Conservative Government—Arrival of Marquis of Lorne and Princess
Louise—1878. The "National Policy"—1879. Pacific Railway Syndicate—1880.
The general elections
of the year lo78 took place on the 17th of September. The result was the
defeat of Mr. Mackenzie's Government by a very large majority. On the
16th of October, therefore, the Ministry resigned, and Lord Dufferin
called upon Sir John A. Macdonald to form an Administration. This he
succeeded in doing, and on the 18th his Cabinet was completed as shown
On October 19th, Lord
Dufferin sailed from Quebec amid the universal regret of the people of
Canada. This feeling was accompanied by one of gratification that they
were to be succeeded in their high place by the Marquis of Lome and the
Princess Louise. It was felt to be a pledge of the deep interest felt by
Her Majesty the Queen in the Dominion, that she chose to be represented
among her Canadian subjects in the person of her daughter and of her
son-in-law. On the 25th of November, the Vice-regal party landed at
Halifax. Their progress to Montreal and Ottawa was one continued
On the opening of the
new Parliament, February 14th, 1879, the most important clause of the
Speech from the Throne was that which stated that the revenue of the
country being insufficient to meet the charges against it, such a
re-adjustment of the tariff would be proposed as would, it was expected,
restore the equilibrium between revenue and expenditure, and at the same
time develop and encourage the various industries of the country—a
fiscal system designated as the "National Policy."
Hon. John A Macdonald,
C.B., Minister of Interior; Hon. Samuel L Tilley, C.B., Minister of
Finance; Hon. Charles Tupper, C.B., Minister of Public Works; Hon. J. H.
Pope, Minister of Agriculture ; Hon. John O'Conner, Q.C., President of
the Council; Hon. James Macdonald, Q.C., Minister of Justice; Hon.
Hector L. Langevin, C.B., Postmaster General; Hon. L. R. F. Masson,
Minister of Militia and Defence; Hon. James C. Aikens, Secretary of
State; Hon. Mackenzie Bowell, Minister of Customs; Hon. J. C. Pop?,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Hon. L. F. G. Baby, Minister of Inland
Revenue ; Hon. A. Campbell, Receiver-General; Hon. R. D, Wilmot,
President of the Senate.
On the 11th of March,
the Ontario Legislature was dissolved, and a new election took place.
The results of the election showed that Mr. Mowat's Government was
sustained by a large majority.
In the Quebec
Legislature, the Joly Ministry was defeated, and Mr. Chapleau became the
leader of a new administration.
In the summer of 1880,
Sir John A. Macdonald announced that his Government was contemplating
the abandonment of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway as a
public work, and was negotiating with a number of capitalists for its
construction by private contract. On the 16th of September, it was
publicly announced that a contract had been made with capitalists of
London, Paris, and America, for that purpose—the contract to be subject
to the approval of Parliament. Among its chief provisions were the
following: That the Company should receive a subsidy in money of
$25,000,000 and of 25,000,000 acres of land, in alternate sections of
640 acres each, extending back twenty-four miles on each side of the
railway. It was also granted permission to import, free of duty, all
materials required for the construction of the road. There were numerous
other conditions and provisions, but the above-mentioned are the
principal ones. This contract was ratified by Parliament by a large
The result of the
decennial census of the Dominion in 1881 showed the population to be
4,324,810, divided as follows:—Ontario, 1,923,228; Quebec, 1,359,027;
Nova Scotia, 440,572; New Brunswick-, 321,233; Prince Edward Island,
108,891; Manitoba, 65,954; British Columbia, 49,459; and the
In the summer of 1882 a
general election took place, the result of which showed that the
Government was sustained by a large majority.
The people- of Canada
followed with keenest interest the brilliant British campaign in Egypt,
whereby the power of the usurping Arabi was broken, and the authority of
the Khedive restored. The popular interest in the war was all the
greater that the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces, Sir Garnet
Wolseley, had won some of his earliest laurels in Canada by his intrepid
march through the wilderness to the Red River in 1870.
In October, 1883, the
Marquis of Lorne and H. R. H. the Princess Louise took their leave of
Canada amid the unmingled regrets of the entire community.