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Baldwin, LaFontaine, Hincks
Chapter VII - The Metcalfe Crisis


THE newspapers of the early forties, adhering to the decorous traditions of the older school, knew nothing of the modern system of sensational headings and exaggerated type. But the news which, at the close of November, 1843, spread rapidly through the country, startled many of them into large capitals and abundant notes of exclamation. The LaFontaine-Baldwin ministry, with an unbroken majority behind it, had gone suddenly out of office ! "Dismissed!" triumphantly shouted the Tories, and forthwith, without waiting for further details of what had happened, an exultant song of praise flowed from the pens of Conservative editors in laudation of the stout-hearted governor who had vindicated British loyalty against the treacheries of aliens and Radicals. "The news from Canada," sang back in echo the New York Albion, "is of a right cheering character: the Franco-Radical cabinet has gone to the tomb of the Capulets amid the shouts of every loyal man in the province. The. governor-general. Sir Charles Metcalfe, (and thrice honoured be his name!) has thrown off the incubus of a disloyal faction and the queen's representative stands redeemed and disenthralled."

But the ministry had not, as presently appeared, been dismissed; they had, with one exception only, handed in a collective resignation in protest against what they regarded as the unconstitutional conduct of the governor-general. This was at last the rupture which Metcalfe five months before had told Lord Stanley might "happen any day." The vexed question of the patronage and the governor's reservation of the Secret Societies Bill had led the cabinet to force the matter to an issue. It has been seen above that Metcalfe had resolved that the exercise of the right of appointment to office should not be removed from his hands. To this policy he had adhered. Several cases had already occurred n which the governor-general had offered, and even conferred, official positions without any consultation with his ministry. Among these was the important post of speaker of the legislative council,1 which was offered successively, though without finding acceptance, to two members of the Conservative party. Finally toward the end of November, 1843, it reached the ears of the cabinet that a certain Mr. Powell, the son of Colonel Powell (also of the Conservative party) had been appointed by Sir Charles Metcalfe to be clerk of the peace for the Dalhousie district. The position, in and of itself, was no great affair. But the ministry, considering a principle of prime importance to be involved, decided to bring the matter to a final test.

On November 24tli Baldwin and LaFontaine called upon the governor-general and held with him a long colloquy which wTas renewed at a meeting of the executive council the next day. The two ministers, to use the words of Metcalfe's biographer, "pressed their demands with energy and resolution: but Metcalfe, in his own placid way, was equally energetic and resolute."' On the day following (November 20th, 1843) the ministry resigned. As the course of action thus adopted and the crisis which followed constitute a turning point in the political history of Canada, and form the most important episode in the public career of the united leaders, it is well to follow in some detail the threads of the vexed controversy to which their resignation gave rise. At the instance of Sir Charles Metcalfe, LaFontaine drew up an official statement of the reasons of the resignation, which, together with a rejoinder by the governor-general, was duly laid before the Houses of parliament. The ministerial statement runs as follows: —

"Mr. LaFontaine, in compliance with the request of the governor-general, and in behalf of himself and his late colleagues, who have felt it to be their duty to tender a resignation of office, states, for His Excellency's information, the substance of the explanation which they purpose to offer in their places in parliament. They avowedly took office upon the principle of responsibility to the representatives of the people in parliament, and with a full recognition on their parts of the following resolutions introduced into the legislative assembly with the knowledge and sanction of Her Majesty's representative in this province, on September 3rd, 1841." (Here follows a citation of the resolutions given in Chapter IV. above.)

"They have lately understood that His Excellency took a widely different view of the position? duties, and responsibilities of the executive council, from that under which they accepted office, and through which they have been enabled to conduct the parliamentary business of the government, sustained by a large majority of the popular branch of the legislature.

"Had the difference of opinion between His Excellency and themselves, and, as they have reason to believe, between His Excellency and the parliament and people of Canada generally, been merely theoretical, the members of the late executive council might, and would, have felt it to be their duty to avoid any possibility of collision which might have a tendency to disturb the tranquil and amicable relations which apparently subsisted between the executive government and the provincial parliament. But the difference of opinion has led not merely to appointments to office against their advice, but to appointments, and proposals to make appointments, of which they were not informed in any manner, until all opportunity of offering advice respecting them had passed by. and to a determination on the part of His Excellency to reserve for the expression of Her Majesty's pleasure thereon a bill introduced into the provincial parliament with His Excellency's knowledge and consent as a government measure, without an opportunity being given to the members of the executive council to state the probability of such a reservation. They, therefore, felt themselves in the anomalous position of being, according to their own avowals and solemn public pledges, responsible for all the acts of the executive government and parliament, and at the same time not only without the opportunity of offering advice respecting these acts, but without the knowledge of their existence, until informed of them from private and unofficial sources.

"When the members of the late executive council offered their humble remonstrances to His Excellency on this condition of public affairs, His Excellency not only frankly explained the difference of opinion existing between him and the council, but stated that, from the time of his arrival in the country, he had observed an antagonism between him and them on the subject, and notwithstanding that the members of the council repeatedly and distinctly explained to His Excellency that they considered him' free to act contrary to their advice, and only claimed an opportunity of giving such advice and of knowing, before others, His Excellency's intentions, His Excellency did not in any manner remove the impression left upon their minds, by his avowal, that there was an antagonism between him and them, and a want of that cordiality and confidence which would enable them, in their respective stations, to carry on public business to the satisfaction of His Excellency or of the country.

"The want of this cordiality and confidence had already become a matter of public rumour: and public opinion not only extended it to acts, upon which there were apparent grounds for difference of opinion, but to all measures of government involving political principles. His Excellency, on the one hand, was supposed to be coerced by his council into a course of policy which he did not approve of, and the council were made liable to the accusation of assuming the tone and position of responsible advisers of the government, without, in fact, asserting the right of being consulted thereupon.

"While His Excellency disavowed any intention of altering the course of administration of public affairs which he found on his arrival in Canada, he did not disguise the opinion that these affairs would be more satisfactorily managed by and through the governor himself, without any necessity of concord 204 amongst the members of the executive council or obligation on their part to defend or support in parliament the acts of the governor. To this opinion of His Excellency, as one of theory, the members of the executive council might not have objected; but when, on Saturday last, they discovered that it was the real ground of all their indifferences with His Excellency, and of the want of confidence and cordiality between His Excellency and the council since his arrival, they felt it impossible to continue to serve Her Majesty, as executive councillors for the affairs of this province, consistently with their duty to Her Majesty, or to His Excellency, or with their public and often repeated pledges in the provincial parliaments, if His Excellency would see fit to act upon his opinion of their functions and responsibilities."

The document written by Sir Charles Metcalfe in answer to this 011 the following day (November 28th, 1813) runs as follows:—

"The governor-general observes with regret in the explanation which the gentlemen who have resigned their seats in the executive council propose to offer in their places in parliament, a total omission of the circumstances which he regards as forming the real grounds of their resignation; and as this omission may have proceeded from their not considering themselves at liberty to disclose the circumstances, 't becomes necessary that he should state them.

"On Friday, Mr. LaFontaine and Mr. Baldwin came to the government house, and after some other matters of business? and some preliminary remarks as to the cause of their proceeding, demanded of the governor-general that he should agree to make no appointment, and no offer of an appointment, without previously taking the advice of the council; that the lists of candidates should, in every instance, be laid before the council ; that they should recommend any others at discretion, and that the governor-general, in deciding after taking their advice, should not make any appointment prejudicial to their influence. In other words, that the patronage of the Crown should be surrendered to the council for the purchase of parliamentary support; for, if the demand did net mean that, it meant nothing, as it cannot be imagined that the mere form of taking advice without regarding it, was the process contemplated.

"The governor-general replied that he would not make any such stipulation, and could not degrade the character of his office, nor violate his duty, by such a surrender of the prerogative of the Crown.

"He appealed to the number of appointments made by him on the recommendation of the council, or the members of it in their departmental capacity, and to instances in which he had abstained from conferring appointments on their opponents, as furnishing proofs of the great consideration 206 which he had evinced towards the council in the distribution of the patronage of the Crown.

"He at the same time objected, as he had always done, to the exclusive distribution of patronage with party views, and maintained the principle that office ought in every instance to be given to the man best (qualified to render efficient service to the state; and where there was no such preeminence, he asserted the right to exercise his discretion.

"He understood from Messrs. LaFontaine and Baldwin, that their continuance in office depended upon his final decision with regard to their demand; and it was agreed that at the council to be assembled the next day, that subject should be fully discussed.

"He accordingly met the council on Saturday, convinced that they would resign, as he would not recede from the resolution which he had formed, and the same subject became the principal topic of discussion. Three or more distinct propositions were made to him, over and over again, sometimes in different terms, but always aiming at the same purpose, which, in his opinion, if accomplished, would have been a virtual surrender into the hands of the council of the prerogative of the Crown: and on his uniformly replying to these propositions <n the negative, his refusal was each time followed by "Then we must resign," or words to that purport, from one or more of his council. In the course of the conversations which, both on Friday and Saturday, followed the explicit demand made by the council regarding the patronage of the Crown, that demand being based on the construction put by some of the gentlemen on the meaning of ' Responsible Government,' different opinion, were elicited on the abstract theory of that still undefined question as applicable to a colony—a subject on which considerable difference of opinion is known everywhere to prevail; but the governor-general, during those conversations, protested against its being supposed that he is practically adverse to the system of responsible government, which has been here established : which he has hitherto pursued without deviation, and to which it is fully his intention to adhere. ... If, indeed, by responsible government the gentlemen of the late council mean that the council is to be supreme, and the authority of the governor-general a nullity, then he cannot agree with them, and must declare his dissent from that perversion of the acknowledged principle. . . . Allusion is made in the proposed explanation of the gentlemen of the late council, to the governor-general's having determined to reserve for the consideration of Her Majesty's government, one of the bills passed by the two legislative Houses. That is the Secret Societies Bill. If there is any part of the functions of the governor in which lie is more than any other bound to exercise an independent judgment, it must be in giving the royal assent to Acts of parliament. With regard to this duty he has special instructions from Her Majesty to reserve every Act of an unusual or extraordinary character. Undoubtedly the Secret Societies Bill answers that description, being unexampled in British legislation. The gentlemen of the late council heard his sentiments on it expressed to them. lie told them that it was an arbitrary and unwise measure, and not even calculated to effect the end it had in view. He had given his consent to its being introduced into parliament, because he had promised, soon alter his assumption of the government, that he would sanction legislation oil the subject as a substitute for executive measures which he refused to adopt on account of their prescriptive character ; although he deprecates the existence of societies which tend to foment religious and civil discord. The gentlemen of the late council cannot fail to remember with what pertinacity those measures were pressed on him, and can hardly be unaware of what would have followed at that time, if, in addition to rejecting the prescriptive measures urged, he had refused to permit any legislation on the subject.''

The two above documents, which were soon scattered broadcast throughout Canada, represent the official version of the opposing sides of the political controversy which raged throughout the next twelve months. The resignation of the LaFontaine-Baldwin ministry was no ordinary event. The whole principle of British colonial government was staked upon the issue: and upon both sides of the Atlantic events in Canada were followed with an exceptional interest. Only during periods of actual rebellion or war, has there ever been in this country an era of more intense polilieal excitement. The question of responsible government and of its proper meaning and application in Canada, became the supreme issue of the day, and both in and out of parliament, in the press, on the hustings, and from the housetops, it was made the subject of applied. Had the gentlemen openly avowed that their object was to make the council supreme and to prostrate the British government and to reduce the authority of the governor to a nullity, there would have been truth in their statements of a difference between us, as I never can admit that construction of responsible government in a colony "Correspondence of Lord Metcalfe," Canadian Archives. A little later (December 26tli, 1843) Metcalfe wrote to Lord Stanley: "It is said that they [the late council] were beginning to totter in parliament. Some clauses in the judicature bills for Lower Canada, brought in by Mr. LaFontaine. had been thrown out owing to Mr. Viger's opposition on principle to the arrangement therein proposed of judges sitting as a part of the Court of Appeal on the hearing of appeals from their own judgments. Mr. Baldwin's Ring's College University Bill was threatened with certain failure and would probably have been lost on the day after their resignation, if the latter had not furnished a pretext for withdrawing it without assigning the prospect of defeat as the cause of violent and virulent argumentation. The Reformers had had no intention, in offering their resignation to the governor, of surrendering their claim to the political control of the country: the resignation was not an act of submissive meekness but an act of defiance. It was intended as the prelude of an organized campaign of resistance to Sir Charles Metcalfe, which should cither drive him from his office or compel him to admit the ministerial principle in its entirety. Metcalfe, on his part, bent not before the storm, but with British resolution braced himself squarely on his feet to face the rising gale of opposition. Not an inch would he retreat: not a syllable would he retract. Till the British government might summon him home, he was there to govern Canada, with a ministry if he could, but without a ministry if he must.

Their Assessment Bill likewise gave general dissatisfaction in Upper Canada, and they had been compelled to modify it considerably. These and some other occasional symptoms of defection, although not affecting their general majority in the House, were regarded as omens of approaching weakness, and it is supposed that, in order to recover waning popularity and power, they sought a rupture wi*h the governor, determined to make use of it for the purpose of raising a popular crj in their favour. . . . This explanation has ootained some currency; but I cannot say that I give full credence to it. . . A more obvious motive may be found in other circumstances. There were several bills before the parliament which, if passed into laws, would have created several new appointments with considerable salaries. . . . To secure the distribution of this patronage was, I conceive, the immediate object of their demand, or one for the surrender of the patronage into their hands. Selections from the Papers of Lord Metcalfe, Loudon, 18o5. [Ed., J. W. Kaye.]

Mistaken as the views of the governor-general undoubtedly were, there is much to admire n the spirit of indomitable firmness with which he was prepared to confront single-handed, f need be, the whole population of the colony. As the controversy waxed hot, the amenities of political discussion were thrown aside and the divinity that hedges a governor-general was dissipated in a storm of personal attack: the cry of despot, tyrant and autocrat, was heard on all sides, while the satirists of the time dubbed His Excellency " Charles the Simple,'' and added the still more crushing epithet of "Old Square Toes." But Metcalfe was not left to tight single-handed: Mr. Draper's adherents were with him from the stall. To the Tories the aspect of a governor proposing to actually govern was as welcome as sunshine after storm, while needy politicians, office-seekers and persona] opponents of the late ministry rallied eagerly to the cause. The people of Canada were soon divided into two great factions, the supporters and the enemies of Metcalfe. Meetings, banquets, speeches, addresses, pamphlets and fierce editorial articles became the order of the day, and the strife of the political combatants waxed more and more furious with the realization that :t must culminate in a general election which might mean to either party a general and irretrievable disaster.

The first trial of strength in the momentous conflict wTas on the floor of the parliament itself. Great was the excitement in and around the legislature, when the news of the ministerial resignation became public. "The library of the assembly," wrote a private correspondent from Kingston, "was crowded with letter writers eager to circulate the news from Sandwich to Gaspe, and no sound met the ear but the harsh scratching of the pens as they rushed over the paper. In the lobbies and on the landing-places small groups were congregated discussing the news. The politician as he walked the street was button-held (sic) by many a curious and excited enquirer. The stagnation which usually characterizes the metropolis has been converted into a bustling and earnest animation."

On November 27th. LaFontaine briefly announced to the House the fact that the ministry, with the exception of Mr. Daly, had resigned office. Two days later Baldwin presented to the assembly the reasons for the resignation, and an exciting debate followed, culminating in a triumphant vote of confidence in the ministry. It is unnecessary to repeat at length the arguments presented for and against the ministry, which were practically identical with those contained in the official letters just quoted. Baldwin in his opening speech declared that the ministry had accepted office on principles they had publicly and privately avowed. These principles, he said, had received the sanction of a large majority of the representatives of the people. The ministry stood pledged to maintain them The head of the government entertained views widely differing from his ministers on the duties and responsibiities of their office: this had left nothing for them but to resign. Baldwin read to the House the resolutions of 1841, 'ii which he and his colleagues found the justification of their present conduct. Hincks, Price, Christie and others supported Baldwin in the assembly, while Sullivan defended the conduct of the late ministry before the legislative council in a speech of exceptional brilliancy and power. Beside the overwhelming arguments thus presented, the defence of the governor-general, in the hands of Mr. Daly, seemed tame and insignificant, and the attempt of the latter to show that Metcalfe was prepared to live up to the September resolutions carried no conviction.

Nor was the fierce onslaught of Sir Allan MacNab on the outgoing cabinet of any greater efficacy. He made no attempt to reconcile the conduct of the governor with the principles of responsible gov eminent. He attacked the principles themselves. To him the September resolutions were as chaff to be driven before the wind. Responsible government. he said, should never have been conceded: if persisted in, it could lead to nothing but the ultimate separation of the colony from the mother country. MacNab's defence of Metcalfe was of a character little likely to defend, and the governor, despite his instinctive sympathy with the Tories, 214 might have wished to be saved from his friends; for Metcalfe found himself in the painful position of being defended by one set of adherents on the ground that he had maintained responsible government. and by the other on the ground that responsible government was not worth maintaining.

Of far more consequence to the cause of the outgoing cabinet was the defection of Mr. Viger. Denis Benjamin Viger had long been one of the prominent leaders of the popular party in Lower Canada and had suffered imprisonment for the cause. The principle of responsible government and the claims of the French-Canadians had had no more ardent supporter than Mr. Viger, and at this time, with the dignity of seventy winters upon him, he was still viewed as one of the leaders of his people. It was not without deep emotion1 that Viger now announced to the House that he could not endorse the conduct of the leaders of his party. The principle of responsible government he was willing to admit, but the present occasion, he said, offered no adequate grounds for a step so momentous as that which they had seen fit to take.'2 The debate was finally closed by the passage of a resolution, presented by Mr. Price, to the effect that " an humble address be presented to His Excellency, humbly representing to His Excellency the deep regret felt by this House at the retirement of certain members of the provincial administration on the question of their right to be consulted on what this House unhesitatingly avows to be the prerogative of the Crown,—appointments to office: and further, to assure His Excellency that the advocacy of this principle entitles them to the confidence of the House, being in strict accordance with the principles embraced in the resolutions adopted in the House on September 3rd, 1841." The motion was carried by forty-six votes against twenty-three. On December 9th, 1813, the parliament was prorogued.

Meantime the governor-general was without a ministry. At the moment of prorogation, Mr. Dominick Daly enjoyed the Unique honour of being sole adviser to the Crown. On the twelfth of the month (Dec. 1843) Mr. Draper was sworn in as executive councillor, and Mr. Viger, with whom negotiations had at once been opened by Sb Charles Metcalfe, entered also into the service of the government. It was announced in the administration newspapers that these gentlemen constituted a provisional government, and that the governor-general would organize a regular cabinet at. the earliest possible moment. Meantime the Reform journals loudly denounced this new form of personal rule.

The prorogation of parliament was the signal for the organization of a vigorous campaign of opposition on the part of the Reform party, whose leaders threw themselves with great ardour into the work of rousing the country in anticipation of a coming election. Baldwin and LaFontaine, returning to the practice of the law in their respective cities, headed the agitation. Hincks, who had severed his connection with the Examiner on assuming oflice in 1842. now determined to return to newspaper work. As Montreal was to be the future capital of the province, he came to that city shortly after the rising of the House and looked about him for the purchase of a suitable journal. A paper called the Times,—moderately liberal in its complexion,— being at that time without an editor, Hincks acted gratuitously in that capacity for some little while, hoping ultimately to purchase the paper; but find, a difficulty in arranging matters with the proprietors, he established (March 5th, 1844) a journal of his own under the name of the Pilot. Adopting the same device as he had already used with success in the case of the Examiner, Hincks printed at the head of his first issue a quotation from Lord Durham's report in favour of responsible government and backed it up wit h an opening editorial in which he plunged at once into the present controversy. "If the representative of the sovereign," said the Pilot, "is in practice, to make appointments according to his own personal opinion, and to reject the bills relating to our local affairs because he thinks them unnecessary or inexpedient, it would be infinitely better that the mockery of representative institutions was abolished." The journalistic1 career in those days was not without its dangers and difficulties. Hincks and his newspaper were denounced on all sides by the Tory press: he was likened to Marat, to Robespierre and to the iconoclasts of the French revolution. An embittered Orangemanj1 incensed at certain expressions used by a correspondent of the Pilot, endeavoured to force a duel upon the editor. But in spite of all difficulties Hincks persevered, and remained at his editorial work in Montreal throughout the next four years.

In addition to his editorial work on the Pilot, Hincks endeavoured to influence opinion ;n the mother country by contributing a series of letters to the London Morning Chronicle. These were intended to offset the arguments that were being laid before the British public by Gibbon Wakefield The latter, whom the Reformers now regarded as a snake that they had unwittingly warmed in the bosom of the party, had become the bitter enemy of the late ministry. He had endeavoured to persuade the assembly to adopt an amendment nullifying the vote of confidence: Fading in this, he had published a pamphlet1 in defence of the conduct of Metcalfe, and was at this time busily contributing articles to the London press on the Canadian question. Wakefield in these writings undertook to make a double, misrepresentation; to misrepresent Canadian affairs to the people of Great Britain, and to misrepresent British opinion thereupon to the people of Canada. "The quantity of sympathy with Messrs. Baldwin and LaFontaine existing in the United Kingdom," he wrote, "is very minute." The resignation of the ministry he interpreted, not as arising out of the question of responsible government, but simply as a political trick: the difficulty encountered with the university bill and other Upper Canadian legislation had made the Reform party anxious to div ert public attention from its ill success by the familiar device of dragging a herring across the scent. Responsible government was merely the herring in question. Hincks easily exposes the fallacies of Wakefield's argument; for Wakefield's letters to the press before and after the ministerial rupture were essentially inconsistent. On October 27th, 184.3, Wakefield had written that he would have no objection to a quarrel between Metcalfe and the ministers if he " could be sure that the governor would pick well his ground of quarrel." Again on November 25th he wrote to a correspondent: " The governor-general has had, I think, the opportunity of breaking with his ministers on tenable ground and has let it slip. ... I am unwilling to do bun the bad turn of shooting the bird which I suppose him to be aiming at. behind the hedge of reserve which conceals him from vulgar eyes." In his letter to the Colonial Gazette, after the rupture, and in his pamphlet, Wakefield tries to put the quarrel in the quite different light described above. In his letters to the Chronicle Ilincks not only shows the inconsistency of his adversary^ position, but makes a pitiless exposure of the reasons underlying Wakefield's self-interested desertion of the Reform Hincks was thus busily occupied at Montreal, Baldwin, who had returned to Toronto after the prorogation of the House, was heading the agitation against Metcalfe in Upper Canada. A public banquet was held in honour of the ex-ministers (December 28th, 1843) at the North American Hotel, Robert Baldwin being the guest of the evening. Mr. Ridout, of the Upper Canada Bank, proposed the health of Messrs. LaFontaine, Baldwin and the other members of the cabinet, the "steadfast champions of responsible government," to which Baldwin replied in a long speech, subsequently printed in full in the Reform journals of both Upper and Lower Canada. A Reform Association was founded in Toronto whose branches rapidly spread over the whole of the province. Under the auspices of the new association there was held in Toronto towards the end of March of the new year, the first of a series of great meetings organized throughout the country. So great was the enthusiasm attendant upon this gathering that the hall of the association, situated in a building on the corner of Front and Scott Streets, was quite inadequate to accommodate the crowd that clamoured for admission, and hundreds were turned from the doors. Robert Baldwin, who occupied the chair, was the central figure of the occasion, and the address with which he opened the proceedings of this first general meeting of the Reform Association, ranks among his most striking speeches. Loud and continued cheering greeted him as he rose to speak, and was renewed at intervals in the pauses of his discourse.

"Our objects," said the speaker, in announcing the formation of the association, "are open and avowed. We seek no concealment for we have nothing to conceal. We demand the practical application of the principles of the constitution of our beloved mother country to the administration of all our local affairs. Not one hairs breadth farther do w e go, or desire to go: but not with one hair's breadth short of that will we ever be satisfied. . . . Earnestly I recommend to all who value the principles of the British constitution, and to whom the preservation of the connection with the mother country is dear, to lend their aid by joining this organization. Depend upon it, the day will come when one of the proudest boasts of our posterity will be, that they can trace their descent to one who has his name inscribed on this great roll of the contenders for colonial rights."

After fully developing the nature of colonial self-government and quoting from Lord Durham's report and the September resolutions in support of his contention, Baldwin went on to show the utter insufficiency of responsible government as conceived by Sir Charles Metcalfe. His Excellency's system meant nothing more or less than the old disastrous methods of personal government brought back again. "If we are to have the old system," said Baldwin, '•'then let us have it under its own name, the 'Irresponsible System.' the 'Compact System,' or any other name adapted to its hideous deformities; but let us not be imposed upon by a more name. We have been adjured," he continued, alluding to an answer recently given by Metcalfe to a group of petitioners, "with reference to this new-fangled responsible government, in a style and manner borrowed with no small degree of care from that of the eccentric baronet1 who once represented the sovereign in this part of Her Majesty's dominions, to ' keep it,' to 'cling to it,' not to 4 throw it away'! You all, no doubt, remember the story of little Red Riding-hood, and the poor child's astonishment and alarm, as she began to trace the features of the wolf instead of those of her venerable grandmother: and let the people of Canada beware lest, when they begin to trace the real outlines of this new-fangled responsible government, and are calling out in the simplicity of their hearts, ' Oh, grandmother, what great big eyes you have I' it may not, as in the case of Little Red Ridinghood, be too late, and the reply to the exclamation, 4 Oh, grandmother, what a. great big mouth you have!' be ' That's to gobble you up the better, my child.'"

Baldwin was ably followed by his cousin. Robert Sullivan, by William Hume Blake, and a long list of other speakers. Notable among these was tine whose name was subsequently to become famous in the annals of Canadian Liberalism. George Brown, a young Scottish emigrant, had just established at Toronto (March 5th, 1844) a weekly newspaper called the Globe, founded in the interest of the Reform party. The Globe was a fighting paper from the start, and the power of its opening editorials with their unsparing onslaughts on the governor-general was already spreading its name from one end of the province to the other. In reality there were strong points of disagreement between the editor of the Globe and the leading Reformers, who at this time aided and encouraged his enterprise, and Brown was destined ultimately to substitute for the moderate doctrines of the Reformers of the union, the programme of the thorough-going Radical. But agreement in opposition is relatively easy. The day of the Radicals and the Clear Grits1 was not yet, and for the time Brown was heart and soul with the cause of the ex-ministers. In his speech on this occasion he drew a satirical picture of the operation of responsible government a la Metcalfe. "Imagine yourself sir," lie said to the chairman, " seated at the top of the council table, and Mr. Draper at, the bottom,— on your right hand we will place the Episcopal Bishop of Toronto (Dr. John Strachan) and on your left the Reverend Egerton Ryerson,—on the right of Mr. Draper sits Sir Allan MacNab, and on his left Mr. Hincks. We will fill up the other chairs wilh gentlemen admirably adapted for their situations by the most extreme imaginable differences of opinion- -we will seat His Excellency at the middle of the table, on a chair raised above the warring elements below, prepared to receive the advice of his constitutional conscience-keepers. We will suppose you, sir, to rise and propose the opening of King's College to all Her Majesty's subjects,—and then, sir, we will have the happiness of seeing the discordant-produeing-harmony-principle in the full vigour of peaceful operation."

Resolutions were adopted at the meeting endorsing the principles and conduct of the late administration and condemning in strong terms the interim government of Sir Charles Metcalfe. "We have commenced the campaign." said the Globe, in commenting on the proceedings, the ball has received its first impulse in this city,—let it be taken up in every village, and in every hamlet of the country." At these meetings Baldwin was a frequent speaker and addresses from all parts of the country were forwarded to him. Not the least interesting among tliem was an address from his constituents of Riniouski setting forth that " a public meeting of the citizens of the different parishes of the county had been held immediately after mass on Sunday, February 4th," and that resolutions had been adopted fully approving the "conduct in parliament of the Hon. Robert Baldwin." In the course of the summer Baldwin not only spoke in various towns of Upper Canada but found time also, in July, to visit the Lower Provinces. In his own constituency, the county of Rimouski, Baldwin's tour became a triumphal procession. The inhabitants flocked to meet him and his visit was made the occasion of universal gaiety and merry-making. The village street of Kamouraska was decorated with flags and a long cortege of vehicles accompanied the Reform leader on his entry: the river at Rimouski was crossed in a boat gaily adorned with bunting for the occasion, while repeated salvos of musketry attended the transit of Baldwin and his party. At Rimouski village itself, an assembly of some four hundred parishioners with their cure at their head was marshalled before the village church to present an address of welcome. Everywhere the cordial hospitality of the people was conjoined with the warmest expressions of political approval.

A shower of addresses fell also upon Sir Charles Metcalfe, addresses of advice, of hearty approval, and of angry expostulation. The "inhabitants of the town of London" begged to "approach His Excellency with feelings of gratitude and admiration which they could not sufficiently express." The townspeople of Ordlia had been "particularly disgusted with the studied insult so continually offered to all the faithful and loyal of the land, and by the advancement to situations of honour and employment of suspected and disloyal persons."

The Tories of Toronto, Belleville, and a host of other places, sent up similar addresses. On the other hand, " the magistracy, freeholders, and inhabitants generally of the district of Talbot, observed with painful regret the unhappy rupture between His Excellency and a council which possessed so largely the confidence of the people. The principle of responsible government, which has occasioned this rupture, they had fondly hoped had been so clearly defined and so fully recognized and established as to obviate all difficulty and altercation for the future." The district council of Gore took upon itself to go even further. They assured His Excellency that "public opinion in this district and, we believe, throughout the length and breadth of Canada, will fully sustain the late executive council in the stand they have taken, and in the views they have expressed." Altogether some hundred addresses were forwarded to the governor-general. The greater part of them, as might be expected, emanated from Conservative sources and chorused a jubilant approbation of Metcalfe's conduct. British loyalty, the old flag and the imperial connection were put to their customary illogical use, and did duty for better arguments against responsible government. Even the "Mohawk Indians of the Bay of Quinte " were pressed into political service. On the subject of responsible government the ideas of the chiefs were doubtless a little hazy and they discreetly avoided it, but their prayer that the "Great Spirit would long spare their gracious Mother to govern them". may be taken as a rude paraphrase of the Tory argument against the ministry. They regretted "the removal of the great council fire from Cataraqui to some hundred miles nearer the sun's rising," but lapsed into language much less convincingly Indian by saying that "the question is simply this, whether this country is to remain under the protection and government of the queen, or to become one of the United States."

The Mohawk Indians were not the only ones who insisted on saying that this latter was the main question at issue. There was at Kingston a rising young barrister and politician of the Tory party. John A. Macdonald by name, who at this juncture cooperated in founding a United Empire Association.

Meantime the condition of affairs in Canada, and the fact that Metcalfe was conducting the government of the country with an executive council which consisted of only three persons, were exciting attention in the mother country and had become the subject of debate in the imperial parliament. Ever since the agitation and rebellion of 1837, there had been n the House of Commons a group of Radical members who were ready at any time to espouse the cause of the colonists against the governors. This was done, it must in fairness be admitted, largely in ignorance of actual Canadian affairs. The sympathy of the British Radicals proceeded partly from the general philanthropy that marked their thought, partly from their abstract and doctrinaire conception of individual rights, and partly also from their desire to use the colonial agitation as a weapon of attack against the Tory government. Hume and Roebuck, it will be remembered, had been iii correspondence with Mackenzie and Papineau. They had been the London agents of the Canadian Alliance Association founded by Mackenzie in 1834. Since that period the cause of self-government in Canada had found consistent supporters among the British Radicals. But the bearing of this sympathetic connection must not be misinterpreted. Trained in the narrow school of "little Englandism" the Radicals regarded every colony as necessarily moving towards the manifest destiny of ultimate independence, and the historic value of their sympathetic connection with the Baldwin-LaFontaine party in the present crisis cannot be very highly estimated. Indeed a little examination shows that between the ideas of the British Radicals and those of Robert Baldwin and his party, a great gulf' was fixed. To the former, colonial self-government was justified as a necessary prelude to colonial independence: to the latter, it appeared as a bond—as the only stable and permanent bond —which would maintain intact the connection with the mother country. This latter point cannot be too strongly emphasized. There is hardly a speech made by Robert Baldwin at this period in which he does not assert his devotion to the unity of the empire and his firm belief that responsible government in the colonies was the true means of its maintenance. With the lapse of sixty years the narrow view of the British Radicals has been discredited and lost from sight 'n the larger prospect of an imperial future. But no portion of that discredit should fall upon the Reformers of Canada, to whom at this moment they offered their support.

In answer to a question in the House of Commons, Lord Stanley, the colonial secretary, had (February 2nd, 1841.) declared that the imperial government fully approved of the conduct of Sir Charles Metcalfe.1 Although Sir Charles Metcalfe, he said, went out to carry out the views of the government at home, yet he was equally determined to resist any demands inconsistent with the dignity of the Crown; in pursuing this course he would have the entire support of the home government. A still more emphatic approval of Metcalfe's conduct, together with a declaration of the principles of colonial government, was given by Lord Stanley some four months later (May 39th, 1844) in a debate which was presently known in Canada as the "great debate." The statements made by Lord Stanley on that, occasion, and the concurrence expressed by Lord John Russell, leave no doubt that neither the British statesmen of the Conservative party nor their Liberal opponents had as yet accepted the principle of colonial autonomy as we now know it. They were still haunted by the lingering idea that a colony must of necessity be subservient to its governor, and that complete self-government meant independence of Great Britain.

Mr. Roebuck hail called the attention of the House of Commons' to the condition of affairs in Canada, and the colonial secretary made a lengthy speech in reply. "The honourable member," he said, "drew an analogy between the position of the ministers in the colony and the position of the 1844: "Holmes received this morning a letter from Dunn who states that a person, upon whose word he can rely, had just informed him that the governor had received despatches from Lord Stanley approving his conduct. That is a matter of course," (Baldwin correspondence, Toronto Public Library.) ministers of the Crown in the mother country. He [Lord Stanley] denied the analogy. The constitution of Canada was so framed as to render t impossible that it could possess all the ingredients of the British constitution." In Great Britain, he said, the Crown "exercised great influence because of the love, veneration, and attachment of the people. The governor was entirely destitute of the influence thus attached to royalty. . . . The House of Lords exercised the power derived from rank, station, wealth, territorial possession and hereditary title. The council [legislative] in Canada had none of these adventitious advantages." The reasoning thus presented by the colonial secretary seems to bear in the wrong direction. But his remarks which follow essentially reveal the attitude of his mind on the question. "Place the governor of Canada," he said, "in a state of absolute dependence on his council and they at once would make Canada an independent and republican colony. ... It was inconsistent with a monarchical government that the governor should be nominally responsible, and yet was to be stripped of all power and authority, and to be reduced to that degree oj power which was vested in the sovereign of the country: it was inconsistent with colonial dependence altogether and was overlooking altogether the distinction which must subsist between an independent country and a colony subject to the domination of the mother country. . . . The power for which a minister is responsible in England is not his own power but the power of the Crown, of which he is for the time the organ. It is obvious that the executive councillor of a colony is in a situation totally different. The governor, under whom he serves, receives his orders from the Crown of England. But can the colonial council be the advisers of the Crown of England i Evidently not, for the Crown has other advisers for the same functions and with superior authority."'

In the latter part of his speech Lord Stanley dealt more directly with the question of colonial appointments: his remarks show all too plainly that he too persisted in dividing the Canadians into two groups of "rebels" and "honest men," and m viewing the present controversy as a strife between the two. "Did not the honourable and learned gentleman," he asked, referring to Mr. Roebuck. " think that the minority in a colonial society, be it Tory, Radical, Whig, French, or English, had more chance of fair play if the honours and rewards in the gift of the government were distributed by the Crown than if they were dispensed exclusively by political partisans." The magnificent stupidity of this remark can be realized if one imagines Lord Stanley being asked whether it might not be advisable to allow the queen to make personal appointments to all offices in order to shelter the British minority from the rapacity of the Conservative party. But what Stanley had in his mind becomes clear when he goes on to say:— "Would it be consistent with the dignity, the honour, the metropolitan interests of the Crown that ts patronage should be used by the administration [of Canada] to rew ard the very men who had held back in the hour of danger ? and would it be just or becoming to proscribe and drive from the service of the country those who, in the hour of peril, had come forward to manifest their loyalty and to maintain the union of Canada with the Crown of England?" The union of Canada and England had as little to do with the present argument as the union of Sweden and Norway, but the reference to it passed current in both countries for nobility of sentiment. Lord Stanley concluded his remarks by referring to the LaFontaine-Baldwin ministry as "unprincipled demagogues " and "mischievous advisers."

Stanley's defense of Metcalfe and his views on colonial self-government read somewhat strangely at the present day. What is still more strange is that the Liberal leader, Lord John Russell, who spoke on the same occasion, was prepared to put the same interpretation on the Canadian situation. He would, he said, have condemned Sir Charles Metcalfe if he had said that he would in no case take the opinion of his executive council respecting appointments; but it would be impossible for the governor to say that he would in all cases follow the will of the executive council. Sir Robert Peel and Mr. Charles Buller, one of the principal collaborators of Lord Durham in the composition of his report, spoke also to the same effect.

During all this time Sir Charles Metcalfe remained without a ministry. Even the two new councillors in office, Draper and Viger, had merely been sworn in as executive councillors without being assigned to offices of emolument. As the spring passed and the summer wore on, the chances of being able to obtain a ministry on anything like a representative basis still appeared remote. The Tories of the assembly had given to Sir Charles Metcalfe from the outset a cordial support, but in view of the overwhelming numbers of the Reformers and French-Canadians, the attempt to construct a ministry from the ranks of the Tories would have been foredoomed to failure. On the other hand, the governor-general was well aware that continued government without a ministry meant ruin to his cause and tended of itself to prove the contention of his opponents. No effort was spared, therefore, to obtain support from the Reform party itself and to encourage secession from the ranks of the French-Canadians by tempting offers of office. It was hoped that the example of Mr. Viger might induce others of his nationality to desert the cause of the late administration. Bartlie, a fellow-prisoner of Viger hi the days of the rebellion, and since then editor of L'Avenir du Canada and member for Yamaska, had been offered a seat m the cabinet shortly after the ministerial resignation and had refused. Four French-Canadians in turn had rejected the offer of the position of attorney-general for Lower Canada, and the same position had been offered n vain to two British residents. Viger found himself with but small support among his fellow-countrymen. It was in vain that he appealed to them in a pamphlet1 in winch he sought to prove that LaFontaine and Baldwin had acted without constitutional warrant. The subtleties of Mr. Viger's arguments availed nothing against the instinctive sympathy of the French-Canadians with their chosen leader. At the end of the month of June, Mr. Draper, anxious to realize the situation at first hand, visited the Lower Province and spent some weeks in a vain attempt at obtaining organized support for the government. As a result of his investigations he wrote to Sir Charles Metcalfe that "after diligently prosecuting his inquiries and extending his observations in all possible quarters, he could come to no other conclusion than that the aid of the French-Canadian party was not to be obtained on any other than the impossible terms of the restoration of Baldwin and LaFontaine."

"The difficulty, indeed," says Metcalfe's biographer, "seemed to thicken. According to Mr. Draper, it was one from which there was no escape. After the lapse of seven months, during which the country had been without an executive government, Metcalfe was told by one of the ablest, the most clear-headed and one of the most experienced men in the country, that it was impossible to form a ministry, according to the recognized principle of responsible government, without the aid of the French-Canadian party, and that aid it was impossible to obtain. What was to be done?" Well might the governor-general and his private advisers ask themselves this question. As Mr. Draper himself informed His Excellency, the want of an executive government was beginning to have a disastrous effect upon the commerce and credit of the country. The revenue must inevitably' be soon affected, the administration of justice was already hampered for want of a proper officer to represent the Crown in the courts of law, while the public mind was filled with disquieting apprehensions for the future which were beginning to paralyze the industrial life of the province.

The whole summer of 1844 was one of intense political excitement. Agitation meetings, and political speeches became the order of the day, and political demonstrations on a large scale were organized by the rival parties. On May 12th a general meeting of the Reform Association had been held at Toronto. At this Robert Baldwin played a principal part, and in his speech on the occasion reiterated his attachment to the British connection and his belief that the policy of his party was the only one that could lead to permanent imperial stability. He presented to the meeting an address which he had drafted for presentation to the people of Canada, and which was adopted with enthusiasm. Its concluding sentences sounded a note of warning and appeal:— "This is not a mere party struggle. It is Canada against her oppressors. The people of Canada claiming the British constitution against those who withhold it: the might of public, opinion against faction and corruption."

The newspapers during these months contained little else than fiery disputation on the all-absorbing topic of the hour. Pamphlets pound from the colonial press in an abundant shower, and editors, lawyers, assemblymen and divines hastened to add each his contribution to the political controversy engendered by the situation. The Reform Alliance started a series of " tracts for the people " designed to elucidate the leading principles and disputed points of the whole controversy. Hincks, Buchanan, Ryerson, Sullivan and a swarm of others hastened into the fray, iterating and reiterating the well worn arguments for and against the late ministry and soundly belabouring one another 288 with political invective and personal abuse. The great bulk of the literature of the Metcalfe controversy is of but little interest or novelty. It is somewhat difficult to read through the forty pages of print in which "Zeno" (of Quebec) undertakes to show that the resistance of Metcalfe and his satellites to responsible government was but the "expiring howl of that mercenary class who, by servility, venality and corruption, have marred the prosperity of the colony." Equally difficult is it to follow the tortuous argumentation of Isaac; Buchanan in his Five Letters Against the Baldwin Faction. Buchanan, who was a moderate Reformer now turned against his late leaders, writes with the bitterness of a renegade, and his letters are of some interest as illustrating the wilful distortion of Robert Baldwin's opinions and objects at the hands of his opponents. "IIow many are there," he asks, " who are out and out supporters of Mr. Baldwin who do not conscientiously wish that Canada was a state of the union to-morrow?' "Mr. Baldwin," he says, "was weakening the very foundations of colonial society," and supports the statement by an afflicting anecdote of a recent experience in England.

"On the subject of Baldwin's past character," says Buchanan, "the question was again and again put to me in England. Did he not prefer his party to his country, at the late rebellion, declining to fight against the former or to turn out in defence of the latter ? I remember well the feeling remark of one gentleman of the most liberal British politics, and whose bosom beats as high as any man's for the cause of freedom, —' Well, poor Mr. Baldwin may be a patriot, but he in not a Briton.'"

There is, however, one episode of the Metcalfe controversy—namely, the literary duel between the Rev. Egerton Ryerson and the Hon. R. B. Sullivan, late president of the council—which deserves more than a passing notice. In both Upper and Lower Canada, Metcalfe had spared no pains to win men of prominence of all parties to his cause by flattering offers of public office. Egerton Ryerson, already famous in the colony as a leader of the Methodist Church, as president of Victoria College and as an opponent of the exclusive claim of the Church of England to the Clergy Reserves, was one of those who were said by the Reformers to have felt the " draw of vice-regal blandishments."1 The announcement early in 18-44 that Ryerson had been interviewed by the governor-general, and that his appointment as superintendent of education with a seat in the cabinet was under consideration, was declared by the Globe (March 8th, 1844) to be an "alarming feeler." Subsequently, when Ryerson, m the ensuing May, published his famous defence of Sir Charles Metcalfe and was later In the year duly appointed to he superintendent of education, his enemies did not scruple to say that Mr. Ryerson had sold himself to the Metcalfe government for a price, and had become a traitor to the cause of public liberty. But whatever may be thought of the correctness or incorrectness of Ryerson's views on the ministerial controversy, the contention that his literary services had been bought, cannot stand. Ilis appointment to office rests on a solid basis of merit and had long been under consideration. No one in the province had given more earnest thought to the problem of public education than had Egerton Ryerson, and the question of his appointment as superintendent of common schools had already been discussed by Lord Sydenham. It appears also, on good authority, that Sir Charles Metcalfe had determined to appoint Ryerson to some such position before the rupture with the LaFontaine-Baldwin cabinet occurred. It; must, therefore, in fairness be admitted that the defence of Sir Charles Metcalfe was inspired by no self-seeking motives, but proceeded from a genuine conviction that the course adopted by the late cabinet was unconstitutional and dangerous to the public welfare.

From the literary point of view, Ryerson's defence is an extremely able document and is written, not with the ponderous periods of the theologian, but with a vigour of style and a freedom of phrase which drew down upon the head of its author the taunt of being a '"political swashbuckler." The central point of the argument of the pamphlet is the attempt to prove that the conduct of the late ministry was contrary to British precedent. "If the ministry," argued Ryerson, "objected to the governor's appointments, the proper course for them consisted in immediate resignation, not in attempting to bind the governor with a pledge in regard to appointments of the future. It was," he said. " contrary to British usage for them to remain in office twenty-four hours, much less weeks or months, after the head of the executive had performed acts or made appointments which they did not choose to justify before parliament and before the country. It was contrary to Brit ish usage for them to complain of and condemn a policy or acts to which they had become voluntary parties by their continuing m office. It was contrary to British usage for them to go to the sovereign to discuss principles and debate policy, instead of tendering their resignations for his past acts." This line of reasoning, though rendered plausible by an imposing show of precedent and argument, need not be taken very seriously. The ministry had, in fact, resigned on account of the past acts of the governor, not on the strength of any single one, but rather by reason of the accumulation of many. For the entire ministry to have resigned the first time the governor undertook to make a minor appointment on his own account would have been plainly impossible: equally impossible was it to allow the governor to continue indefinitely making such appointments. The essence of the situation lay, therefore, in the future rather than the past.

Ryerson's pamphlet called forth an answer from an opponent of as good fighting mettle as himself. The Thirteen Letters on Responsible Government, published by Robert Sullivan, are certainly equal to Ryerson's defence in point of logic and in the presentation of the law, and easily surpass it m facility of style, while the caustic, wit, for which the writer was distinguished, adds to the brilliance of his work. Sullivan signed himself " Legion" to indicate that his name was not one but many. He prefaces his work with a mock-heroic " Argument," or table of contents, in which he endeavours at the outset to put his theological opponent in a ludicrous light. Thus he announces as the subject of Letter IV, the " doctor's [Ryerson's] discovery that Cincinnatus was one of the Knights of the Round Table, from which he infers that Mr. Baldwin stole his ideas on responsible government from the days of chivalry." Later we read that "'Legion' repudiates his relatives and absolves his godfathers on the ground of the doctor's monopoly of the calendar of saints," while the letters conclude with a " panoramic view of the doctor's iniquitous career—his death struggle with 'Legion' and his hideous writings graphically described," after which "Legion' carries off the doctor amidst yells and imprecations." Apart from witticisms, personalities, and stinging satire. Sullivan's letters are of great importance in the Metcalfe controversy from the fact that the writer takes issue with Lord Stanley, whose views on colonial government he considers entirely erroneous. As a rule the writers on behalf of the Reform party endeavoured to so interpret Stanley's expressions as to make them appear favourable to the attitude taken by the LaFontaine-Baldwin cabinet. In the light of what has been quoted above, this will be seen to be a hopeless task. Sullivan takes a bolder, and at the same time a surer, stand. "Lord Stanley's argument." he says, "if it proves anything, proves that we should not have representative institutions at all: that public opinion should not prevail in anything, because it wants the ingredient of aristocratic influence. . . . There is not the slightest doubt, in the mind of any one, but that the governor of this province is bound to obey the orders of Her Majesty's secretary of state for the colonies, however opposed these orders may be to the advice of the council, for the time being. But there >s as little doubt but that when a secretary of state gives such orders with respect to the administration of our local affairs, he violates the principle of responsible government as explained in the resolutions of 1841, to which Sir Charles Metcalfe subscribed."

That a good many of "Legion's" shafts had struck home is seen In the furious rejoinder published by Egerton Ryerson. In this the distinguished divine almost forgets the dignity of his divinity. He compares his opponent to Bar6re and likens the Reform Association to the Committee of Public Safety of the French Revolution:—"Whether 'Legion' drank, fiddled and danced," he writes, " when Sir F. Head was firing the country, or when Lount and Mathews were hanging on the gallows. I have not the means of knowing: but a man who can charge the humane and benevolent Sir Charles Metcalfe with being an inhuman and bloodthirsty Nero, can easily be conceived to sing and shout at scenes over which patriotism and humanity weep." To Baldwin himself, the writer is almost as unsparing. Baldwin had lust delivered an address to the electors of Middlesex in which he exhorted the Tories " to forget all minor differences and to act as if they remembered only that they were Canadians, since as Canadians we have a country and are a people." This patriotic utterance Ryerson sees fit to misinterpret. "In reading this passage of Mr. Baldwin's address," he says, "I could not keep from my thoughts two passages in very different books, the one a parable in the Book of Judges, ill which 'the bramble said unto the trees, if in truth ye annoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not , let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.' The other passage which Mr. Baldwin's address brought to my recollection, is one of AEsop's Fables, where the fox that had lost its tail exhorted his brethren of all shades and sizes to imitate his example as the best fashion of promoting their comfort and elevation."

The party war of pamphlets, speeches and addresses continued unabated throughout the summer. As the autumn drew on the efforts of Metcalfe and Draper to obtain at least the semblance of a representative cabinet met with better success. Towards the end of August a Mr. James Smith, a Montreal lawyer of no particular prominence, and never as yet a member of any legislative body, accepted the position of attorney-general for Lower Canada. A recruit of more imposing name was found in Denis B. Papineau, brother of the French-Canadian leader of 1837, to whom was given the office of commissioner of Crown lands.

Papineau, who had hitherto been an adherent of the Lower Canadian Reform party, shared with Viger the odium of being a renegade from his party, and was subsequently accused by Robert Baldwin on the floor of the House with having approved the resignation of the previous ministry and then usurped the position they had seen fit to abandon.1 Papineau, whose character had stood high with his compatriots, claimed in reply that his acceptance of office did not rest on personal grounds, but that he had seen fit, on mature reflection, to modify his opinion of the present controversy. William Morris of Brockville1 accepted at the same time the post of receiver-general. Mr. Draper being now definitely appointed to be attorney-general for Upper Canada, Mr. Viger, president of the council, and Mr. Daly being still provincial secretary, Metcalfe found himself, at the opening of September (1844), with something approaching a complete ministry. It was thought wiser for the present to place no Tories in the cabinet. Mr. Henry Sherwood was, however, given the post of solicitor-general for Upper Canada without a seat m the executive council, and towards the close of the year W. B. Robinson, a brother of Chief-justice Robinson and a Tory of the old school, became inspector-general. Metcalfe was now ready to try conclusions with his adversaries. He dissolved the parliament on September 23rd, and writs, returnable on November 12th, were issued for a new election.


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