Prince Edward Island, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings: Confederation Question (5 May 1866)
By: Prince Edward Island (House of Assembly)
Citation: Prince Edward Island, House of Assembly, The Parliamentary Reporter; or, Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly of Prince Edward Island, For the Year 1866, 22nd Parl, 4th Sess, 1865 at 52.
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THE PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER,
SATURDAY, May 5, 1866.
- (p. 52)
Hon. Leader of the Government then remarked that as many unfounded rumors were circulated, and groundless fears entertained by many, touching the course intended to be pursued in regard the all absorbing topic, Confederation, he considered it would be as well to submit the Resolutions on that subject, which had been prepared in answer to the Despatches from the Secretary of State to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor relative to that subject.
Said Resolutions were then laid on the table, and are as follow:—
“This House having had under consideration the message of His Excellency the Lieut. Governor communicating a Despatch from the Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, upon the subject of a Federation of the British North American Provinces, and having most carefully and earnestly considered the project in all its bearings—
“RESOLVED, As the deliberate opinion of this House, that any Union of the British North American Colonies which would embrace Prince Edward Island, upon the terms and principles set forth in the Resolutions of the Conference of Quebec, held on the 10th October, 1864, would not only be unjust to the inhabitants of this Colony, but prove disastrous to their dearest and most cherished rights and interests as a free people, enjoying the blessings of a priceless constitution guaranteed to them by the Imperial Government of Great Britain.
“That considering the Isolated, peculiar and exceptional position of Prince Edward Island, as contrasted with the other British North American Provinces and Colonies, this House deems it to be its duty, as the Constitutional Representative of the people of Prince Edward Island, to re-affirm the decision so clearly and unequivocally declared by this House in the Resolutions passed by it, in its last Session, upon the subject of a Union of the British North American Colonies, and afterwards communicated by the joint Address of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of this Colony to Her Majesty’s Imperial Government.
“RESOLVED FURTHER, That even if a Union of the Continental Provinces of British North America should have the effect of strengthening and binding more closely together those Provinces, or advancing their material and commercial interests, this House cannot admit that a Federal Union of the North American Provinces and Colonies, which would include Prince Edward Island, could ever be accomplished upon terms that would prove advantageous to the interests and well-being of the people of this Island, cut off and separated as it is, and must ever remain, from the neighboring Provinces, by an immovable barrier of ice for many months in the year; and this House deems it to be its sacred and imperative duty to declare and record its conviction, as it now does, that any Federal Union of the North American Colonies, that would embrace this Island, would be as hostile to the feelings and wishes, as it would be opposed to the best and most vital interests, of its people.
“RESOLVED FURTHER, That while this House cannot assent to a Federal Union of this Island with the other Colonies, they recognize it to be the duty of this Colony to contribute, from its local revenues, towards its defence, in fair and just proportion to its means.”