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portunity of conveying to you by message, a communication from his majesty, which I have been especially commanded to make to you upon the subject of the appropriation of the provincial revenue.
It will be my duty to lay at the same time before you, the views of his majesty's government upon other topics, connected with the government of this province, to which the attention of the ministers of the crown has been called; you will see in them proofs of the earnest desire of his majesty's go. vernment, to provide, as far as may be practicable, an effectual remedy for any case of real grievance; and you may rely on my affording you every assistance towards the elucidation of any questions which may arise for discussion in the course of your proceedings.
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,
I shall direct the accounts of the provincial revenue, and expenditure of the last two years, to be laid before you, as soon as possible, with every explanation respecting them, which it is in my power to afford you.
Gentlemen of the Legislative Council,
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,
Relying on your zeal and diligence in the discharge of your legislative duties, I feel persuaded that you will give your immediate attention to the renewal of such
useful acts as may have recently expired; and, indeed, to all matters of public interest that may appear to be of pressing necessity and importance.
Legislative Council Chamber,
Lieutenant Colonel Yorke, civil secretary, brought down the fol
Possessing, as yet, but an imperfect knowledge of the great interests of the province, and the wants of its inhabitants, I refrain at the present time, from recommending to you measures of public improvement, which it will be my duty to bring under your consideration at a future day. In all countries, however, good roads and other internal communications ;-a general system of education, estab. lished upon sound principles ;and a well-organized, efficient militia force, are found to be so conducive to the prosperity, the happiness, and the security of their inhabitants, that I may be permitted to mention them, at present, as objects of prominent utility.
But an oblivion of all past jealousies and dissentions is the first great step towards improvement of any kind; and when that is happily accomplished, and the undivided attention of the executive government, and the legislature, shall be given to the advancement of the general interests of the province, in a spirit of cordial co-operation, there is no reason to doubt that Lower Canada will rapidly advance in prosperity; and emulate, ere long, the most opulent and flourishing portions of the North American continent.
PARLIAMENT OF LOWER CANADA.
lowing message from his excellency the administrator in chief.
James Kempt.-His excellency
the administrator of the govern. ment avails himself of the earliest opportunity of conveying to the conveying to the legislative council the following communication, which he has received the king's commands to make to the provincial parliament.
In laying the same before the legislative council, his excellency is commanded by his majesty to state, that
His majesty has received too many proofs of the loyalty and attachment of his Canadian subjects, to doubt their cheerful acquies. cence in every effort which his majesty's government shall make to reconcile past differences, and he looks forward to a period, when by the return of harmony, all branches of the legislature will be able to bestow their undivided attention on the best methods of advancing the prosperity, and developing the resources of the extensive and valua. ble territories comprised within his majesty's Canadian provinces.
With a view to the adjustment of the question in controversy, his majesty's government has commu. nicated to his excellency Sir James Kempt its views on different branches of this important subject; but as the complete settlement of the affairs of the province cannot be effected but with the aid of the imperial parliament, the instructions of his excellency are at present confined to the discussion of points alone, which can no longer be left undecided without extreme disadvantage to the interests of the province.
Among the most material of these points, the first to be adverted to, is, the proper disposal of the financial resources of the country; and with the view of obviating all future misunderstanding on this matter,
his majesty's government have pre. scribed to his excellency the limits within which his communications to the legislature on this matter are to be confined.
His excellency is commanded by his majesty to acquaint the legislative counsel, that the discussions which had occurred some years past between the different branches of the legislature of this province respecting the appropria. tion of the revenue, have engaged his majesty's serious attention, and that he has directed careful enquiry to be made, in what manner these questions may be adjusted with a due regard to the prerogative of the crown, as well as to their constitutional privileges, and to the general welfare of his faithful subjects in Lower Canada.
His excellency is further com. manded to state. that the statutes passed in the 14th and the 31st years of the reign of his late majesty, have imposed upon the lords commissioners of his majesty's treasury, the duty of appropriating the produce of the revenue granted to his majesty by the first
of these statutes; and that, whilst the law shall continue unaltered by the same authority by which it was framed, his majesty is not authorized to place the revenue under the control of the legislature of this province.
5,000 £25,000 4,000 £34,000
The proceeds of the
arising from the act of the imperial parliament, 14 Geo. 3. together with the sum appropriated by the provincial statute 35 Geo. 3. and the duties levied under the provincial statutes 41 Geo. 3. cap. 18 and 14, may be estimated
Fines, &c. 400
for the current year, at the sum of £3,700.
The produce and casual and territorial revenues of the crown and offines and forfeitures may be estimated for the same period at the sum of £3,400. These several sums, making together the sum £38,100, constitute the whole estimatad revenue arising in this province, which the law has placed at the disposal of the crown.
His majesty has been pleased to direct that from this collective revenue of £38,100, the salary of the officers administering the govern. ment of the province, and the salaries of the judges, shall be defrayed. But his majesty being graciously disposed to mark, in the strongest manner, the confidence which he reposes in the liberality and affection of his faithful provincial parliament, has been pleased to command his excellency to announce to the legislative council, that no farther appropriation of any part of this revenue will be made until his excellency shall have been enabled to become acquainted with their sentiments, as to the most advantageous mode in which it can be applied to the public service; and it will be gratifying to his majesty, if the recommendation made to the executive government of the province on this subject, shall be such as it may be able with propriety, and with due attention to the interest and the efficiency of his majesty's government, to adopt.
His majesty fully relies upon the liberality of his faithful provincial parliament, to make such further provision as the exigencies of the public service of the province (for
which the amount of the crown revenues above mentioned may prove inadequate) may require.
The balance in the hands of the receiver general, which is not placed by law at the disposal of the crown, must await the appropriation which it may be the pleasure of the provincial legislature to
His excellency is further com. manded by his majesty to recommend to the legislative council, the enactment of a law, for the indemnity of any persons who have here. tofore, without authority, signed or acted in obedience to warrants for the appropriation to the public service of any appropriated moneys of this province: And his majesty anticipates that they will, by an acquiescence in this recommendation, show that they cheerfully concur with him in the efforts which he is now making for the establishment of a permanent good understanding between the different branches of the executive and legislative government.
The proposals which his excellency has been thus instructed to make for the adjustment of the pecuniary affairs of the province, are intended to meet the difficul. ties of the ensuing year, and he trusts they may be found effectual for that purpose.
His majesty has however further commanded his excellency to acquaint the legislative council, that a scheme for the permanent settlement of the financial concerns of Lower Canada, is in contemplation, and his majesty entertains no doubt of such a result being attain. able as will prove conducive to the general welfare of the province, and satisfactory to his faithful Canadian subjects.
The complaints which have reached his majesty's government, respecting the inadequate security heretofore given by the receiver general and by the sheriffs, for the due application of the public moneys in their hands, have not escaped the very serious attention of the ministers of the crown.
It has appeared to his majesty's government that the most effectual security against abuses in these de. partments, would be found in enforcing in this province, a strict adhe. rence to a system established under his majesty's instructions in other colonies, for preventing the accumula. tion of balances in the hands of public accountants, by obliging them to exhibit their accounts to a competent authority, at short intervals, and immediately to pay over the ascertained balance into a safe place of deposite ;-and in order to ob. viate the difficulty arising from the want of such place of deposite in Lower Canada, his excellency is authorized to state that the lords commissioners of his majesty's treasury will hold themselves responsible to the province for any sums which the receiver general or sheriffs may pay over to the commissary general, and his excellency is instructed to propose to the legislative council, the enactment of a law, binding those officers to pay over to the commissary gene. ral such balances as, upon render. ing their accounts to the competent authority, shall appear to be remaining in their hands, over and above what may be required for the current demands upon their respective offices; such payments being made on condition that the commissary general shall be bound on demand to deliver bills on his
majesty's treasury for the amount of his receipts.
His excellency is further instructed to acquaint the legislative ouncil, that although it was found necessary by an act passed in the last session of the imperial parliament, 9 Geo. IV. cap. 76, sec. 26, to set at rest doubts which had arisen, whether the statute for regulating the distribution between the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, of the duties and customs collected at Quebec, had not been inadvertently repealed by the ge. neral laws of a later date, his majesty's government have no desire that the inteference of parliament in this matter should be perpetuated, if the provincial legislatures can themselves agree upon any plan for a division of these duties which may appear to them more convenient and more equitable; and on the whole of this subject, his majesty's government will be happy to receive such information and assistance as the legislative council and assembly of this province may be able to supply.
The appointment of an agent in England to indicate the wishes of the inhabitants of Lower Canada, appearing an object of great solicitude with the assembly, his majesty's government will cheerfully accede to the desire expressed by the house of assembly upon this head; provided that such agent be appointed, as in other British colonies, by name, in an act to be passed by the legislative council and assembly, and approved by the executive government of the province; and his majesty's government are persuaded that the legis. lature will not make such a selection as to impose on the govern
of rejecting the bill on the ground of any personal objection to the proposed agent.
His majesty's government is further willing to consent to the abo. lition of the office of agent, as it is at present constituted; but it is trusted that the liberality of the house of Assembly will indemnify the present holder of this office, to whose conduct in that capacity no objection appears ever to have been made; indeed, without some adequate indemnity being provided for him, it would not be compatible with justice, to consent to the immediate abolition of his office.
His majesty's government being very sensible of the great inconvenience which has been sustained, owing to the large tracts of land which have been suffered to remain in a waste and unimproved condition, in consequence of the neglect or poverty of the grantees, it has appeared to his majesty's government that the laws in force in Upper Canada, for laying a tax upon wild land, on which the settlement duties had not been performed, should be adopted in this province; and his excellency is instructed to press this subject on the attention of the legislative council with that view.
townships. Regulations affecting matters of this nature can obviously be most effectually made by the provincial legislature; and his excellency is commanded to draw the attention of the legislative council to these subjects, as matters requiring their early and most serious attention.
The attention of his majesty's government has also been drawn to several other important topics; among which may be enumerated: The mischiefs which are said to result from the system of tacit mortgages effected by a general acknowledgment of a debt before a notary; the objectionable and expensive mode of conveyancing said to be in use in the townships; the necessity of a registration of deeds; and the want of proper courts for the decision of causes arising in the
In conclusion, his excellency has been commanded to state, that his majesty relies for an amicable adjustment of the various questions which have been so long in dis. pute, upon the loyalty and attachment hitherto evinced by his majesty's Canadian subjects, and on that of the provincial parliament; and that his majesty entertains no doubts of the cordial concurrence of the legislative council, in all measures calculated to promote the common good, in whatever quarter such measures may happen to originate.
Of the House of Assembly, in answer to the foregoing Message.
1. That this house has derived the greatest satisfaction from the gracious expression of his majesty's beneficent views towards this province, and from the earnest desire of his excellency, the adminis. trator of the government, to promote the peace, welfare, and good government of the province, as evinced in his excellency's message of Friday last.
2. That this house has, nevertheless, observed with great concern, that it may be inferred from the expression of that part of the said message which relates to the appropriation of the revenue, that the pretension put forth at the commencement of the late administra.