Puslapio vaizdai

anxious endeavour to call to your councils and to em-

ploy in the public service those persons, who by their

position and character, have obtained the general con-

fidence and esteem of the inhabitants of the Province."

Military affairs, emigration and the land question
require serious attention. Municipal institutions de-
mand immediate and special consideration. In Upper
Canada, finances and the Clergy Reserves are pressing
questions. Her Majesty is determined to maintain
the connexion between the United Kingdom and the
American Colonies.

CXLIII. Lord John Russell to Poulett Thomson, October 14, 1839. 522

Must refuse any explanation of "Responsible Govern-

ment" which would imply a surrender to the petitions

and addresses. The Imperial Parliament has already

expressed its opinion on the matter (No. CXXIV.).

There can be no proposals entertained on the subject.

Cabinet government impossible in a colony. Colonial

Councils cannot advise the Crown of England. Impos-

sible to reconcile the responsibility of the Governor

to the Crown with a responsibility on his part to his

Council. Impossible also to define the power of the

Governor and the privileges of the Assembly. The

only rule is "a wise moderation" by each.

CXLIV. Lord John Russell to Poulett Thomson, October 16, 1839. 524

The tenure of subordinate colonial offices during the

pleasure of the Crown has generally come to mean a

tenure during good behaviour. This must cease. Any

sufficient motive of public policy or a change in the

person of the Governor will in future be sufficient

reason for changes in officials. The judges are ex-

cepted. Pensions and indemnities may be necessary,

but the rule must be enforced as often as the public

good demands it.

CXLV. Poulett Thomson to Lord John Russell with the Address

and Resolutions from the Lower Canadian Special

Council in favour of Union, November 18, 1839 . . 525

Special Council of Lower Canada adopts plan for

union. There is naturally much diversity of opinion

owing to the Rebellions, but almost everyone sees the

necessity for change.

CXLVI. Poulett Thomson to a Friend, November 20 and Decem-

ber 8, 1839

Describes his successes, in favour of the union, in

Lower Canada. Has fears for a similar result in

Upper Canada-the country of factions, where the

"Constitutional party is as bad or worse than the

other, in spite of all their professions of loyalty." The

finances, the House of Assembly-in fact, everything
in Upper Canada—in a chaotic state.

CXLVII. Poulett Thomson to the Legislature of Upper Canada,

December 7, 1839

Outlines the Government's plans for union. Delay in

proposal not due to wavering, but to a desire to con-

sult the Upper Canadian Legislature in order that the

union may be as just as possible. Thomson asks the

Legislature to assent to certain terms in the proposed
union: (a) equal representation for each Province in
the new united House of Assembly, (b) the granting
of a civil list, (c) the charging of the public debt of
Upper Canada for works of a general nature on the
joint revenue of the united Province.

CL. Resolutions of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada,

December 23, 1839

Embody Thomson's requests as outlined in No.


CLI. Address of House of Assembly of Upper Canada, Janu-

ary 13, 1840 .

"Some suggestions" (according to Thomson) from

the Assembly, which they hope will be carried out in

the Act of Union.

CLII. Poulett Thomson to House of Assembly of Upper
Canada, January 14, 1840.

Impossible to lay before the House Russell's des-
patches on "Responsible Government"; quotes, how-
ever, No. CXLII. as to the advice on which he acts.

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the Assembly; secondly, that it is a grave evil to

appoint new members to the Council in order to carry

such measures, as such a method may involve too wide

possibilities of increase in future difficulties of a sim-

ilar nature. How can the problem be solved? It is to

be understood that only "clear and obvious necessity,"

-"practical inconvenience must have actually arisen

and to a serious extent"-will justify the appointment

of additional members. Such urgent necessity will

not excite indignation, and it is likely that the Council

will yield to circumstances demanded by popular

opinion and prevent the adoption of such a drastic

measure. With regard to the Executive Council, when

they cannot govern, application must be made to the

opposite party. The Governor must make it clear that,

while he can never assent to the abuse of the royal

authority for party as opposed to public objects, he is

willing to work with any party that can command

public confidence, as the Government of the British

Provinces cannot be carried on “in opposition to the

opinion of the inhabitants."

CLXII. Earl Grey to Lieut.-Gov. Harvey, March 31, 1847 . . 573

Outlines the British system of government and points

out the difference between "political" and "official"

appointments. He sees no reason,-but rather wel-

comes the idea,-why Colonial Government should not

follow the British system. A careful criticism is given

of the possibilities of carrying it into effect, but it is

pointed out that few appointments at present should be

of a "political" nature, involving changes with the

change of public opinion, and that the vast number of

smaller appointments should be of an official kind,

"during good behaviour"; thus the danger of dislocation

in administration will be lessened-a danger not to be

minimized in a small community which has just gained

"responsible government." Outlines a scheme for the

"political" appointments, and also lays it down that

"permanent officials" must not be members of either

House of the Legislature. "Political" appointments

will carry with them seats in the Executive Council.

With these considerations in mind, "that system of

Parliamentary Government which has long prevailed

in the Mother Country" can be immediately adopted.

CLXIII. Elgin to Earl Grey, 1847 . .

Outlines his conception of the position of the Gov-

ernor under the newly introduced system of respon-

sible cabinet government: frank and unreserved con-

stitutional support to his ministers, but never conceal-

ing from them that nothing will prevent him from

working cordially with their opponents, if forced upon


CLXIV. Elgin to Lady Elgin, 1847

CLXVI. Elgin to Earl Grey, March 23, 1850

Criticises Russell's speech of Feb. 8, 1850, in which he

anticipated Colonial independence. Pleads for a

nobler conception of the Colonies. "You must allow

them to believe that, without severing the bonds which

unite them to Great Britain, they may attain the degree

of perfection and of social and political development

to which organized communities of freemen have a
right to aspire." Russell's opinion will only add sup-
port to the annexationists; will grieve the loyal and
well affected such as Baldwin; and will hurt the Pro-
vince financially and economically.

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CLXXIII. The Union Act Amendment Act (11 & 12 Victoria,
c. 56), 1848

Repeals section 35 of the Act of Union (No. CLIII.),


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