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British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

that the appellation of Lieutenant, by no means a novelty in the ancient colonies, while it contributes to their personal respectability, detracted in no degree whatsoever from the direct power, but added much to the influence of the King's representative; at the same time that it concentered, and rendered manageable, the internal govern- ment of this extended province--and of such utility, I beg to assure your Grace, I have found it. . . .

I therefore, upon the most mature deliberation, cannot but con- sider the establishment of Lieutenants of counties as the natural result of the constitution of the country, and as essential to the King's service; and since all my statements previously to my leaving England, and during my administration of this Government, have been formed on the propriety of supporting that just aristocracy which the Canada Bill has provided for; and since I have always estimated this power as barring the avenues to disaffection and sedition, by making a consti- tutional provision against those turbulent talents which may other- ways with great facility gain a more than aristocratic ascendancy over a people, composed as are the generality of colonists, and who by the possession of such means may be capable and desirous of disturbing the operations of Government in the slightest, as well as the most essential particulars; and since I have always contemplated this aristocratic power as being the truest safeguard of the sovereignty against such machinations, particularly in a province where the direct weight of the executive power is as a feather, and it possesses none indirectly, the military being vested by the Commander in Chief in inferior agents. So I beg leave, with all due deference to your Grace, from these opinions to deduce the observation that I should be very happy was there sufficient property and other qualifications in any members of the Legislative Council to see the provision of the Canada Act, in this respect, immediately completed by an hereditary seat derived from a title of honour being vested in their families.

I cannot therefore under such impressions but feel myself pro- portionably mortified by the measures, which I have substituted in some degree as preparatory and leading to that event, being dis- approved of by your Grace. . . .


16
UPPER CANADA: THE DUKE OF PORTLAND TO GOVERNOR SIMCOE 3 March 17961

. . . Taking into consideration what has been already done with respect to the appointment of Lieutenants of Counties in Upper

____________________
1
C.O. 42/320, pp. 49-51. Printed in Simcoe Papers, vol. iv, pp. 206-7.

-219-

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