1862 to the summer of 1864 the issue is marked by mutual concern and, it may be added, by mutual misunderstanding. The relations with Great Britain during those critical years– the scathing comments of the British press and the repercussion of bitterness and resentment in Canada–can scarcely now be reconstructed even in imagination. A month before the Charlottetown conference a confidential report by Colonel Jervois reached Canada with the stringent comment from the Colonial Office that “her defence must ever principally depend upon the spirit, the energy and courage of her own People”. • Unknown as yet to Cardwell, the Canadian coalition had put its hand to the plough, and the official Canadian attitude towards defence changed almost over night. The British attitude towards Canada changed with it. A week after Monck’s first despatch on the Quebec resolutions he reviewed the altered proapects for defence. “Should the Union take place”, he wrote to Cardwell, “those who are likely to compose its Executive will be animated by the strongest desire to meet the views of Her Majesty’s Ministers.” As proof of good faith the Canadian government was already prepared to spend a million dollars on militia and to fortify Montreal. “This is the first instance”, he added, “in which a colony has offered at its own expense to erect permanent defensive works.’”‘ There can be no doubt that Monck’s despatches and particularly his private letters had a profound influence at the Colonial Office, From August, 1864, when Cardwell first discovered the existence of the Canadian project, to December 3, when he gave it his official support, this correspondence was the chief, if not the only, official avenue of approach to British policy. Late in Nov- •Scri½s G,vol. 172, p. 205, Gardwell to Monck, “Confidential”,’August 6, 1864. •Id., 180B, no. 61. 16 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW ember the despatches were printed confidentially for use in London. With Monck was now associated also the apostolic ardour of George Brown. It is clear from the correspondence of both men that no direct personal influence had outweighed the governorgeneral’s in bringing Brown into the coalition of 1864. No name in Canada was now more admirably calculated to repair the unfortunate impression left in Great Britain by the Sandfield Macdonald-Sicotte policy of defence. Brown’s lone mission to London late in November, 1864, was a tactical move of the first importance. Brown himself afterwards reported that the scheme gave “prodigious satisfaction”. “The Ministry, the Conservatives and the Manchester men are all delighted with it and everything Canadian has gone up in public estimation immensely.” Both Lord Monck and George Brown, it is safe to say, have yet to be accorded the place to which they are entitled in the creation of the new Dominion. Among the motives of the Colonial Office in approving the result of the Quebec conference, Cardwell himself gives first place to the fact that “it was eminently calculated to render easier and more effectual the provisions for the defence of the several Provinces”. • The resourcefulness of the Canadian delegates to London after the adverse election of March, 1865, in New Brunswick thus met with an immediate response. Defence was now perhaps the burden of their mission. The arguments plied at the Colonial Office are to be found in Galt’s memoranda in the Macdonald papers. “Believing that the Defence of the Country was most intimately connected with the Union”, Cartier suggested that “the Imperial Government who were charged with the responsibility . . . might properly exercise a very great influence thro’ a decided expression of their views”. In reply Cardwell pledged the British government anew “to use every proper means of influence to carry into effect without delay the proposed Confederation”.” In truth British policy, as I have already suggested, required no such stimulus. In a despatch to Gordon a fortnight before the arrival of the Canadian delegates, we have Cardwell’s first impressions of the New Brunswick elections. For the benefit of Gordon’s “new Advisers” he pointed out “the intimate connection ß . . between the numbers of the population and the measures proper to be taken for the defence of the Province”. “It will only •C.O. I88, vol. 45, Cardwell to Gordon, April 12, 1865. •Series G, vol. 174, p. 54, Official memorandum of conference in Cardwell to Monck, June 17,186fi. BRITISH POLICY IN CANADIAN• CONFEDERATION 17 be right”, he added, “for New Brunswick to bear in mind” that as a separate province itcould “make no adequate provision for its own defence” and would therefore “rest in a very great degree upon the defence which may be provided for it by this Country. It will, consequently, be likely to appear to your Advisers reasonable and wise that, in examining the question of the proposed Union, they should attach great weight to the views and wishes of this Country, ß . . and to the reasons on which those views have been based. “• A few days after the departure of the Canadian delegates Cardwell repeated in its final form the “strong and deliberate opinion” of the British government. He wrote to Gordon: There is one consideration which Her Majesty’s Government feel it more especially their duty to press upon the Legislature of New Brunswick. Looking to th• determination which this Country has ever exhibited to regard the defence of the Colonies as a matter of Imperial concern,–the Colonies must recognize aright and even acknowledge an obligation incumbent on the Home Government to urge with earnestness and just authority the measures which they consider to be most expedient on the part of the Colonies with a view to their own defence. 2 The reply of the New Brunswick cabinet to this exhortation was perhaps the most spirited and incisive rejoinder of the entire controversy. a But the patient insistence of the Colonial Office was not to be denied. The reception which awaited Smith, the new prime minister of New Brunswick, and J. C. Allen, the attorney-general, in their anti-confederate mission to the Colonial Office a few weeks later can easily be surmised, and it is fair to conclude from Gordon’s confidential despatches that both were fairly committed to the cause of union. Upon Gordon himself and Lieutenant-Governor MacDonnell of Nova Scotia the pressure was less complaisant. :The Canadian delegates in April, 1865 (charged, we now know, by Tilley.and Tupper), had suggested bluntly to Cardwell that “the action of the Lieut.-Governors both of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had been calculated to defeat the measure”. Both Gordon and MacDonnell found themselves on leave of absence in London in the autumn of 1865. It would seem to be unnecessary to trace the influence of the Colonial Office through to the final conference in London. Galt’s forecast in •C.O. z88, vol. 45, Cardwell to Gordon, April 12, 1865. 2Id., June 24, 1865. aNot even excepting the philippics of Howe in Nova Scotia. Public Archives of Canada, C.O. I89, 9, vol. 2, p. 183, Minute of executive council enclosed in Gordon to Cardwell, July 15, 1865. 18 TIlE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 1865 was warranted by the facts. “A decided expression” of British policy would have “a most marked effect on the loyal and high-spirited people of the Maritime Provinces” in favour of “a plan which will assure to them the continuance of the British connection” VII The elements of fortune in the Canadian Confederation were so numerous that it would be impossible here to appraise them in detail; but two or three major factors may be distinguished (in the words of Gait and Cartier in 1865) as “an extraordinary and happy combination of circumstances”. From the Conederation debates it would appear that Macdonald regarded the Charlottetown conference as the turn o! fortune. “If it had not been for this fortunate coincidence of events, never, perhaps, for a long series of years would we have been able to bring this scheme to a practical conclusion.” To others, more familiar with the cause of Maritime union, a more dynamic element of chance was the local deadlock in Canada which the coalition of 1864 was pledged by solemn resolution to dissolve: “for the final settlement of sectional difficulties”, they agreed, “the remedy must be sought in the federal principle.” The view that federation was thus the by-product of “local exigencies” in Canada was explored unsparingly by the opponents of the measure in New Brunswick. Here, they said, was “the motive and groundwork of the scheme” “Federal Union was only sought as a means of separating the Canadas”, and “the eagerness with which they seek to force its immediate adoption upon unwilling communities” was due to the fact that the alternative could not be represented “even speciously… to the Imperial Government as in any manner a scheme of Union”. • Without subscribing to these sardonic comments, it may be assumed, I think, that the deadlock in Canada was the mainspring of the federal movement. Without it the clock would almost certainly have run down. Without it, assuredly, the clock, for that decade at least, would never have been wound up. But next to the impasse in Canada, the American Civil War, I am inclined to think, was the greatest fortuitous agency for the federation of the British provinces. There were other factors innumerable. The rescue of the West from annexation to the United States was never far removed from Brown’s resolute mind. •Ibid., p. 185, Minute of executive council, July 12, 1865. BRITISH POLICY IN CANADIAN CONFEDERATION 19 Beyond a doubt the sudden alacrity of the Canadian coalition for an intercolonial railway had a far-reaching effect upon Maritime opinion; while Warkin, Brydges, and “big business” had their share of influence, both there and in London. The decisive factors, however, belong to another order. The abandonment of Maritime union, the inordinate haste towards a general federation, the domination of Gordon and MacDonnell by the Colonial Office, the concerted plan for the use of “every proper means”, as pledged by Cardwell, “to carry into effect without delay the proposed Confederation”, the ominous omission of the adjective by Galt and Monck himself when the time came to use “means” in New Brunswick, all reflect a more sudden and urgent motive. Relations with the United States supplied the temperature and the pressure which enabled the experts who presided over the process to bring the most sluggish reagents at last into reaction. Once that reaction had taken place, the removal of pressure and temperature left a stable political compound, perhaps the strongest government, from the federal point of view, in the modern world. The federal powers in the Canadian constitution, by comparison with the provincial or state powers, are stronger than in the United States, or Brazil, or AustralJa–a virtue which was due in no small measure to the discerning policy of Canadian statesmen at a time when the issues of state sovereignty were being decided by two millions of men in arms across the border. The bearing of this phase of United States precedent upon the Canadian federation, however, is a theme in itself. One is justified, at any rate, in regarding the American Civil War as one of the proroundest influences in Canadian history, and there may be an element of ironic truth in the reflection that even the Fenian brotherhood is entitled to unsuspected credit in the federation of British North America. CHESTER MARTIN