UK, Report from the Select Committee on the Civil Government of Canada (1828)

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Date: 1828-07-22
By: UK (House of Commons)
Citation: UK, Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Civil Government of Canada, Report from the Select Committee on the Civil Government of Canada (London: 1828).
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Ordered, by the House of Commons, to be Printed, 22 July 1828.





THE SELECT COMMITTEE appointed to inquire into the State of the Civil Government of Canada, as established by the Act 31 Geo. III and to report their Observations thereupon to the House; and to whom several PETITIONS for an alteration in the present Government were referred;– HAVE examined the Matters to them referred, and agreed to the following REPORT:

YOUR Committee began their investigation into the State of the Civil Government of Canada, by examining the several Petitions from the inhabitants of the two Provinces, which had been referred to them by the House. The Petitions from the Townships of the Lower Province, signed by above 10,000 persons, complain of the want of Courts within their own limits, and the administration of French law in the French Language; that they are without Representation in the House of Assembly in Lower Canada, and that Emigrants of British origin have been deterred from settling in the Province; and, finally, they pray that a legislative Union may take place between Upper and Lower Canada.

Your Committee then proceeded to examine the Petition signed by about 87,000 Inhabitants of Lower Canada, resident within the Seigneuries, who complain of arbitrary conduct on the part of the Governor of the Province; of his having applied Public Money without legal appropriation; of violent prorogations and dissolutions of the Provincial Parliament; and of his having prevented the passing of many useful Acts, which they enumerate. They complain also, that a Receiver-General had been maintained in the exercise of his functions for some years after his insolvency was known to the Government; that similar abuses had prevailed with respect to the office of Sheriff. And it is further stated, that the rights of the Petitioners had been injured by Acts of the Imperial Parliament, particularly by the Canada Trade Act, and the Act passed in the Sixth year of His Majesty’s reign, c. 59, affecting the Tenures of Land.

For a further knowledge of the grievances complained of, your Committee beg leave to refer to the Petitions, which will be found in the Appendix.

Before Your Committee proceed to explain, or to discuss these important subjects, they think it their duty to state that Petitions from the Province of Upper Canada were also referred to their consideration; the prayer of which Petititions is, that the Proceeds arising from the sale of certain Lands, set apart for a Protestant Clergy, may not be applied solely to the use of the Clergy of the Church of England, (the adherents to which throughout the Province they state, in contradiction to the representations of Archdeacon Strachan, to be comparatively few in number), but that they may be applied to the main- tenance of Protestant Clergymen of other denominations, and to the purposes of general Education.

As these Petitions appear to comprehend the most material subjects that have of late agitated the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, Your Com- mittee thought the best course they could pursue was to examine witnesses as to each Petition in succession; and in communicating to the House the information they have receieved, and the opinions they have been induced to form as to the Civil Government of Canada, they will treat of the different subjects, as much as possible, in order in which they were investigated.

Your Committee proceeded to examine into the system of Law established in Lower Canada, to which their attention was particularly drawn by the Petition from the Townships. Your Committee have examined evidence in great detail on this subject; from which they collect, that uncertainty has long existed on points of law relating to the Tenure of Real Property in that portion of the Province. It appears that shortly after the cession of the Province, the King of England, in a Proclamation dated the 7th of October 1763, (which will be found in the Appendix,) declared, amongst other things, that “all the Inhabitants of the Province, and all others resorting to it, might confide in His Royal protection for enjoying the benefit of the Laws of England;” and he announced that he had “given com- mands for the erection of Courts of Judicature, with an eppeal to His Majesty in Council.”

In the year 1774 the first Act of Parliament was passed, making provision for the better government of this part of the British dominions. By this Act the English Criminal Law was preserved. But it was enacted, “that in all matters of controversy relative to property and civil rights, resort should be had to the Laws of Canada as the rule and decision of the same ; and all causes that should thereafter be established in every Court of Justice,to be appointed within the Province, should, with respect to such property and rights, be determined agreeably to the said Laws and Customs of Canada.” There is, however, one marked exception to this concession of the French Law, namely, “that it should not apply to Lands which had been or should be granted in free and common soccage.”

After an interval of seventeen years this Act was followed by the Constitu- tional Act of 1791. The provisions of this important Act have no bearing upon the subject under our consideration, excepting that it provides, with respect to Lower Canada, that Lands shall be granted in free and common soccage, if so desired: and further, that such Grants shall be subject to such alteration as to the nature and consequences of Soccage Tenure as may be made by the Provincial Legislature, and with His Majesty’s approbation and assent; but no such alteration has been made.

On examing into the application of those provisions in the Province, it appears not only that doubts have existed as to the true interpretation of them, but that the general practice of the Colont has been co convey real property within the Townships according to the Canadian forms, and that it has descended and been subject to the incidents of that law. In the year 1826 the British Parliament passed an Act, which put its own interpretation of these Statutes beyond the reach of further dispute. This Act, commonly called the Canada Tenure Act, declared that the law of England was the rule by which real property within the Townships was to be hereafter regu- lated and administered. In offering any recommendations on points of so much difficulty and importance, Your Committee are fully aware of the dis- advantages under which they labour, and of their inability, from their want of sufficient technical and local information, to enter for any useful purpose into minute and intricate details. They do not however decline to offer as their opinion, that it would be advantageous that the declatory enactment in the Tenures Act, respecting lands held in free or common soccage, should be retained; that mortgages should be special, and that in proceedings for the conveyance of land the simplest and least expensive forms of conveyance should be adopted, upon the principles of the law of England, that form which prevails in Upper Canada being probably, under all circumstances, the best which could be selected; that a registration of deeds relating to soccage lands should be established as in Upper Canada.

Your Committee are further of opinion, that means should be found of bringing into effective operation the clause in the Tenures Act which pro- vides for the mutation of tenure, and they entertain no doubt of the inex- pediency of retaining the seigneurial rights of the Crown, in the hope of deriving a profit from them. The sacrifice on the part of the Crown would be trifling, and would bear no proportion to the benefit that would result to the Colony from such a concession.

In addition to these recommendations it appears to be desirable, that some competent jurisdiction should be established to try and decide causes arising out of this description of property, and that Circuit Courts should be insti- tuted within the Townships for the same purposes.

The Committee cannot too strongly express their opinion, that the Cana- dians of French extraction should in no degree be disturbed in the peaceful enjoyment of their religion, laws and privileges, as secured to them by the British Acts of Parliament; and so far from requiring them to hold lands on the British tenure, they think that when the lands in the Seigneuries are fully occupied, if the descendants of the original settlers shall still retain their preference to the tenure of Fief et Seigneurie, they see no objection to other portions of unoccupied lands in that Province being granted to them on that tenure, provided that such lands are apart from, and not intermixed with, the Townships.

Your Committee are now desirous of adverting to the Representative System of Lower Canada, with respect to which all parties seem to agree that some change should take place; to this branch of their inquiry they are desirous of recalling to the recollection of the House, that under the provisions of the Act of 1791, the division of the Province, for the purpose of exercising the elective franchise, was entrusted to the Governor; and it appears that Sir Alured Clarke took the numerical amount of the population as the sole basis on which his calculations were formed, and divided into counties as much land as was found to contain a given number of inhabitants; on the thickly- people banks of the Saint Lawrence a small district was found to suffice, while in the more distant parts vast territories were comprehended in one country, in order to obtain the required amount of population ; thus it hap- pens that the counties of Kent, Surrey, Montreal, Leinster abd Warwick, do not, altogether, equal in extent the single county of Buckinghamshire; the small counties too are composed wholly of lands holden as Seigneuries. A Bill actually passed the Assembly, the object of which was to increase the numbers of the Representative Assembly. This Bill did not become a law; and it appeaars to have been founded upon the same principle, and to have involved the same error, as the original arrangement by Sir Alured Clarke. It has been stated by one of the witnesses, that under the proposed division a disproportionate increase would have been given to the Representatives from the Seigneuries.

In providing a representative system for the inhabitants of a country which is gradually comprehending within its limits newly peopled and extensive districts, great imperfections must necessarily arise from proceedings, in the first instance, on the basis of population only. In Upper Canada a repre- sentative system has been founded on the compound basis of territory and population. This principle we think might be advantageously adopted in Lower Canada.

One of the obstacles which is said greatly to impede the improvement of the country, is the practice of making grants of Lands in large masses to individuals who have held official situations in the Colony, and who have evaded the conditions in the grant by which they were bound to provide for its cultivation, and now wholly neglect it. Although powers have been lately acquired by the Government to estreat these lands, and although we think that under certain modifications this power may be advantageously used, we are nevertheless of opinion that a system should be adopted similar to that in Upper Canada, by the levy of a small annual duty on lands remaining unimproved and unoccupied contrary to the conditions of the grant.

It now becomes the duty of Your Committee to advert to the Petitions signed by the Inhabitants of the Seigneuries. On the important subjects contained in them, they thought it right to call for explanation from Mr. Neilson, Mr. Viger, and Mr. Cuvillier, Members of the Assembly of Lower Canada, who had been deputed to this country for the purpose of seeking redress for the injuries complained of by the Petitioners.

From the testimony of these gentlemen they have learned, with the deepest regret, that the disputes which have arisen between the Governments and the House of Assembly, originating (as they appear to have done) in doubts as to the right of appropriating and accounting for a considerable portion of the Public Revenues, have led to a state of confusion and difficulty in the administration of public affairs in that Colony, which calls for an early and decisive remedy.

With a view to udnerstand accurately the grounds of this dispute, the Committee have carefully examined into the different sources of Revenue arising in Lower Canada, and they have examined also the public documents, which have enabled them to trace the successive steps which have been taken by the contending parties in these disputes. Your Committee beg leave to refer to the evidence of Mr. Neilson, and of Mr. Wilmot Horton, for a detailed account of the origin and progress of these differences.

Upon this important subject Your Committee have felt that they should not do wisely in confining their views to a critical examination of the pre- cise meaning of the words of the different statues. They look rather to the circumstances of Lower Canada, to the spirit of its constitution, on the position and character of the local Government, and the powers, privileges, and duties of the two brances of the Legislature. Although, from the opinion given by the law officers of the Crown, Your Committee must conclude that the legal right of appropriating the revenues arising from the Act of 1774 is vested in the Crown, they are prepared to say that the real interests of the Provinces would be best promoted by placing the receipt and expenditure of the whole Public Revenue under the superintendence and control of the House of Assembly.

On the other hand Your Committee, while recommending such a conces- sion on the part of the Crown, are strongly impressed with the advantage of rendering the Governor, the Members of the Executive Council, and the Judges, independent of the annual votes of the House fo Assembly for their respective salaries.

Your Committee are fully aware of the objections in principle which may be fairly raised against the practice of voting permanent salaries to Judges, who are removavle at the pleausre of the Crown; but being convinced that it would be inexpedient that the Crown should be deprived of that power of removal, and having well considered the public inconvience which might result from their being left in dependence upon an annual vote of the Assembly, they have decided to make the recommendation, in their instance, of a permanent vote of salary.

Although Your Committee are aware that the grant of permanent salaries has been recommended to a much greater number of persons connected with the Executive Government than they have included in their recommendation, they have no hesitation in expressing their opinion that it is unnecessary to include so large a number; and if the officers above enumerated are placed on the footing recommended, they are of opinion that all the revenues of the Province, (except the territorial and hereditary revenues,) should be placed under the control and direction of the Legislative Assembly.

Your Committee cannot close their observations on this branch of their inquiry without calling the attention of the House to the important circum- stance, that in the progress of these disputes the local Government has thought it necessary, through a long series of years, to have recourse to a measure, (which nothing but the most extreme necessity could justify,) of annually appropriating, by its own authority, large sums of the money of the Province, amounting to no less a sum than £140,000 without the consent of the Representatives of the People, under whose control the appropriation of these sums is placed by the constitution.

Your Committee cannot but express their deep regret that such a state of things should have been allowed to exist for so mnay year sin a British Colony, without any communication or reference having been made to Parliament on the subject.

Upon the several points referred to Your Committee, connected with the Office of Receiver-General, of the Sheriffs, and of the Jesuits Estate, Your Committee proceeded to examine evidence upon each. The facts of the case, as regard the Receiver-General, Mr. Cladwell, are detailed in Mr. Neilson’s evidence. Mr. Caldwell was a defaulter in 1823 for £96,000 for the public money of the Province. Upon an examination of his accounts by the House of Assembly, no acquittal could be traced from the Treasury of a later date than 1814, though some balances were stated up to 1819; and it appeared by documents then produced, that the fact of his deficiency was known for a considerable time before he was suspended.

Your Committee recommend for the future, that steps should be taken, by efficient securities, and by a regular audit of the accounts, to prevent the recurrence of similar losses and inconveniences to the Province.

As connected with this branch of the inquiry, Your Committee recommend, that precations of the same nautre should be adopted with regard to the Sheriffs; as it appears that within a few years two instances of the insol- vency of these officers have occurred while possessed, in virtue of their office, of large sums of money, deposited in their hands.

With respect to the estates which formerly belonged to the Jesuits, Your Committee lament that they have not more full information; but it appears to them to be desirable that the proceeds should be applied to the purposes of general education.

One of the most important subjects to which their inquiries have been directed has been the state of the Legislative Council in both the Canadas, and the manner in which these Assemblies have answered the purposes for which they were instituted. Your Committee strongly recommend, that a more independent character should be given to these bodies; that the majority of their Members should not consist of persons holding offices at the pleasure of the Crown; and that any other measures that may tend to connect more intimately this branch of the constitution with the interest of the Colonies would be attended with the greatest advantage. With respect to the Judges, with the exception only of the Chief Justice, whose presence on particular occasions might be necessary, Your Committee entertain no doubt that they had better not be involved in the political business of the House. Upon similar grounds it appears to Your Committee, that it is not desirable that Judges should hold seats in the Executive Council.

Your Committee are desirous of recording the principle which, in their judgment, should be applied to any alterations in the constitution of the Canadas, which were imparted to them under the formal Act of the British Legislature of 1791. That principle is to limit the alterations which it may be desirable to make by any future British Act, as far as possible, to such points as, from the relation between the mother country and the Canadas, can only be disposed of by the paramount authority of the British Legis- lature; and they are of opinion that all other changes should, if possible, be carried into effect by the local Legislatures themselves, in amicable communication with the local Government.

Upon the great question of the Union of the two Canadas, Your Com- mittee have received much evidence, to which they desire to call the atten- tion of the House. With reference to the state of public feeling that appears to prevail in these Colonies on this momentous subject, Your Committee are not prepared, under present circumstances, to recommend that measure.

Your Committee nevertheless think it highly desirable that some satis- factory arrangement, (and if possible one of a permanent nature,) should be effected between the two Canadas with regard to the imposition and distri- bution of the Customs collected in the St. Lawrence. They trust, however, when the heats which so unforunately exist shall have subsided, that such an arrangement may be amicably effected.

It now remains for us to lay before the House the result of our inquiries into the Clergy Reserves, which appear, by the statements of the Petitioners from Upper Canada, to be the cause of much anxiety and dissastisfaction in that Province. By the Act of 1791 the Governor is directed to make, from and out of the lands of the Crown within such Provinces, such allotment and appropriation of lands for thesupport and maintenance of a Protestant Clergy within the same, as may bear a due proportion to the amount of such lands within the same, as have at any time been granted by or under any authority of His Majesty. And it is further provided, that such lands so allotted and appropriated shall be, as nearly as the circumstances and nature of the case will admit, of the like quality as the lands in respect of which the same are so allotted and appropriated; and shall be, as nearly as the same may be estimated at the time of making such grant, equal in value to the seventh part of the lands so granted.

The directions thus given have been strictly carried into effect, and the result is, that the separate portions of land which have been thus reserved are scattered over the whole of the districts already granted.

It was no doubt expected by the framers of this Act, that as the other six parts of the land granted were improved and cultivated, the reserved part would produce a rent, and that out of the profits thus realized an ample fund might be established for the maintenance of a Protestant Clergy. These anticipations, however, have not as yet been, and do not appear likely to be, soon realized. Judging indeed, by all the information the Committee could obtain on this subject, they entertain no doubt that these reserved lands, as they are at present distributed over the country, retard more than any other circumstance the improvement of the Colony, lying as they do in detached portions in each Township, and intevening between the occupations of actual settlers, who have no mreans of cutting roads through the woods and morasses which thus separate them from their neighbours. The allotment of those portions of reserved wilderness has, in fact, done much more to diminish the value of the six parts granted to these settlers, than the improvement of their allotments has done to increase the value of the reserve. This we think must be apparent from the results of the attempts which have been made to dispose of these lands. A corporation has been formed within the Province, consisting of the Clergy of the Church of England, who have been empowered to grant leases of those lands for a term not exceeding 21 years. It appears that in the Lower Province alone, the total quantity of Clergy Reserves is 488, 594 acres, of which 75,639 acres are granted on leases, the terms of which are, that for every lot of 200 acres 8 bushels of wheat, or 25 s. per annum, shall be paid for the first seven years; 16 bushels, or 50s. per annum, shall be paid for the first seven years; and 24 bushels, or 75 s. per annum, for the last seven years. Under these circumstances the nominal rent of the Clergy Reserves is £.930 per annum. The actual receipt for the average of the last three years has been only £.50 per annum. The great difference between the nominal and the net receipt is to be accounted for by the great difficulty of collecting rents, and by tenants absconding. We are informed also, that the resident Clergy act as local agents in collecting the rents, that a sum of £. 175 had been deducted for the expenses of management, and that at that date of the last communication on this subject £. 250 remained in the hands of the Receiver-General, being the gross produce of the whole revenue of an estate of 488, 594 acres.

An attempt has been made to dispose of this estate by sale. The Canada Company, established by the Act 6 Geo. IV. c. 75, agreed to purchase a large portion of these reserves at a price to be fixed by commissioners. 3s. 6d. per acre was the price estimated, and at this sum an unwillingness was expressed on the part of the Church to dispose of the lands.

The Government therefore have made arrangements with the Company, and an Act has since been passed authorizing the sale of these lands to any person desiring to purchase them, provided the quantity sold does not exceed 100,000 acres each year.

As Your Committee entertain no doubt that the reservation of these lands in mortmain is a serious obstacle to the improvement of the Colony, they thick every proper exertion should be made to place them in the hands of persons who will perform upon them the duties of settlement, and bring them gradually into cultivation.

That their value, whatever it may be, must be applied to the maintenance of a Protestant Clergy, there can be no doubt. And Your Committee regret that there is no prospect, as far as a present and succeeding generation is concerned, of their produce being sufficient for that object, in a country where wholly unimproved land is granted in fee for almost nothing to persons willing to settle on it. It is hardly to be expected that, with the exception of some favoured allotments, responsible tenants will be found who will hold on lease, or that purchases of such land will be found at more than a nominal price.

Your Committee, however, are happy to find that the principle of the progressive sale of these lands has already been sanctioned by an Act of the British Parliament. They cannot avoid recommending in the strongest manner the propriety of securing for the future any provision which may be deemed necessary for the religious wants of the community in those Provinces, by other means than by a reservation of one-seventh of the land, according to the enactment of the Act of 1791. They would also observe that equal objections exist to the reservation of that seventh, which in practice appears to be reserved for the benefit of the Crown; and doubtless the time must arrive when these reserved lands will have acquired a considerable value from the circumstance of their being surrounded by settled districts, but that value will have been acquired at the expense of the real interest of this Province, and will operate to retard that course of general improvement which is the true source of natural wealth. Your Committee are of opinion therefore, that it may be well for the Government to consider whether these lands cannot be permanently alienated, subject to some fixed moderate reserved payment, (either in money or in grain, as may be demanded,) to arise after the first 10 or 15 years of occupation. They are not prepared to do more than offer this suggestion, which appears to them to be worthy of more careful investigation than it is in their power to give to it; but in this or in some such mode they are fully persuaded the lands thus reserved ought without delay to be permanently disposed of.

To a property at once so large and so unproductive, it appears that there are numerous claimants.

The Act of 1791 directs that the profits arising from this source shall be applied to a Protestant Clergy; doubts have arisen whether the Act requires the Government to confine them to the use of the Church of England only, or to allow the Church of Scotland to participate in them. The law officers of the Crown have given an opinion in favour of the rights of the Church of Scotland to such participation, in which Your Committee entirely concur; but the question has also been raised, whether the clergy of every denomi- nation of Christians, except Roman Catholics may not be included; it is not for your Committee to express an opinion on the exact meaning which the words of the Act legally convey. They entertain no doubt, however, that the intention of those persons who brough forward the measure in Parliament was to endow with parsonage houses and glebe lands the clergy of the Church of England, at the discretion of the local Government; but with respect to the distribution of the proceeds of the reserved lands generally, they are of opinion that they sought to reserve to the Government the right to apply the money, if they so thought fit, to any Protestant Clergy.

The Committee see little reason to hope that the annual income to be derived from this source is likely, within any time to wliich they can look forward, to amount to a sufficient sum to provide for the Protestant Clergy of these Provinces ; but they venture to press the early consideration of this subject on His Majesty’s Government, with a View to an adjustment that may be satisfactoy to the Province, of the principle on which the proceeds from these lands are hereafter to be applied; and in deciding on the just and prudent application of these funds, the Government will necessarily be influenced by the state of the population, as to religious opinions, at the period when the decision is to be taken. At present it is certain that the adherents of the Church of England constitute but a small minority in the Province of Upper Canada. On the part of the Scotch Church, claims have been strongly urged on account of its establishment in the empire, and from the numbers of its adherents in the Province. With regard to the other religions sects, the Committee have found much difficulty in ascertaining the exact numerical proportions which they hear one to the other; but the evidence has led them to believe, that neither the adherents of the Church of England nor those of the Church of Scotland form the most numerous religious body within the Province of Upper Canada.

The attention of the Committee having been drawn to the establishment of the University of King’s College, at York, in Upper Canada, they thought it the duty to examine the charter granted to that college; that charter was granted under the great seal, and it is to be observed, that it does not impose on the students an obligation to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles, which was done in the case of the other North American Colleges. Your Committee find it provided, amongst other arrangements, for the conduct and government of this institution, that the Archdeacon of York for the time being shall, by virtue of his office, at all times be President of the said College.

It is further ordained, that there shall be within the said College or Cor- poration a Council, to be called and known by the name of the College Council, which shall consist of the Chancellor, the President, and of seven Professors in Arts and Faculties of the said College; and that such said Professors shall be members of the Established Church of England and Ireland, and shall, previously to their admission, sign and subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles of religion. To this Council the whole government of the College is confided. Of the great advantage which the etsablishment of a college for the purpose of general education in Upper Canada is likely to confer upon the Provinces, Your Committee entertain the strongest con- viction; they lament only that the institution should be so constituted as materially to diminish the extent to which it might be useful.

It cannot, they think, be doubted, as the guidance and government of the College is to be vested in the hands of the members of the Church of Eng- land, that in the election of Professors a preference would inevitably be shown to persons of that persuasion; and in a country where only a small proportion of the inhabitants adhere to that church, a suspicion and jealousy of religious interference would necessarily be created.

For these and other reasons the Committee are desirous of stating their opinion, that great benefit would accrue to the Province by changing the constitution of this body. They think that two Theological Professors should be established, one of the Church of England and another of the Church of Scotland, (whose lectures the respective candidates for holy orders should be required to attend); but that with respect to the President, Professors, and all others connected with the College, no religious test whatever should be required.

That in the selection of Professors, no rule should be followed, and no other object sought than the nomination of the most learned and discreet persons; and that (with the exception of the Theological Professors) they should be required to sign a declaration, that, as far as it was necessary for them to advert in their lectures to religious subjects, they would distinctly recog- nize the truth of the Christian Revelation, but would abstain altogether from inculcating particular doctrines.

Though Your Committee have now disposed of the most important sub- jects of their inquiry, they are aware that on an examination of the Petitions, and of the Evidence, many other matters will appear entitled to consi- deration.

The Committee think it necessary also to observe, that the evidence from Upper Canada has not been equally eample and satisfactory with that which they have had the advamtage of receiving from the Lower Provinces. Your Committee, however, are desirous of directing the attention of Government to the Sedition Act, (should it not be found to have expired,) the repeal of which appears to have been long the object of the efforts of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada.

Your Committee also beg leave to call the particular attention of the Government to the mode in which Juries are composed in the Canadas, with a view to remedy any defects that may be found to exist in the present system.

Your Committee lament that the late period of the Session in which they were appointed has rendered a minute investigation into all parts of the subject submitted to their inquiry impossible. They believe too, that if the Legislative Assemblies, and the Executive Government of Canada, can be put on a right footing, that means they will be found within the Province of remedying all minor grievances. They are disposed nevertheless to recom- mend that the prayer of the Lower Canadians for permission to appoint an agent in the same manner as agents are appointed by other colonies which possess local legislatures, should be granted, and that a similar privilege should be extended to Upper Canada, if that Colony should desire it.

At an early period of their investigation, Your Committee perceived that their attention must be directed to two distinct branches of inquiry:– 1st. To what degree the embarassments and discontents which have long prevailed in the Canadas, had arisen from the defects in the system of laws and the constitutions established in these Colonies.–2d. How far those evils were to be attributed to the manner in which the existing system has been administered.

Your Committee have cleatly expressed their opinion that serious defects were to be found in that system, and have ventured to suggest several alterations that have appeared to them to be necessary or convenient. They also fully admit that from these, as well as from other circumstances, the task of Government in these Colonies, (and especially in the Lower Province,) has not been an easy one; but they feel it their duty to express their opinion that it is to the second of the causes alluded to that these embarassments and discontents are in a great measured to be traced. They are most anxious to record their complete conviction that neither the suggestions they have presumed to make, nor any other improvements in the laws and constitu- tions of the Canadas, will be attended with the desired effect, unless an impartial, conciliatory and constitutional system of Government be observed in these loyal and important Colonies.

Your Committee had closed their Inquiry, and were proceeding to consider their Report, when it became their duty to enter into further evidence upon a Petition referred to them by the House, and signed by the Agents who had brought to this country the Petition of 87,000 Inhabitants of Lower Canada, of which mention has been made in a former part of their Report.

This Petition, and the evidence by which it is supported, contain the most grave allegations against the administration of Lord Dalhousie since the period at which those Gentlemen left the Colony.

Those complaints consist chiefly of the dismissal of many officers of the militia for the constitutional exercise of their civil rights; of the sudden and extensive remodelling of the commission of the peace, to serve (as it is alleged) political purposes; of a vexatious system of prosecutions for libel at the instance of the Attorney-General, and of the harsh and unconstitu- tional spirit in which these prosecutions have been conducted.

Your Committee have hitherto felt that they should best and most usefully discharge their duty by studiously abstaining from commenting upon the official conduct of individuals; but it is impossible for them not to call the serious and immediate attention of His Majesty’s Government to these allegations.

Your Committee also feel bound to urge upon His Majesty’s Govern- ment, in the most especial manner, their opinion, that it is necessary that a strict and instant inquiry should take place into all the circumstances attending these prosecutions, with a view to giving such instructions upon them as shall be consistent with justice and policy.

Your Committee learn, with the greatest concern, that disputes have lately arisen in Upper Canada between the local Government and the House of Assembly, which have led to the abrupt termination of the Session of the Legislature of that Colony.

22 July 1828


Jovis, 8° die Maij 1828. Samuel Gale, Esq. p. 15

Martis, 13° die Maij 1828. Samuel Gale, Esq. 24

Jovis, 15° die Maij 1828. Edward Ellice, Esq. 39

Sabbati, 17° die Maij 1828. Edward Ellice, Esq. 54

Martis, 20° die Maij 1828. John Neilson, Esq. 67

Sabbati, 24° die Maij 1828. John Neilson, Eq. 79

Martis, 3° die Junii 1828. Mr. Simon McGillivray 99

Jovis, 5° die Junii 1828. John Neilson, Esq. 112

Sabbati, 7° die Junii 1828. John Neilson, Esq. 128 Dennis Benjamin Viger, Esq. 137

Martis, 10° die Junii 1828. Dennis Benjamin Viger, Esq. 145

Jovis, 12° die June 1828. Austin Cavillier, Esq. 157

Sabbati, 14° die June 1828. The Rev. Crosbie Morgell 172 Lord Viscount Sandon 180 Austin Cavillier, Esq. ibid.

Martis, 17° die Junii 1828. The Rev. Anthony Hamilton p. 185 Mr. James Charles Grant 189

Jovis, 19° die Junii 1828. Mr. James Charles Grant 203 The Rev. John Lee, D.D. 206 Mr. Robert Gillespie 210 Mr. George Ryerson 215

Sabbati, 21° die Junii 1828. James Stephen, jun. Esq. 223 Mr. William Parker 231

Martis, 24° die Junii 1828. James Stephen, jun. Esq. 235

Jovis, 26° die Junii, 1828. Mr. William Hamilton Merritt 251 Samuel Gale, Esq. 259 Mr. James Charles Grant 269

Sabbati, 28° die Junii 1828. John Neilson, Esq. 275 The Rev. Harry Leith 284 The Rev. John Lee, D.D. 288

Martis, 1° die Julii 1828. The Rev. Robert Alder 291 The Right Hon. R.J.W. Horton 295

Martis, 15 die Julii 1828. John Neilson, Esq. 313


Jovis, 8° die Maij, 1828.


Samuel Gale, Esq. called in; and Examined.

WHAT acquaintance have you with Canada?–I have resided there almost from infancy?

Are you a native of England ?—I am not; I am a native of St. Augustine in East Florida.

Have you hold any public situations in Canada?–I have.

Be so good as to state what they are?—Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for the city and district of Montreal.

Describe the nature of that situation; by whom were you appointed?—The Governor—in—chief.

Is any salary annexed to it ?——There is.

Have you ever held any other public situation in that country ?——I think not. I was once indeed, by some communications not under seal, requested to act as a Commissioner relating to the boundary lines between Upper and Lower Canada; there had been some difference with respect to those boundary lines, and I was written to to act as Commissioner.

Are you a proprietor in Canada?–I am; I have lands both in the seigneuries and in the townships.

Then you are acquainted with the division of Canada, with a view to the repro- sentation in the Lower House of Assembly ?– I am.

Can you state what is the proportion of persons having a right to vote residing in the seigneuries, as compared with those who reside in the townships?– It would be impossible for me to answer that question. I can only state, that the condition which entities persons to vote by the statute is being possessed, for their own use and benefit, of a dwelling-house and lot of ground in the town or township, of the yearly value of 5l sterling; or being possessed of lands in free- hold, or in fief, or in roture, of the yearly value of 40s. sterling, or upwards. How many individuals there may be of that description in the province I can hardly take upon me to say.

What is the greatest mnnber you have ever known polled at any election that has come under your observation?–That again is a matter to which I have very little attended, and could scarcely take upon me to answer; I believe there is a great difference in the number of electors in different places; in some places, more than 3,000 votes have been given; in other places, such as Sorrell and Three River’s, only a few hundreds.

Is not the town at which the election is held in the counties generally within the seigneuries ?—I do not know any instance where it is not in the seigneuries.

And near of course to the River St. Lawrence?—Generally near the River St. Lawrence; there are some of the places in the seigneuries that are more or less distant from the St. Lawrence.

Do the voters residing in the townships generally attend the elections?–They do not generally attend at the elections.

What prevents their attendance ?— The distance at which they are from the places of election; the difficulty of communication from the bad state of the roads, which would require most of the inhabitants of the townships voting at the elections to take a journey of three days, going and returning; and very few indeed would feel inclined to take such a journey, when they would of course find such numbers of other voters present as would render whatever vote they might have to give perfectly unavailing.

What other voters?–Voters in the seigneuries; there are a variety of reasons why they would not travel from their residences in the townships to vote at the places of election; the expense is a very obvious one, the difficulty of communi- cation is another, and the inutility of the vote when given would be a third reason.

You have stated as one reason the bad state of the roads; is there any par- ticular reason why roads are not made from the townships in the seigneuries to the towns where the elections are held?–The chief cause why the roads are not better is, I believe, the inadequacy of the laws regarding communications; the laws were made so as to adapt themselves, I believe, to the making of roads in the seigneuries, where the lands are conceded in a particular mode; those laws, although they might perhaps answer with respect to the seigneuries (that is, answer better at any rate than they would with regard to the townships,) are quite insufficient with respect to the townships; they oblige every individual in the seigneuries to make a road along the front of his land. The land is gene- rally divided into lots of three acres in front; the original object was, that each individual proprietor might have a front upon the river. The lots run back generally to the distance of about 30 acres or a mile, so that each individual proprietor of a lot in the seigneuries may have his road to make along a front of three acres, but in the townships the lots are laid out very differently, and there are reserves between the different lots; so that it must be perfectly evident, that laws obliging a person to make roads upon the front of their lands, could never answer to establish communications between one part of the country and another in the townships.

Have any attempts been made by the Legislature to improve the system of making roads in the townships?–There were nearly, I believe, 25 years passed without more than perhaps 1,000 l. being given towards making roads; from the first period when the Constitution was established in 1791 to 1815, I believe that there was not more than 1,000 l. laid out upon roads generally to make com- munications. In 1815 and in 1817, I believe, considerable sums of money were voted for the improvement of internal communications; since that period, for the last ten years, I think, there have not been more than about 3,000 l. devoted to that purpose, or authorized to be so employed.

You say that the laws might do pretty well for the seigneuries; are good roads made under those laws in the seigneuries?–An Englishman certainly would consider them very bad.

Are they practicable roads?–They are practicable roads.

Is not there a system of road-making in the seigneuries, conducted under the system of law that prevails there by an officer appointed, called the grand voyer for the administration of the roads in the seigneuries?–The person who lays out the roads is the grand voyer; there is a grand voyer in each district.

Can any road be made without his authority?–Not legally established in the country.

Does his authority extend to the townships?–It does.

How is he appointed?–Those officers are appointed by the Governor.

Has he the power of preserving the road when it is made?–There are persons, sous-voyers and others, appointed to superintend; the grand voyer makes his proces verbal to establish the roads; this proces verbal is laid before the court of quarter sessions, and there it is either confirmed or rejected. However, it is generally confirmed, inasmuch as the court considers itself only entitled to reject when the forms of the law are not complied with; they consider that the grand voyer is almost exclusively vested with the right of determining as to the expe- deicny or inexpediency of the road.

When he has determined upon the expediency of forming a new road, in what manner are the funds obtained, first in the seigneuries, and secondly out of the seigneuries, in the townships?–The grand voyer orders each individual pro- prietor to contribute so many days work, or such a proportion of labour; (or to make bridges, when it shall be required to make bridges). The individuals are pointed out in the proces verbal who are to be held liable to make and keep in repair the roads and bridges.

Are any funds assigned for the purpose?– No funds are assigned; it is done by the proprietors, who work in the proportions that he orders.

Both in the seigneuries and in the townships?–Both in the seigneuries and in the townships the work is done in the proportions ordered by the grand voyer.

Is that proportion according to the extent of the individual property through which the road is to go?–The grand voyer, doubtless, in the performance of his duty, endeavours to make each contribute to the road in proportion as he shall benefit from it.

Do you mean to say that the authority of the grand voyer is absolute over the proportion that each person is to contribute to the expense of the road?–It may be considered that much is left to his discretion.

Does he act under any law?–He acts under a law, but the law does not always point out what labour he shall oblige each individual to perform, further than that it shall be done as equitably as possible, in reference to the degree of benefit that the person shall receive from the road and his extent of ground.

Does this system of grand voyers give satisfaction in the province?–I be- lieve that the system is satisfactory enough in the seigneuries, but it is not satis- factory, if I may judge from what I have heard, through the townships.

You say considerable sums of money were voted in 1816 and 1817; do you know the amount of those sums?–I believe, by reference to a paper, I shall be able to state that. It was between 8,000 l. and 9,000 l. in 1815, and about 55,000 l. in 1817.

It is a system that occasions complaints on the part of the townships?–It does, undoubtedly.

To what purposes were the sums that were voted in certain years appopriated, and what rendered them necessary, inasmuch as it appears that the people them- selves have to make the roads?–Their labour in various parts of the country would not have been sufficient, owing to the distance of the settlements, the length of the roads, and other causes. The assistance that the Legislature gave might, in a trifling degree, be intended to supply the deficiency. But the money I believe was chiefly expended upon the roads in the seigneuries. It was injudiciously appro- priated for local, rather than for general purposes, for towns and old settled places rather than for new settlements.

Why is this system satisfactory in the seigneuries, and not in the townships?– The power of the grand voyer, and the mode of obliging the proprietors to labour, was one that was better adapted to the seigneuries, owing to the mode of conceding the lands in the seigneuries, than it was in the townships, owing to the manner in which the township lands were laid out.

You mean that the proportion of labour pressed more heavily upon the town- ships, from their being of greater extent and width?–The proportion of labour undoubtedly did press heavier in that way, but it pressed heavier for other reasons; the roads, instead of going along the line of ranges in the townships, were obliged to traverse the lots very frequently diagonally and to cross reserves. There is this that may be said, however, the seigneuries are more commonly level; the roads therefore may be made in a given direction with more facility; and they follow the concession lines, which are straight lines generally, without much inconvenience. The face of the country in the townships is quite different; there it is diversified by lakes and mountains and falls, and it is not possible for a road to be made along the line of ranges. As far as my observation has extended, I do not know any township in which it would be practicable; therefore that system which would answer in a level country, where a road may be made without deviation, will not answer in a country which does not admit of roads being so made, and where the roads are to traverse either lengthways or diagonally the lots.

In point of fact, is the want of roads in the townships, and the wish to obtain a different mode of laying out roads and forming other communications, one of the grievances of the townships which have been brought before the Legislature, and not attend to?–I believe that it is one of those grievances. I have not attended the Assembly myself, and can therefore only speak from information; but I understand it to be the case.

Have petitions ever been forwarded to Parliament upon the subject?–I believe so; I have been so informed.

By your answers it would seem that the roads in general run parallel with the river; is that so?–The roads along the river generally follow the course of the river, and the roads along the subsequent concessions generally run in a straight line.

In a line at right angles with the river?–Not at right angles with the river always.

Do you recollect any instance of an appeal from the decision of a grand voyer; how does he proceed?–As I said before, the grand voyer makes his order with respect to every new road; this order, which is called a proces verbal is presented to the court of Quarter Sessions to be confirmed, it is very often opposed in the court of Quarter Sessions, but it is almost universally confirmed there, notwithstanding any opposition made to it, unless there has been some defect of form. The law requires certain formalities to be observed, such as that upon a petitition presented to him the grand voyer shall cause a notice to be given at the church door, after divine service, that he will come to the place, and requiring all persons interested in the road to give him their advice or opinion with respect to the making the road; if there should be any want of attention to these formalities, and some others required by law, then the court would reject the proces verbal, which would oblige the grand voyer to do it over again with those formalities; but if the objection raised by the part opposing should be as to the expediency and justice of the roads, and the apportionment, the court would rarely venture to dismiss on those accounts, because the grand voyer is considered the judge of those matters. Appeals have sometimes been made from the court of Quarter Sessions to the court of King’s Bench, and the court of King’s Bench have held the same doctrines as to the authority vested in the grand voyer.

Then the inhabitants of the townships consider themselves in no other way aggrieved by the present state of the law, with regard to roads in Lower Canada, than what necessarily arises from the inconvenient manner in which the English townships are laid out?–I cannot say that those are the only complaints I have heard.

In what manner do the inhabitants of the English townships consider that they have been unfairly used by the Legislature with regard to the roads in Lower Canada?– The consider that the Legislature ought to have made provisions better adapted to the situation of the townships than the law which already exists. They also consider that it would have been perfectly fair for the Legislature to have caused money to be laid out in making those communications, and after they were made, in causing, while it should be necessary, some outlay to keep them up, till the in- habitants were enabled to do it.

Are the Committee to understand from what you have stated that it is more difficult to keep up good roads and good communications in the way in which the townships are laid out, than it is in the way in which the seigneuries are laid out?–It is far more difficult to get the roads originally made, as well as to keep them up.

You said that the Legislature, till 1817, had liberally provided for the roads of the province, and that since that they have been inadequately provided for? –What I said was, that there had been no provision that I recollected, except about 1,000l., during the space of 25 years, from 1791 to 1815; then in 1815 and 1817 there were considerable sums, by an act of the Legislature, ordered to be employed in the improvement of internal communications; and since that period, I believe, there have been only about 3,000l. devoted to that purpose.

To what do you attribute the Legislature giving less since 1817 than it did before?–I do not recollect the causes that I have heard assigned for it at present.

Since the year 1817, have any Appropriation bills for roads been passed by either branch of the Legislature, which have not received the sanction of the other?–I cannot state whether there was or was not.

Did you consider the want of communication in the townships as one of the grievances you were to represent?–I did, certainly.

To what did you attribute that want of communication, and what were the suggestions you had to offer for the remedy of it?–Undoubtedly, one of the reasons to which the difficulties of communication, as well as many other diffi- culties under which the townships labour, I have generally heard ascribed to an indisposition on the part of the Provincial House of Assembly, to give encou- ragement to such settlements: that I have very often heard assigned as one of the reasons; it is by many believed to be a reason.

Have there been any proposals made in the Legislature to appropriate funds for the improvement of the internal communication in the townships since the year 1817?–I here have; and I think that there may have been sums to the amount of about 3,000l. appropriated for roads, of which a part was directed to be employed in the townships.

Has the Governor, since the year 1817, ever called the attention of the Legis- lature to the necessity of improving the internal communications?–Yes, in his speeches or messages, I believe, frequently.

What notice has been taken of that recommendation ?——As I said before, not being; a member of the Legislature, I cannot take upon me to state; it is con- sidered that the proceedings that ought to have been adopted in those particulars were neglected.

Will you state what proceedings you think ought to have been adopted? — I consider that the law ought to have been altered, as to adapt it to the situa- tion of the townships.

What law ?——The law that now exists in the province regarding roads, namely, the Act of the 36th of Georgge the 3d.

Is that impression in the townships general among the English settlers, that if some principal lines of communication were made there would be great increased facility to the formation of settlements in those townships?–There cannot be any doubt of it.

Is it the impression that it is in order to prevent such settlements that difficulties are thrown in the Way of forming such roads? ——It is believed so by a great many.

You have stated other grievances which you were desirous to represent, bearing hard upon the British settlers in the townships; what are those grievances?– I might perhaps offer, as a more succinct mode of pointing them out, a petition that was drawn up and signed by upwards of 10,000 persons at the time that they prayed, in order to obtain relief from these difficulties for the union. The petition that was drawn up by them contained what were considered generally amongst them as their grievances; it would be shorter, therefore, to read them from this petition than to state them in any other manner.

What is the date of that petition?–It was transmitted from the townships in 1823.

Do you conceive that that is a fair statement of what is generally complained of?–I do believe it to be a fair statement; it is entitled the petition from the inhabitants of British birth and descent in Durham, Stanbridge, and so on, enu- merating a great number of them in Lower Canada.

[The witness delivered in a copy of the petition, which was read.]

With respect to what is there mentioned, I have only to state that I do not know any alteration in the condition of the townships, except only that there has been for a certain portion of their number a court established, which decides causes of a very limited amount; that however affects only a portion of the town- ships compised in what is called the inferior district of St. Francis.

By whom has that court been established?–It was established by the Legisla- ture. I believe that his Excellency recommended the establishment of a court there, and the Legislature established it; it is under a temporary Act, however, which expires next year.

Under the Act of 1791, permission was given to any person who desired it, to have his property granted to him in free and common soccage out of the seigneuries?–Yes.

Is it under that Act that the townships have arisen?–I consider that without that Act it would have been equally competent to the Government to have established the townships.

Is not all the land in the townships held in free and common soccage?–It is; but I conceieve that that was a tenure that was established from the very commence- ment of Canada becoming an English colony. In the year 1763, His Majesty’s proclamation promised to all his subjects, both in England and in the Colonies, the benefit of the laws of England, if they would go to Canada.

At what time was land first granted in free and common soccage in Canada?– I believe it was so granted in few years after the conquest. Is all the land in the townships held in free and common soccage?–All.

Will you describe the position of the land ?–The seigneuries constitute a narrow tract of land on both sides of the river St. Lawrence, of varying breadth from ten to forty miles. In the rear of those seigneuries, in the province of Lower Canada, the townships have been granted since 1791.

Have the goodness to state, supposing the course of the river to be east and west, how far to the eastward or towards the mouth of the river the seigneuries extend?–They extend in a connected line to the Mal Bay River on the north side, and to De Peiras or Metis on the other side of the river. There are some detached seigneuries even beyond these on each side of the river.

And westward they extend to Upper Canada?–They do.

Are they continuous along the whole of that line?–They are continued from Metis on the one side, and from Mal Bay on the other side of the river St. Lawrence up to a little above Montreal.

Without any interval?–Without any interval along the banks of the river.

To the west of Quebec, and in depth from the river to the American frontier, do the seigneuries extend the whole distance?–They do not.

Is the land immediately upon the American frontier in the seigneurie or in town- ship?–Generally in township, not universally.

Is there a line of seigneuries extending along the bank of the river Richelieu? –Yes.

Does that extend along the river Richelieu to the American frontier?–It does. Does that cut off and separate the townships at the back of the seigneuries in the Lower Province from the Upper Province? Those seigneuries doe intervene between the townships and the Upper Province.

And they form a continued line up to the American frontier?–They do on the river Richelieu.

Will you direct your attention to that portion of territory which is on the west of the river Richelieu, and between the St. Lawrence and Upper Canada. Are there any townships in that district, or is it all occupied by seigneuries?–There are some townships.

Can you state at all what the breadth of the tract of seigneurie on both sides of the river Richelieu, near the boundary of the province that divides the great tract of townships, on the south of the St. Lawrence and east of the Richelieu, from the townships south of the St. Lawrence and west of the Richelieu ?—The breadth on both sides may be about six or eight leagues.

The portion of land that is west immediately of the river Richelieu is called the county of Huntingdon, is not it ?——There are three counties between the Richelieu and the St Lawrencece, Huntingdon Kent and Surrey.

Do the townships in the county of Huntingdon join immediately upon the townships in Upper Canada, or do the seigneuries intervene there?—They would join immediately, but that the river St. Lawrence separates them.

But there is no seigneurie between ?- None.

Is the whole southern bank of the river St. Lawrence, between the mouth of the river Richelieu and the point where Lower Canada meets the United States, in seigneuries ?-It is not, the whole of it; there is the exception of the township of Godmanchester, on the Lake St. Francis.

The seigneuries then reach to the township of Godmanchester?–They do.

Can you state the probable number of inhabitants that at present occupy that district of township which is situated to the east of the river Richelieu? —They estimate themselves at 40,000.

Is the district of country that is occupied by townships all allotted, or is there any part ofit still in the hands of Government?– I believe there are ungranted lands on that side of considerable extent.

Does the space of the townships greatly exceed the space of ground occupied as seigneuries?—Yes.

Is the soil of the townships very inferior in quality to that of the seigneuries?— I have seen many parts of it in which it was as good as any soil could possibly be. In general the face of the country is much more diversified: the seigneuries generally are a flat country; the townships have hills and lakes much more frequently than the seigneuries.

Is there any thing like a capital or principal town in this dlistrict of townships?– There is not.

Is there any considerable village in it ?—There are several villages; I do not know that any of them would deserve the name of considerable; there is one however, that is, I believe, as large as other villages in Canada; that is Stanstead.

Is there any considerable market town?–No.

Are there any seigneuries lying detached among the townships?–None.

Will you describe the state of the eastern boundary of the townships; how far do they extend to the east with reference to the River St. John?–They extend to the State of Maine; and where that commcnes is a controverted point.

What is the district of Gaspé, is that in township or seigneurie?–There are several townships, and some seigneuries there.

When the Lower Province was divided into counties, upon what principle was the division made?–It is natural to suppose that the division was made with a view to the then population.

Is the result of that division, that some of the counties consisting exclusively of seigneuries, are of very small dimensions, and that other counties consisting princiaplly of townships are of very great extent?–Yes.

Name some of the counties of small extent consist of seigneuries?–There are the county of Surrey and the county of Kent; the county of Buckingham, I suppose, is equal in extent to a dozen of both those counties.

Does the county of Buckingham return two members?–It returns only two members. There are some seigneuries in the county of Buckingham, but its prin- cipal extent consists of township lands. There is the county of Northumber- land, which extends from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson’s Bay territories, and is equal in extent to a kingdom.

Is not that an extent of wilderness?–It is at present chiefly so. Not laid out in townships?–No. Does the county of Kent, or the county of Surrey, though small in point of extent, possess a larger population at this moment thant the county of Buck- ingham?–I take it that the county of Buckingham possesses a far larger population than either of those.

There was a census of the population taken in 1825. In what manner was it taken; in counties or districts?–It was the population of the counties, I believe.

Have you that document by you?–I have not.

Have you it in England?–I think I can get it.

If in the townships any individual has a suit at law, or any business at the county town, what facility has he of communicating it: are there direct roads to the county town?–We have no county courts there; the courts are all district courts.

Where are the district courts held?–At Montreal and Three Rivers, and Quebec.

Is there no court at all held in the counties?–We have no courts held in the counties; we had the country divided into counties for the purpose of sending representatives; it is the old division that was made in 1791.

Where is the place of election in each county?–It is a place appointed by the Legislature; I do not recollect the names of each.

Each county has a place of election within itself?–It has a place or places.

And they are all within the seigneuries?–They are, except perhaps at Gaspé.

Have any petitions been presented from the inhabitants of the townships to the Legislature to introduce in the townships British courts and British jurisdiction? –I believe there have many for the establishment of courts.

What reception have they met with?–I understand that they have been treated with negelct; that they have never been attended to at all except as to the tem- porary Act for St. Francis.

Does it consist with your knowledge that applications have been made for the registration of freeholders and deeds?–Residing always at Montreal, and the Legislature being held at Quebec, it is difficult to say that it consists with my personal knowledge; but I understand and believe that that is the case, that applications have been made repeatedly to the Colonial Legislature for register offices.

Is there much inconvenience experienced from the want of registers in the town- ships?–Very great indeed; it is considered as essential to the security of pro- pert, where a long chain of titles cannot be given (as is the case in a new country), that a person shall be able to ascertain whether he who was formerly proprietor of the land has disposed of it anteriorly or not, and whether he can give a good title.

Are there any civil courts in the townships other than those which are in the seigneuries formed under the French system?–None, , except in the inferior dis- trict of St. Francis, which is a district comprising a certain number of townships, and establishing recently, since the signing of the petition that I produced.

Supposing an inhabitant of a township to sue another inhabitant upon a ques- tion of civil property, must he bring his action in the French courts?–He must bring his action in the French courts of law.

And sue and be sued in the French language?–The English language is gene- really made use of by the advocates or lawyers who are English; there is no law to prevent their setting forther their claim in English, and that I consider the legal language of the writs; but the law that is to determine the claim is French, generally speaking.

How does the French law apply to the land held in free and common soccage? –At present it does not apply to the land held in free and common soccage at all, that land is exempt from the operation of French law.

Then by what law is it administered?–It could only be administered in confor- mity to the Imperial statutes under the English law.

By what courts?–It must be administered by the courts that now exist, or not be administered at all; it must be administered by the courts of Montreal, Quebec, and Three Rivers.

Are not the judges mostly English?–They are; there are however three Canadian judges.

Are the chief justices both or either of them Englishmen?–I believe that the chief justice of the province is from Massachussetts, and I believe the chief justice of Montreal is a Scotchman.

What law does he administer?–French, when that law has not been altered by British or Provincial enactment.

What is the law that applies to dower, to wills, and to all the transactions and relations that grow out of the transfer of property and its descent?–The French law exists in Lower Canada, except where the English law has been introduced in its stead; the English criminal law exists in Lower Canada and the French civil law; there have been some modifications of the French civil law under provincial statutes and ordinances.

In all questions relating to land held in free and common soccage, must not those questions be decided in the English courts where the English law is administered? –We have none as contradistinguished from the courts where the French law is administered.

According to the nature of the suit is not the decision given according either to the French or to the English law?–precisely; they are the same courts of King’s Bench and the same judges. In the criminal courts the decision is given according to the English law; in the civil courts it is given according to the French law, except in so far as particular statutes have introduced the English law or altered the French law.

Are they the same individual judges that administer the French law with respect to those lands held according to the custom of Paris, and those lands held in free and common soccage?–Precisely the same.

Are those gentlemen all English lawyers?–No.

Are they French lawyers?–Those judges are French lawyers. There are some French Canadians, but the majority of them are Englishmen; the law they chiefly administer, however, is the French law, that being the law of the country.

Is not the French law, the law of the country, applicable to all the lands and to all the occupiers of those lands in the English townships, although the system of seigneuries does not prevail as to the tenure of the lands; and what are marriage rights?–The British statute, called the Tenures Act, must have put that question at rest; and it is expressly declared in that statute, that the French law cannot apply to lands granted in free and common soccage. Marriage establishes, unless there be some stipulation to the contrary by previous marriage contract, two rights, amongst others, one of which is called dower, and the other communauté. The dower differs in some measure from the English law of dower, as well as far as regards the quantum of land, as also as far as regards the further disposition of the property; it consists of half the real property belonging to the husband, either of his own acquisition or otherwise, at the time he married, and also of half the real property that may come to him by inheritance during the time of the marriage. The dower belongs inalienably to the children of the marriage; the widow is only entitled to the fruits and the revenues, of it during her life; and if there be no marriage contracts all property is subject to dower or communauté.

Do you mean all property, both of Canadians and of settlers, in the townships? –No, I do not mean that all the settlers in the townships are liable to both those rights; but a portion of their property is liable to one of those rights, the right of communauté; at least it is so held by some; and these are points which it would be very desirable to have settled.

Does your observaion extend to both real and personal property?——A dower of real property only; it comniunauté consists of personal as well as real property.

Does it apply equally, as the case may be, under the like circumstances, to the English settler in the township, as it does to the Canadian in the seigneuries?– I think that the Canada Tenure Act has confirmed the exclusion of the French dower from the townships, inasmuch as the dower consists of real property; but with regard to the communauté, it is held by some that that exists in the townships, except where real property is concerned, The communauté is composed partly of personal and partly of real property; it is composed of all the personal property and the real property that is not liable to dower. The wife is entitled to one half the communauté, that is, one half of the entire personal property of the husband, and one half the real property which he has acquired during his marriage.

Does this go to the heirs of the wife ?—Ilf the wife dies before the husband, the children will be entitled to her share of the communauté that is, to one half of it instantly upon her death, even although the husband acquired the whole of this commuuauté; and the consequence is, very frequently, lawsuits between parents and children; I have known very often children bringing suits against their parents.

Suppose the children die before the wife; upon the death of the wife does the property go to the heirs of the children or of the wife?–If there were grand-chil- dren living it would go to them; but supposing the wife were to die without having had children, it would go to her heirs, although they were strangers to the husband, so that, supposing the wife dies, if there hus been no previous marriage contract, her relations can claim from the husband one half of the fruits of his labour, although the wife might never have brought him any thing.

Would a previous marriage contract pleaded in the French courts bar the right of communauté?–Undoubtedly the right of communauté would be destroyed if there were a previous marriage setting it aside; but in order to make a previous marriage contract, it is necessary to have some idea of the law, and most Englishmen who come to that country know very little about that.

Even in the case where a marriage contract did not subsit, could the husband have a power to alter that disposition by will, or does the power only apply to cases where the party has died intesttate, and there has been no marriage contract?–I do not conceive that the husband would have a right to dispose of the communauté by will; he can spend it, or he can dispose of it while he lives, but not by will, as I coneive.

You have stated that it is undecided in the country whether this communauté does apply always to English settlers in the townships; has the question ever been brought before the courts?–I have no knowledge myself of its having been brought forward contradictorily. I do not know that any instance exists of its having been decided where the opposition was made upon the ground that the law did not apply. The courts, of course, if the objection be not taken, would make it apply; but I do knot know that it has been objected to, and decided formally upon objection.

What is the appeal from the courts of Canada upon the French law?–The appeal is first to the Courts of Appeals at Quebec and next to the King in Council here.

Have there been appeals to the King in Council upon the construction of the French law in the seigneuries?–In some cases.

Martis, 13 die Maij, 1828.

Samuel Gale, Esq. again called in; and Examined.

WHEN you were last before the Committee you placed before them a Petition, numerously signed by the Inhabitants of the townships in Lower Canada; it is stated in that petition, that “the townships are peopled by persons who inhabit lands granted under the British tenure of free and common soccage, who have a Protestant Clergy, for whose maintenance a portion of those lands are set apart, and who, notwithstancling, are subject to French laws, of which they know nothing.” According to the statute law which is in force in Canada, are not the persons who live in he townships subject to the English civil law, as well as the English crirninal law?–I have heard some legal characters state that they con- sider the townships entitled to the English civil law in toto; I have heard others. deny the position. The following are some of the alterations of the law in the colony; in the first instance, by his Majesty’s proclamation, in the year 1763, it was declared that all his subjects resorting to Canada should be entitled to the benefit of the laws of his Realm of England; the statute of 1774 bestowed the French laws upon the seigneuries, but excepted from the operation of those laws the rest of the province granted or to be granted in soccage, the tenure of the townships. The English laws were acted upon, as it has been stated, from 1763 to 1774; those who maintain that the English laws are now fully in force in the townships, found themselves upon the proclamation, the practice for eleven years after, and the exception in the statute of 1774.

What does the statute of 1774 provide in that respect?—After having introduced into the seigneuries the body of French law, which was assumed by the statute to be the establishment of a law not then existing in Canada, it declares that nothing in that Act shall extend or be construed to extend to lands granted or to be granted under the English tenure, that is, in free and common soccage.

Is not that held distinctly to limit the operation of the French law to the seigneuries and the inhabitants thereof—lt is, by some legal characters.

Upon what grounds is it held by other persons that the French law has any effect upon the townships?– There are some who deny that the English laws, except the criminal, were ever legally introduced into Lower Canatla, either antecedently to the statute of 1774, or by the provisions of that statute.

Do they deny that the statute of 1774 has any effect or power within the Canadas?–Their conclusion amounts to that, as far as regards the exceptions of that statute respecting the English civil law for the townships. They deny that the English laws in civil matters, as before mentioned, were legally introduced into Canada, and therefore they hold that the Act of 1774, in so far as it purports to introduce the French laws into the seigneuries, was a mere work of supereroga- tion, since legally, according to them, the French laws were in force in the seign- euries before and until the Act of 1774; and as a consequence, they maintain that the exception in that Act, declaring that nothing contained therein shall extend or be construed to extend to lands in free and common soccage can pro- duce no effect, inasmuch as the French laws were then in force, instead of owing their existence to that Act. Had the Act established the English laws by words of positive enactment, instead of endeavouring to do so by words of exception, they admit that the English laws would be in force in the townships. It was from such legal subtleties that the townships were in danger of being deprived of the advantage of laws which the Act intended to give them.

Is this denial a mere matter of common conversation, or do the Chambers, or the Legislative Assembly, no so far as to recognise this denial in their practice?– In some ofthe Acts passed in the Assembly, they appear to consider the French laws to be in force in the townships.

Do you mean Acts or Bills?–I mean Acts. There was an Act in 1823, which established a court with a small jurisdiction in a certain part of the townships, a jurisdiction to the amount of 20l., and in that Act there are expressions used whereby it would be concluded that the French laws were assumed to operate in the townships.

Where is that court held?–That court, I believe, is held in Sherbrooke. Can you state any other Act from which it may be inferred that it is held by the members of the Assembly that‘ the French law is in force in the townships, notwithstanding the Act of 1774?– I do not recollect at this moment any Act that has been passed, but I think there may be, and I believe that various bills which have passed the Assembly would show that such was their interpretation.

Can you refer to any thing else besides those Acts, from which it may be inferred that it is the opinion of the leading persons arnongst the Canadians, that the provisions of the Act of 1774 are not of authority, and ought not to prevail in Lower Canada ?— I do not at the mornent recollect any thing further than the mere general opinions expressed in conversation by those gentlemen; they would hardly find fault with the provisions of that Act. where they confirmed or re- established French institutions; it is only where exceptions are made in favour of English civil institutions that the effect of the Act would be denied.

Can you mention any Act of this nature, and leading to this iriference, which has been passed in Canada since the passing of the Tenures Actt?——No, I do not recollect ny passed since.

By the passing of the Tenures Act then, that question, so far as the Legislature of Canada is concerned, appears to have been set at rest ?——No, that question has been set at rest only as far as regards real property by the Tenures Act.

In what year was the Tenures Act?-1826.

Are you aware whether there has been any decision in courts of justice upon the point whether the English law does or does not prevail in the townships?– I do not know that that point has been rnade a subject of litigious controversy; there may have been suits determined upon that principle; but if the question was not raised, no conclusion as to the settlement of the principle could be drawn from such determinations.

You are a lawyer?– I am.

In the interval between the Proclamation and the Act of 1774, was not Mr. Hay chief justice of the province of Quebec?–I believe he was.

Can you state what the form of his commission was, with regard to adminis- tering the law according to the practice of the courts of England?—I do not recollect what his commission was, but I take for granted that it must have been in conformity to the proclamation, in which case it must have been to administer the laws as nearly as might be agreeably to the laws of England. Can you state whether any cases with regard to property of any kind were so decided, either in the seigneuries or in the townships, under that proclamation? I have not seen any of the decisions of Mr. Hay which I at present recollect; reports were not published in Canada.

What do you know of any petitions which have been presented to the Assembly, praying that British courts of justice and British laws might be introduced into the townships?–There have been several petitions presented; some sent to England, praying for English courts and English laws; and others to the Assemvlt, praying for courts, register offices, and for a representation.

Has any thing been done in consequence of those petitions praying for courts? I do not know any thing further than that at a very recent period, in 1823, a court was established, with at small jurisdiction of 20l. in personal cases, over a small portion of the townships.

What portion of the townships have access to this court?–I believe it is chiefly that portion of the townships situtate within that part of the county of Buckingham which is in the district of the Three Rivers.

Is that court distinctly limited to that district?–It is; and the jurisdiction does not extend beyond 20l., nor beyond 10l. without appeal; so that it is a trifling jurisdiction.

Who is appointed judge of it?–Mr. Fletcher.

Is he an English laywer?–He is.

A native of Britain?–A native of Britain, as I understand; and I believe he was a practitioner at the bar in London.

Are the English laws administered in that court?– Ihave not been there, and as there are no reports of adjudged cases, I do not know ; but I presume that his decisions in these personal cases are all under the French law, excepting in so far as it may have been modified by provincial statutes.

Did not the House of Assembly pass a bill, introducing the trial by jury in civil cases?—After several judicature bills had been previously passed by the Legis- lative Council, the Assembly passed a judicature bill, wherein trials by jury, of a new description, were indeed introduced, but wherein also trials by jury of a previous description were abolished;– a bill which, in my opinion, when I formerly looked into its enactments, might have been rightly considered as one that it would be impossible to sanction and proceed upon without injury to the country.

What was the nature of the injury apprehended?–It was not considered to be fit for the state of the province.

Do you know on what particular grounds that opinion was entertained?–I do not recollect exactly now; it is long since I have looked at it. The bill appeared to provide a cumbrous and difficult system. In some civil cases it established juries, indeed, whose members might be less qualified for their office, but in whom unanimity was required, instead of juries as now established, who might be better qualified, and of whom nine might return a verdict. Its operation would have excluded divers townships whose inhabitants belonged to the jurisdiction, and might have been parties to the suit, from furnishing jurors. It left untouched the main evil of the present system, in not forming a sufficient tribunal to give certainty and uniformity to the jurisprudence of the country, which, as it has not, as to French laws, the perpetual corrective of a body of living expounders in the parent state, must require more especially an able and permanent appellate tribunal in the country.

Have you the bill?–The bill is in my possession.

Then that was an approximation to the English law which passed in the House of Assembly, and was rejected by the Governor and the Legislative Council?– I do not know whether it ever went before the Governor; but I believe it was not rejected upon the ground of its approximation to the English law.

Did the Legislative Council ever introduce or originate a bill purporting to be an amendment of this bill?–They passed, during several sessions, a bill for the establishment of a different judicature, since it is admitted, on all hands, that the judicature at present existing in Lower Canada is in a very defective state. The first bills that were passed for the amendment of the judicature were passed during several successive years in the Legislative Council, as I understand.

Had the judicature bill brought in the Assembly reference to the whole province, with one uniform operation, or had it reference to a distinct operation in the townships?–It had, I believe, reference to one uniform operation in the townships and in the seigneuries.

Can you furnish the Committee with copies of the bills to which you have alluded?–I will produce copies of some of them.

Are the contracts and legal instruments which are executed by the inhabitants of the townships, although living under the English law, and holding land in free and common soccage, in English forms or in French forms?–I do not reside there, and I cannot state the practice there now.

What is the mode of conveyance?–The mode of conveyance I know frequently has been according to the French form. But I always considered that illegal, even before the Canada Tenure Act was passed in England, and therefore when- ever I had any thing to do with conveyances I always used to have them executed in the English form.

What form?–Generally lease and release.

How could they apply to the Canadian form of conveyance to the tenure in free and common soccage?–They used to go to a notary just as the would do with respect to lands in the seigneuries, and get the notary to pass what is called an Act, and the notary would thereafter have to make a copy under his signature, which, if it had concerned lands in the seigneuries, would have been a sufficient deed, but I do not consider that it would have been a sufficient deed under the English laws.

Is there not one of the forms of tenure under the French laws, which is almost the same thing as free and common soccage in effect?-I conceive not; there is one that is called franc aleu, but that is of two kinds; franc aleu noble and franc aleu roturier; the franc aleu noble is a kind of seigneuriy, with many conditions and rights generally attached to the seigneuries, and at the same time it would be, as well as the franc aleu roturier, under all the liabilities to the French law in other particulars, such as dower and communauté, and notarial mortgages, which the lands in the seigneuries are subject to.

Do you consider that they do not resemble free and common soccage?–No; they are subject to a variety of liabilities, being French tenures, to which such English tenure is not subject.

If an Englishman die in Quebec intestate, possessed only of personal property, according to what law would that property be distributed?–Of course, according to the French law, as to all Englishmen domiciled in the seigneuries; and if it were in the townships, it is maintained by a part of the inhabitants of Lower Canada that there too it would be distributed under the French law; but it is held by another part of the subjects in Canada, that is the English, that it ought to be distributed according to the English laws.

Has not there been any decision of a court as to that question?–I do not know whether the particular question has been litigiously contested; there may have been decisions with respect to personal property in the townships, which decisions may have been rendered according to the French laws, but these were perhaps not decisions rendered when that particular question and that particular objection were raised before the court, so that these decisions would determine nothing.

In the case of an Englishman dying in Quebec possessed of personal property, would he have the power of disposing of it by will?–If he were not married, unquestionably.

Supposing he were married previously to coming to Quebec?–I should con- ceieve that if a marriage took place out of Canada, all the liabilities consequent upon the marriage would be in conformity to the law of the place where the mar- riage was contracted; unless where the husband was previously established in Canada, and went to another country in order to get married, and returned to resume his residence in Canada; in that case I should suppose that the liabilities consequent upon the marriage would follow the laws of Canada.

Supposing that an individual emigrating from England to Quebec marries, when there, a lady who has also emigrated from England to Quebec, and both of them are possessed of personal property, according to the law in force there, would the husband, in the case of his death and no settlement being made, have the power of disposing of then property by will?–I believe there may be a difference of opinion upon that point; for my own part I should conceive, as the law now stands, that the husband in such case would not have a right to dispose of all his personal pro- perty; that he could not dispose of that part which belongs to his wife, who is entitled to the communauté.

Will you state your reasons for that opinion?–During his life the husband can sell and dispose of the property constituting the communauté, but at his death the wife becomes invested with the exercise of her pre-existing right to one half of it; and although the law authorizes the husband, as master of the communauté, inter vivos, and using his wife’s rights as well as his own, to dispose of all the property that belongs to the communauté, one would hardly construe that that authority would extend to the testamentary bequest of property that is considered to belong to another, and whose right of gestion over it commences the moment he dies. He will comes into operation only at his death; but upon the contingency which brings his will into operation, his wife would seem entitled to the exercise of her pre-existing right over half the communauté. It is, among others, for this reason, that the right of the wife being pre-existing, although called into exercise only at the same moment that the will of the husbands comes into force, I conceieve the husband has no right to depirve her by will of her half of the communauté. Is this distribution founded upon any part of the custom of Paris?–Upon the custom of Paris, that establishes the communauté. Where a wife died without making a will and without children, one half of the husband’s property, amounting to several thousand pounds, was claimed by the wife’s realtions from the husband, although the wife had brought him no money whatever.

Would the same results follow in the case of a person dying at any place within the townships, Quebec being within the seigneuries?–That would depend wholly upon the question whether the English or the French law is to be considered to exist in the townships with regard to personal property.

How is the fact?–I have already stated that the fact is by some considered doubtful. If the French law exists in the townships, there is no doubt that all that right of communauté and all its consequences would exist there. If the English law be introduced in toto in the townships, instead of being confined simply to the lands, then this right of communauté does not exist there.

In the course of years has no person died intestate in the townships, so as to bring this question before the court for decision?——I dare sa persons have often died intestate. i have stated, in answer to a previous question, that I do not knoow any case in which the precise exception has yet been urged in a court of justice.

Then, in point effect, the French law has been allowed to take its course?– it has been often allowed to take its course; but 1 know many cases in which the. parties have made an arrangement by agreement as to personal property.

Supposing a person possessed of real property within the seigneuries was to die intestate, what would happen then?–His real property would, if it was ignoble property, be equally divided among his children; if it were noble, that is, if it were a fief or seignetiry, it would not be divided quite equally, but the eldest son would have an extra portion ; that is, he ironlcl have two thirds if there were only one child besides himself, and he would have one half if there were several children.

What power has a person over his real property to settle by will in both these cases?– It would depend in a good measure upon the precaution he had taken before he married.

Supposing he dies without being married ?——If he dies without being married he may do as he likes with all his property, he may bequeath it all; but if he dies, being married, the right he has over his property depends upon his having taken the precaution previous to his marriage to establish his right by contract or not.. If under the contract he has reserved to himself a perfect and entire control and disposal over all his property, in that case he has a right to bequeath it all by will. If he has not taken this step, either from want of prudence or from ignorance of the liabilities that his propertv would be under from not making the contract, then he cannot dispose of a very considerable portion of his property.

What proportion ?——He could not dispose of that which would be liable to the dower, which would be one half of all the lands that he possessed at the time of’ his marriage, or that he might have succeeded to by inheritance, as well as some others.

What happens to the dower upon the deatlh of the widow ?–The dower then belongs to the children.

Supposing there are none ?—Then, upon the death of the wife, it would go back again to the husband’s relations.

Supposing a person to have complete controlover his real property, what is the mode of conveyance in order to transfer it to another when it is sold ?—The common practice is, to have an act of sale drawn by a notary, somewhat similar to our deeds-poll, stating the transaction and the consideration, this is signed by the parties, and remains for ever with the notary. There is no original deed, com- monly given out to the parties when notarial instruments are passed, and the notary gives certified copies; these certified copies amount to proof in a court of justice; they are considered authentic instruments, which prove themselves, soinewhat as the record of one of the courts of England would be deemed authentic in another of the courts of England.

Is that registered in any public office whatever to which persons can subse- quently have access ?–No; registers have been very much desired, because without them there is no probability of knowing whether a man has not transferred his property a dozen times or a hundred times before.

Must all subsequent transactions with regard to the transfer of real property be carried on in the house of the sa,e notary with whom the original transaction took place?—-No, there are 250 notaries, or about that number, in the province of Lower Canada, and a person may go to any one of those that he pleases, and each is bound to keep secret the transactions that pass before him.

How do you know the former state of the title of any property which you may purchnse?- -There is no possibility of knowing it.

Do you borrow money upon mortgage?——There is a great deal of difficulty in doing so, seeing that persons can obtain no certainty that they have a secure lien upon the property. A man may go before a notary and mortgage his property; this mortgage may be a mere declaration before a notary, that a certain sum is due by the mortgagor to the mortgagee, and the same individual may go before each of the other 250 notaries in Lower Canada, and mortgage his property in the same manner, and there is no possibility of knowing whether he has or has not given other mortgages previously.

Do your observations apply to land in the seigneuries only, or to land held in the townships also ?–To land in the seigneuries now, because the Canada Tenures Act has exonerated the land in the townships from the operation of the French laws relating to mortgage.

Is there any specific process necessary in mortgaging?—It is simply neces- sary that the mortgagor should declare that he owes a specific sum, and mort- gages his property, which will import all the property that he then has, or for ever after may acquire; the law attaches it to all the property, upon an Act containing that simple declaration, and signed by the parties before a notary.

Is it not the fact, that an individual may go to a notary and perfect a mort- gage, and that the next day he may sell his property without the possibility of the mortgages attaining any knowledge of that fact ?—Yes, but then I apprehend that the purchaser would suffer and not the mortgagee, because whoever is first in date is prior in right.

Must not that lead to a great many law-suits ?—An immense number of law- suits and frauds. I have seen widows and orphans, whose money had been lent upon mortgage, deprived of their all. There is scarcely a term in any of the courts that passes without numbers of those frauds being brought to light.

Do you understand that this system with regard to mortgages is one that necessarily springs out of the establishment of the French law; do you under- stand that it prevails so in Franc , or does it depend upon local statutes ?—All those laws under which the notarial mortages are effected are derived from the custom.of Paris, or through French institutions. In France, however, frauds of this description might not have been so frequently practised, because there was criminal law that subjected those who thus imposed upon others to punish- ment. This criminal law has not existed in Lower Canada since the acqui- sition of the country by the English, because the English criminal law was substituted in lieu of theFrench, But that provision of the French law was by no means adequate to prevent frauds; it might indeed after the commission of such offences punish the individuals who might be guilty of them, but the object that is particularly desirable is to prevent them altogether, which might be done by having registers.

Does the mode of conveyance you have mentioned apply to noble holdings?– To all lands in seignorial Canada.

In the House of Assembly has any member ever introduced a bill for the purpose of amending this state of the law within your knowledge?—Yes, a bill was introduced into the House of Assembly for the establishment of register offices. A bill was also introduced, and actually passed, in the Legislative Council for that purpose for the townships; but the bill that was introduced into the Assembly was, I believe, a general bill for the establishment of register offices, and this bill fell through in the Assembly.

Was it lost by a large majority?– I do not recollect by what majority; but I know that some of the reasons assigned for rejecting the bill, published in a speech as pronounced before the Assembly, were, that “ the religious principles “ and the habits of the people were adverse to the practice of lending money “ upon interest;” and “ that it would enable the few that had money to do “ injury to the many that were needy.” And it was asked “ whether it would “ not be better for the riche avide to lose a portion of his superfluity if he “ lent his money, than that the poor man shoultl be expropriated.” Those were some of the reasons that were published as assigned by a lawyer in the House of Assembly. I have the publication here.

Was it upon the failure of this bill in the House of Assembly that a bill for the same purpose, but confining its objects to the townships, was introduced into the Legislative Council?—No, I think that bill was introduced into the Legis- lative Council first, but am not certain.

Was that rejected by the House of Assembly ?———They made no proeectlings upon it at all, as l have understood.

Was it in consequence of the sudden dissolution of the Parliament, or from their coming to any matter that rendered it impossible to go on with the public business? –I do not know whether it was in consequence of the sudden proro- gation of Parliament; but I believe there have been subsequent sessions in which the matter might have been taken up had it been thought fit. It was about a year go that the Assembly rejected their own registry bill.

In what year was it that those bills passed the Legislative Council?–I think that the register bill was passed in the Legislative Council in 1826, but I am not quite certain whether it was in 1825 or 1826. It had been petitioned for, however, a number of times during several years.

Was it subsequently to the time when Sir Francis Burton was provisionally administering the Government?–I cannot recollect whether it was in that year or after.

Is it your opinion that the civil law of Lower Canada could be materially altered without extensively affecting existing interests in that province?–I should conceive that the civil law might be altered without extensively affecting existing interests; the rights of those that possess them now might be a clause in any Act preserved.

Does that mode of conveyance which you have described as existing in the seigneuries interfere at all with the transmission of real property?–It renders it always very uncertain and very insecure. And I have known a number of pers- sons that have come from England to settle in Canada, who had brought money to purchase property, quit Lower Canada in consequence. I have known some with 1.000 l. and others with more. It drives people out of the country: they cannot think of settling and laying out money in the purchase of the land, where, after having possessed the land for a number of years, they may find an indivi- dual with a mortgage upon it, which divests them of their right.

What effect has it upon the interest of money lent upon mortage?–It has this effect, that it is generally very diffcult, and that there is often no such thing as getting it upon mortgage; and that keeps beack the improvement of the country; because if money cannot be borrowed upon the credit of land, there must be a great deficiency of requisite capital to be employed in its improvement.

Are you aware of the existence of any estates which include lands in the seigneuries and also in the townships, belonging to the same individual, bordering upon each other?–There are several individuals who possess property both in the seigneuries and in the townships bordering upon each other.

According to what form does land pass from one person to another in the town- ships?–At present I believe none would fransfer except under English forms. Heretofore, too, most prudent persons used to transfer under English forms, but it was customary among a good many to transfer under the French forms.

Is that practice pretty well established at present within the townships?–Not having been there lately, I cannot say from personal observation, but I have no doubt of it. It must be so, I think, inasmuch as no other transfer at present could be legal.

Does the practice of borrowing money upon mortage prevail in the townships? –Doubtless a good many would be desirous to borrow money upon mortgage if they could obtain it; but as there are no register offices there, the inhabitants, even in the townships, although not subject to all the difficulties that seigneurial mortgages would occasion, must find it extremely difficult to borrow money upon mortgage.

If an individual purchases an estate within the townships, does the title that is made out of him show or profess to show the previous transfer that have taken place of that property, or does it show the original title of the property?–There are not the means of giving a long chain of titles to lands in the townships, such as would secure the purchaser in his property, or enable him to know that he was secure. In Engand a long chain of titles may be given, but in a country settled only yesterday, in which an individual may have received a grant of some thousand acres, of which he would transfer perhaps two hundred, or other small portion at a time, it is impossible that the old titles can go with the new; it is im- pssoble that, unless there are register offices, it should be known that he has not previously tranferred the same land to somebody else; and, for these and other reasons, they desire register offices in the townships, upon principles resembling those upon which they are generally established over the rest of America.

According to what forms is property distributed by will?– A will may be made now, and before the Canada Tenures Act it might have been made according to the French or according to the English forms.

Which practice prevails?–I believe it is the general practice to make their wills according to the English form among the English inhabitants.

In the case of intestacy, in property in the townships distributed according to the English law; does the right of primogeniture prevail?–I conceive that it does, in landed property.

Does the right of dower prevail in the same form and to the same extent as in England?–Happily that right is now precisely the same in the townships as it is in England.

The Committee perceive in the petition that reference is made to a bill which the Legislative Council passed in the session of 1825, for the purpose of intro- ducing into the townships the English law of dower and conveyance, and making incumbrances special, and establishing public offices for the registration of all mutations of real property, and of all mortages on the same. Was that bill thrown out by the Assembly?–It was not passed.

How far has the Canada Tenures Act passed by the Imperial Parliament sup- plied the provisions of that bill?–It has established all with the exception of the reigster.

With respect to the mode of borrowing money in the townships, do you deliver up the old titles when the conveyance is by lease and release, as is done in this country?–The titles are all new there. The titles sometimes include a vast deal more than the vendor parts with, and of course therefore he must keep his own titles to himself, he cannot part with them to one to whom he sells only one-tenth part of what he has.

Does not he convenant to produce the title-deeds?–He would have little ob- jection to enter into a convenant of that kind, but that convenant amounts to no more than a warranty. It gives no security to the purchases, provided the vendor has made a previous sale of it.

Are you not aware that the practice is in England every day. When large estates are sold, to enter into convenants for the production of the title-deeds, and that that is no objection to any title in this country?–You have one security in this country that unfortunately could not be expected to exist in a new country, you have the character of the individuals possessed of large property, you have their great wealth as a security. There the sellers of land are often those that perhaps sell their all when they sell a small tract; at any rate there is a universal opinion which is acted upon, (and practice has proved it to be just), that without registration it is impossible to ascertain whether thte title to land be good or not, or whether the incumbrances upon land are secure or not.

Since the passing of the Canada Tenures Act, has the question of the establish- ment of registration offices been again mooted in either house?–I believe it is since that period that is has been rejected in the Assembly.

Have the English population in Lower Canada ny desire to disturb the routine of law, or to have the custms of French Canadians in the seigneuries changed?–No. If the French Canadians be desirous to maintain the yoke of their acient laws in the seigneuries, the English, I believe, would seek no altera- tions there, unless what might be necessary for the security of property, or con- sistent with the inclinations of the French Canadians. But it is hard to impose those French laws upon the remaining portion of the province, when it is dis- agreeable, and must be disadvantageous to commerce, to improvement, and to the mass of inhabitants of that portion; and would be a further violation of the pledges for the establishment of English laws solemnly given by the British Government to all its English subjects, in addition to the violation of these pledges which has already taken place by the Act of 1774, establishing French laws in the seigneuries.

Do you imagine that the feeling for the alteration of the law is universal on the part of the population in the English townships?–I do; there are some few deviations from the law and practice existing in this country, that of course they would be glad of; but those are modifications that could be made in Canada afterwards. But they would like to have the same foundation of law in the townships that they have throughout all the rest of America, except Lower Canada.

Would they rather borrow from the amended law of the United States than from the law of England?–They would rather borrow from the amended law of the United States, or rather from the amended law of the English provinces than from the law of England, because of course the amended law is merely an adaptation of the foundation of English law to the state of things existing in America.

Did not a bill to allow prisoners the benefit of counsel pass the House of Assembly, and was rejectecl by the Legislative Council ?—I have heard of a bill of that description ; but I did not pay much attention to it, and I can hardly say whether it passed in the Assembly, or whether it passed in the Legislative Council. I at this moment merely recollect having heard some observations concerning such a bill, and should think it consistent with justice.

Amongst the persons who emigrate to the British provinces in North America, is there not a decided preference shown to settling in Upper Canada rather than Lower Canada?—I believe that it may be said that a decided prefereneeis shown by the majority of Englishmen and Scotchmen to settling every where rather than in Lower Canada; not only the British Provinces, but also the United States seem to be preferred to lower Canada, in its present state.

Is not there not a disposition manifested on the part of rnany persons, who are natives of the United States, to settle in Upper Canada?—I believe a good many people have gone from the United States to Upper Canada.

Has it happened that many persons who have come to Lower Canada, with the intention of settling n that province, on their becoming acquainted with the state of things you describe, have given up that intention, and have crossed the border, and settled in the United States?–Great numbers. Upon the Journals of the House of Assembly will be found the following observation of the Land Commit- tee: “From May 1817 to the end of the year 1820, there arrived at the port of “Quebec 39,163 settlers; the great majority of them, intimidated by the length “and rigour of the winter in this country, and unacquainted with the laws and “language thereof, have ascended the St. Lawrence, and are now dispersed over “the lands of Upper Canada and the United States, where they have found a “more genial climate, their own language and institutions analogous to those to “which they have been accustomed.” That is an extract from a report of a committee of the House of Assembly in Lower Canada. The winter, in many parts of Lower Canada, is not such as to deter settlers from establishing themselves there, as may be seen in other reports of the Assembly.

What object do you conceive the committee had in making that report?– I would submit that the report should explain itself. I conceive it is pretty evident that the naled fact is given in such a way as to show no intention of taking any steps in the Legislative Assembly to lessen such of the inconveniences alluded to as it might be in their power to remedy, nor to encourage emigrants; and a want of encouragement in any other part of America would be considered disgraceful. That it appeared right to them to adhere to every thing that prevented emigrants form Britain, or from other parts of the British dominions, coming into the unsettled country.

Do you think that 100,000 persons is too great a calculation to make of the emigrants that probably would have settled in Lower Canada, if the laws had been other than they are?–I do not think it too great a calculation, since a great many more than that number have come out to Lower Canada.

From what nation were those emigrants?–From England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Were any of them citizens of the United States?–Of those that are here spoken of, none.

In point of fact, have not many of the citizens of the United States passed their own boundary, and established themselves in the province of Lower Canada?– Numbers of them have.

Are not many of the lands to the south of the St. Lawrence settled by citizens of the United States?—A great many. Upon the Act of 1791 being passed, proclamations were issued in Lower Canada, in conformity to instructions received from the Government here, inviting the American loyalists to come and settle in the townships of Lower Canada, promising them grants of lands, and giving them encouragement to settle there; and in consequence of this, numbers of old loyal- ists did come forward and make application for grants of land, and lands were granted to them; and those who now inhabit those lands are either those loyalists themselves, or their descendants, or the persons to whom they have sold them.

Do you mean to say that, after the separation of the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada in 1791, the object of which separation was to give the ex- clusive possession of the Lower Province to the French Canadians, and of the Upper Province to the English settlers, proposals were made to encourage the settling of Americans in Lower Canada?–I mean that those proclamations were made after the division of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada; and I mean to state, that it was not and coult not be the object of the statute of 1791 to reserve the province of Lower Canada to the French Canadians, inasmuch as that would have been doing for a French colony more than Britain ever did for an English colony, and inasmuch as express provisions were made of reserves for the Protestant Clergy, and other matters inconsistent with such an object; and as also it was expressly declared by Mr. Pitt to be “his intention to assimilate the Canadians to the language, the manners, the habits, and above all, to the laws and constitution of Great Britain.” He stated this expressly in Parliament at the time that the Bill of 1791 was under discussion in this country; and I am con- vinced that whatever nation, be it France or be it England, shall endeavour to establish or rear up a French nation in North America, will ultimately incur the lasting enmity, not only of that branch of the great English national family which mow exists independently in North America, but also of our colonies; since the latter would be ultimately exposed to as much injury from the existence of a French nation in North America as the United States would be.

What is the present practice, are the citizens of the United States in the habit of settling in the province of Lower Canada?–They occasionally come in and make purchases of lands, but not in the same manner as it was anticipated at the time those proclamations were issued that they would have done.

Those proclamations offered them a specific encouragement, and now they would come in merely as purchasers or settlers upon the same terms as other people?–Yes.

In point of fact, do they now come in in considerable numbers?– I have not been resident in the townships for a considerable length of time, and I cannto say in what numbers they come, but many of them must be desirable settlers for a new country.

Are not the best settled townships those which run along the American border?– The most populous of the townships are those.

Do they not sell their produce, and get manufactures from the American side?– They do very frequently, and in fact they could not do otherwise unless they were to dispense with manufactures altogether; because there are scarcely any roads whereby they can communicate with the markets in Canada during the summer; and there are roads whereby they can communicate with the markets elsewhere, so that necessarily they are often obliged to get their supplies from America.

Is not the consequence of that, that they are supplied with American manu- factures, or with English manufactures, which have paid duty to the American Government?–I dare say that that is the case frequently.

Are they not divided from the seigneuries by large tracts of uninhabited country? –The townships nearest the seigneuries are the least inhabited. I cannot say that the townships are divided from the seigneuries, because they extend to them; but that part of them that is near from the seigneuries is generally uninhabited, and those at a distance are best inhabited.

Is not that the great difficulty that English settlers meet with, that the Govern- ment does not make roads across the unsettled districts?–That is one of the difficulties certainly.

In what manner do they wish the funds to be raised to make those raods?– There are various modes in which, I dare say, they would be satisfied that a fund should be raised. If there was a small tax imposed upon all lands that have been granted, whether now in the hands of absentees or others, (which I believe is the case in Upper Canada,) to be laid out in improving the roads, I believe it would be satisfactory.

Has that even been proposed in the House of Assembly?–I believe not; I do not know however.

Do you think there is any party that would object to that?–I dare say there is.

Would not those persons be the principal opponents who hold those tracts of country which are not at present settled?–Some of them might very probably be amongst the number of the opponents, I cannot say that all would. Speaking for myself, who am an absentee and have lands there, I certainly should rejoice that a tax were imposed upon all the lands that I have towards roads, provided only a similar tax were imposed upon all other lands.

Would not such a measure operate better than the law of escheat which was passed in the Imperial Parliament?–I do not see that one of those laws ought to prevent the operation of the other; I think that both might exist with advantage at the same time, if upon proper and efficient principles.

Would not such a law be more efficacious towards the improvement of the country?–I think it would be more efficacious towards the improvement of the country, if universally and impartially carried into effect, and as one absentee holding lands I should rejoice at any tax for that purpose.

You have stated that it would be very desirable to levy a tax upon land gene- rally for the purpose of making roads of communication; do you not consider that it would be highly desirable that the lands reserved to the Crown, and the reserves belonging to the clergy, should be subject to the same necessity of contribution towards the roads in their immediate neighbourhood?–All that would be highly advantageous to the community, no doubt, whether it would be fair to the Crown is another matter.

Has not a small land-tax been imposed in the Upper Province upon lands and property of individuals left waste ?—I believe there has.

Can you state what have been the results of that tax ?—I cannot; I believe it has not been long in operation; but I have no doubt that if it had been imposed upon proper principles, so as to be fully and fairly executed, the result must have been highly advantageous, because it has been proved to be so throughout the rest of the continent of North America.

As far as you know, with respect to Upper Canada, have the clergy and Crown reserves materially impeded the formations of great lines of communication?– I believe that those reserves have very much impeded the lines of communication, and it is inevitable.

The petitioners apply that courts of jurisdiction should be establislred in the townships for the adrninistration of justice, in conformity to the laws of England; does not that involve the establishnient of judges, and the whole system of English jjudicature?–I should suppose that to be their meaning. In the case of any war breaking out between the United States and Great Britain, and an attack being made on Canada, is it not generally understood that the line of the Richelieu is the one by which Canada is most accessible, and that which it is most desirable to strengthen and secure ?—I believe it has always been considered so ; fortifications have been always made there. During the time of the French, fortifications were made there, and they have continued to be made on that river ever since the acquisition of Canada by the English.

Is it not desirable, with the view to the defence of Canada, that the townships should be peopled and strengthened as much as possible?—I consider that the security of any country depends upon the arms and hearts of its inhabitants; and I conceive that the filling of a country with a loyal population is an infinitely better means of defence than all the money that could be expended upon fortifications in it.

Is not the line of the River Richelieu chiefly occupied by the seigneuries at present?–It is.

Does not the district of the townships in Lower Canada lie between the Americam frontier and the line of the sergneuries on the St. .Lawrence?–It does, on the south side of the river.

Although the immediate line of the River Riclielieu is now occupied with seigrieuries, in the ease of any attack being made along that valley, would not Canada be rendered infinitely more secure, if the country at the back of the seigneuries, now held in townships, were filled with a powerful and active popu- lation ?—I can only say, as I said before, that the arms and the hearts of a loyal people are the best defence of a country, and the greater their numbers the better.

Are you not of opinion, that an improvement of the law would lead to the colo— nization of that part of the country which, for the grounds stated, you consider desirable ?—There is no question about it, it would be peopled with fourfold rapidity if that were done.

Are you acquainted with the district of country most contiguous to the United States?–Yes, I am.

Are not considerable numbers of the United States people, of the lower class, making encroachments on that district?–That part of the country now alluded to seems a part of the country in the district of Quebec, which I am not acquainted with.

The question alludes to the district of Montreal ?–There is no dispute about boundary there.

Are not a pauper population from the United States making encroachments as squatters, on that district?—With respect to a pauper population, that can hardly be found in America; but there is a certain population that are called squatters, who are the pioneers of all improvement almost everywhere throughout America; some of‘ those undoubtedly occasionally get into Lower Canada, but not to any extent; but it will be universally the case, that where lands are not taken and improved by those that have good titles to them, they will be taken up by squat- ters that have not good titles.

Is it not therefore a desirable object to people those frontier tracts with acknow- ledged citizens of their own province?– Undoubtedly, with persons of acknow- ledged character or property or industry; it is certainly most desirable to people them.

Is not that system of intrusion by squatters constantly progressive?–I do not know that there are a great number of squatters now in Canada than there were 10 years ago.

Do not they advance?– They generally precede the advancement of settle- ments; those squatters belong to the first class of pioneers, that are the first settlers in every new district.

Under the Act of 1791 was not the number of members in the House of Assembly fixed at 40, and in the Legislative Council at 15?–The House of Assembly is to be not less than 50, and the Legislative Council not less than 15.

Of what number does the Legislative Council now consist?–Of about 28.

Of what number does the Assembly now consist?–Fifty.

Has it remained at 50 since the proclamation of Sir Alured Clarke?–It has.

What number are there of country members, and what number represent cities and towns?–There are 39 members from the 21 counties; there are 11 members from cities and towns; Montreal sends four, Quebec four, Three Rivers two, Sorell one.

Was there any provision made for the gradual alteration or increase of the number of members in the House of Assembly at the time the Act of 1791 was carried into effect?–No, there was nothing of that kind, nothing that fixed a progressive increase of the Legislature; if it be desired, I can state how that pro- gressive increase would take place on the other side in the vicinity of Canada.

What provision has been made in Upper Canada for adopting gradually the numbers of representatives to the increase of extent, and the increase of inhabitants in the townships as they become gradually settled?–I have been told there are certain territorial divisions, some of pretty nearly similar extent, which when they attain a certain degree of population are entitled to send one member, and when they have a greater degree of population, they may send two, and not increase after that unless subdivided.

In what way has that been provided for, is it by an Act of the British Parlia- ment?–By Act of the Provincial Parliament, as I understand.

Will you state as far as you can what provision is made in the United States for providing representatives for such barren countries as they become gradually inhabited?–In the state of Vermont, which adjoins Lower Canada, and by which Lower Canada is chiefly bounded upon the south, the country is divided into sec- tions of equal extent, which I believe they call towns or townships; each one of those section sends a representative, although the population of some may be ten times the number of that of others, and the object is (and it is well adapted for a new country) to allow those sections of country for which less has been pre- viously done, and of which less has been previously ascertained, the means of sooner making their wants known in the Legislature, and sooner attaining equal ultimate improvement.

Is not the state of Vermont already very thickly settled in almost all parts of it? –No, it is not very thickly settled in almost all parts of it. There are some town- ships in which the settlers are not at all numerous; there are some, as I under- stand, which were inhabited chiefly by Scotchmen, who, when they settled in those townships, after they had remained there a twelvemonth were entitled to send representatives to the Assembly of the State; and were entitled, at the end of two years, to be representatives themselves. Such was the encouragement given to immigration there.

Generally speaking, would you call Vermont one of the parts of the Union the oldest settled?–It was not one of the thirteen States as they are called; it is one of the newer States.

Have the Assembly at any time shown a disposition or expressed a wish to make any change in the state of the representation of Lower Canada, or to increase their numbers?–They have; they have shown a disposition to alter the system of representation, as they said partly with a view to give a representation to the townships. The Assembly introduced a bill which the inhabitants of that country have since declared to be, as to them, a delusion and a mockey; although at first, when only generally informed that its object was to give them representatives, they had expressed their satisfaction.

What was it that the bill proposed ?—It was a bill whereby the whole number of representatives was proposed to be increased, I cannot say exactly to what number, as I have not the bill by me, bui I believe to about twenty or upwards. The whole of the members now are returned from the seigneuries, and of that additional number three fourths or four fifths were by this bill to be added to the members from the seigneuries.

Do you mean practically to the seigneuries, or that they were to be added to the counties that already return through the influence of the inhabitants of the seigneuries?–Practically, the great increase would have been returned by or through the influence of the seigneuries. There was a new division of the counties, the names of the former counties were altered in this bill, and French names substituted in lieu of the English ones that they now bear; under this division, perhaps nearly 20 new members would have been added to the members from the seigneuries, which now send all to the House of Assembly, while only four or five would have been given in toto to the townships which now send none to the Assembly; those who send all would hardly seem to require an increase; and the consequence of such a division would, from what I have last stated, show that an Englishman or a Scothcman settling in a new township, in the State of Vermont, would have an infinitely greater proportionate right in the represen- tation of that State after one year’s residence, than an Englishman or a Scothcman settling in the new townships in Canada would have in the representation of that British province if he were to remain there all his life.

Has not the House of Assembly twice passed bills to extend the representation on the principle of making population the standard whereby to regulate that extension?–That I believe was the original foundation, and I believe that there have been bills introduced upon that principle. When such bills are introduced in the United States, even upon the democratic principle of universal suffrage, which could not be justifiable in Canada, they always provide a corrective for any alteration that may take place in the population. They do not make the laws which give a representation proportionate to the population, rest permanently on the population at the time the Acts are passed, but they provide at the same time a census that shall be taken every three or four years, according to which the re- presentation is to adapt itself, so that if there be any difference in the population of the respective districts within three or four years, there is a self corrective applied to the representation. That was not thecase in this bill in Lower Canada, it was a bill nearly founded upon the state of the population in the present day, which might alter in a new country so as to be totally different in the space of four or five years, and no provision was made for any such alteration. Besides, even in several of the United States, the principle of universal suffrage is conceived to be rather too democratic in that democratic country, as appears from what I have stated to be the case in Vermont, where the representation is territorial or com- pounded of the territory and the population.

Have not what is called the French party in the House of Assembly declared their willingness to give up any advantage they may possess from the property being chiefly in their hands, and to proceed upon the principle of taking popula- tion as the basis of representation in that country?–With regard to property, I do not know nor believe that a larger or even so large a proportionate share of the landed property is in their hands; and I believe that the English only desire a territorial representation, that is, that certain extents of country should be laid out as counties, which is a practice sometimes followed even in the United States; that the counties should be as nearly equal as may be, mid that when the counties have a certain proportion of population they should then send members, but not until they have a certain proportion of population.

Would not that have the effect of giving undue weight in the House of Assembly to newly peopled counties?–Not by any means an undue weight. It is considered right, as I have already stated, that those counties, of which previously less has been ascertained, and for which previously less has been done, should be enabled to make their wants known and attended to, and the circum- stances that have occurred in Lower Canada show the ncessity of it, because for a long series of years the inhabitants of the townships have been unavail- ingly endeavouring to procure redress of grievances from the House of Assembly; they employed some years ago an agent at Quebec for that purpose, as people might employ an agent to make representations to a distant country, but he could only solicit, without having an opportunity of bringing any thing forward in the Legislature.

Do you conceive then that the inhabitants of the English townships ought to have a number of members in the House of Assembly, beyond the proportion that their population bears to the population in the French part of the country?– I do not think in a new country that to regulate the respresentation by the pou- lation is a mode that will most tend to advance it; the most beneficial mode, as it appears to me, must be one in which representatives may be brought as early as propriety will permit from new settlements, which stand more in need of legislation and of held than the old.

Then you think a representation compounded of population and territory is the representation most suited to the wants of a new country?–I think it is the only representation suited to the wants of a new country.

With regard to what you have stated with respect to Vermont, are you aware how things stand in that respect in the other states of North America?–I am not aware how it is in general. I passed through Vermont in coming to this country, and in passing through I naturally inquired into the state of their representation, and I found it to be as I have mentioned. In Vermonth they have as much reason to be jealous of allowing foreigners, who come into that country and reside only a couple of years, this territorial right in the represen- tation as any English colony could have any title to be jealous of allowing a representation to native British subjects.

Do you conceive that in any other State in the Union the newly and thinly settled parts of the States have given them a larger share in the representation, in proportion to their population, than the older settled parts of that State?– I believe that is the case.

Can you mention any other instance of it?–I cannot state any instance posi- tively. I have understood this to be the case, that in some of the States the counties are all laid out of equal extent, even before they all are inhabited, and that the law establishes, that as soon as a county shall contain a certain number of inhabitants it shall be entitled to have a representative. If they, who allow in many of their States foreigners to become naturalized in one, two or three years, do not object to this mode of sending representatives, in an English colony it could hardly seem justly exceptionable, when the settlers in whose favour it is desired are either Englishmen or Scotchmen.

Is not that at present the law in Upper Canada?–I dare say it is somewhat similar to that. In Upper Canada they would probably have no strong objection to the division I am speaking of; and there could be little objection to it in Lower Canada, except that which would arise from a wish to exclude English representatives. There may be these considerations to influence them in those countries where the sections that send representatives are laid out of a certain extent throughout; they consider that although at first the representation may be unequal in proportion to numbers, yet that this is a defect which every year is diminishing, and which is in some measure compensated by equality of territory, and that it is the mode that is best adapted to the progress of new settlements.

What is the size of the county of Orleans?–I believe it is not equal to a single township of 10 miles square in extent; it sends one representative.

What is the size of the county of Buckingham?–It contains a number of seigneuries, and I believe about 70 townships in addition to the seigneuries.

What number of members does that send to Parliament?–It sends tow. What is the size of each of the townships?–I believe the general rule is 10 square miles.

Can you furnish the Committee with a copy of the census of the population to which reference was made in your former evidence?–I will deliver in a copy of it (the witness delivered in the same). I believe, as far as the townships are con- cerned, there is inaccuracy in that census; there could not have been the same facility in ascertaining the numbers of those that were dispersed over an immense extent of country, as there would be in ascertaining the numbers of those who live along the banks of the river, where it must be comparatively easy to make the enumeration.

If a system was applied to Lower Canada similar to that which you describe to exist in Upper Canada, and in the State of Vermont, namely, that of giving the power to send representatives from any townships that might hereafter be settled and inhabited, according to a compound scale of territory and population, is it likely that in that immense tract of country that lies to the nort of the St. Law- rence, such a number of townships would hereafter be settled as to create an Assembly far too numerous?–I should not conceieve that the Assembly would be more numerous in that way, (each county comprising several townships, and entitled to representation only when possessed of a certain population,) than when a certain measure was spoken of in the Parliament in this country some years ago, it was presumed that it would be: besides, if the present counties were to be diminished in extent, it could not be wrong to diminish the number of their members, which would allow some to be given to new counties, without, pro tanto, increasing the total number of representatives.

Do you refer to the Union?–Yes. There was, I believe, a recommendation to the Committee of the House of Assembly to take into consideration the pro- priety of authorizing the Governor to divide the townships into counties, giving six townships as a county, and of authorizing him to issue writs for the election of members.

When was that project submitted to the consideration of the Government?– It was in the year 1823, that instructions were given to a Committee of the House of Assembly to inquire whether it would not be expedient to empower the Governor from time to time to form new counties in the townships, each county to consist of six townships, I believe that those intructions were given to the Committee of the House, in consequence of a message from the Governor, as there had been a great variety of complaints from the townships that they were not represented.

Do you know whether the inhabitants of the townships exercise the elective franchise?—In general they certainly do not, because their distance is so great from the place of election; and besides, if they were to exercise the elective franchise with regard to one or two members only, it would be perfectly useless.

Do you conceive that that evil, of the distance which prevents their going up to vote, might be remedied under another system ?—If that evil alone were remedied, it would not be worth the trouble of remedying it under the present system.

Is any portion of that district that is called Northumberland likely to be set- tled at an early period ?—I have heard that there are several millions of acres of land that may be very fit for cultivation, and that flourishing and extensive settlements may be made there.

Can you speak of the district that lies between the river Sagunay and the Ottawa?–i cannot from personal knowledge. I have not travelled over that part of the country myself. I have understood that it is probable that the country may be settled and improved.

You were understood to state, that you had reason to suppose that the return of the English population in the townships is less than it really should be; have not you also reason to suppose that the Canadians were very shy of returning their numbers, for fear the Government were about to impose a poll-tax?–I never heard any thing of that kind that I recollect.

How are the English inhabitants distributed, are they distributed in such a way as in any one county to form a majority?–I believe that is not the case any where, unless in Gaspé.

You have stated that you are chairman of the quarter sessions?–I am, for the district of Montreal.

Was it by Lord Dalhousie that you were appointed?–It was.

What is the tenure of that situation?– I believe that all situations in Canada are held during pleasure. Since I am asked respecting the appointment, I may be allowed to state that I did not solicit the appointment; it was offered to me; when offered I declined it, but accepted it after the offer was renewed with urgency.

Is your salary paid out of the 14th of George 3, or out of the money appro- priated by the Legislature?–I of course take it that this forms a part of the expense of the maintenance of civil government, and the administration of jus- tice. I take for granted that it is considered payable out of the permanently appropriated funds.

Are you acquainted with the establishments in Lower Canada for educa- tion?–I believe there are four Romish colleges or seminaries for the education of youth. There are also a number of coporations, one in each parish; by an Act of the Legislature in 1824, the fabrique, as it is called, of the parish forms a corporation entitled to receive donations and bequests, and acquire property in mortmain to a limited extent, for the advancement of education. Those are the Roman Catholic parishes; the funds so received are to be at the disposal of the fabrique for the purposes of education.

Have any steps been yet taken in the application of those funds?–I do not know whether much funds have been realized as yet. There are no English colleges in Lower Canada, but there has been an Act passed for the advancement of learning so long ago as 1801, under which a number of common schoolmasters are appointed.

Do you mean English schoolmasters?–I believe generally English. It is a language highly necessary to be taught in seignorial Canada.

Who appoints them?–I believe the Governor appoints those schoolmasters.

What establishments are there for the education of the lower orders in the French part of Lower Canada?–All those seminaries and colleges that I have been speaking of, besides numbers of schools under the Act of 1801, and the schools that may be established under the Act with respect to the fabrique, making them corporations entitled to receive in mortmain.

Is there not a considerable property in lower Camada that, before the expulsion of the Jesuits in Lower Camada, was possessed by them?–Yes.

When the Jesuits were expelled, did that property pass into the hands of the Government?–A decree of the Pope’s annihilated the order. But I believe that the English Government always allowed the Jesuit missionaries to remain in pos- session until the death of the last of them; upon the death of the last of the order the Government of course took possession of the estates.

How has that property been applied since it was in possession of the Govern- ment?–The greater part of the net revenue arising from those estates has been employed, as I have understood, in the advancement of education.

Jovis, 15 die Maij, 1828

Edward Ellice, Esq. Called in; and Examined.

THE Committee understand that you are a proprietor of land in Lower Canada?– I am a proprietor of land in both Upper and Lower Canada.

Do you hold land in the seigneuries of Lower Canada as well as in the town- ships?–In both.

In what part of Lower Canada is it situated?–I hold the last seigneury bor- dering upon Upper Canada, called Beauharnois; it lies about 18 miles above Montreal, on the southern bank of the River St. Lawrence.

Did you acquire it by purchase?–No, I inherited it.

Have you frequently been in the province of Lower Canada?–I have been there twice.

For any considerable time?–I was in Canada and the adjoining state of New York about a year each time.

Have you paid much attention to the administration of property and the state of the law there?–A good deal, being very much interested in it.

You are aware that, by an Act that was called “The Canada Tenures Act,” powers were given to transfer land held under the title of “Seigneury” to that of free and common soccage?–A clause was passed to that effect at my suggestion in the Canada Trade Act in 1822, and subsequently the Canada Tenures Act was passed in 1825.

Have you acted upon that?–I have endeavoured to act upon both, but the difficulties in the way of taking advantage of the provisions of either Act have been so great, that in utter despair of being able to obtain a mutation of tenure, I have, within the last year, directed the settlements to proceed upon the old system, although I conceive it was greatly to the disadvantage of the country and of the property itself.

Will you be so good as to describe what you mean by word settlements?– Farms let to tennants of land not before occupied or brought into a state of culti- vation. From my father’s death, in 1804, till 1826, a period of 22 years, I have directions to grant no new leases, expecting that at some future period the tenures would be changed; and, acting upon that principle, I have made a great sacrifice of income during that period. In the year 1826, after fruitless efforts to obtain a change in the tenure, in the first place under the Act of 1822, and then under the Act of 1825, I directed my agents to proceed in conceding the lands upon the old tenure; and by a return I have of the concessions made in1827, I find 228 new farms have been conceded to an equal number of tenants, containing a superficial quantity of nearly 20,000 acres of land, and for which I obtain a perpetual rent of about 500 l. a year.

Will you be so good as to describe the character of the obstructions which have prevented the provisions of the Act, called “The Canada Tenures Act,” from being carried into effect?–Instructions were sent, as I understand, to the local government to carry into effect the provisions of the Act of 1822. The Governor submitted those instructions to his executive council, who advised that a fine of one fifth the value of the property for which a change of tenure was desired should be required as the condition of the cession of the rights of the Crown in such cases. Considering that to be more than five or six times the value of the exchange, I declined it. I then made an application to the Colonial Department, stating the little probability of any changes of tenure taking place while such terms were required, and that I did not know a single person in Lower Canada, except myself, at that time disposed to accept a change for nothing. In conse- quence of my representations, other instructions were sent, desiring the Govern- ment to offer a mutation at the lower fine of five per cent upon the value, and I might have been disposed, for the sake of showing an example to the country, to accept the change upon those terms, but my agent found so many diffi- culties interposed by the local authorities, that all further attempts appeared hopeless; and he represented to me the little chance there was of any ultimate arrangement on the subject of repaying the great sacrifices of rent I was making in the meantime, by deferring the settlement of the land.

Are you not aware of an Act which passed in the British Parliament in the year 1825, for the express object of facilitating a mutation of tenures?–I have already stated I was aware of it, and in consequence of that Act I desired my agent to renew the attempt, giving him instructions at the same time to proceed with settlements under the old tenure, if his endeavours were still fruitless, in consequence of which the new settlements in 1827 were made.

Can you state what reasons were given explaining the impossibility of carrying the Act into excecution?–Without referring to the particular letters, I cannot say, but the impression upon my mind is, that my agent being very anxious to comply with my wishes of obtaining a change of tenure, wrote to me generally that it was utterly hopeless.

Do you conceive that that difficulty of changing the tenure since the passion of the Act of 1826 arose from any defect in the Act?–The difficulty of changing the tenure arose, in my opinion, from no defect either in the Act of 1822 or of 1825, it arose probably from a very general cause of difficulty in that country; a dread on the part of the local authorities to act upon their responsibility, complaining of defective instructions from home; and this aggravated by a perpe- tual reference backwards and forwards from the Government to the Colonial Secre- tary, in the hope that they might at last agree upon the means of executing the provisions of the law.

Are the Committee to understand that the powers of that Act of Parliament are not sufficiently clear to enable the Governor to carry them into effect without any doubt as to authority from this side of the water?–In my apprehension, the pro- vision in the Act of 1822 was sufficiently clear for a government that would have acted with any promptitude and energy, and would have felt interest in the object in view.

You have said that your application was referred to the consideration of the executive council; of whom does the excecutive council consist?–I have only said, I understood it was so referred. The council consist of the chief justice and other persons, whose duty it is to advise the Governor with respect to the administration of the country.

Are the executive council persons holding salaries and such?–I rather think they are, but I am not certain.

Do you happen to know whether any attempt to change the tenure of land under that Act has been successful, although your own attempt has failed?–I am sure no other attempt has been made. In suggesting the provision for the volun- tary exchange of tenures in 1822, I intended to show an example to the country, as largely interested in landed property, and I did not expect that at first, or until they were convinced of the advantages of a mutation of tenure, any great number or proprietors in Canada would follow my example.

In your view, would it be an advantageous proceeding to change the tenure of land held in the seigneuries, which has been in a state of cultivation, as well as of land which has not?–Looking to the state of property and the improvement of the country from a change of tenure, my views at the time were principally directed to the two great cities of Montreal and Quebec, and to the property in the island of Montreal. The Crown or the Church, but now, I believe the Crown solely has the right of seigneurage over those two seigneuries, and of course has the power of conceding its rights upon any terms that might be supposed benefi- cial to the country. The chief obstacle to the improvement of Lower Canada arises from the objections of British-born subjects to the investment of the large profits that have resulted to them from the trade of the country in real property, and the impediments to the circulation of capital so invested, by the provisions of the feudal tenures, and the heavy fines on every alienation. No house can be sold in Montreal or Quebec, or no farm in the island of Montreal, without paying a heavy fine; and to make the case worse, a doubt has hitherto existed as to the right of the seminary who held the seignory of Montreal to exact these fines; but no purchases would accept a title unless the fine due by the previous pur- chaser had been voluntarily paid. The fine is 12 ½ per cent, but frequently mo- dified by compromise. As the population of the island of Montreal consists of about 50,000 persons, and of Quebec of about 25,000, a large proportion of the whole population of Lower Canada, and as there is a greater mass of capital in the two cities than in all the rest of Canada, it appeared to me a great object to endeavour to release the property from the shackles of the old tenures, so that capital might be invested in it, and be employed in its improvement, instead of being sent out of the country, as it invariably is now, for investment in England. I hoped that the Crown, having the power, would have consulted the obvious interest of the country by encouraging mutations of tenure on easy terms, and that by degrees proprietors in other districts would have been convinced, by the increasing prosperity and improvement of the towns and the adjacent lands, of the advantages of a better system, and have been induced to promote a general change. I may add, that the depreciation of property in the towns has been frightful of late years, and I can see nothing in the present state of Canada likely to produce a different state of things, except by the removal of the existing impediments to the application of capital to the improvement of the country. I conceive that if the tenures upon the island of Montreal were converted into free and common soccage, and a registry was provided for the registration of titles and mortgages, that the improvement of that part of Canada, and its advance in wealth and population, would be as rapid as that which has taken place in any other part of America.

Was there any doubt that the Crown had the power to grant those mutations? –There was never any soubt that the Crown might have made an equitable arrangement with the seminary, to have given the Government power to act as they pleased with respect to the property in the seigneury of Montreal.

Has any adjustment of this point taken place?–I understand that one has lately taken place.

Can you describe the nature of the claim of the Jesuits?–I understand the seigneury of the island of Montreal was first granted to the seminary at Montreal for purposes connected with the Roman Catholic church, and education under its direction. Doubts subsequentlyarose, during the French Revolution, as to the rights of persons claiming to be successors to the original grantees; and of course if these rights were extinguished, the property would have reverted to the Crown.

When you alluded to a claim on the part of the clergy, did you allude to the Roman Catholic clergy or the Protestant?–The Roman Catholic; and I think it necessary to state, that when I talk of the claims of the Roman Catholic clergy in Canada, I do not believe a more liberal, benevolent, or charitable body of Chris- tian ministers exist in any country, or one whose conduct and habits are more exemplary or praiseworthy; and I am persuaded they will be found at all times disposed to lend themselves, consistently with the interests of their religion and church, to every measure for the improvement and advantage of their country.

Is there any reason to suppose that it is a fear of the loss which the public pro- perty might suffer which induces the Government to hesitate in making those mutations ?——It cannot be so. As the best answer to that question, however, I would reconnnend the Committee to desire a return of the revenue which the Crown has derived from all its property in Canada within the last 30 years.

Do you know, as matter of fact, whether any disputes have arisen with respect to titles to property in the island of Montreal, as between the Crown or the clergy, and individuals holding such property ?—A few years ago, I think four or five a person built a mill in the island of Montreal; and as the Committee are aware, among other rights of seigneurage, the droit de moulture is conspicuous. The serninary conceiving the erection of such a mill encroached upon their privileges, brought an action against the party building it, either for damages or to procure the removal of the mill. The proprietor defended the suit, and judgment was given against against him by the Court of Montreal, before whom the case was tried. The proprietor appealed to the Court of Appeal at Quebec. On hearing the appeal, the French judges present all sustained the judgment of the court below; the English judges objected to it. No decisions has yet been had, and the matter is still in abeyance, the proprietor remaining in possession of his mill.

Does the same sort of uncertainty prevail generally with respect to the tenure of property in the seigneuries, or is that only a particular and isolated case?– I should say that the particular point on which this action turned was, whether the church could sue as a coporation. This, of course, would only affect property similarly situated.

Therefore, in cases in which an individual could sue, such uncertainty would not exist?–I hold, that as seigneur myself, I could prevent not only any person building mill, but any tenant taking his corn to be ground at any other than the seigneurial mill. A principal part of the seigneur’s revenue is derived from the droit de moulture.

Can you state the proportion of real property in the great towns of Quebec and Montreal which is held by British persons, or by the Crown, as seigneur?–Either the Crown, or the Crown and the Church, hold the whole of Montreal and Quebec as seigneurs; no person has any superior right, except the Crown, in those towns.

Can you state what proportion is held by persons of British birth or origin, as contradistinguished from the French Canadians, as the immediate tenants of the Crown?–I cannot even guess; but I should rather be inclined to think that much the greatest quantity of real property was held by the French Canadians, the English inhabitants having objections to invest their property on such titles.

Can you point out any means by which the difficulties that now impede this change of tenure can be removed ?—I was always of opinion that a detailed instruction transmitting the Act of 18212 to the Government of Canada, such instruction being founded upon the legal information of the chief law officers of the Crown in Canada, who were then accidentally in England, directing the Government forthwith to carry the provisions of that Act into execution, would have heen sufficientt; and I advised at the time of the framing a proclamation in this country to be transmitted to Canada, and there issued for that purpose.

You used the expression “ detailed instruction,” can you point out what pro- visions those details should contain?—Such provisions as the competent legal authorities who were then upon the spot might have advised to be sufficient to carry into effect the provisions of an Act which they themselves had framed.

Do you think it would be desirable that the Crown should make the mutations without taking any fine whatever?—On general principles, I think the Crown should make the mutation on such conditions as were most likely to be acceptable to the mass of persons holding property under the old tenure, and likely to encourage them in accepting the mutation.

Although you do not know, in point of fact, any other exact impediment which stands in the way of those mutations, can you, from your knowledge of the subject, imagine any which you think probably have impeded it?–I can conceive no others than I have stated.

What do you suppose to be the value of the Crown’s interest in the property so proposed to be changed ?—The Crown is entitled to one fifth of the value of all seigneuries disposed of by sale; but the magnitude of the fine is in itself a bar to frequent transfers of property. Upon the seigneury which I have in Canada, one fine of about 900 l. has been paid within the last forty years. There are also means of evading the fine, and the arnount is in fact more nominal than real, as a com- promise generally takes place before a sale. The seigneur can concede his pro- perty, reserving the smallest possible nominal rent, so that the Crown’s fine upon any disposal of that small reserved rent would be very trifling ; but some general estimate of the whole value of those fines to the Crown in Canada, can be obtained by a return of their amount since the country has been in our possession. The right of the seigneur to a fine of one twelfth on every mutation is much more valuable, because the tenant has no power in any way to evade it. Mutations naturally take place of small tenements either by forced sale or by sale for division among families. The seigneur’s fine also always increases with the increasing value of the improvements upon the property, so that in point of direct interest thte title under which the seigneur holds his lands by the French law is more advantageous than it would be under the change of tenure.The land is let at a perpetual reserved rent, with other rights, such as droits de moulture, de retraite, and fines on mutation, and which taken together, return him a greater portion of his revenue than the rent; whereas, if he disposed of his land in free and common soccage in a new country, be probably would not get much more than the rent he now receives, without the other sources of revenue.

Notwithstanding the value of those advantages, would you as seigneur have been willing to have suffered the mutation of land to have been made on your own property, and to have suffered persons to hold under you in free and common soccage, although thereby you would have resigned your right?–Most undoubt- edly I would, because it would have led to the introduction of greater capital, and to the improvement of the part of the property, which would have given me great advantages in the disposal of the remainder.

Can you give the Committee any idea of what that land, which you have described as having let for 8d. an acre would have sold for in free and common soccage?–I should suppose it would have sold from 15 s. to a guinea an acre; I have, as I have described to the Committee, a great mass of land held in free and common soccage immediately adjoining my seigneury. Some difficulties had occurred with respect to the title of this property, which prevented me for many years attempting to settle it. Those difficulties I think, after 20 years application, have been removed by the Government of Quebec, and I am now endeavouring to settle this land upon the terms on which I proposed to settle the seigneury if I had succeeded in obtaining a mutation of tenure; but what will still more strongly exemplify the advantage that would result to the country from a change of system and more liberal institutions, is the fact: that there is no difficulty in making sales of land, inferior in quality, and much worse situated with respect to means of communication and markets, in the adjoining part of the State of New York, at at least double the price to that which can be procured. in its imme- diate vicinity in Canada. I have with me a return of the sales of 10,000, part of between 40,000 and 50,000 acres, adjoining those lands in Canada, but fortunately on the other side of the line, averaging 30s. per acre, and the agent advises me this may be the average value of the whole of the remainder.

Was not the original right of the Crown as seigneur to one fifth ?—It was.

You are understood to state, that when the Crown proposed to concede its rights as seigneur, it proposed to take five per cent?–It did by the last instruction.

The object being to induce the seigneur to release, on his part, the land from those circumstances of seigneurial tenure, are you of opinion that it would be right for the Crown to grant the seigneur a release at a less rate than five per cent?– I cannot exactly answer that question, further than by illustration of my own case, that I was willing to pay five per cent; but I doubt very much whether I was not the only seigneur in Canada who would have accepted a mutation on such terms. The regulations, with respect to terms, I believe, were suggested by myself, and I only wished then, as I wish still, that they had formed part of the Act of Parliament, and not been left to the Government at home or in Canada, with whom the instructions have hitherto remained a dead letter.

Are you of opinion that if the Crown were disposed to make easier terms with the intermediate tenant, the tenant would be disposed to make easier terms with his sub-tenants?–I do not think it would make the least difference. The right of his seigneur, as I have already explained to the Committee, is of great value to him, and the value of right of the Crown is, practically speaking, nearly nominal; and if great encouragement is not given by the Crown, except in the cities of Montreal and Quebec, where persons may be desirous to invest capital for profitable employment, very few mutations would take place.

Are not the persons who hold under a seigneur entitled, by the 6th Geo. 4, to compel the seigneur to a mutation of title?–When I first suggested this alteration, it was with a view to the general improvement of the country; and the release of the rights of the Crown to the seigneur would conduce comparatively little to this end, unless the tenant had some power of emancipating himself from the shackles of his tenure. Much greater advantage would result from the general surrender of their feudal rights by the seigneur, than from any emancipation of particular seigneurs by the Crown.

Do you conceive that the great mass of the vassals in the seigneuries are desirous of any change in this respect, or not?–I conceive that a very small portion of the country population, for many years, would take advantage of the change, until they were convinced of the benefit of their neighbours derived from being subject to no fines on mutations; and by their own experience of paying repeated fines, from which adjoining property was exempt.

Is not that principle of the French Coutume de Paris to discourage mutations in property as much as possible, the very principle that attaches the French popu- lation to the present state of law in that country?–That principle, so contrary to all the principles upon which the British Government have proceeded in the government of their other Colonies, has tended to retard the improvement of Lower Canada, while the improvement of other parts of America has been advancing with rapid strides; and although I should be as adverse as any one to deal forcibly with the prejudices and feelings of the Canadians, who certainly are attached to, and imagine themselves interested in, the preservation of their present system, still, as a matter of necessity, time will so deal with them, unless they can accommodate themselves to a gradual amelioration, either under our Government or under some other.

Is there any thing in this Act that would do more than make it optional; would not the Canadians, if they like this tenure, be fully at liberty to continue under it?–i have already stated, that in suggesting this alteration originally, I was no party to any thing that could by any possibility be supposed compulsory; and that I should only propose now to deal with the Canadians by showing them the advantages to be derived under a better system, which prevailed among their neighbours.

Can you state whether the tenure upon which land is now held in the town- ships is liable to any objection?–There have been great doubts with respect to the titles to property held under British grants in Lower Canada, and with respect to the laws affecting them. Until the Canada Tenures Act of 1825, I do not believe any person holding real property in free and common soccage in Canada knew very well by what law his property was regulated. Nor could I tell whether the property I held in free and common soccage would have descended or been governed by the French civil law, or the law of England. All transactions relating to such property, with very few exceptions, have been conducted upon the principle of their having been governed by English law; but no decisions to my knowledge had taken place in any court in Canada until the bill of 1825 set this question at rest. Doubts have also been expressed as to the rights and powers of the seigneurs, in leasing and disposing of their property under French law, which are frequently made the subject of public discussion in times of excitement, but which have never been brought to any judicial decision. Some of the French lawyers state their doubts whether seigneurs who have been in possession ever since the English occupation of Canada, and who have varied and increased their rents according to the circumstances of the times, had any right to do so. They allege this property is held solely in trust for the settlement of it by the poorer class of people, and that an ordonnance du Roi, published above a century ago, but which has never been acted upon in Canada, should now regulate all transactions between the seigneur and his tenant, and that the seigneur has no right to require or receive a higher rent than was then customary. The practice of the country has been entirely at variance with that rule; but in the later dis- putes that have occurred in Canada, some of my tenants were advised to resist the payment of this rent upon this ground: they did so resit, and my agent was obliged to proceed by law to compel the payment of the rent; but the proceedings were stopped in their progress by the submission of the tenants.

Did the declatory clause in the Canada Tenures Act affect the rights of any considerable number of Canadians?–I do not see how it could affect their rights, as it never had been ascertained that lands in free and common soccage were liable to the provisions of the French civil law; but certainly if they had been so liable, the younger branches of a family, or the mortgagee of a younger son’s pro- portion in his father’s property, would have been left by the provisions of that Act without any protection for his rights.

Were there many French Canadians, who by holding lands in the townships, were affected by that declatory clause?–I should think very few; and I should have no objection, for a very small sum of money, to undertake myself to indemnify all persons who could have any complaint under this clause.

Are the Committee to understand that as the law now stands, land in the town- ships could be conveyed fairly and securely according to the English forms of conveyance?–As I understand by the provisions of the Act, landed property in free and common soccage would be regulated by the English laws affecting real property, with the exception of a very necessary alteration, that the land would be subject to simple contract debts; and further, that any land, the title of which might be changed from the feudal tenure to the free and common soccage, would be governed in like manner; and that would have been a great temptation to me, and would be to all others, to obtain a mutation of tenure.

Under those circumstances could a person borrow money on mortgage on pro- perty in the townships?–I should think it would be exceedingly difficult to borrow money on property in the townships, until a court for the registration of titles is established, by which incumbrances upon real property could be ascer- tained. By the provisions of the French Civil Law every Act passed before a notary (and there are very few Acts relating to money arrangements in Canada that are not passed before a notary) are held to be hypothecary claims affecting the real estates of the parties, and it is impossible at present to guard against the risks resulting from this circumstance.

If a law were passed to enforce the registry of all transfer of property in Canada, ought it in your opinion to be confined to the townships, or to such lands as were held in free and common soccage, or should it extend to the seigneuries?– There can be no doubt that for the security of the trading part of the community, and to induce capitalists to invest and advance their money on lands, it ought to extend generally to all property; and more particularly as it is impossible to con- ceive any injury that could result to the owners of property under the feudal tenure by having a record of the sales and the burtherns affecting it. I would add, that in the state of New York there are courts of record in every county, and that having had myself much experience and some trouble in tracing the titles to property in various quarters of that state, I have met with the greatest facilities by having recourse to the registers where the record of every mutation of a pro- perty is to be found.

You state that of late years a great depreciation of property has taken place in the towns of Quebec and Montreal?–There has.

What has been the cause of that depreciation?–I think, amongst other causes, the withdrawal of capital from the country, for investment in England, and some feeling of insecurity arising from the existing dissentions in the government, in addition to the obstacles I have already stated to investments in real property.

Do you attribute that to the disputes that have taken place in the country?– Certainly I attribute some part of it to those disputes.

Has not a great loss been sustained by the merchants that continue to reside in Canada?–Of course, great loss has been sustained by all holders of real property in the depreciation of that property; I am not aware of any other loss except the losses that have affected all His Majesty’s subjects that have been trading within the last 10 years.

Are you acquainted with the conditions on which the Government grants lands in the townships of Lower Canada?–I am acquainted with the subject, as almost the greatest practical grievance of which the industrious population of Canada have to complain. These grants have been most inconsiderately and wantonly made in large masses to people connected with Government, without imposing upon them, or at least enforcing after they were imposed, adequate conditions for the settlement and cultivation of the lands; or without taxing them for the vast pro- perty of which they have got possession, and which lie idle and unimproved, to the great detriment of the country, and to the great nuisance of the inhabitants around.

To what extent has this taken place?–I am afraid in Upper and Lower Canada it has taken place to so frightful an extent that the possession of a great part of the valuable and improvable land is in the hands of absentees, which might be otherwise now occupied by industrious and active settlers.

Has the land been granted in large masses?–In great masses. I think it would very right for the Committee to require a return of all the grants that have taken place since General Prescott’s time, at least since it has been the fashion for almost every counsellor or officer connected with the Government to get a grant of from 5,000 to 20,000 acres.

Is not the condition of escheating to the Crown all lands not improved, in a constant progress of operation?–I think it is the worst possible process as a remedy for the evil of these large grants; a much more simple remedy would be to follow the example of the state of New York, in taxing uncultivated lands.

By whom were those grants made?–By the Government there, or by instruc- tions from home.

Has that practice existed for a considerable length of time?–It has existed since land was supposed to be of any value in Canada. It was an easy mode, either of rewarding services, or satisfying jobbers.

Are you not aware that there were terms of settlement imposed in all those grants?–I am quite aware that in some cases, not in all, terms of settlement were imposed; but by some strange accident it happens that they never have been enforced, and the greatest portion of these lands in now in a state of wilderness, the proprietors in few instances applying capital to the improvement of them. Within the last two or three years the attention of the Public and the Government having been called to these abuses, a system of estreats has been resorted to, and it is understood that directions have been sent out to proceed to the forfeiture of all lands on which the duties of settlement have not been performed. The ob- jection to this mode of proceeding is, that the conditions upon which the grants were originally made having been allowed to remain so long in abeyance, they have almost been forgotten by the proprietors; and if a rigorous system of Crown process is to be insisted upon, it will almost be productive of as great and serious a grievance in the country, as the neglect of the provisions for the improvement of the lands has hitherto been.

In what respect would it act as a grievance in the country?–Persons having influence either in the country or at home, (and there are many such who are grantees of this property,) would remonstrate against those proceedings, and according to the prevailing practice in such cases, relief would be given in some instances and none in others, and complaints would necessarily arise, from any apparent partiality, which might even be justified in particular cases. It would be impossible to confide the execution of so wide a discretion, with any hope of its being satisfactorily exercised by the local authorities.

Are many of those grantees who have so neglected to perform the conditions under which they have received the grants of land resident in Canada, or are they principally absentees?–I should think principally absentees; some governors of the colony ; and many grants have been made as a remuneration for public services by the Government.

Are not those tracts of land, in many instances, in the best situations in the whole colony. They consist principally of the nearest lands to the seigneuries which had not been granted under the feudal tenure, and, of course, are in a situation to which access is more easy than to the more remote lands that have been granted to the actual settlers.

Have those grantees neglected the duties of settlement as well as those of cul- tivation, in making roads through their grants ?—The greatest evil of all is that arising from the neglect of mailing roads. The still greater grievance of grants to the church, where no person bound to make duties of settlement, remains to be stated ; and the country remains impervious and impassable in consequence of the neglect of this very necessary improvement by all parties.

To whatextent have any of those grants been made; what mass of land has been granted to any individual?–I should think in some cases to the extent of 20,000 or 30,000 acres.

Does great inconvenience result from the size alone of those grants?–Of course, the inconvenience is greater in proportion to the size.

Has a great number of such grants as those taken place within the last few years?–No; they granted so much of the valuable part of the country that the grants at distant places became of less value, and were less sought after; and I believe the eyes of Government were soon afterwards turned to the evil.

Are you aware whether the clause in the 6th Geo. 4, empowering the govern- ment to escheat, has been put in operation?–I know, as a matter of fact, that I have been threatened with it, on some lands which my father bought, as adjoin- ing his seigneury, from soldiers, serjeants, and subaltern officers, to whom it was granted in small lots, in renumeration for their services, when they were dis- banded at the close of the American war. Some objection was taken to the title of these people, which was removed after an incessant suit at Quebec for 14 or 15 years; and the moment I got a title that could enable me to settle the land, I was threatened with an escheat, which however I have prevented by doing that which I am quite disposed to do, providing for the settlement of the country.

Do you know whether escheats of land have taken place under that Act?– None, that I am aware of.

Can you suggest any mode by which this great evil might be remedied?–The only efficient remedy is by imposing a tax upon unoccupied lands, and by the Crown proceeding, upon the non-payment of the tax, to bring the lands to sale in execution for the taxes.

Is that the practice in the United States?–Yes, constantly.

Does any power of imposing such a tax exist except in the Local Assembly of the province?–None, except we should be obliged to follow the precedent which we unfortunately have been driven to, of legislating in this country upon all occassions for the internal government of the Canadas.

Do you see any objection to the power of estreat, provided that notice is given to the parties that the law upon that subject is intended to be enforced?–The objections are innumerable; first, by unsettling titles; then,, the difficulty of defin- ing boundaries, and obtaining proof on which to ground your proceedings; and lastly, the expense, and probably vexatious execution of the law.

Do you see any objection to a principle being put into operation which shall make escheat contigent upon the continuation of the property in a state of non- settlement?–I am against placing in the hands of the law officers of the Crown in those colonies the means of legal vexation to any parties, where it can be avoided; and I think it can be avoided by a much more efficient remedy for this evil, which I have suggested.

Has any such remedy been suggested, either in the Council or in the Assembly? -I should think, not in the Council, inasmuch as the Council generally are pro- prietors of lands; and I do not know that it has in the Assembly.

Is not your own proposition much the same thing;is not it, in fact, an escheat under distress for non-payment of the tax?–I should say, there is this very obvi- ous difference, that the seizure of property could only then take place on the failure of a condition, which is matter of actual fact within the cognizance of the parties; and the public proceeding by estreat can only take place upon the proof that the conditions of settlement have not been attended to, and parties may differ and will differ as to the intent and meaning of the obligation of settlement imposed upon them.

Are you not aware that the Crown has now the power to impose some condi- tions of settlement, inasmuch as the original conditions not having been satisfied, those lands are actually escheated?–I am not aware of any power that the Crown has of imposing new terms till they have actually estreated the lands, and brought them to sale under execution.

Would not a question of fact arise before you could impose the tax upon the uncultivated lands?–That would depend on the regulations of the law, but pro- prietors should be obliged to carry in certificates of the actual occupation of the lands into the County Tax Office, to exempt them from taxation.

Are you aware how that machinery works in the United States?–Without the least difficulty.

Does it often happen that distress is levied upon those lands in the state of New York, in order to enforce the payment of the tax?–It has happened to my- self, that by the neglect of my agent the receiver of the county has actually taken possession of my land, and I know of no difficulty that ever has occurred in the state of New York with respect either to the levying of the tax, or proceeding to the sale of land upon which the tax has not been paid.

Under what regulation is the tax imposed?–The tax is imposed upon all wild and unsettled lands by an Act of Legislature of the state of New York; I am not in possession of the detailed regulations under which the tax is levied and collected, but I will endeavour to procure them for the Committee.

Supposing the case of a district of uncultivated lands being granted to any individual, is there any time allowed to him for bringing his land into cultivation; does the tax take place forthwith, or is he entitled to hold it any certain number of years before he becomes liable to it?–If such period ever was granted, it has long since elapsed in the state of New York, where they attend to the internal administration of their affairs with the greatest precision and regularity.

Do you purchase the land subject to the condition of the payment of such a tax?–By a reference to the register of every county you can always find out whether the tax has been paid, or to what period it is in arrear.

As you have stated, that in your opinion a tax upon uncultivated land is a much more efficient mode of bringing unsettled land into cultivation than any other pro- cess, what is your opinion of the probable fate of a bill that might be introduced into the Legislature of Lower Canada for the express purpose of assimilating the law in that province to that of New York?–After the experience of some years last past I should doubt the fate of any bill introduced by the Government into the Assembly of Lower Canada, as at present constituted, for any purpose.

Why?–In consequence of the eternal squabbles between the Assembly and the executive power, and their jealousy and distrust of each other.

Independently of those squabbles, have you any reason to think that a bill brought in to effect this object would be liableto objection by individuals who compose the Assembly?–That depends very much upon the individual interest of the members, and whether they are considerable landowners; and with respect to the Legislative Council, the same difficulty might occur.

What would be the individual interests of an inhabitant possessing property in the seigneuries?–it depends upon the extent of unconceded property he possesses.

Is there such a mass of unconceded property in the seigneuries as to be likely to create an interest amoung the seigneurs, or persons holding land in them, to object to such a tax?–How far it would create such an interest I know not, but there is a great mass of unconceded land in the seigneuries; the seigneuries going in many instances six or eight leagues back from the river, and in very few instances being settled for more than one or two.

If this law of escheat was to be acted on to any extent, would it not make the future titles of land extremely doubtful and difficult, as to knowing where the law of escheat did arise, and where it did not arise?–In my opinion it would involve the whole country, and all the tenures of free and common soccage land in endless confusion.

If a tax were to be adopted in the manner you describe in place of the law of escheat, would the same difficulties arise as to future titles?–Certainly not.

With regard to the difficulty which you conceive does not occur under the system of a tax upon wild lands, namely, the doubt whether the settlement duties have been performed, why is that more likely to arise under the system of escheats than under the other systems?–It is much more likely. In the first place it is the interest of the crown lawyers of that province to make as much business as they can for themselves, and prosecutions of this description are not always under the control of other authorities.

Is not the point of what is to be considered a sufficient degree of cultivation, to excuse from such a tax as you propose, as difficult to prove the fulfilment of the conditions of settlement?–Certainly not, at east there never has been any difficulty in the state of New York, where it has been in practice ever since the independence of the country.

Are not the conditions of settlement very difficult; making a road of a certain width in front, and other conditions?–One person says, I have made a road and it is not kept up, it is grown over again. Another, I have settled such a man upon so many acres of land, who may have sold to another not yet esta- blished. Then how are you to prove that he has never been there? And then consider the distance of the townships from Quebec, and the difficulty of com- munication. The burthen and expense of proof is with the prosecution. How will you deal with the settler upon lands subject to escheat, who has purchased his lot? Is every part, or what part of the original grant subject to your pro- cess? Annd then the specific performance of your conditions might admit of different interpretations.

Would not the conditions in such a case be very various and very difficult to prove?–They would.

Would it not affect the land partially; would it not affect portions that remained uncultivated, leaving what was settled in the hands of the owner?– I think there is no end of the difficulty of the case.

Although there may be great difficulty with reference to proving the fact of past settlements, do you mean to state to the Committee, as your opinion, that it is difficult now with respect to new grants, for the Government to impose such conditions as will do away with all obscurity as to the fact whether the lands are forfeited or not for non-completion of the condition of settlement?–The question has reference to new land, and not to any land that has been before granted, and I have stated no objection that I am aware of to new grants of land to actual settlers upon them.

Supposing the Crown, to-morrow, to grant 10,000 acres to any individual, are you not of opinion that it would be extremely easy to frame such conditions as would involve no obscurity when the question came to be considered whether he had filfilled them or not?–The best condition is to grant to no individual 10,000 acres of land; but I do not see how by possibility you can impose such conditions, or that any person would be willing to accept them, inasmuch as if the proprietor of such land, under such a title, wanted to sell a portion of his estate, the purchaser would require to know whether he had performed the con- ditions with respect to the rest of it.

Are you aware that this is the principle upon which certain conditions are im- posed with respect to every grant that is now made by the Crown, in order to prevent a recurrence of the mischief complained of?–No grants, to my knowledge, to the extent stated in the previous question have been recently made, or no grants except to persons bona fide intending to settle upon them.

Do you consider that there is any objection in principle to the Crown making a grant of 10,000 acres to any individual who will apply sufficient capital to bring it into a state of cultivation?–Certainly not.

It is likely that any individual would be able to apply a sufficient capital to bring 10,000 acres into cultivation?–I should be very sorry to do it.

If this measure of taxing unoccupied lands is most advantageous for the general settlement of the country, have you any doubt that such an Act would be adopted and passed by the Legislature of Canada?–Such an act, to a certain extent, has been passed by the Legislature of Upper Canada, and I should conceive that if some conciliatory adjustment of the existing difficulties could take place, there would be little doubt that the Legislature of canada generally would pass Acts which were obviously for the interest of the country.

Is there any difficulty which would prevent individuals who held those large masses of land from putting them up to sale in portions, and is there any difficulty in making a title, arising from the state of the country?–There is no difficulty in making a title from a clear grant from the Crown, if this new doctrine of estreat does not interfere with it; but so long as the Crown has not proceeded to estreat, I take it for granted any body would take a title subject to the conditions in the original grant. There is the other difficulty to all titles in Canada, the want of a registry, and the danger that the propert may be affected, even without the knowledge of the seller, by some Act passed before a notary, to which he may have been a party.

Would it not be one of the best modes of remedying this evil to facilitate sales? –Sales of land in Lower Canada for money are very difficult. Another objection occurs to me to any immediate process of estreat, which is, that until the passing of the Act of 1825 the title to lands previously granted, and the question whether they were effected by the English or the French civil law, had not been settled; so that it was uncertain whether the children of an original grantee took in common, or whether the land fell to the eldest son as heir-at-law.

In point of fact, would you recommend, as the easiest mode of settling those difficulties with regard to the grans of land, that the Legislature of Canada should be induced to adopt some such provision as that which prevails in the United States?–Most assuredly; it would be not only the simplest but the most expedient and beneficial course.

Are you aware of any other course that could be adopted that would have a tendency to subdivide those grants, and to enable the present proprietors to trans- fer them into others hands upon any tenure, either of lense or freehold, to convey them to persons that would be likely to improve and cultivate them?–I take it that they cannot by law transfer upon any other tenure than an English tenure.

Could any means be adopted that yould facilitate the transfer?–I know no difficulty that occurs now to the transfer, except any difficulty that may be inter- posed from the causes I have stated.

Would not persons as willingly take grants of land from individuals who had received large grants from the Government, as from the Government itself?– Undoubtedly they would, if satisfied with the title.

Are not the Government in the habit of daily granting portions of land to individuals in the unsettled parts of the country?–They are, certainly, in Upper Canada, and, I believe, in Lower Canada.

Do you not consider that the present state of the law in Lower Canada does practically obstruct the settlement of the country?–There can be no doubt that among other bars to the improvement of the country, the present state of the law, as affecting landed property, operates to a considerable extent, as I have already stated; but I should say, beyond that, a feeling of restlessness, uncertainty, and insecurity, arising from the evident consequences of a system of mal-administra- tion of the Government for the last 20 years; the disputes that have prevailed, and must continue and increase between the two provinces in their divided state, with respect to the power of regulating the trade, and levying duties on the St. Lawrence, and to the division of revenue; and the perpetual state of excitement and irrita- tion to which the public mind is kept, have lately tended materially to check con- fidence and enterprize, and the application of capital to the improvement of property.

Do you consider that the executive Government are responsible in any degree for the difficulties that arise as to the division of the Custom duties between the two countries?–Certainly not. The unfortunate division of the provinces, the conflicting claims of their separate legislations, and the questions before referred to respecting their rights of taxation, and regulating the revenue on the St. Law- rence are not imputable to Government.

Are you of opinion that the French Canadians feel that according to their view of the interests of the province, the facilitating settlement would so far benefit the province as to make it probable that they would consent to my bill which would have for its natural effect the progressive settlement and improvement of the pro- vince by English settlers ?—The great object of the French population and legis- lature is obviously to retain their separate institutions, their laws, their church, and their distinct condition from the people of America; but of course although much may be secured to thern by mutual concession, all their objects cam only be effected at the expense of the interest of the English population, and by the retardment of all improvement in the country, So far from blaming them for entertaining that separate view, probably if I was simiarly situated I might feel disposed to cling to the same hope as long as there was any reasonable probability of being able to maintain it; but feeling that sooner or later they must form part of the great American and English family, any attempt to sacrifice the paramount interests of the improvement and civilization of the country to their habits or pre- judices, would not only be injurious to the rest of Canada, but hopeless as to its result.

Do you conceive that independently of any acrimonious feeling existing between the House of Assembly in lower Canada, a great majority of which are French Canadians, and the executive Government, they would be disposed to resist the introduction of a bill for the purpose of taxing waste lands, inasmuch as the result of such a measure could only be to increase the English population of the country?–I am afraid they might be actuated by any motive which in their opinion could retard the settlement of the country by a new population.

Are you opinion that that feeling has arisen from the manner in which they have been governed?–I am of opinion that it arises in some respect from that, but more from the reason I have stated before, that they wish to maintain their separate caste as long as they may be able.

Can you specify any particular bills that they have passed, or that they have refused to pass, form which you would infer that disposition on the part of the House of Assembly, or is it merely your general impression?–I understood they had refused to pass a bill for the voluntary mutation of tenures, and another for esta- blishing registers; these are the only two that occur to me at present, but I am certain there are many others; such bills were sent down by the Legislative Council to them, and they refused to pass them.

Was not their indisposition to pass those bills, in a great measure, founded upin their conceiving that the Government of England had interfered with a subject which more properly belonged to themselves and to the local Government of Canada?–The Government in England only interfered after they had refused to pass those bills.

Will you state to the Committee what other causes have, in your opinion, pro- duced the present difficulties in Canada, and obstructed the settlement and general improvement of the province?–I conceive the great cause, as I have already stated, has been a long course of mismanagement, and a constant attempt to recon- cile contradictory principles in the administration of affairs in that country. The unfortunate division of the provinces was followed by the establishment of an inde- pendent Legislature, placed in the hands of one class of subjects, without pro- viding for any participation in their rights, by the English population, as they increased in numbers and importance. To this Legislature, right or wrong, you gave the most extensive powers and privileges, which have been apparently found in practice so inconvenient, that they have been invaded or resisted as often as any emergency or supposed necessity required it. The rights of the Crown have been fastidiously insisted upon on one side, and inadmissible claims of power and privilege set up on the other. This has been going on nearly since the time of General Prescott’s administration, and mutual jealousies and quarrels have increased, with some short intermissions, till the evil has grown to its present formidable size. I think the fair inference must be, that much has taken place to be regretted on both sides. Certainly the Canadians complain, with apparent reason, of some part of the conduct of Government; an English receiver is appointed, insufficient securities being taken in England; the Assembly suggest the regulation of his office, and subsequently, I understand, bills were sent up in the terms of a bill passed in other Colonies for this purpose; they are told this is an encroachment on the prerogative of the Crown, and their bills are rejected. The receiver had previously failed in debt to the Public about 100,000 l.; and when they say, “as you made the appointment yourselves, took your securities in England, and rejected our advice, it is fair you should pay the defalcation,” Government insist upon their laying fresh taxes on their constituents for it. In the same manner they allege they have sent up bills for the regulation of the office of sheriff, that these also were rejected, and two following sheriffs have failed; the one a defaulter of suitors money to the extent of 27,000l., and another for a less amount. These are not theoretical, they are practical evils, and form just ground of complaint. In the midst of such disputes, differences between the provinces arose as to the division of revenue raised at Quebec. Attempts were made to settle them by arbitration. The Assembly at Quebec set up the most inadmissible pre- tensions, and the matter was referred for decision to this country. I must offer my testimony as to the unwillingness of Government in this instance to resort to Parliamentary interference if it could have been avoided; but when the only alternative left was the payment of the whole civil list of Upper Canada out of the English Exchequer, it became indispensable. The question then ensued what was the best course to pursue to prevent an eternal reference to the House of Commons on the subject of Canadian disputes? A legislative union was sug- gested, and Government was induced, by the promise of support in different quarters, to adopt that suggestion. It is unncessary to enter into the history of its failure. It was, and is still, in my opinion, much to be lamented. When the Union Bill was withdrawn, another measure of a much more objection- able nature, the Canada Trade Bill, was introduced and passed in 1822. By this bill all taxes previously existing were enforced for five years, or I believe, till the repeal of the Act; a tolerably strong measure, and which could not be very agreeable to the feelings of persons having such high notions of their rights as had been displayed by the Assembly at Quebec. As Government had determined on so large an exercise of the authority of Parliament, it is to be regretted their foresight did not carry them one step further, and that they did not take power in the bill to apply the taxes to the payment of the civil lists of the two provinces. The Assermbly were then called together, in no good humour, to vote the application of taxes levied not only without their consent, but for pur- poses at direct variance with their declared votes and opinions. This did not tend to allay former differences; and from that time (with one exception during the administration of Sir F. Burton, who prevailed upon them to vote the supplies for one year, by the concession of a principle for which they had been long con- tending, that they should vote annually the salaries of the judges and other civil officers, making them thus dependent on their power) the Assembly has only met to be prorogued or dissolved, with the expressed animadversion of the Governor on their proceedings, and without making any provision for the public service. The Governor was instructed to supply the want of an appropriation bill by his own warrants on the receivers, to whom the taxes are paid under the provisions of the Canada Trade Act, but it would be difficult to find out by what law such instructions were sanctioned. This has been the course of proceeding from 1822 to 1828, and it is much to be deplored Government should have perservered so long in measures which, however much they may plead the excuse of pressing emergency in the first instance, were illegal, and offensive to the rights and feelings of the people. If no remedy was obtainable in Canada, an appeal should have been sooner made to Parliament, and the sore should not have been allowed to fester till the English and French population have been almost brought into collision, and a wider separation between them in opinion on all matters of internal government and legislation been rather encouraged than checked. As- sembly after Assembly have been called together, in which the local authorities have wisely preserved in attempts to carry their measures by a minority at no time exceeding 10, and seldom half that number, in a body of 50 representa- tives. And the Committee must always recollect the continuance of these dissen- sions have inflamed trivial differences on immaterial points at first, into serious additional causes of difference and misunderstanding, which it is not easy now to foresee the means of allaying or removing. The increasing English popu- lation in Upper Canada have been of course attentive observers of what has been passing below. They have got into communion with the English people in Lower Canada on their claims and complaints, and the whole now act as one body, determined to look after their fair rights and just pretensions to share in the power of regulating the commerce of the St. Lawrence and in the taxation of the country. The Upper Legislature will never be contented while this power is exclusively exercised by the Lower, and this difficulty is only now beginning. They have been on better terms with their executive Government, but the Committee should also be informed of any points of difference that have arisen in the Upper Province. A foolish dispute was persevered in for four or five years about an Alien Bill. It was discovered by decisions in England, that many people who had exercised rights as British subjects in some instances for 30 years, and some of whom had actually sat in the House of Assembly, might be legally deemed aliens. A bill was brought in to relive them from disabilities or penalties and to make adequate and expedient regulations for the future, adapted to the cir- cumstances of a new country. A quarrel took place on the most trivial ground, I believe about one expression in the reciting part of the bill, and in this the Government persevered against almost the unanimous feeling of the Assembly for one or two sessions, till at last Lord Goderich wisely put an end to it by sending out an instruction conceding anything was desired, in the most conciliating terms, and which it is impossible to conceive why any government should have delayed for one hour. There is another grievance I understand still existing, an Act of old standing, enabling the administration to send out of the country all persons against whom common information may be lodged of their being dis- affected to the Government. The Assembly have naturally passed bills to repeal such an Act, possibly expedient under other circumstnaces; and the attorney- general has been directed to vote in a minority of one or two, I believe, in fact singly, on more occasions than one, against the sense of the Assembly, and the bills have been constantly rejected in the Council. There is no allegation that the Act has been carried into vexatious executionm or at all, except in one case, that of Mr. Gourlay; but the people say it is an imputation on their loyalty, and it is clearly liable to all other objections they urge against it. I am afraid you must expect jealousy and opposition in the Assembly while you are so careful to keep up these feelings by insisting on such points. But the great source of difficulty in the Upper Province, and the foundation of interminable dispute and serious difference, is the state of the church lands, and the idle pre- tensions of the leading ministers of the established church, and the exclusive claims of that church. As small a proportion of the people of Upper Canada are members of the church of England, as of the population of Ireland. The mischief of providing by enormous grants or reserves of land for the maintenance of an exclusive establishment is beginning to be felt in every direction, and unless they are arrested with a strong hand, and put down by some arrangement con- ciliatory to the wishes and feelings of the people, there can be no hope of peace or quiet. I should add, the same obkections press to the clergy reserves, as they are called, in lower Canada, and the whole subject as respects both provinces, cannot too soon or too decidedly be dealt with by Parliament. There is another subject that requires the anxious attention of the Committee, the present composition and the constitution of the Legislative Councils in both provinces; and on this head I may observe, it is much more easy to find objections than to provide remedies. The Council of Lower Canada, as at present constituted, contains a large proportion of the superior French proprietors. An objection has been taken to the judges being members, and on general princi- ples that objection is well founded; salaried officers of the Government have also been objected to, as dependent on the executive authority; but then the question is, where are you to find in the present circumstances of the country consellors not liable to some such objections? I do not believe many additions could be made from the French proprietors qualified by sufficient attainments and independence, and the trading part of the community are prevented, by the causes I have stated, from becoming permanently interested in real property. Other- wise the most intelligent and efficient members might be found amounf the mer- chants, and it is a curious and rather instructing fact, as connected with this case, that the French population have never had much share in the trade of the country.

Are there no resident English proprietors?–No English capitalist is induced to vest his property permanently in Lower Canada, although nearly the whole trade, and all the capital employed in it, and profits derived from it, are in the hands of the English inhabitants; and I should say, since the American revolu- tion, there is scarcely an instance of any French Canadian occupying any con- siderable or permanent station in the commerce of the country. It would be therefore extremely difficult at present to remedy the defects, admitting them to be such, in the constitution and composition of the Councils. That it would be most desirable, if practicable, no person will doubt, who observes how little independence this body has at time shown of the executive authorities.

Are the majority of them in office?–I think they are.

Sabbati, 17 die Maij, 1828.

Edward Ellice, Esquire, again called in; and Examined.

ARE you at all acquainted with the Courts in which justice is administered in Lower Canada?–I am acquainted a little with them, but it is a long time since I have been in the country.

Are they so arranged as that, in your opinion, the British law can be effectively administered in them; or are they principally adapted to the administration of the French law?–I should think that depends very much upon the qualifications of the judges. I have never heard of any complaint on this subject; and I know some of the judges, now on the bench in Canada, who are respectable and able men, and perfectly qualified in public opinion for the office they fill.

Do you mean qualified to administer the English law as well as the French?– It would be very difficult to say who are entirely qualified to administer the French law. If persons who have been educated, and have practised at the bar in Lower Canada, are not qualified to administer that law, I klnow not where they are to be found; the principles and practice in France having been essentially altered since the Revolution. The English judges are, I have said, qualified to administer the English law.

Do the judges principally consist of persons who have practised at the bar in Lower Canada?–I believe so, generally, in Lower Canada.

Are there frequent appeals to this country from the decisions in Lower Canada? –There are frequent appeals; and they are encouraged by the uncertainty which prevails with respect to decisions under the French law; there being no settled practice to refer to in Europe on the subject.

Do the inhabitants of the townships complain that the courts are so constituted that the English law, under which the inhabitants of the townships live, is not easily and effectively administered?–I am not aware of the particular complaints of those persons, but I can easily conceive, from the distance and difficulty of communication, great obstacles exist to the administration of the law in the townships.

Is it within your knowledge that a court with a very limited jurisdiction has lately been established within the townships, held at the town of Sherbrook, in which the English law alone is administered?–I have understood so.

Have you any reason t think that an enlargement of the powers of that court, or of any other court within the townships for the administration of English law, would be an improvement?–I am quite satisfied that nothing would tend so much to the settlement and civilization of the country, as the adoption of a simple, cheap and efficient system for the administration of justice.

Do you consider that the establishment of a registry of the titles of estates would be a very great improvement in Lower Canada?–I stated in my former examination that the want of such a registry was one of the main impediments to the improvement of Lower Canada, and I cannot too strongly impress upon the Committee the difficulties now caused in titles of all descriptions by the want of such registry. I believe no person would be advised to make any considerable purchase in Lower Canada, without taking the security of a sheriff’s sale, which removes all incumbrances. It is impossible to ascertain what acts may have passed affecting it in various notaries offices; and a sale by the sheriff is a proceeding involving sometimes an expense equal to a large proportion of the estate.

Would it be possible, if a register-office were established that all different transactions relating to estates, which have heretofore taken placen before notaries, could now become matters of record?–It would be very difficult, unless parties desirous to establish a clear title to their property would take pains for that purpose; and the interest of the notaries, a very influential class among the French Canadians, is opposed to any reform of this description.

Would that opposition probably be grearer to a retrospective enactment than it would be even to a prospective one?–I do not conceive that. The notary would only be interested by the reform interfering with new business, or acts passed before him.

Supposing a registration were enacted by law, might it not be possible to operate retrospectively upon property affected by notarial acts, by imposing penal consequence upon any party who effected a mortgage with registration, in a case where prior liens created by themselves, or existing to their knowledge, existed upon that property?–I should think it would be much more easy to pro- vide some regulations, in a bill establishing courts of record, for calling in existing incumbrances. If the party recording a title or a mortgage of property not pre- viously registered, was obliged to give public notice several times in the gazettes, as is done in cases of administration in Chancery, and to affix notices in courts of justice, there could be little hardship in excluding claims after a certain period, and passing the record in favour of the applicant. There could be less difficulty about free and common soccage titles on lands, of which a mutation of tenure had taken place, as there the possessor of the property would have in the first instance to establish his title.

Is it consistent with your own knowledge, that many persons who come out with the intent, to settle in lower Canada, have been induced from the difficulties that obstructed them to pass over the boundary and settle in the United States? –There can be no doubt of it. I have had, in particular instances, two or three successions of British and American tenants upon the same land, who, after ex-e= rience of the French tenure and restrictions, have abandoned their improvements, which my agents have re-entered into possession of, and sold to a considerable profit.

Under what circumstances is a forced sale by the sheriff’s effected?–Judgment under a decree of the courts.

Is it used as a mode of conveyance?– I cannot state that of my own knowledge; but if I intended, under present circumstances, to purchase property in Canada, I should be very desirous it should pass through the sheriff’s hands to ensure a title.

Are not the papers full of notices of such sales for that purpose?–As I have said before, I cannot say of my own knowledge that they are for that purpose, but there is a general indisposition to accept of titles which have not undergne the ordeal of legal process.

Would not the easiest way to establish a register be to pass an Act requiring that within a certain period all mortgages now existing should be registered, in default of which they should become null and void?–That was the purport of an answer I have already given; but I should add, the Canada Tenures Act of 1825, deciding the question as to the law affecting free and common soccage lands, will give con- siderable facility to such a measure.

Do you suppose that in the desire which the inhabitants of the townships feel to have the laws of England introduced into Canada, they wish for the English laws of primogeniture, and for the English forms of conveyancing, or for the laws of England, as they exist in the United States? –As a matter of opinion I should have no doubt the laws of England as administered in the United States, were much better adapted to the circumstances of Canada, but I am not aware that any opinion upon that subject has been expressed in the country.

Are not the forms of conveyancing infinitely cheaper and simpler in the state of New York for instance, than they are according to the English system ?—I think the substitution of the English form of conveyancing would much aggravate the present evil, and it would be difficult to say whether the continuance of the pre- sent state of things, or such a remedy, would be the greater infliction. Nothing can be more simple or secure than the system of conveyancing in the state of New York, where the deed is generally written on half a sheet of foolscap paper, and when recorded with the fiat of the judge or master in chancery, it is immaterial what becomes of the original deed itself. I can furnish to the Committee several conveyances of this description for large tracts of land, and very valuable consi- derations, that they may judge of the advantages of the American system.

You are aware that in the petition to the House of Commons from the town- ships, they pray for separate courts for the purpose of administering English law in the townships; is it your opinion that the existing courts might be so modified as to make those separate courts unnecessary?—I believe the present judges have full employment without being sent upon circuits into the townships. Their number must therefore either be increased, or resident judges appointed; and I think the former the more expedient measure. It is not necessary, with an appeal to the superior courts, that these judges should be persons of very superior attainments. They will not, in the present state of the population and property of the country be called upon to decide cases of difficulty or importance; and material object in establishing courts of this description is to see that the machinery is as simple as possible, and the process easy, cheap and expeditious, and not clogged with restrictions of any description. If any change is to be made in the mode of conveyancing in Canada, would it be better to adopt the English mode as practised in this country, or the American mode?–I should say in addition to my former answer, that in all cases where you can assimilate the practice of the law in Canada to that of the state of New York, both with respect to process and property, it would be wise and expedient to do so.

Are you acquainted with the establishments for public Education in Canada?– I am not particularly acquainted with the establishments for education.

Either for the education of the higher orders or the lower? –The only institu- tion I am much acquainted with is the seminary in Montreal, which I have always understood is conclucted in a manner highly creditable to the gentlemen who superintend it, and much to the satisfaction of the Canadian community.

Do you know any thing at all of the schools established for the education of the lower orders in the townships?–I know very little upon the subject, except that if one can judge from the result, the American and English population in the townships, with less means and fewer resources, must have better or at least more efficient institutions for this object, seeing they are an exception to the rule which unhappily prevails in other parts of the Lower Province. They are the better educatetd part of the population.

The Committee have been informed that great inconvenience is felt in the townships from the very imperfect manner in which the Roads are laid out, and the extreme1y imperfect communications they have with the River Saint Lawrence ; can you suggest any mode by which that system can be improved?— The greatest inconvenience felt by settlers in a new country is the want of roads and good corn- munications. I should say, the first measure to be taken for the benefit of the settlers in the townships, is to provide effectually for this object. In the state of New York they have recently levied a heavy additional tax on the owners of uncultivated lands, to be applied by the public authorities in making and main- tainirig roads through them. Th. example might be advantageously followed; but the means should be applied in the first instance, and the sources from which they are to be repaid to the revenue looked to afterwards. The settlers have a just claim at all events on the public for good roads through the Crown and clergy reserves, and indeed through other lands granted in lare masses, where Government have taken no sufficient means to ensure the performance of road duties.

Can you state what mode would be resorted to which could remove the incon- venience experienced in the townships, from the existence of the Crown and clergy reserves, as far as roads are concerned?–I should recommend that instant and immediate disposal of all such lands, both of the Crown and the clergy reserves; if they could not he sold, I would give them to settlers who would occupy them, and make the roads.

Would that answer apply to both Upper and Lower Canada?–Yes.

Are you aware that an Act of Parliament passed the House of Commons last year for the purpose of selling those reserves at the rate of 100,000 acres per annum?–If such bill has been passed, it will be found utterly impossible to carry this provision into effect.

Will you explain why you stated in your preceding answer, that you think it desirable to dispose of the whole of them immediately, although you say that the sale of 100,000 acres per annum is not practicable?–One half the clergy reserves in Upper Canada were sold to the Canada Company at a price greatly exceeding, if not nearly double, their value in money; and still the church, dissatisfied with the sale, prevailed upon the Colonial Department to put a stop to the arrangement I am certain it is in vain to expect another such opportunity of disposing of them, or at least the rnass of them, on terms satisfactory to the clergy, while land is granted almost for nothing to actual settlers in the country. In my former answer, I said I would give away the lands if I could not sell them.

Upon what grounds do you consider that the clergy in the Canadas will never consent to a sale of those reserves, as you are probably aware that it has been communicated to them that all assistance from this country will cease?–It was full time such communication should. be made to them. I strongly recommended it on their first objection to the award of the commissioners, and then predicted an early repentance on their part of the course they had taken. There is no hope of their effecting a sale of 100,000 acres annually, or a quarter of the quantity ; and I should much doubt their finding settlers for that quantity if they gave away the land. They do nothing to encourage settlers. They neither make roads, build mills, or lay out one shilling of capital. They desire to reap without sowing.

If then 100,000 cannot be sold in a year, in what manner do you recom- mend that all the reserves should be disposed of immediately?—I think it would be evidently better that some reasonable composition should be made with the church, and than the whole grant of land now in a state of mortmain should be resumed.

Where is the distinction between a composition made with the church, and a sale at the price at which the lands will fetch?–The composition should be very moderate; and the country might not be indisposed to undertake a small general tax to get quit of the greater nuisance. The free grant of the land to industrious settlers would be a great encouragement. I have understood also, in the late bill, provision has been made for the investment of the money arising from the sale of the church lands in the English funds, for the benefit and security of the clergy. Surely the framers of that Act must have overlooked the additional objection of draining from the small capital of the country any part of it for this indivious purpose.

In the present state of things, with those clergy reserves now all marked out, how would you recommend that the most advantageous disposal of them should be made?–I have already said, that I think the most advantageous disposal of them, if sales were impracticable to the extent stated, would be by granting them gratuitously to industrious persons, who might be inclined to settle, and undertake the roads duties upon them.

You have said that a composition should be entered into the clergy, how could that composition be affected, except by a direct expense from this country? –Beyond the means I have suggested, some might be raised from particular parts of the clergy reserves in the immediate vicinity of old cultivated lands, but they are to small extent. The great masses of clergy reserves are either inter- spersed with the new settlements, to the great annoyance and injury of the settlers, or in parts of the country where there is no chance of purchasers offering for them, at any price, for the next ten or twenty years.

Are you aware with regard to that sale of 100,000 acres per annum, which was considered as great a sale as could be calculated upon from year to year, that part of the arrangement is that the proceeds of it should be applied to open- ing roads?–In the first place, I deny the possibility of selling 100,000 acres a year to settlers; byt this should not detract from the liberality and good inten- tion of the church in devouting their property to so praiseworthy and charitable a purpose. It would certainly be a more beneficial employment of the money for the country, than sending it home for investment in the funds.

Are you aware that the Act of 1791 appropriated one-seventh part of the land of those provinces to the maintenance of a Protestant clergy?–I am.

And you aware that a present it has been a disputed point whether under the term “Protestant clergy,” it applies exclusively to the clergy of the Church of England, or also to the clergy of the Church of Scotland?–I am quite aware of the feeling that exists in the country upon that subject, and of the claims of the different sects of Protestant Christians to participate in this fund; but hitherto the Church of England and the Colonial Office have agreed in their construc- tion of the Act for the exclusive benefit of the ministers of that church, and there is a general impression in the minds of the people of the determination to establish the English church as the predominant and exclusively endowed church in that country, to which you can never expect their willing assent.

On what account?–Because the majority of the population are not members of the Established Church, far the greatest proportion being dissenters; and you may run the risk of increasing the evil by any attempt to make a separate and distinct provision for the Church of Scotland, if you do not at the same time provide for the claims other descriptions of Protestant conceive themselves en- titled to, under the Act of 1791.

In what way are the ministers of the Scottish church now supported in Canada?—I believe some small allowances are made by Government, but that no part of such allowances are niw derived from the reserved lands for the Protestant church in Canada.

Are you aware what is the same amount in money of the whole proceeds annually arise from the reserves in Canada, as applicable to the English clergy? — I suppose they must be trifling, but they would have been very considerable if the transaction that I have alluded to between the Canada Company and the Crown for the sale of the Reserves, had been carried into effect. I understand part of the allowances made to the Scotch clergy have been paid for out of other Government lands sold to the Canada Company by the Crown, which is not unlikely to excite additional jealousy on the part of other Protestant con- gregations, as a further application of the public money exclusively to the benefit of the Church of Scotland.

In what way have the ministers of dissenting congregations, other than the Church of Scotland, been provided for in Canada?–I believe by the voluntary support of their communicants.

Are you aware of cases in which there has been a provision made for the Church of England where there has been a predominance of other persuasions? –I have stated it to be so made in Upper Canada, where there is a predomi- nance of other persuasions. My opinion of the predominance of other persua- sions is founded upon a resolution of the Assembly, declaring that the established religion of the Church of England was not the religion of the majority of the inhabitants. Upon a division in the Assembly on this resolution, I understand the majority was about 38 to 4 or 5, in favour of it.

Is Upper Canada generally divided into parishes?–I should think not yet, it is scarcely divided into counties.

In what way are the clergy of the Church of England apportioned to any par- ticular district or any particular portion of the inhabitants?–I do not know how they are apportioned, but the clergy of the Church of England have other advantages. They receive considerable allowances from the Society for the Pro- pagation of the Gospel, the greater portion of whose funds arise from an annual grant of the British Parliament.

Do you know, in point of fact, how the clergy of the Church of England are paid?–The payments they now receive must be either from Government, or from such portions of the insignificant fund hitherto derived from the sale or rent of the clergy reserves, or from allowances from the Society for the Propagation of the Gosepl; for I am afraid they would have little chance of provision, in the present state of feeling, from any voluntary payment on the part of the inhabitants.

Are the lands which you describe as clergy reserves held hy the clergy in the same way as the church property here is held, or as glebe lands are held; or are they held by the Government; and the proceeds of them applied to the payment of the clergy?—I believe they are held by the Church as a corporation, and that no division or apportionment has as yet taken place. This corporation at present act under the control of the late regulations, and I have heard they rely mainly on the support of the English bishops to protect their exclusive claims against any attempt on.the part of Government to alter the nature of the property, or to provide for the claims of other sects to participate in it.

Looking at the provisions of 1791, with respect to the clergy and to the manner in which those lands have been set aprt, and to the difficulties which surround the subject, what is in your opinion the best course to be taken?– I think of very little importance under what title, or by the provisions of what Act of Parliament, these lands have been set apart for the maintenance of an exclusive church in Canada. I am satisfied that all legislation with respect to a conciliatory adjustment of the difficulties existing in that country will be in vain, unless some mode is devised of putting an end to the title of the Church in these lands, and substituting some other provision for them.

Is not a large portion of the land that is held as clergy reserves granted out in small portions over the surface of the country, and would it not be more conve- nient that those small portions should be exchanged for some large mass else- where ?—Nothing can be more inconvenient or more injurious to the industrious population than the mode in which these reserves have been laid out. Detached portions of each townships intervening between the occupations of actual settlers, who have no means of cutting roads through woods and morasses separating them from their neighbours. They retard more than any other circumstances the culti- vation and improvement of the country. I do not think, however, in the present state of feeling in Upper Canada, it would be very expedient to attempt to remedy this defect by setting apart other lands in larger grants as a provision for the clergy.

You have alluded to a contract that was entered into by the Canada Company with Government for the purchase of those lands, and also for portions of the Crown reserves, will you be so good as to describe what the nature of that con- tract was?–In my opinion it was the most inconvenient contract that could have been made for the parties on both sides. The object of the Colonial Office was to obtain a considerable sum of money from the sale of land, and by the establish- ment of the company to encourage the transmission of capital for the improvement of Upper Canada. I am afraid, unless great caution is observed in the appro- priation of the fund to be so received, it will become another source of grievance and complaint, and I do not think that objection likely to be diminished by the grant of any part of it as a provision for the ministers of any particular denomination, or for the foundation or endowment of schools or colleges on exclusive principles, The better policy would have been to grant to the company a more moderate quantity of land for a small price or for nothing, on condition of their expending double its assumed value in settling and improving it. By this means one point of contention might have been avoided, and the Government would have had at its free disposal four-fifths of the reserves to grant and settle by other methods, while I am satisfied the Canada Company would have done better by confining its first undertaking within its probable means of management; as it is, I fear great part of the funds hitherto received have been expended in unnecessary expenses attending the execu- tion of the contract.

Can you state what quantity of land was conveyed to the Canada Company? –In the first instance, half the clergy and all the Crown reserves in the townships which had been laid out and admeasured in Upper Canada, to be paid for or taken up in a series of years.

What number of years was allowed?–Fifteen years.

Is it likely that they would be able to take up the quantity of land they con- tracted for in that space of time?–In consequence of an alteration in the contract, rendered necessary by the objection of the clergy to the award of the commissioners appointed to value their lands, great difficulties have been experienced by the company in completing their arrangements, and a new negociation was resorted to, to remove those difficulties.

Do you know what value the commissioners put upon the land?–I think the price awarded by the commissioners, for between 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 of acres under the original contract, belonging to the Crown and the Church, was 3 s. 3 d. currency an acre, the currency being ten per cent less than sterling, and the com- pany gave that price for the Crown reserves.

Did any contract take place under that valuation for the church reserves?–The Church, as I have stated before, refused to abide by the valuation after it had been awarded by the commissioners, and their refusal, as I have also stated, led to the greatest difficulty on the part of the company, a difficulty which, with respect to the completion of their contract, they may yet have great trouble in conquering. Government acquisced in the refusal however, and after much discussion, and a submission to counsel on some technical point, urged by the Church in support of their objection, the directors agreed to release the Government from that part of the contract, and a new grant of a block of land, to the extent of 1,000,000 of acres on the borders of Lake Huron, was substituted for the clergy reserves; Government agreeing that a large proportion of the price to be paid for the new grant should be laid out in making roads, and in other improvements upon the property.

Is any sum of money annually paid by the company to the Crown?–I think two years payment, to the extent of nearly 40,000 l. has been either paid or directed to be paid by the company on account of this purchase, and the other payments will go on, according to the present agreement, at the rate of from 15,000 l. to 20,000l. A year, until the whole of the purchase, exceeding 350,000 l. is paid, or such part of it as I have before adverted to, laid out in of the new grant.

Have the company power to alienate land in fee ?—Certainly, they have; but questions are now depending besween the Government and the company, and altogether it is not a very clear case, in my opinion, that the obstacle interposed by the refusal of the clergy to concur in the award of the commissioners may not lead to further and graver difficulties.

Is there any fixed annual payment to be made by the Canada Company?– They must take up land to the extent of 15,000 l. annually.

Are they bound to continue the payment after they have taken up all the land? –No, when they have paid for it, they have a free title to it.

You are aware that instructions were issued to the commissioners that valued this land, which instructions were approved of both by the Canada Company and the Government?–I am quite aware that instructions of that description were sent, and more unwise instructions, although they were agreed upon by the Company and the Crown, never were issued to any set of commissioners.

Are you aware that a question arose whether the Commissioners had executed those instructions, and that a reference was made to a professional gentleman upon the subject?–As there could be no ascertained principle upon which the com- missioners could execute their instructions, their award was of course open to every kind of objection which either party chose to take it but; but I do not think the particular objection taken by the Crown or the clergy could have been main- tained on reference to any two men in Great Britain, of competent knowledge or habits of business in such transactions.

Was not such a case as that, in which from the circumstances no absolutely defined principle could be established, precisely a case in which arbitration might be resorted to, as to the fact whether the fair principle of the instructions issued to the commissioners had been satisfied?–As I never could understand the prin- ciples laid down in the instructions, which directed the commissioners to value between two and three millions of acres of wild land in a country where in fact it could have no real value for money, no sale of any quantity of land amounting even to 10,000 acres, having, in my recollection, ever previously taken place, I cannot see what limit could have been imposed to the discretion of the com- missioners, or what other rule than the most visionary speculation could have guided their award. Certain I am, they did more than ample justice to both Country and Church.

Although you may be of opinion that nothing could be more absured than those instructions, were they not approved by the majority of those interested in the formation of the Canada Company?–The commission itself, and the instructions, were both approved of by the majority of the directors of the Canada Company. It was projected in the first instance by most respectable persons, but who knew as much of Canada as they did of Japan.

You understood to have stated to the Committee, as your opinion, that this sale of land to the Canada Company, for which ultimately the sum of 350,000l. is to be received, had better have been given as a donation to the company, sub- ject to imposing settlement duties for the general improvement of the province; are you not aware that one of the avowed objects of that sale was, to relieve the British Parliament from the necessity of voting an annual estimate for the civil government of Upper Canada?–I have not stated that between two and three millions of acres of land had better be given to any company or any body in Upper Canada; but I stated at the time, and pressed my opinion on both parties, that if half a million of acres had been so given, or sold at a moderate price, without all the expensive and unsatisfactory process of an attempt to value that which in fact was otherwise unsaleable, and the company had been bound to lay out a portion of their capital in the improvement of that half million of acres, the arrangement, would have imposed upon the Government of disposing of this land for the paynment of the civil list of Upper Canada, nor am I aware that the money has hitherto so applied; but there could be no occasion to resort to such a source of revenue, supposing it to have been disadvantageous in other respects, inasmuch as the ordinary revenue received on the trade of Canada has been always perfectly adequate, or might have been made perfectly adequate to the discharge of the civil lsits of both provinces.

You are understood to state, that by proper management the revenue of Upper Canada would have been sufficient For the maintenance of her civil list; be good enough to detail in what manner that could be effected?—It could have been effected either by increasing the duties upon importation at Quebec, upon articles consumed in Upper Canada, or by giving her a fair portion of the revenue generally collected at Quebec.

Are you not aware that the British Government could not, for the more and avowed purposes of revenue, have imposed custom duties in Lower Canada for the sake of increasing the revenue of Upper Canada, and enabling her to discharge her civil list?– I am aware that the greatest possible objections exist in principle to their doing so; but I arn also aware that in point of fact they have got over those objections, and, by the Canada Trade Act, have imposed duties to an extent quite equal to the expense of the civil govcrinncnt of both provinces, without con- sulting either of the provincial legislatures. The Canada Trade Act, for this purpose, had been passed three years before the arrangement with the Canada Company.

Are you not aware that this country has no power to regulate the distribution of revenue between Upper and Lower Canada, except upon the principle of arbitration between the two provinces, and that the result of that arbitration has been to give Upper Canada proportion of revenue not adequate for the mainte- nance of that establishment?–After all, the question resolves itself into what is the fit amount of the expenditure of the civil government, and what deficiency it was necessary and advisable to supply, and whether that defiency has been supplied from this fund; and I should be able to give an opinion upon that subject when I saw the application of the monies hitherto received from the Canada Company. I think, for the satisfaction of the Committee, they had better obtain a return of the amount of money received from the company, and of the application of it, up to this time.

Can you inform the Committee whether in the settletnents of the townships, the persons belonging to the different denominations of religion have collected in different districts, or are they generally intermingled?–They are scattered all over the country.

Were not the boundaries of Upper and Lower Canada settled in consequence of the provisions of the Act of 1791?—They were.

In your opinion, has the boundary line between the two provinces been drawn conveniently for the two provinces; or is the division so arranged as to give rise to very conflicting interests and separate feelings between them?– The division alto- gether was most unfortunate, and has completely verified the predictions of its consequences, made at the time by the agent of Canada,and by all the witnesses examined at the bar of the House. The result, so far, of maintaining distinctions beweeyn two classes of subjects, has produced no proof of policy. As to the particular boundary or division of territory, that is very immaterial, and I do not believe you could satisfy either party in the general questions now under discussion by any alteration in that respect.

In point of fact, has not a very strong collission of feeling, and a sense of dif- ference of interest arisen between the inhabitants of the two provinces?–The greatest possible collision of interest has arisen on the subject of the revenue; and unfortunately there is every reason to apprehend it is only now at its beginning.

Will you be so good as to state the principal grounds of difference that exist between the two provinces?–The principal ground is, the pretension set up by the French Legislature at Quebec to regulate the trade of the St. Law- rencem and to levy all duties upon the exportation or importation of commodities either going from or to every part of Canada, without consulting the Upper Pro- vince on the point of deep and vital important to its inhabitants. This grievance will of course be more deeply as the hitherto rapid settlement of Upper Canada, encouraged by more liberal institutions, and a better state of law, pro- gressively advances. The French population of the Lower Province have not increased or improved their condition in any respect in proportion to that of the English population either in Upper or in Lower Canada, nor is there any reason to believe that their numbers or their interest in the country will in future increase in proportion to the increase that must take place in both colonies in British inhabitants and British capital. As the British interest increase in either pro- vince, a community of feeling will necessarily lead to their closer connection together; and I am afraid, if even it was the determination of Parliament to maintain the ascendancy of one class of the population of Lower Canada, and their exclusive powers over the taxation and commerce of the country, the British inhabitants of both Provinces would, at no distant time, look to some other means of relieving themselves from so intolerable a grievance.

Are you sufficiently acquainted with the course of trade upon the St. Lawrence, to know whether, in point of fact, any obstruction exists in the export of the pro- duce which the inhabitants of Upper Canada have to dispose of, or whether the inhabitants of Upper Canada can export their produce as freely as those in the Lower Province?–At present there is no obstruction. Formerly some regulations were attempted to ascertain the extent of goods transmitted to Upper Canada, I believe, with a view of arriving at data to assist the commissioners in apportion- ing the revenue. Some complaint, I have also understood, was made of a tax levied by the Assembly at Quebec, on rafts of timber coming down the Rapids from Upper Canada, for the purpose of improving the navigation, and that the money so levied was never expended on that object; otherwise the inhabitants have free ingress and egress for all their commodities, subject of course to such regulations and duties as the Lower Legislature think fit in their discretion to impose upon both.

Are any duties imposed upon any description of commodities on being exported from Canada?–Very trifling, if any.

Are the duties which are collected upon goods imported into Quebec or Mon- treal, and which are imposed and regulated by the Assembly of Lower Canada, influenced in a certain degree by such Acts as have passed in this country fro the purposes of regulating the trade?–I have stated, in a previous part of my exami- nation, that the disputes between the provinces on matters connected with their joint revenue, led to the Canada Trade Act of 1822; and by the provisions of that Act the most valuable part of the constitutional functions of both the Colonial Legislatures are in effect abrogated. That Act passed almost unanimously in Par- liament, and received the especial support of those who opposed the union bill.

Considering the respective habits and manners of the inhabitants of Lower and of Upper Canada, would not any system of import duties be likely to affect the two classes very differently, as to the burthen that they would produce upon each ? –I should think not; and I am quite sure if the case was otherwise, the better policy would be to avoid all distinctions.

Do you think that it would be best to enact such a system of custom duties as would. with reference to the articles upon which they were imposed, have an equal bearing upon the population of the two provinces?–From the nature of the country it would be impossible to do otherwise, even if it were advisable.

Is their consumption similar, from their habits and wants?–I should think, in some respects, dissimilar. The two great articles upon which the revenue is now raised, are rum and tea. The French Canadians are probably the greater con- sumers of rum, and the English population, following the habit of their own country, and of their neighbours in America, the greater consumers of tea; but there is a considerable consumption of these commodities by both parties.

Is it not probable that if a large duty were imposed on the tea imported into Upper Canada, where the English population chiefly reside, it would press much more heavily upon them than upon the Canadians?–A heavy tax upon tea would be both objectionable to the people, and impolitic; but the particular grievance with the people of the Upper Province would be, that the Assembly at Quebec should tax their tea without their consent, and I suppose it is not in- tended to adopt a permanent system of taxation by Parliament.

It is not absolutely necessary that that same rate of duty should be collected upon goods imported into the St. Lawrence whether for the consumption of the Upper or of the Lower Province; and if different rates of duty were to be levied in the two provinces, would it not inevitably lead to an intolerable extent of smuggling between the two provinces?–The inevitable result of any attempt to levy different rates of duties at different ports in the St. Lawrence above Quebec, would be smuggling to an extent quite destructive of the revenue, beyond other obvious objections to which such a system must be liable. Of course it is neces- sary certain rates of duties should be collected on the whole trade, unless Parlia- ment was disposed most unnecessarily to pay the expenses of the civil govern- ment out of the revenue of Great Britain.

Would it be possible to fix upon some spot which should be made a legal landing place for all goods to he transferred to Upper Canada, and to make any arrangement that should insure the transport of those goods to Upper Canada, without any portion of them being transferred for consumption into the province of Lower Canada?–It would be quite impossible, and if the case was otherwise, the restrictions and regulations on the trade of Upper Canada would be an in- tolerable nuisance. At present the merchants and storekeepers in the Upper Province purchase their annual assortments of supplies for their customers in the towns and villages at Montreal. Very few goods are exported from this country direct for Upper Canada. Montreal is the great mart through which far the larger proportion of the whole trade is and must continue to be conducted.

If those circumstances make it necessary that the same rate of duty should be collected on all goods passing up the St. Lawrence, whether for the Upper Pro- vince or for the Lower, is it possible to devise any system of division and appro- priation of the produce of the custom duties collected in the St. Lawrence, be- tween the two provinces, which must not necessarily be fluctuating and imperfect; supposing a perfect proportion were arranged this year between the Upper and Lower Province, according to the respective consumption of the two provinces, must not that proportion necessarily become imperfect in subsequent years, from the variation that would take place in the population and wealth of the two pro- vinces?–I am of opinion any such system is impracticable, and would only lead to renewed complaints and disputes. We have already some proof of this in the difficulties that have hitherto attended the attempts to devise a satisfactory mode of reference between the two provinces.

Have the goodness to describe those difficulties?–Referees were appointed by the two Governments previously to the Act of 1822, to decide upon the propor- tion to which Upper Canada was entitled of the total revenue raised at Quebec. Upon some difference or obstacle arising to an adjustment, the Legislature of Lower Canada refused to grant the necessary powers to enable the Government to proceed in the arrangement, and the Upper Province was thrown upon this country for the means of paying her civil list.

If the parties were ever so well inclined to agree to a proportionate division, would not such division in itself necessarily be imperfect?–Certainly it would; and without meaning to state any opinion myself on the point, the fact should not be withheld from the Committee, that a general impression prevails among the English inhabitants engaged in the trade of both provinces, that the representatives returned to the House of Assembly by the mass of uneducated Canadians, are not exactly the persons best qualified to decide on questions connected with the trade, or revenue affecting it; and this impression does not tend to diminish the objections to their exclusive power of legislation on this subject.

If you were called upon to divide the customs duties collected between the two provinces, upon what principle would you form such a division?–It is impossible to divine a principle upon which one could make a satisfactory division. If you were able even to arrive at some tolerable estimate of the consumption of particular commodities in the two provinces, that would be no great assistance. There are other consumers, and to a considerable extent, of commodities on which duties are levied at Quebec, and the Lower Province have no greater claim than the Upper to any addition to the revenue from the general trade of St. Lawrence. The duties levied on the trade between the colonies and their neighbours form part of the mass.

Whatever proportion is fixed, must it not necessarily vary from time to time?– It must vary with the annual increase of the population, which, under present circumstances, will go on in a much more rapid progress in the Upper Province.

If one rate of customs duties must be collected in the revenue, and one mass of revenue is collected, and no fair or equitable division is made between the two provinces, does it not necessarily follow that there must be one expenditure?– That I take to be one of the most difficult points of this case. Supposing any idea to be entertained of re-uniting those provinces, I have always thought the more prudent course to adopt, and one which the paramount object of preventing at first any collision in the united Legislature on the heretofore separate interests of the parties would justify, would be to fix the present revenue, and apply such part of it, for a certain number of years, as would be necessary to defray the charges of the existing civil lists in both provinces.

How could that object be effected?–By adequate provisions in a bill for uniting the Legislatures, specifying in the schedule to the bill, in minute detail, the different charges to be defrayed, in such a manner so that there should be no ground for suspicion that it was intended either to increase the charge or to give the executive authority any discretion in the payments. I think this arrangement might not be objected to, on the ground I have stated, for a limited period of from five to fifteen years. Any surplus of revenue, or monies raised for the im- provement of the country, or for the increase of the establishments in proportion to the gradual increase of the population and the wants of the administration, would be still under the control of the Legislature, and at the termination of the limited period the full power of regulating the taxation and expenditure would revert to them. Before that time, it is to be hoped, all separate habits and interests might be nearly lost sight of, and the present collision of feelings and prejudices give way to a general desire to consult only the common good and the prosperity of the country in the united Legislature.

Has the House of Assembly of Upper Canada ever expressed any wish for a union of the two provinces?–I have not heard so, nor do I conceive the fact either way to be of much importance. The people and the Legislature are only desirous to participate in the exercise of the undoubted right of the whole people to raise the revenue and regulate the commerce of the country.

In what way, in the case of the union, would you provide for the most general services, and the rest of the revenue remaning after the disposal of the civil list?– I would leave it at the free disposal of the united Legislature. I am perfectly satisfied, a governor of conciliatory disposition, popular character and good sound sense, acting upon instructions from this country, founded on liberal principles, would have no difficulty in balancing and conciliating the different parties in the Legislature, and procuring from the ample means of improving the institutions, and promoting the general interests of both provinces.

When the union of the two provinces was proposed in Parliament, did not a feeling arise in Lower Canada extremely hostile to that measure?–An adverse feeling certainly was expressed by the French population in Lower Canada, but not to a greater degree than was anticipated.

Was not one of the grounds upon which that feeling was founded an apprehen- sion that under the circumstances of the union the provision for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic clergy might be endangered?–There were several ill advised clauses in the bill. It was suggested by the original proposers of the measure that some clause should be inserted protecting the Catholic church and the rights of the clergy from all encroachment by any Act of the new Legislature. This intention was not accomplished by the clause in the Act, which was construed by the clergy as directed hostilely against their establishment. Nothing could have been so contrary to the feeling with which any mention of the church was suggested, and it would be consistent equally with justice policy to provide distinctly in any measure for uniting the colonies, against all dangers the clergy may apprehend in this respect.

Each of those provinces having now a representative assembly, would it in your opinion be possible or desirable to leave to those assemblies the regulation of such matters connected with each province as might be considered as local and particular, and to assemble a Congress, consisting of certain members of both bodies, to which might be given the charge of such concerns as should be general to the two provinces; among which may be enumerated the collection of the revenue, great institutions for the purpose of defence, and the general application of the revenue, appointing to each of them a fixed civil list?–If it were possible to satisfy the parties by any arrangement more than by the whole measure of a union, I should be much inclined to sacrifice a great deal for that object. But a Congress would in fact be only a union with more complex machinery; and I doubt whether the objection of one individual in Lower Canada to any measure of this description would be removed by it. The same difficulty would occur in apportioning the influence of the two parties in the Congress, as in a Legislature common to both, and you must make some alteration in the constitution of the Assembly of the Lower Province, by the admission of representatives from the townships. The great desideratum is to infuse into the legislative body, under whatever regulations it may be placed, persons of liberal education, who may be able to counteract the influence of narrow habits and old prejudices in retarding the prosperity of the country.

Would not the same objection exist if a legislative union took place; would not the effect necessarily be, upon similar principles, to extend the influence of the French Canadians to Upper Canada?–Certainly not, if you were to united the two Legislatures, adding to them a proportion of representatives from the unrepresented townships in Lower Canada.

Have the Legislatures of the two provinces ever come into collision on any other points except those connected with trade?–They could not come into col- lision upon other points, but this is one of paramount and vital importance.

Have not there been many Acts passed by the Legislature of Upper Canada to which there have been no similar acts passed in Lower Canada?–Of course there have been; the state of society is different.

In the population of the great towns of Montreal and Quebec principally French or English?–Principally French in numbers. But this would alter rapidly, and a great amalgamation of the present distinct classes, and a still greater alteration in property take place, if the tenures were changed; and the Crown has now the uncontrolled power of effecting this object in both towns.

Does the French population also possess the major part of the wealth and respectability in those towns?–Certainly not. The whole trade, and all the capital employed in it, or at least in the great branches of trade, is in the hands of the English.

Could any possible change of boundaries between Upper and Lower Canada remove the difficulties at present existing?–I can conceive none. What would be the effect of including the Island of Montreal in Upper Canada?

–I do not think that any new division of the boundaries would improve the condition of Upper Canada, and the separation of Montreal from the Lower Province would produce more dissatisfaction than a more efficient measure.

Would not annexing Montreal to Upper Canada transfer a very large mass of the French population into that province, in which no French interest exists at present?–Certainly; but the character of the population in this most important town will progressively change.

What provision of the Legislature of either province has been made in pursuance of the provision of the Act of 1791, for the extension of the right of representa- tion and suffrage to the new settlers in either province?–In Upper Canada I think the original number of the Assembly was 16; in Lower Canada, 50. The Assembly of Upper Canada have taken advantage of the power given them by the Act of 1791, to extend the representation in proportion to the new settlements and increase of the inhabitants of that province, and the original number of 16 has been gradually increased to the present number of 43 or 45. The country is divided into counties, and I believe each county is entitled to send a represen- tative when there are 2,000 inhabitants, and a second when the number increases to 4,000, when the representation of the county is complete. This law is still in operation, and of course the number of members of the Upper Assembly will pro- gressively increase with the population. The Assembly of Lower Canada having no disposition to admit representatives from the English townships, have never added one to their number, nor have they acted like the Upper Assembly on the powers in the bill of 1791. The consequence is, the new settlements remain un- represented, and the whole powers of legislation affecting the mode of revenue of both provinces, and all other interests of the Lower, are confined to the original 50 members returned almost exclusively by the French population. It might be advisable, in considering the means of redressing the complaints of the English population on this head, to refer to the institutions of the neighbouring state of Vermont. There, it is considered so essential to provide for the greater wants of new settlers, that a right of representation is given to a much smaller number than by the regulation in force in Upper Canada. Two members, I understand, are given to each new township when 80 taxable inhabitants are resident in it, when the representation of such township is complete, and cannot be increased, not- withstanding any addition to the population. The rule was even more in favour of new settlers at first. The town of Burlington, I understand, was represented when it only contained eight or nine taxable families. The population has since increased to 5,000, but their share in the representation remains the same as in the first instance, while other representatives are constantly added to the Legislature from new settlements. The situation and condition of these settlements is very analogous to those in the townships of Lower Canada.

Have not the House of Assembly of Lower Canada twice passed a bill to extend the representation precisely on the principles of the state of Vermont?–That may have been, and I believe was the case, but no such law was passed.

Does not the principle on which the state of Vermont gives an advantage to a newly settled country, consist merely in giving the advantage of what is called the fraction to a newly settled country, that is to say, that there must be a certain number of inhabitants in a township before it can have one member; and when that is passed, before they get to the number that entitles them to two members, they give them what is called the fraction?–That rule, I understand, only applies until the number of taxable inhabitants arrives at 80, when the representation of the township is complete. The great advantage the new settler has in this prin- ciple of representation is, that the first 80 inhabitants have be their two members as much influence in the Assembly as a population of fifty times the amount in the old settled townships; and this advantage has been given to extend and encourage the cultivation of the country.

Did not the bill brought in by the House of Assembly in Lower Canada, at the same time that it provided for the increase of representation in the townships, founded upon the increase of population, extend that same principle of increase to the seigneuries which are now already represented, whereas in the state of Vermont no increase of the representation took place in the already represented districts when new districts came into the representation?–Upon recollection, I think, the first was so. The bill sent up by the Assembly for the increase of their numbers would have admitted four or five members from the townships, and added about 20 from the seigneuries; in short, only aggravating the evil, under pretence of liberality to the townships.

Can you state any other grounds of objection which have been urged to the union of the two provinces besides those which you have alluded to?–I have heard of no other grounds; but it is quite impossible there should not be a great difference of opinion on a subject affecting in so many ways the particular interests, both of individuals and parties. For instance, persons residing at Quebec, and at York in Upper Canada, may neither approve of the removal of the Legislature to Montreal, supposing that to be the proper place, if a union should be decided upon.

Are you aware what increase of population has taken place among the French Canadians since the year 1791?–A very considerable increase has taken place, but not in proportion to the increase in the English population in both countries.

Are the elections at Montreal and Quebec in the French or English interest? –Every election depends on the French interests; and I doubt very much whether there would be a single English representative returned if there were a new election to-morrow.

Even in the commercial towns?–Even in the commercial towns. The elec- tion also depend in a great measure on the influence of the clergy.

Is the right of suffrage universal in those towns?–I forget what the right of suffrage is. I proposed in the Union Bill that the right of suffrage in counties should be 5 l. a year, and the right in the towns 10 l. a year.

Do the Protestants in the seigneuries pay tithes to the Catholic clergy?–They pay no tithe, they contribute in no way to the support of any minister except voluntarily.

Do not the Catholics pay tithes to their pastors?–Catholics are compelled by law to pay tithes. Protestants are exempt from all claims of this description.

Do you conceive it would be possible and desirable to erect either of the great towns in a free port, and that the duties should be levied upon the issue of goods from such free port, in proportion as they went out to one province or the other, or would that give a facility to smuggling?–The restriction would be very unfair to other districts of the country, and prejudicial to the general trade, and it would be impossible to prevent smuggling on so great an extent of navi- gation.

Cannot vessels sailing up the river land at any point?–Certainly. At present all vessels enter at Quebec; but if bound to Montreal, the consignee only gives bond at Quebec, and pays the duty afterwards on discharging at Montreal.

Do you conceive it would be possible to form a representation upon the prin- ciple of admitting some of the great towns as independent bodies into a con- federation, such as exists in the north of Germany?–I am afraid it is too late to attempt the introduction of new principles of that kind in America. You must either improve the system that exists on the model of our institutions at home, or copy from the simpler forms in practice in the United States. No other method will be congenial to the habits of the English or American inhabitants of Canada.

Would it be easy to circumscribe such a district as should embrace little more than the French population, if you wishes to throw them into a separate pro- vince, forming a part of confederation?–I do not see much difficulty in forming a separate establishment for the French, if you deprive them of their exclusive control over the legislation affecting the trade and revenue, and introduce satis- factory reforms to the English inhabitants in the tenures of property and the laws; but all these alterations would produce equal dissastisfaction with any more general arrangement, and do what you will to maintain the ppresent distinctions, the progress of civilization, the increase in power of the inhabitants of the coun- tries watered by the St. Lawrence, and the probable march of events in America, will be eternally counteracting your views, and in the end lead to the necessity of more decided measures. I wish to add, that in any thing that may fallen from me in the course of these examinations, I have not had the least intention of imputing blame to any persons connected with the executive Government in either province. I believe they have acted under instructions from this country, and that the difficulties they have had to contend with, and the discussions in which they have been involved with the Colonial legislatures, were the inevit- able consequences of a determination to persevere in the system of government I have described to the Committee, and which could scarcely have been avoided while that system remained unreformed and unimproved.

Martis, 20 die Maij, 1828.

WHERE do you usally reside?–My usual residence has been at Quebec; I have resided for the last five or six years six miles from Quebec.

Are you a native of Quebec?–No, I am a native of Scotland.

How many years have you resided in Lower Canada?–Thirty-seven years.

Have you ever been, or are you at this time a member of the House of Assem- bly in Lower Canada?–I have been a Member of the House of Assembly of Lower Canada for the county of Quebec for ten years.

Are you now deputed by anu portion of the inhabitants of Lower Canada to make any representations to His Majesty’s Government in this country?–I am deputed with Mr. Viger and Mr. Cuvillier, of Montreal, on the part of the petitioners who subscribed the petition presented to the House of Commons lately.

Will you state what the grievances are of which the inhabitants of Lower Canada complain, and what it is they seek a remedy for from the Government of this country and from Parliament?–I shall take the liberty of stating the grievances as they are stated by the petitioners themselves: they complain, in the first instance, that the state of the province has been growing worse for several years past in respect to trade and the value of landed property, and the profits of industry. They complain that the expenses of Government are high. They com- plain that there has been a waste of the public revenue and resources; that the public monies advanced or paid for public purposes are not sufficiently accounted for; that large losses have consequently accrued; that the laws that are conceived by the people to be necessary for the common welfare are rejected by one of the branches of the Legislature, that branch being principally composed of persons who are dependent upon the Executive Government of the province. The laws, of the rejection of which they complain, are mentioned in the petition; they are various annual bills, granting the supplies for the support of the Provincial Government; for affording legal recourse to the subject having claims against the Provincial Government; for regulating certain fees and offices; for enabling the inhabitants of the towns of Quebec and Montreal to manage their local concerns; for extending the facility of proceeding in courts of justice more generally through- out the province than at present; for providing a new gaol for the city of Montreal; for qualifying justices of the peace; for continuing the militia laws ; for increasing the representation in the House of Assembly ; for the security of the public mo- nies in the hands of the receiver-general of the province ; for the independence of the judges ; for appointing an agent to reside in England to attend to the affairs of the province: these are all bills that have passed the House of Assembly, most of them eral times, I believe all several times, and have been rejected in the Legislative Council.

Have they all been rejected by the Legislative Council, or have they been dire allowed by the King ?—They have failed in the Legislative Council ; there are none that I have mentioned that have been refused by the King.

Are there any of those which have been amended by the Legislative Council ?– Yes, there are.

Can you particularire which those are ?—A supply bill has been sent down amended; the bill for regulating certain fees and offices, I believe, was amended once; the bills for facilitating the administration of justice have been amended; the bill for continuing the Acts regulating the militia of the province was sent down amended. I am ready to give in, if the Committee wish for it, copies of those bills as latterly sent up to the Council.

[The witness is requested to furnish the Committee with copies of the same.]

Are there no road bills or education bills that have been sent up by the Assembly ?–Yes, there are; but they are not mentioned in the petition. They complain that the bills mentioned in the petition, and others, were rejected by the Legislative Council, and they ascribe that rejection to the Executive Government of the province.

Were they rejected with or without discussion ?—Many of them were rejected without discussion; many of them were not proceeded upon on account ofa rule that the Council imposed upon themselves in 1821 or 1822, not to proceed upon bills of a certain description: for instance, not to proceed upon appropriation bills of a certain description.

Where does that rule appear?—It appears upon the rules of the Legislative Council.

Can you furnish the Committee with a copy of the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly ?—I think I can.

The next grievances that the petitioners complain of are the applications of money levied in the province, without appropriations by the Legislature thereof; the next is advances of money to persons who have not sufficiently accounted for the same, dissipation of public money, appointment of persons to be intrusted with public monies without full security given; the diversion of the revenues of the estates of the late Order of Jesuits from the purposes of education of the youth of the province; the noivexecution of the conditions of the grants of the waste lands of the Crown; and the last is attempts made in England to obtain changes of the established constitution in the province by the officers of Government, during the existence of all these abuses. Hitherto I have con?ned myself to the complaints in the Quebec petition, and the county of Warwick petition; but there are complaints against the Governor-in-Chief in the Montreal petition which are are not in the Quebec petition; the Montreal petition was adopted subsequently, and it was not approved of in the county of Warwick and some other parts. In addition to the complaints of the Quebec petition, the Montreal petition adds some which are directed against the Governor; ?rst, with withholding of despatches that ought to have been laid before the Legislature; the dismission of Messrs. Macord and M oundalet. The stipendiary ehairnian of the quarter sessions for the district of Montreal; the retaining of Mr. Caldwell as receiver-general after his default was known by the Governor, and continuining Mr. Perceval as collector of the customs after he had taken illegal fees; appointing Mr. Hale as receiver— general without security, and Mr, Young as sheriff without sufficient security, although both their predecessors had been defaulters to it large amount; con- tinued abuse of the representation of the country in the newspaper established by his Excellency; threats of dismissions contained in those papers, dismissions of militia officers, and interference with the elective franchise, and with members of Assembly for the exercise of their freedom of voting in the House; answers to addresses, in which the Assembly is very harshly spoken of; misrepresentations of the Assembly in a speech delivered in 1827. These are all in the Montreal and Three Rivers petition, and are omitted in the Quebec and Warwick petition. I am ready to enter into explanation of any one of those charges, and I am ready to produce proof by public documents of the whole of them, particularly of those in the Quebec and Warwick petition.

There are two or three of those complaints in the Montreal petition, which are public complaints; why are they omitted in the Quebec petition ?—The Quebec resolutions and the Montreal resolutions were adopted almost simultaneously; there was no concert between the two places. Each one of course mentioned those articles that they conceived bore the hardest upon them. In Montreal they felt those articles as bearing; hard upon them, and in Quebec they did not say a word about them.

Seeing that so many bills have passed the House of Assembly which have been rejected by the Legislative Council, will you state to what circumstances you believe that to be owing ?—The petitions ascribe the rejection of those bills more to the composition of the Legislative Council, the dependent situation in which the members are placed relatively to the Governor, than to any thing else.

Will you describe the constitution of the Legislative Council? –When I left the province there were resident in it 27 legislative counsellors; Jonathan Sewell, Speaker, 900l. a year; President of the Executive Council and Court of Appeals, 100l.; Chief Justice of the province and the district of Quebec, salary 1,500l. besides about 150l. for circuits, making altogether 2,650l. sterling. The Rev. C. J. Stewart, Lord Bishop of Quebec, salary and allowances as shop paid by Great Britain, about 3,000l.; Sir John Johnson, Indian Department, paid by Great Britain, it is merely supposed 1,000l. a year; I cannot say whether it is correct or not.

What is the Indian Department ?—There is a department in Canada called the Indian Department; it is a department that was established during the Ainerican war to have the direction of Indian affairs. John Richardson, an executive counsellor, 100l. a year; Charles St. Ours, half-pay as captain, paid by Great Britain ; John Hale, appointed by Lord Dalhousie to act as receiver general, 900 l. a year; as executive counsellor, 100 l., making together 1,000 l. a year.

Have all the executive counsellors 100 l. a year in that capacity ?—They have. John Caldwell, the late receiver general, is now paying by agreement for holding his estates, 2,000l. per annum, which are supposed to be worth much more. That is the only thing that places him in dependence upon the governor. H. W. Ryland, clerk of the Executive Council, salary and allowances 650l.; pension, 300 l.; clerk of the Crown in Chancery, no salary is mentioned; fees of office unknown; total known, 950l. James Cuthbert is said to be a half-pay captain on the establishment, but I do not know whether he is or not. Charles William Grant, seignieur proprietor, and late of Isle St. Helen, which he has exchanged with the Government. P. D. Debartzch, a landed proprietor, supposed to be worth at present 1,500 l. per annum. James Irvine, late executive counsellor, merchant. M. H. Perceval, collector of the customs and executive counsellor, in the receipt for the last ten years, supposed, upwards of 3,000l. per annum ; as executive counsellor, 100 l. L. De Salaberry, captain, half-pay; and in Indian Department, and a provincial pension of 200l.

Is that for life or during pleasure ?—The pension has been stated to be instead of an office by the Legislature, and I should suppose he holds it independently of any one ; but I have heard that he is dead since I left the province.

Are the pensions you mentioned before granted by the Executive Government? —The pension to Mr. Ryland was granted by the executive, but that has been voted several times by the Assembly. Mr. De Salaberry is stated to have been replaced by Mr. Taschereau, ajudge in the Kings Bench at Quebec. William Burns, late the King’s auctioneer, a wealthy retired merchant; Thomas Coffin, chairman of the quarter sessions for Three Rivers, 250 l.; Roderick M’Kenzie, a retired merchant; L.P.C. Delery, grand Vayer of the district of Montreal, salary 150 l., and fees unknown; Louis Gugy, late sheriff of Three Rivers, promoted to Montreal; office supposed worth per annum 1,800 l; Charles De Salaberry, seignior; James Ker, judge, King’s Bench, Quebec, 900 l. Executive Counsellor, 100 l.; Judge Admirality, 200 l. besides fees; circuits 150 l. making together 1, 350 l. Edward Bowen, judge, King’s Bench, Quebec, 950 l., and circuits 150 l., making 1,050l.; Matthew Bell, merchant, lessee of the King’s forges; William B. Felton, agent for Crown lands, supposed 500 l.; Toussaint Pothier, seignior; John Stewart, late merchant and sole commissioner of the Jesuits estates, and executive counsellor, supposed 600 l.; John Forsyth, merchant. The total amount of the sums received by different members of the Legislative Council from the public is 17, 700 l.

How much of the 17,000 l. is paid by the province ?—I suppose about 5,000l. or 6,000l. of the 17,000 l. are paid by Great Britain. Of the 27 members of the Legislative Council, there are 14 who receive payment out of provincial funds, four out of British funds, and nine receiving no pay; nine of them are natives of Lower Canada; and of the 18 above mentioned who receive pay from the public, seven are also Executive Counsellors.

Are not all the commissions in the colonies during pleasure ?—All commissions are during pleasure; all may be suspended by the Governor.

Independently of any motive that you imagine those individuals may have from the salaries they receive, are there not strong grounds of political difference of opinion with respect to those measures existing in the province ?—Certainly the people of the province wish for the bills, and the Government does not wish for them.

Is the difference of opinion con?ned to the Legislative Assembly and the Government, or is there any other portion of the population that differ in opinion as to the wisdom of these measures ?—There may be a very small portion.

What portion is it that differs as to the propriety of these measures ?—Princi- pally those that are dependent upon the Executive Government.

Have you any thing to add with respect to the constitution of the Legislative Council ? I have some facts to state; I wish to state that the Lord Bishop has been but lately appointed, of course he cannot have been an active member; that seven of the members, of which I have given a list, do not attend at all, or very seldom; Sir John Johnson, Mr. De St. Ours, Mr. Louis De Salaberry and Mr. Burns, on account of ill health or being superannuated; Mr. Cuthbert, Mr. De- bartzch and Mr. De Salaberry, have discontinued their attendance.

Why have they discontinued ?—I cannot tell; they did not attend at the last session ; one of them I believe attended two or three sessions ago ; I heard Mr. Debartzch say that it injured him; leaving 20 of those who are the most dependent, by their public situation, to transact the business of the Council. These facts I give as the grounds upon which the people of the country generally, and I inyself, believe that those gentlemen are influenced, independently of their considcration of what is ?tting or un?tting. In the year 1825 there was a supply bill passed by the Assembly, which passed the Council, only two dissentients. In the next year a bill, exactly similar, was rejected unanimously by those that were present. In the first instance the Governor approved of the bill, in the second the Governor disapproved of the bill.

Was he a different Governor ?—He was. Under these circumstances the people of the country have got an opinion that the gentlemen who usually attend there are influenced by the will of the Governor, and it is my opinion.

Is it not considered by the Assembly, that the Assembly has the right to appro- priate the revenue raised under the British Act, which is known by the name of the 14th of the late King ?—The Assembly has frequently declared upon its journals that it understood that it had the right to appropriate all the monies that were levied within the province.

Are you not aware that the 18th of Geo. 3, which is known by the name of the Declaratory Act, and which Act had reference to such duties as were to be subse- quently imposed by the mother country for the regulation of trade, enacted that those duties. though imposed by the mother country, should be appropriated by the local Legislature ?—I conceive that in 1778 the mother country declared that monies levied by the Parliament of Great Britain in the colonies, should be appropriated by the legislatures of the colonies; it declared that as a principle for the future government of those colonies.

Are you not aware that there was a distinct reservation in the Statute of such monies as were levied by British Acts prior to the 18th?—I am not aware that there was such. a distinct reservation; I know that it has been interpreted as being such ; but the general understanding has been this, that the Legislatures of the colonies have a right to appropriate all monies levied by the Imperial Legis- lature; and that they consider the only safeguard they have against taxation by the Legislature of this country, in which they are not represented.

Are you not aware that in the Act of 31 Geo. 3, commonly called the Quebec Act, there is a distinct reservation of the duties levied prior to the 18th of the late lging ?—Not according to our understanding of it, and my own understand— ing of it.

Is it not the fact that the point which has always been contended by the English Government is simply this, that all duties levied since the 18th of Geo. 3, are to be appropriated in whatever manner the Legislature of the colonies think proper, but that all duties that were levied under the British Acts prior to the 18th of Geo. 3, were to be appropriated as before by the authority of the Crown ?— I believe there was a despatch of Lord Bathurst’s which mentioned something of the kind, referring; to an opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General. I never saw the opinion, but I recollect seeing a despatch which stated something as being the opinion of the attorney and solicitor general to that effect.

Is it not the fact that all the bills sent up by the House of Assembly to the Legislative Council were framed upon the assumption by the Assembly, that all duties imposed by the British Acts prior to the 18th of Geo. 3, were legally under the control of the local Legislature, and not under the control of the British Government?—Previous to the year 1822 there was never a question upon those Acts ; it was always understood, both by the Executive Government and by the Assembly, that the whole of the monies were to be appropriated by the Provincial Assembly. In 1822 the distinction began, and since that there has been a quarrel about it; the Executive Government say, that they are not to apply the money to any other purposes excepting the expenses of civil govern- ment; but the Assembly say, that it is not to be applied by the Executive in such a way that they are to have no check over it.

Are you not aware that whenever there was no difference of opinion as to the appropriation, in point of fact, the right of the British Crown was not brought into question, and that under those circumstances the appropriation took place generally; but although it did take place, the rights of the Crown were not waived by such circumstance? The difference of opinion was first as to the annual appropriations. Will the Committee allow me, in answer to this question, to state my view of the differences between the Government and the Assembly, referring to the different bills. My opinion upon the subject is this, that the money arising from the 14th of the King was to he applied exclusively to the support of the Civil Government; but that sum being insufficient for the support of the Civil Government, and the Executive Government coming to the Legis- lature for an addition, then the Assembly had the right of control over all the expenditure, to see that every item of that expenditure was such as would autho- rize it to make additions to it.

Then as long as the proceeds of the 14th of the King were sufficient for the maintenance of the Civil Government, you admit that the right was in the Crown, and that the appropriation would legally proceed from the Crown; but when those proceeds are not sufficient, you think that the right of the Crown lapses, and that the Assembly, in consequence of atldiiig to that sum, becomes possessed of a control over the whole revenue ?–So far; but that is not the true state of the case. I understand, as an individual, that the Assembly of the province has a right to appropriate and control the whole of the money that is levied in the province. Notwithstanding the provision of the Act of 1778 ?—I understand that the Act of 1778 established this principle, that in the colonies whenever taxation was resorted to by the Parliament of the mother country, then the Legislature of the colonies had a right to apply the proceeds for the uses of the province.

What view do you entertain of the powers of the Act of 1774, as affecting the revenue of Lower Canada ?—I will state my View of the matter; I differ in some respects from the members of the House generally; but we all agree in this, that we ought to have a control over the expenditure, although we differ as to the grounds upon which we ought to have that control. The Revenue Act of 1774, was passed by the Legislature of this country, at a time when there was no repres sentation of Lower Canada; a representation had been promised them, but cir- cumstances did not permit, in the opinion of the Government of this country, that it should be established then; and as a means of drawing something from the country for the support of its government, it passed the Act of 1774. It is very true that there were duties under the French Government, but those duties, I be- lieve, by the judgment of a British court of justice, have been held to be illegal, and could not be recovered in the colonies. I believe, in the ease of Antigua, there was a decision that all the French duties existing in the colonies were illegal from the moment the Kings proclamation issued, recognising the people as British subjects and giving them the rights and laws of Englishmen. Of course in Canada nothing was said on the subject, the people of Canada have always been the humblest and the mildest people you have; it was accompanied by an Act, giving them their laws and other advantages. The matter however of taxation generally at that time by the mother country was much discussed, and then came this Act of 1778.

Are the Committee to infer from your answer, that the duties being illegal for which those were commuted, altliough they were enacted in that Act of 1774, they were illegally enacted on that account? No, certainly not; the Legislature of Great Britain had the power of making laws for the colonies in which there was no Legislature, and I conceive they had even the right of taxing them, although it is going further for the colonies than you will go for yourselves, for you will not allow that people ought to be taxed here without representation ; but I admit that where there is no representation, there should be some supreme legislative power.

Do you entertain any doubt that the duties were legally imposed by the Act of 1774., and also legally appropriated ?—I believe that the Legislature had a right to make the law, and that they had a right to make the appropriation.

Have you any doubt that that law is at this moment binding in Canada ?—Yes, I have strong doubts.

What do those doubts arise from ?—They arise from the circumstances I was going to detail. While there was no legislative body in the colony, it was a power which seems to me to belong to that of the empire, of regulating the whole affairs of all the dependencies of the empire; but the moment there was constituted a representative body, then that body naturally took the whole control of the revenue of the country; and this declaratory Act of 1778 supported it in that, because it is said that all the duties that were to be levied thereafter by Great Britain were to be appropriated in the Colonial Legislature; in fact, we have held that the appropriation was altered by the Act of 1778 and the Act of 1791, and that the appropriation fell of course then to the Assembly, as the natural body that ought to have the control over the expenditure of money raised on its constituents. We have not contended that the Legislature had not the power of passing the Act at that time ; but we say that the general principle is this, that all the taxes levied by the Legislature shall be applied by the Legislature of the colonies; and with respect to the Act of 1774, we say that there may be doubts upon the subject, for when the Act of 1791 was passed, it was the general opinion that it repealed the Act of 1774, so far as the appropriations were concerned. In consequence of that, the British Government sent a message through the Governor to the Legisla- ture in 1794, saying that as there were difficulties on the subject, the moment duties were raised similar to those provided by that Act they would apply to Parliament for the repeal of that Act. The consequence was, that in the Colonial Legislature they did grant duties in lieu of the duties under that Act, and a bill was sent home to Government here, which was approved of by the King in Council, enacting those duties. The Act came out, approved by the King in Council, and ought to have been in force; however, it arrived too late. The Governor recommended it afterwards to the Legislature, and they passed it; so that in 1799 it was finally passed, and approved of by the Governor, conformahly to the approbation that had already been made by the King in Council. It however happened that there was never any recommendation by the British Government to repeal the Act of 1774, and there it has remained, and we are the unfortunate victims of the quarrel that has ensued in consequence of that.

Are you aware that there is no instance of a Colonial Act repealing a British Act ?—We do not pretend any such thing.

The Act of the 31st of the late King contains the following Preamble : “ Whereas an Act was passed in the 14th year of the reign of his present Majesty, intituled, ‘ An Act for making niore effectual provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America :’ And whereas the said Act is in many respects inapplicable to the present condition and circumstances of the said pro- vince: And whereas it is expedient and necessary that further provision should now be made for the good government and prosperity thereof; may it therefore please your most excellent Mayesty, that it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the King’s most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that so much of the said Act as in any manner relates to the appointment of a Council for the affairs of the said province of Quebec, or to the power given by the said Act to the said Council, or to the major part of them, to make ordinances for the peace, welfare, and good government of the said province, with the consent of His Majesty’s Governor, Lieutenant- Governor, or Commander-in-Chief for the time being, shall be and the same is hereby repealed.” Do you not therefore admit that in the Quebec Act of 31 Geo. 3, part of the Act of the 14 Geo. 3. was distinctly repealed and the remainder of it distinctly con?rmed ?—That is not the Act referred to; chapter 88 is the Revenue Act, but the Revenue Act was not mentioned in the Act of 1791. There was a new constitution given to the country, and not a word said about the Act of 1774, and it raised a dispute so early as 1794; and upon that dispute the Government at home, by means of their Governor, told the Legislature that they would repeal the Act if they would grant similar duties to the same amount; they did so, but the Governmerit never recommended to Parliament to repeal the Act; in fact, somebody or other in the colony advised against it at that time.

Does not the repeal of a portion of the Act of 17 Geo. 3, c. 83 without the repeal of any part of the in, Geo. 3, c. 88, a contemporaneous Act which imposed duties, show that the British House of Commons in 1791, when the Quebec Act was passed, did not intend to concede to the Legislature of Lower Canada a control over the revenue levied by the Act of 14 Geo. 3, c. 88, but on the contrary intended to preserve as law and unrepealed part of the 14 Geo. 3, c. 83, and the whole of the 14 Geo. 3, c. 88 -I am no lawyer; it seems to me that that is a question for alawyer. As a very humble constitutional lawyer, I should say, that in giving a new constitution to the country it would be necessary to say what is repealed and what is not repealed; the Act of 1774, c. 88 is not men- tioned at all in the Act of 1791, and it is probably its omission that gave rise to this early difference of opinion in 1794.

Are the Committee to understand that the duties which were originally levied under the Act of the 14th of the late King, have been since levied by the Colonial Act of the year 1799 ?—That Act is not in force, because it could not be enforced till His Majesty’s ministers recommended to Parlianient to repeal the Act of 1774.

But it actually passed the two Houses ?—lt did, and received the Royal assent; it stands in our statute, book as a law, waiting the performanceof the con- dition by the British Government for it to come into force.

That condition being the repeal of the Act of 1774 ?–Yes.

What was it that prevented the Act recommended in the year 1794 from being passed till the year I799 ?—It passed the Assembly in 1795 or 6, and was sent home to be approved of; it was approved of by the King in Council, but it came out too late to be enforced; it came out after the two years had expired. In a subsequent session, the Governor recommended the Act to be renewed. It was renewed and passed, and stands a law in our statute book; but its being enforced depends upon the execution of the engagement on the part of the ministers to repeal the Act of 1774.

Then, at this moinent, would the repeal by the British Parliament of the Act of 1774, ipso facto, call into operation that Act of the colonial Legislature of the year 1799?– Yes; and it would give the Government the full appropriation of 11,000 l. a year, without limit by the Legislature of the colony. The contest is now whether there shall be appropriations which never have obtained the consent of the Legislature of the colony: when once the appropriation has obtained the consent of the Legislature of the colony we have tied up our own hands; but when it has not obtained the consent of the Legislature of the colony we stand upon the broad principle that the people of the colony have a right to make an appropriation of the monies that they pay

Do you mean to state, therefore, that by the repeal of the Act of 1774, the Crown would have for its own appropriation, unrestricted by the Assembly, the sum of 11,000 l. a year?–Yes.

Does the House of Assembly also lay claim to the amount of 5,000l. a year in lieu of the territorial revenue of the Crown ?—The House of Assembly has laid claim to the territorial revenue of the Crown, because it gave 5,000l. a year in the year 1794 or 5, after the Governor had told the Legislature that the Crown gave up its territorial revenue to the province.

Does the House of Assembly contend that 5,000l. a year is to be appropriated by the House of Assembly ?—They would say that if the Crown were not to come forward and ask for more money, it is gone; but if the Government comes for- ward and asks for more money, they may say that money is misapplied, and it ought to be applied in such a way.

Will you state the progress of the disputes when those principles came practi- cally into effect, upon Sir John Sherbrook, in 1818, calling upon the Legislature to provide for the civil establisliment ?—l have got already to the year 1799, when this bill was passed, giving a sum in lieu of the Act of 1774. Things went on tolerably well till the year 1809, the expenses were increasing very much, and the Assembly got alarmed, and they had a quarrel with the Governor. It was then said that Great Britain had been paying a great part of the money during all this time; whenever they applied to control the expenditure, they were told Great Britain pays this, what business have you to interfere? they said, well then we would rather take the whole of the expenses upon ourselves, so as to control the whole, for by-and-by it will be saddled upon us. Then they made the famous oiler to pay the civil list, and they heard no more about it. The war began in 1812, and they gave all that they had, and more than they had, for the war; they authorized the issuing of paper money in the country, and there was no quarrel about the civil list, or any thing else; but after the war, Sir John Sherbrook came out; he found every thing in such a state of disorder that he represented it at home, and the Government here told. him to get the accounts settled every year in the House of Assembly; Then came the acceptance of the offer of 1810 to pay all the expenses of the Government; they said, we will take all the expenses from you ; the expenses in the mean time had augmented from about 40,000 l. to about 60,000l. The Assembly then said, we will pay the whole of the expenses; they then agreed to give the sum the Governor asked, which was in addition to the revenue that he assumed to be appropriated, and they reserved to themselves the right of examining into all the expenditure the next year.

Was there any bill passed that year, or was a resolution passed by the House of Assembly promising‘ to indemnify the Governor?—Precisely so, an address for money. The nextyear the Duke of Richmond asked for an addition of 16,000 l.; that alarmed the Assembly; they had already accepted of an addition of one half from the time they offered to take up the expenses; but when the Duke of Rich- mond came and asked for 16,000 I. more, they began to get alarmed; they appointed committees to examine into the expenditure, and to check it, and they did examine and check every item of it, and they began to vote it by items, and they left out all the increased expenses, but offered to the expenses as they stood in 1817, and passed a bill and sent it up to the Legislative Council, allowing all these expenses. The Legislative Council threw out that bill, upon the ground that it was not safe to take an annual bill.

Did not the Legislative Council also object on the ground of the vote being made by items ?—No; because it was an annual bill. At the same time the Assembly made good its vote of the preceding year, because they conceived themselves bound in honour not to have any quarrel about what had been advanced upon their address, although there were some items of expenditure that they objected to, and the bill passed. Then the Duke of Richmond unfor- tunately died, and in 1820 there was an irregularity in calling the Assembly, and there was no estimate, and no vote laid before the Assembly. Sir Peregrine Maitland convened the Assembly before the returns were all made, and the Assembly objected that the Governor ought not to convene the Assembly till the House was complete; because they said, if he might convene it before the time fixed for the returns, he might convene it before half of them were returned. Things remained in that state till news came of the death of the King, and then there was a dissolution. At the close of 1820, Lord Dallrousie came; and he asked, that whatever they had to give should be given permanently: they told him at once that they would not give any thing in addition to what they had already given permanently. Of course, nothing was done; they passed however a bill in some shape or other, which it was said would be less objectionable; it went up to the Legislative Council, and it was refused. It was refused by the Legislative Council upon its being detailed, and not being; for the life of the King. The next year Lord Dalhousie asked for a bill for the life of the King; the Assembly sent home a very long address to this country, as reasons for not complying, and the Legislature ?nally broke up without any bill being passed. Lord Dalhousie asked for a sum of money, which they said they could not grant till they had an answer from this country to their representation. The session finished without any bill being passed, and then came the farnous Union project. In the subsequent year there was a bill for a part of the money passed, in 1823.

In 1824 the receiver-general failed, and the appropriations already made by the Legislature were not paid; the inembcrs got alarmed, and some of them, against which I protested, voted a reduction of one-fourth of the expenditure to meet the empty state of the chest; that of course was not accepted, it was rejected in the Legislative Council. In 1824 Lord Dalhousie came home, and Sir Francis Burton took the Government. In 1825, a Bill was agreed to by all parties, to add an indefinite sum to the indefinite amount of the appropriations already made, to make up the total amount of the whole expenditure; for the Assembly but forgotten the alarm in 1824 about the empty chest, and they were willing to continue the expenses at the same rate. That was accepted by the Legisla- tive Council, with two dissentients, and it was accepted by the Lieutenant- Governor, and the whole country was in a state of joy at the end of our difficulties.

Had not thc Assembly reduced the estimate?–The Assembly has still per- sisted in refusing to recognize some new offices, absentees, and sinecures that were objected to in 1819; it objected to them, and it had ?nally decided that it would not pay them in 1819; it still refused to recognize them, and one or two were removed, or at least they agreed to give pensions in their stead, but they still voted a sum less than was asked by the Lieutenant-Governor, by about 3,000l. At that time the whole country was at peace, there were not two parties existing in the country ; unfortunately that bill was misunderstood in this country, at least it was not approved of in this country; it was sanctioned by the King, and it was the law of the land, but, I believe, it was not approved by the gentleman then at the head of the Colonial Department. Then in 1820 the Assembly offered the same bill as Sir Francis Burton and the Council had accepted in 1825; and in 1827 it offered to pass the same bill again. The bill of 1826 is the only one which came back amended. Before that the Council had declared that they would not proceed upon any such bills, but this time they did proceed so far as to send it back amended. Such is the whole history of the dispute about the appropriation Bills, and the Act of 1774, so far as I am acquainted with them; and the conclusion of the whole is, that there was no House at all this last year.

You have stated that the bill of 1825 which was accepted by the Legislative Council produced universal satisfaction in Canada ?—It did.

In point of fact, was not the effect of that bill in 1825 to do away altogether with charges to the amount of 3,000l. per annum, which the Crown, by virtue of the Act of 14th Geo. 3, applied to certain purposes of civil government in the Canadas?—I do not know how far it was doing away with them, but certainly the Assembly refused to pay those items.

Then in point of Fact, the Assembly by refusing to pay those items did interfere with the power of the Crown in cliarging the revenue raised under the British Act with those items ?—I should conceive that the Assembly did interfere with the power of the Crown in cliarging it upon the revenues that had been considered as the public revenues of the province, but it did not prevent the Crown from charging them upon other revenues that it derived from the province ; it did not prevent the Crown from paying those salaries out of the revenues derived from some Acts of Charles the First or Charles the Second, and other Acts, of the proceeds of which we had never heard a word. Upper Canada has claimed them, but we never have claimed them. It did not prevent the Crown from paying them out of the revenues of the Jesuits estates, if those revenues belonged to it; it did not prevent the Crown from paying them out of the revenues of the Crown lands, for the Crown is the greatest proprietor of reserved lands in the province; it did not prevent the Crown from paying them out of any source that is not part of the public revenue of the province.

Although the Crown might have paid those items amounting to 3,000l. out of some other revenue, did it not effectually prevent the Crown from paying them out of that revenue out of which they had hitherto been paid, namely, the revenue derived from the Act of 14th Geo. 3?—I believe it is impossible to tell from what revenue they had hitherto been paid, for all the revenues of the Crown were put into the hands of the receiver general, and they were very much mixed up; I be- lieve the military chest paid some of the expenses, there was a constant inter- course between the civil chest and the military chest, sometimes they were emptied into one another, and sometimes the chest became empty altogether. With respect to the 3,000l. the quarrel about that is of a very trifling nature; it amounted merely to this, that the Assembly said they would not vote it, if those very objection able items were continued as sinecures, but whenever the Government applied to the Legislature to pay them as pensions during the life of the holder they have paid them. In point of fact some of those which they had objected to when they were recommended to be paid as salaries, &c. they paid as pensions during the life of the persons holding them; their objection was this : if we allow these sums to these sinecurists and absentees, they will be saddled upon us for ever; the moment that one dies off, it will be given to somebody else.

When the same bill which was sent up in 1825 was rejected in 1826 and in 1 827, were there any reasons assigned for that rejection ?—Yes.

What were they ?–Tere were dispatches laid by the Governor before the Legislature after the House of Assembly had voted the money.

Was the only reason assigned for the rejection of that bill, that those 3,000 l. were not included in the vote ?—No; the dispatches however will speak for them- selves, as they were laid before the Legislature.

Under the state of obstruction you have described in the appropriation of the revenues of the colony having been voted by Parliament, in what way have the revenues of the colony practically been applied ?—The petitioners state that the money has been applied by the authority of the Governor and the Council alone, without any act of the Legislature. The revenue naturally divides itself into two parts; that which we consider to be already appropriated by legislative enact- ments for the support of the civil Government, and that which is not so appro- priated: we say that nothing is appropriated but what has been appropriated by the Legislature of the colony ; the Governor says, and others say, that the revenue of the Act of 1774 of the King is appropriated; the whole of the money has been mixed up together in the hands of the receiver-general, that which is appro- priated and that which is not appropriated. There is part of it avowed by both parties not to be appropriated, and the expenses of the Government have been paid by the Governor himself, with the consent of the Executive Council, out of the chest as it stands, without any appropriation; so that now of the money that the Governor has applied there is about 140,000 l. that is paid without any appro- priation at all even alleged by the Governor. It is justified on the part of the Colonial Government as a case of necessity, but necessity will always furnish a law and pretence for every thing.

Do things remain in that state now ?—They are worse now, the Legislature is suspended; the Act of 1791 is suspended in the colony; that Act requires that the Legislature should assemble once in 12 months to look to the affairs of the province, but there is no Legislature assembled, nor likely to be any till after the month of May. A number of the temporary Acts expire on the 1st of May.

Are those Acts under which duties are collected ?——No; if they had been, it would have been a different story; but they are Acts of public utility; Acts regulating the inspection of ashes and beef, or some things of that kind. Unless it is pretended that the mere meeting of the Legislature is a calling together of the Legislature for the despatch of business, and that you may get the Legislature to meet and not suffer it to proceed to business for 20 years to come, the Act of Parliament is actually suspended at the present moment, and the money is applied as the Governor and Council please.

Since there has been no vote of the Legislature for the payment of the expenses, from what resources have the Government drawn for their expenses ?——From the receiver general’s chest; the whole of the money raised by the Acts of this Legislature and of the Colonial Legislature have been deposited in the hands of a receiver general named by this country. Many of those Acts are permanent Acts, for the Legislature of Lower Canada had not the precaution to make the revenue Acts annual as well as the appropriation bills. In other colonies they have made it a rule to make the revenue Acts annual, but we were foolish enough to make the revenue Acts permanent; so that the revenue comes into the chest, although it is not appropriated, and the executive takes it out of the chest without appropriation.

Would not an action lie against the receiver-general for issuing money without its being properly appropriated ?——The receiver-general is an officer the treasury.

Are all the revenue Acts permanent ?—I believe that every revenue Act is per- manent.

Has there ever been any proposition in the Assembly to pass an Indemnity Act?—Yes, they passed an indemnity in 1823 for the whole of the expenses that had been voted by the Assembly, they passed an Act of indemnity, clearing Sir John Sherbrook’s administration for the excess that he paid beyond the amount of the Act of Appropriation, an excess of six or seven thousand pounds. They passed an Act, clearing the subsequent administrations, and even for the year 1820. when there was no estimate laid before the House; they passed an Act clearing the whole up to 1823.

Was the reason of the Legislative Council not passing those bills, that they professed to indemnify the Government for what the Government did not consider any indemnity to be required ?–No; I believe the reason was that the Act was informally expressed ; it was an indemnity to His Majesty; it ought to have been an indemnity to those who advised His Majesty to take the money.

Were those bills lost in the Council ?—They were all, except the bill indemnify- ing Sir John Sherbrook.

Did the bill, indemnifying His Majesty, actually pass the House of Assembly? —Yes, for all that they had voted; they never indemnified For what they had not voted.

Do those permanent revenue Acts raise sufficient for the maintenance of the Civil Government?——Yes, more than sufficient; but the expenses of the Civil Government have always grown with the amount of the revenue, because they have never been controlled by the representatives of the people in the colonies.

Are there many sinecures in Lower Canada ?—No; I believe that seven or eight, that were objected to from the commencement, are the whole ; there were several others, but they were changed into pensions, but it was insisted that those should be maintained as officers; now the officers are not resident in the colonies, and have no duties attached to their offices.

You stated that the Assembly objected to the items included in the 3,000l. because they were afraid they should perpetuate them after the death of the parties holding them; are the Committee to understand, that, as far as your opinion goes, you see no objection to pay those items, provided it was understood that they were to be discontinued after the death of the parties?—As a member of the Legislature, I cannot say what I would do; as a private individual, I would have no objection to allow those people that have, through our negligence, got allow- ances made to them, to have them continued to them during their life.

Has not the Assembly of Lower Canada invariably objected to superannuations of all sorts ?—Since they claimed a control over the expenditure; but they have never exercised any control over the expenditure, it has been resisted.

What proportion of the general expenditure of Lower Canada did the Crown revenue bear to that which was raised by local Acts in the province ?—There is a great deal of confusion with respect to the words “ Crown revenue ; ” what is com- monly called Crown revenue consists of those Acts anterior to 1774, Charles the 2d, and George the 1st, and so on; we have not regular accounts of their proceeds; the other Crown revenue is the 14th of the King, which is also called the Crown revenue and the territorial revenue; all those revenues together might amount to between 30,000l. and 40,000l.

Supposing them to amount to that sum; what is the average amount of the revenue raised by local statutes for the purposes of the Government ?—The total net revenue of Lower Canada latterly lizis been about 90.000l ; it has amounted in gross to about 150,000l. a year, a large proportion of which goes to the expenses of collection, 12 or 15 per cent, perhaps, which we consider is enormous; Then one fourth of the net revenue goes to Upper Canada, exclusive of the territorial; then the rest remains the net revenue for Lower Canada, of 90,000l.; of this, l believe, the executive Government clainis to appropriate between 30,000l. and 40,000l., so that there would remain about 50,000l. to be ap- propriated by the Legislature according to the pretensions of the executive Government of the province; that is to cover the whole of the expenses tor local improvements, and the annual charitable appropriations, which last amount to about 15,000l.

You stated that the Legislature of Lower Canada having no control over the salaries of the officers of the civil government, their salaries were excessive; will you point out what salaries of officers appointed by the Crown you consider as excessive ?—I consider a great many of them as excessive; l should say for instance, that all salaries which are accumulated, three or four upon one person are excessive; with respect to the petitioners I would say, that the general feeling of the country is, that the salaries are too high, relatively to the means of living in the country.

Are the petitions for which you are an agent here, signed exclusively by the French population of Lower Canada.

No, they are signed generally by the population of Lower Canaila, excepting in the townships, the district of St. Francis, and in the district of Gaspe, for which no petitions were sent.

Have you any idea of the number of English signatures upon these petitions? –Yes, in consequence of some things that had been said, we took the trouble to count; the whole number as stated to me by the secretary of the Montreal com- mittee, is above 87,000, and two gentlemen who live in Montreal counted the Montreal petition, at least that part of the petition that contains 40,000 signatures, and they found that there were 2,676 English names in the 40,000, about one sixteenth of the whole.

Are those chiefly Catholics ?—They are both Catholics and Protestants. I do not know the proportion of them; I counted the Quebec petition just in the manner in which it unrolls, 1,171 names. In that petition they took care to state those that were proprietors, and those that were not proprietors; they generally are stated to be proprietors; and the fact of the petition being known and approved of by the parties, is certi?ed by two witnesses who were present at the time, because many of them unfortunately cannot write their names. Of the 1,171 names that I counted, Ibegan first with 200 in the town of Quebec and the adja- cent country, there were of those actual signatures 48, the total of English names 19 out of the 200, of the English names with crosses there were four. 64 of St. Nicholas on the south shore, ?ve signatures; no English names at all. 200 of St. Henry below Quebec, 16 signatures; no English names. 200 of ditto, 13 signatures; ?ve English names, four crosses. 187 of Cape Saint Ignace, 45 miles below Quebec, 10 signatures; no English names. 200 of River Ouelle, 60 miles below Quebec, 33 signatures; three English names. 120 at Quebec, 81 signatures; 34 English names, and six with crosses. So that that makes of the 1,171, 206 signatures, 61 of them English names, and 14 English names with crosses, which makes one-?fth of the whole actual signatures, one nineteenth of the whole English names.

Was the petition sent at all into the townships ?—Not at all; because there was not sufficient time; there was no idea of sending any person to England till after the prorogation of the House, and it was desired that somebody should come home before the meeting of Parliament.

Do you believe that those petitions would have obtained many signatures in the townships if they had been sent there ?—I should conceive that they would obtain signatures in the townships.

Sabbati, 24 die Maij, 1828. John Neilson, Esquire, again called in ; and Examined.

HAVE you brought with you any of the Papers referred to in your former evidcnce?—I have brought copies of the Bills that were referred to.–[The witness delivered in the same.]

Generally, are those bills which passed the House of Assembly, and were rejected in the Legislative Council ?—They are. I stated that some of the bills had been sent back, which was not perfectly correct. I consulted the journals of the Legislative Council, and from those journals I took a memomrandum of the fate of the different bills, which I have here.——[The witness delivered in the same.]

You stated in your former examination that the two legislative bodies had each of them enacted certain standing orders, by which it was determined that they should not pass certain bills that came from the one body to the other; have you got those standing orders ?——I have.—[The witness delivered in the same.]

Have the Assembly hitherto rejected every proposal which has been made for the purpose of arranging a civil list, or a settled system of payment for any number of officerss connected with the Government, and the executive?——There never has been any such proposal made for any certain number of officers belonging to the executive.

What proposals have been made ?—The first proposal was, that all money that the Assembly should vote should be voted permanently for the support of the Government. The next was, that it should be during the life of the King; and latterly it has been pretended, on the part of the executive, that certain otlicers of the Civil Government were provided for already out of the monies that are appro- printed generally for the support of the Civil Government, and the administration of justice; so that there has been no direct proposal to the Assembly to provide for such and such officers, butthis general proposition, to give whatever they meant to give permanently.

Has there been any proposal that a certain sum of money should be given out, of which certain specified officers should be provided for?—No; there has been a proposal that certain officers, being already provided for, the Assembly should provide for the remainder; that has been the nature of the proposal that has been latterly before the Assembly.

When you say that certain officers are already provided for, have the goodness to state what officers were included in that, and out of what fund they were stated to he provided for?—Thcrc has been some variation in the lists laid before the House, of the officers alleged to be provided For out of the monies of the 14th of the late King, and the appropriation of the 35th of the late King by the Provincial Legislature; however, they will be found by reference to the lists laid before the Assembly, and in their journals.

Can you enumerate them ?—I cannot certainly, but I can give a general idea of them.

Can you state the annual amount of the revenues arising under what you call the Act of 1774, which were commuted for the original monies due to the French Crown; does it exceed 5,000l. a year ?–The annual monies under the 14th of the late King have varied very much, from 3,000l. to 20,000 l. ; they were about 10,000l. when a late Act of Parliament was passed, which repealed the Act allowing certain drawbacks upon exportations from Canada to the West Indies; since that time the proceeds from the 14th of the late King have nearly doubled ; they have amounted to 19,000 l. or 20,000 I.; I mention the gross, without de- ducting the expenses of collection.

Will you describe what the other portion of appropriated revenue is, to which you have alluded, arising under the 35th of the late King ?—£. 5,ooo, voted by the Legislature as an aid for the support of the Civil Government and the admi- nistration of justice.

is that voted permanently ?—-It is.

In what way is that appropriated in detail ?—There is no detail of it in the Act; it is a general appropriation in aid for the support of the Civil Government and the adininistration of justice,

Have the Government proposed to make any particular ?xed appropriation of that ?—No, the claim has been, that they could dispose of it as they thought proper.

Does the Legislative Assembly deny that claim ?–They deny that claim, in so far as Government asks for other monies from the Assembly, they say then we must take care that the whole is properly applied, because you may turn this to any use that you think proper, that is not even for the support of the Civil Government and the administration of justice, and still come upon us for the remainder.

Has it ever occurred to your own mind that the mode could he chalked out in which the money might be appropriated to the maintenance of the different officers connected with the Government, so as not to let them depend actually upon an annual vote, but to make some arrangement similar in principle to a civil list ?—I am very willing to answer that, excepting of course that l cannot engage myself as a member of the Assembly; I will state what the Assembly has done, and you may judge from that what it would be willing to do. The Assembly has already granted a salary to the Lieutenant Governor during his residence. It has already offered by bill to provide for the judges during good behaviour. The great difficulty, as it seems to me, hitherto, in respect of an arrangement, has been that its rights, or at least what the Assembly conceive to be its rights, were denied. I do not think that the Assembly is so very difficult about coming to an arrangement, but it stands very strictly upon its right to con- trol the who e of the monies levied within the colony ; if that were not denied, I should suppose it would not be a difficult matter to make an arrangement that would be satisfactory to all parties, but they conceive that the only check they have upon any thing that may be injurious to the interests of the colony is the control that they have over the monies levied within the colony; if you deny them that, you deny them all share or control in the Government of the country

You are understood to say that they do not go so far as to hold that it is desirable to keep all persons connected with the executive department of the Government dependent for their salaries upon an annual vote?——I cannot say as to that; there are some that do entertain that notion, and very naturally, because thathas been the practice in the othercolonies. I believe that in Nova Scotia, where things go on very well, they have made all the revenue depend upon an annual vote of the Legislature, so that not only the appropriation of the money, but the very collecting of the money is dependent upon an annual vote of the Legislature; there the Government and the Assembly go on very well in concert; in the old colonies they kept the whole of the revenues subject to their vote annually; it may appear extraordinary, but considering the circumstances of the colonies, it not so very extraordinary. The governors sent out from this country are faraway from home; they have great powers, much greater than the executive has here; they have the whole military power at their disposal; they have the nomination of every body, almost down to the parish ollieers, during pleasure; and if any thing is wrong, there is no remedy to be expected in the colony, except from the power of the Assembly having a check upon the Governor, or by coming to this country; now coming to this country is rather a difficult matter. When the Government has a veto upon any thing being contributed on the part of the Public to support the expenses of coming here to ask for justice, it must be done, as it has been done in this instance, by a kind of miserable subscription; therefore the Assemblies have been extremely jealous of the power over the monies levied within the colonies.

In your opinion, could any arrangement be made of the sort alluded to in the question?—I am con?dent, judging from what has been done, that some officers might be provided for; and I am confident that the administration of justice would be permanently provided for.

Is there much difference of opinion with regard to the amount of the salaries, as well as with regard to the offices to be provided for?—The salaries, in general, are considered as high; in fact, they are high ; it is needless to conceal things, or to shut our eyes. People in those countries begin to look round them, and see what is going on in other parts of the world, and particularly in the adjoining country; they see that there governments well administered, and cheaply administered; and naturally, as they pay for the adininistration of the Govern- ment, they expect that it will be as well administered, and as cheaply administered, as in the adjoining countries. In the state of New York, for instance, they have three times our population, and four or ?ve times our resources, and they pay not more than we do for the support of the Civil Government. In Lower Canada. people shut their eyes to all these things, but in Upper Canada they have their eyes wide open, and they will open their eyes in Lower Canada; so that, gene- rally speaking, Ishould say it is extremely dangerous to increase the expenses of Civil Government in the North American colonies greatly beyond the expenses of Civil Government in the adjoining states.

Is an objection entertained with regard to the amount of those salaries, not only from a comparison of what takes place in the United States, but with re- ference to the incomes generally enjoyed by persons living in the country?– Certainly it is; because the men holding salaries under the Civil Government are higher paid than the wealthiest proprietors of land, or the persons engaged in the best pursuits of industry ; they are becoming, in fact, by that means the lords of the country. The men that have the greatest incomes will always be the lords of a country, and they have greater incomes than the people who have landed pro- perty, or who are following the most pro?table branches of business.

What is the average income of the richest landed proprietors. —I should suppose the richest landed proprietor has not more than 1,500l. a year; and gentlemen at the head of their profession think they are gaining very handsomely if they can get 1,500l. a year, and that is a gain that will not last more perhaps than eight or ten years.

Has it been proposed to include in the list of those to be permanently provided for, any individuals to whom objection has been taken?—There are some new offices that have been constantly objected to by the House of Assembly ; there is one for the audit of public accounts that has been objected to, because the Govern- ment would not consent to any law for regulating that office. They wished the Assembly to give the expense of about 1,800l. a year for an office for auditing public accounts, when there was no law regulating such an ethos; in fact, the audit of public accounts is no audit at all, it is only the audit of the persons that receive the money.

Can you mention any other office to which objection was taken ?—Generally they have objected to all new offices created without their consent since 1819.

Have many offices been created since 1819—There have been some that have had salaries added to them that had no salaries before.

Has the civil list increased in any great proportion since 1819 ?—No, it has increased something; but it was proposed in 1819 to increase it at once 16,000l. and it was that which occasioned the alarm among the members of the Assembly.

Upon what sum was that increase proposed ?——It amounted to between 60,000 l. and 70,000l. before.

Do you think it a desirable arrangement that the salaries of the judges should be voted to them at pleasure ?—I do not think it is, they are voted annually in the United States ; but I think it is unnecessary, because their constitution declares that their salaries shall neither be increased nor diminished during the time they hold their office. In the state of New York they vote them every year, and the constitution does not declare that they shall not be increased or diminished, for they actually have diminished them; but I think they should be independent both of the Crown and of the People.

Are the Committee to understand that you are of opinion that if the principle in dispute, with respect to the appropriation of those revenues, were satisfactorily arranged, the Assembly would be willing to vote the civil list upon the sort of terms you describe ?—It is impossible for me to answer for the Assembly ; I have been ten years in the House of Assembly; I have almost as frequently been in the minority as in the majority ; but I should conceive that generally there would not be any very strong objection to something like an allowance during the Governors residence for the salary of the Governor, and I am sure they would all agree in making the judges independent of the Crown and of the people.

Would they, in your opinion, be willing to make such an arrangement with regard to other officers besides the Governor and the judges I do not know what other officer might be proposed, I am sure it would give rise to a great deal of discussion.

Was there not a distinction taken between the different classes of officers in the province?–There was; it was this, that one class were local and another belonged to the Imperial Government; it was a distinction to set the colony and the mother country at variance, and to set the officers that pretended to be con- nected with the mother country at variance with those connected with the colony.

Was it a distinction attempted to be drawn by the Government between those that were considered to be more immediately connected with the Civil Govern- ment and the administration of justice, who were thereby provided for, and those who not being so provided for, remained to be provided for by the vote of the Assembly ?— Yes, it was; but there was a distinction that selected all those that were said to be imperial or permanent from others that were said to be provincial.

Was not the origin of that distinction being drawn, the inadequacy of the funds to provide for the wliole?—Of course; if they had had sufficient funds to meet the whole, I do not think they would liave troubled us at all with that dis- tinction.

Do not the inhabitants of Lower Canada, who are the descendants of the original settlers, very much prefer the tenure upon which the lands are held in the seigneuries to that of free and common soccage ?——There has been a great deal of talk on that subject; in truth they do not care. much about the tenure, one way or the other; their great object is to get land cheap, and to get it easily, without much expense, and you will ?nd that they will never be mistaken in that head ; whatever is the cheapest; and easiest will be that which they like the best.

Have they no choice between the two tenures ?—I speak of the peasantry that settle upon the lands, and do the work and make the country valuable. A great noise about the tenures has arisen from an attempt to change the laws of the country, at the same time that there was an attempt to change the tenures. Now the laws which regulate a man’s property, which regulate the inheritance of his children and all that, are always dear to every people; they must be very bad laws indeed if people do not get attached to those under which they have lived for a great length of time, and under which they have enjoyed the security of their property. The moment there was a talk about changing the laws, that moment there was an alarm excited throughout the country: it would be the same thing if you talked of changing the laws that regulate property in England or Scotland

Do you allude to the Act called the Canada Tenures Act ?—Yes.

Has that created any alarm ?——It created alarm in so far as it was conceived to be the commencement of it system to change the laws that regulate property, and which have regulated property since the first establishment of the colony.

Was it not known that it was only an Act leaving it optional with persons either to take advantage of its power, or not, as they pleased?—Yes; but in the first place it subjected all the land in free and common soccage to the laws of England, which never had been considered to be the case, because the courts of justice had uniformly acted upon the principle that the laws of Canada extended throughout the whole surface of Canada, and that those lands were under the laws of Canada.

Did not the Act that restored the civil law of France limit it to the seigneuries, and expressly prevent its power from extending over lands granted in free and common soccage? There is a clause to that effect in the Act of 1774, but that clause seemed very much to want explanation. ln point of fact, it was understood that the laws of Canada extended over the whole surface of Canada; and the courts acted upon that understanding.

What laws of Canada do you allude to?–The laws of Canada that were restored by the Act of 1774.

Did any opinion exist that the French civil law was in operation in Canada during the years that elapsed between the Conquest and 1774?– I do not know. Frorn the time of 1774. down to the passing of the Act called the Canada Tenures Act, in the sixth of the King, it was understood that the laws of Canada extended to the whole country, and the laws were executed upon that understanding, and the whole proceedings were had in the courts of justice; I cannot say positively, but other gentlemen will be able to say with greater certainty, if there were decisions to that effect in the courts of Canada.

Would not such at practice have been in de?ance of, and wholly inconsistent with, the provisions of the Act of 1774?–I know there is a provision to that effect, but I cannot say that the courts of Canada were acting in defiance of the Act of Parliament.

Can you state, of your own knowledge, that there ever was a decisioin of the courts of Canada to that effect in a disputed case ?–No, I cannot say that, not being a lawyer; I have only a general understanding of the thing as it exists in the country; and the general understanding was, that all those lands were regulated by the laws of Canada.

Does that understanding prevail now ?—There is no understanding at all now, for no one knows what law regulates them, no one understands the mode of con- veyancing according to the law of England, except one or two ; and when they, as hitherto, wish to pass a deed that they used to pay 7s. 6d. for, they are asked five guineas, and that may be more than the lot of land is worth.

Does that apply to all the land that is held in free and common soccage?– Yes; it is declared that from the year 1774 down to the present time the laws of England regulate the whole property in those townships ; now every man has divided that property according to the laws of Canada. I myself trusted per- sons upon the faith of their being possessors of land in that country under the laws of Canada; but it appears now, that according to the English law it was the eldest son that had it all, and they had nothing, being younger sons, and I have no security for my money.

Did you enter into that contract under the idea that the same laws that regulated the decisions with respect to land in the seigneuries, prevailed in the townships ?—It was generally so understood ; I had no doubt about it till lately.

When did the doubt first arise?–I have heard doubts expressed a great many years ago, but it was considered as a thing upon which there was no longer any doubt from the proceedings of the courts, and consequently people set it down as it matter no longer in contest.

Do you mean to say that in the courts to which you allude the decisions have always ruled till lately, that the law of Canada prevailed in the distribution of land within the townships ?–I have not said that there was a decision in the case; but the general understanding amongst the people in Quebec, where I have resided for the last 37 years, was, that those lands were governed by the laws of Canada.

What is it that has occasioned any doubt as to the practice in that respect?– The passing of the Canada Tenures Act in this country, which declares that thoselands have always been regulated by the laws of England, and in fact that has a retro-active effect from the very commencement; men that thought them- selves the owners of land in that country are no longer the owners of it, and it would be difficult to tell who are the owners of it.

By declaring it to be the law, does it do more than repeat and re-enforce the provisions of the Act of 1774?– I understand that a declaratory law says what has been always the law, and certainly the clause in the Act of 1774 gives a colouring to this, being declared to he the law; but it is in opposition to what was generally understood.

Have you ever heard any other construction put upon the provision of that Act, than that the laws of England should he in force in lands gsanted in free and common soccage taken with the clause of the Constitutional Act, which speaks of the granting of land in Canada, (for it will he observed there were no grants of land in free and common soccage made in Canada, till alter the pass- ing of the Constitutional Act,) that clause seems to imply that the lands in Lower Canada are to be continued to be granted in seigneury, and that the lands in Upper Canada are to be granted in free and common soccage. It however does say, that if any person requires it, land in Lower Canada may be granted in free and common soecage; but the Act of 1791 seems to under- stand that the seigneurial tenure should prevail in Lower Canada, but that in Upper Canada it should be the free and common soccage tenure.

What was the practice between 1774 and 1791?–Between 1774 and 1791 there signeurial grants; in fact it appeared at the time that it was the inten- tion of the British Government to reserve, in some measure, Lower Canada, for the Canadians, and Upper Canada for the British settlers.

Will you read the clause in the Act of 1774?–”Provided always, That nothing in this Act contained shalle xtend or be construed to extend to any lands that have been granted by His Majesty, or shall hereafter be, granted by His Majesty, his heirs and successors, to be holden in free and common soccage.”

The Committee will recollect that this Act met with extreme opposition in this country, and the outcry was, that they were establishing French laws; in fact this Act was rnade one of the articles of complaint in the declaration of independence in- the United States of America. Those who were opposed to the Act at that time were very violent indeed, and probably they got that clause introduced, which restricted the operation of the Act to the old grants. It all depended, however, upon the act of the Government whether there should be any thing of this kind in Lower Canada; if the Government chose to grant land in that way, then this Act might apply, but if the Government did not choose to make such grants, it could not apply, because there were no lands granted in free and common soccage.

Has the King ever granted any land in seigneury ?—He has.

Upon that land is there any doubt that the French law prevails ?—No doubt; there is Mount Murray Seigneury, below Quebec, which has been granted by the King.

At what date was that granted ?—I do not know whether it was subsequent to that Act, I believe that St. Armand was granted subsequent to this Act, but I know there were no grants in free and common soccage of waste lands till after the passing of this Act; this was in 1791, and the first grants were in 1796.

Will you read the clause in the Act of 1791 ?–This is the 43d clause of the Act;——“ And be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all lands which shall be hereafter granted within the said Province of Upper Canada shall be granted in free and common soccage in like manner as lands are now holden. in free and common soccage in that part of Great Britain called England ;” (here is a positive enactment, that all lands granted in that province shall be granted in free and common soccage,)—“ and that in every case where lands shall be hereafter granted within the said Province of Lower Canada, and where the grantee thereof shall desire the same to be granted in free and common soccage, the same shall be so granted,” (that is only where the persons desire it,) “ but subject nevertheless to such alterations with respect to the nature and consequences of such tenure of free and common soccage as may be established by any law or laws which may be made by His Majesty, his heirs or successors, by and with the advice and con- sent oi’ the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province.” It seems to me, that by that clause, and in fact by the declarations of ministers themselves, it was intended to reserve the lands in Lower Canada for the increase of the population of Lower Canada, while the Upper Province was destined for the loyalists from the United States and emigrants from this country.

Do you found that opinion upon the clause you have just read?–Yes.

Will you point out what part of that clause leads you to that conclusion ?— Because it positively enjoins that all grants shall he in free and common soccage in Upper Canada, and it says that lands may be granted in free and common soccage in Lower Canada, if the parties ask for it; that is leaving it to be under- stood that the old tenure is to be continued in Lower Canada.

The question is not whether it was the intention of the Legislature to permit the granting of land in Lower Canada upon the tenure of seigneury, but whe- ther it was the intention of the Legislature that the French law should extend to the lands granted in free and common soccage. What is there in the clause of the Act of 1791 that would lead you to construe the clause in the Act of 1774, otherwise than that the English law was to prevail in lands granted in free and common soccage ?–It seems to me, that where lands were granted in free and common soecage, under the Act of 1774 the English laws were to extend to them; but it seems to me, by the Act of 1791, that the old tenure was to be preserved in Lower Canada. In fact it has been understood that the laws of Canada prevailed all over the surface of the country.

The Act of 1791 permits that land should be granted in the province of Lower Canada upon free and common soccage to those who desire that it should be so granted. What is there in that Act which would lead you to suppose that lands oranted under that ermission, in free and common soceage, are not subject to the operation of the Act of 1774 ?—It seems to me that they would come under the operation of the Act of 1774, but the difficulty seems to arise from no grants having been made till after the Act of 1791, which seemed to imply that the old tenure was to continue in Lower Canada.

Practically in the townships have persons inherited property according to the English law, or according to the French law?—They have inherited property, I suspect, according to the laws of the United States. lhere has been little law or government there. Those settlements were made less as part of Canada, than as part of the United States.

Do you mean to apply that to the township of Godmanchester ?—Those grants were made since that time, but I speak of the great mass of the population of those countries which are near Lake Memphramagog.

Practically, in the townships near the St. Laawrence, have persons inherited according to the English law or according to the Canadian law ?——I cannot say.

But in those parts which have been settled upon the American frontier, they have inherited according to the American law.—I suspect so, that is to say, they have divided amongst themselves, according to the American law. People in spite of all laws will follow their old customs and usages; it requires ages for people to alter their customs; those people coming in from the United States, will dispose of their property as they did in the United States: now the United States have done away with that part of the laws of England which wives the real property to the eldest son, and they make an equal division amongst the children.

Is not an individual in the United States at liberty to leave his property by will to whom he pleases ?-Yes, and so it is in Canada; and in making mar- riages we make such arrangements as we please; but if we make no arrangement or no will, then the law of the country prevails. In Upper Canada they have passed a bill to introduce a law there similar to what we have in Lower Canada.

Can land held in seigneury be disposed of by will ?—Certainly; there is an Act of the Legislature for that purpose.

What is the practice that prevails in the seigneuries in that respect; do persons divide their lands generally by will ?-lt is generally done by a dona- tion ; the great body of the population in Lower Canada are agriculturists ; the way that they manage it is this; they take one of the boys, mostly the youngest one; and he remains with the father, and does the work upon the land, while the others go out and take up new land; before he dies, he makes what they call a donation or a gilt of all his land to his son who lives with him, and does the work of the land when he is no longer able to do it himself; that one becomes the proprietor of the father’s land, all the others have spread themselves and taken up new lands and he gets that gift under an obligation to pay certain sums to his brothers and sisters ; the brothers with that money improve their new lands ; the sisters take husbands; in fact it is their marriage portion.

You have said that the English mode of conveyancing, which has been adopted in the townships is very expensive are you acquainted with the mode of con- veying land whidli is resorted to in the United States ?—I believe, both in the United States and in Canada it is done very cheaply.

[A Deed was shown to the Witness.]

Have you ever before seen a document similar to that which you hold in your hand ?—Never; I never had any property in that country.

Describe what it purports to be ?——It is a grant of land by the State of New York to an individual. The grants by our Government to individuals are not much more complicated than this. This is very much like one of our grants) except that our law officers choose to put in a great many more words.

Have the goodness to look at that document (another deed being shown to the witness, what does that purport to be ?——It appears to be a conveyance of land from one individual to another in the State of New York.

What do you believe the expense of such a conveyance would be ?–I do not suppose the expense of this could be more than about four dollars.

Can you form any judgment what it would cost under the English form to make a conveyance for similar purposes ?—I cannot speak to that, but I believe there are very few that are ableto make out a good title in the English form in Canada; those that I have heard speak on the subject, have said that they could not get any done a tless than five guineas; now I believe many would be very glad to get five guineas for certain lots of land.

In fact, is the conveyance of land in Canada a matter of great expense?– I could convey my estates in the seigneuries for 7s. 6d.

Is there any difference between the expense of a grant of land in seigneury and in free and common soccage?—The titles of the seigneuries in Lower Canada are not larger than a small scrap of paper.

How is it in the townships ?—There is a long roll of parchment, but that is at the taste of the law officer more than any thing else.

It is difficult to trace a title in the seigneuries?—No, it is not difficult. The notary keeps a minute, and when the notary dies, the minute is taken and de- posited in the records of the King’s Bench, where they are all put away in vaults, and there is a repertoire of the whole, so that you can by going there find out a deed made by any notary. The notary is obliged by law to keep all his minutes in a certain order, and when he dies, the King; takes possession of the whole of his records, and they are deposited in the of the office of the prothonotary of the Kings Bench for the district in which the notary officiated.

Has it not been frequently proposed to establish an office for the registry of deeds ?—There have been frequent proposals.

Have they been successful ?——Not any of them.

Will you state what steps have been taken to carry them into effect; have bills to that effect been brouglit into the House of Assembly ?—There has been only one bill brought into the House of Assembly, which was lost by a majority of four or five.

Will you state what are the grounds of objection to the establishment of register?—There are a great many grounds of objection; different persons had different reasons for voting on the subject. I, in the first instance, voted in favour of the measure, and afterwards I voted against it; that is to say, I voted for the introduction of the measure, and when I came to examine into the details I found that the thing was not practicable, The only motive that I had was to prevent fraud, and I found that the bill as proposed would occasion more fraud than it would prevent, and therefore I thought it was better to remain as we were. The truth is, that almost every head of a family in that province is a proprietor of land, and they, unfortunately, are not educated, at least many of the proprietors of land have been deprived of the means of education; they cannot do their own business; they could not comply with the formalities required by the Register Act; they would be obliged to employ law agents and persons of that description, whom we find, by experience, are not always safe, particularly such as the great body of the people are obliged sometimes to employ; they are of an inferior description, and may trick them in all kinds of ways. Now, by that law there is not one man that would not be obliged, at one time or other, to come into those register offices, and, in fact, to put himself into the hands of a law agent to do the business for him, and there is not one of them hardly that would be safe. Under those circum- stances they would lose their privileges; wives would lose their privileges; chil- dren would lose their privileges; persons who have advanced money would lose their privileges; and there would be probably fraudulent entries made in the book of registers which gives the privilege; so that, in reality, a great many of the poor people would be deprived of their only means of support, which is the land upon which they work.

Would it not be possible, under the present state of tlrings, for a person to bor- row money and to go before a notary, giving what would be, to all appearance, a security on land for that money, and that, nevertheless, other conveyances might have been made of that land, or other money might have been borrowed upon it; so that, in point of fact, that which would be an apparent security would be no security ?——No doubt.

Would not a registry prevent the possibility of that taking place ?——It would have a tendency to prevent the possibility of that taking place.

Does the difficulty of establishing a registry arise from the nature of the tenures and the mode of distributing the land held in the seigneuries?–Not at all; it arises from the people not being able to read and write, and the dispersed state of the country.

Is it your opinion that if the people were better educated such a register would be beneficial ?—There is no doubt that a register office might be established for Quebec and Montreal with a tolerable degree of safety, diminishing the risk of those frauds being committed that are committed now. I ought, however, to have stated, with respect to those frauds that are committed, that the reasons why they are committed frequently is, that the law which punished for this kind of fraud has been suffered to become extinct. The French law was very severe against those persons who mortgaged property that was already mortgaged before without declaring it; it was considered as one of the penal laws; but in consequence of the introduction of the English criminal law there was no statute which sufficiently provided for that kind of crime. The crime was one peculiar to the French system of laws, and it was provided for by the French criminal code, but it was not suf- ficiently provided for in the English criminal code.

Has any remedy ever been proposed in the House of Assembly ?—Yes, it has been proposed in the House of Assembly to renew that punishment, so that the persons that committed that fraud might be subject to pillory and imprisonment in that country, as well as they were in France.

Is it difficult to borrow money in Canada in consequence of that mode of transmission of property ?—No, but on that subject there are a great many errors; there has been a talk of much greater fraud than there rcall. . ; from a circumstance unavoidable in a new country, people have been supposed to be dishonest when they were no such thing. Thirteen years ago, land in Canada was worth double what it is to day ; at that time it was quite fair in a man who had land worth 2,000l. to take 2,000l. upon that land; but now, that land is diminished so as to be worth only 1,000 1., he has taken 1,000l. more than the land is worth, and he appears to have been committing a kind of fraud, but there was no fraud in reality; but the moment a man has lent money in that way and loses it, he finds it convenient to accuse the person of being guilty of fraud and deception when it is not the case; it is owing to the great variation in the value of landed property in that country. This Parliament may make the value of all lands in Canada increase or diminish by one half, by one single Act. If you, for instance, admit our corn at a certain duty in this country, it will imme- diately increase the value of land in Canada: if you reject it, it will diminish the value of land in Canada; and you may in fact, by one single clause in a Corn Bill, increase or diminish the value of land in Canada by probably one half; under these circumstances, it is not surprising that people should occasionally lose money that is lent upon landed property, and every man that loses money raises an outcry about it.

Is there any difficulty in borroning money upon land in Canada ?–There is, because there are few who have any money to lend.

Is it not the habit of persons who have accumulated fortunes in Canada to transmit them to England, rather than to lay them out in that country ?——It is so ; gentlemen who have gone to Canada, and have not married there when they have made money, naturally incline to come here and spend it amongst their old acquaintances and relations and friends; they have nobody to bind them to that country, here they come and bring their property; those of course, who, like myself, marry in that country, and get property there, remain, and keep their pro- erty in the country.

Do you think thht there exists, on the part of persons of English origin who have made money in Canada, any dislike to the tenure of land there, or the state of property, and the laws respecting property there, which deters them from em— ploying their capital in the improvement of that country ?—It did not deter me; with respect to others a great deal depends upon prejudice, and a great deal upon ignorance. People, going out to Canada, frequently think they ought not to inquire into any thing, but that every thing ought to be just as they wish; that the laws of the country should be made exactly to suit them the moment they arrive. there; and, because that is not the case, they are dissatisfied, and they go away.

Are persons who settle in the townships, holding land upon the English tenure of free and common soccage, exposed to any other difficulties than those which arise in the administration of the courts of law ?—I do not think that those people complain of any thing, except that they are far out of the way; because, unfor- tunately, the grants were made to them in a remote art, in preference to the grants being made nearer the Saint Lawrence. But their great object has been to obtain a representation in the Assembly of the province; and they have met in their usual way on Stanstead Plain, and have declared that they were satisfied with the hill that was passed by the Assembly, and they have petitioned the Assembly and the Council to pass that bill; they say, that in the event of that bill passing, they think they can get a remedy for all their grievances ; that the first thing they want is to get a representation in the Assembly of the Province; and the Assembly of the Province is willing to join them in redressing their grievances; but any person that by chance happens to have any connection with the townships, goes and speaks as if he was depnted by the townships. We have had twenty different stories told us in that way; but the moment they have representatives of their own to speak for them, every body will believe them, and there is no doubt they will get a remedy for every thing they complain of. There is one thing that it is desired to give them, which they have in the United States, and that is the power of regulating their own little local concerns, which, I conceive, contributes very much to the prosperity of the United States ; every district of country regulates matters of common convenience, such as roads and bridges. What can be done by an individual is done, but what cannot be done by an individual is done by a common effort of the whole community, as determined by the majority; whereas in the townships they can get nothing done without delays and expenses.

Describe the difference between the state of things in that respect in Canada and in the United States ?—In Canada we have been plagued with an old French system of government; that is to say a government in which the people have no concern whatsoever, every thing must proceed from the city of Quebec and the city of Montreal, and persons must come to the city of Quebec and the city of Montreal to do every thing, instead of being able to do for themselves in their own localities. In the United States they have the English system, by which every locality has certain powers of regulating its own concerns, by which means they regulate them cheaper and better; whereas with us a man must make a journey to Quebec, he must go to a great expense, he must bow to this man and bow to that man, and rap at this door and at that door, and spend days and weeks to effect a little improvement of a road, or something of that kind, of common convenience to a district, whereas all that is done in the United States without going out of his own small district.

Is the arrangement with respect to roads, by which the Committee understand that they are placed under the grand voyer, not popular with the inhabitants of the seigneuries?—The system is a very good one; but in respect to that office, as in respect to many others, they have burthened it with fees, which disgust the people You cannot get the grand voyer to operate without paying heavy fees, which the person that asks for the alteration must pay in the first instance. Perhaps if it is right, after the thing being argued in a court of justice, he may be reimbursed by the others, but in the mean time he must pay those fees to the grand voyer; that prevents their commencing improvements in Roads or any thing of that kind; but the system of every man being bound to do the work upon his own land, as it exists in that country, is a very good one.

Does it secure that the roads shall be laid out in a proper place ?—The system is this: the grand voyer ought to assemble the inhabitants, and take their advice as to where the road is to be laid out; and he ought to be guided by their advice, unless there is something very unreasonable in it; but the grand voyers perhaps, like other men, occasionally proceed carelessly and irregularly, and there are some discontents upon that subject; perhaps it may be thought that a grand voyer favours this individual or that individual, but it is often thought so when it is not the case.

In what manner is the grand voyer paid ?—He has a salary from Government, and he has got fees allowed him in some way or other.

How is be appointed ?——He is appointed by the Governor.

Is he appointed permanently, and for what extent of district ?—He is appointed during pleasure; there is one for the district of Quebec, one for the district of Three Rivers, and one for Montreal ; and each of them may appoint deputies in different parts of the country, with the approbation of the Governor.

Is the grand voyer constantly resident within the district entrusted to him ?– I believe so.

Upon any application made for a new road, is it necessary for him to transmit the application to the Government ?– No, he acts upon his own discretion, subject to ratification in the quarter sessions of the district.

Supposing it was desirable to adopt a system with respect to roads in Lower Canada similar to that which you say works so well in the United States, in what way could it be carried into effect ?—Of course by an Act of the local Legislature. The whole system, as I said before, is hitherto a French system of government; it leaves nothing to he done by the people. It would be necessary to organize the counties, and to give the proprietors certain powers of interference in their own affairs.

Are the counties sub-divided? There has been no alteration in the division of counties since the year 1792.

What sub-division exists at present?—Tlie old settled part of the country is divided into parishes, and the newer settled is divided into townships and counties; but the division has been made merely with a view to representation; there is no organization of counties, there are no quarter sessions and no courts of justice; every body is obliged to come to Quebec, Montreal and Three Rivers.

Are there any magistrates appointed for the counties ?–There are.

Would it be desirable, in your view, to establish quarter sessions ?—Yes, provided magistrates are qualified; but they refuse to qualify magistrates, If they put in persons who have no property and weight in the country it will only create confusion.

Who refuse to qualify magistrates ?—The Legislative Council.

Has there been any attempt to establish a system of local organization ?—— There have been partial attempts in the Judicature Bill : they have sub-divided the country for the purposes of justice.

If any such attempts were made with a view to improving the country by making new roads, would they be resisted upon the part of the Assembly?- Certainly not. No change that will be for the general good of the people will be resisted by the Assembly, for the Assembly are the true representatives of the people; they must do what will be for the good of the people; if they do not they had better go home and mind their own business.

Do you suppose that in case a system of local organization were established in the townships it would be likely to make its way, in the course of time, into the seigneuries, from a conviction of its advantages?–The people themselves in Lower Canada have been desirous of having a voice in the management of their local concerns.

Is it your belief, from your knowleclge of the people of French extraction in Lower Canada, that from seeing such a system established in their immediate neighbourhood they would be likely, in course of time, to conform themselves to it, and to wish to adopt it?– Upon the whole many of us have been rather afraid than otherwise that they would conform too fast to what they saw in their imme- diate neighbourhood, but I conceive there might be a great many improvements introduced amongst them with their own consent, without making them exactly such as in their neighbourhood, for it is not altogether what we could wish.

What is the proportions as to numbers between the French and English members in the Legislative Assembly ?—The proportion of what are called English has been diminishing within the last five or six years rather rapidly: there are only two natives of this country in the House of Assembly.

The question refers to the descendants of English parents, as distinguished from French Canadians ?–There are many of good English names that cannot speak a word of English, and many of French names that cannot speak a word of French; in fact the language of the majority always carries it for a certain time, then it is acted upon by the language of the majority that may be farther off, but in the im- mediate vicinity it is always at first the language of the majority that carries it.

Is that language the French language?—That is the language of nine-tenths of the people.

What is the proportion of persons returned by constituents of English extrac- tion?–It is impossible to tell that; for those of English extraction are mixed throughout with those of French extraction. It would be as difficult to tell in this country which are of Scotch extraction, or which are of Norman extraction; but when English people have settled in a district inhabited by French Canadians, of course they cannot return any, because they are the minority. It is always the majority that returns.

Are there not a certain number of the members of the House of Assembly that you consider the representatives of the English settlers?–I consider that we have all the same interest in that country, but we do draw lines; sometimes it is said this man is a Scotchman, sometimes he is a Yankey, sometimes he is a Foreigner, sometimes he is a Protestant, and sometimes he is a Catholic, but these are all nonsensical lines which have no real existence; we have all the same rights and the same interests in that colony, although our prejudices are different sometimes.

Are the interests and feelings of the people that live in the townships equal regarded in the Assembly with the interests and feelings of those that live within the seigneuries ?—I cannot say as to that, for we have not been able to judge of their interest and feelings, they having had no representatives entirely of their own choice.

You are a member of the House of Assembly ?—I am.

What place do you sit for ?——For the county of Quebec.

What are your constituents principally ?—The majority of them are what they call of French extraction.

Have you sat for the county of Quebec ever since you have been in the Legis- lature ?—I have.

What proportion do the Protestants bear to the Catholics in the Legislative Assembly ?—Thc Catholics have about seven-eighths, but they have not quite so many members as their population might entitle them to.

Then in fact the inhabitants of the townships, if they had an object distinct and separate from the inhabitants of’the seigneuries, have no means of making them- selves heard, or at least have no means of prevailing in obtaining that object in the Assembly ?—Not till they have representatives in the Assembly; I conceive they have no fair chance, because every body that is connected with the townships tells a different story on the subject, and they are very much suspected of having private views in the matter.

Has there been any attempt made in the Assembly to give them a representa- tion ?—We have passed a bill four or five times, but it was always rejected in the Council.

In what mode was it proposed to extend the representation in the Assembly by those bills ?——The first attempt was made in the year 1823, when I was in this country; Mr. Davidson was then chairman of the Committee, and I have seen the report that he made on the subject ; he consulted the surveyor-general for a state- mentof the population, because we had not been able to get a census; we had been endeavouring to get a census for four or five years, and the Legislative Council refused the bill ; the surveyor-general, however, stated the population as nearly as he could, of the different divisions, and the representation was apportioned upon that statement throughout the whole province ; the bill was brought in and sent up to the Council; they proceeded some length upon it, and made some amendments of it, but it never came back to the Assembly. The next year, in 1824, they passed a bill providing for a census of the population generally, and the Assembly sent up another bill, which failed in the Council.

What number of members did they propose to add ?–The bill of 1823 proposed to make the number 68; that is to say, to add 18; and I think the last bill that was sent up which was in 1826 proposed about 80.

Was not the principle on whidh it was proposed to divide them, rested upon the number of the people, and the addition that had taken place in the proportion of English in the population since the first distribution in the year 1792?–The division was made upon the principle of giving to a certain number of qualified electors throughout the province a representative; I think that 7,000 and odd was to be the number that was to entitle to two representatives; but there is a long report on the subject in the journal of the House of Assembly; it was proportioned equally throughout the province, in the new settlements, in the seigneuries, and in the townships they were all treated alike; for 36 years ago the settlements were very little extended any where, since that time they have extended in all directions, both seigneurial settlements and township settlements.

What fresh sub-divisions were made of the people for the purpose of enabling them to exercise this new right of election ?—I cannot say;tthere were a great many extensive counties divided into two. I succeeded Mr. Davidson as chair- man of the committee that brought in the bill, and I recollect that I portioned off the whole of the townships separate from the seigneuries, so that there might be no interference in the election; that the representatives of the township should be independent of the people in the seigueuries, seeing that when they are brought into contact they may destroy the votes of each other in some respects; so that according to that bill the townships would have had about five representatives the Assembly who would be entirely their own choice, which would be sufficient to have their interests well understood ; for if the representative of a county says this is wanted for my county, every body gives credit to him.

Did the bill contain any such provisions as would adapt the representation to the population as it continued to increase, and to the surface of the country as it gradually became cultivated ?—It was intended at that time to get a census bill every 10 years and to apportion the representation upon the census; that is the constant practice now in the neighbouring countries; and I believe it is a very safe practice; it prevents every thing that is unfair.

What is the rule laid down in the United States of America, particularly in the district of Vermont, with respect to the increase of representatives who are to sit in the Assembly of the state ?——The universal principle throughout the United States of America is, that representation and population should go hand in hand; that they should be proportioned to each other. In Vermont I have seen the constitution of 1793, which says that the representation shall be apportioned as equally as possible. There were very few settlers at that time; and I think that they allowed two representatives for a town; provided it contained 85 qualified electors; and if it had not 85 qualified electors, it was nevertheless to have one representative.

What is the qualification of an elector?—In the first place being a militia-man, in the next place paying taxes toa certain amount; I believe in the state of New York they have lately made an alteration: they made any contribution in the shape of direct taxes sufficient.

Is there not a combined principle in Vermont which has reference both to the extent of land and to the population ?—Not to my knowledge; I never saw any thing later in Vermont than the constitution of 1793.

What provision is made in Upper Canada for increasing the number of repre- sentatives in the Assembly?—In Upper Canada I know that they have a provision made by the local Legislature for increasing the representation ; but I cannot speak as to the details.

What in your opinion would be the objection to establishing a system in Lower Canada similar to that which has been described, recognizing a combined prin- ciple, rather than one that is to he dependent upon population solely ?—I think it would he very unsafe and very unsatisfactory to the people at large. I do not think that the township people, or any other portion of the people of Lower Canada would like to see a departure from the general principle, that the number of representatives ought to be proportioned to the number of qualified electors.

On what ground would it be unsafe ?—I think it is unsafe to deviate in a matter of that kind, so greatly from the privileges which the people enjoy in the adjoining states; the people in Canada think they are entitled to privileges nearly corresponding with those which exist on the other side of the line, and I do not thinlc it is safe for this Government to deviate too much with respect to popular privileges, from what exists in the United States of America.

If you were to be convinced that the practice which has been described exists in the neighbouring country, should you think that there is any ground of danger in adopting it in Lower Canada ?—It is not very likely that I should be convinced on that subject; there may be something that I am not aware of, but I am almost certain that there is nothing that authorizes a departure from the principle laid down in all the American constitutions I have seen; but even if it were so, I do not think it is fair; I think it is essential that justice should exist every where; I think it is the foundation of all Government and all security.

Do you then mean, that numbers should form the sole basis of legislation ?—— No; it should be the number of qualified electors.

What qualification would you propose ?——The qualification is a qualification thatihas been established by Act of Parliaineiit, it is territorial in the counties, and proprietors of houses in the towns, or paying it certain rent.

You say that in Vermont, when there are 85 qualified electors in a town, that town is entitled to have two representatives; but does the number of representa- tives increase afterwards in a rapid proportion, when the number of qualified electors increases ?—I have seen nothing of the constitution of Vermont except the constitution of 1793, which says, that when there are 85 qualified electors in a town, that town may send two representatives, and that all towns that have not got that number, may send one; that is to say, any town that has inhabitants may send one, but towns that had a number exceeding 85 might send two; now a representation of’ that kind is a most monstrous representation, for I have seen a house of 600 or 700 members all sitting together, constantly doing business. Every parish, in fact, sends two representatives, and they do send in some in- stances, I believe, as many as they choose to pay.

Does the number of representatives increase in proportion to the number of qualified individuals ?—No.

Then the number of electors is not in proportion to the population .?——They make out censuses every ten years, and upon those censuses it is that they apportion the representatives, so that every place may be equally represented.

Then it appears that a town containing 500 or 5,000 qualified electors, has the same representation as a town containing 85 qualified electors ?—That is the con- stitution of 1793 ; but the constitution of 1793 establishes this principle, that it shall be as equal as possible amoiigst the qualified electors, and they regulate it by special Acts from time to time.

You are not aware of any change having taken place since that time?—No.

Then according to the system of 1793, there is no proportion established be- tween the number of electors and the number of elected?——Perhaps the best way will be to refer to the clause, and then every gentleman will be able to put the construction upon it that is most correct.

Are gentlemen resident in Canada found to be generally averse to be members of the Assembly, or is it an object of competition amongst them ?–There was a great deal of competition at the last election.

Were there many contests ?—Universally, almost.

Do you know the system of representation in Upper Canada ?–I know there has been an augmentation of the representation there.

The principle of the representation there is that every county now formed or organized, or which may hereafter be formed or organized, the population of which shall amount to 1,000 souls, shall be represented by one member, and that when it shall amount to 4,000 souls, it shall he represented by two members; and that every town in which quarter sessions shall he he held, and in which there shall be 1,000 souls, shall be represented by one member; would you think that a fair system ?—We do not claim so much as that; we would have thought that that would have given us too numerous a representation. Their representation is nearly double ours upon the present system.

Do you think that would be a fair basis of representation, not as to the numbers but as to the principle ?—I do not see any thing very objectionable in that; but I will read an extract from the petition of the townships, by which they declare themselves satisfird with this bill; this petition was presented in 1825 to the Legislative Council and to the Assembly of Lower Canada: they say, “ That the petitioners learn with most heartfelt satisfaction that a bill was introduced into the House at their last session, and which passed the same, providing for dividing the province anew into counties, for the more equal representation of the same in the Provincial Parliament, and for other purposes, and that they deeply lament that the same did not pass and become a law; that it is to measures of a similar nature, especially as it regards the eastern townships, that they look forward as the most effectual remedy for the many difficulties under which they have long laboured as a people, and of preventing in a good measure the evils which a continuance of the present state of things would threaten them with for the time to come.” That is the most numerously signed petition that ever I saw come in from the townships; since that time the same bill has been sent up twice to the Legislative Council, and in that bill they struck out every thing that regards the augmentation of the representation.

Upon what grounds do you understand that it was rejected?–I understand that they think that the House of Assembly is sufficiently numerous, but it is impossible to tell; we were seven years without obtaining an Act authorizing a census.

Do you know nhether there were divisions in the Legislative Council upon the amendments, or whether they passed unanimously?—I cannot say; but the journal of the Legislative Council of 1827 will show the proceedings. The bill was sent up in 1824, in 1825, in 1826 and in 1827; there was an instruction in the year 1825 to leave out the clause relating to an augmentation of the repre- sentation; in 1826 there were no further proceedings on the subject; in 1827 this bill was introduced, and ordered to be printed.

Do you know what is the system which is pursued with regard to the qualifica- tion of members for Congress, as to apportioning the number of representatives which each state is to send ?——Yes; the population is the principle upon which they go; it is to be settled every ten years upon a census.

Is it not wholly dependent on population, without any reference to the num- ber to which the Congress may ultimately come ?–I believe it is not at all settled to what number they may ultimately come; but they will of course confine it to a number that is fit for doing business.

Is it not the fact, that the number of representatives sent from a state to Congress increases according to the increase of the population?—The constitution of 1789 says, that the representation of the states shall be regulated according to their population, and I understand that it is fixed upon a census every ten years.

Have not wishes been expressed on the part of the townships that reads should be made from the townships through the seigneuries down to the river, in order to give them access to that part of the province which is the most populous and the most wealthy, and to give them access also to the river for the purpose of taking their produce to market?–Yes.

What has taken place in consequence of those representations?– There have been large grants of money from time to time made for the purpose, which have been spent under the direction of the executive Government, and concerning which the people of the townships almost universally say that no good has been done with it.

What sums of money have been granted, and when ?—I do not know exactly; although the people of Lower Canada do make roads upon their own land, and are bound by law to do so, I think there must have been spent since the last war nearly 100,000 l. for roads, of the provincial money.

In what way has that money been raised ?—lt has been taken out of the un- appropriated monies at the disposal of the Legislature.

How has it been applied ?–The Governor appoints commissioners, and the commissioners proceed to apply the money; the people complain very much on the subject throughout the country; they say that the coimnissioners have en- deavoured to make roads for their own advantage, and that they have made roads where they could be of no use, and that the consequence is, that the people derive no benefit from them.

What interest could the commissioners have in the matter? — They have large tracts of land, and every one likes to have a road through his own land.

Who have been appointed commissioners?–That will appear by the journals of the Assembly.

By whom are they appointed ?——By the Governor.

Are they appointed permanently, or is a set of commissioners appointed to carry a particular road into effect?—They are appointed for a particular county, or for a particular district; I think that Mr. Felton, Mr. Herriot and Mr. Badeaux are for the Three Rivers.

Will you des ribe any one road which has been made with the public money ?– I cannot mention any one road, for the people all say that there is none existing, the money is spent, and the road has grown up; there was a road called Craig’s Road, upon which a great deal of money was spent; there was a road called Labaye Road, upon which a meat deal of money was spent; and there was a road from Sorrell to the townships, upon which a great deal of money was spent.

Does the making a road in Canada mean more than cutting an open way through the wood, and removing the timber and obstructions —Yes, it is necessary to do more than that; the first opening, however, is merely that. The first is sufficient for a sledge to pass in winter; the next is sufficient for a horse to pass in summer; the next is sufficient for a cart to pass in summer; and the next is sufficient for the common conveyance to market of a market cart, and then they think they have got a great way in improving the roads.

To what circumstances do you attribute that the roads you describe as having been constructed grew up again ?—The roads were made out of all reason ; it was attempted to make roads through an immense wilderness, where there was nobody settled ; through the crown and clergy reserves, where there was nobody to look after it. Attempting such a road as that was a waste of money. No road can be kept in repair unless there are inhabitants along the road, and there is travelling by the road.

Has not one of the great objects of the Government of the United States been to extend great lines of road; and has not it been found that the extension of those lines of road uniformly brought population upon the line ?——I cannot say as to that; they are doing a great deal as to roads in that country ; they are making military roads, and other roads; and I have no doubt that where good roads are made, it is easier to settle along those roads than when they are miserable roads, such as are made in Canada.

Roads having been made, such as you have described them, to what do you ascribe that they have not had the effect of producing settlements upon the line? —In the first place, you cannot find who are the proprietors of the lands, for they have been granted 20 or 30 years ago to persons, some of whom are living in England, or in Scotland; and you cannot sit down alongside a crown reserve, or a clergy reserve, because you have nobody to assist you; the wild beasts will come in from the crown reserve, or the clergy reserve, and eat up all your crop, It is as much as a man can do in those countries, in the first, second and third year, to derive subsistence from his labour, without doing the labour of his next neighbours; and then it is to be considered that the march of population, as the Americans say, is to the west, where the climate is milder ; Lower Canada is the hardest climate of all the North American provinces. The people like, if they can, to take advantage of along river, like the River St. Lawrence, to go into a milder climate.

Has not the increase of population been very rapid in Lower Canada, in the townships along the American borders ?—I think it was about 1798 that they began to settle; and I believe that now, in that quarter, there may be about 24,000 souls.

Of what origin ?——They are people that come in from the United States, native Americans. The first grants were made in 1796; and the people principally came in from the United States in the beginning of 1798, and on till 1812, when the war began ; and since the war, I believe, the settlements have been going on increasing.

What is the inducement to settle on the borders of the United States, in preference to settling on the part of the Canadas near the townships ?——The object of the Americans was to get good land, and cheap; and the nearer their own country, the easier it was to get to those lands.

Did they get them cheaper in Canada than in the United States ?— Of course they did.

To what do you attribute that ?—I attribute it to a great many causes; one is, that the Americans are better managers than we are.

In what respect are they better managers ?—They generally manage their con- cerns extremely well for their own profit and for their own advancement; they have excellent regulations amongst themselves for the common advantage in, settling lands, and making them valuable when they are settled; we are not so well regulated in that respect.

Do you attribute it to a better system of government ?—I think their system of local government is much better than ours. There is another circumstance; some of the people that come in from the United States to Canada are runaways, persons that have got into debt in the United States; they come into Canada, and settle in Canada, because they are out of the reach of their creditors; those are not the best people for advancing a settlement

To what do you attribute the difference in the value of land between the United States and Canada ?—I should say that their local affairs are better managed than ours. I know that in Derby, when I was there in 1811, the lands on the other side of the line were worth eight dollars an acre, and on our side they were not worth two.

Have the inhabitants of the townships ever petitioned the Legislative Assembly for any purposes ?–Yes. .

For what ?—’They have petitioned for register offices; they have petitioned for courts of justices; they have had a court of justice; they have been set off into a new district.

Was that as much as they petitioned for?–I do not know that it was; they probably wanted courts upon a more extensive plan. This is a limited jurisdic- tion; but the townships were set off by the Act of 1817 into a new district and an English judge appointed for them alone, and a gaol built, and some things of that kind done; however, there has been a great deal of difficulty upon that subject. They had an Act for collecting small debts, and making justices of the peace courts, and things of that kind; but I rather suspect they would like to have courts upon a more extensive plan; they are dissatisfied with the courts that they have.

Have their petitions been generally attended to ?—They have, but latterly I should say that the whole of the legislative business of Lower Canada has been very much neglected ; the differences between the executive Government and the Assembly, and the objections on the part of the Legislative Council to pro- ceed upon bills sent up by the Assembly, have prevented the legislative business from going on with that activity with which it ought to go on,

With respect to roads, you mentioned that 100,000 l. had been voted for making them in different parts of the country since the war; do you mean since 1815 ?– In 1815 they began to make appropriations ; in 1815 there was a grant of 15,000 1., and there was another large grant of 55,000l. in 1817, and they have gone on gradually ever since.

Has any one good road been made with that money ?—Very little, I believe.

Were those sums granted upon the application of the executive Government, or did they arise from a motion in the House ?–Some of them were upon petitions, some, I believe. from motions in the House; but there has been no grant of public money made without an approbation on the part of the executive Govern— ment.

Were they appropriated to make particular roads ?—They were appropriated to particular counties.

Has there been any report of the manner in which the money was expended 9– There have been reports made, but there is at this moment great disorder in the whole concern; there is to the amount of 150,000 l. of monies advanced that have not been settled.

Have the commissioners salaries ?—No.

Are they gentlemen of the counties ?— Some of them reside in the counties, some in the towns, some of them reside in Quebec, and some in Montreal; but the thing has been badly managed altogether, and there is no regularity.

Have not the House of Assembly sometimes refused to pass bills that have been sent to them ?——I do not know any road bill that they have refused.

Do you not recollect instances of road bills that have been introduced into the House of Assembly which the House of Assembly have not passed?—Yes, I recollect one about the crown and clergy reserves.

Do you recollect why it was not passed ?——I cannot say, it was referred to a committee, and there was a report upon it.

Do you think there exists in the House of Assembly any disposition to dis- courage settlements in the townships ?——I do not believe it.

If it has been said that the House of Assembly refuses to pass road bills in order to discourage settlements in the townships, you do not believe that to be a correct rcpresentation?——I do not.

Do you think there exists on the part of the inhabitants of Lower Canada of French extraction, an indisposition to see the English settlers occupy land in the rear of the seigneuries, and cultivate it?–I do not think there is; it is Very natural, however, that the farmers should wish to see lands at the back of them to settle their children upon, but I do not think there is any indisposition to the settlement of the country by the people of Europe; the general notion among the people is that America is large enough for every body.

Is there a strong idea in Lower Canada that Lower Canada was intended to be reserved by the Act of 1791 for the French Canadians?—I have heard that idea expressed.

Do you think it prevails generally ?–I do not think it does generally; but I am convinced that many of the French Canadians think it hard that they should not get land with the same facility as other people.

What obstruction is put in the way to granting lands to the descendants of the French Canadians?—In the first place, they like to have every thing in the old way; they have applied for land en fief, and they have been refused.

Do they object to take land upon the tenure of free and common soccage ?— They do not object to take lands upon the tenure of free and common soccage; but they cannot get them; the lands there are granted out to a great extent back, 20 or 30 or 40 miles, if they find out who is the owner of a piece of land near them, they apply to him directly, and he asks them an extravagant price for it, a price that they cannot pay.

To whom are those lands granted ?—— From the year 1796 down to a late period, there was a practice of granting an immense tract of land, called a town- ship, to a leader, that leader gave a number of names which were put in the patent, and he managed beforehand to get deeds of conveyance from them, so that he became possessor of the whole; but in some instances those names be- came actually the patentecs, they never thought of settling the land ; he used to give them 5s. to get their names, and in many instances they stood as the pro- prietors. At the present day they are not to be found, or they are persons that have come to England or Scotland, and you cannot tell who is the pro- prietor of the land; but if you do find the proprietor of the land at the back of the seigneuries, where the people want to settle, he asks an extravagant price for it.

Would you propose to interfere with the rights of those proprietors ?—All those lands were granted by the King on condition that they should settle on them, they have not performed that condition. It was proposed in the House of Assembly to pass a bill that should authorize the King’s Government to proceed to escheat such lands as might be in the immediate vicinity of actual settle- ments; but it fell through, and there was an Act passed here in the year 1825, which is of the same character, but it gives the Government the power to escheat all over the country, perhaps 100.miles from any settlement. Now it is a hard thing to talk of escheating a man’s land when he is out of the reach of all settlement, after he has been put to the expenses of fees for the patent, and other expenses. Undoubtedly when the settlement comes alongside of him, it is proper that he should perform his duty of settlement, and if he did not, that he should be deprived of it; but it is thought that that power might be used to take away land from people on speculation, and that has excited alarm.

How would you propose to deal with those lands ?—To pass an Act of the Legislature, that whenever there are settlements in a township, the settlers upon the adjoining lands should have the lands esclieated, unless they performed the duties of settlement.

Then you would propose to enforce the Act of 1825? –Under that limitation, that it should not extend to any other lands but those within the limits of a set tlement.

You said just now that the price asked for that land is exorbitant, and before that you said that lands were cheaper in Canada than in the United States ?— So they are, much cheaper than in the United States; there has been so much land thrown in the market in Canada, that unless it is in the immediate vicinity of a settlement it will not sell for more than 3 ½ d., 7 ½ d. 10 d., 1s., and 1s. 3d. an acre; but sometimes in the vicinity of a settlement it will bring a higher price. The moment you go and settle alongside the land of one of those occupiers, you increase the value of his land, and from that moment if you purpose to buy his land he asks an exorbitant price for it; he will not settle it, because he finds that he can get a price for his land by the labour of others.

You have said that it was very much wished on the part of many persons in Lower Canada, that an agent should be appointed in this country, and that the power to appoint such an agent had been refused ; for what purposes did you wish an agent to be appointed ?-Generally to attend to the interests of the colony in this country, particularly in matters that are before Parliament. The Parliament has reserved. to itself the right of regulating our trade, and in fact, it is the su- preme Legislature of the Empire; and we have found by experience, that latterly it has occasionally made laws that ailect us; now we think, that as we have no representation here, it would be conducive to the welfare of the colony, and probolaly to a better understanding of what is done here, if there were a person resident here that might attend to those matters. It may happen that there are abuses in the colony, concerning which it may be necessary to apprise the Govern- ment here; now if there are abuses it would be better that there should be some person authorized by the colony, and recognized by the Government, to make representations to the Government, so that the matter may be quietly examined Into and adjusted, any abuses of Government there may be put an end to by in structions to governors. An agent would be able to make the colony understood to the Government of this country in some measure, and the Government of this country better understood to the colony, besides attending to the business before Parliament.

Do you know who appointed agents to the United States in this country while they were still dependent upon this country ?—I believe the Legislature of the colony. I think that generally the colonies that had agents have had them ap- pointed by an Act of the Legislature of the colony, and they have agreed amongst themselves as to the person that should be that agent. I believe that Nova Scotia has had agents, New Brunswick has an agent, Jamaica has an agent; we have applied since 1807 for an agent, and certainly if there had been an agent, it would have prevented a great deal of alarm and ill feeling in the country.

Has Nova Scotia now an agent of that description ?—I do not know that it has now; I know that New Brunswick has an agent now.

How do you propose that the agent should be appointed?–By an Act of the Legislature.

With the consent of the Governor ?—No Act can pass without the consent of the Governor. The last time it was proposed to have a conference with the Legislative Council on the subject, but they maintained that there ought to be no agent, that the Governor is the agent for the province. That may be so, but it is very difficult in matters, particularly where there maybe complaints against the Governor, that he should be the agent.

Who would instruct that agent if you had one ?—The usual method has been that there should be a committee named by the Council, and one by the Assembly, and that they should send him instructions; or if they did not agree upon the person that shall be the agent, they name two. The only object is, that the branches of the Legislature of the colonies may be heard in this country. It may be irregular in some respects, but there has been a necessity found for some- thing of that kind. I rather think that agents have done more good than harm upon the whole.

With regard to the Canada Tenures Act, which contains a power for changing the tenure of land at the option of the holder of the land in the seigneuries, is that objected to now in Lower Canada, and are the provisions of that Act matters of complaint ?—It has had no execution; the people have viewed it with some degree of alarm, because they conceived it as the commencement of an attempt to destroy the laws of the country under which they hold their property, and particularly that part of it which declares that whenever a commutation is made the property shall be under the laws of England. Now that my property should be under the laws of Canada, and that my next door neighbours property should be under the laws of England, seems to me to be impracticable. The people imagined that it was the commencement of a plan for destroying the laws to which they have been accustomed, and in consequence. it excited some alarm, and the people were indisposed against it.

Do you know what has taken place at New Orleans since it was made a part of the United States?–There can be no difficulty there, because the majority of the people appoint the Legislature and the Governor; the majority of the people make the laws, and they must always be satisfied, because whatever is done is done by consentof the people themselves.

Has not the French law been adopted there?–I believe they have adopted a code very much like the Code Civile; and if there were a code drawn up, there would be no objection to the laws in Lower Canada, for the objections arise more from ignorance than any thing else. People will not inform themselves of what the law is, and then they find that they have committed blunders through their ignorance of the law.

What are the peculiarities in the state of Lower Canada which have occa— sioned it to remain so much behind the rest of the Continent in point of infor- mation ?–The country is very much extended, it is difficult for people to establish schools themselves; they had no authority till lately even to hold property for schools, and under difficulties of that kind it is natural to suppose that education would not spread so rapidly as in the United States, where from, the commencement there has been a regular provision made for schools, on pretty much the same plan as in Scotland. In Lower Canada we have had nothing in favour of schools, except the Act of 1801, which has done more harm than good with respect to the general advancement of education, for it alarmed the people with regard to their religion. The schools were under the control of persons that they considered adverse to their religion, and it was thought that it was attempted to get the whole of the children to school in order to convertthem, or pervert them, as they called it, and it excited at great deal of alarm.

I deliver in a copy of the Resolutions of the Legislative Council of the 6th of March 1821.

[The witness delivered in the same, which was read as follows:]

“ Resolved, That it is the undoubted constitutional right of the Legis- lative Council to have a voice in all Bills of Aid or Supply, or Money, of any kind levied upon the People of this Province by the Legislature thereof; and in all Bills for Appropriation of the same, whatsoever the purpose may be:

“ Resolved, That the said right extends to the approval or rejection of all Bills of Aid or Supply, or Monies aforesaid, and of all Bills of Appropriation for the whole or any part of such Aid or Supply, or such Monies, and that no legal appropriation can be made without the concurrence of the three branches of the Legislature :

” Resolved, That the Legislative Council will not proceed upon any Bill of Aid or Supply which shall not within the knowledge of this House have been applied for by the Kings Represeritative in this Province :

“ Resolved, That the Legislative Council will not proceed upon any Bill appropriating Public Money, that shall not within the knowledge of this House have been recommended by the King’s Representative:

“ Resolved, That the Legislative Council will not proceed upon any Bill of Appropriation for Money, issued in consequence of an Address of the Assembly to the King’s Representative, (Addresses of the Assembly for the expenses of that House excepted) unless upon some extraordinary emergency unforeseen at the commencement of a Session, and which unforeseen emergency will not allow of time for passing a Bill of Appropriation for the same in the session when the Address shall have been voted :

“Resolved, That the Legislative Council will not proceed upon any appro- priation of public Money for any Salary or Pension hereafter to be created, or any augmentation thereof, unless the quantum of such Salary, Pension, or Augmenta- tion shall have been recommended by the King’s Representative:

“ Resolved, That the Legislative Council will not proceed upon any Bill of Appropriation for the Civil List, which shall contain specifications therein by chapters or items, nor unless the same shall be granted during the life of His Majesty the King:

“ Resolved, That nothing contained in these Resolutions shall be construed to prevent or infringe upon freedom ofdebate and decision in this House upon the merits of any matter which shall be recommended by His Majesty’s Representa- tive, or upon any Bill relating to Public Money, upon which this House, accord- ing to the spirit of these Resolutions, can proceed.”

Mr. Neilson—I also deliver in a copy of the Resolutions of the House of Assembly of the 15th March 1821,. which were founded upon the Resolutions of the Council that have just been read.

[The witness delivered in the same, which was read, as follows:]

“ Resolved, That this House has never done nor claimed anything contrary to what is stated in the said Resolutions of the Honourable the Legislative Council :

“ Resolved, That the Honourable the Legislative Council cannot constitution- ally prescribe or dictate to this House the manner or form of proceeding on Bills of Aid or Supply, nor upon any matter or thing whatsoever, and that every attempt of the Legislative Council for that purpose is a breach of the rights and privileges of this House: That the right of originating Bills of Aid or Supply belongs solely and exclusively to this House: That the right of originating Bills of Appropriation of Public Money belongs solely and exclusively to this House: That this House are astonished that the Honourable the Legislative Council have passed Resolu- tions and adopted rules which affect the constitutional rig-lits and privileges of this House, without having heard the reasons to the contrary which might have been given on the part of this House: That the said Resolutions have been adopted by the Honourable the Legislative Council without any difficulty or dis- pute having arisen between the said Legislative Council and this House respecting the matters therein set forth, and that the said Resolutions, adopted gratuitously and unnecessarily by the said Legislative Council, are of a nature to retard the re-establishment of that harmony and that good understanding between the two Houses which it is so desirable should prevail for the good government, peace, and welfare of the people of this Province: That all Resolutions by which one branch of the Legislature lay down for themselves beforehand, and in a general manner, a rule not to proceed on Bills of a certain form or de- scription, which may be otfered to them by another branch, is contrary to parliamentary laws and usages, to the Constitutional Act, and to the liberties, rights and privileges of the other branches of the Legislature, and even of that branch which adopts such resolution. That by constant parliamentary usage, recognized by several Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Legislature of this Province, the Commons of the United Kingdoin and the Assembly of this Province have frequently voted by address advances of money, when the exigencies of the state and country have rendered it necessary; and that this practice, far from being disadvantageous, has been of very great assist- ance to Government, as the converse would produce incalculable inconvenience and fatal consequences to His Majestys Government: That it is the duty of this House towards Hi Iajesty and his People of this Province to take into con- sideration all Salaries, Pensions and Augmentations thereof, and to provide for them with liberality and justice, although the quantum be not mentioned in the recommendation made to this House by the Kings Representative: That the Honourable the Legislative Council cannot, directly or indirectly, abridge or pro- long the time fixed by Bills of this House for the collection of any sum of Money, nor change the mode established by Bill of this House either for the collection or application of the public Money.”

Martis, 3 die Junii, 1828.

Mr. Simon McGillivray, called in; and Examined.

ARE you acquainted with the British Provinces in North America ?—I am, having frequently visited them.

In what capacity have you visited them ?—As a merchant, and connected with the North West Company, Whose trade extended very far into the interior, and in the necessary attention to which, I had occasion to travel through a considerable part of the country repeatedly. .

Is your acquaintance principally with Upper Canada, or with Lower Canada ?— About equal in both; my connections are chiefly in Lower Canada; but I have travelled so frequently through Upper Canada, that my personal acquaintance is about equal in both.

For what length of time have you been acquainted with those provinces ?— I have been acquainted with Lower Canadasince 1802; with Upper Canada since the war; since 1815.

Are you a proprietor of lands in either province?–I am not, individually I believe I may be proprietor of some wild land that I inherit from some relations there; but I never saw it.

Is there any thing in the state of the laws in Lower Canada which, in your opinion, discourages British subjects from becoming possessed of land in that province?—Undoubtedly there is much; state of the tenures, the lines upon mutations of property, and the general dislike which I have found to prevail to living under the French institutions and laws.

Do you find the dislike confined to the English population, or is it common to the French?–Certainly not; the French are anxious to preserve their peculiar institutions with as little alteration as possible.

Is not the French population much more numerous than the English?–It is.

The French and English population are very little mixed; and even where they reside together, as in towns, they do not associate, but form, as it were, distinct castes. In the seigneurial part of Canada, along the banks of the St. Lawrence, the French population is pretty much unmixed, There isia mixture of English population in some of the towns; and in what are called the eastern townships, (a considerable extent of territory lying between the seigneuries and the bounda- ries of the provinee,) the population is partly of English and partly of American descent, but generally called English, as distinguished from French.

Is the objection to the state of the law confined to the inhabitants of the town- ships ?—lt is confined to the commercial population of the towns, and the English inhabitants of’ the townships.

You say that the fines upon the mutations of property are one of the reasons why English people are indisposed to possess it; can you state the amount of those fines? -The amount of the fines is, I believe, one twelfth upon each transfer; and its injurious effect upon property which is improved is manifest at once; because if a man purchases a piece of ground, a mere garden, for 200l. or 300l. and builds a house worth 10,000 l. upon it, he pays the fine upon the additional value.

Does the one twelfth go to the seigneur ?—It does.

Is it paid equally, whether the property is transferred upon the death of the possessor or transferred by sale ?—It depends upon whom it is inherited by. If it is inherited by the children I believe it does not pay the fine of mutation; I believe it is only in case of sale that the full fine is charged.

Is the commerce of Canada carried on chiefly by English people?–By the people of English and Scotch, and what the Canadians consider foreign descent, speaking of English as including all others who are not Canadians.

To what circumstance do you attribute the Canadians not engaging in com- merce ?—It can only be matter of opinion. There are some of them that are engaged in the inferior branolies of commerce; they keep shops, and are engaged in small country half taverns half shops, but generally they are not a commercial people, and of those who have engaged in commerce few have ever obtained any distinction, or amassed much property by means thereof.

Did they not while the fur trade took the direction of the St. Lawrence, engage very actively in that branch ?—As clerks, servants, and voyageurs or canoemen, they did; I can speak to that from my own knowledge. The fur trade to the northern country was, from the year 1784 or 1785 to the year 1821, carried on wholly by an association called the North West Company, and although the partners of that company were always chosen by a regular system of promotion of meritorious clerks, I believe only four Canadians ever came to be partners of the company, and one of them through a circumstance of family connection. I have no objection to state the fact, but it is not of any moment, and it might offend the party; but the inferior servants were almost wholly Canadians.

Do the persons whom you describe as engaged in commercial pursuits in Lower Canada invest their money in Lower Canada, or are they in the habit of remitting it home?—They are very much in the habit of remitting it home; and I am per- suaded that that practice has tended to prevent the advancement of the colony and its improvement, in the same manner that the adjoining states are improved.

Are you sufficiently acquainted with Upper Canada to be able to say whether the same habit prevails there; that is to say, whether persons making money in commercial pursuits remit their money home or invest it there ?—I know scarcely any instance of any persons having acquired money in the Upper Province hav- ing left it. They become generally large holders of land. There are several persons that I know now who have been long talking of leaving the province, but they still remain there.

You mean persons that are engaged in commercial pursuits ?——They have been persons engaged in commercial pursuits, proprietors of mills, and dealers in produce generally; because the commerce of the country is limited to the pro- duce of the land, and to importation of manufactures and colonial produce for consumption.

Are the Committee to infer from that, that the tenure oiland, and the manage- ment of property in Upper Canada, is upon a footing more acceptable to persons of British origin than it is in Lower Canada?—Undoubtedly; and I may state further in favour oftlial opinion,that although at a greater distance froin a market, and a much greater distance from a navigation, and under various disadvantageous circumstances, arising from its remoteness, land in Upper Canada is of con- siderably more value than land of equal fertility in Lower Canada.

Does the superiority of the climate in Upper Canada tend materially to produce that additional value ?—In part, certainly.

To what do you attribute the other part ?—To the superior eligibility of land held under the institutions of Upper Canada over land under the institutions of Lower Canada; in corroboration of which I would add, that where there is not much difference of climate, where the land is merely divided by an imaginary line separating the province of Lower Canada from the states of New York and Vermont, the land, in the townships on the Canadian side of the line is in many places scarcely saleable at is, an acre, and on the other side of the line it is sold at 10s. 12 s. and 15s.

When you say that the inhabitants of the English townships, and the English inhabitants of the towns in Lower Canada, are desirous of English law in prefer- ence to the French law, do you mean that they wish for the English law of prime- geniture, and the English forms of conveyancing, or that they wish for the English law as it is established in the United States ?—I should think that those who are not lawyers do not exactly enter into the dilliculties relating to the English form of conveyancing, and the other difficulties of the English law.

Are the Committee to understand that they wish for the English law as it is practised in the states of Vermont and New York?—Yes; it is only in that way that they have a knowledge of it. I should say, that, in speaking of English law, they may be considered to mean, and merely to wish for an exemption from the disadvantages they feel under the French law.

Does the system of French law which prevails in Montreal and Quebec mate— rially ailect or impede the commercial pursuits in Lower Canada ?—It creates very considerable difficulties in many respects. The want of a bankrupt law, and of any provision for arranging insolvent estates, causes considerable difficulty in recovering connnereial debts; and the system whereby every contract entered into before a notary is held to be a real security upon the whole of a man’s estate, makes it difficult to know when a debt is secured or not; because an instrument in the possession of an obscure notary, or among the papers of a deceased notary, may he produced, of any date, almost forgotten by the grantor of it, and unless formally cancelled, it amounts to a mortgage over the whole of his property.

Does that prevent the practice of lending money upon mortgage ?—It does undoubtedly ; because it is impossible to know when you can safely lend money; and it also throws so much doubt upon titles, that it has made the system almost universal there of transferring property under a sheriff’s sale, which, after a certain time, sets aside all alleged hypothecary security; and, in fact, sheriffs sales are so general, that if you take up a Canada newspaper, particularly the Quebec Gazette, you generally sec half of it occupied with sheriffs sales.

Are persons engaged in commerce in Lower Canada at all impeded in their commercial pursuits, by the laws which exist with reference to personal property? –I am not aware that they are impeded in buying and selling: as to the disputes between merchants, the case certainly is attended with dithculty, because the estab- lishment of a system of trial by jury would be preferred by Englishmen to the manner in which questions are decided there.

With reference to the laws themselves, is there any thing in them that is pro- ductive of inconvenience, or of which merchants have reason to complain?– I believe there area number of regulations still enforced as part of the “Coutume de Paris” that are inapplicable to modern times, but I am unable to speak to them.

Are you acquainted with the district of Lower Canada known by the name of the Townships?—I have never been there; in fact they are inaccessible to tra- vellers, and can only be visited-in the summer on foot or on horseback, and in the winter when the snow roads are good, there being no roads between them and the bank of the river.

Are you at all acquainted with the transport of goods between the Lower Province and the Upper ?—Yes.

Are the merchants who import goods for Upper Canada exposed to any diffi- culty, or to any unfair taxation in the transport of goods through the Lower Pro- vince into the Upper ?—I believe the merchants are not exposed to any difficulty, because where they have to pay a duty upon importation it signifies nothing to the payer where he pays it. The province of Upper Canada has complained of being deprived of apart of the duties, and disputes have arisen between the provinces as to the distribution of the duties so collected.

Where are the duties now taken ?–At Quebec, I believe, entirely; I am not sure whether part of them are not now taken at Montreal; the old system was that they were taken wholly at Quebec, but that was complained of at Montreal.

Is the consumption of foreign goods by the two provinces similar, or does the difference of the origin and manners of the inhabitants create much difference in their consumption ?—I should think that the articles that pay most duty are liquors, wine and spirits. I should think there is more wine consumed in Lower Canada than in Upper Canada; probably they distill grain and consume less of the imported spirits than the people who are nearer the market; such at least was the opinion of the commissioners who met to determine the distribution of the duties between the provinces.

Then in the arrangement of the duties, do the taxes bear rather more heavily upon the Lower Canadians than upon the Upper, according to the relative pro- portions of the population ?—So far as liquors go, I should say so; in regard to other commodities. I should think that from the habits and the superior comforts of living of several of the people of Upper Canada, the reverse is the case; so that very probably the distribution of the commissioners was a fair one, when they took population as the criterion for the distribution of the duties on importation.

In the imposition of taxes, which is altogether in the hands of the Lower Canadians, is there any ground of suspicion that an unfair use has been made of their power in that respect; that they have imposed taxes which they thought were more likely to fall upon the Upper Canadians than upon themselves ?——I am not aware that there is any such impression : I have no such impression.

Are there any taxes upon the transport of goods from the interior ?——There are no duties of any importance; some goods are received from the United States, upon which there is a heavy duty charged.

Do you mean goods transported from the territories of the United States at the south of the province ?—Yes, the duties appear to have been intended to act as a prohibition, and they have so far operated as to be a prohibition of export by that channel, which was one great cause of promoting the canal which has been con- structed in the state of New York.

Do any of those export duties bear upon the produce of Upper Canada ?—I am not aware that they do upon the produce of Upper Canada,

Are you at all acquainted with the mode in which lands are granted by the Government in Lower Canada ?——The grants made since the conquest have been made in townships laid out in a similar manner to what they are in Upper Canada; the townships are generally about 10 miles square, which are divided into lots of 200 acres, and a certain number of those lots reserved for the Crown and the clergiy, generally one-seventh for the Crown and one-seventh for the clergy.

Do you know whether the size of the grants, or the mode in which they have been distributed, has had a tendency to retard their cultivation ?–Undoubtedly; making large grants in the townships nearest to the seigneuries must have tended to prevent cultivation; but the seig-neuries themselves are not yet entirely cultivated to the boundary of the townships, it is only the front piece of land immediately bordering upon the river; that is very thickly peopled, so thick, that from a dis- tance the houses along the read look like a continued village; but if you go back three or Four miles, the country is very partially cleared.

Then beyond that again, and towards the American boundary, is there not a not called the Townships ?——Yes, the seigneuries extend, I believe, generally about 12 or 15 miles from the river side, and the whole country from thence to the boundary line of the province is laid out in townships, of which, I believe surveys were made, and I know the provincial government is by no means satisfied of their accuracy.

Can you state generally any measures or any course that could be pursued by which it would be likely that the land you now describe as lying waste between the seigneuries and the American border could be brough into cultivation?– I know no plan that would be likely to be so effectual as that of taxing the land for the purposes of making roads, or to make roads, and to make the properietor pay for them; and if ahsentees or others did not pay, to sell part of the assessments.

What are the difficulties that now impede the making of roads?–The difficulty is the state of the property; in the first place, a great deal of property granted being held by absentees; then the crown and clergy reserves are an impediment to the making of roads, or any communication through the country; there are no means of defraying the expense. People whom I have seen from the townships complain much of the difficulty of getting roads made, because there is nobody that will co—operate with them in paying for opening roads through the adjoining lands which do not belong to them.

Are you at all acquainted with the system which is now pursued for laying out roads?–I believe the grand voyer’s superintendence is chiefly confined to roads in the seigneuries.

Is the land that is set apart for the clergy reserves so located as to produce great inconvenience to the settlers?–It is, undoubtedly; because laying out every seventh lot for that purpose, and another seventh for crown reserves, and sup- posing the intermediate lots adjoining the river or the road to be occupied and partially cleared, yet the man that has to get to the lot beyond the reserves cannot reach his farm or carry his produce our of it without going to the expense of opening a road through the reserve, and that he cannot afford ; so that the reserves generally are an impediment to settlement.

Is that in itself a sufficient reason to account for the land between the town- ships and the seigneuries remaining unsettled?–It is only one cause, and it contributes with other causes; because, whether the land be a clergy reserve or a crown reserve, or land granted to a non-resident proprietor, the effect the same.

Do you think the absentees have been deterred from cultivating their land by the clergy and crown reserves ?—It has increased their difficulty.

Are you acquainted with the measures that have been had recourse to in order to compel abscntees to fulfil the conditions of their grants by cultivating the land?—In Upper Canada I know that some legislative measures have been adopted for the purpose of making improvements, and of taxing the lands of absentees to contribute to those improvements.

Are not the clergy reserves claimed by different religious sects in that country? –I think that dispute has arisen in this way. About four years ago Govern- ment made a contract with an association of merchants, of which I was one, for disposing of a certain portion of the clergy reserves, and the whole of the crown reserves of Upper Canada to that company, for the purpose of sale and settlement, and it was after that negociation had made some progress, that I heard, for the first time, of a corporation, called the Clergy Corpora- tion, which had acquired a title to all those clergy reserves. That Clergy Corporation made strong rernonstrances against the transaction which Govern- ment had entered into with the Canada Company, and represented the value of those clergy reserves to be considerably more than they were considered by other persons to be, and subsequently other denominations, the Presbyterians particularly, and various parties in the House of Assembly in Upper Canada, have claimed a share in the distribution of the produce of the clergy reserves. The established church claim the whole right as the Protestant Church, for whose support the reserves were originally designed. Others claim a participation in it, as being generally appropriated for the support of a Protestant Church, without any exclu- sive reference to the Church of England.

Are the Committee to understand that this state of things arising from those different claims having been so long made, and it being uncertain to whom those clergy reserves really belong, has produced a great deal of discord and irritation in the province ?—I should say not a great deal; it has very recently produced some discussion and contention in the newspapers; but it is a question of very recent oeciirreiice; it is a question that had scarcely begun to excite public irritation when I was last in the province, in 1825.

Are you not aware that the Legislature of Upper Canada has repeatedly come to votes upon that question ?—Yes, recently they have.

Have you any general notion of the numbers of the different sects in the colony? —I have not, and in fact it is rather a difficult point to ascertain; I have endea- voured to collect some specific information, and I have not been able to do it.

Would you state generally that the Church of England were in a great minority or not, in the province of Upper Canada?—If numbered against all others, I should say decidedly they were.

Was there not a resolution to that effect passed in the House of Assembly, and carried by amajority of at least 24, the minority amounting to only three?– So I have understood.

You are a member of‘ the Canada Company ?—I am.

What was the nature of the contract made between the Government and the company with respect to the lands that that company was to hold ?—Thc contract was made for the purpose of purchasing from the Crown the whole of the crown reserves which had not then been granted (they have since been found to amount to about ,l,400,000 acres), and one half of the clergy reserves which had not been granted or leased previously to the 1st of March 1824 they amounted to about 840,000 acres, therefore it was a purchase by the company from the Crown of about two and a quarter of millions of acres at such price as should be awarded by commissioners, and to be payable to Government in instalments in 15 years.

Were the commissioners to award the price equally for the crown reserves and for the clergy reserves ?—They were to award generally the price between the Government and the purchasers of all the land.

Has any price been fixed upon the crown reserves ?—Yes; a price was fixed by the report of the commissioners on both the crown and clergy reserves, but the best evidence upon that subject would be the Report itself, which is in the Colonial Office.

What payments have been made by the Canada Company to the Government? -I believe, including a payment which may be considered as made because it has been ordered to be made, and it will be made within the present month, the amount is 35,000l.

Is there any part of it an annual rent or fine ?—No; it is the price for the purchase of so much land paid in annual instalments; the sum paid consists of the two first years instalments.

Are the instalments fixed in annual payments of 15,000l. ?—They are fixed at the annual instalment of 20,000l. the first year, and 15,000l. the next year, and going on so as to make up the whole sum in 16 years.

What is the obligation of the company as to taking up the lands ?—They are under the obligation of taking up a certain portion of the land annually, or paying a fine to Government in lieu of settlement duties; they are compelled either to occupy a certain portion of the land every year, or to pay a penalty in case of failing to do so.

How many years have they existed ?—They got the charter in September 1826 ; I should state upon that subject, that the proceedings of the Company have been very much delayed by the dispute which arose from the representations of the Clergy Corporation. A delay ensued in granting the charter and in enabling the company to proceeed with their operations, and in the mean time what was called the commercial or financial panic arose in England, which depreciated the value of all speculations of this description, and has been particularly injurious to the interests of the stockholders of the Canada Company.

What portion of the land is the company actually in possession of?—We have only taken actual possession of that which we have placed occupants upon.

Upon what terms have you placed occupants upon it?—On the terms of sale to those persons. We have contracted with a man that he is to pay so much, and we put him into possession of the land, giving him a title after he has paid a certain proportion of the price agreed on.

Is the land all in one mass ?—No; the crown reserves are in detached lots.

In the improvement and cultivation of the land which you have obtained from the Crown, are you much impeded by the circumstances and position of the remaining clergy reserves ?——We have not been, and I should think that we are under present arrangeinents not likely to be, because I understand that under the authority of an Act passed two years ago, Government has appointed a gentle- man to sell the clergy reserves; and if they, are to be for sale in the market, they will be no impediment to the cultivation of the province. We have complained of the measure of selling and of giving away those lands in opposition to us, as sellers of there we have purchased, but that is a commercial matter, affecting the interests of us, the company; and as to the general interest of the province, I should suppose that the measure the Government has adopted of putting the clergy reserves up to sale, will prevent their being so much an impediment to cul- tivation as they have hitherto been. I should also state, that in many former instances when the clergy reserves have acquired sufficient value from the settle- ments in the neighbourhood to bear the payment of any rent, they have been leased, and have so ceased to be an impediment to improvement.

What is the Clergy Corporation?—It is a corporation that was framed in Canada, and confirmed by royal authority in England.

Of whom does it consist? Of the Bishop of Quebec, and of certain persons named in Canada, chiefly, I believe, clergymen.

Is the administration of the clergy lands vested in this corporation ?—I believe it is.

Is Upper Canada supplied with foreign produce through the United States, or from Lower Canada ?–Chiefly from Lower Canada; until within a few years both Canadas were supplied with the produce of China and of India very much through the United States; but in consequence of a measure adopted by the East India Company, of sending teas direct to Quebec, which are not subject to the heavy English duties, I believe the balance of imports is rather the other way now, and that some find their way from Canada to the United States.

Is there much smuggling from the United States into Upper Canada, or vice versa ?—I should think not; the duties in Upper Canada are not sufficiently large to make smuggling an object of any importance; but there is a considerable war of custom-houses on both sides of the lake, chiefly arising from the restrictions imposed on American vessels in their own ports; if a vessel touches on the English side of the lake she is considered to have come from a foreign port, and is subject to a heavy tonnage duty.

Is much of the produce of Upper Canada transported through the American canals ?—No.

How is it that it is an object to the inhabitants of the southern shore of the lakes, who are American citizens, to transport their produce through their canals, if it is not so to the inhabitants of Upper Canada ?–Because their produce is subject to considerable duty on being sent through Lower Canada. If the navi- gation of the St. Lawrence had been thrown open for the produce of the south side of the lakes, I think that those canals never would have been constructed; and that it was to avoid our transit duties and import duties in Lower Canada that the people of New York were induced to attempt works of such magnitude and difficulty.

If those duties were taken off now would it restore the trade ?—I should think not, because the canals are constructed, and the great advantage of the harbour of New York, the capital accumulated in that city, the enterprise of its merchants, the propinquity of its harbour to the West Indies, as well as its being open all the year round, whereas the St. Lawrence is closed half the year; I think these circumstances would counterbalance the advantages on the other side, yet still of bulky articles a considerable quantity would come to the St. Lawrence.

What is the object of the transit duties; were they imposed to prevent American commodities being brought to lslngland or the British colonies ?— I should think that was the object. The Canadians claimed particular advan- tages in exporting their produce to England and to our colonies, either free of duty or at a reduced rate of duties; and in order to prevent the American produce sharing in those advantages, those duties were levied, partly with a View to secure to the actual settlers of Canada the advantages given to them in the exportation of their produce to England and to our colonies.

Would not this system of transit duties entirely prevent the produce of the American states finding its way along the St. Lawrence when the Rideau Canal is constructed ?—The Rideau Canal, I should think, will never bring down much produce; it is an important improvement in the country with a view to its military defence, but whilst the St. Lawrence is open, and whilst considerable craft can come down the St. Lawrence without impediment, I should think that many of them will never come down through the Rideau Canal. Boats may go up the Rideau Canal, but I should think the waters of the St. Lawrence will always be the channel in coming down.

Will much of the produce of the American territory on the south of Lake Erie pass through the Welland Canal?–I think a great deal will.

With a view to find an ultimate outlet by the American canals?—Either by the St. Lawrence or the American canals. According to a calculation I have seen, I believe it might be of advantage for the sloops and schooners which navigate Lake Erie to pass through the Welland Canal, if they are permitted to pass without any transit. duty, to carry their cargoes either to the mouth of the Oswego River, or to go down the St. Lawrence to Prescott.

Will not the principle on which the transit duties are established apply at all to the Welland Canal ?——I am not certain about that; I hope if they do apply that an alteration may be made.

Have those transit duties, on the whole, been injurious to the colony ?——They were meant to be beneficial to the colony, by encouraging the increase of its culti- vation, but l believe they have actually been injurious to it.

Then they have not had the effect of increasing the cultivation of the colony ?- – Whether they may have increased it in any material degreel do not know; I be- lieve the injury has been greater than the benefit.

Would the union of the two provinces materially facilitate the commerce of either province ?–Of Upper Canada it would.

In what way ?—By giving them a control of the direct port of entry and commu- nication with thc rest of the world, which at present they are obliged to have through the jurisdiction of Lower Canada.

Do the Lower Canadians exercise that jurisdiction in such a way as to impede the commerce of the Upper Canadians ?—The power of the Legislature of Lower Canada has been exercised so as to be an impediment to commerce generally, par- ticularly to that of Upper Canada, because it was that which was most exposed to it.

In what manner have they imposed that impediment ?—I can speak of general results much more than of details, and I am not prepared to enter into explana- tions upon that subject.

What sort of goods have you been in the habit of importing into Upper Canada? –Into Upper Canada I never imported much ; the goods I was chiefly in the habit ofimporting from England to Lower Canada were British manufactures of various kinds fit for the Indian trade. I never was engaged in any local trade in the colonies; I was engaged in the Indian and fur trade as a director ofthe North West Company. Our imports from England consisted of manufactures, arms, ammuni- tion and clothing for the supply of the Indian trade, and we purchased in America provisions and tobacco and rum, and those articles were sent up through Upper Canada in their way to the Indian territories in the north-west; that was the trade I was chiefly engaged in, and that trade having met with no impediment from any legislative restrictions, I am therefore the less prepared to answer the last question.

Did they pass from province to province duty free?–Yes; having paid the duties upon the importation into either province, they passed free to the other, and there was no drawback.

Do you know any instance in which different regulations of trade, affecting the same commodities, have prevailed within the two provinces at the same time ?—— I am not sufficiently aware of the details of the local trade to answer that question.

Are not the complaints of the Upper Canadians of this sort, that the duties levied in the Lower Province are applied to the local purposes of the Lower Province, and not applied to the purposes of the Upper Province?——As far as I understand it, that is the chief complaint; and it is more a complaint of the distribution of the duties than any inequality or unfairness in levying them.

Can you state generally what is the nature of the arrangement by which is determined the share of the duties to which Upper Canada is entitled ?—I believe I can, because I had a good deal of conversation with a gentleman that was sent to decide the last arbitration. Mr. Chipman, of New Brunswick, showed me his papers. He had been sent to settle the difference of opinion between Mr. Richard- son and Mr. Baby, the commissioners appointed for Lower and Upper Canada, who, differing in opinion, Mr. Chipman was appointed by Government to decide between them. I happened to be at Montreal at the time they met, and after the decision had been given, Mr. Chiprnan showed me his papers, and the principle upon which he decided was, that the population of the two provinces was the fair standard of distribution.

Do you believe that that principle has given satisfaction to the two provinces?– I believe they both complained of it; and yet I could not imagine a more equitable mode of deciding the question.

Does not Lower Canada consider that it leads to a serious diminution of her power?——Lower Canada claimed originally the whole of the duties, and con- sidered the claim of Upper Canada to any participation whatever to be unjust.

Is the principle of the relative nunibcr of the population agreed upon now for ever, as that by which the distribution is to be regulation ?—No; it was only given as an award in one instance; and I believe it is for four years.

Has there been any other adoption of that principle?—This is the latest instance of it.

Has it been pursued in any former award ?—I do not know what the former principle was.

Is not the criterion which was adopted, the relative proportion of the popu- lation of the two provinces, objected to as improper, with reference to the con- sumption of dutyable articles in the two provinces ?——It has been objected to upon that ground, as well as upon several others.

Do you not believe, that even in that instance, the portion awarded to Upper Canada was objected to in Lower Canada, as being too great with reference to their consumption ?—It was so objected to.

Do you think it probable that the two provinces will be content with this mode of adjusting their difficulties with respect to the duties, as a permanent arrange- ment?–I should think not; I should think the province of Upper Canada will never be content without a port of entry for its foreign commerce.

At the same time you cannot suggest any mode in which the difficulties could be better adjusted ?——As a principle of distribution of duties between two inde- pendent Legislatures, I cannot.

Do you not consider that all difficulties would disappear under a union of the colonies ?—I do not know that; many difficulties would disappear, those with respect to the distribution of the duties would certainly disappear, but many difficulties would be created.

In what respects would it create difficulties ?—Difficulties would be created by the temper it would excite in the French party, who would think it was intended to extinguish and destroy the peculiar line of separation which they wish to keep up between themselves and their fellow subjects of English descent, in their own or in the adjoining colony; and in case of a union, I would apprehend so much difficulty from this particular spirit of dissatisfaction, this turning of the two parties loose in the same Legislature to try which should get the upper hand, that I should think the union a dangerous measure, without some provision for a certain number of years to regulate both the revenue and the appropriation, which in Lower Canada have been the chief sources of discord; so as to allow the parties to mix a little together before they should come into direct collision on those points which have agitated them for some years past.

Would not a union excite the greatest alarm in the minds of the French popu- lation of Lower Canada ?—Undoubtedly it would, a temporary alarm; I think it would be only temporary, and it is to give time for that alarm to subside, that I consider it ought to be accompanied with the other measure I have mentioned.

Do you mean any sort of guarantee for the maintenance of their laws and church, and institutions of different kinds ?— For their property and their church I pre- sume that no guarantee would be required, because there would be no change contemplated; but as to their laws, I should think that if their laws are held to be oppressive upon their fellow subjects, any guarantee for the continuance of those oppressive laws would not be expected; and what I mean, is a legislative enactment in England to regulate the amount and the appropriation of the import duties to be levied in Canada for at least in years; in which time such it change of men and of feelings would take place as probably to prevent any recurrence of the recent grounds of discussion, as well as to reconcile all parties to their situation under the provisions of the union.

Would the Upper Canadians object to admitting the influence of the Lower Canadians in their province, which would be a necessary consequence of the union?–With respect to any united feeling of the Upper Canadians upon the subject, I can scarcely speak to that; but there are many interests in Upper and in Lower Canada opposed to the union. In the first place proprietors of land and of houses in the two present seats of Government, whether it be at Quebec – or at York in Upper Canada, would expect that ultimately some central situation would be selected as the place of meeting of the general Legislature; and those that hold property in the vicinity of places at present benefited by the assembling of the respective Legislatures would be opposed to a union as being injurious to their own interest; those also that have great influence in the local Governments, perhaps connections of the Council in either province, who could not follow the Government if removed from its present seat, would dislike the measure as interfering with a system which has been beneficial to themselves.

Speaking generally, are the Upper Canadians favourably disposed to the union of the two provinces ?—They decidedly are, in general.

They do not apprehend any injurious influence by the united Legislature, with regard to their property and institutions?—They do not apprehend that any alteration could be made with regard to property; they would look rather to the spreading of their institutions in the sister province.

Do you not consider that the two provinces have the same interest in many respects ?—I should say in all respects except troin the prejudice and ignorance ofa portion of the population.

Have they not the same interest, especially with regard to improvements in the navigation and means of land communication, and trade regulations in general, inasmuch as they produce similar commodities for exportation, and require similar supplies from without?—I should think they are alike in all these respects.

Do you know the distance from the extreme eastern point of the district of Gaspé to the upper end of Lake Erie ?——It is, to the best of my knowledge, about 1,500 miles.

Would any inconvenience result from more distance alone in conducting the affairs of an executive government in so large a district ?—In America generally the rivers are the great roads of the country, and every thing centres so much from the river, that a distance of 200 or 300 miles along a river is of less importance than one—tenth of the distance inland from the river. The distance to Gaspé is greater than it is necessary to take into consideration, because there is scarcely any population, or any space for future population below Kamouraska, which is about 100 miles from Quebec, and to which the distance from the upper end of Lake Erie may be estimated about 1,000 miles.

Supposing that as time advances the country becomes more fully peopled in the interior would it be possible, in your opinion, to conduct the Government with a single Legislature and one executive department over so vast a space as would then be occupied ?——Judging from the neighbouring states, I should see no difficulty in it.

Have not the neighbouring states subordinate legislatures ?—They have, confined to local and municipal purposes.

Have you ever considered whether it would be possible to adopt any tiring of the same kind, with reference to the two provinces of Canada, leaving the local affairs to be regulated by the local Legislatures, and having something in the nature of a Congress ?—There has been a suggestion of a general Congress of all the North American provinces, it would be attended with considerable difficulty.

Without applying the answer to the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, can you say what would be its elibct with reference to the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada?—I think it would be attended with all the difficulties of a legislative union, and would be unproductive of some of its advantages.

Would it not enable the Lower Canadians to preserve those interests which they think in danger, in connection with their church and their French law, and might not the power of such united assembly be applied only to those’ matters which related to the two provinces in common, such as their mutual defence, and the taxation, and appmpriation of the revenue for public and general objects ?—It might certainly; it would be rather a cumbrous machinery, but it might be established.

Would that obviate any of the evils that are apprehended from the union? —To a certain extent it would; but then I do not know how far it would relieve the English population of Lower Canada from the prevalence of those French laws of which they complain.

Might not a system of representation be adopted with reference to the English population of Lower Canada, by which the Assembly of Lower Canada might be remodelled, so as to apply both to the townships and to the seigneuries, by chang- ing the right of representation ?——The rigHT of representation might be altered by a different distribution of the territory as to counties, but so long as the French Legislature possessed the control of the navigation of the Saint Lawrence, which they still would, I think the difficulties would still remain.

The question supposed that all the regulation of that line of water communi- nation which ought to be common to both provinces should be regulated only by the combined Assembly?—That might remove the difficulty as to the general regulations of commercial improvement.

Would it be possible to adopt a double system of duties on the Saint Lawrence, that is to say, one for the Lower Province and another for the Upper Province, without giving rise to smuggling?—l think it would give rise to difficulties of various descriptions; it would be very dillicult to carry into effect; and if the duty was sufficient to make smuggling an object, it would be unlimited.

Supposing that the duties to be collected on the Saint Lawrence are to be uniform, and that they are to be distributed according to some mode between the two provinces, would there not necessarily be an unfairness in the distribution ?– There must be some supreme authorit I to regulate the distribution, and to judge what the general benefit would require to be most advantageously expended in one part and in another. A general representation of the people would probably be the best means of ascertaining that point.

Has the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada been increased in number since the Act of 1791?–Yes, they have been increased about threefold.

Do you know according to what rule they have been increased?—I do not exactly, but I believe when a new county is laid out, as soon as it attains a certain population it is entitled to send one member, and when it gets so many more it is entitled to send two.

In your opinion, is the system of representation which is founded upon the joint principle of population and territory, better adapted to a state in the condition of the Canadas, than one which has reference to population only ?–I should think, decidedly, the best principle is combining population and territory.

That is to say, to parcel out a certain portion of land, and when its inhabitants amount to such a number, to give it a representative, and not to increase its repre- sentatives as the population increases ?——This country is comparatively in its infancy. Looking to what its population may be, I would say that a certain extent of territory, possessing a certain number of inhabitants, much less than its neigh- bouring territory of equal extent, should still have an equal weight in the repre- sentation.

Are there any complaints in Upper Canada upon the subject of the repre- sentation ?——I believe not.

Are there any complaints in Upper Canada uith respect to the constitution of the Legislative Council?——Those who are opposed to the measures of Go- vernment complain of the Legislative Council, who generally have sided with the Governor when there has been any question in difference between them, but I have not heard of any complaint of the composition of the council ; where there are parties, however, there will always be complaints.

How is the Leglislative Council composed ?–Of persons recommended by the Governor, and appointed by the King’s mandamus.

Are they appointed for 1ife?——They are.

Are they most of them persons holding offices under the Government?— Many of them are.

Are not a great majority of the persons composing the Legislative Council persons holding offices during the pleasure of Government ?–I do not know that the majority are, but I believe that many of them are.

Is there a very marked distinctness of feeling, and a consciousness of conflicting interests between the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada?–The general mass of inhabitants have not much communication with each other; I can only judge of their feelings by the opinions of their leading representatives in the House of Assembly. The people of Upper Canada are of a more active and migra- tory race, and they sometimes visit Lower Canada; but the Lower Canadians seldom leave their own country.

Is it not generally understood that jealousies and animosities have prevailed between the two provinces?–They have prevailed more between the English and French population in Lower Canada than between the two provinces.

With regard to the distribution of the duties, have not jealousies prevailed between the Legislative Assemblies of the two provinces ?—There have, cer- tainly.

Do you know any instance in which important improvements, with respect to navigation and roads between the two provinces, have been neglected from the want of concurrence in the two Legislatures ?—I do not know the particulars of the manner in which they have been neglected, but that they have been neglected is obvious to every man who travels through the country.

Do you not believe that neglect to have proceeded from the want of concurrence on the part of the colonial Legislatures ?——I do.

Do you understand that the transit duties are now applied to wheat from the north—western states passing through Canada?——Yes, on wheat from the United States, if imported.

Is not the importing merchant allowed to bond for export?—I am not aware that he is.

Has not a regulation been made to that effect within two years ?——I believe that by that regulation certain ports in the colony are made free ports, and the system of bonding for exportation has been established, but that would not apply to the transit duties through Canada. if Canada was surrounded by the sea so that goods could be imported at the same port from which they niight be exported, it would apply; but I am not aware that American produce could be received from Lake Ontario at Kingston, or Prescott, or Coteau du Lac, and be sent to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and thence shipped.

Could not it be bonded at Montreal and Quebec ?—How is it to get there? it could only get there by the route referred to in the last answer.

Do you not believe that the inhabitants of Upper Canada consider, that with regard to their commercial position they have an advantage over the inhabitants of the United States?—I believe the more intelligent among them would be in- clined however to give up seine of those restrictions upon commerce which have been imposed by the British Parliament.

The question refers to local position; do you not believe that under all the cir- cumstances of the United States and of Canada, they consider that they are better situated for commerce than the inhabitants of the United States?—I should think not.

Do they not consider that the St. Lawrence is a better navigation for the pur- pose of intercourse with Europe than the Erie Canal affords ?–For their own par- ticular position it is the best access they have, and yet it happens that New York is as good a market any that is open to them. I am not aware that they think they have any particular advantages over the people in the neighbouring country, except that they pay less taxes; they pay no taxes in fact, unless for purposes of local improvement, and the duties on importation from the United Kingdom are very moderate, so that they have the advantage of having all articles of import, unless from the United States, at a small duty.

Do you not consider that the St. Lawrence is a better exit from the lakes to the sea than any that can be afforded through the medium of New York?–Most un doubtedly; but that has been subject to legislative restrictions which have partly destroyed its value.

Will not the facility afforded by the St. Lawrence be greatly increased by the application of steam?–It has been, and it will be still further.

Will not the canals that are now forming render it a much superior ship communication to any that can be afforded through the United States ?—There is no ship communication by canals through the United States, and the Welland Canal is the only ship canal in Canada.

Are you not aware that in the Erie Canal of New York there is but four feet and a half of water?—I am.

Do you know the size of the shipping that will pass through the canals that are intended to connect the lakes in Canada?—On the Rideau Canal and La Chine Canal I believe the dimensions of the locks are adapted for vessels drawing about five feet water, and I think 100 feet length, and 20 feet beam, and that the dimen- sions are similar in the Grenville Canal at the Rapids of the Ottawa.

Do not you know that there is an order to enlarge those locks?–I do not know that there is an order to enlarge them; and to enlarge those of La Chine Canal, which are already built, would be to rebuild them.

Do not you consider that any communication by shipping will always have a great advantage over a communication by boats?—Uudoubtedly.

Do not you consider that this will afford very increased advantages for the export of the produce of the borders of the lakes ?—I think not, because I think the St. Lawrence will always preserve its advantage over the line of canal from Lake Ontario to the Ottawa. I think, for the purposes of export, the river will always be the channel of navigation.

Do not you consider that all those advantages furnish a motive to the inhabitants of the British colonies with reference to the question of fidelity and attachment to the English connection?—I have been accustomed to consider that the population of our colonies never entertained any question upon the subject; they were attached to their country and their property, and they never entertained a doubt of the com- parative advantages which themselves or their neighbours might possess.

Do not you consider that the sources of dissatisfaction among the colonies generally arise from regulations with regard to commerce and communication, and that all the objections of that kind may be easily got over by Great Britain ?—There have been many causes of objection which lthink might have been got over by being better understood and more attended to than they have been; some slight causes of complaint have been allowed to aggravate the feelings of persons there, when perhaps a little timely attention might have removed them.

But you consider that for all important purposes the people of Upper Canada are firmly attached to the British connection ?–I believe so; I believe they have very few tangible grievances to complain of. I have heard several causes of grievance; one cause is the clergy reserves. The clergy reserves take away no man’s property, they form an impediinent to improvement, but that will be removed by disposing of them. There are some measures that have been carried by Government which have excited dissatisfaction; one is the Act enabling two magistrates to send any person that they consider seditious out of the country. I believe the only individual that was ever sent out of the country was Mr. Robert Gourlay; this is rather a hypothetical grievance than a real one.

Although you consider it a hypothetical grievance that a man may be sent out of Upper Canada at the discretion of the Governor, do you conceive that the majority of the population of that province do consider that as a hypothetical grievance or as a real grievance ?–It has been the subject of great dissatisfaction in the province, and because it has been a subject of dissatisfaction I think it an impolitic thing to persist in preventing its abolition.

You say that the clergy reserves take away no man’s property; do you think they do not diminish the value of property in that country ?——They have dimi- nishedthe value of property situated beyond them, but the difficulty will be removed by disposing of them.

Have they not produced a great deal of irritation in the province?–The dis- tribution of them has produced irritation between the parties claiming a partici- pation in their produce, and their existence in that state in which they have hitherto remained has prevented improvement; but I would distinguish this from actual personal grievance or oppression operating upon an individual.

Is the mode in which the construction of roads is provided for in Upper Canada liable to any objection?–I am not aware that it is; it is, to the best of my knowledge, by levying local rates upon the proprietors of land.

In what manner is the line of each road determined?–I do not exactly know; I believe it is by certain commissioners, appointed by Government. Some com- plaints I know have existed both in Lower and Upper Canada, from the circum- stance of those persons who had the laying out of the lines of new road having expended most of the money upon parts of the road that tended to improve their own property.

Do you not consider upon that point, that great advantage would de derived from the employment of government engineers in laying out those main lines of communication with a view to the general benefit of the country?–Undoubtedly I do so consider.

Would it not be better to adopt the system of management pursued in the United States, and that each district should elect its own surveyors ?—Yes, that might be a good plan in some respects, but there might be some districts in which particular parts of a road might be more expensive than others, and therefore perhaps, in that view, a general system might be beneficial for the whole country together.

Jovis, 5 die Junii, 1828,

John Neilson, Esquire, again called in; and Examined.

HAVE you any explanations that you wish to offer with reference to any part of the evidence you have already given?—I wish to submit a statement of the composition of the Executive Council, which I consider as unavoidably connected with the composition of the Legislative Council. This is the list of the Executive Council for 1827: Jonathan Sewell, speaker of the Legislative Council, chief justice of the province and ofthe district of Quebec, and president of the Court of Appeals ; the Rev. C. J. Stewart, lord bishop of Quebec; John Richardson, nierchant; James Ker, judge, K. B. Quebec, and of the Court of Vice-Admiralty; M. H. Perccval, collector ofthe Customs; William Smith, clerk of the Legislative Council ; John Hale, acting; receiver-general; C. G. Delery, assistant clerk of the Legislative Council ; John Stewart, sole commissioner of the Jesuits estates; A. W. Cochran, Governor’s secretary, law clerk of the Legislative Council, clerk of the Prerogative Court, and auditor of Land Patents; James Stuart, attorney— general. Out of these seven of them are legislative counsellors. Three of them are clerks ofthe Legislative Council, and one is attorney-general. Of the whole number there is one that is a native of Lower Canada.

What are the rest ?–They are from different parts of the Kings donrinions; the greatest proportion of them are natives of other colonies, and of the late colonies. This is the sole body in the country which has any check over the expenditure. They are delegated by the Treasury to exercise the powers of the Treasury, and they report to the Treasury, and upon their reports the governors are finally discharged; they in fact audit the accounts.

Do you consider that to be a sufficient check?–No, it is no check at all.

What would you propose to substitute ?—The matter ought to be regulated by a law. There have been bills introduced into the House of Assembly for the purpose of regulating that.

Are they dismissable at pleasure ?—The whole of them are dismissable at pleasure.

Does the Executive Council exercise any responsible authority ?—No, it has been held here that they are not responsible.

Have they, in fact, any authority recognized by the constitution ?—No further than that there was an instruction from home which required all laws raising- money in the colonies to contain a clause providing that the money should be accounted for to His Majesty through the Lords of the Treasury, they may be considered as acting for the Lords of the Treasury under those laws.

Are they, in point of fact, recognized in any other way than as a council, which the Governor may or may not consult, according to his pleasure?—They certainly are the only eilicient executive body in the Government; I do not know in what way the Home Government recognizes them; I do not know that they are recognized by any law of the colony, further than as I have stated.

Is the Governor obliged to consult them, or to follow their advice when given? —I apprehend not.

When were they first appointed ?—Im1ncdiately after the conquest of the colony; they are, in fact, a substitute for the Kings Privy Council here.

Are their functions in any way defined?—Not by any law that I am aware of; of course they act under the King’s instructions.

Have they salaries ?——They have 100 l. each, as executive counsellors; but they all hold other situations, as I have mentioned.

How does it appear that they act at all ; are their names signed to any public documents ?–All warrants for the payment of money are countersigned by their clerk.

Have any of them seats in the Assembly?—Not at present; there were some of them formerly that had ; but now there are none.

There is no law against it, is there ?—No.

Have they offered themselves to the people for election ?—I apprehend that latterly they would not have been received. Occasionally members of the House of Assembly have been made executive counsellors; but I recollect very few instances of executive counsellors having otllrecl themselves at the elections; there are instances, I believe; that of the late Mr. Young was one of them; and Mr. Richardson used to be elected formerly.

Is it an office, the appointment to which would vacate a seat in the House of Assembly ?—No. There has been an attempt to establish the same law as exists here in respect to vacating seats; but the bill has been refused by the Council, so that of course it would not vacate the seat, their being members of the Council.

Did that bill pass the House of Assembly ?—It did.

Have you got a copy of that bill ?—I will produce one to the Committee.

Is there any individual who holds a high executive office who has also a seat in the Assembly ?—There have always been some executive officers in the House, that have been managing the business on the part of the Government.

Are there any now?——Ycs, there is the auditor of public accounts, Mr. T. A. Young, the House is not in existence at present. The principal conductor on the part of Government last session was the assistant adjutant-general of Militia, Mr. Taschereau, Mr. Ogden the solicitor-general, and Mr. Christie, the chairman of the quarter sessions at Quebec.

Who is the person who is the principal manager of the finance of the country; is there any office that at all answers to the chancellor of the exchequer here ?—No, it has generally been considered with us that there was one person that was leading for the Government in the House, and this leading man was the assistant adjutant- general of militia, and latterly, police magistrate, now a judge of the King’s Bench for district of Quebec.

Has it been considered that it was objectionable that the offcers belonging to the Government should initiate any measure in the House of Assembly ?—Not at all; the fact is, that they have always initiated measures connected with the Govern- ment; but the members generally do not think themselves bound to take charge of the measures of the Government, unless those measures be agreeable to them.

There is no objection made to a member of the Government initiating a measure ?

-Surely not : it is managed by message with us, and the member that takes up the message is usually considered as the gentleman authorized on the part of the Government to conduct it through the House.

Have you any other explanation to make with regard to your former evidence? —On a former occasion, I stated that the objection to the Bill sent up in 1819 by the House of Assembly was, that it was annual; and on consulting the journals, I find that the objection was, that it was by items, and also that it was annual; I stated also, that the permanent revenue was suflicient for the expenses of the Government. By permanent revenue, I understand the whole of the revenue that is permanent, not that which is appropriated for our colonial expenses; but on consulting I find that it has been diminishing of late.

To what cause do you attribute that diminution ?—The revenue principally depends on the consumption on the part of the inhabitants of goods imported, that consumption is diminishing in consequence of the diminution of the means of the country to purchase the goods.

Is there any diminution of the means of the country to purchase goods?– Very material.

To what do you attribute that?—I stated before, that there had been a general depression in the value of landed property throughout the country during the last 12 or 15 years; the value of landed property there depends entirely upon the price that can be obtained for the produce of that land; the price of all kinds of produce has materially diminished, and consequently the value of property has diminished, and the means of the people to purchase manufactured articles have diminished.

Has not the increase of the nunibcr of consumers been more than sufficient to counteract any decrease ?—It has not been so.

Is not the price of articles of raw produce higher generally in Canada than it is in the United States ?—No, it has not been so latterly; previous to the war, and during the last war, it was considerably higlier; but since 1817 there has been a decrease, and now I believe it is lower than it is in the United States. The price of wheat at Albany is about 5s. a bushel, and we cannot get that price for it in Lower Canada. I wish to state, with respect to the bill to indemnify His Majesty, which I mentioned, it was a more clerical error those words being used. I stated that only one registry bill had been brought into the House of Assembly, that might leave it to he understood that I did not think of the one that was introduced from the Council. There was only one brought in by the House of Assembly, but there was one sent down from the Council, which was referred to a committee; it was within a fortnight of the close of the session when it was brought down, and there was no report upon the subject. At the time of my former examination I did not recollect the fate of the road bill, which I stated was sent down from the Council. It was sent down near the close of the session. it was conducted by the gentlemen who usually conducted the government business in the House, and referred to a committee; and he actually made a report that it was too late For the then session.

Is that the only road bill that was thrown out in the lower House ?—That is the only road bill that I have any knowledge of, that has been said to have been thrown out; but it was not thrown out, it was too late in the session.

In what year was that?– I think it was in the year 1824. In speaking of the townships, and of the security that they would have under the representation bill that passed the Assembly, I ought to have stated one fact, which is material: that that or no other bill could give the townships a sufficient share in the repre- sentation, unless doubts similar to those which have been started in Upper Canada, in respect of the right of those people to vote, should be removed; and the removal of those doubts can only be effected by the Legislature of this country.

Do you allude to the Alien Bill?—Yes, there ought to be it bill passed in favour of those people similar to that which was passed for Upper Canada, otherwise they would not have a fair representation under any circumstances; the moment they came to vote their votes would be questioned, and they would be deprived of their rioht of voting; in fact they would not be represented. The have elected one member generally heretofore; the member for Bedford has been solely of their election, because they formed a majority of that county; but latterly they have elected a Canadian gentleman, Colonel De Rouville. In my former examination I was asked what was the number of English members now in the House; I could not state with any certainty without referring to a list. I have since referred to a list, and I find that those that are called English members in the House at present amount to eight; there were eleven in the preceding House, but three of them lost their elections; four out of the eight are natives of Lower Canada, two of them of Scotland, one of Upper Canada, and one of Nova Scotia; four of them are opposed to the Colonial Administration, and four of them are in its favour. Witli regard to the arrangement of the civil list, respecting which there was a question put to me, the statements I made on that subject of course can only be expected to be realized, provided the complaints which are brought forward on the part of the Assembly and the people were removed, or in a probable train of being removed , for one of the great objections is, that a per— manent supply would only ensure permanent grievances; it would be necessary then that She grievances should be removed at the time that a permanent supply was granted.

In point of fact, since the year 1819, with the exception of the years 1823 and 1825, has not the Governor paid such deficiencies as he thought proper, out of monies which he acknowledged to be at the disposal of the Colonial Legislature? –Yes.

To what amount ?—I cannot say the exact amount. I apprehend that one of the gentlemen that came with me will be more particular upon that subject, but I understand it to be about 140,000l.

Has that left any thing considerable, or any thing at all, for local improvements, education, and the other wants of the country ?——I think there would have been a surplus if the receiver-general’s money had not been lost: since that time I apprehend that nearly the whole has been expended in one way or another. 1 know that 30,000 l. which was authorized to be borrowed to complete the La Chine Canal, has not been repaid, and we have no correct statement of the chest.

We never got the receiver-general’s accounts till the time that he failed, and we cannot say what is the true state of the cash in the chest; besides there are payments out of the chest for purposes that we do not consider as connected with the province at all; for instance, clergy payments, the monies paid froin the military chest into the civil chest. The money is paid out of the military chest into the civil chest, and then it is paid out of the civil chest to the clergy.

When Mr. Caldwell’s accounts were delivered in were they audited up to the last moment?——No, we could trace no acquittal from the Treasury subsequently to 1814: there had been some balances stated up to 1819, but no acquittal. He failed in 1823, and the accounts were before us in 1824. There was a message from the Governor on the subject, by which it appeared that there had been no regularity; the warrants had not even been regularly issued to authorize payments.

What sum of money had been advanced without legal warrants ?—I do not know what may be considered as legal warrants; I conceive that, according to the 14th of the King, there ought to be warrants from the Treasury here. The other warrants considered to be legal, are warrants signed by the Governor, and counter- signed by the clerk of the Council; but, independently of all these payments, there have been advances upon what. are called letters ofcredit. Atthe time the receiver- general failed there was to the amount of 116,000l. of them; and since that time they have introduced a new mode, which we consider worse still than the former, that is what they call ‘ accountable warrants.’ In truth, the receiver-general is dis- charged against the Treasury, and the receiver-general runs less risk than he did before; that is the result of it. But the money of the province goes out without any sufficient accountability, or without the expenses having been supported by vouchers, and undergoing even the examination of the Council.

Did not the House of Assembly, in the year 1825, pass a resolution, declaring Lord Dalhousie responsible for that money so raised .——They have passed a great many resolutions; I believe they never did declare Lord Dalhousie personally responsible, but they declared that they would hold responsible every person con- cerned in issuing the money of the province without the authority of law.

Did not they, at the same time, pass certain resolutions that Lord Dalhousie had so expended the money ?—Yes, the resolutions which I gave in the other day, I believe, are to that effect; the resolutions in 1824..

On what authority is it stated, in the petition presented to the House of Commons, that Mr. Caldwell was maintained in the exercise of his functions, as receiver-general, long after his malversation was publicly known and acknow- ledged ?——That is in the Montreal petition. The fact is, that he was so retained. during some time.

How do you know the fact?—It is upon the,journals of the Assembly; when the receiver-general failed, his accounts were laid before the House of Assembly, and there was a committee appointed, and an examination into the whole matter. There came out a number of documents, some of which established the fact that his deficiency was known for a considerable time before he was suspended; in truth I believe it did not extend to a greater time than was necessary to send a person to England, and come back again; there was a person deputed by Lord Dalhousie and the-receiver-general, namely, the receiver-general’s brother-in-law, Mr. Davidson.

Did the province sustain any additional loss by his continuing during that time?– It is probable there would be some loss, because there would be some revenue coming in, and it. was a dangerous thing that the revenue should be coming into the hands of a person who must have been so hard pressed as Mr. Caldwell was at that time.

Was the office practically given into the charge of any other person ?—Yes; it was, subsequently, in August; but the Journals of the House of Assembly of 1824 will show the whole of the facts.

What steps were taken to secure the Public from additional loss as soon as the malvcrsation and insolvency of Mr. Caldwell were known ?——There were no steps that I know of that were taken ; I happened to be in this country at that time, and I speak merely from the knowledge I have ofthe proceedings in 1824; I be- lieve that shortly after the prorogation of the Legislature in 1823, it was found that there was not money in the chest to meet the appropriations of the Legis- lature, then there was a long correspondence between Mr. Caldwell and the Governor, and I believe then it was determined to send somebody home; this must have been in April, and I think that in the month of July or August fol- lowing there were two persons appointed to manage the business pro tempore.

Are you not aware that Mr. Caldwell pleaded as in some degree a justification for that defalcation, that the Assembly refused him any salary, and that he was com- pelled therefore to make use of this money as a remuneration for his services?– No, I believe he did not complain in that way; but I know for certain that he applied in 1814 for an increased salary.

Was that granted to him ?—No.

Was it not understood that he was to make use of that money ? No, surely not; if it had been so understood the whole province would have been in an uproar, and l myself would never have applied to him for bills of exchange, for I would never have trusted him if I had known that he would use a sixpence of the public money without authority.

What was his salary ?—His salary was fixed by the Goverment here at a yearly sum, I think, soon after the passing of the 14th of the King, 400l. and 100l. For a clerk; but there was a recommendation of Sir George Prevost to allow him a salary; they could not proceed at all without a recommendation from the Governor, and the moment they had that recommendation they intended that there should be something done to regulate the chest; the matter was not finished that session, and the next session there was no recommendation, and it never came before the Assembly again; there had been occasional rumours; there was a bill introduced in 1815, and probably those rumours were in some measure founded upon the circumstance of an application for an increased salary.

Does the receiver-general keep the money in his own hands, or does he deposit it in any bank?–The whole of the monies received for the King in Lower Canada, whether by British statutes or by provincial statutes, have been put into the hands of the receiver-general, and he has kept them all in his own house; I speak now of Mr. Caldwell; since that time, I believe that Colonel Hale has got a vault made to keep the monies in.

Is the money absolutely and entirely in his custody ?–It was, in the time of Colonel Caldwell.

Can you state what would be the largest amount that in the ordinary course of the finances of the country would be in his hands?—The revenue comes in very irregularly; it comes in in the Way and October quarters I think; that part upon which some credit is allowed upon giving bond, is paid, agreat part, in the May quarter, and the other part comes in principally in October. Now the warrants for payments used to be issued on the 1st of May and the 1st of November, so that it naturally would take the money out of the receiver’s hands very rapidly when the funds are low. Since the failure of the receiver-general, I suppose there never could be a great sum in his hands, perhaps 20,000l, 30,000 l. or 40,000l.

What was the actual loss incurred by the insolvency of Mr. Caldwell ?- – The actual deficiency of cash was 96,000l. sterling; but besides that, there was 116,000l. of money advanced upon letters of credit, for which Mr. Caldwell was not discharged. The receiver-general was responsible for about 216,000l. till such time as he was discharged of that 116,000l. He is not discharged of that, I apprehend, even now, because the account of the advances are never settled, so that in reality there would stand 216,000 l. against him at the Treasury, although the real deficit was only 96,000l.

When Mr. Hale was appointed his successor, were sufficient securities required from him ?—None at all ; the appointment was considered as temporary, I believe, but the matter of securities has been entirely neglected in Lower Canada.

Had any security been required of Mr. Caldwell?—Security had been given in this country; but it was provided that he should give security in the colony also, but that security was never taken.

Has the security in this country been obliged to pay any money ?—I think not; I have heard that there were some arrangements made with the Colonial Govern- ment, by which he kept his estates, and allowed 2,000l. to the Government. There is still a litigation in the courts in Canada between the Crown and Mr. Caldwell.

Was it ever known who his sureties were in this country ?——Yes, in the Journal of the House of Assembly their names are stated.

Have any proceedings been taken against those persons ?–Not that I know of.

By whom are the accounts of the receiver-general audited?—In the first in- stance, by the executive council of the province, then they are given to the Governor, who transmits them to the Treasury ; and we could trace no acquittal subsequent to 1814; so that in reality the Governor, the council of the province and the receiver-general had been managing the whole of the revenue of the province without any actual control.

Are the accounts required to be audited periodically? –Yes, by the King’s in- structions to the Governor they ought to be audited in the colony every six months, and transmitted to the Treasury here.

Is the Governor to require the accounts to be audited once in six months?—— Yes, the instructions have been very precise on the subject that the Governor should attend to the proper expenditure of public monies and account, and the receiver-general by his commission is required to give in a statement.

By whom is the receiver-general appointed ?—Appointed by the King, not as acting in the colony, but as acting here, by the Lords of the Treasury in fact.

In what way do you think that the office of treasurer would be rendered most secure and the duties of it best performed ?—The office ought to be regulated by law, so that no disbursements ought to be made unless it be in a certain form, and regular accounts of the receipts and payments with the vouchers ought to be laid before the Legislature every year, so that the Legislature and the Public may see the true state of its affairs.

What measures have been adopted to prevent a recurrence of the inconvenience suffered by the Public in consequence of the insolvency of the receiver—general? —The Assembly passed a bill on the subject, which it sent to the Council, but the Council rejected the bill ; nothing has ever been communicated to the Assembly since the failure of Mr. Caldwell, but I have understood, in private conversation, that instructions have come out providing a remedy. I never saw them, nor do I know the nature of them further than that there was some kind of precaution to be taken that the money could not go out in the same way as it had gone out in Mr, Caldwell’s time; but so long as the colony, which furnishes the money, has no check, there will always be mischief; there might be a dozen keys and a dozen locks, and yet they might all agree; it is only those that pay the money that are an efficient check.

In what way do you think that that check ought to be exercised ?–There ought to be a law regulating the receipts and disbursements of the receiver—general’s office, and the account ought to be regularly laid before the Legislature every year, so that they may see the true state of the case. At present the accounts laid before the Legislature are made up from the recciver-general’s statements; but they are not the receiver-generals statements. There are accounts Framed in the Executive Council Office, which are laid before the Legislature; but they are not the real accounts of the chest; those are what we want to see.

How do they differ from the accounts of the chest?——We cannot tell, because we have no regular account of the chest; such an account as they please of the state of our affairs they send to us.

You have an account purporting to be a general account; but you cannot tell whether it is a true one ?——We cannot tell whether it is a true one, because we do not see the account of the officer that makes the payments,

How do you propose to remedy that by law ?-—There was one law passed, which is similar to that of Jamaica,

Is not there an account given in, signed by some responsible officer?—It is signed by somebody ; but there is no responsibility.

Who is it signed by ?——It is signed sometimes by the inspector-general of accounts, and sometimes by the auditor-general of accounts; they are merely preparatory accountants to the Executive Council, and the Executive Council is not responsible.

Then you have their authority for saying that the account is correct ?–We have their authority, certainly.

By whom is the account transmitted to the Assembly?—It is transmitted by a message from the Governor, saying that he lays that account before the Assembly.

Has not the colony to complain of the default of other receivers of public money besides the recciver—general?—The province has to complain, and does complain severely, on the subject. The sheriff of Quebec, appointed in 1817, failed about the same time that the receiver-general failed; and there, was a deficiency of monies deposited in his hands by judgments of the courts of justice, to the amount of about 27,000l. That money was the money of poor people of every description, that had had the misfortune to go into the courts, widows and orphans; and they have still to look for a remedy. When I came away, the sheriff that had been named jointly with the person that succeeded Mr. de Gaspé had stopped payment likewise; but I am glad to find that there has been a decision in the court that the other sheriff is bound with him, so that the Public will not be so much losers as was expected. On the sheriff coming to England there was another appointed jointly with him during his absence, and the parties who have not got their money have sued the other sheriff, and it has been con- sidered that they were liably jointly, and I believe there has been judgment to that effect; but then that will go into the Court of Appeals probably, the Executive Council, and there is another risk.

How are the sheriffs appointed ?——By the Governor.

Are they annual officers or permanent?—They are during pleasure.

Do they not complain that since the default of officers in that situation others have been appointed without requiring sufficient security ?—They do; I know of no security that was required of Mr. Sewell, who is the present sheriff, nor do I know of any security that was required of the other; there has been a good deal of complaint on the subject.

What funds are those which are in the sheriff’s hands ?—People go into the courts of justice to recover money that is due to them, there is judgment given, the sheriff executes thatjudgment, levies the money, and the money remains in his hands till it can be distributed, by judgment of the court, to each person what belongs to him, It of course remains in his hands till the final judgment and distribution, which is frequently delayed for a considerable time; and it is out of those monies that the defalcation tool; place.

Are sheriffs sales very common ?—They have been very common.

What is the cause of their being so common ?——They have become very common since the close of the last war, because the country became poor; real property particularly diminished in value; those that had claims upon it insisted upon payment, and sued, and then it was seized by the sheriff and sold.

Has that been resorted to as the securest mode of conveyance in consequence , of the defect of the law?—It has in several instances; the Legislature passed a bill providing for voluntary sheriffs sales. That is a proceeding something like a decrêt under the French law; the parties come into court and say that they wish to have the benefit of a decrêt; under this proceeding there is public notice to all the world that such property is to be sold, so that every one may come forward and put in his claim; then the sale takes place, and the whole is under the inspection of the court to see that every one gets his due; then every one having got his due, the title to the property is more secure than it would otherwise be.

Then a large portion of public property has fallen under sheriffs sales on account; of the defects of the law ?——Not during the time of Mr. De Gaspé; the law did not exist then.

But the fact is, that for the purpose of getting a secure title you are obliged to have recourse to a sheriff’s sale ?—It has been done since the law, and I believe before that law it was done; people wished to have a sale in virtue of judgment, so that there might be no contest thereafter; but those sales do not bar certain claims, I have understood, now.

Do they bar a prior mortgage upon the estate ?–Yes, all mortgages except rights of minors and persons absent; persons in fact that cannot come forward and answer for themselves.

Then it is not a secure title against them ?——It is not a secure title against per— sons that have it not in their power to exercise their right of coming forward, they cannot be deprived, that is universally so understood.

You stated that the management of public monies for purposes of internal im- provement was better in the United States than in Canada, can you mention any instances which authorize you in making that statement ?—I conceive that the same amount of money goes further there than with us, and this I ascribe to better management and greater responsibility; I will state an instance: the La Chine Canal cost about half a million of dollars ; it was nine miles in extent. The New York Canal cost about eight million of dollars, that is sixteen times as much, and it is 320 miles in extent, and upon the whole, it was liable to as great expenses, if not greater, than the La Chine Canal, on account of the number of locks, and the great elevation of the country to carry the canal over, so that there is a remarkable difference against us in the result of the expenditure.

To what do you attribute that difference ?——I attribute it to not sufficently account- ability in our expenditure.

Was it a government work ?—Yes, it is not well looked after; when any gentle- man gets work done without looking after it, it will not he done half so well, nor nearly at so moderate a rate. Our canal gives hardly any revenue; their canal gives a very great revenue; there is another proof of the management: I should say, generally, they manage their affairs better than we do.

Is the La Chine Canal not used ?–It is used, but it gives very little revenue. I do not suppose that it gives more than between 2,000l. and 3,000l. a year.

It is stated in the petition that a great many militia officers have been dismissed without just cause ?——There have been a great number of dismissions, and they allege that it has been without sufficient reason or just cause.

What in public opinion is believed to be the reason that those militia oflicers were dismissed ?—The almost universal opinion latterly is, that it is owing to their taking a part in sending complaints to England.

What grounds are there for entertaining that opinion ?—There is no doubt that several of them were present at the meetings at which the petitions were adopted, and I believe that several of them presided at those meetings.

Was any motive assigned for their dismission by the Governor ?—Yes, a very bad motive; having become active instruments of a party hostile to His Majesty’s Government.

Were they dismissed by a general order ?–They were dismissed by a general order; there had been about 200 dismissals within the last 18 months, either dismissals, or putting on the shelf in another way; there has been a general doing and undoing of the whole militia. The general order For the last dis- missious is as follows :–it is dated, “ Office of the Adjutant-General of Militia, Quebec, February 21st, 1828. General Order of Militia. The Governor and Commander-in-Chief has seen with regret that several officers commanding bat- talions of militia, forgetting their duty to set an example of subordination and respect for authority to those placed under their command, have shown them- selves the active agents of a party hostile to His Majesty’s Government; such conduct tending to create discontent in the country, and to bring the executive Government into contempt among the people, cannot be permitted to pass with- out notice; his Excellency, therefore, in virtue of the power vested in him by His Majesty, signifies to the undermentioned officers that His Majesty has no further occasion for their services—3d battalion of Buckimghamshire, Lieut- Colonel Francois Legendre; 1st battalion of Bedford, R. Hertel do Rouville; 3d battalion of the county of St. Maurice, A. Poulin de Courval; 1st battalion of Kent, R. Boucher do Labruere; 2d battalion of Huntingdon, Major M. Ray- mond. The Governor-in-Chief thinks it not less his public duty than an act of justice to the loyal militia of the province, to put them on their guard against being misled by the arts and inisreprescntations of ill-disposed persons, to enter- tain unfounded suspicions of the views and acts of Government, or to swerve from that respect for its authority, and that spirit of obedience for the laws which becomes dutiful and loyal subjects. By order of his Excellency the Governor-in-Chief.

(signed) “ F. Vassal de Monviel, Adj. Gen. M. F.”

Were those officers embodied with their corps at that time ; were they out on duty ?—Every inanin Canada from 18 to 60 years of age is a rnilitiaman, and no man is embodied unless he be drawn from the militia; they are all militia men and liable to militia duty, although they are living upon their own farms; but there is no embodied militia now.

Do they meet at all for training and exercise ?——They meet to have the roll called, so as to keep them in existence; with this view, that when in virtue of a law it may be necessary to embody a portion of the militia, they may be ready.

Are they supplied with arms ?—No, they have no arms.

Do they appear in uniform?—No.

Is this military power thus exercised over the militia, in point of fact, possessed by the Governor, in his military capacity, over every subject in Canada ?–It would be so; but, in point of fact, the great body of the people of Canada consider that he has no warrant upon that subject, because they consider the law as in non- existence.

What law ?—The Governor and the Council suffered the Militia Laws to expire in 1827, and they revived then an old ordinance which was passed in 1788 or 1789, before the existence of the present constitution, and it is under that ordinance that all the noise has been made lately. The people are generally of opinion that the law is not in force; but in the first instance, with respect to the mere parading to call the names over, nobody objected to it; but when they came to exact more than was usual under the laws that had existed ever since the pre- sent constitution, the people began to clamour on the subject, and those clamours have led, in some measure, to the present difficulties. There are actually dismissed of the officers, by general orders, 63, and there are a great number that are put on the shelf.

Are any portion of the militia called out during peace ?—No; the system has been this: the whole population of Lower Canada have been declared to be liable to bear arms under certain circumstances, when there is a rebellion in the country, or when the country is invaded; for that purpose they are all enrolled; there is a roll made of the whole male population from 18 to 60 years of age, and there is a roll called every year to see that they are all in being, and there are provisions made that in time of war there should be a drafting of the militia to form the embodied militia. During the last war we had about 7,000 or 8,000 of those men on the frontiers; we used to draw every third unmarried citizen to send them to the frontiers.

Are commissions appointed ?—The officers all hold commissions; there is a general organization of the whole male population of the country as a militia; that in time of peace is nothing, but in time of war every man is liable to march.

Do the officers receive any pay in time of peace ?—Nothing, it is all a burthen; they lose their time, and they sometimes suffer a good deal of expense; they spend money in volunteer dressed companies.

About what is the whole number of the officers?– The whole militia of the province consists of 66 battalions and seven companies; the whole number of officers of the 65 battalions, including those that have had the retraites, is 2,954.

Including non-commissioncd officers ?—No, commissioned officers only, in- cluding the ranlkof ensign and upwards.

Is not some claim made to property that formerly belonged to the Jesuits, and is it not urged on the part of the Assembly that the proceeds of it ought to be ap- propriated under their direction to the maintenance of public education ?–There has been a claim urged against the Jesuits estates since the year 1793 by petition to the Legislature. The statement on the part of the people is, that the property belonging to the Jesuits was given to them for the purpose of the general education of the youth of the country, and that the Jesuits becoming extinct, the property ought to be applied for the purposes for which it was originally given; in fact, that the Jesuits under the vow of poverty could not hold property but for colleges; and the result of the dissolution of the order of Jesuits in France has been that the property has been applied to the purposes for which it was originally granted, but under some other authority.

Has the claim any other foundation than the general reasoning you have stated? —There are sevcral reports upon the subject by the House of Assembly, and the Education Report of 1824, which is to be found in the journals.

What answer has the Government given to the claims that have been made by the Assembly upon the subject ?—There has been no answer on the subject.

In what way have the proceeds of the Jesuits estates been disposed of?—We have no account of them.

Do you know by whom the income arising from those estates is received? —There was formerly a commission and a treasurer, and the treasurer received the money, and he paid it into the hands of the receiver-general; part of it, I understood, was lost with the receiver-general; since that time there has been a new commission issued, and a sole manager appointed. I do not know who receives the money at present.

Is there any other property in the province of Lower Canada which stands upon the same footing, and with respect to which similar claims are made to those which you have stated to exist as to the Jesuits estates ?———No.

Is there any other property held by the Crown which formerly belonged to ecclesiastical bodies ?—Not that I know of.

What establishments are there for education in Lower Canada; have any been provided by public funds ?—None, excepting that the Legislature has granted some annual sums for different school societies in Quebec and Montreal, during the last six or eight years, but there are none established by the public funds of the province, that is to say, subsequently to the conquest in 1760 ; prior to that time there were establishments made. There was the Seminary for Missions at Quebec, and the Seminary of the College of St. Sulpice, at Montreal; they pre- served their property, and although they were originally erected For ecclesias- tical education alone, they extended their system, and embraced general educa- tion. Now the seminary at Quebec, which was formerly erected for forming clergymen, embraces the whole range of the sciences, and so does the Montreal seminary.

Have any disputes arisen with respect to the character of the system of education to be established; is there any wish on the part of the Canadians that it should be entirely ofa French and of a Catholic character; and do the English inhabitants wish that it should be of a more general character ?—There has been a good deal of jealousy on the part of the Roman Catholics on the sub- ject of education ; that, I believe, was occasioned by instructions from this country subsequent to the conquest.

When were those instructions sent ?—They must have been sent shortly after the conquest, but they have been renewed frequently since, and it seemed to the Roman Catholics to be a kind of a system of proselytism, which of course pro- duced some degree of alarm. There was an Act passed in 1801 for the establish- ment of schools; they were to be endowed by the King as schools of royal foun- dation, and they were to be under the management of a corporation to be named by the Governor; that corporation was not named till 1817, and it happened to consist mostly of those of one religion alone; the bishop of the church of England and the clergy of the church of England were at the head of the corpo- ration, and the majority of the members were of the church of England, and that tended to confirm the suspicions the people had entertained with respect to proselytism, and it was needless to think of getting them to go to the schools after that ; for there has hardly been an instance of the conversion of a Roman Catholic since the conquest, and I believe very few on the other side; but still all parties seem to be perfectly attached to their own religion and are afraid of any thing like proselytism. In consequence of that, those schools have fallen through. No property has been given to them as was proposed by the Crown; they have had very few scholars ; but they have applied about 30,000l. of the money of the province for their support. Notwithstanding I suppose, that altogether they have not educated 1,200 children a year since they were established.

What was that 30,000 l. derived from ?—From the provincial revenue.

Have any steps been taken for the establishment of schools in the townships?– Yes ; but they will not havethose schools in the townships ; they will have no schools in the townships that may appear to be under the direction of one particular church.

In your own opinion, what would be the best system upon which schools for the instruction of the population generally could be established in the colony ?—The system that was proposed by the House of Assembly by a bill in 1814, was similar to that of Scotland, and with some of the modes adopted in New England. It was to have schools in every parish; the parishioners to have the power of assess- ing themselves for the purpose of maintaining these schools, and to appoint persons, a kind of trustees, to have the management of the schools.

Could schools be established to which both Catholics and Protestants could have recourse in common ?—The moment you distinguish between Protestant and Catholic, that moment you separate them from one another; you must not consider them as either Protestants or Catholics, or else there is a distinction between them immediately.

Is not the power of charitable contribution for the purposes of education limited by law in Canada?–It is. After a great many efforts to establish schools in Lower Canada, I think the bill was rejected five or six times, allowing a certain sum for every school that would be established, leaving the schools under the direction of the clergymen of the different denominations, each denomination to have the direction of the schools of its own sort, and allowing 200l., for the purpose of erecting a school, and placing a schoolmaster in it, provided there were a certain number of scholars,—at last a bill was agreed to, allowing them to hold property to an amount not exceeding 75l. I think, for the purpose of schools. Before that the people could not hold any property, even if it were a gift, for the purpose of schools, because the heirs of the person that had made the gift used to come in and take it away from them; the Statute of Mortmain prevented it; so that there are no schools for the education of the people except those that are established by charity. The people are, however, making great efforts in favour of schools; and whether they are assisted by law or not they will be educated.

Were those bills rejected by the Legislative Couucil?—They were.

On what grounds ?—-I cannot say; the general expression among them was that they would have no other Act but the Act of 1801 ; and the Act of 1801 could not be executed from the fears with respect to religion.

Was there any disinclination expressed to the system of the people assessing themselves ?—No; that bill, however, never got to the Legislative Council; it was introduced just at the close of the war, and the substitute for it was a gift to each parish, whether it was a parish of the Roman Catholic church, the church of England, or the church of Scotland, or of Dissenters, provided they esta- blished aschool, and had a certain number of scholars in it, they were to have from the provincial fund 200l., but that was objected to in the Legislative Council. Then seeing that had failed so often, permission, as I have mentioned, to each parish to hold property for schools was introduced, and it finally passed, allowing property to the amount of 75l. a year to be held by those schools.

Do you understand that a great desire for instruction has displayed itself in the townships ?—There is no doubt of it; there is no American that does not think the education of his children is an essential part of his duty.

What is there to prevent the people from assessing themselves voluntarily for the purpose ?—They have no legal authority for it; if they had they would have done it long ago.

Has any attempt been made to introduce an Act giving that permission?— No, I believe not; at least I know of no attempt but the general bill of 1814.

Do you apprehend that any difficulty would be made by the Canadian party to any such enactment?——I can assure the Committee that the Canadian party will do everything that is possible to promote education, no matter by what party; they are persuaded that the country cannot get on without a general education.

Was there ever a period when the measures of the Government were commonly supported by the majority of the Assemhly?——Certainly; after the establishment of the constitution in 1792 till 1806 and 1807, the Government had a constant majority in the House, or at least Government generally succeeded in all its measures.

To what do you attribute the change that has taken place since that period ?— The great cause of the change was the administration of Sir James Craig; he was very violent with the House of Assembly and the people generally; and he accused them ofa great many things, and finally, on the eve of a general election he put three of the leading members of the Assembly into gaol under a charge of treason-able practices, and kept them there till some of them subscribed to any conditions in order to get out, and others continued in till they opened the doors of the gaol and let them go out ; the truth was that there was no notion of treason among the people.

Do you believe these proceedings to have had a permanent influence on the Assembly ?—It was the end of all influence of the administration, because it involved not only the Governor, but all the persons that were in Government em- ploy; they took an active part in it, and consequently lost their influence with the people.

Since that period has the Government bad no majority in the Assembly ?—— It never could command a majority. During the whole administration of Sir George Provost they werennaninrous in supporting all his measures, because there was a question then of defending the country, and of doing what was necessary to be done to aid for that purpose, and they were nearly the sole supporters of the Government at that time. During Sir John Sherbrook’s admi- nistration, the people generally were on the side of the Government, and they had a majority for all their measures in the House. of Assembly, but they have had no majority that they could command since the time of Sir James Craig.

The Committee have before them a letter addressed by Mr. Papineau and yourself to the Under Secretary of State upon the subject of the union, and in that letter you state that the inhabitants of the settlements, which you call a continuation or the American settlements in Lower Canada on the frontiers of the United States, have very little intercourse or coniniunity of interest with the body of His Majesty’s subjects in Lower Canada ?–They had at that time very little intercourse indeed; their intercourse was wih the United States principally.

How did it arise, that being subjects of the same King, are living under the same Government, they could be held in your opinion to have little intercourse or community of interest with the rest of His Majesty’s subjects ?—They are living within about 100 miles of Portland. on the sea shore, in the United States; and they are, I suppose, 100 miles from the St. Lawrence; their intercourse has been princi- pally with the country from which they came, their Connections altogether are there, and the roads between those settlements upon the frontiers of the United States and the River St. Lawrence are through a forest. Persons in this country can have very little idea of a road through a forest in America; if a road were made as good as any Macadamized road here, it would not be safe to travel one week, for the first gust of wind that comes in the spring of the year, or the first thunder storm in summer, would throw trees down across it, and there- fore it cannot he travelled unless you have people living there to clear the road; now the whole extent of that country is still a natural forest between those settle- ments and the old settlements on the River St. Lawrence; there have been roads made, but those roads, for want of settlers, get filled up, even though they are passable for carts; after the work is done they get filled up by the falling of trees, and there is nobody to look after the roads.

Are the Committee to understand that it would be impossible to maintain roads between the townships on the American borders and the segneuries upon the St. Lawrence till the intermediate country is settled?–There is nothing to be done towards making practicable roads till you make settlements. If the crown and clergy reserves were done away with, and you were to grant lands to peo- ple on condition that they would settle on them, they would settle; but people do not like to go it great way into the woods, and to have those crown and clergy reserves to encounter; itis a dreadful thing under any circumstance to live perhaps 16 miles from a human being; it is impossible for a man to live if he has not got neighbours to help him; he cannot clear away a forest, he cannot prevent the rotten trees that are occasioned by the burning of the woods from falling down and killing his cattle, and ruining his fences; in fact it is impossible for a man to settle down in America and live on the land unless he has got neighbours around him.

You state in this letter that the laws which regulate property and civil rights, the customs, manners, religion and even prejudices prevailing in the two provinces are essentially difficult; and you also state that the inhabitants of Upper Canada, from their distance from the sea, and the want of an external market, have in a great measure ceased to be consumers of the description of goods upon which duties are raised in the port of Quebec; and you go on to show that their interests are so distinct, that there would be no mode of inducing them to co-operate in measures for the public welfare, or to entertain the same views of general policy: Is that still your opinion?–It is true that the laws, customs, manners and pre- judices of the two countries are essentially different; it is true, likewise, that they are beginning to consume largely American manufactures in Upper Canada, par- ticularly in the part of the country above Lake Ontario, vrhich, I think, contains about half the population of the province; and I believe there is a great line of distinction between the whole of the views and interests of the two provinces. I cannot say positively that they could never be brought to co-operate; I believe they have a very friendly disposition towards one another at present, and a friendly disposition will go a long way to produce co-operation under very difficult circum- stances; but, generally speaking, it would be considered a very great hardship that the people of Upper Canada should be obliged to come to Lower Canada to make their local laws, or that the people of Lower Canada should be obliged to go up to Upper Canada to malce their local laws. The United States along that frontier have the convenience of having live different local legislatures along that same line. There is nothing got by being a member of the Assembly of the Pro- vinces; it is all labour, and no profit. In that case they must go 700 miles, through a very difficult country to travel, to attend to all their little affairs: it would render the situation almost unfit to be held by any body that had not a larger fortune than can be found in that country.

Must not all the commerce between the Upper Province and the mother country be carried on necessarily through the Saint Lawrence, and through Lower Canada? –Of course they cannot trade with the mother country through the United States.

Can that commerce be regulated with a due reference to the interest of the Upper Province, if the whole of the legislative control over it is in the hands of the Government of the Lower Province ?—That is not the case now ; there has been no such legislative control since the year 1822; there was the Canada Trade Act passed then, which took it out of the control of the Legislature of Lower Canada ; and I believe that there have been no complaints upon the subject since that time.

Do not the inhabitants of Lower Canada complain that the provisions of the Canada Trade Act are a breach of the covenant entered into with them respecting duties, and that they deprive the Legislative Assembly of a part of the power inherent in itself of imposing duties in Lower Canada?—They did complain very loudly of the renewal of some temporary provincial Acts, levying duties by an Act of the Legislature of this country, they conceived that if it was not abso- lutely taxing the colony it came very close to it; but still there has been no formal remonstrance on the subject, because they were doubtful whether this country could not claim some power of the kind, from the circumstance of its being necessary to regulate a difference between the two provinces which they could not regulate themselves ; that made them rather doubtful of the grounds of com- plaint, otherwise you would have heard complaints more than ever you have heard yet from Lower Canada.

Are the Committee to conclude from your statement that the commercial interests of Upper Canada require such a regulation of the duties in Lower Canada as amounts in reality to an invasion of the privileges which Lower Canada claims ?—No, I think you have been very kind to us, you have divested us of a great deal of trouble, for we are not any longer to be considered as having the power of passing any regulations affecting trade, that is done by an Act here; there can be no quarrel then between Upper Canada and Lower Canada upon the subject of regulations of trade

Do you consider all duties of customs as regulations of trade ?—They all amount to that, and we have no duties of customs, except duties that are com- bined in some measure in the Act for regulating duties of Customs generally,

Setting aside any object as to the regulation of trade, do you suppose that the Parliament here could impose a duty of customs in Lower Canada, solely for the purpose of augmenting the revenue ?—Certainly not; we hold this, that you are to impose no duties excepting for the regulation of trade, and it is not to be expected that any legislative body will use that power for any other purpose; we expect that they will be bona fide duties for the regulation of trade, and we understand that the proceeds of those duties, whatever they may be, are to be disposed of by the Provincial Legislature. With respect to levying duties on goods passing between Upper and Lower Canada, in point of fact, Upper Canada does at present raise duties upon importations from the United States, which is a frontier of 700 miles; if they were desirous of raising a duty upon impor- tations into Upper Canada, and if it were not thought to interfere with the general power of this country in respect of regulating the trade, they could have no difficulty in levying duties upon goods passing from Lower Canada to Upper Canada, since they do levy duties on goods passing from the United States into Upper Canada. The only means of access into Upper Canada from Lower Canada are the River St. Lawrence and the River Ottawa, they might very easily levy duties there, and I think that probably after the next election, the Legislature of Upper Canada will ask to collect its own duties.

In what way would it be possible for Upper Canada to collect its own duties? —It could collect duties much more easily upon the Lower Canada frontier than it collects duties upon the United States frontier; it would not be one- twentieth part of the expense, for the whole extent of the frontier between Upper and Lower Canada, which is not a wilderness, through which no trade can pass, cannot exceed 30 or 40 miles.

Suppose the case of rum imported into Lower Canada, and that a merchant in Upper Canada wished to transport that rum into the Upper Province, under the arrangement you have suggested, namely, that Upper Lanacla should collect its own duties, would they not in that case be subject to a double duty; must there not, in the first instance, be a duty paid for Lower Canada, and afterwards another duty paid for the Upper Province ?—No, there ought to be a drawback. In the Constitutional Act there is an express power in this country to regulate those drawbacks; they would be entitled to a drawback upon proof being given that the thing had been introduced into Upper Canada.

Do you think it possible that an arrangement of this nature could be made, that all duties must necessarily be paid at the port of entry, but that instead of Lower Canada giving a definite proportion of those duties to Upper Canada, Upper Canada should impose whatever duties she chooses upon her imports, receiving a drawback from the Lower Province of all duties that have been paid upon goods in their transport through the Lower Province ?—I have no doubt that such an arrangement could be made.

Do you think it possible to enforce custom—house regulations upon the frontier line ?—If they are enforced upon a frontier of 600 or 700 miles, they may surely be enforced upon a frontier of 30 miles; there could be no difficulty in collecting duties upon the Upper Canada frontier upon all goods of which the package would not have been broken; I should conceive there would be a difficulty in collecting duties, or allowing a drawback upon any thing that had been broken. It would be easy to ascertain that the thing was in the state in which it had come into the custom-house in Quebec, in that case the drawback ought to be allowed the moment it was ascertained, but if that were not provided for, there would be a great deal of trick and roguery; for instance, a tun of rum would be opened, and it would be watered, and two tuns made of it, and then the drawback would be allowed upon two tuns. Therefore it would be necessary to have it managed so that it would be certain that the same description of goods that had passed in at Quebec went into Upper Canada.

As at this moment every tun of rum that arrives at the Upper Province must pass through the Lower Province, where is the security now ?——There is a great deal of roguery now ; but, in truth, the consumption of rum in Upper Canada has almost ceased ; they consume whisky of their own manufacture. I believe there is no complaint at all on the part of either Upper or Lower Canada; they submit to the regulations that have been made.

What, in your opinion, would be the best mode of regulating it?–Suppose that in Upper Canada a merchant were to order things from England, they ought either, upon some certificate of an entry at the custom-house at Quebec, to go free to Upper Canada, or else Upper Canada ought to be allowed a drawback upon every article that has paid duty in Lower Canada, provided it is ascertained at the custom-house in Lower Canada that bona fide the same description of article has gone to Upper Canada, and that there has been no roguery; but although there has been a great deal of talk, I believe that the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada do not make any complaint on the subject. They are now on the eve of a general election, andl dare say will attend to all those things, for they are well conversant with their interests, and attend to them pretty strictly; but it is a matter for the decision of the Government of this country whether duties shall be laid upon articles imported into the colonies. If the Colonial Legislatures were to exercise that power to a certain extent they might shut the British trade out altogether; and it would in my opinion be a very imprudent thing for the legislature of Great Britain, which has thd general superintendence of the whole empire, to allow parts of that empire to turn the current ofits trade as they pleased.

Are the imports of the Upper Province partly for the supply ofthe Upper Pro- vince and partly for importation into the United States ?—There is very little im- portation to the United States; the people of New York, halthough they pay heavier duties are supplying Upper Canada. I believe that the Americans enter into competition every where above Kingston. Formerly the English tea could not enter the St. Lawrence at all; before the late alteration the Americans sent their tea down to Quebec and Newfoundland.

In what way do you account for that ?—There is greater capital in the United States, and where there is a large capital trade may be carried on at a smaller profit. Our merchants are not trading upon their own capital; they are really trading upon the capital of marchants in this country; it is, I conceive, not so well managed as the American trade.

By what criterion has the proportion of the duties that has been appropriated to the use of Upper Canada been determined ?—lt has been determined by arbitrators chosen by the Governor of Upper Canada and the Governor of Lower Canada, and in case of disagreement, the Government in this country has ap- pointed a third; and the House of Assembly of Lower Canada considered that as equitable a mode as possible, for they in reality had been almost tricked into a quarrel with Upper Canada. They were very glad to get rid of any thing that might get them into a quarrel again. The usual law that authorized an agreement with Upper Canada was suffered to drop in the Legislative Council, and the agreement expired; that raised a quarrel between the people of the two provinces, which can hardly now be raised.

Is not the portion awarded to Upper Canada objected to as too great with reference to her consumption ?—I should conceive that it is greater than it ought to be, from the circumstance that there is a great proportion of articles introduced from the United States above Lake Ontario. Our duties lie upon a great variety of goods that cannot get beyond Lake Ontario, and of course the arbitrators having taken population as the basis, it is erroneous; it is of no use that there should be 200,000 souls in Upper Canada, if only 100,000 consume the dutyable articles.

The basis then of the adjudication is objected to ?—The basis of the popula- tion certainly is erroneous, but Lower Canada did not object to the last adjust- ment, so far from it, they obtained in the House of Assembly a vote to pay the arbitrators.

Would there be any objection to a distribution by the Imperial Parliament of the whole revenue collected at the ports of the Lower Provinces, made in proportion to the respective population of the two provinces, taken at certain periodical intervals ?—Yes, there would.

In your view, which mode do you think the best with reference to the interests of the two provinces, that which has been resorted to of dividing the population and the revenues collected in Lower Canada, and applying them to the purposes of Upper Canada, or that of establishing a system of separate custom-houses for Upper Canada, and establishing duties to be collected there, and to be drawn back from the receipts of Lower Canada?——I should think that, in as far as this country is concerned, the preferable mode would be, that of arbitration under the Canada Trade Act. I object to nothing in the Canada Trade Act except the revival of the duties. Upon the general principle, I should say, that the less this country has to do in legislative measures affecting the colonies, the better it is both for the colonies and this country. If it were to interfere frequently, it might be the occasion of misunderstanding, when no misunderstanding ought to exist.

Does not the arrangement at present existing impose a great difficulty in the way of any increase being made in the taxation of Canada, if that should be found necessary ?—It does; and there has been a representation on the subject to the Government here, upon an application by Mr. Galt, agent for the Canada Com- pany. There were certain resolutions passed in the House of Assembly, and this matter was mentioned in it. There was something submitted to Lord Goderich; they took him as the arbitrator.

Do you consider that the union of the two provinces would be a proper remedy for those difficulties?-It would not at all be consistent with the interests of the two provinces, nor would it satisfy either the one or the other.

From your knowledge of Lower Canada, what do you conceive would be the feeling of that province with reference to a umion?—It is clearly averse to it; both provinces are decidedly averse to it.

What do you believe to be the feeling in Upper Canada with reference to the question ?—Upper Canada I believe to be clearly averse to it; they wish not to be troubled with us in the management of their internal affairs. The truth is, that every portion of the population in America desire as much as possible to have the management of their internal aflairs confined within narrow limits. In the United States, wherever a state was extensive, they have divided it into several states for the convenience of local management. They cut off the state of Maine from Massachusetts; they cut out two or three states in Virginia and in Pensyl- vania. The object of that country is rather to sub-divide states than to unite them.

What do you think of any scheme for adding Montreal and the country between Montreal and Upper Canada to the Upper Province ?—I certainly should think that it would be very objectionable; in the first place, it would be throwing the whole property of 100,000 souls who hold property under one system of laws to be at once governed by another system of laws, which they understand nothing about, and concerning which they have extravagant notions; for I am confident that every system of law is good for a country when it has been long established.

Do you imagine that it would shock the feelings of the population of that part of the country very much ?—Certainly it would, very much indeed.

Is it not rather an inference, from the answers you have given, that it would . be desirable, if possible, that Lower Canada and Upper Canada should carry on their internal concerns separately, but that there should be some principle of union between them upon such points, and such points only as are common to both; as, for example, the revenue necessary to be received at the ports within the Lower Province?—I conceive that the thing as it stands at present will work very well; those two provinces, and the other British provinces in America, ought to stand in the same relation to the Government of this country in which the different states of the American Union stand to the general American Go- vernment. The seat of the British Government is here, and the seat of the general Government of the United States is at Washington ; the Provincial Legislatures may very well do all that is done by their state Governments, and the British Government may do all that is done by their Congress, and the whole thing may work together for their mutual benefit by union and good feeling.

Do you not think that the two colonies have the same interests in many respects, particularly with regard to improving the roads and water communications?—Yes, and on that point they will act together with the greatest cordiality. Both the provinces have an intimate interest in improving the water communication by the Saint Lawrence; because, what makes property valuable at Quebec, and the trade thrive there, except the trade up and down the river? and what is more beneficial to Upper Canada than to get the articles which go to them up the river, cheap, or brought down to market at a moderate price? They have therefore both an interest in improving the internal communications. That operates so much with us, that although we did not know much about the Welland Canal, but merely saw that it would open a better intercourse to the Saint Lawrence for a great extent of country, that the House of Assembly, at that time consisting of eight out of ten of French Canadians, voted a sum of 25,000l. to take shares in that canal.

When you stated that you thought that the relationship between the colonies of North America and of this country was much the same with reference to points of general government, as that which exists between the different states of America and their centre of government, you must be aware that there are several material differences that must be taken into consideration; how would you propose to supply the want of representation in this country ?—We never have complained on that head, nor can we think of having a representation here.

Would not you require that the colonies should have some representation in this country ?—We have asked for an agent to represent the interests of the colony, particularly at times when there may be a difference of opinion between the executive and the representative branches; for we are not much afraid of any thing wrong going on here, if we can have an opportunity of being heard.

You think that an agent appointed by the Colonial Legislature would be a sufficient representation for the colonies in this country ?——l think that there would be no danger of any mischief being done, if there was some person here so as to enable all parties to be heard ; there isno opposition of interest between the colony and the mother country; it is an advantage to us to be connected with an old rich and powerful country, and it is an advantage to this country to have colonies that are subject to her regulations of trade, and where she can get things independently of other countries. The only thing that can ever place them at all in opposition, is the not being understood to one another, and particularly the touchiness of all colonies; they are like all children, more touchy than their fathers.

Then you think that the most desirable expedient to overcome the difficulties would be to have an agent resident in this country, on the part of each colony ?— Yes; and I would think that all parties should have a fair chance of being heard here; that is to say, that the Legislative Council should either agree in appointing the same agent with the Assembly, or should have one of their own.

Would you not think it desirable, if possible, that the same agent should be appointed by the Legislative Council and the Assembly?— If they could agree upon the same agent.

Does not the absence of all power, on the part of the British Parliament, to levy taxes, except for the purpose of the regulation of trade, put the British Parliament entirely on a different footing, with regard to the colonies, from that on which the Congress stands with regard to the American states?—There is a material difference there.

Is not that difference so great as to involve the necessity either of changing the relation in which the Government stands in relation to the Canadas, or of making it impossible to carry the arrangement into effect which you have suggested ?— I conceive that there is certainly a marked point of difference in the connection arising from the limitation which this Legislature has put upon itself, of not imposing taxes for the purpose of a revenue in the colonies. The Congress of the United States does impose taxes for the purpose of a revenue ; and it may impose internal taxes even. Its power of taxation is general throughout the whole limits of the United States; in point of fact, however, it has gone no further in exercising it than the power of regulating trade, because nearly all its revenues are derived from duties on importations.

Sabbati, 7 die Junii, 1828.

John Neilson, Esquire, again called in; and Examined.

DID not the proposition of the Union, which was brought forward in the British Parliament in 1822, excite a very strong feeling among the Lower Canadians ? It did.

What was the impression in Lower Canada, as to the inducement that the Government were under to bring forward that question of the union, who were supposed to be the parties applying for it?——It was supposed to be the Provincial Government of Lower Canada, or rather the persons forming the Executive of Lower Canada.

Was it supposed that any persons in this country connected with what is called the English interest in Lower Canada, made an application of that sort ?—It cer- tainly was supposed that the whole thing was not up trom Lower Canada, they could not suppose that the Parliament or the Government of this country would take up a matter of that kind without it had come, in the first instance, from the authorities of Lower Canada, or from some person in Lower Canada, in cor- respondence with the Government here ; that was the universal impression.

If there had been more definite provisions in that Act of Union for the preserva- tion of the French laws and institutions, do you think it would have been less unpopular ?—The thing would have been unpopular at any rate; it was generally unpopular among the English part of Lower Canada; it was considered a very unfair thing by them; even those that were in favour of the union were against the bill.

How do you account for the expressions that were used in the next year, expres- sive of so much gratitude and satisfaction?–Those are expressions of form very frequently, but the petitioners in favour of it were not satisfied with the bill as it stood, there were several that wanted the union, but I never heard one profess himself altogether friendly to the bill.

If those parties who, in their petition, expressed so much gratitude, were against the details of the measure, to what particular part did they object ?—I have heard it mentioned among some gentlemen that were friendly to the union of the pro- vinces, that the share of the representation was unfair, that it encroached upon popular privileges in some instances, that it introduced extraordinary clauses with respect to placing executive officers in the representative assemblies without election by the people, and matters of that kind; in fact all the petitions from Upper Canada in favour of the union expressed themselves dissatisfied with those pro- visions; the petitioners in Lower Canada, generally, were unfavourable to some of the provisions, but many of them were friendly to a union, expecting that: the British Parliament would bring in a bill that would be better suited to the purpose than the one that had come out to Canada; that was the feeling of those who petitioned in favour of it. The feeling of those that petitioned against it was very different, and I dare say the Committee are well aware of that.

Are the Committee to understand that, if the modifications suggested by the petitioners who were in favour of the union had been adopted, the bill would have been satisfactory? –Certainly not to the great majority of the people in both provinces.

If the modifications to which you refer had been made, would it have been acceptable to the people in favour of the union ?—I should suppose it would have been favourably received by them; but I dare say they would have been glad to see what the clauses would be in the first instance.

Are you not aware that strong representations were made from Upper Canada, as to the utter impossibility of forming a custom-house establishment at Montreal, which could enable them to levy duties within their own province upon goods coming in through Lower Canada?—I am perfectly aware that they made repre- sentations to that effect.

Have you any reason to believe that they have changed their opinion since that time upon that subject?—I cannot say; but I know that they have sent forward no complaint upon the subject of the division of duties since that time; as to the collection of the duties on the frontier, I have already had the honour to state thatl could not say positively whether they would find it practicable; but my opinion was that: it was practicable to a certain extent; that they have collected duties upon a frontier of 600 or 700 miles; and I should suppose from that, that they could collect some duties upon a frontier of 30 miles; that a new election was going on in Upper Canada in this year; and that the people there would no doubt be able to say what they could do, or what they could not do.

Are not the Committee correct in understanding you to have stated to the Committee that no objection exists to the principle of arbitration, as regulating the proportion of the duties necessarily levied in Lower Canada, which ought to he applied for the civil government of the Upper Province?—I have stated that, as far as my opinion went, I did not object to any part of the measures adopted in this country to terminate the differences between the two provinces, excepting which went to renew the temporary provincial Acts levying duties, which I conceive to be very nearly approaching to taxation, and consequently rather infringing upon the declarations of this country.

You are aware that however anomalous the introduction of those clauses might have been into the bill of 1822, the object of their introduction was to prevent the Government of Upper Canada being deprived of the means of being carried consequence of the cessation of revenue in the Lower Province?–We never had any doubt as to the intentions of the Government hero, or of Parliament, with respect to that bill; we have always conceived that it was intended to relieve Upper Canada from her dependence on Lower Canada, but the bill was received with a great deal of dissatisfaction on account of one circumstance. We had no opportunity of having any person here to represent: Lower Canada, though they had a person to represent Upper Canada.

The question refers to the practical point of the necessity of continuing those duties ?——With respect to the continuing those duties, I state what I have stated elsewhere, that I conceive it to be very dangerous as a precedent, and rather infringing upon what I conceive to be the constitutional rights of the colonies; but, in point of fact, we ourselves would have been obliged to continue those duties, had they not been continued here. Part of them were refused to be renewed in 1821 or 1822, because there was in fact no want of the money. The Government at that time used to tell us, “ we do not want any money from you ; England will “pay the Civil List itself if you do not pay it, as we require it.” That was the language of the gentlemen acting in the House of Assembly on the part of the Government. When they proposed to continue the bill of 1821 or 1822, it was referred to a committee; there was a report; and finally the House refused to continue one of the temporary Acts; saying “ver well, if Great Britain is to pay “the expenses, we do not want this money; we will relieve the trade of it.” That was the cause of suffering that duty to expire; but the moment there was a question of providing for the expenses of the Government, it would have been necessary for us to revive or continue that bill; we could not have paid the expenses of Government, even upon the scale we had agreed to, unless we provided a sufficient revenue for that purpose, and likewise for the other purposes that are indispensable; such as, something like miscellaneous votes here, hospitals and education, and several annual appropriations that are usually made; and besides that, the improvements of roads and the internal navigation. With all these things we had the Chambly Canal, and the La Chine Canal, to provide for; we certainly would have continued those duties ourselves; therefore, in point of fact, though the precedent was dangerous, you took nothing from us that we would not have given ourselves. The precedent may, however, cause a good deal of hesitation in con- senting to new duties required for temporary purposes.

Do you admit then, that if the Assembly of Lower Canada, on account of any reasons, had not revived those temporary Acts, the effect would to that extent have been to have deprived Upper Canada of the means of carrying on her civil govern- ment?——Certainly, Upper Canada would have been diminished in its means; but Upper Canada would not have been injured by Lower Canada in that respect, because it was a temporary Act. When Upper Canada consented that Lower Canada should impose those duties of which they were to have a share, it con- sented to it in the manner in which the Acts were passed for a certain time, so that Upper Canada would have had no reason to complain: it is we that have had reason to complain, because those Acts have been continued beyond the time. No one ever intended to make those Acts permanent, and therefore Upper Canada could not be deceived in that respect.

These questions are not put to you with a view of establishing any ground of complaint of Upper Canada against Lower Canada, but merely to illicit the fact whether the conduct of Lower Canada with respect to this continuing the Act does not necessarily expose Upper Canada to a failure of revenue, which prejudice her means of carrying on her civil government?—It is obvious, that if there is a revenue of which Upper Canada gets a part, and that is discontinued, that Upper Canada is thereby deprived of so much revenue.

Are you not prepared to admit that Upper Canada has no means within her- self of obviating the inconvenience of such a cessation of her revenue?—I cannot say so. I have said the contrary, that I conceive she may collect duties for herself.

But supposing that should not prove to be the fact, in that case. do you not admit that she has no means of obviating the inconvenience ?——Ifs he has no other means, certainly.

Are you not aware that complaints have been made by Upper Canada, that she could not impose taxes upon commodities which would afford to her a more beneficial revenue than that revenue which she now receives under the operation of the separate and exclusive taxation of Lower Canada ?—I know that she has com- plained that she could not collect a revenue sufficiently, unless it was at the Port of Quebec, and I know that it is upon that ground that complaints were sent home to this country, and Mr. Robinson was sent home to support those com- plaints, and if we had been heard at the same time we might have fallen upon some mode that would have satisfied all parties, but we were not heard.

As many years have elapsed since, and you have had time to consider the nature of those remedies, can you now point them out to the Committee?—Those remedies must depend upon the consent of two parties. I can say what I think might be feasible, but it must he conceived to be feasible by both parties, or it will amount to nothing.

State what in your view could be effected ?——I have already stated that I thought that Upper Canada could collect a revenue upon the frontier towards Lower Canada. I have reflected upon the thing since, and I think it feasible; and if that were not feasible, it still would be feasible to make a warehouse at Quebec, where articles imported for Upper Canada would be received and delivered out, so as to secure their not being sold or distributed in Lower Canada; if the goods were put into the Kings warehouse at Quebec, for instance, there is nothing in the world to prevent their being transmitted through Lower Canada free of all duty, upon certificate being had that they are entered in Upper Canada, and the duty paid or secured. That has been practised in other countries. The other mode that I suggested was, that they might be allowed drawbacks. I am con- fident that the two provinces could fall upon some mode by which they would mutually afford sufficient convenience for one another to levy the duties necessary for their own purposes, without interfering or quarrelling; but it would require that they should understand one another as to what would be agreeable to both parties.

Then you are of opinion that it is practicable to make an arrangement under which Upper Canada may tax herself?—Yes, and be satisfied; I have not the least doubt of it; it may be done either upon the frontiers, or at Montral, or Quebec, and by allowing a drawback.. If they purchase articles in entire piece as imported, they may have a drawback upon proof of entry in Upper Canada, and having paid or secured the duty ; or they may have a warehouse at Quebec, and have the goods deposited there and transrnitted under a certificate of the custom-house at the port of entry to Upper Canada; it would entail a little more expense, but it would not be material; and I am confident it might all be done at less than the expense of collection at the Port of Quebec at present.

Under the view you take of this subject, are the Committee to understand that you propose that arbitration should regulate the proportion of those duties which are charged equally in the two provinces, but at the same time if Upper Canada thinks it necessary for her own purposes to increase the duty on any particular article, or to impose a duty upon an article which is not taxed in Lower Canada, it would be practicable to carry such intention into effect?—We have never objected to the system of arbitration adopted in the Act here; we have consented to that arbitration, and I believe that it satisfies all parties for the present. If a mode could be adopted for each province to levy its own duties it would be better, because it would leave them to tax such articles as each liked; but in reality, I think the levying such duties upon trade by the Colonial Legislatures to any great extent may be liable to a great many difficulties, and very danegerous. This country must regulate the trade, and you must consider the situation in which tlrose colonies are placed with regard to the United States of America; if you choose to let the colonies levy duties upon articles that they can get from this country, and not levy duties upon articles that they can get from the United States, your trade might be, perhaps, uninten- tionally turned out of that country.

Did not the trade bills of 1822 and 1824 impose duties in their schedules upon articles imported from the United States?—I know there have been duties imposed by Lower Canada and by Upper Canada indepenedently of the Acts of the British Parliament; those in Lower Canada have ceased; it was generally conceived that the thing was not at all consistent; the Government of the Empire have regulated the trade between the United States and Lower Canada; how could we alter those regulations by laying on duties? if we laid on duties we altered the regulations of trade. I do not know what the Government of this country intends to do, but the whole system of communication between the British provinces in North America and the United States is likely to overwhelm us all.

Whether the duties be imposed by British Acts of Parliament, or whether they be imposed by provincial Acts, do you consider that the nature of the frontier between the United States and the British North Arncrican provinces is such as to make it extremely difficult in practice to levy duties upon articles imported into those provinces from the United States?–I conceive it altogether impracticable for any beneficial purpose. There is an extent of settled frontier between the British provinces and the United States of America of upwards of 1,000 miles, and more than 500 of that is a mere water communication ; a broad river and lakes; the settlements are thin along these, and the river may be passed in any direction by night or by day. Any thing that can give any profit by smuggling will come in; all the custom-house officers in the world could not prevent people, living as neighbours and friends, relations, brothers and sisters, people who visit one another almost every evening, from bringing in any thing that will enable them to make a profit, or exchanging articles for mutual convenience. Then there is another thing to be considered; all over the world the Revenue Laws have been unpopular; people have not considered offending against them in the light that it ought to be considered, as an immoral act, but they have voluntarily violated those laws, thinking that they did not commit a very immoral act; they join in counte- nancing the smugglers instead of preventing them ; every one feels that he has got it kind of interest in getting a thing as cheap as possible, and he does not hesitate when he feels the workings of that interest to violate the law, therefore, you have the people on both sides interested in some measure in this system of smuggling and unrestricted intercourse; and when the body of the people on each side the frontier are interested in favour of it, how can you prevent it being done? There is something so consonant with the character of the people of America in this kind of trading with one another, independently of all regulations, that during the last war our army was supplied through the American army with the greatest part of its provisions. Under these circumstances, I would submit whether it is practi- cable on such a frontier to prevent smuggling if there is any thing to be made by it, and if there is nothing to be made by it, what is the use of the laws and regula- tions? If a system of custom-houses were established along the frontiers, it would ultimately make the people on both frontiers hostile to the British Government for the acts of the officers of the Government are too commonly ascribed to the Government, and particularly in America; if any thing is done it is in the name of the British Government, and if they quarrel with the officers they are quarrelling in some measure with the Government, so that in reality this kind of nuisance that the people will suffer in consequence of all those custom-house officers collecting a revenue, which will be no revenue, upon the frontiers, will dissatisfy the people with the British Government, and consequently, being dissatisfied in that way, both the Americans on their side and our own people on ours, we will run the risk of being overwhelmed, as I said before.

How do the American states regulate the intercourse between Canada and their territory ?—There is hardly any regulation or difficulty to the intercourse. I came through that way; I brought all that was necessary with me to this country, books and papers, and other things; when I came to the first custom-house, a gentleman came in to the inn where I stopped and told me that he was a custom-house officer, if I would be so good as to report what I had brought. I told him what I had brought, and he wished me good day and a pleasant journey : that was the whole ceremony ; there was nothing to pay ; but with us they make them pay for every little thing, permits, and so on.

Is there any transport of valuable goods of any kind from Canada to the United States?—There is a trade going on of some kind, but it does not appear much, by the custom-house reports, on either side.

If the United States of America are able to supply Canada with such manufac- tured articles as it requires, do you think that it will supersede the trade with Great Britain?—It would, no doubt; and it is for that reason that I think it is extremely dangerous for this country to allow too great a latitude to the Colonial Legis- latures to lay duties upon articles to be imported by Quebec, because that augments the price of those articles, and diminishes the inducement for their consumption. It is easy to collect duties at the port of Quebec, but they cannot be collected with equal certainty along the frontiers; this has a tendency to make the Colonial Legis- latures lay them on heavily at the port of Quebec, and thereby shut out the British trade, which must come in at that port. The duties there give a bounty as it were upon a clandestine importation on the other side: now it is a matter of fact that the manufactures of the United States have been selling at Montreal; coarse cotton manufactures fit for the wear of labouring people. It is to be observed that the great mass of the people in these countries are labouring people. The wealthiest of them often wear the manufactures of their own family, made up in their own family.

Is it within your knowledge, to take one example, that previously to the opening of the tea trade direct with Quebec, the price of tea was lower in the Upper Province than it was in the Lower ?—Certainly it was.

Can that be attributed to any thing else than to the constant practice of smug- gling from the United States ?-The United States supplied all the parts below Quebec with tea, and many other things of value. it is utterly impossible to prevent smuggling in America; the only way is not to give an inducement to it.

Can you state the proportion of tea which was brought in from the United States, and of that which was brought in at Quebec?–We found that the importation from England was diminishing every year, and some persons said that it was a cessation of the consumption of tea, which was a very unlikely thing; at last the truth came out that it was the tea from the United States that was coming into competition.

Are not the manufactured articles chiefly consumed in the Canadas generally of a coarse description, which do not so well bear the cost of transport?–Of course.

Do you conceive it probable that the United States must necessarily soon supply the great bulk of those articles?——Tbe only preventive of that is getting into those countries articles of British manufacture as cheap as possible, and conse- quently keeping the duties and other expenses as low as possible upon the introduction of them.

What description of goods, besides the coarse cotton goods you describe, are smuggled into the Canadas from the United States?—Silks, and all East India goods; but Mr. Cuvillier, who is here, can give better information upon that, because he has been long engaged in trade, and I am not.

Under the statement you make, of the impossibility of preventing smuggling from the United States, is it not more convenient that the revenue that may be necessary for the purposes of Government in those provinces should be derived from internal taxation rather than from import duties?—You will have a very badly supplied Government it you depend upon internal taxation for it. I have stated that the present revenue is about equal to the expenses; I have no doubt that if necessity existed we would find the means of raising more money; we might raise money by licenses and things of that kind. If it were necessary there is no danger that they will find means of raising enough for the real wants of the country; but it would he desirable that the country should have the means, under proper account- ability, of extending its improvements; it ought to run a race with the adjoining countries, or else it will not only be laughed at, but be ruined.

Do not you conceive that the same difficulties which you say would arise from any attempt to prevent smuggling between the United States and the Canadas, would in a great measure apply equally to any attempt to establish a separate scale of duties in the Upper and Lower Provinces?—There is no doubt that it would: but the line is not very extensive, and goods could enter only by the two rivers; the safest place is no doubt the Port of Quebec.

Is there any qualification for members that sit in the Legislative Assembly?– No qualification.

Is there any qualification for members that sit in the Legislative Council?— No qualification.

In your opinion would it be desirable to introduce a qualification?–The incon- veniences have arisen from the exercise of the prerogative with respect to the Legislative Council; the King by the Constitutional Act has the right of naming them.

What would be the effect of limiting the prerogative, by a regulation that no person should be nominated unless he was possessed of land to a certain extent?— If you could have an independent Legislative Council, you would have something like a British Constitution, and the affairs of the country would go on. In that case there would be a body that would have a weight in the opinion of the country when the Governor and the Assembly were at variance, and on which ever side they declared they would incline the balance : if they were independent men con- nected with the country, it would be impossible to resist the declaration of the Council, consisting of respectable and intelligent men, in any dispute between the Governor and the Assembly; but under present circumstances every one supposes that the Council decide always just as the Governor pleases, and they have no weight.

Have you ever turned in your mind any plan by which you conceive the Legislative Council might be better composed in Lower Canada? —I am willing to say what I would suggest, but it must be considered as entirely my own indi- vidual suggestion, and not the suggestion of the petitioners. There are two modes in which the composition of‘ the Legislative Council might be bettered, the one which, I believe, the majority ot the people in Lower Canada have in view, is by the exercise of the prerogative appointing men who are independent of the execu- tive, and in fact who are able to live by their own means. That has appeared to us to be the most consistent with the constitution under which we live. If that were found to be impracticable, the other mode would be to make the Legis- lative Council elective, by electors of a higher qualification, and fixing a qualifi- cation in property for the persons that might sit in the Council. I should conceive that the latter mode would be safe enough for all parties; still it seems to be a deviation from the constitution under which we live.

You conceive, then, that the fault of the Legislative Council is not in the original constitution of the body, but in the manner in which the choice of coun- sellors has been exercised?—Certainly; that may, perhaps, be unavoidable; be- cause it is impossible that the Government here should see in the colony, excepting by the means of the people that are in the colony, they must take the recom- mendations that are sent from the colony, and if they are men that not inde- pendent, and not suited altogether to act an independent part in the Council, of course they must appoint them notwithstanding, for they do not know that it is otherwise.

When you say that those alterations would improve the constitution of the Legislative Council, do you use the word, ‘improve’, in this sense, that they would constitute a body which would agree with the lower House in their views, instead of agreeing with the Governor, as it now does, in his views?—I should suppose that it would be compelled to agree with neither one nor the other. At present we suppose that it is absolutely compelled to agree with the Governor. Then it would be an independent body, that would keep the balance between the two, and give a certain stability to the existing laws and institutions.

Do you conceive that if there were some qualification required from the members of the Legislative Council, that the province would still feel satisfied to allow the nomination of the Legislative Council to remain with the Crown ?—The general feeling of the people has not been in favour of alteration, but rather a feeling of satisfaction with the usual rights exercised by the Crown in those matters. It never was imagined, by us at least, that the Legislative Council was to be other- wise than a body originating in some measure from the Crown.

Are you of opinion that any class of executive officers should be excluded by law from being members of the Legislative Council?–Yes, certainly.

Will you specify them ?—I should say, that in that country the judges ought to be excluded from the Legislative Council; for it unavoidably mixes them up with politics, and they become, instead of judges, in some measure, political partisans.

Do you think that should apply equally to the chief justice ?—If the chief justice is to be every thing as he is at present, a member of the Legislative Council, chairman of the Executive Council, presiding in the Court of Appeals, and taking an active part in all the public business of the province, he must be almost inca- pable of avoiding, when he is upon the bench, feeling a certain bias: it is believed too that such a bias exists ; for instance, when a prosecution is advised, it must be sanctioned in the council in order to allow the expenses, the Executive Council has of course advised the prosecution, and the chief justice is the judge to sit on the bench and try it, and he is in danger of being biassed. In truth, people do cou- ceive that there is a bias at present in matters where the Crown is concerned.

If the chief justice did not belong to the Executive Council, do you think there would be any objection to his belonging to the Legislative Council?–If the chief justice, or any judge, were not to be active politicians, there would be no harm in their being any where ; but the society being small, they become active politicians.

Is not it by being Executive Councillors that they get mixed up with po1itics?— Yes, that is the great evil of their being Legislative Councillors, but in the Legis- lative Council, in the passing of bills, they take an active part; they are for or opposed to the bill, and it has been frequently found that they interpret in their courts according to the interpretation in the Council.

Is the chief justice ex officio chairman of the Executive Council?—No, the Constitutional Act says, that the governor shall appoint the chairman.

Is there any other class of executive officers that you would be desirous of ex- cluding from the Legislative Council ?—I do not see that there can be any objection that there should be executive officers in the Legislative Council, provided there is not a majority of them.

Then, in addition to the objections arising from the nature of the offices, you would put a limit upon the number?–That the King can do at all times.

Would you think it desirable that a provision of this sort should be made, that not above a certain proportion of the Legislative Council should consist of persons in the pay and employment of Government ?—Certainly I should say so, that would be it proper rule for the Government to act upon.

Do you think it possible that, in a country circumstanced as Lower Canada is, the Legislative Council can really command the confidence and respect of the people, or go on in harmony with the House of Assembly, unless the principle of election is introduced into its composition in some manner or another?—All that depends in truth upon the instructions that may be sent from the Government of this country; if they are dependent upon the governor of course they move according to the instructions from this country, because the governor must move according to those instructions.

Do you think that the colony could have any security that the Legislative Council would be properly and independently composed, unless the principle of election was introduced into it in some manner or other?—Judging from past experience, I should say there could be no security, but Ishould conceive it is possible that the errors of the past may be remedied for the future; but as the thing has gone on, we cannot conclude that we would have any security.

Do you conceive that any regulations whatever, as long as the nomination to the Legislative Council remains with the Crown, would make it such as would command the confidence of the people?–I should hope so.

Supposing such regulations to take place with respect to the Legislative Council as those to which you have referred, supposing that there should not be in it a majority of persons holding any situation of emolument under the governor; have you any apprehensions in that case that the Legislative Council would be con- sidered with jealousy by the inhabitants of Lower Canada?–I should conceive that it would acquire great weight, but at present there has been a great deal of difference, and a great deal of disagreeable circumstances that it is not necessary to repeat, and it is some time before confidence recovers after such disagreeable circumstances; but I have no doubt that if the most enlightened and independent people in the country were placed in the Legislative Council, that it would acquire in public opinion a counterpoise to the House of Assembly, that is, if the House of Assembly are wrong; if they are right and the Council are wrong, I should suppose the Assembly would naturally carry it, but as things stand at present in popular opinion, there is no counterpoise to the House of Assembly.

If it be deemed expedient to introduce a qualification as ensuring the inde- pendence of the members of the Legislative Council, do you not think that in principle it would be desirable to introduce a qualification with respect to the members in the Lower House of Assembly ?—At present I do not see any use that the qualification would be of, for they are all qualified beyond what is pro- posed, even in the Union Bill; I know only of one individual member that might be suggested not to be qualified fully according to that Act. Then, seeing that no abuse has occurred from the present system, it perhaps might be judged rather invidious to say that they shall he qualified, when they are at prescntfully qualified to the extent that is desired.

Are the properties of any individuals so great in Lower Canada that there exists an aristocracy out of which it would be possible for the Government to select a Legislative Council, which, from the circumstance of their rank and fortune, would carry the weight that should belong to such an assembly with the province? —In all those new countries property rises up and disappears rapidly, so that, in reality, property is not sufficiently permanent to say that it can be calculated upon as itself giving a superiority to particular individuals over the rest of men ; but I should suppose that relatively there might be something like an aristocracy formed out of the population of Lower Canada uniting talent and property, still it is less secure than in this country, or in any old country, because property is more evanescent.

Is not the absence of that security of less consequence where the situation is only for life, and not hereditary ?—Yes; but if the appointment were for life, it would create great danger of the composition being bad. When they are here- ditary there is no choice, they come of course independently of the will of any body, and of course they can act independently; but if they are put in by the will of some one, they will naturally be inclined to act according to the opinion of those that put them in.

Is it not the general impression in the colony, that the intention of the English Government in introducing the Canada Act of 1791, with regard to the Legislative Council, has never been fulfilled?–No, there has been hardly any thing but two branches of the government in the country, that is to say, a representative body, and an executive government; there has been such an intermixture of the legisla- tive council, and the executive government, that they have been reality nearly one and the same thing.

You have said that there might be a sufficient body, combining property and talent, from which you might take an aristocracy ; but as you could not ensure talent by any legislation, is there any body whose property would place them in that situation in the colony, that they would be proper persons to be selected ?—Yes, all those things are relative in a poor country, a man who has what would be considered here a small income, yet stands in the same situation with respect to that country in which a rich man stands in this country.

Should you confine the qualification of the Legislative Council to the possessors of landed property ?—Landed proprietors in all countries are the country, they are the owners of the soil of the country, and of course must always be a prominent party in the country ; but I conceive that fairness would require that every class of the community should have a fair share of every public situation; landed proprietors would, no doubt, form the majority of such a body in fairness.

Is there not a growing inclination in the Canadas to see their institutions ren– dered more and more popular, and in that respect more and more resembling those of the United States ?—The Canadas have made great progress towards an inclina- tion to popular institutions, it is not their disposition, but they have been driven to it, they have been kept in a. constant state of agitation, and they certainly are more in favour of a popular government than they were some years ago. Eighteen or nineteen years ago I have heard that the population of Lower Canada considered it popular kind of government a very troublesome one; and they even said that they had all the advantages that they had in the United States without the trouble; they were proud of it; but latterly the people have held very much to popular privileges, because they have been afraid of innovations in their institutions; and the disputes, dissolutions and agitations that have occurred, have made them enter more into the prevailing notions of the present time of a representative government.

Since you have stated that this inclination towards popular privileges is upon the increase in the Canadas, do not you think that it would be wise, in any change that is made in the institutions of that province, to meet what will be more and more the wishes of the people, and make them extremely popular?–It is very good ; but it is very dangerous to hurry people in that respect; I should conceive that they ought to have the appetite before you give them the food. I conceive that the pcople of Lower Canada are certainly making rapid strides in attachment to a representative government. Twenty years ago I could not have believed it myself; but still they are not naturally a democratical people, nor have they any strong desire for the United States.

Having stated that there rnight be objections to the Legislative Council being appointed for life, do you conceive that there are materials for forming an hereditary council ?—The answer that I have already given relating to the evanescent state of property there will explain, in some measure, my opinion, that an hereditary Legislative Council would not do in Lower Canada; they might be hereditary beggars, and fall into contempt. America is a new country, where all must be actively industrious, or decline in means. You may form a tolerably correct idea of America by supposing a number of people herring down a forest, changing it into fields, while others are doing such other parts of labour as are indispensable for furthering this immense work. Under all the circurnstances, the respect that ought to be attached to an hereditary aristocracy, and which is necessary to give it a useful existence, would not be maintained in America.

You have said that with regard to the House of Assembly it would he a good thing to have some members of the Government introduced into it; is there any such a decided influence of Government over any particular parts as to give them a security for having a certain number of members ?—The Government have put in some members, and they had at one time a rnajority of persons that were agree- able to them, but some how or other for a considerable time past, they have lost the confidence of the electors. At Gaspé they still have put in a member, and at Sorrell and at Three Rivers, but they have had hard struggles for it; at Sorrell they were turned out, and at Three Rivers they succeeded only in obtaining one or the members.

Under these circumstances, should you not think it a good thing that certain members of Government in active situations should have the right of attending and speaking in the House of Assembly without voting ?——The thing would be very ex- traordinary, and the situation would be a most unpleasant one to the gentlemen that would attend there; they would not have the privileges of members, and they would be amongst people that would view them with a kind of jealousy and suspicion.

Are you aware that that is the case in the French Constitution, that the French ministers attend and speak, but do not vote ?——No; we have rather looked to the British Constitution.

Have you any papers to deliver in to the Committee?——I will deliver in copies of several other bills that have been referred to in my evidence; one is a Bill for va- cating the seats of Members of the Assembly in cases therein mentioned; another is a Bill to remedy the iniprovident Grants of the Waste Lands of the Crown, and the other is a Bill to provide for the Trial of Impeachments in this Province.

[The witness delivered in the same.]

Dennis Benjamin Viger, Esq. Called in; and Examined.

ARE you a native of Lower Canatla?—I am.

Are you connected with the profession of the law ?—I am an advocate.

In what court do you practise ?—In Montreal. I practise occasionally in the Court of Appeals at Quebec, but my residence is in Montreal.

What number of public courts of justice are there in the province ?——We have a Court of King’s Bench in the district of Quebec, and a Court of King’s Bench in the district of Montreal; then there are, besides, provincial courts in other dis- tricts: there is a provincial judge at Three Rivers, there is a provincial judge at Gaspé, and another, a late establishment, at St. Francis.

Is St. Francis within the townships?–It is.

Is the same code of laws administered in all of those courts ?—We always understood it so till the Act of the 6th George 4, which was a declaratory Act by the Parliament of England, deciding that the laws of England were the laws of the townships. I ought to add in answer to the former question, that in the dis- trict of Three Rivers two judges of the Court of King’s Bench of Montreal, or of Quebec, go every term to Three Rivers to hold a Court of King’s Bench, and then there are three judges there; two judges are a quorum ; but in case there should he a difference of opinion, there are generally three, and those two judges with the provincial judge, exercise all the powers of the Court of King’s Bench, as they are established by the Provincial Statute of 1793.

Does the enumeration which you have given of the Courts of Justice include all that exist within the province ?—Yes, excepting quarter sessions of the peace, which are held in every district.

Is the criminal law administered solely at the quarter-sessions of the peace ?— No; there are criminal terms of the Court of King’s Bench twice a year in the district of Montreal, and in the district of Quebec, and there are two criminal terms at Three Rivers, held by the chief justice either of Montreal or of Quebec, with the provincial judge and those who come from Montreal or Quebec. If I had known that I should he examined upon this point, Iwould have brought the law which was passed in 1793, which would explain the thing at once.

Was that law a provincial law ?–Yes. It was the law by which the Courts of King’s Bench and the quarter sessions have been established in Lower Canada, or at east put upon a better system.

Is there any institution similar to the circuits in England ?—No. We have endeavoured to establish such a system in our country for these three years past, I framed a bill, it passed in our Lower House, but it was not passed by the Legisla- tive Coucil. My great object was to endeavour, with reference to constitutional principles, to establish the Courts of King’s Bench in Canada upon the same footing that they are in England, because I do not think that the administration of justice, particularly with regard to jury trials, can be administered well by any other system, though I do not think it would be for the advantage of our country to change the laws as they stand at present with respect to civil matters, yet as far as it is practicable I thought it advantageous to establish the courts nearly on the footing upon which they are in England, and to have circuits. After a good deal of division in the House of Assembly, it came to an almost unanimous vote in favour of the bill.

In what year was that?–Successively for the last three years, the bill was brought in in 1825, 1826 and 1827. I will deliver in a copy of the bill which passed the House of Assembly, which is intituled, “A Bill to facilitate the Ad- ministration of Justice throughout the Province.”

[The witness delivered in the same.]

Do you know the grounds upon which the Legislative Council rejected it?— I was once in the Legislative Council when the bill was argued ; to my great surprise the judges in the Legislative Council were those that opposed that part of it which related to juries. It would take a great deal of time to explain their reasons; they seemed to think that the people were not fond of those jury trials, and they conjectured so from the small number of trials by jury which came before them. I ought to mention that we have only two species of civil actions which are to be determined by the verdict of a jury; commercial cases, and personal wrongs, that is cases of personal injury, such as defamation or assault; but they perhaps were not aware that the system of juries, as it is established in civil matters in Canada, is the worst species of juries than can be imagined, for one plain reason. By the ordinance of 1785, it is established, that in civil cases in the districts of Montreal and Quebec, which contain about nine-tenths of the population of Lower Canada, thejuries are to be taken from the city of Montreal for the district of Montreal, and from the city of Quebec for the district of Quebec, so that by that means you have only citizens of Montreal and Quebec to form juries for a population of about 450,000 souls, which is certainly not according to the constitutional principles of jury trials. They should be taken from the whole mass of the population, because there ought to be a common association of ideas between the parties and the juries. The reason why the people, generally speak- ing, are averse to have trials by jury is, first, that they are extremely expensive; and, in the second place, that they can never depend upon having urors who have a common association of ideas with the people whom they try. In general, the great advantage of trial by jury is, that they may form an opinion as to the criminality or innocence of the party, from the circumstances and from their know- ledge of the rank of the parties, their character in society, and their usages, and this advantage is lost in Canada, because, though those juries may be very respecta- ble and honest men, they do not understand sometimes even the language of the persons they are to try. I would say that there is not a jury trial in criminal matters in Canada, according to the laws of England, at least in Montreal, because I never saw any petit juries that were not taken from the city of Mon- treal. The citizens of Montreal, by that practice, exercise a kind of power of life and death over a population of about very near 300,000 souls. I do not know upon what that can be founded. I know that the law is against it; the pre- ecpts of the judges are to take the juries from the body of the district, from the jurisdiction of the sheriff, as it is in England ; yet singular to tell, they have never been taken except from the city of Montreal, and though we have complained, and there were some resolutions passed in our Assembly upon the subject, this, which I consider a great abuse, is at this moment continually acted upon in our courts of justice. These circumstances may have given occasion to some pre- judices against juries generally. In my practice my clients have frequently ex- pressed a wish of having their causes tried by juries, provided they could be taken from the vicinage.

What other objections were stated by the Legislative Council to the measure you proposed?–I think they did not like the circuits.

Was it your wish to apply juries to civil cases ?—I do not like sudden changes in any case. I did not wish at that moment to extend jury trials further than the law gives it at present; but I would have thought it desirable in a little time to extend it to other cases, where mere matters of fact are to be decided; for example, where damages are to be given for a trespass, it seemed to me that those would be proper cases for ajury; I should not think it desirable to introduce juries in matters of more property, of mere title, of mere conventions. When this bill passed in the House of Assembly I did not wish to derange the system too much; I only wanted to lay a foundation for the administration of justice, civil and criminal, upon the constitutional principles of England, particularly to have circuits, to have ajudge that would not be connected with the parties, that would go to the spot, and would there receive the verdicts of the juries.

What number of judges are there in the existing courts ?—There are four judges of the King’s Bench at Quebec, and four judges at Montreal; one at Three Rivers, one at Gaspé, and one at St. Francis.

Can you state what proportion of those judges are of French extraction, and what of Euglish?—Tliere is one at Quebec, one at Montreal, and the provincial judge of Three Rivers, who are of French extraction; all the others are Americans, Scotchmen, Irishmen, and of the neighbouring provinces.

What opportunity have the gentlemen of English extraction of becoming acquainted with the French law ?—They generally study with a lawyer of the country. There is no college in Canada where the civil law is taught, I think that it would be very desirable that we should have a professor of civil law; but we have had so many things to think of that we have not been able to establish it. When I speak of the civil law, it is to be observed that though we speak very much of the coutume de Paris, and the ordinances of the King of France, it is but a small part of our law. The common law of Canada may be called the civil law, as it was interpreted, and as it was practised in the Parliament of Paris. Where the coutume de Paris, or the ordinances of the kings, are silent, then we take the general principles of the civil law as the raison ecrite; in this sense it may be looked upon as the common law of Canada.

You have stated that a part of the judges in the Court of King’s Bench are in the habit of going, on certain occasions, to Three Rivers, to hold a court there; will you describe what the process is ?—At Three Rivers the provincial judge decides alone in cases under 10l.; butin cases above 10l. sterling two judges must sit in the court to form a quorum; and for that reason, every term one of the judges of Quebec goes to Three Rivers, and one of the judges of Montreal goes there also.

Is that practice confined to Three Rivers; or does it extend to Gaspé and St. Francis?—It is confined to Three Rivers; at Gaspé and St. Francis the jurisdiction is limited; at Gaspé, I think it is limited to 100l.; and it is limited to 20l. at St. Francis.

Would it, in your view, be desirable to extend the powers of the courts of Gaspé and St. Francis?——I cannot say so, I think it would be better to establish a system of circuits, at least for St. Francis.

Is there any description of causes tried in those provincial courts ?—The court of Kings Bench sits at Three Rivers for the whole district, including that of St. Francis, for all cases not within the jurisdiction of the judge of St. Francis; and the same thing occurs at Quebec for Gaspé.

The provincial judges alone have no criminal jurisdiction.—No.

When the court of King’s Bench sits at Three Rivers, whence are the juries drawn ?—I never was at Three Rivers at the sitting of the court; but I understand that they are perhaps drawn upon a better plan, not only from the city, but from the vicinity. That is not the case at Montreal and Quebec; I speak of petit juries; for some years grand juries have been partially taken from the body of the district.

Is there any criminal jurisdiction at Gaspé, or at St. Francis ?——Except quarter sessions, none.

Do the judges ever decide inconsistently with one another, some of them according to the French law, and some of them according to the English law ?— There have been sometimes mistakes committed by judges by borrowing too much from the English law; but generally speaking our judges are supposed to adhere to the principles of civil law as it exists in Canada.

In how many places are quarter sessions held ?—in Montreal, Three Rivers, Quebec, St. Francis and Gaspé.

How many times in the year —Four times in the year.

Has each court of quarter sessions a separate judge ?——Those quarter sessions are held by the justices of the peace; but in Montreal, Quebec and Three Rivers, there are what are called chairmen of quarter sessions, who are paid; and a similar appointment has been made for Gaspé. The St. Francis judge presides at the quarter sessions there.

What is the nature of the jurisdiction of those quarter sessions; is it civil and criminal?–It is chiefly criminal; but it extends also to road matters and penal

What description of persons are the justices of the peace ?—If I were to speak according to the rules and laws of England, I should say that they should be taken from the class of proprietors; however that has not been acted upon. We have passed a bill once or twice in the Assembly to qualify them nearly as they are in England; this bill has not been assented to by the Legislative Council.

What is the class of persons from whom the justices of the peace have been generally appointed ?—The greatest number are merchants or traders in the country, as well as in the cities.

In the townships from what class of persons are they appointed ?——I am not acquainted well enough with the townships to state that. In the townships the greatest number of the people are farmers; and I know that a number of respectable farmers are admitted into the commission.

Have you not understood that there is a difficulty in finding individuals to fill the office of magistrate?–We have sometimes imagined that the choice was not always good, but the Governor exercised his prerogative; it is left by the law to his judgment, and we have not interfered

Have the inhabitants in the townships any power of assessing themselves for the purpose of local improvements ?——There is no law to that effect in Lower Canada; by the laws of Lower Canada every body is under the obligation of making his own road, and this is done generally by an order of the grand voyer, and then there is a distribution of the work, and paymentyof the money in the same way; and there is a kind of assessment with regard to churches, there must be some previous arrangement, application must be made to the Governor, and then there are commissioners appointed for the purpose; then there is a kind of assessment by the parish, but there is no regular power for parishes to assess themselves by the laws of Canada for any purpose, except in the way that I have just mentioned.

What proportion of the year do the Courts of King’s Bench sit in Quebec and Montreal ?—Four terms of twenty days each for civil causes, and two terms of ten days each for criminal jurisdiction, besides terms for civil jurisdiction under 10l. sterling.

In what way are the proceedings conducted ; are there pleadings in writing?– Pleadings are in writing in the superior court, not in the inferior court; in the court under ten pounds there are no pleadings in writing, unless the judges order it in some intricate cases, but in all cases above ten pounds all the proceedings are generally in writing.

You mentioned that at Quebec and Montreal there was a Court of King’s Bench, consisting of four judges each; is that subdivided into a superior and an inferior tribunal ?—Yes, one judge decides in cases under 10l., and in cases above 10l. there must be two judges. Generally four judges sit, but the quorum of the court is fixed at two in civil matters.

In cases under 10l. are there any written pleadings?—There are no written pleadings, except when the judge, thinking that it is an intricate case, orders plead- ings to be in writing.

Are witnesses examined in court?-Viva voce in cases under 10l., and in cases above 10l. their testimony is generally written; however, sometimes they dispense with writing the testimony in cases under 20l., because there is no appeal from the Court of King’s Bench in such cases.

When the Court of King’s Bench dispenses with written pleadings in cases under 20l., do they examine witnesses viva voce?——Yes, they take a note of it as they do in England.

When they resort to written pleadings, before whom are the witnesses exa- mined ?–In the presence of two of the judges, and it is one of the evils which were intended to be remedied in this bill, by giving a power to the judges to appoint commissioners to take this evidence in the country, because it is an enor- mous expense; sometimes witnesses come a distance of 90 miles, sometimes they are obliged to come several times, and it was intended to give power of appointing commissioners to examine them in the country.

Are the arguments of the counsel viva voce?—They are.

Even in the superior court ?—In both courts.

Are there many appeals from the superior court to the Court of Appeal ?—I could not exactly tell the number, but I know there is a pretty large proportion.

How is the Court of Appeals constituted ?—The Court of Appeals is neither more nor less than the Executive Council of the province; every member of the Executive Council is ipso facto a member of the Court of Appeals.

Is the expense of lawsuits considerable ?—They are very expensive.

Have you ever turned your mind to consider any mode by which that expense might be lessened?—I have thought of it, but I saw that there was very little remedy, because our courts are vested with the power of making tariffs of fees by a law of 1801, and we supposed that it would not be a very easy matter to a bridge that power.

Are the fees large ?—We considered them large in our country, in proportion to the quantity of circulating medium, and in proportion to the price of every thing.

To whom do those fees go?——A part of the fees go to the clerks of the court, the lawyers, sheriffs and bailiffs.

Are they paid into a fund out of which the salaries of those persons are paid ?– Not at all. The judges are paid out of the public funds of the province; there are no fees to judges in Canada, except in the Admiralty Court, which have been a great subject of complaint there.

Is there much distinction in the mode in which you bring an action, according to whether the subject of it relates to real property, or whether it relates to moveables ?—By the laws of Canada every man that brings an action must explain the grounds upon which he claims either real property or goods, or a sum of money; he must make the person whom he prosecutes know the title upon which he claims, and draw precise conclusions as to the amount, and as to the nature of the things he claims, and if he fails in any way to ask what he wants to obtain, the judge by the laws of the country can never give him any more; and that this is the difference, perhaps, between the nature of the proceedings in Canada and this country. In England there are particular forms of actions, and a general conclusion is taken; whereas the judge, being both judge and jury in Canada, can never give any thing but what is aslced precisely by the plaintitf, and then the defendant must give in the grounds of his plea.

Is the plaintiff afterwards enabled to amend his declaration?–He must obtain a permission from the judge. In some cases, that is given if it is only an adden- dum to the action, but he cannot change the nature of his action.

But whether the action relates to real or to moveable property, the mode of bringing it is the same?—Yes, in England there are special forms of action, we are not restricted to a precise form of action; but with regard to real property, for example, there is a mode of action, which is established by usage and accord- ing to the principles of law, which is such that if you were not to take that form of action you could not succeed. It is necessary to establish a certain number of principles and facts, and then to draw the conclusion from those prin- ciples, and from that results the necessity of adhering to certain forms, though we are not nominally restricted to forms.

Does the King’s Bench act both as a court of equity and as a court of law ?—— By the laws of Canada there are cases where they have no right at all to exercise any equitable jurisdiction; that is, so far as the law is written they must obey that law ; but there are a great number of cases where the law itself gives them a certain equitable jurisdiction. Of course in those cases they exercise an equitable juris- diction; and besides the civil law being, as I said, the written reason which guides the judges in all cases where there is not a precise enactment. they have, generally speaking, fixed rules of equity by which they can be guided very easily.

Does the court deliver its judgment vova voce ?— Yes, and they generally assign their reasons viva voce; but they do not generally enter them in the written judg- ment upon the register. As they are the judges of both law and fact, I should think it would be very desirable if their reasons were stated in the written judgment.

Upon the whole, is there satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the minds of the persons subject to the administration of the law, with regard to the mode in which it is administered ?—I could not say that there is a very great confidence in the administration of justice in Lower Canada; and it arises from a great many reasons.

Will you have the goodness to state some of those reasons?—In Quebec the judges are generally executive counsellors; they are at the same time legislative counsellors, and they are generally supposed to have too much influence in the affairs of the province, so that their decisions are not always supposed to be per- fectly impartial; besides there is such a contradiction in the judge being in the morning at court, in the afternoon at the Executive Council, and on the same day at the Legislative Council, making the laws, ordering their execution, and then judging upon those very laws, that it is impossible, at least as we suppose, that those men can be exactly judges, and judges alone. Perhaps in a country like this the same inconvenience may not arise from the judges exercising those different: capacities, because there is the check of public opinion, and the Houses of Par- liament are composed of an immense number; but there the judges form a great proportion off the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, and they are the persons of the greatest influence in them.

Are the qualifications of the judges such as, in the opinion of the people of the province, to make them be looked up to as fit persons to administer the law?— I must state that there arcjutlgcs who are not considered as great jurisconsults.

In amending the administration of the law in Canada, should you think it necessary that there should be some additional establishment in the nature of circuits?–I really think that it would be essential to introduce circuits, as far as it is practicab1e, upon the system on which they are established in England.

What are the circumstances which you found to be obstacles to the introduction of the system as it exists in England ?—The only thing is, that; the distribution of the courts could not be exactly as it is in England by counties, on account of the distribution of the population, such as it exists in Canada.

Could you explain generally the plan which you proposed to adopt for that pur- pose?—The object which the House of Assembly had in view was to subdivide the large districts into circles which would comprise a reasonable proportion of the population in each, so that the judges might exercise their jurisdiction in each of those subdivisions.

Had the divisions any reference to the counties ?—It was impossible; and the reason is, that the divisions of the counties are liable to continual changes in a country where the population augments with rapidity.

Upon what principle did you propose to divide the country anew for the pur- pose of circuits?–To make a subdivision according to the population; that is, to fix the seats of the jurisdiction in those places where there was a population to which it could be useful.

Was the arrangement proposed intended to be permanent?—Things of this kind cannot be made permanent in a country like ours, because probably there are some of those divisions which it would be necessary to subdivide again as the population increased.

Do you combine that with the other proposition you have mentioned, of exa- mining witnesses in the country ?—Exactly so; it was proposed to have the examination of witnesses taken in those very subdivisions by commissioners; and I must say, that in this instance, as in a great many others, I did not think I was making the best law possible; but: my object was to make the best that we could under the circumstances.

What number of circuits should you think necessary ?—The number is fixed in the bill: we thought that in the district of Quebec seven circles would have been sufficient besides Quebec, and in Montreal eight besides Montreal.

Do you understand that according to the Constitution of Canada the English civil law is to be administered with respect to property situate in the township, or with respect to all property held in free and common soccage?—We always thought that the French law prevailed in Lower Canada till Parliament passed the Act of the sixth year of His Majesty, with reference to tenures in the town- ships: our judges have acted upon the system. Since that Act, I do not believe that there are means to bring actions according to the English law, with regard to real property in the townships.

Seeing that it is the intention of the Legislature that English law should be administered with respect to all property held in free and common soccage; what, in your opinion, would be the best arrangement for giving effect to that system of law?–I think that it is a very difficult thing, not to say impossible, to make the two systems go together in the courts, such as they established; and I do not see how it could operate in Lower Canada, it would establish such a contradictory system, that it would bring every thing into confusion.

Would not that confusion be very materially prevented, by the etablishment of different courts, that is, by establishing a new set of courts in which the law might be administered with reference to property situated in the townships, and retaining the courts which exist at present, in which the French law is administered?–

I could give no opinion upon a thing which is almost a mere theory; to speak of the effect of establishing anew system of law in a country where it has never been in practice, would be reasoning upon mere supposition, upon which I am unable to answer; I know that the difference of courts, and the difference of jurisdictions, and the difference of laws, will necessarily produce confusion; when it is established we must take things as they are, but in a country where it is not established we cannot say how it would operate.

Seeing that it is the fixed purpose of the Legislature to carry into effect the establishment of English law with respect to the lands in the townships, do you think the attempt had better he made by administering it in the courts as they at present stand, or by any other mode ?—I do not know how that could be arranged at present.

Can it be administered in the courts as they exist at present?–It would be very difficult; perhaps it would be proper to state, that the actions as they are brought according to the rules of civil law, are very simple, and that the object can be attained as fully and as easily as upon any other system. I cannot imagine how it would be possible to establish in Canada courts in which the judge would determine one day according to the laws of England, and another day according to the law of Canada, it would throw the practice of the court into the greatest confusion; we have already enough of confusion, which has been created by people sometimes endeavouring to take the rules of the law of England and to introduce them into our jurisprudence.

Has the Canada Tenures Act been carried into operation at all in Canada ?— I do not know what operation it can have at present; it has destroyed rights that have been in existence 30 or 40 years–minors rights, rights of women, sheriff’s sales, hypotheques executed upon the lands; all these have been swept away by the Act of the 6th of the King.

Are the Committee to conclude from what you have said, that the Canada Tenures Act has excited great discontent, and has been considered an unfortunate measure in the colony ?——It has, certainly, in Lower Canada created the greatest discontent, particularly in what we call the Canadian population, because it destroyed at once the system which we considered to extend to the whole province, which has been acted upon for 40 years, and ever since the conquest. People had acquired lands in that country by titles made according to the formalities of the French law, which are extremely simple, and operate very well without any dith- culty, and against which there was never any complaint at all. Women had acquired rights of community, families had acquired rights according to the Cana- dian law of descent, creditors had lent money upon hypotheques, a species of mortgage we have in Canada, by which those lands were supposed to be affected ; and shcriti’s sales of those lands have taken place in great numbers. Now if the declaratory law, which has been passed by the Parliament, is to take effect, all those rights are gone and destroyed, and all the sales which have taken place for 30 or 40 years are null and void ; and in the second place, it has created a great discontent among the Canadians, because they are acquainted with the Canadian laws of the transfer of property, which are extremely simple, and which are not expensive, and very easily to be acted upon by every body , but this Act of Parlia- ment establishes a system of transfer of property, with which the inhabitants of Canada are perfectly unacquaintcd, and which has the disadvantage of being extremely costly. In Canada you can get an excellent title made, according to the Canadian law, for about from 5 s. to 10s. and you are obliged to pay as many guineas according to the English law. I may state, in order to give an idea of the opinion of even an English lawyer upon our law of transfer of property, that I heard the late Chief Justice Mank, who was not very much prepossessed in favour of Canadian establishments, say on the Bench, that a common notary in Canada, after a couple of years practice, understood conveyancing better than the most able conveyancer in England. I could add many other reasons, but these are suflicient to give an idea of the sources of discontent with regard to this Act, and thepmore so, because by the Act of the 31st of George the 3d, our Constitutional Act, it was particularly enacted in the 43d section, that “ Lands in Upper Canada. were to be granted in free and common soccage (in like manner as in that part of Great Britain called England) and when lands shall be hereafter granted within the said province of Lower Canada, and when the grantor thereof shall desire the same to be granted in free and common soccage, the same shall he so granted, but subject nevertheless to such alteration with respect to the nature and consequence. of such tenure in free and common soccage as nnay be established by any law or laws which may be made by his Majesty, his heirs or successors, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province. Now from this we understood, of course, that if there was any alteration to be made it should be made by the Legislature of Lower Canada, who would work upon the system according to the interest of the country; and who would of course know the circumstances of the country better than those who are at a distance of 3,000 miles. I will show, in point offact, how the thing has operated in Canada. After this Act had been passed in England, the very Legislative Council, which is composed of executive counsellors who have the greatest influence there, and place- men who were supposed to have desired that the laws of England should be introduced, were the first to send to the Lower House a bill to introduce again our forms with regard to the transfer of property in the townships, the law of hypotheques, and some other rules talien from our own civil law.

Do you hold that the law by which property held in free and common soccage should descend, supposing that the owner dies without a will, should be the law which prevails in the seigneuries, or the English law ?——I am apt to think that it would be desirable that it should remain as it was before the declaratory Act passed, that is, that it should be divided equally, according to the laws of Canada.

When you say that discontent has arisen amongst the Canadians with respect to the provisions of the Canada Tenures Act, are the Committee to understand that you mean that the persons holding lands in the townships are discontented with those provisions, and that they wish the Canadian laws with respect to the descent of property to apply to them as they do in the seigneuries ?——I am not acquainted with the sentiments of the majority of the inhabitants of the townships ; I can say that with regard to the Canadians they would wish, of course, to preserve their laws of descent.

Is there any thing in the Canada Tenures Act which has a tendency in any way to interfere with the laws of descent with respect to the land which is held by the Canadians in the seigneuries ?——It is very much the case indeed ; because by this very Act, if the tenure of any land in the seigneuries is changed by arrangement with the Government, that land would be regulated by the laws of England, so that; one farm would be regulated by the laws of England and the next farm would be regulated by the laws of Canada; and the Committee can judge what would he the consequence.

As no change of tenure under that Act can be made excepting at the desire of the proprietor, have you any reason to imagine that any individual wishing that change to take place with regard to his own lands would be likely to complain of the alteration that would take place in consequence of it ?–Yes; a man that might wish to make a change in his tenure would not like that his land should be placed under a new system of law; it would operate as an obstacle to making a change in the tenure.

Supposing that no individual seeks to change the tenure of his land under that Act, in what way does that Act affect the seigneuries, so as to deprive them of that which they consider an advantage, namely, the French law ?——Of course if there is no change there can result no inconvenience, except so far as there would be at dif- ferent system in the courts of justice, which would create a great confusion in the ideas of the lawyers and judges.

Is not the law of the 6th of George 4, of this nature, that provided the Govern- ment, and the seigneur holding under the Government, change the system of hold- ing into free and common soccage, the seigneur can force his vassal to change his tenure ?—No ; it is not a compulsory power, but there is something which is a great. obstacle in that very Act, because if the seigneur were to change his title the culti- vators of the soil would have a right to ask from the seigneur to change their tenures too, and upon his refusal, to force him to submit to arbitration; and this is an obstacle to the land being put in free and common soccage, because there is no seigneur that would be disposed to accept a price for his dues, to be paid in money, that was not fixed by himself.

Has the law been acted upon at all in the seigneuries ?–I only know of two cases where application has been made to Government for a chane, and I think that the arrangement has not been concluded.

Are there a great number of Canadians who reside in the townships ?——A great number in some townships, and there would he a much greater number if facility had been given for their settlement.

Martis, 10 die Junii, 1828.

SUPPOSING a person possessed of a fee simple estate of real property in Lower Canada, to die intestate, leaving a family, what would he the course of descent?——We have, generally speaking, only two species of property in Canada, that is, fie or seigneuries, and rutures, besides franc aleu, free and common soccage. With regard to the first, the seigneuries, the eldest son has a greater proportion than the other children in the case of real property; in the successions to rotures, every species of property is equally divided between the children.

Supposing he leaves a widow, has she any interest either in the one or the other? —By the laws of our country husbands and wives are partners and joint proprietors of every species of personal property whereof they are respectively possessed at the time of the marriage, or which may thereafter be acquired either by inheritance or otherwise; but real property, which comes to them by descent, or which is acquired before marriage, does not fall into that species of partnership, which is termed in our law communauté. It is to be observed that the law is not imperative. A man who marries may by his contract of marriage renounce every such right, and then the wife has only what is stipulated in the contract of marriage.

In the event of his dying intestate, and the wife taking the half, upon her death what becomes of that half?—That part of what we call the communauté, which has once accrued to the wife by the death of the husband, goes in the first place to her children, and in the second place, if there are no children, it goes to her own relations, not to the relations of the husband.

Is there any distinction in your laws between dower and communauté?–Yes, a great deal.

Does the dower apply to the real property, and the communauté to the personal estate?–Dower applies sometimes to real property, as well as to goods and chattels, but it depends upon particular circumstances; the dower established by law is the right to the enjoyment on the part of the wife of one half of the real property of which the husband is possessed at the time of the marriage, and of such pro- perty as devolves to him hy descent in the direct line from ancestors; the property, or the right in the thing itself, belongs to the children; she has only the enjoyment of the property for her life, that is the dower which is granted by the coutume; but very often a dower is stipulated in the contract of marriage; generally speaking, it is a sum of money, which is secured by hypotheque.

Then, in point of fact, if a person dies intestate, leaving a property which has come to him, aprtly by descent and partly a property acquired during marriage, the wife would be entitled to her dower out of the one, and to her share in the communauté in the other?–Exactly.

Suppose he makes a will, what power has he over, first of all, the land which comes to him by descent, and secondly, that which is acquired during marriage?– He has the right to dispose of all the property which belongs to him, whether by descent, or whether it is his part of the communauté, and to bequeath it in any manner he pleases, subject nevertheless to the stipulation of the marriage contract.

That is to say, if he has property which belonged to him previous to the mar- riage, he can bequeath the whole of it as he pleases?–Yes.

With respect to that which he acquired subsequently to the marriage, he can only dispose of one half of it?–Yes, as well as of that acquired to him by succes- sion. Any real property which comes to either man or wife by succession they have respectively a right to dispose of; any such real property which comes by inheritance to the wife, or to the husband during the marriage, never enters into the communauté unless there is a particular stipulation to that effect in the contract of marriage; of course either the man or the wife has a right to dispose of that by their will as they please.

Supposing a person marries, and that during the existence of the marriage he makes a considerable fortune; supposing further, that he has a child by the menu riage, who dies in the lifetime of the father and mother; then suppose the mother dies during the lifetime of the husband, what becomes of her share in the commu- rmuté? Her share goes to her own relations, except that there is hardly a contract of marriage in which there is not a stipulation that they shall, if there are no children of the marriage, enjoy the property during their life, to the exclusion of the relations of either party.

But if no such contract exists, the law is as you state ?——The communauté is divided, and the half of it goes to the relations of either husband or wife.

Supposing a person in possession of an estate is anxious to sell it, what is the mode of his conveying it to the person who is to purchase it ?—The contract is always passed according to the laws of our country, before two notaries, or one notary, and two witnesses; the forms of these contracts are known to every notary in Canada. If there are no particular circumstances which may require special stipulations, it is not necessary to travel out of those forms.

Is it a very short deed ?——Pretty short, it generally contains about three pages of common folio paper.

Does it contain any recital of the former title, how it came to the person that sells ?——lt does generally; though it is not essential to the form of the deed or its validity that it should be so; there are people that will sell a farm as belonging to them, without mentioning any thing else; but, generally speaking, it is entered, not as matter of neccssity, but as matter of convenience, and in order that the person may know the parties from whom the estate came.

How does the purchaser satisfy himself that the person who sells has a good title to sell, and also that the estate is unencumbered?—That depends upon his prudence, and particularly upon the good advice that he receives either from the notary himself or from a lawyer; for example, if you were to consult a gentleman in Canada about a purchase which you wanted to make, the lawyer would of course, before allowing the deed to he passed, require communication of the title of that property, would also require to know whether the vendor was married or not, whether there existed a dowcr upon that estate or not; of course this is very easy. I must besides observe, the laws of our country with regard to prescription are generally pretty simple; ten years possession, with a good title, where the parties are legally present in the province, are sufficient to operate prescription in favour of the buyer. Twenty years are necessary to prescribe against absentece; I must add, that a person must he of age, and capable of exercising his rights, for prescription to operate against him. Generally speaking, thirty years prescription is sufficient to cover some difiicnlties in a title in due form, which has no radical defect. A man could not acquire by prescription a farm, or any other real property, if his title was not a real bona fide sale; if. for example, he had been a tenant with a lease, he could not prescribe against his own title; but if the title is good, generally speaking, a prescription will operate in his favour after thirty years. Now the lawyer considering these circumstances, and perhaps some others, would easily find whether the man who sells can give a good title.

Then how are you satisfied that a good title is produced, either for ten years or for twenty years, or for thirt cars, as the case may be ?——It would depend upon particular circumstances; you must exainine whether there are absentees, and there are minors, or other persons incapable of exercising their rights; all this is very easy for a man of experience, but it would be difficult to explain it to persons not exactly acquainted with the principles of our law; all that I can state upon that subject is, that I have been a little more than thirty years in practice, and have given a good deal of advice upon questions of this sort. I do not think I ever had any complaint by any persons of the insufficiency of their titles. It would be necessary to say, that if there is any fear of hypo- theques, the only means we have at present, and the only possible means, I think, is any good system, is to have recourse to a decret (sheriff’s sale), that would, to use a technical phase, be sufficient to purge all charges except dower; but with regard to dower, it is always easy to know whether there is a charge of dower, because you can know the person from whom the property has come to the actual seller, or the person from whom his title is derived; it is very easy to know whether they have been married or not, and to get the contract of marriane, to he satisfied as to the nature of the dower, All these things must be done of course by people who understand the laws of the land, they are very simple thirgs; but I must confess that a stranger coming to Canada may be subjected to some little difficulties, as is the casein any other country. I have a particular knowledge that two or three years ago an accident happened to a stranger; he bought a farm, and was told by some persons that there was a dower upon it, or some such encumbrance, though the person who spoke to him was not conversant in the law; I think he was a common farmer; he informed him of the risk he incurred in buying that property; the buyer would not listen to him, he bought the farm, and he experienced what every imprudent man would in that case, he lost his property.

Is not real properly in Canada subject to all, what are in this country called, simple contract debts, of a person borrowing money ?——Every species of property, real or personal, may be seized and sold for the satisfaction of a judgment, what- ever may be the nature of the debt.

What is the form in which a person in Canada in possession of real property borrows money ?—In order to secure to the creditor the right of hypotheque, he generally constitutes that hypotheque before notaries, by an act in which the amount of the money is specified, and that is sufficient to give him the right to be paid out of the proceeds of the real estate, before any other who is not anterior to him in hypotheque : accortling to our maxim of law in this case, potior tempore potior jure, the person that has the first hypotheque has the preference to the money which is raised by the (decret) sheriff’s sale, and then in succession every hypothecary creditor.

Supposing a person borrows a sum of money upon his bond, does that carry hypotheque ?—It does not, unless executed before a notary.

Must it have reference to the estate ?———That is not necessary, provided it is passed before a notary, that carries by itself the right of hypotheque.

Then a person who sells an estate, wishing to deceive the purchaser, might keep back those hypotheques?——Yes; and that is the very reason why we have recourse to a sheriff’s sale.

Must not a gireat deal of inconvenience arise out of that system; that till there is a sheriff’s sale a person might go on borrowing money without its being known to the parties from whom he borrows money whether his estate is subject to a prior encumbrance or not; would not a registration put an end to a man borrowing money upon his estate more than his estate was worth; could you say to the Committee why some regulations to that effect have not been adopted in Lower Canada ?——This question embraces a great variety of subjects: I must say that I labour under great disadvantage in giving my evidence in English, a language which is not familiar to me; it will be a matter of great difficulty to speak with that exactitude and technicality of expression which would be desirable. I will endeavour to sketch the situation and some of the circumstances of Lower Canada as may be connected with this subject. I remember, that some years ago there was a great deal said in Lower Canada about this matter; after examination it was found that the country in its actual situation did not admit of establishing a registration; that was out of the question; but what I could call a bureau de conservation d’hypotheques. After discussion with some gentlemen who were desirous of having these bureaux established, and after explanation with them upon that subject, and the nature of a decret volon- taire, and its effects, they agreed that that was all that was wanted, and that if it was possible to have a sheriff’s sale with a little more facility they would be perfectly satisfied. A law was passed for that purpose, but I understand that the expense was very great, and that people have not been quite satisfied. The fact is, the regulating of the cost belongs to the courts of justice, and I do not know whether the companies were well founded, or not. I stated that a man may have granted hypotheques which he may conceal, but I must observe, that by the laws of the country a man who conceals hypotheques when he sells, or declares when he borrows money that the land which he hypothecates is per- fectly free, is liable to go to gaol after it is discovered that he has committed that species of fraud, till he has paid the damage suffered. I do not know upon what ground it has been supposed in Canada that this law was no more in force. Every day in the courts of justice we take execution against the body for the satisfaction of penal damages under the old laws. I do not see that there could be any difference between the two; however. it seems to be the opinion of the judges, as I have understood, that they could not g ant an execution against the body in the case of the species of fraud which I have just mentioned, which we call stellionat. By the laws of the country for every species of debt, when you have obtained a judgment in a court of justice, you have a right to seize the property of your debtor, both real and personal, to seize every thing which belongs to him in the hands of third persons, and indeed you have every possible means of obtaining his property, whatever the nature of it may be. Besides, by a law which has been passed in 1785, the Legislature of the country for the time being ha estahlished in favour of merchants and traders the right of taking the hotly of their debtor, though he he not a merchant, after seizing and selling every species of property which belongs to him, and to keep him there as long as he does not pay the debt. Before that time this right of taking the body was not allowed, except between merchants and merchants, and in some other cases. By an interpretation which has been given to that ordinance, which I do not pretend to justify, it has been understood that the cessio bonorum, which is a part of the law of Lower Canada, had been abolished by that ordinance of 1785. I would say, that before adopting any such law for the establishment: of bureaux de conservations d’hypotheques, it would be first necessary to re-establish the cessio bonorum ; because I look upon our code at present to be really barbarous; and this was attempted in the House of Assem of Lower Canada repeatedly by bills sent to the Lenislative Council, which were not passed. It would be besides nceessary to establish sub-divisions of the districts to place these bureaux de conser- vation d’hypotheques in such places that it would he of easy access, and not too expensive tor the people of those different sub-division to register the deeds which would carry hypotheque. One of the objects of passing a bill for ameliorat- ing the system of the administration of justice, and creating sub-divisions of the districts for that purpose, was at the same time to pave the way for future ameli- orations of this description, and others. It would then be possible, if the Legislature thought that it was necessary to establish those bureaux de conservation d’hypo- theques, to fix them in the very offices of the courts which would be established in the circuits. There would be besides a great facility of establishing those bureaux de conservation d’hypotheque by enforcing the execution of the law of the land, which is absolutely neglected, and obliging besides, notaries to keep double registers of the acts they pass every year, and to desposit one of the duplicates of the register in those offices. This would cost hardly any thing to the province; it would add but very little to the expense of passing notarial acts, and would serve all the purposes of the bureaux de conservation d’hypotheques, as it would be necessary to establish them in our province if they were supposed to be desirable; but before doing that, it would be necessary to re-establish the cessio bonorum, and in that case it would be necessary to re-establish the cessio bonorum, and in that case it would be necessary to abolish the right of taking the body in execu- tion in many cases. I must observe here the very great difference between the laws of England and the laws of Canada upon a particular point. The great necessity of these registry bills in provinces where the laws of England are in force, is, that there is no record of sales as with us. Notaries are, by the laws of the land, obliged to keep the original act of the sale, and they only deliver copies; every body has a right to get a copy of the Act, provided that he has an interest in it. In provinces, where the laws of England prevail, on the contrary, the original remains with the buyer, that makes it necessary, in order to know the proprietor, that there should be a public office where such sales should be recorded.

You probably are aware that in Scotland, where the law is a mixture of the feudal law and the Roman law as in Canada, they have a perfect system of regis- tration?–Yes; I do not exactly know the principles upon which they are esta- blished, but they have the cessio bonorum. In our country, before we adopt this system we should take means of ameliorating our laws, re-establish the cessio bonorum, and subdivide the country. I ought to observe besides, that for one deed which there is to register in a country like England, we have a thousand that would require to be registered. Now, if a man was to come from a distance of 90 miles to register a deed for a lot of land which is worth 20l., or an hypotheque for 12l., it would be the most cruel thing imaginable. Therefore, if we were to establish register offices, or rather bureaux de conservation d’hypotheques, we should at least establish them in such a manner that they would not be a burden to the people, and that the low might protect all persons equally. In case this esta- blishment was to take place, it would be necessary, as I said, to subdivide the districts into smaller circles, that we might finally establish those bureaux de conser- vation d’hypotheques in the places where the courts would be held.

Has there been any difficulty attending the registration of real property in the United States?—I cannot answer with regard to the United States.

Does the law you have stated to apply to the communauté apply equally to persons who have been married in England and who have settled in Canada, and who had after they got to Canada realized property in Canada; is it at case that often hap– pens;—That is a question of great difficulty, embracing at vast number of con- siderations even of public law. It has not, to my knowletlge, been the subject of direct discussion; yet in Canada, I know that some questions of this description were agitated with regard to persons who had married in the United States. I see very little difficulty with regard to it man who marries in the States, because, if I understand public law well, and it seems to me to be consistent with the prin- ciples of sound policy, no foreigner has a right to avail himself of the laws of his own country with regards to matters of real property. The real property must be subject to the laws of the land. It would be very different with regard to an Englisman, because being subject to the some empire, we would be inclined to suppose that he must have reciprocal rights. My reason for saying so is, that it was admitted as a principle of general equity and public law in France, that when a man living under a particular coutume married, that coutume was the law which was to regulate his property; he was supposed to contract his marriage with the intention that the effects of his marriage would apply to his property according to the law of the land where he had made the contract. Now if this principle was adopted in Canada, we might suppose that an Englishman who married with the intention that all the property which he acquired in our part of the empire would be regulated according to the laws of the country in which he contracted the marriage, and we might further suppose, that this privilege might be claimed reciprocally in different parts of the empire.

Do your observations apply equally to the two sorts of real property you have described to exist in Canada, except so far as you said they differed?–Yes.

Has the effect of the law of descent been to divide the property into a great number of small divisions?–It has in some cases; but Iam just going to make here an observation which has been made by Baron de Stael in his late Letters in England upon this very subject. If I remember well, he says, that in France, in spite of the law as it is, by which an equal division takes place among the children, it seems that property has a tendency rather to accumulate. Since some years in Canada, I have noticed that the same sub-divisions of real property have not taken place that did formerly. First, people make wills, and very often prevent divisions taking place. Farmers, particularly, generally divide their real property during their lifetime; if they have many farms they give a farm to each of their children; if only one, they generally choose one of the children to whom this property is given; that seems to be about the general practice at present in Canada.

Where a seigneury descends according to your law, does it not multiply superiors to the vassal?–It has, in some cases; but of late years the divisions of seigneuries estates has decreased almost in the same proportion as the divisions of other estates, as mentioned in my last answer.

Then, in point of fact, the vassal may, under your law, be obliged to hold under many superior?–The Committee are perhaps not aware that what is called feudal law in Canada has no precise analogy with what is called feudal law on this side of the Atlantic. In Canada the land I sonceded to the farmer generally for a very small annual rent, the farmer pays this annual rent, and there is an end of all duties to his seigneur, this is in the anture of a quit-rent. Generally speaking, the only obligation which is imposed upon him, besides, his going to the mill of his seigneur to have his wheat ground there, and when he sells his property the buyer is obliged to pau lods et ventes, a mutation fine equal to one-twelfth part of the value of it; these are about all the feudal duties to which our cultivators are generally liable.

So that a vassal is not subject to vexation by having a variety of superior?– Not the least; it has little or no effect upon the vassal.

With regard to the law within the townships; you stated that in your opinion the Act of 1774 had no effect within the townships until the Declaratory Act of 6 Geo. 4 stated that that was the case, and that much inconvenience had arisen in consequence of that Act of Geo. 4?–It is so.

What was the mode of conveyance, and what was the law which existed within the townships up to the Act of Geo. 4?–I have seen many deeds passed according to the form prescribed by the laws of our country; they were generally made in that way, as I understood.

Were they made also according to the English form of conveyance?–Since a number of years some persons in Canada have raised their voice against our forms, whether right or wrong. Some gentlemen conceived there niight be a little doubt some day or other, in spite of the practice and of the opinions which were enter- tained by the judges, and the practice of the court with regard to sheriff’s sales, and real and mixed actions relative to real property. and many other acts which affected, directly or indirectly, property in the townships; and I understand that some people had sales made, both according to the English forms and according to the forms prescribed by our laws, for the same estates. I have been told that that is the case, though I have not seen the deeds.

Have the courts of justice given any opinion as to the law that exists within the townships, whether in case of a person dying intestate his property is to be divided according to one law or the other ?—I do not know any direct decision having been given upon that point in our courts of justice. There is one fact that strikes as proving their opinion, and it is the sheriff’s sales, and actions respecting real pro- perty during more than 40 years in the townships: if the laws of England are really the laws of the townships, all those sales of course would be null and void; because, if I understand the laws of England upon this subject, real property cannot be sold ; that you can seize the revenue, but not sell the land itself by execution; and with regard to actions, our actions petitoire, possessoire, or others relative to real property, could not apply to estates governed by the laws of England.

Have these sales continued since the Declaratory Act of Geo. 4. ?—Yes.

You stated that the mode of conveyance, according to the English forms, was much more expensive than that which prevails according to the French forms?— So I understand from all quarters; and I recollect that it was a subject of par- ticular attention when the Legislative Council sent to us hills to change the late law, 6 Geo. 4, which the Imperial Parliament had passed upon that subject; of course we made some inquiry about it, and it was found, from all information, that it was more expensive; indeed the double deed, which is to he made according to English forms, and double actions, create expenses, whereas by the laws of Canada one deed and one action are sufficient.

Do you happen to know why they preferred that mode of conveyance by lease and release ?—It would be very difficult for me to explain.

Supposing you had an English deed of one page, should you complain of that, (a form of deed being shown to the Witness)? —By no means; I have been informed that they have admitted such form in Upper Canada, and in some of the United States; but it was by changing the forms of conveyance; that is very simple I must confess, but it does not seem to me that this would be sufficient in Canada; I would not like quite so simple at form, because, though our forms are very simple, by the laws of Canada we are obliged to describe the property, and be more accurate in many other respects; even in our forms, simple as they are, there are a great many things which are entered which are not perfectly necessary I will state some words which are to be found in all our contracts , we generally make use of this this word on the part of the seller, that he obliges himself to guarantee; by the laws of the country that is not necessary, every man that sells is supposed to be obliged to guarantee, and yet by mere habit this stipulation is entered in all the deeds; I could cite a number of words of that kind which are quite useless, and which might be dis- pensed with; but the forms are generally printed beforehand, and of course the notaries will stick to them as a more matter of habit

Do you happen to know whether of late the land has descended according to free and common soccage within the townships, or according to the Canadian law ?— I do not know what has passed upon this subject lately in the townships, since the passing of the Declaratory Act, which I have mentioned. I should have added in any preceding answer, we have all the advantages of the modifying system, as they have adopted it in Upper Canada and in the United States, with regard to the transfer of real property, only it is perhaps regulated more precisely in our system of civil jurisprudence in Canada; we have all the advantages which they have endeavoured to get by adopting nexv forms different from those which are used in England.

As the law now stands, are you of opinion that if an individual died holding lands in free and common soccage within the townships, they would go to his eldest son ?—If the Act of Parliament is to be executed I should suppose it would be so. The only difficulty which there is in this matter is, that you have many different species of successions in England. I understand that in England there are some counties in which an equal division of property takes place among children. How- ever, it is, I should suppose, more common to see the whole of the real estate go to the eldest son; and suppose that the Declaratory Act would be understood in this way, that the landed property would go to the eldest son.

Hitherto that has not been understood ?—It was understood that a division took place according to the laws of Canada; and it is generally the manner in which the laws of descent have been made, even in the United States, by changing their for- mer system. The prejudice is so much in favour of this species of descent, that in Upper Canada the House of Assembly has passed, within a few years past, two or three bills successively to establish that law of equal division between the children; but the Legislative Council rejected those bills.

If heretofore lands in the townships, although held in free and common soccage, have passed from the father to the children under the laws prevailing in Lower Canada, and supposing that, according to the statute which has lately passed, the English law is now to apply to them, would it not be necessary to pass an Act in order to quiet existing titles; that is to say, in order to give them some assurance with respect to titles that have been derived from generation to generation under the French law?—Of course it would be necessary; it is an Act that might be easily passed in Lower Canada; and in the very Act of the Imperial Parliament, which is declaratory, it is particularly enacted, that the Provincial Legislature may change and alter the law, and indeed it was respecting that very clause which I cited from the Act of 1792. It was supposed that those who solicited the passing of that law by the British Parliament, saw probably that there would be some difficulty in its execution; and it is perhaps for that reason that they have added a provision, that the Parliament of Lower Canada may change, alter, and modify it, so as to make it convenient for Lower Canada.

Will you be good enough to point out to the Committee that clause in the Act of 1791 which induced the Canadians to believe that the English law was not the law of the townships ?—It is not in consequence of the express enactment which is to be found in the 43d clause of that Act, that the Canadians were induced to believe that the laws of England were not the laws of the townships, but we con- sidered that what is to be found in that clause afforded an additional reason to in ter- pret the Act of 1774 as we did. We thought that from the general rules of interpretation of laws of a public nature, although the words might imply some- thing in contradiction to the principles which the law seems to intend to lay down, as all public laws should be interpreted rather according to the intention of the Legislature than the ordinary grammtical meaning of words, it was thought that the Government of England did not intend to establish two different systems of law in the same country, and particularly one for persons in the townships and another for real property; because if the French laws were generally introduced in the country, that exception with regard to the townships would apply only to real pro- perty, not to persons, so that there would be one system of law for persons, and another system of law for real property; but supposing even that this was not the intention of the Legislature at the time, an error which has been fallen into by every body in Canada should certainly be looked upon at least as respectable. This would be a case for saying error communis facit jus, no inconvenience could arise with regard to real property in Canada from that interpretation: our law is simple and well defined, and such as every body would prefer to the system of real pro- perty, and transfer, as it exists in England. I do not pretend to be a judge of the laws of England, but] will take the opinion of every English writer upon the subject. I am sure that any body who will take the trouble of examining with attention the principles of our law vith regard to real property, will see that there can be very little inconvenience arising out of this system. Is it right then, when that interpretation has been given to it for 40 years, when the whole system of the country is established upon it, that we should learn from the other side of the Atlantic that the law has been changed ? Another reason for whicli the Lower Canadians must be sup posed to think that they have a right to their own laws in those lands winch were open to their own industry, was, that the greatest number of the people who have come to settle in those lands were foreigners; and it does not appear right that those Canadians who have before and since been called to defend their country in war, and to defend those institutions which are dear to them, should be deprived of the advantages which they can derive from the knowledge of their own institutions in their own country. The Committee will observe besides, that after the conquest a proclamation was issued by the King, which went upon the supposition that the conquest had the effect of destorying the laws of Canada. After an examination, it was found that this was not consonant with the principles of public law between civilized nations; that a conquest could have no such effect; that by the conquest allegiance only changed; but that property remained, and of course the laws, which are the safeguard to that property, and without which it could never be kept; and finally, this proclamation was looked upon as a nullity. It is to be remarked further, that even in the Act of 1774 there is a particular stipulation with regard to this subject. In the Act of 1774, c. 83, it is declared, in the 4th section, “And whereas the provisions made by the said proclamation have been found inapplicable to the state and circumstances of the said province, the inhabitants whereof amounted, at the conquest, to above 65,000 persons, profes- sing the religion of the Church of Rome, and enjoying an established form of constitution and system of laws, by which their persons and property had been protected, governed and ordered, for a long series of years from the first establishment of the said province of Canada.” In the fifth section it is enacted, “ that the inhabitants may profess the Romish religion ;” and in the 8th section it is enacted, “ that in matters of controversy relative to property and civil rights, resort shall be had to the laws of Canada as the rule for decision of the same; and all causes shall, with respect to such property and rights, be deterrmined agreeably to the said laws and customs of Canada, until they shall be varied or altered by any ordinances passed in the said province.” Now the 10th clause goes to say that this shall not extend to lands conceded by His Majesty in free and common soccage; but previous to that the seigneurial rights are of course kept up upon property. Now it was understood at that time that this exception could relate only to the encumbrances with which, by the feudal laws, those lands might; be charged, but that it did not apply to the ordinary laws which affect every citizen; it was not understood that the property in the townships should be governed by another system in that respect; we could never irnagine that we were to be shut out from the townships by the want of knowledge of the system of laws with which we were about to he at acted in entering those townships; that the Government meant to establish two systems of law in the same country, and to establish the confusion that would result from such a division in the province; and I understand that it was the opinion of some of the best lawyers in England, who have been consulted on the subject, that this exception could not be understood in a different way from what I have stated; but even supposing it had been an error, when an error of that kind has been so long in existence in a country, would I not have reason to say, as I have already observed, that error communis facit jus. If the conduct of every body was founded upon this kind of error, we might say, in a case of this kind, optima interpres legum usus et conuetudo.

Will you read the 43d clause of the 31st of George the 3d, and state whether it is not evident by that clause of the 31st of George the 3d, that it was the deliberate intention of Parliament to establish two systems of tenure of property in Canada, namely, that they did not intend to abolish the seigneuries, and that they did intend to establish the system of free and common soccage?–From this very Act I would probably come to a very different conclusion, because the free and common soccage is no more nor less than a tenure known in our own laws; what is the free and common soccage tenure but the franc aleu?

Will you explain what the franc aleu is?–The franc aleu is the land which is subject to no kind of dues; there are two sorts of franc aleu, the franc aleu noble, and the franc aleu roturier; the franc aleu noble is divided as fiefs, and the franc aleu roturier is divided as rotures. All the advantages and privileges which attend the free and common soccage we attain by the franc aleu, and that is what we understood to be the species of tenure which the Parliament of England wanted to introduce. Moreover if there was any change to take place in the opinions of the public, or of the judges, or in the practice of the courts upon this subject, I would ask, who ought to have had the power of making such an alteration; when besides the general power of making laws vested in the Legislature of Lower Canada, there is this particular provision in the 43d section of the Act, which gives the free and common soccagc tenure, “ subject nevertheless to such alterations, with respect to the nature and consequences of such tenure of free and common soccage, as may be established by any law or laws which may be made by His Majesty, his heirs or suc- cessors, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province.” If we are to take the very words of this law, we must infer that it was the Parliament of Lower Canada who were to examine and to decide whether the judges had misconstrued the law, and to establish rules according to the power which had been given to them.

Has any Act, originating in the Assembly of Canada, received the Royal Assent, which regulates or interferes in any way with the English law of property as appli- cable to land held in tree and common soccage ?—As there was no doubt about this question, there was never any mention in our Legislature about it, that I know.

When was the first doubt raised upon this question, whether the English Law was to prevail in the townships or not?— It is not possible for me to say.

Is it long ago that the question was raised ?—Yes; I have heard many things said long ago, but the proceedings in the courts ofjustice and the general practice continued in the same way.

Did the courts of justice ever come to a decision that the English law did not prevail in the townships?–I am not aware of any direct decision upon the subject; but the practice of the courts was such, that it was impossible they could have acted in the manner in which they have if they had supposed that the laws of Eng- land were the laws in force in the townships.

What has been practically the course of inheritance in the townships for the last forty years?—If I were to speak from my personal knowledge of one particular case, I would say that an immense property, which is in the township of Hull, has been divided after the death of a woman according to the laws of Canada, and all the Acts have been passed according to the laws of Canada, the rights of communauté acknowledged, and the division made between the father and the children, and I know the notary who has done the whole; but as I have very little practice in the townships for many years, I have not been very attentive to that subject.

Do you conceive that the rights of primogeniture have never been acted upon uniformly in the townships since the conquest?—As far as my knowledge goes I know it was not considered to apply to the townships.

Your attention has been called to the 43d clause of the Act of 1793, in which it is provided, that in all cases for the future, within the province of Lower Canada, whenever grants are made it shall be at the option of the grantee whether they are made according to the French law or to the English law of free and common soc- cage; are you or not aware that every grant that has since been made has, in point of fact, been made according to the English law of free and common soccage ?– I understand that they were made in free and common soccage; and I have already said that we understood this free and common soccage to be like the franc aleu, that it freed the lands from feudal incumbrances, but: that they were to be governed by the other laws of the country, that it exonerated those lands from the feudal incumbrances, and went no further.

Are the Committee then to understand that the interpretation which has been put: in Lower Canada upon the 43d clause of the Act of 1791, is not that the free and common soccage there alluded to was the free and common soccage in use in England, but the franc aleu system of the French law ?—It was understood that it was a free tenure, which was not liable to any of the feudal burthens imposed by our own laws either en fief or roture, and of course we considered it franc aleu, so far that it paid no rents or dues, but with regard to succession, sale and other laws which relate to property, we considered that those lands were liable to the civil laws of the country as they are received and acknowledged in Lower Canada. That was the common opinion, and as I have said already, this opinion seems to me as even confirmed by the very Act itself of 1791 ; because the Legislature of Lower Canada. is specifically empowered to make regulations with regard to that tenure, and it was therefore for them to see whether the judges gave a right and faithful interpretation of the Act of 1791.

You were understood to state that it was the duty of the Legislature of Lower Canada to watch the judgments of the courts, and that if those courts miscon- strued the law of 1791 it would be their duty to check that misconstruction. You have also stated, that you are not aware of there being any record of any judg- ment, of the courts in Lower Canada, deciding one way or another as to the law that prevailed in the townships; how then, under these circumstances, could the Legislative Assembly have any opportunity of considering that point ?— I have stated, that I was not aware that any judgment directly pronouncing upon this question had been given in Canada, although there might have been a deci- sion; but I must add, that the practice has been such, that it was impossible that the judges should entertain a different opinion; for example, with regard to the seizure of property by the sheriff for 40 years; we have been seizing, pro- perty, and an immense quantity of these lands have been sold by the sheriff, and have become the property of the gentlemen that bought at those sales, With regard to successions I have a knowledge that tutelles have been made accord- ing to the laws of Canada, and that a division of property has been made between man and wife in the townships. I know that divisions of property have taken place according to the laws of Canada, after being sanctioned in some measure by the judges, before whom all elections of tutelles are made, with the advice of parents, according to the formalities prescribed by writers of our country. Sales have not only been made, as I have stated, according to our forms, but actions instituted and determined on those sales and prosecuted invariably according to the forms prescribed by our laws. I could state a great many other subjects of daily practice, by which it would be evident that the general opinion in Canada was, in fact, that real property in those townships was to be regulated by the laws of Canada, except with regard to the burthens which are imposed upon the tenures according to the old law of the country, from which they were exempted by the clauses of the Acts of 1774 and 1791.

You have referred to a clause in the Act of the 31 Geo. 3, which, after em- powering lands to be granted in free and common soccage, contains the following words: “ Subject nevertheless to such alterations with respect to the nature and consequences of such tenure of free and common soccageas may be established by any law or laws which may be made by His Majesty, his heirs or successors, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province.” Do you understand any thing more by that clause, than that it is open to the Legislature of Lower Canada, with the consent of the Crown, to make any alteration in the law of property?—The manner in which this is in- serted there shows that probably the Parliament must have meant a little more than an ordinary intention of conferring upon the Parliament of Lower Canada the power of making laws; and my reason for saying so is this, it was not neces- sary to repeat that in this particular article the general enactment of the law was, that the Parliament established in Lower Canada at that time was vested with the power of making laws for the interior of that country upon every subject. Now it is certainly a presumption in favour of my interpretation, that the Parliament of England should have thought it necessary to insert this clause, after having given ageneral power of making laws, which certainly must have comprised the right of making laws for that part of the country which was to be in free and common soccage. The Act even goes further, and after saying that the government of liis Majesty will have a right to concede lands in free and common soccage, they say, as it were, to the Legislature of Lower Canada, “ we have already given you the general superintendence over all the country, but even where lands are granted in free and common soccage you will be particu- larly the judges of the effect which this species of tenure will have ;” and I am sure that any gentleman in Lower Canada must have thought that there was something in this expression which, when added to the common general expressions which were used, were intended to give to the Legislature of Lower Canada the power of legislation, in particular with respect to those lands. But even supposing that this power had not been given, would it not be right that the Legislature of Lower Canada should rather have this power than the Parliament of England? Were we to suppose, when this Act of 179! was given to us, that the Legislature of England would make laws without giving any notification to the province of Lower Canada with regard to subjects of interior legislation? Now we know very well that the Parliament of England has the superintending power over all the colonies, and I might say to the Committee, that if they had been present at some of the discus- sions which have taken place in Lower Canada, they would see how far we rely upon its power for our protection, as well as we acknowledge it with submission; but it is well understood, I think, since the colonies have become more advanced, that they are not to be treated as they were sometimes of necessity when in their infancy. How could we suppose then that a law of this kind would be passed in this Parliament without the province being aware of what was to be the result of that law? Supposing we had interpreted the law in a manner different from what the Parliament had interpreted, have not we the right even of repealing Acts of Parliament? Do not we change every day the laws of England in Canada? Is not the criminal law, as it stood in 1774, altered every day in our provincial Parlia- ment? Nobody could deny that the Parliament of Lower Canada had a right to legislate upon these subjects; and as we had even a special right of making alterations with regard to that particular subject, we might have made any change supposed to be advantageous to the country without referring to the Parliament of England.

Are you aware that by the constitutional law of England no Colonial Act can repeal the enactment of a British Act?—I am not exactly aware of that, since it seems to me to be the daily practice in all the British colonies to alter and modify the laws of England. such as they are established by statutes, or by common law in England; and there is a particular enactment in our own constitutional act, which I suppose must have had in view to correct the abuses which might follow the too great extension of this power, which might. be exercised by the Legislature of Upper or Lower Canada, because in the very Constitutional Act there is a particular power reserved to His Majesty to disallow such acts as are passed by the Parliaments of Upper or Lower Canada during two years after they had been enacted; I know that we have altered many statutes of England in criminal matters, and I think it would be very desirable that we should imitate even what is done in England at present with regard to the amelioration of criminal justice.

Are you aware that it is in the power of Great Britain to impose what laws it; chooses upon a ceded colony, and that when the Act of 1791 gave Lower Canada an independent Legislature, as it provided that the law of free and common soccage should be the law in future grants, if it had not given at the same time specifically a power to Lower Canada to alter that character of property, it would not have been within the power of the Assembly of Lower Canada to have made any alteration in it, and consequently, it became necessary at the same time that the law of Great Britain established the law of free and common soccage, to give a power to the Assembly of Lower Canada to make such alterations in it as the King might choose to consent to; are you prepared to adopt this explanation ?—— I do not consider that the Parliament of England has more power with regard to a conquered country than is allowed by international laws, and public laws which I consider to be part of the laws of England; I speak of moral power, not of the power of force, which does not impose moral obligations, but which binds only as of necessity. Besides, the present natives of Canada are all natural born British subjects, and they conceive they have the common rights of British subjects. With respect to this particular subject of the tenures, supposing that the Parliament of England had an intention in 1791, that the effects of the concessions made in Canada of lands according to this tenure were to carry with them all the conse- quences which they might have in England, according to the laws of England, with regard to the laws of descent and transfer of property, I consider that even in virtue of the general power which was given by the Parliament of England to the Parliament of Lower Canada, to make laws for the interior of that province, the Parliament of Lower Canada would have a full and competent authority to make, with the consent of His Majesty, any alteration which might be necessary from the laws of England. The manner of changing the laws may vary, and even use and custom will establish laws, and will serve to interpret laws. This took place in Canada with regard to the tenures.

Can you inform the Committee what is the proportion of the area of Lower Canada in which the townships are included as compared with the area of the seignenries?–No. About 30 or 40 townships have settlements in them. The extent of townships already granted in whole or in part, and the ungranted lands, form almost the whole superficies of the province, the seigneuries being chiefly confined to the shores of the St. Lawrence and the rivers falling into it. Lower Canada generally, however, contains relatively to its superficies but a small propor tion of land fit for cultivation under that climate. It is in fact the lower part of the valley of a great river, and this valley towards the eastern extremity is re- duced to a narrow limit by the meeting of the southern and northern chains of mountains, extending from the Alleghanies on the south, and Hudson’s Bay on the north.

Do you think that the establishment of the English laws, which relate to pro- perty held in England on free and common soccage, and bringing them into opera- tion in the townships in Lower Canada, and also applying them to all property wherever held in Lower Canada, which is held on the tenure of free and common soccage would be an infringement of the rights of the ancient Canadian inhabitants of the country?–The least that I could say of it is, that it would be unjust; I think it would be an infringement of the rights which belong to us if it was not done by the Legislature of Lower Canada.

Do you think that it would tend to retard the cultivation and civilization of the uninhabited and wild districts of Lower Canada?–If I were to enter into the details, I would demonstrate that it is that kind of fluctuation which has existed in Canada since the onquest, by which we have continually been threatened with seeing all our institutions which were dear to us destroyed, which has retarded the settlement of the country, and if you consider the immense progress which has been made by the Canadian population in spite of all the difficulties which they have experienced, it is easy to see what it would have been if a proper system of conduct had been followed with regard to the Canadians.

When you say a proper system, do you mean if the French system and the French law had not been obstructed in its operation?–So far as this, that they should have continued to let the French law prevail all over the country, and that they should have given facility to the people of the country to settle in those town- ships, that instead of putting obstruction, they should have given them the means to go there; that a system of education should have been followed in the country, according to the ideas and notions of the people, instead of raising obstacles in the way which I could detail to the Committee, and show them that every thing I am saying now I can support by facts, and facts of a most extraordinary nature; that particularly which has been a great obstacle to the development of the in- dustry of the Canadians has been, that they have been too often looked upon as a species of enemies to the Government, and I beg the Committee to look at the distribution of places in Lower Canada, even of offices purely of honour, such as justices of the peace, &c.

Is not the real struggle which is now taking place in Canada a struggle between those who wish to promote French Canadian interests and to extend French law over the whole of Lower Canada, and those who wish to resist that operation, and to protect the English settlers in that country and place them under English law? –There is no such feeling; the desire of the Canadians must be necessarily to keep up their own institutions, and to preserve their laws in every part of the country. In that there is no kind of feeling against the English population; a prejudice of that kind does not exist in Canada. The best proof that there is no feeling against what are called the English is, that at least one half of that population sides with the Canadians in all the little difficulties we have had with our administration.

Is it not the wish of the Canadians to change the structure of the Legislative Council, and to make measures for insuring its formation in such a way as to make it likely that it should agree with the Legislative Assembly?–I am sure we must wish that the Legislative Council should be composed of men who side with the mass of the people.

Do you not believe that in effecting that arrangement you yould secure the means of extending the French law and the French Canadian system over Lower Canada?–That might perhaps be the natural effect, but there is no particular system of this description; the whole mass of the people being attached to institu- tions which have been already in existence for two centuries, and which they were called upon by the Government to defend at the breaking out of the last war with the United States. If the law should be the expression of public opinion, it is very possible that what are called Canadian interests might in some measure prevail, and I think that the British interests would by the same consequence be prevailing; because I can say very boldly, that the Canadian interests and the British interests are the same.

In your individual opinion, do you think it is desirable to adopt such mea- sures as would secure to the inhabitants of Lower Canada, of French extraction, a preference in settling the vacant lands in Lower Canada over emigrants from England, or the descendants of the inhabitants of the townships?–I would not wish a particular preference to be given to the Canadians, although they should be equally protected; but, in point of fact, it is evident that it would be well, even politically speaking, right as just, to protect equally the population, which must be naturally linked with the Government of Great Britain by its own interest, if it was not so even by affection and duty.

Are you not aware that, taking the generality of emigrants who land at Quebec with the desire of settling in Lower Canada, the majority of those emigrants would prefer to settle upon lands under the English law of property and descent rather than under the. French law?—I do not think that one in 10,000 over thinks of the laws under which he is to live when he comes to Lower Canada; and if the Com- mittee were to know the species of emigrants that come to Lower Canada they would say I was right; but it is natural that a great number of them should go to Upper Canada, because there is the English language, and the greater number of emigrants have gone to that country, and above all, the climate of Upper Canada is much better than that of Lower Canada.

Is a great proportion of the emigrants who arrive in Lower Canada Scotch? – Yes.

Is the Scotch law under which they have lived before more resembling the English or the French Canadian law?—Of course, the civil law of Canada being, generally speaking, the Roman law, wherever there is no special enactment of the coutume de Paris, and the ordonnances of the King of France, and other enactments, which are the smallest part of the laws of Canada; the consequence is, that the common law of both countries being as it were the same, there is more analogy between the laws of Canada and those of Scotland than between the laws of Canada and the laws of England; indeed, there is the greatest difference between the laws of England and the laws of Scotland, and the same difference exists between the laws of Canada and the laws of England.

Have the Committee understood you correctly to imply, that the French popu- lation in Canada would be more disposed to spread themselves, and to settle in the uncultivated parts of Canada, if they were secure of having their own laws and institutions when they so settled ?–Yes.

Do you see any objection in principle to an arrangement of this sort, that although the whole of the area of Lower Canada may not be subjected to French laws, certain parts of that area should be reserved for the settlement of the native inhabitants of the colony, where they might enjoy their own laws and their own privileges, without any drawback or modification ?—Yes; I do not think it is the desire of the native inhabitants of Lower Canada to keep themselves distinct from the people that surround them; they wish to live in peace and quietness with all who now are or who may hereafter become inhabitants of the province, and that no alterations should take place in the existing laws and institutions without the consent of representatives equally and freely chosen by the whole population. They think that the province has already been too much divided into distinct parts, which can only form barriers to its general improvements and welfare, and give rise to mis- understanding, jcalousies and confusion. These can only be prevented or removed by a marked discouragement of them on the part of Government, and suffering the people of the province, without any distinction whatever, to have an equal voice in the management of its internal affairs.

Jovis, 12° die Junii, 1828.

Austin Cuvillier, Esq. Called in; and Examined.

YOU represent the County of Huntingdon in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada ?—I am one of the members representing the county of Huntingdon.

How long have you represented that county ?——Upwards of 14 years.

Have you had occasion to pay much attention to financial matters since you have been a member of the Assembly ?—I have been generally appointed on committees, to whom have been referred the accounts of the receipts and expenditures of that province

Are you engaged in mercantile pursuits in Lower Canada?–I am a commission merchant.

Are you also a landowner?–I am.

The Committee are informed that disputes have arisen between the Assembly and the Executive Government of Lower Canada, upon the subject of the apprepri- ation of revenue ; in your opinion, would the Legislative Assembly object altogether to voting permanently a part of the establishment for the Executive Government? -I cannot pretend to say what the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada would do; all I can say is, that they have hitherto made a permanent appropriation for the salary of the lieutenant-governor during his residence; and they have offered to make a permanent provision for the judges, with retired allowances, on condition that the commissions should be during good behaviour, and that they should with- draw from the Councils, and that a tribunal should be appointed in the colony for the trial ofimpenchments.

You say that they have voted a salary to the lieutenant-governor ; have they ever voted a salary for the governor-in-chief?–No.

Is there an indisposition to do so ?—There has been an indisposition generally to vote any of the salaries ofthe otlicers of Government permanently: it was asked of them in the year 1821 by the present governor, and it was refused. Subse- quently it was asked for during the life of the King, and that also was refused.

For what length of time did they consent to vote the salary of the lieutenant- governor ?—During his residence in the colony,

Can you state upon what ground they have objected to put the Governor him- self upon the same footing ?—It has never been asked separately from the other expenses of Government; but it was asked generally, that the whole expenses of the Government, which they called the Civil List, should be voted permanently, or during the life of the King.

Do you believe that the Assembly would object to vote a salary for the governor as long as he continued to hold his office?——I cannot answer for others, I can only give my own opinion concerning what I would do. I should be disposed, indi- vidually, not to vote the salary of the governor-general of British North America. at all; I think it more dignified for the Empire to pay its governor-general, rather than to fasten it upon the province of Lower Canada exclusively, which has its lieutenant-governor to pay as well as the other provinces; it only amounts to 5,000 l. currency.

Is not the salary of the lieutenant-governor borne now upon the expenses of the colony ?‘——It is.

Is not the salary of the governor-general borne upon the establishment of Lower Canada only ?—It is.

As far as the objection applies to his having authority in the two provinces, while the whole of his salary is paid by one province only, would not that be got rid of by dividing the salary between both the provinces?—It would diminish that objection so far as Lower Canada is concerned; but I think it would be very un- dignified for the governor—general of the colonies to be applying to every colonial assembly within his jurisdiction for a portion of his salary.

Would there be any other objection than that which you have stated, to voting the salary of the governor-general, or a proper portion of it, for the time during which he held his othce?——I can only answer for myself; I should feel inclined if I were so called upon, to vote the salary of the governor-general during the time that he administered the government therein.

With respect to the judges, the Committee understand that they are appointed only during pleasure ?——They are appointed during pleasure.

Would it, in your view, be safe and wise to appoint them quam diu se bene gesserent?–No question that holding their commissions during good behaviour. subject to impeachment in the colony, would be more advantageous; it would make them more independent ofthe Crown, and the people would have no objection to make them independent of them, giving them permanent salaries and retired allowances; that has already been proposed, but rejected in the Legislative Council.

Do you believe that if a judge could only be controlled by so troublesome a pro- cess as impeachment, it would be safe to appoint him during good conduct ?— I should suppose a sense of duty would keep men within certain bounds; at the same time there may be some very bad men that may require to be controlled by the dread of punishment.

Do you propose to invest the power of impeachment of the judges in the House of Assembly ?—The impeachment, I understand, virtually belongs to the repre- sentatives of the people; that is an inherent right of the inhabitants of the province as they conceive, as well as the right of taxation; but the trial, in my opinion, ought to be before the Legislative Council.

Supposing it should not be thought desirable to adopt the recommendation you have made, and to appoint the judges upon so permanent a footing, should you object to the judges having a salary voted to them as long as they held their office, although they continued dependent upon the Government ?—I should decidedly object to voting any thing permanent to the judges without those conditions, that their commissions should be during good behaviour, that there should be a tri- bunal in the colony for their trial in case of malversation, and that they should retire from the Councils both legislative and executive; because it is a strange anomaly that the judges should be executive councillors and legislative councillors as well as judges; they in the morning advise the executive, in the afternoon they make the law, and in the evening they administer it.

Should you propose to carry that principle so far as to exclude the chief justice from either the Legislative Council or the Executive Council ?—There might be some difference in opinion upon that subject. I think there would be no objection to the chief justice remaining president of the Legislative Council.

But you think there would be an objection to any of the other judges being members of the council ??-Decidedly. The Assembly have, on various occasions, objected to any of the judges remaining in the Legislative Council, and they have thought it very improper that they should be in the Executive Council.

Do you hold, that no person holding office in the Executive Government, of which he may be deprived at the will of the Governor, ought to sit in the Legis- lative Counci1?-If they did not form a majority of the Council there would be no great harm ; but as the Council is at present constituted, they form the majority of that body, and holding their places during pleasure, they are liable to be influenced by the Governor. No greater example of that can be found than that of the same bill having been adopted in 1825, and rejected in 1826, with the same persons present, upon a change of governor.

Do you think, if any arrangement were made similar to that of the civil list in England, that it would be desirable, or not, to include the secretary to the Go- vernor ?—I do not see upon what principle the secretary’s salary should be made permanent more than that of any other executive officer of the province. If the Committee would point out any disadvantage that the secretary would be under from his salary being annual instead of permanent, I might perhaps have a con- trary opinion; but I do not see that any disadvantage would arise to the Govern- ment from the salary of the secretary being annual.

Do you think it is not desirable that the salaries of a certain number of officers belonging to the Executive Government should be made permanent ?–None but the judicial officers; those should be made independent of the people, but upon condition that they should also be independent of the Crown.

Do you apply that principal to the Executive Council ?—The executive coun- cillors have but small salaries in that capacity.

Do you think that they should be dependent upon the annual vote of the Assembly ?—My opinions are decidedly against any permanent appropriation of any description, except in favour of the judges, and those already made by the Assembly.

Do you conceive that there would be on the part of the Assembly an insuper- able objection to a permanent civil list, however limited in extent, or to any vote beyond an annual vote for the civil list, even supposing the Government should give up the claims which they have made, or should repeal those provisions under which they conceive that they have the power of disposing of certain revenues of the province?——I can only say that there now exists upon our statute book a permanent appropriation, conditioned upon the repeal of the Act of1774, of nearly 12.000l. which, I believe, is far more than any permanent appropriation that would be consented to at this day under any condition.

Can you state from recollection what is the distribution of that 12,000l. ?— It is for the support of‘ the civil government, and the administration of justice In general terms, without any specific appropriation. .

Has not the Assembly in late years objected altogether to voting any lumping sum to the Government permanently, leaving the distribution of it to them ?——— A bill very much of that description did actually pass in 1825; there was a sum of money voted to make up a sum equal in amount to that which was required, and certainly it left the distribution of the money entirely at the dis- posal of the Government. I objected to the bill in 1825, upon the principle that the Assembly denied to the Executive Government the right of disposing of the monies under the Act of 1774, at the same time that they left a much larger sum at their entire disposal; but to guard against that, so far as regarded that- law, we entered resolutions on our own journals, stating that whenever a sum of money was voted for one service, it should be applied exclusively to that service, and not to any other; which guarded in some respect against the mis- application of money from one service to another. By obliging the executive to submit annually an account of the expenditure under that particular account, we thereby ensured to the Assembly an opportunity of judging whether monies of that description were misapplied.

Was not the objection to the Act of 1825, upon the part of the Government at home, that by voting a definite sum to make up a certain amount, the House of Assembly took upon themselves virtually to control over those funds which the Government maintained were subject to their appropriation ?—No doubt; the Assembly considered it so also.

How is that to be reconciled with the position which you laid downjust now, that the Legislature in 1825 passed a bill, granting a permanent appropriation to the Crown ?—l did not understand that any permanent appropriation had been made in 1825

What was voted by the bill of 1825 ?——£. 58,064 sterling.

Under what conditions was that voted ?—The sum was voted under the con- dition that it should be expended for the general purposes of the Government, and that the account of the expenditure should be submitted to the Legislature within 15 days of the then ensuing session,

Was the vote worded in such a way as to assume the power of voting the monies arising from the taxes raised under the Act of 1774 ?—The bill had that effect.

In what way was that produced ?—It was worded so that the sum given by the Legislature was to make up the sum of 58,000l. for the general expenses of the Government, including the sums already appropriated to that purpose.

Was there not also a provision that an account of the 58,000l. should within fifteen days of the next session of Parliament be laid before the Legislature?— There was.

Did not that provision bind the Crown down to account to the Legislature for those sums which they claimed to be under their special appropriation ?- Unques- tionably, it was so intended.

Did not the phraseology of the bill also include, virtually, a grant and appro- priation of those taxes ?—We did not appropriate those, because they were already appropriated for the purposes of Government; but we voted a sum that would, with those taxes, form the amount that was judged necessary for the expenses of the Civil Government, which had the effect of bringing the whole of that appropriated revenue under the control of the Legislature.

On what ground do you hold that the revenues arising under the Act of 1774 are not entirely at the distribution and under the control of the Government ?— I think the Act of 1774 was virtually repealed by the Act of 1778.

Explain the grounds ofthat opinion?–At the time that the Act of 1774 was passed, the colony had no Legislative Assembly; it had no power within itself of laying taxes for the support of its own Government. The principle adhered to by the British Government now, is, that in their regulations concerning trade generally, whenever taxes are raised for that purpose in the colonies, they are directed to be applied in the colonies, under the control of the local Assemblies, where there are Assemblies ; and where there are no Assemblies, it is lelt as in the Act of 1774, to he applied by the Lords of the Treasury. I consider the Treasury at that time held the power of applying the taxes, in trust, to be exercised so long only as the colony had not a Legislative Assembly, but the moment the colony obtained a Legis- lative Assembly, that trust. ceased in the hands of the Treasury, and we became virtually possessed ollour inherent rights as British. subjects, that is, the right of taxing ourselves, and the right of applying those revenues within the colony. That is my opinion of the Acts of 1778 and 1791, as applied to that of 1774.

Then you do not contend that the right of the Assembly to control those taxes arises from any definite provision of an Act of Parliament, but that it is a general inherent power connected with the legislative powers of the province?–I under- stand it so,

What would be the grounds upon which you would decline following the analogy of the British Government, in voting a certain sum for the King’s life, or for a term of years, for a civil list ?—There is no analogy whatever between the practice of the colonies and the practice of the mother country. The King here is sup- posed to be always in the midst of his people, surrounded by a nobility that have a real stake and permanence in the country; but in Canada there is no such thing; the Government of Canada cannot be administered by the King, it must be by a representative, accountable to the King and to his ministers. We have not in Lower Canada any thinglike an aristocracy, and the consequence is, that there is no motive in the colonies for making that provision for the civil government of the colony that there is in England. Besides, in England the King has given more than an equivalent for the civil list, he has given large landed patrimonial estates, in consideration of which, the Parliament have given to His Majesty a permanent grant of money.

Has not the Crown the power to cede any casual or territorial revenue arising in Canada ?—I conceive that the Government has already conceded part of its- territorial revenue in 1794, for the public uses of the province.

Do you not conceive that in a government which admits of any monarchical principles in its constitution, it is essential that there should be certain officersof state who are independent of the popular voice?—I will not enter into the merits of any form of government, but I will merely say, that it is my opinion generally that the judges only in the colony should be made independent of the people.

Do you conceive that all other officers whatever belonging to the state should be subject to an annual vote of a popular assembly ?—I do so, with the exception of the governor—general, who, I think, should be paid by the Empire.

You state that there can be no aristocracy in Canada, what makes you say so? ——The laws of the country are against the acquirement of property sufficiently large to create an aristocracy in the country, and the manners of the people of America are decidedly against the system of aristocracy.

Do you apply that to America generally, or is there any thing peculiar to Canada?——America generally.

What is it that prevents the accumulation of property in large masses in the hands of individuals ?——The subdivision of property.

What produces the subdivision of property ?—The laws of descent.

Are the laws of descent similar all over America ?——I believe they are pretty much the same in the United States of America as in the seigneuries of Lower Canada.

Is it not frequently the case among the French inhabitants of Lower Canada that they leave their property to the younger son, while the elder sons go else- where ?—It has hitherto been the case, but that custom is dying away very fast; there have been considerable abuses of that mode of giving away property, I believe it is not now very generally followed in Canada.

Then the almost universal practice in Lower Canada is to divide the property among the children?——It is, by an equal division.

Does that system prevail in Upper Canada?—I do not know what system prevails in Upper Canada but the Representative Assembly has frequently passed a bill for an equal division of the estates of persons dying intestate.

Do you know what system prevails in the United States of America ?——I do not.

Was not there more than one offer made by the Assembly to the Government to take the civil list upon itself to a certain amount, if a sufficient control were given over the appropriation ?—There has been no definite proposal to vote any additional sum permanently.

Was not there a proposal to take the civil list as it stood in 1819, provided a control were given to the Assembly?———The Assembly voted in 1819 nearly the whole of the sum that was required of it by the Executive Government in 1818.

‘Was not there an offer made by the Assembly to engage to pay the civil list as it stood in 1791, provided a control over the appropriation were given to the Assembly ?–The offers which a legislative body generally makes are by bills, that is the language of the Legislature; that bill professed to make an annual appropriation in 1819, for all the necessary expenses of Government.

Were they specified item by item ?—In 1819 it was voted item by item, and so expressed in the bill. In 1821 the sums were voted by chapters, that bill did not pass in the Legislative Council. In 1822 there was no money voted; it was asked for permanently during the life of the King, terms in themselves contra- dictory, but they were used in the message sent down by the governor.

Do you know on what ground the bill which voted the supplies by chapters was rejected by the Council ?—I did not attend the debates in the Council, but I know that the Council passed certain resolutions against their proceeding upon any bill from the Assembly, which did not provide for the expenses of the Govern- ment in one entire sum, and during the life of the King.

Will you be so good as to state what control you hold that the Assembly has over what are called the rents of the Kings posts, which amount to 1,200 l.?– The rents of the Kings posts amount to 1,200 l. currency. Lord Dorchester, in his message to the Legislature in 1794, in the name of the King, gave those revenues to the province towards the support of its civil government. Hence the control which I conceive the Assembly has over those revenues. It is in con- sequence of a gift on the part of His Majesty to the province, for the public uses thereof, that the Legislature has the right of appropriating them to those purposes.

In what form was that gift made ?——By message.

Did that message of Lord Dorchester’s say that the King would appropriate those revenues for the use of the province, or that he made them over to the Legislature to be appropriated by them to the use of the province ?——I do not recollect the precise words of the message; but this I recollect, that the casual and territorial revenue was given to the province in aid of its civil government; at that particular time the revenues of the province were not sufficient for the payment of its whole expenses.

Do you hold that the power of appropriating that revenue to specific objects is in the Legislative Assembly ?——I conceive so; I conceive the right belongs to the Assembly of the Colonies to appropriate every shilling of money levied on them generally.

Here is the sum of 500l. stated as arising from the forges of Saint Maurice; what is that ?—That forms a part of the territorial revenue of the King.

Are the Committee to understand that you claim more than is claimed by any of the other British Legislatures in North America, because you are probably aware that there is upon record no claim whatever, by any other Colonial Legis- lature, upon what is peculiarly called the territorial revenue of the Crown ?—I do not know what is claimed by other colonies. I have been asked my opinion as to what I think ought to be, and I have declared it unequivocally.

Do you mean, by the answers you have given, to imply that you think that the colony ought to have such a claim, or that under the existing law they have such a claim ?—I was asked my own private opinion, and I answered that I think they have a right under the existing law.

You state that you objected to vote the civil list permanently; do you not consider that the power of granting or refusing supplies to the Executive Govern- ment is the principal means of exercising influence over it ?—No doubt.

Do you consider that by having the power of giving or refusing monies for the improvement of the navigation or the roads of the province, the Legislative Assembly would in any manner control the Executive Government?–Ishould conceive that the Legislature of the province has a great interest in the improvement of the country; it would be injuring, not the Executive Government, but the country generally, to refuse any thing like a reasonable grant for the purposes of internal improvement.

Therefore you do notbelieve that they exercise any control over the Government by refusing such appropriations?——No.

Are they called upon to furnish any means for the defence of the province; as in England, the House of Commons is called upon to furnish means to support the Army and Navy ?—We have never been called upon to pay any part of our military establishment; we have, however, furnished very large sums for the defence of the province during the late American war beyond the means of the country.

Then the only control that you exert over the Executive Government is by having the power of refusing to vote the civil list ?—The only control we have over the Executive Government of the province is by refusing the supplies, and that I conceive to be a very great power. We do not know what is meant by civil list in Canada, it is a term used by the Government, but we have studiously avoided even the name of civil list in all our communications with the Executive Government of the province.

Do you not believe that, for the peace of the province, it would be better that the House of Assembly should be at their homes than that they should assemble once a year in order to remonstrate in vain, without having any control against any acts that may be unpopular ?——Assuredly.

Are you aware that two appointments have lately been made by the Crown, one of our inspectors of woods and forests in Lower Canada, and the other of an inspector of the waste lands, for the purpose of raising a revenue and applying that revenue under the control of the Crown, and under the discretion of the Government, expressly and exclusively for the benefit of Lower Canada ?—I am aware that there are two such appointments existing in Lower Canada. I believe Mr. Davieson is at the head of one office, and Mr. Felton, of the Legislative Council, is at the head of the other. I do not know what department of Govern- ment pays them their salaries ; these salaries have never been asked of the Legislature of Lower Canada.

Are you aware that their salaries are to be derived from the proceeds of the sale of timber and the sale of land ?—I do not know out of what fund their salaries are to be provided.

Are the Committee to understand that you consider that the Assembly have a right to the proceeds of the sale of land, and the proceeds of the sale of timber, and that they have a right to appropriate those proceeds instead of the Crown ?— These are opinions that are required of me upon which I really should hesitate to pronounce. I know that the people in England are very jealous of any revenues of the Crown independent of Parliament, and any thing that can excite the same jealousy in the colonies is equally pernicious.

Are you not aware that there is this distinction between the situation of the people in the colonies and that of the people in this country, that the colonies do not contribute towards their military defence ?—I consider that the colonies pay considerably towards the support of their defence. The monopoly of our trade is worth something to the Empire, and I think that in consequence of that monopoly we are entitled to be protected.

Is it your opinion, that under the circumstances of the change of the commer- cial law of this country under the late Act, it is now to be asserted that the mother country has a monopoly of the trade of Lower Canada?—I should consider so; because, in throwing open the ports of other parts of the world, Parliament has virtually closed them by laying heavy duties, which prevent our taking advan- tage of that intercourse; for instance, the ports of France have been thrown open to Canada for a direct trade, but the duties imposed upon the manufactures of France in Canada are so heavy that they amount to a prohibition.

Are the Committee to understand that you demur to that provision of the Act of 18th Geo. 3, which specifically reserved to the mother country the right of imposing duties for the regulation of the trade ?——No, I do not; I think it very necessary that the Imperial Parliament should possess the power of regulating the general commerce of the Empire.

Does the colony pay any thing towards the support of the troops in Lower Canada ?——No.

You complain of the waste and mismanagement of the revenues in Lower Canada, have you any further observations to make upon that point ?——The petitioners of Lower Canada complain, amongst other things, of the mismanage- ment of their revenues. In 1809, the receiver-general, it appears, was in arrear about 40,000l. This sum was assumed by his son and successor, who was in. default in 1823 about 100,000l., besides about 100,000l. more ndvanced, which from that time till 1 826 had not been settled, notwithstanding; repeated addresses of the Assembly. This state of the receiver-general’s accounts was not made known to the Assembly till after his failure.

What do you mean by saying that there were 100,000l. more advanced?– They were advanced by the receiver-general to persons employed to carry into execution Acts of the Provincial Legislature, containing special appropriations. The manner of advancing money is rather a bad one in Lower Canada; the receiver-general advances it upon what are called letters of credit; the Governor issues those letters in favour of the party on the receiver-general, the money is advanced by him, but he does not carry it to his account till those letters of credit are covered by a warrant, and the warrant is generally issued when the work is performed, and not before, which is the reason why there is such a large sum outstanding; the warrants have not been issued, because the work has not been performed, or the accounts not satisfactorily vouched.

You complain also in your petition of the want of sufficient check on the ex- penditure on the part of those who contribute the money; have you any observa— tions to make upon that head ?—The Representative Assembly of the province has in reality been allowed no check on the expenditures, from the commencement of the constitution in 1792 to the present time, and its votes and representations latterly have been generally disregarded by the local government, excepting in 1825, during the administration of Sir Francis Burton. The only check on these expenditures in the colony is in the Governor and Council, who spend and dispose of the money, and in the Treasury in England, upon reports of the Governor and Council. Since the year 1819, about 140,000 l. of the provincial revenue, which the Government admits to be at the disposal of the Colonial Legislature, has been applied without appropriation, and partly to new and unnecessary expenditure. Besides advances to a great amount, made 10 years ago, remain unsettled.

Have you put any information upon paper, which you are desirous of com- municating to this Committee ?——I have.

Will you be good enough to refer to that Paper, and to state to the Committee the information which it contains?—ln 1760 Canada was surrendered by the French government at Montreal by capitulation, providing that the inhabitants should preserve their property of every description and become British subjects. In 1763 Canada was ceded by the French King, providing for the freedom of the Catholic religion, &c. In 1763, a proclamation of the King, promising the benefit of the laws of England, and a Representative Assembly as in the other colonies. In 1774, the Quebec Act of 14. Geo 3, c. 83, delaring ancient laws of Canada in force. The Quebec Revenue Act of 14 Geo. 3, c. 88. In 1778, the Declara- tory Act for the application of duties by Colonial Legislatures. In 1791, the Constitutional Act, 31 Geo. 3, c. 31, establishing a Representative Assembly and a Legislative Council, and empowering His Majesty during the continuance of the Act, with their advice and consent, to make laws for the peace, welfare and good government of the province. In 1793, the first Revenue Act passed in the colony for the expenses of the Legislature. In 1794, April 19th, the message from the governor for the entire repeal of the Revenue Act of 1774, “ as soon as the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada shall have passed laws laying the same or other duties to an equal amount to those which are payable under the Act, and such laws shall have obtained the Royal Assent, the Kings Ministers will be ready to propose to Parliament :1 repeal of the Act above mentioned.” In 1795 the second Revenue Act passed, appropriating 5,000l. sterling annually, for the administration of justice. In 1799, June 3d, an Act passed agreeable to the message of April 29th, 1794, to be in force as soon as the repeal is made known by proclamation of the governor, Ste. This Act is perpetual, and appropriates 11,799l. 18s. 1 1/2 d.. per annum for the general expenses of Government. In 1809 the expenses of the Civil Government were rapidly increasing, and had doubled in 14 years, namely, from about 20,000l. to about 40,000l. The Assem- bly addressed the King to be charged with all the expenses, part of which had before been paid by the mother country. In 1818 the Assembly was in His Majesty’s name required to provide for the expenses of the Civil Government, on an estimate, amounting to about 66,000l. sterling, and it voted to complete the entire sum required for that year by address, which it covered by a bill, which passed the following year. In 1819 the governor required an increased expenditure for the Civil Government of about 16,000l., which the Assembly refused; but voted and passed a bill on the footing of the expenses of the former year, with the exclusion of the allowances of some sinecurists and absentees, some of which were afterwards changed into pensions on recommendation of the Government. Since this time the bills sent up annually by the Assembly providing for the civil expenditure have been constantly rejected, with the exception of 1822, in which year a representation was forwarded by the Assembly to His Majesty, explaining the grounds upon which it declined granting any additional supplies otherwise than annually, as had hitherto been required of it by message of the governor-in- chief, and excepting also in 1823 in part, and 18125, when the Supply Bill passed by the Assembly became a law during the administration of Sir Francis Burton. The supplies permanently appropriated by the Colonial Legislature are the proceeds of the Act of 1793, amounting to about 2,000l. annually for the expenses of the Legislature, and 5,000l. Sterling annually for the administration of justice. The local Government claims also the territorial revenue given to the colony of His late Majesty, 29 April 1794, “to be applied towards defraying the civil expenses of the province,” amounting to about 5,000l. Annually, and the amount of the proceeds of the Quebec Revenue Act of 1774, before mentioned, which proceeds, by taking away in 1822 a drawback formerly allowed on exportations from the colony to the West Indies, has increased from about 10,000 l. to about 20,000 l. annually. The whole of these sums the executive has lately claimed to apply in such amounts as itpleases, to such expenses as it deems to be expenses of the Civil Government, and the adininistration of justice, without consulting the Assembly, and it calls on the Assembly to provide the deficiency. The Assembly, on the other hand, insists that no items form part of the expenses of government generally without its concurrence. In the mean time, since 1819, (with the excep- tion of 1823 and 1825 above mentioned) the governor has paid such deficiencies as he thought proper out of the monies which he acknowledges to be at the dis- posal of the Colonial Legislature, to the amount of about 140,000l., leaving nothing or next to nothing for local improvements, education, or other pressing wants of the country.

You have stated that the claims on the part of the governor have only been madelately ; that would appear to imply that the governor had originally recognized the right ofthe province to appropriate all the monies ?——In 1819 it was so un- derstood, that the Legislature of Lower Canada should have the control over the whole expenses.

How does that appear?— It appears by the message and estimates of that year.

By the Act of 1819, was there not an appropriation of the whole revenue ofthe colony made by the legislative assenibly?——In 1819, an Act was passed appro- priating to the amount of 40,000l. to make up the deficiency between the appro- priated revenues and the expenses of Government, because those appropriated revenues were insufficient.

Did it include any clause similar to that which was inserted in the Act of the year 1825 ?—I do not exactly recollect the clause, but I think it was similar to that; the bill of 1819 was to cover the expenses ofthe preceding year, which had been expended upon the address of the House.

What was done in the year 1820 ?-There was no session in 1820. In 1821, a bill was passed by chapters, voting‘ the whole expenses of the Government, and applying the appropriated revenues to form a part of it.

When do you consider the Government first to have made a claim to a permanent appropriation of a part of the revenue?——ln 1822, the Governor, by a message to the Assembly, stated that he had in his power certain revenues which he would apply to certain expenses of the Government, and requesting the legislature to make a provision for local establishments which form no part of the civil govern- ment, and among the items for which the Assembly was required to provide, which form no part of the civil government, was the expenses of the legislature of the colony.

In the year 1818, when the Governor called upon the province to supply monies for the support of the whole of the civil government, did he not promise some conditions on his part, and were those conditions complied with ?——The demand upon the Assembly of that day was to make provision generally for the expenses of the Government. It was understood at that time, that since the Assembly were charged with the whole expenses of the civil government of the colony, the whole of the means should he at its disposal. We considered as part of the means those revenues that were already partly appropriated to that purpose.

Did not the Governor promise that the Act of 1774 should be repealed ?—Not in 1818; in 1794, the Governor in his message to the Legislature at that time stated, that as soon as the Legislature of Upper Canada and that of Lower Canada shall have laid the same or other duties equal in amount, His Majesty’s Ministers would recommend to Parlian1ent a repeal of the Act of 1774; in 1799, an Act of that description passed the Legislature of Lower Canada, and received the Royal sanction. That Act is in our statute book, and it now remains for the British Parliament to repeal the Act of 1774, in order to have a permanent appropriation of 12,000l.

Do you conceive, supposing the revenue Act of 1774 now to be repealed, that the legislature would have a control over the permanent appropriation which was then provisionally voted ?——There is some doubt upon that point I must confess; I would decidedly say, yes; but that is only an individual opinion.

Can you give the Committee a general statement of the present state of the population and representation in Lower Canada?——The population of Lower Canada, according to the census taken conformably to legislative enactment in 1824., was about 430,000. There were numerous omissions in this first census. The population was then upwards of 500,000; it must now be about 600,000. About nine-tenths of these live by agricultural labour, on their own land, say are proprietors to the extent of from 60 to 120 arpents. The ground is covered with snow about six months in the year; they are, however, able to live with some comfort, and rear numerous families. The incomes from lands, where the owner does not work himself, are trifling, There may he a few hundred proprietors who get annually as rent for land, to the value offrom 100 l. to 300 l.. The prin- cipal revenues from land are seigneurial revenues, they amount from 100 l. a year to 1,500 l. which is about the highest. The other tenth are connected with the towns in which the majority of the inhabitants are proprietors of houses and lots. The wealthiest have incomes from 500 l. to 2,000 l. ayear; of the latter there are but very few indeed. The trading classes, generally, have been rather sinking than gaining money of late years.

The representation was fixed by the governoris proclamation in 1792 at 50, and the whole province included in the division of counties. Since this time anumber of townships on the frontiers of the United States have been settled by American emigrants. Between these settlements and the old settlements there was and still is, in several directions, many miles of wilderness. Since the late war vast sums of public money have been expended and called for to open roads for them to the St. Lawrence, the greatest part of which has been use– lessly spent. About ten years ago these people wished to have representatives, distinct from the old Canadian settlements, within the counties in which the townships are placed. Since 1818 bills have been almost annually sent up by the Assembly to the Legislative Council, to increase and apportion the represen- tation of the province, and set off the townships in separate counties; with this bill the townships generally have declared themselves satisfied, but the bills were lost in the Legislative Council. These townships contain by census about 30,000 souls.

You are aware that a proportion of the lands in Canada are held upon the tenure of free and common socage?–The lands in the townships are under that tenure.

Have not all the lands granted since 1791 been granted upon that tenure ?—— I believe there was no grants in free and common socage earlier than 1796; between 1774 and 1791, I think there were two grants under seigneurial titles; The King’s instructions as late as 1786 were to grant en fief et seigneurie.

The whole may be seen in the land report in Assembly’s Journal of 1824.

Supposing the owner of lands held in free and common socage were to die intestate, according to what law do you hold that his property would descend to his children ?–Hitherto it has been considered that the property would descend to the children agreeably to the laws of Canada, but since the passing of the Act of the 6 Geo. 4, c. 59, commonly called the Tenures Act, it is under- sfood that the property would descend according to the laws of England, because hat Act made the laws of England applicable to lands in Canada held under that tenure. That Act has a retroactive effect, which will throw the country into great confusion if it is acted upon.

In what way will that confusion arise?—lt will arise in annulling a vast num- ber of sales that have been made by the sheriffs and otherwise, which hitherto have been considered legal; it will destroy the rights of minors and absentees, the rights of women and persons interdicted, and creditors who have lent money under the supposition that the laws of Canada applied to those townships, and that the property would be divided according to the laws of Canada.

Can you state any statute upon which the belief was founded that the French law applied to lands held in free and common socage ?—I confess that the Act of 1774 contains in the shape of a proviso an enactment that nothing therein shall extend to lands held or to be held in free and common socage in Lower Canada ; but it could never have been the intention of Parliament to establish in the colony two systems of law, and the judges have uniformly, upon that principle, decided that the lands under the free and common socage tenure, should be regulated by the laws of Canada.

To what decisions of the judges do you allude ?–In consequence of the decisions of the judges, all lands that were disposed of by sheriffs sales have come under the operation of the laws of Canada.

Is there any more specific and direct decision upon the subject ?——I do not know that the question has been properly raised in any of the courts of justice in Canada.

Is it considered as legally established that the property in the townships is sub- ject to the French law ?——I believe that in one or two townships, particularly in the township of Hull, where there are some Canadian settlements, the laws of Canada have been applied to their property; they have inherited it in the manner and form. that is prescribed by the laws of Canada, and that inheritance and transfer of pro- perty has been held good.

Was there any dispute upon the subject?—There was no dispute about it; be- cause there was no difference of opinion upon the subject till the Act of the 6th of the King.

Are the Committee to conclude that you are not aware of any decision of a court of law upon the disputed point?——I do not know that the question has ever been raised in the colony.

Has the course of inheritance in the townships been practically according to the French law ?—It has.

Can you assert that of your own knowledge?—I am no lawyer, and I have never been concerned in any suit in which that question has been raised.

On what ground do you form the opinion that it could not have been the intention of the Legislature, by the provisions of the Act of the 14. Geo. 3, to establish two different systems of law in the colony, with respect to real property?———Because of the impossibility of acting under two systems of laws without producing the greatest confusion. Besides it would be unreasonable to suppose that Parliament intended to introduce the law of England into a country already regulated by a different system, without at the same time enabling those who were to be guided by the law, to know what were the new laws introduced.

Are you not aware that the law of gavelkind and of borough English applies to certain property in England, and that the law of free and common socage applies to the greater part of the country, and that no inconvenience is found from that diversity of law ?—I have heard of a great many different descriptions of tenure in England, and I believe that the people are very sorry that there are so many. Judging from a speech which I have read, as lately delivered in Parliament, I should not think the laws of England as existing at present desir- able for Canada. .

Will you state what, in your opinion, would be the inconveniences which would arise from the English law of descent to real property prevailing in the townships at the same time that the French law prevailed within the seigneuries ?—I have already stated that there would result confusion in the courts ofjustiee if they were called upon to act under two different systems of laws, and I believe the legal division of the districts is such new as to prevent the exact operation of the English and French laws conjointly.

Would there be any difficulty in defining the different districts in which the different systems were to prevail ?——It is not impossible.

Would there be any difficulty in establishing different courts, in which the two different systems of law respecting real property might be administered ?— None.

Would any confusion arise in that case ?——Not if the new courts were located in the country wherein the free and common socage tenure prevailed, and if the law of England applied to that particular territory.

Does not the law of England already prevail partially by custom in, the townships ?—I believe that in the townships neither the law of England nor any other law is known ; they have been in a great measure without law that country since their establishment. The laws, I believe, that are now prevalent in the United States of America are the laws which they understand best.

Have the English laws prevailed with respect to the descent of property by custom ?——I am not aware that they have prevailed generally ; there might have been some instances of it, but several of the people who hold lands in the town- ships hold them without titles; they are mere squatters ; persons in possession of land that have no titles; they sell to each other, but they sell the improvements: only; to make use of a word common to them, they sell the betterments; they never sell the land itself, they sell the more possession, and the improvements.

Do you mean to apply that generally to all the townships in Lower Canada ?—. I believe that in more than one half of all the townships there is not one man in ten that has a legal title under the 6th Geo. IV. c. 59, probably one third may have an equitable claim to the land from possession.

Are there no settlers in the townships who have improved land which they have acquired lawfully under Government grants ?——There are no doubt some who have made considerable improvements ; I know a gentleman there that has spent a fortune upon the improvement of land, of which he got a grant from the- Government; Mr. Felton.

How do you account for the circumstance of there being so few settlers in Lower Canada, and for the great preference which is shown by English settlers to go to Upper Canada ?—There are various causes for that; in the first place the climate of Upper Canada is better, they have their friends there in greater numbers. Those emigrants from Ireland who are Roman Catholics generally prefer remaining in Lower Canada; Protestants prefer going to Upper Canada; but I do not consider that there is any thing in the laws of the country that prevents their settlement in Lower Canada.

Is there anything which, in your opinion, discourages their settlement in Lower Canada, without absolutely preventing it ?——I believe that the climate is the most discouraging thing.

How do you account for the circumstance of there being no settlers in the townships except the persons that you describe as squatters, and one or two individuals whom you describe as having laid out money upon the improvement of land; is the difference of climate alone sufficient to account for it, or is there any objection to the system French law—I do not believe that the existing system of law forms any bar to the actual settlement of the country in the town- ships; because I do not know that there has been any increase of settlement in the townships since the passing of the Act of the 6th of the present King, which declares the lands in those townships to be under the operation of the laws of England.

What, in your opinion, will be the effect of that provision in the Canada Tenures Act, which enables individuals in the seigneuries to change the tenure of their property, and to hold it in free and common socage ?—There is an objection in my mind to the commutation on the part of the seigneur; the seigneur in Lower Canada holds the property in trust for actual settlers, and the effect of the commutation would be to make him the proprietor of that which he holds in trust only for actual settlers.

Will you explain what you mean by the seigneur holding in trust only for actual settlers?–The concession of almost all the seigneuries in Lower Canada was made originally by the French King, upon the condition that the seigneur should grant the lands on demand to actual settlers, upon a very small annual rent; and upon his refusal the property is escheated to the Crown, who on application grants it to actual settlers. There have been some decisions upon that subject in the courts of justice in Canada before the Conquest, where the seigneurs have refused to concede, and the property so refused to be conceded was reunited to the domain of the King.

At the same time that the seigneur was called upon to allow settlers to settle upon his land, subject to the payment of a small rent, was not he on his part called upon to pay a certain rent to the Crown?—The only dues which a seigneur pays to the Crown is the Droit de Quint, which is paid only upon sale of the seigneury.

You are aware that the Tenure Act is not compulsory, but it is only giving facilities to parties who wish to change their right of property ?—I understand. it so.

Is not the proposition shortly expressed as follows: that a seigneur is placed in possession of his land upon the tenure of free and common socage, at a certain rate of payment, subject to his being compelled to consent to convert the land of his sub—tenant into free and common socage, upon the receipt of such an award as shall be made by arbitration upon a given principle ?—I have already observed, that I thought the power given to the seignenr to commute was an unjust one; that it was converting to his own use that which was only given to him in trust. The obligation on his part to commute with his sub-tenant would naturally follow the commutation with the Crown, as a matter of course; on the other hand, I hardly think that the seigneur would Find it his interest to submit, on his refusing to change the tenure of his sulytenant, to an arbitration of the nature described by the Act.

Then you consider that the Canada Tenures Act will be inoperative, inasmuch as it will not be the interest of any seigneur to comply with the terms ?—I do so, in a great measure.

If they were complied uith, do you think it would retard the settlement and the cultivation of the land ?——I do not think that the holding lands in seigneury is at all detrimental to settlements; on the contrary, I think it facilitates settlements.

Do not the seigneurs ever settle and cultivate the land themselves ?—Most of the seigneurs reside on their seigneuries; they find it to their advantage.

Should you consider those seigneurs to be holding their lands in trust for settlers ?——All the seigneurs hold their lands for actual settlers except a domain, which they are allowed to hold for their own use.

Do you mean that they are practically trustees, or only theoretically ?——They are theoretically and practically trustees; the lands were given to them upon the condition of re—granting to actual settlers; because, if the seigneur refuses to pgrant any lands to an applicant, that person making complaint to the Crown would have the power of getting that particular land annexed to the domain, and obtain the grant from the Crown at the usual dues.

In case of a seigneur having settled and cultivated the land himself, is he bound to grant that land to a sub—tenant on demand ?—He is not, because he, performs the actual settlement duties. The object of conceding the land was for the actual settlement of it; if he were to cultivate the whole land himself he would cease to be a trustee, qua ad the particular part he cultivates.

Then with regard to the land he has cultivated the same motives would not exist against converting it into free and common socage ?—Certainly not, if he could have any motive for it.

Has not a seigneury sometimes become vested in more than one proprietor ?– Yes; the seigneuries have been very much sub-divided.

Supposing one of them will not consent to any application which is made for a piece of waste land?—There is another difficulty which the Tenure Act has not sufficiently provided for. Where there are co-proprietors in a seigneury held par indevis, the consent of the whole of the proprietors must be had to obtain a change of tenure. In respect to application for waste lands, the person in possession of the manor is the only one that applicants have to deal with while there is not a legal partition.

Do the petitioners whom you represent complain of the composition of the Legislative Council ?——They do.

Of what do they complain?—They complain-that the majority of the members of the Legislative Council are persons holding places of profit during pleasure, and in consequence of that they are not considered independent of the Crown.

How do they propose to remedy it ?—I do not know that their opinion has been taken upon that particular point. I can only give it as my opinion to the Com- mittee that if it were not expedient to make the Legislative Council elective certainly thejudges ought to be excluded from that body, and also the collectors and receivers of revenue, and the auditors of accounts. If on the other hand the Legislative Council were to be elective, a certain qualification of course would be requisite in the electors, and a certain qualification for the members ; but decidedly certain descriptions of persons ought not to be elected in the council, for instance, collectors and receivers of the revenue.

In the event of the appointment of the Legislative Council remainingstill in the Crown, would you not think it desirable to carry the exclusion of placemen, and persons holding employments under the Government, beyond that of the judges and receivers, and collectors of revenue?—l should consider that for the better securing the independence of that body, all future appointments to the council should be made subject to be vacated on the acceptance of an office of profit during pleasure.

Supposing the appointment of the Legislative Council to remain still in the hands of the Crown, should you not think it desirable that persons holding offices under the Government, should form only a portion of the Legislative Council ?— They should certainly form by far the least portion of the council so as to have a majority of independent men.

Would you consider that a greater security would be effected in that way than by making the Legislative Council elective, and the members holding their seats for life ?——With regard to that, I would not wish the Legislative Council to be elective.

How many persons are there in Canada who from character and property are qualified to be members of the Legislative Council ?—There are a great many persons that might be called to the council now, with great advantage to the Government and to the country; there are several large landed proprietors, men of good education who might be serviceable in that capacity.

Are the majority of those persons of French extraction?——Decidedly; there are very few large English proprietors in the country; they come to the country for the purposes of trade, and their object is to acquire something easily trans- ferable.

Will you state your objections to making the Legislative Council elective?– I think it would make that body rather dependent upon the people, and I should like to see them independent of the people and of the Crown.

Would not that dependence upon the people be done away with by their holding their seats for life ?—Certainly, if they were elected, and that election lasted during their natural life, they would cease to depend upon the people.

Do you think that the principle of election mightbe advantageously introduced into the composition of the Legislative Council, by making not the whole council elective, but a part of it ?——If the composition of that body could be so changed as to render it independent without an election, I would prefer it.

Do you imagine, that in case of any measures being passed by the Parliament or the Government at home, materially affecting the constitution of the province of Canada, that the province would he very ill disposed to receive such measures without having first had an opportunity of expressing its opinion upon them.

I consider the constitution of the governments of Upper and Lower Canada, as a compact between the mother country and the colonies, a kind of compact which cannot be changed without the consent of all parties. I should consider that any change whatever in the constitution of government of Lower Canada, without the inhabitants being previously consulted would be very ill received by them.

Have not the inhabitants of Lower Canada petitioned the Houses of Parlia- ment to make certain alterations in. their constitution ?—I believe not; on the contrary they pray that no change whatever shall take place.

Generally speaking, do you not consider that the inhabitants of Lower Canada attribute the disorders and discontents that have taken place, not to the constitution itself, but to the manner in which that constitution has been admi- nistered ?—Certainly; there is no doubt but that the form of government under which they now live is admirably well calculated to ensure their happiness, if it is properly administered.

Do you believe that is the opinion entertained of it in the townships ?—The townships, I believe, have complained. I do not know whether the complaints come from themselves, or whether they are made to complain. Generally I have not heard any complaint in the colony against the laws.

In the complaint which the petitioners make of the composition of the Legis- lative Council, do they not conceive that they are requiring the Legislative Council to be so composed, as it was intended to be composed by the Act of 1791?——lt was no doubt intended that the Legislative Council should, in imitation of the House of Lords here, be an independent body, that should have a stake and interest in the country, and would rise and fall with it; but it is the reverse in Canada; those people are not independent of the Crown as the use of Lords is here; they are men directly dependent on the Crown, the majority having places of profit during pleasure, that is, they are actually depen. dent on the local government.

Do not the people of l,ower Canada consider the want of a security for proper nominations to the Legislative Council as a defect in the constitution of the colony ?——The persons that have been called to the Legislative Council have been called in virtue of the royal prerogative; the nomination, no doubt, must in some measure come from the colony, and although the Government here may have every isposition to nominate persons to that body who are perfectly inde— pendent, yet they are frequently exposed to error, and from misinformation a number of people are called to it who ought not to be there.

Seeing the manner in which the prerogative has been exercised, do not you think that it requires some check?—No doubt. I should conceive that the sys- tem of appointment to the Council, if it were necessary that any enactment of law should take place upon the subject, should be qualified, by requiring that the persons appointed should have a certain landed annual income.

Would not that be a change in the constitution of the colony ?—Certainly not; because ittwas intended that the large landed proprietors of the country should form an intermediate body between the Assembly and the Crown; there is no doubt, that upon instructions being sent from this country to the colony a bill might be introduced requiring certain qualifications in the members of the Legis- ative Council.

You state, that you consider the constitution of Canada as a compact between two bodies which cannot be altered without the consent of both; do you carry that opinion so far as to hold that no alteration of the Act of 1791, could be made by the British Parliament without the consent of the Assembly of Lower Canada ?–I consider that the Parliament, in the exercise of its general superin- tending power, has a right to legislate for the colonies generally; but with regard to internal legislation, the Imperial Parliament has virtually given up that power, with respect to Upper and Lower Canada, in giving them an Act whereby they have the power of legisiating for the peace, welfare, and good government of the country.

If the Act of 1791 is to he considered a solemn contract, to which three parties have been consentient, namely the Parliament of Great Britain and the two Legislatures of the the colonies, are the Committee, to understand that those clauses which relate to the reservation of land for the clergy, and which form part and parcel of that solemn compact, it is not in the power of the Parliament to change ?——In that respect I verily believe that the Parliament has the power of changing that part of it which has reference to the lands; these and some other matters are specially reserved in the Act.

Supposing it be admitted that the Act of 1791 had the character of a formal compact, do you mean to state it as your opinion, that with a view to the benefit of those provinces, it is not constitutionally in the power of the Parliament of Great Britain, to legislate upon the subject of the government of the Canadas ?—— As to the power I do not deny it. The right may be questioned, and the expe- diency is more than doubtful.

Do you attach the same importance which one of the former witnesses did to the necessity of having an agent in this country for the colony of Lower Canada ?–I think it most essentially necessary, inasmuch as Great Britain has reserved to itself the right of regulating our commerce, that there should be an agent here to attend to the interests of the colony.

How do you think that agent should be appointed ?—By the Legislature of the colony.

Do you mean by both branches of the Legislature ?——The truth is, that no Act making provision for the appointment of an agent can take place without the con- sent of the three Branches. The agents, generally speaking, who represent some of the colonies, have been nominated by the representative assemblies. If any great objection were made to the appointment, one might be appointed by the Assembly, and the other by the Legislative Council, so that the country would have the benefit of two agents instead of one; but I verily believe that the Assembly would not consent to the payment of an agent, of whom they had not the choice.

There are certain items of charge of salaries to individuals to the payment of which the Assembly have objected, as considering that the situations filled by those individuals are unnecessary; are you of opinion that if those salaries were discontinued, and those situations done away with at the expiration of the lives of the parties holding those salaries, there would be any disposition on the part of the Assembly to pay them during the lives of the parties ?—The Assembly have already done so in some instances, when it was required of them ; and I verily believe that they would have no objection to convert those salaries into pensions; for myself I should decidedly vote for it; I verily believe there would be no ob- jection, provided that all the other grievances were removed.

Sabbati 14 die Junii, 1828.

The Rev. Crosbie Morgell, called in; and Examined.

WERE you Chaplain to the Bishop of Quebec ?——I was.

How long were you resident in Canada ?—-From the month of June 1826 to the month of December 1827.

Were you chaplain to the Bishop of Quebec the whole of that period ?——I was; I went out with his Lordship from this country.

Had you any opportunity during your residence in Canada of becoming personally acquainted with the ecclesiastical condition of those provinces ?—l had every opportunity. Six months of the time that I was resident with the bishop I was employed in travelling through the country; we performed two summer and one winter visitation ; in the course of those journies we visited every clergyman in the diocese, excepting Five in Lower Canada and eleven in Upper Canada. When we were not occupied in visitation there was continual correspondence going on, through me. between the bishop and the clergy.

How many clergyman did you actually visit in each province ?—Twenty-two in Lower Canada and twenty-five in Upper Canada.

Have you got any memorandum of the actual residence of the clergyman whom you visited in Lower Canada?——It is stated in the Report of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The station of each clergyman will be found in the synopsis of the society’s missionaries and catechists.

Can you explain to the Committee the manner in which those clergy in Lower Canada are paid ?—They receive, with, I think, two exceptions, a salary of 200l. whilein priests orders; as deacons only iool. ; their drafts being honoured in this country by the treasurer of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; and, in speaking of the clergy of Canada, I beg leave to say, that all my information respecting them refers to those in the service of that society.

Have they any other advantages besides the receipt of that 200l. a year ?—They have fees on marriages, burials, and nothing else. These fees in the country parts seldom, I imagine, exceed 20l. yearly ; at Montreal and at Quebec they amount to a larger sum. There are some few clergymen in Canada who are not paid by the society. The rector of Montreal, the rector of Quebec, and the military chaplains, derive their incomes from other sources. In Upper Canada all the clergy, except the military and naval chaplains, are paid in the way I state.

Do the clergy in Lower Canada reside on globe, that is to say, do they reside on any part or portion of the clergy reserves?–They may perhaps rent a lot, but they are not authorized, as clergy, to reside upon any such glebe lands.

Then they reside in the most convenient position which they can find with respect to their several congregations ?——They do; first, with respect to their church, and next with respect to the congregations which they are directed to visit, and which may be at considerable distances from the church.

With respect to the churches; at whose expense have those churches been erected? —A few of the leading people in a settlement who are desirous of having amongst them a resident clergyman of the Church of England, draw up a petition, addressed to the Bishop of Quebec, in which they state the circumstance. This is generally accompanied by a proposal to build a church if their wishes respecting a clergyman are complied with ; then follow the names of the persons who are willing to become subscribers to that church ; if there is a sufficient sum, the Bishop of Quebec, from the fund which he himself raised in this country, promises them 100l. when the church, as it is expressed in that country, is closed in, namely, when the boards, of which the sides are composed, are put up.

Had you the means of ascertaining the number of persons who usually attended the congregations of those ministers of the Church of England so located in the country?——In Lower Canada there are two different descriptions of country in which our clergy reside. In one the great mass of the people are Roman Catholics; throughout this Roman Catholic population is scattered a great number of persons who are adherents of the Church of England. Many of them are at very great distances from each other, and from the clergymen of the district, and perhaps may not be able to come to church with any degree of regularity. Wherever a certain number of them are to be found in any one spot, the clergyman goes and officiates. His residence is commonly among the larger proportion. Such conrgegations in the country places, although there may be several of them, are small. I think that there are not more than four clergymen so situated in Lower Canada. There is indeed one at Three Rivers, but Three Rivers is a town, and contains a conside- rable Protestant population : there is one also at William Henry, which likewise is a town similarly situated. Of the four l have alluded to one lies in the district of Gaspé, one at Reviêre du Loup, and the other at the river of L’Assumption, the fourth at Chambly. In these parts the population is, with few exceptions, French Roman Catholics, and therefore our clergy have not at any one time such large congregations as elsewhere. But I have said that in Lower Canada there is another description of population: it is found to the south of Quebec. The district is generally designated the Eastern Townships. Here the population is non-Roman Catholic, and is composed chiefly of emigrants from the United States. Our congregations in those parts generally amount to from 150 to 200 on an average. In the spring and in the autumn they do not amount to any thing like that number, owing to the bad state of the roads in those seasons; the snow in the autumn not being sufficiently deep and trodden down to enable people to pass along; and in the spring the gradual melting of the snow produces the same effect. But there is a general mode of ascertaining the congregation, which is applicable in a general way to almost every country, as far as our church is concerned. It is this; discover the number of communicants, which is very easily ascertained; multiply that number by six, and you have the congregation ; and that multiplied again by two will give you the number of adherents to the church. Now, in order to show that this is a right calculation, 1 would instance one case; I take that of St. Andrew’s, in Lower Canada. In a late report from this mission the communi- cants are stated at 32 ; that number multiplied by six will show the congregation; that is, it will give 192.

Do you mean to apply that calculation to both the Canadas ?—Yes, to both the Canadas; and I should go further and apply it, in a general way, to Great Britain, as far as my experience goes.

Do those clergymen make any circuits for the purpose of dispensing religions instruction at a distance from their actual residence?——On the Sunday they officiate in the church to which they are licensed. Besides this duty, unless there is an equal congregation assembled in the evening in that particular church, they are required to go to a distance of five or six, or sometimes ten miles, in order to serve another congregation. In addition to this duty they officiate during the week at certain fixed preaching places, at which notice is previously given when the roads are passable. But sometimes for a fortnight or longer our clergy cannot reach such remote congregations. I know that some of the Canadian clergy officiate at six district places regularly, seine at more than two, but all at two; and besides they are called continually to very considerable distances in order to perform funerals, and to administer the sacraments. They obey the summons of persons of any denomination.

Taking the calculation with which you have furnished the Committee, What is the result of that calculation asgiviug the number of adherents to the Church of England in the province of Upper Canada?–Perhaps I cannot explain the matter better than by referring to the statement respecting the number of communicants in the settlement of Perth, a military settlement, in Upper Canada, as it is given in the last year’s Report of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. I select this case because I received a few days since a letter, dated the 21st of April, from the Bishop of Quebec, in which his Lordship mentions the relative population of that place. We find in the report that the number of communicants in that mission is 163; multiply this number by six and it will give you a congregation or congrega- tions of 978; multiply this number by two, and you have the real number of adherents of the Church of England in that particular place, which is 1,956, accord- ing to the calculation. Now in the letter I have mentioned, the bishop of Quebec states, that the Episcopalians in the Perth settlements are 2,158. This number compared with that obtained by my calculation does not exhibit any considerable difference, and proves the calculation to be a fair one for all practical purposes. I take the case of Perth, because the bishop of Quebec happens to have stated the relative population of that settlement to me in a letter which I received a few days ago, and because it confirms my calculation.

Have you any means of informing the Committee what the aggregate numbers of the adherents to the Church of England amount to in Lower Canada, as founded upon this calculation ?——I am not furnished with sufficient data upon which I can found a calculation of any accuracy.

Can you state the number of persons of other denominations in Perth?—I can. The number of Presbyterians, including dissenters from the Church of Scotland, American Presbyterians, including dissenters from the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholics, 766; Methodists, 206; Baptists, So. The letter mentions 11 as being of no persuasion. Generally speaking, if you enter into conversation with a person whom you casually meet in that country, being an American, or a native Canadian, and ask him what religion he is of, he will reply, although he may be regular in attending at church, that he has not joined any religion. He will not, in fact, call himself belonging to any denomination till he is a communicant.

Are you of opinion that at this moment there is a real demand in the province of Lower Canada for more churches, and for more clergymen of the Church of England than are at present supplied ?–I can only state, that when I was at Quebec, there were constant applications made to the Bishop of Quebec for additional missionaries. Petitions, offers of land for the erection of churches, and offers to deed the land to the bishop, and so on, were continually received by his Lordship. These were forwarded by the emigrants, in some instances, who had come out from this country, belonging to the Church of England. From others also who had been lone settled, there have been received continual applications to the same effect. Some of these last petitioners may have previously known some- thing of our service and discipline, but it is not to be supposed that the majority of the settlement, who never heard the liturgy of the Church of England, and know nothing about it, should be particularly anxious for a minister of this church. It must be only because they may thus have a resident minister amongst them, who is no expense to them, that they join in the application. Their feeling with regard to our church must be much the same as that of the people in heathen countries who have never heard of Christianity. They cannot be said to exhibit a demand for Christianity.

Is it within your own personal knowledge, that where a resident clergyman of the Church of England has been established there has been a disposition to join his congregation on the part of persons not previously supposed to belong to that church?——I should say that, generally speaking, the congregations are composed entirely of such persons, if the settlement is not formed of British emigrants. Perhaps there may be a few leading men in such a settlement who know something of the Church of England previously, but the population, generally speaking, can know but little of it till they have had a resident clergyman.

Is it your opinion, from your own personal observation, that there is a prevailing desire among the Protestants of Lower Canada to attach themselves to the national church rather than to any other ?—I should say there are two national churches as far as this empire is concerned, that of England and that of Scotland. I have stated that the population, generally speaking, have known previously but little about the Church of England until a resident minister has been placed among them. I have also said, that they have by degrees been led to adopt this form of worship, or at least attended it. What might be the case with regard to the national church of Scotland we cannot say, as the colonists can only know it in theory from the Scotch emigrants. But that the people of Lower Canada have no prevailing desire for it is plain from the case of Montreal, where a church of American Presbyterians exist, although there are in the place two resident kirk ministers.

What church had the people been connected with previously to their joining your church?–Of every possible description of denomination. Persons coming from every county in Ireland, and from every county in England and Scotland, many from the United States necessarily bring with them a multitude of religious opinions; and no one denomination being sulliciently strong to support a minister, they are sure to adopt generally any church whose clergy are not chargeable to them, provided only you give the church which you establish sufficient time to take root among them.

Does any particular form of worship prevail with them ?—I think that until one of our clergymen has been established among them, they are Methodists chiefly.

What description of Methodists ?—Not Wesleyan Methodists, according to our idea in this country. They are in country places most wild in their religious worship, they have camp meetings constantly: during which they will stay out in the woods for a whole week, and continue their religious exercises, praying, singing and preaching the whole time, night and day. They call themselves Episcopal Methodists.

What system of church government have they ?——They have a person who calls himself a bishop, having derived that order from the hands of Wesley originally. Wesley, if I recollect right, sent out a number of persons, whom he styled bishops, to America. Such a bishop presides over a district: there are several preachers and lay-assistants under him.

Have they any constant communication with the Americans in the United States?—They have hitherto always had connection with the American Methodists ofthe United States. But of late I perceive from a document to which I have had access, that they have begun to withdraw from that connection. It is very de- sirable that they should do so, for they are certainly, notwithstanding their wild- ness and extravagance in many respects, the most useful and most numerous sect in Upper Canada.

Have they chiefly eniigrated from England ?——No; they have come chiefly from the United States. They have gradually increased in Canada ever since the country has been opened. The first settlers may have been churchmen, or of other denominations, and as they have died away, their children have adopted the persuasion of the itinerant preachers, being the only form of religion within their reach.

Are those persons to be found all through Upper Canada ?———They are. There area few of the old settlements where the people are Lutherans, and Quakers. Some Scotch settlements are Presbyterians.

Of the population of Upper Canada do you believe that a large portion has come from the United States ?—Till the last emigrations by far the greastest part of the old settlers were from the United States. Most of them were loyalists after the American rebellion.

In the account you have given of the prevalence of this particular description of dissenters, do you mean it to be understood that they are confined principally to the eastern townships in Lower Canada ?—No. They are to be found in almost every part of both provinces. There they have decreased, because our ministers have been so long in those settlements.

Then you mean that they are to be found over Upper Canada ?——Over Upper Canada, and those in the eastern townships, who do not belong to our communion, are generally Methodists. There are, indeed, some few Baptists.

Do those persons whom you describe as being willing to attend the worship of the Church of England, after a church has been established in their neighbour- hood, cease to maintain any communication with their own ministers, and cease to attend their meetings ?——No, they will attend preaching of any description. Not so our communicants, they adhere to us, and will not attend any other ministra- tions. Butherel would beg leave to remark, that there are few or no regular ministers throughout the country besides those of the Church of England. The rest, excepting a small number in Upper Canada, are itinerants. .

But the others, though they will attend your service, still continue connected with their own ministers ?——Itdepends upon what they are. The Methodists often keep up their connection with their own people, and the American Presbyterran will attend us, but all the time say that he has not deserted his own church, though he may communicate with us. There are, however, but a very small number of the American Preshyterians; and they, in fact, in country settlements remain adherents of our church, and elsewhere, till an American Presbyterian. minister is established among them, who is brought, in born the United States. -In country places they cannot support such a minister, and thus their descendants become rooted in their attachment to our church, having been educated from childhood in her communion.

In that case would you consider them as regular adherents of your church?– They attend no other ministrations, though if a Presbyterian preacher from the United States was to come into the settlement, they might attend him. I say from the United States, because there is a great difference between American Pres- byterians and those of Scotland. The United States Presbyterians will not coalesce with the Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland, and I can quote several instances of the kind.

Do you know why? -The difference of church government is one cause, and church discipline is another thing controverted.

With respect to Presbyterians who have emigrated from Great Britain and Ire- land, do they ever conform to the Church of England?—Yes, the Irish Presby- terians will; and some instances are now fr in my memory of persons so brought up in Ireland, asking permission to receive at our altar.

Do the Scotch Presbyterians?—They will, where there is no minister of their own. They will not attend the ministrations of any other denomination, except those of the clergy of the Church of England, and of their own.

Are they in the habit of attending the church till at minister of their own is appointed, and then withdrawing from it?——In Upper Canada there are only six Scotch Presbyterian ministers, one of whom has been ordained in the Church of England lately. In Lower Canada there are only three. With the permission of the Committee I will explain what I would here say, by stating the cases of Mon- treal in Lower Canada, and of Cornwall and of Kingston in Upper Canada; we have had ministers in catch of those places for some years; at Montreal of course for a long time; at Cornwall about 10 or 12 years; at Kingston, perhaps, much longer. In each of those places there are Presbyterian congregations, and in each of them our people exceed considerably the Presbyterian congregation, At Mon- treal the wealthiest of our congregation were originally Presbyterians, but they have from the first conformed and adhered to the Church of England, and have not returned to the kirk, although there are two meeting houses in the place. At Cornwall our congregation so much exceeds the Presbyterian congregation, that it is well known the Scotch minister could not find sufficient support to live there, did he not hold the government-school establishment in the place. He has only one congregation to serve, whereas our missionary includes among those who profit by his ministrations upwards of 850 souls. At Kingston, which is a peculiar case, there is a minister of ours and a minister of the Scotch kirk; and, as a proof that the Presbyterians from the United States will not coalesce with Presbyterians from Scotland, it is observable that the former have got in a preacher of their own from the United States, and our congregation is double as large, I am given to understand, as either of them. I will not say that it is larger than both together, though I have heard it asserted. At Montreal it. is precisely the same; American Presbyterians have obtained a minister from the United States. These facts tend to show that if some few native Scotchmen should return to their national church on the coming of one of its ministers among them, our church would not suffer by the circumstance.

Are the United States Methodists Calvanists?—No, very much opposed to Calvanism, in the ordinary sense of the term, and for that reason the American Methodists will not unite with any Presbyterians, nor the Presbyterians with them. There are no two bodies of Christians more opposed to each other than the Pres- byterians of Canada, who are Calvanists, and the Methodists who are altogether Anti-Calvinists.

Are they Arminians ?—They are strictly Arminians, and very controversial in respect of their doctrines.

Do you consider all the denominations of Presbyterians to be Calvanistic?—I do. Their catechisms and other formula appear to me to be so.

Do the Presbyterians whom you describe as conforming to the worship of the Church of England continue Calvanists after they conform ?—I think they might not perhaps be displeased if the clergy broached Calvanistic doctrines: but I am not aware that they do; and as there is no other form of worship that these Pres- byterians like so well, they attend their ministrations.

Has that state of things a tendency to incline the ministers to the adoption of Calvinistic doctrine?–I think not.

Are the Committee to understand that there are to your knowledge but three Presbyterian ministers of the Church of Scotland in Lower Canada ?—I think there are but three, two at Montreal and one at Quebec.

To the best of your belief, is the number you have stated the entire number of Scotch Presbyterian ministers in both the Cauadas ?—To the best of my belief it is.

Can you state the number of Presbyterian ministers of the other description ?— Twelve in Upper Canada; I only know of two in Lower Canada.

In stating the number of your congregations and adherents, do you reckon in those persons who occasionally attend your service but also attend the service of other churches?—Yes. I reckon them amongst the congregations, if they attend with regularity the ministrations of our clergy.

Whether they attend other congregations also, or not ?— Yes. But it is only, save in a few instances, the itinerant preachers, they can attend.

You consider them as Episcopalians ?—I consider them as attendants upon the ministrations of an Episcopalian.

And your calculation with regard to the number of Episcopalians is always to be taken with that understanding ?—I think so; because the people know nothing of the Church of England till it has been established some time among them; and they do not appear to regard an occasional attendance on other forms of worship as incompatible with their connection with that church.

Are all the clergyman whom you have enumerated in Lower and Upper Canada constantly resident?—I do not know an instance of non-residence. Now and then they get leave to come to England, but it is with great difficulty. After they apply for leave, it takes at least three months before they can attain it, as the sanction of the Board of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel must first be received.

Have all of them churches built, and in repair ?——Not all, but there are very few who have not.

Are the Committee to understand that a minister is sent to a particular district upon a petition of a certain number of the inhabitants to have a church built, and that the bishop also subscribes out of a certain fund a certain amount in aid of that object?—The minister is not sent till the church is finished, which is always built by the people of the neighbourhood. It has otherwise occurred in two cases under particular circumstances. The applicants were our own people, and they had only lately come out from Ireland, having as yet no means of building a church.

Before a clergyman or a missionary is sent into a particular district, is it necessary to specify that there is any certain number of congregation ready to receive him ?— The bishop judges by the number of persons that sign the petition, and the sub- scription paper. He does not inquire particularly who they are, because he knows very well that if our church is to take root it must be first put in the ground.

Upon what principle did the society act formerly, when, as you state, they were in the habit of sending missionaries without previously requiring the building of a church; what was then required, before they would send a missionary?—I was not connected with Canada at that time. It occurred in the time of the late bishop.

What is the occupation of those clergy who have no churches built ?—The two I have alluded to, and there are only two in the diocese, officiate in the school- houses, and wherever they can get a congregation, and they have in general as good a congregation in the school-house as they would have in a church.

Have the clergymen in Canada generally been educated in England?–Many of them have been educated in England and Ireland. There are 22 in Upper Canada out of 39 who have been educated in Great Britain. The remainder have been educated in the country. They are, I believe, chiefly the sons of loyalists; men who have mostly received a gratuity from the society of 50 l. a year to enable them to pursue their studies in divinity.

What opportunities have they of pursuing studies in divinity in Canada?–The opportunity they had when I was there was, that they were ordered to Quebec, and I used to lecture them twice a week by the bishop’s direction, it was part of my duty to him. The Archdeacon of Quebec used also to lecture them.

Are there any persons in holy orders in Lower and Upper Canada who have previously been ministers of any other denominations?–In Lower Canada I know of but one at this moment; but in Upper Canada there are 10, and there were several applications whilst I was there.

To what sect did those belong?–Some were Lutherans, some Scotch dissenters, one kirk clergyman, and two Roman Catholic priests.

To what circumstances do you attribute the secession of so many clergyman from their own church, and their conversion to ours?–I must hope that they are the purest motives, but I cannot dive into mens thoughts. One cause, I should imagine, may be that their people desert them after having brought them into the country with promises of support; but when they come they find themselves without a means of living.

Is any preference given to persons on account of their being converts?–When a dissenting minister can say that a great majoirty of his congregation will join our worship with him, he is received, if qualified. It is the case in one instance in Upper Canada, and in two in Lower Canada. Under other circumstances, any person applying for holy orders undergoes a severe scrutiny, and certainly has no preference given him because he has previously belonged to another communion.

Is there any difficulty in procuring persons to serve as clergymen in Canada, who have been educated in the doctrines of the Church of England ?—Certainly, I should say there is difficulty in procuring them in Great Britain.

Is not that the reason why they have been induced to take so many persons into the service of the church who have been formerly belonging to other denomi- nations of Christians ?—When a mission becomes vacant it is very desirable to fill it up as quickly as possible, and if we were to exclude all who have not been regularly educated in England we should have to wait several months, and in the mean time sectarians would come in and perhaps disperse the congregation.

Are you acquainted with the practical jurisdiction which the Clergy Corporation exercise over those lands called the clergy reserves, which were appropriated under the Act of 1791 in Lower Canada ?—In Lower Canada they had the power of leasing in 1819; and I happen to know that they were not long since in debt to their secretary.

Have you any general idea of the number of adherents of the Church of England in the province of Upper Canada ?—I cannot form any idea of it, except from the calculation with which I have furnished the Committee; and this is dependant upon a knowledge ofthe number of communicants in the several missions.

What proportion should you say they form of the whole population ?—The missionaries have told me that their congregations, except in the French parts, amount to between 150 and 200 during the time when their roads are passable; but further information than that I cannot give respecting the number of Episco- palians in the Canadas; I am not acquainted with the population of the Canadas, but I know that wherever I travelled I found persons who belonged to our church, and in many places where no clergyman had ever penetrated.

Are you aware that the House of Assembly in Upper Canada have repeatedly by a very great majority declared it expedient that the clergy reserves should be applied to the maintenance of the clergy of all Protestant religious persuasions, and not of that of the Church of England exclusively ?—I know that such resolu- tions have appeared in the public prints; I attribute them, in part, to the smallness of the number of Episcopalians in the House of Assembly, compared with the united strength of all denominations in that House. The Houses of Assembly in Canada, like many other colonial Houses of Assembly, are not very well affected towards the Government, and the Church of England being inseparable from the Government, they of course oppose the Church of England for the sake of opposition to the Government.

Was not therea formal vote of the House of Assembly carried by a majority of 37 to 3, that the church of England is the religion of a very small proportion of the population of Upper Canada?—I do not know, I have not attended much to the state of things in the House of Assembly ; there might have been very few persons belonging to our church in the House of Assembly at the time. The House of Assembly is composed of 44 members; of the Church of England there are 18; of the Church of Scotland there are 4; the rest are of’ various denominations.

Do you take that from Archdeacon Strachan’s report?—It is from his speech in his place as a legislative councillor, and I believe the statement.

Do not you know that that report is entirely contradicted by the resolutions of the House?——This is not the report alluded to; the one I hold in my hand has arrived within the last few days. The circumstance I attest has been stated at York, where the Assembly meets.

Is the Committee to gather from your answers that you are very little acquainted with the relative proportions of the various sects in Upper Canada?–I am acquainted with the number which attend the ministrations of our own clergy.

In the visitation you made in the upper province did you personally inspect all the churches where you visited the clergymen?–Yes, in all cases.

In every instance of the 25 clergymen whom you visited were they resident and officiating in the church?–Yes, certainly.

Are you aware of the circumstances of the 11 others whom you did not visit?– Yes; I should say that they were resident also; in fact they cannot be otherwise than resident.

Is that principle universally acted upon in Upper Canada as in Lower, of not sending a minister till a church is built?–It is now acted upon in all cases; there is, however, one missionary who is employed without having any specific church, he goes all through the diocese; I mean the visiting missionary.

Excepting the fact of the number of each congregation, you cannot give the Committee any information of the relative proportion of the adherents to the Church of England to any other sect?–I can in one particular place; but not generally.

The Committee have before them a letter, signed by Mr. Rearson, who is the agent in this country for the Christians of different denominations in Upper Canada; in his letter he states, amongst other things, that the adherents of the Episcopalian Church alone in Upper Canada do not exceed one tenth of the inhabitants of Upper Canada; do you believe that is correct?—We have a very small number of clergy proportionate to the wants of the people, and of course it follows that the number of churchmen cannot hear a very large proportion to the whole of the inhabitants; but the real adherents of the church exceeds any other denomination; at least I have always understood so.

From your knowledge of the country, have you any idea that the adherents of the Church of England exceed one tenth of the population of Upper Canada?—— I have no means of ascertaining that; I cannot at all take upon me to say.

Do you believe it to be quite impossible that they can reach to a half?—I think it cannot be so large.

Can you inform the Committee of the composition of what is called the Clergy Corporation ?—They are every one of them of the Church of England.

Have you any information you can give to the Committee with respect to the value of the clergy reserves in Canada ?—What I am about to state will apply equally to Upper Canada and to Lower Canada; if in any one township the lots were capable of culture, and were actually leased for 21 years upon the terms on which they have hitherto been leased, they would produce a yearly amount less than 100 l. sterling.

You say according to the rate at which they are now leased, will you explain what that rate practically is at this time ?——I cannot state it.

Upon what basis have you formed that calculation ?——Upon a calculation that has been made by a person that I can fully trust in that particular.

Then, according to that calculation the whole of one township would not let for more than 700 l. at year, as the clergy reserves are one seventh of the township ?– I suppose that is so.

Will you be good enough to explain what you meant when you said that in Lower Canada the Clergy Corporation were actually in debt since the year 1819?– I know that tho corporation were indebted to their secretary a few pounds for keeping the books, and alter defraying the expenses connected with the management of the reserves.

In what way are the expenses of the Clergy Corporation incurred?–By collecting rents, which is an enormous expense compared with the receipts.

Is there any payment to the Clergy Corporation themselves, or to the secretary?– A small salary is given to the secretary, and a certain sum is allowed each member of the corporation for his expenses in coming from a distance to attend the annual meeting; nothing is allowed those resident where it is held; but there is not a single clergyman supported by the reserves, or that netts as such a sixpence from the reserves.

Are the Committee to understand that the expenses of the collection have in Lower Canada amounted to above 100 per cent upon the rental of the clergy reserves ?———I know that thc Clergy Corporation in Lower Canada were in the debt of their secretary a few pounds after the balance was struck, while I was at Quebec.

Do you know that not one farthing collected by the corporation has ever been available for the support of any c1ergyman ?—I do.

Applying these observations to Upper Canada, do you happen to know what has been the annual amount that has been derived for the purposes of the clergy from any leased lands of the clergy reserves in that province ?—I do not know the sum expended in the erection of parsonages; but in the way of income none of the clergy of Upper Canada have been in any degree benefited by them, nor can they be: they contend for them as a provision for future clergymen, when new missions are opened ; as far as they are individually concerned they are wholly disinterested. Perhaps it may be as well to say that the time when the corporation in Lower Canada were in debt to the secretary, was before the new arrangement had been made, by which they have rendered the collecting of the rents easier and cheaper than formerly ; whether they are now in debt I do not know.

Lord Viscount Sandon, a Member of the Committee, Examined.

DO you recollect having a conversation with Archdeacon Strachan upon the subject of the church reserves in Canada?—I remember two or three conversations, which passed principally, I believe, in the committee-room of the Emigration Committee; I do not remember distinctly an one.

The Committee observe, in a speechinarle by Archdeacon Strachan on the 6th of March 1828, in the Legislative Council of Upper Canada, that Archdeacon Strachan says that he called upon your Lordship, in consequence of the debate which took place in the month of May last year in the House of Commons, with a view of ascertaining from you exactly what you had asserted to have been Lord Grenville’s statement upon that subject; and Archdeacon Strachan proceeds to say, that he called upon your Lordship, and that you stated that Lord Grenville had stated that the Scotch Presbyterians were not intentionally excluded; and provided that provision should be found more than sufficient for the established church, he saw no objection to giving them aid. Is that a correct representation of what you said to Dr. Strachan ?—That certainly is not a correct representation of what passed between us. It is difficult at this time to recollect distinctly what I said to him. All I can say is, that I could not have said what he represents me to have said; for it is not now, nor ever was, my understanding of what Lord Grenville said to me.

Have you at this moment a distinct recollection of what Lord Grenville said to you ?—I remember that he stated to me that the scheme upon which he built the system that was intended to be incorporated in the Canada Act of 1791, was a good deal derived from information they had collected from an officer that had been much in Pensylvania, of the system with regard to lands appropriated to religion and education in that state; I understood him to say, that the distinction of a Protestant clergy, which is frequently repeated in the Act of 1791, was meant to provide for any clergy that was not Roman Catholic, at the same time leaving it to the Gover- nor and the Executive Council of the province to provide in future how that should be distributed.

Austin Cuvillier, Esq. Again called in; and Examined.

THE Committee believe that you have been more or less engaged in commercial pursuits in Canada?–I have.

Are you at all acquainted with the trade that takes place between Upper anal Lower Canada ?——I have not been directly engaged in the trade between Upper and Lower Canada, but the trade has come under my observation very frequently.

Are not all imported goods which are consumed in Upper Canada introduced through the St. Lawrence and tlirough Lower Canada ?—The principal part of the goods consumed in Upper Canada are introduced by way of the St. Lawrence, but many articles are also introduced into Upper Canada from the United States.

What proportion do you think the one class may bear to the other ?—The pro- portion introduced from the United States must be a trifling one; formerly there were considerable quantities of tea introduced into that province from the states; that is now entirely done away with.

At present are not the duties which are payable upon commodities consumed in Upper Canada levied and collected in Lower Canada ?——The duties levied in Lower Canada are upon all goods imported at the Port of Quebec destined for Upper and Lower Canada.

Would it be possible to devise any means of separating the goods destined for the consumption of Upper Canada from those for the consumption of Lower Canada, and levying the duties upon them separately, so that Upper Canada might appropriate strictly to itself the amount of the duties upon the commodities con- sumed in it?———The separation of the goods in the first instance would depend upon the importers. I know but two or three merchants importing directly goods from England residing in Upper Canada; the principal part of the traders in Upper Canada draw their supplies from Lower Canada; but I conceive that a mode might be easily established whereby Upper Canada would tax itself on the intro- duction of goods imported in that country, by the establishment of custom-houses or by a system of drawbacks.

Will you describe in what mode you think the first course you have suggested could be carried into effect?—Two modes might be adopted; the one by warehous- ing in the first instance all goods destined for Upper Canada, either at Quebec or at Montreal; and to exempt them from payment of duty when taken out, upon certificate of their introduction into Upper Canada, there entered and the duties paid: the other, by allowing a drawback of duties on all goods introduced into Upper Canada from Lower Canada.

Do you think that any adequate security could be taken to prevent such goods from being smuggled into consumption in Lower Canada, in their transit from the bonded warehouse to the confines of Upper Canada?–Yes.

Will you have the goodness to explain in what; mode you would carry into effect the second course you have suggested, namely, that of levying upon the frontiers of Upper Canada duties upon the goods that were introduced ?—To carry into effect the second mode I have suggested, it would be necessary that an understand- ing should subsist between the Legislature of the two Provinces. Goods imported into Upper Canada from the Lower Province should be entitled to debenture upon proof of entry. By the same operation, and without any additional expense, the same, or other duties might be laid at the place of entry, at the discretion of the Legislature of Upper Canada.

Would not the whole process connected with this drawback be extremely inju- rious and troublesome to commerce ?—It would be very simple; formerly there was an officer stationed at Coteau du Lac, paid by both provinces, whose duty it was to take a correct account of every article passing through that post for Upper Canada, upon which an estimate was made of the quantum of drawback which was to be allowed to that province. By adopting the same system now, you might directly ascertain the amount of drawback on goods liable to duty. I see no difiiculty whatever in making the arrangement.

Is the frontier between the two provinces easily guarded by custom-houses ? Yes, the neck of land between the one river and the other is about 24 miles.

Are there not duties collected upon rum going into Upper Canada ?—The prin— cipal part of the revenue of Lower Canada is raised upon rum and wines, and little of them are consumed in Upper Canada, where they now manufacture. large quantities of spirits, some of which is sent to Lower Canada for sale.

What are the goods passing into Upper Canada which are liable to duty ?–All goods upon which duty is paid on importation in Lower Canada; but the largest amount is of British manufactured goods; dry goods.

Would it not be necessary accurately to ascertain the quantities of those goods passing into Upper Canada ?— Most assuredly.

Would not that be inconvenient ?—No; because from the nature of the country, it is scarcely possible to take goods up there without passing through the locks at the Coteau du Lac ; the navigation is such, that it would be attended with great expense to deviate from that course. It is at the locks where the custom-house is established. In the winter season the facilities of introducing goods into Upper Canada without stopping at the custom-house are much greater; but if individuals had no interest in the duties to be drawn back, they might be very correctly ascer- tained, they would have no temptation to smuggle. All British manufacture goods are subject to a duty of two and a half per cent ad valorem on their importation into Lower Canada.

Do you think that either of those modes which you have mentioned would he preferable to the system which has been lately adopted by Act of Parliament, of dividing the duties collected between the two provinces ?—I think the system of drawback would be preferable; because in the apportionment of the amount of duties to Upper Caanada,I think there has been great injustice to Lower Canada; in a great measure Lower Canada contributes to the expenses of Upper Canada.

Will you state upon what; ground you think injustice has been done to Lower Canada in the division ?—Because the estimate is made upon the amount of revenue, and the proportion allowed to Upper Canada has been founded upon its population; now the habits of life of the population of Lower Canada are mate- rially different from that of Upper Canada; they consume proportionately more British manufactured goods in Upper Canada than in Lower Canada, upon which a very trifling duty is paid; and they consume less of rum, upon which the greatest part of the revenue is raised, and in that point of view I think great injustice is done to Lower Canada.

Do you think that any apportiomncnt ever could he made which one province or the other would not find fault with ?—The present system of apportioning the duty by arbitrators named by each province is subject to less objection than any other mode.

Is it not considered an infraction of the rights of the Assembly of Lower Canada? I have always considered it so; but that point has been sacrificed to harmony.

Do you think there are any data according to which it would be possible to adjust accurately the proportions that ought to be received by each province ?—— None but the establishment of a custom-house on the frontier of Upper Canada to ascertain the amount of dutiable articles passing into that country.

How often is the proportion allotted to Upper Canada to be regulated ?—I think every four years by the Canada Trade Act; when the last apportionment was made the arbitrators of Upper and Lower Canada differed very materially; the ultimate decision was left to an umpire, a gentleman from New Brunswick, he inclined in favour of Upper Canada, as we expected.

Suppose the two provinces to view differently their own interests as connected with matters of taxation, and that Upper Canada should be disposed to put a tax upon the importation of some commodity, either differing in amount, or differing altogether from that which Lower Canada should be pleased to impose upon it, in what way then would the system you propose of duty and drawback work ?—The drawback being allowed entirely would leave the articles perfectly free for taxation; the whole of them might be taxed in the same way or diffently, according to the disposition of the Legislature of Upper Canada: the rest is mere matter of detail which would be easily arranged.

Then you think that goods might go into Upper Canada duty free, although they had been charged with duty in Lower Canada, provided only that that duty was wholly drawn back?—Certainly.

Suppose that any commodity imported into Lower Canada, and subject to duty, became in Lower Canada a subject of manufacture ; as for instance, suppose that upon the importation of horse hair, that horse hair was manufactured into brushes; if those brushes were imported into Upper Canada, how would it be possible to draw back the duty ?——There are scarcely any manufactures in Lower Canada, and there cannot he any to any extent for a considerable time; it is strictly an agricultural country ; it can never become a manufacturing one even if the dominion were changed.

You think that no inconvenience could arise from that score ?—I think not.

Do you not third. that Lower Canada would be frequently defrauded of the. amount of the drawback, by goods being sent into Upper Canada which had not paid duty ?— If proper precautions were taken I do not think that any kind of fraud could be committed, especially if it was a government affair between the two provinces, without individuals being interested in it; individuals should have nothing further to do with it than to make a report at the custom—house.

Would not the difficulties that arise in collecting the revenue between the two provinces be more effectually remedied by a union of the two provinces than by any other mode?–If the provinces were united there would be no necessity for a divi- sion of the revenue.

What objection do you see to an incorporating union of the two provinces?— The union of the two provinces is insupcrably objectionable on many grounds. The extent of country would be too great for advantageous local legislation. Eventually, and perhaps at no great distance of time, it would require to be subdivided; Upper Canada, from its size and geographical shape, may require it soon; and one part of Lower Canada might also be desirous of being subdivided; because there are two descriptions of tenures which, in some measure, create different wants. The extent of country which would be under the operation of the United Legislature is one of the greatest objections. People called in an immense distance to a central point to legislate for parts that are so far removed, must necessarily legislate under great trouble and expense, and without sufficient grounds to enable them to legislate with perfect and equal advantage to every part of the country. There are many other reasons which were stated on the part of the Lower Province, in a letter to the Under Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, in 1823, whichl think unnecessary to repeat at present; but assuredly the feeling against the union of the two provinces is very strong in Lower Canada; and I believe equally strong in Upper Canada.

Do the opinions you have expressed lead you to think that it would now be desirable to effect any separation between the two portions of Lower Canada, which you describe as having little common interest with each other?——No; I should suppose that no such step would be proper, unless it were first required by the people themselves; generally speaking, the more united people are the better; the stronger they are, in a political point of view.

You think it would not be desirable to separate off the townships into another province ?—In the manner the townships are dispersed on both sides of the St. Lawrence it could not be done: the principal disadvantage that would arise to the inhabitants of Lower Canada would be, that they would be confined within very narrow limits; it would prevent them from extending their population, probably from a dislike to the dillbrent governments and laws which would exist in the two por- tions of the country.

Would it be possible to draw such a geographical line as to establish a complete separation between the townships and the seigneuries ?—It is impossible.

With reference to the district of Gaspé, do you think that forms conveniently a portion of the Province of Lower Canada?—I think it forms a very important portion of Lower Canada, and a very valuable portion of it. The principal fisheries, and the wealth of the river lie there; the prosperity of Lower Canada might be considerably extended if those fisheries were properly attended to.

Do you think that by an alteration of the boundary between the two provinces, an arrangement could he made of the district which would tend to the convenience of either or of both ?—I do not think that the convenience of either would be ma- terially benefited. The dismemberment of any part of Lower Canada might be considered abreach of faith on the part of Great Britain in regard to that colony, to every part of it a system of law has been secured by the capitulations and Acts of Parliament, under which property has been long possessed and regulated. To dis- member any part of it would be separating, by violence, children of the same family.

Is any alteration of the boundary wished for by the inhabitants of oither province?

—I am not aware that any wish has been expressed by Upper Canada, nothing of the kind is desired by Lower Canada. I have heard it mentioned by some persons, that it would be desirable that there should be a port of entry for Upper Canada in some part of Lower Canada, but Ido not see any advantage Upper Canada would derive from that measure. The object, I understand, of having a port of entry, is to enable Upper Canada to tax herself; now nothing, is more easy if she is inclined to do so, than the mode I have suggested.

Are there not complaints of many persons in Canada, with respect to the pos- session of property by the Government which formerly belonged to the Jesuits ?— Complaints have been very loud on that subject; they complain that the sources of education that had been left to the country before the conquest have been destroyed, and that they have no permanent means of education left them but from their own personal means.

In what way do they undertake to show that the property held by the Jesuits, and distributed by them as they pleased, was applied to general purposes of educa- tion ?——Those people could not hold property for their own use, or distribute it as they pleased ; it was originally granted to them by the French King and individuals for the purposes of education, and some other duties that they were to perform, the conversion of the Indians to the Christian faith, and some other religious duties; but the chief object of those estates was, that they might be employed for the pur- poses of education in Canada. They built a very extensive college in Quebec, which is now used as barracks, the revenues of those estates are now very consider- able and we do not know what becomes of them.

Do you happen to know what took place with reference to those lands upon the expulsion of the Jesuits ?—They were taken possession of by the local authorities in Canada, and are still held by them.

When were the Jesuits expelled?—The order of Jesuits, I believe, was ex- tinguished in Europe in 1774.

In what way have the proceeds of the Jesuits estates been employed since ?— They were generally employed in the colony, before the conquest for the purposes of education ; the conquest however put an end to the higher branches of education in Canada ; they notwithstanding kept a school in Quebec after the conquest; they had schools in other parts of the province, but they also subsequently became extinct.

Do you happen to know whether the estates of the Jesuits in France that were confiscated in the same way, were applied to the purposes of education ?—They were employed in France, I understand, for the purposes of education under other authorities and teachers, according to their primitive destination.

Has the Assembly frequently called for an account of the proceeds of those estates?——The Assembly did call before a Committee of that body one of the commissioners, and he refused to give any information whatever respecting those estates, ire foresaw that it might create considerable difficulty to make use of the power of the House at that time to compel this gentleman to make a declaration of it; the House in some measure did not press it, we rather hoped for better times, and waived the exercise of a particular right for the time.

Did the Jesuits retain any influence over the management and the application of the proceeds of those estates after the conquest ?—They had a control and manage- ment of their estates, excepting the college, till the death of the last of the order.

When did that take place ?——I do not now exactly recollect the time, I think it was in 1801.

From that time to the present have the Government been wholly in possession of the proceeds of those estates ?-They have; and they are very valuable estates. There is onein particular, the seigneury of La Prairie, which is completely settled, a very populous parish in the conntyl represent, perhaps the most populous in the county, and the revenues of it must be considerable; but we know not what becomes of those revenues. There was another order in Canada, called the St. Franciscans, upon the death of the last of that order, that property was taken possession of by the Crown, and they have since exchanged part of it for other property, which has been applied to fortifications in the island of St. Helen’s.

Is there any other property that is possessed by the Crown now which formerly belonged to any religious order ?——I know of no other. .

What arrangement did the Assembly seek to make with respect to the land that formerly belonged to the Jesuits?——They desired that those estates should be employed for their original destination; that is, for the education, of the youth of Canada, as might be provided by the Legislature.

Seeing that the Jesuits, to whose charge the management of those estates was given, no longer exist, to what class of persons would the Assembly propose to give the direction and administration of those funds ?——I believe that no specific proposition of that nature has been made, but it is a matter of detail that might be easily settled; they no doubt intended the revenues of those estates to be applied to the education of youth generally, without distinction of religion or classes, as far as the original titles would permit.

Martis, 17 die Junii, 1828.

The Rev. Anthony Hamilton, called in; and Examined.

YOU are Secretary to the Ecclesiastical Board for the purpose of providing colonial clergy?–I am.

Of whom does that board consist?–Of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London.

When was it appointed?–In the year 1824 or 1825.

By whom was it appointed?–By Lord Bathurst.

What was the form of appointment?–A recommendation from Lord Bathurst to the Lords of the Treasury, and a confirmation of it by a minute of the Treasury.

Did the board receive any instructions or directions from Lord Bathurst at the Archbishop of Canterbury, and between the Right Hon. Wilmot Horton and George Harrison, esq. will exhibit the grounds of the appointment, a copy of which is sub- mitted to the Committee.

Will you describe what duties the board perform?–The investigation of the character and qualifications of candidates who apply for clerical appointments in the colonies.

Do the candidates apply to the bishops, or to the Colonial Office?–The practice varies; applications are sometimes directed to the Secretary of State, and sometimes to the Ecclesiastical Board.

In that case do you refer to the application to the Colonial Office?–No, when a vacancy is intimated to me from the Colonial Office, it is my duty to recommend, through the Ecclesiastical Board, a proper person to fill that vacancy.

Of the number of candidates who apply in the course of a year, do the greater number apply personally to yourself, or to the Colonial Office?–I should think the great number to myself direct, not generally in person, but by letter; no person is ever recommended without personal intercourse.

Is there any account kept of the applications which would show the proportions of the numbers accurately?–Yes.

Does any appointment take place without a reference to you, either from the individuals, or from the Colonial Office?–I believe not.

Has there been any instance of a recommendation of your’s not having been acted upon by the Colonial Office?–I believe not.

You receive a salary as secretary to the board?–I do, of 500l. a year.

Is there a clerk?–There is a clerk in the office.

Is that salary paid out of the colonial revenue?–No, it is paid by the Treasury recommendation.

Does the examination of clergymen supply to all the colonies?–To all the colonies.

Having ascertained the fitness of the candidate, what steps do you take?–I draw out a form of recommendation, which is signed by the members of the Ecclesiastical Board, and then transmit it to the Secretary of State.

And in consequence of that recommendation the appointment invariably takes places?–Invariably.

In the recommendation of clergymen to fill the vacancies that occur in Canada, what steps are taken by the board?–The clergy in Canada are under the control and appointment of the Society for the Propagation of the Gosepl in Foreign Parts, of which I am also secretary.

Has the board you have described, consisting of the two Archbishops, and the Bishop of London, any thing to do with the appointments in Canada?–They have not yet hard any thing to do with the colony, but there are several appointments in the Canada’s which are in the patronage of the Secretary of State, the great majority are in the patronage of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel’;none of those in the patronage of the Secretary of State have become vacant since the establish- ment of the board.

Have the goodness to describe those appointments in Canada which are under the influence of the Ecclesiastical Board?–I should conceive that they are limited to the Rector of Quebec, the Rector of Montreal, and the Rector of Three Rivers.

How does it arise that those three are under the influence of the Ecclesiastical Board ?—They being in the patronage of the Secretary of State, and not in the patronage of the Society tor the Propagation of the Gospel.

How does it arise that those three clergymen are appointed by the Secretary of State?—I believe this has been the practice from the first settlement of the colony.

By whom are their salaries paid ?——Either by the local Government, or by the Government here, but I am not aware in what manner they are paid.

When you say they are under the patronage of the Government, do you mean that nevertheless they are practically recommended and appointed by the Eccle- siastical Board ?—I should conceive they would be in case of a vacancy, but no vacancy has yet occurred since the formation of the Ecclesiastical Board.

Will you explain what is the nature of the functions administered by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts? The supply and maintenance of a body of clergy for the North American colonies. The clergy appointed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, are denominated missionaries, they are appointed to certain churches in different districts, and they receive a salary from the society.

Of whom does the society consist ?—It is a voluntary society, consisting both of clerical and lay members, embodied under a charter, and certain dignitaries of the church named therein.

About what number ?—The incorporated list consists of 300, and the manage- ment of the society is in those; there is also an associated list, which consists of about 4,000.

When was this society first formed ?——In the year 1701.

Has it a charter?—The charter was granted by King William.

Does it publish an annual report of its proceedings ?—It does.

What funds has it?—It has certain funds now vested in public securities, the produce of collections and bequests, amounting to between 4,000l. and 5,000l. a year. Voluntary subscriptions, amounting in the last year to about 7,000l., and assistance from Parliament, amounting to about 15,000l.

Are the 300 persons whom you have described to be the managers all clergy- men ?—No.

What portion of them are clergymen ?—Much the largest proportion.

Does that comprehend all the bishops?——All the English bishops, but not neces- sarily so.

What is the qualification which is necessary in order to entitle a person to be— come one of the incorporated members ?—As vacancies occur in the list, they are proposed and elected by ballot.

Are they all necessarily subscribers ?——They are, they cannot subscribe less than two guineas.

What salary have you as secretary ?–My salary is 180l. a year; but I have an allowance for house rent besides.

With respect to the Canaclas, what duties does this society perform?—The supervision of the clergy, the correspondence with them, the appointment of them, and the payment of them.

What control have they over them ?—They have the control which the power of the purse gives generally.

Has not the bishop an episcopal control?—He has.

When you mentioned the parliamentary assistance which the society receives? did you include in the grant which is made specially for the Canadas?—I did. I think that amounts to 7,000l. out of the 15,000l.

Does the control of the society extend only to the North American colonies?– It does.

In what way has the number of clergyman for Upper and Lower Canada been decided upon ?-According to the means of the society to support them; it would be very much enlarged if the means of the society enabled it to increase them.

Are applications transmitted from Canada, praying the society to send out missionaries for particular districts ?—Frequently.

In what way does the society know to what district a clergyman is appointed, and whether or no there is actually a congregation for him to attend to when he gets there?—No clergyman is ever appointed by the society to a congregation, unless the people themselves have already built a church, and agreed to provide a parsonage house.

Then in every instance a church has been built before a clergyman has been appointed ?–In every instance, and they have either provided a house, or raised a contribution to pay for one.

Is that fact always communicated by the bishop ?——It is.

Is it certified in any way ?—I will not say that in every instance it is certified by the bishop that such is the case, but I have not the least doubt that such is the case, because it is intimated to this society as the rule of his lordship.

In what way do you ascertain the numbers of the congregation that is likely to attend, or the number of persons who would belong to the church ?——The only way in which we can form an estimate of the congregation is from a return of the com- municants; that does not take place in every instance, but there have been returns from many; and from those I should judge that the congregations vary from 200 to 300, 400, and 500, scarcely any under 200; the calculation that I should adopt is to multiply that number by six for the congregation, and then by two, to find the number of the members of the Church of England.

Is that a rule applicable to England ?—It requires an active clergyman to make that rule applicable. If one sixth of the congregation is too high an estimate for the communicants, the number of the congregation must be greater. I believe, from what I have heard, that calculation will not answer in the settlements adjoin- ing the United States, because there, although there are very numerous congrega- tions, the people are not in the habit of communicating.

Do you know on what account that is ?—I conclude that, being originally dis- senters, they are not yet completely confirmed in faith and practice of members of the Church of England.

Do you know how the funds are obtained for the building of churches ?—By subscriptions among the people. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel grants some assistance, but it must form a small part of the whole.

Is that frequently the case ?——In almost every instance in which it is applied for.

Do you mean that assistance is granted in almost every instance in which a church is built?—I think so.

What proportion does the grant hear to the whole expense of the church ?— I should think about a fifth or a sixth part.

How do you estimate the amount of the expense of building a church ?—From the returns that occasionally are made. An estimate of a church in New Bruns- wick reached me yesterday, which exceeded 600l.; in aid of this church the society granted 100 l.

Is there subsequently, after a church has been built and a grant made by the society, an account sent of the actual expense that has been incurred ?—Not as a regular practice.

Have you in many instances received it?——I should say not, in Canada; in seve- ral instances, in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, we have. Some years since a grant of 2,000l. was placed at the disposal of the Bishop of Quebec; and the Paper delivered in exhibits a statement of the manner in which 1,3001. of that sum was appropriated in assisting the erection of so churches, from July 1821 to December 1824.

Have you any reason to believe that the grant made by the society towards the building of churches is ever a considerably larger proportion than one fifth of the amount actually expended——I should say not, certainly.

By whom is the estimate furnished ?—By the people themselves, tlnough the missionary or the bishop.

Can you furnish the Committee with an exact account of the sums granted to- wards building churches in Canada in each of the last five years, specifying the amount granted in each case ?—I could furnish that.

Could you also furnish an account of the estimated expense of building each church ?——Not of each church, but I could of some.

If you can furnish the estimate in some instances, why cannot you in all ?— Because we have it not returned to us; we make the grant upon the recommenda- tion of the bishop.

Have the society any fixed principle in apportioning the sums they grant for the building of churches?–They vary according to the wants of the place; I should not say there is any fixed principle.

Can you say what is the amount they usually grant?–From 50 l. to 100l., and they have granted as much as 200l. in particular cases; but I know no instance in Canada in which they have granted 200 l.

Has the whole of that sum been expended?–It has.

Are there returns of the expenditure?–There has been a return of this 2,000l.

Is there also a return of the sums alleged to be expended in individual cases?– Yes; in every case it is certified by the bishop; the bishop draws for the money.

Is any money granted towards building parsonage houses?–Not in Canada.

Can you state out of what funds they are built?–They are built in general by the subscriptions of the people.

Have the society had any income from the clergy reserves?–None at all; the society have nothing to do with them.

What portion of the grant of Parliament is applied towards the maintenance of the clergy in Canada?– £. 7,000 is voted, and a much larger sum than that is dis- tributed; in Canada no separate accounts are kept, in reference to the several accounts; a separate account for each individual missionary is entered in the treasurer’s book.

Could you state what proportion of it is applied to Canada?–No doubt the whole of the 7,000 l. is, and much more.

Could you furnish the Committee with the annual returns of the expense of the society for the last five years?–Yes, it is published every year.

According to what rule do you decide the salary that shall be paid to each clergyman in Canada?–The average of the salaries is 200l. A year, there are very few instances in which they exceed or are below that.

In deciding whether the salaries shall amount to 200l. A year, or less, have you reference to the amount of the congregation?–No, it was considered that 200l. A year was the elast sum that any clergyman could live upon with any degree of respectability.

The Committee have seen a report at the proceedings of the society, in which they observed several columns; one contained a specification of the salary paid to the clergyman, and there was also another column headed, “A Return of the Population of each Parish,” that column was entirely blank; can you state whether the missionaries have been unable to furnish returns of the number of the Pro- testant population of their districts?–In some instances they have done it, but it is extremely difficult.

Does that profess to be the Protestant population generally, including all dis- senters?–Yes.

In what way do you define the district in which each clergyman exercises his functions; is their any thing in the nature of a parochial division?–None in Can- ada; it has been considered as a great defect that such a division has not taken place; it has not been for want of representations on that subject; in Nova Scotia and in New Brunswick the country is divided into parishes.

Do you know whether they have any payments from fees?–They have surplice fees, but they are very moderates, their extent is not known; they may be consi- derable in the large towns, such as Kingston and York.

Do the subscriptions of the society increase or decrease?–Increase.

Have you difficulty in procuring English clergymen to serve in Canada at the salary you give?– I should say not; we have a great many applications at this moment before us; the only difficulty we have is in finding means to support the clergy.

Of the money that you apply for the support of clergyman in Canada, do you think that the greater proportion comes from the Government grants, or from private subscription?–I should think a large proportion is from Government grants, because 15,500 l., the grant from Government, exceeds the sum total of the other resources of the society, amounting to 11,000 l. or 12,000l.

Does the Bishop of Quebec in his communications with the society, or with the Ecclesiastical Board, state that if there was a greater opportunity of endow- ing churches, and pecuniary means of supplying clergymen, there does exist a demand in that country for clergymen of the Church of England?–No doubt, he has repeated it often, and Sir Peregrine Maitland has said the same thing in his communications with Government.

Does the bishop say so with regard to both Canadas?–He says it with refe- rence to both.

Are the churches in Canada at present abundantly supplied with clergymen?– No, we have repeated applications for more clergyman, but we have not means to support them.

Are any of the churches without ministers ?—A great many clergymen serve two or three churches.

Would it be possible to have an account of those ?-Yes. May I be allowed to observe that in the first instance I deprecated this examination, because I am assured that it is defective; measures have been preparing to give information of a very superior kind to the Committee, and that information is daily expected from the Bishop of Quebec, With the permission of the Committee I will make an observation upon the subject of the clergy reserves, with respect both to the question of right and the question of expediency.

Do you know what is held by the clergy in this country upon the subject of the clergy reserves ?—It has formed the subject of conversation very frequently, and they consider that the right of the clergy of the Church of England in the Canadas is exclusive.

Do you apply your arguments principally to the expediency of having religious instructions provided for in one way or another, rather than to the expediency of providing for them in the particular method pointed out in the Act of Parlia- ment ? —Yes.

Do you think the having an exclusive church would tend to promote peace and harmony among the population at large ?——I should think so.

Even among the French Canadians —No, the circumstances of he case are totally different.

Are you aware that petitions, very numerously signed, have been presented from both Canadas against an exclusive church, and that the House of Assembly of Upper Canada have by a very large majority passed resolutions to the same effect?–I do not think that is conclusive against the feeling of the people in favour of the church.

Mr. James Charles Grant, called in; and Examined.

ARE you a native of Canada ?—I am.

Have you come over to England for the purpose of representing the views of any class of persons in that country ?—Yes, I have come to represent the claims of the Presbyterians.

Are you of the Church of Scotland?–Yes.

Are there in Upper Canada many persons denominated Presbyterians who d iffer from the Church of Scotland ?—There are many who are not in communion with the Church of Scotland.

Can you state the number of each class ?—No, it is impossible to give a correct; statement of the number of different sects in the country, as no census has been taken.

Can you state which form the largest class of the Presbyterians, those which are called Scotch Presbyterians, or the others? —I cannot state the comparative numbers; no means have been afforded to encourage clergymen of the Church of Scotland to settle in that country; I am only possessed of general information received from the different parts of the country; but those who are considered as Scottish seceders in that province, would join in communion with the Church of Scotland if it was established there. In the opinion of most persons it is con- ceived to be established by law, but it has not been so viewed by the colonial Government.

Is there any class of Presbyterians in Upper Canada who have originated from the United States ?——There is.

Do they form a third class, always assuming in the question that the Scotch Presbyterians are divided into seceders and others?–They are considered as a separate class.

Would they attend the same place of worship with the Scotch Presbyterians?– I cannot speak from my own knowledge; but from the information received from different parts of Upper Canada, I have reason to think that all who are attached to the Presbyterian form of worship would join the church of Scotland.

Do you know whether they differe in doctrine or in discipline?–Not in doctrine, I believe.

Have you brought over a petition from Upper Canada?—The petition which I brought over with me is, I presume, before the Committee; it is from Lower Canada, but it purports to be on behalf of both; this petition is signed by some persons in Upper Canada; another petition was to have been transmitted to me from Upper Canada, but I have not yet received it.

What do you represent on behalf of the petitioners ?–The petition sets forth the claim of the Presbyterians to a portion of the revenue arising from the clergy reserves, which have been set apart for the support of the Protestant clergy in that country. The object of the petition is to obtain a permanent provision for the support of clergyman of the Church of Scotland.

What is the number of signatures to that petition ?—Upwards of 4,000.

Are many of those in Upper Canada ?——I cannot say what number or pro- portion of the petitioners reside in Upper Canada; there are many who reside in that province.

Have you any general notion of what the numbers of the Protestant population of Lower Canada are ?—I suppose the number in Lower Canada may amount to between 60,000 and 80,000.

Have you any notion what number of that population are members of the Church of England ?—The only means I have of judging of the comparative numbers, is derived from the returns that have been made to some questions that were sent to different parts of the Protestant settlements, to respectable persons that were supposed to be competent to give information upon the subject. Much excitement and discussion arose in Canada last autumn, in consequence of the publication of an ecclesiastical chart and letter, purporting to give a statistical account of religious denominations in that province, which had been prepared by Dr. Strachan for the information of His Majesty’s Government; a general feeling existed, that the distorted views and erroneous statements given in that chart, were calculated to make inaccurate impressions, and lead to the most erroneous infer- ences and conclusions on the subject. The mode above mentioned was adopted with the View of obtaining the most accurate information; I am in possession of the answers to those questions from some of the settlements both in Upper and Lower Canada, from which, I find that the number of Episcopalians vary in the dilierent settlements, but they form but a. small proportion of the Protestant inhabitants.

Have you any more accurate means of knowing what part of the Protestant population of Lower Canada the Presbyterians constitute?—No other mode of ascertaining it than that I have mentioned.

Have not the Scotch church in Scotland sent queries to the colonies, and got returns in answer to them ?-Yes, returns have been obtained from some of the settlements only. It is necessary to observe that the Protestant part of the popu- lation in the townships is so dispersed over a vast extent of country, and the means of communication betwccn the settlements so difficult, and in some cases interrupted and inaccessible, and the difficulty of finding persons, in the absence of clergymen in the different settlements, who would take the trouble of ascertaining the number of persons attached to the different forms of worship, that the information that has been derived is not so ample as might be expected.

Can you state the proportion of the Presbyterians to themembers of the Church of England in Lower Canada?–I cannot say exactly, but I believe the Presby- terians are more than treble the number ofthe Episcopalians.

What is the proportion in Upper Canada ?——It is very difficult to answer that question, but I imagine that there also those denominations will bear the same relative proportion.

Do you feel quite confident that neither in Upper nor in Lower Canada the members of the Church of England are equal in number to the Presbyterians ?— That is my impression.

Are you aware that at present the clergy reserves have been very unproductive? –They have not been very productive hitherto.

Do you know what sum they have produced annually ?—I believe not exceeding 500l. or 600l., or between that and 1,000l..

By whom are they managed at present ?——By a corporation, consisting of the bishop and the beneficed clergyman of Lower Canada.

Is that corporation composed exclusively of members of the Church of England? –It is.

Does the Presbyterian population of that province view with alarm the circum- stance of the management of those clergy reserves being given to a body composed exclusively of members of the Church of England, and augur from that that there is an intention of finally giving the property of those reserves to the Church of England?–Undoubtedly; those lands were set apart for the support of a Protestant clergy: the Presbyterians belonging to one of the established churches of Great Britain always conceived that when those lands became productive they would participate in the revenue arising from such reserves; and the appearance of an advertisement, announcing the formation of this corporation, first excited their alarm, and induced them to look more narrowly into the situation of their religious establishments.

In what year was that?—In the year 1820. Not only among Presbyterians themselves, but I may say it was the generally received opinion in the country that they had it legal claim to a portion of those revenues.

Do the Prcsbyterians of Lower Canada conceive that the Church of England and themselves have the exclusive right to the property of those reserves, or would they admit other descriptions of Protestants to share in then .——They conceive that according to the language of the Act itself, those lands being set apart for the support of a Protestant clergy, none but the Church of England and the Church of Scotland could have been contemplated by the Act, as no other denomination of Christians are recognised by law; at the same time I cannot say that there would be any objection on the part of the Presbyterians to a provision being made out of those funds for other Protestant ministers.

What might be the proportion of the other descriptions of Protestants, compared with the members of the Scotch Church and the Church of England ?—I cannot say with respect to the eastern townships ; but I suppose that in the city of Montreal they amount to about half the number of Presbyterians; from the other Protestant settlements in Lower Canada, from which answers have been received, there are but few.

Do you know the number of Presbyterian ministers in either of the two Canadas? —I can furnish the Committee with the names of the different clergymen; but that is not it proper criterion by which to judge of the number of Presbyterians; because in consequence of an ample provision having been made for the support of ministers of the Church of England, and the facilities enjoyed by them as a religious establishment, the number of clergymen of the Church of England have multiplied in ti greater ratio than their flocks, whereas the Presbyterians have had no means of providing for the support of their ministers; and as no Presbytery in Scotland will ordain a minister unless a sufficient and permanent stipend is provided for his support, numerous flocks attached to the latter church have continued to be, and are still, without pastors.

The Committee have been informed that there are two Presbyterian ministers in Montreal and one in Quebec; can you inform the Committee whether there are any others that are permanently established ?—There are but two congregations in Montreal that are under the niinistration of three clergymen in communion with the Church of Scotland; there is one under the ministration of a clergyman in communion with the presbytery of New York. In Quebec there is but one congregation, under the ministration of a clergyman in communion with the Church of Scotland ; there is another in communion with a presbytery in some part of the United States,

Are there any other congregations in Lower Canada?—In various settlements the Presbyterians are numerous, and congregations would be formed if there were clergymen provided for them.

From what do you conclude that they would be formed ?–From the desire the inhabitants have mariifostecl, and the applications they have made for clergymen.

Are there other Presbyterian ministers of the Church of Scotland officiating though not with regularly formed congregations ?——Yes, there are two in Montreal, who go to adjoining settlements, occasionally to perform service for the settlers in the immediate vicinity of the town.

Are there any others in Lower Canada?—In Lower Canada, not that I know of.

What is the number of Presbyterian ministers officiating who have not regular congregations?–I believe there are about five in Upper Canada who have congre- gations in communion with the Church of Scotland; and I suppose there would be 20 more congregations formed in that province if there were clergymen provided for the settlements where their services are required.

Can you specify those five?–There is one at King’s Town, Mr. Machar; Mr. Urquhart at Cornwall, Mr. Mackenzie at William’s Town, Mr. Connell at Martin Town, and Mr. Sheed at Ancaster.

Can you state the number of congregations and also of officiating ministers in Upper Canada?–I cannot state from my own knowledge, but I can relate the information received from different parts of Upper Canada in answer to the queries that were transmitted. In the western district of Upper Canada there are about 8,000 inhabitants altogether, 3,500 of whom are Roman Catholics and 4,500 Protestants; one half of the Protestant population are supposed to prefer the Pres- byterian form of worship. The district of Niagara is supposed to contain a popu- lation of about 20,000, three-fourths of whom are supposed to be Presbyterians, and attached to that form of worship; there are eight Presbyterian churches erected within that district, but no Scotch clergyman; the number of Episcopalians is very small. The salaries that are provided for the ministers vary from 50;. to 100l. The ministers who officiate in those churches are in connexion with Ameri- can presbyteries, with the exception of one at Niagara, a Mr. Frazer, who is a Scotch seceder. In the district of Bathurst, the one population amounts to about 12,000, they are chiefly from Scotland, and the majority of them are Presbyte- rians; there are three congregations under the ministration of clergymen of the Scotch session that officiate within that district. This district has been settled within the last 12 years, and the inhabitants in general are too poor to contribute towards the support of clergymen.

Do the causes for the separation between the seceders and other Presbyterians and the Church of Scotland which exist in Scotland exist also in America?–Those causes do not exist in the Canadas; the clergymen of the Scotch session in Upper Canada are formed into a presbytery, and at a late meeting they resolved that the causes of differences which have divided Presbyterians in Scotland are locally inapplicable in the colonies, and expressed their willingness to join the Church of Scotland. I am in possession of the resolutions, and will hand them into the Committee if it is desired.

Do you suppose that in case of the establishment of a Presbyterian clergy in Canada, those Presbyterians that have a connexion with the Presbyterians in the United States would be willing to join the Scotch Presbyterians?–Yes from the information I have received, it appears that all, or the majority of them, would join.

Will you proceed to state the information you are in possession of with respect to other districts?–The Midland district contains about 30,000, one third of whom at least are supposed to be attached to the Presbyterian faith, and would join in the communion of the Church of Scotland, if they were supplied with ministers from Scotland.

Can you state how many there are of the Church of England in that district?– No, I cannot; we have more particular information from some of the townships in the eastern disticts. We have received returne from seven out of twelve town- ships in the eastern district; there are three clergymen of the Church of Scotland residing within the district. The following is a census of four townships; the township of Charlottenburgh contains 2,104 Presbyterians, 75 Episcopalians and 1,652 Roman Catholics. Lancaster contains 902 Presbyterians, no Episcopalians, 1,019 Roman Catholics. Kenyon contains 597 Presbyterians, no Episcopalians, 490 Roman Catholics. Lochiel contains 1,152 Presbyterians, one Episcopalian, and 662 Roman Catholics.

Have you selected those townships out of the ten as affording the strongest instances of the extent of the Presbyterians?–No. I have no other motive than because the information received from those townships is more minute than from other parts; and it arises in this circumstance, that in these townships there are clergymen who have taken the trouble of getting information, and it is probable that the number of Presbyterians is greater there, or at least there are not so many dissenters, from the circumstance of there being established clergymen in that part of the country.

Have you in those four township returns of the respective places of worship?– I do not at present remember; but I believe that service is performed at Lochiel, William’s Town and other places.

Are you aware whether there is any Episcopalian church in any of those four townships?—I am not aware of any.

Are there any dissenters in those townships ?—No; in fact those townships are principally inhabited by Scotch; the townships of Cornwall and Roxburgh con- tain a total population of 2,918, and there are 1,128 Presbyteriaus.

Are any of the clergy reserves leased in those townships?——I cannot say whether there are; I presume, however, that some have been leased, inasmuch as those townships are well settled; and consequently it is probable that those lands have been taken up.

How are the funds provided by which those people build their churches and pay their ministers ?-By voluntary contribution, and in most of the new settlements the people are poor, and have not the means of providing sufficiently for a clergy- man.

Do you know what is the ordinary expense in the newly settled townships of building a wooden church capable of containing from 150 to 200 persons ?—— Between 100l. to 200l. I do not mean a permanent building, but one which would answer every purpose for a few years; a more substantial building would cost probably 500l.

Do they derive any assistance in building these churches from any other quarter? ——None whatever.

Do you know the proportions of persons from different parts of the united em- pire which prevail among the emigrants that come in ?—Emigration proceeds principally from Scotland and Ireland.

Have the General Assembly of Scotland never furnished any assistance towards the building of churches ?—They have not furnished any; I presume they have none at their disposal.

You have stated that the salaries of the ministers are inadequate ?——I have stated that in some of the townships first settled, and in which the inhabitants are more wealthy than those in the more recent settlements, the salaries that are paid to the clergymen vary from 50 l. to 100 l.. a year, which is not considered sufficient for their support; and no presbytery of the Church of Scotland will ordain a mini- ster for any parish unless there is a sufficient stipend provided.

What do they consider a sufficient stipend ?—There is no fixed sum, but 150l. or 200l. a year would be an adequate provision.

How are the clergymen at Montreal paid ?—By voluntary contribution.

What may be the amount of their income .—I doubt whether they receive more than 200l. each per annum, which is as much as their congregations can conveni- ently afford to pay, notwithstanding that most of the wealth of the country is concentrated in the towns.

Should you say that generally in a country circumstanced as Canada is, you conceive that the religious wants of the country are better provided for by voluntary contributions, or by funds derived from setting aside a certain portion of the soil of the country for the support of the clergy ?—The people in general are too poor to provide in a sufficient manner by voluntary contribution for the support of clergy- men; in such a country, while in its infancy, they necessarily require assistance from some other source.

Do you think that under all circumstances it would be necessary to set aside a certain portion of the soil for the support of the religion in the Canadas ?——I can- not say that it would be necessary to set aside a portion of the soil, but I think it would be proper that some provision should be made for the support of religion, in that or some other manner.

Do you think that there would be a sutlicient provision from the reserves for the clcrgymen when civilization was in a more advanced state, as it is in seine parts of Upper Canada?-Yes; although the lands that have been set apart for the main– tenance of the clergy have not been hitherto very productive, it still retained for that purpose, those lands must eventually become very valuable, but in the mean time some provision ought to be afforded from other funds.

Are you aware that certain resolutions were passed in the Assembly of Upper Canada, asserting a right. in the Assembly of controlling the funds arising from the clergy reserves, and also asserting that it would be expedient for the benefit of the colony to apply those funds not only to the support of religion, but also to that of education ?—I am not aware that they asserted the right of controlling the revenue arising from those lands. Ihave understood that resolutions such as those last mentioned have been recently adopted in the Assembly of Upper Canada, but I have also a knowledge that in 1824, resolutions of a very different nature were adopted by that body, and a petition framed upon such resolutions was presented to His Majesty, both of which I have in my possession.

Did the Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland in the Assembly, concur in the second resolution which has been mentioned ?—I cannot say ; it is only from vague report thatl have understood that resolutions of that tenor had been adopted by the Assembly in Upper Canada during the last session; but I can say that not only the Presbyterians, but all other denominations of Christians in that province adopted resolutions in favour of the claim of the Church of Scotland to those reserves in 1824, and I have the petition, predicated upon those resolutions, to lay before the Committee.

Is it the general opinion of the Presbyterian church, that the management of those clergy reserves should be left to the Legislature of the province? -I cannot say what their opinion is in that respect; but I presume that the Provincial Legis- lature could not, nor can control the revenue arising from those lands, except under the restriction provided by the Act of the 31st Geo. 3, c. 31.

Are you not aware of a part of that Act which authorizes the Provincial Assem- bly to interfere ?—It does to a certain extent, but I conceive that all enactments made by the Provincial Legislature upon that subject, would be suloject to such restrictions, and could produce no effect until the same should have received His Majesty’s assent, after having been previously laid before both Houses of Parlia- ment in Great Britain. The House of Assembly of Upper Canada, in 1823 or 1824., adopted the resolutions I have already mentioned in favour of the Church of Scotland, those resolutions were sent up to the Legislative Council for their con- currence. But the Legislative Council having refused to adopt those resolutions, the Assembly of Upper Canada petitioned His Majesty on behalf of the Presby- terians; I hold a copy of that petition in my hand, and with the permission of the Committee I shall read it.

[The same was read as follows:]

“To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty.

“Most Gracious Sovereign.

“ WE your Majesty’s dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Upper Canada in Provincial Parliament assembled, most humbly beg leave to approach your Majesty, and to submit to your Majesty’s most gracious consideration our earnest supplications in behalf of the clergy and members of the Established Church of Scotland, in this portion of your domiuions. When the kingdoms of England and Scotland were (happily for both) united under the British Crown, the subjects of each were placed on a footing of reciprocity, they were to enjoy a full communication of every right, privilege, and advantage, and their respective churches were established as “ true Protestant Churches,” within their particular limits; the clergy of both might therefore reasonably expect equally to participate in the benefits which might result from the union. Viewing the conquest of these provinces from the dominion of France, by the united exertions of Great Britain and Ireland as one great advantage resulting from the union, we humbly conceive that the Churches of England and Scotland had, after such conquest, equal rights as to the exercise and enjoyment of their respective religious privileges therein, and an equal claim to enjoy any advantages or support which might be derived from the newly acquired territory. By an Act passed in the thirty-first year of the reign of our late revered Sovereign, whose memory will long live in our hearts, an appropriation is authorized to be made of one seventh of the lands of the province for the support and maintenance of a Protestant Clergy in this Province; and under the general words, “ A Protestant Clergy,” used in that Act, your Majesty’s subjects in this province, who belong and are particularly attached to the Church of Scotland, fondly hoped that a provision had been made for the clergy of that church, as well as for those of the Church of England, and though the allotment of lands thus authorized has hitherto been in great measure unproductive, they felta degree of confidence that it would eventually afford a fair support to the clergy of both Churches. The lands reserved under the said Act being claimed and enjoyed exclusively for the support and maintenance of the Clergy of the Church of England in this province, we humbly entreat your Majesty’s consideration of the subject, and if in the legal construction of the said Act it is considered that no provision for the Clergy of the Church of Scotland was contemplated thereby, we would most respectfully and earnestly express to your Majesty our hope that your Majesty will he graciously pleased to extend to them your royal protection and consideration, by directing such provision to be made for their maintenance and support as to your Majesty may appear proper. Thatyour Majesty may long reign in the confidence and affection of all your subjects, to guard and secure their rights in every portion of your widely extended dominions, is the prayer of your Majesty’s faithful subjects the Commons of Upper Canada.

(signed) “ Levius P. Sherwood Speaker.”

“ Commons House of Assembly, 5th Jan 1824.”

Do you know by what number that petition was voted in the House of Assembly? ——In the Legislative Council there were six against, and five for the adoption of those resolutions.

Looking at the clergy reserves merely as a question of property, independently of appropr tion, do you apprehend that they have been unproductively managed by the Clergy Corporation?- I conceive that those lands might have produced more, if a different course had been adopted in regard to them.

Are you not of opinion that their existence in their present form, without any reference to their appropriation, is prejudicial to the interests of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada ?—It is conceived that they are prejudicial ; but I believe that if longer leases were granted of those lands, and if the corporation or whatever person or persons who is or are to have the management of them, were compelled to perform the labour thatis required to be performed by the persons holding lands con- tiguous to those of other persons (the expense of which might be defrayed out of the proceeds ofthe sale of a portion to raise a fund for that purpose), those reserves would not produce the injury they do at present.

Are you not of opinion. that if part of those reserves were sold, and their proceeds applied for the making of roads, and for the prevention of those inconveniences which result from their being left waste, that the remainder would be infinitely more valuable than the whole are under their present circumstances ?——I cannot say whether that would be the ease or not, because they are so dispersed and scattered; if those lands were set apart in a block or any particular section of the country, and a portion of that section was sold, and the money applied to the improvement of the remainder, it would enhance their value; but the reserves are scttttered through the different settlements.

Are you not of opinion that the sale of those scattered lots which are mixed up with that part of the country which is now settled, would be desirable, leaving the proceeds to be disposed of in such manner as might be determined upon ?—I think so, though I do not conceive the present to be a favourable time to dispose of them.

If it be deemed expedient to have a provision in land for the support of any clergy, do you think that provision might more advantageously be given in large blocks, than it would be by scattering them in that manner throughout the country? —The setting apart of such lands would not be so injurious to the settlement of the country generally, as the manner in which they are scattered over the country at present; but I cannot say that such provision would be more advantageous for those for whose benefit it is proposed to be made, than that which already exists.

Are you aware that a bill was brought into the House of Commons in the year 1826, authorizing the sale of 120,000 acres per annum, of those reserves, and that the sale was left to the discretion of the Governor in Council ?—Yes.

Do you consider that advantage will accrue to the Canadas from that system being acted upon?–I think that it would be advantageous to the colonies.

Is it your opinion that the establishment of a prevailing and exclusive church, of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, in both provinces of Canada, would contribute to the prosperity and happiness of those colonies ?— I do not; the people in general are attached to the Presbyterian and other forms.

When you say that the people in general are attached to the Presbyterian form, is it your opinion that it would be desirable to give that church any exclu- sive privilege ?— My opinion is, that no church in the country ought to he domi- nant, or possess political or other powers which might be prejudicial to other religious denominations; but I think that the national churches ought to receive some provision for the support of their clergy; particularly while those colonies are in their infancy.

Does any proportion of the Presbyterian population attend the ministers of the Church of England ?——In the cities of Quebec and Montreal some persons brought up to the Scotch church joined that of England, at times when those cities were not provided with pastors, and having married and had their children christened in that church some may have since adhered to it, while other persons may have conformed to that church from interest. In Lower Canada, (particularly among the Protestant part of the population), as well as in the Upper Province, the Church of England has been made the avenue to office; and it is also probable that some may attend service in the Church of England in those parts of the country where there are no ministers except of the Church of England.

Of the other sects which should you say, from your knowledge of the country, is the most predoininant?—The Methodists and Baptists in Upper Canada.

Do you mean the Wesleyan Methodists ?——The Methodists generally; I cannot say that the Wesleyans are more numerous then the other.

The Committee understand that you are a lawyer ?——I am.

Do you reside at Montreal ?—I do.

Has your business lain much among the English townships ?—A good deal.

Have you long had opportunities of observing the working of the present sys- tem of laws. in the province of Lower Canada ?—The last 14 or 15 years I have.

Should you say that, generally, the great mass of the population was satisfied with that system of laws ?-They are with the system generally.

Does that observation apply to the population of the townships, as well as to what has been called the French population of Lower Canada? —The complaints that I have heard from the inhabitants of the townships did not refer to the general system of laws; those persons complain more of the present system by which those laws are administered, the remoteness of their situation, and the great difficulty of access to the courts of justice, and other circumstances.

Do you conceive that it would be necessary, in any alterations that are made by the Parliament of this country in the state of the laws of Lower Canada, to proceed with the greatest caution ?——I do, and should be sorry to see the system of laws changed; I do not think that a general change could be effected without materially injuring the rights of subjects in that country.

Do you extend that observation to the townships, as well as to the seig— neuries ?——I do; the principal objections I have heard from persons in the town- ships related to the tenure, but that question has been set at rest by the Canada Tenures Act. The inadequacy of the road laws in respect to the townships, and the want of offices for the registration of all mortgages and hypotheques on real estate have also been the subject of frequent complaints on the part of the inha- bitants of the townships.

What should you say generally was the system of laws in force in the English townships ?—The English laws are in effect with respect to the title of landed estates, but I believe that the laws of Canada generally have governed that por- tion as well as the other parts of the province.

Do you consider that the Declaratory Act merely referred to the tenure of landed property ?—I am not prepared to give an answer to this question at the present moment, but all doubts respecting the laws governing real property are removed by the Tenures Act.

Do you consider that advantage or disadvantage has resulted from that Decla- ratory Act in the toirnships?—I cannot say that any disadvantage has resulted from it; I believe that the people who reside in that part of the country are satisfied.

Do you distinguish the law of tenure from the law of descent?—Yes ; the English laws of descent, as affecting those lands, may and ought to be altered.

Therefore, though the tenure may be regulated by the free and common soccage law, the descent may not be according to the law of primogeniture?———Under the present law those lands must descend according to the laws of England.

Would the people be satisfied with that ?—I cannot say with respect to that; I think they would not. .

Is it your opinion that the English population in the townships, who you say prefer the tenure of free and common soccage to the French tenure, would prefer to have the descent of land according to the French, or according to the English system ?——In my opinion not according to the English system; I think they would be adverse to the law of primogeniture, and would prefer the descent according to the laws of Canada, by which children inherit equally.

Do you think they would prefer the English law of conveyancing to the laws with regard to imitations of property under the French system ?——There are few notaries resident in that part of the country. In Lower Canada lands are conveyed by an instrument executed before notaries; but I am of opinion that the lands held in free and common soccage might be conveyed with equal facility in the townships as they are conveyed in Upper Canada, by a deed of bargain and sale, if provision was made for the enregistration of deeds, as in the latter province.

Do not the inhabitants of the townships object to that part of the French law which affects real property and mortgages ?—They do object to those laws which create mortgages and liens upon real property. The Canadian system of law is an excellent one, but, like all other systems, it has its defects.

Do not they also object to the law affecting personal property?——I have not heard objections made to those laws that I remember.

W’hat is the law of descent in Upper Canada ?—I believe there has been a pro- vincial Act varying the law of England in that respect, but of this I am not certain; I know that a bill for that purpose was introduced, and passed the Assembly twice or thrice, but I am not certain whether it became a law or not.

Supposing that the Canada Tenures Act was found to produce injury to persons who had received deeds or transfers under the French forms prior to the Declara- tory Act, might not any inconvenience from such bona fide transactions, in your opinion, be removed by a bill giving validity to deeds passed under the French forms prior to that Declaratory Act?–Undoubtedly.

Would not you think it convenient that such transfers should be registered within a limited time for the purpose of giving them validity ?—Not for the purpose of giving validity to such deeds.

Are not register offices much wanted in the townships? They are.

Do you think that the scattered state of the population in the townships presents any greater obstacle to the establishment of register offices than in Upper Canada, or in any other newly settled country ?—I think not.

Have you in your possession any representations which have been made by the townships complaining of grievances which they consider themselves as sustaining? ——I have not; I am aware that they have petitioned the Provincial Legislature frequently.

In your opinion, does the difficulty of borrowing money upon landed security in the townships of Lower Canada arise from the general scarcity of money, or from a defect in the law as to giving security for money so borrowed ?——There is not much capital in Canacla, but I believe that it is owing to a defect of the law that money cannot be borrowed upon landed security in any part of Lower Canada; capital could be procured both from England and from the United States if the repayment of it could be secured upon landed estate.

Would not the registration of mortgages cure that evil to a certain extent ?- That would be undoubtedly the effect.

Is there any difficulty in inaking out deeds with respect to land in the townships according to the English law ?——I am not aware of any difficulty; but the deed would, of necessity, be longer than under the French form, or by bargain and sale, as in Upper Canada.

You said that the mode of conveyancing in Upper Canada is by bargain and sale ?-Yes.

The Committee have been inforinetl that the form of conveyance in Lower Canada is by lease and release ; is that the fact ?—I have executed deeds myself in that form, but it is not so convenient.

Why should they have adopted that form rather than the form of bargain and sale ?——Because doubts were entertained by some as to the legality of deeds by bargain and sale executed in Lower Canada; the transfer of property in the town- ships has frequently passed without any regular form, or by an instrument drawn by the parties themselves.

Do you see any reason why it should not be by bargain and sale ?–No other than that no provision is made in Lower Canada for the enrolment of such deeds.

Do you consider that the statute of Henry the Eighth, making it necessary to enrol a bargain and sale, applies to Canada ?——Doubts were entertained upon the subject in the colony till the passing of the Canada Tenures Act; anterior to that event it was my practice, whenever consulted respecting the conveyance of lands situated in the townships, to advise the execution of the transfer both according to the French and according to the English form.

Do you know the nature of the law relating to a decret volontaire?–Yes.

Do you consider it as affording a practical substitute for the system of registra- tion?–No; the provincial statute, passed to facilitate sheriffs sales, interposed greater obstacles to bringing property to sale than the pre-existing laws; but the statute for the decret volontaire has lately expired.

Can you describe the distinction that subsists between the French tenure of franc aleu and the English free and common soccage?–There is little difference be- tween the franc aleu roturier and the English free and common soccage; in fact, I see none, except with respect to the law of descent. With regard to the franc aleu noble, the laws of inheritance are also different from the laws of England; the eldest son would be entitled to an additional proportion above the other children.

Then the law of descent is different in both cases from the English law?–Yes.

Are there any rates levied in Lower Canada, and applied to local purposes, of the same character as country rates in this country?–No.

In point of fact then, it is the proceeds of the duties of customs that are applied to local purposes in Lower Canada?–Hitertho that has been the case.

When sheriffs are appointed in Lower Canada is security taken?–I have always understood that security was taken, and I believe the quantum was settled by the judges generally.

It has been stated to the Committee, that in consequence of the difficulty of knowing whether real property was charged with mortgage or not, resort has been had to sheriff’s sales as the best means of establishing a good title, is that so?– It is so.

Would the system of registration render that to a great degree unnecessary?– Altogether unnecessary.

Do you entertain an opinion highly favourable to the system of registration?– I do; it would prevent a great many frauds, and would have th effect of intro- ducing capital into the country.

Do you consider that the salaries of judges and other public officers in Lower Canada, taking into consideration the means of living there, are too high?– With respect to the judges, I think, by no means; I am not aware of any office to which a salary is attached that is disproportionate; there may be some, but I am not aware of any. The duties of the judges are very arduous, and it is not to be expected that any gentleman in the profession, who is properly qualified, would accept the office of jduge if the salary was reduced below the present amount.

Supposing the consequence of the Declaratory Act being enforced to be, to alter the law of descent as a necessary consequence, should you conceive that to be a beneficial arrangement with regard to property in Lower Canada?–I do not think so.

Are you of opinion that it would be practicable, according to the present geo- graphical divisions between the two provinces, to establish a system of customs in Upper Canada, so as to allow Upper Canada to raise a revenue upon goods im- ported, independently of the province of Lower Canada, in which the port is situated?–In my opinion it would be difficult to establish it in such a way as to prevent smuggling to a considerable extent.

Have you turned your attention very much to these subjects?–I have not; but I know that the communication by the St. Lawrence, and more certainly by the Ottawa, would afford facilities for smuggling.

Do you imagine that to be the general opinion?–I cannot say that I have heard any opinions expressed upon the subject.

Are you of opinion that the proposition of a legislative union would be likely to do away with many practical difficulties arising in consequence of the separate interests of the two provinces?–I cannot say; it is conceived by many, that it would have the effect of removing difficulties respecting the revenue.

What do you conceive to be the general feeling upon the subject?–I think the general feeling would be against the measure, certainly the majority of the people in Lower Canada would be against it.

What would be the feeling with respect to a sort of congress of the two pro- vinces, in order to direct those concerns that are common to both provinces, leaving the Legislatures of both provinces to act in those matters in which they are each distinctly interested ?——Probably there would be less objection to that; but I cannot say what would be the feeling in Upper Canada respecting the first pro- position; upon a former occasion, the opinion they expressed was, that they would be perfectly satisfied with whatever might be done upon that subject by the Imperial Legislature.

What is your own opinion as to the law of descent of property from father to song do you think it the best system that the land should be divided among all the children ?———Undoubtcdly that is the general feeling, not only in all the British colonies, but in every part of America.

Do you think that it should be made compulsory, and that the father should be prevented from leaving the land as he pleases ?—No, that would be impolitic indeed.

Then you would wish to provide, that if a person died intestate his lands should be divided equally among all his children ?—There is a contrariety of opinion upon the policy of the law in that respect; but for myself I think it would be more equitable that it should be so, particularly if the parent possessed the power of leaving his property to whomever he thought proper; he would take the pre- cautions which prudence would suggest if he was desirous of transmitting the whole or any part of his estate to any one or more of his own children in particular, or even to a stranger: the inhabitants of those townships have all some education, and they generally dispose of their property by will.

In making their will do they usually divide it equally amongst all the child- ren?——It is difficult to answer that, but, I believe that, generally speaking, they do.

In the United States, you are aware that the power of devising by will is unre- stricted, but that if a proprietor dies intestate his property is divided equally among his children ; do you conceive that to he the best form of law of descent for a country situated like that?–I do.

In stating that you think that is the best system, do you apply that opinion only to countries situated as Canada is, or do you think it would apply equally to countries fully peopled ?—Not equally so.

Do you think it has any tendency to lead to inconvenient subdivisions of pro— perty ?,—I think it has a tendency to lead to a more equal and just division of property, and preferable on that account to a system which would vest large tracts of lands in the hands of a few.

Does not inconvenience result from the small portions in which the land is subdivided in the seigneuries?—Inconveniences have resulted from it certainly.

Are they freqnent?–I cannot say that they are.

What instances have come to your knowledge of an inconvenient subdivision, and what gives rise to such subdivisions ?——I cannot charge my memory at present; with any instance; it depends upon how the property is acquired; if acquired by persons between whom a community of property subsisted alter the death of one of the parents, the children are entitled to their proportion out of the estate, and call upon the surviving parent for their proportion, and in that case the land is divided between the children and the surviving parent; in the division also of real property, arnong co—heirs, inconvenience may possiby he sometimes experienced, but not eta description to render any interference on the part of the Imperial Legisla- ture necessary.

What is the practice that prevails in Canada with respect to the division of the land ; is it usually sold and the proceeds divided ; or is it the practice actually to divide the land ?—It is sometimes actually divided, where it can be done without inconvenience.

Is that the most frequent course ?—It is frequently divided.

In that case, what happens as to the buildings upon the land ?—They are esti- mated by persons appointed for that purpose, and after the land is divided into certain portions, they draw lots, and the one to whose share the property with the buildings upon it falls, upon an estimate being made of the value of the buildings, is bound to give a proportion to each of the other co-heirs.

Is there not reason, from that statement, to think that the buildings upon a given estate which may be appropriate for one generation become inappropriate for the next generation, and that a new set of buildings must be erected upon a smaller scale, and of a different character?——In Lower Canada property is generally dis- posed of by parents before death by a deed of gift; industrious persons generally acquire the means of purchasing more farms than one, and the cornmon practice among the French Canadians is this: when a son attains the age of majority, the parents give him a farm to cultivate for himself, and the paternctl farm is generally disposed of by deed of gift to the last child.

When the country becomes more fully peopled, must not the inconvenience he more felt ?—It must.

Does not that law work throughout the United States, without any inconvenience resulting from subdivision ?——I believe it does.

Then are not those ill consequences, when they occur in Canada, very much to be ascribed to the peculiar habits of the Canadian people ?——Yes; and they occur more frequently among those who are only possessed of one farm or estate.

You have mentioned several amendments which you think it would be desirable to introduce in the laws of Canada; do you think those amendments are likely to be carried into effect if the province is left to itself?———It is very difficult to answer that question; those amendments may be carried into effect by the local Legislature.

Do you think it would be advisable for the Imperial Parliament to interfere in those respects, under the impression that the province will not of itself make these arrangements ?-With respect to the administration of justice, I doubt whether a change will be effected by the Colonial Legislature, from the contrariety of opi- nions which prevail respecting a system to be adopted calculated to provide a re- medy to the existing evils; but I am of opinion that it is not desirable that any change in the laws should be effected by the Imperial Legislature.

Have not there been bills brought in for the better administration of justice There have been bills introduced to effect a change, and a disposition has been manifested, as well by the House of Assembly as by the Legislative Council, to amend the present system; but I do not think that those bodies as at present con- stituted are likely to agree upon any system, although I believe that both are sin- cere in their endeavours to effect the change.

Is the difficulty to be attributed merely to the differences between the two parties? —No, I do not think so.

Supposing a person who has been married in this country settles and dies in Canada, leaving property acquired in Canada, would his property be distributed according to the law of Canada or according to the law of England ?—I suppose the object of the question is to know whether property so acquired would fall within the communauté de bien; in Canada ; I think it would not: the communauté de bien is regulated by the law of the country where the marriage takes place; but I am of opinion that in the case of a person domiciled in Canada who came to England or the United States, and married with an intention of returning to Canada to resume his domicile, the communauté de bien would exist.

That is always supposing that there is no marriage contract ?—Of course, it is in the power of the parties themselves, by a contract, to make the law to regulate their marriage rights; according to the law of Canada the parties may make any stipu- lation in their marriage contract which is not against good morals.

Supposing a person purchases an estate in Canada, is the estate subject to dower or not; the conveyance being according to the form of the law of England ?- I think that all property in Canada would be subject to dower.

Do you ever bar dower?—No; but the parties before marriage may by their marriage contract exclude dower altogether. If the laws of England establish and regulate dower within the townships where lands are held in free and common soccage, an Act of Parliament would be required, with similar enactments to the one in force in Upper Canada, to bar dower.

How is it done there ?—I am not conversant with the provisions of that Act.

The question supposes that there is no marriage settlement, and that the person purchases land after the marriage, would that be subject to dower ?—Land so acquired would not be subject to dower under the laws of Lower Canada; if situated within the townships, and that the laws of England have been introduced there, such land, I presume, would be subject to dower, as established by the laws of England.

The Committee are informed that settlers from England who are desirous of settling in America are unwilling to acquire property in Lower Canada, from the aversion they have to the tenure of land in that province; do you know whether that is the fact?——I have known some instances of persons being averse to settle in the country ; I cannot say that their aversion arose so much from the tenure, as the danger and uncertainty of the existence of mortgages and iucumbrances upon property.

If an Act were passed making it necessary to register all sales and mortgages of land, would not that in a great measure remove that objection?–As I said before, I think it would, and have the effect of introducing capital into the country, which is very much wanted.

Do you think that there is any thing that can be done by the Imperial Parlia- ment that would remove any of the difficulties you have mentioned ?——If the question refers to the difficulties resulting from the want of register offices, my answer is, that with respect to the seigneuries, it would be difficult to frame a bill for the regulation of register offices; the subject would require much consideration, and it ought to be framed by persons well versed in the law of the country. In regard to the town- ships, a bill might be framed upon the same principle as the law in force in Upper Canada lor the enregistration of deeds, &c.

Do you think there is any wish on the part of the townships that any such inter- ference should take place ?—I think there is a wish on the part of what we term the English part of the population, that register offices should be established; whether by the Imperial Parliament or by the Provincial Parliament is a question not very important.

Is there a disposition or an indisposilion on tho partoftlie inhabitants of the town- ships of Lower Canada towards the introduction of the English law ?——There may be persons among them anxious for the introduction of the English law, but that of inheritance, as it exists here, uith the right of primogeuiture, they would all be ad- verse to; in fact, some persons in the townships may have preudices in favour of the laws they have been accustomed to.

Would they desire that real property should not be subject to simple contract debts ?—-I do not think they would wish that.

Supposing that the law of primogeniture attached to all the lands in free and common soccage, would not the people in the townships be perfectly satisfied, provided they had the power to leave it to whom they would by will, so that the law should not take effect except in case of intestacy?-I cannot say; they have already the power of disposing of their property by will.

Do you think it would be desirable to establish any system of limited entail ?—— It might; I understand that is the case in the United States.

What power is there of entailing property in the United States ?—I believe, to the second generation.

Have you ever heard persons in Canada express a wish that such a power existed there ?——No; they possess the power of entailing in Lower Canada.

Is it common to do so ?—It is not uncommon; we have a species of entail by substitution.

Will you describe its operation ?——The testator may leave his property by will to any person, and substitute to such person his children, or any other person.

Are there many such entails ?——Substitutions of property are frequently made by will.

Has that the effect of taking a considerable proportion of the real property of the country out of commerce?-It is not acted upon generally by the people in the country.

You were understood to state just new that such practice is frequent?—It is frequent among those who make wills; the French Canadian population in general do not do so.

Do they generally make marriage contracts ?—Yes, there is generally a marriage contract

If the laws affecting the land hold in free and common soccage were assimi- lated to the English system, would it, in your opinion, be desirable to have that law administered in separate courts,?–Yes.

Would there be any difficulty in establishing a court, in which all cases might be tried relative to the land held in the townships, or elsewhere, under the tenure of free and common soccage?–There would be no difficulty in establishing a tri- bunal within the townships.

Would it be desirable in your opinion ?—-I. do not conceive, that for the purpose of administering the laws relating only to the tenure, it would be necessary. If the laws of England generally are introduced, regulating all matters in that part of the country, it would be necessary to have a separate tribunal.

Are not the laws of England enforced throughout in the townships?–I cannot say that they are.

In what respect do the French laws prevail in the townships ?–The French laws have generally been administered for the townships.

Has any case arisen since the Declaratory Act, where there has been a descent in consequence of intestacy ?——No, nor am I aware of any judicial decision by which a division of property was had anterior to the passing of that law in the townships; there was always a doubt whether the laws of England or the laws of France ought to prevail in that part of the country.

Is the Executive Council, as a court of appeals, a satisfactory judicature to the country ?——It is not.

In what respect is it unsatisfactory ?—In the first place themembers are not professional men, with a few exceptions. The chief justice of Quebec presides in that court upon appeals instituted from decisions in the Court of Montreal, and the chief justice of Montreal presides over those from the district of Quebec.

What are the objections you have to that arrangement; is not that better than if each chief justice should sit as a court of appeal upon the cases from his own court?—lt approximates very much to that, for although they do not preside in the very court in which the causes (the decisions in which they are called upon to revise,) were instituted, they preside in one of a correspondingjurisdiction. The members of the Council generally are not professional men. A tribunal so consti- tuted is not calculated to establish a uniform settled jurisprudence.

Is there a considerable arrear of business in that court?——Not in the Court of Appeals I believe.

Is there in the other courts ?—Yes that arises from a defect of the system of ad- ministeringjustice ; the manner in which the evidence is taken, which is in writing, is very tedious, except in commercial cases.

Is the witness examined in court, or by commission ?—Two of the judges preside on the bench, and the witness is taken aside to a small table and examined by the advocates interested on each side.

Then there is no decision given when the evidence is produced ?—No, unless objection is taken to the relevancy of any question that is put.

If there were to be ajury introduced in such cases, would not that in some de gree shorten the process ?—It would shorten it.

Would it diminish the expense?——That would depend in a great measure upon the distance from which the witnesses were brought, because the expense of a jury trial is greater than that of a case conducted before the court.

Arising from what circumstance ?——The summoning ofjurors ; the costs incurred upon that in issuing the venires, juror’s fee, and other incidental expenses.

What remedy would you recommend for the purpose of diminishing the expense. and getting rid of the delays that you have described ?-—I think that circuit courts would have the effect of remedying the defect.

Would you conduct the examination of witnesses in the circuit courts in the same way that it is conducted in the courts at Montreal and Quebec ?—I think that commissioners might be appointed to talte the evidence as practised formerly in France.

Why might it not be done viva voce?–That might answer, but in cases relating to real estate, I do not think it would be an advantage that they should be decided by a jury, but in ordinary transactions, I think it would.

Are the pleadings of counsel in writing, or viva voce?–The arguments are viva voce.

There are no written arguments?–No.

Jovis, 19 die Junii, 1828.

Mr. James Charles Grant again called in; and Examined.

ARE you at all acquainted with the Eastern Townships of the Lower Province? —I have not travelled through those townships, but I have a good deal of business with the people in that part of the country.

Are you acquainted with the complaints which the inhabitants of the townships make against the order of things existing in Canada ?—They have complained, I be- lieve, of the system of administration of justice, the inadequacy of the laws respecting roads as affecting the townships, and their having no representation in the Provincial Legislature.

Is there a prevailing feeling that the French Canadians wish rather to discourage the settling of persons of English origin in the townships ?—That such a general feeling exists may be inferred from the addresses presented by the inhabitants of the townships to the Earl of Dalhousie, as well as from their petition,

Do you think that there is any foundation for such a feeling; do you think in point of fact that the inhabitants of Lower Canada of French extraction do wish to discourage the settlement of persons of English origin in the Lower Province, and the growth of English institutions?-I cannot say what is the feeling of people in general; I have heard some French Canadians express themselves in a way that induced me to think that they looked upon emigrants rather as foreigners and intruders, but I cannot say that that is the general feeling.

Do you see anything in the conduct of the Assembly, or of persons in authority there, that leads you to think that they are desirous of removing the obstructions which at present have a tendency to prevent the settlement of English in the Lower Province ?—I confess that I have not attended to public matters, nor watched the proceedings in the Legislature; persons who are not in the Legislature have little opportunity of judging of the motives which actuate members of the Legisla- ture. The debates are never published.

Do not the wishes of the English part of the population of Lower Canada form subjects of general public attention in Lower Canada?–The English part of the population in general conceive, and very justly, that they are not represented in the Legislature; I mean that the eastern townships are not represented. The British part of the population in the seigneuries are so scattered and dispersed that they have it not in their power to return a single member, inasmuch as they do not constitute the majority of the people in any one country, unless it be Gaspé.

Are you aware of the attempts that have been made in the House of Assembly to alter the state of the representation, so as to admit representatives from the townships?–I am aware that a bill was introduced for that purpose, but I am ignorant of its provisions.

Are you aware that it passed the House of Assembly, and that it was rejected by the Legislative Council?–I have understood so, but I do not know upon what principle it was intended to increase the representation.

Are you aware that complaints have been made of the constitution of the Legislative Council ?-Yes, I am aware that such complaints have been made.

What have you understood to he the nature of those complaints ?—I have un- derstood that the complainants have stated, that thejudges ought to be excluded, as being totally dependent upon the Crown; but I am aware also that a message, was sent down to the House of Assembly, by which the Government offered to render the judges independent of the Crown, if the Assembly would make a per- manent provision for their support.

Are you aware that the House of Assembly also offered to provide permanently for them, if they were made independent of the Crown ?——In consequence of the message I have mentioned a bill was introduced for the purpose of making perma- nent provision for them, but I understood that clauses were introduced in the bill that were thought objectionable, as tending to lower the judges in the public estimation.

Have you heard also as a matter of complaint against the constitution of the Legislative Council, that besides the judges there are too many persons in that council dependent upon the Crown, and in the employment of Government?– I have heard such complaints.

What proportion does the Canadian part of the population hear to the whole population of Lower Canada ?——I suppose about five-sixths.

Then on the part of five—sixths of the population those complaints exist ?— I do not know whether that is exactly the case; there is but little public opinion in Lower Canada, the majority of the population pay little attention to public matters.

Should you think it desirable that change should be made in the consti- tution of the Legislative Council, as should limit the number of persons who should sit in the Council in pay and employment of Government?—That is a question I am not prepared to answer; there are not materials in that country for forming an aristocratic body, without introducing some persons holding official situations.

Are not there persons living upon their own resources, and possessing indo- pendent incomes?–There are, and some of those are members of the Council already.

Are the members of the House of Assembly in Lower Canada paid for their attendance ?-No.

Are not they persons living upon their own means?–Yes; but the law has required no qualification of fortune for members of the Assembly, which is con- sidered to be a great defect.

If there are materials for forming a body of 50 persons in the House of Assem- bly of persons living independently upon their own means; from what do you infer that there would be an impossibility in appointing a Legislative Council, composed of the same description of persons?–There would be no difficulty if the Council were to be composed of the same description of persons, but many of the members of the Assembly are not possessed of any fixed revenue; they are persons engaged in different occupations of life.

Supposing that the majority of the Legislative Council consisted of persons entirely independent of the Government, having an independent property in the country, and who might be disposed therefore to sympathize in a great measure with the representatives of the people in the Assembly; what would be the effect of such a change?–The fact is, that the Government in that country have little or no influence; as it is they cannot return a member in the Assembly; and if all public officers were to be excluded from the Council, I conceive that it would be, in fact, establishing a species of republic. At the same time, it was a matter of suprize and regret, with all those who were competent to judge upon the subject, that the House of Assembly did not avail themselves of the opportunity of ren- dering the judges independent of the Crown upon any terms.

Have you any doubt, that if there was a Legislative Council appointed of in- dependent landholders resident in Canada, that that Legislative Council would generally concur with their brethren of the Representative Assembly?–It is very difficult to answer that question; but I am inclined to think that they would be more likely to concur with them than otherwise.

Constituted as they are at present, do they not differ with the House of Assembly in general?–They do differ as they are now constituted.

Do you think it desirable that two such Assemblies should necessarily, by their constitution, be brought into a state of perpetual collision?–I do not think it is desirable that that should be the case; but I do not know whether any improve- ment to be introduced should consist in altering the Legislative Council alone.

What remedies do you propose?–I would suggest, as one, the increasing the representation of the country.

Do you consider that the House of Assembly has, whether right or wrong, uni- formly represented the opinions and feelings of the great mass of the population in Lower Canada?–I cannot say whether they have represented the feelings of the population in general or not, they are elected by the greater proportion of the inhabitants; but the mass of the population are uneducated, and take but little interest in public matters; they are not competent to judge, or to know what takes place in the Legislature till they are informed by the members themselves, or by their friends in the country.

If the inhabitants in general take little interest in public matters, how do you explain the fact that upon each successive dissolution the Government has been gradually losing a portion of its influence in the House of Assembly?–The coun- try people in general are uneducated, and easily led by persons in whom they have confidence, and upon each successive dissolution they may have been excited by representations to take steps to secure their religion, and preserve themselves from taxation and other evils; and to my personal knowledge those means have fre- quently been resorted to, for the purpose of securing the election of certain can- didates, and the rejection of others.

Does not that show that they really do take a very lively interest in public mat- ters ?—It shows that they take an interest when any alarm is excited among them respecting their laws, institutions or religion.

Do you mean that the population confide the whole of their interests to the Legislative Assembly, and take very little concern about them afterwards?– They do.

How would that inconvenience be remedied by extending the representative body ?—I mean that if any change is effected in the constitution, it would be fair and right to give a representation to that part of the community that are not repre- sented at all.

Do you mean the English part of the population ?—Those within the townships, for the other part of the English population are nominally represented, although they are not represented by members of their choice, because they are always out- voted.

Has there been any complaint made respecting the administration of justice, in consequence of the judges being part of the Legislative Council?—I have not heard any complaints about the impartiality of the administrntion of justice; but it is conceived, that so long as the judges are totally dependent on the Crown, the same independence and integrity in the administration of justice is not secured which ought to exist.

You say that the Canadians are uneducated; are there any complaints of want of education?——There are.

What is the nature of the complaints ?—I have heard complaints made that the funds which were appropriated for the purpose of education have not been applied to that purpose; that is, the revenues arising horn the Jesuits estates; and that the public schools in the country have been placed under the superintendence of a corporation for the advancement of learning, which is composed of the Protest- ant bishop and the English clergy, and members of the Episcopalian Church prin- cipally; however in the year 1827 there was a project in contemplation by the Government, with the co-operation of the Roman Catholic bishop, to constitute a separate committee for the support of schools for the education of the Roman Catholic part of the community.

If you were asked what class of persons you would exclude from the Legislative Council in order to render it more independent, what class of persons would you fix upon ?—I do not think the sauna cause would exist for excluding the judges if they were rendered independent of the Crown that exists at present.

Is there any particular class of officers that are dependent upon the Crown that you would exclude in preference to others ?—I see none but the judges particularly, should they continue to hold their offices only by the same tenure that they do at present.

Would you think it desirable that a large majority of the Legislative Council should be persons absolutely dependent for their pay and employment upon the Government ?——Certainly not.

Are you not aware that that is the case at present?—There are some who are dependent on the Crown, there are others who receive small salaries, whom I do not conceive to be totally dependent upon the Government; and some of the inde- pendent landholders, who are members of the Council, seldom or never attend to perform their legislative duties.

Supposing it were referred to you to decide what Legislative Council should be established in Canada for the purpose of being a check both upon the Governor on the one hand, and the Representative Assembly on the other; have you ever con- sidered what kind of a Legislative Council you would think best?–I have not considered the subject, but I think it would be fair that some of the principal land- holders of the country should be introduced into that body, at the same time I do not think it would be proper that it should consist exclusively of them.

The Rev. John Lee, D. D. called in; and Examined.

YOU are one of the Ministers of Edinburgh?–I am.

Have any communications taken place between yourself and the Government respecting the state of the Presbyterian clergy in the two Provinces of Canada?– As convener of a committee of the General Assembly, I was instructed to apply to Government in the form of a memorial, soliciting aid towards the support of the Presbyterian ministers in communion with the Church of Scotland resident in Upper and Lower Canada.

When was that application made ?—The application was made about 12 months ago, about the beginning of June last year.

Have the goodness to describe the nature of the application?–I will deliver in a copy of the memorial which was presented to the Colonial Office.

[The witness delivered in the same, which was read as follows.]

“To the Right Honourable His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs.

“The Memorial of a Committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland,

“Humbly showeth,

“ That your Memorialists have been appointed by the last General Assembly to inquire into the condition of the Presbyterian clergy and people in the British provinces in North America, and have been instructed to support, by all proper means, the applications made to Government for their relief, and particularly to embrace every favourable opportunity for promoting the object of the overtures transmitted from various Synods of this National Church, recommending to the General Assembly to use their best endeavours for obtaining suitable maintenance for regularly ordained Presbyterian ministers in the British American Colonies, and assistance towards the creation and endowment of places of’ worship for the accommodation of the numerous settlers in those colonies professing to be in communion with the Church of Scotland.

“ The attention of the Memorialists has of late been specially called to the condition of the adherents of the Church of Scotland resident in Upper Canada, on whose behalf claims have been put forth for a share in the proceeds of the lands reserved by the 31st of his late Majesty, c. 31, for the support of the Protestant clergy. The General Assembly, in 1823, directed this Committee to support the application by all means in their power; and it in obedience to the command of the lost General Assembly that this Memorial is presented.

“ Your Memorialists cannot conceive it to admit of a question that, under the designation ofa Protestant clergy, it must have been the intention of the Legislature to include, not only the clergy deriving their orders from bishops of the Church of England, but all such as might at any time be regularly ordained by Presbyteries of this National Church. The law of the land has applied the same general designation of Protestant indiscriminately to the members of either of the two established churches within the United Kingdom. In the ratification of the Treaty of Union, and in the Act of the Parliament of England, intituled, ‘ An Act for securing the Church of England as by law established,’ the expression, Protestant Religion, is used at least as frequently in combination with Presbyterian church governrnent as with the government of the Church of England. And your Memoriahsts are not aware of any law which can exclude the members of the Established Church of Scotland from the same privileges which are claimed and enjoyed by the members of the Church of England, resident in a colony which is confessedly British.

” The Memorialists trust that it is unnecessary for them to advert to the great proportion of the settlers in Canada who are attached to the doctrine, government and worship of the Church of Scotland. In the extensive range of country known by the name of Glengarry, inhabited chiefly by a race of Highlanders, there are three Presbyterian ministers, each of whom preaches both in Gaelic and English, and one of whom has about 500 communicants in his congregation. Since the termination of the war many thousands of persons have emigrated from the west of Scotland, and have formed congregations, particularly in the county of Carleton, including the settlements of Lanarke, Perth and Richmond. Three years ago this county (the population of which was about 6,000), was supplied with religious Instruction by four Presbyterian ministers, two Roman Catholic priests, one epis- copal minister, and one Methodist preacher, from the United States. The people of that district, and of several others, have manifested a decided preference for the forms of worship practised in the Church of Scotland.

“Your memorialists have reason to believe that the congregation in Upper Canada in communion with the Church of Scotland have been represented to Government as being few in number, when compared with the congregations which avail themselves of the ministrations of clergymen of the Church of England. It cannot, however, be denied that there are in Upper Canada at least 30 Presbyterian congregations professing to adhere to the doctrine and worship of the Church of Scotland, and that the existing places of worship frequented by Presbyterian are numerously and respectably attended. Though the Presbyterian ministers in the province do not exceed 20 in number, and though only five of this number have been ordained by Presbyterian of the established Church of Scotland, it is ascer- tained that a great majority of the people are zealously attached by principle and education to this established Church. But the settlers being in general poor, do not possess the means of affording an adequate provision to ministers, and as the Presbyteries of the Church of Scotland are not entitled to confer ordination on any to whom satisfactory security for a competent living has not been given, many of the settlers, who before their departure from Scotland were in communion with the Church, are compelled to connect themselves with some of the secretaries whose forms resemble those of the Church of Scotland, although their religious principles may not be strictly conformable to our standards. The Church of England has not laboured under the same disadvantage; funds have been granted by Government for the erection of churches, which are in many instances, if not in all, supplied by the missionaries from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Within the last six years (as appears from the Report of that Society for the year 1821) the number of communicants at 17 stations in Upper Canada, served by 17 missionaries, whose salaries amounted to 3,345l. Did not exceed 118. As a contrast with this admitted fact, it may be stated that in the year 1823 the Presbyterian congregation at Perth, which began to be formed only give years before, (and which, though not served at present by a minister of the Church of Scotland, must by express stipulation be so served in time to come), contained not fewer than 270 communicants. In petitions which the General Assembly has received from several ministers and elders in Canada, it is expressly stated that there are many extensive flourishing settlements, especially in Upper Canada, the inhabitants of which are desirous to obtain clergymen of our national Church, and that their exertions in building churches and raising funds for the support of clergymen would be greatly animated if they could be assured of being placed under the jurisdiction and protection of the mother church. These petitions repre- sent a great majority of the Protestant population as being of Presbyterian prin- ciples, and as having no disposition to conform to the established Church of England; so that wherever they have no access to the instructions of ministers ordained in the Church of Scotland, they are in danger of imbibing political dis- affection, as well as extravagant and irrational views of religion from some of the unauthorized teachers who are said to intrude in considerable numbers from various parts of the United States.

“Your memorialists have only further to state, that as the want of a fixed and permanent provision for clergymen ordained to such stations has hitherto restrained the Presbyterians of this church from complying with requests which have often been preferred to them, and as the settlers who have been disappointed of ministers ordained by this National Church have been tempted to throw themselves into the arms of sectaries of various denominations, (some of them of undefined creeds) it appears to be well worthy of the consideration of Government how far it might conduce to the advancement of religion and morality, and to the preservation of the loyalty and patriotism of the Presbyterian colonists, and their attachment to the British constitution, to extend to them the means of enjoying the benefit of religious ordinances on the same footing with their brethren in communion with the sister establishment, with whom they wish to avoid all collision of interests, and to whom they do not yield in regard for the honour, stability and prosperity of the empire.

“In name of the Committee of the General Assembly,

“John Lee, Convener.”

Edinburgh, June 8th, 1827.

What answer did you receive to that Memorial?–The only answer I received from the Government was this letter, which I will deliver in.

[The Witness delivered in the same, which was read as follows:]

“Sir, “Downing Street, 4th July 1827.

“I AM directed by Viscount Goderich to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th ultimo, urging the claims of the Presbyterian ministers to participate in the lands reserved for the support of a Protestant clergy in Canada, and I am to request that you will communicate to the committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, that instructions were conveyed by Lord Bathurst to the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in October last, authorizing the appropria- tion of 750l. Per annum from the proceeds of the sale of Crown lands to the Canada Company, which Lord Goderich trusts will evince the favourable disposi- tion of His Majesty’s Government towards the clergy of the Presbyterian Church, and whenever an available fund shall be established from the proceeds of the clergy reserves, the claims of the members of the Church of Scotland will be taken into consideration.

“I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

“R.W. Horton.”

What information have you of the number and condition of the Presbyterian population in the Canadas, which are in connection with the Church of Scotland ?– I have had a great number of letters from ministers and others who are resident there, as the Committee of the General Assembly was instructed to correspond with those persons for the sake of obtaining; precise information; but the informa- tion which was expected by the Church of Scotland is not yet nearly completed, returns not having been sent by the whole of the districts to which the queries were transmitted.

Is it not a rule with the General Assembly of Scotland that no minister should be sent to any congregation of Presbyterians without there is a certainty of his being properly,supported?——That has been the rule and the practice of the Church of Scotland.

Under that rule, how many ministers have been sent to the Canadas ?——So far as I know, the number in Upper Canada who have been sent under that rule is not more than six.

Have any gone there of their own accord, without authority for whom no certain stipend has been provided ?—We have access to know that a considerable number have gone out otherwise, some having been sent by particular societies, private associations, formed for the purpose of sending; ministers and missionaries for the instruction of the settlers there; and there are a good number who call themselves Presbyterian ministers, in Upper Canada in particular, who profess to be in com- munion with the Church of Scotland, but with regard to the form of whose appoint- ment the Assembly is not informed.

Of all those descriptions, what proportion of Presbyterian ministers connected with the Scotch Church do you believe to exist in the Canadas?–The precise number I cannot state, without referring to documents which I have not sufficiently arranged, not having expected to be examined by this Committee; but in Upper Canada, as I have already stated. I personally know of six; in Lower Canada, I think the number is nearly the same.

Have you any information which has led you to form any opinion as to the pro- bable number of Presbyterians connected with the Scotch Church in the two pro- vinces of Canada ?——I could not condescend, on any thing like an exact statement of the numbers. The returns from the different districts and townships all state that the numbers are very great, and that the proportion ofpersons attached to the doctrine and worship of the Church of Scotland is much greater than of those who are of any other comnitmion.

Do you speak of Upper or Lower Canada ?—I am speaking of Upper Canada at present.

What stipends have been awarded to the ministers whom you describe as having gone out to Canada ?—I have no direct method of knowing exactly what is the salary of any one of them; none of them have been sent from the General Assembly itself; but they have been ordained by Presbyterians throughout Scotland, with the exception of one.

Do you know what stipend would, under the circumstances of Canada, be thought sufficient for aPresbyterian ministerof a congregation of a moderate size ?–I under- stand about 200l. a year to be what is thought an adequate maintenance there, and thatl know is possessed by one or two.

Do any of them derive a portion of their emoluments from subscriptions or other funds provided in Great Britain?—I am not aware of any who do so, with the exception of such as are sent out by a society in Glasgow for promoting the religious interests of settlers in British North America.

If any Presbyterian ministers from the north of Ireland have established them- selves in Canada, would that fact be known to your body ?——It could not be known otherwise than through the communications that the committee of the Assembly have received; we know that there have been instances of such persons going there, but they are not at all recognized by the Church of Scotland.

Has any portion of the money referred to in the answer to your memorial been received ?——I do not know ; I have understood that it is only for a limited period.

Have any communications taken place between your body and the corporation for the management of the clergy reserves in Canada?—No, I have not been the medium of any communication, and I do not know that any has taken place.

Have the body to which you belong taken any pains to ascertain what is held to be the interpretation of the statute of 1791, as affecting the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Canada; whether in point of law you have any claim upon the property reserved for the maintenance of a Protestant Church ?—Certainly, we have an understanding on that subject; and I was instructed to press that matter in the memorial to the Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs.

What opinion does the body to which you belong entertain on that subject?— I conceive that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in so far as any opinion has ever been expressed there, conceive that the Church of Scotland is as well entitled as the Church of England to a share of that property.

Do you hold that the words “Protestant Clergy” exclude other denominations besides the Church of England and the Church of Scotland ?———I believe that the Church of Scotland has been disposed to consider it as applicable to the members of established churches.

And of established churches only ?——If I state my own opinion I would say so; but I cannot take upon inc to say that that is the universal understanding of the church, but I think it is.

When did the Assembly inst take into consideration this claim?–I think about six years ago; I have been only for three years connected with the committee.

Does the separation which has taken place between the two bodies of the Scotch Church exist in Canada, or would the two bodies unite the in one con- gregation ?-We do not think that the grounds of the separation exist, at least to the same extent there that they do in Scotland; but still, so far as we know, the members of that body, called the Secession, have not bound themselves to adhere to the same standards which we acknowledge. We understand that they generally recognize the confession of faith as being consistent with Scripture; but that they do not bind themselves so strongly to the support of it as the members of the Established Church are bound.

Do not all the ministers of the Secession sign the Westminister Confession of Faith?–I do not know that they do now, but I understand that if they do they do it with some qualification. As the question has been put to me it is my duty to state, that many of the ministers connected with the Secession, both in Upper and Lower Canada, have signified their willingness to profess strict adherence to the doctrine, and discipline, and worship of the Church of Scotland.

Have you any means of knowing whether the Presbyterians of American origin in Canada would also join in the same congregations with the Scotch Presbyterians? –I have no means of knowing that.

Was that declaration of their willingness to adopt your confession of faith made by the clergymen in Canada, made since the discussion has arisen with respect to this claim?–So far as I know, it is only since this claim has been agitated.

It is your opinion that all Protestant dissenters of every description, whether Presbyterians or not, have a right to share in that fund?–I hope I shall be forgiven for stating that we do not consider ourselves as Protestant dissenters: the Church of Scotland is an established church.

Do you conceive that Protestant dissenters will be entitled to a share of that fund?–I am not capable of speaking upon that subject.

You mean that you consider your claim is as good as that of the Church of England ?—That is our opinion. I may perhaps he allowed to state why I seem to limit the words “Protestant Clergy” further than perhaps might have been expected. It is for this reason: the Acts, both of the Parliament of England and of Scotland, passed at the time of the Union, when they speak of the Protestant religion, certainly refer either to the Church of England as by law established, or to the Church of Scotland, the government of which was then secured and ratified; and I cannot venture to say that the construction of this Act would entitle one to go further. Now as many of the Protestant dissenters do not by any means hold the doctrines, or conform to the worship, or submit to the discipline which is established in the Church of Scotland, I do not perceive how they could claim under those Acts.

Mr. Robert Gillespie, called in; and Examined.

WHAT acquaintance have you with the two Provinces of Canada ?——I have been in Canada for a great number of years, and know them principally as a merchant trading to that country.

Are you acquainted with both provinces ?—Yes, I have been in both provinces.

Do you know any thing of a petition to the House of Commons from merchants and others connected with Canada?-Yes, I do.

Did you sign that petition?—I did.

Will you state your views in setting your name to that petition ?—The views that I had in doing so were, that the improvement of that country is very much retarded in consequence of the dissentions prevailing in the Lower Province, and also as a merchant not having that security in the country which I think would be very desirable for the prosperity of it.

In what way do the dissensions which prevail in the Lower Province obstruct the operations of commerce, and the improvement of the Canadas ?—By preventing the enactment of laws necessary for the security of trade. There is no such thing as knowing, at present, when real property is mortgaged or not, and we are in the general course of our trade in the habit of advancing to different people mer- chandize, taking security on their property, and frequently finding in the end that this security is good for nothing, inasmuch as it has been mortgaged before to its full value, and we lose the whole advance; this I know from experience as a merchant.

In what way have you experienced the inconvenience you mention ?—In con- sequence of taking security for goods advanced to people who were ready to offer their property as security, but when we came to discuss the property, we found that others had previous mortgages on it.

Have you any reason to think that this has frequently happened ?—In our general trade it has frequently occurred to us.

Is the lending of money upon mortgage materially discouraged by this difficulty? ——No doubt it is.

In what way did you discover that the property had been previously mortgaged ? ——When we sued the individual in court, others came forward with prior claims.

What remedy do you think could be provided for this evil ?— I think if the House of Assembly in Lower Canada were to pass an Act for the establishment of register offices in Lower Canada, where all mortgages and incnmbrances should be regis- tered, we should then know under what terms we either advanced goods on such property, or made purchases of landed estates,

Is the difference of opinion which arises as to the expediency of this register one of the dissensions you describe.?-A bill has been two or three times introduced into the House of Assembly for the establishment of registry offices, but the House of Assembly always have rejected it.

Has no register bill ever passed the House of Assembly ?—Not to my knowledge.

Is there any thing else which prevents merchants from pursuing their business in Canada, or from investing their property in it ?-I think those are the principal points on which the merchants have difficulty in transacting business, they also prevent purchases of real estate in Canada.

Do persons of English origin object to the tenure on which land is held in Canada ?—Yes.

Can you state what the objections are which they urge ?- I have not paid much attention to the laws of Canada.

Do you know any thing of the tenure of land in Canada?—Yes, I know some- thing of it.

Were you ever an occupier of land there?–A very small proprietor of land; I owned a farm once on the Island of Montreal,

On what tenure did you hold that land ?——On the French tenure.

Does the French system encourage or discourage the agricultural improvement of land ?—I think it discourages it.

In what way?——Few settlers or emigrants from this country will remain in the Lower Province, because they are never certain when they make a purchase of land whether it is not under incumbrance.

Have you known any cases in which the land has been abandoned after a purchase has been made ?—I know an instance of an emigrant who came to Lower Canada, and made a purchase of a farm, improved it, and afterwards found that it was mortgaged, and he was obliged to give it up, to lose the money that he had paid for it, and also the improvements he had made on it.

Are the circumstances such that no ordinary prudence, in the first instance, would enable a man to protect himself against those inconveniences ?—I do not know that there is any other way, except by a sheriff’s sale in which you can obtain a good title in Lower Canada.

Does a sheriff’s sale confera good title against previous mortgages?——Yes it does.

Are you at all acquainted with the eastern townships in Lower Canada ?— I never was in the eastern townships.

Is it the practice for persons in Canada, either born there or who have settled there as merchants, to vest their fortunes in land in that country, or do they generally remit them to England ?—It has generally been the case that merchants making money in Canada have remitted it to this country.

To what do you attribute that disposition ?-Because they could not obtain what they considered good security for investment in Canada.

Does the same remark apply to Upper Canada?—I think not; register offices exist there.

Do you mean that persons intending to continue to reside in Canada would invest their capital in this country, rather than employ it in purchasing land in Canada itself?——I know many individuals of capital in Lower Canada who have remitted their monies to be invested here, they continuing to reside in the pro- vince, but perhaps not with a view of residing there permanently.

Is not that a very easy mode of ascertaining whether a title be good or not ?– It is a tedious and expensive mode.

Can you state what might be the expense of obtaining a good title by a sheriff’s sale, with respect to a property of 200l. or 300l. a year?—I could not state exactly the expense.

Is there any other expense besides the expense of advertising and the sheriff s fees ?—It must go through a court of law; it is by a decree of the court that the sale takes place.

Is not that a formal decree, which is had for asking for?——Yes, but still at- tended with expense.

Are you of opinion that the French law of descent, and the French law of personal property, operate to prevent the settlement of merchants who have made money in that country ?——I think so.

What degree of change in that respect would, in your opinion, diminish that disposition to invest their capital here, as compared with investing it in Canada?—— If the lands were held in free and common soccage, I think, it would be a favour- able change.

Are there not many lands held in free and common soccage ?——Not in the seigneuries, all the townships are held so.

Do you find any disposition on the part of merchants to invest their money in lands in the townships?–No; they have a fear of their title not being good, and a great portion of those lands are of very little value, not being settled.

In point of fact, do you apprehend that under any change of laws, it would ever be desirable for a capitalist to invest large sums of money in the purchase of land in the Canadas ?——If waste lands in Canada remain without paying any tax, I should think that a purchase of land in the townships of Lower Canada at a low price would ultimately be a very advantageous thing.

Do you contemplate thatadvantage to arise from leaving the land waste for a considerable time, and then from the improvement of the land in the neighbour- hood selling at a very advanced price ?-I think that in time a great part of the waste lands in Lower Canada may get settled, and those remaining unsettled will then become valuable.

Then you would contemplate the purchase of land as leading necessarily to a considerable portion of it remaining waste ?——Yes. .

Do you consider that desirable for the province ?—Certainly not.

Would you be disposed, if you had the opportunity of settling that land at an early period, of doing so, or would you wait?— I would rather wait, It is a very expensive operation, settling lands.

In general is not the purchase of land made there with a view of retailing it ?— It is generally in this way : a person buys a large tract of land under the idea that he will retail part of it and retain the other part, so that it may become more valuable in consequence of the other part being settled.

Is it for the benefit of the province that that land should be held as a perma- nent investment ?——No, I do not think it is, unless the proprietor settles it.

In point of fact can land in Canada be very profitable, except to the immediate cultivator ?———Not immediately profitable.

Do you conceive that a purchaser is more safe in Canada, in purchasing lands that are held in free and common soccage, than in purchasing land held under the title of seigneurie ?—Yes.

Would not a purchaser of land under free and common soccage be liable to the same fraud, from there being a prior incumbrancer whose title was concealed from him ?—The lands held under free and common soccage being granted at a later period are unlikely to have the same incumbrances upon them.

Supposing you were about to purchase land held in free and common soccage, and that you wanted to ascertain whether there was a prior existing title against it, what step would you take ?——I could take no step if there was no register office established, unless I resorted to a sheriff’s sale.

Then you are liable to be defrauded in the purchase of lands held in free and common soccage, notwithstanding the novelty of the tenure ?—Yes; but as stated before, the land is not so likely to be burdened.

In point of fact, is land in Canada very often mortgaged ?——Very frequently.

You are aware that the French law of descent divides the property equally among the children; do on consider that the English population of Lower Canada would prefer that to the English law of primogeniture?—No, I do not.

Supposing two offers were made to you of a quantity of land equally good in point of bargain, the one within the seigneuries, the other within the townships; which offer would you consider to be the best, for the investment of your capital? ——That in the townships, because I think they will be sooner settled.

Why do you think it would be sooner settled ?——Emigrants would sooner go there than remain in the seigneuries, because they would then associate with people of the same language, feelings and customs, and expect a participation of the same laws to which they had been accustomed.

There is then something in the law which would produce that effect?-In the townships the English law was promised, I believe, by the treaty of 1791.

As in general the land within the seigneuries is better situated, being nearer to a market, would not that be an inducement to a settler to settle in the seigneuries rather than the townships?—He goes to the townships because he meets with people of the same language, the same customs, and the same habits.

Do you think that their disposition to settle in the townships is not the result of any difference in the law prevailing in the two districts, but that they are desirous to inhabit among a population of their own country ?—It arises from a desire to settle among their own countrymen.

Is it generally understood that the French law prevails over the townships in Lower Canada ?—Yes, it is, but I am not so conversant with respect to law as some other gentlemen.

Are you acquainted with the commercial intercourse which takes place between the two provinces ?—Generally so.

Can you say whether it would be possible to arrange any system by which the duties on goods consumed in Upper Canada could be collected on the boundary? —I think it would be a very difficult thing.

Would it be possible ?—Scarcely.

In what would the difficulties consist ?-There is an extensive boundary open to smuggling.

Would it be possible to arrange that the goods destined for the Upper province should be warehoused either at Quebec or Montreal; and that by some system a bond should be given for their entry at some particular point in Upper Canada, and that they might be transferred in that way with security ?—I think it would be a very difficult matter.

Will you state in what the difficulties would consist?——The merchants in Upper Canada resort to the Lower Province to make their purchases ; they do not import many goods direct from this country to Upper Canada; they generally purchase in Montreal and Quebec, the variety of articles which in Upper Canada a retail shopkeeper wants is very great, in quantities so small that it is almost impossible to import them from this country, and therefore they resort to the Lower Province, and on those goods the duty has been already paid at Quebec.

Then you think that if the duties were to be taken in Upper Canada on the goods consumed there, it would produce an extremely inconvenient separation of the trade ?—I do.

Would it necessarily establish merchants trading for Upper Canada as distinct from the merchants trading for Lower Canada ?—I think it might have that effect.

Could the same merchants carry on both trades conveniently ?—Not conveniently, on account of the variety and smallness of the assortments required.

Would it not be necessary to have an entire separation of the commodities imported for Upper Canada, for those imported for Lower Canada ?—Yes, it would of course be necessary to pack separately those goods that were going to the Upper Province.

Would not that require the embarkation of larger capital ?——It would be very expensive; it would require the employment of a greater number of people and of larger capital.

And that would be equally necessary whether the duties were collected at some depot in Lower Canada on the goods to be transported to Upper Canada, or whether they were collected at custom-houses upon the boundary of the two pro— vinces ?——Yes.

Do you see any objection to the arrangement which has taken place of assigning a certain proportion of the duties collected upon Lower Canada to the use of the Upper Province ?—The Upper Province complains that it does not receive a suffi- ciency of the duties collected at Quebec, and the principle is bad.

Is it not likely that the difference in the habits and manners of the two provinces would induce a separate system of taxation, by leading them to consume different commodities, and making it their interest to impose taxes on different commodities? —Yes, I think it is very likely that it would be so.

Under those circumstances, would not the division which at present takes place of the revenue collected, become inconvenient, and in some sense unjust ?— Yes.

Do you know of any remedy for those inconvenienccs?——I know of none, but a re-union of the provinces.

Do you think that is a desirable measure ?——I think so.

Will you state on what grounds you entertain that opinion ?——I think that the difficulties that occur relative to the division of the revenue would be set at rest.

Are there any other inconveniences that would be set at rest by the union ?– The Legislature of Lower Canada may wish to impose taxes upon produce coming from the Upper Province, and though at present they have it not in their power to do so without the concurrence of its Legislature, I think this would be best attained by a union. The Lower Province in one instance, I believe, imposed a tax upon timber coming down.

Does that tax exist now?—It does not exist at present.

Was it upon timber that was supposed to be brought from the United States ?— No, timber from Upper Canada.

Has any other transit duty been established ?—Not to my knowledge.

What other inconvenience is there in the present system ?—The inconveniences in Lower Canada are such, that the mercantile interests in the House of Assembly are unrepresented. By a union of the provinces a great number of English re- presentatives would he obtained, and many Acts by which the country would be improved, would, I think, be passed.

Do you think that the English mercantile interest is in any way discouraged in Lower Canada at present ?-I think it is; the Lower Province at present raises comparatively little for the exports of the country. The merchant of Lower Canada has to look to Upper Canada, and to the townships for articles of export, as the Lower Province produces few or none.

Do not they export timber, ashes, and corn from the seigneuries ?——With respect to corn, the last year they did not raise more than would be necessary for the con- sumption of the Lower Province.

Is there a surplus in the townships ?—Not in the townships of Lower Canada; in Upper Canada there will be a surplus. .

To what do you attribute the circumstance of there being no surplus of grain raised by the inhabitants of the seigneuries ?—I think the Canadians are bad agriculturists.

Are they rendered so by the tenure of their land and their system, or is it any thing in their individual qualities ?—I think their system of agriculture is bad.

To what do you attribute the badness of their system, and the superiority of the practice in Upper Canada ?——In Upper Canada they follow the English, or more properly the English-American, system of farming; in Lower Canada they retain the old French custom of grazing the land one year and ploughing it the second, without the rotation of the English system.

Are not the soil and climate much more favourable in Upper Canada than in Lower Canada ?——The climate is somewhat more favourable, and the new soil is better than the old in cultivation in Lower Canada.

Does the timber all come from Upper Canada?——Principally.

What are the principal articles of produce in Lower Canada which are exported from thence ?—Grain and ashes.

Is the quantity of ashes from Lower Canada. greater than that from Upper Canada?–I think not.

From what parts of the Lower Province are the grain and ashes exported ?— The grain exported from Lower Canada, and raised there, is principally grown in the district of Montreal, and the greater proportion of ashes are made in the townships.

Do the descendants of French Canadians consume English goods to a consider- able amount ?——They do,

Is there any difference between the habits of the seigneuries and the habits of the townships and of Upper Canada in that respect?—ln Lower Canada they dress somewhat differently; they use an inferior article of woollen cloth, for instance, to what they use in Upper Canada or in the townships.

Is there any trade direct between France and Canada ?—Very trifling.

Is there much connection maintained between the descendants of the French settlers and France ?—There are occasionally Canadian gentlemen who visit France and return.

Is there much emigration from France into the Lower Province ?——Very little. I believe that the priests in the seminary at Montreal are generally Frenchmen.

What branches of trade are you most acquainted with ?—With the trade of Canada generally.

Do you know whether the imports from the United States into Canada are in- creasing ?——There is a duty on American goods coming into Canada which checks them.

Is Canada, in fact, supplied with many articles of the manufacture of the United States, some coming in under duty, and others coming in by means of smuggling? —A great many ashes from the United States come into Canada.

Is it not the fact, that ashes from the United States imported into Canada for the purpose of being re-exported pay no duty different from what they would pay if they were the produce of Canada?–None at present; and it is very desirable that it should be so.

It has been suggested to the Committee that it would be possible to carry on the trade between the two provinces upon the footing of duty and drawback, that is to say, that all goods imported into the Lower Province should pay duty in the first instance, and upon their being exported from thence into the Upper Province the duty originally paid should be drawn back, and that a fresh duty should be paid upon their admission into Upper Canada; do you think that such a system could he acted upon with security to the revenue and with convenience to the trade ?– I am afraid it would be attended with great inconvenience: the boundary is extensive, and the great variety of goods imported into Upper Canada, on which there would be ditierent duties, would make it a very intricate and troublesome operation. Supposing a higher duty were imposed upon the article in the Upper Province than was paid in the Lower Province, do you think that increased duty could be collected, taking into consideration the facilities of smuggling from the Lower Pro- vince into the Upper Province ?—I think not, but it would depend upon the dif- ference of duty in some measure.

When you advert to the subject of smuggling, do you mean smuggling by means of water communication, or by land ?–Smuggling principally in winter by land.

Is it your opinion that generally speaking the inhabitants of either province wish for a union?—The English part of the community in Lower Canada wish for a union of the provinces, and I think the majority of the inhabitants of Upper Canada.

Then you do not think that a union between those two provinces would excite any great discontent?——It would depend very much upon the nature of the Act that would unite them; a union bill was introduced into Parliament some years ago, in which there were clauses that were very objectionable.

Do not you think it would excite great discontent among all the French inha- bitants?—It would depend entirely upon the Act. I conceive that there are many people in Lower Canada, who, provided the Act was a just one, and they thought that their laws and their religion were not to be interfered with, would not have serious objections.

You do not conceive that there is generally an objection in principle to the union of the two provinces ?–Not generally.

Mr. George Ryerson, called in; and Examined.

ARE you acquainted with the Provinces of the Canadas?-Yes, I am.

In what capacity have you become acquainted with them ?—I have lived there about 28 years.

Of what country are you a native ?-—I am a native of Nova Scotia.

Are you a landowner in either of the Canadas ?—Yes, I am a landowner and magistrate in the district of London in Upper Canada, and have been for a number of years.

Did you come here as agent for any petition ?—I was appointed agent after I came here, I came on private business.

What petition is that which you have been appointed to represent?—A petition relative to the constitution of the University of Upper Canada, and the appropria- tion of the clergy reserves.

By what number was that petition signed ?—By about 8,000.

What were the prayer and the objects of that petition ?—The object of the petition was to correct some erroneous statements in certain official communications from the Rev. Doctor Strachan to His Majesty’s Government, to vindicate the character of several religious denominations whom they assert had been misrepre- sented in those communications; to procure such an alteration in the charter of the proposed university in Upper Canada as would render the institution equally beneficial and accessible to all denominations of Christians, and to solicit the Government to sell the clergy reserves and to appropriate the proceeds for the support of public schools free from religious tests, and for the purposes of internal improvement in Upper Canada.

What religion is professed by the petitioners ?-They consist of various denomina- tions of Christians.

Did many Presbyterians sign that petition?-Yes; some of the principal signers are Presbyterians; the chairman of the committee, Mr. Ketchum, is one of the leading Presbyterians in Upper Canada.

The Committee have before them a paper, signed by Mr. Morrison as secretary to the central committee that was proved in the Upper Province of Canada for the object you have mentioned, what is the nature of that paper ?——It was a letter I received from the secretary and chairman of the committee to authorize me to attend to the interests of that petition.

This paper refers to an ecclesiastical chart of the ditierent denominations of Christians in Upper Canada, derived from different clergyman and persons much interested in the result of those petitions as to the numerical strength and number of the different denominations of Christians in that province; have you any such chart with you ?—That chart is attached to the petition that was laid before the House of Commons.

Can you describe the manner in which that chart was formed, and what means were taken to insure its correctness ?—The secretary of the committee wrote to ministers of the different denominations of Christians, and to other intelligent indi- viduals, requesting a correct return of the number of their churches and members, and ministers, and of those who statedly attended their religious instruction, &c.; much pains were taken to ascertain the correctness of the returns. The chart was published in Canada, where any errors would be discovered and exposed by those interested in the subject.

Can you certify the accuracy of that document ?——I know the most material part of it to be correct, and I believe that the whole of itis so.

Can you state to the committee the substance of it?—I cannot at this moment. The chart does not profess to give a perfect view of the numerical strength of the English Church, the Presbyterians, Quakers, and Mcnonists, though it does in general of their ministers and places ofworship. The account of the Methodists and Baptists is more detailed and complete; it gives the names of the ministers, the place of their birth and education, the number of chapels, regular and occasional religious services, members of their church and regular hearers. The Methodists are the most numerous denomination.

What denomination of Methodists, are they Wesleyan Methodists ?—They are essentially Wesleyan in doctrine and discipline, but form a distinct body, denomi- nated the Canada Conference; their ministers meet annually in a conference in Upper Canada.

What denomination is next to them in number ?—I think the different classes of Presbyterians are the next, but they are not in organized societies, they have but few ministers.

What denomination do you conceive to be next to them in number ?—I think that the Church of England and the Baptists are about equal in number, and next to the Presbyterians.

Does the chart you have referred to give a tolerably correct statement of the proportions of all those denominations?——It does, I believe, give a correct return of the churches, the ministers, and the religious services of the different denomina- tions, but not a full account of the number belonging to each, except the Methodists and Baptists. They keeping an accurate account of all their societies, were able to furnish specific information. It is scarcely possible to give a return of the Church of England, because there are but few communicants. In the other societies none are returned as belonging to them but those who are adult communicants.

It is stated in Mr. Morrison’s letter that the Presbyterians refused to join the petitioners generally ?———By that part of the Presbyterians who are members of the Church of Scotland the petition was not, I believe, generally signed.

What do you attribute that to ?-They wish to get half of the reserves them- selves : but the largest proportion of the Presbyterians of Upper Canada, I believe, joined in the general petition.

It appears also that the Roman Catholics did notjoin ; do you conceive them to be very numerous in Upper Canada ?—In the upper part there are a few townships of French Canadians, and a township of Highland Scotch in the lower part who are Roman Catholics ; in other parts of the province they are not numerous.

Are there many Irish Catholics ?——There are in some few of the new townships recently inhabited.

In this letter there are many complaints of the manner in which the statement of the number of communicants of the Church of England was drawn up; have you any observations to make upon that subject ?——No, I am not acquainted with that; I know the number to be very small.

You have stated that Dr. Strachan has made some misstatements ; what grounds have you upon which to offer opposite statements to those of Dr. Strachan? —Dr. Strachan says that the majority of people belong to the Church of England, and I know that to he incorrect, and that the Church of England is amongst the least numerous of the different denominations; the congregations are generally very small, except in the town of York, where there are a number of Government officers. Dr. Strachan in his.chart omits several denominations of Christians alto- gether, as the Baptists, the Quakers, and the Menonists; and he mentions the Methodist teachers as being disaffected and alienating the minds of the people from the Government. I know that to be wholly incorrect; for a large proportion of the ministers are old loyalists, and several of them men that have fought in defence of the country. A very large proportion of the Methodist societies also are the descendants of old American loyalists. In the late war no men distinguished themselves more in the defence of the country than the Methodist societies generally.

It has been stated that the tendency of a large part of the population of Upper Canada would he towards the established church, if ministers of the established church and suitable places of worship could be provided ; do you believe that to be the fact ?— No; they have greater means of providing places of worship and of procuring ministers than any other denomination: they receive a grant of 100l. towards building a very small church, and their ministers are paid by this country, and have several sources of emolument and peculiar privileges retusecl to ministers of other denominations; but they have not increased in the same proportion as others ‘have done.

Do you know any district in which, there being an established church and a minister provided, the number of other denominations of Christians yet exceed the number of the members of the Church of England in a large degree?——Yes; in the town of York, where there are several clergymen officiating in the church; there is no place in Upper Canada where the other denominations are more nume- rous and increase faster. I was there about a year ago, and I visited several Sunday schools belonging to the Presbyterians, the Methodists, and the Baptists, but there was more attached to the Church of England; I believe it to be the case in almost every place in Upper Canada. where there is a resident minister of the Church of England.

How many congregations of the Church of England are there in York ?-There is one, Dr. Strachan’s church.

Do you know the number of which that congregation may consist?—No, I can- not state the number exactly; I think not more numerous than the Methodists alone.

How many congregatioiis of Methodists are there ?—There is only one chapel of each denomination, Church of England, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists.

What schools are there connected with the Church of England establishment?– The district schools, of which Dr. Philip is the teacher; and a central school on the national system.

Are there any district schools for the other denominations? There are two large schools that consist of Methodists, Presbyterians, and others.

Have the churches for the other denominations of Christians been built entirely by voluntary subscription ?—They have, and their ministers are maintained in the same way.

Has there been any select committee lately appointed by the House of Assem- bly in Upper Canada, upon subjects connected with the religious state of the province ?——Yes, and I have forwarded a copy of their report to the Colonial Office.

What opinion did that committee express upon the accuracy of Dr. Strachan’s statements ?—They expressed an opinion that it is inaccurate in almost every par- ticular.

Did the committee express any opinion upon the university that has lately been founded in Upper Canada, with reference to its religious character?———Yes, they disapprove of the character of it, and I believe it is generally disapproved of by the largest proportion of the people in Upper Canada.

Upon what grounds ?—On account of its being under the exclusive control of one denomination of Christians, and requiring religious tests, and the large appro- priation of lands which is made for its support, renders it unlikely that other in- stitutions will be founded open to other denominations of Christians.

Has a strong feeling been excited in Canada by the representations of Doctor Strachan ?——Yes, very strong, I have never known any thing produce so much ex- citement through the country, except the Alien Bill.

Does it threaten to produce still greater excitement?——Religion has never been considered a party question before, but it is now likely to assume that form ; and the ecclesiastical chart, and the charter of the college have tended to unite all the different denominations of Christians together in a party opposed to the Church of England, and to those that uphold its exclusive claims. They have not opposed the church before, but they feel themselves called upon to do it in defence of their civil rights and religious liberties now.

Have the seceders from the Church of England increased in number in conse- quence of this?—I think they have: those who were undetermined before have now assumed a more decided course of conduct in opposition to the Church of England and the university, and I think it will have a material influence upon the character of the House of Assembly that will be elected this summer.

Have you a copy of the resolutions relative to the appropriation of the clergy reserves, which were passed in the House of Assembly of Upper Canada on the 22d of December 1826 ?—I have.

[The witness delivered in the same, which were read as follows.]

“ 1st, Resolved, That the despatch of the Right Honourable Earl Bathurst, His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, communicated to this House on the 12th instant, by his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, in answer to the Address to His Majesty of this House at its last session, respecting the clergy reserves, is unsatisfactory to this Assembly, inasmuch as it is silent on a material part of the respectful representation of this House contained in the said address.”

“ 5th, Resolved, That the construction given to the Imperial Act which appro- priates the clergy reserves to individuals connected with the Church of England, and the determination of the clergy of that church to withhold from all other denominations of Protestants residing within the province, the enjoyment of any part of the benefits arising, or which may arise, from the lands so set apart, call for the immediate attention of the Provincial Legislature to a subject of such vital interest to the public in general; and that such claim by the Protestant Episcopal Church, is contrary to the spirit and meaning of the 31st Geo. 3, and most injurious to the interests and wishes of the province.——Yeas 28. Nays 3. Majority 25.

“ 6th. Resolved, That a comparatively small proportion of the inhabitants of Upper Canada are members of the Church of England, and therefore ought not in justice to desire the sole enjoyment by their clergy of all the advantages which these lands present. to the exclusion of their fellow subjects, although equally loyal and firm in their attachment to His Majesty’s Government and the Con- stitution.

“ 7th. Resolved, That in a thinly inhabited country, such as Upper Canada, where the means of moral instruction to the poor are not easily obtained, it is the bounden duty of the Parliament to afford every assistance within its power towards the support of education.

“ 8th. Resolved, That the present provision for the support of district and common schools is quite inadequate to the wants of the people, and ought by every rea- sonable exertion to be increased, so as to place within the reach of the poorest in- habitant the advantages of a decent education.

“ 9th. That it is the opinion of a great proportion of the people of this pro- vince, that the clergy lands in place of being enjoyed by the clergy of an incon- siderable part of the population ought to be disposed of, and the proceeds of their sale applied to increase the provincial allowance for the support of district and common schools, and the endowment of a provincial seminary for learning, and in aid of erecting places of public worship for all denominations of Christians.

“ Yeas 31. Nays 2. Majority 29.

“ Resolved, That the number of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this pro- vince bears a very small proportion to the number of other Christians, notwith- standing the pecuniary aid long and exclusively received from the benevolent society in England by the members of that church, and their pretensions to a monopoly of the clergy reserves.

“Yeas 30. Nays 3. Majority 27.”

What was the object of those resolutions ?—The object of them was to frame a law agreeing with them, for the sale of the clergy reserves.

Did all parties unite in passing those strong resolutions in the House of Assem- bly?-Yes.

It appears that they were moved by Mr. Rolfe, is he a member of the Church of England ?—He is a member of the Church of England, educated at Cam- bridge, and, I believe, a member of Lincoln’s-Inn. .

They were seconded by Mr. Morriss; is he a member of the Established Church of Scotland ?—I believe he is, and is understood to represent that interest in the House of Assembly.

Dr. Strachan says that the Assembly contains 18 members of the Church of England; the minority in the division didnot exceed three, were those members of the Government?——No.

Do you believe that there were 18 members of the House of Assembly profess- ing to be members of the Church of England ?—I am not certain on the subject, but I do not think so.

Mr. Morrison’s letter states that Dr. Strachan has reported in his chart, that many churches were built, or likely to be built, in places where none had been built, or were likely to be built. Have you any information upon that subject ?— There is no church in Ancaster, but one, called a free church, built for the use of all denominations of Christians; but the minister of the Church of England does not preach, nor is there any regular service by the church in it. The township of Woolwich he mentions as having a church and occasional service; that is a new township on the Grand River, and there never was a clergyman in it when I left the country, except a Methodist missionary, he had only visited it then once. There is no Indian village in the district of London, with a church, as stated. Other inaccuracies I have seen mentioned in newspapers from different parts of the province, but I am not sufficiently acquainted with all the localities to point out the mistakes.

It is stated in the same letter that Dr. Strachan has considerably mis-stated the case of the Methodist clergyman,representing them to be almost all natives of the United States, whereas the far greater proportion of them are stated to be British subjects; have you any knowledge upon that subject ?—I know them to be all but four British subjects. There are 46 itinerant ministers who form the Canada Conference, and 31 of the 46 are British subjects by birth and education, 12 of them are British subjects by naturalization, and three only are aliens, and those have lived several years in the country, and can now under the new Alien Act he naturalized.

Are those ministers who constitute the Methodist itinerancy of Upper Canada under the orders of the conference of the United States of America, or do they assemble annually in conference in Upper Canada ?—They assemble annually in conference in Upper Canada; they receive no minister from the United States, nor any other country, without a vote of a majority of the conference, and a regular probation of two years.

What proportion do you conceive the members of the Church of England bear to the whole population in Upper Canada ?——It. is impossible for me to say.

Do you think they are one tenth part of the population ?——I do not think they are.

Do you think they are one fifteenth ?—It is probable they do amount to that, or perhaps to one tenth ; I should think there is one fifth part of the population in Canada that do not belong to any religious denomination, although they may he more favourable to one than to another, and they generally attend one of the places of worship in preference to others.

What do you conceive would be the best way of settling a provision to supply the religious wants of the country in Upper Canada ?——I think that at least nine- teen twentieths of the country wish that the clergy reserves should be appropriated for the establishment of schools.

Do you think that it would be desirable to allow the ministers of religion in Upper Canada to depend wholly upon voluntary contribution for support ?——Yes, I think it would be much the best; I think it would be conducive to the interests of religion, and it is not mere theory; we are living by the side of the United State where the ministers are supported in that way; I was several months in that country attending different.places of worship, and I found them much more respectably attended, and the ministers better supported, and a greater decency pre- vailing incongregations both in the Episcopal Church and in others. The Epis- copal Church in the United States is decidedly superior to ours in Canada, and itis supported by voluntary contributions of the people. In addition to this, occa- sional aid might be granted by the Legislature of the province.

Do you believe that the Church of England would have a better chance of becoming popular in Canada if the causes of jealousy were removed which at present exist ?—Yes, decidedly so, and her greatest enemies are those who would establish invidious distinctions between her ministers and others. The ecclesiastical chart has done her a fatal injury. It the system commenced be persisted in, it will destroy the influence of the church in Canada.

Did the Legislative Council concur with the House of Assembly in those reso- lutions about the clergy reserves ?——No.

Has not the Legislative Council very frequently been opposed to the wishes of the House of Assembly on other subjects ?—They are always expected to oppose the House of Assembly on all acts of a liberal and popular tendency, particularly if they have for their object the extension of religious liberty.

Does the Legislative Council consist chiefly of placemen ?——Yes.

Can you give the Committee any statement relative to the persons of whom the Legislative Council is composed ?—It contains five who are members of the Executive Council; they are, the Honourable William Campbell, chief justice, the Speaker, the Right Reverend the Bishop of Quebec, the Honourable James Babey, inspector-general, the Honourable Archdeacon Strachan, and the Honour- able Gcorge Markland. Seven of the other members of the Council are persons holding offices of emolument under the Government; they are, the Honourable W. D. Powell, who is now in England on a pension, the Honourable John M’Gill, the late inspector-general, &c. who is retired on a pension, the Honourable Joseph Wells, who is on half pay, and a commissioner, &c. the Honourable Duncan Camp- bell, the provincial secretary, the Honourable John H. Dunn, the receiver—general, the Honourable Thomas Ridout, the surveyor-general, and the Honourable William Allan, who holds numerous offices; the other five are persons not holding places of eniolurnent under Government, and they are, the Honourable Thomas Clark, the Honourable William Dickson, the Honourable Neil M‘Lean, the Honourable George Crookshank(, and the Honourable Angus M‘Intosh; ‘the Honourable Thomas Talbot has never taken his seat as a legislative counsellor.

Can you state any other subject on which the Legislative Council have differed from the House of Assembly in Upper Canada ?—I can state with confidence that several instances of the character before mentioned occur every session of the Legislature, but as I have not been furnished with documents on the subject I am not prepared to enter into details; the fact is notorious, and has been the subject of much discontent for a number of years; we have in fact but two branches of a Parliament, the Commons and the Executive; an enlightened and independent aristocracy is unknown in Canadian legislation, I speak of a large majority of the Legislative Council.

Have the same quarrels with regard to the independence of the judges taken place in Upper Canada which have taken place in Lower Canada ?—There is a difference of opinion, but I cannot bring to my recollection the particulars, with sufficient clearness to state them in evidence. The House of Assembly are for the independence of the judges, but I do not know that any specific measure on the subject has been matured.

Do you conceive that any alteration in the composition of the Legislative Council is generally desired by the inhabitants of Upper Canada ?—Yes; and I believe that nearly all our grievances would be removed by the Legislature of Upper Canada were the Legislative Council independent: without some change in this part of our constitution I believe no remedy can be effectual; and this I have reason to think is the general opinion in Upper Canada.

Do you imagine that the feelings of the population of Upper Canada are favourable to the idea of a union of the two provinces or not ?-I do not think they are; the feelings of commercial men are in favour of it, but not of the public generally; it is very unpopular in most parts of Upper Canada.

Has the province of Upper Canada an agent in England ?——No.

Has the House of Assembly ever expressed it wish to have an agent resident in England?–l believe they have, but I do not recollect the particulars.

In what way would it be possible to give the Upper Province a seaport without joining the town of Montreal to it?—I do not know any other way; our difficulties with Lower Canada relate to revenue, and would all be settled by giving Upper Canada a seaport. This is a measure much desired in Upper Canada, and it would enable us to conduct our commercial financial concerns without being sub- ject to continual collisions with Lower Canada.

Do you consider that there would be insuperable difficulties to questions of trade being decided between the two provinces without resorting to a union ?—I cannot say; the union of the provinces would most probably be injurious to both.

Could not it be settled by deputation from the two Houses ?—I think no satis- factory and permanent arrangement could be effected in this way; we have tried it long without any beneficial results.

Additional Particulars, in ansner to the questions of the Canada Committee relative to the Religious Denominations of Upper Canada :-

THESE are, 1st, Episcopalians; 2d, Presbyterians; 3d, Methodists; 4th, Bap- tists; 5th, Quakers; 6th, Menonists; 7th, Roman Catholics; and a few others very inconsiderable in number.

The Episcopal clergy are paid by the British Government and the Propagation Society, and in no instance by their congregations; therefore the number of clergy- men affords no criterion by which to judge of the probable number of churchmen in Upper Canada.

Under the term Presbyterian, I include the Independents and the Presbyterians of Upper Canada, as well as the less numerous congregations connected with the Church of Scotland. They are, in general, in favourof an impartial appropriation of the religious funds of the colony for the benefit of all denominations of Christians. I do not know that any of the Presbyterians in Upper Canada have petitioned for a division of the clergy reserves between themselves and the Episcopal Church. I believe that a more equitable appropriation for the good of all classes is approved not only by them but even by a majority of churchmen in Upper Canada.

The Baptists I do not think are so numerous as the different classes of Presby- terians, but I believe they are in general more influential. They are stated to have 45 ministers and 36 chapels; they occasionally itinerate, but not on a regular system.

The Quakers, and the Menonists, a large body of German settlers, are valuable inhabitants, and occupy several very flourishing settlements.

The Methodists are represented in an annual conference consisting of 46 itinerant preachers. They have 117 itinerant and other ministers; 66 chapels; 623 places, including chapels, where Divine Service is regularly performed, and 130 places where it is occasional; there are 9,009 communicants belonging to their societies, and about 38,000 regular hearers, making about one-fifth of the population of Upper Canada. They have the only mission for the conversion of the Aborigines of Upper Canada, I mean the Chippewa or Missisanga Indians, 500 of whom have been brought to Christianity. The astonishing and beneficial change which they have been the means of effecting in the character, habits and condition of these poor savages, has been noticed with approbation by Sir Peregrine Maitland, as well as by the House of Assembly. The Methodists maintain 10 schools, where 251 Indian children are instructed, and are rapidly acquiring the arts and habits of civilization and of Christianity. The Methodists, by means of a systematic itinerancy, afforil religious instruction to every part of the country, and the religious services rendered the colony by this body of Christians alone, would, if performed by a resident parochial clergy, cost the Government at least 20,000l. per annum. The Methodists formerly received missionaries from the United States, but they have for some years been under the care of their own ministers. They have now dissolved all connection with the Methodists in lhc United States, and measures are in progress which will probably lead to a more intimate connection with the Wesleyan Methodists in England. Under the existing regulations, the Methodists, in common with other dissenters, are excluded from any participation in the prov- sions made for the support of a Protestant clergy in Canada, as well as from the honours and privileges of the University.

I have staged it as my opinion that a permanent endowment for the maintenance of a clergy in Upper Canada would not he beneficial. But the present state of the country requires that aid should be granted to build places of worship, to support missions and schools, and in some instances, to a limited extent, to assist in the main- tenance of ministers. A partial measure for the assistance of one denomination to the exclusion of all others, would do a great injury to the country, and would more than can well be imagined in this country tend to destroy British influence in Canada. The clergy reserves are generally acknowledged to be a very great liindrance to the improvement of the country. They might be sold to form a per- manent fund for the encouragement of religion, education, and internal improve- ment generally, and would no doubt be usefully and equitably appropriated for those purposes by the Provincial Legislature, were they authorized to do it.

I firmly believe that the prosperity of the Episcopal Church in Canada, the interests of religion generally in the colony, as well as its peace and welfare, would be the most effectually promoted by removing every invidious distinction on account of religious opinions, and by giving assistance and protection to all.

I believe it to be the wish of full nineteen-twentieths of the inhabitants of Upper Canada that all the clergy reserves should be sold, and the proceeds appropriated by the Provincial Legislature, on such principles as will not countenance any dis- tinction on account of religious profession or belief, for the purposes of education and internal improvement in their most extensive sense, including the building of schoolhouses, places of worship, assistance to mission or native schools, to poor settlements for the maintenance of clergymen, &c. &c. The clergy reserves, which are now considered a great public injury, and which are the cause of much jealousy, contention and dissatisfaction, would, by such an appropriation, become the source of incalculable benefits and advantages to every class of the inhabitants and would proportionably increase their attachment to the Government, and restore harmony and confidence in the colony.

I fully acquiesce in the sentiments expressed in an Address to His Majesty from the House of Assembly of Upper Canada, on the subject ofthe clergy reserves and of the University in Upper Canada, dated March 1828. I believe this address to be areal expression of public opinion in Canada, and I form this Conclusion from an intimate knowledge of the country for many years. The Report of a Select Committee of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada, on which this address was founded, dated 15th March 1828, I wish also to state, contains important facts connected with these subjects.

In explanation of my answers to the questions relative to the Legislative Council, I wish to remark,

The change desired in this body, is, that the Legislative Council be so constituted that a majority of its members be gentlemen whose interests are identified with those of the inhabitants, and who neither hold offices of emolument under the Colonial Government, nor belong to the Executive Council. I wish also to correct a very erroneous opinion whichl have heard expressed in this country, namely, that the inhabitants of Upper Canada wish for or prefer a democracy. They are warmly attached to the British Government, and give it a deliberate and decided preference to that of the United States. Liberal institutions will, I have no doubt, increase these predilections, and also bring many valuable emigrants from the United States, men who would prefer liberty under a regular government to the anarchy and strife of democracy.

Additional Remarks, in answer to the questions relating to the Union of the Two Canadas:—

THIS I said is generally unpopular in Upper Canada. But the annexation of Montreal to Upper Canada, to which it naturally and equitably belongs, would, I believe, meet with universal approbation. This extension of Upper Canada to its obvious and natural boundary, the eastern branch of the Ottawa, by giving us a sea port, would settle our financial difficulties with Lower Canada, and would be doing no injustice to that Province. The commerce of Montreal is chiefly with the Upper Country, whence it derives its wealth and prosperity. Tins commerce is principally profitable to the Montreal merchant; all our wealth flows to it, and we receive no advantages in return: we labour to enrich another Province, and have no control over the wealth which our industry produces. In Upper Canada we possess no means for internal improvement, and scarcely a circulating medium suf- ficient for the ordinary transaction of business. The advantages to Upper Canada, and to Great Britain, that would result from such a measure, are, I think, many and important. In Upper Canada it would give a powerful impulse to industry, com- merce and general improvement, would increase the facilities for transporting pro. duce, and consequently augment the consumption of British manufactures. It would more entirely detach the interests of Upper Canada from the United States, and unite us more intimately with Great Britain. I have no doubt that in a very few years steam—boats would navigate to Lake Huron. It would more than realize to us every possible advantage of the union, without any of its obvious and perhaps insurmountable difficulties. I have reason to believe that the commercial and influential inhabitants of Montreal would be pleased with the measure.

Geo. Ryerson.

Sabbati, 21 die Junii, 1828.

James Stephen, jun. Esq. called in; and Examined.

WHAT office do you hold in the Colonial Department ?——I am Counsel to the Colonial Department.

In that situation have you frequently subjects connected with the two Canadas under your attention ?—Frequently ; because as all the Acts passed by the Legis- lntures of the two Canadas are referred to me for my opinion in point of law, it becomes necessary for me in considering them to make inquiries into the public affairs of those provinces.

Are you at all acquainted with the mode in which Clergymen are appointed to the different districts in Upper and Lower Canada ?–The Clergymen of the Church of England in the Canadas are not incumbents of livings. They are rather mission- aries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

Has the Colonial Department any control over their appointment?—When a vacancy occurs among the clergy of the Church of England in either of the Canadas it is reported by the Governor to the Secretary of State, who calls on the Ecclesias- tical Commission to nominate a proper candidate. Of course their recommendation is usually accepted.

Are there any applications made by individuals to the Colonial Department for appointments, or do they always go in the first instance to the Ecclesiastical Com- mission ?—Applications are often made directly to the Colonial Department. In strictness all applications should be made to the Secretary of State, because the Ecclesiastical Commission exists merely as a board of reference from the Colonial Department.

Can you state how long the practice has been disused of having all applications made to the Colonial Department ?—I should say that the practice is not disused at present. The applications made to tho Ecclesiastical Commission are not appli- cations to the patron, but to persons who have it in their power to recommend applicants to the patron.

Was not the course taken of this kind, that the names of certain persons who were desirous of appointments in the church in Canada being known to the Colonial Office, that office was desirous of ascertaining, through the means of the Eccle- siastical Commission, whether they were fit persons or not ?—Just so ; the Secretary of State conceived himself inadequate to form a right judgment of the competency ofa clergyman for his spiritual duties.

In the other case, would not the suggestion of individuals to be appointed origi- nate with the Colonial Department, and does it not now happen that the suggestion of individuals rests with the Ecclesiastical Commission ?—If the fact is inquired into, and not the theory, I should answer that in point of fact the Ecclesiastical Commission is substantially patron of all the church preferment of the government in the colonies.

Does Mr. Hamilton hold any situation connected with the Colonial Department, or is he solely employed by the Ecclesiastical Commission ?—He is secretary to the Ecclesiastical Commission, and, as I suppose, received his appointment from the commissioners. The Colonial Department is in constant communication with that body, and he is the acting member.

By whom was the Ecclesiastical Coinmission appointed ?—I apprehend that the Ecclesiastical Board are not constituted by any “commission” in the legal sense of that word, but that the Secretary of State requested the Archbishops and the Bishop of London, to render him their assistance in the proper disposal of this part of his patronage. In order to relieve those prelates from some of the difficulty in which they were involved by complying with that request, the Treasury autho- rized their Lordships to employ a secretary, which secretary is Dr. Hamilton.

By whom was Mr. Hamilton recommended for appointment to the situation which he now holds?—I believe by the Secretary of State for the Colonial Department.

Does the Colonial Department exercise any control whatever over either the appointment of individuals to, or the manageinentof, the affairs of the church in Canada ?—It has no other management, that can perceive, of the affairs of the church in Lower Canada, than that which consists in appointing the dignitaries and the clergy.

Can you give the Committee any information respecting the Church Corporation ? ——The Church Corporation is created by a Commission under the public Seal of the province of Lower Canada, and it has always been doubted whether the Governor had any strict legal right to issue such a commission.

When was it issued ?—I believe about nine years ago. .

Of whom does it consist ?—-I believe it to consist of the bishop, the archdeacons of the two provinces, and the clergy of the church of England. They are all, as I understand, members of this corporation virtute, but I have never seen the instrument; we have no copy of it in Dowinng-street, and I can therefore speak of it only from the representations of others.

Do you know what powers they have under that commission ?——I think their powers are confined to granting leases for the term of 21 years, and to the prevention of trespasses on the clergy—reserves. They are a corporation of management merely; they have no power to appropriate the rent which they receive?

Is the rent received by them?—The rent, I apprehend, is paid over to the receiver-greneral of the province.

To him directly ?-I believe that the clergy collect it in their different districts, fsoin the tenants, and pay it over to the receiver-general.

In what way is it appropriated?–Hitherto the sum has been so inconsiderable that no discussion has arisen about the appropriation of it. I understand that it goes in aid of the funds out of which the clergy are paid.

To whom does the receiver-general account for the money ?——The receiver- general accounts for all his receipts to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.

Does not he make a separate account to all the other persons, of the money received for the clergy-reserves ?——He would also, I apprehend, if required, account to the corporation.

Is any copy of the account rendered of this money annually transmitted to this country?–It is not very much in my way to know what accounts of money are transmitted; I think however that they are not sent annually.

Would they appear in the details of the accounts rendered to the Treasury?– Yes.

Have you ever heard what it amounts to annually?–I have heard it stated, that in Lower Canada the gross rent amounts to 900l. A year; but there is in Downing-street an exact amount of the gross rent and actual receipt from the clergy-reserves in Lower Canada, and of the appropriation of it.

Do you know whether it is rapidly increasing?–I apprehend it is not.

Have they any other power than that of leasing the land?–I am not aware that they have any other powers except that of leasing, and that of preventing trespasses.

Has any wish been expressed by the Church Corporation to alter or to increase those powers?–A wish to that effect was expressed by some of the Canadian clergy.

What powers did they think that it would be expedient to vest in the Church Corporation?–They wished to have powers resembling those which were granted to the Corporation in New South Wales, which powers are much more ample.

What are those powers?–In New South Wales, in every county, a block of land is set apart, which is conveyed to a corporation, called the “Trustees of the School and Clergy Reserves.” The Corporation have the power of selling one third of what is so set apart for them, and applying one half of the produce of those sales to the improvement of the rest. The Corporation are to grant leases of what remains in its improved state, and the rents which they are to receive from those leases, with the interest arising for one half of the proceeds of the sales, are to be divided into two equal shares. Of these one is to