Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 02 May 1873, Prince Edward Island Confederation with Canada.



FRIDAY, May 2nd.

Hons. Pope, F. Kelly, Owen ; Messrs. John Yeo and Arsenault were appointed a Committee to prepare the draft of an Address to the Lieutenant Governor, praying His Honor that the resolution contained in the Report of the Committee of the whole House on several despatches and other documents, transmitted by message to the House, on the 25th of April last, connected with the Confederation of this Colony with the Dominion of Canada, may be carried into effect.
Hon. Mr. POPE, Chairman of the Committee, reported the draft of an Address to His Honor the Lieutenant Governor, praying that His Honor will be pleased to give effect to the resolution adopted by the House. Said Address is as follows :—
To His honor W. C. F. Robinson, Esq., Lieut. Governor and Commander in Chief in and over Her Majesty's Island Prince Edward, and the dependencies thereunto belonging, Chancellor, Vice Admiral and Ordinary of the same, &c,m &c.
The House of Assembly having had under their consideration several despatches and other documents transmitted by message to the House of Assembly on the 25th day of April last, connected with the Confederation of this Colony with the Dominion of Canada, came to a resolution on the same, a copy of which is herewith submitted.
The House respectfully requests that your Honor will be pleased to give effect to the said resolution.
The Address was then ordered to be engrossed.
Ordered that the same Committee who prepared the Address be a Committee to wait on His Honor with the same.
House in committee to take into further consideration all matters relating to roads and bridges.
MR. A. J. McDONALD in the Chair.
After some time spent in Committee, the Speaker resumed the Chair, progress was reported, and leave obtained to sit again.
House adjourned for one hour.
Hon. Mr. POPE, as a member of the Executive Government, presented a message from His Honor the Lieut. Governor, asking that the House, at its rising to-day, do adjourn until the 12th inst.
Hon. Mr. POPE presented return of Sheriff of Queen's County for a member to represent the City of Charlottetown.
Hon. Mr. POPE and Mr. John Yeo conducted Hon. Mr. Brecken into the House as the member so returned, who being sworn in at the Clerk's table, was introduced to the hon. the Speaker, and took his seat.
Hon. Mr. BRECKEN.—Mr. Speaker, having been a few days outside of the bar of this hon. House, and thereby having had an opportunity of listening to the debate, I now feel constrained to express the hope that henceforth our discussions may be more than ever distinguished by calmness and forbearance. We have reached that period in our history when we may well pause, and review the past. We have passed through an ordeal. We have had our angry discussions, and in these, I too, have taken my part. But we are now on the eve of becoming a part of the Dominion, our former subjects of contention —many of them at least—were of small moment, they may be compared to smelt fishing when contrasted with the importance of fishing in the deep blue sea. It does not become us now at so important a crisis in our history, to belittle one another, and thereby overlook the true interests of the country. Depend upon it, the Dominion will respect us in proportion as we respect each other. In discussing such an important question, I think it a great pity that any allusion was made to side issues. The School Question, for instance, was dragged into the discussion. For my part I could not see why it should have been referred to at all. I am willing to forget and forgive, and to put my feet upon the many calumnies and unjust reproaches which were cast upon us ; and I believe, now that Mr. Pope's Government has been allowed by Providence, again to attain to power to show to the people of this Island and the neighbouring Provinces, that the charges made against that Government were untrue. To show that notwithstanding all the 154 PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER. 1873 late Government said about Mr. Pope and his friends not sending the Railway Bill to the people, yet they rushed the Branch Bill through the Legislature. and have let the contract, while not one, save Mr. John Yeo, opposed such a course. An evening or two ago, a few of us received invitations from His Lordship Bishop McIntyre to attend an examination at one of his: schools. We went, and I have under stood that the matter was brought up in this House. Has it come to this that a public man cannot be present at the examination of a school, where the pupils, mere youths, or lads, exhibited a knowledge that was exceeding creditable to their years, and an acquaintance with Euclid in the problems they worked out which showed they possessed a knowledge of various branches that would do credit to a full grown man. It is time public men should rise above such narrow-mindedness. As to the School Question, no Catholic ever spoke to me on that subject. I hope the time will soon arrive. when in our Legislative Halls, all political questions will be discussed without referring to Catholics and Protestants. Let us drop the hatchet, and henceforth, if any of us attend seminaries of learning, let us not do as the hon. member did with the speech of Col. Gray, which he circulated by the thousand, and won his election in consequence. Nor in the future, if public men attend examinations of schools, let not such a circumstance be dragged into debate in the House of Assembly. I do hope the time for all such exhibitions has forever passed away.
MR. LAIRD.—Mr. Speaker, when I came from Ottawa last spring, I made the same request in the Market Hall, which the learned Attorney General has made now. But how was my request received? Was it taken in good faith ? No, I regret to say it was not. On the contrary the hon. mem. her and his friends took it up as a party question, They discussed it as such, and dealt with it wholly as a party matter. For my part it was my most sincere and earnest desire that Confederation should have been discussed and carried wholly upon its own merits. When I was away they had so much to say about me, that the grander and sublimer aspects of the question were entirely lost sight of. No doubt, Sir, it is a matter for regret that Confederation, pure and simple, was not considered wholly upon its merits. With respect to the learned Attorney General, during my canvass, Col. Gray brought him into my District to curse me, even as Balax brought Baalam to curse a certain people, but be blessed me all the while, I really feel that the hon. member rendered me much service in my canvass.


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.



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