Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (18 July 1866)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 51-52.
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Wednesday, July 18th, 1866.
The Speaker took the chair at three o’clock.
After the transaction of routine business,
Mr. Blanchet asked whether it was the intention of the Government to take the necessary steps for the establishment of a winter port in the lower part of the St. Lawrence?
Hon. Mr. Cartier was understood to say that as the subject was under the consideration of a committee of the other House, he desired the question to stand for the present.
Mr. McKenzie asked why the payment to the municipalities of Canada West, due on the 1st July, from Clergy Reserves Fund, had not been paid?
Hon. Mr. Galt said it had always been the custom to distribute the amounts during the year after they accured. Accordingly this year the amounts to be distributed would be those due at the end of the past year.
Mr. McKenzoe said the Government took the use of the money belonging to Upper Canada, for six months, without aying interest. —(A laugh.)
Mr. Biggar moved for a select Committee, to be composed of the Hon. Messrs. Galt, Holton, Sol.-Genl. Cockburn, and Messrs. Wallbridge (North Hastings), Ross (Prince Edward), Smith (Durham), and the mover, to enquire into the expediency of constructing a canal to connect the head waters of the Bay of Quinte with Lake Ontario, usually called the Murray Canal, and also, to enquire and report uponthe amount of money applicable to that purpose, being the value of certain lands which had been set apart by the Government, and which were subsequently taken and granted to settlers, and to inquire as to the value thereof, as ascertained by certain Commissioners of the Government, appointed for that purpose, with power to send for persons, papers and records.
He said this was an old local scheme. So long ago as 1796, 5,000 acres was set apart to aid in its construction. In 1815, these lands had been settled with the understanding that the purchase money should be applied to the same purpose. BY the report of a Special Committee presented to the House o fAssembly, in 1842, it was recommended that the canal be constructed, and a grant of 3,000 acresrecommneded towards it. He contended, therefore, that the faith of the Government was pledged to its construction; it would be useful not only as a military, but a commercial work, shortening the distance between Kingston and Toronto, by forty miles.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald stated that the Government had no objection to the Committee being granted, with the motion amended, so as not to admit any claim for money, but to make it a subject of enquiry whether any, and what amount of money, was applicable to the purpose. The construction of the canal in question would be of the utmost importance, not only in a commercial point of view, as recent events had shewn us, that our first line of defence was the water, and the canal in question would give a harbor of seven miles in length.
Mr. Perrault moved an address for copies of reports made to the Adjutant-General, by the commandants at the camp of military instruction, at Laprairie, &c. He said as the information sought for had already been furnished by the Adjustant-General’s report, he would withdraw his motion, but he wished to enter his protest against the great injustice that had been done to the young men of the country, the cadets of the military schools who had been refused the commissions to which they were fully entitled.
These young men had fully qualified themselves for the duty of officers, yet they had been compelled to go into service as privates in the volunteers. He himself, when offering his services to defend the country, had been required to sign a document, giving up his commission and pledging himself to serve as a private. He considered this treatment very unfair. Eighty-one thousand men had been drafted into the milita service, and yet not an officer had been appointed over them. He had thought it his duty to lay these facts before the House, and would now withdraw his motion.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald replied. He had visited the camp at Laprairie, and had been much pleased with the efficiency and soldierly bearing of the Caets, and with none more than the French Canadians. After explaining the working of the Volunteer and Militia Acts, he stated that it was true that those Cadets who had got their certificates had not yet got their commissions, and the reason was that the Service Miltia had not yet been organised. There would therefore be no use in appointing the officers at the present time. It had not been deemed expedient to call out and organize the Service Milita, and as a consequence they had not been officered. Those gentlemen who had obtained their certificates had been eagerly sought after in all parts of the country where Volunteer Companies had been recently formed, for the purpose of perfecting these Companies in drill, and though they had made sacrifices this circumstance gave them some advantages in return.
Further discussion took place on the general subject of the management of the Militia. Messrs. Perrault, J.S. Macdonald, Dunkin and others taking part in it. Mr. Dunkin contended that in officering the Service Militia, care should be taken as much as possible to select those personally acquainted with the men under their command. To gain this object men might old commissions who had not graduated in the military schools provided they were otherwise qualified.
The motion was withdrawn.
Hon. Mr. Holton moved an address to His Excellency the Governor-General, for: —1st, a statement of all sales of vessels made by the Commissioners of the Montreal Harbor since the first of January last, with copies of the deeds conveying the same; 2nd, a statement, shewing cost of outfit of Dredge No. 3, now employed on Lake St. Peter, this year and last year respectively, and a comparative statement of the amount of excavation performed by the said Dredge up to the 20th June last year, and this year, respectively; 3rd, a statement of the dates on which work was commenced in Lake St. Peter, in 1865 and 1866. —Carried.
Mr. Wallbridge moved an address for a return giving the name sof the Commissioners appointed to manage the slides on the River Trent. —Carried.
Mr. Scatcherd moved that the Clerk of the House obtain from the Law Society of Upper Canada, a return of monies received during the five terms ending 1st of June, 1866.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald said the House had no right to make any such demand upn the Law Society. The proper way to obtain the information would have been to proceed by address.
Mr. Scatcherd denied that the Law Society, more than any other, had the right tor eceive large sums of money from the public, and refuse this House a return of it.
Hon. J.H. CAMERON agreed with the views of the Hon. Attorney-Genera; West, but believed that the Law Society would not refuse to give a return of all monies received, either for the information of this House or for the information of the public.
The motion was carried.
Col. Haultain moved an address for a list of volunteer companies, troops, batteries, or others, as existing on the 31st May last. He stated that understanding it was the intention of the government to form the companies into battalions, and that steps were already taken to carry that out, he would not press his motion.
After a few remarks from Hon. J.A. Macodnald the motion was withdrawn.
Mr. Magill moved that on Monday next the House go into Committee of the whole on resolutions for the payment of pjurors attending the Recorders’ Courts in Upper Canada. —Carried.
Mr. Taschereau moved an address for correspondence between the government and Richard Pope, Esq., Mining Agent at St. Francis, Beauce. —Carried.
Mr. McKellar moved an address for return of all tenders for the delivery of supplies for the use of the volunteers on the Western frontier. —Carried.
Mr. McMonies moved that the Clerk prepare a list of names of servants and employees of the House at the time of removal from Quebec, the number since employed, &c. —Carried.
Mr. Huot moved an address for papers, &c., relating to the enquiry as to the suspension of the Case d’Economie de St. Roch—Carried.
Mr. A.A. Dorion moved an address for correspondence as to change of proprietors of the Beauport Lunatic Asylum. —Carried.
Mr. Parker moved an address for a return of unpaid amount on account of sales of Crown Lands in Wellington, Grey and Bruce.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald said the return would be a very costly one, and attended with a great deal of labor in getting it out, and he hoped the hon. member would take some other means of obtaining the desired information.
Dr. Parker said his object was to ascertain the amount due, with the view of securing the whole, or a portion of the money, to aid in constructing a railway through these counties. He would allow the motion to stand, and endeavor to putit in a shape that would be less expensive.
On motion of Dr. Parker, an address was carried for return of Inspections of Inland Revenue Dvisions, from 30th June, 1865, to 30th June, 1866.
On motuin of Col. Haultain, the House resolved to go into Committee on Monday next, on resolutions respecting the employment of military pensioners and others as a local police force.
Several bills from the Legislative Council were introduced and read a first time, and the Speaker left the chair at six o’clock.
Hon. Mr. Holton called the attention of the Attorney-General East to the motion pf the member for Montmorenci, which had been taken out of its place and introduced at six o’clock, and which but for his (Mr. H’s.) interference might have been adopted, contrary to the rules of the House. This step had been taken with the consent of the Government, and he considered it a grave departure from the rules which deserved to be noticed. The motion which was to refer a Return to an address for information respecting leave of absence granted to Judges in Lower Canadato a select committee, the effect of which would have been to put every Judge in Lower Canada on his trial before a committee of this House.
Hon. j.s. macdonald said this transaction showed the necessity of watchfulness on the part of members on his side of the House, who in the discharge of their duty to see that business was properly conducted were charged with factiousness and obstructing public business.
Mr. Dufresne (Montcalm) said this was a hurricane in a tea pot. The motion was properlyon the notice paper, and so long as the Speaker was in the chair it was the privilege of the mover to try and get his motion adopted as soon as possible. He thought it was better to follow the orders as they were printed before them, but still there was no use in making a difficulty about a member trying to get his motion passed as soon as possible.
The House then passed to the orders of the day, when the following bills passed through committee:
To amend Chapter 26of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada, respecting certain water-courses (and amendments) —Mr. Bourassa.
To amend the law relating to Crown Debtors in Upper Canada. —Hon. Mr. Cameron.
Toamend Chapter 70 of the Consolidated Statutes of Lower Canada, intiuled, “An Act respecting Joint Stock Companies for the construction of roads and certain other works—Mr. De Niverville.
To regulate the means of egress from Public Buildings—Mr. Mackenzie
[This bill provides that the doors of public buildings hereafter to be erected shall open to the outside.]
To amend Chapter 15 of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada respecting Public Education—Mr. Archambeault.
[On this bill a discussion took place, Mr. O’Halloran complaining that the Education Bill promised by the Government, would be introduced too late to give time to consider it fully. Hon. Mr. Cartier said the bill of the Government would be introduced; there need be no uneasiness about that. Mr. Dunkin suggested that this bill be left over, and incorporated with the Government bill.]
On the next item, House in committee, on the bill respecting the Assessment of Property in Ipper Canada (with amendments) —Mr. McKenzie,
Mr. McKenzie explained that the amendments were not printed; they were very few, however, and could be ready by the chairman, and no doubt the bill would be re-printed before they reached the third reading.
Mr. Jackson did not consider that a bill of so much importance should be proceeded with at this time. It should more proerpyl be left to dealt with after Confederation.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald suggested that to prevent the obstruction of other business the House might go into Committee, rise and report progress, and ask leave to sit again, if it were found that there would be much delay in passing the bill through Committee.
The House then went into Committee on the bill—Hon. j.h. Cameron in the chair—and sat for two hours and a quarter, having passed all the clauses up to the 60th. The Committee rose at 15 minutes past eleven, and reported progress and asked leave to sit again.
Hon. Mr. Macdougall laid before the House the “Report of the Commissioners from British North America, appointed to inquire into the trade of the West Indies, Mexico and Brazil.”
The following bills passed through Committee: —
To amend the Act respecting the granting of Charters of Incorporation to Manufacturing, Mining and other Companies. —Mr. Haultain.
To amend the Common Law Procedure Act of Upper Canada. —Hon. Mr. Cameron.
To amend section 9 of cap. 6 of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada, respecting Tavern-keepers and the sale of intoxicating […]
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[…] Liquors. – Mr. Archambault.
To amend the Lower Canada Game Laws. – Mr. Taschereau.
The House adjourned at half-past 11 o’clock.