Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, 10 February 1865, Nova Scotia Confederation with Canada.


FRIDAY, 10th Feb.


The House met at three o'clock.
The Answer to the Address was taken up, and read clause by clause.
Mr. LOCKE said, in reference to the clause touching upon the Union of the Colonies, that it did not commit any one on the question. Every one was, of course, left perfectly free to deal with it as his judgment should dictate, when all the papers connected with it were before the House. He thought it necessary to say this in order that the country might understand the position of gentlemen. .
Mr. ARCHIBALD (who was only heard with the greatest difficulty) said that the proper time, of course, for discussing the question referred to, would be when all the papers were before the House. All the House was asked to do at present was to promise that every question should receive their deliberate consideration when it came in due form before them. In looking over the Speech, he found that the only measure promised, was one connected with Edugation. He would take this opportunity of calling attention to the fact that he had last session foretold some of the difficulties, that would probably arise from some features of the bill, to which he objectcd at the time. He had particularly urged the appointment of a Council of Public Instruction which was not composed of the members of the Executive. Council. He had also said that, at all events, if the Government were not willing to go as far as he wished, they should place at the head of the Council of Public Instruction the Lieutenant Governor, as his presence would give to the country the guarantee that mere party considerations would not always prevail. He now begged the Government to consider carefully in any amendments to the bill they might introduce, the propriety of avoiding even the semblance of suspicion that party influences prevailed in Educational matters. He congratulated the country on the encouraging statements made in the speech,- that our revenue was very large, and all our branches of industry prosperous to an unparalleled extent. Every gentleman, whatever his political prejudices, would learn this fact with the deepest satisfaction.
Mr. Stewart Campbell said that he perfectly concurred with those gentlemen who had spoken of this Answer to the Address as being entirely non-committal in its character. Notwithstanding he held very strong opinions on the subject of the Union of the Colonies, he felt that he had no difficulty whatever in giving his concurrence to the Answer. He emphatically stated that he wished it to be at once un erstood that he did not endorse the action of the Government in sending a delegation to Quebec. The house had put upon its journals last session a resolution authorizing the Government to appoint delegates in reference to a Union of the Maritime Provinces. Authority, however, had been granted from some quarter to those delegates to go beyond the misson entrusted to them by the Legislas ture. Therefore, although he concurred in the answer to the address, he wished to guard himself from having it sup posed that he at all endorsed the act of the Government in sending a delegation to Quebec.
The answer to the address then passed nem eon.
The PROVINCIAL SECRETARY stated that His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor would be ready to receive the answer on Monday next at half-past one. It was therefore agreed that the whole house should present the answer at that hour.


On motion of the Hon. Prov. Secy., the following Committee was appointed to select Standing Committees of the House :-
Hon. Prov. Secretary, Mr. Blanchard, Hon. Attorney General, Mr. Locke, Mr. Kiliam, Mr.  Archibald, and Mr. Tobin.   sMr. BOURINOT would suggest to. the Revising Committee that they should place upon. the Committee gentlemen who would fairly represent all sections of the Province. Hitherto that rule had not been observed with that strictness which was absolutely requisite in order to perform the business of the country as it should be. He had had occasion in pre= vious sessions to suggest changes in this particular, and he hoped that the gentleman who represented Cape Breton on the Committee would take care that justice was done to that section in which he ought to be especially interested.
Mr. BLANCHARD said that hitherto the great difficulty had been to find gentletnen willing to serve on the committees after they had been [...]
The petitions were allowed to lie on the table.


Mr. LOCKE called the attention of the Government to a petition which he held in his hand from the inhabitants of the county of Shelburne, for a road connection with the County of Annapolis. As the Government intended building a railroad to Annapolis, the inhabitants of Shelburne naturally wished to have better means of communication with the fine agricultural county of Annapolis than they now possessed. He believed, if the Union of the Colonies was consummated, that Shelhurne might become one of the great outlets of trade. (Laughter.) All the people asked was an expenditure of $20,000 or $30,000.
Mr. BOURINOT would suggest that the petition lay on the table until such time as the Annapolis Railway was completed.
Hon. PROV. SEC. said that the petition was deserving of consideration; but it should he sent, in accordance with the rules of the House, to the Financial Secretary.
Mr. KILLAM though it would be as well to understand whether a petition rom the people
askhw for aid towards some particular object should be discussed by the House, or go first to the Government. As it was now, if the Government did not choose to accede to the prayer of a petition there was an end of it.- nothing was heard about it. He thought it best that every petition should come first before the House, who might send it to a Committee or to the Government.
Hon. PROV. SEC. said that he did not see the use of interfering now with an established rule of the House. If any gentleman considered that the Government had not treated any petition presented to them as it deserved, it was always in his power to move for its production, and test the opinion of the House on the subject.
Mr. LOCKE said he would place the petition in the hands of the Government, with the hope that they would give it that favorable consideration which it deserved.
Hon. FIN. SECRETARY stated that it was his intention to publish the petitions handed to him, when they made up any number.
Mr. ARCHIBALD said that if any gentleman wished, he could always call the attention of the Government in the house to any particular petition in which he felt an interest, and then hand it to the Financial Secretary. He had no doubt that if a road could be made as asked for in the petition in question, a great boom would be conferred on the county of Shelburne.


Hon. PROV. SECRETARY laid on the table despatches relative to the appointment of Hon. Mr. Johnston as Equity Judge, Hon. W. A. Henry as Attorney General, and Hon. J. W. Ritchie as Solitcitor General, and member of the Executive Council.


Hon. PROV. SEC laid on the table the Annual Report of the Postmaster General. This report, the hon. gentleman stated, was most satisfactory. Notwithstanding there had been an increase of expenditure entailed by the recommendations of the Post Office Report, the deficiency in the Departinent was less than during the previous year. 7 new Post Offices, and 51 Way Offices had been provided for Only 3 Way Offices had been closed. The number of letters carried through the Post Office was 1,535,864, being an increase of 66,408 over the previous year. The number of newspapers was 3,941,115, or an increase of 276,793 over 1863. 20 new mail routes had been established, and 8 closed, - making a balance of 12 established. The number of mail routes was 4,473. The amount derived from postage-stamps was $48,576, being an increase of over $5,000 over 1863. 5 unregistered money letters lost, and 3 registered, said to be tampered with. The net revenue for 1864 was $.56,207.61, being an increase of $8,032.90 over the previous year.- The expenditure was $73,163.61, an increase of only $2,774.53, whilst the increase of revenue was $8,032.90 Hence the deficit was $5,258.37 less than the previous year. The amount of money-orders on Great Britian was $20,000; the amount passing through the Province, $120,000. The commissions on money orders amounted to $1,120.44: the business in money orders has nearly doubled since 1863, and a large additional amount of labor is therefore entailed upon the person in charge. Under these circumstances, the Postmaster General asks for an increase of salary for Mr. Thompson-from $800 to $1, 000 a year.
The petition was referred to the Post Office Committee.


Mr. TOBIN asked the Government to lay on the table at an early day, returns exhibiting the extent and nature of the trade of the Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, including a statement showing the value of public property, including railways, steamers, public buildings, &c., including all property that would he transferred to the General Government in ease of the proposed Union of the Colonies being consummated.
Hon. PROV. SECRETARY recognized at once the propriety of the Government being able to place before the house all the information they possibly could in reference to a question of such magnitude, but he was afraid that his hon. friend had imposed a task which to some extent it would he difficult to perform. It would be difficult in the case of this province and New Brunsuick—to give an  accurate estimate of some of the public property, the Government House for instance .
Mr. ANNAND thought there would be some difficulty in procuring a reliable statement, such as that asked for, from some of the provinces, more especially that of Newfoundland. He observed that so far as  Canada was con cerned the information sought was easily obtainable.
Mr. TOBIN said that his reason for asking for the information was that he had heard gentlemen complain that they had not the materials within their reach to enable them to take up this question, and deal with it as it should be dealt with.
Mr. BOURINOT suggested that the information sought be furnished by the hon. member for Colehester, (Mr. Archibald,) who appeared to have collected a great variety of statistics on the subject of a Union.
Mr. ARCHIBALD pointed out that a great deal of the information required could be ob [..]


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



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