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some of the acts mentioned in the proviso. Noble and learned Lords seem to rac to push this matter to an absurdity in the arguments which they have held on the subject. As for instance, with respect to a police act, it was stated, that the government in Canada must adhere to all the forms of police acts in this country, and that the party must be taken, and examined before two magistrates, and not before one. If this proviso be adhered to, it would bind the Governor-general to observe all the regulations of any act of Parliament, even on the most minute subjects. I think, therefore, that your Lordships ran have no objection to introduce into this bill an explanation of this proviso, stating, that it shall not interfere with any measure which may be absolutely necessary to be adopted in the circumstances which may occur in that country. When we come to that part of the bill, I shall move a clause to that effect.

Lord Brougham said, but for the concluding part of the noble Viscount's speech, I should have felt unmixed satisfaction at the announcement he has just made of the course which he intends to pursue, I think most judiciously, most wisely, and most virtuously, and most in accordance with the principles of law and justice, which a government ought to administer. I think the course he is taking is worthy of those who have always defended the great principles of civil liberty —worthy of the men who feel, that the principle of public conduct is a regard to the interests of the mass of the community; and I think it consistent with those great principles with which he should regard, with which he does now regard, and with which your Lordships regarded this most outrageous violation of every principle of law, and every feeling of justice. But I differ from the noble Viscount on one or two points, and I think, I should not be discharging my duty, or showing a becoming respect for your Lordships, after the struggle which we made for right and justice, and for conciliation last night, if I abstained from remarking, which I shall do very shortly, upon the difference that separates me from the noble Viscount. The noble Viscount says, "he greatly laments the decision to which we came last night. He says, that he deems it his duty to declare, that he labours under serious apprehensions and alarm, as to the consequences of that

decision, and that he will fling upon you, and upon rac the responsibility of what may happen in consequence of that decision; and he tells your Lordships, that, though true it is, that here, as lawyers and statesmen, you submitted the broad principle upon which last night, you rested, it is only lawyers and states, men who apprehend, and appreciate the principle, and that the people at large will only see in it the victory of a party." Gracious God! does it require men to be lawyers, or statesmen, or learned men, or even ever to have read a book upon any of thote subjects, to know, and feel, that it is an outrage upon all justice to condemn to death fifteen men who have never been tried; for that, in one sentence, is the effect of this unheard of ordinance, and that is the principle, and the whole principle which your Lordships have laid down. I do not believe, that in Canada, from one end to the other of her wastes of snow, and her forests of pines, her boundless lakes, and her rapid rivers, that one man dwells, who will be doubtful of the truth of the proposition, that under ignorance of what he was doing, or under a misapprehension of it, under an oblivion of the restraints upon his jurisdiction, under the influence of haste, or precipitation, or error, or neglect of some sort, from oversight, or mistake, well-meaning, but ill-judging, wishing to do good, but in effect, doing wrong, thinking that he was following the law, but in fact, breaking the law, the Governor-general of Canada has condemned these fifteen men to be punished capitally without notice, without trial, without a hearing, and that as soon as her Majesty's Government heard of it, with the advice and consent, and urged by the opinion, declared by your Lordships last night, they have not suffered a day to elapse without advising the recall of that illegal, though it may be well-meaning, ordinance. I think, I cannot put the proposition more fairly as regards the fact, more fairly towards the inference of law, and, at the same time, permit me to add, more fairly, more candidly, more temperately towards the authors of the mistake than in the sentence which I have just now spoken. I charge the government in Canada with no wilful error —I impute no tyrannical object as the cause of this wrongful act whatever—I acquit them of all blame except that of having committed a gross and manifest

have caused to be put to death, unheard, untried and unnotified, those fifteen persons. They have included in this ordinance, Perrault, who has never absconded. If those persons have been imprisoned, and treated as felons, I am not prepared to say that they should be deprived of their right of action, that they should be deprived of their solatium of damages which a person has a right to have who has been illegally imprisoned. I am prepared, however, to grant the indemnity in the case of those nine persons who were willing to go to Bermuda; they have no right to complain if we take away this remedy, but I am not prepared to go further. It is, therefore, my intention, on bringing up the report, to move the addition of two or three words, to confine the indemnity to tlrat extent. I am in the hands of the House. This is your Lordships' bill as well as mine, and whatever course to you shall seem fit to be pursued, with that I shall be entirely contented, completely satisfied, but I consider that I have only done my duty in stating the impression ■which the speech of the noble Viscount has made on my mind.

The Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I cannot help expressing the satisfaction with which I have heard the declaration of the noble Viscount; and I must add my sincere desire that the noble Viscount will be disappointed in his apprehensions that the course taken by this House may lead to inconveniences in the Government of Canada, and to evils such as he has described. I feel a sincere conviction that the people of Canada, as well as the people of this country, will do justice to your Lordships upon this subject, and that they will not be led to believe that it was the intention of your Lordships, or even that your Lordships could possibly imagine, that the course pursued last night, is calculated to lead to the evils which the noble Viscount apprehends. Having said thus much upon the course taken by the Government, I must say that I concur entirely in the proposition made by the noble Viscount, that in Committee we should proceed to amend the bill, so as to give indemnity as proposed in the second clause. With respect to the amendment proposed by the noble Viscount, and the alterations which he proposes to introduce, I must avoid giving any positive opinion on such a subject until I have seen what the amendments are which he

intends to propose. But some circumstances have occurred to my mind, even when first hearing the noble Viscount's proposition, and afterwards on hearing the objections stated by the noble and learned Lord, which induce me to think that it would be highly inexpedient to adopt that proposition. We are now at the close of the Session of Parliament, which we commenced by adopting this bill, after full consideration in both Houses of Parliament. I contend that it was perfectly understood, in the other House at least, if not in this, that the proviso in the act did provide for those cases which I contended last night it provided for. Under these circumstances I should say, that it would be highly inexpedient in the Committee on another bill so far to alter an act of Parliament which was passed at the commencement of the Session with universal consent, universal in this House with the exception of the noble and learned Lord (Lord Brougham), and by a great majority in the other House, I think it would be highly inexpedient now to alter that measure. I must first beg leave to submit to the noble Viscount that the alteration proposed is by no means necessary. It is not necessary for carrying into execution the purpose of Government to punish rebellion and treason within those provinces. I believe, that the late Governor-general acted under the provisions of this very act, and he must have had the power to punish rebellion and treason, as the present Governor-general must have under the act of Parliament as it existed at present without the alteration proposed. Under these circumstances I should wish that this proposition should not be brought under the consideration of the House, having a sincere desire that this matter should be discussed and should terminate without any further division of opinion upon it, and really feeling that if it is now brought on no real service will be done to the State. I hope, therefore, that Government will adopt that suggestion.

Lord Wharncliffe concurred entirely in the opinion that in the decision which their Lordships had come to last night, there was nothing to excite the apprehensions for the consequences in which the noble Viscount had indulged. He thought also, that after the manner in which the Government of Canada had exercised the powers confided to it, no blame could be


that he had done no more than was right. But if there existed doubts as to the legality of these acts, however proper they were in any other respect—if by the exercise of those powers he had rendered himself liable to action or impeachment, that, surely, was not a state in which the House ought to leave the question, either as regarded Sir J. Colborne or anyone that succeeded him.

Lord Brougham: God forbid he should say, that Sir John Colborne was liable to impeachment or action. Whatever opinion he gave, neither Sir John Colborne nor the Earl of Durham would be any the better for it, for still they must act on their own responsibility.

The Marquess of Clanricarde could see nothing calling for animadversion in the conduct of the Earl of Durham, except the fact of his having sent the offending party to the island of Bermuda, an act which was admitted on all hands to have been inconsiderate. But if Lord Durham had done anything illegal in the other acts of attainder, he conceived, that Sir J. Colborne was equally liable to that imputation.

The Earl of Wicklow observed, that it had been proved to demonstration in the course of last night's discussion, that these acts of attainder by Lord Durham hnd taken place in a manner totally at variance with the institutions of the country which he was sent to govern. He had to accuse the noble Viscount opposite of not doing that upon the previous night which, upon further consideration, the wisdom of his Cabinet had judged to be proper. The responsibility in this matter, therefore, rested entirely with that noble Viscount. He was of opinion, that the discussion of the previous evening would raise the character of their Lordships with the country, and prove that they were most careful guardians of the interests of the empire at large.

The Lord Chancellor said, the construction put on the act by his noble and learned Friend was never put on it till now. And suppose that were a right construction, what would be the consequence? It would be this, that the noble Earl would not have it in his power to alter any act of Great Britain, or of the United Kingdom. Nay, an act of attainder was contrary to law. However necessary it might be considered to the peace of Canada, he could not issue an

act of attainder, neither could he suspend the Habeas Corpus Act. He could do neither of these things, because he could not depart from the criminal law as administered in any county in England. All that was asked of the noble Lords was, that they would grant those powers which they thought the Governor-general ought to possess. If the limited construction now put on the act by his noble and learned Friend had been put upon it during its progress through their Lordships' House, would they not hare objected to its passing in that shape. Those noble Lords who objected to the powers conferred by the act, of course would not favour a declaratory act to define what those powers were; but those who thought the powers which it was believed the act gave when it was under consideration, could not possibly object to any amendments that were necessary to remove all doubts. Whatever construction was put now upon the words introduced by Sir William Follett, there could be no doubt of this—that a very different construction was put upon them when the bill passed the Commons from that contended for by his noble and learned friend and others:

Lord Mansfield said, that he had retained, as singular historical documents, the Canada Government Bill, by which such extensive powers were conferred upon the Earl of Durham, in the shape in which it had originally passed the House of Commons, and in the shape in which it had afterwards received the Royal assent. These documents presented a most remarkable contrast to each other. He would not say, that the one exhibited the beauty of the god, and the other, the deformity of the satyr, but he was positive, that so striking a contrast had never before been witnessed. It was said, that the ordinances which had been issued by Sir John Colborne and the Earl of Durham were to the same effect. Now, he was of quite an opposite opinion. Sir John Colborue's ordinances contained nothing more than a mere warning; whereas Lord Durham's ordinances contained a proclamation ordering transportation, without previous notice or time given. To have withdrawn that illegal ordinance upon the previous evening would have been better both for the character of the Earl of Durham and of the head of her Majesty's Government.

Their Lordships went iato Committee, and went through the bill.

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