near as possible; but at all events do whatever is necessary to enable the Imperial Parliament to act this session, and ere the year is out we will have the proud consciousness of having erected a British American Confederation, to enter, as I believe, upon a career of greatness and prosperity which will fulfil our most sanguine expectations.

You will observe that I provided in my resolution that the delegation from each province (counting Canada two) was to have an equal "voice," i.e. vote by provinces, as we did at the Quebec Conference. My object in that was to enable each province to send whatever number of delegates might be thought desirable or necessary to meet local feeling. I think we will be obliged to take seven ; but I would be glad to learn by telegraph what you think on that point. Be good enough to write me fully, or telegraph at length upon the receipt of this, and oblige.--Yours faithfully,



June 19th, 1866. MY DEAR SIR,—I wrote by overland mail, but as the China is here, and this may reach you sooner, I wish to impress upon you the urgent necessity of immediate action. I enclose a letter from Archibald, giving you his views and Mr. McCully's, but the necessity is, I conceive, still greater than he represents it, as if the Imperial Act does not pass during the present session, a new House here may obstruct and defeat the whole arrangement ere Parliament meets again. Tilley writes me that they can be ready at once,

I wish you

and Canada ought not, I think, under the circumstances, to be behind. You see the state of the case, do the best you can. If you cannot be ready for the 4th July, say the 11th from N.Y., and we can go by the 4th and meet in England. The China is going, and I must close. would telegraph to me the first moment you can.--Ever yours faithfully,



March 14th, 1868. MY DEAR SIR JOHN, -Before leaving for England I think it right to inform you that after mature reflection I have decided that it is my duty to decline the office of chairman to the Intercolonial Railway Commission, which you have kindly offered me, as I fear the acceptance of the position would weaken my influence in rendering the union of the provinces acceptable to the people of Nova Scotia. I attach great importance to their cordial acceptance of the union, and believe that I may be able, if untrammelled by such an office, to contribute something to disabuse the minds of many of the people there of erroneous opinions which are now entertained on that question.—With many thanks for your kind offer, I remain, yours faithfully,


Westminster Palace Hotel,
Victoria Street, London, S.W.

April 9th, 1868. MY DEAR SIR JOHN,–I duly received your note of the 23rd ult., and the copy of the minute of

I en

Council. Day before yesterday I received your cable telegram respecting the fishing licences, and giving me the awful intelligence of the assassination of poor McGee. It was announced in the morning papers, but I hoped against hope until your telegram came. I cannot tell you how inexpressibly it has shocked me, and the very painful sensation it has created everywhere here. close a notice of his death in the Telegraph, which expresses the universal sentiment felt towards his memory in this country.

I found the Government and all our friends here very much gratified by my arrival, as the efforts Howe and Company were making through the Press and members of Parliament occasioned a good deal of anxiety. Until I hear from you to the contrary I will observe your instructions to keep out of the newspapers, although the opinion of the Government and all our friends, as well as my own, is the very reverse. I explained fully to the Colonial Office the views and policy of the Canadian Government, and they meet with their hearty concurrence. There will be no difficulty there. What I fear is an unpleasant discussion in Parliament. Bright has promised to bring the question forward, and I fear statements may be made which will foment agitation in Nova Scotia and encourage our annexationist opponents in the United States ; vide Goldwin Smith's speech in Times, April 11th. I shall use all the means in my power, should a public appeal become necessary—which is the only way of really dispelling the ignorance which exists, even among members of Parliament—to meet this difficulty.

I called and left a card for Mr. Howe (who was not in) immediately after my arrival, and saw Annand and Smith, but made no reference to politics. Last Monday morning Howe came to see me here, and we spent two hours in the most intimate and friendly, I may say unreserved discussion of the whole question. He met me with the observation that he would not say that he was glad to see me here, but that he expected me, as he knew that under the circumstances I must come. He said that if the Government and Parliament refused to do anything, he intended to tell the people of Nova Scotia that he was ready to adopt any course they might decide upon. I told him that I considered it due to my own character as a public man, as well as to the interests of my country, to obtain the approval of Nova Scotia to the union; that I had, after careful consideration, decided that it could be done despite all opposition, and had refused the chairmanship of the Railway Commission in order to leave myself untrammelled, and strengthen my hands for the work, but that I was tired of fighting, and knew the struggle would be most injurious to all concerned. I told him I expected him to do all in his power to obtain repeal, both with the Government and Parliament; but that in case he failed he must see that persisting in a course of antagonism to the Dominion and Imperial Governments would only end in the ruin of himself and his party, and be the cause of immense mischief to the country. I told him if, on the other hand, he went back to Nova Scotia and told them that before entering upon any further antagonism they had better give

the union a fair trial, he would find the Government and Parliament of the Dominion not only ready to make any practical concession to the interests of Nova Scotia, but to give the public sentiment of the people, as expressed at the election, the fullest weight; that a seat in the Government and the position declined by myself would afford the means of doing justice to the claims of the Nova Scotia party; and that I would unite my fortunes with theirs and give them the most cordial support.

He appeared deeply impressed by my statements, and said a great many civil things, but expressed his fears that if he took that course his party would abandon him. I told him that between us we could rally to his support threefourths of the wealth, education and influence of the country, and that I could assure him that he would thus entitle himself to the most favourable consideration of the Crown. The duke has entered warmly into my views, and has invited Howe and myself to visit him at Stowe Park next Monday.

I met Annand at a party at Mr. Miller's last night. Tell Tilley that Mr. Wiggins, one of the wealthiest men in New Brunswick, who a year ago was very hostile to the union, told me that he refused to sign an application to admit Mr. Annand to the Reform Club because he is totally opposed to their mission and thinks it very injurious to our interests. Howe told me that he had a cable telegram from St. John that Cudlip had been elected as an avowed repealer by a show of hands. What are the facts ? I may mention I have heard of Howe's speaking of me in a quarter

« ForrigeFortsett »