Letter from John A. Macdonald to Charles Tupper (14 November 1864)

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Date: 1864-11-14
By: John A. Macdonald
Citation: Letter from John A. Macdonald to Charles Tupper (14 November 1864) in Library and Archives Canada, MG26-A, Vol. 51, 19945-19947.
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[Page 19945]


Quebec, Nov 14/64.


My dear Tupper,

I am sorry I was too unwell to join in the Toronto festivities or escort you to Niagara.
We have settled that our Legislature shall meet on January 19th, and intend to press the Federation resolutions through without delay. Canada, on the whole, seems to take up the scheme warmly, but yet we shall meet with considerable opposition. Dorion, you see, has come out with a manifesto against it. Sandfield Macdonald will join him, and I hear they are beating up for recruits everywhere. It is of the utmost importance that between now and the time of the meeting of Parliament nothing should be done to strengthen the hands of the Opposition or to give them the opportunity of getting up a new cry. With this view, I cannot too strongly impress on you the necessity of carrying out the policy of not in any way giving any party the slightest control over the construction of any portion of the Intercolonial Railway. Brown’s Confession of Faith in favour of the road at Toronto has astounded his supporters and dismayed a good many of them who have hit her to been educated by him to oppose it by every means and at every stage. They are powerless in consequence of his desertion, but there is a muttered growl about it that I don’t like. Were it suspected that any considerable portion of that road for which Canada is going to pledge itself was given away to

[Page 19946]

contractors without the consent or sanction of the Government a storm would at once arise which could not be allayed, and would peril the whole scheme.

I intend to commence next week to draft the Bill to be submitted for the consideration of the Imperial Government, and shall be glad to get from you such hints or suggestions as may occur to you.

Have you formed any plan as to the mode in which you will submit the subject to your Parliament?

In Looking over Our Resolutions I see a mistake has crept in. We have given power time to time to the Local Legislatures to alter the constituencies sending members to the General Parliament. Now this is an obvious blunder and must be corrected.

I will be obliged by your giving me your ideas as to the general administration— the number of the Executive and the distribution of Departments. This must all be wrought out and if possible form a portion of the Imperial Act. I have not thought this branch of the subject over, but mean to do so at once. So soon as I can form a projet I will transmit it to you. So please reciprocate.

I have not forgotten the compact we made here, and shall act strict and cordially up to it.

Always, my dear Tupper,
Faithfully yours,
John A. Macdonald.

The Hon. Charles Tupper,

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