Responsible Government in Prince Edward Island: A Triumph of Self-Government under the Crown

By W. Ross Livingston | Go to book overview
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APPENDIX NO. 7.
DESPATCH (CONFIDENTIAL) FROM LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR SIR DONALD CAMPBELL, BART., TO EARL GREY, DATED GOVERNMENT HOUSE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, 16 JANUARY, 1850. COLONIAL OFFICE 226/77.My Lord: In my public despatch No. 8 of the 9th instant, I had the honour to inform your Lordship that I had dissolved the Assembly of this island for reasons which I trust will meet with your Lordship's approval. I propose that the new Assembly shall meet on the 5th of March, which will allow time for the despatch of routine business, enabling the House to proceed with the act for raising a revenue before the 1st May, on which day the existing Revenue Act expires.
2. Your Lordship will perceive from the tenor of my public despatch that I cannot venture to say confidently what course the new Assembly will take, although I hope that they will be reasonable enough to separate the question of Responsible Government from the settlement of the Civil List, with which it has no necessary connection. It is however requisite that I should be prepared for any contingency which may occur; and should the Assembly refuse to make a permanent provision for the local charges of the Government without the immediate introduction of the Responsible system, the course which I think should be followed (as I cannot suppose that your Lordship will be disposed to yield then what is withheld now) is to take care that no appropriation of the permanent Revenues of the Crown be permitted this year, but that they be kept in the hands of the Government, by which means I should be enabled to pay the salaries of the public officers, at least in part. To send down the estimates for the year as usual, inserting the salaries to be paid to the respective officers, with an intimation that this part of the estimates must form a permanent charge, and should the Assembly refuse, I cannot see that I have any alternative but to decline giving my

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