Extract from letter of Lords of Trade to Governor Lawrence. Feb. 7, 1758.

We have fully considered that part of your Letter, which relates to the calling an Assembly, and also the Plan for that purpose, contained in the minutes of the Council transmitted with it, and having so often and so fully repeated to you our sense and opinion of the Propriety & Necessity of this measure taking place, it only now remains for Us to direct its being carried into immediate execution, that His Majesty’s Subjects (great part of whom are alleged to have quitted the Province on account of the great discontent prevailing for want of an Assembly) may no longer be deprived of that privilege, which was promised to them by His Majesty, when the Settlement of this Colony was first undertaken, and was one of the Conditions upon which they accepted the Proposals then made.

We are sensible that the Execution of this measure may in the present situation of the Colony be attended with many difficulties, and possibly may in its consequences, in some respects interfere with, and probably embarrass His Majesty’s Service; but without regard to these Considerations, or to what may be the opinion of individuals with respect to this measure, We think it of indispensable necessity that it should be immediately carried into execution.

We approve in general that part of your plan which establishes Townships and ascertains their Limits as corresponding with the Plan laid down in the Instructions given to Mr. Cornwallis at the first Settlement of the Colony; but We do not think it advisable, that any of those Townships, which has not fifty settled families, should be allowed to send Representatives to the Assembly; and therefore we would propose that for the present, those only, which have that number of Settled Families, should have that Privilege, & that the rest of the members, computing the whole at twenty two, should be elected for the Province at large, considered as one County, according to the Plan agreed upon, but that whenever any of those Townships, which are now established, or any others which may be hereafter established, shall contain Fifty Settled Families, they shall be entitled to a Writ for electing two Representatives, and the number of the members for the whole Province at large, considered as one County, shall be diminished in proportion.

As to the other parts of your Plan, they do not appear to us liable to objection, excepting only that part which establishes the Quorum of the Assembly, and fixes it at Seventeen, which We apprehend to be too great a proportion of the whole; and that it ought not at the most to exceed one half of the whole number, which is more agreeable to what has been judged to be proper in cases of other American Assemblies, whose great Inconveniencies have been found to result from the Quorum of the Assembly being too great a proportion of the whole.

With respect to the time which it may be proper to fix for the Return of the Writs, We would wish that you should inform yourself of what has been the general Rule in cases of the like kind in other Colonies, so far as the situation and circumstances of Nova Scotia will admit of it. What this Rule has been we are not at present sufficiently apprized; but of which you will be able to inform yourself from the many Persons now in Nova Scotia, who have come from other Colonies, and are doubtless well acquainted with what has been the Custom in this case: But whatever this Rule may be, or however short the Term (and we apprehend the shorter it is, the better, provided it leaves sufficient time for the due execution of the Writs) no great Inconveniencies can arise from it, because it will be in your Power whatever day may be fixed by the Writs for the Assembly’s meeting, to postpone it to some further day by a Proclamation of Prorogue, in case you shall find that it will interfere with any particular services which yourself or the Lieut. Governor may be employed in, and which must necessarily prevent their proceeding upon Business.

Kennedy, William P. Statutes, Treaties and Documents of the Canadian Constitution: 1713-1929. Oxford Univ. Pr., 1930. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.9_03428