Newfoundland, House of Assembly, Debate on Confederation (13 February 1865)


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Date: 1865-02-13
By: Newfoundland House of Assembly, The Newfoundlander
Citation: “House of Assembly”, The Newfoundlander (6 March 1865) & “House of Assembly”, The Newfoundlander (9 March 1865).
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The Newfoundlander

St. John’s, Monday, March 6, 1865.

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

MONDAY, Feb. 13.

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The house met at three o’clock.

The hon Receiver General laid on the table of the house a return showing the duties that would be payable upon our imports for 1863 under the tariff of Canada, as asked for by the hon member for St. John’s West, Mr. Renouf. A similar return for 1864, was in the course of preparation at the custom-house, and would be laid on the table when completed.

Mr. Wyatt presented a petition from Robert Thorburn, and other member of the Commercial Society of St. John’s, which was received and read, setting forth, that petitioners had been informed that the subject of a confederation of the British North American Provinces, based on certain resolutions adopted at a convention of delegates from each of the Provinces, held at Quebec in the month of October last, was to be brought forward at an early day for the consideration of the house; that petitioners were of opinion that a step involving such momentous consequences as the union of this colony with the neighbouring North American Provinces, should not be essayed until some further time had been allowed for the collection of information and statistics, and for the consideration of the subject by the constituencies of the several electoral districts, and by the inhabitants generally, many of whom had not yet heard that such a confederation was contemplated; that any union, to be mutually beneficial, must be founded upon a uniformity of interests and objects, and that, so far as the limited information of petitioners extended, no such uniformity existed between Canada and this Colony; that the Canadas, being essentially manufacturing and agricultural countries, have always pursued a protective policy, while Newfoundland, which produces few, and must import most of the necessaries […]

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[…] of life, in payment of which she exports her own produce, will ever be benefited by a free trade policy; and praying that the house would take no action to bind or pledge either the Government of the Legislature to the proposed union, until information has been obtained which will clearly demonstrate it to be for the advantage of this colony, nor until an opportunity has been afforded of consulting the people on this important measure.

Mr. Wyatt, in moving that the petition lie on the table, would make a few observations. That petition was signed by most of the leading merchants of St. John’s, now in the country, and if an opportunity were afforded, he was satisfied that it would be signed by many others who were not resident in the capital. It was based on resolutions adopted at a special meeting of the Commercial Society, called for the consideration of that question. There was only one dissenting voice at the meeting, and he (Mr. Wyatt) believed that gentleman had afterwards withdrawn his opposition. He mentioned that to show the unanimity on the question. The Commercial body had no reason to feel gratified at the reception given to their petitions. Not very long ago they made a recommendation to the government as to bonds, which was not acted upon, and the revenue had since suffered considerable loss, which would have been avoided had that recommendation been acted upon. That petition might appear to have emanated from a class in the colony; but it expressed the opinions of an immense number of all classes.

The merchants, trading community, and fishermen, agreed that that [sic] question ought not to be settled in the existing House of Assembly. Time should be given for its consideration; and it was for the friends of confederation to prove that it would be beneficial to the country generally. So far as information had yet been furnished, its advantages did not appear to be such as would induce them to give up their present constitution as a separate colony. He represented himself a constituency of nine or ten thousand. It would not be fair to them without consulting them, to decide upon entering the confederation, which might be afterwards a matter of regret. His own opinion was that if we entered into confederation with Canada, Newfoundland would be nowhere, and before he would give a vote on the question in that house, to pledge his constituents, he would go and see them, and learn their opinions respecting it, the prayer of that petition was very moderate. It merely asked for time; and he (Mr. Wyatt) trusted its prayer would be acceded to. It might be objected that the petition came in rather late, on that question; but so early as the 6th December a letter was addressed to the Government by direction of the Chamber of Commerce, asking for information; and they were informed, in reply, that the Government were not in possession of further information than had been published in the newspapers of the town.

After mature consideration it was decided to have a meeting of the Commercial Society, and the result was the petition now presented, which he trusted would receive at the hands of hon members that attention it was entitled to. It was signed by those who represented the greater portion of the wealth of the colony; and if it could be shown them that it would be for the benefit of the colony to enter into the Confederation, they would readily become parties to it. But until then they would oppose it—They were determined to go hand in hand with the fishermen. Their interests were identical. It had been said that the merchants had their private place, where they attacked others. He denied that. They had no desire to impute motives to any parties.—They desired to see that question decided on its merits.

(To be continued)

The Newfoundlander

St. John’s, Thursday, March 9, 1865.

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

MONDAY, Feb. 13—Continued.

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Mr. Shea—What new matter was that which we had now from the Commercial body? That was not the petition which was on the table of the Commercial Room on Saturday. The petition, however, was a very proper one, as were the hon gentleman’s observations also. But notwithstanding it was a class petition to conserve their own interests. But he might ask whether the interests of the merchants were identical with those of the people at large in this matter Their object was to amass as speedily as possible the means to leave the country and live elsewhere. If they had had their wish there would not have been a mile of road in the colony. They objected to all taxation, Was this the first time they petitioned the house? Did we not find that Responsible Government was opposed by the commercial body, and that some of them left the country on account of its being introduced? They had suddenly become free traders. If they had their own way the colony would not have had representative institutions to this day.

When free trade with the United States was proposed, it had not more determined opponents than the commercial body. The petitioners were very respectable men. He admitted their respectability, but he must repeat that was a class petition. The petition stated that Canada pursued a protective policy—so did the United States. It said we would benefit by a free trade policy. He (Mr. Shea) agreed with the petitioners. But when free trade was proposed none were more violently opposed to it than the petitioners. They seemed now to have an extraordinary fit of alarm. Who told them, or any person else that the question of confederation would be forced through this session? Not a single word was uttered since the commencement of the session by any supporter of confederation to show that there was through the house. There was nothing he (Mr. S.) would deprecate more than to force the matter without affording full time for its consideration. If there had been a general concurrence of opinion on the question in the house and throughout the country, and if the neighbouring colonies had proceeded with it, it would have been perfectly legitimate to dispose of the matter this session.

But in the divided state of public opinion such a course was never thought of. These gentlemen were unnecessarily alarmed. He did say that the supporters of confederation in the house were too deeply impressed with a sense of their responsibility, and the duty which they owed to the country, to press the matter hastily. They knew that however successful it might prove, those who took an active part in carrying a measure of that kind would get very little thanks for it, while they would be subjected to blame by all who might be disappointed. The hon member said the recommendation from the Chamber of Commerce was not attended to when they suggested that the Customs’ duties should be made payable in cash. And the government were right in not attending to them. He said it was an attempt on the part of the men of wealth to crush the middleman. Customs’ bonds had been in use for over thirty years, and until a recent case no loss was sustained by the revenue through them. It was a legitimate case for that house to interfere to sustain the industrious man of good character and limited means. Some persons had signed two petitions on that subject, one for and one against the payment of the duties in cash.

The subject would probably come up again, and we would then have an opportunity of discussing the benefit to the rising importers by the present system. It would appear that the petitioners had already made up their minds on the question of federation, that it would ruin the country. It was not the introduction of Canadian capital in our trade, or the active competition of Canadian merchants and traders that alarmed them. The hon member who presented the petition said they had applied to the government for information. But he (Mr. Shea) did not see what right these gentlemen, however respectable, had to information from the government beyond other parties. The Legislature were the only parties entitled to priority of information. The prayer of the petition, however, could easily be complied with. Delay was the proper course under existing circumstances, with the opinions of the people throughout the country, as well as in the Legislature, so much divided, it would be most improper and unjust to press the question to a decision. That was a conclusion which would have been arrived at if that petition had not been presented.

Mr. March.—You might search all over the world without finding men occupying a leading position having so much property involved as the merchants of Newfoundland, highly educated and with a perfect knowledge of our trade and resources. Last Saturday he witnessed what he never before had observed in his life, high and low mixed together to consider this great question. He thought, when men had sustained such heavy losses as our merchants had suffered last year and some years preceding they were entitled to much credit for the way in which they had acted towards the planters and fishermen. He would say now, as he had frequently said before, that there were no men in the world more liberal in giving away their substance to sustain the fishermen and trade of the country. And were these the men to he sneered at when they came to this house with such a reasonable petition on that important question? The hon. member said they went away when they realised fortunes. But if they did, did they not leave their representatives behind them? The house he (Mr. March) had been connected with for years, had £180,000 afloat last year, and he need not say that they sustained a loss by the year’s business.

And the fishermen bad come to understand who were their friends, and who came forward to sustain them. Who would give the supplies a few weeks hence, for the seal fishery? He trusted in Proaidvince [sic] smiling on the energies of the hardy men who were proceeding to the ice; and if they were successful, they would bring in abundance. The hon member said he would give time for the consideration of that question. But if he could have carried if he would have pressed it through the house. But he now found that public opinion was excited against him, and therefore he said its decision ought to be postponed until next year. But, were these his sentiments from the first? He (Mr March) said nothing should be done hastily until the people had time to consider it. That was a solemn momentous question, and be felt grateful that that petition had come in. There never was a better feeling than now between the several classes of the community. The fishermen could not exist without the merchants, and the merchants’ profits were realized from the labour of the fishermen, and both seemed to be more convinced of their mutual dependance [sic] than at any former period.

Mr. Shea—The hon member has made a misstatement which he (Mr. Shea) would not allow to pass uncontradicted. Who authorised aim to say that if he (Mr. Shea) had his way the measure would be passed this season?

Mr. March—Yourself. You said you would dispose of it, and if your constituents did not like it, they might reject you at the hustings.

Mr Shea—The hon member did not understand the question. He (Mr Shea) felt the responsibility of the question too much to do anything of the kind. From the very first he said it was too serious a question to be disposed of without due consideration, and that he did not desire that it should be carried by a narrow majority. What he said was that these were his opinions on the question, and if his constituents did not like these opinions they must choose a representative whose opinions they approved, not that he would carry it without consulting them. He (Mr Shea) would state his opinions when he went before them, fairly and openly, and would submit himself to their vote; but his opinions were his own. He did not blame the merchants for leaving the country; but he did say that their interests were not identical with those of the people of this country, who intended to remain in it and make it the home of their children. He regretted the merchants did not remain permanently, and direct their attention to those improvements which occupied the attention of merchants in other places. That question must be settled by those who were able to instruct the people on its merits. A great question like that, requiring cool and careful investigation, was not to be disposed of by clamour. It should be approached calmly and carefully. The best minds and clearest intellects in the country were required to elucidate it.

Mr. Whiteway—This question of confederation had worked wonders. On every occasion heretofore, the hon member Mr March strongly advocated the rights of the fishermen, and now for the first time in his life he appears as the apologist of the merchants. Such a course however was unnecessary, for nothing had been said that he (Mr W) was aware of, disrespectful to that body. The hon gentleman had said that this great and important question ought not to be influenced by clamour. But he (Mr W) believed that it was the clamour of that hon member and others like him which had induced the commercial body to send that petition to this house, hon members had gone forth and made the grossest misrepresentation of what had been stated here. He (Mr W) never heard the hon. member for Placentia and St. Mary’s, Mr. Shea, say that he would force this matter through this session. Such a course he believed was never contemplated.

The question was entirely new to this country. It had been under the consideration of the other colonies for years past, but we had never interested ourselves in it, and until the past autumn the question had never been submitted to us. It was only lately that we acquired any satisfactory information on the subject. The petition just presented to the House was entitled to all the consideration which the hon member, Mr Wyatt, asked for it. And he (Mr W) felt convinced that every petition, no matter from whom it emanated, would always meet with due consideration in that assembly. But this was avowedly a class petition, and as such should be cautiously dealt with, for unfortunately the gentlemen who had signed this petition were apt to change their opinions, and in support of what he stated, he (Mr W) had merely to refer to the action of the Commercial Society in 1863, when they passed a resolution as to advisability of paying all duties in cash and doing away with the Bond system. The resolution which was sent to the hon Receiver General was as follows:—

“That it is advisable, and recommended by this Society, that, in future, all duties be paid in cash, and that H. M. Government be informed of this Resolution, in order to take any steps they may think advisable thereon.”

Shortly after this resolution was received by the Receiver General, a petition, which he (Mr. W) would read, was addressed to his Excellency the Governor in Council, as follows:—

“We, the undersigned Merchants and Importers of St. John’s, having been given to understand that the Commercial Society have passed the following Resolution, viz:  

“That it is the opinion of the Commercial body that all duties should be payable in cash, with the view of its being sent to the Executive for action thereon, beg leave to express our dissent therefrom.

“By allowing importers to give Bond for Duties amounting to over £40 sterling (which formerly was £25) is a great accommodation to the trade, and considerable advantage to the revenue, as in case all duties were made payable in cash, the outports, with the exception of Harbour Grace (and this is a great consideration) could not possibly pay their duties in cash.

“We, therefore, humbly submit these our opinions, and trust that as the revenue has not hitherto (so far as we know) sustained any loss from the manner in which duties have been paid, according to law, there will be no alteration made, unless, on a full investigation, it be found advantageous to the country generally.”

This petition was signed by Messrs. Job, Brothers & Co., and by fifty other importers, and was sufficient to show that unanimity did not prevail amongst the mercantile community upon public questions, any more than in other quarters. Now this petition was presented to the Legislature, praying for the continuance of the Bond system, and was actually signed by men who had voted for the resolution, and who were members of the Commercial Society. When he (Mr W) saw that only two years ago these gentlemen changed their opinions in so short a time as two days, this House should certainly pause, and not hastily act according to the prayer of that petition. It might be that in a day or two we should have another petition from the same gentlemen with a prayer in favor of confederation. They say that all the country wants is time, and that in the abstract they were in favor of it. But was it right to set up class against class in this matter? Was it all pure philanthropy that animates these gentlemen “to scatter their supplies of hard cash,”—to use the language of Mr March? Did they not hope for an ample return for the capital which they had invested here in trade? He wondered that the hon member, Mr March who was so fond of quoting Scripture had forgotten the text applicable in this case, that he did not exclaim, “Does Job serve God for naught?” Did the merchants expect no return? He (Mr W) always understood that no action of a definite nature was to be taken on this question this session. There was never an intention of forcing it. Therefore this petition was unnecessary and uncalled for, as it only prayed for what the house had determined on long ago.

Mr. Glen was glad to hear the assertion of the hon member, Mr Whiteway, that there was no intention of forcing this question. But this change had been effected by the voice of public opinion, and by the stand which he (Mr Glen) and his hon colleagues had taken in the matter. It was their intention to have forced it; and that was the opinion which he (Mr Glen) held in common with every right thinking man in the community. When they found that it would have been impossible to carry it, they tried a measure which was very nearly successful. They said you are only required to affirm the principle, and we will go to the country on it. That desire had been persisted in until last Friday. He (Mr Glen) considered that it was necessary that they should be carefully and vigilantly watched yet. He had asked the hon Attorney General for a copy of his resolution a fortnight ago. Why had it not been laid before the house? It was not treating this house with proper respect, and tended to a continuance of that alarm which existed in the public mind. The hon member, Mr Kent, when Premier, always had his resolutions before the House in ample time to discuss then. The only object which he (Mr Glen) had in opposing the matter was that he did not wish it to be decided until they went to the country.

Mr. Kent said that when the question of Confederation had first come before the house, he had expressed his opinion in favor of it, but he had at the same time stated that nothing should be done without submitting it at first to the people. He was of that opinion still. The Merchants had an undoubted constitutional right to petition this House, and when it was considered how respectably that petition was signed, he felt that it would receive every consideration to which it was entitled. It was a petition which would have no weight with the country at large. He thought that the condition of the people of this country was very similar to that of Ireland; both countries had but one branch of industry to rely upon. In Ireland Agriculture was the staple industry, and the people had to contend against the landlords, who were the most powerful and influential class. Here we were limited [sic] to the fisheries. The merchants possessed the capital, and could make what terms with the people they liked. If we could call up other pursuits to relieve our fisheries, we could create sources of employment which would render our operative population independent of the fisheries, and the consequence would be an increased measure of material prosperity. Whether Confederation would da this or not, he (Mr. Kent) was not prepared to say. It was entirely for the consideration of the people.

Mr Rorke was not in the House when this discussion began, but he had seen the petition and considered it was a very reasonable one. It was a most momentous question, although it should have been divested of all the acerbity which characterises political movements. He was sorry that that had not been altogether the case. He was not aware that it was the intention of the Government to have forced this matter through this session. He was surprised to find hon gentlemen opposite changing their opinions about the merchants so very quickly. They consider them even honest good men; well truth will out, and he was glad to hear such acknowledgments from them. He would not detain the House at present, but he trusted that when the mutter came to be fully and properly discussed, hon gentlemen would approach it in a calm and proper spirit.

Mr. Prowse.—The petition before the House was undoubtedly a class petition, but it emanated from a class whose respectability and influence necessarily gave it great weight. Looking at all the circumstances surrounding this question, he (Mr P) could not but regard that petition as premature. Taking up the speeches of the delegates as published, and also the strong expression of opinion from other hon members of this house, could not the movers of this Petition see that it was not the intention of the Government to force this question through this house, this session? The assertions of hon members on this point could not have been stronger. The petition, he had no doubt, was well meant, but it was uncalled for and unnecessary, and there had been nothing in the speeches of hon members of this house, to warrant the alarm which appeared to be so universal amongst a certain class, and of which this petition had been the result.

The hon member, Mr. March, deprecates the use of claptrap, and yet the hon gentleman actually talked of selling the country to the French Canadians. Could there be any viler or more obnoxious claptrap than that? Had not hon gentlemen stated that the Councilors [sic] were to receive £100) a year? Did they not know that to be false? Of course they did—It was a gross perversion of the truth, and they who uttered it knew they were stating what was false. Was not that claptrap? If men were guilty of wilful perversion of the truth, they were guilty of claptrap, and failed in their duty to their country and to their constituents. He (Mr P.) had great respect for the petition just presented, but there was no occasion for it. There was no desire to press this matter on either side of the house. It merely asked for what the Legislature had already determined on, and was therefore in his (Mr P’s.) opinion premature.

Mr. Renouf could not but express his delight at the remarks of the hon member for Placentia and St. Mary’s, Mr Shea, that there was no desire to press this matter through the house this session. However this side of the house owed the hon the delegates nothing. It was only on account of the manly stand taken by him (Mr. R.) and colleages [sic] that that had taken place, Up to Friday last, they were persistent in their determination to press this matter. What dip the refusal to give the resolution shew? Simply that we were to be taken by surprise, and this matter forced upon us. Now what a wonderful change had come over these gentlemen. They found that by dodging, they could not carry this question, and new with an assumed magnanimity they assure this house. that they never had any desire to press this question, or even have the principle affirmed by a mere majority. The action which we had taken in this matter was precisely the same which hon members in the other colonies had pursued. He thought that the petition before the house was a very respectable one. Every man had a right to petition this house, whether he were a prince or beggar.

This petition dictated no terms, it merely asked for time to give it proper consideration. Was that an unreasonable request? Certainly not. He (Mr R.) was not in the house when this petition was presented, but he had heard the observations which the hon member, Mr. Shea, had made upon it, and he thought them most insulting and irrelevant to the subject before the house. He (Mr. R.) had the highest respect for the merchants who embarked their capital in the trade of the country, thus giving employment to the operative population. Could the Canadian merchants do more for us than our own did at present? He (Mr. Renouf) doubted whether they could afford us any benefit whatever. Capital and labour went hand in hand; and would we not rather see twelve mercantile houses rise in commercial prosperity than one should fall? Was it not a well known fact, that Mr. Walter Grieve had lost more than £20,000 during the last two years; was it not impossible for us to live without the merchants? He (Mr Renouf) was glad that this House had determined that this question of Confederation should be settled by the people. He considered that they were the proper persons to deal with it, and, therefore, could not endorse the opinion of Mr Prowse, that they were too wooden-headed to understand it. All that we contended for was that we had not the power delegated to us to definitively settle this matter without appealing to the people, Will hon gentleman guarantee to us that they will not take a vote in this matter? If so the country would be perfectly satisfied. Then we would be able to believe them. We would have to watch them carefully still.

Mr. Wyatt could not agree with hon members when they said that this petition was premature. The Commercial Society had good reason to believe that it was the intention of hon members to press the matter this session, and thus pledge the country. They had not before them at present that statistical information which was necessary to induce them to give their consent to any hasty legislation on the subject. They had before them the opinion of the hon Atty. General that his resolutions, if passed, would pledge the country, and for ever settle the subject of Confederation. He thought that they had a perfect right to present this petition. They wished that this matter should be carefully and attentively, considered, and that the people of the country should have ample time to discuss it. He did not think that the Commercial Society, when they asked to be furnished with information, and with copies of the documents received, had asked for anything that was unfair or improper. The merchants had a deeper stake in the interests of the country than any member in this House. With reference to the statement of the hon member for Twillingate and Fogo, Mr. Whiteway, about signing double petitions, all he (Mr Wyatt) could say in the matter was that those who required it were not members of the Commercial Society.

Mr.Talbot supported the prayer of the petition, out of deference to the opinions of so respectable a body of men. One would think, however, that they were only a parcel of niggars. He did not agree with the eulogiums that had been passed on that body by so many honourable gentlemen. They were no doubt, a very worthy set of men, but he did not think that they had done so much for the country, that we should be alarmed and frightened by this petition, and hold up our hand and exclaim “oh! the Commercial body have petitioned the House.” No one objected more to claptrap then he (Mr. Talbot) did he liked to take up every question, hold it up to the light, and see what was it. He did not think that their action in this matter was entirely for the benefit of the fishermen. They were the ones who reaped all benefit of the earnings of the fishermen. Their profits were immense, indeed it would be difficult to ascertain their limits.

It was admitted, however, that they would not stop there if by the process of grinding, they could grind anything more out of them before they left the country to spend their money elsewhere. They had certainly a perfect right to do this. There was then no great compliment between the fishermen and the merchants. They certainly do not bring their capital to this country; a few might have done so, but, as a general rule it was all made here. They make their money and spend it elsewhere, and leave the country as denuded as if a shilling had never been earned in it. If the merchants, after having made their money, settled down in this country and extended their business, it would be one of the happiest countries in the world. Had the merchants ever established factories over the country to afford employment to the people when the fisheries were over? No, therefore we see so much destitution and suffering. He (Mr. Talbot) was opposed to confederation, as it was at present. He would like it if in reality it was confederation. He would however, like to see some beneficial result that would flow from it.

Mr. Casey was of opinion that the petition from the Commercial Society was as much entitled to respect as that from any other society in the country. It was foolish for hon gentlemen to say that the interest of the merchants was not the interest of the fishermen. Their interests were bound up together, when the one was successful, both were benefitted. His (Mr. Casey’s) opinion on this matter was not altered. However, he would refrain from making any observations upon this great question until the 15th of the month. He thought the petition was in very good time, and deserved the earnest and thoughtful consideration of every member of this house.

Mr. E. D. Shea.—It was very stale common place to say that this petition was entitled to respect. It was unnecessary for non gentlemen to have taken so much trouble to prove what every one admitted. That petition was the result of misconception. It had been represented to the merchants and every one interested in the matter that it was the determination of this house to pass this matter the present session. Had it not been universally expressed that there was no such intention, so often did hon gentlemen declare that they did not believe it. It was of course necessary for them to make up a case, so that we might appear as traitors, and they as the saviours of the country. They had no other way of lifting themselves up into a little popularity. It was perfectly true that the hon. Attorney General had said that if the resolution which he intended to prepare were passed, it would pledge the country. But did he not also say that he would place it on the table of that house for hon members to deal with it as they pleased. If so, how could it be contended that there was a desire to press the matter during this session? It was all very well for hon. gentlemen to say they disliked claptrap. But how could they get on without it? Did they not now find it very useful to serve their purposes? This petition only asked for what the house had already determined to give—ample time for the fullest enquiry to be had and the question thoroughly tested. If confederation were then adopted every one would be satisfied.  

Hon. Attorney General wished to make a few observations on some remarks that had fallen from the hon. member for Trinity, Mr. Wyatt, to the effect that the Government had not treated the Commercial Society with that respect to which they were entitled. The Government were only too happy at all times to furnish the Commercial body with any information that it was in their power to afford and which would be proper for them to give. It was the duty of the Government in the present matter to lay the documents which it had first before the Legislature. There had been an application to be furnished with all documents on this subject, and they were told that the Government at the time were possessed of none that were not already in the public papers. Despatches that were received afterwards, were with the Report of the Delegates, laid before the house.

These documents had been furnished to the Chamber of Commerce. It was, however, only right and proper that the representatives of the people should have them first. He (hon. Attorney General) thought that the Commercial Society had nothing to complain of. It had certainly been his intention to lay before this house a Resolution which, if carried, would have definitively settled the question, and if the other Colonies had entered this Confederation now, he should have felt bound to place the matter before the house this session for adoption or rejection.—Now, however, there was no necessity for such a course. He would, however, say that in this proceeding the delegates were in no way responsible. Entirely with himself must that responsibility rest.

Ordered that the petition lie on the table.

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