Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

a step, which, being considered nada; heentered upon the main subno less novel than preposterous, ject under discussion. He promised only embroiled matters still further. his "cordial" consent to the address, Nor had the other disputes been because this country had acted met with a fairer disposition than with justice and liberality towards the financial. Had they only placed Canada. It was impossible indeed the legislative council in harmony to deny that Canada had occasionwith the feelings of the people, ally just grounds of complaint, but they never would have heard of of late years, the affairs of that an elective fcouncil. Was it so colony had been regarded as of very difficult to lay their hands essential importance, and he had upon fit men? From the tone in never known an instance in which which the noble Lord had treated a mother country had manifested the question, and the entire ab. a greater desire to do justice to her sence of all conciliation which dependency.

dependency. But in supporting marked his conduct, he foresaw a the address, he begged that he long series of increasing embarrass- might not be understood to place ments. Ministers should, how- confidence in ministers, or to be ever, recollect that to put down by satisfied with their past conduct. force, was not to eradicate discon.

eradicate discon- Measures of precaution had, in tent. As to the bill proposed by his opinion, been neglected; after the noble Lord, he meant to op- the resolutions of the last year, it pose it in every stage. He could might surely have been suspected see no benefit to be gained from that some such result as we have severity and coercion. To govern seen would have followed. Could a colony tranquilly, the people anything be more delusive than must be animated with a feeling the hope, that quiet and satisfacof respect towards their governors, tion could arise from those resolu. and he was sure that coercion tions? The military force in the would redound neither to the pro- colony should have been immedifit nor the honour of the country. ately increased. He agreed with For those reasons he must oppose Mr. Hume's observation, that the the address.

blame rested with those who had Sir Robert Peel prefaced his drawn an innocent and harmless speech by some strictures on the people into a hopeless insurrection; conduct of ministers, in omitting and reminded that gentleman of a to make a direct and formal com- letter which, in the year 1834, he munication to both houses of par- addressed to Mr. Mackenzie in liament, by a message from the Upper Canada, and which conCrown on this subject ; a very re- tained the following passage-prehensible, as it was an unprece. “your triumphant election of the dented deviation from established 16th, and your rejection from the practice. Then, having protested assembly of the 17th, must hasten against the doctrine that the mani- that crisis which is fast approaching festation of a rebellious spirit on in the affairs of the Canadas, and the part of a colony was a reason which will terminate in indefor releasing it from its allegiance, pendence and freedom from the -a principle, which he argued, if baneful domination of the mother applicable at all, must be univer- country, and the tyrannical consally so, and no less at the service duct of a small and despicable of the Isle of Wight, than of Ca- faction. The proceedings between 1772 and 1782 in America, ought shadow of ground for separation. never to be forgotten ; and to the We could not with any regard to honour of the Americans, and for the interests of the colony, consent the interest of the civilized world, to abandon it. But we ought to let their conduct and the result be comply without delay, with all ever in view." “Surely,” said the just wishes of the Canadians, Sir Robert, " Mr. Mackenzie and the sooner lord Durham repaired might say," I acted on the au- to a place, where he was much thority of the hon, member for wanted, the better would it be for Kilkenny ; visit not therefore this all parties. delusion and its consequences Mr. Leader complained of being upon me, the mere agent and in- taken by surprise, and offered the strument of the hon. gentleman, government the alternative of adbut rather visit it upon your own journing the house, in order to member, to whom I gave credit as give his friends and himself an being then the representative of a opportunity of considering what metropolitan county.”

course they should take, and also In replying to these remarks, of refuting "the many fullacies lord Howick laboured to shew, that contained in the noble Lord's the government was not culpable speech"-or of encountering a diin omitting to back their resolu- rect negative to the address. His tions of March 1837, with a mili- Lordship, probably considering this tary force.

“ Regiments" he said threat as by no means an alarming were not necessary to put down one, pressed for the decision of meetings, they could not stop the house, which, divided on the speeches, nor prevent the adoption question of adjournment moved of resolutions ; neither could troops by Mr. Leader, Lord John reobtain juries to convict men for marking, that he should conclude seditious practices.” On the con- that those, who supported the trary, one additional regiment, in- amendment, meant to give a netroduced from Halifax, served gative to the address. greatly to increase the existing struction which several members, discontents. Was it not obvious, with some reason, protested against. that if an armed force was not On the division there appeared immediately wanted, its arrival, -Ayes 28: Noes 188: Majority before the insurrection actually against the amendment 160. took place, would only have ex- On the following day, the new tended the exasperation against bill was presented to the House the government ?

of Cominons, by Lord John RusMr. Charles Buller having ridi- sell. The leading object of it, as culed the stress laid by Sir Robert stated by him, was to enable the Peel, on the departure from prece. Governor-general and council, dent in the omission of a message (that council not to be limited in from the throne; said that the law number, but of which five should should be vindicated, and the in- be a quorum) on the motion of surgents put down without parley, the governor, to pass any laws unless we were prepared to consent which might be considered necesto a separation, and to leave Ca- sary, during the present suspension nada to itself. For his own part of the legislature of the province. he thought that there was not a In addition to these means for

A con

suppressing the insurrection, the plan now proposed by the governGovernor-generai would be au- ment, because it was founded on thorized to grant a general am- enlarged principles, combining nesty. The powers conferred by justice to the Canadas with a due the bill were to be vested in Sir regard to the honour and rights of John Colborne, till the arrival of the crown. When he considered Lord Durham. With respect to the recent conduct of the Canathe future government of the pro- dians, he saw no great objection to vince, it was the intention of the suspension of a constitution, ministers, that the Governor-ge- upon which as their actions proved, neral should be invested with they set so little value. The power to convene a certain num- measure adopted by England, of ber of persons, namely three from appointing a convention with a the legislative councils of each of view to an amicable adjustment, the two provinces, and ten “re- was one of the greatest moral presentatives " from each, to form triumphs ever achieved." a council, to concert with the Go. Mr. Warburton next followed vernor-general, as to the measures in a very sensible and temperate which might be deemed advisable speech, though of course tinged for the adjustment of the affairs of by his peculiar doctrines. He bethe two provinces. This was a gan by remarking, that when he power that might be given by the last addressed the house, on the prerogative of the crown alone. subject, he had been reproached The persons to be named from the (though he took it as a complilegislative councils would be chosen ment) with coming to the discus. by the Governor-general, while sion with as much composure, as those“ who were to be convened, he would bring to the considerhaving a representative character," ation of a bill regulating weights might of course be taken from the and measures. He only desired Legislative Assembly; but as in that the question might be apLowver Canada it was almost im- proached by others in the same possible that the Assembly could temper.

What he wished was, to be brought to act beneficially, it look at the present state of the would be competent to the Go. Canadas, and not to what it had vernor-general, both in the Upper been. There was no use in recri. and Lower province, to hold elec- mination. He was glad to believe tions for persons, amounting to that the insurrection was put down, twenty in the whole, to concert though he could not quite agree in with him upon the general state the unqualified praise bestowed on of affairs.

the officers engaged in the conflict. Upon this occasion, Mr. Ward In his opinion, there had been uncensured the conduct of the Ca- due severity in the military mea. nadian insurgents, who had by sures ; he understood that houses their violence put themselves in and barns had been burnt, not the wrong. At the same time he only in the heat of action, and found fault with the resolutions of under immediate provocation from March, the effects of which never- the fire of the inmates, but aftertheless had been only what he wards. He then, after repeating anticipated. He was ready to his condemnation of the rebellious give his warmest support to the conduct of the Canadians, proceeded to touch upon their present in that house, that he had foretold grievances. Among the principal, this revolt. No man certainly had not already adverted to, he a greater right to foretel it. It reckoned the land company. Its was not long ago, that a man of powers were too extensive; there the name of Martin foretold that was no boundary to the domain York minster would be burnt, and over which this company might so it was, for he went and set it on exercise its influence, nor any fire himself. In the same manner, chance of its property being li- had Mr. Hume taken measures for mited within any given period of the fulfilment of his own prophecy. time. With respect to the sus- This sally called up the member pension of the constitution, it be. for Kilkenny, who, in a very long hoved them to remember, that there speech, defended his own conduct, was a liberal party attached to the pronounced a panegyric on Mr. Crown, and which had, since the Mackenzie, and took Sir Robert redress of the grievances, stated in Peel severely to task for speaking the report of 1828, separated itself of that individual as a Mr. Macfrom the mal-contents. Care should kenzie." " True,” said Mr.'Hume, be taken not to estrange from the “ he is a Mr. Mackenzie, but there side of the government, that mo. is also a Sir Robert Peel.” He derate, but liberal party.

would venture to say, that Mr. Mr. Warburton, then declared, Mackenzie, though he had become that be differed from Lord John Rus- a rebel, was a distinguished man, * sell, who seemed to doubt whether who, had he been successful, would the period for the emancipation have been called a patriot. Genof the colony had arrived. It was tlemen

tlemen were becoming very not the part of a wise statesman to mealy-mouthed,when they came wait till a separation should be to speak of resistance, and seemed extorted, but rather to watch the to forget that there had ever been progress of the colonies towards a revolution. How did the House independence, and to take such of Hanover hold their seat on the measures as should render it throne? How did the King of likely, that, when that event did the French and the King of the come to pass, it should be attended Belgians hold theirs ? Let hon. with the smallest quantity of evil, members mark what a Mr. Pitt and the greatest good to the mother said upon a similar occasion, “ We country. The growing power of are told that America is obstinate the United States was a just subject that America is almost in open of apprehension, and he should be rebellion ; Sir, I rejoice that Ameglad to see all our North Americ rica has resisted. Three millions can colonies collected into one in- of people, so dead to all the feeldependent confederation, for the ings of liberty, as to submit to be purpose of balancing that power, slaves, would have been fit to which at po distant period might make slaves of the rest.” This require such a counterpoise. was the language then held by the

In the course of the debate, Sir Whigs. Hussey Vivian took the opportunity of striking a severe blow at Mr.

• We refer our readers to the precedHume. The hon. member, said ing chapter for an outline of “this disSir Hussey, had constantly stated tinguished man's" exploits.

Sir George Grey, (the under getting proper persons chosen; but, secretary for the colonial depart- after suspending the existing conment), contrasted, with much satis- stitution of Lower Canada, how faction, the tone and temper which could they get representatives from had pervaded the debate, that even the assembly of that province to ing, with that, which had charac- attend the convention? Was it terised the discussion of the same intended to give to the governor question, before the adjournnient the power of nominating indiviof the house. In reply to some

duals to attend in that capacity ; doubts, which had been raised by or was he to determine the districts Mr. Hume with respect to the and the class of persons to whom loyalty of the other North Ame- the duty of electing representarican colonies, he cited facts to tives should be confided ; or was prove that the best possible spirit he to indicate the persons qualified existed in Nova Scotia and New to be chosen? In any one of these Brunswick. Of Lord Gosford's cases it would be a mockery of administration he spoke highly representation. It would behove affirming that his conduct had them to guard against such a preceshewn him to be a man of honour dent, clothed, as it was, with a chaand firmness. When that noble racter of liberality, which it did not lord resigned, the Government possess. Anxious as he was to provide stated to him, that although the for the future good government of tranquillity of the colonies might the Canadas, when the proper time require some new line of policy, came, he was bound to say, that and the adjustment of their affais nothing could be more impolitic ought to be entrusted to other than the premature consideration authority, yet he retired with the of the subject. fullest approbation of his sovereign. In this part of his observations,

Sir Robert Peel began by ob- it appears that Sir Robert Peel serving, that to so much of the had misconstrued Lord John Rusbill as suspended the constitution sell's meaning an error which the of Lower Canada, and made pro- ambiguity of the noble lord's exvision for the temporary adminis- pressions rendered excusable. For tration of the government, he Lord John explained, in his reply, should not object ; but he confessed that the provisions with respect to that he did not understand its the “ representative” councils were other provisions, as they were ex- not to be embraced in the operative plained by the noble lord. He par- part of the bill. The attorneyticularly hoped that gentlenien, on general, on being consulted, had either side of the house, would given it as his opinion, that it was consider well that part of the mea- superfluous to frame enactments sure, which called together the for the purpose of enabling the asseinbly, described as a convention Crown to perform what was already of the Estates of Upper and Lower within its prerogative. It had, Canada. He doubted the policy therefore, been mentioned in the of this proceeding, at least in the preamble that such instructions had lower province, where different been furnished to the governor, parties were in a state of exaspera who might, by virtue thereof, sumtion. In the upper province, there mon this convention of estates." might be no great dilliculty in Whatever, therefore, was proposed

« ForrigeFortsett »