HC Deb 25 May 1830 vol 24 cc1093-111

Mr. Luhouchere, in rising pursuant to the notice he had given, to propose to the consideration of the House a subject of a most important nature, felt bound to apologise for his own inability to do it justice. He trusted, however, that the cause of the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada would not suffer for the weakness of their advocate, he was about to submit to the House certain Resolutions on the state of the Judicature and Legislative Councils of that province. It was a singular fact, that while all other interests had their parties and supporters in that House, Canada alone was without such aid. As far as he was able he should endeavour to supply that deficiency, and he now begged leave, in the first instance, to call the attention of the House to the state of the Civil Government of Canada. In doing so, he felt bound to offer his humble tribute of applause to the excellent character and conduct of Sir James Kemp, who certainly had done all that he could as an individual, to render the administration of the government as little objectionable as possible. But the evil was in the form of the government itself. The first point to which he wished to call the attention of the House, was the composition of the Legislative Assembly, and the part it had taken in the affairs of the Province of Canada, which had occupied much of the attention of the Canada Committee. It appeared that the same subject had engaged attention at a much earlier period. In the discussions on the bill of 1791, which gave to Canada the Constitution it now possessed, the composition of the Legislative Council had become a matter of great debate. In those discussions Mr. Fox said, that there were no materials in Canada for an Aristocracy, and that the principle of an Elective Government must be introduced. All that had since occurred, confirmed the opinion of that great man on that important point. Mr. Pitt thought otherwise; but he and Mr. Burke, and those who supported that side of the question, agreed in declaring that the Legislative Assembly of the Province should be so constituted as to preserve its independence. He would show the House how little that opinion had been adhered to in practice. Out of the twenty-seven members who sat in the general Legislative Assembly for Lower Canada, eighteen were placemen, enjoying amongst them an income of 18,000l. a-year, receivable at the pleasure of the Crown, and but nine independent members. Among the placemen, seven were members of the Executive Council, and but nine of the placemen were native Canadians. The rest were men who had gone out thither to make a fortune, and who, having suc- ceeded in that object, would feel no further interest in the colony. In the seventeen members of the General Legislative Assembly who sat for Upper Canada, twelve were placemen and only five were unofficial men. Under these circumstances, it would not be matter of surprise, that the body uniformly sided with the Executive Government; and as their acts had been frequently opposed to the feelings and interests of the people, the Legislative Assembly, that ought to represent the popular wishes, had, in fact, been opposed to the opinions of the great mass of the nation. This composition of the Legislative Assembly had been complained of at the time it was formed, and the House of Assembly in Lower Canada, which he believed really to represent the feelings and wishes of the people there, had very recently expressed the same complaints—for so late as March, 1830, on going into a Committee of Supply, they passed a unanimous Resolution, declaring that that House only consented to enter into the consideration of the said estimates in the hope that the grievances, of which complaint had so often been made, would be redressed, and that measures would be at once taken to secure the independence of the House of Assembly of the province, and to improve the state of Judicature, by divesting the judicial officers of functions totally unconnected with their judicial duties. There was a time when a great jealousy existed between the French and English inhabitants of the colony; but in consequence of the bill passed last Session, that jealousy was now at an end, and both were willing and anxious to co-operate in the most efficient manner for the common good. The second point to which he wished to call the attention of the House, and of the right hon. Secretary opposite, was the present system of the administration of justice, for he could not think, after the many improvements that right hon. Gentleman had made in the administration of justice in this country, he would consent to leave the people of Canada in as bad a situation as ever. The first point in this part of the subject, was the tenure of the commissions of the Judges. They were not the same as in this country, nor as in Jamaica, nor as in many other of our possessions, commissions during good behaviour, but the Judges were removable at pleasure. At the time the bill for creating these courts passed, Lord Grenville said the measure was only to be temporary; and in effect the Government had given up the principle of it in 1826, but the form was still continued. It was not his intention to recommend any alteration exceeding that which the committee had proposed. The Judges now depended for their salary on the annual vote of the House of Assembly. He did not wish that Judges should court popular applause, but equally unwilling was he that they should seek ministerial approbation. Yet they were obliged to do so in Canada; and as long as the Judges remained dependent on the pleasure of the Crown, the House must and would retain that as the only check on their conduct. The Judges were consequently in a situation which made them of necessity, in acting and feeling political partisans. In the first place they were members of the Executive Council. He should but waste the time of the House if he attempted to argue on such a fact. But besides that, they were members of the Legislative Council. There was a strong feeling in this country against such an union of opposite duties—a feeling that was powerfully manifested in the late Lord Ellenborough's case. He would give one instance of the practical effect of this system of judicature. The court of Quebec, two years ago, was occupied with a number of prosecutions for libel; the Chief Justice of that court was the Chairman of the Executive Council, and the Speaker of the Legislative Council; two of the Judges were members of both Councils, and the remaining Judge was a member of one of them: the Jury were appointed by the Sheriff, who was a salaried officer of the Council, and he happen- ed at that time to be the son of the Chief Justice: the Attorney General, by whom the prosecutions were instituted, was the colleague of the Chief Justice in the Legislative and Executive Councils, and thus all the officers concerned in the administration of justice were connected politically together. There was at that time a feeling all over the country that the prisoners had not the least chance of justice. But even what he had stated did not comprehend all the grievances of which the colony had to complain. What he contended for was, that Parliament ought to give the colonists the opportunity of redressing the evils they felt. They should have a good Legislative Council, an improved system of judicature, and then they might get rid of all the Acts now passed to support the government of Canada. The Canada Committee, in a recommendation given to the government, stated that one of the most important subjects of inquiry with them had been the state of the Legislative Councils, and they recommended that the Legislative Assembly should be made more independent, and that the Judges should not be members of the Executive Council. Under these circumstances, adopting their opinion, he should move a Resolution, declaring that the House concurred with that opinion of the Canada Committee, and stating, secondly, that it was the opinion of that House, that the majority of the Legislative Council ought not to be composed of officers of the Crown, and that every measure, having for its object to connect more intimately that branch of the constitutional government of Canada with the interests of the colony would be beneficial. He should propose, in the third place, to declare, that it was not expedient to fill the judicial seats of Upper and Lower Canada with members of the Legislative and Executive Councils. He should have been unwilling to have raised that discussion, if he had not been compelled to do so by a sense of justice. At the same time he could not help observing the situation in which we were placed. In a very short time that House would be called on to vote 200,000l. for military works in Canada, which would be quite unnecessary if the Government would do the little that was required to secure the hearty attachment of its inhabitants. He entreated the House not to neglect that cheap and constitutional safeguard which was to be found in the hearts of a grateful and affectionate people. What he had now submitted to them had been demanded by the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada—had been recommended by the committee here—and was in accordance with the unanimous opinion of the people of the colony; and if granted, it must conduce to the tranquillity, interest, and happiness, of a most important part of the possessions of this kingdom. He moved the following Resolutions:—

"That it is the opinion of this House, that a majority of the members of the Legislative Councils of Upper and Lower Canada ought not to consist of persons holding offices at the pleasure of the Crown; and that any measures that may tend to connect more intimately this branch of the constitution with the interest of these colonies, would be attended with the greatest advantage.

"That it is the opinion of this House, that it is not expedient that the Judges should hold seats in the Executive Councils of Upper and Lower Canada, and that (with the exception of the Chief Justice) they ought not to be involved in the political business of the Legislative Councils.

"That it is the opinion of this House, that it is indispensable to the good government and contentment of his Majesty's Canadian subjects, that these measures should be carried into effect with the least possible convenient delay."

Lord Sandon

said, that he rose to second the Motion of his hon. friend with the greatest pleasure, from the perfect concurrence which he felt in his views. The principal difficulty he experienced in arguing the point was, to anticipate by what arguments the adoption of the Resolutions could be opposed. The principles they enunciated were become so much axioms in the science of politics, as to have been long since placed, in this country at least, beyond dispute. They affirmed the importance of separating the legislative and executive from the judicial functions; the importance of giving independence to judges, and a national character to the higher branch of the legislature of a free colony. Upon the first point, he should content himself with the authorities of Paley and Blackstone; the former having said, "The first maxim of a free state is, that the laws be made by one set of men, and administered by another; in other words, that the legislative and judicial characters should be kept distinct." The words of Blackstone were equally impressive:—"Nothing is more to be avoided in a free constitution, than uniting the provinces of a Judge and Minister of State." This much-reprobated union of incompatible characters prevailed in the greatest degree in Canada. As the House had heard from his hon. friend, the same person advised in the morning in the Executive Council, that certain laws should be proposed, voted upon them in the afternoon in the Legislative Council, and administered them in the evening on the bench. Nor was that merely a theoretical evil,—the greatest practical evils had already resulted from it—the Judgeshad been converted into active political partizans;—they talked in the legis- tature of the way in which they meant to interpret the laws upon the bench; and all confidence in the purity of the administration of justice, in cases where the government was a party, had been destroyed. Nor had less mischief arisen from the practice which prevailed in that colony,—so different from that which was intended by the framers of its constitution,—of filling the Legislative Councils, the second branch of the Legislature with a majority of placemen, unconnected by ties of birth and property with the interests of the colony, and therefore inspiring no confidence whatever in the independence of their deliberations. All the advantage which could be expected from a constitution formed upon the British model of an equipoise of powers had been lost. The government had, in the main, consisted of two jarring powers—the House of Assembly and the Governor; the Legislative Council being generally considered merely as the convenient organ by which he expressed his will. And here he must express a slight difference of opinion from his hon. friend, who represented that as uniformly the case. Would to heaven it were so! Then fewer obstacles would be thrown in the way of the wise and benevolent intentions of the present Governor, and more of the recommendations of the Canada Committee would, by this time, have been carried into effect. He was afraid, however, that the unwise course pursued for ten years by a former administration, had contrived to raise up a little faction of official personages in the Council, who had too often succeeded in representing themselves as the real English party in the Colony, and who resisted the wishes, and shackled the judgment even of the Governor, when directed to the reform of abuses, of which they were the authors and by which they profited. They reminded him of that little faction in Ireland, which used to play the same part, under the assumption of the same title, and which succeeded but too well in deceiving the judgment, and defeating the benevolence of the English Government. He might notice another point of similarity to that misgoverned country. All offices of trust were reserved for the professors of the Established Religion, who formed a small minority of the inhabitants; and though four-fifths of the population were of French origin, as they professed the Catholic faith, only seven French names out of the twenty-seven appeared upon the lists of the Legislative Council. If independence and a character of nationality were not to be given to the Legislative Council, it had better be abolished altogether. Without these attributes, it would only be an useless clog to the wheels of government; supplying an additional chance of difficulty and collision. As it was constituted, every dispute between the two houses, was a dispute between the colony and the mother country. Such a system he was confident, would not be defended by the right hon. Secretary for the Colonies. What objection, then, could be made to the propositions before the House? The right hon. Gentleman might say, perhaps, that he was already proceeding upon the principles which they enunciate; that they were therefore unnecessary, and that it appeared like a reflection upon him to call upon the House to affirm them. This argument would be well enough, if the measures he was pursuing in Canada were of that rapid and decisive character as to sweep away at once all the abuses complained of, and practically to declare to the colony, that the right hon. Gentleman had adopted the principles of the Resolutions. But his proceedings were gradual unaccompanied by any general declarations of the principles on which they were conducted, unfitted to heal the wounds which had been so long rankling, and to appease the feelings of dissatisfaction which had been so long and so justly excited. Besides, the Canadians wanted to have a pledge, not only from the Ministers of the day, but from Parliament itself, which should shut the door against a return, by any future Minister, to the exploded system, and restore confidence to the colony, by a public and authentic declaration. It would require all that could be done in that way to make palatable to the colony the measure which the right hon. Secretary had brought into the House, avowedly for the purpose of conciliation, but which was unfortunately in the teeth of a recent resolution of the popular branch of the Canadian Legislature. The Canadians wanted that the Judges should not be dependent on the Crown; and to make them independent of the Canadians was the object of what the right hon. Gentleman expected to be a healing measure. He expressed, in conclusion, his hearty concurrence in the Resolutions proposed by his hon. friend.

Sir George Murray

addressed the House, in vindication of the conduct of his Majes- ty's Government. He began by complimenting the hon. Gentleman by whom the Resolutions were moved, on the moderation of the tone in which he brought them forward, and the manner in which he pressed them upon the adoption of the House. It had been contended on the other side, he said, that the recommendation of the committee was not acted on by the Government; but he thought the most decisive answer to that would be found in the papers laid upon the Table of the House. From them it could not but be apparent, that those recommendations had been fully acted upon, so far as circumstances al- lowed, and where insufficiency of information delayed the Government, it had had recourse to the Governor to supply that want, and was then waiting for further information from him. As a proof that his Majesty's Government at home was not influenced by any undue desire to fill the Legislative Council with persons holding office at the pleasure of the Crown, he should just mention the fact, that three vacancies had recently occurred in the Legislative Assembly, and those vacancies had been filled up with the names of three gentlemen, not one of whom held office undertheCrown—gentlemen recommended by the Governor as persons who, from their rank and station, their characters and abilities were well qualified for the honours and the privileges appertaining to a seat in that Assembly; and he begged to offer the fullest assurances to the House that, in future, vacancies would be filled up in a similar manner. He fully admitted that the Judges, with the exception of the Chief Justice, ought to be excepted from the list of the Legislative Council, and he was enabled to state, that recently, gentlemen appointed to the Bench resigned their places in the Legislative Council. Again, it was rather hard to censure the manner in which seats in that Assembly were filled, without making allowance for the difficulty of finding an aristocracy in a Colony settled under such circumstances as that of Lower Canada, or, indeed, in any colony at all. Besides, that difficulty arose out of causes that now, he hoped, had passed away. There had been a period when the feelings and conduct of the Government at home had been guided by considerations which he hoped hereafter would have no influence. He alluded to the differences on religious matters, which, until very recently, produced important effects upon all the political proceedings of this country. Those feelings naturally spread themselves outwards towards our Colonies. There were besides those impediments to improvement of the institutions of that colony, the difficulty which arose from the population of the colony being made up both of French and English. He concurred with the hon. Gentleman opposite that the appointment of Judges during good behaviour deserved the highest praise, as a general principle, and ought to be adhered to wherever practicable; but he much doubted the advantage of carrying that principle into full operation in Canada. He must be allowed to say, that all his experience respecting that colony and others led him to that conclusion. There was extreme difficulty in getting Judges for our colonies—men whose fitness could be regarded as certain. The Government was, accordingly, often compelled to send out persons scarcely qualified for those situations; and if, upon trial, it was found they were unfit, it was highly important that the power of removing them should be vested in the Crown. In the mother country the case was different. There it was easy to secure the services of Judges well qualified, and the independence of such persons was highly to be desired but in the colonies the case was altogether different. In order to show that the Legislative Council was not so dependent upon the Government as had been alleged, he instanced the case of the Supply Bill last year, and another case, in both of which considerable opposition was raised to the measures of the Government, and the Council was divided into the supporters and the opponents of the Executive. He should oppose the Resolutions of the hon. Gentleman opposite, for he thought the situation of the colony did not call for any such expression of opinion on the part of the House; he should oppose them too, as conveying an implied censure upon the Government. The second Resolution went to stigmatise, most unjustly, the Legislative Council; and as to the third, he must say, that his Majesty's Government had lost no opportunity of improving the judicial body in that colony. He con- eluded by moving the previous question.

Lord Viscount Howick

did not by any means agree in the conclusion to which the- right hon. Secretary had come on this subject. On the contrary, the whole tenor of his speech went to support the Resolutions. The only point on which the right hon. Gentleman differed from his hon. friend who brought forward the subject, related to the dependence of the Judges on the Crown; but that question did not enter into the Resolutions. Upon the main point adverted to, there was no difference of opinion. His hon. friend contended, that the Judges ought not to hold places in the Legislative Council and in the Executive at the same time; and the right hon. Gentleman admitted this was highly improper—but he objected to the Resolutions, as tending to throw a stigma on the Government. For himself he must say, that the line of conduct pursued by the right hon. Gentleman towards this colony since he came into office was by no means deserving of censure—on the contrary, the despatch which had been laid on the Table, did great credit to his judgment; he did not blame the Government for its positive acts, but for its omissions; there had been too much delay in carrying into effect the recommendations of the Canada Committee. The people of Canada could not be satisfied for ever with expectations. Something ought to be done, and first the recommendation of the committee ought to be complied with, and the legislature put in that position in which, according to every principle of a free constitution, it ought to rest. The right hon. Secretary said, it was not in the power of the Government to remove those holding office under the Crown from the Legislative Councils, because their nomination was for life; but the Government had the power of removing those persons from the situations they held in the Executive, which was the most important consideration of the two. Let the Governor assure those who held office and also places in the Council, that the permanent possession of a seat in the Council must render them incapable of holding office under the Crown, and then the matter might be speedily and safely arranged. When the right hon. Secretary said, that the recommendation of the committee, with respect to the Judges, could not be carried into effect because the Judges could not be deprived of their places, the holding of which was unconstitutional he acted rather too strictly according to the letter of the Constitution, and too little in accordance with its spirit It was the principle of our Constitution and he wished to see it acted on for Canada, that the people should govern themselves, and that the Legislature should not resist the unanimous wishes of the people. With regard to the resolutions casting a slur on the Legislative Councils, he did not think that their language would bear such an interpretation. For his own part, he wished to say nothing harsh or severe of the persons composing the Legislative Councils, he was not sufficiently acquainted with their proceedings to characterize their conduct strongly, but from what he knew of them he had not formed a very favourable opinion of their temper or spirit. He had not heard one reason against the principle of the resolutions—not one reason to convince him that it would not be expedient to agree to them, as the recorded opinions of that House; and viewing them in that light, he meant to give them his most hearty support.

Mr. Wilmot Horton

did not wish to prolong a discussion on which so little substantial difference seemed to have arisen. It was his intention to do no more than express his satisfaction at the statement just made by the right hon. the Secretary for the Colonies. As a member of the Canada Committee, he begged to remind the House, that when the Committee recommended that Judges should not hold seats in the Legislative Council, it intended that the principle should be brought progressively into operation; and not that those Judges, now holding seats, should be immediately removed. That principle had been fully recognised by his Majesty's Government. The right hon. Secretary said, he concurred in the recommendation of the Committee, and he must congratulate Canada upon that declaration, as it was a pledge that his Majesty's Government meant to act on the recommendations of the Committee. He felt himself pledged to the resolutions proposed, because they embodied the principles of the Report agreed to by the Committee; but he did not wish those resolutions to be passed, because he thought with the right hon. Gentleman, that they conveyed a censure on the Government which it did not deserve. He should be sorry to see those resolutions passed, because, although they expressed the unanimous feelings of the House, and the opinion of Government as to Canada, yet he felt himself called upon to vote against them on the grounds stated by the right hon. Secretary. The second resolution was, he thought, in its language decidedly objectionable.

Lord Althorp

thought, the way to preserve the important line of coast which we possessed in Canada was, not by fortifications, but by conciliating the people. He thought the people of that colony entitled to all the advantages of a connection with this country, and all the benefits of local Governments combined—they ought to have a free and independent Constitution. Their Government was formed upon the model of the British Constitution, and means should be taken to assimilate it to that of this country, by connecting the Legislative Council with the people of the colony. Now, it was impossible that the people of Canada could look with confidence to a Council composed of persons in the service of the Crown, and removable at pleasure. Notwithstanding what might be said to the contrary, he would maintain that those Resolutions were founded upon the Report of the Canada Committee, and for that as well as other reasons they should have his support. He thought it most desirable that the House should adopt them.

Mr. M. Fitzgerald

conceived, that the House ought to be satisfied with the assurance given by Ministers. When any reasonable doubt could be entertained of their professions, it would be time enough to call in the authority of the House; he therefore recommended that, for the present, the Resolutions should be postponed; They would, he feared, mar the good effects of the measures of Government in Canada.

Mr. J. E. Denison

thought, that the spirit in which the right hon. Gentleman had referred to the Resolutions proposed by his hon. friend, demanded some observation. He thought it would be difficult for any person to object to these Resolutions who did not object to the principle; and accordingly, the right hon. Secretary did not object, either to the principle or the Resolutions; but he objected to the time when they were brought forward. The principle contained in them involved nothing less than the existence of a free constitution in Canada. The sooner the House distinctly declared its opinion on that subject the better, and every moment that was delayed was improperly lost. The House was at length called upon to act in the true spirit of conciliation towards the Canadas, and he did hope, that it would proceed to a settlement of the differences in Canada, in a satisfactory manner. But where was the utility of proceeding according to the plan of the Government? How could the House expect any good or great results to flow from what the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, had promised to do, if it left the constitution of the Legislative Council as at present? That Council was the mere tool of Government. Suppose a bill should pass the House of Assembly, and be objected to in the Legislative Council, as long as the majority of the members of that council held places under the Crown, the objections to such a bill would be considered as coming, not from a body of independent individuals representing the interests of the inhabitants of the colony, but from the Governor himself, and that would bring into discussion the question of English connexion, and English Government. All the difficulties, then, which must result from the seat of government being removed to a distance would be increased; and if the House did not adopt measures to alter the character of the Legislative Council, and to remove that impression which its existing constitution made on the inhabitants of Canada, great inconvenience, and effects still more to be deplored, must follow. The right hon. Secretary had spoken of the great difficulty of making the Judges in the colonies independent of the government. Their small salaries gave rise in part to this. It was further said, that they might mix themselves up in the party politics, and party proceedings, of the colony; and therefore, that it was necessary for the Government to retain the power of removing them, when it thought fit. But these dangers existed already. The dependence of the Judges on the Government, combined with their possession of seats in the Legislative Council, detracted from the purity of principle which should distinguish the judicial character; and these Judges were more likely to mix themselves up with party politics at present, and to exhibit a particular bias in such party cases, as might come before them, than they would be if the nature of their appointment were changed. He thought that his hon. friend would do right to persist in his Resolutions. There had been two long years of delay, expectation, and suspense. He hoped that the Legislature would then come to a determination upon the question, so that the people of Canada might know what the Government and Parliament intended to do. This was not a case regarding a foreign nation or a foreign connexion; but one respecting a portion of the subjects of this country, many of whom had not, many generations back, gone to settle there; a country where liberty was enjoyed to a greater extent, and with greater advantages than even in England. The report to which allusion had been already made, the report presented to the Congress of the United States, put that matter in a favourable point of view for the Canadas. We were accustomed to speak of the United States as enjoying the greatest freedom in the world; but in that report the people of Canada were held up to the citizens of the United States, as objects of emulation and rivalship; a comparison was there drawn between the condition of the people respectively, in the two countries; and, both as regarded commerce and taxation, the comparison was greatly in favour of the Canadas. His hon. friend was blamed when he first brought the question of Canada before Parliament. But now that the matter had been investigated by a committee; and a concurrence in its views obtained from the Government, now that the measures adopted had been the means of producing great benefit in that colony, encouraging the people of Canada to place the greatest confidence in this country, after all that had occurred, it was but justice to his lion, friend opposite, to give him credit for the exertions, that were originally blamed. He hoped his hon. friend would press his Resolutions to a division, and he should have his cordial support.

Mr. C. Grant

thought, that the thanks of the House were due to his hon. friend, for having brought forward his Resolutions, and to his right hon. friend, for the manner in which he had shown his willingness to carry the Resolutions of the Committee into effect. It was essential that those Resolutions should be followed up, in order to show that there was no intention of having one government at home and another abroad; and he trusted that they should never again hear it contended that the Colonies were not to enjoy the principles of our Constitution, He main- tained, that it was one great principle of that Constitution, to keep those possessed of the judicial function severed from the legislative body. Three measures, however, which had been touched upon that night, were deserving of eulogy, viz. the relaxation of the commercial policy of this country with regard to the Colony, the appointment of the Committee of that House, and the appointment of Sir James Kemp. With regard to the Resolutions of the hon. Gentleman, he was glad that he had introduced them, though for himself he was satisfied with the declarations that had been made by his right hon. friend on the subject; for he could not entertain a doubt that those declarations contained a pledge with respect to future Governments; and he should be glad to know who that Secretary of State would be, who should hereafter come forward and avow that he was prepared to deviate from those declarations. If, therefore, the hon. Gentleman should think it right to withdraw his Motion, he for one was prepared to accede to such a course; but if he thought it his duty to persevere, he, on the other hand, would certainly vote for the Motion; and he might observe, that it would perhaps have been more convenient, if the Government had itself last Session proposed some such measure, [cries of "Question, Question."]

Mr. Sheart Worthy

said, he would take that, opportunity of expressing a hope that no more time should be lost, for every moment that was lost reduced the chance of doing good. With respect to the right hon. Gentleman, however, he thought that it was but justice to say, that he seemed to have done every thing that the time would permit. To pass the Resolutions would be unfair towards the Government; he regretted that they had been proposed, and he hoped that they would not be adopted.

Mr. Hume

said [amidst many marks of impatience in the House] he hoped his hon. friend would press his Motion to a division, for the purpose of satisfying the people of Canada that there was a party in that House that took an interest in their welfare. He said this, because he knew that the eyes of the people of Canada were turned on that House. Some hon. Members might not take that interest which he and others did in this matter, but as he held in his hand an address from the inhabitants of Canada, complaining that nothing had been done towards satisfying them, he thought that the House was bound to give this subject its most serious attention. He resisted the idea that Government had done any thing; on the contrary, it had lost two years in carrying into effect the recommendation of the Committee. In addition to all their other grievances, he thought that this country did wrong in pressing upon Canada a dominant Church. The Canadians, however, were roused to a sense of the injustice that had been done them, and he trusted that they would never quit the agitation of the subject, till they obtained their rights.

Lord Milton

suggested to the House, whether it would not be better to take such a course as would induce the people of Canada to look, not to any particular individuals who might happen to be in office, but to the people of England as represented in that House. He therefore trusted that his hon. friend would persist in his Motion, not for the purpose of holding out to Canada that there was a party ready to take their case under its protection, but to show them that there was a principle in Parliament, and a general feeling also, that the grievances of the Canadians ought not to be less considered in that House than the grievances of the people of England.

Sir Robert Peel

said, he had been asked, whether he did not think that the Judges ought to be independent of the Crown? This was a difficult question to answer in general, as much depended on the nature of society, on the state of the Colony, and on the nature of the inducements held out to men to accept judicial situations. The great point to be aimed at was, a pure and impartial administration of justice in the Colony. The Mover and Seconder of the Resolutions that had been proposed to the House, had supported them in a manner which indicated that it was necessary to force his right hon. friend to adopt the recommendation of the Committee; but it had already been pointed out by his right hon. friend, that he had not only adopted the principle, but had actually carried it into practice, by seizing the opportunity afforded by three vacancies to appoint the successors in accordance with the suggestion of the Committee. As the Resolutions were meant to apply a stimulus to the Government, which his right hon. friend had shown that the Government did not need; that was, he thought, a sufficient reason why the House, which must, under such circumstances, wish to avoid the appearance of censuring the Government, should not adopt the Resolutions. There were, however, two other reasons. First, as the Resolutions referred to the exercise of the prerogative of the Crown, the House ought to proceed by addressing the Crown to abstain from exercising that prerogative, and not by coming to the proposed Resolutions. The Act regulating the Canadas gave the power to the Crown, and if the House wished to restrain that power, it would be proper to proceed by a legislative measure. To the Resolutions of that House the other House of Parliament could not be a party; and therefore, what was intended to alter the prerogative should be done by a measure in which the whole Legislature could concur. Another reason was, that the Crown had exercised its prerogative, and had appointed a Council, and in that Council were several persons dependent on the Government, as well as Judges; and a Resolution of that House, condemning the formation of that Council, would not add to its respect in the Canadas. He thought it would not be wise, therefore, for the House of Commons to come to such a Resolution. He desired to see the Colonies prosperous; and he was convinced they would long be of use to the mother-country, by remaining connected with her by the ties of affection; and it was only by those ties, which he wished to see strengthened, that we could secure their assistance and good-will.

Mr. Labouchere, in reply, stated, that he thought the Council might be immediately made up of persons independent of the Crown. He was also of opinion that the measures proposed by the right hon. the Secretary of the Colonies might be carried into execution in a shorter time than he contemplated. But, at any rate, the evils of allowing the Judges to have seats in the Council were so great, that the Government ought immediately to say to them, that they must give up their seats in the Council, or their situations as Judges. For these reasons he felt himself bound to press his Motion to a division.

The House then divided on the First Resolution—For the Motion 94; Against it 155—Majority against the Motion 61

List of the Minority.
Althorp, Lord Milton, Lord
Baring, Sir Thomas Macdonald, Sir J., bt.
Baring, F. Morpeth, Lord
Baring, Wm. B. Maxwell, John
Bernal, Ralph Monck, J. B.
Benett, J. Normanby, Lord
Blake, Sir F. Ord, Wm.
Blandford, Marquis O'Connell, Daniel
Brownlow, Charles Poyntz, W. S.
Brougham, H. Phillimore, Dr.
Carter, John Protheroe, E.
Cavendish, Wm. Philips, Sir G., bt.
Calvert, Charles Ponsonby, Hon. F.
Carew, Richard Ponsonby, Hon. W.
Cholmeley, M. J. Philips, G. R.
Clifton, Lord Parnell, Sir H.
Clive, Edward B. Price, Sir Robert
Compton, Samuel Pendarvis, E. W.
Dawson, Alexander Rumbold, Chas. E.
Denison, W. J. Russell, William
Denison, J. E. Russell, Lord John
Du Cane, Peter Rice, T. S.
Dundas, Sir Robert Robinson, Sir G. R.
Dundas, Hon. T. Robarts, A.W.
Dundas, Hon. H. Stanley, Lord
Easthope, John Stanley, Edward
Ebrington, Lord Smith, R. Vernon
Foley, J. h. Stewart, John
Fergusson, Sir R. C. Stewart, Sir M. S., bt.
Fazakerley, John N. Thompson, P. B.
Guise, Sir B. W., bt. Thomson, C. P.
Gordon, R. Townsend, Lord C.
Graham, Sir James Webb, Col. Edw.
Grant, Rt. Hon. C. Western, C. C.
Grattan, Henry Wood, C.
Howard, H. Wall, C. B.
Howick, Lord Wilbraham, G.
Hume, J. Wilson, Sir R.
Honywood, W. P. Wood, J.
Huskisson, Rt. Hn. W. Warburton, H.
Heron, Sir R. TELLERS.
Hobhouse, J. C. Labouchere, H.
Jephson, C. D. O. Sandon, Lord PAIRED OFF.
Kemp, T. R.
Killeen, Lord Beaumont, J. W.
Knight, R. Birch, J.
Kennedy, T. F. Davenport, Edward
Lambert, J. F. Ellis, Hon. Agar
Lennard, T. B. Grant, Robert
Lamb, Hon. G. Guest, J. J.
Lawley, F. Ponsonby, Hon. G.
Martin, John Whitbread, Wm.
Marshall, W. Wood, Alderman