in the light of Crown colonies their legislation
is immediately under Imperial control, but these obstacles after all
are only partial, the main difficulty lies in the restriction imposed
by the Imperial Government against differential duties. An
enlightened effort on the part of Great Britain to make, in matters
of trade, all the nations of the earth one family ; but an effort in
which most of those nations steadily refuse to join. To the latter
Brazil offers a striking exception ; but she could not enter into
such arrangements with Canada as those contemplated by the
10th paragraph, however willing, if remonstrated with by Her
Majesty’s Government, as being contrary to the commercial policy
of the empire.

The constitutional question as to the right of taxation, to any
extent, not infringing the above rule, is considered as definitely
settled. It is succinctly and well laid down by Mr. Gait, as
Finance Minister, in a report made by him to the Government on
the 25th of October, 1859, on the occasion above referred to :

” Respect to the Imperial Government must always dictate the
desire to satisfy them, that the policy of this country is neither
hastily or unwisely formed, and that due regard is had to the
interests of the mother country as well as of the Province. But
the Government of Canada acting for its Legislature and people,
cannot, through these feelings of deference which they owe to the
Imperial authorities, in any manner waive or diminish the right
of the people of Canada to decide for themselves both as to the
mode and extent to which taxation shall be imposed. The Pro-
vincial Ministry are at all times ready to afford explanations in
regard to the Acts of the Legislature to which they are a party ;
but subject to their duty and allegiance to Her Majesty, their re-


sponsibility in all general questions of policy must be to the
Provincial Parliament by whose confidence they administer the
affairs of the country. And in the imposition of taxation it is so
plainly necessary that the administration and the people should be
in accord, that the former cannot admit responsibility or require
approval, beyond that of the Local Government. Self-Govern-
ment would be utterly annihilated if the views of the Imperial
Government were to be preferred to those of the people of Canada.
It is therefore the duty of the present Government distinctly to
affirm the right of the Canadian Legislature to adjust the taxation
of the people in the way they deem best, even if it should un-
fortunately happen to meet the disapproval of the Imperial
Ministry. Her Majesty cannot be advised to disallow such acts,
unless her advisers are prepared to assume the administration of
the affairs of the colony irrespective of the views of its inhabitants.
The Imperial Government are not responsible for the debts and
engagements of Canada, they do not maintain its Judicial, Educa-
tional or Civil Service, they contribute nothing to the internal
Government of the country and the Provincial Legislature acting
through a Ministry directly responsible to it, has to make pro-
vision for all these wants. They must necessarily claim and
exercise the widest latitude as to the nature and extent of the
burdens to be placed upon the industry of the people. The Pro-
vincial Government believes that His Grace must share their, own
convictions on this important subject, but as serious evil would
have resulted had His Grace taken a different course it is wiser to
prevent future complication by distinctly stating the position that
must be maintained by every Canadian Administration. These
remarks are offered on the general principle of Colonial Taxation.”

This report then further proceeds at great length to discuss the
details of the Canadian tariff of that year, and to defend the
course pursued. It was transmitted to the Duke of Newcastle,
and formed the subject of a long examination by the statistical
department of the Board of Trade, under the direction of the
Committee of the Privy Council for Trade. The report of the
examination was sent to the Canadian Government in a despatch


dated the 31st January, 1860, as the reply of the Lords of the
Committee of the Privy Council for Trade. While it adheres in
a modified degree to the objections to some of the details pre-
viously expressed, it nowhere questions the broad principles as-
serted by Mr. Gait. This point, therefore, may be considered as
disposed of.

But in no way with the exception of the British North
American Provinces before mentioned has any concession been
made of the right of Canada to enter into reciprocal arrange-
ments with particular countries or colonies, for the admission of
the products of each other, on terms different from those which
are extended by Canada to other countries and colonies making
no such arrangement. On the contrary, with reference to foreign
countries, this right is expressly denied, and with reference to
our own sister colonies, the despatches heretofore quoted, and the
principles there laid down, have never been withdrawn.

In 1862 negotiations, to a certain degree successful, were opened
by the Canadian Government directly with France, through the
instrumentality of the Baron Boilleau, then French Consul at
Quebec, for the admission of Canadian produce and the registra-
tion of Canadian shipping in France, on very advantageous terms,
and a corresponding reduction of duties on French wines and
other French products was made in the Canadian tariff. The
attention of the merchants in New Brunswick was called to simi-
lar propositions in a communication addressed by the Baron
Boilleau to his Vice-Consul at the port of St. John, under date of
December 30th, 1862, and there can be little doubt that under
the enlightened trade policy of the Emperor Napoleon, at that
time a large trade would have sprung up between France and the
French West India Islands on the one hand, and Canada and the
other British North American Provinces on the other ; but the
British Government, on learning of this unofficial mode of making
treaties by one of her colonies with foreign countries, except
through herself, at once remonstrated with France, and the Baron
Boilleau was removed from Canada.

From that time up to the West India Commission no effort in
this direction had been made. It is impossible the question can


slumber much longer. No matter ‘of more importance looms up
before the Canadian ‘statesman than this question of the foreign
trade of the country, particularly so far as it affects the Maritime
Provinces. Compared to it, the fact whether the administration
of the public aifairs of the country is in the hands of one party or
the other is utterly insignificant.

In Canadian Parliaments where there are no churches to be
dis-established, no vexed tenants’ rights to be legislated upon, no
abuses dating from the time of Elizabeth to be removed, no poor
laws to worry, and no great public social reforms to be inaugu-
rated, the “outs” will always accuse the “ins” of corruption, the
” ins ” will always accuse the ” outs ” of obstruction, but the
material progress of Canada will go on whatever party may rule,
whether a liberal conservative or a radical grit may hold the reins
of power. The mercantile man only plays with politics as a pas-
time ; commercial enterprise is utterly indifferent as to who may
open the gate, provided it is opened. What the country wants is
an outlet for its labour, not solely for its wheat and flour, but for
its lumber, its ships, its other manufactures. What cottons are
to Manchester, and cutlery to Sheffield and Birmingham, ships
and lumber are to Canada. England will have markets for her
cottons and cutlery Canada ought to have for her ships and
lumber. From the report of the West India Commission it
appears that but very little exertion is necessary on behalf of
Canada to obtain from the Brazilian Empire reciprocal advan-
tages of the very greatest value, not only the interchange of
manufactures and natural productions, which are mutually essen-
tial to each other, but the coasting trade and the registration
of vessels. To the Maritime Provinces alone, the last two
concessions would be inestimable. There is no country in the
world where small coasting vessels of two or three hundred
tons, can be built so cheaply as in New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia. Brazil embraces the most extensive sea coast, and com-
mands the largest rivers. It produces in abundance everything
that Canada does not produce, but what Canada wants ; yet no
arrangements can be made with Brazil for interchanges, conducing
to our mutual benefit, unless in our country the same privileges


are given to Spain and other nations, who will make no concession
in return ; thus not only lessening the advantage which operates
as the inducement to the country willing to make the concession,
but depriving Canada of the opportunity of raising a revenue
except by direct taxation, or the abandonment of duties even for
purposes of revenue on the main articles of trade in favour of
nations, which tax her products of exchange to the highest
extent, and with whom Canada would be willing to enter into the
same reciprocal arrangements if they would. The rule, of which
this is an illustration, extends to all foreign counties, and applies
also to our intercolonial trade. It cripples the expansion of
Canada, and becomes a matter for most serious consideration.
When it is desirable to avoid difficulties with the United States,
which may involve Imperial responsibilities or affect Imperial
interests, exceptional treaties and exceptional legislation are easily
made, and the celebrated ” most favoured nation ” clause is treated
with indifference.

It is difficult to see why the British Colonies, as members of
the same family cannot have the most perfect freedom of trade
with each other without necessarily admitting foreign nations to
the enjoyment of the same rights. The intercourse between
Australia and Canada and Jamaica and Canada ought to be as
free as between Ireland and England. The drawing them to-
gether by the bonds of trade and a mutuality of interest will do
more to cement the British races throughout the world and
constitute them as rallying reserves for the British Empire in case
of contest with foreign nations than any other course that could
be adopted.

Under the present system Canada has no more material interest
in Australia, or Australia in Canada, than each may have in
Spain, and Jamaica so far as any benefit to be derived from her
sister colonies, might as well belong to Russia. The suggestion of
an Imperial Confederation and representation in the British
Parliament however desirable it might be some years hence, when
Canada and Australia shall have assumed an importance in
population and wealth corresponding to the extent of their
territories, and would bring to the Councils of the Empire au


influence commensurate with the substantial aid they could afford
in case of an Imperial conflict with other nations (for without
such substantial aid, pecuniary as well as otherwise, they could
hardly expect to have any weight in a question involving peace
or war) is at present, in Canada at least, deemed inopportune-
Few apparently regard it with favour. Groups of Colonies or
Provinces in contiguous positions may be judiciously confede-
rated, so as to give strength and uniformity ; but as far as public
opinion has yet expressed itself, Canadians, simply as Cana-
dians, do not desire any place in the Imperial Parliament or
any participation in the Home Rule of the British Islands.
Their first duty, it is believed, is to consolidate and connect
their own country, to bend all their energies to the development
of Canadian prosperity, to work in thorough harmony as far as
possible with the Imperial policy in all questions of trade and
foreign connections, but not in any way to mix themselves up
in matters of internal Imperial policy. The conflict in England
between those who are seeking to change her old institutions
and those who desire to preserve the ancient landmarks, will be
keen enough without the intervention of colonists who do not
contribute to her taxation and who do not permit any interference
with their own. The views of a Dominion like Canada or
Australia so far as affects their own interest can be far more
impressively brought to bear on the Imperial Government by the
distinct action of their own Government and Parliament than by
any mere personal influence of a few members in a large assembly,
who from their representative character might have power to
bind, but whose power to oppose would be almost futile.

No more boundary lines will be agreed upon without consulting

the Colony affected, and where the Colonies have responsible
governments, there is nothing else in which the Imperial Parlia-
ment can affect them except their trade. One rule for those
under the British flag, and one rule for those under any other, is
an intelligible proposition. One rule, one tariff the same on the
same article from any part of the British Empire ; one rule, one
tariff, (but not necessarily identical with the former), the same on
the same article from any foreign country except in cases where


under the right to be conceded by the Imperial Government of
entering into free or reciprocal trade with any foreign nation, on
terms not discriminating against the goods or manufactures of
Great Britain, a free or reciprocal arrangement may have been
made is a simple chart to steer by.

Uniformity of tariff for purposes of revenue suitable to its
necessities might thus be secured in each colony or group of colo-
nies, and would exist everywhere, varying only in degree as
each colony might want to raise more or less revenue. Each
would know that with reference to the Empire the same rule per-
vaded every part, with reference to foreign nations the same ;
only that those of the latter who chose to deal liberally could do
so those who did not could not complain as the option was their
own. Thus the ” most favoured nation ” clause would be com-
plied with.*

Under such a system a great Canadian trade might be brought
about with South America. The preparation for it could be a*
once inaugurated by Canada without any intervention on the part
of the Imperial Government, by the at once subsidising by the
Dominion Government of a line or lines of steamers to the West
Indies and South America, as suggested by the Commissioners in
their report. Inefficiently as this would supply the great want,
still it would be a commencement ; mutual wants would be
discovered, mutual sources of supply would at once suggest

* Since the above was in press information has reached us from Australia that move-
ments in a similar direction, though not to the same extent, being merely inter-provincial,
a re in progress there. A conference of delegates from New South Wales, Queensland,
South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria recently met at Melbourne, when after much dis-
cussion on the important questions of Intercolonial Policy, the following points were
unanimously agreed upon : as a reply to a dispatch then recently received from Lord
Kimberly, the Colonial Minister, namely,

1st. That the Australian Colonies claim to enter into arrangements with each other
through their respective legislatures, so as to provide for the reciprocal admission of their
respective products and manufactures, either duty free or on such terms as may be
mutually agreed upon.

2nd. That no treaty entered into by the Imperial Government with any foreign power
should in any way limit or impede the exercise of such right.

3rd. That Imperial interference with intercolonial fiscal legislation should finally and
absolutely cease.

4th. That so much of any act or acts of the Imperial Parliament as may be considered
to prohibit the full exercise of such right should be repealed.


themselves, and the larger and bolder conception would not
then be long in forcing itself upon the country. The propo-
sition which has been sometimes mooted of a Zolverein with
the United States is simply a commercial amalgamation with
that country to the exclusion of all others, except on such terms
as her policy might dictate. It would not only render impossible
our present connection with England; but it may be seriously
doubted, whether even if it could be obtained consistently with
that connection it is desirable. It would be impolitic in Canada,
under any circumstances, even if separated from England, to tie
her hands to one country, however good the market that country
may offer. The more varied the channels of trade, the more
diverse the nations with which she may have to deal, the more
varied will be the development of her own powers, and the greater
the stimulus to bring into existence latent, but unused sources of
wealth. Some nations want, what others do not want, and the
effort to supply the varied demand tells upon the productive enter-
prise of the country. Desirable, therefore, as may be the market
of the United States, the price paid for obtaining it by such
means would be too high. The British and Colonial markets,
including the East India possessions, embracing a population of
nearly 200,000,000 ; Brazil with a coast line of 3000 miles, and a
population over 10,000,000, willing to trade with us, to say
nothing of other foreign nations who may hereafter be willing to
do so on liberal reciprocal arrangements, would all be thus
rendered subsidiary to the attainment of trade with the 38 or
40,000,000 of the United States, a trade less varied from simi-
larity of production, bringing into competition rather than ex-
change the articles of the two countries, and from geographical
position entirely neutralising one of the great elements of advan-
tage her marine which Canada now possesses. [See Appendix.]
Not only would such a Zolverein render impossible all inde-
pendent action abroad. Not only would it make Canadian pro-
gress dependent entirely upon the fluctuations of business or
politics in the United States ; but it would in a very short time

merge Canada into the United States politically as well as


The Zolverein of the German States terminated in their political
absorption into Prussia, and history under similar circumstances
on the American continent would but repeat itself. Canada with
her unbounded, but yet undeveloped resources with her com-
paratively light taxation, with her freedom from the necessity
of maintaining burdensome and expensive armaments or diplo-
matic relations, has a magnificent future before her, if following
the example of the parent state, she will look to the whole world
as her customers and not restrict herself by an injudicious alliance
to any one country.*

The question requires the consideration of the ablest mercantile
minds. It is in the direction of free trade, it is not seeking to
protect any one interest at the expense of another, or to make a
distinction in favour of particular nations. If the United States
will not give her coasting trade or exchange ships, but Brazil will,
why should not Canada be at liberty to do so with Brazil ] If
Brazil will take Canadian lumber and fish at duties so low as to
create a great trade, in consideration of Canada taking back
Brazillian coffee, sugars, and tobacco on the same terms as might,
under the provision before referred to, be applied to Jamaica
coffee, sugar, and tobacco, or the coffee, sugar, and tobacco of any
British Colony, why should such an arrangement not be made
with Brazil, simply because the United States refused to make a
similar one 1 At present all must come in alike, and no induce-

* At the meeting of the National Board of Trade which took place at St. Louis, in the
United States, in the early part of December 1871, the following resolutions were submitted
as the terms on which such a Zolverein should be established, and which, singular to say,
received the approval of one prominent Canadian then present :

1. The introduction of all the manufactures, products of the United States, into the
Dominion of Canada, free of import duty and the like concession by the United States to
the manufactures and products of the Dominion.

2. Uniform laws to be passed by both countries for internal taxation, the sums collected
from these sources to be placed in a common treasury and to be divided between the two
Governments by a per capita, or some other equally fair ratio.

3. The admission of Dominion built ships and vessels to American registry, enrolment
and license, and to all privileges of the coasting and foreign trade.

4. The Dominion to enlarge its canals and improve the navigation of the St. Lawrence
and to aid in the building of any great lines of international railroad and to place the
citizens of the United States in the same position as to the use of such works as enjoyed
by the citizens of the Dominion, the United States and the several states giving the
citizens of the Dominion the same rights and privileges over works of the same character
in the United States.


ment can, therefore, be held out to Brazil to give Canada her
markets ; but if Canada could make a distinctionin favour of the
British Colonies, and of such nations as would be liberal with
her, an immediate expansion of the trade of the country would

By a proper representation to the Imperial Government it is
thought a change in the present policy could be brought about in
that direction.

So far as Canada is concerned justice demands it. Thrown now
entirely upon her own resources for the defence against aggression
from abroad, and the maintenance of order within her long line
of frontier of many thousand miles, with every soldier of Her
Majesty’s regular forces withdrawn, with heavily increased ex-
penses incidental to the government of extensive and, in some
degree, as yet unproductive territories, and to the construction of
immense ; public works, rendered necessary by her geographical
position, and the assumption of duties hitherto borne by the
Imperial Government, her powers must rise to her responsi-
bilities, her means of raising a revenue adequate to her necessi-
ties must be unquestioned. No rightly-minded Canadian would
desire to place his country in antagonism to the commercial policy
of the empire ; but if the internal policy of the Imperial Govern-
ment throws upon Canada certain duties, then (however opposed
to a particular sub-division of the general policy of the empire
which general policy involves the good government of the whole)
it must be regarded as a part of that general policy, that Canada
should carry out the duty so assigned in a way least burdensome
to her own people. The rules of good government admit of no
other construction.

The responsibilities thus thrown upon Canada she accepts.
Similar responsibilities educated the old thirteen colonies to
become a nation. Their citizens became soldiers, their soldiers
statesmen. What made Pepperall and Franklin, Washington
and Adams, Hamilton and Marshall the men they were 1 Long
before the He volution they were dealing with questions beyond
the sphere of local politics. Those young Provinces trained their
Home Guards to meet the Indian Philip, and sent their regiments


to wrest Louisburg from France ; but the trader of Boston could
not buy a knife from France, or a yard of cloth from Germany.
Their commerce had but one groove.

The history of Caspar Hauzer shews that the mind untrained,
however naturally strong, remains in a state of imbecility, though
the physical frame may attain its fair proportions. The Canadian
statesman has now to consider other matters than those of mere
internal regulation. He has to look abroad to the development
of foreign trade, to his position with foreign countries. ” Far as
the breezes bear, the ocean rolls,” his commerce is free. He must
see to its sustenance, to its extension. He wishes to act in full
accord with the mother country ; whatever policy she deems best
for herself, as a general nile, is best for Canada ; what strengthens
her strengthens peace; but to all rules there must be some ex-
ception, and the South American and Intercolonial trade with
Canada comes within the exception.

After all, the West India Commission may do the country
some service.



The Fenian Invasion of 1866 Lower Canada Education Bill Action of the
Government Gait’s resignation Subsequent conduct Constitution of
the Local Governments and Legislatures for Upper and Lower Canada
Resolutions and amendments Parliamentary action of prominent Upper
Canadian Politicians on Representation by Population Address to the
Queen Announcement of Deputation Expiry of the Parliament of Old
Canada A. D. 1866.

The Fenian Raid which took place in the summer of this year
(1866), one of the most wanton and outrageous violations of
international law that has occurred since modern civilization began,
though not one of the causes which led to Confederation, was
yet one of those incidents which essentially proved the necessity
of that military organization which, it was alleged, would spring
from Confederation, and which was one of the first measures car-
ried after Confederation ‘was adopted.

It exemplified in a strong degree the alacrity with which the
young men of the country were ready to spring to arms at the call
of duty, and intensified the devotion of her people to Canada ; but
it proved the defect which exists in most Volunteer organizations,
that of too great an anxiety to rush into combat, too great an idea
of individuality, instead of waiting to carry out the combinations
which an experienced and prudent commander may determine on.

Military subordination is as essential to the successful conduct-
ing of a campaign as personal courage. If the accounts of the
Invasion can be relied on, the latter was conspicuous the former
may be improved. Apart from the opinion prevalent in Canada,
f mismanagement and inattention in the highest military autho-
rity at that time in Upper Canada, there was also singular want
of proper information, and ignorance of the topography of the
country. In an enemy’s country, apparently, the routes could
not have been more thoroughly unknown on this point all seemed
confusion. Yet the whole affair took place in a small angle of the
oldest settled part of Canada, had been anticipated in that quarter


for weeks before, and looked for by those in charge of the military
defence of the country.

For the want of proper topographical information it seems diffi-
cult to find an excuse. It is as essential to the defence of a frontier
as ammunition is to the discharge of a firearm ; and the attain-
ment of it falls as much within a legitimate military expenditure
as the preliminary drilling of a body of men. In many parts of
old Canada, and throughout the Maritime Provinces, whole coun-
ties are mapped out at private expense with perfect accuracy
with every road and hill, orchard and stream, house, forest and
lake so that in such delineated districts an authority in com-
mand, however remote, may with certainty direct the movement
of troops, so as to concentrate any required number on any given
point. In Prince Edward Island, a stranger may land at one
end, traverse the whole in any direction, and find any place he
desires to reach, without instructions from any individual, if he
has sufficient intelligence to examine a map. The ordnance sur-
veys of England and Ireland are not more correct as to surface
details or distances.

Col. Peacock’s plan, it is now generally admitted, was judicious;
and had his orders been carried out, the Fenians must have been
placed between two converging forces and utterly annihilated.
As it was, while the honor of the conflict fell entirely to the local
troops, the loss was such, it was considered, as ought not to have
been incurred, and the equivocal character of the triumph might
have been avoided. Both would have been avoided by a couple
of hours’ delay, and Her Majesty’s Regulars would have been at
hand to sustain the gallant rashness of young men who required
to be checked more than be encouraged. But more than all, such
punishment would probably have been inflicted upon the marauders
as would have prevented the subsequent attempts, four years after,
to repeat the outrage.

Again, if these same accounts can be relied on, there was an
entire absence of those preliminary preparations which are essen-
tial to any success in war.

Two writers have given their narratives Major Denison, of
the Governor-General’s Body Guard, and Mr. Alexander Somer-


ville, well known in Canada as the ” Whistler at the Plough.”
Both are apparently written with fairness, after a thorough exam-
ination of the locality, and the attainment of the most reliable
information. The former is a well known cavalry officer in
Canada, the author of several able works on the utility of that
branch of the service, was with the advancing force, and came
upon the field at Ridgway, on the staff, shortly after the engage-
ment. If their statements are correct and there does not appear
to have been any official or authoritative contradiction of them
the Volunteers were hurried to the front without sufficient ammu-
nition or proper supplies of food without the necessary equip-
ments for a march with a divided command, and without any
previous co-operation with deficient transport arrangements, un-
certainty of direction, and no sufficient medical preparation.

The orders of Col. Peacock, of Her Majesty’s 16th Regiment,
commanding in the field, were heedlessly departed from, without
any immediate necessity or proper justification, and a well arranged
plan disconcerted by two officers of standing one of them an
officer of Her Majesty’s Regular Army. The Volunteers were
unnecessarily carried into action at Ridgway unsupported, when,
by their orders, they should have been at an intermediate station,
and waited for the junction of Col. Peacock’s division. From not
having obtained, any previous information as to the nature of the
enemy’s force, a serious misapprehension arose which threw them
into confusion, and led to great loss of life.

It is painful to read of boys slaughtered by such mismanage-
ment, and worse to be told that, young and inexperienced as they
were, they saw the error, but in obedience to the bugle call, twice
repeated, retired and closed in, only to certain death.

This invasion, however, proved two things conclusively. First,
That we had depended too long for the defence of the country
upon Her Majesty’s Regular troops, and that, in order to prevent
disaster for the future, it was necessary that the entire military
organization of the country should be put upon a better footing.
Secondly, That if in the future the Government did its duty, and
prepared in time, the personal courage and patriotism of the people
would be sufficient for their own defence.


Lessons of this character, however painful at the time, are
generally beneficial in their results ; and, in consequence, we can
at this day (in 1871) point to a system sound in theory and
prompt in action a system which, tried on three occasions within
eighteen months, has thrown into the field with wonderful rapidity
a body of well drilled, able men able in number, discipline and
spirit to meet the emergencies which demanded their services.

In the spring of 1870, when the second Fenian invasion was
made, and terminated in the disgraceful rout of the marauders at
Eccles’ Hill, on the Eastern Townships frontier, 13,000 men well
equipped, well drilled, ready for active service, with all arms,
ammunition and appointments complete were, in forty-eight hours,
assembled from the Ottawa and Central district alone, and trans-
ferred to one of the expected points of attack on the line of the
St. Lawrence canals. Equally sufficient numbers were, with
equal promptitude, brought together in the western section, where
an irruption was expected, and the Eastern Townships had their
quota without calling for aid from any other point, though General
Lindsay, in command at Montreal, forthwith sent Mer Majesty’s
69th regiment to the frontier on which occasion His Royal
Highness Prince Arthur saw his first active service in the field.

Very shortly after, the Canadian soldiers shared the fatigues of
that long two months’ march with Her Majesty’s 60th Rifles,
through six hundred miles of wilderness, to Manitoba, and at a
still later day, in the autumn of 1871, when the ice was forming
on the lakes, and the storms of winter commencing, at a week’s
notice two hundred men, fully armed and equipped, were sent off
on the same journey, and accomplished it with success in less than
three weeks. The Canadian Army may not have the port or bear-
ing on parade of Her Majesty’s regular forces; but in the field the
men though rough are ready good shots, good axemen, muscular,
capable of fatigue, when well commanded subordinate, and ready
at all times to fight for the protection of their country and flag.
This result has, since Confederation, been attained by the gradual
introduction of an efficient and judicious system, worked up under
many disadvantages and against great prejudices, a system which
has received the approbation of Her Majesty’s Government, and


of the highest military authorities in England, and has at the
same time earned for itself the respect of our neighbours in the
United States.*

It does not come within the province of this work, to enter into
the details of the invasion of 1866, or to refer to it in other than
general terms. A grateful country marked its appreciation of the
services of its soldiers. Compensation and pensions were granted
by Parliament to the wounded survivors, and to the widows and
orphans of those who fell. The University of Toronto erected a
monument in honor of its young students, who, leaving the quiet
studies of its halls, had commenced and closed their lives on the
field of battle in defence of the liberties of their country, and the
press throughout British America commemorated, in becoming
language, events which it is well should not be forgotten.

The losses sustained by this and subsequent similar invasions,
have been made the subject of remonstrance with the Imperial
Government, and with the trials and punishment of the prisoners
which followed, the conduct of the Government and people of the
United States, of the representative of Her Majesty’s Government
at Washington, and of the Imperial authorities in England, to-
gether with the question of international duties as between Eng-
land and the United States, and between both and Canada on this
subject, will have to be considered when we come to the parlia-
mentary and other proceedings which followed the consummation
of Confederation in 1867.

In August, 1866, Mr. Gait resigned his position as Finance
Minister, and retired from the Cabinet on the determination of
the Government not to proceed with the Lower Canada Education
Bill. This Bill was wisely abandoned by the Government, owing
to the determination expressed by their Lower Canada supporters,
not to permit this Bill to pass unless a similar Bill with reference
to the Roman Catholic minorities in Upper Canada was carried

* The system was originated in Old Canada, by Major-General P. L. Macdougall, ably
assisted by Colonel Dyde, of Montreal, and the volunteer officers, both in Upper and Lower
Canada ; adopted in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by the Lieutenant Governors of
those Provinces, assisted with equal ability by their officers ; and after Confederation im-
proved, extended throughout the whole Dominion by Act of Parliament, and effectively
worked out by Sir George E. Cartier, the Minister of Militia, with the Adjutant-General
Colonel Robertson Ross.


pari passu. This their Upper Canada supporters would not assent
to, alleging that their existing law, but lately passed, worked well
and fairly, giving no dissatisfaction, and requiring no amendment.
In announcing the determination of the Government, the Hon.
John A. Macdonald, after pointing out that if the Bill before the
House was pressed, there would be the unfortunate spectacle of
the majority in Lower Canada in a conflict with the majority in
Upper Canada, just as they were on the eve of separation, ob-
served that “The provisions of this Bill formed part of the guar-
antees provided by Confederation, -and any laws on this subject
in force when Confederation is consummated, could not afterwards
be altered, and each section would have felt itself suffering under
grievances, which there was no constitutional method of escaping
from. Canada, therefore, instead of starting on a new race of
Confederation in peace and harmony, would present to the Lower
Provinces an unfortunate spectacle of two houses divided against
themselves. Instead of a double majority, we should have had
a double minority.”

Mr. Gait, who was regarded as the exponent of the feelings and
wishes of the Protestant minority in Lower Canada, had identified
himself with this bill, and pledged himself to its support. Whilst
therefore, he admitted that the course pursued by the Government
was, under the circumstances, the most judicious, he felt it was
one he could not personally support. ” It was not,” he said,
“that he thought the Protestants of Lower Canada would be
dealt with unfairly by the Catholic majority, but it was because
he had, in his place in the House and in the Government, taken a
certain ground on this question, which rendered it impossible for
him to be responsible for the policy of the Government on this

Mr. Gait’s conduct on this occasion commanded the respect of
all parties. His secession from the Government at the moment
was much regretted, as one of the ablest and most earnest sup-
porters of the great measure of confederation, then about to pass
through its trying ordeal, the final arrangement and adjustment
of its component parts ; but the conviction was general that he
would not be less its friend, because no longer a member of the


Government, and that it would still receive his powerful co-opera-
tion, a conviction which subsequent events amply justified.

About a month after the opening of the session of 1866, the
honourable the Attorney-General John A. Macdonald introduced
certain resolutions to provide for the Local Governments and
Legislatures of Lower and Upper Canada respectively, when the
union should be effected. For the Maritime Provinces no such
provisions were requisite. Their constitutions would remain in
operation as before confederation, restricted only by such limita”
tions as would be introduced by the Imperial Act effecting the
union ; but with reference to the two Canadas they were again to
be reconstructed into different Provinces, and separately clothed
with the legislative powers necessary for the management of their
local affairs.

Little public excitement or discussion was aroused on the
subject, but the teachings of history seemed as it were to be
reversed Lower Canada with its French element preferred to
follow Conservative England and retain two chambers, while
Upper Canada with its English element preferred to follow in the
wake of Republican France, and have only one chamber, ” one and
indivisible.” The French were more English than the English ;
the English were more French than the French.

Provision was first made for the proper maintenance in each of
responsible Government. Two chambers were then provided for
Lower Canada, to be called ” The Legislative Council,” and ” The
Legislative Assembly.” One chamber only for Upper Canada to
be called ” The Legislative Assembly.”

The Legislative Council of Lower Canada was to be composed
of twenty-four members, appointed by the Crown for life, British
subjects by birth or naturalization, thirty years of age, with a
continuous real property qualification in Lower Canada of $4000,
over all incumbrances, debts, and liabilities, the Council itself
being the sole tribunal for the adjudication of any question as to
the qualification of its members ; the Speaker to be appointed by
the Crown, holding office during pleasure, and voting only when
there was a tie, each councillor representing one of the twenty-
four electoral divisions, into which Lower Canada was then


divided, for the purpose of representation in the Legislative
Council of United Canada of that day, and residing or possessing
his qualification in the division which he represented. Thus it
will be perceived that the constitution of this branch of the Legis-
lature of Lower Canada was to be eminently Conservative,
possessing both a territorial, personal, and pecuniary character.

For the Lower House or Legislative Assembly, the existing
sixty-five Electoral Divisions into which Lower Canada was then
divided for representation in the House of Assembly of United
Canada were retained, and a distinct provision was inserted, that
such number should not be altered, unless both the second and
third readings of any bill to effect such alteration should be passed
with the concurrence of three-fourths of the members of the said
Legislative Assembly.

The lone Assembly of Upper Canada was to be composed of
eighty-two members representing constituencies then designated
and declared.

Provision was also made, that the existing laws regulating
elections then in force in United Canada, and applicable to either
Upper or Lower Canada, should continue in force until altered or
amended by the Legislatures newly to be constituted, only that
the term of each House should continue for four years, unless
sooner dissolved by the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province to
which it belonged, and that a longer period than twelve months
should not intervene between any two sessions of the Legislature.

Thus, as contrasted with Lower Canada, it will be seen that the
constitution of the Local Legislature of Upper Canada was singu-
larly democratic ; and in reality the only similarity which existed
between the two, in the preliminary formation, namely, the pro-
perty qualification of candidates or members, was abolished by the
Legislature of Upper Canada, among its first acts after coming
into power under Confederation.

The 38th and 41st paragraph of the Quebec Resolutions were
re-resolved, that the Lieutenant-Governors of the several Provinces
of the Confederation, when formed, should be appointed by the
Governor-General under the great seal of Canada, to hold office
for five years, unless removed for cause ; such cause to be imme-


diately communicated in writing to the Lieutenant-Governor on
the exercise of the power of removal, and to both Houses of the
Confederated Parliament within the first week of the first session
afterwards ; and that the Local Government and Legislature of
each Province should be constructed in such manner as the exist-
ing Legislature of each Province should provide.

During the debate which followed the moving of these resolu-
tions, an additional provision, that the appointment of the first
Lieutenant-Governors should be provisional only, and strictly
during pleasure, was carried without a division ; the necessity for
such a provision being so apparent as to require no discussion,
inasmuch as their appointment on the day of the inauguration of
the Confederation would have to emanate from the Governor-
General, on the advice of a Privy Council which would not at the
time have itself received the sanction of the people.

An amendment, moved by Mr. Gait, seconded by the Attorney-
General West, (the introducer of the resolutions) doing away with
the proposed restrictions as to the alteration of the number of the
representatives in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada;
and the limits of the Electoral Districts, confining the latter to
certain specified districts only, and permitting the alteration on
being assented to by a majority of the members representing the
said specified districts, was also carried on a division, the matter
being apparently one springing from local causes only, and intended
to provide that certain constituencies those inhabited by people
of British origin should not be altered as to their limits, except
with the concurrence of the majority of their own representation.

An additional resolution was also passed, providing for the
adjustment of the debts, credits and liabilities, properties and assets
of Upper and Lower Canada by arbitration, which was subse-
quently embodied in the British North America Act of 1867, but
for which no provision had been made in the Quebec Resolutions.

A motion made by Mr. M. C. Cameron, and seconded by Mr.
Mackenzie, limiting the Executive Council of the Local Govern-
ments to five members, was negatived.

When the question of concurrence in the resolutions came up,
Mr. Dorion endeavoured to assimilate the proposed constitution of


the Local Legislature of Lower Canada to that proposed for Upper
Canada, but his motion was negatived on a division of 69 to 31,
apparently a party vote.

An effort in a similar direction on behalf of Upper Canada was
made by Mr. Cameron of Peel, seconded by Mr. Morris, to obtain
two Chambers for Upper Canada ; but the division showed only
13 in favour of the motion, and 86 against it.

Mr. Dorion then endeavoured to have the Legislative Council
for Lower Canada made elective, but failed, the division being
very much as on his former motion, 31 to 63. ‘

He then proposed a very important amendment, ” that no mem-
ber of the Legislative Council should hold any office of emolument
under either the General or Local Government ; nor receive, either
directly or indirectly, any salary, remuneration or indemnity what-
soever for such office, or for his services as such member of the
Legislative Council, while he shall have a seat in the Council ;”
this provision not to apply to Executive Councillors and the sala-
ries attached to the respective departments or offices they shall
fill;” but this amendment was also lost on a division of 26 to 67.

An effort to have the Speaker of the Legislative Council chosen
by its members, made by Mr. Dorion, equally failed by a vote of
24 to 63.

A similar fate befell a motion made by Mr. Cauchon, seconded
by Mr. Dorion, to strike out the provision relative to the altera-
tion of the limits of particular Electoral Districts, except with
the concurrence of the majority of the members representing the
said Districts, the vote being 24 to 68 ; and the formation of the
Local Legislatures of the two new Provinces to be re-formed out
of old Canada, so far as indicated by the then existing Legislature
of old Canada at its last session, may be said to have finally closed.

During the debates which took place on these several resolutions
and amendments, nothing of particular interest occurred, save,
perhaps, the views of one or two members on the subject of repre- .
sentation by population views which it may be important to
reproduce, as evidencing the construction put upon the term in
Upper Canada by some of its leading public men, pending the
discussion on the details of Confederation, and as bearing upon
the terms on which other Provinces might afterwards be admitted.


On the motion made by the Attorney-General John A. Mac-
donald, for concurrence in the schedule distributing the new seats
in Upper Canada, he explained that as village municipalities were
constantly springing up in Upper Canada, they would of course
be included in the constituency, within the limits of which they
were situated. The Hon. George Brown thereupon declared that
the plan before the House did not carry out the principle of
representation by population. ” On looking at the schedule,” he
said, ” he found one constituency, Niagara, with only 4,470 of a
population, and another, Essex, with no less than 25,211. In
adding up the population of the ten smaller constituencies he found
they contained a population of 82,258, while the ten largest con-
stituencies contained over 231,000. By adding the population of
the twenty smallest constituencies together, it appeared that they
contained only 214,000. Thus we had 214,000 people having
twice as many members as 231,000. Then taking the represen-
tation east of Kingston, he found seventeen members whose
constituencies had an average population of 14,000, while the
seventeen western constituencies contained an average population
of 18,000. He thought a better plan would have been to have
given a second member to the largest constituencies, than to have
made new ones.”

Mr. Mackenzie said, “That three principles should have been
regarded in distributing the representation, namely, population,
area, and probable value of the land.” On these three heads he
proceeded to show that gross injustice had been done to Lambton,
and moved an amendment that another member be given to that

Mr. Rankin called the attention of Mr. Brown to the fact, that
one of his principal justifications for having gone into the coalition
was, that he had obtained representation by population for Upper
Canada, and now he had done his best to prove that it had not
been gained.

Mr. Jones, of North Leeds, was extremely glad that the
principle had not been carried out in the distribution of new
seats, but that the prospective development of the country had
also been considered.


Mr. Me Kellar supported Mr. Mackenzie’s amendment.

It was lost on a division, names and numbers not taken.*

An address was then voted to Her Majesty the Queen, praying
that a measure might be submitted to the Imperial Parliament to
provide for the Local Government and Legislatures of Upper and
Lower Canada, when the union of British North America was
effected, on the basis of the resolutions passed by the House, and
(after unavailing efforts made by Mr. Dorion, to secure an appeal
to the people of Canada before the final adoption of the new
constitution,) was engrossed, and an address passed to the Gover-
nor-General, to transmit the same to the Secretary of State for
the Colonies, to be laid at the foot of the Throne.

The Hon. Attorney-General Macdonald announced, a day or
two after, in reply to an enquiry from Mr. Holton, that it had
been decided to send a deputation to England, headed by the
Governor-General, to arrange with the Imperial authorities the
necessary steps for Confederation ; and on the following day the
15th of August, 1866 the last Parliament of old Canada closed
its last sitting.

Thus passed away in calm a Constitution which, born in strife
and turmoil, sprung from mal-administration and rebellion forced
upon a reluctant Province (the oldest and, at the time, most im-
portant section of the Union), without consulting its people, and
against the wishes of the majority of its inhabitants had never-
theless, during twenty-five years of unexampled prosperity and
material progress, laid the foundation deep and strong of true
Constitutional liberty had removed the asperities of Race, and
taught the united descendants of France and England that the
true source of their future greatness and power on this continent
would lie in a mutual regard for each other’s rights, a mutual for-
bearance for each other’s prejudices, and a generous, strong, con-
joint effort towards consolidating their extensive territories, and
developing their vast resources, under one Government and one

* Journals, 1866, 361. Debates, 1866, 87.



Vancouver Island Canadian Pacific Railway Thunder Bay Mining Region
Departure of Deputation for England Legislative action of Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick Future consideration of details of contest in those
Provinces Political Acrobats I )eparture of Deputations from New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia Remonstrance on non-arrival of Canadian
Deputation Reply Proposition relative to Prince Edward Island
Formation of London Conference Resolutions Differences from Quebec
Resolutions Discussions and Bills framed Additional Clauses in Act as
ultimately passed Propositions on Intercolonial Railway Guarantee
Imperial Legislation Return of Deputation Legislation in New Bruns-
wick and Nova Scotia on Dual Representation Resignations of Members
Imperial Honours Royal Proclamation Charge of corruption against
Canadian statesmen First of July, 1867 A. D. 1866 and 1867.

The preliminary labours in the Provinces were now closed.
The question was about to be transferred to England. Let us
pause and look at its magnitude. Up to this time we have been
dealing only with old and settled Provinces, where men had been for
years trained in public life, where commerce had its well established
channels, and where, resting on the Atlantic, the people were in
daily intercourse with England, with the United States, and the
other well advanced nations of the world. We must now turn to
regions more favoured by nature, but less utilised by man. Away
over in the far- west, opposite the coast of China, nestling as it
were under the wild and lofty but gold-bearing precipices of the
Rocky Mountains, which threw their long shadows across the
little strait that divided it from the continent, in the bight of the
warm Gulf Stream from the Pacific, lay a little Island, not unlike
England in size and climate. It had no past, beyond the mere
unchanging roll of its seasons. A hundred years ago, Vancouver
had landed on its shores, and left it the heritage of his name,
nothing more. Its situation was singularly adapted for commerce,
but commerce had not sought it. Between it and the civilized
world was an unbroken wilderness. The trapper had scaled the
Rocky Mountains, and for many years the pioneers of the Hudson
Bay and North- West Territories had roamed over trackless prai-


ries of great beauty ; but for all purposes of utility, in the wide
sense which may be given to that term in the present day, the
intervening country was practically unknown. Some years before,
in 1846, by the Oregon Treaty, large portions of this valuable
country had been given away by the British Government, in utter
ignorance of its value, to demands made, in the plainest violation
of the well understood rules regulating international territorial
boundaries, cutting off the access of the products of well watered
regions to the sea, sacrificing the national character of great tracts
for a mere temporary convenience, and producing no lasting accord
with the country to which the concession was made. But still
immense territories were left territories immense in extent, and
still more measureless in their productive powers. These terri-
tories and that Island it was proposed to bring within the Con-
federation. But when 1 Not the boldest of the delegates dared
to suppose it would be accomplished while his years still left him
the energy of action. Two thousand miles, almost without a road,
and with but few human habitations, where no laws guarded life
or property, and no traffic supplied food, lay between the western-
most part of Canada and this Island. Mountains which were
deemed inaccessible ; lakes and rivers, the depth and strength of
current of which were unknown, were between; but still the
original plan of confederation embraced them.

In the present day, reality is faster than romance. Five years
had not passed, from the day the delegates were sent to England,
before the end was accomplished ; and from Halifax on the Atlantic
to Vancouver on the Pacific, the intervening lands recognized the
rule of the Dominion. But the result of good government is yet
to be seen j and the first amid the undertakings which the Domi-
nion, after its complete incorporation, assumed to bring about,
was a thorough union between its eastern and western shores by
the construction of a railway between the two oceans and across
the continent.

As the consummation of this work is essential to the well-being
of Confederation, and as without it the original plan of union
would be comparatively abortive, it may not be out of place to
consider it for a few moments.


The great grain-producing countries of Europe, watered by the
Danube and its tributaries, Hungary, Transylvania, Moldavia and
Wallachia, centering their trade at Odessa on the Black Sea, and
constituting the great European grain market for the British Isles
and the Western kingdoms, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway
Sweden, Denmark and the Germanic Confederation, afford but a
faint development of the producing powers of the North -West

Odessa itself has no outlet but through the Bosphorus, com-
manded by foreign forts and foreign fleets. Vancouver Island is
open to the Pacific, and while Englishmen and the descendants of
Englishmen possess it, no power will stop them on the sea.
Through lands more rich than Europe’s grain fields, to a port
more open than Odessa, the Canadian Pacific Railway is to pass.
Its distance, its probable cost, its facilities for construction are
worth knowing.

Exclusive of bays, inlets, and the estuary of the St. Lawrence,
the Canadian coast line on the Atlantic, south of latitude 60, is
3,750 miles; on the Pacific, 1,250 miles; and 1,800 on the great
lakes.* From several accessible ports on the Atlantic coast line,
besides the large harbour of Halifax, and the commercial city of
Saint John ; from the cities, towns and villages all along the
lakes Ontario and Erie, and from the St. Lawrence at Riviere du
Loup, through Montreal, railways already constructed, or in the
course of construction, converge on, and connect with Ottawa, the
capital of the Dominion. A new road, direct from Quebec to
Ottawa, on the northern and eastern side of the St. Lawrence and
Grand River has been explored, and offers for its construction are
under consideration. Therefore, starting from Ottawa, both as a
political and commercial centre, as on the direct line to the
Pacific, as most convenient from the maritime provinces, and in
immediate communication with the sea-ports of Quebec and
Montreal, the distance may be taken. At present the most
correct estimates, allowing for sinuosities and necessary deflections,

* Russell.



1st. From the City of Ottawa to Fort Garry 1100

2nd. From Fort Garry to Le tete Jaune, or the Leather Pass 1000
3rd. Thence to Bute Inlet, or Westminster, at the mouth of

the Fraser River 600

Present distance by rail from Ottawa to Montreal, intersecting

Grand Trunk 180


This last distance from Ottawa to Montreal will, within three
years, be shortened forty miles, by two roads explored and
reported on; for the building of which companies have been
incorporated, and the preliminary steps taken. Therefore, for
practical calculations, as regards the Pacific line, the total dis-
tance between seaport and seaport may be estimated at 2,840
miles.* For the first 600 miles above Ottawa no very serious
difficulty occurs, thence by or round Lake Nepigon more obstruc-
tions are met with, but nothing that modern skill cannot over-
come ; thence on to Fort Garry no impediments of consequence.
Of this portion of the line, from Ottawa to Fort Garry, though
not in an agricultural point of view as attractive as the prairie
lands beyond, the greater part, nevertheless, possesses fair average
growing qualities, with abundance of wood and water, and the
conveniences for settlement ; but its main value is in its immense
mineral deposits, extending in a north-westerly direction over one
hundred miles in the vicinity of Thunder Bay, in the Silurian and
Huronian rocks which lie between the northerly coast of Lake
Superior and the Laurentian range, and so far as at present
known, embracing the richest silver deposits in the world, yield-
ing in some cases, for instance at Silver Islet, from $15,000 to
$18,000 to the ton of rock, and on an average from $1,000 to
$2,000 at the same place. t Gold and tin are also found in the

* Russell makes the distance 2,846.

t These statements are made upon the best authority, that of Mr. Dawson, C.E., the
engineer appointed by the Dominion Government in charge of that district, and the well-
known constructor of the Dawson route from Thunder Bay to Fort Garry a man of
undoubted competence and veracity and are further confirmed by the reports both of the
present and former managers of the mine. The Montreal Mining Company’s Report of


same district, and the geological formations indicate that these
minerals abound in great quantities throughout an area of many-
hundred square miles in the same region.

In that portion through the prairie lands from Fort Garry to
the Rocky Mountains, estimated by Mr. Russell before the late
explorations at 1,300 miles, no engineering difficulty of any
character can be found. The fertility and beauty of these lands
have been so often described by men well known, and of such
undoubted authority, that their names are sufficient to render com-
ment unnecessary. Sir George Simpson, Professor Hind, Mr.
Dawson, C.E., Colonel Synge and Captain Palliser, of the Royal
Engineers, Lord Milton and Cheadle, Captain Pope and Lieutenant
Saxon, of the American army, all agree upon the point of its rare

December 7, 1868, says : The following table gives the results found by the several assay.
ists, the ton being taken at 2,240 Ibs., and the value of silver at $1.24 per ounce troy. This
value is based upon the price then quoted in England for bar silver, namely, 5%d. sterling
per ounce.


No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. No. 4. Aver.

Prof. Chapman 1496 7.88 5.27 1.71 5.023

Dr.Hayes 4117 11.26 5.82 118 8.471

Mr. Macfarlane 13.14 7.03 4.94 1.82 5.168


N. 1. No. 2. No. 3. No. 4. Aver.

Prof. Chapman 4,886 2,574 1,721 558 1,804

Dr.Hayes 15,064 3,678 1,901 385 2,767

Mr. Macfarlane 4,292 2,384 1,613 594 1,690


No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. No. 4. Aver.

Prof. Chapman $5,058 $3,191 $2,134 $691 $?,236

Dr.Hayes $18,679 4,560 2,357 477 3,431

Mr. Macfarlane 5,332 2,956 2,000 736 2,095

If the average of the results of the three assayists, as given above, is taken, it amounts
to 6.387 per cent. = 2.087, or $2,587 88 per ton.

Both Dr. Hayes and Professor Chapman are of opinion, that, no matter how intimately
the particles of the powdered ore may be mixed together, it is not possible, in the case of
such rich ores, to get two assay portions of exactly similar composition. With regard to
No. 1 sample, which consisted of hand specimens not ground or powdered down, it was
hardly anticipated that the various assays of this number would correspond very closely,
and thus the richer product obtained by Dr. Hayes is accounted for. The value of the
silver contained in 1,336 Ibs. of ore, the product of one blast of some surface pieces taken
from under water, then in the Company’s possession, at this rate amounted to $1,543 48.



The climate, notwithstanding its high northern latitude owing
to the curvature of the isothermal line is not more severe than
in central Canada.

In the passes through the Rocky Mountains the Canadian
Pacific commands a route 3,240 feet lower than any of the passes
on the American side of the boundary line which is approached
at so gradual an elevation, that the traveller is not aware that he
has reached the summit until he sees the flow of the descending
waters on the other side.

Of the remaining distance through British Columbia to the
sea, though difficulties do exist from the mountainous character
of the country in some parts, yet they are not such as the ordinary
engineering skill of the present day cannot easily overcome.
” Thus,” says Mr. Russell, in 1868, in a most able pamphlet on
the Red River country and Hudson Bay and North West Terri-
tories, “we possess a route to the Pacific through our central
prairie country and British Columbia that, beside traversing the
Rocky Mountains far more favourably at half the elevation of the
lines through the United States, is as remarkable for passing
through a great extent of well watered fertile country, as they are
for the general aridity and remarkable barrenness of a great part
of the country they traverse.” “We command,” says he, “both
for the purposes of defence or commerce, the best and shortest
railway route to the interior and the Pacific.”

The total distance, as given by the same authority, from the
Pacific to Montreal the head of sea navigation on the St. Law-
rence is 2846 miles; whereas the distance from San Francisco to
New York is 3,284. And the distance from China or Japan to
Bute Inlet, or the mouth of the Fraser River, in British Columbia,
by any route being 550 miles shorter than to San Francisco, a
cargo shipped at either China or Japan for Liverpool, would have
the advantage of 988 miles less distance to be shipped in a sea-
going steamer on the Atlantic, by the Canadian Pacific, than by
any American Pacific route. But if the distance be taken from
China or Japan to Liverpool itself, the discrimination in favor of
the former is still more striking. For instance :



From San Francisco to New York 3,284

” New York to Liverpool 3,073


From Bute Inlet, or the mouth of the Fraser River to

Montreal 2,846

” Montreal to Liverpool 2,800


Difference from China or Japan 550

Total difference in favour of the Canadian Pacific, from China

or Japan to Liverpool 1,261

In the session of 1871, the Canadian Parliament made an ap-
propriation for an exploratory survey of the route, and nearly
half a million of dollars has been expended during the past year
in its accomplishment. Arrangements were also made with British
Columbia, on her coming into the Union, that Government aid
should be afforded to the construction of the road, both by money
subsidies and land grants, and that it should be proceeded with
and completed within ten years.

There is nothing to indicate that its cost of construction will
exceed the average cost of construction in America, namely,
$30,000 or $35,000 per mile, fully equipped the extra difficul-
ties of the Rocky Mountains and British Columbia being more
than countervailed by the greater facilities in the prairie lands.

These details have been fully given, because as the construction
of the Intercolonial Road, from Halifax to Quebec, was made one
of the conditions on which the Atlantic Provinces came into the
Union, so the construction of the Pacific was made one of the con-
ditions on which British Columbia came in.

The Canadian looks upon this road as the back-bone of Con-
federation. It is not a question of politics or party. It rises
above personal considerations. It is a question of the existence
or dissolution of the Union and cost what it may, whether much
or little, it must be built.

We must now proceed with the narrative of what occurred in


Iii the month of November, the Canadian deputation, Messrs.
Macdonald, Cartier, Gait, Rowland, Macdougall, and Langevin,
set out on their mission. They were to meet the representatives
of the other Provinces in London, and finally settle the terms on
which the Confederation was to be carried out. The contracting
parties were reduced in number, Newfoundland and Prince
Edward Island had both withdrawn from the contemplated
arrangements; the latter, by the absolute repudiation of its
Government ; the former, by the inability of its Government to
obtain the assent of its people.

In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia long and arduous contests
had been carried on. In the former, the people had been twice
appealed to. On the first occasion they had rejected the proposi-
tion by overwhelming majorities at the polls. On the second, a
year afterwards, they had reversed their previous decision by
equally overwhelming majorities, and had accepted it. In Nova
Scotia, there had been no appeal to the people. The Government,
supported by the leaders of the opposition who had been the
delegates to Quebec, firm in its adhesion to the agreement entered
into at the convention, had, after the first defeat in New Bruns-
wick, bided its time, until the prospect of the coming change in
that province justified unity of action.

Throughout the whole of the Provinces, with the exception of
Prince Edward Island, the delegates to the conference, ” fideles
inter perfidos” had stood faithfully to the arrangements entered
into at Quebec, and in some instances sacrificed power and place
rather than depart from the obligations assumed with their fellow
representatives, after mature deliberation, in the adoption of a
great scheme to further the interests of British America. Suc-
ceeding years have proved how right they were, and Prince
Edward Island hereafter, when she will have become one of the
brightest ornaments of the Dominion, will look back with pain
upon the vacant places her recreant representatives have left on
the roll of men who were instrumental in evolving a great and
strong nation out of the weakness of disjointed colonies.

The Legislatures, both of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, had,
in the sessions of 1866, authorized their respective Governments


to send deputations to London ; and in the summer those deputa-
tions had proceeded on their mission, and were then awaiting the
arrival of the Canadian deputation.

The details of the contests both in New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia must form the subject of distinct chapters. At the
present moment, perhaps, those details are of little importance to
the main question. It is better that at the close of this volume
we should see the structure complete : in what respect it differed
from the original design, and in what degree the alterations
tended to the public good. As preliminary to the more complete
understanding of the parliamentary discussions after confedera~
tion, of those measures introduced by ministers which were
necessary to the inauguration of the constitutional government,
and formation of the new Dominion, the history of those details
may not be uninteresting, or without the benefit which experience
teaches may be derived from the lessons of the past. Divide et
Impera was the well-known maxim of Machiavelli, and the people
are sometimes led by devious ways to what is for their good. In
times of great change, even though the revolution be peaceful,
political acrobats nourish best, and the reward of personal ambition
is more frequently found by opposition, in the first instance, to
good measures, than by supporting them.

The deputations from the maritime provinces in the month of
July, 1866, as already mentioned, in accordance with the authority
from their respective Legislatures, and as was assumed at the time
with the full understanding that the Canadian deputation would
about the same period do the same, proceeded to London. Up to
the 12th of September the latter had not arrived. On that day,
Messrs. Tupper and Tilley, on behalf of themselves and their
colleagues, addressed the following remonstrance to the Secretary
of State for the Colonies, on the subject of the delay caused by
their non-arrival :

ALEXANDRA HOTEL, 12th, September, 1866.

MY LORD, As delegates from the Provinces of Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick, appointed to confer with delegates from Canada
and with Her Majesty’s Government, upon the question of a Con-


federation of the British North American Provinces, we are natur-
ally anxious to terminate the suspense in which we have been left
since our arrival here, relative to the time when we may hope to
accomplish the object of our mission.

Believing, as we do, that the abrogation of the Reciprocity
Treaty and the Fenian invasion of Canada were largely owing to
the failure of the Provinces we represent to agree promptly to
form an united government, as proposed by the Quebec Conference
in 1864, and approved by the Imperial Government, and that the
adoption of Confederation would be the best means of securing the
renewal of the treaty, and discouraging Fenian designs upon
British America, the Governments of Nova Scotia and New Bruns-
wick have been most anxious that no time should be lost in accom-
plishing the Union of the Provinces.

“With that view, Messrs. Tupper and Archibald visited Ottawa
on the 29th of June last, and after conferring with His Excel-
lency the Governor General and the Canadian Government, it was
mutually agreed that delegates from the two Lower Provinces
should proceed to England by the steamer leaving Halifax on the
19th July, and that delegates from Canada should follow by the
steamer leaving Quebec on the 21st of July.

Subsequently, Lord Monck intimated by telegraph that the
change of Government in England would render it necessary to
hear from England before the departure of the delegates. The
delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, after the arrival
of the latter at Halifax, jointly communicated to the Canadian
Government their views as to the necessity for immediate action,
and their intention to leave on the 19th of July, as arranged at
Ottawa; and it was only on the eve of their departure that they
received a telegram from the Hon. J. A. Macdonald, saying that
Lord Monck declined to go to England or to send a delegation
until authorized by the new Secretary of State. At the interview
with which we were honoured by your Lordship, on- our arrival in
London on the 30th of July, we understood your Lordship to say
that you would send a message by the Atlantic cable to the Gover-
nor-General, asking if the Canadian delegates had left, and if not,
requesting that they would come without delay. Your Lordship


subsequently did us the honor to inform iis that a despatch had
been sent on the llth of August, requesting the Governor-General
to arrange for the Canadian delegates to proceed to England as
soon as possible, and expressing the hope that in any case they
would not be later than the latter part of September.

Although we have since our arrival been favoured with frequent
opportunities of discussing the question of Confederation with
your Lordship and other members of Her Majesty’s Government,
we have, up to the present time, received no information as to the
period when we may expect the delegates from Canada. We feel
it, therefore, due to the Provinces we represent, that we should
respectfully solicit your Lordship to ascertain, and communicate to
us, how soon we may expect the delegates from Canada to arrive
here, in order that we may govern ourselves accordingly.
We have, &c.,



To the Right Hon. the Earl of Carnarvon,

Secretary of State for the Colonies.

On the 17th September they received the following reply from
the Under-Secretary of State :

GENTLEMEN, With reference to my letter of the 12th instant,
I am directed by the Earl of Carnarvon to acquaint you that his
Lordship has received a telegram from Lord Monck, to the effect
that in the present state of Fenian affairs, the principal members
of the Ministry, who must be delegates, could not leave the Pro_
vince, and probably not before the closing of navigation.

Lord Carnarvon regrets the occurrence of these unforeseen
delays, which must entail so much inconvenience upon you and
your colleagues, both in your public and private capacity and he
is most anxious to help you, as far as in his power, to meet the
difficulties of the present turn of affairs. It will probably be your
wish to deliberate amongst yourselves as to your joint course of
action ; having done which, his Lordship will be happy to confer
with you, and to give you his best co-operation.

The Hon. C. Tupper.
The Hon. S. L. Tilley.


During the intervening period, the Nova Scotia and New Bruns-
wick deputations proceeded to discuss the action of Prince Edward
Island, which it was then well understood rejected all consideration
of the terms proposed at the Quebec Conference, and on the 24th
September submitted to Lord Carnarvon the following proposition,
with a request that he would transmit the same to the Governor-
General and the Lieutenant-Governor of the Island :

“The Delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, after
much consultation and mature deliberation, having decided to ask
further pecuniary advantages for the Provinces they represented,
arrived at the conclusion that, if successful, similar advantages
might be extended to Prince Edward Island, and, therefore, a fur-
ther effort should be made to induce Prince Edward Island to enter
the Confederation, agreed to the following proposition :

At a meeting of the delegates from Nova Scotia and New Bruns-
wick, held at the Alexandra Hotel, London, on the 22nd day of
September, 1866, all being present except the Honourable Mr.
Wilmot, it was unanimously resolved, that inasmuch as the co-
operation of Prince Edward Island, though not indispensable to
an Union of the other North American Provinces, is on many
accounts very desirable; and as the settlement of the Land Ques-
tion, 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 Pro-
prietoiy Lands, more on a footing with the other Provinces, which
have Crown Lands and minerals as a source of local revenue;

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 plan of co-operation
prior to the meeting of the Imperial Parliament, the delegates
from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are hereby pledged to sup-
port the policy of providing such an amount as may be necessary
for the purchase of the proprietory rights, but not to exceed



The Canadian deputation which had left for England on the 7th
of November had now arrived, and the conference of the three
Provinces was duly organized at the Westminster Palace Hotel,
on the 4th of December. The Hon. John A. Macdonald in the
chair. It sat continuously from that day to the 24th, when certain
resolutions were formally agreed upon, and transmitted to the
Secretary of State for the Colonies.

These resolutions were substantially a reiteration of those agreed
upon at the Quebec Conference, with the following differences :

1. The entire omission of “the Representative of the Sover-
eign ” in the fifth resolution, relative to the command of the naval
and military forces of the Dominion, it being the intention that
they, though a local force, should be directly under the command of
the Sovereign, as the head of the empire. This was different from
the old constitution of the Provinces, under which the Governor-
General and the Lieutenant-Governors claimed, as representatives
of the Queen, to exercise, and did exercise military command over
the local forces within their respective Governments.

2. In the sixth resolution, constituting the Legislature, the
term ” Sovereign ” was inserted as a distinct and co-ordinate branch
of the Legislature, a proviso which under the constitution was
necessarily understood, but the declaration of which was no doubt
accidentally omitted in the Quebec resolution.

3. The eighth resolution was altered by giving to Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick twelve members in the Senate instead of ten,
and making provision for the reduction to ten when Prince
Edward Island came into confederation.

4. In the twelfth, by making the necessary qualifications of a
senator, to embrace both a continuous property possession and
continuous residence in the Province for which he was appointed,
except in case of an official residence at the capital.

5. The 23rd and 24th resolutions, as to the provisions for
altering the electoral districts, were entirely omitted, it being con-
sidered that all necessary powers in that direction were sufficiently
embraced in the general terms, giving jurisdiction to the General
Parliament and Local Legislatures.


6. The establishment of ” penitentiaries “as an incident of the
criminal code, was withdrawn from the Local and given to the
General Government. And the powers of legislating upon the
” Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries ” which, under the Quebec
resolutions, had been made concurrent, was limited exclusively to
the General Parliament, while the power of legislating upon the
“solemnization of marriage” was included in the property and
civil rights assigned to the Local Government, whereas before it
had not been.

7. To the provision in the 29th section, appropriating to the
General Government the power of legislating for the uniformity
of the laws, relative to property and civil rights, was added a
clause that the power of altering, repealing, or amending laws so
legislated upon ” should thereafter remain with the General
Government only.”

8. The pardoning power, which under the 44th Quebec resolution
was given to the Lieutenant-Governors, was restricted to cases not
“capital” and the provisions of the 43rd, respecting education,
affecting the rights and privileges of the Protestant or Catholic
minorities in the two Canadas were extended to the minorities in
any province having rights or privileges by laws as to denomina-
tional Schools at the time when the union went into operation.
And an additional provision was made that ” in any province
where a system of separate or dissentient schools by law obtains,
or where the Local Legislature may hereafter adopt a system of se-
parate or dissentient schools, an appeal shall be to the Governor-
General in Council of the General Government from the acts and
decisions of the local authorities, which may affect the rights or
privileges of the Protestant or Catholic minority in the matter of
education, and the General Parliament shall have power in the last
resort to legislate on the subject.”

9. An increased subsidy, in addition to the 80 cents per head, of
$80,000, $70,000, $60,000 and $50,000 was made severally to
Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
and the capitation subsidy of 80 cents in both New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia extended until the population reached 400,000.


10. A distinct provision for an Imperial guarantee of .3,000,0 00
sterling for the Intercolonial Railway closed the substantial dis-
tinctions between the resolutions agreed upon at Quebec and
those submitted to the Imperial Government at London.

Upon these resolutions so submitted, certain bills were prepared
by the conference in conjunction with the legal officers of Her
Majesty’s Government, and at a number of interviews commenc-
ing on the 24th of January, and continuing for several days after-
wards, their details were again discussed, amended and added to,
until at last a draft bill was finally agreed upon, which subse-
quently became the British North America Act of 1867. This
Bill so agreed upon was submitted to the Imperial Parliament by
Her Majesty’s Ministers carried finally enacted on the 29th of
March, 1867, and on the proclamation made in accordance with
the provisions thereof, became on the 1st July, 1867, the Constitu-
tion of Canada.

Apart from .those formal details of the bill, which were essential
to its proper construction, it is only necessary to observe Firstly,
that power was given not provided for in the resolutions to
increase the numbers of the Senate and House of Commons under
certain circumstances, but with express limitations; while secondly,
no power of pardon was conceded to the Lieutenant-Governors ;
and thirdly, the power of legislating upon the subject matter
of laws of the several provinces, relating to property and civil
rights, which had once been legislated upon by the General Parlia-
ment, was simply made “unrestricted,” instead of exclusive, in the
General Parliament.

But it was necessary that there should be further Imperial
legislation. The provisions respecting the Intercolonial Railway,
though no part of the constitution, were parts of the agreement
upon which the constitution was based, and without which it
would not have been acceded to. As the construction of this
work formed, both during the preliminary contests and after
confederation, the subject of constant and earnest discussion and
of much political conflict, and at one time was made the subject
of a gross charge of breach of faith against the Canadian Govern-


ment and Parliament, it is as well to examine the negotiations
that took place respecting it at the time the Imperial Act was
passed, giving the Imperial guarantee.

On the 29th of January the chairman submitted to Lord
Carnarvon, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the following
memorandum :

In December, 1862, the delegates from the several provinces
proposed to Her Majesty’s Government that the Imperial guarantee
should be given on the following conditions, viz.:

1. That the loan shall be for 3,000,000 sterling.

2. That the liabilities of each colony shall be apportioned as
follows : 1,250,000 for Canada; 875,000 for New Brunswick;
875,000 for Nova Scotia.

3. The debentures shall bear interest at the rate of 3J per cent.

4. The interest shall be paid half-yearly in London, on the first
of May and on the first of November.

5. That the sum borrowed shall be re-paid in four instalments:
250,000 in ten years; 500,000 in twenty years; 1,000,000
in thirty years; 1,250,000 in forty years.

6. The net profits of the road shall be applied towards the
extinction of the debt.

7. That the loan shall be the first charge on the revenue of each
colony after the existing debts and charges.

8. That the Imperial Government shall have the right to select
one of the engineers to be appointed to make the surveys for the
location of the road.

9. That the selection of the line shall rest with the Imperial

10. That if it is concluded that the work is to be constructed
and managed by a Joint Commission, it shall be constituted in
the following proportions : Canada shall appoint two of the Com-
missioners; New Brunswick and Nova Scotia each one. These
four shall name a fifth before entering upon the discharge of their

11. That such portions of the railways now owned by the Gov-
ernments of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which may be re-


quired to form part of the Intercolonial road, will be worked under
the above Commission.

12. That all net gains or loss resulting from the working and
keeping in repair of any portion of the roads constructed by
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and to be used as a part of the
Intercolonial road, shall be received and borne by these Provinces
respectively, and the surplus, if any, after the payment of interest,
shall go in abatement of interest of the whole line between Halifax
and Riviere du Loup.

13. That the rates shall be uniform over each respective portion
of the road.

14. That the Crown lands required for the railway or stations
shall be provided by each Province.

The following counter proposition was made on the part of Her
Majesty’s Government :

1. That bills shall be immediately submitted to the Legislatures
of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, authorizing the res-
pective Governments to borrow 3,000,000, under the guarantee-
of the British Government, in the following proportions : Five-
twelfths, Canada ; three and one half twelfths, Nova Scotia ; three
and one half twelfths, New Brunswick.

2. But no such loan to be contracted on behalf of any one
Colony, until corresponding powers have been given to the Govern
ments of the other two Colonies concerned, nor unless the Imperial
Government shall guarantee payment of interest on such loan until

3. The money to be applied to the completion of the railway
connecting Halifax with Quebec, on a line to be approved by the
Imperial Government.

4. The interest to be a first charge on the Consolidated Revenue
Funds of the different Provinces after the Civil List, and the
interest of existing debts ; and as regards Canada, after the rest of
the six charges enumerated in the 5 & 6 Vic. cap. 118, and 3 & 4
Vic. cap. 35 (Act of Union).

The debentures to be in series as follows, viz. :


250,000 to be payable ten years after contracting loan ;

500,000 ” twenty years ”

1,000,000 ” thirty years ”

1,250,000 ” forty years ”

In the event of these debentures, or any of them, not being re-
deemed by the colonies at the period when they fall due, the
amount unpaid shall become a charge upon their respective reve-
nues, next after the loan, until paid. The principal to be repaid
as follows :

1. Decade, say 1863 to 1872 inclusive, 250,000 in redemption
of the first series at or before the close of the first decade from the
contracting of the loan.

2. Decade, say 1873 to 1882 inclusive, a sinking fund of
40,000 to be remitted annually, being an amount adequate, if
invested at 5 per cent, compound interest to provide 500,000 at
the end of the decade ; the sum to be remitted annually to be in-
vested in the names of trustees, in colonial securities of any of the
three provinces prior to or forming part of the loan now to be
raised, or in such other colonial securities as Her Majesty’s gov-
ernment shall direct, and the then colonial governments approve.

3. Decade, say 1883 to 1892 inclusive, a sinking fund of
80,000 to be remitted annually, being an amount adequate, if in-
vested at 5 per cent compound interest, to provide 1,000,000 at
the end of the decade. The amount when remitted to be invested
as in the case of the sinking fund for the proceeding decade.

4. Decade, say 1893 to 1902, inclusive, a sinking fund of
100,000 to be remitted annually, being an amount adequate, if
invested at 5 per cent compound interest, to provide 1,250,000,
being the balance of the loan at the end of the decade. This
amount, when remitted to be invested as in the preceding decade.

5. Should the sinking fund of any decade produce a surplus, it
will go to the credit of the next decade, and in the last decade the
sinking fund will be remitted or reduced accordingly.

It is of course understood that the assent of the Treasury to
these arrangements pre-supposes adequate proof of the sufficiency
of the colonial revenues to meet the charges intended to be
imposed upon them.


6. ‘The construction of the railway to be conducted by five
commissioners ; two to be appointed by Canada, one by Nova
Scotia, and one by New Brunswick. These four to choose the
remaining commissioner.

7. The preliminary surveys to be effected at the expense of the
colonies, by three engineers or other officers nominated ; two by
commissioners and one by the Home Government.

8. Fitting provision to be made for the carriage of troops, &c.

9. Parliament not to be asked for this guarantee until the line
and surveys shall have been submitted to and approved of by Her
Majesty’s Government, and until it shall have been shown, to the
satisfaction of Her Majesty’s Government, that the line can be
constructed without further application for an Imperial guarantee.

This proposal was accepted by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
but objected to by Canada.

By the despatch of Mr. Cardwell, dated 17th June, 1864, the
engagement of Her Majesty’s Government to grant the guarantee
was renewed; but consideration of the terms was postponed for
future arrangement.

In consequence of the proposed confederation of the provinces,
many of the clauses in both these propositions appear to be no
longer required, and it is submitted that the terms of the Canada
Guarantee Act of 1842, should be in the main followed. The
delegates therefore propose to Her Majesty’s Government

1. That a loan of 3,000,000 sterling, to be negotiated with a
guarantee of the Imperial Parliament, the proceeds to be applied
to the construction of the Intercolonial Railway.

2. The rate of interest to be 4 per cent., payable half-yearly
and both principal and interest to form the first charge upon the
revenue of the Confederation, after existing debts and charges.

3. A sinking fund at the rate of 1 per cent, per annum
to be provided by the Confederation, to be invested in the
securities of the Confederation existing prior to the guaranteed
loan, or in such other securities as may be suggested by the
Confederation, and approved by Her Majesty’s Government.


The trustees of the sinking funds to consist of one officer to be
appointed by the Imperial Government, and another by the
Government of the Confederation.


London, 29th, January, 1867.

On the 1 2th February, a deputation of the Conference, consist-
ing of Messrs. Gait, Rowland, Tupper and Tilley, waited, by invi-
tation, upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and explained fully
the object of having the guarantee of the Imperial Government
placed upon the footing contained in the above memorandum.

This interview was satisfactory, and left no doubt that the gua-
rantee was not only secured, but that there would be no difficulty
in arranging the details connected therewith. The deputation on
that occasion left a memorandum with the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, respecting the financial position and trade of British
North America, (vide Appendix.)

After protracted negotiations, and much discussion of the statis-
tical information supplied to Her Majesty’s Government, the latter
agreed to ask Parliament for a guarantee of 3,000,000 sterling.
Great difficulty arose with reference to the investment of the
Sinking Fund, and the legislation required by Canada previous to
the attaching of the guarantee. The Treasury Department insisted
that Canada should provide, by a special laAv for raising the neces-
sary revenue, to defray the interest on the loan before any gua-
rantee should be made; and that the Sinking Fund should be in-
vested in British funds. After a series of interviews they were
induced to abandon their first condition, as to proof of the revenue
required to meet the loan, and also to agree to the proposal of the
delegates that the Sinking Fund should be invested in colonial
and other securities, at the option of Canada.*

Finally, the draft of a Bill was agreed upon, which was intro-
duced and carried by the Ministers in the Imperial Parliament,
under the title of ” An Act for authorizing a guarantee of interest
on a loan to be raised by Canada towards the construction of a

* New Brunswick Journals, 1867, 404.


railway connecting Quebec and Halifax/’ (12tli April, 1867); and
became the law under which the funds for the construction of the
work were found.

After the close of the negotiations in England, the deputations
returned to their different Provinces. In Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, where the existing Legislatures were still in full force
and in session, resolutions were almost immediately introduced,
and bills founded upon them passed into law, preventing dual
representation, or the same individual being at the same time a
member of the Local Legislature and of the Dominion Parlia-
ment. The extreme jealousy of the over-ruling power of the
Federal Government, the desire to preserve unfettered the action
of the Local Legislatures, and the independent maintenance of
their rights, and the rights of their Provinces, with the avoidance
of a divided responsibility, were the inducements to this legis-
lation. The Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada having at
that time no separate Legislatures, no action could be taken by
those Provinces in that direction, and the then Legislature of
those two Provinces under the old union, did not deem it proper
to express any opinion on the point. After confederation the sub-
ject was one of repeated discussion in the Dominion Parliament,
but on all occasions it was held to be a matter of local regulation,
to be governed by the decision of the Local Legislatures them-
selves. In reviewing the debates on this subject in the confederate
Parliament, in the subsequent volume of this work, the policy of
its adoption or rejection will have to be more fully entered into.
At present it is sufficient to say that during the first three or four
years after confederation, the leading members of the Local Legis-
latures of both Upper and Lower Canada, then become Ontario
and Quebec, and the members of their Local Governments held
seats in the Dominion Parliament, and as a general rule supported
the administration of the day. In New Brunswick, on the pro-
clamation of the union, the members of the Local Government,
the Speaker of the House, and such other members as intended to
be candidates for the Dominion Parliament, forthwith resigned
their ssats in the Local Legislature, and were returned by their


several constituencies to the Federal Legislature. In Nova Scotia
they did the same, but at that time the anti-confederate hostility
to the movement had become a passion. The leader of the
Government, Dr. Tupper, alone survived the wreck of his party,
and with the member for Guysboro’, Mr. Stewart Campbell, repre-
sented in the Dominion Parliament, the confederate element from
that Province.

Before leaving England, Her Majesty had been pleased to confer
the honour of a K.C.B. on the chairman, and C.B. on several
members of the Conference. On the 22nd day of May, 1867, a
royal proclamation was issued at Windsor Castle, declaring that,
on the 1st July, 1867, the Imperial Act should come in force, and
that on and after that day the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick should form and be one Dominion, under the
name of Canada, and designating the members of the old Legisla-
tive Councils of the several Provinces who were to constitute the
Senate. A cabinet was in the meantime formed, under the Pre.
miership of Sir John A. Macdonald, composed alike of Conserva-
tives and Liberals, to be announced with the inauguration of the
Dominion ; and the people of the several Provinces quietly awaited
the day when the constitutions under which they had prospered
would pass away, and a new era be opened to British North

An able writer, in a work just published,* in his revelations of
the dark side of our acquisition of India, observes, ” Events of
historical importance are of two kinds, the silent and the noisy >
and all things considered, the silent are of much more consequence
than those whose taking place clamors for observation. In
Bengal a great event, or coming into light of a new fact on tlje
scroll of human destiny noiselessly revealed itself.” In Canada,
on the bright side of history, may we not say, a great event on
the scroll of human destiny was noiselessly revealing itself. No
blood was shed, no rupture made, no Clive or Warren Hastings
robbed in the name of justice, or deceived and betrayed in the
name of humanity ; no Sheridan or Burke can hereafter arise to

* Torrens’ Empire in Asia. 1872.


make their names immortal by the impeachment of its actors.
Yet a change was taking place, not less significant in its bearing
upon the interests of that empire from which the conquerors of
India and the colonists of Canada came. A change by which a
country far exceeding India in extent, with its hardy northern
races, while forming, for the future, a great and powerful nation,
was yet to remain an integral portion of that empire of its own
free will ; with no wrongs like the dusky sons of India to avenge,
no treachery to repay with treachery, no blood-stained annals
of mutiny and crime to darken its future years. Truly the
silent events of history, all things considered, are of the most

Much has been said and written about the corruption of
Canadian statesmen. If the charge be intended for any thing
beyond a mere vague assertion, or to have any personal applica-
tion, it is utterly untrue. For five and twenty years, it cannot
be said of any one public man, who has been a member of a
government in any one of the provinces, that he has made use of
his position to advance his own pecuniary interests ; nor, with the
exception of one or two, has even political malice ventured to
make the charge. There is not one perhaps, who, had he devoted
the same attention and the same energy exclusively to his private
affairs that he has given to the public, would not have been in
far more independent circumstances. It is notorious that the
salaries of ministers, judges, and other public officials in Canada
are based upon the circumstances of the country many years
since, and are, at the present day, on a scale totally inadequate to
the increased expenses of living. Bank presidents-, railway
managers and others, whose remuneration is based upon ability to dis-
charge their duties, receive treble and quadruple the amount the best
paid public man in Canada can hope to obtain, though the services
are not more onerous, or the responsibilities so great. Among
that most valued class of public servants who constitute the
permanent staff of the departments, where knowledge and
experience are invaluable to preserve regularity and uniformity,
the ablest and the best frequently leave the public service, to find
in other employments more adequate compensation; and the
benefit of long training and tried integrity is thus lost.


It is true the remedy is in the hands of the Canadian Parlia-
ment; but in Canada, as well as in England, the public service
sometimes suffers from an injudicious economy in the public
expenditure, and the proposition for any change in an improved
direction is at once met by reference to the salaries in the United
States and republican simplicity, ignoring the fact that in that
country small salaries are supplemented by inordinate fees, and
sometimes sometimes too often by the grossest corruption. That
the value of a collectorship of customs in New York a govern-
ment and not a municipal appointment is estimated at $100, 000
per annum, while the prime minister of Canada receives as a salary
$5,000, and the highest chief justice in the Dominion but $5,500,
a little over a 1,000 sterling, and no fees.

No public official in Canada can, if he is ” blessed with Solo-
man’s quiver full of them,” possibly bring up, educate and plant
his family on an official salary, and it therefore redounds to their
credit that, Canadian statesmen can challenge the charge of cor-
ruption and defy the proof. They are not open even to the im_
putation of the Spartan quality conveyed in La Bruyere’s subtle
sarcasm, “L’honnete homme est celue qui ne vole pas sur les
grands chemins et qui ne tue personne.”*

If the application is intended in their political capacity, then
Canadian statesmen may safely refer to the practice of their coun-
trymen in England, and to the conduct of the Imperial cabinet
and statesmen. The exercise of patronage in the appointment to
office of the supporters of Government, where integrity and
capacity to discharge the duties of the office exist, is simply the
history of English parliamentary government, and is perfectly
legitimate. If the charge be intended only in that general sense,
which it is impossible to reduce to anything definite either indivi-
dually or collectively, though it might be treated with indifference,
and reference be made to the days of Walpole and Pelharn, and
even of the later Pitt, not forgetting Lord Panmure’s celebrated
Crimean telegram, “Take care of Dowb” and Canadian states-
men might in this respect court comparison with any Government

*” Honest man, (undetected) pilfer, steal or prig, but don’t rob on the public highway,
or commit murder.”


that now exists, or has existed in England during the last half-
century it is simply necessary to deny the charge in the strongest
terms. Canadian statesmen do not pretend to be Purists. They
are principally practical men, who have worked their way to posi-
tion by the advocacy of progressive measures and the exercise of
sound common sense. Very few of them can claim the benefit of
hereditary distinction, and most of them are indebted to their
personal qualities alone for any influence they command. They are
very much like their English prototypes ; and the press in Canada
would expose corruption, individually or collectively, if it really
existed, quite as readily as the press in England. Such charges,
when made in Canada, in the general terms in which they are
made, are, it is generally considered, used as election cries, and
mostly come from parties who have been members of the same
Government, and, having separated, like quarrelling members of
the same family, abuse each other with intensest hatred. It is to
be regretted that such a practice should ever have obtained. But
it does more harm to Canada abroad than at home. Such charges,
when made by English writers, may in almost every instance be
traced to some disappointed applicant for place. Too many strangers
come out to Canada, thinking their appointment to office would
be conferring a great boon upon the country, and are vexed at the
want of appreciation evinced by its inhabitants. They forget that
they must work on the soil before they can reap its fruits.

On the 1st July, 1867, Lord Monck issued a proclamation
announcing his appointment as Governor-General of the Dominion,
and Canadians assumed the control of territories vast in their
extent and resources, which, under wise legislation and honest
industry, will, with God’s blessing, advance in prosperity and
influence, and add to the welfare and happiness of the human race.


2, page V9.)

Explanatory of the Financial Position of Canada, and a comparison thereof
with the position of the other British North American Colonies in 1864.

(Issued by the Department of the Minister of Finance, Canada in. 1865.)

STATEMENT respecting the Funded Debt of Canada, and the Sinking Funds
held for its redemption.


Funded Debt.

Sinking Funds
held fol-
ks redemption.

Net Funded

1861 .



$;8, 173,020






6^,238 640







These figures are from the “Statements of Affairs of the Province,” being
Table I., in the Public Accounts of each year, signed by Wm. Dickinson, Esq.,
Deputy Inspector General.

STATEMENT respecting Imports into Canada, and Duty paid thereon, in each
year since 1 86 1.




Per Centage of
Duty on
Total Imports.

l86l .










q, l69,I73

II. 2

1864 . .




The figures relating to the Imports and Duty for 1861, 1862 and 1863 are
from the Trade and Navigation Returns, prepared each year under the super-
intendence of R. S. M. Bouchette, Esq., Commissioner of Customs and Excise.
Those for 1864 are from MSS. tables.



STATEMENT respecting the Population of Canada at the periods undermen-


Upper Canada. Lower Canada. Total.

952,004 , 890,261 1,842,265


Upper Canada. Lower Canada. Total.

1,396,091 1,111,566 2,507,657


Upper Canada.

1862 1,456,800

1863 1,520,100

1864 1,586,130

Lower Canada. Total.

1,139,400 2,596,200

1,167,800 2,687,900

1,196,949 2,783,079

1865 1,655,100 ,1,226,800 2,88l,900

The figures for 1852 and 1861 are from the Official Reports of the Census.

CALCULATION as to the Duty paid/^r head of the population of Canada, dur-
ing the last four years ; also as to the Debt, Ordinary Revenue* and
Ordinary Expenditure fer head.


per head.

per head.

per head.

per head.

1861 .,

$1 8?

$22 “II

$* IS

$4. 27


I T\

22 “?O




I 8< 21 60 3 4.8 2 ye 1864 . . 2 7O 2O Q2 ^ 7Q 3 C2 For the amount of Revenue and Expenditure see pages 402-3-4-5. 400 APPENDIX. CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET OF THE PROVINCE OF CANADA, ON DECEMBER 3IST, 1864. DR. Funded Debt Direct $60,950, 101 13 Do. Indirect 874,266 64 - $61,824,367 77 Indebtedness to Trust Funds : School Funds 1,966,813 87 Indian Funds 1,614,519 oo Miscellaneous Funds .... 569,650 59 4,150,983 46 Miscellaneous Accounts 735> 2 39 *4

Bank Accounts 3>35>57 26

Liabilities in connection with the Seigniorial Tenure 4, 118,202 62

Consolidated Fund 2,043,761 40

$76,223,061 65

NOTE. To arrive at the $67,500,000 at which Canada is to enter the Confederation, see
the Calculation on page 405.


Sinking Funds $1,536,792 15

Provincial Works, viz. :

*(a) St. Lawrence Canals $7,406,269 86

(l>) Welland Canal 7,309,849 16

(c) Chambly Canal and River Richelieu

Improvements 433,&>7 83

(d) Burlington Bay Canal 308,328 32

(e) Lake St. Peter Improvements 1,098,225 08

(/) Ottawa Works 1, 148,690 16

Improvement of the Trent 558,506 20

(g) Harbours and Light Houses 2,549,617 42

Roads and Bridges 1,726,695 34

Government Buildings at Ottawa .. 1,812,50871

(//) Loans to Incorporated Companies . . 142,154 52

Miscellaneous Works and Buildings 1,860,862 13

26,355,524 73

Due by Building and Harbour Funds (/) 874,266 64

Railway Debenture, Accounts :

(j) Grand Trunk Railway, including

Subsidiary Lines 15,312,89417

(k) Great Western Railway 2,810,500 oo

(/) Northern Railway 2,311,666 67

20,435,060 84

Railway Interest and Special Accounts 9,642,025 15 .

Municipal Loan Fund Accounts () 12,890,837 95

Miscellaneous Accounts 1,064,439 oi

Due by Trust Funds 779,439 84

Consolidated Fund Investment Account 689,635 69

Bank of Upper Canada, Special Account 1,250,000 oi

Bank Accounts, including Crown Lands ($60,036 64) , 705,039 64

76,223,061 65

* For Notes see succeeding page.


(a) The St. Lawrence and Welland Canals together 54 miles long, with 54 locks and a
lockage of 535 feet enable vessels to pass from the Upper Lakes to the Ocean.

The St. Lawrence Canal locks, 24 in number, besides guard-locks, are 9 feet deep,
45 broad and 200 long, and can pass vessels 186 feet long, 44%! broad and 9 deep.

(l>) The Welland Canal locks, are 10 feet deep, 26% broad and 150 long, and can pass
vessels 142 feet long, 26 broad and 10 deep.

(<:) The Chambly Canal enables vessels to pass from the St. Lawrence into Lake Cham- plain. It has 9 locks (besides the St. Ours), 7 feet deep, 24 broad and 122 long. ( tn



w ^2


a i














t- IOOO 0000 O N VO VO 03 CO O\ } O O ro





CO ‘. H . I



are from




10 :





W>oooc : 3c40C7\’ON H (v-.vo ” I ! ro O ^vo 1 N”




10 : :



N OVO 00 rovo ro mvo t^oo O\O -OrOiOioOvNH
vo vo 0( O c* rooo t^ O Osco ^N -OconiO(NTt-N

10 n


||5 :.






n M. i

vo 1 t5


M c?\o $ :

W OO M .



to Langton, Esq., Auditor.

: o>



”.’.”’.’.’. I ‘.’.”.’:’.’.’.’.’.’.>

: : : : :

1861, 1862, 1863 by To

::.:.:.:: : o
:::::::::::::::::::<* O 9 i u 8 2 | 3 1 8 t 1 e 1 < 'I M O W : f| 1| :|1| l||Sl j !| o o a i b 1 y eft ""rt 1 8 I xed to the Pifl w | ||g ;.2 😐 :.< : I 😐 Debentures ai Revenue leducted the fc lailway Advar ompany Adva Consolidated ( r ust, (Sc. (item Canada Speci tal Revenue, ', n the Table pref OWf^friHMSSQcoShSowoS^Wt-H^P^ n N ro -4- lovd t^od oS O' M N ro 4- iovo' tied O> O w



o< ' From this may also be c Grand Trunk ] Ocean Steam C Investment ex Received on T Bank of Upper g | rt 1 1 5 .2 1 404 APPENDIX. STATEMENT relating to the Area, Acres surveyed, and Acres disposed of, in the five Eastern Colonies of British North America, 1865. Province. Area in Square Miles. Acres Surveyed to Dec. 31, 1863. Acres disposed of by Sale or Grant to Dec. 31, 1863. Newfoundland 4O,2OO *IOO OOO Nova Scotia 1 8 660 *t 7 A S Q? New Brunswick 27,IO^ 7 g CQ OOO 7 c r T QOQ Prince Edward Island 2, loO *I 36 C, AOO Canada 331 280 4.Q 084. ^8? OQ -7^1 7QT Total 419,345 54,097,993 The figures marked with an asterisk (*) are not taken from official sources, but are believed to be approximately correct. There would thus remain 214,282,817 acres in the hands of the Crown. POPULATION AND ITS RATE OF INCREASE. Province. >,3






1 j



Rate of annual
since previous
per cent.

Estimated popnla-
tion, Jan.,
1864. assuming
v the same
rate of increase.


124 288


I 50

137 OOO

Nova Scotia . .

3-20 8^7


I 82

34Q 3OO

New Brunswick

2^2 O4.7


2 60

272 78o

Prince Edward Island

80 857


2 O7

8c QQ2


2, CO7 6^7


i 4.8

2 783 O70




* Including the Labrador Shore.

^ The population is calculated to the end of 1863, (or beginning of 1864,) in order to
arrive at a correct estimate of the Debt, Revenue, &c., of the several Provinces per head,
for which see next page.





ture, 1863.


-a -fa


Imports, 1863.













*7 6 7,354


Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island

Total, 1863
Canada, 1864


I 3,35,832


70,601,460! 7,427,528





52,498,066 6,637,503


* There is also a duty on Exports (Lumber) of $68,634.



CALCULATIONS as to the Revenue, Expenditure, Debt, Imports, ets., per head of
the Population in each Province.


Newfoundland .
Nova Scotia. . .
New Brunswick
Pr. Edward Isl.

Average. . .
Canada, 1864..



1 0.06




3 45



o -3

a 5


$ C.

3 49
3 10
3 24

2 OO

3 86



$ c.

6 90

13 9i

20 91

2 79

21 69



$ C.
38 2 7
29 20
28 46

17 61
16 51

19 18


$ c.

3 53
2 46
2 81
i 69
i 85

2 04


The following calculation shows how the debt at which Canada is to enter
the Confederation was arrived at. The figures are somewhat different from
those on the balance sheet on page 400, chiefly because ajarge amount of debt
has been paid off by the Sinking Funds, and from changes incident to the
transactions of the year 1864.


Debenture Debt, direct and indirect $65,238,649 21

Miscellaneous liabilities 64,426 14

Common School Fund 1, 181,958 85

Indian Fund 1,577,^02 46

Banking Accounts 3, 396,982 81

Seigniorial Tenure : ‘

Capital to Seigniors $2,899,711 09

Chargeable on Municipalities’ Fund .. 196,719 66

On account of Jesuits’ Estates 140,271 87

Indemnity to the Townships 891,500 oo

4,118,202 62

75,578,022 09

Less Sinking Funds $4,883,177 n

Cash and Bank Accounts 2,248,891 87

Common School Fund 1, 181,958 85

8,314,027 83

Leaving as Net Liabilities $67,263,994 26


COASTING TRADE. (Chap. 6, page 157.)

As the question of the Coasting Trade is of much importance to
Canada, both at present and still more so in view of future con-
tingencies and her policy on this subject differs from that of the
Imperial Government it is as well to refer to the Imperial and
Canadian Acts, by which it was and is regulated, namely :

Cap. 107, A.D., 1853.

Sec. 163. No goods or passengers shall be carried from one
part of any British possession in Asia, Africa, or America, to an-
other part of the same possession, except in British ships.

Sec. 328. If the Legislature or proper legislative authority of
any of the British possessions abroad shall present an address to
Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to authorize or permit the
conveyance of goods or passengers from one part of such possession
to another part thereof, in other than British ships; or if the
Legislatures of any two or more possessions, which, for the pur-
poses of this Act, Her Majesty in Council shall declare to be
neighbouring possessions, shall present addresses or a joint address
to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to place the trade between
them on the footing of a coasting trade, or of otherwise regulating
the same, so far as relates to the vessels in which it is to be car-
ried on, it shall thereupon be lawful for Her Majesty, by Order
in Council, so to authorize the conveyance of such goods or pas-
sengers, or so to regulate the trade between such neighbouring
possessions, as the case may be, on such terms and under such
conditions as to Her Majesty may seem good.

By the Merchants’ Shipping Colonial Act, 1869, (Imperial
Act,) Sec. 328, of 16 and 17 Vic., Cap. 107, just quoted, was at
once repealed.

Sec. 163 was declared to be repealed after two years, unless in
the British possessions some local Act or ordinance was in the
meantime passed, retaining its provisions.

Canada, by the same Act it was declared, was to be deemed to
be one British possession, thus doing away with any inference


that the pre-existing rights of the separate Provinces, to legislate
or act in this matter, still continued.

Canada, not concurring in the views of the British Government
and Parliament, that the coasting trade should be thrown open to
the United States or other foreign nations which would not
reciprocate to the same degree immediately passed an Act (Chap.
14, 1870, Canadian Statutes, Coasting Trade,) preserving the pro-
visions of Sec. 163, of Cap. 107, 16 and 17 Vic. (A.D. 1853), so
far as applicable to Canada; under which Act “no foreign vessels
will be allowed to carry goods or passengers between any parts or
places in the Dominion, unless allowed to do so by order of the
Governor in Council, who has power under the Act to open the
coasting trade to the shipping of any foreign country in which
British ships and vessels are admitted to the coasting trade of
such country.” (Yide Marine and Fisheries 1 Report, 1871, 62.)

LOWRY’S PAMPHLET, p. 10. (Page 178, Chap. 6.)

The Official Returns show the real decrease in 1866 and 1867
to have been over $9,000,000, but of the increase in 1868
$2,000,000 must be credited to the Provinces of New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia, which had come into confederation on the 1st of
July, 1867.


The value of these fishery rights may be best estimated by
reference to the very able report of the Minister of Marine and
Fisheries, the Hon. Peter Mitchell, for the year 1870, laid before
Parliament in the session of 1871. He says, speaking of the fish
caught by British and American fishermen, ” The aggregate value
of the fish products of the Provincial fisheries is nearly $17,000,000,
and is susceptible of being increased to a very much greater value.”
” The estimated annual catch of the American fishermen, chiefly
within the three mile limits, is valued at about $8,000,000,”
employing a capital of $9,000,000. The actual value for exporta-
tion in the confederated Provinces alone, exclusive of any caught
by foreigners, is over $7,000,000. The increase in Nova Scotia,


in the case of mackerel, is very marked, having gone up, as
appears by the returns for 1871, from 85,264 barrels in 1870 to
142,898 barrels in 1871. If to the $7,000,000 for exportation
$1,000,000 be added for home consumption, the annual value is
upwards of $8,00*0,000. The system adopted during the last three
years, both as to the regulation of the sea coast and inshore, as
well as the inland fisheries, has materially increased their produc-
tiveness, and is improving the position of our fishermen. Mr.
Mitchell says (page 70), ” There is a general concurrence of opin-
ion that the active exclusion of foreign fishermen from the waters
of Canada, has enabled Canadian fishermen to pursue their calling
to much greater advantage than formerly.”

With reference to the constant negotiations with the United
States in regard to these fisheries, it may be observed, there is
no compensation, pecuniary or commercial except the most unre-
stricted access to the markets of the United States, on equal terms
with their own fisherman, without bounties or discriminating
duties of any kind in favor of the latter that can in any way be
equivalent to the concession of the joint enjoyment of the fisheries
in Canadian waters. It would be a mockery, by treaty or other-
wise, to say that their markets will be thrown open, if the com-
petitors with Canadian fishermen in those markets are to receive
exceptional advantages, which neutralize the privileges of access
thereto. If on one side privileges are given, on the other the ex-
clusive territorial right equalizes the position; but if the joint use
is added to the former, the advantage is all on one side. It is
true, no one can prevent the United States Congress from legis-
lating, by bounties or otherwise, as they please; but it is equally
true the Canadian territorial fishing rights cannot be taken away
without the consent of the Canadian Parliament. It may be ques-
tioned whether, in view of Canada’s future position as a maritime
nation, any equivalent can be offered for the concession of the joint
use of the in-shore fisheries.

The exclusive right of Canada to these fisheries is so undoubted
under the law of nations, that even the proposition in the late
Treaty of Washington (1871), to pay a pecuniary sum for the dif-
ference in value that might be proved to exist between the rela-


tive value of the right of fishing in American waters and of fish-
ing in Canadian waters, though serving as an admission, was not
requisite in any way to strengthen the right.

The legal authorities on this question have been most admirably
collated in a small pamphlet, by Mr. W. F. Whitcher, the Com-
missioner of Fisheries of the Marine and Fishery Department.


So prevalent is this idea of the United States getting the better
of England in negotiations, that even Ministers of the Crown are
not always reticent. Since the foregoing was in press, the Hon.
Joseph Howe, the Secretary of State for the Provinces, delivered
an address in Ottawa, from which the following extract is taken.
“The Cabinet, it is said, not concurring in these views, had it sup-
pressed immediately; but the enterprise of the Globe newspaper
disinterred it, before the sod had hardened, and it was published
broadcast.” Coming from a Cabinet minister, it will doubtless be
quoted as of weight; but it is submitted that on two points at
least, it does not in any sense represent the true feelings of Cana-
dians. The latter have not that abject dread of the United States
which would be engendered by such reasoning; nor have they that
distrust of the British Government which would be implied from
the alleged facts as stated. The withdrawal of the troops was a
mere matter of internal Imperial policy, which has done Canada
good instead of harm. If Great Britain retains the expensive
charge of the fortifications at Halifax, nothing more in peace ought
to be expected. The British Government have given the assu-
rance to Canada, that if the latter would do her duty towards
maintaining an efficient militia, the former, “in the event of war,
would undertake the defence of every portion of Canada with all
the resources of the empire.” And there lies at the bottom of the
English character a principle which, with all its forbearance, will
never let a portion of the empire be severed from it in dishonour :


(Special Telegraph to ike, Globe.)

OTTAWA, February 29, 1872.

The following is an extract from the lecture delivered by Hon.
Joseph Howe, on Tuesday night, before the Young Men’s Chris-
tian Association. It is the part which has been taken exception
to in the Cabinet, and which has led to the suppression of the
entire speech by the press. It may be relied on as accurate :

” He (Mr. Howe) had said that to meet the requirements of this
position they must endeavour to grasp the whole Dominion; and
he would add, that in no country he had ever heard or read of, in
ancient or modern times, was the strain on the mental and bodily
powers of the whole population greater than it was in this Do-
minion. We could not afford to have a laggard, an idler, or a
coward; there were not four millions of us all told, and we had
undertaken to govern half a continent, with forty millions of
ambitious and agressive people on the other side of a frontier three
thousand miles long. If each British American could ^multiply
himself five-fold we should not have more than half the brain
power and physical force necessary to keep our rivals in check,
and to make our position secure. To enable them correctly to
estimate their true position, it would only be necessary to enquire
into the reasons why France, with a warlike population of thirty
millions, studded with fortresses, and with its capital elaborately
protected by engineering skill, was, during the last summer, over-
run, beaten down, and stripped of hundreds of millions of pounds
by the victorious Prussians. What was the explanation of the
extraordinary military phenomena which had startled the world in
1871? Why, simply that the Prussians contrived to have one man
and a-half, and sometimes two, to one, on nearly every battle-field
where they met their enemies. Whether they were better pre-
pared, whether their combinations were more scientific, or their
strategy was more perfect, may be a matter of controversy; but
as far as he had been enabled to study the aspects of the war, the
French were overpowered because they were outnumbered. In
any contest with our neighbours, assuming that we were united
to a man, if the enemy knew his business we must expect to have


ten men to one against us, ten needle-guns, or Sniders, or En-
fields, whatever the weapon might be, so that they would per^
ceive that they must face at least five or six times the odds by
which the French were overpowered. But that was not the worst
of it. Ten children were born on the other side of the line for
one that was born on this, and however we might change the pro-
portions by increased energy, five emigrants went to the United
States for every one that came to Canada, so that at the end of
every decade, the disproportions would be multiplied to our disad-
vantage. We might overlook these inequalities, and live in a
fool’s paradise of imaginary security; but if we were wise we
would face our dangers, and prepare for them with a clear appre-
ciation of their magnitude. But it might be said, Were we not a
part of the great Empire upon which the sun never sets, which con-
tains three hundred millions of people, whose wealth defied esti-
mate, whose army was perfect in discipline, and whose great navy
dominated the sea? What had we to fear when such an Empire
protected us? This was our ancient faith and proud boast. Under
every trial, in the full belief that they were British subjects, that
the allegiance which they had to the Crown of England entitled
them to protection, our forefathers helped to conquer and organize
these provinces. But of late new doctrines had been propounded
in the mother country. The disorganization of the Empire had
been openly promulgated in leading organs; our brethren within
the narrow seas had been counselled to adopt a narrow policy; to
call home their legions, and leave the Provinces without sympathy
or protection; and under the influences of panic and imaginary
Battles of Dorking, troops were to be massed in the British Islands
and their shores were to be surrounded by iron-clads. One Cabi-
net Minister told them that British America could not be depended
upon; another that he hoped the whole continent would peace-
fully repose and prosper under republican institutions; and the
third, on the eve of negotiations that were to involve our dearest
interests, stripped Canada of every soldier, gathered up every old
sentry-box and gun-carriage that he could find, and shipped them
off to England. He did not desire to anticipate the full discus-
sion which Parliament would give to England’s recent diplomatic


efforts to buy her own peace at the sacrifice of our interests, or to
that comedy of errors into which she had blundered. But he
might say that the time was rapidly approaching when Canadians
and Englishmen must have a clear understanding as to the obliga-
gations of the future. If Imperial policy is to cover the whole
ground upon the faith of which our forefathers settled and im-
proved, let this be understood. We will know then what to do.
But if shadows, clouds and darkness were to rest upon the future;
if thirty millions of Britons were to hoard their rascal counters
within two small islands, gather round them the troops and war
ships of the Empire, and leave four millions of Britons to face
forty millions, and to defend a frontier of 3,000 miles, then let us
know what they are at, and our future policy would be governed
“by that knowledge. No cabinet had yet dared to shape this
thought and give it utterance. Leading newspapers had told us
that our presence within the Empire was a source of danger, and
the time for separation was approaching, if it had not already
arrived. Noble Lords and Commoners had sneeringly told us we
might go when we were inclined. As yet, neither the Crown,
Parliament, nor people of England had deliberately averred this
policy of dismemberment, although the tendency of English
thought and legislation daily deepened the conviction that the
drift was all that way. His young friends must wait for further
development; not without anxiety for the future, but with a firm
reliance on the goodness of Providence and our own ability to so
shape the policy of our country as to protect it by our wit, should
Englishmen, unmindful of the past, repudiate their national

Chap. 8, page 286. From Chalmers’. Collection of Treaties, vol. l y
A.D. 1555 to 1787. (Edition of 1790.)


The definitive treaty of peace and friendship between His
Britannic Majesty, the most Christian King, and the King of
Spain; concluded at Paris the 10th day of February, 1763. To
which the King of Portugal acceded on the same day.


In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity, Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost. So be it.

Be it known to all those to whom it shall or may in any
manner belong.

It has pleased the Most High to diffuse the spirit of union and
concord among the Princes, whose divisions had spread the
troubles in the four parts of the world, and to inspire them with
the inclination to cause the comforts of peace to succeed the mis-
fortunes of a long and bloody war, which having arisen between
England and France, during the reign of the most serene and
most potent Prince George the Second, by the grace of God,
King of Great Britain, of glorious memory, continued under the
reign of the most serene and most potent Prince George the
Third, his successor, and, in its progress, communicated itself to
Spain and Portugal ; consequently the most serene and most
potent Prince George the Third, by the grace of God King of
Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick and
Lurenburg, arch-treasurer and elector of the holy Roman Empire,
the most serene and most potent Prince, Lewis the Fifteenth, by
the grace of God, most Christian King, and the most serene and
most potent Prince Charles the Third, by the grace of God, King
of Spain and of the Indies, after having laid the foundations of
peace in the preliminaries, signed at Fontainbleau the 3rd of
November last ; and the most serene and most potent Prince Don
Joseph the First, by the grace of God, King of Portugal and of
the Algarves, after having acceded thereto, determined to com-
plete without delay this great and important work. For this
purpose the high contracting parties have named and appointed
their respective ambassadors extraordinary and ministers pleni-
potentiary, &c., who after having duly communicated their full
powers in due form, &c., agreed upon articles the tenor of which
is as follows :

1. There shall be a Christian, universal, and perpetual peace, as
well by sea as by land, and a sincere and constant friendship shall
be re-established between their Britannic, most Christian, Catholic
and most faithful Majesties, and between their heirs and succes-
sors, kingdoms, dominions, provinces, countries, subjects, and


vassals, of what quality and condition soever they be, without
exception of places or persons ; so that the high contracting
parties shall give the greatest attention to maintain between them-
selves and their said dominions and subjects, this reciprocal
friendship and correspondence, without permitting on either side
any kind of hostilities by sea or by land, to be committed from
henceforth, for any cause or under any pretence whatsoever, and
everything shall be carefully avoided which might hereafter preju-
dice the union happily re-established, applying themselves on the
contrary on every occasion to procure for each other whatever
may contribute to their mutual glory, interests, and advantages,
without giving any assistance or protection, directly or indirectly,
to those who would cause any piejudice to either of the high con-
tracting parties : there shall be a general obHvion of everything
that may have been done or committed before, or since, the com-
mencement of the war which is just ended.

4. His most Christian Majesty renounces all r pretensions which
he has heretofore formed, or might form, to Nova Scotia or
Acadia, in all its parts, and guarantees the whole of it, and with
all its dependencies, to the King of Great Britain : moreover, his
most Christian Majesty cedes and guarantees to his said Britannic
Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well
as the Island of Cape Breton, and all the other islands and coasts
in the Gulf and River Saint Lawrence, and, in general, every-
thing that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and coasts,
with the sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights acquired
by treaty or otherwise, which the most Christian King and the
Crown of France have had till now over the said countries,
islands, lands, places, coasts, and their inhabitants, so that the
most Christian King cedes and makes over the whole to the said
King and to the Crown of Great Britain, and that in the most
ample manner and form, without restriction, and without any
liberty to depart from the said cession and guarantee, under any
pretence, or to disturb Great Britain in the possessions above-
mentioned. His Britannic Majesty, on his side, agrees to grant
the liberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants of Canada :
he will consequently give the most precise and most effectual


orders, that his new Roman Catholic subjects may profess the
worship of their religion, according to the rites of the Romish
Church, as far as the laws of Great Britain permit. His Britannic
Majesty further agrees, that the French inhabitants, or others
who had been subjects of the most Christian King in Canada,
may retire, with all safety and freedom, wherever they shall think
proper, and may sell their estates, provided it be to subjects of his
Britannic Majesty, and bring away their effects, as well as their
persons, without being restrained in their emigration, under any
pretence whatsoever, except that of debts, or of criminal prosecu-
tions : the term limited for this emigration shall be fixed to the
space of eighteen months, to be computed from the day of the
exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.

5. The subjects of France shall have the liberty of fishing and
drying, on a part of the coasts of the Island of Newfoundland,
such as it is specified in the 1 3th article of the Treaty of Utrecht ;
which article is renewed and confirmed by the present treaty
(except what relates to the Island of Cape Breton, as well as to
the other islands and coasts in the mouth and in the Gulf of the
St. Lawrence) : and His Britannic Majesty consents to leave to
the subjects of the Most Christian King the liberty of fishing in
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on condition that the subjects of France
do not exercise the said fishery but at the distance of three leagues
from all the coasts belonging to Great Britain, as well those of the
continent as those of the islands situated in the said Gulf of St.
Lawrence. And as to what relates to the fishery on the coasts of
the Island of Cape Breton out of the said Gulf, the subjects o