Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (6 September 1865)

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Date: 1865-09-06
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Morning Chronicle
Citation: “Provincial Parliament. Legislative Assembly. Wednesday, September 6th” [Quebec] Morning Chronicle (7 September 1865).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).
Note: All endnotes come from our recent publication, Charles Dumais & Michael Scott (ed.), The Confederation Debates in the Province of Canada (CCF, 2022).


Wednesday, September 6, 1865[1]

Renewal of Reciprocity Treaty

Thomas Gibbs [Ontario South] asked whether, in case the negotiations for the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty[2] shall not have been completed by the 14th March next, authority has been given whereby the provisions of the present treaty may be continued for any period beyond the date afore-mentioned.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] said that with the notice given by the American Congress, for the abrogation of the Treaty, there was no authority given to extend it. There would be no difficulty on the part of the British Government as to consenting to the renewal of the Treaty, but no authority having been given by the terms of the notice to the American Government, it was impossible to say what they would do.

Thomas Gibbs [Ontario South] said that the matter was of great importance, and he thought it was stated, at the Detroit Convention[3], that authority would undoubtedly be given to the United States Government for the renewal of the Treaty the Hon. Finance Minister, having been at Washington lately, he (Mr. Gibbs) thought he might have obtained some information on the matter.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] said that authority would necessarily have to be given by the United States Congress for the purpose. It could not be done by the Government’s own act alone, and until Congress met it was quite impossible to answer the question, whether affirmatively or negatively.


[1]      Source: “Provincial Parliament,” [Quebec] Morning Chronicle (Sep. 7, 1865).

[2]      Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 (Elgin-Marcy Treaty). The United States passed a Joint Resolution abrogating the treaty in Jan. 1865. It was formally terminated on Mar. 17, 1866.

[3]      The commercial convention held in Detroit (Jul. 11-14, 1865) was attended by the Boards of Trades and Chambers of Commerce from across the United States and British North America. It was one of the measures meant to save the Reciprocity Treaty in 1865. The most impactful speech was given by Nova Scotian delegate Joseph Howe on Jul. 14, 1865. For the proceedings of this convention see Proceedings of the Commercial Convention, Held in Detroit, July 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th, 1865 (1865).

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