« הקודםהמשך »
“ Commons of Lower Canada, in Provincial Parliament “ assembled, hereby entreat Your Majesty to receive our “ unfeigned thanks for the paternal solicitude of Your “ Majesty to promote the welfare and prosperity of Your “ Majesty's Canadian Subjects, in whose unalterable “ loyalty and attachment to the Person and Government “ of Your Majesty, Your Majesty máy most implicitly “ rely.
“The Acts of the last Session of the Imperial Par“ liament laid before us by Your Majesty's Representative “ in this Province, we consider as fresh instances of the “ interest which Your Majesty graciously takes in our “ prosperity.
“ Your Majesty's Canadian subjects receive with sen“ timents of the deepest gratitude the reference of Your “ Majesty to the People of this Province, with respect to “the proposed Legislative Union of the Canadas,-a " measure which, by the enlightened and unprejudiced “ portion of Your Majesty's Canadian Subjects, cannot be “ otherwise viewed than as the result of a liberal and “ enlightened policy to this favoured portion of Your “ Majesty's dominions.
“ As adopted Members of the Great British Family, “ and enjoying with them, under your Majesty's paternal “ Government, every privilege appertaining to it, Your “ Majesty's Canadian Subjects can have no interests “ foreign to those of Your Majesty's Empire,— no feelings “ but those of fellowship for their fellow Subjects, and, “ consequently, no aversion to assimilate themselves in “ language, in habits, and in character, with the great " mass of the nation of which they are a dependency, and “ for that purpose, as well as for the common weal, to “ unite in council and act in concert with the Sister “ Province of Upper Canada.
“Your Majesty's Canadian Subjects have found by “ experience the inconvenience resulting from the division
“ of the Province of Quebec into two Provinces, and have “ to deplore the disastrous prejudices which have sprung “ from it, and which have seriously retarded the improve“ ment of Your Majesty's Province of Lower Canada, “ while the progress of the Upper Province has proceeded “ with incredible celerity, under disadvantages from which “ this Province is wholly exempt. Among the benefits to “ result from the proposed Union of this with the Sister “ Province, the infusion of that Commercial and Agricul“ tural Spirit of Improvement into the united Legislature, “ that so eminently distinguished our fellow-subjects of “ Upper Canada, would not be the least.
“ Among the inconveniences to which the dismem-“ berment of the Province of Quebec has given rise are “ the misunderstandings between the two Provinces in “ fiscal matters, to which the attention of Your Majesty's “ Government and of the Imperial Parliament has recently “ been called. With every disposition to do the fullest “justice to the motives of Your Majesty's Government in “ the course which in its wisdom it has pursued, we, Your “ Majesty's faithful Subjects, the Assembly of Lower “ Canada, feel it a duty we owe to Your Majesty, to “ express our conviction of its inefficiency; and that we “know of no course which would more effectually tend to “ reconcile these conflicting pretensions, than by an Union, “ to create a community of interests, and leaving the “ parties to discuss and adjust them within the same “ walls.
“ For every purpose of legislation, for the internal “improvement and developement of the resources of both “ Provinces, and for their common defence, in the event of “ war, the collected intelligence, wisdom, enterprise, “ liberality, and loyalty, of the assembled Representatives “ of the Canadas would, we humbly conceive, be more “ effectual than they possibly can be, as heretofore and at " present, acting in different Legislatures. Imaginary
« differences of interests niay ultimately lead to lasting “ and irreconcilable feuds which a closer intimacy might “ have prevented; and if instances are wanting in justifi“ cation of the views we entertain on this subject, we “ would humbly, yet confidently, appeal to the Union of “ England and Scotland, which, although vigorously and “ violently opposed by powerful parties in both nations, “ has, after the experience of upwards of a century, been “ found to consolidate the power and promote the hap“ piness of Great Britain beyond that of any other nation “ in the world.
“ Inhabiting the banks of one of the noblest rivers in “ America, with the advantages of a fertile soil and salu• brious climate, the inhabitants of the Canadas can have “ no diversity of interests, other than those arising from “ill-founded prejudice, which it is alike necessary to the “ harmony of Your Majesty's loyal subjects in both Pro“ vinces to remove, and which the measure of Your “ Majesty's ministers, to which our attention is directed, “ will powerfully contribute to effect.
" The great extent of fertile territory adjacent to the “ Saint Lawrence, and those inland seas from whence it “flows,- the natural advantages of the internal communi“cations, with its richest tract of country in the interior, “ – the geographical position of the Canadas with respect “ to each other, and of them both with the mother "country, are such as to afford us a strong and lively “ hope that this favoured portion of Your Majesty's " empire, acquired and preserved at prodigious expense to “ Great Britain, will, for ages to come, afford ample room “ for her surplus population; and that in the analogy “ and resemblance of our civil institutions to those of their “ native country, and those of their forefathers, Your “ Majesty's subjects emigrating from Britain will make “ this the Colony of their choice, and lay in it the founda“tions of prosperity and of happiness for their posterity.
“We will not disguise to Your Majesty the excitement “ which the intended Union of your Majesty's Provinces “ of Lower and Upper Canada has produced among Your “ Majesty's faithful Canadian Subjects of French origin; "nor is it necessary to explain to Your Majesty the means “ by which it is produced. They are notorious to Your “ Majesty's Government; and if instances were wanting “ to evince the necessity of the measure which Your “ Majesty's Government has spontaneously resolved to “ adopt, the present might be appealed to as conclusive on " the subject. A jealousy and groundless mistrust in the “honour and rectitude of the Imperial Government, in “ every measure it has adopted for the promotion of the “ welfare of Your Majesty's Canadian subjects, has been “ too successfully raised amongst the ignorant and unwary. “ A dread of innovation upon inveterate habits and “ customs forcibly operates upon the well-meaning but “ uninformed peasantry of this Province; and, as if this « barrier to the propagation of British feelings and of “ British principles were not in itself sufficiently irre“ sistible, it has been artfully strengthened by consider“ ations of religion. The inviolable guarantees of treaties “ and of acts of the British Parliament scarcely suffice to “ dispel the distrust which it is found expedient to keep “ alive on this subject; and how far this spirit is justi“ fiable in the realities of things, and whether consistent “ with sound policy to yield to the same, Your Majesty “ can fully and justly appreciate.
“ Entrusted by the people of this Province with a “ share in the legislation of it, we feel it a sacred obli“gation which we owe to them and their posterity, as well “ as to Your Majesty, to weigh without prejudice the “important subject upon which Your Majesty has been “ most graciously pleased to consult us; and disregarding “ every personal consideration, whether of interest or of “ popularity, boldly to express our sentiments, whether in
“ unison with the prejudices of our constituents, or other“ wise, convinced that it is sometimes the duty of legis“ lators to pursue the happiness of the people, in direct “ opposition to their own views of the subject; and that in “ no country has the truth of this been more strikingly “ exemplified than in this Your Majesty's Province of “ Lower Canada, whose present state of comparative “ prosperity may literally be said to have been gradually " forced upon it, by the liberal and enlightened policy of “ the Government of your late royal Father, and his “ Parliament, to whose munificence we are indebted for " the manifold blessings we actually enjoy.
“The evils resulting from the dismemberment of the "ancient Province of Quebec are too notorious to require “ enumeration. The Constitution which this Province " has enjoyed, and which was modelled on that of the “ mother country by some of its greatest and wisest "statesmen, was no doubt intended to promote the hap" piness of all classes of his Majesty's subjects in the then “ Province of Quebec; but experience has shewn that the “ powers it confers have been but too successfully perverted " to the introduction of abuses, to the infliction of injuries, į and to the excitement of discontents, wholly foreign to “ the benevolent purposes of the donors. Your Majesty's “ Government in this Province has but too sensibly felt its “ deleterious results in the palsied and powerless condition “ in which it has been placed and still remains, by the “ disability of Your Majesty's Government to discharge as its obligations towards divers of Your Majesty's public “ functionaries in this Province.
“ An Union of the Legislatures of Upper and Lower “ Canada will, in our opinion, effectually remove those “ fears and apprehensions, and extinguish those jealousies “ and discontents which have been artfully excited “ among a people warmly attached to their present Consti“tution, for the manifest purpose of perpetuating that