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

 

HISTORY OF CANADA.   295

the latter, to increase the lieutenant-governor's salary. From this rather petty beginning a desire grew up that all expenditure should he controlled by the people's representatives. There was the hope, too, that an executive responsible to the people for its conduct of public affairs might urge on with more energy and more weight a settlement of the vexed land question. The feeling, therefore, in favor of following the example of the other provinces gradually acquired strength.

A Short Contest.—To this end an address to Her Majesty was carried in the assembly in 1847. It advocated the appointment to the executive council of four members from the popular party in the assembly. These four were to be responsible to the assembly for all acts of government. To this address the colonial secretary replied that owing to the small number and poor circumstances of the population (the wealth of the island being largely centred in Charlottetown) it was not as yet thought expedient to introduce the system of responsible government into the island. It was intimated, however, that in the opinion of the home authorities the island assembly should now undertake to pay all official salaries, except that of the lieutenant-governor. To this the

assembly promptly responded

that it was prepared to do so, if control of all the revenues of the island were given up, all claim to quit-rents abandoned, the few Crown lands transferred, and a system of responsible government introduced. All these demands were agreed to by the colonial secretary, with the one important exception of responsible government. In order to

ascertain how far the people of   \ the island supported their repre-

sentatives in their demands, the   HON. CEOrtOE COI, S. lieutenant-governor, Sir Donald

Campbell, dissolved the assembly. Upon the meeting of the new House, George Coles, the leader of the movement for responsible government, moved a vote of want of confidence in the executive

Picture
Picture

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