Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/34

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the sovereignty of her majesty. I believe that while England has no desire to lose her Colonies, but wishes to retain them—while I am satisfied that the public mind of England would deeply regret the loss of these Provinces—yet, if the people of British North America, after full deliberation, had stated that they considered it was for their interest, for the advantage of the future British North America, to sever the tie, such is the generosity of the people of England that, whatever their desire to keep these Colonies, they would not seek to compel us to remain unwilling subjects of the British Crown. If, therefore, at the conference, we had arrived at the conclusion that it was for the interest of these Provinces that a severance should take place, I am sure that her majesty and the imperial Parliament would have sanctioned that severance. We accordingly felt that there was a propriety in giving a distinct declaration of opinion on that point, and that in framing the Constitution its first sentence should declare that "The executive authority or government shall be vested in the sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and be administered according to the well-understood principles of the British Constitution, by the sovereign personally, or by the representative of the sovereign duly authorized."

That resolution met with the unanimous assent of the conference. The desire to remain connected with Great Britain and to retain our alle-