Proposed Terms of Union, 1869

Journals of the House of Assembly, 1869, pp.33-36

Whereas by the Imperial Act 30th and 31st Victoria, Chapter 3 entitled An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and for purposes connected therewith, provision is made for the admission of this Colony into the Union; it is therefore

RESOLVED, 1st--That it is expedient that this Colony should enter into the said Union as part of the Dominion of Canada, if an arrangement can be effected therefor on fair and equitable terms.

It is the opinion of this Committee that, in accordance with the general provisions of the Quebec Resolutions of 1864 and the said Act, as well as in addition to the same, and in modification thereof, the terms hereinafter specified would, as regards this Colony, form a just basis for arrangement.


2. The charges for the several Officers, Departments and Services enumerated in Schedule A shall be annually defrayed by the Government of the Dominion, together with the just claims of this Colony for other charges and concessions of like character with those borne or made by the Dominion with reference to the other Provinces.


3. The Public Debt and Liabilities of this Colony shall be assumed by the Dominion Government, and shall be chargeable as those of the other Provinces of the Dominion


4. There shall be annually allowed by the said Government, to the Government of this Colony, for the support of local Institutions:--

1. The sum of eighty cents per head on the present population, and to increase with the population, up to the number provided for the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick;

2. The interest of five per cent on the difference between the actual amount of the debt of this Colony at the time of the Union, and the average amount of indebtedness per head of the population of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

3. The annual subsidy to which this Colony would be entitled by the 118th section of the said Act; and

4. The sum of $175,000 in consideration of the transfer to the General Government of the ungranted and unoccupied Lands, Mines, and Minerals of this Colony.


5. The transfer mentioned in the foregoing Resolution is subject to the proviso, that there be reserved to the Colony the right of opening, constructing, and controlling Roads and Bridges through any of the said lands; and the privilege heretofore exercised by the people, of cutting wood on ungranted lands; and subject further to the reservations and provisos contained in the 17th and 18th sections of the Local Act 7 Victoria, Chapter 1.

6. The preferable claims of Fishermen and Current Suppliers by the present Insolvency law of this Colony shall be maintained, unless hereafter altered by local enactment.


7. No tax should be imposed on the Exports of this Colony, unless a similar tax be levied on all the staple products of the other Provinces of the Dominion.


8. From the condition of the people scattered along the coast, and their avocations in the Fisheries, requiring their absence from home during a great part of the year, it is the opinion of this Committee that a Militia Service would be unsuited to their circumstances; but it is believed that an efficient Naval Reserve Force may be established on a satisfactory basis, and an increase in numbers and greater efficiency given to the present Volunteer organization. In the isolated and undefended position of this Island, the maintenance of a garrison Force in St. John's, as at present, is indispensable.


9. As the Dominion Government has by the said Act control over sea coast and inland Fisheries, and as the present staple industry of this Colony is its Fisheries, and their encouragement would be mutually advantageous, and as certain branches thereof, particularly the Herring and Salmon Fisheries, require encouragement and improvement, to increase their industrial and commercial value, their prosecution should be stimulated by special subsidy from the General Government. In any Customs Act of the Dominion importers of dried fish shall be subject to the provision contained in the third section of the Act of this Colony, 31 Victoria, Cap. 1.


10. As the right of the Colony to impose a tax on coal, as at present, for the purposes of the General Water Company, will cease after the Union of this Colony with Canada, the Dominion Government shall relieve the Company of its liability for the payment of the interest on the stock of the said Company, to the extent of $200,000.


11. There shall be provided by the General Government an efficient Mail Steam Service between the United Kingdom, this Colony, and Canada, a line of Steam Boats, for cargo and passengers between Montreal and St. John's during the season of navigation; the obligations of the Colony in respect of the present Mail Service with Halifax shall be undertaken by the Government of the Dominion, and Winter Steam Communication with Halifax shall be always maintained. There shall be an efficient Coastal Steam Service, including the Labrador, in connection with the Post Office, maintained by the Government of the Dominion.


12. That no final arrangement shall be made for the admission of this Colony into the Union, until an appeal be made to the people at the next General Election.


Charges to Be Borne by the Dominion Government

Governor and Secretary                   $ 10,524
Keeper of Lodge                               277
Fuel and Light, Government House              924      $ 11,725
Customs Department                                       36,127.69
Surveyor General and Staff                                3,064.15
Three Judges, Supreme Court                               9,923.08
Circuits of Judges                                        3,400
Labrador Judge and Bailiff                                1,330
Judges of District Courts
Postal Department (net amount)                            8,645
Interest on Debt                                         56,578
Coastal Steam Service                                    25,662
Protection of Fisheries                                   2,600
Volunteer Force                                           1,200
Halifax Mail Service                                     21,600
Geological Survey                                         2,500
Light Houses                                             22,000
                                                      $ 206,154.92

Assets Applicable to Purposes of Local Government

Interest on $25 per head for 130,000 inhabitants
         $3,250,000, at 5 per cent      $ 162,500
Less interest on Public Debt               56,578     $ 105,922
80 cents per head on 130,000, subject to census         104,000
Grant for Surrender Crown Lands                         175,000
Grant for additional Subsidy, subject to arrangement     24,000
                                                      $ 408,922