Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Representation by Population (14 May 1860)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Globe
Citation: “House of Assembly”, The Globe (15 May 1860).
House of Assembly
Quebec, May 14
Essex Election Frauds
Mr. McDougall moved that legal proceedings be instituted against all parties concerned in the outraged and frauds perpetrated at the last Essex election, but withdrew his motion on Attorney General Macdonald stating that such proceedings had been taken.
The Prince’s Visit
Mr. Brown, in absence of Mr. Sandfield Macdonald, moved the appointment of a committee, chosen equally from both sides of the House, to consider the most fitting manner of receiving His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. He said the Legislature had invited the Prince, and the Legislature, as representing the people of Canada, ought to receive him. It was not a political or partisan matter, and the Government ought not to take the entire control out of the hands of the legislature.
Atty. Gen. Cartier repeated that he had formerly states, that the Government would propose an address to be presented by the Speaker of each House, accompanied by as many of the members as found it convenient to attend, their travelling expenses being paid. He resisted the motion. He could not consent to transfer the responsibility of the Government to a committee appointed by the House.
Mr. Cauchon said it was desirable that the demonstration should not be a party affair, but thought it would be saved from that character by some member of the Opposition seconding the address to be moved by the Government.
Mr. Brown said his motion went further than that. The Prince was invited as a guest of the Legislature and they were the proper body to take action in regard to his progress through the province. If the reception were left in the hands of the Executive, there was danger of it being regarded as a party affair.
Mr. Dunkin said if the Government were so degraded as to be capable of making a party matter of this, they were not worthy to be entrusted with the business of the Government at all. He opposed the motion.
Mr. McDougall said the reception by ministers would be one part of the Government receiving another party of it. It was most desirable that this should be a spontaneous act on the part of the people of Canada, and the Legislature were the best representatives of the people to make arrangements. He did not think the antecedents of the Government such justified entrusting them with the power.
Mr. Foley suggested that Mr. Cartier should himself move the appointment of a committee and ask Mr. Brown as leader of the Opposition to second it.
Mr. Cartier declined, and repeated that the government would not abdicate its functions.
Mr. Dorion said in the case of the preparations of the Paris exhibition, the Government moved a committee selected from both sides of the House, to make the arrangements. He thought that course equally necessary in this case, that no party feelings might enter into the question of the Prince’s reception
Mr. Sicotte supported the motion
Mr. M. Cameron thought the scheme of assembling members in their individual capacity to receive the Prince was absurd. Having been invited by the Legislature, he ought to be received by them in session.
Dr. Connor urged that the House having invited the Prince, should have a voice in the management and arrangement of everything connected with his visit. There had gone abroad in Upper Canada a feeling that an attempt would be made to make political capital out of the visit, for parties who on their own merits were so unpopular, that they dared not show themselves in many places in Western Canada. To free the demonstration from a party character, the arrangements should be made by a committee of the House.
Mr. McMicken said the Prince would come as the representative of his Royal mother, and we should receive him, not as a guest, but as the head of the Government (No, no, and laughter.) He thought no committee could make preparations for his reception.
Mr. Dunbar Ross supported the motion. It was desirable that every thing should be done to show the reception of the Prince to be unanimous.
Atty. Gen. Macdonald said the Prince during his visit would not be directed by the Government or the Legislature, but would be accompanied by his own advisers, and would consult Her Majesty’s representative here, the Governor General, and of course the Governor General could not receive advice from gentlemen who had no confidence in his government. The ministry could not admit the unconstitutional principle that his money should be voted and expended, except on their responsibility.
Mr. Dawson objected to the appointment of a committee because before the Prince came Parliament might be dissolved, and there would be no legislature in existence.
Mr. Buchanan said the Ministry represented the House and the country, and should therefore receive the Prince.
Mr. Merritt hoped the motion would be withdrawn, but urged that the Government should themselves move the appointment of the committee.
Motion negatived 59 to 40.
Yeas. – Messrs. Aikins, Bell, Biggar, Bourassa, Bureau, Burwell, M. Cameron, Clark, Connor, Cook, Dorion, Drummond, Finlayson, Foley, Gould, Harcourt, Howland, Jobin, Laberge, Mattice, McDougall, McKeller, Mowat, Munro, Notman, Papineau, Patrick, Piche, W. Powell, D. Ross, Jas. Ross, Rymal, Short, Sicotte, Somerville, Wallbridge, White, Wilson, and Wright – 40
Nays. – Messrs. Alleyn, Baby, Beaubien, Benjamin, Buchanan, Burton, John Cameron, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Atty. Gen. Cartier Cauchon, Chapais, Cimon, Daly, Daoust, Dawson, Desaulniers, Dionne, Dufresne, Dunkin, Ferguson, Ferres, Fortier, Fournier, Galt, Gaudet, Gill, Harwood, Heath, Hebert, Holmes, Labelle, Lacoste, Langevin, Laport, Loux, Macbeth, Atty. Gen. Macdonald, McCann, McMicken, Morrison, Ouimet, Panet, Playfair, Pope, Price, Robinson, Roblin, Rose, R. W. Scott, W. Scott, Sherwood, Simard, Simpson, Tasse, Tett, Webb, and Whitney – 59.
The Russell Case
Mr. McMicken moved for a return showing in detail the costs incurred in the prosecution of G. B. L. Fellowes and others. He said he wished this return to show that one of those patriotic high-minded gentlemen, alway talking about purity, could make over-charges on the public as well as others.
Mr. Wilson said he was glad the motion had been made. When the bill was rendered several items were filled in in pencil to enable the Atty. General to fill in what sums he thought reasonable. The next day this motion was placed on the notice paper – (Hear, hear.) – and the Solicitor General being too busy to examine the bill handed it to the taxing officer. He considered it strange that the Atty. General should permit members to rise and say that he (Mr. Wilson) was paid $3,000 without contradicting it. To this day he had only received $400, and he was out of pocket now $800, For two witnesses from the United States the expense amounted to $300. If the brief had been given to a barrister residing at the spot, £100 was the least that could have been offered as a fee for a case of this importance, for a trial lasting only a single day. The taxing officer was allowed only £45 fee for ten day’s service. He apprehended that he would have had the lost suit. He might add that the disbursement in the suit were £350.
Atty. Gen. MacDonald claimed that in employing Mr. Wilson the Government showed that they wished to carry out the resolution of the House in good faith. Mr. McMicken’s motion was made without his cognizance. He considered the bill excessive, but the right remedy was the taxation. £780 was a large sum for a single prosecution. The taxing master reduced it to £480. The witnesses fees amounted to £128. When Mr. Wilson said the disbursements were £350, he included the fee to his own partner.
Mr. McMicken stated that he had not got information as to the amount of the bill from the Attorney General.
Mr. Wilson said the Attorney’s department must be in an extraordinary state when the contents of the bill of costs were known in the streets a few hours afterwards. Mr. Macdonald was entirely wrong in saying that the witnesses fees were £128. That was the amount not yet paid, but the bill included other £150 fees which he had paid. The Atty. General had referred to the fee of his partner. His (Mr. Wilson’s) name was only used in the partnership; he had no more interest in the business than he (Mr. Macdonald) had.
Mr. White moved in amendment, calling for a return of members of this House in arrear to the Government for collections as collectors of customs. He said Mr. McMicken’s name figured [sic] return made last year as a defaulter for $2,700.
The Speaker ruled the amendment out of order.
Mr. McMicken’s motion was carried.
Representation by Population.
Mr. Wallbridge moved a resolution that it is expedient that the representation of the people in the Canada Parliament be based on population without regard to a separating line between Upper and Lower Canada
Mr. Dorion moved in amendment that the disposition made by the Act of Union, assuring to Upper and Lower Canada an equal number of representatives, is essential to the maintenance of the union of the two provinces, and that the representatives of Lower Canada will not consent that this disposition shall be changed, so long as the union subsist, without sacrificing the dearest rights and interests of their constituents.
Mr. Cauchon moved in amendment, striking out the words “after the union of the two provinces.”
Mr. Dunkin congratulated Mr. Dorion on the cleverness with which the motion was drawn up, with the view of getting as strong a vote as could possible be got in favour of Representation by Population. He had framed such a motion that all Upper Canadian members must place their votes on record in favour of that principle. He deprecated ranging Upper and Lower Canadians against each other.
Mr. Ferres rose to speak amidst cries of question.
Mr. Brown said Mr. Ferres need not speak against time, as means would be taken to obtain a division before the House prorogued.
Mr. Ferres continued to speak against time, till six o’clock, when the House rose.
When the House re-assembled,
Mr. Brown presented the report of the committee on railway freights. The report cited the recent agreement between the Grand Trunk and the Great Western for an interchange traffic and for maintaining the tariff rates, and expressed an opinion that the said agreement was of an objectionable character and opposed to the spirit, if not the letter, of their charter. The report also the agreement between Mr. Shanly, as manager of the Grand Trunk, and the Hon. John Hamilton, for running eight steamers on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, and that the fares of passengers and freight should not differ from Grand Trunk rates. The committee were of opinion that there was no authority in the charter of the Grand Trunk to charter steamers, and considered it opposed to the public interest that a company wielding such influence and owing a large debt to the province, should use its revenues to establish a monopoly traffic on the inland waters as well as on land.
Mr. Brown moved that the report be printed. — Carried.
Seventeen private Bills were passed finally, including the Hamilton and Port Dever Railway Bill, and the Bill to remove doubts as to the validity of certain Toronto debentures.
County of Peel
The House resumed the adjourned debate on the motion to go into committee on Mr. Carling’s Bill to provide for the selection of the County Town of Peel, and Mr. Simpson’s amendment for the six months’ hoist.
Several members having spoken, the amendment was negatived – 50 to 42 – and the Bill passed through committee. On the question of the third reading to-morrow, Mr. McMicken moved in amendment that the vote of the electors of Peel, whether they desire separation from York, should be taken at the same time as the selection of the County Town.
Messrs. McGets, Brown, Mowat and Aikins, supported the amendment and stated the facts of the [sic].
Messrs. Duncan and Gowan opposed the amendment.
Mr. Sicotte supported the amendment and contended that the question of division should be left to be decided by the ratepayers.
The amendment was negatived – 51 to 48, and the Bill ordered to a third reading to-morrow.
The House then went into committee on Mr. Dorion’s Bill to amend the incorporation Acts of the city of Montreal.
Mr. Rose proposed a number of amendments to save personal property from taxation, which were negatived, and the Bill ordered to a third reading to-morrow.
Mr. Cauchon’s Bill to incorporate the pilots of Quebec, passed through committee.
Toronto and York
Mr. Wright moved the House into committee on the Bill to separate the city of Toronto from York and Peel, for judicial purposes.
Mr. Brown, seconded by Mr. Robinson, moved the six months’ hoist. Carried – 31 to 25.
Northumberland and Durham
Mr. Burton moved the second reading of the Bill to separate Northumberland from Durham.
Mr. Munro moved the six months’ hoist. Negatived – 37 to 13 – and the Bill read and referred to the Private Bills Committee.
The House adjourned at 1.15, a. m.
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