Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, 5th Parl, 1st Sess (26 September 1854)

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Date: 1854-09-26
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Morning Chronicle
Citation: The Globe (2 October 1854).
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[illegible] 26th, 1854.

[illegible] he had received [illegible] informing him that [illegible] Lindsay, Jun., Esq., [illegible] Assistant at the table, [illegible] of the Clerk Assistant. [illegible] before the House a statement [illegible] Estates, furnished under [illegible] of Act 16 Vic., cap. 163, after [illegible] following proceeding took place:—

[illegible] FOR ADJOURNMENT.

Mr. POWELL rose and said—Mr. Speaker, I [illegible] to move, seconded by Mr. Daly, that the House do rise to-morrow to adjourn for the [illegible] three weeks. I do it because I have felt that the members of this House, generally, feel a disposition to adjourn [hear! hear!], or those with whom I have conversed do, at all events, and it must be distinctly understood that in bringing the subject before the House, I have had no collusion with any member for the Government upon it. [Hear, hear.] I do it as an independent supporter of the ministry, and seconded by a gentleman who is likewise. I believe that the members of this House feel that as far as their private interests are concerned, there should be an adjournment; and any honorable gentleman who will take into consideration the much earlier hour at which this House was convened than had been anticipated, will allow that sufficient time was not afforded to members to dispose of their private business at home. One of the best evidences of this is, that at the present time, at least one-third of the members are absent.

A MEMBER.—One half.

Mr. POWELL.—Yes, that is nearer the mark. Now if a good many of the members have taken “French leave.” I think it desirable that an adjournment should take place until all the members are here together. In all probability the Government will be allowed to, and I think that it is for the interests of the country that the Government, formed under the peculiar circumstances which it has been, should have a little breathing time for the modification of such measures as they may wish to lay before the House.

Mr. BROWN.—The adjustment.

Mr. POWELL.—Yes. There are very few members of the Government here present, and I think it would be desirable if some honorable member of the Government proceed at once to Washington, to negociate with the United States authorities the Reciprocity measure, for it would be out of the question to accomplish anything satisfactory by aid of Telegraphs. If this step were taken, it would be attended with good results, and I have delayed to the last moment making this application, in order that members of the opposition might have an opportunity of consulting with their constituents.

Hon. Mr. MORIN.—Individually, I must of course submit to the will of the House, but I do not see like the honorable member, that an adjournment is necessary. [Hear, hear.] If the Government say at once that they were to ask for an adjournment, it would appear as if they were not prepared with their measures, which is not the case, but apart from any considerations of position or feeling, I believe that there is enough to do in the House for a time, as much as there has been hitherto at the commencement of Sessions. Opinions are formed at the opening of Sessions, and information has to be obtained which afterwards enables business to go on. There is no lack of business before us, and there has been a much larger attendance in the House up to the present time than in the beginning of any other Session that I remember. We have had time to consult upon certain great principles, but not to agree upon details. We must see if we cannot get a vote upon the great measures before the country, without awaiting the return of the members of the Government from Upper Canada. There is enough in my opinion to enable us to go on with the dispatch of the general business.

Mr. MERRITT.—I agree with what has just fallen from the hon. member. There never could have been a more inappropriate time to adjourn than the present. It is necessary for us to adjourn at any time, it ought to be just before the close of the navigation, and adjourn from them until January or February [no! no!] Well, in my judgement there is no necessity for adjournment at all, because it was announced to us by the hon. members opposite that the Clergy Reserves, and these other questions would be submitted immediately, consequently they would come on as soon as we could proceed with the other business, therefore there is no necessity for an adjournment, and I suspect that as there is unanimity in the House, we shall be able to go through the business and go home this Fall.

Mr. MARCHILDON said a few words in French.

Mr. MACKENZIE.—Wished to know what hon. members had done that they wanted to get home? He did not know what the hon. gentlemen meant by “French leave,” but he [Mr. M.] did not understand it. Let them work. Were they to idle away the time of the country in this way, after the labours of the Imperial Parliament upon the Clergy Reserves, and was so important a bill to be submitted to them like that for making the Legislative Council Elective, and the Seigniorial Tenure Bill, and other important measures? Proceed with the business.

Mr. CARTIER.—Agreed with the last hon. member. He did not think they ought to adjourn under the present circumstances. They knew how this coalition Administration had been brought about, and, in his opinion, if an adjournment did take place, it would cast an imputation upon the Government. He agreed with the Hon. Mr. Morin that they could proceed with the business. If they were to adjourn for three weeks it would lengthen the Session more than if the House proceeded to discharge the business of the country.

Mr. PAPIN said, that as the Ministry did not want an adjournment he did not think that there ought to be any. It was desirable that the public business should be proceeded with.

Another hon. member rose and objected to hurrying through the great measures and going home at the close of the navigation.

Hon. Mr. DRUMMOND.—I think that an adjournment at the present moment would not be viewed favourably by the country. The Government do not require an adjournment except in so far as must be perfectly understood by every hon. gentleman in this House, that in the absence of our colleagues in Upper Canada, we cannot proceed to discuss any of the great Government measures. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that in the year 1848, when the Reform Ministry took the place of the Sherwood Ministry—(and I believe the Ministry withdrew about the tenth or twentieth day of the Session)—that the House continued to sit for eight weeks, counting from the first day of the Session to the last, and I who was not a member for the Government at the time, was obliged to conduct the business in the House. I consented to do it, but had no idea of the magnitude of it, or I should not have undertaken it, and I shall not forget the kindness of the Opposition at that time, but it was distinctly understood, that no measure of the Opposition should be brought up in the absence of the Ministry. Now, all that we want to ask is, that hon. gentlemen will not expect that any of these measures can be pressed in the absence of the members in Upper Canada, but we are willing to go on with the general business of the House. I can see no objection to an adjournment for a few days, say to Monday next, but the general opinion is against that, but if we are to adjourn at all, hon. gentlemen say that we should adjourn for three weeks in order to enable members to reach their homes. I think that it would be highly impolitic to assent to an adjournment of that kind, and therefore I think that the best way is to proceed in the even tenor of our way, and I hope that hon. members will not expect us to bring in any of the Government measures under the circumstances.

Mr. POWELL. It is my intention to withdraw this motion. I am induced to do so because I observe that Hon. gentlemen speak now in a very different tone to what they did in private conversation, for the argument that the leader of the ministry puts forth, shews that he expects the opposition to advance a clap-trap cry, and if that is the impression of the ministry, they will not be able to withstand that, so as to retain the confidence of the country. There is not much weight in what the Hon. member for Lincoln says who states that the House, is like to get through its business by the fall. The honorable member for Haldimand did not agree with me: but instead of encumbering the country with objectionable laws, and asking for reports, which are never when produced, read, and tendering offerings that are generally burnt offerings. [Laughter.] I trust that at the end of the session I shall be able to present myself before my constituents, and receive from them a verdict which I don’t think the honorable member from Haldimand will receive from his.

Mr. CAUCHON thought the Government were right. An adjournment for a few days would give the honorable member for Carleton an opportunity of amusing himself in the finer promenades around town. He (Mr. C.) thought that the legislation of the country should be proceeded with.

[Mr. Powell then withdrew is motion.]

The orders of the day were then proceeded with, and the House took up the


Hon. Mr. CAMERON, in moving the second reading of this Bill, stated that it was well adapted to Upper Canada, and it was rendered necessary in consequence of the great difficulties which had been felt for many years past in administering to the estates of deceased persons.

He then explained the nature of the Bill; and, after a few suggestions thrown out by Messrs. Smith, (Victoria,) Brown, Smith, (Northumberland,) and Langton, the Bill was referred to a Select Committee.

The orders of the day were then postponed, and the House adjourned.

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