Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates [Ministerial Explanations], 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, (21 June 1864)

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Date: 1864-06-21
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, 1864 at 202-203.
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TUESDAY, June 21st, 1864.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at three o’clock.

After the presentation and reading of petitions and other business—


Hon. Mr. ROSE moved that the Committee appointed to try and determine the merits of a petition, complaining of an undue election and return for the County of Russell, have leave to adjourn to the second day of next session, at eleven o’clock a.m.—Carried.

Ministerial Explanations

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West] rose and said—Before the orders of the day are called, I beg leave to inform the House that a basis has been arrived at, on which the hon. member for South Oxford [George Brown] and the members of the Government can agree. Although we have arrived at that basis, some details remain to be completed before a full statement can be laid before the House. In consequence of the numerous discussions that have taken place, not only between the member for South Oxford [George Brown] and the members of the Government who have had interviews with him, but between that hon. gentleman himself and those who usually act with him, as well as between the members of the Government and those who usually work with them, these details could not be arranged to allow of a full statement being made to-day. But I confidently hope that matters will be in a position to allow of a comprehensive statement respecting the basis of the agreement and the details being made to-morrow; and with that view, I ask that when this House adjourn, it stand adjourned until to-morrow at three o’clock.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga]—Of course there can be no objection to an adjournment of the House. I am sure that hon. gentlemen on both sides know the extreme anxiety on the part of all the members to have some settlement arrived at, and that no more time be taken up than is absolutely necessary.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—I apprehend there will be no difficulty as to the matter of granting time. I take it that it is understood that a basis has been agreed upon. As to further negotiations, it is due that hon. gentlemen on the Treasury Branches should receive every facility from the House to carry out all their arrangements. The House is, however, anxious to know if any written basis has been arrived at.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West]—I think we must crave the forbearance of the House and the hon. gentleman till to-morrow. We have all got our difficulties, as the hon. gentleman well knows; and I do not think it would be well to make any statement to this House that might involve a discussion before the whole matter is submitted for further consideration by the parties in conference. I think that any interlocutory discussion just now would be most unfortunate; and that we should ask the forbearance of this House, and also my hon. friend the member for Cornwall (Hon. J.S. Macdonald), not to press his views.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] repeated, in French, the explanations which had been given in English by the Hon. Attorney General West [John A. Macdonald].

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] replied, in French, repeating the remarks he had made in English.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West]—As this House can well understand, at such an important crisis, there have been very lengthy discussions, and several propositions have been made between the parties who are conferring for the purpose of arriving at a basis of agreement. The basis has been a matter of compromise. Both parties have made concessions for the purpose of procuring that compromise. There will be a full, detailed statement of all the proceedings laid before the House, as soon as the details are complete; and it would not be fair to either of the conferring parties if the final result were made known in its naked terms at this time.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West]—It is incumbent on us not to reveal any of the preliminary discussions

  • (p. 203)

or counter-propositions at present.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Brown [Oxford South]—I can only add to what has been stated by the hon. Attorney general West [John A. Macdonald] that although the document which might possibly have been read to the House to-day, is complete as far as it goes, still I think it would be exceedingly inconvenient that it should be read until the negotiation is brought to a final close. I am quite sure the House will be content to wait, and that there will be no objection to an adjournment.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

The House then, at 20 minutes to 4 p.m., adjourned, until Wednesday, at 3 p.m.

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