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· Mr. Fox said, that the hereditary nobility, as proposed to be established in Canada, could never be upon the footing of the British House of Peers. By this bill the power of the King was not limited in conferring hereditary nobility, or only nobility for life.
The House then divided upon the amendment of leap. ing out the clause of hereditary nobility.
- Ayes 39: Noes 88.—Majority 49.
On the clause fixing the number of the Assembly of Lower Canada at thirty, Mr. Chancellor Pitt proposed, as an amendment, that the word fifty should be substituted in the place of thirty ; but afterwards withdrew it to make room for the amendment of Mr. Fox, who proposed to enlarge the number to one hundred. Divided upon the amendment of Mr. Fox.
Ayes 40: Noes 91.—Majority 51. The amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was then put and carried.
Mr. Sheridan made some objections to the power that assumed, after the government had been divided into two separate, independent legislatures, of regulating their commerce and internal intercourse. He, at the same time, intimated his intention to bring the subject into consideration on a future stage of the bill..
The bill was ordered to be engrossed, and read a third time on Wednesday.
The House adjourned.
Wednesday, 18th May. The Quebec Bill having been read a third time, Lord. Sheffield presented a petition against it from Mr. Limeburner, agent for the province of Canada, stating that the people there had been refused, upon application, a copy of
that bill by which their government was to be regulated, and praying that it might not pass.
Mr. Chancellor Pitt said, that the principles of the bill had been so long under consideration, and the impossibility that its regulations should meet the sentiments of all was so evident, that it was now the business of the House to consider whether the objections that had been stated were sufficient grounds for delaying the bill.
Mr. Alderman Watson moved, “ That the debate should be adjourned till to-morrow.”
The motion was negatived, and the Bill passed.
NOTE. The Act of 31st George 3d, Chapter 31, giving a Constitution to Canada, will be found in the Appendix, together with the other British Acts of Parliament relating to the same, viz. the Act of 14th George 3d, Chapter 83; the Act of 14th George 3d, Chapter 88; and the Act of 43d George 3d, Chapter 138.
GENERAL Simcoe being appointed LieutenantGovernor of Upper Canada, carried out with him, to the province, the Constituting Act; and having called Parliament together, delivered the following speech.
TUESDAY, 18th SeptemBER, 1792.
Honourable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly. I have summoned you together, under the authority of an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, past last year, which has established the British Constitution, and all the forms which secure and maintain it, in this distant country.
The wisdom and beneficence of our most gracious Sovereign and the British Parliament, have been eminently proved, not only in imparting to us the same form of government, but also in securing the benefit, by the many provisions that guard this memorable act: so that the blessings of our invaluable constitution, thus protected and amplified, we may hope, will be extended to the remotest posterity.
The great and momentous trusts and duties which have been committed to the representatives of this province, in a degree infinitely beyond whatever, till this period, have distinguished any other colony, have originated from the British nation, upon a just consideration of the energy and hazard with which its inhabitants have so conspicuously supported and defended the British constitution.
It is from the same patriotism, now called upon to exercise, with due deliberation and foresight, the various offices of civil administration, that your fellow subjects of the British empire expect the foundations of that union of industry and wealth, of commerce and power, which may last through all succeeding ages.
The natural advantages of the province of Upper Canada are inferior to none on this side of the Atlantic; there can be no separate interest through its whole extent: the British form of government has prepared the way for its speedy colonization, and, I trust, that your fostering care will improve the favourable situation ; and that a numerous and agricultural people will speedily take possession of the soil and climate, which, under the British laws, and the munificence with which his Majesty has granted the lands of the crown, offer such manifest and peculiar encouragement.
The replies from the Honourable the Legislative Council and House of Assembly were, as usual at home, echoes of the speech. The session was closed on the 15th October, 1792, by the following speech.
Honourable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly. It is with very great satisfaction that I have considered the acts which you have found it expedient to frame, and to which, in consequence of the power delegated to me,
have this day given my assent, that they shall become laws of the province of Upper Canada...
As the division which his Majesty, in his wisdom, thought proper to make of the late province of Quebec obviated all inconveniences, and laid the foundation for an establishment of the English laws in the province, it is natural to presume, that you would seize the first opportunity to impart that benefit to your fellow subjects; and by the act to establish trials by jury, and by that which makes the English law the rule of decision, in all matters of controversy, relative to property and civil rights, you have fully justified the public expectation. Your other acts seem calculated to promote the general welfare and convenience of the province.
His Majesty, in his benevolence, having directed a seventh from such lands as shall be granted to be reserved to the crown, for the public benefit, it will become my duty to take those measures which shall appear to be necessary to fulfil his Majesty's gracious intentions; and I make no doubt but, as citizens and magistrates, you will give every assistance in your power to carry into full effect a system, from which the public and posterity must derive such peculiar advantages. Honourable Gentlemen, and Gentlemen :
I cannot dismiss you without earnestly desiring you to promote, by precept and example, among your respective counties, the regular habits of piety and morality, the surest foundations of all private and public felicity; and, at this juncture, I particularly recommend to you to explain, that this province is singularly blest, not with a mutilated constitution, but with a constitution which has stood the test of experience, and is the very image and transcript of that of Great Britain; by which she has long established and secured to her subjects, as much freedom and happiness as is possible to be enjoyed, under the subordination necessary to civilized society.