Imagens das páginas

scribe it. It was a compound (re- disquisitions on the French revoluciting the verses from Milton) of tion, and the personal allusions the sublimely obscure and ire- which these produced, was remendous figure of Death, having sumed at different times; and the the likeness of a kingly crown Canadian bill, after undergoing seupon the seeming head, with the veral alterations, passed the House cry of hell-hounds, that bark with- of Commons on the 18th of May. out ceasing around the waist of Sin. The principle of these alterations It was a shapeless monster, born of were, the increase of the number hell and chaos !

of the assembly in Lower Canada Mr. Pitt called the attention of to fifty, instead of thirty, with the House to the singular situation which the blank was originally fillin which it stood with respect to ed up; and the limitations of the the question before it; and having assemblies to four years, instead of declared his own opinion to be that seven. Mr. Burke had not been, even in In the House of Lords, the bill the first instance, at all out of or- was animadverted on by the Lords der, suggested the propriety of Rawden, Stormont, and Loughwithdrawing the motion that had borough. The chief objections been made by Lord Sheffield; and made to it were, the division of the it was withdrawn accordingly. provinces, the hereditary nobility

Mr. Pitt conceived that the con- or members of the legislative counstitution could be in no immediate cil, and the dependent situation of danger ; but professed, that if here. the judges. The two first were after there should appear to be a made and answered on nearly the more serious ground of apprehen- same grounds with those that had sion, and that ground should be been debated in the lower use. distinctly stated by Mr. Burke, he The bill was supported by Lord should be eager to give that gentle. Grenville, who, to the objection man his warmest and most effectual that had been made, against the support. He thought Mr. Burke division of the province, that the entitled to the gratitude of his lower might oppress the trade of country for having on that day, in the upper, by exorbitant duties on so able and eloquent a manner, the commodities passing through expressed his sense of the degree of its territory, answered, that Great danger which already existed ; and Britain, in giving this constitution assured him that he would himself to Canada, did not part with the most cordially co-operate with him superintending power, which she in taking every possible means to exercised in the very act of mopreserve what he esteemed the most delling that constitution; but would perfect constitution in the world, certainly, if the lower province and to deliver it down to posterity should pass any law oppressive on as the best security for the pros- the upper, control that oppression, perity, freedom, and happiness of and remove the grievance. He the British people.

feared that the law of Canada was The consideration of the question not yet in a state of sufficient cerbefore the House, which had been tainty or cultivation, to admit of 80 often interrupted by political the independency of the judges :


he hoped the time was not far disa tricts to be forty shillings freehold; tant when this object might be at- and for townships the property of tained; when a general system of a house of five pounds yearly rent, known laws, and an establishment or a twelve month's residence in a of salaries sufficient for the en house of ten pounds rent. couragement of respectable men Certain descriptions of persons to accept of the offices of judges were disqualified from being electthere, would make their appoint- ed or voting for a member of asment for life expedient.

sembly, namely minors, ecclesiThe act was at length passed, in- astics, or persons attainted of treacluding the following provisions : son or felony.

The appointment within each The council and assembly to be of the two separate provinces into called together once at least in which Canada was divided, of a every twelve months ; and the legislative council and assembly; continuance of the assemblies to by whom, with the assent of his be for four years, subject to disso Majesty, or the Governor appoint- lution or prorogation by the goed by his Majesty, laws may be vernor: made for the government of each The Governor may, in his Ma. respective province :

jesty's name, give to or withhold A power in the governor au his assent from the bills passed by thorised by his Majesty, to summon the assemblies and legislative counmembers to the legislative council: cils ;-or he may reserve them for such council to consist of not fewer the signification of his Majesty's than seven in Upper Canada, and pleasure thereon. Bills assented to fifteen in Lower Canada : the seats by the Governor, to be transmitted of the counsellors to be for life : to his Majesty ; who may, within

A power to his Majesty to annex the space of two years, annul such to hereditary titles of honour, the bill, by declaring his disallowance right of a seat in such council: of them. The bills reserved for

Besides the forfeiture of seats in the signification of the King's pleathe council, and extinguishment of sure, to have no force till his Mahereditary honours by treason in jesty's assent is communicated. England, hereditary seats in that The laws in force in the provincouncil were declared forfeited ces at the time of the commenceduring the life of the defaulter; ment of the act, not repealed or and life-seats vacated, by an ab- reversed by the act itself, to consence of four years from the pro- tinue in force till repealed or revince, without his Majesty's or versed by the respective assemblies, the Governor's permission, or by with assent of his Majesty or the taking an oath of allegiance to any Governor, in manner above menforeign power.

tioned. The assembly in Upper Canada With respect to the ecclesiastical to consist of not fewer than sixe establishments of Canada, the proteen; to be returned from certain visions of the act of the 14th year districts or territories, into which of his present Majesty, and of his the province was to be divided. instructions to the Governor, by The qualification of voters for dism which the dues and tithes of the


protestant inhabitants of any parish ing duties for the regulations of were reserved for the support of a commerce or navigation, but with protestant clergy, were continued the proviso that the produce of by this act. And besides that fund such duties should be applied to the an allotment of lands was directed use of the respective provinces, in to be made out of the crown lands such manner as the laws of their for the encouragement and support own legislature should direct. of a protestant clergy; and in fu- The commencement of the act ture grants of land, a seventh part was in the discretion of his majesty was directed to be appropriated for in council; but the time for calling that purpose. Parsonages or rec- the legislative council and assemtories were to be erected by the bly was directed not to be later Governor, by whom incumbents than the 31st of December, 1792; were to be presented, subject to and till that period, temporary laws the rights of institution, and to the and ordinances were allowed to be ecclesiastical authority of the Bie made by the Governor and the shop of Nova Scotia.

executive council, formerly estaThese provisions, with respect to blished by the Quebec act, made the clergy and other religious and in the fourteenth year of his maecclesiastical matters, to be alterajesty's reigo. ble or repealable by the assemblies; It would be difficult to conceive but the acts varying or repealing any deliberations in which a legisthem, were directed to be laid be- lature could be engaged of greater fore the British parliament, previous dignity and importance than such to the receiving his majesty's assent; as relate to the form of a constitu, and such assent not to be given tion and government for a country, if parliament should address his of vast extent, and considerably Majesty to withhold it.

advanced in population and the Future grants of land in Upper arts of civilized life. The British Canada, to be in free and common legislature, on this occasion, consoccage, as in England: and the ducted itself with a degree of equity same in Lower Canada, where the wisdom and foresight, suitable to grantor shall desire it.

And in the occasion. They extended to Upper Canada, the owners of lands Canada the constitution of Great formerly granted on provincial te- Britain, subject to those improvepures, may, on surrender into his ments and modifications which fun Majesty's hands, obtain fresh grants, ture circumstances might show to to be holden by such soccage-benecessary or expedient, but which tenure.

the nature of its legislative power The act contained a provision, might prevent from being inconpursuant to the general declaration siderately andrashly adopted. They contained in the 18th of Georgethe gave to this province the inden Third, chap. 12, with respect to the pendence necessary to the freedom power of taxation of the colonies and welfare of its inhabitants; but by the British parliament, that no- preserved that degree of connexion thing in this act should prevent the with

Britain which is conducive to parliament of Great Britain from the safety and the prosperity of establishing prohibitions, or impos. the whole united empire.



Libel and Quo Warranto Bills. State of the Finances, including the

Revenue produced, and the Expences incurred by the possession of the British Territories in the East Indies. Bill for the Establishment of a Company at Sierra Leone, on the coast of Africa. Speech from the Throne and Prorogation of Parliament.


N the 20th of May, Mr. Fox, next :* when also, in consequence

agreeably to previous notice, of a motion made by Mr. Fox, in made a motion for a grand com the present year 1791, and supmittee of the courts of justice, to ported by that gentleman, Mr. Ersenquire into some late decisions of kine, and others, for “ leave to the courts, in cases of libels. Mr. bring in a bill to explain the act of Fox contended, that where any the 9th year of Queen Anne, respecial matter of law is pleaded, lative to quo warrantos," a law was the judge and not the jury, is to enacted, depriving the Attorney decide : but that, where a general General, in right of the crown, and issue is joined, the law is so im- every other individual, in his own plicated with the fact, that they right, of a power to disturb the poscannot be separated and therefore sessor of any franchise in a corporathat the jury must as in all other tion, after having quietly exercised criminal processes, bring in a gene- it for six years. The end of this ral verdict of Guilty, or Not Guilty. law was, to secure the rights of With these sentiments Mr. Pitt election, and prevent vexatious procoincided. And, though the ob- secutions for political purposes. ject of Mr. Fox's motion, through A select committee of the House the opposition of Lord Thurlow of Commons in 1786, gave in a and other lawyers, was not accom- report of the national revenue and plished in the present session, a de- expenditure at that time, together claratory act, to quiet the public with an estimate or computation of mind on this head, and to prevent what might be expected to be the the endless controversies to which annual amount of such a revenue and doubts on the question give rise in expenditure in future. the courts of justice, was carried riod might perhaps be thought ra. through the House of Lords, and ther too early for such a report received the Royal sanction in the when there was yet no opportunity


That pe

• An account of which, and the debates thereon will be given in our volume for he year 1792.

of stating the average produce of present parliament, on the same taxes lately imposed, and when the subject of the public income and expenditure was clogged with ar-' expenditure. A motion was thererear's still remaining due, of the fore "made for the appointment of very heavy expences of the Ame. such a committee, by the Chanrican war.

But it was necessary cellor of the Exchequer, on Friday at that juncture to have such a the 8th of April, - who should document laid before parliament, consider and report the amount of when the plan for applying a mil- the public income and expenditure lion annually towards the extinc- during the last five years; and that tion of the national debt, was the same committee be also directed brought under their consideration. to inquire what the public revenue Now when, at the distance of five and expenditure might be expected years from the inquiries of that to be in future ; and what alteration first committee, the effects of both had taken place in the amount of the new taxes imposed, and of the the national debt, since the fifth regulations for the more faithful of January 1786." The result of collection of the old could be bet- the comparison made by this comter ascertained, it seemed a very mittee, between the annual inexpedient measure to have the come and expenditure, was as fol. report of a new committee of the lows :


Annual Income
Expenditure, including a Million for liquidating the

National Debt


Balance in favour of the country



This report being referred to by future expence in the sum of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 949,9977. in his account of the state of the To this remark it was briefly refinances, on Wednesday the 18th plied, that the increase of the exof May, became a subject of dis- penditure beyond the computation cussion in the House of Come of the finance committee in 1786,

arose chiefly from incidental charges, Mr. Sheridan remarked, That the which that committee could not report of the present committee foresee, and which, in fact, made shewed the fallacy of that estimate not any part of the permanent exof future expence which had been pence of the nation. made by the former committee in This subject was again brought 1786. That estimate amounted to forward, and more fully discussed in the annual sum of 14,478,1811. ; a committee of the whole House, whereas the actual amount, now on the 3rd of June, when Mr. Sheristated by the present committee, dan moved no less than forty resois 15,969,1781 : which, after the lutions; the principal purport of deduction of the annual million which was, First, To prove the misfor discharging the national debt, take in the report of the committee exceeded the former report of the of 1786, and to place it in a strong Vol. XXXIII.



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