Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 2 March 1871, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.

[Mr. REILLY.] The Americans fished where they pleased, and in one year the license fees paid here amounted to no more than ÂŁ4. We know that a prominent American politician advised his countrymen to come here armed, and to take the law into their own hands. I do not blame the Americans, if, desiring to annex these Colonies, they suppose that we can be forced into Annexation. Mr. Consul General Potter, years ago, advised his Government that. if reciprocity were witheld, these North American Colonies would be starved into Annexation.
[Hon. ATTY. GENERAL] I believe that no greater obstacle to our obtaining from trade is to be found, than in the utterance of Annexation principles, because the Americans believe that Annexation will be forced on us, or the feeling in favor of it will be more extensively diffused and intensified the longer they continue their present system of excluding us from their markets. While the hon. member from Cavendish (Mr McNeill) and others express sentiments in favor of Annexation, they prevent the Americans conceding free trade by inducing them to hold it out as a lure to Annexation. Such sentiments find no response in the bosom of our peeple, who have a loyal and intelligent preference for their own institutions over those of our republican neighbors. The hon. member (Mr. McNeill) if he did not avow himself an Annexationist, yet went very near the line. [...]
I believe that we shall have free trade with the States as soon, and no sooner, than the Dominion of Canada.
Mr. MCNEILL—My remarks, to which the hon. Atty, General has taken exception, were not an expression of a desire for annexation. I am no annexationist; but on the contrary am willing to live and die under the old flag. I merely refererred to changes which in the lapse of time, might probably take place, and 1 think I have heard the Hon. Atty. General state as his opinion that it was doubtful if, in ease of war with the United States, Great Britain could protect these Colonies. He stated that loyalty was now-a-days a question of the pocket. I have said, and I repeat that the British Government has treated this Island unfairly, it gave away the whole area of the Island and promised bounties to our fishermen which it afterwards refused to sanction.


The Parliamentary Reporter of Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Charlottetown: The Examiner, 1871-1872. Microfilm copies provided by the Prince Edward Island Libraries and Archives.



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

Personnes participantes: