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

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Date: 1865-09-08
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Morning Chronicle
Citation: “Provincial Parliament. Legislative Assembly. Friday, Sept. 8th” [Quebec] Morning Chronicle (9 September 1865).
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Friday, Sept. 8th

The SPEAKER took the Chair at three o’clock.

After routine—


Mr. WALSH moved that on Saturday the House do sit from one until six p.m.

After conversation on the subject, the list of private bills was called over, with a view if clearing the order-paper of these which could not be passed this session, and a large number of bills were dropped.

Hon. J. A. MACDONALD suggested that from one o’clock until four of the Saturday sitting, be devoted to private bills, and the remaining portion of the sitting to public bills.

The motion was carried.


Hon. Mr. ROSE moved the second reading of the bill to amend the Act to provide for the establishment of a Port-Warden for the port of Montreal.

The bill was read a second time and referred to Committee.

House in Committee of Supply

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] moved

That the House go into Committee of Supply.

The motion was carried, and the House went into CommitteeThomas Street [Welland] in the Chair.

The militias appropriations, amounting to an aggregate of $300,000, having been taken up—

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said the militia service had always been a popular one—much more popular, perhaps, than certain politicians or Finance Ministers would be willing to allow; and he did not know any object for which the people would more freely and liberally contribute than for the maintenance of the defensive force of the Province. This popularity was attributable, among other things, both to our geographical position, which required a defensive force, and to the brilliant services of the militia in the last year of 1812. In 1854, a uniform, consolidated militia law was passed after careful consideration under a Commission issued by the Government. That Commission was composed of gentlemen judiciously chosen for the purpose of settling what ought to be adopted as an efficient militia law for Canada. It comprised Sir. E. P. Taché and Sir Allen McNab, both enthusiastic in the cause, and possession much military experience obtained in the Province. There were also in the Commission Col. DeRottenburg, as experienced military officer, who understood the militia service of the country, and Major Campbell, an able and well-trained soldier. They reported a measure which had green adopted and had worked well, and had formed the basis of out volunteer corps which had now risen to be a very respectable army of defence. The militia then had no training except during one day in the year, generally a holiday. Although this force, then, was organized and officered, it was utterly untrained and inefficient.

Well, the militia force, as organized in 1854, continued to exist till 1862. The House would remember that, in 1861, when the American war broke out, this Province was, with the exception of the volunteer corps, utterly defenceless. We had no force fit to resist invasion or afford adequate defence to the country. Shortly afterwards, owing to the Mason and Slidell difficulty, the first speck of war arose above our horizon, threatening to lead to the most serious consequences. The mother-country showed she was seriously alarmed by sending out a large force to the country, and showed her readiness, in case of war, to use the whole resources of the empire in our defence. An appeal was then made to Canada to put herself in a proper state of defence, which was responded to by Canadians with the greatest alacrity, enthusiasm and loyalty.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—From all parts of Canada, east and west, came offers of service, a kind of rivalry existing as to who should first go to the frontier for the defence of the country, sent out, at their own cost, and without suggestion from us, an officer in the confidence of the military authorities in England, Col. Lysons, for this object. A Commission was issued, of which he was a member, and upon its report a militia bill was prepared and submitted, but it did not meet the sanction of Parliament. In consequence of the defeat of the Government on this measure, a change of administration took place, and the new Government of the hon. member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald] had their attention directed to the matter.

In 1863 that honorable gentleman introduced a militia law, or, rather, two acts relating to the militia—one to the volunteers, and the other to the service militia, as they were called, which now formed the law of the land, and under which the militia was governed. Under this system we had now a very respectable force, certainly capable of improvement. It was now under the charge and care of a very able officer, who had accepted the office of Adjutant General, with the object of rendering our force thoroughly efficient, fit to fight side by side with the regular troops of Her Majesty.

(The hon. gentleman here warmly complimented the volunteer force on the prompt and cheerful manner in which it turned out for service on the frontier.)

He was happy to say that the Adjutant General fully appreciated the value of the services of our volunteers on that occasion. The volunteer force, to be effect must be confined to the cities and towns; because, in the rural parts, where the population was sparse, and where the individual composing the corps were far separated from each other, it was out of the question to have a volunteer system to any extent. This force had, consequently, chiefly existed in towns and there alone could it flourish. There were, of course a few exceptions, some off the most highly effect and distinguished corps in the country existing at the frontier and in the townships. Under the Volunteer Militia Act, the maximum force, he believed, allowed, was 35,000. It was proposed that, as nearly as possible, the volunteer force should be kept up in the cities and towns, for the reasons stated, and that, at the strength of, as nearly as possible, 25,000 men. The returns for 1863 showed that in that year the number of volunteers enrolled was 25,000—that was, on paper. There never were 25,000 men in the field, and there must be a very large deduction made to get at the actual reliable or available force.

The force actually inspected was 15,133; 9271 in Upper and 5929 in Lower Canada. It was found in that year that a certain number of corps were inefficient, from weakness, and that were consequently disbanded; 880 in Upper and 1595 in Lower Canada came under that operation. In 1864, the force was slightly less, numbering 22,535, and no new corps were organised that year. Several applications had been made, and, if any encouragement could have been given, Government would have received application from all quarters. The force being in transition state, we could no encourage the formation of new corps. If this enrolled force of 22,535, men, there was actually inspected—in Upper Canada, 9,411, and in Lower, 5,408.

In 1864, also, after the inspection, the deficient corps were disbanded—999 men in Upper and 600 in Lower Canada; 1,800 men were enrolled. From the figures submitted, it was clear that the whole nominal force of the volunteers for 1865-66 could not exceed 22,000 men, and that, making the usual deduction, embracing those who could not be relied upon for actual service, that a vote for more than 14,000 men need not be asked for. With regard to the service militia, the principal defensive force of the country, the law of 1863 provided that in 1864 there should be a ballot held both in Upper and Lower Canada. The facilities for the taking for taking of the ballot, in Lower Canada, and, consequently the ballot could not be taken in the summer, pending the preparation of the necessary retunes for the former, though everything was ready as regards the latter Province. Therefore the ballot was delayed till late in the year Under the Militia Act, the number of men required for Upper Canada was 48,495, and for Lower Canada, 41,054, making the total number to be balloted for 89,000 men. He thought it would be admitted this was a most respectable force. If we had 89,000 men really ready and fit for service, added to our volunteer force of about 25,000 men, we would have a very large army for the defence of the empire in case of war.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—How many out of 89,00 are effective?

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] was going to speak of that matter presently. As yet no one knew what was the amount of efficient men realized by the ballot. Only men between 18 and 45 years of age were liable to the ballot. In Upper Canada the ballot was completed for the whole force required, with the exception of an error of some 400 men. Well, Lower Canada not having furnished accurate returns, there was a still greater deficiency in the result of the ballot for this Province, which amounted to 6,671 men. In fact there were many irregularities, and in two regimental divisions no ballot at all was obtained.

There would be a better system in this respect, hereafter, as the Adjutant General had got his department in thorough working order, and such immersions and errors as were liable to occur at the initiation of the new system would be corrected by degrees. Still, of the 89,000 men wanted, throwing out the number not obtained, through one cause or other, we had some 81,000 balloted and label to be called out for service. As to the efficiency of the men, that could not be ascertained till they were brought into the field. The ballot was only taken in 1864, and they had not been called out this summer, for the reason that there would be very little use in mustering men for six days’ drill until there were officers fit to drill them. Therefore, the Adjutant-General had vigorously addressed himself to working, to the utmost extent, the military schools. There could be no doubt that the feature of the Militia Bill of the member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald], establishing the military schools, was deserving of all praise.

They had proved exceedingly successful, and had brought out admirably the military spirit of the young men of the country, who had largely competed for admission to the schools. He was happy to say that the result had been most satisfactory. There were some 1500 young men who had obtained certificates, including both kinds. At first there were but two schools, but now there were six—one in Quebec, one in Montreal, one in Kingston, one in Toronto, and another in Hamilton, and the sixth in London. There was an intention of closing the school at Hamilton, which, while being expensive, was less needed than the others. For want of communication between those various schools, there has been different standards of attainment and proficiency among them. In some of them certificates and been more easily obtained than in others, there being a marked distinction in that respect between the Quebec and Toronto schools. In the latter there was a higher or severer standard than in the former, where certificates were more easily secured.

Théodore Robitaille [Bonaventure]—Do you say that certificates are more easily obtained at Quebec than at Toronto?

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said the standard was higher at Toronto. In order to prove whether that be the case or not, and to introduce a uniform standard of excellence, and to enable it to be seen what the schools had really produced, it was proposed by the military authorities, with the advice of the Adjutant-General, that with the advice of the Adjutant-General, that the cadets should be assembled this fall, in camp, formed into battalions, and have their training thoroughly tested. It was only by a thorough trial of that kind that there could be a uniform standard fixed, and that it could be ascertained if there be an undue leniency in the system in one school, undue severity at another. He would read portion of a memorandum submitted to him by the Adjutant-General.

At the end of August it was estimated that about 1500 cadets had passed through the school, which number, if all were efficient, would afford officers for more than 50 battalions. It would be thus seen that the military schools had effected much good by training up a large class of young men in military habits and knowledge. The memorandum stated that the time had arrived when we might reasonably reduce the money consideration connected with those schools, be abolishing the $50 gratuity for the first-class certificate should regarded as an object of sufficient attraction for cadets, apart from the gratuity, and that to gain it there would still be a large number the better class of pupils. Those schools were intended to furnish men fit for the command of either companies or battalions.

Of the whole number of graduates up to June last there were 459 of the first-class and 709 second-class. The great body of the officers trained at those schools were to be the company officers of the militia; very few would be asked to command battalions; and as the Adjutant-General said it was those gentleman, who, having gone into the military schools and passed second-class certificates and having shown themselves fit to command a company—it was those really who had military spirit and were desirous of advancing in what might be called their profession, would be ready of themselves, and without costing the Province anything, to advance beyond that second-class certificate to prepare themselves for a first-class certificate. It was only those of true military spirit who would go through this course and who were fit to command battalions. It was believed that many had gone into the schools and advanced from the second to the first-class certificates for the more money gratuity.

Some Hon. MembersCheers.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—The Adjutant-General went on to recommend that first-class certificates should not be granted to any pupils under 24 years of age. It had been found that the military schools had been improperly crowded, and it was proposed that no single school should have a larger number than 80 pupils; and if a larger number of pupils were to be admitted the schools must be increased. It was proposed that those five schools should be kept up with creased efficiency, and that the common standard of attainment should be adopted, so that the cadets of Kingston or Quebec should be in the same position and compelled to undergo the same amount of training as the pupils at Montreal or Toronto, otherwise the certificates of the schools would be of little value. If those schools were kept up for some time there would be a very large number of gentleman able to command the militia in a few years at any time when called upon.

In order to ascertain the effect of the militia system and ballot, it was proposed early in 1866 to call a muster of the whole of balloted men. It was not proposed to drill them for six days that year unless urgent circumstances should require it, but merely to call them out for one day to test the effectiveness of the ballot and the efficiency of the force. It was to be hoped that next spring the volunteer militia would be worked up to an effective of 25,000 men. The only addition as regards the expense this year was an additional charge in the general item of salaries, being $750, the salary fixed by law for the Adjutant-General. It was not proposed to take a vote for the mustering go the balloted men; but an additional sum would be placed on the contingencies for the purpose of meeting the expense of calling out the force for a day, to see what they were, who they were, and what percentage was efficient.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—What item have you fixed for that service?

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Forty thousand dollars. With these remarks he would move the first item.

Richard Cartwright [Lennox and Addington] would like to put a question to the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald]. He did not notice, in the statement made by that hon. gentleman, that there was any provision for the training of the regular militia. He (Mr. Cartwright) understood, the other day, when a discussion took place, on the motion for a Committee of Enquiry on the organization of the Militia, that it was the intention of the Government to consider the whole question with a view to some provision being made for placing the militia on an efficient footing. He now inferred from the nature of the remarks of the hon. gentleman (Mr. J.A. Macdonald) that this idea had been discarded, and that all that was to be done was to carry out the act introduced by the hon. member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald]. He should like to know whether he had understood correctly the hon. gentleman’s explanations on this subject.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said that what he had stated was that it was in contemplation to call out the whole of the balloted militia in order to ascertain what proportion of the force was efficient, or rather, he should say, which was inefficient.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—By this means the per centage that could be relied upon would be discovered. The Government did not ask for a vote this session for the drill-pay of the regular militia—for which period they might, under the law in force, be called out—inasmuch as it was believed they could not, with advantage, be called out for drill this autumn or winter. The muster would, as he had already observed, serve the purpose of letting us know the real strength of the force, and the Adjutant-General would thus have an opportunity of maturing the best means for its organization, and the promotion of its efficiency. The Government would by means of the information thus obtained be enabled to come down next session and ask for an appropriation for the drill of the service militia, in the manner that might be deemed most effective.

Charles Magill [Hamilton] said he was exceedingly sorry to learn that it was the intention of the Government—as indicated in the speech of the hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald]—to remove the Military School from Hamilton. If there was any part of the country more than another which required and deserved consideration from a military point of view, it was the city of Hamilton. It has always shown a most commendable military spirit.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Charles Magill [Hamilton]—I could show as fine and as effect a volunteer battalion as any in the Province; and the citizens would, he was certain, feel greatly disappointed when they learned—and he believed they would be informed of the fact for the first time through the mouth of the hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] to-day—that the military school at that place was only a temporary affair, and that it was to be closed. There was no place in the Province where a military school could be worked to greater advantage than in Hamilton.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Charles Magill [Hamilton]—He sincerely hoped the Government would reconsider that matter, and see the necessity of continuing the school in Hamilton.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said it would be very gratifying indeed to the Commander-in-Chief and the Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] if the school in Hamilton could kept open at the same time, he desired, however, to remark that, as the hon. gentleman (Mr. McGill) was probably aware, the school only been temporally established, for a period of six months. Again, there were only twenty-five cadets in the school, which was a very small number; yet while the school was open the commandment, adjutant, drill-instructors, &c.—the whole staff, in fact, had to be kept up just in the same manner for twenty-five as for one hundred cadets. Now the expense of keeping up the school—that was, the instruction, &c.—amounted to fully $100 per head, apart from the gratuity given to those who obtained first and second-class certificates. The expenses, as would be thus seen, were very heavy, and it was desirable to restrict them as soon as possible.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Thomas Parker [Wellington North] would like to know for what length of time the service militia was to be called out.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said that he had already explained the matter. A muster off all the ballotted men would take place next spring, in order to ascertain the effective strength of the service militia. They had not yet been called out for drill, inasmuch as we had not officers to drill and organize the force. By mustering them, however, we would know the actual strength, and a report would be same upon which more mature action could be taken than at present.

John Bown [Brant East] asked whether it was intended to grant anything for the purpose of aiding volunteers in the construction of drill-sheds. There was a very efficient volunteer corps in his own locality.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said it was the desire of the Government volunteers as much as possible. Nothing, however, had been done in that way this year, the Finance Minister [Alexander Galt] being too economical to permit of it.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—Don’t see it.

Some Hon. MembersCheers and laughter.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said the Government did not however think it desirable, under the circumstances to place any sum on the estimates for the drill-sheds. He could not make any specific promise on the subject of the claim of the town of Brantford, but would endeavor to give it the consideration it deserved next year if the state of the revenue and the prudence of the Hon. Finance Minster would permit it.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear and laughter.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—He might in this connexion remark in some instances the drill-sheds had been constructed out of Government money, in other places out of municipal funds and in others out of both combined. He thought this was a wrong principle, as tending to create confusion. The correct system would be to have all these buildings Government property.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] said he thought it would be better that these matters should be discussed only as the items having reference to them came up.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough] said that, on the whole, he thought we had reason to be satisfied with the statement of the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald].

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough—The point of interest and importance to the country was this—that we were proceeding on a sound basis.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough—He was glad to find that his hon. friend (Mr. J.S. Macdonald) had gained a good deal of military experience since 1862, and he had to congratulate him thereupon. He considered the reasons for not calling out the balloted men were most ample. It was also most satisfactory to know that the military cadets were not to lose the benefit of the instruction they had received, and that they were, in a few days, to be called to a camp of instruction where they would acquire knowledge of a nature they could not otherwise obtain. He would take this opportunity of suggesting that volunteers should be allowed to attend camps instruction. It might be too late, of course, to adopt this policy in reference to the camp which was about to be formed in Montreal, but it was of the first consequence that the volunteers would be glad to attend such camps being formed in future, such volunteers as might wish to attend should be allowed to do so.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough—In any case it was important that volunteer officers should be afforded the benefit of attending such camps. He admitted it was too late this season to foo anything with the balloted men. Although he considered that we were proceeding upon the correct principle in respect to the military cadets and camps of instruction, still if we really wished to have an effective force in case of emergency, if we really desired to place ourselves in a state of defence, we should not wait until actual hostilities had broken out—for if war came it would burst upon us suddenly. Our militia must be placed on an effective footing. He regretted to say that there was an evident shyness on the part of hon. gentleman on both sides to deal with this very important subject.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East]—I am not shy.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—But you shy sometimes.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough was free to confess that the hon. gentleman was by no means shy.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough—To proceed, however, he would say that id we were in earnest—if we wished to proceed in a. Reasonable and patriotic manner, then we must have part at least of our militia thoroughly trained.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Frederick Haultain [Peterborough—Taking this view of the case, he was gratified to learn that it was the intention of the Government to take the preliminary steps necessary to the organization of that force. It was hardly to be expected we could do so now for want of preparation, but it was at least satisfactory to know that it was seriously intended to do so.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Rose [Montreal Centre] said that under the item of drill-pay of volunteers he found the sum of $112,000 for 16 days’ drill for 14,000 volunteers at eight dollars each. It was in reference to this drill allowance that he wished to ask a question, which was of some importance to the volunteers. It might be remembered that a point of some interest had recently arisen by reason of the change in the financial year. The military years he need not say, commenced on the 1st January, and ended on the 31st December, while the financial year, in accordance with the change latterly made, commenced on the 1st July, and ended on the 30th June.

Last year, a general order on the subject was issued in the month August. The volunteers, in accordance with the principal laid down, were credited for drills since the month of April, and were paid to the 31st December. In virtue of the order in question, the drills, in order to count, should commence from the first of July. Now, the great bulk of drill, as all hon. gentleman must know, was performed by our volunteers between January and the spring. If the order were adhered to, this year, the volunteers would, in point of fact, loose all, as it would be impossible for them to make the sixteen days’ drill to entitle them to receive their pay, within the period required by the general order.

The hon. gentleman proceeded to read the order, as also a correspondence with the late Sir Etienne Taché on the subject, and went on to say that if the interpretation therein laid down were adhered to, the volunteers would lose all the drill they had performed since the 1st of January. It was a most important matter for the volunteers, and he hoped it was only necessary to direct attention to it in order to secure the consideration of the Government.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] thanked the hon. member for Montreal Centre (Mr. Rose) for directing attention to this matter. As the hon. gentleman had stated, the difficulty was caused this year by the change in the financial year, and of course it could never occur again. The matter would receive the attention of the Government, and he (Mr. J. A. Macdonald) would confer with the Finance Minster [Alexander Galt] about it.

John Rose [Montreal Centre]—The fact is just this.—If the general order be carried out, the volunteers will lose all claim to pay for this year.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—The general order can be reversed.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Rose [Montreal Centre]—That is just what he would have done.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

John Rose [Montreal Centre]—Coming to another point of the hon. Minster of Militia [John A. Macdonald], he of course heartily concurred with that hon. gentleman in the principle that we should devote our attention and encouragement chiefly to the larger organizations, but at the same time there were many deserving companies in the country which he trusted would be maintained.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said what was intended was not to remove any of the present effect corps from the list; but that in future the policy would be to encourage the formation of volunteer corps in the cities, towns and larger villages. As he had already stated, there were many first-class corps in the country—in the Eastern townships and elsewhere. These, of course, would not be disturbed so long as they maintained their efficiency.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Rose [Montreal Centre] fully admitted the principle that we should mainly rely for the defence of the country upon the militia and not upon the volunteers.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Rose [Montreal Centre]—At the same time, he desired to say that the volunteers had done excellency work in creating a military spirit, and spreading a military taste in the country. He was of opinion, too, that in the country parts where they really had good companies, they should be maintained and encouraged, and that these who were inefficient should be remorselessly gazette out.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

John Rose [Montreal Centre]—There was another point on which he had a few words to say, and that was with respect to the expense of keeping up the organization of the several military districts. This expense was caused by keeping up the staff, and was not devoted to paying the volunteers as some people might suppose. He might mention a few details by way of showing the very heavy nature of the outlay in this respect. We had sixteen Brigade-Majors—eight in Upper Canada and eight in Lower Canada. The estimate for these officers alone was $19,000 or about twelve hundred dollars each. Now there were certain districts in which it appeared, by the last returns, that there were not more than fifty to one hundred volunteers, yet the heavy charge of the salary and allowances of a Brigade-Major was kept up.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—I knocked them off.

John Rose [Montreal Centre] said that in one of the military districts—he was not sure but he thought it was No. 3—in which there were only fifty volunteers, and the Brigade-Major candidly admitted that there was no matter to make up a report. In No. 4 there were only 150 volunteers—a number of whom were made up from that very excellent institution the College of St. Hyacinthe. He desired to call attention to this state of things. We ought not to have these officers unless there was a force in the district to give them occupation. The correct policy was to eliminate all these useless staff expenses and let the money go the volunteers.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said that the matter had already engaged the attention of the Adjutant General, and the services of those Brigade-Majors who were not required would of course be dispensed with.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] expressed his regret that there was no report from the Adjutant-General on the state of the militia.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] begged to remind the hon. gentleman that the Militia Report was not sessional report, but an annual report. It had been brought down a few months ago, and there was no occasion to repeat it.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] said there should, at least, be some sort of synopsis showing the state of the force since the 1st January. The hon. gentleman then went on to review the speech of the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] on the policy of the Government in connexion with the defences of the country. He had heard the greater part of that hon. gentleman’s remarks with great pleasure.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—It was amusing to see how changed was the tone of the hon. gentleman who followed him, and who were at one time such strong champions of a defensive organization. First came his military friend the hon. member for Lennox and Addington (Mr. Cartwright), then the hon. and gallant member for Peterborough (Col. Haultain), and lastly, the warlike Major of the Royals and member for Montreal Centre (Mr. Rose). These hon. members used in former days to be exceedingly violent inter denunciations of the Militia policy of the Government go which he (Mr. J. S. Macdonald) was a member—so much so that one hon. gentleman considered it a ground for the withdrawal of his confidence—but now when the same identical policy was followed by their own friends they had no reproach to make. They were glad that this had been done—that another thing was about to be done—and that another thing was about to be done—and that another was in contemplation.

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

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—He was glad to find that the hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] accorded such confidence to the law which he (Mr. Macdonald) had originated as to adopt it.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—But if anything shewed how completely hon. gentleman had been converted to his (Mr. Macdonald’s) sound policy it was their tone to-day. They had made the defences the particular cause of attack against himself and his colleagues; they had harped upon the same topic day after day; they threatened the country with the most fearful dangers unless some costly and gigantic plan were resorted to; and now, forsooth, when the very system, they denounced and despised was adopted by their own friends they were quite ready to sanction it and declared that it was formed upon a sound basis.—The hon. gentleman went on to read from the Journals of the House State papers of the Macdonald-Sicotte Government in 1862, and those of the Tache-Macdonald Government in 1864, on the question of defence and the relative duties of the mother-country and the colony, and argued therefrom that it was quite evident that hon. gentleman on the Treasury benches and their friends had abandoned the extreme position they held on this subject and had embraced the more rational views of their predecessors in office.

It being six o’clock the House adjourned.

The Legislative Assembly stopped for dinner recess.

After the recess—

The Speaker took the Chair at a quarter to eight o’clock.

After some routine business had been disposed of—

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] resumed his remarks upon the militia policy of the Government, going on to charge them again with having become converts to his (Mr. J.S. Macdonald’s) opinions on that subject, and with actually carrying out his view of the matter. In reference to the appointment of the new Adjutant-General, for which the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] had claimed such credit, and of which the hon. Member for Peterborough (Col. Haultain) was so loud in his praise, he (Mr. Macdonald) did not, however, at all participate in the gratification of that hon. gentleman. If anything were wanting to show that we had no such cause for satisfaction as hon. gentleman alleged, it was only necessary to read the document laid before the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] by the Adjutant-General, and which had been read to the House by the former.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—That paper contained a statement which was an insult to the young men of Canada. It charged fifteen hundred of the young men of this province with having entered the military schools of the Province solely through mercenary considerations.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear, oh, oh, and no, no.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—He (Mr. Macdonald) had been furiously denounced for the appointment of Col. Powell to the post of Deputy-Adjutant-General; but the results proved that he was right, and that Col. Powell was a most effect officer.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—And yet a new Adjutant-General had been raised over the head of Col. Powell, a native Canadian and a most meritorious officer.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—The new Adjutant-General, by way of entering upon his duties, commenced by writing a most insulting letter to the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald].

Some Hon. MembersCries of no, no, and yes, yes.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—It was, he related, a most insulting production, so far as the people of this country were concerned. It was full of insinuations and slanders. It should be repudiated and stigmatized with scorn and contempt. He (Mr. Macdonald) threw it from him with contempt.

[Here the hon. Gentleman, who up to this moment, had held the Adjutant-General’s memorandum in his hand, flung it away from him amid laughter, cries of oh, oh, cheers and counter-cheers.]

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—I am sorry I gave you that paper.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—(reaching towards the paper)—I wish to read it.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] (rising)—I want that paper back.

Some Hon. MembersCheers and confusion.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] arose and made some remarks which were inaudible amid the confusion.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Return that paper. It’s the first and the last time I shall entrust you with a document.

Some Hon. MembersCheers and counter-cheers.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—The hon. gentleman has read the paper to the House. I have a right to see it and comment upon it.

Alexander Mackenzie [Lambton]—I arise to a question of order, Mr. Speaker. I believe we have a right to know what the hon. Gentleman is speaking about. This document is not before the House, and he has no business to allude to it.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—The Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] has read the document in question in a cool deliberate manner, in a speech explanatory of his militia policy. I maintain, therefore, that I have a right to comment upon it.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Luther Holton [Chateauguay]—That’s the correct parliamentary practice.

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

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East]—The what?

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] (many of whose remarks were inaudible in the gallery) went on to justify his course.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—I have had one more experience of the hon. gentleman—that’s all.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] said that the hon. gentleman should have thought twice before he read such a document. For his part, he would not indulge in any further comments—he would leave the matter there.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—I think you had better.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] said that the hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] would have shown much better judgement if he had abstained from reading such an insulting paragraph. He (Mr. Macdonald) spurned indignantly the reflection indulged in at the expense of the Lower Canadian Military School compared with the Toronto School.

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

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—It was only necessary to look at the returns to see that the young men of Lower Canada had come forward in the most noble manner to qualify themselves as militia officers. He did not know whether it was the race—

An Hon. Member—Or the climate.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—Well, he did not know whether it was the race—which was well-known as a most warlike race—or the climate, or both together; but the conduct of the Lower Canadians was most creditable to them.

Some Hon. MembersCheers.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—The honorable gentleman next took up the item having reference to the volunteer cavalry which he considered very heavy, and of which he disapproved, inasmuch as in accordance with the policy of his own Government, he believed that cavalry could be of little use in a country like Canada. He approved of the proposed camp of instruction, and believed the military schools would accomplish a vast amount of good. In conclusion, he and only to repeat that he was glad to see that the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] had adopted his (Mr. Macdonald’s) policy which was the only true principle.

Some Hon. Members—Oh, oh and cheers.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said he thought it was overmuch to be regretted that the hon. member for his hostility to the hon. member for Peterborough (Col. Haultain) so far, on the subject of volunteer and militia matters, that he actually ran in the teeth of his own legislation, and did not appear to see that he was doing so. Now in the law which the hon. gentleman himself introduced and of which he thought so much—although he (Mr. Dunkin) did not look upon it as such a remarkable production—there was a provision, the 44th section,  by which  power was given to appoint as Adjutant-General an officer of military education and experience. This was the principle laid down in the law the hon. gentleman had himself introduced, and yet he had always taken occasion to sneer—to indulge in that chronic sneer which the House would not participate in—whenever military men were mentioned. He appeared to have a particular aversion to military men in fact.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] was understood to say he had never questioned the right of making the appointment.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said he certainly understood the hon. gentleman to censure the appointment, inasmuch as whenever any mention was made of the Adjutant General a passage-at-arms at once took place. Now, however, the hon. gentleman made it a cause of attack upon the Adjutant-General that the latter had made the statements which had been read to the House by the hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald].

Now, in his opinion, there was no cause whatever for such attacks. The document was a memoranda addressed by the military chief of the department to the civil head of the same, and so far there was nothing to blame in the conduct of the Adjutant-General in making such a report. Let us examine the contents of the paper. It commenced by setting forth that much good had been effected by means of the military school. The question as to this, after all, was whether it did not go too far. He (Mr. Dunkin) thought it would be nearer the truth had it been stated that some good had been brought about by means of these schools.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—In the next place the Adjutant-General submitted that the time had come when the money gratification might be reduced. Nobody surely would oppose this very reasonable suggestion. And lastly, it was stated that the money gratification had in many cases proved the inducement.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—It was not said that it was so in all cases, but that it certainly was in some. Was there any hon. member of this House who could venture to say that this was not true in some cases.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—Did not the hon. member for Cornwall (Mr. J. S. Macdonald) make a very great mistake in reference to the gratuity paid to passed cadets of the military school—a mistake which all military men must denounce. The sum of $50 was to be paid to those who obtained second-class certificates, on shewing that they were conversant with company drill; and a further sum of $50 on shewing their efficiency in battalion drill and obtained a first-class certificate. The candidate who obtained one certificate could go on at once and get the other—there was no stay to hindrance whatever in the way of qualification with the exception of passing the examination. This was wrong in principle. Something more was required from the officer commanding a battalion than a mere knowledge of words of command. A certain age and certain social qualifications were absolutely required. And he did not hesitate to say that very young men sought to obtain and did obtain these certificates for the mere sake of emolument.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—So far, he agreed with the language of the Adjutant-General’s memorandum, which he looked upon as a document intended for the information of the Hon. Minster of Militia [John A. Macdonald]. There was no impropriety in the latter reading its contents to the House; but he (Mr. Dunkin) did not hesitate to say that it was an outrage on decency that a gentleman in the Adjutant-General’s position should be attacked because, in his official capacity, he told the truth to the civil head of his department; and in a matter of this kind it was of the utmost importance that the plain truth should be told.

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

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—As the proposed encampment of military cadets, he thought it would be found, when the time came, that many would not attend.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said that from the answers received by the Department it appeared that six hundred cadets had already signified their intention of attending.

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

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—The estimate was that fourteen hundred would attend.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said it just amounted to this—that two-thirds or even three-fourths might attend, but that was nothing to boast of. It was notorious that a large proportion of the cadets were young men who had neither position nor any other qualification to entitle them to command. The result of the encampment would be just to show how imperfect the whole thing was. They would find a good many subalterns, a few captains, and a very small number indeed of field-officers. After all social position had to be considered in these matters. It was absolutely required.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—It was absolutely required.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—The militiamen of Canada would not be led by very young men of their own social position. He repeated that social qualification was necessary.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—In more counties than one he knew that young men who had received certificates at the military school had been gazetted to commands in the service militia. The result was that men of more mature age and better position were deterred from entering the schools of instruction, inasmuch as they knew that these young men would take precedence of them and be placed over them.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—Of course they did not like this—

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga]—Why?

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said they did not like it from a very natural cause. He (Mr. Dunkin) would not like it himself.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—Some of the officers thus appointed to the regimental divisions of the service militia were, he did not hesitate to say, under age.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—The hon. member for Cornwall had taken great credit to himself because his system was being carried out. Well, what did the ballot amount to? That some 80,000 men had been drafted, but who or what were they? What precaution had been taken to prevent the drafting of volunteers? None whatever—in fact the draft throughout was a hap-hazard affair. The force drafted included the effective and the exempt—volunteers, old and young, the halt, the lame, and the blind in fact. He thought it was a mistake to go to the expense of a muster for such a force.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—We just do so, in order to ascertain the efficiency of the force.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome]—Well, perhaps so, but he thought some cheaper mode might be adopted. In conclusion, he said he did not think that there was any insult in the statement that there was a difference in the standard of military education at the schools of Toronto and Quebec respectively.

Joseph-Goderic Blanchet—Is it the invention of the Government to pay the volunteers who were last on duty the balance of their pay for three months service—being the period for which they were enrolled?

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said that this was hardly pertinent to the matter at present under discussion—in fact it was a distinct question. The Government was not prepared to give any answer on the subject. It was rather a difficult question. The papers, however, had been sent down, and the matter would receive attention.

Joseph-Goderic Blanchet said that the case of these volunteers was certainly a hard one, and he trusted it would receive consideration. Great dissatisfaction had already been created by the treatment of those men who had sacrificed much in order to be able to respond to the call of duty. If the Government wished the efficiency of the force to be maintain, the claim of these volunteers should be attended to. In reference to the subject more immediately under consideration, it had been stated in substance that the examination was not so severe in the military school of Quebec as in that of Toronto.

Now he (Col. Blanchet) speaking with personal experience of the management of the school in this city, could say that the late Commandant, Col. Gordon, was an exceedingly strict, severe and impartial officer—one of the best officers in Her Majesty’s service. He need only appeal to hon. members of this House, who had attended the Military school there, after the close of last session, if it was not as he had stated. He was, however, free to confess that pressure was brought to bear, for the purpose of allowing young men to compete for first-class certificates. This was done by means of the personal and political friends of candidates—members of the Government and others.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Joseph-Goderic Blanchet—Charges it was true, had been insinuated against the Adjutant of the school, Capt. Bradburne, and the instructors for alleged partially, but he (Col. Blanchet) could say, without fear of contradiction, that the school had been carried on with the most stringent regard to impartially.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—Certainly, it was.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear and cheers.

Joseph-Goderic Blanchet said it was quite true that a good number of cadets had not that education a social position which would qualify them for efficient officers of the militia of the Province. He did not say that this was a general rule, but there were many cases of this kin. He was pleased to heat that it was the intention of the Adjutant-General to collect the cadets together in a camp, inasmuch as it would give that officer an opportunity of knowing who were really efficient. Of course he admitted that it was impossible to make a man a really good trained soldier in two months or six months, some times not even in a year. He would suggest the calling out, every year, of a portion of our force for regular training. In the meantime everything should be done, in the administration of the moneys for militia purposes, so as to enable the Adjutant General—who was a most efficient officer—to perfect a really good system.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Richard Cartwright [Lennox & Addington] said that the hon. member for Cornwall (Mr. J. S. Macdonald) had extravagantly praised his own system. He was right in doing so, for badly and other one would be likely to praise it. His attacks upon the Adjutant General were equally in good taste and keeping with his glorification of himself.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

Richard Cartwright [Lennox & Addington]—The hon. gentleman taunted the Government of the day, accusing them of inconsistency in not following out the policy they had indicated when in Opposition. The hon. gentleman should consider the difference there was between 1863 and the present time. In the former time, the neighboring country was plunged in civil war; there were fully a million of men under arms, and a single gun fired on the West India waters might, at any moment, plunge us into hostilities. Now peace reigned in the United States; the million of armed men had disappeared, Harley one-tenth of that number being at present on active service, and these were fully employed in holding the conquered country. He maintained that there was no comparison between the dangers of 1863 and the position of affairs in 1865. He did not pretend to say that our preparations were altogether adequate, or that fourteen thousand volunteers were quite sufficient for all defensive purposes. We were now, however, more at leisure to discuss the nature of our required preparations than we had been at any previous period within the past two or three years.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Richard Cartwright [Lennox & Addington]—In conclusion, the hon. gentleman expressed his belief that the best mode of organizing our regular militia would be to call them out by instalments for training.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Joseph Perrault [Richelieu] did not accept the insinuation that the military cadets of Lower Canada were inferior to those of Toronto. He could speak with some personal knowledge of the zeal and efficiency of Lower Canadian graduates of the military schools. As to the charge about alleged inferiority of social position, he contended that it was no stigma whatever, and that it did not detract from their merits.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Joseph Perrault [Richelieu]—Here as in France men must rise to distinction in our military service by means of merit alone. Unlike England we had no aristocracy. Men were not fitted nor positions by mere birth—fitness alone was the true test.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North] could not allow the attack made by the Adjutant-General and repeated by the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] to pass unnoticed. It was altogether unfounded to say that there was any inferiority in the school here is regarded that of Montreal. The Commandant, Col. Gordon, the Adjutant, Capt. Bradburne, and the instructors were strictly impartial and highly efficient men. The examinations were conducted with the utmost regard to a thorough knowledge of duties. The 17th Regiment was a model regiment in the service and formed a most efficient training school. He had no doubt but that Col. Macdougall was an able and thoroughly qualified officer, but he knew nothing whatever of the people of Canada, and he thought it was exceedingly unbecoming in him, ere had warmed the official chair, to insult the young men of this Province in the manner he had done.

The Canadians were both zealous and competent. They knew their duty and they were willing to person it; but it was too bad they should be insulted in this manner by this Downing street gentleman, who came out here and knew nothing about our country, and yet took upon himself to tell us that our young men were acting for a mere mercenary consideration in going to the military schools in order to qualify themselves as militia officers. He repeated it—the aspersions against the youth of the country in general and the Lower Canada cadets in particular, were most unwarrantable and uncalled for.

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

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—He must reply to the sage remarks of the hon. Members for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald] and Hastings [Thomas Wallbridge]. They had joined together for the purpose of demolishing the new Adjutant-General; and he (Mr. Macdonald) had no doubt that with their eloquence and seal, and by the force of the position they occupied in this House and country, they would succeed in driving that gentleman from this country. The member for North Hastings [Thomas Wallbridge] protested most warmly against the statement made on the authority of the Adjutant-General, that there was not such a strict standard at the Quebec school as at the Toronto.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—I meant Montreal.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—The Adjutant-General never said a word about the Montreal school. The memorandum he read was furnished at his (Mr. Macdonald’s) request, and he was responsible for it. He assumed every word the Adjutant-General said was true.

Some Hon. Member—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—The member for North Hastings [Thomas Wallbridge] denied most indignantly that the school at Quebec was too lenient. Perhaps he was right; or any rate he ought to know that, for he (Mr. Macdonald) beloved that the hon. gentleman ultimately passed, while the latter was one in which he would be still plucked.

Some Hon. MembersMuch laughter.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—As to the standard of excellence, he (Mr. Macdonald) not being a military man, could not say whether it was lenient in Quebec or Toronto, but he did say that the system should be uniform in all cases; and for this purpose it was of great importance that the cadets should be mustered at an encampment in order that it might be ascertained whether they were fit to be officers or not. The member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald] had asked him for the loan of this memorandum, and had acted in such a discourteous, unbecoming and insulting manner with regard to it as furnished only another instance of his character.

He (Mr. J.A. Macdonald) had learned another lesson as to his character which he would not forget, and he would never give him the same privilege while he was in the House.

Some Hon. MembersCheers.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Now what objection could that gentleman have to the statement of the Adjutant-General, that the military schools had effected much good in training a large number of young men in military knowledge and liabilities, &c.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]—None whatever.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Then this was perhaps what he objected to—“Still I submit the time has arrived when we may reasonably reduce the money inducement held out to young men to enter the schools, and which in many instances no doubt proved their principal inducement in doing so.” He (Mr. J.A. Macdonald) maintained it was true.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear, no, no.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Up to the 30th June, 1865, there had been given out in Upper Canada, 94 first-class and 454 second-class certificates; while in Lower Canada there were 365 first-class and 454 second-class. That of course formed no charge against the gentleman who attended those schools. But they were not all gentleman. Some improper characters were admitted to the military schools by the Brigade Majors whom the member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald] had appointed. There was no distinction made with regard to the class or standing of the pupils; why men were sent forward by the Brigade Majors who could neither read nor write; and if he would look at the files of the Montreal Gazette, he would find that parties had been brought before the police authorities charged with larceny. There was one case of a man at Quebec who got a suit of clothes to wear at drill at the school, but who ran away with them and never showed his face again afterwards. The object should be to select men for the school fit by education and social position to command men, and the schools should not be made the receptacles of persons of the opposite class, which would render it not a benefit but an abuse.

(The hon. gentleman here passed a high eulogium on the talents, attainments and long service of the Adjutant-General, vindicating him from the charges of the member for North Hastings [Thomas Wallbridge].)

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—I only took exception to his judgement.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] said that he had spoken in a most disparaging manner of that officer whose military works were authorities throughout the British army.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—It was most fortunate that a solider of his talents and experience had been sent out to place our militia on a proper and efficient footing; and was he to be barked at because he told the truth and placed in his (Mr. Macdonald’s) hands a document every word of which was true and could be proved.

Some Hon. MembersCheers.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—It was not by fulsome compliment that we were going to make the militia of Canada soldiers, but by speaking the truth to them. But the hon. member who got his second-class certificate at the Quebec school got up and showed his discipline and training bus saying—is this the mind of Adjutant-General you have got; his conduct will soon cause the whole of the militia to disband. Now, he had not learned the first duties of his profession—respect and obedience to his superior officers.

Some Hon. MembersCheers and laughter.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Perhaps when he went to the camp at Montreal and was associated for 20 days with the gentleman form Toronto, and learned more what was due to his position as a soldier, he might at some future period by strict attention to his drill and other duties, having over come this feeling go insubordination, he might be advanced to the rank of a lance-corporal.

Some Hon. MembersLoud laughter.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—When we had a real earnest attempt to carry out the militia law passed by the Government of the hon. member for North Hastings [Thomas Wallbridge], who was a young and inexperienced recruit, but who might yet become a smart and steady soldier, should oppose us, but for a man like the member for Cornwall, who had served when it was a time to try men’s souls—who had worn a uniform and gone to Washington on duty—who had changed his politics in 1841 for a colonel’s commission—who would, no doubt, still serve bravely in the field if wanted—it was strange that be should oppose the measure which he passed himself.

We had found this law in the statute book, and it was our bounden duty to give it a fair working. It would have been improper for us to attempt to force on the legislature that had just accepted one militia bill an entirely different one. We felt it our duty to nice it a fair trial. We had done so, and he had paid a warm tribute to a portion of the measure, particularly that concerning military schools. We had postponed any measure till we saw the present one worked. In fact, everything was done to carry out the hon. Gentleman’s measure to a successful completion.

Instead, however, we had been taunted by him continually for attempts to carry out his own measure. We would continue our efforts to carry it out, and if it be found really workable, would maintain it. If, however, there was nothing in it, we would sweep away the system. He (Mr. J.A. McD.) did not regret the money expended on those schools. He believed that in the initiation the expenses had been more than commensurate with the advantages, but experience would reduce the expenses and increase the advantages. Every day’s experience showed that the young men of the country would rush to the schools in greater numbers than ever to justify themselves for the highly honorable, distinguished and responsible office of a comm under of men in the field of battle.

Some Hon. MembersCheers.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—The young men serving in the militia, not only gave service, but got service. Every man and a duty to serve as a common solider, and to fight for the country in case of war; but no man had a right over his fellow-man, who was as willing to risk his life as he was, to command others, unless he showed his qualification for it; and, if there was a rush of young men to attend these schools, it need only be said that it was a high honor to them to be placed in a position of commanding the services, and disposing, as it were, of the lives of others.

(The hon. Gentleman concluded by remarking upon the importance of military training for the youth of the country, and defending the course of the Government on the militia question.)

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North] said the Hon. Minister of Militia [John A. Macdonald] had conveyed to the House a false impression—namely, that he (Mr. Wallbridge) had been plucked.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—He proposed to show some pluck over it.

Some Hon. MembersRenewed merriment.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—He would at once relate to the circumstances, which were as follows: Immediately after close of last session, he (Mr. Wallbridge) with some five other members of the House, entered the military school in this city. The other hon. members obtained their certificates after they had been six weeks in the school, but he having been confined to his room for a fortnight by illness, was delayed after them. He, however, obtained his certificates after precisely the same length of time—deducting the period of his sickness. He had passed a most creditable examination and had not been plucked. It was true that at one of the examinations, just before he received his second-class certificate, he did not pass.

Some Hon. Members—Oh, oh, and laughter.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—But this was a thing that occurred every day.

Some Hon. MembersRenewed laughter.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—There was no plucking in it.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter and cheers.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Oh, chickens are plucked everyday.

Thomas Wallbridge [Hastings North]—If that was being plucked, he saw while he was at the school, two officers belonging to one of the regiments in garrison here, ordered for extra drill because they were not up to the mark, and yet these gentleman had received twenty times the amount of drill he (Mr. Wallbridge) received. It was an every day occurrence that cadets did not pass their examination. He therefore asked the honorable gentleman (Mr. J. A. Macdonald) to make the amende honorable, as he deemed he (Mr. Wallbridge) had been plucked.

Some Hon. MembersRoars of laughter.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]—Allow me to make the amende required by the hon. gentleman. I confess he was not “plucked”—only plucky.

Some Hon. Members—Roars of laughter.

Lucius Huntington [Shefford], in a lengthy speech, taunted the members of the Government for inconsistency while on the Treasury benches on the subject of defence, as compared with their language while in Opposition.

Arthur Rankin [Essex] condemned the course of the hon. member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald], both in the Government and as a member of the Opposition, in connexion with the system of defence, as being invariably wrong. His present attack on the Adjutant-General was most unjust. While he was leader of the Government he had appointed Col. Powell Deputy-Adjutant-General, and though he (Mr. Rankin) admitted that personally Colonel Powell was a very worthy man, and might have made a good civil official, but that, from a military point of view, his appointment was most unjustifiable. The appointment of Brigade Major Moffatt to the district in which he (Mr. Rankin) resided, was also an exceedingly bad appointment. The merits of a worthy and most efficient trained officer, Capt. Doherty, had been overlooked in the latter case. The system of military schools was, he believed, good in principle, but it was liable to be sadly abused. The hon. gentleman made a long speech, touching upon a variety of topics connected with the defence question—generally approving of the course of the Government in that respect, and disapproving of that of his hon. friend from Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald].

Archibald McKellar [Kent] and Alexander Mackenzie [Lambton] defended Brigade-Major Moffatt as being a worthy man and a well qualified officer in every respect.

In the course of some discussion which followed upon other items—

In reply to John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall]

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] was understood to say it was not intended to supersede the Deputy-Adjutant-General. As for Col. Powell, he was ready to admit that he had found him a most attentive and painstaking official.

The whole of the Militia items were then passed after a running fire of discussion on almost every item, viz:—

Departmental salaries $23,004
Contingencies 40,000
Compensations, &c. 15,000
Ammunition 16,000
Military Schools 100,000
Public Armouries 32,700
Volunteer Militia 72,000
Drill pay 127,000
Brigade-Majors 19,000
Drill Instructors 10,000
Military School Graduates 21,000
Efficient Volunteer Corps 5,000
Canals 95,000
Light-Houses 12,000
Slides, Booms, &c. 16,500
Harbors, Piers, &c. 22,000
Public Buildings 416,200
Miscellaneous 31,000
Roads and Bridges 24,000
Administration of Justice 10,000
Miscellaneous, &c. 654,000

A long, desultory and tedious discussion arose on the items for post-office and railway service; and the arrears payable to the Grand Trunk from June 9th, 1862, to June 30th, 1865. Hon. Mr. Holton demanded explanations as to the payment of the arrears of the Grand Trunk, and on receiving them contended they were unsatisfactory, and that the Government had made unauthorized advances to the Company.

Alexander Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Fiance] defended the Government’s conduct, asserted that not a shilling was paid out to the Company without the sanction of Parliament, and that for advances made the Company the Government held ample security as against it, owing to the Company more for postal service than had been given them. Both gentleman quoted from the printed evidence taken before Postal Commission, and the dispute raged as to facts as well as opinions. We have not space to give the discussion which lasted till after three this morning, came at a time when the Reporters were exhausted. Nothing but a full report could have made the matter intelligible to the public.

The Committee then arose and reported, after which the concurrence was taken, on nearly all items of estimates, one or two being reserved for discussion.

Considerable times was lost in discussion on the concurrence and the House adjourned at a quarter to four a.m. 

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