“The Proposed Confederation of the British North American Provinces,” The Globe (18 August 1864)
By: The Globe
Citation: “The Proposed Confederation of the British North American Provinces”, The Globe [Toronto] (18 August 1864).
THE PROPOSED CONFEDERATION OF THE BRITISH NORTH AMERICAN PROVINCES
(From the Canadian London News, Aug. 4.)
We have in another column given copious extracts from the Canadian journals of all shades of opinion, expressing their views as to the proposed confederation of the British North American Provinces, and from them we unmistakably gather that the proposition is one that is looked upon with the utmost favour by all classes throughout the Province. Nor is this general approval of the scheme confined to Canada and its sister Provinces. In the neighbouring States it is also very favourably regarded, and we believed that in the Colonial Office the proposed federation or consolidation of the whole group of the British North American Provinces is equally approved. The details of the scheme are, we believe, not yet sufficiently matured to be made known, nor [illegible] they until after a conference of delegates from each colony has been held, but we understand that arrangements are in progress to convene this assembly at the earliest possible moment. It was rumoured at the date of one last despatches that the meeting of delegates would probably be held at Charlottetown, Prince Edward’s Island, in the course of the present month, and that immediately after the basis of negotiations had been concluded amongst themselves, the delegates would proceed to England to conter with the Colonial Office in regard thereto “the question as to the particular form of Government for the new confederacy, says the New York correspondent of the Standard. who, in his letter, refers to the favour with which the proposed confederation of the British Provinces has been received, “may be safely left to the people themselves. The Canadians have been endeavouring to build up a system of administration and legislation founded, as far as possible, on the British constitution. The present generation has been educated in the forms and principles of a limited monarchy, although, from the difference of language, religion, and local institutions of the sections – Upper and Lower Canada, – the machinery has not worked so smoothly as might be desired. The federative plan now proposed – especially if it can be enlarged by the important suggestions I have made will no doubt materially lessen, if they do not wholly obviate these defects It may, therefore, be solely left to the people of the provinces, either by means of a specially elected convention of delegates or through their respective legislatures, to determine whether they prefer to retain their present form of l[illegible]e l and general administration or to substitute others more in form in their place. [illegible]th the example of the never-ending turmoil, changes, frauds, peculations, and cost connected with or growing out of the periodical election of Presidents and Governors, it is scarcely to be doubted what course the people of the provinces would pursue both in respect of toe administrative and judicial departments of Government. The affectionate regard entertained throughout British America for the reigning family of England would most likely lead to an offer of the chief magistracy, under whatever title that may be designated, to Prince Al[illegible]red, or some other member of the Royal Family With an empire in the North and an empire in the South, the North American continents might reasonably hope for a long and prosperous period of repose. What other subdivisions may come hereafter, in the interior or in the Pacific coast, it would perhaps be a waste of time to speculate It is sufficient to meet the pressing demands of the hour and leave the rest to that superior power that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we may’”
Even in the present early discussions of the question as to the form of Government to be adopted for the new confederacy, the probability if same member of the Royal Family occupying the highest post created under the new constitution, has always been regarded as one of the most important elements in the proposed changes, and we believe that such an event would be hailed by the several provinces with the utmost satisfaction and delight.