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of particular circumstances, with which you are already acquainted, and in conformity with the instructions received by me Irom his majesty's government, was reserved for the signification of his majesty's pleasure, has subsequently received the royal sanction. Upon this subject it will be my duty to make an early communication to you by a special message.
The appropriation of last session, for giving effect to the provisions of the act to establish boards of health within this province, and to enforce an effectual system of quarantine, although liberal in its amount, has nevertheless proved inadequate to it. But the excess has not been so considerable as there was reason to apprehend from the prevalence of Asiatic cholera morbus in most parts of the province, which rendered necessary the creation of boards of health with their corresponding establishments, in addition to the expensive establishment at Gross Isle.
I trust that the excess above alluded to will be provided for, with the same liberality which prompted the original grant.
I avail myself of this opportunity to suggest the expediency of making provisions for the possible necessity for incurring further expense on the same account during the current year.
The accounts of the general expenditure of the province during the past year, are in a forward state of preparation, and will, I trust, be in readiness to be laid before you at the period prescribed by legislative regulations. Should any delay take place in rendering these accounts, it is to be ascribed to the great labour necessary in preparing the voluminous and detailed statements required from the executive branch of
the legislature of all its disbursements of public money.
An estimate of the expenses of the civil government for the ensuing year, framed according to the instructions of his majesty's govern, ment, will, in like manner, be laid before you.
Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, Gentlemen of the House of Assembly
The apprehension evinced by the legislature during the last session, by the passing the act to establish boards of health within this province, and to enforce an effectual system of quarantine, have been but too fatally realized ; and the frightful disease, the introduction of which it was the principal object of that act to prevent, has visited the colony with a degree of violence, of which there are few examples on record, in other parts of the world.
Happily that disease is now considered to have ceased to prevail epidemically in the province; but in the event of its re-appearance, it may be presumed that the experience acquired during its late visita. tion will, (if those establishments are to be maintained,) enable the several boards of health to improve on the regulations adopted by them.
I should be guilty of injustice towards individuals composing, and connected with those establishments, especially the gentlemen of the medical profession, were I to pass over in silence the meritorious services performed by them, in the discharge of an arduous, important, and (in many instances) an invidious duty. The nature of that duty being altogether new in this country, the performance of it was attended with many difficulties in the com. mencement—these have been gradu. ally overcome through the united ef. forts of zeal and experience; and 1 trust that the services to which I now allude, will be duly appreciated by the public, for whose benefit they were undertaken.
The gratuitous assistance rendered to the poorer classes of society by the medical faculty throughout the province, is also entitled to warm commendation.
Before I take leave of this subjuct, and close the present address, I must not omit to offer the tribute of praise due in a quarter, which I approach with sentiments of the most profound respect:—You will, I am sure, have anticipated me when I add, that I here allude to the meritorious exertions of the clergy in general, during that awful visitation with which it has pleased Divine Providence to afflict this land. In that season of terror and dismay, when even to approach the dwellings of those who were suffering under the influence of the prevailing disease required with many persons an effort of the mind; the ministers of religion went courageously forth, and entered the abodes of disease and death, were there to be found, day after day and night after night, bending over some devoted victim of the fatal malady; and, whilst inhaling the tainted breath that issued from his distempered frame, pouring words of comfort and consolation in his ear, and preparing his soul for its passage into another state of existence. Such exalted instances of self devotion are far, very far, beyond the reach of any praise that I have the power to bestow; and I will therefore only add, that by their conduct during the late pevalence of disease in the province, the clergy in general, have acquired new claims upon the love, the gratitude, the veneration, and the confidence of the people committed to their spiritual care.
Address to the King by the Legisla. five Council, on the state of the province.
Quebec, Tuesday, April 2, 1833.
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
Most Gracious Sovereign—
We, your majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, in provincial parliament assembled, having had under our serious consideration, the dangerous and unconstitutional proceedings, adopted by the assembly, are impelled by a sense of duty to your majesty, and your majesty's Canadian people, humbly to approach your majesty's throne, with a representation of the alarming posture of the affairs of this province, and our earnest supplication for immediate and effectual relief.
From the enviable state of peace and prosperity, to which we had attained under the constitution, bestowed upon us by your majesty's royal father, and the imperial parliament, we are approaching to a state of anarchy and confusion— unceasing attempts are made to destroy the confidence which has hitherto subsisted between the subjects of your majesty of different origin and language—the interests of agriculture and commerce, and the wants of the people, are neglected for the advancement of the cabals of party—your majesty's representative is falsely charged with partiality and injustice in the exercise of the powers confided to him — your majesty's officers, both civil and military, are deliberately libelled, as a combined faction, actuated by interest alone, to struggle for the support of a corrupt government, adverse to the rights and wishes of the people—and thus unmerited abuse has, for years past, been as frequent within the walls of the assembly as without—nor can it be doubted that this system has been adopted and urged with a wicked intention to degrade the local authorities in the eyes of the people, and thereby ultimately to render them powerless and inefficient for the support of your majesty's government in this province.
Every thing indicates a continuance, if not an increase, of the evils which we have briefly enumerated —for while your majesty's officers, and particularly the judges of your majesty's courts of law, are accused and defamed, a competent tribunal within the colony, to which they might appeal for trial and vindication, is refused—whereby a timid, instead of a fearless and independent exercise of their functions, is to be apprehended; and with a view to the completion of its designs, the assembly has ventured on the daring step of addressing your majesty to render the legislative council elective.
The crisis at which we have arrived is pregnant with consequences of the deepest interest to the happiness and welfare of your majesty's subjects in this province, and at such a moment it would be criminal in the legislative council to withhold from your majesty the frank and candid avowal of its sentiments.
The efforts of the assembly have been obviously directed for several years past to the attainment of power and influence, at the expense of the crown, and in direct violation of the constitutional rights and privileges of the legislative council. In illustration of this, we respectfully advert to the persevering endeavours of that house to obtain the entire control and disposal of all the provincial revenue and in
come; refusing, at the same time, to make any adequate permanent provision for the expenses of the civil government, and to provide for the judiciary, to the conditions and instructions annexed to the votes of certain sums contained in the bill of supply, sent up during the present session, which strike at the existence of your majesty's prerogative to appoint to all offices of honour or profit in the colony,—to the claim advanced by the assembly to preserve the extensive and important part of your majesty's dominions (in which there is room for millions of inhabitants,) as a colony to be settled only by Canadians of French origin and descent, contrary to the just and manifest rights of your majesty's native born subjects—and, lastly, in the attempt to induce your majesty to adopt measures which would destroy the equilibrium of the constitution, by substituting an elective council for the intermediate branch established by law. In reference to the pretension last noticed, we humbly entreat your majesty's attention to the undeniable fact, that in proportion as your majesty has graciously been pleased to increase the constitutional weight and efficiency of the legislative council, by the addition of members, unconnected with the local administration, and largely taken from the assembly itself, the efforts of that house for its entire abolition, have become more and more violent and daring.
That the constitution of government established in this province, under the act passed in the 31st year of the reign of his majesty, King George the Third, chapter 31, has been efficacious in promoting the welfare and happiness of the inhabitants thereof, and in confirming their attachment to the British throne, are facts powerfully attested by the peaceable submission of the people to the laws, and the readiness with which they have on all occasions defended the province against foreign aggression, as well as by the petitions laid at the foot of the throne, in the years 1814 and 1828, and the addresses, at those periods, of the assembly itself, in which they entreated his late majesty and the imperial parliament "to maintain the inhabitants of Canada in the full enjoyment of the constitution as established by law, without any change whatever."
It was in the year 1831, after the general election for the assembly now in session, and when some grounds of complaint against the local administration were in course of being redressed by the interposition of the imperial government, that a desire for a change in the constitution was first openly avowed in that body, and it is a matter of astonishment,that a violent and reckless party in that house, should be able to induce a majority of its members into an attempt to destroy a form of government, under which your majesty's Canadian people have enjoyed a state of peace, security and contentment, scarcely exceeded by any part of the world, and against which no considerable portion of the people have yet formally complained.
While, therefore, the legislative council desire not to conceal from your majesty the actual state of the province, they are far from believing that the great body of the people yet participate in the views and wishes of the majority of the assembly, but in a community in which learning has made so little progress, even the well-disposed, the happy, and contented, are too liable to be misled by the factious and designing.
The constitution enables your majesty to uphold an independent branch of the legislature by a judicious selection of the members chosen to compose it, and we venture, with all humility, to state to your majesty, that a branch so chosen is essential to sustain your royal prerogative, to maintain the connexion which happily subsists between this colony and the mother country, and to give security to a numerous class of your majesty's subjects of British origin, now numbering about one hundred and fifty thousand souls, scattered over the province, whose interests cannot be adequately represented in the assembly, seven- eights of the members whereof are of French origin, and speak th« French language.
It is under the circumstances above described that the assembly have proposed to your majesty toabolish this house, and to substitute in its place a council to be elected by proprietors of estates of ten pounds annual value j a measure well conceived to further the desired object of obtaining a legislative body, in all respects the counterpart 'of the assembly, inasmuch as that would virtually embrace the whole constituency of the country. Having maturely considered, we trust without improper bias, the nature of the alterations in the constitution, proposed by the assembly, we entreat your majesty duly to weigh the opinion which we now humbly submit, as to the fatal consequences which may be expected to result from such a change. Its more immediate effects would be to render all offices in the colony elective—to unsettle the minds of your majesty's subjects of British origin respecting the security of life and property, which they now enjoy— to prevent their further increase through emigration, and to sever the ties which bind the colony to the parent state; while its ultimate result would bring into collision the people of Upper and Lower Canada, and drench the country with blood; for it is our solemn conviction that the inhabitants of Upper Canada will never quietly permit the interposition of a French Republic between that province and the ocean.
When the leaders of the assembly in the year 1831, first openly declared themselves against the constitution, they found means of inducing a member of this house to proceed to England for the sole avowed purpose of supporting the petitions of the assembly to your majesty, and they have since, from year to year, procured the prolongation of his mission. We humbly submit that the representations made by this gentlemen to your majesty's government, ought to be received with extreme caution, because the legislative council have never assented to his mission—have never had any official communication of any instructions given to him, or despatches received from him; and he has committed a gross breuch of the constitutional rights of the
house, by receiving a large annual salary from the assembly, knowing the same to be without the sanction of the law, paid to him out of the public money, advanced upon the simple votes of that house for defraying its ordinary contingent expenses.
Under these circumstances, the legislative council earnestly beseech your majesty to take into your serious consideration the present alarming posture of affairs in your majesty's once happy province of Lower Canada—to be graciously pleased [to recommend to the imperial parliament, to amend the act 31 George III. chap. 31, by enacting a sufficient qualification for the members of the assembly of this province] and to adopt such measures, as in your wisdom will tend to tranquilize the minds, to maintain the constitutional rights and liberties of all your majesty's subjects therein, and thus guaranty the permanence of the existing connexion between the colony and the parent state.
The several paragraphs of the above address were unanimously agreed to by the council, except the last, from which the words within brackets are expunged.
The Legislature of Upper Canada was prorogued at York on the 13th of February, 1833.
Hon. Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the
House of Assembly—
In relieving you from your legislative duties, I may state with confidence, that many of the measures resulting from the consideration
which you have directed this session, to subjects of general importance, as well as to those bearing on the interests of particular districts, cannot fail to be highly conducive to the prosperity and welfare of the province.
The bill passed for the settlement of claims, founded on the losses sustained by individuals during the war, decides a question which His Ma