“Latest from Quebec. The Ministerial Crisis”, The Globe (16 June 1864)
By: The Globe
Citation: “Latest from Quebec. The Ministerial Crisis”, The Globe [Toronto] (16 June 1864).
Latest from Quebec.
THE MINISTERIAL CRISIS!
A DISSOLUTION DOUBTFUL.
The Rumours and Speculations.
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.
(BY SPECIAL TELEGRAPH.)
QUEBEC, June 15.
The galleries of the House were crowded this afternoon by persons anxious to hear the brief explanations which were given by Mr. Attorney General Macdonald regarding the Ministerial crisis consequent upon the vote of last evening.
It is understand that, after the meeting the Cabinet to-day, Ministers advised His Excellency to dissolve the House, and that the Governor informed them that he would give his answer tomorrow. It is generally ioferre [sic?] from the fact of His Excellency’s having declined to comply at once with the advice of his Ministers, that his answer will be given in the negative. It is argued that if he were favourable to the granting of a dissolution he would, in accordance with the usual practice, having signified at once his compliance with the advice tendered to him by his Ministers; and that the formal announcement of his decision was postponed until to-morrow, in order to allow himself the time requisite to prepare a statement of his reasons for refusing to grant the desired dissolution.
Pending the definite announcement of the decision of His Excellency, a report is in circulation, that as the members of the Government are satisfied that their request will be refused it is in contemplation in Ministerial circles that Messrs. Cartier, Galt and John A. Macdonald, the three Ministers most directly affected by the adverse vote of last night, shall resign and allow their remaining colleagues to attempt a replatrage. If such a scheme as that should be attempted, it is certain to result in failure. With its three leading spirits gone the feeble fag-end fo the Ministry remaining would be contemptible and powerless! A dissolution being refused, the only feasible course left for Ministers would be to resign in a body; and in that event, one of the leaders of the Opposition would in all probability be called in. It is believed that a Government formed from the ranks of the Opposition would command a majority of at least two, now that the weakness of the Cartier-Macdonald party and its inability to scary on the Government have been demonstrated by active experiment. Several of those members who have given them a general support, without being strongly wedded to them, would, it is said, give their adhesion to a new Liberal Administration, in order that the government of the country might be carried on, and the business of legislation proceeded with. I have heard mentioned the names of five member [sic] who have lately been acting with the Ministerial party, but who are said now to have indicated their willingness to take this course. This would make a difference of ten on a division, and give a Liberal Administration a majority of twelve.
The Quebec Ministerial papers, both English and French, speak to-day of a dissolution as the result that must follow last night’s vote, and so it probably would if the decision of the matter rested in the hands of Ministers themselves. A caucus of the Ministerial members was held at two o’clock to-day in the Attorney General’s office. I hear that some of those present dissented from the policy of a dissolution, and desired that another attempt should be made to bring about a coalition.
At the opening of the House to-day, Mr. Brown presented the petition of the manufactures of tobacco in the city of Toronto, setting forth the great grievance inflicted on them by the Government. He read the principal paragraphs of the petition, to the effect that from speeches in Parliament and otherwise, they had had reason to believe that the excise duties on tobacco would not take effect till the 2st of July; that in consequence that had undertaken large contracts to deliver large quantities of manufactured tobacco at the old prices, and that the result of the immediate imposition of the duties had been seriously to involve, if not hopelessly to ruin, many of their number. They stated further that the merchants, in anticipation of the excise duties, had purchased largely at former prices, and had stocks now on hand sufficient to supply the whole country for give or six months, and were in consequence, able to undersell the manufacturers by 8 or 10 cents on the pound. On the day that the petition was dated over 500 hands had been discharged. The petition was signed by all the tobacco manufacturers of Toronto. He presented also the petition of the tobacco manufacturers of Hamilton to a similar effect; also a petition of the merchants of Hamilton, complaining of the action of the Government in this matter, the firm whose name was first attached to it being that of Isaac Buchanan, Harris & Co. (Laughter).
The Select Committee to whom was referred the Benning Divorce Bill, reported the Bill with several amendments.
The property of Bellevue, the late residence of Thomas Gibb, Esq., comprising the mansion-house, conservatories, out-buildings, and about 80 acres of land, in a high state of cultivation, which cost £20,000, was put up at auction today, but was withdrawn from sale, the highest bid being only £3,000.
Invitations have been received by the Speakers of both Houses, from the Board of Commerce, St Johns, New Brunswick, inviting the members of the Legislature, after the prorogation, to visit that city, and to constitute themselves the guests of the Board and of the St. Johns community generally from the time of leaving Quebec till their return.
Mayor McElroy, of Hamilton, arrived to-day to prosecute his contest for the seat now occupied by the President of the Council.