Meeting of the Liberal Convention of Upper Canada, Part II (9-10 November 1859)
Date: 1859-11-09 – 1859-11-10
By: The Globe
Citation: “Meeting of the Liberal Convention of Upper Canada”, The Globe [Toronto] (11 November 1859).
MEETING ON THE LIBERAL CONVENTION OF UPPER CANADA
Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Mr. W. H. Oliver – In commencing the discussion on these resolutions, I think it would be well to lay the foundation properly, and it strikes me that in doing this we have a right to ask our Parliament representatives, at whose suggestion we have been called here this evening, for some more full explanations than have yet been made with reference to the reasons which have induced them to take the step they have taken. Less than twelve months ago we found the gentlemen forming the Parliament Opposition, clearly and completely united, as it appeared, on a distinct policy, a policy which appeared just and logical and adapted to the wants of the country. It was not very long precious to that, that we had the satisfaction of hearing that a Government had been established upon the basis of our party policy, that a number of influential and talented gentlemen, gentlemen in whom the party had the fullest possible confidence, had united together to carry out the policy of the Reform party, and I think from one end of the country to the other, Upper Canada thrilled with joy at the prospect the safe and equitable settlement of the difficulties between Upper and Lower Canada then presented. But, by a fraud the most abominable, by a conspiracy the most base that the history of constitutional government affords us an example of, that Government was tricked out of its existence. (Hear, hear.) To-day the Reform members of our Provincial Parliament call us to-gether, and by inference we are led to believe that an entire change of policy is necessary, in order to extricate Upper Canada from the position she occupies. The necessity of this change ought, I think, to be fully established, and my only motive in rising to address you is to endeavour to elicit from the gentlemen of the Parliament Opposition a distinct justification for the course which they have pursued. This is not only necessary for the credit and honour of the gentlemen of the Parliamentary Opposition, in their character as men of judgement and sincerity, but it is also particularly necessary to the gentlemen who are connected with that interest with which I have the honour to be connected, the Press. Mr. Oliver continued to speak for a few minutes longer, urging the necessity for an explanation, why a new policy should be substituted for Representation by Population, which had formerly been considered an adequate remedy for existing evils. During the latter portion of his remarks he was listened to with a good deal of impatience on the part of the meeting.
Mr. A. McKinnon said – I do not stand before you as an active member of the Press, although I may be considered in the light of an ex-member of the Reform Press. But I stand before you this evening as one of the delegates from the township of Vaughan. And as a delegate I do not come here for the purpose of hearing any explanations from members of Parliament as to the causes which induce them to assemble this Convention. (Applause) Mr. Oliver, quite consistently with the policy he has pursued during the last few months, comes here to-night and endeavors to throw cold water on this movement. He has opposed, as an editor, the constitutional changes which the majority here desire, and consider essentially necessary to promote the future welfare of this Province. For my own part, as a delegate, I shall be most happy to hear explanations made by members of Parliament, but I conceive we did not come here for the purpose of receiving explanations from them, but that we may meet the difficulties under which the country labours boldly in the face, and mature and elaborate such reforms as may be found best adapted to relieve us from those difficulties. (Applause.)
The Chairman said he thought the last speaker was mistaken in what he had stated with respect to Mr. Oliver’s course as an editor.
Mr. Rowland Burr expressed his general concurrence in the views tated by Mr. Cameron, particularly in what he had said about the North-West. He (Mr. Burr) had travelled thousands of miles in the Saskatchewan country, and believed it was the finest country in the world. As regarded the principle of Federation, they had an argument in its favour, in what they had seen of the good working in this country of Municipal Corporations.
Mr. Bengough spoke briefly, supporting Mr. Oliver’s call for explanations fo the reasons which had induced the Parliament Opposition to adopt a change of policy, coming to the conclusion that Representation by Population would no longer meet the emergencies of the case.
A delegate, whose name we did not learn, said he did not think time should be occupied in discussing about changes [illegible] the position of the party. They have believed that Representation would be a good thing if it could be carried, but the difficulty was that it could not be carried. This was perfectly understood, and it was of no use to waste time in explaining what they all very well knew. [Hear, hear.]
Hon. Mr. Brown, in reply to repeated calls, same upon the platform, and was greeted with enthusiastic cheering. He said – I was in hope, Mr. Chairman, that I would not have been called to address the assembly this evening. Since the resolutions were adopted by the committee, I have not had an opportunity of referring to some facts and figures I desired to offer in support of them, and I had hoped that I would have been allowed till tomorrow before addressing the Convention. At the same time I could not sit still and allow it to be supposed by any gentleman, that any member of the Parliamentary Opposition hesitated to come before this Convention, or any other meeting, to justify the course we have taken. (Cheers,) I am far from thinking that my friend, Mr. Oliver, erred in asking the explanations he did. I am sure my friend, Mr. McKinon, quite misunderstood his motives in doing so, and that Mr. Oliver intended to act in a most friendly manner. I wish it to be distinctly understood that Mr. Oliver made an entire mistake, when he spoke of the present resolutions as involving an entire change of policy. I apprehend that the resolutions now before us involve merely an extension – an amendment of the policy of the party. (Loud cheers.) I believe and am prepared to show, although I would have been much better prepared to sustain it by exact facts and figures to-morrow, that our present policy is essentially the same policy as was embodied in the resolutions passed in the Temperance Hall meeting, endorsed by the party through the country, taken up by the Brown-Dorion Administration, and now held by the Liberal party from one end of Upper Canada to the other. One gentlemen who spoke said we used to be perfectly content with Representation by Population. Well, we go for Representation by Population still, but we desire to add something else to accompany it – and this, Sir, is nothing new. Almost invariably, when I have brought forward my annual resolution in favour of that principle in the House of Assembly, some of the Lower Canadians replied, “We cannot take this broad principle of Representation by Population alone; we admit it to be correct as a theory, but we cannot admit it in practice, because were it adopted you might come down with 20 or 30 representatives stronger than Lower Canada, and sweep away the whole of our national and local institutions, and completely domineer over us.” To this my reply was always ready – “We in Upper Canada look upon Representation by Population as the cure for the evils which exist in Canada at this moment – you admit it to be correct in principle, but you want something with it – now tell us plainly what you want? What checks do you desire? We want you to manage your local institutions as you like, but we do not want you to control our local institutions. We do not want you to make us take our own money for our own local purposes, while you take money out of the public chest for yours. We do not want you to change our common school laws in opposition to the wishes of the great mass of the people of Upper Canada (Cheers.) Manage your own local affairs, and we will manage ours. Grant us the good principle of Representation by Population, accompanied by such checks as will be fair and reasonable to both sections of the PRovince, and we are prepared to sit down and discuss with you what those fair and reasonable checks shall be.” (Cheers.) A gentleman who spoke a few minutes ago said that, when the Brown-Dorion Administration was formed, the people of Upper Canada were entirely satisfied with the principles on which it was based, and with the platform then put forward. Now, Sir, I believe that had the Brown-Dorion Administration had an opportunity of maturing its policy and bringing it before the country as we intend to do, it would have been very much like that policy and bringing it before the country as we intend to do, it would have been very much like that proposed here to-day, and I feel convinced it would have proved entirely satisfactory to the people of Upper Canada, and, I believe, to the people of Lower Canada. [For the remainder of Mr. Brown’s remarks we are indebted to the condensed report of the Leader] He then alluded to the agistation for constitutional changes, which was commenced by the newspapers, and justified the steps taken by them. The whole intention, the avowed intention, was to attract public attention to the question, in order to elicit the opinion of the people of Upper Canada, and to bring it to the focus they had it to-night. (Applause.) He thought that if there had been any doubt as to whether the time had arrived when the people of Upper Canada were prepared to say to Lower Canada and to the British Government that changes were necessary, this meeting was a proof that that period had fully arrived. (Applause.) There were doubtlessly some men permanent of sufficient weight to let this result be known also in the House of Assembly. He was one of the committee who framed these resolutions. The committee consisted of thirty members, and the object held in view in striking it was to get together men of different opinions in regard to the remedy to be adopted in the present emergency. The committee was comprised of men of all views. Be thought the resolutions they had reported were calculated to bring out clearly the true opinion of the Convention. It had been said that this Convention was packed, that it did not represent the feeling of Upper Canada. But he would say that there had never been brought together a body of men with the same freedom and latitude of discussion as this body. [Applause.] When he looked around him and saw the vast assemblage collected, he felt convinced that whatever resolution they came to, they would have strength and influence enough so send men into the House of Assembly who would enforce the views adopted by this Convention. It had been said that the object of framing these resolutions, and advocating the policy embraced in them, was to obtain office. He need not say anything to refute this statement. He was convinced that there was no member of the Opposition who might not have had office if he had been willing to sell his principles. [Applause]. He then read the first resolution, and spoke of the public debt. He said that in 1854, when the present Government came into power the debt was $29,000,000; and when Parliament broke up last spring – the debt of the Province was $58,500,000. In less than four years, it was thus seen, the public debt was doubled! To spend such as um within the space of four years was an act of madness unparalleled by any government that ever existed. (Applause.) Among the money so spent the Grand Trunk had received sixteen millions. If the road had been built inland, and not on the shores or the lake, it might have been of greater benefit to the Province; but as it was, no reasonable compensation for the money was obtained. Other instances of equally extravagant expenditure might be shown. He then referred to the tariff. He feared the public debt of the country would prevent the carrying out a free trade policy. The tariff had increased, of course, nearly in the ratio as the debt. Mr. Galt had raised it to 22[illegible] per cent. The expense of collection of the revenue was enormous, having been increased during the past few years two and a half fold. He feared the result of our high protective tariff upon the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States Looking at the results of the legislation of the last five years, it was extraordinary that the people of this Province had stood it so long. There were some members of the House of Assembly who sat for constituencies which were, he was certain, in favour of the Opposition; but though these members were found to be steadfast supporters of the present corrupt Government, not one word of denunciation had they heard from these counties – not a word in support of those who were fighting the battles of Upper Canada. As to those men who stood in the House and misrepresented their constituencies, he hoped that the effect of this Convention would be to make them change their course. If there were any parties present from counties so situated, he hoped they would induce their members to weigh well their position and chalk out a new course. (Applause.) If those members changed their course they were prepared to received them in a cordial spirit – whoever would join the cause they advocated – whoever would fight under the banner of Upper Canada – they were prepared to receive, no matter from what quarter they came. (Applause.) To improve this state of affairs required a vigorous application of the pruning hook to the customs, and a restriction of the power of borrowing money. This power had been taken advantage of to an enormous extend; and no one who examined the subject could fail to be shocked at the progress that had been made in public demoralisation. (Cheers.) He alluded to the change of office by the Macdonald Adminsitration in 1858, and characterized it as vile perjury, committed in order that they might cheat the people of this country out of their constitutional right. It was wonderful too that the people of the Province would for a moment permit such conduct to go unrebuked. He thought it strange also in the British Government that they had allowed a man to remain here as their representative who had been a party to such a proceeding. (Applause.) He thanked God the people of Canada were not responsible for that, and he hoped that ere long an opportunity would be given them of pronouncing their verdict upon that scandalous proceeding. He then referred to the Norfolk Shrievalty and the Fellowes election case. He was only surprised that the people had not risen in horror and indignation at such monstrous acts. (Applause.) At the present time Colonel Prince, a member of the Upper House, had forced a promise of a judgeship from the Government, and was going from Dan to Beersbeba – through Kent and Essex – endeavoring to get a ministerialist elected as his successor, as the price of his office. Such proceeding was demoralizing in the highest degree. Passing on from this subject he asked was not Mr. Robinson, his colleague, Mr. Carling, Mr. Macbeth, Mr. Talbot, and many others as deeply interested in the welfare of Upper Canada as they of the Opposition? He would admit they were; but such was the system that they would sink the interests of the country for the loaves and fishes and the patronage of the Government. They system it was that was in a great measure at fault, and the cause of a great deal of the demoralization of public men. (Applause.) To prevent this demoralization, a change in this system was necessary. Let there be a separation of the two Provinces in so far as local government was concerned; but let there be such a connexion for general legislation as would keep them united. In such a way they might be able to work together. He then spoke for a short time of the 2d and 3d resolutions, saying that neither the double majority nor placing checks on the borrowing of money, under the present system, would meet the difficulty which now stated them in the face. To the 4th resolution he would not say much, for he believed some of his friends throughout the country were warmly in favour of a federation of all the Provinces. For himself he was not in favour of federation being so far extended. No, let there first be a federation of the Canadas and then bring in the other Provinces if they found it advisable. Perhaps in saying this he might be looked upon as behind the progress of the age. But he thought the great difficulty with Canada was that she was too fast. Instead of stretching out, let them trim their sails and send along under close-reefed topsails until they got into smooth water. (Applause.) That was the wisest policy at present. He was not prepared to go into details; nor would it be politic for the Convention to arrange definitely all the minor points consequent to a federation; that should be left to the people’s representatives in Parliament, and future approval by the people; otherwise it might place them in rather a peculiar position. He might briefly, however, state his own opinion on the matter. He believed that everything that could possibly be left to the local governments should be left to them, and as little as possible to the general government. He thought, [illegible] should have a written constitution – he cared [illegible] it was obtained; whether by a convention of the people or by Parliament framing a bill and sending it to the people, afterwards to be ratified by the House of Government. A written constitution was necessary in order to prevent ministers putting their hands in the public chest, and afterwards coming down to Parliament, asking then to pass a law to justify the act. (Cheers.) Then with regard to the characters of the local legislatures, a difference of opinion might most likely arise. Some would say, “Responsible Government might be carried out if we were separated from Lower Canada.” Well, he was free to think it would work better than under the Union; but be doubted if it would be expedient, under the new constitution, to adopt the principle – whether it would not be better to have men who were simply heads of departments, without seats in the Legislature. But, as he said before, it was better that these points should be left for future consideration. With regard to the general government, many would be in favour of carrying out the same sort of system as in the local government. But the main point was to give it as little to do as possible, and that clearly defined; it would settle such matters as the collection of revenue, the payment of the public debt, the management of the canals, and matters of that kind. In this way they would have all the advantages of dissolution, with all the advantaged of union. (Cheers.) In conclusion, he said the cry had been raised against them that they had deserted their former principles; but he denied it. After some further general remarks, Mr. Brown took his seat.
Thursday, Nov. 10.
The Convention met again this day in pursuance to adjournment, at 10 o’clock. After the chair had been taken by the President, and the minutes of the last day’s meeting had been read by the secretary, there was a call for the Hon. O. Mowat, who thereupon came upon the platform and addressed the Convention.
The Hon. O. Mowat – I had no idea, Mr. Chairman, of being called on at this early period to address the Convention, and if I do so now, it is only in order to make a beginning in the discussion of the day. It requires little to convince this assembly, or the people of the country, for all are already making of some change in the constitution of the country. No one who has paid any attention to our public affairs, and to the manner in which they have been administered for some time back, but especially for the last two years, can help being of opinion that freemen in a land where there is liberty of the press and of discussion, will not be satisfied with the present order of things one moment longer than up to that time when they may be able to effect a change. The feeling in favour of Representation according to Population has been general for some time, and there has been an impression as strong as any that ever was formed, that if the Union is to continue in the present form, it is the only principle that can be regarded as just or equal. It is not because I have less zeal for that principle than I have hitherto had, that I now come forward to advocate a change in, or, I should rather say, an addition to, the platform we have assumed in the struggle now making in favour of good government. The question has been put, and it was right that it should be put, as to the necessity which has existed for making any such alterations. We have fought long for Representation according to Population – a principle by means of the adoption of which we expected to secure a better and fairer legislation – one more in accordance with the wants and wishes of the people of Canada, and better adapted to the views of the whole country. But we have discovered that it will take a much longer time than many of us have supposed to secure the recognition of that rule. I am not indeed one of those who think we cannot obtain it, because looking at the history of this and other free countries, I have observed that wherever there was free speech and a free press, the people who demanded a righteous change, had only to persevere in order to obtain it. (Cheers.) But how long will it take to obtain it? That is the thing which, as practical men, we have to consider. It is certain that there is the most resolute determination of the part of Lower Canada to resist this demand, and if we ask for dissolution pure and simple, it will take a long time to remove the obstacles thus presented. The only alternative is an appeal to the Home Government; and that we ought not to call upon unnecessary. We may be driven to it, but it should be the last resort. We may be driven to it, but it should be the last resort. We must first try to settle our difficulties among ourselves. Again it is doubtful whether the Home Government would interfere to give us Representation according to Population till after a long continued application, and in the meantime what are we not enduring? If we were only well governed by Lower Canada – if she gave us good laws, such as we desired, we might bear with the power she has of preventing us from making such laws for ourselves – we might afford to wait. But she does not do so. (Cheers.) The Lower Canada impose upon us laws which we do not want, for their own purposes; for the legislation of the last two years has been legislation directed against Upper Canada, and in favour of Lower Canada. And this has not been done in a small measure. Indeed, she increase of taxation brought about by Lower Canadians influences is frightful to contemplate. It is plain that if we desire the interests of this country – if we wish to secure ourselves against bankruptcy – if we are not ready to submit to the grossest degradation – we must look out for some other measure than representation according to population to obtain relief. The events of last session have brought this matter to a crisis. The baneful influences of this baneful domination have increased year by year; but the amount of suffering caused by the legislation of last session has crowned the whole, and has made it manifest that it will be insanity to wait for this reform, if reform can be obtained by a shorter method. Is there, then, a shorter method to obtain those rights of British subjects, of which, for some time past, we have been deprived? That was the question to be decided. Before the period of Responsible Government, there was a state of things in this country which no free people ought to endure. I do not sympathize with those who tried to alter it by force; but I do feel that when an eminent English statesman said our Government was one for which, had he lived under it, he would not fight, the state of things must have been very deplorable indeed. But let us ask ourselves if our present condition is not worse than that of which Lord Sydenham made the observation which I have quoted, when the country was ruled by the Family Compact – when the legislation desired by the majority of the people and of their representatives was checked by a party with whom the people did not sympathize – and when the Executive Government of Upper Canada was in the hands of that party. But again, I ask, if the state of things which now prevails is not still worse? Is the Executive Government of Upper Canada in the hands of Upper Canadians? It is true that we were not then ruled by the majority, but by the minority; but, after all, it was an English influence which prevailed. OUr affairs were controlled by those who should not have managed them; but at least they were managed by men living among ourselves, brought up as we were, understanding our language, reading our newspapers – to whose minds, too, we have access through our speeches. But those who now rule us are another language, another race, and another country – knowing nothing of Upper Canada, with other views, other sympathies and other interests. Is there an comparison between the condition of things then and now? If there was enough in the minds of English statesmen – with whom, however, I do not agree – to induce them to say that men were justified in resisting then, what are we to say of our condition now? Our remedy, however, is a constitutional one; but we do right to remember and reflect upon the evils that we suffer, in order that we may not be heedless of the remedy. As freemen we cannot help loving liberty, and what we have to do is to see whether by constitutional means we many not obtain the reform of our grievances, and that by a course shorter than the one we have been hitherto following. Without going into all these evils or remedies, I will say a word or two here of the two remedies between which I believe that Upper Canada is now hesitating – a separation from Lower Canada at all hazards, or a separation which would continue the connection for some purposes, with freedom from its influences secured in regard to others. In considering these the chief question is which is the most practicable at the earliest time, and in regard to a dissolution pure and simple there are immense difficulties in a way. There are the geographical relations of the two provinces; the tariff; the navigation of the St. Lawrence; and the debt, all to be arranged. If the relations between two provinces before the union had created bad feeling, the antagonism of that day would be greatly magnified now when we possess public works, not then in existence, and when the population, wealth, and trade of Upper Canada is so enormously augmented. Was it likely that all these things could be arranged in any reasonable time. There are, doubtless, many in Lower Canada, who, notwithstanding their favourable position, are in favour of a repeal of the Union; but they simply desire a return to the former state of things. There was no likelihood of the majority in that part of the country consenting to the necessary arrangements within a time shorter than would be requisite even to obtain Representation by Population; and of course without violence, there is only one other method than persuasion, and that is an appeal to the Imperial Government. But every one who has studied the feeling of the British people, or the dealings of the British Government with this country, must be satisfied that that Government will not like the Union to be repealed. Its repeal will certainly take a long time. I am not satisfied that it can be accomplished at all. But supposing the Dissolution of the Union to be that desirable thing that we should all aim at, is not the shortest way even to accomplish that, the obtaining in the first instance of this federation, which will be more easily carried. The statesmen of England are not opposed to federation in the maritime Provinces, and they will therefore not be against it here. There is also strong reason to think that Lower Canada is prepared to go in favour of the [illegible] for though the Lower Canadians have the power now, they feel that the unjust exercise of it may come home to them – that the more they abuse their power now, the more we may be disposed to retaliate when we shall have the power in our hands. Federation will rest the local government of each part of the Provinces within itself, so that we may get by it all the advantages of Dissolution without its difficulties. As to the subject of expense, there can be no doubt that in Upper Canada, at least, the Federal system will be much cheaper than the present one; and on the whole, looking at the two systems together, and even regarding them from the point of view taken by those who are in favour of Dissolution, I can see no objection whatever to the federation now proposed. If a federal system is an advance upon the present system, if it will remove a large part of our grievances, although it may not remove the whole, is it not advisable that as practical men we should all unite in going for it. Then observe if we adopt as the result of our deliberations, the determination to to have a dissolution pure and simple, and if that will take years longer to accomplish than the attainment of a federal system – then that is giving a further lease of office to the man now in power; it is giving a further term to the baneful domination we are now suffering from Lower Canada. (Cheers.) It would be deliberately choosing in this Convention of the people to submit for a longer term to foreign domination than it is necessary for us to endure. (Cheers.) On the whole, I would submit that the shortest way of obtaining a dissolution pure and simple – if that be desirable – is just through federation. If federation be gained, we then shall have experience of its working, and if it is found to be the best system, not ot be an expensive system, if it is really found that there are no grievances weighing upon us, which cannot be remedied by that system, then we can stop there. (Cheers.) These are the impressions I have formed [illegible] considering this matter. I expect during the course of this Convention to hear the views of those who have come to a different conclusion, and I will endeavour to keep my mind free to receive contrary impressions to those I have formed, and I have no doubt you will all of you do the same. I have only further to thank you do the same. I have only further to thank you for the patience with which you have listened to me. (Loud applause.)
Mr. Foley being loudly called for said, – It appears to me, that at this stage of the proceedings, those who have been primarily concerned in the calling of this Convention are not the parties – although I of course by no means presume to condemn the course – to occupy at first the prominent place. I take it that the gentlemen who have come here from a distance, have come for the purpose of suggesting to their representatives, what remedies are applicable, and I think there are the men who ought to take the primary part in the proceedings. I am not now prepared to make any lengthened remarks, so that with the consent of the assemblage I will decline addressing them upon this occasion, and I leave it to those who have come here from a distance to occupy the platform during the course of – say the present forenoon. (Hear, hear.) As that seems to be a suggestion approved of I take it, it would be improper for me to proceed to respond further to the call which has been made upon me (No, no.) I will then retire fro the present, after expressing my great gratification at the appearance of this assemblage. It has been said that the proceedings of the Parliamentary Opposition in calling this Convention would not be borne out by the people. Here is the answer! From every part of Canada the response has been sent, fully proving that the people are prepared to stand by the action taken by their representatives. (Cheers.) To us, as members of the Parliamentary Opposition, who have been, as we have, faithfully and sincerely representing your views upon the floor of the Legislative Assembly, such a gathering necessarily afford us the highest gratification. I congratulate you and the Reform party of Upper Canada – (cheers) – on this great gathering, and I trust the result will be unanimity accord, and a general determination to arrive at a result which will put an end to the grievances under which we labour; and, when we separate, I trust our enemies will not hereafter have the opportunity of saying that there is no unanimity in the Reform party: for we shall, I hope, present that firm, united front, which in former times accomplished for us so much – which gained for us the constitution we now hold – which gave free scope to the feelings of the people. With these remarks I will retire from the platform. (Loud cries of “Go on, “go on.”
Mr. George S. Wilkes said – I feel, Sir, very great delicacy in addressing so imposing an assemblage upon the important subject presented before it; but as one of the committee on resolutions, I desire to state my opinions and the course of reasoning by which I have arrived at the end these resolutions have set forth. Although I may differ materially from others, I hope the audience will allow me fairly to express these opinions and to state how I arrive at the conclusions at which I do arrive. I am one of those opposed to the Dissolution of the Union, pure and simple, because I believe it would be the ruin of Upper Canada. I am one of those well acquainted with the position of this section before the Union, when we very justly took up arms to maintain our rights. (No, no.) The position of Upper Canada before the Union was that we were bankrupt in pocket, and really, pecuniarily speaking, at the mercy of Lower Canada. Were we to-day to get a Dissolution of the Union, the effect would be that although we might have the navigation of the St. Lawrence free to us, as it is to the Americans, yet our merchants would be forced to import their whole packages in bulk either by the St. Lawrence free to us, as it is to the Americans, yet our merchants would be forced to import their whole packages in bulk either by the St. Lawrence or through the United States. If we did not do that we should have to pay the wholesale merchants of Montreal their profits on the goods imported, which profits would be more even than the duties now levied. I believe that the Union worked well for us, as long as it was worked honourably; while parties, instead of looking to their own interests, looked to those of the country. (Hear.) But Sir, when it got into the hands of men who prostituted their honour for mere pelf, abetted by a poor drivelling pedant, who disgraces the high office he holds in this Province as a representative of Majesty, when they departed from patriotic interests in the government of this country, then the Union became dangerous to our position. For this, I believe a true remedy is to be found in a union of all the Provinces. That is the view I hold, for I believe a union of all the Provinces would for I believe a union of all the Provinces would give us that national character which it is the ambition of us all, and especially of our young men – and there are thousands of them – to attain. (Hear, hear.) While other nations are seeking unity; while the Italians are fighting for it, and the Germans sighing for it – why should we not seek the formation of a national feeling in this part of British America, which mst eventually take its stand among the nations of the earth? The union of the Lower Provinces with us would give us a commercial navy, the third in the world. At the same time, I am perfectly prepared to admit that it will take a long time to bring this about; but I believe the resolutions before you are a step in the direction at which I aim. They will give us the union in a shape which will be acceptable to the people of Upper Canada – and that will be a step towards the federal union of the whole. (Cheers.) I merely wish to express plainly the views I hold, and I would say to this Convention – as one of those deputed from a rural district of the Province – I would say we must carry home with us a determination to make the people understand, that if we are to be represented faithfully, honourably, and well, they must be careful whom they send to Parliament – that they must reward those who act honestly fairly, and punish those who do not. (Cheers.) I would only further remark, Sir, that I trust the result of this Convention will be that this great and glorious young country, when it stretches from the eastern to the western seas, will be united in one grand whole. These are the sentiments which I hold, and I believe the resolutions submitted by the committee to you, tend to that end. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. Robinson rose in the body of the meeting. He said – I understood the gentleman who last addressed us to say that we had very justly taken up arms. I desire to say if that is the opinion of this Convention, I am not a member of it any longer. (“No, no! No, no!”) I am a subject of Her Majesty, I am proud of it, and I feel proud to enter my protest against any such sentiments as belonging in part or in whole to this honourable assembly. (Loud cheers, with calls for the name of the speaker.)
Mr. Scoble (the Secretary said – Mr. Robinson was the gentleman who addressed those words to us which do him so much honour, and which meets with so hearty a response.)
Mr. Bodwell, of Oxford, next spoke. He said – I think, as was observed by a previous speaker, that it is better we should have some thing of a variety in the speeches that are to be made before this Convention, than that the great guns should be fired off at once and a wind up made with a general explosion of small arms. (Laughter.) I stand before you to enter into a new course of proceeding with a general discussion is likely to take up a very great deal of time. I therefore move that the Convention resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole in order that the resolutions may be taken up seriatim.
Mr. Thomas Nixon, of Newmarket, seconded the motion.
Hon. Geo. Brown – I think, Mr. Chairman, the proceedings will be greatly simplified by the taking the first resolution. There are some gentlemen present upon the whole resolution. There are some gentlemen present who may desire to express their sentiments upon the whole resolutions, and if we go into Committee of the Whole to discuss them seriatim, the gentlemen will have to rise five or six times, whereas they may as well say what they wish in one speech. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Bodwell – I fully agree with the hon. gentlemen, and will withdraw my motion, and will, instead, move the first resolution: –
“Resolved, – That the existing Legislative Union of Upper and Lower Canada has failed to realize the the anticipation of its promoters, has resulted in a heavy public debt, burdensome taxation, great political abuses, and universal dissatisfaction throughout Upper Canada; and it is the mature conviction of this assembly, from the antagonisms developed through difference of origin, local interests, and other causes, that the Union in its present form can no longer be continued with advantage to the people.”
I know it is argued that the Union has not produced the effects named in the resolution – that it is not the fault of the Union, and that, on the contrary, it has been of great benefit to Upper Canada. I am quite willing to admit all this, but at the same time, I conceive that the Union has been the cause, either directly or indirectly, of the corruption which exists at the present time. (Cheers.) It has placed it in the power of certain gentlemen who disregard the interests of the Province to pander to Lower Canada influences, to join with the majority of Lower Canada to rule Upper Canada contrary to the interests of the people. I know there is a great deal of blame to be attached to the Lower Canadians. I live in the extreme West, and, as a matter of course, my prejudices would be strong against the French, but I am inclined to believe that we attach too much blame to them. I find the French in assembly of this Province are not by any means in the majority from Upper Canada in favour of the opinions we hold, there is a great majority opposed to us. How is it that this state of things brought about? Is it not by the truancy of the Britishers? Is it not the fault altogether of the French? Is it not quite natural they should take the course they do, when they are assisted by men from Upper Canada? I believe, Sir, there are French members in the House who have liberal minds, and to whom we have been accustomed to look up as able and noble-minded statesmen – such as Messrs. Drummond and Dorion. Distance may lend enchantment to the view, but, at the same time, I believe these gentlemen are willing to grant to Upper Canada her just rights. While I agree with the gentlemen who spoke before me – while I would not be in favour of a dissolution, pure and simple, I would say that if we cannot get the grievances under which we labour removed without it, then let us have it. (Cheers.) It is not my intention to detain you any longer. I have made these remarks because I feel there is something of an injustice done to our friends of Lower Canada, and that there is a greater stress laid upon the domination of the French than perhaps need be, for the blame ought to be attached to those members of ours who have bartered our interests away. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. Farewell, of Oshawa – I come forward for the purpose of seconding this resolution, and as I understand the feeling of this audience to be that they now desire to get to work, I shall confine my observations to a single point in these resolutions. I want to speak for a minute or two with reference to the Union being successful in the future. I am aware there are some persons who think that we still might make this Union work if we made another effort, and from the remarks which fell from the gentleman who moved this resolution, it might be thought that he is of that opinion, for he said it was not the Lower Canadians who were the renegades, but the Upper Canadians. Well, where are the men who are renegades from Upper Canada? Point them out, and let the constituencies look after them and set things right at the next election. But I am prepared to give it as my opinion that the difficulty does not lie with Upper Canada exclusively – the difficulty is in the system. (Hear, hear.) The Union of these two sections of the country produces such effects, that I am of opinions if all the constituencies possessing delinquent members, were to succeed in getting true and praiseworthy men to represent their interests, that after all, we would fail to accomplish our desires. Upper Canada pays a larger proportion of the revenue than Lower Canada; ￡[illegible] to her ￡1. This goes into the Provincial chest – it goes into a chest to which the Lower Canadians have equal access with ourselves. The people of Upper Canada are the larger population; it is said they are most intelligent; and the wealthiest, yet the people of Lower Canada have equal access to the revenue with us. It was supposed that Lower Canadians of English extraction would ultimately act in harmony with us, but that we were deceived, most beautifully deceived, the legislation of the last few years, and especially speak with especial reference to the Seignorial Tenure Bill (Cheers.) What did we see on this occasion? The British inhabitants of Lower Canada went with their friends of French origin. It was said to them if you will give us this measure you shall have money, three fourths of which is contributed by Upper Canada, to build your goals and court houses with. These persons are not careful about the expenditure of money, especially when three-fourths of it is to be paid by Upper Canada. See how it works. There is the county of Ontario for instance, a long narrow county. Suppose you divide it down the centre, perhaps three-fourths of the population and of the wealth will be in the front division. And in making this division, suppose it is declared that each portion shall send an equal number of representatives to the county council, you can understand, when a proposition for making a road is brought forward, how those representing the least wealthy and least populous part of the county would be very desirous to get it, because they would not have to pay so much as those with whom they are united. (Cheers.) It took the Lower Canadians some time to find out their power. They did not exercise it for a number of years, but having now ascertained their strength they are satisfied they can handle Upper Canada in any way they please, and you may expect, so long as the Union continues, to see the fleecing of Upper Canada continued. (Applause.)
Mr. Geo. Esson, of Otonabee, said – People in my position when they undertake to appear before a meeting of this kind take a step which they seldom have an opportunity of doing. I am aware it is not a common thing for farmers to take part in political meeting, it is a meeting of the people of Canada to discuss what steps shall be taken to avert impending ruin. The people of Upper Canada have been suffering from Lower Canadian domination long; we have been disgraced – our taxes have been increased from 21 per cent. to 20 per cent. – our household expenses have risen – measures have been forced upon us during the last two years contrary to the views of the great majority of our people. Our Government has even descended to impose a paltry 4[illegible] per quarter upon our weekly newspapers, and notwithstanding all this increased taxation, and the 4[illegible] a quarter, they cannot afford two hundred and fifty dollars to our county Societies – the only boon they ever extended to the agricultural interests. (Cheers.) They have denied this on the score of economy and retrenchment, while at the same time they are lavishing thousands and hundreds of thousands upon favourites, for the purpose of keeping themselves in power. (Cheers.) I am proud to see the farmers of the Province come here to declare that they will bear these things no longer. I am confident this meeting will lead to great results; I am confident that notwithstanding all the cold-water which has been thrown upon it by the ministerial press, our enemies treble at the results. I shall not detain you longer, but I think it is my duty to declare that there must, that there shall be a change in the state of things.
Mr. Choate, of Hope – As has been remarked, Mr. Chairman, by the last preceding speaker, it is an uncommon thing for farmers to attempt to address such an audience as this; and in fact such an audience as this is very uncommon. I feel proud to be one of you; I feel proud to address so many of my brother farmers, and see no reason why I should hesitate to express my sentiments with regard to the condition of those things in which we are all so much interested. I wish to say a word or two in reference to a certain point contained in that resolution, touching the system under which we have been working. In the course of his remarks Mr. Farewell made an allusion to those constituencies misrepresented by renegade Upper Canadians. I happen to be an elector of one of those constituencies, and I felt my corns a little squeezed when Mr. Farewell came out on that topic – (laughter.) – and I was glad to hear from him that it was the system which produced those renegade [illegible] are some characters so unfortunate that they can make nothing of themselves, until there is a system to make something of them. (Laughter.) We happen to have just such a character on the list for our mis-representative – Mr. Burton. (Laughter and applause, which the speaker seemed to mistake for a mark of impatience. He continued) – It may be thought I am trespassing upon your time; if so, I will leave the platform. (No, no; go on.) I feel I am on common ground with you all. Born in Canada – a descendant of those who forsook all in the United States and came to Canada – deprived of the common means of education in my childhood and youth, I have learned by observation what you can make of me to-day. (Applause.) I have for thirty years voted on the right side. (Cheers.) I have used my means for the cause, and I have done as I believe every true patriotic Canadian should do – I have never ate a meal, or spent a sixpence, at the expense of a candidate. (Applause.) Well, the electors of Durham happen to be at this period most unfortunate. I wish to extricate myself from the blame Mr. Farewell would almost pour upon us for being in so unfortunate a position. Partly, however, to relieve us from that grievous position, we will cast the censure on the system. We protested against Burton’s election, and if anything like justice had been done to us, we should have been successful. But the system – that is, the Lower Canadians – appointed the Speaker – (hear) – the Speaker appointed the central committee, they appointed the election committee, that committee retained Mr. Burton, and Mr. Foley had to report an insult to the electors of Durham – for he was chairman, and surrounded by parties whose sentiments he was obliged to report – that the petition of the electors and frivolous and vexatious, I was in the gallery of the House listening to the evidence in the Lotbiniere and Russell elections, and when I saw the way is which they were sustained by the men in power, I said our election will be a “frivolous and vexatious affair.” (Laughter.) When all the evidence was taken upon the Russell election, I held a conversation on the subject with Mr. Burton. Fellowes had disappeared; it was understood he would never appear in the House again, so condemning were the revelations which had been made – the same as that upon which he has been convicted! I said to Mr. Burton – “You will go against such an affair as that? “Oh, no,” said he, “I shall not vote to condemn Fellowes at all – there are not a dozen of us who hold our seats according to laws.” (Cheers.) You see, Burton was bound by the system he retained his own place. Well we must have a change. I was a unionist and an now a nationalist. I believe Union, as it his worked so far, is just one of those steps necessary to arrive at the right point. Let a man go to work at anything, in agriculture for instance, when we have got far enough to find we are wrong, we get a chemical analysis, we study out the right plan, and get straight. Let us take a chemical exanimation of this Province; let us investigate it, analyse it, and when we have done this we shall, no doubt, find out the remedy. It happened to be my lot to be one of the committee on resolutions, and in support of those resolutions I have made these remarks. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. [illegible], of Prince Edward, next [illegible] a few remarks upon the Convention representing the Reformers of Western Canada, he said: – We are assembled to form an organization which shall have an influence upon the destinies of our country for long years to come, and it depends upon the manner in which we proceed, whether we produce a good effect or not. It is well we should endeavour to lay the foundation firmly, if we expect this Convention to rise an edifice which will do us honour and credit. Therefore, I am glad to see such a disposition to afford full opportunity for freehand uninterrupted discussion. Are the evils in the system or in the men who administer it? I should be sorry to say they are exclusively[n] either. Responsible Government depended on the law of honour, but [illegible] experience of the last few years has shot that there are men so weak and unprinciple that no law of honour can bind them. (Hear, hear.) We must therefore bind them down by laws and by a written constitution. No laws or written constitution, however, will be sufficient unless we maintain a perpetual [illegible] over our public me. (Hear, hear.) The next principle on which we went before the public was Representation by Population. [Illegible] part of the country we still have some lingering hopes of obtaining that. But, if the majority of the intelligence of Upper Canada here to-day decide that it would be wasting energy that might be better employed, to continue [illegible] that remedy, I am prepared to foregay own private opinion, and to work with you with that Union of all our energies which must ensure success. It has been said that Representation by Population could not obtained because Mr. Cartier has said it would never be granted. But we have seen the day when mightier Frenchmen than Mr. Cartier could not scare us from our rights. (Applause.) But if it would take too long a time to get Representation by Population as a remedy for our difficulties, we must try something else. It will, perhaps, be asked, will not Mr. Cartier and the Frenchmen refuse Representation by Population in the Federal Government? I ask you, will this assembly be content to bow down before the little fiery Frenchmen? (Cheers and laughter.) But there is this difference between the two cases. The Lower Canadians pretend to refuse Representation by Population for fear we should go down and sweep away the institutions and laws which they cherish. But this objection would not be applicable to Representation by Population in a Federal Government, which would only have the interest of the whole Province to attend to. With regard to written constitutions there may be, perhaps, some differences of opinion with regard to this, that we require something more than we have hitherto had to restrain a corrupt Ministry from squandering away our monies, as they have been doing. See what a frightful amount of debt they have incurred, and this is a consolidation which must enter largely into the questions about a Dissolution of the Union pure and simple. I have heard members of this Convention say they would rather have Upper Canada saddled with the whole debt than continue to live under the evils which oppress us. But let us just look at the amount of this debt. We may assume it at 60 millions, half as much for every man, woman and child in Upper Canada as the enormous debt of Great Britain is for every man, women, and child there. And when we consider that the debt of Great Britain is principally at 3 and 3[illegible] per cent., while ours bear interest at 6 or 7 per cent, we see that our debt presses as heavily upon us, as the enormous debt of Great Britain does on its people, a debt which would have crushed out the energies of any other nation on the globe, save that glorious one from which we are sprung. (Cheers.) I came here with some disposition to try Representation by Population a little longer, but I must give my mos warm and cordial support to the resolutions which have been so ably and wisely presented to the Convention, and I for one will go home to those who sent me here, to tell them the arguments which have been submitted, and prepare to work heartily for that scheme which I consider is our only present salvation. Dissolution of the Union, pure and simple, would raise very complex questions as to financial matters. It would have to be settled, what portion shall Lower Canada pay? And there would be the old difficulty of adjusting the customs felt to a much greater extent now, when instead of a tariff of 21 per cent, and a small importation. Mr. Donnelly concluded concluded by urging the importance of the Convention weighing well what was to go forth to the world as their action on the important questions before them; since what they were noe doing was not a mere matter of local interests, but something that would reach in its effects to future generations.
Mr. Hopkins, Victoria, said – I come from a country, whose Parliamentary representative unfortunately is not eligible to appear here; not being a member of the Opposition. Whether he is a true and faithful supporter of the Government is a knotty point which I leave him and them to decide as best they may. (Laughter.) I wish to address you for a few minutes on finance and free trade. It has been my fortune to have a large number of the Government accounts of this country passed through my hands. I have looked through them with a laudable desire for information, and the conclusion that I have come to is that the finances of the Province have been conducted in a grossly negligent, ignorant, wasteful and extravagant manner. (Hear, hear.) As regarded the Custom Houses, I found that many of them did not pay the expenses of the offices. As regards the militias, I think if we were to turn the swords of our militia into plough-shares, it would be great benefit for the pocket of Canada. The Public Works Department again is a very sink of corruption and inquity. And then you have been plucked like a turkey by those agents of yours in England. (Hear, hear.) The member for Toronto told you yesterday, in very eloquent language, that the great ship of the state, the great ship of Canada, must have her sails reefed. But I will remind you of an old Latin adage – “Bis dat qui cito dat.” We must do it quickly or it won’t be worth doing at all. If we do not make haste, the great vessel will go down into the gulf waters to be fished up from the bottom by some Yankee speculators, like those who got up the sunk ships at Sebastopol. These Yankee speculators will come and fish up our vessel, rig her anew, put a Yankee captain and a new crew on board, and carry her into a foreign port. (Laughter.) Mr. Hopkins proceeded to make some further remarks, arguing that the party should adopt a free trade policy, which would enlist in their favour the sympathies of the mother country.
Mr. Geo. Sheppard, on rising, was received [illegible] advocates of federation have had it all their own way. I appear here as the advocate of simple unadulterated dissolution of the Union. I have an amendment prepared, which i had intended to move to one of the resolutions when the time comes for submitting it to the Convention, but the gentlemen who preceded the last speaker so clearly threw down the gauntlet, assailing the advocates of dissolution as the advocates of an impossibility, that I think the time is come to say something on the other side. I take it that this Convention was not called with a view of ratifying any predetermined resolution. It was not called with the understanding that certain propositions agreed upon beforehand should alone be proposed, and that none else should be discussed, none else adopted. As I understand it, the Opposition in Parliament desire faithfully to represent the opinion of their constituents and of the country. As I understand it, they desire to adopt that policy which shall be best for the interests of the country, for their interests are not separate from those of the country. And I think we are here met in friendly communion, not afraid honestly and manfully to declare our differences, because these differences do not imply contention or antagonism, but because without a frank expression of our opinions here, our apparent union would be powerless. I do not believe in that reconciliation which comes without a declaration of differences where you have them. If we have differences, let us state them. I do not appear here to state them as an opponent of the Opposition in Parliament, or as the opponent of the committee, but simply under a firm conviction that the Opposition in Parliament and the members of the Committee desire faithfully to reflect the views of the Convention as the views of the country. And I desire to appear as an advocate of Dissolution in opposition to their Federation. (Hear, hear.) If coming here with that proposition implied unfriendliness to that Committee, I should be the last to do it. If it implied a desire to break up the harmony of the Convention, I should be ashamed to appear here as an advocate of dissolution. But I do not believe that either of these positions is implied. I believe we are met here with the view of arriving at a sincere and practical result, and the more the question is discussed, the more likely we are to arrive at a result satisfactory to our own minds and to the country generally. (Applause.) There is one point which has not been touched upon in [illegible] with Federation. We are admitting the evils of the Union. That every one has [illegible] There are no differences [illegible] opinion with [illegible] the failure of [illegible] Union. In the estimation of some gentlemen we are shut up to federation as the only remedy. But we are forgetting that there are two parties to this bargain of Federation, and that the consent of Lower Canada, which we denounce as the source of so much of our difficulty, must be had before we have Federation – that before we obtain the measure which we believe essential to delivering us from the injustice of which [illegible] we must have the consent [illegible] that very section which perpetuate the injustice. I do not believe that [illegible] practicable. To obtain it will take time and agitation. We must fight for years in Parliament and out of Parliament, and if alter a long series of years of fighting you have been unable to obtain Representation by Population, I want to know how you are to carry Federation with the consent of Lower Canada, especially when it is based on the recognition of the principle of Representation by Population. Then again our friends put it distinctly that the existing Union cannot be maintained. It is bad, they say, it demoralizes our public men, and entails an extravagant debt. You put Federation as your remedy. But suppose Lower Canada says we won’t grant you Federation, what are you to do? Are you to continue under this Union, because Lower Canada says you shall? What, then, is the alternative? I put it to the advocates of Federation if Dissolution is not their only alternative? I put it to them, whether, if defeated on this Federation question, they will not have to fall back on Dissolution as the only remedy which can bring relief? Now I want to put it the other way. Instead of falling back on Dissolution as a remedy after Federation fails, I say that Dissolution is the most desirable thing, that on its own merits it is the best, that viewed in all the interests of the country it is the best. There are practical difficulties connected with Dissolution, but there are also practical difficulties connected with Federation. Federation, as I understand it, has relation more to national objects than to colonial. I do not think you can find any union of colonies based on the Federative principle. That federative principle had its origin in the United States, with national institutions, national exigencies, and having in view national rather than colonial results. If you say you desire Federation because it would be a great step to nationality, then I am with you. But if it is to be a Federation, with a view to nationality, let us have a Federation of all the Provinces, as much more favourable to that nationality. But a Federal Government looking to nationality entails many difficulties. There is a necessity for revenue and a necessity for military strength to sustain that Government. One of your arguments for Federation is that it provides for the organization of Territories in the North-West. But that implies an expensive central government, for during the time of organizing a territory, the central government must provide its judiciary, must defend it, must make its road, must do all that the central government of the United States does for its territories. If you have a Federal Government, you must have a viceroy and all the expenses of a court. (No! no!) Say what you will, a Federal Government without Federal dignity would be mere moonshine. It would be a shadow without the substance, and would not be consented to by the British Government. But, if you are to have a Federation with a strong Government, the British Government being represented by a Governor coming from England, that Governor must be maintained with a suitable retinue and pomp, and you will be perpetuating in a stronger form every extravagance and source of ruin and difficult which we have under our present system. I maintained that Dissolution of the Union does not entail these difficulties. We want economy of expenditure, and we may have it in a general government for Upper Canada which may be little more than municipal. There is this error in our present system. In this new country where men’s incomes are small and precarious, we have a system of Government based on a state of thing in no respect parallel to ours; a system suitable to the high position and great resources of an old settied country like England, applied to a country with very limited resources and sparsely settled. With Dissolution we shall have an opportunity of so reducing expenses that we shall have cheapness as well as efficiency. But you say there are difficulties in the way of Dissolution, arising out of the public debt. Mr. Cameron last night said that a man and wife might easily enough agree to separate, but the difficulty arose, what were they to do with the children. Man and wife do sometimes agree to separate, and the difficulty as to the children, although an onerous one, is not always insuperable. In the same way, taking our debt as the representative of the hon. member’s children, I want to know whether it is not practicable to arrive at some understanding which shall adjust that difficulty. I think it is, the debt was incurred for certain purposes, and each section of the Province can be made responsible for its own share. If you go into Federation, it is like two men going into partnership, who have to show what are their assets as well as liabilities. So you will have to decide what liabilities belong to this Province and what to that, and it will be the same and no more with Dissolution. A settlement will have to be made as to customs and the distribution of the revenue, and it will be just as easy to adjust those matters under Dissolution as under Federation. But you imagine that if the union were dissolved, Lower Canada would impose a tariff hostile to us, would make us pay a heavy tax on the lumber we send to Lower Canada, and that it would have to be submitted to a custom-house examination at Montreal. I take it that countries are governed by self-interest. If Lower Canada builds up a character for self-ishness, our trade will find another channel and Lower Canada will be the sufferer. (Hear, hear.) Lower Canada looking for a large portion of her revenue from Upper Canada will not, from motives of self-interest, impose such a tariff as will prevent our goods passing through her territory. There will be between us a friendly commercial union, of which we have examples in countries similarly situated. And, if we have a Dissolution of the Union, we shall have the satisfaction of having Upper Canadian interests legislated for by Upper Canadians only, we shall be free from those alliances which all admit be free from those alliances which all admit to be a source of ruinous demoralization, and it would be our own fault if we did not take care of our own interests. With regard to the canals, they would stand in precisely the same position as the debt. They would have to be maintained under federation as under dissolution. Under a federal government you would still require to have a Board of Works which is now the source of one of our greatest difficulties. You would be building up, without meaning it, a strong central power, and federation, as we understand it in this country, with a viceroy at the top of it would be found to involve a very expensive government. I shall not attempt to answer all the objections of dissolution, as I understand the present discussion to be of the general nature but at the proper time I shall be prepared to move an amendment. I merely wished to raised the discussion, that as we had heard so much in favour of federation it may be understood that something also may be said in favour of dissolution. (Applause.)
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
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