Legislative Assembly, 2 July 1866, New Brunswick Confederation Debates


MONDAY, July 2d


Hon. Mr. McCLELAN in reply to a question put by the hon. member from Gloucester (Mr. Young) said that a bargain had been made with Canada for the placing of a steamer on the North Short route, to call at various ports. The contract was not yet signed but there was no doubt the steamer would be put on.


This being the day appointed for the consideration of the charges contained in the petition of William H. Gordon, against the return of John Meehan as a representative in the General Assembly, at 10 o'clock the doors being closed the Speaker proceeded to ballot for the Committee to whom the whole matter should be referred. The petitioner was represented at the bar of the House by his counsel, - Rainsford, Esq., and the sitting member by W.H. Needham, Esq.,
The names of eleven members drawn by the clerk were then read, and the counsel proceeded to strik off three men each. The Committee thus struck was as follows: - John Flewwelling, F. Hibbard, John Lewis, Richard Sutton, and Charles Connell. A. J. Smith was appinted nominee for Mr. Meehan, and J.G. Stevens for the Petitioner. The oath was then administered, and they retired to the Committee room to investigate the whole matter.


Hon. Mr. TILLEY then laid before House the statement of the estimates for the present, and the expenditure of the past year, which is as follows: [...]


Hon. Mr. CONNELL on behalf of the Committee appointed to investiage all matters contained in the petition of William W. Gordon, against the return of John Meehan, reported that they were unable to go into full consideration of the matter till the next Session of the Legislature, and therefore begged leave to adjourn their sitting till the first Monday after the opening of the next Session.


Mr. SMITH moved the House into Committee of the Whole on a Bill relating to church lands in the parish of Shediac. Mr. Young in the Chair.
Mr. SMITH explained that there was but one church in Shediac, and this Bill was to enable the Churchwardens and other officers to sell certain lands to raise funds in aid of the construction of a new church.
The Bill was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY moved the House into a Committee of the Whole on a Bill to incorporate the people's street Railway Company in the City and County of Saint John. Mr. Lewis in the Chair.
The Bill was read and progress reported.
Hon. Mr. FISHER moved the House into Committee of the Whole on a Bill relating to polling places in the County of York. Mr. Hibbard in the Chair.
The Bill was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY gave notice that he should move the House into Committee on Supply this afternoon at three o'clock.
Hon. Mr. TILLEy moved the House into Committee of the Whole on a Bill to enable the Corporation of St. John to grant certain exemptions to former members of the fire department of said city. Mr. Chandler in the Chair.
The Bill was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. WILMOT moved the House into Committee of the Whole on a Bill relating to levying and assessing rates in the City of Saint John. Mr. Babbit in the Chair.
The Bill was agreed to.


Hon. Mr. TILLEY moved the House into Committee of the Whole to grant Supply to Her Majesty—Mr. Stevens in the Chair.
Mr. SMITH objected to going into Supply till the Estimates had been printed and laid before the House. He was not in the House when the statement was brought in this morning, and did not know what changes had been made. It was always the custom to have the Finan cial Statement printed before going into Committee.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY said that in 1857, although the Session was a long one and no especial cause to hurry business on, the Estimates were not printed at all. It was necessary, however, to get through as speedily as possible. The changes made were few and very simple, and he would make a statement. If any discussion arose they could report progress. The Financial Statement was in the hands of the printer, and would be ready to-morrow morning.
Mr. SMITH had no objections to the Committee going on and passing the General Estimates.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY then moved a series of Resolutions that Supply be granted to Her Majesty :
1st. That a sum of $22,707 be granted for the expenses of the Legislature.
2nd. That a sum of $540 be granted for the expenses of the Courts.
3rd. That a sum of $29,030 be granted for the Collection and Protection of the Revenue.
4th. That a sum of $13,980 be granted for the purposes of Education.
There had been an increase made in this amount. The Roman Catholic School at Newcastle was put down at $300, and a Classical School in St. John $200. These were the only changes made from last year.
Mr. SMITH asked if the school at Memramcook was to receive a grant ? That school was in a very efficient state, having some eighty-five or ninety pupils in attendance, most of whom were French, although there were some English as well. They formerly received a grant, but for some time it was withdrawn, but now it was really a capital institution, and they should get a grant of $600 as originally.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY said the late Government had decided to make a grant of $400, and they had put it down at that sum. A petition had been received and was on file from Rev. Mr. LeFevre, praying that it might be increased to $600, but the petition did not put the matter very strong, and it was left at $400.
Mr. SMITH said the school was more efficient than ever, and he was sure the House would be willing to increase the grant to $600.
Mr. LINDSAY said that the Roman Catholic school at Woodstock was in a very efficient state, but they have only got a grant of one hundred dollars. He was glad that now it had been increased to three hundred dollars. The school had chiefly been supported by the clergymen. The amount of good effected and the state of efficiency should be the grounds of making apportionments. That school had seventy or eighty pupils.
Mr. SMITH said the school at Memramcook was presided over by five or six able professors, and he hoped the House would allow an increase of two hundred dollars to be made.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY explained that no increase could be made, but the House could, if they thought proper, refuse to make so large an expenditure as that submitted. If the money was to be appropriated in proportion to efficiency and the number of pupils, he though, as some schools, with sixty or seventy, only got three hundred dollars, for a school with eight-five pupils four hundred dollars would be sufficient.
Mr. KERR thought that returns should be handed in by the schools showing their state, and that they should also show how many free scholars received instruction, before the grant should issue. The Chatham Academy instructs some twelve poor children free of expense.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY said the returns were handed in much more regularly now than formerly and these were compared with the reports of the Inspectors. He thought the idea of hon. member for Northumberland with regard to free children a good one.
Mr. KERR asked if these schools get Provincial grants as well as these special amounts.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY replied that a few do, but in these cases the amount granted was very small.
Mr. SMITH again appealed to the House to have the grant increased $200, and if not complied with he should move for the papers relating to the matter to be laid before the House.
Some other members expressed their opinions on the subject, after which the original sum of $400 was granted.
5th Resolution. That a sum of $200 be granted for the encouragement of the Fisheries.
6th. That a sum of $6500 be granted for Provincial Penitentiary.
This was the same amount as he found in the estimates prepared by Mr. Gilmore, and he knew that this Establishment could not be carried on at so low a rate as formerly. There was a large number of inmates and provisions were very much higher in price. There was a deficiency and debentures had to be issued for $3500. He thought it best to have the amount required put in the estimates at once, than to have to provide for it afterwards.
Mr. KERR thought this one of the most unsatisfactory grants made. When Commissioners were appointed it was supposed that the expenses of the Institution would be very much decreased, but instead of that a debt had accumulated, and instead of clearing that off when gold was at a high rate of premium, it had DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1866. 65 been allowed to remain until gold was down Then a large number of cases were sent from the Police Court of Saint John, and extra expenses were incurred on that account.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY said that certainly calculations had been made that the appointment of Commissioners would prove beneficial but they were not realized. There seemed to be a fatality in connection with that building. Just as they had got ready to do something a fire broke out and destroyed the work shops and machinery, and for a long time nothing was done. The machinery could not be got from the States. Cornbroom too was high, but with that they did a little better. Everything, however, appeared to be all right now, and hopes were entertained that matters would work more satisfactory. The reason why the debt was not reduced when gold was high was that at that time there was a large expenditure for machinery, and now they would have to do the best they could. He agreed with the hon. member from Northumberland that there are offenders sent there who should not be. Men and boys sent for 40 or 60 days who have to mingle with old offenders, and besides this it is almost impossible to make their labor very profitable.
Mr. SMITH thought the prodecessors of the late Government did not look into the management of the Institution as they should have done. They found on coming into office many things that were very bad. Mr. Cruikshank was giving his notes to raise money and these were floating about the City. He believed when the debt in the States was contracted gold was 250, and it could have been paid off at a discount of a hundred per cent. He hoped matters would be improved under the present management. They had appointed Mr. Gilbert as one of the Commissioners and he believed he did his work well. Mr. Gilmor and Mr. Anglin had also given much time and attention to the Institution.
HON. Mr. TILLEY proceeded to move the 7th REsolution. That a sum of $18,000 be granted for teh Lunatic Asylum.
The sum had previously been $16,000, but taking into consideration the increased number of inmates and the high price of provisions it was found it could not be done for less than the sum he had put down. There were now 209 attendants and the building was quite free.
Mr. KERR thought the friends of the patients should be required to assist in their support. At one time they paid in sums ÂŁ800 or ÂŁ900, but now that sum is reduced some 50 per cent. This was the only way to keep the increased grant down and if the remedy could be applied it should be done.
HON. Mr. TILLEY said there was no doubts that the friends should contribute to the support of the patients, but the way matters were, it could not well be remedied. It was proposed that each County should give a certain amount, but they all knew how that such a measure would be hard to get though the House. It was, therefore, thought best to take it out of the general revenues.
8th. That $1200 be granted for teh relief of the Indians.
9th. That $30,000 be granted for the Militia and apprehension of deserters.
10th. That $20,000 be granted for the Post Office deficiency.
11th. That $65,000 be granted for the Great Roads of the Province and the Bridges thereon.
Last year the sum was $70,000, but $10,000 was required to pay an instalment on the Petitcodiac Bridge, leaving $60,000. There were some improvements to be made which would require about $5000 more.
Mr. KERR thought that full particulars fo teh expenditure of this sum should be laid before the House.
Mr. SMITH said it appeared that the Board of Works had taken charge of the County of Westmorland. They had removed Supervisors and replaced them by men not nearly so capable as those removed. He referred to teh action of the late Government and challenged the representatives to say that his Government had displaced a man unless he had been a violent partisan. Even in Albert County they did not disturb the present Chief Commissioner's brother who held an office in that County. He saw by the Royal Gazette that the Post Master at Sackville had resigned, and the Government had appointed a Mr. Dixon in his place without saying one word to the members about it. He thought the Government should have acted on the principle adopted by the late Government to leave alone officers who had showed their efficiency and fitness for the situations they held.
Hon. Mr. McMILLAN said the late Government had appointed a Supervisor in Restigouche in opposition to the advice of his colleague and himself. He had no objections to the party appointed receiving some office, but he was not physically able to attend ot the duties required of him, so another man had to do the work and both got paid.
Mr. SMITH supposed that reference was made to the appointment of Mr. Montgomery as Supervisor, and the Postmaster-General had spoken to him and said he should be happy if anything could be done for Mr. Montgomery.
HON. Mr. McMILLAN assented to this, but said the office to which he was appointed was unsuited to him from the fact that he was not able bodily to perform the duties.
Mr. SMITH said neither under the late Government or when teh Provincial Secretary and he were together in the same Government could anyone pont to cases where removals had been made and others appointed without consulting with members. He thought the men who had the expenditure of the pubic money should be those best able to attend to the duties.
Mr. DesBRISAY rose to confirm the statement of his colleague. They did speak to the ex-President of teh Council and said they should like to see Mr. Montgomery get some office, but tnot that situation. He sent in an applicatino over his own name to have him appointed Registrar of Deeds and Wills.
Mr. SMITH said that would have involved the displacement of Mr. Barbarie.
Mr. DesBRISAY replied for that very purpose he had brough in a Bill that no practising Barrister should hold that office, yet after the Bill passed, Mr. Barbarie was not removed, and so they appointed Mr. Montgomery to the office of Supervisor.
Mr. HIBBARD said the late Government were so short a time in office that it could hardly be known what they would have done if they had remained longer. He took the stand that if a man holding a public office was a violent political partizan, those who cam into power would not be acting a manly part if they did not remove him. He did not like to see a man eating out of the political crib all his life while as good a man as he stood by looking on. Some officers seemed to think their situations were created just for them and must be handed down to their children. He thought more should share in the favor of the Government than now do.
Mr. LEWIS said it was well known that he and his colleague worked hard against the late Government, yet he would do them teh justice to say they did not make a single displacement in the County of Albert.
Mr. YOUNG said he did not care how many the Government urned out as long as they put in men who were just as good.
HON. Mr. TILLEY proceeded to move the 12th REsolution. That $45,000 be granted for Bye roads.
These resolutions having passed the Committee, itw as deemed advisable to go no further till teh printed Estimates were before the House, and therefore progress was reported to all against to-morrow at 11 A.M.


Mr. SMITH asked the Attorney General if in the concluding remarks he 66 DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1866. made on the Resolution, he meant that the Government would Confederate New Brunswick and Canada if Nova Scotia did not come in.
HON. ATTORNEY GENERAL was not aware that he had said any thing of the kind, but the hon. member for St. John (Mr. skinner) had asked the question, and he told him that he could not say what the delegates would do. He supposed they would do what they considered best under the circumstances.
Mr. SMITH thought the country should have some information on the subject. The Attorney General had said that if Nova Scotia did not come in, then Saint John would be made the terminus of the Inter-colonial Railway, and thus she would be force to Confederate. He would not ask if the Government would pursue such a course?
Hon. Mr. WILMOT did not see any necessity for such a question, as Nova Scotia had agreed to appoint delegates.
Mr. SMITH said that was only the action of the House, and not of the people. They would send home a delegation, and Mr. Howe would be heard at the bar of the House of Commons and in the Halls of St. Stephen. They ahd sent home petitions signed by thousands asking that no Union should take plaace till after the dissolution of the House.
HON. ATTORNEY GENERAL said the mater would be for the deliberation of the delegates. It was something in the future and a contingency that might never arise.
Mr. CHANDLER supposed the meaning of what the Attorney General said was that it was a circumstance whose probability was so remote that there was time enough to think and talk about it.
Mr. SMITH thought the hon. member for Charlotte must be the 10th member of the Government.


HON. Mr. WILLISTON moved the House into Committee of the Whole on a Bill relating to Justice in Equity. Mr. BAbbitt in the chair. Some hon. members thought this Bill should be laid over till the next meeting of the legislature, others were opposed to certain of its provisions, while others again thought the Bill should pass. It had been in Committee before, and after discussion on the second section by the legal members of the House it was agreed to with certain amendments.
The House adjourned till to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock.


New Brunswick. Reports of the Debates of the House of Assembly. St. John: G.W. Day, 1865-1867. Microfilm copies provided by the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.



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