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Debate on the subject of confederation with Canada. Reprinted from the Government Gazette Extraordinary… British Columbia. Legislative Council 1870

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OF   MARCH,   1870.
VICTORIA: Printed by Eiohard Wowendeh, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office, James' Bay.
Session 1870.
Hon Philip Hankin,, Colonial Secretary and Presiding Member,
Hon. Henry Pertng Pellew Crease, Attorney-General.
Hon. Joseph "William Trt/tch, Chief Commissioner of Lands a^id Works.
Hon. Wymond Ogilvy Hamlet, Collector of Customs.
Hon. Arthur Thomas Bushby, Acting Postmaster-GeneraL
Hon. Edward Graham Alston, J. P.
Hon. Henry Maynard Ball, J. P.
Hon. Henry Holbrook, J. P.
Hon. Peter O'Reilly, J. P.
Hon. Augustus Frederick Pemberton, J. P.
Hon. Edward Howard Sanders, J. P.
-Hon. George. Anthony Walkem, J. P.
Hon. Thomas Lett Wood, J. P.
Hon. Francis Jones Barnard, Yale.
Hon. Robert William Weir Carrall, Cariboo. •
Hon. Amor DeCosmos, Victoria District,
Hon. Edgar Dewdney, Kootenay.
Hon.. Montague William Tyrwhitt Drake, Victoria City.
Hon. John Sebastian Helmcken, Victoria City.
Hon. Thomas Basil Humphreys^ Lillooet.
Hon. David Babington Ring, Nanaimo.
Hon. John Robson, New Westminster.
j  Confederation Debate.
Wednesday, 9th March, 1870.
The Hon. ATTORNEY-GENERAL CREASE opened the debate on Confederation, as
follows {
Mr. President,—I rise to move that this Council do now resolve itself into Committee of
the Whole, to take into consideration the terms proposed for the Confederation of the Colony
of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada, in His Excellency's Message to this Council.
In doing so, I am deeply impressed with the momentous character of the discussion into
which we are about to enter, the grave importance of a decision by which the fate of this our
adopted country of British Columbia must be influenced for better, for worse, for all time to
come. And I earnestly hope that our minds and best energies may be bent to a task which
will tax all our patriotism, all our forbearance, all our abnegation of self, and selfish aims, to
combine all our individual powers into one great, united effort for the common good.
May He who'holds the fate of Nations in the hollow of His hand, and crowns with
success, or brings to naught, the counsels of men, guide all our deliberations to such an issue
as shall promote the peace, honour, and welfare of our Most Gracious Sovereign, and of this
and all other portions of Her extended realm.
And now, Mr. President, I must dwell a few moments on the exact practical import of
the motion before the House, and the issue which is involved in the "Aye" or "No" which
each Honourable Member will be called upon to cast upon the question which you, Mr.
President, will put to the House in that familiar Parliamentary phrase "That I do now leave
the Chair1!"
This issue is, Confederation or no Confederation 1
The motion assumes that the principle of Confederation has been already fully adopted by
this House,—and . having so assumed, asks. you now to go into Committee of the Whole to
discuss the Terms on which the Colony would be content to be confederated with the Dominion.
Your question, therefore, Mr. President, "That I do now leave the Chair?" means—Will
you refuse Confederation at any price ? or, Will you have it on favourable terms 1 That is the
issue before us now.
Now, therefore, is the time for those Honourable Members who, notwithstanding the
previous Resolutions of this House so frequently affirming the principle [No, no, from Dr.
Helnrcken], still conscientiously object to the principles of Confederation, to come forward and
explain to this Honourable body, and to the country at large, their views,—why they still
refuse to aid in the consolidation of British interests on the North American Continent, by the
Confederation of this Colony with the Dominion, and the creation of one homogeneous nationality from sea to sea. ,    „        ,        „       ,
Some Honourable gentlemen say "No, no" to my statement that the House has affirmed
the principle of Confederation. But I appeal to the Journals of this House, in proof of what
I state. I well remember, on the 19th March, 1867, when the " British North America Act,
1867 " was being framed by the Imperial Parliament, this Council, anxious to be embraced
within the purview of its provisions, passed by an unanimous vote the following Resolution |g
J Confederation Debate.
"Resolved, That this Council is of opinion that at "this juncture of affairs in British North America, east
of the Rocky Mountains, it is very desirable that His Excellency be respectfully requested to take such steps,
without delay, as may be deemed by him best adapted to insure the admission of British Columbia into the
Confederation on fair and equitable terms, this Council being confident that in advising this step they are
expressing the views of the Colonists generally."
And more than that, this Resolution was followed up by a deputation of individual members to Governor Seymour, who at their instance telegraphed to the Secretary of State the
purport of that Resolution ; and on the 22nd March, the following Message was sent down to
the Council on the subject:—
" The Governor has received the Resolution of the Legislative Council, dated the 18th instant, in favour
of the admission of British Columbia with the proposed Confederation of the Eastern British Colonies of
North America1. He v/fll place himself in communication on the subject with the Secretary of State, with
Viscount Monck, Governor-General of Canada, and with Sir Edmund Head, Governor of the Hudson's Bay
Whatever construction may be put upon this Resolution by Honourable Members who
have said "No, no," one thing is certain, it affirmed, in the most distinct manner, by this
Council, the principle of Confederation, the advisability of our joining at some time or other
the Dominion of Canada. That principle has during every subsequent Session, down to the
present day, been confirmed, either directly or indirectly, by a specific Resolution of this House
["No, no," from Dr. Helmcken and Mr. Wood]. Thus, on the 28th April, 1868, a Resolution
was passed by this Council confirming the previous Resolution, in the following terras:—
"That this Council, while confirming the vote of last Session in favour ofthe general principle of the
desirability of the Union of this Colony with the Dominion of Canada, to accomplish the consolidation of
British interests and institutions in North America, are still without sufficient information and experience
of the practical working of Confederation in the North American Provinces, to admit of their defining the
terms on which such an Union would be advantageous to the local interests of British Columbia."
let us look to the Journals of
owing to the position of other
What is that but a confirmation of the principle ?   Now
1869.    There I see that, on the 17th February, 1869, when,
political issues then current in the Colony, it would have been easy, had it been so desired, to
procure an adverse verdict on the principle of Confederation, the House, though invited to do
so, refused to go any further than to request Her Majesty's Government (while the North-
West Territory was still out of the Dominion) not to press the present consummation of Union.
The word "present" was an express amendment of my Honourable colleague opposite (Mr.
Trutch) and myself, so as to preserve the principle, and bide our time. The House, therefore,
I take it, has thoroughly and uniformly committed itself to the principle of Confederation, and
may very properly be invited now, setting aside all causes of difference, for the common good,
calmly, frankly, and cordially to enter upon a discussion of the terms. But if any Honourable
Members think the principle has not been decided, now is the time and now the hour to settle
that point (as far as this Session and this present Council is concerned) once and forever. They
are bound, in support of their views, to lay before the Council the reasons for the faith that is
in them, and to explain why we should not consolidate counsels with the Dominion.
And here, Mr. President, let me say a few words upon the position the Official Members
of this Council have occupied throughout the whole of this matter.
Their action has been much misunderstood—I will not say misconstrued—both in England
and at Ottawa.
Until the receipt of Earl Granville's Confederation Despatch of 14th August, 1869, they
did not feel themselves at liberty to go further in the direction of Confederation than to affirm
the general principle of its propriety, carefully abstaining from the expression of opinion on
the merits of any particular mode, details, or time of carrying that principle into practical
That, they considered, could most effectually be done by Her Majesty's Government, an
Executive peculiarly qualified for the task, this Legislature and the People of this Colony all
acting in concert together, as it is now proposed to do.
I do not at present intend to enter into the details of what particular terms would or
would not be most advantageous to this Country in any proposal for Confederation
That will be a question for the House to settle when, if ever, we get into Committee on
the subject; but, inasmuch as the principle of Confederation means the advisability of consolidating British interests on the North American Continent, it is impossible to lose sight altogether in a debate upon the principle, of the general advantages to be derived by British
Columbia from a participation in that great scheme. Confederation Debate.
I readily confess that there are drawbacks to material union, such as distance, lack of
communication, and, to some extent, want of identity of interest, which can only—but yet
which can—be removed, either wholly or in a very great degree, by suitable conditions of
It is for us to determine those conditions in this House, and, after negotiation upon them
with Canada, to submit them to the decision of the popular vote, the people being the parties
principally affected by the change, who will have to pass in the last resort, once and forever,
upon the whole question.
The circumstances, political, geographical, and social, under which we are at present
placed, compel us to political movement in one direction or another, and the question is now—
In what direction shall we go ?
We are sandwiched between the United States Territory to the north and south—indeed
on all sides but one, and that one opening towards Canada. Our only option is between remaining a petty, isolated community 15,000 miles from home, ekeing out a miserable existence
on the crumbs of prosperity our powerful and active Republican neighbours choose to allow us,
or, by taking our place among the comity of nations, become the prosperous western outlet on
the North Pacific of a young and vigorous people, the eastern boundary of whose possessions
is washed by the Atlantic.
This is the only option left to faithful subjects of the British Crown.
Now look at our condition as a Colony, with a climate far finer than any other in the
world, with magnificent harbours, rivers, seas, and waters for inland navigation, with unrivalled
resources of almost every description you can nanie—coal, lumber, spars, fish, and furs—mines
of gold, silver, copper, lead, cinnabar, tin, and almost every other mineral throughout the land;
with a soil and climate admirally adapted to pastoral and agricultural pursuits—with almost
every natural advantage which the lavish hand of Nature can bestow upon a country—the
undoubted fact remains :—
We are not prosperous.
Population does not increase.
Trade and commerce languish; coal mining does not advance; agriculture, though progressive, does not go forward as it might.
The settlement of the country, though increasing, yet falls short of just expectations. •
No puplic works for opening the country are on hand, and a general lack of progress (that
is, proportioned to the extraordinary resources of the Colony) is everywhere apparent.
And why is this 1
It is not, as some allege, because of the particular form of Government we at present
enjoy (if it were, Confederation in that would effect a change).
It has among other things a Public Debt altogether disproportioned to our means.
Our close proximity to an active and powerful neighbour whose interests are foreign to
our own. ["Hear, hear," from Dr. Helmcken.J But the chief reason of all is that policy of
isolation which has kept us aloof from the assistance and sympathy of a kindred race, and left
us in the infant state of one of England's youngest Colonies, to support the burdens and responsibilities of a thickly peopled and long settled land.
Do Honourable Members ask what would Confederation do for us ?
It would at once relieve us from the most if not all the present ills from which we suffer,
if properly arranged. [
For Confederation in some sense means terms.    It would assume our Public Debt.
Greatly increase our Public Credit, and thereby aid in the utilization of our varied resources.
It would leave us a good balance in our Exchequer to carry on all local works and open
out the country.
It would give us a Railroad across the Continent, and a quick and easy access to Ottawa,
New York, and London.
Tt would cement and strengthen, instead of weaken, our connection with the Mother-land,
and ensure the protection of her Fleet and Army.
It would attract population, ever tending in a continuous wave towards the West.
It would promote the settlement of our Public Lands, and the development of Agriculture. £ ,       \
Under it Trade and Commerce would take a fresh start. It would enlarge, not contract,
our political horizon, and it would infuse new hope and life blood into the whole system of the nr
Confederation Debate.
Colony, and not leave us a mere detached Municipality, as some suppose, any more than Scotland is separate from the rest of Great Britain, or the County of Kent from England.
I leave to others to dilate upon the advantages which Canada would derive from the connection, the possession of a Far West (Canada's great want) into which her rapidly increasing
population may pour, instead of going to swell the bulk of the adjoining States.
Those gentlemen will be able to show that the ultimate importance—nay possible existence—of the Dominion as a Nation may hereafter, in some measure, depend upon her Union
with ourselves.
To them, also, I leave the task of dwelling on the healing of old internal feuds of race and
language, of which Confederation is the only cure.
If we watch the progress of events, they all point to the same end, to the growth of a new
universal sentiment of nationality in British America.
It is clear that events all gravitate in that direction.
[Mr. DeCosmos—"In the direction of Confederation or Nationality ("]
I say, Sir, that the current of events points to Confederation and ultimately to Nationality.
Confederation is evidently our ultimate destiny—Our own interests—Canadian aspirations—and Imperial policy, as enunciated in the Secretary of State's Despatch, all point the
same way.
We shall, therefore, best consult the real interests of the Colony, the sooner bring on a
new era of progress and prosperity in this favoured land, by not delaying to debate and consider over the advisability of the principle itself, but at once to go into Committee of the
Whole, and there combine all our energies upon the best scheme to be submitted in the last
resort to the decision of the people, for carrying out the principle of Confederation, under
God's blessing, successfully into practical effect.
The motion was seconded by the Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, who
was excused from speaking at this stage of the debate on the ground of indisposition, under
which he was manifestly suffering.
The Hon. Mr. HELMCKEN said:—The subject of Confederation was introduced by His
Excellency the Governor in his Speech, in the following terms :—
" The community is already acquainted with the Despatch which I have recently received from Her
Majesty s Secretary of State on this subject; and the careful consideration of it cannot longer be deferred
with courtesy to Her Majesty's Government, or advantage to the Colony. I commend it to your earnest
thought. For my own part I am convinced that on certain terms, which I believe it would not be difficult
to arrange, this Colony may derive substantial benefit from such an Uriion. But the only manner in which
it can be ascertained whether Canada will agree to such arrangements as will suit us, is to propose such aa
we would be ready to accept. With the assistance of my Council, I have prepared a scheme which 1 shall
cause to be laid before you. Resolutions framed upon that basis will enable me to communicate with the
Government of Canada and ascertain whether they will be willing to accede to our propositions.
While the views of Her Majesty's Government have been clearly and forcibly expressed upon this question, 1 am sure there is no desire to urge the Union, except in accordance with its general acceptance by
British subjects in the Colony. I do not, therefore, propose that any terms agreed upon by the Government
ot Canada should be finally accepted, until ratified by the general verdict of the community, so far as^that
can be ascertained through another Council, of which the Unofficial Members shall have been re-elected."
Before proceeding to the consideration of the subject, I will reply in a very few words to
the speech of the Hon. Attorney-General. The Hon. gentleman laid great stress upon the consolidation of British interests on this coast, but I say, Sir, that however much we are in favour
of consolidating British interests, our own interests must come first; Imperial interests can
well afford to wait. We are invited to settle this question now and for ever, but I say that
we are not called upon to do so; the matter will come before the people after the
terms have been submitted to the Dominion Government, and it will
if these terms are rejected and others of a mean nature
Canada for the consideration of the people of this Colony
polls, and amongst them, the question whether there is no
very likely happen that,
substituted by the Government of
other issues may come up at the
- other place to which this Colony
can go but Canada Whatever may be the result of the present vote, it is impossible to deny
the probability of the less being absorbed by the greater; and it cannot be regarded as
bable that ultimately, not only this Colony, but the whole of the Dominion of Canada
absorbed by the United States. The Hon. Attorney-General has not attempted to prove the
advantages which will result from Confederation; he has contented himself with
tions of advantages.
ill be
vague asser- Confederation Debate.
The question is only brought down by the Governor in consequence of the despatch of
Lord Granville; all we have to do is to agree to a series of resolutions. It is not pretended
that it is the voice of the people, or the voice of this Council. It is well understood that it is
a Government measure. And we all know what that means—it means that this series of
resolutions is to be passed. And we have it from the Governor that he desires to send these
resolutions to Canada; they will not go, they are not intended to go, as the opinion of the
people, but when certain terms have been agreed upon between the Government of this Colony
and the Dominion Parliament, they will come back to the people for ratification. It remains
then for the people to organize, so as to be ready at the proper time to give their verdict, for
the responsibilities will ultimately rest with the people, and it is for them to say whether they
will have Confederation or not.
I do think, Sir, that the question ought to have been an open one.
Her Majesty's Government ought not to have interfered,; they are not justified in interfering in business which we could very well manage for ourselves.
I feel certain that His Excellency will act uprightly, fairly, honestly, and generously, by,
and for, the Colony [hear, hear]; and, Sir, I fully believe that if these terms are declined now,
in any future negotiations that may take place, if the people support the Governor, no terms
will be accepted, or ever proposed, which would lead to this Colony being sacrificed to Canada,
and that the people will have every opportunity afforded them to organize for the final vote
when the time arrives for the settlement of this question "finally and forever," as the Honour-
fble Gentleman has put it.
T see no reason, Sir, why Her Majesty's Government should interfere with our  affairs;
here is no reason that the Members of this Council should be coerced. •
The desire of Her Majesty's Government is in reality a command to the Executive.
A new election ought to have been called before this question was brought on; but there
is one satisfaction left us, it is that Her Majesty's Government have left the terms to the
It is for the people to use that power rightly, wisely, and well, to see that Confederation
means the welfare and progress of the Colony.
Now, Sir, in the first place, it is necessary for the people to see that Confederation must
be for the general good of the Colony.
I am opposed to this question being brought down now.
I believe it to be most inopportune. It is believed by most people that this Colony is on
the verge of great changes. That the new gold discoveries will bring a large population to
this Colony, and that the slight despondency which now exists will be swept away, and that
this Colony will once more enter upon an era of prosperity not inferior to that which belonged
to it a few years ago.
I say, Sir, that this is an inopportune period to bring this question up, because when that
population which is expected arrives, our position to negotiate for terms will be much better,
because with a larger population and greater prosperity, we may demand far better terms than
now; and, Sir, it is my firm conviction that if prosperity comes shortly the people of this
Colony will not desire to change certainty for uncertainty.
Another reason there is that we ought to wait until after 1871.. In that year Canada has
to take a census of the population, and when that is taken we shall know the amount of the
debt per head. I have no doubt it is greater now than when Confederation was first inaugurated.    It is increasing, and I believe that instead of  22  cents per head it will  now  be   25
I should like, then, to wait until after 1871, because we shall then have a better opportunity
of knowing the financial condition of those with whom we would connect ourselves
It is inopportune, also, for the reason that the present difficulties in the Red Kiver
Settlement are sufficient to cause us great anxiety. I will not take up the time of this House
by inquiring whether the people of that Territory are right or wrong. I know not, and shall
not discuss the question: but this I do know, that if they induce the Indians to join them it
will cause a great delay in the settlement of that country; and we do not even yet know that
the Red River Settlement will prove so inviting to emigration as is reported. Again, bir, l
may state that Confederation, so far as it has at present gone, is but a mere experiment. It
is nothing more or less than an experiment. And I believe that considerable dissatisfaction
has resulted from it. If we wait a little longer before seeking to enter within its pale ourselves we shall know better about the faults of its machinery, and perhaps be able to learn Confederation Debate.
what are its drawbacks, and how we can best avoid them. These, Sir, are good and sufficient
reasons for delay. It is absurd to attempt to ally ourselves with a people 3,000 miles away,
without any settlement of the intervening country, with no communication except through the
United States, and with no telegraphic communication. Canada is for all practical purposes
further removed from us to-day than England; we know less about her. When we asked for
a copy of the Canadian Tariff we were told that there was no copy to be had. ["Yes, yes,"
from Hon. Members.]    No official copy then.
This, then, shows forcibly the intimate nature of the relations subsisting between us.
When we desire to refer to the Canadian Year Book, a most useful work, which during the
present discussion ought to be in the hands of every member, we find but two copies. This,
again, shows the extent of our communication with Canada. Her Majesty's Government seem
to think that they know best what is for our interest, and it seems much as if they said to us
" You are a Crown Colony, and you ought to remain one. You are not fit to govern yourselves; we do not want you; we will hand you over to Canada." I would rather that we were
governed from Downing Street. It is not, in my opinion, necessary or desirable that this
Colony should be Confederated with Canada. And now, Sir, let us glance at this Colony. I
need not dilate upon what is known to all. I maintain, Sir, that this Colony is one of the
richest portions of the world's surface; that it has unlimited supplies of lumber and spars; that
it possesses coal, gold, and other minerals in abundance; that her waters teem with fish; that
it is rich in everything. Take the climate; it is far better than that of England, far more
temperate, far more bright and sunny, and, I may fairly add, far more healthy.
We are asked by the Honourable the Attorney-General why the country does not get on ;
and I will now proceed to tell you, Sir, why the country has not prospered as it ought to have
done. It is because the Government has paid too little attention to the acquisition of population. One very great drawback to its progress and the settlement of its land, is its proximity
to the United States. That proximity is one of the chief reasons that it has not been peopled
as it would have been. When we look at the energy and enterprise there, and at the field
which the United States offers for emigrants and the enterprising of all nations, how can we
wonder that that country is preferred to ours, and that people when they become dissatisfied
here should leave for the United States. The United States hem us in on every side ; it is
the Nation by which we exist; it is the Nation which has made this Colony what it is ; but,
nevertheless, it is one of our greatest, drawbacks. We do not enjoy her advantages, nor do we
profit much by them ; we do not share her prosperity, and we are far too small to be her rival.
The effect of a large body and a small body being brought into contact, is, that the larger will
attract the smaller, and ultimately absorb it.    [" Yes, yes," and " No, no."]
[Hon. Member for Kootenay—How about Switzerland ?]
I say more, Sir. I say that the United States will probably ultimately absorb both this
Colony and the Dominion of Canada. ["No, no, no," from Mr. Trutch, Mr. Crease, and others. 1
Canada will in all probability find it quite as much to her advantage to join her ultimately as
we do now to join the Dominion. I say, Sir, that one cause of our want of prosperity 'has
been the neglect of acquisition of population, and particularly of agricultural population The
next cause is that we have driven people out of the Colony.
I need only allude to our having deposed the Free Trade system. That deposition took
population out of the Colony which has never been replaced. There was a depopulation of the
cities without any attempt having been made to obtain a substitute rural population We are
now asked to undergo another revolution, which will ruin our farmers and do no sort of good
to those engaged in commercial pursuits.
I do not intend, Sir, to follow the d«tails of the
items which I must notice.
I hold inmy hands the published returns of the Custom House receipts for last vear and
this document shows plainly, that no less than half a million of dollars are sent litof *he
Colony every year for the purchase of agricultural productions—wheat,
proposed terms at present, but the
barley, flour, and
,,„ivll, wu^rmg „ne ieranty oi our soil, its abundance, the magnificent
salubrious, healthy sunny, and more than temperate climate, we ought to Wu<HSh£'
on s worth.    If we adopt the Canadian Tariff
n , . ,   -      . , that is, the half million which we raise and  t,hf>
"ST *h ,ch can be raised,-and for what?   For the sake of problematical benefits which
! **llnkJ*ely to arise from Confederation.    If Confederation IJT^T^^tJ^.
we shall throw away this million of
ifcZ'ZfffTp7 t071Se lZT ^ederation-    I Confederation should Son,,,, a,,i l,i,„ « iL|,
| the Tariff of Canada, and it will do so, the great inducements which we now have to attract Confederation Debate.
population, will be taken away. So far from Confederation benefitting the commercial
community, I say it is much rather calculated to do them harm. No doubt if public
works are undertaken, as we are told will be the case under Confederation, employment will be
given for a time, but the supplies required will come from the United States, and our public
works will actually be of more benefit to the United States, during their construction, than to
this Colony. What we want, is an enlarged outlet for our resources. We want markets for
our coal and lumber ; we want our local industries fostered ; and all of these can be obtained
by a judicious arrangement of our own Tariff. Next, we want agricultural population, and
any increase of this kind of population must depend upon the encouragement given. If our
agricultural interests- are left without encouragement, we shall not get an increased agricultural population; and, therefore, the country will not reap so much benefit from public works,
as the supplies will come from the United States.,
We shall find it difficult, Sir, to get a Tariff from Canada that will suit us, and 1 think
that I shall be able to show you, Sir, that Confederation will not produce population. Anything that deprives this Colony of the power of protecting the local industries and interests of
the Colony, and of regulating and fostering its commerce aud trade, cannot be otherwise than
dangerous and injurious to the country.
I feel perfectly sure, Sir, that if Confederation should come, bringing with it the Tariff of
Canada, not only will the farmers be ruined, but our independence will be taken away. It
will deprive our local industries of the protection now afforded them, and will inflict other
burdens upon them. It will not free trade and commerce from the shackles which now bind
them, and will deprive the Government of the power of regulating and encouraging those
interests upon which the prosperity of the Colony depends.
There can be no permanent or lasting union with Canada, unless terms be made to promote and foster the material and pecuniary interests of this Colony. The only link which
binds this Colony to Canada is Imperial. The people must be better off under Confederation
than alone, or they will not put up with it. We are told, Sir, that public works are to be
undertaken. I answer that they may do good to some, but the supplies, both of food and
raiment, will come from the United States, who will in reality reap the lion's share of the
benefit; and, what is more, as soon as the money was expended the people would begin to
consider whether they were equally well off under Confederation, as they might be under
another Government; and if a change should be desired, it is perfectly plain that Canada
cannot use force to keep the people of this Colony within the Dominion. They must be better
off under Confederation than alone, or they will not stop in the Confederacy.
Our true course, Sir, judging from the statistics, is not to look to Canada, but to seek to
extend our markets for our natural productions, and to obtain an agricultural productive
population. I say, Sir, that no necessity for us to join Canada; we can get on
very well by ourselves at present.
The Hon. Attorney-General says Canada will take over our debts; but I say, Sir, that
our debt in proportion to our population is very little more per head than that of Canada.
When I state this, 1 mean that Indians are very large consumers and producers, and ought to
be reckoned with the population. Our expenses will soon be much smaller.
Sir, is that at the end of 1871 this Colony will save $50,000, for one
expired, thus saving us $36,000, and floating loans will be funded,
twelve thousand by that.
I shall not go into the question of Canada being able to defend this Colony. 1 do not
believe, Sir, that Canada is able to defend itself. Great Britain has taken away her standing
army. ' Canada will very soon be required to pay for the few troops that are left, and in the
next place they will be asked to contribute to the expense of keeping up the navy.
Confederation would make the Dominion territorially greater, but would, m case of war,
be a source of weakness. It is people, not territory, that makes a country strong and powerful.
To be strong, the union must be of people, and in my opinion that condition is wanting. 1 ieei
certain that Her Majesty's Government has no wish to be put to the expense of defending the
country; no wish to'be involved in quarrels with the United States r no wish to keep Canada
depending upon her support, but rather a wish-to force her into independence-to get rid ot
her altogether. I    . . , . i       .
I am opposed to Confederation, because it will not serve to promote the industrial interests
of this Colony, but, on the contrary, it will serve to ruin many, and thus be detrimental to the
interest and progress of the country.   I say that Confederation will be injurious to the farmers,.
What I mean,
of the loans will  have
and we shall save ten or 10
Confederation Debate.
because protection is necessary to enable them to compete with farmers of the United States.
The Tariff and Excise Laws do not supply that.    They will be inimical to brewers.
Inimical to the Spar Trade;
Inimical to Fisheries;
Inimical to Whaling Pursuits;
Inimical to Spar and Lumber Business.
Turn to the Canadian Tariff and you will find grain admitted free. I maintain that if
the tariff now imposed upon certain cereals and agricultural produce be taken away, farmers
of this Colony will be brought into competition with the farmers of the United States, and
will succumb [Mr. DeCosmos—Lower Country Farmers.] Yes; and here the Resolutions are
silent where they ought to be loudest.
I shall not attempt to prove that farmers did not prosper under Free Trade; be that as
it may, they are now prosperous and becoming rich. There is no better advertisement for
population than the fact of the present prosperity of the farmers. Take away that prosperity,
and you do away with the chief inducement which you have for agricultural population.
I go on to brewers, and these interests, though in point of fact small, are in proportion as
large with us as larger interests would be to a larger population; moreover, we, having so
small a population, cannot afford to risk a change, because we cannot recuperate quicldy.
Under the Canadian law a brewer must take out a brewer's and malster's license, and has to
pay one cent .per pound on all malt made, and as there is an average amount of 1,248,000
pounds of malt consumed in the year, the average duty would amount to $12,680 per annum,
in addition to which they will have to pay a malster's and brewer's license. The duty upon
that amount of malt now is $3,750. Confederation therefore will increase the malt duty by
nearly $9,000. Brewers would probably buy all their malt from abroad or cease to brew,
especially when we take into consideration the annoyances connected with the. bonding system.
You will see, Sir, that this quantity of malt would take 500 acres of land to raise it, so that
in addition to injuring the brewers/the farmers are also injured.
Under the Canadian Law, salmon must not be taken at the mouth of any river when they
are going up for the purpose of spawning. We all know that they must be taken. If we are
not allowed to catch them as they go up, we should never get them at all. They never come
down again; they go up to die.
Again, according to Canadian Law, whales must not be taken by means of bombs or firearms: and I am told they cannot be taken without firearms in these waters, so that under
Confederation whales would be free to spout as they pleased
Under Canadian Law, tobacco cannot be grown without excise duty; it has to be bonded,
and its cultivation would be abandoned. Alkaline soil suits the tobacco plant, and I have
very little doubt that tobacco could be grown profitably in many parts of British Columbia
[Hon. Holbrook—It is grown]; but the excise duty.
When we come to lumber we find that there is an export duty on logs of $1 per 1,000
feet; this will affect the spar business. [Hon. Barnard -No, it will not affect spars; the duty
is upon logs only, which is cut into lumber, and is a protection to Canadian Lumber Mills.]
I have now, Sir, given you reasons why the general interests of the Colony will not be
PI?i?0tnd' Iarmers> Brewers, the Lumber trade, and the Fisheries will not be benefitted ; who
Willi Canada will take no coal nor lumber from us, and will not increase our trade at all • but
they will take our money, and much of that money derived from the very fact that we have to
pay more for Canadian manufactures than the Eastern Provinces, or rather we are obliged to
ri^wS,UPpn1forelgIlartioles'simP1ybecausewe cann°t obtain Canadian, and yet we are
told that Confederation will reduce our taxation.    Our Tariff is as low as that of Canada save
upon spirits and tobacco.
It would be absurd for us to sacrifice our interests in order that laws may be made for us
by a people who know little of our. condition and wants, and who in fact must necessarily
legislate for the greater number—the people of the Atlantic Provinces.    It is  dangerous to
place ourselves at the disposal of superior numbers.
I believe, Sir, that we are quite capable of "making laws for ourselves
If we are united, or rather absorbed, everything will centralize in Canada, and the whole
country wi 1 be tributary to Canada.   The number of Representatives sent to Ottawa from other
SEEiT   t °Velwhelm th* nTber Sent fr0m British Columbia.   Even in the matter of appropriations, where the scramble always is, this Colony would be overborne; we should be laughed
y the victors for our pretentions.    It is the case in all other Colonies
and would be here. Confederation Debate. 11
It is absurd to suppose that the same laws, whether civil, commercial, or industrial will
be found equally advantageous to all parts of this great Continent. It manifestly cannot be
so; the conditions are different. We know what is best for ourselves, and are able to legislate
to effect that.    We have no wish to pay Canada to do our legislation.
No union between this Colony and Canada can permanently exist, unless it be to- the
material and pecuniary advantage of this Colony to remain in the union. The sum of the
interests of the inhabitants is the interest of the Colony. The. people of this Colony have,
generally speaking, no love for Canada; they care, as a rule, little or nothing about the creation
of another Empire, Kingdom, or Republic; they have but little sentimentality, and care little
about the distinctions between the form of Government of Canada and the United States.
Therefore no union on account of love need be looked for. The only bond of union outside of force—-and force the Dominion has not—will be the material advantage of the country
and pecuniary benefit of the inhabitants. Love for Canada has to be acquired by the prosperity of the country, and from our children.
I say, Sir, it is absurd for us to ally ourselves with a people with whom we have, and can
have, no communication. The Tariff and Excise -Laws of Canada will ruin the dominant
interests of this Colony, and we are told that those laws must rule accordingly to the conditions of "The British North America Act." A Tariff perhaps excellent to the Eastern
Provinces, is ruin to British Columbia. Our Tariff imposes a large duty on spirits, and a duty
on agricultural produce • The Canadian Tariff imposes none . on agricultural produce, and a
small duty on spirits.
If we are Confederated with Canada we become its tributary, and in all that concerns us
chiefly Canada has to act for us. In all our chief concerns, commerce, shipping, aud mercantile laws, agriculture, trade, navigation, fisheries, currency, banking—Canada rules. She may
tax us to any extent, and in any manner she pleases, so that it is quite possible we may have
export duties on gold and coal.
All such things as require money for their performance are left for the Colony to provide;
those that require intellect are supplied by Canada.  •
The expense to Canada is constantly decreasing, her revenue constantly increasing. The
expense of the Local Government on the other hand, is constantly increasing, and out of proportion to any increase of its revenue.
Is it necessary that we should pay for the intellect of Canada? Is our own not as good?
Do we not know what is best for ourselves? Cannot we do all as well as they? Cannot we
pay our Colonial intellect to do our business well, instead of theirs to do it badly?
The very means by which we ought to make our roads are taken from us, so that, as time
rolls on, we shall have to provide other taxes, and raise loans for the purpose. The other
countries have gone into Confederation with roads ready made, and large loans aiid large debts.
It is not fair to put this country upon a footing of its present population; on its present
income; a future income ought to be calculated upon.
I do not think it wise to ruin the present population for the sake of the future.
Remember that to have a population, that population must be able to live. Confederation
will ruin the farmer, and destroy at once the greatest inducement to immigration; will ruin
the brewer and the fisheries; do no good to commerce; afford-no larger market for lumber,
coal, or anything else; in fact do a great deal of harm and no good, save that which is problematical and fanciful.
In conclusion, I have to say that I sincerely trust that our deliberations may result in
good,- and that whatever may be the issue of this debate, it may be for the good of the Colony.
I accord most heartily with the learned Attorney-General in the belief that—
" There's a Divinity that shapes our ends,
'  Rough hew them how we may."
The Hon. Mr. DRAKE, Member for Victoria City, rose and said:—Sir, I will move an
amendment to the Resolution of the Hon. Attorney-General--"That the consideration of this
question be postponed for six months." I need not state, Sir, that I have always been opposed
to Confederation. I have consistently opposed Confederation on any terms up to the present
time, and I do not see any reason now to change my opinion. I do not say that Confederation
must be bad for all time, the time may come when it will be a benefit or a necessity; but at
present I do not believe that Confederation would* be a benefit to British Columbia.     The 12 Confederation Debate.
time has not yet arrived for it.    I was sent to this Council as an opponent of Confederation.
I oppose it from conviction, and I shall still continue to oppose it.
The question of Confederation has been advocated by certain parties for some years past,
and why? Because there has been a general feeling of dissatisfaction throughout the Colony,
a general feeling of pressure from heavy taxation on a daily diminishing basis. The people
have been suffering under a desire for change; that is what is at the bottom of this discussion.
Confederation has been discussed outside, in the public press, and in other places, and
now, after years of agitation, by secret and unknown partizans, it has cropped up in this
Council as a Government measure. I know, Sir, that I have no chance of carrying this
amendment. I have not the slightest hope of carrying it, but I "move it with the view of
bringing the question fairly before the public. I should deeply regret that this Council should
be able to bind the Colony for ever. The question is one of the greatest magnitude, greater
by far than any other which has ever come before this Legislature. I am glad that it must
hereafter be referred to another Council, the majority of whose members will have to come
before the people for election. I think, however, that it is waste of time to bring this measure
before this Council.
There are some points in Confederation, I admit, which are worthy of consideration, or
would be under different circumstances. The idea of consolidating the British Possessions on
this Continent, is an idea which is likely to carry people away. The idea of assisting to found
a large and wide-spreading country might be dazzling to some. But if we are to be turned
over to Canada with no change in our form of Government, no alteration in the management
of our political affairs, where is the advantage of any change. It will simply be a change from
| King Stork " to " King Log." The Officials will be chosen by the Dominion Government
instead of the Crown; we should be transferred from the rule of Statesmen at Downing Street
to that of Politicians at Ottawa. ["No, no," from Mr. DeCosmos.] All our political rights
will be taken away, the whole of the legislation will pass out of our hands into that of the
Dominion at Ottawa; those laws upon which we shall be entitled to pass an opinion, will be
much of the same nature as those upon which a municipality or vestry may vote; but which
are beneath the dignity of a Colony. All power of raising taxes, except as the Hon. Member
for the District reminds me, for provincial purposes, we shall be subject to the provisions of
the Organic Act, which we have no power to change. Any terms which we can impose, must
be subject to the provisions of "The British North America Act." My position, therefore, is
correct, when I say that our power will not exceed that of a municipality. We are told that
we are not fit for Representative Institutions or Responsible Government. Then we shall go
into the Dominion as a Crown Colony—bound hand and foot. The few Members that will
represent us at Ottawa, will not have the power to do anything for us. I do not trust the
Politicians of Ottawa. I do not desire to give them the power to raise money upon our vast
and rich territory, whilst we should get nothing from Canada in return. I would rather
remain as we are, with some change and modification in our Government.
I admit that Confederation offers great advantages to those Provinces which are contiguous te Canada; there they have a mutuality of interests; they are able to use the products
of the Dominion; they have community of interests; and there is no extent of wild, unsettled
country between them and the seat of Government. We are divided by upwards of 4,000
miles from Halifax, 2,000 of which is an unknown wilderness. Some explorers who have
travelled by that route say, that the greater part of the country is alkaline and unfit for settlement. There is, no doubt, a large tract of fertile land in the valley of the Saskatchewan but
much of the intervening territory is unknown. I ask, Sir, is not our position as a territory of
Great Britain, far in advance of what it would be as a Province of the Dominion? Will not
the change operate disadvantageous^?
We know that our interests can hardly conflict with those of Great Britain; can we say
the same as regards the Dominion. Canada is hampered by her vast territory, and the larger
that territory becomes, the greater her weakness will be. .But, Sir, I ask of what use is this
vast territory, unpeopled and uncultivated. Canada wants population and capital; this Colony
wants the same. Upon looking at the returns of population, I find that two-thirds of the
emigrants go over the border to the United States, and many native-born Canadians go to the
United States, because they find there a more genial climate, and more work to do. If Canada
teemed with population like England, where people cannot find work for their hands to do I
could conceive it likely that we might acquire population through Canada, but I cannot see
how we can gain population unless a Railway were not only commenced, but in such a state of Confederation Debate. 13
progress as to be a means and inducement for population to come into the country, and this is
not likely, in my opinion, to be the case. I have listened to what my Honourable colleague
has said about the agricultural interests, and I entirely coincide with him. Our farmers cannot compete with the farmers of the United States under the Canadian Tariff. In the United
States, farmers are able to get everything that they want within their own country, whilst here
everything comes from abroad. Until the farmers of this Colony can make everything that
they require for their own use, they cannot compete with those of the United States. We can
always import American goods, even under a heavy duty, cheaper than Canadian goods, and
this, Sir, will put this Province under a different condition as compared with other Provinces.
Let us then suppose this Confederation scheme carried out; we will consider the sacrifice
completed, the victim decorated with the conditions which have been graciously accorded by
thf more powerful contracting party. What will become of our farmers? I refer more particularly to the farmers of the Island and of the Lower Fraser. This class I look upon as the
bone and sinew of the country. They, Sir, I say, will be driven out of their own market by
the cheaper productions of the States. And, I would, ask, what industry it is supposed will
take the place of agriculture? Moreover, Sir, I would ask if we be confederated upon these
terms, what guarantee has the Colony that the terms will be carried out? We all know that
when compacts are made between a large and a small power, the larger can break the treaty
with impunity when an, emergency arises. Would Canada hesitate, in the event of having to
repel a Fenian invasion, to abandon the Railway? We have no guarantee that the Dominion
will carry out the terms to which her Statesmen may agree. We may be abandoned at any
time. The benefits of the larger Provinces of Canada will always take precedence of those of
British Columbia, whose representatives will be in a small minority. And I would never
consent to Confederation on any terms without an Imperial guarantee that the terms would be
observed and kept. History tells us that in a compact between a larger and smaller country,
the smaller must go to the wall.
I sum up my objections to Confederation in a few words j
At the present time, I think that any terms will be inimical to this Colony, on account of
our distance from Canada; on account of the smallness of our population, for we never can
have an equal vote in the Dominion Parliament with other Provinces; on account of the
danger of our farming interests being killed and crushed; and on account of the unsettled state
of the intervening territory; and even if the North-West Territory were confederated, what
advantage would it be to us?
Our Confederation would be a source of weakness to Canada, and to ourselves.
We are so far separated from Canada, that she can only communicate with us by telegraph
through the United States, and by ships round the southern extremity of the American
We are told that Confederation is an Imperial necessity. We have nothing to do with
this. We must look to our own interests. Confederation is a political idea; it may be part
of the Imperial policy, but what of that ? We are told that Great Britain desires to get rid of
all her Colonies. -
These are serious matters for consideration, and this question ought not to be dealt with
as a party measure. I offer these remarks in the hope that any legislation which may result
from this debate, after it has received popular sanction, may be enduring and of advantage to
the Colony.
The Hon. Me. RING, Member for Nanaimo, said:—Mr. President, I rise to second the
amendment of the Hon. Member for Victoria, and in doing so I abstain from dealing with the
merits of the question. It appears that the Governor wishes to have a popular vote upon the
question of Confederation. 1 say, then, let there be an extended suffrage given, so that the
voice of the people may be heard in this House. I hope that the people will have the opportunity of expressing their opinion, Aye or No, whether they will have Confederation. Ihe
people should not be bound by what occurs in a Council constituted as this is.
I say Sir that the material question for decision is not that of terms. The Government,
if this amendment is carried, will have the opportunity of hearing the voice of the people.
On behalf of my constituents, I say they do not want Confederation; they believe that it is
undesirable at present. The proper way to find out the opinion of the country is tor the
Governor to give us the enlarged representation promised. Let the question come before the
people in a fair way. 14
Confederation Debate.
I do not desire to go into the general question of terms of Confederation upon this
occasion. But I must say, Sir, that these resolutions are not based upon the minds of the
people. I protest, Sir, against the. people's name being mixed up with those resolutions. I
reserve what I have to say on the question of terms, and support the amendment of the Hon.
Member for Victoria, in order that the people may have an opportunity of passing their vote
upon the question of Confederation.
The Hon. Mr. HUMPHREYS, Member for Lillooet,
abate.    Withdrawn.
moved the adjournment of the
The Hon. Mr. ROBSON, Member for New Westminster, rose and said :—Sir, I had
intended to reserve any remarks that I purposed to offer until the terms submitted by the
Government were under debate in Committee; but I have an objection to the adjournment of
the debate at this early hour. I cannot, however, allow certain expressions which have fallen
from the Honourable the senior Member for Victoria City to pass unnoticed. I believe the
question for us to consider is,—Shall we have Confederation, and upon what terms ?
I believe this House is ready to say Aye to the first question, and to go into Committee
of the Whole on the second.
I am surprised to find an Honourable Member of this House, who is a Cabinet Minister,
expressing his regret that this measure has come down to this Council as a Government
measure. I think that the freedom of his remarks contradicts the idea that it is a Government
measure, in the sense that Government Members must vote for it.
I was also surprised to hear the Honourable Member, who is a Cabinet Minister, say that
Confederation would not be the only issue at the polls, but that there was another place
besides Ottawa to which we could go. I had hoped that all allusion to this matter would have
been kept out of this debate; for I say, Sir, that this vague language can have but one mean-
.ing, particularly when it is added that the United States will ultimately absorb British
Columbia, and Canada as well. The Honourable Member evidently means,—Shall we have
Confederation, or accept, as an alternative, Annexation? As everything that comes from the
Honourable Member is entitled to great weight, and especially as he is a Member of the
Government, I think we have a right to know whether that is really the issue or not. I had
hoped that this debate would have been carried through without the necessity of making use
of the word " Annexation;" but as the subject has been dragged in by a Member of the
Government, I trust I shall be pardoned for alluding to it. I say, Sir, that'if the Government
really means to ask whether the people desire Confederation or another union, let us know it
["No, no," from the Attorney-General and Mr. Trutch.] I am at a loss to understand the
position of the Honourable Member for Victoria. I am anxious to have it explained. If he
has not represented Cabinet views correctly, this House should be set right.
Waiving these matters, and assuming that the Honourable Member will be able to explain
the apparent paradox, I pass on to the objections raised. I find the Honourable Member
distinctly setting himself in opposition to Confederation. I will not follow him for the
purpose of rebutting so-called arguments against Confederation.
The Honourable gentleman tells us that Confederation is unnecessary, that this Colony is
one of the richest spots on the. face of the earth, with a climate inferior to no part of the
world,—why should it not go on alone? And he tells us that this view of the question is
taken by the majority of the people of the Colony. Why, Sir, the Colony has had all this
opportunity for fifteen years ; and what is the fact? Ten years ago the Colony had a very
much larger population than now, and very much larger commerce. Are we then under
these circumstances, to ask the people to wait and work out their own salvation? But Sir
in addition, we are told in a State paper that we are not to be allowed to hang on to the skirts
of Great Britain hke a mendicant's child. I can hardly reconcile the position of manly independence with the position of hanging on to unwilling Imperial skirts. Rather than that I
would ask for union with the Sandwich Islands, or with Hindostan. British Columbia has
tried long enough to get on by herself. After fifteen years bard strugglo, she onX herself
worse ott than she was at the beginning.    Her progress has been Ike that of the S-
She might make
progress,  but, unfortunately,  her form of Government has rf>ndPrprl
Sng8aZTopltiobeIi%wat ^ miberal H °f G°™* «- haTtch to do'with
Keepmg away population-with drtmng away population,-and with destroying the  spirit of Confederation Debate.
manly enterprise of those who are here. Apart from its being the policy of the British
Government to unite all the British American Colonies in one great Confederation, if we
persist in remaining alone we shall be told by the Imperial Government that we are not fit for
liberal institutions, and not prepared for self-government. We should get no amelioration.
Downing Street officials would say that we are not fit for Responsible Government, and that
we ought to confederate.
There is no difficulty in showing that Confederation will be beneficial to British Columbia;
that is to say, Confederation on proper terms. I do not say that Confederation would be
entirely satisfactory on the terms proposed in the Government programme. The terms,
although excellent, do not go far enough; but I can hardly understand any man taking the
position that under these terms, even as they are, Confederation would not be beneficial. The
public works proposed would make the population of the Colony double what it is now. No
man can conceal from himself, looking at the question dispassionately, that the construction of
the Railway alone would bring a very great ingrease to our labouring and productive
We are told that the tariff of the Dominion would crush our farming and industrial
interests. Why, Sir, that tariff is a little more than a third lighter than ours, and would
relieve us of that one-third of present taxation; and our Customs duties, it must be borne in
mind, are taken by the Dominion Government. Although, in its present form, the tariff
would be ill-adapted to some of our local interests which we desire to protect, it should be
remembered that the Canadian tariff is now under revision, as regards the free admission of
American productions; and under Confederation we shall in all probability have a treaty of
reciprocity; or, if not, certainly a revised tariff which would meet American productions,
which now find a free market in the Dominion, with a protective duty. The argument of the
Honourable Member with regard to tariff and farming interests is then swept away by that
fact.    [Dr. Helmcken—" Is it a fact ?"]
This subject is one of the greatest importance. All other questions are overshadowed by
it. It is the most important one ever debated on the British Pacific. It has been justly said
it is a step for life, for better for worse. The question must be approached in a fair spirit,
and in dealing with it we ought to be thoroughly honest with ourselves ; and in dealing with
facts, I hope that allowance will be made for what has been said, for I believe that much of
the present opposition arises out of ancient prejudices. Why -do we find an Honourable
gentleman who has grown grey in the service of his country, and for whom we have respect
amounting to veneration, talking of centralization of every interest under Confederation at
Ottawa? Does the union of Washington Territory and Oregon with other States of the Great
Republic Mean centralization at Washington 1    [Dr. Helmcken—"Yes.":
Then, Sir, where would be the advantage of union in that other direction that has been
alluded to? Certain persons are fond of talking about the advantages of Annexation; all
arguments in its favour can be brought with redoubled force in favour of Confederation.
British Columbia as a member of the Union would have a Pacific frontage, but only in common
with other countries of the Union. As a part of the Dominion she would have more, for she
would be the only outlet of the British Confederacy on the Pacific Coast.
Exception has been taken by the Honourable gentleman to the fishery laws of the
Dominion; and it is said that the whales and salmon will cry out for Confederation to protect
them. If the Canadian fishery laws were- enforced in their present form, it is possible that
the salmon might escape, and the whales might spout with impunity ; but we have a right to
expect that the Dominion Parliament will adapt these laws to this Colony, on the representations of the Members from this Province. It would be absurd to suppose that, if the fishery
laws of the Dominion were inimical to British Columbia, they would be enforced; the nature
of the union will be such as to make the interests of this part of the Dominion identical with
other parts. We cannot suppose that the Dominion Parliament would seek to injure this
Province. A man would not wantonly injure the smallest member of his body. He could
not do so without feeling it. No man can neglect or injure any member of his own body with-
impunity. If one member, however humble, suffers, all the members will suffer with it.
Community of interest is the best guarantee for fair play to every section. The Dominion is
made up of Provinces, and the prosperity of the Dominion means the prosperity of the
Provinces of which it is composed.
If we could believe that the Government of the Dominion were composed ot men oi so
little wisdom as the opponents of Confederation seem to think, I would say, do not let us join 16
Confederation Debate.
them. But I believe, Sir, and the Imperial Government believes, and British Colmnfaia)
believes, that the Government of the Dominion is composed of statesmen. And I say, Sk,
that since these statesmen have grasped the great idea of Confederation, they have proved'
themselves fit to govern an empire. I am surprised to find any Honourable Member venturing-
to suggest that Canada either could not, or would not, fulfil her pledges. The Dominion
Government is one and the same in this matter with the Imperial Government. The Imperial
Government stands at the back of the Dominion Government, and will be equally concerned
in the fulfilment of the stipulations in their integrity. It will be time to impugn the-honour of
Canada when she refuses to keep the terms. With regard to Nova Scotia, a departure was
made from the terms of union. The Imperial Government, and the Canadian Government,
considered that certain concessions ought to be made^ and they were made, but only to add to
the terms in favour of Nova Scotia. British Columbia places herself in a false position before
Canada, and before the world, in saying that there is any doubt as to whether the Dominion
would fulfil the terms
With regard, again, to the tariff. I think that the only arguments against Confederation
worthy of consideration, are against the present Canadian Tariff. The Customs Tariff is a
federal matter, and I confess that the arguments against the applicability of the present scale
to British Columbia are entitled to notice; but, Sir, as I said before, I think these arguments
are to a great extent met by the fact that we shall have an amended tariff, or a reciprocity
treaty. But if we Gould hit upon some scheme that, without infringing the Dominion prerogatives, would meet our requirements, it would be most desirable, and shall have my hearty
In conclusion, Sir, the Government measure shall meet with my hearty support, so far as
it goes.
It affords me unspeakable gratification to find that Government has sent down a measure
for Confederation which can hardly be cavilled at.
While feeling pleasure in giving a hearty general support to this measure, I shall reserve
to myself the right to suggest that other items shall be placed in the list now before the
I believe there are terms of the greatest importance which ought to be added. But
anything that can be added will not meet the wishes of the people of this Colony, unless the
fundamental principle of self-government accompanies them. I believe that the Canadians are
a great, a wise, and a conservative people; but I conceive we should be doing a great wrong
to ourselves, to our children, and to those who are to come after us, if we left out Responsible
Suppose, Sir, the case' of three persons forming a partnership; if the third partner, coming
in subsequently, should consent to leave the management of his private affairs to the firm, he
would not only be giving up his own rights but he would-be throwing into the partnership a
great element of discord. I say, then, that while Canada necessarily and properly asks us to
surrender the larger questions, she does not ask us to relinquish our smaller and local rights,
and if we give them up we shall be doing a wanton thing and a great wrong.
In promising my support, therefore, I make this reservation: That, if this Colony is to
become a Province of Canada, the people of British Columbia shall have the right to manage
their own local affairs, as fully as every other Province has. For, while I agree with the
Honourable Junior Member for Victoria, that the change from Downing Street to Ottawa
would be useless without a change in the system of Government, I say that it would be most
injurious to go into Confederation upon terms which might inaugurate a fresh era of political
agitation, which would probably continue for a series of years.
Hon. Mr. HELMCKEN—Sir, I rise for the purpose of explaining.
I deny that I uttered any such thing as that the choice would be put to the people by the
Government between two issues of Confederation and any other union. But that if the Canadian Government refuses to agree to terms equivalent to these, but chooses to offer some mean
terms for consideration, when it comes to the polls the people themselves will raise the issue
between Confederation and the only other change which offers itself for consideration.
The debate was here adjourned until Thursday, at 1 o'clock. Confederation Debate.
Thursday, IOth March, 1870.
The debate was resumed by the Hon. Mr. TRUTCH, Chief Commissioner of Lands and
Works, who said:—Mr. President, in rising to renew the debate on the question which has
been brought before the House by the Honourable the Attorney-General, I desire to express
my regret that I was prevented yesterday, by indisposition, from speaking in support of the
motion which I had the honour to second, because I fear that by the delay I may have laid
myself open to the charge of waiting to reply to objections that might be urged against this
motion, instead of at once supporting it upon positive and substantial grounds, as I hold it to
be incumbent upon those to do who advocate so important a measure. I must also ask the
indulgence of the House if I find it necessary to follow the Honourable the Attorney-General
over ground already so fully and ably occupied by him, as, rather than leave out anything in
the history of this question which is pertinent to my argument, I will run the risk of laying
myself open to the charge of plagiarism. In the first place, then, I must ask you, Sir, to
allow me to trace the history of Confederation in this Council, as shewn in the debates which
have taken place on the subject. You will find, Sir, that this subject was first introducd into
this Council on the 29th of March, 1867, when a Resolution in favour of the abstract principle
of the Confederation of the British Provinces in North America, and expressing the desire
that this Colony should be allowed the opportunity of entering the Dominion, upon fair and
equitable terms, at some future time, was unanimously agreed to. I do not quite take the
view of the Honourable the Attorney-General with respect to the discussions that have taken
place on this question; for, Sir, I think that the question is now for the first time brought
before this House and the country in a practical shape, for a full and deliberate expression of
opinion. The vote which was taken in 1867, according to my understanding of it at that time,
went no further than to expre'ss a desire on the part of the Colony to be confederated with
Canada, when a favourable occasion should arrive, and the result of that vote was, I believe,
the insertion of the clause in the " British North America Act," on which the measure we are
now discussing is based. Again, in 1868, when the Honourable Member for District No. 2
introduced a series of Resolutions setting forth terms on which this Colony should be united
with Canada, the sense of the House, as then expressed, was that we were not possessed of
sufficient information to enable us to come to any practical resolution on the subject; and, Sir,
when the terms and conditions then proposed for the consideration of the House are compared
with those now submitted for your adoption, no words are needed to show that the conclusion
then arrived at was judicious.
Last year, again, the subject was introduced by the Hon. Dr. Davie, to a reluctant
House. We all felt that there were circumstances which rendered its discussion then in this
Council inexpedient, although the question of Confederation was even then occupying public
attention to an absorbing extent, and had, in fact, been the test question at the elections a
short time previouslyin the Districts in this part of the Colony. But certain remarks of the
Honourable Member for Cariboo, in reference to the position of Government Members on this
question, compelled the expression of the views of the Council on the subject at that time, in
a Resolution pointing out the practical impossibility of the union of this Colony with Canada,
until the North-West Territory was amalgamated with the Dominion.
But now circumstances are entirely changed. The Hudson Bay Company's rights in that
region, known as the North-West Territory, are determined by purchase, and that countryisf
practically part of the Dominion of Canada; for the temporary opposition from a certain class
of the population of the Red River Settlement, to the assumption of the Government by the
Canadian authorities, is passing away, if not by the present moment virtually at an end. And
treating that ebullition of feeling resulting from misapprehension of the real intention of the
Dominion Government as passed away, I regard it as an established fact that, as stated in
Lord Granville's despatch, our boundaries are now conterminous with those of Canada.
But not only is Union with Canada now practicable, but, Sir, I regard the present as a;
most opportune "moment for its consummation. I entirely agree with Honourable Members!
who say that this Colony requires a change. In its present depressed state, the Colony needs
assistance and fresh impetus. There are many causes which combine to contribute to the'
depression now observable in the country. It has been attributed to the present form of
Government.    Take that as one cause, if you please; but, Sir, I believe it has had very little
11 p-
Confederation Debate.
effect, if any, in producing this result, and you will find many other and mightier reasons to
account for it. Chiefly, I believe with the Honourable Attorney-General, that this depression
is attributable to the isolated position of the Colony, and to the cold shade thrown over us by
the neighbourhood of the Territories of the United States, from whom we can never hope for
aid in advancing the interests of this Colony, whilst under the British Flag. The desire for
some change is urgent, and if we wait for more prosperous times, under which to claim better
financial terms, we may realize the old proverb of the " Horse starving whilst the grass is
growing." Besides, Sir, on reference to the terms now proposed for the consideration of this
House by the Government, it will be found that they are based not altogether on the present
condition of the Colony, but somewhat on an anticipated increase of population and prosperity;
and I suppose we might wait many years before such a measure of prosperity would accrue to
us, as to entitle us to ask better financial terms than are included in these Resolutions,
I believe the time,' then, to be opportune, and I think that there is every reason to
suppose that the present Government of the Dominion is now desirous and ready to grant us
fair and liberal terms.
1 believe, Sir, the Canadian Government are favourably disposed towards us, and prepared
to go to the utmost of their ability in all reasonable matters to enable us to join the Confederation. The policy and wishes of the •- Imperial Government, too, in the same direction, are
clearly enunciated in Earl Granville's despatch; and we are fortunate in having now at the
head of the Executive a Governor admirably adapted by his ability and experience to take
charge, on our behalf, of negotiations for our union with the Dominion, and to whom the
interests of the community may confidently be entrusted.
And that brings me, Sir, to this point: That in its first introduction into this Council,
this measure must necessarily be a Government measure. The constitution of this House
renders it imperative that the initiatory steps should be taken by the Government, although
the final acceptance of the terras will properly rest with the people. The policy of the
Imperial Government has been clearly stated : It encourages us to amalgamate our interests
with Canada, and points out the advantages to be thus obtained, and nothing that I could add
would enunciate more clearly than that document the grounds on which Her Majesty's
Government, on behalf of this Colony, favour Confederation.
This leads me to remark on the part that has been taken in reference to this question by
the Official Members of this House, especially by the Executive Officers. Our position has
been misapprehended—or if not misapprehended, it has been misrepresented—and I feel it my
duty to allude to the false impressions which have been spread abroad on this subject: It has
been stated that the Official Members have been obstructive to Confederation, with regard to
their own official positions and interests. But this is not the fact. On a matter so clearly
involving a question of Imperial policy, we were not at liberty to anticipate the views of the
Home Government, which have now for the first time been distinctly made public The Hon
Attorney-General and myself have consistently affirmed the principle of Confederation; and
we have always felt that we could safely confide our personal interests to the care of the
Imperial Government whose servants we are. To Her Majesty's Government those interests
are entrusted by the Resolutions proposed for your adoption; and, Sir, we are well satisfied
that this question as it affects us personally should so depend. We have been right Sir I
believe m not anticipating the views of the Imperial Government, for the terms of union now
submitted for your adoption prove the wisdom of the course which we have pursued; and in
the exercise of caution we have shewn ourselves the truest friends of the Colony, even though
we have not appeared to be the most enthusiastic advocates of Confederation
This, then, is a Government measure, as the Honourable the senior Member for Victoria
has told you ; and as I hold it is of necessity a Government measure. This scheme is propounded by the Government, as the guardians of the interests of this infant Colony and I
!iand.!?f %^_a.mrber °f.,tbe Government to supp^rt'tiTe ^Resolutions which arenYw b. r, . v
fr?M ™I,. BIt  T .h6y WlU be ad°pted b? this CounciL    But His Excellency has
hit L} I >,!??i™0*^™ or rejection of the terms of union with Canada, after they
country ^ *° &* D<Hmm0n Government, shall be left to the popular vo\ce of this
understand "It™' l» * ^ T**"*™1. of what Confederation is in the abstract, as I
understand it It is^the union and consolidation of British interests in British Territory on
this Continent, for the security and advancement of each Province individually and o7 the
whole collectively, under the continued support of the British Flag.    A greaUdeTof great Confederation Debate.
minds, which have thus given a practical refutation to that doctrine of " America for the
United States," known as the " Munro doctrine," held by leading politicians of the States
south of us; and on this account, if on no other grounds, the principle of Confederation
deserves the support of every British heart in the Colony.
I am now brought to a subject which I should not have known how to approach, but for
the bridge thrown over for me by the Honourable Member for Victoria yesterday. By that
Honourable Member the suggestion of a closer union with another country—with the United
States, in fact—and the possibility that at the next General Election such an union might be
presented as an alternative to Confederation with Canada, was introduced in so palpable a
manner, that I should feel myself derelict to my duty as a Member of the Executive and as a
Member of this Council if I did not refer to it.
*■ Mr. President, I should do violence to my best feelings were I to refrain from availing
myself of this opportunity of paying my humble tribute of respect and esteem for the people
of that great Republic. [" Hear, hear," from all sides.] No one can better appreciate than I
do the high and eminent qualities which characterise that great Nation, and especially that
national feeling—that love of country, so worthy of our imitation—for which they have made
such sacrifices. It has been my fortune to pass several years in the United States, and to
have formed there some of the most valued friendships of my life, so that my acquaintance
with Americans has led me to form a most appreciative estimate of their social and domestic
relations, of which I can not speak in terms of too much praise. But my experience of the
political institutions of that country only led me to prize our own more highly, and made me
more than ever an Englishman; and I rejoice at the opportunity now afforded me of raising
my voice against any movement tending in the direction of incorporating this country with
the United States, j
I must now make passing allusion to a petition gotten up in some mysterious way, looked
upon here at first as a mere joke ; so insignificant that it would not be worthy of notice but
for the use made of it elsewhere. It has been represented in other quarters as expressing the
views of a great portion of this community. It has been so represented in very high quarters,
and I therefore notice it; and in doing so I feel compelled to state that, so far as I could
learn, it was signed by a very small number of people—forty-two, I believe, in all—many of
whom were aliens, and most of whom were foreign-born subjects, and who appear to have been
generally actuated by prejudice, based upon a lack of information respecting Canada and the
Canadians, and not by any regard for the permanent benefit of the community. But as this
petition has been followed up by the publication of letters and by a discussion in the newspapers, which we cannot blink, as to what has been termed the Annexation of this Colony to
the United States; and as allusion was made to it, by an inuendo'at all events, in this Council
yesterday, I feel bound to express my opinion of what our position would be under any such
union as has been hinted at.
If British Columbia were placed in the same position as Washington Territory, we should
be absolutely without representation—for that Territory has one representative in Congress, it
is true, but he has no vote—and all our officials would come from Washington. Annexation
to the United States would also entail on us largely increased taxation, and would most
materially affect an interest which the Honourable Member for Victoria told you would suffer
most from Confederation. Why, Sir, under the union suggested, our farmers would be
brought into direct competition with the farmers of Washington Territory and Oregon, and
then our agricultural interests would be indeed annihilated. Again, if this country were
American Territory you would have the whole influence of San Francisco brought to bear
against the mercantile interests of Victoria; no hope could we have of building up a port here
to rival San Francisco ; no, Sir, you would never see a foreign' vessel in these waters. I see
no advantages in the suggestion; I have heard none pointed out, unless it be the questionable expectation that American capital might buy up the real estate in and around
Victoria, and so give the present holders the opportunity of realizing their property into
money and then leave the country to its fate. But in this hope, Sir, I believe they would be
egregiously disappointed. 1 will not pursue the subject any further. Annexation is entirely
out of the question, and I should not have dared to allude to it, but for the introduction of
the subject by another Honourable Member yesterday. What do these foreign petitioners
propose to transfer? Themselves? Their own property? No; not themselves, nor that
which belongs to them, but the whole Colony, the soil of this vast domain which belongs to
the Crown and the people of England.    This I regard as treasonable.    In supporting Confed- 20
Confederation Debate.
eration I support the flag I serve. I say that loyalty is no exploded idea; .call it a sentiment
if you will; life is nothing without sentiment. Every one whose soul is not dead must cling
to love of country and attachment to her flag, as one of the most cherished sentiments of the
heart, and I regard loyalty as one of the most deep-rooted and highly-prized treasures of the
human breast.    [" Hear, hear," from all sides.]
Bear with me, Sir, while I tell now what I think Confederation is not. I don't think it
necessarily means Responsible Government, or, as an Honourable Member at the other end of
the House has put it, that it means getting rid of Government Officials If that Honourable
Member's desire is to be rid of the present incumbents of office so that others may take their
place, I think it probable that his wishes in this respect may be gratified through Confederation ; and in that case I could only hope that the change would be beneficial to the Colony.
But I doubt much if this measure would receive support from this Council on these grounds;
and at all events the Honourable Gentleman cannot expect much sympathy on that score from
this side of the House.
Again, Confederation does not, to my mind, mean Responsible Government, as some
Honourable Members hold. British Columbia will assuredly get Responsible Government as
soon as the proper ■ time arrives; as soon, that is to say, as the community is sufficiently
advanced in population, and in other respects, to render such a form of Government practically
workable; sooner, probably, through Confederation than by any other means, and the sooner
the better, I say. But I do not think it desirable to fetter or cumber the proposed terms of
union with anything about Responsible Government, and specially for the reason that we
should find it very difficult to arrive at any conclusion in favour of it. Great difference of
opinion exists upon the subject even around this Council Board, and I am by no means sure
that the strongest opposition to Responsible Government would come from the Government
side of the House. It is easier to change the constitution after Confederation than before.
[" No, no."] Under the Organic Act, this Colony could get Responsible Government. In
fact, it is the special prerogative under this Act of each Province to regulate the constitution
of its own Executive Government and Legislature; and whence this desire to act so prematurely now in this respect ?
Another Honourable Member has told you that in his opinion Confederation means the
terms—means a Railway; but I take it, Sir, that the terms proposed result from Confederation, and that the Railway is a means to the end, for we cannot have real Confederation
without a Railway. But, Sir, 1 advocate Confederation on principle; and I believe the terms
to be the natural result of Confederation. They flow from it as a natural consequence, as the
effect proceeds from the cause. I believe that by Confederation we are to gain those advantages which are set forth in the terms.
If it could be shown that by acceptance of these terms we should in any way sacrifice our
honour—lose any political status that we now enjoy—I would not support Confederation if it
brought a dozen railroads. But I believe that each member of this community will be raised
by the change. We shall have a distinct and very respectable representation in the House of
Commons and Senate. We shall have as representatives there men whose voice will be heard
men whose duty it will be to speak for us. Far from entertaining the views expressed by the
two Honourable Members for Victoria, I am inclined to think with the Honourable Member
for New Westminster, that this Colony will have its due weight and influence in the Dominion,
that its representatives will be heard and listened to in the Canadian Parliament, and that
this will be a favoured portion of the Confederation, when admitted, on account of its position
as the outlet of Canada on the Pacific. I do not, then, advocate Confederation specially on
account of the terms. I find in its general merits ample grounds for support, and I consider
as I have said, that the terms follow as a matter of course.
The Honourable Member for Victoria has said that we are bound to prove the benefits
It is difficult to prove anything to some minds. The benefits of Confederation are among
those things which, being in futurity, we cannot prove. I cannot prove that which has not
happened. We can only rely on human judgment and experience, and argue 'that
such things will occur, as certain causes will produce certain effects.
Members of this Council, have a considerable
such and
I, and other Official
interest in this Colony ; I have, to a certain
extent identified myself with it and its concerns for some years past, and speaking as an
individual Member of this Council, if I did not believe that Confederation would prove advantageous to this Colony, and redound to the benefit of our local interests, I should not support
it by my voice.    I might as a Government servant vote for it as a Government measure but Confederation Debate.
I should not be standing here to speak for it and to advocate it as heartily as I do. It is
hardly possible to show where the Colony will be benefitted by Confederation, without discussing the terms, which is not my present intention to do ; but I promise Honourable Members
that if these Resolutions get into Committee, I will fully satisfy them of the local advantage's
that must accrue to the Colony from union with Canada, on the terms proposed in these
I believe, Sir, that many of the objections which have been raised to Confederation have
arisen from prejudiced feelings.    I have-no reason to be prejudiced against or partial to
Canada.    I believe that Canadians as a people are no better than others, and no worse.    I
have no ties in Canada, no particular reason for entertaining any feeling of affection for
Canada; and if I did not believe that the advance which we make will be met in a becoming
spirit, [" Hear, hear,"] then I should be of opinion that Confederation would be nothing moretJ
than an union on paper, one not beneficial to this Colony or to Canada.    There are statesmen*
there, Sir, who know that it would be useless to try to beat us down on terms; for what|
would be the use of Confederation if it afterwards turned out that this Colony was injured,!
rather than benefitted, by it.
The Honourable Junior Member for Victoria asks what guarantee have we that the
terms will be carried out. I say at once, Sir, that if the terms are not carried out, if the
Canadian Government repudiate their part of the agreement, we shall be equally at liberty to
repudiate ours. [Dr. Helmcken—" How ?"] We should, 1 maintain, be at liberty to change;
but I, for one, do not approach this subject with any such feeling. [" Hear, hear," from Mr.
DeCosmos.] There are always two sides to a bargain, and if the terms which are frankly and
honestly proposed are not fairly and honourably dealt with, we should, in my opinion, be at
perfect liberty to draw back.
There is, however, one real and practical objection which has always suggested itself to
my mind from the first, and that is, that the same measures that apply to the circumstances
of Canada, such as tariff, will not apply equally in all respects to this Colony. It will be
asked, then, why is there no suggestion as to some alteration or modification of the tariff in
the terms. The reason is somewhat similar to the reason for the omission of all mention of
Responsible Government. You would find it very difficult to come to any conclusions on this
subject in this Council. It is impracticable to define now positively what precise tariff would
best suit this country. Some favour a free port. I should be inclined to favour it myself if I
believed it practicable. Some, on the other hand, say that we must have protection to agriculture, and that without it we cannot compete with the farmers of Oregon. This point was
fully discussed in the Executive Council, but it was decided to omit any conditions for the
regulation of Customs dues from these terms; and I do not think that this measure ought to
be complicated with the tariff question. I believe that we may safely trust this people with
whom we are about to negotiate, to do as much for us in this direction as we could do for
ourselves; it will be to their interest to do so. It requires no argument to show that it will
be to the interest of Canada, after Confederation, to advance the prosperity of this country.
If it be possible to adopt a special tariff to this part of the Colony, and I see no reason why it
should not be adopted, I confidently hope to see such a special tariff arranged under Confederation. [" Hear, hear," from Mr. DeCosmos. | Rely upon it, Sir, that there are statesmen in
Canada who have a far wider and longer political experience than Members of this House, and
who would be able to point out many means of prosperity, for which we are looking with so
much anxiety,—powerful minds, before which I feel humbled,—men who I cannot for a
moment suppose would fail to see as plainly as we do that Confederation would be of no
benefit to Canada unless it redound to the advantage of British Columbia. This requires no
argument; it is perfectly plain common sense;
If we are not to have Confederation, what are we to have ? What is the proposition of
those who oppose Confederation ? The people of this Colony have been, for a long time past,
asking for a change, and it has been the policy of those who ask for change to throw the blame
of everything upon the Government. The policy of the Imperial Government on this matter
is clearly expressed in Earl Granville's despatch. He does not say you must confederate,
whether you will or not; it is left to the people to decide this question for themselves; but he
says, virtually, " You have for years been asking for a change, you complain that your present
form of Government does not suit you; we point out for your consideration Confederation,
which, if it suits you, we favour; the Government of Canada is ready to step in and assist you
to carry out your views for the advancement of your local interests."    Now, Sir, I say to this 22
Confederation Debate.
Council,—If you don't want Confederation, what do you want ? To remain as you are ? This
I know you are not satisfied to do. What then ? Establish a sort of Independent Government of about 6,000 people, connected with nobody, owing allegiance to nobody ? The idea is
absurd. There appears, then, to be no alternative to Confederation, but that suggestion which
has been shadowed forth during this debate, and which I, for one, decline to consider as a
possibility.    And so we come to Confederation as our manifest destiny.
To sum up my argument in support of the motion of the Honourable the Attorney-
General—I advocate Confederation because it will secure the continuance of this Colony under
the British Flag, and strengthen British interests on this Continent; and because it will
benefit this community, by lessening taxation and giving increased revenue for local expenditure ; by advancing the political status of the Colony; by securing the practical aid of the
Dominion Government, who are, I believe, able to— and whose special care it would be to
devise and—carry into effect measures tending to develop .the natural resources, and to
promote the prosperity of this Colony; and by affording, through a railway, the only means of
acquiring a permanent population, which must come from the east of the Rocky Mountains.
The Hon. Mr. HOLBROOK said :—Sir, In rising to continue this debate, after the able
speech of the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, I feel that there is little left for
me to say, as when we go into Committee I shall have an opportunity of expressing my
opinion upon the terms; and it would be factious to oppose a measure which has to come
before the people for their decision. The way, Sir, that I understand the question of Confederation to stand at present, is that it is not a mere abstract question of Confederation with
Canada, but a question of certain terms which have to be laid before the people; therefore, I
say that any opposition against this being done would be factious. As regards myself, I shall
abide by such decision, whatever it may be, as I consider the people themselves are the best
judges as to whether they will benefit, or otherwise, by. becoming part and parcel of the
Dominion of Canada. This matter has evidently been well considered by the Executive
Council, most of whom are largely interested in the welfare of the Colony, and several of them
have been as much opposed to immediate Confederation, when the question has been before
this Council on other occasions, as I have been. But having had an opportunity of seeing the
documents which have come from the Imperial Government on the subject, the Executive
have arrived at the decision that it is best for this question to go to the country, upon the
assumption that the people will ask for Confederation to be carried out on certain terms;
therefore, I say, Sir, let it go to the people and settlers of the Colony, and by their verdict let
it be decided. Earl Granville has sent out a despatch which states, in pretty plain teims,
that we were not able to govern ourselves; and there was, perhaps, more truth than poetry in
this; for we have had the greatest liberty granted to us, and yet we have not been content.
Our Gold Mining Laws have been made by the Mining Board; we have had the most liberal
Land Laws; and if we have had a want that the law could satisfy, it has been immediately
Our Officials are an honour to the country. As an Englishman, I am proud of them.
Justice has been properly administered in the country ; there has been absolute security to life
and property; so much so that a man can travel in perfect safety from Cariboo to Victoria,
and capital can be safely invested in any part of the Colony.
. We have excellent roads, and one of the richest spots on the whole earth for our Colony,
whether as regards mining wealth or agricultural resources; and yet a petition has emanated
trom a small body of foreign residents in the City of Victoria, asking to be annexed to the
great Republic adjoining. I am well aware, Sir, that, as has been well-said by the Hon. Chief
Commissioner, the petition was paltry and unworthy of notice, and that those who signed it
were insignificant; and I may be aUowed to say that we of the Mainland had no feelings in
common with them. If it were within reason to contemplate the possibility of the occurrence
ot such an alternative, it might be worth while to point out its disadvantages, and to show
that under it we should not even have representation, as without a certain population, which
we have not, we could not elect a member, and we should faU back to what Washington Territory and Oregon were in the days before this City of Victoria was brought forward by the
fleet* to the encouragement and development of the neighbouring States, equally, or perhaps
in excess of the interests of our own Colony. We may say that liberty had run wild;
have actually become dissatisfied because they have had too much of it I
discontent with excess of liberty in Paris, after the Revolution of 1848 ■
remember a similar
the people revelled Confederation Debate.
in excess of freedom, and from so much liberty they fell into another Revolution. It is-only
in a country with such free institutions as England, that such a petition could have been
signed with impunity; for if it means anything at all, it did not stop short of treason. In
most other countries the signers would have forfeited their liberty; in some that I have lived
in, the penalty would have been death. Speaking for the Mainland, Sir, and coming from the
Royal town of New Westminster, I have a right to speak in the name of its loyal inhabitants.
I say that, although Confederation with Canada meets with favour in some quarters, the feelings of the inhabitants are, and ever will be, thoroughly loyal to the glorious flag of Great
Britain, and feel proud of belonging to that flag which represents honour, power, justice, and
wealth, and which is stainless and untarnished, whether unfurled in the face of an enemy and
defended by its sons, or floating in peace over such a Colony as this. We have had our complaints on the Mainland, and we considered the removal of the Capital and centralization of
business at Victoria an injustice to the rest of the Colony, for the reason, principally, that
Victoria, from its proximity to the United States, draws its supplies thence, instead of from
the Mainland, to the gain of the neighbouring States, and consequent loss to the agricultural
districts of the Mainland of some $10,000 annually, in the article of beef alone; and for the
reason that, by the Fleet being placed at Esquimalt, we of the Mainland were not only left
without protection, but that the agricultural interests of Washington Territory and Oregon
were being built up with the money expended by the Fleet in the purchase of supplies, which
if spent in the Valley of the Fraser would, by this time, have given us there a population of
some thousands. The people of my part of the Colony _have favoured Confederation, in the
belief that the resources of the Colony would receive some consideration from the Dominion
We all acknowledge that population is required, and I think there is no reason to doubt
that it will come. I do not attribute the depression, as some Hon. Members have done, to
bad Government. We merely followed the course of other gold countries in over trading, and
placed all our dependence upon a single mining district, and when we did not find another
Williams Creek so rapidly as we expected, we became disheartened.
But, Sir, I mean to state, and I do so without fear of contradiction, that our natural
resources are more prosperous to-day than they have ever been before, and I need only point
to the 8,000 acres of land taken up last year as an example of real and solid prosperity. We
shall acquire population from Canada by means of the railroad, and the large amount of money
required for its construction will tend to our prosperity. Our merchants also want something
fixed, that they may not be threatened with constant change, which renders commerce fluctuating and uncertain.
I consider, Sir, that the time is opportune for Confederation for many reasons, amongst
others, that there is a favourable opportunity for us, with the aid of Canada, to make arrangements for the reception of some of the emigrant poor, who are now being assisted by the
Societies in England to go out to the Colonies. Work could be found for them on the railway, and by this means much of our valuable agricultural land might be settled up.
I shall reserve to myself the right of opposing some of the terms when they come under
discussion, and of asking that others may be inserted. I should be glad to see inserted in the
terms a clause empowering our Local Government to make her own tariff, so as to protect our
farming interests, in a similar manner as, under the Imperial Government, the Isle of Man
and the Channel Islands have rights reserved; but I am of opinion that the full tariff of the
Dominion should in all cases be charged, and that the Local Government of British Columbia
should have the exclusive benefit of any extra tariff.
The Indians, also, should be secured the same protection that they have under our own
Government. They are now content with us, and with the way in which the laws are administered, and it is quite possible that they may hereafter be a source of great trouble, if they
are not considered as well as white men.
I shall hail with pleasure the salmon laws of Canada, spoken of by one Honourable
Member, which will prevent the placing of salmon traps at the mouth of the Fraser, stopping
thereby the fish from ascending the river, and by that means cutting off the food ot the
Indians, and taking from them the means of support; but I should much regret to see any
laws brought into operation which would grant monopolies, such, for instance, as m the case
of cranberries, which are at present a source of living to many hundreds of Indians.
As regards our defences : we should have the right to have our own forces, as every one
would have to serve in the Militia; but so long as English troops are stationed in Canada, we
I ■
m 24 Confederation Debate.
ought, when we become an integral part of the Dominion, to have our share of them. And at
no very distant future I trust that the great scheme of Confederation may be carried out, and
that the Dominion may have a Royal Prince at its head; and then may the views of the great
Anglo-Saxon race as regards commerce and trade become enlightened so that English goods
may come into the Dominion duty free.
As we shall, from our position on the Pacific Coast, be the key-stone of Confederation, I
hope we may become the most glorious in the whole structure, and tend to our own and
England's future greatness.
I shall support the motion of the Honourable the Attorney-General.
The Hon. Mr. WOOD said:—Sir, I rise to support the amendment of the Honourable
Junior Member for Victoria, to postpone the consideration of these Resolutions for six months.
I desire, Sir, to express my unqualified opposition to what is termed the Confederation of this
Colony with the Dominion of Canada on the basis of the Organic Act; and in dealing with
the subject I shall address myself to three several heads of objection:
Firstly, to the principle of the Organic Act of 1867, as applied to the British North
American Provinces;
Secondly, to the special application of the principle to this Colony;
Thirdly, to the mode in which the consent of its adoption is now attempted to be obtained.
Referring for a moment to my own personal position in this Council, I should wish to say
that I feel bound as a non-representative and non-official member to present my own views.
My mouth is not closed by official reticence, nor do I represent any constituency. I am here,
bound by my duty as a Member of this Council, to express my own conscientious views in
respect of the measure in explicit terms, in the interests no less of this Colony than of Great
Britain, which in this, as in every Colonial question, I cannot but hold to be identical.
With respect to the general principle of Confederation of the British North American
Provinces, it will be remembered that, in 1867, I was one of those Members who did vote that
Confederation, on fair and equitable terms, was desirable. I am of that opinion still; but my
objection is that no terms based on the Organic Act of 1867 ean be fair or equitable.
It cannot be denied that the idea of a confederation and general alliance between the
British Colonies in North America is a very captivating idea. The existence of a homogeneous nation tending to act as a counterpoise to the great Republic to the south of us, is a grand
political idea, but it is an idea most dangerous and difficult to carry out. When I voted in
1867 for Confederation on fair and equitable terms, I had in my mind Confederation in "the
general acceptation of the word, as understood by all political writers and by the world in
general—a union of free and self-governed States, united by a federal compact for purposes of
offence and defence, of peace and war, and for the purposes of maintaining and preserving
uniformity in laws and institutions which affect the social and commercial relation of life;
such laws and institutions as criminal law and practice, the general administration of justice,'
and the laws regulating commerce and navigation. Such a Confederation I then believed to
be Possible. I am foolish enough to believe it to be possible still; but Confederation as underlie* y Canadlan and Imperial statesmen—Confederation as affected by the Organic Act of
1867—is not Confederation at all. I would, indeed, throw the word Confederation to the
winds, since by Confederation is obviously meant union, incorporation, and absorption. The
Organic Act of 1867 provides for the entire transfer of all effective legislative power and
control to Ottawa, as the seat of the Dominion Government, where, owing to the much greater
wealth and population of Canada, the influence and authority of Canada bear all before it It
is a principle too obvious for proof or dissertation, that Confederation in its proper sense can
only thrive where the States bound together by the federal compact' are not only free, but
where they are nearly equal. Excess of power in any one State is fatal to the interests of the
rest. INo, fcar.the word Confederation has no application to the intended movement. Lord
Granville m his despatch, no longer calls it by such -a term. Union and Incorporation are
spoken ot, not Confederation, and the movement really is one of incorporation, absorption, and
annihilation. r       '
a ™ ^ ?r' the obJec*ions that I raise are objections to the provisions of the Organic Act
and I find it necessary, for the purposes of my argument, to turn to those provisions. I do
not mean to detain the Council at unnecessary length, but as the question before us is one
which concerns the future of this Colony for all time, I trust that I shall be excused if I dwell
for a few moments upon these points, m&% Confederation Debate. 25
If we come into Confederation, we come in, as I understand it, under this Organic Act;
and it is on account of the overwhelming influence of Canada in the joint Legislature of the
Dominion, as given by that Act, that I object to the general principle of the Confederation of
the North American Provinces of Great Britain. I am told I am in error, that profound
statesmen in Great Britain and in Canada have determined otherwise, and that Confederation,
on the basis of the Organic Act of 1867, is the policy of Great Britain.
I regret, Sir, that I cannot be silenced by the weight of such authority. No statesmanship, no conclusion, is of any value except for the reasoning on which it is founded; and I am
ready to rest the whole matter on simple argument and reason. All States large enough and
populous enough to warrant such privileges, eagerly and passionately desire the power of self-,
government. It is the common passion of our race. Formerly, even now, in other places, it
is British policy to give these powers; and as New South Wales has thrown off Victoria and
Queensland, so would it appear to be reasonable to extend the' principle to the British
Provinces in North America, rather than to adopt a different policy, for the simple reason that
it is in accordance with the instincts of the Anglo-Saxon race, and the just rights of man.
We want self-government, which means the protection of our own interests, and the
establishment of our own welfare in our own way ; the passing of our own Estimates in our
own way; the selection of those who rule, and the subsequent meeting of our rulers, face to
face, in open Council, that they may show us the results of their ruling. It means the imposition and collection of our own taxes, fostering our own industries, and the power of the
purse. These are the elements of self-government, and they are reserved to the Dominion
Government, and taken from the Provinces; hence my objections to the Organic Act. For
these reasons I say that Confederation— or rather union"—with Canada cannot be fair and
equal, on account of the overwhelming influence of Canada in the Dominion Parliament, now
and in the future; for it always must be so. Canada can extend, and will extend, and even
of herself would be able to sway the destinies of the Dominion. And are we to accept this
position because we are told: that British statesmanship wills it? Statesmanship, Sir, is
nothing more than very sound common sense put into practice—sound common sense, backed
by a knowledge of mankind and of the subject-matter to which that statesmanship is applied.
And, although it is not for me to depreciate the. renown of my countrymen, it cannot be disguised that they have not unfrequently gone astray, arid been forced to submit to the control
of national interests and national will. It is not difficult to find instances of error in British
statesmanship, as applied to Colonial affairs. The errors of British Statesmen, with a majority
of the House of Commons and the British Nation to back them, cost Great Britain the
thirteen United States. The errors of British Statesmen, with a majority of the House of
Gommons and the British Nation to back them, have inflicted wrongs upon Ireland which are
only now in process of removal; and the policy of British Statesman, with the British Nation
to back it, has created a difference which has gone far to alienate the affections of the Colonists of New Zealand.
In this question of Confederation it is impossible not to see the self-interest of Great
Britain underlying the whole matter. England is alarmed at the extent of her Colonial possessions, and her obligations to protect them by sea and land. Of all her possessions, the
Dominion of Canada is the most assailable ; and, doubtless, Great Britain stands alarmed at
the responsibility and cost of protecting so enormous a frontier. The question of Confederation is the question of every tax-paying Englishman, and whatever may be the reasoniny put
forth, the motive is economy and security to the tax-paying public of Great Britain. Confederation is, doubtless, of value to Great Britain, as establishing a counterpoise to the United
States of America, and probably inducing the Dominion of Canada to ask for and obtain independence, and so relieve the mother country from the cost and duty of defending it. This is,
I believe, the entire statesmanship of the measure—a statesmanship meritorious in English
eyes— but, as I believe, fraught with extreme danger to British interests in this quarter of the
Turning now to what may be called the argument in favour of Confederation, we have
Lord Granville's despatch. Lord Granville, it must be admitted, has ably, gracefully, and
plausibly put before us the supposed advantages of Confederation :—"Her Majesty's Govern-
" ment believe that a Legislature selected from an extended area, and representing a diversity
" of interests, was more likely to deal more comprehensively with large questions, and more
" impartially with small questions, and more conclusively with both, than is possible when
" controversies are carried on and decided upon in the comparatively narrow circle in which 26
Confederation Debate.
" they arise. Questions of purely local interest would be more carefully and dispassionately
" considered when disengaged from the larger politics of the country, and at the same time
" would be more sagaciously considered by persons who have had this larger political
" education.
" Finally, they anticipate that the interests of every Province of British North America
" would be more advanced by enabling the wealth, credit, and intelligence of the whole to be
" brought to bear on every part, than by encouraging each in the contracted policy of taking
" care of itself, possibly at the expense of its neighbour."
This I understand to be the argument of the Colonial Office in favour of Confederation;
and although I fully admit that it is well put, I believe that no argument is more fallacious.
It is delicate ground for me to touch when I presume to differ from what comes from so able a
man. On this point I wish to make myself distinctly understood. I do not profess to be a
statesman or a politician, but as a lawyer of mature age, pretending to a fair share of common
sense and a knowledge of human nature, I will venture to say, that if there is one passion
more powerful in the minds of Colonists of Anglo-Saxon origin than another, it is the passion
for self-government; in all English communities there is an ardent passion for self-government.
Colonists here, as everywhere else, are animated by an intense desire to govern themselves in
the way they think best; and to delegate that power to others is destructive of every feeling
of self-respect and of social and political liberty.
It is not necessary for me to prove that this is the case, it is too notorious for comment;
and as long as the spirit of liberty exists in the British Nation, we shall find that no one
Province will submit to legislation at the hands of a Legislature in which its interests and
welfare are overwhelmed and overborne. To secure submission to a Legislature such as that
of the Dominion of Canada, where the majority of the Canadian Members make the law,
uniformity of interest and feeling is necessary ; and not only will the feeling of any separate
Province be wounded by the consciousness that self-government is withheld from it, but on
finding that its interests, or its feelings, are overwhelmed and subjected to the interests and
feelings of a dominant portion, the sense of discontent and dissatisfaction will become universal
and national, hence will ensue a condition of things most perilous to British interests generaUy.
The bond of union between Canada and the other Provinces bears no resemblance to the
union between England and her Colonial Possessions. There is no natural love and original
feeling of loyalty. The feeling of loyalty towards England is a feeling blind, instinctive, strong,
born with us and impossible to be shaken off; and I believe it is impossible to transfer a feeling of loyalty and fealty at will.   The connection between the Mother Country and a Colony	
even a Crown Colony—is well understood in principle and in practice. The Mother Country
guarantees the Colony from enemies abroad, and the entire work of inter-colonial management
is, except in matters of prerogative, left to the colonists themselves. The Crown pretends to
no dictation, nor has it any interest at variance with the interests of the colonists.    Although
in a Crown Colony the official element is supreme, it is well understood that it is to govern	
and public opinion forces it to govern- according to the well-understood and well-established
wishes of the Colony at large. The Government can not and dare not interfere, except to
prevent crude, irrational, or vicious legislation. There is no direct conflict between the Mother
Country and a Colony in these days; but it cannot be supposed that any British Province will
submit patiently to injustice at the hands of a Canadian Ministry or a Canadian House of
Commons. If any scheme has been devised more likely than another to raise and keep alive
local irritation it is, in my judgment, the scheme of Confederation on the basis of the Organic
Act of 1867. s
What is said by Lord Granville is true in theory, but practically it is opposed to human
nature; and in endeavouring to carry out elaborate and elevated views Great Britain stands a
fair chance of losing the whole of British North America.
Thus far I have treated of the general policy of the Organic Act.
With respect to the applicability of the scheme of Confederation to this Colony I have
of objection.    I consider such an union inexpedient on
more special and particular grounds j
several grounds.
First, the remoteness of the Colony from Canada ;
Secondly, the comparative insignificance of British Columbia ;
And, thirdly, the diversity of its interests from those of Canada.
That these objections specially apply to the extension of the principle to this Colony no
Lord Granville admits.that the distance is an objection, but thinks that a,
one can doubt Confederation Debate.
Railway will annihilate time and space. He thinks that the Government can be carried on at
a distance of 3,000 milos without difficulty. This Railway is to bridge over the vast desert
that intervenes between this Colony and Ottawa. The notion that we can with any effect
represent the interests of this Colony in the Parliament at Ottawa at a distance of 3,000 miles
is to me absurd. With a population such as ours, even if we have the representation suggested
by the terms, with eight Members of Parliament against one hundred and'eighty-two, and four
Senators against seventy-two, how can it be supposed to be possible that our voices could be
heard ? When Lord Granville spoke of "comprehensiveness" and "impartiality" in a Legislature,
surely he must have lost sight of the constituent elements of a House of Commons. For, let us
consider, without any reflection upon the House of Commons at Ottawa, what is the nature of
the House of Commons of England, or of any other assembly of the same nature ? Every House
of Commons is but an assemblage of the Members of Parliament pledged to support the material
interests of their constituents, whenever those interests are affected. I never can anticipate
anything but the representation of the views and the material interests of constituents in any
House of Commons. I believe that members would always vote according to the interests of
men whose votes they would have again to solicit, and of whose interests public opinion holds
them to be the acknowledged advocates.
How can we find eight men in a place like this, where at all events the most valuable
members of society are professional and business men, without selecting them from a class who
are polititions by profession ? Most men here are workers of some sort, and actively employed
in their several professions and businesses, and we should have extreme difficulty in finding
eight good men who would spare tfye time and expense to go to Ottawa. What we should
want would be such men as are now at Ottawa, the principal business men, bankers, merchants,
and professional men ; but time and space will prevent this most valuable class of men from
leaving British Columbia and representing our interests at Ottawa, and we shall be compelled
either to retain the services of Canadian gentlemen who, living in Canada, would be the British
Columbian representatives only in name, or we should have to take eight representatives who
will be content to make politics a profession, "and we shall have to pay them for their services.
To the insignificence of British Columbia as a Province of the Dominion the same remarks
apply. fp_
Difference of interests is a still more material point. Upon this point direct conflict is
sure to arise. Canada belongs to the Atlantic, and looks to the Old World for her markets.
We are a new country, our staples are totally different. Questions cannot but arise between
British Columbia and Canada—between the East and the West—in which Canadian interests
will prevail over those of British Columbia; and aggravated by the feeling of wounded pride
and forced insignificence, the colonists of British Columbia will feel naturally aggrieved.
The colonial feeling is well known—pride and attachment to the Mother Country and
intense sensitiveness and tenacity where injustice or wrong is done. Once let this feeling be
aroused amongst us and it will not be long before British Columbia is clamorous for repeal;
and not obtaining it, the country will be ripe for any other change, however violent.
Now, Sir, with respect to the third head of my objections. With respect to the mode in
which the consent of this Colony is attempted to be obtained, I am sorry to notice what I
cannot but call a spirit of diplomacy, and a spirit of management, characterizing the whole
movement in favour of'Confederation on the part of the Imperial Government. It is obvious
throughout that the Imperial Government desires to obtain their end and aim of Confederation
in a mercantile spirit of bargain and sale, which jars upon my feelings of right and wrong.
If this Council is properly the Legislature of British Columbia; if we reflect the intelligence, the substance, and the interests of the Colony, we ought to have originated these Resolutions ourselves. The matter should have arisen spontaneously amongst us, without any
attempt at leading or forcing. What may be His Excellency's own views upon the subject of
Confederation we cannot tell. I look upon Lord Granville's despatch as a diplomatic order,
couched in polite language, but nevertheless a requirement to the Governor to carry out the
will of the Colonial Office, without reference to his own convictions. All that we are told by
His Excellency upon this subject is that the Colony will derive "material benefit from Oon-
• federation, and the Colony has been offered by the Executive certain material benefits in the
shape of a Railway, a Dock, cash in hand, and freedom from debt, in return for the transfer
of all legislation to the Dominion of Canada. These "material benefits being paraded before,
the eyes of the colonists, the bargain is afterwards to be accepted or refused by a Council composed mainly of Representative Members.    This mode of operation, no less than the bargain n
28 Confederation Debate.
itself, is equally objectionable in my eyes. The material benefits—the Dock, the Railway, the
money payments—are in effect nothing more than bribes to the present generation to forego
the rights of self-government.
I have no doubt that the Colony will accept the bargain. The Colony is a small one, the
population not exceeding 6,500 adult white men, and of these many are gentlemen of Canadian
proclivities, Canadians by birth, who are naturally, and I may say patriotically, in favour of a
union with their native country.  .
There are many, also, who, in the present adverse condition of things in this Colony, are
desirous of change of any kind, and eager for any opportunity of benefitting by operations
which promise to throw population, capital, and enterprise into the Colony. We have suffered
much from pecuniary depression, and when we have an offer from a great country to come and
spend money among us, can you doubt that any one will fail to feel these advantages; while
many more hope for political power and eminence in a system which they expect will carry with
it Representative Institutions, if not Responsible Government. Can we doubt that the vote will
be in favour of Confederation ? The people of this country will sell themselves for the consideration of the present, and posterity will hereafter ask indignantly what right had we to
shackle them, and to deprive them of rights which cannot be sold.
We shall reap the benefit, and those that come after us will reap the disadvantage and
humiliation It is not in the power of the present generation to dispose of the birthright of
its descendents. Liberty and self-government are inalienable rights. The original vice of the
matter still remains, and when once the material benefits are enjoyed or forgotten, and the
consciousness of disadvantage is apparent, reaction will set in ; a party of repudiators and
repealers will arise, who with great show of justice will clamorously demand the reversal of an
organic change, founded on political error and wrong. Although our masters at Ottawa
may be ever so amiable and ever so pure, the moment we feel the yoke we shall repent; it is
not in the nature of Englishmen to submit to tyranny of any description; and dissent such as
our posterity will express, will be on only too sound grounds. I say, Sir, that this matter
ought not to be brought forward now, when the country is in a state of depression, ready to
catch at anything. Recourse should not be now had to Representative Institutions for the
first time, when the obvious effect is the acceptance by this Colony of a confederation which
carries with it direct, immediate, pecuniary gain. Few have the self-denial to reject a bait so
invitingly dangled before their eyes. If the colonists are to be trusted'with Representative
Institutions, for the purpose of effecting so important and radical a "constitutional change, why
are they not to be trusted with Representative Institutions altogether? It is notorious that
the Colony is, probably with justice, considered by the Imperial Authorities unfit for full
Representative Institutions, and that a Council, with a predominant official element within it,
is the only fit body to deal with important questions. Yet this Council is to be differently
constituted, and the ultimate terms to be accepted by the people alone, for the sole purpose of
forwarding the cause of Confederation. The whole scheme for effecting Confederation is but
a scheme of temptation very difficult to forego, though it must be admitted recourse is not had
to actual or practical force and obligation.
I have delivered my honest opinion on this matter, liberavi animcvm meam, I fear at great
length. But I have spoken according to my conscientious convictions and a spirit of the
truest loyalty. I am desirous to promote the interests of the British Nation; and I believe
the present movement puts them in great peril. I have given you the best proof of my
sincerity—T have spoken against my own interests. I have material interests in this Colony
which vnll greatly benefit by the movement which will ensue from the building of a Railroad
and a Dock. The interests of friends and connections who are dear to me will be much benefitted ; and those who know the world tell me that it would have been better for me if I had
bent before the storm which I cannot avoid ; that the honours and rewards of my profession
are not likely to be bestowed upon one who is no friend to a popular, an Imperial, and a
Canadian movement; but I cannot act against political conviction. I am here to give honest
counsel, and I have done it, come what may.
The question has always appeared to me to be this :—Confederation with England which
7auM Conf,ederat10!1 in ite truest sense; Confederation with all the security of protection
and all the pride of self-government, now or hereafter to be, when the Colony shall have popu-
tIrZ 7* J SUffiClen.t: °r °uonfederation-or, as it should be termed, "Incorporation''-1
with Canada. Incorporation with a country to which we are bound by no natural tie of
affection or duty, and remote in geographical position, and opposed to us. in material interests Confederation Debate.
Incorporation with all the humiliation of dependence, and to my mind the certainty of
reaction, agitation, and discontent. Canada can never become the assignee, the official
assignee, the Downing Street official assignee of the affection and loyalty which exists between
this dependency and the Mother Country. I am opposed to the political extinction of this
Colony, and its subservience to the will of a majority of the House of Commons at Ottawa,
and the administration of its affairs by the political adherents of Canadian statesmen. And
all this for what ? For " material benefits," for a money consideration, in which the ring of
the dollar only faintly conceals the clink of the fetter. 1 am grieved at the mode in which
the change is sought to be effected, and view the bargain and sale of political independence for
ourselves and our descendants for a few dollars in hand, and a few dollars in the future, as
equally shameful and void.
Railway or no railway—consent or no consent—the transfer of Legislative power to
Ottawa, to a place so remote in distance and in interest, is an injustice and a political extravagance which time will most surely establish.
The Hon. Mr. DeCOSMOS, Member for Victoria District, then rose and said :—Mr.
President, 1 congratulate you, Sir, and this House, upon the noble work on which we are
engaged. We are engaged, I believe, in Nation-making. For my part, I have been engaged
in Nation-making for the last twelve years—ever since I have been engaged in politics in the
Colony. [Hon. Registrar-General—"You have not made a Nation yet."] The Hon. Registrar-General says that I have not made a Nation yet. I need only, in reply, quote for his
enlightenment the old adage " Rome was not built in a day." [Laughter.] In the humble
part that I have taken in politics, I have ever had one end in view. I have seen three
Colonies united on the Pacific Coast. [Hon. Mr. Helmcken—""Three ?"] Yes, three : Stekin,
British Columbia, and Vancouver Island; and if I had had my way, instead of the United
States owning Alaska, it would have been British to-day. I have advocated the union of
those three Colonies, and in the union of two of them particularly I have taken a prominent
part. For many years I have regarded the union of the British Pacific Territories, and of
their consolidation under one Government, as one of the steps preliminary to the grand consolidation of the British Empire in North America. I still look upon it in this light with the
pride and feeling of a native-born British American. From the time when I first mastered
the institutes of physical and political geography I could see Vancouver Island on the Pacific,
from my home on the'Atlantic; and I could see a time when the British Possessions, from the
United States boundary to the Arctic Ocean, and extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
would be consolidated into one great Nation.
Sir, my political course has been unlike that of most others in this Colony. Allow me to
illustrate my meaning by the use of another old adage. My course has been that of "beating
the bush "whilst others caught the bird." My allegiance has been to principle, and the only
reward I have asked or sought has been to see sound political principles in operation. Therefore, Sir, I say again that I congratulate you and this Honourable House on the noble work
on which we are all engaged.
We are here, Sir, laying the corner-stone of a great Nation on the Pacific Coast. When
we look at past history, we find some nations that date their origin in the age of fable; some
have been produced by violence, and extended their empire by conquest. But we are engaged
in building up a great nation in the noon-day light of the nineteenth century, not by violence,
not by wrong, but I hope, Sir, by the exercise of that common sense which the Honourable
gentleman who preceded me called statesmanship. &»
It was not my intention yesterday to have taken up the attention of the House with any
remarks until we were in Committee of the Whole, although I have taken, for historical purposes, ample notes of the debate. Allusions, have, however, been made during the .course of
this debate, amongst others to myself. I am therefore, compelled to crave the indulgence ot
the House for a time to set myself right before this Council and the country, and to add my
humble opinion to those around me in favour of the consideration of this questi
of the Whole. I shall support the general principle of Confederation [Hear
always done, if we get to the discussion of the terms proposed.
First Sir let me allude to some of the statements of the Honourable the Attorney-
General (Mr Crease) and the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works (Mr Trutch), and to
the Honourable Executive Member for Victoria City (Mr. Helmcken). Sir I know something
about the history of Confederation.   Up to the opening of this Session, Confederation has been
on in Committee
lear], as I have 30
Confederation Debate.
a subject of agitation. It may properly be divided into several heads. Firstly, agitation;
secondly, negotiation ; thirdly, inauguration ; and fourthly, I hope, successful operation. Now,
Sir, it is apparent that every act of mine in reference to Confederation, up to the time it was
announced in Earl Granville's despatch, up to the time His Excellency the Governor sent
down his Message—every act of mine was in the line of agitation. It was with the view to
bring about the consideration of terms with the Dominion Government; to hear what they
would do ; to bring the question before the people, and to canvass its defects and advantages,
that I for one have agitated the question. In doing so I have come in for blows from open
enemies and treason from false political friends. Sir, the era of agitation has now passed, and
we advance to the era of negotiation.
When I heard the Hon. Attorney-General, yesterday, invoking High Heaven; and when
I heard him explaining the position of Official Members upon this question ; when I heard him
state that he was always in fa four of Confederation, there flashed across my mind one of the
proverbs of Solomon, which I cannot refrain from repeating : " Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth and wipeth her mouth and saith I have done no wickedness."
[Laughter.] Sir, I respect any Honourable Member who will, if he sees reason to change his
opinion, come down and frankly tell the honest truth ; but when an Honourable Member tries
to make political capital out of other men's labour, I confess I do not respect him. On the
contrary, such men as the latter, when officers of a Government, remind me of the remark
of a clebrated French philosopher, who said : " That in all the mysterious ways of Providence
there is nothing so inscrutable as his purpose in committing the destiny of nations to such
creatures as these."    [Laughter.]
There are men in this Colony entitled to some honour; some men who are entitled to
praise for having brought Confederation to its present stage; but they are not the Honourable
gentleman, the Minister of Justice, nor the Honourable the Chief Commissioner. [Hear, hear.]
Is Earl Granville entitled to the credit of bringing this matter forward? Is Governor
Musgrave, or his Cabinet, or the Officials? No Sir, I should be doing wrong if I permitted it
to be supposed that the credit was due to of them. I have assisted to make history,
and this is a page of it. Let it go forth to the world that the people of this country have made
Confederation the important question that it is to-day.
The Hon. Chief Commissioner, whom we have heard with so much pleasure to-day, made
an allusion to me. He said that when I brought this matter before the Council in 1868, that
the Executive Council opposed Confederation then, and the present terms proved their wisdom
in delaying the question at that time. On that occasion my object was only agitation* to open
negotiations. But, Sir, what did I hear at that time? " You*pension the officials and we will
all vote for Confederation," and I think I could mention another Executive Councillor who
said : "Do you think we are such fools as to vote for Confederation without being provided
for?" That was the kind of wisdom in vogue in 1868. Sir, I again object to Hon. Members
taking credit where no credit is due.    [Hear, hear.]
Let us turn now to the Honourable Member for Victoria City (Dr. Helmcken), once a
warm and generous friend to Confederation; and what has been the result of his opposition?
Impotence. He was impotent to retard the question. He was impotent to advance it. By
impotent, I mean powerless. He was impotent to stem the course of events. He hung out
the banner of Anti-Confederation in Victoria, and won his seat by crying " Down with Confederation." Before he contested the seat with' me, I told him that the Canadian Government
would not negotiate until the North-West Territory question was settled. Yet the Hon.
Member for Victoria City charged me with backing down from Confederation.
The Hon. Member .for New Westminster, also, denounced me in his elegant English in
the Columbian as giving up the cause of Confederation. But, Sir, why did I say that the
Canadian Government would not enter into negotiations with us? It was because I had in my
pocket, at the time, a despatch from a Canadian Cabinet Minister, which said that the
Dominion Government would not negotiate until the questions then pending with respect to
the North-West Territory were settled. The Hon. Member for Victoria City held up, how- -
ever, his puny arm against Confederation. But has he stopped it? No! Not a day, nor an
hour; for as soon as the North-West Territory question was settled, then came a despatch to
the Governor to push on Confederation. I think I have said enough, Sir, to show that it was
the people who took this matter in hand, and it is the people who will carry it through. [Hear.]
'I have risen unprepared to make a set speech, there are still some points raised
in my opinion, require attention.
in debate which Confederation Debate.
The Hon. Attorney-General, after opening his budget upon Confederation, has referred to
the three courses which these termshad to take:—First, they are to be arranged by this House;
next, to go to the Canadian Government; and, thirdly, to be ratified by the people of this
I hope, Sir, that this House will deal with these terms in the interests of British
Columbia. I stand here not as a Canadian, but as a British Columbian; my allegiance is due
first to British Columbia. I sincerely hope that these terms will be dealt with from a British
Columbian point of view, [Hear, hear, hear, hear] and first as to the money value of Confederation. [Hear, hear, from Dr. Helmcken. It may grate on the hear of the once Solicitor-
General (Mr. Wood) to mention money; but Sir, I believe in the old adage that: "Money
makes the mare to go." I do not intend to allude to the terms in the Resolutions at present,
any further than to say, that I do not- believe in going into Confederation without good terms.
I believe that it would be traitorous to British Columbia to consent to Confederation without
good terms; and that we would not do our duty if we did not insist upon getting them.
The Hon. Attorney-General asks why we are not prosperous ? In my opinion, Sir, the
causes of our want of prosperity are various. They first arose under the administration of Sir
James Douglas in 1858, and have been perpetuated down to the present day. The people
were then almost driven away, and down- to the present time the Government have done
nothing comparatively to induce population to settle in the Colony. Another reason is, that
the country is somewhat rugged, and not so attractive for settlement as some others. The
Hon. Member for Victoria City says that it is our proximity to the United States. I most
respectfully deny it. Population would have come if greater efforts had been made to get it.
The Attorney-General is consistent in one thing. He said in 1867, and he says in his speech
now, that British Columbia is of vital importance to Canada. I cannot see it. I cannot see
why the Canadian Railway, if this was a foreign country and our boundary coterminous with
that of Canada, might not have run through to connect with our railway system, as the French
railways connect with those of Belgium.
When sitting in the Vancouver Island House of Assembly, in the place now occupied by the
Hon. Chief Commissioner, I defined British colonists to be politically, nothing but subordinate
Englishmen; and I contend, Sir, that Confederation will give us equal political rights with
the people of Great Britain. In labouring for this canse, Sir, my idea has been and is to assist
in creating a nationality—a sovereign and independent nationality.
Now, I come to the Hon. Member for Victoria City again. I really confess, Mr. President, that I expected more sterling opposition from that Hon. gentleman. I thought we had
here the modern Charles Martel, the celebrated armed warrier who had gone out to drive the
Saracens—the Canadians—back across the Rocky Mountains. I thought that he would have
protested like Paul the Protestant. [Dr. Helmcken—" What became of St. Paul ?"] Paul
was converted, and I hope the Hon. Member may share the same fate. [Laughter.] I expected
the Hon. Member to have delivered a philippic, that would have done honour to Demosthenes
when declaiming against Philip of Macedon. But, I really don't know but what he has been
set up as a target by the Government—a man of straw—to draw the shot of all the Confederate
party. I don't know why he was taken into the Executive Council. I thought that this
Council was an united and impenetrable phalanx, but it seems that it is otherwise. What a
happy family that Executive Council must be ! The Member for Cariboo and the Member for
the City differ in their views, and both differ in this House from the Honourable Executive
Councillors at the other end of the table. It is like Barnuni's happy family. But the Honourable gentleman has told us some things which are good, and besides that he is going to raise
other issues.
[Dr. Helmcken—"!?"]
Yes, the Honourable gentleman said that the issue would be raised at the next election,
between going to Canada and going somewhere else.
[Dr. Helmcken—" I said that I thought it very probable if mean terms were proposed by
Canada, the people would raise other issues."]
O ! I the people," those much abused words. I believe in the people when they are right.
But the Honourable gentleman did threaten to raise the issue of going somewhere else. Now,
Sir where else except to Canada could we go? The Honourable Member talks of the agricultural interests. Why, Sir, by going somewhere else, these interests, from Comox to Sooke, and
from Soda Creek and Kamloops to the Lower Fraser, would be destroyed.   The country would
United States.    From Comox to Sooke, from the delta ot the
be flooded by produce from the fl
32 Confederation Debate.
Fraser to Cariboo, the farming interests would be destroyed by going somewhere else. If that
question came up, Sir, the farmers would quickly put it down. The Honourable Member for
Victoria City says that the question comes here by desire of Her Majesty's Government. Sir,
I say, again, that it comes here by desire of the people, a large proportion of whom have asked
Her Majesty's Government and the Government at Ottawa to bring it here. I am thankful
that the question of Confederation is here. The Honourable gentleman says it is a Government measure, and that the terms must be passed. I say, again, that I hope terms will be
passed of such a character as will contribute to the prosperity and happiness of this Colony.
The Honourable Executive Councillor says that this is a Government measure, and that it
ought to be an open question. Why does he not retire from his seat then ? I would not be a
candidate for his place.
[Dr. Helmcken—"There are no candidates. The Executive Council are appointed."]
Then I am sorry for the choice that has been made. Why, Sir, the programme settled
by Government would leave it virtually an open question by referring the terms to a popular
vote. I may have something to say upon that hereafter. How patriotic will the Honourable
gentleman be when he goes outside, and says that this nominative Council, presided over by a
paid Colonial Secretary, have done this ! How very easy it is for an Honourable gentleman
to talk about the autocracy of Government, when it-suits him to do so. Look at his conduct
in voting supplies When my Honourable friend on my left (the Member for Lillooet) tried
to bring in a Bill to repeal the Crown Salaries Acts, was he not choked off by the Honourable
Member for Victoria City objecting first? But I am only delaying the House. [Hear, hear.]
The Honourable Magisterial Member for Victoria City says "hear, hear." Now, Sir, as far as
I am concerned, the Honourable Member has my full permission to withdraw. [Laughter.]
I have always been ready to take a British subject vote on this question; but the Honourable
Member for Victoria has always dissented from that proposal.
The Honourable Member for Victoria City has a remarkable way of putting things. But
a few days ago he stated in this House, that if the people will only support the Government
in getting the terms proposed, all will be right. I quote from the Colonist newspaper of 20th
February, 1870, in which the Honourable gentleman is made to say, "1 hope the people will
support the Government in trying to get terms." He now comes down here and opposes them.
[Dr. Helmcken—" I don't oppose the terms, I oppose Confederation."] A distinction without
a difference. The Honourable Executive Councillor says the time is inopportune. I say, Sir,
that now is the time. If the new gold discoveries,- which have been mentioned in the course
of this debate, really exist,' now is the time to confederate, and to take means to attract and
retain population. I, Sir, have spent five years of my life in the mining districts' of California,
. and have helped to build up town after town; but how are they now ? Many of those towns
which had their 5,000 inhabitants have almost none now. It will be the same with our gold-
mining towns. I fear the Honourable gentleman will always say the time is inopportune, not
only before the popu'.ation arrives, but when it is here, and after it goes. If we can make a
good bargain with Canada, by all means let us make it, and make it now. I like the word
bargain, it sounds like business. What did the Honourable Member for Victoria say at the
iTnrfrfCtl°nRp"Dont let us have 0oniederation, for we shall have a surplus revenue of
$100,000 in 1869, and we will do better without Confederation." Confederation was inopportune then. There was a large deficit or- falling off in the revenue for 1869, and yet he says it
is opportune now. He said, yesterday, we shall have a reduction of- the public debt in 1873
of about $36,000, and by funding the floating debt make another saving of $15,000 per year
bo that for a paltry saving of $50,000 three years hence, the Confederation question is now-
inopportune. I am surprised at the Honourable gentleman. First, it is inopportune, because
ot the present depression; second, inopportune at the last election, because things looked so
bright; thirdly, inopportune now, because we can save $50,000. Your predecessor as Minister
ot .finance, Mr President, promised great things, but the Governor's Message with the
Estimates shows how they have turned out. I do not deal in prophesy, but in facts Let
any one look at Cariboo. Look at Victoria. If we wait for the time to be opportune we
may wait until it is too late. Suppose any unforeseen accident were to happen to our gold
mines. If the golden spring is dried up, the golden stream that now flows from Cariboo to
Victoria will be dried up also. We are asked by the Honourable Member for Victoria to
wait tor the census of 1871. What has the census of Canada to do with the question ? The
basis of population, asset forth in these terms, is all fiction. It does not come up to my idea
of nation-making.    Why not deal with facts?    Why set up some legal fiction of John Doe Confederation Debate.
and Richard Roe ? I want facts, not fiction. Let us base our financial calculations upon
facts, and the rest will work itself out satisfactorily. Much has been said, during the debate,
about the Red River Territory and its settlement. For my part I don't care if the Red River
difficulty is never settled, so far as it bears on the question before the Council I believe that
the Red River country and the valley of the two Saskatchewans are not so favourable for
settlement as some amongst us are accustomed to assert. But whether the North-West Territory is confederated or not, I go in for Confederation, because I believe we can make terms,
and good terms, with Canada. The Honourable Member for Victoria City talks of the drawbacks to Confederation arising out of the vast extent of country, and our great distance from
the seat of the Federal Government. That will hardly scare anybody, with the example of
the United States before us. Next he says that the Dominion is only an experiment, and
that it may break up. How often have I heard people predict that the United' States, as a
nation, must break up, as it was only an experiment. Why, Sir, they forget that the States
had existed as separate Governments for one hundred and fifty years before their union. So
with the Provinces of the Dominion of Canada; they existed as separate Governments for the
last hundred to two hundred years, and Confederation is but the application of long-tried
principles to a larger territory. Why did not the Honourable Member for Victoria City,
when he said there were defects in the Confederation machine, tell us what the great defects
in the machine were ? He has merely raised up a scarecrow. Then he says it is absurd to
ally ourselves to people who were 3,000 miles away; but nothing in his argument showed me
that the absurdity was proven. I remember, Sir, when the communication between California
and Washington was by Panama and Nicaragua. Was California then less to the United
States than now ? We now can hold communication with Ottawa by San Francisco and the
Pacific Railroad, and will be as near to our Central Government as Washington Territory.
The Honourable Member speaks of people 3,000 miles away being unable to do as well for us
as we could do for ourselves. I believe they could do just as well, so far as some general principles are concerned, if we only settled the conditions properly. With regard to the States of
the neighbouring Republic getting on better than the Provinces or ourselves, I would ask,
where is the progress of Washington Territory, as compared with our own country ? [Dr.
Helmcken—"It contains a much larger population."]    The population is only 5,000 voters?
The Honourable gentleman is pursuing the same devious course as he did in past years,
when he opposed reform, when our Government might have been beneficial to the Colony, had
it been based on the popular will. He says that the deposition of the Free Port drove people
out of the Colony. I take this occasion to state that, in my belief, the deposition of the Free
Port was the commencement of the permanent prosperity of this city, and brought in its train
the dawning of prosperity throughout the whole district, from Comox to Sooke, which includes
the district which I have the honour to represent, and which now numbers six hundred voters,
all of whom are prosperous. There, Sir, lies the key-stone of Confederation ! If the terms
between British Columbia and Canada do not protect the farming interests, the largest and
the only permanent interest in this Colony, Confederation will do no good. If it does not
protect the farming interest, I vote against Confederation, first, last, and all the time.
It would be most unwise to join Canada without protection. We must have a control
over certain imports in the terms, for a protective tariff is the only inducement to farmers to
remain upon the soil. We depend upon them to build up a permanent interest in the country,
that will last for ever.
We most certainly do want extension of commerce, but the true mode to obtain extension
is to add to its volume internally. First, I believe in developing internal trade and industry;
next, I believe in external trade. Allow 'these terms as brought down by the Government to
pass, and in a few years you will reduce Victoria to the position of a mere smuggling village.
Protection is a necessity. So long as there are nations and national interests, so long will it
be necessary to have laws to protect those interests. Allow me, Sir, on this point to say that
there is a great revolution in the value of realty, capital, and labour commencing on the
Pacific Coast. The equalization of the value of realty, capital, and labour has commenced.
The whole tendency of events in the countries to the south of us is to equalize the value of
labour, of real estate, of capital, of manufactures, and of produce on this coast with their value
on the Atlantic side. No such revolution in values has ever occurred on the Pacific Coast,
except that produced by the discovery of gold, as has been produced since the opening of the
Pacific Railroad. Take off protection, then, from our farmers, and they are reduced to the
condition of the agriculturists to the south of us, who will be reduced to the condition of those 34
Confederation Debate.
in the east.    No doubt the prices of our farmers will be reduced by the revolution that is
going on; but give them protection against foreign competition, and there will still be inducement for them to remain.    The Honourable Chief Commissioner referred to this in a very
proper spirit; and the Honourable Member for New Westminster says that it is one of the
most important questions.    I hope, therefore, that the subject will have due weight with them.
The Government of Canada, according to the proposed terms, would give us a surplus
revenue of $200,000.    [Dr. Helmcken—" No."]    The Honourable Member says no.    He may
be right.    But upon the calculation that we shall have $200,000 surplus revenue, I say that
this subsidy will be equivalent to four hundred farmers, who earn in the Colony $500 each,
annually.    By taking off protection from our farmers, to get the $200,000, we would injure
the country instead of benefitting it.    But get the surplus of $200,000, and at the same time
protection for our farmers, and we will do a prosperous business under Confederation.    This is
what we have to arrange, what we have to get into the terms.    [Dr. Helmcken—"All right!
I will help you."]    I would say that "extremes meet," for I now meet my Honourable friend
(I mean political enemy) [" No, no,"] to secure protection.    I do not see, with the Honourable
Member for Victoria City, that we can get all we want without Confederation by a judicious
arrangement of our own tariff.    I can show that what we want most in this Colony is population, and that population employed in a remunerative manner.    Isolation will not secure
population.    Confederation on proper terms will give us population; will give us means to
employ labour remuneratively; will enlarge our commerce, and build up our industry.    If it
give us public works,—if it give us a railroad from a point on the Fraser, below Yale, to
Savona's Ferry on Lake Kamloops,—and if we connect Lake Okanagan with the Spel-mah-
cheen River, by railway, which is only about thirteen miles,—not only will the whole country-
from Osoyoos Lake, on the boundary, behind the Cascades, be opened up and connected with
our chief commercial city, with a cheap and speedy means of transportation, but all this tract
of country traversed by the railways and lake communication will be utilized in producing
wheat and wool, and other articles for exportation.    Victoria, then, will be built up, and will
be the chief commercial city of British Columbia, with all other parts of the Colony tributary
to her.    This is what Confederation on proper terms will do for us.    The Honourable Member
for Victoria said that no lasting union could be maintained, unless the interests of British
Columbia are preserved.    If I look (for argument sake) at these things from a Canadian point
of view, I find that by serving the interests of British Columbia the interests of Canada will
be served.     Canada, as well as British Columbia, will benefit by a protective duty here.
Canada will get the revenue under protection, and British Columbia will have its industry
protected from foreign competition.    And there is no reason that we should not have our
interests protected.    [Dr. Helmcken—" The Organic Act says no."]   The Organic Act says
no such thing.    Confederation is diversity in unity: really and essentially a general unity, and
an application of law to diverse interests.    First, we find that New Brunswick, under the Organic
Act.-gets a temporary subsidy of $63,000 per annum.    None of the other Provinces receive
any temporary subsidy under that Act.    New Brunswick is allowed to collect export dues on
lumber.    All the other Provinces are prohibited from levying dues on lumber.    Now if New
Brunswick gets an additional subsidy, and  levies a lumber tax prohibited to the other
Provinces, why cannot British Columbia get exemption from uniformity in her favour?   Nova
Scotia gets two subsidies, equal to $160,000, which are not in the Organic Act.    The Crown
lawyers say that the grant is not unconstitutional.    This is a noted exception, made to satisfy
the Nova Scotia repeal party.    Another exception is found in the compulsory provision that
appointments to the Judiciary shall be made from the Bar of the Provinces for which the
appointment is made, till the laws and practice are assimilated.    If the Organic Act is wrong
I say change the Act.    But I believe that I have successfully shown that exceptions have   -
been and can be made under the Organic Act.
Now, let us see what this horrible Canadian tariff is
It is too high
i i      , ,-J^h7' Sir> under the EngUsh Constitution different tariffs
in Scot3 ! d 5r°° i aVh/ dlffTnCe * f& 6Xcise SPirit duties that -ere feriod formerly
in Scotland and England, for instance. As a lawyer, not as a judge, I give my opinion that
we can have one tariff in British Columbia, and another in the Atlantic Tvo'ZZ^Jtl
and it the Act does not allow it, then we must alter it.
Organic Act; Confederation Debate.
I have already given notice of motion respecting protection for our farmers and manufacturers. I desire to add a resolution to the proposed terms, keeping the power in the hands of
the Local Legislature to impose a tax on certain imports, in case the tariff be too low. With
respect to brewers, the tariff can easily be arranged so as to protect them; and the Hon.
Member for New Westminster has answered the objection to the Dominion fishery laws. As
for commerce, that common sense that the Hon. Mr. Wood calls statesmanship, will settle that;
for if Confederation would injure the commercial interests of British Columbia, it would also
injure the interests of the Dominion.
The Hon. Member for Victoria City has said a great deal about centralization. But I say,
Sir, that there must be a centre somewhere. We cannot have it in British Columbia, and a
centre would be no worse in Ottawa than in Washington. The Pacific Coast, so far as the
United States are concerned, is represented at Washington, which is not so large a city as
New York.
Representation is one of the most important elements in free Governments; and it has
been urged by the Hon. Mr. Wood and others, that British Columbia would not be heard in the
Canadian Senate or Commons, and that our small delegation would be crushed and out-voted.
I will briefly examine the subject. Now, Sir, the whole of the Pacific States of the United
States have only twelve representatives in Congress—six in the Senate and six in the House
of Representatives. California has two Senators and three Representatives; Oregon, two
Senators and one Representative; Washington Territory, one Delegate; and Nevada, two
Senators and one Representative. Now, it is proposed in the Resolutions to grant to British
Columbia twelve Members—four in the Senate and eight in the Commons—a number equal to
the whole representation of the Pacific States, with 1,000,000 people, in the United States
Congress. Again, there are only five States that have more than twelve Members in Congress.
They are New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Take another glance at the
representation of the States most remote from Washington. Texas has five Members; Florida,
three; Maine, seven; and California, five. Remoteness and small numbers have never caused
any of these States to be treated unfairly. Under the popular system of government there,
the small States do not go to the wall. Has little Delaware gone to the wall ? Has Rhode
Island gone to the wall ? No; neither would British Columbia go to the wall in the Parliament of Canada. The Government of Canada is based on the popular will; and that is the
highest of guarantee that we shall be treated fairly by the Dominion. I have never heard of
Scotland being injured because she had a smaller representation in Parliament than England.
[Hon. Mr. Wood—" Yes, yes.    Two revolutions followed immediately upon union."]
Yes; but that don't affect my proposition. A little blood-letting, however, does no harm
occasionally. I would not object to a little revolution now and again in British Columbia,
after Confederation, if we were treated unfairly; for I am one of those who believe that
political hatreds attest the vitality of a State.    [Hear, hear.]
The Honourable and learned Member for Victoria says that all power will be taken away
by Confederation. Why, Sir, the Hon. gentleman cannot have read the Organic Act; for he
will find the exclusive powers of the Dominion and the Provinces clearly set forth in it.
Then, Sir, on the question of guarantee for the fulfilment of the conditions by Canada, there
appears to be some misapprehension in the Hon. gentleman's mind. In point of fact, we have
a guarantee from the Imperial Government. If the Dominion refuse to keep the terms and
repudiate their part of the bargain, we can appeal to the Imperial Government to release us.
[Hon. Mr. Wood—" Let us have it in black and white."]
Why, let the Act be repealed and down go the terms. The sovereign power is in the
Parliament of England. It made the Act, and if it is violated without redress, it can repeal
it, and the power of Canada ceases.
The Honourable and learned Member for Victoria City has referred to the possibility of
a Fenian invasion, and said what will become of the Railway in such an event. I believe,
Sir, on such an extraordinary occasion, such as invasion, each one in the Colony would be
patriotic enough to do without a few miles of Railway, until the invasion may be put down.
It has been asked what is the gain under Confederation. At present we have no surplus
revenue. But with Confederation on equitable terms, there will be a clear gain of $384,000
annually from subsidies and reduction of tariff; therefore, as $384,000 is to nothing, so is
Confederation to Isolation. There are a great many points to which I could allude were I
disposed to trespass longer on the time of the Council; but I reserve them until we go into
Committee. 36
Confederation Debate.
There,are, however, some few things to which I will passingly allude. It is important to
British Columbia to know what will be the qualification of Members to the Dominion Parliament [Hear, hear, from Dr. Helmcken], and the qualification of electors. And with reference
to the Local Constitution, it may be necessary for us to know whether our Governors cannot
be elected as in the United States, instead of being appointed on the English principle ; and
whether we may not acquire the right to pass local laws over the veto of the Governor, by a
two-third vote of the Legislature, The usury laws, imprisonment for debt, and many other
matters will require careful consideration and attention.
With respect to the main principle, I am in favour of Confederation, provided the financial terms are right in amount, and if the other terms will contribute to the advancement and
protection of our industry. If we cannot get favourable terms, which I believe we can, it will
then be for the people of this country to say whether we shall remain in isolation or seek some
other more favourable union.
The debate was here adjourned until Friday, ajf 1 o'clock.
Friday, 11th March, 1870.
The Debate was resumed by the Hon. Mr. RING, who on his rising was greeted with
cries of " Spoke, spoke."
Hon. Mr. Ring said:—Sir, I have only spoken to the amendment, and have a right to
speak to the original motion.
Doubts were expressed as to the Hon. gentleman's right to speak a second time, but the
Presiding Member was not called upon to decide, and Mr. Ring proceeded:—
Sir, the Hon. Member for Victoria District commenced by congratulating the Council
having the grand question of Confederation now before them. He congratulated them on
great advantage of being able to grapple with a great question like this.
I cannot compliment him on the way in which he introduced his subject. I admire
perseverance, and confess that on many subjects he enlightens Members on both sides of
I lament to find that having alluded to the opening speech of the Attorney General, he
thought fit to cast unwarrantable imputations upon that gentleman and the members of the
Government. He suddenly turned aside and quoted a text, which he applied to the Official
Members of this Council. He likened one of them to a woman who forgets her modesty and
shame, and goes after lovers for bread; to her who has a harlot's forehead, and refuses to be
ashamed. Sir, I deprecate such allusions; they throw no light upon the subject. I think
that an Honourable and grave body like this, on hearing such charges, should have at once
risen to express their indignation rather than have condoned it by their silence. Nothing is
more easy than to take any one act of a man, or of a body of men, and apply it to sinister
motive, when it is capable of an honourable one. Sir, I was very glad that the Hon. Attorney-
General had the courage to follow the example of the English House of Commons. He
finding no Chaplain to this House, supplied the defect by invoking the blessing of God which
was met by a sneer. I say I admire his courage in fronting a godless age, by the invocation
ot the blessing of Him in whom we live and move and have our being. He was not ashamed
to acknowledge the controlling power of Heaven over the destinies of this fallen Colony
Now Sir, the Attorney-General descanted at great length on the advantages of Union
rle put that as the basis of the Government proposition. There is nothing like Union he says •
this is a noble sentiment which all must join in. Everyone would welcome that comprehensive
brotherhood which embraces all civilized Nations. I am sure that when the Hon. Member for
Victoria alluded to the possibility of a prospective union with other Powers, he did not do so
in the idea of this Colony abandoning its allegiance to the Crown; because he expressed a wish
to see the desire of general union spreading, is no reason that he should desire to shake off his
connection with the Mother Country. Had it been otherwise, I should have deplored the Hon
gentleman s less of loyalty. Some surprise has existed, at the Hon. Member for Victoria
offering suggestions as to the possibility of any other union.    Why so?    The Hon   Attorney- Confederation Debate.
General' himself gracefully introduced it. Why should not the English-speaking race live in
peace, and form one nation? The people of the United States spring from one common stock
with ourselves.    I long to see the time when all national sectarianism shall be swept away.
My position as Member for Nanaimo has been assailed in a cowardly way by what is
called the Press. I have been accused of shrinkirig from my duty to my constrtuerits at
Nanaimo, because I echoed their sentiments against Confederation. I ask the indulgence of
the House whilst I allude to what occurred at Nanaimo at the last election. At that time the
question of Confederation was rife throughout the Colony; people's minds were agitated; the
people of Nanaimo were almost unanimous against it. In what I said to them during the
progress of the election, and also on the hustings, I told them that I agreed with their views
against Confederation, but that when it came before the Oounoil I should give it my best
attention. It was not made a test question at my election. The people of Nanaimo are still
of their original opinion; and, therefore, I express their opinion now, against this measure;
and say that their convictions are against Confederation, notwithstanding the " No, noes " of
certain Hon. Members. There may be some amongst them, Canadians by birth and principle,
who desire Confederation, who, though they are here, can say with the poet:—
"Where ere I roam, whatever realmsitee,
My heart vuitravelled fondly turns to thee."
Thus much for Nanaimo.
Now, I say, Sir, thatthe question of Confederation ought to be fully and amply discussed
in this House, and to do this there should be a full House. I deny that it is the desire of the
people to have Confederation, but I say let the people have an opportunity of expressing their
opinions in this House. Let the disfranchised districts have first restored to them the rights
of which they have been defrauded. The Governor has been betrayed into supposing that the
people want Confederation, and assuming this to be true, he says I shall now give the people
an opportunity to discuss the terms.
But let the Franchise be restored, then let the general question of Confederation come
before an enlarged representation; and I say that Confederation should be put alone, aye or
no. Shall we have Confederation? and not upon what terms shall we have it. The proper
course is to dissolve the House, issue new writs, and let the people say whether they want
Confederation; and after they have said yes, then descend into the particulars of it. A
Government measure is now proposed ; we are bound hand and foot, and handed over to
Ottawa. I say, Sir, that being so handed over, we ought to let our masters settle the terms
for us.
I, therefore, venture again, Mr. President, to repeat that if it is to go abroad that the
people desire Confederation, then the House should be dissolved, and a fair vote taken.
The Hon. Member for Victoria District puts it as if the voice of the people had been heard.
I ask how? Through newspapers? Convention? Speeches? I say this is not the proper way.
Let the people speak iri this House, through a full body of Representatives of their own
- The question has been amply ventilated in this Council. The Hon. Member for Victoria
City has gone fully into what he considers the difficulties. He has been met on the other side
in a manly and able reply by the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, who has been
again met by the Hon. Mr. Wood.
It is not for me to go into the question of terms now; but I deriy emphatically that
Confederation is desired by the people. My own constituents are against it; many other constituencies are, as I believe, against it also.
I ask, then, why should the Government attempt to force these Resolutions upon us, by
means of the Official Members, who are only supreme in numbers?
The people have had no opportunity to express their wish. Difficulties have been presented by an Hon. Member, arising from the space between British Columbia and Canada—
difficulties arising from the means of transit, and from the means of communication being cut
off—difficulties arising from what is at present called the rebellion in the North-West Provinces;
that strife, as I am informed, gathering strength day by day. [" No, no," from Mr. DeCosmos.]
Hon. Members say " No, no." I am so informed. I hope it is not so, but if it be, then under
the name of Union we are called upon to take part in this internecine war.
I long for union as much as any man. In union of good there is strength and victory,
but in union of evil their is defeat and disaster. I shall not occupy the time of this Council
in adverting to matters which have been amply discussed; in expressing my conscientious Confederation Debate.
opinion I do my duty. The Hon. Mr. Wood has told us that he counts professional honours
as nought. I say nothing of prior claims to professional honours which I have lost,-from, at all
times, conscientiously supporting what I conceived to be right. His Excellency says that we
are not fit for Responsible Government. I want to know on what local data he says so? Who
has tried the people? On the scope of whose mind is it said they are not fit? Who has
examined them?
The Hon. Member for Victoria District has properly said, if Hon. Members were paid for
their attendance in the House, you would soon see whether men were capable or not to enter
upon and fulfil the duties of Responsible Government. Then we should see ^whether the
gentlemen disguised in mean apparel—Graduates of Oxford, Cambridge, and other Universities—who have cast their lot in this Colony, but are unable to defray their travelling expenses
* from remote places to the Capital. We should see, I say, whether they were capable, or not,
of enlightening and controlling by their wisdom the feeble powers of Governmental diplomacy.
Sir, by enlarged representation we shall discover such men. We had one foot forward in the
direction of freedom, it has been forced back. The franchise has been taken away. Sir, I
have very feebly endeavoured to touch upon these subjects In fine, I affirm that the matter
has not been discussed fairly. There must be an enlarged representation, that the people may
tell the Government what they want.
Hon. Members who have supported Confederation, have failed in showing that this is the
time for it.    They are afraid to ask the people.    They have refused to do so.
Much has been said; more will be said. I have listened, and have heard high-sounding
words, and inflated tautology of this and that Hon. Member, which remind me of soap-bubbles,
which, though beautiful by the reflection of the sun's prismatic colours, are equally remarkable
for their rotundity and their emptiness.
The Hon. Mr. BARNARD said:—Sir, in rising to support the motion of the Hon. and
learned Attorney-General, I can but express my feelings of pleasure in being permitted to take
a part in the great work in hand—that of hewing off the rough corners of the block which has
come to us from the hands of the Executive, and which, after receiving the finishing touch at
the hands of the people, will become the key-stone of the great Confederation arch which will,
ere twelve months, extend from ocean to ocean. The terms as sent down by His Excellency
are, I consider, a fair subject of congratulation. The manner in which they have been received
by this House and the people is another subject of congratulation; and the paucity and, utter
idleness of the arguments used by the opposition, represented in this House as it is by the talent
of the opposing party in the country, are also subjects of congratulation to His Excellency,
this House, and the Country. It is wrong, Mr. President, to charge the desire for Confederation on the part of its promoters to a desire for change. So far as my constituency and the
adjoining ones on the Mainland are concerned, I may say safely that such was not the case—
we accepted the Organic Act constituting this Council, and agreed to work it out to its legitimate end ; and we have not countenanced nor have we been subjected to the many changes
which other parts of this Colony have. I desire, before going further, to allude to a charge
commonly made against my countrymen—often offensively put—but yesterday put by the Hon.
Mr. Wood, in his usual gentlemanly way. It is that of "Canadian proclivity." As a native-born
Canadian, in common with others, I love the land of my birth. We admire her institutions
and revere her laws; but we never forget the land of our adoption, and we would no more
consent to see her wronged by Canada than would the tens of thousands of Englishmen who
have made Canada their home, permit a wrong to be .done her by England.
It is also wrong and contrary to fact that, "so anxious are we for Confederation that we
would accede to any terms proposed." During the past three years, I have been one of the
foremost m advocating the cause of Confederation; and, in so doing, throughout the interior
01 the Colony, I am free to confess I never uttered such a sentiment; and, in justice to my
fellow-countrymen in particular, and the advocates of this cause in general, I will say that I
never heard any one express a desire that this Colony should be confederated, except on such
terms as might, on investigation, be found to be just and beneficial.
We desire Confederation with Canada, because we believe that it will be to the interest of
this Uolony to unite with the progressive Colonies to the east. That they are progressive I
a^ert and as proof I point to the fact that, previous to Confederation,  Canada proper had
00^000 vA1!4'000'000 °n public works> PriaciPaHy m building canals.     Up to 1869, $170,
000,000 had been expended in railways.    She pays to-day $300,000 yearly for her ocean steam Confederation Debate.
mail service alone, and her enterprise is followed by her people. Her manufactures are increasing yearly, and even now she is exporting cloths to England, and competing there with
cheap labour. One firm alone, composed of men who landed in Canada penniless, now has
$9,000,000 invested in ocean steamers, employing 4,500 men, and thus sustaining 22,000
persons. Among the objections urged by Hon. Members against Confederation is our proximity to the United States. This, I hold, is no objection. Canadians are not taught to fear
competition with the United States. The general feeling there is that we can hold our own
(except in point of numbers) with her in any direction whatever. It is to her we look for a
great portion of our trade, and the advantages of such trade are mutual.
The question is often asked: " What are the immediate advantages to be derived by us
from Confederation?" My reply is that, in addition to the amount paid by us way of subsidies, we will save by a reduction in the tariff and by importing Canadian manufactures, a
very considerable sum, thus reducing our taxation. Next, the terms propose that $1,000,000
be spent on a waggon road to be commenced immediately and completed in three years, thus
causing over $300,000 a year to be spent.
Hon. gentlemen will recollect that in 1861, 1862, and 1863, immigration poured in on us,
caused by the report of rich discoveries in Cariboo, and by a knowledge on the part of those
coming that the Government was spending large sums on public works, and that those who
failed in the mines might fall back on the roads to replenish their purses; and many who are
now permanent settlers in the interior acknowledge that they made their " farm stake " there.
How much more is this likely to be the case if the larger works contemplated in the terms are
carried out.
j Then, Sir, look at the construction of a Railway. You may judge of the magnitude of
the work by the following figures:—There were employed on the Central Pacific at one time
25,000 men and 6,000 teams; 600 tons of material were forwarded daily to the point of construction; 30 vessels in harbour at one time, loaded with material; the wharves at San Francisco and Sacramento loaded with railway iron; 70 locomotives landed, and 700 cars built to
carry on the work on cpnstruction account; no less than 30 saw-mills in operation at one point-
at one time. The enterprise that set this enormous trade in motion is not one of greater magnitude than will be the work undertaken on this side, and if our farmers and population
generally do not profit, and that immediately, by the carrying on of such enterprises as these,
let them succumb, for I know of no state of prosperity that can help them. I contend the benefits
of Confederation, in these respects at least, will be immediate. But Hon. Members have said
"the United States will derive the benefit." If that argument holds good, why not tell the
merchants of Wharf Street to close their doors because foreign manufacturers reap a part of
the benefit of their trade. Better, a great deal, for the opponents of this cause to advise the
farmers to cultivate every inch of their farms and garner up their crops, for the day assuredly
will come when they will have ample market for all they can raise.
It has been urged here that Canada cannot retain her population, much less the immigra- -
tion that comes to her shores. In this, Sir, there is considerable truth, although the Hon.
and learned Member for Victoria has not put the matter fairly before this House. In giving
the number of passengers going from Canada to the United States, he has omitted to give you
the number of those passing from the States into Canada. One reason why Canada has not
retained the whole number of emigrants landed on her shores, is that they find greater attractions in the treeless prairies of the Western States than in the heavily timbered lands of
Canada. This, Sir, has ever been a serious drawback to her. But now the case is different.
Having acquired the vast territories of the great North-West, she will open them to settlement, and then she will have inducements to offer such as cannot be boasted of by any other
country in the world. Open those millions of acres to the settler, and you will see such a rush
of immigration—not only from the older countries of Europe, but from the United States—as
will astonish the world, and stand unparalleled in the history of immigration. Canada's hardy
sons who have left their homes for the Western States—allured by the advantages of prairie
over wooded lands—will join in swelling the numbers, and once more plant their feet on
British soil.
The difficulties of defence have been spoken of as a formidable obstacle. Sir, she
never regarded them in any such light. Canada has no fears in that direction. She
relies on the thorough good understanding that has existed between herself and the
United States for so long a period, as a guarantee for the future. Their interests are so
identical that they cannot afford to quarrel.     The troubles between them heretofore have 40 Confederation Debate.
been oil England's account, and not Canada's, as witness the Trent affair, and the more recent
Fenian invasion, which was rather a stab at England than an attack on Canada. During
the recent fratricidal war in the United States, Canada had a difficult part to play in
maintaining strict neutrality, yet she came out unscathed. It must be remembered, also,
that Canada possesses in her canal system a powerful lever—a guarantee for peace—
vastly more potent than fortifications. The great bulk of the produce of the Western States
faiids its way to the ocean through Canadian channels, which could be closed at any moment.
As to that "other issue" (I will not use the word that has been so freely used outside), I
have no fears for Canada or this Colony either. It used to be fashionable here, in early days,
to associate the name of Canada with rebellion. It was the result of prejudice and ignorance,
and was a great mistake.
I recently read, Sir, an account of a meeting held in one of our principal Canadian cities,
on the occasion of a Sabbath school convention. An American gentleman was engaged in
addressing the house, filled to its utmost capacity. In the course of his remarks, having
occasion to refer to Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, he added :—" American though I
am, I can with all my heart say, 'God bless the Queen.'" Immediately, Sir, without any
preconcerted action, the entire audience of men, women, and children rose to their feet and
sung the National Anthem. That gentleman said, that .such a spontaneous, hearty, and
unanimous outburst of loyalty was probably never heard before.
Such, Sir, is the kind of loyalty we were taught in Canada; such is the kind that is being
taught to the rising generation of the new Dominion to-day; and I leave it to you as to
whether there is room for that "other issue" or not.
Before concluding, Sir, I would wish to remark with reference to the charge made by the
Hon. Member for Victoria District against the Hon. Attorney-General, that his conversion to
Confederation was late. I know that it is impossible to make some Honourable Members
believe anything good of Officials, whether in respect of Confederation or anything else; but I
simply desire to relate this fact: I had occasion to go into the Hon. Attorney-General's office
in 1867, and he then showed me a letter, written by himself, in favour of Confederation; and
after peru'snig that letter I felt convinced that when, in his estimation, the proper time
arrived, the cause would have a warm and sincere advocate in the Attorney-General. I mention this in order to show that the Hon. Member for Victoria District has no right to arrogate
to himself that he was the only man who was far-seeing enough to recognize the advantages of
Confederation three years go, and as a reproof to him for finding fault with the position taken
by Hon. Official Members on this question now.
To sum up, Sir, I say that amongst the statesmen of Canada we may safely look for men
fully competent to control the affairs of a young nation. They are men of as much ambition
and grasp of thought as are the rulers in the adjoining States; and, depend upon it, nothing
will be left undone to advance the prosperity and well-being of every portion of their vast
Dominion. We may safely repose full confidence in them. England has done so, or she
would never bave committed the well-being of four millions of her subjects to their care.
They can steer the good ship " Dominion" and hold her on her way. She will receive
many a shock, "but 'twill be of the waves, and not the rock."
The Hon. Mr. HUMPHREYS, Member for Lillooet, said :—Mr. President, It is not my
intention to occupy the attention of the House at any great length. I shall pass in review
rapidly the arguments for and against Confederation, as they have been used by Hon. Members who have spoken during the progress of this debate.
It seems to me, Sir, that the people and their interests have been entirely ignored
throughout the discussion of this question, and perhaps intentionally. I refer to the subject
of Responsible Government ["Hear, hear," from Mr. DeCosmos], which has up to this stage
been all but lost sight of.    I, Sir, am one of those men who believe in the people.
I remember that in opening this debate, the Hon. Attorney-General invoked the Divine
blessing upon the work upon which we were then entering. This was high-sounding, and a very
nice picture to look at, but it does not wear well without that strict attention to the divine
rights of the people, which is inalienable from true political economy.
I have a distinct recollection of most Hon. Members now occupying an- official position at
this Council Board, and of the positions which they occupied-when first they came to this
Oolony. I have often asked myself what entitles these Hon. Members to govern this Colony
but I have never been able to answer myself satisfactorily.    I am perfectly ready to admit the Confederation Debate.
ability of Executive Members as individuals. The learned eloquence of the Hon. Attorney-
General has always, since I have had the honour to sit at this Council Board, impressed me
with a deep sense of the advantage of thorough forensic training; and the power and force of
the reply of the Hon. the Chief Commissioner has ever and again made me feel with especial
force the utter hopelessness of combatting stern official reticence witih even the most brilliant
powers of oratory. Yet, Sir, whatever our admiration for individual excellence, however great
our estimation of personal, worth, the question has still remained unanswered, and, in my
opinion, unanswerable. What is there in the collective wisdom of these Honourable Official
Members that entitles them to arrogate to themselves the right to rule ? Are they, I ask, the
dominant race, and are the people serfs ?
We have heard a great deal about absorption, and the danger of the larger body swallowing up the smaller. I think about as much of that danger as I do of the other evil threatened
in such earnest and thrilling language by the Hon. Member for Victoria, namely, that our
salmon would, under Confederation, and the protection from salmon nets that would be
extended to them, increase and multiply to such an extent that they would absorb all the
smaller fish. I, however, to speak seriously, doubt very much if the Hon. Member can cite a
single example in history of the larger absorbing the lesser, unless the larger possessed better
qualifications, as in the case of the absorption by British Columbia of Vancouver Island. Sir,
we must give up all personal prejudices, and we must bend our minds to the establishment of a
great British Empire upon this Pacific Coast.
Lord Macauley says that "Governments are made for the people, and not the people for
the Governments." Yet, Sir, how different seems to be the course of reasoning in this
Colony. Here we have a strange compound of sickly representation and unpopular officialdom. The want of Responsible Government has become intolerable ; the people have ceased
to respect the Government, and the Government seem to be doing their best to educate the
people up to hating the officials. There is to my mind, Sir, no necessity for the continuance
of such a state of things; only let the people's voice be heard, and there will be a change.
The overwhelming preponderance of the official element in this Council, and the presence in
the Legislative body of officials who are paid by the people, and yet are not responsible to
them, is the real cause of the alienation of the hearts of the people from the Government.
The votes of these Hon. gentlemen must always oscillate between their own interests and
what their own consciences dictate to them as for the good of the country. It is our duty,
Sir, to bring back the hearts of the people. We must have a Government by and for the
people. This is what 1 believe the people really require, and this and more, if necessary, the
Government must be prepared to give them. The people of this Colony will consent to no
arrangement which has not for its foundation—Responsible Government. We must be prepared to pull down and demolish the old structure, in order to rear up one that shall endure—
as a Government secure in the affections of the people only can endure. I warn Hon. gentlemen that they must endeavour to recover the wills of the people; then, and not till then, will
return that prosperity which we all desire to see.
I hope, Sir, that the Executive will not attempt to make any arrangement with the
Dominion Government which does not include popular self-government. The people will
never accept Confederation without Responsible Government.
We must first get the tre