And be it further Enacted &ca That nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to prevent or hinder His Majesty His Heirs and Successors by his or their Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain from erecting, constituting and appointing such Courts of Criminal, Civil and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction within and for the said Province of Quebeck and its dependencys and appointing from time to time the Judges and Officers thereof as His Majesty His Heirs and Successors shall think necessary and proper for the circumstances of the said Province.
Endorsed:—Drat of Bill
No. 287. C
PROPOSED EXTENSION OF PROVINCIAL LIMITS.¹
The Limits of the Government of Quebec as declared in the Proclamation of 1763 are as follows, Vizt. “bounded on the Labrador Coast by the River St. John, & from thence by a line drawn from the head of that River thro' the Lake of St. John to the South end of the Lake Nipissing; from whence the said Line crossing the River St. Lawrence and the Lake Champlain in 45 Degrees of No Latitude, passes along the High Lands which divide the Rivers that empty themselves into the said River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Sea; and also along the North Coast of the Bay des Chaleurs, and the Coast of the Gulph of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosiers, and from thence crossing the Mouth of the River St. Lawrence by the West end of the Island of Anticosti terminates at the aforesaid River of St. John.”
The Kings Servants were induced to confine the Government of Quebec within the above Limits, from an apprehension that there were no Settlements of Canadian Subjects, or lawful possessions beyond those Limits, and from a hope of being able to carry into execution a plan that was then under Consideration for putting the whole of the Interior Country to the Westward of our Colonies under one general control & Regulation by Act of Parliament². It was also conceived that there was no claim of Possession on
¹ Canadian Archives, Dartmouth Papers, M 385, p. 346. The boundary line as here proposed, indicates the limits within which it was desired to confine the English colonies. That it was largely adopted, despite the opposition of some supporters of the Ministry, will be seen from the third draught
of the bill which follows. No clue is given as to the author of this proposal but, as maybe observed from a letter of Dartmouth to Cramahé of Dec. 1st, 1773, (See Can. Const'l Doc's., 2nd ed., vol. 1, p. 485) this extension of the limits of the Province, like the Establishment of the Roman Catholic religion, was represented as a direct concession to the Canadian noblesse and clergy in response to their petition.
² For the actual statement of the reasons for this policy, see the papers relative to the establishment of civil government in Quebec. [Const. Docs., p. 542.]
the Coast of Labrador to the East of the River St. John, and therefore from an apprehension that a valuable Cod Fishery might be carried on upon that Coast, it was annexed to the Government of Newfoundland.
The plan for the regulation of the Interior Country proved abortive & in consequence thereof an immense tract of very valuable Land within which there are many Possessions and actual Colonies existing under the Faith of the Treaty of Paris has become the Theatre of disorder & Confusion leading to causes that must affect the public Tranquility and weaken the Authority of this Kingdom, whilst those Colonies which exist under the Faith of the Treaty remain either without the protection or the control of Civil Government.¹
It has also been discovered that there are a variety of claims to possessions upon the Coast of Labrador between the River St. John and the Straits of Belle Isle, and that by far the greatest part of that Coast is impracticable for a Cod Fishery and can only be used for that species of sedentary Seal Fishery which is in its nature inconsistent with the Regulations of the Fishery at Newfoundland.
In order therefore to obviate the dangers and disadvantages arising from the present defective state of the Interior Country. To give force and effect to the Power and Authority of the Crown within it. To give scope to the many Commercial advantages which may be derived from it. To extend the benefits of Civil Government to the Settlements of Canadian Subjects that have been formed in the different parts of it,² and to give Stability & advantage to the Sedentary Fisheries on the North side of the Gulph of St. Lawrence, it is proposed that the
Limits and Boundaries of the Government of Quebec shou'd be altered and enlarg'd in the following manner, that is to say,
That the said Government should be bounded on the side of His Majesty's other Colonies by a Line drawn from the Head of Bay Chaleurs (including the North side of the said Bay and all the Lands between that and the River
¹ This is a matter on which a great variety of evidence is recorded and many different opinions expressed. The chief of these references are scattered throughout the letters and reports contained in the State Papers of the Q series, the Home Office Papers, and the Haldimand Papers, some of which are duplicates. [Const. Docs., p. 542.]
² In addition to the statements made in such letters as that of Dartmouth to Cramahé of Dec. lst, 1773, (see p. 485) we find the statement of Wm. Knox the Colonial Under Secretary, after the Quebec Act was passed, that “the whole of the derelict country, is, by the first clause of the Act, put under the jurisdiction of the Government of Quebec, with the avowed purpose of excluding all further settlement therein, and for the establishment of uniform regulations for the Indian trade.” “The Justice and Policy of the late Act” &c. p. 20. See also notes to Lord Hillsborough's objections to the Quebec Bill, &c., post. [Ibid. p. 543.]
St. Lawrence) along the High Lands which divide the Rivers which empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantick Ocean until the said line reaches lake Champlain in 45 Degrees of No Latitude.
The said line to be continued from thence in a direct course to the first spring or Head of Hudson's River, and from thence in a direct course to the entrance of Lake Ontario from the said River St. Lawrence. That the said Line should pass from thence across the said Lake to the Mouth or entrance of the Strait of Niagara and should pass along the East side of the said Strait until it falls into the Northern Boundary of the Province of Pennsylvania, and from thence it should follow the course of the said Boundary line as well on the North as the West, to the Point where it intersects the River Ohio, and so following the course of the said River, from the said Point to its confluence with the River Mississippi. That the said Government should comprehend all the Coast of Labrador as far East as Esquimaux River & be bounded on the North by a Line drawn due West from the mouth of the said River to the southern Limits of the Territory granted to the Hudsons Bay Company and to follow the course of the said Limits as far as the River Mississippi, the said River to be the Boundary on the West from the point where it is intersected by the Southern Limits of the Territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company as aforesaid, as low down as the Mouth of the River Ohio.
Endorsed:—Paper relative to the extension of the Limits of Quebec.
No. 288. C
THIRD DRAUGHT OF THE QUEBEC BILL.¹
An Act for making more effectual Provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America; and for removing Doubts which have arisen relative to the Laws and Constitution of the said Province since His Majesty's Royal Proclamation of the 7th of October 1763.
Whereas His Majesty by His Royal Proclamation bearing date the 7th day of October in the Third year of His Reign, thought fit to declare the
¹ Canadian Archives, Dartmouth Papers, M 385, p. 311. The alterations and additions by which the second draught was developed into the third are given in part of the notes on the second draught. Other explanations are furnished in the memorandum which follows this draught of the bill.
Provisions which had been made in respect to certain Countries, Territories and Islands in America Ceded to His Majesty by the Definitive Treaty of Peace concluded at Paris on the 10th day of Febry 1763 And Whereas by the Arrangements made by the said Royal Proclamation a very large part of the Territory of Canada, within which there were several Colonies and Settlements of the Subjects of France who claimed to remain therein under the faith of the said Treaty, was left without any Provision being made for the administration of Civil Government therein, and other parts of the said Country where sedentary Fisheries had been established and carried on by the subjects of France, Inhabitants of the said Province of Canada under Grants and Concessions from the Governt thereof, were annexed to the Govt of Newfoundland, and thereby subjected to regulations inconsistent with the nature of such Fisheries. May it therefore please your most excellent Majesty that it may be enacted; and it is hereby enacted by The Kings most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same That all the said Territories, Islands and Countries, heretofore part of the Province of Canada in North America, extending Southward to the banks of the River Ohio, Westward to the banks of the Mississippi and northward to the Southern Boundary of the Territory granted to the Merchants Adventurers of England trading to Hudsons Bay, and which said Territories, Islands and Countries are within the limits of some other British Colony as allowed & confirmed by the Crown, or which have since the 10th Feby 1763, been made part of the Government of Newfoundland, be, and they are hereby annexed to, and part and parcel of the Province of Quebec as created and established by the said Royal Proclamation of the 7th of October 1763, for and during His Majesty's Pleasure; And Whereas the Provisions made by the said Proclamation in respect to the Civil Government of the said Province of Quebec and the Powers & Authorities given to the Governor & other Civil Officers of the said Province by the Grants and Commissions issued in consequence thereof, have been found upon experience to be inadequate to the State & Circumstances of the said Province the Inhabitants whereof amounting at the Conquest to above One hundred Thousand Persons professing the Religion of the Church of Rome and enjoying an established form of Constitution & system of Laws by which their Persons and Property had been protected, governed and ordered for a long series of years from the first Establishment of the said Province of Canada, Be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Proclamation so far as the same relates to the Civil Government & Administration of, Justice of & in the said Province of Quebec, & the Commission under the Authority whereof the Government of the said Province is at present administered & all & every the Ordinance & Ordinances made by the Governor & Council of Quebec for the time being relative to the Civil Government & Administration of Justice in the said Province and all Commissions to Judges & other Officers thereof, be, and the same are hereby revoked, annulled & made void from and after the Day of next.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that His Majesty's subjects professing the Religion of the Church of Rome of & in the said Province of Quebec as the same is described in & by the said Proclamation and Commissions, and also of all the Territories part of the Province of Canada at the time of the Conquest thereof, which are hereby annexed during His Majesty's Pleasure to the said Government of Quebec may have, hold & enjoy the free Exercise of the Religion of the Church of Rome, so far as the same is not inconsistent with the Kings Supremacy as established by act of Parliament and that Clergy & other Religious of the said Church may hold receive & enjoy their accustomed Dues & Rights with respect to such Persons only as shall possess the said Religion. Provided nevertheless that no thing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to the Disabling His Majesty's His Heirs or Successors from the making such Provision for the Maintenance & Support of a Protestant Clergy within the said Province as He or they shall from time to time think necessary & expedient.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all His Majesty's Canadian Subjects within the Province of Quebec, & the Territories thereunto belonging, may also hold, and enjoy their Property & Possessions together with all Customs & Usages relative thereto, and all other their Civil Rights in as large ample & beneficial manner as if the said Proclamation, Commissions, Ordinances & other Acts & Instruments had not been made, and as may consist with their Allegiance to His Majesty & Subjection to the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain.
For which purpose be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that, in all matters of controversy relative to the Property & Civil Rights of any of His Majesty's Subjects whether Canadian or English, Resort shall be had to the Laws of Canada and not the Laws of England for the Decision of the same, and all Causes that shall hereafter be instituted in any of the Courts of Justice to be appointed within & for the said Province by His Majesty, His Heirs & Successors, shall, with respect to such Property & Rights be determined by th a Judges of the same agreeably to the said Laws & Customs of Canada & the several Ordinances that shall from time to time be passed in the said Province by the Govr Lieut-Govr or Commander in Chief by & with the advice & consent of the Legislative Council of the same to be appointed in manner herein before mentioned & by no other Laws Customs or Usages whatsoever.
¹ This clause which is written in the margin of this draught of the bill appears in the body of the fourth draught.