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A Letter from Major Robert Carmichael-Smyth to His Friend, the Author of 'The Clockmaker'

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“It is the duty—the imperative duty—of every individual (however humble) to express conscientiously, but calmly, his public opinions, for by such means truth is elicited.” Hence it may be permitted the writer of the annexed Letter to observe, that a momentous question is now brought to the notice of the people of Great Britain,—that it ought not to be neglected, until perhaps a voice from her colonial children may go forth proclaiming “it is too late,”[see Note ]—for then the opportunity of uniting in firm and friendly bonds of union “this wondrous empire on which the solar orb never sets” will have passed away for ever.

——“Dum loquimur fugerit invida Ætas: carpe diem quàm minimùm credula postero.”

Montgomery Martin’s History of the British Colonies, 1843; and to that work the writer of the following pages begs to refer all those who take an interest in the British North American Colonies. And if so humble an individual might be allowed to offer his advice, he would strongly recommend the republication, in a volume by itself, of the part connected with the North American Colonies.


“I shall tell youA pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;But, since it serves my purpose, I will ventureTo scale’t again.”

“The duty of Government is first to regulate the stream of Emigration, so that if a man be determined on leaving the United Kingdom he may settle in one of its Colonies.”—Montgomery Martin, 1843.

“At this moment, when renewed attention is turned to all the Routes which, during ages past, have from time to time been talked about, as best fitted for a link of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,”—we call upon the people of Great Britain and her Government to reflect, that—the best and shortest link of communication—the great link required to unite all her dominions in one powerful chain—is now in her own possession,—that—“it is in vain to inculcate feelings of brotherhood among mankind by moral influence alone; a sense of community of interest must be also established,”—that Great Britain can, in the opening of the Route proposed, at the same time employ her own Children at home and abroad, as well as her own continually increasing Capital.

That—“we have superabundance of Capital—a plethora of Talent—Scientific and Commercial—they only want an outlet to be beneficially employed.”—Morning Herald, 7th February, 1849.

That—“the Expansion of Capital would soon reach its ultimate boundary, if that boundary itself did not continually increase.”

That—“what the Legislature should desire and promote is not a greater saving, but a greater return to savings, either by improved cultivation, or by access to more fertile lands in other quarters of the globe.”

That—“the Railway operations of the various nations of the world may be looked upon as a sort of competition for the overflowing Capital of the countries where Profits are low and Capital abundant.”—J....