תמונות בעמוד

“ sures of rigorous precaution, and leave to her Majesty “ the congenial office of using her royal prerogative for “ the sole purpose of pardon and mercy, the Proclamation “ contained an entire amnesty, qualified only by the ex“ ceptions specified in the Ordinance. The Ordinance has “ been disallowed, and the Proclamation is confirmed. “ Her Majesty having been advised to refuse her assent “ to the exceptions, the amnesty exists without qualifica“ tion. No impediment, therefore, exists to the return of “ the persons who had made the most distinct admission " of guilt, or who had been excluded by me from the “ province on account of the danger to which its tran“ quillity would be exposed by their presence; and none “ can now be enacted, without the adoption of measures “ alike repugnant to my sense of justice and of policy. I cannot recall the irrevocable pledge of her Majesty's “ mercy. I cannot attempt to evade the disallowance of “ the Ordinance, by re-enacting it under the disguise of an “ alteration of the scene of banishment, or of the penalties “ of unauthorised return. I cannot, by a needless sus“ pension of the Habeas Corpus, put the personal liberty of “ every man at the mercy of the Government, and declare a whole province in immediate danger of rebellion, “ merely in order to exercise the influence of a vague terror over a few individuals.

“ In these conflicting and painful circumstances, it is “ far better that I should at once and distinctly announce “my intention of desisting from the vain attempt to carry my policy and system of administration into effect with “ such inadequate and restricted means. If the peace of “ Lower Canada is to be again menaced, it is necessary " that its Government should be able to reckon on a “ more cordial and vigorous support at home than has “ been accorded to me. (13) No good that may not be

(13) That which will chiefly be required is, that the Queen in Council should be empowered to make ordinances for Lower “ expected from any other Government in Lower Canada, “ can be obtained by my continuing to wield extraordinary “ legal powers of which the moral force and consideration “ are gone (14).

" You will easily believe that, after all the exertions “ which I have made, it is with feelings of deep disap“ pointment that I find myself thus suddenly deprived of " the power of conferring great benefits on that province “ to which I have referred- of reforming the administra“ tive system there, and eradicating the manifold abuses “ which had been engendered by the negligence and cor“ruption of former times, and so lamentably fostered by “ civil dissensions (15). I cannot but regret being obliged “ to renounce the still more glorious hope of employing “ unusual legislative powers in the endowment of that “ province, with those free municipal institutions, which “ are the only sure basis of local improvement and repre“sentative liberty - of establishing a system of general “ education-of revising the defective laws which regulate “ real property and commerce — and of introducing a pure “ and competent administration of justice. Above all, I “ grieve to be thus forced to abandon the realisation of “ such large and solid schemes of colonisation and in“ ternal improvement as would connect the distant portions of these extensive colonies, and lay open the unwrought

treasures of the wilderness to the wants of British in“ dustry and the energy of British enterprise.

“ For these objects I have laboured much, and have received the most active, zealous, and efficient co-opera

Canada, and to alter and amend those of Lord Durham, or of any other Governor General.

(14) See note (*).

(15) See notes (?) and (12). The powers of legislation were usual powers, and such as, in many instances, are usually committed to a Governor and Council of a Colony,

“ tion from the able and enlightened persons who are “ associated with me in this great undertaking. Our “ exertions, however, will not, cannot be thrown away. “ The information which we have acquired, although not “ as yet fit for immediate legislation, will contribute to the “ creation of juster views as to the resources, the wants, “ and the interests of the colonies, than ever yet prevailed “ in the mother country. To complete and render avail“ able those materials for future legislation, is an important “ part of the duties which, as High Commissioner, I have yet to discharge, and to which I shall devote the most " anxious attention.

“ I shall also be prepared, at the proper period, to “ suggest the constitution of a form of government for her “ Majesty's dominions on this continent, which may “ restore to the people of Lower Canada all the advantages of a representative system, unaccompanied by the evils “ that have hitherto proceeded from the unnatural con“ ficts of parties; which may safely supply any defi“ ciencies existing in the governments of the other colonies; " and which may produce, throughout British America, a “ state of contented allegiance, founded, as colonial allegi“ ance ever must be, on a sense of obligation to the parent “ state.(16)

(16) The amplest opportunities and indulgence ought to be given to Lord Durham in laying these plans before Parliament: and it will be no more than is due to him, that all other plans for Canada should be suspended and suppressed, until he has developed his own, in all their details. It is much to be desired, however, that, before he reaches England, he may have reconciled himself to the notion of being lower than the Parliament; because, unless he does so, he can scarcely again be crowned with the glory of being a Governor General, for which he has some eminent qualifications, and, possibly, may acquire some others.

"I fervently hope that my usefulness to you will not “ cease with my official connexion. When I shall have “ laid at her Majesty's feet the various high and important “ commissions with which her royal favour invested me, I “ shall still be enabled, as a Peer of Parliament, to render “ you efficient and constant service in that place where the “ decisions that affect your welfare are, in reality, made. “ It must be, I humbly trust, for the advantage of these provinces, if I can carry into the Imperial Parliament a “ knowledge, derived from personal inspection and experi“ence, of those interests, upon which some persons there “ are too apt to legislate in ignorance or indifference; and “ can aid in laying the foundation of a system of general

government, which, while it strengthens your permanent “ connexion with Great Britain, shall save you from the “ evils to which you are now subjected, by every change “ in the fluctuating policy of distant and successive admi“nistrations. “ Given under my hand and seal at arms, at the

“ Castle of St. Lewis, in the city of Quebec, in the “ said province of Lower Canada, in the 9th day “ of October, in the year of our Lord 1838, and “in the second year of her Majesty's reign.

“ (By Command), “ CHARLES Buller, Chief Secretary.”


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