UK, HC, “Second Reading”, vol 186 (1867), cols 972-974
By: UK (House of Commons)
Citation: UK, HC, “Second Reading“, vol 186 (1867), col 804.
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972 Order for Second Reading read.
Motion made, and Question proposed, “That the Bill be now read a second time.”—(Mr. Adderley.)
MR. MONK said, he felt bound to record anew his protest against the passing of the measure. He did not look with dissatisfaction upon the Confederation; but he did not think that this country could properly be called upon to agree to the proposed guarantee.
MR. CRAWFORD was quite content to regard this Bill from an Imperial point of view, and he thought that on this ground it was most important to this country to facilitate the 973 construction of this railway. In the course of the previous debate the right hon. Member for Calne had said it would be absurd for us to think of communicating with Canada by way of Halifax, while the port of Portland in the State of Maine was open to us. But he thought it must have escaped the observation of the right hon. Gentleman that in using the port of Portland in the winter months, extending over nearly half the year, we did so entirely upon the sufferance of the people of the United States. This consent might at any time be withdrawn, and so long as the present protectionist policy was maintained by the United States, it would be for the interest of this country to secure admission for our exports to Canada without passing through a foreign territory. Then with regard to postal communication by a steamer arriving off Halifax and landing her mails, they would by means of this line reach the extreme west of Canada, as well as Minnesota and the Western States of the American Union, forty-eight hours sooner than they did at present viâ New York. The 2d. now paid on every letter, and the 1d. paid on newspapers, would also be saved by Canada, and the line would probably carry a great deal of the correspondence between this country and the far West. Lastly, it was of the utmost importance that, as Halifax was our great naval station in the Atlantic, means should be secured of ready communication with the valuable coal mines of New Brunswick, which already competed at New York with the Pittsburg coal. Looking at the question from a purely Imperial point of view, and not having himself the slightest pecuniary interest in British North America, he believed the construction of the railway would be a great advantage.
MR. SERJEANT GASELEE agreed that the reasons assigned by the hon. Member might be a good ground why the Canadians should make the line, but they afforded none why we should give the guarantee asked for; and he protested against the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Adderley) asking the House to assent to the Confederation Bill because it would not bind it to grant the guarantee, and then telling the House that the guarantee must be given because the Confederation had been sanctioned by Parliament. Such a course was calculated to mislead a young Member like himself.
MR. ADDERLEY emphatically denied that he had ever told the House it must agree to the Bill because it had sanctioned the Confederation. On the contrary, he had told hon. 974 Members that they were quit free to deal with the question, and they had given leave to bring in the Bill by a majority of 4 to 1.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.
House adjourned at a quarter before One o’clock.