« 上一頁繼續 »
(the Provinces), there should be the most perfect reciprocity.” In order to show the advantages that would be derived from the projected union, Mr. Adderley cited an extract from a letter of Queen Anne to the Scotch Parliament, in 1706, on the union of England and Scotland, “because it not only shows the reasons for union, in striking language, but is a precedent for existing Legislatures being considered able to deal with a question of this sort, without any further appeal to the people.” In the letter, Queen Anne said:
“An entire union will be the solid foundation of a lasting peace between you. It will remove animosities, jealousies, and differences amongst yourselves; it must increase your strength, your riches, and your trade. By this union the whole country, being joined in affection as well as resources, and free from all apprehensions of different interests, will be able to resist all its enemies. We earnestly recommend unanimity in this weighty affair, that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion. It will be the only effectual way to secure our present and future happiness, to disappoint the designs of your enemies, who will certainly use all their efforts to prevent or delay your union.”
During the debate on the Address to Her Majesty in the Parliament of Canada, on 6th February, 1865, Sir John A. Macdonald referred in the following terms to the Union of England and Scotland: (p. 30.)
“The relations between England and Scotland are very similar to that which obtains between the Canadas. The union between them, in matters of legislation. is of a federal character, because the Act of Union between the two countries provides that the Scottish law cannot be altered, except for the manifest advantage of the people of Scotland. This stipulation has been held to be so obligatory on the Legislature of Great Britain that no measure affecting the law of Scotland is passed unless it receives the sanction of the Scottish members in Parliament. No matter how important it may be for the interests of the Empire as a whole, to alter the laws of Scotland—no matter how much it may interfere with the symmetry of the general law of the United Kingdom, that law is not altered, except with the consent of the Scottish people as expressed by their representatives in Parliament.”
Mr. Cardwell, while expressing his opinion that the overriding and controlling power, on the part of the Central Legislature, should have been granted, as in the case of the New Zealand Act, added:
“But I think the noble Earl at the head of the Colonial Office (Lord Carnarvon) and my right hon, friend (Mr. Adderley) are perfectly right in not pressing the question more at the present moment. It is, as he justly said, not our arrangement, but theirs. It has been made by men of great ability, patience and temper, and they have done it with a perfect knowledge of the circumstances with which they had to deal.”
No amendment was pressed, and the Bill, with unimportant alterations in general committee, was finally passed, embodying substantially the Resolutions of the Quebec Convention. So far, the considerations which determined the framers of the Confederation compact, were left to be inferred, inasmuch as nothing was done at Charlottetown, and little is known of what was said in the Quebec Convention. However, the debate, in the most important deliberative body of the Provinces, Canada, was ample and exhaustive, on every detail of the measure, and the publication of these debates leaves no room for complaint as to want of information in this respect The general policy of the Act, as regards the Empire and the Colonies, will be found in the English and Canadian Hansards, and will always be a source of useful reading. But this work specially aims to be a legal record of precedents and opinions of statesmen on those parts of the Act which have given rise to judicial contentions, and which are liable to do so in the future. Many of the opinions expressed in the Canadian Legislature, which will be found under the respective clauses of the Act, must be taken cum grano salis. They formed part of a political controversy, in which each speaker had a point to carry and a vote to give in support of his views. Much of the speaking consists of speculative prophecy. However, as there is much truth in the saying of Lamartine that poetical anticipations are the foreshadowing of history, extracts will be given under those clauses of the Act which elicited opinions from eminent statesmen, in the debates which took place in Canada.
The British Morth America Act, 1867.
AND THE GOVERNMENT THEREOF ; AND FOR PURPOSES CONNECTED THEREWITH. (30 victoria, CAP. 3.)
[29th March, 1867.]
HEREAS the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be Federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom : And whereas such a Union would conduce to the Welfare of the Provinces and promote the Interests of the British Empire : And whereas on the Establishment of the Union by Authority of Parliament, it is expedient, not only that the constitution of the Legislative Authority in the Dominion be provided for, but also that the nature of the Executive Government therein be declared : And whereas it is expedient that provision be made for the eventual Admission into the Union of other Parts of British North America: Be it therefore enacted and declared by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows:
The foregoing Preamble to the B. N. A. Act 1867, conforms, to the scheme of a Federal Union as projected in the first three sections of the Resolutions adopted by the Quebec Conference.
Sections 1, 2 and 3 of these Resolutions read as follows:
1. The best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America, will be promoted by a Federal Union under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such Union can be effected on principles just to the several Provinces.
2. In the Federation of the British North American Provinces, the system of Government best adapted under existing circumstances, to protect the diversified interests of the several Provinces, and secure efficiency, harmony, and permanency in the working of the Union, would be a General Government, charged with matters of common interest to the whole country, and Local Governments for each of the Canadas, and for the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, charged with the control of local matters in their respective sections,—provision being made for the admission into the Union, on equitable terms, of Newfoundland, the North West Territory, British Columbia and Vancouver.
3. In framing a Constitution for the General Government, the Conference, with a view to the perpetuation of our connection with the Mother Country and the promotion of the best interests of the people of these Provinces, desire to follow the model of the British Constitution so far as our circumstances will permit.
The Debates on Confederation in the 8th Provincial Parliament of Canada show the opinions that were entertained on such a Union.
The Hon. A. A. Dorion said:
It is evident from what has transpired, that it is intended eventually to form a Legislative Union of all the Provinces.
The Local Governments in addition to the General Government will be found so burdensome, that a majority of the people will appeal to the Imperial Government for the formation of a Legislative Union. * * *
Honorable members from Lower Canada are made aware that the delegates all desired a Legislative Union, but it could not be accomplished at once. This Confederation is the first necessary step towards it. * * *
Perhaps the people of Upper Canada think a Legislative Union a most desirable thing. I can tell those gentlemen that the people of Lower Canada are attached to their institutions in a manner that defies any attempt to change them in that way.
They will not change their religious institutions, their laws, and their language, for any consideration whatever. A million of inhabitants may seem a small affair, to the mind of a philosopher who sits down to write out a constitution. He may think it better that there should be but one religion, one language, and one system of laws, and he goes to work to frame institutions that will bring all to that desirable state; but I can tell honorable gentlemen that not even by the power of the sword, can such changes be accomplished.
If a Legislative Union of the British American Provinces is attempted, there will be such an agitation in this portion of the Province as was never witnessed before—you will see the whole people of Lower Canada clinging together, to resist by all legal and constitutional means such an attempt at wresting from them those institutions that they now enjoy. * * *
I pronounced in favor of a Confederation of the two Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada as the best means of protecting the varied interests of the two sections. But the Confederation I advocated was a real Confederation, giving the largest powers to the Local government, and merely a delegated authority to the General Government.
Mr. Dufresne (Montcalm) said:
I am convinced that the legislative separation about to take place under Confederation, cannot fail to have the effect of restoring French Canadian nationality to the position it occupied previous to the Union.
Mr. John Macdonald (Toronto) said: I see in this scheme the introduction and increase of a large number of consumers without correspondingly increasing the producers of the country. If I err in this, I err in good company, for I quote the words of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Mr. Cardwell, who says on this point: A very important part of this subject is the expense which may attend the working of the Central and Local Governments. Her Majesty's Government cannot but express the earnest hope that the arrangements that may be adopted in this respect may not be of such a nature as to increase, at least in any considerable degree, the . whole expenditure, or to make any material addition to the taxation, and thereby retard the internal industry or tend to impose new burdens on the commerce of the country.
Mr. Hope Mackenzie in discussing the scheme of Confederation said: