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The Latest Terms

The following article is from:
The Patriot (Prince Edward Island) May 22, 1873

The Delegates to Ottawa returned home on Tuesday night. The supporters of the government in the city made an effort to get up an excitement on the occasion. The boys had a torchlight procession, and a small bonfire blazed on the square; but there was not much enthusiasm among the citizens generally. A goodly number collected around the fire, near the entrance of the Colonial Building; and at the windows of the Legislative Council and Assembly Chambers as well as on the balcony in front of the Library, not a few ladies were among the spectators. After the Delegates returned from Government House, whither they had driven on coming from the boat, they addressed the crowd from the balcony. As the hour was late, being then between 12 and 1 o'clock, their speeches were brief. Hon. J.C. Pope first spoke, and gave a synopsis of the new Terms. Hon. Mr. Howlan followed and did a little boasting, together with casting reflections on the former Delegates for not asking enough; and Hon. Mr. Haviland concluded the programme by indulging, for a few minutes, in the glory argument.

The reception was a party affair entirely, and was, we think, not in very good taste. At a time when it is highly desirable that the great question of Confederation should be carried by as large a majority as possible, and with the assent of both parties, it was not prudent to embitter party feeling by a celebration of the kind. The former Delegates accomplished more than did Messrs. Pope, Howlan and Brecken, but on their return they discountenanced aught that would excite party feeling. From a real opposition stand point, we can afford to laugh at the demonstration of Tuesday night, for experience has taught us that such displays are always followed by a reaction which injures the cause they are intended to promote. But those trifles aside, we are glad, for the sake of the future, peace and contentment of the Colony, that every expedient has been exhausted to secure the best Terms of Union for the Island. We only know of one other recourse that can be had, namely, to send the no-terms members, Messrs. Howatt and Holland, on another delegation. As, however, it would be against the principles of no-terms men to seek for even better terms, we suppose that, for the present, nothing more can be obtained. But so far as the Dominion Ministers are concerned, we may remark, that, judging, from their recent change of base, it would not be hopeless to ask them for further concessions, after another few months. But as the Island cannot well afford delay, we have no doubt the Union will be consummated as speedily as possible. After Confederation, should the Terms not work as favorably as most people expect, a readjustment is not impossible. All or almost all the Provinces have already had some change in the financial arrangement first agreed upon, and this Colony, if need be, will not surely prove the only exception.

But as to the Terms obtained by the last delegation, we do not think they will turn out to be quite so good as was first reported. If we understood Mr. Pope, on Tuesday night, they will come short of an additional $33,000. It seems Messrs. Pope, Haviland and Howlan have procured an increase of $5 per head to the debt with which the Island is permitted to enter the Union. This, for a population of 94,021, will give a capital sum of $470,105, the interest of which, at 5 per cent, will be $23,505. Besides this, we understood Mr. Pope to say that they had prevailed upon the Dominion Government to pay the subsidy to the Telegraph Company, of $2,000 a year. These two sums added will make $25,505. He also spoke about being promised grants for river steam communication, and for certain harbor improvements; but he did not state, as we heard him, that these promises are a part of the written Terms to be submitted to Parliament. Messrs. Haythorne and Laird had a number of such promises also, but so far as they were stated to the public but little account was made of them by the Pope party. All the substantial increase that we can see is the $25,505 a year. This, however is a respectable sum, provided it be not accompanied with some condition that neutralizes its advantages. And though we are surprised at the concession, after the declarations of the Dominion Ministers in March last, we are glad it has been gained for the Colony. It will be found useful, and so would four times as much.

Now, we have a word to say in regard for Mr. Howlan's statement that the late Government Delegates received all they asked. On Tuesday night he endeavored to convey the impression that Messrs. Hawthorne and Laird had damaged the case of the Island by not asking enough. It is quite a mistake to say that they did not ask for more than they received. The full Minute of Council, on the table of the House shows the Terms which the late Government asked, and for all in that Minute their Delegates strongly pressed. The Minute of Council, of the 2d January last, concludes thus: --

On this understanding, the Committee of Council desire to ascertain from the General Government of the Dominion whether they would concede to Prince Edward Island, the following terms of Confederation IN ADDITION to the proposals contained in what is popularly known as the Better Terms offered in 1869.

First. An annual allowance of $5000 in addition to the subsidy proposed to be granted by the better terms for the expenses of the Local Government and Legislature.

Second. The Dominion to take the Prince Edward Island Railway, and assume its debt not exceeding $3,250,000.

Third. Take the new Law Courts and Post Office Building at cost, say $69,000.

Fourth. Take the new Steam Dredge Boat under contract to be completed in the spring, at cost say $22,000.

Fifth. Allow the Prince Edward Island Local Government to retain any sum which may be awarded by the Fishery Commission under the Washington Treaty, as an equivalent for surrendering the Fisheries of the Colony.

The caps in the above extract are ours. They show that the terms asked for by the late Government were "in addition" to the terms of 1869. Let us see then how the case will stand: --

Debt Allowance asked by the late Government.
Per terms of 1869.

Population 1861 - 80,857 at $27.77 per head

$2,245,398 89

Per 2d item Minute of Council - Railway Debt

3,250,000 00

Divided by pop. 1871 - 94,021


Amount asked for by Haythorne & Laird, per head, pop.


Now, as the Terms obtained by the former Delegates only conceded the Island permission to enter the Union with a debt of $45 per head they received $13.44 per head less than they asked. This would represent a capital sum of $1,264,453, the interest of which at 5 per cent would be $63,222. Messrs. Haythorne and Laird however, obtained a compromise on land, amounting to the interest on $100,000, namely, $5000 a year, which, deducted from the $63,222, makes it clear that the former Delegates asked for $58,000 a year more than they obtained, and, some $30,000 a year more than Messrs. Pope, Haviland and Howlan have been able to procure.