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from the “organization of labor," if we may once more em ploy that pompous but expressive phrase, has been wel done. We must not hasten to anticipate ill from the almosi equally rapid movement of the tendency to help labor iu doing lahor's own proper work.
N February 19th, 1867, Lord Carnarvon, Secretary for
the Colonies, moved the second reading of the Bill for the Confederation of the North American Provinces of the British Empire. This was in fact a measure to carry out in practical form the great principles which Lord Dur. ham had laid down in his celebrated report. Lord Durham had done more than merely affirm the principles on which the constitution of the Canadas should be established. He had laid the foundations of the structure. Now the time had come to raise the building to its practical completion. The bill prepared by Lord Carnarvon proposed that the prɔvinces of Ontario and Quebec, in other words Upper and Lower Canada, along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, should be joined in one federation, to be called the Dominion of Canada, having a central or federal Parliament, and local or state legislatures. The central Parlia. ment was to consist of a Senate and a House of Commons, The Senate was to be made up of seventy members nominated by the Governor-General fòr life, on a summons from under the great seal of Canada. The House of Commons was to be filled by members elected by the people of the provinces according to population, at the rate of one mem. ber for every 17,000 persons, and the duration of a Parlia. ment was not to be more than five years. The executive
was vested in the Crown, represented of course by the Gov. ernor-General. The principle on which the central Parliament was constructed appears to have been arrived at by adopting some of the ideas of England and some of those of the United States. The Senate, for example, was made to resemble as nearly as possible the sys. tem of the English House of Lords; but the representative plan applied to the House of Commons was precisely the same as that adopted in the United States. It seems almost superfluous to observe that the whole idea on which the Dominion system rests is that of the American Federation. The central Parliament manages the common affairs; each province has its own local laws and legislature. There is the greatest possible variety and diversity in the local sys. tems of the different provinces of the Dominion. The members are elected to the House of Commons on the most diverse principles of suffrage. In some of the provinces the vote is open; in others it is given by ballot, in secret.
The Act of Confederation recites that the constitution of the Dominion shall be similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom. But in truth the only similarity consists in the fact that one of the two chambers is nominated by the Crown, and that the authority of the Crown is represented in the Dominion by the presence of a GovernorGeneral. In all other respects the example of the American republic has been followed. The keystone of the whole system is that principle of federation which the United States have so long represented, and which consists of local self-government for each member of the confederacy and the authority of a common Parliament for strictly national affairs. This fact is not an objection to the scheme. It is, on the contrary, the best security for its success. It would have been impossible to establish in Canada anything really resembling the constitution of England. Uniformity of legislation would have been unendurable. Nothing
could make the Senate of Canada an institution like the English House of Lords. Nomination by the Crown could not do it. There was some wisdom in the objection raised by Mr. Bright to this part of the scheme. A good deal of sentimentalism was talked in Parliament by the ministers in charge of the confederation scheme about the filial affection of Canada for the mother country, and the intense anxiety of the Canadians to make their constitution as like as possible to that of England. The Canadians appear to have very properly thought of their interests first of all, and they adopted the system which they believed would best suit the conditions under which they lived. In doing so they did much to strengthen and to commend that federative principle on which their Dominion is founded, and which appears likely enough to contain the ultimate solution of the whole problem of government as applied to a systemi made up of various populations with diverse nationalities, religions, and habitudes. So far as one may judge of the tendencies of modern times, it would seem that the inclination is to the formation of great state systems. The days of small independent states seem to be over. If this be so, it may safely be stated that great state systems cannot be held together by uniform principles of legislation. The choice would clearly seem to be between small independent states and the principle of federation adopted in the formation of the Dominion of Canada.
The Dominion scheme only provided at first for the confederation of two Canadian provinces with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Provision was made, however, for the admission of any other province of British North America which should desire to follow suit. The newly-constructed province of Manitoba, made up out of what had been the Hudson's Bay territories, was the first to come in. It was admitted into the union in 1870. British Columbia and Van. couver's Island followed in 1871, and Prince Edward's island
claimed admission in 1873. The Dominion now embraces the whole of the regions constituting British North America, with the exception of Newfoundland, which still prefers its lonely system of quasi-independence. It may be assumed, however, that this curious isolation will not last long; and the act constituting the Dominion opens the door for the entrance of this latest lingerer outside whenever she may think fit to claim admission.
The idea of a federation of the provinces of British North America was not new in' 1867, or even in the days of Lord Durham. When the delegates of the revolted American colonies were discussing among themselves their terms of federation they agreed, in their articles of union, that Canada “acceding to the confederation and joining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into and entitled to the advantages of the union. No answer to this appeal was made by either of the Canadas, but the idea of union among the British provinces among themselves evi. dently took root then. As early as 1810 a colonist put for ward a somewhat elaborate scheme for the union of the provinces. In 1814 Chief-Justice Sewell, of Quebec, submitted a' plan of union to the Duke of Kent. In 1827 resolutions were introduced into the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, having relation principally to a combination of the two Canadas, but also suggesting “more politic, wise, and generally advantageous-viz., an union of the whole four provinces of North America under a vice-royalty, with a facsímile of that great and glorious fabric, the best monument of human wisdom, the British Constitution." Nothing further, however, was done to advance the principle of fed. eration until after the rebellion in Canada, and the brief dictatorship of Lord Durham. Then, as we have already said, the foundation of the system was laid. In 1849 an association, called the North American League, was formed, which held a meeting in Toronto to promote Confederation.