British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

they depart from this course to follow that which the Assembly of Prince Edward Island wish to pursue, I do not hesitate to say then will end our prosperity and improvement and our Assembly will be anything but a comfort to the country.

It is not to be doubted that the House of Assembly have the right of originating money bills and that the Council ought not to amend them and this is and always has been claimed and admitted in our practice, but the right of the Council to consider them and reject them unless they agree in principle with the House must be also admitted, or they are rendered useless in the most important concerns of the colony. The province therefore which rests more upon matters of strict right than upon considerations of convenience will make slow progress in improvement.

I was desirous that Prince Edward Island should profit by the experience of these provinces and that as it was included in the same commission and governed by the same general instructions, their practice should be conformable to ours in this particular, for there has been no prevailing practice in that colony which I could trace nor have I been enabled to discover in the Journals of either House much beyond a continued history of quarrels and contentions between the different branches of the legislature and individuals in office. The House, however, resisted the course proposed, and upon our appeal to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Right Honourable Mr. Huskisson decided the matter of right as it must be conceded by us, and of which in the abstract there can be no doubt. . . .


25
NOVA SCOTIA: SPEECH BY ALEXANDER STEWART, INTRODUCING RESOLUTIONS FOR THE RELINQUISHMENT OF QUIT RENTS, 18 February 18281

. . . Early last year the Lieutenant Governor of the province announced to the public that His Majesty's Government had instructed him to enforce the collection of the quit rents in this colony, and by the papers on the table it would appear that their annual amount was estimated (exclusively of Cape Breton) at £4,300. If to this sum were added about £700, the whole sum, which by official calculation is estimated to be forthcoming from those rents, would be £5,000 sterling. That a revenue of this amount should be collected from the people of this province, and disposed of without the control of its Legislature, is a subject of deep and commanding interest, and

____________________
1
Printed in The Novascotian, 28 February 1828, p. 72. Alexander Stewart, an able barrister and, from his first entry into the Assembly of Nova Scotia in 1826, a prominent reformer, was opposing the revival of an obsolescent claim of the Crown to quit rents. For Stewart, see Coll. Nova Scotia Hist. Soc., vol. xv, pp. 1-114.

-240-

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