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the reform administration? This question must be answered in the negative so far as most of the great questions are concerned. It is true that Mr. Hincks pled that Mr. Brown defended all the acts of the administration until a few weeks before the general election of 1851. Were this literally true, it would neither palliate nor excuse the inaction, to use a mild term, of the government. The government had undoubtedly passed some good measures, for which Mr. Brown gave them ample credit, as shown by the extracts from his Haldimand address already given. Mr. Hincks, the new leader of the government, had resented certain articles in the Globe, which paper, he says, 66 "considered the organ of the party with which he acted," and in his wrath openly declared his readiness to support any combination of "parties" to oppose the Globe's views. He also stated that "no wise statesman would attempt to carry on this union upon any other principle than that of equal representation to both sections.'

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He was also to " oppose all organic changes in the constitution.” He little thought that thirteen years after making this unwise speech, every statesman in both sections admitted that equal representation was not just, and therefore gave unequal representation, which now stands as 92 to 65. He evidently did not then dream that within two years he would himself propose another "organic change in the con"stitution." It would be easy to multiply to any extent extracts from speeches, and to give votes, and cite cases of manifest omissions of duty in the liberal leader, which would show that he was then conscious of having lost the confidence of a large portion-the largest portion of the reform party, and was plainly offering himself as a component part of a new combination, made up of all classes of politicians who would join the ministerial omnibus. The miserable pretence of maintaining the union was too shallow; no one knew better than Mr. Hincks that the only danger to the union arose from wrong legislation, which created new abuses, and the want of legislation to remove old grievances. That Mr. Hincks' personal views were wholly in favour of perfect religious equality, and the justice of the other measures sought by reformers, probably few will be disposed to doubt. That he lamentably failed at a critical time to show that he had the courage of his convictions, no one will deny. If he had changed his opinions he should have frankly avowed it, and resigned the position he had attained by liberal votes. It was no answer to the reproaches heaped upon him by those whose aid he obtained at the elections to fly into a passion, and threaten to join his political adversaries.




Mr. Brown's appearance in parliament justified the expectations of his friends who had hoped so much from his great knowledge of public affairs, political and commercial, and his ability as a speaker. It is very seldom that a new member is able, at the very start of his political career, to take rank as a leading man. He was tacitly acknowledged at once as the leader of reformers, who did not give Mr. Hincks and the government a regular support, though he was not regularly selected to occupy that post. Parliament was not called together until late in the summer, but Mr. Brown did not wait for the meeting of parliament to promulgate his views on matters of great concern to the state and to the liberal party. He had been elected for Kent and Lambton on a thoroughly independent platform as regards Mr. Hincks' government, and pledged only to promote the well understood policy of the reform party, either with or without the action of the government. Some reformers undoubtedly did desire to pursue a mild policy, and hoped for decided action from Mr. Hincks. That gentleman, however, repelled those who were disposed to still trust in him, and who urged him to adopt a policy which would unite the party and at the same time benefit the country, by passing measures of reform urgently demanded. To remonstrance or threats his reply was, that if pressed, he would form other combinations which would maintain the status quo. In the meantime Mr. Brown continued his pungent writing in the Globe in the most direct hostility to the government. But every member of the government knew that he would support them, if haply they would introduce the measures demanded by the country.

In January the following piquant description of the ministry was given in the Globe:

"In this remarkable collection of heterogeneous elements was to "be found the cautious conservative and the fierce republican; the "ardent admirer of Andrew Marvel and the meek subject of Pio "Nono; the model constitution monger and the haughty scorner of "all organic changes;' the unswerving voluntary and the high estab"lishment man; the panegyrist of Baldwin and the devotee of Rolph; "the Roman priesthood of Lower Canada, and the evangelical minis

"try of Upper Canada. We have clergy reserve men and anti"clergy reserve men; rectory bill men and rectory lawsuit men ; "sectarian school men and secular school men; sixteen million Trunk 'Railway men, and the bitter foes of that precious scheme; . . in short, the advocates of every conceivable change, and the advocates "of their antipodes. No party supports the ministry. . . its sup"porters are units from all parties, and they are suspicious of their "leaders, but hope they may go right."


Mr. Brown did not, however, then or at the general election just over, oppose any reformer who was a candidate. The ministry started candidates against himself, Mr. Price and Mr. Morrison, who then sympathized with Mr. Brown's views more or less. In May the Hon. Malcolm Cameron, who had accepted office as President of the Council, appeared in Huron for re-election. He was opposed by Mr. James Brown, and the secretary of that gentleman's committee wrote to Mr. Brown to ask his assistance in the county.


This invitation he declined. In his letter to the secretary, after referring to some objectionable portions of Mr. Cameron's career, he said: "But notwithstanding all this, Mr. Cameron is so pledged on the voluntary question that he cannot escape from it. This is probably "the only question on which parties will be in any degree tested in "the present parliament, and if the voluntaries of Huron see proper "to take Mr. Cameron as their candidate, I cannot do anything to "injure the cause which has my warmest sympathy."

The speech from the throne, on August 21st, was singularly barren of committal or reference even to controverted questions, a bare reference to the treatment of the clergy reserve matter in England alone excepted. No promise of any action even on that subject was made. Mr. Brown made his maiden parliamentary speech on the address. It consisted largely of a review of the position of the reform party, and a criticism on the position of ministers in regard to the great questions of the day; in other words, the questions relating to what Mr. Brown was wont to term "state-churchism." He spoke from the ministerial side, but had no hesitation in attacking ministers, especially the Premier and Messrs. Cameron and Rolph, for not boldly moving in these questions as a ministry. It was taken for granted that, as Mr. Brown had denounced ministers at the elections, he would also vote against them in the House. He had, however, to consider who would take their places, before going into an out-and-out opposition; nor did he even then despair of the government taking such action as would enable all reformers to give them a full support. He took advantage of the occasion to lay down the sound constitutional principles on which the ministry were bound to act in regard to great questions

which agitated the whole country, if they intended to follow a proper course in carrying out responsible government.

He pointed out that ministers had no right to rely for parliamentary support on mere general declarations of their liberality, instead of specific statements of their policy on certain great measures on which the people had made up their minds long before. This, however, was precisely what the ministry did, and Mr. Brown dealt plainly and boldly with them and the principles at stake, as he was bound to do by his promises to the electors.

The following extracts from his speech on this occasion, will give some idea of the position of the ministry as well as of Mr. Brown's capacity as a parliamentary orator and leader. In this, his first appearance in parliament, he demonstrated his power as a speaker and thinker, notwithstanding Dr. Rolph's pedantic sneer when he referred to Mr. Brown as "a person of tolerable education." The new minister was soon to learn that the new member must be met, if met at all, with something more than an ill-mannered sneer, as untrue as it was unfair.

Mr. Brown, after referring to various incidents which became public in regard to the formation of the government, said:

But it is in regard to the principles on which the ministry was formed that the total absence of satisfactory explanation must be felt more deeply by the House. The Inspector-General tells us the administration is formed on progressive principles. He said there had been divisions in


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the reform party, and it was necessary to secure the co-operation of both I was more than surprised to hear the Inspector-General say there had been no serious differences of opinion. What can possibly be a serious difference of opinion in the eyes of the honorable gentleman?

There is not one principle of constitutional government, not one prominent measure before the country, on which they were not wide as the poles asunder. In the whole history of free institutions, where will a parallel be found for the bitter unscrupulous opposition waged for two years by the present President of the Council and his allies, or the Inspector-General and his colleagues? When parliament last sat they were ranged against each other in fierce battle array; a few months pass, and lo, they sit together in sweetest harmony.

He glanced at the leading incidents of the Metcalfe parliament, acknowledging the firm manner in which Mr. Lafontaine and many members now in the house had stuck to their Upper Canada allies in spite of the seductions of office, and showed how closely the alliance had been cemented by the events of that period. The result of the elections of 1847-8 was the triumphant success of the reform party at the polls, and consequent accession to power of the Baldwin-Lafontaine ministry.

From the very foundation of that ministry, a principle of separation began to show itself in the liberal party, which gradually forced a breach in their ranks, and finally broke up the ministry. That principle of separation was found in the difference of opinion as to the employment of public money for sectarian purposes. Our allies in Lower Canada are in favour of a

close connection between church and state, while Upper Canada reformers are opposed to it in every shape. We not only oppose the payment of public money for sectarian purposes, but we say that religion is a matter between each man and his Maker, and that the government has no right to determine for the country what is the truth, but ought to leave a matter so sacred to the conscience of each member of the community. Honourable

gentlemen opposite knew well that the division in the reform camp alone gave them a chance at last election; and I hesitate not to affirm that if an appeal should ever be made to the people of Upper Canada on the question of state endowments to the church, it will leave the benches opposite almost vacant. Who could seek a better evidence of the state of feeling in Upper Canada than the election addresses of gentlemen opposite? Did one of them dare to avow the old claim of monopoly for the Church of England?

Will the gallant knight who leads the high church party venture to say that even he could have been returned for the city of Hamilton had his declarations on these questions been of the same old stamp? Will the honourable member for Middlesex say that he could have obtained his seat on high church principles? The people of Upper Canada feel intensely on this question. It has been the grievance of the country for 30 years. And if the gentlemen from Lower Canada could understand how the bitterness which flows from it affects every relation of life, whether social or political, they would not wonder at the eagerness to have it settled for ever.

In this county (Quebec) a large proportion of the people are of one faith, and it appears not so odious to give that church a preference; but I ask them if a sect or two sects, forming a small minority, a mere fraction of the community, engrossed all the honours and emoluments of the state, and asserted a position of dominancy over the majority, whether they would not have united as one man for the overthrow of such a system. This, then, was the question of Upper Canada, and the reform party fully expected that the first act of the Baldwin-Lafontaine ministry would have been to settle it for ever. Unhappily the Rebellion Losses Bill obtained the preference, and the reserve question was set adrift for the session. That bill was introduced into parliament, I am well convinced, without the knowledge or consent of one member of the Upper Canada reform party not in the government. Every one knows the convulsion it produced in the country, and that in standing by their Lower Canada allies upon it, the reformers of Upper Canada were well nigh upset.

I have no doubt whatever, that at that time, and for many months afterwards, the Upper Canada section of the ministry believed, and entertained no doubt, that their Lower Canada colleagues would give them a cordial support, when the day of trial came, on the reserve question. I think it was not until just before the session of 1850 that they found their mistake; and I entertain not the slightest doubt that Messrs. Baldwin, Price and Hincks strove to have the settlement made a ministerial question. When parliament met in May, 1850, it was announced that it was to be an open question, and it was apparent that the other ecclesiastical subjects of dispute in the western province were to be sacrificed to the Lower Canada allies. It might have been a question whether the Upper Canada ministers should not then have resigned, and cast themselves on the country. Iconfess I was one who then thought that it was not their duty to resign at that moment.

The French Canadians were willing to vote for an address to the Crown, asking the transfer of the control over the reserves to the provincial parliament, and it was well to take their help even to this extent.

But far beyond this was the consideration that if they then resigned and new parties were formed, the unjust arrangement of the constituencies of Upper Canada would be a strong bar in our way at the coming general

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