Part 11

“92 Resolutions”

 

Here is the eleventh 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)

 

 

 

46. Resolved, That with a view to the introduction of whatever the institutions of the neighbouring States offered that was good and applicable to the state of the province, this House had among other measures passed, during many years, a Bill founded on the principle of proportioning arithmetically the number of Representatives to the population of each represented; and that if by the pressure of circumstances and the urgent necessity which existed that the number of Representatives should be increased, it has been compelled to assent to amendments which violate that principle, by giving to several counties containing a population of little more than 4000 souls, the same number of Representatives as to several others of which the population is five times as great, this disproportion is in the opinion of this House an act of injustice, for which it ought to seek a remedy: and that in new countries where the population increases rapidly, and tends to create new settlements, it is wise and equitable that by a frequent and periodical census, such increase, and the manner in which it is distributed, should be ascertained, principally for the purpose of settling the representation of the province on an equitable basis.

47.  Resolved, That the fidelity of the people, and the protection of the government, are co-relative obligations, of which the one cannot long subsist without the other; that by reason of the defects which exist in the laws and constitution of this province, and of the manner in which those laws and that constitution have been administered, the people of this province are not sufficiently protected in their lives, their property and their honour; and that the long series of acts of injustice and oppression, of which they have to complain, have increased with alarming rapidity in violence and in number under the present administration.

48. Resolved, That in the midst of these disorders and sufferings, this House and the people whom it represents, had always cherished the hope and expressed their faith that His Majesty’s Government in England did not knowingly and willfully participate in the political immorality of its colonial agents and officers; and that it is with astonishment and grief that they have seen in the extract from the despatches of the Colonial Secretary, communicated to this House by the Governor-in-Chief during the present session, that one at least of the members of His Majesty’s Government entertains towards them feelings of prejudice and animosity, and inclines to favour plans of oppression and revenge, ill adapted to change a system of abuses, the continuance of which would altogether discourage the people, extinguish in them the legitimate hope of happiness which, as British subjects, they entertained, and would leave them only the hard alternative of submitting to an ignominious bondage, or of seeing those ties endangered which unite them to the mother country.

49. Resolved, That this House and the people whom it represents do not wish or intend to convey any threat; but that, relying as they do upon the principles of law and justice, they are and ought to be politically strong enough not to be exposed to receive insult from any man whomsoever, or bound to suffer it in silence; that the style of the said extracts from the despatches of the Colonial Secretary, as communicated to this House, is insulting and inconsiderate to such a degree that no legally constituted body, although its functions were infinitely subordinate to those of legislation, could or ought to tolerate them; that no similar example can be found even in the despatches of those of his predecessors in office least favourable to the rights of the colonies; that the tenor of the said despatches is incompatible with the rights and privileges of this House, which ought not to be called in question or defined by the Colonial Secretary, but which, as occasion may require, will be successively promulgated and enforced by this House.

50.  Resolved, That with regard to the following expressions in one of the said despatches, “Should events unhappily force upon Parliament the exercise of its supreme authority to compose the internal dissension of the colonies, it would be my object and my duty, as a servant of the Crown, to submit to Parliament such modifications of the Charter of the Canadas as should tend, not to the introduction of institutions inconsistent with monarchial government, but to maintaining and strengthening the connexion with the mother country, by a close adherence to the spirit of the British constitution, and by preserving in their proper place and within their due limits the mutual rights and privileges of all classes of His Majesty’s subjects [see number 82];” if they are to be understood as containing a threat to introduce into the constitution any other modifications than such as are asked for by the majority of the people  of this province, whose sentiments cannot be legitimately expressed by any other authority than its representatives, this House would esteem itself wanting in candour to the people of England, if it hesitated to call their attention to the fact that in less than 20 years the population of the United States of America will be as great or greater than that of the former English colonies was when the latter deemed that the time was come to decide that the inappreciable advantage of governing themselves instead of being governed, ought to engage them to repudiate a system of colonial government which was, generally speaking, much better than that of British American now is.

 

 

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