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sive scheme of improved administra- and the great offices of the State should be tion. The very phrase which has now reserved for public servants who have been become the motto of a great asso.
trained and educated in the permanent civil ciation sprang from him.
service. These are what I think sound and
In his speech of December, 1852, he first
judicious changes. They are changes of
administrative reform. They are changes gave ministerial embodiment to the
which I think every Government ought to growing, but then not formidable,
adopt and carry out, and nothing short of movement for government by merit,
this ought to satisfy the house." and the proper exercise of patronage. Others carried out his views in part, But to the announcements of the but sufficient yet remains of his plan Opposition, and the demands of the unadopted to form a distinctive feature London Tavern Reformers, the Miof Conservative policy; and, knowing nistry reply with smooth speeches of this to be the case Mr. Disraeli in his
approval, and certain acts bearing reoration during the Layard debate semblance to those required of them. pledged the party of which he is a
Whether they are sufficient is the brilliant member to a thorough depart- question. The Whig Chancellor of mental reformation. To that extent the Exchequer tells us that finality has the Whigs will not, cannot go. They been reached in the career of adminisare bound by too many ties. Their trative reform! Now what has acpolitical existence is too abnormal.
tually been done? Are the Orders in As a body they are composed of hete- Council the germ of real changes for rogeneous materials, cohering badly. the better? They have a value, but But the Conservatives are a compact it is slight. They leave the patronage power; and if they be in a minority in still in the hands of persons who will the present parliament, are rendered so use it for no good purpose, and that by coalitions without principle or any is their cardinal defect. On their elements of continuance. In adhering merits we need not dwell; their insufrationally and practically to adminis- ficiency is apparent. The alterations trative reform we give a really va- in the Ordnance were not completo luable pledge which should satisfy the reforms. They extend about halfnation at large, sealed as it is by the way, and there stop suddenly. And efforts about being put forth when a even in carrying them out the vacandisgraceful faction expelled Lord Der
cies created by changes or the formaby from office. Mr. Disraeli with sin- tion of new offices, have been filled gular wisdom enunciated broadly, on upon precisely the old system of adthe occasion to which we refer, the vancing the cousin of this minister, views of his party, and their deter- and the recommended of another, in mination, should they occupy the the room of the deserving. It is very Treasury benches before the so-much plain that even in the depth of their desiderated changes are effected. What professions, and in those very matters in could be more pointed, vigorous, or which they claim a virtue, the Paldefinite than the following declara- merston Cabinet have been weighed tion ?
and found wanting.
The task they “I am of opinion that the entrance into
have pretended to begin must be asthat service should not be by mere favourit
sumed by others, and the real Reformism. I think it should be the subject of a
ers, who will proceed cautiously and substantial and real test of fitness, and I
honestly, in agreement with our tried think the idea of a substantial and real constitution, and the genius of our test of fitness is not illusory, but essen- institutions, will neither be found in tially practical. I think, in the second Chesham-place nor at Drury-lane. place, that the rewards of our public civil There can be no doubt, however, servants should be on a higher scale. I that with all his imbecility and dilatorithink that the result of the change will be ness Lord Palmerston has for the public economy, and not increased expendi
nonce tided over his political troubles. ture. I think that the reward of the public
For that he has to thank his good forservants should not be merely of a fixed
tune more than his judgment or disnature, but that they should be trained
cretion. The nation has become santo look upon other and more spiritual rewards which animate and ennoble the conduct of men. guine again since the Allies entered I am also of opinion that the civil service the Sea of Azoff and enclosed the of the country ought to be made, and must Crimea almost at every point - since be made, strictly and completely professional, the army before Sebastopol took the
greatest of the Russian positions with burdens-taxation has all but reached unparalleled gallantry, despite im- its limit; everything is wrong. The mense difficulties. But for these suc- entire machine is out of gearing. It cesses the Ministry can properly take needs the touches of a master-hand. no credit to themselves. They are be- Who ambitions the distinction of bringlieved to have sprung from the decision ing peace and happiness, prosperity of the French general ; and whether and content, order and good governthis be so or not, are undeniably ment, out of this confusion and disowing in the main to the vigour of his satisfaction ? It is a noble object of counsels and the prowess of our arms. desire for a great mind. Who is ready? These prosperities have, indeed, saved We believe some one will appear, and the Ministry; but how long will their assuredly, be he an old leader or a new influence continue? The first depres- one, in agreement with an existing sion of the public mind will tell upon party or not, a peer or a merchant, the the Cabinet, and perchance lead to its country will back him heartily, and dissolution. A party which has con- give him every opportunity of earning ducted the war feebly; which has a brilliant success. The Minister who shown an inability to deal with the restores the country to its old prestige, great question of the day; which exists and arranges all its interests with only by a balancing of classes and a honour, so as to lay the foundation of cleverness in political strategics ; which another half-century of peace fruitful has wavered, to say the least, in re- of progress as the last, will deserve and ference to the conditions of a safe and receive from a grateful people an imhonourable peace; which has alter- mortality in their history. nately coquetted with and repelled the As we have commenced these disCobden and Gladstone coteries; which cursive but earnest observations, so has perpetuated the radical error of we end them, entreating every politithe last fatal Ministry, by neglecting cian having an honest desire to see to provide a reserve; which has of his country once more at the head of fered the bait of a landed settlement European nations to lend his aid only in Canada to foreign legionaries, while to that Government, heedless of its the British recruit has no inducement mere party hue, which shall conduct beyond the bounty, and the British the war with vigour, so as to humble veteran no reward save his pension ; Russia, give lasting peace to Turkey which bas promised to put the right and the continental states, and restore men in the right places,” and invariably again to their proper place among our filled them with the wrong men ; national interests, all the arts of indusparty, of this character cannot remain trial and the movements of social prolong in possession of power, inasmuch gression. He who accomplishes this as it must speedily lose-if it have not will write his name in our hearts, already lost the sympathy of every to be bequeathed with fervor to our class in the country.
children. "But where is this statesman The present crisis offers a noble
of comprehensive mind - this other portunity to a statesman of extensive Chatham--this hero of the age ? genius, power of organisation, and
" Quem vocet Divam populus ruentis energy of character. The country is
Imperi rebus?" depressed; a great war has been mis. managed ; internal ameliorations are We believe the man will yet appear demanded ; many home questions of to pilot us to a safe haven ; but asgravest import lie before us for settle- suredly he is not at this moment holdment; the people suffer from heavy ing the helm.
We took an opportunity lately of chief among them can scarcely fail to tracing out the origin and character attract the attention of the political inof some remarkable circumstances of quirer, whose basis of comparison is the the birth and early breeding of that British Constitution. We have before great nation, first-born of the Anglo- our eyes in Canada the test of an Saxon stock, whose precocity of experimentum crucis in course of appligrowth, combined as it is so far appa- cation to constitutional government, rent with strength and constitutional vi- upon the English model; and the sogour, is a standing miracle in the eyes cial and civil peculiarities of that great of politicians. The marvel must, we colony render its history, during the venture to think, be lessened by a full short period that has elapsed since it consideration of the nature of the in- became a dependency of the English cidents to which we then called atten- crown, a most valuable course of praction, and by the proofs they afford tical instruction in politics. It is not that the constitution of the United our present intention to pursue this States was no new invention or pro- interesting subject, but rather to point duct of accident, but a wise and cau- to the result that has already followed tious adaptation of the machinery of upon the establishment of free instithe republican monarchy of England tutions, and to illustrate their working to the service of the common principle by a notable example. Nevertheless, of regulated liberty in the monarchical a word or two will be well bestowed republic of America. The composite in calling to the recollection of our link of filial obedience and parental readers the special difficulties that love was broken; yet, although the stood in the way of the plantation daughter moved off to do for herself of the British Constitution upon the in the world, in the new establishment banks of the St. Lawrence. They no rule of the old family was forgotten, were, in truth, harder to be overcome no custom of the early home was left than the obstacle of arms which opunobserved. But, however worthy of posed reformatory revolution in the consideration the early national in- neighbouring colonies, nor are they fancy of the United States may be, a yet, perhaps, completely passed by: still warmer interest must surely be It is but ninety - six years since felt by us in the passing history of the Wolfe mounted the heights of Abra. lusty youth of that other swarm of the ham; four years before Canada was Anglo-Saxon race which has hived formally ceded to England by the itself upon the American continent. Treaty of Paris in 1763. The colonial To an Englishman - we can find no population was then exclusively French, more catholic name for the inhabitants who were settled, in number about of the kingdoms that form the metropo- 70,000, in the lower province. They lis of our empire -- the obligations of were governed by military authority fellow-citizenship, added to close rela- the tenure of land, and civil relations tionship of blood, naturally cause the being regulated in accordance with the welfare of the British American provin- French feudal law and the system called ces to appear of high importance ; the custom of Paris. The land was while the peculiar circumstances of the held in large tracts, under grants from
VOL. XLVI.-N0. CCLXXII,
the Crown, by seigneurs or lords of representative assembly. It may be manors, who were bound to sub-grant easily conceived that this machinery specified portions to censitaires, or te. could work but poorly in the lower nants, who were in turn required to province, where the French settlers render certain services and tributes to still clung to the customs of their antheir lords. Under this system, which cient country, and, viewing their new had endured for a hundred and fifty compatriots as intruders, hated them years, a copy of the rural society of and their novel privileges, which they France, as it existed in the seventeenth neither comprehended nor admired. century, was produced and maintained Among the Anglo-Saxon population in the original simplicity of its most the acquirement of a government poamiable features, and scarcely dis- pular inform naturally led to a turbed by the spirit of progress, whe- demand for the reality of popular ther for good or evil. The seigneurs power: “The assembly (says Lord were stately, gallant, and polite; the Durham in his celebrated report) were habitans, or peasants, frugal and in- in a state of continuous warfare with dustrious - all were hospitable, cour- the executive, for the purpose of obteous, honest, and ignorant. Together taining the powers inherent to a reprethey formed a community cheerful and sentative body, by the very nature of happy, but in a remarkable degree representative government;” and the tenacious of old customs, and averse warfare was carried on in the old to change of place or habits. For English method, by struggles for the eleven years after the cession, Canada
power of the purse. A curious cowas governed as a Crown colony by operation, without sympathy or coman English governor and council, ac- bination, then took place between the cording to English law, administered
two provincial nations. in the English language only. In the The small class of educated men year 1774, when the troubles in the
among the habitans — most of them adjoining colonies warned the home village surgeons or notaries – began Government of the prudence of securing to feel the corrupting influence, even friends among the provincialists, a though they knew not the nobler uses, legislative council was given to Canada, of liberty. They grew quickly into a the French law was again established caste of demagogues, possessed of abin all civil matters, and the use of the solute control over the simple rustics French language was resumed in the among whom they lived, and whose law courts and in public transactions. ignorance of the English language The American revolution caused a placed them at the mercy of their great change in the Canadian popula- leaders for any exposition of the potion: a large influx of people of the licy of the home Government it might Anglo-Saxon race, American loyalists, please them to afford. Thus the Natook place, and these being reinforced tion Canadienne fought against the by emigration from the United King. same foe, without using the same flag as dom, chiefly of Scotch and Irish, an the Anglo-Saxon demagogues ; and as English nation altogether distinct from both, unfortunately, had many real the Nation Canadienne was speedily grievances to set in the front of their formed. The spirit of industry and battle, a violent and protracted agitaprogress, and the desire for self-go- tion was begun, which, in the year vernment entered along with the 1837, waxed into a rebellion. A supnew comers, who settled chiefly in the pression of this outbreak by the strong upper or western districts, which the
hand, and a suspension of the constioriginal colonists had never attempted tution followed, the occurrence of to occupy; The privileges of a free those events being fortunately producBritish colony were, of course, soon tive of a large increase of the knowdemanded; and in 1791, the territory ledge of all parties. The habitans was divided into the provinces of Upper were taught the power of England, and Lower Canada, and constitutions and the selfishness and pusillanimity upon the colonial model then in vogue of their own leaders; the mass of were granted to each.
British settlers came to know or lieutenant-governor, and executive haps to form an exaggerated estimate council represented the Crown; while of — their importance as defenders of lords and commons were mimicked in the British connexion; the American a nominated legislative council and sympathisers and annexationists were
made acquainted with the total absence tience and good feeling, and the coof sympathy between themselves and lony has been singularly fortunate in all classes of the colonial population; being ruled by governors fitted by their the home Government learned the wis. moderation, firmness, and constitudom the separation of the United tional knowledge for the discharge of States had failed to teach them — of the hard task committed to them. The frank and early concessions of claims bold design of confounding faction by that in the long run cannot be with- permitting the growth of parliamenstood. After two years of contention tary parties, was conceived and exe. and anxious deliberation, the two Ca- cuted. nadas were united, in 1839, into one • The principles of constitutional province for the purposes of executive or parliamentary government” (says Government and Legislature, and the Lord Elgin, in his despatch, dated 18th constitution was restored in the shape December, 1854), “ admitted in theory in which it now exists. The executive since the date of the publication of the power was entrusted to a Governor- report of the Earl of Durham on Ca. General appointed by the Crown, and nadian affairs, have been, during the the power of legislation was commit- past few years, allowed their full effect ted to a Provincial Parliament, com. in practice. All attempts to give a posed of a Legislative uncil, nomi. monopoly of office to one party in the nated by the Governor, and a Legisla- province, or to relieve the provincial tive Assembly elected by the people. ministers from the responsibility proTo the upper house somewhat of an aris- perly attaching to their position as tocratic quality was sought to be given, servants of the Crown within the coby conferring upon the members a life lony, have been abandoned. The Gotenure of their seats, with the title of vernor has accepted frankly as adhonourable ; while the popular charac- visers the individuals who have poster of the Assembly, was secured by sessed from time to time the confiproviding for annual sessions of the dence of the country and of the lelegislature. In this arrangement the gislature, on the distinct understandFrench party, which before the rebel- ing, faithfully adhered to, that they lion had preponderated in the lower should enjoy his support and favour province, was placed in a minority, and so long as they continued to merit the determination to Anglicise the co- them by fidelity to the Crown, and lony was mildly announced by a pro- devotion to the interests of the provision in the Constitution Act, direct- vince." ing all votes and proceedings of the This strategy, as wise as it was legislature to be recorded in the Eng. bold, has been accompanied by a gralish tongue. The old sore, neverthe- dual withdrawal of the Imperial Goless, still remained. “ In a society” vernment and Parliament from legis(observes Lord Elgin, in a despatch ad. lative interference, and from the exdressed to Earl Grey in 1849), “ singu. ercise of patronage in colonial affairs. larly democratic in its structure, where It, no doubt, goes a long way todiversities of race supplied special ele- ward a virtual separation of the proments of confusion, and where, con- vince from the mother country; but sequently, it was most important that it has also forced the former far on constituted authority should be re- her way toward a condition of self-respected, the moral influence of law and liance, and, by withdrawing the bond government was enfeebled by the ex- of a common object of enmity from istence of perpetual strife between the the several factions, it has driven them powers that ought to have afforded into a more wholesome strife for the each other a mutual support.”. The common good. The “clear grits” of power of the purse became again the Upper Canada, and the “partie rouge" fruitful source of contention, and a of the lower province, Orangemen and fierce thirst for the emoluments of Conservatives, may still retain a large place, ever the vice of constitutional liberty of quarrelling among them. governments, and infinitely enhanced selves; but there are few “ colonialin dependencies, stunted the growth office" grievances, and but a beggarly of the spirit of self-reliance, which is account of imperial patronage, in astheir chiefest virtue. The home Go. saults upon which they can now comvernment, we are bound to say, met bine: they are choked off cach other's those difficulties with exemplary pa- throats by the strong necessity of unita