Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (26 July 1866)

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Date: 1866-07-26
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 59-61.
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Thursday July, 26th, 1866

Hon. J. A. MacDonald announced that His Excellency, the Governor-General, had signified his pleasure to receive the congratulatory address of the House, on the occasion of his elevation to the Peerage of Great Britain, tomorrow, at half-past eleven o’clock.

On motion of the Hon. Mr. Galt the House received the report of the Committee of Supply on the militia estimates.

The several items were concurred is without debate.

Hon. Solicitor-General Langevin moved that the House go into Committee of the whole, on bill to incorporate certain persons under the name of the St. Lawrence Navigation Company (from legislative council) – Carried; and bill reported without amendment.

Hon. Solicitor-General Langevin moved that the House go into Committee of the whole on bill to extend the powers of the Savings Bank, known as “La Caisse d’Economie de Notre Dame de Quebec.” (from legislative council)

Carried and bill reported without amendment.

Hon. Mr. Cartier moved that the House go into Committee of the Whole on bill to amend the Acts relating to the Corporation of the City of Montreal and for other purposes.

Hon. Mr. Brown said it was utterly impossible to hear a word of what was going on at his part of the House. He thought that on a government day especially, the business should be conducted in a tone of voice that all might be able to hear.

The House went into Committee and reported the bill without amendment.

The following bills also passed through Committee, and were reported without debate:

To declare and settle the construction of the marriage settlement of Harriot Margarette Gage, and confirming assurances made there-under – Hon. Attorney-General MacDonald

To amend the Act passed in the 26th year of Her Majesty’s reign, chap. 59, instituted. “An act to incorporate the St. Lawrence Tow Boat Company.” (from legislative council) – Hon. Mr. Sol. Gen. Langevin

Further to amend the Charter of the Quebec Bank (from Legislative Council) – Hon. Mr. Sol. Gen. Langevin

To amend the Acts relating to the Canada Lands. Credit Company (from legislative Council) – Hon. Mr. McDougall

To authorise the sale of the Peterborough and Chemong Lake Railway Company. – Hon. Mr. Sol. Gen. Cockburn

The House went into committee of the whole on the bill to amend the Act respecting the volunteer militia force.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald explained the changes proposed in the second section of the present Act. First, repealing the limit of 35,000, formerly act to the number to volunteer which the commander-in-chair is empowered to raise and equip, and also that he may call out such volunteer force, or any part thereof, for actual service, whenever it is, in his opinions advisable so to do, instead of as formerly, “in case of war, invasion,” or insurrection. He stanced cases in which it might be necessary to call out the militia for the enforcement of our own laws, when neither war, invasion, nor insurrection prevailed, such as at the time of the St. Alban’s raid.

The second- and third-time clauses were adopted.

On the motion for the adoption of the fourth clauses.

Mr. Dunkin said he understood that it was the intention by the Government that the volunteer force should be organised in all parts of the country. Now the fact was, that in consequences of whole companies being called suddenly from places where the population was sparse great and very serious inconvenience had resulted, and parties would not be so ready to volunteer again. The suggestion he had to make was this, that a provisional enrollment of a portion of the Volunteer companies in such places might be authorised, taking a stated minority of the company, on the condition that they will not be compelled against their own pleasure to go to distant parts of the country, but in all other particulars to be subject to the general regulations. He sincerely wished that the Government should be clothed with legal power to adopt such a course in localities where it might be deemed advisable. He believed that the great majority of those who would only provisionally enroll themselves at first would soon become unconditional volunteers, but the fact of these sudden calls to the frontier having interfered so much with the private interest of some of some of the volunteers, and the plan he proposed would, he thought, meet the difficulty.

Hon. J. S. MacDonald made some remarks upon Mr. Dunkin’s suggestion.

Mr. Powell considered the member for Brome’s proposition as exceedingly objectionable. It was a sort of mongrel arrangement which would work very unsatisfactory. He thought there was no use in enrolling volunteers who were not willing to go to meet the enemy.

Mr. Blanchet did not approve of the proposal of the member for Brome. If he gave a militia bill, like his Temperance bill they would find that the machinery would not work (a laugh).

A fourth clause was adopted.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald entered into explanations regarding the fifth clause, enacting that municipalities may provide armouries, drill sheds, &c., and expend money connected with the support and encouragement of the volunteer force, or to the families of volunteers. The power thus given to the municipalities was strictly permissive they were left free to assist the volunteers at their own pleasure.

Hon. J. S. MacDonald commented at some length on the clause, contending that provision for the maimed and wounded should be made by the general government and not by the municipalities.

Mr. Powell considered the clause very objectionable, and thought it should be struck out. It was a wrong principle to leave the […]

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[…] Municipalities exposed to the rivalries which would occur, by one giving more than another, and the bad feeling which might be ungendered thereby among the Volunteers. We should not copy the example of the United States when the action of the General Government had been supplemented by local bodies: we should follow the course adopted in England, rather than in the United States. He hoped the clause would be struck out.

Hon. J. H. Cameron contended that the permissive power given to the Municipalities to contribute towards the support if the Volunteers, would not be the cause of jealousy, but a very proper feeling.

Mr. Jones (North Leeds) believed the position assumed by the member for Carleton the correct one. The Municipalities had no right to do more than furnish the men: let the country at large pay the expenses. He did not like the idea of the Municipalities supplementing the government had not provided enough. It was not fair to allow poor and loyal Municipalities to over tax themselves, when some other Municipalities of a different feeling would perhaps neither give men nor money.

Mr. Dunkin said the only way to induce the young men to do their duty was to show them that the older and richer people were willing to do theirs, and that could best be done by giving them power to tax themselves for the better support of the force, then the government pay would give them. He then suggested that some means ought to be devised whereby the Military authorities might know exactly what each Municipality had done towards assisting the Volunteers. An appropriation might be made for some purpose, that might be the same of injury instead of benefit to the force, and had suggested that means should be taken to have some supervision over their sections.

Mr. Rymal had a suggestion to make to the Minister of Militia, that the member for Brome should be put on the staff on the Adjutant-General, but better that one should suffer than all the members of the House. (Laughter)

Mr. Ross advocated the paying of the expenses of the Volunteers by direct taxation.

Mr. Walsh said there could not be a proper compliment to the people than that they were in danger of taxing themselves too much for the support of Volunteers. He supported this motion.

Mr. Ferguson (Simcoe) contended that the government pay of the volunteer force was only a “miserable pittance,” and should be increased to fifty cents per day, with rations. The present system has given great dissatisfactions as at some place rations had cost more than at others; the proper way was to provide the by Government, no matter what the price. He was sure the House and the country would approve the suggestion he had made of raising the pay to fifty cents a day with relations. He had learned within the past few days that one of the Volunteer companies lately returned from duty at Prescott, were so much dissatisfied with their pay that sixteen of there had since resigned. Some of these men had to hire others to do their own work, and it was more unjust that they should be paid with twenty-five cents per day.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald said there were many questions connected with this subject which might be gone into, but it would soon have to undergo revision under the Confederate Government of British North America. He had to remind the hon. member, however, that the volunteers and that Militia of Canada, would have in case of war to fight side by side with Her Majesty’s Regular forces – a body of men who were under a much smaller rule of pay than the Canadian Volunteers. He then replied to the objections of the member for Carleton, referring to cases where in times of trial the people had come to the assistance of the government, by making the most liberal contributions for the support of those who had bee disabled by war. He hoped the clause would meet the approval, of the House and the country. (Hear)

Mr. Shanly moved that the fifth clause be amended by further empowering the Municipalities to exempt Volunteers form the payment of all Municipal rates or taxes, and the performance of statute labor. – Carried.

The fifth clause was adopted.

On the sixth clause indemnifying Municipalities for the assistance already extended to Volunteers, some discussion took place, which lasted until six o’clock. The clause was adopted and the House rose.

Second Sitting

The Speaker took the chair at half-past seven o’clock.

Several petitions were presented.

Hon. Mr. Howland introduced an Act to amend the Post-Office Act (founded on the resolutions published on Wednesday).

Hon. Mr. Cockburn moved that the petition of the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway Company, for an Act, be now received.

Hon. Mr. Holton said that was not the motion the hon. gentleman had put upon the paper, that motion was for an extension of the time for receiving the petition to the 30th, and for introducing the bill to the 6th August. He thought this a most extraordinary way of telling the House that ordinary business was to be continued up to and beyond that time.

Hon. Mr. Cockburn. – The hon. gentleman must have been driven to his wits’ end for a cause of complaint. The bill, and no inference could be drawn from it as to the progress of the Government Business. The mention of 6th August was a mistake, it should have been Monday next.

Hon. J. S. MacDonald again complained for the Government allowing the time which, should be devoted to public affairs, to wasted upon private bills to the very end of the session. Here was a member of the Government now asking that another bill of the kind be considered a week hence, when the promised measures of the Government were not yet brought down. He protested against this course and would continue to do so.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald replied in a humorous and sarcastic vein. The majority of the House represented the majority of the country, and if the majority of the country preferred these little private, local bills, about the building of a canal, or a railway, or the taking out of a patent, things so far beneath the notice of the member for Cornwall, to those great questions which engaged his attention, that hon. gentleman would be compelled to submit.

Hon. Mr. Cockburn’s motion was then agreed to as printed on the paper, that the time for receiving the petition of the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway Company for an act, he extended till Monday, the 30th inst., and that the time for introducing the bill on such petition be extended till Monday, the 6th day of August next. After which Messrs. Holton and J. S. MacDonald withdrawing their objection, the motion to receive the petition was carried.

The petition was accordingly received.

The bills which passes through committee this afternoon (enumerated above) were then read a third time and passed.

The House again went into Committee on the Volunteer Militia Bill.

A good deal of discussion took place on the subject, each speaker ventilating his own peculiar views.

Mr. Rankin argued in favor of strict discipline, and against high pay for the volunteers; it would be no credit to a man to volunteer for the purpose of bettering his condition. He also regretted that the Government had seen fit to reduce the active force so much as they had, for he did not believe that the country was yet out of danger. He urged upon the Government the propriety of organizing a small force of service Militia, as provided for in the 11th clause by Voluntary Enlistment, as a wise precautionary measure, and alluded to the charge preferred against some of the officers of the volunteer force during the late troubles.

The committee having agreed to all the clauses, reported the bill with amendments, the only important one being that of Mr. Shanly, to the fifth clause.

Mr. Powell gave notice that at the third reading be intended to suggest the striking out of the clause relating to Municipalities.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald replied to the remarks of the member for Essex, that the appropriation for the service, though large, would not warrant the organisation of a Service Militia force, under present circumstances. As to the allusion made to the conduct of our Volunteer Officers at Lime Ridge, the officer who had been most deeply implicated by the charges made had demanded a full investigation into his conduct. A commission had been appointed by His Excellency, and the investigation had now taken place. The report of the Commission, with the evidence in full, had been ordered to be published, and he was very happy to state that Colonel Booker had been found to have acted in a most praise-worthy and soldier-life manner.

The report was received, and the bill ordered to a third reading tomorrow.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Cartier, the House went into Committee of the Whole on the bill respecting the Code of Civil Procedure of Lower Canada (and resolutions.)

The Committee rose and reported the bill respecting the Inspecting of Registry Offices and the moving of the plans and books of reference for registration purposes in Lower Canada.

Hon. Mr. LaFramboise moved the three months hoist, and a long debate ensued.

Hon. Mr. Cartier said the object of the bill was to provide a fund from local sources to pay for the inspection of Registry Offices, and the making of plans and books for the purposes of registration. This fund was to be created by the imposition of a small duty on instruments registered, and he contended that it was not proper that the expenses in question should be paid for out of the general resources of the country. One of, the hon. gentlemen opposite, (Hon. Mr. Dorion), who professed himself to be a free trader had complained against the bill, that it was the introduction of the system of direct taxation in Lower Canada, yet if he was really a free trader he must be in favor of direct taxation.

After further debate, the members were called in and the House divided, when the amendment was lost, yeas 19; nays 64.

Hon. Mr. Galt moved that the House go again into committee of supply. It was his intention to proceed with the remaining items of the estimates.

Hon. Mr. Holton submitted whether it was fair at this late hour to ask the House to go into committee of supply, when only a few items remained, and these involving large amounts and very important questions.

Hon. Mr. Galt did not see that any of the items ought to involve serious debate, but if so the discussion could take place on the concurrences without delaying the business before the House at this stage.

Hon. Mr. Dorion said several members were absent who generally took an active part in discussing supplies, (Messrs. Brown and McKenzie)

Hon. Mr. Cauchon thought business ought to be proceeded with as fast as possible, and if hon. member were absent it was their own fault.

Hon. Mr. Holton asked why the Education Bill for Lower Canada had not been brought down today according to promise? What had become of the measure to settle the accounts between Upper and Lower Canada which had been promised on a former occasion? And why had not the Attorney-General West gone on with the election law instead of asking the House to go into committee of supply at this late hour?

Hon. J. A. MacDonald replied, the Government had announced their measures, but they would take their own time to press them on the attention of the House. They had not the satisfaction, the honor, and the pride of enjoying the hon. gentleman’s support, and they would not certainly arrange their business at his dictation. So long as they proceeded with the public business, whether it was the supply bill, or the Militia bill, or any other that they might select, they felt they were doing their duty.

The House then went into Committee of supply, Mr. Street in the chair.

Hon. Mr. Galt stated that it was not the intention of the Government to press the municipal claims, Lower Canada, to be hereafter paid by that Province, $35,000. Though they withdrew the item, however, it was understood that the parties holding these claims by no means gave up their right to press them against Lower Canada.

Hon. Mr. – said if the item had not been withdrawn the Government would have been beaten by a double majority. (Oh!)

The following items were agreed to: Collection and management of Revenue Customs (exclusive of duties refunded). $330,000: Excise, $120,000; Post Office – Ordinary expenditure for the year $321,000; do railway and steam service, $274,000; Territorial – Surveys Upper and Lower Canada at $14,000 each $28,000; Miscellaneous expenditure $110,000; Canadian Land and Emigration Co., (whereof $5,1777.68 has been expended in 1866) $18,102.25; Stamps $5,000; Fines and forfeitures $7,000; Public Works – Maintenance $125,000; Repairs $125,000; Collection and miscellaneous $45,000 – Total for public works, $295,000.

On motion the Committee rose and reported progress asking leave to sit again.

The following bills were read a second time:

To incorporate the Queen’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Kingston. – Hon. Atty.-Gen. MacDonald.

To amend Chapter 126 of the Consolidated Statutes of Upper Canada, instituted, “An Act respecting the Administration of Justice in the unorganized tracts of transitory (from Legislative Council). – Hon. Mr. Atty.-Gen. MacDonald

To enable Pearson Harris to obtain a Patent for a Machine for refining and deodorizing Crude Petroleum Oil, (from Legislative Council) – Mr. Sol.-Gen. Cockburn

To amend the Act respecting the Court of Impeachment in Upper Canada (from Legislative […]

  • (p. 61)

[…] Council). – Mr. Sol.-Gen. Cockburn

An Act respecting persons in Canada charged with High Treason and Felony (from legislative Council). – Mr. Sol.-Gen. Cockburn.

To amend the Law respecting the appointment of Recorders in Upper Canada (from legislative Council). Hon. Mr. Sol.-Gen. Cockburn.

To enable Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski, and the Hon. David Lewis Macpherson to obtain Letters Patents for the invention of certain improvements in treating ores and alloys, and in obtaining metals and ores the reform. – Hon. Atty.-Gen. MacDonald.

The following bills were read a third time and passed –

To incorporate the Board of Trade of the City of London. – Hon. Mr. Carling

To authorize the Corporation of St. Vincent to construct a Harbor and impose dues, and for other purposes. – Mr. Jackson

To incorporate the St. Hyacinthe New Passenger Bridge Company. – Hon. Mr. Laframbroise.

To amend the Charter of the British and Canadian School Society of Montreal. – Mr. Dunkin

To erect a new Municipality in the Country of Beauharmois, under the name of “St. Etienne de Beauharnois.” – Mr. Denis

To erect the Township of Wickham into two separate Municipalities. – Mr. J. B. E. Dorion.

To incorporate the Town of Bothwell, and to define the limits thereof. – Mr. McKellar.

To authorize the New York and Canada Oil Company to hold and convey certain lands. – Mr. MacKensie

To incorporate the Simcoe County Bank. – Mr. Ferguson (South Simcoe).

To enable the Municipality of the Town of Belleville to purchase a site for a Public Cemetery, and to exempt the Roman Catholic rate-payers of the said Municipality from taxation on account of the same (from legislative council.) – Mr. Wallbridge (North Hastings)

To authorize the issuing of letters patent of invention to author Rankin for a new and hitherto unknown description of fuel, of which he had acquired knowledge by purchase from the inventor. – Mr. Rankin

To enable Pierre Eymaid Jay, and the Hon. Louis Antoine Dessalines, to take out conjointly, patents of invention for different machines and inventions in this act mentioned. – Hon. Mr. Laframboise

To incorporate the Village of New Edinburgh. -Mr. Currier.

To provide for the sale of the Rectory Lands in this Province. – Hon. Mr. Cameron.

To authorize the Trustees of the Presbyterian Congregation of the Town of Woodstock, in connection with the Church of Scotland, to sell certain lots in the said Town, held by, them in trust for the said Congregation (from Legislative council). – Mr. McKellar

To vest certain funds in the Rector and Church wardens of St. James’ Church Toronto (from legislative council).

To legalize By-Laws No. 7, Appropriating a certain sum of money for the construction of gravel roads and harbors in the Country of Bruce – Mr. Dickson

To confer on the Ottawa College the rights and powers of a University. – Mr. Currier

To authorize the Hartford Oil Company to hold and convey certain lands. – Mr. Mackenzie.

To amend the Church Temporalities Act. – Hon. Mr. Cameron

Respecting the amendment of Property in Upper Canada. – Mr. McKenzie

To amend the act respecting the Superior Courts of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction. – Hon. Mr. Cameron

Hon. Mr. Holton objected to the irregular manner in which the Government had gone on with the orders: hereby he should insist on the questions being up in the order in which they appear on the paper.

On motion of Attorney-General MacDonald the House adjourned at 30 minutes to one until eleven o’clock tomorrow.

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