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manner, where the main movement has been towards union and greater centralisation, the tendency has been controlled by democracy; it was felt wiser and safer to leave many of the powers of government, administrative and legislative, to be exercised by the local authorities, and to concede to the new central authority only so much of the functions of government as were absolutely necessary for the common safety or common utility. We may, then, I think, deduce from the general principles of democracy, and we may verify our conclusion by examination of the many cases now before us, that democracy is safest and most easily regulated, when its powers are broken up and divided between many centres of local government, and where as little as is consistent with safety and public utility, is reserved for the central authority which controls or combines the whole.

As the result of the changes in these two directions in Europe and America we find every form of union of states, and every degree of variation between the relations of the central authority of an empire or state and its dependent states or provinces, which can well be conceived, and we have no lack of precedents for procedure in such matters, or of illustrations and examples, from which to make choice in the changes we may propose to make in the constitution of Ireland.

Beginning with those states or dependencies where the union is of the loosest kind, we have the case of Sweden and Norway, united under the same sovereign, but where the union is otherwise nominal only, where there is complete autonomy for both in every respect, and where even the army and navy and the system of taxation are entirely separate and distinct. Even this slender bond of union does not appear to work badly: it secures peace and harmony between two kindred nations; it combines them together for purposes of defence against possible enemies. Again, we have the union of Finland and Russia and of Luxemburg and Holland. The former is one of considerable interest, for while the superior power is under a system of pure and unrestrained despotism, Finland has a liberal constitution with representative institutions; it has administrative autonomy superintended by a Russian governor; its recruits are enlisted for separate Finnish regiments of the Russian army. On the other hand, it has no foreign or commercial policy distinct from that of its pre-eminent superior power.

Under the same head may be treated the relations of Austria to Hungary (which I shall refer to again later), and those of Great Britain to her numerous Anglo-Saxon colonies. Within the present century free constitutions have been granted to all of these colonies. They have now complete autonomy as regards all internal affairs, including even the right to levy customs duties on the manufactures VOL. XIX.-No. 109. FF

of the mother country. On the other hand, they have no representation in the Imperial Legislature and no voice in the determination of foreign or other imperial questions. They contribute nothing to the maintenance of the forces necessary for the general support and defence of the empire; and it is only recently that some of them have undertaken to a small extent the cost of their own defence. Much has recently been written of Federation of the Empire; its advocates, however, have not yet agreed in defining the common objects which any central representative body would undertake. Whether the relations of these colonies to Great Britain would stand the strain and friction of a serious European war, in which the former may have no real interest or concern, is yet to be tested, and it is to be hoped the test will long be deferred.

Turning, then, from these examples of union, where the main if not the only connecting link is the Sovereign, and where autonomy of the fullest kind is reserved, we come to the other and far more numerous class of cases based more or less on the Federal principle. The most important of these is that of the United States of America, the details of whose Constitution are so well known that it is scarcely necessary to refer to them. The main principle of the Union. was the maintenance of the separate existence of the States, which had previously been distinct political communities dependent on the English crown. The founders of the Union proposed to delegate so much of the sovereign powers of these separate States to a central authority as were necessary for the common safety and for other definite purposes then agreed upon; but whatever was not expressly thus delegated by the Constitution was reserved for the States. For the interpretation of this written Constitution it was necessary to provide a Supreme Court of Law, independent of the legislatures and of the civil authorities of the Union and of the separate States. No reversal of the decision of this court is possible by the Legislature, and no amendments can be made in the Constitution except in the manner pointed out by the Articles of Union: namely, by a majority of twothirds of Congress, and of three-fourths of the State Legislatures. One of the most important provisions of the Constitution is that which declares that any law passed by a separate State impairing the obligation of contracts is null and void.

Closely analogous to the American Federal Constitution is that which was in 1867 freely conceded to our Canadian dependencies, differing, however, in some most important respects. It should be noted, especially in view of the course we may find it necessary to take with Ireland, that the Confederation of these provinces partook both of the centrifugal and of the centripetal movement. Upper and Lower Canada had been united together under one government and one legislature in 1840, upon terms of equality of the two provinces:

ture.

that is, in spite of the great and constantly growing superiority of Upper Canada in population, wealth and intelligence, it was to have equal representation only with Lower Canada in the united LegislaThis yoking together of two communities so unequal, and with many distinct institutions and laws, led inevitably to grave difficulties. Upper Canada pressed continually more and more for a share of representation in proportion to its population. This was bitterly opposed by Lower Canada, fearful lest its separate institutions should be attacked and destroyed if a greater share of power were given to its partner.

The condition is well described by Sir John Macdonald in his able speech on moving the resolutions for Confederation in the Legislative Assembly of Canada in 1865: a speech which is well worthy of attention by those who regard with concern the present relations of England and Ireland.

Men of all parties (he said) and all shades of politics became alarmed at the aspect of affairs. They found that such was the danger of impending anarchy in consequence of the irreconcileable differences of opinion between Upper and Lower Canada, that unless some solution of the difficulty was arrived at we should suffer under a succession of weak Governments-weak in numerical support, weak in tone, weak in power of doing good. All were alarmed at this state of things. We had election after election; we had ministry after ministry, with the same result. Parties were so equally balanced that the vote of one member might decide the fate of the administration and the course of legislation for a year or a series of years. None were more impressed by this momentous state of affairs, and the grave apprehensions that existed of a state of anarchy, destroying our credit, destroying our prosperity, destroying our progress, than were the members of this House, and the leading statesmen of both sides seemed to have come to the common conclusion that some step must be taken to relieve the country from the deadlock and impending anarchy that hung over them.

To find an issue out of this deadlock, it was determined by the leading men of both parties in Canada to invite a union of the other Colonies, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, upon the principle of a Federation. Sir John Macdonald stated that it was the policy of his Government, if they could not succeed in forming a union with the other provinces, to attempt to free the country from the deadlock in which they were placed in Upper and Lower Canada in consequence of the difference of opinion between the two sections, by having a severance to a certain extent of the union between the two provinces and the substitution of a Federal Union between them.' This, however, became unnecessary when it was found that the maritime provinces were prepared to unite. The question then arose whether such Union should be a legislative or complete one, or a federal one. Sir John Macdonald stated his own personal preference for a legislative union-that one Government and one Parliament legislating for the whole of the people of British North America would be the best, the

cheapest, the most vigorous and the strongest system. But on looking at the subject in conference with the other provinces, they found that such a system was impracticable.

It would not meet with the assent of Lower Canada, because they felt that in their peculiar position-being in a minority, with a different language, nationality, and religion from the majority-in case of a junction with the other provinces, their institutions and their laws might be assailed, and their ancestral associations, on which they prided themselves, attacked and prejudiced.' There was also as great a disinclination on the part of the maritime provinces to lose their individuality as separate political organisations. Accordingly it was decided to proceed on the basis of a federal union. Sir John Macdonald pointed out that although they had nominally a legislative union in Canada, yet as a matter of fact they had a federal union: that in matters affecting Upper Canada solely, members for that section claimed and generally exercised the right of exclusive legislation; while members from Lower Canada legislated on matters affecting only their own section. In this respect, he said, the relations of England and Scotland were very similar, for the Act of Union between them provided that the law of Scotland could not be altered except for the manifest advantage of Scotland; and the stipulation had been held to be so obligatory on the Legislature of Great Britain, that no measure affecting the law of Scotland is passed unless it receives the sanction of a majority of the Scottish members in Parliament.

The scheme of constitution adopted by the Premier of Canada was based, then, on the federal principle. It bore on its face the marks of a compromise. There was much mutual concession. It was framed largely on the model of the United States Constitution, but differed in some very important respects.

The constitutional relation of the province to the central Government of Canada is the reverse of that of the American States to the Union. The Canadian statesmen avoided what they considered the errors into which the framers of the American Constitution had fallen. Instead of defining strictly the powers and functions of the central Government, and reserving all others to the separate States, the Canadian Constitution defines and limits the powers of the provincial Governments, and reserves all others for the central Dominion Government, so as to make it impossible for any local Parliament to interfere with the central power in a manner detrimental to the interests of the whole. The interpretation of the provisions giving power to the provincial Governments rests necessarily with the courts of law, from which there is an appeal to the Privy Council of England.

In the American Union, the separate States elect their own

governors, in whom is vested all administrative power and authority not reserved to the President of the Union, the maintenance of order, the control of the police. In the Canadian Dominion, the governors of provinces are nominated by the central Government for five years, a provision which was intended to establish connection of authority between the central power and the different provinces.

A most important provision of the Canadian Constitution is that which reserves a veto to the Dominion Government in respect of legislation of the local Parliaments. This power is not reserved to the President or Government of the United States in respect of State legislation. The State Governor has the right to veto the legislation of the State; but he derives his authority from the same electors of the State as do the State Legislatures; and the only effective power over State legislation is the Supreme Court of Justice, and then only in respect of matters where legislation is unconstitutional. On the other hand, there is no such provision in the Canadian Constitution as that forbidding interference with contracts. The veto of the central Government is apparently a substitute for it.

Among the subjects reserved for the provincial legislatures are: direct taxation within the limits of the province, loans on the credit of the province, administration of public lands belonging to the province, prisons, hospitals, licensing laws, municipal institutions. within the provinces, local works, marriage laws, property and civil rights, the administration of justice, the organisation of courts of law with civil and criminal jurisdiction, the infliction of penalties for the purpose of compelling the execution of provincial laws, and generally all matters of a purely local and private nature. Education is also confided to the local Legislatures. Apparently, the claims of minorities to schools of a denominational kind were the cause of great difficulty; and the Constitution accordingly contains a compromise on this point, to the effect that nothing shall prejudice any right or privilege confirmed pending the Union by the laws to any particular class of persons for denominational schools, and further that all privileges given in Upper Canada to separate schools and Catholic schools shall be extended to the Protestants and Catholics in the province of Quebec. Everything not thus specified is reserved for the central Government—including public debt and customs, postal service, the militia, trade and navigation, fisheries, currency, patents, copyright, &c. &c.

The local Legislatures were not constituted on the same model in all the provinces. In Upper Canada, one assembly only was established, consisting of eighty-two members. In Quebec two chambers were instituted: a Legislative Council or Upper House, consisting of twentyfour members, to be nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor for life;

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