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affected, or more readily deceived, the suspension of all constitutional rights affords to reckless and unprincipled agitators a constant topic of excitement.

“ All parties, therefore, without exception, demand a change. On the nature of that change there exists, undoubtedly, some difference of opinion.

" In a country so lately convulsed, and where passions are still so much excited, extreme opinions cannot but exist; and accordingly, whilst some persons advocate an immediate return to the former constitution of the province, others propose either the entire exclusion from political privileges of all of French origin, or the partial dismemberment of the province, with a view of conferring on one portion a representative system, while maintaining in the other a despotism.

“I have observed, however, that the advocates of these widely different opinions have generally admitted them to be their aspirations, rather than measures which could be practically adopted, and have been unable to suggest any course except the union, by which that at which they aim, viz. constitutional government for themselves, could be permanently and safely established.

« There exists, too, even amongst these persons, a strong and prevailing desire that the imperial legislature should take the settlement of Canadian affairs at once into its own hands, rather than it should be delayed by a reference to individual opinions, or to the schemes which may be put forward by different sections of local parties.

“ The large majority, however, of those whose opinions I have had the opportunity of learning, both of British and French origin, and of those too whose character and station entitle them to the greatest authority, advocate warmly the establishment of the union, and that upon terms of perfect fairness, not merely to the two provinces, but to the two races within this province. Of the extent to which this feeling with regard to the upper province is carried, your lordship will find a most conclusive proof in the resolution of the special council, respecting the debt of Upper Canada. By this resolution, a large sum owing by that province on account of public works of a general nature, is proposed to be charged on the joint revenues of the united province. Upon other details of the arrangement the same feeling prevails. It would be, however, useless for me to trouble your lordship with respect to them, until I have had the opportunity of ascertaining the views and opinions entertained by the people of Upper Canada. If, however, as I trust, the principle of re-union should meet with their assent, I am of opinion that it can only be in con

affected, or more readily deceived, the suspension of all constitutional rights affords to reckless and unprincipled agitators a constant topic of excitement.

“ All parties, therefore, without exception, demand a change. On the nature of that change there exists, undoubtedly, some difference of opinion.

" In a country so lately convulsed, and where passions are still so much excited, extreme opinions cannot but exist ; and accordingly, whilst some persons advocate an immediate return to the former constitution of the province, others propose either the entire exclusion from political privileges of all of French origin, or the partial dismemberment of the province, with a view of conferring on one portion a representative system, while maintaining in the other a despotism.

"I have observed, however, that the advocates of these widely different opinions have generally admitted them to be their aspirations, rather than measures which could be practically adopted, and have been unable to suggest any course except the union, by which that at which they aim, viz. constitutional government for themselves, could be permanently and safely established.

* There exists, too, even amongst these persons, a strong and prevailing desire that the imperial legislature should take the settlement of Canadian affairs at once into its own hands, rather than it should be delaved by a reference to individual opinions, or to the schemes which may be put forward by different sections of local parties.

The large majority, however, of those whose opinions I have had the opportunity of learning, both of British and French origin, and of those too whose character and station entitle them to the greatest authority, advocate warmly the establishment of the union, and that upon terms of perfect fairness, not merely to the two provinces, but to the two races within this province. Of the extent to which this feeling with regard to the upper province is carried, your lordship will find a most conclusive proof in the resolution of the special council, respecting the debt of Upper Canada. By this resolution, a large sum owing by that province on account of public works of a general nature, is proposed to be charged on he joint revenues of the united province. Upon other details of the arrangement the same feeling prevails. It would be, 2owever, useless for me to trouble your lordship with respect o them, until I have had the opportunity of ascertaining the iews and opinions entertained by the people of Upper Canada. f, however, as I trust, the principle of re-union should meet with their assent, I am of opinion that it can only be in con

sequence of demands of an unwarrantable character upon their part that difficulty will arise in settling the principal terms."

Fortified with the concurrence of the only legislative body existing in Lower Canada, Mr Poulett Thomson left Montreal for the upper province on the 19th November, and after a few hours' delay at Kingston, arrived at Toronto on the 21st of the same month. The excitement which had been created by the publication of Lord Durham's report still prevailed in all its original force. Writing to the secretary of state on the 22nd of the previous September, Sir George Arthur had thus described the state of the province:-“ All the wicked heads on both sides are constantly at work plotting mischief; and many inconsiderate persons, by the course they are now pursuing at the responsible government' meetings, promote the designs of the most criminal characters. The foundations of civil order were broken up by the occurrences of the year 1837, and general mistrust and bad feeling open out a way for the display of the worst passions of the worst men, of which they seem keenly disposed to avail themselves.” And again, on the 15th of October, he added—“Upon the whole, I wish it were in my power to give your lordship a more gratifying account of the feeling throughout the province, from the impressions made in my own mind, than I have it in my power to impart. Your lordship will observe in the statements herewith transmitted and the same have been communicated to this government by many other sources--that serious disturbances in the province are still looked for."

The advent of the Governor-General and his assumption of the government of Upper Canada- a measure which nothing but the peculiar circumstances of the time would have justified-had been looked for with much anxiety, though with very different anticipations, by the two parties. While his connection with the home government and his previous political career caused the official or "compact" party to regard him with suspicion, as probably inimical to their supremacy, the reform party were naturally disposed for the same reasons to look to him with more confidence and hope.

He assumed the government on the 22nd of November on which day also he received from the corporation of Toronto, and from the board of trade of that city congratulatory addresses. The address from the corporation of Toronto was sufficiently indicative of the spirit of exclusivism which that body and their friends were accustomed to advocate. The answer returned to it, by repudiating the doctrine that the union should be based on the ascendancy of one portion of the population over another, and by insisting that it must be

framed on principles of “equal justice to all her Majesty's subjects,” had the effect of confirming the feelings with which the antagonist parties had been originally disposed to regard the Governor-General.

The parliament had been summoned to meet on the 3d of the following month, and during the short time which intervened the Governor-General employed himself in the preparation of his measures, and in making himself acquainted with the sentiments of the people in general, and especially of such of their representatives as had reached the capital. It had not been without much deliberation that it was resolved to call again the existing assembly rather than resort to a dissolution, and thus submit the question of a union to an assembly eiocted with especial reference to this matter. But after the most ample consideration, it was thought better not to add the excitement of a general election to that already existing op the question of “responsible government ;” and, accordingly the old house, which had been elected in 1836, during the administration of Sir F. B. Head, was called together.

It has already been stated that heretofore the government had studiously avoided the appearance of having an organ in the House of Assembly, and that the public officers who happened to be members of that or the other house had been in the habit of speaking and voting according to their individual views without reference to those of the government. Under such a system it was not only impossible for the government to feel sure of carrying out its policy, but it was difficult to persuade the public of the good faith and sincerity with which its measures were brought forward. A better practice was now to be substituted.

He was fortunate enough to obtain the acquiescence of all the official members of the legislature in the proposed measures, and the assurance of their support during the session; but as several of these gentlemen had previously been opposed to the union, when brought forward under different circumstances, the fact that Mr Thomson had required them to advocate the views of the government under which they held office, and that he had promulgated the dispatch above referred to, was denounced as an act of unparalleled tyranny and oppression. Unreasonable as was such an accusation, it yet found an echo in this country, where the same principle has invariably prevailed.

It is scarcely possible for those who were not on the spot to understand the extent of the difficulties with which Mr Poulett Thomson had to contend, or consequently to appreciate the skill and courage with which he encountered

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FREE TRADE AND THE LEAGUE.

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framed on principles of "equal justice to all her Majesty's subjects,” had the effect of confirming the feelings with which the antagonist parties had been originally disposed to regard the Governor-General.

The parliament had been summoned to meet on the 3d of the following month, and during the short time which intervened the Governor-General employed himself in the preparation of his measures, and in making himself acquainted with the sentiments of the people in general, and especially of such of their representatives as had reached the capital.' It had not been without much deliberation that it was resolved to call again the existing assembly rather than resort to a dissolution, and thus submit the question of a union to an assembly ciected with especial reference to this matter. But after the most ample consideration, it was thought better not to add the excitement of a general election to that already existing on the question of “responsible government;" and, accordingly the old house, which had been elected in 1836, during the administration of Sir F. B. Head, was called together.

It has already been stated that heretofore the government had studiously avoided the appearance of having an organ the House of Assembly, and that the public officers who happened to be members of that or the other house had been in the habit of speaking and voting according to their individual views without reference to those of the government. Under such a system it was not only impossible for the government to feel sure of carrying out its policy, but it was difficult to persuade the public of the good faith and sincerity with which its measures were brought forward. A better practice was now to be substituted.

He was fortunate enough to obtain the acquiescence of all the official members of the legislature in the proposed measures, and the assurance of their support during the session ; but as several of these gentlemen had previously been opposed o the union, when brought forward under different circumtances, the fact that Mr Thomson had required them to dvocate the views of the government under which they held ffice, and that he had promulgated the dispatch above eferred to, was denounced as an act of unparalleled tyranny nd oppression. Unreasonable as was such an accusation, it et found an echo in this country, where the same principle 28 invariably prevailed.

It is scarcely possible for those who were not on the spot
i understand the extent of the difficulties with which
[r Poulett Thomson had to contend, or consequently to
preciate the skill and courage with which he encountered

them; but a few extracts from his private correspondence
of this period will shew his own impressions as to those difficul-
ties, and the means by which he proposed to surmount them.
Writing on the 8th November he said
· I have indeed an arduous task before me, and

very

little time to do it in ; for I suppose I shall be pulled to pieces if I do not get a settlement ready for the opening.' However, it is a great field-and upon the whole I think I did wisely in leaving Baring to try to fill the empty boxes of the exchequer, * and in trying my hand with the rebels, French or British. They can't be more unreasonable than the ultras on both sides of the House of Commons.

“I do not despair of getting through my task, if the newspapers in England will only leave me alone, or at least our friends pay no attention to what they say, but let me work quietly with the people here. The time is sadly against me. People in Downing Street will expect something for the meeting of parliament, and to settle the affairs of two distracted provinces, whose capitals are 600 miles apart, in the depth of winter, which it is here even now, and in three months, is not a very possible job. But I shall do my best."

On the 20th November and the 8th December, writing from Toronto, he said

“I have succeeded in Lower Canada in far less time and with greater ease than I could have expected from Sir John Colborne's account to me of the state of feeling, especially in his own council. The fact is, that his council ran riot, and did not know how to proceed. I have given them my opinion strongly, at the same time that I expressed my willingness to hear and give due weight to theirs. All parties there are dead-sick of the present state of things, and desire a return to constitutional government. Of course the extremes have their different crotchets for arriving at this end. The ultra-French desire an immediate return to the old constitution. The ultra-British the disfranchisement of the French Canadians. But even they have been satisfied, I believe, by a little management and a good deal of firmness, that both were equally out of the question, and have now joined with the great mass who hold the middle opinion in favour of the

The Canadien' and the Montreal Herald lie down together upon this point. In short, the unanimity is wonderful.

union measure.

• Sir Francis Thornhill Baring, first Lord of the Admiralty in Lord Jobo Russell's ministry in 1849, was Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Melbourne's ministry, 1839. It was no fault of Mr Baring that the Exchequer was empty, it was the fault of a system.

“I have now the upper province to deal with, which will, I fear, be a more difficult matter. But I do not despair ; and certainly, so far as all the real interests of the country are concerned, the union is far more necessary to Upper Canada than to the other. If it were possible, the best thing for Lower Canada would be a despotism for ten years morn; for, in truth, the people are not yet fit for the higher class of self-government-scarcely indeed, at present, for any description of it; and by carrying oneself the measures which a House of Assembly will probably never carry, one might gradually fit them for both, and, at all events, leave them an amount of good institutions which the united legislature, when it came, could not destroy. But in Upper Canada the case, as it appears to me, is widely different. The state of things here is far worse than I had expected. The country is split into factions animated with the most deadly hatred to each other. The people have got into the habit of talking so much of separation, that they begin to believe in it. The constitutional party is as bad or worse than the other, in spite of all their professions of loyalty. The finances are more deranged than we believed even in England. The deficit L. 75,000 a year, more than equal to the income. All public works suspended. Emigration going on fast from the province. Every man's property worth only half what it was. When I look to the state of government, and to the departmental adıninistration of the province, instead of being surprised at the condition in which I find it, I am only astonished it has been endured so long. I know that much as I dislike Yankee institutions and rule, I would not have fought against them, which thousands of these poor fellows, whom the compact called rebels, did, if it were only to keep up such a government as they got. The excitement upon responsible government' is great. Not that I believe the people understand what they are clamouring for by that word; but that they feel the extreme uneasiness of their situation, owing to financial embarrassments, and hate the dominant party in the government with intense hatred. I do not wonder at the cry for responsible government, when I see how things have been managed.

" Then the assembly is such a house ! split into half a dozen different parties. The Government having none-and no one man to depend on! Think of a house in which half the members hold places, yet in which the government does not command a single vote; in which the placemen generally vote against the executive; and where there is no one to defend the government when attacked, or to state the opinion or views of the governor! How, with a popular

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