23 November 1869

The Courthouse, Upper Fort Garry, Convention of Tuesday,  November 23, 1869

“[B]etween ten and eleven”

The Convention meets.

Continuation of the same subject:

The English say “lay down your arms; let Mr. McDougall in.”

The French are unwilling.

The English insist on the idea that a strong government is necessary; that because of that, the Canadian government is a necessity for us.

The French declare that they need a strong government, because that of Assiniboia has really shown itself to be extremely weak in recent years. The General Court this term was not able to conclude its business properly for want of power to obtain jurors. That in consequence, it is time that the inhabitants of the country considered the formation of a provisional government for their own protection and to treat with Canada, and force it to grant us a form of responsible government [my emphasis]. That the giving up of the rights of government of the Hudson’s Bay Company which has sold out without even saying a word about it, shows us only too harshly how much an irresponsible government makes mock of its subjects for us not to profit from the lesson.

Mr. Ross speaks of the possibility of a military expedition against us, if we do not act with moderation.

Mr. Riel says that winter will protect us with its snows and storms. That Hudson Bay, Thunder Bay, and the American territory are not easy barriers to break in order to reach us here in the spring. That we have six months before us and that during that time we shall have a settlement with Canada.

Adjournment, no understanding [sic: consensus], little hope of one. [because John Christian] Schultz and the ‘Canadas’ are raising the devil.

_____________________________________________

Note: Begg’s notes for this date do not seem to coincide, nor does he indicate what trouble the Canadian Party were causing.

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