“The British Provinces”, The New York Herald (10 July 1865)
By: The New York Herald
Citation: “The British Provinces”, The New York Herald (10 July 1865).
THE BRITISH PROVINCES.
Our Toronto Correspondences.
Toronto, C. W., July 6. 1865.
Canadian Views of Confederation and Reciprocity—Disbandment of the
Volunteers—A Fourth of July Excretion—The Police Investigation—Removal of the
Government in Ottawa—Quebec Difficulties—Formable Prospects of
the Harvest &c.
The publications of the results of the conference held in England relative to Canadian defences has relieved to curiosity of the public mind ; but it has not allayed the anxiety of the people. On the contrary. They seem to view the terms as a very bad bargain to Canada, taken as a whole, and there are those who confidently predict the the coalition government will be defeated when the matter is submitted to Parliament for its legislation.
There is no use to deny the fact that in this section of the country there is an earnest desire felt for a confederation of the provinces and the acquisition of the Hudson’s Bay territory, with its great for trade ; has the question of money is one that prevents itself at once. The Canadian s are cautious people. They never like to venture far when the interests of their pockets are involved ; and could they obtain all the benefits that would accrue from confederation—induce the mother country to erect defences and an intercolonial railway—I have no doubt their selfishness would be fully gratified. But the results show that these will not be yielded. The mother country distinctly informs her colonies that they have arrived at an age when they mist support themselves ; that she has nourished and protected them in infancy, and now they must shift for themselves. She generously proposes to loan them capital, like a parent establishing his son, and endorse their paper ; but nothing more will she yield. This, surely, is generous on her part. But still the Canadian in their keenness for a bargain are not satisfied, and murmur bitterly about the misery policy of the parent country. Like puny, helpless infanta, they still cling to the maternal breast, bent upon extracting all the nourishment it will yield. The time of weaning the infant, however, has arrived, and Mrs. Johnny Bull kindly yet emphatically informs them that if they are not ratified with he propositions made they are at liberty to seek a wet nurse elsewhere upon which to fatten and grow into manhood. The question now is, what will become of the perish, hungry infants? Will they accept of the “establishment” generously tendered them, to will they seek asylum of protection in Columbias breast: Time alone will solve the question.
But to return to the subject under consideration. I have already remarked that the people look at the matter from a minority point of view. The present provincial debt, for which the soil and the improvements thereof are held as security, is about eighty-five million dollars. Add to this the estimated costs for defences, eight million dollars : the sum required to indemnify Hudson’s bay Company for the surrender of one of the most iniquitous monopolies that has ever selected on this continent, thirteen million dollars: about twelve millions dollars for the completion of the intercolonial railway, and tac million dollars for additional institutions that would have to be affected with the acquisition of the territory, and the country wold be the presence of the nice little debt of one hundred and twenty-eight million dollars. This does not, of course, include the present debt of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, which combined is, perhaps, one hundred million, maxing, possible, two hundred and twenty-eight million dollars of an incubus for the united government to bear. With these figures rearing them in the face it is not al all likely that the people, of the country, through their representatives in the Legislature, will endorse the government on its huge schemes for increasing the public debt. Had the money that they propose to lay out in defence against an imaginary enemy from the United States been not apart widen the costs and give the Canadians a better […] to the […] them comparatively independent of the United States, the scheme would meet with much more favor. As it now stands, look out for a squall, when Parliament meets.
The question of importance next as that I have just referred to, now before the public here, is the Detroit convention, which attracts more interest and calls forth more general discussion as the time for its assembly approaches. A few days ago the Canadian delegates held a closed caucus on this city to the deliberate upon is noted policy to the pursued by them on that assembly. Very little of what transpired leaked out; but this much is certain—that while the major portion of the speakers as present their earnest desire to create an encourage mutual feelings of friendship and good will between the two countries there were some “swill milk” orations made breathing threats of what Canada will do in event of the United States declining to enter into a new treaty or reaffirming the conditions of the old one. These ones, I presume, will have the good sense to restrain themselves next week at Detroit if they hope to accomplish these objects; for they they must know by the time that the day has passed when the commercial men of the United States can be bullied into a line of policy distasteful to them.