Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (14 August 1865)


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Date: 1865-08-14
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Morning Chronicle
Citation: “Provincial Parliament. Legislative Assembly. Monday, August 14th” [Quebec] Morning Chronicle (15 August 1865).
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PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Monday, August 14

The SPEAKER took the chair at three o’clock.

PRESENTATION OF THE ADDRESS.

By command of His Excellency the Governor General, the members, accompanied by the Speaker, Sergeant-at-Arms, Clerk of the House, &c., &c., attended at the Executive Council Chamber, and presented the Address of the Legislative Assembly, in reply to the Speech from the Throne.

On the return of the members—

The SPEAKER read His Excellency’s reply, which was as follows:—

“I am happy to receive your address, and have no doubt you will proceed to the transaction of the business of the session which has just commenced with zeal and diligence.”

KIDNAPPING.

Mr. O’HALLORAN introduced a bill to provide more fully for the punishment of offences against the person in respect to the crime of kidnapping. The mover said his attention had been directed to this subject more than two years ago, owing to the frequency of offences of this kind along the frontier. At present the crime of kidnapping was a misdemeanor punishable only by a fine in the Courts of Common Law. Owing to the peculiar position of this country and the peculiar facilities for the commission of this offence enjoyed by persons across the lines, some more stringent law than the present should be put in operation for the protection of the liberty of the subject. The necessity for an act of this kind was strikingly exemplified the other day, in the scandalous attempt made to abduct Mr. Saunders and carry him to the United States.

The bill was read a first time.

BILLS INTRODUCED.

By Mr. PERRAULT— To make certain amendments to chap. 15 Con. Stat. L.C., relative to agriculture.

By Hon. Mr. ROSE— An act concerning the inspection of flour and meal.

By Hon. Mr. ROSE— An act concerning the inspection of pot and pearlashes.

ST. HYACINTHE ELECTION.

Mr. J. B. E. DORION moved that leave be given the St. Hyacinthe Election Committee to adjourn from Tuesday next until the 29th August.—Carried.

NORTH-WEST TERRITORY

The SPEAKER— I have received from His Excellency the Govenor-General a message, signed b himself, in the following words:— “Monck— “The Governor-General transmits for the information of the Legislative Assembly, copies of documents relative to the North-West Territory.”

Hon. Mr. HOLTON— Does this return contain all the information referred to in the report of the Delegates?

Hon. Mr. BROWN was understood to reply in the affirmative.

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE.

The SPEAKER read the following message from His Excellency: “The Governor-General transmits for the information of the Legislative Assembly, the accompanying statement of the public expenditure to the 30th June, 1865, out of the general credit of $2,380,000, authorized by the act of June, 1863.”

THE PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

Hon. Mr. DORION moved for the appointment of a special committee on the subject of the Library.— Carried.

AN ERROR ON THE DIVISION LIST.

Mr. COWAN drew attention to the fact that his name had been omitted in the division list of the vote upon the eighth paragraph of the Address. He (Mr. Cowan) had voted with the “yeas,” and desired his name to be so recorded.

Leave was granted accordingly.

THE REMOVAL TO OTTAWA.

Mr. HIGGINSON asked whether it was the determination of the Ministry to remove the public offices to Ottawa, on the prorogation of the present session; and to hold the next meeting of Parliament in the new buildings there?

Hon. Mr. CHAPAIS— It is the determination of the Government to remove to Ottawa after this session.

CUSTOM HOUSE AT ST. JOHN’S (C.E.)

Mr. A. DUFRESNE asked whether it was the intention of the Government to fill up the vacancy created in the Custom House at the town of St. John’s, by the death of Mr. Camille Vendal or whether such vacancy has been already filled, and if so, by whom?

After some conversation, the question was allowed to stand over.

THE IMPROVEMENT FUND.

Mr. DICKSON asked why payment has not been made to the Improvement Fund out of the general vote of credit of last session, and further, at what time said money will be available?

Hon. Mr. GALT said that the hon. gentleman would observe, when the report now submitted was distributed, that an appropriation was made out of the vote of credit for the purpose of fulfilling the pledges of last session. In regards to this fund some difficulty occurred, in regard to this fund some difficulty occurred, in regard to the immediate distribution of the money, which he (Mr. Galt) ventured to say would be distributed within the next two or three weeks.

CONSUL-GENERAL POTTER AND HIS REMARKS.

Next upon the regular orders came a question by Mr. H. Mackenzie as to whether the attention of the Government had been called to a speech made by the United States Consul General for Canada, at Detroit, on the 13th of July last, in which he charged the people of Canada with disloyalty to their present political connexion, and urged upon his countrymen of the United States the adoption of a policy of non-intercourse with Canada as the sure means of compelling her to sue for annexation to the United States, stating that he had the permission of his Government to this express his views:— and if so, what steps, if any, the Government has taken to resent such unwarrantable interference with our domestic affairs by the resident agent of a foreign government.

On the order being called—

Mr. H. MACKENZIE desired it to stand over.

Hon. Mr. CARTIER was understood to say that he was ready to reply now.

Mr. H. MACKENZIE said he would prefer that the question should be allowed to stand.

PIERS BETWEEN QUEBEC AND BATISCAN.

J. PERRAULT asked whether the Government has taken, or purposes to take, the steps necessary to remove, before next autumn, the piers constructed between Quebec and Batiscan, in order to detain the ice in the river, the only river of which is to cause yearly inundations, most disastrous in their effects to the Sorel Islands, and both shores of the St. Lawrence.

Hon. Mr. CHAPAIS (who was indistinctly heard in the gallery) was understood to say that the Government had not yet considered the subject.

LOWER CANADA REFORMATORY PRISON.

Mr. BELLEROSE asked whether it was the intention of the Government to continue, after the present session the work of erecting the new building intended for the Lower Canada Reformitory Prison, situated at St. Vincent de Paul?

Hon. Mr. CHAPAIS— Certainly.

THE BANK OF UPPER CANADA.

Hon. Mr. HOLTON moved for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General, for a return shewing the payments of principal and interest made by the Bank of Upper Canada, under the order in Council of November 1863, to the 31st July last, and shewing also the amount, principal, and interest, now due from the said Bank. The hon. gentleman, in making his motion, said that at the annual meeting of the shareholders of the Bank a few weeks ago, a statement was made by the Cashier, Mr. Cassels, to the effect that some of the payments due to the Government under the arrangements made by the Government of the hon. member for Cornwall, (Hon. J. S. Macdonald,) in 1863, had not been made. This arrangement was considered an exceedingly liberal one for the Bank at the time. He (Mr. H.) confessed he was somewhat surprised to find that instalments payable by the Bank under that arrangement had not yet been made. It was with the view of obtaining information on that point that he had given notice of the motion now submitted.— The honorable gentleman now proceeded to reply to some of the other statements made by Mr. Cassels at the annual meeting in question. He thought that not only were they ill-considered, but that their publication by the Directors of the Bank was also ill-considered. He did not propose, in referring to the speech; which was nothing but a violent political attack on himself, which the Directors of the Bank was also ill-considered. He did not propose, in referring to the speech; which was nothing but a violent political attack on himself, which the Directors considered so good a thing that they had it reported at full length and published, at the expense of the Bank, in two of the leading journals of the country, to be widely distributed. He did not refer to it with a view of replying to Mr. Cassels, and still less to comment upon the affairs of the Bank and thereby add, perhaps, to its other misfortunes; but he alluded to it to afford an opportunity to an hon. gentleman of this House who approved of the views of Mr. Cassels, of asserting them here, where there would be a certain amount of responsibility attached to them. It was true that the action of the Government in removing the public account from the Bank of Upper Canada, in 1863, proceeded from no hostility on his part, either towards Mr. Cassels or the Bank, or towards both. It was quite absurd to suppose that he (Mr. Holton) could have been moved by any hostility towards Mr. Cassels, with whom he had had no precious relations; and he thought that the public records could show, in the admission of hon. gentlemen, parties to the negotiations with the Government on the subject, that he (Mr. Holton) there had been actually no such feelings of hostility. He felt it was necessary to change the relations hitherto existing between the Bank of Upper Canada and the Government upon grounds purely of public policy. He felt it was necessary the Finance Minister of the day should be in a position to command the cash balances to the credit of the Receiver-General; and that the Government required the services of a fiscal agent, who could render them efficient aid in any financial or monetary transactions for which occasion might arise. He (Mr. Holton) would quote a few extracts from the public records, respecting the correspondence between Mr. Cassels and himself, on the subject of the removal of the Government account. The hon. gentleman went on to read one of the letters which stated, in substance, that owing to the failure of the bank to meet the requirements of the Government in regard to necessary advances, it would be imperative to remove the account to another institution. (The hon. gentleman read other extracts from his own correspondence representing the desire of the Government to raise sufficient money in this country to enable it to meet its engagements for six months; that it was necessary to obtain money here, and since the bank could not afford the required accommodation Government must seek a more efficient fiscal agent in some other bank in this Province.)— The hon. gentleman continued; This correspondence would shew, beyond all dispute, that the Government was influenced solely by reasons of public policy in the course it took. It was also indisputable that the representatives of the bank, including Mr. Cassels himself, expressed themselves highly satisfied to the principle upon which the Government had made a settlement with the bank; which they declared to be one characterized by great liberality. A deputation from the Government had met one from the bank to consider its application for such an extension of time to reimburse the large balances due the government as would prevent a crisis in the bank affairs; and he (Mr. Holton) appealed to the member for Welland (Mr. Street) who was one of the bank representatives to say whether he (Mr. Holton) had not acted in a frank and fair manner towards them, and whether they had not been met with a liberality which, at that time, commanded his hearty acknowledgments. And yet this Mr. Cassels was the man who had presumed to cast upon that Government the responsibility of all the misfortunes of the bank as arising from the removal of the public account. That gentleman had told his shareholders that they could get no dividends, and instead of assuming the blame for want of foresight in his management— instead of attributing this result to the misfortunes of the institution n the past or to the unfortunate condition of business in the country— had endeavored to stuff the blame upon others, and had stated that the onus of the bank’s then unsatisfactory position must lie upon the Hon. Mr. Holton. It was very strange, indeed, that a man in Mr. Cassel’s position should confess he was unable to make a dividend for his shareholders because he had lost a customer. Mr. Cassels, in his speech, complained of something like a breach of faith on the part of the Government towards the bank in acting as it did. Before taking the step complained of he (Mr. Holton) had examined all the records in his department relating to this matter, and could find nothing to shew that the Government had pledged itself to keep the public accounts with the Bank of Upper Canada, for an indefinite term of years, or for any fixed period. It was given to the Bank of Upper Canada because the then Government could find no other place which could afford the same facilities or answer the public requirements as well: and he (Mr. Holton) took it away for a similar reason of expediency— because he could not get facilities there which he could obtain elsewhere. If anybody was to blame for the misfortune of the bank consequent upon the removal of the public account, it was the present Hon. Finance Minister who had plenty of time to restore the account since he took office; but who had failed to do so. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)

Hon. Mr. GALT said he had of course no objection whatever to the return asked for, and was not surprised that the hon. member for Chateauguay (Mr. Holton) should have taken this opportunity of drawing the attention of the House to the statements made, respecting him by Mr. Cassels. (Hear, hear.) Of course with their statements he (Mr. Galt) had nothing to do— they being rather personal than affecting the Government. He would only remark, with regard to the general arrangements the hon. member had made in regard to the public deposit, that the Government has not had, and has not now any intention of disturbing the same. He (Mr. Galt) was not now called upon to enter into discussion as to the balances due by the Bank of Upper Canada. The Government had no objection to the motion.

Hon. Mr. DORION said he had no doubt the arrangements just mentioned by the Hon. Finance Minister were more satisfactory to himself than to other parties; and surely he would be more disposed to maintain that arrangement than to make any other arrangement. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)

The motion was then carried.

MR. TORRANCE’S REPORT.

Hon. Mr. DORION moved for an Address to His Excellency the Governor-General paring for the report of Mr. F. W. Torrance, Commissioner to enquire into the circumstances connected with he release of the persons accused of having robbed the banks of St. Albans’— also  all correspondence and instructions relative to the same.

Hon. Mr. CARTIER— I would suggest that the hon. member should add, “and the evidence.”

Hon. Mr. DORION had no objection to make the required addition.

The motion was carried.

ADDRESSES OF LAST SESSION.

Hon. Mr. DORION asked whether the returns prayed for by motion, last session, would be brought down this session?

After some conversation—

Hon. Mr. BROWN was understood to say that the matter would be looked into.

GRAND TRUNK POSTAL SUBSIDY.

Hon. Mr. DORION moved for all correspondence, &c., relative to the postal subsidy to the Grand Trunk and other Railways.— Carried.

JASPER CREEK POST OFFICE, &C.

Mr. FRANCIS JONES moved for an “Address to His Excellency the Governor-General, for copies of all correspondence between the Government and all other parties respecting the change of name of a Post Office in the North Riding of leafs and Grenville from Irish Creek to Jasper; also copies of all correspondence between the Government and other parties respecting the advertising of uncalled-for letters in the North Riding Leeds and Grenville from Irish Creek to Jasper; also copies of all correspondence between the Government and other parties respecting the advertising of uncalled-for letters in the North Riding of Leeds and Grenville.”— The mover said he did not expect, by that motton, that the Government would alter its decision in regard to the change of the name of an important Post Office in the North Riding of Leeds and Grenville, or in relation to the advertisements for unclaimed letters, because, during the last session, when he supported the Government more fully than he appeared to be doing at present, they chose to set his recommendation respecting these matters at defiance. (Laughter and cheers.) Nevertheless, he deemed it a duty he owed to his constituents to explain to them that he had no part in offering any insult to a very large and important part of the community. (Hear, hear.) There was a place in his constituency named Irish Creek, which name it had borne for six years, and at which there had been a post-office known by the same name. When the Brockville and Ottawa Railway was constructed, the line intersected Irish Creek, and the station at that place was called Irish Creek Station. He (Mr. Jones) did not pretend there was much in a name; but people’s feelings and sympathies became associated with names and particularly with national names, which they did not like to see changed afterwards. (Hear, hear.) Day, Englishmen St. George’s Da, and Irishmen St. Patrick’s Day. (Laughter.)

AN HON. MEMBER— And the 12th of July too. (Roars of laughter.)

Mr. FRANCIS JONES— Yes, “The 12th of July in the morning.” (Continuous laughter.) There was no earthly reason for the change which had been made in the name of this post-office. The only reason he heard of was that some Americans who had come to the place lately did not like the name “Irish Creek,” (laughter) and it was therefore changed to please them, without consulting him (Mr. Jones) from Irish Creek to Jasper (Renewed merriment.) Now, from his own geological knowledge he could say that there was not a stone that would strictly bear the name of Jasper in that section. (Hear, hear.) The geological stone of the place was limestone; and he could see no cause for changing the name to Jasper. (Laughter.)

Mr. POWELL— Call it “Emerald.” (Cheers and laughter.)

Mr. FRANCIS JONES said he wished it to be understood that he had no part in the change against which he had protested to the Post-office Department, and he again protested against it here, in the presence of the people of Upper Canada. (Laughter and cheers.) In relation to the other matter referred to in his motion— and advertising of uncalled-for letters— the paper he had recommended had been set aside by the Post-office Department, and another having no circulation in the Riding substituted. The one he (Mr. Jones) recommended was the British Central Canadian, which he had adduced certificates to show had five times the circulation of any other paper in that locality. When the peculiar coalition was formed, an attempt was made to secure the patronage to papers friendly to the Government, yet a portion of the patronage of his constituency was given to the Brockville Recorder, which was opposed to Confederation and other projects of the Government. An attempt was made to divide the patronage— one-half being offered to the Recorder, and the other to the paper he (Mr. Jones) recommend; but the whole patronage only amounted to the sum of nineteen dollars a year. (Loud laughter.) The endeavor to please everybody in the division had pleased nobody. The patronage was, however, afterwards taken from the paper he (Mr. Jones) recommend, although he believed it was understood that members friendly to the Government would have some share in the allotment of the patronage of the several constituencies; and although the Recorder had obtained it all, it had not changed its policy, but opposed the Ministry still. (Hear, hear.)

Hon. Mr. HOWLAND said that this matter was of such importance that it would have been well to postpone the discussion until the papers relating to it were before the House. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) The transaction complained of took place, mainly, before he assumed his present office of Postmaster General. On receiving communications from the hon. member for North Leeds remonstrating against the change, he examined the matter, and it appeared to him there was no ground for complaint. The circumstances were briefly there: a number of residents from the locality—including many Irish names— petitioned the Departments to change the name to Jasper, inasmuch as another creek was called Fish Creek, and that this name, so nearly resembling Irish Creek, often led to confusion and mistake with regard to letters going to and from these post-offices. The Post-master himself recommended that their prayer be granted; and his (Mr. Howland’s) predecessor in office consented to make the change recommended. That hon. gentleman did not he (Mr. Howland) considered, think that in so doing, he was inconveniencing the people, or placing the hon. member in a humiliating position. However, when the returns came down, all the matters relating to this question would be made known.

Mr. FRANCIS JONES said he begged to state, after this “fishy” story, that there was no great analogy in the names of Fish and Irish Creek? He (Mr. Howland) was mistaken as to the former, there being no post-office in Upper Canada of that name; and there was no other Irish Creek except that the name of which had been changed to Jasper.

The motion was then carried.

REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS, (U.C.)

Mr. MORRIS moved for a Select Committee composed of Mr. Scoble, Mr. McKenzie,  (Lambton), Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Ferguson, (Frontenanc), Mr. Cameron, (North Ontario), Mr. Bowman, Mr. Walsh, Mr. Ault, Mr. Burwell, Mr. Shanley, and the mover, to consider and report as to the means to be adopted for securing a better system of registering births, marriages, and deaths in Upper Canada; four of such members to be a quorum.— Carried.

MILITARY SCHOOLS AT MONTREAL AND QUEBEC.

Mr. BELLEROSE moved for a detailed return of pupils admitted to the Military Schools of Montreal and Quebec.— Carried.

PROVINCIAL MILITIA.

Mr. CARTWRIGHT moved for the appointment of a Select Committee to enquire into the best mode of organizing the militia on a permanent basis, with power to send for persons and papers.

Hon. Mr. CARTIER suggested that the notice should be allowed to stand over until the Minister of Militia was in his place.

Hon. J. S. MACDONALD said there ought to be some action on the part of the Government upon this matter, and  went on to taunt the Government for negligence in relation to a subject upon which they had formerly said so much.

The motion was allowed to stand.

COMMISION TO DUBLIN EXHIBITION.

On the order, being called, on a motion by Mr. Francis Jones, for a return of expenses of commission to the Dublin Exhibition.

Mr. FRANCIS JONES said that as the Minister of Agriculture was not in his place he would allow the motion to stand.

No other business was proceeded with, and the House— at 5 p.m.— adjourned, on motion of Hon. Mr. CARTIER.

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