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since the constitutional act had gone into operation. In the mean time, Sir George Provost arrived to take the command of the government, and we are indebted to the determined attitude assumed by his predecessor, to the hereditary hatred borne by the Canadians to the Americans, to the fear they entertained of passing into the hands of an uncompromising people, and to the large sum expended upon the embodied militia, that they did not then avail themselves of the opportunity of throwing off the dependence, which it has since been their unceasing object to effect. But though their attention was in some measure directed to the protection of their property from the common enemy, they did not fail to convince impartial men, by their conduct, that they were preserving the country for themselves, and not for the empire, of which they then formed a part, by the fortune of war and not from choice. To bring the government of the country into contempt, it was necessary to impugn the integrity of the bench and the impartial administration of the law, and they therefore impeached the judges; and when the governor, whose liberal patronage had hitherto shielded him from attack, declined to suspend these functionaries till the result of their complaint should be
known, and refused to make their punishment precede their trial, they resolved "that his excellency the governor-in-chief, by his answer to the address of the house, had violated the constitutional rights and privileges thereof."
Sufficient has now been said to show you that the evils of Canada have their origin in the defects of the constitutional act, which by substituting French for English laws, by securing to them an overwhelming majority in the assembly, and in separating them from Upper Canada, have had the effect of making them a French and not an English colony. National antipathies, added to a difference in religion, laws, and language, have contributed to engender and foster a feeling of hostility between the two races, until it has found vent in open collision. It would exceed the limits I have assigned to myself to review the proceedings of each separate house: suffice it to say, that the system of persecution, the commencement of which I have exhibited in the foregoing pages, was subsequently pursued with unremitting zeal. Having driven the judges from the house, (though they failed in their impeachment,*) they succeeded in extorting from
*"The administrator-in-chief has received the commands of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, to make known to the house
government, their discharge from the council. They then vacated the seats of executive councillors by the unconstitutional mode of resolution, and finding there was no means of controlling their power, proceeded by repeated expulsions
of assembly of this province his pleasure, on the subject of certain charges preferred by that house against the chief justice of the province, and the chief justice of the Court of King's Bench for the district of Montreal.
"With respect to such of those charges as relate to acts done by a former governor of the province, which the assembly, assuming to be improper or illegal, imputed, by a similar assump. tion, to advice given by the chief justice to that governor, his Royal Highness has deemed that no inquiry could be necessary, inasmuch as none could be instituted without the admission of the principle, that the governor of a province might, at his own discretion, divest himself of all responsibility, on points of political government.
"With a view, therefore, to the general interests of the province, his Royal Highness was pleased to refer for consideration to the lords of the privy council such only of the charges brought by the assembly as related to the rules of practice established by the judges in their respective courts, those being points upon which, if any impropriety had existed, the judges themselves were solely responsible.
"By the annexed copy of his Royal Highness's Order in Council, dated the 29th June 1815, the administrator-in-chief conveys to the assembly the result of this investigation, which has been conducted with all that attention and solemnity which the importance of the subject required.
"In making this communication to the assembly, it now becomes the duty of the administrator-in-chief, in obedience to the commands of his royal highness the Prince Regent, to express the regret with which his royal highness has viewed their late proceedings against two persons who have so long and so ably filled the highest judicial offices in the colony, a circumstance the more to be deplored as tending to disparage, in the eyes of the inconsiderate
to drive out a member, for advice offered to the governor in a ministerial capacity; and reprimanded another officer for legal opinions given to the executive in the usual course of his profession. Every thing was done that ingenuity could devise, not only to weaken the influence of government, but to represent that influence as unfriendly to the country and prejudicial to its interests. Nothing, however, occurred until the year 1818, to bring them into direct collision with the mother country, until Sir John Sherbrooke demanded that they should provide for the civil expenses of the province.
and ignorant, their character and services, and thus to diminish the influence to which, from their situation and their uniform propriety of conduct, they are justly entitled.
"The above communication, embracing such only of the charges preferred against the said chief justices as relate to the rules of practice, and as are grounded on advice assumed to have been given by the chief justice of the province to the late Sir James Craig, the administrator-in-chief, has been further commanded to signify to the assembly, that the other charges appeared to his Majesty's government to be, with one exception, too inconsiderable to require investigation, and that that, (namely the one against the chief justice of the court of King's Bench for the district of Montreal, which states him to have refused a writ of habeas corpus), was, in common with all the charges which do not relate to the rules of practice, totally unsupported by any evidence whatever.
THE opportunity had now arrived that designing men had so craftily sought for, of fastening a quarrel upon the government, of involving it in a defence of its officers, and of making their promised compliance a condition for obtaining any change that might be thought conducive to the great ends of weakening British influence. After discussions, first on the gross amount to be granted, and then on the specific appropriation, had excited and consolidated the party, they took the higher ground of disputing the right of the crown to those revenues which were secured to it by permanent grants. In order that you may clearly understand the question, it is necessary to state that the public income of Lower Canada arises from three
1st. The crown duties, levied under the British statute of the 14 Geo. III, or the imperial act of 3 Geo. IV.
2d. Provincial duties, payable in virtue of local laws, proceeding immediately from the provincial legislature, or rendered permanent