Meeting of the Liberal Convention of Upper Canada, Part IV (10 November 1859)

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Date: 1859-11-10
By: The Globe
Citation: “Meeting of the Liberal Convention of Upper Canada”, The Globe (14 November 1859).
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THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 1859.


Mr. MACDOUGALL, M.P.P., being loudly called for, stepped forward. He said—After the address you have heard from two gentlemen sent here as delegates from the part of the country which I have the honour to represent, it might be proper where I to abstain from making any remarks to you. But I am afraid that the impression which the speeches from those two delegates have made, is not in accordance with what I understand to be the opinions of the electors of that section of the county—and I have had a pretty good opportunity of making myself acquainted with them. A great many of the difficulties in public discussions, many of the contest which have occurred in the Legislature of this and other countries, have arisen from a misunderstanding of terms more, perhaps, than in any difference of opinion with regard to the effects or merits of the question under discussion  I’m afraid the Committee deputed to prepare the resolutions, have not chosen the most appropriate terms in which to express their opinions on these great and vital questions which we now have before us. I am not here for the purpose of occurring in the amendment which has been moved, nor to concur with the resolution, but to submit for your consideration an amendment to the amendment. It appears to me, after considerable discussion, that no good insufficient argument has yet been put to the country, why we should adopt local governments for the two Provinces and ash and a federal government also, which as I understand the expression, means a complete sovereignty and ash an executive head, a Legislature with it’s one or two branches, a judiciary, and perhaps an army—certainly some force which shall enforce its decrees. I do not think in our position it can be shown that such a government, having all these powers and ramifications is necessary in order to deal with the two or three questions of common concern between Upper and Lower Canada. (Cheers.) Therefore the amendment which I propose is to strike out the words “general government” on the main resolution, and to substitute another expression such as “some joint authority”—an expression which has already received the sanction of Imperial usages in reference to this very question, as I can show you in the instructions given by the Earl of Durham when he was sent to this country. The resolution will then read in this way—“That in the opinion of this assembly, the best practicable remedy for the evils now encountered in the Government of Canada is to be found in the formation of two or more local governments, to which shall be committed the control of all matters of a local or sectional character, and some joint authority charged with such matters as are necessarily common to both sections of the Province.” It appears to me that the time has not come, when it should be desirable to ask this assembly, not properly delegated for such a purpose, to make a constitution. It would be presumptuous and absurd to go into details on such an occasion as the present period if we undertook to settle all these points which must be settled before the subject is fully disposed of we should be obliged to remain here for weeks, nay for months. (Cheers.) With regard to the question of Dissolution pure and simple, I would observe that when before my constituents discussing this matter, I found this proposition met a general assent with the electors of that part of the county. As the gentleman who move the amendment said—and I must say I’m was most agreeably surprised with the eloquence and logic he displayed—being simple and direct, it meets the approval of the people. Some gentlemen seemed to think that if the differences which exists between us go to the country, the object sought will be lost. I have no such fears. (Applause.) If it had been supposed that all these important questions had been in the form of resolutions beforehand and no discussion allowed, and that you had been forced by the eloquence or by the influence of gentlemen who take this platform into concurrence without due thought, I believe that the result would be most fatal to our prospects, and that instead of accomplishing the great object we have in view, our movement would be a failure. (Cheers.) Let us, then, express our differences of opinion frankly and fully without any fear that we will create difficulty either here or elsewhere, because we differ in opinion. I think that a Dissolution of the two Provinces, giving to each the right to control its own local affairs, is a proposition which will receive the assent of the people of this country. We have been united with Lower Canada—we have certain interests in common with her. Public works have been made at the expense of both—the St. Lawrence runs through the territory of both—we are jointly liable for an enormous debt. You may resolve what you please, this common property—this common interest—still remains, whether you deal with them by a federative government or by any other machinery, there they are. (Hear, hear.) This is not the time to go into such details as these. We are here rather for the purpose of agreeing upon certain great principles. We have resolved that the present system is a failure, and that a new system must be discovered. What is that system? We have decided that local government for local purposes is one part of the remedy. I think it was a great mistake when the Union of these Provinces was formed, that the affairs of the people of Upper and Lower Canada were placed under the control of a Legislature composed of representatives from both sections of the country. I came to this view in a different manner from many gentlemen. I have held for many years that the Union of the two Provinces was a mistake—an unsound, and impracticable system, that in its very nature must result in abuses, such as we have seen. Many, we know, have held that opinion. I, for one, wish to see it dissolved. (Cheers.) But we have advanced far beyond the point at which we stood in 1840. (Hear, hear.) Our position is altogether different, and we must accommodate ourselves to our position. The question of Dissolution—whether it shall be absolute or qualified—I do not think it necessary to pronounce upon now, because this question will be debated in the Assembly and through the press, and probably in a constitutional Convention, elected under the authority of Parliament for that very purpose. If we had the power to amend our constitution it is possible the two Provinces might agree upon the amendment through their parliamentary representatives. But before we can do that, we must secure the consent of the Imperial Parliament. In this respect we are in a worse position than our fellow colonists in Australia, who may alter their own constitution. I will not detain the Convention with any general remarks in justification of the position we took in Parliament, or subsequently in calling this Convention, because I feel there are members present who have come here for the express purpose of delivering their sentiments, and who ought to be allowed to do so in preference to those occupying my position. (Cries of “Go on,” “Go on,” and cheers.) The hon. gentleman then read the following extract from the instructions to Lord Durham in 1838:—

“In the last session both Houses of Parliament passed a resolution, “That great inconvenience has been sustained by His Majesty’s subjects inhabiting the Provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, from the want of some adequate means for regulating and adjusting questions respecting the trade and commerce of the said Provinces, and divers other questions wherein the said Provinces had a common interest; and it is expedient that the Legislatures of the said Provinces respectively be authorized to make provision for the joint regulation and adjustment of such their common interests.”

“It is clear that some plan must be devised to meet the just demands of Upper Canada. It will be for your Lordship, in conjunction with the Committee, to consider if this should not be done by constituting some joint Legislative authority, which should preside over all questions of common interest to the two Provinces, and which might be appealed to in extraordinary cases to arbitrate between contending parties in either; preserving, however, to each Province its distinct Legislature, with authority in all matters of an exclusively domestic concern. If this should be your opinion, you will have further time to consider what should be the nature and limits of such authority, and all the particulars which ought to be comprehended in any scheme for its establishment.”

This seems to have been the idea which had possession of the minds of the Imperial authorities when they commissioned the Earl of Durham to visit this country and report upon its affairs. This is the idea which I hope will be expressed in your resolves to-day. We ought to have just so much government, just so much machinery, as is necessary to the management of the common affairs of the Province. A federative government, with all its concomitants, to manage the simple partnership affairs of these two Provinces, does seem to me an absurd proposal. But is it necessary to decide that question now? A constitutional Convention will probably be called by the people. Not a Convention of a party, but of a whole people, who will, after full and deliberate consideration, settle all details. Therefore I think we are getting into unnecessary difficulty in discussing this question in the present meeting. Allow me to hold my opinion, allow my hon. friend from Waterloo to hold his—allow all to urge their views upon the attention of the country up to the last moment. We shall then stand upon common ground—we shall be able to fight in the same ranks in opposition to a bad government and a bad system, and ere long, no doubt, we shall secure the appropriate remedy. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. WYLLIE, of the Brockville Recorder, said—I think the proceedings have now gone on so far, with the aid of speakers from the western section of the Upper Province, that it is time some from the central district should have something to say. (Cheers.) I concur most thoroughly in the views given to this meeting by Mr. Foley, with regard to the difficulty of getting the people of central Canada to go in favour of the amendment moved by Mr. Sheppard. It is pretty well known to the most of you that a very heavy debate took place with regard to the Seat of Government question. The people of the Ottawa district look upon that question with a vast degree of interest, and they will not easily yield to any course than may be taken by this or  by any other Convention that will deprive them of the chance of getting the Seat of Government at Ottawa. (Hear, hear.) And this is one of the difficulties you will have to contend against in getting the people of central Canada to adopt the views of Mr. Sheppard. We have discussed the merits of Federation. We have never entertained the idea of a Dissolution pure and simple. (Cheers.) Western Canada appears to have discussed both views, but while preferring pure and simple Dissolution, they would, if they can get it, be ready to accept Dissolution with Federation. But we have not discussed Dissolution pure and simple at all, because we think it altogether impracticable, so you may rest assured if the amendment of Mr. Sheppard is passed, you at once cast away from you the support of the people east of Kingston. It is for you to consider whether you would wish to place us in such a position who have for so long worked harmoniously with you. I have no desire to be placed in this position, but if this meeting adopt the amendment of Mr. Sheppard, I would feel great difficulty in going amongst my people and agitating the subject. I should not know what position to assume towards them, being acquainted with their strong feeling with regard to the Seat of Government. I wish to act with the Reform party, but I would not like to be cast off and isolated. I would much rather the Convention would come to a conclusion in which we could all agree. If you pass the resolution as it has been moved, I think you will have all the people on your side—not only the Reform party, but also a great portion of the Conservatives. (Hear, hear.) With these remarks I would like you to allow Mr. Pomeroy, who comes from the same section of country in which I reside, to say a few words. (Cheers.)

Mr. POMEROY, Brockville, said he preferred a Federation of the two Provinces to Dissolution in choosing between the two measures, he wished gentlemen to consider whether they should the bar themselves of the privilege of importing their goods by the St. Lawrence. He believed he spoke the opinion of Central Canada when he said that Federation was the only scheme which would suit that portion of the Province. If the two Provinces were separated by a Dissolution pure and simple, there were many Upper Canadian interests which would suffer.

Mr. THOMAS NIXON call my New Castle, said he was entirely opposed to a pure in simple Dissolution of the Union. There was such an identity of interest in many respects between Upper and Lower Canada, that it was not at all desirable to sever the connection between the two Provinces. They must all feel that the great and mighty river which rolled down from the lakes to the ocean, ruled there for the benefit of Upper as well as Lower Canada. (Hear, hear.) And he did not think it was possible to sever Upper and Lower Canada in a governmental point of view, without severing them also commercially. If they dissolved, it was difficult to estimate how much damage would be done to their commercial interests. And he believed, if their commercial interests were damaged by Lower Canada, they would also suffer by the action of the State of New York, for the State of New York would adopt such measures as would make Upper Canada feel that it would be its interest to be annexed to the states. But who was there here that desire to become an annexationist? Not one. (Cheers.) That great identity of interest which they now had with the mother country, none of them could desire to destroy. (Cheers.) He had come here as a Federationist, but as the discussion went on he had seen looming in the distance a vast expenditure, a great number of offices, a great army, &c. If all that was to be involved, they had better not have this great Federation. They did not want to have the already severe burden of taxation on the people made still more burdensome. He therefore stood up here to second Mr. Mcdougall’s amendment. (Cheers.) He went on with the Federationists, but not with those who would saddle on Upper Canada much greater burdens than she already sustains. He could not go with those who desire to build up a great nationality under present circumstances. They should go on as hither-to, looking to England as the Greek nationality—(cheers)—and extending their territory to the North West, and if ever time came when their successors could establish a Great British American nationality, let them do so meanwhile, let them go prudently every step of the way, and all would be right. (Cheers.) But as against the Dissolution this, he would say, let them do nothing that would denationalize them. (Cheers.)

Mr. HOPE MACKENZIE, Lambton, send that the chief objection urged by Mr. Mcdougall to the Federation scheme, appeared to be based on the alleged fact that the people of the Western section of the Province favoured a simple Dissolution. Mr. Mcdougall said that was the prevailing sentiment in the county he himself represented. It might be so, but speaking for the people of the extreme Western section of the Province, the Ultima Thule of Canada, that they were in favour of Dissolution without reference to Federation, he (Mr. Mackenzie) was prepared totally to deny. (Cheers.) He (Mr. Mackenzie) contended that a pure and simple Dissolution of the Provinces was an American idea, not a Republican idea, but an idea likely to be forwarded by those gentlemen whose views were of the American stamp. The tendency of Dissolution would be to dissever us entirely from the Lower Provinces of Britain on this continent, to take our trade through the United States, thus creating a sympathy with the people of the States, and leading to a desire for annexation. He lived on the borders of the United States, and he stated fearlessly that the people of the county he represented had no desire for annexation, and no desire for this pure and simple Dissolution which would naturally lead to it. (Cheers.) We wish to preserve intact our connection with the mother country and must find some other way of getting out of our difficulties with Lower Canada then cutting the cord in this simple way. (Cheers.) The advocates of Dissolution had presented in an exaggerated form the evils which they said would attach to Federation, in the shape of extension of office and government patronage and military display, &c. He was glad Mr. Mcdougall’s amendment had knocked away the arguments from those gentlemen. His own idea had been much the same as that conveyed by Mr. Mcdougall’s amendment—that the local Legislatures should control entirely their own local affairs, and that the central government should be composed of only a few individuals, consisting of only one House, selected probably by the two local Legislatures on the principle of Representation by Population. That had been his own idea, and the amendment which had been submitted presented it in such a way as to get rid of the haze which hung over the subject, enabling them to see the objects they had in view more clearly than if they looked at it round by Washington way. The Committee or commission appointed by the joint Legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada would manage our joint interests—our railways, canals, and other public works. The matters they would have to manage were very few, and he believed they would be managed most efficiently if the central body was composed of a very few individuals. Mr. Mackenzie concluded by repeating that the section of the country he was acquainted with, there was no desire for annexation or for that simple Dissolution of the Union which he believed would lead to it, but that there was a very strong desire for a Dissolution of the existing Union with a view to Federation. (Cheers.)

Mr. JOHN SMITH, Mornington, said the question of Dissolution was by no means a new one. The question of the Federation of the Canadas was a new one in comparison. Mr. W. L. Mackenzie had advocated a Dissolution of the Union for years past, on the ground of the expensiveness and extravagance which resulted from a mixture of two races of different feelings and propensities—but the Federation of the two Canada was a new idea, comparatively speaking. It was not so with the idea of a Federation of the whole of British America, with an ultimate view to independence. The day might arrive when that would be effected, but it must be still very far distant. Meanwhile he had come to the conclusion that a Dissolution of the Union was absolutely necessary for the salvation of Upper Canada. When two countries were united together, which had scarcely any similarity with regard to their feelings, language, religion, and occupations, one country must inevitably dominate over the other. Between the different portions of the British Empire there was a Union which had taken centuries to cement, but to the present day they saw in the British Empire one nationality to a certain extent controlling and domineering over the others. For the good government of the state, it was necessary that they should have a good public morality and good public men. But they had been repeatedly told by the gentlemen who from their legislative experience had the best acquaintance with the internal workings of the Union, that it was the system which ruined our public men—that, if they took office, the system would inevitably ruin them, and, if they did not take office, they would be in opposition, and the views of the Reform party could not be carried out. Now his desire was that the views of the Reform party should be carried out, for he believed them to be for the good of the country as a whole, and, if the system was in fault, it became a question whether their leaders should continue to remain out of office and they should lose their good measures, or whether they could not have a system by which they might have their good men and good measures at the same time. [Cheers.] As regarded Federation, he had so far learned very little that was to be gained from it but an expensive government, for he supposed the Federal Government would take all the customs dues, expend as much as was necessary in paying the interest on the debt, and then, as at Washington, squander the balance. For his own part, he was opposed to a Federal Union of the Provinces because he did not want any customs dues. He wanted to see free and unlimited trade with all the world. [Applause.] He held that every system of customs dues demoralized the community. He would have the Union dissolved and the local government sustained by direct taxation. It had been objected that a Dissolution of the Union would cut them off from the sea board, but they must remember that the Provinces were united by an Imperial Act of Parliament, and if they were disunited, it must be by an Imperial Act of Parliament also; and if the British Legislature saw fit to accede to the feelings of this meeting and of the country generally, and made a severance between Upper and Lower Canada, they would no doubt take care that Upper Canada had a right to the free navigation of the St. Lawrence. [Hear, hear.] There would be no difficulty on that score’ neither, if they adopted direct taxation, would there be any difficulty as to the customs dues, for there would be none to pay. Mr. Smith made some further remarks in favour of direct taxation, and concluded by urging that whatever might be the decision of the meeting on the main question before them, it should be unanimous.

Hon. DAVID CHRISTIE, M.L.C., said—conceived it to be my duty, and the duty of the other representatives of the people in Parliament who have come to this Convention, to come more in the capacity of listeners than to give a declaration of their own particular views. Your representatives in Parliament, gentlemen, after having contended for a series of years in the declaration and maintenance of a policy which you approved of at the last general election; after having, as they found fruitlessly advocated that policy, without, as was explained so ably last evening by the member for Toronto, giving up that policy, yet feeling as you must do, from what you have seen of the doings in Parliament since the last general election, and particularly during the last session of Parliament, that the adoption of that policy, at least immediately, was a matter of impossibility—feeling that to be the case, the Parliamentary Opposition considered it to be their duty to call you together and tell you so. [Hear, hear.] You know how we were prevented from carrying out that policy, by the vile plot by which the government of the member for Toronto was in the most disgraceful manner put an end to—a plot which was preconcerted, and which was all the more infamous because it received the concurrence, and although Parliamentary usage and rules would not permit me to declare it on the floor of Parliament, I feel that in an assembly of the people of Upper Canada those trammels are removed—[loud cheers]—and I can plainly declare that that preconcerted plot, which is without a precedent in constitutional history, was not only connived at but participated in by Her Majesty’s representative. [Hear, hear.] My hon. friend, the member for Toronto, asked His Excellency to dissolve Parliament, and had he not good grounds for doing so? You talk of the Kansas frauds. Bad as these were, they have been rectified; but can you find in any of those Kansas frauds a parallel to the monstrous frauds practised upon the people of Quebec, and the people of the County of Russell? And was not Mr. Brown right in declaring that an Assembly constituted as that was, capable of cloaking such frauds, was not a true exponent of public opinion? For it was not the men who by those frauds were placed in seats in the House of Assembly that were alone guilty. The majority who sustained them in that position were equally guilty. Was not the Brown-Dorion administration then, justified in asking a Dissolution of that Assembly? But it was most unconstitutionally refused, and what other alternative was left to us under such circumstances then to call a Convention of the people of the Province of Upper Canada? [Hear, hear.] Before coming to the question of Federation, I have a sort of confession to make in reference to the proposition for a Dissolution of the Union. I voted for Dissolution of the Union on every occasion the question was brought up by Mr. Mackenzie in the House of Assembly. But I have left that ground, because I am convinced that the carrying of that point is impossible. And I am free to make this further confession, that even if we could attain it, it would not promote the best interests of the people of this country. (Hear, hear.) I need not go over the ground which has already been so ably gone over by those who have preceded me in support by the principle of Federation, showing the difficulty, nay, the impossibility of carrying Dissolution of the Union, pure and simple. Nor shall I attempt to answer the various objections which have been urged against Federation, as these have been so fully stated already. But I may advert to one point, which to my mind appeared the strong point in the argument of Mr. Sheppard in objection to our scheme. He stated that, if he could see that the tendency of our scheme was towards the acquisition of a national existence, then he was with us, he could see the propriety of us course of that kind. Now I for one have no hesitation in saying that such is its tendency, and that that man is blind to the future of this country, nay more, that he is not a true patriot, who does not believe that some day or other this great British North American continent will have a separate nationality. (Cheers,) I think every man, looking at the history of the past, and judging from that what may be the history of the future of this country, must feel that one day or other, and this perhaps at know very distant., we will have a Great North American nationality. (Cheers.) Then we re at one upon that point, and we claim the support of Mr. Sheppard and his friends to the principle of Federation. It is no part of our scheme that there shall not be a Federation of all the British North American Provinces. We admit the possibility of that in one of the resolutions already passed, but we say we cannot afford to wait for that, for the extravagance of our present system is so great that the country cannot stand it much longer. With regard to Dissolution of the Union pure and simple, we say you can’t get it, and that it is not advisable that you should have it, because it is a step in the wrong direction. It is going back (Hear, hear.) We adopt the principle of Federation, as a step in the right direction, which will in the meantime relieve us from the pressing difficulties under which the country labours, and which also looks to the future, to a Federation of all the British North American Provinces first, and beyond that to an admission of other territories into the Great North American confederacy. (Cheers.) I think that contains the sum of the whole question. As regards the question of expense, who will venture to say that the Federal Government cannot be made the most economical? But we cannot at this meeting go into a discussion of the details of the new constitution adapted to the Federation; that will be the work of a Convention formed under the sanction of law, and will occupy a long time. On the occasion of the last provision of the Constitution of the State of New York in 1846, the body which met sat for 110 days on the work of amending the constitution. It would be an endless business than to go into questions of detail, on which I have my views another gentleman have theirs. But on the general question I have no hesitation in declaring that I believe the so called system of responsible government to be as thoroughly and irresponsible system as ever existed in any country, and that the true system of government for a Federation would be a truly responsible one, in which, among other equally important provisions, it should be distinctly provided that no money should be taken from the public treasury, except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. (Hear, hear.) As to the minor Governments in the Confederacy, I think there is no doubt that the adoption of constitutions with still greater restraints would be advisable. However, these are matters on which it is unnecessary that we should enter, as they more properly belonged to a body differently constituted, and to which we hope that at no very distant day they will be submitted. I have no idea that the cost of a Federal Government would be anything like a tithe of the cost of our Provincial Government, and our so called Responsible Government, the cost of which, as Mr. Brown told you, has risen, during the administration of these men from four to nine and a half millions per annum. I approve, then, of this Federal scheme, and reprobate a Dissolution of the Union, pure and simple, because it is in the first place unpatriotic and unstatesmanlike, and because in the second place I believe it to be wholly unattainable. [Cheers.]

The Convention then adjourned till 8 p.m.

Upon resuming,

Mr. JOHNSTON, editor of the Iroquois Chief, took the floor. He commenced by arguing in favour of a Written Constitution. He said, in the United States there was no provision made by the constitution against an extension of expenditure. The expenditure of the American Government amounted to $40,000,000, less than $2 a head—the average of the State Governments were about $2 50 per hear. In Canada the expense of our government last year was $9,500,000 million—over $4 per head, nearly twice the expensive of federal government. When we took into consideration what the Federal Government was charged with, when we took into consideration but the State Governments were charged with, when we considered no attempt was made to retrain their expanding powers, he asked, might we not fairly claim that a federal Legislature would be less expensive than our present mode of government? The complaints of the people of Upper Canada might be resolved under two heads. One was the interference of Lower Canada in our local matters, and the other the expensiveness of our system. Let us consider the difficulties which each presented, and the remedy provided for it. The remedy for the first was to be found in Federation. It would give us a more complete control over our affairs than Representation by Population. The remedy for the other difficulty was a Written Constitution—constitutional checks upon the power of the administration—a law embodying the will of the people—above Parliament, above the Executive—a set of instructions given to them as to how they shall conduct the business of the Province. (Hear, hear.) The Reformers of the eastern section of the Province were falling in heartily with Federation. East of Cobourg it would be death to take up the question of Dissolution pure and simple. We must preserve some connection with Lower Canada. If this Convention should decide upon Dissolution as proposed in the amendment, it would be sad news to the Reformers of the eastern section. That section sent eleven members of the Opposition to Parliament, and not one of those men could go back to his constituents and ask them to endorse the decision. He certainly hoped this Convention would feel that Federation, of a simple, plain, practical character, was the measure wanted, and then they might go to the people, certain that their day of triumph was not far distant. (Cheers.)

Mr. MACDOUGALL, editor of the Berlin Telegraph, said he rose merely for the purpose of making a few remarks, in accordance with the wish of some of the deputation from Waterloo. It seemed to him there were two questions before the Convention, namely—Dissolution pure and simple, or Dissolution with Federation. He thought by the first resolution we were pledged already to Dissolution. If not, he did not know what Dissolution was. The resolution declared “that the Union in its present form could no longer be continued.”

The CHAIRMAN—“In its present form!”

Mr. McDOUGALL contended that that implied Dissolution. He was not alarmed at the prospect of Dissolution, pure and simple, although he did not advocate it. One speaker had said it would lead to annexation to the United States. He (Mr. McD.) did not think it would lead to any such thing. (Hear, hear.) He believed the people of Upper Canada were loyal to the core, and desirous of living under the British flag. [Cheers.] But they had been groaning for years under misrule, and, at the first blush, we are ready to take Dissolution pure and simple; but now, after mature consideration, they were prepared to go for Dissolution with Federation. He believed that feeling pervaded Upper Canada. It had also been said that in the event of a Dissolution, pure and simple, Lower Canada would tax R imports. If Lower Canada was to shut us out, she must shut herself in; The man that locked his neighbour out, locked himself in. The great object Mr. Galt had in his tariff what’s the direct the trade of Upper Canada through the St. Lawrence; the duties had been regulated with no other view than to send the whole of the western imports through Lower Canada. If, then, they imposed heavy duties upon are goods in the event of a disillusion, we should be compelled to seek a market somewhere else. [Hear, hear.] Whenever Dissolution took place, it must be accompanied with Federation. We were called United Canada, but we were not united. We were, in a certain sense, but we had distinct laws, distinct feelings, distinct sympathies, a distinct language am dash we were distinct in every way. In 1841, when the French Canadians felt they were laboring under constitutional disadvantages, they were glad to avail themselves of the assistance of the reformers of Upper Canada. But no sooner did we get for them the rights they required, then they put us under their heels. What was the remedy for the state of things? There was none under the present system. That a change must take place was the conviction of everyman. What that change should be was the question we had met here to discuss. We were charged with annexation views. It was well for the ministerial press to taunt us with ministerial views! [Hear, hear.] Not the Reformers, but the old-fashioned Tories of this country first started that proposition. [Hear, hear.] He [Mr. McDougall] despise a good sound Tori. Some of them were honourable; and those who were so, despise John A MacDonald, who had deserted his Tory friends and thrown himself into the hands of the Lower Canadians—men with whom he had no sympathy or feeling in common. He [Mr. McD.] repudiated the idea that because Dissolution might take place, annexation would follow. He believed Upper Canada was not prepared for annexation. The people were desirous of being under British rule. Although he thought the country from which he came would go for Dissolution with Federation. (Cheers.)

Mr. MORSE, from Grimsby, next rose. After a few remarks, he said that in this city he met a gentleman, a barrister, an ultra Tory, who, Speaking of the Union, said he wished to Heaven it was done away with period such evils as we were groaning under, no country having a Liberal Government, perhaps, ever before suffered—no other country had ever witnessed a ministry under a system like Responsible Government resorting to every trick to keep in power. It was very singular that some men practiced evil so long that they blinded themselves to write, and called white black. As had been said again in a game, the oppressions under which we suffer were growing and accumulating. The ministry which could govern in the way ours governed, reminded him of the words of Hudibras, who said,—

“A thousand souls as large as these,

With all their sentimental prattle,

Might in a nut-shell say their prayers,

And on and at my tried to battle.”

To get rid of these narrow souled and long fingured men was the object of the Convention. He (Mr. Morse) favoured the amendment move by Mr. McDougall, because he held to the idea strongly that it was our duty in any reform we might propose to look to the future—to lay the foundations of a great, a strong, a powerful nationality. He wished to see a nucleus for that formed. (Hear, hear.) When it was argued that the movement would end in annexation—he denied it. He looked upon it as a broad general question, and he believed it would not be for the benefit of the United States that we should be annexed to them. He believed the whole of North America would be bettered by the existence of two great governments, one to the south and the other to the north of the St. Lawrence. (Cheers.) The amendment proposed by Mr. McDougall came in most happily between the contending parties. The country looked for something worthy of this Convention to meet the difficulties under which the Province laboured, and it would not be disappointed. (Cheers.)


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