Puslapio vaizdai

individually for the benefit and security of the whole. When a people accept a constitution, they trace out themselves the circle which they assign to their liberties; they say to themselves, in a sense: this space belongs to me; here I can speak, think, act; I owe no account of my words, my thoughts, my acts to any one except to my own conscience and to God; but as regards society, here begins its domain and ends mine, and I shall not go further. Still, like all human works, constitutions are not perfect. New horizons, which were not before perceived, are constantly opening up, and unsuspected abuses are discovered. It is then the duty of the legislature to step in and enlarge or contract, according to needs and circumstances, the circle within which the institutions of the country move.

Passing to the specific issue, he showed convincingly that dual representation led to practical inconvenience and inconsistency of policy, and particularly that it tended to confuse federal and provincinal issues and subordinate provincial to federal policy. For Quebec the system was particularly dangerous. "With the single mandate, Quebec is Quebec; with the double mandate, it becomes merely an appendix to Ottawa."

The motion to abolish dual representation was defeated by a small margin on this occasion, but was carried the next session, only to be rejected in the Legislative Council. In the meantime the province of Ontario had abolished the system in 1872. In 1873 the Dominion Parliment made the prohibition general by providing that members of any provincial legislature should be ineligible for the Federal House.

Mr. Laurier's success in the provincial legislature led to demands that he should go to the Federal House, where the Liberal contingent from Quebec sadly needed strengthening. Ottawa was farther from Arthabaska than Quebec, and the federal sessions were slightly longer, covering two or even three months, blessed contrast with the six- and eight-month sessions of later days, but these considerations did not weigh heavily against the wider opportunities of the dominion field. He became the Liberal candidate for the fed

eral constituency of Drummond-Arthabaska in the general election of 1874, and was returned by a majority of 238.

The political situation at Ottawa had suddenly been transformed. At confederation Sir John Macdonald seemed assured of an indefinite lease of power. Though a late convert to the federation project, he had rendered invaluable service in carrying it through, and had reaped from its success more popular prestige and political strength than any of his rivals. The entrance of new provinces into the circle gave opportunities for new party combinations and new personal alliances in which the master strategist of Canadian politics was in his native element. The general feeling that the administration in power should be given a fair opportunity to launch the new ship of state and guide it on its trial voyage counted strongly in his favor. His chief antagonist, George Brown, led a divided party, and had lost much of his force and fire as the result of a serious illness in 1862. The leading New Brunswick Liberal, Leonard Tilley, and two of Brown's Ontario lieutenants, William Macdougall and William Howland, had remained with Macdonald on the ground that the coalition formed to effect confederation should persist to carry it on. Charles Tupper, the strongest personal force in Maritime politics, now that Joseph Howe was failing, had formed a close political and personal alliance with Sir John.

For five years this grouping of forces proved invincible. Then shortly after the general election of 1872 had returned the Conservatives again to power, though with lessened strength, a storm arose from an unexpected quarter and swept the Government from office. One of the Liberal leaders, Lucius Huntington, brought before Parliament charges of gross corruption in connection with the granting to Hugh Allan of Montreal and his associates the charter for the construction of the railway which was to be built to the Pacific coast in fulfilment of the terms under which the far-Western province of British Columbia entered confederation in 1871. The charges were flatly denied, but after a stormy controversy they were proved to the hilt. Allan had ex

pended vast sums in securing the support of newspapers and the lesser politicians, particularly in Quebec, and in contributions to the campaign funds of the Conservative party in the election of 1872. Macdonald and Cartier had themselves demanded and received large contributions for election purposes. Macdonald in vain insisted that there

was no connection between the contributions and the granting of the charter. A wave of public indignation swept the country. Many of his own followers, notably Donald A. Smith of Hudson's Bay fame, deserted him. In November, 1873, he resigned, and the Liberal leader, Alexander Mackenzie, was called upon to form a ministry. Two months later the new premier went to the country, and came back with a majority of sixty behind him.

the experience of Dorion or of Holton; he had never been formally chosen leader of the Liberal party. His claim to recognition was merely that he was the leader of the larger fraction of the Ontario contingent, the dominant factor on the Liberal side. From the Eastern provinces, with Alfred Jones of Halifax declining to serve, David Laird

The Liberal party
triumphed in 1874
because of its op-
ponents' weakness
rather than because of any superiority
in its own strength. As an organization
it had not yet attained unity. The Lib-
eral, Reform, or Rouge groups from On-
tario, the Maritime Provinces, and Que-
be: had never completely fused. There
was no clear agreement as to leader-
ship. Ontario, which provided the larg-
est contingent of government support-
ers, suffered from an embarrassment of
riches. Richard Cartwright had too late-
ly crossed from the Conservative to the
Liberal ranks to be seriously in the
running in those days of bitter fights
and long memories, but as between Al-
exander Mackenzie and Edward Blake
the balance swayed even; each had his
qualities and each his following. Mac-
kenzie had never held office except re-
cently in Ontario; he could not claim

Edward Blake, Minister of Mackenzie
Administration at intervals, 1873-78

was the only man of capacity, and he soon resigned to become Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territory.

Quebec was the Government's


weakest quarter. The tidal wave of repudiation of the Macdonald government had increased the Quebec Liberal representation from twenty-seven out of sixty-five to thirtythree; but leaders were lacking, and the allegiance of several of the rank and file was uncertain. Antoine-Aimé Dorion, for long the Rouge chieftain and the leader of the Quebec bar, had announced his retirement from politics. He had established a reputation beyond cavil for integrity and single-minded devotion to the country's interest, and carried weight not only in Quebec, but throughout the dominion. Yet his heart was not in the game of politics; he could never throw himself into the battles of the hustings or take delight in parliamentary intrigues with the wholehearted abandon of his opponent, Cartier. Twenty years of public life had left him not only poor, but heavily in debt, and the wishes of his family weighed heavily against the demands of his party. Six months after taking office in the Mackenzie cabinet, and a year after death had carried Cartier off the scene, Dorion resigned to become Chief-Justice of Quebec.

His colleague, Letellier de Saint-Just, was a man of average ability, and of much more than average determination and sense of dignity; he had won a place by his persistent fighting of the Rouge battles in eastern Quebec since 1851, and was destined, after he, too, resigned in 1876 to take the LieutenantGovenorship of Quebec, to become the occasion of a famous constitutional crisis. Télesphore Fournier, who held in turn the portfolio of internal revenue, justice, and the post-office, was a man of greater capacity, who for years had carried on a vigorous, but hopeless, fight in the Quebec district against Conservative and clerical, only winning his way to the Commons when too firmly set in his ways to be able to repeat in the House the success he had won at the bar. Fournier resigned in 1875 to become a member of the Canadian Supreme Court, which he had taken the leading part in establishing. Dorion's place was taken by Félix Geoffrion, who proved a very good administrator, and when a serious illness forced him to resign in 1876, Rodolphe Laflamme, Mr. Laurier's onetime preceptor in the law and another uncompromising Rouge champion, succeeded, only to meet Fournier's difficulty of adjusting himself to the ways of Parliament. Letellier's place as Minister of Agriculture was taken by C. A. P. Pelletier, an urbane gentleman who found his place at the same time in the Senate. When Fournier retired, Mackenzie, hard put for a successor, made a choice difficult to reconcile with his own character and his party's traditions. For thirty years Joseph Cauchon had been active in public life, vigorous in parliamentary debate, and in his newspaper, "Le Journal de Quebec," as slashing, aggressive, and powerful as George Brown himself. He had been an uncompromising Conservative and a thoroughgoing unholder of clerical claims until shortly after confederation, when disappointed ambition and quarrels over railway projects set him adrift from his old friends. He was a man of unquestioned force, and still a power with the clergy, and Mackenzie's action in offering him a cabinet seat might have been defended had it not been for his reputation for corruption.

A parliamentary inquiry in 1872 had branded him as secretly interested in government contracts with the Beauport Asylum while himself a member of the provincial legislature. Sir John Macdonald might have appointed him, and the opposition could not have shouted "Robbery and corruption!" louder than they were already and always doing; but for God-fearing, broad-phylacteried Liberals, and particularly a man so personally upright and so impatient of dishonor as Mackenzie, the appointment was a fatal blunder. It was with relief that many Liberals saw Cauchon accept the Lieutenant-Governorship of Manitoba in 1877, and make way for Wilfrid Laurier.

Aside from difficulties as to leadership, the Liberal party in the seventies faced four serious issues: the hostile attitude of an aggressive section of the Quebec clergy, which will be reviewed later; the Riel agitation; the demand of the West for the speedy construction of the Pacific Railway; and the worldwide trade depression, which brought a revival of protectionism in its wake.

The Riel agitation was an unfortunate aftermath of Canada's bungling in handling its first difficult task of national expansion. The development of the American West had long directed attention to the possibilities of the vast British territory to the northward under the control of the Hudson's Bay Company. For years before the confederation Brown and Macdougall had urgently demanded that Canada should acquire this heritage, to which the enterprise of French-Canadian explorers under the old régime gave the province some legal claim. With the enlarged resources and the new national aspirations the confederation brought, the dream of westward expansion became real. Within four years after 1867 the bounds of the dominion had been extended to the Pacific and its territory multiplied eight-fold.

When in 1870-71 the Dominion Government provided for the entry of British Columbia into the federation, the negotiations were conducted with the representatives of the Pacific colony's ten thousand white settlers on a footing of equality, and generous, even extrava

gant, terms, including the promise to build a railway through trackless wastes to the Pacific within ten years, were offered. When two years earlier the same Government sought to bring the vast territory between the Great Lakes and the Rockies under its sway, it paid no heed to the wishes of the twelve thousand whites and half-breeds gathered in the valley of the Red River. Negotiations were carried on with the British Government and the governors of the Hudson's Bay Company; money was paid to extinguish the company's rights, but no step was taken to discuss with the people of the country the terms under which they and their lands were to be transferred to a new allegiance.

The situation was one that needed care. With the authority of the Hudson's Bay Company steadily slipping from its grasp and with therepresentatives of the famous old company who still remained on the spot, convinced that the financial magnates in London had sacrificed the interests of the working partners, unwilling to exert themselves to aid the establishment of the new régime; with half the community made up of French half-breeds, used to the free life of voyageur, buffalo-hunter, or transportdriver, and apprehension of a flood of alien and disdainful immigrants unsettling their old ways of life; with thousands of Scottish half-breeds, less unruly, but dubious also of new-comers; with the Canadian colony already in the settlement urging for years annexation to Canada and some of its members foolishly boasting how the backward elements would have to make way when the tide of progressive Canadian set

tlers poured in; with priests like Father Richot in full and active sympathy with the fears and hopes of their parishioners; with Minnesota traders and professional Fenian raiders across the border anxious to swing the settlement into the American orbit, it was imperative to take steps to insure the Red River settlement a voice in its own fu

ture governing. No such steps were taken, and the action of the Canadian Government in starting surveys in half-breed settlements before the transfer, and the greedy staking out of lands by members of official missions, gave positive ground for alarm.

Out of this friction and muddle conflict rapidly developed. Many men played a part in the succession of blunders and misunderstandings which marked the interregnum between the rule of the company and the rule of Canada. First, Joseph Howe, who for years had been the leader of Nova Scotia's fight against being coerced into confederation, now won over to acquiescence and a seat in the cabinet, with special charge of the Western territories, paid a flying visit to Red River in the autumn of 1869, and whether merely through declining to take sides with the Canadian faction or because, in Macdougall's words, of "seditious talk and bibulous fraternization with rebels," undoubtedly encouraged resistance.


Alexander Mackenzie, Prime Minister of Canada, 1873-78

Meanwhile William Macdougall, appointed lieutenant-governor of the territory he had done more than any other man to keep before the mind of Canada, reached Pembina before the formal transfer of the territory to the dominion, only to be blocked at the border by

a French half-breed band, issuing unwarranted proclamations and rashly seeking to rouse the English settlers against the "rebels," until, disavowed and embittered, he was forced to return to Ottawa. Governor McTavish, of the Hudson's Bay Company, ill, resentful of the change, convinced that annexation to the United States was inevitable, supinely bowed to the insurgents' every demand. Louis Riel, a native of the settlement, French, with a Montagnais Indian grandmother, educated at Montreal for the priesthood, but drawn by his wayward temper and heterodox views into other paths, now made himself the champion of the halfbreeds' cause, broke up the surveyors' operations, blocked Macdougall's entry, seized without resistance Fort Garry and the company stores, and set up a provisional government. 'Abandoned by our own Government, which had sold its title to the country," he declared they must refuse to accept "a governor whom Canada, an English colony like ourselves, ignoring our aspirations and our existence as a people, forgetting the rights of nations and our rights as British subjects, sought to impose upon us without consulting or even notifying us." William O'Donoghue, a student for the priesthood, of strong Fenian leanings, plotting annexation, and Ambrose Lepine, a half-breed of herculean build and more moderation of temper, backed Riel.


The Government at Ottawa, awakened by this unexpected resistance, took up a conciliatory attitude, sending commissioners, in turn Colonel de Salaberry, Vicar-General Thibault, Donald A Smith, and Bishop Taché, hastily summoned from Rome to shepard his wandering flock, to explain their benevolent intentions, and agreeing to receive delegates from the settlement. Meanwhile Riel's authority had been challenged by a group of Canadians who fortified the home of their leader, Dr. Schultz, and later by a badly organized band of English settlers. Both movements failed. The second was particularly unfortunate, coming just when the great majority of the old settlers, En

h as well as French, had come tor in a convention to support the

demand for terms, and when Donald A. Smith's extremely cautious diplomacy had undermined Riel's authority. The challenge and its failure increased Riel's prestige and, what was more ominous, inflamed his erratic temper. To strike a lesson home, he haled one of the prisoners before a court martial, and after a farcical trial had him brutally shot. It was a fateful blunder. The blood of Thomas Scott called for vengeance. Ontario insisted that no truce or terms could be made with murderers; Quebec, that the execution was a political act, not to be held against individual men. The cabinet at Ottawa tried to follow a double course. To meet Ontario's demands, it sent an armed expedition under Colonel Wolseley to enforce order. To satisfy Quebec, it discussed terms with the delegates from the Northwest, Judge Black, Father Richot, and A. H. Scott, and agreed to grant the community the status of a province, the half-breeds generous holdings of land or scrip, and the church its schools. By the autumn of 1870 all was quiet on the Red River.

Peace did not so soon follow in Eastern Canada. Here was ample timber to relight the fires of sectarian and racial controversy. Ontario saw only that an Ontario man, and an Orangeman at that, had been brutally murdered at the command of a French Catholic "rebel." Quebec saw only a struggle for the assertion of just rights against scornful neglect in which the execution by constituted authority of a troublesome prisoner was an unfortunate, but minor, incident. Nor was this all. Below the individual issues and the specific incidents of the conflict there waged a clash of wills as to the national future of the West. Ontario, aware of its superior enterprise, eager to find an outlet for home-seekers torival the Western States, and deeply suspicious of French and Catholic Quebec, looked for the building up of new Ontarios in the vast prairies. Quebec, disappointed at finding its position under confederation less influential than had been hoped, proudly mindful that it was daring FrenchCanadian explorers who had opened up the Western country, and anxious to stem the tide of habitant migration to

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