PP/GC/LE/167 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the report of the Canada defence committee, and the liklihood of and American invasion of Canada, 30 December [1862]
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Secretary of State for War], War Office, [Whitehall, London], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: the report of the Canada defence committee has not yet been sent to the War Office. But Lewis has obtained a copy and encloses a summary of the cost of the proposed works. "It would be vain to expect that Parliament, in its present temper about the military defence of the colonies, would enter upon a plan for fortifying Canada at an expense of more than a million and a half." If the government limited itself to Quebec, the most urgent part of the scheme, the cost would be 200,000 pounds. This could be divided into four annual votes of 50,000 pounds. "I cannot say that I believe there is much real danger of an American invasion of Canada. They are making no progress towards the subjugation of the South, and if they were to gain some decisive victories, and compel the south to sign a treaty, they would be compelled to occupy the country with troops, in order to prevent rebellion from again raising its head. At the same time, the language of the Washington government is so insolent and menacing, and their demands so unreasonable, that they may at any moment render it impossible for us to avoid war any longer." 30 Dec [1862] Enclosed is a memorandum from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Secretary of State for War] listing the cost of permanent works recommended by the defence committee for Canada, including the purchase of land. n.d. [1862]
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British colonial defence; Canada; threat of invasion during the American Civil War
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