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also of sovereign power that it alone of all alleged grievances are set forth in the most powers and bodies in the empire, does pos- violent language; we can notice only some sess this unlimited discretion. And this is of the most remarkable particulars. not only true of the lawful supremacy resi First, they claim, under the constitution dent in King, Lords and Commons, but of of 1791, all the rights possessed by the the absolute power obtained by the Com- House of Commons in England, especially mons through their command of the purse. in respect of supply, which right, or rather
But our House of Commons has not used the exercise of it, they misrepresent as we or abused its power in the way supposed by have already stated. the Canadians. We admit ihat occasion. Secondly, they claim, that no alteration ally, in very factious times, the Commons should be made in that constitution, except have attempted to force the Lords to concur according to the will of the people, as colin some favourite measure, by tacking it (in lected from the votes of the Assembly. parliamentary phrase) to a money bill; but Thirdiy, they nevertheless aver, that the we recollect no instance in which this un fit constitution for Lower Canada is not to worthy use of power has been finally perse. be sought in analogies to the constitution of vered in; and the practice is now absolete, Great Britain. And, and universally condemned.
Fourthly, they appeal rather to the insti. But the Canadians, and their English tutions of the United States for the model of agent, have mistaken the position of the a constitution suited to the Canadians. executive government of England. The Filthly, they urge that representation Crown has funds of its own, not sufficient ought to be founded on the basis of populaperhaps to support its accustomed dignity, tion. and to carry on the civil government, upon Sixthly, throughout the whole there are the usual scale of expenditure, but such as scarcely disguised threats of an intention 10 to remove it far from absolute dependence. throw off the allegiance of the colony, and And it is, or was until lately, the practice to apply the elective principle not only to of the Britislı Parliament to commute these the legislative council, but to The executive funds for a revenue, granted for the life of government. each sovereign, which placed him on a foot. Acting, however, upon their erroneous ing of independence in respect of his house view of their position, the Assembly conhold and civil government.
tinued to withhold supplies. We kuow that, in very modern times, a The proceedings of the Assembly in. considerable portion of the expenses of the duced Mr. Stanley, now Secretary for the civil government have been made the sub- Colonies, to give notice of a hill for suspendject of annual vote: it is not exactly true ing the operation of Lord Kipon's act. that these votes for the most part, (if in any This suspension, we are of opinion, would case,) assign “so much to one functionary have been perfectly justifiable; but at this and so much to another," for the votes are time the aggravated symptoms, in other of departmental, and in many cases only sup- the king's ministers, of hostility to the ply
a deficiency, the office having a fee-fund church of which he had been from his en. sufficient to defray a part of its expenses. trance into parliament a firm supporter, inFor the King and his household, pensions duced Lord Stanley to withdraw from the at pleasure, the Judges, the Lord Lieutenant administration. of Ireland, the King's ministers abroad, a The Committee of 1834, appears to have permanent provision is made.
entertained a notion that some compromise But above all it is not true that these would be effected, and it is now alleged that votes have in any instances been regulated this hope was justified by the language of by any consideration, other than the opi. Mr. Spring Rice, (the new Colonial Secrenion of the House of Commons of the new tary,) in an interview with the agent and cessity of the service and the adequacy of delegates from Canada. Mr. Rice dropped
The new system brings all the Lord Stanley's bill, and, to meet the present expenses of government under the annual difficulty, authorized Lord Aylmer io take control of the House of Commons, as the 31,0001. out of the military chest, † to pay military and naval expenses have long been, the civil servants of Canada ; thus commit. but the control exercised is financial and ting a manifest breach of the laws of Engmerely financial.
land, in order to avoid an interference with It was in this year, 1834, that the House those of Canada. of Assembly passed the ninety-two celebrat. The government was entirely changed. ed resolutions." In this manifesto, all the * Feb. 21, No. 392, of 1836, p. 16
* Elliot, p. 23, Parl, Deb. xxii. 810.
Lord Aberdeen succeeded Mr. Spring Rice of Lord Glenelg, who succeeded Lord in November, 1834. It was determined 10 Aberdeen, in April, 1835. send out Lord Amherst as Governor Gene This government determined to send out ral, and it has been admitted by those who their Commission to inquire and deliberate, profess hostility to Tory governments, not but not to act. It consisted of Lord Gos. only that Lord Aberdeen would have acted, ford, Governor General, Sir Charles Grey, instead of inquiring into well-known facts, and Sir George Gipps. The instructions to and deliberating upon that which required these gentlemen were framed, as was right, prompt decision, but that his proposed mea- in a spirit of conciliation; but the whole sures were more likely to produce a satis proceeding was a specimen of that sort of factory result even to the Canadians, than flourish in which the Whig ministers, and those which his successors adopted. none more than Lord Glenelg, are apt to
The view which Lord Aberdeen took of indulge, and which is harmless enough, the several questions was not materially dif-though now and then a little ridiculous, when ferent from that which was entertained by used to set off an efficient measure, but when his predecessors and successors; but be it is substituted for action it is injurious. was prepared to make his concession to the The necessity of appointing three CommisAssembly more complete, and at the same sioners is not obvious, and certainly did time more effectual; and in it failed, he was require an elaborate paragraph to explain it ; prepared to take definite and decisive mea- and here the paragraph issures. Lord Amherst was instructed to offer to
u 11. His Majesty has thought it proper the Assembly the control of the whole of than one Member, because the proposed
that the Commission should consist of more the revenue, not excepting even the casual
range of inquiry will embrace so many topics, and hereditary revenue, which Lord Ripon legislative, judicial, fiscal and moral and sohad reserved.
cial, that it is not to be imagined that the stu. But this offer was to be conditional upon dies or previous habits of any single mind, the establishment of a Civil List, upon the however gifted, would be sufficient to comscale suggested by Lord Ripon, but with the pass them all.” addition, fully justified by the cession of the In what proportion, or by what application hereditary revenues, of a stated sum for of Adam Smith's principle of the division of contingent expenses.
labour, the several Commissioners were to It would have been inconsistent with the bring the studies of their respective lives to object of Lord Amherst's conciliatory mis. bear upon this multifarious inquiry, Lord sion, to accompany this liberal offer with a Glenelg did not prescribe to the Irish noble. threat of the consequences of a refusal; but man, the Indian judge, and the captain of Lord Amherst was made aware that a rejec- engineers, who constituted the Commission. tion would be immediately followed by the It appears to us, that some of the enumera. repeal of Lord Ripon's Act.
ted qualifications were common to all, and The demand of an elective Council was some could not be predicated of any one of to be peremptorily rejected. That demand the Commissioners. was subsequent to the Committee of 1828, But the truth is, that with the exception of whose recommendations had already been one passage* on education, (a subject which carried into effect.
Lord Glenelg observes would be more than On the first of the two points, the conces- the united strength of the three could accomsion was rather more liberal than that of the plish within the time allowed,) the instruc. late government; upon the second it was tions did not dictate an extensive inquiry. not really less liberal, since that govern. They rather referred to the consideration of ment had equally made up its mind against the Commissioners' questions, upon which the concession, though inclined perhaps to statement and argument had been almost dress their refusal in a courtly periphrasis. exhausted, and concerning which little of new
But the great object of the mission was to light could be expected, -and assuredly not bring the pending questions speedily to a much was obtained, -in Canada itself. point. Two or three months were consi. Let us proceed to the substance :-the dered as the period during which they might intention was announced of giving up the continue in abeyance.
whole of the revenues, provided that the The remaining suggestions of the com- Assembly would make provision for the mittee of 1828 having been already realized, support of the civil government, and the ad(though the subjects of some of them have ministration of justice.” been since revived,) we may leave them A very strong opinion was expressed unnoticed, and come now to the doings of the new Melbourne ministry, and especially
• Par. 81, 82 VOL. XXI.
against making the Legislative Council elec- partial publication was communicated to tive, but still that question was so treated as him, he could not be persuaded, but that if to convey an impression, or rather to show hc Assembly had its full length they would that ihe framers intended to convey an im. relent. pression, that it was possible, though not For historical accuracy it is necessary to probable, that the opinion of government add, though the blank, if we had left one, might be changed.
would have been easily filled up by the read. It was very :ruly stated, that if the British er, that the Assembly, again convened for the Canadians were (as has been alleged) no especial purpose of reading Lord Glenelg's equally represented in the Assembly with the despatch in its unmutilated form, declined 10 French, that inequality furnished an addi vole supplies until their alleged grievances tional reason againsi an elective council. were redressed, and resolved ihatihey would This view of the interests of the British colo. not even meet for business, until the princi. nists was supported by petitions in which they ple of an Flective Council had been recog. regard the Legislative Council as their pro. nized. The members had already begun 10 tectors against the Assembly, in which the disy.erse, when Lord Gosford, on the 4th of French have an unfair preponderance. October, 1836, prorogued the Parliament. And other documents of which Mr. John The ministers laid before Parliament the Neilson, a refornling petitioner of 1828, was Reports of the Commissioners, who recom. the bearer, placed in true colours the misap. mended that various changes, intended and prehension by the Assembly of the power of calculated to conciliate the Canadians, should
be made in the composition and functions Although the proceedings of the Commis. both of the Executive and the Legislative sioners fill a bulky volume, the story of their Councils.* Although the first of these had proceedings, and those of the Governor- been also received in the summer of 1836, general, is soon teld. The colonial parlia. no proceeding had been had upon either ment was convoked, and a communinication of them, when the business of Canada was in the spirit of the instructions was made to broug!ıt before Parliament. The postpone. them. The address of the Assembly was ment, we collect, arose from the hope : hat civil, but reiterated the demand of an elective the Commissioners would ultimately suc. council, in terms which made it clear that it ceed in effecting the great work of concilia. would be a sine quâ non. Yet the Governor lion, and that their final Report would pre. and Lord Glenelg clung 10 the hope of a sent a complete system of Colonial policy satisfactory adjustment, until Sir Francis for the consideration of the government. Head published in Upper Canada some parts But this hope had been entirely dissipated in of the instructions (which had been commu- November, 1836 ; the final recommendation nicated to him), whence the smali probability of the Commissioners was an urgent sugof the concession of an elective council was gestion of measures of coercion, and the ex• reasonably deduced. The Assembly was ercise of an arbitrary power; and although in a flame, insisted much more urgenily upon it may be freely admitied that, in the then an elective council, tracing its present con. temper of the Assembly, no partial measures stitution to the prevalence of the aristocratic of conciliation would have reconciled the principle in 1791. And being under the majority to those arbitrary measures, the strange delusion that our Reform Act had ministers would have put themselves more in equalized representation in England,* they the right, by greater alacrity in adopting prayed for a similar reform of the Legisla. them. tive council,- forgetting that that Act had In addition to these strong measures they not touched the House of Lords.
proposed that a parliamentary opinion should They nevertheless voted a supply for six be pronounced upon the principal matters of months only, in order to give three months dispule, such opinion to be in almost all cases to the king's government to comply with their adverse 10 the prayer of the Assembly. demands. In this supply bill, several sala. And seeing that these proceedings would ries were omitted, and various reductions in fact contravene the Constitutional Act of made, to which Lord Gosford attributes its 1791, they threw out as an allernative tho rejection by the Legislative Council. Al. total suspension of the Constitution. though the English ministers approved of the On the 6th of March 1837, Lord John rejection, we are inclined to think that this Russell proposed to the House ten resoluinadequate bill ought to have been accepted. tionst on the affairs of Lower Canada. It
Lord Glenelg set so high a value upon his was proposed, own composition, that when the effect of its
Third report. • See p. 361 of our last volume.
Parl. Deb. xxxvi. 1287.
" 4. That in the existing state of Lower Before this time, seditious meetings had taCanada, it is unadvisable to make the Legis ken place, and votes adopted, in the most lative Council of that province an elective violent language of hostilily, such as to inbody, but that ii is expedient that measures duce the Governor-General to call for the be adopted for securing to that branch of the legislature a greater share of public conti- troops from Halifax, as lately mentioned. dence.
The parliamentary resolutions were treated “5. That while it is expedient to improve with indignity by officer of militia and justhe composition of the Executive Council, it tices of the peace; a inost espectable body is unadvisable to subject it to the responsi- of British subjects on the other hand, combility demanded by the House of Assembly prising some of French descent, and includ. of that province.”
ing Mr. Neilson, one of the most active peThe eighth resolution declared that the titioners of 1828, signified their reliance on arrear of 142,0001. should be defrayed first the British Government. out of the king's hereditary, casual, and te
The session was of short duration. The ritorial revenue, and then out of any other Assembly repudiated the resolutions, by a part of his majesty's revenues in the hands great majority,* with considerable indignaof the receiver general of the province.
tion, and in language which must be taken By a ninth resolution it was declared, to threaten a separation from the motherthat the hereditary revenue was to be given country; and on the 26th, Lord Gosford proup, in case the provincial legislature should rogued the parliament, which has not since see fit to grant to his majesty a civil list for met. defraying the necessary charges of the ad.
After all, the resolutions were not carried ministration of justice, and for the mainte. into effect on the part of the government. nance and unavoidable expenses of certain The bill founded upon them had not been of the principal officers of ihe civil govern. introduced at the time of the death of Wilment.
liam IV. and the ministers have since as. The Goverment began at last to perceive signed a somewhat trifling reason for not that their measures were not altogether con introducing it alterwards. They were unciliatory, and that even when backed by the willing that the first act of the reign of the majority in the House of Commons, they young queen should " Carry even the semmight not be entirely acceptable in Canada'; blance of an ungracious spirit towards the and it was in contemplation to send out a then representatives of her loyal subjects in reinforcement of two regiments.
A fort. Canada.” Surely, as the Queen's ministers night afterwards, Lord Glenelg bad ascer. had certainly no intention of advising her tained that this force could not be spared to be more gracious towards the Assembly without inconvenience, and making a dethan her predecessor had been, her Majesty monstration which might be productive of and the Assembly were both deluded by the much more evil than it could prevent.
semblance of hesitation. Although the question was one of difficul. The money was now provided by an apty,* the vacillation is a little unaccountable; propriation (not as before, a mis appropriabut we may concede that such danger as was tion) of British funds, at a time when, as likely to arise in Canada, was sufficiently soon appeared, they were unable to meet the provided against by the power to draw troops charges upon then. from Nova Scotia. Still, it has never been
Soon after the dismissal of the Assembly, explained, why the troops moved up from Lord Gosford became convinced that "the Nova Scotia were not replaced so soon as
ulterior objects of the Papineau faction were the movement was known in England, the separation of Canada from England, namely, the miudle of July;t since in that and the establishment of a republican form movement itself consisted the demonstration of government.”+ He contemplated the which it was in vain attempted to avoid.
suspension, apparently by his own authoriHowever slight the hope was, that the ty, of the habeas corpus; and among other resolutions of Parliament would induce the measures to be adopted by the Government Assembly to vote the supplies and go on with in this emergency, he suggested the removal the business of the colony, it was doubtless of himself, and the substitution of " a man right to give them the opportunity. obedience to an injunction from Lord Gle. pared by M. Morin, was carried only by 46
The address, as presented, which was pre. nelg, of 22d of May, the two Houses were against 31, because those who voted for an adconvened, and met on :he 18th of August dress somewhat modified, which M. Taschereau
proposed, voted against M. Morin. But the mi* See Lord Melbourne, xi. 221. and the Duke nority, which might be considered as in any deof Wellington, 226.
gree favourable to the government, never ex + See Lord Glenelg's despatch of 20th July, ceeded 19 against 58--No. 72 of 1837, p. 43. 1837, acknowledging Lord Gosford's of 15th June.) + Sept. 2, 1837, p. 46.
who had not so avowedly declared his wish to should be authorized to revive such laws as carry on his governmeut on the principle of it may deem necessary, and as have expired conciliation."
within the last two years, and to continue Now this is one of the mischiefs of the those which may hereafter expire. They
also recommend the repeal of the imperial system of flourish, of which we have spo- aet 1 and 2 William IV. (Lord Ripon's) in ken. No right-headed inan goes upon any order to enable the executive to defray the mission or employment, (unless he be a com- expenses of the civil government, and the mander, with orders to sink, burn and de- adinin istration of justice.” stroy) otherwise than on a principle of con
It is no part of our plan to describe the outciliation; but he is prepared to act boldly break which occurred at the commencement if those with whom he deals are unreason of the winter; nor indeed are the materials able or hostile
. And all this is understood, perfect. Two things appear clear, namely, as it is indeed in every society of gentlemen. That high treason was committed, and a ci. Thus would Lord Amherst have gone to vil war commenced, and that some of the Canada. No man is more conciliatory; but members of the Assembịy, who had been he would have acted vigorously, if conci instrumental in its contumacious proceedliation failed. But the Whigs can do nothing, however simple
, without making a tussings, were deeply concerned in the more ing, however simple, without making a fuss gentle treason, though the principal of them one part of their duty, they incapacitate appear to have prudently kept out of the themselves from doing the other.
Thanks to the talents and energy of Sir Not that it appears to us that either the John Colborne,* and the loyalty of a great language which had been used, or the mea. body of Canadians, the insurrection was sures adopted, by Lord Gosford in confor- soon put down. As to the legal proceedmity with his instructions,* necessarily dis.
ings against the conspirators, we are scantiqualified him from doing his duly under al
ly informed. tered circumstances. But we yuarrel with the practice which made him hesitate in per- ford, one only received the immediate ap
Of the measures suggested by Lord Gosforming it: for Lord Gosford was really proval of his majesty's ministers. They quite as eager for strong measures as if his lost no timet in accepting his resignation. speeches had contained no honeyed words. They adopted this suggestion, bad reasons He very soon urged upon Lord Glenelg the and all, and the government devolved upon expediency of suspending the constitution.t Sir John Colborne, the judicious, spirited, Having introduced some new and indepen, and modest commander of the forces. After dent members into the Executive Coưucil,
a short deliberation ministers authorized | Sir he obtained from them an opinion that
John to prociaim martial law, if he should u during the virtual abolition of the Act of find it advisable. This measure, however, 1791, by the declaration of the House of had already been taken by Lord Gosford and Assembly that they would not proceed to his council. the despatch of the public business until the Legislative Council was made elective, it was the debates of the present session; indeed,
Our space allows us to say but little of absolutely necessary that the executive go. vernment should be made independent of the though there have been speeches of great assistance of the legislative body, until such ability, and some severe attacks upon the time as the tranquillity of the country shall Government, there has not been much nobe established, and the public mind, now velty, unless we find it in a speech of Mr. agitated and deceived by fuctious and design. Hume, who dealing copiously with all his ing men, shall be disabused, and restored to party, in general vituperation of the Tories, a healthy state.”
seldom brings any one Tory, or Tory meaAnd when Lord Gosford put it to the
* The following may interest those who are Council, how it was possible to make the watching Sir J. Čolborne at this momento executive independent under the
Colb rne has my will and all my papers.' constitution, they replied, that
As he spake these words Major Colborne, his
military secretary, entered the room. He' ad“it is advisable to suspend for a limited time dressed him with his wonted kindness, then turnsuch parts thereof as relate to the calling ing to Anderson, said, 'Remember you go to and meeting of the provincial parliament, Willoughby Gordon and tell him thai it is my and that, in the interim, the local government request, and that I expect he will give a Lied
tenant Colonelcy to Major Colborne, ---he has
been long with me, and I know him to be most But the case is very different, if Lord Gos- worthy of it.'”—Last Moments of Sir John ford, as has been suggested, conciliated only one Moore, in Moore's Life, ii. 228. party, and even flattered and promoted the mover of the 92 Resolutions,
+ November 27, p. 93. + Oct, 12, p. 65.
# December 6, a. 106.