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248   HISTORY OF CANAI).%.

the Hon. Charles Poulett Thompson—better known to us as Lord Sydenham—was sent out as governor. Of the steps taken by him to this end mention must be made later. Just now this most important period of our history may be closed by stating briefly the action taken upon Lord Durham's report. The idea was strongly held in England that it was inconsistent with the colonial relationship that the officials of the provinces should be made responsible to the provincial assemblies. In the spring of 1839, in the debate on the Canada Bill, Lord John Russell, the colonial secretary, argued that this feature of British government could not be extended to the colonies. In the fall he penned despatches to Lord Sydenham, in which he repeated, it is true, the same theoretical objections, and yet these despatches are rightly looked upon as the Magna Charta of colonial self-government, for in them practical instructions were given to carry out Lord Durham's views. In the first of these celebrated despatches (September 7th, 1839) the new governor was instructed to call to his councils and to employ in the public service "those persons who, by their position and character, have obtained the general confidence and esteem of the inhabitants of the province." In the second (October 14th, 1839) he was told that the British authorities did not desire to make the colonial service "a resource for patronage at home." Residents of the provinces should be preferred; and Her Majesty "will look to the affectionate attachment of her people in North America as the best security for permanent dominion."

" Tenure of Office" Despatch.—One thing more was needed to introduce the new system. Those officials who were members of the executive council in each province, and who had therefore the chief control over public affairs, must be told that they no longer held their offices for life. This was done by a circular despatch, sent to the head of the government in each province. This circular announced that thereafter the chief administrative offices should not be held permanently, but that the holders of them should be removed whenever any "sufficient motive of public policy" should require it. The judges and the subordinate officials would not, of course, be affected by this change.

Responsible Government.—Sir John Harvey, lieutenant-


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