Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (25 June 1866)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 23-24.
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MONDAY, June 25th, 1866.
The Speaker took the chair at 3 o’clock.
Several petitions were brought up and laid on the table.
Mr. Wood introduced a Rill [sic] entitled an Act to repeal section one hundred and seventy-two of chapter nineteen of the Consolidated Statute for Upper Canada.
Mr. Wright (East York) introduced a Bill to amend 29 vic. chapter 39 entitled an Act to improve a tax on dogs, and to provide for the better protection of sheep in Upper Canada.
Mr. J.S. Smith introduced a Bill to revive and continue the powers of the Peterboro and Chemung Railway Company.
Hon. Mr. McGee introduced a Bill to amend chapter 40 of the Consolidated Statute of Canada entitled an Act respecrting emigrants and quarantine.
Mr. Morris introduced a Bill to make valid the will of the late George Desbarats.
The following Bills were read a second time and referred to Committees:
The city of Hamilton Debentures Act of 1866.— Mr. Magill.
To annex to the parish of St. Marie de Mounor certain ranges of St. Argele.—Mr. Poulin.
To authorize the issuing of letters patent to Arthur Rankin, for a new and hitherto unknown description of fuel.—Mr. Rankin.
Mr. McGee said there were five or six applications for special patent rights now before the House. These were for the most part applications of British subjects for inventions in the United States, which had been or would be assigned to them. This, to his mind, partook not so much the nature of a patent right as of a monopoly. He did not desire, however, to have the bill thrown out at its second reading. He was willing that all parties in charge of these bills should take them before the Private Bills cCommittee, that it might be understood on what grounds they based their application to Legislature. At the same time he reserved to himself as a member of the Government charged with responsibility in these matters, the power to oppose them at a later stage, if necessary.
Mr. Rankin said his application differed from all the others before the House. He had obtained the knowledge of this discovery from the inventor—a scientific gentleman, resident in, but not a citizen of he United States—and which at present is not patented in any other country.—He had met the invention in his native country, Germany, he could have got a patent for it on declaring that he had obtained a knowledge of this invention in foreign parts; or if he had said to him, go with me to Mexico and there impart to me information, he could have got the patent. This showed the absurdity of our present patent laws.
Hon. Mr. Cartier said he had always supported the policy of our present patent system, and always opposed the granting of any patents against the provisions of the Statute. If we were to adopt, in this matter, the principle of reciprocity, what would be the consequence? Every American inventor could obtain a patent here, and the manufacture of the article would then be carried on, not in Canada, but in the United States. In various respects, the present system worked to our advantage. There was the Morse telegraph for example. In the United States the use of that discovery was taxed very heavily in favor of the invention.
In this country we could use it free of charge, as well as any other intention, discovered not only in the United States, but in the British North Americna Provinces and the old country. But for any invention introduced by a British subject from a foreign country— as France, Germany or Austria, a right of patent could be obtained. We were on the eve, however, of entering into a larger political system, and would then occupy a higher position as a nation. When that was accomplished, he did not say he would maintain the same ideas as now. If the American Government should then be willing to deal with us liberally, he would be ready to meet them in the same spirit. But for the present he thought it would be wrong to alter or depart from our existing system. As regarded this Bill, he would say that it was well known that inA rthabaska, Mr. Hodges was spending an immense amount of money in order to introduce a cheaper fuel, the same object as was professed by this Bill. He hoped that in considering this Bill, the Committee would not ignore those who had already imported large capital and spent it in this country, in order to procure us very cheap fuel.
Mr. Rankin said it would be far from him to think of interfering with the rights of any one. He desired to explain, however, that, if this Bill passed, it did not give him a patent, but merely removed the obstacles which now prevented his getting it. When he was in a position to apply for a patent, he would explain what was the nature of the fuel he proposed to introduce.
Mr. Mackenzie regretted the Minister of Agriclutre had not laid down some distinct policy on the part of the Government. He thought while our system remained as it was, it was wrong to allow these Bills to go to Private Bills Committee to be considered on their separate merits. He had three offers of this kind himself this Spring, and rejected them all because he believed the Government and the House were opposed to granting special patent rights, otherwise than under the provisions of the Statute.
To amend and extend the provisions of the Act incorporating the Port Hope, Lindsay and Beaverton Railway Company.—Mr. J.S. Smith.
To incorporate the Canada wine growers, association.—Hon. Mr. Cameron.
To confirm certain By-Laws of the Municipal Council of the Corporation of the County of Oxofrd, and to confirm sales of land for taxes imposed under and by virtie of the said By-Laws.—Hon. Mr. Brown.
To incorporate the Steel, Iron and Railway Works Company (limited).—Hon. Mr. Brown.
To amend the Act 25 Vic., cap. 30, to enable the ratepayers of the County of Lincoln, to select a more convenient place for the County Town.—Mr. McGivern. E.
To erect the Township of Wickham into two separate Municipalities.—Mr. Dorion. (Drummond and Arthabaska).
To incorporate the Ottawa City Passenger Railway Co.—Mr. Currier. E.
To amend the Act 27-28 Vic., chap. 71, entitlted “An Act to incorporate the Board of Trade of the City of Hamilton.”—Mr. Magill. E.
TO attach a part of the Township of Aylmer, to the Parish of St. Vital de Lambton, in the County of BEauce.—Mr Taschereau. .E.F.
To incorporate the Waterloo, Magog and Stanstead Railway Company.—Mr. Knight.
To entable the Trustees of the St. Paul’s church, Montreal to sell certain real estates.—Hon. Mr. Rose.
To amend the act incorporating the Library association of Montreal.—Hon. Mr. Rose.
Hon. Mr. Rose moved the second reading of the Bill, to legalize a certain agreement between the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway and the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada.
Mr. Mackenzie moved the six months, hoist.
Mr. T.R. Ferguson opposed the course taken by the member of Lambton; it was both tyrannical, and unjust to move the six months hoist to any bill before the members of this House had an opportunity of reading it, and as the hon. gentleman admitted himself he had never read the Bill; he was sure this Hon. House would never allow such injustice to be done.
Mr. Jos Dufresne moved in amendment that this debate be adjourned till Wednesday.
After some further discussion Mr. Rose postponed his motion till Wednesday week.
In reply to Mr. Wallbridge, Hon. Mr. McDougall said there was a difference between the Government and the publisher, as to the price of the colored maps to accompany Sir William Logan’s Geological Report, and a correspondence was now going on, on this subject.
In reply to Mr. Poulin, Attorney General Cartier said the Government had information of the existence of a small secret association in Montreal with ramifications in Iberville, called the club St. Jean Baptiste. Latterly some of its members became frightened nd sent in their resignations into the hands of the police of Montreal, and the person in whose house the worthies were accustomed to meet had let the police know that he would ahave nothing more to do witj it. Some of its members had thought fit to leave their domiciles and retreat to the other side, and were now desirous of coming back again. The Government in a few days would be in a position to know the names of all the members, and they would then see whether this little association deserved that any proceedings should be taken against it.
Mr. A. Dufresne said the club referred to, was a Literary and Mutual Benefit Society. He was a member of it, and intended to apply for an act of incorporation. It had no connection with Fenians, its members were as loyal as the Attorney General himself, and would as readily march to the frontier to defend the country against Fenians or any other invaders.
Mr. Dunkin asked whether there was any question before the House. He must say it was a pity and shame, that we should have had what really appeared to be a joke, perpetrated here on this occasion and on such a subject (Hear.)
He was sorry it should have been insinuated, that any member of the House was connected with a Fenian organization, and regretted that the member for Iberville, should have taken the trouble to repel such an insinuation. (Hear.)
The Speaker ruled the discussion out of order.
Hon. Mr. Cartier rose amid loud cries of order from Hon. Mr. Holton and others on the opposition benches.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald was usprised to find his hon. friend (Holton,) should only find this discussion irregular after his hon. frien from Iberville made a speech, vonveying serious charges against Rouville. He thought the latter should be allowed to defend himself, and thought it was not far to deny him that privielege. He should have an opportunity of replying to the charge, as to his question being a joke. (Hear, hear.)
Hon. J.S. Macdonald thought it a serious matter to charge a member of the House, and several counties also, as implicated in Fenianism. Vague insinuations were sustained by information, had been cast upon a society, after which his hon. friend (Cartier) had promised to furnish a list of its members, jestngly endorsing the suspicion thrown upon an organization in Lower Canada.
He (Mr. S.) deprecated such aspersions as calculated to do mischief. There was a St. Andrew’s, St. George’s and St. Patrick’s Society in Montreal.
Hon. Mr. McGee observed there was no secresy [sic] about them.
Hon. J.S. Macdonald—Nor about the Club either.
Hon. Mr. McGee—Yes.
Attorney-General Cartier said he had stated the Club was a secret society, and some of its members had come here to apologize for connection therewith.
Hon. John S. Macdonadld said the poor men who had joined the society had been frieghtened into resigneton. Rouville should have stated his reasons for putting such a question, as his insinuation appeared without a shadow of proof.
Mr. Dufresne was astonished at the statement of the last speaker that the member should state the reason for asking the question. The enquiry just made contained, however, neither slander nor insinuation.—(Hear.)
Mr. Dunkin disclaimed any intention of preventing Rouville from replying to the personal charge against him by Iberville, or of acting unfairly towards either party. He (Dunkin) desired, for the credit of the House, to terminate such a discussion, which would do no good whatever. He did say the question of Mr. Poulin appeared to be a joke, and it was strongly impressed on his (Dunkin’s) mind, that Atty.-Gen. Cartier had treated it as a joke. He answered the question in French and English in a manner creating a suspicion that the whole thing was a farce. (Hear).
He (Dunkin) did think it was a great pity that on St. Jean Baptiste’s day, when large numbers of French anadians were celebrating this national festival, anything should be said in the House to create impression that there existed among their countrymen an association of the kind hinterd. He interrupted the debate from no light motives, but because he felt this description of debate was dangerous, and that in carrying it on we were playing with edged tools. It was but to-day that we had seen in the New York Herald, what must be garbled report of a member’s speech on Friday night. The reported attributed sentiments to the member from Brockville, he (Dunkin) was sure that gentleman would not endorse. This kind of debate would go abroad and create an impression that there was among the French Canadians a tainted political body. (Hear.)
If there was such a body, deal with it seriously. He did not believe it was a fact, and did not wish any act, word, or statement of his to give currency to such an idea. Jesting on this subject was very dangerous, and discussions of this kind might lead to the belief that either there was a disloyal body of French Canadians, or else that we were so […]
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[…] reckless in our political squabbles as to be willing to throw at each other charges of this kind. His interruption was intended to prevent Rouville from continuing the attack upon Iberville.
Mr. Poulin was understood to say that in January of last year, he learned of the existence of the St. Jean Baptise Club, and of Iberville’s being a member of that secret society, which still existed. That it was a disloyal society, and had connexion with Fenianism, was believed by persons in the same locality. Members of the Club had boasted that they would not be molested by Sweeney’s Fenians, while those who did not join the society would be exposed to robbery and murder. Since the Fenian raids commenced, members of this society had fled to the States, and were now anxious to return. He (Poulin) believed there were suspicious circumstances connected with this society, and that he was justified in asking information.
Hon. Mr. Dorion said he understood Rouveille to state that he had given information to Government.
Attorney General Cartier—No. It came from Montreal.
Hon. Mr. Dorion condemned insinuations of this sort. If Rouville believed the Club was a disloyal secret society he was bound to inform the military authorities. If not certain of the fact, he should not have put the question in papers, aspersing the loyalty of a portion of the people. (Cheers.)
Attorney-General Cartier rose amid loud cries of question and six o’clock. He was understood to move an adjournment of the House till three to-morrow, in honor of St. Jean Baptise Day. The Speaker left the Chair amid the din, and the motion could not be seconded or pressed, owing to cries of “six o’clock” from opposition benches.
Hon. Mr. Holton said he understood Attorney-General Cartier had moved the House stand adjourned till three to-morrow, in honor if St. Jean Baptiste Day.
He now seconded the motion.
The House thereupon adjourned.