Duncan Campbell's History of Prince Edward Isl. - Ch. 10


Mr. James C. Pope and the Railway - Assimilation of the Currency - Confederation - Conference in Charlottetown -Sketch of Edward Whelan and T. H. Haviland - Opposition to Confederation - Resolutions in the Assembly - Offer of Terms to J. C. Pope - Further Proceedings - The Question of Confederation Resumed - Delegations to Ottawa - Messrs. Haythorne and Laird - Messrs. Pope, Haviland, and Howlan - Final Settlement of the Question.

TO the Honorable James C. Pope belongs the honor of being the first to take legislative action of a commendably energetic character, in order to secure to the island admirable facilities for intercommunication by means of a railway. On the third of April, in the session of 1871, that gentleman submitted a resolution to the house of assembly, which was seconded by the attorney-general, Hon. Mr. Brecken, to the effect that the trade and exports of the island having much increased during the past few years, it was found impossible, in the absence of stone or gravel, to keep the roads in an efficient state of repair. It was contended that the construction and efficient maintenance of a line of railway through the island would greatly facilitate its trade, develop its resources, enlarge its revenue, and open more frequent and easy communication with the neighboring provinces and the United States. It was, therefore, proposed to introduce a bill authorizing the government to undertake the construction of a railway, to extend from Cascumpec to Georgetown, touching at Summerside and Charlottetown, and also branches to Souris and Tignish, at a cost not exceeding five thousand pounds, currency, the mile, including all the necessary appliances suitable for a

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good railroad, provided that the contractors would accept in payment the debentures of Prince Edward Island. The Honorable Mr. Sinclair proposed an amendment condemnatory of this resolution, on the ground that a general election for both branches of the legislature had recently taken place; that the question of constructing a railway was not then properly before the country; and that two petitions were before the house against the proposed undertaking, and none in its favor. On a division, Mr. Pope's resolution was carried by seventeen to eleven votes. A committee, consisting of the Honorable Mr. Pope, the Honorable Mr. Howlan, the Honorable the Attorney General, the honorable Mr. Perry, and Mr. Richards, was then appointed to prepare and bring in a bill in accordance with the resolution passed by the assembly. The bill was immediately presented, read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time on the following day. The bill was accordingly read a second time, and committed to a committee of the whole house, - Mr. Beer being chairman. On the main question being put, the measure was approved by eighteen to eleven votes. The report of the committee was then received, and the bill engrossed under the title of "An act to authorize the construction of a railway through Prince Edward Island." Thus, in two days from the time of its introduction, the bill received the sanction of the assembly; and it may be safely affirmed that few measures have ever been passed by the representatives of the people of greater importance, as bearing on the material interests of the island. It is only fair to state that it was mainly through the tact, energy, and determination of Mr. James C. Pope that the scheme was carried to successful completion.

During this session an act was also passed for assimilating the currency of the island to that of the Dominion of

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Canada, by the introduction of a decimal system of keeping the public accounts. The act did not disturb the existing value of the current coins, but simply declared what their value should be in relation to the new system.

The question of a union of the North American Provinces was not prominently before the people of Prince Edward Island until 1864. Ten years previously, the subject had been discussed in the parliament of Nova Scotia by the parties of which Howe and Johnston were the leaders, when the latter gentleman moved a resolution favorable to union. In 1857, two members of the government of Nova Scotia had an interview with Mr. Labouchere, the colonial secretary, on the subject, when he intimated that, in the event of concurrence on the part of all the provinces, the home government would be prepared to consider any measure, with a view to the consummation of union, which might be agreed upon. Mr. Galt, in 1858, when a member of the Canadian administration, was an advocate for the consideration of the question; and, subsequently, a correspondence with the home government on the subject was opened by the Canadian government. But the official action which resulted in the consummation of union was taken in the assembly of Nova Scotia in 1861, when the provincial secretary moved that the lieutenant-governor of the province should be respectfully requested to put himself in communication with the colonial secretary, the governor-general, and the lieutenant-governors of the other North American Provinces, in order to ascertain the policy of Her Majesty's government, and the sentiments of the other colonies, with a view to the consideration of the question. This resolution was unanimously adopted by the assembly, sent to the colonial office, and subsequently transmitted by the Duke of Newcastle to the governor-general, and to the lieutenant-

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governors of the several provinces. On the proceedings of the assembly, his grace remarked that if a union, either partial or complete, should hereafter be proposed, with the concurrence of all the provinces to be united, he was sure that the matter would be weighed in England by the public, by parliament, and by Her Majesty's government with no other feeling than an anxiety to discern and to promote any course which might be most conducive to the prosperity, the strength. and the harmony of all the British communities in North America.

The desire of the home government to see a union of the North American Provinces consummated, having been thus indicated, a discussion of the question took place in the legislature of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, in the sessions of 1861, which resulted in the appointment, by these provinces, of delegates, to meet in Charlottetown. In the assembly of Prince Edward Island there was considerable opposition to the idea of a legislative union, but the following resolution was passed by a majority: "That His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor be authorised to appoint delegates - not to exceed five - to confer with delegates who may be appointed by the government of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, for the purpose of discussing the expediency of a union of the three Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island under one government and legislature, the report of the said delegates to be laid before the legislature of the colony before any action shall be taken in regard to the proposed question."

In the year 1863 the two parties in the Canadian parliament were so equally balanced, that it was found impossible to conduct the business of the country with any degree of efficiency. The leading men of both parties accordingly

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agreed on a reconstruction, resolving with the concurrence of their supporters to unite, for the purpose of securing a confederation of all the British North American Provinces. The governor-general addressed a despatch to the lieutenant-governor of the maritime provinces, asking whether, at the coming conference at Charlottetown, a deputation from the Canadian Government would be received, in order to give the members of it an opportunity of expressing their views regarding the proposed union. An answer favorable to the proposal was returned. A deputation accordingly proceeded to Charlottetown. The whole of the delegates met on the first of September. Prince Edward Island being represented by the Honorables Colonel Gray, premier; Edward Palmer, attorney general; W. H. Pope, colonial secretary; George Coles, M. P. P., and A. A. Macdonald, M. L. C. The proceedings of the conference were not reported, but the late Mr. Whelan, in his published account of the proceedings, says "it was well understood that the proposal to unite the maritime provinces under one government and one legislature was deemed impracticable; but the opinion of the delegates was unanimous that a union upon a larger basis might be effected; and with the view of considering the feasibility of such a union in all its details, it was proposed by the Canadian ministers to hold a further conference at Quebec, with the consent of the governments of the lower provinces, and at such time as might be named by the governor-general. This arrangement was agreed to, and the conference suspended its deliberations."

Before leaving Charlottetown, the delegates were entertained at a sumptuous banquet, by the executive council and some of the prominent citizens of Charlottetown. The entertainment was given in the Provincial Building, on the evening of the eighth of September. Speeches were delivered

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by a number of gentlemen, among whom were Lieutenant-governor Dundas, Hon. John Longworth, Hon. T. H. Haviland, and Frederick de St. Croix Brecken, Esq.

From Charlottetown the delegates proceeded to Halifax, where they were similarly entertained. Fredericton was next visited, and in Saint John the festivities of Charlottetown and Halifax were repeated. On the tenth of October the conference at Quebec was opened. Prince Edward Island being represented by the Honorables Colonel Gray, Edward Palmer, W. H. Pope, George Coles, T. H. Haviland, Edward Whelan, and A. A. Macdonald, which terminated on the twenty-seventh of October. From Quebec the delegates proceeded to Montreal, where they were hospitably entertained. At a public banquet given at Montreal, the Honorable Colonel Gray introduced the Honorable Edward Whelan, requesting him to respond in behalf of Prince Edward Island, when he delivered a telling and eloquent speech. We can only spare space for the concluding sentences: "It will be the duty," said the speaker, "of the public men in each and every province, whose representatives are now in Canada, to educate the public mind up to their views. The task may be a tedious, difficult, and protracted one, but no great measure was ever accomplished, or worth much, unless surrounded with difficulties. Deferring reverently to the public opinion of his own province, he would cheerfully go amongst his people, and explaining it as well as he could, he would ask them to support a measure which he believed would enhance their prosperity. Few, and comparatively poor, as the people of Prince Edward Island may be now, its fertile fields and valleys are capable of supporting a population at least three times greater than it is at present. It was once designated the garden of the Saint Lawrence; and it was a valuable fishing station for Canada during the

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occupation of the French, under Montcalm. It still possesses all the qualities of a garden, and its rivers and bays still abound with fish. He desired that those great resources should become as well known now, and in the future, as they were in by-gone days; and regarding the advantages which modern improvements and institutions offered as auxiliaries to the natural resources of the colony, he was satisfied that she could not fail to become very prosperous and happy under the proposed confederation."

The Honorable T. H. Haviland - who now holds the office of colonial secretary - replied to the toast of our sister colonies. "He desired to draw attention to some peculiar facts connected with the present movement. They might recollect that this was not the first time that states had met together to organize a constitution; for in times gone by the states of Holland had met to resist the tyranny of the Spanish Government; and the old thirteen states of America had also assembled under the cannon's mouth, and the roar of artillery; but the peculiarity of this meeting was, that it was held in a time of peace, with the approbation, and he believed, with the sanction of Her Majesty; that the colonies might throw aside their swaddling clothes, to put on themselves the garb of manhood, and hand down to posterity the glorious privileges for which their ancestors contended from age to age in the old country, and which had been brought into these new countries under the protecting shadow of the flag that had braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze. Although Prince Edward island had only eighty thousand inhabitants, principally engaged in agriculture, yet, small as it was, it did not come as a beggar to the conference doors. Its revenue was not certainly very great, but there was yet a surplus of about four thousand pounds sterling to the credit of the province, over and above the thirty-six

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thousand pounds it spent for the government last year. Thus it had not come as a pauper, but was honestly prepared to do something - all in its power - to organize, here in America, a constitutional monarchy, which should be able to spread those institutions in which there was the soul of liberty."

The delegates proceeded afterwards to Ottawa and Toronto, where similar festive gatherings took place. But business was not neglected, as appears from the report subsequently published, which embodied the conclusions at which the delegates had arrived as the basis of the proposed confederation.

The report sets out with the declaration that the best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America would be promoted by a federal union, under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such union could be effected on principles just to the several provinces. In the federation of the British North American provinces, the system of government best adapted under existing circumstances to protect the diversified interests of the several provinces, and secure efficiency, harmony, and permanency in the working of the union, would be a general government charged with matters of common interest to the whole country, and local governments for each of the Canadas, and for the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, charged with the control of local matters in their respective sections, - provision being made for the admission into the union, on equitable terms, of Newfoundland, the North West Territory, British Columbia, and Vancouver. In framing a constitution for the general government, the conference, with a view to the perpetuation of the connection with the mother country, and to the promotion of the best interests of the people of these provinces,

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desired to follow the model of the British constitution, so far as circumstances would permit.

The proceedings of the conference were authenticated by the signatures of the delegates, and submitted by each delegation to its own government, and the chairman was authorised to submit a copy to the governor-general, for transmission to the secretary of state for the colonies. The governor-general (Lord Monck) lost no time in transmitting the resolutions adopted at Quebec to the imperial government, which were hailed with satisfaction by the government and press of Great Britain.

The Canadian legislature met in February, 1865, when the report of the convention was discussed in both branches of the legislature, and a resolution submitted to them, respectively, to the effect that an address should be presented to Her Majesty, praying that she might be pleased to cause a measure to be submitted to the imperial parliament for the purpose of uniting the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island in one government, with provisions based on the resolutions passed at Quebec. After protracted discussion, the resolutions were passed by large majorities. The scheme did not meet with the same degree of favor in New Brunswick; for an election having taken place before the question was discussed in the house, a large majority was returned opposed to confederation.

In Prince Edward Island the scheme of confederation was not received with any degree of favor by the people generally. Indeed, popular hostility to union found expression not unfrequently at public meetings. Early in February, 1865, a large meeting was held in Temperance Hall, at which the Honorable W. H. Pope, the colonial secretary, - who was always a decided unionist, - spoke effectively for

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an hour in its favor; but he was energetically opposed by Mr. David Laird and the Honorable Mr. Coles, who were regarded as two of the most able and prominent opponents of confederation. On the tenth of February, two large meetings were convened simultaneously. At one of these the Honorable Thomas H. Haviland delivered a carefully prepared opening address of some hours' duration, in which he earnestly advocated union, of which he had always been a consistent supporter. He was followed by the Honorable Mr. Coles, Mr. Archibald McNeill, the Honorable George Beer, the Honorable D. Davies, and the Honorable Frederick Brecken, - the speeches of the two latter gentlemen being specially directed to an exposition of the deficiencies of the Quebec scheme as bearing on the interests of the island.* The other meeting was, at the outset, addressed by the Honorable Edward Palmer, who, according to the opinion of the anti-confederates, proved conclusively that confederation could not result in permanent benefit to Prince Edward Island. He was followed in stirring addresses by the Honorable Kenneth Henderson, the Honorable Joseph Hensley, and the .Honorable J. Longworth. At this meeting the following resolution was proposed by Mr. Charles Palmer, and unanimously adopted: "That in the opinion of this meeting, the terms of union contained in the report of the Quebec conference - especially those laid down in the clauses relating to representation and finance - are not such as would be either liberal or just to Prince Edward Island, and that it is highly inexpedient that said report be adopted by our legislature."

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

* The Honorable Mr. Brecken and the Honorable Mr. Davies were favorable to union, on what they conceived equitable principles, but opposed to what was termed the Quebec Scheme.

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secretary (the Honorable W. H. Pope) moved a series of resolutions approving of the terms proposed at the conference held at Quebec. An amendment in opposition to their adoption was submitted by the Honorable James C. Pope, and on a vote being taken, only five members voted for confederation, while twenty-three were antagonistic to its consummation.

During the session of the following year (1866) the question was again introduced to the house by a message of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, transmitting a despatch from Mr. Cardwell, the imperial colonial secretary, on the subject of a federation of the British North American Provinces, when a resolution, more hostile to union than the amendment already specified, was, on the motion of the Honorable J. C. Pope, submitted to the house. It was moved, "That, even if a union of the continental provinces of British North America should have the effect of strengthening and binding more closely together those provinces, or advancing their material interests, this house cannot admit that a federal union of the North American Provinces and colonies, which would include Prince Edward Island, could ever be accomplished on terms that would prove advantageous to the interests and well-being of the people of this island, separated as it is, and must ever remain, from the neighboring provinces, by an immovable barrier of ice, for many months in the year; and this house deems it to be its sacred and imperative duty to declare and record its conviction, as it now does, that any federal union of the North American colonies that would embrace this island would be as hostile to the feelings and wishes, as it would be opposed to the best and most vital interests of its people." The Honorable James Duncan seconded this resolution. An amendment was proposed by the Honorable Edward

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Whelan, seconded by the solicitor general (the Honorable T. H. Haviland, now a senator of the Dominion), to the effect that there should be no vote passed by the legislature as to the confederation of the provinces until the people should be first afforded an opportunity of pronouncing their judgment on the question at a general election. Mr. Pope's motion was carried by twenty-one votes to seven for the amendment. An address to Her Majesty the Queen, based on the action of the assembly, was subsequently adopted by the assembly and forwarded for presentation at the foot of the throne.

In the autumn of 1866, Mr. J. C. Pope went to England, and an informal offer was made through him by the delegates from the other provinces, then in London settling the terms of confederation, to grant the island eight hundred thousand dollars, as indemnity for the loss of territorial revenue, and for the purchase of the proprietors' estates, on condition of the island entering the confederation. But the people were not at this time in a temper to entertain the proposition for a moment.

In the autumn of 1869, the island was visited by Sir John Young, the governor-general of British North America. He was accompanied by several of his ministers, who discussed informally, with members of the government, the subject of a union of the island with the Dominion of Canada. On the eighteenth of December, 1869, the governor-general transmitted to Sir Robert Hodgson, the administrator of the government of Prince Edward Island, a minute of the privy council of Canada, relating to the question of a political union of the island with the Dominion. That minute was based on a memorandum dated the eleventh of December, 1869, from Sir George Cartier and Messrs. Tilley and Kenny, who took part in the informal discussion just alluded

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to, and who now submitted, for the approval of their colleagues in the Dominion ministry, the conditions on which they thought the island should be admitted to the union. These conditions received the formal sanction of the Dominion government, and were duly forwarded to Sir Robert Hodgson, who submitted them to a committee of the executive council, who, on the seventh of January, 1870, adopted the following minute: "The committee having under consideration the report of a committee of the privy council of Canada, wherein certain proposals for a union of Prince Edward Island with the Dominion are set forth, resolve, that inasmuch as said terms do not comprise a full and immediate settlement of the land tenures and indemnity from the imperial government for loss of territorial revenues, the committee cannot recommend said terms to the consideration of their constituents and the public." This minute was signed by the Honorable R. P. Haythorne, the leader of the government (now a senator of the Dominion), and his colleagues. The government subsequently presented a more detailed statement of their objections to the basis of union. These documents were forwarded to Earl Granville, the colonial secretary; and, on the seventh of March, 1870, addressing his honor the administrator, he said: "It appears to me that the government of Prince Edward Island will not act wisely if they allow themselves to be diverted from the practical consideration of their own real interests, for the sake of keeping alive a claim against the imperial government which, it is quite certain, will never be acknowledged."

The subject of union came again prominently before the assembly in the session of 1870, on taking into consideration the messages of his honor the administrator of the government, transmitting various despatches and papers. The Honorable Mr. Kelly reported that the committee recom-

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mended that the house should adopt a resolution to the effect that the people's representatives felt it to be their duty to oppose a union with the Dominion of Canada, and to express their opinion that the people of the island, while loyal in their attachment to the Crown and government of Great Britain, were, nevertheless, almost unanimously opposed to any change in the constitution of the colony, - which resolution was carried by nineteen to four votes,

The next movement of importance in reference to the question of union was taken by the government, of which the honorable Mr. Haythorne was the leader, on the second of January, 1873, when the executive council adopted an important minute containing new propositions, with a view to the union of the island with the Dominion of Canada. It was stated in the minute, that if Canada would accord liberal terms of union, the government of Prince Edward Island would be prepared to advise an immediate dissolution of the house, in order to give the people an opportunity of deciding whether they would go into confederation, or submit to the taxation required for railway purposes. The document was forwarded to the governor-general and submitted to the privy council of the Dominion, who suggested that a deputation should be sent to Ottawa by the government of the island, for the purpose of holding a conference on the subject of the proposed union. The Honorable Mr. Haythorne and the Honorable David Laird were accordingly appointed as delegates, representing the interests of the island; but they were not authorised to pledge either the government or the colony to any proposition that might be made by the Dominion of Canada. The delegation had several interviews with a sub-committee of the council, when the various questions connected with the important subject were fully discussed; and a minute of the

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terms and conditions mutually agreed to was finally drawn up. On the twelfth of March the governor-general sent a telegraphic despatch, evidently for the purpose of confirming the report of Messrs. Haythorne and Laird, intimating his ministers' opinion, - in which he expressed his own concurrence, - that "no additional concession would have any chance of being accepted by the parliament of Canada."

On the seventh of March the lieutenant-governor dissolved the house of assembly; and on the twenty-seventh of April the new house met, when the lieutenant-governor, in his opening speech, said that papers relative to the proposed union of the island with the Dominion of Canada would be laid before the house. Having dissolved the house in order that this important question might be submitted to the people at the polls, he now invited the representatives of the people to bestow on the question their careful consideration, expressing the earnest hope of the imperial government, that the island would not lose this opportunity of union with her sister provinces.

On the twenty-eighth of April the question was vigorously discussed by Mr. J. C. Pope and Mr. Laird; and on the second day of May, Mr. A. C. McDonald reported, that the committee had come to a resolution to the effect that the terms and conditions proposed did not secure to the island a sum sufficient to defray the indispensable requirements of its local government; that the strong objections hitherto entertained by the people of the island to confederation having been much modified, and the present house of assembly, feeling anxious to meet the desire of the imperial government to unite under one government all the British possessions in America, was willing to merge the interests of the island with those of the Dominion on terms just and reasonable, - such as would not involve the people in direct local taxation

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for objects for which the ordinary revenue had hitherto enabled them to provide. The resolution further Proposed to authorise the lieutenant-governor to appoint delegates to proceed to Ottawa to confer with the government of the Dominion on the subject.

To this resolution, the Honorable David Laird moved an amendment, which was seconded by the Honorable B. Davies, to the effect that the house should appoint a committee of seven to prepare an address to the Queen, praying Her Majesty in council to pass an order in council, in conformity with the one hundred and forty-sixth section of the British North America Act, uniting Prince Edward Island with the Dominion of Canada, on the terms and conditions approved of in the minute of the privy council of Canada, on the tenth of March, 1873. The question having been put, the original resolution was carried by sixteen to ten votes.

Messrs. James C. Pope, T. H. Haviland, and George W. Howlan having been appointed delegates by the lieutenant.. governor, proceeded to Ottawa for the purpose of conferring with the Dominion government on the subject of the proposed union. On the seventh of May they had an interview with the governor-general on the subject of their mission, and immediately afterwards they attended a formal meeting of the privy council. A committee of the council, consisting of Sir John A. McDonald, the Honorables Messieurs Tilley, Tapper, and Langevin were then appointed to confer with the delegates, who had drawn up a memorandum which they submitted to the committee. In that memorandum the delegates proposed to accept, as the basis of union, the offer made in 1869 by the Dominion government, namely, two hundred and forty-one thousand dollars a year for revenue, provided the Dominion government would assume the cost of the railway, as well as that of the proposed branch

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to Port Hill. These terms were not acceptable to the committee of the privy council. A compromise was, however, ultimately effected, and on the fifteenth of May a memorandum, embodying terms mutually approved, was signed by the committee and the delegates.

The delegates returned immediately to Charlottetown, and the terms and conditions of the proposed union, which were substantially these procured by Messrs. Haythorne and Laird, as agreed to at Ottawa, were submitted to the house of assembly, then in session. The principal terms and conditions were the following: that the island should, on entering the union, be entitled to incur a debt equal to fifty dollars a head of its population, as shown by the census returns of 1871; that is to say, four millions seven hundred and one thousand and fifty dollars; that the island, not having incurred debts equal to the sum just mentioned, should be entitled to receive, by half-yearly payments in advance, from the general government, interest at the rate of five per cent per annum on the difference, from time to time, between the actual amount of its indebtedness and the amount of indebtedness authorised; that, as the government of Prince Edward Island held no lands from the Crown, and consequently enjoyed no revenue from that source for the construction and maintenance of public works, the Dominion government should pay, by half-yearly instalments, in advance, to the government of Prince Edward Island, forty-five thousand dollars yearly, less five per cent. upon any sum not exceeding eight hundred thousand dollars, which the Dominion government might advance to the Prince Edward Island government for the purchase of land now held by the large proprietors; that, in consideration of the transfer to the parliament of Canada of the powers of taxation, the following sums should be paid yearly by Canada to Prince Edward Island, for the support

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of the government and legislature: that is to say, thirty thousand dollars, and an annual grant equal to eighty cents per head of its population, as shown by the census returns of 1871, - namely, ninety-four thousand and twenty-one, - both by half-yearly payments in advance, - such grant of eighty cents per head to be augmented in proportion to such increase of population of the island as might be shown by each decennial census, until the population amounted to four hundred thousand, at which rate such grant should thereafter remain, - it being understood that the next census should be taken in the year 1881. The Dominion likewise assumed all the charges for the following services: the salary of the lieutenant-governor, the salaries of the judges of the superior courts and of the district or county courts, the charges in respect to the department of customs, the postal department, the protection of the fisheries, the provision for the militia, the lighthouses, shipwrecked crews, quarantine, and marine hospitals, the geological survey, and the penitentiary. The Dominion government also assumed the railway, which was then under contract. The main resolutions, on the motion of Mr. J. C. Pope, seconded by Mr. David Laird, were carried by twenty-seven votes to two. The house of assembly then unanimously agreed to an address to Her Majesty the Queen, praying that Her Majesty would be graciously pleased to unite Prince Edward Island with the Dominion of Canada on the terms and conditions contained in the said address. The legislative action necessary to consummate the union of Prince Edward Island with the Dominion of Canada being thus completed, its political destiny was united to that of the already confederated provinces on the first of July, 1873.

It may seem strange, to one unacquainted with the facts, that so great a change in public sentiment in regard to union

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should have been effected in so brief a period. The solution of the problem is to be found mainly in the circumstance, that the mercantile community was afraid of a monetary crisis, consequent on the liabilities of the island in connection with the railway, and that the only satisfactory way of getting out of the difficulty appeared to be the union of the island, on liberal terms, with the Dominion of Canada. Fidelity to historical accuracy constrains us to say that the final settlement of the terms was in no small measure attributable to the able manner in which Messrs. Haythorne and Laird acquitted themselves when delegates at Ottawa; and it must further be stated, to the credit of these gentlemen, that they rose, when occasion required, above party prejudice, and communicated their desire to the Dominion government that further concessions should, if possible, be granted to the new delegates, so that the union might be effected without delay. But it must not, at the same time, be forgotten that the government of which Mr. J. C. Pope was the leader obtained better terms than those conceded to the previous delegation, and that to them belongs the merit, in a great measure, of bringing the question to a final solution.

Chapter End

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History of Prince Edward Island

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