Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (27 June 1866)

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Date: 1866-06-27
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 28-29.
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WEDNESDAY, June 27th.

Speaker took the chair at 3 o’clock. Mr. Morris moved at the time for receiving petitions for private bills be extended to the 9th July, and for receiving private bills to 16th July. — Carried.

The following bills were introduced and read a first time:

Mr. J.S. Smith – to amend 56th section, chap. 87, of the consolidated statutes of Upper Canada.

Mr. Dennis —To provide for the erection of a new municipality in the County of Beauharnois.

Mr. Morrison—Bill to amend chapter 19, of the consolidated statutes for Upper Canada, entitled an act respecting witnesses and evidence.

Mr. Morrison — to amend the railway act Congress was prevent the shunting of railway cars, or running railway trains on the Sabbath day.

Mr. Morrison — to amend the railway act in relation to the fire insurance companies, not incorporated within the limits of the province, to marine insurance companies not incorporated with the limits of this province, and otherwise to amend the said act.

Mr. MC Cameron — to legalise by-law 116, of the Corporation of the Township of Bayham.

Mr. Currier— to incorporate the Ottawa waterworks company.

Mr. JB Dorion — to erect the Township of Wickham into 2 separate municipalities.

Mr. Currier moved that when the house adjourns on Thursday, it stands adjourned till Tuesday at half-past seven. — carried.

Attorney general McDonald gave notice that to-morrow he would introduce a bill to amend the election law, and that on Wednesday he would introduce bill to amend the Militia act; Also a bill to amend chapter 98 of consolidated statutes of Upper Canada, and act 2 of the present Session with reference to invaders; Also resolutions on the subject of the local governments of upper and lower Canada ; Also have built a authorised municipalities to make grants for the relief of volunteers, and to make legal such grants heretofore made.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Galt, the house concurred in the resolution reported from the Committee of the whole on the expediency of indemnifying the government for the unavoidable departure from the provisions of the audit act, occasioned by the maintenance, on active duty, of the volunteer force, which the government has been compelled called out, and which has involved in expenditure to a large amount not provided for by the votes of last Session.

Hon. Mr. Galt introduced a bill to give effect to the said resolutions.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Galt, the house went again into Committee of Supply. — Mr. street in the chair.

Hon. Mr. Galt moved that the house go into Committee of supply.

Hon. Mr. Holden understood that the resolutions introduced last night were now in force, and wished further to know what would be done meantime respecting the duty on coarse grains.

Hon. Mr. Galt replied that it was the intention of the government to collect the duties under the existing law. Their resolutions passed last night would be put in force immediately.

The item of contingencies outstanding from 1865-6, amounting two $20,000, and that four 1866-7, $80,000, being called .

Hon. Mr. Holton proceeded to condemn […]

  • (p. 29)

[…] the government for paying the claim of S. B. Foot, $4,000, for stationary, out of contingent funds. He argued this item should be laid before the house separately.

Hon. Mr. MacDougall contended that Mr. Foote furnished large supplies of stationary to the government, and he was entitled to his pay at fair prices.

Hon. Mr. Galt said the claim was paid from funds appropriated by Parliament for such claims. The audit act was not in existence when payment was made.

Hon. Mr. Holton contended that the audit act was passed in June 1864.

Hon. Mr. Galt — June 1865.

Hon.  JS McDonald condemned the payment of the Foote jobs on several grounds, pressing the same objections as his former hon. friend from chateaugay.

Hon.  J.A. McDonald — how about Blackburn?

Hon. JS McDonald contended there is no comparison in the 2 cases. He did not charge the government with the full knowledge of the extravagance, but with sins of omission. The hon. gentleman commented upon other acts of the Cartier-MacDonald government.

Mr. Mackenzie thought that if Mr. Foote had brought in his accounts at the time they fell do there would have been no misunderstanding.

Mr. Dunkin objected to the devolving of duties of this nature on the sub Committee of public accounts. He believed this Committee at the time he understood it entered upon investigation of this claim, with consent of the house. There was great inconvenience in Committees taking up the business of the executive authorities.

Hon. A.A. Dorion read a printed report of the Committee to show the prices paid. He contended that greater economy was practice under his government than under the Cartier-MacDonald administration, and condemn the payment of $4000 to Mr. foot, as a violation of the spirit and letter of the audit act.

Hon. Mr. Galt said sums to meet unforeseen expenses always appeared under the head of miscellaneous and contingencies, and contended there is nothing irregular in this case.

Hon. Mr. Holton said the point was, that this payment of an old claim was made out of prospective appropriations for to meet unforeseen contingencies.

Hon.  Mr. Galt — it was.

Hon. Mr. Holton — it appeared in the Foote jobs, that the quantity and prices were certified by Mr. Vankoughnet, and no objections were made by the officers of the departments to Mr. Foote’spayments. If the house had adopted the report of the Committee, the government would have been authorised to put the item on the estimates to meet that sum.

Hon. J.S. McDonald would like to know if the claim of Mr. Moyland, of the Toronto Freeman, for $600, for advertising the quarantine regulations 6 months in that paper, had been paid, or if he was going to be paid?

Honorable John a MacDonald asked a postponement of the question, to which honorable John S MacDonald agreed.

Honorable John a MacDonald — in regard to Foote’s account, the government had adopted a most straight forward and honest course. Perhaps some charges were excessive, but he went out of office when the hon. member for Cornwall and his friends came in, and selected a sub Committee, only one member of which was a conservative, in order to consider this item. We knew the sentiments of the government respecting the Foote contract, and felt we ought not to be judges in our own cases, and that a fair thing could not be done then take a report such a Committee.

The hon. member for Cornwall stated he paid Mr. Blackburn in the scale of price is fixed by Mr. Harvey, but he did not take the opinion of the house as to whether the act was right. He paid Blackburn’s whole charges without hesitation, well we left the settlement of the would claim to a hostile Committee, chosen by the memory for Cornwall himself. We pay the accounts the Committee said which justly do.

Hon.  JS McDonald contended there is no warrant for payment of the item.

Hon. Mr. Holton asked explanations from Mr. Brown, who is a member of the coalition government when the item was paid.

Hon. Mr. Brown said he had not his excellency’s permission to give explanations upon it.

Hon.  JS McDonald called upon Hon. Mr. McDougall for explanations.

Hon. Mr. McDougall — I assume the responsibility of the act, and defend the action as a proper one.

Hon. Mr. Brown was not going to take the responsibility of this transaction. He was responsible for what came before this government, and for orders in Council passed, while present.

Hon. Mr. McDougall held himself responsible for the acts of his colleagues departmentally.

Hon. Mr. Brown would like to know how he could be held responsible for the payment of a bill which you never heard, till it appeared in the public accounts.

Hon. Mr. Holton — you ought to have resigned.

Hon. Mr. Brown — I was out of the government when I first heard of it. (laughter).

Mr. Dunkin related the proceedings of the sub Committee, in regard to the claim of S.B. Foote, and said they were of an irregular character. He hoped the like would not be done again.

Hon. John a MacDonald made a few observations in regard to the charges against the government, and said what could be fairer than for them to select 3 opposition, and one ministerial member to settle the case. — Contingencies were running on from day to day, and in no case, from that date, and there been a special vote of this kind , as referred to by the Hon. Mr. Holton. Annual contingencies were to meet debts as they were encouraged by the government, for carrying on the necessary departmentally and administrative business of the country.

Hon. Mr. Holton — accounts showed $80,000 proposed for prospective contingencies, but not in liquidation of the old and disputed claims against the government. This claim should have been submitted under the audit act to Parliament as an item in the estimates. Hon. JS McDonald never submitted it; And did not John a Macdonald say he could not be a judge in his own case , and had left the matter in the hands of 3 opponents and a friend?

Hon. J.A. MacDonald did not say that such was the case, but that even admitting all the member for Cornwall stated; could anything have been fair than that reference . We did not ask for a Committee to look into the matter. But the government of the hon. member for Cornwall and chateaugay had not been very scrupulous itself, having adjudicated upon the whole of the Quebec fire loan amounting to $200,000, without reference to the people of Canada. That was contrary to all constitutional principles, and if the hon. member for chateaugay had been guilty of making away without the sanction of Parliament, he would be liable for that appropriation, that he objected to the settlement of a small claim of this nature. (cheers.)

Mr. Cameron regretted so much time should have been spent in reference to this question. The present ministers were not chargeable in this matter. He was pleased to find the provincial secretary was willing to share the responsibility with his colleagues for the payment of this item. It was right to enquire into Foote’s claim. The Committee had recommended the payment of less than his demand which was accepted by the government. He said it was a small thing for gentleman who had already made so much bunkum capital out of the Foote business to still seek to agitate the country on the matter. Their finance Commission that cost the country more then would have paid Foote’s demands in the first instance. Their present ministry were justified in paying what the hostile Committee had recommended. He therefore hoped the gentlemen who were trying to make capital out of this matter, would devote their valuable service to something more useful for the country.

Hon. Mr. Dorion said that the provincial secretary had made as much capital with regard to Foote’s contracts as any member now in opposition. As to the Quebec fire loan, by our arrangements we brought into the government coffers £25,000, within 6 months, which would not otherwise have been obtained.

The items were then adopted.

On the items of $207,900, for administration of justice in Canada East being called,

Hon. Mr. Dorion demanded explanations, commending upon the increase during the last 2 years as compared with 1863.

Hon. Mr. Cartier said the comparison between 1863 and 1865 was unfair, and stated that the foreign enlistment act in the eastern townships, when members of parties were tried for enlisting British subjects in the American army, &c.

The item was carried was also that  of administration of justice in Canada West, including contingent expenses not otherwise provided for $47,520.

Mr. Cameron asked if it was the intention of the government to make provisions for the increase of salaries of judges in Upper Canada.

Hon.  JS McDonald’s strongly recommended this course.

Hon. JA MacDonald said the subject was under consideration of the government, and he could not, of course, have any objection to recommend it, if the house approved other question of raising the salaries of all judges. It was for the consideration of the government to defer the whole question till the meeting of the Confederate Parliament.

With speaker left the chair at 6 o’clock.

After recess

The following items were agreed to in Committee of Ways and Means:

Expenses of the River police, Quebec, $19,180; do Montreal, where of $3700 are to be repaid by the Harbour Commission, $18,586.

The items for the penitentiary, reformatory and prison inspection were also agreed to, after some discussion.

It being now nine o’clock, and the house having agreed to give the remainder of the sitting to the consideration of private bills, the Committee, on motion of Hon. Mr. Galt, rose and reported progress, and asked leave to sit again.

The following private bills received a second reading:

To amend the act 25 Vic., chap. 30, to enable the ratepayers of the County of Lincoln to select a more convenient place for a County town. — Mr. McGiverin .

And discussion arose on Mr. Morrisons motion in amendment, to give the bill the 6 months’ hoist.

Messrs. Street, T.R. Ferguson and Cockburn took part. Finally, Mr. Morrison consented to withdraw his amendment, by request, to allow the bill to go to the private bill Committee. The second reading was carried on a division.

To incorporate the Pierreville steam mill company. — Mr. Geoffrion.

To incorporate at the Montreal club. — Mr. Rose.

To amalgamate the western counties permanent building  and savings bank with the Huron and Erie savings and loan society, or any other Society of a similar character. — Hon. Mr. Carling.

To divide the Township of Stanbridge, in the County of Missisquoi, into 2 separate municipalities. — Mr. O’Halloran.

To incorporate the Canadian rubber company Of Montreal. — Hon. Mr. Rose.

To amend the chapter 57 of the 29th Vic., concerning incorporation of the city of Quebec. — Mr. Taschereau.

To legalize a certain agreement between Buffalo and Lake Huron railway, and the grand trunk railway company of Canada. — Hon. Mr. Rose.

To incorporate the College of St Jerome of the town of Berlin. — Mr. Bowman.

To confirm the settlement made by Charlotte Henderson, of an undivided molety of lands in Ottawa , and to invest the entirety of the same in Trustees. — Mr. Powell.

To amend the act to amend and consolidate the provisions contained in the acts and ordinances relating to the incorporation of in the supply of water to the city of Quebec. — Hon. Mr. Cauhcon.

To divide the Township of Wawanosh into several municipalities. — Mr. Dickson.

To confirm the will of the late Robert Jackson, of the Township of Scarborough. — Hon. Mr. Cameron.

To incorporate the Bothwell tram road and bridge company. — Hon. Mr. Carling.

To confine an established the existing line between the 4th and 5th ranges of the Township of Buckingham. — Mr. Currier.

To incorporate the South eastern counties junction railway company — Mr. Knight.

To amend the act of incorporation of the Massawippi Valley railway company. — Mr. Knight.

Hon.  J.A. MacDonald said it had been arranged the house should meet to-morrow from 11:00 to 1:00 o’clock PM, but as good progress had been made with the private bills, that would not be necessary. He would, therefore, move that when this has adjourned it stand adjourned till Tuesday next at 7:30 PM. — Carried.

The house adjourned at eleven o’clock.

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