Lieut.-Governor Sir John Harvey, K.C.B., to Earl Grey

EXTRACT of a DESPATCH from Lieut.-Governor Sir John Harvey, K.C.B., to Earl Grey, dated Government House, Halifax, 10 February 1848.

(Received 28 February 1848.).

WITH reference to my despatch of the 1st instant, I have now the honour to lay before your Lordship the names of the gentlemen who have been provisionally appointed by me to seats in the Executive Council, and to the offices of Provincial Secretary and Attorney and Solicitor-General, that of Clerk of the Executive Council being held with that of Provincial Secretary, but under a separate warrant ; for all which appointments I have the honour to solicit your Lordship’s approval and the confirmation of Her Majesty. I think the announcement in the “London Gazette” of the three political offices of Provincial Secretary, Attorney and Solicitor-General, might have a beneficial effect in this colony.

The earlier formation of an administration has been delayed by the unexpected refusal of Sir ‘Rupert George to surrender his offices of Provincial Secretary and Clerk of the Executive Council until such a provision for his retirement should be secured to him by legislative enactment as might be satisfactory to him on the one hand, and the peremptory determination of the incoming party on the other, not to assume office until the three described in your Lordship’s despatches of 31st March 1847, as parliamentary or political, viz., those of Provincial Secretary, Attorney and Solicitor-General, had been placed at their disposal.

With reference to suggestions contained in the despatches from your Lordship already quoted, I am gratified in being enabled to say, that I have no reason to apprehend that there is any desire on the part of my present advisers to urge upon me at present the disturbance of the occupants of any other offices, until the arrangements, which are confessedly called for, in the financial and fiscal departments of the public service in this province, shall have undeigone the necessary consideration and revision; after which it will probably become my duty to communicate further with your Lordship on the subject, with a view to obtain your approbation and concurrence in their adoption.

February 12.

P.S.-Having communicated this despatch to the members of my Government, they have expressed to me their entire concurrence in every part of it, particularly as regards the concluding paragraph. I may, therefore, perhaps venture to regard the introduction of the responsible system of government into Nova Scotia as having been practically effected, upon fair and just principles, and without the necessity of having recourse to any measure of a stringent character, except in the single instance of the Provincial Secretary; and that a great step has thereby been taken towards the political tranquillization of this long-distracted colony, inasmuch as I apprehend no factious opposition to any measures of acknowledged utility from the party under the guidance of the members of my late government.


“Copy of correspondence between the governors of the British North American provinces and the Secretary of State: relative to the introduction of responsible government into those colonies”, [London : HMSO, 1848].