Newfoundland Legislative Assembly, 2 February 1865, Newfoundland Debates over Confederation with Canada.

THE NEWFOUNDLANDER St. John's, Monday, March 20, 1865. 1
The house met at three o'clock.
Mr. E. D. SHEA presented a petition from the Revd. Kyran Walsh, Chairman of the Roman Catholic Board of Education at Harbor Main, which was received and read praying, that the R. C. school at Colliers should be placed under the direction of the Harbor Main Board. Also a petition from Samuel Case, Ferryman at Aquateforte, which was received and read, praying for an increase of salary.
Ordered that the petition lie on the table.
Mr. BARRON presented a petition from John Ryan and others, of St. Mary's, Holyrood and Trepassey, which was received and read, praying for the establishment of a ferry at the North east arm of Trepassey.
Mr. BARRON, in moving that the petition lie on the table, said he knew the necessity for a ferry at that place, and hoped, when in committee of supply, that the petition would be favourably considered.
Ordered that the petition lie on the table.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL presented a petition from James Dove and others, of Harbor Grace, which was received and read, praying for a grant of land for the purpose of a buying ground for the Wesleyans of that town.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL, in moving that the petition lie on the table, would observe that the house had alroady granted money for the purchase of burying ground for the members of the Church of England and for the Catholics of Harbor Grace. The Wesleyans, who equally required a burying ground outside the town, now came forward and petitioned that similar provision should be made for them, . He was satisfied that the prayer of the petition would be readily acceded to by the house.
Mr. MOORE was happy to support the player of that petition. Similar provision had been made for by all denominations in St. John's, and more recently the members of the Church of England and the Roman Catholics of Harbor Grace were provided for. The Wesleyans were a numerous and repectable body, and they now petitioned for similar consideration, which he had no doubt the house would comply with. Ordered that the petition lie on the table.
Mr. RORKE presented a petition from Jonn Winterbotham and others of Carbonear, wrich was received and eau, praying for a grant of land for a burying ground for the Wesleyans of that town.
Mr. RORKE, in moving that the petition lie on the table, would observe that, last session, when grants were made for the Church of Englanu and Roman Catholic burying grounds outside tee town of Harbor Grace, he stated that he supported these grants on the understanding hat the claim of Carbonear for similar consideration in should be recognized. The Wesleyans of that town were an old and respectable congregation, and this burying ground had for some years been so crowded as to endanger the health of those residing in its vicinity, and there was a necessity for its being closed, and a suitable burying ground provided outside the town. After the grants alieady made to other places, he was satisfied that the petition would be favourably considered.
The hon RECEIVER GENERAL had much pleasure in supporting the prayer of that petition. He knew many of the petitioners intimately, and was aware that the present Wesleyan burying ground at Carbonear was altogether insufficient for the requirements of such a large body. Similar grants were made to St. John's and Harbor Grace, and the claim of the petitioners to the same consideration would be admitted by hon members on both sides of the house.
Ordered that the petition lie on the table.
Mr. RORKE, also presented a petition from Nicholas Nichol, Postmaster of Carbonear, which was received and read, praving for an increase of salary.
Mr. RORKE in moving that the petition lie on the table would observe that the duties of the Postmaster of Carbonear had been very much increased since the salary was fixed at its present amount, way offices had been established on the North Shore of Conception Bay and on the South Shore of Trinity Bay, to which he had to dispatch mails, and from which mails are received, and the local business of the office was also increased, so that the salary, which was sufficient a few years ago, was now inadeuate.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL thought that Post Master a very worthy person, and considered his remuneration very inadequate for the duties he had to perform. But he (S. Gen.) would observe that he had two years ago, presented a similar petition, from the Post Master of Harbor Grace, whose duties had much increased since the salaries were fixed for Harbor Grace, Carbonear and Brigus. Special mails were now received and dispached on the arrival of the mail Packets from Halifax, and the system of money orders was also introduced, which had caused a great deal of additional duty which the Post Master had to perform, and for which he did not receive one penny. When he was appointed to the othce, he was merely to receive the mails from St. John's, and dispatch the return mails. The system had since been much extended. He (S. Gen) regretted the Post Master General was not in the house. He could testify to the efficiency of the Post Master at Harbor Grace, and the inadequacy of his salary. Harbor Grace was the only Post Office out of St. John's that paid its expenses, which was evidence of the extent of duty there compared with other offices.
Mr. RORKE quite agreed with the Solicitor General, that the Post MŇŅ.ster at Harbor un ace was not sufficiently remunerated; but at present he would urge the prayer of that petit on on the favorable consideration of the house. Public servants, who performed their duty faithfully, should be properly remunerated.
Mr. MOORE supported the claim of the Post Master of Harbor Grace for an increase of salary. His present salary was in no way adequate to the duties he nad to perform. These duties were increasing every year; and all he (Mr. Moore) wondered at, was now it was that he should have been kept so long doing such onerous duties at so inadequate a salary.
Dr. WINTER‚ÄĒWhile he admitted the claims of the Post Masters of Harbor Grace and Carbonear to the consideration of the house and the Government, he would call attention to that of the Post Mistress at Trinity also to an increase of salary. Without desiring to prejudice the claims of others, he hoped that the importance of Trinity would be taken into consideration, and adequate remuneration provided for its Post Mistress. Ordered that the petition lie on the table. The hon Acting Colonial Secretary, by command of his Excellency the Governor, presented to the house the following documents:¬≠
Statement of the General Water Company for the year 1864.
Report of T. Dwyer, Esq., Inspector of Weights and Measures for St. John's.
Ordered that these documents lie on the table.
On motion of the hon ATTORNEY GENERAL, pursuant to order of the day, the house resolved itself into Committee of the whole on the further consideration of the Confederation of the British North American Colonies, Mr. Knight in the Chair.
Mr. GLEN rose to say a few words on this important question, though, he felt much diffidence in saying so, after the very able speeches of the hon members, Mr. A Shea and the hon Attorney General. He would say those speeches would have been listened to with satisfaction, even if they had beer, delivered within the walls of the Imperial Parliament. He differed with them, however, on many points, and as he could not attempt to follow them in their aerial flights, so visionary and so speculative, he would address the house in a more practical, and he believed, more trustworthy manner. With regard to the Report of our Delegates, as to the amount of money we are to receive, he would say that it was not correct. He told them so at an early stage of the proceedings; but they paid no attention to it. When, therefore an important document of that kind was placed before the house and found incorrect, parties would, he thought, be cautious in putting much faith in any of their future statemen's, There were errors in the documents. He would only point out two of them, one of ¬£500 for the Receiver General, which sum was already provided for in the appropriation for the Customs Department. So with the Post Office Department, they put down the whole expenditure, say ¬£3.281, but gave no credit for ¬£1000 revenue received by that department. After examining the financial details submitted by the Delegates I confess I am far from being satisfied with them. The tariff that will be introduced into Newfoundland will be the Canadian one, in my opinion a most oppressive tariff, 25 per cent on all wearing appareal, boots, shoes, &c., and 20 per cent on all woollens, cottons, linen, leather, cordage, &c., in short, a high protective tariff, to shut out, if possible, the cheap manufactures of Great Britain, in order to encourage their own manufactures. We want no protective tariff; what we require is to purchase our fishery supplies whereever we can procure them at the cheapest rate, but Canada will not permit us to do so, if she can prevent it. Her high protective tariff, she expects, will keep out the cheap manufactures of Great Britain. Such an attempt I protest against as injurious to the interests of our fishing population, and of our fisheries. It is said the Canadian tariff will be reduced. Will any one believe it will be reduced after the confederation of the Provinces? In my opinion the tariff of duties must be raised higher, to provide for their vast expenditure, they must Support a large militia force, build fortifications, in fact the country must be put in a plete state of defence, costing millions. Then their inter-colonial railroad, reconstructing their canals, costing more millions, besides providing for their future army, and navy. Taxation must, therefore, be iucreased as they must have a much larger revenue to meet their enormous expenditure. In fact the Canadian tariff of duties, was increased only last year, which does not look much like reducing their tariff. We will have to pay our proportion of all that vast outlay, but we'll receive no benefit whatever from it, and as the Canadian Government will, after the confederation, have the power of taxing Newfoundland by all the other modes and systems of taxation, I much fear, looking at their future vast expenditure, that Newfoundland wil be made to feel the power the General Government will have after the union of taxing us for ever. The power of taxing Newfoundland for ever, by all methods and systems, is in my opinion too great a power to give the Canadian Government. It has been said that manufactured goods will be imported into Newfoundland from Canada, and be sold cheaper than British goods as Canadian manufactures will be imported here free of duty. I do not believe it, for this reason, that British manufactures are imported largely ($16,000,000 last year) into Canada, notwithstanding their high productive tariff of 25 and 20 per cent, and can undersell them in their own market. Now if they cannot compete with British manufactures, how can British goods be kept out of Newfoundland, when Canadian manufactures will be subject to the additional expense of freight, insurance, commission, &c. It is evident that British goods will be better able to compete with Canadian goods in Newfoundland; and as British manufactures are sold cheaper than those of Canada in their own inaiket, it follows they will also be sold cheaper in Newfoundland, notwithstanding the high protective duty of 25 and 20 per cent. It is also clear that we will have to pay those oppressive taxes; and the misfortune is, the increased revenue will go for Canadian improvements. I do not like the idea of being a party to a protective and hostile tarif agilist Great Britain, our best friends, and certainly our only protectors. It does not look well. It may be all very well for Americans and Canadians to do so, but for Newfoundlanders to act in that manner would be most ungrateful. Besides there is the ridicule of the thing, that of submitting to a tariff at the command of Canada, not only hostile to Great Britain, but a protective taritŇŅ, "with nothing to protect." I would rather have a hostile tariff against Canada than against Great Britain. As I said oefore, we know them as our best friends, and our only protectors, in the hour of danger. What does Mr. Gladstone say about these protective tariffs? He says, "We have given to our colonies practical freedom. I am not prepared to say that we have not something to rectify on the other side of the account. We observe a disposition on the part of some colonies calling themselves our own, to set up against the industry and productions of England, the mischiefs and obstructions of an exploded productive system." Now, I say again, I object to being a party to the mischleis, and o structions of an exploded protective system, Newfoundland having nothing to protect, our annual expenditure, taking the average of the last eight years, is ¬£113000 stg. The General Government of Canada give us ¬£112,000 stg., so that we nave less by ¬£1,000 than the amount required to pay our average expenditure. What a miserable bargain for Newfoundland; and for any improvements we may require in future, we must get them by direct taxation, as the General Government have told us that they will give us no further assistance, beyond the ¬£112,000. Now is it fair that we should only receive ¬£112,990 stg. whilst they would collect from us, under the Canadian tarif, at a very moderate calculation, ¬£145,000 stg.> (The actual amount by the Customs Returns is ¬£160,000 stg.) ‚ÄĒWe would send them annually ¬£33,000, and in ten years they would receive from us the large amount of ¬£330,000 stg. What improvements we could make in Newfoundland wih such a revenue. The road and education grants we could then give would benefit our country to a great extent; and every one that wished would get constant employment. But, unfortunately, all that large revenue abstracted from us, will be sent off to Canada, and Newfoundland would be left lamenting over such a bargain. The principal question after all is what effect the Confederation will have on our fisheries and fishermen, for the very existence of every one in Newfoundland, from the highest to the lowest, depends, on our fisheries. It is true, our fisheries have been unsuccessful of late years, and great distress prevails amongst our fishermen and others throughout the Colony. But it has not yet been shown by any one how joining the Confederation will benefit our fisheries, or how it will relieve our fishermen from their distressed condition. In my opinion, joining the Confederation on the terms proposed, will add to thei distress, by the great increase of taxation, particularly as they will derive no benefit whatever from the additional taxes imposed upon them, as the revenue received from these taxes will all be sent off to Canada. I have no objections to taxation if the revenue was spent in Newfoundirnd, for the benefit of our own people, but I have every objection when the revenue will be carried away, for the benefit of the Canadians. I notice by the Canadian tariff, that French fish will be admitted free into Newfoundland. Our fishermen cannot compete with the bounty-protected fishermen of France. For every quintal of fish they will sand into our market they will receive a large bounty of eight or nine shillings per quintal. Our fishermen receive no bounty. They will therefore be undersold in their own market; and I believe this will complete the ruin of our fishing population. This was guarded against, as the Hon Attorney General is aware of, by placing a duty of five shillings per quintal on foreign salted fish. The reason for doing so was that we could not compete with French fish, unless the French Government gave up their system of bounties. They will not give up the bounty on fish, therefore we put on a duty of five shillings per quintal to protect our fishermen. The Canadian tariff will leave our fishermen unprotected. Such will be the effect to Newfoundland, if she joins the union. And will any one favorable to the Confederation say we ought not to have better terms than are now offered us, and perfect security for all our reasonable demands before we think at all of joining the Confederation? What a mess we would have been placed in had the Legislature affirmed the Resolutions of the Quebec Delegates, as was contemplated by some of our Representatives. We must have better terms; and every reasonable security we ought to have. No promise of what the General Government intend to do should satisfy us.- Every thing should be put in the New Constitution. No pledge, no promise, should be taken on such a subject as this. Scotland made terms before entering into the Union with England, and was benefitted by it. Ireland made terms, but took the word of the Government, that, if she joined the Union, Catholic emancipation would at the same time be granted. Ireland was deceived; she joined the Union, but Catholic emancipation was refused although the English Government had pledged themselves to grant it. So much for trusting to promises, and it was only through the exertions, many years afterwards, of Daniel O'Connell, that Catholic emancipation was granted to Ireland, from fear of a rebellion- what was refused to the justice of the case. If Newfoundlaud trusts to promises and fine speeches, we will be looking, in a few years, for another Daniel O'Connell. What do we actually receive from the General Government by the resolutions agreed to at the Conference of Delegates at Quebec, forming the bases of the proposed Confederation? All Newfoundland is to receive is ¬£112,000 stg. Nothing more. And what does Newfoundland actually give up to the General Government? 1st. She gives up her revenue under the Canadian tariff of ¬£145,000 to ¬£160,000 stg. 2-yd. She gives up all her ungranted Lands, Mines and Minerals.-3rd. She gives up to the General Government of Canada, the power of making laws for us.-4th. She gives the General Government of Canada the power to regulate our fisheries.‚ÄĒ5th. She gives the General Government the power of taxing our fish and oil.‚Äď6th. She gives them the power of raising money in Newfoundland by all modes and system of taxation,-7th. French fish, with eight shillings bounty, will be admitted free into Newfoundland, to the injury of our fishermen. Will any one in Newfoundland say, we ought to join the Confederation on such terms as these? I should think not. We must, in my opinion, have better terms, not only as to money matters, as we receive nothing in comparison to the amount they will get from us; we should also have the sole control of our fisheries, without any reference the Canadian Government. We should allow no taxes to be imposed on us whatever in Newfoundland. The tax on imports we cannot avoid, if we join the union, as there must, of course, be a general tariff of import duties for the whole Confederation. But we pay "double per head in Newfoundlanand" to want they do in Canada of import duties. Why should Newfoundland, a poor country, pay double import duties, as compared with Canada, which is said to be a rich country, and receive no fair equivalent? This is not just or fair. To enter the Confederation on the resolutions agreed to at the Quebec conference, would, in my opinion, be ruinous to Newfoundland, and I hope it will not be agreed to. Let us at least have fair terms, without perfect security I think we should not enter the union. No one in Newfoundland would, I think for a monent agree to join the Confederation, on the ruinous terms proposed by the Delegates at the conference at Quebec, on the 10th October, 1864. The hon member, Mr. Shea, based his calculations on the tariff of 1863, because it, answered his purpose, as the revenue that year was only ¬£94,000, instead of taking the year 1864, which was a fair average of our revenue for the last 9 years, being a little over ¬£100,030. His friend Mr. Galt, of Canada, acted differently. He does not like to take 1863 for the basis of his calculations, as there was a deliciency in the account of amount a million of dollars. So 1893 would dot do for him; he likes 1864 better, as he had a surpius that year for the first time. So you see how cunningly the two great financers, manage with the years 1863 and 1864. Mr. Galt says let us take 1864 for the basis of our calculations, as I have a Surplus revenue that year for the first time, and it will look vetter than taking 1863, when there was a deficiency. It may answer you to take 1864 for your basis of calculations, but it will not answer me, says the hon member, Mr. A. Shea; for if I take 1864 for my basis I will snow an increase of duties of ¬£60,000 stg. No I must take 1863, to show a less amount of taxation. The hon member puts down ¬£10,000, as an asset for steam communication from Canada to Great Britain, (calling at Newfoundland.) There is no THE NEWFOUNDLANDER. 2 guarantee in the Quebec resolutions for anything of the kind, he has assumed ¬£10,000 as an asset, on a mere promise, which is really absurd; and shows he is unable to make a statement that would oe satisfactory to this house. He therefore, is obliged to have recourse to the delusion of making the ¬£10,000 appear as an asset, and on the simple promise of so me one (of course of hign standing,) in Canada. I say nothing is to whether the steam communication, when we get it, would be really worth ¬£10,000 to this country. So we might think ¬£10,000 could be better appropriated. I merely wish to state that putting down in his statement ¬£10,000 as an asset, on a promise that steam communication may be granted us by Canada, is a delusion of a kind that I really think will not take in any one. The hon member says, the amount of duty (¬£7004) that would be colected on Bread under the Canadian tariff, is a mistake, as he has Mr. Galt's word that bread will be put down in the next tariff in the free list. I can only say that by the present Canadian tariff, bread is subject to a duty of 20 per cent. Mr. Galt also informs the house member by telegraph that the Canadian tariff will be revised to the satisfaction of the Lower Provinces. These fine promises do not suit us. I have no doubt they were thought sufficient by Mr. Galt to make us jump into the union at once. When all the fine promises and persuasive speeches failed to make us see the beauties of the confederation, on the terms agreed to at the Quebec conference, the hon member threatened us with the high displeasure of the British Government, that we would be left without any protection, and of course, be a prey to any power that might wish to take possession of our country. I do not believe that Great Britain will refuse to continue her protection to Newfound and. She will not feel insulted at our desire to obtain better terms before entering the confederation. " In all probability Newfoundland will be the last place of America, where the British flag will wave." Such is my opinion, I will now read the following statement:‚ÄĒ
Statement of our Financial Affairs, if Newfoundland joins the Confederalion.
The annual expenditure of our Government, taking the average of the past eight years, is £113,000 stg.
Charges payable by the general government of Canada, as per statement of the Delegates £32,000.
Assets applicable for the purposes of our Government, as per statement of the Delegates £80,000. £112,000 stg.
Balance against the Colony Such is the bargain made of our momentary affairs, Say £1,100 less than our average expenditure. No future improvements can therefore be made but by direct taxation. It is said we would receive from the general government more than our average revenue. This assertion is mere delusion, for our revenue under the Canadian tariff, at a very moderate estimate, would yield at least £140,000.
(The total revenue is £160,000) The general government of Canada gives us only £112,000.
Newfoundland will send to Canada yearly £33,000 stg.
The General Government would receive from us, in one year £33,000 stg., which in ten years, would amount to £330,000.
Why should Newfoundland accept so small a sum as ¬£112,000 stg., and the Canadian government take from us the large amount of ¬£145,000 stg. to ¬£160,000 and that we should give then also all our unaranted lands, our mines and minerals, the power of making for us what laws they like, the power of regulating our fisheries, the uncontrolled power, for all future time, of taxing us as they please, and the power of raising money by aŇŅ the other modes and systems of taxation, so well known to the Canadian Government, and admitting French, bounty fish free. (8s. bounty.)
Before thinking of entering the Confederation we must have better terms, and everything guaranteed to us in the new constitution. If we cannot get better terms, we should remain as we are.
The general government of Canada leave us our local revenues of £2,000 a year, but they take care to carry off £2,000 a year of our Savings' Bank profits, and £1000 a year of our Postal revenue to repay themselves.
Hon. SOLICITOR GENERAL-The Resolution before the chair was one which, he was happy to say, no hon. member could find fault with; and much credit was due to the hon Attorney General for the course he had adopted in the matter now before the chair. Wnen the scheme of confederation was first spoken of, he (S. Gen) regarded it with a great deal of distrust, snd considered that we ought to be very guarded in the course we should adopt in respect to it. He was then opposed to confederation; and had listened with great interest to the arguments of its supporters, if they could show that the country could benefit by the scheme. The Goverument appointed two delegates to the Conference held at Quebec on this question; and be must say that they did their work well there, and represented the country efficiently , and both the hon members, Mr. Shea and the hon Attorney General, made excellent speeches in support of the measure. He regretted the course which was rendered necessary for him to adopt, as he differed entirely from these hon gentlemen. It was for the supporters of confederation to show what were its advantages, and it was for us, who differ in opinion from them to show the fallacy of their reasoning. The hon member, Mr. Shea, had endeavoured to prove that we would derive great benefit f on the proposed connexion with the confederate provinces; and the supporters of the proposition, who appear to be in extacies with what they call a grand idea, would induce us to believe that, by its adoption, this country would be largely benefitted. One would suppose, from the picture painted by them,that a howling wilderness would be turned into a garden of Eden‚ÄĒa Paradise, but he thought it would be a Paradise lost‚ÄĒ that we would have a little Heaven here below; and be, in all times to come in a perfect state of beatification. But he (S. Gen.) could not see all these good things in the same light as some hon gentlemen did, but regarded the scheme as one calculated to do much injury to the country, and now proposed to argue his side of the case with hon gentlemen. No doubt the connexion would be beneficial to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which were contiguous to Canada; but our condition is very different, and the rule , which may apply to them may be most prejudical to us. If we were connected with Canada by land, we could avail ourselves of the advantages which would result to us from her railways, ber manufactures, and her public institutions, but being isolated as we are, and in effect, farther from Canada than from England; the case is very different. It is a fact that we can go to England almost every day, whilst, for at least, four months of the year Canada is inaccessible to us except through the United States; and in summer we have very little intercourse or business with that country, compared with what we have with England. We are at present connected with Britain by the most tender ties‚ÄĒwe are her sons‚ÄĒ she is the home of our forefathers‚ÄĒwe are one of her oldest and most Inyal colonies; and he (S.Gen.) would not be one of thase who would adopt a course calculated evidently to make us independent of that great nation, and estrange her maternal affections from us. A great deal had been said about the existing distress of this colony‚ÄĒthat we have resources not availed of, which might be developed, and which would afford employment to our people; and this has been urged as a reason for our entering into the union. But whilst he admitted that there was much distress at present, and that the country was not in that prosperous and wholesome condition, that might be desired, yet the supporters of Confederation had failed to show how the proposed scheme world remedy these evils, how annexation to Canada would make the country more prosperous, while notoriously great evils would result from the connection. There must ne a great increase of taxation,to defray the necessary expenditure of the confederation; but how we should receive commensurate benefit from our connection with Canada, had not been shown to his satisfaction. Hon. gentlemen say‚ÄĒ" Our people are poor and in distress. Allow us to tax them some ¬£50 or ¬£60,000 per annum more than at present‚ÄĒto abolish our Legislature‚ÄĒto hand over the right of universal taxation to Canada‚ÄĒin fact, to yield up ourselves and our country, and that will be a panacea for all our ills. He (S. Gen.) did not see how the poverty of our people would be lessened by further taxation, or now we were to improve by yielding up our birthrignt. We are told that factories would rise and that sources of employment for our people would be opened up; but it was only assumption, that by going into Confederatiou we would possess these institutions, whilst it is a fact, that if we dared, in our Legislature, to tax the people to the extent proposed by the Confederation, we would our. selves have the means of fostering and encouraging all those institutions which would give employment to the labouring classes, at that season of the year when such is required. The hon, member, Mr. Shea, said that entering into the Confederation we would have a line of steamers to Montreal, or some other Canadian port; and that the Canadian steamers, to and from England, would call here; but he (s. Gen.) did not see that in the Resolutions of the Conference. This too was assumption.‚ÄĒAnother great benefit to flow from Confederation was, that we were to have eight members in the Federal House of Commons, and all our young men who could not find employment here to their satisfaction, could go to them, and they would procure situations for them in Canada, and that our people would find employment on the railroad which was to connect Canada and New Brunswick with the port of Halifax. If it could be stown that manufacturing capitalists would come amongst us and establish factories‚ÄĒthat new resources would be opened to us in our own country which would give employment to our increasing population, it would be something; but to say that we would by benefited by our people leaving us, and the country being depopulated, was to him inexplicable, and an argument which he did not understand. We were told by the advocates of Confederation of these advantages, but he could not see them whilst its disadvantages were certain. This House is the guardian of our public rights. Let us go into confederation, and what would we have to look to? The privilege of governing ourselves would be transferred into other hands, and gone from us. He (Sol. Gen) believed this discussion about Confederation had inspired the people with more confidence in the House of Assembly, as the guardian of their rights, his House was looked to to maintain the rights of the people of Newfoundland. If we entered into, the proposed Confederation, they would be gone. We would have no independent Legislature; and what could eight men sent to Canada do to protect our interests? We had thirty members in this Assembly, of whom seven were residents in the outposts; and what influence had they? They had been urging morning meetings of the house, so as to get though with the public business to a reasonable time, that they might go home to attend o their own private affairs; but they could not carry it. The St. John's men were too powerful for them. They attended to their business during tne day, and came to the house after dinner; and it any member had anything of interest to attract him in the evening, there was an early adjournment, and the outport members had to submit. if the voice of 7 members in 30 has such slight effect, what influence would 8 members have in a House of 194, to protect our interest in Canada? If confederation, was carried out, this House would become a nudity, and we would have the representatives of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia legislating for us and making us at their will, for our 8 members could only offer a feeble resistance to what they might disapprove of. At present we are legislating in the face of our constituents, having an election every four years; and if we oppress them or overtax them they can supply our places wish those men worthy of their confidence. But it we united with Canada we would have no redress, for Canada would make our laws and do with us as she pleased. What influence would 8 men have to prevent our taxation being doubled? At present our import duties are about 13 per cent in the aggregate. The duties in Canada are 20 per cent; and when Confederation is carried out there will be an assimilation of tariffs, as is admitted, and that would add 50 per cent, to our present taxation, as had been snown by the hon member Mr Glen. What was the object of England in recommending Confederation for Canada? Was it not that she might be relieved from the expense of detending that province, which involved a heavy expenditure? And would not the military protection of Newfoundland be discontinued by England, if we entered into the union? And would they not have an army and a navy to provide ior the protection of the confederated Colonies? And still, we are told of a reduction to be effected in the existing tariff of Canada. In place of reduction, that taxation must be raised 100 per cent. And how will it be raised? The Quebec Resolutions answer that question. They give unlimited powers of taxation to the federal government and legislature. They could tax our fish, our oil, our houses, lands, horses and carts, and all other property, and we could not resist. Besides, they are to have full control over our fisheries. How would our fishermen and planters like that? But then we were to give up to the federal Government all our ungranted Crown lands, with our mines and minerals,and we had a gentleman from Canada last summer examining our mineral resources. We did not well know what they were; but Canada seemed to know well, for part of the bargain was that we were to give up our mines and minerals to then. He (S. Gen) spoke of these matters as he believed them. This was his native country; and if he thought it would be benefited by confederation he would go into it. He had a large family, and it he thought it would promote their welfare he would gladly embrace it. But he could not see that the proposed union would benefit this country, but the reverse. There was another matter. It was said that England would continue to extend to this country a helping hand. There may be no doubt of that. Still there would be a disruption of those maternal ties that bind Great Britain to this her most ancient Colony. At present we have England and her army to protect us. who are her children, and if a foreign foe touched a rock of Newfoundland, England would immediately demand reparation for it. It might be said that we will still have her protection; yet if so, she would be removed from us in feeling, and in course of time, she may be altogether estranged from us. It was said that the people of England complained of the cost of protecting the colonies, and that they must get rid of the burden; that Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and all the other colonies must provide for their own defence, or pay for the troops employed in their protection. Well, he did not say that it was unreasonable that we should pay our proportion of the military defence of the empire, if required, including, of course, the colonies. He did not suppose our share of it, according to population, would exceed ¬£5,000 a year; but if it were twice that amount, he would rather pay it than incur the burthen that would be entailed on us by Confederation. And besides, Canada and the United States are contiguous; and we do no know the moment when there may be war with the United States or some other power when we would have to bear our proportion of the cost of the war, whatever it might come too; and if troops were called for, for the protection of the Canadian frontier, we would have to proceed to its defence, as was the case now in the United States, where the citizens throughout the union were drafted, and had to join the army. If we united with Canada, and there should be war with the United States or any other power, we would be subjected to the draft tor the defence of Canada, and go we must. Hon. gentlemen had stated that we must enter into the Confederation, whether we would or not. He did not see anything in the correspondence to shew that there would be any compulsion. England did not desire that we should join, if we did not wish it. The other Provinces took up the question, and were about to hold a conference, which we were invited to join; and the Attorney General said we should send Delegates to see what was going on, and instructed them to da nothing binding on this colony. We have now their report; and it is quite another matter to become parties to its terms. We were never requested by the British Government to take part in these proceedings, nor by the colonies, until we invited ourselves. And because Canada and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which are contiguous to each other, are about to confederate, ought we, who are 600 miles distant from the nearest point, to join the union, if we do not consider it for our interest to do so? If he (S. Gen.) were a representative of Nova Scotia he would go for the union. But although Nova Scotia would be benefited, still he found by the newspapers of that Province that there was much difference of opinion on the question, and that New Brunswick was also against it.
Mr. SHEA‚ÄĒThe hon gentleman should be careful as to the accuracy of his statements. Mr. Tilly, the premier of New Brunswick, was confident there would be a large majority in the Assembly of that Province for confederation.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL ‚ÄďOne thing was certain, if New Brunswick was not against it, at all events she was not for it; and Prince Edward Island was decidedly against it, while that island was much nearer the other provinces than Newfoundland; and as to this colony it was evident that with the exception of a few who expected to benefit by it, confederation was unfavourably regarded. So far as his vote went he was inclined to remain as we are at present, for he did not think confederation with Canada would improve our circumstances, but on the contrary would be the cause of oppossing our people with heavy burthens. He would rather be the tail of England than the tail of Canada; and living been born under the flag which had braved for a thousand years the battle and the breeze, he hoped to live and die under it.
Mr. MARCH must congratulate this House and the country on the Resolution proposed by the hon Attorney General, complying as it did witn the unanimous voice of the people. The people had been called wooden heads and chowder heads by an hon member of this house, as if they were not capable of giving an opinion on a great question like this. If they felt no interest in it, who did? They were bound to this country by the strongest of ties. Their fathers had died to establish its liberty, and he (Mr March) would never consent, while a drop of British blood ran in his veins, to yield up this country. which was one day bound to be the most flourishing on the ocean, to a parcel of Johnny Crapeaus or Dutch Canadians. We were now part of the glorious British Empire; we lived under the sway of our beloved sovereign Queen Victoria, upon whose dominions the sun never sets. Were we to leave the flag that had braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze; be separated from the glorious Empire of Britain, and place on a sandy, muddy, tickety foundation? He (Mr March) indignantly protested against any such spoliation of our liberties. Hon gentlemen call this clap-trap. It was no clap-trap‚ÄĒit was as true as Holy Writ. He had a duty to discharge to his country, and he would fearlessly and honesty discharge it. He would defy any man to say he was wrong. He endorsed every word that had fallen from the hon members, Mr Glen and Mr Hayward.‚ÄĒAlthough they had not spoken three hours, they had thrown a deal of light on the subject, and had taken the part of honest man who had the welfare of their country at heart. He knew very well that if the delegates had not been , feasted and gormandized in Canada, they would have never signed that Report. Why, if any of us got muddled, we would not know what we were about. Who will deny that? None of us was infallible. Human nature was frail. One great man might be deceived. Aye, even two of them. What would become of the country if the wooden heads did not brave the dangers of the deepif they did not run out,like so many squirrels, over the rotten ice, and bring in their big loads of fat?‚Äď He regretted that any disparagement had been thrown on them. This is a question we would all differ on. Honour to the Attorney General, the star of this country;‚ÄĒThe bench shall be honoured by him. If we went into this Confederation and a war took place with America, our best men would have to fight their battles. He well knew that Canada had been a nightmare to the British Government, and a drain on her treasury. They say that the time had come when she should bear part of the cost of her military defence. Look at the immense sum of money it would take to fortify Canada; and how could she defend herself without means? She was now almost insolvent, and wanted to pounce on Newfoundland like a hungry cat, and seize her teeming wealth‚ÄĒher milions of money, which were annually drawn from her waters, and replenish her own exhausted treasury with it. Was this country to be bartered away for a mess of pottage? When the old Government had their seven years of plenty, what did they do with it? Did they, like Joseph in Egypt, lay it up? Look at our great Northern Route; why, there is land there equal to any in the world; and if the dogs were destroyed, and the people encouraged to rear sheep, we would have our woolen manufactories scattered throughout the land, giving employment to the people, and providing them with cheap raiment. Our country could rise like a Phoenix from its ashes, and amid wealth, happiness and prosperity, blossom like the rose. He had this from Mr. Howe's lips himself, the greatest statesman on this side of the Atlantic. Look at the Scotch farmers who had left Nova Scotia, and settled at the Bay of Islands, were there was fine land, with immense timber, no dogs to worry the cattle or destroy the sheep. And was this country to be sacrificed for a paltry ¬£112,000 a year? Never, the people would go to the cannon's mouth before they submitted to such a think. What good were we to derive from railroads, their canals, &c? The country was not asleep to these things. There was no use thus to throw dust into the eyes of the public. We wanted no hungry lawyers to guide us in this matter. Common sense and honesty was all that was required to carry on the Government. We had our old mother England to protect us, with the milk of human kindness in her heart. Did she ever make serfs of us? No, her glory was to watch over and protect us. He (Mr. March) would settle this matter, supposing he had to go to London at once.- Two or three years ago it was stated by men who now make speeches of two or three hours in length, that if we had only steam communication with Britain, this country would be turned into a land of Goshen at once. Well, we had the Galway line, and what good resulted from it? What had we to pay for it? No less than ¬£8,000 a year. They brought the scum of society into this country, who, with their bag pipes, danced their horn-pipes on the water pipes, and we had to pay the piper. Facts are stubborn things, and under this Confederation, if we had steam communication, we would have to pay for it. Do you think that if we have this confederation, capitalists will come here and spread their money broad cast over the country? It was a delusion, a mockery and a humbug. If rich men wanted to come here, they could come now; and Confederation was not going to bring them. What object under heaven had he (Mr. March) but what would tend to benefit his native country? He remembered when 800 men were sent from this to Canada; to fight , and how many returned; Why poor old Billy Boggs and Johnny Martin. It was well for us to ponder what was in store for us. He would tell the house what would raise the country out of its present depressed condition. Let us pass an Act to prevent the sale of bait to the French. That was what ruined our fisheries. If they could get no bait from us, they would be unable to prevent the fish from coming in upon our shores. He (Mr. March) heartily concurred in the Resolution before the house.
(To be continued )


Mr. PROWSE.-No man in this house enjoyed an exhibition of this kind more than he (Mr Prowse); ever, when the laugh was against himself, as it was this evening, he had no objection to the serio-comic performance; but he thought it would be very much better suited for other scenes. If the hon member, Mr March, would only act it elsewhere, for the benefit of the poor, he would do a great service, these bad times. Here it was out of place, and in the discussion of a great subject like the one now before us, most unseemly and improper. The hon member says all we want in the discussion of this question is common, sense and honesty; "we want no hungry lawyers." Now he (Mr. P.) quite agreed with the hon gentleman, that all he (Mr March) wanted was common sense and honesty. He might have those qualities separately, but after this last speech, he certainly could not have them in combination. If he had no common sense, he might honestly believe what he and the Solicitor General said about our being separated from England and joined to Canada alone; but if he has any common understanding, he must see that one of the primary objects of the Conference was to connect us more closely with Great Britain; and that, under confederation, we will be as much an integral portion of the British Empire, or even more so, than we are now. Confederation is a great thing; it has made the Solicitor General speak, and the great argument that he relies upon is the little influence our eight men: would have in the general Parliament. See, says the Solicitor General, how little influence the seven out harbor members have in this house. Why they cannot get the St John's members to attend to business, and they cannot prevent them adjourning to go to dinners. He (Mr Prowse) would like to know if there had ever been any complaint made by the Solicitor General on this score, and whether he was not always the first to go to a dinner party himself? What can eight members do? The hon and learned gentlemen forgets all the influence Sir William Molesworth and the philosophical radicals exercised in the British House of Commons, though only numbering about a score of gentlemen? But is it more of the results of confederation that small states, like Rhode Island, for instance, are crushed and tyrannized over by large states like New York? Has the smallest Swiss canton the smallest complaint against the larger cantons? And why should we be afraid that Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and P. E. Island, should all combine to treat us unfairly? It was very amusing to listen to some of the arguments of hon gentlemen on this question, The hon member, (Mr. March) and the learned Solicitor General describe the wealth and prosperity of this country in the most glowing terms. She is like some fair and beauteous damsel, rich with the spoils of the ocean, with no unseemly rents of pauperism in her bridal attire, her wealth and her beauty have attracted the covetous eyes of that old brokendown, ruined, spendthrift Canada, who wants to inveigle her into Confederation, and then ravish her of all her wealth. Do hon gentlemen know anything about that ruined country, Canada? Why, Sir, these beggarly Canadians have only 18 million dollars worth of agricultural implements, 79 millions dollars of live stock, and over 60 millions invested in railways and canals. Any one hearing these hon gentlemen argue this question, would think that the whole aim and desire of Canada was to squeeze the last drop of blood out of us, and that she was to recruit her ruined finances by grinding us down by oppressive taxation. Now, sir, this is a most unŇŅair way of discussing this question. Canada is not going to tax us. Whatever is done in that way will be done by the General Parliament of the United British North American Provinces. But whatever hon gentlemen say about the Delegates and Canadian politicians, the Delegates had at least the satisfaction of knowing that their report and the Proceedings of the conference had the high approval of enlightened British statesmen, of the London Times, which is quite as high an authority on political questions as any of our intelligent newspapers. That conference at Quebec, consisting of some of the ablest men from each of the colonies, acted all through this matter in the most able manner, and thoroughly in the spirit of our constitution. The Delegates first prepared a draŇŅt of the new constitution. This draft, contained in their report, was then submitted to the different local Legislatures, where, under the system of party government, it would receive the fullest ventilation; and each colony would discover how its particular interest lay with regard to it. And finally there was the last reference to the Imperial Parliament, where the claims of each colony would be [?], and the reasonableness and justice of such claims decided upon by the enlishtened statesmen of England. He (Mr Prowse) considered that it was a matter of the greatest importance to us that our reasonable and moderate demands were to be decided upon by enlightened statesmen such as England now possesses, by such men as Lord Palmerston, Earl Russell, and Mr. Gladstone, men whose impartialty was above suspicion, and whose political sagacity and forethought was above all praise. One of the great difficulties in answering the objections of the opponents of this great, measure was the great diversity and the conflicting character of the argumements they used. One enlightened merchant, an opponent of confederation,says we will be flooded with Canadian manufactures. So also say the opponents of the confederation in Nova Scotia; but the great Nestor of the anticonfederates in this house, Mr Glen, says go. Canada is a large importer of British goods, and this shows she cannot manufacture enough for herself; and how, then, will she be able to export manufactured goods to us? Now if the hon gentleman's argument were of any weight, any, ountry that imported largely of manufactures could not export them. But unfortunately for his position, England, which exports the largest amount of manufactured articles in the world, also imports manufactures to an enormous extent. France, the largest exporter of light wines, actually imports large qunatities of light wines from Hungary and Germany. Don't we ourselves import dried cootish? But the facts as well as the arguments are against hon members. The hon member for Carbonear, Mr. Rorke, has samples of Canadian leather as low in price as American, and superior in quality. The produce of the tanneries of Canada now amounts to more than two millions and one half of dollars worth a year. Canada also manufactures over a million yards of woolen cloths, valued at less than one dollar a yard. She has large iron founderies whose produce is two and a half million dollars worth. Then she exports furniture and boots and shoes to England. She has large manufactures of carriages. Canada has thus been shown to be in a position to export many kinds of manufactures to us to a considerable extent; and whilst labour is so dear there, it will pay them better to end down the leather and woolens not made up, and thus afford a good deal of employment to our un: fortunate tailors and shoemakers, so many of whom are now suffering great distress. But it makes no difference how fallacious the arguments of those opposed to confederation may be shown to be, the ready answer to all reasoning is‚ÄĒ"Oh, all you shew us in four of confederation is purely speculative, wholly theoretical." These gentlemen are not satisfied unless they can clutch futurity in their fists and put it into their breeches pockets... No political philosophy has any reference to us... We have nothing to do with the arguments and political economy of John Stuart Mill. The experience we derived from the study of history does not teach us, and he (Mr. Prowse) would ask them,-where are we to go then for a parallel? Are we to be guided by the political experience of the King of Dahomey, or to follow the model of the King question is theoretical; and must be to a great extent speculative in its character. What other arguments were used to prove the benefit that would result from the Reciprocity Treaty, or from the introduction of Responsible Government? It is singular, but true, that precisely the same position which is now taken up by the opponent's of confederation was the one assumed by those who opposed the union of England and Scotland. But, says the hon member, Mr. Glen, there is no similarity between that union and the com: federation. To his (Mr Prowse's) mind, there was a remarkable similarity. The pauperism of Scotland was something frightful in 1707. Are not we in the same condition? And what is her present position? She has fewer paupers than any other portion of the three kingdoms. She has whole counties with hardly a single parish pauper. The union has accomplished tenfold greater results, material, social and political, than the wildest anticipations of those who labored to promote it. But then we are told there is increased taxation. This weighs down every advantage in hon. gentlemens' minds; but he (Mr Prowse) would like to know whether civilization, the moral and intellectual elevation of the people, are not of far more inportance than an extra penny or twopence on tea, or any question of tariffs? What is the present situation of this country as regards education and enlightenment? We are like a lot of little boys in the lowest class of a country school. We have been using our well-thumbed horn books so long that we have got to think of nothing beyond them. But let us come in contact with people who have a splendid system of education, who are enjoying the advantages of railways and steamers, and who are in a higher state of civilization than we are; does any one suppose that it we formed part of the confederation, we would have been so long trembling on the brink of a great public work like, Toad's Cove Breakwater or Flower Hill Firebreak? Do you think we should have remained go long satisfied with that wretched tub the Ellen Gis borne, or with the imperfect manner in which local steam is at present carried out, or our present miserable postal system? No. we cannot remain as we are. Increased intercourse with or fellow, colonists, especially Canada, will have the same effect on to that it has everywhere else. We must improve. We never can go back in the path of progress. No government how dare do away with local steam. The whole country would cry out against the infliction of such an injustice on the outports. But, say hon gentlemen, this theory may be all correct; however, there is no community of interest between this country and Canada. She wants protection and we want free trade, she must have a protective tariff. Now he (Mr. Prowse) denied that the present Canadian tariff is protective. It was put on entirely for the purpose of revenue. It would not suit her agricultural population to have a protective tariff on manufactures; nor would it suit her best interests to place a duty on foreign grain, a duty of a shilling a barrel on flour, or sixpence a bushel on wheat from the States, would make grass grow in the streets of Montreal. It would render Canada's great canals and railways, useless for the great design which they were intended, namely, as the best and cheapest outlet of the produce of the Western States to the Atlantic. Besides, it does not at all follow that the interests of the majority of any country should guide its fiscal policy. In England the majority, both in wealth and population, are agricultural; yet England's policy and England's interests have been found to lie in free trade in grain; and it has been found, too, that her agricultural interests are best served by this polity. We will have besides in our favour the fact that the interests of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are identical with our own. Neither of them produce their own food entirely. They are both lurge importers of foreign flour and foreign manufactures; and over and above all this, we have the wood of Mr. Galt, that the present Canadian tariff will be reduced, in order to accommodate it to the interests of the whole Confederacy. Mr. Galt has given us this pledge, in the most solemn manner, through Lord Monk and our own Governor. It may be all very well for hon gentiemen to sneer at Mr. Galt and his promises, but it only betrays the lamentable ignorange of the history of colonial politics. Mr. Galt has shown himself an enlightened patriotic statesman; and his reputation as a financier stands as high in England as it does in Canada; and he (Mr. P.) would as soon expect men like George Brown, L. A. McDonald, and Mr. Galt, to return to the exploded theory of protection as he would expect them to defend the Canadian frontier with bows and arrows. Hon. gentlemen may say, of course, it they choose, that Mr. Galt's statement, made through Lord Monk, is a lie; but he (Mr. Prowse) thought they would find very few to be.ieve them. Any one who has read Mr. Galt's pamphlet or this question of Confederation must have been struck with the clear. honest and candid statement of facts it contained. He made no attempt to conceal the Canadian difficulties, out of which this idea of union originated. And what stronger arguinent can there be in favour of Confederation than the desire of these enlightened statesmen to retain this union of Upper and Lower Canada, at any cost? These loading statesmen of two powerful Colonies, like the Canadas, actually forced themselves upon the Charlottetown Conference of the smaller colonies, in order to sustain a union which was an on air one in its commencement, which was forced upon Lower Canada by the British Government, and which is most unfair at present to Upper Canada, a large majority, of whose population is unrepresented. But unfair and unequal as that union now is, still it has been productive of such benefecial results to both colonies, that they would submit to almost, any inconvenience sooner then again be separated. Another argument, which hon gentlemen who oppose Confederation have relied upon is, that as the general Parliament has the power to tax our exports, they will lay a duty on the exports of our fish and oil. He (Mr. Prowse) admitted that if such a thing were attempted it would be a serious loss to this colony. But the very idea of such a thing was absurd. The fisheries of colonies are equal to three-fourths of ours; and their fishing interest; are more nourished and protected than our own. The leading statesmen of Nova Scotia declared they would protect every hook and line, bob and sinker, which Nova Scotia threw into the water. Canada too expends a large amount every year in protecting and encouraging her fisheries; and an export tax would be almost the ruination of the fishing interests of those colonies, which had to be so cherished, and nurtured in order to raise up a maritime population, which Nova Scotia, and especially Canada, considered so recessary for their Colonial prosperity. If the provinces comprised in the proposed Confederation were the only exporters of codfish, if they had no rivals to compete with in foreign markets, he (Mr. Prowse) would consider an export duty on fish and oil might possibly be im posed, aod it would not be so wholly unfair. But when our fish was being driven out of Spain by the fish from Norway, Sweden and Iceland, when, at the present time, our export to Spain alone had dwindled down to less than one-third of the whole consumption of the Peninsula, where, less than thirty years ago, Spain and Portugal, did not receive ten thousand quintals from any other country but Newfoundland; when we had such rivals as the French and others driving us out of the Foreign fish markets, it would be a suicidal policy thus to destroy, at, one fell blow, these great maritime interests which Colonial statesmen had laboured so long and energetically to promote. In the present day an export is an exploded fallacy in political economy; but he (Mr. Prowse) felt sure that, as the interests of the Canadas and the maritime Provinces were identical with our own in that respect, it would be very easy to obtain the same guarantees with respect to our fish and oil, which was given for the coal of Nova Scotia and the lumber of New Brunswick. As regards the financial view of the qmestion, he (Mr Prowse) considered that the fixures by which his hon friend the member for Placentia, Mr. Shea, had shown what would be the result of the Canadian tariff of 1863 as applied to this countly, were unanswerable. He would not dwell up on this point, which was so ably discussed by that hon gentleman. He (Mr. Prowse) had heard many intelligent influential gentlemen who were opposed to confederation say that Mr. Shea's statement was under the mark, rather than over it. One argument, however, was used until it became stale, nauseeating, that is, that in the event of the other colonies joining the confederation without us, Great Britain would make us her pet colony, that she would hug us to her heart as their most cherished offspring. He (Mr. Prowse) would like to know if this was the usual course in human affairs. Do we generally reward those most who give us most slaps in the face; and after you have given the Right Hon. Edward Cardwell a moral kick, spurned the advice of Her Majesty's government, which is tantamount to a command, the Imperial authorities will be so delegated with your conduct in this respect, that they will pass over all the other colonies who have followed their advice, and single you out for all their favors. Does any hon member of this house believe that this will be made a Naval port by Great Britain, if we refuse to go into confederation, or that England will do anything at all for us? If any hon gentlemen does believe such a thing, all he (Mr. Prowse) could say was that he envied their faith. Hon gentlemen who argue thus against Confederation, would try and make us believe that we are being separated from Great Britain, and in the event of war, our men would be drafted to defend the Canadian frontier. Now they must know that in the event of war, the moment Canada was attacked, we would be attacked too, no matter whether we were in confederation or out of it. Talk about the defenceless position of Canada, there was no country so open to attack as this colony; not a man could be spared from here to defend any other part of the union. Picture to yourselves what one federal Monitor would do, if she opened her guns on the capital. Look at the position your Banks and all your institutions would be in. He (Mr. Prowse), would remind hon gentlemen that they had a little account to settle with the British Government with reference to payment of their share of the thirty thousand pounds stg., which the troops cost here. This would doubtless be presented immediately they refused to enter confederation; and he would remind them they had made a promise on this matter, which they would have to keep. He (Mr. Prowse) considered we were bound by every tie of gratitude for the countless favors which we have received from the mother country, to consider her wishes in this matter, and to give them the most serious consideration. As regards England's position with the confederation, he (Mr. Prowse) considered that every province in that confederation was bound to afford assistance to the mother country, whenever their services were required, and Englind was also bound in honor to support the Confederacy when attacked. He (Mr. Prowse) felt the importance of this great, subject. He felt there was a tremendous responsibility cast upon every representative who had to decide upon a measure involving such tremendous consequences to the present and future welfare of this colony. It was quite possible that many of the theories and anticipations put forth on this subject would not be realised; and he (Mr. Prowse) believed for himself, that the beneficial results would far exceed their most sanguine anticipations; perhaps they would not do so in the way hon gentlemen had predicted. He felt very strongly on this subject of confederation,and he regretted that in the heat of debate he had perhaps been too personal; but however strong in his opinions, he would not accept confederation on its present basis, without a guarantee for local, direct, and intercolonial steam. If our other demands were moderate and reasonable, he (Mr. Prowse) considered that we would obtain them; and he thought that, on those terms, our union with the British North American Provinces would be the greatest boon, that could be conferred on this colony. It would be the proudest event in the life of every man who had helped to secure that union on a fair and impartial basis. He (Mr. Prowse) for one would never regret the curtailment of the power of this house, however much hon gentlemen might talk about the value which the country set upon it. If they did so it must have lately come to them. But a few years before, the Solicitor General said he was out, it an unseasonable hour, at a fire, and when the burning house tumbled in, an independent voter in the crowd said he wished " them blackguards of the Assembly were under it." Has there been such a complete revulsion of public feeling since that the public are now delighted with the Assembly and the council, together speciding nearly as much as the whole education grant The public indeed. They wouldn't care a straw, if your whole paraphernalia of Speaker and Sergeant-at-Arms, Clerks and Messengers, Mace and Members, were swept away to-morrow. There would neither be lamentation nor weeping nor great mourning, except, perhaps, on the part of the few small politicians who suffered by the change. He (Mr.Prowse) trusted there would be no silent votes on this question; but that every member would state the reasons which influenced his views, so that our constituencies will know now to deal with each one of us at the next general election.
The house then adjourned until 8 o'clock to-morrow.


FRIDAY, Feb. 22.
The house met at three o'clock
Mr. E. D. SHEA presented a petition from William Kelligrew and others, of Kenews, which was received and read, praying for the passing of a law prohibiting the use of bultows in the fishery.
Mr. SHEA, in moving that the petition lie on the table, would observe that it was a very important subject, and the petitioners considered that it was one in which the Legislature ought to interfere, otherwise that the fishery would be destroyed. He (Mr. Shea) regretted that the bill brought in by the hon member for Carbonear had not been proceeded with. Although some portions of that bill were considered objectionable, still the measure was called for; and he (Mr. Shea) trusted the hon member would yet proceed with a portion of the bill, or that some other hon. member would take it up. We could not afford to ing. They have the fishery destroyed by such practice.
Ordered that the petition lie on the table
Mr. RENOUF presented a petition from Thomas Wythicomb and others, of the South-side of St John's, which was received and read, praying for a grant to repair the road westward of the premises of Messrs, N. Stabb & Co.
Mr. RENOUF, in moving that the petition lie on the table, said the road was giving way in the locality referred to, and he trusted that we would have such a road grant as to enable the members for the western division of St. John's to appropriate a sufficient sum for its thorough repair.
Ordered that the petition lie on the table.
Mr. MOORE presented a petition from James Drover, constable, of Upper Island Cove, which was received and read, praying for grants to open and repair roads in these localities.
Ordered that these petitions lie on the table.
On motion of the hon ATTORNEY GENERAL, pursuant to order of the day, the house resolved itself into committee of the whole on the further consideration of the Confederation of the British North American Colonies, Mr. KNIGHT in the chair.
Mr. RENOUF said he had much pleasure in giving the Resolution his warmest support, because it was of that character which met the views of the people generally on this most important question of Confederation. There can be no doubt, however much some hon members may now say to the contrary, but for the firm and independent stand taken by the few hon gentlemen on both sides of the house, susstained by public opinion out of doors, as expressed at the public meeting held a few days ago, we should not now have before us the present modified Resolution to speak to and vote on; but the Resoolutions adopted at the conference of Delegates held at Quebec in October last. An affirmative vote taken on those Resolutions, would doubtless have the effect of binding us to this proposed Confederation, without giving a majority of the people, whose best interests are so deeply involved in the mighty changes contemplated, an opportunity of understanding the merits or bearings of the case, or expressing their opionons thereon. This matter was new to this house and the country, and he (Mr. Renouf) felt that we had no power delegated to us by the people to entertain this vital question either affirmatively or negatively, until such times as the constituencies should decide at polls in the general election to take place in a few months, this being the last session of this term of the Legislature. The Resolution, therefore, accomplishes all that can be fairly desired for the present; and it would be for the members of the next Assembly to carry out the well understood wishes of the people, who would have to bear all the responsibility which this complete revolution in our affairs would bring about, in the event of Confederation being desired by them. This question of Newfoundland entering into a Confederation with the British North American Provinces, is, without doubt, the most important that has ever agitated the public mind in this country, since the advent of representative institutions. If we look to the sister Provinces, contemplated to form a part of this union, we find there the same strong manifestations of public opinion in favour of this momentous change in our constitution being decided by the people at the polls. This great question is also, with them, as it is with us, the subject of all engrossing importance, deep interest and thoughtful consideration, which, in the event of a union being carried, is to decide, not for a year, but for all time, the weal or the woe, the happiness or misery of those Provinces, which are at present governed by their own independent legislation. The abstract principles of confederation have, under peculiar circumstances, much to recommend them; and more especially when the terms are based on justice and equality, where small states become closely allied to a strong central power, possessing all the materials of strength necessary to imparta tone and vigour to the whole body, for purposes of trade, commerce, and protection, without at the same time unduly restricting their liberties and privileges, or imposing upon them a too heavy burthen of taxation. It, therefore, becomes our solemn duty, as the custodians of the rights, liberties and priveleges of a free people, to clearly understand how far those elements of success and future prosperity for this country are contained in the terms proposed by the Quebec Report, and which can only be fairly arrived at by the calmest enquiry, the most mature consideration, and the deepest investigation. It was to him (Mr Renouf) and his hon colleagues, and to a majority of the house, as it wasto the people generally, a source of congratulation that the Resolution was of that temperate tone, which neither affirms nor negatives this Confederation; but goes to the country for its opinion, thereby giving authority to the next Legislature to give effect to whatever decision the people may arrive at. The advantages of such a course of action would be manifest. The people of the remote outports may of whom have yet scarcely heard a word about this Confederation, will, in the interim, have frequent opportunites of coming into close communication with those who have heard its merits discussed; and who have carefully studied it in all its details. The debates on it in this Assembly will go on the wings of the press to all parts of the island; and hon members who may go to theur constituents for re-election, would have to make this question the principal plank of their political platform, would have ample time and would feel the imperative necessity of educating the public mind, honestly, fairly and impartially, so as to enable it to arrive at a right decision on this, the greatest political, social and constitutional question that has ever affected our general interests. He (Mr Renouf) had listened with the deepest attention to the speeches delivered by the hon Attorney General and the hon member for Placentia and St. Mary's, Mr Shea, one of the Delegates, who opened the debate on this Resolution, and he (Mr Renouf) could not deny the great ability and ingenuity displated by each of those hon gentlemen, in placing this Confederation of the Provinces in the most captivating manner, in the most favorable light before this Assembly; and in the accomplishment of which they certainly never laboured harder on any question, since they had the honor of seats in the house, to bring conviction to the minds of their bearers of the inestimable benefits that might possibly flow from this union. All that ingenuity; tact, imagination, speculation and sophism could possibly accomplish with a bad case, was resorted to "to make the worse appear the better reason," in pointing out those purely imaginary benefits of Newfoundland under Confederation. The hon gentlemen failed to point to one single positive benefit that would accrue from this union. They dealt chiefly in hyperbole and speculation; and on those unsound theories and Utopian schemes, built their splendid superstructures of greatness and prosperity for our country and people, for all time to come. It is not very difficult to construct the most splendid superstructures on supposition by the rule of False Position; but such foundations are less reliable than those of sand are the most aerial conception, which the gentlest breath at once dissipates; and with them all those fancied visions of happiness and unrealized benefist for the people; and
"Like the baseless fabric of a dream, Leave not a wreck behind."
If Newfoundland enters this Confederation, he (Mr Renouf) trusted it would be on certain fixed and well defined principles, with material guarantees: and not on the vague speculations and unauthorised promises held out by our Delegates, to induce, if possible, a compliance with their wishes, which they doubtless led the Canadian Delegates, and those of the other Provinces to believe they would have sufficient interest and influence to realize. The Quebec Resolutions clearly define the terms, on which we may enter this union; and the hon member, Mr. Shea's, clumsy attempt to cajole this Assembly and the country, by patching those Resolutions, agreed to, and signed by the thirty-two Delegates at the Conference, and which our Delegates have not the slightest power or authority to alter, is too transparent to deceive the people. By intelligence received yesterday by mail, we have learned that Nova Scotia does not view this change as at all favourable to her interests, on the plea that they are very well off as they are. New Brunswick was also divided upon this question, and her Legislature was dissolved, to go to the country on its results. If those Provinces, whose connection and interests would be so closely interwoven with Canada, and more particularly after the completion of the Intercolonial railway, running from Canada, through New Brunswick and terminating at Truro, in Nova Scotia, feel cautious in adopting this scheme of Confederation, how much more so ought we to be, who are so remote and isolate, and who must necessarily remain so, who cannot participate in those improvements, and who can have no reciprocal interchange of commodities? Even in Canada matters did not run so smoothly as was expected; the opposition to the scheme was much greater than was at first anticipated: dissentions existed amongst the supporters of that government; dissolution of their parliament was looked for, to make an appeal to the people. Prince Edward Island, like ourselves, being isolated from sharing in the continental improvements of Railroads and Canals, was also showing decided opposition to the scheme, with but a faint hope of her adopting it. There can be little doubt that our Delegates represented themselves to the Canadian government as the chosen agents of our people, the duly authorized exponents of their wishes, desirous for this union, and with high position and commanding influence to carry it, whereas they proceded on their mission of enquiry only, not clothed with official capacity by resolution of this house and not authorized to sign any convention which certainly led the Secretary for the Colonies, Mr. Cardwell, to believe that the acts of our Delegates would be ratified by this Assembly and the people. Our Delegates went and came, and the majority of the public were ignorant of their mission; and now that their views are fully before this house and the people, on this question of union, are repudiated on all sides. The history of Canada, since the union of the two provinces, and more especially of late years, would show how necessary Confederation was, in order to remove the political difficulties which are embarrassing her, and which have, in several occassions, led to a dead lock in her government. This is difficulty arises from the number of representatives to each province being equal - 65 members; which was agreed to at the time of the Legislative union; when Lower Canada had the larger population of the two; but now as Upper Canada has an increase of about 500,000 over Lower Canada, she claims an increas of members on the basis of population; and which being resisted by the Lower Canadians, the government was unable to hold power longer than a few months, and upon one occasion lately, only a few days. The hon George Brown, the leader of the dominant party in Upper Canada, has admitted that the great object to be gained by Confederation with the maritime provinces, would be an increas of Representatives; to enable them to shake off the thraldom in which they have been kept by Lower Canada, and from which there was no possible chance of escape but by the proposed Union. The representation of Upper Canada on the basis of population, however, had not been lost sight of by Mr. Brown at the conference; and by calculations correctly correctly made, it was clearly shown, that at each decennial arrangement, owing to her large increase of population over the lower Provinces. she would be steadily gaining, and that in 36 years hence, she would have an increase of 66 members over the number she had on entering the union, thereby giving her a total of 148 members against 116, or a majority of 36 members over Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P E Island, and Newfoundland. The agricultural interests of Upper Canada would then certainly rule the commercial and shipping interests of the lower provinces and any influence our eight members could have in that Legislature was an absurdity, even to think of. However beneficial Confederation might be to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, whose general interests are more identified with Canada than ours can ever possibly be, who form part of the same continent and may be closely connected by railways, there are no possible means of making those improvements subservient to our interests, of reducing the distance of over 600 miles we are from the nearest point, Halifax, or removing that barrier of ice, which, for five months of the year, completely shuts us out from Canada for any purpose of trade. Our poverty has been used as an argument by our Delegates, why we should be anxious for Confederation with the rich, prosperous and powerful country of Canada. Did our delegates use this argument at the Conference, as a reason why we ought to be admitted into the union? Did they speak of the poverty of Newfoundland at the Conference, and at the public entertainments given them by the Canadians, on the termination of their labourers? Certainly not. They spoke of our great resources, healthy state of trade, sound public credit, flourishing revenue, most valuable fisheries, furnishing inexhaustible mines of wealth, from which, from time to time, immensely large fortunes have been drawn, and that Newfoundland would not enter the Confederation empty handed; but could do so in the character of independence. Those were the arguments used by our delegates in Canada; but the moment they return, and came before this Assembly with their views on this question, what "a wonderful change comes over the spirit of their dream." Our country is altogether different in every aspect to what they represented it in Canada; and they have now the effrontery to characterise it as beggarly, half starved and pauperised and which ought to be glad of the chance of getting so good a stepmother as wealthy Canada. Such fraudulent inconsistency, on the part of our Delegates, for purposes, no doubt, best known to themselves. needs no comment; and carries with it the condemnation it deserves. Our fisheries certainly, for the last three or four years, have not been prosperous; yet our merchants have been able to hold their own, and still issue supplies on an extensive scale. Our people are, no doubt, suffering much from those bad voyages; but it is not the first time in the history of the country that we have had, several years in succession, bad fisheries, and yet managed to retrieve our position without Confederation; and he (Mr. Renouf) would ask, what position would Canada be in, had her crops failed her for the same number of years?
To be continued
1 THE NEWFOUNDLANDER. St. John's, Thursday, March 30, 1865.


FRIDAY, Feb. 22.
Would her finances or her population be better off than ours are to-day? It is idle to say that this Confederation would make good any shortcoming in our prosperity created by bad voyage. Without good fisheries, which are our principal mainstay, any union can do but little for us; and, under Providence, with returning prosperity, and the properly directed efforts of our people, we shall, have no occasion to sacrifice our country and all that we value as free men, because of our present distressed state, to enter into a union, whose grandest feature is the wildest speculation. The hon member, Mr. Shea, has told us that history pointed to Confederations as being generally beneficial to the interests of states so connected, and referred to the time of the Heptarchy in England, and Henry IV. of France, to show the good effects of such combination of states, as a principal argument in favour of our joining the proposed Confederacy. But he (Mr. Renouf) failed to discover the sightest analogy in our position and the countries referred to. Neither the petty kingdoms of the Heptarchy, nor the privinces of France were separated from the provinces of this intended confederation. The kingdoms of the Heptarchy and the provinces of France were closely interwoven with each other, and had a complete identity of interests for trade, commerce and defence, and mutuality of wants, which we cannot possibly have with those provinces we are sought to be allied to. The inion of England is also pointed to, as an evidence of the necessity of our entering Confederation. Here again there is not the slightest analogy, and of the means used to bring about that union, he (Mr. Renouf) would not speak, but [?] has no isolation from England, but is closely connected by sailways, which bring the capitals of the two countries into the close proximity with each other. Scotland had no navy, and it was a great object with her to have the protection of England for her commerce in all parts of the globe; and [?] has greatly conduced to her advancement and prosperity since the union. History also pointed to other Confederations, which the hopn member, Mr. Shea, studiously avoided naming; such as the union of Poland with Russia, and Hungary with Austria, whose histories are written in characters of blood, from the crueities, oppressions and barbarities, which make humanity shudder, practiced against a brave, and generous people. The union of Ireland has also had reference made to it; but it is a most unfortunate one for the hon member. We have but to refer to her splendid public buildings in decay, her commerce destroyed, her nobles and landlords absent, her tenantry evicted from their holdings and starving on the road side, her brave and noble sons expatriated, her taxes made oppressive for another's benefit, and her virtuous peasantry flying frem the land of their fathers as from a plague-stricken country, to seek a home in the United States, and we have the honest reply as to what Ireland has gained by her union. The repeal of the union, the late lamented O'Connell, Ireland's liberator, laboured with all his ability and eloqueuce to accomplish, until under the burdens which are unseprable from the reponsible position he had assumed, he sank into almost a prenature grave. To enable him to carry that repeal, and consummate his wishes; patriotic Irishmen in all parts of the globe enrolled themselves as Repealers, and deeply sympathized with him in his efforts to accomplish the wish nearest his heart, and the hearts of all his true countrymen. The hon member, Mr. Shea, said it was only better terms the Liberetor sought for Ireland. No doubt better terms they procured and exterted from England's fears, but nothing less than a repeal of the Union, which would restore to Ireland her own Parliament, would have been sufficient to satisfy his intense love for the freedom of his country. The United States, since the time of the Confederation of the thirteen colonies, which the necessities of their position for mutual protection and defence, forced upon them, at the time of their separation from Great Britain, have greatly increased in population, wealth and commerce, far beyond elder countries in Europe or America. Her unrivalled position in the New World, her natural resources‚ÄĒgenial climate and the great fertility of the soil, and her mild laws and free institutions afforded all those advantages and inducaements for settlers from different nations of Furope, who brought with them to the new republic, that varied ability, intelligence and industry, which has contributed so largely to her general prosperity. With all those advantages, we have for the last four years, beheld with horror the most gigantic struggle of the Southern Sales to secede from the union, which being resisted by the Northern States and the Government, had led to the most disastrous consequences with excessive taxation and an immense national debt. The high productive duties in favour of the manufactures of the Northern States, against the producers of the South, have contributed largely to bring about this revolt, which is decimiting her people by tens of thousands, devastating her fertile lands, and destroying the land marks of her advanced civilisation. The prosperity of Canada since the union of the two provinces, about twenty-five years ago, has also been referred to us in glowing terms by out Delegates, as an evidence of what we should necessarily become under Confederation. There can be no doubt that Canada has certainly much improved since the union, but she should never have been sparated with her distinct Legislatures, &c., where there was not even a natural or immaginary line to point the demarcation of the separate provinces. It is not because the one land, intersected with railways, canals and rivers, and having interests immediately and closely interwoven with each other, should confederate, that there could be the slightest analogy in her position and ours, or that we could directly paticipate in the railways and canals which so closely bind the interests of thos; formerly separate Provinces, any more than we could paticipate in the Railways and canals of England. But with her progress, we must not be forgetful of her large indebtedness since the union, to a great extent brought about by the grossest corruption and jobbery of her government, which cannot he more clearly shown than by the following quotations from a lecture delivered in England before the Society of Arts, by a well known Englishman, Mr. Ashmore, who said:‚ÄĒ
"In the period which has elapsed since the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada were united, the public debt has been increased from one million to fifteen millions sterling, meanwhile the expenditure of this money has been lavished in every discription of loans and advances on colonial credit, made to the municipalities and for public works. The members of the House of Assembly being returned by the municipalities, give their support to the ministry on the condition of the advance of some loan to their constituents for a speculative object of local improvement. The loan is sanctioned out of money which has been raised under public guarantee. It thus happens, not unfrequently, that the money so easily obtained is wasted or applied to an unprofitable purpose. The inhabitants cannot or will not pay the rates imposed to defray the interest, and the public treasury is hence called upon on the guarantee." "The municipalities, being in this unpleasant condition, are now appealing to the provincial Parliament for aid, upon the ground that, having given them these large powers, they are implicated. Such disclosures do not give up a favourable estimate of Canadian public morality, and it will be important to consider what may be the result of corruption in the representatives, and no immediate check between the demands of the constituencies and the public exchequer." "We have already stated that the public debt of Canada has increased from one to fifteen millions sterling, and we may further observe that along with this continued borrowing, the Canadians have gone on increasing, year by year, the taxes on our manufactured imports, to pay ourselves the interest. The rates of customs duties levied upon imports range from 10 to 100 per cent. and within the last twelve years, there have been to fewer than seven changes of the tariff, increasing the duty upon British manufactures, variously from 19 per cent to 20 and 23 per cent."
That quotation carries with its own commentary on Candian political morality, more powerful than any language which he (Mr. Renouf) could apply to it. The hon member, Mr. Shea, has stated that in the event of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States being repealed, notice of which intention has been given by that government, in a fit of petulance, owing to the conduct of Canadian officials in the matter of the St. Alban Raiders, no retallatory measures would be adopted by Canada, and that he, Mr. Shea, spoke advisedly, having received a telegram on this subject from Mr. Galt, finance minister of Canada. It is the meerest absurdity on the part of the hon member, Mr. Shea, to expect that this Assembly will accept either his, or Mr. Galt's opinion in this matter as a gaurantee for what the general Government might do. It is not by such ad captandum statemeats in argument that we are to be led into compliance with the ardent wishes of those gentlemen; who would not be the sole arbiters on this important question of commercial policy. It is porbable 2 THE NEWFOUNDLANDER. that with the Reciprocity treaty abolished, and a heavy duty reimposed on the produce of those provinces in the United States,the General Government would admit the produce of that country into her markets duty free, and all for the purpose of showing a good example? He (Mr. Renouf) had not the slightest faith in the carrying out of this one-sided doctrine of extreme liberality on the part of the Confederate Government. The hon member, Mr. Shea, also said he did not believe the Reciprocity Treaty would be abolished. He (Mr Renouf) held a different opinion, which was sustained by facts, and would quote from a debate before the senate at Washington in November last, on this matter, as follows‚ÄĒMr. Summer stated, "On an estimate founded on the trade before the treaty, Canada would have paid to the United States, in the ten years of the treaty, at least $17,373,800, which she has been relieved of. This sum has actually been lost to the United States. In return Canada has given up only $2,650,890. being the amount it would have collected if no treaty had been made. There is consequently a vast disproportion to the detriment of the United States. During the ten years of the treaty the United States have actually paid in duties in Canada $16,802,962, while during the same period Canada has paid in duties to the United States the very moderate sum of $330,445." The foregoing facts and figures are certainly more reliable than mere speculative opinions, without any sure foundation; and the public will have no difficulty in deciding which of the two they will accept. We have been further told that England will no longer, defend us unless we agree to enter this Confederation; and he (Mr Renouf) supposed on the terms of the Quebec Resolutions. This is another of the wild speculations of our Delegates, for we have not a single word in the Despatch from the Secretary for the Colonies, Mr. Cardwell,on this subject, that would lead us to infer that the oldest and most loyal colony of the British Empire would be discarded, unless she sacrificed her best interests to gratify the inordinate ambition of a few, to the great injury of the whole country and people. Our defence must be a naval one, and such as England and not the Confederate Government can afford to give us. If England made a present to the general government of her fleet on the North American station, have our Delegates counted the cost of its maintenance in a state of efficiency; and also the additional heavy tax that would create, our proportion of which we should have to contribute? The assertion had been made that there is to be no navy‚ÄĒnot for very many years to come, but in view of the fact that the United States intend placing six ironclad steamers on the lakes, for defence of her territory against raiders from the Canadian side, must not Canada meet the emergency by equipping a similar armament? And is it likely that the British Government will defray the expense? If the United States expand $10,000,000 on her Lake defences; must not Canada be also up, and doing? And he (Mr Renouf) would like to be informed by our Delegates, who must also be sound authorities on naval and military matters, how far will the $1,000,000 go, being the amount set down by the 32 delegates to build up a naval and military defence, not for Canada alone, but for all the Provinces and Colonies in the Confederation? Our Delegates have also said that Newfoundland, being no longer a benefit to the British Navy, as her extensive commerce furnished a nursery for seamen to man her Navy, she cared little about us, and might throw us off withont hesitation. But he (Mr. Renouf) had greater faith in the justice of the mother country, who could not forget that the Banks of Newfoundland contributed to a large extent the seamen who helped to win her most important naval victories. If the Confederate Government is not to have no navy for many years to come, how are the maritime provinces to be defended from without? But the 13th Section of the 29th Resolution of the Quebec Report admits it, and the hon the Speaker, in his reported speech at the de jeuner at Toronto, said, when speaking of the wants of Canada, as follows. "You want the maritime element, and we are able to give it to you. You may by and by require seamen to man your navy, and where will you be able to obtain them more readily than in Newfoundland?" So that, in the event of a war between Canada and the United States, and Newfoundland in this Confederation, our fishermen could be drafted to fight the battles of a country in whose quarrel they had no interest. It is very evident that that speech, made by the hon the Speaker at Toronto, was after the champagne began to circulate freely, from the very remarkable fact of his forgetting all the good things he said in behalf of his native land in Canada, and which, since his return, he was altogether oblivious of, his opinions having undergone a radical change, Newfoundland being only a paltry, poverty stricken, and pauperized country, in the estimation of the hon and learned Speaker. The allusion to the rendezvous of the Russian fleet at New York, two years ago, for the purpose of proceeding to the Pacific, to pounce upon and destroy the Australian colonies, in the event of England interfering on behalf of Poland, was merely an opinion, and not sustained by any information which leaked out from the Cabinet of St. Petersburg! and even if the report was true, it could not be applicable to our position, which would at all times be free from any attack by the Russians. As regards taxation, he (Mr Renouf) would admit that where it was relatively applied, it could not fail to be of general advantage, as in the construction of public works and improvements of a reproductive character; thereby giving remunerative employment to our operative population; and in this sense it might be said that taxation and civilization went hand in hand. What was the condition of this country thirty-five years ago, when we had no taxation, and before we had representative institutions? Almost in a state of wilderness. Now we have roads, bridges, educational establishments, colleges, steam and telegraph communications with the outports and provinces and United States, and many other improvements which characterize the advanced civilization of more favoured countries. But the increased taxation which, under Confederation, we would have to bear, would not be for our local improvements, but for the extension of railways, bridges and canals in Canada. The hon member, Mr. Shea, stated that the people of Canada paid less taxes per head than ours. He (Mr Renouf) admitted that fact, because our taxes are made upon imported goods, which are the necessities of all classes of our people, whereas the agriculturists and others in Canada supply their wants with coarse articles of clothing of their own household and do not require to purchase every imported requirement, as is the case with us. But what about the other heavy direct taxes which the people of Canada have to pay to meet the reckless extravagance that has been practised by successive governments in the administration of their public affairs, and which has helped to create their huge debt of $64,000,000? If we are now taxed $4 per head of our population, it would not probably be less than $6 under Confederation, with the present Canadian tariff, which would add nothing to the 12s. per head which the people of Canada now pay. Any reduction that was promised in that tariff by our Delegates, which is also speculative, would still have the effect of lessening the taxation in Canada and increasing it in Newfoundland, providing it was recuced from its present 20 and 25 per cent to 15 per cent, which is the highest rate we pay on imports. Reference was made to the poverty of our outports, to many of our houses being unoccupied, and
many with bad tenants,and the alarm of our landlords from fear of increased taxation, which would flow from this measure. As regards the fears of our landlords, they have good reason to dread increased taxation, and feel alarmed too. The present heavy water tax, which owes its parentage to the hon member, Mr. Shea, has given them a foretaste of what they may expect, if the General Government gets the power of taxing them. And in what manner Confederation was to reduce the poverty of the outports, and procure good tenants for our empty houses, and turn out the bad ones, he has not ventured to touch upon, or even to make a promise. He (Mr Renouf) did not believe this Confederation scheme would be such a potent remedy for our ills, but would be somewhat like a celebrated quack medicine which promised to cure every thing, even earthquakes, but after being tried was found to be only an in position for getting money. The hon member, Mr. Shea, also referred to the tradesmens' petition, which he (Mr Renouf) presented to the house a couple of years ago, the prayer of which was protection for their industry, and to prevent them becoming paupers on the government. The principles of protection which he (Mr Renouf) then advocated, in regard to that petition, he was prepared to advocate again; but what support did the hon member, Mr. Shea, who now seems to be a convert to their views, give to that petition? He turned a deaf ear to it; but now tells us that our trades men can get, under his darling scheme, Confederation, all they petitioned for. And why? Is it that there is a brighter vista of future greatless in store in Canada for others than our tradesmen, that he now condescends to notice their wants and wishes. Where is the employment for our people who are not engaged in the fisheries; and even for our fishermen and their families during the intervals between the voyages? Where is the employment for our youth of both sexes, who crowd our thoroughfares, and are constrained to live in idleness on the earnings of one or two earners out of each family? Employers they cannot procure, because there are no workshops, and many articles are imported ready made at low duties; which, if made up in the country, would give employment to thousands, many of whom have to take their industry to the United States, or remain here in, a half starving condition, and not unfrequently a burthen upon the public funds of the colony, which should be appropriated to purposes of public improvement and general benefit. Why do our government send orders to other countries, which give employment to their people at the sacrifice of our own, for many articles which could be manufactured here, and then accuse them of their poverty, and drive them to apply for poor relief? Is such the case in the other Provinces? No, whatever the skill and industry of their artisans can accomplish, finds a ready market with them. How different is the case here? Many articles that could be manufactured by our tradesmen, and required for our public institutions, could be supplied both good and cheap; but there is no protection for home manufactures. Many articles that we night supply are imported and made a job of, the government preferring to make paupers of our artizans, rather than encourage and stimulate their industrial pursuits. Our Delegates who are now such ardent admirers of Canada and her protection for her manufactures, should look at home; and if she has, by such means, risen to this great state of prosperity, what is there to prevent the application of the same means to the industry of a large portion of our people, to make them happy and prosperous; and without Confederation? But it appears that what benefits Calada cannot benefit us, unless we sacrifice ourselves to Confederation, which is set forth to be the great panacea to cure all ills, and leave us nothing to desire after it would be effectuated. The hon member, Mr. Shea, said he referred to the tradesmen's petition, merely to show the inconsistency of hon members, then supporting its principles, and now repudiating them when they have the power of giving them effect, of coarse, only under his darling scheme of Confederation. He (Mr. Renouf) had no doubt that the hon memer fancies he can lay the "flattering [?] of his soul," and pride himself on his political consistency on all occasions, in this Assembly and out of it also; and that all reliance could be placed on his fixed principles. When this important question of Confederation was slightly touched upon, in Committee on the address in reply to His Excellency's speech at the opening of this session, he (Mr Renouf) referred to the Canadian tariff of 1863 as applied to our imports for the same year, which would give an increase of taxation of about ¬£40.000. The hon member, Mr. Shea, in preparing his financial statement under Confederation, to place before the country, applies the Canadian tariff of 1863 to our imports, instead of the tariff of 1864, the former giving a smaller aunount of increased taxation, a luxury wich the hon member knows is not over palateable to the people, from the experience they have had of the Water Company's tax, which the hon member led the house and the country to believe, when he introduced that measure, would be scarcely felt. The hon member has told us that the Canadian tariff of 1854 was increased for special purposes, which being now accomplished, would be again reduced. There can be little doubt that it was increased for special pulposes, to raise a sufficiency of revenue to meet their extravagant expenditure, which for seven years prior to 1864 was, on an average, $2,914,756 per year over their income, so that there is little chance of the present tariff being reduced. In the space of twelve years, Canada has had no less than seven tariffs on the ascending scale, and it was only last year, and owing to unusual prosperity, that shs had an excess of revenue over expenditure. He (Mr Renouf) held in his hand a Customs' return, of the application of the Canada tariff of 1864 to our imports. whicn would give a total increase of taxation of ¬£64,570, dedicted from which, a total decrease of ¬£17,413 on some articles, would leave a nett increase of additional taxation of ¬£57.156.‚ÄĒThe increased taxes would be on the following principal articles, viz. rum ¬£803; molasses, ¬£3,585; sugars, ¬£2200, coffee, ¬£568; tobacco, ¬£3,141; soap, ¬£1 114; boots and shoes, ¬£7,162; wearing apparel, ¬£1,331; leather, ¬£2,401; manufactured goods, ¬£23,732; cordage, ¬£3,280; bread, ¬£7,181; Guns, powder and shot, ¬£482; paints, &c., ¬£332. The decrease would be on the following principal articles, vz., wniskey, cordials, gin, brandy and wines, ¬£2,756; teas, ¬£702; fishing tackle, ¬£1,318; canvas, ¬£990; salt, ¬£336; dried fruits, ¬£187; rice, ¬£123.‚ąíHe (Mr Renouf) had prepared a statement (which appears below) which could show pretty fairly what Newfoundland would have to pay under Confederation, and not including what may be raised in case of emergency, by direct taxation, which power the General Government would pessess, by the 5th section of the 29th Resolution of the Quebec report, as follows‚ąí"the raising of money by all or any other modes or systems of taxation." This Assembly would, no doubt, hesitate before increasing our taxation to the figures as shewn under the application of the Cauadian tariff, which increase we could apply to the purposes of local improvement, developing and working our minerals‚ÄĒand opening up new sources of industry for our people, Yet this power, which we are tearful to exercise ourselves, we are willing to transfer to the General Government, for the extension of railways, canals, and other improvements in Canada and the other Provinces, which would be about as beneficial to our direct interests, as the railways and canals of Great Britain. He (Mr. Renouf) would now refer to our exports of fish, oil, herrings, salmon, skins, &c., which by the 2nd section of the 29 Resolution of the Quebec report, would give to the General Government the following powers: viz. "the imposition or regulation of duties of Customs on imports and exports, except on exports of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber, and of coal and other minerals." There can be little doubt then, that our exports would be liable to the risk of taxation, in case of emergency, notwithstanding all our Delegates might say to the contrary; and to place the matter beyond the reach of doubt, suspicion or dispute, they should have stipulated that our exports should form an exemption, as well as the timber, &c., of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. An export tax of 5 per cent on our shipments, would raise another pretty item of revenue for the General Government, of about ¬£60,000 a year, a very small portion of which would fall to our share for local improvements. The hon member, Mr. Shea, calculates there would be a credit balance of $783,471 in favour of the General Government, after detraying all expenses, providing in the amplest manner for the defence of the Confederated provinces; which item of defence was put down at only $1,000,000, an amount barely sufficient for Canada alone, and to which might safely be added another $1,000,000 for the other Provinces. Again, would not the promised extension of the canals of Western Canada absorb the credit balance referred to, to pay interest on monies to be borrowed for that purpose? Mr Brown, in his speech at Toronto:‚ÄĒ"I am happy to say, that with the unanimous consent of the Delegates, we have agreed to the extension of the Canal system of the West," which would certainly cost many millions of dollars, and would be a set off against the Intercolonial railway for the improvements of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The 69th Resolution promises that the North West territory is to be opened up, when the finances would permit; but poor Newfoundland was to be left out in the cold, and have no place in the grand arrangements which are to secure such prosperity to the other Provinces. He (Mr. Renouf) was not singular in his opinion, that the improvements and necessities under the General Government woull leave no credit balance, but a deficiency of over $2,000,000, applying the present Canadian tariff to the maritime provinces, and which deficiency must be met by increaed taxation; and whether indirect or direct, on property, income, back stock, bills of exchange, &c., is no bugbear or claptrap; which hon members who do not agree with the views put forth by our Delegates, on this question, are accused of resorting to. But this question of increased taxation, was the pith and marrow of the scheme, so far as the interests of Newfoundland are concerned; and must form the basis of negotiation in the matter. We have heard a great deal about what Canada could do in supplying us with manufactures of woolens, cottons, boots and shoes, &c., cheaper than we could import them from Great Britain. How is it, then, that she has not taken advantage of our market up to this time, which is as free to her as to the mother country? How is it also that our merchants and shopkeepers do not import from Canada, in preference to Great Britain, it the articles are as good and the terms better? Great Britain supplies all the markets of the world, and successfully competes with all countries in the quality and cheapness of her manufactures, owing to improved machinery and cheap labour. Canada is a very large importer of manufactured goods from England, amounting, last year, to $16,000,000, and, in spite of 20 and 35 per cent duties, England was able to undersell them in their own markets. The United States, with her extensive manufactures, imports largely from Great Britain also; and even the raw cotton and other materials which England imports from America, she is able to tranship manufactured, and compete with her in price and quality in her own markets. The hon. member, Mr. Shea, asks, is not Britain also an importer to some extent, from France? Certainly she is; of the finer quality of silks, gloves, lices, &c., which we can well dispense with, and is not a paralel case. The infant manufacturies of Canada, with high priced labour, aro not yet, if they ever will be, in a position to supply us and the other provinces on as good terms as we at present enjoy. By a report made to the Executive Council of Canada, and signed by the hon W. P. Howland, Receiver General, it would be understoogd to what extent, and in what articles of manufacture, she could supply our wants. It is as follows. "With a more extended trade between Canada and the Lower Provinces. We should compete in their markets, not with the productions of Great Britain but with those of the United States, These consist mainly of agricultural produce, in raising which we excel, and of articles the manufacture of which is rapidly increasing here," and that a large proportion of the goods which the maritime provinces now buy in the States could be supplied by Canada. That report fully disposed of the delusions manufactured by our Delegates on the subject of Canadian manufactures. We have the assertion of the hon member, Mr. Shea, that the tariff of the General Government will be revised, to meet the wishes of the lower provinces; and he has that assurance from Mr. Galt, in a telegram lately received. It must be evident that Mr. Galt, who is so very anxious for the consummation of this scheme, would make promises ad libitum, by Telegraph, to induce us to look more favorably upon it. But would the General Government, not yet in existence, feel itself bound to act on the unauthorized promises of Mr. Galt; Those important points should not be left to the uncertainty of telegrems between Mr. Shea and Mr. Galt, a mode of doing business neither safe nor satisfactory. Once in the union, our wishes would have to be subservient to Mr. Galt, and the Canadians, who would have the power to make them so Another grert consideration urged by the hon member, Mr. Snea, in favour of our becoming a part of this future great empire that is to be, is, the line of ocean steamers connecting us with the mother country and with Canada; and also another steamer on the Western postal route. The hon member is very strong on this quession of steam, in which he takes the deepest interests; but he (Mr. Renouf) failed to discover a single word about it, in the form of a promise, in the Quebec Resolutions; where it should properly appear; and not be left to vague speculations. It may be well to ask how it came that our Delegates did not secure these advantages for us at the Conference, and have a guarantee for it in the Resolution, as well as the opening up of the North West territory the extensions of the Western canals, and the laying down of the Intercolonial railway. The hon member being forced to admit a large increase of taxation under Confederation, asks if this line of ocean steamers that is to be is not worth ¬£10,000 a year to us, and modestly places it in his financial statement, as one of the assets against the new taxes. That was certainly a dexterity in managing finance questions, unrivaled by even the great Finance Minister of Canada, Mr. Galt. A line of ocean steamers was all very well in its way; but, in view of the Cape Race telegraph station, it could never be worth such an amount to this country, where the carrying trade was well supplied by our own first class clipper vessels. It would be, without doubt, a great convenience for wealthy persons, to enable them to travel comfortably and expeditiously across the Atlantic, beyond whom the great bulk of the people would derive little or no benefit. If we had ¬£10,000 to spare, after providing for the public service, would we be justified in voting it is a part subsidy for ocean steamers, and particularly after the Galway line failure? Would this Assembly agree to it, in view of the many more useful purposes to which it might be applied? A year or two ago, this house was cejoled into giving ¬£5,000 of our revenue to the Galway Company; and how much did it benefit the country? And it was given at a time too, when our languishing resources, required sustainment. That money was recklessly thrown away, to carry out a visionary speculation, which was to lift up the country by the introduction of large capital, thereby infusing new life and energy into every branch of our trade and business. We could afford to throw away ¬£10,000 on the Galway line of steamers, but could not give one penny to develope our mineral resources, or encourage our Bank, Mackerel and Herring fisheries, which are successfully prosecuted by strangers, at our own doors, or encourage agriculture, all which would have the great effect of striking at the root of that gigantic evil, pauperism. Then, there is the other steamer, that is to be running between the capital, western outports, and Canada; which has no place either in the Quebec Resolutions, and is set down to us at the annual value of ¬£4,000, on the same sound principle as the ¬£10,000 for ocean steam. That our tradesmen, labourers and fishermen, when times, would be depressed, and their circumstances poor could take passage in these steamers for Canada, where there would be plenty of employment for then at high wages, is another of the arguments used by our Delegates, although we understood at first there was to be no more depression in circumstances or povery amongst the people, after we joined this Confederacy.
(To be continued.)
1 THE NEWFOUNDLANDER. St. John's, Monday, April 3, 1865.
Friday, Feb. 22.
federacy. How our people are to find the means to enable them to get away to the great country, they have not yet informed us; or how are we to carry on the buisness of the country with only the aged and the infirm left behind. Again, how is the money that is to be earned by our people in Canada, and spent there to benefit the country? And will the government here have to provide a maintenance for their families during their ansence, and should they not return with golden harvest to gladden their hearts? This is indeed a novel way of making the country prosperous, by depopulating it of its hardy population, which we were so anxious to increase only a few years ago, when we expended ¬£1,000 in brigning emigrants from Boston and Ireland into the country. Then the public works going on in Canada would give employment to our people if they could get there. But how was it when the public works were going on, which created the debt of $64,000,000, that our operatives did not move in that direction for employment? There is no scarciry of labourers in Canada, to meet the demand for their services? In the summer, and during shipping season, the wants are supplied by thousands of emigrants arriving daily while the navigation is open, from England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. Some of our tradesmen and others who were induced to try their fortunes in that countrym had to return, and by no means in improved circumstances. If Canada is this great country to give employment to all, is it not a remarkable fact, that of the many who left this country the last four years, they give a preference to the United States, with all the risks appertaining to the time of war? Are there not thousands of Americans in Canada at present, who went there to escape the draft, and whose labour has over supplied the market? The hon Attorney General supports the Canadian employment argument, by pointing the vast number of Irish reapers who go to England in the harvest season and return with their earnings. But he forgets that the distance is only a few hours' dail, and the passage money not more than half a crown. Therefore there is no analogy in the two cases. The intercolonial railway, when finished, that is, in the event of a union of a Province, may be of large advantages to them, although, even in Canada, there are some, whose opinions are entitled to great weight, who are doubtful of the advantages to be achieved from its completion; and he (Mr. Renouf) would quote from Canadian statistics on this contemplated great undertaking:‚ÄĒ
"It has been strongly urged by an influential portion of the press of Canada, 1st, That the revenue is already two or three millions less than the current expenditure, and the expense of this undertaking would vastly swell the deficit. 2nd, That besides the loss of the interest on the capital sunk, the road could not pay the working expenses, thereby entailing a heavy additional loss upon the Province. 3rd, That the road is only necessary in winter, and during this season the snow would be required to keep it in running order. 4th, That the freight traffic between Canada and Lower Provinces is not of a description to pay railroad ra es, and would continue to be interchanged almost exclusively by water, as at present. 5th, That judging from past experience in Canada, the construction of such a great work would bring on a repeition of the corruption and jobbery which have already exhausted the public [?]. 6th, That the Grand Trunk Line form Richmond to Reviers de Loup would be forced upon the hands of the Province, and an additional outlay required to maintain this inproductive line. 7th, That as a military road, it might easily be rendered useless, inasmuch as running for a con siderable distance along the enemy's frontier, a few squadrons of cavalry could, in a few hours, render it impossible.
The hon member, Mr. Shea stated that we have an interest in the railways and canals of Canada, as they improve the means of supplying us with cheaper provisions. But if we look to the transactions of the past ten years that we have had Free Trade, Canada has taken little or none of out products, only a few thousand barrels of herring from Labrador in the fall of the year. And we have rejeived from her less than from any of the other provinces, although she has the provisions we require for the wants of our people. That universal principle of Commerce, to buy in the cheapest, an sell in the dearest market, has strongly operated in limiting our trade relations with Canada, and in giving a preference to the markets of New York Boston &c., where our merchants and Importers could procure better terms and greater facilities. Large shipmehnts of provisions have been constantly making, at all seasons of the year, from the markets of the United States, on consignment here and how very few indeed have we received from Canada? The reason is apparent to all. At the time of the Free Trade treaty going into operation, hon gentleman, who are now the loudest advocates for Confederation, told the same beautiful stories of grateness and prosperity in store for the country, as the certain results of that measure, that every second shop in water street would be stocked with Canadian provisions selling at fabulously low prices, that our deserted outports would again become the marts of busy iudustry and extensive commerce, by the introduction of new capital, that the railways and canals of the American continent would carry our products to the markets of the far west, that pauperism would flee the land, and be only an evil of the past, with many other grand promises; but to what extent those great things have been realized for the country, the people, who have been asked to accept the latest scheme would be the best jodges. Then it was free trade that was to do for the country; now it is Confederation. The results of the former were disappointed expectations; but of the latter, who can say that it may not be our ensalvement? There was no free interchange of products between this country and Canada which has her own fisheries, not only to supply her wants, but to enable her to export largely, and complete with us in foreign markets. If she were a customer for our products, our vessels would return laden with her provision but it would never pay to send our vessels in ballast; which could only be in the summer season, up the dangerous and expensive navigation of the St. Lawrence, while we have the facilities of the American markets, where many of our vessels discharge freights, on the return voyage from Brazil and the West Indies. For the past five years our average import from Canada amounted to only ¬£50,000 a year, while from the United States they were ¬£350,000. Our markets for Canadian products could not be more free under Confederation, that they have been under the Reciprocity treaty; and the same disapointment, would be the probable results.‚ÄĒThe intercolonial railway is to be the means of preserving us from starvation in the event of war between England and the United States, according to the views of the hon member, Mr. Shea; but, he (Mr. Renouf) would ask what force would be necessary to protect that exposed line of over 600 miles, in some parts so contiguous to American soil, or what would present its being destroyed by a few squadrons of American dragoons, who are so well up to such work? And how long would Canada be able to resis the well disciplined, powerful invading armies of the United States, in the event of such an unfortunate war? We have been further told, that, without this railway, the granaries of Western Canada, although full [?] wheat, could give us supplies. But in the event of a war, it is not difficult to forsee that not a single grain of that wheat would reach the seaboard, over that line, for our supply. In the railways of Spain and Brazil we have positive interest, because those countries are two of the best customers for our fish; and their railroads facilitate the transmission of it to the interior; where, a few years ago it was hardly known, thereby largely increasing the consumption, and realizing higher prices than formerly. Another false bacon held out to the people, especially our ship carpenters, joiners and labourers, is the establishment of a dock for repairing large disabled ships and steamers, which, it was said, now pass our own habor, owing to the want of such a convenience.‚ÄĒWe have at present, a floating dock capalbe of taking up vessels of considerable size, that may be disabled and make our harbor, and it has afforded to those vessels, as well as to our own shipping, great difficulties for repairs. When Mr. Newman brought the matter of his large dock, by Bill, before this house two years ago, it was presented in such a questionable form as could procure it no support; and it was a very doubtful as to the number of large distressed steamers, on a yearly average, that would have necessity to use it, and also that its object was to take up large and small vessels; and thus interfere with the vested rights of the present Floating Dock Company. The roads leading to Placentia and Trepassey, the electoral district of the hon member, Mr. Shea, were to [?] the market attention of the Confederate Government; also the Northern Mail route to Twillingate and Fogo, the electoral district of the hon member, Mr. Whiteway, another pro-confederate. Hear that, ye men of Placentia, St. Mary's, Trepassey, Twillingate and Fogo; what the General Government would do for you, if, next election, you would only throw up your capsm and go in for Confederation. Our roads would still have to remain under the managemant of the local government; and should the next ministry be unfortunately permeated with, and adopt the very anti-civilized idea, that roads don't pay how to fond hopes which the hon member is anxious to raise in the breasts of the innocent outharbour people will be disappointed. An army for the defense of the Confederated provinces, we have been told, would consist merely of militia and volunteers in the several provinces, the total expense of which was set down at $1,000,000. The hon. Mr. Smith, of New Brunswick, estimates it at $2,500,000, which is nearer the mark; and we find, by imformation recieved by lost Mail, that the equipment of the Militia of Canada alone, this year, up to the 1st of May next, will amount to $1,000,000, in anticipation of the trouble with the United States, owing to the encouragement given to raiders into the union from Canada. It was also said that a militia was not applicable to the pursuits of our people, being engaged in the fishery. Yet we could not forget the great excitement which prevailed in 1843, when a militia Bill was introduced to the Assembly, and would have been carried but for the determined stand made against it by the people, when it was withdrawn. The General Government, uncer Confederation, will have the power of passing the militia Bill, without consulting our Assembly, or the wishes of the people; and in the event of an emergency, would demand our quota of men and money, to fight the battles of a country in whose quarrel we had not the slightest interest. Who would have thought, five years ago, that a military conscription, such as exists in countries under despotic rule, would have been resorted to in the United States, that country whose proud boast was freedom, and whose motto was liberty? Does not our humanity shudder at the hundreds of thousands of her sons, drafted against their will, from their homes and pursuits, who have perished on the battle field, in prison and by disease? In the presence of troublesome neighbour, such as the United States would be to Canada, and more especially after the present war is over, she will always require to maintain an expensive Military Establishment, the cost of which would be immense; and our proportion would have to bear. This is one of her principal difficulties, which she is anxious that we and the other Provinces should share the burden of. The chief argument used by the delegates in the neighbouring provinces in favor of confederation, is the necessity for union, and natural protection and defence against aggression from their Republican neighbour. But what protection or defence could Canada give us? She would require it all for her own indefensible, straggling 1400 miles of frontier territory, without any resources to fall back on, save a wilderness. Our natural defence and protection must be a naval one: and that we shall receive, not from a union with Canada, but from our present connection with that glorious empire on whose dominions the sun never sets, and under the aegis, "whose flag has braved a thousand years, the battle and the breeze," we shall be free from all invaders. Our merchants have been accused by the Delegates of selfishness in their opposition to this scheme; and the argument was, that they have been always opposed to everything tending to the improvement of the country. Admitting that such was the fact; do we not also find that some of the strongest advocates in this house for that great change, for instances, the ho¬ļ the Speaker, and the Attorney General, have also in their day been the deadly opponents of progress, from representatives institutions, responsible government, &c? But now their views have changed; they confess their polotical sins and solicit absolution, on their sinners conversion. The latent fire of patriotism, which has been so long smothered in their bosoms, is now suddenly kindled, never more to be extinguished‚ÄĒand is to be the future guide of their once benighted minds;‚ÄĒand those who differ from them in the speculative benefits to be achieved under Confederation, are, to their minds, actuated by other motives than the public good. He (Mr. Renouf) would give the Delegates and hon gentlemen the full credit to which they were entitled for patriotism; nor would he be inclined to take an uncharitable view of things. Yet the fact is very significant that one of the Delegates, the Attorney General of Prince Edward Island, wrote a letter over his own signature, in which he refers to the generalship practiced at the Conference, where the business was progressing very slowly until it received a wonderful impulse, so soon as the decision was arrived at, that the General Government would have the appointment of local Governors, as well as Judges. A great deal has been said about Canadian capital working our mines which are now lying dormant, owing to our want of means. But all that Canada could do, would be to explore and survey which could be done by our own government, when, if the prospects were good, capital would be invited to work them; and it was to be regretted that no attention had been given to this important affair in times of prosperity. It however appers, that the capital that is to come from Canada to work our mines and give employment to the people, cannot be found to work their own. He (Mr. Renouf) would quote Confederation document styled the "Resources of Canada," which said "The mineral wealth of Canada is almost fabulous, and only awaits the introduction of British and American capital to astonish the world. The Acton copper mine in Lower Canada is among the richest in the world. Although the operations of the present proprietors have been partially paralysed by attempts to do so much. The Lake Superior copper has become already famous for the extent of the deposit and the value of the ore, while Lake Superior and St. Maurice iron need only to be mentioned to arrest the attention of practical miners. The iron deposits of lake Superior country are believed to be inexhaustible. The gold diggings of the Chaudiere and Gilbert riversm in the Easter townships, have truned out well, within the last two years. Americans have taken large tracts of land there, and a new company has been formed in New York with a capital of five millions of dollars, to operate on the Chaudiere." Those who expect so much benefit and increased employment for the people to result from Canada having possession of our minerals and waste lands, should pardon seriously over the extract from the "Resources of Canada," and they cannot fail to understand by whom clap-trap is resorted to, to prop up a scheme which has so few real merits of its own to sustain it before the light of public examination and enquiry. The hon Attorney General says we are asked to join a great empire, which it certainly will be in fifty years time, a rather long time to look forward to, with the possibility of being swallowed up by the United States before three years are at an end. We should have no desire to separate from the empire which now protects us, to become a fragment of a would-be empire, torm asunder by poltival fractions, and unable to meet her fictional engagements. The hon Attorney General admits that the general government would have the power to tax us directly when any occation arose to render it necessary, for the protection of the whole. There can be no doubt, then, that the necessities of this grand empire would immediately commence, on the laying the foundation of her protection from aggression on the part of her American neighbour. And here would be the beginning of the many necessities incidental to extended territory. We have been reminded that England is anxious to rid herself of the military expense of the colonies; and that she would look coldly upon us if we would not enter that Confederation on present terms. It was an absurbity to think for one moment that the handful of troops who occupy our garrison was the sore point with England. No. It is the large number of troops, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers and Infantry, which Canada requires for her defense, and who are scattered over such an extent of country, that it would render it impossible for them to combine for the defence of any particular point attacked by the enemy, that England feels alarmed at, in view of the immense standing army which the Republic would maintain, at the termination of the present war. England reminded Canada, a few months ago, that she must prepare herself to take the burden of a large effective military organizations, owing to the unfriendly and warlike feeling manifested towards her by the people of the United States; and not without great provocation. There is not the slighest evidence to show that England, although anxious she may feel for this union, will coerce us into it upon such unfair terms as are contained in the Resolutions, which are not based on justice and equally, so far as Newfoundland is concerned. Another great inducement 2 THE NEWFOUNDLANDER. held out was the large field the Confederation would give to our youth seeking that honourable and lucrative employment which was debarred them at home, owing to the limited field of operations. From that it would be inferred that our sons are all to get situations in Canada, and more particularly having eight members as their friends to apply to. It might so happen that our members would be so absorbed in their own interests as hardly to bestow a thought upon the wants of o hers; and we knew to a certainty that no influence those members could possibly bring to bear on the General Government would prevent the Canadians enjoying, as they do at present, the patronage of their offices to make place for ours. Here the Government and every officer under it, the Legislature, &c., are with a few exceptions filled by our sons; but could this state of things continue under Confederation? We transfer our Customs, Post Office, and Lighthouses to the General Government, and in the event of a vacancy taking place in either of these institutions, would not the appointment be made at head-quarters and not in favour of a native? The curtailment of our Legislature alone would destroy more patronage than we should enjoy at the hands of the General Government. The hon Attorney General grew a little facetious when he referred to the sphere of advancement which Confederation opened up to the hon member for Ferryland, Mr. Glen, in the event of his being chosen a member of the House of Commons at Ottawa, when he might have the chance of holding the office of Receiver General, at $5,000 a year. Politicians of Mr. Glen's great financial ability and incorruptible honesty would undoubtedly be of great advantage to the new State, in place of some of those whose political career was inseparable from official corruption and jobbery; but he (Mr. Renouf) felt confident that all the allurements so blandly put forth would not have the slightest effect in swerving the hon member from the honest and conscientious position which he had taken on this momentous question. He, (Mr Renouf) it was further stated, might also attain distinction in military affairs under the General Government, nothing less than a Field-Marshal's baton. Strong inducements, certainly, but very unreliable, like the rest of the good things that are in store for us. However, he (Mr Renouf) would contentedly remain a Captain of Volunteers, in defence of his own native land, rather than sacrifice her best interests and the rights and liberties of the people for self-aggrandisament. Our law students also are to have, under Confederation, a large field and every favour, with no end to the briefs and retainers, and reminders too. Why it was only last year that a lawyer from Canada came hera seeking his fortune,and admitted that, bad as the trade was with us, it was far worse where he came from, with 1,571 lawyers and attornies, or one to every 1600 of the population, against one to every 16,000 here, which speaks volumes for the honesty of our country. So much for the enlarged field for our lawyers. The hon Attorney General used another very singular argument in favor of Confederation, which was nothing less than that, in the event of a bad fishery, we would have some party to fall back upon or apply to for assistance‚ÄĒthat we could go to the General Government and ask them to relieve our people in their distress. No doubt we could make the application, but more than likely their portals of charity would be closed against our appeal. There is, to a certainty, one thing which they would give us to relieve the necessities of our distressed fishermen, and that would be direct taxation, as per Resolution No. 29. Our political history since 1832, with our elections every four years, is further evidenced by the hon. Attorney General as a potent reason why we should be in this Confederacy, as if every country with representative institutions is not subject to the same ordeal of excitement. Was there any exception to this rule out of Newfoundland? Would the ascerbity of feelirg be less, with a reduced House of Assembly, and with eight members to be returned for the House of Commons in Canada? Was it less so even in Canada or the other provinces? This is a specimen of the humbug and clap-trap used by hon members who favor that scheme; but the delusion was too transparent to merit even serious consideration. Now it was evident that certain hon members after selfishly monopolizing for years the emoluments of office amongst themselves and their friends, were anxious to destroy our Legislature and sacrifice the liberties and privileges of the people which it protects, that they might on its ruins take splendid positions under the new government. The hon Attorney General admits that our population cannot increase very much, whereas that of Canada would double and treble in a short space of time, owing to the tide of emigration setting in in that direction, and owing to natural causes. It cannot be denied that such would be the case; which after every decennial census would give an increase of members to Upper Canada, that, in not many years to some, would place her representation in excess of Lower Canada and all the lower provinces combined, thereby making her mistress of the position, while we should still be confined to eight members. The representation scheme the hon Attorney Generai considers fair, which it appears to be at first sight, but in reality is not the case. Newfoundland, the key of the St. Lawrence and the Confederation by sea, with her valuable fisheries, rich minerals, extensive trade and commerce, splendid harbours, and great natural advantages, would have only the same representation as a town with the same population in the backwoods of Canada. It was not so much on the basis of population as by position and resources that she was entitled to a larger representation. It was admitted that the Canadian frontier was long and straggling, and so was that of the United States; but what comparison would the means of defence, resources and supplies of Canada bear to those of the Republic, which have been proved to the mazement of the world during the past four years? What were we going to do, was asked by the hon Attorney. General and other pro-confederate members of the House, if we don't enter the Confederation. In reply, he (Mr Renouf) would ask, what would we do it this grand scheme did not turn up, this great panacea, according to our political doctors for all our ills, bad fisheries and paupers? Trust in Providence, and grapple with our difficulties with a vigour and manliness equal to the emergency and the means at our disposal. Could we do more in this Confederation, which to some hon members seems to be such a Providenial escape from our present temporary embarrassments, and is seized by them with the death grasp of the drowning maliner clinging to the last plank of the wreck? There could be no doubt that any change which would prove generally beneficial to our country, is a consummation devoutly to be wished for by all; but the extreme change contemplated by that union must not be based on wild speculations and uncertainties, which would be sure to result in bitter disappointment and degradation. On the part of the people there could be only one universal desire to embrace this Confederation, if they felt satisfied or convinced in their minds that the objects to be gained would be for the improvement of the country and the amelioration of our condition. He (Mr Rennouf) had given to that ulmost important question the serious consideration which its vast importance demanded; and calmly and dispassionately considering it on its own merits, and in all its bearings in relation to our necessities, and was now prepared to fearlessly express his opinion before that Assembly and the country, that for Newfoundland to enter the Confed eration on the terms proposed by the Resolutions adopted at the Quebec Convention, would not only be politically, commercially, and financially to her disadvantage, but would, in all probability, result in ruin.
Statement showing what Newfoundland would probably lose under Confederation.
Assetts of Newfoundland for 1865, as per Financial Statement of Receiver General laid................................................. $492,500
Increase of taxation under Canadian Tariff $228,627
Salaries payable by the General Government................................................. $149,288
Interest on debt, allowance for mines and Crown lands, and 8 cents per head on the population of 130,000... ... 369,376
Total......... $518,664
Balance against Confederation...... 2 2,463
the taxation of their vital energies, producing physical and mental prostration, and raising well founded apprehensions of the next generation being, to a fearful extent, a generation of idiots. But some hon members say the Canadian tariff, applied to our imports, would add ¬£50,000 to the amount of Customs' duties we now pay. This is a very unfair way of stating the question. We have the assurance of the Governor General of Canada that the present Canadian Government are not in favour of continuing the existing tariff after Confederation is carried out; and with the interests of the maritime Colonies opposed to may increase of their present taxation, why should there be any apprehention of high Customs' duties? But supporting The Canadirn tariff were continued under confederation; he (hon R. Gen) agreed with the hon member for Carbonear, Mr Rorke, that many articles of Canadian manufacture, suitable for our wants, would be imported here, which would come in duty free, so that the aggregate of our Customs' duties would not be well that present, if so much. And it would be well that persons of means who might prefer the finer manufactures of Britain, should py something [?] in the share of duty, which wound go towards relieving our operatives from taxation. Who would day that in that case confederation would not benefit our working classes? Besides, as a natural result, our present system of business would undergo a change, beneficial, be trusted, to all interested in it. Capital would be directed into new channels, introducing machinery into manufactures and giving regular employment to hundreds of operatives, extending agriculture and largely increasing the comferts of the people. But hon members say we must defer to public opinion. Certainly, we ought and must do so. But public opinion should be instructed on this important question; and who he (hon R. Gen.) would ask, are to be the instructors? Are they to be those who base the whole of their arguments against Confederation on the assumption that it will tend to sever us from the mother country? Had these hon members considered the import of the first resolution of the Quebec conference? Are the instructors to be those who tell us that Canada, with a revenue of over ten millious of dollals, desires to get two hundred thousand dollars from us to bolster up her credit? That is about the sun which those who make such an outcry about the Canadian tariff anticipate we would pay over what would be returned to us; and the smallness of the sum compared with the revenue of Canada; is sufficient to show the absurdity of assuming that Canadian statesmen anything about it. But the whole of this appretention about Canadian in[?] and Canadian cupidity, arises from not considering how the debt of Canada has been incurred, and what the cause of her large expenditure of late years has been. If the liabilities of that province are large, so are her public works, which have opened up that country for settlement, and rendered its agriculture [?]. Are the instructors to be those who talk of the millions of wealth drawn annually from our waters, while they forget that the people of the other colonies have precisely the same fishing rights in those waters as we have? Or is public opinion to be enlightened by those who build all their hopes for the country upon a return of good times, regardless of the last that in proportion to the increase of our population, our resources are failing; and who, at the same time, tell us that this island was designed to be a fishing country? He (hon R. Gen) looked for other instructors then such as these to enlighten the public mind; and he believed that the prosperity of our people was to be promoted by providing other employments for them besides the fisheries, important as these fisheries are. A great portion of what is consumed in the country must be manufactured by our own people before we can look for any permanent improvement in their circumstances. Agriculture must be fostered, and especially the rearing of sheep. We are not even now without instances were comfort prevails in this district, as well as in the outports north and south, the result of attention to agriculture. He (hon R. Gen) had carefully considered all that had been said in that house both for and against confederation, and had heard nothing to shake to opinion he had early formed on the subject;‚ÄĒthat, with a modified tariff. Newfoundland had all to gain by entering into the union; and with these views he gave his cordial assent to the Resolution before the chair, trusting that the constituencies would weigh the matter carefully and dispasstionately.
On the motion of the hon Attorney General, the committee then rose, andthe chairman reported progress. ‚ÄĒTo sit again to-morrow; and the house adjourned until to-morrow at 3 o'clock.


The Newfoundlander, 1864-1869. Digitized by Google Books



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