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THE ^'-'^^^ /vi^o< 'L^^t^^^^O *^i 



REPEAL AGITATION: 



AND 



tl^at is to rorn^ of it? 



ADDRESSED TO THE 

PEOPLE OF NOVA SCOTIA. 



BY P. S. HAMILTON. 



HALIFAX, N. S. 
PRINTED AT BARNES' STEAM PRESS. 

1868. 



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^.''V*^/ 



TO THE PEOPLE OF lOVA SCOTIA. 



V 



I do not know that I need make any apology for undertaking, 
as I now do undertake, to address to you a few observations 
upon certain political topics which are, at the present time, 
uppermost in the minds of all Nova Scotians who give any 
attention to politics at all. Although I occupy no public 
position which might seem to challenge attention to aught 
that I may have to say upon the more momentous questions 
of the day, it will be found that the remarks that I am about 
to make refer to subjects upon which I have already and re- 
peatedly appeared before the public as a political writer, with- 
out the veil of the anonymous. An additional reason for my 
so re-appearing now is, that as I shall have to pursue a course 
of argument differing in some important particulars from that 
followed by every political journal in this Province, it is but 
fair for me to append my name to what I write, that nobody 
may be held accountable for my views except myself* 

For many months past, an agitation has been going on in 
Nova Scotia in favor of a repeal of the Union of the Canadian 
Provinces, finally consummated on the ist July, 1867. It is 
now about time for us to be able to consider this whole subject 
of Union calmly and dispassionately. In this relation, it is, for 
any practical purpose, little better than a waste of words to 
talk of what might be, or what should have been. To be sen- 
sible, we must gravely consider what has been and what is ; 
we must consider the hard, indisputable facts that are before 
our eyes, and do so with a sincere desire to further our own 
best attainable interests, and to honestly discharge our prac- 
ticable duties. 

The incidents which go to make up Nova Scotia's share of 

* It may be mentioned that the earlier pages of these observations were writ- 
ten in June last, before the return of the Repeal delegates from England, or the 
publication in Nova Scotia of the Duke of Buckin; "n's dispatch ; and that they 
were originally intended for publication in the new.^paper press. 



i 



the history of the Canadian Union arc so fresh in your memory 
that I need not recapitulate them. Tlie mode in wliich that 
Union was effected has created a vast amount of angry fecHng 
in this Province ; and certainly this is a fact not to be won- 
dered at. I have reason to believe that it has not been a 
matter of surprise to anybody, within, or without, Nova 
Scotia, at all conversant with the circumstances of the case. 
What were those circumstances .'' briefly then — only a few 
months before the celebrated Quebec conference of 1864, 
Nova Scotia was more desirous of this Union than any other 
Province which has since entered into it ; and the measure 
had here been discussed for many years, and advocated by all 
our more prominent politicians of all parties. 

True, a large portion of the people either had never thought 
very seriously of the matter, or were somewhat indifferent 
about it ; but of actual opponents of the proposed Union there 
were none. No sooner was the Quebec Convention made 
public than, owing to causes which I took occasion to indicate 
in some letters upon this subject published about a year since, 
but which I need not recapitulate now, a small host of 7\nti- 
Union agitators appeared in the field. A number of these, 
whom subsequent events have proved beyond even the possi- 
bility of a question to be mere speculators upon human frailty, 
were particularly violent in their denunciations of Union and 
sedulous in poisoning the public mind against it. ICvery 
prejudice against fellow-colonists that could be created, or 
fomented, every fea*" that could be aroused, every angry 
passion that could be excited against the proposed Union, 
was vigorously plied by these affectedly virtuous and indignant 
quacks, as they "stumped" the country against Union. The 
Government of the day, with their Union measure in hand, 
and lately so elate in their confidence of carrying it, wilted 
down under the popular storm thus raised and appeared before 
the country like a gang of mischievous boys suddenly detected 
in the act of attempting to perpetrate some piece of trickery 
too heinous to be considered a joke, but who now declared 
they would not do the like again The Union scheme was, 
in the legislative session of 1865, virtually forsworn by those 
who, but a few weeks before, had vauntingly declared their 
determination of carrying it during that session. Nothing 
can be more natural than that thousands of the people of the 
country should look with something worse than suspicion 
upon a definite measure, the consummation of which must 
obviously involve momentous results, which was thus dropped 



as soon as it bcpj^n to get ventilated before the country. 
The session of 1866 aurives ; and the Union measure, which 
the leader of the Government had declared his intention of 
abandoning-, is again, and in as nearly a surreptitious manner 
as was possible, brought before the Legislature, and carried 
too — carried by the votes of the very men who, a short twelve- 
month before, had striven to impress the country with the 
conviction that its utter damnation was involved in the passing 
of this measure. And, as you are well aware, by the time 
another year had elapsed these double-dealing politicians 
received their virtuous rewards. With a cruel and most 
insulting m.ockery, some of them were elevated to the Domi- 
nion Senate, some to the Provincial Legislative Council, as 
the representatives of the people they had twice deceived, and 
by whom they were cordially detested ; whilst others were in 
other ways kindly provided for at the public expense. 

What wonder that a large number of the people of Nova 
Scotia, who had not studied up the Union scheme, should be 
alarmed at the results of a measure brought about by such 
"by-paths and crooked ways"! What wonder if, in the first 
paroxysm of alarm, they refused to believe that anything could 
be good which had to be cftected by such disreputable means 
and agencies ! Human ingenuity could scarcely have devised 
any mode of bringing any great public measure before the 
people of Nova Scotia better calculated to arouse their fears 
and sting them to hostility, than the mode pursued with refer- 
ence to this one of Union. The manifestations of both feelings 
were unmistakably manifes ed in the general elections of 
1867. Although in those elections the innocent did, in some 
instances, suffer for the guilty, no Union man in the Dominion 
of Canada, however hearty in the cause, can Wame Nova 
Scotia for the verdict she brought in on polling day. And 
indeed in all the reports ef all the discussions which have 
taken place on this matter, outside of Nova Sf^otia, I have not 
yet seen that h. ly person in a position to be conversant with the 
facts, has pretended either to blame the electors of this Pro- 
vince who have so emphatically made a rf;cord of their feelings 
in this matter, or to defend the conduct of those of their 
fellow-countrymen who have so grossly deceived them. The 
action of Nova Scotia on that occasion is recognized among 
all right-thinking men as the indignant protest of a free, 
spirited, but outraged people, against the chicanery of men 
whom they had too confidingly trusted, and by whom they 
had been gro.ssly deceived. 



It is time for us now, however, to consider whctiier tlie re- 
sentment thus kindled may not i)e carried to an extreme at 
once fool'sh and dangerous ; whether it has not already 
expanded in directions where it ought not to be manifested. 
Doubtless a number of those who recorded their votes in the 
Nova Scotia Parliamentary elections of 1S67, did so as sincere 
opponents of Union of the Colonies ; but there were thousands 
of as sincere Unionists who, for the causes I have already 
named, voted for what were called Anti-Union candidates ; 
whilst by far the largest proportion of the electors did not 
look at the question of Union at all. With these latter two 
classes, it was not a great question of state upon which they 
felt called upon to decide. It was a question between man 
and man ; and they voted down the men and the nominees of 
the men who had treated them as if they were utterly destitute 
of any will of their own. These two classes ought to beware, 
however, not to allow the resentment Ihey justly feel towards 
those who had tricked them into a Union with their fellow- 
colonists, to direct itself against Union itself It is, I know, 
somewhat difficult to separate the two objects ; but it should 
always be remembered that many a good result has fortu- 
nately been attained by very improper means. In such cases, 
although the end never justifies the means, we should be 
cautious not to assume that the end is necessarily bad because 
the means by which it was effected were evil. 

In what we may call the Anti-Union agitation which is now 
going on in this Province, an effort seems rather to be made 
to draw away the public mind from its original cause of re- 
sentment. We hear less and less of the mode in which the 
Union was brought about — of the treacherous double-dealing 
and venality of those by whose purchased votes the measure 
was carried. But Union itself — Union upon any terms — is 
denounced ; the statesmen of England, Quebec, and Ontario, 
are blamed for the part taken by them in effecting the Union ; 
and indeed, I may say in general terms, that no small measure 
of somewhat intemperate abuse is being daily hurled at those 
sections of the British Empire. I hope to be able to show, in 
the following remarks, that such a procedure is very unjust 
and very impolitic ; and that, if persisted in, it must materially 
damage the interests of Nova Scotia. 

Recollect where this Union movement originated. It waS' 
not in the old Province of Canada, nor in New Brunswick, nor 
yet in England. It was in Nova Scotia. Here the first 
official step in that direction was taken in 1854^ when the 



6 



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lion. J. W. Johnston laid upon the tabic of the House of 
Assembly, his resolution in favor of a Union of these Colonies. 
The only speakers on the subject besides himself, on that 
occasion, were the Honbles. Joseph Howe, William Youn^, 
and Martin I. Wilkins, who all expressed their deep rej.^rets at 
the then disjointed condition of these Colonies, and warmly 
supported the policy generally outlined in Mr. Johnston's reso- 
lution. Althouf;h no vote was taken, the sentiments uttered 
by these four gentlemen certainly seemed to be unanimously 
concurred in by the House, and not one syllable was uttered 
by anybody against the proposed measure. The other parties 
who have since concerned themselves in the question of Union 
could scarcely fail to regard these facts as a most significant 
expression of opinion on the part of Nova Scotia. This was 
but a small step Unionwards, it is true ; but still it was a step 
which doubtless produced immediate and important results 
upon the minds of the politicians of the other Provinces ; and 
it was taken by the Legislature of Nova Scotia, which ordered 
the resolution and speeches just mentioned to be printed and 
circulated. 

Let us come down to 1857. Canada had not yet spoken, 
New l^runswick had made no sign, on the subject of Union, 
On the i6th day of June of that year, at a meeting of the 
Executive Council of Nova Scotia, at which were present the 
Honbles. J. W. Johnston, Charles Tupper, Michael Tobin, 
Martin L Wilkins, Stayley Hrown, John J. Marshall, and John 
Campbell, it was resolved to send Messrs. Johnston and A. G. 
Archibald as delegates to England for the purpose of, among 
other things, urging upon the Imperial Government the im- 
portance of a Union of the North American Colonies. They 
did so urge ; but, as shown by the report of the result of their 
mission, the British Government at that time, or at least the 
Colonial Secretary, Mr. Labouchere, was very indifferent about 
the matter. But here was an important fact, for which Nova 
Scotia alone was accountable, held up to the view, and for the 
consideration, of the neighbouring Colonies. The ministry of 
this Province, a strong Government at the time, representing 
a large majority of the electors of the country, formally and 
solemnly urge a Union of the Colonies ; and one of the most 
prominent members of the Parliamentary Oppositions© hearti- 
ly concurs in the measure as to consent to become a delegate 
to England, in order to press it forward. 

It was not until 1858 that Canada, led by the example of 
Nova Scotia, made the first move in this matter ; but it does 



6 

not seem to have been a very energetic one. In that year, 
Messrs. Cartier, Ross, and Gait, on a delegation to England, 
addressed a letter to the Colonial Secretary of the day, Sir 
K. 1^ Lytton, urging the Union ; but they received little en- 
couragement, and the subject was dropped. 

Nova Scotia, however, soon returned to the charge as to 
something upon which the heart of the country was set, by 
whatever party administration it might happen to be governed. 
In 1861, as you may remember, the Executive Council of this 
Province consisted of Messrs. Joseph Howe, A. G. Archibald, 
J. McCuUy, J. H. Anderson, William Annand, B. Wier, jno. 
Locke, Colin Campbell, and T. 1). Archibald. On the I5lh of 
April, Mr. Mowe, the leader of that Government, brought into 
the House of Assembly the following resolution : — 

"/^7/tvr(/,(■, Tlie subject of a Union of" the North American Provinces, or of the 
Maritime I'rovinccs of British America, has been from time to lime vnooted and 
discussed in all the Cohinies, 

".-/;/(/ U7/i>y(is, While many advantages may I)e secured Iiy such a Union, 
either of ail these Provinces or of a portion of them, many and serious oI)stacle!» 
arc i)rescnted which can only l)e overcome by mutual consultation of the leading 
men ot tiie Colonies, and by free comnuniication with the Imperial (iovcrnment, 

" y/it'/r/oiY A'lsoh'cu/, 'I'hat His Kxccllcncy the Lieutenant-Governor be respect- 
fully requested to i)ut himself in connnunication with His Grace the Coh^nial 
Secretary, and Ilis I'l.xcellcncy the Governor-General, andthe Lieutenant-Govern- 
ors of the other North American Provinces, in order to ascertain the i)olicy of 
Her Majesty's (lovernment, and the o])inions of the other Colonies, with a view 
to an enlightened consiileration of a tpiestion involving the highest interests, and 
upon which the public mind in all the Provinces ought to be set at rest." 

This resolution was put to vote and passed unanimously, 
another fact which could not be interpreted outside this Pro- 
vince otherwi.se than as an emphatic expression of the public 
opinion in Nova Scotia. Owing, as Mr. Howe afterwards 
stated, to the facts that a general election occurred in New 
Brunswick in 1861, and that the island of Prince lulward was 
much occupied with a controversy that engrossed public atten- 
tion in that year, no action was taken upon this question until 
1862. In August of that year its consideration was urged by 
Mr. Howe upon the resi>ective governments of Canada, New 
Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Early in September 
following, he, Mr. McCully, and Mr. Annand, with delegates 
from the other Provinces, held a conference upon this and 
other Intercolonial questions at Quebec ; and it was afterwards 
semi-ofificially announced here that the Union policy was una- 
nimously agreed upon. In this instance. Nova Scotia had, 
as usual, taken the initiative and solicited the co-operation 
of her sister Colonies to bring about this Union. 

Nothing came of this Conference, however. Within the 



ensuinj; year, Canada was kept in a ferment by a succession 
of fierce party stru^,i;les ; and Nova Scotia went through a 
general election and a chan<;e of ministry. The next step 
Unionwards was a somewhat awkward one ; but it eventuated 
in important results. In the Lej^islative Session of 1864, 
Dr. Tupper introduced and carried his resolution in favor of 
the utterly impracticable measure of bringing Nova Scotia, 
New lirunswick, and Prince Kdward Island into a Legislative 
Union. Almost at the same time, Canada, now and at last 
thoroughly in earnest, resolved in Parliament upon striking a 
vigorous blow for the more comprehensive mea.sure to include 
all the Colonies, or, failing that, to federate Canada alone. 

When the delegates of the Maritime Provinces met at 
Charlo'^^'^town in the autumn of 1864, it did not require many 
hours ol Conference to enable them all to see plainly that, in 
the then existing state of affairs, a Union of the Maritime 
Provinces was simply an impossibility. Opportunely a dele- 
gation from the Canadian Government arrived upon the field 
and proposed — what.'' The very thing for which Nova Scotia 
had been striving, and vainly striving for years ! The Nova 
Scotian delegates, and with them the delegates of the other 
Maritime Provinces, unhesitatingly accepted the Canadian 
proposal. Hence the Quebec Conference ; and you know the 
rest. 

You must, therefore, see that from the very commencement 
of this Union movement down to the meeting of the Quebec 
Conference, in the autumn of 1864, Nova Scotia took the lead. 
It was Nova Scotia that first mooted the subject in Parliament. 
It was Nova Scotia that first urged this Union upon the con- 
sideration of the Imperial Government. It was Nova Scotia 
that repeatedly solicited the other Provinces to conjoin with 
her in elaborating and consummating a Union scheme. I am 
now speaking of the public and unanimous acts of the succes- 
sive Parliaments and Ministers of Nova Scotia for a period of 
ten years, during which they may be reasonably supposed to 
have represented all shades of political opinion in this Province. 
But this is not all. When we come to look at the unofficial 
effort put forth in furtherance of this scheme, we find that 
Nova Scotia has taken a like prominent position far in advance 
of the other Provinces concerned. So long ago as 1848, a 
portion of the newspaper press of this Province was committed 
to the advocacy of Union ; and this policy became gradually 
adopted until, on the eve of the Quebec Conference, there 
was scarcely a political journal in Nova Scotia that was not 



8 



avowedly Unionist. Separate essays too, strenuously advo- 
cating; that great constitutional change and emanating from 
this Province, were freely circulated throughout British North 
America. In short, I may say without fear of contradiction, 
that, down to the passing of the " British North American 
Act," more matter upon this subject had been jnibiished by 
the press of Nova Scotia than by that of all the other Provinces 
taken together. On the other hand, look at this striking faci. 
During all the years that the popular mind of Nova Scotia 
V s kept in more or less of a ferment upon this subject ; 
Wiiilst Union was being freely and publicly discussed ; whilst 
our Legislature solemnly voted for it ; whilst our Government 
sent delegations to England, praying that the Colonial nuptials 
might be consummated ; whilst Nova Scotia affectionately 
and repeatedly invited the neighbouring Colonics to become 
one with her for all time ; — during all this time, down to about 
the close of 1864, not one petition to Queen, Governor, or 
Legislature, had ever been presented, not one line had ever 
been published, not one public speech had ever been uttered, 
in Nova Scotia, adverse to the projected British North Ame- 
rican Union. 

Such being the circumstances, could Englishmen, Cana- 
dians, New Brunswickers have dreamed for a moment that 
the consummation of the Union should l^ immediately suc- 
ceeded in Nova Scotia, not only by an indignant outcry against 
Confederation itself, but by expressions of anger, not to say 
malignity, against t/u-m for having dragged us into this 
Union .'' It was Nova Scotia which has had years of dragging 
to get them into it. If there has been seduction anywhere, 
Nova Scotia is the seducer. 

The course pursued by the public men of Ontario, Quebec, 
and New Brunswick since the Union, is not a subject which I 
have now to consider ; but here I would ask Nova Scotians : 
is it — I will not say generous — but is it fair — is it honorable — 
is it manly for us to rail out vehemently against the public 
men, the press, and the people of the other Provinces, and 
even against the countries themselves as specimens of nature's 
work, on the ground that they have dragged us into this 
Union ? Is the Union a crime ? Then we must look for the 
principal share of the guilt amongst ourselves, here in Nova 
Scotia, and not go beyond our borders to pile it upon other 
people's shoulders. Whatever may be the defects in the terms 
of the Confederation, it is now a fixed, irrevocable fact. The 
people of New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario, are our 



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fellow-subjects, our fellow-countrymen, our political brethren, 
and something nearer still. Their interests are our interests ; 
their honor is our honor ; their reputation is our reputation. 
Therefore, whatever else they may be, any contumely attempted 
to be heaped upon them by us, without good and sufficient 
cause, can scarcely fail to rjcoil upon our own heads. 

I have shown by citing indisputable historical facts, how 
groundless was the charge against Ontario, Quebec, and New 
Brunswick, of having dragged Nova Scotia into what it has 
become fashionable in some quarters to call " this hated 
Union." The same facts also go to prove how groundless is 
the like charge made against England. The Union complained 
of was not even projected by the Imperial Government. It 
was not assented to by the mother country until after Nova 
Scotia had been, for many years, earnestly and eagerly solicit- 
ing that measure at her hands. When at length that assent 
was given, it is obvious that British statesmen, of all parties 
and classes, gave themselves cordially to the scheme. And, 
in the name of all that is just or generous, how can they be 
charged with having in this matter acted tyrannically towards 
Nova Scotia.'' In strict accordance with her long established 
Colonial policy, and, further, with the Colonial policy of 
all modern nations, England was under no sort of obligation 
whatever to consider our wishes as to the sort of Con- 
stitution we would like. Heretofore, she, by her own act, 
and of her own free will, has given to Nova Scotia and 
to all her other Colonies, their Constitution in the first in- 
stance, and all the essential modifications and amendments of 
those Constitutions afterwards. P^xcept in some particularly 
important cases, it has not been considered necessary that the 
British Parliament should be consulted in the matter ; but the 
Colony has accepted its local Constitution at the hands of 
whomsoever for the time happened to be the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, as the product of his own individual 
brain, or that of some of his official subordinates. From what- 
ever particular motive agent in the political mechanism of 
England, the Colonies have received their respective local 
Constitutions, will any of you have the kindness to inform me 
of the number of instances in the history of the British Empire 
in which a Colony has been asked to ratify, before being put 
in operation, the Constitution presented to it by the mother 
country ? When Cape Breton was united to Nova Scotia, not 
only were the wishes of the people of that island not consulted, 
but they were grievously offended at the step which was thus 



. 



10 



taken by a British minister on his own personal responsibility. 
When, about thirty years since, the two Provinces of Upper 
and Lower Canada suffered a suspension of their local jxjliti- 
cal Constitutions, and were, by an Act of the British Parlia- 
ment, brought into a Legislative Union, neither of them was 
consulted as to the justice, or policy, of such a step. There 
was no appeal to the people, no submission to the peojile's 
Parliamentary representatives in either Prcvince, either to 
approve of the Union beforehand, or to ratify the Union Act 
after it had been enacted by the Parliament of luigland. 

It would, then, have been in strict accordance with what 
had always theretofore been the policy of the mother country 
towards her Colonies, and" what had never been questioned as 
a correct and sound policy, if Her Majesty, without any refer- 
ence to our local authorities, had, in the exercise of her Con- 
stitutional rights and in a Constitutional manner, united the 
wJiolc of her North American Colonies. That such a proce- 
dure was not adopted and acted upon, constitutes, in my 
humble opinion, the only ground of complaint against the 
statesmen of P2ngland who have been instrumental in bringing 
about this Union. You will admit, I have the presumption to 
say, that, if such a course had been pursued, there would have 
been no outcry on the part of Nova Scotia that a wrong had 
been committed. The loyalty which has ever characterized 
the people of Nova Scotia ; the faith on your part that Her 
Majesty's Government has always intended to do what was 
right by these Colonies, whether it always took the most 
judicious mode of accomplishing this, or not ; your knowledge 
that that government had a right to take such a course — these 
causes would have led you to quietly acquiesce in the position 
in which you were placed. You know it would. But the 
Imperial Government, if it erred at all, erred on the side of 
leniency. A continued determination was shown by that 
Government, whether Tories or Whigs happened to be in 
power, to do nothing in this matter until the several Provinces 
directly interested clearly and unmistakeably evinced their 
desire to come into the Union. As we have seen, the very 
first entreaty made to England to unite the Colonies emanated 
from the Colonies themselves, and from the particular Colony 
of Nova Scotia. In the interview upon this subject which 
Messrs. Johnston and Archibald had with Mr. Labouchere in 
1857, they were informed by him "that Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment had no desire to interfere with the determination to 
which the Colonies themselves might come on a point so im- 



11 



1 to 
im- 



mediately affecting their own interests ; and that if they should 
be of opinion that Union would advance their prospects, the 
Government would oppose no obstacle to the accomplishment 
of their wishes." The policy thus enunciated has been the 
policy pursued by that Government ever since. No stc}) that 
could reasonably be expected to lead to any important prac- 
tical results was taken by that Government until the three 
Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, had, 
by their representatives, presented themselves before the 
throne and requested to be confederated. The alacrity with 
which British statesmen of all parties then took hold of the 
proposed scheme leaves no room to doubt that it was one 
which had long commended itself to them, although they 
refrained from taking any active measures towards its con- 
summation until the British Americans had themselves taken 
the initiative. 

The foregoing statements are statements of fact which no 
man can disprove, and which no man will probably venture 
to gainsay. It has been alleged, however, and reiterated 
almost innumerable times, that the Imperial Government 
should have consulted the wishes of tJie people of Nova Scotia 
in this matter. Now, let us try to look at the simple facts, 
calmly and divested of all prejudice. As we have already 
seen, that Government, in accordance with the long estab- 
lished principles of its Colonial policy, was under no obligation 
whatever to consult Nova Scotia, or any other North Ameri- 
can Province, in the matter at all. But waiving for the pre- 
sent this view of the case altogether, the British Government 
really did recognise a right in the people of Nova Scotia to be 
more than consulted relative to the Union project ; it did 
defer to the evident wishes of the people of Nova Scotia, as 
expressed in the only Constitutional way in which they could 
be expressed ; and it did what there was every reason to 
believe was in consonance with the wishes of the people, 
apart and distinct from any suspected personal views of their 
Constitutional representatives — for we must remember that 
ten years of agitation of this Union question had not elicited 
in Nova Scotia the utterance of one syllable of opposition to 
the proposed measure. But if a political Constitution is to be 
considered anything but a mere empty name, British states- 
men looked to the only quarter where they, or anybody else, 
couldXooV. for an expression of the popular sentiment of Nova 
Scotia. They looked to the declaration of the people's repre- 
sentatives. To deny that the acts of Parliament are not, to 



12 



all intents and purposes, the acts of the people whom that 
Parliament represents, is to deny what is the very essence of 
the British Constitution. In 1866, the Legislature of Nova 
Scotia, by a large majority, passed a resolution authorizing 
the Government of the day to appoint delegates to co-operate 
with delegates from the other Provinces and with the Imperial 
Government, and clothing these delegates with vi.tually 
unlimited power, so far as Nova Scotia was concerned, to bind 
this Province to anything. P^ngland was both morally and 
constitutionally bound to accept such a resolution as the voice 
of Nova Scotia. Her statesmen could not be expected to 
know whether or not the people of this Province, who had 
been for ten years tacitly acquiescing in the Union movement, 
had suddenly suffered a change of sentiment on that subject ; 
nor was it their place to try to discover. 

In short, then, the Imperial Government, /'// tJic first plaa\ 
need not have asked for any expression of feeling, or opinion, 
on the part of Nova Scotia, before taking action in this matter 
of Colonial Union. Secondly, admitting for arguments' sake 
that Nova Scotia's feelings and opinions should have been 
taken into consideration, the Imperial Govenmient, in the 
Summer, or Autumn, of 1866, was put in possession of what it 
was constitutionally bound to consider the expression of Nova 
Scotia's feelings and opinions ; for it was placed in possession 
of the solemnly avowed sentiments of the Parliamentary 
representatives of this Province. And, tJiirdly, the Imperial 
Government, without being under any sort of obligation to 
concern itself to know whether the constitutional representa- 
tives of Nova Scotia represented the real sentiments of their 
constituents, or not, had the best of reasons for supposing that 
they did represent them. 

This question as to the feeling of us, the people — the 
electors of Nova Scotia, towards the British Government, is 
one to be considered entirely distinct and apart from that of 
our feelings towards those same " representatives" — towards 
those double traitors, I mean, who, one day, employed every 
eft'ort at their command to poison our minds against Union on 
any terms, and, on the next, " for a consideration," accepted, 
voted for, advocated Union upon any terms ; and towards 
those other " representatives" who so kindly bought and paid 
for these venial colleagues of theirs — paid for them with your 
honor, your reputation, and your best interests for an indefinite 
period to come. Put, whatever you think your feelings ought 
to be towards these fellow-countrymen of ours, pray do not, 



13 



as just, and honorable, and sensible men, allow them to preju- 
dice you against the statesmen and the people of I'jigland, 
Ontario, Quebec, or New lirunsvviek. A cool, calm inspection 
of all the facts must prove to you that we must look at home — 
here, in Nova Scotia — to find whatever wron<;, whatever slight, 
whatever insult, has been inllicted upon the people of Nova 
Scotia. It is not England, Canada, or New l»runswick, that 
is accomitable for any grievance you may have to complain of 
for the treatment you have received in the bringing about of 
this Union. As already stated, you must look "to home." 
Vou must look to the men whom you yourselves, in the exer- 
cise of one of the most solemn duties that a Britisii subject 
has to perform, have elected to be your representatives in 
Parliament — whom you, and nobody else, have authorized to 
make laws for your governance ; to whom you have delegated 
the power to mould the Constitution under which you and 
your posterity have to live for, it may be, many centuries ; 
and to whom you have consequently entrusted, with your eyes 
open, the dearest interests of yourselves and your children. 
Then, if Nova Scotians have themselves made a mistake in 
any way, do not let us act the unmanly part of trying to lay 
the blame upon others who are innocent. If a mistake has 
been committed, eventuating in wrong, slight, and insult to 
Nova Scotia, that mistake was in our electing men to be 
members of Parliament who were utterly unfit for the position. 
Rememukr that. Yes : for many, many years. Nova Scotia 
has, at every Parliamentary election, allowed itself to be car- 
ried away by an excitement, often produced by very trivial 
causes, into the temporary madness and blindness of extreme 
partizanship ; and consequently men who have just low cun- 
ning enough to turn these weaknesses to account for their 
own sordid purposes, without the intellectual capacity, or the 
moral sense, to comprehend how even they can be made avail- 
able to forward the ends of statesmanship, have managed to 
get themselves thrust into the Legislature. And of such are 
the men who have been double-dealing with us on this Union 
question. If anybody is curious enough to undertake getting 
up a catalogue of all of these same speculators, he will perhaps 
be surprised to find of what apparently divers materials and 
opposite parties they arc composed ; and he will scarcely fail 
to be amused to perceive hew often how many persons have 
changed places vvith whom in dealing with this question. He 
will laugh when he comes to look back and see the amount of 
chasscc-\v{^ that has, with more or less of gracefulness, been 
performed in getting through this sett of Union Quadrilles. 



14 



T will venture to say further that, however deeply ap^j^riovcd 
the people of Nova wScotia, or any considerable number of 
them, may feel as to the mode in which they have been treated 
in this matter of Confederation, if they will only take to heart, 
in the right way, the lesson they have thus received, it will 
prove to be well worth to them more than all that it has cost. 
That lesson says : " Send men oi honor to Parliament, what- 
ever else they may be. It is often well for you to stick to 
your party ; but it is better to be represented by a man of 
honor. It is well to have a man who can speak eloquently, 
write forcibly, administc. ably — get such a one if you can ; 
but it is better to make sure, if possible, that he is a man of 
honor. Do not try to tie up your Parliamentary representa- 
tive with pledges, or to dictate to him, as to a mere delegate, 
the course you think he should pu*"^ on every point. You 
cannot do it It is better to feel assured that you can trust 
to his honor, and that when, if ever, '■>€ changes his avowed 
principles, as any honorable man may do, he will at f)ncc 
resign the trust you have reposed in him. Try earnestly and 
sincerely to pursue this policy at your elections, and there will 
be small danger of your ever getting be-Millared." 

I have endeavoured to indicate why Nova Scotians have 
only themselves and their Parliamentary representatives to 
blame for any slight, or wrong, they have suffered in having 
this Province brought into the Canadian Union. But here wc 
are, a part of the Dominion of Canada. The deed is done. 
Nova Scotia can never again by any possibility occup}' just 
the position she was in before this Union was effected. The 
question for us to consider then is : what is best next to be 
done .'' That is, what is the best practicabk thing to be 
attempted ? 

" Get the Ikitish American Act repealed," many still say. 
I contend that this is not practicable ; and I suspect that most 
persons who have carefully read British history are of the 
same opinion. The very idea. Repeal, involves a principle 
which is, in the last degree, repugnant to the spirit of British 
statesmanship. Few persons have ever, down to the present 
day, entertained a doubt that Ireland was cajoled into a Legis- 
lative Union with England, by means which none of the really 
responsible agents coukl ever have dared to avow. Yet, for 
near'.y seventy years Ireland has been unintermittingly — for 
muc 1 of that time, vehemently— contending for a repeal of 
that Union. During all that time Ireland had a large repre- 
sentation in both branches of the British Parliament, and 



< 






15 



,. 



consequently the power of exerting; a great influence upon the 
(decisions of that Parliament. What has been the result of 
Ireland's ajijitation f* r Repeal ? Tory, VVhij^, and qiiiisi Radical 
administrations al ..e have never deipjned to look upon that 
Repeal as a thinj:^ that, for a serious moment, could be thought 
possible. Gradually statesmen, scholars, men of title, of 
wealth, of respectability, have ceased to contend for Repeal, 
until now, at last, its only advocates are a widely scattered 
handful of partially insane, Godless, cut-throat Fenians. Can 
you for a moment think that little Nova Scotia, with a popula- 
tion scarcely, if any, more than one-thirtieth of that of Ireland, 
with a much smaller proportion of physical strength, and with- 
out a particle of influence in the Imperial Parliament, is going 
to carry out with that Parliament a successful contest for a 
repeal of our Union with the other Provinces of Canada "i 
Surely, a few minutes calm consideration will convince any- 
body of the groundlessness of such a hope. The liritish 
Parliament, you must keep in remembrance, has passed that 
Act at the request of Nova Scotia, constitutionally expressed, 
and, as I think I have shown, with evidently the best of 
reasons for supjjosing that it was passed in accordance with 
the wishes of the populace of Nova Scotia. These fcicts 
account for the slighting manner in which the motion made 
on behalf of the No\ a Scotian Delegates was, only a few weeks 
since, treated in that Parliament. Those who have petitioned 
for Repeal, and who feel wounded at the somewhat curt and 
summary manner in which their petition has been jiooh-pooh'd, 
should take all the facts into consideration ; and, if they do so, 
they will find much to palliate, if not to justify, the treatment 
on account of which they now feel so sore. In short, the 
British Parliament, with apparently the best of reasons and 
with the apparent concurrence of all the parties directly inter- 
ested, has created the Dominion of Canada ; and that Parlia- 
ment has now dismissed the subject forever, and no trivial 
demonstration from any quarter will ever cause the question 
of Union to be revived as a serious question there. 

P'rom certain indications in Nova Scotia during several 
months past, I cannot but infer that this is precisely the con- 
clusion long since arrived at by most of those who are osten- 
sibly the " leaders of public opinion" here. And now the 
question is : What is to be done .'* Assuming that there will 
be no Repeal by the Imperial Parliament of the " British 
American Act," what next .'' Some curious alternatives have 
been hinted at, or broadly proposed of late. The physical 



16 

force opposition has been talked of. Annexation to the Vnitcd 
States has been mentioned. Persistent Anti-Union ugitatio)i — 
a determination to make ourselves ^^encrally disao^reeable to 
everybody forever — seems to find favor in some quarters. I do 
not know of any other notable alternative that has been 
advocated unless it is to accept tJic position and make the best 
of it. 

Now, let us look our position fairly in the face. I ask you 
if any idea can be more absurd than that involved in the first 
of these alternatives. We contend that we, the people of 
Nova Scotia, have been insulted and Ul-treated by a portion 
of our representatives in the Legislature. We have signally 
evinced our due appreciation of the tricky conduct of these 
men. We have indignantly inflicted upon them, or many of 
them, the punishment they deserved ; and unfortunately some 
of the innocent have been punished for being in their company. 
Every legal and constitutional effort has been made to undo 
their work and to obtain a Repeal of the Union they have 
been the direct means of effecting. All such efforts have 
proved futile ; and, as I have endeavored to show, and am 
sure every man in the Province, not blinded with passion, in 
his heart believes, all such efforts must continue to prove 
unavailing. What has been done thus far by the Anti-Con- 
federate, or Repeal party, has been the natural and manly 
expression of the indignant feelings of a free and spirited 
people, who have been treated with slight and contumely by 
those in whom they had reposed their confidence. As such 
it is regarded by all of the world who are conversant with the 
facts. Nova Scotians are none the less respected abroad for 
the Anti-Confederate agitation that has been going on for the 
last twelvemonth. But this agitation has gone as far as it can 
with any credit to ourselves. Do not let us now make our- 
selves ridiculous. Do not, from the position of independent, 
high-souled men, let us drop into the attitude of petulant 
children. The fight has been fought out gallantly so long as 
a manly blow could be struck, and it is no disgrace now to 
good naturedly "throw up the sponge." Nova Scotia con- 
tending against the results of a piece of constitutional trick- 
ery, and against such heavy odds, so long as there was a 
reasonable hope of victory, was an object of respect for the 
world ; but Nova Scotia, doubling up its little fists and setting 
the British Empire at defiance, becomes a laughing stock 
among nations. I find it difficult to conceive that this boyish 
crotchet could have ever seriously entered into the mind of 



J , 



17 



any person of mature years. It is probal)ly only the anpjry 
talk of discomfited men, who do not really mean what they 
say ; but it is talk which is doing us ourselves much injury. 
Tf there really is any Nova Scotian to whom this idea of 
"physical force opposition" presents anythiiifj tanj^iblc and 
practicable as a means of effectiiifc repeal, I be^j of him to sit 
down calmly and alone to think over this matter, with the aid 
of the light of common sense. Let him ask himself, as a sane 
man: what could we do with our "physical force.''" I am 
confident that his answer to himself would obviate the neces- 
sity of any body's undertaking to prove to him the folly of 
our opposing physical force to the determination of the 
Government and people of I^^^ngland, and — I mult add — of a 
preponderance of the people of Nova Scotia. 

Still more unwise and also inexpressibly wicked is the hinted 
proposal of Aiincxatiou to the United States. I must apologise 
to my fellow-countrymen for even mentioning such a subject, 
however briefly, in any remarks addressed to them. But it 
has been mentioned by others, and I may refer to it. In 
reality, I do not — and, until indubitable proofs present them- 
selves, cannot — believe that, regarding it as a question of 
principle, there is any Nova Scotian so unworthy of the name ; 
so destitute of all the feelings of patriotism and national honor ; 
so ready to earn the scorn and contempt of every right 
thinking citizen of the United States themselves ; such an 
unmanly, spiritless sneak ; that he would hold up his hand for 
"Annexation." Looking upon it as a question of interest, 
such a movement on the part of any Nova Scotian, at the 
present time, could be considered as only consistent with 
insanity, if there is anything consistent with that frame of 
mind. This term. Annexation, has been rather too much 
bandied about here of late. Union men, in the heat of contro- 
versy, have been too much addicted to applying to their 
opponents the extremely irritating name of " Annexationists ; 
a term which I believe is really as offensive to repealers as to 
any other class of the community. It has no effect here 
beyond that of producing increased hostility of feeling between 
the disputants ; but it is far otherwise abroad. It is one thing 
which has not inconsiderably helped to create a widely 
extended hallucination in the United States that Nova Scotia 
is eager to throw herself into the arms of that Republic. 

I am about to say something that may sound extremely 
presumptuous, but I will presume to say it, nevertheless. I 
venture to say, then, that no living man knows and under- 



18 



stands you, my fellow-countrvmcr of Nova Scotia, better than 
I do. I will not enlarge up;>n the subject by uttering anything 
that may look like " blarney," or " palaver," I will not pretend 
to recount your good points, or hint at your weaknesses. 
To do so, would be to insult your intelligence. But I will say 
this : — If any man in Nova Scotia, in the present aspect, or in 
the now prospective aspect of affairs, should be so infatuated 
as to make any practical attempt to carry out the " physical 
force opposition" policy, or the "annexation" policy, you will 
teach him a lesson that will astonish him — and something 
more. There used to be amongst us a combined feeling 
described as loyalty and patriotism. The terms which describe 
this feeling have gone much out of fashion — too much so per- 
haps ; but the thing still exists, and to as great an extent as it 
ever did. It is one thing to feel and express indignation at a 
wrong, or a slight, inflicted by our own Parliamentary repre- 
sentatives, and to make that indignation felt in the proper 
quarter ; but it is quite another thing to forswear our allegiance 
to the Queen and trample upon the claims which our country 
has upon us. And this will be found, to his great grief, by any 
one — if such ever should turn up — who may be mad enough to 
indulge in the prank of putting the people of Nova Scotia to 
the test in this matter. Those too who, even now, are, through 
the press and otherwise, seemingly insinuating disloyal senti- 
ments into the minds of the people of this Province, with 
doubtless no graver motive than that of pandering to what 
they believe to be the feeling of the populace, can little know 
what a strong under current of popular disgust at such a 
mistaken policy, is setting through this country and daily 
increasing in momentum. Those who indulge in these prac- 
tices will find, soon or late, how terribly they are deceiving 
themselves. 

As to the extent of even the Anti-union feeling itself 
in Nova Scotia, a very erroneous impression has gone abroad. 
It still remains to be proved, and I believe it will remain 
for ever to be proved, that a majority of the people of 
this Province, of ever a very large minority of them, are, or 
ever have been, opposed to Union. The elections of 1867 do 
not afford a test of the public feeling on that question. To my 
certain knowledge, thousands of electors who were as sincere 
and earnest Unionists as Nova Scotia could produce, voted at 
those elections for what was called the ' anti ticket." I may 
frankly say that I was myself, one of that number, and profess 
to know a good deal of the feelings of others who did likewise. 



ll.l 



19 



Some of you have known mc as a pioneer and an untiring 
advocate of the great cause of Ikitish American Union, of 
twenty years staiuHng. I always have been, still am, and 
ever expect to be, an advocate and supporter of that Union, 
Yet, here in Halifax, in the election of i<S67, I voted for five 
candidates who wqxc callid "Anti-Unionists." Hut I did not 
vote for them because they had t/int reputation. I merely 
mention this fact as an illustration, and to say that I know of 
very, very large numbers of others, in every constituency of the 
Province, who did the same thing, being, as I have every 
reason to believe, as sincere Unionists as I myself am. 

Very reasonable conclusions that Nova Scotia is not Anti- 
Union may be arrived at from other facts. It has been shown 
through the newspaper press that the whole vote polled in 
the Province, in 1867, for the so-called *' Anti ticket" fell far 
short of a majority of the total number of electors. Since 
many electors are indifferent as to public questions and rarely, 
or never, vote at all, this is, I admit, Oidy negative evidence ; 
but still it is conclusive as to the fact that a majority of the 
electors of Nova Scotia were not then desirous that the Union 
measure should be defeated, I must, in fairness, mention tiie 
numerously signed petitions for Repeal of the Union which 
have gone from Nova Scotia to ICngland. liut even these, 
admitting for argument sake that they are just what they 
purport to be, are very far from showing that a preponderance 
of the people of Nova Scotia wish Repeal. lUit again — and I 
say it with all respect for the sincere sentiments of many who 
signed those memorials — anybody experienced in petitions of 
that class in Nova Scotia well knows that they should be taken 
for something much less important than what they really 
purport to be, But the men who, since the pas-^ing of the 
" Ikitish America Act," have really been sincere iinti-Union- 
ists and have striven vigorously for repeal, are themselves, I 
am confident, too deeply imbued with the spirit which should 
animate every free, intelligent, and law-abiding people to allow 
anybody to trifle with their allegiance, or cajole them into 
perpetrating a national disgrace. If, by a sudden and at the 
time unexpected movement, they have been, by one set ot 
politicians, tripped up and pitched headlong into a political 
Union that is repugnant to them, they are not going to allow 
another set to deliberately lead them by the nose through a 
series of mad antics which can only bring ridicule upon them- 
selves and force their country to the brink of ruin. 

Here I am naturally brought to consider the third of the 



20 



alternatives alluded to above — that of keeping up a persistent 
agitation in favour of repeal. Of those three absurd alter- 
natives this seems to be the only one that there is any 
reasonable probability of seeing adopted. It would appear 
that it is already adopted by certain parties. If any man were 
mad, or silly enough to openly avow himself the apostle, or the 
champion, of either of the other two, he would only bring 
ridicule, disgrace, and contempt, with probably a strong 
flavouring of legal, personal chastisement,' upon himself and 
his followers, if he had any followers. I pray you to consider 
what will be the effect upon the interests of Nova Scotia of 
this third line of policy being pursued by any party consider- 
able as to numbers, or as to power of noisily making themselves 
heard. Look at both sides of the question. On the one side 
is Union, an accomplished fact, with no prospect within the 
remotest possibility of its ceasing to be a fact, but — to put it 
in its worst light — a probability of many advantages to our- 
selves being derived from it if we peacefully accept and make 
the best of it. On the other hand there is still the accom- 
plished fact, the prospectively irrevocable fact, with the cer- 
tainty, by not peacefully accepting and making the best of it, 
of keeping Nova Scotia in an eternal, painful, profitless 
turmoil, — its people behaving like a community of the widely 
famed " Kilkenny cats," instead of going about their business 
like rational and sensible human beings. Look at the 
question fairly and without prejudice, and that is all that you 
caw make of it. 

I am not now, going to enter upon the useless task of 
depicting the advantages that might be derived from a Union 
of these Colonies, a task to which, as a labor of love, I gave 
much time in past years. It is useless now to endeavour to 
talk persuasively to the people of Nova Scotia of the benefits 
they would derive from this, that, or the other kind of Union 
with the neighboring Provinces. As already observed, we 
must deal with what actually is. I may not think, and I do 
not think, that the " British America Act," founded, as it is, 
upon the Quebec Convention, is a very desirable measure in 
all its details. Probably no person living does think it a piece 
of perfection. But it is a compound of compromises, imposing 
in itself no really great injustice upon any section of the peo- 
ple in the Dominion it created, and was probably the best 
measure that could have been framed under all the circum- 
stances. Inasmuch as it is defective, let us amend it. We 
have the power ; and we can improve our Constitution from 



! 



c 

t 

a 

a 

a 
fa 

t; 



21 



year to year, as the circumstances of the whole community 
require. The pitiful cry that Nova Scotia is weak and helpless 
in this Dominion, is unworthy of us. Nova Scotians arc quite 
capable of taking their own part in the Parliaments and 
Cabinets of Canada. If not, then it is quite clear that they 
are unfit to govern themselves as the people of an isolated 
Province ; and that is what I am sure any Nova Scotian 
would be ashamed to admit. The idea that the other Pro- 
vinces can, or will, combine to defeat the interests, or refuse 
the reasonable demands of Nova Scotia in any case, is prepos- 
terous. The conditions of this Dominion happen to be 
particularly unsuited to its people being divided into local 
political parties, especially of any long continued existence. 
Nothing can be more unreasonable than to suppose that there 
can ever be any marked hostility, or rivalry of interests, 
between Ontario and Quebec oh the one side, and Nova 
Scotia, or the Maritime Provinces, on the other. The only 
Province in which anything approaching to an organized local 
party of imposing proportions seems possible, is Ontario ; and 
even there it would almost of necessity be limited to what 
may be called par excellence the bread-growing section of the 
Dominion, that is the south-western portion of Ontario — say 
that part above the Bay of Quinte. That section of country 
has some peculiar interests to be legislated upon ; but in that 
respect no more rivalry can exist between it and Nova Scotia 
than between it and all the rest of the Dominion taken 
together. There is a certain class of questions in which the 
Parliamentary representatives of a portion of Quebec — not 
even in this case of the whole, but of a largely preponderating 
proportion — might, owing to their s eciality of race, present 
the appearance of a compact local party ; but inasmuch as 
they did so, they would be opposed by all the rest of the 
Dominion, Neither of the two great divisions of old Canada 
has as many interests in common with the other as it has with 
Nova Scotia ; and Nova Scotia has not, and there is no pro- 
bability that she ever will have, any important local interests 
not shared in common with a majority of the remainder of the 
Dominion. Then why assume that the interests of Nova 
Scotia, as Nova Scotia, are jeopardized under this Confedera- 
tion ? or that they ever will be ? I find it difficult to imagine 
anything more groundless than such an assumption — provided 
always, that Nova Scotia exercises the wisdom that an intelli- 
gent people ought to exercise in choosing representatives to 
take care of her interests. 



te 



22 



There is a possible state of affairs, however, in which Nova 
Scotia, as a Province, may suffer at the hands of her sister 
Provinces. Should the representatives of Nova Scotia in 
Parliament insist upon constituting themselves a local faction, 
to oppose everything emanating from any other Province, and 
everything emanating from the Government for the time 
being, which, under our Constitution, must represent, not only 
the principle of Confederation, but the preponderating senti- 
ment of the whole Dominion of Canada, — in such case we 
cannot wonder if the Canadians of the other Provinces 
eventually lose patience and cause Nova Scotia to feel the 
painful effects of giving way to a chronic state of ill temper. 
And although we might not be able to justify, could we 
severely blame such a procedure ? Let Nova Scotians imagine 
the case reversed, and ask themselves how they themselves 
would like it if they were abused like the vilest of felons by a 
portion of the press and people of one of the other Provinces — 
perhaps they would not wait to ascertain how large a portion — 
and if every movement of their representatives in Parliament, 
no matter how important to the public interests, were sought 
to be thwarted by the same factious Province. 

To keep up this agitation can do no good ; for it can never 
succeed in effecting the object for which it has obviously 
originated. On the other hand, the inevitable disastrous re- 
sults to the best interests of Nova Scotia of its continuation, 
are incalculable. All the "wrongs" which the most enthusi- 
astic of Irish repealers have claimed for their country since 
the year 1800, have been as nothing in their effects compared 
with the unhappy consequences to Ireland of the Repeal 
agitation during that period. And the Repeal agitation itself 
has been utterly vain, and productive of no good whatever, in 
any direction. Is this to be the wretched condition of Nova 
Scotia too.'* And when the "wrongs" which Nova Scotia has 
had to complain of in connection with the consummation of 
this Confederation have already been redressed, or may be by 
herself peacefully redressed .-• Look at what this agitation has 
already done and is doing for us. There is an almost universal 
complaint through the country of /lan/ tuius. The hard times 
are due to this very Repeal agitation more than to any other 
cause. Here, at home, local legislation has been at a stand 
still for four months past, to the great detriment of the public 
welfare. The minds of a large portion of the community are 
kept in an unhealthy excitement, which disables them from 
fitly applying their energies to the practical duties of life. To 



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23 

people outside of Nova Scotia, this agitation seems to have a 
significance which is not really its due. Consequently British 
capitalists are afraid to invest money here, in a country whose 
future political and commercial position seems to them a 
doubtful one, and this at a time too when, were it not for this 
cause, British capital would be diverted to this country to an 
unprecedented extent. The people of the United States are 
living under the infatuation that Nova Scotia is eager to 
become annexed to those Statej, and is determinedly working 
towards that end ; and in this delusion on their part exists the 
greatest obstacle to the improvement of commercial relations 
between the two countries. Why need they negotiate reci- 
procity treaties with a country of which they believe, and of 
which some very silly people have been striving to make them 
believe, they may shortly become the out-and-out owners ? 
Between Nova Scotia and the other Provinces of the Dominion 
itself, there has not been that extent of cordial, social and com- 
mercial inter-communication that we should have seen had it 
not been for this ctiuse of obstruction, and which would have 
added so much to the prosperity of them all. All this because 
it pleases some people to keep up an outcry for Repeal of the 
Union. 

And what present, or prospective, benefit have w,e on the 
other side of the account ? Nothing — absolutely nothing— nay, 
worse than nothing. Then why, as rational, intelligent men, 
— why suffer this stato of affairs to continue, growing, as it 
must grow, worse and worse .'' Why wilfully keep ourselves 
any longer in a painful fever, only to destroy ourselves ; for, 
remember, Nova Scotians, it is we, and we almost alone, who 
are the sufferers. Let us have done with all that, and be at 
peace, so that we may enjoy prosperity. 

Halifax, July 28th, 1868.