New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Debates of the House of Assembly [Bill to Prevent Dual Representation] (3 June 1867)
By: New Brunswick (House of Assembly)
Citation: New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Reports of the Debates of The House of Assembly  at 122-127.
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MONDAY, JUNE 3rd, 1867.
BILL TO PREVENT DUAL REPRESENTATION.
Hon. Mr. Williston moved the House into Committee on a Bill relating to Members of the House of Assembly.
Mr. Young in the Chair.
Hon. Mr. Williston.—This Bill provides two principles; first, that no person who is returned as a member for the House of Commons of Canada can sit or vote in this House; and secondly, that any person who may now occupy a seat in the Legislative Council,
if elected or appointed to a seat at Ottawa, shall vacate his seat in the Local Legislature. An Act of this nature has been passed in Nova Scotia, and it is of some importance that it should also pass here. As to our power to legislate on matters of this kind, I think it is clearly given to us in section 129 of the Imperial Act, where it is said that all powers and authorities which we hold at the time of Union, except as otherwise provided by the Act, shall remain and continue in force as if the Act had not been made, showing clearly that we have the power to amend our constitution if we see fit.
The passing of this Bill is called for, as an act of duty to those who may be left here when the Union is consummated, and may have left this House to represent the people at Ottawa; for there are many persons in the country who will readily come forward and here be schooled for higher positions in the Dominion, who, if dual representation was permitted, would be entirely shut out from political life. This is the idea of the Bill, and I believe it commends itself to the minds of every honorable member in this House.
Mr. Smith.—I am not at all opposed to the principle laid down in this Bill, but I should like to see the Attorney General in his place, for I want to ask him a few questions. It is said that he is one of those who are perfectly willing to represent the people at Ottawa, and at the same time hold on to a seat in this House, especially if £600 is attached to it. This idea, I believe, he put forth publicly here in Fredericton, and it is said there are others who are quite willing to do the same thing.
In Canada they have taken no steps to prevent dual representation; indeed I see that the leading minds in the Government there seem to foster the idea of holding seats in both Houses. I should certainly like to know the sentiments of the members of the Government on the question, as to whether we can legislate in this matter. We are now pursuing a novel course.
Here we have a man, who is said to be a Senator of the Dominion of Canada, whose name is in the Proclamation, yet he is still holding his seat here, is a member of the Government and Chief Commissioner of Public Works. I don’t see how the Government can reconcile that to the provisions of the Act. The names of the Senators for Canada are given and published in the papers, but here we can get no information whatever. The Government are as reticent as ever, and won’t tell us anything that is going on. To judge by their actions they don’t know what they are going to do at all.
The Attorney General told us he was going to introduce a Bill for a change in the Magistrates’ Courts. He went to the expense of getting the Bill printed, and it has been sent to the people, but all at once we are told that it is not going to be brought in. This is a most extraordinary course to pursue; I never heard the like of it before. But it seems that all who are connected with this question of Union are determined to mystify and keep the people in suspense.
I see now that Mr. D’Arcy McGee has put forth, here just before the Union is consummated, that after all Confederation is not quite the thing, and that shortly we must inevitably settle down into a Legislative Union. We are hardly entered into one Union before these men want to pull down the structure they have raised, and erect another. He says also, that every man must be called out to drill, and thus every man is to be made a soldier, as is done in Prussia, where every man, prince and peasant alike, has to serve two or three years at military practice. I regard the present as perilous times for our people, the clouds of trouble seem gathering very thick about us, but I hope that some thing will yet occur to prevent the impending evils. As to this measure I think the delegates should have provided for it in the Imperial Act, but it seems as though they had made up their minds to hold on to their offices here and go to Ottawa as well, if they could get the chance. The people, however, have shown their opposition to such a course, and so at the last the Government make up their mind to provide against it. I think the measure is a good one, and therefore I shall give it my support.
Mr. Johnson. As one of the delegates I could not have agreed to make any provision like this binding by Imperial Statute. The delegates had no power to lay down what course should be pursued, for it was a privilege of the people to say whether their representatives should be allowed to hold a seat in the General as well as the Local Legislature. But whilst I could not agree to have it laid down in the Act, yet I had very decided feelings as to the requirement of such an Act as this; for there may arise an occasion when the Local and General Parliaments are in conflict, and to have the twelve or fifteen men who represent the Province at Ottawa to come back and take their seat here, might prove disastrous to the best interests of the country. I have felt all along that it would be putting a power into their hands which they should not possess. To avoid any such difficulties this Bill has been introduced, and I am sure that it will meet with the approbation of the people.
Hon. Mr. Tilley.—It is a great pity that my hon. friend from Westmorland should be so much affected by what Mr. McGee may think or say, but I am under the impression that he might be much more so if he would take to heart the language used by a candidate on the other side in Nova Scotia, who, if report is true, has given vent to his feelings by the use of language which is to be deprecated by every loyal subject in British America. I do not think, however, that in this House we should be guided by what Mr. McGee or Mr. Howe may say in their private capacity. When my hon. friend gets to Ottawa, for they say he is sure to go there, if Mr. McGee brings up a measure to make the people of the Dominion spend a certain time every year in military drill, he can then stand up and oppose it; but it is not necessary to bring the matter in here.
The fact is, Mr. McGee has an idea that the militia of the Confederation should be made more efficient, and the same idea has been expressed by the Administrator of the Government here. But there was a time, Mr. Chairman, when the people of this Province had to turn out and drill for three or four days every year. It may have proved a hardship for them to do it sometimes, but I greatly mistake the feelings of our people if they would not be willing to do it again to put themselves in a position to defend their firesides from the attack of an invader. But my hon. friend is also very much tried too, because Mr. McGee says, that we shall ultimately have to come to a Legislative Union. But if I mistake not my hon. friend made this very thing one of the points of his objections to the Quebec Scheme, and laid it down as the ground of his belief why the Union contemplated should not be gone into.
And as to the question now before us, dual representation, as it is called, there is an impression generally abroad that the hon. member from Westmorland favored the idea; I know it was so believed in his own County. Now, I never had but one idea on this matter, and that was that it was incompatible with the interests of the country that a man should hold seats in both Houses. I believe this principle will become general all over the Dominion.
My hon. friend speaks of the withdrawal of a Bill, a draft of which was before the House, and which the Attorney General had contemplated carrying through, as a great crime. Why, Mr. Chairman, after consulting with our friends on that subject, we found that there was no possibility of passing it, and so it was withdrawn. I don’t see anything very dreadful in that. But he says the Attorney General must have changed his ideas very much if he is willing the present Bill should pass. The Attorney General is not present, and therefore he cannot answer as to his ideas on this question, but I think I remember a very important occasion on which the opinions of my hon. friend were said to have changed. It was said
that he was not unfavorable to Confederation under certain provisions, but when he came to the House he we directly against it. He seems to take every opportunity day and night, in the House and out of it, to alarm the people as to the future prospects of this country, which he characterizes as dark and gloomy and perilous, and all that.
It is true the state of trade is dull at present, but we looking to the Union to aid in a material degree, in relieving the distress which at present is felt in certain quarters, and there is no necessity at all to picture out the future as all darkness and ruin. As to the Senators. It seems that a paper in Canada has a representative in regard who has telegraphed out the names as contained in the proclamation, so far as regards Canada; but we have not incurred that expense and therefore are not yet in a position to make known who have been appointed.
As to the Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works being able, under the Act, to hold his seat, it is my private opinion that there is nothing to prevent his doing so till the first of July, the day on which the Union will be consummated; yes, Mr. Chairman, that he can do so just as legally as the hon. member for Westmorland, whose name, I may tell him, is not in the Proclamation.
Mr. Smith.—No, it is not in the Proclamation, for the Secretary is well aware that I would take no favors at their hands, and if they had asked me to have it put on, I should not have allowed it. The Secretary says that I changed my opinion on Confederation; but, Mr. Chairman, I have answered that charge over and over again. He knows very well that the paragraph in the Speech was put there by the Governor, who said the Government were not responsible for it, but he expressed the sentiments which he was authorised to do by instructions from the Mother Country. But why should he refer to this? He knows the backstair influence which was used to get that inserted, and that it reflects no credit on the parties engaged in it.
He says I changed my opinion. I deny it. But he went to England an anti-confederate, and returned a Confederate. I went an Anti, and returned an Anti. When I think of what was done to oust the Government of which I was a member, I can scarcely restrain my feelings. The administration of the Secretary was a stain and a blot upon the history of this Province And when our of power he used all sorts of treachery and backstair influence to get in again. They worked with Governor Gordon in the tyrannical course he pursued towards the people of this country, but I should like to know the opinion on the Government on Governor Gordon now. I am willing to go back to the people on the question then at issue, and leave the verdict with them.
The Secretary talks about the great benefits which Union are going to confer upon us, end of the good times that are coming. I hope the result will be as satisfactory as he depicts, but I say the signs of the time indicate that troublous times are coming. I am surprised that he should treat with the levity the opinions of such a man as D’Arcy McGee, who he knows speaks the opinions of the Government of which he is a member; and he says that a Legislative Union is inevitable, and that very shortly. The Secretary says I was in favor of a Legislative Union, but I never was.
I was always of the opinion that no Union with Canada could be obtained that would be fair and equitable for us. Here we are now on the very verge of Union, and we are to pay $50,000 for Governor General, and other expenses of Government greater than is required to carry on the affairs of the United States. The Secretary has referred to Joe Howe, but does not tell us what is so very objectionable that he has said. He is one of the most eminent men in British North America, and his voice will be resound in the Halls of Ottawa—they can’t keep him out—and a large member of his friends will be with him. He has ever been loyal to the British Crown—none more so. His speeches have ever breathed a spirit of loyalty and devotion, and what does the Secretary mean?
As to Nova Scotia we shall soon see how many of the men who have betrayed their country can be returned by the people. Yes, I believe the people will rise in their might and show who it is that have the power. Never were a people so betrayed and trampled on in this history of the world as have been the people of Nova Scotia. The Secretary says that day and night, in the House and out, I take every opportunity of opposing Union. How does he know? has he pimps about me at night? I don’t know, but it seems that everything I do and say becomes known to the Secretary. He says that I was in favor of dual representation; what I said was that I had not seen the Act, but that the members of Government in Canada was urging it strongly on their friends, and I supposed the practice would be uniform in all the Provinces. As to Mr. Howe, no one ever heard or saw anything in him approaching disloyalty, but the Secretary knows that when the question of loyalty is touched upon, a throb of excitement and feeling is felt by the people, and they are all ready to go in and show it at all risks.
But Mr. Howe is now a private gentleman, without official capacity at all, and should not be named. It is very different with Mr. McGee. He is a public officer, high in the confidence of the Government, and as such when he speaks he speaks the language and feelings and sentiments of the Government. The Secretary says that all he asks for is that the militia should be put in a more efficient state, but is not so. His idea is to organize a standing army, and keep it up by the services of the able bodied strength of the community.
The Secretary refers to the three or four days formerly spent in drilling our people, and says they would be willing to do it again. But we all know that those occasions of muster produced nothing but vice and immortality; and I would ask are we to go back to such times? Is history to repeat itself? That old practice was a burden on the people, they rejoiced when they were relieved from it, and have no desire to have it imposed upon them again. The Secretary says there is no cause for alarm. That is a very different cry than was raised when the Fenians were on the border. It was said they came down in the interest of the Antis, and declared themselves their friends, when they, by that very statement, cut our throats, and played a very important part generally in the election contest. He says that l oppose whatever comes up, but I think I have shown a great deal of forbearance all through the Session. I have tried to get information upon certain points, but the Government seem afraid to let the public know anything at all.
And see the cowardice and pusilanimity they displayed in withdrawing a Bill which they had put before the House and country. The Attorney General said he was going to press the Bill, but he has told an untruth—It has been withdrawn. And what have the Government been doing? I know some of them have been enjoying themselves pretty well; but where is the Report of the Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works? Where is the Postmaster General’s Report? Where is the Report of the Surveyor General? All the accounts are closed down to the 31st October, and one would suppose they had plenty of time to make them up by the time the House meets; but here the Session is well advanced, and scarcely any of the Government Reports before us. Some of them have been away in England, and it is said they met with a very hearty reception, but where have the rest been?
I came up here once, and there was not a single member of the Government to be found. Mr. Fulton was the governing power then. As to this Bill, as I said before, I think it will prove beneficial, but if, in speaking upon this or any other question, I see fit to touch upon other matters affecting the general welfare of the public, I shall do so without asking permission of the Secretary.
Mr. Beckwith.—This discussion is taking a much wider range than I supposed
it would have done, but as I have no past difficulties to complain of, and no evils to redress, I shall confine the few remarks I make to the question before us. These are, I think, many strong reasons why this Bill should pass. It is probable that the Houses both here and at Ottawa will meet in the winter, and hence if a member held a seat in both he would have to leave one or the other vacant, and we may be very sure it would not be the one at Ottawa.
Then it is probable that many questions will arise, in which the General and Local Legislatures will not agree. No doubt laws will be passed here which will go to Ottawa and be there discussed, and these men who were in the minority here might there be able to wield an influence sufficient to have it repealed. It is evident that a man cannot faithfully serve two masters or two interests, and therefore he should not be placed in the awkward position of being compelled to sacrifice the interest of either of his constituencies. I think the rule should also be carried out in Canada, and it is probable that it will be; but even though it should not be, we shall not suffer by it. Neither do I think that because it was not put in the Act of Union any reflection should be cast on the delegates. They did right I think in leaving it to the decision of the people by their representatives, and they expressed the general feeling of the people in doing so.
I will say one word as to the militia. I am not one of those who look upon the old system of training for four days as the cause of so much vice and immorality. I have seen quite as much drunkenness—for that is the immorality referred to—at our Agricultural Exhibitions, at our Crown Land Sales, at our Fairs and Races as I ever saw at a training; and to say that we should not prepare ourselves for war in times of peace, is the same as to say that we should not obtain engines till our houses are on fire. I do not fear for the future of this country. I remember the war of 1812, for I was a boy then, and I know the position of the United States then was no better than ours is now. There were troubles all along our borders, but small as we were then, I know that their attacking forces were always driven back, and in some cases whole regiments were captured, and I have no apprehension that we should fall a prey to them, now that we are in a so much better position, even if they tried to subdue us. I do not believe in the Prussian system of taking all the available strength of the country and converting it to military purposes, but I think a plan will be decided on that will prove quite effective without being a great burden upon the people.
Hon. Mr. Tilley.—Although the hon. member for Westmoreland appeared very much alarmed as to the future of this country, I thought it was but in appearance, and it must now be highly satisfactory to the House and country to know from his own lips that he does not feel that alarm and dread which his words would have seemed to imply. As to his forbearance this Session in not opposing the Government, I thank him for it, but with all his forbearance he cannot withhold using very strong language toward us. For example, he has called us a cowardly Government; but I know that we have not shown ourselves to be so.
When my hon. friend was in the Government with us, I think we fought out the question of the Intercolonial Railway, and I am sure we did not exhibit any such spirit in the question of Union. We took our stand and went to the people upon it. If cowardice was shown in Nova Scotia, I am sure there was none in New Brunswick, and I defy him to put his hand upon one act of the Government which will bear such a title. The only case that I know of where there was an exhibition of cowardice, was in the case I have referred to, when within the last fifteen months a Government took a stand on the question of Union by submitting it in the Speech from the Throne and then backed out from it directly they came upon the floors of the House. I deprecated the introduction of expressions of the opinions of Mr. McGee or any one else, and my hon. friend says that he speaks for his Government; but how can that be the opinions of the Confederate Government?
That Mr. Howe, as he says, may be in the Legislature at Ottawa, is within the bounds of possibility, but that does not affect what he may have said in Nova Scotia. It is true, his speeches, as reported, have not always been acknowledged, and it may be the case with Mr. McGee. He may have been reported as uttering expressions which he may never have used. The hon. member says he is not for a Legislative Union, but at the same time he acknowledges that he would rather have that than a Federal Union. He charges the delegates with being away a long time and not doing anything. That might very well apply to the delegation of 1865, but not to that of 1866. He does acknowledge that we have got more money than we should have had under the Quebec Scheme; well, that’s something we did. But we did more; we decided on resolutions as the basis of Union; we obtained the passage of an Imperial Act of Union; we got the guarantee for the Inter-colonial Railway, and we also obtained concessions on the Bill which many thought we could not get. I think this looks like something more than glorifying ourselves.
Mr. Smith.—What about the white satin breeches?
Hon. Mr. Tilley.—I never saw them. I have heard a good deal about them, but I have not been fortunate enough to see them. My hon. friend is mistaken as to the white satin breeches; you know when he was there, although he had the honor of an interview, it was in morning dress. Well Sir, since the matter has been referred to, I may say that we went by command of Her Majesty. We went once in morning dress and afterward received Her Majesty’s command to appear in full dress. But, Sir, we did not feel that the honor was to us personally, but to the people of New Brunswick, and to us as their representatives.
The hon. member asks if we are to enact history over again? I answer that, in some cases, the people of this Province are prepared and willing to enact history over again. The old arrangement of training occupied four days, and then we came down to one, and it was not found to be as good; for everybody then said, what is the use of drilling a man one day in the year? he does not learn anything. I believe the people now are ready to move and go into this matter with all their heart, and fit themselves for any emergency which may arise. There are in these Provinces at the present time four hundred thousand efficient militia men enrolled; and suppose we could, in times of danger, call out but one hundred thousand of these, would the knowledge that we had at our command such a force be sufficient in itself to prevent an ordinary aggression?
I think the people are prepared to do something more than they have in this direction, and if any measure, with the object of putting the militia on a more efficient footing is introduced, I think it will meet the approbation of the people. My hon. friend has referred to the Fenians, and asks if their coming had not some effect on the elections? I think it had, and a most decided one, for when they came and said they were prepared to assist the Antis in preventing Confederation, the feeling in favor of Union at once became more general, for the people saw that in that alone was safety.
He talks about the gloomy future, but I am not afraid of our prospects. To-morrow, in order to prepare the way for the assimilation of our commercial relations with those of the other Provinces under Union, I shall bring in a Bill relating to our fiscal and tariff arrangements, by which the duties on certain articles will be reduced four per cent; but I suppose my hon. friend won’t support that. I do not doubt, however, but that we have full powers to act in this matter. He says that the Attorney General expressed an opinion in favor of dual representation in public. I did not hear him, but I saw in the papers that he had made some remarks tending that
way. But the hon. member is aggrieved because it was not put down in the Act that it would not be permitted. We were all unanimous on the subject, but had no power to deal with it, and even if we had possessed the power, it would not have been expedient to do so.
Mr. Smith.—It is a novel idea that the Delegates had not the power. Why, they were acting as the representatives of the Home of Commons, and had full powers to decide on any question affecting the interests of the Dominion. The Secretary says he is going to bring in a Bill to alter the Tariff, and says it can be done. When I asked him the other day to take stock in Western Extension he said it could be done, but I find that it is denounced in the other branch, and that consequently the Government are not going to do it. So they have changed their policy on that question, it seems. He says that we have four hundred thousand men enrolled as Militia, but I ask him what our revenues are to keep up these men in time of war, or how long they would last to keep up a standing army of one hundred thousand?
Our people are thoroughly loyal, but I do not believe they are willing, at a time when things are in such a bad state, with flour at $11 or $12 a barrel, and distress prevailing everywhere, to keep up a large body of standing Militia. Now he takes credit to himself for what was done in England; but I say if changes were obtained in the Quebec Scheme, the present Government cannot take the credit, for they pronounced that scheme faultless. I find that some changes have been made for the better, but many more for the worse. He has now made public the fact that the Delegates had two interviews with Her Majesty; I thought there was but one. He says it was no honor done to him, but to the people.
Well, if that is the case, I think we ought to see the dress in which he appeared—they say it cost £60. I saw that while in England the Secretary was presented with an address, in which he was lauded to the skies for the sacrifices he had made. It gave the whole of his political history, and it seems strange how they became acquainted with it all. The papers state that he was so choked with emotion that he could scarely reply. I suppose it was all right, although I should like to know something of the great sacrifices which he has been called upon to make.
Mr. Johnson.—The debate has taken a much wider range than I thought it would have done, and some remarks have been made that I feel called on to allude to. Reference has been made to Confederation, and a gentleman has been named who does not reside in the Province, and if I remained silent it might be thought that I concur in what has been said. Mr. Howe has been from my earliest infancy my tutor. I always have looked to him as a leader worthy to be followed, and if now he is attacked, it must be remembered that it is Howe attacking Howe.
When I first came into public life I met Mr. Howe at Stubbs’ Hotel, in Saint John, and my hon. friend who was present will remember the man with the high shirt collar. Well, we had some conversation,—but I will not say what it was. I will speak of him as a Colonist, and when I heard and read what he said to the British Government, I thought it strange that a men who had gone to the United States and had to sleep in different beds every night to escape detection, I say I thought it strange that he should say to the British Government that we should not go into Union lest the United States might take umbrage and take measures to annex us. When he, as a Colonist, pandered to the men who, for the commercial advantages which might arise to England from prolonged peace and amity with the United States, were willing to prevent our uniting together, I thought it very strange, and I felt that through troubles arose from it, and this were the battle ground, the people of this Province would boldly and bravely stand up for the defence of their homes and hearths against the United States in such a cause.
I do not think the United States Government want to annex us, but there is a power behind them urging them on. Howe said that if we were united it might give offence to a foreign power, and I felt, as a Colonist, that England would consider us wanting in that pluck and self-reliance which has ever characterized the English race. My hon. friend from Westmorland has said that it is intended to make us all soldiers, and that it will be no better than it is in Prussia. But I would ask him if we can show me a nation more high in patriotism, in position and prosperity than Prussia? If the making us all soldiers will make us like that country, we need not be afraid of it; I believe in making a man fit to fight, even though he may not have to do it. On the principle of the Bill my hon. friend and I concur, but as reference was made to Mr. Howe I thought it best to make these remarks. I do not think it is judicious to bring him into discussion; but if he is, and is lauded, all we have to do is to show what his past life has been and what he is now.
Hon. Mr. Tilley.—The question has been asked me, why it is that the hon. member for Westmorland takes up so much time in denouncing Confederation? Of course, it is expected to have some effect. We all know that is the policy of the opponents of Union to get as many of their number at Ottawa as possible, and these speeches now will save a good deal of time at the hustings, as they are all reported in the papers and Debates.
My hon. friend asked, What has Confederation done thus far? He says the people are poor and the times are bad. We have not yet entered into Confederation, and therefore it cannot be expected to have done much for us, but thus far even it has had the effect of giving confidence in the capabilities and resources of the country to be developed under Confederation to persons who would otherwise have left the country. He says I changed my views, but he knows that I was willing to get the very best terms possible, and if we could not get any changes made then I was willing to take the basis of the Quebec Scheme And he asks, Who should take the credit for the changes made?
Well. Mr. Chairman, certainly not those who have been from the first opposed to Union on any terms. If my hon. friend had changed his position, as many others have done all over the Province, and which he says he has not done, then he might have taken some of the credit to himself, but not now. He says we are all to be made soldiers, and asks where the revenues are to come from to support a standing army? But it is not intended to call them out and keep them up, but only to place the Militia upon a good footing. He says I indulge in a good deal of self glorification, and referred to an address which was presented to me by my Temperance friends, asking how they got their information. Well, they did not get it from me. I am not the man who talks in the House or on the platform of the personal sacrifices I have made. He says I was choked with emotion.
Well, I did not know that I was able to do much that way, but that is a forte possessed very strongly by my hon. friend. I remember when I was lecturing on Union in Westmorland some one said to me, “You should come the pathetic as Smith does,” and hon. members well know that peculiar tremor in his voice, so fitted to create an impression on his listeners, when he feels deeply on any subject. Seeing that my hon. friend is not free from this, I may be well pardoned if, on an occasion like that, I should find a difficulty of expressing myself, and my friends may have thought I was more deeply affected than in reality I was. As to the expressions of praise I have remarked that as a general rule our friends pile it on a little too much one side, while our enemies do the same thing the other side. I have to apologize for taking up so much of the time, but it was called for by the hon. member for Westmorland travelling out of the record to make Confederation the cause of the distress and dullness which prevails, when in reality we are looking forward to Union to remedy it.
Mr. Chandler.—I see no purpose to be gained in prolonging this discussion. The question of Union has been gone over and over again, and it is well picked to the bone. When the Delegates went home we thought too many were sent; but the work before them was great and wanted all the light that could be thrown upon it. They have done their work and done it well, and the people are satisfied. A great deal of ridicule has been casto on what was done there; but, sir, when our Delegates went home we expected them to conform to the manners of the people and the usages of society. Did my hon. friend from Westmorland expect they were going to eat soup with a horn spoon, or burgoo with their fingers?—(laughter.)
When they appeared at Court for presentation to Her Majesty they were dressed as very body has been since the days of Charles I.; and, sir, it must be remembered that when franklin went home as a Delegate from the United States he appeared before King George III. in just such a costume. I have heard a good deal said about the dress and the perturbation of feelings exhibited. It is said that one of our Delegates got up at three o’clock in the morning to wriggle himself into his white satin breeches, but I don’t believe it. However, they accomplished their purpose, and I have heard but one expression of opinion upon the result. We now look forward to see the lumberman, the agriculturist, and every department benefitted by the Union upon which we are about to enter. It is time that many young men who have gone away from Charlotte because there was no work of a remunerative character to do, but I know that many of them hold themselves in readiness to come back directly the country shows signs of being able to give them a comfortable means of support.
Mr. Smith.—The Secretary seems to like to make fun of men. He quotes from private conversations I have had with persons, and says my style of speaking is pathetic. My voice may not be so clear and full—I may not be so finished in my style, so eloquent or so great a purist as the Secretary; but I think that he begins to feel that his glowing descriptions of the prosperity we were to enjoy under Confederation are not going to be realised. He says he never talks about the sacrifices he has made, and for very good reason—I never knew him to make any. Ever since he has been in the House he has held an office with a salary of £600 a year, and so he never made any sacrifices.
As to what Mr. McGee said, it was not that the Militia were to be put upon a good footing, but that we were to have a universal armament, and that we must have a Legislative Union shortly; and I referred to him because he is a public man and a member of the Canadian Government. When I spoke of him I spoke of a public man whose acts and words may be criticised; but when the Secretary referred to Mr. Howe he spoke of a private man, which was wrong. I have not the ability to defend Mr. Howe as he should be, but the question on both sides has been argued out and is before the public.
I dare say my remarks are are tedious to some hon. members, going over the same ground again and again, but I am here to represent the country and cannot let statements go unchallenged, and so shall refer to Confederation and the events which occur around us,—in Canada, in England, or anywhere else,—and shall not ask permission of the Secretary, either.
The question upon reading the Bill section by section was then taken and carried in the affirmative.
The Bill was then read and agreed to without further debate.