[Separate]


[Note on microfilm:]

Union of Vancouver Island with B. Columbia.


8 August 1866
I trace from a letter of a very clear headed Colonist.



Trusting implicitly to the discretion and good sense of the Home Government, we applied for Union. I will say nothing of the vacillation, the political puerilities, the inconsistency which have throughout characterized our policy. The broad fact is there: we asked for Union, and the House of Assembly, whose action, as being professed by the Representatives of the people we are bound to support, agreed to ratify any arrangement that the Home Government in its supposed wisdom might authorize and propose.
Misled by the statements laid before them the GovernmentManuscript image regard with aversion: but as if of set purpose we have meanwhile been weakening, by all means in our power, the hands of our own Governor, who alone could have aided us in this Emergency, had he received in his Endeavours that support to which he was Entitled; and who, thus strengthened might effectually have counteracted in our favor in this Emergency.
We may have been foolish in this matter, and if so must bear the Consequences of our folly.
Let us not seek to Evade the penalty of our simplicity by proving ourselves rogues. As we have made our bed so we must lie down—we cannot retract in thisManuscript image matter without a sacrifice of honor: and honor to a community is, or should be, no less precious than to an individual.
Thus there does the case stand, and thus must we firmly view it. For myself I derive a consolation from the reflection that the purposed terms of Union are so absurd that if Union be Consummated without a Modification of these the very absurdity will shortly correct the Evil.
I believe, however, that the terms proposed will not be suffered to pass without material changes: for there are in London at the present time many influential Gentlemen who, with an experience and a power of judgmentManuscript image certainly not inferior to that of Governor Seymour, will strive for every prudential reason, to correct the misapprehensions under which the proposition has been framed at the Colonial Office. As regards the removal of the Seat of Government to New Westminister, this folly, like many others, may for a while be Countenanced. But sooner or later Victoria must take the lead, and here Eventually the Seat of Government will surely be; surely, that is, unless we pre suppose an infactuation which cannot exist.
In the intervene we must bow to circumstances which possibly we may not Control.
As regards the feelingManuscript image in British Columbia, I have reason to know that it is strongly in favor of Union with this Colony on fair and Equitable terms. I do not speak of the petty clique at New Westminster, who professedly represent the Colony, but to the great body of the inhabitants dispersed thro the interior, who Compose the People, and who are alive to the importance of Victoria to their interests, and can appreciate the importance of Union to both Colonies.
[No signature]
Minutes by CO staff
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Recd from Capt Kennedy. Put by.
ABd 15 Oct/66
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Lord Carnarvon
I think you should see this. Govr Kennedy sent it to me. The Bill which the writer refers to and characterizes as absurd is Mr Cardwell's Bill. Yr Bill had not, as I believe, reached V.C.I. at the date on which the writer wrote. But I don't imagine that your Act will calm the troubled waters at V.C.I., though you have given the Legislature what it asked for viz Union. If the Act be inappropriate and if influential persons were in London why did they not by remonstrance, or in the form of a Deputation address Mr Cardwell, whose bill was for some weeks on the table of the Ho: C. or you when yr bill was gone on with? Why, also, if there were people on the spot who knew anything abt B.C. and V.C.I. did they not get up an opposition in Parlt? To the best of my knowledge not a word was said agt the Bill in either House. The condition of these Colonies was for a long time under Mr Cardwell's consn. With the advice of the two Governors he framed his Bill. You altered it & went on with it. As nobody, on the part of the public, criticized or objected to it, it was carried. And it remains to be seen whether it will not ansr its purpose. If the Governor is discreet, & good Laws are passed by the Legre I am under the impression that it will work well. At the same time I fully expect all sorts of indignation meetings at V.C.I., got up by the Bankrupt, half Yankee population, & that you may be burnt in effigy.
ABd 19 Oct
FR 19/10
CBA 20/10
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I am glad I have seen this paper. V.C.I. may I am afraid give trouble. We shall know more before long.
C 24 Oct
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 8 August 1866, CO 305:29, no. 10160, 150. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V66065SP.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)