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SESSIONAL PAPER No. 18 and Commander in Chief in all the British North American Colonies, are fully indicated in the correspondence and notes. Where the Instructions to o:le Governor are continued for his successor with little or no alteration, they are not repeated in full, only the alterations or additions being given. However, where important changes in policy were being discussed or had taken p'ace, as in 1768, 1775, and 1786, the Instructions are given in full, even though considerable sections of them remain unchanged, it being important at such periods to see the relation of the old to the new elements. This sec. tion includes also various additional or special Instructions which were issued to the Governors during their periods of Office.

Section IV. covers the series of Provincial Ordinances from 1764 to 1789, establishing the Provincial Courts and prescribing, subject to the British Statutes and Instructions, the system of law and procedure to be observed therein.

In Section V. there is more choice of materials, though there is little difficulty in determining which are the most essential documents, as that is largely indicated by the importance attached to them alike at the time and afterwards, as evidenced by the repeated references to them in the other documents and correspondence of the period. The only difficulty here has been in procuring authentic copies of all the documents of this description referred to. Though the great majority of these reports have been discovered among the State Papers, or in other authentic form, a few of them have not as yet been secured. The Reports of Carleton and Hey in 1769 have not yet been found, though the substance of the former is fairly well indicated in the criticism of it made by Mr. Maseres, (see p. 258). This indicates that the Governor had simply recapitulated in the Report his views as frequently expressed to the Home Government in his correspondence with the Secretaries of State, Lords Shelburne and Hillsborough. It has also been impossible up to the present to trace among the State Papers the reports on the Government of Quebec made by Solicitor-General Wedderburn and Attorney-General Thorlow, in 1772 and 1773, though a supplement to the Solicitor-General's report containing its essential features has been found among the Dartmouth Papers. We have therefore been constrained to take these papers in their incomplete form from Christie's History of Lower Canada, Vol. I. The Report of the Board of Trade of September 2nd, 1765, cited in another report of the same date, given at p. 171 and referred to in note 3 on the same page, as not having been discovered, has since come to light in a volume lately received at the Archives but as yet uncalendared. It will be found in Volume Q-18A, p. 131. These are practically the only cases in which we have failed 1o trace the more essential documents of this class.


The reports in this Section, beginning with that of Murray in 1762 and ending with the series of Reports of 1787, where they are of a general nature, naturally contain much material which has but little direct bearing on constitutional questions. However, where the report is homogeneous and not too voluminous, as in the case of Murrar's, it has been produced in full, that the reader may be enabled to obtain a general survey of the conditions of the Colony. In other cases, where the report is very extensive and is the product of a series of committees dealing with different sections of the colonial interests, as in the case of the Report of 1787, only those sections are given which have a more direct bearing on the constitutional problems of the country. At the same time the general character of the whole report is sufficiently ir.dicated, and


6-7 EDWARD VII., A. 1907 references are given which will enable any one who may be i.iterested in them to follow up the portions omitted.

It is among the documents classified under Section VI. that there is the largest and most miscellaneous mass of materials from which to make choice, and here the principle of selection is naturally a matter of considerable importance, for much necessarily depends upon the judgment of the editor. Inasmuch as feeling ran high at various stages during this period, and questions of racial and national institutions, feudal privileges and vested interests, commercial enterprise and immigration, military versus civil power, and autocratic versus democratic government were deeply involved ; and inasmuch as many of the questions then raised for the first time have persisted as matters of vital interest in Canadian politics and British colonial policy, it is highly necessary that the principles on which the selection of the supplementary documents has been made should be fully understood. Obviously, whatever the final judgment on any of these issues, it is quite indispensable in a volume of this description that all the representative interests in the Colony, all the essential claims made and policies advocated, should be fairly and adequately presented in their own terms, as far as the docu. ments are available. The first process was to sift out from the general documents of the period and set apart for further consideration all those having either a direct or an indirect bearing upon the constitutional issues of the period. Then from these were selected for publication (a) Those which were specially referred to in the primary documents, or were used in shaping them ; (b) Those petitions and memorials which were most frequently referred to either by friends or opponents as representing the wishes of the various sections of the people interested in the Constitution of Canada ; (c) Those despatches and letters passing between Canada and Britain which originated ideas and policies afterwards followed up, or which must fully discussed the issues then before the country, and which were most frequently referred to afterwards as expressing the views of the persons or groups vitally interested in the measures proposed or adopted; (d) Such minor documents as were intimately connected with or obviously throw light upon the more important ones, and contribute to a better understanding of them.


By following these principles of selection it was found that the documents arranged themselves in a natural and connected order of development, and furnished in great measure their own standards for selection. As a consequence of this arrangement, we have been able to include the great majority of the papers referred to in the primary and secondary documents, including the petitions, memorials and official correspondence. Hence, with the assistance of the notes and supplementary references, it the documents are read consecutively, they will be found to gradually unfold a closely connected and intelligible story of the leading constitutional issues and of the factors, personal and corporate, determining the constitutional development of Canada during a very critical and highly controversial period in our national history.

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It has been regarded as bevond the scope of a volume of this description to take notice of the voluminous discussion in periodicals, pamphlets, and historical treatises dealing with the issues here presented whether from a partisan or impartial point of view. However valuable much of this material may be, it is plainly to be treated as supplementary reading. The object of this volume is simply to furnish the more central

SESSIONAL PAPER No. 18 and essential documentary bases, alike for original and independent judgment and for an intelligent estimate of all other judgments, whether contemporary or subsequent.

The most essential portion of the supplementary reading consists of the Debates in the British Parliament connected with the passing of the Quebec Act and the Constitutional Act. These are naturally too voluminous to be included in their entirety. To make selections from them, and especially from the Debates on the Quebec Act, which would be satisfactory to all parties would prove a very difficult if not impossible undertaking. References to the Debates are given in the notes, and as they are available in every fairly equipped library, they may be consulted in their complete form by practically all who care to make a serious study of these matters.

The notes throughout the volume are entirely devoted to furnishing necessary concrete information as to the documents themselves, the connecting links between them, or the supplementary documents which throw additional light on the questions in hand. No attempt however has been made to pass judgment upon the issues involved, or to give an interpretation of the documents themselves. The functions of the notes may thus be classified as follows : (a) To furnish the necessary references to the sources of the documents which are reproduced ;(6) To furnish references, either within or without the present volume, to all other papers referred to in the documents here reproduced ; (c) To provide references to other first-hand materials, and to give quotations from them, where not too extensive, as to the essential links connecting or explaining the documents which have been selected and reproduced ; (d) To indicate the official positions held by the leading parties between whom the correspondence which is given had taken place.

A number of the central and more formal documents, such as Capitulations, Treaties, and Instructions have already appeared in various forms, though not always in authentic versions. Others have appeared in volumes which are now very difficult to obtain and are rarely to be met with in Canada outside of a few of the best equipped libraries. A large part of the volume, however, consists of important documents which have not hitherto been published, and the very existence of a number of which was hardly suspected. These throw much new light on some of the most essential features of Canadian constitutional history.

In every possible case documents are taken from the most authentic sources available, and are reproduced exactly as they are found, without any attempt to correct even the most obvious errors of spelling, punctuation or grammatical form. It is evident that any uncertainty due to slips and errors in the original documents would only be increased were it understood that attempts had been made to amend them.

The majority of the papers here reproduced are contained in the Canadian Archives, and consist of copies from the originals in the Public Record Office in London. In some cases, however, the papers in the Public Record Office are themselves duplicates which were furnished at the time of framing the originals. In almost every case these documents have been again carefully compared with the originals before being reproduced in this volume, and the proof has been read by Mr. R. Laidlaw and Miss M. Robertson.

6-7 EDWARD VII., A. 1907 It will be observed that the papers are drawn mainly from three series, which are designated by the letters Q, B and M. This method of classification was originally adopted by the Canadian Archives as an arbitrary though convenient mode of reference, otherwise these letters have no special significance. The index to the volume wa prepared by Miss M. Robertson of the Archives Branch.


ARTHUR G. Doughty.

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