Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/28

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House will not seek to alter it in its unimportant details; and if altered in any important provisions the result must be that the whole will be set aside and we must begin de novo. If any important changes are made, every one of the Colonies will feel itself absolved from the implied obligation to deal with it as a treaty, each Province will feel itself at liberty to amend it ad libitum so as to suit its own views and interests; in fact the whole of our labors will have been for naught, and we will have to renew our negotia- tions with all the colonies for the purpose of establishing some new scheme.

I hope the House will not adopt any such course as will postpone, perhaps for ever, or at all events for a long period, all chances of union. All the statesmen and public men who have written or spoken on the subject admit the advantages of a union if it were practicable; and now, when it is proved to be practicable, if we do not embrace this opportunity, the present favorable time will pass away, and we may never have it again. Because, just so surely as this scheme is defeated, will be revived the original proposition for a union of the Maritime Provinces irrespective of Canada; they will not remain as they are now, powerless, scattered, helpless communities; they will form themselves into a power which, tho not so strong as if united with Canada, will nevertheless be a powerful and considerable community, and it will be then too late for us to attempt to strengthen ourselves