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

 

258   HISTORY OF CANADA.

to the policy of British Acts. The assembly at once appointed delegates to visit England to expostulate with the colonial secretary. These delegates went at their own cost, the legislative council refusing to sanction payment of their expenses—a some-what graceless act in view of the liberality of the assembly, which had just voted £100,000 to assist New Brunswick in repelling the threatened attack upon her borders.

Reformers Take Vigorous Action.—Under these some-what depressing circumstances we can understand with what pleasure the news of Lord Durham's report was received in Nova Scotia. When Lord Russell's despatches were received, toward the close of the year 1839, the reformers of Nova Scotia deter-mined to force the question of responsible government to an issue. The want of harmony between the executive and the assembly was notorious. Sir Colin Campbell's attention was formally drawn to it by a want-of-confidence motion which passed the assembly by a vote of thirty to twelve. Thereupon the Hon. James B. Uniacke, who for some years had been the ablest upholder of the old system, resigned his seat in the executive council, and signified his adhesion to the principle laid down in Lord Russell's despatches. Sir Colin, however, expressed his confidence in his executive council, and declined to dismiss the other members, who, despite the vote, still clung to their seats. An address to the lieutenant-governor was then passed by the assembly. It drew his attention to Lord Russell's despatches, and requested him to call to his council men having the confidence of the assembly. Sir Colin replied that he saw nothing in the despatches to indicate any change in the system of colonial government, and again declined to dismiss his council. The assembly thereupon passed an address to Her Majesty requesting the recall of the obdurate lieutenant-governor, because, they said in effect, he.refused to obey his instructions.

The Principle Conceded.—During the summer Lord Sydenham visited Nova Scotia and for a short time administered affairs. Howe attributed to the governor's penetration and firmness the change which was soon afterwards made. Sir Colin Campbell was recalled, and in the autumn Lord Falkland became lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia. Howe and MacNab, two of the leading members of the popular party, were called to the executive council.


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