The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57
Perhaps I may be allowed to make one or two remarks. I am sure we are much obliged to Sir Charles Tupper both for his sympathy and criticism. What we want is that, agreeing as we do in principle, we should so express that principle as not to give rise to misconception here or in the Colonies. In using the word "Federation," we do not by any means bind ourselves to a particular form of Federal Parliament. It may be effected by representation in the Imperial Parliament, or it may be by a Council of representatives of the Colonies. We want to convey the notion that ultimately, hereafter, there must be a union, in some form or other, of England with her Colonies, on terms of perfect equality to the Colonies as well as to England; and I do not know any word which will better express that notion than the word "Federation." Sir Charles Tupper gave us an excellent illustration of how Federation does tend to prevent disunion or disruption by showing that the difficulty which years ago would have been thought quite as great, and even greater, than is the difficulty between England and her Colonies now, has been so successfully surmounted, and by that means differences which would certainly have arisen have been avoided. I quite understand, however, that it is undesirable to indulge in prophecy, and it is not necessary to do it. I think Lord Wemyss's suggestion is a good one, but I should be glad to hear the opinions of gentlemen present. The resolution would then read thus:—"That, in order to secure the permanent unity of the Empire, some form of Federation is indispensable."