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Lord Elgin
Appeal to Lord Grey, Colonial Office, re Reciprocity

I have always said that I am prepared to assume the responsibility of keeping Canada quiet, with a much smaller garrison than we have now, and without any tax on the British consumer in the shape of protection to Canadian products, if you put our trade on as good a footing as that of our American neighbour -- but if things remain on their present footing in this respect there is nothing before us but violent agitation ending in convulsion or annexation. It is better that I should worry you with my importunity than that I should be chargeable with having neglected to give you due warning. You have a great opportunity before you - obtain reciprocity for us and I venture to predict that you will be able shortly to point to this hitherto turbulent colony with satisfaction in illustration of the tendency of self government and freedom of trade to beget contentment and material progress. Canada will remain attached to England though tied to her neither by the golden links of protection, nor by the meshes of old fashioned colonial office jobbing and chicanery.


Source: NAC/ANC, Elgin-Grey Papers

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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/documents/documents.html