Defences of Canada, 14 Mar 1865 (2)

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Defences of Canada, 14 Mar 1865 (2) - I I at respect the - or Extradition at the - -...
I I at respect the - or Extradition at the - - Vice - effect do Tuacj to incorrect rio - about an beg so do to - , to the room this of indulgence explanation, the The is a at of the ; dis are saso - allude to tbe toss of I upon better England the exertions of he widely to consider, when be spoke en a former occasion, that tbe step taken by the American Government in reference to th termination, of the convention limiting the naval forces of the two countries oo the Isdces, aad ia refereoce to th Reciprocity Treaty, was coeeeived in a spirit of hostility towards this oountry. It appeared to him that in regard to the termination ef the convention limiting the aaral forces on the Lakes, tbe American Government were justified in that course of prooeeding. What were the eireumsteoees under whieh ths notice of termination was given 7 An American vessel was seised by a party of, sympathisers from Canada ia American waters, and it was only by accident that a second vessel was not slso seized, and then that which was the avowed object of their enterprise might have beeu carried out the liberation of. a large number of prisoners confined ia Johnson's Island, amount ing, he believed, to tinrnnuwK?iii property ia Federal waters he thought that the United States were Justified ia having recourse to aa increase of force for polio purposes ia the Lakes. That measure was proposed in the first instance by the Federal Government as a temporary increase during the war, and was so intimated to the Government of this country, but afterwards .notice ill giren for th permanent and total termination of the convention. As regarded this point he thought Her Ms - jetty's Government greatly to blame. H thought that the moment those events ( took place, . aad when the Federal Government intimated their intention to adopt some measure of a temporary character, tbe English Government ought at once to have met then in a conciliatory manner and said, " Tho object you hare ia view is ss important to us ss to you, aad we are ready to enter into an arrangement to nave a temporary increase ot lores in wi mm. .v. naval nnliee of the Lakes." If such a course had been pur sued, it vu his conviction that the English Government nevsr would have received from America what might "b productive of some complication aad embarrassment th re gular notice permanently and eompieieiv to terminate tne convention. Again, ia respect to the Reciprocity Treety. The notice to terminate - that was giren in s moment of irritation, aad ia consequence of th events ia Canada; but he thought that the course which Her Msjesty's Government ought to have : pursued vu to say, "Do not precipitately and entirely put SO end to that treaty, which baa removed from the arena so many cause of difference aad quarrel, but point out where it may be amended, and we are willing to meet you and to modify the treaty." If that had been done be believed that the Reciprocity Treaty would not bars been terminated, and that a number of questions with respect to tbe fisheries, which had before brought the two countries, almost to a state of war, would never bare been re - opened again. (Hear, hear.) He wished it, therefore, to be understood that in the observations he was about to make be did not desire to attribute to the American Government anything like a feeling of hostility towards this country. Oa the contrary, during the last two months tbe communications which had passed between ths United States and HerMajestV. Govern - mnt hut heeo. renerallr sveaking. marked by a fsr greater spirit 'of consideration., temperance, and conci liation than previously, ne wa nappy ta scauuwicugw thi. result was in a great measure owing to the wise, discreet, and prudent conduct which had marked the course of toe Amencaa reprsveoMHTs m w - n.j, " """" more than any other man in maintaining peace between the two countries, and who had thereby conferred equal obligations on his own I country and on the' people of this. (Hear, hear.) He would sot attribute to the American people generally a desire to go to war with this country. On the contrary, be believed that tbe great bulk of the educated and intelligent classes in America, who though they might not take a decided part in public affairs yet bad a great influence in thstr country, would deprecate as much a any one on this side of the Atlantic anything like hostilities between this country aad the United State. At tb same time, it appeared to him to be worse than folly to shut the eyes to what might possibly - happen. It was impossible to say what might hare been the result of' a chance accident in the course of the last year or year aad a half. What must have happened if the ill - tempered and hasty declaration of General Dix, which was at cere and most honourably disavowed by the American Gorerameot, had been acted oo! Supposing the Canadian frontier had been inraded by American troops, that blood had beeu abed and life lost, who eould sav for one moment what would hare been the result! Supposing, again, that the two vessels in American waters had been captured, aad some 1,800 or 2,000 Coafsderateprisooers set free, would aot such aa event' hare agitated the people from oo end of the United States to th other ! H would pel tout soother reason for taking this master fairly into eowidsraiusa. It was not loeg sios they all read in oo. of Mr. Seward's de - Ktehes an sccouat Ji what paassd in an mterriew between leral and Comfaderate authorities, and Mr. Seward stated: ' H What the lasargest party seemed chiefly to fsvour was a postpoaemeat ef the qeawtioa of separation, uewhih th war at waged, aad a mutual directieej of the eSorta of th rL..M.t sa wen a those of th insurreuts. to some extrinsic natter eei seherae for a season, daring which passions might be sxpseveu m aad the armies be re - to stand a we were - would be 'a disgrace and dishonour for us to allow them to be opprsastd by a nMghbooring oountry. More than that, itwaa not only that if they were independent there would be docs nse of quarrel bet wren tbe United States and the Canadians ; but it must be remembered that the only vaese of quarrel, now that they were united with us which could occur between the United SUtes and the Canadian was their connexion with us. It was only because tbe Americans thought they could through them striko at as that they could' ever have any cause of .quarrel with them :snd the only ground of offence whieh eould pes - " sibly exist between tbe Canadians aad the Amerieaas was. that there nvght arise questions between tbe Amerieaas and us in which it woold be impossible for the Canadians to do - otherwise than adhere to us. Thus, thru, th cause of quarrel woold not be Canadian, but ours ; and tbe only source) of danger to the Canadians were their connexion with tliia country and th belief oa th part of the Americans thaV they" eould wound us through Canada. It should be reroens - be red that there wss no ground of quarrel at the present moment between Canada and the United States, Tb Canadians had not permitted the Alabama to escape ; they bad not precipitately acknowledged belligerent righta ; they had done everything they could, aa far aa these rsids were coo - cerned; to put them down ; tbey had met the Americas Government half - way in aU the measures which had beea adopted to secure the reec of the frontier ; and it was only th other dsv that a diatioguisheit American said to him. " I only wish that the conduct of the mother country bad beea half as loval to America ss that of her colony has beea.' (Hear.) Therefore there could be no cause of qusrrelbe - , tweeo Canada aad the United States except the fact that she was united to England. Well then. hat were the meai is aad preparation for her defence ! He thought it waa perfectly clear that if the cause of dispute was aa Imperial one, if we were bound to stand by tbe Canadians whilo they were wining to stand by us, it would be int possible for us to do otherwise than exert everv meant ia our power to contribute towards the defence of a country brought into, danger wholly by its connexion with us. What were - tb. means of defence that bad been proposed by. Her Majeety'a Government! Tbey bail bad commission after comroisaioa sent out to Canada. They, had a commission ia 18G2 which Colonel Gordon wss a member ; and although its re - eonimendations were very similar to these they were mors, extensive, snd contemplated an espenditure of money aad construction of fortifications so vaat that th Goveruiaent sent out another commission In t3. Another eommissiort also was sent out ia l&H, and what had Uen Jo.e ? Practically, nothing. Ha - wiahsd to point out to tbe House what were the procxaritioas mad by the Government. The report of Colonel Jervois proceeded on this ground - that the defence of Canada must be military, by a union of a etTUia amount of British force with a large Caoe.lian force, protected and supported by additional fortifications. CcluneX Jervois also pointed cut what was of still greater importance vis., that the great, th real means of defence for Canada must be a defence by the Canadians themselves. What waa it that was bow proposed in regard to" f ortiScaiiooa J Tbe only fortification to be undertaken was that of Quebec; and this waa to proceed at so slow and prudent a rate tbatj onlv 50.000f. was to be spent this year. (Hear, bear.) - Th first thing, therefore, he wished to know was if tbey were convinced of the necessity of fortifying (Quebec, why did thev not do it years azo ? It had been recommended as ins - year ago. la ins ictier wnicn nan pcen referred to his rerort of 18tM. He said - he ivinted ont ia bis report, dated February, IS04, as tbe result of bis inspection in Canada, that tbe construction of pertain works of fortification at Montreal sad Quebec was essential to caabto the British troops and local forces to resist an tovasioD by the Americans with any prospect of success." Then, as they acknowledged it to be their bounden dutv to assist ia tb. defence of Canada by fortifying Quebec, he asked why did tbey delay it, why did thev not do it loeg ago ! He waa awsre that to a certain esteat Government might find a justification for their proposal to spend only SU,0rW. this) year oo tte permanent works tobe erected on tbe right bank: of tbe St, Lawrence. Probably 50,000. was ss much a dunce this year eould well be expended at that point. But what bad beea the course of she American Government where tbey bsd fortifications to erect ! Had they been content with spend - iag only the sum necessary for permanent works, sad so consuming a number of years in the completion of rma - Beat fortifications ! No : what they did was this tbey expended a certain ram oa tbe permanent fortifications ( butv side by side with these, they raised temporary earthworks, which, during the construction of th permanent works, would be sufficient for the defence of the position and Contribute to the safetv of their army. It was certainly .clear k. ir f. r - m.nt frwistv,ns the ansa of 5Q.0UO - was? as macb ss they could expend during the present year at this particular poist, it was - their bounden duty prompt aad without a day's delay to put Quebec la that state of defence by earthworks that would at Issst secure it sgainst attack daring tb construction of tbe permanent fortifications. The be wished to ask what thev had been eVaaff as regarded tb armament of Quebec! It had., bo eVrabt, been hnproved. Guns of considerable calibre, but few to Bttaber, had beea placed there. But there! were ether guns there of a very iaeffieieet sheietter i mf which would b utterly at 100 yards, aad . vee theae, oaording to an account given la a late rsjhlicatioa, were 5

Clipped from
  1. The Times,
  2. 14 Mar 1865, Tue,
  3. Page 21

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