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ticular party. They are thirty-four in number at present, eighteen being resident in Upper, and fourteen in Lower Canada; ten members constitute a house for the despatch of business; their functions in the state correspond very nearly with those of the House of Lords in England, but the Bishops are not included among its members.
The Legislative Assembly consists of eighty-four members, half from each province; they are elected by the people. A freehold of forty shillings yearly value, or the payment of ten pounds rent annually, is the qualification for voters, which, in point of fact, amounts to almost universal suffrage, one out of six in the whole population having the power of voting : generally, however, but a small portion exercise this privilege; the registration is said to be very loose and imperfect. The Legislative Assembly is chosen for four years, but is at any time liable to be dissolved by the Governor's authority. The members receive fifteen shillings a day indemnity for their time devoted to the public service, and a shilling a mile travelling expenses; a qualification of landed property to the value of five hundred pounds is necessary to retain a seat in the House.
The Executive Council, or ministry, consists of seven officials, who perform all the duties of administration, under the Governor. It is the aim of a powerful party in the province to make this body practically responsible to the House of Assembly, as the ministry in England is to the House of Commons, and that they should possess the whole patronage and control of their separate departments. In the present House of Assembly, the government or conservative party numbers about forty mem. bers; the French Canadian twenty-seven, the Upper Canada Reformers eight; the rest are doubtful. The opposition is composed of the second and third of these sections, with occasionally some of the doubtful; but, to say truth, there is now but little ground for division, except whether this or that party shall receive the emoluments of office: there is no great question on which they come in collision ; that of Responsible Government is at rest as long as the ministers disapproving of it, have, as at present, an efficient majority in the House of Assembly.
In the debates which have taken place during this present Session, a high loyal and satisfactory spirit has appeared among all parties in reference to our difficult relations with the United States. The leader of the Upper Canada Reformers expressed himself to the effect that, “ The Americans will be altogether mistaken if they suppose that political differences in Canada arise from any sympathy with them or their institutions; we have our quarrels, but we are perfectly well able to settle them among ourselves, and will not suffer their interference.” One of the most influential French Canadians, in speaking of a bill introduced for reorganizing the militia, said, "My countrymen would be the first to rush to the frontier, and joyfully oppose their breasts to the foe; and the last shot fired on this continent in the defence of the British Crown, will be by the hand of a French Canadian : we are by habit, feeling, and religion, monarchists and conservatives." This militia bill has been judiciously referred to a committee composed of men of various races and opinions, who will popularize its provisions without impairing its efficiency. All parties appear sincerely anxious to make this important force as effective as possible, and at the same time naturally desire a fair share of its patronage.
Perhaps the political state of Canada was never so satisfactory as at present: the opposition is utterly at a loss for any monster grievance to stir men's minds; the masses are contented, and now wise enough to know how injurious their former dissensions
In the Parliament, elected by nearly universal suffrage, the tone is decidedly conservative, and it is almost unanimous in expressions of loyalty to the Crown, and regard for British connection. The debates are generally carried on with great propriety, and there are several very good speakers, and valuable men of business.
There is no doubt that great good to Canada has been the ultimate effect of the rebellion, though productive at the time of so much suffering and loss of life ; the discontented and turbulent found out their weakness, the well disposed their strength. Sir Francis Head's daring policy of trusting altogether to the loyalty of the people, and sending away the soldiery, was most happy in its consequences. It is evident to all that since then a better and more confident spirit animates the men of Upper Canada; indeed,
subsequently to Mackenzie's discomfiture at Toronto, very few British subjects joined the invading sympathizers.
In Lower Canada the numbers implicated in the troubles proved to be very small, compared to the masses of the popula. tion. The attention of the Home Government has been, since these events, much more actively engaged with this country; many real grievances have been removed ; great sums advanced for public works, the union effected, and, though some still complain, it is acknowledged by all parties that there is a great improvement in the mode of distributing the provincial patronage. This last always has been, and always will be, a very tender point in Canada ; and it is, certainly, but right that all offices in the colony, that of the Governor and his personal staff, of course, excepted, should be exclusively filled by the inhabitants of the province, and with as fair a proportion with regard to race as circumstances may admit of.
It would also be highly politic to strengthen the tie of affection between the mother country and the colony by more frequently bestowing naval and military appointments among the people of the latter who may be properly qualified for them, as also the titles and honorary marks of royal favor, suitable to the merits and services which might be brought under notice. The gallant De Salaberry was surely worthy of such reward, and he by no means stood alone. There could also be found men, who from their civil services, fortunes, and social position, have claim amply sufficient to justify the bestowal of the junior grades of hereditary rank. At this present time there is not a Peer resi. dent in this country, and but two Baronets.
With regard to the people, I believe there is none in the world so lightly taxed, or more free, to the fullest extent of rational liberty ; the legislation, with regard to the titles of land, is peculiarly favorable to them; when they settle as tenants on any estate, they can at any time oblige the landlord to sell them their holding, if they can produce the purchase-money, and this, with common industry and prudence, they may very soon accumulate from the produce of their farms.
Among the Americans, in discussing the subject of a war with England, it is very usual to hear it asserted that, with twenty or
thirty thousand militia, Canada could be overrun in a few weeks; and this ignorant belief causes many to long for the opportunity of this easy but glorious conquest. They should be informed that any hopes founded on the state of things in the last war will prove fallacious. In 1812, Upper Canada was a thinly peopled coun. try and a wilderness, occupied by a rude race of poor and igno. rant laborers, who furnished but indifferent matériel for soldiers, and were without a class qualified to act as officers. Since then, numerous immigrants of a far better class joined the original in. habitants, including a very large proportion of retired officers of the army and navy, who have received grants of land from the government. Within the last twenty years, several entire Scottish clans, under their chiefs-McNabs, Glengaries, and others, worthy of their warlike ancestors, have migrated hither. Hardy and faithful men from the stern hills of Ulster, and fiery but kindhearted peasants from the South of Ireland, with sturdy, honest yeomen from Yorkshire and Cumberland, have fixed their homes in the Canadian forests : these immigrants, without losing their love and reverence for the crown and laws of their native coun. try, have become attached to their adopted land, where their stake is now fixed, and are ready to defend their properties and their government against any foreign invasion or domestic trea
When the war of 1812 commenced, there were in the whole of Canada only four regiments of regular infantry, and four companies of artillery, numbering altogether less than two thousand four hundred men. But history tells us how disastrous were the results to the invaders even when opposed to so feeble a force; the surrender of General Hull with his whole army and the territory of Michigan--the defeat at Chrystler's farm—the rout and slaughter at Queenston, with the capture of half the assailants. But, in those days, the same false ideas of the facility of the conquest of Canada were held by the great mass of the Americans, as those which delude them at the present day. However, the necessity of great sacrifices and severe suffering soon brought on a more just and sober view of the question, as no doubt would be the case again.
The British government, determined to preserve this colony in the event of a war, has been at a great expense for the last quarter of a century in improving its defences and military coinmunications. Quebec has been placed, as far as human skill is capable, beyond the chances of American war. Works of strength and importance have been erected on the island near Montreal, and others are now in preparation ; from the improvement of roads, and steam-boats, a large force could be collected to defend them at a very short notice. Kingston is secure in its martello towers, and presents fortifications against anything but the systematic attack of a large regular army, supported by an overpowering naval force. Toronto would prove defensible against militia, and a serious obstacle even to trained troops. Along the frontier of Lower Canada are several works which would also embarrass the advance of an invading army.
There are at present in Canada seven companies of artillery, eleven regiments of infantry, three troops of excellent provincial cavalry, and a negro company of a hundred men on the frontier; between seven and eight thousand effective men in all, nearly as large a force in regular troops as the whole army of the United States. The nominal strength of the Canadian militia is about one hundred and forty thousand men, being the whole of the population capable of bearing arms; one-fourth of these might be made active and effectual, without putting a stop to the various industrial pursuits of the country; numbers of the retired officers would be able and willing to command these ; several thou. sand non-commissioned officers—arms, ammunition, clothing and pay, can be readily supplied from England; and the arsenals of Canada are already sufficiently supplied with artillery of all kinds, carriages, and equipment, for the commencement of a war. From these few statements as to the position of the country, even unaided by troops from England, it may be seen that the present popular notion prevailing in the United States of an easy Canadian conquest is undoubtedly a blind and fallacious one.
In the late war, the strength of the British power was employed in the Peninsula, the East and West Indies, Africa, and Sardinia. Her
navy had to blockade nearly all the principal ports and rivers of Europe, she was compelled to keep fleets in the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, in the Pacific Ocean and off the coast of India : PART 1.