Province of Canada, Legislative Council, Address [Reply to Throne Speech], 8th Parl, 3rd Sess (23 January 1865)


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Date: 1865-01-23
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Legislative Council, Journals of the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada, 8th Parl, 3rd Sess, 1865 at 22-24.
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The Order of the Day being read for the consideration of His Excellency’s [Viscount Monck] Speech from the Throne at the opening of the present Session, and

The Speech being read by the Clerk,

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864] moved, seconded by Joseph Bossé [De La Durantaye, elected 1864] to resolve

That an humble Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General, to thank His Excellency for His Gracious Speech at the opening of the present Session of the Provincial Parliament.

To unite with His Excellency in expressing thankfulness to a beneficent Providence for the general prosperity and contentment of the people of this Province, and the continuance to us of the inestimable blessing of Peace.

To express to His Excellency the regret with which this House has learnt that outrages have been committed on the commerce and territory of the United States of America by persons who, after the perpetration of these acts, have sought refuge on Canadian soil.

To inform His Excellency that this House has heard with great satisfaction that in order to prevent the organization of any such enterprises within this Province, and also to enable him to discharge in an effective manner his duties towards a neighbouring power on terms of friendship with Her Majesty, His Excellency has seen fit to organize a system of detective Police on the frontier line of the United States, and with the same design has called out for permanent duty a portion of the Volunteer Force of the Province.

To assure His Excellency that we shall give our early consideration to the Bill, which he has been pleased to inform us will be laid before Parliament, framed for the purpose of arming the Executive Government with stronger powers than it now possesses for dealing with persons, who, while availing themselves of the right of asylum, which has always been allowed on British soil to political refugees from all foreign countries, may be unmindful of the implied obligations which, by their residence amongst us, they contract to obey our laws and to respect the declared policy of our Sovereign.

To assure His Excellency that this House is happy to hear of the zeal and alacrity displayed by the members of the Volunteer force when called upon to turn out for active service; and to agree with His Excellency that their conduct shows that the present population of Canada has not degenerated from the manly virtues which characterize the races from which it derives its origin, and that it may be relied on, under all circumstances, to respond to the call of duty, either for the maintenance of internal order, or to repel foreign aggression.

To thank His Excellency for the information that the Commissioners appointed under the provisions of the second chapter of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada to frame a Civil Code, and also a Code of Civil Procedure for Lower Canada, have completed the former part of their duty, and that the Code of Civil Procedure is in a very advanced state; and also for your assurance that the result of the labours of the Commissioners shall be laid before this House.

To agree with His Excellency that the completion of the Codification of the Civil Law, in both French and English, cannot fail to be of great benefit to the inhabitants of Lower Canada, by enabling the people of all origins to read, in their own languages, the Civil Law under which they live, and which hitherto has only been accessible in a language which is not the mother tongue of a portion of the people whose civil rights are regulated by it.

To assure His Excellency that we recall with satisfaction his statement at the close of the last Session of Parliament, that it was his intention, in conjunction with his Ministers, to prepare and submit to Parliament a measure for the solution of the constitutional problem, the discussion of which has for some years agitated this Province.

To convey to His Excellency the assurance that we receive with earnest attention his announcement that a careful consideration of the general position of British North America induced the conviction that the circumstances of the times afforded the opportunity, not merely for the settlement of Provincial politics, but also for the simultaneous creation of a new Nationality.

To thank His Excellency for informing us that preliminary negotiations were opened by His Excellency with the Lieutenant Governors of the other Provinces of British North America; and that the result was that a meeting was held at Quebec, in the month of October last, composed of delegates from those Colonies, representing all shades of political party in their several communities, nominated by the Lieutenant Governors of their respective Provinces, who assembled here; with the sanction of the Crown, and at His Excellency’s invitation, to confer with the members of the Canadian Ministry on the possibility of effecting a Union of all the Provinces of British North America.

To assure His Excellency that we have learned with the deepest interest that this Conference, after lengthened deliberations, arrived at the conclusion that a Federal Union of these Provinces was feasible and desirable, and that the result of its labours is a plan of Constitution for the proposed Union, embodied in a series of resolutions, which, with other papers relating to the subject, His Excellency has directed to be laid before Parliament; and that the general design of a Union, and the particular plan by which it is proposed to carry that intention into effect, have both received the cordial approbation of the Imperial’ Government.

To inform His Excellency that an Imperial Act of Parliament being necessary in order to give effect to the contemplated Union of the Colonies, this House is gratified to learn that His Excellency has been officially informed by the Secretary of State that Her Majesty’s Ministers will be prepared to introduce a Bill for that purpose into the Imperial Parliament, so soon as they shall have been notified that the proposal has received the sanction of the Legislatures representing the several Provinces affected by it:

And to assure His Excellency that this subject, which he has been pleased to commend to our attention, and the importance of which to ourselves and to our descendants it is impossible to exaggerate, shall receive from this House the calm, earnest and impartial consideration which His Excellency claims for it.

To convey to His Excellency a sense of the profound respect with which this House has received the assurance of his conviction that with the public men of British North America it now rests to decide whether the vast tract of country which they inhabit shall be consolidated into a State, combining within its area all the elements of National greatness, providing for the security of its component parts, and contributing to the strength and stability of the Empire; or whether the several Provinces of which it is constituted shall remain in their present fragmentary and isolated condition, comparatively powerless for mutual aid, and incapable of undertaking their proper share of Imperial responsibility.

To unite with His Excellency in fervently praying that in the discussion of an issue of such moment, our minds may be guided to conclusions which shall redound to the honor of our Sovereign, and to the welfare of Her subjects.

The first paragraph of the said Resolution being again read,

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864] moved, seconded by Joseph Bossé [De La Durantaye, elected 1864],

That the same be adopted.

After a long debate,

On motion of the Étienne Pascal Taché [Canada East, appointed 1848, Premier, Minister of Militia, and Receiver General], seconded by the Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands], it was

Ordered,

That further debate on the said motion be postponed until to-morrow.

Then, on motion of the Étienne Pascal Taché [Canada East, appointed 1848, Premier, Minister of Militia, and Receiver General], seconded by the Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands],

The House adjourned.

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