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accept it at all. I felt that my submission in this case might be a precedent for worse concessions by other ministers hereafter. I felt that I ought not to go into office shackled by any conditions: that after going in, it was my duty to advise His Excellency on all public affairs, and if he refused my advice, at once to retire. I resolved that the GovernorGeneral's memorandum must be met at once and by myself, without reference to my colleagues, and very early on Monday morning I sent this note to His Excellency: "Mr. Brown has the honour to acknowledge receipt of His Excellency the Governor-General's note of last night, with accompanying memorandum. Before receiving His Excellency's note Mr. Brown had successfully fulfilled the duty entrusted to him by the GovernorGeneral, and will be prepared, at the appointed hour this morning, to submit for His Excellency's approval the names of the gentlemen whom he proposes to be associated with himself in the new government. Mr. Brown respectfully submits that, until they have assumed the functions of constitutional advisers of the Crown, he and his proposed colleagues will not be in a position to discuss the important measures and questions of public policy referred to in His Excellency's memorandum." This was the only manner in which I could meet His Excellency's memorandum, and it was for him now to break off the negotiations if he had not entire confidence, and was not prepared to give us all the support that other men in our position had at all times received. He gave no such intimation-he admitted that the position I had taken was the truly constitutional one. At halfpast nine on Monday morning I met my colleagues and read to them His Excellency's memorandum and my answer to it. With one voice they said I had taken the only course open to me with honour, and they cordially endorsed what I had done. We then sat down deliberately to consider what was the object in sending such a document at such a moment, and what course it was our duty to pursue. We came unanimously to the conclusion that it was written purposely to raise a bar in the way of our accepting office, and that the paragraph in regard to dissolution was the one on which issue was expected to be raised. It ran thus: "The GovernorGeneral gives no pledge or promise, express or implied, with reference to dissolving parliament. When advice is tendered to His Exceliency on this subject he will make up his mind according to the circumstances then existing and, the reasons then laid before him." Now, what need was there for this instruction? Whoever thought of demanding any such pledge? It was time enough when the necessity arose for us to demand a dissolu. tion, and for His Excellency to assent to or refuse our demand. Clearly the expectation was, that the moment we read that warning sentence we would get alarmed and post down to Government House and demand a promise that if we could not command a majority in the present House we should have an immediate dissolution. And why did you not do so? asked Mr. John A. Macdonald yesterday in the House of Assembly. Well he knew why; well he knew that such a demand would have been utterly unconstitutional; and well he knew that he was standing ready to raise the cry of "The prerogative in danger!" the moment we should do it.

Let us suppose that before being sworn in we had gone to the GovernorGeneral and demanded a dissolution, what would his answer have been? He would of course have answered in the words of his letter, "I cannot pledge myself; when the case arises I will hear your arguments, and judge from them." And then suppose we had answered, "That will not do; we must either have a distinct pledge or we won't accept office." What then? Only this, that we would have been out of pain at once, and we must have risen that night in the House and declared that we were called to form a government that we did form one and a powerful one-but that the Governor-General would not pledge himself to a dissolution, and we therefore declined to be sworn in. Only fancy then the triumph with which Mr. John A. Macdonald would have risen! "What!" he would have exclaimed, "not content with your great powers as advisers of the Crown, would nothing serve but to tear from His Excellency's hands the prerogative of his royal mistress? You would not consent to be sworn in, forsooth, until you bound the Governor-General hand and foot to dissolve parliament! Before the necessity had arisen-without the facts before him, without any knowledge of what changes might arise in the meanwhilehe must pledge himself, at all hazards and in all events, to dissolve the legislature at your bidding! Did he not promise you his whole confidence, the entire authority of men in your position? Did he not promise to receive and consider your advice when the necessity for dissolution arose? Ah! it is clear you felt your government impossible, and you took this means of evading the task you have always been telling us you were prepared to undertake !"

No, gentlemen, we knew our position better than to make such a mistake as this; we were not willing that the Governor-General should encroach on our domain, but we were quite as unwilling to encroach on his. And besides our general knowledge of what our proper course should be, there was one notable circumstance that prevented our falling into this particular snare. In 1843, precisely the same trap was set by the astute hand of Mr. Wm. H. Draper for Messrs. Baldwin and Lafontaine; and in consequence of its success, the liberal party were kept five years out of power. It was rather too much to expect that such a game could be played twice with effect; no one but the original author of the device could possibly have fancied so.

Let me state the case of 1843. Messrs. Baldwin and Lafontaine learned by accident that Sir Charles Metcalfe had made an important appointment without consulting them. They properly deemed this in direct hostility to constitutional government; and they waited forthwith on the Governor-General and told him so. He refused to yield, and they de clared they could not retain office without a change in this matter. They resigned; Sir Charles called Mr. Draper to his counsels, and raised the cry of the prerogative. In his explanation to the House of Assembly, the Governor-General thus stated the case: "On Friday Mr. Lafontaine and Mr. Baldwin came to the Government House, and after some other business, and some preliminary remarks as to the cause of their proceeding,


demanded of the Governor-General that he should agree to make no appointment, and no offer of an appointment, without previously taking the advice of his council." . . . In other words, that the patronage of the Crown should be surrendered to the council. The Governor-General replied that he would not make any such stipulation, and could not degrade the character of his office, nor violate his duty, by such a surrender of the prerogative of the Crown. Gentlemen, we had those words fresh in our memories, and we perfectly understood how they could be made to apply to us, if we asked a pledge of a dissolution. We had a salutary recollection of the long years of misrule that resulted from the trick of 1843, and we were willing to risk our being turned out of office within twenty-four hours, but we were not willing to place ourselves constitutionally in a false position. We distinctly contemplated all that Sir Edmund Head could do and that he has done; and we concluded that it was our duty to accept office, and throw on the Governor-General the responsibility of denying us the support we were entitled to, and which he had extended so abundantly to our predecessors. True, we might have declined office without an explanation, but we all felt, I believe, that this would have been very injurious to our position before the country, and that no option was left, consistent with our dignity and the interests of the public, but to be sworn in.

I need not tell you that we had not taken possession of the council chamber an hour, when the war commenced against us. The late ministers had telegraphed all over the country for their friends; a special train was run on Sunday over the Grand Trunk to bring them up in time; and the Governor-General's name was freely used in assuring certain members that if the new government were voted down from the start there would be no dissolution of parliament, but let them get over the session, and that dread alarm of such a House, a dissolution, was inevitable. With the ten ministers absent from the House, and many of our friends away unsuspicious of so unprecedented a proceeding, a vote of want of confidence in the new government was immediately moved at the instigation of the late ministers, and sustained, I need hardly remind you, by these gallant gentlemen with dastardly assaults, false and fierce, against absent men. No doubt we will live to repay them, but I trust in more manly fashion. The following morning the cabinet advised a dissolution. His Excellency demanded reasons in writing. They were furnished; our advice was refused, and we instantly resigned. Not in a hundred and fifty years of English history, nor in the whole history of Canada, can a single case be found in which men in our position were refused a dissolution. When His Excellency called on me to form a government, well he knew that I was in the minority of the House, and that I had so assailed the electoral frauds by which so many of the members were returned, that it was next to impossible to proceed without a general election. Why then expose us to the mockery of a hollow invitation? And why not say frankly at once that he would not grant a dissolution? Mr. Hincks went to the country in 1851; at the opening of his second session he was defeated, but the Governor-General came down suddenly and prorogued the House, and gave him one more chance

for life. The McNab government followed in September, 1854; in 1855 three members retired, and His Excellency consented to a reconstruction; in 1856 the government was beaten twice and twice resigned; but His Excellency would not accept, and Ross, Drummond and Cauchon, nay, the Premier himself, were all driven out, but still a reconstruction was allowed, with Colonel Taché at the head. In 1857 Lemieux, Territt, Ross, and the Premier were all driven away; but another reconstruction was at once granted, with Mr. Macdonald as Prime Minister. Unable to fill up the vacant offices, suddenly and inconveniently, in the middle of the financial crisis, Mr. Macdonald demanded a general election, and at once he obtained it. And though three ministers were beaten in Upper Canada, still His Excellency permitted the thing to go on by the aid of irresponsible members of the Upper House, and an office left vacant from pure inability to fill it up. He permitted a session of five months to be wasted by the utter incapacity of his advisers; he submitted to all their departmental blundering and mismanagement; but he refused to the opposition the only favour they asked, a fair appeal to the people against the misdeeds of his late ministers. If a designed intention had existed to get the leaders of the opposition out of the House, and then pass the numerous obnoxious bills before parliament, no more direct way could have been taken than that followed by His Excellency.

And to cap the climax of the affair, on dismissing our government, he sent for a gentleman-and he a Lower Canadian-to form a new one who had not and never had one follower in the House, and who was only known to public life as the author of the famous Grand Trunk prospectus, offering 11 per cent. dividend to all who were fortunate enough to get shares! I submit to you that a grievous wrong has been done throughout this matter, and 1 ask you if you will not show your condemnation of such work by returning me again with an overwhelming majority? I ask you if the government I formed ought not to have had a fair trial; that at least we should have had time to appear in our seats to vindicate our policy and if so, I urge you to put all your hands to work, and we will get another and better opportunity ere many months elapse. In one way this strange crisis has done great good; we have found a method of settling the differences between Upper and Lower Canada; we have formed a strong party in opposition, in both sections, on the basis laid down by the late government; and when parliament meets a few months hence, the effect will soon be shown.


Gentlemen, I had a great deal more to say, but I am exhausted with heat and recent indisposition, and I can proceed no further. I shall address you many times in the course of the election contest, and it only now remains for me to thank you very cordially for your kind attention.


The following speech was delivered by Mr. Brown, at Toronto, on the evening of February 3rd, 1863, in moving the second resolution. Its delivery was frequently interrupted by the hearty plaudits of the large and enthusiastic audience.

MR. BROWN said: I have frequently enjoyed the privilege of addressing my fellow-citizens in the public halls of our city, but I say sincerely that I never before experienced such heartfelt pleasure in appearing on a public platform as I do on this occasion. The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada has been many years in existence, but I see around me not a few who, long before its establishment, were the earnest and untiring friends of the down-trodden slave. For twenty-five years many of us have striven together to promote the cause of emancipation, and long, long years we laboured almost without hope to arouse our neighbours to the frightful position they occupied in the eyes of the Christian world, and to goad them on, if possible, to some vigorous efforts towards the suppression of the inhuman traffic that disgraced their land. How earnestly did we watch every passing event in the republic that promised some little amelioration to the condition of the slave, or some additional influence to the friends of emancipation. Sad, hopeless work it appeared to be for many, many years. But at last light broke in upon the scene, and now what a change has passed over the whole picture! What man among us ten years ago, five years ago, ever hoped to live to see the day when the cause of emancipation would occupy the position it does at this moment in the American republic.


For several years it has happened that I have not been able to be present at the annual meetings of this society; but well do I recollect the work we had on hand at the last meeting I attended. Our work then was to mark and deplore the increasing power of the slave interest over the federal government, to denounce the infamous Fugitive Slave Law as a disgrace to civilization, and to express our hearty sympathy with the noble but inconsiderable band of true men throughout the republic who were standing firm for the cause of liberty. That was a very short time ago; but what an entire revolution have these few brief years witnessed. Now we have an anti-slavery president of the United States. Now we have an anti-slavery government at Washington. Now we have an anti-slavery congress at Washington. Already slavery has been abolished in the District of Columbia. At last a genuine treaty for the suppression of the slave trade has been signed at Washington with the government of Great Britain,

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