Province of Canada, Legislative Council, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (18 June 1866)

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Date: 1866-06-18
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 15.
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MONDAY, June 18th, 1866.

The speaker took the chair at 3 o’clock.

After routine.

First readings.

Hon. Mr. Alexander introduced a bill to authorize the trustees of the Presbyterian congregation of Woodstock, in connection with the Church of Scotland, to sell certain lots of land belonging to said trust. Second reading on Monday next.

Hon. Mr. Allen introduced a bill further to amend the charter of the Bank of Upper Canada. Second reading on Tuesday of next week.

hon. Mr. Oliver introduced a new bill to ascertain the proprietorship of the Commons of Berthier and Ilse du Pads.

Index to Civil Code of Lower Canada.

Hon. Mr. Bureau moved for an address to His Excellency the Governor General to cause to be prepared and printed an index or Alphabetical table to the Civil Code of lower Canada. Second reading on Wednesday next.

Damages by the Fenians.

Hon. Mr. Moore inquired whether it is the intention of the Government to adopt any measure for the relief and indemnification of the inhabitants on the frontier, in St. Armand East and West, in the County of Missiquoi, for losses sustained by invasion by a body of ruffians called Fenians, from the United States during the past eight days; And also if it is the intention of the Government to organise a force on the frontier to prevent a recurrence of what has so recently occurred there ?

In making this inquiry the hon. members stated that it was not done with a view of anticipating the action of the Government, but rather to afford him the opportunity of stating certain peculiar circumstances of hardships to the parties named in the inquiry, in connection with the damages they had suffered at the hands of marauding invaders. Two companies of volunteers had been raised and organised in that part of the country which the inhabitants generally supposed would be employed for the defense of the locality. These volunteer companies were generally composed of farmer’s sons, mechanics and persons interested in the welfare of the community, but it so happened at the time of the Fenian invasion that this force was absent guarding the frontier at some distance. While also engaged a young man came rushing into the camp with the intelligence that the Fenians 1,500 strong had crossed the border , and the force was ordered to retreat from the position they had occupied. This they did marching most of the night in the rain, and in the morning when the rule was called only a portion of them answered, the rest being disabled by the hardships they had endured. The withdrawal of this force from the frontier emboldened the marauders who after all were only about 350 strong , and had arms for only 200. Still being unchecked for 3 or 4 days they committed very extensive depredations and occasioned large losses to the inhabitants.

Now when Confederate Raiders passed from this province into Vermont, and committed depredations in St Alban’s, the Canadian Government readily admitted the claim of the sufferers to compensation and refunded the money taken from the bags. In that case the Raiders were not British subjects, but American citizens,  and the plans, he had reason to believe, were not laid in Canada but in Chicago or Detroit, still the Government made compensation, and he believed that if the facts of the damage is inflicted upon the people of Missisquoi by the Fenians, who were American citizens, were only represented to the Government at Washington, that Government would just as readily admit the claims of the sufferers to compensation as we had admitted those of their citizens in connection with the St Albans raid. But as those representations could only be made through the Imperial Government. They would necessarily be a good deal of delay, and he thought that Meanwhile the provincial Government might do something to relieve the sufferers.

Hon. Sir N.F. BELLEAU said he would not follow that hon. member in his remarks, for it was not unusual and making inquiries of this kind to go into arguments and reasons to show why such or such a course should be pursued. He would, however, Say in relation to the first part of the inquiry, that the Government had given orders to inquire into the losses sustained by the invasion in that part of the country, with a few of adopting measures for the relief of the inhabitants who had suffered. With regard to the second part of the inquiry, he begged to say it was the intention of the Government to organise a force on the frontier, in connection with the military, to prevent the recurrence of the outrages which had recently been committed there..

Hon. Mr. Moore — that is very satisfactory.

Second readings.

Hon. Mr. Armand moved the second reading of the bill to amend the act ” respecting abuses prejudicial to the agriculture. ” Chapter 26, consolidated statutes of Lower Canada.

The hon. member explained that the object of the bill was to give power to the inspectors to say whether or not, the decouvert demanded by a neighbour was required, at his decision to be of the force of law.

Hon. Mr. Bureau said the law as it stood was quite sufficient, and an amendment into the way proposed could only lead to confusion, for the inspector of this year might be of a different opinion from the inspector of last year, and the inspector of last year might differ from both. He would not prevent the bill from being read an going to Committee, but the mover must not be surprised if he (Mr. Bureau) opposed it when it came back.

The bill was that read and referred to the standing Committee on agriculture.

Hon. Mr. Sanborn moved the second Reading of the bill, to provide means for serving processes upon corporations having no office or place of business in lower Canada.

The hon. member explained that there were corporations of this kind doing business, and that sometimes they broke down, and the managers left the province without anyone to represent them. They would owe debts and there might be property left, but for want of being able to serve, processes it was very difficult for the creditors to get at it. It was for the purpose of meeting this difficulty that this bill was brought and period he would refer it to a special Committee , and if any better means of reaching the object could be devised he would willingly modify the measure. The bill was then read and referred to a special Committee, composed of the hon. Messrs. Chaffers, Bosse, Olivier and the mover.

Collectorship of Montreal.

Hon. Mr. Ryan gave notice that on Wednesday next he will inquire —

1st. What are the reasons which have induced the Government so long to delay appointing a collector of customs in the port of Montreal, and whether it is their intention shortly to appoint one.

2nd. Whether it is the intention of the Government to provide more suitable and commodious buildings then those at present in use for the purpose of a custom House and customs warehouses at Montreal?

3rd. Whether it is the intention of Government to take any steps for improving an enlarging the present post office, or for erecting a new and more commodious one at Montreal?

The House then adjourned.

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