HC Deb 12 May 1835 vol 27 cc1028-9
Mr. Hume

I rise to ask the hon. Baronet opposite when the noble Lord who has been appointed to go to Canada is to proceed thither, and how far measures have been taken for the settlement of the differences in Lower Canada.

Sir George Grey

I have to inform the hon. Member for Middlesex that the first subject which occupied the attention of the present Government, after accepting office, was the condition of Canada, and the interest regarding it was increased by the arrival of dispatches, a few days after the appointment of the Ministry, which did not give a more favourable representation of the state of affairs, but rather the contrary. The Cabinet took into its view the instructions proposed to be given by Lord Aberdeen to Lord Amherst, the intended Commissioner, but it was thought, in the first place, that the personal position of Lord Aylmer with relation to the House of Assembly was such, without prejudging the question, and not indeed having sufficient information to enable them to decide upon it, that it would oppose a barrier to the settlement of the matters in dispute. This barrier would exist, whether Lord Aylmer continued Governor, or resumed that office after the departure of Lord Amherst. The Crown was, therefore, advised to remove Lord Aylmer; and then arose the question upon the Commission—whether the object in view could best be attained by the appointment of one Commissioner or of several—whether it would not be fit that some assistance should be afforded to Lord Amherst—and whether one or more Commissioners could not be advantageously employed in inquiring into the state of the provinces, and in reporting to the Chief Commissioner. Ministers decided that the latter would be the better course for obtaining satisfactory information for the speedy and final settlement of the points in dispute. Having arrived at this conclusion, they invited Lord Amherst to become the head of the Commission, thinking that his appointment would tend greatly to the advantage of the public service; but his Lordship, feeling that the investigation would occupy a larger portion of time than was originally con- templated, declined the offer. The noble Lord now at the head of the Colonial Department is, therefore, proceeding with his duty in filling up the appointments in such a manner as, it is hoped, will best accomplish the purpose in view, by a full and impartial investigation of the whole of the differences now distracting the colony.