Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, 5th Parl, 1st Sess ([?]18[?] September 1854)

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Date: 1854-09-18
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Globe
Citation: The Globe (19 September 1854).
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[Illegible] aid, that the [illegible] received an intimate [illegible] would be held in Quebec [illegible]ing of Parliament, for the [illegible]ing a candidate for the Speaker[illegible] will known that the greatest difficulty [illegible] Upper Canadian Reformers had to [illegible] with before the people at the late elec[illegible] was the name of the Inspector-General—the [illegible] of the Inspector-General and some of his colleagues. (Loud cries of hear, hear.) The only assurance they could give their constituents was, that those jobs were not approved by them, and that they were determined to investigate them. Well, a meeting of reformers was held to nominate a candidate for the speakership. He believed the nominee of that meeting could have been elected but for the conduct of certain parties who now came forward and have the ingratitude to accuse the Upper Canadian Reformers of having betrayed them. (Cheers.) On the contrary, the Reformers of Upper Canada were betrayed. (Hear, hear.) Instead of making the question of the Speakership a Government question, as it ought to have been made, the present Post-Master General (Mr. Spence) and others in the confidence of the Government, represented that it was to be an open question. The present Post-Mater-General stated to the House, distinctly and unequivocally, that if it were made a Government question, he could not support the hon. member for Vercheres, (Mr. Cartier,) because he (Mr. S.) had not perfect confidence in the Administration, (hear, hear,) and yet he was selected by the Administration above all other Reformers, to propose their nominee! (Hear, hear.) And now, after contriving thus to bring his friends into a dilemma, the Inspector-General came forward and had the audacity to charge Upper Canadian Reformers with having betrayed the Ministry into the hands of their enemies. Greater tergiversation of more consummate hypocrisy never was heard of. (Loud cheers.) The Inspector-General now wished it to go out to the country, that Upper Canada Reformers were opposing the measures of the Administration. He (Mr. Foley) came here as a Reformer, and as a quasi, if not an entire, supporter of the Administration. (Hear, hear.) He was still prepared to support secularization, let it come from any side of the House, but he did not choose the impression to go abroad and solemnly protested against the supposition, that a coalition such as had been formed, was an inevitable necessity. (Cheers.) The Reformers, from both sections of the Province, had been deceived. (Hear, hear.) The Reformers of Lower Canada had been persuaded that the formation of a Ministry in alliance with Upper Canadian Reformers, was a “governmental impossibility,” and hence they had allied themselves with their natural enemies. (Cheers.) He protested against the statement of the honorable member for Toronto, (Mr. Cameron,) that the Reformers of Lower Canada and the Conservatives of Upper Canada were natural allies. (Hear, hear.) The history of this country for the last thirty years, showed that the contrary was the fact. The Upper Canadian Liberals had been sold, but the Lower Canadian Liberals had been sold still worse. (Cheers.) He did not believe any member of the new Administration could sustain himself before a reform constituency. He trusted none would be sustained. In conclusion, he entered his solemn protest against this unholy alliance, and above all, against Lower Canadian Reformers being led to believe that such an alliance was an inevitable necessity.

Attorney-Gen. DRUMMOND replied at some length. He said that in his late visit to Upper Canada and at all time, he had expressed his readiness to co-operate with his Conservative brethren, “if,” they would agree to a proper settlement of the Clergy Reserve question.

Mr. FOLEY reminded the honorable gentleman, that on his last visit to Upper Canada the chief burden of his song had been against the “Tories and Tadpoles.” (laughter)

Att’y-Gen. DRUMMOND replied that he had not combined with Tories or Tadpoles, but with honest and progressive gentlemen, who had now abandoned their old ground and ranged themselves side by side with the Lower Canada Reformers. Gentlemen might call this combination an “unholy alliance,” but it was one of the most glorious triumphs of reform principles ever achieved in the history of politics. (Cheers) The old conservative party, after battling for years against reform principles, had now the manliness to confess their error and to rally under the same banner with the Lower Canada Reformers. Gentlemen professed not to know on what point the parties to the combination agreed. He would tell them. They agreed upon all important points. They agreed as to the necessity of secularizing the Clergy Reserves. (Ironical cheers) That measure they intended to carry through with all possible speed. (Cheers) They agreed also as to the necessity of the gradual if not immediate abolition of the seignorial tenure. (Cheers) They agreed also as to the necessity of introducing the elective element into the Legislative Council. (Loud Cheers) On all these points they perfectly agreed. (Ironical Cheers)

Mr. MURNEY (interposing) had not the slightest hesitation in expressing the opinion now, that the Conservative party of Upper Canada had been sold as round as a robin. (Laughter.)

Attorney General DRUMMOND said that no party had been sold but those men professing to the Reformers, who had really attempted to form unholy alliances, and who had gone about the country, and, by accusations which they knew to be false, had attempted to injure in public estimation men whom they ought to have loved and respected. (Cheers.) These gentlemen were indeed sold. The present Ministry would in a few months, carry out the great measures which the country demanded, and which the alliances those gentlemen attempted to form would not have carried out for years. (Loud cheers.) The country would profit by the combination although some individuals might be “sold,” and they had to thank themselves alone for it. (Renewed cheers) Sir A. McNab had at once and without demur consented to the introduction of an Upper Canada reform element into his Cabinet so as to secure the confidence of the Upper Canada reform party. He (Mr. D.) would like to know who had proved themselves better reformers that the present Speaker of the Legislative Council (Mr. Ross) and the present Post-Master General (Mr. Spence.) (Cheers and counter cheers.) In entering into this combination the Lower Canada Reformers had sacrificed no principle, but the progressive Conservatives had come forward, adopted their measures and rallied under their banner. The Lower Canada members of the Cabinet had never been abandoned by their peculiar friends, and they would never have consented to enter into this combination had not that course met with the approval of the leading men amongst their brethren, the Reformers of Upper Canada. (Hear hear.) Honorable gentlemen might hold up their hands in horror and talk about “unholy alliances” but posterity would do justice to the motives of those who had entered into this Combination. (Cheers.) He (Mr. Drummond) had met the honorable and gallant knight from Hamilton in honorable opposition upon the floor, but he would be ashamed to assign that as a reason for now refusing to unite with him in carrying out the great measures of the reform party. Did Upper Canada Reformers refuse to sustain Mr. Baldwin’s Ministry because forsooth Mr. Sullivan, who was a member of it, had at one time opposed Mr. Baldwin? No; so far from doing it, it was considered at the time that the Coalition was a necessary one.

Mr. FOLEY here remarked that Mr. Sullivan had avowed reform principles some time before he went into Mr. Baldwin’s Administration.
Attorney-General DRUMMOND contended that it made no difference whether he avowed reform principles a month before or only a day before. Sir A. McNab pledged himself at the last election to vote in favor of the secularization of the Clergy Reserves. [Cries of oh, oh!] But it made no matter how long Sir Allan had been a Reformer, if he was a Reformer to-day. [Ironical cheers.] Mr. D. then proceeded to argue that the late Ministry having been defeated, the only course the Governor-General could pursue, was to send for Sir Allan Mc-Nab, as the acknowledged leader of the regular opposition party, and the largest section of the opposition, and this he had done without the advice of the late Inspector-General or any one else. The honorable gentleman concluded a long speech by expressing his confidence that the new combination Ministry would receive a large and cordial support from the progressive Conservatives, as well as the Reformers. [Loud cheers.]

After some further debate in French, the House adjourned until Wednesday.

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