Legislative Assembly, 22 May 1867, New Brunswick Confederation Debates


WEDNESDAY, May 22nd.

The House having met, the Journals were read, and several Bills received a second reading.
A Bill relating to the Election of Members to serve in the General Assembly, so far as relates to the County of Gloucester.
The following Bills were read a third time and passed the House:
A Bill relating to the Export Duty on Lumber.
A Bill relating to the officer of Receiver General.


On motion of Mr. CHANDLER the House went into Committee (Mr. Lewis in the Chair) to take into considereation a Bill to repeal Section 4, Chapter 27, Act 14 Victoria, entitled "An Act relating the Public Burying Gounds in the Town of St. Andrews."
Mr. CHANDLER said that an Act of Assembly had been passed by which it was declared that certain Public Burying Grounds in St. Andrews should not be used for the interment of the bodies of diseased persons. The fourth section of said Act contained a clause that the Act should not come into operation until certain things had been done. Those things have been done, and they were now in a position to have that section repealed. He then read a Petition praying for the repeal of the section which he observed brought the matter clearly and distinctly before the House. He said the Petition was signed by all the clergymen and almost all the inhabitants of St. Andrews. He would not make any more observations further than to say that burial grounds in the neighborhood of a Town affected the health of its inhabitants. These burial grounds were at the head of the town, which was situated on a slightly inclined plain, and they water running through those grounds got into wells, and this had a highly injurious effect upon the health of the people of the place. He hoped there would be no opposition to the Bill, but that it would be allowed to pass.
The Bill was then agreed to.
Mr. KERR presented a Petition from the Rev. C. S. Ogg, Francis Elliot, George McNell and others, the ministers, Elders and Trustees of St. Andrews Church, praying that a Bill may be passed authorizing the sale of the old church, and to add the proceeds towards defraying the expense incurred in the erection of the new Church belonging to the said Petitioners and congregation.
Mr. KERR brought in a Bill to authorise the Trustees of the St. Andrews Church, Chatham, to sell or otherwise dispose of the old St. Andrews Church in the Town of Chatham.
Hon. Mr. McCLELAN said a Bill had passed a Committee of the House yesterday relating to the Great Roads, but they had since, on a closer examination, discovered a word or two which required alteration. He wished to know whether it could be altered, or whether it was necessary to recommit the Bill.
Mr. SMITH said that if it involved any principle it could not be altered without being recommitted, but if it was a mere verbal alteration to rectify an error it was not necessary to recommit it.
Mr. McCLELAN said itw as but to change a name, which would extend the road about one mile and a half further.
His hon. the SPEAKER put the question the HOuse, to whether the alteration should be made without recommitting the Bill. Question carried in the affirmative.
Mr. SMITH presented a Petition from a number of the inhabitants of the County of Westmorland, prayinig that an Act may pass to provie for the construction of a Canal to connect the waters of the Bay of Fundy with the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
On motion of Hon. Mr. FISHER the House went into a committee of the Whole (Mr. Botsford in the Chair) on "A Bill to authorize the City Council of Fredericton to raise money, by way of a loan, for the erection of a Country Market and City Hall in the said City."
The BIll was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY presented a Petition praying that an Act may pass to Incorporate the St. John Trades' Cooperative Association.


Mr. SMITH asked whether the Government had received any information either direct from england, from or through Canada, or from or though Nova Scotia, or from any other source in reference to the proclamation of Union.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY replied that he had not received any information in reference to the proclamation from any source.
Mr. SMITH hoped the Secretary had not given instruction to keep the information back.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY replied that he had not.
Mr. CHANDLER presented a Petition praying that Section 2, Chap. 47 of Section 26 Victoria, relating to certain exemptions from duty at the Port of St. stephen, be repealed.
On motion of Hon. Mr. CONNELL the House went into Committee (Mr. Botsford in the Chair) on "A Bill to amend Chap. 45 of the Revised statutes of Municipalities."
Agreed to.
Mr. SMITH gave notice that he would move a resolution for an Address to His Excellency the Administrator of the Government for a return showing any increase that may have taken place, since the first day of June last, in the salaries and emoluments of the officers and employees connected with the European and North American Railway.
A Bill relating to Great Roads was read a third time and passed the House.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY submitted papers relating to the claims of the PRince Edward Island Steamship Company.
Mr. STEVENS moved that the investigation of these matters be referred to a Select Committee.
Committee — Messrs. Stevens, Ryan and Beveridge.


Mr. LINDSAY moved the House into a Committee of the Whole on "A Bill to repeal certain sections of a law relating to the election of Representatives to serve in the General Assembly, and to make other provisions in lieu thereof.
Mr. YOUNG in the Chair.
Mr. LINDSAY. — A few days ago, when I was advocating an incrrease of representation for the County of Carleton, several members thought it would be better to introduce a Bill to reduce the representation on the floors of the House instead of increasing it. That coincided with my views, for I thought in view of our altered circumstances we should reduce our expenses as much as possible. The basis upon which the representation of the Counties now stand is very unfair. In the County of Carleton, which I have the honor to represent, the have one representative to 9400 inhabitants; County of Albert one to 4722; Charlotte one to 5907; Gloucester one to 7519; Kent one to 7927; King's one to 7761; Northumberland one to 4700; Queen's one to 6600; Restigouehe one to 2437; St. John one to 3085; Westmorland one to 6311; York one to 5810. This representation is very unfair, and when I had a Bill before the House to increase the representation of Carleton it was generally conceded that if a Bill was prepared which would do justice to all sections of the country it would receive the support of the hon. members of the Legislature. Accordingly I introduced a Bill which is now befoer the Committee, which provides that there shall be one member for every 7500 inhabitants. My first idea was to make it for every 8000, 62 DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1867. but upon considering the question I found some of the Counties had about 15000 inhabitants, and the Bill would deprive them of having two representatives. The principle of the Bill is to have one representative for every 7500 inhabitants, but in no case to allow any County to have more than three representatives. St John City should have two members, and the County should be represented the same as other Counties. According to this arangement there will be thirty members in the House, unless we give the City of Fredericton one, which would make the whole ntttnber thirty-one. I would confine the City of St. John to two members, for I do not believe cities should be represented according to population. It is not so in Great Britain, if it were so the City of London would have one- sixth of the representation of all England. Having made these few remarks I shall be glad to hear tlte views of other hon. members on the floors of the House.
Mr. RYAN.—If I am rightly informed, according to this Bill some counties will only have one representative. I think any Country, however small it may be, should have not less than two members. Suppose a Country should have but one member, and he should absent, or sick; who would attend to the affairs of that County? We cannot give the representation exactly on the basis of population, but even if we did, it would remain so only until the next census, because one County frequently increases faster than other Counties. I would suggest that every County that has four members should be reduced to three ; that would take five members from the floors of the House, and leave a representation of thirty-six. I have frequently tried to get an increase of representation for King's, but unfortunately for some cause or other —either from want of being pressed properly, or from a determination of the House not to do justice to King's—I have never been able to effect it. The proposition I have just made is a good one, and will do justice to all. We should decrease our expense under any circumstances, but particularly now when we are going into Union, for the duties and requirements of the Legislature will not be so great as they have been heretofore.
Mr. HIBBARD.—I fully agreee with the Bill brought in by my hon. friend, if he can carry it, but if he cannot carry it I agree with the suggestion of my hon. friend from King's. There seems to be a dread around the floors of the House of placing the representation upon the basis of population. Suppose it does give but one representative to some of the Counties, is not the same provision made for the representation to the General Parliament, and I do not believe but we will get our rights at Ottawa. I have always advocated the principle of representation by population, and I still support it. This Bill must be prospective, for the mover has not power to dissolve the House. If he carries it he should make it prospective, because it cannot be carried out until the House dies out by law, or the Government tells us to go home. If the Government would dissolve the House to carry out the provisions of this Bill they would meet with the approbation of the country. This Bill brings us down to thirty-one members. I believe ten members would do all the work we have done here up to this time. I do not doubt but five men would have done its Thirty- one men are amply sufficient to legislate upon all the local wants we will require. I firmly believe that if we husbanded our resources. reduced our expenses, and acted economically, there would not be a Province in the British Empire that would have as much for its local purposes as we would have. But if we retain forty-one members in the House, create new offices, assist Western Extension, while we have no revenue but what we derive from our Public Domain and what we receive from the General Government, there will be nothing before us but direct taxation. Representation by population is the fair, honest principle, and however hard it may bear on some Counties, we must take something as a basis, and if that basis should reduce the representation of the County of Charlotte to two, I would agree to it. My colleagues may have something to say about it, but for myself I would go for it, because I believe ten men could do all the work we have to do. I hope the members of the Government will give due consideration to this question, regardless of interested motives, and do all they can for the reduction of the expenses of the Legislature.
Mr. BABBIT.—I think justice should be done to all parties, but this Bill is going too far for a good many of the hon. members. I acknowledge I do not like representation by population. (A member—You supported the Quebec Scheme.) I never advocated the principle of representation by population, for I believe it will eventually lead to universal suffrage, (Mr. Tilley,—That is not the principle in this Bill, for it limits the representation of Counties to three members.) I do not think we have so many conflicting interests in this Province to require a strict adherence to this principle, and I do not think it is right to deprive a county of having two members because it has a few inhabitants less than the required number. I think those Counties which have four representatives should be reduced to three, and this would lessen the expense to the country. It is not right to reduce any County to one member, therefore I cannot support the Bill, but I would support a Bill to reduce the number in the Counties that have four members.
Mr. LEWIS.—I think those hon. gentlemen who are favorable to reducing the number of members must have their faces turned towards Ottawa. We cannot do with one member in each County, because he might be sick, and the County would not be represented at all. This Bill will not answer unless we are going to give up New Brunswick and go to Ottawa. I would go for striking one member from some of those large Counties, for we must curtail the expense and live within our resources. If our expenditure is beyond our means bankruptcy must ultimately ensue. I do not think the hon. member was in earnest when he brought in this Bill ; he only brought it in to have a discussion, and had no idea of passing it. I will go for letting the representation stand as it is, although I have no objection to have one member taken from each of the large Counties.
Mr. LINDSAY—I will say for the information of the hon. member who has just sat down that I am in earnest. I want to reduce the expense of the country, and I want the country to know who are willing to reduce them. I suppose there will be some difficulty in carrying it, as the members of those small Counties which are likely to be reduced will go against it. My hon. friend is very generous ; he wants to take off of the large Counties ; that is "take my neighbour but let me alone." I believe the members of this House should do their duty and have the interest of their country at heart. My hon. friend said we should not reduce a County to one member because he might get sick ; if a man finds he cannot attend to the duties of his constituents he should give place to another man who can. My opinion is that we must decrease the representation, or to do justice to some counties we must increase it. My hon. friend from Queen's (Mr. Babbit) said he did not like the principle of representation in the Bill. I would like him to introduce a Bill upon juster terms. He said it would lead to universal suffrage. I showed him how unfair it would be to have population as the basis of representation in large cities. Hon. members will find fault with the Bill, but I say if it is not right let them prepare a better one.
Mr. BEVERIDGE—I can agree with some things my hon. friend said, but not with all he said. The County he represents is only sixty miles in length ; my County is one hundred and twenty miles long, therefore it would be unfair to take one representative from Victoria. In that DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1867. 63 district territory should be taken into account as well as population. If we had but one representative, and he should live at one end of the County, he would never see half of his constituents. I would be prepared to go for reduction in the large Counties if it was necessary to reduce the representation, but would rather not have it reduced.
Mr. FERRIS.—There are always two parties in every County, and if a small County sent but one representative it would give one man all the power. I do not think a County with one representative would get fair play in the Legislature, but those large Counties might be represented by three members as well as four. It is just throwing away so much money to send four representatives, for I think the Counties would be just as well represented by two, and there could be a reduction made of four or six in the Legislative Council.
Mr. BECKWITH.—If a reduction takes place it should be done by some general rule which would do justice to every County. I am in the happy position, that if either the small or large Counties are reduced, we in York will have the same representation.
Mr. LINDSAY.—The Bill does not provide that it was only suggested that the City of Fredericton should have one.
Mr. BECKWITH.—I have no doubt but that would be the result, for the Committee would be showing some little fair play. Although some of our best men will be abstracted from us in consequence of this Ottawa Legislature, yet I still believe that forty-one good men will remain in New Brunswick capable of doing the business of the Province. We had forty- one members when our population was but 170,000, and we have the same number now when our population was 252,000 five years ago. Some very important features in the business of the country, such as Education and the settlement of the country, have still to be attended to. Then again, one member cannot attend properly to the duties of his County. It would be better to throw two Counties into one than to have only one representative for a County, but it would be retrorgading to do even that. Carleton County should have three members, and King's four ; with those two exceptions I cannot see any alteration we can make which would be advantageous. We should not go into this question now, as ten or twelve of the members here will legislate upon this who will not legislate here again, for they will be in Ottawa. Let us get through with all these changes which must take place in consequence of the General Legislature being at Ottawa, and then those who are here years after this, can take the question up cooly and deliberately, with ample time to consider the question and do justice to the differ- end Counties. With these opinions I must go against passing the Bill.
Hon. Mr. McMILLAN.—I am opposed to the Bill, not because I happen to represent one of the smallest Counties, for I believe that that County, in consequence of certain changes at hand, will contain as large a population as some of the largest Counties in the Province, but because I believe there will be no saving of money effected by the reduction. If you are going to carry out the principles of Responsible Government you will find they cannot be carried out in a small Legislature. If you leave nine man in the Executive and reduce the House to thirty-five, you could not turn the Government out at all. There will be talent enough in the House to carry out the principles of Responsible Government after the leading men in this House go to Ottawa. You will have the cleverest young men in the country come here to receive a political education, with a view to a higher position in the General Government. There will be sufficient talent left in this House to deal with all matters left for them. Probably fifteen in this House will offer for Ottawa ; is it fair for them now to pass a law which will not affect them at all, but will affect the party responsible for it hereafter. We are on the eve of great changes, therefore, those who are left should decide with regard to this reduction, and not those who are going into another sphere, and who, in order to gain popularity, try to make it appear that there will be a great saving of money. I believe it is premature to dael with this matter ; we had better leave it to the parties who are to be affected by it ; they can determine whether they can do with a less representation than they now have, and they will be responsible to the people for their decision.
Mr. SMITH.—I was rather astonished by some of the remarks made by my hon. friend, the Postmaster General ; he says because some gentlemen will go to Ottawa they cannot have any interest here. He expects to get a seat at Ottawa, but I should not suppose that would prevent him from having a sympathy for the people he represents. I do not suppose that because a man is going to Ottawa he should have no voice on this question, for those who go to Ottawa still expect to remain citizens of New Brunswick. In speaking upon the appointment of Delegates last year I moved that the Legislative Councillors should reside in the Province, but no hon. member here except the French Brigade sympathized with the proposition.
Mr. LINDSAY.—I sympathized with the proposition and a great many sug gestions of my hon. friend I gave him credit for, but he brought in a resolution to get certain conditions, and if we could not get them we could have no Union.
Mr. SMITH.—I wished to restrict the power of the Delegates, for I did not approve of the Quebec Scheme, and I took many objections to it. Some of those objections were adopted, but other objections, equally forcible to my mind, where not adopted. I took an objection to the principle of representation by population, but I find this principle is laid down in this Act of Union as inflexible and immutable. The conflicting opinions on this small Bill corroborate the opinion I then took. It is wrong in principle, and not recognized or adopted in any part of the British Empire, but for purposes peculiarly ultra Canadian that principle was laid down and established and becomes the governing principle of the country. In the Act of Union it is established, and I will venture to prophesy that in a few years Upper Canada will have a numerical majority of representatives, not only over Lower Canada, but over the Lower Provinces, too and we will be at her mercy. They should have agreed upon a certain number of representatives and not increased them. We cannot help it now, but what I have seen here to-day in reference to this Bill has satisfied me of the wisdom of the course we took upon that question.
My hon. friend, the Postmaster General, is wrong to say we have no right to legislate upon this matter ; the people of this country expect us to legislate upon it. Was it not preached in every part of the Province that the expenses of the Legislature would be vastly reduced ? Where is the reduction to be made ? Two offices created already, and I do not know how many more the Government contemplate to carry before the close of the Session. We resisted their measure yesterday, in regard to the appointment of Receiver General, and got the salary reduced from ÂŁ590 to ÂŁ400, and we had a section struck out which provided for the appointment of a clerk in the Receiver General's office ; by this means we saved the country ÂŁ300 a year for all time to come.
I do not think it would be wise to have any County confined to only one representative, because he might have imperative business that would call him home, and he could not attend to his legislative duties. I am willing to support any hon. member who will bring forward a Bill to reduce those Counties that have four members to three, leaving other Counties as they are.
Dr. DOW.—My hon. friend (Mr. Smith) has said, in speaking about the Bill for appointing a Receiver General, that they saved this country three hun 64 DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1867. dred pounds a year for all time to come. That will appear very well in the Debates, but we know the hon. mover of the Bill stated that it would only continue for some months, and then the Legislature would have the right to legislate upon that Bill again, and when the vote was taken it was with that understanding, and it may be that then the Legislature will make the salary £500 and appoint a clerk besides. While I believe we should keep our expenses as low as possible, I do not believe that you can get a first class man to take the office of Receiver General and act without a clerk for $1,600 a year. I have heard it stated here that the President of the United States received but $25,000 a year. The President, although his salary is $25,000, gets from the Treasury Department over $100,000 a year to pay his expenses, The Chamberlain of New York gets $70,000, and ladies in New York offices get $100 a month. For the office of Receiver General you must have a man who understands the routine of office, and one who will take the responsibility. To ask a man to give bonds for £10,000 a year and give him a salary of only $1,600 is perfectly absurd.
I cannot support my hon. friend's Bill, for I believe one man cannot represent a County. When Confederation was introduced, I took the position that by the consolidation of the British North American Colonies on this continent they would be advanced as an important part of the British empire, and we would have an increased population in consequence of the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. Why, then, should we go for reducing the representation in our Legislature when we expect such an increase of population ? I firmly believe that the construction of this road and branches will greatly increase our population. This is the position I took at the time of the election, and it is the position l would take again. You may call it Ottawa on the brain ; this is a new disease, but I can cure it. I can give you a recipe that will kill it dead, and I get it myself I will take the same remedy. I did not intend to say anything about this Bill, but I cannot vote for it. I believe we are to grow in importance and prosperity, and we will require just as many and as zealous men in the Legislature after these men go to Ottawa as we have now.
Mr. W. P. FLEWELLING.—I do not think this Bill is exactly what is required by the members ol the House. I do not agree with it, from the fact, which has been stated by some of the members here, that it will leave some counties with only one representative. I think the only way of doing equal justice to all the Counties is to reduce the number of members in the large Counties to three, and there should be an amendment made to the Bill to carry out that arrangement, I cannot agree with the hon. friend from Charlotte (Mr. Hibbard) that the whole business of the House could be done with fifteen members, for it would require more than that to carry out the principles of Responsible Government. We are now going to change the constitution—it is a good time to make a reduction in the number of members. I have always advocated the necessity of economy, and I think we can do very well with 36 members on the floors of the House to carry out the necessary requirements of the country. I should like to hear every member present express his opinion in regard to the best means of bringing about this desirable result.
Mr. KERR.—I think every member on the floors of this House must be aware that this country expects that there will be a reduction in the number of members in the House, and a vast amount of retrenchment practised here. The multifarious matters connected with the legislation of the Province are taken from our hand, and there is no necessity for the same number of members, the same expenditure, or the same length of Session. Nova Scotia, with a population of one hundred thousand more than we have, and more numerous resources, has reduced her Legislature some eleven or twelve, leaving three members for Pictou, three for the City of Halifax, and two for each of the other Counties. The proposition made to take one member from each of our Counties having four members appears reasonable, and ought to be taken into consideration. My hon. friend from Carleton (Mr. Lindsay) made out a very strong case in regard to Carleton being very badly used. I heard recently of great injustice being done to the River Counties in the appointment of Senators, and we find they always vote together on any question affecting their interest. Now take the population of the five River Counties, that is the five above King's, and divide them by the number of members, and it will give you one member for every fifty five hundred inhabitants. Then take the four North Shore Counties, and divide the inhabitants by the number of members, and it will give on representative for every five thousand four hundred inhabitants. This shows that each member from the North represents one hundred inhabitants more than each member from the River Counties. Therefore, I cannot see that so much injustice has been done to Carleton as has been represented. I believe that the members from Victoria feel so much interest in promoting the welfare of Carleton as they do in promoting the welfare of their own County, and so vice versa all through the River Counties.
It appears to me to be very desirable that Counties that have two or three members should be divided off into Ridings, as they are in Canada ; then candidates would not have to run their election through the whole County, and this would save trouble, both to the candidates themselves and those whom they represent. Something should be done, and the question if whether it is advisable to do it in this short Session. The Bill will not take effect until the next general election, and until something of that kind is looked forward to, it is hardly desirable to legislate upon the subject. We should approach the question with a determination to do justice to every section of the Province. I believe thirty members on the floors of this House will answer all purposes for many years to come, for our interests are not so varied that they would not be able to manage our affairs. We should either reduce the numbers or reduce the pay. It is not so much the number of members that should be considered as the expense incurred while we are here. We should be allowed pay for thirty days, and if we stayed any longer it should be at our own expense. People say, Why do you remain so long at Fredericton, when you might do your business in half the time? Why do you not retrench your expenditure, in order that it may be applied to the building of Roads and Bridges, instead of squandering it away in the House of Assembly ? I have always advocated the principle of retrenchment, for I felt the necessity for it in our public affairs. I am satisfied it is the wish of the country that the representation should be reduced, more particularly as politicians have been stating in every County in the Province that one of the great advantages we would have by going into Confederation wold be that we would have more money, from the saving in the expenses of our Legislature than we had hitherto.
I think the representation should be reduced very materially. If this Bill before the House is not thought to be a correct one, let some one bring in a better Bill and I shall go for it, but if another is not brought in, I shall go for this.
Mr. McQUEEN.—When a Bill was presented the other day to increase the representation of King's, we were told that it was an annual offering. I did not go for it, because I thought it desirable to reduce the number of members. I thought King's, Carleton and Kent were each entitled to an additional member, but as equal justice could be done at all by reducing the representation, I considered it would be better to reduce the number on the floors of the DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1867. 65 House. Some say they will go for reducing them one half. I would not go for that at the present time, for the simple reason that I believe in a representative Government we ought to have a deliberative body sufficient to think, consider and weigh all matters that come before us.
Mr. STEVENS.— A constitutional change like this requires us to exercise mature deliberation. There is not a member around the House but would be inclined to give the question a calm consideration, in order that the best results might be obtained. A great deal has been said in regard to the expressions of the people of the country. It is said they expect us to retrench at this time. If retrenchment is necessary now it is necessary at all times. Whatever the people wish me to do in this question I would do, for it is their own business ; but I do not know the minds of the people of Charlotte, whether they want the representation reduced or not, for it is a question that has not been much considered. Should I, on returning home, find the people wished this reduction to be made, I would be well prepared to vote upon the amendment. I make these remarks because I do not see the reason for any hurry in passing a measure of this kind ; even if the measure was complete there would be nothing lost by the delay. What is gained by delaying it ? In another year you will ascertain the views of the people upon it. I am not now in a position to know their views, and as the people sent me here to carry out their wishes I cannot say to them when I return home I consented to take away one of your representatives without knowing that you desired it. It would be much more gratifying to all to have the matter stand over until another session. It might be very well for those who no longer expect to sit in the Local Legislature to vote upon this question, for they will not be affected by it, as they expect to go to Ottawa ; but it would be more graceful for them to allow those who come in after them to deal with the question, for they would then have the minds of the people upon it. The people may say we never asked you to reduce our representation. We would then feel that we had not been acting in accordance with their wishes. Then again, when you go to alter the representation you should begin at the bottom and regulate the whole thing. You must make some arrangement in regard to the Executive, for if you allow nine members to hold seats there it would give the Government such a predominance that you could not move them ; therefore, this matter requires mature deliberation, and this, I think, is apparent to every one. I desire all economy to be used. The duties of the House will be curtailed, and there will be no need for the House to sit so many days. Instead of sitting two months the House will be able to discharge its duties in one month, and this will be a curtailment of expenses at once, arising out of the business we have to do, and there will be no encroachment there upon the rights of the people. The duties that remain for us to do still require as much deliberation as they ever did, for you cannot tell me wherein they require less ; but it will only require half the time to attend to them, in consequence of their number being less than formerly.
Hon. Mr. McADAM.—If the people are in favor of this Bill we should go for it. ln order to do justice to the County of King's we should pass a Bill to reduce the representation, for I do not think it would be right to increase the representation under the present circumstances. I think we should go for the amendment suggested by the hon. member from King's.
Mr. QUINTON.—I do not think it right to be legislating so far ahead, as there is no necessity for passing this Bill at present. It would be better to let it stand over until the House met next winter, and not be taking up the time of the House at this short session.
Mr. HIBBARD.—I do not like the idea of lopping a member off of a County because it has four representatives, we should adopt a fair basis of representation.
Mr. BABBITT.—My hon. friend from Westmorland (Mr. Smith) in the course of his remarks said, that in speaking upon the appointment of Delegates last year he had moved that the Legislative Councillors should reside in the Province, but no member here, except the French Brigade, sympathized with the proposition. In the few remarks I made at that time I said. " I agree with the proposition made by the ex-Attorney General, that if the Legislative Councillors appointed to seats at Ottawa are simply to have a property qualification here, it will not amount to a great deal, because some of them would remove to Canada, and instead of looking after our interests they would be looking after the interests of the Canadians, for it is natural to suppose that a man would be most interested in the place in which he resides. We should instruct our Delegates in unmistakable terms that it should be provided in the Scheme that our Legislative Councillors should both reside and have their property qualification in this Province. If this idea is not carried out I shall think it was the fault of our Delegates and not of the Canadians, because it is immaterial to them whether they reside here or there." My opinion then was plain and distinct on the question.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY.—My hon. and learned friend (Mr. Smith) was wrong in reference to the general opinion expressed by the House at that time. The general feeling of the House was that the Legislative Councillors should reside in the Province. When the paragraph was read in reference to the appointment of Legislative Councillors in Lower Canada there was a general concurrence in the opinion that the Legislative Councillors should be required to live in the Province.
Mr. BECKWITH.—My hon. friend (Mr. Kerr) refers to Nova Scotia as having reduced her representation to two members for each County. This would act very unfairly here, as it would give the small Counties all the advantages. Neither would it be right to take representation by population, upon the terms of the Bill, as that would be doing great injustice to the small Counties, for any County having less than 1500 inhabitants would only have one representative. It is the length of the Session more than the number of members which causes the increased expenses of the Legislature. In 1851 when the representation was the same as it is now the expenses of the Legislature were $32,000, whilst in 1866 the expenses were $41,000 ; no doubt but the latter session was much longer than the former, on account of the increased business they had to do. Our business will be much decreased, and we will have only local matters to attend to, therefore our session need not exceed forty days. There will be less expenditure about the House for Coaches, &c. ; there will be a less amount of printing done, and this will reduce our expenditure very materially.
Mr. LINDSAY.— Every hon. member says retrenchment is necessary, but no one is ready to begin. All have admitted that something should be done, but they do not tell us what that something is. Some people try to get all they can, and they have no conscience unless the law gives it to them. They have their $2,400 a year, and then are off on their pleasure excursions at $10 a day more. It is a regular grab game all round. A man tries to hold on all he can get, and then get as much more as he can—that principle is carried out in dual representation. One man wants to have one office here, and another in Canada, just as if there was not a man here fit for the office except the present Attorney General. I never sought an office, and if I did I would not get it. So far as the Government is concerned, if they manage the affairs of the country properly, they shall have my 66 DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1867. support, but if they fail to do that they shall have my opposition. I believe justice should be done to every section of the country, and this Bill provides that the representation shall be upon a fair basis, and I cannot see any force in the objections taken to it, but I shall have no objection to reporting progress, in order to allow members time to consider the question
Mr. W. P. FLEWELLING moved an amendment to the Bill, which provided that the representation for each County now having four representatives should be reduced to three, thus reducing the whole number of members to thirty- six.
Progress was then reported upon the Bill, and leave asked to sit again.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY, by command of His Excellency the Administrator of the Government. laid before the House the Report of the Delegation to England to arrange for a Union of the British North American Provinces.
(Report will appear in Appendix.)
Hon. Mr. CONNELL presented a Petition from the Warden and Councillors of the Municipality of Carleton County, praying that an Act may pass to abolish the office of Secretary Treasurer, and authorize them to appoint a Secretary and Treasurer in lieu thereof.
Hon. Mr. FISHER brought in a " Bill to amend an Act entitled an Act to incorporate the People's Bank of New Brunswick."
Hon. Mr. TILLEY brought in a "Bill to incorporate the Governors of the Wiggins Male Orphan Institution."
Mr. LINDSAY moved that the "Bill to repeal certain sections of a Law relating to the election of Representatives to serve in the General Assembly and to make other provisions in lieu thereof," be referred to a select Committee.
Resolution adopted, and Bill referred to Messrs. Lindsay, Chandler, Wetmore, Young, Betsford, Sutton, Thompson.
On motion the House adjourned until 10 o'clock to-morrow.


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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