Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, 22 February 1866, Nova Scotia Confederation with Canada.


THURSDAY, Feb. 22.

Shortly before 2 o'clock p. m. the SPEAKER took the chair of the house, and after a few minutes the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod conveyed the command of His Excellency for the attendance of the House in the Council Chamber.
The House of Assembly having attended in obedience to His Excellency's command, His Excellency opened the Session with the following Speech:—
Mr. President, and Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council:
Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly:
1. It affords me unfeigned satisfaction, in meeting, for the first time, the Legislature of this my native Province, to be able to congratulate you upon a condition of prosperity never before equalled in the history of the Colony.
2. While we have enjoyed the blessings of peace and immunity from pestilence, the labors of the Husbandman and the Fisherman have been crowned with success: and the sale of Crown Lands, the development of our Coal and Gold Mines, the receipts from our Railways, and the Trade and Revenue of our Provmce, are greatly in excess of any preceding year.
3. A soldier myself, and intimately connected with the organization of the Volunteer movement both in Great Britain and in this Province, you can well understand the deep gratification it has afforded me to find the spirited manner in which my countrymen have responded, by the organization of a Militia Force so efficient, to the call to prepare for any emergency which may at any time demand stout hearts and trained arms for the defence of the inestimable privileges we enjoy as subjects of the Crown of Britain.
Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.
4. The Public Accounts will shortly be placed before you. The Estimates for the year will be prepared with as much regard to economy as due consideration for the interests of the country will permit.
Mr. President, and Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council:
Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly:
5. You will learn with regret that, notwithstanding the united efforts of the British North American Colonies, the Government of the United States have adhered to their determination to abrogate the arrangements for Reciprocal Trade which have for the past eleven years contributed so largely to the harmony and commercial prosperity of both the neighboring Republic and these Colonies; but I am sanguine that by mutual aid and co-operation among the Provinces, and under the fostering care of the Mother Country, the trade of British North America may be so directed into new channels, and our valuable fisheries so protected, as to meet the emergency thus forced upon us and avoid any material commercial inconvenience. The correspondence upon this subject will be submitted to you.
6. You will be gratified to be informed that the efforts to represent the products of this Province at the Dublin Exhibition resulted very favorably—a large number of medals having been awarded to our exhibitors; and from the necessity which now exists to make known as widely as possible the great natural resources of these Provinces, you will, I doubt not. make suitable provision for the due representation of Nova Scotia at the great International Exhibition to take place in Paris in 1867.
7. Contracts, based upon the legislation of last Session, have been entered into during the recess of Parliament for the extension of the Railways from Truro to the border of New Brunswick, and from Windsor to Annapolis. These documents, and the papers connected therewith, will be laid before you at an early day.
8. In accordance with instructions received from Her Majesty's Government, circulars were transmitted to the persons in charge of all 2 DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS the Prisons in the Province, making enquiries as to their condition. These documents, with the answers to the enquiries made, will be submitted for your consideration; and I will be glad if some means should be devised for the due inspection of all places of imprisonment, in order to promote an improvement in the system and uniformity of discipline.
9. Your attention will also be invited to the important question of Immigration, in the hope that a larger number of those seeking a new home may be made acquainted with the great advantages which are here offered to industry, capital, or skill.
10. I confidently hope that, deeply impressed with the gratitude due to a beneficent Providence for the blessings so liberally bestowed during the past year, your united deliberations will result in promoting the continued prosperity of this highly favored land.


The SPEAKER, upon the return of the House, proceeded to read His Excellency's speech.— The Speaker also announced the demise, during the vacation, of Dr. Slocumb, one of the representatives of Lunenburg, and the issue of a writ to supply the vacancy.
Hon. PROV. SEC, by command of His Excellency, laid on the table of the House, the return to the writ for the election of a member for the county of Lunenburg, which was then read, announcing. the election of Abraham Hebb, Esq.
Hon. J. H. ANDERSON and HON. A. KEITH, the Commissioners for administering the oaths, then took their places, and Mr. Hebb being introduced by Messrs. Annand and Ray, advanced and was sworn in.
The SPEAKER announced that the usual order for the franking privilege had been made.


Mr. S. MACDONNELL then asked leave to introduce pro forma a bill entitled " An act for the patenting of useful inventions." The bill was read a first time, and ordered' to be read a second time on a future day.


Dr. HAMILTON said—I rise, Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of moving the answer to the speech with which his Excellency the Lieut. Governor was pleased to open the third session of the twenty-fourth Parliament of Nova Scotia.
Every Novascotian, and especially the members of this House, must feel gratified that Her Majesty has thought proper to select and appoint as her representative in this colony, one of Nova Scotia's sons, whose talents and bravery have won him so distinguished a name in the British Empire, not only as the heroic defender of Kars, but in other important positions. As our Governor, we must feel confident that in the exercise of his great abilities and practical knowledge, Nova Scotia has been placed under the most favorable circumstances at this time.
It must be gratifying, too, for His Excellency to meet the Legislature of this his native Province under such favorable circumstances, for I believe never before, in the history of Nova Scotia, was every branch of productive industry in so healthy and flourishing a condition as at present.
The returns from the various sources of revenue, which have been made public, enable the Government to meet the House with no demands against the treasury, but, on the contrary, with a large surplus.
If there is one thing more than another which should inspire confidence in a Government in the management of the public affairs, it is the fact that the productive industry and the various sources of wealth are steadily on the increase.
A full treasury not only enables the Government to meet all the existing and necessary appropriations, but it does more—it enables them to make provisions for the extension of the public works and other improvements which from time to time are required by the people.
Now, I do not feel disposed, in making these statements and exhibiting the figures which will follow, to attribute all the increase in the trade, commerce, navigation, agricultural produce, fisheries, mines and minerals, &c., to the management of the gentlemen who compose the present government, but this much I may say, that just in so far as the people have confidence in the integrity, practical ability and good intentions ot' those gentlemen. so far do people feel security in entering into the prosecution of those various sources of industry and trade, which result in the enjoyment not only of all the luxuries of life, but in the increase and extension of the productive sources of wealth.
I believe in every department from which returns are collected, the increase over previous years is remarkable, and as far as the productive resources of our Province are concerned, viz., the fisheries, agriculture, mines, minerals, and other departments they are all equally in a healthy and flourishing condition.
A few facts and comparisons might not be amiss, and while I do not feel disposed to make any invidious comparison with former governments under different parties, I must be permitted to refer to a few figures to illustrate the progress which has been made and first let. us take the exports of Nova Scotia—
In 1860, under the management of our predecessors,
the whole exports amounted to $6,619,534
While, in 1865, they were no less than 8,830,633
Being an increase of no less than $2,211,099
If there can be any doubt about the state of our country in this respect, a reference to her exports will prove her prosperity, and the great increase for the last six years shows pretty plainly that Nova Scotia is progressing in her productive capabilities most rapidly, and we must certainly hope it may long continue. I might mention that during the years 1861-62-63; the exports of the Province fell off no less than $1,242,169. so that the increase has been most rapid. amounting, since 1862, to no less a sum than $3,153,672.
These very large exports and imports produce a trade from which a large revenue is collected, and as far as the Government and the representatives of the people are concerned, nothing is more gratifying than to have a large surplus revenue to return to the people in the shape of grants for roads and bridges, schools and navigation securities, and which also en [...]


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



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