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No. 285.

FIRST DRAUGHT OF QUEBEC BILL.
¹

An act for granting for a limited time, therein mentd Powers of       Legislation to the Governor & Council of His Majesty's       Province of Quebec for the time being—

      Whereas His Majesty was graciously pleased, by a Royal Proclamation bearing Date at St. James's the 7th Day of Octr in the third year of His Majesty's Reign, to publish & declare, that certain Lands & Countries in America, therein mentioned & described, had been erected into a Province by the name of the Province of Quebec, & that the Govr thereof was expressly empowered & directed, by Commission under the Great Seal, that so soon as the State & Circumstances of the said Province would admit thereof, he should, with the Advice & Consent of His Majesty's Council for the said Province, summon & call a General Assembly within the said Province in such manner & form as is used & directed in those Colonies & Provinces in America, which are under His Majesty's immediate Government, & that power had been also given to the said Governor with the consent of the Council & of the Representatives of the People so to be summoned & elected as aforesaid, to make constitute & ordain Laws, Statutes & Ordinances, for the public peace Welfare & good Government of the said Province & of the People & Inhabitants thereof. And Whereas the State & Condition of the said Province of Quebec has not hitherto been, is not now, nor is likely for some time to be such as to admit of a Lower House of Assembly or House of Representatives being convened, conformable to His Majesty's gracious Intentions declared in His Commission under the Great Seal & promulgated in the said Proclamation, by means whereof His Majesty's Subjects in the said Province are & must be exposed to great Inconveniences, the Welfare & Improvement of it obstructed, & a heavy burthen brought upon this Kingdom. In order therefore that these Wants & Defects may be remedied, & the Good Order and Welfare of the said Province provided for. Be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and- with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual & Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled & by the

     ¹  Canadian Archives, Dartmouth Papers, M 383, p. 51. This draught is evidently the work of Sol. Gen. Wedderburn whose ideas, chiefly, it expresses, as may be gathered from comparing it with his Report and especially with the "Abstract of such of the Regulations proposed in Mr. Solicitor Genls Report as it may be expedient to establish by Act of Parliament."  See Can. Const'l Doc'ts, 2nd ed., vol. 1, p. 434.  This draught however was completely changed, both in form and content, under the direction of Lord Dartmouth, who in turn was influenced by different forces, personal and political. [Const. Docs. ibid. p. 535.]

p. 1098

Authority of the same that from & after the         Day of         it shall and may be lawful for the Governor or Commander in Chief of the said Province of Quebec, for the time being, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Council of the said Province for the time being, or the Majority thereof to make constitute & ordain Laws, Statutes and Ordinances, for the public peace, Welfare & good Governmt of the said Province, and of the people & Inhabitants thereof, in all cases whatsoever. Provided always & be it enacted that the said Council shall consist of not more than 21 nor less than 12 members, & that all Laws Statutes & Ordinances to be made under the Authority hereof, shall be so made & passed in ye sd Council when not less than 13 of the said Members shall be present. Provided nevertheless, and it is hereby enacted & ordained, by the Authority aforesaid, that no Law, Statute or Ordinance so to be framed & enacted as aforesaid by the said Governor or Commander in Chief & Council as aforesaid, by which, the Life Limb or property of the Subject may be affected or any Duties or Taxes shall be imposed for the public use of the said Province, shall be of any force, validity or effect until approved by His Majesty, & such approbation signified by Order of His Majesty in Council. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that Copies of all Laws, Statutes & Ordinances so to be framed & enacted by the said Governor Commander in Chief and Council as aforesaid shall, within three Months from the passing thereof (or sooner if opportunity offer) be transmitted duly authenticated under the Seal of the said Province by the said Governor or Commandr in Chief for the time being to the Commissioners for Trade & Plantations, together with Accounts duly attested of all public Monies levied & expended in virtue of any Law, Statute or Ordinance as aforesaid, in which said Account shall be specified the particular Service to which the said Monies have been issued & applied. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the said Laws, Statutes & Ordinances as also the Accounts abovementioned of all public Monies levied and expended within the said Province of Quebec, shall be laid by the said Commissioners for Trade and Plantations before both Houses of Parliament, as soon as may be after the same shall have been received by them from the said Province as aforesaid. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that this Act shall continue & be in force for the space of fourteen Years, and from thence to the End of the next Session of Parliament unless His Majesty, His Heirs & Successors shall think fit before the expiration of that Term to direct a Lower House of Assembly or House of Representatives to be convened within the said Province of Quebec in which case the Legislative powers hereby conferred upon the Governor or Commander in Chief & Council, for the time being, shall cease & determine & be of none effect, any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

Endorsed:—Drat of Bill—
                           Quebec

[1927lab]

 

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