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constituencies of Nova Scotia hangs not only their material interests, but the security and advancement of all the British Provinces in North America. Halifax is keenly alive to the magnitude and importance of the question. A degree of intelligent unanimity exists here, which elsewhere may be wanting. Here no man can be elected who is not pledged to carry out that great measure of public policy to the ripening of which we have dedicated a year of life. I may be useful in other quarters where information is wanted, and where united action may not be so easily secured. The citadel being safe, I must take my stand somewhere upon the outworks of the position, that those who are open or concealed enemies, may not gain, at this important crisis, any advantage.
On the 1st of August, the farmers of Upper Musquodoboit, among whom Mr. Howe and his family had resided two years, presented him with a silver tray bearing this inscription:
TO THE HONORABLE JOSEPH HOWE.
PRESENTED BY THE INHABITANTS OF UPPER MUSQUODOBOIT,
“ It is,” said the person who presented it," the spontaneous and grateful offering of the inhabitants of a settlement to whom you have endeared yourself by stronger ties than those of political party.”
" I shall accept this gift,” Mr. Howe replied, “in the same spirit in which it has been bestowed. It will often remind me of happy hours passed among you; of peaceful pursuits which recruited my body and my mind; of old friends, whose steady industry and unostentatious virtues fitly illustrated the rural life of the country for which it is my pride to labor.”
On the 14th of August, the Legislature of Canada voted sixteen millions of dollars in aid of the Intercolonial Railway, thus fulfilling her part of the agreement made at Toronto.
It was soon apparent, in Nova Scotia, that the government was to be everywhere stoutly opposed at the elections, and that while many of his former opponents declared themselves supporters of the railway policy, there was an evident dispositio to displace many of Mr. Howe's old friends, upon whose support he could confidently rely, and to return gentlemen whose hearty coöperation was more than doubtful.
On reaching Cumberland, Mr. Howe found the county flooded with slips and placards in which he was assailed with great bitterness, and in which the burdens and dangers to be entailed upon the country by his railway policy were exaggerated with reckless ingenuity. He argued, justly, that if this had been done in Cumberland, the same mischievous activity would be displayed in all the other counties. He determined at once to counteract it; and prepared one of those terse, argumentative, and trenchant letters, which seem to cost no effort, and yet carry conviction, from their boldness, plausibility, and command of facts. Simultaneously printed at Pictou and Halifax, this letter in a week was circulated all over the Province, and armed his friends everywhere with answers and arguments upon all the points discussed.
After grouping and laughing at all the “cries” got up at former elections, he writes :
Not one of all these things that the obstructives prophesied would surely happen ever did happen, nor can they at this moment put their fingers on one act of Howe and his associates that has not done good to Nova Scotia. What have we done my friends? Let me group together some of the results of our labors. We
Opened the Council doors, and separated the Legislative from the Executive Council.
Removed the judges from politics ; made them independent, and only removable from office by addresses from both branches of the Legislature.
Reduced the number of judges from eleven to six.
Paşsed the Quadrennial Bill, by which the right was secured to you of electing members every four years instead of once in seven.
Passed the Qualification Act, by which a man owning property in any county could be elected in all the others.
Passed the Civil List, by which the expenses of government were largely reduced.
Passed the Registry Bill, by which the expenses of recording deeds is reduced one-half in all the counties.
Passed the Post Office Act, by which the whole department was transferred from the Imperial to the Provincial government, and the rates of postage varying from 9d. to 2s. 1d., were reduced to a uniform rate of 3d. all over the British Provinces.
Passed the new School Act, by which a superintendent of education was appointed to visit and inspect the schools; and by which libraries, open to the whole body of the people, will be established in all the villages.
Passed laws combining the two revenue departments into one, saving time to the merchant and expense to the Province.
Opened fifteen or twenty new ports for trade and commerce.
Passed the Departmental Bill, and so arranged the financial business of the country, that while there is an accurate inspection of accounts, a farmer coming for road or school money is paid in a few minutes, instead of having to dance attendance for hours with his team waiting in the street.
Passed the law by which every man who has paid taxes or voted at an election, can plead in any of Her Majesty's courts for himself or his neighbor.
Established a commission by which all the laws of the Province have been simplified and consolidated, and will be published this year in a cheap single volume, costing 7s.6d., that everybody can read and understand.
Passed the law by which Halifax was incorporated, and invested with all the privileges of an English city.
Built the electric telegraph across Nova Scotia, by which instantaneous communication has been established with all the cities of the American continent.
Passed the law by which every man who pays rates is entitled to vote at elections.
Established responsible government, by which a majority of the people's representatives can turn out a bad government whenever they have lost the confidence of the country.
These, my fellow countrymen, are some of the things which my friends and myself have done for the elevation and improvement of Nova Scotia, during the fourteen years that I have been in the Legislature.
His personal activity and energy, throughout this contest, may be judged by the fact that he rode four hundred miles, the greater part of it on horseback, in twelve days, and made twenty speeches; to say nothing of explanations, replies, and rejoinders.
So decided and wide-spread was the impression that Mr. Howe had made on the county of Cumberland by his speeches in various parts of it, and so general was the conviction on the nomination day that he could not only win his own seat but carry his friends with him, that the opposite party proposed a compromise. A candidate was withdrawn, and two gentlemen were returned by acclamation with him, pledged to sustain the railway policy and resist a vote hostile to the government. It was on this occasion that the Hon. Edward Chandler sketched Mr. Howe's character with a force and fidelity rarely equalled, if ever surpassed, by the most ardent of his admirers :
Mr. Howe, said Mr. Chandler, need not, on personal grounds, come to Cumberland to seek a seat. Any constituency in the three Provinces would be proud to accept his services. His reputation is North American. His speeches at Southampton, his letters to Earl Grey, have elevated all the Provinces in the estimation of Europe have roused them to a knowledge of their own resources. I do not hesitate to say that man in the empire could have conducted that negotiation so ably — that no other man could have ripened this great scheme, so far, or can now bear up the weight of it in the Legislature. This we all feel to be true; but what I admire about Mr. Ilowe, is the simplicity of his manners, combined with such high intellectual resources. Negotiating with ministers of state, at the Governor General's Council Board, or even in presence of his Sovereign, as beneath the lowly roof of the humblest farmer in the land, he is ever the same Joe Ilowe.
The metropolitan county, which Mr. Howe had left, elected his four friends. The contests generally resulted in the return of a good working majority to sustain the government, and of a still larger majority pledged or disposed to adopt and carry out the railway policy.
So far by immense labor, great results had been achieved. The public mind of the mother country had been turned to the vast undeveloped resources of British America. The two Houses of Parliament had been informed and conciliated. The confidence and support of the Imperial Cabinet had been nobly won. The difficulties presented by the peculiar position and hasty determination of New Brunswick had been toned down, and the pledge of her government obtained. A great intercolonial scheme had been sanctioned by the governments of the three Provinces. Canada had voted her sixteen million of dollars; and Nova Scotia, solemnly appealed to at a general election, had determined not only to assume the construction of the whole of the Trunk line for the two roads but thirty miles beyond her frontier.
At this moment a new element of perplexity and discord was presented. Messrs. Jackson, Peto, Betts, and Brassy, two or three of them members of Parliament, and all of them extensive railway contractors, had had their attention drawn to the great North American field of operations by Mr. Howe's letters and speech at Southampton. The contemplated expenditure of seven million sterling, to be raised under the guarantee of the British government, and paid in cash, offered irresistible attractions. Mr. Howe had courteously entertained and frankly stated to all the governments concerned their offers to build the roads. Any action on these offers was premature and impossible until all the laws had been passed, the funds secured, and the joint commission appointed. If Mr. Howe had had the power, he could not have given a contract to expend seven million of pounds, raised on the risk of Colonial revenues, to three or four strangers, without competition, or comparison of terms and prices, without suspicion of manifest and flagrant corruption. But he had not the power, and nobody else had, or ought to have had, but the joint commissioners, whoever they might be, acting with a single eye to the faithful expenditure of a large sum of money dedicated to great national undertakings.
The contractors, however, looking to their own interests solely, were anxious to secure the expenditure of the seven million, however it might be raised; and with this view Charles D. Archibald, Esq., was dispatched to North America to see how the land lay, and with a sort of roving commission to act in their interest as circumstances might arise.
He had presented himself at Toronto while the delegates were deliberating with the Canadian government, and obtained a delay of two days, that some proposition which he stated he had brought with him should be considered. It turned out that he had brought none, having the sanction of the Imperial government or the signature of any eminent capitalist or contractor. The Canadian government and the delegates, therefore, proceeded in their own way, acting upon what was definite,