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has been witnessed. Four other colonies are at this moment occupied as we are-declaring their hearty love for the parent State, and deliberating with us how they may best discharge the great duty entrusted to their hands, and give their aid in developing the teeming resources of these vast possessions.
And well, Mr. Speaker, may the work we have unitedly proposed rouse the ambition and energy of every true man in British America. Look, sir, at the map of the continent of America. Newfoundland, commanding the mouth of the noble river that almost cuts our continent in twain, is equal in extent to the Kingdom of Portugal. Cross the straits to the mainland, and you touch the hospitable shores of Nova Scotia, a country as large as the Kingdom of Greece. Then mark the sister Province of New Brunswick-equal to Denmark and Switzerland combined. Pass
the St. Lawrence to Lower Canada—a country as large as France. Pass on to Upper Canada--twenty thousand square miles larger than Great Britain and Ireland put together. Cross over the continent to the shores of the Pacific, and you are in British Columbia, the land of golden promise-equal in extent to the Austrian Empire. I speak not now of the vast Indian territories that lie between, greater in extent than the whole soil of Russia ; and that will, ere long, I trust, be opened up to civilization, under the auspices of the British American Confederation. Well, sir, the bold scheme in your hands is nothing less than to gather all these countries into one; to organize them under one government, with the protection of the British flag, and in heartiest sympathy and affection with our fellow-subjects in the land that gave us birth. Our scheme is to establish a government that will seek to turn the tide of emigration into this northern half of the American continent; that will strive to develop its great national resources, and that will endeavor to maintain liberty, and justice, and Christianity throughout the land.
What we propose now is but to lay the foundations of the structure, to set in motion the governmental machinery that will, one day, we trust, extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific. And we take especial credit to ourselves that the system we have devised, while admirably adapted to our present situation, is capable of gradual and efficient expansion in future years to meet all the purposes contemplated by our scheme. But if honorable gentlemen will recall to mind that when the United States seceded from the mother country, and for many years afterwards, their population was not nearly equal to ours at the present moment, that their internal improvements did not then approach to what we have already attained, and that their trade and commerce was not a third of what ours has already reached, I think they will see that the fulfilment of our hopes may
not be so very remote as at first sight might be imagined. And they will be strengthened in that conviction, if they remember that what we propose to do is to be done with the cordial sympathy and assistance of that great Power of which it is our happiness to form a part. And said I not rightly, Mr. Speaker, that such a scheme is well fitted to fire the ambition and rouse the energy of every member of this House ? Does it not lift us above the petty politics of the past, and present to us high purposes and great interests, that may well call forth all the intellectual ability, and all the energy and enterprise to be found among us?
Sir, the future destiny of these great Provinces may be affected, by the decision we are about to give, to an extent which at this moment we may be unable to estimate. But assuredly the welfare, for many years, of four millions of people hangs on our decision. Shall we then rise equal to the occasion ? Shall we approach this discussion without partisanship, and free from every personal feeling but the earnest resolution to discharge, conscientiously, the duty which an overruling Providence has placed upon us ? Sir, it may be that some among us may live to see the day when, as the result of this measure, a great and powerful people shall have grown up in these lands; when the boundless forest all around us shall have given way to smiling fields and thriving towns, and when one united government, under the British flag, shall extend from shore to shore ; but who could desire to see that day, if he could not recall with satisfaction the part he took in this discussion ? Mr. Speaker, I have done. I leave the subject to the conscientious judgment of the House, in the confident expectation and belief that the decision it will render will be worthy of the Parliament of Canada.
NICHOLAS FLOOD DAVIN (1843-1901)
EDITOR, AUTHOR AND ORATOR
ICHOLAS F. DAVIN, connected in his later years with the
journalism of Assiniboia, owed his birth to Ireland, while his
early career, as a lawyer and journalist, was spent in London. During the Franco-German War he served as war correspondent for the Irish Times and the London Standard. Seeking Canada, he was called to the Ontario bar in 1874, and later to that of the Northwest province, being created Queen's Counsel by the Earl of Derby in 1890. In 1893, he established at Regina the Leader, the pioneer newspaper of Assiniboia. His powers as an orator made him prominent in political life, and from 1887 to 1890 he represented Assiniboia in the Dominion House of Commons, being noted as one of the most scholarly men in that body.
THE BRITISH COLONIAL EMPIRE [In 1897, during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration, Mr. Davin represerted Canada at the meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts, in honor of that event, and delivered there an eloquent address, suited to the occasion. A selection follows.]
This is a magnificent festival ; but, contrary to the rule, it is greater relatively than absolutely. Grand as it is, its grandeur is enhanced when we think that at this moment, not merely in London is the Empire's Queen gathering her children around her, but in great cities in all lands; in a land like this, which no British heart can heartily call foreign-for what is this great Republic but one of the lion's whelps grown to lionhood and for distinction's sake growing a pair of wings, and calling itself a lion of the air ; and, as we know from a hundred battlefields, when we look at your literature and see your extraordinary power and commercial activity, we conclude that, although you may be an eagle in the air, after all there is a great deal of the British lion about you. In great cities and capitals, under the southern cross, under northern auroral lights, in the eye of the
THE DOMINION PARLIAMENT IN SESSION