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swerable for if it be tolerated, since it is but the creature of the law, and is susceptible at all times of modification, amendment, or repeal, at the pleasure of Congress. I know that it has been objected, that the system would be liable to be abused by the Legislature, by whom alone it could be abused in the party conflicts of the day. “That such abuse would manifest itself in a change of the law, which would authorize an excessive issue of paper for the purpose of inflating prices and winning popular favour. To that it may be answered, that the ascription of such a motive to Congress is altogether gratuitous and inadmissible. The theory of our institutions would lead us to a different conclusion. But a perfect security against a proceeding so reckless would be found to exist in the very nature of things. The political party which should be so blind to the true interests of the country as to resort to such an expedient, would inevitably meet with final overthrow in the fact that the moment the paper ceased to be convertible into specie, or otherwise promptly redeemed, it would become worthless, and would, in the end, dishonour the government, involve the people in ruin, and such political party in hopeless disgrace. “At the same time, such a view involves the utter impossibility of furnishing any currency other than that of the precious metals, for, if the government itself cannot forego the temptation of excessive paper issues, what reliance can be placed in corporations upon whom the temptations of individual aggrandizement would most strongly operate 2 The people would have to blame none but themselves for any injury that might arise from
a course so reckless, since their agents would be the wrongdoers, and they the passive spectators. “There can be but three kinds of public currency, first, gold and silver; second, the paper of state institutions; or, third, a representative of the precious metals, provided by the general government, or under its authority. The subtreasury system rejected the last in any form; and, as it was believed that no reliance could be placed on the issues of local institutions for the purposes of general circulation, it necessarily and unavoidably adopted specie as the exclusive currency for its own use. “And this must ever be the case unless one of the other kind be used. The choice, in the present state of public sentiment, lies between an exclusive specie currency on the one hand, and government issues of some kind on the other. That these issues cannot be made by a chartered institution, is supposed to be conclusively settled. They must be made then directly by government agents. For several years past they have been thus made in the form of Treasury notes, and have answered a valuable purpose. Their usefulness has been limited by their being transient and temporary; their ceasing to bear interest at given periods necessarily causes their speedy return, and thus restricts their range of circulation, and, being used . in the disbursements of government, they cannot reach those points where they are most required. “The credit of the government may be regarded as the very soul of the government itself—a principle of vitality without which all its movements are languid and all its operations embarrassed. In this spirit the Executive felt himself bound by the most imperative sense of duty to submit to Congress, at its last session, the propriety of making a specific pledge of the land fund as the basis for the n tiations of the loans authorised to be contracted. I then thought that such an application of the public domain would, without doubt, have placed at the command of the government ample funds to relieve the Treasury from the temporary embarrassments under which it laboured. American credit has suffered a considerable shock in Europe from the large indebtedness of the states and the temporary inability of some of them to meet the interest on their debts. “The utter and disastrous prostration of the United States Bank of Pennsylvania had contributed largely to increase the sentiment of distrust by reason of the loss and ruin sustained by the holders of its stock, a large portion of whom were foreigners, and many of whom were alike ignorant of our political organisation and of our actual reponsibilities. It was the anxious desire of the Executive that in the effort to negociate the loan abroad the American negociator might be able to point the money-lender to the fund mortgaged for the redemption of the principal and interest of any loan he might contract, and thereby vindicate government from all suspicion of bad faith or inability to meet its engagements. Congress differed from the Executive in this view of the subject. It became, nevertheless, the duty of the Executive to resort to every expedient in its power to negociate the authorized loan. After a failure to do so in the American market, a citizen of high character
and talent was sent to Europe with no better success; and thus the mortifying spectacle has been presented of the inability of this government to obtain a loan so small as not in the whole to amount to more than one-fourth of its ordinary annual income, at a time when the governments of Europe, although involved in debt, and with their subjects heavily burthened with taxation, readily obtain loans of any amount at a greatly reduced rate of interest. “It has now become obvious to all men that the government must look to its own means for supplying its wants, and it is consoling to know that these means are altogether adequate for the object. The Exchequer, if adopted, will greatly aid in bringing about this result. Upon what I regard as a well-founded supposition, that its bills would be readily sought for by the public creditors, and that the issue would in a short time reach the maximum of 15,000,000 dollars, it is obvious that 10,000,000 dollars would thereby be added to the available means of the Treasury without cost or charge. Nor can I fail to urge the great and beneficial effects which would be produced in aid of all the active pursuits of life. “Its effect upon the solvent state banks, while it would force into liquidation those of an opposite character through its weekly settlements, would be highly beneficial : and with the advantages of a sound currency the restoration of confidence and credit would follow, with a numerous train of blessings. My convictions are most strong that these benefits would flow from the adoption of this measure; but, if the result should be adverse, there is this security in connection with it, that the law creating it may be repealed at the pleasure of the legislature, without the slightest implication of its good faith. “I have thus, fellow-citizens, acquitted myself of my duty under the constitution, by laying before you, as succinctly as I have been able, the state of the union, and by inviting your attention to measures of much importance to the country. The Executive will most zealously unite its efforts with those of the legislative department in the accomplishment of all that is required to relieve the wants of a common constituency, or elevate the destinies of a beloved country.” The following is a statistical summary of the value of the exports of produce and manufactures of the United States for three years, 1838, 1839, and 1841. The exports of the produce of the sea had declined to 2,846,851 dollars, having in the year 1838 been as high as 3,175,576 dollars. The
exports of the produce of the forest show an increase ; 1838 being stated at 5,200,499 dollars, 1839 at 5,764,559 dollars, and 1841 at 6,264,852 dollars. Of agricultural producc, including the raising of crops and the breed of cattle, the exports are stated at 9,104,514 dollars for 1838, 13,588,186 dollars for 1839, and 16,737,462 dollars for 1841. Of the tobaccocrop, in 1838 the value exported was 7,292,029 dollars; in 1839, 9,882,943 dollars; and 12,576,703 dollars in 1841. Of the cottoncrop, the value exported was 61,556,811 dollars in 1838, 61,238,982 dollars in 1839, and 54,330,341 dollars in 1841. And the exports of manufactures are stated at 8,482,321 dollars for 1838, and 9,590,531 dollars for 1839, and 6,481,502 dollars for 1841. Of these general amounts, England, for herself and Colonies, took 850,540 barrels of flour, 850,865 bushels of wheat, 324,709 bushels of Indian corn and 96,810 barrels of pork,
CANADA—Principles of Lord Sydenham's Administration–Different political Parties in Canada—Sir Charles Bagot appointed as Successor to Lord Sydenham—Opening of the second Session of the United Parliament by the Governor—Attempt to conciliate the Loner Canada French by ihe offer of office to Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Lafontaine—They accept office, and have to undergo an ElectionAddress of Mr. Lafontaine—Dangerous illness of Sir Charles Bagot — Prorogation of Parliament — Sir Charles Bagot leaves Canada and dies soon after his return to England—Question of Canadian Corn Duties—Letter of Lord Stanley to the Governor on the subject—Bill passed in the Colonial Legislature. THE Manques.As AND Society Isla NDs, IN THE PAcific.—Short Narrative of the intercourse between these Islands and Great Britain–Correspondence betncen Queen Pomare and Mr. Canning and Lord Palmerston—A French Frigate appears off Tahiti—Demand made by him of redress—Letter of Queen Pomare to Queen Victoria, and Answer of Lord Palmerston–The Tahitian Government is taken under French protection by Admiral Dupetit Thouars—PROJET de Los relative to the Marquesas proposed by the Minister of Marine to the French Chamber.
ELANCHOLY as the death and was making preparations for
of Lord Sydenham was at the very moment when he had triumphed over the obstacles that had stood in the way of a Legislative Union between Upper and Lower Canada, and might reasonably look forward to seeing beneficial results flow from this important measure, it cannot be said that the policy of the Imperial Government with respect to our North American Colonies was thereby embarrassed, for Lord Sydenham had determined to retire from his high office assoon as ever he saw the Union fairly accomplished,
an early departure, when he met with the accident, which owing to a constitution already enfeebled by ill health, occasioned his death. During his short administration of the affairs of Canada, we believe that his Lordship is entitled to the praise of having governed in an impartial spirit with a firm and vigorous hand. And this is no ordinary praise when justly merited by a Governor of Canada where hitherto it has been the custom for that functionary to throw himself almost exclusively into the arms of one or other of
the contending parties, and where faction is embittered by difference of origin, language, and religion. Formerly the Tory party of Upper Canada, although inferior in numbers, was that which usually stood highest in the favour of successive Governors and the leaders of this party, who shared amongst themselves the different offices and patronage of Government, were known by the name of “the Family Compact.” Lord Sydenham, however, refused to recognise this minority as entitled to a monopoly of office, and his great object was to break down as much as possible old party distinctions, and form an administration composed of moderate and able men taken from the ranks of different parties. The four great divisions representing different political opinions in the United Province of Canada, after the Union had taken place may be classified as follows:– 1st. The Upper Canada Tories, who had previously been the dominant party, and who were generally called “the Family Compact.” 2nd. The Upper Canada Reformers, who were excluded from all participation in office by the “Compact.” 3rd. The Lower Canada French, who had been the chief agents in the recent rebellion, and whose disaffection to British supremacy was hardly disguised under the veil of alleged grievances with which they sought to cover their seditious projects. These were strongly opposed to the measure of Legislative Union. 4th. The Lower Canada British, whose power and influence were greatly increased by the Union.
The Upper Canada Tories were alienated from Lord Sydenham on account of his determination not to govern exclusively by means of
them, and they, in conjunction with the Lower Canada French, formed the opposition in the first Session of the.United Parliament, but they were outnumbered by the combination of the two other parties, who were thus enabled to give effectual support to the Government of Lord Sydenham. Mr. Baldwin had been recognised as the leader of the Upper Canada Reformers; but shortly after the appointment of Lord Sydenham he left that party and went into opposition with the Lower Canada French, whose most influential member was a Mr. Lafontaine, upon whom the office of SolicitorGeneral for Lower Canada had been bestowed by Lord Sydenham. The person selected by Sir Robert Peel's Ministry to succeed Lord Sydenham as Governor of Canada was Sir Charles Bagot, who found on his arrival that he had an arduous and complicated task before him—the chief difficulty lying in the reconcilement of the jarring pretensions of the contending factions. The new Governor opened the second Session of the Parliament of United Canada on the 8th of September. His speech did not afford any elucidation of the state of affairs and parties in Canada. Nor is it necessary that we should inflict upon our readers minute details of the contest between the rival sections in the House of Assembly. It will be sufficient to state that Sir Charles Bagot made an attempt to amalgamate the differences by offering a share in the Government to the opposition led by Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Lafontaine; but this well-meant proposal on his part was at first absolutely declined by those gentlemen, chiefly