by virtue of their official situations : they would be enabled to explain the views of the Executive Government upon the principal points which could be brought under the consideration of the Legislature ; and the introduction of so small a number as three gentlemen nominated by the Crown could not be supposed in any degree to control its deliberations. Upon this point it is only necessary to add, that the bill should be so framed, as, in depriving the Council of its legislative functions, to allow of its continuance as a body to which the Governor might resort for advice during the intervals between the session of the Legislature, and upon other occasions when it might be convenient to him to do so ; for this purpose, however, a numerous body is not required, and I have therefore at present only recommended to His Majesty one gentleman, not holding any official situation, for a seat in the Council. The gentleman whom I have selected is Colonel Haly, who has been strongly recommended by yourself, and to whom a dormant commission will be granted, authorizing him to assume the government of the colony in the event of your absence, in order that the regular discharge of the duties of the subordinate officers may not be interrupted by their being called upon to assume the temporary administration of the government.
In contemplation of the change which has been effected in the internal
government of the colony, it was resolved to apply to Parliament to continue in force the Acts by which the celebration of marriages, the administration of justice, and the conduct of the fisheries are regulated. Bills are now pending for that purpose, and will, I trust, be shortly passed into law. The Marriage and the Administration of Justice Acts, being matters exclusively of local concern, will remain in force until the local Legislature shall see fit to repeal or to alter them. If the Council and Assembly should think that any change is requisite on either of these topics, the remedy will therefore be in their own hands. The Newfoundland Fisheries Act affects interests partly local, and partly co-extensive with the trade and navigation of the empire at large. It will therefore be continued in force for two years. Before the expiration of that time it will be fit that the local Legislature should be invited to consider the subject in all its bearings. So much of that statute as relates to the navigation and commerce of this kingdom may then be revised by Parliament, with the benefit of the assistance to be anticipated from the labours of the Council and Assembly ; so much, on the other hand, of the statute as refers to interests properly local may then also be remitted to the local Legislature for their decision.
By one of the two bills to which I have referred, provision is made for transferring to the Governor, Council and Assembly of Newfoundland the appropriation to the public service of the island of all money levied there under any Parliamentary authority. From his existing revenues His Majesty has reserved nothing for his own unqualified disposal, but has placed the whole under the control of the local Legislature, with the exception of a sum which must be applied for the support of the Governor, the Judges, the Colonial Secretary and the Attorney-General. This arrangement will, I trust, effectually obviate the difficulties which have been so sensibly felt in other
colonies, and satisfy the inhabitants of His Majesty's fixed purpose and earnest solicitude to promote to the utmost of his power a wise economy in the expenditure of the public revenue, and to respect the constitutional rights of the popular branch of the local Legislature.
You will observe that the expense of collecting this branch of the revenue is to be deducted from its gross proceeds, and that these arrangements do not embrace any part of that revenue which accrues to the Crown in virtue of His Majesty's prerogatives. Such, for example, are the rents or the proceeds of the sales of Crown lands, escheats, fines and forfeitures. His Majesty is, however, graciously pleased to authorize you to assure the Council and Assembly that whatever money may accrue to the Crown in the island will always be applied towards the expense of the civil or military government, or towards objects strictly and exclusively local.
I hope shortly to convey to you the authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury for the apportionment of that part of the Parliamentary duties which will be applicable to the support of the public officers already enumerated.
I have, &c.
Governor Sir Thomas Cochrane,
&c. &c. &c.
No. 795. C
1832. IMPERIAL ACT, 2-3 WM. IV., CAP. 78.
See Vol. I, page 321.
No. 796. C
1842. IMPERIAL ACT, 5-6 VICT., CAP. 120.
See Vol. I, page 323.