UK, House of Commons, “Canada”, vol 49, cols 82-83 (9 July 1839)

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Date: 1839-07-09
By: UK (House of Commons)
Citation: UK, HC, “Canada“, vol 48 (1839), cols 82-83.
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Sir Robert Peel wished to

  • (col.83)

ask the Under Secretary for the Colonies, whether any dispatches had been received from Sir John Colborne, Governor-general of Upper and Lower Canada, explanatory of the advantages which would result by allowing the ordinances of the Governor and Council to have a more permanent duration than the year 1842. It had been stated, that many persons had been prevented from undertaking important local improvements from the uncertainty and limited duration of the powers under which they might be commenced with the approbation of the authorities in that country. He begged to ask the Under Secretary for the Colonies, whether any such dispatch had been received, and if so, whether the right hon. Gentleman would have any objection to lay it on the Table of the House?

Mr. Laboucherewho replied in a very indistinct tone of voice, stated, that he could not, at the moment, give an answer to the question of the right hon. Baronet; but, if he wished the dispatches of Sir John Colborne to be looked into, with reference to this subject, he would do so, and give him an answer in a short time. He was unable to give an answer at the present moment.

Sir R. Peel said, that it appeared by some of the papers on the Table, that improvements would be prevented being carried into effect unless something of the kind that he had alluded to was done: and he wished to know whether these suggested improvements were specified. In one instance, he recollected, that this was the case, namely, in connection with the seminary at Montreal. Could the right hon. Gentleman inform him whether others were mentioned?

Mr. Labouchere was aware that there were one or two allusions of the kind—for instance, that connected with the seminary at Montreal. The state of the law in the province was not at present that no money could, beyond a certain period, be allowed to be raised for this or other purposes of a similar kind. This had more than once been stated as a ground for changing the law. Sir John Colborne had made some observations on this matter; but he could not tell, without reference to the dispatches, whether or not, he had made any suggestions for an immediate legislative amendment of this difficulty.


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