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try. He wished, however, to guard against
the assumption, from anything which fell
from him, that this communication could
be easily effected. A Company had been
set on foot; but he was afraid that if they
attempted to carry out their present plan,
it would lead to disasters. This passage
was totally unlike that to which they
compared it-the route across the Rocky
Mountains between the settled part of
the United States and California. Some
30,000 persons crossed that country every
year, and a most inhospitable country it
was. But these persons went throughout
in waggons, laying in their own provisions,
and relying upon their own resources along
the whole route. On the line he had in-
dicated, however, there was a constant
change of passage from waggons to steam-
ers, and therefore much organization was
necessary before the route could be prac.
ticable and safe. The position of the
Hudson's Bay Company created a great
difficulty in dealing with all these ques-
tions. Under their charter the Company
claimed the right of possession in fee sim-
ple of the whole of this great country as
completely as any property belonging to
any of their Lordships. They asserted
their right to all the enormous territory
bounded by the Western States of Canada
and the Rocky Mountains, by the United
States territory, and on the north by
Hudson's Bay-a country so vast that at
the price of one penny per acre it would
cost £700,000 to purchase it. More-
over, before they would surrender their
rights the Company claimed to be reim-
bursed the large amount paid to the late
Earl of Selkirk for his possessions there,
compensation for improvements, and for
their monopoly of trade. They also said,
If you take the Satckachewan, the pro-
per thing to do is to buy us out al-
together, because in depriving us of this
you deprive us of our hunting grounds."
Without pledging himself to the accu-
racy of the calculation, he believed that,
according to their views of their rights,
they would not be inclined to take less
than £1,500,000 for them. Now, it
would not be possible to go to Parliament
for such a sum for such a purpose; and
what, then, was to be done? He had
always felt that the charter was a very
doubtful one.
Taking into account the
circumstances of this magnificent conti-
nent, it seemed monstrous that any body
of gentlemen should exercise fee simple
rights which precluded the future coloniminster on the other.


2 Z

zation of that territory, as well as the
opening up of lines of communication.
through it. Of course, such a thing could
never happen in these days. He was in-
clined to believe that the charter was
originally illegal; but, no doubt, it would
be a serious blow to the rights of property
to meddle with a charter 200 years old.
and such a course would not be taken
except under circumstances of unparalleled
public necessity. He was not prepared to
say that such a necessity might not arise.
The colonization of British Columbia must
progress with enormous rapidity, and it
might happen, in the inevitable course of
events, that Parliament, would be asked to
annul even such a charter as this. He was
justified, however, in not resorting to such
an extreme measure as long as it was pos-
sible to obtain a settlement of any other
kind. The question was of such paramount
importance at this moment that no oppor-
tunity of settling it ought to be lost; but
he could not undertake to offer any such
sum as that he had mentioned, or, indeed,
any other large sum; and he thought the
Company could not expect that any very
large sum should be paid to them. It was
probable that gold would be found in the
territory bordering upon the Satckache-
wan; and if such were the case, the Hud-
son's Bay Company would no more be able
to prevent men from settling upon that
territory than they would to prevent their
sailing upon the ocean. It might be de-
sirable for their interests that the country
should be maintained
as a fur-bearing
country and as nothing else; but when
that was no longer possible, it would be to
their advantage to meet the public half-
way, and make arrangements which should
effect that most important object-the set-
tlement of the country. He had had many
interviews with gentlemen connected with
the Hudson's Bay Company, and had
always found them most courteous and
friendly, but he had not been able to come
to any understanding with them. He
should be happy to lay upon their Lord-
ships' table all the Correspondence which
had taken place with reference to the
establishment of a line of communication
between Canada and British Columbia, and
he hoped that when Parliament met next
year he should be able to inform their
Lordships that some progress had been
made towards the establishment of postal
and telegraphic communication between
Canada on the one side, and New West-

LORD TAUNTON said, that he had paid great attention to this subject; and when he held the seals of the Colonial Office, it became necessary to consider the propriety of renewing the exclusive privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company. He moved for a Committee of the House of Commons to consider the whole subject. In the Report of this Committee and the evidence given before it their Lordships would find a full and impartial account of all the circumstances affecting this most important subject. Although the subsequent discovery of gold had somewhat altered the position of affairs, yet he was convinced that the policy recommended by that Committee was in its main features that which it was the interest of this country to adopt. The Government and people of this country could have no possible interest in the subject different from the colonists of North America. No doubt the charter of the Company was a very extraordinary one; but as the opponents of it had always shrunk from testing its validity by judicial proceedings, he had always declined to take any steps hostile to it. Indeed, he was of opinion that we were indebted to the Hudson's Bay Company for having under most extraordinary circumstances, administered the vast territories which were committed to them, not merely so as to advance their interests as a great furtrading company, but so as to maintain a rough but effective system of law and order, and to protect as far as they could the aborigines, whose interests we were bound to respect. It was therefore in no unfriendly spirit to the Company that he expressed his opinion that they would not be discharging their duty if they stood upon their extreme rights, so as to prevent the attainment of objects which were essential to Imperial or Colonial interests. The Committee of the House of Commons decided that it was upon the whole desir able that the position of the Hudson's Bay Company should be maintained in the districts which were not adapted for settle-introduced by the 39 & 40 Geo. III. was ment; but, at the same time, they recommended that means should be taken without loss of time, either through the instrumentality of Canada or independently of that colony, to give to the settlers on the Red River the advantage of being governed under the British Crown in a regular and orderly manner. The gentlemen connected with the Hudson's Bay Company had always said that they were prepared to act on these principles, and to facilitate any The Duke of Newcastle

CROWN PRIVATE ESTATES BILL. [BILL NO. 89.] SECOND READING. THE LORD CHANCELLOR, in moving the second reading of this Bill, explained the nature of the measure. Down to the time of Queen Anne the Sovereign had unlimited power of disposition in reference to Crown lands; but in the first year of that reign an Act passed limiting the power of the Crown to granting leases for thirty years, or three lives. The operation of that statute, however, was confined to England. The 39 & 40 Geo. III., gave full powers to the Crown to deal with estates acquired by means of the private property of the Sovereign. By an Act of the 1st and 2nd of the present reign it was deemed right to extend the restricting provisions of the statute of Anne to estates of the Crown in Scotland and Ireland; but the qualification of that restriction

arrangement which would erect into British settlements or colonies any territories that were bonâ fide adapted for purposes of settlement. He hoped that they would continue to act in that spirit, and would be prepared to abstain from setting up any extreme claims which might prevent an amicable arrangement between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Government.

THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE said, he would withdraw the second paragraph of his Motion.

Motion for an Address for

between the Secretary of State for the Colonies 1. Copies or Extracts from Correspondence the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, and the Hudson's Bay Company, respecting the Establishment of a Means of Communication

between Canada and British Columbia:

2. Copies or Extracts from any Correspondence between the Government and the Hudson's Bay Company respecting the Withdrawal of the Red River, Satckachewan, and Swan River Territories from under the Control of that Company, directly upon the Crown: and their Erection into a Colony depending -agreed to.

accidentally omitted from the statue of Victoria. The result, therefore, was that private estates of the Sovereign in Scotland would not come within the provisions of the 39 & 40 Geo. III., but would fall under the restrictions in the statute of Anne, and the Sovereign would be unable to deal with land in Scotland acquired by the private property of the Crown. It was to remedy this state of things that the present Bill had been prepared, the intention being

of cinders and other matters. What had the promoters done? Seeing that they would have to meet powerful opposition on the part of the proprietors of certain of the tributaries, those streams had been struck out of the Bill. He (Mr. BrownWesthead) had been asked to oppose the Bill; but he declined at first to do so, believing it to be merely a sanitary measure. On looking into it, however, he saw that there was nothing in it whatever of that nature, and that the Bill sought to deprive a number of proprietors over an area of 400 square miles of rights which had been enjoyed from time immemorial. The parties opposing the Bill did not object to the fullest inquiry with a view to ascertain in what manner the object which the promoters professed to have in view could be best and most equitably carried out. His own personal interests were favourably affected by the Bill, but he considered it his duty to protect the interests of hundreds of riparian proprietors higher up the streams, whose ancient prescriptive rights were interfered with in a manner which was never before authorized by private legislation. Under all the circum

MERSEY, IRWELL, &c. PROTECTION BILL. stances, he believed he acted perfectly

right in opposing the Bill. He did not think the House should receive a Bill which had public objects, but which came on in the guise of a private measure, and which vested in the hands of the principal promoter powers which he did not think Parliament would sanction. The Bill was promoted by a navigation company, who, by adopting the steps they had taken, sought to avoid the Standing Orders which related to public measures, and which railway companies had invariably to be bound by. A great principle was involved in the question, and he trusted, that if the measure was allowed to go further, its provisions would be made so far equitable and fair that the House could approve of it, and that the whole community would be benefited by it.

to give to the Crown the same rights over its private estates in Scotland which the Act of George III. gave in reference to those in England; and to provide that any such estates held by the Crown should be possessed in the same way as if they were held by subjects of the Crown.

THE MARQUESS OF BATH objected that the provision of the Bill which subjected the private estates of the Crown to all rates and taxes, was unconstitutional.

Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday


House adjourned at Seven o'clock, to
Monday next, Eleven o'clock.

Friday, July 4, 1862.

MINUTES. PUBLIC BILLS.-10 Bleaching and
Dyeing Works Act Amendment; Public Offices
Extension; Jamaica Loan (Settlement).
30 Windsor Castle (Bakehouse); Chancery Re-
gulation (Ireland).


Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

MR. BROWN-WESTHEAD said, he rose to move that the Bill be read a second time that day three months. It was with great reluctance he felt himself compelled to take that course. The Bill, however, was of a very exceptional character, and came before the House in a manner that was very unusual. It was, in fact, a public measure introduced in the guise of a private Bill, and it was so designated by the highest authority in the other House of Parliament. In the House of Lords, after the Bill had passed a Committee of five, it was referred to a Committee of the Whole House, and discussed clause by clause, and on that occasion the Lord Chancellor pronounced it an opprobrium on the legislation of the country. He should inform the House that a number of tributaries ran into the River Irwell, and the Irwell Navigation Company-or rather the Earl of Ellesmere, who might be said to be the company-promoted the Bill with a view to remove obstructions caused to the navigation by the lodgment

word "now," and at the end of the QuesAmendment proposed, to leave out the tion to add the words "upon this day three months."

MR. MASSEY said, that no doubt the Bill was of a very extraordinary character. It was hard on a cursory glance to discern any features which could distinguish it from a public measure. It was a very unusual thing to affect by private legis lation the interests of large towns and

similarly on the other streams were wrongdoers also. It was competent to the Committee upstairs to restore the Bill to its original form; and if on its return he found that such a course had not been adopted, he reserved to himself the right to move that it be referred to a Committee of the Whole House, with a view to ascertain whether in their opinion it was a proper measure to pass with its present partial application.

MR. J. C. EWART said, he thought that there was a necessity for some such measure, and he hoped it would be referred to a Select Committee.

manufacturing populations. The Bill set out by professing that such was its object; and when its provisions were examined, it would be found that the interest of the great manufacturing places on the rivers Mersey and Irwell were seriously affected. Another peculiarity of the measure was that it did not appear on the face of it by whom it was promoted. The question, then, which the House had decide was, whether it was a public or a private Bill. If it was the former, the Order for its Second Reading should be discharged. If, on the contrary, it was a private measure, cases of individual hardship ought not to be considered in Committee of the Whole House, but were proper matters for investigation and inquiry before a Select Committee. The measure originated in the House of Lords as a private Bill; in that form it underwent a rigid scrutiny there, and as a private Bill it had come down to that House. The Navigation Company, who really promoted the Bill, complained that in consequence of the acts of certain parties, over whom they had no control, the powers conferred on them by the Act of Parliament were seriously interfered with, and the navigation obstructed. On the other hand, it was said that the obstructions referred to were caused in the legitimate exercise of trade by manufacturers, mine owners, and quarry proprietors, who deposited certain materials in the tributaries of the river; and that if they were wrong-doers, they were not wanton wrong-doers. The questions arising out of that state of circumstances were proper subjects for investigation by a Committee upstairs. He considered that a clause should be added to the Bill, if it were allowed to proceed further, pro-sition to those against whom the measure viding that nothing contained in it should was aimed should be excluded from its exempt it from the provisions of any future Act relating to the navigation of rivers. Technically, the Bill might be considered a private Bill, and should therefore be referred to a Committee upstairs; but there was one grave objection to the measure, which he should refer to. It was this:-In the original draught of the Bill all the tributaries of the Mersey and the Irwell were included in the operation of the Act. In consequence of the opposition of certain parties, some of those tributaries had been omitted. But if the proprietors on any of the tributaries were wrong-doers, those who acted Mr. Masseu

VISCOUNT NEWPORT said, he also should oppose the second reading. He considered it highly objectionable and unjust that parties who were in a similar po

MR. LAIRD said, he considered that the Bill should be made applicable to the entire of the tributaries, and he had not been aware that it was not. That matter, and the other questions referred to, could be dealt with by a Committee upstairs.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL said, that the Bill appeared to be a very objectionable measure, and it was rendered more objectionable still by the manner in which it was introduced and subsequently dealt with. The riparian proprietors were sought to be made subject to penal provisions for exercising certain rights over their own property. If a nuisance existed, there were other means of remedying the evil. The Bill, if it were allowed to proceed further, should certainly be made universally applicable; but it was highly inconvenient that a measure which was public and penal in its provision and enactments should be introduced as a private Bill. He therefore considered it his duty to oppose the second reading.


MR. JACKSON said, that several Bills of a similar nature had been considered private Bills. The general commerce of the country required that the navigation of the river Mersey should be kept open and unobstructed. He hoped the House would agree to send the Bill to a Select Committee; and if on its return it was found that the proprietors on all the tributary streams were not included in its provisions, he would support a Motion to add clauses which would have the effect of extending its operation to them.

MR. BARNES said, it would be most

1418 preventing and remedying the evils arising from such pollution and obstruction.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That Standing Order, No. 8, be suspended in the case of the said Bill."

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MR. BROWN-WESTHEAD observed, that he was anxious that all parties should be heard before the Committee; and he wished to ask the Speaker whether that course could not be adopted if his Motion was carried.

MR. SPEAKER replied, that it would be necessary to obtain the permission of the House for the purpose contemplated by the hon. Member.

MR. ROEBUCK said, that recent experience-he alluded to the Thames Embankment Committee-afforded no recommendation to the House to alter their usual course.

MR. BROWN-WESTHEAD said, he would withdraw his Motion, as it was his belief that everything would be done to obtain a competent Select Committee of five to consider the provisions of the Bill. Motion, by leave, withdrawn; Bill committed.

MERCHANDIZE MARKS, &c. BILL. [BILL NO. 98.] COMMITTEE. Order for Committee read. House in Committee. Clause 1 postponed. Clauses 2 to 6 agreed to.

Clause 7 (Penalties).

MR. M'MAHON said, that a person who placed false representations on his goods did so with intent to defraud, and he apprehended that he would be punishable at common law for a misdemeanour. The Bill proposed to reduce an offence of that serious nature to an offence of a milder form, and directed that the party committing such an offence should only be subjected to certain penalties. Those penalties, namely, a fine of 108., and for

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