Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings: Confederation (10 March 1865)

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Date: 1865-03-10
By: Nova Scotia (House of Assembly)
Citation: Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings, 23rd Parl, 2nd Sess, 1865 at 79-84.
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FRIDAY, March 10.

  • (p. 80)


Mr. Locke presented four petitions from the township of Shelburne against the Union of the provinces. He also stated that he noticed in one of the papers a telegram that Canada was going to take certain action on the question of Confederation, and therefore he wished to know whether the government had had any correspondence on the subject.

Hon. Pro. Sec. replied that the government had received no official communication from the government of Canada upon the subject, but at the same time he made that statement he thought it right to add that the substance of the telegram, as it exactly appeared, was communicated to him by a member of the Canadian government. He did not regard that as an official communication in the real scene of the term.

Mr. S. McDonnell said he noticed that the petitions presented on the subject under consideration were styled “with regard to Confederation.” He considered that these petitions were, to all intents and purposes, against the scheme.

Mr. Locke said the good sense of the country would tell at once that they were against Confederation.

Mr. P. Smyth presented a petition from Ship Harbor, in Inverness, against Confederation.

Mr. Robertson expressed his opinion that all the petitions were not really against the proposed Union.

Hon. Att. Gen. replied that the people wished time for the consideration of the question. They were certainly against legislating upon it this session, but they did not express any opinion adverse to the scheme.

Mr. S. McDonnell said that the Attorney General could not, by any amount of ingenuity, construe these petitions in any other way than that they are opposed to Confederation. They were opposed to the consummation of the measure at the present time, and there was not a single word in them in its favor.

Mr. Miller was surprised that gentleman should argue the question. Petitioners said they did not wish the house to deal with the question, but to leave it to them to decide in reference to It. They gave a significant hint what they would do with it if they got hold of it.

Hon. Atty. Gen. supported bis position by reference to the state of things that occurred in connection with the measure touching the Incorporation of the Counties that was before the house some years ago. The fact that the people said they wanted time for consideration proved that they had not yet made up their minds either to oppose or reject it.

Mr. Stewart Campbell said that the petitioners not only expressed their anxiety lest this measure should be passed during the present session, but they wished to obtain from the government a pledge that it would not be carried through until it had been first passed upon by the people at the polls. The house had now been in session for a month, and a large number of petitions, containing very many signatures, had been presented, and he thought it was about time that the government of this country should relieve the people from the anxiety they now felt lest this measure should be passed through during the present session.

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