“South Ontario Election: The Postmaster General Elected by Acclamation” The Globe (19 June 1864)
By: The Globe
Citation: “South Ontario Election: The Postmaster General Elected by Acclamation”, The Globe [Toronto] (19 June 1864).
South Ontario Election.
THE POSTMASTER GENERAL ELECTED BY ACCLAMATION.
Speeches of Mr. Mowat and Others.
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTERS)
Yesterday, according to proclamation, the nomination for South Ontario was held at the Mechanics’ Institute in the town of Whitby. The elections for the two ridings of Ontario have been delayed for some time by the misdirection of the writs as at first issued, and the consequent necessity for issuing new writs. The attendance at the nomination yesterday was by no means large. The confidence which the electors of South Ontario evidently feel in their worthy representative, and the improbability that there would be any opposition to him at this time, together with the fact that the farmers are exceedingly busy at this particular season, undoubtedly furnish the reasons for the small attendance at the hustings. When the Returning Officer, Mr. J.H. Perry, Registrar of the county, commenced proceedings shortly after one o’clock, there were not more than two hundred persons present, but ere long the attendance swelled to about four hundred. The utmost good order prevailed throughout the entire proceedings.
Having read the writ and proclamation, the Returning Officer called for nominations.
Dr. McGILL nominated the Hon. Oliver Mowat as fit and proper person to represent the riding in Parliament. (Cheers.)
Mr. PETER TAYLOR seconded the nomination.
Mr. R.T. HARRISON nominated Mr. Calvin Campbell, of Brooklyn; seconded by Mr. CHARLES ALLENS.
Mr. T.P. WHITE nominated Mr. Abraham Farewell, of Oshawa; seconded by Mr. THOS. HENRY.
Mr. WILLIAM LAING nominated Dr. Gunn, of Whitby; seconded by Mr. R.H. LAUDER.
No other nominations being made, the Returning Officer called upon the movers and seconders of the candidates to address the assemblage in the order in which they had made their nominations.
Dr. McGILL said that in nominating Mr. Mowat he had no expectation of making a political speech. He thought that the time had arrived in the history of South Ontario when there was no necessity for making political speeches, inasmuch as they now had a happy union of parties—a lack of the unpleasant opposition heretofore sometimes experienced in the contests for the riding. It was a pleasure now to nominate Mr. Mowat, under the circumstances of the union of parties which had been effected for the purpose of settling the great question which had so long agitated the country. He hoped that they would all be prepared to strengthen the hands of Mr. Mowat and those associated with him in the effort to settle the constitutional question. Both parties should congratulate themselves upon the prospect of this settlement, and should unite in sending back to Parliament a gentleman so well qualified in every way to assist in it as Mr. Mowat. (Cheers.)
Mr. TAYLOR was extremely glad to congratulate them upon the political millennium which had now arrived. He had attended many elections in South Ontario, but never one like this. It was really a matter of congratulations that this union of parties for the good of the country had taken place. At first many Reformers were in doubt in regard to it. He himself had been so, but when he understood the matter he was rejoiced at what had occurred. This was the policy of the Reformers, and, he believed, of the Conservatives too. He fully believed that the present arrangement would be carried out in good faith. He had great faith in the gentleman whose nomination he had seconded, Mr. Mowat. As for Mr. Brown, he was a shrewd man, and he did not believe he would be deceived in [this?] matter.
Mr. HARRISON spoke in opposition to the [text missing] was in the midst of a great revolution—greater than any which had occurred before on this continent. He considered that the purpose of the new arrangement was a departure from British principles for the republicanism which prevailed across the water. They knew the conduct of the party to which Mr. Mowat belonged, and they know that when they placed him in the Government they assumed a grave responsibility. Mr. Mowat had long denounced his present colleagues, and now was asking the electors to trust them with all the greater interests of the people and the future of the country. They were a British people, and yet it was proposed to give up British institutions for the sake of institutions which were now proving their failure in bloodshed, while in our great empire all was peace. He (Mr. Harrison) argued from the union between England and Scotland that the “legislative” rather than the “federal” system was the correct one. He thought that the difficulties of which they heard so much were due to agitation, and the introduction of the changes contemplated would intensify the local feeling and make matters worse.
Mr. WHITE said that this was not a time to be surprised at anything. If he had predicted a year ago what had now taken place, people would have said “send him to the asylum.” It was not a time to make political speeches, as the past was buried in oblivion, and the future they knew not what it would be—though it was promised that this great reform would cure all evils. He hoped it would [text missing] out of the wheat. Though he did not expect much the same from this combination, he thought it would be as well to elect Mr. Mowat. If this and other ridings refused to elect the new Ministers, it would be said that they were responsible for the failure of the scheme. After some further expressions of his doubts in reference to the new arrangements, Mr. White closed with a complimentary allusion to Mr. Farewell, the candidate whom he had nominated.
Mr. HENRY made a few remarks, also praising Mr. Farewell.
Mr. LAING was proud to say that up to this time had had been a consistent supporter of the Cartier-Macdonald party, but this arrangement was a discredit to the country. He did not believe there were twenty Conservatives in the riding who approved of the recent changes. When defeated, Messrs. John A. Macdonald, Cartier and Galt had only one honourable course to pursue—to dissolve the House, instead of forming an alliance with three of their opponents. After giving his opinion of Mr. Mowat’s political career, along with some account of every election at which that gentleman had been a candidate, Mr. Laing came to consider the policy of the new arrangement. Though he was favourable to a federation of all the Provinces, he knew that it would be impossible to get that by next session. It was preposterous to think of it, and it would have been more honest for the Government to say at once that we were to have a federation of the two Provinces. He was opposed to the arrangement, because he thought it dishonourable to Mr. John A. Macdonald and Mr. Brown, and to those who were associated with them. If any Reformer who was true to his principles would now be a candidate in opposition to Mr. Mowat, he should have his support, and he believed the support of the bulk of the Conservatives of the riding. It was rumoured that Mr. Brown and Mr. J.A. Macdonald were going out to North Ontario to support Mr. McDougall. He (Mr. Laing) did not know this from Mr. Macdonald, for he had had no communication with him. Mr. Macdonald knew better than to communicate with Conservatives, who only supported their party when it was right. THE GLOBE had said that if the Conservatives did not elect Mr. McDougall they would be breaking faith; but he (Mr. Laing) repudiated the principle of following his party leaders unless they were right. After repeating his offer to support a “true” Reformer against Mr. Mowat, Mr. Laing endeavoured to contrast the Macdonald-Dorion Government unfavourably with that which succeeded it. Reverting to Mr. McDougall, he said that when he came to Whitby he did not call upon the Conservatives, but had gone to the Sheriff to instruct him about his printing patronage.
AN ELECTOR—Tell us something that concerns us.
Mr. LAING.—One thing does not concern you—that is political principle. If the electors of South Ontario had one iota of principle, both parties would spurn this arrangement. Mr. Laing closed a speech of some length by declaring for the third time his entire opposition to the arrangement, and his willingness to support a consistent Reformer against Mr. Mowat.
Mr. LAUDER said that he had seconded Dr. Gunn because he thought him well qualified to represent the riding.
Hon. Mr. MOWAT, who, on coming forward, was received with loud cheers from almost the whole of the assemblage, said:—Electors of South Ontario, I have very great pleasure in appearing before you on this occasion. When I have appeared before you on former occasions, we had strong hopes that some day or other justice would be obtained for Upper Canada—that some day or other our constitution would be placed on a basis that would be satisfactory to the whole country, that would put an end to all occasion for agitation, and that would [a?]d[vance?] the prosperity and the best interests of the country. But this day always seemed distance. Now, however, the thing is all but accomplished. In order to attain what we desired our effort then was to induce all Upper Canada to unite for the purpose of obtaining it. Our appeals were addressed at the polls, in the House, and through the press, to all parties, but we could not induce all parties to unite for the purpose of obtaining what we desired. It [was?] true that at the polls we occasionally did find [n]oble-hearted, patriotic Conservatives—a few in his riding, and in other parts of the Province—uniting with their Reform brethren. But it [is] well known that the mass of Conservatives through the country were not willing to unite with us for the purpose of obtaining the great reform which we sought, and the want of which, we considered, lay at the root of all the evils which prevailed in the administration of public affa[irs] in this country. Now, however, this state things has entirely changed. No[w] Upper Can is united. (Cheers.) Now Lower Can has given way to this demand for reform. Now we have the best possible prospect th[?]n the next session of Parliament, a measure […] be laid before the House and the country, w[?]h will be accepted both by Upper and Lower [Canada?], and which will place our constitution […] a basis that will be satisfactory to both sect[…]s. (Cheers.) I recertainly cannot expect that […] this occasion I shall have the support of […] friend—if he will permit me to call him […] my friend, Mr. Laing, who has just address […] you. Nor can I complain that he should t[…]k hardly of me, or use pretty strong terms speaking of me, when I observe the languag[e?] in which he thought proper to express him […] with reference to his old friend, Mr. J[oh]n A. Macdonald. (Hear, hear.) Opponents […] we have always been, I cannot expect him […] speak well of me, when he charges his o[…] leader with acting a dishonourable, discredible and insincere part. (Hear, hear.) The […]atlemen whom for several years, in opposing […] he has been telling you were entitled to yo[…] support, he now tells you are all dishonour[ab]le men. Further, he tells you, it would ha[…] been far more honest, in his opinion, had […]e Government come out frankly and said tha[…] t was impossible we could get federation of the Provinces by next session, and that the [go?]vernment would be satisfied with federatio[…] of the Canadas alone. Who are they that […] we asked for federation of all the Provinces […] Not the Reformers. We have said that that […] as so distant an event, that we were afraid t[…]vert public attention from Representation […] Population or federation of the Canadas, by s[…]tating for a union of all the Provinces. […] have never been against that project, if a u[…]on of all the Provinces could be accomplished […]n terms acceptable and beneficial to Canad[…] […]nd all the other Provinces. But we felt there […]re great difficulties in the way, and we were a[…]ious to find a remedy for public abuses w[…]h was in our power, which we ourselves co[…] carry with effect, and to which it [..] is not necessary first to obtain the sanction of the Lower Provinces. […] Mr. Laing’s leaders took a different view. […] They thought a union of all the Provinces […] could be accomplished at an early period. […] And now, when we desired the federation sh[…]d be of the Canadas, because of the difficulty […] which I have adverted, it was our old oppon[…]ts who desired that we should accomplish, if[…]e possibly could, a union of all the Provinces before next session. And Mr. Laing tells y[…]u that this, which his leaders have desired, […] quite absurd, and that if they have been ho[…]st and sincere, they never would have propose […] anything so absurd. Certainly he is very co[…]plimentary to his leaders, for whom he ha[…] been bespeaking your favour for so long a time. […] (Hear, hear.) But the truth is, he has a ve[…]y bad opinion of everybody—of myself, of the […]hole Reform party, of his own friends and a […]very bad opinion of the electors of South Onta[…], because he tells you that you have no regard […] for principles. I do not wonder at my friend fi[…]ding it difficult to get the favour of the pe[…]ple of South Ontario at former elections wher[…] he has such an opinion of them. (Laughter.) […] I repudiate this charge which he brings agai[…]st the electors of South Ontario. I deny that th[…]y are destitute of sound principle. I believe […]here is no constituency where sound principle […] more truly or generally characterizes the pe[…]ple than it does this riding. And, gentlemen, […] it is just because you have sound principle […] and because you are earnest men and sin[…] politicians, that you never would return Mr. Laing to Parliament. (Cheers and laughter.) Mr. Laing says he will support any true Reformer, but he won’t support me. He has become […] very fond of true Reformers all of a sudden. (Laughter). But how does he make out that I am not a true Reformer? What is it […] he blames me for? Why, for standing [b?]y my party. What is the proof of my not being a true Reformer? Is it because I have always stood by the Reformers, because I have never separated myself from them, because ever since I was elected by you in 1857, to this hour, I have enjoyed the confidence of the Reformers of this constituency and of the Province? (Cheers) If I had parted from Reformers, and refused to adopt that policy which from time to time they thought the best for the interests of the country, I would then have been the sort of true Reformer that Mr. Laing wants you to elect. (Laughter). But I tell Mr. Laing that that is not the sort […] want one who will stand by the party in con-[…]
(Cheers) When I cease to do that, I will then cease to deserve your confidence. But, so long as I do that, I am sure you will continue to extend to me the confidence I have enjoyed hitherto. (Cheers) We have had another long speech from my friend Mr. Harrison. Ever since I have had any connection with you politically, I have always understood that that gentleman has been a good friend of Mr. John A. Macdonald, and has always supported the candidate Mr. John A. Macdonald has been in favour of. And I think if anything would under present circumstances create your condense in Mr. John A. Macdonald, it would be your finding Mr. Harrison and Mr. Laing pitching into that gentleman, so soon as he has shown a willingness to lend us his aid in securing constitutional reform. (Hear, hear)
Mr. HARRISON—When did I support any candidate of Mr. John A. Macdonald’s?
Mr. MOWAT—I have understood that you always did.
Mr. HARRISON—I never gave a vote against you.
Mr. MOWAT—If I have done Mr. Harrison injustice, I apologise. But I thought I remembered of his speaking against me publicly, and that I have heard of his speaking against me privately. But no doubt I was wrong, and I accept his assurance that he never voted against me.
Mr. LAING.—That is no great credit to Mr. John A. Macdonald.
Mr. MOWAT.—Mr. John A. Macdonald does not pretend that he has in any way changed any opinion he ever expressed with regard to the proceedings of those colleagues who have now joined him. And we on our part does not profess to have changed any opinion we have ever expressed with regard to the proceedings of Mr. John A. Macdonald and those associated with him. The present Coalition does not imply any such change of opinion on either side. When we join him in the Government, it is not because we think that we should always have had confidence in him, or because he now thinks that he should always have had confidence in us. We hold different views still, with regard to many matters of public policy and with regard to many acts and proceedings of government. But what we do say is this—that, notwithstanding those differences, inasmuch as the Conservative leaders and the Reform leaders have thought the time has come when there ought to be no further delay in granting to this country constitutional reform, it is the duty of all to unite for the purpose of obtaining it. What we do say is, that though we may have felt very strongly and used strong language, in regard to certain past acts of administration by the Government of Mr. John A. Macdonald and his colleagues; still, as we consider Constitutional Reform to be the question of questions for the people of Canada—a question more important to us than any other; and since it has been proved by experience to be impossible for us to obtain it without the union of all parties, it is the bounden duty of all parties to unite for the purpose of accomplishing it. Do we not do that every day? Is that not our experience in individual matters, and in national matters? Do we not constantly find in political affairs likewise, that persons opposed to each other and holding very strong opinions of each other’s conduct with regard to certain matters, can yet unite in other matters to accomplish a common object? Everybody knows the importance of union. And what is coalition but union? Everybody knows that two men can lift what one of them cannot move. We all recollect the story of the bundle of sticks, every one of which could be easily broken singly, but the whole bundle nobody could break. What cannot be accomplished by single individuals, can often be accomplished by association. That is the great principle which lies at the basis of all civilization, for in proportion as men combine for the purpose of accomplishing objects which cannot be accomplished without combination, so does a country progress; and the more fully they combine for beneficial objects, the greater is the progress of the country. Do you ask if every one with whom you are associated, in your agricultural societies, is just such a man as you would like him to be? Do you ask, with reference to every man with whom you are associated in other societies for public purposes, whether he is a friend of yours, whether his conduct has been such as always to receive your approbation? It would be very absurd for any of you to take up such a position. If your house was on fire, would you not gladly accept of assistance wherever you could get it? Would you turn away the assistance of every one who has not been your friend? Should you not gratefully accept assistance from any source? If your child fell into a river and was drowning, would you refuse to accept assistance to save him except from your friends? The thing is ridiculous. What we had to consider was this—was constitutional reform a matter of such importance that a union to accomplish it was desirable, is it unlikely to be accomplished without union, and is it likely to be accomplished by union? If so, it is clear what is your duty. I admit that coalitions, except when there is some great object to be accomplished, are bad. I felt the greatest repugnance to a coalition with those to whom I had been so long and so strongly opposed, and I can easily suppose that the same repugnance was felt by those who have gone in with me. We had had so much to say with reference to the past acts in the Government of those we have now joined, that strong political, and in regard to some of them—perhaps personal animosities had spring up. It was, therefore, no agreeable thing to us to enter the same Government with some of those gentlemen, and I daresay it was no more agreeable to them to go into the same cabinet with us, for the same circumstances must have produced the same feelings in their minds, as they had produced in our minds. But the electors of South Ontario are reading men, and you know that at a meeting of the Reform representatives of Upper Canada, the opinion was expressed by a majority of more than two to one, that it was for the interest of the Liberal party and of good government, and especially for the interest of constitutional reform, that three members of the Liberal party should consent to [support?] the present Government. It is so […] that both Mr. Brown and myself were desirous [of?] trying the experiment of giving an out[…] support to the Government, instead of any of our party going into it. So far from being in a hurry to get office, we both spoke and voted against the resolution of the majority. And the reason why I am here to-day, and why with Mr. Brown and Mr. McDougall I am in this Government, is because the Reform members of the Legislature, who saw all that was going on, who had the best means of judging what was a sound policy to pursue, and who all shared your opinions as to the necessity of constitutional reforms nd the best method of getting it, were strongly of opinion that we should go into the Government. And it was just because I was faithful to my party, and was willing to act thoroughly with them, that I ultimately consented to go into it. (Cheers.) Mr. Harrison has spoken of what is now proposed, as being a revolution. Well, in a sense it is a revolution, and a glorious and a happy revolution, because it accomplishes all the good and useful purposes of a revolution, and accomplished them without bloodshed. (Cheers) There has certainly been a great revolution in public opinion in reference to this matter of representation or constitutional reform. You all remember that when the Legislature met, after the general election of 1857, there were two to one against us in the House, two to one who resisted every motion that was made in favour of Representation by Population or any other constitutional reform that would be satisfactory to the people. In 1858, when the Brown-Dorion Government was formed, we were actually voted out of office in two days, by an equally large majority. After the election of 1861, the Liberals from Upper Canada were a smaller party than they had been after the election of 1857. When the then Government were defeated in 1862, you know also that it was found impossible to form any Government that would take up this question of constitutional reform, and that the leaders on whom His Excellency the Governor General called for the purpose of forming a Liberal Ministry were actually opposed to Representation by Population. I refer to Mr. J.S. Macdonald and Mr. Sicotte. At that time Mr. Cartier and his friends, and Mr. John A. Macdonald and a portion of his friends, were against the reform we sought. A revolution has taken place. We have now Mr. Cartier and his friends admitting that the time has come when the evils in the condition of the country are such that they must be removed by a constitutional measure. We have now, too, Mr. John A. Macdonald uniting with us for the same purpose. A revolution has taken place, a most important revolution of opinion, and it is about to lead, as I hope and think we have every reason to believe, to a most important change in our constitution, which will remove the evils we have complained of hitherto, and give us the substance of all we have been contending for, and so long contending for in vain. (Cheers) But the change, it has been said today, is a change from British institutions to Republican institutions. The Federal principle, we are told, is one which will change the whole character of our political institutions, so that henceforth we will be Republican instead of British as hitherto. I like to hear British sentiments expressed. I would rather hear British prejudices expressed, than not have an utterance given to British feelings. We must take care, however, not to let our British prejudices go the length of being unreasonable. If this scheme is anti-British, how happens it that Mr. Harrison alone has made the discovery? All the leading men in Parliament have been considered peculiarly British, Conservatives and Reformers alike, have all gone for it. And not only so, but this is precisely the system which was recommended by Lord John Russell, one of the first of British statesmen, and by Earl Durham also, another leading English statesmen. These statesmen did not perceive that there was anything anti-British in it. But it seems there is more British feeling buttoned up within Mr. Harrison’s coat than there is to be found either in England or in Canada, in Conservatives or Reformers, in English statesmen or in Canadian statesmen. (Laughter.)
But the truth is that we cannot adopt the British system exactly in this matter. You can never transfer a system of government from one country to another without change. If we adopted the British system in its entirety, we would have an hereditary House of Peers, an established church, and the lik. These parts of the British sys-[…]
[…] circumstances of this country, and we do not adopt them. But […]
[…] British system
so far as they can be adapted to our […]
stances; and we say there never was anything more un-British than the state of things which has prevailed here hitherto. Mr. Harrison referred to England, Scotland and Ireland as united under a legislative system, and said there was no federal union there. But do you think the people of England would have been satisfied with their system, if with a population greater in excess of that of Ireland or Scotland, and being much wealthier and paying a much larger share of the taxes, Ireland and Scotland had yet each the same number of representatives as England? I think they would have complained of that as much as we have been complaining of our system. (Hear, hear) The change now proposed to remedy the injustice we have complained of is to five the more numerous population of Upper Canada, which is also the more wealthy, and which pays the larger proportion of the taxes, a more equitable share in the government of the country, so far as relates to those things which are of common interest to all and so to arrange things also that in matters of local concern we shall not be governed by another section of the Province. Allusion has been made to the euros in the federal system of the United States. It is our duty to find out what these errors are, in order that we may avoid them. The system which prevails there has been proclaimed by one of the highest authorities we have among British statesmen to be an adaptation of British principles to the American people, so far as it was possible to apply them under the different state of circumstances which prevailed. But experience has shown that errors were committed, and it will be for us, in framing a system for our own country, to avoid the evils which we observe in the American system; and, at the same time, to make our institutions in some respects more British than they now are, and to secure a large amount of the advantages which the British system gives to any people who have the happiness of being governed by it. (Cheers.) It has been said that I myself, in some minor degree, but Mr. Brown, especially have been agitating these questions far too much, and that it is we ourselves who are greatly to blame for the antagonisms that have existed between Upper and Lower Canada. Now, I say it was right to agitate. When injustice exists, it is right to agitate for the removal of that injustice. If mal-administration existed, it was right to agitate for the removal of that mal-administration. If a demoralizing system prevailed in our country, it was right to agitate for the reform of that system. (Hear, hear.) You have heard a great deal lately of the despatch address in 1859 to the Home Government by Messrs. Galt, Cartier, and Ross, in which they spoke of the evils that prevailed in this country, and the necessity there was, in their opinion, for some remedy which would finally remove them. And what was it that induced these gentlemen to urge that necessity? It was just this agitation which we are told was so wrong. (Hear, hear.) These gentlemen did not admit that they had done wrong in governing the country with a Lower Canada majority; they did not admit that Representation by Population was a good thing—they did not admit the mal-adminsitration which we charged against them—but they did admit that what had occurred, and the state of things which existed, had reasonably or unreasonably created a great deal of agitation in the country—an agitation which was likely to increase every day, and which was fraught with great danger to the peace and prosperity of the country—and they therefore pressed on the House Government the necessity for the page of a measure which would remove the difficulty forever. The measure they had then in contemplation was the union of all the British American provinces. That action in 1859 was therefore brought about by the very agitation for which our opponents blame us, and it is to that same agitation that we are indebted for that union of parties we now see formed to carry a measure of constitutional reform, which, without that union, could not be carried. (Hear, hear.) I know a good deal of doubt exists in the minds of some of our friends—not many of them, however, I believe—as to whether Messrs. Cartier, Galt, Macdonald and their friends have entered into this compact for constitutional reform sincerely. I frankly say, after having been a close observer of all that took place in the negotiations which brought about the present arrangement, that I have no doubt whatever they are sincere in it. (Hear, hear.) We have the strongest assurances we possibly could have in any matter of their sincerity, and I have no doubt they are sincere. (Hear, hear.) But, even if they were not sincere, it is very evident that what has occurred would place the Liberal party in a position of very great advantage; and I am sure that, had these gentlemen not intended to go through with what they commenced, they would not have gone so far as they have done. (Hear, hear.) The great difficulty hitherto in the way of our carrying a measure of constitutional reform, lay in the strong prejudices of Lower Canada against Mr. Brown and the Clear Grits of Western Canada generally, and also against our demand for constitutional reform. But we now find Mr. Cartier and the Lower Canada majority entering into a compact with Mr. Brown, and the Western Liberals, expressly to carry a measure of constitutional reform, and agreeing that it shall involve representation according to numbers. (Hear, hear.) We have thus obtained the great advantage of having got rid of those strong prejudices which lay in our way— a great advantage, certainly, whatever may become of the present combinations. (Hear, hear.) But, as I have said, I have no doubt of the sincerity in the matter of the gentlemen we have joined in the Administration. And we have an additional security for this, in the fact that they are too good tacticians to deprive themselves of the advantage which these prejudices gave them in a party point of view, unless they are really intended to go on and effect the reform they have promised us. (Hear, hear) And there are other reasons which should convince any man that they are sincere. It is not merely because of the solemn way in which they have in writing expressed their determination upon this subject—it is not merely because they have stated their intention publicly and distinctly in Parliament, and before the country—but we know that they advised His Excellency, in his speech at the close of the session, to declare that this question was ripe for a decision, and that he would have the assistance of his Ministers in preparing a measure to lay before Parliament next session. (Hear, hear.) And we have all this in connection with the fact that the time had come when all parties saw it to be for their interest to unite for the purpose of carrying this reform. It was impossible for things to continue to go on as they had been doing for some time. The fate of one Administration after another showed that under our present system it was impossible tog et a Government strong enough to carry on the Administration of public affairs. We have then the position to which parties were brought as a guarantee for the carrying out of this measure. And more than this, we have the guarantee of upright, honest, patriotic Conservatives in the House, who have constantly and sincerely advocated representative reform, that their leaders will act faithfully by us in this matter. We have the guarantee also of the Conservative press, which is viewing with the Liberal press, in expressing approbation of the combination which has been formed and of the object to be accomplished by it. (Hear, hear.) I am satisfied that there is the utmost cordiality on the part both of Conservatives and Reformers, in the effort to which they are now applying their minds, to find a satisfactory remedy for the evils which have existed. That remedy may be a federation of the Canadas only, or it may be a federation of all the Provinces[.] I should be glad to find if next session we were able to announce that it would be practicable to obtain soon a federation of all the Provinces, in a way that would be beneficial both to Canada and the other Provinces. It is natural that we should desire to belong to a great country. We have now a population probably of 2,800,000. The Lower Provinces have about 800,000. These united would give us a population of upwards of three millions and a half. And that would be a larger population than the kingdom of Denmark has at this moment. We are all sympathizing with the brave people of that country, who are standing up to maintain their rights against the united forces of two of the greatest military nations in the world—Austria and Prussia combined—(cheers)—and the population which is manifesting this courage is not so large as ours would be, were all the British American Provinces united. The Provinces which we propose to bring into the same federation with us, have a very fertile soil, valuable mineral resources, and the most extensive fisheries in the world. The people are intelligent and enterprising—in many important respects possessing characteristics the same as our own. They are so much like Canadian people that there would be no difficulty in working with them under the same Government. A union with them would add greatly to our strength and to our importance abroad, and I am sure would attract increased immigration and wealth to our shores[.] I hope such a union may be found practicable soon, on terms beneficial to all of us, and if so it shall have my frank and cordial support. But, if this be not found practicable immediately, then we are not to wait for it—the evils under which Canada is suffering demand an immediate remedy, and the very next session we are to have a measure for that purpose. I trust that when on any other occasion I may have to appear before you I shall be able to congratulate you that the coalition which some have so warmly denounced today has been the means of giving our country peace from agitation, by removing the reasons for agitation, and that it has laid the foundation for a prosperity such as Canada has never enjoyed before. (Cheers) Mr Mowat concluded by saying that there were several other points on which he had intended to address the electors, but that a painful affection of the throat made it difficult for him to speak to-day, and having expressed the hope that the result of the election would show that the Conservatives and Reformers of South Ontario united with regard to the carrying of the great object for which the present combination had been brought about, resumed his seat amidst loud and continued cheers.
Mr. CAMPBELL could not congratulate them as some had done upon the political millennium. He hoped there was good in store for the country, but he had grave doubts as to the working of the proposed scheme. He was not here to denounce it, nor to predict that it would not work. It depended entirely upon the detail[s?] whether it would work—whether it would prov[e?]
Had been sprung upon the country suddenly for last year the constitutional question was said to be in abeyance to allow the Macdonald-Dorion Government to deal with the financial question. After some further remarks, Mr. Campbell concluded by declining to be a candidate.
Mr. FARWELL followed in an eloquent speech of some length, which we regret our inability to report with any fullness. He said that [it?] was true the position which the two parties [t?] this arrangement had held towards each other in the past, had been such that if worked up by a clever man, it might be made to look a little ugly. But it was evident enough that the time had come when the two parties must either unite to obtain reform, or the position of the country would become one [of?] anarchy. It had been complained that this matter had been spring upon the country suddenly. So far from that, had not this matter been agitated for ten or fifteen years? The[y?] had long endeavoured to place Upper Canada in a firm position, but they had failed for the reason that upon questions which were considered to involve the interests of Lower Canada […?] the Lower Canadians were found united, while Upper Canadians were divided. In his opinion the leaders of the two parties had done a wis[e?] thing in agreeing upon a basis for the settlement of our difficulties. He thought there was no doubt of their sincerity, and that it was th[?] duty of the people to help the Government t[?] carry out their policy. There were person[s?] who said that they were politically disgusted. He had formerly said so himself, and therefore was now rejoiced at a better prospect. Suppose Mr. Brown had refused to co-operate with the leaders of the Conservative party t[?] secure this reform. There would have been [?] dissolution, and they would have had Mr. Laing coming to the hustings to say: “W[?] offered Mr. Brown the reform which he had been so long calling for, and he would no[?] have it.” (Cheers.) He trusted that they would elect Mr. Mowat by acclamation, and that those of them who had voted in North Ontario would be sure to give them to Mr. McDougall, if the opposition to him were persisted in.
Dr. GUNN expressed his doubts in reference to the present arrangements. He favoured [a?] federal union of all the Provinces, but was vary [sic] anxious that nothing should be decided upon without securing the approval of the Imperial authorities. He had no intention of being [a?] candidate, and would therefore withdraw his name.
Mr. FARWELL said that he had forgotten to say that he retired in favour of Messrs. Mowat and McDougall. (Laughter.)
The RETURNING OFFICER said that all the candidates, except the Hon. Mr. Mowat, having retired, it was his duty to declare that gentleman duly elected. (Cheers.)
Hon. Mr. MOWAT briefly thanked the electors for his renewal of their confidence in him, and went on to make a few remarks with reference to some points raised by Dr. Gunn in his speech.
On motion of Mr. FAREWELL, seconded by Mr. MOWAT, a vote of thanks was given to the Returning Officer for the impartial and proper manner in which he had conducted the proceedings of this day.
Mr. PERRY briefly acknowledged the compliment.
Mr. MOWAT then called for three cheers for the Queen, which were given most heartily, and after three more cheers for Mr. Mowat himself, the proceedings terminated.
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