Province of Canada, Legislative Council, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (9 September 1865)

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Date: 1865-09-09
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Quebec Daily Mercury
Citation: “Provincial “Parliament. Legislative Council. The Quebec Daily Mercury (11 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).


Saturday, September 9, 1865[1]

Reciprocity Treaty

David Christie [Erie, elected 1858] next moved

“That an humble Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General, praying that His Excellency will be pleased to cause to be laid before this House copies of all correspondence which may have taken place since the beginning of last Session, between the Government of this Province and the British Government with Her Majesty’s Representative at Washington in relation to the Reciprocity Treaty.”[2]

In support of this motion, the hon. member said the subject to which it referred was one of serious interest to the Province, and it was not unreasonable to suppose that the people were anxious to learn what steps had been taken, what progress had been made in the negotiations for the renewal of the Treaty[3]. He did not desire to throw any obstacles in the way, nor to be unduly inquisitive, at an improper time, and under those circumstances, he had put the making of his motion off to the present period with the view of getting the fullest information.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands] said there was no objection to the motion. He quite appreciated the spirit which actuated his hon. friend in making it. All the correspondence that existed on the subject would be brought down, but, at the same time, he (Mr. Campbell) did not think it well for hon. members to assume that the papers would disclose the exact position to which the negotiations had advanced.

The Government were fully impressed with the importance of a removal of the treaty, and he had satisfaction of assuring the House that nothing they could do in the matter would be left undone. They were anxious to adapt that course which seemed to them best calculated to assure the continuance of the treaty. The progress that had been made, however, he repeated would not fully appear by the papers.

The motion was then put and carried.


[1]      Source: “Provincial Parliament,” The Quebec Daily Mercury (Sep. 11, 1865).

[2]      The return to the address would be presented to the Legislative Council on Sep. 15, 1865. “Return To an Address of the Honorable the Legislative Assembly, dated 10th August, 1865; for copies of all Correspondences, since the beginning of last Session, relative to the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States” [No. 11] in Sessional Papers (1865). The report, however, is not printed. A note accompanies the report that reads, “In accordance with the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Printing, the above documents are not printed.”

[3]      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.

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