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Legislature, for regulating the financial importance, which he would not go into.
affairs of the colony. With respect to the He was enabled, however, to state, that
complaints of the petitioners, his hon. means had been taken to render the ap-
friend had admitted, that the judicial pointments to it more popular, and to
system had been improved. The first gratify the people. He trusted these mea-
object of every Government ought to be, sures would be sufficient, combined with
the impartial administration of justice; other alterations which were in progress,
and to obtain which, it was necessary to remedy the defects which he allowed
that those who were to dispense it should existed in the present constitution of the
be wholly independent of the executive Assemblies. If experience should prove
power. Such an independence had been that these alterations were not sufficient,
completely effected by the present Govern- there would be no serious indisposition on
ment. An Act had passed the Colonial the part of Government to consider whether
Legislature, at the recommendation of the the council ought not only to be increased
noble Lord at the head of the Colonial in number, but that some modification of
Department, by which a permanent salary the principle of its appointment should
was established for the judicial officers, prevail. He trusted, this short explana-
and their situations were made to depend tion would be satisfactory to the House
wholly upon good behaviour, similar to and to his hon. friend, for he would declare,
the Judges in this country, who were in conclusion, that the noble Lord at the
wholly independent of the Crown. They head of the Colonial Department had
were not to exercise any political authority distinctly recognized the principle, that
whatever except the Chief Judge, who the local Legislatures of the Canadas were
was to be a member of the Council, be- the best judges of the principles to be
cause it was desirable to have a member adopted in the government of that country,
competent to give legal opinions if that and of all matters connected with its in-
was found necessary. With respect to ternal economy.
the appropriation of the estate attached Mr. George Robinson said, the noble
to the Jesuits' College, that estate had Lord had dealt largely in profession, but
never been diverted from its original pur- that was one of the serious complaints of
poses of education, and, in future, it was the colonists, that the endeavours to re-
to be exclusively devoted to these pur-medy these grievances never went any
poses, under the superintendence of the further. On nearly the last day of the
local assembly. Passing by other matters Session, they began to discuss affairs of
of detail which were in course of being vast importance to the colonies, when it
remedied, he would beg to add a few was evident no useful amelioration of their
words on the subject of waste lands, and condition could be expected. Since the
the method by which they had hitherto report of the Committee of 1828, which
been managed. He had no scruple in de-contained a vast body of useful inform-
claring his opinion, that an improved sys-taion, little or nothing had been prac-
tem could be devised, but he must add, tically done for the improvement of the
that the fault of this arrangement did Canadas. It was wholly impossible
not wholly rest with the Government, for the local Legislature to touch many
but was to be ascribed to the incorrect of the grievances. The clergy reserves,
notions entertained as to the best manner
of disposing of this species of property.
These incorrect notions were also shared
by the local assemblies. So long as free
grants of land were made, he believed it
to be impossible but that some abuses
must exist, and the only effectual remedy
was an improvement in the system of
making grants. The only other question
with which he would trouble the House
regarded the composition of the legislative
bodies. He was free to admit, that the
legislative council was not formed in the
most unexceptionable manner, but how it
was to be improved was a question of great

for instance, were appropriated under an
Act of Parliament, and therefore one of
the most crying evils could not be lessened
by the local authorities, in the smallest
degree. With respect to the legislative
council, he very much doubted whether
the degree of popular feeling infused into
it in the manner prescribed by the noble
Lord, would be sufficient to make it work
well. He fully agreed with the hon. Gen-
tleman (Mr. Labouchere), that it was an
absurdity to attempt to adhere to the
forms of the British Constitution in the
government of the Canadas. He did not
'mean to doubt the good intentions of the

noble Lord at the head of the Colonial | which he undertook to censure the obDepartment, and of those connected with servations of his hon. friend. The hon. that department, but he should really be Gentleman did not seem to be at all aware better satisfied if they professed less and that the colonial institutions in connexion did more. with the Established Church in Lower Mr. James E. Gordon said, he felt Canada, weakened instead of supporting called upon to make a few observations that Church. The Roman Catholic was upon one subject, which the hon. Member the established religion of Lower Canada, who presented the petition introduced at and had always been so; and, therefore, the close of his speech. He understood, the only question was, whether the people that the hon. Gentleman recommended the should have the religion they liked best, establishment of a religious equality in the or be forced to adopt one that other perCanadas. If, by that sentiment, he meant sons considered better for them. He adan equal freedom and protection in the mitted this case did not apply to Upper worship of the Almighty to all sects and Canada. But the hon. member for Dunparties, he fully agreed with him; but if dalk had equally misinterpreted or misunhe meant the equal support of all sects, he derstood the sentiments of his hon. friend protested against such a doctrine. He with regard to the Established Church in could by no means understand on what this country. His hon. friend had never principle a Protestant State should equal-meant, and certainly did not say, that, ize religion on such terms in its colonies. because the Established Church was the If any hon. Gentleman considered that the religion of the majority of the people, that Church of England should be discon- was the cause of his attachment to it. All nected from the State, let him bring for- he meant to say was, that such a case ward a proposition to accomplish his pur-formed a strong ground for the Legislature pose, and he for one would be ready to meet him; but while the Church establishment was part and parcel of the law of the land, he could not comprehend upon what principle hon. Gentlemen indulged themselves in talking of the equalization Mr. Labouchere moved, that it should. of religion. The hon. Member said, he be printed; and, in doing so, begged supported the Church of England in this leave to observe, that he regretted he country simply because it was the religion should have been misunderstood. He was of the great majority of the people, with- as firmly attached to the doctrine and out, as it appeared, caring for the truth or discipline of the Church of England as principle of it. From such latitudinarian the hon. member for Dundalk. He beopinions he entirely dissented. He sup-lieved that Church was a blessing, and ported the Church because he approved of not a burthen, to the country; but its doctrines, and thought it an important he also believed, that the Church was part of the Constitution. He must also protest against being supposed to acquiesce in the opinion, that our religious establishments in Canada were more extensive than necessary. To apply a commercial phrase to things of more importance, he believed the supply was not more than equal to the demand.

Sir James Mackintosh had listened, with great satisfaction, to the sentiments of the hon. Member who had introduced the petition, and with no less satisfaction had he heard the reply of his noble friend. In most of the opinions advanced in the course of the discussion he agreed, with the exception of those advanced by the hon. Gentleman who had last addressed the House, who evidently was not acquainted with the facts of the case upon

to support it-a reason which was wholly inapplicable to the state of things in Canada, where the great majority of the people professed a different religion. Petition read.

made for man, and not man for the Church. He knew also, that he was supported by the unanimous opinions of the people of Lower Canada, of all persuasions, with respect to the religious institutions of that colony.

Petition to be printed.

Mr. Hume presented a Petition, signed by 10,000 Freeholders of Upper Canada, praying that the House would take the state of that colony into their most serious consideration-would direct their attention to promote education and religion there-would leave all religious sects to be provided for by their various followers, and would abolish all political distinctions on account of religion. In supporting the prayer of this petition, to which he requested the serious attention of the

most justly, in his opinion, prayed that the clergymen of the Church of England should be debarred from accepting offices the duties of which were inconsistent with those which properly belonged to the teachers of religion. The petitioners also particularly prayed, that each sect might have the power, throughout both Upper and Lower Canada, of solemnizing marriages according to their own peculiar rites, of which many of them had long been deprived, contrary to the repeated and unanimous votes of the House of Assembly. He was, on this part of the subject, very happy to acknowledge, that this grievance would be removed by a Bill which had lately received his Majesty's assent. They also prayed, that the charter of King's College might be modified, so as to put an end to all sectarian tests, which had the effect of excluding all but members of the Church of England from the College Council. At present, men were

House, he must, in the first place, express his great satisfaction at the sentiments which the noble Lord had laid down as the acting principle of the Government of which he formed a part, with regard to our colonial policy. The noble Lord admitted, that the House of Commons was not the most fit body to legislate for the colonies, but that the parties themselves ought to be intrusted with their own legislation, as they must best understand their own interests. It only required time to carry that fair and liberal opinion into full effect among the colonies. The colony of Canada was particularly deserving of the best treatment from England; for in the hour of difficulty and danger, the inhabitants had most nobly come forward to defend their country from the attacks of the United States, and had defended it successfully, when the troops sent out from this country would not have been alone sufficient to cope with the enemy. He could assure the hon. member for Dun-compelled to sign the Thirty-nine Articles dalk, that the sentiments entertained by that hon. Member were not those entertained by the inhabitants of Canada, who, in this petition, had distinctly expressed their hope that all religious sects might be placed on a footing of equality. When he recalled to the remembrance of the House the feuds and broils, the wars and civil discord, the bloodshed and cruelties, which had arisen in every State of Europe from religious dissension, he thought the propriety of this part of the petition could not be doubted. The petitioners also expressed their hopes, that all ministers of religion should be removed from places of political power in the colony. It had been said, that the greatest number of the Ministers of religion was composed of members of the Church of England. It was proved that that was not the fact; for, in 1828, out of 236 ministers of religion there were only thirtyone members of the Church of England; and the complaint of the petitioners was, that these thirty-one engrossed all the places of profit and power in the colony so far as the Church was concerned. That these few pastors should be elevated above all other sects, and be formed into a dominant Church, must naturally give great offence; for the other parties, who were the most numerous, justly considered their clergy neglected and degraded by their exclusion from offices. To put an end to all rivalry of this sort, the petitioners

before they could enter the Council; and it was the necessity of doing that, which the petitioners wished to have abolished. He considered this part of the prayer most reasonable and proper, and that the inhabitants of Upper Canada had a just ground of complaint against such a provision. Now that all religious disabilities had been done away with at home, he hoped the same measure of justice and liberality would be dealt out to the colonies. With respect to the appropriation of land to the clergy, the petitioners prayed, that the land hitherto exclusively applied to the purposes of the Church Establishment might be placed at the disposal of Government, for the purpose of being applied to the education of all classes of the colonists. He fully concurred with the petitioners in thinking that this was absolutely necessary, and he had no doubt the House would be of the same opinion when they considered that, in every province in the United States surrounding Upper Canada on all sides, provision was made by the legislatures for the education of every child without any distinction of sex or religious sect. By the legislatures of these provinces it was provided generally, that wherever there were fifty adjacent houses, or even huts, a school must be kept open for six months in the year, and wherever the number increased to double that number of dwellings a school must be kept open during the whole year. Some plan re

sembling this ought to be extended to our North American provinces. Having thus gone through the principal points of the petitions, as he saw a right hon. Gen. tleman (Sir George Murray) present, who lately presided over the Colonial Department, he ventured to press the remarks he had made upon his attention, as he (Mr. Hume) considered the late Government had not acted with sufficient liberality to the Canadas, and thereby had caused them to be more dependent on the parent State, which had entailed a heavy expense and burthen upon this country. He had always maintained, that if colonies could not be maintained with advantage to themselves or the mother country, the sooner they parted from each other the better; but he never said the Canadas could not be made most useful to this country, and, at the same time be most prosperous in themselves. He believed, under proper management, both would be found quite practicable, and therefore he hailed, with great satisfaction, the appearance of a more liberal system. He would conclude by requesting permission to bring up the petition, and he would add, that one more replete with argument and sound sense he had never had the honour of presenting to the attention of the House.

Mr. Wilks supported the prayer of the petition. He agreed in every point with the petitioners, and he had no doubt the same sentiments prevailed in the minds of those illustrious statesmen who had recently been the great advocates for the extension of civil liberty in this country, and who must desire to see religious intolerance uprooted from the soil of our colonies. He, therefore, wished to attract their special notice to a petition which sprung from one of the most important of our colonies-which had stood by us through good and evil report, and was ready to relieve this country from all financial charges on its account. The petition was signed by upwards of 10,000 persons of all sects and creeds of Christians, and in furtherance of its prayer the resolutions of the meeting from which it had emanated pronounced it expedient to supply funds for the promotion of religion and education in the provinces generally; that the pastors of all sects might be left to be supported by the offerings of their respective congregations; that all political distinctions on account of religious faith ought to cease; and the ministers of

all religions ought not to have political power; that matrimony should be solemnized according to the faith of the parties; that the charter of King's College should be revised, and the College opened to all denominations of people; and that the clergy reserved lands ought to be appropriated for the purpose of general education, were the wants and the prayers of the petitioners, and the temper and discretion with which they were urged gave them additional force. As to the latter part of their prayer, the clergy reserves, he thought, when it was recollected that they amounted to 3,500,000 acres of land, which would yield an annual income of 350,000l. for a century to come, the bare statement was so monstrous that the very fact of declaring it, was sufficient to prove that a different appropriation of this enormous quantity of land was required; and to what better purpose could it be applied than for the promotion of general education? When to this it was added, that, since 1828, nothing had been done to ameliorate and improve the institutions of the colony, although Canada had been, during the intervening years, largely increasing in population and wealth, when approximation to another State with habits opinions, and interests similar to their own, made it necessary that every measure should be taken to satisfy the people; when all this was the case, he must say, if nothing were done, if the same measure of procrastination was continued, Canada, like the present United States might be wearied by neglect, which would be much to be regretted, for she saw around her enough of evidence to assure her, that if she willed a separation it could not be withheld. But although the petitioners might be conscious of this, they rather appealed to the generous sentiments of the Representatives of the British people than to their fears. He could not believe their hopes would be blighted. The same liberality which was loosening the bonds of bigotry and bad government at home, would extend its boon to the happiness and prosperity of the colonies on the other side of the Atlantic.

Sir George Murray said, he should not have addressed the House upon this subject unless he had been directly alluded to by the hon. member for Middlesex, in connexion with his remarks relating to the policy of the late Government with regard to Canada. He trusted the sentiments

they ought to be the property of the State. He had taken no measures, however, towards carrying that opinion into effect, because Acts had already been passed which permitted some portions of these lands to be sold, and as that portion had not been wholly disposed of, there was no occasion for him, of course, to come to Parliament to authorize the sale of other portions. It was at all times his intention to

tablished for Canada in 1791, by which a seventh part of the land was set apart for the Church, because that Church was unable to bring it into cultivation itself, or of letting it to tenants in a country where the object of every man was to be a landed proprietor. The land, therefore, was wholly inefficient for the purposes for which it was granted; further, it became a great and most inconvenient impediment to the progressive improvement of the country, and because the system of giving a large and exclusive endowment to a particular Church was impracticable in those provinces where there were so many and such various sects, and where, in consequence, a spirit of envy and jealousy existed, which went on continually increasing, and which would, no doubt, be ultimately very injuri ous to the interests of the Church of England. He hoped this explanation would satisfy the House that there was no want of liberal views in the late Government with respect to any of the topics to which the hon. member for Middlesex had called his attention, or that were comprehended in the petition which he had presented.

he had always entertained with regard to the subjects to which this petition referred, were sufficiently well known to the House. He conceived that nothing could be more unfortunate for a State, than a difference of political condition among its citizens on account of a difference in their religious opinions, for nothing could be more foreign to the character of true religion than to be dragged forward and forced to become a party in political strife and conten-get rid of that part of the Constitution estion. He could assure the House, that during the time he held the seals of the Colonial Office, there had been no desire on the part of the late Government to adopt the policy of making one sect dominant over the rest. On the contrary, there was a desire gradually to change the old constitution of the colonies in that respect. He, however, differed from the hon. Member in one respect, for he thought that all sects ought not to be left to provide for their own preachers, but that the Government ought to make some provision for each of the important sects in the country, and endeavour to form some link of connexion with it, Some provision, made in that manner by the Government, would confer a degree of respectability on the sect thus provided for; would connect it in some degree with the State; would prevent the teachers of religion from being wholly dependent on their followers, and thus would prevent them from degenerating into that fervour of religious zeal and enthusiasm which bordered on fanaticism, and which was frequently seen in those who relied for support solely on their power of exciting the feelings of their congregations, teach- Mr. George Robinson said, there could ing, not truth but what they found most be no question but that it was highly imto their own interests. It was in con- politic to have a dominant Church in any formity with these principles that pro-colony, and the more so when the members vision was made in Upper Canada, both for the Catholic and Presbyterian clergy, and with the intention of extending the principle, as it might become proper and necessary, to the clergy of other Christian sects. He was ready to admit, also, that he agreed with the hon. Member, that there ought to be some alteration made in the College charter, so as to destroy the differences now existing on religious ac counts. While he had held the seals of office he had suspended the operation of that charter, having it in contemplation to entirely abolish that distinction, and which he certainly should have done had he continued in place. With respect to the Clergy Reserves, it was his opinion that

of that Church formed the minority. The disproportion between the Established Church and the Roman Catholics and Dissenters in Canada was very great, and was every day increasing against the former by the stream of emigration which annually poured into Upper Canada from Ireland and Scotland. The impolicy of any political distinctions on account of religion was the greater when it was known, that Canada adjoined the United States, where no such distinctions were made. Considering the stream of emigration which was constantly flowing from these countries to the colony, it was a matter of very grave and serious importance to prevent these colonies from becoming a

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