Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates [The Ministerial Crisis], 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, (24 March 1864)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, 1864 at 109-110.
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THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 1864.
The Speaker took the Chair at three o’clock.
Hon. J.S. Macdonald laid on the table a Return to an Address of the House for a statement in detail of the number of Tavern Licenses issued in 1861, 1862, and 1863.
THE GREY REGISTRARSHIP
Hon. J.S. Macdonald laid on the table, a return to an Address for copies of all documents having reference to the dismissal of Mr. Hammond from the Registrarship of the County of Grey, and the appointment of Mr. John McClay thereto.
FREE LAND GRANTS
Hon. J.S. Macdonald also laid on the table a Return to an Address for a statement respecting free grants of land in Upper and Lower Canada, for colonization purposes.
CROWN LANDS’ REPORT.
Hon. Wm. Macdougall laid upon the table the Report of Crown Lands for the year 1863.
The Ministerial Crisis
John Sandfield Macdonald [Cornwall, Premier, Attorney-General West, and Minister of Militia]—I have had no positive information as yet, Mr. Speaker, beyond a mere hint that matters are progressing, in regard to the organization of a new Government, and I therefore feel bound to ask the House to adjourn. I suppose it will, according to the resolution formerly adopted, then stand adjourned until Monday. Perhaps my hon. friend from Montreal East [George-Étienne Cartier] will give the House some information in respect to the progress made.
George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East]—I had the honour to announce to the House yesterday that His Excellency [Viscount Monck] had summoned me to wait upon him, with reference to the formation of a new Government. I am empowered to inform the House that after the conference which took place between Hon. Mr. Fergusson Blair and Sir E.P. Tache had failed to come to the issue expected from it, His Excellency the Governor General was kind enough to intimate to Sir E.P. Tache not to absent himself from town. Well, he remained in Quebec, and yesterday morning His Excellency [Viscount Monck] had a conference with my hon. Friend, Colonel Tache, with regard to the formation of a Government. Sir E.P. Tache expressed to His Excellency [Viscount Monck] that, having retired from political life on account of old age, and after several years’ service in political life, he thought that, at the time when he retired from
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Political life, he was entitled to spend the remainder of his life, quietly at home; and he suggested to His Excellency [Viscount Monck] that he might call either upon myself or the hon. member for Kingston [John A. Macdonald] to form a Government. That is the way in which I came to be summoned by His Excellency [Viscount Monck]. I mentioned yesterday the interview I had with Excellency. I stated to His Excellency [Viscount Monck] that I knew the responsibility of the undertaking of forming a Government, and that I would require twenty-four hours to consider the matter. After the House adjourned yesterday, I had the honor to meet again my hon. friend, Sir E.P. Tache, and with the assistance of several friends, I persuaded him that he ought to forego his determination of not entering active political life.
After having obtained this success I immediately waited on His Excellency [Viscount Monck], and explained to him that the best progress I could report was that he should take the undertaking of forming the Government of Canada from my hands and transfer it to Sir E.P. Tache; and His Excellency [Viscount Monck] was graciously pleased to accede to it. So I have to announce to the House that Sir E.P. Tache is progressing with the formation of the Government; and perhaps I would have been enabled to announce further progress on his behalf if some hon. Gentlemen, members of the other House, who had to be consulted or spoken to, were in town. Unfortunately, they are absent from town just now, and that entails a little delay in the progress which Col. Tache would have made to-day. With these few observations, I second the motion made by my hon. friend the member for Cornwall [John Sandfield Macdonald].
The House then, at twenty minutes past 3, adjourned.