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every grievance they had, that it might be met. and redressed at the same time. The earnest manner in which this is pressed upon them is worthy of notice. What were the sources of his lordship's satisfaction, which he twice expresses in this answer, I am utterly at a loss to imagine, unless we may conjecture it to have arisen from the consciousness of possessing a philosophy which enabled him to subdue and control his indignation at the insatiable demands and gross ingratitude of those whom it was his duty to address.
"I can assure you," he said, "gentlemen, that I have derived satisfaction from listening to the petition which has just been read by Mr. Speaker, because the subject-matter of it is distinct and tangible, and because I feel assured that of the causes of complaint therein set forth, many will be eventually removed, and others modified; in the meanwhile it is very agreeable to me to have it in my power to state that some of those causes of complaint have been already put by me in a train of amelioration at least, if not of removal altogether; and I beg the house of assembly to believe that my efforts shall be unremitting in pursuing the same course to the utmost extent of my authority as the King's representative. Thus far I
can, with a safe conscience, declare, that the present communication is satisfactory to me; but I cannot conceal from the house, that it would have been infinitely more so, could I feel assured that the whole matter of their complaints is comprised in this petition. Gentlemen, I must go a step further than this, and confess to you, that I cannot divest my mind of anxiety on this subject; it is with the view of being relieved from this state of anxiety that I now come forward to entreat you will admit me to your confidence, and acquaint me whether I am to expect any, and what further, communications on the subject of complaints and grievances.
“I think I have even a claim upon you for the confidence I now solicit. The propositions which upon a recent occasion I was commanded by the King to make to you on the subject of finance, were laid before you in the plainest and most straightforward manner-nothing was concealed-nothing was glossed over; and I even believe that I should have been justified had I made those propositions more palatable to you than I have done; but I considered that anything which could bear, even for a moment, the appearance of trick or manœuvre on so grave an occasion, was unworthy of his Majes
ty's government, and an injustice to the rank and loyal character of the Canadian people. What I now ask in return for this fair dealing, is a corresponding proceeding on the part of the house of assembly. Am I to understand, that the petition which I have just heard read conveys all that the house of assembly have to complain of up to this day? Or am I to understand that there remains something behind-some unripe grievance or complaint which it may be intended to bring forward hereafter, when those now produced shall have been disposed of? This is the information I ask of you. This, gentlemen, is the information which I will even implore you to afford me, in the name of the King, our sovereign, who is sincerity itself, and in the name of the brave and honest people of Canada, who are so well entitled to expect fair dealing in every quarter: and now, if there be any stray complaint, any grievance, however inconsiderable in itself, which may have been overlooked when this petition was adopted by the house, I beseech you, gentlemen, to take it back again, in order that the deficiency may be supplied, and that thus both king and people may be enabled at one view to see the whole extent of what you complain of, and what you require.
"Whether this appeal to your candour shall draw from you any further declaration, stating that your petition contains the whole matter of your complaints and grievances, or that you shall maintain silence, I shall equally consider that I have acquired a full and distinct knowledge of the whole of your complaints and grievances up to the present period; and your petition will be accompanied by an assurance from me to that effect, and my most fervent wishes that it may be productive of such measures as shall restore perfect harmony to this favoured land, where I firmly believe a larger share of happiness and prosperity is to be found than amongst any people in the universe. "Castle of St. Louis, Quebec,
23d March 1831."
Having given them this gracious reception, his lordship communicated these resolutions to the secretary for the colonies; to whose answer, as it enumerates the complaints for the purpose of giving to each a distinct and separa answer, I refer you for the particulars as well of the resolutions as of the remedies.
"The King has been graciously pleased to express his approbation of the efforts made by your lordship to ascertain, with precision, the full extent of the grievances of which the
assembly consider themselves entitled to complain; and assuming, in concurrence with your lordship, that the address of the assembly contains a full development of those grievances, the exposition which is to be found there of the views of that body, justifies the satisfactory inference that there remains scarcely any question upon which the wishes of that branch of the legislature are at variance with the policy which his Majesty has been advised to pursue; and I therefore gladly anticipate the speedy and effectual termination of those differences, which have heretofore so much embarrassed the operations of the local government.
No office can be more grateful to the King than that of yielding to the reasonable desires of the representative body of Lower Canada; and whilst his Majesty's servants have the satisfaction of feeling, that upon some of the most important topics referred to in the address of the assembly, its wishes have been anticipated, they trust that the instructions which I am now about to convey to you, will still further evince their earnest desire to combine with the due and lawful exercise of the constitutional authority of the crown, an anxious solicitude for the well-being of all classes of his faithful subjects in the province.