New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Debates of the House of Assembly [Mr. Fisher’s Amendment] (21 March 1866)
By: New Brunswick (House of Assembly)
Citation: New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Reports of the Debates of The House of Assembly  at 38-42.
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.
Wednesday, March 21.
ADJOURNED DEBATE ON MR. FISHER’S AMENDMENT.
Mr. Lindsay. As the hon. member from the County of Albert (Mr. McClelan) is not in his place, I will make a few remarks, but I will not occupy much time. The people take a great interest in this question, for they attend here anxious to know what is going on. I am pleased to see them, for I think it is the duty of the constituency to keep their eye on the Government, and to see that the men who come here to represent them do not misrepresent them. I think that public men are public property, and we have a right to refer to their public acts as long as we do not misrepresent them. When a question was asked a few days ago about the defence of the Province, I stated there was something in common between Antis and Fenians. The Attorney General thought I insinuated that the Anti- Confederate member of the Legislature sympathized with the Fenians. I did not mean any such thing. I will call attention to why I consider Antic and Fenians agree. I will read an extract from the New York Irish People, a Fenian organ, dated Feb. 17, which refers to the Reciprocity Treaty, and gives a reason why the American Government should not negotiate a treaty:
“Another reason which should have its weight with every well-wisher of America is this? Why should be negotiate a treaty with the very men who are to-day concocting the plan of a Confederation of the British Colonies, in order to erect a barrier against the expansion of the American nation, to transplant a viceregal court north of us, where the admirers and the flatterers of the aristocratic regime may go and parade their pretentious individuality? No, let there be no treaty whatever!”
That was to prevent the Confederate Union that would raise a barrier to the further extension of the American Government. Another paper takes the same view of it:
“It will be dangerous to given encouragement, even temporarily, to the inter-Colonial feeling which certain influential men, both in Britain and in Canada, are doing all in their power to cultivate. The suspension of reciprocal trade will be a cogent argument with the Canadians in favor of the building of the inter Colonial Railway, WHICH EVERY INHABITANT OF NEW ENGLAND SHOULD SEEK TO PREVENT BY ALL PROPER MEANS, and which, with the continuance of reciprocity, and the prosecution of the international line, will, in our opinion, never be built. Closely allied to his is the political Confederation of the Provinces, which can never be brought to pass unless an unfriendly policy on the part of the United States shall force them, for their mutual protection and prosperity, into a closer compact and alliance than now exists.”
- (p. 39)
I said that the Fenians sympathised with the Antis, and not that the Antis sympathised with the Fenians. The Attorney General then jumped up in a great rage and said, “I see the hon. gentleman is opposed to the Government.” I made those remarks not with an reference to anything brought before the House. He said I was not worthy of a place in the Legislature. I thought it would be very convenient for the hon. member to keep me out until this question was disposed of. Something was said about our being in the mud. It reminds me of the allusion made last year, comparing the Government to Nebuchadezzar’s image, which was made of iron, clay, brass, gold and silver. If reports are true, the silver is gone and the gold with it. Some say the clay is gone too. I should think it was, as I see here a large quantity of brass, or perhaps it was meant that the clay and brass had been mixed together and converted into mud. I do not know what to call my hon. friend, whether to call him President of the Council, or Attorney General, or Leader of the Government, or Plenipotentiary extraordinary. I do not know who is the Leader of the Government It was said that the hon. member for St. John, (Mr. Wilmot) in connection with the Hon Mr. Smith, were appointed to form a Government. The hon. Chief Commissioner said his Excellency called upon him. I do not know whether he is the leader, or whether he brings up the rear. He quoted from the Litany. My mind would lead me to quote from the general confession. “They have done the things they ought not to have done, and left undone the things they ought to have done,” and we have no confidence in them I have heard it intimated outside that they have one office promised to two or three members, and they have some offices up stairs which they keep as bait for their supporters. Then again, they intimidate some by saying, if they vote against the Government there will be a dissolution and they will have to go back to their constituents. In any thing that concerns the interests of the Province, or the rights of the people, I should have no hesitation in going back to my constituents. I will now call attention to things that ought not to have been done. He has allowed His Excellency to draw the same amount of salary that his predecessors did, and for which he condemned them. He says that is paid back; that is not the question. The question is, has he a right to draw it? If he had a right to draw it, had has a right to keep it. My hon friend agrees with me on that, we voted on the same side on the resolution which was carried in 1864. I will read the resolution:
“Resolved, As the opinion of this Committee that the amount the Lieutenant Governor is entitled to receive, as salary, is £3461 10s. 8d per annum, and the Solicitor General and Provincial Secretary £230 15s. 4d each,” and further
“Resolved, That the amount paid beyond these sums were improperly paid, and without sufficient authority.”
Yeas—Kerr, Willis on, Vail, Costigan, McClelan, Skinner, Smith, McPhelim, Scovil, Ferris, Lindsay, Anglin, W. J. Gilbert, S. H. Gilbert, Cudlip, Gilmur, Boyd.
He has thus allowed His Excellency to do what he thought was wrong in his predecessor’s office. Another thing he ought not to have done was, withholding the despatches sent out here for the information of the Legislature. Mr. Lindsay then read a despatch dated the 12th of April, which he said should have been received here the 26th of April, and which contained information of importance respecting military defence and Confederation, that should have been laid before the Legislature at that time assembled, but which was not laid before them at all. The next thing they ought not to have done was, they should not have written that despatch, dated July 12th, which was insulting to Her Majesty’s Government, and which was signed by the immortal seven and as the President of the Council has endorsed it, he, with the late Attorney General, will make the immortal nine. The President of the Council said the despatch justified them in using such language as they did. He then read the despatch dated June 24th, 1865, to which the other was an answer, and said he could see nothing in it to justify them in returning such an answer, and continued: the President of the Council said, he only knew of two persons, out side of Parliament, who knew any thing about the scheme. I cannot suppose that when the British Parliament, consisting of six hundred and fifty-six members, were acquainted with this scheme, no one outside would know anything about it. It was said, if we went into Confederation we would have to provide a navy. An Act passed this Legislature a few days ago to provide one or two vessels for defence. Here is a navy which we have to provide alone. If we went into Confederation we would only have one-thirteenth part to pay, and but few vessels would be wanted. We have been taken care of for seventy-five years, and we should begin to try to do something for ourselves, and it should not be thought an insult for Her Majesty’s Ministers to refer to it. and I do not think the people of the country consider it so. It has been said that union is not strength. Who can believe that uniting these Colonies would weaken them. The only thing I know of that will be weakened by uniting is rum and water.
The Times says, that by refusing to unite together we show a want of loyalty, and this Government says in the Minute of Council: “When a wish is expressed by Her Majesty’s Government, it will be received with that deference which is due to suggestions emanating from so high a source, and will be considered with an anxious desire to meet the views of Her Majesty’s advisers; but if such views should unfortunately not coincide with the views of those on whom alone the responsibility of action in the Province falls, the Committee feel assured that Her Majesty’s Government will expect and desire that the Government of this Province should act according to their own convictions of right.” They will act according to their own convictions; but when a foe invades the country they will send a despatch as quick as possible to England, and ask them to send soldiers and ships to protect men who claim the right to do as they like, when Her Majesty suggests that we should unite under one Government. The Government tell us how loyal they are. Loyalty does not consists in lip service, but in obedience. A refractory man is not a good subject to an country.
Mr. Lindsay then read the reply of the Colonial Secretary to those immortal nine, and continued. This reply was just as much as to say: I cannot believe the loyal men of New Brunswick endorse the views expressed by those immortal nine. These are things they ought not to have done. I will now speak of things they ought to have left undone I believe when a man is paid $2400 a year to fill an office, he should attend to his duties and not have to make excuses for sins of omission. It is the old story—Adam left the blame on his wife and his wife left it on the devil. (Laughter.) The President of the Council says the late Attorney General ought to have known the Export Duty law was to expire. Another says the Provincial Secretary ought to have known it. Another, that Fisher found it out and should have told them, and another that the late Provincial Secretary ought to have told his predecessor of it. They thus acknowledge that they are not fit to attend to the business, for they tried till they got a man out of office, and then found fault because he did not do the work for them. The people complain they cannot find a member of the Government at Fredericton, there were so many pleasure excursions. Two of them off to England to tell Her Majesty’s Government what they knew before; but, in order to say they had done something for the £800 they received, they made an arrangement for the Railway in Westmorland The Attorney General made it under a Bill which he had done all he could to defeat when it was before the House. The Commissioner of the Board of Works, and my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Anglin) went to Canada. I do not know whether they went voluntarily or whether they were paid for it. ( Mr. Anglin—I paid my own expenses as I always do.) That is all very well. Suppose I went to your House and said I believe you are a humbug, and a bankrupt, and I don’t want to have any thing to do with you; we would have a social time would we not? It was in this spirit they went to Canada; they said we did not want a closer union with you, for we believe you are bankrupt, and are trying to take advantage of us. What a fraternal meeting that must have been. Then they had another pleasure excursion to the United States. My hon. friend (Mr. Wilmot) was one of the immortal nine. It is said, “evil communications corrupt good manners” He was led to do something he ought not to have done, but, I believe, if my friend repents he has a right to expect mercy, and if some other of my hon. friends would come round in the same way we would have mercy for them. The hon Attorney General stated here last Session that he was sorry that his hon. friend (Mr. Fisher) who was one of the delegates who went to Quebec, was not on the floors of the House, so that he could confront him; but not he has his wish, he is not satisfied. He says that when a division was taken upon the question abolishing the office of Postmaster General, there were thirty for it and nine against it. That was because, when a question came up, they got up the rallying cry, that every man who was elected a Confederate was violating his principle […]
- (p. 40)
[…] if he did not vote with the Government A cry is now raised, that is they vote against the Government the House will be dissolved. I never was into a Government, and do not care about going in, neither do I care much about having a seat in the Legislature. When I was first requested to offer, some person said I would not get three hundred votes, but the event proved he was wrong, and if the House was dissolved to-morrow, I am ready to run again, so they need not think dissolving the House will have much effect with me. There is another thing ought not to have been done—that is, speculating in land. I consider that the greatest sin the Government have been guilty of. I believe no greater evil can be inflicted upon a community than allowing one man to monopolize that lands of the country. I will quote a report of the Earl of Durham, who was at that time Governor General of British North America. At the 159h page of his report he says:—
“In Upper Canada, a very small proportion—perhaps less than a tenth—of the land thus granted has been even occupied by settlers, much less reclaimed and cultivated. In Lower Canada, with the exception of a few townships bordering on the American frontier, which have been comparatively well settled, in despite of the proprietors by American squatters it may be said that nineteen-twentieths of these grants are still unsettled, and in a perfectly wild state.”
“No other result could have been expected in the case of those classes of grantees whose station would preclude them from settling on the wilderness, and whose means would enable them to avoid exertion for giving immediate value to their grants; and, unfortunately, the land which was intended for persons of a poorer order, who might be expected to improve it by their labor, has, for the most part, fallen into the hands of land jobbers of the class just mentioned, who have never thought of settling in person, and who retain the land in its present wild state, speculating upon its acquiring value at some distant day when the demand for land shall have increased through the increase of population.”
This coincides with my own views in this matter. I am opposed to any Government who will allow men to purchase large blocks of land, which the poor man has to go through and make roads, as this interferes with the prosperity of the country. Why should a poor man be compelled to make roads through another man’s property; that land having been obtained for two shillings, and kept until it is worth four dollars an acre, in consequence of the settlements around it. It had been said here that when they received from timber licences. I contend the country would be a gainer if no man got land without the principle of actual settlement being attached to it, for it has been calculated that every settler is worth three dollars a year to the revenues of the country. This and the late Government blame each other in regard to this, but I do not care who is in the Government, I should blame them for this, ( Hon. Mr. Smith.—Which Government was most to blame) All the late Government did was to order the survey. ( Mr. Wetmore.—Was the money paid.) The ex-Surveyor General said it was not said. Why did the Government come to the conclusion that the Intercolonial Railroad was given up, when the survey was made only ten months ago? If there was any reason why the public lands should be sold to others than actual settlers, notice should have been given to the Deputies. I know that men made application for land in my County, and could not get it. I believe in equal rights for all. It was not right that a few men should have been informed of what was going on, and the rest kept in ignorance. There was five thousand acres purchased in fictitious names, and then the resolution was rescinded, and he got ten thousand more; previous to this he got a three year license to cut the lumber on it, and if any one else had bought it he could cut all the lumber off of it. Then again they said, by doing away with the political character of the Postmaster General, they would make a great saving. If the political head of the department was abolished, would not the chief business be done in St. John? It was said Mr. Howe would be the General, but it was hinted outside that a gentleman in St. John had the promise of an office to be called Post Office Inspector. He would have the salary and pickings, without the privilege of having “General” attached to his name. This was the saving that was to be effected by doing away with the political head of the department, and to carry their measure, they got up their rallying cry of Confederation. I was almost discouraged, but I believed that “he is thrice armed who has his quarrel just.” I am glad there are some hon. gentlemen now who will look after the interests of the country and not be drummed up with the cry of Confederation and anti-Confederation.
In regard to the appointment of Judges, my hon. friend referred to what Judge Wilmot had said and done, and how he had voted, thus admitting the truth of the charge brought against them that they had made politics their rule for their appointments on the Bench. I do not believe in Judges interfering in the political questions which are before the country. They should arise far above that; but this was a question whether we were going to maintain out connection with the mother country or not. Confederation in a question that has occupied the minds of men for sixty-five years. Judge Wilmot held those views when on the floors of this House, and he is a credit to the country which gave him birth, and I contend it was unfair to pass over him and appoint a junior Judge to the office. I do not know much about the gentleman who has been said that they might have found a person qualified without going to Insurance Offices. He was appointed on political grounds, which is a principle they have carried down to the officials on the railway, and I don’t know how much further they would have carried it, if His Excellency had not interfered. It had been said that they are going to change their base, and take another course on Confederation. If that is the case, it is not right for me to say anything, for they may come round al right. I think by what is foreshadowed in the Speech, that they are going to get up another delegation and have another pleasure excursion, for the Attorney General says he is willing to go for some Scheme. He said when we advocated a Scheme of Union, that we were “political schemers” and “conspirators.”
Now they are going to get up a political scheme, but I do not know whether they are going to “conspirit” or not. They called a man that was going to carry out the wishes of his Sovereign a “conspirator.” I heard it stated on good authority, and I need not go off the floors of this Legislature to prove it, that the Chief Commissioner, on being asked whether he had read the Minute of Council, said he was sorry it did not go further, that they had not made use of stronger language, using an expression I am ashamed to repeat. These are the loyal men, and we are the conspirators. My hon. friend (Mr. Wilmot) said in Canada, that he was not opposed to a union, but he was not satisfied with the Quebec Scheme. Mr. George Brown said there were some things in the scheme they did not like either, they would meet him half way in considering a union, for they did not wish to take any unfair advantages of their fellow- colonists. I am in favor of a union and I do not see how any British subject can be opposed to it, but to agree upon a scheme of union, we must all make some concessions or we will never agree to any terms. My hon. friend (Co’. Boyd) made a speech in Canada in favor of union. (Col. Boyd, not in favor of the Quebec Scheme.) I did not say it was, but I heard him speak strongly in favor of a union; but he is one of those men who believe nothing good can come out of Nazareth, and that a man must belong to certain families of he will not be fit for office. I believe in freedom and equal rights for all. There are a great many things in the scheme which are complained of in Canada and it is doubtful, if we get a new scheme, whether we would come off as well as we did before. They complain that New Brunswick is to get $63,000 a year for ten years. (Mr. Needham,—That is contingent, that unless we run into debt to the extent of $7,000,000 we were not to get it.) If we built our railroads under the Subsidy Act, our debt would soon reach that amount, and Canada does not come in with a debt equal to ours, if we take the population of Canada into consideration. We would have more money for local purpose than we have now, and have the Inter-Colonial Railway and Western Extension built besides. In a time of war we could come to the assistance of each other and would not require half the number of troops that we do now in our isolated position.
Dr. Thompson said he had taken no notes, and would, therefore, make but a short speech. At the last election two-thirds of the people in this Province declared they were opposed to Confederation. It has been said that, by signing this Minute of Council, the Government have insulted Her Majesty’s Ministers. He did not believe that, and he had as great a respect for the United Kingdom as any other man in the Province. At the same time, he did not like to bow in slavish obedience to whatever set of men was put in as rulers of that country, and if he has his say, the present rulers would not be sustained in their position very long. Since the great man (Lord Palmerston), who was at the head of the Government, is gone, they have scarcely a man fit to retain office. In regard to Confederation, it is not going to benefit us, for we would have to be at the expense of keeping up two Legislatures, besides this great Parliament. If they must unite together, they had better unite under one Legislature, which […]
- (p. 41)
[…] could attend to their local business without their being at so much expense. He could not see how members of this House could be so shame-faced as to attempt to do any thing of that kind. Some of them would never have had a chance to come to this House if they had not been anti Confederate, and why then should they turn traitors to the trust reposed in them; in his opinion, it would be wrong and unjustifiable to do so. We have been here eighty years and the country has improved. We have got along very well, and all we ask is to be let alone. He believed that an affectionate feeling for the Mother Country was true Confederation. It is said here, that they should enter into Confederation as a means of defence, but he considered that the money required for keeping up this great Parliament would be a means of defence in itself. It has been said that under Confederation, if an attack was made we could send our troops from one point to another. We can do that now. Did we not pass a resolution for putting all the available resources of the country in the hands of the Government, and could we not pass a resolution to move all our available forces in or out of the Province, if we considered it best to fight upon a foreign land. He was satisfied to see the Governor appointed by the Crown. If he was appointed by the Government of Canada, in a short time there would not be a drop of loyalty left. If had been said that the Government had left things undone, they had allowed a law to expire without being aware of it. This House, in former times, would have taken care of that, because a Committee of the House used to be appointed to see if any Bills were going to expire; therefore, the onus is as much on us as it is on them. A Bill has been passed to remedy the omission, which was caused by the difficulties the present Government had to contend with, and the short time which they had for entering into details, as they ought to have done it they had more time. The result of the charges made against them is, that they have stopped things from being done that other parties wanted done. In regard to the appointment of Judges, he did not think they could have made better appointments. The Chief Justice is a pious and just man, and man of high legal knowledge; he has stood high as a man, and that is saying everything that is required. He could not see that it was unfair to appoint Judge Ritchie to the office of Chief Justice. He had a high respect for Judge Wilmot, who was a man of great legal knowledge, but then if a person has a political bias, and the hon. gentlemen of the Opposition had the power of the Government, they would not appoint him. It was not human nature to do so, and it was not his nature. He then referred to Judge Weldon, whom he said was the oldest barrister in the Province, with the exception of Mr. Saunders, and they did not overstep the eldest person and put in a younger. He was a man of their own political opinion, and they should appoint him to office as well as any one else.
For the purpose of keeping up loyalty, a small colony was better than a great one, because they would have a British Governor, who would be a tie between them and the mother country. But in a large colony, if everything does not please them, they will say we are not going to submit to this, and they do not feel that loyalty that a smaller colony does. This confederation scheme cannot benefit our trade. We have not a single article we can send to Canada. The fishermen in Charlotte County say they can send their fish there, but they have far more fisheries on the Canadian shore than we have in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We cannot take deals and boards there, we have no manufactures to send there, for we cannot manufacture our own bread. We cannot compete with them, they can get bread cheap, and can get labor for almost nothing. They say we have more coal here then they have in Canada, but coal is much cheaper there than it is here. We would soon have all our offices filled with the employees of the Canadian Government, while we would have to pay three times the taxes in proportion to our numbers for the French scarcely consume any dutiable articles, the very sugar they use they produce from the maple. Then, as regards the prosperity of some parts of Canada; the people are going from the town of Hamilton by shiploads, you can get a house there by paying the taxes. If they had the control of us, they would tax us until we could not stand it. It would not be like a bad law passed this year and repealed the next, but we would be fixed there where we could not hope to get a reprieve. We would be worse than the slaves, for they have a hope of getting something done for them, while we would have none. If they could enter into some fair principle of union, such as was entered into between England, Scotland and Ireland, which was not the question of the day or a year, but here we had a scheme brought forward of which we knew nothing, and we were expected to pass it at once. He condemned the act but not the persons who made it, and he though they could have free trade with the other colonies if they wished it without going into confederation. This Quebec Scheme was framed upon the spur of the moment, and they only had a few days to consider it. It was not like the union between Ireland and England, for Ireland was an integral part of the kingdom, and if we could have any thing approximating to a like union, it would be to have at some future time one or two members to go home as our representatives in the British Parliament; in former times we could not have this, but now we could go over there in ten days, being one-quarter of the time it used to take the members to come from the north of Scotland by land. He would strongly suggest the propriety of every colony having a representative in the British Parliament. He did not think representation by population was altogether fair. A County with varied interests required a larger representation. The city of St. John of the County of Charlotte required a larger representation than the interior Counties. The question now was, whether they should remove the Government or let them live a little longer. His opinion was they had better let them live a little longer. ( A member—How long do you go for.) That would depend upon their behavior, but he thought they should not condemn them so soon. We should give them an opportunity to forsake their sins of commission and omission, and allow them to go on and show that their conduct in the future will be such as will gratify the persons who now oppose them. We ought to have faith, hope and charity. He had faith to believe they would do better. Where is the Government that has not been overhauled, more particularly since the establishment of responsible and departmental Government. He had made up his mind to go for the address as it stood. Let the Government live and breathe, and see wherein they have done wrong and do so no more, so that when difficulties assail us, they may carry out the views of the Legislature.
Mr. Fraser said he would make a few remarks, but had made no arrangements, and was not going to reply to any member. Certain charges had been made against the Government, but he believed those charges were mere sham. The real question was Confederation. Of this there could be no doubt. Why, then, did they not move the amendment on a paragraph that would test it. If they were going to agitate the country, let them do it in a fair, open, manly, straightforward way, and not try it upon the question of Fenianism, or any other ism. He would ask the hon. mover of the amendment, if he did not believe, when he struck out that part which he feared would offend the United States, that he could not get the votes upon it. (Mr. Fisher,—I made it one of the grounds of my complaint against the Government.) He should not have struck it out. He could quote authority from the Speaker of the House of Commons. (Mr. Fisher,—That was a different case. In this I was not obliged to give notice at all.) Very well, he would not say any thing more in reference to that. He did not wish to make any personal attack. His hon. friend and him agreed as well as any men in the country, but in matters of a political nature he had a right to take his side; and his hon. friend could take his. He did not intend to make an attack upon him. He would merely advance some arguments which could go for what they were worth. He charged the Opposition with intending to get up a religious discussion in the House, by attacking the Government. Why did not they attack them on the clause relating to Confederation?
Mr. Fisher.—I thought this was the most assailable point. I was not disposed to raise a question on Confederation. A vote of want of confidence was outside of that question.
Mr. Fraser.—Why did you withdraw the latter part of the amendment?
Mr. Fisher.—I withdrew it for the reason I stated at the time. I said I intended to make that part of my charge against them, and I did so.
Mr. Fraser said his hon. friend and the House had assisted the Government in defending the country. If the Government come in and do not satisfy us that they have defended the country, it will be our duty to vote against them. We are put down as traitors. He never was opposed to the abstract principle of a union of the Colonies. He had taken the first section of the scheme, and said he would go for that, and that was the only section in the scheme that was carried unanimously. One of the charges brought against the Government is, that dispatched were withheld. He would tell them that a system had been pursued of publishing those dispatches in the neighboring colonies, before the English mail arrived here. He thought the people of New […]
- (p. 42)
[…] Brunswick were the best judges of whether Confederation was for their interest or not. It was not for the people of Canada or the people of England, to tell them what was for their interest, but they would give due consideration to anything emanating from the Colonial Office. We are told that “union is strength.” No one denies that; but a union, to be strong, must have no discordant elements. In the abstract, he was in favor of union; but if he disapproved of the grounds they went on, he would fight against it through thick and thin. He had heard them talk about loyalty. He could say that some of his ancestors had shed their blood under General Wolfe, at the taking of Quebec; and if the time now came for a fight, and they got him in a corner, he would be found giving a kick for a kick, and a blow for a blow. The next charge brought against them was the President of the Council wished to remove the seat of Government. He then referred to the Journals of 1858 to show who voted for the removal of the seat of Government at the time.
Mr. McMillan said he had never, here or elsewhere, given as a reason for a vote of want of confidence, that they wished to remove the seat of Government. A charge was made against the mover of the amendment, that he had charged the President of the Council who doing away with the Post Office Department, was a first step towards the removal of the seat of Government. I said I stated last year in my place, when the subject was under consideration, that it was a first step towards doing away with Departmental and Responsible Government. I did not give a reason that I would go against the Government because I opposed them upon that last year.
Mr. Fraser said it was put forward in the County of York as a canvass against Mr. Pickard, that he was a supporter of Mr. Smith, who was going to remove the seat of Government. The hon. mover of the amendment had stated that he never stirred from his office, but he had canvassers who went through the country.
Mr. Fisher.—There never was a man went through the country by my directions.
Mr. Fraser then slated that in one of the settlements of the County a gentleman, who was an ex-member of great ability and ingenuity, told the inhabitants in language that conveyed to their minds the impression that Mr. Smith intended to remove the Seat of Government. Another charge is that they failed to discover that the Export Duty Law had expired; all he would say in regard to this was, that it was the duty of the out-going Government to communicate to an in-coming one every thing that concerns the interests of the people or the business of the country. This was done in England. If the out-going Government knew of it, they should have told it, and if they did not know it, they were dire in the duty. Shortly of [text missing] here last session, he had [text missing] here last session, he had heard a rumour outside that the revenue [text missing] expired; he took the trouble to [text missing] that it had not expired, [text missing] thought to [text missing] Export Duty [text missing] was so [text missing] of the [text missing] law of the country. The [text missing] have been something which gave [text missing] to [text missing]. They should not condemn the Government for that, for the money was all in the Treasury now. They must consider the peculiar situation of the Government. They were running all those elections in the month of March, and had many difficulties to contend with. Another ground of complaint is: they have been guilty of land jabbing. He thought if they had twenty such land jabbers as Mr. Gibson, the people of York would not complain, and he did not think the people of the Spruce County of Restigouche would complain either. The late Government undertook to sell Mr. Gobson 15,000 acres of land without conditions of actual settlement attached. Five thousand acres of this, Mr. Lindsay says, was applied for under fictitious names. He (Mr. Fraser) said they were all bona fide names
Mr. Lindsay—If application is made for land in one man’s name, and another man gets the land, is it not using fictitious names?
Mr. Fraser—The whole lumbering business is done in that way. If the hon. member for Kent was to go to St. John to purchase molasses, and went to his friends and said, if I go and buy it, the dealer will take advantage of me, but if you go, he will not know who is buying it. They say the late Government did not undertake to sell the land. They ordered a survey, and when a man gets an order to survey, he believes the Government is going to bring that land to sale.
The debate was then adjourned until to-morrow at 11 o’clock.