EXTRACTS OF A DESPATCH (PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL) FROM EARL GREY TO LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR SIR JOHN HARVEY, K. C. B., DATED DOWNING STREET NOVEMBER 3, 1846. Printed in Parliamentary Papers, H. C. 621 ( 1848) pp. 7 et seq.
I have received your Despatch of the 15th September, marked "Private and Confidential," in which you communicate to me your views upon the state of affairs which you have found on arriving in Nova Scotia.
Circumstances prevented me from answering your Despatch, as you wished me to have done, by the packet which left England on the 3d instant; but the interval which has since elapsed has enabled me to devote more time to the consideration of the questions which you have brought under my notice than the brief space between the arrival and the departure of the North American packet would have allowed me to do.
I perceive, from your representation of the position of affairs in Nova Scotia, that there are questions to be determined in respect to the government of that province of no ordinary difficulty, and that it is of the utmost importance that the first measures of your administration should be preceded by the most careful deliberation. The knowledge which I possess of the local politics of Nova Scotia is at present too limited to enable me, with confidence in my own judgment, to give you any positive and detailed directions as to the course which circumstances may require you to adopt in the present conjuncture; but, though it is out of my power to give you such instructions, there are certain general principles which ought, as I conceive, to govern your conduct in this and in similar cases; and which, as they admit of being stated, ought, I think, to be communicated to you for your guidance.
I shall advert first to the important topic of the composition of the Legislative Council. In making appointments to this body,