Curreny Resolved Delegation In Ottawa





Mr. James C. Pope and the Railway--Assimilation of the

Currency--Confederation--Conference in Charlottetown--Sketch of

Edward Whelan and T. H. Haviland--Opposition to

Confederation--Resolutions in the Assembly--Offer of Terms to J.

C. Pope--Further Proceedings--The Question of Confederation

Resumed--Delegations to Ottawa--Messrs. Haythorne and

Laird--Messrs. Pope, Haviland, and Howlan--Final Settlement of the

Question.



To the Honorable James C. Pope belongs the honor of being the first to

take legislative action of a commendably energetic character, in order

to secure to the island admirable facilities for intercommunication by

means of a railway. On the third of April, in the session of 1871, that

gentleman submitted a resolution to the house of assembly, which was

seconded by the attorney-general, Hon. Mr. Brecken, to the effect that

the trade and exports of the island having much increased during the

past few years, it was found impossible, in the absence of stone or

gravel, to keep the roads in an efficient state of repair. It was

contended that the construction and efficient maintenance of a line of

railway through the island would greatly facilitate its trade, develop

its resources, enlarge its revenue, and open more frequent and easy

communication with the neighboring provinces and the United States. It

was, therefore, proposed to introduce a bill authorizing the government

to undertake the construction of a railway, to extend from Cascumpec to

Georgetown, touching at Summerside and Charlottetown, and also branches

to Souris and Tignish, at a cost not exceeding five thousand pounds,

currency, the mile, including all the necessary appliances suitable for

a good railroad, provided that the contractors would accept in payment

the debentures of Prince Edward Island. The Honorable Mr. Sinclair

proposed an amendment condemnatory of this resolution, on the ground

that a general election for both branches of the legislature had

recently taken place; that the question of constructing a railway was

not then properly before the country; and that two petitions were before

the house against the proposed undertaking, and none in its favor. On a

division, Mr. Pope's resolution was carried by seventeen to eleven

votes. A committee, consisting of the Honorable Mr. Pope, the Honorable

Mr. Howlan, the Honorable the Attorney General, the Honorable Mr. Perry,

and Mr. Richards, was then appointed to prepare and bring in a bill in

accordance with the resolution passed by the assembly. The bill was

immediately presented, read a first time, and ordered to be read a

second time on the following day. The bill was accordingly read a second

time, and committed to a committee of the whole house,--Mr. Beer being

chairman. On the main question being put, the measure was approved by

eighteen to eleven votes. The report of the committee was then received,

and the bill engrossed under the title of "An act to authorize the

construction of a railway through Prince Edward Island." Thus, in two

days from the time of its introduction, the bill received the sanction

of the assembly; and it may be safely affirmed that few measures have

ever been passed by the representatives of the people of greater

importance, as bearing on the material interests of the island. It is

only fair to state that it was mainly through the tact, energy, and

determination of Mr. James C. Pope that the scheme was carried to

successful completion.



During this session an act was also passed for assimilating the currency

of the island to that of the Dominion of Canada, by the introduction of

a decimal system of keeping the public accounts. The act did not disturb

the existing value of the current coins, but simply declared what their

value should be in relation to the new system.



The question of a union of the North American Provinces was not

prominently before the people of Prince Edward Island until 1864. Ten

years previously, the subject had been discussed in the parliament of

Nova Scotia by the parties of which Howe and Johnston were the leaders,

when the latter gentleman moved a resolution favorable to union. In

1857, two members of the government of Nova Scotia had an interview with

Mr. Labouchere, the colonial secretary, on the subject, when he

intimated that, in the event of concurrence on the part of all the

provinces, the home government would be prepared to consider any

measure, with a view to the consummation of union, which might be agreed

upon. Mr. Galt, in 1858, when a member of the Canadian administration,

was an advocate for the consideration of the question; and,

subsequently, a correspondence with the home government on the subject

was opened by the Canadian government. But the official action which

resulted in the consummation of union was taken in the assembly of Nova

Scotia in 1861, when the provincial secretary moved that the

lieutenant-governor of the province should be respectfully requested to

put himself in communication with the colonial secretary, the

governor-general, and the lieutenant-governors of the other North

American Provinces, in order to ascertain the policy of Her Majesty's

government, and the sentiments of the other colonies, with a view to the

consideration of the question. This resolution was unanimously adopted

by the assembly, sent to the colonial office, and subsequently

transmitted by the Duke of Newcastle to the governor-general, and to the

lieutenant-governors of the several provinces. On the proceedings of the

assembly, his grace remarked that if a union, either partial or

complete, should hereafter be proposed, with the concurrence of all the

provinces to be united, he was sure that the matter would be weighed in

England by the public, by parliament, and by Her Majesty's government

with no other feeling than an anxiety to discern and to promote any

course which might be most conducive to the prosperity, the strength,

and the harmony of all the British communities in North America.



The desire of the home government to see a union of the North American

Provinces consummated, having been thus indicated, a discussion of the

question took place in the legislature of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,

and Prince Edward Island, in the sessions of 1864, which resulted in the

appointment, by these provinces, of delegates, to meet in Charlottetown.

In the assembly of Prince Edward Island there was considerable

opposition to the idea of a legislative union, but the following

resolution was passed by a majority: "That His Excellency the Lieutenant

Governor be authorised to appoint delegates--not to exceed five--to confer

with delegates who may be appointed by the government of Nova Scotia and

New Brunswick, for the purpose of discussing the expediency of a union

of the three Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward

Island under one government and legislature, the report of the said

delegates to be laid before the legislature of the colony before any

action shall be taken in regard to the proposed question."



In the year 1863 the two parties in the Canadian parliament were so

equally balanced, that it was found impossible to conduct the business

of the country with any degree of efficiency. The leading men of both

parties accordingly agreed on a reconstruction, resolving with the

concurrence of their supporters to unite, for the purpose of securing a

confederation of all the British North American Provinces. The

governor-general addressed a despatch to the lieutenant-governor of the

maritime provinces, asking whether, at the coming conference at

Charlottetown, a deputation from the Canadian Government would be

received, in order to give the members of it an opportunity of

expressing their views regarding the proposed union. An answer favorable

to the proposal was returned. A deputation accordingly proceeded to

Charlottetown. The whole of the delegates met on the first of September.

Prince Edward Island being represented by the Honorables Colonel Gray,

premier; Edward Palmer, attorney general; W. H. Pope, colonial

secretary; George Coles, M. P. P., and A. A. Macdonald, M. L. C. The

proceedings of the conference were not reported, but the late Mr.

Whelan, in his published account of the proceedings, says "it was well

understood that the proposal to unite the maritime provinces under one

government and one legislature was deemed impracticable; but the opinion

of the delegates was unanimous that a union upon a larger basis might be

effected; and with the view of considering the feasibility of such a

union in all its details, it was proposed by the Canadian ministers to

hold a further conference at Quebec, with the consent of the governments

of the lower provinces, and at such time as might be named by the

governor-general. This arrangement was agreed to, and the conference

suspended its deliberations."



Before leaving Charlottetown, the delegates were entertained at a

sumptuous banquet, by the executive council and some of the prominent

citizens of Charlottetown. The entertainment was given in the Provincial

Building, on the evening of the eighth of September. Speeches were

delivered by a number of gentlemen, among whom were Lieutenant-governor

Dundas, Hon. John Longworth, Hon. T. H. Haviland, and Frederick de St.

Croix Brecken, Esq.



From Charlottetown the delegates proceeded to Halifax, where they were

similarly entertained. Fredericton was next visited, and in Saint John

the festivities of Charlottetown and Halifax were repeated. On the tenth

of October the conference at Quebec was opened. Prince Edward Island

being represented by the Honorables Colonel Gray, Edward Palmer, W. H.

Pope, George Coles, T. H. Haviland, Edward Whelan, and A. A. Macdonald,

which terminated on the twenty-seventh of October. From Quebec the

delegates proceeded to Montreal, where they were hospitably entertained.

At a public banquet given at Montreal, the Honorable Colonel Gray

introduced the Honorable Edward Whelan, requesting him to respond in

behalf of Prince Edward Island, when he delivered a telling and eloquent

speech. We can only spare space for the concluding sentences: "It will

be the duty," said the speaker, "of the public men in each and every

province, whose representatives are now in Canada, to educate the public

mind up to their views. The task may be a tedious, difficult, and

protracted one, but no great measure was ever accomplished, or worth

much, unless surrounded with difficulties. Deferring reverently to the

public opinion of his own province, he would cheerfully go amongst his

people, and explaining it as well as he could, he would ask them to

support a measure which he believed would enhance their prosperity. Few,

and comparatively poor, as the people of Prince Edward Island may be

now, its fertile fields and valleys are capable of supporting a

population at least three times greater than it is at present. It was

once designated the garden of the Saint Lawrence; and it was a valuable

fishing station for Canada during the occupation of the French, under

Montcalm. It still possesses all the qualities of a garden, and its

rivers and bays still abound with fish. He desired that those great

resources should become as well known now, and in the future, as they

were in by-gone days; and regarding the advantages which modern

improvements and institutions offered as auxiliaries to the natural

resources of the colony, he was satisfied that she could not fail to

become very prosperous and happy under the proposed confederation."



The Honorable T. H. Haviland--who now holds the office of colonial

secretary--replied to the toast of our sister colonies. "He desired to

draw attention to some peculiar facts connected with the present

movement. They might recollect that this was not the first time that

states had met together to organize a constitution; for in times gone by

the states of Holland had met to resist the tyranny of the Spanish

Government; and the old thirteen states of America had also assembled

under the cannon's mouth, and the roar of artillery; but the peculiarity

of this meeting was, that it was held in a time of peace, with the

approbation, and he believed, with the sanction of Her Majesty; that the

colonies might throw aside their swaddling clothes, to put on themselves

the garb of manhood, and hand down to posterity the glorious privileges

for which their ancestors contended from age to age in the old country,

and which had been brought into these new countries under the protecting

shadow of the flag that had braved a thousand years the battle and the

breeze. Although Prince Edward Island had only eighty thousand

inhabitants, principally engaged in agriculture, yet, small as it was,

it did not come as a beggar to the conference doors. Its revenue was not

certainly very great, but there was yet a surplus of about four thousand

pounds sterling to the credit of the province, over and above the

thirty-six thousand pounds it spent for the government last year. Thus

it had not come as a pauper, but was honestly prepared to do

something--all in its power--to organize, here in America, a

constitutional monarchy, which should be able to spread those

institutions in which there was the soul of liberty."



The delegates proceeded afterwards to Ottawa and Toronto, where similar

festive gatherings took place. But business was not neglected, as

appears from the report subsequently published, which embodied the

conclusions at which the delegates had arrived as the basis of the

proposed confederation.



The report sets out with the declaration that the best interests and

present and future prosperity of British North America would be promoted

by a federal union, under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such

union could be effected on principles just to the several provinces. In

the federation of the British North American provinces, the system of

government best adapted under existing circumstances to protect the

diversified interests of the several provinces, and secure efficiency,

harmony, and permanency in the working of the union, would be a general

government charged with matters of common interest to the whole country,

and local governments for each of the Canadas, and for the provinces of

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, charged with the

control of local matters in their respective sections,--provision being

made for the admission into the union, on equitable terms, of

Newfoundland, the North West Territory, British Columbia, and Vancouver.

In framing a constitution for the general government, the conference,

with a view to the perpetuation of the connection with the mother

country, and to the promotion of the best interests of the people of

these provinces, desired to follow the model of the British

constitution, so far as circumstances would permit.



The proceedings of the conference were authenticated by the signatures

of the delegates, and submitted by each delegation to its own

government, and the chairman was authorised to submit a copy to the

governor-general, for transmission to the secretary of state for the

colonies. The governor-general (Lord Monck) lost no time in transmitting

the resolutions adopted at Quebec to the imperial government, which were

hailed with satisfaction by the government and press of Great Britain.



The Canadian legislature met in February, 1865, when the report of the

convention was discussed in both branches of the legislature, and a

resolution submitted to them, respectively, to the effect that an

address should be presented to Her Majesty, praying that she might be

pleased to cause a measure to be submitted to the imperial parliament

for the purpose of uniting the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New

Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island in one government,

with provisions based on the resolutions passed at Quebec. After

protracted discussion, the resolutions were passed by large majorities.

The scheme did not meet with the same degree of favor in New Brunswick;

for an election having taken place before the question was discussed in

the house, a large majority was returned opposed to confederation.



In Prince Edward Island the scheme of confederation was not received

with any degree of favor by the people generally. Indeed, popular

hostility to union found expression not unfrequently at public meetings.

Early in February, 1865, a large meeting was held in Temperance Hall, at

which the Honorable W. H. Pope, the colonial secretary,--who was always a

decided unionist,--spoke effectively for an hour in its favor; but he was

energetically opposed by Mr. David Laird and the Honorable Mr. Coles,

who were regarded as two of the most able and prominent opponents of

confederation. On the tenth of February, two large meetings were

convened simultaneously. At one of these the Honorable Thomas H.

Haviland delivered a carefully prepared opening address of some hours'

duration, in which he earnestly advocated union, of which he had always

been a consistent supporter. He was followed by the Honorable Mr. Coles,

Mr. Archibald McNeill, the Honorable George Beer, the Honorable D.

Davies, and the Honorable Frederick Brecken,--the speeches of the two

latter gentlemen being specially directed to an exposition of the

deficiencies of the Quebec scheme as bearing on the interests of the

island. [H] The other meeting was, at the outset, addressed by the

Honorable Edward Palmer, who, according to the opinion of the

anti-confederates, proved conclusively that confederation could not

result in permanent benefit to Prince Edward Island. He was followed in

stirring addresses by the Honorable Kenneth Henderson, the Honorable

Joseph Hensley, and the Honorable J. Longworth. At this meeting the

following resolution was proposed by Mr. Charles Palmer, and unanimously

adopted: "That in the opinion of this meeting, the terms of union

contained in the report of the Quebec conference--especially those laid

down in the clauses relating to representation and finance--are not such

as would be either liberal or just to Prince Edward Island, and that it

is highly inexpedient that said report be adopted by our legislature."



The assembly was convened on the twenty-eighth of February, 1865, and on

the twenty-fourth of March the colonial secretary (the Honorable W. H.

Pope) moved a series of resolutions approving of the terms proposed at

the conference held at Quebec. An amendment in opposition to their

adoption was submitted by the Honorable James C. Pope, and on a vote

being taken, only five members voted for confederation, while

twenty-three were antagonistic to its consummation.



During the session of the following year (1866) the question was again

introduced to the house by a message of His Excellency the

Lieutenant-Governor, transmitting a despatch from Mr. Cardwell, the

imperial colonial secretary, on the subject of a federation of the

British North American Provinces, when a resolution, more hostile to

union than the amendment already specified, was, on the motion of the

Honorable J. C. Pope, submitted to the house. It was moved, "That, even

if a union of the continental provinces of British North America should

have the effect of strengthening and binding more closely together those

provinces, or advancing their material interests, this house cannot

admit that a federal union of the North American Provinces and colonies,

which would include Prince Edward Island, could ever be accomplished on

terms that would prove advantageous to the interests and well-being of

the people of this island, separated as it is, and must ever remain,

from the neighboring provinces, by an immovable barrier of ice, for many

months in the year; and this house deems it to be its sacred and

imperative duty to declare and record its conviction, as it now does,

that any federal union of the North American colonies that would embrace

this island would be as hostile to the feelings and wishes, as it would

be opposed to the best and most vital interests of its people." The

Honorable James Duncan seconded this resolution. An amendment was

proposed by the Honorable Edward Whelan, seconded by the solicitor

general (the Honorable T. H. Haviland, now a senator of the Dominion),

to the effect that there should be no vote passed by the legislature as

to the confederation of the provinces until the people should be first

afforded an opportunity of pronouncing their judgment on the question at

a general election. Mr. Pope's motion was carried by twenty-one votes to

seven for the amendment. An address to Her Majesty the Queen, based on

the action of the assembly, was subsequently adopted by the assembly and

forwarded for presentation at the foot of the throne.



In the autumn of 1866, Mr. J. C. Pope went to England, and an informal

offer was made through him by the delegates from the other provinces,

then in London settling the terms of confederation, to grant the island

eight hundred thousand dollars, as indemnity for the loss of territorial

revenue, and for the purchase of the proprietors' estates, on condition

of the island entering the confederation. But the people were not at

this time in a temper to entertain the proposition for a moment.



In the autumn of 1869, the island was visited by Sir John Young, the

governor-general of British North America. He was accompanied by several

of his ministers, who discussed informally, with members of the

government, the subject of a union of the island with the Dominion of

Canada. On the eighteenth of December, 1869, the governor-general

transmitted to Sir Robert Hodgson, the administrator of the government

of Prince Edward Island, a minute of the privy council of Canada,

relating to the question of a political union of the island with the

Dominion. That minute was based on a memorandum dated the eleventh of

December, 1869, from Sir George Cartier and Messrs. Tilley and Kenny,

who took part in the informal discussion just alluded to, and who now

submitted, for the approval of their colleagues in the Dominion

ministry, the conditions on which they thought the island should be

admitted to the union. These conditions received the formal sanction of

the Dominion government, and were duly forwarded to Sir Robert Hodgson,

who submitted them to a committee of the executive council, who, on the

seventh of January, 1870, adopted the following minute: "The committee

having under consideration the report of a committee of the privy

council of Canada, wherein certain proposals for a union of Prince

Edward Island with the Dominion are set forth, resolve, that inasmuch as

said terms do not comprise a full and immediate settlement of the land

tenures and indemnity from the imperial government for loss of

territorial revenues, the committee cannot recommend said terms to the

consideration of their constituents and the public." This minute was

signed by the Honorable R. P. Haythorne, the leader of the government

(now a senator of the Dominion), and his colleagues. The government

subsequently presented a more detailed statement of their objections to

the basis of union. These documents were forwarded to Earl Granville,

the colonial secretary; and, on the seventh of March, 1870, addressing

his honor the administrator, he said: "It appears to me that the

government of Prince Edward Island will not act wisely if they allow

themselves to be diverted from the practical consideration of their own

real interests, for the sake of keeping alive a claim against the

imperial government which, it is quite certain, will never be

acknowledged."



The subject of union came again prominently before the assembly in the

session of 1870, on taking into consideration the messages of his honor

the administrator of the government, transmitting various despatches and

papers. The Honorable Mr. Kelly reported that the committee recommended

that the house should adopt a resolution to the effect that the people's

representatives felt it to be their duty to oppose a union with the

Dominion of Canada, and to express their opinion that the people of the

island, while loyal in their attachment to the Crown and government of

Great Britain, were, nevertheless, almost unanimously opposed to any

change in the constitution of the colony,--which resolution was carried

by nineteen to four votes.



The next movement of importance in reference to the question of union

was taken by the government, of which the Honorable Mr. Haythorne was

the leader, on the second of January, 1873, when the executive council

adopted an important minute containing new propositions, with a view to

the union of the island with the Dominion of Canada. It was stated in

the minute, that if Canada would accord liberal terms of union, the

government of Prince Edward Island would be prepared to advise an

immediate dissolution of the house, in order to give the people an

opportunity of deciding whether they would go into confederation, or

submit to the taxation required for railway purposes. The document was

forwarded to the governor-general and submitted to the privy council of

the Dominion, who suggested that a deputation should be sent to Ottawa

by the government of the island, for the purpose of holding a conference

on the subject of the proposed union. The Honorable Mr. Haythorne and

the Honorable David Laird were accordingly appointed as delegates,

representing the interests of the island; but they were not authorised

to pledge either the government or the colony to any proposition that

might be made by the Dominion of Canada. The delegation had several

interviews with a sub-committee of the council, when the various

questions connected with the important subject were fully discussed; and

a minute of the terms and conditions mutually agreed to was finally

drawn up. On the twelfth of March the governor-general sent a

telegraphic despatch, evidently for the purpose of confirming the report

of Messrs. Haythorne and Laird, intimating his ministers' opinion,--in

which he expressed his own concurrence,--that "no additional concession

would have any chance of being accepted by the parliament of Canada."



On the seventh of March the lieutenant-governor dissolved the house of

assembly; and on the twenty-seventh of April the new house met, when the

lieutenant-governor, in his opening speech, said that papers relative to

the proposed union of the island with the Dominion of Canada would be

laid before the house. Having dissolved the house in order that this

important question might be submitted to the people at the polls, he now

invited the representatives of the people to bestow on the question

their careful consideration, expressing the earnest hope of the imperial

government, that the island would not lose this opportunity of union

with her sister provinces.



On the twenty-eighth of April the question was vigorously discussed by

Mr. J. C. Pope and Mr. Laird; and on the second day of May, Mr. A. C.

McDonald reported, that the committee had come to a resolution to the

effect that the terms and conditions proposed did not secure to the

island a sum sufficient to defray the indispensable requirements of its

local government; that the strong objections hitherto entertained by the

people of the island to confederation having been much modified, and the

present house of assembly, feeling anxious to meet the desire of the

imperial government to unite under one government all the British

possessions in America, was willing to merge the interests of the island

with those of the Dominion on terms just and reasonable,--such as would

not involve the people in direct local taxation for objects for which

the ordinary revenue had hitherto enabled them to provide. The

resolution further proposed to authorise the lieutenant-governor to

appoint delegates to proceed to Ottawa to confer with the government of

the Dominion on the subject.



To this resolution, the Honorable David Laird moved an amendment, which

was seconded by the Honorable B. Davies, to the effect that the house

should appoint a committee of seven to prepare an address to the Queen,

praying Her Majesty in council to pass an order in council, in

conformity with the one hundred and forty-sixth section of the British

North America Act, 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 tenth of March, 1873. The question

having been put, the original resolution was carried by sixteen to ten

votes.



Messrs. James C. Pope, T. H. Haviland, and George W. Howlan having been

appointed delegates by the lieutenant-governor, proceeded to Ottawa for

the purpose of conferring with the Dominion government on the subject of

the proposed union. On the seventh of May they had an interview with the

governor-general on the subject of their mission, and immediately

afterwards they attended a formal meeting of the privy council. A

committee of the council, consisting of Sir John A. McDonald, the

Honorables Messieurs Tilley, Tupper, and Langevin were then appointed to

confer with the delegates, who had drawn up a memorandum which they

submitted to the committee. In that memorandum the delegates proposed to

accept, as the basis of union, the offer made in 1869 by the Dominion

government, namely, two hundred and forty-one thousand dollars a year

for revenue, provided the Dominion government would assume the cost of

the railway, as well as that of the proposed branch to Port Hill. These

terms were not acceptable to the committee of the privy council. A

compromise was, however, ultimately effected, and on the fifteenth of

May a memorandum, embodying terms mutually approved, was signed by the

committee and the delegates.



The delegates returned immediately to Charlottetown, and the terms and

conditions of the proposed union, which were substantially those

procured by Messrs. Haythorne and Laird, as agreed to at Ottawa, were

submitted to the house of assembly, then in session. The principal terms

and conditions were the following: that the island should, on entering

the union, be entitled to incur a debt equal to fifty dollars a head of

its population, as shown by the census returns of 1871; that is to say,

four millions seven hundred and one thousand and fifty dollars; that the

island, not having incurred debts equal to the sum just mentioned,

should be entitled to receive, by half-yearly payments in advance, from

the general government, interest at the rate of five per cent. per annum

on the difference, from time to time, between the actual amount of its

indebtedness and the amount of indebtedness authorised; that, as the

government of Prince Edward Island held no lands from the Crown, and

consequently enjoyed no revenue from that source for the construction

and maintenance of public works, the Dominion government should pay, by

half-yearly instalments, in advance, to the government of Prince Edward

Island, forty-five thousand dollars yearly, less five per cent. upon any

sum not exceeding eight hundred thousand dollars, which the Dominion

government might advance to the Prince Edward Island government for the

purchase of land now held by the large proprietors; that, in

consideration of the transfer to the parliament of Canada of the powers

of taxation, the following sums should be paid yearly by Canada to

Prince Edward Island, for the support of the government and legislature:

that is to say, thirty thousand dollars, and an annual grant equal to

eighty cents per head of its population, as shown by the census returns

of 1871,--namely, ninety-four thousand and twenty-one,--both by

half-yearly payments in advance,--such grant of eighty cents per head to

be augmented in proportion to such increase of population of the island

as might be shown by each decennial census, until the population

amounted to four hundred thousand, at which rate such grant should

thereafter remain,--it being understood that the next census should be

taken in the year 1881. The Dominion likewise assumed all the charges

for the following services: the salary of the lieutenant-governor, the

salaries of the judges of the superior courts and of the district or

county courts, the charges in respect to the department of customs, the

postal department, the protection of the fisheries, the provision for

the militia, the lighthouses, shipwrecked crews, quarantine, and marine

Hospitals, the geological survey, and the penitentiary. The Dominion

government also assumed the railway, which was then under contract. The

main resolutions, on the motion of Mr. J. C. Pope, seconded by Mr. David

Laird, were carried by twenty-seven votes to two. The house of assembly

then unanimously agreed to an address to Her Majesty the Queen, praying

that Her Majesty would be graciously pleased to unite Prince Edward

Island with the Dominion of Canada on the terms and conditions contained

in the said address. The legislative action necessary to consummate the

union of Prince Edward Island with the Dominion of Canada being thus

completed, its political destiny was united to that of the already

confederated provinces on the first of July, 1873.



It may seem strange, to one unacquainted with the facts, that so great a

change in public sentiment in regard to union should have been effected

in so brief a period. The solution of the problem is to be found mainly

in the circumstance, that the mercantile community was afraid of a

monetary crisis, consequent on the liabilities of the island in

connection with the railway, and that the only satisfactory way of

getting out of the difficulty appeared to be the union of the island, on

liberal terms, with the Dominion of Canada. Fidelity to historical

accuracy constrains us to say that the final settlement of the terms was

in no small measure attributable to the able manner in which Messrs.

Haythorne and Laird acquitted themselves when delegates at Ottawa; and

it must further be stated, to the credit of these gentlemen, that they

rose, when occasion required, above party prejudice, and communicated

their desire to the Dominion government that further concessions should,

if possible, be granted to the new delegates, so that the union might be

effected without delay. But it must not, at the same time, be forgotten

that the government of which Mr. J. C. Pope was the leader obtained

better terms than those conceded to the previous delegation, and that to

them belongs the merit, in a great measure, of bringing the question to

a final solution.





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