Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Ministerial Explanations (25 October 1854)

Document Information

Date: 1854-10-25
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Globe
Citation: The Globe (6 November 1854).
Other formats:

[illegible] a select Committee [illegible] and report as to the [illegible] removal of the Postmaster General [illegible] appointment of Postmaster General [illegible] other places in the [illegible] the recent Parliamentary [illegible] or immediately there [illegible] and report upon the [illegible] with the issuing of a [illegible] Peace for the County of Kent in [illegible] a vote of this House had been [illegible] to the Administration, and a [illegible] had been ordered; also to enquire [illegible] as to the circumstances connected [illegible] certain grant of £500 from the public [illegible] in the said month of June last, in aid of a [illegible] through the said County of Lambton; that the said Committee have power to spend for persons and papers, and that it be compose of the Hon Attorney General East, the Hon. Mr. Hincks, Mr. Papin, Mr. Scatcherd, and the mover.”

Mr. BROWN, in making this motion, said he thought it was only necessary to recall the attention of the House to what passed on a former evening in the course of the debate in regard to the manner in which appointments in the gift of the Crown were made. In that discussion he had brought up the case of the Postmaster of Brooke, and also the case of the Postmaster of Triumph, as illustrations of the system and the statements he then made were contradicted by the Attorney General East.

Mr. DRUMMOND.—I beg the hon. member’s pardon. I knew nothing at all about the facts, and merely asked the names, in order that I might enquire into the matter, and ascertain whether the statements of the hon. gentleman were correct or not. I did not deny the correctness of those statements, because I knew nothing at all about it.

Mr. BROWN.—I am happy to find that the hon. Attorney General has now retracted the statement he there made. His words were taken down in short hand, and the hon. gentleman said he would not sit here and listen to such statements being made without contradicting them. [Hear, hear.] And having said that, the hon. gentleman went on to state that he had too much confidence in his late colleague [Mr. Cameron] to believe that he would do such things as these, and clearly put upon me the necessity of proving the truth of what I had alleged. In consequence of the hon. gentleman’s contradiction of my statements, I have placed his name on the Committee for which I now move. I have also placed upon it the hon. member for Renfrew [Mr. Hincks], who, along with the Attorney General East, was responsible for those transactions. That hon. member stated that the Postmaster of Brooke had got his appointment by fraud, and that it was in consequence of this that the Postmaster General had removed him. I thought it necessary, therefore, to put the hon. member for Renfrew’s name on the Committee, that I might have an opportunity of proving that this statement was not correct, and that, on the contrary, the late Postmaster of Brooke was a most respectable person, and worthy of the situation he filled. [Hear, hear.] I have included in the enquiry other post-offices in Lambton, where similar things took place during the progress of the election. I have also included in my motion the issuing of a Commission of the Peace of the county of Kent, on the eve of the general election, and subsequent to the condemnation of the ministry by the House of Assembly. I have also added another transaction which I did not mention in the former debate, because, as we are to have an enquiry, and parties are to come down from the locality to prove those things, it is as well that the enquiry should embrace the whole proceedings of the Government in reference to the contest for the county of Lambton. The transaction I allude to was this, that, after the vote of this House in June, in condemnation of the late administration, the Hon. Malcolm Cameron obtained from the Executive Council a grant of £500 towards the construction of a road through Lambton, and thereby enabled him to tell the people of Lambton that this would only be the commencement of the grant. It is quite clear that the using of the public money in such a manner was in the highest degree reprehensible. [Hear, hear.] And observe how this money was given. As I am assured, the report of a surveyor, made some eight or ten years ago, in the old days of Government road-making, was hunted up out of the Crown Lands office, by the hon. gentlemen opposite, on the very eve of an election, drawn from the recess where it had been slumbering for years, hurriedly adopted, and sent up to Lambton. These things I am prepared to prove, if I get the Committee.

Sir ALLAN MACNAB.—The House will recollect what took place the other evening, when it was agreed that the hon. member for Lambton should have a Committee to prove certain charges which he advanced. But now the hon. gentleman wishes an investigation into all the post-offices. I thought I heard the hon. gentleman say that there was only one postmaster in Brooke.

Mr. BROWN.—Certainly—but my motion refers to postmasters in other townships besides Brooke.

Sir ALLAN MACNAB.—I think the House should grant a Committee to enquire about the postmaster of Brooke, but I cannot see the propriety of granting a Committee to enquire about the grant of money for the road, and all those other post-offices, us to which no notice of motion has been given.

Mr. BROWN.—What has just fallen from the hon. and gallant knight shows the little attention that is paid by the government to the business of the house. (Hear, hear.] Two days ago I gave written notice of this motion, word for word as it now stands, [Hear, hear.) and it is the hon. gentleman’s fault if he did not see it on the notice paper. I think that the hon. and gallant knight should be the land man to burke an enquiry of this nature. It is true that this decision of the Executive Council was come to after the vote of this house, that it had no confidence in the administration, and, if it is true that this money was used to tamper with the constituency of Lambton, I hold that we are as much bound to enquire into the whole circumstances, as into the case of the Postmaster of Brooke. I am sure that the house will not allow the administration to stop an enquiry into this matter. They will feel that the rights and liberties of the people are imperilled, if an investigation is not permitted into such transactions as these. [Hear, hear.]

Mr. SPEAKER having decided that the motion of the hon. member for Lambton was quite in order,

Hon. Mr. MORIN said.—We are quite willing to grant an enquiry into the matters in the first part of the motion, but we must certainly oppose the other portions of it, which are merely raking up the grievances of the hon. member for Lambton against the late Postmaster General and nothing more. This is not the place where these things ought to be discussed, and no case has been made out by the hon. member to justify an enquiry. As to whether money was given for the roads in a general way I know not, but the government, notwithstanding the position in which the majority of the house had placed them, had their full responsibilities, as long as they continued a government, and were obliged to carry on the administration of the affairs of the country. Therefore, if a Commission of the Peace was issued, it was only a part of their duty to do so. As to these monies, I do not know what the hon. member refers to, but he has not made out a case. Money has been expended for roads, not only in that section but in other sections. If the hon. member, therefore, will not withdraw the latter part of his motion, I must move an amendment to it.

Mr. MACKENZIE.—I will make a remark or two while the hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands is drawing up his amendment. It appears that when one of the members of the government goes up to Lambton and gets beaten there, and comes down to Lanark and gets beaten there, and you find there has been a great deal of shabby work going on, they will let some enquiry take place, but not much. (Hear, hear.] Why not allow an enquiry about this £500, as well as the rest? Why all this humbug about responsibility. [Hear, hear.] Where was the responsibility about assisting Mr. Cameron to secure his election with this £500? Did they give £500 to Haldimand? I trew not. No, it was given to keep the family circle together, and that those who endeavoured to represent public opinion in the house might be prevented from doing so for another four years. (Hear, hear.) Just after the ministry found themselves in a minority, thanks to the hon. member for Lambton and the present Attorney General West [Mr. Macdonald), and other hon. members, they issued this Commission of the Pence, and this Road Grant, in order to bolster up the rottenness and corruption of which they had been guilty. Post masters were tampered with, and £30,000 voted for roads in Upper Canada, of which brother Cameron received £500 with instructions to hand it out where he could best secure votes with it. Upon my word, it is rich to see the Commissioner of Crown Lands rising up and trying to get the matter concealed.

Mr. MORIN.—I don’t wish to conceal anything

Mr. MACKENZIE.—If you don’t want to conceal it, why not let it out? Prove the corruption, and let it come out. For goodness sake, let the hon. gentleman [Mr. Morin) put his paper in his pocket, and let the thing come out.

Mr. MORIN.—No sase has been made out. This is a condemnatory Committee, and I must make my motion.

Mr. MACKENZIE.—Oh dear! dear! Whitewashing! Whitewashing!

Mr. MORIN then moved his amendment, that all the words after immediately thereafter” to “through the said county of Lambton” inclusively, he left out.

Mr. BROWN.—The hon. gentleman’s amendment would stop the enquiry into the circumstances connected with the issuing of the Commission of the Peace for the county of Kent, and also the grant of £500 from the Public Chest in aid of the road through the county of Lambton. The hon. gentleman says I have not made out a case. If he thinks so, I will try to make out one now. And first, in regard to the issuing the Commission of the Peace. It will be recollected that the House passed the vote, on which the Government considered it necessary to go the country, on a Tuesday, that the prorogation took place on Thursday and the dissolution on Saturday. On Friday I was told by an hon. member that I had better see the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. Robinson). I saw that hon. member accordingly, and he said to me, “I [illegible] for your country [illegible] to it.” I went down [illegible] to the Executive Council Chamber, [illegible] found that the statement was quite true. I saw the Assistant Provincial Secretary West and he assured me that the papers had passed through the Council some days before, and that they were being expedited with all haste, in order to be got out immediately. When I got up to the county, I found that letters had been received by a large number of persons along the line between the counties of Kent and Lambton, intimating that their names had been placed on the Commissions. Now, there is no one in this House but knows the effect of such commissions issued on the eve of an election. (Hear, hear.) There are two points to be observed in connection with this transaction; in the first place, the tampering with the freedom of election, and, in the second place, the unconstitutional proceeding of hon. gentlemen opposite in issuing such a commission, after this House had declared that they had no confidence in the Administration. It is clear that the moment that vote passed, their Administrative functions should have creased, except in so far as was absolutely necessary to carry on the business of the country. (Hear, hear.) If we had waited for years for a commission of the Peace, it was certainly easy for us to wait a month longer, and, however, the gentlemen who now sit on the Treasury Benches think of it now, they certainly thought of it then as I do.

Sir Allan MACNAB.—I never heard of it till now.

Mr. BROWN.—Perhaps not the gallant Knight I allude to his colleagues. The other night the system of appointing offices, in the gift of the Crown, was under discussion. Could there be a case more in point to show the evil working of a system which gives the Government the means of bolstering themselves up, when the Representatives of the people have condemned them. (Hear, hear.) The next part of the motion which the hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands proposes to strike out is “to enquire and report as to the circumstances connected with a certain grant of £500 from the public chest in the said month of June last, in aid of a road through the said county of Lambton.” Now, sir, I think I am correct in saying that the order for that grant was passed through the Council on the Saturday after the defeat of the Administration in this House, that it was dated on the 23rd of June. (Hear, hear.) And observe what was the effect on it. At a meeting I held with the Hon. Malcolm Cameron in the Township of Sombra, or rather in Dawn, near the Sombra line, one of the electors said something about the roads. “Well,” said the hon. gentleman, “I have got a road for you.” “But,” it was replied “you will tax us for it.” “No,” he said, “you will not be taxed for it. I have got it for you without any consideration.” The thing appeared to be so monstrous that I paid very little attention to it at the time, but the people at the meeting were left under the impression that the road would start from their locality and run northward. At another meeting at Zone Mills some twenty miles eastward we had the same story repeated, and the same impression conveyed, that the road should run north from that place. When we got fifteen miles further, near Smith’s Mills, we had the same story again. I then found that an old survey prepared by Mr. Smith of Euphemia had been hunted up out of Crown Lands Office, where it had lain for eight or ten years, for the very evident purpose of effecting the election of the county of Lambton.

Mr. MORIN.—I understand now to what the hon. gentleman refers. It was not Mr. Cameron but I myself who suggested that road, on a petition presented years before.

Mr. BROWN.—How long before?

Mr. MORIN.—I cannot recollect the exact date. I stated years ago that there should be a road there.

Mr. BROWN.—This is just the ordinary fashion of gentlemen opposite in debate. They meet grave statements by hasty suggestions or denials. The other night the hon. member for Renfrew, told us that the Postmaster of Brooke had got his office by fraud, but he could not give us any particulars of the transaction. The Hon. Attorney General denied my whole statement flatly because his colleague, in his opinion, was incapable of acting as I said he had done. And now the hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands gets up and tells us that the grant was not made to affect the election, for that he himself recommended the road, on account of a position presented years before. But how many years before he cannot tell.

Mr. MORIN.—There were petitions a year before, and I thought myself that that was one of the places where, in justice to the population, there ought to be a road.

Mr. BROWN.—A very pleasant story, truly! But who were the petitions from?—who presented them? When were they presented? As member for the county I never heard of them. And why did they lie so long buried and forgotten, and came alive at so auspicious a moment? How was it that the hon. gentleman became so wide awake to the wants of Lambton precisely on the 23rd June, neither sooner nor later—the very day on which Parliament was dissolved! (Hear, hear.) Could there be a more flagrant case than even what has been admitted by the commissioner of Crown Lands? Ought not such a system be put a stop to, if possible, by a full enquiry. (Hear, hear.) And mark the waste of the public money. This grant of £500 was given for a road to run through some 30 miles of unsettled land at a cost of some £700 a mile. My food friend Mr. Smith, who was appointed a Commissioner with, I thin, two others, to lay out the road, would have swallowed up the whole grant in setting the affair going. I cannot conceive how the present Government can refuse enquiry into such a transaction. If the Government of our country is to stand pure, if freedom of election is to be maintained, if the people are to enjoy the privileges they are entitled to under our constitution, it must be by putting the prompt and firm censure of this House on such transactions as these. (Hear, hear.) It may be true that the late Ministry did not accomplish the object intended, thanks for that to the independent men of Lambton. In how many other cases may elections have been affected by precisely such things as these. (Hear, hear,) And, anxiously as the Ministry seek to stifle the enquiry and screen the guilty parties, I am quite sure that the House will not allow it. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. SCATCHERD said that every member of the House was interested in having a full enquiry into these transactions. At present the county of Middlesex was taxed something like £120,000 for public improvements, and was it fair that one single county should receive a grant of £500, or any other sum out of the public chest for a local improvement, while other counties had to bear themselves the whole burden of their own improvements? (Hear, hear.) Every member of the House was interested in getting a stop put to such a system.

Mr. PAPIN, in French, strongly condemned the conduct of the Government in endeavouring to stifle an enquiry.

Mr. DEWITT thought that ministers should be the very last men to refuse an investigation into such a charge as that of giving money out of the public chest to affect elections. When charged with such things ministers should be the very first to call for an enquiry, that they might have an opportunity of disproving the allegations, if they could. (Hear, hear.) If it was a fact that the public funds had been used to affect elections, the whole system of Representative Government was undermined, and responsibility a mockery and a cheat. Every man, woman and child in the Province was interested in a thorough enquiry being allowed, for, if they could not have free elections, where would be the public liberties? [Hear, hear.]

Attorney General MACDONALD said that, if there had been any desire to cover these alleged misdeeds, the Government would not have granted a committee to look even into the Postmaster affairs. But that matter having got into the newspapers, and become a matter of public notoriety, and having been introduced into a discussion which took place in this House, a sort of arrangement was come to that the honorable member for Lambton should have a committee to enquire into it. That arrangement having been made, the honorable member should have moved for his committee in the words of the arrangement, and left the other matters for a subsequent motion. The idea that there was any desire to prevent an enquiry as to the issuing of a commission of the Peace, when the Government had just consented to an enquiry into the appointment of the post-masters, was absurd, a wrong appointment of a post-master being a much more serious thing than the wrong appointment of a magistrate, and constituting a much higher bribe, if a bribe were intended. This he considered was a sufficient answer to the allegation that there was any attempt to hide a corrupt and improper abuse of the power of the Government. The reason why the hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands objected to those enquiries was that the honourable member for Lambton had not taken the necessary preliminary steps. The rule in Parliament was to believe that every honorable member stated what he believed to be true, but they were not bound to believe that what he stated actually was true. The honourable member should not have said, “the facts are so and so, and I want leave to prove them,” but he should have moved that the commission he laid on the table, and then made a subsequent motion that that commission should be referred to a committee. So also with the honorable gentleman’s statement about granting £500 to a road. The honorable gentleman had told the House a number of circumstances, but they found he was very much at fault in at least one of those circumstances, and he might be in others. There was no doubt that the hon. member’s avowed design was to fasten a charge of improper conduct on his opponent at the election.

Mr. BROWN said he wanted to fasten the charge on the Government—on the honorable Commissioner of Crown Lands—quite as much as on his colleague, the late Postmaster General.

Mr. MACDONALD.—The honorable member gets up and makes the serious charge that £500 were improperly given to that road? Why did [illegible] not move that the papers relating to that transaction be laid before the House?

Mr. BROWN.—Because the fact of the commission and the fact of the £500 grant are admitted—[illegible] attendant circumstances are the points of enquiry for the committee.

Mr. MACDONALD said the first thing the honorable member should have done was to have made out a case for enquiry. Such a course as that taken by the honorable member would never be allowed in the English Parliament. In the first place it was not even asserted that a commission had been issued. The motion merely stated that the committee were to inquire into the circumstances under which a commission had been [illegible]. The hon. member should first have moved for the production of the commission, and then referred it to a committee. So also with the read. He should have moved for the order in [illegible] to the road, and for the papers shewing where the money had been expended, and when these had been laid on the table, the House would be able to judge whether an enquiry was necessary. It was quite evident, notwithstanding the remarks of the honorable gentleman, from the course taken by the present Government with respect to all those enquiries, that they were not liable to the charge of trying to conceal the truth in regard to the charges brought against any of the late or the present administration. If they looked back over the proceedings of this session, they would find that in no one single instance had a case been at all made out for an enquiry, in regard to which the Government had manifested any desire to prevent investigation. But there must be an end to this kind of thing somewhere. If it were allowable for every gentleman to get up and make assertions, and then get a committee to enquire into the truth of them, the whole time of the House would be occupied with such matters. The statements of the honorable member for Lambton were very specific, and he had very little doubt he would make out his case. (Loud cries of Hear, hear.) Still he thought the proper course for him to take was that which he had pointed out.

Mr. DORION (Montreal) said he had not for a long time had occasion to admire such a piece of special pleading as the speech which had just been delivered by the hon. Attorney General (Hear, hear.) The hon. gentleman began by stating that the member for Lambton should have first moved for the papers connected with the appointment of the Justices of Peace? If that were necessary, why did they allow an enquiry into the Postmaster affair, without first having the papers on the table? (Hear, hear.) And the other day the Solicitor General moved a Committee to investigate much more serious charges against some of his own honorable colleagues. In that case, were any of the papers connected with those charges first moved for? (Hear, hear.) It was singular to observe the inconsistencies of hon. gentlemen on the other side. One day, when it suited their purpose, they moved for a Committee without taking any of those preliminary steps, which on another day in a precisely similar case they declared to be indispensable Hon. gentlemen on the Treasury Benches knew very well that when the hon. member for Lambton made certain statements, and declared that he was ready to prove certain charges, he was ready to accept the responsibility that attached to those declarations. Why then did they oppose the Committee? They knew very well that that hon. member would suffer in his reputation, and would be considered a slanderer, if he did not prove what he had said, and yet they would only allow the enquiry on the most unimportant parts of his motion. The hon. Attorney General had said that the office of a Postmaster was more important than that of a Magistrate, but he would ask whether on the eve of an election, it was more important to appoint one single Postmaster, than to issue a commission for a large body of Justices of the Peace. (Hear, hear.) Which was the most important, the appointment of a Postmaster for one part of a county, or issuing a commission of the Peace for the whole of the county? The charge against the Government of trying to induce people to vote at an election in a certain way, by a nomination of a large body of Justices was a much graver charge than that of appointing a single Postmaster. (Hear, hear.) If hon. gentlemen on the other side were not afraid of the truth coming out, why should they not allow a Committee to enter upon an enquiry, the result of which would determine whether elections in future could be conducted without being tampered with the issuing of commissions of the peace, and other offices in the gift of the Crown, which, as bribes, were greater temptations than even sums of money.

Dr. CLARKE defended the issuing of the commission of the Peace to influence the election, as being only what had been notoriously practised for years.

Sol. Gen. SMITH said that the present case was not analogous to that referred to by the hon. member for Montreal. (Mr. Dorion.) The investigation to be conducted by the Committee which he (the Sol. Gen.) had moved, had been consented to by the late Administration , whose conduct was to be enquired into, and had been demanded by the Premier of that Administration himself. The hon. member for Lambton would have his Committee, if he brought up his application in the proper way. He hoped the hon. member would consent to the amendment proposed by the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

Mr. FLINT hoped the honorable member for Lambton would not consent to divide his motion, but either carry it or lose it in its entirety. (Hear, hear.) If he wanted anything to convince him that the course he had taken in regard to local appointments was correct, he would be convinced by what had taken place to-night. He believed that all such appointments should be taken out of the Crown and placed in the hands of the people. It was very convenient for the Government, on the eve of an election, to make appointments as inducements to the parties who received them to bring their influence to bear on behalf of the Administration, but, while such a system was allowed, freedom of election could not be had. He was very anxious to know the truth of the statements about the grant of £500 for a road, for he had made some applications himself for grants for roads, cand never could get a farthing.

Mr. DORION, (Drummond) also urged the importance of having an enquiry into the whole of the charges.

Hon. Mr. SPENCE said he fully agreed with all that had been said on the other side of the House in reference to the importance to be attached to charges of so grave a nature as those made by the honorable member for Lambton. He thought, however, that that honorable member should be satisfied with the appointment of a committee for the investigation of the Post Office charges, and in reference to the others that he should take the course suggested, by moving for the papers necessary to make out his case. In reference to the patronage of the Post Office Department, he fully agreed with all that had been said, as to the impropriety of dispensing that patronage for the purpose of affecting elections, and the same rule he thought should apply to the issuing of Commissions of the Peace.

Mr. TURCOTTE supported Mr. Morin’s amendment.

Mr. FOLEY said the honorable Attorney General had stultified himself by assenting even to the first part of the enquiry, when he maintained that the moving for the production of papers was a necessary preliminary step to any such enquiry. If it was incorrect and irregular to grant the committee asked for with regard to the latter part of the motion, it was equally irregular and improper to grant it with regard to the first part of the motion, for if no case had been made out in regard to one part of the motion, none had been made out in regard to the other part. In regard to the road grant, if the honorable member for Lambton had not made out his case, he thought the Commissioner of Crown Lands had done it for him, in stating that the petition upon which that grant of money was founded, was transmitted to the Government about a year before the grant was perfected. He asked how it was that during all that time, no action was taken upon the petition by the government. That circumstance gave the affair a very suspicious aspect, and he thought that, in attempting to make an apology, the honorable Commissioner of Crown Lands had afforded just another reason why a full enquiry should be granted. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. LORANGER, in French, repeated the arguments urged by the Attorney General West, why the latter part of the motion should not be granted.

Mr. SMITH (Northumberland) said he had no objection to the honorable member for Lambton having his committee, but if the matter was reduced to a strict line of law, and if it were the case, as the honorable Attorney General had contended, that the honorable member for Lambton had not made out his case according to strict Parliamentary law, he (Mr. Smith) should vote for strict law, and he should therefore support the amendment. He thought that these charges might as well have been sent to the Investigation Committee appointed on the motion of the honorable Solicitor General, as to a committee packed by the honorable member for Lambton himself.

Mr. BROWN said he was sure it was quite unnecessary for the honorable member for Northumberland to inform the House that he intended to support the Administration. [Hear, hear.] Every one knew that equally well before the honourable gentleman spoke. But he was surprised to hear him told of his (Mr. Brown’s) desiring to pack the committee.

Mr. SMITH said he had not used to word in an offensive sense. He had not heard the names of the committee read.

Mr. BROWN did not know in what way the word could be need except in an offensive sense. Did the honorable gentleman not know that no member could pack a committee, that the objection of one member, even of the member for Northumberland, would cause the committee to be chosen by the House. But the most amusing feature was the cool manner in which the honorable member declared his intention of pinning his faith to the coat-tail of the honorable Attorney General. He had understood that the honorable member for Northumberland was a learned member of the bar himself, and might possible be capable of forming an opinion of his own. But what was the argument on which they were asked to give up the latter portions of the enquiry? It was said that a committee could not be granted, because the papers had not first been moved for. Now, if that argument applied to the issue of the Commission of the Peace, and the £500 grant to the road, why did it not apply to the Post Office enquiries? “Oh,” it was said, “in those cases a contradiction was given on the spot, and therefore he is entitled to an enquiry.” But, if honorable gentlemen would look at the motion, they would find that they had allowed to remain in it the charge as to the Postmaster of Triumph, to which no contradiction was given, and the charges in regard to other offices which were not even [illegible] on the former occasion. (Hear, hear.) If not contradicted, it was more necessary than ever that the charges should be fully enquired into. The fact of the issuing of the Commission of the Peace had been admitted by the honorable member for Renfrew. The £500 grant was admitted by the honorable Commissioner of Crown Lands.

Mr. MORIN.—I did not admit it.

Mr. BROWN said at all events the charge had been upon the notice-paper for two days, and it was the duty of the Government to have made themselves acquainted with the whole facts, and placed themselves in a position to come down to this House, and either deny or admit the charge. (Hear, hear.) If they denied the charges, on their own promises they should grant the Committee. If they admitted them, there was a still greater necessity for enquiry as to the mere piece of etiquette of asking those papers, he did not require to do so, he had them already. (Hear, hear.) [illegible] commission for [illegible] public society, [illegible] to the £500 [illegible] had seen a latter addressed [illegible] the commissioners, referring to the order in Council. The whole matter simply amounted to this. We had made certain charges in regard to the manner in which the Administration had used the patronage of the Crown to affect the election for Lambton. Those charges had been contradicted—he was placed on his defence and a Committee promised. But now when he sought the Committee and asked have to prove not only all that he had alleged but much more,—he could not have it—the matter must be hushed up. (Hear, hear.) He would put it to the House in what light the Administration would appear before the country when it went forth that they had refused the enquiry, not on account of any doubt as to the facts, not because the enquiry did not effect the public interests and the rights of the people of Canada, but because the motion for enquiry had not been made in that nice style of etiquette that would please the fastidious tastes of hon. gentlemen opposite. (Hear, hear.)

A division was then taken on the amendment moved by Mr. Morin, which was carried by a vote of 51 to 41.

Yeas.—Messieurs Alleyn, Bellingham, Bowes, Brodeur, Burton, Casault, Cauchon, Cayley, Chabot, Chapais, Chauveau, Clarke, Crysler, Daoust of Two Mountains, Desaulniers, Dionne, Attorney General Drummond, Felton, Ferres, Fortier of Nicolet, Fortier of Bellechasse, Fournier, Gamble, Gill, Labelle, Laporte, Lemieux, Loranger, Attorney General Macdonald, Sir Allan N. MacNab, McCann, Meagher, Mongenais, Morin, Morrison of Simcoe North, Niles, O’Farrell, Patrick, Polette, Poulin, Robinson, Ross of Northumberland East, Shaw, Solicitor General Smith, Smith of Northumberland West, Spence, Stevenson, Tache, Thibaudeau, and Turcotte—51.

Nays.—Messieurs Aikins, Bell, Biggar, Bourassa, Brown, Bureau, Cook of Oxford South, Daoust of Beauharnois, Darche, DeWitt, Doron of Drummond and Arthabaska, Dorion of Montreal City, Dostaler, Dufresne, Fergusson, Ferrie, Flint, Foley, Frazer, Freeman, Galt, Hartman, Huot, Laberge, Lumsdon, McDonald of Cornwall, Mackenzie, McKerlie, Marchildon, Matheson, Mattice, Merritt, Munro, Papin, Prevost, Sanborn, Scatcherd, Terrill, Valois, Wright, and Young—41.

The main motion, as amended was then agreed to upon the following division:—

Yeas.—Messieurs Aikins, Alleyn, Bell, Bellingham, Biggar, Bourassa, Bowes, Brodeur, Brown, Bureau, Burton, Casault, Cauchon, Cayley, Chabot, Chauveau, Clarke, Cooke of Ocford South, Crysler, Daly, Daoust Beauharnois, Daoust of Two Mountains, Darche, DeWitt, Dorion of Drummond and Arthabaska, Dorion of Montreal City, Dostaler, Drummond, Dufresne, Fergusson, Ferres, Ferrie, Flint, Foley, Fortier Bellechasse, Fraser, Freeman, Galt, Gamble, Gill, Hartman, Huot, Labelle, Laberge, Laporte, Lemieux, Lumsden, Macdonald of Kingston, McDonald of Cornwall, Mackenzie, McNab, McCann, McKerlie, Machildon, Matheson, Mattice, Meagher, Morin, Morrison of Simcoe North, Munro, Niles, O’Farrell, Papin, Patrick, Polette, Pouliot, Prevost, Robinson, Ross of Northumberland East, Sanborn, of Scatchered, Shaw, Smith of Frontenac, Smith of Northumberland West, Somerville, Spence, Stevenson, Terrill, Valois, Wright and Young—81,

NAYS.—Messieurs Chapais, Desaulniers, Dionne, Fortier of Nicolet, Fournier, Loranger, Mongenais, Poulin, Tache, Thibaudeau and Turcotte—11.

The House then adjourned.

Leave a Reply