New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Debates of the House of Assembly [Amendment to the Fourth Paragraph of the Address Resumed] (19 March 1866)
By: New Brunswick (House of Assembly)
Citation: New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Reports of the Debates of The House of Assembly  at 29-31.
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HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.
Monday, March 19.
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DEBATE ON THE AMENDMENT TO THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF THE ADDRESS RESUMED.
Hon. Mr. Botsford requested the indulgence of the House, in not carrying out the [text missing] which was that he should reply to Mr. McMillan. In consequence of indisposition he could […]
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[…] not do this; but he would like to make some remarks during the course of the debate.
Mr. Otty. I was absent from the House, during part of the time my hon. friend (Mr. McMillan) was speaking, consequently I cannot take up all his arguments. I have a want of confidence, not in the Government, but in the hon. mover of the Amendment, from the peculiar language in which it is worded. He goes on to state, after the Amendment which we have before us, “we regret that that no sufficient assurance has been given, that the people will not be found unprepared to defend their families, their homes, and their firesides, against lawless conspirators from the neighbouring Republic.” That part was before the public, but he has withdrawn it. I can make allowance for any gentleman in the excitement of speech making errors of this kind, but for a man to sit down and write an Amendment like that, shows a great want of ability in language, to say the least of it. He has abandoned the most important part of it which relates to defending our homes, and moved merely what relates to “want of confidence in the Government,” thereby showing that he considers office the most important part. The hon. member for Restigouche said, the Government was bound by the Address to bring forward some scheme for a Union of the Provinces. I cannot see how they are bound either by the Address or Speech from the Throne, to do so. It is putting a construction upon them which they will not bear. He alluded to the “Minute of Council” which says, “a large majority of the people of this Province are opposed to any closer political union, &c.” There is nothing in the Address which is contrary to that “Minute of Council.” The Crown in its Address to the people says, that despatches received from the Home Government will he laid before us. The people say, in answer, that they will consider those despatches, and the opinion expressed by Her Majesty’s Government will command that respect and attention which is due to suggestions emanating from so high a source. That is all the Government promise, and they are not bound to bring in any scheme whatever. The Hon. Attorney General said it was not his intention to bring forward any scheme for a union of the Provinces, and in so doing he is acting in accordance with the wishes of the people. They speak of a change of feeling in regard to this Quebec Scheme. ln the County of Kings there is very little change from what it was at the last election. If the scheme was brought before the public to-morrow, the majority opposed to the scheme would be actually larger than at the last election. But that does not appear to be the point at present. Confederation is left out of the party nearly altogether. If I understood the Speech of the hon. mover of the amendment, he stands pledged not to support the Quebec Scheme. No wonder, then, that he secured his election from both parties. The people of York would not return a Confederate, for if Confederation was carried, the public business of Fredericton would become a nonentity. To say, then, that the Confederates have obtained a victory, is to put forth a false statement to the public. The hon. member for Restigouche makes use of the trite saying, “Union is strength.” It may be in come cases, but not in all. The abstract idea is very well, but even then the union of oil and water will not make strength. It will make strength where the wolf enters into compact with a lamb. The life blood of the lamb, after it is devoured, causes strength to the wolf. The hon. member for Kent seems to have been afraid the members for Kings would be stuck in the mud. I do not know what kind of soil Kent is composed of. I think it must be very different from that of King’s. When we plant potatoes it does not produce pumpkins, and when we plant apples it does not produce thorns. I think he is like an Indian who was engaged as a guide by a party of caribou hunters, who, before night, began to think they had lost their way, and upon questioning the Indian closely about the track, he replied, “Indian not lost; wigwam lost.” I am merely taking up the time which should have been occupied by the Surveyor General, who is indisposed, which has prevented him from making any remarks. I have no doubt he could answer and completely refute all that has fallen from his predecessor in office. With regard to a union of the Provinces hereafter, it is a matter which requires serious consideration, and I, for one, am disposed to go into union upon fair and equitable terms. I fully endorse what appears in the Address, “But in any scheme for a union of the British North American Colonies,” &c. I think a large majority in this House endorse those sentiments. I have no doubt but a scheme of union will be pressed upon us, by the Home Government. Our Government is in an embarrassing condition in regard to outside pressure, but they have done all they could under the circumstances, and I have no want of confidence in them. The charges brought against them by the members of the Opposition do not amount to any real charges against their character as a Government. If they did I would be one of the first to give my vote against them. They were in error in allowing the law for collecting “export duty” to expire, but every Government and every man is liable to errors. They throw themselves upon the people, and acknowledge their error. There have been other charges made but I do not see anything in them to induce me to go for a want of confidence in the Government. It has been said that the expiring of the “Minute of Council” regarding the Crown Land regulations, should have been published in the Royal Gazette. The same rule would apply to the law for collecting export duty. I consider it the duty of the exporters of lumber, or the persons applying for lumber, to search these Crown Land regulations, and then they know as well as the Surveyor General that such a law or order has expired. It is not necessary when an order expires to have it published, although it would have been well to have published that the export duty law was about to expire, but that was the duty of the preceding Government; certainly it was not of this. I only hope the Government will be able to steer through the shoals and whirlpools thrown in its way, and I think they will, for I have every confidence in the ability of the leader of the Government, who is now at the helm of the state.
Mr. Wilmot said he wished to reserve what remarks he had to make until the Attorney General was present, for he wished to refer particularly to the members of the Council, for he considered his honor and integrity impeached by them.
Hon. Mr. Cudlip moved that the debate be adjourned until half-past two.
Mr. Coram said, if the Opposition were not prepared to go on with the debate, they had better take the question at once, and not be delaying the business of the country, for they could not do justice to the Bills that were brought before them until this question was settled.
Motion for adjourning the debate carried.
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Mr. Gilbert said the hon. member from St. John (Mr. Wilmot) had expressed a wish not to speak upon this debate, until the Leader, and members of the Government, were in the places, as he considered his veracity was attacked by the Government; therefore, as he claimed the privilege of addressing the House in the presence of the Leader of the Government, and it would be an act of courtesy to the hon. member to adjourn the debate under these circumstances.
Hon. Mr. Hatheway stated that it was very doubtful if the Attorney General would be able to be in the House for two or three days, as he was very ill. There was no necessity for adjourning the debate, for any other hon. gentleman could speak upon it.
Mr. Gilbert said he was in the same situation as the member of for St. John, and he did not wish to go on with the debate when the Leader of the Government was not in his place.
Mr. Needham moved that the debate be adjourned until 11 A.M., tomorrow.
Mr. Coram remarked that he supposed their ammunition had run out; he hoped they would come prepared tomorrow to carry it out.
Mr. Wetmore said their ammunition was quite sufficient to storm the Government, and the were no difficulty about firing at all. The Hon. Mr. Wilmot declining to address the House in the absence of the Attorney General was an honorable proposition, as he had matters to discuss with him.
The motion for adjournment was then carried.