TIIE WHIG-RADICAL DEFENCE 01' THE GOVERNMENT TREATMENT OF CANADA.
TO THE EDITOR OF Time srEcTATOR.
SIR—It is pitiable to see the mode in which Mr. O'CONNELL, Mr. WARD, and other professed Liberals, defend the proccediugs of the Government towards Canada. Mr. WARD belonged to a party whose great and chief merit was its assertion of good pm inciples of govern- Dent. It was unconnected with office, and it took every opportunity to defend the best principles upon which the government of' a country could be conducted. It has now abandoned the only functions which entitled it to respect ; and both in its quarterly organ and upon the hustings, we find those from whom a more creditable course of co ti- ded might have been expected, the writers and spokesmen of the most wretched and discreditable defences of official acts.
Mr. WARD excuses the suspension of the Canadian Constitution, because, says he, " The Canadians attempted to cut the knot with the sword of civil war ; and men cannot at the same time appeal to public opinion and to arms."
When the Canadian Constitution was suspended, all the signs of
say insurrection had disappeared. The few troops that were in that province had restored order. The people had been excited by the Resolutions of 1837, and by the threats held out by Lord GOSIORD, upon the prorogation of the Provincial Parliament, after the debate upon those resolutions. They believed that this country was about to perpetrate some great acts of injustice, and that all protection of
the people from such acts was lost. This was the feeling prevalent in the autumn of 1837. Did the Government take any step to counteract this feeling, and to assure the people that the opinions they entertained towards it were unfounded—that it would administer the law correctly, and that the disputes between the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council should not be followed by any public evils, so far as the Governmetit could prevent them ? No, no such steps were taken. On the contrary, the Government endeavoured to alarm and to harass its political opponents. It encouraged signs of hostility against the popular leaders. It sent down the Attorney. General to Montreal, with mysterious announcements of the purpose of bis mission ; and it finally issued warrants to arrest some of the most peaceable, orderly, and most esteemed of thus inhabitants in the district of Chambly—men who contemplated no appeal to the sword, and who had made no preparation for such an appeal. What followed ? The inhabitants of the district, upon the excitement of the moment, believing the warrants to be both illegal and unjust, rescued their neighbours and friends. This was the first appeal to "the sword of civil war." Troops were then sent to the district ; the fears of the people were still more excited ; and in this district fighting took place. The troops suceeeded in their object ; and quiet was restored there, and, afterwards, in the district to the nortls of Montreal. But how many of the people of Canada were concerned in these pro-
ceedings? If this fighting, thus easily suppressed, justified the suspension of the constitution of Canada, Ireland ought long since to have been disfranchised. Kent ought to lose its representatives • mid the events of Peterloo should have been followed by the political de- gradation of Lancashire. If Mr. Waen's principles are right, the conduct of NICHOLAS towards the Poles is deserving of the highest approbation. Alarm and excite a district by the arrest of its most worthy inhabitants; induce the inhabitants to resist a company of sol- diers; and you will be justified in depriving the nation in which this occurs of its political privileges, and in reducing it to it state of slavery ! Lord RIPON behaved better than these self-called Radieals, and re- fused so unworthy a defence as this for his vote upon this question. Ile distinctly stated, that the restoration of order in Canada was com- plete, but that whether there had beets any outbreak or riot, the dis- putes between the two branches of the Legislature rendered the sus:- rP n nsion of the constitutio necessary. This was an intelligible and nest ground upon which to proceed. It was not encumbered with the petty and paltry excuses which a man believing that he is doing right disdains to resort to. The next matter referred to by Mr. WARD, is the Ordinance send- ing Dr. NELSON and his compatriots to Bermuda, and sentencing to death sixteen persons in America, in case they should return to their Romeo. Lord DURHAM might, says Mr. Watt% have legally sent these persons to New South Vales. The question is, could he do so stithout trail ? could he do so without their being ariaigned ? could he do so without their he; eg Cony jeteil ?— No jut 2, would have convicted them, says Mr. BULLER- Tlit,t \*, itlitott Lord DURHAM ; and Mr. WARD approves. Trials would be inconve- silent ; unpleasant questions might arise ; the propriety of having any triid is doubtful ; therefore, convict, Fentence, and execute without trial, say the Lynch lawyers in the train of Lord Deettass. Why, what an admirable device would this have been for the lawyers in the reign of Geonee the Second ; or for Loud ELDON, when he sought to convict THELWALL !—if Lord Deetram's Whig friends, upon the latter °evasion, would have sanctitmed it. Lower Canada has sweet been in so excited a state, nor have the feelings of the people ever been so exas- perated, us they were in this country when Lord ELDON complained that juries would not convict. Yet was it ever heard proposed, that unconvicti d inen should be banished—that the greatest principle of pub- lic security should he violated—that the Government, as well as its op- ponents, shall be liuble to submit its acts to the censuve, the remark, the investigation, or the approval of the courts of law ? It' the Govern- ment cannot do this, it ought nat to be permitted to dispose of its, opponents upon the evidence of secret accusers, or secret depositions,. and by means of the dark practices of un inquisition, which may call itself a Council.
These tire not the means by which order can be restored, but means by which disputes must be perpetuated. If Lord Dealt ANI desired to render Canada, to a successor in the state of peace in which he found it, he ought not to have done any act which he would not have dune if the House of Assembly (constituted of men of upright principles) bad been in existence, or which the House of Assembly, when it again meets, will not approve of. Instead of this, he has raised as many con- stitutional questions for the next Provincial Parliament to settle, as were brought before the Convention Parliament in England ; ques- tions which, he may depend upon it, will be settled before the Govern- ment will °Inuits supplies, and settled, too, by the votes of the majority of the people.
AS I was about to dose this letter, I found in the Morning Chronicle Of this day, a curious attack upon Lord 'Novel-tam, written with the authority of "we," but said to be from a correspondent, in which he is charged with misstatement and falsehood. He is said to have misstated the words of the letter of Mr. Ileums and the effect of the 01 dinance of Lord DURHAM. Now it may be affirmed that Lord BROUGHAM has misstated neither the one nor the other. "OurOrdinance will appt ar to you lion ibly despotic and unconstitutional, but it is really mild." This is the language of Mr. BULLEM The first part of' the sen- tence Lord Bitouonam cites, but not the last. The first part is clear, the last part requires proof. How does Mr. BULLER prove the Ordi- nance to be mild ? " Because DO jury will convict the persons named in ourOrdinatiee whom we have sentenced to death if they return home! " Now, this being the reason why theGrdinance is mild, Lord Bum:Glum is justified in adopting the first description and rejecting the second. The despotism of the act is obvious ; its mildness not at all clear, seeing that it treats Mr. PAPINEAU and others, who want to be tried—who deny being guilty daily crime—in the same way as it treats Dr. WoLeams NELSON and his compatriots. Was it very mild in the Government to sentence Louis PERRAULT to death if he returned home, though he had left the province on private business before any disturbance took place, and has never been concerned in any treason ? Was it mild to sentence RYAN to death, for having fled the province, be being at Quebec, and not being accused of treason? This mildness is so like despotism, that Lord BROUGI4ANI must he excused for rejecting the use of the term mild, when citing Mr. BULLER'S account of his own Ordinance.
The next objection is, that Lord BROUGHAM has declared that the Ordinance sentences the persons named in it to death, without trial, for the treason they are alleged to have committed—if they shall return to their homes. Oh ! this is false, says the Morning Chronicle, "on conviction of being found at large" they are to be hanged ! Miserable quibble ! Why are they to be hanged for being found at large, if not upon account of a treason, for which the Ordinance ex- pressly prevents their being tried ? They are to be sentenced to death, without any evidence of' the act which the Government makes the ex- cuse of sentencing them to death, if convicted of returning to their families in Canada. Miserable- sophist ! to say that your argument affects the personal honour of Lord BROUGHAM. The personal honour of some person is ufferted ; and it is that of the num who published the private and confidentinl letter of Mr. C. BeLLeu. The correspondent of the Morning Chronicle states, that as addi- tional information arrives, the condition of Lord Baouetram is not likely to be improved ; and that the act of sending the prisoners to Bermuda was not the act of Lord Durmast alone, but of the Gover- nor of Canada and of Bermuda conjointly. Of course it will much de- light the public to know that Sir AsienEw LCITII HAY, who was very lately in Europe, has been so kind as to offer his aid and assistance to Lord Dennam, and to share with him the glory of assenting to allow eight men to remain as convicts in Bermuda, sent thither as convicts, without trial, and without being convicted of tiny crime. The corre- spondence of the Governor of Bautuda upon this subject, is not, it is presumed, dated at 13ermuda. In conclusion, Sir, let me refer to the case of Sir T. AnstsraoNm. He was accused of treason and fled to Leyden, where he was arrested and sent to England. In June 1684, he was brought to the bar of the King's Bench, before Jeentre.s, WinteNs, HOLLWAY, and WaLco?, Judges of that court. He was arraigned upon his outlawry; but sub- mitted, that under the statute of 5th Edward VI., he was entitled, within the year, to reverse the outlawry. The Judges said no ; and held that he was attainted on his outlawry, in the same manner as the Judges in Canada would hold Mr. PAPINEAU to be guilty and subject to attainder for treason, by the mere act of his return to the province. "We are satisfied," said Jemmies, "arid must award execution upon this outlawry." " 1 hope you will not murder any father," exclaimed the affec- tionate daughter of SirTstomas ARMSTRONG, who was present : "this is murdering my father." She saw the injustice of a proceeding, to the injustice of the parallel of which the friends of Lord Dunnast are blind. But what said the Convention Parliament ? The House of Commons—in those days the " Unreformed House "—utieninaously resolved-1. That the execution upon the attainder and outlawry
Was eta! a ',order milltr the practice (I .1,,
paration for their losses out of the estates of the four Judges and the two prosecutors. Yet the Law-Officers were highly commended when they did this act of injustice. " JEFFRIES," says Bishop BUR- NETT, "soon after this trial, came to the King at Windsor, who took a ring of good value from his finger and gave it to him for his ser- vices." But JEFFRIES -bungled. BULLEIt has not bungled. The Ordinance of Lord DURHAM prevents the question of the power to reverse an outlawry for treason within a year, and declares the oppo- nents of the Government to be guilty of an act of treason if they return to the province even to reverse an outlawry for treason ! It must be confessed, that when it is remembered that Sir THOMAS ARMSTRONG was the friend and companion of Lord RUSSELL—that he was his fellow martyr in the assertion of those principles which are the boast of this country—indignation has no bounds at witnessing Lord JOHN RUSSELL and the Whig party the defenders of an Ordinance as cruel arid unjust as any of the arbitrary acts witnessed in the years