House of Commons, 21 April 1870, Canadian Confederation with Newfoundland

1140 COMMONS DEBATES April 21, 1870
[...] told last year that the Territory was to cost ÂŁ300,000, but he found that the Government had sent out orders through the militia with a view to take possession of this Territory.
Hon. Sir George-È. Cartier said that the item did not at all go for military purposes, it was merely for opening communication. The Red River question was too large to come up at the present time.
Mr. Masson said if no part of the sum was to be employed for military purposes there could be no objection to accepting his amendment. The intention of the Government was to send a military force. He had twice offered his services against the Fenians, but he could not permit the Government to go and raise an army to take possession of a country with which they had nothing to do. The people of the North-West ought to be put on the same terms as the people of Newfoundland or Prince Edward's Island. They had no idea of compelling those Provinces to enter the Union by force of arms; and a different rule ought not to be followed in the case of the North-West. If they sent a soldier to that Territory there would be a war of Catholics and Protestants. (No, no.) There would be a war between nation and nation, and race and race. (No, no.) And the first shot that would be fired there would lose us the Territory. (No.) He was well convinced of that. He spoke from conviction, and a sense of duty he owed to his constituency. He thought that a peaceful policy would settle all difficulties with less expense and greater satisfaction to the country.
Mr. Mackenzie—No, no, (hear).
Mr. Masson said that a war there would end in a war with the United States. That was his opinion, but he might be mistaken. It would be satisfactory to no part of the country, for he did not believe that there would be a single man that would offer to go and take possession of a country where they had no position at all. No, it was for the Imperial Government to give them peaceful possession of that territory, and when they had it in peaceful possession he was willing, old as he was, to go and defend it.
Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald said that it was quite clear that the resolution went much further than Mr. Masson had gone in his speech. He stated that if this vote did not go for any military expenditure he would have no objection to its passing, but it went much further, for it related to the general revenue of the Dominion. The hon. gentleman's speech and resolutions did not agree—his motion meant one thing and his words another. It was too [...]


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1870. Edited by P.B. Waite. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1979. Original scans accessible at: http://parl.canadiana.ca/.



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