Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (6 August 1866)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 78-79.
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Monday, Aug. 6, 1866.
The speaker took the chair at 3 o’clock
Mr. Jones (South Leeds) introduced a bill for the purpose of defining the powers of the commissioner of Crown Lands in connection with the sale of public lands, and the construction of colonization roads, and other purposes.
Mr. Rankin supposed the hon. member merely introduced the bill for the purpose of giving him an opportunity to reply to the remarks of the Commissioner of Crown Lands made in another place. He (MR. R) believed the Commissioner to be a most meritorious member of the cabinet, and believed that he had performed the responsible duties belonging to his Department in a satisfactory manner.
Mr. Powell felt very much disposed to sustain the measure introduced. He thought it a very necessary measure, and if the member for North Leeds failed to place it on the statute book this session, he hoped that his constituents would return him to the bosom of this House, under Confederation, to press it forward. He considered it very desirable that the Crown Lands management should not be left so much to the direction of orders in Council. It ought to be reduced to a more perfect and permanent regulation, under the control of this House. He denied positively that the present Commissioner had, by any means, retarded the settlement of the country. On the contrary, he had exerted himself to encourage its settlement by every possible way. He was no particular admirer of the Commissioner. He had asked him for a dozen of things which he had not got. (Laughter) —
To get anything from him, a man should be a Grit (laughter) but he must bear testimony to his generally successful administration of the Department, and with reference to this case of the seven young men he believed it was susceptible of a different explanation to that given it by the member for North Leeds. The facts, as he understood them, were that a certain gentleman held timber limits over this area of country. Another party owning neighboring limits, put in the names of seven of his men as applicants of the lands for settlement. They forged a certificate with the name of the member for North Leeds attached to it, which was sent into the Department, and Mr. Bell of Russell had written a letter to the Department making application on behalf of the lumberer.
Mr. Jones appealed to the member for Russel to say whether his statement regarding the seven young men who were driven off was correct.
Mr. Bell confirmed the general correctness of the statement.
Mr. Powell protested that a statement should not go to the country on the authority of a member of this House, that the administration of the Crown Lands was such as to drive young men out of the country. He repeated the particulars of the transaction referred to.
Mr. Bell — At the personal request of the seven individuals named had made the application, not at the request of any lumberman. He was astonished at the statements made by the member for Carleton on a matter with which he was not personally acquainted. It was not by any means a sham case; the men were really anxious to have become settlers, and had been driven off as was stated by the member for North Leeds. Mr. Bell then referred to a statement made by the member for Cornwall, with reference to a speculation that gentleman had accused him of having made on a former occasion.
Hon. J. S. MacDonald was very glad of the opportunity to correct the error into which he had been led through a report which had reached him, and which he was now quite satisfied was incorrect. He cheerfully made apology to the member for Russell.
Mr. Powell said he had made no charge against the members for North Leeds and Russell, nor did he believe that they were personally interested in the affair. The members put down further discussion by rattling their desks.
Mr. McKenzie introduced a bill to provide for the inspection of Petroleum Oil.
Hon. Mr. Cauchon moved the third reading of the bill to amend the act to amend and consolidate the provisions, contained in the Acts and Ordinances, relating to the incorporation of and the supply of water to the City of Quebec.
Hon. Mr. Alleyn moved in amendment that the bill be referred back to committee or the purpose of amending the same. — Lost. Yeas, 4; Nays, 59.
On motion of Hon. Mr. Alleyn certain provisions were struck out by a vote of 69 to 17.
The bill was then read a third time and passed.
Hon. Mr. Cauchon moved that the House go into Committee of the Whole on Bill to amend the Act 23rd Vic., cap. 123, to incorporate the Pilots for and below the Harbor of Quebec.
Hon. Mr. Alleyn moved the three months’ hoist.
A long discussion ensued, and the House rose at six without coming to a vote.
The Speaker took the chair at half-past seven o’clock.
Hon. J. A. MacDonald laid the following despatches before the House: “The Governor-General transmits for the information of the Legislative Assembly copies of two despatches which he has received from the Secretary of State for the colonies.
Ottawa, August 4th, 1866.
Mr. Cardwell to Lord Monck:
Downing Street, 30th June, 1866
My Lord, — I have received your despatch No. 51m of the 11th instant, in which you enclose copies of two acts passed by the Legislature of Canada, authorizing respectively the summary imprisonment of persons charged with certain offences against the peace of the colony and the trial in Lower Canada by a Militia General Court Martial, or persons leaving war against Her Majesty in that Province.
I rely on your discretion for the use you will make of these extensive powers, and do not doubt that you will have recourse in any case in which it may be possible to do so, to the ordinary tribunals for the punishment of offenders.
I hope that the total failure of the recent senseless attempts to disturb the peace of the colony, will have relieved your government from all apprehension for the future, and will enable you to deal with the persons who have fallen into your hands, with deliberate consideration of the various reasons which should affect your treatment of them, and without incurring any appearances of precipitation or undue severity.
I have, ac,
(Signed) Edward Cardwell
The Earl of Carnarvon to Lord Monck:
Downing Street, 7th July, 1866.
My Lord, — I observe that the recent Act of the Canadian Parliament, authorizing the trial by Militia Courts Martial of foreigners and other who are guilty or accessory to acts of aggression or hostility in Lower Canada, has formed the subject of a communication from my predecessor in the Department.
The act which is copied form an Act passed in 1838 for the protection of Upper Canada, and is made applicable to the Lower Province, is of an exceptional character, and to be […]
- (p. 79)
[…] justified by the exceptional circumstances of the time.
I shall advise her Majesty to leave it to its operation, at the same time I am unwilling to lose anytime and expressing my earnest hope that recourse will not be had to any but the usual should tribunals for the trial of offenders.
When in 1838 a similar act was passed for upper Canada, the general condition of the Province was in many respects very critical one. Such happily I understand from your lordships dispatches does not now the case. Thanks to the loyalty of all classes in Canada, and to the good faith and cooperation of the United States authorities, all aggression from their territory has been baffled, and no immediate danger appears to threaten the peace of the province. There remains doubtless some mutual resentments on the parts of those who have been exposed to so I wanton and criminal in outrage, but I am confident that your lordship and your advisers are fully alive to the wisdom of moderation in such a case, of confining the punishment of the offenders, as far as practicable, within the limits of what may be required for the protection of the province now and in the future.
But under any circumstances her Majesty’s government consider it on every accounts to be desired that the person concerned in this insane and lawless enterprise should be tried with all deliberation, and should not be deprived of any advantages which can be claimed under the ordinary forms of law. And it would be too them a cause of serious regrets, if any step were taken from which it could be inferred that the British authorities were either unwilling to await the ordinary course of justice, or distrustful of the spirit in which it would be administered.
I have, &c.,
Hon. Mr. BROWN suggested that in the circumstances of the country, on account of the many delicate questions involved minutes relations with the mother country and with the United States, it might be well for the government to have a secret session of the House, that these questions might be discussed in way that members would feel more at liberty to express their views.
Hon. JOHN A. MACDONALD replied that the suggestion was worthy of consideration, but he should first have to consult his colleagues and submit the matter to His Excellency before adopting it. It was a course had not been followed in the English House of Commons. In times of excitement there, it had been the practice to refer delicate questions to a secret committee, and he believe that the leaders on both sides of this house readily acquiesce in such a course if circumstances rendered it necessary.
Hon. J. S. MACDONALD contended that if any question should arise that required plain speaking, it was right that the country should know it. The proposition of the member for South Oxford was a most extraordinary one, and he for one was prepared to oppose it. There was nothing in the state of the country, nothing in the information which the Government has laid before the House, that would warrant a resort to a secret session, and if any such necessity existed, it was the duty of the Government to the come down here and ask it. This House had be most ready in placing all the means at the disposal of the Government which they had asked for the defence of the country, and he should insist upon their being held to a fall responsibility to this House and the country.
Mr. DUNKIN said that the suggestion of the member for South Oxford might deserve some consideration at the hands of the Government, but he certainly thought that under present circumstances, it ought not to be entertained. Would not the sitting with closed doors be the cause of alarm, worse than ant world that could be dropped by any member of the House? If one member should stay what might be the cause of offence, there would always be found another to counteract its influence. They could not shut the public out from a knowledge of what was going on. The press would find out what was taking place, and publish it from one end of the country to the other. He saw no need, under circumstances, for following the suggestion of the member South Oxford.
Mr. RANKEN said the member for South Oxford might be in the possession of information which would warrant him in suggesting to the Government the course proposed, but the Government was responsible for the defence of the country, and so long as the House supplied them with the means, it was right they should be held responsible for the proper use of them.
Hon. Mr. BROWN said that one would imagine he had proposed something extraordinary, from the speeches that had just been delivered, when in fact any member could, by merely calling the Speaker’s attention to the fact, that there were “strangers in the gallery,” might any day he chose, produce a secret Session. All their Sessions were supposed to be secret. The public were only admitted by favor, and all that he had proposed was that the peculiar relations of this Province with the mother country, with the United States and with the other colonies, might better be discussed under circumstances which would not give occasion to angry discussion in the press of the mother country or of the United States. He was not prepared to discuss these questions with that freedom which he thought they ought to be discussed before the public, and he fit think that a Session devoted to their consideration in the way he had suggested might be productive of advantage to the government.
Hon. Mr. CARTIER laid before the House the petition of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Canada, on the subject of separate schools. He said the subjects had been under his notice of Friday, and he now submitted the return without waiting for the member for Vercheres.
Hon. Mr. DORION resumed the debate on the act to amend the act to incorporate the pilots before the harbour of Quebec.
After considerable discussion the members were called in and the House divided, when the three months’ hoist was carried. Yeas 51; Nays 44.
The following bills passed through Committee:
To adjust the Boundary Lines and settle the titles in certain Ranges of the Township of Grenville. — Hon. Mr. Abbott.
To incorporate the Bank of London, (from Legislative Council). – Hon. Mr. Carling.
“An Act to enable Joseph Robinson Bawden to be examined by the Law Society of Upper Canada, for admission to practice as an Attorney and Solicitor.” — Mr. Cartwright.
“An Act to incorporate the Society called La Caisse d’Epargne de la Section St. Joseph de la Society de Temperance de Montreal.” — Mr. Denis.
“An Act to repeal the Act to legalize certain assessments in the City of Toronto, and to enable the said City to recover the Taxes rated and charged” (from Legislative Council). — Mr. Macdonald (Toronto West.)
“An Act to enable the Hon. Philip H. Moore to obtain a Patent for the invention of a new method of manufacturing peat into coal by by process of steam” (from Legislative Council). — Mr. Shanly.
To enable the Canadian Loan and Investment Company, incorporated under the Imperial Companies’ Act of 1862 (25 and 26 Vic., cap. 89), to sell and sips of certain lands, tenements and mortgage securities held by them in Upper Canada. — Mr. Morison.
To incorporate the Long Point Company (and amendments). — Mr. McGivern
To amend the Acts incorporating the Canada Central Railway Company. – Mr. Powell.
The amendments made in the Legislative Council to several bills were read a second time.
The adjourned debate upon the motion proposed by Mr. Walsh, for the second reading, bill to authorize the construction of a railway from the Niagara to the Detroit river, was resumed on motion of Mr. Walsh.
Messrs. Rankin, Brown, Scobel and Oliver, spoke against.
After considerable discussion, the promoter of bill consented to withdraw it at the suggestion of the Attorney-General West, who assured him there was no possibility of its passing this session.
The bill to capitalize, the Interest Debt, and extend the time for payment of the indebtedness of the County of Perth, was ruled out of order on the motion for the second reading.
On motion of Mr. Morrison, the bill to enable Hugh Burgess to obtain a patent for certain new and useful improvements (from Legislative Council) was read a second time, and the House adjourned in midnight.