Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, 2 May 1867, Nova Scotia Confederation with Canada.

force Confederation on the country. The Prov. Sec. accused us of claiming credit for all the good measures which were introduced when we were in office, but if ever there was a set of men who adopted the measure of their predecessors, with the exception of retrenchment, it is the present government. The policy of the late administration was railway extension, and that is the only policy in connection with which these gentlemen can truly boast of success. We bequeathed to them the tariff under which they have collected the revenue, and the railway policy which they have been so successful in carrying out.
Hon. PROV. SECY.—I will not detain the House by an address of any length, but I wish to express my regret that by a memorandum prepared from the Journals in the Financial Secretary's office, I was led into an error as to the amount taken by Mr. Howe for the delegation to Canada. The sum charged against him, I understand, includes the expenses of two of his colleagues. The effect of this is to reduce the $4,000, which I stated as drawn by him during his term of office, to $3,600 as against $2,500 drawn by me, leaving him still $1,100 over the sum which I received. I am glad that the hon. member has referred to the civil list, because he has thus enabled me to state what I had before overlooked; the very important fact that the moment the government accomplished the object of getting power to deal with the civil list, they introduced a retrenchment bill which reduces the amounts to be paid to the Legislature and the different public officers by $30,000 a year; and the hon member true to his principle of resisting everything like retrenchment, resisted that measure as far as he was able, and that amount will be saved to the country, because we were enabled to carry the bill in spite of all the opposition which he and his friends could give to it. I will not go into the question whether Mr. Howe could or could not have retained his office for a longer time; but the statement of the hon member tallies strangely with the despatch to Mr. Howe, which is on record, recommending him to close the business of his commission as soon as possible. A more imperative command to a public officer to stop drawing the public money never was put on record, and yet we are to accept the assurance that Mr. Howe would have been allowed to hold on. I did not bring any such charge against Mr. Howe as that he had sought his own interests only on the delegation, butI said that the only result of that delegation, for which the hon member for East Halifax, as Financial Secretary, paid Mr. Howe $1,500, was to obtain a good office for himself, and that it therefore ill became his friend to talk about delegations. The hon. member tells us that Mr. Howe did everything in his power to accomplish the Intercolonial Railway, but does it lie in his mouth to say that he was engaged in promoting the interests of this country when he was forwarding a measure by which the province was to pay £50,000 per annum for a railway which was so worthless that it would not pay for grease for the wheels? I want to know what excuse he had to make for drawing $1,500 from the pockets of the people and for endeavoring to fasten on the country a liability of £50,000 per annum in connection with a work which was so worthless as that. We were told that the government had adopted the policy of their predecessors. Surely that should not be made a charge against us; but there is a great deal of truth in it; and the fact is, that on every occasion on which we have come forward and carried to maturity the measures on which the hon. member and his friends had staked their public reputation. we were met by the most determined hostility from him and his colleagues
On every question affecting the progress of this Province. the hon-gentleman has assumed the position of an obstructive. All the measures which my colleagues 'and myself have been able to promote have been passed in the face of the obstruction of the hon. member. What did he do in reference to the Pictou Bailway? He got over the hon. member for Yarmouth, and every one he could from this side of the house, in order to defeat and obstruct the Government in their progressive policy. So in respect to the great question of Union, to which he and his friends were so solemnly pledged, he stood forth the uncompromising opponent of the Government and the gentlemen who united with them to accomplish that measure of progress. The same course has been pursued by him with respect to the Inter-colonial Railway. No sooner did the present Government take it up and deal with it with the some success that has characterized their whole action in respect to all measures of progress, then he came forward and did all that man could do to prevent the people of this Province obtaining that great work. It was only necessary for the Government, in fact, to propound their policy on any question, and the hon. member ever came out to oppose them. I am quite willing that the hon. member should charge us with having adopted principles which he and his friends had propounded. It is the first duty of a public man to adoptthat policy, and to promote these measures'which they believe are essential to the prosperity and development of the country. But we have always stood true to the principles we have ado ted, and carried them successfully through while the hon. member has deserted them. We have not spent the public moneys on fruitless delegations, but can point to the accomplishment of great measures as the evidence of our energy and zeal in the public service. I feel, however, that it is altogether unnecessary for me, to labour this question, for I feel that the honseas well as the country fully! appreciate the position of the hon. member. e stands before the people the opponent of measures of progress.
The hon. member has said that we were unable to give such a large grant to the road and bridge service this year in consequence of Confederation. He knows that the press under his control told the people some months ago that the country was in a bankrupt condition. Yet this Session he has told us that we were able to build a railway to Annapolis, the Inter—colonial road, and one to Cause as well. But the hon. member must know that it would be impossible to continue the extraordinary grants hitherto given to the road and bridge service the moment we had to bear the annual interest on the Pictou railway. He knows, too, that if it had not, been for Confederation we would not have been able to give the large ex 192 DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS tra grant for the road and bridge service. Our financial position, when the expenses of our great public works are assumed by the General Government, would be far better than it would be if we remained without uniting ourserves with the other Provinces. Then we have made a large saving in the public expenditure by the measures we have passed this Session in reference to the local constitution. The hon. member says we have increased the public debt by $200,000; suppose we had, although I deny the accuracy of his statements, have we got nothing to show for it? How long will it take us to make up that amount? If he looks at the Provincial Building being constructed opposite, at the extension of the Hospital for the Insane,the St. Peter's Canal, and other works of Provincial importance, he will soon find where $200,000 has gone to. But before I conclude, let me allude to another matter which was a disputed point between us. He questioned the accuracy of my memory as to the amount expended in connection with laying the corner stone of the Asylum. I gave the amount at £300,but he stated it was only £320. Now I must admit that I was wrong, and I cheerfully make the correction required. But how was I mistaken? Why, I understated the amount. I find on referring to a speech of Mr. Howe, that that gentleman gives it at £313 7s. 10. I hope, therefore, the hon. member will acknowledge that my version is at least as reliable as his own.
Mr. ANNAND—I feel it due to acknowledge an inaccuracy in stating the amount expended by the late Government in the entertainment to which the Provincial Secretary has referred. I spoke, not from memory, but from information given by a friend who sat beside me. But I cannot allow the Provincial Secretary to sit down without replying to the remark in which he accused me of being an obstructionist. I tell him that in all the valuable services which the Government have rendered I was with him. I never voted against the grant for education, nor for roads and bridges, nor navigation securities; I never opposed the extension of the railway to Pictou. It is true that I differed from the Government on some points of policy, and I have felt it my duty to bring them to book and to ask them why they have not redeemed the pledges which they gave to the country. The Provincial Secretary has referred again and again to the action of the People's delegates on the subject of the Intercolonial Railway. My remark that the road would not pay grease for the wheels was the remark of an eminent engineer who had given the subject his attention,—and I must say that my faith in that road, as a means of through traffic, was very much shaken by the report of Mr. Fleming. After a very thorough examination, that gentleman demonstrated that the railway would not be a paying concern, and he led us to believe that the terminus would be at St. John. But, as Mr. McLelan proved the other day, our revenues would have enabled us to build the road ourselves, and would alnhave enabled us to go on extending our raso ways East and West to the extreme bouildaries of our Province. When I am told that that work is to be a great boon. I ask what are we to pay for it ? On four articles alone we are to pay $300,000 & year; that, with the in crease of the advalorem duties, would give half a million of dollars, and the entire cost of the road, £3,000,000 at 4 per cent., would only be $600,000. And, let me ask, what is to become of our railway extension hereafter ? Who supposes that we will get it from Canada, with their grand projected fortifications and their expensive canal extension ? But even if the railroad were a great boon, it would be no compensation for the loss of our government and our revenues. We were told the other day by the Attorney General that the People's delegates continue to oppose the guarantee for the railway even after the Confederation bill had passed. I tell him he is entirely wrong and I hold in my hand a letter from Mr. Howe, stating that the moment he and his friends found Confederation was sure to pass, they withdrew their opposition to the railway. I make that explanation in justice to Mr. Howe; and as for myself,I could not offer opposition. when I was on this side of the water.
The Attorney General also taunted us with not having presented the petitions from the people. Let me tell him that that taunt does not become him or his colleagues, for I have good reason to believe that they did their best to prevent our being recognized at the Colonial Office, but in that step they did not succeed— we were heard; and they then used every exertion to prevent the voice of the people from being heard. But the Attorney General should have known better than to charge us with not presenting those petitions, for the records of the Imperial Parliament show that those petitions were presented by Admiral Erskine, on the 5th of March, while the bill was in committee. It is stated to have been the largest petition presented to the Commons of England.
I have been told that the press under my control represented the country as in a bankrupt condition before Confederation; at that time I was not here, and I do not know that I ever read the articles referred to, but is it not a fact that money could not be procured to meet the checks drawn on the treasury of this Province.
Hon. FIN. SEC.—It is not true, and never was.
Mr. ANNAND continued :—I am not able to state the facts from my own knowledge, but the general impression in the community to this day is that the assertions were true, and that being the case, it was the duty of the press to represent the facts. The Provincial Secretary has said that we cannot expect to get so large a sum hereafter for our roads and bridges, but let me ask why not? We have seen the revenue increase in one year by $185,000, being $35,000 more than the interest on the Pictou railway, and if our customs revenue had not been taken away, and handed over to another country, we could have covered the country from end to end with roads. I would like to see the face of the Province covered with railways; and as to the Annapolis road, I may say that I think that line should have been carried on by paying a company a subsidy for twenty years, and then we would be done with the liability, and could have gone on with our extensions. The subsidy would then have been returned to the treasury, to be re-employed in the construction of other railways and public works. Thus the country would have gone on and prospered, and blossomed as the rose. But 193 OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY. under the arrangement which has been effected we are cut short in our career of progress, and the splendid prospect before us is marred. We are to remain, in future, a dependency, not of the mother country, because direct communication with the Crown is cut off, but of Canada, and we are to be subjected to her taxation, and to be drawn into her broils and her isolation. That word isolation has been used in reference to Nova Scotia, but Nova Scotia can never be isolated as long as she remains beside the sea, forming a part of the magnificent Empire to which I am proud to belong, and commanding the ports to which every Englishman sailing from the Mersey or the Thames resorts. We are to become a dependency of Canada—to submit to new trade regulations imposed by a country cut off from the rest of the world, whose policy is protection, and to share in her isolation ; and our people, peaceful, prosperous and happy, are to be identified with the factions, and I might almost say, the bankruptcy of Canada.
Mr. C.J. CAMPBELL—We have heard a good deal about expenditures for wines, but I can assure the hon. member for East Halifax that it was not all used by the supporters of the government. As regards the expenditure in the Board of Works, it is no good defence to say that the late government did wrong, be— cause every one knows that they were turned out of office for their misdeeds.
Hon. ATTY. GENERAL—Several matters connected with the closing of the business of the legislature have called my attention away from the debate up to this time, but I understand it was produced by an attack made on the Government by the hon. member for North Colchester, which was followed up by a series of attacks on the part of the hon member for East Halifax. There are persons connected with dramatic performances who, after being lost sight of for a time, make their appearance in so different a costume that they can hardly be recognized. If the hon. member would only look in the glass occasionly, and try himself by the different phrases of character which he has assumed for the last twenty—five years, he would hardly know whether he was a representative of East Halifax in this legislature or a native of the South Sea Islands. From the various positions he has assumed, there is no man in the country who can undertake to say whether he is in favor of government construction of railways or construction by companies, or whether he is in favor of a capitalization or an annual subsidy for the companies. There is an old adage which tells us that certain persons of doubtful character should have good memories, but unfortunately the hon. member has not a good memory, and he reminds me of those birds who cover their heads, and think that their whole body is concealed,—having a bad memory himself he is led away by the delusion that every one else has a bad memory also.
He accuses us of telling the House that the people's petitions were not presented, but he told us so himself the other day, and gave us the reasons, telling us that he and his colleagues behaved so badly that they could not find a man to present them. I felt that if the 40,000 signers of the petition were satisfied with that excuse we had no great reason to complain, but he went further and gave us another reason —the assertion that there was not time for them to be presented. I thought that the intelligent public outside would hardly accept these statements as correct, and when in the face of those assertions he now tells us that his excuses were all a sham, that we did not prevent the petitions from being presented, and that they were really presented, I ask whether the members who have heard him, or the people who read the debates, can place any reliance on what he says. If the petitions were not presented, his statement of to-day is untrue,—if they were presented, his charge against the delegates of preventing their presentation is groundless. He made another statement today with just as much confidence as if he spoke from his own knowledge—that the authorized delegates did all in their power to prevent him and his colleagues from being heard and recognized. I deny the truth of that assertion and I demand the proof ; —from my knowledge of the feelings of every one of my colleagues, I deny that, by act, word or deed, we did anything to prevent those gentlemen from being heard. If the hon. member does not produce the proof of his assertion, he must stand condemned as a man who will hazard an assertion which he makes out of whole cloth without having the slightest corroboration to support it.
But the honorable member went further and not only told us what took place while he was in England, but undertook to contradict my statement of what took place after he left. He says it is not true that the people's delegates tried to prevent the passage of the guarantee bill when they found that the Confederation bill was likely to pass, but I ask him did he sign a document bearing his name which was presented to the House of Commons, and which made use of every argument to induce the Parliament and the public of England to come to the conclusion that if the railroad were built it would not pay grease for the wheels? But I take the statement which he has just made, and which he gives not only on his own behalf but on that of his colleagues, that the opposition to the guarantee bill was withdrawn, and I make to the House a statement not from hearsay, but from actual knowledge: the gentleman who led the hon. member from East Halifax and others into opposition to union, in my presence and in the presence of members of the Imperial Parliament after the union bill had passed a second reading, and it was known that it was merely awaiting the guaranty, used language calculated to raise distrust in the colonies, and as far as words could go, induced those who heard him to believe that the guaranty would have to be redeemed out of the pockets of the people of Engand.
That is my answer to the hon. gentleman's assertion, and I give it thus specifically because he has challenged it. The reply I made at the time was to this effect: "Is that the language that is now used to the people of England ? I can recollect when a gentleman came from Nova Scotia whom the people expected to return with seven millions of dollars, and they were viewing with each other to reward him for this very work." Then the hon. member tells us that the petition was the largest ever presented in England but he must have a very imperfect knowledge of the number of names usually appended to petitions in England, or 194 DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS he would have known that hundreds of thousands of names are sometimes presented. He asked us also why we should not hereafter have as large a sum as hitherto for our roads and bridges. Does he expect an answer to that question when himself and others who are obstructing us, have so lately declared that there would be no means by which the annual liability for the construction of the Annapolis Railway could be met ? I can answer him in his own words, but one who heard his declaration to-day, that even with Confederation, by holding on to the subvention, the whole debt connected with that extension would be paid in twenty years, and the picture presented by the future before us waul be a most beautiful one to contemplate. If he makes the calculation he will find that, by putting away $5000 a year, he will effect that object even yet. We were to give $16,500 a year, under the former arrangement to the Company, and now we are to give $11,000, so that by investing the balance we will have the debt paid in twenty years. The hon member ridiculed the idea of Nova Scotia being isolated while the flag of England remained to protect us. Let me ask him if that is the language he always holds, and if he and his colleagues did not say to the people of England that a sufficient number of troops could be raised in the State of New York in a month to take these Colonies from the the grasp of England ? If that assertion was true, and the Colonies united would be in so bad a position, I ask him where would little Nova Scotia be with her population of 300,000 inhabitants ? Her position on the sea renders her more open to attack, unless she has something more reliable than her own resources for defence.
As I said at the outset I have not been able to give much attention to the debate, but I will now refer to the action of the member for North Colchester who, a case in which a complaint was urged against a certain expenditure by the Government He was a member of the Committee on Public Accounts, and, in connection with his duty, had laid before him certain accounts of the Board of Works concerning which he makes a variety of complaints. Now, I ask, has he done his duty to the other members of the Committee, or not? Did he do his duty to the country, if, having complaints to make, he did not bring them to the notice of the gentlemen operating with him in the Committee ? Did be send for the Chairman or any member ofthe Board of Works to explain the alleged irregularities ? As far as I can learn he took no such action, and I regret that the hon member is not in his place to answer those questions. Why he has thus run away before his conduct was enquired into, is for him to settle with the House, but I can only say that if he desired that justice should be done and a fair investigation had, why did he say nothing in the committee or to the Government about the matters in connection with which he experienced difficulty ? It is evident that the correction of the accounts and the saving of the public money were not his objects, for he waited till the committee reported, and then brought here charges against individuals without taking the trouble to ascertain whether they were correct or not. His de sire, without doubt, was to get something on which he could attack the Government, making his constituency believe that there was something wrong in the public departments without giving us the slightest opportunity for defence. That is not a position which will recommend itself to the House or to the country, as one that an honorable and prudent man would occupy. The hon member avoids this by saying that on another subject he applied to the Fin Secretary's office for information and could not obtain it ; but let, us see whether he was not going beyond his commission.
It is a safe rule I think that a man who sticks to his business is most likely to be successful in its accomplishment, and let us see what the hon. member's duties were. He is appointed to take up and examine the Public Accounts to 30th Sep., and he went and applied for a statement of balances due by the Collectors to 30th March. This is the information which he complained of not getting, but I hold it was not within the scope of his duty to ask for it ; he was, arrogating to himself duties which did not belong to him. I do not wish to say anything offensive to the hon. member, but I desire that the public should know that when he was refused that information he had departed from the duty assigned him.
Mr. LONGLEY: — I was not in the House to-day when the hon. member for East Halifax made an attack on the government, and I may not therefore be fully aware of the tenor of his remarks, but I am informed that he made an allusion to the wood contract recently entered into on the Railway Department. Being a party to the contract I am willing to hear my share of responsibility and I think I can shew that the contract was not a disadvantageous one. I will state the prices which the department has paid for wood during the three or four years preceding the commencement of Mr. Hyde's contract, and also the prices paid outside of that contract because the agreement does not include the Windsor branch. In 1863 we paid for wood $2.31 per cord, in 1864, $2.38, in 1866, $2 52, in 1866, $2 91.
Now it must be borne in mind that though the contract is dated lst April, 1865, yet up to the year terminating 30th Sepr , we had used only 2000 cords from Mr. Hyde, and yet the average price of wood for that year including Mr. Hyde's wood was, as I have said, $2 91. It is believed that the wood furnished by Mr. Hyde will be worth ten per cent more than that furnished heretofore, because he is not only obliged to keep a large supply on hand, but he is to furnish season ed wood for shed-assuming, however, the quality to be the same as heretofore, it will be $2.72 per cord or 19 cents less than the regular price, and if it is to be worth ten per cent more, then its cost would only amount to $2 00.
But there are other facts to shew that the contract will be advantageous. We paid at Shubenacadie and Stillwater, right in the woods, in 1866, $2.89 per cord. In 1863 the consumption of wood by the department was 4,150 cords; the consumption in the nine months of 1864 was 3,400 cords ; and that of 1866 was nearly 7,000 cords.
Not only has the price, therefore, been rapidly increasing, but the consumption has been increasing in the same ratio, and I am not quite sure but we would have had to pay by tender and contract, in 1867, fully $3 00 even for the wood in an imperfect state. There is the best evidence that before the end of the five years we would have had to pay $3.25 or $3.50 per cord ; and I therefore think that the hon. member is likely to make about as much advantage out of this transaction as out of the others which he so bungled. He evidently feels that be cannot do worse than he has done, and he continues floundering about in the hope that something will occur to better his position. In connection with this subject, I am in a positition to furnish the opinion of one whose experience of twenty-five or thirty years should entitle his views to some consideration. Before entering into the contract, having some doubts as to the propriety of making an agreement running so far ahead, I made enquiries of the locomotive superintendent, and he stated that his experience led him to believe that wood obtained at $3 per cord is cheaper to burn than coal. It is supposed by many that as the railway will run to Pictou harbor, opposite the coal fields, where an inexhaustible supply is to be obtained, it would be cheaper to burn coal ; but experience shows that the contract with Mr. Hyde was dictated by economy, and is likely to prove advantageous to the department.
Mr. ANNAND—As the hon. gentleman has chosen to make an attack upon me, I would only tell him that if I were disposed to give him a certificate of character, I would quote the language of Mr. Archibald, who described a certain building across the harbor as the appropriate place for the Railway Commissioner. It is unfortunate that the hon. gentleman did not hear my remarks, for they did not relate to the prices, as I knew nothing of them ; but I contended that it was a piece of administrative mismanagement, with the railway running into the heart of a coal region, to enter into a contract for the supply of wood for five years. I am content to leave it to the judgment of any engineer to say whether that was a provident bargain or not, and I know it is contrary to the reports made by the engineers of previous governments. The hon. member is one of those gentlemen who came in on the cry of retrenchment, and his idea was that the late comissioner should receive £250 instead of £600 per annum, but he himself has found no difficulty in taking £600 a year while he has been in office. The hon. member's consistency, however, shews itself in everything. A few years ago he proclaimed that " rum and railways were the ruin of the country." I am not prepared to say whether he has changed his views as to rum, but we know that he has not hesitated to accept the post of Chief Commissioner of Railways. As to his capacity for that position, we will ascertain whether the General Government, requiring the services of first-rate men, will continue his engagement.
Hon. PROV. SEC.—As to the statement that the hon. member for East Halifax and his colleagues on the delegation withdrew their hostility to the Intercolonial Railway immediate ly on the passage of the Union Bill, I would ask whether he has any information of Mr. Howe going to the gentlemen whom he had urged to oppose the guaranty—whose opposition he had boasted of—to one of the most talented members of the Commons, Mr. Lowe and confessed to them that he had deceived and misled them. If he did so, and if he asked permission to withdraw the statement that our credit was not worth a dollar, and that a man trusting British America a pound would lose it, because we would repudiate the debt, then he is in a position to say that their opposition to the railway was withdrawn, but he must not tell me that the opposition was withdrawn. After the Union Bill was endorsed by an ovewhelming majority, that hon. member in the House and in the press did his best to defeat the project and to prevent the Provinces having the benefit of three millions of pounds sterling expended among them. I could take up the paper edited by the hon. gentleman and could shew the House that day by day he denounced the railway as a worthless expenditure of the public money. If he and the party with which he co-operates could succeed in deluding the people of the County of Halifax and of the country, into believing his statements and supporting their candidates they would prevent the construction of a mile of railway in the Province. The portion of the line which is ready to be taken up at once is the portion between Truro and Monoton, but if these gentlemen could succeed in procuring the return of nineteen members to the House of Commons, pledged to demand a repeal of the Union they would cut off this Province from the rest of British America, and what government could be found in Canada willing to expend a dollar on a line of railway until the lapse of half a dozen years when the safety of the experiment was tried ?
If the hon. member can convince the people of Canada and New Brunswick, who will be united, because New Brunswick will send a united phalanx of union men to strengthen the hands of the first government to be formed to secure the construction of the road, that he has withdrawn his opposition in the face of his declaration that the business of the remaining portion of his life would be to cut off Nova Scotia from the rest of British America, making St. John the terminus as a matter of necessity, then he will have to take back these declarations which he has made in the press and on the platform. But while the paper under his control, and the party with whom he acts are putting repeal on their banners and showing a determination to obstruct the union, if I were a Canadian or a New Brunswicker with a seat in Parliament, I would say, " Hold your hand ; if Nova Scotia is determined not to assist in carrying out the great objects of union, and to break up the Confederation, it would be an act of insanity to spend a dollar in Nova Scotia until the question is fully tried out, and until ten years hence it is seen whether repeal is to be the motto, or whether Nova Scotia is prepared to show the benefits flowing from the Act of Union." The position of the hon. member and of every anti-unionist at this hour is the position of total antagonism to the Intercolonial Railway, and if the people of Halifax and the rest of the Province expect such men 196 DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS as their representaves, I do not hesitate to say that we could not expect such an act of insanity as the expenditure of a pound on the portion of the railway which should run through Nova Scotia. If there are men among us so reckless of their own position in the eye of the public as to take up the attitude of obstruction, and to place themselves in a position to be over-ridden by the public sentiment of the country, I have no fear of the action of the intelligent citizens of Halifax, knowing how deeply they are interested in giving such cooperations as will secure to this city all the benefits to result from the construction of the great highway of nations, and the action which I think will take place in this constituency will be endorsed by every intelligent constituency in the Province. The hon. member for East Halifax has gone too far in his declarations respecting the position of this Province and the Intercolonial Railway, to obtain the confidence of an number of the electors. Whoever will be elected, the selection will be made from among those who have a regard for the position and prosperity of the Province. for the people know that to elect the men who have been traducing every public man who has given his aid to the union, and have been trampling on and treating with contempt the credit of Canada, would be only explicable on the ground that they are utterly blinded to their interests and to the prosperity of the country. Now that the policy of union is settled, many of its strongest opponents will be found like the Custos of this country, who, in taking his seat as chairman of the meeting the other evening, and that he had taken a very active part in politics, but he felt that, regardless of the past, now that union has become the law of the land, as loyal citizens we are bound to come out, and giving the law our support, place the resentation in the hands of the friends of union. Suppose that to-morrow the member for East Halifax were elected to serve in the House of Commons, with what face could he rise in that Parliament and ask the aid of a single man on one side or the other in any question in which the interests of Nova Scotia were concerned? After the assertion that Canada was in a bankrupt condition, made notwithstanding that her debentures and ours are the highest of any of the Provinces, from the fact that, although she had made enormous expenditures in connection with defence and in the extension of her canals. her surplus was so large as to warrant her credit being placed as high as ours, flourishing as is the financial condition of Nova Scotia. I ask even if a constituency in Nova Scotia were found to elect him to-morrow, where would he hide his head? To ask for any consideration for his country would require an amount of audacity even exceeeding that which he displayed in attacking the financial policy of the government The ground on which I confidently expect that the interests of Nova Scotia will be considered paramount to those of any section of British America is that we have men of standing and ability who will go to the united Parliament and lay before it claims which no Parliament could ignore. We will find men in the ranks of both the Liberal and Conservative parties, who, without reference to the political differences heretofore existing among us, will go there and claim that consideration which is due to those who have carried forward the great measure of union on which our common prosperity depends.
The union bill was carried in the British Parliament notwithstanding all that the hon. member for East Halifax and his colleagues could do to damage the credit of the Province, to represent the railway as a useless undertaking, and to make it appear that the object of Nova Scotia was to break up and destroy the Confederation. We have had it represented to-day, and have heard through the anti-union press, that Nova Scotia is in so helpless a condition that all the government of the United States has to do is to refuse to establish commercial relations with us in order to embarrass our trade, and that they can come down whenever they please and seize on the colonies. I ask if that is the way to advance the interests of the country—to proclaim that we must fall a helpless prey to the first aggressor? He says that to attempt to open up a trade with any other country than the States is useless, and he follows it up by denouncing the men who have striven to place us in a most prosperous condition commercially, and to bring to our aid the whole force of the Empire in the event of an attack. I do not wonder that this gentleman, instead of being like the delegates sent by this legislature, ready to go back and place their future fate and fortunes in the hands of the electors ; conscious of what he deserves, skrinks from the defeat to which he must expose himself in going before any constituency. He sends to the county of Queens to see if that constituency will afford him an escape from the averted faces of the electors of East Halifax, and back comes the modifying reply that, though money to any amount had been offered by the capitalists who are ready to back him, an anti-unionist could be returned for Queens. That is the position in which he has placed himself by endeavoring to place the country in such a condition as would make us a bye-word and laughing-stock for all time to come.   Having committed himself to that course it is too late for him to say that it was a little piece of deception used for another object; he cannot thus wipe out the record that will stand against him to the end of time. I do not wonder in the face of that record that on his return from England, as he told us the other day, on making a hasty visit to his constituents, he told his friends in Halifax that he had made up his mind to bid good—bye to public life. I can only say as regards myself that I should like to do the same, I have accomplished as much for my country as most public men could have done, and would be glad now to escape from the turmoil and responsibility of the public service, but I feel that having undertaken a great responsibility in deal— ing with the question of union, it would ill become me, having no such record against me as that which stands against the hon member for East Halifax, to shrink from devoting my services still further to my country, more especially as my exertions in connection with this great question will give me an advantage over most of my countrymen in claiming consider— ation for the claims of the Province.
Mr. ANNAND - It must be evident that the hon gentleman is in a most desperate condition when he is willing to place the whole fate of his party OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY. 197 on the single question of the Intercolonial Railway. I am surprised that he of all others should rise here and speak of the people—he who sold their interests and denied them the right even to speak by petition to the House of Commons. How has he the audacity to mention the people or to present himself before any constituency? Are the people of Nova Scotia less worthy than those of New Brunswick, who have been allowed to speak twice, when we are denied the privilege altogether ? If the people of Nova Scotia gave him the treatment he might expect, they would pitch him over the first hustings at which he pre sented himself. The Prov. Secretary undertook to censure my language in reference to the public men of Canada, but we find the leader of the opposition of that country styling them the " corruptionists of Canada." What is the history of their finances but a continuation of deficiencies from year to year ?
I am told that I tried to destroy the public credit. That is not true; but in speaking of British America under Canadian rule, I had a right to draw the inference that these "corruptionists" would be faithless to their engagements with the mother country. If the credit of Canada has risen lately, as was bosted so loudly, it was by means of manipulations which we fully understand; but I hold in my hand a copy of the Canadian News, the organ of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, and l find it states that the debentures of Nova Scotia are at present from 97 to 99 while those of Canada are from 95 to 97. With that damming fact stated by their own authorities, how dare any one make the assertion that the credit of Canada is superior to that of Nova Scotia? If the Intercoloulal Railway had been fifty times as valuable as it is, my action would have been the same, and I would not even for that consideratron have given up the liberties of my country. We knew that the railway scheme was an essential part of the union arrangement, and we hoped, by combining the opposition on these two measures, to defeat the bill. We are told that we may not have the terminus of the railway if we send nineteen members of the Nova Scotia party to Ottawa. If Halifax be the natural terminus, and the interests of trade require that the road should extend here, it would be immaterial whether Nova Scotia formed part of the Confederation or not. But we find Mr. Adderly, the Assistant Secretary for the Colonies, stating that the cost, of the road would be four millions sterling, and we find that only three millions have been provided. We see also that this three millions will just build the road to St. John ; and 1 therefore charge it upon the delegates that they were recreant to their duty in not making it a part of the agreement that the construction of the railway should commence simultaneously at Riviere du Loup and Truro. In that case the interests of Nova Scotia would have been safe, which they are not now. It is true the Union Act declares it to be the duty of Canada to carry the road to completion; but we see the Canadians were not bound by their minute of council in 1862, and if it were not for their breach of faith on that occasion, we might now be connected by rail with Quebec. We are asked what we have to expect in sending nineteen anti-unionists to Ottawa. We expect to be represented by men who will not d-— ny the people the right to speak—who will, as a body of Nova Scotians, protect us, guarding our rights from invasion, and who will not act like the delegates who went to Canada, forgetting their country as soon as they turned their backs upon it. The gentlemen going from Nova Scotia will, I trust, stand in one firm phalanx, true to the people who send them there. I am asked if we requested Mr. Lowe to withdraw his opposition to the Intercolonial Railway: that I cannot say, but I have it from Mr. Howe that the moment Confederation was settled he ceased opposition, and I believe put himself in communication with those from whom he expected support, and asked that their opposition cease. As to Mr. Lowe, I can only say that the first intimation we had that that gentleman would oppose the guarantee was received from an intimate acquaintance of the Provincial Secretary on the other side of the water. The Provincial Secretary, as I have said, is the last man to rise here and make a passionate appeal. If he had done by the people as Mr. Tilley did by the people of New Brunswick, and the electors had given their solemn assent to the measure, I would not have said another word; but as the people have been denied their ordinary rights, I for one will not cease to agitate for the return to Ottawa of men who possess the public confidence - men who would not have denied the peeple the right to speak. If the people of this Province were to address the House of Commons in something like this language : "Youhave been imposed on ; the chairman of the Grand Trunk Railway told you that the question had been before us at every hustings, whereas our voice has never been asked until recently,when we hurled all these men from power who have ventured thus to mislead you,"— I ask, would there be any harm in requesting the British Parliament to release us, and to restore the old relations making as once more a colony not of Canada, but of England? Surely there can be no treason in that sentiment, and it could not but benefit this Province to have restored to it the large and increasing revenues which we possess, and to remain a dependency of England.
Hon PROV SEC—I have only one remark to make, and that is in relation to the action of New Brunswick. We have given the Opposition two years to find a case in which a minister, with a majority in Parliament, ever appealed to the people, and not being able to produce one such case, they yet rise and repeat the old story about the rights of the people having been invaded. In New Brunswick the Premier thought to advance the measure by dissolving the House, and what a spectacle was presented. By means of certain influences brought to hear an overwhelming majority was returned against the measure, and a second appeal resulted in the people sending an overwhelming majority to its en support. Would that be a creditable spectacle for Nova Scotia to present? But let me ask the hon member if he did not, on the face of public document, declare that the action of New Brunswick was the greatest DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS 198 brand of disgrace that could rest on a people, and ywas only to be compared to a corrupt verdict given by a brow-beaten jury ? The House then adjourned.


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



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