House of Commons, 23 February 1870, Canadian Confederation with Prince Edward Island

[...] place in the House, or amongst gentlemen, and should be expelled if possible.
The matter was then dropped.


Mr. Blake moved an address for copies of the correspondence between the Imperial and Canadian Governments. He said that a rumour had been current last session in that House that a portion of the loan raised for the purpose of the construction of the Intercolonial Railway had been expended to meet some of the general expenditure of the country. That rumour had been commented on by various members of the House as presenting a serious breach of the obligations which their Government owed to the Imperial Government, considering the terms on which their loan had been made. A motion was made by him (Mr. Blake) for an address on the subject, but the address was presented at the end of the session, and it being so late the correspondence was not brought down. He begged to call the attention of the gentlemen opposite to that fact. He would say, however, in advance of the papers that he had asked for, that the course which was taken by the Government in the matter was not such as ought to have been taken. The Act provided that the Imperial Government might guarantee the interest on a loan of ÂŁ3,000,000 to the Government of Canada for the purpose of constructing the road and further provided that the guarantees should not be given until provisions had been made on the part of Canada for appropriation and expenditure on the construction of the Railway Loan, so that the money thus raised by Act of Parliament was secured to the appropriation and expenditure on the construction of the line. In accordance with that Act, the Government passed an Act which was accepted by the Commissioners as a satisfactory fulfillment of the obligations which were obliged to be fulfilled by the Government before the money could be raised. A part of it was left in the Treasury, the money being raised before they were ready to expend it for financial consideration, which it was not now necessary to explain, and, under these circumstances, he thought that it was the duty of the Government that that balance should have been kept intact, so that it should be ready for expenditure on the completion of the road, and that its duty to the Imperial Government, by reason of their common interest with them, and of the conditions under which it had guaranteed the interest of the 168 COMMONS DEBATES February 23, 1870 loan, gave it a just right to complain if the money had been expended in any other way, even if the finances of the country should enable the Government to "recoup," which was the felicitous phrase by which it had been described, the money so expended. He believed that a rebuke had been received from the Imperial Government on that point, and that rebuke was followed by remonstrance, and an intimation that a change might take place in the policy of Her Majesty's Government What was the fate of that remonstrance he did not know, nor care how this Government thought they could bring sufficient power to bear upon the Imperial Government to induce them not to change their policy; but when the papers came down the House would have more information on the point. He thought that the transaction was not one which was creditable to the Government which had made this country responsible for it.
Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald said there could be no objection to bringing down the papers; but the Government declined to enter into a discussion on the matter before they were so brought down. A discussion had been entered into last session before there were any papers on the table, and had been replied to by Sir John Rose. He believed that Sir John Rose's answer was satisfactory, and that the honour and credit of that House had been fully sustained by the hon. gentleman. He believed that the House would be of opinion when the papers were brought down that the honour of the House and the pecuniary interests of the country had been guarded. It would be found that there had been no breach of faith on the part of the Government. The papers would be brought down without delay, and the House and the country would have every opportunity for discussing the question.


Mr. Blake moved an address for copies of correspondence and Orders in Council, respecting the admission of Prince Edward's Island or British Columbia into the Union, etc—Motion carried.
Mr. Blake moved for copies of correspondence touching legislation in any of the Provinces and disallowance of acts, etc. He said he understood that general instructions upon the subject of Provincial Legislation had been issued by His Excellency—Motion carried.


Mr. Rymal moved for a select committee to enquire into the payment of $20,000 to the late Sir Allan MacNab. He spoke at some length, [...]


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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