Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 7 April 1870, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.

THURSDAY, April 7.
House resumed further consideration of Despatches.
Mr. KICKHAM, hoped hon. gentlemen would recollect that they came here to do the business of the country, and he was of opinion it would be better to do so, without indulging in arguments which had a tendency to hinder, rather than promoted, that end.
Mr. BRECKEN endorsed the sound advice of the hon. member for Souris, but must remind his hon. friend, that it was well also for the country to know the true position of its public men. The hon. member for Wilmot Creek, made an attack upon him the other night, and he (Mr. B.) was surprised and sorry the hon. member did so; but as he (Mr. B.) had been assaulted, it was his duty to reply. In doing so, however, he would endeavor to profit by the warning given by the hon. member (Mr. B.). Yet it would be necessary that he should reply to some extent in the spirit in which he had been addressed. He (Mr. B.) was replying to what the hon. member for Wilmot Creek had said on a former occasion, and, in doing so, referred to what the Premier of the Island had recently said at a public meeting, and did so to show that the Hon. Mr. Haythorne and he (mr. B.) had said he believed there were terms which he could accept, and that was precisely what he (Mr. B.) had also said; and for that simply and plain assertion he had been charged with presumption by the hon. member (Mr. Laird.) For the Hon. Mr. Haythorne he (Mr. B.) had as much regard as the hon member for Wilmot Creek; nor was he (Mr. B.) aware that in anything he had said he had treated that gentleman with the slightest disrespect. The hon. member (Mr. L.) had charged him (Mr. B.) with acting discourteously towards the Premier, and had also called him (Mr. B.) a political threshing machine, and he (Mr. B.) had called him (Mr. L.) the silver-tongued ponderous, political philosopher of Wilmot Creek; yet, in both of these instances, neither had gone further than was politically proper and quite parliamentary, and if the hon. member would but consult the words and history of the Imperial Parliament, he would find that Mr. Disraeili and others had need even stronger expressions, and not unfrequently referred to members in the House of Londs, but no hon member in the House of Commons would ever think of charging an hon member with presumptions or discourtesy for doing so. If the Hon. Mr. Haythorne was not here, the fault was not his (Mr. B's;) and to say that because he was not in this House no reference was to be made to his public utterances, was too absurdly ridiculous to be for one moment entertained by an intelligent mind. If the hon member (Mr. L.) would recall to his recollection how Lord Derby was treated in the House of Commons, and what the true parliamentary practice was, he PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 192 right in the course he pursued ; and before the hon member made the attack upon him (Mr. B.) which he did, he should have remembered that no man should bear false witness against his neighbor. He (Mr. B.) had said Mr. Haythorne was a no-terms man, but that he had faith in him that he would not vote the colony into confederation without the consent of the people ; and in that respect he aw eye to eye with him (Mr. B.) and would appeal to the chairman, who knew that Parliamentary practice was, to say whether he, in what he said, had uttered anything that was disrespectful to Hon. Mr. Haythorne.
Hon. Mr. KELLY said the hon member (Mr. B.) simply referred to Mr. Haythorne's speech, which he delivered at the Ten Mile House.
Mr. BRECKEN.— With this explanation he would leave the hon member from Wilmot Creek to reconcile his assertion with that which was correct. He (Mr. B.) had read extracts from the Herald newspaper, and knew the hon member (Mr. Reilly) could not find that he (Mr. B.) had misquoted a single word. The Queen's Priter said the other night that he had never directly or indirectly advocated confederation, and had been forward enough to challenge proof to the contrary ; but he (Mr. B.) held a paper in his hand, the Ottawa Citizen, which in a leading article, reviewed several of the papers published in this Island—yes, the Citizen was published a the capital of the Dominion—at the place from whence the political swells and pedlers came who visited them last year. That paper—and no doubt those political swells and pedlers also—believed the ability of the Queen's Printer was doing its work in favor of confederation on this Island, and looked upon him as a co-worker. In the Citizen of the 22d Jan. last, the Herald was thus referred to:—
"We alluded briefly yesterday to the opinions of the Prince Edward Island papers on the terms proposed by the Dominion Government. To this it may be replied that it will make very little difference to the people who pays the money, so long as they get rid of the incubus of absentee proprietors."
He (Mr. B.) did not know who the editor of that paper was ; but whoever he might be, the hon member for St. Peter's would have to demolish that writer before he could demolish him (Mr. B. Now, if confederation was to ruin this Island, the Queen's Printer was doing much towards it ; and when he compared what appeared. in the Herald with the speech of the hon member (Mr. Reilly) made the other night, when he said he was a Grattan— that no money could purchase him. That an impartial observer would draw such an inference, was what he doubted. The hon member from Wilmot Creek said Mr. Haythorne asked for a railroad, as if such a paltry consideration was all that should be considered—as if there was not a principle involved of more importance. Before the hon member made that statement, he should have refreshed his memory by recalling to his recollection what he said at the public meeting which was held at Summerside early in January last, when he agreed with all the Hon. James Pope said at the meeting, except in that gentleman's opposition to the government. In all Mr. Pope said on confederation he coincided ; at least he (Mr. B.) was so informed, and he believed correctly. Then nothing was said about the better terms. When public men thus acted, it was proper the country should know their real position, and he would say to the hon member (Mr. Kickham) that it was doing the business of the country thus to make known the principles of a member of the government. Did the hon member (Mr. Laird) not know he was playing the part of a political hypocrite? He (Mr. B.) had been told that he was sorry when his hon colleague, Dr. Jenkins, was returned to this House ; but it should be recollected that when Dr. Jenkins was returned, it was not because he had come out as a liberal, and as such had been returned ; but he (Mr. B.) represented the most important constituency in Prince Edward Island ; nor had he done anything for which, as their representative, he could not assign to them a satisfactory reason. He was not a member or supporter of the government, and therefore was not responsible for any of its acts. But the hon member (Mr. Laird) had been returned as a moderate conservative, and it was understood that he was to work in concert with a gentleman in the other end of the building ; instead, however, of his doing so, he had co-operate and acted in concert with the Queen's Printer ; but last night, instead of defending the hon member for St. Peter's (Mr. Reilly), he took the hon Mr. Haythorne under his protection. When the hon member returned to his PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 193 constituents at Bedeque, he (Mr. B.) thought he would find that they would not thank him for the course he had adopted. He (Mr. B.) had called some persons political, or literary owls. When he spoke he had no one particular gentleman in his mind ; be he found that there were three or four who were so tickled with the name that they would hardly speak to him since, when they met him on the street ; and it appeared they were contending among themselves as to which of them should have the honor of being first put into the cage along with those stuffed birds! But whether the one best entitled to be placed in the lobby among the stuffed owls was yet in the cage he did not know, but supposed the right man would aspire to the honor, although he (Mr. B.) was up to this time ignorant of who the aspirant was. (Laughter.)
Hon. Mr. LAIRD said the hon and learned member for Charlottetown (Mr. B.) considered that he (Mr. L.) had done him an injustice when he thought he should not have compared himself with the hon Mr. Haythorne; but what he (Mr. L) complained mostly of was that the hon member did not quote Mr. Haythorne's speech correctly. Had he done so he would have found that the hon gentleman's speech would not have borne the construction he had put upon it. Int hat speech there was not one word about a railroad, and if the hon member had taken a fair view of it, he could not have construed it as he did, and he (Mr. L.) felt that he acted perfectly right in defending a gentleman who was not present, and who, if he were, could not defend himself ; but in what he said he meant nothing personal, nor did he intend that his remarks should be other than politically understood. But the hon member (Mr. B.) charged him (Mr. L.) with acting an inconsistent part at a public meeting at Summerside, but did so on the authority of hearsay.
Mr. BRECKEN.—It was published in one of the papers.
Hon. Mr. LAIRD.—The hon member had charged him (Mr. L.) with acting the part of a political hypocrite, by saying that he (Mr. L.) had been returned as a moderate conservative, and supposed he got his information from the powder monkeys which supplied the hon. member with ammunition. He, Mr. Laird, believed that all his public acts would be found to be in accordance with the promises which he had made to his constituents before he was returned to that House. He hoped the hon member (Mr. B.) would be able to show as clean a record, as he (Mr. L) could. With respect to the meeting at Summerside, what he (Mr. L) said was, that the views of the government would be made known at the proper time. And, having said so, shortly after returning from a meeting of Council, and knowing the views of the government, it was not likely he would have made a statement which would have been at variance therewith.
Mr. REILLY.—The hon. member for Charlottetown, (Mr. BRECKEN) had misrepresented him last night, by reading short extracts from articles in the Herald, which, without the context, were made to appear as if favoring confederation. The committee would be surprised to learn that some of the extracts were taken from the Herald, as far back as the year 1866. The first article from which he quoted was from the No. of October 17, 1866. He (Mr. R.) would reaed the whole article, as it was not very lengthy, to show that when ot garbled, it did not afford much comfort to the hon, member for the city. [The parts in the following quotations, marked in italics, are those read by Mr. Brecken.]
"We have hear it rumored about that the Legislature is to be called forthwith, to submit a proposition from Her Majesty's Colonial Minister concerning Confederation. It is hinted that a sum of ÂŁ250,000 cy., will be placed at the disposal of the Colony by the Confederate Government as the price of surrendering its independence. We do not know what truth there may be in this rumor, but should there be any foundation for it, and the proposition be submitted to the people for their consideration, it will, no doubt, be thoroughly canvassed before being accepted."
"Since writing the foregoing, we learn from reliable sources that the rumor contained therein is substantially correct, and that the Legislature will be convened immediately to consider this important proposition. Before, however, any decisive action is taken by the Legislature, we trust the matter will be submitted to the people at the polls for their decision. As they are most immediately interested, and will PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 194 have the power to decide it. A dissolution of the Legislature upon the Despatch embodying the proposition which was received by the last English mail, should be the first step taken by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and his advisers, as the people's rights and liberties are too sacred and important to be 1egislated away by a few men whose tenure of office is on the eve of expiring, We have sufficient confidence, however, in a majority of the Legislature that they will do nothing rashly, and, above all, that they will abstain from following in the footsteps of the Legislature of Nova Scotia, by appointing Delegates with unlimited powers to change the constitution of the country without the consent of the people. When the proposition comes to be placed officially before the public, as we presume it will be in this week's Royal Gazette, we shall be better prepared to offer an opinion upon it. In the meantime, we think the anti-Confederates have reason to congratulate themselves upon their opposition to the Quebec Scheme, for had they adopted the advice of Messrs. Gray, Pope, Whelan Haviland and Green, this offer never would have been made to the Colony. These gentlemen having, by their votes, declared the Quebec Scheme to be just and equitable, and even liberal, to Prince Edward Island, ought— to be consistent—to oppose this new basis of Confederation ; but whatever consistency may require of them, we have no doubt they will be the noisiest in their exultations over the Colonial Minister's despatch. At all events, we think the time has now arrived when this Colony must state the terms upon which it will consent to enter the proposed Confederacy. The British Government is apparently determined upon the scheme, for reasons that Mr. Howe's able pamphlet has rendered too obvious, and it may be better for us to make the best terms we can now, whilst a gentleman is in the Colonial Office who is friendly to the Provinces, and who is desirous of seeming to this Island the very best terms that can possibly be obtained. We know not how soon a change of Ministry may take place in England ; and of this fact we may rest assured, that with the return of Mr. Cardwell to the Colonial office, the danger of being forced into Confederation—terms or no terms— —is increased a hundred fold. In offering these remarks, however we by no means think that £250,000 would sufficiently gild the Quebec pill to make it palatable to this Colony—and, indeed, to confess the honest truth, we have our own suspicions that the whole circumstances connected with the bribe now held out, and which is equivalent to about £3 per head of the population—a, sum infinitely less than woul be a nigger —is a cunningly devised plan of the Confederates to rear a platform for themselves in view of the coming elections— in fact, a mere electioneering dodge to delude and betray the people ; but before proceeding to state what we think would prove fair and equitable terms—that is, if Confederation is inevitable—we shall await the publication of Lord Carnarvon's recent despatch upon the subject."
That was one of the articles from which the hon. member quoted ; he (MR. R.) would now read another, and let the country judge whether or not he had changed his opinions on confederation. The No. of the Herald in which the following appeared, was October 31, of the same year :—
"Although the Legislature has neither been called together nor dissolved, nor yet the despatch of the Colonial Secretary containing the offer of the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick delegates published, it is understood that both an early call and dissolution of the Legislature upon: that despatch, will take place. We must confess that we do not like the secrecy which the Government maintains about the matter. We know it is said that the want of Canada's cause to the proposed arrangement is the cause of the non-publication of the Colonial Secretary's despatch ; but the want of that consent should also have prevented this Government from taking any action in reference thereto. The reason assigned is no reason at all why the despatch should not be published for the information of the people ; and if the friends of the recent proposition of the Colonial delegates do not wish to be overwhelmed with defeat, as the Quebec delegates were in 1864, they will immediately abandon that secrecy and shuffling which characterized the birth of the Quebec Scheme. Whether right or wrong, people naturally look with suspicion upon a benefit which is shrouded in mystery ; and it is folly to .suppose that a majority of any community is unable to decide what is for its own benefit. If the $800,000 free grant be what its friends represent it—a bona fide "gift"—they need have no hesitation in placing it before the public ; but if it be a mere gilded and delusive bait, captivating to the sight, but fatal to the touch, an intended, upon the eve of an election, to PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 195 entrap the tenants and the colony at large into Confederation, its authors may live to repent their conduct. Should individual members of the Legislature be tampered with, we sincerely trust they will have sufficient independence, as they value honesty and a good name and detest treachery, to refuse their assent to the sending of a delegation to England until after an election, when the people can have an opportunity of pronouncing an opinion upon this question of $800,000. While we speak thus against deception, we have no doubt that the guarantee of the British Government, and a clause in the articles of Confederation, to the effect that the money would be immediately handed over to this Government when the Colony expressed its willingness to join the Confederacy, would find many advocates and friends who had previously opposed the Quebec basis. Our own candid opinion, however, is, that under present circumstances, even if this Colony were to accept the "free gift" or " bribe," it is extremely doubtful whether the Imperial Government or Legislature will sanction the Scheme of Confederation at all. The Hon. Mr. Howe has succeeded most effectually in arousing the British public to a sense of the import ance of the subject of Confederation, both in its relations to the Empire and to the Colonies themselves. The Hons. Mssrs. Tupper and McCully have attempted in vain to counteract Mr. Howe's influence, and since both parties have repaired to the press to fight the question out, we have sufficient confidence in Mr. Howe's ability to predict a sound thrashing for Dr. Tupper and his co-laborers. Many of the leading English journals which had previously pronounced in favor of the Quebec Scheme, now take the opposite view, and candidly admit, after a perusal of Mr. Howe's pamphlet, that they had been in error. Even the Colonial Secretary, whom the Confederate delegates sought to commit to Confederation, ominously abstained from saying one word in favor of the measure. From all these circumstances, we come to the conclusion that the whole Scheme of Confederation is in a fair way of ending in smoke ; and, therefore, even if the free gift is a bona fide affair, and not a substitute for the financial arrangement of the Quebec Scheme, as Dr. Tupper's organ asserts it is, its acceptance by this colony might turn out to be a very useless proceeding,—as foolish as it was premature. We hope before our next issue to have something official before us upon which to comment, as at present both the Examiner and Islander, as well as the anti-Confederate papers, are groping in the dark,—a state of things which the Government, being now committed to Confederation, seems to court, and for which it alone is responsible.
If there was anything in that article, favoring confederation, he (Mr R.) was prepared to stand by it. The next article from which the hon. member for the city quoted, was in the Herald of Nov. 14, 1866 :—
"The Islander and the Royal Gazette, of last week at length contain the bogus proposition of the delegates, together with the despatches and correspondence thereon, and the upshot of the matter is, that the Canadians repudiate the preposition. The Colonial Secretary, in transmitting the offer to Viscount Monck, concludes his despatch in the following cautious, noncommital style ;—
"'I have taken this course in order give effect to the wishes of the Delegates now in England ; but it must be understood that I do so without expressing any opinion of my own on the subjec, as this would be premature at the present stage of the question.'
"The Colonial Secretary cannot fail to meet the warm approbation of the people of the Maritime Provinces by his judicious and statesmanlike dealing with the question of Confederation. The contrast between him and his bungling predecessor is as great as is the estimate in which both are held in the Provinces. As much curiosity doubtlessly exists to know the real nature of the offer of the Maritime Province Delegates, we give it in full :—
At a meeting of the Delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, held at the Alexandra Hotel, London, on the 22nd day of September, 1866, all being present except the Hon. Mr. Wilmot, it was unanimously resolved that, inasmuch as the co-operation of Prince Edward Island, though not indispensable to a union of the other British North American Provinces, is on many accounts, very desirable ; and as the settlement of the land question, which has so long and so injuriously agitated that colony, would be attended with great benefit, and at the same time place the local Government of the Island, by the possession of the proprietary lands, now on a footing with the other Provinces, which have crown lands and minerals as a source of local revenue. Therefore Resolved—
That, in case the Legislature of the Island should authorize the appointment of Delegates to act in conjunction with those from the other Provinces, in arranging a plan of co-operation, prior to the meeting of the Imperial Parliament, the delegates from Nova Scotia and New PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 196 Brunswick are hereby pledged to support the policy of providing such an amount as may be necessary for the purchase of the proprietary rights, but not to exceed $800,000.
"The Canadian Government, after discussing the proposition, state that they 'do not consider that they have any power or right to consent to the payment of that, or any sum, without the previous consent of the Canadian Parliament; and they, therefore, cannot confer upon their delegates powers which they do not themselves possess.' Individually, however, they are prepared to make 'a strong representation to the first Government and Parliament of the United Provinces, in favor of their granting the compensation agreed upon' by the Delegates. This conclusion proves what we asserted all along, that the Quebec scheme is unalterable. We are glad that the Canadians have squarely met the proposition by a direct refusal, for Her Majesty's Government will now plainly see that Prince Edward Island has good reason for declining to enter the Confederacy. When her reasonable demands are met with denial previous to union, her chances of obtaining justice afterwards are slim indeed. The Canadian Government, more, we fancy, for the purpose of humbugging than for remedying the evil, admit that a grant of $800,000 over and above what is allowed by the Quebec scheme, is nothing but just and fair to this Colony, from its insular position and land difficulty. We have no hesitation in expressing our belief that if the offer were assented to by Canada and the money tendered to this Island as the price of its adhesion to Confederation, a majority might be found to accept it; and should Her Majesty's Government be anxious for all these Provinces to form themselves into a Confederacy, we have no doubt the $800,00, and even a larger sum, will yet be offered to smooth the difficulties in the way of an harmonious union. We have no fear that the expectation of the Canadian Government, as shadowed forth by one of its organs-the Leader-from which we quoted last week, when it says that, without the $800,000, Prince Edward Island will soon be drawn into the Union 'in spite of herself,' will ever be realized. The political axiom which the Leader seeks to establish from physical science is rather a dangerous experiment; for if it be true that the attraction of the greater body is more than a match for the power of resistance of the smaller body, then we must admit that annexation is inevitable. 'It is a queer rule that won't work both ways.'
"It is amusing to observe the effect which the dissent of Canada has upon the editor of the Islander. His lower jaw hangs down at once, and in the most savage mood he snaps and bites in all directions. No wonder; for he has worked himself out of office,- he has played his last trump and lost; but if he imagines he is going to improve his condition by slanderous and ill- natured remarks, he is very much mistaken. He asserts that the recent offer could not bribe this Island. Let him be consoled; for we again repeat our belief that if Her Majesty's Government desires this Colony to unite with her sister PRovinces, and as a compensation for her exceptional position, guarantees good terms, the proposition will be received be a majority of its inhabitants. After indulging in some gloomy apprehensions that no delegation will be sent from this Colony to the London Conference, and treating us to a homily upon loyalty, the editor of the Islander, somewhat after the fashion of 'Lord Lovell,' gives three kicks, a groan, then blows his nose, and gives up the ghost in the following manner:
"'We feel that we have discharged our duty to the people- that we have fairly placed the subject before them, and we shall henceforth refrain from the advocacy of a measure which, notwithstanding its importance, is regarded by the mass of the people as one which would render them and their children slaves to Canada.'
"This confession and resolution of amendment is like that of a culprit detected in the act of perpetrating some crime, and, if allowed to escape, immediately pursues his former evil courses. All the Confederates, now that their schemes are detected, and that a general election is at hand, are prepared to pledge themselves to abandon their pet measure; but how long does the simple reader imagine are they going to adhere to such pledges? Just until after they secure their election; and it therefore behooves the people to select wisely those whom they shall return to Parliament as their representatives. The necessity is greater now than at any time formerly to elect men who are honestly opposed to Confederation, for we believe that if Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick consent to unite, the Confederate Government will be so mean as to attempt, by annoying and hostile legislation, to coerce this Colony into Confederation; and, therefore, those who will be at the head of affairs require to be men who will thwart PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 197 such legislation, instead of coinciding in it as was done by the existing Government in the case of surrendering the Fisheries, and taxing American flour. Whatever turn the political wheel may take, we trust Messrs, Palmer, Coles, and those other tried men who have stood by their country in time of trial and danger, will not be overlooked or forgotten. They deserve well of their country, and their country should not be slow to recognize their services."
He (M. R.) had one comment to make on this article. It was written before the last election, and if his constituents thought it contained confederate sentiments, why did they return him as an anti-confederate? No, he had been consistent all through the piece, and that was the reason the hon member for Charlottetown was so much annoyed. He (Mr. R.) was pleased to think he had written so good articles, for those which he had read were all written by himself; and it was no little gratification to tind that the Ottawa Citizen had spoken so complimentary of him. He would not read an article from the Herald of the 12th of January last. This one he did not write himself, but he would endorse its sentiments:-
"Lord Granville, we observe, advises the Government of the Dominion 'to deal liberally as well as justly with the Island.' This advice seems to us unnecessary and uncalled for. We believe it has been very generally understood for some time past, that the Dominion Government was prepared to renew the offer made, without authority, by the Maritime Delegates in 1867, and we think, for a country just starting into national life, that offer was remarkable for its liberality. His Lordship seems to have forgotten the retort which has become proverbial, and is applied to those who advise generosity at the expense of others when they ought to practice it themselves. Prince Edward Island has no cause of complaint against Canada. 'Why then should the latter embarrass herself by adopting a system opposed to the principle of the North American Act, wherein the fiscal relations of the Confederated Provinces twoards each other are defined; why compromise the future independence of Prince Edward Island, if she should ever enter the union? Why adopt the ready and easy expedient of reconciling difficulties by payment of money, rather than the bolder and more manly course of identifying the Island's grievances as her own, and demanding that Great Britain, which has maintained [illegible] of wrong in this Colony, should now place it in a position to [illegible] a union with the Dominion on equal terms? There are Irishmen amongst us,- a few perhaps, who remember the early years of the union of their country with England- there are Englishment and Scotchmen, as well as Irishmen, who have read and noted the history of passing events in that unhappy country. We ask them to remember that Ireland waited for Catholic Emancipation till 28 years had elapsed after the union; that the richly endowed State Church of a small minority was maintained during 70 years, and that to this day her land tenures remain unsettled, and we advice them, and our fellow colonist of all races, to adopt this as their leading principle on the confederation question. An absolute and immediate settlement of the land tenure first, with adequate compensation from Britain for the loss of territorial revenues. Compensation means indemnity for the past as well as the present, and would enable the Local Government to invest the proceeds of the land sales, as other Colonies have done, in carrying out local improvements, and rendering the country, at this late period of its history, what it might have been years ago, if the proprietary [illegible] tree had not been planted in its soil. Full and just indemnity would place the local Legislature in a position to review the cases of those tenants who have been charged extreme rates for their farms-rates rendered necessary in order to reproduce the purchase money payable to the propietor, who receives the same price for worthless and indifferent as for the best lands.
"We believe that once more an opportunity of settling the land question is at hand. To obtain that object, all parties, Confederates and Antis, Tories and Liberals-nay, even proprietors themselves, should join hands. Possibly this may be the last opportunity we shall ever see; one was lost at Quebec, which, if judiciously used, might have led to the happiest results.
"It is useless to waste regrets over the past. Over the present and future we may exercise some influence. We PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 198 ask the people throughout the length and breadth of the Dominion, to give us the assistance of the moral lorce' of public opinion, and to express that opinion in tones loud enough to be heard, and emphatic enough to be understood at Downing Street. We ask local Legislatures to insist on the maintenance of the North American Act in its integrity, particularly as regards the pecuniary relations of the several Provinces. We despair of rendering the complicated question of our land tenures clearly intelligible to readers outside the Island, but we may ask Canadians how they would feel if a third part of their vast and noble territory belonged to absentee and resident proprietors, who thus acquire power to exercise an important influence the welfare of thousands! or, if another third part of its area had been lately rescued from similar baneful influence, by purchase,at a great national sacrifice. We ask short, how they would leel if one-third of their people paid rent—if many owed arrears —if not a few held farms on short leases and'lived in fear of ejectment! Or, how they would feel if another third was engaged in paying instalments of purchase money, which. would be devoted not to purposes of local improvement. but to the liquidation of proprietors claims.
"We do not anticipate much success from Canadian diplomacy. The Committee of Council do not write with the precision and correctness of men thoroughly conversant with their subject. although they were abundantly supplied with all pnblic documents bearing on the land question. Thanks to the Land Purchase Bill, farms can now he obtained otherwise than on lease, and the remaining proprietors are not, as stated in the Committee's report, all absentees. They have made a mistake, we think, in developing their plan before they ascertained the intentions of the Imperial Government, intending probably to reconcile objections in Prince Edward Island, they have—too liberally, we think—engaged to assume liabilities which we regard as strictly imperial, in case the Secretary of State repudiates them. It is true there have been occasions when we would have been content to settle the proprietary claims from our own resources; but then we were not asked to join the Confederacy, and run a race, carrying weight, against other Provinces carrying none. We are aware that there are many persons, for whose opinion we entertain the highest respect, who ask us: what matter whence the indemnity comes, provided our people reap the benefit? We consider that if the land question was justly settled .by Britain, nearly the whole of our debt, which has been incurred in the purchase of land, Would be cancelled. We might. then receive from Canada without disgrace, the increased amount of the diference between her debt and ours. Moreover, we could treat, if our people desire it, about Union, unembarrassed by any difficulties arising from differences between our land tenures and hers. But if we adopt. the Dominion proposals, and accept $800,000 as an indemnity for the loss of'territorial revenue, and to purchase the right of the remaining proprietors—for which latter purpose that sum would little more than suffice,—we, irreflect, sell our liberty of action in exchange lor free land.  
"We acknowledge. with satisfaction, the kindliness of tone which pervades the report of the Honorables Messrs. Kenny, Tilley, and the genial French Canadian Baronet, Sir George Cartier. There should be no bitterness of feeling between the Dominion and the Island. Canada has done tnuch for us in undertaking to advocate our cause at the Colonial Office, and for that she certainly merits our best thanks."
These were the whole of the articles from which the hon member for the city quoted last night; and he (Mr.,R.) was surprised that he had attempted from these to place him (Mr R.) in a false position. If the time should come that confederation was inevitable, he would deem it his duty to accept the best terms that could be got for the colony; but he had not yet arrived at the conclusion that it was inevitable, nor had the people. By holding out against union at the time the other provinces were confederated, they had now before them much better terms than were contained in the Quebec scheme; and be (Mr. R.) believed that better terms still would yet be offered. The only doubt he ever had on his mind was, that the question might be forced upon us; but on account of the trouble at Red River, and the dissatisfaction in Nova Scotia. he was beginning to think it problematical whether the PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 199 confederacy would stand at all or not. The Home Government was taking away all her troops, as if she was preparing to cast these colonies adrift But if it. should come that we would have to cast in our lot with the Dominion, it would not take a great deal of eloquence to convince the people of what would be to their interests; and if the time arrived when it would be proper for them to state the terms which would suit the colony, he would be prepared to do the best be could for them.
Mr. BRECKEN did not find fault with the hon. member (Mr. Reilly) for changing his mind, but for comparing these who favored confederation with Castlereagh. He also said to go into Confederation on any terms, was to sink into degradation; it would be taxation without representation, and many other evils; and no terms could be offered which we could accept.
Mr. REILLY had never proposed the absurd doctrine that no terms. could be offered which would be advantageous to the people, but he believed Canada would never offer us terms which we could accept.
Mr. BRECKEN had taken the authority of the Ottawa Citizen, and the editor of that paper had pronounced a eulogium upon the Queen's Printer, and looked upon him as an advocate of confederation.
Hon. Mr. DUNCAN was a "no-terms" man, and never expected to change his opinions on the subject, as he had heard no argument. as yet to induce him to do so. it had been said that the Dominion was going to have an exclusive tariff, and that our trade with that country would be destroyed, and, as a consequence, we should. become bankrupt. He (Mr. D.) was satisfied there was no danger in this respect. Nova Seotia 'and New Brunswick were not going to be customers for our outs, for they were now sending cats to England themselves. The timber was getting cut away in those countries, and more land was cultivated than formerly. He (Mr D.) would read an extract from a letter sent to the St. John Telegraph from the north shore of New Brunswick:—
"Mussel mud is being got up in immense quantities this year. It is one of [illegible] things for hay that can be got. Hay is cheap, only ten or twelve dollars per ton, and oats seem to be a drag, no person wants them at any price."
Here was a country which we supplied with oats some years ago, now growing more than required for their own use, so that a high tariff would make very little difference to us. Another extract would show the state of trade in St. John:—
"Every branch of trade in the city desperately dull; one hears the same story everywhere he goes. An enterprising house, with capital, might purchase some millions of bushels of oats in Lower Canada at 22 cents per bushel."
Oats were selling in Canada at. 22 cents, which was equal to 1s 4d of our money, while they were now selling on, the island at 2s 2d, so, at that rate, we need not be very anxious to keep the Dominion market open for our oats. Canada could also supply Halifax with pork, and when the railroad would be extruded. they would have greater facilities, and could supply the market more readily than we could, and we would be obliged to send our pork to England to find a market, Barley was low in the Dominion, and last year Canada supplied Halifax and St. John. Some hon. member had referred to our dependence on the Dominion for our supply of coal; but they would never refuse to sell us coal if we paid for it. The following statistics in the year 1861, the last time the census was taken, would show tint. we were not behind the Canadians. For each inhabitant, P. E. Island made 5 1/4 yards cloth; Canada. 2 1/2 yards—P. E. Island milled one and a-half yards cloth, Canada, half a yard—P. E. i. grew 4 1/2 bush. wheat, Canada, 9 bush; P. E. I. 2 3/4 bush. barley, Canada. 1 2/3 bush; P. E. I , 4 1/4 bush. turnips, Canada, 6 1/2 bush; P. E. I., 27 1/2 bush. oats, Canada, 14 bush; P. E. 1., 36 3/4 bush. potatoes, Canada, 11 2/3 It should be stated, however, that Canada rained some Rye and Corn which we did not. At the same time, P. E. I. had for every one hundred inhabitants 23 horses., Canada, 22; P. E. I. 74 cattle. Canada. 75; P. E. I., 132 sheep, Canada, 78; P. E. L, 88 pigs. Canada, 38. And when we considered our present position, and the progress we had made since 1861, we need not fear a comparison with Canada. From the Year Book of the Dominion for 1868. It appeared that Canada paid in duties $2.12 per head of the population: Nova Scotia, $3.1; New Brunswick, $2.92. while, at the PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 200 same time, poor P.E. Island paid $2.17, with a much lower tariff on teas, tobacco and rum. This showed that we were greater consumers than the Canadians, and were we united, and under their tariff, we would contribute more to the revenues, in proportion to our population, than Canada. It had been said that our pork was too fat for the English market, and if so, the people could keep a larger number of pigs and not make them so far, so that we would always find a market for our pork. Although the people of the Dominion paid such high duties last year, Nova Scotia had only $1677 of a surplus ; New Brunswick, $1574 ; while P. E. Island, with a much lower tariff, had a surplus of $8400. The reason he (Mr. D.) was opposed to any terms, was because Canada would never offer us terms by which she would be a loser, and no terms could be offered by which either P. E. Island or Canada would not be a loser. They had large tracts of fertile land, which would soon be under cultivation, and would yield more than they could consume, and they grew the same kind of crops that we did. If they put a high tariff on our produce, it would only fall on their own fishermen and lumbermen. The following was an extract from a letter received by a person in this Island from a firm in St. John, N. B. One of the firm was a good confederate three years ago :—
"When do you expect to cast in your mito with us in this glorious confederation? We are looking for you to be badgered or bribed, or coaxed into signing your death warrant before long ; then good-bye freedom and prosperity Mrs. P. E. Island—your birthright gone for less than a mess of pottage, and, like an endorser on a bad note, you must pay the piper. Far better to remain as you are at present, simply holding the candle. But many a foolish act is perpetrated to gain a name. You have a local habitation, and if you expect to add a name thereto in this way, you will inevitably join our good confederates in this Province, in the mental ejaculation, sold!"
There was a great deal said about paying rent, but if we would raise our tariff as high as the Dominion, we would soon have money enough to pay for all the proprietors' lands. The hon. leader of the government said we would not give up on our constitutions until the land question was settled, but he (Mr. D.) did not believe in giving it up at all.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN had said the question should not be put before the people, until the land question was settled.
Hon. Mr. DUNCAN.—Did that imply that as soon as we got free land we should go for confederation.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN—No.
Hon. Mr. DUNCAN.—The time had now come when every person who was a confederate, should say so, and every person who was anti-confederate should let it be known. A great deal had been said about the union of Scotland and England, but there was no analogy between their condition and ours. If Scotland had never entered the union, her coals and her iron, and shipbuilding would have made her rich.
Hon. Mr. CALLBECK believed it was the duty of the people's representatives to express their opinions on this great question. He had always held anti-confederate views. The minute of council had been pretty freely criticised by hon. members opposite, but taking it as a whole he was prepared to stand by it. Some might quote from that document portions to suit their own purposes, yet if fairly considered throughout it would not bear the construction they had put upon it. He would first read an extract from the report of the committee of council of Canada :—
"The Committee of Council have had under consideration, a memorandum, dated. 11th December, 1869, from the Hon. Sir George E. Cartier and Messrs. Tilley and Kenny, stating, that at the desire of their colleagues they visitted the Island of Prince Edward, in August last, and having, while there, had the opportunity of discussing, informally, with members of the Government, and other leading public men. the question of the political union of the Island with the Dominion," &c.
It would be seen by the report of the gentlemen here referred to what took place when they visited the Island—that their discussion with the members of the government on union were merely informal, the same as it was with other public men. He would next read from the same report, the conclusion which the Canadian committee of council came to with respect to the land question of this Colony :—
"They submit that much discontent has for many years existed amongst the inhabitants of the island, arising from the fact that the Lands of the Colony had been granted by the Imperial Government in large blocks, and chiefly to persons resident abroad, thus leaving the Government of the Island no lands, the proceeds of the sale of which could, as in the other British Colonies, he appropriated towards Local improvements and the maintenance of the Government."
Now, he. (Mr. C.) thought this a very important admission on the part of the government of Canada. It was quite evident that had our lands not been granted away, they would have been a PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 201 source of revenue to this colony, as the public lands of the provinces in the Dominion were to them. He noticed, in looking over some appropriations in Canada, that in one place where $9,000 were voted for the roads and other public works, that $8,000 of that sum were taken from the crown land funds. If we were running a race with horses, we would try ad not have too much weight on our favorite steed ; so in the same way if we were going to run a race with Canada, we should see to it that we were not weighed down with heavier burdens than our neighbors before we consented to start on the course. We had obtained from the statesmen of Canada, this acknowledgement, that we had been denied our rights in this colony, as would be seen by the paragraph of their report, which he would now read:
"That up to the present time, the Island Government have failed to secure a consideration in lieu of the lands thus granted by the Crown. Notwithstanding the efforts that have been made by the Government and Legislature of the Island, to remove the obstruction to the settlement of the Colony, arising from this cause, there still remains about one-third of the Island owned by absentee Proprietors, a very considerable portion of which is unoccupied and in the condition of a wilderness."
Then followed the proposals of the Dominion committee to remedy the evil:—
"That in the event of the Island becoming part of the Union, the Government of the Dominion will endeavor to secure for the Island, from the Imperial Government fair compensation for the loss of Crown Lands. Should the Dominion Government fall in their efforts to secure such compensation, they will undertake to raise by Loan, guaranteed by the Imperial Government, or upon their own securities, should such guarantee be refused, eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000), and pay the same to the Island Government as a compensation for the loss of such Crown Lands—this sum to be in addition to the other sums mentioned in the preceding proposals. That the Dominion Government will also use their influence to secure such Legislation as will enable the Government of the Island to purchase the Land, now held in large blocks, upon terms just and equitable to all parties concerned."
We must here notice that it is only in the event of the Island becoming a part of the Dominion, that the government of Canada would endeavor to secure for us from the Imperial Government compensation for the loss of our crown lands. They did not promise to put forth any effort to obtain for us our rights until we went into the union. This be (Mr. C.) thought was a very important point, and it had not been lost sight of by the Island Executive, as would be seen by the concluding paragraph of their minute of Feb 4:—
"Under these circumstances, the intimation conveyed by the Council in their short Minute that the settlement of the Land. Question much be a condition precedent to the discussion of a union, is in reality on a prudent precaution on the part of a Government acting on behalf of a people now invited to perform the important and irretrievable public act of choosing their future national destiny."
If the Island were once to become part of the Dominion, the general government might say to us, "You have been dabbling about this land question for a long time, and you cannot expect us to settle it immediately"—thus years might pass in negotiation, and in the end o really satisfactory arrangement be made. But another point in the extract which he had read should be noticed—"the settlement of the land question must be precedent to the discussion of a union." There was no admission of the principle of confederation here ; the council only said the settlement of the land question would clear the way for a discussion of confederation, not for its acceptance. No other construction could fairly be put upon the resolution of Council of the 7th January, which was as follows:
"That inasmuch as said terms do not comprise a full and immediate settlement of the Land Tenures and indignity from the Imperial Government, for loss of territorial Revenues, the Committee cannot recommend said terms to the consideration of their constituents and the public.:
Here the Council said they could not recommend the terms of union proposed by the Dominion government, even to the consideration, of their constituents ad the public, much less to their approval, He (Mr. C.) therefore contended that the Executive had made no compromise at all on the question of confederation. The answer from the Imperial government, contained in the late despatch of the Colonial Minister, was little else than what we might expect, considering the manner in which our land question had been treated at Downing Street in times past. In the matter, too, of the payment of the Governor's salary, we were powerless. As the money came from the Imperial chest, if the Home Government refused to pay the salary what could this colony do but yield. But in this respect we were not one whit inferior to the Dominion Government itself. When the Ottawa parliament attempted to reduce the salary of the Governor General from ÂŁ1,500 to ÂŁ1,300, sterling, the Imperial PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 202 government would not sanction the change. Here, then, the Dominion in a matter where the money was to come solely out of their own treasury, were not allowed to say what the amount should be, whereas in this Island we had been allowed to reduce the Governor's salary. This showed that the Dominion was in no better position to control its own affairs, than this colony. He (Mr. C.) had never said he was prepared to accept the terms proposed by the Dominion government, even though the land question was settled. He believed Canada was not in a position to offer terms that owuld be fair to us and satisfactory to her people. It was, in his opinion, very doubtful whether the Dominion would carry out the guarantee to this Island, after we had entered the union. For example, were we to receive $800,000 from Canada to settle our land question, this would be a wrong to the other provinces, for they did not take our lands from us, and some member might rise in the Dominion parliament, and say Prince Edward Island was getting too much, and propose that it should be reduced, which could be easily carried. Again, since we were less burdened with debt than Canada, he (Mr. C.) did not see what we were to gain by entering the union. The hon. member for the city (Mr. Brecken) had referred to the return of Howe and Archibald in Nova Scotia, and said that it gave the lie to what was stated in the minute of council respecting that province. He (Mr. C.) thought differently. That question, however, he did not intend to dewll upon, as the hon. member for Murray Harbor (Mr. Henderson) into the union contrary to the wishes of her people. Once they were into the Dominion, the only thing they could do was to petition the British parliament; and it was after this failed that the elections took place to which allusion had been made. The people were, it might be said, in the lion's mouth; they could not get out again, and they made the most of their situation by returning the best men they could find to represent them at Ottawa. Reference had also been made to the union of Scotland and Ireland with England, and to other unions which had taken place. He was not going to argue that Scotland had not benefitted from Union; but it was well known that the Scotch were an industrious and successful people. He thought, however, there was scarcely any similarity between her union and that proposed to this Island.
Hon. Mr. HAVILAND.- If the cases were dissimilar, why were they devetailed together in the minute of council.
Hon. Mr. CALLBECK.- The reason was that we considered Ireland and Scotland were bribed, and that if we accepted union on the terms proposed, we would be in a similar position. In the tabular statement which had been published by the Union Association, the interest of the $800,000 had been put down to the credit of the colony, instead of assigning the money to its proper purpose to buy land. This was not right, for if that amount was to be granted to place us in an equal position with the other Provinces as regards our lands, it should not be taken into account in the yearly income of the colony. He (Mr. C.) saw it reasoned in the Argus newspaper, that if this Island were in the Dominion, we coujld successfully engage in manufactures. There was just one question, which he would like to ask, namely, who here would be so rash as to attempt manufacturing anything for the outside world? In the winter such manufacturing capital would be locked up, for no exportation could take place, and stock would accumulate to the loss of the manufacturer, who would require a ready market to turn his capital around with profit. If we were a part and parcel of the Dominion, he (Mr. C.) contended that our manufactures would be under a greater disadvantage than at present, as they had now the of our tariff. It had been said that Mr. Stanfield had removed from Tryon to Truro, in Nova Scotia, in order to be in the Dominion, so that he could avail himself of the market which that country offered for his manufactures. It was not merely to be in the Dominion, that he removed, because he thought that this Island would have been into confederation before now; but the reason of his going to Nova Scotia, was, that he found he would have to import material for the articles which he intended to manufacture, and it would not pay to do so, and have his stock locked up here during the winter season. What he (Mr. C.) had said during the debate on the Address, about bonded warehouses, had not been fully reported. His statement was that if we were in the union, and imported goods not manufactured in the Dominion, we would have to pay 15 per cent, but if we remained out of confederation, we could PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 203 purchase them in bond in the other Provinces, and only pay 11 per cent.
Mr. BRECKEN.- Was our tariff going to remain at 11 per cent?
Hon. Mr. CALLBECK thought it was just as likely that ours would remain at 11 per cent as that of the Dominion would remain at 15 per cent. he (Mr. C.) had also said, in the course of his speech, already referred to, that the salary of a certain Dominion officer, (the Receiver General) was ÂŁ1250 sterling, but in the report, it was set down in Island currency. He had obtained his information from the Colonial Office List, and he thought it should be correct. The population of the Dominion, he found, was about 3,879,812; and the customs revenue, for the year ended June 30, 1868, as given in the Canadian Year Book, was $8,624,318, and the inland revenue, including stamps, $3,125,904; then came the miscellaneous, a part of which might be taken into account, but he would omit it, to give his calculation no semblance to being overdrawn. The amount for customs and excise together, therefore, would come to $11,750,223, which amount, divided by the number of the population, would show the taxation, under these two heads alone, to be $3.02 per head. Then, take this Island, and put down its population at 95,000, and its revenue last year from customs and excise at ÂŁ61,664, and we would find that our taxation, per head, from those, almost the only sources of revenue in the colony, was $2.16. Here, consequently, we had the proof that taxation in the Dominion was about 40 per cent heavier than it was in this Island. Some maintained that the Canadians were larger consumers of dutiable goods than the people of this Island; but Hon. Mr. Galt had admitted the contrary, and this being the case, the difference in taxation was solely attributable to the high tariff and excise duties imposed by Canada. Reciprocity had been spoken of. He (Mr. C.) would not say that we could get reciprocity any sooner than the Dominion; but he thought we would obtain it just as soon. His opinion was that the leading politicans of Canada were not favorable to free trade; theirs was a producing country now, and they wished to make it a manufacturing one also, consequently their policy was protection. The Canadians were not so much interested in free trade as the people of this Island, for they were in a position to build up manufactories. It was said, too, that connection with the Dominion would give us more influence,- we could get a better hearing at Downing Street. But he would like to ask what kind of hearing Nova Scotia received in the Imperial parliament? Some had argued that we would not be loyal if we opposed confederation; but he did not think people could be called disloyal if they were only wishing to retain their just rights. The tenantry of this Island had borne the land grievance, and still were loyal, and he did not think they should be accused of it now when merely seeking to retain their constitution. He could not see his way clear to give up the little authority we had at present. Now, the power was in our own people; they had the choosing of those who were in impose their burdens; but once in the Dominion, it would not be so; we would literally have no voice in the Ottawa parliament. Besides, the Dominion was not at peace within herself, and he thought we had better remain as we were, and retain the control of our own affairs.
Debate adjourned.


The Parliamentary Reporter of Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Charlottetown: Partiot Book and Job Printing Rooms, 1870. Microfilm copies provided by the Prince Edward Island Libraries and Archives.



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