Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (18 August 1865)


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Date: 1865-08-18
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Morning Chronicle
Citation: “Provincial Parliament. Legislative Assembly. Friday, August 18th” [Quebec] Morning Chronicle (19 August 1865).
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PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Friday, August 18

The SPEAKER took the Chair at three o’clock.

After routine—

By Mr. M. C. CAMERON—To amend the law in Upper Canada relative to rights in waters of running streams.

By Hon. J. S. MACDONALD—To declare valid certain sales of lands in Upper Canada.

By Hon. Mr. CARLING—To incorporate the London Collegiate Institute.

RETURNS.

Hon. Mr. McDOUGALL laid on the table the following returns—

Correspondence between the Governor of Canada and the Governments of the Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the subject of Confederation.
Correspondence relative to the Reciprocity Treaty.

Reports and Documents on the Temiscouata.

Report made by Mr. Baillargé on the subject of the damages done by the Beauharnois Canal.

Report of the Prison Inspectors.

A PERSONAL EXPLANATION.

Mr. O’HALLORAN said that before the orders of the day were called, he desired to make a personal explanation. Although he was not particularly sensitive t newspaper criticism—nor did he deem it the duty of public men to refute every petty slander in which newspapers might indulge—yet on the present occasion, inasmuch as the article to which he referred seemed to have been prompted more by a personal than a political motive, he could not refrain from noticing it. In yesterday’s issue of the Montreal Gazette be found the following paragraph in the Quebec correspondence:

“Two of the genuine annexationists, Messrs. White, of Halton, and “O’Halloran, of Missisquoi, had the bad taste to shout their quasi-sedition in a public room the other day, in presence of American travellers, and met with a fitting rebuke from Mr. McGill, of Hamilton. But these were just the men from whom we should expect such traitorous conduct. They have not, and one of them, at least, never had, any loyalty for the Government which they have sworn to uphold. The gossips have it that Mr. Christie, of the Council, is also tainted with these views, but I have heard of none others who have made such fools of themselves—who have proved themselves what Mr. Holton said last session: ‘all advocates of annexation were madmen.’ Mr. O’Halloran has thus furnished one more proof of how much he misrepresents the loyal old border County go Missisquoi.”

Now, it would be interesting to know if there were gentlemen in or around this House, whose vocation was to stand at the corners of streets and public places of the city for the purpose of listening to the conversations of gentlemen, and sending distorted reports of it to the press of the Province. (Hear, hear, from Hon Mr. Holton.) He thought that every member should denounce that system of peonage. He did not think it worthwhile to relate the true version of the conversation that took place; he would not insult the sense of the House by giving it at this time, but would merely read this paragraph in correction which appeared in a Quebec paper of this morning, and which came nearer the truth than what had appeared in the Gazette on the conversation:— “In reference to the paragraph quoted yesterday, from the correspondence of the Leader, which charged certain members of Parliament with annexation proclivities, we are authorized to state, on the disclaimer of Mr. Magill, that the conversation did not commence as was stated, with American tourists, nor was the Hon. Mr. Christie present; but that the conversation alluded to was merely a private talk between the other parties mentioned, regarding the defences of the country, and not intended as an expression of their views on the annexation question.”—He was not disposed to boast of his loyalty, on any occasion, nor was he prepared, at all times to be as loud in his demonstrations of attachment to the country as some hon. gentleman. But, at the same time he had hostages on this country for his good behaviour. He had given in this country the best security for his loyalty and fealty to his Queen and country; and should the time ever arrive when he should deem it for the prosperity of this country to favor its annexation to the United States, he would not hesitate to put a resolution in the Speaker’s hands praying Her Majesty to put this Province in such a position as would enable it to act for its best interests in the matter, and this was the course he should take, and he would not deem it disloyal to his Queen and country or inconsistent with his loyalty to both. He should not be deterred from that duty by the puppyism of the press. He was connected with the press long before the gentleman who penned the passage he complained of know the difference between a printing house and a nail factory. (A laugh.) And no one had a higher appreciation of the duties and position of the press than he (Mr. O’Halloran) had. But he should never be deterred by the terrorism of the press from doing what he considered his duty on all occasions. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. WHITE thought it proper also to deny empathically the truth of the reference made to himself in the objectionable paragraph read; and he did indeed pity the wretch who could make such statements regarding members on this subject. I was perfectly satisfied no member of this House could have been guilty of making a mis-statement of the kind in question. As to the hon. member for the Erie Division (Upper House) he (Mr. White) was quite sure he used no such language as had been imputed to him. Neither did he (Mr. White.)

The matter then dropped.

The Report of the Committee of Supply

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] moved

That the Report of the Committee of Supply be concurred in.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance]—The hon. gentleman, in making this motion, said he might state generally that every exertion was being made to bring down the financial statement and estimates at the earliest possible moment. He hoped to be able to place the ordinary estimates before the House on Tuesday next. Those items of the estimates most likely to produce a protracted discussion, he would not be able to bring down till Friday next; and on that occasion, he proposed on Committee of Ways and Means, to make the financial statement. On Tuesday, he proposed to bring down those items of supply which were likely to pass without more than a trifling discussion, and to endeavor to proceed with them as far as the House would consent thereto. The hon. member for Chateanguay [Luther Holton] was aware he (Mr. G.) must get the concurrence of the House to an item at least, before it could go into a Committee of Ways and Means. With the view of its not being postponed till Friday, a notice was placed on the paper for Tuesday next, that the Government would, on Thursday next, ask that this measure have precedence after half-past seven o’clock. This motion would be made on Tuesday, with the view of having the necessary steps taken in order to the finial statement being made on Friday.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay] rose for information. Government had announced that it was not proposed to invite the House to sanction any material change this session in the vacation of the country, or make any addition to the present burdens of the people. Well, it was unfortunately true, and generally known, that the revenue at present was not equal to the expenditure—that a deficit of greater or lesser magnitude existed in the financial collections of last year, as compared with the expenditure. It was equally patent that at the present value of our securities, no loan in England could be undertaken by us successfully.

Now, there was some anxiety to know—whether the Government would propose an emission of paper, whether in the form of exchequer bills or debentures, with the view of their passing with the currency of the country, and being therein absorbed. This has been the inference from our present finical condition. The House were promised last session that the report of Mr. Fleming on the Intercolonial Railroad would be printed and distributed to the members during the recess, unless some important reason interfered. He was sorry this had not been done. He thought the report should have been on the table before the House was invited to go into the Committee of Supply, and also the report of the Commission, with the evidence on the subject of the Postal Subsidy. He heard that copies had been in the hands of private parties for some time, implying disrespect to the House, to whom copies had not yet been handed.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] said that with reference to the first point, he was quite sure the hon. member would not ask him to state now what he (Mr. G.) intended to do as to the financial question. He would assure the member for Chateauguay [Luther Holton] that he continued “a hard money bigot,” as the Hon. Mr. Buchanan had called him; but the mode in which the principles of such a character were to be applied, he (Mr. G.) would have to reserve till he made his financial statement. As to Mr. Fleming’s report, it had not reached the delegates to England when they left Canada, and he had not had an opportunity of seeing it till within a few days. Some delay in the distribution of the report had taken place from the maps which were to accompany it not having been furnished the Government. He thought they would, however, be able to bring the report down on Thursday. The delay had arisen from causes beyond the Government’s control.

William McDougall [Lanark North, Provincial Secretary] said that the evidence accompanying the postal report was taken and printed from day to day as the business proceeded, and this was how a portion had appeared in the public papers.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay] did not refer to what was published by the newspapers, but to copies of the report with the accompanying evidence having been furnished to private parties by the Government. He (Mr. Holton), however, had not been able to procure a copy.

William McDougall [Lanark North, Provincial Secretary] said this was a case in which certain parties, railway companies, and a few others, only got the report, by which it became a public document, but through no other channel. He was not aware how the printed evidence got into the hands of private parties.

The motions carried.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] moved

That, on Tuesday next, the House do resolve itself into the Committee, to consider of the supply.

Carried.

Civil Code of Lower Canada

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] moved

That the House go into Committee on the bill respecting the Civil Code of Lower Canada.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] asked the Hon. Attorney General East [George-Étienne Cartier] how he intended to proceed in this matter.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] said he supposed it was as well that the bill should be allowed to go through committee. Then some day could be fixed for receiving the report of the committee, and upon that day we could have the discussion upon any points upon which hon. gentlemen opposite were desirous of joining issue.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] said he was willing to accept the proposition.

After some further discussion—

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] said that Friday next could be fixed for receiving the report of the Committee of the Whole. He would know a day or two before if the Hon. Finance Minister [Alexander Galt] intended going on with his financial statement, and if he foes, we can fix some other day for the Code. Should, however, any contingency arise to prevent that hon. gentleman (Mr. Galt) from proceeding as he intended, then we could go on with the Code.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] said he supposed it was to be understood that if the Hon. Finance Minster [Alexander Galt] made his statement on Friday, the Code would not be discussed on that day.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] was understood to reply in the negative.

The motion was then carried.

REGISTRARS AND REGISTRY OFFICES, U.C.

On motion of Hon. Mr. COCKBURN, the order for the House in Committee on the bill entitled “An Act respecting Registrars and Registry offices and the Registration of Instruments relating to lands in Upper Canada,” (and amendments)—was discharged and the bill was referred to a Committee.

COUNTIES OF RENFREW AND LANARK.

On motion of Mr. McINTYRE the House went into committee on the bill to facilities the separation of the county of Renfrew from the county of Lanark—Mr. BOWN in the chair.

The bill was reported from committee, without amendment.

SECOND READINGS OF PRIVATE BILLS.

The following private bills were read a second time:—

Bill to incorporate the Canada Bank Company.—Mr. DUNKIN.

Bill to authorize the admission of William Lynn Smart as a Barrister in Upper Canada.—Mr. POWELL.

Both Houses of Parliament

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] moved

The second reading of the bill to amend Chapter three Consolidated Statutes [of] Canada, intituled “An Act containing special provisions concerning both houses of the Provincial Parliament.”

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council] said he was compelled to oppose the passing of the bill on precisely the same grounds upon which he had opposed the measure which had for its effect to change the election law, last evening. He was not, of course, opposed to the principle of the present bill—on the contrary, he had had a great deal to do in the work of framing it—although it contained in its present shape one or two clauses of which he did not approve.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council]—What he did say, however, was that if we were not now called upon to consider the merits of the measure at all—what we had to look at was the inadvisability of making any change whatever now when the whole subject must necessarily come up again, in a very short time, in view of the question of Confederation. Hon. gentlemen opposite must know too that a bill of this kind should come from the Government. The only desire of those who pressed it was to embarrass the Government. Under these circumstances, he (Mr. Brown) would have to move, as he had done last evening, in reference to the other bill,—that the bill be not now read a second, and that the subject be not taken into consideration until the 1st March, 1866.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

A lengthy discussion ensued, Hon. Messrs. Dorion, Holton and Huntington attacking the Government for opposing a bill which they admitted to be good in principle; and arguing that if the change in the law proposed by the measure now under discussion was likely to be productive of good at any time, it should be adopted now.

Finally the vote was taken, resulting in the postponement of consideration of the bill, on the following division:—

YEAS

Messrs.

Alleyn
Archambault
Ault
Bell (Russell)
Blanchet
Bown
Brown
Burwell
Caron
Cartier
Cartwright
Chambers
Chapais
Cockburn
Cornellier
De Boucherville
Joseph Dufresne
Dunsford
Thomas Ferguson
Galt
Gaudet
Gaucher
Harwood
Haultain
Higginson
Howland
Irvine
Ford Jones
Langevin
Le Boutillier
Alex. Mackenzie
Hope Mackenzie
McConkey
McDougall
McIntyre
McKellar
Magill
Morris
Munro
Parker
Pinsonneault
Pope
Poupore
Rankin
Rémillard
Robitaille
Rose
Sylvester J. Ross
Scoble
Shanly
A.M. Smith
Stirton
Sylvain
Taschereau
Tremblay
Wells
White
Wilson
and Amos Wright—59.

NAYS

Messrs.

Biggar
Bourassa
M.C. Cameron
Caron
Coupal
A.A. Dorion
Eric Dorion
Alex. Dufresne
Dunkin
Geoffrion
Hilton
Houde
Huntington
Labreche-Viger
Laframboise
Lajoie
D.A. Macdonald
John Macdonald
O’Halloran
Paquet
Perrault
Walter Ross
Scatcherd
Thibaudeau
and T. C. Wallbridge.—25.

As soon as the division had been taken, there was decided inclination to adjourn on the part of many hon. members, and cries of “adjourn” arose from all parts of the House. There were however, counter-cries of “go on,” “six o’clock.”

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] moved the adjournment, but opposition was made to the motion, and the hour of recess having arrived, the Speaker left the Chair.

The Legislative Assembly stopped for dinner recess.

After the recess—

The Speaker took the Chair at a quarter to eight p.m.

There was only a quorum in the Chamber at the time, and cries of “adjourn” were again raised, but they were soon suppressed, by the counter-call of “go on.”

Rate on Interest

François Bourassa [St. Johns] moved the second reading of the bill to amend the act respecting interest.

Some Hon. MembersCheers of “carried,” “oh, oh” and laughter.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council] suggested that the bill might be read a second time and sent to the Committee on Banking and Commerce.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay] taunted the Government with their position on this bill; and wished to know why it was they did not propose to postpone consideration of it until next session, as they had done respecting the important subject of the election law and the law relating to members of the legislature. They advocated and carried postponement last night, because the Hon. Attorney General East [George-Étienne Cartier] told them to do so—to night they dare not do so because that hon. gentlemen would not allow them.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear and “oh, oh.”

François Bourassa [St. Johns] would not accept the suggestion of the hon. President of the Council [George Brown]. He had no desire that his bill should go before the committee on Banking and Commerce; and would therefore persist in his motion for the second reading—intending to follow it up with a motion to refer the bill to a select committee.

Fitzwilliam Chambers [Brockville] was, in principle, favor of limiting the rate of interest, and intended to introduce a bill, himself on the subject.

Thomas McConkey [Simcoe North] was opposed entirely to the principle of the bill, from his own experience in this matter, and would, therefore, move the six months hoist.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—Oh no! move to postpone it until the 1st March.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—Yes, the 1st of March.

Some Hon. MembersCheers.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] seconded the motion.

Thomas Scatcherd [Middlesex West] believed that much of the misfortune which had befallen the farmers of Upper Canada was occasioned by the facility with which they could borrow money, and the exorbitant rate of interest they had had to pay for it. He was convinced, then, that it was necessary to fix the rate of interest at a reasonable figure, and would, therefore, oppose the amendment and support the bill.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] commented upon the evils which had resulted to the agriculture class from the facilities for borrowing money at ruinous rates of interest, remarking when the extravagant habits engendered by reckless borrowing and the expectation of rapid fortune, in consequence of the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway. He would go with the Majority of this House in limiting the rate of interest to the lowest figure. He would vote against the hoist and for the bill.

Alexander Morris [Lanark South] thought the serious objection to the present state of the law was that it legalised the most extravagant rates of interest, amounting to the greatest extortion. He would vote against the six months hoist and for the bill.

John Macdonald [Toronto West] said the question was—was money a commodity or not? The law might reduce the rate to five or even four per cent., but the extortionate lender would continue to get 25 or 50 per cent. He thought it was improper and impracticable to endeavour to restrict trading operations by fixing the rate of interest, which could no more be regulated by statute than the price of sugar. He would vote against the bill.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] said there was nothing in the nature of things to prove that 6 per cent. should be the rate of interest, or that this was a better figure then any other for money lent. If any rate at all be fixed it was likely to produce an injurious effect. It was fallacious to state, as the honorable member for Cornwall had done, that facilities for borrowing money were injurious to the farmer or the poor man. It was opposed to experience and common sense to say that the parties who, during the existence of usury laws, ran the risk of losing both principal and interest, did not and would not exact higher rates when they lent their money.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance]—We should not throw any shackles upon the operations of capital, but give it the greatest liberty possible in matters of trade. Unless we throw as wide open as possible the door for the introduction of capital, we could never expect to see it in the country in large volume. As to the argument that farmers would borrow at exorbitant rates, it must be evident that this class were the best pledges of what they could pay for the loan of money. Let use encourage the influx of money, because when it flowed into the land, the rate of interest would be reduced to and retained at a proper figure, by the law of competition and supply.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance]—He was opposed to going back to such antiquated and fallacious methods as fixing the rate of Interest by public statute.

Thomas Parker [Wellington North] concurred in the views so lucidly expressed by the Hon. Minister of Finance [Alexander Galt]. He did not believe we could manage to fix the rate of interest by law, inasmuch as there were so many modes of evading it. The effect of the proposed legislation would only be to increase the price of money in account of the risk which lenders would incur. Another bad effect of limitation would be to drive all the floating capital out of the country, because people would naturally seek other and more profitable channels of investment. Not only would it do this, but it would prevent forgiven capital from coming into the country. The bill would defeat its own object—it would increase the difficulties of the poor man in his efforts to obtain money, instead of affording him facilities. He would therefore vote for the amendment and against the second reading.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] ridiculed the Government for pursuing a course on this bill which was utterly inconsistent with the position they assumed last night on another question. We were told that there was to be a Confederate Council here next month, on subjects of trade. Now, what on earth could be more intimately connected with trade than the rate of interest on money? Why therefore did not hon. gentleman on the Treasury benches refer this subject to the proposed council.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—The hon. gentleman went on to point out what he considered, required not amendment merely, but revising from beginning to end. He pointed out that such corporations as building societies, trust and loan companies, &c., exacted the most ruinous rates of interest—from precisely that class of the population who were least able to beat such burdens. We would do very little good until we found some Government courageous enough to grapple with the subject, and thoroughly reform the law. At the same time he would vote for the bill now under discussion, because he believed it went a very little way in the right direction.

Richard Cartwright [Lennox and Addington] did not enforces all that the hon. member for Brome (Mr. Dunkin) had said, although there were many portions of it which contained undeniable facts. He could say that there was a great deal of usury in the agricultural districts, and if he were sure that the proposed repression would have the effect of remedying the evil, he would support it. He also concurred in the remarks made as to the rather anomalous state of our law in the subject of money at the present moment, and thought it would be highly desirable that the government of the country should undertake the revision of the law.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North] thought the Hon. Finance’s Minister’s [Alexander Galt] arguments were fallacious—being based apparently upon theories and not upon practice. The great mistake was in supposing that money was wealth. It was not wealth—it was the representative of wealth.

Alexander Smith [Toronto East] said that if a measure could really be framed, as suggested by the hon. member for Brome (Mr. Dunkin), which would have the effect of preventing the money-lending cormorants from extorting eighteen or twenty per cent from the unfortunate farmer, he would support it, or he would be prepared to support a measure giving us unlimited free trade in money.

James O’Halloran [Missisquoi] said he did not approve of the principle of the bill, and had heard nothing to show it should be carried into law. It was unreasonable to say that a man who lent money on doubtful security should not be allowed to charge a rate of interest sufficient to protect him against the risk attending the transaction. He considered it highly absurd to endeavour to fix the rate of interest by legislation. He would vote against the bill.

Henri Taschereau [Beauce] was glad to see that the bill was like to pass, despite the motion for the six months’ hoist. There was no doubt the French-Canadian population of Lower Canada were unanimous in support of the principle off the measure. He failed entirely to see the force of the argument that we should not attempt to restrain usury, because, forsooth, usurers would ply their calling, despite any prohibitory legislation. This was most fallacious reasoning. We might just as well be told, that because there were thieves despite the laws against theft, we should pass an act in order to legalize dishonesty.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Henri Taschereau [Beauce]—In accordance with the popular opinion of the country, and of his own convictions on the subject, he would vote for the bill, and against the motion for the six months’ hoist.

Archibald McKellar [Kent] did not think the bill would have the object which the prompted alleged—namely the relief of the agricultural class. He had observed, in regard to this bill, that most its supporters were lawyers. The complaint had hitherto been not the high rate of interest for money, but the largess of the lawyer’s fees incidental to the borrowing of money. The best relief to give the unfortunate borrower would be for the lawyers to cease the exaction of those enormous fees charged for effecting loans through societies. Let the lawyers who professed such sympathy for the poor borrower cut down their fees from $20 and $30 to $5. He believed the effect of this bill would be to bring about an increase of the rates of interest and of the burdens of the needy borrowers. He would, with these views, oppose to bill.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] was of opinion that the legislation of 1858 should have been confined to the abrogation of usury laws in regard to commercial transactions. He thought that we should allow complete freedom to prevail as to the rate of interest, with regard to commercial transactions. Why not take up the law of 1858 int elation to other commercial men? We ought to adopt a compromise in this matter. Let the rate of interest be fixed at 6 per cent; and, beyond that, allow a certain margin, but not to exceed 8 per cent; and as to those loans at the latter rate, they should only be for one year.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East]—He was willing to vote for complete freedom as to the rate of interest on loans in commercial transaction, to be only loans for 12 months; and as to loans on mortgages and such other securities on the part of corporations, etc., he was willing that 6 per cent. should be the rate, with a margin, however, in certain, of 8 per cent, on loans to be only for year.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay] was unwilling to declare by his vote that nothing should be done on the subject. He believed the present law required very great change, and he would therefore vote for the second reading of the bill now under discussion, and for sending it to a committee hoping that some good would result from it. He was glad to learn from the speech of his hon. friend the Attorney General East that some legislation upon this subject might preceded with, notwithstanding the course he had taken so recently on two other important matters. The fact, however, was that if hon. gentleman opposite were correct in the course stye took deferring the other subjects, then this matter, more than all other, should be deferred in order that the laws of all Provinces should be uniform on the subject. The hon. gentleman concluded by taunting the supporters of the Government with the position in which they stood upon this and other measures.

Francis Jones [Leeds & Grenville North] believed that the farmers of Upper Canada were strongly in favor of this bill, and many petitions had been sent here from time to time praying that the rate of interest be fixed. The United Counties of Leeds and Greenville, a few days ago, directed a petition to be forwarded to Parliament asking that the rate of interest be fixed at 7 per cent. He did not approve of this figure, but would make it 8 per cent. The money of the country was principally in the hands of a few capitalist who fit not scruple to change for it 30, 40 and even 50 per cent. He know of a case the other fay where a farmer had been obliged to consent to the payment of 54 per cent. Now, if the House fixed a certain rate, most capitalists, finding they were prohibited by law from charging the present usurious rates would lend their money at the Government rate, which would be of great advantage to the farming community and those other compelled to borrow. He would vote for the present bill.

John S. Ross [Dundas] could not concur in the remarks of the Finance Minister [Alexander Galt]. He believed the present law was working very injuriously in the agricultural portions of the community. Members talked of the importance of encouraging the influx of money at any rate. He believed that it would be for the interest of the borrower and community generally, to shut out money for which parties must pay 15 and 20 per cent interest. He did not believe the prosperity of the country depended on foreign capital coming here, but upon the amount of the goods and commodities we produced in the country. No business he knew of in Canada could afford more than 8 per cent on loans; and the facility of lending money at exorbitant rates of interest prevented capitalists embarking their means in trade and manufactures. The Government ought to take up this whole subject of interest on money and bring in a proper measure as early as possible.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council], after replying to the honorable Mr. Holton’s personal remarks, said that no law could prevent, abuses, doubtless, but there were ten times as many before his (Mr. Brown’s) bill was passed in 1858. If people were so foolish as to give 15, 20 or 50 per cent interest for usury, no law would make them wise, or prevent them from giving more than the legal rate. He contended that money in Canada was abundant, and all the capital needed for manufacturing enterprises was forthcoming, when the least promise of a return was evident. No law the House could pass could override the laws of trade, or make anything exchangeable for more than it was worth. People talked of the necessity of protecting the farmers; but from his knowledge of his countrymen he could say that a sharper set of men or a set more capable of protecting their interests, he never saw.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear, and laughter.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council]—He thought this bill was the most absurd that could be proposed.

[After some further remarks from Hon. Mr. Brown, in reply to Hon. J.S. Macdonald, and Mr. Dunkin’s arguments, Hon. Mr. J. S. Macdonald spoke in answer to Mr. Brown and Hon. Mr. Dorion afterwards supported the measure.]

Finally, the division was taken on the six months’ hoist which was lost, on the following division:

YEAS

Bell (Russell)
Biggar
Bown
Brown
Barwell
M.C. Cameron
Carling
Dickson
Dunsford
Galt
Higginson
Howland
Jackson
Magill
John Macdonald
Alex. Mackenzie
Hope Mackenzie
McConkey
McKellar
O’Halloran
Parker
Pope
Scoble
Somerville
Stirton
Wells
Wilson
Amos Wright.—28.

NAYS

Archambault
Ault
Blanchet
Bourassa
Brousseau
Caron
Cartier
Cartwright
Chambers
Chapais
Cockburn
Cornellier
Coupal
De Boucherville
Denis
Eric Dorion
Ducket
Alex. Dufresne
Joseph Dufresne
Dunkin
Thomas Ferguson
Gaudet
Harwood
Hilton
Houde
Huot
Haultain
Ford Jones
Labreche Viger
Laframboise
Lajoie
Langevin
J.S. Macdonald
Morris
Munro
Paquette
Perrault
Pinsonneault
Pope
Powell
Remillard
Robitaille
J. Sylvester Ross
Walter Ross
Scatcherd
Shanly
A.M. Smith
Taschereau
T.C. Wallbridge
White—52.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay] arose to make a personal explanation. He had been charged by the Hon. President of the Council [George Brown] with having been uniformly in favor of a union of the Provinces and with having uniformly voted against it.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—The hon. gentleman went on the say:— I ask him when fit I so express himself? I deny having even uttered an opinion in favor of the Confederation of these Provinces as a measure of present practical policy. I could shew, if time would allow, that the Hon. President of Council [George Brown] has denounced that measure time and again as no remedy for the evils which existed in the country. I call upon him, either to substantiate the statement he has made or to retract it broadly and unqualifiedly. I have admitted that the operation of the federal principle might be a remedy for the difficulties of these two Provinces, but I have not approved of Confederation.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council] appealed to every member of this House, if the hon. gentleman had not established by his own speech every word of the charge. He had admitted that he had a hand in the companion of the Reform manifesto, which was signed by the leaders of the party to which the hon. gentleman belonged. He (Mr. Brown) know that at the conference and elsewhere, he had stated that the Federal principle was the very best to adopt in settlement of the difficulties of the Province.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council]—He had not only done this, but had expressed a hope that those principles would be applied as regarded the other Provinces. He (Mr. Brown) only spoke of the hon. gentleman’s public opinions, which were that this difficulty should be settled upon a basis of representation by population, with checks and guarantees.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—I was in favor of what?

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council]—In favor of constitutional changes, all tending to the Confederation of the Provinces.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—Oh! Oh!

Some Hon. MembersOpposition dissent.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council] said the hon. gentleman had denounced him (Mr. B) as a traitor to his party and principles, while and because he was trying to carry out those principles which that hon. gentleman himself had professed for years. His course in this had been contemptible. He had admitted that he (Mr. Brown) could not do otherwise than join this Government to carry out the principles he had so long advocated. He professed great sympathy with the people of Upper Canada just now when he ought to mind his own business and the people of Lower Canada.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear, and cheers.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] was surprised to hear the hon. President of the Council [George Brown] state that the hon. member for Chateauguay ever was in favor of Confederation. He (Mr. Dorion) had never heard him utter a word in that sense, and the reform manifesto—which, by-the-way, Mr. Holton did not sign—though he (Mr. Holton) denied, and which that hon. gentleman could not prove. He desired it to be distinctly understood, that when asked to prove this statement or retract, he went into all sorts of side-issues and declarations respecting his private conduct on other occasions.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay] said he denied it, and wished to nail the hon. gentleman to the statement. His approval of the President of the Council’s [George Brown] course in entering the Ministry was expressed on the understanding that that gentleman would undertake, as he had promised to the liberal party, to get the Federation of the Canadas in the first six months, and Representation by Population and other reforms. He (Mr. Holton) had said that if that hon. gentleman (Mr. Holton) disapproved of the combination, and considered the approval of the liberal party should no longer be extended to the hon. gentleman’s course.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council] denied the accuracy of the hon. gentleman’s representations, reading a portion of the resolution of the reform Convention to the effect that the true statesmanlike solution of our difficulties was to be sought in the substitution of a purely federative for the present legislative union; that the former, it was believed, would enable us to escape all the evils and retain all the advantages of the existing union; and that the proposed system could, in no way, diminish the importance of the colony or impart its credit, while it presented advantages of being susceptible, without any disturbances of the federal economy, of such territorial extension as the circumstances might render desirable.

Some Hon. MembersMinisterial cheers.

George Brown [Oxford South, President Executive Council]—We were carrying out now that system of territorial extension. The hon. gentleman concluded by retorting upon the hon. member for Chateauguay [Luther Holton] his charge of desertion of principle, and political dishonesty in this matter.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] again contended that there was not a word in the reform Manifesto about Confederation, but only about Federation as applied to Canada; and that the words “this scheme may be susceptible thereafter of any extension circumstances may justify” did not imply an approval of the scheme of Confederation.

After some further remarks on the personal discussion, from Hon. J.S. Macdonald and Mr. Dunkin, the matter dropped.

The motion for the second reading of the bill was carried, and the House adjourned at ten minutes past twelve.

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