LOWER CANADIAN REBELLION, 1837–38 197
militia for loss sustained by reason of the sudden disbandment of the several corps on the announcement of peace, and for various annuities and pensions to wounded soldiers and widows of men killed in action. The same year a proclamation was issued, offering pardon to all deserters from the army who should return to their regiments before the 7th of July. An attempt was also made, about the same time, to settle discharged soldiers on waste lands in the province. In 1819, the dominant party in the Assembly introduced a provision designed to ensure the appointment of French Canadians as officers of rural corps, and prevent the nomination of half-pay officers of the army. In 1827, the Assembly, with the object of embarrassing the Government, refused to renew the Militia Act. Their action, however, proved some-what of a boomerang, as the lapse of the militia law automatically brought the old ordinances of 1787 and 1789 again into force,' these ordinances having been held in suspension by a clause in the law which the Assembly had refused to pass. In 1828, the Governor-General issued an order doing away with the racial qualification for enrolment in the regiments then composed of men of British and French-Canadian origin, respectively. Ac-cording to Kingsford, the distinction was revived again for a time in 1847, through the influence of Sir Etienne Tache, then Adjutant-General, but was subsequently abandoned, at least in theory.
The Assembly had come out rather second-best in 1827
1 The Ordinance of 1787 provided for the embodiment of detachments of militia for two years. Dorchester obtained leave from the Imperial Government to embody three battalions, two to consist of French Canadians and one of British Canadians. The Imperial authorities provided the clothing, but the commanding officers served without pay. Otherwise the plan followed closely that of the militia in England. Dorchester expressed the hope that the Ordinance "would have the effect of curing the dangerous supineness produced by the disuse of all militia service to train up youth in discipline and obedience, and to teach the people that the defence of the country is their own immediate concern." Two years later the Council passed another Ordinance confirming and strengthening the regulations for the militia.