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that city, how will those interior lines advance? How many interests will combine for their extension? The British government and people will take a natural pride in the continuation of this great national work. The success of the lower lines will be promoted and insured by extension. British capitalists and contractors, lured into this boundless field, will seek further employment for their capital and labor; and millions of industrious people will flow into Provinces where employment is certain and land is cheap. This is the prospect before us, sir, and the duties it imposes we must learn to discharge with energy; the destiny it discloses we may contemplate with pride. England foresees, yet fears it not. She relies upon our resources and upon our integrity to repay her money. She believes in the existence of the old feelings here which are to strengthen with our strength, and bind us to her by links of love, when pecuniary obligations have been cancelled. She virtually says to us, by this offer, There are seven millions of sovereigns, at half the price that your neighbors pay in the markets of the world; construct your railways; people your waste lands; organize and improve the boundless territory beneath your feet; learn to rely upon and to defend yourselves, and God speed you in the formation of national character

and national institutions.

But, sir, daring as may appear the scope of this conception, high as the destiny may seem which it discloses for our children, and boundless as are the fields of honorable labor which it presents, another, grander in proportions, opens beyond; one which the imagination of a poet could not exaggerate, but which the statesman may grasp and realize, even in our own day. Sir, to bind these disjointed Provinces together by iron roads ; to give them the homogeneous character, fixedness of purpose, and elevation of sentiment, which they so much require, is our first duty. But, after all, they occupy but a limited portion of that boundless heritage which God and nature have given to us and to our children. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are but the frontage of a territory which includes four millions of square miles, stretching away behind and beyond them, to the frozen regions on the one side and to the Pacific on the other. Of this great section of the globe, all the Northern Provinces, including Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, occupy but four hundred and eighty-six thousand square miles. The Hudson's Bay territory includes two hundred and fifty thousand miles. Throwing aside the more bleak and inhospitable regions, we have a magnificent country between Canada and the Pacific, out of which five or six noble Provinces may be formed, larger than any we have, and presenting to the hand of industry, and to the eye of speculation, every variety of soil, climate, and

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resource. With such a territory as this to overrun, organize and improve, think you that we shall stop even at the western bounds of Canada? or even at the shores of the Pacific? Vancouver's Island, with its vast coal measures, lies beyond. The beautiful islands of the Pacific and the growing commerce of the ocean, are beyond. Populous China and the rich East, are beyond; and the sails of our children's children, will reflect as familiarly the sunbeams of the South, as they now brave the angry tempests of the North. The maritime Provinces which I now address, are but the Atlantic frontage of this boundless and prolific region; the wharves upon which its business will be transacted, and beside which its rich argosies are to lie. Nova Scotia is one of these. Will you, then, put your hands unitedly, with order, intelligence, and energy, to this great work? Refuse, and you are recreants to every principle which lies at the base of your country's prosperity and advancement; refuse, and the Deity's handwriting upon land and sea, is to you unintelligible language; refuse, and Nova Scotia, instead of occupying the foreground as she now does, should have been thrown back, at least behind the Rocky Mountains. God has planted your country in the front of this boundless region; see that you comprehend its destiny and see that you discharge, with energy and elevation of soul, the duties which devolve upon you in virtue of your position. Hitherto, my countrymen, you have dealt with this subject in a becoming spirit, and whatever others may think or apprehend, I know that you will persevere in that spirit until our objects are attained. I am neither a prophet, nor a son of a prophet, yet I will venture to predict that in five years we shall make the journey hence to Quebec and Montreal, and home through Portland and St. John, by rail; and I believe that many in this room will live to hear the whistle of the steam engine in the passes of the Rocky Mountains, and to make the journey from Halifax to the Pacific in five or six days. With such objects in view, with the means before us to open up one thousand miles of this noble territory; to increase its resources and lay bare its treasures, surely all petty jealousies and personal rivalries should stand rebuked; all minor questions of mere local interest should give way. The smoke of past contests has perhaps at times clogged my own mind; like an old chimney, the soot of controversy may have adhered to it after the cooking of constitutions was over. But the fire of this noble enterprise has burnt it out. I come back, after six months' absence, prepared to cooperate with any man who will honestly aid me to work out the prosperity of our common country; and I am glad to discover that a reciprocal and cordial feeling is manifested by those whose opinions differ, on other subjects, from my own.

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It is frequently said, sir, that a government should not touch these public works. But the roads of a country-the Queen's highwayssurely come within the purview of the Executive. In this case it is clear that, unless done by the government, these great railways cannot be done at all. Even if companies could make them, they would cost fourteen millions instead of seven. But, sir, what is a government for, if it is not to take the lead in noble enterprises; to stimulate industry; to elevate and guide the public mind? You set eight or nine men on red cushions or gilded chairs, with nothing to do but pocket their salaries, and call that a government. To such a pageant I have no desire to belong. Those who aspire to govern others should neither be afraid of the saddle by day nor of the lamp by night. In advance of the general intelligence they should lead the way to improvement and prosperity. I would rather assume the staff of Moses, and struggle with the perils of the wilderness, and the waywardness of the multitude; than be a golden calf, elevated in gorgeous inactivity- the object of a worship which debased.

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But how came this work to be assumed by the government? The citizens of Halifax, by acclamation, handed it over to us at the great meeting held in Temperance Hall, after the return of the delegates from Portland. The capitalists of the Province were there, and confessed that the enterprise was beyond their grasp. The people were there, and the feeling was universal that this work was to be done by the government, if done at all. At that meeting many an old antipathy was buried, and the government assumed and has carried on the project in the spirit with which it was tendered. That meeting was held in August. Sir John Harvey's dispatch, asking for the Imperial guarantee, bears date the 29th of that month. The refusal which led to the delegation reached Halifax in October. On the 1st of November, the delegate left for England. The first interview granted to me was on the 18th; I could not decide upon any course till that was over. In a week after, the first letter to Earl Grey was written; it went in on the 25th. So far, you will perceive, that from August to the end of November, not a moment was lost. The meeting at Southampton was held on the 14th of January; the second letter to Earl Grey is dated the 16th. Six weeks elapsed between the dates of the two letters. How were these passed? In reading a cart-load of books, and pamphlets, and parliamentary records and reports, that I might gather facts, and ascertain what others had written and said on the subjects I wished to treat; in diving by day and night into the mysteries of that industrial and social life which it might become my duty to illustrate. However impatient some of you

have been, no Nova Scotian who had not seen England for ten years could have wisely appealed to its intelligence without this preparation. The best proof that the time was not wasted is to be found in the fact, that no hostile criticism met my eye before I left England; nor was a single statement attempted to be gainsayed.

From the 16th of January to the 14th of February, the whole subject was under the consideration of the Cabinet, with Lord Grey's confident assurance of a favorable result. But delays were unavoidable. The nation was boiling with excitement upon other questions, and the ministers were much engrossed. Even after the generous debate in the House of Lords, some delay was inevitable, and it was not until the 20th of February that I had Lord Grey's draft of the proposition embodied in Mr. Hawes's letter. With that upon my table, honorably crowning my mission, you may imagine what I endured during the ministerial crisis which lasted a fortnight, and during all which time no official character could be given to the draft. Mr. Hawes's letter came on the 20th March, and my friends in England congratulated me on the termination of my labors. But I knew better. The local interests, and apprehensions, the personal rivalries and jealousies, of three Provinces over the sea, rose before me, and I thought a month would be well spent in preparing to deal with these.

Before I show you what I did, let me say a word or two to those, if any there are, who hold the opinion that the offer of the British governmant is not as liberal and magnificent as it has been described, because no direct contribution has been given. In the first place, as a Nova Scotian, whose forefathers have gone through difficulties and privations which the present generation are not called upon to endure; who has shared in the inheritance of a country already valued at fifteen millions; owing nothing abroad, and but a nominal debt to its own people, which a year's revenue would pay off, I am too proud to accept as a gift a single sovereign from my brethren in the British Islands. With all the surplus wealth of England, the taxation to meet the interest of weighty obligations and an Imperial expenditure is onerous. What right have I to take a shilling out of the pocket of a Manchester weaver, or of a poor orange woman in the Strand, to make our railroads? The credit of the Imperial government I would freely use, without a blush of shame, or a sense of dishonorable obligation, but trust me, there is not a high spirited Nova Scotian who would take a shilling of its money. But suppose money had been given. Suppose Earl Grey had said to me, "There, Mr. Howe, are a million of sovereigns, go and get the other six millions where you can," the six would have cost us just £150,000 a year more

than the whole will cost now. Suppose His Lordship had given me two, or even three millions,—and the most exacting spirit over the border would hardly require more, — I must have paid £240,000 a year for the four millions at six per cent., while 'the whole seven will now cost but £245,000. Is it not clear, then, that if I had accepted even two millions in solid gold, instead of the terms offered in Mr. Hawes's letter, I should have been an idiot? Is it not equally clear that the interposition of Imperial credit, while it leaves our pride untouched, and the resources of Great Britian undiminished, actually saves us nearly three million pounds sterling in the construction of our public works? Could I have stood here to-day, with brow erect, if over-taxed Englishmen's money was in my hand? Would you have taken it if I had? No you would not. The service offered is incalculable. The sense of obligation should be as deep as it will be lasting. We incur this debt without dishonor, as we will discharge it in all integrity and good faith. Those who undervalue this magnificent boon, offered to us by the British government, should reflect that seven millions of money, drawn from our own resources, or borrowed on our own credit in the general market of the world, would cost us just £157,000 a year more than if we take the sum upon the terms which it has been my good fortune to secure.

But, Mr. Mayor, I thought it was just possible that there might be some obstructions presented, in some quarter; and I thought it might be as well to put Nova Scotia in a position to act independently of those obstructions. I am happy to say that she is now prepared at all points. I hold in my hand two letters, one from the London and Westminster Bank, the other from the Commercial Bank of London. The first is perhaps the strongest monied institution in Great Britain, next to the Bank of England; the position and resources of the other are well known. Either will open an account with Nova Scotia alone, with or without guarantees; will honor our drafts, sell our debentures, and protect our credit; we may draw to-morrow for £20,000 or £30,000. Here is a letter from another capitalist, who will do all this, and place £100,000 at our disposal. The interest is high, it is true, but the arrangement may be useful, should Nova Scotia be compelled to fall back on her own


Even with these, you will perceive, we are tolerably well armed; but here are three letters from English contractors, either of whom could and would make one of our lines, and some of whom offer to make the whole line to the St. Lawrence. [Mr. Howe here read one of these letters, signed by two gentlemen, whose notes would float, he said, through any bank in London for a million of pounds, and who were associated

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