Joseph Edmund Collins.

Life and times of the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, premier of the Dominion of Canada online

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not at all object to American capital, or capital from England, or any-
where else, but I told Sir Francis on his return that he had been prema-
ture in this, that we ought to have kept to a great Canadian company be-
fore any offer or intimation that Americans might come in was made.
Then Sir Hugh, acting on the hint given by Sir Francis, and it was no
more than a hint — it was in no way a government action — communicated
with the Americans, and we had a visit from a number of Americans with
Sir Hugh ; and Mr. Speaker, I being spokesman on both occasions, gavfl
them precisely the same answer that they were premature ; that we were
very glad to seo them, but we could make no arrangement until parliament
1 said we would be very glad however to hear any proposition, and
asked them whether they had any to make. Sir Hugh asked in return
whether we were in a position to entertain a proposition ; and on our re-
plying in the negative, he rejoined that he then had no proposition to
make. And these were all the communications between the Canadian
government and these gentlemen. (Cheers.) This statement cannot be cou-
rted, and will not be. In the meantime a sectional jealousy had
arisen, instead of, as I hoped, a joint action between the capitalists of
tree] and Toronto, and instead of, as I had hoped, there being a rush
and anxiety among our moneyed men in tho different parts of Canada to
form one great company, for tho work required united exertion, there was
a jealousy fanned fr quarter, which we know now, and this jeal-

prevented the two great bodies of capitalists, who ought to have built
the road, from joining, and all our hopes were scattered ; and ft feeling
arose in Toronto first that if the Montreal interest got the preponderance
nto trade would get the go-by, and second, that Sir Hugh Allan and
Montreal interest were joined with the Americans. That feeling grew
and I am not DOW in a position to state, after reading the evidence and ni-
ter reading tho letters of Sir Hugh Allan and those published by Mr. Mc-
Mullen, I an not now in a position to state that that jealousy in Toronto
was ill founded. I am not in a position to state that they had not some
ground of which we knew nothing for believing that the Montreal party
were in communication with the Americans. I am not now in a position
ate that the people of Toronto and the Interoceanic had not greal
for suspicion and jealousy, whether that suspicion was well or ill
founded ; but before parliament met, as I have sworn, and as Mr. Abbott
has sworn, and as every member of the house knows, the feeling
against the introduction of American capital was so great that by no


-possibility could it be allowed entrance. We felt, Mr. Speaker, and
.•wry member knew it, that it was necessary that every American ele-
ment must be eliminated from the acts, or they could not pass — (cheers)
— and I appeal to hon. gentlemen who were then in the house if they
do not know, as a matter of fact, that it was understood on all sides that
the American element was eliminated. I understood it so ; the government
understood it so ; and the house understood it so, and Mr. Abbott, who
undertook the manau'omont of the bill of the Montreal company through
this holism, made it a special understanding with Sir Hugh Allan that it
should be so befoiv ho promoted the bill, and so it was by universal con-
sout. 1 kn<>\v, Mr. Speaker, that it will be said, and I may as well speak
•f it now, that Sir Hugh Allan's letters show that he still kept up his con-
nection with the Amorieans. I know it, and I painfully know it, that Sir
Hugh Allan behaved badly and acted disingenuously towards the men with
whom he was originally connected. I say that when he found that Amer-
icans wer. bfl admittod he ought to have written to them, and in-
i 'rnie<l thoin that though he had made a contract with them, still so strong
a feeling existed in Canada that bi must at once and forever sever his con-
nection with them. Instead of doing so, however, he carried on a cor-
respondence with them, a private correspondence, which he has sworn no
one else saw, and which he has sworn that not even his colleagues in the
Canada Pacific company knew of, not even Mr. Abbott, his confidential
-or. He says he conducted it as his own personal affair, believing and
hoping that in the end the people of Canada would come to a different
view, and allow American capital to be used. He has sworn that, and we
never knew that he was carrying on communications with the Americans.
Mr. Abbott never knew it and the Canada Pacific company have declared
that there was no connection between them and the Americans, but I have
heard it said, I think, by the member for Ohateauguay, is it possible that
the government would give a contract to a man who had behaved so disin-
genuously, and after this want of ingenuousness had been shown to the
Prime Minister, by the exhibition of the correspondence ? Sir, let me
•say a word to you about that. After the Act passed and we were working
with all our might to form a good company and a strong one, long after, Mr.
Speaker, as it appears in the correspondence between Sir Hugh Allan and
the Americans, Mr. McMullen came to my office in order to levy black -
jnail. (Cheers.) He did not show me the correspondence, but he flour-
ished certain receipts and drafts which Sir Hugh Allan had drawn at New
York. There was nothing, however, in that because he had told us he had
gone into that association, and we knew that he had communication with
the Americans, and there was nothing extraordinary in my seeing that


these gentlemen had subscribed a certain sum of money for preliminary
expenses, and I have never known a company, railway or otherwise, with-
out preliminary expenses being provided for by the promoters. I told Mr.
McMullen therefore, that it was his matter, and that he must go and see
Sir Hugh. I heard no more about the matter until late in January or
February, after we had formed the company, after a correspondence with
every province of the Dominion, after having tried to excite and having
successfully excited the capitalists of the different provinces to subscribe
after we had got every thing prepared,, after I had drafted the char-
ter and the great seal only required to be affixed, and just when the
charter was about to be launched, and the company to build the road
was about to be made a certainty, then Mr. C. If. Smith, Mr. Hurl,
hurt and Mr. McMullen walked into my office. 1 do not say that Mr.
Smith or Mr. Hurlburt came to levy blackmail. I do not think they
did, for they looked respectable gentlemen, and spoke and behaved as
such. They fcold me Sir Bngh Allan had behaved very badly, and they
read a good deal of the correspondence which has been published, and I
told them then, '* Gentlemen, if your statement is true, Sir Hugh Allan
has behaved badly towards you, but the matter is your own, and Sil
. is no doubt able to meet you."' They ipoke of the seizing of his
ships and bringing actions against him both in the I'uited States and Can-
ada, when I n they had their own proper remedy, and
- - II Igh had not the alight est > give them the con-

• ) 1 told them that he ought to have broken off his eon-

u with them long ago, and that if he had kept them in the dark they
must take their own remedy against him. We were then asked how could
we admit into the oontraet Mr. Speaker, we had already ad-

mitted him. I tot was made. Every province had been given its

directors. The charter had been drawn, and only awaited the signature
of the governor-general ; and more than all this, the correspond*

ver may be said of the conduct of Sir Hugh Allan towards the Amer-
pro v ed the existence of hostility between them, and showed that if
Sir Bngh were one of the company who received the contract we should
keep the Americans out altogether. 1 had to get that contract let. I had
to get a sufficient number of the capitalists of Canada who would take up
this subject, and Sir Hugh Allan was the first. He is our greatest capi-
talist. He was the first man who went into it, and these gentlemen, Mr.
M Mullen and the rest, proved to me that Sir Hugh Allan had cut the
•nnection, had nothing to do with the Americans, or with Jay
Cooke & Co., and that they were resolved to follow him to the death as they
have done. (Hear, hear.) This, then is the narrative, so far, of our con-


net iun with the Pacific railway. My evidence states that shortly before
the elections 1 went to Toronto, and Sir George Cartier went to Montreal.
1 do not wish h<»n. gentlemen to suppose for one single instant that I would
desire to shelter myself or my living colleagues by throwing the blame on
my dead colleague. (Cheers.) Whatever Sir George Cartier has done I
will assume the responsibility of. (Hear, hear.) Whatever Sir George
Carder has done I must accept as being the honest expression of an
individual minister ; but, sir, 1 do not admit, and I will not admit,
and it is not safe for hon. gentlemen opposite to admit, that any one
minister can bind a ministry. (Cheers.) I went to Toronto in order to
descend to the stern contest that was forced upon DM by the course taken
by hon. gentlemen opposite, to meet the arguments that were going to be
used against me, the sectional questions that wt.iv raised against me, the
numerous charges which were made against me, and which I had always
found operating against me. When 1 went to Ontario for that purpose,
and to meet these charges, it was not for the first time. As long as I
have been in parliament I have been charged by hon. gentlemen opposite
w it h selling Upper Canada, with sacrificing the best interests of Upper
Canada, with selling myself to French domination and Catholic influences
and Lower Canadian int f SsU . 1 had refuted these charges repeatedly,
and had convinced the majority in Upper Canada that I held then as I do
now the principle of union between Upper and Lower Canada, and that
the only way by which that union could be firmly established was by ig-
noring sectional ipiestioiis and religious differences. (Cheers.) These cries
are still raised. You will hear them before many days in this house, and
you will hear them throughout the country whenever it pleases hon. gen-
tlemen opposite to raise them ; but as my past history has shown, so my
future history will prove that whatever party political exigency may be,
I have never, and shall never give up the great principle of keeping intact
the union of Upper and Lower Canada by a give and take principle, by a
reciprocity of feeling and by surrendering our own religious and political
prejudices for the sake of union. I went to the West to do what I could
during the elections, in fighting the battle of the party and the govern-
ment. I had simply said to Sir George Cartier that I should have a very
hard fight in Upper Canada, as I had the government of Ontario against
me, and I wished him to help me as far as he could. I went to Toronto,
and I tried all I could before the elections took place to procure an amal-
gamation of the two companies. It was of vital importance, in a party
point of view, laying aside the patriotic view, to have a company to build
the road, composed of the Montrealers and the Toronto men, so that I
could have gone to the country and said, " Here is a great enterprise. We


have formed a great company. We are carrying out a great scheme. "We
are forming a great country." I spared no pains to procure an amalgama-
tion ; Senator Macpherson, and any one in Toronto connected with the
enterprise, will tell you how hard, how earnestly, in season and out of
season, I worked to procure that amalgamation. I failed. I thought I
had succeeded two or three times. I abandoned my own constituency ;
I might have been elected by acclamation, or at all events by a very large
majority, but instead of attending to my election, I went up to Toronto to
attempt to bring about an amalgamation between the two companies.
Then they got up a story about me, according to the habit of the opposi-
tion, that I considered my constituency a pocket borough, and thought I
could afford to pass it by. I thought at one time I had succeeded in pro-
curing an amalgamation, and Mr. Abbott came up to Toronto in response
MUD from me. We had an interview with Mr. Macpherson, ami
almost succeeded in coming to an agreement. The only (jiiestion was
whether there should bt seven and six or five and four directors from On-
tnd t, v > 1 1 1 - 1 arrangement was so near that I was satisfied when

I left Toronto that the amalgamation was complete J found, however,
that that was not the case, and in the middle of mv elect ion, on the 26th,
I think, of July, I telegraphed bo Mr. Macpherson to come down, and he
came down to Kingston and saw me and then I sent that telegram which
has been published in the papers, and which was the only arrangement as
regards the granting of the charter so far as the government was concern -

. far as I was « hear.) That telegram which was

sent on the tttfa .July was aen1 by DM to Sir Hugh Allan, after seeing Mr.

hereon, and with the knowledge of Mr. Macpherson. Now what

that say ? I \ I reluctantly to give up the hope of having an

..->. These little jealousies, these little
and the jostling between seventeen and thirteen mem-
bers on the board had come in the way, and I could not carry out the ar-
rangement I bed hoped to complete. 1 could not spare the time. 1 was
: eat danger of losing my election by throwing myself away on this
: > * I '.nine railway. I actually came down to Kingston only on the day

. nomination, tru>ting to the kindness of my old friends in Kingston,
Well, sir, what was the telegram which I sent ? It said : "I have seen
Mr. Macpherson," — he was in the room when I wrote it. " I have seen
Mr. Macpherson. lie has no personal ambition, but he cannot give up
the rights of Upper Canada. I authorise you to state that any influence
the government may have in the event of amalgamation, shall be given to
• I ngk Allan. The thing must stand over till after the elections. The
two gentlemen, Mr. Macpherson and Sir Hugh Allan, will meet in Ottawa

anl form an amalgamation." That was the proposition which I made, and
just think, sir, what was involved, think how much I was snubbing, which
is a word which has been used by the Qlobt lately, how much I was injur-
ing and prejudicing the interest of my colleague in Montreal, Sir George
f.irtier. Sir Hugh Allan did not care so much for the Pacific railway,

^ir George Cartier did not care so much for Sir Hugh Allan. It was
not Sir Hugh Allan or the Pacific railway that he cared so much about ;
but Sir Hugh Allan had made himself the representative man of Lower
Canada with respect to the Northern Colonization Road, the North Shore
.ainl the Ottawa and Toronto Road, so that the members from
Lower Canada would have stood by Sir Hugh Allan even to the risk of
ns, because their Montreal interests would be so much
affected if Sir Hugh Allan were not sustained with regard to the Pacitic
railway. But with respect to the other railways, my hon. friend from So-
chelaga and other gentlemen can say that if there had been accord between

high Allan and the French membersof Lower Canada from the Mon-
treal district, there would have been a great peril of the Lower Canadian
m embers from that district deserting Sir George Cartier, and supporting

Hugh Allan in carrying out the Northern Colonization road. I was
standing by Sir George Cartier, who was most improperly charged with
being so much attached to the Grand Trunk railway that he would not do
justice to the other roads. I will ask my friends from Lower Canada if

■ eorge Cartier's connection with the railway had anything to do with
the results of the elections. His prosp connected with the loed

roads alone. In order to prove to you how true a man Sir George Cartier
was, how perfectly unselfish he was, I may state that he held back on my
account When he said, " I wish to be elected on my own merits, and on
my own services, and not on account of the Colonization or any other
road," (cheers) and when by a word he could have put an end to th'e cry
« 4 interest, he felt that it was a sectional feeling between Upper and Lower
Canada, and that if he pronounced in favour of any railway in Lower
Canada, he would injure me in Upper Canada, and he sacrificed himself
for my sake in Lower Canada, because he thought that any pronounce-
ments in favour of Sir Hugh Allan, might injure me and my friends in
the western elections. (Cheers.) I had only one thing to do and that
was to return to him the confidence and trust he had reposed in me. I
said, " Don't mind me. Fight your own battles. You must make your
own arrangements with your own friends in respect to the railways," and
it was not until he had that communication with me that he said he
would help the Northern Colonization road. It was not because Sir
George Cartier had any personal objects to gain, it was not because he


-was connected with the Grand Trunk Railway, but it was purely from a
desire to save me from any possible difficulty in Upper Canada that he
held back, and I have here now, when he is dead, the proud opportunity
of stating that even in the last moment he was actuated by no selfish feel-
ing, by no desire to promote his own interests, but that he only thought
of his colleague, of his comrade of twenty years. He only thought by ap-
prmnote a national interest in Lower Canada he might hurt me
in Upper Canada, and he threw away all his chances, all his hopes, every
thing like a certainty or a reasonable hope of success, for the purpose of
standing by me, and I am proud and happy now to pay this tribute
to his memory. (Cheers.) Well, sir, on the 26th of July I sent that tele-
gram, and that was the only bargain. No man can make a bargain with
the government, except by an order in council, or by the action of the
recognised and accepted by his colleagues. Any act of a
-first minister, until it is disavowed, is considered equal to a minute of
council, equal I I the government. That telegram of mine of the

08th of July was an act of the government. Iffy colleagues have not re-
pudiated it ; they have aooepted it, and it was a fair arrangement as we
could not gel the amalgamation. in going to the

country with a perfect scheme for building the Pacific railway, what else*
was left to us but to keep the amalgamation of these great capitalists open

till after t ns, and then call them together, and the only word of

QtO was limply my i i that any

intlu. ameni might have in case of amalgamation, in the case

of th bung and • board of directors, would be

fairly used in h lency. I think that

was d h Allan, ami after all it was no great affair. Every -

knows that th : any is no mOTC than the junior

mem depends altogether upon the per*

I the man. Wt have seen boards where the president

governed the I president was a mere figure head,

in where the junior member governed the company. It

!y upon the personal figure and authority of the man. Well,

, hut 1 wish the house to remember that at the

tune of that telegram, in which 1 simply srated that as we could not form

tpany before the el. old form one afterwards out of tie

two, and would do what we could to make Sir Hugh Allan president. At

that time there had been not one single word said about money — (cheers)

— and there never was one said, as far as I was concerned, between Sir

i Allan and me. (Hear, hear.) I was righting the battle in Western

Canada* I was get4 liptions, as I have no doubt the hon. mem-


610 APl'EXDIX.

ber for Lambton was getting subscriptions, and if he denies it I will be
able to prove it. (Cheers.) I state in my place that I will be able to
prove ir. (Cheers.) I was doing what I could for the purpose of getting
money to help the flections, and I was met, not only by individual exer-
. but by the whole force, power and influence, legitimate and illegiti-
mate of the Ontario government. 1 have n«> hesitation in saying that in
all expenditure, we were met by two dollars to one. (Hear, hear.) I
ha\e read with some amusement the attacks that have been made upon
the government, because a member of the government was a party to this
fund. If we had had the same means possessed by hon. gentlemen oppo-
site : if we had spies ; if we had thieves ; if wo had men who went to
your desk, picked} your note books, we would have

than hon. gentlemen think they have now.
i n. ) We were lighting en uneven battle. We were limply subscrib-
ing as gentlemen, while they were stealing as burglars. (Cheers.) We
may trace it out as a conspiracy throughout. I use the word c mspiracy
advisedly, and I will use the word out of the house as well as in the
house. (Oheere. The ham. ■wmbei tot Stafford said that he had ob-
tained certain doOJMftl mtfc H* attempted to read them to this house, not
much I think to his credit, and certainly contrary to the sense of the
. of the country. Now how did he documents. W T e
had Mr. George W . McMulien, who was the American agent of these gen-
ii. He had carried on this correspondence with .Sir Hugh Allan, and
when he came to me in December and tried to levy black mail on me (hear,

| I told him to go to , well I did not use any improper language,

but I told him to step out of my office (laughter and cheers,) and he went
to the hon. gentlemen opposite. (Cheers. ) This is no mere hypothesis
of mine. Bur Hugh Allan had premised to pay this men $17,000 for these
papers, and although he had the money almost in his hand, the hon. gen-
tleman gave him something more. (Cheers.) The hon. gentleman cannot
deny that he did.

Hon. Mr. Hintingtox — L do deny it. (Opposition cheers.) The
statement is without foundation.

Sir John Macdoxald — If there is one person in the world whom
the hon. member for Shefford has a3 a friend, it is the editor and pro-
prietor of the Montreal Herald (hear, hear), I think he takes him
to his bosom ; I think they sleep together. I think they have but
one thought. He is his guide, philosopher, and friend, and when we
have the announcement from the Montreal Herald, of May the 22nd,
1873, I think we must accept it. " No one can suppose that such a
plot could have been laid bare without great labour and large ex-


penditure" (cheers), again, the Herald says, speaking of Mr. Hunting-
ton, — " But for the courage with which he assumed it, as well as for the
pains and expenditure which it has cost him to expose the mystery, he is
entitled to the warmest gratitude." (Cheers on both sides of the house.)
I judge from the cheers of hon. gentlemen opposite that the hon. member
Bhefiford has their thanks ; but that is an admission that he made the
expenditure. (Oh! oh! and cheers.) This man bought Mr. McMullen. It
is admitted by the Montreal J ft rail that he bought him. (No ! no ! and
hear, hear.)

Hon. Mr. IIintincton — I have already stated in the house that the
es were not founded on any information from Mr. McMullen, and
that the statements which have appeared were false. I never got any in-
formation. 1 m-ver got any information from McMullen till long after
I made the charges. I neve* paid UOT promised him a cent, and the state-
ment of the hon. gentleman is utterly without foundation. (Opposition
re.) The statement also that he made a few minutes ago that 1 have
: here by foreign gold, and that foreign gold had been used in
my election, is an utterly unfouml i every particular ;

and I ehall. age the h-.n. gentleman '. and dare him on his re-

libiltty to t (Mr. Huntington was proceeding, when

cries of '• I rnment benches, answered by

boa. gentleman went on ■peaking in the midst of
An uproar which rendered his remarks perfectly inaudible). On order

.i"ii\ BCagdohald proceeded. There, sir, is the very evidene

I have hi: tit him on a sore point. (Cheeis

and > itleman that I am willing to have

a committee to inquire into the whole matter, including the case of the
. Mr. lb Ohl Sou can back out es you will.

n ML&OOOVDLD — I am not backing out, but the hon. gen-
tiemancannot expect to have it all as ho likes. I'll road another extract.
"Mr. Huntington said that the charter was obtained in the session of
•r the men who furnished tho money to him (8ir Hugh
Allan) were repudiated, and made arranginents with him (Mr. Hunting-
ton) to bring the charges against the government." (Cheers.)

Online LibraryJoseph Edmund CollinsLife and times of the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, premier of the Dominion of Canada → online text (page 53 of 57)