Canada, House of Commons Debates, [Codification of the Laws], 1st Parl, 2nd Sess (21 May 1869)

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Date: 1869-05-21
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 1st Parl, 2nd Sess, 1869 at 432-433.
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[Page 432]

The Committeee reserved the item $40,000 to meet the possible amount beyond the average salaries voted. The items under the head Administration of Justice, amounting to $52,000, were also carried; as well as the items under the head of Police $43,440; and under the head Legislation, as far as “Commission for making provisions for the uniformity of the laws of the Provinces, $20,000.

In explanation of the item, Sir John A. Macdonald said the sum set apart for the Assimiliation of the Laws was about the same as that voted for the Codification of the Laws of the old Province of Canada. It was intended that the sittings of the Commission should be as continuous as possible, so that by next session the laws of the three Provinces, and possibly also of Newfoundland, would ail be assimilated.

Hon. Mr. Holton asked if it was the intention of the Government to remunerate, in any way, any member of the House for this work?

Sir John A. Macdonald replied that it was the intention of the Government to do so.

Mr. Mackenzie said that the contemplated course of the Government would be another infringment of the Independence of Parliament, and Ministers, if they were wise, would never take such a step.

Sir John A. Macdonald said that these remarks were not at all called for and should not have been received until the House had something before them in which to take action.

Hon. Mr. Holton thought the remarks of the member for Lambton exceedingly pertinent. A case had been made out in the showing of the Government, such as has been always felt to warrant their being gravely censured.

Mr. Mills said that however excellent the projected code of laws might be in itself, and however desirable it might be to have a uniform system throughout the Dominion, he looked on any attempt in the direction indicated as an effort to change our Union from a federal to a legislative one. When the Government undertook by a commission to secure a uniform system of laws respecting property and civil rights, it was in reality an attempt to take away power from the Local Legis-

[Page 433]

latures and vest it in the Federal. He would therefore oppose such a vote as this.

Mr. Mackenzie said that he felt it incumbent on him to give notice that when concurrence was being taken he would move, in regard to the service, that in the opinion of this House, no portion of the public funds should be paid to any member of this House. The item then carried. On the next item, Consolidation of Criminal Law, $2,000.


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