Session 2, Day 1: 26 April

NB: text taken from Archives of Manitoba, MG3 A1-15, Red River Disturbance collection, “Seasonal [sic: Sessional] Journal of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, March 1870,” appears in black; text taken from other sources appears in grey.

Previous page: Session 1, Day 10: 26 March

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Assembly Chamber, Upper Fort Garry

                                                                                    Tuesday, April 26, 1870[1]

The second session of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia was opened at four o’clock this afternoon by the President of the Provisional Government. There was a full attendance of members.

The President in opening the proceedings addressed the House in French and subsequently in English. He said — It is a matter of sincere gratification, gentlemen, that we have been enabled to meet here at this time, under a condition of public affairs in which we may congratulate ourselves (hear, hear, and cheers). You have each been in your several parishes, among your people, and have been able to join in congratulations that you have had the happiness, some of you, to avoid the misfortune which at one period threatened all (hear, hear). But this is past, and none are I am sure sorry that they have heard the last of it (cheers). Our business now is to act — to show the people that we deserve their confidence by securing to them what they desire and expect of us (cheers).

The report of the special committee which sat during the recess to revise and codify the laws, was brought up and read in English and French.

Law Committee Report[2]

 

Minutes of Meetings of Committee appointed by the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, to codify and arrange the Laws.

Fort Garry. Monday, 4 April 1870.

Four P.M. Committee in Session.

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne, that Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue be chairman — Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird, that Hon. T. Bunn be vice-chairman — Carried.

Moved by Hon T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. William Tait, that Hon. Dr. Bird be secretary — Carried.

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird, that Hon. William Tait be desired to give this Committee his valuable assistance — Carried.

On motion of Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne, the committee adjourned till ten o’clock A.M. tomorrow.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Tuesday, 5 April 1870.

Eleven A.M. Committee in session.

The printed copy of the old laws of the Governor and Council of Assiniboia was taken as a basis for revision and alteration.[3]

Mr. Ross proposed, seconded by the Chairman, that the heading “Laws of Assiniboia, passed by the Governor and Council of Assiniboia,” be altered to “Laws of Assiniboia, passed by the President and Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia on the day of _____ 1870.”

Carried.

General Provisions

Mr. Ross moved, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn, that the first article of the General Provisions of the old Laws be struck out.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. Mr. Tait, that the first article of “General Provisions” shall be —

I. “All Fines and forfeitures, where not otherwise appropriated shall go to the Public fund.”

[Carried.]

Moved by Hon. W. Tait, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn, that —

II. Every Enactment shall be interpreted without regard to the distinction of Gender or Number.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. W. Tait, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

III. If any person encourage in any way, any violation of any Local Enactment, he shall be held to be as guilty as the principal offender.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn, that —

IV. Unless special regulation provide to the contrary, every wrong has its remedy under the general law of the country.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. Mr. Bruce,

V. That the law of England shall be the Law of the land in relation to crimes and misdemeanors, and generally as to all civil rights, except wherein modified by the Local law.

Carried.

Moved by Hon T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

That all local Enactments on record up to the twenty-fifth day of April 1870 be now repealed.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

That the section of the local laws of Assiniboia relating to the Administration of Justice, be now taken up for consideration by the Committee.

Carried.

Administration of Justice

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

I. That the Supreme Court of Assiniboia shall be held four times a year, viz — on the Third Tuesday of February, of May, of August and of November.

Carried.

On motion of Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by James Ross Esq., the Committee adjourned till the sixth April at ten A.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Wednesday, 6 April 1870.

Noon — Committee in Session.

After a long debate,

It was moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne —

II. That district Courts shall be held at such times and places as follows. viz. Districts of —

I. Manitobah — To include all the Settlements in the immediate vicinity of Manitobah Lake.

II. Portage La Prairie — From the extreme end of the Settlement along the Assiniboine River, down to the place at which the Long Lake touches the Public Road; on both sides of the River.

III. White-horse Plain — To extend from where the Long Lake touches the Public Road to the Sturgeon Creek — on both sides of the River.

IV. Fort Garry — To extend from Sturgeon Creek on the Assiniboine River, and from Pembina down to St. Paul’s Church on the Red River, andon both sides of each River — This district to include also Point de Chêne.

V. St. Andrews — To extend from St. Paul’s Church to any of the Settlements on or around Winnipeg Lake, and on both sides of the River.

All district Courts, shall be held as follows.

1. Portage La Prairie on the first Tuesday in each month.

2. White-horse Plain on the second Tuesday in each month.

3. Fort Garry on the fourth Tuesday in each month.

4. St. Andrews on the third Tuesday in each month.

5. Manitobah on fourth Tuesday respectively — March, June, September and December.

Carried unanimously.

III. Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne, that —

1. The Chairman of a district Court shall be a Justice of the Peace.

2. All the Magistrates of a Judicial District shall be entitled to sit at any Court held for that District.

3. The Chairman and two District Magistrates shall form a Quorum, the chairman having a vote only when the other Magistrates cannot come to a decision.

After some debate, on the third clause, the motion was carried — 5 to 2.

The Committee adjourned till tomorrow at one o’clock P.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Thursday, 7 April 1870.

Four P.M. Committee in Session.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. Mr. Bruce,

IV. The District Court shall take cognizance —

1. Of all actions of debt for sums under Ten Pounds sterling.

2. Of all offences which do not involve any other penalty than a fine of not more than Two Pounds sterling.

3. Of all cases arising from breach of the Liquor laws.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. William Tait,

V. The losing party at a District Court may appeal to the Supreme Court provided —

1. That notice of appeal be given at the same session of the Court — and provided

2. That the appellant pay down the usual deposit required of all parties entering cases for the Supreme Court; also, the amount of the Judgement rendered against him, or give satisfactory security for the same.—

After some considerable debate on the succeeding article the Committee adjourned till tomorrow,— 8th Instant, at one P.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Friday, 8 April 1870.

Committee in Session.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

VI. In cases coming under the cognizance of the District Courts, and where Plaintiff and Defendant reside in different Districts, the Plaintiff shall have the right to have a Summons issued, and have his case tried in the District in which he resides, but if the Plaintiff lose the case, he must pay, not only the ordinary and necessary costs of the Court, but, must also pay to the Defendant such amount for loss of time, as the Court may decide upon —

After a long discussion, the motion was put, 3 for, and 3 against — Mr. Ross while expressing his views in favor of the motion, abstained from voting.

VII. Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn, that —

1. Any district Magistrate shall have the right to issue a Summons for his own district.

2. He shall also have the right to issue a Summons for any other district, but such Summons shall have no legal force, unless countersigned by a Magistrate of the District where such summons is to take effect.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

VIII. If in any suit originally brought before the General Court, the Bench, after Verdict given against Defendant, shall unanimously decide that such suit ought to have gone before a District Court, the Plaintiff in that case shall receive cost only as in such District Court.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

IX. In any court, either party to a Civil Action may be made the other’s witness.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. Thomas Bunn —

X. For every writ in Civil Actions in the Supreme Court, there shall be payable to the Magistrate issuing the same, Three shillings and sixpence sterling and for every writ issued by any of the District Magistrates, Two shillings and sixpence sterling. Of which charges the sum of One shilling shall be paid to the Constable serving the writ, the balance being retained by the Magistrate. For such shilling the Constable shall be bound to serve any writ within five miles of his own residence, but for any distance he may be required to travel beyond that, he shall be entitled to mileage, at the rate of two-pence a mile. These fees shall be payable to the Magistrate before issuing the writ, and every Constable receiving a writ, shall be responsible for the service thereof.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. William Tait, that —

XI. In criminal cases Jurors and witnesses shall be paid Five shillings a day out of the Public Funds, and in Civil cases, five shillings per day for each case in which they serve; payable by Plaintiff or Defendant according to the decision of the Court.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. T. Bunn, that —

XII. On every case entered for the Supreme Court the Plaintiff shall deposit the sum of One Pound sterling, which if the case come on to trial, shall go towards the payment of the Jury, but should the case not come to trial, the said deposit shall be forfeited if the case has not been withdrawn at least twelve full days previous to the day on which the Court sits.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by William Tait, that —

XIII. Any person imprisoned on account of any Crime or misdemeanor, shall receive daily at the Public Expense, one pound of flour, half a pound of Pemmican, and extra at discretion, and no person shall be imprisoned at the suit of any Creditor, unless said Creditor pay: Seven shillings weekly in advance for the board of said Prisoner.

Carried unanimously.

The Committee adjourned at ten P.M. till tomorrow, 9th Inst. at ten A.M.

~~

Fort Garry. Saturday, 9 April 1870.

Eleven A.M. Committee in Session –

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. W. Tait,

XIV. Summonses issued to defendants, coming before the Supreme Court must be served at least fifteen days before the first day of the Session of said Court, and summonses to defendants in suits coming before any district Court must be served at least eight days before the Session of said Court.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne —

XV. In the Supreme Court trial shall be by Jury except where both parties desire otherwise.

Carried unanimously.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. Wm. Tait,

XVI. It shall be lawful for the Legislative Assembly upon petition from any present resident of the Country, who is recommended by at least three members of the Assembly, to issue a license to said petitioner to practice law in any of the Courts of the Country upon payment of Five Pounds sterling for such license, and Two Pounds sterling per annum in advance for every year subsequent to the year of admission, provided always that the number of such authorized practitioners of Law, does not exceed ten — provided also that when a practitioner fail to pay his annual fee, he ceases, ipso facto, to have the right to practice.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XVII. When a judgment debt is not paid at the time appointed by the Court, the Sheriff shall be obliged at the request of the Creditor and on presentation of the record of judgement, signed by the Clerk of the Court, to proceed at once and seize the goods and chattels or other property of said debtor, and on giving fourteen days public notice, to sell the same by Public Auction, so far as necessary to satisfy the debt, and all necessary expenses connected with such sale — provided always that said debtor be not deprived of necessary household furniture or utensils, or of such implements as he must necessarily have to carry on his usual trade. Failing such goods, chattels, or other property available for Sheriff’s Sale, the debtor may be imprisoned on the Conditions specified in Local law, no. 13.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by James Ross Esq.,

XVIII. That any Creditor to the extent of not less than two pounds sterling on making oath before a Justice of the Peace to the correctness of the debt, and the fact of his belief in his debtor’s intention to proceed to a foreign country or to a remote part of this country, shall have the right to compel the said debtor to give security for the amount of the debt, or failing that to apprehend and detain his person.

Carried unanimously.

Committee adjourned till Tuesday the 19th Inst. at one P.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Tuesday, 19 April 1870.

Four P.M. Committee in Session.

Moved by James Ross [Esq.], seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XIX. If, in the case contemplated by the preceding article, it appears after trial that the complainant had no ground of action, he shall be liable in damages to the defendant summarily, at the discretion of the Court.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. T. Bunn —

XX. In the case of a debtor who has left these parts of this country over which our Courts have jurisdiction, for a period of one year, and has left property within said jurisdiction, such property or as much of the same as will satisfy the claims of the Creditor, shall at the discretion of any two Justices of the Peace, if the Creditor establish his claim to the satisfaction of said Justices, be liable to be attached, and assigned to some third party in trust, and if the debtor fail to appear before the competent Court, at the Summons by Proclamation inserted three times in a local newspaper, or posted three successive Sundays at the doors of all the Churches within the District in which the property is situated, and also in the Town of Winnipeg, said Court shall proceed to Execute Judgment in the Premises — provided always, that no such proceedings shall be allowable with reference to the property of any such absent person who had publically notified his intention of departure for fifteen days previous to the date of the same.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. W. Tait,

XXI. Summonses for the General Court, and warrants, shall be issuable only by Justices of the Peace, and such writs shall have effect in any part of the Country over which the General Court exercises Jurisdiction —

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XXII. In any dispute regarding debt under the sum of Three Pounds sterling (£3), or damages under One Pound sterling (£1), any District Magistrate or Justice of the Peace shall have power to decide summarily, if both parties are agreeable, and from such decision there shall be no appeal — In such cases the Magistrate or Justice of the Peace shall be entitled to a fee of Five shillings from the losing party.

Carried.

The Committee then adjourned till tomorrow April 20, at one P.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Wednesday, 20 April 1870.

Three P.M. Committee in Session.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

XXIII. Whenever any Judicial Officer of any Court is pecuniarily interested in the result of any suit before such court, he shall, if requested by one of the parties to the suit, vacate his seat, and take no part in the case in his capacity as Member of the Bench.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross [Esq.], seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

XXIV. Whenever the Sheriff is pecuniarily interested in the result of any suit in the Supreme Court, a Special Jury shall, at the request of the party opposed to the Sheriff, be summoned for such suit by the Coroner, and whenever judgment is given against the Sheriff, either in the Supreme Court or in any District Court, and execution becomes necessary, it shall be the right and duty of the Coroner or of any Justice of the Peace at the request of the Plaintiff, to execute the Judgment of the Court, and in doing so, to call in the assistance of any Constables or other persons necessary for the purpose.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Dr. Bird,

XXV. Any person who incurs debt or commits any crime or offence in parts of the Country beyond the Jurisdiction of our Courts, shall be liable to prosecution whenever found within the limits of such Jurisdiction.

Carried.

Moved by Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XXVI. Every Justice of the Peace, Magistrate, Constable, or other public officer whatsoever, must be a British Subject, who has resided at least three years in this Country, and who is a householder or landowner.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

XXVII. A summons shall be considered as served, if left on any day except Sunday or a legal holiday with the defendant, or if, (being within some judicial district), it be left at his domicile or place of business, with his wife or with any other adult member of his family, or any person in his employ.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by James Ross Esq.,

XXVIII. The Supreme Court shall be composed of a presiding Judge, and three or more Justices of the Peace.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by James Ross Esq.,

XXIX. The Judge of the Supreme Court shall be ex officio a Justice of the Peace.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XXX. The Supreme Court shall take cognizance of all crimes, offences, and causes of action whatsoever not expressly assigned to the District Courts, and its jurisdiction shall extend to all those parts of the country over which the District Courts exercise authority.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

XXXI. Any Barrister, advocate, attorney, solicitor, or other person entitled to practice law in the United Kingdom, or in any British Colony, shall be entitled to practice in the Courts of this Country on paying Five Pounds for his license, and Two Pounds annually in advance after the year of admission.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XXXII. In all cases coming before any Court, or in cases of Summary trial coming before any Justice of the Peace or District Magistrate, a record of the Proceedings shall be kept specifying the names of the Plaintiff and defendant, the date and nature of the suit, the evidence in the case and the decision.

Carried.

The Committee adjourned till tomorrow the twenty-first Inst. at one P.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Thursday, 21 April 1870.

Customs Duties

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

I. All goods imported into the Country from any part of the world, save such as may be specially excepted, shall be subject to four percent ad valorem duty, the goods to be estimated at the price current of the original place of export.

Carried.

Moved by [Hon.] Mr. Bunn, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

II. The following shall be admitted free from Customs duty.

1. All Bar-iron and Steel.

2. All Books, publications, and Stationery Goods.

3. All Scientific Instruments.

4. All Agricultural Implements.

5. All Baggage, apparel and utensils that have been or are in present use of the owner.

6. All seeds, roots, or plants.

7. All Goods passing through the Country in Bond.

8. All Cases, Boxes, Barrels, Bottles, or covering which contain goods or fluids of any description.

9. Monumental Tablets or Tombstones.

10. All Grindstones and Stoves.

11. All Goods gratuitously given and originally intended for the Benefit of the Indian Missions in this Country, also all wines imported for Church Service.

12. All animals imported for the improvement of the Breed of Stock.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

III. There shall be Three Collectors of Customs, residing severally, at Pembina, Portage La Prairie, and at or near Fort Garry whose residences shall be houses of Clearance.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

IV. A collector of Customs shall have power to administer oaths, to search for and seize contraband goods, and to prosecute defaulters, he shall have power to call all Constables and all loyal Subjects of Her Britannic Majesty to his aid, and all persons not Constables when called upon, shall be paid by the Collector at the Public expense, say ten shillings per diem. A Collector of Customs shall also have power to exact and receive payment of Customs duty, and issue receipts in discharge of the same.

Carried.

Moved by Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

V. The Collector of Customs shall twice in every month pay into the hands of the Treasurer who is, ex officio, Receiver General, all revenues received by them together with a list of the persons paying and the value of the goods on which the duty has been paid and the Collectors of Customs at Pembina and Portage La Prairie shall once every fourteen days, transmit to the Collector at or near Fort Garry, a list of all clearances made by them.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

VI. Each collector shall in addition to his salary, be entitled to one fifth part of the proceeds of all lawful seizures made or caused to be made by him.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by James Ross Esq.,

VII. All dutiable goods brought into this Country, except such as may be imported by way of Hudson’s Bay, shall be liable to detention by the Collector of Customs at the first house of clearance, unless such collector be furnished by the owner or Consignee, or agent of either, on or before the arrival of such goods into the Country with a duly attached Invoice or Manifest, showing the name of the Consignee, and the quantity, and prime cost value of the said goods.

Carried.

Moved by the Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

VIII. The Collector may verify the accuracy of any Invoice presented to him, by an oath administered to the party, or by examination of the goods, opening packages if necessary — On being therewith satisfied he shall exact payment of the duty, or at his discretion accept a bond for the amount, payable to any collector of Customs within a period of one month, which Bond may be sued for, and recovered the same as any other Contract debt.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. W. Tait,

IX. Each collector of Customs on passing any goods at his clearing house shall provide the person in charge of such goods with a Clearance certificate.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. William Tait,

X. In any case where the want of an Invoice, is, on the oath of the owner or consignee of the Goods, or agent [4]of either of them, declared to be unavoidable, the Collector at the first clearing house, may either detain the goods, or forward the same in charge of some competent person or persons, to either of the other clearing houses, where the said goods shall be detained until payment of the duty thereon, or security obtained.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

XI. All goods liable for duty except such as may be imported by way of Hudson’s Bay, shall be seized as Contraband unless protected by a certificate from the first Custom house.

Carried.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

XII. The owner or consignee of all dutiable goods imported by way of Hudson’s Bay, shall report the quantity and prime cost of such goods to a collector of Customs in Red River Settlement within three months after the arrival of such goods in this Country, and failing to do so the Importer, owner or consignee of said goods, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than Four Thousand Pounds sterling.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. W. Tait, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

XIII. All goods seized as Contraband shall after public notice, be sold by auction for the benefit of the Revenue, saving expenses, and the rights of Collectors.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. T. Bunn,

XIV. A duty of Two shillings a gallon shall be imposed on all wines and Spirituous Liquors imported into the country.

Carried.

The Committee adjourned till tomorrow at one P.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Friday, 22 April 1870.

One P.M.

Constables

          Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

I. Constables not exceeding fourteen in number shall be appointed in the following districts

1. In Manitobah                      1

2. In Portage La Prairie           2

3. In White Horse Plain          2

4. In Fort Garry                       7 (Two of whom shall be in service specially in the Town of mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmWinnipeg.)

5. In St. Andrews                   2

And every constable shall have the power to demand the aid of any British Subject, to repress any disturbance of the Public Peace or to execute any order of Court or of any Judicial officer.

Carried.

Moved by [Hon.] Dr. Bird, seconded by [Hon.] Mr. Bunn,

II. The following shall be the form of oath administered to every Constable,

“I swear before God, that I shall till lawfully discharged from my office of Constable for Assiniboia, be always ready at all hazards to serve and execute all legal writs, and to maintain the peace and security of the Country against all enemies and disturbers of such peace and security, and that I shall obey all laws, and all lawful authorities within, and for, said Country of Assiniboia — so help me God.”

Carried.

Moved by Hon. T. Bunn, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

III. For any neglect of duty, any Constable may be suspended by any Magistrate, or may be discharged by the Supreme Court.

Carried.

Intestate Estates

Moved by Hon. W. Tait, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

I. When any person has died Intestate, no person shall intermeddle with the property till he has received letters of administration from the Supreme Court of Assiniboia.

James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. T. Bunn, moved in amendment —

When any person has died Intestate, no individual shall in any way dispose of, or distribute the property of said intestate, unless said individual shall receive letters of administration from the Supreme Court.

The amendment having been put the result stood as follows,

2. – For — Hon. T. Bunn and James Ross Esq.

4. – Against — Hons. William Tait, J. Bruce, Dr. Bird, A. Bannatyne.

The Original motion having been put the result stood as follows,

4. – For — Hons. W. Tait, J. Bruce, Dr. Bird, A. Bannatyne.

2. – Against — Hon. T. Bunn and James Ross Esq.

After some debate on the next article the Committee adjourned till tomorrow, twenty-third Inst., eleven A.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Saturday, 23 April 1870.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. John Bruce,

II. Letters of administration shall be granted to anyone, approved by the Supreme Court who may apply for the same, on such applicant satisfying the Court that the person whose Estate he seeks to administer has died Intestate, and giving satisfactory security to double the amount of the value of the Estate, as appraised by two persons nominated by two Justices of the Peace, and after Public notice given three times in all local newspapers, and also posted at the doors of all the Churches in the Parish or Parishes in which the Property is Situated. For such letters of administration the Applicant shall pay to the clerk of the Court the sum of Seven shillings and sixpence.

Carried.

III. That in all cases where the head or heads of a family die, the Supreme Court shall be ‘Ex Officio’ guardian of the Minors of the Family of such deceased, until Some authorized Guardian be appointed.

Carried.

Postal

Moved by Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. J. Bruce,

I. The General Post Office shall be in the Town of Winnipeg.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

II. The Mail shall be carried between Winnipeg and Pembina at the Public Expense so as to connect with the United States Mail.

[Carried.]

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

III. The charge for Postage between Winnipeg and Pembina shall be as follows.

1. Letters under one-half ounce — one penny, and a penny for each additional half ounce.

2. Magazines or Reviews — Two Pence.

3. Papers — one half-penny, except such as proceed directly from offices of Publication, and those which come in as Exchanges on which there shall be no charge.

4. Books — Half a pound and under, Four Pence; and for Every additional quarter Pound, one Penny.

5. All letters carried between the Post Offices in the Country shall bear a charge of one penny each — All local Papers to regular Subscribers coming directly from offices of Publication shall be carried free between the Post Offices in the Country.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

IV. Letters that have remained in a Post Office, one month uncalled for shall be returned to the General Post office and advertised three times in a local newspaper, and in a conspicuous place in the General Post office — All letters so advertised shall bear an extra charge of Three Pence Each.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

V. Branch Post Offices shall be established at the following places: St. Andrews, Headingley, Portage La Prairie, and St. Norbert.

Carried.

Fires

 Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

I. If any Hay in the Prairie, be destroyed by a running Fire, the owner shall recover damages from the person who has kindled the Fire, provided such Hay has been protected at a distance of not less than twenty yards by a ploughed or burned ring at least twelve feet wide.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

II. If between the first day of May, and the first of December, any person shall kindle a fire intended to run, he shall be fined Ten Pounds sterling, one half to go to the Prosecutor, and if any person, without having obtained the presence and assistance of at least four men, shall light a fire for the purpose of burning rings round Hay as required by the preceding law,— he shall be held to have incurred the penalty attached to this law — Provided that the Bench may remit the whole Fine if the defendant has both kindled the Fire through necessity, and done all in his power to prevent it from spreading.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. J. Bruce,

III. If any Fire in the open air which is not intended to run, be left burning without due precaution against its spreading and it actually do [sic] spread, any person who may have kindled, or fed, or used the same shall be fined, not less than Five Pounds, nor more than Ten Pounds sterling.

Carried.

The Committee adjourned till Monday the twenty-fifth April 1870, at eleven A.M.

[signed] Curtis J. Bird, Secretary

~~

Fort Garry. Monday, 25 April 1870.

Animals

 Moved by Hon. W. Tait, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

I. If one or more animals be found in an Enclosure where they have done damage, the said damage shall be paid for by the owner or owners of such animal or animals found within the Enclosure — Provided that where any of such animals be known as “Fence Breakers,” the owner or owners of such “Fence Breakers” shall be responsible for one half of the damage done.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by Hon. J. Bruce,

II. If any Stallion, eighteen months old or upwards be found at large, the owner shall, upon consideration be fined Three Pounds, half the fine to go to the Captor who shall deliver such Stallion at the residence of any Constable.

When a captured Stallion has been placed in charge of a Constable, it shall be the duty of such Constable to keep the animal or cause it to be kept for one shilling per day, until the owner pay the Fine and expenses of keep, and the Constable shall, immediately on getting the animal, if the owner be not known, advertise the same three times in every local newspaper, and on three successive Sundays at the doors of two Protestant and two Roman Catholic churches, giving in such advertisements a full description of the animal, and if the owner be not thereby discovered, said Constable shall bring the Case before the next District Court, and if legal capture and detention be proved, said Court shall order the sale of such animal for Satisfaction of Fine and Expenses, any balance being paid into the hands of the Public Treasurer in trust for the owner. Should the proceeds of the Sale not cover fine and expenses, said Expenses shall be a first charge, and the Captor’s half of the fine the rest.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. William Tait, seconded by James Ross Esq.,

III. If any Ram be found at large between the thirtieth day of July and the first day of December, such Ram may be detained by any person, till the owner pay Five shillings to the Captor of the Ram, and during the time the Ram may be so detained the owner shall pay for the keep of the animal at the rate of three pence a day.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. A Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. J. Bruce,

IV. If between the thirty-first March, and first day of December, any pig or pigs be found at large, without a yoke, a foot and a half wide, and a foot and a half in height, and an iron ring in the nose, the owner shall not only be answerable for all damages committed by said Pig or Pigs, but shall also if the animal or animals be captured, pay three shillings to the Captor for each — Until so paid the Captor shall keep such Pig or Pigs, and he shall be entitled to one shilling a day for each animal from the owner, to be paid before the animals are removed.

Carried.

Moved by [Hon.] Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. W. O’Donoghue,

V. If any person take another’s horse, and use the same without the owner’s consent, he shall, on conviction, be fined Five Pounds, or be imprisoned for one month in the Common Jail, half the fine to go to the Informer, and in the event of the guilty party being imprisoned the Informer shall be paid Two Pounds, ten shillings out of the Public funds. If a Horse so taken shall be injured or lost the person who took the animal shall indemnify the owner to the full extent of the damages or loss.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. W. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird,

VI. If any Policeman, Constable, or Magistrate, on seeing any person using a horse, has reasonable grounds for suspicion that said person does not own the animal and has no permission to use the same, he may detain such person until it be shown that the Horse is used of right.

Carried.

Hay

 Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. William Tait,

I. If any person cut Hay outside what is now known as the four mile line before the twenty-first day of July he shall forfeit the same or the value thereof.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. Dr. Bird, seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

II. If any person cut Hay in another’s ground without permission he shall forfeit the same to the Person injured without receiving any allowance for his labor, but if he trespass in ignorance, he shall still forfeit as before, but shall receive compensation to the extent of half the value of his labor.

Carried.

Moved by Hon. W. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

III. Where the people of any district cannot enjoy what is known as the “Two Mile Privilege,” and a tract of land in lieu of such be granted, special regulations shall be made for such cases.

Carried.

~~

Fort Garry. Tuesday, 26 April 1870.

Liquor Laws

I. If any person supply or sell to any unsettled and uncivilized Indian the means of Intoxication he shall on conviction be fined as follows—

1. Ten Pounds for furnishing any Brewing Utensils, the fine to go to the Informer.

2. Three Pounds for furnishing Malt, the fine to go to the Informer.

3. Five Pounds for furnishing Beer or any fermented Liquor, the fine to go to the Informer.

4. Ten Pounds for furnishing Distilled Spirits or any intoxicating drink other than fermented Liquors, half the fine to go to the Informer.

II. In addition to the fines mentioned in the preceding article the offender shall make restitution to the Indian of what he may have received if anything, for such furnishing and when the consideration is not money, it shall for the purpose of restitution be valued at Prime Cost.

III. If an intoxicated Indian commit or threaten to commit any injury to person or property he shall in addition to special punishments for such conduct be imprisoned until he discloses the name of the person who furnished him the means of intoxication.

IV. If any person be found with any of the above Specified Means of Intoxication among Indians he shall be held guilty of furnishing such means of Intoxication to them.

V. Excepting as regards the sale of spirits, wine and Beer, there shall hereafter be but one description of Liquor License, which shall be issuable only once a year, as hereinafter mentioned; and such license shall give the holder permission to Manufacture spirits, wine, or Beer, and to sell the same in any quantity, under the restrictions contained in the following schedule, showing the form in which the license shall be granted.—

“A. B. having paid Ten Pounds is hereby Licensed from this date to the first week day in December 187__ inclusive to manufacture Spirits Wine or Beer and to sell the same in any quantity under the following restrictions viz.

1. He shall not sell to any person between the hours of ten at night and six in the morning.

2. Nor to any person at any time during Sunday, Good Friday, and Christmas Day.[5]

3. Nor at any time to any Intoxicated person.

4. Nor shall he at any time sell to any uncivilized or unsettled Indian, either directly to the Indian, or knowingly on the part of the Seller indirectly to another for the Indian.

5. All manufacturing and selling shall be confined to the premises for which this license is granted.

6. The violation of any of these restrictions shall make this license null and void. Red River December 187__.”

Any proved breach of any of the Conditions of the License shall cause the forfeiture of the same without any right on the holder’s part to the cost to him of any portion of the license fee. And whenever the breach involves also the violation of the laws against the intoxicating of Indians, the Seller besides losing his license shall be liable to all such penalties as he shall have incurred under the said laws.

But against any judgment of any District Court ordaining such forfeitures or imposing such penalties, any aggrieved person may appeal to the next ensuing Supreme Court on giving security for such penalties, in cases where any are imposed, as well as for the Costs of the original action and also on making the usual deposit of One Pound for entering the appeal.

But where an appeal is made, the District Court shall still have the power of suspending the license till the appeal is disposed of. Excepting in the case of a person making Wine or Beer for his own family use and not for barter or sale, any person who shall manufacture or sell any Spirits, Wine or Beer without a license shall on conviction before a District Court be liable to a fine of not less than Five, and not more than Ten Pounds sterling for each offence, and failing immediate payment of the fine he shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of not less than five, and not more than ten weeks, provided however that at any time during the period of imprisonment he shall be entitled to be discharged on paying the fine. But against any such decision before any District Court any aggrieved person may appeal as aforesaid on giving security for the fine and the costs of the original action, besides making the usual deposit of One Pound for entering the appeal.

On payment of the sum of Ten Pounds it shall be lawful for the District Magistrates in their several districts aforementioned on the first week day in December, but on no other day throughout the year, to grant liquor licenses according to the foregoing Law.

And every applicant for a License shall be bound to lodge his application with the President of the Bench of the proper district not later than the fifteenth day of November specifying therein the premises for which the license is asked.

And on the first Sunday thereafter the President shall give public written notice at all the Public places of worship in the applicant’s district, and also in any other district in which any of the nearest neighbors reside, mentioning the names of the persons applying for the licenses and specifying their premises together with the day appointed for disposing of the applications.

But in the case of any such application where the granting of a license is objected to [by] a majority of the householders of a neighborhood of the house where a license is intended to be used, the Bench shall have no power to grant the license, and such applications shall, at any time between the date of the Public Notice and the date fixed for dispensing of the application, be entitled to intimate their objection either personally or in writing to the President of the Bench, without however being bound to assign any reason for their objection.

For the purposes of this regulation the word “Householder,” shall mean the head of the family occupying a separate house, or if occupying only a part of a house, a tenant for not less than one year and not being the hired servant of any applicant for a license.

And the word “Neighborhood” shall mean the twelve householders who, irrespective of District, are nearest to the house intended to be licensed.

In the case of any application whatsoever for a license whether it be objected to or not by a Majority of the neighborhood the Bench shall have full discretionary power to refuse the license whensoever, on grounds relating to the Public Interest, they think it would be improper to grant it.

Any person may sue an offender for manufacturing or selling without a license, and shall be entitled to half the fine actually recovered.

Any person may also sue any license holder for the Breach of his license and where there is a fine besides a forfeiture of the license, the prosecutor shall be entitled to half the fine actually recovered.

No Liquor License shall on any condition be granted to any person intending to carry on the manufacture or sale of Spirits, Wine or Beer on any part of what is known as the Indian Reserve at the Indian Settlement.

Wholesale Licenses

1. From and after the first week day in December every wholesale Dealer in Spirits, Wine, or Beer shall pay Ten Pounds a year, and every person selling Spirits, Wine or Beer by wholesale without a license in the subjoined form shall be liable to a penalty of Ten Pounds for each offence to be recovered in the same way as the penalties for Breach of the Liquor Laws generally.

By the term “Wholesale Dealers” shall be understood a seller of Spirits or Wine in quantities at a time of not less than five gallons each and of Beer in quantities of not less than eight gallons.

Such Wholesale Licenses shall be issuable by the Benches of District Magistrates in their several Districts on the first week day in December and on no other day to persons applying to the President either before or after that day.

But in every case the Magistrate shall have full discretionary power to grant or refuse the license.

Form of Wholesale License: “C. D. having paid Ten Pounds is hereby licensed for one year from this date to sell spirits and wine in quantities of not less at a time than five gallons each and beer in quantities of not less at a time than eight gallons.

Roads

Moved by Hon. A. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. William Tait,

I. That all Public Roads remain the width they have been laid out, till other arrangements are considered necessary by the Legislature.

For – Hon. Mssrs. Bannatyne, Tait and Dr. Bird.

Against – Hon. Mssrs. Bunn, Ross, Bruce.

Amendment by Mr. Ross [Esq.], seconded by Hon. Mr. Bruce,

Public Roads shall be at least thirty-three yards wide, that is to say free from fences, buildings, or any other encumbrance or obstacle within such width, unless by Public Sanction.

For – Hon. Messrs. Bunn, Ross and Bruce.

Against – Hon. Messrs. Bannatyne, Tait and Dr. Bird.

Moved by James Ross Esq., seconded by Hon. A. Bannatyne,

II. If any person cut a hole into or through the River Ice, except in the case of what is known as a water hole, he shall, unless he surround the same with a fence at least four feet high, be liable to a fine of One Pound sterling and also for the damage or loss occasioned by such hole.

Every water hole shall be marked at the point nearest to any public track with a pole at least six feet high.

Carried.

The Committee adjourned at ten P.M.

~~

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue said — As chairman of that committee, I would wish to remark that we do not submit the draft just read as a complete revision of the local laws. Our wish is that we should be allowed during the present session to finish the work which we have begun in a manner which will be creditable to us. We might find time to work at it from day to day, and, in the meantime, while the House was sitting, hon. gentlemen might discuss that portion of the committee’s labors which has been presented to the House.

The President said — At this stage of our proceedings, it is as well perhaps, for me to throw out the suggestion, that if there is any matter with reference to the public order or peace which specially concerns the parish of any hon. gentleman, or which has come under his special notice, it ought to be stated now, on the floor of the House. We desire at all times to hear public opinion, and, as far as possible, to be guided by it (cheers). Our wish is not merely to invite public confidence, but to show ourselves worthy of it by doing what we can to promote the welfare and prosperity of all. On these grounds it is that we invite a candid expression of opinion from members, now, or at any time during the session (cheers).

Hon. Mr. Bunn said — In my capacity as vice chairman of the committee on the local laws I would beg to supplement the remarks of the chairman by saying that we would not take the report just read to be accepted as final. Our worthy and respected President will, I think, bear me out in saying that the report just read is not one of which the committee ought to be ashamed (hear, hear). But it is incomplete, and we hope to be allowed to finish it. We have worked arduously on this committee, and our work will, I hope, receive the approbation of the Assembly (cheers). In this connection I would remark that in our labors on this committee we received very liberal and valuable assistance from Mr. Chief Justice Ross; and I have great pleasure in taking this opportunity of making the acknowledgement (hear, hear, and cheers) With reference to this invitation of the President calling for an expression of views entertained in any parish in regard to public questions, I have a few remarks to make with regard to the proposed four-mile grant of land. I have heard that the Indians in my neighborhood are discontented with this projected land grant, and are talking of putting in certain claims which will, I think, interfere very much with the object we contemplate and ought to cause us to hesitate before pushing this matter farther. The Indians have got the idea that we are going to interfere with their special rights as Indians and that, without extinguishing their title we are going to appropriate their land. This is what they think with regard to the conversion of the two-mile hay privilege into absolute ownership. But, apart from this, they have declared their intention not to part with all their land. There is a certain portion of this country concerning which, I have been informed, they will enter into no treaty. This section is described to me as starting from the Indian Reserve, three or four miles below the Stone Fort, and going westward to where a line running due west would reach the Manitobah Lake — from thence to the Little Saskatchewan,— following that river to Lake Winnipeg — across the Lake to the east shore — along this line to White Mud River — and thence to the starting point (hear, hear). The portion of this with which we have particularly to do, is that in which some of our people have settled. Perhaps Mr. Sinclair of St. Peters could give us some information on the subject. The Indians claim that they will not treat for this land, but I think they have done so. I believe that this question of the hay privilege and interference with Indian rights is one in which we ought to exercise a great deal of caution. When we come to deal with the hay privilege particularly, I will have more to say on the subject.

Hon. Mr. Sinclair, (St. Peter’s) — As to this matter of the hay privilege, there can be little question with us; for the Indian Settlement, so called, has always been looked upon as an Indian reserve. There is a Chief of this reserve. There are, I believe, many Christian Indians, more especially Swampies, who are agreeable to have this hay privilege changed into ownership. But there are more opposed to it — and their influence is heavier in the scale. Their cry is, let us keep still. Let the Indian Settlement be as formerly (hear, hear).

Hon. Mr. Bunn — I thought you might know something of the camp of Indians who do not usually belong to the Indian Settlement, but are now there.

Hon. Mr. Sinclair — There are Indians down there belonging to the Upper Settlement, and the views they hold are similar to the majority of the Indians below.

After some debate,

The President said — What we have just heard on this subject admonishes us to be cautious. During the last session I had the honor to address this Chamber on the subject just alluded to, and though a report was published of the proceedings, I did not see the remarks I have spoken of. I recommended then that this question should be dealt with, wisely, cautiously; and I still say that if it is brought before this House as it ought to be, we may yet pass over the difficulty (hear, hear). This hay privilege question is before us — it will touch us everywhere — because it touches one of the most vital interests in this country — the land question (cheers).

Hon. Mr. Bunn — Unless this question is satisfactorily settled, I believe the public peace is very likely to be endangered. It is the only question likely to affect injuriously the public peace, as far as I can see.

The President — If we are going to have war on the hay now, it is better it should be there than any where else (laughter).[6]

After further debate,

Hon. Mr. Hay Setting aside this question, I would propose a vote of thanks to the law committee. The length of their report shows that they have not been idle. As they have not completed it, I would suggest that they should be allowed any reasonable time they might ask to complete their labors.

Hon. Mr. Olone seconded the motion, which was carried, with the understanding that the committee should work on during the present session, and that in the meantime that portion of the report already presented be taken up by the House.

At half-past six o’clock P.M. the House adjourned till eleven o’clock next forenoon, on motion of Hon. Mr. Bunn.

~~~

Next page: Session 2, Day 2: 27 April


[1] Bunn, Sessional Journal, 16–18; “Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia. Second Session,” New Nation (29 April 1870), 2.

[2] Bunn, Sessional Journal, 16, indicates the existence of a report document, noted as “(A),” presumably filed with, or appended to the journal. The report is archived as AM, MG3 A1-24, “Minutes of meeting of Committee to codify and arrange laws. 1870,” but an unnumbered page supplies the title: “2nd Session /A./ Law Committee Report, Presented April 26/70.” The finalized laws were printed as “Laws of Assiniboia, Passed By The President and Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, On The 7th Day of May, 1870. Second Session of the Legislature,” New Nation (6 May 1870), 3, and New Nation (20 May 1870), 34.

[3] See “Laws of Assiniboia, Passed by the Governor and Council of Assiniboia, on the 11th April, 1862,” in Bruce Peel, Early Printing in the Red River Settlement, 1859-1870, and its effect on the Riel Rebellion (Winnipeg: Peguis Publishers, 1974), 45-52. See also “Laws Passed by the Governor and Council of Assiniboia, on the 13th July  1852,” in E.H. Oliver, The Canadian North-west, Its Early Development and Legislative Records vol. 2 (Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1913), 1317-1348.

[4] The word ‘agent’ mistakenly appears as ‘assent’ in Norma Hall, “Reconstituted Debates of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia.”

[5] According to a subsequent entry, the words “Good Friday and Christmas Day” were an amendment made at a later date.

[6] At this remove in time, Riel’s remark is cryptic and the humour escapes me. If Coldwell mis-translated and Riel actually said “war à la Hay,” he might have meant either war at second hand report or one fuelled by rumour, as it is remotely possible that this was a pun that combined references to Hon. Edward H.G.G. Hay (St. Andrew’s south), the hay privilege, and writer John Milton Hay, a.k.a. “the Idler.” He was a widely read journalist, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s assistant personal secretary, and commissioned a major and promoted to colonel while acting also as a Civil War correspondent, 1861–1865, after which he served as a diplomat in Paris, among other places (to 1878 when he became the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State). Throughout his career Hay was known for a distinctive writing style.

~~~

Published 7 July 2011

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