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taining the basis of coalition, it will be seen that Mr. Brown at first preferred to support the government in its policy as then settled without entering the government, but that it was afterwards agreed, in deference to the wishes of his supporters and at the pressing instance of Mr. Macdonald, that he and two of his political friends should enter the government. These terms were acceded to, the offices that happened to be then vacant placed at Mr. Brown's disposal, and the coalition was completed. Mr. Macdonald further stated that Sir Etienne Taché was not selected at the time of the coalition, or as a part of the agreement for the coalition, as First Minister, but he had been previously and was then the head of the conservative government, and was accepted with all his Lower Canadian colleagues without change. That on the lamented decease of Sir Etienne, His Excellency had, without any previous communication of his opinion to him or (as he understood) to any one else, come to the conclusion that the best mode of carrying on the government was (as already stated) for Mr. Macdonaid to take one step upward; that Mr. Cartier, as next in seniority, should do so also, and that the other arrangements should remain as before. That he (Mr. Macdonald) thought with His Excellency that this was the best solution of the matter, and could not but accede to it; that, however, he had no personal feeling in the matter, and that if he had, he thought it his duty to set aside such feeling for the sake of carrying out the great scheme, so happily commenced, to a successful issue. He therefore would readily stand aside and waive his pretensions, so that some other party than himself might be appointed to the premiership; that he thought Mr. Cartier should be that party; that after the death of Colonel Taché, Mr. Cartier, beyond a doubt, was the most influential man in his section of the country, and would be selected by the Lower Canadian supporters of the government as their leader; that neither Mr. Brown nor Mr. Macdonald could dictate to Lower Canada as to their selection of leader; that the Premier must be, according to usage, the leader or senior member either from Upper or Lower Canada; and that as he (Mr. Macdonald) had, in consequence of the position taken by Mr. Brown, waived his own pretensions, it followed that Mr. Cartier should be appointed as Prime Minister. Mr. Macdonald stated in conclusion that although he had no reason to suppose that His Excellency would object to the selection of Mr. Cartier, yet he must of course submit the proposition to him, and obtain His Excellency's assent to it.

Mr. Brown replied that in some of the views suggested by Mr. Macdonald, there was a difference between this proposition and the original one; but still that this, like the other, would be a proposal for the construction of a new government, in a manner seriously affecting the security held by the liberal party. Before saying anything upon such a proposition, however, were it formally made, he would desire to consuit his friends, Mr. McDougall and Mr, Howland.

The interview then terminated, and the following correspondence took place: No. 2.-Hon. John A. Macdonald to Hon. George Brown.

QUEBEC, August 4, 1865. MY DEAR SIR,-Immediately after our conversation, the heads of which we have reduced to writing, I obtained His Excellency's permission to propose to you that Mr. Cartier, as being the leader of the ministerial majority of Lower Canada in parliament, should assume the position of Prime Minister, vacated by the death of Sir Etienne Taché, the other members of the administration continuing to hold their position and offices as before. All the Lower Canadian members of the council assent to this proposition, so do Mr. Campbell and myself; and I am sure I can also speak for Mr. Solicitor-General Cockburn, who is now absent. May I request the favour of an early reply. Believe me, my Dear Sir, yours faithfully, JOHN A. MACDONALD,


No. 3.-Hon. George Brown to Hon. John A. Macdonald.

QUEBEC, August 4, 1865. MY DEAR SIR,-I have received your letter of this afternoon, inviting me to retain my present position in a government to be formed under the premiership of Mr. Cartier. In reply I have now to state, after consultation with Messrs. Howland and McDougall, that we can only regard this proposition as one for the construction of a new government, in a manner seriously affecting the security heretofore held by the liberal party. Anxiously desirous as we are, however, that nothing should occur at this moment to jeopardize the plans of the coalition government on the constitutional question, we cannot assume the responsibility of either accepting or rejecting it without consultation with our political friends. This I am prepared to do without any delay, and to that end it will be necessary that I have clearly stated in writing the basis on which Mr. Cartier proposes to construct the new government.


I am, my Dear Sir, yours truly,


No. 4.-Hon. John A. Macdonald to Hon. George Brown.

QUEBEC, Saturday, 5th August, 1865. MY DEAR SIR,-I regret to learn from your note of yesterday that you cannot assume the responsibility, without first consulting your political friends, of either accepting or rejecting the proposition that Mr. Cartier should be placed at the head of the government in the stead of the late Sir Etienne Taché, with the understanding that the rest of the council should retain their present offices and positions under him. I have conferred with Mr. Cartier on the subject, and we agree that, at this late hour, it would be highly inexpedient to wait for the result of this consultation.

Parliament is to assemble on Tuesday next, and in our opinion it would greatly prejudice the position of the government as well as the future prospects of the great scheme in which we are all engaged, if we met parliament with the administration in an incomplete state, and therefore with no fixed policy.

I have His Excellency's permission to state his concurrence in this view, and his opinion that the public interests require the immediate reconstruction of the ministry.

Under these circumstances, and to prevent the possibility of the scheme for the confederation of British North America receiving any injury from the appearance of disunion among those who coalesced for the purpose of carrying it into effect, Mr. Cartier and I, without admitting that there are any sufficient grounds for setting either of us aside, have agreed to propose that Sir Narcisse Belleau shall assume the position of First Minister and Receiver-General, vice Sir Etienne Taché; that the position and offices of the other members of the executive council shall remain as before; and that the policy of the government shall be the same as was laid before parliament in July, 1864, as the basis of the coalition which was then formed. His Excellency authorizes me to make this proposition, and expresses his desire for an early answer.

Believe me, my Dear Sir, yours faithfully,


No. 5.-Hon. George Brown to Hon. John A. Macdonald.

QUEBEC, 5th August, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR,-Your note of this afternoon was hauded to me by Col. Bernard, and having communicated its contents to my colleagues, I now beg to state the conclusions at which we have arrived.

Without intending the slightest discourtesy to Sir Narcisse Belleau, we deem it right to remind you that we would not have selected that gentleman as successor to Sir Etienne Taché; but as he is the selection of Mr. Cartier and yourself, and as we are, equally with you, desirous of preventing the scheme for the confederation of British America receiving injury from the appearance of disunion among us, we shall offer no objection to his appointment.

I think, however, it will be necessary that Sir Narcisse Belleau shall have stated to him, and shall accept, in more distinct terms than you have indicated, the policy on which our coalition now rests. It is quite right that the basis of June, 1864, should be stated as the basis still, but he should also clearly understand the modification of that agreement, rendered necessary by succeeding events, and which was ratified by Sir Etienne Taché in March, 1865. The agreement of June, 1864, was as follows: "The government are prepared to pledge themselves to bring in a measure next session for the purpose of removing existing difficulties by introducing the federal principle into Canada, coupled with such provisions as will permit the Maritime Provinces and the North-West Territory to be incorporated into the same system of government. And the government will seek, by sending representatives to the Lower Provinces and to England, to secure the assent of those interests which are beyond the control of our own legislation, to such a measure as may enable all British North America to be united under a general legislature based upon the federal principle."

Sir Narcisse Belleau should understand that occurrences in the Maritime Provinces unfortunately prevented this agreement from being carried out, so far as regards time; that it became necessary to consider what course ought to be pursued in consequence of these occurrences; and that we came to an agreement that we should earnestly strive for the adoption of the scheme of the Quebec conference, but should we be unable to remove the objections of the Maritime Provinces in time to present a measure at the opening of the session of 1866 for the completion of the confederation scheme, we would then present to parliament, and press with all the influence of government, a measure for the reform of the constitutional system of Canada, as set forth in the above agreement of June, 1864.

I remain, my Dear Sir, yours truly,



No. 6.-Hon. John A. Macdonald to Hon. George Brown.

QUEBEC, August 7, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR,-Sir Narcisse Belleau returned from the country yesterday, and I am happy to inform you that he has, though with great reluct ance, acceded to the request of Mr. Cartier and myself, and accepted the position of First Minister, with the office of Receiver-General.

He accepts the policy of the late government, as stated in your note of Saturday to me, and adopts it as that which will govern his administra


This policy will of course be announced in both Houses of parliament as soon as possible.

Believe me, faithfully yours,





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Parliament met the day after the ministerial negotiations were completed for a brief session, or half session, of forty-one days. At the beginning of the session the report of the deputation of ministers to England, already alluded to, was submitted, with accompanying dispatches from Mr. Cardwell. Next to the all-absorbing question of confederation, Mr. Brown placed the annexation of the North-West Territory to Canada. An arrangement was finally made to accomplish this purpose, which was afterwards carried out. For twenty years he had steadily urged the vast importance to Canada of the acquisition of the northern and western territories, so long held in the hands of a grasping monopoly. For many years a portion of the Canadian press made light of the representations of Mr. Brown and the Globe. The company industriously circulated the impression that these territories were valuable chiefly as a hunting ground, and comparatively few people had any knowledge of the country. Fewer still had any faith in it as a valuable one, for actual and close settlement, beyond the banks of the Red River. For many years the late Sir George Cartier and his friends resolutely opposed all attempts to open up these regions for settlement, on the pitiful plea that its development would add to the political power of Ontario. The adoption of the federal system at once removed all petty objections to the immediate acquirement of these western lands, which are yet to add so much to the wealth of Canada. Mr. Brown, all through his agitation for the openng up of the North-West, derived much assistance from Mr. Isbester, of London, formerly of the North-West, to whom Canada is largely indebted for assistance in this matter. On the day parliament was prorogued Mr. Brown met with the other members of what was called the "confederate council," formed at the instance of the Imperial government, of delegates from all the provinces, for the consideration of commercial treaties. At this meeting certain resolutions were passed relating to trade with the West Indies and South America, the appointment of a commission to these countries, and another to Washngton, all abortive in the end.

From the period when the discussions in this council terminated, there is no doubt that Mr. Brown felt his position irksome. The dispute regarding Sir E. P. Taché's successor had not improved the feeling of latent hostility towards Mr. Brown, which existed with Mr. Macdonald and some other members of the cabinet. The new Premier was a weak and vain man, totally unfit to hold the balance between men much his superior in mental power and political experience. Sir N. Belleau was, in fact, quite ignored by Mr. Macdonald. When Mr. Brown resigned it was Mr. Macdonald, not the Premier, who invited Mr. Howland to take Mr. Brown's place, so the nominally Tory leader nominated the new reform leader, as he after nominated Sir Francis Hincks to succeed Mr. Howland. Mr. Macdonald was not an ardent advocate for the constitutional changes soon to be inaugurated, and he adopted the new policy, not because he loved it, but because it afforded the most convenient, if not the only, method of retaining office, and the most likely to break the power of the liberal party by the gradual absorption of its members who might, for strictly coalition purposes, enter the spider's "parlour." There was no hope of influencing Mr. Brown, but something might be hoped from the other members, and, as a matter of fact, the other members were swallowed up and remained in the Tory family. The constant effort to obtain party advantages on the one side had to be borne by the other and weaker side, necessarily with impatience. 'As streams "their channels deeper wear so, in this instance, did the steady political attrition daily render his position more unpleasant. It was therefore with a sense of relief that he felt bound, a few weeks after the confederate council adjourned, to adopt such decided views on the question of reciprocity with the United States, against the views of his colleagues, as to render his resignation necessary. This was the immediate cause of his resignation. During Mr. Brown's absence from Ottawa on public business, Messrs. Galt and Howland were sent to Washington, and were negotiating there with the committee of ways and means. The ministers subsequently agreed to accept a scheme of concurrent legislation for the interchange of commodities instead of a treaty. Commercial intercourse by reciprocal legislation would inevitably derange our trade relations with the United States. Stability is an element that cannot be dispensed with in commerce, and so Mr. Brown considered. There can be no doubt, however, that Mr. Brown felt a personal slight was offered him when Mr. Howland was sent with Mr. Galt on a mission to promote reciprocity-when Mr. Howland, who was not a member of the confederate council on commercial treaties, was sent on such a mission, although Mr. Brown and Mr. Galt were the members of that council.

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