The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57
"It hardly admits of dispute that, in respect both to strength and prosperity, the country is deeply concerned in retaining its colonial connections. It is confidently asserted that there is in Australia, in Canada, and in South Africa, as cordial a desire for amalgamation with England as there is in England for the incorporation of those dependencies. If such be the case, we must agree with the Conference that it only requires time and consultation to bring about a definite plan. The colonists are ripe for Imperial federation, but we are not so certain that the same can be said of the English. There is infinite trouble and delay in introducing reforms into our limited Constitution. But, fortunately, the promoters of that kind of reform do not at present invite us to discuss it in the form of a practical measure. They only ask for assent to abstract principles, and that assent we believe they will command."