Province of Canada, Legislative Council, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (4 September 1865)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), Montreal Herald
Citation: “Latest from Quebec. Special Parliamentary Report” Montreal Herald (5 September 1865).
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LATEST FROM QUEBEC.
Special Parliamentary Report.
(Reported for the Montreal Herald)
QUEBEC, Sept. 4.
Debate on David Macpherson’s [Saugeen, elected 1864] free grant resolution resumed.
James Currie [Niagara, elected 1862] followed in support of the resolution.David Macpherson’s [Saugeen, elected 1864] replied to the arguments of the Commissioner of Crown Lands [Alexander Campbell] at length. Giving over the remaining lands free would not in his opinion endanger the collection of the large arrears due to the Government; on the contrary he thought, if anything would give a value to these arrears, it would be the increase in population which would follow from the policy he advocated The value of the lands which were securities for these arrears would be increased, but he thought it would be better for the country if the Government were at once to wipe out the whole of these, than retard the progress of the country. We had a strong and able Government and now was the time most propitious for the introduction of an active policy by starting public works to attract emigrants to our shores and by free grants of land to keep them.”
Billa Flint [Trent, elected 1863] was always in favour of giving lands free to settlers, but only such lands as did not contain valuable pine should be given; he knew of single lots of 100 acres in this country which had paid $3,000 timber dues.
James Skead [Rideau, elected 1862] was glad the subject had been so thoroughly discussed. He was not in favour of indiscriminate the free grants particularly in the pine section he would extend the system of Colonization roads into the good hardwood lands lying beyond the pine country. He thought the Colonization Roads, so far from being a failure, had been the very best outlay the country had ever made and they should be extended. It was of great importance to the country that the pine timber should be preserved and made the most of, and in order to do this license holder should have a more permanent and secure title. At present the lumbermen used the forests wastefully; he had no hesitation in saying that for every pine tree that found its way to the Quebec market at least five were cut down in the wood. If the limit holder had a permanent lease of twenty-one years, he would not do so, but endeavour to preserve it from fire. There were large tracts of good hardwood lands to the south of Lake Nippissing, which the settler could use to advantage for farming purposes, and those lauds ought to opened up by extending colonization roads into them.
John Simpson [Queen’s, elected 1856] thought the pine should be preserved. It made him sad to see the quantities of valuable pine left to rot in the woods by lumbermen. They should he made to pay for every tree they cut down, and not for those only which they brought to a market.
The debate adjourned.