Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates [Composition of Senate & Local Constitutions], 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (2 August 1866)

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Date: 1866-08-02
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 71-74.
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THURSDAY, Aug. 2nd, 1866.

The Speaker took the chair at three o’clock.

Solicitor-General Cockburn introduced a bill to continue expiring laws.

Hon. Mr. MacDougall presented a message from His Excellency the Governor-General.

The Speaker read the despatch to the House in the following words:

The Governor-General transmits for the information of the Legislative Assembly, a copy of a telegraphic message which the Secretary of State for the Colonies has sent to him, by command of Her Majesty the Queen.

Ottawa, 2nd Aug, 1866.

OTTAWA, 1st Aug., 1866

By Telegraph from London, Eng., July 28th, 1866.


I am commanded, by the Queen, to convey to the Governor-General of Her North American Provinces, Her Majesty’s congratulations on the completion of the Atlantic Telegraph, and the strengthening thereby of the unity of the British Empire. Her Majesty includes Her ancient colony of Newfoundland, in these congratulations, to all Her faithful subjects.



Three enthusiastic cheers were given by the members, followed by several rounds of applause.

Hon. Mr. Macdougall stated that His Excellency had already returned an answer to Her Majesty’s congratulatory message.

Mr. Scobel expressed his satisfaction that His Excellency had promptly replied to the message, but thought a message should be sent form this House.

Hon. J.A. Macdonald was sure every member would approve the suggestion. A message would be prepared and submitted to the House to-morrow. (Hear, hear.)

The following bills were read a third time:

To amend the Act respecting the Volunteer Militia Force. —Hon. Mr. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

To facilitate the suppression of the evils caused by intemperance in Lower Canada (from the Legislative Council). —Hon. Mr. Sol.-Gen. Langevin.

To incorporate the Montreal Literary Club (and amendments) —Hon. Mr. McGee.

To amend the Post Office Act. —Hon. Mr. Howland.

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

An Act to incorporate the Queen’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Kingston. —Hon. Mr. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

An Act to enable Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski, and the Hon. David Lewis Macpherson, to obtain letters patent for the invention of certain improvements in treating ores and alloys, and in obtaining metals and other ores therefrom. —Hon. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

The bill to authorize the incorporation of the Peterborough, Cobourg, and Marmora Railway and Mining Company, and for other purposes, passed through Committee.

On motion of Solicitor Cockburn the bill to incorporate the Fenelon Falls, Minden, Haliburton, and Northern Lakes Steam Navigation Company, was read a second time.

Hon. Mr. Galt stated that he would move the resolutions on currency of which he had given notice in committee of ways and means to-morrow.

Hon. Mr. Holton thought Committee of ways and means was not the proper way to originate these resolutions.

After some conversation the point was dropped.

The debate on the Local Constitutions was then resumed, the question being on the concurrence or third reading of the resolutions providing for the same.

George Brown [South Oxford] opened the discussion. His own idea had been that some scheme could have been devised to bring the Executive into direct responsibility to the people, which would have been more economical and more perfect than the one now before the House. The period chosen for the duration of Parliament, four years, was too long. A period of Parliament elected for three years, with an Executive, composed of heads of Department, without seats in the House, would better tend to avoid the difficulties which had to be set the Government of Canada, then the plan proposed. He should have liked to have seen the Local Executive placed under the law, instead of controlling the Legislature. Then with regard to the distribution of seats—was it the intention of the government to place its control in the hands of the Local or the General Government?

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]  stated that the General Parliament would determine the distribution of any future increase of representation in the General Legislature. But the Local Parliament of Upper Canada would be fully empowered to limit the number of its own members, without reference to its representation in the General Parliament.

George Brown [South Oxford] said the 12th resolution bore an entirely different construction. On reading at the inference was playing that the Constituencies would continue to be identical, both for the Local and General Governments. Some provisions ought to be made restricting the identity of the constituencies to the first general election, or until the next census. Another point was the limit as to the time when the Parliament should be called after the issue of the proclamation putting the new constitution in force.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] —Had already stated that the issue of the proclamation would be immediately followed by the issue of the writs for the general election. But the question was not now one regarding the general government, but only as to principles of the Local Constitutions. He would assure the hon. member that so far as the government would have any influence in the matter they would use it in favor of having the Parliament called at once.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] stated that by the terms of the Quebec resolutions[1], the Legislative Councillors would be nominated by the Provisional Governor and his advisers, before a single election could be held under the Local Constitution. It was clear that the Local Parliaments could have no control under these important appointments by the plan proposed.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]  said the Provisional-Governor, on his appointment, would at once choose his Secretary, and issue the writs under the Great Seal, for the general election. The Local Parliament would then meet and he must have his responsible advisors before he can assume the discharge of any of those duties depending on the advice of the Executive.

Joseph Cauchon [Montmorency] said the Legislative Council of the General Government would be appointed before the Local  Governors were appointed at all; their nomination would be made by the existing government. (Hear, hear.)

This point was made clear by the clause in the Quebec resolutions[2], providing the first members of the Council should be chosen from the existing Local Legislative Councils. It was well understood that the Government of Canada stood in the place of the Local Governments of Upper and Lower Canada at the present time, and must make the first selection which would afterwards fall upon the Local Governments.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said if the hon. member for South Oxford [George Brown] had not reopened the discussion on the Quebec Resolutions[3] then this debate was very much misplaced. He proceeded to read them, to elucidate the point whether the existing Legislature could be construed as the Local Legislature, according to the meaning of the resolutions. He said he might congratulate himself now, since he had frequently complained of their ambiguity, that the member for South Oxford [George Brown], who had been one of their authors, and who had insisted on their being accepted without a word being changed, appeared now not to be able to understand them. He had been of the opinion that it would be the duty of the existing Legislatures to appoint the members of the Legislative Council of the general Government, but upon the construction now put on the 144th clause[4] the Local Parliament would have to meet before the nominations to the Confederate Legislative Council could take place.

Alexander T. Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] said the point was quite clear, and had been fully explained by the member for South Oxford [George Brown] , during the debate.

George Brown [South Oxford]—Hear, hear.

Alexander T. Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance]— The understanding of the fourteenth clause[5] had been explained then precisely in the meaning now given to it by the member for Montmorenci [Joseph Cauchon].

George Brown [South Oxford]— Quite so.

Alexander T. Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] then read from the speech of the hon. member for South Oxford [George Brown], to the effect that the meaning of it was that the existing Government should select the first members of the Legislative Council, and that he (Mr. B.) had every confidence that in that selection justice would be done to parties on both sides of the House.

George Brown [South Oxford]— The point had always been well understood, and he had never heard of any misconception, until the member for Brome [Christopher Dunkin] had undertaken to lecture him, as he did other members of this House. The very mode of selection of the Councillors had been decided on, and with the permission of the Attorney-General West [John A. Macdonald] he would state it to the House.

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia] — Certainly.

George Brown [South Oxford]— The mode was a very simple and in his mind a very fair one, simply that the Reform members of the Cabinet should consult their supporters, the Conservatives theirs, and having had a fair understanding as to who were acceptable on each side, then to nominate alternately from both the parties. He still believed that every justice would be done to all parties in that selection. With regard to the Local Executives, he regretted very much that the amendment submitted by the member for North Ontario [Matthew Cameron] had not been accepted, because he considered it exceedingly desirable that the number of the Executive should be limited.

  •             (p. 72)

Alexander T. Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] said these resolutions only provided the machinery of the Local Constitution by  which the Local Governments might be set in order, and it was desirable to frame them with as few restrictions as possible, for the very reason that, according to the Quebec resolutions[6], the Local Parliaments would have power to alter or amend them as they might see fit.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] addressed the house, but his remarks were imperfectly heard in the Gallery.

William McDougall [Lanark North, Provincial Secretary] express the gratification of the government with the debate, that as yet no very strong point has been made against the outline of the Local Constitution now before the House. He thought the member for South Oxford [George Brown] might have put his suggestions in a more definite shape; he might have submitted them by way of amendment, that the house might have had an opportunity of considering. He had suggested the framing of some possible system, with an executive appointed for three years, would have been better for Upper Canada then the plan submitted, but he had not put it in any very definite way. The reply of the government to that point was that after due consideration it had been deemed proper that the system should be retained, with the working of which the people of these provinces had become familiar. He objected to the hon. member for South Oxford [George Brown] sending it fourth before the country that a better scheme might have been devised if more talent and patriotism had been devoted to its consideration.

George Brown [South Oxford]—Said the Provincial Secretary [William McDougall] had no right to have put such a construction upon his (Mr. B.’s) remarks. He contemplated nothing of the kind, and he was sure his words would bear no such construction. He asked him why he did not introduce his own plan to this House. His reason for so doing was that since it was the general feeling of this house to give the constitutions provided by these resolutions a fair trial, there was no need of putting two schemes before the country to create useless discussion. The Provincial Secretary [William McDougall] ought to be the last man to object to his (Mr. B.’s) views, as up to this time he had been their warm advocate.

The first resolution was carried, and the debate adjourned until the second sitting of the House to-day.

Hon. Mr. Galt said he had consulted the Speaker on the point of order, brought up early in the afternoon, and his opinion was that the Committee of Ways and Means was not strictly the correct mode of proceeding.  He (Mr. Galt) therefore gave notice that he would move that the House go into Committee on the currency resolutions to-morrow.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald gave notice that he would move that during the remainder of the Session the House sit from 11 to 3 o’clock to consider, first, Government orders; 2nd public bills, third private and local bills.

Hon. Mr. Cauchon desired to know when members would be permitted to go home.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald said the only satisfaction he could give was that the hon. member would be expected to remain until the afternoon of the last day of the Session (laughter.)

Several bills were introduced from the Legislative Council.

The House rose at six o’clock.

Second Sitting.

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

Mr. Bell introduced a bill to extend to the Roman Catholic minority in Upper Canada, similar and equal privileges, with which those which are, or shall be granted by the Legislature to the Protestant minority in Lower Canada.

Hon. Mr. Brown desired to know if this was a Government measure.

Hon. Mr. Galt said the Government had no objection to the introduction of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Brown said that no bill ought to be introduced on a government day, but a government bill.  If it was introduced now, the discussion must take place at once.  It was a most extraordinary thing to attempt at the end of the session, and before the people of Upper Canada would have time to hear it, to change their whole system of education.

Mr. Bell assured him nothing of the kind was contemplated.  He merely wished to confer upon the Catholics of Upper Canada, the same rights and privileges as the Catholics of Lower Canada gave the Protestants, a proposition so fair that no man, whether Catholic or Protestant, should object to it.

Mr. Scatcherd objected to the introduction of the bill, and moved the three months’ hoist.

Mr. M.C. Cameron recommended Mr. Scatcherd to withdraw his amendment, the discussion of which would only lead to a useless waste of time.

Hon. Mr. McGee said the proper course would be to allow the introduction of the bill, and submit his amendment to the motion on the second reading.

Mr. Scatcherd consented to this, and withdrew his amendment.

Mr. Parker said it was quite impossible that this bill should become law at such a late period of the session unless it had the support of the Government and he wished them to state distinctly the course they intended to pursue towards it.  There was no use in discussing the bill if it was not to be pushed through this session.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald said the government had no measure on the subject.  The bill would be left to be treated on its merits.

The bill was read a first time.

On the question for the second reading to-morrow,

Mr. Scatcherd moved the three months’ hoist.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald then moved the adjournment of the debate, as there was government business to be considered by the House.  (Hear, hear.)

Hon. Mr. Brown came forward to the Clerk’s table and picked up the bill which was in blank and said “Mr. Speaker, there is no bill here, I object.”

Mr. Bell said he would have the bill printed within twenty-four hours.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald said it was not advisable at this time, in the present state of the country to show to the Irish Roman Catholics of Upper Canada that they cannot have a measure introduced before this House in the usual way.  He asked the member for South Oxford to withdraw his objection.

Hon. Mr. Brown said it was wrong for the leader of the government and the special representative of Upper Canada to give a partizan character to this debate.  He denied that he was actuated by any partizan feeling in the course he had taken, but he had no other way of protecting the interests of the country than to oppose it.

Mr. Bell was then called upon to “send in the bill” and the matter dropped.

Hon. Mr. Cartier introduced a bill respecting works connected with the defence of the Province.

Hon J. A. MacDonald said in accordance with the announcement he made at the first sitting, he would now move that a telegram be sent to the colonial office, acknowledging the message to the Governor-General.  He proposed that it should be sent jointly by both branches of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Canada.  He therefore moved, seconded by the hon. member for Cornwall, that a telegram be sent to the colonial office, in acknowledgment of the despatch received by the Governor-General, in the following words.

“To the Right Hon. Earl Carnarvon.

“We the Legislative Council and Assembly of Canada humbly thank Her Majesty for her gracious message to the Governor-General.

“We feel warmly that by this great enterprise we are drawn nearer to the heart of the mother country.”

The motion was carried by acclamation.

Editors’ Note (2020): 1. That by the 38th paragraph of the Resolution of this House passed on the third day of February, 1865, for presenting an humble Address to Her Majesty, praying that She may be graciously pleased to cause a measure to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament, for the purpose of uniting the Colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward island, in one Government, with provisions based on the Resolutions which were adopted at a Conference of Delegates from the said Colonies, held at the City of Quebec, on the 10th of October, 1864, it is provided that “for each of the Provinces there shall be an Executive Officer, styled the Lieutenant Governor, who shall be appointed by the Governor General in Council, under the Great Seal of the ‘Federated Provinces, during pleasure; such pleasure, not to be exercised before the expiration of the first five years, except for cause; such cause to be communicated in writing to the Lieutenant Governor immediately after the exercise of the pleasure as aforesaid, and also by Message to both Houses of Parliament, within the first week of the first Session afterwards; ” and that by the 41st paragraph of the same Resolution it is provided that “the Local Government and Legislature of each Province shall be constructed in such manner as the existing Legislature of each such Province shall provide.” 
Editors’ Note (2020): 2. That under and subject to the Constitution of the Federated Provinces, the executive authority of the Lieutenant Governor of Lower Canada and Upper Canada respectively shall be administered by each of such Officers according to the well understood principles of the British Constitution. 
Editors’ Note (2020): On motion of the Honorable Mr. Attorney General Macdonald, seconded by the Honorable Mr. Attorney General Cartier, the said Resolution was amended, by inserting the words “provisions of the” after the word “the,” where it occurs the first time.
Editors’ Note (2020): 3. The Great Seal of each Province of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, shall be the same or of the same design, in each of the said Provinces, as that used in the said Provinces respectively, at the time of the existing Union, until altered by the Local Government. 

The debate on the Local Constitutions was resumed. The first, second and third resolutions were carried on division.

On the fourth resolution,

Editors’ Note (2020): 4. That there shall be a Local Legislature for Lower Canada, composed of Two Chambers, to be called the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. 

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] recited the arguments of the Attorney-General West [John A. Macdonald] in favor of a single chamber in Upper Canada, and continue that all questions are important relating to commerce, currency, banking and public works, generally, were transferred to the General Government. If the duties of the Local Government were only to be municipal, it appeared to him that one chamber would be sufficient for Lower Canada. He then viewed the subject from this financial point, contending that in the interests of economy there should be no Legislative Council in Lower Canada. The object of the motion he would lay before the House was to do away with the second chamber in Lower Canada, adopting the same principle as was to be applied to Upper Canada.

After further remarks he moved an amendment in accordance with the above.

Editors’ Note (2020): The Honorable Mr. Dorion moved, in amendment, seconded by the Honorable Mr. Laframboise, that all the words after “That,” to the end of the Question, be left out, and the words “the said Resolution be committed to a Committee of the whole House, to provide that, in order to simplify and diminish the cost of Legislation, the Legislature of Lower Canada be not composed of two Houses, whereof one shall be appointed by the Governor, and called the Legislative Council,but that it consist of one Chamber only, to be elected by the people, as is proposed for the Legislature of Upper Canada,” inserted instead thereof.

Maurice Laframboise [Bagot] seconded the amendment.

Thomas D’Arcy McGee [Montreal West, Minister of Agriculture and Statistics] said it was now nearly two years since the great scheme of Confederation had been placed before the public in a coherent shape. During these two years the hon. gentleman and his friends had taken every means—secret and open, to defeat its accomplishment. They had to express themselves favorable to some plan of union, but they had never yet proposed it, and it was now on the detail of a detail that they had taken their stand; the hon. gentleman favors the proposal of a single Chamber for the Lower Canada Legislature, and upon that point he (Mr. McG.) would say a few words.

The principles of the British Constitution he desired to see carried out in its integrity, in the Local Governments as well as in the General, and if these could be carried out successfully in Upper Canada by a single chamber, it would be the first time. The people of Lower Canada, by adopting two chambers, were accepting the system which they knew would work well; those of Upper Canada were adopting an experiment, which they might have to abandon, and which, even if it succeeded there, it would not necessarily be applicable to Lower Canada. The people of Upper Canada were one people, speaking one language, strongly imbued with one general class of principles, and they might succeed in their experiment.

But Lower Canada had two distinct peoples, speaking different languages, having separate interests, and for the protection of these, it was desirable that their Legislative machinery should be framed on well tried principles. The spirit of conciliation which had been manifested in Lower Canada had shewn, that under the new constitution, both races with live harmoniously together. The hon. member had tried to belittle the functions of the Local Governments.

But let him consider some of the great questions with which they would have to deal. There was the subject of agriculture which surely was not an insignificant one. The subject of Education was also interested to them, and it was certainly a question of importance, and during as the population itself. While on this question, he would save them and attempt had been made to-night, to throw out a bill on a point of order. He (Mr. McG.) had no responsibility for that bill, but he would say this, as he had said in 1863, that if any special grants or guarantees were given to the minority of Lower Canada, he should insist, weather in the Government or out of the Government, that equal privileges neither more nor less, be granted to the minority of Upper Canada, and he should like to see the man who could put forward a reasonable objection to the stand he took up on that question.

George Brown [South Oxford]—Does he wish to raise at the point now?

Thomas D’Arcy McGee [Montreal West, Minister of Agriculture and Statistics] merely alluded to it because, on a former occasion, the member for Lambton [Alexander Mackenzie] had said that he (Mr. McGee) had accepted the bill of 1863 as a finality. (He then read from his speech in ’63, containing a similar declaration as to equal privileges and continued) this question of education would increase in importance as the country progressed, and he considered it one which should engage the serious attention of the Local Legislature.

He went over the matters within the jurisdiction of the Local Legislatures, and contended that their duties would in some degree be of more important than that of the General Legislatures, and hoped that a seat in them would be esteemed as a position of honor and responsibility.

The hon. gentleman must know that the Confederation of British North America was a foregone conclusion. It had been decided by this House and by the country. It was in pursuance of the policy of the empire; ever since the American war the question had been urged upon the country, by the necessities of its position, by the councils of the Imperial Government, and by every consideration of sound policy. The hon. member had now come forward at the eleventh hour, and catching the giant union by his shoe string was trying to trip him up. Mr. McGee reiterated that his argument that experience had hitherto shown the two chambers were inseparable from the successful working of the British constitution.

Maurice Laframboise [Bagot] said he rose with great diffidence to address the House in a language with which he was imperfectly acquainted, in reply to the hon. Minister of Agriculture [Thomas D’Arcy McGee], who is eloquence was so well known. He had given the House and most eloquent speech, but there was no argument in it, and no doubt he could be as eloquent on one side as the other. He (Mr. L.) then proceeded to argue against a nominated Upper Chamber, which would produce a dead lock in the government. The gentleman opposite wanted a Legislative Union, but they know very well they cannot get it, and so they provide an Upper House that they may bring about a dead lock, and so lead to a Legislative Union.

If Upper Canada can do with one chamber, why cannot Lower Canada? He had her no reason to prove that one Chamber was good for Upper Canada, and yet not good for Lower Canada. The hon. gentleman had spoken of the good feeling existing between the two races, but if there was so much good feeling, why all these precautions on the part of the British population? Why give them a school bill which the Lower Canadians would not touch? Why guarantee them so many constituencies that the parliament could not change? It was because they had no faith in that feeling. The good feeling was not stronger now than it was twenty years ago. He would like to hear one good reason why one House was good for Upper, but not good for Lower Canada.

  •             (p. 73)

Joseph Cauchon [Montmorency] regretted that the hon. gentleman had become the spokesman of those antipathies which had existed before the union. He thought every man ought to forget these distinctions of nationality. He was as good a French Canadian as the hon. member himself, but he denied that anyone had ever heard him (Mr. C.) utter a word against a man for his religion, or for his nationality. A great deal has been said about dead locks. Now there were dead locks every where had they not seen dead locks between the House of Lords but everyone knew that these dead locks were revolutionary, because they always lead to revolutionary measures to overcome them.

The reason why Upper Canada had not the two chambers, was because Upper Canada did not want to. That was a very good reason—they wish to try the experiment, but it was an experiment that had always failed wherever it had been tried. Mr. Cauchon then referred to the various governments which either had abandoned, or had never tried the single chamber system, and regret it exceedingly that Upper Canada was to try it, since it had failed everywhere else. Regarding the preservation of the French Canadian nationality, Mr. C. contended that as the larger body would absorb the smaller, the lower Canadians of French Canadian origin had a better guarantee for their preservation of their language and institutions under Confederation then under any other system.

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said there never had been a time since the Union when the great majority of the British population had not been on the same side of politics, and work with the great majority of the French Canadians—a fact that spoke strongly in favor of the good feeling which had been called in question period then as to the question of guarantees, why not guarantee that British minority in Lower Canada, when the Lower Canada majority was guaranteed in its institutions against the aggression of the whole British population of the country?

With regard to the question before the House, he was exceedingly glad that no new experiment was to be tried upon Lower Canada. He regarded a single chamber as inconsistent with the principles, or at all events, with the usages of the British constitution, and not in harmony with Responsible Government. The Republican sagacity of the United States had confined the single chamber system to the Territories, but whenever the Territories were raised to States, then the two chambers were introduced. Then the Local Government of Lower Canada would have more important functions to perform than that of any other of the Provinces .

By reference to the 33rd resolution[7] of the Quebec scheme[8], it would be found that the control of the civil and criminal courts of all the Provinces, excepting Lower Canada, might be merged in the General Government, thus leaving a responsibility upon the Local Government of Lower Canada, which did not rest upon the others.

John Scoble [Elgin West] hoped the argument of the member for Brome [Christopher Dunkin] would not influence Upper Canadians against the single chamber.

Matthew Cameron [Ontario North] wished to understand the position of the members upon the question before casting his vote. He could not hold for one scheme for Upper Canada and an entirely different one for Lower Canada. If members were devoted up on this question, there were two others—the Lower Canada education bill, and the Upper Canada bill, should also be voted on in the same way. He hoped that some understanding would be arrived at, as he felt the position to be a very difficult one.

John Cameron [Peel] said it was perfectly impossible for them as members of one Legislature to leave questions to one section or the other, members must vote up on every question that comes before the House. It would be impossible to come to an agreement on the particular questions upon which they ought to abstain from voting.

He (Mr. C.) was in favor of two Chambers for Upper Canada, and he should support the same principle as applied to Lower Canada. He contended they ought to carry out the old constitution which had worked so well heretofore. The only argument he had heard in favor of a single Chamber was that Upper Canada had not twenty-four additional men to devote their attention to the duties of Legislative Councillors. With a population and intelligence of Upper Canada this argument was quite absurd, and when the question came up he meant to vote for two Chambers.

Richard Cartwright [Lennox & Addington] thought there ought to be means for revising the judgments of the single Chamber. He suggested that the Confederate Parliament be empowered to disallow any act of the Local Parliament of Upper Canada. If the House insisted on having only one Chamber, he believed his suggestion would have a good effect in acting as a check on hasty Legislation, but he would himself record his vote in favor of two Chambers for Upper Canada.

Joseph Blanchet [Lévis] opposed, and Joseph Perrault [Richelieu] supported the amendment.

Arthur Rankin [Essex] contended that the establishment of Confederation was altogether un-British, and therefore any argument drawn from that source had no proper bearing on the questions before the House. He approved of one Chamber for Upper Canada, but would rather have seen no Local Government at all. They were laying the foundation of a system which might lead to consequences similar to those that have been witnessed in the United States, growing out of the agitation of State rights. He opposed the application of two Chambers to the Legislature of Lower Canada, and holding views entirely differing from the member for Peel [John Cameron], he would vote against the government scheme for Lower Canada, and in favor of the Government scheme for Upper Canada.

James Cowan [Waterloo] could not consent to impose an expensive and mischievous system upon Lower Canada, and would vote for the amendment.

George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] said the Local Constitution for Upper Canada having a frame to suit the views of the people of that section, and the Lower Canada Constitution was framed to meet the views of the majority of the people of Lower Canada. It would be unfair of the Upper Canada members to force their system upon Lower Canada. He stated his opinion, that Upper Canada was trying a very dangerous experiment. (Hear, hear.)

 It was the opinion of Lower Canada that the system of Responsible Government could be carried out better with two chambers than by one. The two chambers would protect the interests of the two races by preventing hasty legislation. The member for Essex [Arthur Rankin] had argued against making Local Legislatures so important, because of the question of State right against Federal right, but that could not occur with us, for the Imperial Parliament would enact both the Local and the Confederate Constitutions. He appealed to Upper Canada members to support the proposition agreeable to the majority of Lower Canada.

George Brown [South Oxford] would be glad to accept the arrangement if members from one section were excused from voting on resolutions affecting the other.

Several members—Oh! no members must vote!

Thomas Gibbs [Ontario South] said he saw no impropriety in members following the example of ministers, and supporting the schemes which had been framed to suit each Province. He could see no inconsistency in the course.

Thomas Ferguson [Simcoe South], said he thought the day of the double majority was over, and was very much surprised to hear the hon. member for South Oxford [George Brown] appealing to that principle. He held it to be the duty and privilege of members to vote upon any questions that came before the House. He regretted very much that Upper Canada was not to have the second chamber. He had always looked upon the Attorney General East [George-Étienne Cartier] as a man of generous principles, but what he had done tonight was the crowning active his generosity, for the second chamber had been given to Lower Canada, to protect the British population from the unjust action of his own countrymen, should they ever attempted. It would ill become Upper Canada members to deprive the British population of Lower Canada of that protection. For himself he was opposed to double majority ideas in this House, and would vote for two chambers for Lower Canada and for Upper Canada, too, if the question came to a vote.

Thomas Parker [Wellington North] said he should vote up on this question according to his own convictions, without considering the views of the members for Lower Canada. They had not always abstained from imposing measures up an Upper Canada.

John White [Halton] thought a good deal of forbearance should be exercised in this manner. It was something more important than an ordinary question, and believing it to be the desire of a large majority of the people of Lower Canada to have two chambers, he should vote against the amendment.

The members were then called in and the house divided on the amendment, which was lost.— Yeas, 31. Nays, 69.

YEAS—Bigger, Bourassa, Brown, Burwell, Cameron, (North Ontario), Caron, Coupal, Cowan, Dorion, (Drummond and Arthabaska), Dorion, (Hochelaga), Dufresne, (Iberville), Fortier, Gagnon, Geoffrion, Holton, Houde, Labreche-Viger, Laframboise, Lajoie, Macdonald, (Cornwall), O’Halloran, Paquet, Parker, Perrault, Pope, Pouliot, Rankin, Ross, (Prince Edward), Rymal, Tremblay, Webb.—31.

NAYS,—Abbot, Alleyn, Archambeault, Beaubien, Bellerose, Blanchet, Bowman, Brousseau, Cameron, (Peel), Carling, Cartier, (Atty-General), Cartwright, Cauchon, Chapais, Cockburn, Cornellier, Currier, De Boucherville, De Niverville, Dickson, Duckett, Dufresne, (Montcalm), Dunkin, Dunsford, Ferguson, (Frontenac), Ferguson, (South Simcoe), Galt, Gaucher, Gaudet, Gibbs, Harwood, Higginson, Huot, Irvine, Jones, (South Leeds), Langevin, Le Boutillier, Macdonald, (Attorney-General), Macdonald, (Glengarry), Magill, McConkey, McDougall, McGee, McIntyre, Morris, Morrison, Oliver, Pinsonneault, Poulin, Poupore, Raymond, Remillard, Robitaille, Ross, (Champlain), Ross, (Dundas), Sctatcherd, Shanley, Smith, (Toronto East), Somerville, Stirton, Street, Taschereau, Thompson, Wallbridge, (North Hastings), Walsh, White, Wood, Wright, (Ottawa county), Wright, (East York.)—69.

The 4th resolution was then concurrent in.

On the 5th resolution being put,

Editors’ Note (2020): 5. That there shall be a Local Legislature for Upper Canada, which shall consist of One Chamber, to be, called the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. 
Editors’ Note (2020): The Honorable Mr. Cameron (Peel) moved, in amendment thereunto, seconded by Mr. Morris, That all the words after “Upper Canada,” where it occurs the first time, be left out, and the words “composed of two Chambers, to be called the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada,” inserted instead thereof.

John Cameron [Peel] moved in amendment, at the Local Legislature of Upper Canada be composed of two chambers, to be called the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.

John Cameron [Peel] argued powerfully in favor of the continuance of the present system, and against the experiment of a single chamber, urging that the Legislative Council was necessary to the proper working of the system of responsible government.

Matthew Cameron [Ontario North], as a Conservative, desired to state his reasons for opposing the amendment of the member for Peel [John Cameron]. What argument had been urged by the Attorney General West [John A. Macdonald] in favor of a single chamber, which appeared to have escaped that hon. gentleman’s attention, the consideration of expense. The cost of an Upper Chamber to Upper Canada would be serious, after all the ordinary sources of revenue had been handed over to the General Government. He [text missing] it as a farce, a mere mockery of the British Constitution, to give an Upper Chamber to a Legislature which would be nothing better than a large municipal body.

John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall] spoke in reply to the member for Peel [John Cameron], and in opposition to the principle of a nominated Upper House.

The members were then called in and the House was divided, when the amendment was lost. Yeas, 13; nays, 86.

YEAS.—Messrs. J.H. Cameron, Morris, Cartwright, Street, Currier, Dunkin, Fergusson, (South Simcoe), Gaucher, Gibbs, Huot, Poulin, Smith (Toronto East), Wright (East York.)—13. Nays.—The rest of the House.

The fifth resolution was then concurred in.

Editors’ Note (2020): 6. That the Legislative Council of Lower Canada shall be composed of twenty-four Members, to be appointed by the Crown, under the Great Seal of the Local Government, who shall hold office during life; but if any Legislative Councillor shall, for two consecutive Sessions of Parliament, fail to give his attendance in the said Council, his seat shall thereby become vacant. 
Editors’ Note (2020): The Honorable Mr. Dorion moved, in amendment, seconded by the Honorable Mr. Holton, That all the words after “that” to the end of the Question, be left out; and the words “the Resolution be committed to a Committee of the Whole House, to provide that the Members of the proposed Legislative Council shall be elected by the people, instead of being appointed for life by the Crown,” inserted instead thereof.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] moved, in amendment to the 6th resolution, that the Legislative Councillors be elected by the people.—Lost— yeas, 31; nays, 63.

The 6th resolution was concurred in.

Editors’ Note (2020): 7. That the Members of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada shall be British Subjects by birth or naturalization, of the full age of thirty years; shall possess a continuous real property qualification, in Lower Canada, of four thousand dollars over and above ait incumbrances, and shall continue worth that sum over and above their debts and liabilities. 
Editors’ Note (2020): The Honorable Mr. Dorion, moved, in amendment, seconded by the Honorable Mr. Holton, That all the words after “that” to the end of the Question, be left out, and the words “the Resolution be committed to a Committee of the Whole House, to provide that no Member of the Legislative Council shall hold any office of emolument under either the General or Local Government, nor receive, either directly or indirectly, any salary, remuneration or indemnity whatsoever for such office, or for his services as such Member of the Legislative Council, while he shall have a seat in the Council. “This will not apply to the Executive Councillors and to the salaries attached to the respective Departments or offices they shall fill,” inserted instead thereof.’

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] moved, in amendment to the 7th resolution, that the Legislative Councillors of Lower Canada should not hold any office of emolument in the Federal or Local governments, and that they should receive no salaries for their services.—Lost—yeas, 27; nays, 67.

Editors’ Note (2020): 8. That if any question shall arise as to the qualification of a Legislative Councillor in Lower Canada, the same shall be determined by the Council. 

The 7th and 8th resolutions were concurred in.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] moved that the 9th resolution be amended, by providing that the Speaker of the Legislative Council be elected by the House at the opening of each Parliament.—Lost—yeas, 24; nays, 63.

Editors’ Note (2020): 9. That the Speaker of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada (unless otherwise provided by the Local Parliament) shall be appointed by the Crown, from among the Members of the Legislative Council, and shall hold office during pleasure, and shall only be entitled to a casting vote on an equality of votes. 
Editors’ Note (2020): The Honorable Mr. Dorion moved, in amendment, seconded by the Honorable Mr. Holton, That all the words after “That,” to the end of the Question, be left out, and the words “the Resolution be committed to a Committee of the whole House, to provide that the Speaker of the Legislative Council be chosen from among the Members of the Legislative Council, and elected by a majority of those present at the opening of each ” Parliament,” inserted instead thereof;
Editors’ Note (2020): 10. That each of the twenty-four Legislative Councillors of Lower Canada shall be appointed to represent one of the twenty-four Electoral Divisions thereof, mentioned in Schedule A of the first chapter of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, and such Councillor shall reside or possess his qualification in the Division he is appointed to represent. 

The 9th and 10th resolutions were concurred in.

Editors’ Note (2020): 11. That the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada shall be composed of the sixty-five Members to be elected to represent the sixty-five Electoral Divisions into which Lower Canada is now divided, under chapter two of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, chapter seventy-five of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada, and the Act 23 Victoria, chapter 1, or of any other Act, amending the same, in force at the time when the Local Government shall be constituted, as well for representation in the Local Legislature thereof, as in the House of Commons of the Federated Provinces; Provided that it shall not be lawful to present to the Lieutenant Governor for assent any Bill of the Legislative Council and Assembly of Lower Canada by which the number of the Representatives in the Legislative Assembly or the limits of the Electoral Divisions may be altered, unless the second and third readings of such Bill in the Legislative Assembly shall have been passed with the concurrence of three-fourths of the Members for the time being of the said Legislative Assembly, and the assent shall not be given to such Bill unless an Address has been presented by the Legislative Assembly to the Lieutenant Governor that such Bill has been so passed. 
Editors’ Note (2020): The Honorable Mr. Cauchon moved, in amendment, seconded by the Honorable Mr., Dorion, That all the words after “That” to the end of the Question, be left out, and the words “the said Resolution be committed to a committee of the whole House,” in order to leave out all the words after “Provided that,” inclusively, inserted instead thereof;

Joseph Cauchon [Montmorency] moved an amendment to the 11th resolution, striking out that part of it which guarantees the existing limits the constituencies of Pontiac, Ottawa, Argentueil, Huntingdon, Missisquoi, Brome, Shefford, Stanstead, Compton, Wolfe, Richmond, Megantic, and the Town of Sherbrooke, against any future alterations, without the consent of a majority of the representatives of these constituencies.

Antoine-Aimé Dorion [Hochelaga] supported the amendment.

Alexander T. Galt [Sherbrooke, Minister of Finance] replied, explaining the object of guarantee given to the British population. It was not because of any ill treatment in the past, but to remove any apprehension of it in the future. The British population in Lower Canada have viewed their position with considerable apprehension, after they should be deprived of the protection of the representatives from Upper Canada in their particular interests, as they would be in the Local Legislature, and they desired to have a guarantee that they should have a place on the floor of Parliament to state their case, when they would trust to the justice of the majority.

They were not afraid of the majority of the Lower Canadians of French origin, but that I might come when the hon. member for Hochelaga [Antoine-Aimé Dorion] and his friends would rule that majority, and the British population were not willing to trust their interests in the hands of that party. It was as a guarantee against the party of the hon. member opposite that they demanded the assurance about place on the floor of Parliament, to make their rights known in Legislature and before the country.

  •             (p. 74)

Christopher Dunkin [Brome] said, when this guarantee was offered he had no hesitation in saying that he would accept it, and he thought that any party who should refuse by their votes to give this very small guarantee of their privilege of being heard on the floor of Parliament, gave but a poor assurance of fair play in the future.

The amendment was lost.—Yeas, 24; Nays, 68.

Editors’ Note (2020): 12. That the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada shall be composed of eighty-two Members, to be elected to represent the eighty-two constituencies in Upper Canada, such constituencies being identical, whether for representation in the Local Legislative Assembly or for representation in the House of Commons of the Federated Provinces, and which constituencies shall consist of the divisions and be bounded as is provided in the schedule hereto annexed, marked A. 
Editors’ Note (2020): 13. That until other provisions are made by the Local Legislature of Lower and Upper Canada respectively, changing the same in either of the said Provinces, all the Laws which at the date of the Proclamation, constituting the separate Provinces of Lower Canada and of Upper Canada, shall be in force in each of the said Provinces respectively, relating to the qualification and disqualification of any person to be elected or to sit or vote as a Member of the Assembly of the Province of Canada, and relating to the qualification and disqualification of voters and to the oaths to be taken by voters, and to Returning Officers and their powers and duties, and relating to the proceedings at elections and to the period during which such elections may be continued, and relating to the trial of controverted elections and the proceedings incident thereto, and relating to the vacating of the seats of Members and to the issuing and execution of new writs in case of any seat being vacated otherwise than by a dissolution, shall respectively apply to elections of Members to serve in the said Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada and in the said the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. 
Editors’ Note (2020): 14. That the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada and the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada respectively, shall continue for four years from the day of the return of the Writs for choosing the same, and no longer, subject, nevertheless, to either the said the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, or the said the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, being sooner prorogued or dissolved by the Lieutenant Governor of either of the said Provinces respectively.
Editors’ Note (2020): 15. That there shall be a Session of the Legislature of each of the said Provinces once at least every year, so that a period of twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Local Legislature in one Session, and the first sitting thereof in the next Session.

The remaining Resolutions were carried, and

John A. Macdonald [Kingston, Attorney-General West and Minister of Militia]  moved the adjournment of the debate.—Carried.

The House then adjourned at twenty minutes past 2 o’clock.

[1] The version of the Quebec Resolutions that passed the House can be found in this volume, Legislative Assembly, 13 March 1865, pp. 1027-1032.

[2] Resolution 14, which reads:

“The first selection of the Members of the Legislative Council shall be made, except as regards Prince Edward Island, from the Legislative Councils of the various Provinces so far as a sufficient number be found qualified and willing to serve; such Members shall be appointed by the Crown at the recommendation of the General Executive Government, upon the nomination of the respective Local Governments, and in such nomination due regard shall be had to the claims of the Members of the Legislative Council of the opposition in each Province, so that all political parties may, as nearly as possible, be fairly represented.”

The full set of Resolutions can be found in this volume, Legislative Assembly, 13 March 1865, pp. 1027-1032.

[3] Quebec Resolutions,  Legislative Assembly, 13 March 1865, pp. 1027-1032.

[4] This seems to be a misprint. Dunkin is referring to Resolution 14. See footnote 2.

[5] Resolution 14. See footnote 1.

[6] Resolution 42, which reads:

“The Local Legislature shall have power to alter or amend their Constitution from time to time.”

The full set of Resolutions can be found in this volume, Legislative Assembly, 13 March 1865, pp. 1027-1032.

[7] Dunkin means Resolution 29.33.

[8] Resolution 29, Section 33 which reads:

“Rendering uniform all or any of the laws relative to property and civil rights in Upper Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, and rendering uniform the procedure of all or any of the Courts in these Provinces; but any statute for this purpose shall have no force or authority in any Province until sanctioned by the Legislature thereof. 34. The establishment of a General Court of Appeal for the Federated Provinces.”

The full set of Resolutions can be found in this volume, Legislative Assembly, 13 March 1865, pp. 1027-1032.

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