said, he rose to move an Address for Copies of any Correspondence between Mr. Langford and the Colonial Department relative to the alleged abuses in the Government of Vancouver's Island; of any Correspondence between the Colonial Department and Governor Douglas, relating to Mr. Langford's charges; of any Correspondence with the Government of Vancouver's Island relative to the appointment of Chief Justice Cameron, and the remonstrances against such appointment; and of any Petition recently received from Vancouver's Island praying for the redress of grievances. He must express an opinion that the papers for which he moved went far to prove that the charge of mis-management against the government of Vancouver's Island was not entirely without foundation.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House, Copies of any Correspondence between Mr. Langford and the Colonial Department, relative to alleged abuses in the Government of Vancouver's Island:
Of any Correspondence between the Colonial Department and Governor Douglas, referring to Mr. Langford's Charges:
Of any Correspondence with the Government of Vancouver's Island relative to the appointment of Chief Justice Cameron, and the remonstrances against such appointment:
And, of any Petition recently received from Vancouver's Island praying for the redress of grievances,"—(Mr. Fitzwilliam,)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
said, he would not detain the House for more than a few moments while giving an explanation with respect to this matter. It would be quite impossible to raise a discussion upon the papers—even if there were room for the charges which Mr. Langford brought, which there was not—until those papers were in the hands of hon. Members. The facts connected with the papers were simply those. The hon. Gentleman came to him and said he wished to move for certain papers containing charges brought by Mr. Langford against the principal officials of the Colony, including Governor Douglas, Chief Justice Cameron, Mr. Attorney General Carey, and others. He told the hon. Gentleman that he had no objection whatever to produce the papers; but that if he were a friend of Mr. Langford, he would advise him not to press for them. He asked the hon. Gentleman, if he was resolved to persevere, to add after the word "Copies," "or Extracts"—that being the usual course in moving for papers of that kind. The hon. Gentleman, however, had not sufficient confidence in him or the Colonial Office to adopt that suggestion, for he thought they might omit something of importance. Nothing would have been omitted which the House had a right to see; and therefore he told the hon. Gentleman that he could not consent to give the Returns unless the words "or Extracts" were inserted in the Motion. He trusted the House would support him in requiring the insertion of those words. He would merely add the expression of his conviction that the charges were groundless and unworthy of the attention of the House. He should be inclined, on that account, to advise the House to refuse their assent to the Motion, were it not that it was better to have no concealment of any charges brought against public men. He should make an exception, however, with regard to the production of what was called "the Petition," which they did not consider an official document. It did not come through the Governor, but was put into the hands of his noble Friend the Secretary of State (the Duke of Newcastle) a short time ago by Mr. Maclure, who represented himself as charged by the inhabitants of Vancouver's Island to lay their grievances before the Colonial Office; a 576 character in which his noble Friend was not prepared to accept him. The Petition was divided into a number of heads, under which charges were brought against the Governor, the Chief Justice, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Surveyor General, the Legislative Assembly, and against the officials generally. He must take that opportunity of saying that Mr. Maclure made a most unwarrantable use of his interview with the noble Duke, for he wrote out to say that the noble Duke was about to dismiss Governor Douglas—implying that the dismissal was in consequence of representations that bad been made to the Colonial Office; and Governor Douglas had the mortification of reading in a colonial newspaper what appeared to infer that the Home Government had a bad opinion of him. It was true the Governor was about to leave his office, having filled it for a period much beyond the usual term; but he would retire not in the way Mr. Maclure said, but with the utmost credit to himself, and with a feeling of particular respect or the part of the noble Duke. He should move that the words "or Extracts" be inserted after "Copies."
§ MR. AYTOUN
wanted to know why the Colonial Office would not agree to present the whole of the Correspondence.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
said, that substantially the entire Correspondence would be produced; but he insisted on the insertion of the words he had proposed as a matter of principle, and he-cause the hon. Gentleman who made the Motion would not agree to propose it in the terms which every hon. Member moving for papers generally adopted.
§ MR. MALINS
said, it seemed that Mr. Langford was dissatisfied with everything and everybody in the Colony, and he was sure the House would receive with caution charges made under such circumstances against his relative, the Attorney General, who was a young man distinguished for his ability and integrity, or against the Chief Justice of British Columbia. The only thing to be regretted was, that in a Colony of such rising importance as Vancouver's Island the Chief Justice should be wholly unconnected with the law. Chief Justice Cameron, however honourable he might be as a commercial man, did not possess the legal qualifications for the office.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
hoped the hon. Member would agree to the insertion of the words "or Extracts." That was the invariable form in which documents were moved for, and it stood upon the best possible grounds. In all Correspondence there were personal allusions and matters of detail that had no bearing upon the matter before the House. If the hon. Member did not agree to the Amendment, the Government must object altogether to produce the papers.
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, the best course to adopt would be to withdraw the Motion, and to take it as an unopposed return.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.