Speech on the union of the colonies, Debates, 1865

“It has been argued that we are so small a territory, that we should endeavor to unite with some larger country, in order to enlarge our scope for action… Turn to the American States, and contrast the size of Nova Scotia with some States there, and from which we have heard no talk of forming any union with any other State, in order to increase their importance in the Union. There are the States of New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, &c- all very much smaller in area than Nova Scotia, and yet from these we hear of no Union being formed among them, in order that the citizens may have more area or room for development. Nova Scotia contains 20,436 square miles; New Hampshire 9,280; Vermont 9,056; Connecticut 4,730; Massachusetts, that occupies so conspicuous a position in the American nation, 7,800. Yet Nova Scotia, that our statesmen look down upon with contempt, is larger than any two of the States I have named; and where we find the Americans perfectly satisfied with the proportions these States occupy in the American nation, we should also be content, that whilst we are Nova Scotia’s, we are at the same time citizens of the British Empire, with all the room and scope which it affords for development.”

“We are told by the Provincial Secretary of the government they proposed to constitute a Federation of British North America. -It appears to me that in the very outset, in the second resolution of this report, they have given the evidence which shows that this Federal Union cannot be stable under the circumstances. They allude there to the “diversity of the interests of the several Provinces.” The fact that the interests of the Provinces are so diversified that each has its own interests, and its center of interest within itself- precludes the possibility of a Federal Union being formed to work harmoniously.”

“Upper and Lower Canada may have disputes at times too, but whenever the Lower provinces come in, they will unite as one province against us.”

Nova Scotia. House of Assembly, and A. W. (Archibald Woodbury) McLelan. Speech On the Union of the Colonies. Halifax, N.S.: Printed at the “Morning Chronicle” Office, 1865. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.hni43j