Here is the third installment of the 92 Resolutions. Again, because it is seriously long, I am parceling the resolutions out five at a time, and for interest’s sake, am providing biographical information on those mentioned by name in the document. Enjoy.
Taken from :
“The 92 Resolutions” taken from Statutes, Treaties and Documents of the Canadian Constitution, 1713-1929 (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1930).
(notes my own)
11. Resolved, That the effectual remedy for this evil was judiciously foreseen and pointed out by the Committee of the House of Commons, who asked John Neilson, Esquire [John Neilson, Politician, (1776-1848) born in Scotland. See: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=Q1ARTQ0002548] (one of the agents who carried to England the Petition of the 87,000 inhabitants of Lower Canada) whether he had turned in his mind any plan by which he conceived the Legislative Council might be better composed in Lower Canada; whether he thought it possible that the said body could command the confidence and respect of the people, or go in harmony with the House of Assembly, unless the principle of election were introduced into its composition in some manner or other; and also, whether he thought that the colony could have any security that the Legislative Council would be properly and independently composed, unless the principle of election were introduced into it in some manner or other; and received from the said John Neilson answers, in which (among other reflections) he said in substance, that there were two modes in appointing men who were independent of the executive, (but that to judge from experience there would be no security that this would be done,) and that if this mode were found impracticable, the other would be to render the Legislative Council elective.
12. Resolved, That judging from experience, this House likewise believes that there would be no security in the first mentioned mode, the course of events having but too amply proved what was then foreseen; and that this House approves all the inferences drawn by the said John Neilson from experience and facts; but that with regard to his suggestion that a class of electors of a higher qualification should be established, or a qualification in property fixed for those persons who might sit in the Council, this House have, in their Address to His Most Gracious Majesty, dated the 20th March 1833, declared in what manner this principle could, in their opinion, be rendered tolerable in Canada, by restraining it within certain bounds, which should in no case be passed.
13. Resolved, That even in defining bounds of this nature, and requiring the possession of real property as a condition of eligibility to a Legislative Council, chosen by the people, which most wisely and happily has not been made a condition of eligibility to the House of Assembly, this House seems to have sought to avoid shocking received opinions in Europe, where custom and the law have given so many artificial privileges and advantages to birth and rank and fortune, than to consult the opinions generally received in America, where the influence of birth is nothing, and where, notwithstanding the importance which fortune must always naturally confer, the artificial introduction of great political privileges in favour of the possessors of large property, could not long resist the preference given at free elections to virtue, talents and information, which fortune does not exclude but can never purchase, and which may be the portion of honest, contented and devoted men, whom the people ought to have the power of calling and consecrating to the public service, in preference to richer men, of whom they may think less highly.
14. Resolved, That this House is nowise disposed to admit the excellence of the present Constitution of Canada, although His Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Colonies has unreasonably and erroneously asserted, that it has conferred on the two Canadas the institutions of Great Britain; nor to reject the principle of extending the system of frequent elections much further than it is at present carried; and that this system ought especially to be extended to the Legislative Council, although it may be considered by the Colonial secretary incompatible with the British Government, which he calls a monarchial government, or too analogous to the institutions which the several States, composing the industrious, moral and prosperous confederation of the United States of America, have adopted for themselves
15. Resolved, That in a dispatch, of which the date is unknown, and of which a part only was communicated to this House by the Governor-in-Chief [George Ramsay, 9th Earl Dalhousie (1770-1838) became Governor General in 1820. See: http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=37747] on the 14th January 1834, His Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, (this House having no certain knowledge whether the said dispatch is from the present Colonial Secretary or from his predecessor) says, that an examination of the composition of the Legislative Council at that period (namely, at the time when its composition was so justly censured by a Committee of the House of Commons) and at the present, will sufficiently show in what spirit His Majesty’s Government has endeavoured to carry the wishes of Parliament into effect.