Imagens das páginas

cage tenure, and subjected all prehensive survey of these sublands so holden to the English jects in all their bearings. It will rules of alienation and descent. then remain with the two Houses

As a mere matter of fact there to provide such laws as may can be no doubt that the infusion be necessary to render the Provinof these parts of the law of Eng- cial code more uniform and betland with the provincial code, was ter adapted to the actual condi. dictated by the most sincere wish tion of Society in Lower Canada. to promote the general welfare To any laws prepared for that of the people of Lower Canada. purpose and calculated to advance This was especially the case with it, bis Majesty's assent will be regard to the criminal law, and is given with the utmost satisfaction. sufficiently apparent from the lan- It is possible that a work of this guage of the 11th section of the nature would be best executed by Statute 14th Geo. III. chap. 83, commissioners to be especially deswith regard to the advantage to ignated for that purpose. Should be anticipated from the substitu- such be your Lordship's opinion, tion of tenure in soccage for feu- you will suggest that mode of dal services. I may remark that proceeding to both Houses of the Parliament could scarcely be oth- Legislature, who, I am convinced erwise than sincerely convinced would willingly incur whatever of the benefit of that measure, expenses may be inseparable from since the maxims on which they such an undertaking, unless they proceeded, are in accordance should themselves be able to with the conclusions of almost all originate any plan of inquiry and the theoretical statesmen. I am proceeding at once equally effecnot indeed anxious to know that live and economical. these views were just, but I think Eighthly — The administrait not immaterial to have it point- tion of justice is said to have beed out that the errors, if any, which come inefficient and unnecessarithey involve, can be attributed ly expensive. only to a sincere zeal for the As the provincial tribunals degood of those whom the enact- rive their present constitution inents in question more immedi- from local Statutes, and not from ately effect.

any exercise of his Majesty's preI fully admit, however, that rogative, it is not within the powthis is a subject of local and in- er of the king to improve ternal policy, upon which far the mode of administering the greater weight is due to the de- law, or to diminish the cost of liberate judgment of enlightened litigation. Your Lordship will, men in the province than to any bowever, assure the House of external

authority whatever. Assembly that his majesty is not Your Lordship will announce to only ready but desirous to co-opthe Council and Assembly, His erate with them in the improveMajesty's entire disposition to ments of the judicial system, concur with them in any measure

which the wisdom and experience which they may think best adapt- of the two Houses may suggest. ed for ensuring a calm and com- Your Lordship will immediately


assent to any bills which may be except in the pressure of some passed for that purpose, except- supposed necessity; that there ing in the highly improbable event never a period in which of their being found open to some such acts were introduced by the apparently conclusive objection. ministers of the crown without Even in that case, however, you reluctance. will reserve any bills for improv- To a certain extent the Stating the administration of the law ute 1, William IV, cap, which for the signification of his Majes- was passed at the instance of his ty's pleasure, instead of immedi- Majesty's Government in the last ately rejecting them.

Session of Parliament, has anticiNinthly - The address then pated the complaint to which I states that the confusion and un

am now referring, and has precertainty of which

the House vented its recurrence by authorcomplains has been greatly in- izing the legislature to regulate creased by enactments affect- whatever relates to the incidents ing real property in the colony, of soccage tenure in the province, made in the Parliament of the without reference to any real or United Kingdom, since the estab- supposed repugnancy of any such lishment of the provincial Legis- regulation to the law of England. lature, without those interested If there is any other part of the having even had an opportunity British Statute law bearing upon of being heard ; and particularly this topic to which the council by a recent decision on one of and assembly shall object, bis the said enactments in the pro- Majesty's government will be vincial court of appeals.

prepared to recommend to ParHis majesty's government can liament that it should be repealed. have no controversy with the Tenthly - It is stated that House of Assembly upon this several Judges in the courts in subject; the House cannot state the province have long been enin stronger terms than they are gaged in, and have even taken disposed to acknowledge, the fit- a public part in the political asness of leaving to the Legislature fairs and differences of the provof Lower Canada, exclusively, ince, at the saine time holding the enactment of every law which offices at pleasure, and situations may be required respecting real incompatible with the due disproperty within that province. charge of their judicial functions.

It cannot be denied, that at a Under this head again, it is former period, a different opinion very gratifying to the ministers was entertained by the British of the crown to find that they had Government, and that the Statute in a great measure obviated by Book of this kingdom contains anticipation the complaint of the various regulations on the sub- House of Assembly. In the desject of lands in Lower Canada, patch which I addressed to your which might perhaps have been lordship on the 8th February, more conveniently enacted in the No. 22, every arrangement was province itself. I apprehend, made which could either be sughowever, that this interference gested or carried into effect by of Parliament was never invoked his Majesty's authority, for removing the Judges of the province Eleventhly The address from all connection with its pub- proceeds to state, that during a lic affairs, and from rendering long series of years, executive them independent, at once of the and judiciary offices have been authority of the crown, and the bestowed almost exclusively upon control of the other branches of one class of subjects in the Provthe Legislature, thus placing them ince, and especially upon those exactly in the same position as the least connected by property that of the Judges of the supreme or otberwise with its permanent courts at Westininster.

inhabitants, or who bave shown The judges themselves have, it themselves the most averse to the appears, with laudable prompti- rights, liberties and interests of the tude, concurred in giving effect 10 people. It is added that several these recommendations, by dis- of these persons avail themselves continuing their attendance at the of the means afforded by their Executive Council. Nothing, situations, to prevent the constitutherefore, in fact, remains for ter- tional and harmonious co-operaminating all discussions upon this tion of the Government and the subject, but that the House of House of Assembly, and to exAssembly should make such a cite ill feeling and discord bepermanent provision of the Judg-tween them, while they are remiss es, as, without exceeding a just in their different situations to forremuneration, may be adequate ward the public business. to their independent maintenance I quote thus largely the lanin that rank of life which belongs guage of the address, because I to the dignity of their station. am desirous to meet every part of

I am not aware that any Judge it in the most direct manner, as in Lower Canada holds any of well as in the most conciliatory fice, excepting that of the Exec- spirit. It is not from any want of utive Councillor, during the pleas- that spirit that I recommend you ure of the crown, or wbich is in to suggest for the consideration of any respect incompatible with the the House of Assembly, how far due discharge of his official func- it is possible that Ilis Majesty tions. If any such case exists, should clearly understand or efyour lordship will have the good- fectually redress a grievance ness immediately to report to me which is brought under his notice, all the circumstances by which it in terms thus definite. If any may be attended, in order that the public officers can be named, who necessary instructions on the sub- are guilty of such an abuse of ject may be given. In the mean their powers, and of such remisstime, I may state, without reserve, ness in their duties as are implied that no Judge can be permitted to in the preceding quotation, His retain any office corresponding Majesty would not be slow to with the description thus given by vindicate the public interests, by the House of Assembly, in com- removing any such from service. bination with that independent If it can be shown that the patposition, on the bench to which I ronage of the crown has been have referred.

exercised upon any narrow and 304]



exclusive maxim, they cannot be It would be impossible without too entirely disavowed and aban- a violation of truth, to deny, that doned, especially if it be true, at a period not very remote, that the permanent inhabitants of heavy losses were sustained both the colony do not enjoy a full by the public and by individuals participation in all public employ- from the want of proper securiments. The House of Assenıbly ties having been taken by public may be assured, that his Majesty accountants, and still more from can bave no desire that any such the want of a proper system of invidious distinctions should be passing and auditing these acsystematically maintained. Be- counts.


I find however, that in yond this general statement it is his despatch of the 29th Septernot in my power to advance. I ber, 1828, Sir George Murray am entirely ignorant of the spe- adverted to this subject in terms cific cases to which the general to which I find it difficult to make expressions of the Assembly any useful addition. His words point. I can only state, that as follows: — The comsince his Majesty was pleased to plaints which have reached this entrust to myself the Seals of the office respecting the inadequate Department, no opportunity has security given by the Receiver occurred for exercising the pat- General and the Sheriffs for the ronage of the crown in Lower due application of public money Canada, to which it is possible in their hands have not escaped that the Assembly can refer; nor the more serious attention of the have any inquiries brought to Ministers of the crown. The light any particular case of a re- must effectual security against mote date to which their language abuses of this nature would be to would appear to be applicable. prevent the accumulation of bal

Twelfthly — The next sub- ances in the hands of public acject of complaint is developed in countants, by obliging them to the following words : – That exhibit their accounts to sonie there exists no sufficient respon- competent authority at short intersibility on the part of the persons vals, and immediately to pay over holding these important situations, the ascertained balance. The nor any adequate accountability truth of having punctually peramong those of them entrusted formed this duty should be made with public money, the conse- the indispensable condition of requence of which has been the ceiving their salaries, and of their misapplication of large sums of continuance in office. public money, and of the money In the country of New South of individuals, by defaulters, with Wales a regulation of this nature whom deposits were made under has been established under his legal authority, hitherto without Majesty's instructions to the Govreimbursement or redress having ernor of that settlement, and it been obtained notwithstanding the has been productive of great pubhumble representations of your lic convenience. If a similar petitioners.

practice were introduced in Lower Canada for the regulation of contemplate with the deepest rethe office of Receiver General, gret - a feeling enhanced by the and for that of Sheriff, the only painful conviction of their inabilapparent difficulty would be to ity to afford to the Provincial find a safe place of deposit for Revenue, any adequate compentheir balances. I am, however, sation for so serious an injury. authorized to state, that the Lords What is in their power they have Comunissioners of his Majesty's gladly done by the instruction Treasury will hold themselves re- conveyed to your Lordship in the sponsible to the Province for any early part of this despatch, to sum which the Receiver General place at the disposal of the Legor Sheriff may pay over to the islature for general purposes the Commissary General. Your Ex- sum of £7,154 155 44d recovercellency therefore, will propose ed from Mr Caldwell's property. to the Legislative Council and The Assembly will, I trust, accept Assembly the enactment of a law this as a proof of the earnest de. binding these officers to render sire of His Majesty's Governaccount of the receipts at shortment to consult to the utmost of intervals, and to pay over the their ability the pecuniary interbalances in their hands to the ests of the Province. Commissary General, upon con- Thirteenthly - The address dition, that that officer shall be proceeds to state the evils of this bound on demand to deliver bills state of things have been greatly on His Majesty's Treasury for aggravated by enactments made the amount of his receipts. 1 in the Parliament of the United trust that in this proposal the Kingdom without even the knowlLegislature will find a proof of edge of the people of this colony, the earnest desire of His Majes- which enactments have rendered ty's Government to provide, as temporary duties imposed by the far as may be practicable, an ef- Provincial Legislature permafectual remedy for every case of nent, leaving in the hands of pubreal grievance.

lic officers over whom the AsIf the preceding instructions sembly has no effectual control, have proved inadequate to the large sums of money arising withredress of the inconvenience to in this Province, which are apwhich they refer, I can assure pled by persons subject to no your lordship of the cordial con- sufficient accountability. currence of His Majesty's Gov- I understand this complaint to ernment in any more effective refer to the 21st clause of the measures which may be recom- stat. 3, George IV, cap. 129. mended for the purpose either by The duties mentioned in that yourself, or by either Houses of enactment are continued until the Provincial Legislature. some act for repealing or altering

The losses which the Province them shall be passed by the Legsustained by the default of the islative Council and Assembly of late Mr Caldwell is a subject Lower Canada ; and until a copy which His Majesty's Government of any such new act shall have

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