Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 7 May 1872, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.

Charlottetown, July 1, 1871
Joseph McVane, Esq.
DEAR SIR. - I have never though otherwise of the Railway project than a scheme of our worthy Government men for the purpose of advancing Confederation, and for filling the pockets of a Ring of selfish speculators, than for any benefit it is even likely to cooler on the people of this Colony.
The outspoken opinion of leading men and the feeling so universally exhibited on Wednesday's nomination in this city, shows that the people in the country, excepting a very insignificant minority, are all taken a similar view of the question with myself.
Should the Railway succeed even to the extent between Summerside and Georgetown the question is, where are we to get a revenue, over and above the Railway interest, to defray the vastly increasing demands for the repairs of local roads and bridges?
In ten years time the country will require ÂŁ10,000 or ÂŁ15,000 yearly for these local wants over and above the Railway interest. and how is it to be raised? It cannot be done without the most grinding taxation. Our Confederate Government clearly for- see this, and also that the only relief or remedy to be then presented to the people will be Confederation as the lesser evil! I have been sadly disappointed in the sterling worth of the Hon. Emmanuel MacEachern. He has yielded the temptation of a salary, and like my quondam friend Mr. Duncan, he thinks Conservation and anti-Confederation on his lips will carry him through his constituency; I hope not:
and if his constituents do as it is now almost certain Mr. Duncan's will do, then the Government will go to the wall and the question of the Railway can yet be submitted to the people.
I have no particular reason for recommending Mr. Sullivan, but if there is any chance of his defeating the candidate of as corrupt a Government as ever held the reins of power in this or any other British possession, your people ought to support him.
I remain, dear Sir, Very truly yours, EDWARD PALMER
This letter had been sent to Mr McVane by Mr. Palmer, and now that the latter had become a public man, Mr McVane thought the letter should be made public property. If the late Government engaged in the building of 140 miles of Railway in order to drive the Island into Confederation, what must be the object of the present Government in increasing the line to 200 miles? This letter gave a good idea of the character and consistency of the writer.
A violent personal altercation then took place between Mr. Brecken and Mr. Laird, after which the House adjourned.


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.



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