Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 12 April 1869, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.

Mr. McMILLAN. --There should be a line of telegraph extended from Cascumpec to Georgetown, for communication of that kind is required between those two ports, particularly late in the fall of the year. I am also of the opinion that we should also have a railroad between Summerside and the latter port. If a railroad was established, as many more vessels as are now engaged in trading to Summerside, Charlottetown and Georgetown, would be required in ten years from the present time to carry on that trade. I believe the time is not far distant when we shall have a railroad between Cascumpec and Georgetown. Since we are called upon to pay our Governor's Salary, many persons are of the opinion that we shall be forced into Confederation; if this is the case, we should at once enter into a contract to have a railroad buiult between the two ports I have mentioned, that the Dominion Government may have the expenses to pay. At any rate, the Government should cause a survey of the route to be made as prayed for in a petition unanimously signed and laid before them. I would support the extension of a telegraph line to Georgetown, because of the advantages of its harbor in the fall and spring. When the Steamer runs from that port in winter, while all other ports are closed by the ice, telegraph communication with it will be very much required. Indeed I am of the opinion that Georgetown requires those advantages as much as any place on this Island.
Hon. Mr. CALBECK.--I quite agree that Georgetown should have the advantages of telegraphic communication, for it is a central port for fishermen as well as an important one when all our other ports are ice-bound. I think those advantages should also be extended to Souris, for it is a great place of resort for fishermen, and we know they often wish to send a message to distant parts. Indeed vessels of all kinds seek refuge in that port during stormy weather, and it is natural to conclude that if a vessel wished to send a message anywhere she would run into the nearest port for that purpose. The hon. member for Summerside referred to Confederation; but I hope the day is far distant when the telegraph lines will convey the intelligence that this, or any other House of Assembly that may sit here, passed a vote in favor of joining the Confederation. I trust that we shall always remain separate from Canada, while things go on as they now do in that country.
Mr. BRECKEN.--I am of the opinion that the Company would not be willing to open offices where the amount of business transacted does not require them; but there is no doubt the Government would make great exertions to supply every place of any consequence with the means for telegraphic communication. There is a good deal in what the hon. member for Summerside stated, concerning railroads; if Confederation is coming up in the distance it would not be a bad policy for this Colony to enter into a contract with some company to build a railroad from Cascumpec to Georgetown at once. If we go into Confederation without a railroad, the chances are that we will not get it afterwards; therefore we should begin in time to get it finished before going in. It would be rather too late for the Government to enter into large contracts when they see that our entering Confederation is unavoidable. If we ful PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 196 ly believe that this Colony must, some day not far distant, enter Confederation, the Government should begin the construction of railroads and other costly public works at once, for there is no doubt the Dominion Government would take the burden of our debt as it did that of the other Proinces, upon itself.


The Parliamentary Reporter of Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Charlottetown: Edward Reilly, Queen's Printer, 1869. Microfilm copies provided by the Prince Edward Island Libraries and Archives.



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