EN
ūüĒć

Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 30 April 1873, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.

104 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873

WEDNESDAY, April 30.

MR. McNEILL.- Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, the Leader of the Government said the Terms offered for our acceptance now, are not as good as we are entitled to. This may be so. For my part I was alwaays one of those who thought Prince Edward Island, under proper management, could raise means sufficient to supply all her wants. But now I am sorry to observe that both sides of this House seem to be of the opinion that Confederation is inevitable, either on the Terms now offered or better if they can be obtained. But let us see what has brought about this state of affairs. In answering this question I feel bound to say that the Government which introduced and carried the Railway Bill through the Legislature, was the part at whose door the cause producing that which we now deplore, must be laid. If the Railway and Confederation are to benefit this Island, then no man will deserve more credit for the measure than the hon. member the Leader of the Government. Ever since the time of the Quebec Conference the people have closely watched their public men, and any of them who expressed a desire in favor of the Confederation, had no chance of being returned. At all their public meetings the question had been discussed, and their representatives understood very well what the feeling of their constituents was on the question. In a word, the people were prepared for everything but that which happened. The people of this Island never supposed any body of men would come into power who would pass a measure of such magnitude without their consent. But such a party did arise. Well do I recollect how at that time the prosperity of the country was set forth. Not only when the road would be building, but ever afterwards, was this Colony to be in a flourishing condition. How different the experience of the reality, with what was then so glowingly pictured in the speeches of hon. members. It was not the paltry outlay upon bridges which produced the pressure now felt upon the public funds of the Colony. I am surprised that the hon. member should refer to such matters in the manner he did. After listening to his speech on Nomination day, I did expect to see him coming down with better arguments than those which he has used in this discussion. On Nomination day the hon. member thought a branch line of the Railroad was required for Rustico, and I did expect to hear that he was going to ask this of the Dominion Government, instead of the small and trifling matters to which he referred; such as our Drill Sheds, &c. I am inclined to believe now, that the speech of the hon member on that occasion was delivered more for the purpose of defeating my election, than anything he intended to do for Rustico. Matters, however, have come to such a pass that the people saw no alternative but to enter into a union with the Dominion. If better Terms can be had, so much the better. But this I do not expect. I told my constituents that I would not consent to lay one dollar more of taxation upon them unless the Terms brought down were accepted. There are many lease holders in my district, and they find 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 105 the rent tax enough. One great error on the part of the former Government was the haste with which the Railway Bill was pushed through the Legislature. And if there is any value at all in the Engineer's Report, it is in the information it contains on this point. With respect to the rest of their Report it is not worth the paper it is written on. There was no person in the Legislature, when the Bill was passed, who knew anything about Railroads, therefore, the time allowed for its consideration was too short. With respect to the branch lines, it was well understood by my constituents that the main Trunk was undertaken without the consent of the most of the people, and they knew also when the main line was undertaken, the branches were to follow. It may be asked how I know this? I answer by saying that when the Railway Bill was before the House, petitions, numerously signed, came in against the measure. But when the branch line Bill was before us, no petition came in against it. This shows that the people knew and understood we would have to build the branch lines. It was neither the building of the branches, nor the effect produced by the Engineer's Report, which led to the unpopularity of the late Government. In my district these considerations did not influence half a dozen of votes. It was the School Question which caused my majority to be but fifty at the last election. I am not going to say whether the late Government did right or wrong, but this I will say: They appealed to the people, and in so far as their policy on Confederation went, have carried the country with them. Nor do I doubt but that if the hon. member had appealed to the country in the same waay with his Railwaay measure, though he would not have been sustained, at all events he would have incurred less blame. Considering the smallness of the Island, and the limited revenue of the Colony, the measure, to say the least of it, amounted to a reckless piece of legislation. If we have to give up our Statute as a separate Colony, and go into Confederation, we will require the ability of all our ablest men to secure the best Terms we can obtain, (hear.) But in attempting to re-open negotiations with the Dominion Government on this question, we had better take care we do not lose more thant we will gain. The Dominion Government have to contend with an able and vigilant opposition, and unless the Government are certain that better Terms are to be had, this House should not consent to open up negotiations again. Under the Terms brought down we can get along much better in Confederation than out of it. But under and circumstances we will have to resort to local taxation to meet the internal requirements of the country. You cannot show me any country which can get along without taxation. We see at this moment that the United States Government have now to incur expense in putting down a war with the Indians; nor do we know but the same may occur in Canaada. They are encroaching upon the lands long held by the original owners of the soil, and when they come to be driven out of their possessions and hunting grounds, it is hard to say what may not take place. I have no special benefit to receive or expect from any Government, but hope every hon. member will use his best efforts to see that justice is done to the country at large. While I hope and trust there will be no ill feeling manifested on either side in dealing with this very important question, (hear.)
MR. ARSENAULT.- Mr. Speaker, in rising to offer a few remarks upon this question, I do not know that I can throw any new light upon the subject. In listening to the speeches of hon. members on both sides, it was noticeable that each party threw blame upon the other, for the state of affairs exist 106 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 ing in this Colony at present. Perhaps the sins are as heavy on the one side as the other. For my part, ever since Confederation was first mentioned, I thought sooner or later we would have to unite our destinies with those of the Dominion. When the Railway Bill was passed, it was said that it was with a view of forcing this Island into Confederation. I never heard such a matter mooted, nor for one did I for a moment believe anything of the kind. And moreover, I believe if the men, who introduced and carried the measure, had been allowed to complete what they began, it would have been better for the country. When the late Government was formed, it is well known the country at large did not force the building of the extension lines upon them. It is well known that the men who wished to build these, left the Government of Mr. Pope, and for that support, the Government met the views of the Eastern members on that question. But little did I suppose that the Opposition would adopt a principle they found so much fault with. Certainly their act in that matter was much more inconsistent than anything which can be alleged against Mr. Pope's Government for consenting to go into Confederation. The late Government have been in the habit of arguing that four- fifths of the people were opposed to building the Railway. This I deny. Eighteen members voted for the Bill, and of these the members of the first third, and fifth Districts of Prince County, had the instructions of their constituents to do so. So had the representatives of Charlottetown and Georgetown, and the other eight had, I suppose, partly the consent of their supporters for what they did, so that I contend a majority of the people were in favor of the measure. But if, as they say, four-fifths of the people were opposed to building the Railroad, how was it that the late party went in for the immediate construction of fifty miles more without the consent of their constituents ? It was said the allowance for land damages was too high, and that such is the case I know myself. I believe in some instances the allowance has been five hundred per cent too high. In one place $500 has been paid for the right of way for a distance of five chains through a mud hole, when the whole piece through which the road passes is not worth $100. $40,000 was paid to the contractors for consenting to allow the station to be altered at Summerside. I mention these as a few out of many instances of extravagance which I might name, to show how uselessly they have been spending the public money. I am not pledged on Confederation or any other question. My constituents have left me free to vote as I may consider best for the interests of the country. The hon. member for Belfast came down upon this side of the House for the extra allowance last year to hon. members. I see no reason why he should do so. The late Government were in the majority, and might have prevented it. Each of them took the money, and having done so, I do not see why they should make a hobby horse of it to ride themselves into an argument. I will support the motion for going into committee, and shall vote in favor of a delegation being sent to Ottawa, to arrange for better Terms. Each hon. member should do his best to further the interests of the Colony, and when that is done, no blame can attach to any one.
MR. ROWE.‚ÄĒSir, in rising to offer a few remarks upon the question before us‚ÄĒa question which involves giving up our constitution‚ÄĒI will be as brief as possible ; and in the offset may say, that I was elected to a seat in this House by the constituencey of Murray Harbor, to go for accepting the present Terms. This is the engagement entered into between them 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 107 and myself, and from which I will neither release them nor myself, unless very good reasons are shown why I should do so. Certainly if better Terms can be had I shall offer no objections to them. But that they will be obtained appears to be very doubtful. I have been one of the most determined of the anti-Confederate, anti-Railway, and anti-Grant men in the country. These are my principles, and to them I will hold. They are also the principles of my constituents. But they, like reasonable men, seeing the position in which the country has been placed, believe it is better to receive the present offer, and go into Confederation. Were it not for the villainous and vicious policy of a former Government, we would not now be in a position which called for surrendering our position as a separate and independent Colony. I was last autumn elected as an anti- Confederate. When the House was dissolved this spring I did not go to the people to get their support for reelection. A number of gentlemen waited on me to know what my opinion was upon the situation of the country. I told them I had not thought over the matter sufficiently to say what my opinion was. They said they had changed their mind one one question, and believed that under existing circumstances we would have to accept of Confederation, and asked me if I would consent to become their representative. In reply I said, if you, knowing my principles, have confidence enough in me to send me there, and will allow me to keep my opinions in abeyance, and take my own way when there, I will. Well, after the Terms came down I went among the people and laid them before them, telling them they would have to choose these, or increased taxation. I did not try to persuade them as to what they should do, but placed Confederation or taxation before them, asking them to say which they would choose. They choose the former. And now Sir, it becomes us to see what the basis of the union of the different Provinces is. The basis seems to have been laid down at the Quebec Conference, and was the indebtedness of each Province. Now is this, or is it not a proper basis ? If so, then in so far as I can see, the delegates have made an arrangement for the admission of this Island into a union with the Dominion, in consistency therewith. If, on the other hand, they are going to send another delegation to Ottawa, it becomes them to shew that this basis is an improper one. It appears that the present and prospective debt of the Dominion, for fifteen years to come, were made up, which brought up their indebtedness to $45 a head, and starting with that as basis agreed to, the Terms have been brought down in accordance therewith. This was, I think a wise arrangement on the part of our delegates. They looked forward to the probable increased indebtedness of the Dominion for ten or fifteen years, and thereby secured a large margin in our favor. This shows the Dominion Government are willing to deal fairly with us. It shows too, that if our resources had not been wasted on the Railroad, what an excellent position we would be in to-day, and how much more we would receive from the Dominion for local purposes. If the Government, or the majority of this House are going to send up another delegation, they should show, before asking for a vote in support of such a motion, that there was some omission on the part of the late delegates. On submitting their resolution there should be no concealment as to what they intend to ask for. If the late delegates failed to ascertain the full amount of the indebtedness of the Dominion, or omitted any important point which should have been taken into account ; then the hon. member, 108 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER 1873. the Leader of the Government, is perfectly justified in asking for a delegation to go to seek for better Terms than those they brought down. But as they have not shown that such is the case, and as I fail to see that they have any just reason for the course they are pursuing, I do not feel that it is my duty to support the motion. Had we not entered into the wild speculation of building the Railroad, our public debt would be $4,000.000 less than it is, which at 5 per cent would yield an annual revenue of $200,000. Who, therefore, having the good of the country at heart, is there but what must regret that that road was ever built. Had it not been for that costly undertaking, we would have had that amount of money placed to our credit, the interest of which might have been drawn for the internal improvements of the country. Why it would have made our little Island almost a paradise. The road, I am confident, will never pay its working expenses. The financial affairs of the Colony have been gone into so fully by the hon. member, the Leader of the Oppposition, the hon. member for New London. and my learned and hon. colleague, that I deem it unnecessary to go into that matter. Indeed, they have so lucidly set that matter before this hon. House, that the Government have entirely failed to show that they are justified in going to Beck for better Terms, or able to disprove the statements set forth by my hon. friends on this side of the House.
MR. ARCH. J. MCDONALD.‚ÄĒI must say, Mr. Speaker, that I am not. like a great many‚ÄĒor like the hon. member who spoke last‚ÄĒa Confederate from necessity On the contrary, I have always been in favor of a union of the Colonies, but not having been in public life my opinions were not known. I believed all along that Confederation would materially ad vance the general interests of this Island. ¬† The public mind, for a number of years has heen so excited by the agitation kept up on this question, that it was very difficult to get the people to give this subject a calm and impartial consideration. I can distinctly refer back to a public meeting, where the suhject was discussed, which I atttended shortly after the first delegation was sent to Canada. On that occasion the junior member ¬† for Belfast was present, enlightening the people with his advice and eloquence. And to this day I have not forgotten the manner in which he pictured the evils which would fall upon.us should we join the Dominion of Canada. He pictured Canada as a poor, barren, narrow strip of country. I do not remember whether the hon. member had a map or not, (laughter). but if so, it was something of the kind by means of which he or his party went through the country with; showing the curves of the Railroad, by the use of which I suppose he undertook to convince the people how foolish they would be to unite with such a miserable country. Most heartily do I congratulate the hon. member on his change of views. But change they yet will, I have no doubt, on another question too. ¬†
MR. LAIRD.‚ÄĒI suppose the hon member thinks so.
MR. ARCH. J. MCDONALD‚ÄĒThe Terms brought down, are, I consider, very fair indeed. I have not the slightest doubt but if the people had been in earnest in the matter, that as good, if not better Terms, could have been obtained before. ¬† But the hostility of the country to a movement in that direction, kept alive and fostered by political agitators, was such, that those of our public men who were Confederate dared not approach the question at all. Well, the late Government went to the country with these 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 109 Terms, and I contend that the people voted against them. But while doing so they also voted in favor of the principle of Confederation; a majority declaring that we were justly entitled to better Terms still. Such being the case I contend that it is the duty of this side of the House to see what better Terms can yet be obtained, and I am sanguine we will soon form a part of the Dominion of Canada on Terms which will be just and liberal, and which will be much better than those recently brought down. Those already offered may satisfy me, the hon. member for Belfast and others, but we have to recollect that there are many men in the Colony who are not satisfied with them. In entering into union with the Dominion, it is a matter of great importance to have as many of the people of this Colony as possible satisfied with the conditions upon which we enter. Under such circumstances the advantages of Confederation would sooner become apparent. It would be very wrong to force a large proportion of the people into union against their will, and I think when the Dominion Government will see that we are in earnest, as an arrangement can be made that will satisfy the great body of the people. The figures have been gone over pretty fully. I would, perhaps, differ with hon. members on both sides in some of their calculations, but the difference is not very material. I think it is much more desirable that the question should be fairly laid before the people, and to guard against their being mislead by statements not strictly correct. One hon. member said 9 1/2 per cent is the average duty paid on articles in the Dominion. I do not think the hon. member is quite correct. It may be the average on most of the articles, but there may be an excess on others.. which will make a very material difference. These are matters we cannot look too carefully into, nor can we speak very positively regarding the future on such questions. Changes will take place,and the probability is, that in, or out of the Dominion, our duty in ten years will be higher, than it is now. The Opposition have endeavoured to make a point about the building of the Railroad, and to talk loudly about the burden it has imposed upon the country. Unless they show more skill in debating that subject than they have yet used, they might as well give that argument up. They take credit to themselves for getting the people to consent to Confederation, and for the ability they displayed in securing the Terms . brought down. Yet according to their own showing and admission, they could not have done so but for the Railroad. I contend Sir, that the building of the Railway will be of permanent advantage to the Colony. The advance in the price of labor must amount to more than the interest of the cost of its construction. Four cents a day for the male working population gives about $216,000 per year, and sixteen cents makes $900,000 a year of an increase in favor of the labor populaion of the Colony. Then again, equally puerile are their arguments when they assert that the exchange required to pay the interest of the Railway debt, will embarrass the trade of the Colony. They might as well say that the building of the Prince Edward Steam Boat ship, which cost ¬£30,000 sterling, had injured the trade of the city, because paying for the vessel drew that amount of exchange from the country. They may make¬†¬† people who do not understand business believe it, but it is unworthy the position of any hon. member to use such arguments on the floor of this hon. House, (hear.) ¬† Had the present¬† Government been in power last year, the difficulties, of which so much is now said, would not have been heard of. I think, Mr. Speaker, that the 110 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 present and prospective standing of the Dominion of Canada, is such as is in every way encouraging. I believe it is our duty and interest to try and get in under the best Terms we can, and make their interests ours, and ours to be theirs also, as we shall march onward to participate in the bright future before the Dominion of Canada. (Applause.)
Hon. Mr. McEACHEN.‚ÄĒ Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the hon members on the opposite side of this hon. House should deem it their duty to be so frequently taunting the Catholic members on the School question. I am a grant man, nor am I ashamed of my views ; on the contrary, I hope the time will come when justice will be done to them. If Catholics are opposed to having their children instructed in the mysteries of heathen mythology, in the public schools, and choose to educate them at their own expense, they have no right to be taunted because they use their own money in doing this. Although the supreme head of our church is now a prisoner, yet nevertheless, I wish hon. members opposite to know, that we do not intend to let our claims drop. We shall press them when we shall be in a position honorably to do so. With respect to Confederation, I am forced to consent to it on the principle of expediency, but not of choice. For this I blame the late Government. By assertions the most reckless, and slanders as vile as could be conceived and uttered, they succeeded in defeating a popular Government. Thet led the people to believe that wrong to an alarming extent was going on ; that the Engineers, including Mr. Boys, were aiding the Government in defrauding the people. Few men were more abused than Mr. Boyd, simply because he was on our side. The love they had for the loaves and fishes was so strong, that when they attained to power they eat their promises, and greedily swallowed their convictions. They had to do so, or yield up the reins of power. I laid a trap for them and into it they all fell. (Laughter). Yes, after all these slanders, and strong assertions for the contrary, they went in for constructing the branch lines. For any of those abominable lines and slanders I do not blame the hon. member for New London, but this I do say, he took advantage of them and used them to aid him in carrying out his "Dashaway Policy," The hon. member charged the PopeHowlan Government with making the road longer than it was expected it would be. Well, on that question at least, they have the answer of the inspecting Engineers. They brought the New York Engineers here and sent them on the road to curse both it and the men who undertook its construction. Respecting the length the Engineers say : "The tables above presented, in our opinions, shew that while it was possible to have so run the Railway, that its total length between the termini would have been, say in the neighborhood of five miles less than it is, yet that this could not have been done without increasing the cost per mile to a sum greater than the limit fixed by the Railway Act" Further on in the Report they add : "Our attention has been called to the fact that in the debates on the Railway Act, and also in the contract,- which was drawn up we believe before any surveys had been made,- the total length of the road between the termini Alberton and Georgetown, is spoken of as 'about 120 miles.' We do not know upon what data this distance was estimated ; it seems clear however, on the inspection of the map, that a line but 120 miles in length cannot be run between these places, intersecting the points the Government directed it should intersect, even if it were quite straight, without a curve, other than such as would be 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 111 needed for changes of direction. An estimate of the cost of road is appended. This estimate should be kept in view in connection with what has been said on the subject of location." Yet, notwithstanding this clear and reasonable answer to their pointed enquiries, the Government of which the Hon. Mr. Haythorne was President, and his friend, Hon. Mr. Sinclair, the Leader in this House, wrote for further explanations on a question answered so plainly. Do curse the road they seemed to say. (Laughter.) Well, here is the answer to their next enquiry: "Now the question is asked why is the total length of the Railway more than 'about 120 miles?' To this interrogatory we beg leave toanswer that it is because it cannot be materially less, and intersect the points named in the orders of the Government of Prince Edward Island to the Government Engineer, who had charge of locating the line; neither do our observations point out to us that the main line could, under any circumstances, be mnch less in length than it is; certainly not, unless at a greater expenditure than that fixed by the Railway Act." After having received this answer, I wonder they are not ashamed to rise up on the floor of this hon. House, and say that the Government of hon. Mr. Pope made the main line longer than it should have been. But Sir, they are as destitute of shame as their party is of consistency. What have they done? They have allowed a higher grade on the branches than was permitted on the main line, while they have given nigh $1,000 a mile more for its construction. With respect to curves, from a point within three miles of Souris they have five miles of road. I do not blame them for this. But why had they not the manliness to extend the same justice to others? My constituents are strongly opposed to Confederation, but knowing they do that the reckless extravagance and gross mismanagement of the late Government have brought about the present state of affairs, they allow me to exercise my unbiassed judgment in dealing with Confederation. I am free, there fore, to give to the Resolution my cordial support.
Debate adjourned for one hour.
MR. CALLBECK ‚ÄĒ Mr. Speaker, while it is expected that each member will express his views on this question, it is noticeable that a good deal of repetition has been uttered in what has already been said. Some hon. members say they have, against their will, been convinced that Confederation is inevitable. I question if in this respect it is as much against their will as they would wish many to suppose. Hitherto I have been opposed to Confederation, but am now fully convinced that our duty is to Unite with the Dominion of Canada. If we do not, then we will have to resort to increased taxation immediately ; and to this I believe the country at large is opposed. The hon. member from Egmout Bay gave utterance to what was no doubt the candid truth, when he said both sides were chargeable with the causes which produced this state of affairs ; although other hon. members seem to think it is wholly due to the action of the late Government in building the branch lines and other matters in which they took a part during their administration. The hon. member for Souris, with respect to building the branch lines, said he laid a trap for the Government. How this was done is best known to the hon. member himself. I do know, however, that the branch lines formed a part of the Railway Act, and by it they had to be carried into effect, as much as the building of the main line, the only difference being as to time.
Hon. Mr. MCEACHEN.‚ÄĒDid I understand the hon. member as referring to me?
112PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER.1873
MR. CALLBECK.‚ÄĒI understood the hon. member to say, when he was speaking on this question, that the immediate construction of the branch lines had been forced upon the late Government by a trap which the hon. member laid for them.
Hon. Mr. McEACHEN,‚ÄĒI am proud to admit that such is the case.
MR. CALLBECK.‚ÄĒI take it then that the Coalition Government was pledged to the immediate construction of the branch lines, moreover I have it on good authority that his honor, the leader of the present Government promised, before the dissolution last year, to go for their immediate construction, and that this arrangement was agreed to and signed on behalf of Mr. Pope's Government, by him as President of the Executive Council. Such being the case, the late Government was, according to constitutional usage, morally bound to accept and carry out the conditions thus bequeathed to them by their predecessors. In carrying out that stipulation, however, the lines were ran, and surveys made, before the contract was let, and every precaution taken to guard against injustice being done to the country. The Leader of the Government said the 21/2 per cent imposed would raise sufficient of revenue to meet the necessary expenture. Besides, it was well known, that no further outlay would be required until the present session. I contend, therefore, that in building the branches the late Government did not
$45 per head amounts to $4,230,945
Interest on the above at 5 per cent, gives $211,547
Amount brought forward, $211,547
Ditto on $900,000 45,000
Ditto on $69,000 for our Law Courts, 3,450
Legislative Grant, 30,000
Head Money, 75,000
One per cent on Railway debt being
act inconsistently. With respect to the financial question, I would simply remark, that if an individual was doing a legitimate business and that all of a sudden he rushed into a speculation which increased his indebtedness eighteen fold, would it be any wonder if he found his credit injured in consequence ? It is precisely so with a Government. In 1869, our public indebtedness amounted to but $5 a head, while that of the Dominion was $25 a head. Ours is now up to $40, while by the Terms the delegates have brought down, the Dominion debt, has ‚ÄĒor soon will be‚ÄĒup to $45. Now when the short space of four years our debt per head of the population has increased from $5 to$40 a head, is it any wonder that the public debt of the Colony has suffered in consequence? Unquestionably it is the duty of every public man to use his best efforts to maintain the credit of the Colony. But I have not met with one man who can point out how our public credit can be restored outside of Confederation. I am not opposed to seeking better Terms providing it can be shown that these now offered are unjust or unfair towards this Colony. I have carefully looked into the matter, and believe that the Dominion Government, in the Terms agreed to with the delegates, have allowed us as much as they could ; and that they could not have consented to more favorable Terms, without doing injustice to the other Provinces. Our cash receipts from the Dominion, under the Terms brought down, would be as follows:‚ÄĒ '
1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER 113
the interest we pay, 32,500
Interest on $22,000 for Steam Dredge, 1,100
Thus our annual cash receipts from the Dominion would be $398,597
I will now invite your attention Mr. Speaker, and that of this hon House, to what our receipts would be under the Dominion Tariff ; supposing we were to adopt it and remain as we are.
Customs and Excise, $308,850
Stamp Tax, 5,000
Bank Impost, 250
Distilling Licenses, 600
Light and Anchorage Duties, 2,000
Post Office Revenue, 10,000
Savings Bank, 3,700
Malt and Tobacco Taxes, 10,000
Fees from Customs, 1,000 $341,400
Thus leaving in our favor a balance of by the terms of Messrs. Laird and Haythorne. $57,197
To which we may add for salaries and other expenses borne by the Dominion, the further sum of 94,000
Thus showing a total of $151,197
Which shows clearly that we have in the arrangements entered into the best of the bargain. In dealing with this question of union, the Dominion Government have laid down a principle based upon the indebtedness of each Colony, and it is unreasonable to suppose that Canada will now step aside from it. To do so would virtually alter the foundation upon which the whole superstructure of the Dominion is built. We have no right to ask for more than what is right and reasonable. And even were we to obtain more, we would find in the end that it would only open the door for similar demands from the other Provinces. When the Terms came down, I examined them carefully, and the more closely I look into them, the more reasonable they appear to me to be. I have also heard several say it would be a risk to trifle with them. Because it the Dominion have offered and agreed to Terms that are just to us, it we open up negotiations again, we will leave it in their power to withdraw them. And this the Government of Canada might be induced to do if they apprehended an opposition in Parliament to them, which they might not be able to overcome, therefore, I think it is far better to hold on to what we have. Were it not for our isolated position I believe they would not have dealt so liberally with us. Of all the public works likely in the future to be undertaken in the Dominion, there will be none from which this Island will receive more direct and immediate benefits, that the Bay de Verte Canal. By it a short route will be opened up to St. John and the seaport cities of the neighboring Republic. Indeed, I question if it will be of any more advantage to those on the main land than it will be to ourselves. So great will the advantage be, which will accrue to us 114 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 from that work, that I think the one- fortieth part of the estimated cost ought not to be deducted from the amount charged against us. Then, with respect to what Mr. Tilley has said, if his statementsn are not correct, he will be corrected. But I take it that his statements are correct. The Leader          of the Government in his calculations . has not, I think, shown any more ability in dealing with the financial      aspects of the question, than the Leader of the Opposition. For my part I         question if he has shown as much. I             cannot for one agree with him that one third should be struck off from what the sale of public lands is set            down for. I admit, if it were to fall off       as Lot 19 did, there might be some reason for making such a calculation, but this is not what we may expect.   Our delegates have done well for the       Colony in securing $800,000 for the           purchase of our public lands. When   land can be bought, and the proprie-         .   tors disposed to sell, the money can be           drawn for, as may be required. So         that I think we have in this arrange-       ment the prospect of being able to           buy out the last of the proprietors.       No doubt to effect this we shall have           the assistance of the Dominion Gov-       ernment. The home Government         never could understand why a farm         of 100 acres, though wholly covered           with wood, was not cheap to a poor man at the rate of £5 a year But       the Dominion Cabinet is composed of men who fully understand the ques-     tion. Under all the circumstances, I     think we can get along for a consider-         able time under the Terms proposed,           without having to resort to an increase                 of local taxation. The remarks of the             hon. member for Georgetown, respecting the increased value of labor. might have some weight if we had a surplus of laborers, but as we have not, I cannot see any force in the             argument. It has also been said that the country as a whole oppose the present Terms. But in this hon. House there are but two members who are really anti-Confederate, and I respect them for their consistency, while I cannot but admire the outspoken honesty of the junior member for Bedeque, who, I think, admitted that he saw no means by which we might keep out.
MR. HOLLAND.-I said that.
MR. CALLBECK.- As regards the recklessness charged against the late Government, I think if the matter is examined into, it will be found that the recklessness was not all on one side. It was stated that the road would not be more than 120 miles long from Alberton to Georgetown, and that the cost would not exceed £5,000 per mile, while I think the Leader of the Government said ££6,000 per mile would cover the whole cost of the road. Now these calculations were made on the supposition that the distance would not exceed 120 miles. I said then I believed the road would cost £800,000, but my statement was laughed at. It is now admitted that the road will cost three and one quarter millions of dollars, which shows that when I based my calculations on the number of miles then given, that I was nearer the mark than than the hon. member, was in his estimate. Certainly I was much nearer to it than the hon. member the Leader of the Government was in his calculations for land damages. Now, if these able financiers made such mistakes when there was no inducemtoent for them to do so, in order to get their supporters to vote for the measure, I can only come to the conclusion that in these respects they were just as ignorant as men whose opinions they seemed to despise. If, however, the Leader of the Government is going to endeavor to get a branch line of the Railway to Rustico, he shall have my support in that matter. But when I find his disposition is now to find fault with 1873PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER.115 the late Government for contracting for the New London, Victoria, and other bridges, so much required in those parts of the country, I have little hope that he intends to exert himself much for the benefit of the people of Rustico. The subscription for some of the bridges and local works referred to are considerable, the payment of some of them over a period of of two or three years, while some have paid up the first instalment already. But it is not specially my duty to refer to these matters. There are hon. members on this side of the House who are quite capable of doing so. At all events in the Terms brought down, from the statistics I have read, it will be seen, that there is a balance in our favor sufficient to cover the cost of some of these works. The Terms now offered are in excess of those of 1869, and not as the hon. member attempted to show, $89,000 less. The hon. member does not attempt to show now that the Railway will pay working expenses, or that it is worth the cost of its construction. We have Terms offered that are just to Prince Edward Island. By accepting them we do justice to those we represent, while acceding also to the expressed desire of her Majesty's Government, by going with the Dominion to share in her honors, and participate in her reverses. No doubt we will yet if we go in, have to contribute our proportion towards the defences of the Dominion of Canada, and in case of war or invasion, be called upon to bear our fair share of the burden.. As the population increases so will the taxes. It is found to be so in all new countries. Hence in so far as we are concerned it will be the same, in that respect whether we go into or remain out of Confederation. If in the Union we will have our advantages, we shall also have to put up with disadvantages. I believe that according to our population we can bear as much taxation as they can in the Dominion. Our soil is as good, and our people as industrious and economical as theirs are, and, therefore, in that respect we can bear our lot just as well as they can. While the people of Canada have as great an aversion to high taxes as a people can have, I do not see what we have to dread from a union with the Dominion on the score of increased taxation. Unquestionably if we remain out of Confederation, our taxes will have to be raised fifty per cent higher than they are at present.
Mr. BEER.---Sir, I did not expect the discussion on the motion to go into committee on the dispatches would have continued so long.¬† But as the hon. members on both sides have gone into the matter so fully, I feel called upon to offer a few remarks. I already stated that I ran my election on the Terms brought down by hons, Mr. Haythorne and Laird, and was returned to this House to vote for accepting them. In any of the arguments advanced in favor of sending up another delegation to seek for better Terms still, I have failed to see that they have any grounds to hope that they will succeed in obtaining better than those already offered. Statements have been made here which are not correct, and have obviously been brought forward to mystify the House. Still. if better Terms can be had, I am sure no one will be more pleased than I will be. I have become a Confederate from necessity, not from choice, while I hold the opinion now which I did three years ago, that, were it not for the Railroad and the heavy burden it has imposed upon the country, this Island would be under no necessity to appear at the Bar of the Privy Council if Canada, seeking for admission. No doubt the Bill was passed with that intent, and the gentleman who told me he felt easy respecting the matter after it was carried, did no more than express the ¬† 116 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 the hon. members wanted. the ¬† support of the Eastern members, failing to secure that he lost all interest in the ¬† extension of the branch lines. Again, objection has been taken to the amount paid for the Boat which runs to Southport. Well, I do not think the hon. member will gain much credit to himself on that score. Are those who live on the south side of the Hillsborough going to see all the revenue expended in building Railways in which they have no direct interest, and when they ask for the convenience of a suitable Ferry Boat to enable them to reach the capital are they to be denied? Are we to be told we have no right to such accommodation ? Such arguments won't do. Again, if the Branches did cost nigh $1,000 a mile more than the Main Line, the material is to be so much better, that the contractors will not make so much money out of it as they will on the Main Line. The Light Houses, Drill Sheds, &c, will form the basis of a poor ground of argument, on our behalf, for better terms, as the hon. member will find when he gets to Ottawa. The report of the inspecting Engineers was not received until September, while the maps, &c., did not come to hand until some considerable time afterwards. The correspondence did not close until the 6th of November, so that the late government were wrongly accused ¬† in the matter. I would like to know Mr. Speaker, if the Report exonerates the former Government from blame, in the matter of the wire fence? The Engineers were asked to report upon the sufficiency of the wire fence. Just allow me to read their reply:‚ÄĒ" Respecting the sufficiency of the wire fence, of which you have doubt, we ¬† suggested in our. report, certain modes of increasing its strength, which we think will make it adequate to protect the line." This is in the last reply. In the former report ¬† they say :‚ÄĒ" If the .government are satisfied ¬† that the: doubts respecting the sufficiency of this fence are well founded; measures should be taken to make it of adequate strength." I question if there is a little school boy in the country who would not have given a more direct and satisfactory answer to the question than this. To that, if we are to judge of the report by the answer given to the enquiry respecting the wire fence, it is simply not worth¬† the paper it is written on. With regard to McNeill's Tender for the construction of the Branch lines the government did a good thing for the country by not accepting it. ¬† He actually, by his Tender, wished to obtain for grading the Road $150,000 or $50,000 more than it would cost, while he only offered us securityfor $100,000: He either did not know his business, or he was trying to take an advantage of the Government. The hon. member for Summerside referred to the alteration of the Station at Summerside, and said he thought a supporter of the . government was aware of tbat, before it was generally known, and used that knowledge to his advantage in disposing of some lots of land, before the knowledge he possessed respecting the alteration was generally known. All I can say in reply to that matter is, that the removal of the station was pretty generally spoken of ¬† for a considerable time before it took place. The hon. member said ¬† further that the Hon. Mr. Haythorne promised that he would not do anything in the matter of confederation without consulting his constituents. But Mr. Haythorne's action in that matter has been endorsed by the constituents he represents. He is therefore free of all blame in the matter. It was next asked why the contract was kept back so long before it was completed respecting the Branch Lines? My answer to that is, that an unlooked for spell ¬† of stormy weather prevented the members of the: Government to get in from the country earlier. That I believe was the chief reason why the matter was de1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 117 layed so long. The hon. member for Alberton said that were it not for the money circulated in building the Railway last year he did not know what the country ¬† would have done for exchange. Well if there is any force in that argument, if two years hence, or at any future time a financial pressure is likely to happen, we will only have to enter into another Railway speculation, when we would obtain what exchange we might require. No doubt the object the hon. member had in view was to shew that messrs. Haythorne and Laird were not the men whom the late Government should have sent to Ottawa. They, of course were not the men the hon. member would have selected. Last year we heard a good deal about the Tracadie estates, and of the hardships tenants had to contend with. For my part I believe it is worth going into Confederation, if it is for no other reason than the certainty that exists by so doing of relieving these people out of their present, almost, state of bondage. As to the delegation now going up to Ottawa, I have no faith that they will receive any better Terms than those already offered. I am strongly of the opinion that in going up ¬† again they will place themselves and the Island in a false position. Still, it is not impossible but that something better may be obtained, and if so, I will hold myself free to support them. I hope soon to hear my hon. colleague come out against Confederation. Certainly during the election I thought he ran as an anti-Confederate, and will only be disappointed if he does not join in supporting the hon. member for Bed√©qiie in his anti-Confederate Resolution.
Hon. F. KELLY.-My hon. colleague referred to what I said during the canvass of the last election. I did not say I thought we could keep out of a union with Canada. What I did say was, that I would use my exertions to get better Terms, and make a better bargain than the one agreed to by the late delegates . With respect to the Tracadie estate, I was the first who, in this House brought in a Bill for the relief of these people, and if I had been here last year I would not have   allowed the measure to have been disposed of so easily. I contend the late Government did not dea1 justly with the tenants on that estate.   If the Bill   I brought forward, and which was disposed of by the late Government, last Session, had been sustained, it would have relieved them from their present embarrassing condition. With respect to the motion before the hon. House, I am free to vote on it as I please, and when the proper time comes I will do so. I do not wish to find too much fault with the Opposition, or their actions when they were in power, but still I do believe if the Government; which brought in the Railway Bill has been left in power, the country wonld not to day be in its present position.
MR. STEWART.‚ÄĒMr. Speaker, I have listened with considerable attention to the speeches of hon. members on the Government side of the House, and am sorry to say I have heard no tangible arguments advanced why we should support the motion. I listened last evening to the speech of the hon. member from Alberton, but am bound to say it was remarkable for nothing but its length. He told us he had been Chancellor of the Exchequer for four years, and I sat patiently for the Oracle to open his lips and shew some good reason why this hon. House should consent to send another delegation to Ottawa. I expected a rare treat, but was most thoroughly disappointed. The hon. member, the Leader of the Government in the way in which he placed the matter before the country, did so in a very illusory manner. Yet the hon. member thinks his mere assertions ought to convince this side of the House that we should 118 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERR. 1873 support a second delegation to Ottawa We might do so if we saw any just grounds for doing so, for I can assure the hon. member we have no disposition to other than plume our wings and raise ourselves above party and party strife, for the common weal. We are disposed to deal with the question wholly and entirely upon its merits. Such being the disposition of this side of the House, we have waited to hear reasons advanced which might induce us to support the motion, but as yet no arguments have been brought forward that are of any value. They have utterly failed to open up a single one that is sufficient to induce one member on this side to vote for the motion. The hon. member said he wished a delegation to go up supported by a strong resolution of this House. Well I suppose he would like to have all the credit of bringing about Confederation. Unless he has grounds upon which to found an argument, and reason to suppose he will succeed in arranging better Terms of union, I hold it unworthy of the hon. member to think of having this House adjourned for any such a purpose. To ask this House to adjourn in order that the Leader of the Government may, in this matter, be placed in a higher position than he now occupies, when no advantage is to accrue to the country by the act is simply wrong. In looking at this question, we have to consider the cause which has forced us into our present position. Was it brought about by the Railway or otherwise? Whatever answer may be given to the question, it is agreed by all that Confederation must be carried, or the business of the country cannot be carried on. Hence Confederation appeals now, not to our party feelings, but to our patriotism. Although they claim to have on their side the whole of the political, mercantile, and financial ability of the Colony, yet I can tell the hon. member from Alberton, and the Leader of the Government as well, that there are men on this side of the House quite capable of competing with them. The delegates, whom the late Government sent up to negotiate for terms of union, are men which they cannot give instructions to. Nor do I feel that they are the men either, to give instructions to the men who sent me here. And I maintain further, that the late Government managed the public affairs of the Colony as well, and better too, than those whom they superseded. While my hon. colleague, in his speech, has refuted the arguments of those of the Government side to whom he so ably replied. There is, I believe, as much money in the Treasury now, including what is funded abroad, as there was when they came into power. And, notwithstanding what has been said respecting the Dashaway policy, I contend the money appropriated by the late Government was expended for legitimate purposes. If there ever was a Dashaway policy inaugurated by any Government, it was when the Railway Bill was introduced. Not the Branch Bill of the late party, but the Dashaway Bill of the Government now in power. Were it not to me as clear as noonday that our duty is to accept of Confederation, and that there is no prospect of obtaining better Terms, I would not for a moment oppose the motion of the hon. member. But believing as I do, that full justice has been done by the Privy Council of the Dominion of Canada in the Terms agreed to, I will not, by my vote, attempt to take any advantage of the Canadian Ministry. If the Terms are fair and honest in every particular, then our duty is to accept them. I am surprised that hon. members on the Government side of this hon- House should have made any reference to the manner in which the delegates left this Island when they went up to Ottawa. Neither the Government nor the delegates have any cause for shame for any change which might 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 119 have taken lace in their minds resigning Confederation. As the annual accounts came in, the Government became more fully convmced that one of two courses would have at once to be taken‚ÄĒeither go into Confederation on reasonable Terms if they could be had, or to increase the taxes greatly in advance of what they now are, during this Session of the Legislature. No other course lay before them, and for the satisfactory manner in which they have paved the way for an admission into the Dominion, they deserve much credit. I am not one of those who am a Confederate from necessity. I can look forward with pleasure to the time when we shall form a part of the great Dominion, which extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I see before me a great territory, rich in agriculture, mineral, and resources for mechanical improvement, not excelled in any part of the world. Why Sir, we are about uniting with a country of which we may justly feel proud; with a people who have sprung from the same race, speak the same language; who are governed by the same laws, and who are animated with the same hopes and desires as we chen'sh among ourselves. Why then should we have any horrors about Confederation? I am, therefore, sorry that the hon. Leader of the Government should think of pursurng a course which will only add delay and expense, without producing any beneficial results to the Colony. But I suppose the hon. member from Alberton wishes to play his last act in the comedy. I can well imagine with what solicitude the hon. member wrll set out on his mission. Even now I can fancy I see him before the Privy Council, pleading, with sorrow depicted in his countenance, and tears tlowrng from his eyes, for his country, and an additional allowance to pay for the Breakwater at Tignish Run. (Laughter.) Yes, pleading that the Drill- sheds, Lighthouses, and other similar works may be taken into account and paid for; assurring them that when this is done our people will fold their hands and peacefully sit down under the shade of the maple tree of the Dominion of Canada. But Sir, I cannot see why we should wish to force unfair claims from Canada, as if we had any right to live upon the generosrty of other people. We all know that for internat improvements, the people of Canada have to tax themselves. Education and many local wants are all provided for by their municipalities. And to this we will also have to come too. I have carefully examined into the matter, and having done so, do not feel that I can vote for sending up another delegation. As Col. Gray said, the Terms are exceedingly good, and I have heard no argument advanced to convince me that it is our duty to reject them. It is said that the Bay de Verte Canal will be of advantage to this Island, and one hon. member thinks we should pay a proportion of its cost. I admit. that if it was open it would be an indirect benefit to this Island. It would open up a direct road to the Bay of Fundy, which would be a great matter to us, and doubtless we would reap some advantages from its construction. It is thought by some that its cost will not exceed $500,000, while others are of opinion it will cost much more. But it is not yet built, and may not for many a day. It may not be built at all. The fact is, Mr. Speaker, they have brought forward no arguments. We have been contending with shadows, and have taken the ground from under their feet. It is not wisdom to keep up this discussion much longer. If this delegation goes up, m all probability the matter will be staved off for another year. This is not desirable. The business of the country is now embarrassed. Trade is encumbered with many difficulties. All this would be relieved if Confederation was effected. That is one reason why I 120 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 am so anxious that no unnecessary delay should take place.
The hon. the SPEAKER then put the                                                                                                                                                                                                                             motion, which being carried in the affirmative, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House on the further consideration of the despatches.
MR. A. C. McDONALD in the chair.
Hon Mr. Pope‚ÄĒMr. Chairman, I beg leave to move the following Resolution :
Whereas, the question of Confederation of this Island with the Dominion of Canada, having formed the subject of negotiations between the Dominion of Canada and the late Executive Council of this Colony, the correspondence interchanged between His Excellency the Governor General and His Honor the Lieut. Governor of this Island, and the members of the Privy Council of Canada and this Island, embodying certain terms and conditions relating to the proposed union, having been officially laid before the House and duly considered. The House is of opinion that said terms and conditions do not secure to this Colony a sum sufficient to defray the ordinary and indispensable requirements of its local government, and are by no means an equivalent for the Revenue, present and prospective, which it would be called upon to surrender to the Dominion.
And, Whereas. The strong objections hitherto entertained by the peo. ple of this Island to Confederation, having been much modified, and the present House of Assembly feeling anxious to meet the desire of Her Majesty's lmperial Government to unite under one Government, all the .British possessions in America, is willing in good faith and loyaly to merge the interests of the inhabitants of Prince Edward Island with those of their fellow subjects in the Dominion, on terms which are just and reasonable, and such as will not involve the people of this Island in direct local taxation for objects for which the ordinary Revenue has hither to enabled them to provide.
  Resolved Therefore, That this House being most desirous to secure, to the people of Prince Edward Island on entering the union, just and reasonable terms, does hereby authorize His Honor. the Lieutenant Governor to appoint delegates to proceed at once to Ottawa to confer with the Government of the Dominion of Canada, on this great and important subject with a full confidence that the terms to which they will agree, will be such as will insure their immediate and unqualified ratification by the Legisture of the Colony.
As the night is somewhat advanced I am willing the matter should lay over for consideration until another day, I, therefore, move that the Speaker take the chair, the Chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again.
On motion of the Hon. LEADER OF THE GOVERMENT, the House resolved itself into a committee of the whole to resume the consideration for the despatches relating to Confederation.
MR. A C. McDonald in the chair.
Hon. LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT.‚ÄĒThis opportunity of securing union with the. Dominion of Canada, on just and favorable terms should not be lost. I am prepared to table a resolution to appoint a delegation for the purpose of seeking better Terms, and expect support from both sides of this House. There can be nothing lost by endeavoring to secure the best Terms, as we fully believe and feel that under the present offer we have not sufficient for the maintenance of ¬† our local. Government. By the Imperial or, North American Act, we shall be prevented from making any demand 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 121 upon the Dominion Government after entering the Union, and we are therefore, anxious to secure such Terms before accepting Confederation, as will enable us to get along without being compelled to resort to immediate, direct taxation. If the delegation should fail, we shall be in no worse position than at present; but I have not the slightest doubt that more liberal Terms will be conceded to us. It is a matter that will affect our people for all time, and if reasonable Terms are obtained, they will be re lieved from a certain amount of taxation. If, on the other hand, no better Terms can be procured, it will be for the Legislature to determine what it is prepared to do. If reasonable Terms are offered us, I am satisfied that both sides will be prepared to accept them, and to consummate the union as soon as possible. I know the Opposition regret that a split has not taken place on this side of the House, as they desired, but we should all unite for the common interest of our country, and consummate the union as soon as possible, by procuring and accepting reasonable Terms.
Mr. D. LAIRD.‚ÄĒAs the resolution submitted by his honor the Leader of the Government relates to an important matter, due notice should have been given of its introductlon. It contains statements, which, I think, are not borne out by the facts of the case. The statement that the Terms now offered us do not meet the wants of this Colony, is, in my opinion, an altogether erroneous one, and hon. members on the Government side of the House have not produced arguments to substantiate it. The argument that because our wants are great, we are entitled to better Terms, seems to me a very poor one. ¬† Why are the Terms before us insufficient? We have been allowed $20 per head more than any of the other Provinces of the Dominion, on account of our isolated position, which is certainly a great favor. The claim we preferred was much larger than the sum we received, but we were told plainly by the Dominion Government that they would grant no more, and that they considered they had dealt fairly with us. When we (the delegates) met the committee of the Privy Council, and stated our demands, we were told that we were to have a conference with the Finance Minister on the following day, and were directed to present our claims to him, in order to show how we could base them. Our arguments were not taken on our mere word, as we had to show the why and the wherefore for every demand we made. We met the Finance Minister, presented our claims and showed that on account of our isolation, during nearly six months in the year, we could not receive the benefits of their public works, and were entitled to a full equivalent for all the Dominion debt, present and prospective. The Finance Minister acknowledged our statements to be ingenious, and next day we presented our case before the Privy Council. The latter said that some of the positions we took were inadmissible, and could not be entertained, that our arguments on these matters were not such as they could place before their Parliament for approval, and that unless they could uphold our claims in the face of the whole Dominion, they could not grant them. They told us they were willing to go as far as lay in their power, just so far as‚ÄĒin the words of the Finance Minister‚ÄĒnot to upset their own apple cart. They conceive that they have conceded to us the most liberal Terms they can carry through Parliament, and that is also the expression of numerous journals, and of outside opinion generally, throughout the Dominion. If arguments are to be based upon our wants, and not upon our rights, they will amount to nothing at 122 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 all, and I fear will meet with but poor success. If our Island Legislature had from the first husbanded its Revenues, there would have been plenty for centuries to come, but they went into extravagant expenditures in building a Railway, and thus placed as in the present positibn of embarassment. They expended just like a lady who spent so much money upon her dress that her husband could not buy a plough. If we have become embarassed by entering into a great enterprise, what is that to the Dominion Government? Is our extravagance any argument for better Terms? The Government have not, so far, shown that $45 per head of our population is not a liberal allowance, and cannot do so. The hon. Leader of the Government tried to make out that something had been overlooked in reckoning the present and prospective debt of the Dominion, that ten millions of dollars had been expended on the Intercolonial Railway last'year, which had not been taken into account. Here is the statement of the Finance Minister in his Budget Speech :‚ÄĒ"I would now, for a few moments, call your attention to the financial position of the Dominion. I have no doubt that every hon. member who has examined the public accounts, will have read the statements, showing the Debt of the Dominion, and the expenditures on capital account, with the greatest satisfaction, for they show that during the last five years there has been paid out of surplus revenue, over and above ordinary charges on the consolidated revenue fund, and contributed towards the construction of public works that were chargeable to the capital, a sum of $9,522,000." "It will be seen by the estimates that it is proposed to ask the House for a total expenditure of $31, 008,433. This includes the expenditures authorized by statute for construction of public works and all other charges. Of this sum $9, 974,240 will be chargeable to capital ; railroads (Intercolonial) $4,335,240; canals $5,277,000; public buildings, including the Library and grounds, $362,000; making a total of $9,974,240; also deduct from the expenditure $93,000 in payment of debts; this leaves to be provided for during the coming year, out of income $29,941,183." The hon. Leader of the Government would endeavor to make out that something had been overlooked in calculating the debt of the Dominion, but he cannot prove his statement, as he has nothing upon which to base an argument. Ten millions more expended on the Intercolonial up to the first of January last, and every dollar of that sum was included in our calculation. For every dollar expended on the Intercolonial Railway we are to receive a share, when we receive $45 per head. The hon. Leader of the Government says that some of our Lighthouses and all our Drill Sheds have. been erected since the Quebec Scheme was agreed upon, and that we are entitled to receive their value from the Dominion Government. He should remember that the debt of the Dominion to day is not more than $25 per head, and, judging from their increase of population, is not likely to exceed that amount, while we receive $20 over and above that sum. The little appeal for the cost of Lighthouses and Breakwaters will not succeed in the face of these facts. I never heard a more flimsy argument from a Leader of a Government asking the House for¬† another delegation. Why, he has not shown a shadow ofa shade of a reason for his present course of action. In their Minute of Council they do not even state that they agree to pay us for our Post Office, because there was not a Post Office in the other Provinces which had been used as such, which was paid for by the Dominion Government. Our building is mentioned in the Terms as the Law Courts and Registry Office, so careful were they in wording their document. If 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 123 we had advocated remuneration for a long catalogue of Lighthouses, Drill Sheds, &c., built since the Quebec Scheme was agreed upon, how could they present such matters before their Parliament for payment, when the other Provinces were not paid for similar works? They have a vigorous Opposition, Sir, and while on account of our isolated position we have a right to some special claims to make our position equal to theirs, we have no right to press any unreasonable demands. We had no claim on the Dominion for the loss of our lands; but we presented our casein this way: We stated that as our Island had been granted away by the British Government, we had no Crown lands from which to derive a Revenue; Ontario had her Crown lands and forests, and had received an income of a million of dollars from them, while we had no such means at our command. Nova Scotia has mines, and New Brunswick mines and forests, and we contended that we could not run an equal race with them, and were, therefore, entitled to something to compensate us for the loss of our lands. If we never expend the principal granted us by the Dominion, we can draw the interest at five per cent, and the sum thus received will be equal to the amount per head received by the other Provinces from their lands. They said that this was a matter which they could lay before their Parliament, for which they could show some reason, for they could not expect us to pay dollar for dollar in taxes with them, unless placed on the same footing. I cannot see how we can press our claims merely on account of our necessity or poverty. We, on this Opposition side of the House, wish to know whereon the Government can base their claims for additional concessions from Candaa, when we have already received such a liberal allowance. We have some honor and dignity to maintain in this matter, and have no right to send off a begging delegation to Ottawa for new Terms. The Colony has already obtained Terms which the Governor General has declared cannot be increased, and I, for one, cannot stultify myself in supporting the resolution in favor of another delegation at present, as the Government have shown no good reason for it. The only argument adduced by the Government and their supporters is that the amount we should receive from the Dominion under the present Terms would not meet our wants. If new delegates are sent to up to Ottawa, they will find that the Canadian Government will analyse our Revenue under those Terms, and will find their statements incorrect. The School system of Canada is chiefly supported by local taxation, while our system is wholly supported from public funds; they would, therefore, never concede to us sufficient to meet our educational wants from the Treasury, while they pay local taxes for a similar purpose. Three-fourths of the expenditure of the Board of Works in the Dominion, for building litte bridges and meeting other small local wants, is not borne by the local Government, but by the muncipalities. For the reasons I have already given, I cannot support the resolution introduced by the hon. Leader of the Government. I see no reason for delay or for sending another. delegation to Canada; it will require, probably, at least three weeks, as they cannot rush everything through at Ottawa, and the whole Privy Council is not prepared to dance attendance upon them. The Dominion Parliament is now in session, and, therefore, the Government will have precious little time to devote to the delegation Every hour's delay is injuring the trade of this Colony, and merchants scarcely know whether to import goods or not, as they are not sure of being able to obtain exchange to pay for them. Under our present system our duties come in to meet our present 124 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 wants, but when we form a part of the Dominion, we shall receive our allowance in advance. This will cause plenty of exchange for the first few years, at least, and will help trade to go on smoothly. The local Government will have no local debt, and we shall be' able to begin with clean books. I had some doubt at first that Confederation would work well under the British Constitution, unless the Provinces became more prosperous than they had been ; but I am now happy to acknowledge that the Dominion, as a Government, has been a greater success than I ever anticipated, or its promoters expected. This can be proved most clearly. I will read a statement from Mr. Tilley's speech, which will show their position and prospects : "Now, having dealt with this point, I trust the House will pardon me for a few moments if I refer to the future with reference to our liabilities and engagements and our prospects of meeting those liabilities. In doing so, I must again refer to the past, and I will do it in a very few words. We have an annual surplus, after meeting all engagements and providing the necessary sinking fund, sufficient to pay the interest on a debt of $30,000,000 more than the debt now is. We have in the present year a Surplus, without taking into account the sinking fund, amounting to something like three quarters of a million. We are, however, entering upon new and increased engagements, involving a very large sum of money. We are entering upon works‚ÄĒwe have already done so‚ÄĒwhich will require a large increase of our debt. We have $10,000,000 to expend on the Intercolonial Railway. We have $30,000,000 for the Canadian Pacific, and the Canal system, that has been accepted by the Government, will involve an expenditure of at least $20,000,000. These are serious matters, inasmuch as they add $60,000,000 to our existing debt. Let us now see what is the annual charge involved in this matter. In the first place we have available the Imperial guarantee for ¬£2,500,000 sterling, given to us in lieu of the Fenian claims. Then we have a guarantee of ¬£1,500,000 for the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. We have also a guarantee of ¬£300,000 for the North West territories, and I may state to the House that the Imperial Government has assented to the transfer of the fortifications guarantee of ¬£1,100,000 to be expended in the enlargement and construction of our canals, and in the construction of the Pacific Railway. (Cheers.) Thus we have a total amount guaranteed of ¬£5,400,000 or $26,000,000 which we can obtain at an interest off our percent. On that item alone, we have, therefore, an annual charge of $1,040,000, and on the $34,000,000 remaining, the annual charge, at five per cent, will be $1,700,000. For the sinking fund of one per cent, we require $600,000, and for commission on interest $27,400, making a total annual charge, when these works are completed, of $3,367,400." They are paying less per contage of interest to-day than they ever paid, and it is lessening year after year. I must acknowledge that Confederation, as a political scheme, has been successful far beyond my expectations. Things looked dark at the the time of the Quebec Scheme, and it actually appeared at that time that several prominent men in their Government came down here for assistance because they could not carry out their Government at home. The seven per cents and six per cents of old Canada have all vanished, and the highest interest now paid is only five per cent. One of the arguments of the hon. Leader of the Government is that we are not, under the present Terms, going to receive an equivalent for what we are to give up. Instead of their taking away anything, we shall receive more than the Revenue collected by them on this Island. As 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 125 time rolls on the manufactures of the Dominion will increase, and we shall import more and more of their goods, which will greatly reduce the amount of duties collected here. Many of the American manufacturers have moved across the border into Canada, and have established manufactures of mowing machines and agricultural implements. All these and a great variety of other manufactures will likely increase, and intercolonial trade will so increase, that instead of Canada taking away money for duties collected here, it will be far otherwise. I believe they will get no more revenue from this Colony ten years hence than they will this year, if we enter the Dominion. The taxation of the Dominion at present amounts to only $3.54 per head, while ours will amount to $6 per head when the whole Railway debt falls upon us, if we remain out of Confederation. The Opposition have a right to know whether it is the intention of the hon. Leader of the Government to ask the Dominion to give us back the Railway, and to make it a local work for this Island or not. If it is going to pay $50,000 per year over working expenses, as stated by the hon. member for Alberton, it would pay us to work it ourselves. I am sure the Government can get it back by telegraphing to Ottawa, without taking the trouble to send up a delegation. But the hon. Leader of the Government has never breathed a syllable in reference to taking back the Railway, and working it ourselves. It was all very well to cry out at Election times that the Railway is worth what it costs but he has not a word to say now about asking the Dominion to give it back to us, although he knows they would be willing to do so. I believe he will be only too glad to allow the Dominion to keep it, as he knows it will not pay its working expenses for four or five years at least. At the end of that time the spruce sleepers will require to be removed, and where will the money come from to do this? Even the working expenses will not be paid by the earnings of the road ! I see that the Nova Scotia Railway, to this day, has not nearly paid its working expenses, and the New Brunswick Railway has only paid a small per centage on its cost. The people do not want the Railway back, but look upon it as a happy thing that the Dominion have agreed to take it and pay for it, and that they will be able to get along in their usual way without that burden. Many hon. members will soon require to go home to their farms and sow their seeds ; but instead of proceeding with the business of the country as is required, we shall have a recess for two or three weeks, and will require to meet again at the very busiest portion of the spring season. Unless the Government can show some ground for their claims, they will most egregiously tail before the Dominion Government‚ÄĒmere mendicant claims will not be recognized by them. A great many of the Canadians are of the opinion that we are better off than they are, and that we are just as able to pay our debts. Perhaps the Dominion Government will give the new delegation a little more for pity's sake, to get them out of their way, but it will be only a more trifle, if anything at all. The more manly and straightforward counts would be to carry the question through the House in good faith with Canada, without delay; there is no time to lose. As I went to the people on these terms, I am now prepared to do my duty to my constituents and the country by giving them my support. I therefore move the following amendment :‚ÄĒ
Whereas, This House has had under consideration certan papers relating to the Confederation of this island with the Dominion of Canada, and more particularly a despatch of His Excellency the Governor General, 126 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 dated the 14th of March last, transmitting to His Honor Lieut. Governor Robinson, the copy of a report of a Committee of the Honorable the Privy Council of Canada, approved of by His Excellency in Council, on the 10th of the said month, which report contains minutes of Conference between the said Committee of the Privy Council, and delegates from the Government of Prince Edward Island, on the subject of the Union of this Colony with the Dominion of Canada.
And Whereas, By a Telegraphic Despatch from the Governor General, dated the 12th of March last, His Excellency, with respect to the terms of Confederation contained in said minutes of Conference, signifies his Ministers' opinion‚ÄĒan opinion in which he fully coincides‚ÄĒthat "no additional concessions would have any chance of being accepted by the Parliament of Canada.
And Whereas, It is highly desirable that this question of Union should be carried by the Legislature of this Island with as little delay as possible, in view of the financial and commercial necessities of the Colony.
Therefore, Resolved, That this House do appoint a Committee of seven to prepare an address to the Queen, praying Her Majesty in Council to pass an order in conformity with the 14th section of "British North American Act, 1867," uniting Prince Edward Island with the Dominion of Canada, on the terms and conditions approved of in the minute of the Privy Council of Canada, on the 10th of March, 1872.,
Hon. LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT.‚ÄĒThe hon. member for Belfast stands up here and asks why the Government do not state whether they intend to ask the Dominion to give us back our Railway? Well, I ask why he did not let the country know what Terms he intended to ask from Canada, before starting on that delegation ? He stole away, because he knew the late Government were defeated before he went ; and yet he stands up here and declares it is our duty to let him know what we intend to ask in addition to the Terms he obtained ! He admits that he wanted to entrap and ensnare the people into Confederation, and is most anxious that the Terms brought down by himself he accepted at once. When he states that I will go to Canada begging some small concession, he forgets the sneaking, contemptible manner, in which he left his country, to hand it over to the Dominion, without the knowledge or consent of any person outside the late Government. He gained his position in the last House by lying and slander ; and by printing and circulating a speech, made at St. Dunstan's College, by his political opponent, and by lying and misrepresentation in reference to the School Question, he obtained a seat in the present House. There would not have been three men of the late Government party returned to this House on the Terms before us, or the policy of the late Government, if the School Question had not be dragged into their assistance, and made to do them service. The complimentary speech, made by the hon. Col. Gray, was circulated in Raasa, Rona and Belle Creek, and the people were duped ; but if the copies of that speech had been circulated among more intelligent people, and his election had depended upon the result, he would never have obtained a seat in this House. During the last year, while he was in power, he spent some $13,000 for which the Accounts do not show that the country received anything in return. I hope I have too much regard for my character and for my country, to undertake a mission of this kind, unless I felt and believed that far better Terms, than those now offered us, can be obtained. I shall endeavor to do all loan, and I have not the slightest doubt of our getting better 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 127 Terms. I believe it will be sour grapes for the hon. junior member for Belfast, if we do get anything in addition to the Terms brought down by He will find that notwithstanding his extraordinary exertions, this question will be carried, and the delegates appointed. I did not take the School Question to the people and make political capital out of it ; but I do not hesitate to say that the hon. jun. member for Belfast and his friends owe their seats in this House to the prejudices which they aroused in their several districts, on that question. The hon. member says that the present Terms are sufficient, and that no argument can be brought to show that we should have better Terms. We have no wilderness lands unsettled, to depend upon as a source of Revenue ; no mines, no minerals, no forests ; and, therefore, the allowance we shall receive from the Dominion wlll be almost a fixed one for all time to come. When we give up our right to levy duties on goods imported, we surrender an increasing Revenue for a fixed one, which will be certain, in the course of a very few years, to fall far short of our requirements. Is the Revenue offered us in the present Terms an equivalent to the increasing one we surrender ? I maintain that it is not. The hon. member credits the Dominion with our miscellaneous items ; but he will find that under our Government we shall always have a list of items not enumerated in the Terms, which must be paid for out of our local Revenue. I now repeat what I stated on a former occasion, viz: that if the $800,000 be invested in the purchases of the proprietary lands, not more than two- thirds of that amount will ever be returned to the Treasury. Some hon. members of the Opposition put down the expenditure of the Board of Works at $56,000 per year. To show how far below the mark that statement is, I may state that during the present year alone, there has been $61,000 spent by that Board.
MR. D. LAIRD‚ÄĒThat amount may be marked upon the books, but a large portion of it is not yet expanded, as there are some large bridges which will not be finished for two years to come.
Hon. LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT.‚ÄĒThe money is to all intents and purposes expended. The hon. member for New London referred to his " dashaway policy," and endeavoured to show that that statement contained in his letter did not refer to the late Government, and that the portion of that letter which was published in the newspapers was not a true copy. Now, I have a copy of that letter in my possession, and will guarantee its correctness, and that it is genuine, and I know that the published portion was also a correct copy. When we see a member of a Government reveal his intentions to Mr. Lawson, that he intended to "dash away, levy taxation, and run the Government while it will," we must come to the conclusion that he has committed one of the most dishonorable acts of which a man can be guilty. The very men who charged the members of the Coalition Government with being dishonest and corrupt, adopted the dishonest dash away policy. If ever there were dishonest and unprincipled men entrusted with the reins of power, it was during the last twelve months. Their policy was to "dash away, levy taxation, and to blame their political opponents for the results of their actions." Such conduct was surely beneath any right minded, honorable man, and could not be justified in any manner whatever. Many serious charges have been made by several hon. members of the present Opposition ; but they have never convicted me of lying and slandering ; and the Journals of the House do not make me out a malicious defamer, as they do the hon. Leader of the Opposition 128 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 I was never kicked out of a Temperance Society, as he was, for violating an honorable and sacred pledge. No truthful charge can be made against me of being guilty of falsehood and slander, of which he has been convicted again and again. The hon. member for New London thought he made a telling speech, and asked how the country was going to stand the drain from it to pay the interest on the Railway debt. I answer that ¬£100,000 sterling have been expended in this country in the construction of the Railway, of which the merchants have received the benefit ; and of that amount only some ¬£800 have been transmitted to London to pay the interest on the Debentures. The construction of the Steamer Prince Edward drained more than three times the amount of the whole Railway tax from the Island, in sterling exchange. Had it not been for the construction of the Railway, every Bank on the Island would, at one time, have ceased to do business, as was the case with many in the other Provinces, and there would have been a commercial panic. After the Railway is completed, if the trade and exports of the Colony do not increase considerably, there might be some difficulty in procuring exchange, but while the construction of the Railway is in progress, there can be no difficulty in that respect, so that the remarks of the hon. member do not apply. There would be no difficulty in raising money sufficient to pay the interest on the Railway debt as well as all other demands, but it is not so easy to restore the credit of the country after it has been injured by the hawking of the Debentures by the late Colonial Secretary. I showed clearly, last night, in my remarks, that even admitting that the miscellaneous items will be borne by the Dominion, the present Terms would still be some $70,000 short of meeting the requirements of the country. Now, I believe that the states men of Canada are liberal enough not to ask us to place ourselves in a ruinous position, in which we would be compelled to resort to local taxation, immediately after accepting Confederation, and becoming a portion of the Dominion. It would be far better, and more conducive to their interests, as well as our own, to give us sufficient to make our people contented, prosperous, and happy. I do not intend to go over the whole ground again ; but I believe we shall have no difficulty in obtaining better Terms, and that this is a sore spot to the hon. members of the Opposition. I am not the man who would undertake to go on a begging expedition ; when I go to ask better Terms I shall go fortified by a resolution from this House,‚ÄĒI have no intention of sneaking off to Ottawa without the knowledge of the people, as some before me have done. After the last delegation started, a prominent member of the late Government declared at a public meeting, in this city, that they were gone "to fend off" Confederation, while in reality they were gone to seek terms of union. The only man outside the Government to be trusted with the secrets of their scheme was "dear Mr. Lawson." I give the hon. member credit for a good deal of shrewdness and clear-headedness, but I wish I could give him credit for more fair dealing and less conspiracy. Before those delegates left for Ottawa, it was circulated in St. John, N B., paper that there was to be a race between Laird for Confederation, and Pope for the grants for this Island. This precious bit of news was sent there in the same way as the despatch of the Governor General was suggested from this Island. When I make this statement, I wish no reflection to be cast on the Governor General as he was not to blame in any way.
MR. SINCLAIR.‚ÄĒI only wish the hon. Leader of the Government would produce the original letter written by 1873 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 129 me to Mr. Lawson, in order that I might publish it. The manner in which that letter was obtained, and used, was the most contemptible I ever heard of. Instead of stating in that letter that the late Government had determined to dash away, levy taxation, &c., as represented by his honor, I said that there were men in the country who entertained different views from my own, and would dash away, levy taxation, &c. I also stated that the trade that would result from a union with Canada, would be greatly in favor of this Colony, and that a large quantity of goods from the Dominion would come in here duty free. The hon. Leader of the Government has produced a mere garbled extract from that letter. I deny that $61,000 have been expended this year by the Board of Works. Nothing injured the credit of this Colony more than the action of the Coalition Government in using the money, raised by the Railway tariff, for general purposes. Their action was contrary to law, and detrimental to the best interests of the country.
Progress was then reported, and leave obtained to sit again.
House adjourned till ten o'clock this morning.

Source:

The Parliamentary Reporter of Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Charlottetown: Henry Cooper, 1873. Microfilm copies provided by the Prince Edward Island Libraries and Archives.

Credits:

.

Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Isabelle Carré-Hudson.

Personnes participantes: