Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next

 

HISTORY OF CANADA.   237

for trial by jury in all criminal cases and in all civil cases involving more than £10 ; and, lastly, for the imposition of a duty of 7.k per cent. upon all exports and imports. The people of the colony, about five thousand souls, looked upon this council as but the mouthpiece of the company, and upon the volunteer corps as a sort of standing army to enforce the company's rule. The import duty was also viewed with much disfavor, as the settlers would fain have bought goods at St. Paul, across the border, rather than pay the extortionate prices charged by the company. Trial by jury and the more orderly administration of justice did much, however, to reconcile the settlers to the new system.

CHAPTER XXN.VIT.

OUTBREAKS I\ CANADA.

The British Parliament Refuses "Responsible Government."—ln Lover Canada the report of the three commissioners appeared early in 1837. It was considered by all classes of reformers as extremely retrogressive. Lord Gosford, indeed, expressed a strong opinion in favor of reform in the composition of the two councils, but the report as a whole threw the blame for the deadlock upon the assembly. In March, 1837, Lord John Russell introduced into the British House of Commons a series of resolutions in which the course the British government intended to pursue was indicated. No supplies having been granted since 1832, the arrears of official salaries now amounted to £142,000. It was resolved that if the Lower Canadian assembly should persist in refusing to pass an Act settling the Civil List as desired, the Imperial parliament should take upon itself to appropriate the provincial revenues. While it was intimated that it might be proper to alter the composition of the two councils so as to bring them more into harmony with public opinion, the principle of .an elective legislative council was negatived. Upon the question of executive responsibility the resolutions were even more emphatic.' "Mule it is expedient to improve the composition of the executive council of Lower Canada, it is unadvisable to subject it to the responsibility demanded by the House of Assembly."


Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next