15th Day: 10 February

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Council Chamber, Upper Fort Garry

Thursday, 10 February 1870[1]

Noon — Convention again in session.

Mr. Sutherland and Dr. Bird said they were absent last night, when the vote was taken, but had they been present, they would have voted with the other members of the Convention.

At the suggestion of Mr. Ross, a debate [arose?] with regard to the period of holding the next Quarterly Court. It was agreed that the present session, which ought to open on the 17th should be foregone, in prospect of the Court sitting at the usual time in May next.

Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Mr. Lascerte, moved that Mr. DeLorme take Mr. Dease’s place, and Mr. Laronce that of Councillor for his own parish — Carried.

A debate then arose on the subject of sending delegates to Canada.

Mr. Ross — We have agreed on the principle of sending delegates to Canada, but left undecided how many, and who. In connection with that, I would like to ask if anybody can throw light on the question of how the expenses of the delegates are to be met.

Mr. Riel — For all the trouble caused in this country by Canada, I hope she will be kind enough to pay the delegate’s bills, one way or another. As to their appointment, that is a matter which ought to be dealt with by the Provisional Government, formed last night. It is not respectful to me or my Government to take this out of our hands.

Mr. O’Donoghue — I think the Canadian Government has a disposition to pay the expenses of the delegation. One of the Commissioners, Colonel DeSalaberry, assured me that he would take on himself, in the name of the Canadian Government, to pay the expenses of the delegation,— unless too many were sent.

The Chairman — This morning I saw Mr. [Smith? illegible] for a few minutes, and alluding to this question, remarked that the expenses of the delegates was a somewhat important question. The result was, that without giving me any positive assurance on the point, he led me to believe that he was quite prepared to hear any application from the meeting on the subject, and that probably he might arrange the matter — in fact, saying pretty much the same thing as Col. DeSalaberry appears to have said to Mr. O’Donoghue.

Mr. Riel — The work of the Convention seems about at an end. Having alluded to the difficulties under which the English delegates laboured — which difficulties had been cleared away — he said, The first Provisional Government assumes the full responsibility of all its acts. As to the prisoners, I not only repeat to you the assurance I gave yesterday, but will at once state that all the prisoners are to be released (cheers) — some in one way and some in another. A few will have to leave the country, as men considered dangerous to the public peace, if left here at large. But the hardship in their case will not be very great as they are single men. One other, William Hallet, will be released, after giving full guarantees. In respect to Dr. Schultz, the position is this — he is exiled forever, and if found in the country is liable to be shot. All his property, also, is confiscated. But here again, I would remind the Convention that the first Provisional Government assumes all the responsibility of these acts. For the support of the present Government I would further say that it is at least desirable — and I should request it — that if any one sees Schultz in the country, he should report it. Mr. A. Lepine will receive orders to administer the oath of allegiance to the prisoners who are to be released, as he is in charge of the Fort. As for Schultz, as I said, his goods are confiscated; and in this way some of those to whom he is indebted will be provided for.

Mr. O’Donoghue — I would not like to take the responsibility to pay all his debts.

The question of sending delegates to Canada was again brought up by Mr. Ross and Mr. Bunn, but was opposed on the same grounds as before by the President and Treasurer of the new Government.

Soon after, a vote of thanks was passed to the Chairman, and the Convention adjourned for an hour.

The following delegates were then nominated by the President and ultimately elected:— Rev. Mr. Richot, Judge Black, Alfred H. Scott.

In the case of Mr. Scott, there was some opposition on the score that a Half-breed ought to be elected; but ultimately his nomination was confirmed and the Convention adjourned sine die.

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[1] “Convention at Fort Garry,” New Nation (18 February 1870), 2; HBCA, E.9/1, 17.

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