Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly [Repeal of the Union], Montreal Gazette (24 April 1856)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Montreal Gazette
Citation: “Provincial Parliament” Montreal Gazette (28 April 1856) & “Provincial Parliament” Montreal Gazette (30 April 1856).
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Toronto, April 24.
Repeal of the Union
Mr. Fulton, in reply to the hon. Member for Haldimand, said that the resolutions passed by the Legislature of Upper Canada, respecting the Union, were to this effect; That she wanted to relieve herself from financial embarrassment, and to be able to complete her public works. One resolutions was forth that it was desirable that there should be an equal representation of both Provinces in the United Legislatures. The hon. member had stated that Lower Canada was inexplicably in debt. Well compare her present [text missing] in that respect with that of Upper Canada at the time of the Union. She had a population at that time of 445,357, and owed a sum of money which would exceed considerable £3 a-piece for every man, woman and child throughout her whole breadth and [text missing] sufficient to pay the interest on her debt. Now, Lower Canada was not only able to pay the whole debt [text missing] her by Upper Canada, but also the interest on it. The hon. member [text missing] Lower Canada as being worse than the country inhabited by the [text missing] as if the people were a beggarly lot of fishermans, and that it possessed a massive toll and could not support itself. It was strenge, if this was the [text missing] that Upper Canada from the time of the Union had been enabled to pay her debts, [text missing] herself up and walk abroad among honest men. But by this [text missing] fraud Lower Canada was obligated to pay Upper Canada’s debt at the time and was now responsible to pay her share of two and a half million principal and interest. And then as to Lower Canada getting the best public works and was not able to dip her hands so deep in the public purse as Upper Canada, which gave up [text missing] and municipal loans funds and Lower Canada has to pay the piper so far as the administrations of justice was concerned. It was true that the expenses in Lower Canada are greater than those of Upper Canada. But for the support of agriculture the latter got the most benefits, and she shocked the [text missing] better than the lower [text missing] did. The latter had the advantage, in 1851, of native born population and exceeded that of Upper Canada by 343,000, according to the census; and the emigration had not continued to increase in 1851. An [text missing] difficulty was offered now to the [text missing] of the Union, for the debt of the Province [text illegible]. Lower Canada received at this moment about one half of the whole customs and revenue, and altogether her credit was equal in that of Upper Canada. He believed the House would not entertain the motion. The whole of the arguments, both in the House and out, were now advanced with a view to the internets of the Province, but to get up as agitation, which might in some way benefit the hon. Member for Haldimand. He rusted too much in the knowledge and political wisdom of the people of Upper Canada, to [text missing] that they would endorse [text missing] of the sentiments of that hon. member.
Mr. Hartman decided that the agitation for the dissolution of the Union had to [text missing] by the member for Haldimand to make some profit out of it for himself [text missing] whatever might be his [text missing] the member who had just sat down had gone far to strengthen toe position taken up by the member for Haldimand, who argued last night that Upper Canada suffered by a connections with Lower Canada, and now the member for Haldimand’s argument, if it amounted to any thing at all, want to show it suffered with his [text missing] with Upper Canada. He agreed with the hon. member for Haldimand that the time had arrived when the Union should be dissolved. He believed it had accomplished already all the good it could accomplish, which the [text missing] that daily [text missing] forms it were many and grievous–
Mr. MacKenzie said, that if in Lower Canada such justice was administered as had been in the case of the murder of Corrigan, he did not wonder that the member for Haldimand could convict U. Canada with contributing more convicts to the Penitentiary; besides, U. Canada was far more populous. The hon. Member had alluded to the revenue. The fact was, that Toronto alone contributed about £150,000 to the Customs revenue at an expense of £4,000, while the whole of Lower Canada ports, except Montreal, collected together only £57,000 at an expense of £15,000 for collections. When he first knew Lower Canada it had a economical Legislature under a man whom he admired (Mr. Papineau). A man who kept the priests in order, and as firm a friend of civil and religious liberty as was King William the III. But, since the Union matters had [text missing] on very differently. He wondered how much revenue that fine railway from Trois Pointes was to yield. He would be surprised if it yielded enough to grease the wheels of its locomotives. The hon. member said that the Great Western had got £4,000,000 of our money. He did not know that, but he knew the other day it declared a dividend of 8 per cent. Who ever heard of a Lower Canada Railroad giving a dividend? What they paid it with he could not fancy, unless it was with the public money. He looked upon Lower Canada as a partner that furnished no capital and no labor, and at the same time swallowed up the dividend. He wanted to cut the partnership, but if they would not give him representation by population he would bring forward no more such motions. Things could then make L. Canada contribute some, by taking all her nunneries and monasteries and selling them by auction, which would yield an income of six or seven millions.
Mr. Macmillan had always opposed the Union as [text missing] to the best interests of Lower and Upper Canada. He was satisfied that the two populations could never live together in harmony.
Mr. A. A. Dorion said that any one who would compare the recent declaration of this Attorney General East, that Lower Canada, if representation by population, were forced upon her, must seek for a new state of political existence, with the growing demand in Upper Canada for representation by population, must [text missing] that the union could not remain long on its present footing. He would not like the hon. member for Haldimand on the one side, or the hon. member for Richmond on the other, state all the evils which either province had suffered from the union, but in the population of the two sections, in their habits language is everything that constituted nationality but he saw difficulties in the way of a proper understanding between the two sections. Not a single member of Upper Canada could dare go to his constituents without pledging himself to advocate representation by population as they saw at the late elections for [text missing] and Renfrew. Every one had pledged himself differently to it, and he could not complain of Upper Canada insisting on it. It would not be fair or just in Upper Canada when she should have a population of half a million or three-quarters [text missing] than Lower Canada, that she should not have representation heard upon population. The difficulty stared them in the face and the difficulty could not be much longer availed by any attempts on the part of the administration to shirk it by moving the previous question as they did last year or by raising a point of order as they did last night. It was the duty of every one who had the interests of the country at heard to see whether there might not be some means by which the difficulty might be met. There was a strong feelings, their institutions would be jeopardized. It appeared to him that the difficulty about representation by population arose from the nature of the existing legislative Union. He thought there would be no difficulty in finding a plan by which the commercial interests of the country, our railway interests, our public works, our trade and navigation, would be left to be dealt with by a general legislature representing the whole Province according to the population, while at the same time legislation as to education and matters of a local character might be left to local legislation. In that way their rights and prejudices – for there were prejudices even [text missing] to respect – if each section would be safely guaranteed. The difficulties resulting from the Union were growing instead of diminishing. Advantages has resulted from it, but they had been averted. They had contracted a habit of [text missing] spending the public money. By the growth of our population, and the increase of our [text missing], we had obtained such a revenue as had accustomed us in a [text missing], which had brought us almost to the brink of ruin. Our debt had increased. Before the Union, with a revenue of £150,000, Lower Canada was able to make more public works in proportion than since the Union. From 1814 to 1837, with a revenue averaging from £100,000 to £135,000 they appropriated to public works above £36,000 a year; and to show the difference in his [text missing], me he might mention that, while the St. Lawrence Canals now yield only £110,000 a year, the small Lachine Canals alone, twenty years ago, was yielding £5000 a year. He regretted that the administration should systematically endeavor to put down every enquilly, every discussion which had for its object the [text missing], whether nothing could be done for relieve [text missing] the difficulty if the present Legislative union could not [text missing] for any length of time. He said there was a growing feeling in Upper Canada in favor of representation by population. Any one who would consult the Journals of 1852 and 53, would see that all the gentlemen now [text missing] the Treasury benches from Upper Canada, had [text missing] for that measure. He would ask the hon. gentlemen to look at the [text missing] then delivered, and at the articles in the newspaper, which was then edited by the Post Master General, and say whether it was possible to believe that Upper Canada would not insist upon having representation by population, and that in a very short time Lower Canada might be satisfied that at the next election there would not be a single candidate for an Upper Canada constituency, who would dare to say that he would oppose representation by population. He did not think that a Federal Union of the British American Provinces would be at present a desirable thing. The [text missing] Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada united, were sufficiently large, had a sufficiently numerous population to admit of a subdivision for local purposes and a general Legislature to represent general interests. Under such a system he believed we would enjoy better harmony, and spend a great deal less money wastefully, then we do now. Whenever a sum of money was voted to one section of the Province, an equal sum had to be voted to the other whether it was wanted or not. Thus in the last resolution when the House voted £5000 to pay jurors in Lower Canada, an equal amount had to be given to the Municipalities of Upper Canada. In this way we came to have a debt which was frightening every one. He regretted that the hon. member for Haldimand had brought up the question in the shape he had. It would have been much better for a Committee to discuss the whole subject, and bear the views of different members. In Upper Canada the feeling with a great majority would be, – we must have representation by population, or a dissolution of the union. In Lower Canada the feeling with the majority would be for a dissolution of the union rather than yield representation by population. But although he believed the present system could not last long altogether he was against the existing order of things, he could not vote for the motion much less endorse the arguments on which the member for Haldimand had based it. If the present union continued to exist it could truly exist on the basis of representation by population. He considered it was the only just system. A federal union he considered best, but seemed to that and preferable to the present order of things, he would say representation by population and he would go for that, if, after trying be should fail to obtain a federal union.
Hon. Mr. Drummond said the ministry are not afraid to discuss the matter, they are anxious, however, to carry out practical and real reforms and they wish to save the time of this House as much as possible from the idle attempts of theorists, and also from the expense of appointing Committees to examine whether we should not take up the constitution of France or of some other country. They are satisfied with the constitution of this country as they have it, and wish to resist the attempts that are made by some hon. gentlemen in this House for the purpose of producing effect out of [text missing], some of whom have wasted a long life in doing nothing. They would wish to resist such discussions as are provoked by motion made by hon. gentlemen who know that no practical results can arise from their motions, and whose only desire is to disturb the public mind and to take away from the eyes of the representatives of the people the great object for which they were sent into the Legislature. I say I look upon them with feelings of disgust. Now, the hon. member for Montreal wishes to throw upon [text missing] the wish to distrust the Union – I deny it – from the beginning I always looked forward to the Union as the means of making us as a great people: but would I [text missing] to advise the people of my adopted country to resort to such a plan as that proposed by the hon. Member for Montreal? I would scorn the idea of breaking our Legislature into small municipal bodies. Then this united province which is looked upon as a great country would be broken up into small fragments. I can very well look forward to the time when a federal union can be formed of all the British and American Provinces. But to think of breaking up this united legislation into small bodies in preposterous. And what, I demand to know, would tese set down be, as proposed by the hon. member for Montreal. But municipal bodies, that is the bright idea which the hon. member [text missing] us of having shut out from the light of day. He tells us be is prepared to go for representation by population if we do not give him a repeal of the union, or consent to this new idea. Well, I can tell that hon. member that I am prepared to say that I will never consent to a retrograde movement in the Government of this country. If there is to be any change it must be a change in advance which will place us in a prouder position than we are now, and not to do as the hon. member for Sherbrooke had said to tear the system to pieces. If we are to have any charge it must be a federal union of all the provinces. I think the day is not far distant when such takes place. There is no interchange of mode or sympathy with the trade of Lower Canada, but we must be connected with those relations before we can be placed in a position even to talk or think seriously of a federal union. I am not in the slightest degree alarmed by this demand of representation by population, and am prepared to go further [text missing] say, that if the population Upper or Lower Canada should accede each other by a very large figure, I do not say it is insisted this demand should be resisted, but I say it is insisted that whatever motion happens to be in the minority must certainly endeavour to place itself in a better position than that in which it was before, when it was only a few years since we laid down the basis of our representations upon a federal system, and since that time no change has taken place, that should induce us to alter that principle. I believe, in the first place, that the census of Lower Canada was not properly made, that the people then were deterred from giving a true statement of population because in many places they were given to understand by many of those who are ever eager to rouse up the prejudices of the people that the object of the census being taken was taxation. There are reasons to believe that there will be no disproportion in population for years to come in the Quebec section of the Province for while at the present [text missing] the lands which are available for settlement in Upper Canada are few, in Lower Canada there are vast tracts of land to be peopled and since this course was taken large tracts of this land have been settled by an industrious population, and there is another reason why I foresee that the population of Upper Canada will not exceed to any great extent that of Lower Canada, and that is the failing off of emigration to the former. We looked principally to Ireland before for our emigration, but for some years past the affairs of Ireland have assumed a different aspect. The encumbered estates bill has restored prosperity to the people of that country, and its people cease to emigrate. Look at the return of the present year and you will find that the smallest proportion of our emigrants came from Ireland and that there has been an immense falling off from year to year of some 25 or 30,0000; if it was upon the alteration in emigration alone, Upper Canada falls in comparison with Lower Canada. In the latter section the national increase of population is greater than the former, although the possessed but about 65,000 inhabitants at the time of the conquest, her population has now, without any remarkable increase from emigration reached a point nearly, if not equal, to that of Upper Canada, with all the resources that she had of emigration. I do not intend to go fully into the subject. I am anxious to proceed with the business of the House and would avoid as much as possible, these discussions on organic measures, not that he wished to shrink from discussion, where we think it may lead to some practical and immediate benefit, but he wished to save the time and money of the country, by avoiding those discussions which used to be indulged in at a certain period in a country where, in the space of four or five years, no less than four or five new constitutions was submitted to the Legislature. But there are some hon. gentlemen who seem to fancy that they have that they have been sent to this Legislature not to work out the moral and natural prosperity of the country, but merely to indulge in their own desires to break up the constitution. The hon. member for Montreal still returns to his old love, and says, that those are not changes, which he would have wished to see, but as he cannot get those changes, he will adopt the other; the change which he has alluded to is rather an obscure movement to annexation to the United States, and that is a change, Sir, I trust will never come about, but I do trust, that proceedings in that way [text missing] progress in which I should like to see us proceed, if we find that this union cannot continue to be worked out with the success which has attended hitherto. I trust that we shall have a federal union of the British North American Provinces, and if ever a time should come, when they should be compelled to bid adieu to the British flag he hoped they would become a great and independent nation and that they would not be annexed to the United States and be dragged down with the chains of slavery.
Notice of motion
Mr. Galt, in amendment to Mr. Brown’s proposed resolutions on representations by populations. –
That it is the opinion of this House that the rapidly increasing population of the Central and Western sections of the Province, and the increased proportions of the public burden borns by the sections, require a reconsideration of the terms upon which the Legislative Union of Upper Canada and Lower Canada was effected, and that a Select Committee of members be now named, to whom the subject of the Legislative Union shall be referred, either with a view to enlarging the representation of the whole Province on the basis of population, or for the purposes of reporting a plan of federative union, whereby the laws and local interests of the several sections of the Province shall be committed to the charge of Local Legislatures, with one General Legislature, having supreme control over the trade, [text missing], and common national interests of the whole community.
By Telegraph [illegible]
Reported for “The Montreal Gazette”
Toronto, Thursday, April 24.
Repeal of the Union – Continued
Mr. Brown – I am quite sore, Mr. Speaker, that this delegate must have highly gratified such member of this house [illegible] have long contended for equality of representation, with little apparent preparation [illegible] enforces. I think it [illegible] convinced them that the day of deliverance is not far off. The hon. Attorney General East had [illegible] to say that [illegible] upon this questions of representation by population as a petite question as a [illegible] theory. Sir, I could so help [illegible] the position of the house [illegible] on this question with that of my hon. friend from Montreal (Mr. Dorion) said I [illegible] I did think it was the Attorney General who [text illegible] with a [illegible] with [text illegible], and that on the contrary, the question [illegible] by my hon. friend is one of the gravest and most important [illegible] could possibly [illegible] the [illegible] of this house, and that it was [illegible] in a [illegible] manner, worthy of the [illegible] and the speaker. I think hon. Members from Upper Canada who have hon. In the habit of [illegible] against represent [illegible] by population [illegible] have [text illegible] from the argument of those hon. Gentlemen who have year after year [illegible] be motion brought before this house? Have they attempted to say [illegible] against the principle? No their reply [illegible] has always been that we could not [text illegible] that hon. members from Lower Canada could never commit to representation by population, and that [illegible] is no one [illegible]. But what have we heard on this point [illegible]? Why, we have had it carefully [illegible] by the hon. member for Montreal on this side of the house that he cannot deny the [illegible] of the principle of representation by population, and that if he failed to carry a Federative system, he for once will vote for it. (Hear, hear.) What, [illegible] we heard from the Attorney General East? Why, that [illegible] he is prepared to grant representation by population, so soon as the population of Upper Canada shall be shown to be largely in [illegible] of that of Lower Canada (Hear, hear.) That was the hon. Gentlemen’s statement, and I [illegible] it will be recorded that the two leaders of Lower Canada – [illegible] on both sides of the house – have [illegible] themselves to favour of representation by population ([illegible]).
Hon. Mr. Drummond – I did not say that. I said that it [illegible] particular time the population of deliberation of the Province should be larger than the other, that it would then be time for us to consider how far that section of the Province which was in an inferior position could be dealt with.
Mr. Brown – I am rather under an impression that the hon. Attorney General had [illegible] the matter to a milder light than he did before, but I [illegible] at once the light is which he desired to place it, and I apprehend that the hon. Gentlemen’s second statement is essentially all that we could wish. If the population of Upper Canada shall be forced greatly to exceed that of Lower Canada, the hon. gentleman says he will consider the subject [illegible] air, when he considers it, what will he do? Will he deny justice to Upper Canada? Will he then say that she should still have representation by population? He will not say so – and the conclusions I have drawn from the remarks were therefore [illegible] just, and I shall hold the Attorney General as an [illegible] of representation by population as soon as the population of Upper Canada shall largely exceed that of Lower Canada. And when shall that [illegible] arrive? According to the views of the people of Upper Canada, it has arrived now. – And will not another census clearly show the gross injustice [illegible] to Upper Canada beyond all possible [illegible]? That census might to be taken at the end of five years from the time it was last taken – or on 13th January 1857. Why then shall we not regulate now with a view to that census? The house must bear to mind, that the advocates of representation by population have not said that we must have representation by population or to day or to-morrow – we are satisfied to take it at next general election. All we ask is that justice shall be done to Upper Canada. We cannot remain [illegible] with an [illegible] position in the Union. We have 300,000 more people than Lower Canada, and we pay [illegible] into the Provincial [illegible] for every [illegible] contributed by Lower Canada – all we ask is that an elector is Upper Canada shall have the same political influences as an elector in the lower provinces. The people of Upper Canada will never submit to a [illegible] of the Union, [illegible] this [illegible] set of justice is granted them Honorable gentlemen, sir, may think that by moving the [illegible] question and choking off [illegible] in this house, they will [illegible] the discontent throughout the country, but I can tell them they are greatly mistaken. The people of Upper Canada of all parties are perfectly united on this question, and such motions as this of the previous question by the Prov. secretary will only strengthen the determination to secure justice at our [illegible]. The hon. Attorney General says the Government have no fear to discuss this question in all [illegible]; but I think his statement will not go with very great forum to the country in face of the fact that his colleague has [illegible] the previous question, so as to kill the amendment which was [illegible] to place in your hands for a consideration of the whole question of the condition on which the union now is based. If the hon. gentleman sorted wisely, and really desired to maintain the Union and the credit of the country, he would yet get his colleague to withdraw the previous question, and allow the whole subject to be considered. If he does not the [illegible] moving a vote on representation by population. My amendment would be that we send the whole subject to a large committee [illegible] from both sides of the House, and [illegible] all [text illegible], and [illegible] to inquire if they cannot discover some [illegible] on which Upper and Lower Canada can go on harmoniously together, without injustice to either. If a large vote were given upon this [illegible] it would [illegible] more to [illegible] the differences among [illegible] if we got a large vote [illegible] in favor of a dissolution of the union. I am not in favor of dissolution, I have always [illegible] a dissolution, and I shall continue to oppose it [illegible] long [illegible] any any chance of justice being done in Upper Canada. But when that hope is at an end, I will not [illegible] in advocate separation. If I had an [illegible] in coming to the [illegible] of voting against the motion of the hon. member for Haldimand, it was entirely put in flight when I heard the [illegible] of the [illegible] for Montreal and the Attorney General East admitting the principle of representation by population, and treating it as a [illegible] question of time. I shall still continue to struggle for the great reform of representation by population; and I appeal to Upper Canadian members, who have [illegible] upon it, to say whether they are true to their treat – true to the interests of Upper Canada, when they hesitate to come forward upon every [illegible] with their [illegible] and [illegible], and strengthen the heads of those who for years have been urging on Parliament this great principle of reform. [illegible] members say there is no use in voting for it. Why? “Because, they say, we cannot carry it”. And now, [illegible] shall we [illegible] be able to carry this or any other measure, if those who are in favor of it were against it? It [illegible] strike me when I heard the [illegible] of the Attorney General East at the speech of the hon. member for Montreal, that the subject [illegible] which the hon. gentleman made upon that speech might, with great force, be turned against himself. My hon. friend treated the subject as a great national question. He took a [text illegible] of our future destiny; he admitted the injustice done to Upper Canada under the existing arrangement; he did not [illegible] from him [illegible] the [illegible] of [text illegible] which exist; and he applied himself to the leak of finding some mode of [illegible] the whole difficulties which [illegible]. The [illegible] member [illegible] the [illegible] of placing all the people of the country upon the same footing; of rubbing out the dividing line between the two sections, or else adopting the principle of a federal union. – The Attorney General East [illegible] at the idea of having a federal union, and at our [illegible] divided into two or three petty principalities.
Attorney General Drummond – Yea; half-a-[illegible].
Mr. Brown – Would these states be so petty is a county of such magnitude as Canada? We have territory enough now to make several large states, and when the Hudson’s Bay Territory comes to [illegible] it undoubtedly must do at so great distance of time – there will be space for as many more. Have we never heard of states much smaller than ours would be? – states which have taken their stand creditably as self-governed [illegible]. Nay, sir, had we not two states of Upper and Lower Canada at a time when our population was bet a third of its [illegible] strength? I am not prepared to say that the Union of Canada has not produced great fruits. The material results have been very satisfactory, the country has progressed with wonderful rapidity – much faster than it would have done otherwise. But while I say this do I close my eyes to the evils it has entailed? Do I [illegible] from myself this fact, that, instead of affecting those moral and political ends for which it was brought about, it has drawn the line between the two sections more distinctly than before, and demoralised our public men in a manner most [illegible] to contemplate? Is it not a fact that we are arranged in this House as two different nations, such separately represented – our public [illegible] squabbled for, and divided between the contending sections? We have our part of the country absolutely watching the other – trying to find fault because that it has [illegible] had its [illegible]. All this is most [illegible] to the perpetuation of the Union. Then we have two systems of legislation and policy for the two sections – and to carry it out we must have double [illegible] one for Upper and another for Lower Canada. How [illegible] we help differing upon a great many subjects, while we have two different systems of legislation? – When a Bill is [illegible] into this House, founded upon a Lower Canada principle to-day, and one comes tomorrow on as Upper Canada principle – how shall members act? Shall a member give a vote to [illegible] into a Bill which he cannot [illegible] approve of? And yet, how otherwise can members from the [illegible] of the Province and together? Do we not [illegible] every day the demoralising affairs of our politics. It cannot go on thus always Mr. Speaker, and there are but three ways of [illegible] the evil: by repealing the Union of the Provinces, or by assimilating our systems of local legislation, adopting representation by population and wiping out the absurd boundary [illegible] which now separate us; or, thirdly, by [illegible] together for all national purposes, and resting local questions to local legislatures. One of three [illegible] be taken – and however the Government may now [illegible], it will not be long that it will be able to do it.
The Attorney General East was pleased to say [text illegible] to a retrograde movement, if there was to be a movement made at [text illegible] must be a union of the whole Provinces, with the ultimate intention of becoming an independent nation.
Atty. General Drummond – That is not what I said.
Mr. Brown (sitting down) – Let the hon. gentlemen state what he did say. When he finds his words reported to-morrow, it will be seen, I think, that I have not misrepresented them.
Attorney General Drummond said what he had [illegible] was this: If this Union could not he successfully carried on, he would wish to see a Federal Union [illegible] all the British Provinces; And if a time should come when we would be [illegible] to bid adieu to the British flag, he hope we would become a great independent nation – and that we would not consent to he annexe to the United States, to be dragged down under the lead of slavery.
Mr. Brown – The hon. Gentleman’s proposition is [illegible] as I understood and states it. He says, if we aren’t make any change he is in favor of a union of the whole provinces, and if there is to be any change beyond that, then we should become an independent nation. I quite [illegible] with the hon. gentlemen that that would be a far better resort than becoming the [illegible] end of the American [illegible]. (Hear, hear.) But I hope the day is very [illegible] when the connection between the [illegible] and Great Britain shall be [illegible]. (Hear, hear.) I regret very much that we are confined to the consideration of the [illegible] moved by the hon. member for Haldimand. I shall be compelled for the present to vote against the motion. What [illegible], when the question [illegible] presented, one may feel obligated to take, it is impossible to-day – but for one I shall never give such a vote [illegible] great [illegible]. Upper Canada, I believe, fouls intensely on this subject. And I would say to hon. gentlemen that it is far better to meet the difficulty now than so put it off to a future day; for [illegible] long it will certainly present itself in a [illegible] formidable shape.
Mr. Evanturel opposed Mr. Mackenzie’s motion, and also declared his [illegible] against representation by population.
Mr. [illegible] participated is the regret expressed by the hon. member for Lambton that the [illegible] had resorted to an unworthy shift [illegible] to evade a question which must sooner or later be met by all parties. He felt surprised, that the hon. Attorney General East had [illegible] a [illegible] of sarcasm and affected [illegible] against the wise and calm speech uttered by the hon. member for Montreal (Mr. Dorion). The [illegible] of ridicule would recoil [illegible] him who [illegible] such [illegible] weapons to [illegible] a [illegible] and temperate speech. The Government ought to have been prepared to meet this question to some shape or other. It is [illegible] one, and must be grappled with at [illegible]. He [text illegible] a thing it is to [illegible] an agitation on a subject like this, new and popular. And although the hon. member for Haldimand [illegible] upon every subject which will afford him [illegible] for excitement, and all the old [illegible] have, now grown stale; the fact therefore, of his adopting this question is sufficient evidence of its force and popularity, apart from its justness in a political point of view. There could be no doubt that the people of Upper Canada will obtain their demand for representation to be made the basis of population or they would seek to dissolve the union. The hon. member for the count of Quebec had desired his opposition to the change. The predecessor of that hon. gentlemen (Mr. Chaveau) was of the opposition [illegible]; he both argued and voted for that basis (Hear, hear.) There was no need of the Lower Canadians being fearful of losing their influence, if this change were adopted; they are too [illegible] and complex to sustain injury. He [illegible] the both Attorney General’s idea of a grand confederation. It had more importance in name than reality. Nor would it suffice to meet the difficulties experienced every day. Representation in [illegible] with population was the only practicable mode of solving these difficulties. He would vote, however, against any motion having for the object a simple dissolution of the union; as he rather desired its perpetuation. The prosperity of the provinces is [illegible] and the separate them would be merely [illegible] both [illegible], and to add another evil to the many [illegible] of which parties in either [illegible] so justily complain.
Mr. [illegible] agreed with the hon. member for Compton in the views that he expressed. He [illegible] agreed that the theory of representation [illegible] be by population, but that was a different thing from carrying it into practice. The question of the dissolution of the Union and that of representation were so intimately connected that they could be well discussed together. He contended that the population of Upper Canada only exceeded that of Lower Canada by 25,000. The births in Lower Canada in this year were 36,000, while in the same year in Upper Canada, although the population was larger, the number of births were only 30,000. From [illegible] be concluded [illegible] the [illegible] increase of the Canadian population of Lower Canada was greater than that of the Canadian population in Upper Canada. He then calculated the number of the colored, the German, and the American population of the Upper Province, and also the larger number of females in Upper Canada who had not increased the populations, and [illegible] them together be made out that is point of [illegible] Lower Canada’s had a population 20,000 larger than Upper Canada, so far as Canadians were concerned and the classes be allowed to being foreigners, were not entitled to the privilege of the franchise.
Mr. Foley said that the classes alluded to by the [illegible] speaker were equally wealthy and intelligent, if not superior to the [illegible] of that hon. member and equally well notified to the privilege of the franchise. He protested indignantly against the [illegible] of the hon. gentlemen against the American and German portion of the population, who were among the most intelligent to be formed in our country. In the country which he had the honor to represent there were large numbers of these classes, and they had [illegible] schools in their locality han in the surrounding districts.
Mr. C. [illegible] condemned the Government for no [illegible] the matter in earnest and compared the statement like views if Mr. Dorion with those of the Attorney General East. He compared the [illegible] of Upper and Lower Canada with that of Holland and Belgium, which, after a union of sixteen years, had found that from the differences of [illegible] and religion, it was [illegible] then referred to Switzerland, where so many [illegible] were combined, and who, when closely united, suffered from constant [illegible] and when [illegible] had been happy and [illegible]. He had been opposed in the Union when it was [illegible], because he thought it was founded into justice and he thought be still. At the same time, there were great difficulties the way of a dissolution of the Union, and he was not [illegible] to vote for it unless it was desired by both [illegible] of the province but [illegible] since very soon when this would be the case.
Mr. [illegible] (in French) continued the [illegible] of the member for Montreal, and others of the Kings party, who followed in the wake of the memes for Haldimand and Lambton, and joined in their opposition to the education [illegible] of Lower Canada. He contended that representation by population was no part of the British considerations and was not noted upon in England, and could not be carried out. The Acts of Union was [illegible] by Lower Canada which should be [illegible] had upon as final.
Mr. [illegible] said that the questions was put in such an extraordinary manner than, although in favor of the principle, he could not vote for it in [illegible] had form unless prepared in such a way as to lend into practicable [illegible]. He was in favor of a dissolution of the existing Union in a proper provision was made to [illegible] all the [illegible] that would arise from doing so. It would be accuracy to make some provision for the [illegible] the public debt and the disposal of the public works. He considered that the questions as not regarded in its proper light. It was looked upon as [illegible]. They might be united [illegible] years, but under a liberal forms of [illegible] there never would be any sympathy between them. The only thing they could mean by a union was [illegible], which he did not desire. He wished that both [illegible] should have free [illegible]but that they should be united on great questions. He did not think that a union with the other Parliament would affect the questions as the population of those provinces was too small to make any difference. If the two provinces were divided into [illegible], such section would have a population equal to that of all the other provinces united. Lower Canada would never consent that in a united Parliament Upper Canada should have a superior position. At present they had two Administrations for when a majority from Upper Canada was against the Government the Upper Canada section retired, but not the Lower Canadian. He could appreciate the desire that was entertained by the British population that this should be one great country but he could not, as a French Canadian, consent to give up his nationality. He put it to the [illegible] of Upper Canada whether they would have representation by population or a dissolution of the Union. They said yes in the first proposition, and so to the second. He understand the ministry for evading the question of representation by population. There were certain great difficulties in the way of a dissolution of the Union, which would increase every year, and both the debts and liabilities for works undertaken would every year be increased. Suppose the population of Upper Canada should increase in the ratio that may be expected, would it be possible to maintain this Union. He considered that it would [illegible]. [illegible], half the time of the session is taken up with mutual recrimination between the principle of the two provinces. In such a case it would be hopeless to attempt to preserve any harmony. For a provinces to increase the [illegible] should be only one government, which [illegible] all pull together, but that was impossible now. The theory of the member for Montreal had been [illegible]as erode and absurd, but it was for more statesman like than that of the Attorney General.
On motion of Attorney General Drummond the debate was adjourned till Monday.
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