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CHAPTER XV.

CANADA.-Principles of Lord Sydenham's Administration - Different

political Parties in Canada-Sir Charles Bagol appointed as Suce cessor to Lord Sydenham-Opening of the second Session of the United Parliament by the Governor-Altempt to conciliate the Lower Canada French by ihe offer of office to Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Lafontaine-- They accept office, and have to undergo an ElectionAddress of Mr. Lafontaine-Dangerous illness of Sir Charles Bagot - Prorogation of Parliament - Sir Charles Bagot leaves Canada and dics soon after his return to England - Question of Canadian Corn Duties-Letter of Lord Stanley to the Governor on the subjectBill passed in the Colonial Legislature. The MarQUESAS and Society IslanDS, IN the Pacific. Short Narrative of the intercourse between these Islands and Great Britain-Correspondence between Queen Pomare and Mr. Canning and Lord Palmerston-A French Frigate appears of Tahiti-Demand made by him of redress-Letter of Queen Pomare to Queen Victoria, and

Answer of Lord PalmerstonThe Tahitian Government is taken under French protection by Admiral Dupetil Thouars-ProJet DE Loi relative to the Marquesas proposed by the Minister of Marine to the French Chamber.

ME.

ELANCHOLY as the death and was making preparations for

of Lord Sydenham was at an early departure, when he met the very moment when he had with the accident, which owing to triumphed over the obstacles that a constitution already enfeebled by had stood in the way of a Legisla- ill health, occasioned his death. tive Union between Upper and During his short administration Lower Canada, and might reason of the affairs of Canada, we beably look forward to seeing bene- lieve that his Lordship is entitled ficial results flow from this im- to the praise of having governed portant measure, it cannot be said in an impartial spirit with a firm that the policy of the Imperial and vigorous hand. And this is Government with respect to our no ordinary praise when justly North American Colonies merited by a Governor of Canada thereby embarrassed, for Lord Sy- where hitherto it has been the denham had determined to retire custom for that functionary to from his high office as soon as ever he throw himself almost exclusively saw the Union fairly accomplished, into the arms of one or other of

was

were

the contending parties, and where them, and they, in conjunction faction is embittered by difference with the Lower Canada French, of origin, language, and religion. formed the opposition in the first Formerly the 'Tory party of Upper Session of the United Parliament, Canada, although inferior in num- but they were outnumbered by the bers, was that which usually stood combination of the two other parhighest in the favour of successive ties, who were thus enabled to Governors and the leaders of this give effectual support to the Goparty, who shared amongst them vernment of Lord Sydenham. Mr. selves the different offices and pa- Baldwin had been recognised as tronage of Government, the leader of the Upper Canada known by the name of “the Family Reformers; but shortly after the Compact." Lord Sydenham, how- appointment of Lord Sydenham ever, refused to recognise this mi- he left that party and went into nority as entitled to a monopoly of opposition with the Lower Canada office, and his great object was to French, whose most influential break down as much as possible member was a Mr. Lafontaine, old party distinctions, and form an upon whom the office of Solicitoradministration composed of mode- General for Lower Canada had rate and able men taken from the been bestowed by Lord Sydenranks of different parties. The ham. four great divisions representing The person selected by Sir Rodifferent political opinions in the bert Peel's Ministry to succeed United Province of Canada, after Lord Sydenham as Governor of the Union had taken place may be Canada was Sir Charles Bagot, classified as follows:- Ist. The who found on his arrival that he Upper Canada Tories, who had had an arduous and complicated previously been the dominant task before him—the chief diffi. party, and who were generally culty lying in the reconcilement of called “the Family Compact." the jarring pretensions of the con2nd. The Upper Canada Reform- tending factions. ers, who were excluded from all The new Governor opened the participation in office by the second Session of the Parliament Compact." 3rd. The Lower of United Canada on the 8th of Canada French, who had been the September. His speech did not chief agents in the recent rebellion, afford any elucidation of the state and whose disaffection to British of affairs and parties in Canada. supremacy was hardly disguised Nor is it necessary that we should under the veil of alleged grievances inflict upon our readers minute with which they sought to cover details of the contest between the their seditious projects. These rival sections in the House of As. were strongly opposed to the mea- sembly. It will be sufficient to sure of Legislative Union. 4th. state that Sir Charles Bagot made The Lower Canada British, whose an attempt to amalgamate the differpower and influence were greatly ences by offering a share in the increased by the Union.

Government to the opposition led by The Upper Canada Tories were Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Lafontaine; alienated from Lord Sydenham on but this well-meant proposal on account of his determination not his part was at first absolutely lo govern exclusively by means of declined by those gentlemen, chiefly

because Sir Charles Bagot did not “The political contest comintend to sanction by their admis. menced at the last session has resion a thorough reconstruction of sulted in a thorough union in Parhis Cabinet. Notwithstanding, liament between the members who however, the failure at the time represent the majority of both poof this scheme for forming a spe- pulations. That union secures to cies of coalition-ministry, these the Provincial Government solid two members (Messrs. Lafontaine support in carrying out those meaand Baldwin) ultimately consented sures which are required to estato take office, and had to undergo, blish peace and contentment. in consequence, the ordeal of an “In the present state of publie election. Mr. Lafontaine was re- affairs, I now see realised views in turned for the Third Riding of which I havefondly indulged, which York, by a majority of 210 over I have long fostered, and which I his opponent; but Mr. Baldwin expressed publicly in my address was nominally defeated at Hast to the electors of Terrebonne of ings, whence his antagonist, an the 25th of August, 1840. Upper Canada Tory, had a majo All parties have at last united rity of forty-nine. The election, to declare that the co-operation of however, was rendered void in the French Canadian population is consequence of the illegal violence necessary to the working of the that took place.

Government." Before the election, M, Lafon. It is a remarkable circumstance taine issued an address to the that three successive Governors of electors, in which he said :—" By Canada have died very soon after the Union of the two Provinces, they have been elevated to that the inhabitants of each are brought important post. Lord Durham's to participate in one common Le health gave way before he returned gislature. In despite of the differ. to England, where he expired ence of language, of customs, and shortly after his arrival. Lord of laws, upon which some had Sydenham closed his career before founded hopes of fomenting dis- he was able to leave the Province, cord between the population of the and now a third Governor was to different sections of Canada, to be added to the melancholy list. Sir the injury of all, we are yet linked Charles Bagot became at the latter together by an identity of inter- end of the year so dangerously un

well, as to give the greatest alarm to Apart from considerations of his friends. He prorogued the Parsocial order, from the love of peace liament on the 12th of October, and political freedom, our common and in a short speech, he thanked interests would alone establish the Legislature for the zeal and sympathies which sooner or later assiduity with which they had must have rendered the mutual considered and perfected the meaco-operation of the mass of the sures of the session, as well as for two populations necessary to the the supplies they had voted and march of government.

exhorting the members to use their “Without such co-operation, personal influence in the several neither peace, welfare, nor good districts to promote the harmony government can exist in the two and good feeling which it had United Provinces

been his endeavour to establish.

est.

At the end of the year he left Downing-street, 2nd March, 1842. Canada for England, as the state “ SirIn the anxious considerof his health rendered it impossi- ation which it has been the duty ble for him to remain, and shortly of her Majesty's Government to after his return he died.

give to the important and compliThe following letter from Lord cated question of the importation Stanley (Secretary for the Colo- of corn into this country, they have nies) to Sir Charles Bagot, is im- of course not overlooked the interportant as being in fact the ground est which is felt in this question upon which in the following year by the province of Canada, and (1 843) the Imperial Parliament which has been expressed in mepassed an act whereby Canadian morials from the Legislative body, corn and flour were admitted into and from other parties, addressed British ports at a duty merely to Her Majesty and to the Legispoininal. It will be seen that the lature of this country; and alreason assigned by Lord Stanley though in present circumstances for not making a further reduce Her Majesty's Government have tion in duties on Canadian wheat not felt themselves justified in reand wheat-flour during the present commending to Parliament a comyear, was the proximity of Canada pliance with the general request to the United States, and the dan- of the various memorials that Cager of corn from the latter country nadian corn and flour should be finding its way into Great Britain imported, at a nominal duty, into through Canada, as Canadian pro- the United Kingdom, I trust that duce. This danger as Lord Stan- the steps which we have taken, ley intimated, might be obviated and the ground upon which we by the imposition of a tax at the have declined to advance further frontier upon all corn imported in the same direction, will convince into Canada from the United the people of Canada that the States; but, unless the Colonial course which we have pursued, has Legislature adopted this course been dictated by no unfriendly and received into its own exchem feeling towards the interests of quer, the proceeds of the tax Canada, and especially of Canadian Sir Robert Peel's Government agriculture. were unwilling to propose such a “The steps which have been restrictive duty upon American taken, so far as they go, have been produce, to be levied by the au- decidedly in favour of those inter. thority of the Imperial Parlia. ests. By the law as it has hitherment.

to stood, Canadian wheat, and Next year, as will be seen in wheat tour, have been admissible our next volume, a bill was passed into Great Britain at a rate of by the Imperial Parliament for duty estimated at 58. per quarter, admitting Canadian corn and flour until the price in the English at 1s. per quarter duty into the market reached 678., at which home markets, in consequence of amount the duty sell to 6d. By the duty on American corn which the bill which is now before Parwas imposed by the Colonial Le liament, the duty of 5s, is leviable gislature.

only while the price is below 55s., The following is Lord Stanley's and at 58s. falls to ls, only. But letter.

in adàition to this reduction in the

amount of price at which the lower tercourse. Even a cursory exaduty becomes payable, it is pur- mination of facts and figures must posed to take off the restriction demonstrate the value to be atwhich has hitherto been imposed tached in a commercial, and much upon the importation of Canadian more in a moral and political point flour into Ireland, and thus to of view, to the continuance and open a new market to that which improvement of that rapidly inmay justly be considered as one of creasing intercourse; and Her Mathe manufactures of Canada. jesty's Government would have

“In the measures which they had much less difficulty in aphave adopted, not without the most proaching the question of an unanxious attention to the various restricted admission of Canadian interests involved, Her Majesty's wheat and flour into the British Government have been desirous, markets, if it had been in their while they gave a general facility power to look on that question as of admission to the British market, one of intercourse between Great of disturbing as little as possible Britain and her most important the relative advantages possessed colony, and independent of all by the colonial and foreign sup- considerations of foreign trade. plies of that market. In this sense, “But it was impossible for Her while they have continued to the Majesty's Government so to regard Channel Islands the facilities which it. It was impossible that they they have heretofore enjoyed, of a should not advert to the geographifree importation of their own pro- cal position of Canada, in referduce (limited as it necessarily is in ence to the great corn-growing extent) into Great Britain, toge- States of the West of America. ther with the means which they It was impossible not to see that, at present enjoy of having their however desirable it might be even own supplies furnished from the to encourage the transit through neighbouring and cheaper market, Canada of the produce of those they have not felt themselves called States, with the advantage to Caupon to remove from the Isle of nada of any manufacturing proMan the restrictions which have cess which it might undergo in the been recently imposed on that is transit, a relaxation of duty to the land as to its foreign imports, while extent of free or nearly free adit possesses the advantages of an mission would have been a relaxunrestricted commerce with Great ation not limited as in this case it Britain. The same principle has ought to be, to the produce of a guided her Majesty's Government British colony. in the course which they have felt “It is true that the Imperial it their duty to pursue with re Parliament, at the time that they gard to Canada.

admitted Canadian produce at a It is impossible to be more fully nominal duty, might constitutionconvinced than are the Members ally have imposed a corresponding of her Majesty's Government, of duty upon the import of Amerithe importance to the interests can wheat into Canada, and might both of the Colony and of the thus have placed a check upon the Mother-country of maintaining undue influx of foreign under the between the two the most unre. name of Canadian produce; but stricted freedom of commercial in- whatever might be the view taken

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