These, then, are the conditions of my support of confederation: that it must raise our people’s standard of living, that it must give Newfoundlanders a better life, that it must give our country stability and security and that it must give us full, democratic responsible government under circumstances that will ensure its success.
… the scheme was not one framed by the Government of Canada, or by the Government of Nova Scotia, but was in the nature of a treaty settled between the different colonies, each clause of which had been fully discussed, and which had been agreed to by a system of mutual compromise.
…those who are in the habit of talking most loudly of the rights and liberties of the people, when they find themselves in places of position and power, may frequently forget those rights.
I am in favour of Confederation, provided the financial terms are right in amount, and if the other terms will contribute to the advancement and protection of our industry. If we cannot get favourable terms, which I believe we can, it will then be for the people of this country to say whether we shall remain in isolation or seek some other more favourable union.
I do not think there is a stockman of any experience in Canada today who would ever think of turning a herd of cattle loose in the country about Moosejaw or in Prince Albert country or about Regina… When cattle would drift from one province to another great confusion would result… So I think…a line running to the 8th range west of the 3rd meridian to the Saskatchewan, and then west to any range decided upon going north [would be acceptable].
…the greater community, if she should not happen to be ﬁrst attacked, would be obliged to fight for them, and in doing so, I do not hesitate to say, on far better authority than my own, that the man who fights for the valley and harbour of St. John, or even for Halifax, fights for Canada.
But the Queen, though she may think it good for you to adopt civilized habits, has no idea of compelling you to do so. This she leaves to your choice, and you need not live like the white man unless you can be persuaded to do so of your own free will.
That [Quebec] Conference was held accordingly; our Delegates… were induced to give their assent to the scheme of Confederation; and it is not only, with the intention of convincing the Imperial Government that the people of Prince Edward Island are most decidedly opposed to a Union with Canada upon any terms, but also to prevent the possibility of…sending delegates to the London Conference…that the wording of the Resolutions are so strong and conclusive.
…we were glad to hear you tell us how we might live by our own work. When I commence to settle on the lands… I beg of you to assist me in every way possible—when I am at a loss how to proceed I want the advice and assistance of the Government; the children yet unborn, I wish you to treat them in like manner as they advance in civilization like the white man.
There is an infancy and a youth and a maturity in nations as there is in men, and while I yield to no man in my desire to retain the connection which we have with the Parent State, while I trust and hope that the day may be far distant when the ties that unite us may be severed, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that in the future—however distant that future may be—we shall have to assume the responsibilities of a separate national existence.