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things; and as we are the majority, our countrymen would certainly give us the preference both in purchases and sales, if they found their account in it.
By thus changing sides with the Canadians, the argument appears in a stronger point of view. I really do not see what they have to complain of; and yet they are very much dissatisfied.
Their dissatisfaction has lately had vent through the medium of a newspaper. edited at Quebec in the French language. I have taken notice of it in a previous letter. They call it "Le Canadien." affords to a certain class of the community a mode of expressing their feelings, to which they wish to give as extensive a circulation as possible. If one were really to believe that there are grounds for all that has appeared in this paper against the English, it would be concluded that the Canadians are the most oppressed people in the world.
I have taken pains to find out if they have any real cause of complaint-if they are oppressed or maltreated in any one way; but I have looked for it in vain. I have every wish to do them justice, and
would gladly state to you any circumstance to justify their apparent dissatisfaction; but really, I cannot find any. I am afraid I must look for it only in their own tempers and dispositions, influenced by the peculi-· arity of their situation, as descendants of those who formerly had entire possession of the country, and of its government, civil and military; and who feel sore at being deprived of any part of the inheritance of their fathers.
Perhaps they are displeased that they have not a greater share of what are called the loaves and fishes; and I have heard them express great displeasure at an Englishman having received a pension on the Canada establishment, or an increase of salary.
As to the loaves and fishes, their discontent is extremely unreasonable; they expect a line of conduct from the English, that the English would not experience from them, were situations changed; but the fact is, they hold a large share of the public employments.
As to pensions on their establishment, their displeasure on that account arises
from their not knowing the real state of the finances and resources of the country. The more pensions that are granted to Englishmen residing in Canada, the better for the country; the province gains by it.
The civil list, including the whole civil expenditure of the province of Lower Canada for 1806, amounted to 36,2137. 11s. 8d. sterling; but of this sum the piovince paid only 16,2271. 14s. Od. as ap pears by the accounts laid before the House of Assembly; the remainder was paid out of the military chest, from funds raised by draughts on the British government. Now as Britain already pays more than the half of the civil list, it is evident that every pension added to this list is paid by the British government. Every additional pension operates in the same way that an additional regiment sent to the country does; and I doubt.not that the Canadians are well aware, that, independent of defence, the more troops that are sent to the country the better; the demand for the fruits of their industry is increased.
It is to be regretted that those amongst the Canadians who are looked up to by
their countrymen, and whose opinions pass current under the idea of their having been formed after due deliberation, and after having well studied the matter, should be so negligent of their duty to their countrymen, as to publish opinions, and make assertions not well founded, and without having duly considered and well understood the subject; such men do great injury to society. If any discontent exists in the country, any idea of oppression, or mal-administration in government, such men are the cause of it.
It certainly is a possible case, that "Le Canadien" is connected with French politics, either directly or indirectly; either by agents of Bonaparte, or by agents of the French party in America. The agents of France have been detected in almost every nation on earth. They have been detected in Ireland, and they infest every court on the continent of Europe. They have spread over Persia, and the peninsula of India. They have been very successful in the United States. Is it then to be thought, that Canada alone, where circumstances
are so favourable to their exertions, should be exempted from their attacks?
The great mass of the people are quiet and inoffensive. If left to themselves they would be troublesome to no body; and notwithstanding their natural predilection for the French (nos pauvres gens, our poor people, as they still call them), I believe, that at present any order from our government would be as much attended to in Canada, as in Britain.
It is true, the government has sometimes attempted measures which have failed. But this, perhaps, arose from want of perseverance on the part of government; or from their not adopting means adequate to the end in view. Amongst other measures which have failed, I could mention the introduction of the English language into the country. As this is a very important point, I shall make it the subject of another letter.