Province of Canada, Legislative Council, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (31 August 1865)

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Date: 1865-08-31
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Quebec Daily Mercury
Citation: “Provincial “Parliament. Legislative Council. The Quebec Daily Mercury (1 September 1865).
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(Reported for the Mercury.)


Thursday, 31st Aug. 1865.

The Speaker took the Chair at three o’clock.

After routine—


The Bill to extend the time for the completion of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway was reported from Committee without amendments, and read a third time and passed.


Hon. Mr. BOSSE introduced the following Bills:—

To authorities the Curate and Chruch wardens of the Fabrique de Notre Dame of Quebec to raise a certain sum of money on mortgage on real estate of the said Fabrique.

—Read a first and second time, and referred to Committee.

To limit to a certain lot of land of land a mortgage on the real estate of Daniel McCalium.

—Read a first time and ordered for a second reading tomorrow.

To amend the law relating to Municipalities in Lower Canada.


Hon. Mr. BULL from select Committee, reported the Bill to provide for the punishment of offenders repeatedly convicted of minor offences, without any amendments, whereupon the Bill, on motion of the hon. gentleman, was read a third time and passed.


The following bills were received from the Assembly and read a first time:—

To incorporate the Union St. Henri the Parish of Montreal.

To incorporate the London Collegiate Institution.

To incorporate the Seurs de L’Assomption of St. Gregoire.


Hon. Mr. CERRIE moved, that an humble Address be presented to his Excellency the Governor General, praying that His Excellency will be pleased to cause to be laid before this House, copies of all Correspondence between the Corporation of the Town of St. Catherines and the Department of Public Works, or the officers of that Department; and all Petitions and other Documents, since the 1st day of Jan., 1862, relative to the Bridge across the Welland Canal, on St. Paul Street, in the town of St. Catherines.

In making this motion the hon. member said the bridge to which his motion referred was the only one in the town, and that being but 10 or 11 feet wide it was entirely insufficient to accommodate the large travel which had to pass over it. This bridge was built some 10 years ago, when the town of St. Catherines contained only some 500 or 600 souls; and of course, it was them quite sufficient fort the wants of the place. Since then, however, a great change had taken place; and it now was one of the most important towns in Upper Canada—in fact it was the 6th largest in the returns of duties collected. For many years the Corporation had complained to the then Governments of the want of accommodation, but the complaint had hitherto remained unredressed. It was now deemed to widen the bridge to 25 or 30 feet and to make a double track upon it. At present it was hardly possible to cross in safety. He hoped the Government would see for to cinder this claim and before the session closed to submit an estimate of the work. It was asked that the bridge should be made like that over the Lachine Canal Bridge at Montreal and the expense he believed would be but $500 or $600. He hoped that when the correspondence and potions came down the request would be found so reasonable that this often prayed for would at last meet with success.

the motion was then put and carried.

Crown Land Policy

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—I desire, hon. gentleman, with the permission of the House, to say a few words respecting the resolutions I venture to bring before you. I am sure every hon. member will agree with me as to the importance of doing what we can to promote the settlement of the country, for on that its prosperity depends.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—In the early settlement of the Province the trust was distinctly recognized, for not only were free grants of land given to actual settlers, but they were aided by the Imperial Government by the payment of their passages, with provisions, in some cases with money, and with money, and with implements. It is not necessary, hon. gentleman, that I should go the length of proposing a return to a system of this kind for the influx of immigrants to this continent is now very great—all we require to do is to endeavor to attract them to our own country—to Canada—and induce them to settle here.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—It is not long since the number of emigrants who came by the St. Lawrence exceeded that of persons going to United States ports; this indeed continued to be the case until 1832. The numbers who came in 1830 were by the St. Lawerence 28,000; to the United States 23,327; in 1831 the figures were 50,256 and 26,633; in 1832 the balance began to be with the United States, those who arrived at Quebec and Montreal being 51,746, while the arrivals in the United States numbered 60,182. From that time the balance has been very much against us, I will not weary the House by reading the statistics for each year, but will content myself with starring that the total arrivals from 1830 to 1863—both years inclusive—were.

At Quebec and Montreal 978,316
In the United States 4,933,913

So that in round numbers there was a balance against us in that period of four million souls.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—I am not going to say that anything we could have done would have prevented the balance being largely against us, for the United States is a very much larger country, having much to attract emigrants which we, unfortunately, have not; but if during that time we had adopted a system of free grants of land, our population would have been very much larger to-day than it actually is.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Now, the quantity of land surveyed in Lower Canada, open for settlement, is very large, but settlement is going on at an exceedingly slow rate. In Upper Canada there are over 3,000,000 acres surveyed and awaiting settlement, but I have a return, obtained from the Government Emigration office, through the bureau of Agriculture and Emigration, showing the number of emigrants that have arrived this year at Quebec up to the 22nd instant; and how many do hon. gentleman think there were? Just 14,783, and of these only 2265 are thought to have remained in Canada.

Luc Letellier de Saint Just [Grandville, elected 1860]—Does that include females?

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—It does. The places they are supposed to have settled in are as follows:—

In the Eastern Townships 73
Montreal 722
Central districts 287
Toronto city 424
Places in Canada, west of Toronto 518
Ottawa district 116
Remained in Quebec 125

Thus less than one-sixth of the whole number that arrived at this port remained is the Province. Now, hon. gentleman, there, must be some reason to induce such an overwhelming proportion of the emigrants to pass through our country, and I believe one very important inducement is the system of free grants of land to actual settlers which prevails in the United States, while we on our part persist in fixing a price on our lands.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Our lands, honorable gentleman, are not such as to induce settlers to remain on them, on a first view. With preserving industry, they will indeed proposer here, of which fact we have abundant evidence in the number of people who have prospered and are prospering, but we cannot conceal from ourselves that prairie lands do possess attractions to the settler who wishes at once to realize something from his industry, which our forest lands, especially in the remote sections of the Province, do not.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—In the face of this is it unreasonable to expect men to remain here and pay from four shillings to two dollars an acre for land when they can go to the United States and have their choice of the public domain, which is all open to actual settlers, free. I have here the American Homestead Act, “to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain.”—a comparatively recent enactment, passed in 1861, but the effect of which, I am told, had been very marked.

Under this Act, any actual settler who is 21 years of age, or married, can enter upon any portion of the public domain and take 160 acres, or what is there known as a quarter section. There are a number of conditions attached which are very advantages to the settler, and every one who is familiar with the difficulties and privations with which the settler has to contend in the early opening up of a new country will perceive that they are of very great importance. During five years, any one taking up land under that Act must live continuously on it and cultivate it, to entitle him to a patent, and this, I hold, is the best condition of settlement that can be devised.

Our conditions have depended mainly on the clearing upon a certain dimensions. This is easily done, and it is well known that many speculators have become possessed of lands, by performing very light settlement duties indeed. But if a man is required to live fire Yeats continuously on his farm and cultivate it, he gives the very best evidence of his being a permanent settler, while the object of the Government of any country must be to get the land brought under permanent cultivation.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Another advantage which inures to the settler is that during these give Yeats the land cannot be seized or distrained upon in any way; the title remains in the United States, so that the settler is protected from the sheriff and the bailiff, which is of no small importance to a man struggling to make a homestead for himself and family.

David Christie [Erie, elected 1858]—And he is free from State taxes.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—And he is free from State taxation also. Everything, in short, is done to promote the prosperity of the settler, and it is of the greatest importance to the great interests of this country that we should pursue a similar course. While prairie lands are to be had free, it is worse than useless to expect settlers to pay us a high price of ours.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Then, hon. Gentleman, there are British Colonies, which hold out great inducements to emigrants. Australia, for instance, will take farm laborers from their own homes, from the heart of England and Scotland, and pay their passage out. We do not require to do anything of that kind to bring emigrants here, but when we do get them here and when they are passing through our country we ought to try to induce them to remain by offering them free grants, and by the Crown Lands Department making it the business of their agents to assist them in selecting the very best of lands.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—The system of free settlement on what are called colonization roads has indeed prevailed here, but it has not been attended with very great success. The country through which these colonization roads have been run has been as a rile very inferior, and many of the settlers planted along these lines have abandoned their lands. On some of them, very few are now staying.

The last Crown Lands report gives the following, under the head of “Progress of settlement on the Upper Canada Colonization roads.”—

  Lots taken up Re-locations
Addington Road 0 3
Bobcaygeon, Frontenac and Hastings Road 0 0
Burleigh Road 43 0
Muskoka Road 2 13
Opeongo Road 5 3
Peterson Road 50 12
100 31

In Lower Canada the progress of settlement on the Colonization Roads is thus given:

Elgin Road 0
Etchémin Road 3
Mailloux Road 2
Matapedia Road 4
Taché Road 1
Temiscouata 16

Now this return shows that success has not attended the scheme, but I believe that were the lands in rear of these roads opened to free settlement, many would be induced to enter upon them, and I believe it is the wish of the settlers on the road. I know it is the wish of those on the Muskoka road—that this should be done.

James Currie [Niagara, elected 1862]—Are not lands granted along the roads now?

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Yes, along the roads, but not in the country behind them.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—It is not long since large grants of lands used to be male to land companies. I think however that the management of our lands in the hands of those companies has not been very advantageous to the country. Our object should be to get the land settled; the object of the land companies, which are speculations, has been to get as much money for their lands as possible. Now I hold that no price we can get for our lands can be of as much advantage to the Province as having them settled up, and that everything which tends to retard their settlement is injurious. The only purpose for which I could consent to lands being granted to companies is for the advancement of great public enterprises, such as that advocated by my friend behind me (Mr. Flint,) which a grant of land can be made to serve a purpose of that kind I should not object, but it should event hen be made under strict conditions; the prices at which they should sell their lands to settlers should be fixed and this limitation should be strictly enforced in penalty of the land being forfeited to the Crown.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—The seigniorial system that prevailed here when the country was first settled was really a system of free grants—land being granted to the seigneurs on condition that they should get it settled and that they should concede it at a nominal rate. Moreover they were obliged to do several things that were necessary for the prosperity of the settlers, such as building mills, &c. As the country advanced, this seigniorial system became open to objections, and seemed hardly adapted to the circumstances of the times, but its fundamental principle, which was that of grants nearly free, was preferable to the system of Crown lands being granted to speculative companies, with the view of allowing them to make all the money they could cut of emigrants. There is one of these companies which had its lands granted to it a very few years since, but I do not think that arrangement has been advantageous to the Province—

An Hon. Member—Nor to the shareholders—

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Nor to the shareholders either. Persons who form these companies require the command of a certain amount of capital, to obtain which they make representations to capitalists in order to get them to embark in their representations; they did so in that to which I refer. Their next step must be to induce emigrants to come out; and I am afraid they lead them in come instances to believe that this country possess advantages which they do not really find it does possess when they arrive. I am also afraid—indeed, I know it, for I have letters from England which tell me so—that the shareholders are also sometimes disappointed: calls taking the place of dividends. The consequence is that the Prince is placed in disfavour both with capitalists and emigrants. This, I think, is the fact with almost all arrangements of the kind and I hope we shall have no more of them.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—I hope hon. gentleman will agree with me then, that it is very essential for the interests of the country that a different system should be introduced here and acted upon, and that there will be such an expression of opinion as will convince the Commissioners of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell] and the Government that it is the desire of the House and of the country that we should have some such system adopted as I propose.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—I have now done, hon. gentleman with this branch of my subject and pass on to the next. Some years ago, there was a perfect mania for land speculation in Upper Canada. Several new Counties were opened to settlement and the lands were disposed of at very high prices—indeed at excessive prices, considering the remoteness of these districts from the markets of the Province. Two of these counties—Grey and Bruce—are in the division I have the honor to represent. The lands there, on the shores of Lake Huron, remote from markets, without roads, without harbour, were sold at $1.50 to $2.00 per acre, and the consequence has been that there has been very treat distress there, for not only were the facilities of the settlers for getting their produce to market  very limited, but they were visited for a number of years with failures of the crops. I am glad to say that this year their crops are very fine, but this is only the third good crop they have had in seven years. The privations of the first settler are most trying, as hon. gentlemen know, under the best of circumstances, but when as in the cave to which I refer, they are accompanied by such hardships as no other portion of the Province has had to contend with, they have in many cases almost crushed their hopes.

I think, then, that there should be a revaluation or revision of the pieces of land in such districts, as I have stated in my resolution. Another part of the Division, in the same county, is under the Indian Department—I mean the Indian peninsula, the lands in which were put up for auction some time ago, and brought prices ranging from $4 to $6 per acre. I have a map here prepared to give hon. gentleman an idea of the situation of the peninsula—a strip of land running up between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay—and how any such men can have given four or six dollars an acre for farms there is unaccountable at the present day. However, they did agree to pay those prices, and are quite unable to do so. Something must be done for them and I maintain that the greatest consideration, the greatest lenity should be extended to them; that their lands should be revalued and the prices reduced. But more than this the price in all these cases was subject to interest, and that accumulates very very rapidly, as we all know.

I hold that instead of running up this interest against the settlers and exacting it, it would be better for the interest of the country if the money was left in their hands to clear their farms with, to buy an additional yoke of oxen, and whatever implements they might require for the improved tillage of their farms. The money we get at so much an acre is after all very inconsiderable, but when the settler cleared five acres of land, yielding say 150 bushes of wheat, that is of more value to us, and he contributes more to the revenue and trade of the country than by simply paying the interest and the purchase money of his land.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—I have said that the district to which I refer has been visited by failures of crops, but in addition to all this, as if to fill up the measure of their sorrows and necessities, an order was issued in 1859 from the Crown Lands Department, which was then under the management of the present Chancellor of Upper Canada, one clause of which was as follows:—

“That in cases of sales already made, payment of arrears be required and that public notice be given int he Official Gazette and through the usual channels that unless such arrears be paid within twelve months from the first of January, 1859, the land in respect of which default shall continue will be resumed by the Crown and resold, and that in regard to all purchase moneys, and interest hereafter to fall due, prompt payment will be exacted.”

Now, hon. Gentleman, I must say I think this order was a very inconsiderable one, a very unfortunate one, which brought ruin on many an unhappy settler in Upper Canada. The people fully believed that it would be enforced—they had no idea that it would remain in abeyance although I think it could scarcely have been the intention of the Government to enforce it, and it has not been enforced—but it has done as much injury as if had been strictly carried into effect. It caused all settlers where payments were in arrears to believe that their lands would be fortified, as they were so informed under these “Regulations.”

The best of them were those who were the most alarmed. These endeavored at once to borrow money—they succeeded in many cases in borrowing from usurers—and they have lost their lands. For a time the revenue of the Crown Lands Department may have been increased, but I believe that was the dearest revenue that ever entered the public exchequer.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Those less energetic became paralyzed—they ceased clearing their lands—for they said, “If we increase our clearings, we merely increase the temptation to Government to forfeit our lands and eject us from the soil.” Another unfortunate feature has been the exodus of a large number of young men from the counties. I do not exaggerate when I say that several hundred young men left the county of Bruce this year to seek their fortune in the United States, and this, I am sure is a matter of sufficient gravity to cause an enquiry to be had to ascertain its cause, and if possible to check it.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—In this matter, hon. gentleman, the country should not act with the settler as if it were a land-speculator, who sold property at a certain price, and was interested in exacting the last shilling of principal and interest, but it should act so as to increase the prosperity of the settler, for this is after all the rest of the prosperity of the Province. The success of the settler augments the wealth of the country, and if we had a larger population,—a greater breadth of land cultivation—surely the wealth of the whole would be much increased. I repeat, the government should not be exacting and severe with the men who have so much to contend with under the best of circumstances.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—But, hon. gentleman, while I have said this much about the management of our lands, and of extending relief to those who have done in upon them, as also about what I think should be done to induce emigrants to settle as per lands, I do not wish to be misunderstood. I do not blame my hon. friend who sits near me. (Mr. Campbell.) On the contrary, I wish to exonerate the present Commissioner form all charge of blame.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—It is the system that is at fault, and I am sure there is not one more desirous than the hon. gentleman now at the head of the Crown Lands Department to do what he believes to be best both to promote settlement and to relieve those who are suffering. But he has the difficulties of the system to contend with; I know that; I have had a great deal of communication with him on the subject; I find him anxious to act for the best, but he does not see his way to overcome the difficulties of the system. I think, however, that if this House were to express such a decided to have pursued, it would assist the Government in commencing to improve the system. In reference to the forfeiture of the lands, too, there are a number of men who live in daily apprehension of it, and I hope there will be an expression of opinion on the part of the House which will in some way relieve their fears and carry to their minds the convention that, as long as they live on their lands and cultivate them they are safe from forfeiture and ejectment. Their energies will then revive; they will recommence the work of clearing and titling the soil with better heart than they have done for a number of years past, and my object will have been accomplished.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—The hon. gentleman then moved the following resolutions:—

That in the opinion of this House the settlement of our unoccupied public lands is of the utmost importance. That further effort should be made to attract to Canada a larger proportion of the vast number of emigrants who annually leave the British Isles and the continent of Europe for America, many of whom pass through this country on their way to the neighboring States, there to avail themselves of the free grants of land offered to all actual settlers under the provisions of an Act of Congress “for securing homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain.” That the introduction of such a system into Canada would lead to the more rapid occupation of our wilds lands, the increase of our population, and the advancement of the general interests of the Province.

That in the opinion of this House it is expedient that any person being the head of a family or of the age of twenty-one years, upon establishing a claim to preemption in conformity with such regulations as the Department of Crown Lands may prescribe, and upon furnishing satisfactory evidence that such claim is made for the exclusive use and benefit of the applicant; and that the entry upon the land is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and upon payment of ten dollars such applicant shall be permitted to settle upon the quantity of land specified (not more than 200 acres), and that after the expiration of five years, upon proof of evidence continuously upon, and cultivation of the land for that period, such person shall be entitled to a patent therefor.

That in some sections of the Province the Public Lands during a period of inflated prices, were sold to settlers at high rates, that from many causes the purchasers have been unable to pay the purchase money, and in some instances have had to vacate their lands, while many of those who continue to occupy them do so with little hope of ever becoming the owners thereof. That such a state of things is discouraging to the settler, as regards the improvement of the Country and is determined to the public interests.

That in the opinion of this House it is expedient that steps be taken, by the appointment of one or more Commissioners, as the Government may deem best, to revalue such lands, irrespective of improvements, regarding them, for the purpose of such valuation, as vacant wild  lands, and to re-sell the same to the occupants at such reduced value as may be arrived at, giving them credit for whatever sums they may have heretofore paid to the Government on account.


George Alexander [Gore, elected 1858] rejoiced to see this resolution emanate from the member who so ably represents the Saugeen Division [David Macpherson] in this chamber. He was sure that it will not be less gratifying to his hon. friend’s constituents, than it will be satisfactory to the country to see this House, discussing any means, and every means, by which we can attract to Canada’s large proportion of the emigrants who annually leave the old world for this continent, and thus again give an impetus to the material progress of the country. The hon. member could not have selected a more fitting moment to bring up this subject. Canada has for some time been affected by circumstances utterly beyond the control of those who administer the control of the country.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

George Alexander [Gore, elected 1858]—In addition to the depressing effect of a succession of indifferent harvests, we have been afflicted by the unhappy war upon our confines. We could not hope, from our proximity to the United States, that our commence and other interests, would not be affected, by events of such magnitude and the measures which that Government was constrained to adopt for the preservation of the union by the unlimited issue of paper, money, to carry on the war,—the activity in almost every branch of manufacturing industry, to which such an inflation gave birth.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

George Alexander [Gore, elected 1858]—The enormous bounties offered for recruits, could not fail to attract and absorb all emigration, even a portion of our industrious population. In our peaceable position, we had not such prizes to hold out. But a silent revolution is at this moment, taking plan in the whole position, and our Canadian people have no causes to despond respecting the future of their country. He could have desired that this resolution had taken a wider range, has embraced the whole question of Emigration, that an opportunity might have been afforded of stating the comparative position of the two countries. It was with the truth alleged that the debt of Canada was large, but the people of this Province had no conception of the burdens which had already been levied and which would require further to be levied upon the citizens of the neighboring republic

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Alexander [Gore, elected 1858]—they had but a very faint idea of this, and he hoped to avail himself of some occasion before the termination of the Session to lay such a statement before the country, simply to show what cause we had to be thankful that are not a part of the United States.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

George Alexander [Gore, elected 1858]—There were no doubt anxieties amongst the commercial men of the country upon the subject of our trade relations with the great republic, but it could be shown that we are in a position which ought to inspire our people with hope and full confidence. With respect to the results which might be hoped to accrue from the policy recommended in the resolution now under discussion, there can be no doubt that a great part of our best lands have been taken up, and that there may not be the same continuous prairie lands to be obtained as in out peninsula; but there is still much of the public domain fit for settlement, and we cannot afoot too liberal a policy in offering it to intending settlers.

Population, expansion, and material growth are of more importance than any revenue derived from such a source. He had upon different occasions made it his duty to elicit the opinion of his constituents upon this point, and there was but one prevailing verdict, that the public lands should be offered at the mere coat of the survey. He was aware that the Government prices were latterly very much released, and that they now ranged at from twenty-five cents to seventy-five cents an acre in the districts north of Lake Simcoe and north of the countries of Peterborough and Hastings and credit given to the real settlers to any tent they desired, but of course the accusing interest became burdensome.

He in the discharge of duty, had much to do with the Crown Lands Department, obtaining Patents for his constituents and getting difficulties adjusted connected therewith, and he was bound to bear testimony to the business punctually, which he had always found in that department. It could not be denied, that every facility was afforded to the poor settler int he manner of receiving the most unite instalments, every trouble taken to divide and subdivide the original lots to suit the convenience of all. Frequently long correspondence ensued regarding the smallest of those transactions. But the Department spared itself no trouble and he was sure there could be no complaints upon that score.

But the consideration of the policy to give away our lands for a mere nominal cash prices, is another matter. It is desired by a large body of the people of the country. They are prepared to raise from other sources, the revenue which might be thereby sacrificed and it is very desirable that we should hear the views of present Commissioner who has brought to the discharge of his duties great ability and legal experience,—who has seen unremitting in his efforts to promote every interest connected with the Department, and is therefore in a position to pronounce upon the practicability of any means which are thus proposed to extend the settlement of the Public Domains.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864] rose and said that he had no desire whatever to embarrass the Government, and asked leave therefore to withdraw the last resolution.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—I consider the question involved in the resolution now before the House of great practical importance—of much greater importance, indeed, than the merely political matters which are often made the occasion of lengthened debate. In old and densely peopled countries, economists have found the population problem a difficult one to solve satisfactorily. The question as mooted by Malthus in England is, how so to check the growth of population as it shall not exceed the means of subsistence. In Canada our difficulty is of an exactly opposite nature. We lack the population of which European countries have more than enough. The poverty from which we suffer  most is the poverty of people.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—Our territory, our resources, our means of subsistence are in advance of our numbers. And though, perhaps, a little ingenuity may contrive so to present statistics as to show a percentage of increase equal to the percentage which has marked the growth of neighboring States, we cannot—and if we could we ought not to conceal from ourselves the fact that in comparison with the newer portions of the neighboring Union, we have not had anything like satisfactory rate of increase.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—Our progress has been slow compared with the progress to be seen on the other side of the border, mainly because the stream of emigration which has flowed and which continues to flow thither is vastly greater than that which has thus far enriched the soil of Canada. Fine-spun calculations are of no avail as against the testimony or our own eyes at any period during the season of navigation. Of the emigrants who came by the St. Lawrence, or of those who enter the province at Suspension Bridge, only an infinitesimal proportion remains amongst us. An overwhelming majority pass through the province the Western States, which are thus enriched not simply by the means brought by the emigrants, but by the constant addition to their industrial resources. Confessedly, every able bodied man added to the population of a stat is an addition to its wealth.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—Commerce feels the benefit by this increasing growth of customers, and the additional revenue profits by the ever-widening for Canada, its loss is not is not limited to the proportion which we ought to keep of the increase volume of immigration. In many districts, our farmers and our farmers’ sons leave for the west, tempted in part no doubt by the attractions—I think the delusive attractions—of prairie farming; but tempted also in no inconsiderable degree by the been of free homesteads which congress has widely offered to every man who declares his intention to make the great Republic his home.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—I think, honorable gentleman, that we have too long been passive observers of this state of things. True, successive Governments have professed an anxiety to promote immigration, but practically the best of our Ministers have done little towards enriching and benefiting the Province in this respect.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—Even now I am not sanguine that the plan indicated in the resolution under consideration will of itself suffice to stem or change the human current which runs westward from the old world. A primary condition of improvement, I believe, to be the removal of doubts as to the future of the Province and the adoption of a policy suited to our position, our condition and our available means.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—The defence question, so called, must be laid aside.

Some Hon. MembersCries of no, no and hear, hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—We must give up the nonsensical talk fortifications, shake off the fully of preparing for a war to which, in almost any circumstance, we should be unequal, and so regulate out affairs that immigrants may have no misgiving as to our future.

Some Hon. Members—Hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—They must see that we are at peace, and that we are determined to remain at peace; avoiding all additions to the Provincial debt, save those required for productive public improvements. These points attended to, I am satisfied that the next most advantageous measure will be that which is contemplated by the hon. gentleman from the Saugeen division. Let us discard the idea of selling our public lands. Let us decide that all the lands remaining at the disposal of the Government shall be made available for settlement without money and without price.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—Let us declare that homesteads shall be offered free of cost to all bond fide settlers, and in my judgement the result will be, as the preamble to the resolution says, “the more rapid occupation of our wild lands, the increase of our population, and the advancement of the general interests of the Province;” for the course proposed will have the effect as well of drawing emigrants hither, as of inducting thousands who would otherwise abandon the Province, to remain.

It may be said that the system go free grants has been already acted upon in some localities. So it has, but not in a manner to test its value. Hitherto, we have offered only narrow strip of land on both sides of certain roads, and as the location of the roads has in all cases been the first consideration, it has happened in many cases that the lands thrown open as free grants have been rocky and not unfrequently worthless. Such a plan as that cannot be comported with that which would be acted upon under the terms of this resolution. Instead of limiting tree grants to the poor, stony lands adjacent to roads, and so scattering settlers over the greatest possible area, we should make the whole public domain available for free settlement. Settlers will be at liberty to choose locations for themselves, instead of being limited to lots chosen by others without reference to their fitness for farming; and settlement will go forward compactly instead of on the struggling no-system which has until now prevailed.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Donald McDonald [Tecumseth, elected 1858]—Of course, the Province will lose the revenue securing from the sale of wild lands, but I believe that it will gain much more in indirect additions to its customs revenue, and yet more directly in the increase of industrial wealth, and of the power consequent upon a growing population. On these grounds then, I cordially support the resolution in favor of free grants to all actual settlers; convinced that the plan proposed is dictated alike by justice and expediency, and is an essential feature of any policy that would aim at augmenting the progress and prosperity of the province.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands] said he thought few subjects could possess greater importance to the country than that which the hon. member for Saugeen [David Macpherson] had brought under the notice of the House, and there could be no doubt that every hon. member would concur in the general objects which he had in view, the increase of our population and the settlement of our unoccupied lands and no one would deny the general proposition that it was better to have thrifty occupants than to make sales of lots. He therefore concurred in the general view, but he doubted whether the House would be prepared to subscribe to the modes of relief which the hon. member had suggested. For his part after having given the subject his best attention he was not prepared to give an opinion in favour.

He could not agree with the hon. member that the remedies he proposed would bring about the great and beneficial changes he had anticipated from them. Nor did he regard his arguments as conniving in regard to the great results said to have been produced to the United States by the means suggested for our adoption in this country. The hon. member had traced the stream of emigration as diverted from our shore as far back as 1833, and if there had been such a diversion then certainly to could not have been caused by the homestead exemption law of which he had spoken since that law was first passed in the United States in 1861 or 1862. That the stream of emigration had been diverted from Canada might be true and while he (Mr. Campbell) deplored the fact he would be desirous of doing all in his power to bring it back again. The hon. member must perceive on reflection that the causes to which he has ascribed that diversion were not the real ones in operation. In his (Mr. Campbell’s) option it was a great mistake to decry out country for the purpose of glorifying the United States

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—He did not say that the hon. member had done this, but it was too much the custom of some people to do so just as if there were a great difference in the legislation or government of this country unfavourable to the happiness and prosperity of its inhabitants as compared with those States. The causes of superiority in the extent of emigration and increase of population, if there were such, must be sought for in other directions. In a very large and populous country like the United Stated the correspondence with the old world was of course proportionally greater than in a country like Canada.

Then it occupied a larger share of attention in the public mind. In public discussion of any kind, through the press and on the various legislatures, and in all sorts of ways such a country would have a prominence which we could not hope to have. It was to these general casques rather than to any defect in our legislation that the greater stream of emigration to the United States might be traced and at any rate it was not correct to refer the difference to the homestead exemption law as the hon. member had endeavoured to do.

Then again as to the hon. member’s remarks in relation to the greater general property of the United States, he must be permitted to question his accuracy. Had there really been such increase in the progress and prosperity of the United States, as to give us grounds of envy? It was not correct that in any one of them, as in the aggregate there had been greater improvement in proportion than in Canada. He had no hesitation in saying that within the last two decades we had advanced as rapidly if not more rapidly than that great country, whether in population or in wealth.

Philip Moore [Canada East, appointed 1841]—Or in productiveness.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Yes or in the multiplication of our live stock, the quantity of grain or the increase of articles of luxury, in nothing that he knew of had Canada fallen being the United States, if the progress were judged by the respective proportions of both countries. Thus notwithstanding the defects in our means of attracting emigration or capital; all things considered he did not see any thing to envy or be jealous of in the neighboring country. Anticipating the line of discussion which this motion would occasion he had furnished himself with certain statistics which he would submit to the House, and he thought it would be seen that in lieu of causes of complaint we had good causes of congratulating ourselves for our freedom from the almost unbearable taxation, which the people of the United States had to submit to consent upon the expenses of the late lamentable war.

Let our system of land administration be what it might, it was clear that it had had the effect of attracting a greater population than had been attracted in any state of the Union. He would now read from the Globe, extracts from two articles which had appeared in that paper in Jun last, by which the relative progress of the two countries in population and material wealth were fairly seen. He would not trouble the House with very long extracts for he believed the remarkable articles in question had been very generally read. The first related to the increase of the population and the portion to which be desired to call attention was as follows.

Excepting Indiana, the rate of increase in upper Canada in ten years was more than double the rate of increase maintained during the same period by any state having a population equal to or exceeding its own. Upper Canada un ten years increased its population from 952,004 to 1,456,681 an increase of 53,01 per cent. New York (including the metropolis of the Union whose rapid growth in population has been considered almost unprecedented) from 3,097,394 to 3,880,735, and increase of only 25.20 per cent. Pennsylvania, from 2,311,786 to 2,906,115, an increase of 25.66 per cent. Ohio, from 1,980,329 to 2,339,511 an increase of 18.15 per cent. Virginia, from 1,421,661 to 1,597,318 an increase of 12.28 per cent. Tennessee, from 1,002,717 to 1,109,801 an increase of 10.68 per cent. Massachusetts, from 994,514 to 1,231,068 an increase of 23.78 per cent. Kentucky, from 952,405 to 1,155,684 an increase of 17.64 per cent.

At the census before the last, there were nine States in the Union, which had a greater population than Lower Canada, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Georgia. At the last census Lower Canada was headed by only eight States, having (in nine years against their ten) outstripped Georgia and Tennessee, and been passed only by Illinois. At the census before last, Tennessee was ahead of Lower Canada in population by 112,456, and Georgia by 15,924. At the last census Lower Canada was ahead of Tennessee, by 863, and of Georgia by 53,378.

The foregoing extract shows that in respect of this increase of population, Canada stands of the head of every one of the States.

James Currie [Niagara, elected 1862] To only of the large States.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands] of all except the Territories. Now in regard of the increase of wealth, he would read from another article in the same paper. It was as follows:—

“It thus appears that, labouring under all the disadvantage of a worse public land system, Canada and especially Upper Canada, made in nine years a much greater advance, in proportion to her population than the whole of the United States and Territories did in ten years. In Canada, except in certain limited Districts, not advantageously situated no one can enter on the public lands without paying from half a dollar to two dollars or more per acre, and yet we find that, while Upper Canada in nice tears added nearly 64 cultivated acres to every hundred acres under cultivation in 1852, the United States and Territories in ten years added only a little over 44 acres to every hundred acres under sublimation in the fate of the previous census; that Upper Canada subdued her wild lands more rapidly than even the growth of her population at a rate almost double that in the United States (the proportion being at 17, 10, to 8.72;) and that even Lower Canada brought her wild lands into cultivation at a rate, exceeding her growth in population, which equalled within a fraction the rate in the United States, (the proportion being as 8.50 to 8.72;) and that the whole of Canada brought her wild lands into cultivation at a rate of increase of cultivated lands in the United States in ten years, by over five per cent, and at a rate, too, exceeding her growth in population, largely in advance of that of the United States, (the proportion being at 13.70 to 8.72.)

Ohio, the second wheat-growing State of the Union in 1850, and being a State approximating to Canada in population, and other important respects, was elected by Mr. Hutton in his report on the census of 1852, for the purpose of drawing a variety of instructive comparisons between its progress and that of Canada during the previous decade between 1850 and 1860, we find that Ohio increased the number of its cultivated acres only 18-16 per cent, against an increase in nine years in Lower Canada of 33-26 per cent, in all Canada of 49-77 per cent, and that in 1860 she had fallen from the second to the fourth place in the list of wheat-growing States while, as a grower of wheat, Upper Canada was still ahead of the very first in the list, the great grain-producing State of Illinois.”

Now when he found this to be the relative progress of the two countries he certainly did not perceive anything to excite envy or cause apprehension. The Hon. Member had said also that of all the emigrants who passed through Canada only sixth remained in it, but did he suppose it was be cause of the protection  that the homestead law afforded the settlers in the United States?

Supposing that the homestead were excepted int hat country from seizure during five years, the same law or one equivalent thereto existed in this Country.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—That was only one of the features of the homestead law to which he had called attention.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Well that feature was found in our law. The settler had five years to pay for his land and during that period it could not be sold for it remained the property of the Crown—

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—hence the position of the two occupants alike. Then the hon. member said the land was free or given gratuitously to the settler on condition of occupation and culture, but did he suppose that the hundreds of thousands of emigrants who came to the states knew the could get land free. He (Mr. Campbell) doubted it. Indeed it was not the new comers who went and settled upon the free lands of the west but old residents who had hung and always hung upon the outskirts of civilization and who were ever passing away into the new openings. These were the people who evaded themselves of the homestead law and he (Mr. Campbell) was persuaded that inquiry would show that few English, Irish or other Europeans went into those new countries.

These clustered about the older settled districts and towns and in fact they were ill prepared to go at once into the wilderness. It was for the hardy and well accustomed natives to do this and they were the persons who did so. It was not the free homestead that attracted the emigrants but the letters of their friends giving glowing accounts of the wealth and resources of the country. Then it was not an easy thing when once it had set in any given direction to direct a scheme of this magnitude, and it would continue to flow on irrespective of the many obstacles which might seem sufficient to interrupt it.

Again the bulk of the lands remaining for sale in Canada was not in many respects very attractive. They were situate beyond the peninsula north and west of the garden of the Province. The larger proportion of these lands were on the shores of Lakes Huron and Superior or north of the settled portions towards the Ottawa. These lands were now to be bought for one shilling the acre and all that had been sold, sold at that price. It was clear that when land could be had for so little it was not the price that prevented its being taken up but the remoteness of the soul, so different from the portions now settled and which having been seen could not but make the others appear so unpromising. Such were most of the lands we had still to dispose of and as we could not make them better or bring them nearer to the settlements we had to do the best we could with them.

Under the American homestead law the occupiers of the lands had to perform certain settlement duties just as under our own law. The hon. member had frankly admitted the encouraging increase in our population but he was desirous to see a quicker and larger increase and so was he (Mr. Campbell) but did the hon. member imagine that the homestead exemption law would ensure that?

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—The hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell] had misapprehended his meaning altogether. He did not mean the exemption law at all but the free homestead law which secured the lands on the public domain to the settler. He (Mr. McPerson) knew there was an exemption law which prevented the seizure and sale of certain household effects but that to which he especially referred was the one which secured to the settler a homestead free of cost.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—And even then all the difference was one shilling her acre and not even that for the occupier had to pay $10 for the survey whereas the occupier in Canada paid nothing for this. The Government paid 6d for survey and sold the lands for 1s, or, deducting the survey, for 6d per acre. The hon. member held that if we had a homestead law we would succeed in attracting emigrants and in another breath stated that the system of Free Grants had failed. He said too that one of the advantages of the homestead act was that the creditors could not seize it for five years.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—That was not the main feature of the act. That which most attracted emigrants was free lands for actual occupiers.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Had not misunderstood the hon. member at all. He wanted free lands and he (Mr. Campbell) replied that we had tried the system of free grants about realizing all the advantages, which the hon. member anticipated. But then it was true that he contended the settlers should not be restricted in their choice to lots on the roads opened out but should be at liberty to choose for themselves where they would dwell; to go back or round as they pleased.

Now he (Mr. Campbell) thought it much more convenient for them to settle on the front lots where they would have the advantage of the road. It seemed evident to him that if we could not get them to take lots free on the roads ready made, they would hardly be induced to take them in the rear with all the disadvantage and hardships incident to such isolated positions. The only reasons he could discover why the Free Grant system had not worked as could have been desired was that he had already assigned, viz; the roughness of the lands when compared with those on the peninsula and other favorite localities. In those remote places they were far from churches, markets and schools and for the first few years life there would be solitary and toilsome. These were the causes why people who had come from the countries where the land was rich and fine disliked to settle on the Free Grants but then there were emigrants from less favoured places in Europe to whom even such lands would be very acceptable and we had still large tracts which would compare favorably with the homes left by such settlers. Now as to the suggestion of a homestead law which the hon. member desired the House to adopt, it would be well to enquire before doing so what might be expected to result.

He (Mr. Campbell) had shown that the decision of the scheme of emigration was not due to the homestead of United States since it was only passed in 1862 and we had now one of our own substantially the same. He doubted very much whether we should receive the increase anticipated if we adopted an exactly similar measure and indeed he thought we ought not to be discontented with our rate of progress when it was found that we had actually kept ahead of the United States in this respect. Then what would we lose if we adopted that system. He would show by the results of the lands sold and the money received what that loss would be. From 1st July 1863 to 30 June 1864 the receipts of the Crown Lands Department for lands sold amounted to $1,358,636,74 and from the same fate in 1864 to the same fate in 1865 $1,374,517.58.

(The hon. member gave the receipt by moths in each seat and as the month of June 1865 showed a sum of $392,876.56 he stated that this large amount was in part due to the payment of $195,000 by the Canada Land and Emigration Company leaving however of ordinary receipts nearly $200,000 for that month).

For the 9 years commencing with 1857 and ending 1866 the gross sum so received amounted to $10,202,000. Now by adopting the hon. Members, plan these vast sums of money would be lost to the country with all the advantages which would flow from their profitable employment, for if the land must be free it must according to his argument be free alike all over. But what should be said to the parties who owed money for lands bought in the past. Could we in the face of such a system tell such persons that they must pay to the last farthing? we could not do that. If we changed the present plan of conserving lands for that recommended by the hon. member we must remit all that was now due, and how much did hon. members suppose was now due for lands? why almost $7,000,009 on Upper Canada and $2,006,000 in Lower Canada. Was the House prepared to give up this sum and with it to unhinge the sound morals which taught people to discharge their honest obligations? For his part he thought it could be a most unsafe proceeding. It was not prudent or fair to as the House to surrender the large amount involved.

The hon. member had complained also of the large grants made to companies but there had been no such grants of later years, some years ago a large quantity of land was sold to the Canada land and Emigration Company but it was on terms which the then Commissioner believed would be advantageous to the country. That gentleman thought it would promote emigration and there were annexed certain conditions of settlement which had been strictly enforced. This settlement condition devolved upon the Company whose business it was at stated times to produce evidence that it had been duly observed. The land so sold had been surveyed and all but the swamps had been included in the tract. The Company was required to pay the whole price within a certain time and had done so. It was true they had endeavoured to parcel out the lands with five different classes or qualities assuming that they ought only to pay the full price agreed upon in respect of the first class and the others in proportion.

But he (Mr. Campbell) thought they had got full value for their money and would agree to any such conditions. He only deducted such portions as were proved to be wholly unfit for settlement and the rest was paid for at the price agreed upon of half a dollar per acre, the sum of $195,000 to which he alluded as having been received in June of this year, being the final payment upon the purchase. Now it was well known that the value of land consisted in great part, often in the greater part upon the timber which grew on it, and he (Mr. Campbell) well knew that the Company would probably get more for the wood on lands not fit for cultivation than from the better lands. Over a large extent of the Ottawa country, the Crown got from $1 to $1 ½ for the timber, and after that the land itself remained its property. The hon. member wanted all this thrown upon, but he (Mr. Campbell) while believing it would not promote emigration, felt very sure that it would seriously diminish the income of the country.

Philip Moore [Canada East, appointed 1841]—Yes and lead to a vast destruction and waste of the wood.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Then was it reasonable to ask that a system of giving lands away so indiscriminately should be adopted while at the same time it must issue in the certain destruction of our immense limber business. Then again the hon. member had complained of the means used for the recovery of the moneys due on the lands sold, but he (Mr. Campbell) thought that the fact of the large outstanding debt he had named, was sufficient proof that whatever steps might have been taken to induce payment, there had at least been no oppression, but contrariwise the greatest lenity and indulgence. In no single instance that he was aware of had the settler forfeited his land. Indeed he believed that all the Commissioners of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell] had evinced the same regard for the interests of the settlers and that the greatest care and caution had been used, he might say half been studiously employed to preserve to them the possession of their lots.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—They should not then have been threatened.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—The only threat he was aware of as having been used was a notice that a payment was required. The hon. member alleged that in consequence of this demand some of them had borrowed money at from 15 to 25 per cent interest, and that this money was dearly bought by the Government. He did not know how this might be, but perhaps something in relation to the payments then afterwards made, might show lights on the subject. The call was made on the 2nd September, 1861, and during the ensuing 6 months $125,000 over and above the amount paid in the corresponding period of the provisions year was received.

The hon. member stated that these payments distressed the settlers, but he (Mr. Campbell) hardly thought so for it seemed to him that when people owed money for years to a creditor who had never sued them they were more likely to rely upon his continued indulgence that upon that of more pressing creditors. The collections were conducted by three Agents, viz; Messrs Jackson, Widder and McNab, for Horn, Grey and Bruce, for five and a half years, were as follows:

Jackson, 1860—$71,446, 1861—$68,324,
  1862—$117,437, 1863—$40,352,
  1864—$68,280, half of 1865—$25,156.
Widder, 1860—$45,359, 1861—$15,225,
  1862—$81,048,, 1863—$56,924,
  1864—$38,202, half of 1865—$14,757.
McNab, 1860—$57,839, 1861—$63,837,
  1862—$83,862, 1863—$77,365,
  1864—$70,034, half of 1865—$29,553.

These receipts he thought did not show much suffering on the part of the country.

James Currie [Niagara, elected 1862]—What were the receipts from the Mineral lands?

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—The receipts from the mineral lands in Upper Canada, were in 1863 $1,640, in 1864 $29,545, and in 1865 to 30th June $12,777. In Lower Canada in 1864, they were $4,370, this from the gold mining land. Now the uniform rate at which the lands were sold in the Huron, Superior and Nipissing constricts were 1s. the acre, and in the rest of Canada 7s. 6d., and yet the hon. Member stated they were sold in the named localities at an inflated price. He did not know how the hon. member arrived at this conclusion, but he knew that if this rate were compared with the prices at which lands were sold by private Companies they would compare very well indeed.

Before the union the Crown lands were held at 8s. Per acre cash; now they were sold in the more favored places at 7s. 6d. and at almost as long credit as the purchasers chose to take. One would have almost imagined from the hon. member’s remarks that the spirit of inflation had seized upon the Crown Lands Department as it did at a certain period upon the people, but as he had stated there never was a change in the price. The Indian lands had sold at higher rates but these lands did not belong to the Crown which was simply a trustee for the aborigines and therefore bound to get as much as it could for the property.

In pursuance of this, those lands were sold by auction but it had not been so with the Crown lands. Possibly with respect to the Indian lands the purchasers might have paid too high and he himself had bought some under the spirit of speculation which then prevailed at $3 to $4 per acre, which he would be glad to dispose of now at the same price.

Some Hon. MembersLaughter.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—These were the only lands so disposed of and all the rest were sold in the normal way. So much in answer to the general statement of the hon. member. The hon. member had thus alluded to his own division, and he (Mr. Campbell) would be quite ready to listen to any representation which that hon. member might have to make. The hon. member had stated that in consequence of the difficulties in connection with the lands, some hundreds of young men had left that part of the country and gone over to the United States.

Well, he (Mr. Campbell) thought the Saugeen district was not singular in this respect. It was said that there were some 30,000 or 40,000 Canadians in the Northern armies, chiefly French Canadians, with a great many others employed in other capacities, and it was also known that many had joined the Southern cause. These young men were probably more inspired by the grand glories of war, or the prospect of large gains and rapid fortunes in connection with the war than disgusted with their own country, but he was happy to say that many had come back, and he expected many others would follow. He then (Mr. Campbell) did not think the hon. member could safely ask for action on these grounds. Then the hon. member had stated there were neither roads, bridges, nor harbours in his division, but in this also he (Mr. Campbell) thought the hon. member was mistaken.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864]—Only wished the hon. Commissioner [Alexander Campbell] had to travel those roads.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Well, if he had he would like to do so in company with the hon. member, who, he was sure, would make white comfortable. Now, in 1860-1-2 $19,000 was expended in opening the Owen Sound road from Garafraxa to the Sound.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864] said he had not spoken of that County.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Well, in 1848 the Toronto, Syndenhan and Southhampton and Goderich, the Durham roads were constipated, at a cost of $40,000. Between 1854 and 1863 there were expended on the Woolwich and Huron, and Elora and Saugeen, and Sydenham and Southampton and Goderich, the Durham, the Collingwood and Meaford, the Elma, the Sydenham and Toronto, and several minor roads, $170,242—making a grand total of $229,342, which certainly was something. But the hon. member had also said there had been no free grants in his part of the country, whereas there had been about 4000 locations so granted of 50 acres each, of which 3040 were already patented. Now if these expenditures and grants were not sufficient, he (Mr. Campbell) regretted it; but at any rate, there had been some money expended upon the roads and some free grants made.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—Then as to harbors an engineer and been went sometime ago to examine and report upon the subject, and his estimate and report upon the subject, and his estimate was daily expected. The hon. member would thus see that in respect of free locations, roads and harbours his case had really received some consideration, and he thought he had satisfied the House that there had been no system of forfeiture or ejectment in question. He would now proceed to show the receipts upon a million acres of school lands, which had been set apart in Huron, Bruce, Grey and Perth, as he considered this would and in indicating the really prosperous condition of the counties in question. The total quantity sold from 1851 to 1864 was 992,819 acres for a gross sum of $2,169,533, of which had been received as principal $1,009,140 and of interest $239,708. He had also to state on the testimony of the three gentleman—the collectors in Huron, Grey and Bruce—whom he had named, viz., Messrs, Jackson, Widder and McNab, who had been directed to make special inquires into the alleged distress, and for that purpose to travel through the counties, that there was nothing to indicate the amount of distress alleged.

There had been two or three bad crops and some farmers were in business difficulties, but not in difficulties which appealed to public charity. There were a few instances of actual poverty, but only such as might be found in all other localities. The debtors to the Government for all the time to pay they desired, and what more could be asked. He thought it would be unwise for the House to take immediate action upon the recommendation of the hon. member, for the subject was one which, to be considered properly, would require months of thought on the part of two or three men of experience, and whom it was considered that the proposed action would place the very large sum he had mentioned in jeopardy, he believed the House would pause before taking such action.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

Alexander Campbell [Cataraqui, elected 1858, Commissioner of Crown Lands]—He might mention there that there was constant embarrassment in the Crown Lands Department from the conflicting claims of the lumberers and settlers, and setters, as many o the latter under the pretence of occupying the lands, went upon them in effect for the sole purpose of receiving the value of the lumber. The Department agreed to pay the settlers the call of the said timber, and it often amounted to more than the cost of the land. In this round about what the revenue suffered. These people did not go upon good hard wood lands, where the soil was superior, but upon the pine lands where they could be sure of working up claims for the timber. He was not quire satisfied as to the best course to adopt in the circumstances, but certainly some change of system in this particular was needed. He thought, however, that it would be better to reduce the price of the lands to the value or cost of the survey, and to impose docs in perpetuity upon the timber which could be collected when it came to market. In this way three or four persons in Quebec would be sufficient, and a great deal of time, trouble and expense would be saved. In closing he thought it not out of place to give the House some idea of the total revenues of the Crown Lands Department, which he might state were derived chiefly from the timber dues:—1857, $911,118; 1858, $627,042; 1859, $869,286; 1860, $1,338,136; 1861, $1,190,078; 1862, $1,276,409; 1863, $1,255,837; 1864, $1,358,636 and 1865, $1,374,517. He hoped the House would be satisfied that the hon. member for Saugeen [David Macpherson] had not made out a case requiring immediate action and he also trusted the hon. member would not press his resolutions.

Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.

John Ross [Canada West, elected 1848] suggested that the debate should be adjourned over until Monday next.

David Macpherson [Saugeen, elected 1864] said there were several points in the remarks of the Hon. Commissioner of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell] to which he was desirous of replying, and he would therefore be willing to let the further debate stand over until Monday next, (which on motion Hon. Mr. Ross was agreed to.)


Pursuant to order, the Bill to provide in certain cases for the preservation of standing timber, was then read a third time and passed.


Hon. Mr. PRICE moved the second reading of the Bill to facilitate the transactions of the Quebec North Shore Turnpike Road Trust. The hon. gentleman explained the Bill.

Hon. Messers. Sir N. F. BELLEAU and A. J. DUCHESNAY spoke in connection with the Bill, which was then read a second time and referred to the Private Bills Committee.


Hon. Mr. ROSS introduced a bill relating to the winning up of the estate of Alexander McDonald of Glengarry.

Hon. Mr. CAMPBELL introduced a bill to amend the law respecting attorneys.


The Hon. Mr. FERGUSSON BLAIR moved the second reading of his bill to amend the law of Upper Canada relating to short forms of mortgages—Carried.


Hon. Mr. LETELLIER to St. JUST said, as many hon. gentleman were desirous that the House should meet at an early hour to-morrow, he would move that when at now adjourned, it should stand adjourned until to-morrow—at 11 o’clock—Carried.

The House then, at six o’clock, adjourned.

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