Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings: Union of the Colonies (12 April 1865)
By: Nova Scotia (House of Assembly)
Citation: Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings, 23rd Parl, 2nd Sess, 1865 at 221-238.
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DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF NOVA SCOTIA. 1865.
WEDNESDAY, April 12.
UNION OF THE COLONIES.
Speech of Mr. Archibald
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Mr. Archibald, in rising to second the resolutions upon the table of the house, said:— I feel that after the great length at which the hon. Pro. Sec’y has adverted to the scheme of Union propounded at the Quebec Conference, it will be out of place for me to go very largely into detail, and I shall therefore content myself with calling the attention of the house to some matters to which he did not refer at great length. That hon. gentleman, in order to convince the house that he and those who acted with him in the advocacy of this question of the Union of the Colonies, had ample authority for the course they pursued, had referred to the public meetings held from time to time, in this city, and to the recorded opinions of the public men of this country delivered at different times in favor of the project. He might have gone farther and stated that, at no meeting of a public kind—at no public gathering— and upon no occasion, when a public man ad dressed an audience in favor of Union, had there ever been found a dissenting voice against it. If then this could be taken as any evidence of the state of the public mind, I think that the advocates of this measure had a right to assume that the feeling of the country was largely in favor of Union.
But while the hon. Provincial Secretary has alluded to the public opinion of this country, I will remind the house that there is another public opinion on this subject, which cannot be ignored. A public opinion which must, and has a right to exercise a powerful effect upon the decision of the question—I allude to the public opinion of the statemen and people of England. This opinion, too, has undergone a great change. It must not be forgotten that till the occurrence of recent events the circumstances of the past have not been such as to induce British statesmen to look with much favor upon any large or general Union of her colonies. The last union that took place, and to which the attention of British statesmen has naturally turned had the effect of wresting from her power thirteen of her most valuable colonies, which formed the brightest gem in the diadem of the British crown.
We can easily understand then how they would be inclined at first to regard with doubt and disfavor any projected combination of all the British North American Colonies. It was not to be wondered at then, that when this subject has from time to time been brought to the notice of the Imperial authorities by colonial statesmen it received little encouragement. So late indeed as 1857 when delegates for this province pressed the subject upon the attention of Mr. Labouchere, the then colonial minister, it was quite clear that the smaller union of the Maritime Colonies would have been preferred by the Imperial authorities to a union of the whole. And it is very probable that had the position of affairs on this continent remained the same as then, the feeling of antagonism on the part of the mother country to a general union of the British North American Colonies, would have been continued to the present time. But let me contrast for a moment the changed aspect of affairs, and it will be readily seen why it is that such a revulsion of feeling has taken place in the public mind—across the water—upon this question.
Four year ago, when British statesmen looked to America, they saw thirty millions of people engaged in the arts of peace—the cultivation of the soil, the construction of railroads and canals—the building of cities—the creation of manufactories, and development of every branch of art and industry. In fact the reign of materialism appeared to be firmly established, and the rule of the ” almighty dollar” supreme. British statesmen then, in view of these circumstances, had a right to assume that in the absence of any great and unexpected convulsion among these people, they had no reason to anticipate difficulties or complications with them. But now how changed was the scene—that great nation once devoted to the arts of peace, had suddenly been turned from a nation of farmers, artisans, and merchants into a nation of soldiers. That nation now had in the field the largest armies the world ever saw, and had increased their naval strength more rapidly than any other nation in the world. And instead of the spirit of peace—the war spirit pervaded the whole country.
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In view of this changed aspect of affairs, then, was it much to be wondered at that British statesmen should regard these colonies with very different feelings from those which animated them at the period I referred to. There is another reason, too, why Great Britain should regard the British North American Colonies in a different light than when she lost the thirteen colonies in 1783. At that time they formed almost the whole of her colonial possessions. It was not until 5 years after the peace of 1783 that the first colonist set his foot in Australia. Now we find in that country no less than six distinct governments, with the dimensions of European kingdoms, and with the revenues of principalities. New Zealand, was then untrodden by the foot of the white man. It is now a confederacy of colonies.
The British possessions in South Africa have swollen from a port and a town to an enormous colony. The 150 millions of British India (formerly governed by native princes, or a commercial company,) are now under the direct rule of the Queen of England. At that time Canada West was a wilderness, a few trappers and fur traders being her sole white population. Now we find scattered over the globe, over thirty colonies of the British Empire, all, more or less, involving the Parent Country in responsibilities ; all draining, more or less, the national Exchequer. Is it to be wondered at then, that in view of the altered circumstances of the times, Englishmen should begin to think that the time had arrived when it was the duty of the colonies to assume some responsibility and to relieve the mother country of, at all events, some portion of the burden of their defence. This feeling would be found to pervade every debate that had taken place on the subject in the British parliament.
As long ago as 1858, when Mr. Gladstone was examined before a committee of the House of Commons, on the subject of the colonial defences, he declared that the time had come when the colonies, with the privileges of freemen which were accorded to them, must be prepared to bear a large share of the burdens and responsibilities of freemen. That declaration had been repeated over and over again in his public speeches in and out of parliament, and not only by Mr. Gladstone, but by public men of all shades of politics, and by the press without distinction. Not only had this opinion been expressed, but it had to a large extent been acted upon, and at this moment the entire military expenditure of India has been thrown upon her own resources, while the same policy was about being applied to New Zealand. Not only is this the case, but for several years despatch after despatch has been sent from the colonial office to Canada, informing her that the time had arrived for the colonies to wake up to the necessity of relieving the mother country from at least a part of the burden of their defence. That while exercising the rights and privileges of freeman, they must also assume the responsibilities and duties which that position involved. I think, therefore, that no one can question the fact that the time has arrived when a change is about to take place in the attitude of England towards her colonies; and that, whatever we may think of the matter, her statesmen had arrived at the conclusion, that it was necessary we should share, to some extent, the military expenditure which our connexion with her entails.
I shall refer, for a moment, to the observations made in a recent debate in the British parliament by a statesman of the highest character, and who occupies a position entirely independent of the government of the day. Lord Derby, in alluding to the present position occupied by the colonies, said:
I will ask hon. members to recall to themselves the state of North America when we met in this house four years ago. That portion of the world was then divided among what we may call three great Powers —first, the United States of America; secondly, Canada, and the settlements and dependencies belonging to our own Sovereign ; and, thirdly, Mexico, a country which certainly did not possess much political power, but which in extent, resources, fertility of soil, and mineral wealth was almost unequaled in the world. In every one of these three divisions there have been immense changes. In the United States a civil war has raged for four years, and even if that war should terminate, as the hon. member for Bradford suggests, I cannot believe that we shall see the same society and form of Government established, or even, if the form be the same, certainly the spirit will be altered, as existed before the civil war commenced. (Hear.)
It is quite clear. then, it is impossible to know what relations may exist between the United States, this country, and Her Majesty’s dependencies on the other side of the Atlantic. Taking these large views, then, we ought to consider that—not to morrow or next year, but that we are on the eve of event of very great importance.
In the opinion that we are on the eve of great changes on this continent Lord Derby agrees with the general sentiment of England. The very fact of large armies existing upon our borders, which to all appearances will soon be thrown idle upon the hands of the nation, is in itself sufficient grounds to warrant apprehension for the future. For however peaceably, disposed the majority of the right thinking portion of the American people might be, everybody knew how difficult it was, in a country where the democratic element ruled, to control the impulses of the masses. While, therefore, I trust that the day is far distant when the present friendly relations between the two countries is disturbed, it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are strong reasons for fearing that if the present contest should be suddenly terminated, there would be danger of an interruption of the peaceful relations which now happily subsist.
There are some indications at the present moment of the state of feeling which existed in the United States towards Great Britain which are pretty significant in their character; and I shall read to the house an article from the New York World in which they are summarized. The writer, after commenting upon the anxious desire of Canada to preserve neutrality, says:
But this just and amicable disposition is met, on our side, by an intemperate and undignified exhibition of touchiness and spleen. The acts by which this waspish irascibility is manifested form a long catalogue:—
- The annoying and expensive passport system, ordered by Mr. Seward, which has nearly destroyed the business of the Canadian railways.
- The notice given by our Government for the termination of the convention mutually limiting the naval force on the great lakes.
- The passage by Congress of a joint resolution for abrogating the Reciprocity Treaty.
- The reporting to the House of Representatives, by the committee of Ways and Means (Jan. 18), of a bill for putting the frontier defences in the most efficient condition. Among other appropriations this bill makes the following:—For Fort Wayne, at Detroit. $125,000; Fort Ontario, at Oswego, $100,000; for Fort
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Montgomery, at the outlet on Lake Champlain, $100,000 ; for the forts at Portland and other places in Maine, $700,000.
- The resolution offered by the chairman of foreign relations of the Senate, looking to the abrogation of the stipulation in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty for the mutual surrender of fugitives from justice.
- The bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Mr. Littlejohn (January 19), for the construction of a ship canal around the Niagara Falls ” of sufficient dimensions for the passage of gunboats and vessels of war.”
The house will perceive that every one of these acts has taken place since the commencement of the year. It is impossible, then, for anybody to avoid seeing that, however unjust and unfounded it may be, a feeling of hostility and irritation has grown up in the minds of the American people, and a desire exists, whenever the fitting opportunity comes, to revenge what they considered the humiliation of the Trent affair, to retaliate for the offences of the St. Alban raiders, and the depredations committed upon northern commerce by ships fitted out in English ports.
This it was that induced British statesmen to look with an anxious eye upon events that were transpiring around us, and which called forth this language from Lord Derby :
“Of these two measures (referring to the repeal of the lake armaments and the reciprocity treaties) it is impossible not to say that they are adopted in a spirit of hostility to this country. [Hear, hear.] One of them throws open questions of the most delicate and difficult character. The American people have derived, as they do not deny, great commercial advantages from the reciprocity treaty, and its termination is advocated only on the avowed ground that Canada derives still greater advantages. One effect of the termination of that treaty would be, if I am not mistaken, that the whole of the complicated question of the fisheries, from the settlement of which the United States have derived incalculable advantage, would at once be thrown open. [Hear, hear.]
I am old enough to remember what serious complications and difficult questions connected with the fisheries occasioned, and how near to the point of war, they led this country and the United States ; and now all these questions are gratuiously, and apparently without the slightest reason, thrown open at the risk and danger of war—than which, nothing could be more deplorable—between this country and the United States. [Hear, hear.] It is not a little significant. too, that at the same time, when the abrogation of this commercial treaty lays open all these points of danger and difficulty, there is another step taken to abrogate another treaty. For a long period the lakes have served as the means of peaceful and profitable commerce between the two countries lying alongside each other ; but I can recollect a period in the late American war when there was a race of ship-building on the two sides of the lakes, end when the party obtaining the supremacy in that matter gained the control of the lakes. [Hear, hear.”]
When Lord Derby used these expressions in reference to two of these measures he did not allude to the resolution which is the fifth in the catalogue read, and which, in my opinion, exhibits a more determined feeling of hostility than any of the others. I allude to the notice to abolish the extradition treaty. Could anything be more significant of the extent to which these feelings had grown than the fact that a statesman like Sumner should, in his place in Congress, coolly contend that this treaty, the principle of which is regarded by all countries with any pretensions to civilization as a necessary safeguard for the punishment of crime, and which is founded upon the principles of common justice and humanity, should be terminated. This declares, in effect, that a man who committed murder in Canada and fled to the United States, or who committed any similar crime there and fled here, should enjoy immunity from punishment of his crime. Surely no stronger evidence than this was needed to show how far the feeling he had alluded to had gone in the United States.
If then the fears to which I have alluded should unhappily be realized, in what position I would ask would we be in? On this point I shall call the attention of the house to the opinion of Mr. Cardwell, than whom no man is in a better position to judge, than whom no man has greater responsibilities, or would be more likely to weigh well the meaning of his words before he uttered them.
He uses the following language :
“I cannot express the feelings of regret with which I should view any controversy between the United States and the subjects of the Queen. I should look upon it as a calamity unequalled by anything the world has ever seen.”
This then is the opinion of a responsible minister of the crown, as to what is likely to be the nature of that war if we should be led into it.
Truly then if those whose posit on and opportunities entitle them to be the best judges of the character of the war when it comes, entertain these views, it behoves us to make some preparation for so frightful a contingency whence it shall arise.
What provision, I would ask, do Englishmen consider ought to be be made?
Hear the opinion of Mr. Foster who introduced the subject to the notice of the Parliament. He says :—
” The principle was becoming every day more established that the relations between this country and the colonies of British North America were very much on the basis of an offensive and defensive alliance between two self-governing communities united together by allegiance to one legitimate Sovereign.”
What attitude then ought we to assume in reference to the new duties devolving on us.
Is it not natural for British statesmen to look upon the Union of the Colonies, as a means of defence? Do they not feel, have they not a right to feel, that the effect of Union would be largely to improve the possibility of defence?
It is a favorite argument against it to say that by Union, we will obtain no more money, no more men, and how is it possible then for Union to improve our position? It is true we have no more means, no more men, but what we have is concentrated, there would be one heart, one soul, one purpose, one controlling power, extending over the whole Confederation, from Sarnia to Sydney.
Suppose this argument had been used at the time of the American rebellion, that instead of concentrating their forces, and their means, each State had acted upon its own responsibility, does not everybody know, that instead of being able to maintain a war for seven years, against the greatest Naval and Military power in the world and then to establish their independence, the result would have been very different.
I hold in my hand the observations of a distinguished […]
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[…] writer in the United States, which are exceedingly apposite to the subject under discussion, and which, with the permission of the House, I will read.
The writer is speaking of the necessity of a concentrated power, where offence or defence is concerned and says :
” A Government authorized to declare war, but relying on independent States for the means of prosecuting it—capable of contracting debt and of pledging the public faith for the payment, but depending on thirteen distinct Sovereignties for the preservation of that faith, could only be rescued from ignominy and contempt by finding those Sovereignties administered by men exempt from the passions incident to human nature.”
I think that these observations made by the writer in the serenity of the closet, not under the influence of the excitement of a partizan, are entitled to great consideration and weight.
There is another point to which I wish to draw the attention of the House, and from which some valuable hints may be had from the same source. Many persons have been frightened into the idea that a union would be injurious to the best interests of the Province. They will perceive that the same style of argument was used against the adoption of clauses in the Constitution of the United States.
I read from the same author :
” This feature of the Constitution gave rise to most animated discussion, in which reason was employed to demonstrate the mischiefs of the system, and imagination to pourtray, them in all the the exaggerations which fear and prophecy could invent. Looking back, indeed, to that period with the calmness with which we naturally review events and occurrences, which are now felt only as matters of history, one is surprised at the puerility of some of the objections, the absurdity of others, and the overwrought coloring of almost all which were urged on this head against the Constitution. That some of them had a just foundation need not be denied or concealed, for the system was human, and the result of compromise and conciliation in which something of the correctness of theory was yielded to the interests or prejudices of particular States, and something of inequality of benefit borne for the common good.”
I would ask if that is not the same ordeal that we are passing through now, and precisely the same as any country, that attempts any organic change in its constitution must experience.
The objections to it were not more exaggerated, than that these which are urged against the scheme, now before the people of this country.
If he had wished to describe what had taken place in New Brunswick, and was now going on in this province, it would have been difficult to have done so, in more graphic terms than that used by the writer he had just quoted.
Now sir, I have said that British statesmen look upon Union, as the best mode of providing for the defence of these Colonies, in time of danger, and from the remarks of Lord Derby, it would be seen that he never contemplated the possibility of its being rejected by the Colonies, but rather looked upon it as a thing already passed. But what says the press of England, that exponent of public opinion, what says the London Times, which every Englishman reads, and which however much it may be sneered at by some, largely moulds the opinions, not only of the British nation, but of the civilized world. What do we find in its columns on the subject?
“But for war, and the forays, raids, and other outrages that lead to it there is no reason why every province should not be politically independent of its neighbor. We unite for security, and the greater the danger, or the more powerful the possible aggressor, the larger the union necessary for self-defence. To England it is a matter of very little importance whether she sends one Governor or half-a-dozen to her American Colonies and the relations of those communities, one with another are only a matter of local convenience. But we are approaching a very different state of things. The Government at Washington sees, as it believes the beginning of the end, and now announces, with more confidence than ever, that this is the last campaign and that this very summer will see Federal unity not only restored but ready for Federal action. They make no secret of their intentions to present an enormous list of demands, which they are quite aware we, shall not acknowledge, and which, indeed, they do not wish us to acknowledge.”
“In the event of a war with the states it is clear that all our Provinces must be placed under one military command. Do what we will, no unity of administration that we can establish will be equal to that of the invader. If this disadvantage be urged as an argument against the very attempt, it is our duty to reply that the Provinces farthest outlaying from the colonial centre, and most obnoxious to the attack of the foe, are just those which would most depend upon our aid. That gives us a special voice in their case. If the Maritime Provinces seriously intend to adhere to the British Crown, it is impossible to say what fleets, what garrisons, what ironclads, what ordnance we shall have to pour into Halifax and the other ports, all at our cost. Having, then, an additional right to speak in this case, we venture to say that if Nova Scotia and New Brunswick seriously intend to be loyal they ought to act accordingly, and declare for Confederation.”
- Foster in his address uses this language,
” Therefore we had a right to call upon the North American colonies by organization and union to assist in their own defence, and to prove their patriotism by a willing contribution of money and of men.”
Now I would ask are we in the face of all this prepared to tell the people of England that we dispise their advice and reject their counsel. That although it is the opinion of British statesmen and the British press, and the British people, that union is our only safety, we think differently. We will be loyal only in our own way. We will accept the protection of the British forces and fleets, but this must be given on our terms, not on theirs. Is this the course we should adopt?
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It is clear that the moment the colonies manifest a disposition to separate from the parent state, that moment will the connection be severed. There will be no disposition on the part of England to force us to remain, while on the other hand, the greatest statesmen of the parent country have affirmed in unmistakable terms that if the Colonies wish to be loyal, the power of old England will be used to protect them from aggression, all they ask is to put ourselves in a position to make our defence more easy.
I have heard it stated over and over again that England may forsake Canada and retain Nova Scotia. This I consider a perfect fallacy, and I defy anybody to produce proof in corroboration of such an idea, either from documents emanating from any English statesman, or from any speech delivered by any public man in Parliament. But even supposing it were true, what position, I would ask, would Nova Scotia be placed in? It would not be the first time that she has been the battle ground of two great nations. When Canada and Cape Breton were French, and the rest of North America English, Nova Scotia was the arena upon which the struggles of these great powers in this contest too place—struggles which were continued till the extinction of French power in these Colonies. Surely, no one would desire to see that state of things reenacted; and yet, if the idea of the abandonment of Canada were realized, we would be in even a worse position than we were in during the contest I have alluded to. But such an idea is absurd. The moment that the bond of connection between Canada and the Mother Country is severed, that moment we also cease to be a possession of the British Crown.
Whether united with Canada by Confederation or not, we are bound together by a common fate and a common interest, and we must stand or fall together. There is one point that I intend to advert to for a moment, and that is to shew the reason why Great Britain has a right to dictate to us the method of our defence. No other such frontier as that which divides Canada from the United States exists between two great countries. In its length it is unlike any other,—and there is another peculiarity about it, that whilst the frontier of most other countries is defended by those who live behind it—in the case of Canada alone part of the forces which defend it has to be brought from some three or four thousand miles away—while the great centres of population of the assailing force are at our doors.— Therefore, I think, if Great Britain is obliged to defend a frontier so extensive as this, she has a right to give some advice, and we have a right to listen to her advice as to the course we ought to take, and the attitude we ought to adopt on the question of defence.
It has been asserted by some that the temptation to the United States to take possession of Canada is greater than against Nova Scotia.— I am rather inclined to think that the temptation is the other way. Let us look for a moment at the character of the two countries. There is no doubt that Canada in her agricultural resources, is a great country—that her extent and value are enormous; but the Western States are largely of the same character. The prairies of Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, afford ample room for the settlement of the surplus population of the United States for a long time to come, and Canada could give her nothing in this respect that she does not already possess.
But, when we turn to Nova Scotia, we find she possesses a source of inexhaustible wealth not to be found along the whole seaboard of the United States. We find clustered along the coast large centres of population, engaged in arts and and manufactures, for whom warmth and light have to be provided, while the material for warming and lighting them has to be sought for abroad. We find this material supplied in in exhaustible quantities by a country just, at their doors, separated from them only by a political line. We find their comfort and their commerce dependent largely upon this little colony, and if their public men look at it as their private me look at it, (who have already come down and peaceably acquired a large interest in our coal fields, with a shrewd eye to the future,) I think that so far as temptations for conquest are concerned, the coal fields of Cape Breton are as likely to be coveted, as the fields and the plains of Canada.
There is another matter too, which should exercise some influence upon the public men of the United States—we happen to possess a population of some 20,000 men, engaged in the fisheries and navigation. To a country desirous of extending her naval power what greater inducement could be held out than the prospect of adding 20,000 sailors to her navy? While, therefore, the possession of that number of men in time of peace when engaged in the prosecution of this valuable branch of industry, is most important to any country. Any one who knows how Northern commerce has been swept off the sea by a few Southern vessels can understand how we should suffer if the dogs of war were let loose upon the 8000 vessels which constitute our marine, and upon whose safety and earnings depends so much of the benefit and prosperity of our people. When the calamity of war does come we need not flatter ourselves either that it will not fall upon us, or that if it does fall on us, that we shall be less sufferers than our neighbors.
The hon. Pro. Sec. had referred to another subject which had always largely entered into the consideration of the question—the construction of the Intercolonial Railroad. I appeal to those who have always attached great importance to the completion of that work whether there ever was a time when its most sanguine advocates could have anticipated that it would be accomplished upon terms so advantageous to the Province, as those now within our reach. Surely if there should be any weakness in the other arguments in favor of Union, the prospect of the immediate realization of this great enterprise is one which ought to have great weight. The advantages that Nova Scotia would derive from the completion of this work have been so often dilated upon that I do not consider it necessary to refer to them at the present moment further than to say that with Nova Scotia, the great forefront of the continent, behind us, with Halifax, the great entrepot of the markets of the far West—with steamers running—not fortnightly—but daily to Europe—with the mail communication not only of our own colonies but of the United States passing over our soil—with all the commercial and material […]
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[…] prosperity that such a state of things would produce, who can estimate the position we would occupy in a few years time should this Union be accomplished?
Let us look now at the United States before the commencement of this war, and see if the condition of affairs there does not present a powerful argument for Union. A population of three millions in 1773 grew into thirty millions by 1860. They presented a spectacle of progress in wealth, in arts, in civilization, in commercial prosperity, which amazed the people of Europe. Now it may be asked what produced the rapid and unprecedented advancement of this country? What produced such effects within the compass of a single life? It was, no doubt, owing to various causes. Fertility of soil, variety of climate, the education of the masses of the people, each and every one of these causes had its effect. But they had had the same soil, the same climate, and the same means of education for some 80 years before 1780, and yet the population had only reached three millions. What, then, was the main cause of all this? It was, that before 1780 they were divided, just as these Colonies are now. They had separate governments, separate tariffs, with hostile armies of Customs officers on their borders,— they had separate currencies, and were divided by sectional differences just as much as we are now. But the moment they were united under one government—the moment that the armies of officials which hampered and restricted trade in every State were struck off—the moment that the system was adopted by which an article entering the Union at one port could pass free to any other—from that moment a stimulus was given to trade and commerce and manufactures which has had no parallel in the world’s history. Contrast this state of things with the system pursued by the States of Europe. There fifty different States have at least five and twenty separate tariffs, and are obliged to maintain armies of Customs officials —embarrassing trade, and injuring the commerce of the country.
I am not prepared to say—it would be absurd to suppose—that by a union with Canada we will arrive at the same commercial prosperity as the United States have attained, but I do say that just as the union of those States has contributed to that result, so will our union produce corresponding advantages on a smaller scale. In connection with the opposition that this scheme has received, I would like to call attention to the fact that not only was the same style of argument used by the opponents of the union of the American States, but the objections come from the same class. At the close of the American war, when the pressure which had kept them together had nearly ceased to operate, the question of Union by a more indissoluble and by a closer bond, was brought before the American people for adoption or rejection, just as has been done in these Provinces—and it is rather singular that in that case as in this, the strongest objections were made by the smallest province.
We find that while the more populous States acquiesced in the propriety of Union, little Rhode Island, with a population of 60,000, took three years before she would accept it,—just as Prince Edward Island is now the strongest in opposition to the present scheme. While upon this subject, let me say, in reference to the relative size of these Provinces as compared with that of the American Provinces, before they went into Union, that there was not one of the thirteen States as populous as Lower Canada now is— that no two of them had a population equal to that of Upper Canada now—that two of them had a smaller population than Prince Edward Island, the smallest of the British Provinces, has now.
Well, the union ultimately took place, and what was the result? A degree of prosperity which has astonished the whole civilized world. And well do the people of the United States appreciate it. What is it that now stirs the heart of that great nation to its inmost depths? Is it not their attachment to union?—their consciousness that upon union depends, to a large extent, their character, their prestige in the world, their national position? Is it not this which has plunged them into the most sanguinary war which history records? Is it, then, all a chimera they are fighting for? I do not suppose—I am not desirous of conveying the absurd idea, that all that union has done for them it will do for us; but what I do contend is, that it will largely improve our trade, our industry, our manufactures; that on a small scale, to be sure, but, to a large extent, it will develope every resource we have, and improve our prosperity.
But it may be contended that the union I am arguing for is not the one which is contemplated by the resolution before the house. That is true; and yet it is not the less true that every argument in favor of the larger union is an argument in favor of the lesser. The advantages may not be so great, but they are in the same line; and there is nobody who argues for the larger union that does not feel that if that is impracticable, the lesser union is a step in the right direction.
They might shrink from undertaking both at the same time—many might suppose that it would be too great a shock to our social frame work, if at the same moment we were to construct the Union of the Lower Provinces by an amalgamation of our Legislature, and erect a central machinery at the headquarters of the Federation. There is, therefore, much to be said in favor of the smaller Union, when the action of New Brunswick has rendered the discussion of the other question not a practical discussion. In the Lower Provinces at all events there are no distinctions of race, of creed, of commercial or territorial interest to separate us—united, we should have a broader field a larger revenue, a less proportionate burden in the maintenance of civil government. If the time should come when we enter into Confederation, the Maritime Colonies, united, will form a more solid phalanx in the United Legislature—would be governed by a more united sentiment—would wield powerful influence. Therefore, whether this Union should end with the Lower Colonies or should expand to Confederation, it will be alike useful to us—and I have great pleasure, therefore, in seconding the resolution introduced by the Provincial Secretary.
Reply of Mr. Annand.
Mr. Annand then rose and addressed the house as follows:
Mr. Speaker—It is now about a year since a resolution was laid on the table of this house requesting his Excellency to appoint delegates […]
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[…] to consider with others from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island the subject of a Union of the Maritime Provinces. That delegation was appointed, and a conference took place at Charlottetown, and somehow or other the gentlemen who went thither were spirited away to Canada. Now, I hold that these gentlemen had no authority from this house to proceed to Canada to deliberate upon any other scheme than that contained in the resolution laid upon the table last session by the Provincial Secretary. We may be told they were invited by the Governor-General, and that permission was accorded them by the home authorities. But what did they do in P. E. Island? Any one taking up the papers laid upon the table of the house, will see that the question of the Union of the Maritime Provinces was scarcely taken into consideration at all. And I have it upon the best authority—from one of the delegates themselves—from a speech delivered at Toronto by Mr. McCully—that the question of Union was not even approached in a spirit to assure success. That gentleman said:
“I suppose you will hardly believe me when I tell you that the representatives of the maritime provinces, who had been convened for the purpose of securing a particular constitution for themselves, having heard your delegates, actually adjourned with their work unfinished, if I perhaps may coin a word, unbegun.—(Cheers.)”
That is the way in which these gentlemen discharged their duty to this house and the country.
PLEDGE TO SUBMIT THE SCHEME.
Let me turn your attention, for a few moments, to another view of this question. Those gentlemen have come here with a resolution, re-affirming the desirability of a Union of the Maritime Provinces. They held a Conference at Quebec—entered into certain arrangements there—adopted the larger scheme. I admit at once they were at liberty to confer on the subject, but I deny their right on behalf of the people to adopt any scheme compromising this country. What had we at the commencement of the session? We are all familiar with the agitation that took place immediately after these gentlemen returned from Canada—with the public meetings that came off in Halifax and in several of the rural districts. We all know the language that was put in the mouth of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, when he opened the present session. Was not one-third of his speech devoted to the particular topic of Union? The gentlemen who now surround him put into his mouth a pledge that the matter would be brought to the notice of the house at the present session. Why is it not here? Did not these gentlemen promise to bring this question of a Confederation of the whole of the Provinces before us. It is unnecessary that I should read from the speech of the Lieutenant Governor, because we are all familiar with it. But let me give an extract from a speech of the Attorney General of Upper Canada (Hon. J. A. M’Donald,) who made use of these words in introducing this subject of Confederation to the notice of the people of Canada.
“Every one of these governments (the governments represented at this conference) was pledged to submit the scheme of Confederation, as prepared by the Conference, to the Legislatures of their respective Provinces.”
Could there be language more explicit than that? Why, then, is not that scheme here? Hon. E. Tache, President of the Legislative Council and Premier of Canada, also said after the result of the elections in New Brunswick was known:
“Notwithstanding the expression of opinion given at the hustings in one of the provinces concerned, the government of Canada had determined to go on with the project by all the means they had in their power, (hear, hear), and although it might be painful to them to see their fellow delegates and friends of the measure defeated ; it did not follow that the new men entering Parliament in New Brunswick or in any of the other Colonies would be adverse to the scheme, which the Executives of those Provinces were bound to submit to their respective Legislatures.
Here again we have it from the lips of the venerable Premier of Canada that these gentlemen were pledged to submit the question to this house—that even in New Brunswick the Executive, formed since the elections, were bound to submit it to the people of that country. And have we not from the mouth of the Provincial Secretary himself a distinct pledge that the measure would have been submitted here. Let me here draw your attention to a report of his speech delivered at Truro, in which he pledged himself to submit this matter to the people if the house, and if they did not agree to it, that he would not remain a single hour a minister of the crown, without an appeal to the people. Let me read from the Colonist:
“Upon the subject of dissolution the Provincial Secretary declared that the duty of the government was too plain to admit of any doubt or dispute. They had deferred calling Parliament for a full month later than they intended, on purpose to give time, till the latest possible period, for agitating and discussing the subject in every possible way and manner. The dispatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies commended them to submit the measure immediately to Parliament, and he could say frankly that if those who could deal with it, after hearing all that could be heard or said on both sides, reject it, as at present advised, he should not remain Minister of the Crown a single hour without dissolving the House, and referring the subject to the country.”
In the face of these declarations, I ask how it is that these gentlemen dared to come down and present any other scheme than that which, through the Lieutenant Governor, by the leaders in both branches of the Legislature in Canada, and the solemn pledge of the Provincial Secretary himself they promised to submit to this house and this people. How does the matter stand? In virtue of the pledge made by the respective governments,—even after the result of the elections in New Brunswick was made known —the government of Canada brought the question up, and passed it in their Legislature by large majorities. In the little province of P. E. Island, where confederation has but few friends, the government, with a manliness that did them credit, brought down the scheme and were defeated upon it. What more? In New Brunswick, the gallant Premier, leading the government, went to the hustings and fell under the force of public opinion. And it is only in Nova Scotia that the administration, ignoring their functions as a government, shrank from the responsibilities of the position, and violated their solemn pledges and recorded engagements.
Passing now away from this matter, […]
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[…] let me say a few words to my honorable friend, the learned member for Colchester— generally termed the leader of the opposition. Certainly not the leader of the opposition on this question. And sometimes we put the query to ourselves, whether he should be recognized as the leader of the opposition at all? I do not say this offensively, but I feel that that hon. gentleman, on a question of such large importance as this, has ill discharged his duty to the gentlemen with whom he has long been associated, when he ignored the functions of the party that introduced responsible government into this country, and ventured to agree in Canada to adopt a scheme without reference to the people—contrary, as I believe, to the principles under which our government is formed. That hon. gentleman stated no opinion had been expressed against Union. But it must not be supposed in this case that silence gives consent. If the question of immediate union with Canada had been submitted to the house last winter, I believe it would not have been entertained at all.
The sentiment of this country has not come up to union with Canada. It is true we have had delegates from time to time, and eminent leading men have proceeded to Canada and England authorized to discuss the question in connexion with other matters, but you never had any measure submitted. You never had the question of federal union. Union in any form never was brought up in a practical shape. But, says the learned gentleman, the public opinion of England, previous to 1857, was opposed to a union of these colonies. So it was.
There was a party in England at that time who thought if these colonies were united they would become powerful and antagonistic to the mother country. I admit a different feeling has come over the British people in that respect. But let us look at the motive. England is governed largely by the mercantile interests; and the men of the Manchester school, looking at the enormous taxes imposed by Canada upon British manufactures and that in 1862 a proposition to grant a considerable sum of money towards the maintenance of the militia was thrown out, naturally look favorably upon a confederation or any scheme which, in their opinion, would not only have the effect of reducing the duties upon manufactures, but of throwing the burthen of the defence of the provinces upon themselves. Such is the belief of the British people.
Will they believe it now when the views of all parties are better known? When the perceive that the duties cannot be reduced under confederation? When they hear that the conference only proposed to give $1,000,000 for defences? Will they believe it when they learn that, even in Canada, there is a large party—including, it is said, even some of the members of the government themselves—who are not much disposed to keep up the connection with the imperial government unless they guarantee a war loan. We have been told about allegiance and loyalty, but what do we find in the Toronto Globe, the organ of the hon. George Brown, a personal friend of my own. In his correspondence from Quebec, we are told that there is a large party in Canada in favor of annexation—a sentiment which has been repeated in the editorial columns of the same journal. And the apprehension was wide spread, that unless the imperial government bleed freely, they will look for more intimate relations with the neighboring States. That is said to be the feeling of a large party in Canada.
WHAT THEY SAY IN ENGLAND.
We have been referred to opinions expressed in England. Lord Derby, we are told, expressed a strong opinion on the Reciprocity Treaty, and alarm in consequence of the notice that was given of its repeal; but when we have a government in England, we do not look to the opposition for the sentiments of the people of that country. We look to the government as the gentlemen representing public opinion.— Lord Derby’s observations, I may say, however, with regard to these colonies, were of the most friendly character—he was ready to defend these provinces at all hazards, and he blamed the government for their want of foresight; but I do not take his opinions as those of the people of England. Let me refer you to an authority equally as eminent as Mr. Foster, Right Hon. Mr. Fitzgerald, a distinguished member of the House of Commons who said :
“I differ widely from the hon. member for Radnorshire (Sir J. Walsh), who seemed to consider that the course lately taken by the American government in order to effect the termination of the convention relating to the limitation of the naval force of the two countries on the lakes was conceived, by the American government in a spirit of hostility to England, and that the termination of the reciprocity treaty marked a clear spirit of hostility to this country. I have never held such language, nor do I think it is justified. As to the limitation of the naval force on the lakes, the American government are perfectly justified in proposing it. What are the circumstances under which notice to terminate the convention is good? By a party of sympathiers making a descent from Canada, an American vessel was seized on one of the great lakes, it was only by accident that a second vessel was not seized ; and the object might have been carried out for the liberation of a large number of Confederate prisoners on Johnson’s island. Under such circumstances, seeing that there was nearly 2000 prisoners there —that an attack had been made on American property in American waters, I think the American govern- were justified in having recourse to this measure.”
There is the justification, and I consider it ample. Suppose the position of affairs were reversed, and that we were American citizens, and vessels were to be fitted out from the ports of our enemy—would we not resent it, and it there was a treaty in existence which prevented us arming boats on the lakes, would we not give notice immediately of our intention to bring it to a termination. I shall now produce a much higher authority—no one else than Mr. Cardwell himself, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Provincial Secretary, on a previous evening, spoke in the tone of the alarmist, as did also this afternoon, my hon. friend from Colchester—held out the bug bear of the notices given for the termination of the Reciprocity Treaty—for the abrogation of the treaty in reference to gunboats on the lakes, and for bringing the labours of the Fishery Commissioner to an end. All these facts were mentioned with the usual great emphasis of that hon. gentleman as illustrations of the spirit of hostility that influences the United States in respect to these provinces.
Now I do not think that gentleman, as a Minister of the Crown in this country, was warranted in indulging in that strain. My hon. friend from Colchester who does not bear the responsibilities of government. might say this, but it did not become the Provincial Secretary […]
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[…] to use the language he did in respect to a country with which we are peace, and with which we should ever remain so. What does Mr. Cardwell say in reference to the relations between the U States and the mother country?
“The hon. member for Bradford in the course of his eloquent speech wished me to answer two questions— viz. Whether we can truly state that our relations with the United States continue to be, as they have hitherto been, perfectly friendly. I can without reserve give him such an assurance (hear, hear.) The hon. member also asks whether in that correspondence which has not been given to the house there are not some documents bearing on the question of the Alabama. With equal confidence and with equal pleasure I can assure the house that I can give the hon. member the answer he desires. There are no papers in that correspondence such as he describes as bearing on the question as it stands between the two countries.”
Now with an assurance of that kind from so distinguished an authority as the Colonial Secretary why should we be startled with their alarm cries that we are to be overrun by the hordes of the States. But what does Lord Palmerston say?
“I am persuaded that the tone of moderation which has prevailed in this debate will be useful in Canada and the United States. * * * I can only confirm the statement of my right hon. friend that the relations of the two government at the present moment are perfectly friendly and satisfactory (hear, hear). We have no complaint to make against the government of the United States. They have acted in a fair and honorable manner towards us in all matters which have arisen between us.”
With these opinions expressed by the leader of the government in the house of Commons, why should our attention be directed to the London Times which is given here as an authority upon a matter of public opinion in England. I hold, sir, that the house of commons is the place to look for illustrations of public opinion in England, and for accurate information respecting the relations between Great Britain and the United States. We all know the character of the London Times. On the 7th March, a fire eating article was issued in the columns of that paper redolent with abuse of the British North America Colonies, a few days before this debate from which I have quoted took place. On the 17th the debate on the Defences came off, and on the following day the Times changed its tone, and was perfectly lamb-like.
My hon. friend from Colchester referred to the question of defence. He said, “See the advantage that we will in that respect derive from Union. You will have a concentration of men and money.” I contend that Confederation will give you no more money, no more men, and as to concentration you have now just as much as you would have then. We are told in the language of the Times that under Confederation we would be all under one military command. Let me ask, Who commands the torces in British America now? Is it not Gen. Williams at Montreal or Quebec? It is true that the Militia may not be marched out of the Province in the event of war, and I admit that it is our duty in the case of hostilities to assist our brethren in Canada and New Brunswick, but under the existing state of our law you can not move a single regiment of militia across the frontier. But does it require Confederation to do that? Cannot you, by a simple act of the Legislature, give the Governor the power to march out as many militiamen as you choose?
So, really isolated as we are said to be, the Commander-in-chief, at any moment, by agreement made between the several Provinces, can have the militia marched to the assistance of our fellow countrymen, and they in turn can be brought to us in the time of peril. Then we are told that British statesmen look forward to Confederation as a means of defence. Had they been told, as we were three months ago, that this Confederation was only going to give a million of dollars, what would the people of England have said ? What did they say in the debate to which I have referred ? The report of Col. Jervois was read, and it was suggested that Canada would contribute, not for defence alone, but for fortifications, the enormous sum of $6,000,000.
A million has been granted by Canada during the late session towards fortifications, not to be expended until the delegation learn whether they can obtain from England the guarantee for the war loan they wish. During the late session a million and a half—the half million for frontier defences—was given by Canada alone—or half a million more than we were told the entire Confederation would give. The gentleman who went to Canada, among other startling things, agreed to do this—to bind, as far as they could, these several provinces to contribute their share towards any sum of money that Canada might raise or borrow towards the defences of the country. That was denied by the delegates at one of the public meetings, but I hold in my hand an extract from a speech delivered since that time by Hon. J . A. Macdonald, and what do he say ?
“With respect to the defences they were now the subject negotiations with the Imperial Government, and the fullest information would be given to the house on that subject. He might mention that the Maratime [sic] Provinces, recognizing the peculiar position of Canada geographically, and its danger in case of hostilities, had most cordially agreed that an sum this Parliamen [sic] might vote for the defence of Canada they would undertake their share of.”
Mark! That Nova Scotia would undertake to pay a share of “any sum” the Canadian Parliament might vote for the defence of Canada. Then our loyalty has been questioned by the Times, by that well informed organ of public opinion that changes tone from day to day, whose correspondent was down here, and whose knowledge of geography was so extensive that he found himself in Toronto when he came to this province to meet the Prince of Wales. That individual characterized our women as “splay footed” and spoke of our country generally in the most contemptuous manner—who could see nothing in Nova Scotia worthy of notice, though he visited the fine towns of Windsor, Pictou and Truro. It has been long remarked that the sympathies of that journal are entirely with the Australian Colonies, and that its desire has been to shake us off. But we are not to be brow beaten and bullied into Confederation by telling us that our allegiance, which was never […]
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[…] questioned before, is to be tested by the fact whether we unite or refuse to unite with Canada.
WILL THE B. N. A. COLONIES BE GIVEN UP
Then we are told if Canada was given up, could we be retained—that when Canada falls, we share the same fate. I ask the plain question, Would Confederation save us? Would any union of the people of these Provinces- would any union of our means, unaided by the British Government, save us in the event of the Americans being determined to invade our country and possess it? I say no ; but what is the idea implied but not expressed by these gentlemen? The idea implied is this: the Home Government will not assist you unless you confederate. Now I challenge both of these hon. men to shew me a single passage from a despatch or a speech from a Minister of the Crown that will warrant them in using such language on behalf of the Home Government. I contend that if Canada was given up tomorrow or fell by force of arms, this Province would still be retained. I believe that England feels, and has felt for along time, that Canada is the weak point on this side of the Atlantic, and that it is the opinion of many British statesmen that if Canada were separated from England tomorrow it would be a great gain to the mother country, and imperil her far less. But there are interests peculiar to Nova Scotia—and in some respects to New Brunswick also, which must influence England to keep them in her possession.
When these provinces are gone, what hope can England have of retaining her possessions in the West Indies? Does any gentleman suppose that England, whose greatness is made up to a large extent by colonies scattered in different parts of the globe, is going to part with these sources of her power and prestige? With our inexhaustible coal fields and unrivalled harbors in the possession of an enemy, it must be only a question of time when the West India Islands would suffer the same fate. But I have no belief that the Americans have any design either upon Canada or the maritime colonies. I think that at a time not very far back, when this harbor was the resort of blockaders—when raids were made from Canada across the frontier—when there was much excitement in consequence of the fact that Canada was filled with Southern sympathisers, and the impression was rife that that Province had not done justice in respect to the raiders,—that then a feeling of hostility existed which is fast passing away. The Canadian Government have made ample reparation, and by their recent. conduct have succeeded in establishing a better feeling on both sides of the border. There will be no disposition, I think, when, this war is brought to a close, to invade these provinces; In the first place, the American government have already accumulated a debt of, £500,000,000 sterling charged with an extravagant rate of interest, that involves an enormous taxation. Their resources have been taxed to the utmost, and the time has come when they require peace. After, all, what would they gain by these provinces. Suppose they became possessed of Canada to-morrow, what would they have? a disaffected people on their hands, who at any time should renewal of hostilities with the South arise, would combine with them and cause them to lose their recently acquired possessions.
FREE TRADE AND CURRENCY.
Then the hon. gentleman has referred to Canada as being our true back country. I have never thought so. What is Canada to us ? Examine the Trade Returns. We are told that under Confederation trade would grow up to an enormous extent. I doubt it. But first let me say that our proper back country is New Brunswick, especially that part of it through which Mr. Flemming has been exploring for the Inter-colonial Railway. Although I know that her debt per head is larger than ours, and her tariff— is higher, still, looking at the future, a connection with New Brunswick would probably be attended with advantageous results. The hon. member has turned attention to the United States, and shown how much they have gained in late years. How much has Canada grown since Responsible Government was granted? Is it not a common remark, even with Americans, that Canada has increased more rapidly than any State of the Union? And see how we have grown ourselves, under self-government.
We are told that American prosperity is the result of free trade. I admit at once that free intercourse amongst the different States has been immensely conducive to the advancement of that remarkable people; but there are other causes that have tended to make her a great country. First of all, there is a great diversity of climate and production. In the south they produce cotton, tobacco, rice and sugar, and in the North they have manufactures; wheat and commerce; and, in addition to all this, there is free trade between thirty millions of people. Suppose you had a Union with Canada to-morrow, have you all these elements of wealth?
This question of free trade with Canada can be settled without a political Union; it is a delusion to say otherwise. You might, have had free trade years ago; it was offered to the people of Nova Scotia, as it was to those of New Brunswick. It has been refused by both Provinces, for very obvious reasons. In view of the building of the Inter-colonial Railway, it was thought it would largely affect their revenues. Manufactures are much more developed in Canada than either in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia; and under these circumstances, it was thought that a large amount of manufactures would flow into these Provinces, and thereby largely affect our revenue. Therefore it was wisely concluded that, until the Inter- colonial Railway was obtained, we would postpone the consideration of the question of free trade. To those gentlemen who are urging a political Union, for defence and free trade, for the purpose of assimilating our currency and our postal arrangements, I say that all these things can be obtained without Confederation.
They know that Canadian statesmen to-morrow would be only, too happy to meet you on that platform, and give you a free exchange of manufuctures. The question of currency might be, adjusted by the Financial Secretaries of the several Provinces in an afternoon; […]
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[…] and, in reference to defence, the Legislatures of the several Provinces could pass laws similar to each other’s, under which the militia of each might be called out at any time, without a political Union. We are told of one heart, and one soul, and one mind, in respect to the defence of the Provinces.
Now I hold that the British Government, as long as this Province remains a dependency, is the party to be charged with our defences; and I would draw out of our treasury a sum of money to be given by each Province every year, under an Imperial act, if you please, with the consent of our own Legislature, notwithstanding the strong language which the hon. Provincial Secretary made use of in respect to this matter on a previous evening. I would hand over this question of defence to the Imperial Government who possess the material of war, combined with the skill and science required in naval and military operations. Now you grant considerable sums for the militia, but how are they expended? Do they do a large amount of good? Would not any money you would give be expended much more satisfactorily by officers under the control of the Imperial authorities? Let each Province contribute liberally, according to its ability—and, so far, I have yet to learn that there has been any complaint made in regard to the sum of money contributed by this Province towards its militia and defences.
REPLY TO PROVINCIAL SECRETARY.
The hon. Provincial Secretary defended his action in reference to the Union question on the ground of the opinions held in this House, and elaborated from time to time by Mr. Howe, Mr. Young and Mr. Johnston, and also by a lecture delivered at Temperance Hall by Mr. McGee, which was most enthusiastically received, and on the conclusion of which a vote of thanks was moved by two of the gentlemen I have just named, to the lecturer. I would remind the Provincial Secretary that no action was ever taken practically upon this question. We have been told that a resolution was passed in the session of 1861. I was one of the delegates in 1862, and although the question of Union was supposed to be before us, the subjects that were really considered were Free Trade and the Inter-colonial Railway.
I may state frankly that there was no formal discussion at that convention on the question of Union. It was looked upon as a matter in the distance, to be consummated after an Inter- colonial Railway and Free Trade had been enjoyed for years by the separate Provinces. Then, I say, the hon. gentleman had no right to assume from anything that occurred there, that the people of this country, were in favour of Union, particularly such an one, as has been propounded for our acceptance. The city of Halifax is not the Province of Nova Scotia, and the expression of opinion that we hear there— which will be heard to-morrow night—is not that of the people. It can only be gathered by the votes of the several counties, and whenever the opportunity is given for the people to speak out on the question, they will do so, in a manner that will not be agreeable to the feelings of those gentlemen, who have attempted to strike down our liberties, and change our constitution.
Then we have been told Mr. Cardwell, the Colonial Secretary, is in favour of this scheme. Of course he is—as well as the people of England. The Colonies have been a heavy burden upon them, and any scheme that holds out a prospect of relief from taxation, is naturally acceptable to them. Now there are five British North American colonies, with which the Colonial Secretary must keep up a correspondence; and a Union of these would doubtless largely decrease the labors of the office
But we are told that the 83 gentlemen, who went to Quebec, were unanimously in favour of the scheme. They may have been very unanimous there, but, somehow or other, some of them changed their minds very quickly, when they returned to their respective homes, and were brought face to face with their constituents. We are t old too that the Press of England are in favour of the scheme. I respect much more the public opinion of our own country. We are the parties who are to be affected for weal or for woe by any change in our condition. How has New Brunswick acted? How is it that three-fourths of the recently elected representatives of the people in that Province have been returned to oppose the Union with Canada?
The Hon. Provincial Secretary has alluded to Representation by population, and defended it as a sound principle, and quoted Lord Durham as a high authority on the subject. If this system is right as applied to a colony, why is it not equally so, in respect to the mother country? Is it in operation in Nova Scotia at the present moment, or in any of the colonies, I ask the hon. member for Cape Breton opposite how it is, if this principle is right, that he sits here with only one colleague, when the small county of Queen’s, small in extent, as well as population, has three representatives. Is it right?
Mr. Annand—Cape Breton has a right to additional representation by other considerations than those of population ; look at her coal fields, and the vast amount of capital that is now developing the resources of that fine county. It is a round principle that property and clauses, should be represented as well as numbers. That principle was recognized as long ago as the time of the Union of England with Scotland. Some of the most convincing arguments that I ever read was delivered by Mr. Seton, one of the Commissioners for arranging that Union, on the very point that property and classes should be represented as well as numbers, and that the smaller number of representatives was given to Scotland in proportion to her numbers, was justified on the ground that England was a wealthier and more heavily taxed country, whilst the former had to bear smaller burthens of taxation.
Lord Durham, it should be remembered, highly respectable an authority as he may be, was considered a radical reformer, as the radical nobleman, and holding opinions opposed both to the Whigs and Conservatives of England. Is Earl Russell, the author of the Reform Bill, in […]
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[…] favor of the principle. On the contrary, he has over and over again declared against it, as inconsistent with the rights and privileges of large classes and interests in contradistinction to mere numbers. But Representation by population, says the Provincial Secretary, is a sound principle as applied to the Confederation of the British American Provinces He has said—and he argued the question at considerable length—that 19 members were as many as Nova Scotia, and 47 as many as all the Maritime Provinces were entitled to, in a House of 194. It must be recollected, however, that under Confederation you have separate interests if you retain separate Provinces, and whilst this is the case, you must expect difficulties to arise.
A difficulty applicable to this Confederation that might arise, was suggested not very long ago in one of the most celebrated organs of opinion in England. It was supposed to arise between the local Governor, appointed by the central Government at Ottawa, and his House or Assembly in Newfoundland. The matter is referred up to Ottawa, and as it is supposed to be a question that all the Maritime Provinces are interested in their representatives combine and sustain Newfoundland. Parties are close in the Central Parliament, and the result is, that with the aid of the 47 representatives of the Lower Provinces, the local, and supposed to be subordinate Legislature, triumphs over the central Parliament.
The matter is then finally referred to the Colonial Secretary, who if he interferes is sure to offend one or other party, a conflict of authority follows, the issue of which it is not improbable would be the destruction of the entire Confederacy. If the Confederation was formed to-morrow, I don’t believe it would last 10 years. It has not the elements of strength. At one extremity you have Vancouver’s Island and British Columbia, and at the other, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick—inhabited by people of the Anglo-Saxon race with their, indomitable spirit. Then between these, in the very heart of the Confederacy, we find the French population, cherishing opinions adverse to those of the Anglo-Saxon, and it is out of such discordant materials as these that you propose to found a powerful and united Confederation.
WHO WOULD RULE.
The Provincial secretary stated that these 47 Representatives would hold the balance of power in the General Parliament just as the Irish members do in the British House of Commons. It is true, they might. if they would agree, and pulled together ; but, as experience shows, only once, in the time of Dan. O’Connell, did they successfully unite in making a demand of justice for their country. They have since been divided, as we have been here, and as our Representatives would be at Ottawa. Do you suppose parties would cease under Confederation ? Would you not have gentlemen supporting the Opposition, and others, the Government ; and then what becomes of the argument of the 47 Representatives from the Maritime Provinces, holding the balance of power ? Those who happen to have the ear of the Government will rule Nova Scotia. Who will make the appointments in each Province? and the dismissals too? Why, parties who support the Government at Ottawa. You will not be able to appoint a single officer in the Revenue Department, in the Post Office, or to a Light House. At present the member for the County, who has the ear of the Government, can get his friend appointed ; but transfer the power to Ottawa, and the appointment will be made by the men who sit there.
THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.
Now, a few words with respect to the Legislative Council, which, we are told, is to be composed of three divisions. Upper Canada has 24, Lower Canada 24, and the Maritime Provinces 24, or 72 in all. It has been said that it was a great concession to give us 24. What the Maritime Provinces require in the central Parliament is protection, and how are they going to get it, when they have but 24 Representatives to 48 Canadians in the Legislative Council. Suppose the Reciprocity Treaty were repealed, although I don’t believe it will be actually repealed, but that it will be continued with some modification ; but supposing it is, might not the Confederate Parliament impose a duty upon American flour, would it not be for the interests of both sections of Canada to impose that duty, and is it not probable it would be done? Then, I ask, who will have to pay that duty. Every person knows that nine-tenths of the flour consumed here, comes from the United States. In such an event, as I have stated, it would come from Canada under this boasted system of free trade. Then every consumer of flour in the Maritime Provinces would he called upon to pay an extra price upon that indispensable article of food. With a Canadian majority of 147 in the Lower House, and a majority of 48 to 24 in the Upper Branch, what could we do but submit or rebel?
If we are to have protection in the Legislative Council, the only way we can get it, is to imitate the example of the United States. Under their system, the smallest State has the same number of Representatives in the Senate as the largest. Little Rhode Island has as many voices as the Empire State New York. But suppose in the event of Union, Canada had 12, and each of the Maritime Provinces the same number of members—Prince Edward Island as many as Canada, then, if any injustice was attempted to be done to these Provinces in the Lower House, their Representatives in the Legislative Council, by combining together, could prevent it.
TRADE AND MANUFACTURES.
The Provincial Secretary says, if our trade is ever expanded, it must be with British America. I would be much obliged to the hon. gentleman if he would show how that is to arrive under Con federation. We have now free trade with all British America in everything except manufactures. Have we not a right to exchange every article we produce—the products of the soil, the forest, the mine, the sea—free of duty. Would Confederation make one more customer than you […]
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[…] have now without it. I admit, that with a population of four millions, there would be much greater temptation to embark in manufactures than there is ; but I challenge hon. gentlemen to show me how we could compete with Canada. Can you show the place where the coal, iron, and limestone are found together in the position to be manufactured on the seaboard.
Hon. Fin. Sec.—Pictou.
Mr. Annand—I know that in the Financial Secretary’s county the manufacture of iron was attempted by his friend, Mr. Davis, and it failed. He found he could import the pig iron from Scotland more cheaply than he could manufacture the inferior iron ore in the neighborhood of the Albion Mines. Although they have no coal in Canada, yet at the present day coal can be obtained at a cheaper rate in Montreal than in Halifax. Perhaps at some future time iron works may be established at Sydney, where there are large deposits of coal ; but I fear, the period is yet far off. But if you think you can compete with the manufactures of Canada, who have so much the start of us, you can make arrangements for free trade now just as well as under Confederation. All that the Government has to do, is to introduce a resolution for a Conference at Quebec, and I will guarantee that the Canadians will be only too happy to second your wishes.
We have had free trade to a large extent with the States and Canada, and what have been the results. In 1864 our total imports were 12,600,000. Of this large amount Canada sent us but $403,000, about the three hundredth part of the whole, and we exported to that country but $330,000 worth. We took from the United States four millions worth, or 100 times our imports from Canada. We sent to them $ 2,445,770, or 80 times our exports to Canada. Yet these gentlemen tell you that we are to have a great expansion of trade with Canada in the event of Confederation. I maintain, then, that it is the true policy of Nova Scotia, as of all of the Provinces to cultivate friendly relations with the United States. They are our near neighbors and natural customers.
Then the Provincial Secretary referred to our Debentures and said they went up at once, when the results of the Quebec Conference were known in England. But look at the facts of the case as they really exist. They did rise suddenly, not, however, in consequence of the news of Confederation, but because the bank of England reduced its rate of interest. Did not the securities of all the colonies, in every part of the world, go up at the same time ? Our debentures were quoted at 94 @ 97 on the 13th October, and on the 7th November, when money was plenty, confidence was inspired, and they went up to 100 @ 102. On the 5th January following they fell to 97 1/2, at which price business was done ; the difference in price in these two quotations, arising entirely from the fact that the half year’s interest was in- And if it is true that, in view of Confederation, our securities ; why were they as low as 88 @ 92 on the 16th March, when Confederation was treated as an accomplished fact in England. What, but the civil war in America, which, it was assumed, might lead to conflict in these colonies?
The hon. Prov. Secretary has referred to the Intercolonial Railway, and I must admit that has always been the strong card in the hands of the Confederate party. Every person is desirous of getting that railroad, although I am not one of those who believe that the Inter- colonial Railroad, as a commercial speculation, is a very desirable undertaking. I think, however, looking upon it in the light of a great highway—as a connecting link between the Provinces, and for purposes of defence, that its construction is really necessary. Such is the view of hon. George Brown, and I refer you on this point to his speech delivered in the House of Assembly at Quebec. But, says the Provincial Secretary, we have secured its construction at only one-tenth of its cost, instead of the 3 1/2-12ths, which we would have to pay under the former arrangement.
One reason why I have a strong feeling against this Union with Canada is, because I have no faith in Canadian statesmen. I remember the way we were treated with respect to the Intercolonial Railway—how the Canadian government agreed to the scheme, and put it in the form of a treaty engagement—how they went to England and. violated the promises they made to the delegates from the Maritime Provinces—how they attempted to persuade the British government to look upon their share in the cost of the Intercolonial Railway as a contribution towards local defences. Mr. Gladstone made every effort he could to meet their views in reference to the sinking fund—promising to invest the amount, if they wished it, in their own securities ; but even then they refused to ratify the solemn agreement which had been made between the Provinces in 1862. We are told that this Railroad is to be procured only under Confederation. But let it be remembered that that work is far more necessary to Canada than to ourselves.
We have lived and prospered without it, and we can continue to do so; but its construction is to Canada a necessity. Some of their most eminent men have said, they must have the Intercolomal Railway at any cost—they must either have a Federal Union or annexation to the States. Are they obliged to have annexation with the United States? Cannot they now enter into commercial relations with us? Cannot all of the advantages they desire be obtained without the political union into which it is attempted to drag us What was said by some of the most eminent statesmen of Canada on this subject in the debate on Confederation.
Hon. Mr. Cartier, Attorney General, East, said :—
He had stated before audiences in the Lower Provinces that, as far as territory, population, and wealth are concerned Canada was stronger than any other Province, but at the same time was wanting in one element necessary to national greatness—the Maritime one ; and that, owing to the large trade and commerce of Canada, extensive communication with Great Britain at all seasons was absolutely necessary. Twenty years ago our commerce for the year could be managed by communication with Great Britain in the summer months only. At present, however, this system was insufficient, and for winter communication with the sea-board we were left to the caprice of our American neighbors, through whose territory we must pass.
Col. Haultain, a prominent supporter of the Canadian government, expressed himself in […]
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[…] the clearest terms on this point, Canada must have it, ” political union or no ” :
“Recounting the recent unfriendly act of the United States, he said it must be manifest that we needed a new outlet to the ocean—new channels for trade when the old one was taken away. It seemed astonishing to him that any one desirous of seeing an independent Power here, separate from the United States, could oppose this scheme. With reference to the Intercolonial Railway he thought it was brought unneceessarily into prominence in this scheme. We must have that, and pay for it whether we have political union or no. It was needed for commercial, social, and defensive purposes.”
Then we have the testimony of Mr. Rose, who sits for Montreal, and was formerly a a [sic] member of the government :
“We were now almost commercially dependent on the United States, and were dependent for access to the ocean on them. If they do away with the bonding system or increase the difficulties of the passport system we would be practically shut out. Give us a railroad to St John’s and Halifax and we would become commercially independent and free. If the know we have those avenues they will not shut us out. * * * We were told to remain as we are. We could not. How could we remain for ever commercially dependent upon the United States and their fiscal legislation, so that the Upper Canada farmer could not send a bushel of grain or a barrel of flour to Europe except by the permission or at the whims of the States. They were piling up vexations on the transit trade by consular certifications, passports, &c. The Senate was recently considering the bonding system. If abolished before the International railway is built the merchants of Canada would be ruined. They would have to import six months supply of goods, and farmers must keep their grain and lose their winter markets. The railway would cost a good deal of money but it was one of the unfortunate incidents of our position and a necessity for us.”
And last, but not least, the veneral Premier, Hon. E. P. Tache, said that Canada could not hope to maintain ” a separate national existence ” without the intercolonial railway. Hear him:
“There never was a great nation without any maritime element, and Canada shut out for five months, by icy barriers, from the sea, could not develop so long as she had not ports accessible in winter, nor hope to maintain a separate national existence, but must be at the mercy of other powers. Canada was now like the man with excellent farms, but without access of his own to the highway, depending on the good humour of a neighbour for it. If the neighbor grew angry he might shut up the road and the gate. They had threatened the repeal of the Reciprocity Treaty, and had established the passport system, which almost amounted to non-intercourse. The gate being almost shut we must secure another way to reach the highway.”
So I maintain now, as I have always maintained—as I did in Canada three years ago— that the Intercolonial Railway is more a necessity to her than to us. And I am glad to perceive that during the past year the Government of Canada, awakening at last to the importance of the work, at their own expense appointed Mr. Fleming to make a survey of the route for the Intercolonial line, and I have no doubt, Confederation or no, we will get the road ere long completed,—unless indeed the British Government require Canada to contribute too much for fortifications. It is quite clear that Canada cannot maintain a separate existence, unless she has access to the sea through friendly territory.
The hon. Provincial Secretary has referred to the local governments, and declared that they will not be insignificant in character—that the Houses will still be a place where men of as great ability will aspire as those who sat here in former times. At that time there was only one place of political preferment that those gentlemen could aspire to, that was this House. Now there will be two—one at Ottawa, where the salaries will be large, and the government liberal to a degree unknown in this country. I would like to hear the Provincial Secretary tell us what kind of local government we are to have—is there to be one House or two?—and if only one Chamber how many members are to sit there? Are we to have responsible government as now with Heads of Departments? These are matters of great importance to the people of this country in connection with this subject—they are interesting to those gentlemen who do not expect to go to Ottawa, but aspire to come here again. They wish to learn whether this body is to be only a little more important than a Court of Sessions or a City Council. I pause for a reply from the Provincial Secretary, but I know in vain.
TAXATION UNDER CONFEDERATION.
The hon. Provincial Secretary referred to the large majority by which this scheme has been adopted in Canada. That country understands her own interests too well not to receive the scheme favorably. She knows that we have a surplus revenue, that we are a largely consuming people, and would be a valuable acquisition as contributors to the central treasury. I am not going into the financial argument, I will leave that in the hands of a friend perhaps more familiar with the subject than myself, but 1 cannot refrain from quoting one or two authorities on the subject of taxation. Mr. Galt, in that celebrated speech of his, which has so often been referred to, says:
“In the case of the Lower Provinces, the average tariff was about 12 1/2 per cent, and where now collect 2 1/2 millions dollars, under a higher tariff like that of Canada at least three millions dollars would there be raised.”
Now mark you, our taxation is to be increase from two and a half millions to three. Our advalorem duties are ten per cent. New Brunswick has an average tariff fifteen and a half per cent.:
It is proposed by Mr. Galt to reduce the advalorem duties from 20 to 15, but my firm belief is that they will have to be advanced to 25, or resort had to direct taxation in order to enable them to meet the increased expenditure that confederation will bring. He says the maritime provinces, under confederation will have to contribute half a million more than now. New Brunswick is nearly as heavily taxed already as Canada, and Prince Edward Island being a small colony, we would have to bear the larger proportion or the half million. On this subject the Toronto Globe, government organ, not very long ago said :
“There can be no doubt that (under Confederation) the Lower Provinces would be heavy tax-payers.”
And the Leader, then supporting Confederation, remarked:
“The tariff of Canada is higher than that of any of the other Provinces. There can be no doubt that Confederation will involve an increase of expenditure, and perhaps a very large increase.
I will now turn your attention for a short time to another branch of the subject, having […]
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[…] no reference to the hon. gentleman’s speech— to the position we occupy as a free people. We all remember the struggle that took place in this country to obtain departmental and responsible government; it was the work of years. The complaint then was that our affairs were managed in Downing Street—that you could not make a single appointment or control your revenues without reference to that quarter.
I contend that you are going to establish a second Downing Street at Ottawa under the scheme of Confederation—that you will hand over the control of the most valuable institutions that we now possess. There is your
from which you derive the greater portion of the money which you expend for the improvement of your roads, your schools, your breakwaters, and other local services. That great source of power it is proposed to hand over to a body of gentlemen sitting at Ottawa, where you will have 19 out of 194 members. You have at this moment 75 ports of entry and clearance. If I remember aright, they have but 84 in all Canada. It has been the policy of this country, since it has had the control of this department, to afford every possible convenience to the people of the country ; so that whenever an application is made for a Custom House, it is granted as almost a matter of course. And so rapid has been the extension of the system, that while 20 years ago there were but 15 ports of entry and clearance in the Province, there are now five times that number.
Suppose, now, that you were confederated, and the attention of the Finance Minister at Ottawa was drawn to the fact that this little Province had 75 ports of entry, and some of them collecting no revenue at all ; and suppose that an application was made by the people of some one of the counties that another be added to the number, what would be the answer? They would be told, ” Your Province has already more than she is entitled to ;—although we have eight times your population, yet we hardly have a greater number than you have ; and we believe your number ought to be reduced.” And how could you help yourselves? Again, suppose a vacancy took place here to-morrow, who would fill it up? Some one at Ottawa who had the ear of the Government—a Nova Scotian, perhaps, if any of them were supporting the Administration, and if not, some Canadian, who knows nothing of your country or its people. And so with dismissals. Now you can arraign the Government here, create a public agitation on the subject, and so affect public opinion as to disturb their tenure of office.
The same state of things would exist in respect to your
POST OFFICE AND LIGHT HOUSES.
There is no country in the world that possesses more postal accommodation than Nova Scotia. We had on the; 30th Sept., 1863, 493 Post and Way Offices, 4568 miles of mail route, 971,688 miles of annual travel. Canada at the same period had 1,974; post and way offices, 15,327 miles mail route, and 6,110,000 annual travel. So it will be perceived that while the population of Canada is eight times as great as ours, our post offices have been multiplied until they are one-fourth as numerous as those of Canada, and the miles of mail route nearly one-sixth. It is clear, then, that the advantage is largely in our favor—so large that if, under Confederation, an attempt was made to increase the number of offices and rides in this Province, the applicants would probably be met with a sharp rebuff—told that they had more than their share already, some of which might very well be dispensed with.
I took the liberty of asking the Postmaster General, the other day, how many newspapers passed through the post office prior to the control of that department being transferred to this country ; and, largely as I knew the increase in the circulation of letters, under cheap postage, and free newspapers, had grown, I was startled at the figures. In 1849, when the change took place, the number of letters passed
|Through the post office was||201,000|
|And in 1864 the number had grown to||1,534,000|
|The number of newspapers passed through the post office in 1849 was||258,000|
|In 1864 there were||3,941,000|
Pretty satisfactory evidence, I think, of the value of the power to regulate and manage our local affairs.
We have in this country, I may add, the privilege of having our papers pass through the post office free, but in case of Confederation they would be taxed just as they are in Canada now.
And what I have said in respect to the Post Office and Customs departments, applies equally to the Light Houses. Now you have 48 Light Houses—27 west, and 21 east, and you are building three more this year. Suppose you were to be confederated to-morrow, how many would you be allowed to build in addition to that number. They would tell you, you must wait, if you wanted more, until the canals were enlarged, and the north-west territory was opened up.
FINANCIAL POSITION UNDER CONFEDERATION.
I will now call attention to another view of this subject, and not the least important. Let us glance for one moment at what our financial condition would be under Confederation._ Under the arrangements made by the Delegates, we are to have 80 cents a head upon the population exhibited by the census of. lame-that subsidy is not to be changed, but continued for all time to come-that we are to have $264,000 a year. It is assumed, I presume, that the wants of this country are to remain stationary—that our education, roads and bridges, and our public works are all completed—that our country, in fact, is finished—and that in the, future all the additional revenues collected in this country will flow into the treasury at Ottawa. Now we get a subsidy of $204,000 a year. The Provincial Secretary in his estimate for 1865 puts down, the
|Casual Revenue at||$50,000|
|Hospital for Insane||20,000|
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[…] which under Confederation would be termed Local Revenue. Add the subsidy and local revenue together and you have $390,427 as the total revenue of Nova Scotia if we were to be Confederated. Let us now look at the appropriations. The gross sum proposed to be expended this year is $1,395,871. I deduct from that amount all those departments and services that would be chargeable upon the general government in the event of Confederation,—the civil list, revenue department, post office, lighthouse, public debt, defence, railway, and a few other matters. amounting in all to $731,565. Deduct this from the gross amount of appropriations, and you have left $664,306. The subsidy and local revenue amount to $390,427. Deduct the two sums which you would have this year under Confederation from the amount you have appropriated for strictly local purposes, and you would hand over to Canada $273,879. Then there is to be a supplemental estimate,—a grant for Colchester has been omitted, additional grants to the colleges have to be provided for, and other sums, I hear, are to be expended. In addition to these the Advances made during the recess must be taken into account, about $15,000. Altogether three hundred thousand dollars loss the first year under Confederation—handed over to the Ottawa Parliament—taken away from the local improvements of our country, to be spent in meeting the “necessities of Canada.”
You have been told that the subsidy from the Central Government, with the local revenue which you are allowed to retain, will be sufficient to meet the annual requirements of the country. To accurately determine this point, we should be in possession of the views of the Delegates as to the composition of the local Government, the number of members who are to sit in the Legislature, and the cost; the number, functions, and salaries of the chief officers of the Government,—because without this information it is impossible to know the amount applicable to the local improvements of the country. And as we cannot get the required information from the Government, who here, as in Canada, are singularly reticent on the subject, I have ventured to sketch a programme, for the benefit of gentlemen opposite, which I hold in my hand, and will place in the hands of the Reporter for publication:
|Estimated cost 1865.||Future cost.|
|Provincial Secretary’s Office||$5600||$4050|
|Receiver General’s Office||4600||3100|
|Crown Land Office||19,480||19,480|
|Board of Works, including Hospital Insane, Province Building and Penitentiary||73,050||41,200|
|Steamboats, Packets, & Ferries||11,451||4,451|
|Roads and Bridges||262,400||262,400|
|Relief and Poor Asylum||16,721||16,721|
|Clerk of Crown||400||400|
I have assumed that under the local Government which it is proposed to give us, the office of Financial Secretary will not be required, and that the Provincial Secretary, with the aid of an additional clerk, may discharge the duties of both offices, at a cost of $4050, instead of $5600, which we pay now. The Receiver General’s office to be reduced from $4600, to $3100. I presume that we are to have an Attorney General, and as he will not be of such large proportions as the gentleman who tills the office at present, I may venture to cut him down from $2000 to $1600; the Solicitor General I would dispense with altogether. The Crown Land Office, to be efficient, must cost as much under Confederation as now. The charge for Staff of the Board of Works, I reduce from $4400 to $3000, and I have deducted $30,000 this year for construction at the Lunatic Àsylum. Navigation Securities I have out down from $49,040 to $19,040, omitting the grant of $30,000 to St. Peter’s Canal. Packets and ferries from $11,451 to $4,451, deducting the sea-going steamers. The grants for our roads and bridges I leave as at present; for although the sums given last year and this year were large and have led the people to believe that they will be continued, yet I think that the necessities of some of the counties, my own for instance, require even more than has hitherto been given them.
Would the members for Lunenburg, or Pictou, or Queens, be content to give up their special grants in view of the benefits of Confederation? I think they would not, although the Provincial Secretary might, because it would probably bring larger advantages to him of another kind than to almost any one else. And if our public works are to be extended, as I should like to see them carried on, I think it is quite clear that we cannot expect to be able to appropriate so large a sum for the road and bridge service in future. I have put down the legislative expenses at $20,000, instead of $48,000, which they cost last year, and the sum total of the calculation, after reducing our expenditure to the lowest possible figure consistent with the public service,
|Shows that you will require at least||$568,830|
|Deduct subsidy and local revenue||390,427|
|Deficit under Confederation||$178,403|
Now, I put it to gentlemen opposite-can you reduce any of these expenditures? Will they not all be required? And, as the country continues to grow, will not the wants of the country grow with it? And if to this amount you add increased taxation under a Canadian tariff, say 50 per cent., which will also be absorbed by the Central Government, you will have some idea of the sacrifices we are called upon to make.
I may be told that the grants for roads and bridges are extravagant, but who made them so? You have raised the amount now to the enormous sum of $262,000. If the system is […]
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[…] wrong the government who have educated the people up to it—who have taught them that, in order to carry certain objects, the will receive such large sums are alone to blame. I consider, however, all the money is required for the roads and bridges. You will see by the figures I have given that the sum required for the roads and bridges would nearly swallow up the subsidy. Can you reduce the grants for education, to the hospital for the insane, for relief, the penitentiary, and other services? You know you cannot without emperilling the public service. Therefore the inevitable result is, as Mr. Galt has told you, in his speech, if the local revenues are not sufficient, you must resort to direct taxation. There is no doubt whatever that this must be the case if this scheme is carried out. When I feel that the institutions of our country are to be swept away, and that the control of our resources is to be handed over to a people with whom we have no sympathy, am I not right in asking this House to pause? What chance would there be, in such an event, of our being able to push forward those public improvements that are now being carried on? All our surplus revenue, as I have said, will go to Ottawa; and I ask gentlemen who look forward to the time when railway communication will extend from Pictou to Antigonishe, to Guysboro, aye, even through the Island of Cape Breton, and again westward to Annapolis and Digby and Yarmouth, what chance will there be of having their anticipations realized? Only those who are to be elevated from this country to Ottawa can be satisfied with a state of things so disastrous to the Province of Nova Scotia.
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