Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, 1 May 1866, Nova Scotia Confederation with Canada.



The House met at 3 o'clock.
Mr MILLER said he wished to avail himself of this opportunity of replying to some of the slanders and misrepresentations which had appeared in reference to himself in a portion of the public press. A fortnight ago, or thereabouts, an exciting debate had taken place in which the hon member for East Halifax had occupied a po ition in which no member of that House ever stood before, presenting a spectacle which must convince the country that if there was a man whose utterances were entitled to no respect, it was that gentleman. On that occasion Mr Annand had brought two charges against his (Mr M's) veracity, which had been conclusively met and exposed on the instant; — first as to the conversation with hon Geo Brown, in reference to which he (Mr A) had said that the report of the conversation as detailed by him (Mr M) was incorrect;—the second in reference to the Inverness petitions Yet, on the following day, the hon member had the hardihood to announce in the Chronicle that he had succeeded in bringing home a charge against him. If the individual who inspired that journal made this charge publicly, in his proper person, it would be harmless as the idle words, because to enable one man to injure another by fixing any charge on him, it was requisite the accusation should proceed from an individual who possessed some character—otherwise the attempt merely exhibited the baseness of the source from which the charge proceeded, and would recoil on him who made it.
At the instance of Mr S. Campbell the galleries were cleared, but subsequently re-opened.
Mr Miller continued:—He did not feel it necessary to make these observations merely because Mr Annand, in the Chronicle, had slandered him, but because there were many persons who were not sufficiently intelligent to discriminate between the statements of that journal, which were merely the effusions of the member for East Halifax, and the public opinion which it pretended, however falsely, to reflect. He asked who was there less able than the member for East Halifax to make improper charges, or who should be more backward in maligning and slandering another? That member's name recently appeared appended to an address to Her Majesty the Queen, the first paragraph of which contained an expression of the loyalty of those who signed it, and yet one had only to turn back his recollection a short time to recall the period when the hon member expressed the wish that the day would come when "the stars and stripes would wave over citadel hill!" Was the man who could utter such a traitorous sentiment as that in a position to makes charge against another ?— Within a few weeks the same member had been guilty of a similar crime, and had been heard expressing the wish in the public streets "that 50,000 Fenians would land in Canada." And nevertheless this was the man who applied the term " traitor" to members who were acting in accordance with the declared wishes and policy of the Queen's Government and the best interests of the country. The humiliating apology made by the hon member, suffused with shame as he stood when charged with these expressions, was ample proof of the correctness of the assertions in reference to the position which he occupied. The man who thus stood convicted of treason by his own admission was the man who used the press under his control to disseminate falsehoods, scatter seditious sentiments, broadcast over the country, and create the worst feelings for the worst purposes. Mr. Annand had brought forward letters from his friends to exculpate himself from this last charge of treasonable conduct, but it would be recollected that those letters conclusively established his guilt.— The hon member had suppressed them in the publication of his speech, and had declined to lay them on the table. But what more ? In his speech on the Resolution for Union that gentleman had asserted that he had been offered "money place and preferment " if he would support Confederation. These words were taken down by a number of gentlemen, "and were telegraphed to Mr Brown who pronounced the assertion a " villainous falsehood." At the conclusion of that speech he (Mr M) rose and stated a report of that conversation given to him by Mr Annand at the time, and the reply then made wad that he had not related correctly what was reported as having passed, while on the following day the member for East Halifax admitted that his (Mr M's) statement was substantially correct. These facts appeared in the official reports. That hon member had done more—he denied having used the word money in connection with Mr Brown's name. A dozen gentlemen instantly con tradicted him from their notes, and the official report shewed that his denial was incorrect. What was the veracity of such a man worth? If he, Mr. Miller, had been compelled to admit himself guilty of traitorous 310 DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS language, and was convicted of untruthful statements on the floors of Parliament, and had to confess that a gentleman whom he had flatly contradicted had substantially told the truth, and at the same time to withdraw a slander against another man there would have been good foundation for impugning his veracity; that was not his case. The member for East Halifax feeling the humiliation of his position saw the necessity of drawing attention from himself to others, and did what no honorable man under the same circumstances would do—he meanly revealed the secrets of confidential intercourse, which was in keeping with his conduct from beginning to end, and had excited the disgust even of his friends. It was such conduct that had induced one member after another in the Legislature, to scout the hon. member's leadership as they were obliged to do out of consideration for their own character and position. Private conversations had thus been revealed by Mr. Annand whenever they suited him, without any justification on his part. No men can, for any time, act politically together without confidential communications which subsequent differences justified neither in revealing. He Mr. M. had been acting with the anti-Confederate party against the Quebec scheme, but only against that scheme, and had then much confidential intercourse with Mr. Annand and others, but the first man had yet to hear any of it disclosed. A different course was now necessary in self-defence. Fortunately he had not placed himself in Mr. Annand's power, and could defy his malice. The hon. gentleman had produced a paper to shew that a statement made by him in reference to the Inverness petitions was incorrect, and had asserted that he, Mr Miller, had denied sending such petitions into the country. The House knew he had done nothing of the sort, but boldly avowed that up to early in the present Session every exertion, he could use, and every means within his power were put forward to defeat Confederation on the Quebec basis. He wished to get that scheme before the people, because he knew it would be defeated. If this paper proved anything it only was that those petitions were sent into Inverness six days after instead of a few days before the meeting of the Legislature, but that paper was written before the Legislature met ; when it had been handed to the printer he could not say. Mr. Annand had subsequently to admit the charge in reference to the two petitions, in connection with which the dispute arose, was unfounded,he himself having sent those petitions to Inverness, and, as a further proof, they were returned to him when signed. Even without this admission, any charge from such a quarter would require some further evidence than the assertions of a man whose statements had been publicly branded as villianous falsehoods. The discrepancy was of little consequence, whatever it was. Mr. Annand had said, in one of his speeches, that if it were not that he, Mr. M., had been so careful of the expenditure of a few shillings, the petition for Inverness would have been sent by him. Did not this shew that the subject was talked over before the franking privilege was possessed by members? But Mr. Annand knowing what he did should be the last to charge penuriousness on him. No member was less open to such a charge. In reference to it he, Mr. M., would state a few undeniable facts ; three years ago when he had gone to run his election, it had been stated that he had received a large sum of money from the Liberal party to secure the County of Richmond. He had to meet this slander everywhere during his canvass, but the truth was that every sixpence of his expenditure on that occasion had been borne by himself, and that contest was fairly gained without the slightest understanding existing anywhere with reference to his subsequent action.
If any one here or elsewhere could contradict him let it be done. He could further say that his opposition to the Quebec scheme had cost more than any five of the richest merchants of Halifax who had the credit of contributing so largely in support of the anti-union cause. He, Mr. M., had gone into the country during the busy seasons for weeks to canvass and hold public meetings at a heavy personal expenditure, every cent of which came out of his own pocket, although there was a fund from which his expenses might be paid but which he always declined to touch. This contrasted strongly with the conduct of a member who would not go on a flying visit to one of the western counties for two or three days without having his expenses paid, but who now made this charge of penuriousness against one who he knew had acted with a disinterestedness ill-becoming his means. In going to Lunenburg he left his business at much loss and incurred much hardship and inconvenience and still contributed to the election fund sufficient to meet his own expenses, refusing to have anything to do with the bag which was carried by the Editor of the Citizen who had since given no account of the contents although called OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY. 311 upon so to do. Mr. McDonald put nothing into the fund whatever he may have taken out, yet he was one of the men to impute corruption to others. The member for East Halifax, a few days ago, had taken up much of the time of the House in defining his position, but it could be defined in half a dozen words : his position was that of the fag of another man. It was notorious that Mr. Annand had no idea or will of his own but had drawn all his inspiration during the twenty odd years he had been in public life from a well known source. He was simply a puppet in the hands of another. When the House met that gentleman's object was to become the leader of the Anti-Confederate party; and it was generally supposed that when in England he had represented himself in that character to Mr. Cardwell, who must have conceived a very poor opinion of that party from that circumstance. He, Mr. M., had not of course attended the caucus of the Liberal party at the opening of the Session, nor had he attended any caucus, but he was reliably informed that at that meeting the member for East Halifax had been left in a minority of one, himself voting, on the proposition to supplant Mr. Archibald by Mr. Annand as leader—a minority, it would be admitted, neither respectable in point of numbers nor otherwise. From that day the hon. member had commenced a most tortuous course in relation to Confederation, which clearly proved that personal position was his sole aim. He had told him, Mr. Miller, that he was willing to give the whole thing up and that he intended to visit Fredericton and communicate with Mr. Smith of New Brunswick on a scheme of Union to be submitted to the Legislature. That fact was notorious to many in the city, and it dare not be denied. For a whole week his departure for that Province was expected,—he did not go for reasons unnecessary to mention,but from the day when his leadership had been repudiated he had been ready to adopt any compromise, and had spoken to him to that effect. This was the action of the gentleman who had yet to hear the first argument in favor of Confederation. Early in March Mr. Annand accosted him, Mr. Miller, at the door of the Province Building, and signified his intention of coming down to the House to define his position, espousing Confederation; and proposing a resolution by which the details of the scheme would be left, as was then known to be the general wish of the friends of union, to the Imperial Government. In the conversation Mr. Annand added, " if you Eastern men stick out, you will get into the same difficulty that your people are in in New Brunswick." Implying a threat as he, Mr. Miller, believed, that the charges of disloyalty and sympathy with Fenianism, which had been made by an injudicious portion of the Confederate press, of that province against certain members of the Roman Catholic body who opposed Union, would be brought against gentlemen representing the Eastern counties. These he suspected to be the tactics about to be resorted to, and, recollecting the past, he justly feared them. Mr. Annand had at that time expressed a fervent wish that "Mr. Howe would come home." Whether that gentleman's arrival had anything to do with the change in the hon. member's views and actions he would not pretend to say. He would admit that the tortuous cause pursued by the hon. member had some influence on his (Mr. Miller's) action, but his mind was chiefly influenced by higher considerations. About the same time the last hope of the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, by legislation or otherwise had fled, the Fishery difficulty was on our hands, Fenianism had assumed an alarming attitude, and the necessity for action became imminent. It was under this necessity that he reluctantly yielded his opinion in reference to an appeal to the people—the only point on which his opponents could charge him with inconsistency, and which was justified by the exigencies of the moment. After the Lunenburg election, in conversation, he had told Mr. Annand that he could not persevere in opposing all union, and that the time had come for effecting some compromise by which the objectionable features of the Quebec scheme could be got rid of. Mr. Annand agreed with him, and the result of that conversation was the article of the 24th January, which appeared in the Morning Chronicle, suggesting a new Convention to promote Union. Mr. A. afterwards communicated with Mr. Smith, and represented that gentleman as desirous of a common platform for compromise, as that article proposed. The views therein stated were publicly to be taken as the honest expressions of the hon. member, but in conversation with others Mr. Annand avowed that he was not sincere, and merely desired to get the delegates into a snare by inducing them to abandon the Quebec scheme. He thus played with the friends of union on fair terms and the opponents of all union. Ho had done more than that—he had frequently when urged by him (Mr. M,), manfully to adopt some scheme and deal fairly with the question, replied that such a course would not best subserve their own interests. But by working on the prejudices of the people, and exciting them against a union of the Provinces he and his friends would have the best chances of getting to Ottawa in case Confederation was carried, as he believed it must be, and if it were not: carried by the Government the Opposition would have the honor of carrying it when they came into power. Could he (Mr. M.), after 312 DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS such dishonesty and tergiversation of the member for East Halifax be blamed for abandoning at the right moment an associate so dishonorable whose every act was a deception, and whose only object was personal gain. He was compelled to make these revelations in self- defence. He asked the house and the people to couple his statements with the charges of which Mr. Annaud stood publicly convicted, should he venture to deny them. A man whose utterances had been stamped as "villianous falsehoods" in one case was not worthy of much credit in another. He (Mr. M.) was not surprised that the anti-Confederate party should have assailed him with such violence as they had done, or that they should now desire to underrate the support he gave them, and injure him in every possi ble way. They had placed a different value on his efforts as all knew until he felt he could no longer co-operate with them. Their present abuse and mis-representations were easily understood. They may not have felt his loss, but certainly they presented a different front after he adandoned them from what they did before. They had on all important occasions sought his services, and had unsought given him a prominence that would have enabled him to secure an honorable and lucrative position when the party came into power, as all expected they would by holding together until the general election. He had sacrificed these chances, which were not remote; and perhaps also his prospects in public life for some years to come irom a sense of duty—but after all the popular clamour, now attempted to be excited, would soon subside, and before long the people would be just to the men who had boldly grappled with the great question. He could, therefore, treat lightly the insinuations about improper influences which were not believed by the men who made them, and were simply intended to mislead the country. Such charges could only trouble one whose conscience told him they contained some truth. Those who knew him best, whether they approved or condemned his recent action, would scout the base insinuations made against him. While such charges could be easily made and were calculated to leave an impression on the ignorant and depraved, no right thinking man would believe them without proof, because it was impossible to disprove an undefined charge of that nature. He had refrained from making these observations until he had been coarsely and violently assailed, and until further silence would have been misconstrued. They would throw some light on the honesty and consistency of the member for East Halifax, and account for his disappointment and temper at the course which events had taken.
Mr. S MCDONNELL asked the Atty General what had become of the resolution calling upon Mr. Annaud to lay on the table letters which he had read, as a part of his speech on a previous occasion. The very fact that other members had sent petitions into his county proved that he had never committed himself in opposition to union. He denounced the efforts made by the member for East Halifax to mislead the public mind and create agitation throughout the country, and stigmatised the position in which that gentleman had placed himself in the recent discussion on the subject of Confederation.
Mr. MILLER said it would be a gross insult to the House to suppose that any corroboration was needed for the statements he had previously made. The certificate produced in reference to the Inverness circular did not prove that the document was not written before the meeting of the House, which was the case. In reference to the Lunenburg election, and in reply to remarks concerning one of the members for that county, he would state that the terms upon which Mr. Hebb had agreed to run his election were, that his expenses should be paid, and that he should receive £30, as was agreed to be paid to Mr. Zwicker, and this money had been actually given to one of the agents in compliance with the terms.
Mr. HEBB denied that he had been bribed to run the election,—he had not been desirous of undertaking the contest; if his wishes had tended in that direction, he could have been in the House eighteen years ago.   A free election had been offered him this time; and for the purpose of inducing his friends to desist from their entreaties, he said that he would require to be paid the £30, which Mr. Zwicker was reported to have got, but since receiving the requisition he had not for a moment thought of receiving the money and never should.
Mr. JOST introduced a bill to legalize assessment rolls of the county of Lunenburg.
Mr. HEBB complained that he had been unable to have the road scale for Lunenburg arranged as he wished it. His colleagues would not allow him to appoint his own commissioners. The scale had been handed in without his consent.
Messrs. JOST and KAULBACK said that they had given every opportunity to the hon. member to consult with them in reference to the distribution of the road money. 
Hon. ATTY. GENERAL introduced an act to amend chap. 70, Provincial Railways; also, a bill in reference to Crown Lands.


Nova Scotia. The Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Halifax: Croshill and Bourinot, 1864-1867. Digitized by Canadiana.



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