Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 24 April 1873, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.

In the paragraph having reference to the Union of the Island with Canada, it was amusing to notice that the Government expressed the hope - the earnest hope—of the Imperial Government on that question. If the paragraph expressed anything it was the hope that the policy of the late Government on that question should be— carried out. Yes, that the policy which the hon. member for Alberton had, on nomination day, condemned in his- speech. at St. Eleanors, should he sustained. The hon. member on that occasion said, that the government was " going to take away the Constitution." In order that they might escape the disagreeable duty of presenting the public accounts "to the Legislature," and asked " what there was in our affairs to cause the delegates to rush away to Ottawa on Saturday night to sell our privileges to the Dominion. They were pledged against Confederation, but they stole away to Ottawa in the silence of the night, to put us into Confederation." That was his language before the election. Yet the Government of which the hon. memhér formed one, came down, and in the Speech from the Throne said the matter will receive their most serious consideration . He (Mr. L.) would tell the hon. member, that in going to Canada they did not violate any pledge made to the people. The delegation went up, not to sell the country, or barter away its Constitution, but in 12 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 the embarrassed state of the Colony, brought about by the Railway measure to see what terms could be had— expressly with the intention of laying them before the country - and giving the people an opportunity, if they were willing to cast in their lot with the Dominion; and although as a Government they had been defeated, yet the Speech from the Throne proved their policy had been sustained. This was not acting like the Coalition Government, which in violation of a promise made to some of their supporters, brought forward the Railway Bill, and carried it at midnight without submitting it to the people. This was the main charge brought against that Government, and for that reason did the people on the first occasion that offered afterwards, hurl them from power. The late Government pursued a different course. They dissolved the House and sent Confederation to the polls. Those who passed a measure for the construction of 200 miles of Railway, knew when doing so that it would involve an expenditure utterly beyond what the resources of the Colony could hear. The hon. Leader of the Government had not the manliness then to lay that great measure before the people. But he (Mr. L.) and his friends displayed no such cowardice. True, they were not now backed up by a majority, yet it was equally true that they were not condemned on account of their Railway policy. In confirmation—of this he claimed that the late Government were sustained in all the most wealthy and intelligent districts in the Island, Charlottetown alone excepted. When the Murray Harbor district was contested last autumn, the Government was handsomely sustained. The same success attended their candidates lately. When Mr. Gordon resigned his seat in the Legislative Council, the then Opposition could find no man willing to oppose Mr. McDonald. If there was one district more difficult han any other to contest an election in after agreeing to the Branch BilI, it was Belfast, and though the most popular man who had ever represented that part of the County, was brought out, yet the candidates of the late Government were handsomely returned at the head of the poll, It was the same, and attended with similar results in the district represented by his hon. friends Messrs. Callbeck and McNeill. His hon. friend the late Leader of the Gov't. in this House, met also with more than ordinary opposition, yet he (Mr. L.) was proud to know that that intelligent district had triumphantly sustained Hon. Mr. Sinclair, and had also given him an able colleague in his hon. friend Mr. Stewart, who ran in conjunction with him. He ,was glad also to be able to state that the plucky and worthy member for the second District of Prince County had also been returned without opposition. He referred to the Hon. James Yeo. He (Mr. L.) held, therefore, that the assertion he made was correct, and that the late Government had not been defeated on account of its policy with respect to building the Branch lines of the Railway. In proof he would turn to those districts in which there had been a falling off. In Cardigan the probability was that the late representative got in there to some extent by accident. Had their present representative, Hon. Mr. Owen, been on the Island at the time, in all likelihood he would have been returned, then, as now. So that the result there could scarcely be looked upon as a defeat to the late Government. He would next turn to Bedeque ; and he regretted that the senior member for that district had changed sides. That hon. member is reported to have stated on nomination day, that " he would not give sixpence for D. Laird's calculations." Although [that might be so, yet he thought the hon. member would agree with him in saying that it was the Railway policy of the coalition 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 13 government which brought the country into its present difficulty. The hon. member said further, that, " he found no fault with the Government till they changed their policy with regard to Confederation, and then he had no alternative but to oppose them." Thus the hon. member had honestly said that it was their Confederate and not their Railway policy which made him Oppose the late Government. In the Third District of Queen's County, hon. Mr. Beer had been handsomely returned in spite of the extraordinary influence which had been used against him. The senior member for that district ran his election as an officer of the late Government, and therefore the electors had no legitimate reason for knowing, but that in supporting him they were also supporting the Government as much as when voting for hon. Mr. Beer. It was well known, however, that Catholic influence had been largely used to prevent the return of the hon. member (Mr. Beer) though he was happy to add, unsuccessfully. Up to the day the delegation left for Ottawa, they looked upon the hon. member for Fort Augustus, as a supporter of the late Government. It was said, their flying visit to Ottawa had the effect of changing their views of the hon. member ; then, if such was the case, he would oppose Confederation. It could not have been their policy with respect to the Branches which caused that hon. member to change sides. The same was true also of the hon. member for East Point, the hon. Mr. McLean. He, too, of all men, could not have been dissatisfied because they undertook the immediate construction of the Branch lines. He remained in the Government until the dissolution of the House was agreed upon, which showed that he was not against ascertaining what better terms could be obtained from the Dominion Government. In so far, therefore, as going to Ottawa was concerned, the hon. member was as much responsible as any of them. But the plain matter of fact seemed to be, when some men want an excuse, if they have none, they will make one, as the hon. Mr. Sullivan did last winter, when he made the matter of the reinvestment clauses in the Branch Bill one for resigning his seat at the late Executive Board. But on that question the opinion of the late Government was sustained by the law officers of England, notwithstanding the boasted legal ability of some men on the other side. Yes, we had during the last session, to contend for that measure, hour after hour, and by hard fighting won the ground inch by inch, and being sustained in our views by the authorities in the old country, he could not but regard their victory in that matter, as a triumph of which the late Government might justly feel proud. It was a triumph which showed no imbecility. He was sorry the hon. member for St. Peter's was not now in his place. It was currently reported that Roman Catholic influence similar to that brought to the notice of Judge Keogh, of Ireland, had been brought out against the late Government in St. Peter's. The hon. Mr. Hogan did not offer again. If, therefore, the late Government had in St. Peter's and elsewhere, been defeated, they fell in a manly fight. The school question was made to do duty against them. It was education, and not Railway Branches and Confederation, which overthrew the late Government. Well did the hon. member for Souris know, that every disposition was shown by the late party and the Government, to do all that lay in their power for his and other districts. This they did to the loss and injury of their own districts. What were the tanks they received in return ? The Government took a look at the affairs of the Colony. They found the Finance was not in such a state as they could wish. Large amounts for land damages were required. The Railway Bill provided that immediate payment should be 14 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 made in cash for. land damages, as they became due and were presented. Hence it was found difficult to obtain cash to meet the claims for lands as they came in. The Government required $50,000. The old Bank, at that time, in November, could only let them have $10.000 and the Union Bank $5,000. The hon. the leader of the Government told him a few days ago, that if he had been in power he would have had no difficulty in obtaining the amount required. This he (Mr. L.) did not believe. The credit at the Colony was just as good under one Government as the other. If otherwise, and the Banks were to become more party institutions, the sooner the country knew it the better. Such, however, he had no reason to believe was the case. Under those circumstances the Government had to try and dispose of some of their Debentures abroad. They sold a few at par, but rather than dispose of them at a discount, they borrowed $25,000, which had been of great service during the winter, In view of the present and prospective difficulties of the Colony, they saw that increased taxation, or Confederation, was unavoidable. As a nativeof the country, it he saw any feasible way by which they could hope to overcome those difficulties and remain as they were, he would feel glad. But as the Railway debt would be largely increased in another year, he saw no course open but the one they took. They opened up a correspondence, and then by invitation from the Dominion Cabinet, went to Ottawa and discussed the matter with the Privy Council. They obtained terms, dissolved the House, and laid the question before the country, and he, for one, would never feel ashamed of what he did in that matter. It was not selling the country as has had been said. He would not go into the financial aspect of the question then, as he intended doing so when the papers, came down, and the general question would be considered. The late Government viewed the difficulties of the Colony, and having done so, cheerfully cast their trust upon the people's care. He had to contest an election in one of the most difficult districts to be found to contest an election on that question in, yet he met with but one man who told him he was afraid of union, and still he voted fro him. But in several districts other questions had been brought forward. The Herald, which up to the time the delegates left for Ottawa, had supported us, immediately changed its tone, and in its last issues says ;-
"That flying visit which he made to Ottawa, brought disaster upon his luckless head, and ' nipped his countless honors in their bloom."
Further on he says :-
" True, Mr. Laird made a very pompouparade of lofty motives, and discoursed feeling on patriotism, but the country would not believe him. .The computations he put forth were pronounced worthless by the people, and to the chagrin and mortification of Mr. Laird, his party returned from the election numbering barely ten."
[Mr. Howlan — ] [...] the rights and privileges of the Opposition had been infringed upon, because the rules had not been passed immediately after the officers were appointed. He (Mr. H.) saw, no attempt made to infringe upon any rights or privileges; if he saw any such attempt, he would be the first to raise his voice against it. But he could pardon the hon. member for the charges which—he had just made against the government, because his parliamentary experience was extremely limited, and he had everything to learn in reference to these matters. If the hon. member's law out of parliament was no sounder than he had shown it to be in it, he (Mr. H.) pitied his unfortunate clients. The course pursued by the government was in perfect accordance with the rules laid down in May on Parliament. But what did the hon. member for Murray Harbor care for precedent? Nothing whatever ; precedents were nothing to him, as his decision was, in his own opinion, superior to them all. People are generally satisfied with one well-established precedent, but a dozen were of no account in the judgment of the hon. member for Murray Harbor. When the consideration of the Draft Address was resumed, he (Mr. H.) would pay his compliments to the hon. member, but he would make no further remarks upon the present amendment, further than to say, that it was his. (Mr. H's) opinion that his honor the Speaker could not entertain it, as it was out of order.
Mr. T. Kelly said that he had listened to the eloquent address of the hon. member for Murray Harbor with surprise, not unmingled with amusement. He (Mr. D.) was a member of the legal profession, and a gentleman of culture, and considerable ability, and yet had just made statements which he himself must have known were not strictly correct. The hon. member stated that a law of Parliament is a law of the land. Now the expression, " law of the land " was a very nice expression, and one which tended to captivate and please the general public; but the statement was not strictly correct. Would the hon. member deny that one well-established precedent in a case perfectly analogous to the one under consideration would not bind? On the other hand, it can be shown that there are 'none strictly against the present one. By consulting the Journals of 1854 and 1859 and 1863, hon. members would find that the Draft Address was submitted during those three Sessions of the House before the Rules were passed. If those three precedents would not bind in cases perfectly analagous, he could not tell what would. Then again, there is a rule laid down that in all cases where the tules of last Session do not apply, the Rule of the Imperial Parliament is binding. It is also clearly established that the Standing Rules of the late House stand good from Session to Session until they are repealed. A single precedent is sufficient to bind in all questions of this kind, and "the hon. member for Murray Harbor knows this very well.
His HONOR THE SPEAKER said that the amendment submitted by Mr. Sinclair was irregular, and that he declined to receive it. The question on Mr. T. Kelly's motion was then put and carried.
Hon. B. DAVIES said that in the foremoon he had been speaking of the propriety of a portion of the Speech with which His Honor the Lieutenant Governor had opened the Session. As hon. members were aware of the country had been tested on the great question of Confederation, and the result was that the late government had been ousted and that the present government owed their majority to that result. The late government were not defeated on the question of Confederation, for a majority was turned in favor of it, but on a side issue. viz, the School 20 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 Question. If the late government had advocated Sectarian Schools, they might to-day have been in power, but . they could not conscientiously grant public money for the support, of those, schools. After the battle of Sadowa, as is well known, the School Question was discussed all over Europe, and the Emperor of Austria, was com-; pelled to bow to the will of his subjects to prevent a political revolution, and took the education of the people out of the hands of the clergy and placed it in the hands of the Government. The Concordat was thus repealed on the demand of the people. Are we now going to take the education of our people out of the hands of the govarnment and place it in the handsof the Clergy, thus establishing a system which the people of Europe have tried to rid themselves of ? The demand of His Lordship the Roman Catholic Bishop, amounts to nothing less than that. If the grant were once conceded, denominational schools would inevitably follow, for the Clergy are never satisfied. If one denomination received a grant, others would demand the same, and there would be no end to the trouble that would arise from it. If the public schools of this Colony were once placed in the hands of the various denominations, where is the man who would dare raise his voice against denominational Schools ? It is well known that the School Question underlaid everything at the late election, and that the Catholic Clergy used their influence against the return of the late government to power. For this demand he (Mr. D.) did not blame them in the least, because he believed they were sincere in what they asked for . He lost, through their influence, one-third of the votes of those who supported him at the former election, but some Roman Catholics did support him, and those he thought were true patriots. He would most sincerely thank them for their support, and they deserved the thanks of the country for the public spirit which they had shown. The district had formerly been a strongly Anti-confederate one, and nothing would have turned the people in favor of Confederation if they had not come to the conclusion that if the Colony did not join the Dominion it would be placed in great financial troubles. When the Delegation first started for Ottawa, he thought the act of the government in sending it there a monstrous one, and contrary to the interests of the Colony, but when the terms came down and he found that they were just and liberal he at once embraced them. He saw that the sum allowed us was sufficient to meet the requirements of the Colony, if they did not exceed those of the last few years. He thought the late government had obtained a great triumph in carrying those terms at the late election as they had done. The only thing which prevented them from retaining the reins of power, was the School Question. He was told that he need not show himself on the Pisquid Road, but he obtained considerable support there, and believed that to-day, he could poll as many, votes there as the hon. member for Tignish, (Mr. H.) although he represents the head of his church. The terms he thought were very liberal, as the Canadians would not only pay our Railroad debt and our old public debt, but would allow us a sum sufficient to pay all our requirements. This is a very important question, for if we do not accept the terms now offered we must be prepared to pay the interest on 3.25 millions of dollars, and that in gold. He would like to see how the government could make provisions for it. On the other hand, if they accept the terms, and join the Dominion, many of their supporters in voting with them would break the pledges given by them to the people at the polls. He believed the hon. member for Alberton (Mr. H.) had went through that district, declaring against Confederation and he could not under 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 21 stand how that hon. member could now turn round in favor of it. Several other hon. members on the Government side of the House were in a similar position to that hon. member. The government need take no credit to themselves for obtaining a majority in the way they had. It has been Her Majesty's intention for some years past that these Provinces should be united and consolidated, but we as a Province, have not, hitherto, been favoured with an offer of just and liberal terms for our acceptance. When the Quebec terms came down, we found that they would entail intolerable burdens upon us, and therefore indignantly rejected them. The better terms of 1869, although far more liberal than the first, were also rejected, because, after counting the cost, we found that the country would suffer great loss by accepting them. But the passing of the Railway Bill by Mr. Pope's government in 1871 has increased our debt to the extent of three millions of dollars—a terrible debt for so small a population as ours. The late government saw that they must either go into Confederation or tax the people heavily. Now we know that our taxes are already nearly equal to those of Canada ; some say they are greater. A great many kinds of goods manufactured in Canada, would, under Confederation, come in here duty free, such as winter clothing, blankets, boots and shoes, mowing machines, &c., upon which we now pay a duty of fifteen per cent. He was of opinion, all things considered, that we should be great gainers by accepting the terms now offered us, and he believed that the great body of the people entertained a similar opinion. At the outside, we could not increase the duty upon goods more than 2 1/2 per cent, and the increase of Revenue from this would fall far short of meeting the wants of the country. There was no other course that could safely be adopted, but to seek a union with Canada upon reason able terms. The present land tax is an unfair one, as it is levied from rich and poor alike without regard to the quality of the land. If £30,000 or £40,000 sterling were drained out of the Colony every year to pay interest on the Railway debt, what would be the result ? The Railway would never pay the interest on its cost and working expenses. As to the terms offered by Canada, be thought the Laird terms $168,000 per year better than the Better Terms of 1869. He understood a delegation was about to be appointed by the government to be sent to Ottawa to ask better terms still, than those now offered. The Canadians will certainly be astonished to meet his honor the Leader of the Government asking for better terms, when they remember that he was satisfied with terms far less liberal.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN.—It appeared that the hon. senior member for Belfast had read the Address over and over again, and the oftener he read it the less he knew about it. The beginning, in the hon. member's opinion, was no good, the middle no good, and the end no good. The hon. member had read the Address through, found fault with it, and yet did not know anything about it after all ! This reminded him (Mr. H.) of the despatch which the hon. member once signed, but some months after, he declared that he never signed it, had not seen it and did not believe in it ; yet his signature was at the end of it. It appears the hon. member got along first rate during his late canvass in his district ; he had one story for the Catholics on Pisquid road and another for the Presbyterians of Belfast, as he told the former that the clergymen, only, agitated for the grant, and that Col. Gray would not give his vote in favor of it, and the latter that Col. Gray had made a Speech a few years ago at St. Dunstan's College in which he stated that if he had a son to educate, he would entrust that institution with his education. The hon. member would have had no chance whatever of being re-elected for that district, if he had not misrepresented his political opponents. Not satisfied with scattering printed circulars in English among the people, he had Gaelic circulars printed for their especial benefit, in order to complete his misrepresentation and to make it as effectual as possible. If it had not been for the School Question, the hon. member would not have had the smallest chance of being elected ; this could not be denied. The hon. senior member for Belfast tells us that the opposition of the people to a change in the school system, enabled him to carry his election, and the hon. junior member says he gained his election on Confederation , alone. He (Mr. H.) believed that Confederation had nothing to do with the election of either of those hon. members, and that if it had not been for their misrepresentations on the school question, the hon. Col. Gray would be a member of the House of Assembly to-day. Little did Col. Gray think, when he delivered that Address at St. Dunstan's College, that it would, a few years afterwards, be worth so much money to the present hon. members for Belfast. Col. Gray spoke in the Address, in high terms, of the efficiency of the teachers, the cleverness and good-conduct of the pupils, and the excellent course of training carried out in St. Dunstan's College ; and how could he speak otherwise ? Could he (Mr. H.) not admire the beautiful edifies erected by the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, &c., because they belonged to denominations differing from himself in religious opinions or matters of conscience ? Were it not for scheme, trickery and misrepresentation, no seat in this House would be occupied by the hon. B. Davies to-day. That hon. member used language throughout the country in reference to the memorial presented to Mr. Hensley's government by His Lordship Bishop McIntyre, intended to misrepresent His Lordship. The hon. member wished to make it appear that the Bishop demanded separate schools, although he well knows that His Lordship asked for nothing of the kind.
The hon. member had made allusion to his (Mr. H's) speech at St. Eleanor's, on Nomination day. He opposed Confederation at that time, because he could not do anything else ; no terms were before the country and no prospect of obtaining fair and equitable terms. At the close of the financial year, it was shown by the late government party with a great flourish of trumpets that the Revenue for the past year had increased to the extent of $10,000— notwithstanding their dashaway-policy. This country was his home, and he loved it too well to sacrifice its constitutional rights and privileges. It was a great misfortune that the miserable faction who had ruled the country for the past twelve months had control of its affairs as long as they had ; but he had hoped, all along, that by economy and good management chaos might be reduced to order, and the credit of the country preserved without going into Confederation. He little thought, at the beginning of the present year, what plotting and scheming were going on in the government, and it appeared that some of the members of the government themselves, knew nothing at all about the delegation to Ottawa, until it had stolen off. The hon.junior member for Belfast and two or three more schemers concocted the whole scheme, and kept it to themselves till they were prepared to strike. A few months before, those very men had published an account of the flourishing state of the Colony, and had undertaken the construction of new and very expensive bridges at New London and North Rustico. Never before had $94,000 been spent by the Board of Works in a single year. Yet this was done by the very men who complained that the Colony could now no longer maintain its credit without Confederation ! Before the present Government was organized, he was not aware of the real financial condition of the colony ; but he now saw the bad state of affairs, and was in a position to say that the mismanagement of the late government had been the sole cause of it. There never was a time when the country stood in greater need of a good government than last year ; but it was notorious that the country had never before suffered from one so imbecile as the one that had lately resigned the reins of power. They had sent Mr. Albert Hensley off to the Dominion to negociate the sale of the Land Damage Debentures, and through mismanagement, disposed of but a small amount. They then, through their agent borrowed the sum of $25,000 from a Provincial Bank to meet their wants and Mr. Hensley's note now lies there for that amount. That note, they intended, he believed, to renew, at the enormous interest of one per 24 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 cent per month, if they remained in power. It appeared they had sent about $80,000 to London, to meet the interest of the Railway debentures due in July. Was it a business like transaction to send off money early in the spring to meet the interest due in July, and then to turn around and borrow money from one of the Banks of the other Provinces at an enormous interest ? No man in transaction his own business would have acted in this manner. The hon. Mr. Muirhead stated in Summerside, that the first intention of the late govenrment was to legislate the Island into the Dominion without appealing the the people at the polls at all, while Hon. E. Palmer declared that the Delegates had gone to Ottawa for the purpose of "fending off" Confederation. This shows that there was secret plotting going on somewhere, of which all the members of the late government were not aware, at first. The hon. junior member for Belfast has not, now, a word to say about the charges made by him and his party last year against the Coalition government. The only charge he now makes against them is, that they forced the Railway upon the people without their consent. Does that hon. member remember his charges made during the six days'scession, of Bribery, Corruption, Tammany, Ring &c., &c. When the Opposition of last Session asked for a Committee of Investigation to ascertain the truth of those charges, they received no answer but "haw ! haw ! haw ! the country has condemned you and that is sufficient ; that is all the investigation we will grant you." Not a nook in any public office was left unsearched; no drawer was left unsearched, no scheme was left untried, no means unemployed, to endeavor to convict the members of the coalition government of dishonesty. Neither himself nor his friend the hon. A. A. McDonald had ever accepted a public office of any kind, and could not be accused of being greedy of office and of making money out of their position in the government. Not so with their most prominent accusers, for the moment they obtained the government, they showed a greed for office never before known in this Colony. Although they had every means at their command, they could have wished for, to enable them to investigate the conduct of their predecessors, they refused to do so. The record of the country is against them, that when really put to the proof of their charges they utterly failed. After they had carried out their dash- away policy for a few months, off they start for Ottawa, and seek admission into Confederation, contrary to every principle upon which they were elected, a year ago. Hon. Mr. Haythorne, although acknowledging himself a Confederate had pledged himself to his constituents not to put the country into the Dominion without their consent at the polls ; but it was the intention of that hon. gentleman together with the other members of the government, to force the Colony into Confederation, if possible, this session. Mr. Muirhead had made a statement to this effect in the presence of two gentlemen who stood high in the community, and he (Mr. H.) repeated it on their authority. There are no longer snake maps exhibited through the country, no curves int he line, no spruce sleepers to condemn, no badly constructed culverts to be carried away by the first spring freshet, no stumps on the road bed. What has produced this great change ? Where is the government of last year ? Where ? The old Coalition is back in government again stronger than they ever were ; they have been tried by a jury of their countrymen and most triumphantly acquitted of the slanderous charges made against them by the present Opposition Party. That is the cause of the silence in reference to those charges. There was one thing he was sorry to have to state, and that was, that matters affecting the best interests 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 25 of the country were in a far different state from that in which the Coalition government left them ; in fact they were now in a most deplorable condition. When the late government found that they had brought the country to the verge of bankruptcy by, their dash- away policy they proposed secretly to send that famous delegation off to Ottawa, and ascertain what terms Canada would offer for the admission of this Colony into Confederation. To ensure their return to the legislature, they determined to excite the minds of the people on the school question, and to make them believe that if the Bishop obtained the grant, two crosses, would be erected on every school-house in the country. He (Mr. H.) had seen a public notice " to whom it may concern," and at first concluded that a ship must Be ashore and for sale, or something of that sort ; but when he had read it, he found it was a circular on the School question, signed by a large number of Protestant Clergymen. The ship was for sale, sure enough, for, away the Delegates started for Ottawa for Better Terms. When they returned, the late government party concluded to agitate the school question in order to carry Confederation at the Polls. Said they, " if we can only make the people believe that Messrs. Pope and Brecken will go for the grant to Catholic Schools, we are all right. No matter what terms we may get or what we may do, we shall be all right." When the delegates first started for Ottawa, people could not believe that the report of their departure was true. Some refused to believe it even upon the oath of their informants ; but they seen discovered that they had not properly estimated those hon. gentlemen. The Patriot editor had formerly led the people to believe that the whole Dominion Parliament did not contain an honest man ; but was now among the first to. propose going into Confederation, and to show that it was the very best course the Island could take. Why we could never get new potatoes or seed grain worth having, unless we t them from Canada ! The Hon. E. Palmer who had said that if everybody would follow the example of the Catholics in their opposition to Confederation the Island would be safe, was changed. all at once into a full blown Confederate ! All those of their suppporters whose greed for office and opposition to the acts of the Coalition Government had been conspicuous, followed the example of their party and turned. Confederates in an hour. Nothing was now to be heard from those new-born Confederates but high-sounding praise of. the Dominion and its government— their statesmanship was grand, their position exalted and their credit unbounded. The people of the Dominion should be made aware that the terms now before the country were obtained by a government the most unprincipled, reckless and imbecile, that ever held the reins of power in this Colony. The people of Belfast and Murray Harbor were told that the Steam Dredge was built expressly for them ; but they now found that theyhad been hoodwinked by the late government and that the local government of this Colony, under Confederation, will only be able to obtain a share of its services. In the New London District, Protestant Clergyman sounded the alarm on the school question, from their palpits, and reports were circulated that pledges had been given by Mr. Pope's party to the Catholics, promising a grant to their schools. (The hon. member here read a letter received by him from New London corrobating this statement.) But with all their manoeuvering, twisting and misrepresentation, the hon. member for New London did not receive as many votes ashe did last year. He (Mr. H.) had the Returns for that district for the last three Elections, and found that there was not at present as large majority there, against the present 26 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 government, as there was two years ago. At Bedeque, he had this year received a courteous and fair hearing, but a year ago, one could scarcely meet a man who did not say something about the Ring, Curves and Spruce Sleepers. All this is now changed for the better, and the falsehoods and misrepresentations circulated against Mr. Pope's government, have almost entirely died out. A great change had also taken place at Summerside, and Mr. Muirhead a member of the late government had made the statement there a short time ago, that he had never stated that there was a Railway Ring. Another great change had occurred in the West River district, and it had been stated on good authority that if it had not been for the Roman Catholic Frenchmen of North Rustico, the present representatives of that district would not be here to-day, as members of this House. Indeed, it is pretty clear, that in all cases where the people could get reliable information, the late government have been shaken to their foundations. The returns for the West River and Rustico District show unmistakeably, that the heart of that district was, and is opposed to the policy of the late government, and that it had been fairly dealt with on the school question, it would have returned Messrs. Jenkins and Longworth at the head of the poll. Where is now the boasted strength of the late government ? The slanders uttered by them last year had much more to do with their defeat than they are willing or honest enough to admit. A vast change has also taken place in Belfast, and had they been honorably dealt with by the present Representatives of that district, Messrs. Gray and Smith would have had a large majority of votes : of this there was the clearest proof. In Charlottetown, Messrs. Pope and Brecken, members of the Coalition government, walked the course, as no one could be found to oppose them. At Summerside Mr. McMillan, an ex-M. P. voted against his own nominee, and Mr. Vickerson, the only candidate brought forward by the late government party, was pledged to support Mr. Pope's government. The public feeling there ran so high against the late government, that even the office-holders voted against them. If Confederation had never been mooted or mentioned, their defeat would have been just as sure as it is to-day. The very things with which the late government had charged the Coalition, they themselves did ; for instance, they charged their predecessors with not accepting the lowest tender, but they did worse by passing over several tenders without even making the necessary inquiries. They charged the Coalition with putting too many curves on the line of Railway, but when they let the Branch Lines they put in 15 per cent more curves than the Trunk contained. Mr. Pope's government were taunted by them for the manner in which the Contracts were let, but they immediately turned round and let the Branch lines at a cost of $1000 per mile more. The Coalition government did the best they could, but having had no experience in building Railways, made some mistakes ; but the late government, with all the experience of their predecessors to go by, made far greater blunders than they did. Then again, it was said by some members of the late government that no man could be honest who had anything to do with Schreiber and Burpee ; but these were the very men whom they selected for their contractors. They paid from the public chest for the survey of the Branch lines, but the Coalition compelled the Contractors of the trunk line to pay the cost of the survey of that line. Then another terrible blunder was made by them,—the worst of all—they removed the only proper security the country had for the proper construction of the trunk line. When the coalition government 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 27 let the trunk contract, it was stipulated that the Contractors should receive only 90 per cent of their money, before the completion of the contract, and that ten per cent should remain in the hands of the government till then. The late government agreed to recind that part of the agreement, and in doing so, released every man who was security for the faithful performance of the contract. The bond was signed by the securities on condition that ten per cent of the pay was to remain in the hands of the government, until the completion of the contract, and might have been a strong inducement to them to give their names as security. But the securities are, by the act of the late government, entirely released, because the contract has been broken by the latter without the consent of the former. With our public credit broken up and our finances placed in a wretched condition by an unprincipled and imbecile government there was, he was sorry to say, only one way to get out of our difficulties, and that was to get still better terms, if possible, at Ottawa, and unite with Canada. Fancy the effect of a travelling financier going round to all the cities of the Dominion, endeavoring, with little success, to sell our government debentures ! What effect would this have upon the sale of our Railway Debentures in the London money market ? The hon. junior member for Belfast, when setting off on the delegation, acted like a robber, who having robbed a house, sets fire to it, and burns it down, to prevent his robbery from being discovered. After all that had been said and done, what was the only charge that had been made against him (Mr. H.) as a public man ? He had been charged with being in favor of a grant to Catholic Schools, of taking the poor child off the street, and placing it in a good school. He gloried in his position upon the School Question. The public mind is in a diseased state upon this question ; but he had no doubt that in time the disease would die out. The present opposition did all in their power to establish a strong Protestant government, and to exclude Catholics from having any voice in the administration of the government, and any share of the official patronage. They wished to divide Catholic against Protestant, and then to go into Confederation—that was their whole policy. In what position would they stand , if they had entered the Dominion with a government from which Catholics were excluded ? How would their policy appear to the statesmen of the Dominion, many of whom are better Protestants than they ? They would leave over forty thousand of the people of this colony in a discontented condition, without any voice in the government of the Colony or participation in the management of Public affairs. Do they believe that their conduct would receive the approbation of all high-mined liberal Dominion Statesmen? If so, they are woefully mistaken. That kind of policy might do very well for Uigg, Rona and Raasa, but it would not do for the Dominion ! The hon. junior member for Belfast who a short time ago had endeavoured to stigmatize every hon. member of the House who entertained confederate sentiments ; he who had been only one year in public life and had been notorious for being a malicious defamer so pronounced by the records of the House ; had, in a moment changed his policy and had lately done more to promote Confederation than any hon. member in the whole Legislature. This was the action of an hon. member who had defamed the characters of more men, in his public utterances and his journal than any other man he (Mr. H.) had ever heard of. His (Mr. Laird's) own friends had condemned him by their vote recorded in the Journals of the House. On the strength of a mere minute of Council, that hon. member and his co-delegate 28 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 set off for Ottawa, and the first information the country received of their departure was contained in a fly sheet of the Royal Gazette of Feb. 15th. The official announcement of the terms published in the Royal Gazette, did not reach him (Mr. H.) till after the general election ; as it was only printed on the 28th March, there was not sufficient time for it to reach the more distant parts of the Island. He could come to no other conclusion, than that there were no terms before the country on nomination day, as there was nothing officially published for which anybody was responsible. If the terms had been published in time as they should have been, the people would have been in a position to pronounce an intelligent opinion upon them, but as this was not the case, they could not do so. No intelligent man would say that a list of terms with no official signature should be recognized by the people as reliable. A great many people believed all that time, that the whole thing was a fabrication got up for the purpose drawing their attention from other matters. His honest conviction was, that it was the original intention of the late government to put the country into Confederation nolens volens. Mr. H. Beer, a member of that government resigned his seat as a member of the Executive Council when the delegation was appointed and no reason had been given for that resignation. Although that hon. member had resigned months ago, his resignation had not reached the Lieutenant governor till a day or two ago.
Mr. BEER rose to a point of order, and stated that he had resigned his seat in the late Executive before the Delegates were appointed. He had ran his election altogether on the Confederate ticket.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN.—There must have been some reason for the resignation of the hon. member, and it was fair to presume that the Delegation to Ottawa had something to do with it. His Honor might not have received that resignation, at the time, and this may have been the reason why it was not published till all the members of the late government resigned. There was, at one time, a great flourish of trumpets is reference to the ability of the late government as displayed in the reinvestment clauses of the Branch Railway Bill, but what did those clauses amount to ? The station at Summerside had been changed, which necessitated the building of a breastwork in a very exposed situation that might be broken down by the first storm after it is completed. One would have thought they would move the whole world by their rejoicings at the change of that Station—the Great Peace Jubilee in Boston was nothing to it. How far did they move the Alberton Station ? Merely across the road. He had offered to the late Railway Commissioners a site on the side of the road opposite ; they complained that the ground was too low ; he offered to fill it up and make it level, but they still refused it. The truth is that the original spot chosen was the proper place for the station, when the continuation of the line to Tignish is taken into account, and the the Engineer will corroborate this statement. The investigating Engineers reported on that station under the impression that it was to be made a terminal one, and did not take into account the continuation of the Branch to Tignish. In speaking of the change of station at Summerside, the Engineers stated, " of course in taking this suggestion into consideration, the increased cost must be borne in mind." But the increase of cost was nothing to the government that carried out the dash- away policy. The property-holders in that part of the town through which the railway at present passes, happened to be opposed to the late government, and therefore the latter did not 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 29 hesitate to direct that the road should be carried through their property, thus greatly damaging it, and cutting up the streets. In changing that station the late government squandered $100,000 of the public money, and did $500,000 damage to the town. It is stated by engineers and others acquainted with the matter, that a small country town requires a large station ground for agricultural and other purposes, as the products of the soil and forest are bulky and conveyed in vehicles requiring considerable space. The Summerside station ground is a small one, and often washed by the tide, and will always be a source of trouble and dissatisfaction. The late Government have left this Island in such a position, with its credit irreparably injured, that nothing less than Confederation will relieve us from financial embarrassment. They had sent for the New York Engineers, and the result was that their own charges were proved to be false, and without a shadow of foundation. The Hon. R. P. Haythorne declared last session in his place in the Legislative Council, that he was not answerable for what takes place in the heat of debate, but if he found that the Contract had been faithfully carried out according to the letter and spirit of the Railway Act, he would be the first to acknowledge it. Where is the acknowledgment ? Nothing of the kind has been made, although the Engineers' Report has shown the Railway Act to be carried out to the letter. When that Report was received, they (the late Government) did not understand the figures it contained, nor the statements in reference to the curves, and therefore they wrote that famous letter to the Engineers, almost begging them to find some fault with the Trunk Line, in some way or other. There was that terrible curve on the Thompson farm and some others, which they almost implored the Engineers to find some fault with, but did not succeed in their designs. Then, in order to throw odium, if possible, upon Mr. Boyd, they put the Report in a drawer and locked it up, instead of publishing it, like honest men, for the information of the people who were deeply interested in the result of that investigation. When the Engineers were about setting out to engage in their work, a letter was sent to them by the late Government telling them not to speak to Messrs. Pope, Howlan, or Carvell, in other words to " avoid as far as possible the intrusion of persons desirous of volunteering information, and offering their opinions," and to " form your own unbiassed opinions on the matters submitted to you." No men durst speak to them, as there was a fence all around them. Now, who were the men who were to be particularly guarded against as dangerous, and therefore to be dreaded ? The strong advocates of the Railway policy of the Coalition Government, Messrs. Pope, Howlan, Carvell, &c., &c. Then certain members of the late Executive were to accompany those Engineers wherever they went, in order to prevent the intrusion of those dangerous persons he had just mentioned. He (Mr. H.) wondered what these Engineers thought of those gentlemen who watched and guarded them with such jealous care they, no doubt, entertained their own opinions of the state of matters and of the motives of the men who gave them their instructions. What did the late Executive say to the following remarks of the Engineers in answer to Mr. Haythorne's statement in reference to the curve on the Thompson farm : " Now we beg leave, most respectfully, to say that these remarks about the alignment at these points, are not borne out by the facts of the case." Those Engineers came here with the very best testimonials, and it is fair to assume that they knew more about Railways than the Hons. P. Sinclair, Haythorne, &c., members of the late Executive. Be 30 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 fore the Engineers left the Island. they old the then Government in the Council Chamber. what their opinions on the Trunk Line Were. and were also thoronghly cross-questioned on every point, yet the late Executive depended that it would, after all, come to pass that the Report would condemn the Railway in toto, and therefore made every possible effort to the very last, to break down and destroy the reputation of the projectors of 'the Railway Scheme. They even went so far as to express to those Engineers their own opinions on the curves, spruce sleepers, wire fence, &c., &c., thus intimating what kind of a Report they desired. The Engineers gave a truthful report, and when the late Government tried to trip them up, they found it impossible to do so, and circulated a report which they knew to be false, viz.: that the Engineers had been bought over to the Opposition. Their last resort was to slander the very men they themselves had selected to investigate the work of their political opponents. The whole matter, together with their action in reference to Confederation, has been the means of placing them where they richly deserve to be, viz.: in the small minority they are to-day. Even if Confederation had never been mooted, they would not have been able to hold the Government many hours after the opening of the Legislature. Last year, Mr. Boyd's statements were not trusted by the hon. members of the present Opposition; this year his statements are taken by them to Ottawa as the very best authority on our Island Railway that can be got. Last year that gentleman was pronounced by them an incompetent; this year he is a walking monument of ability. A great deal had been said about Mr. Boyd being a relation of Hon. Mr. Brecken; and it had also been said that he owed his present position as Chief Engineer to that relationship. Nothing could be father from the truth. The fact was that he (Mr. H.) had been the means of that gentleman's appointment to that important office; having made his acquaintance in New Brunswick, and knowing that he ranked high in his profession, he recommended him to the Government to fill the position he at present occupies. The fact that the Colony is to day in a bad financial position and compelled to knock at the doors of the Dominion for admission, altogether owing to the incompetence. blundering and mismanagement of the late Government. It is much easier to destroy the credit of the country than to build it up as strong as it formerly'was. He would rather see the Colony remain out of Confederation, if it could redeem its credit, but he saw that there was not much prospect of its-doing so, and would therefore endeavor to obtain the best terms possible, and do all that lay in his power to forward the best interests of this Island.
Mr. BEER said boldly that the school question was used against him at the last election, and were it not so used, he would have been returned with a much larger majority. To the Railway he was always opposed, as he felt convinced it would be the means of forcing us into Confederation. A few months ago a gentleman told him that he was a strong Confederate, and also a strong Railway man; but that when the Railway Bill was passed he felt perfectly easy as he then knew Confederation would of necessity have soon to follow.
Mr. P. SINCLAIR said, were it not that he felt it his duty to reply to the hon. member for Alberton, he would not then Speak to the motion. The hon. member made a statement which could not be substantiated.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN enquired if the hon. member meant to say that he made a statement which could not be substantiated ?
Mr. P. SINCLAIR.—The hon. member stated that the Board of Works expended $120,000 last year.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN said, what he did say was that the Board expended $94.685.44 and left $31.345.64 to pay, which amounted to over $120,000, or $126,031.08.
Mr. SINCLAIR would acknowledge that statement to be correct. Yet at the same time, when the hon. member made the statement first he said the Board Spent $120,000 which was not correct. The Board had a vote of the House last session for ordinary public works, such as roads, bridges, wharves, breakwaters, &c., of $32,000. For lighthouses, buoys. jails. &c., including Government House, fuel,&c... $10,000. And for unfinished works a sum sufficient amounting to about $46,000. In addition to these amounts they had local subscription lists for most of the heavy works amounting to $3 000. These amounts when balanced against $93,500 expended, showed that the Board of Works department kept within the limits assigned by the House last session. The hon. member laid the Government did wrong in remitting money to London before it became due, this he thought could be easily answered when the public accounts came up for discussion. Thus as regards the delegation to Ottawa, he had simply to say that the Government took the state of the Colony, with reapect to its finances into consideration, and found that in order to meet the public demands as they be. came due, taxation to the extent of about $2.00 a head on the population of the Colony would be required to be levied. Such being the result of their enquires it was deemed advisable to open up negotiations with the Dominion Government. All they did in the matter was fair and open. No advan-   tage was taken of the country in any way whatever in what they did. The late Government was defeated because the school question was used against them and not on account of their Confederation policy. On these two ques 34 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 tions their policy was sustained by the present party. For his part he was not once of those who had one policy for today and another for to-morrow. The letter which the hon. member for Alberton read, stated that the school question was brought up at a public meeting in New London. Mr. Ross, who he believed wrote that letter, was a candidate at the late contest, and appeared to think he might succeed if he could get the Catholic vote. For his (Mr. S.'s) part, he only mentioned the question once, and that was at a meeting at Lot 29. The hon. member for Alberton if in earnest on the school question. now that he was in power again, should move in the matter. If there was an hon. member in the House which that question did more service to than another, it was the hon. member himself. He denied the mismanagement charged against the late Government. When they went out of power they left more money in the Treasury titan they found there when they came into office, and had besides in London, to the credit of the Colony, £6,000 sterling. With regard to surveying and locating the branch lines of the Railroad, he believed the country gained by their doing 80. Previous to the location of the Main Trunk the distance from Alberton to Georgetown had been computed at 120 miles, or 27 miles less than the actual length. The branches had been estimated at about 50 miles, and the resulthad shown that in estimating the length'they came within a mere trifle oi the distance. This he thought would not be the case if the Contractors had been allowed to locate the branches as they did the main line. True the cost per mile was higher, but they would have a better road. The sleepers were to be Juniper and cedar instead of spruce and hemlock. He felt satisfied that those living on the two ends of the line would have a better road than the centre would prove to be. The financial affairs of the Colony were man aged as efficiently and with as much regard to economy and the welfare of the country as they had been by their predecessors, and on retiring from the Government they left them, as he before said, in as good a condition as they found them. He knew of no clergyman in his district who used any influence in his favor during the late election ; but believed there were clergymen on both sides who did so in other districts. The policy foreshadowed in the Speech be regarded as a sound one, and if the Government adhered faithfully to it they should, while doing so have his support. When the Railway Bill was carried he felt the Island would not much longer be able to stand erect under the burden it would impose, and the result proved that he was correct. He had the honor to represent one of the largest and most intelligent districts in the Island, and notwithstanding what was said by the hon. member for Alberton, received more votes at the late election than Hon. Mr. Howlan did.
Hon. Mr. POPE did not rise to make a speech, but to express a hope that hon. members would not unnecessarily prolong the discussion, lest by so doing the time of the House might be so taken up, that the passage of the Revenue Bill might be endangered, when that matter was disposed of, then he should not object to time being given for as free arid open a discussion on all public questions, as was necessary. But their first duty was to see that the Revenue Bill should be passed in proper time.
Mr. L. H. DAVIES would only any in answer to the hon. member the Leader of the Government, that when the hon. member for Alberton was allowed to occupy so much time, and hon. members kept three hours listening to his slanders against the Opposition, he would find there were hon. members in the Opposition who would resent it, who would not allow their 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 35 party to be slandered while their policy was swallowed. The Opposition do not intend by factibus opposition to embarrass the Government in having the Revenue Bill carried through at the proper time, yet when a member of the Government occupied so much time in saying so little, he, for one would assert his right to reply. The result of the election had been discussed. He for one felt surprised to hear hon. members state that the school question was not before the country. The fact was—it could not be denied—every man on both sides was schooled up on that particular question. Each elector when polling a vote for a Catholic candidate knew he was recording one in favor of grants in aid of Catholic schools. (No.) Hon. members might say no, but he believed such was the fact. He knew it was so in the Murray Harbor district in which there were many Catholics who value and appreciate the Free Educational System which we possess. Numbers of them voted for him (Mr. D.) because he was in favor of maintaining the system in its integrity, and in, so far as his humble ability would enable him, hoped he would be found always ready to defend and support it He felt quite convinced the school question was just as much before electors at the late contest as Confederation. In looking at the Speech of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor he could not but feel that a majority were returned to support the policy of the late Government on the question of grants to Denominational Schools and Confederation. On these two questions the late Government carried the country with them. Certainly if such was not the case and the views of some ere to be met on Education, it should be set forth in the Speech. On Confederation the Speech did foreshadow the fact that the Governnent had endorsed the policy of their predecessors. Where in such conduct was the consistency of the hon. member for Tignish who had inscribed, on his flag "No Confederation ?
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN rose to a point of order, to say, he had no flag with such an inscription on it.
Mr. L. H. DAVIES would say further, that when the hon. member came down on this particular occasion with aspeech in which no reference was made to the school question,—in a word, abandoning the Catholic claims for their schools, it ill became him to assail the late Representative for Charlottetown in the manner he did. He could tell the hon. member, that the Hon. Daniel Davies as a public man stood high in the estimation of the petple. That in all the walks of life the Hon. Daniel Davies stood upon a pedestal far higher than the hon. member for Tigrish had ever reached. And such being the case the remarks made respecting him by the hon. member could do that hon. gentleman no harm. In so far as Confederation went, the late Government was the only one which ever existed in this Colony that could have carried that question at the polls. Nor would he hesitate to assert that on the general question the hon. member for Belfast (Hon. Mr. Laird) would pull more votes, yes a two to one vote, over any other public man in the Colony. Again, an attempt had been made to shew that the late party slandered the Engineers. This he denied. But at the same time was willing to admit, nor would he hesitate frankly to admit, that the Report of the inspecting Engineers cleared the late Government. of all blame in the matter. Yet while admitting that much, he could not but express his firm belief also, that the ultimate intention of Mr. Pope's Government in carrying the Railway Bill, was to land the Colony into Confederation They must have known, and he believed did know, that it could be used as an effectual means to accomplish that end. Unquestionably the 86 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 measure was carried against the wishes of a large majority of the people, and when so sweeping a Bill was rushed through the Legislature without the consent of the electors, they felt themselves grossly insulted, an insult which they resented on the first opportunity which afterwards presented itself. The bulk of the people knew that the passing of that Bill meant increase taxation to an extent beyond what they could bear, or Confederation. This the people knew, and felt it too, up to the present hour. The Report of the Inspecting Engineers substantially says that most of the blunders it. connection with the undertaking, were chargeable. to the manner in which the contract was let. There was not a man in the country who for l a moment believed the contract was fairly let. In letting it the Government opened the door wide for fraud to enter. As a professional man, he would not for a moment hesitate to assert, that a more loosely drawn up Bill was never passed through the Legislature. It was utterly impossible to understand some of its provisions, or to account for many omissions therein. Unless the Act was amended the land damages which would have to be paid, would be enormous. The amendments required were numerous. No provision is made for crossing the Road. No one knew who drew up the Bill, though it was shrewdly suspected that it was drawn up by some of the friends of the hon. member the Leader of the Government, across the water. Any one who would take up the Act and carefully peruse it would find tlat it was all he described it to be. It was a Bill, however, which virtually changed the Constitution of the Colony ; and the manner in which it was carried through the Legislature went far to convince the people that it was done with a view to deprive this- Colony of its Constitution. Was it any wonder the electors hurled the Government which carried the mea sure, from power on the first opportunity which offered afterwards. But says the hon. member from Alberton "the country have hurled you from power too." True, but the principle upon which the late Government ap pealed to the people on, has been sustained. The speech of the hon. member was so incoherent he could make nothing of it. While on his feet he. made some strong assertions and read a few letters for the information of hon. members, but believed if they were closely examined they would prove to be the emanations of the hon member himself. On one question. however, he (Mr. D) felt pleased to be able most cheerfully to congratulate his Catholic friends, and that was on the change which had taken place in their minds on the question ol Education. It was a question at all events which demanded an answer, but upon it they were as silent as the grave. Yet, notwithstanding, he assumed it was not their intention to allow the matter to drop. He supposed the hon. member held the same views now as those he gave utterance to last year. In the Parliamentary Reporter for 1872 the hon. member is reported as pleading thus :—" But it was a lasting disgrace that when £23,000 or £24,000 were spent for educational purposes in the Colony, seven out of every ten parents in the city. were paying for the education of their children in the private schools. Would any person say it was fair to allow those schools to be kept up by private enterprise when schools in a disgraceful state in back lanes and yards were receiving large sums from the public. There was no reason why this should be, except the narrow minded views of men of the stamp of the hon. member for Belfast. In almost all other countries grants were given to Denominational Schools. In the Dominion, France, Austria, Prussia, Great Britain and in Australia this was done. Then why not here? The only thing that stood 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 87 in the way was the intolerance and bigotry of men of whom the hon. member was a type. If that hon. gen tleman were a Christian these could not be the sentiments of his heart. We believed he made use ot them as clap-trap for electioneering purposes." Such was the earnestly expressed opinions of the hon. member when in Opposition. So earnest was he that in the same speech he further says : " He would tell that hon. member that the blood of 45.000 of his fellow colonists was reeking on his hands, that he was the Champion of infidelity and a disgrace to any Christian Church." Well the hon. member was now in power and if sincere in what he then said, he should see to it that his cherished views on that question were carried out. He well remembered when the hon. member was the respected leader of the Liberal party in this House. But who broke up his party on that question. If he was sincere then, he would show it now. He then signed a bond not to press that question, had he done the same again? Did the hon. member suppose his Catholic friends were going to be satisfied with empty promises ?—with vain words and unfulfilled pledges ? For his part be (Mr. D.) owed much to the Free Educational System, and to the full extent of his humble ability would ever use his best efforts to maintain it in its purity. He admired the system because in its princrples it extended even handed justice to all, and favor to none. He would never consent that Catholics or Protestants should enjoy or receive any advantage the one over the other. Fair play to all and favor to none was the rule which should govern him. It was time that question ceased to be one which could be used for breaking up Governments, at the will and pleasure of any party. So long as such should continue to be the case, it would be not only a source of political annoyance but also an injury to the country. He hoped the junior member for Bedeque would have the manliness'to adhere to the statements he gave utterance too or nomination day. and not go in for selling his country like another Castlereagh. As to the senior member (Mr. Howatt) he did not doubt for a moment bu. that he would keep those he made and believed the hon. member would feel more comfortable on the other side of the House. But that the hon. member will vote against Confederation as he promised he had no doubt.
Mr. HOWATT understood full well what the general policy of the Government was at the time of the late general election. He knew also, that many at the Government were in favor of going into Confederation. During his canvass in the late contest, he did not say anything against either the Government or Opposition. But gave it as his opinion that Confederation instead of improving the situation of the country, would on the contrary have the desired effect. Some of the candidates said it was simply a question of Confederation or taxation. His opinion was it would beincreased taxation in either case. It was said that he had left his party. Such was not the case, on the contrary when they took up their Confederate policy, they then left him. He disapproved of their policy. A great many were disposed to regard the question altogether from a pound, shilling and pence stand point ; nor did he hear a single argument in favor of a union with the Dominion, but those which had reference to their pockets. He disapproved of getting ontheir knees and begging terms of Canada. Before doing anything of the kind it would have been much more consistent with what was due to themselves and to the country, to have first put their own shoulder to the wheel and tested the resources of the country. The speech of the hon. member for New London convinced him that if we were willing we might 38 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 get through with our difficulties. The hon. member had shown that the country was not in such a state but that this might be done, with the exception of £10,000 or 15,000 which would fall due for interest next June, there were no pressing demands upon the Colony nor would there be any until next January. When such was the case, he failed to see the necessity which existed for sending a delegation so hastily to Canada. Last year the crops were not as good as formerly. Mercantile men met with more difficulties than usual and other reasons, occurred to render the public affairs of the Colony more difficult to adjust than formerly. Such might not occur again. If we went into union with Canada our Revenue would then belong to the Dominion Government. The general Government would collect the Revenue in our notes, and no doubt draw the gold as freely out of our Banks as it is drawn now. He was told that the Bank of Montreal, in the interest of the Dominion Government had a branch in St. John and Halifax, and that they were drawing the gold from the local Banks in those cities to an extent that was felt to be injurious to trade. Suppose then that the same was done here what better position would we be in, in Confederation than we would be out of it. Why it would have a tendency to place the business men in as tight a place as ever. If we go into the Dominion we will receive but £40,000 or £50,000 a year for our local wants. Now if £120,000 is not sufficient at present it was clear that at an early day we would have to resort to direct taxation for local purposes. It was an easy matter to say we are going to throw our burdens upon the Federal Government, but for his part he regarded the Canadian ministers as too shrewd to make a bargain that would relieve us in the slightest degree from paying our full share of the Revenue which will be continually required. No doubt the Canadian Government will work our finances to suit themselves. The fact that the Government expressed a wish to unite with Canada, gave them an advantage, inasmuch as it showed we were not able to manage our own affairs. For a period of one hundred years we had been able to conduct the business of the country, but all at once when a pressure came the first thing thought of was the surrendering of our rights to Canada, — giving up before we had tested our own ability to tide over the difficulty. The amount of taxation they had to pay in the Dominion was far higher than it was here. Direct taxation we would have to come to very soon if we went into Confederation. He would move a Resolution when the proper time came which would express his views on the subject, as one he would vote against Confederation on any terms. He hoped each hon. member would hear in mind that the question was one which offered us for all time. It amounted in his view of the matter to political annihilation. We might add a little to the credit of the Dominion Government.
Hon. Mr. LAIRD, would remind the hon. member, that the Dominion Government can borrow money at five per cent while we have to pay seven and a half.
Mr. HOWATT, that was because they had the imperial guarantee. He never did deceive his constituents, and hoped he never would, therefore he would vote on the question as he promised tem.
Mr. T. KELLY, felt surprised at what fell from the hon. member from New London, who said he knew twelve months ago that we would not exist much longer as a separate colony. If so, was it not most extraordinary the hon. member did not twelve months ago strive to carry confederation. Surely when his statement and con 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 39 duct were considered they would appear most inconsistent. It was amusing to listen to the arguments of the hon. member the Leader of the Opposition and those of the learned member for Murray Harbor.  No doubt the Catholic members duly appreciated the kind intentions of the hon. members. He would however inform them and other members of that hon. House, that the views of Catholics were entirely misrepresented. Two or three days before the late election, the " Patriot " said that two or three Catholic members were free to act upon the School question as they saw fit. But in his next issue stated that they had swallowed the School question. His belief was that the manner in which they carried on the Government while in power, and the ways they let the contract for the Branch Lines led to their overthrow. It had been asserted that when they passed the Bill for the construction of the Branch lines, one of their supporters said, that although they carried the Bill yet it never would be agreed to at Home. Thus while passing that Bill to gratify some of their supporters, they led others of them to suppose it never would become law. As a corroboratives opposition, the contract was not signed until a few minutes before the clock struck twelve, which was the very last moment it would have been legal to do so. He would ask the hon. member from whom he received his authority to proceed to Ottawa ? Had they the consent of their own friends in the Legislature ? certainly not. They did not as much as call their own supporters together and consult with them before moving in so important a matter. They say now they sent the question to the people at the polls. But the hasty manner in which electors were called upon to vote upon a matter which would affect them for all time, rendered the appeal more like a farce than a reality. The terms were not placed before the people in a reliable manner until after the election had taken place. Some few might have seen them before the poll closed but the majority of the people did not see the Royal Gazette in which they were published until after that time. He's a Catholic, but on the School question was determined not to do anything which would violate the promise made to the constituency he had the honor to represent. It was not the School question but opposition to the late Government that determined the late election in Summerside. So intense was the feeling that even Mr. McMillan cast a vote for an opposition Candidate while his own nominee was pledged to support Mr. Pope if he should succeed in forming a government.
Mr. STEWART—Said there was but one paragraph of any importance in the address, and that is the one which referred to Confederation, so that on that question he was happy to say he was in unison with the Government. But whilst fully concurring in the views expressed in the address on that subject, he had also to congratulate the Leader of the Government on his change of views with regard to Confederation. For up to the time the colony was free from the embarrassed position it was now in, brought about entirely by the policy of the hon. member, he had proclaimed himself an anti-confederate. Yet the hon. member ought not to suppose he had power now to grind down others. Nor could he refrain from saying that these hon. members who so suddenly changed their views, and who were now such warm advocates of a policy which they so recently condemned, should, in view of these facts be more modest. For his part he would not for a moment dare to cope in ability, much less in experience with the hon. and learned member for Summerside. But he could not refrain from observing, that it was most singular the hon. member did not see the Gazette of the 17th inst., 40 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 in which the terms were published. The hon. member for Bedeque (Mr. Howatt) regards the matter simply as one of money. Well assuming the view taken of the question by the hon. member to be correct would he regard it as wise to refuse these terms, when, in a money point of view, they are so favorable. It was obvious to any one who would carefully consider the matter, that by accepting them we can get along for some time without resorting to local taxation, whereas if we reject them, we will be forced to resort to increased taxation immediately. When contesting his election, his hon. colleague (Hon. P. S.) and himself were fiercely opposed. With regard to the statement of the hon. member from Alberton, who said the School question was not before the country at the late election, he would only say, if such was the case the hon. member knew very little of what was going on in the country. Any one however, acquainted with the hon. member would hardly give him credit with being so innocently ignorant respecting what was before the country at the late election. Why in listening to him one would suppose the hon. member did not meddle with politics at all. But he (Mr. S.) believed that whoever shook the fruit bearing political tree he made out to be nigh enough to it for some of the political apples to fall into his hands. The hon. member for Alberton must not therefore, endeavor to impose upon the House by telling them that the reaason the government favored going into a union with Canada was because the late government mismanaged the finances of the Colony. Mere assertion and high toned declamation would not do. When the Documents were brought down and their administration fairly considered, he felt convinced, it would be seen that the statesmanship of the out-going government was equal to, if not far superior, to that of their predecessors. Had it not been for the School question, and the use made of it to influence the elections in some districts, Mr. Haythorne's party were still in power, Catholic, to his own knowledge, expected a Grant for their Schools, from Hon. Mr. Pope's Government. They rendered good service when the Free School System was first carried, and many of them felt they were entitled to an allowance for a few of their Schools. He could and does respect the honest convictions of a sincere Catholic, but a man who acts inconsistent with his profession he did not respect. Much was said respecting the embecility of the late administration, but he failed to see wherein the administrative ability of the present Executive lay. It does not appear in the draft address, or in the arguments used in its support. The late government conducted the business of the country as ably and with as much ability as the former government did, and with much more consistency. Were it not for the manner in which the Railway Bill was carried the hon. the Leader of the Government would stand higher than he does in the estimation of the people. But Mr. Haythorne, and his hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition took no advantage of the people in their Confederation policy or in any other way. They laid the matter fairly before the people, leaving them to accept or reject the Terms brought down. He and his hon. colleague were returned to vote for their acceptance. It therefore the hon. member the Leader of the Government brought in a Resolution in their favor he would support it.
Mr. HOLLAND,-Said that he did condemn the Terms brought down by the Delegates, and said, they wree not such as were just to the Colony. He also told his constituents, that, when the House met and the question came up for consideration he would, if he thought confederation a necessity still not vote for it, unless supported by a 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 41 written requisition from his supporters requiring him to do so. And like his hon. colleague (Mr. H.) he was not going to violate any promise made to his supporters. When considering the question, he felt it to be his duty to look across the straits and see how Confederation was working in the Provinces which are united. And what did he see? Why this: New Brunswick was clamoring for Better Terms. Manitoba too was complaining. When such was the case the duty of this colony, and those who represented her in the Legislature, was, calmly to consider what they did. The question should be well and very carefully considered. No hasty legislation should be gone into on so important a matter. He was of the opinion that we might keep out of Confederation altogether if we were so disposed, and the way in which this might be done he would on some future occasion submit for the consideration of hon. members. The Catholics did not press the school question on him, on the contrary many of them told him they did not wish him to vote for any alteration in the School Act. Yet notwithstanding these facts the Summerside Progress stated that he had been pledged to vote for grants to Catholic schools. A more barefaced lying assertion was never made. And were it not for the falsehoods circulated against him on that question he felt satisfied he would have received 400 more votes than he did. When the hon. member the Leader of the Opposition referred to what he (Mr. Holland) said at the nomination, he should have told the whole truth. For he who withholds a part of the truth is as guilty as he who utters a falsehood. What he did say was:- that we might keep out of Confederation if we prepared to pay a gih a tax as they did in the other Provinces in the Dominion. But his words were perverted, and further, if he had [?] a correctly reported, he
would have been made to say, who referring to [?] , that though that statesman after selling his country, ended his career by [?] his throat, he had no dread upon his [?] that the Delegates who went lately [?] to Ottawaa would cut their throats. On the contrary, he was inclined to believe they found themselves [?] comfortable when they got up among the Canadian swells and [?] , to do anything of the kind. It was most likely they would be looking forward for opportunities which might enable them to put something into their pockets. If it was found that the [?] stances of the country were [?] Confederation was a necessity, then the cause which produced this [?] state of affairs would have to be [?] at the door of the men who [?] Canada as Delegates and their [?] ciates, whose [?] of  the affairs of the colony while in power brought about such a [?] and circumstances [?] that the late Government did at [?] time intend to legislate the colony [?] a union with Canada, if it could possibly be effected, without an appeal, to the people at the polls.
Mr. McNEILL could hardly believe the late Government did all the mischief laid to their charge. He was suspicious that the party which carried the Railway Bill did much more injury to Prince Edward Island than, the late Government could have done, if ever so much disposed to do as. They all knew that he (Mr. McN.) was always a strong Anti-Confederate. He was such from conviction, and [?] because he would oppose this on the other party. But under the present circumstances of the country, came to the conclusion that it was beyond their power to avoid that alternative. He always believed - whether intentional or not on the part of the originators that the Railway Bill would ultimately lead to this result. That when that 42 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 [?] Law of the Land, [?] formed a highway upon which the Island would run swiftly down into the depths of financial ruin, and thence of necessity [?] union with the Dominion. The argument brought forward by the Senior member for Bedeque would not do. The failure in our crops did not produce the present state of affairs. The simple fact is the Railway was too much of an undertaking for this small colony. It might be thought strange that he (Mr. McN.) should have won his election so easily during the last campaign, especially when it was borne in mind that he came out in favor of the terms brought down by Mr. Laird and Haythorne. The fact was many of his supporters were leaseholders. They saw that the great cost of the Railway deprived them of ever becoming freeholders [?] hope that under present circumstances the Government would be able to purchase out the Proprietors Estates [?]. They saw that if the Proprietors were even willing to sell the Government would not for want [?] funds, be in a position to purchase. Hence [?], in the $800,000 offered in the terms brought down a positive certainty, when the Proprietors would sell, of purchasing their farms. He believed no hon. member on either side would be willing to levy a tax equal to what would be required to meet the present and increasing requirements of the country. The hon. member from Alberton thought a change in the mind of the electors, unfavorable to the late Government, had taken place or he (Mr. McN.) would have been returned with a much larger majority. But he believed such [?] had not influenced half a dozen of voters. A friend of Mr. Longworth asked him how he intended to act on the Grant Question. He (Mr. McN.) stated in consequence of having done so lost about 150 votes. But the number of his Protestant sup porters was the same as usual. Some represented him as a bigot, while others among his Catholic friends said they had nothing against him. Emissaries went among the people telling the Catholics that [?] could be wrong from him in aid of endowing Denominational Schools. Nor would he ever agree to anything of the kind. The moment they did so, they would lay down a principle which in the end would completely destroy the public schools of the colony. He had been opposed by able men who were much respected in his district, and he believed were it not for the issue raised on the school questions, his support would have been as good as ever it was. One clergyman did vote for him; he was a gentleman through a clergyman who considered it his duty always to record his vote, and although he voted for him at the last election yet the same, Rev. gentleman voted against him on former occasions. But he (Mr. McN.) never asked him for a vote, he did not see therefore that out of that circumstance his opponents had say just grounds for manufacturing political capital. When the Railway Bill was passing through the House, he then told th ehon. member for Bedeque [Mr. Howell] that the time might come when they would have to choose between increased taxation or  Confederation. That crisis in our history had come. Doubtless financial and other pressures had come upon the Colony, during the past year, but these had occurred before, and would do so again. The true cause of our present difficulty can only be attributed to the fact, that our responsibilities were greater than the resources of the Island, could bear. Such being the case, he saw no course open, but to accept the terms brought down by the Delegates and unite with the Dominion.
Hon. Mr. POPE, said that under present circumstances it was unreason 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 43 able to expect munch in the Speech. Had the government introduced any new matter, it would have led to a lengthened discussion and the passing of the Revenue Bill, was a consequence, might be encouraged. With respect to confederation, he hoped when the question came up for consideration it would be considered entirely upon its merits. The government had no desire to prevent a full discussion on any subject brought before the House, but their first duty and [?] of the hon. House was, to see that no [?] was thrown in the way which might prevent the passage of the Revenue Bill in due time.
Mr. CALLBECK:- could not fail to notice the change which had come over the hon. member since last year. He presumed the hon. member felt the responsibilities of his present position. Meagre thought the speech undoubtedly was, yet it contained matter, which, if the Opposition felt disposed to avail themselves of, gave a wide scope for a lengthened debate. But he did not suppose hon. members in Opposition would follow the bad example set by the hon. Leader of the Government and his friends during the last session. The charges of imbecility made against the last government had been so well refuted, and ably met, by hon. members who preceded him, that he would not revert to that matter now. It was said the late government did not  pursue the proper course in placing the terms before the country. But the circumstances and condition of the colony have so changed that he thought when men would lay aside party and side issues, they would, when the facts were fairly considered, come to a different conclusion. And when so looking at the case, they would, in the letting of the Branch Lines and sending up a Delegation to Ottawa, see that the late government could not be discharged with either imbecility or mismanagement. In 1859 the public debt of the Colony was $5.00 a head while that of the Dominion was $25.00 or five times that of this Island for its population. Such was not the case now. Our debt had run up very much since 1859. The debt of the Dominion was also increased. In the terms brought down the debt was placed at $45.00 per head, which left a margin in our favor. He regarded the terms brought down as fair, just and reasonable and such as reflected great credit on the ability of the Delegates. His intention was to vote for accepting these Terms. He was one of those who attended the meeting which was held in Hon. Mr. Palmer's office. They had the terms then, and emphatically denied that anyone at that meeting either spoke of, or suggested accepting them without submitting them to the people. When the House was dissolved he (Mr. C.) did not go through the District soliciting votes. He was invited to attend a public meeting, and when there explained his views fully, and his approval also of the terms brought down. He was not returned by means of the use of any lies as the hon. member for Alberton said, neither was he pledged. All he did was contend public meetings and express his views freely and without reserve. He had to contend with gentlemen of position and influence who are much respected in that District and in this community. The District is not far from Charlottetown, and there being no contest in the City, many of the influential men came out and lent their aid in favor of the gentlemen who ran against him and his hon. colleague, Mr. McNeill. The government of Hon. Mr. Pope carried the Railway Bill without an appeal to the people. The late government did not follow their example in that important particular. It was amusing to hear the government members saying, Oh! if we had been in power the pressure now felt on the finances of the Colony would not have occurred. For his part he did not believe anything of 44 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 the kind. In Nova Scotia Confederation was carried without an appeal to the people, and as might have been expected, much bitterness of feeling was the result. In building the branch up, inconsistency could be charged against the late government. Things were morally bound to do so. They found the Colony in the position of a ship drifting to certain destruction on a sea shore, and had to consent to build the Branches in order to obtain a crew sufficient to man the ship. Those hon. members from the East who came to their aid could not assist them on any other condition, as they were pledged to the course they took. Nor had they who ran the Branch [?] any inducement held before them to run it in a zig zag manner for the benefit of any contractor. He would give the government no factious opposition, but would act as he should deem most conducive to the interests of the colony at large.
Mr. L. H. DAVIES, said, the first duty of the hon. member the Leader of the Government was, to have Standing Rules for the guidance of the House agreed to. A copy of the address should also have been laid on the desk of hon. members before it came up for consideration. Ordinary courtest to say nothing about the usages of parliament, demanded that much deference should be paid to Her Majesty's opposition. And he would just say, that nothing would be gained by withholding it from that side of the House. While the opposition would take care not to do anything which might impede the passage of the Revenue Bill they would at the same time, show the hon. member, the Leader of the Government, that they knew their rights and had spirit and ability enough to maintain them. G.
Mr. D. LAIRD said that the hon. Leader of the government and the hon. member for Alberton had both declared the Opposition a factious one ; but those hon. gentlemen forgot the part they acted in the Opposition of last Session when they kept the House day after day and hour after hour while they delivered speeches which they repeated again and again in which they slandered every hon. member on the then government side of the House. This session was prolonged to over sixty days on account of the action of the factious opposition of those hon. gentlemen, who expected thereby to drive the late government from power, but did not succeed. They, at that time, made three hour speeches, but the present Opposition, had, so far made short speeches. It was not in the power of the hon. Leader of the Government to carry the Revenue Bill without the help of the Opposition as the latter could keep up the discussion day after day till after the first of May, if they chose to be factious. The House had, at present, no rules by which it was to be governed in the transaction of business, although it was fully entitled to the protection which the Standing Rules afforded. The Opposition had no intention of being factious, but the hon. members composing it, had, at the same time, no intention of permitting themselves to be brow-beaten by his Honor, the Leader of the Government. Twelve hours is not too long a time to spend in discussing the Draft Address, as he well remembered when he sat at the Reporter's desk a whole week taking notes of the speeches made upon it, in years gone by. There was all due courtesy and respect shown towards each other by the Leader of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition in the Dominion Parliament, and, he thought the present House could not do better than follow their example in this respect, for it had fallen very low.
Hon. LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT moved that Mr. Laird have 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 45 leave to withdraw his resolution. Amendment carried on a division of 14 to 10.
House in Committee on the Draft Address in answer to the Governor's Speech.
Mr. HOLLAND in the chair.
Hon. B. DAVIES moved that the following be added to the first paragraph of the address: " and beg to assure you of our cordial co operation in the management of public affairs."
Mr. D. LAIRD thought it neecessary to add the words proposed by his hon. colleague in order to complete the sense. His Honor asked for the cooperation of the House. but the paragraph as it stood at present, gave him no answer. This would not do ; the House should act fairly, honestly and above board in all matters and especially in so important a matter as that referring to the Union of this Colony with the Dominion of Canada. His Honor asked for the co-operation of the House, and the reply as it at present stands amounts to the phrase, "go about your business." The hon. member for Summerside (Mr. L.) stated the other evening that they (the government) intended to rule the country. Yes, with a rod of iron. They intend to carry out the policy of the late government in reference to Confederation and the School Question, which shows that the latter had the voice of the country in their favor. If the government did not co-operate with His Honor, he would not be surprised some fine morning to see the Usher of the Black Rod come down to summon the House to the Bar of the Council Chamber and hon. members sent about their business, as the Lieutenant Governor could soon stop this little game. Fairness and courtesy demanded that the proposed amendment, should be added to the paragraph.
Mr. L. H. DAVIES thought that the expression of His Honor the Lieuten ant Governor, in the first paragraph of the Speech, asking the co-operation of the House, should be reciprocated. Taking into consideration the expressions which his honor the Leader of the Government had used towards himself, he was not at all surprised that the Committee had not responded with the courtesy due to His Honor the Lieutenant Governor. It was but fair and reasonable that the amendment proposed by the hon. senior member for Belfast should be added to the first paragraph of the Address.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN said that he had been for several years, a member of that House, but he had never before seen so young a member as the hon. member who had just sat down, take upon himself so much talking and lecturing. Balderdash and clap-trap might do very well for that hon. member's purposes in Murray Harbor, but it would not have any effect upon that House. The amendment that had been proposed by the hon. senior mem. for Belfast was the most miserable and contemptible thing of the kind he had ever seen submitted, although it was, he believed, the result of a whole day's caucus of the Opposition. The young limb of the law who penned it, no doubt, thought he was writing for the Patriot newspaper, and after he had finished it, was ashamed of it, and handed it to another to present for him.
The question was then put on the amendment and lost, after which the first paragraph was agreed to.
The second paragraph was then read.
Mr. L. H. DAVIES said that apart from all party feeling, he thought there was a serious omission in that paragraph. Hon. members all knew there was a strong feeling of loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen and of respect for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on both sides of the House, and 46 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 yet no mention is made in the Address of the handsome manner in which the latter acknowledged the Address forwarded to him last Session. Some allusion should be made to His Royal Highness, and he (Mr. D.) would therefore move that the following be added to the second paragraph: "and we are glad to hear from your Honor of the pleasure with which the Prince of Wales has received the congatulations of the Legislature of this Island."
Mr. D. LAIRD seconded the motion, and said that as the Prince of Wales may, at no distant day, be the reigning Sovereign, some respect should be shown him by referring to the kind manner in which he received the Address. The late House had recognized him and sent him an address congratulating him on his recovery from his illness, but the present one did not seem to care about His Royal Highness- he might get sick and well again for all they cared. Such conduct as this was discourteous, and savored a little disloyalty.
The amendment was then put and lost.
The third and fourth paragraphs were severally read and agreed to.
The fifth paragraph was then read.
Mr. LAIRD moved that all after the words "interests of this Island," be struck out, and the following inserted instead: "and at the same time we assure you that no effort shall be wanting on our part to bring about the realization of the earnest hope which you have expressed in common with the Imperial Government that Prince Edward Island will not love this opportunity of union with her sister provinces." This paragraph referred to the most important subject brought to the attention of the Legislature. He for one, was most anxious that the House should not pass a vote of a want of confidence in Her Majesty's Govern ment till they saw what they were going to do. It will be observed in the Speech, that His Honor the Lieutenant Governor makes the hope of the Imperial Government that Prince Edward Island will not lose this opportunity of union with her sister provinces, his own. He was sorry to find that the Address does not echo those sentiments, and therefore thought thaat it did not seem in harmoy with the policy of His Honor's Advisers, who are generally supported to suggest the matter contained in the Speech with which the session is opened.
Mr. A. C. McDONALD had taken the field at the last election with the tall belief that we were to remain out of Confederation as heretofore, carrying on ouir own affairs and conducting the business of the country in a proper manner without any assistance from Canada, and without burdening the people by heavy taxation. But he now found there was a more difficult task to perform that he had imagined, and that was to restore our credit abroad and to establish a good financial position at home by repairing the damage done through the extravagance and mismanagement of the late government. A representative owes a duty to himself and to his country, and as he (Mr. McD) believed his duty to the country to be by far the most important, he felt bound not to sacrifice its interests in any way. He would therefore, before committing himself on the great question of Confederation, consult his constituents upon this matter, and endeavor to lay the real facts of the case before them so as to enable them to judge for themselves and to decide what course they wished him to pursue. He would not for one moment forfeit the confidence which his constituents had reposed in him, by acting [?] to the views enunciated by him previous to the late election. The hon. junior member for Belfast had stated that the candidate 1875 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 47 brought forward by the late government for the Cardigan District had lost his election simply on Confederation, while the hon. member for Murray Harbor (Mr. D.) declared that that candidate had lost his election on the School Question. Which horn of the dilemma was to be taken by those who shied to ascertain the true state of matters? He (Mr. McD) had canvassed that district previous to the late election, without any side issues whatever, in opposition to the conduct and policy of the government. A good deal of weight was to be attached to the statement of the hon. junior member for Belfast that his (Mr. McD's) late colleague (Mr. Scrimgeour) was a mere political accident in the Cardigan District; but this was stronger language than any he (Mr. McD) had used against the late government in a fair and open manner; neither the School Question nor any other side issue had been used by himself and his hon. colleague during the whole election campaign to secure a single vote. The hon. junior member for Murray Harbor had stated at a public meeting held in the Cardigan District that Mr. Prowse was as firm on the School Question as he (Mr. Davies) was, and yet that hon. member had made use of the School Question in the Murray Harbor district to secure Mr. Prowse's defeat. He (Mr. McD.) believed that if the hon. members for Belfast and Murray Harbor had ran their election upon Confederation pure and simple, without dragging in the School Question, only one would have been returned out of fear of them, and that if the canvass for the whole Island had been conducted on the same principle, there would not have been a corporal's guard left of the late government party in the present House. The Hon. Col. Gray lost his election through strips of paper circulated by the Editor of the Patriot, containing statements to show hon. gentleman was unsound on the School Question, which if he had had an opportunity to refute, would have proved available and he would have been returned at the hand of the poll, while Messrs. Laird and Davies would have been returned to the bosom of their families. When he (Mr. McD.) ran his election, he believed that the new government coming into power could lay down a platform and carry out a financial arrangement that would be satisfactory to the country so far as our public debt was concerned, and he believed so still, but he now found it was another matter to restore the credit of the Colony abroad so as to prevent our debentures from selling at a heavy discount. Confederation on fair terms he now found was fast becoming a necessity, but before giving his voite in favor of it, he would consult his constituents.
Mr. P. SINCLAIR said that if the government were in earnest in reference to Confederation, the proposed amendment was required in order to express the sentiments of the House on this important question. There was no use in trifling with the matter; if that was their policy, let them come out boldly and say so in the Address. The policy of the late government was Confederation and he believed it was also the policy of the present government. As to resorting the credit of the country, he thought that would not be a difficult matter to deal with as the payment of the $25,000 borrowed from a New Brunswick Bank would settle that question. If the Colony could not settle that small Bill, its credit was not worth much, and the sooner it enters Confederation the better. The [?] government in preparing to meet the interest on the debentures, due on the first of July next, showed their anxiety to maintain the credit of the Colony. If the present government intend to carry out Confederation, they will easily obtain money enough to meet the present de 48 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 mands upon them. He would support the amendment.
Hon. Mr. HOWLAN said that there was no man do dangerous to deal with as a double dealer, such as the hon. member for New London had shown himself to be. That hon. member stated what he himself did not believe to be correct, when he said that nothing more was necessary to maintain the credit of the Colony than to pay the $25,000 now nearly due in New Brunswick. Where are the warrants issued by the late government to meet their demands ? They are still afloat and must be paid as they become due. The late government had caused a statement of the revenue and expenditure of the Colony to be published in January last, which they themselves knew to be false. They knew that $16,000 or $17,000 were now afloat in Warrants of which no mention was made in that statement, but which the Colony is bound to pay. How did the late government provide for the payment of the interest due on the debentures on the first of July next ? They borrowed the money from the Maritime Bank of St. John, N. B., and sent it off to London where it will remain idle several months before it becomes due, although the Colony is now paying 7 1/2 per cent interest on that money. Oh, what financiers. Why did they go to Ottawa ? Because they could not manage the financial affairs of the Colony any longer, and did not know how. Where was all their vast mercantile experience then ? The letter written by the hon. member for New London to the Editor of the Progress explains all : " Dash away, levy taxation, run the government while it will." They spent on the Board of Works alone during the present year, over $60,000 which, with the $25,000 borrowed, must be paid. He defied them to deny these facts. The Delegates started off for Ottawa with a bundle of figures which had been put into their hands and of which they knew as much as they did about common honesty and decency. The truth would, some day, come out that those figures were never made by those Delegates, and that they did not understand them after they were put into their hands. The hon. member for Murray Harbor had taken pains to abuse the Catholics, although their money went into the Treasury to the extent of nearly one-half the Revenue of the Colony, and although their money had paid for that hon. member's education three days out of every week. That hon. member could not now say anything harsh enough or abusive enough about them, simply because they were Catholics and had views of their own in reference to the School Question. Another practice of which that hon. member was guilty, was to attack in the most ungentlemanly and abusive manner on the floor of the House any person against whom he entertained ill-will, and who was not in a position to defend himself. He (Mr. Howlan) had never attacked a gentleman outside the Bar of that House, because it was unmanly and unfair to attack those who were not in a position to reply. Last year the members of the Coalition Government were, at a large number of political meetings, held in different parts of the country, accused by their political opponents of fraud in connexion with letting and carrying out the Railway Contract ; and prominent among those who made those charges were the hon. member for Belfast and the hon. E. Palmer. He (Mr. H.) then said to the hon. Leader of the present Government " Unless you bring the first of those men who makes a criminal charge against the Coalition government, before the Supreme Court at its next sitting, I will wash my hands clear of you." So the next time the present hon. member for Murray Harbor made a similar charge he was asked whether he really preferred 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 49 a criminal charge against the Coalition government. What was his answer ? " Oh," said he, " I make these charges politically." Hon. members might differ in politics and still practice the amenities and civilities of life ; but it is pretty hard when one is called a rogue, a thief, and a liar, at political assemblies, &c., to treat those who act in this manner, as at other times. What was the first speech the hon. member for Murray Harbor delivered in this House ? It was a tirade of abuse against gentlemen outside the Bar who were not in a position to reply to him.
Mr. L. H. DAVIES did not think the remarks of the hon. member for Alberton worth replying to ; but that hon. member had made one statement in reference to him which he would not allow to pass uncontradicted. He would not allow that hon. member to state that he (Mr. D.) was educated partly at the expense of the Catholics and had now turned round and abused them. This statement no foundation in fact. He had ever, at any time, made any statement calculated to offend or insult his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, or to show disrespect for their religion. He would have been among the basest of characters had he done so. He had supported a political party, the majority of whom were Roman Catholics, from the first day he had taken any interest in politics, had fought side by side with them for civil and religious liberty, and was always of opinion that no political distinctions should be thrown between Catholics and Protestants, and that they should enjoy equal privileges. He would give both Catholics and Protestants equal privileges, but would never consent to give one side an inch more than the other. He was glad to see that the hon. member for Cardigan (Mr. McD.) had come doen from his Anti-Confederate position. During his late canvass, that hon. member expressed the opinion that Confederation was a mere political bugbear and a mere political dodge of the late government to retain office and power, and promised when the House met, to lay down a scheme by which it might be avoided. He had no doubt that when that scheme was submitted it would be such as would become that hon. member. He did not believe the hon. member would make a statement which he did not believe to be true ; but when he told the people of Cardigan that he could carry on the government without going into Confederation, he did not understand our position as a Colony. He congratulated the hon. member on his extraordinary change of base. The hon. senior member for Cardigan would not give any pledge to oppose Confederation ; but the hon. junior member rushed where the hon. senior member feared to treat, and firmly pledged himself. He (Mr. D. ) then told the hon. junior member, that he would not be many days on the floor of the House before making a recantation, and he now found he was right, for the hon. member now accepts the situation. Let him now try to run his election against Mr. Scrimgeour and he will find a different state of affairs. They accused Mr. Scrimgeour of fitting himslf out with gold spectacles, gold pens and pencils, &c.
Messrs. McDonald and Owen here both denied the truth of this statement, and stated that they had never, at any time, made such a charge against Mr. Scrimgeour.
Mr. OWEN said that the hon. member for Murray Harbor had endeavored to make considerable political capital during the canvass in the Cardigan district, of certain words used by Mr. George Owen, that certain things looked very suspicious, but he (Mr. O.) had never, during the whole canvass, insinuated anything of the kind against Mr. Scrimgeour. The hon. member had also made great capital 50 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 out of the School Question, and used it at several public meetings against him, and had it not been that the people knew his principles and had full confidence in him, he would not have received a single Protestant vote in the whole district. But the people reposed full confidence in him, and the consequence was that he received a very large Protestant and Catholic support. He had been always opposed to Confederation, and opposed it at the commencement of the canvass, because it was impossible for him to ascertain the true state of matters, and how the financial affairs of the country really stood. He had endeavored to find access to the Public Accounts, but found that it could not be had. When he saw that Confederation would prove to be a great advantage to the people of this Colony, he would go for it, but not before.
The question on the amendment was then put and lost, and the paragraph agreed to.
On motion the Speaker took the Chair.
Hon. B. Davies and Messrs. D. Laird and L. H. Davies severally moved the amendments which had been submitted by them in Committee. Those amendments were separately put by the Speaker, and lost by a division of 10 ayes to 14 noes.
On motion, the report of the Committee was now received, read and ordered to be engrossed. The same Committee who prepared the Address were appointed to wait upon His Honor to ascertain when he would be pleased to receive the same.
House adjourned till ten o'clock to-day.


At four o'clock the House waited on His Honor the Lieutenant Governor with the Address, and on their return, his honor the Speaker reported and read the following reply:
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly:
I am satisfied that you will approach the question of the proposed union of Prince Edward Island with the Dominion of Canada, in a manner consistent with its grave importance, and I think you for the promise that the wishes of the Imperial Government in the matter will receive your most serious consideration.


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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