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HISTORY OF CANADA.   251

complaint. In Prince Edward Island this evil has attained its maximum. The people, their representative assembly, the legislative council, and the governor have cordially concurred in devising a remedy for it. All their efforts have proved in vain. Some influence—it cannot be that of equity or reason—has steadily counteracted the measures of the colonial legislature."

Evils of the System.—When writing the despatch from which the above extract is taken, Lord Durham had in his hands a memorandum prepared by a joint committee of the assembly and the legislative council of the island. From this

appears that to a total expenditure, during twelve years, of about £107,000 for roads, bridges, wharves and other local improvements, the proprietors had contributed only the odd £7,000. The extent to which this vicious land system delayed improvement may be gathered from the fact that as late as 1827 we find the lieutenant-governor (Colonel Ready) congratulating the assembly upon the western roads being "now open as far as Princetown "—not half way to the west end of the island. To this check upon expansion and improvement were added all the evils which arise from tenant holdings as contrasted with freeholds. Short leases, without security for renewal, prevented the tenants from making improvements, for which they might not only get no compensation, but even might have to pay again in the shape of increased rent.

Other Political Questions.—In Prince Edward Island, as in the other provinces, there was a long dispute about money bills between the assembly and the council. It began in 1827 and lasted for several sessions. It appears finally to have been amicably adjusted, though at one time the assembly resorted to the extreme measure of "stopping the supplies." In 1833 a Quadrennial Act was passed, reducing the duration of the assembly from seven years to four, at which it has ever since remained. In 1839, following the example of the other Maritime Provinces, the council was divided into executive and legislative branches.

Education.—In spite of the ever-pressing evil of the land system, the province made progress. As already mentioned, a fair share of the great immigration of this period fell to Prince Edward Island. Education was a matter of some concern with the assembly. In 1837 Nn official visitor of schools was appointed,


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