« AnkstesnisTęsti »
The Quebec Act was almost still-born, owing to the breaking out of hostilities between England and the Thirteen Colonies. At any rate, according to the opinion of Governor Haldimand, its passing prevented Canada from becoming a thirteenth State of the Union (see No. XXXIV). The war, however, did not entirely suppress the demands of the British in Canada for a House of Assembly, and as soon as peace was declared in 1783, these demands were reinforced by the arrival in Canada of those colonial citizens-known to history as the United Empire Loyalists-who had remained loyal to the British connexion during the Revolutionary War.
Carleton, now Lord Dorchester, returned to Canada for his second term of office as Governor in 1786, and there lay before him a complicated task. The "ancient subjects," that is, the British in Canada, persisted in their demand for a "new and free constitution," which now included, in addition to a House of Assembly, the right of taxation and some control over the Executive (see Nos. XXXVIII; XXXIX). The United Empire Loyalists, though loyal to the monarchical principle, were nothing behind the Fathers of American Confederation in their claim to representative institutions. Further advanced that contemporary Englishmen in political thought, it soon became evident to Dorchester that they would not complacently endure the constitutional system erected by the Quebec Act. On the other hand, the French Canadians were still children in political experience, to whom representative institutions were only "une machine anglaise pour nous taxer" (see Nos. XL; XLI). Dorchester's problem was no easy one. Would it be possible out of such opposing forces to present an equitable solution?
The "ancient subjects" began the struggle with numerous despatches and petitions, of which examples are given, and in 1788 they sent Adam Lymburner to London, who stated their case at the bar of the House of Commons (see No. XLVI). The way did not lie very clearly before the Government. However, as the United Empire Loyalists had to a large extent settled west of the French-Canadians in what is now the Province of Ontario, the Government decided, against Dorchester's wish, to divide the province (see No. XLVII), and they submitted a draft constitution to the Governor in October, 1789. Grenville's covering despatch (see No. L) is of interest, as it outlines a new departure in Canadian government. In addition, the heartsearchings over a
new constitution gave rise to a famous suggestion contained in an opinion which Dorchester obtained from Chief Justice William Smith. The proposal was in reality one for the federation of British North America (see Nos. LIII; LIV). However, the time was not ripe and the Constitutional Act was passed in 1791 (see No. LV), which provided for the division of the province by an Order-in-Council. This Order was duly issued on August 24, 1791. In September, Dorchester was appointed Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of both provinces. Houses of Assembly were established in each new division.
The documents given below illustrate the various difficulties which led to the drawing up of a new constitution.
THE QUEBEC REVENUE ACT, 1775
(15 George III, c. 40.)
An Act for amending and explaining an Act, passed in the fourteenth year of his Majesty's reign, intituled "An Act to establish a Fund towards further defraying the charges of the Administration of Justice and support of the Civil Government within the Province of Quebec, in America."
Whereas by an Act passed in the fourteenth year of his Majesty's Preamble. reign (intituled, "An Act to establish a fund towards further defraying
the charges of the administration of justice and support of the Civil Gov-Clause in Act ernment within the Province of Quebec in America"), it is amongst other 14 George III, things enacted, that if any goods, chargeable with any of the duties in the recited. said Act mentioned, shail be brought into the said Province by land carriage, the same shall pass and be carried through the Port of Saint John's, near the River Sorrel; or if such goods shall be brought into the said Province by any inland navigation other than that upon the River Saint Lawrence, the same shall pass and be carried upon the said River Sorrel by the said port, and shall be there entered with, and the said respective rates and duties paid for the same to such officer or officers of his Majesty's customs as shall there be appointed for that purpose; and if any such goods, coming by land carriage or inland navigation, as aforesaid, shall pass by or beyond the said place before named, without entry or payment of the said rates and duties, or shall be brought into any part of the said Province by or through any other place whatsoever, the said goods shall be forfeited; and every person who shall be assisting, or otherwise concerned in the bringing or removing such goods, or to whose hands the same shall come, knowing that they were brought or removed contrary to this Act, shall forfeit treble the value of such goods; to be estimated and computed according to the best price that each respective commodity bears in the town of Quebec at the time such offence shall be committed; and all the horses, cattle, boats, vessels, and other carriages whatsoever, made use of in the removal, carriage or conveyance of such goods, shall be forfeited and lost, and shall and may be seized by any officer of his Majesty's Customs, and prosecuted as thereinafter mentioned: And whereas there is reason to apprehend that the regulations and restrictions contained in the said hereinbefore recited clause, so far as they relate to the bringing of rum, brandy, or other spirits into the Province of Quebec by land carriage, may, without further explanation, operate to the prejudice and disadvantage of the commerce carried on with the Indians in the upper or interior parts of the said Province: We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, do most humbly beseech your Majesty that it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the His Majesty's King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the subjects may Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament bring, by land assembled, and by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be law. or inland navi ful to and for all his Majesty's subjects freely to bring, carry or convey, by any ports of land, carriage, or inland navigation, into any ports of the Province of Quebec not heretofore Quebec, not heretofore comprehended within the limits thereof by his comprehended Majesty's Royal Proclamation of the seventh of October, one thousand in the Royal seven hundred and sixty-three, any quantity of rum, brandy, or other Proclamation spirits, anything contianed in the before-recited Act of Parliament to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
114 George III, C. 88. (See No. XXVI.)
of Oct. 7,
1763, any quantity of rum, brandy,
INSTRUCTIONS TO GOVERNOR CARLETON, 17751
[Trans. Shortt and Doughty.]
4. And whereas by an Act passed in the fourteenth year of Our Reign, intituled, "An Act for making more effectual provision for the "Government of the Province of Quebec in North America," it is enacted and provided, that no person, professing the Religion of the Church of Rome, and residing in the said Province, shall be obliged to take the Oath of Supremacy required by an Act passed in the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, or any other Oaths substituted by any other Act in the place thereof; but that every such Person, who by the said Statute is required to take the oaths therein mentioned, shall be obliged, and is thereby required, under certain Penalties, to take and subscribe an Oath in the form and Words therein prescribed, and set down; It is therefore Our Will and Pleasure, that you do administer to each and every Member of Our said Council, being a Canadian, and professing the Religion of the Church of Rome, and cause each of them severally to take and subscribe the Oath mentioned in the said Act passed in the fourteenth year of Our Reign, intituled; "An Act for making more effectual provision for the "Government of the Province of Quebec in North America;" and also cause them severally to take an Oath for the due Execution of their places and Trusts, and for their equal and impartial administration of Justice.
5. And that We may be always informed of the Names and Characters of Persons fit to supply the Vacancies, which may happen in Our said Council, you are from time to time to transmit to Us, by one of Our Frincipal Secretaries of State, the names and Characters of such persons, Inhabitants of Our said Colony, whom you shall esteem the best qualified for that Trust; And you are also to transmit a duplicate of the said Account to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, for their Information.
6. And if it shall at any time happen, that by the death or departure out of Our said Province, of any of Our said Councillors, there shall be a Vacancy in Our said Council, Our Will and Pleasure is: that you signify the same to Us by one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, and to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, by the first Opportunity, that We may by Warrant under Our Signet and Sign Manual, and with the Advice of Our Privy Council, constitute and appoint others in their stead.
7. You are forthwith to communicate such and so many of these Our Instructions to Our said Council, wherein their Advice and Consent are mentioned to be requisite, as likewise all such others from time to time, as you shall find convenient for Our Service to be imparted to them.
8. You are to permit the Members of Our said Council to have and Enjoy Freedom of Debate and vote in all Affairs of Public Concern, that may be debated in Council.
9. And Whereas by the aforesaid Act passed in the fourteenth year of Our Reign, intituled, “An Act for making more effectual provision for "the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America,” It is further enacted and provided, that the Council for the Affairs of the said Province, to be constituted and appointed in Manner therein directed, or the Major Part thereof, shall have power and Authority to make Ordinances for the peace, Welfare, and good Government of the said Province with the Consent of Our Governor, or, in his absence, of the Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief for the time being; provided, that no Ordinance shall be passed, unless upon some urgent Occasion at any Meeting of the Council, except between the first day of January and the first day of May. And Whereas the State and Condition of Our said Province
1 These Instructions were sent by Lord Dartmouth to Carleton on January 7th, 1775. They were rendered necessary by the passing of the Quebec Act, 14 George III, c. 83, to which reference is made throughout. Sections 1 to 4, 23 to 29 and 39 to 56 of these Instructions are omitted.