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As the assembly had separated with a declaration that they would never vote a civil list, until all their requests were granted, it was necessary for parliament to interfere, and Lord John Russell proposed and carried certain resolutions, of which the substance is as follows:
1stly. That in the existing state of Lower Canada, it is unadvisable to make the legislative council elective, but that it is expedient to adopt measures for securing to that branch of the legislature a greater degree of public confidence.
2dly. That while it is expedient to improve the composition of the executive council, it is unadvisable to subject it to the responsibility demanded by the house of assembly.
3dly. That the legal title of the British American Land Company to the land they hold under their charter, and an act of the imperial parliament, ought to be maintained inviolate.
4thly. That as soon as the legislature shall make provisions by law for discharging lands from feudal dues and services, and for removing any doubts as to the incidents of the tenure of land, in free and common soccage, it is expedient to repeal the Canada Tenures Act, and the Canada Trade Act, so far as the latter relates to the tenures of land in this province, saving, nevertheless, to all persons the rights vested in them under or in virtue of those Acts.
5thly. That, for defraying the arrears due, on account of the established and customary charges of the administration of justice, and of the civil government of the province, it is expedient, that, after applying for that purpose such balance as should, on the 10th day of April last, be in the hands of the receivergeneral, arising from the hereditary, territorial, and casual revenues of the Crown, the governor of the province be empowered to isssue, out of any other monies in the hands of the receivergeneral, such further sums as shall be necessary to effect the payment of such arrears and charges up to the 10th of April last.
6thly. That it is expedient to place at the disposal of the legislature the net proceeds of
the hereditary, territorial, and casual revenues of the Crown, arising within the province in case the said legislature shall see fit to grant a civil list for defraying the necessary charges of the administration of justice, and for the maintenance and unavoidable expenses of certain of the principal officers of the civil government of the province; and, lastly,
"That it is expedient that the legislatures of Lower and Upper Canada respectively, be authorized to make provision for the joint regulation and adjustment of questions respecting their trade and commerce, and of other questions wherein they have a common interest.”
Whether the spirit of concession had not been heretofore carried too far, and whether the public affairs of Canada ought to have been suffered (even for the amiable and praiseworthy object of endeavouring, if possible, to satisfy the dominant party in the house), ever to have arrived at this crisis, are questions upon which I have no desire, on this occasion, to enter, being foreign to my object, which is to show you that the French-Canadians have no claim to sympathy "as our oppressed and enslaved brethren." But that these resolutions were indispensable, that they were not resorted to till
they were necessary, and that parliament was justified in this exercise of its supreme authority, no unprejudiced and right-thinking man can doubt. A colony is a dependent province, and Great Britain is an independent metropolitan state. The controlling power must obviously be greater than the power controlled. The power, therefore, of a colony being limited, if it assumes to pass those limits, it is no longer dependent but independent. It is not only the right but the duty of Parliament, to restrain within their constitutional limits, provincial legislatures, in the same manner as it is the right of the colonists to exercise those powers constitutionally, and their duty not to attempt to exceed those limits. When one branch of a legislature resolves that it will never perform its functions until a co-ordinate branch, deriving its authority from the same source as itself, is destroyed, it exceeds its due bounds, or rather linquishes the exercise of all constitutional power. In the pamphlet already alluded to, Mr. Papineau says, The constitution has ceased to exist of right, and in fact can no longer be maintained but by force." Here, then, was a case for the legitimate interference of Parliament, an interference which no re
flecting colonist will ever object to, else there would be no appeal but to the sword whenever a designing demagogue should unfortunately obtain a majority of obstructive members in the assembly; but these resolutions were said to be a violation of the declaratory act of 1778, and an unconstitutional mode of levying taxes on the Canadians, and appropriating their money without their consent?
It is not material to the argument to mention, it is a singular fact, that the revenue happens but not to have been raised by people of French origin, and that therefore as far as they are concerned, their money has not been appropriated without their consent. The question is often asked by the Upper Canadians, on-what does a French inhabitant pay duty ?* Is it, they say, on woollen stuffs of his own manufacture? Is it on wooden shoes, the produce of his forest ? Is it on tobacco, the produce of his own fields? Is it on sugar, the juice of his own maple groves? Is it on wine which he never tastes? Is it on books which he cannot read; or on postage of letters he cannot write? Or is it on spirits distilled from his own grain? But this is not to the purpose, it was money that they had a right to dispose of themselves, if they had
* See letters of Camillus.