patriot fighting for liberty; whether the Ottawa Government was acting us a tyrant or preserving law and order in distant regions and enforcing the verdict of the Courts and of justice in general; whether Mercier and Laurier represented race prejudices or the principles of liberty; the fact remains that this question put Mercier into power at Quebec, helped Mr. Laurier to Impress himself upon the feelings and affections of his local compatriots, and gave the latter his first real innings against Sir J. A. Chapleau-then a Minister at Ottawa and the only rival he has had in oratorical power and personal strength amongst the people of his native Province.

During his four years Administration Mr. Mercier spent money lavishly and increased the Provincial Debt by many millions; permitted the growth of a pronounced and proven corruption in public affairs; presented in himself one of the most picturesque figures of personal and political prodigality which Colonial politics has ever produced; declared over and over again for the independence of Canada, complete separation from the Empire, and a sort of compact isolation for his own Province. In December, 1891, the end came and the Mercier Government was dismissed from office, for alleged corruption by Lieutenant-Governor A. R. Augers who, be it said, had been a strong Conservative prior to his appointment. How far Mr. Laurier went in his sympathies and connection with these developments is one of the puzzles of Canadian politics. That the relations between the two men were personally intimate; that the Federal and Provincia Party funds and organizations were closely connected; that Mr. Laurier had helped to place Mercier in power and that the latter fought for Laurier in his Federal campaigns; that in the 1891 elections the Provincial Premier vigorously aided his Federal leader and ar

terwards freely boasted of the result of his labors; that, in 1892 when Mercier, after his dismissal from office, was fighting vainly for a 'return to power, Mr. Laurier endorsed his appeal, and asked the people to "vindicate their constitutional privileges" by repudiating the Governor's dismissal of his Ministry; all these things were facts and well-known ones. They are important here as explaining Ontario prejudices against Sir Wilfrid Laurier in later years; they do not necessarily charge him with personal control of the Provincial policy of that period; they do serve, however, to indicate the extreme difficulties of his position ana the responsibility he was made to bear in the rest of Canada for the blackly painted misdeeds of the Mercier Government; they are part of the history of a period when Laurier was slowly being drawn away from Provincial issues but had not yet left them behind him.

In or about the year of Mr. Laurier's elevation to the Federal leadership of his party he was brought into contact with the second important development of his public life and with a question which was gradually to detach him from purely Provincial controversies, and take him into a field of Imperial and international significance. It was a time of Canadian depression, of slackness in trade and low prices for farm products, of high and higher American duties, of prosperity on the United States side of the boundary-line and of the reverse in Canada. It was in 1887 that Erastus Wiman, energetic, wealthy, ambitious, in control of one of the great telegraph systems of Canada and himself a Canadian, though resident in New York, commenced a vigorous campaign for closer trade relations between Canada and the United States, with the proposed elimination of all tariff obstacles at the border-line. With him in active advocacy of this

many-named and variously defined policy of Commercial Union, Unrestricted Reciprocity or Continental Free Trade, were very soon found Dr. Goldwin Smith, Valancey E. Funer, a former Conservative leader of agricultural interests, J. W. Longley, Liberal Attorney-General of Nova Scotia, Sir R. J. Cartwright, a veteran Liberal leader, and others. The movement became, also, a campaign against Sir John Macdonald's Government, and at a time which was politically opportune. The Protective policy of the Conservatives was to some extent under a cloud, and especially so amongst the farmers; times were bad and promised to pe worse; the Jesuits Estate question in Quebec and the Equal Rights movement in Ontario had helped to distract the politicians, to raise race and religious issues and to embarrass the Federal authorities; the British market had not yet been properly developed, and trade with Great Britain was at its lowest point; while the neighboring market of sixty millions of people, the commercial and financial attractions of "the continent to which we belong" showed rare possibilities of party promise.

Under these circumstances, what of Mr. Laurier? He did not at first lead the movement, but he very soon accepted it. He declared a policy of Reciprocity in manufactures and natural products between Canada and the United States to be possible, beneficial, and natural; he denied that it would necessarily involve the adoption of a seacoast tarift against Great Britain, similar to the lofty heights of the American system. Continental Free Trade, or an approach to it. was, in his speeches of this time, a great ideal, a following up of England's own example, and, if beneficial to Canada. it could not but be good for the Empire. He scouted the idea of Canadian loyalty being involved, declared that allegiance was not a matter

of trade or tariffs, proclaimed himself a French-Canadian who loved British institutions, earnestly urged the need of the farmers for a wider market, denounced Protection as a national curse, pressed home to the consumer the injury done by manufacturing monopolies and alleged industrial control of the tariff. If it were to be an issue between the farmers and the manufacturers, he would stand by the former. In his Manifesto to the people during the ensuing elections of 1891, he said:

The charge that Unrestricted Reciprocity will involve discrimination against England cannot have much weight in the mouths of men whose policy is Protection, whose object is to destroy British trade to that extent. It is well, however, to meet this charge squarely and earnestly. It cannot be expected, it is folly to expect, that the interests of a Colony shall always be identical with the interests of the Motherland. The day must come when, from no other cause than the development of national life in the Colony, there must be a clashing of interests with the Motherland and, in any such case, much as I would regret the necessity, I would stand by my native land. Moreover, the assertion that Unrestricted Reciprocity means discrimination against England involves the proposition that the Canadian Tariff would have to be assimilated to the American Tariff. I deny that proposition.

Following the result of this most bitter battle one in which Sir John Macdonald finally succeeded by virtue of his own personality and by convincing a majority of the people that Unre stricted Reciprocity could only result in annexation to the United StatesMr. Laurier, for about three years, entered upon a curious and passing phase of his political career. To say that he apparently took up the cast-off garments of English Radicalism, or of the Manchester school of thought, and assumed independence to be the manifest

destiny of Canada, is to be well within the mark. At Boston, Mass., on November 17, 1891, he addressed a French-Canadian audience in words which created wide discussion in the Dominion:

Canada is still a colony; it is the destiny of colonies to become independent nations. The tie which now binds Canada to the Motherland is Canada's own will, and it is with pride that I say it, though still a colony yet Canada is free. Of course, light as is the dependence, it cannot last for ever. Even at this day Canada and England have interests totally apart, and the time will come when in the very nature of things, separation will take place.1

In the House of Commons, on April 7, 1892, he intimated that independence was the supreme goal of Canadian effort, though no one would desire severance until conditions became incompatible. Speaking in Toronto a little later, he said: "This severance will come at the proper time as the ripened fruit falls from the parent stem; or, better still, as a young man grows up and leaves the home of his father to become the head of a household of his own, so, gentlemen, will Canada become a nation. She will not part from England in war but in amity, peace, and harmony."

These and similar utterances undoubtedly represented the angry feelings of a party which had been defeated for the fourth time in succession; which resented deeply the loyalty issue thrust into a campaign which they had conducted, or tried to conduct, entirely upon a fiscal and financial basis; which recognized defeat as having come almost entirely from Sir John Macdonald's appeal to British sentiment and from Conservative denunciation of annexation possibilities which Liberals absolutely repudiated.

1 Toronto "Globe" report, November 27, 1891. 2 Toronto "Globe" report, January 13, 1893.

They also represented, no doubt, an under-current of feeling in Mr. Laurier s own mind. Devoted as he was to British institutions of a Parliamentary character, and to British political ideals, he had been born and bred amid surroundings not naturally Imperialistic; his political associations in Quebec were of a kind which then looked forward, though in a very vague and general way, to independence as natural and inevitable; he had never visited Britain, and, like the majority of Canadians at that time, did not fully realize the depth of British sentiment in the community at large, the possibilities of unity in the Empire as a whole, or the elements of prosperity and progress which Canada was yet to develop out of an Imperial policy. At the same time, these views of 1887-93 were not forgotten, even after their death and burial, and, combined with the Mercier embroglio, they form the basis of a certain distrust which has ever since held Ontario back from the triumphant Liberal column of Provincial majorities at Ottawa.

For a couple of years following 1893, and the Liberal Convention of that year which again endorsed the Unrestricted Reciprocity policy, there was a lessening of agitation in that respect, a drawing away from Free Trade lines of argument, a restriction in the vehement denunciation of manufacturers and fiscal monopoly. The Manitoba School Question loomed on the horizon of Dominion affairs as a problem involving all the bitterest elements of religious strife and racial excitement, and with Liberal possibilities of defeating a Government already weakened by the irreparable loss of Sir John Macdonald. In 1890, the Liberal Government of Manitoba had abolished the separate or State-maintained Catholic schools of that Province, and appeals from the Catholic minority to the Courts and the Imperial Privy Councf.,

finally decided the legislation to be coustitutional but had intimated that power lay with the Federal Government to restore these schools if and when the religious minority could prove itself, under the terms of Confederation, to be aggrieved and injured. The rapidly-succeeding Conservative Ministries at Ottawa heard an appeal along these lines, asked the Manitoba Government to restore the schools and were refused, tried a committee of investigation and conciliation which failed to effect any result, passed a Remedial Order-in-Council which was disregarded, presented legislation to a dying Parliament which proposed to enforce this order and which, through Liberal opposition and the efflux of time, was talked out.

Then came the General Elections of 1896, the defeat of Sir Charles Tupper's Government and Mr. Laurier's accession to power after nine years of party leadership. It is Impossible to more than faintly indicate the mingling of boldness and strategy, and the clever manipulation of antagonistic elements, which marked the latter's policy in the crisis preceding this success. A French-Canadian and a Roman Catholic, he had opposed legislation re-establishing an educational system in Manitoba which most of his followers and friends in that Province and his own Province earnestly believed in. As a political leader he took full advantage of the Orange and extreme Protestant revolt which was going on against the Government in Ontario and elsewhere. He everywhere took the line of opposing the coercion of a Province by the Federal power; in his native Province he laid stress upon his contempt for godless schools, protested vigorously against alleged efforts of the Church to coerce him in this matter, and described conciliation as the policy which would win the best results. "Civil liberty and religious liberty," he

declared at Quebec on January 10, 1898, "are sisters." In Ontario he also urged conciliation rather than coercion. "I would approach Mr. Greenway, the Manitoba Premier, with the sunny ways of patriotism, asking him to be just and fair, asking him to be generous to the minority, in order that we may have peace amongst all the creeds and races which it has pleased God to bring into that corner of our common country." In Parliament he took the line that the Federal Government had the right to interfere, and the power to interfere, but that all the resources of conciliation should be exhausted first.

With Mr. Laurier's entrance into office the settlement of the question became easy and the two Liberal Governments soon effected a compromise which still stands as a memorial to the benefit of "sunny ways" and conciliation, of party concord and personal tact. Reciprocity, restricted or unrestricted, had only been a side issue in the campaign and there was during this period a distinct advocacy in various speeches by Mr. Laurier of a tariff for revenue; a gradually evolved tariff, to injure industries as little as possible or not at all, but tending toward the elimination of Protection as an active principle. Speaking at Montreal on January 22, 1895, he had safd: "We stand here against Protection and in favor of a Customs Tariff based upon the principles of revenue and nothing else." This was the fiscal keynote of the campaign, a year afterwards, and the attitude of his party when he finally attained power. Later on came a slight lowering of genera duties, a pronounced tendency to resist demands for higher duties in specific cases, and the British Preference, with a succeeding policy which the Finance Minister years afterwards termed "Tariff stability."

Morrisburg, October 8, 1895.

Since 1896 the present Premier of Canada has lived upon the hill-tops of success. He has won election after election-1900, 1904, and 1908; he has demonstrated unexpected firmness and force of character in the management of his party and in the handling of men who led Provinces or represented important elements of public opinion; he has shown himself the master of Canadian Liberalism, the absolute and final political arbiter in his own Province, the personal idol of public opinion amongst the French-Canadians; he has proved himself capable, in an exceptional measure, of knowing just what Canadian feelings were and just how far they would go in any specific direction, and of embodying them in law or practice or speech or policy. A visit to Washington soon proved to him and his Government that Reciprocity was not possible under conditions which Canada would accept; further negotiations resulted in a High Commission and failure to settle outstanding questions; later efforts of the British Ambassador, with the approval of his Government, resulted in the Alaska Arbitration; still more recently negotiations in Ottawa and Washington have settled other problems at issue between the Republic and the Empire. In 1902 Sir W. Laurier disposed of the Prohibition issue in Dominion politics through a plebiscite which gave a small majority for that policy from the entire Dominion, but a large majority against it from the Province of Quebec, and thus enabled the Prime Minister to declare that it would not be right or fair to coerce one Province at the behest of a small majority from the other Provinces. He organized the North-West Territories into the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and faced and overcame the difficult question of guaranteeing separate schools under new conditions and constitutions; he took up and pressed vig

orously into the sunshine of coming success the construction of a new Transcontinental Railway; his Government entered into world-politics through its adhesion to the BritishJapanese Treaty and, in the ensuing troubles, handled the question of Canadian responsibility well.

Meanwhile, a first visit to Great Britain in 1897 had introduced a new element into the feelings, if not the policy, of Sir Wilfrid Laurler. A modest man in his personal sentiments, honest enough in his one-time statement that he was "a Democrat to the hilt," it is improbable that the titles and honors showered upon him at that time had any serious influence in this result. For the first time in his life he was at the heart of a great Empire's strength. He felt the pulse of an Imperial power which stretched out over the seas and continents of the world. To his impressionable French nature the splendid pageants of the Queen's Jubilee, the enthusiastic plaudits of the multitudes whose imagination had been touched by his own career, and name, and nationality, the vast possibilities of union and co-operation must have come as a revelation. Undoubtedly his speeches took on a degree of Imperialism new alike to himself, to his party, and to the people of Canada. The ensuing abrogation of the German-Belgian treaties was at once a diplomatic triumph and a political success through its secure establishment of his Preferential Tariff. Personal prestige was added by the reception accorded himself, and party approval in Canada came through the consequent lowering of duties upon British goods-the latter point emphasized by his acceptance of a medal from the Cobden Club.

Freer trade within the Empire, an ideal of free trade in the world at large, the permanent and closer union or British countries, Canadian represen

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