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we should more endanger the The Chancellor of the Exchequer Church of England in Canada than said the facts of the case were by any other step.
these : - An address from the Mr. Liddell believed that the Assembly of Canada, and another ultimate object of this measure from the Legislative Council, was confiscation. It authorised a prayed Parliament to repeal the Legislature, whose religious bias Act of 1840, which restrained the was well known, to “ vary, repeat, Canadian Legislature in the disor alienate" this property. The posal of the clergy reserves. To Church of England should, there- that prayer Her Majesty's Governfore, regard it with distrust; espe ment urged the House to accede, cially when one of its supporters and Sir J. Pakington desired them admitted that it might shake con to reject it. The objections to fidence in religious endowments the Bill turned upon an apprewhich rested on the same founda- hension that the power it gave tions as all other property.
would be, as was thought, misused; Mr. Adderly would certainly but the answer was, that the House support the second reading of the had no right to legislate upon such Bill. In the first place, on the an opinion. The question was, ground of the impossibility of the not as to the use to be made of policy of its opponents; in the the power, but in whose hands it second place, on the ground of should be placed. Was this a local distinct faith, honour, and consist matter or not? If it belonged to ency of principle on the part of the category of Imperial interests, the Imperial Parliament; thirdly, this Bill should be rejected ; but from the utter futility of the argu- there was not a shadow of evidence ments used against the measure ; to take it out of the class of local and, lastly, upon the ground of a questions. In 1791 Mr. Pitt left Churchman, that the interest of it to the colony, and the people of the Church of England, and the Canada believed it to be a local retention of Canada as a British question. These reserved lands colony, was vitally involved in the were located in Canada ; the capital passing of the measure as rapidly of Canada had given them their as possible.
value; the Bill, therefore, satisfied Mr. A. Mills concurred that self- the principle of self-government. government was the great principle Mr. Gladstone showed that the of our colonial policy. The ques- present law could not be maintion, however, was, whether this tained on the ground that the was a local affair, and he contended question had been finally disposed that it was not one of those matters of, or on that of public faith. He with which the Canadian Parlia- deprecated a conflict with Canada, ment had a right to meddle. These unless our arguments could bear reserves had been set apart for the brunt of controversy, when religious purposes, and there was mingled with other and serious strong reason for believing that questions. If the House, he said, in dealing with them the religious was determined to maintain the principle would not be respected existing appropriation of these by the Canadian Legislature, Lord reserves, Canada would ask for the Elgin's Government being pledged title-deeds of this appropriation, to secularise them.
and we must then admit that in
1840 we altered the appropriation Bill, when Mr. Walpole, in mov. of 1791, and that we now denied ing to defer the third reading for to the Canadian Legislature, in six months, stated the reasons respect to their own affairs, a power which induced him to take this we had exercised on our own be- course, namely, the strange admishalf. His earnest hope was that sions which had been made during these endowments might be main- the discussions in Committee, and tained, and he knew that there the answer given that evening by were opinions in Canada entitled Lord J. Russell. At the second to the greatest weight which be- reading of the Bill, the House was lieved that they would be. He told that the great object of the might be wrong; but it was his measure was to give the Canadian sincere conviction that our conces- Legislature the fullest power over sion to Canada in this vital matter, all matters of purely local concern; accompanied by a respectful ex but when the Bill was examined pression of British feeling for the in Committee, it appeared not to maintenance of those endowments, be confined to those matters; it if it did not restrain their aliena extended to investments made in tion, would afford the best chance this country, and enabled the Caof securing them.
nadian Legislature to deal with Mr. Napier characterised the those investments, though they measure as one of spoliation. He affected no local interests; and, described the Act of 1840, which further, that endowments to Roman encroached on the rights of the Catholics could not be touched Church, as a final compromise, without the authority of the Impeconsented to for the sake of peace. rial Parliament, while endowments He was ready to be bound by the to Protestants in Canada could be Act of 1791, and he argued from dealt with and destroyed by a its provisions that the Imperial majority of the Canadian Legislacontrol over those lands was ex ture alone. The principles and pressly reserved, and, in respect considerations alleged by the Goto ecclesiastical and Crown rights, vernment for the introduction of was retained in 1840. All this this Bill might be reduced to control was surrendered by the two points—first, that it was our present Bill, which was not merely duty to give to the Canadian prospective, but retrospective. No Legislature the largest powers with principle of religious equality was reference to matters of purely local involved in this question; these self-government; and, secondly, if reserves were a gift of the Crown those powers were abridged, there to the Protestant clergy for the was danger of discontent in Canada, support of the Protestant re and of a collision between the ligion.
colonial Legislature and the ImAfter some remarks from Sir perial Parliament. With respect Robert Inglis, the House divided, to the first point, though he was and the second reading was carried favourable to colonial self-governby 275 against 192.
ment, there were previous obligaOn the 11th of April, the sub- tions upon the Imperial Parliament, ject was again debated at consider which, in this matter, had a trust able length upon the order of the imposed upon it, and this Bill day for the third reading of the would dispose of the reserves,
contrary to the terms of that trust. the Premier, from the way the The title to them had never been Aberdeenshire phrase had been disputed; a solemn guarantee had translated into pure Cornish, been given, which could not be
“ Conservative progress meant departed from without a violation “ consistent Radicalism.” “I find of faith, and Lord J. Russell had that when a bishop thinks it right just declared that if this Bill and fair to stand up for the propassed, and these reserves should perty of an absent brother, Her be secularised, the guarantee of Majesty's Ministers forthwith dethis country was gone.
With nounce him as 'a pest to his regard to the second point, the diocese.' Now, that the right evil consequences likely to ensue hon. Baronet should abuse a preif the Bill did not pass, he be- late who cannot answer him, may lieved that worse consequences be consistent Radicalism, but is would result from the adoption of not consistent with Conservative the Bill; and unless the House progress. But there is another were prepared to adopt the volun- extraordinary matter which I wish tary principle, unless they desired to refer to. There was another to sow the seeds of religious strife bishop who justified the plunder in the colony, to shake the con of his brother in Canada. I have fidence of other churches in en no doubt you remember, Sir, the dowments, and to set race against anecdote which connects the name race, he entreated them, upon every of James the First with Dr. Anprinciple of policy and expediency, drewes and Dr. Neale, the Bishops as well as of honour and justice, to of Winchester and Durham. The pause before they gave their assent monarch asked their opinion wheto this Bill.
ther he might not tax his subjects Mr. Hume contended that Mr. without going through the formality Walpole's own arguments ought to of asking the consent of Parliahave disposed him to support the ment; and Bishop Neale replied, Bill, which was a wise measure, 'Your Majesty is the light of our and would appease religious differ- eyes and the breath of our nostrils; ences, and diffuse content over you may do what you please.' the colony. He agreed that the And what do you say, my Lord ?' effect of the Bill would be to said James, turning to Bishop Anestablish the voluntary principle, drewes. 'Sir,' said he, • I think but that he thought one of its your Majesty may lawfully take recommendations.
my brother Neale's money, for he Mr. Henry Drummond began by says you may.' That, I think, calling the measure neither more will go some way towards showing nor less than a Bill for Church the Chancellor of the Exchequer plunder; and he was loath to leave that we have a right to take the it without a parting bendiction. temporalities of the See of Oxford. Lord Aberdeen had said the (Laughter.) Now, Sir, I do not Government would be conducted much like doing things by halves. on principles of “ Conservative Since her Majesty's Ministers are progress ;
but he had stuck going to act the part of Filch in his substantive and had forgotten Canada, and the part of Sixteenhis adjective. So far as he under- string Jack in Ireland, why not stood the principle announced by put a bold face upon the matter,
and play Captain Macheath in an Imperial Act, and sanction England, beginning with the See confiscation. of Oxford ? If ever I wished to Mr. F. Peel replied to Mr. rob or plunder, I should prefer a Walpole, who, he said, had enrich booty; the morality is the deavoured to fasten upon this Bill same, and the profit much greater. the stigma of a breach of trust; (Laughter.) I admit there is great whereas, if there was one accusadifficulty between interfering in tion from which it was more free the internal government of Canada, than another it was this. All the and letting them manage for them- obligations of public faith were selves. But you know very little scrupulously fulfilled by the Bill, of what is involved in free trade if which protected existing incumyou think it is confined to cotton bents, and was conceived in the and corn." He predicted separa- spirit of the constitutional Act of tion from all these colonies as a 1791. It was founded upon the necessary consequence of the principle of strict impartiality and measure.
equality of dealing towards all Mr. K. Seymer, as a Conserva- religious denominations in the tive, supported the Bill, believing colony, and of leaving to its Lethat it would tend to preserve the gislature the management of its union between Canada and the own local affairs. Was not this a mother country.
question that should be entrusted Mr. Liddell maintained that the to the colonial Legislature? These English Parliament, in 1791 and lands, it is said, were the property 1810, had guaranteed these re of England: but we had surrenserves, and that to set aside that dered to the Canadian Parliament step, out of deference to the feel- all the waste lands of the Crown ; ing of the majority in the colony, and what distinction was there would be a virtual surrender of between institutions in Canada for the Imperial authority. The prin- the administration of justice and ciple would be subversive of the those for the inculcation of divine right of property everywhere. truth? Mr. Walpole had argued
Sir E. Dering observed that he that the settlement of 1840 was had arrived at the conclusion that final; but it was final only in the the enactments of 1791 and 1840 sense that the Canadian people were not permanent or irrevocable, were expected to acquiesce in an and that this was a question the arrangement of a question which solution of which ought to be left had been an element of strife and to the Canadian Legislature. At dissension. Not believing that the same time he believed there the passing of this Bill would cloud was no intention on the part of the prospects of the Church of that Legislature to secularise the England in Canada, and knowing funds.
that it would tend to cement the Mr. Child said that if the argu- ties which bound the colony with ments by which this Bill was sup- the mother country, he hoped the ported applied to Canada, they House would adopt it. must have a wider application, and Mr. Napier denied that the Bill would strike at the root of all placed the Church of England and property. He could not vote for the Roman Catholics in Canada à measure which would set aside upon the same footing; the Pro
testant reserves would be put upon the different members of the Goa lower level, and the Church of vernment with reference to this Rome would be favoured. He in- Bill, and contended that, in 1840, sisted that the guarantee on the it had been distinctly declared by Consolidated Fund, by the Act of Lord J. Russell that the guarantee 1840, was not temporary, but for against a deficiency of the Canada all time, and that the faith of Par- clergy reserves was to be in perpe. liament was pledged to the con- tuity. The language of the Chantract in perpetuity. Was it to be cellor of the Exchequer, on the understood that, whenever a terri- second reading of the Bill, implied tory was conquered by the Crown, that without the third clause there and land was reserved to a church would be a breach of faith; yet there, as soon as a representative that clause was omitted, and he Government grew up in that terri was at a loss to understand how tory, the land so reserved was to that right hon. gentleman could be be surrendered ? This Bill was
a party to the passing of the Bill not doing what was done by the without any guarantee. Either the Act of 1791; it interfered with honour of the country was pledged vested rights and acquired inte- in the matter, or not; he believed rests. This was not a question of it was, and if Parliament could endowments or of establishments, not maintain its pledge, and was but of spoliation and of property. so feeble or so timid that it could The faith of the Crown, he main- not fulfil its obligations, we could tained, was pledged to the entire no longer retain Cavada with hogrant, and it could not delegate to nour to this country. He dea colony the execution of the con nounced this Bill as a breach of tract, which was not limited to the the faith of the Crown, as a comamount paid in 1840, but included promise of the honour of Parliaone-third of the lands afterwards ment, and as inconsistent with the sold, and this contract must be ful. welfare of the empire. filled in its entirety.
Lord J. Russell justified the The Solicitor-General replied, course he had pursued with regard and insisted that Parliamentary to this question, admitting that in faith and private rights were both 1840, with reference to the guapreserved by the Bill. By the rantee, he had said that he hoped Act of 1840, certain stipends were the arrangement would not be disto be paid to certain incumbents turbed, though events might renduring their life or incumbency, der it impossible to maintain the and a certain portion of the re- guarantee. But, in preparing this maining fund was to be appropri- Bill, he did not think it right to ated for the benefit of the people oppose the Act of 1840 to a matter of Canada Could it, then, be said of domestic concern, and the questhat Parliament violated a com- tion before the House could be depact, by placing at the control of termined on no other ground than the people of Canada such Acts that this was a subject upon which entered into for their sake and for the people of Canada and their retheir sake alone?
presentatives must decide. Не Sir J. Pakington pointed out did not shrink from the consewhat he considered to be inconsis- quence that, if the people of Catencies in the course pursued by nada thought that church establish