Letter from Charles Tupper to John A. Macdonald (13 December 1864)
By: Charles Tupper
Citation: Letter from Charles Tupper to John A. Macdonald (13 December 1864) in Library and Archives Canada, MG26-A, Vol. 51, 19962-19965.
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Halifax, Dec- 13th 1864.
My dear McDonald,
I was glad to learn by your note of the 14th that you had quite recovered your health and that Richard was himself again. I was not surprised that the incessant fatigue and mental labour to which you were so long subjected should have told seriously upon you. We all regretted deeply that were deprived of the pleasure of your society at Toronto. I quite concur in the alteration respecting the power of the Local Legislature to alter the constituencies of the House of Commons. I have consulted
Henry and McCully on the point and they all agree to the proposed alteration. I have already informed Mr. Galt that we concur in restricting the power of the Local Govt. to tax lumber to New Brunswick. I will be very glad to receive your proposed draft of the Act so soon as you can send it and will offer you any suggestions I think desirable. Under existing circumstances Canada had better pass the Act as near the report of the Conference as possible and then the other Provinces should endeavour to pass transcripts of it. I fear that the Government of New Brunswick has decided not to submit the question to the people until after an appeal
to the people. They might do the necessary work of the session very soon and dissolve at once and thus not much time would be lost, but the precedent is a bad one. We have met a strong opposition here but we have the press pretty much with us and I hope we will be able to carry it through if properly sustained by the British Government. I wish very much Lord Monek would induce the Colonial Secretary to authorize our Lieut-Governor to appoint two or three additional Legislative Councillors if found necessary to carry the Bill through the Upper House. I will send you a Colonist with our speeches at the Confederation meeting last Friday night. It was a great success. Many
influential men previously opposed were convinced and have since come out in favour of the scheme. Will you let me know what you hear from the British Government. The Executive Department may I think be safely left to your judgment. Twelve Executive Councillors much as you have them at present would I think meet the case, but I quite agree with you that it is desirable to have them in the Act. I would not distribute them locally at all. It will be an element of weakness in my opinion. Would it be practicable to provide for surrendering local Govts? I suppose not altho I think it very desirable.
I hope Mr Brydges will be able to give me an early assurance that he will construct the Truro & Moncton line under the terms of our resolution to be amalgamated with the Intercolonial after confederation. It need not be published until after your legislation is perfected. Mr Fleming will locate the line and an arrangement for the rest of the line to Canada, contingent upon the Confederation taking place it will damage me seriously if this matter must be imperilled by the want of Canada’s consent.
You can at all times rely upon me to any extent.
Ever Yours faithfully
Hon. J. A. McDonald.