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

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Date: 1865-09-08
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Quebec Daily Mercury
Citation: “Provincial “Parliament. Legislative Council. The Quebec Daily Mercury (9 September 1865).
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(Reported for the Mercury.)


FRIDAY, 8th Sept., 1865.

The House met, pursuant to adjournment, at eleven a.m.
After routine—


Hon. Mr. FERGUSSON BLAIR, from the Private Bills Committee, reported several amendments to the Bill to incorporate the English and Canadian Mining Company (limited.)

Hon. Mr. RYAN moved their adoption.

Hon. Mr. BUREAU said, in rising, it was not his intention to offer any objection to the passage of this particular Bill, but merely to call the attention of the Government, in connection with it, to what he considered a future in this class of legislation fraught with much danger to the future interests of the country. Yes sir, I’m referring to the Bill, let the Company were empowered to hold as much as 5000 acres of land. Now, so he was as much alive as any other to the necessity of a forwarding every encouragement to the development of our mineral resources, he could not regard as other than dangerous the policy of withdrawing from cultures so much of the valuable soil of the Province, and locking it up in the hands of mining companies. Religious society’s has often been objected to on the same account; and it seemed to him, unless some check was placed upon the system, we would run the risk before long of seeing most of the calls to cultivable land of the Province absorbed in this way—then we would have to go far to find lands fit for settlement. After all, agriculture was and would be the main state of the Province; the country was essentially an agricultural country, and it was of the greatest moments to see that’s so important and interest was not endangered or rendered less valuable. Under the pretence of opening up and working mines, speculators were securing to themselves large tracts a valuable land, and thereby stopping the progress of colonization. Now, he thought it would be wise, before granting lands to mining companies, to assure ourselves that those lands were really what they were represented to be—mineral lands, and not agricultural lands; for what use, after all, with the later description of lands be to a mining company, except to enable the latter to sell them here after at exorbitant prices. As an instance of this, he might mention a company in the Eastern Townships who were selling at $3 an acre land which the government were selling at 3s an acre, and to his own knowledge, one man there had to pay as high as $3000 for 200 acres. He thought it would be wise for the Government to adopt some system with regard to mining companies, and he believe the best would be to ascertain first, by a practical examination, the real quality and description of the land they proposed to hold.
Hon. Mr. RYAN said he was sorry that his hon. friend had chosen this bill to found his objections upon to the system of granting lands to Mining Companies. The Bill, however, did not grant the Company 5000 acres of land, but authorized them to hold that quantity, and limited them moreover to a particular county. These lands the Company possessed already and the Bill was merely to sanction their transfer from the English stockholders into the hands of Canadians.

After some further discussion, the motion for the adoption of the report was carried, and the Bill was then read a third time and passed.


On motion of Hon. Mr. FERRIER, the Bill to amend the Municipal Act of Lower Canada was read a third time and passed.


The SPEAKER late before the House a statement relative to the Jesuit’s Estate in Canada.


Hon. Sir N. F. BELLEAU moved, pursuant to notice, that when the House, adjourned it should stand adjourned until Saturday at three o’clock in the afternoon. The hon. gentleman said he had given as a reason yesterday for a Saturday meeting that a privilege question might come up. Since then, another phase had taken place in the business of the other Branch. Thirty private Bills passed a second reading and would be reported to-morrow, so that some of them might be expected to come up. He would leave it to the House say whether under the circumstances and on the eve of prorogation it would not be well to meet to-morrow.

Hon. Mr. LETELLIER said it was very true a number of Bills might come up, but after all he did not see anything suppressing that could not be as well done on Monday. However, if it was absolutely necessary to meet, he would, for his part have no objection to it. But many members who had excepted the invitation of the managers of the Beauport Asylum to visit the Institution, which was a public one, for which the Province paid, and one deserving of attention, might be placed in a bad position.

Hon. Mr. CHRISTIE trusted there would be no opposition to the motion. When the Government said that otherwise business might be retarded, he thought it was the duty of the House to support them. It might incommode a few hon. members; but it should be remember that the great majority would be more incommoded if the Session were protracted beyond the expected period. The Provincial Agricultural Exhibition was to take place a week hence, and numbers of hon. members were anxious to attend it.

Hon. Mr. BOSSE commended the Government for their real to advance the public business. He thought, however, that the opportunity of visiting the Beauport Asylum, and satisfying ourselves by personal inspection of the treatment of the unfortunate inmates, should not be thrown away.

Hon. Mr. ROSS said he had taken the trouble to inform himself touching the state of business in the other House, and he had learnt that it was not possible that any of the Bills which passed last night come up to-morrow. After the declaration of the hon. Premier, however, he thought the House ought to support the Government.

Hon. Sir N. F. BEALLEAU set the proposed visit to the Beauport Institution had been assigned as a reason against the meeting. He admitted that it was a very landable project, but it could be very well effected before three o’clock.

Hon. Mr. DICKSON set the question seem to be whether they should all meet here to-morrow or go to the Lunatic Asylum together. For his part, he was inclined to support the Government, as the want of a sitting to-morrow might have the effect of prolonging the session.

The motion was then put and carried.


Hon. Mr. LACOSTE moved—That an humble address be present it to His Excellency the Governor General, praying that His Excellency Will be pleased to cause to be laid before this House copies of any correspondence which may have taken place between Thomas Austin, Esquire, heretofore Registrar of the County of Chambly, and Napoleon Minrault, Esquire and the Government, on the subject of the appointment of the latter as Registrar of the County, and of any documents relating thereto.—Carried.


The Bill to legalize a certain assessment in the city of Toronto was read a third time in passed.


On motion of Hon. Mr. FERRIER, the Bill to explain certain enactments in the Acts of Incorporation of the City of Montreal was read a second time and referred to Committee.


Hon. Mr. SIMPSON move the adoption the 4th report of the Joint Committee on Printing.—Carried.

The House then adjourned.

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