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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Online LibraryJoseph Edmund CollinsLife and times of the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, premier of the Dominion of Canada → online text (page 54 of 57)
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II ii. Mr. II se to a question of order. The report of

my speech is entirely without foundation. (Cries of order, order.)
is a question of fact, and the hon. gentleman can correct it after-

6ft Ari'KXl'lX.

Sir .loi(\ Mv DOS till — I heard it myself. (Cries from government

benches, '' We all heard it.") Perhaps the lion, gentleman will deny

that he said Jay Cooke would not have him in his offioa without a witness.

Hon. Mr. li n That is another falsehood of the Ottawa

That paper, which i.s inspired by hon. gentlemen opposite, delib-

\y falsitied my speech fnnn the beginning to the end. I refused to

disgrace myself by notieing the malignant statement of the dastard sheet.

What I said was that 1 had not seen Jay Cooke for four years ; that 1

went to a prominent promoter of the Northern Pacific railway (hear, hear),

with the view of conversing with him. and found that they were the allies

of the hon. gentlemen opposit je they would not even talk to me

without people being present. (Hear, hear.)

The Umill 1 must call the h"ii. member fco order. I hope this
interruption will cease. The hon. member knows what the rules of de-
bate are as well as any one else in the house, and this plan of interrup-
em only lead to unseemly contusion in the house. The hon. gen-
;ii will ask his opportunity bom the house. I am sure it will be
given to him, and he can then make his denial on the question of fact.

Sir John Macdon'alo— I wish to invite the attention of every hon.
member of this house who is an honest and candid man, to the statement I
am making. There could be no amalgamation before the elections. In
my telegram of the 26th of -Inly I stated tha- I ion must stand o?et

until after the elections ; that the two companies would stand on per-

lie arrangements which had been made be-
Abbott should b ding line. That

ida should have seven, Tower Caned*
six, and each of the other provinces one director on the board. Not by
any chance or possibility com I r_rh Allan by his Urge capital, or

the influence created by that capital, give undue intluence OJQ the hoard f jr
Lower Canada or for himself over my own province. On the :>()th of July
I received a letter from Sir 1 [qgfa Allan. Bir Geo. Cartier being sick, stat-
ing that he had made certain arrangements with Sir George, and it was a
bad arrangement, for it was something like this, that if there should not
be an amalgamation he thought that Sir Hugh Allan's company ought to
get the charter. I received that message in the middle of my election
congest, and I said to myself it is not of much consequence whether one
c >mpany or the other gets the charter if they unite, but it will kill me, it
will kill us if the Montreal company without amalgamation receives it.
However, I telegraphed back at once that I would not agree to the ar-
rangement, and I would go down to Montreal that night. Yes, M •.
Speaker, in the midst of a severe election contest, for T was elected only

teeth- •

ie_r. Jii

lid tl

tween Mr M

lerson ami






by 130, whereas at the previous election I had a majority of 300, 1 said I
would run down to Montreal on this matter. I telegraphed to Sir Geo.
Cartier that I would not consent to the arrangement, and that my tele-
gram til the 26th of July, 1872, would be the decision of the government,
and the government would be bound thereby, and would be governed by
nothing else. 1 wish it to be clearly understood, beyond the possibility
of doubt, that the Canadian government had agreed that since it could
hoi obtain an amalgamation of the two companies before the elections
they would try to get an amalgamation after the elections, and in such an
amalgamation they would do what was fair, in order to get Sir Hugh
Allan made p resident of the amalgamated company. (Cheers.) I say
that that arrangement made by Sir George Cartier was set aside, and why I
ue it would have killed mo in Upper Canada. I telegraphed that
at the risk of my election I would go down to Montreal and put an
end to it, and Sir George Cartier, when he got my message, saw what
an absurd proposition it was, and there was an end to it, and Sir Hugh
Allan telegraphed back that the bargain was ended. At that time there
had not been 0O ITOrd said about money subscriptions. Sir, it may

/: .script ioii.s to election funds at all, but is there
any 01 nan opposite who will say he liis not expended money him-

self, or has been aided in doing BO by his friends. (Several members of
;. position here denied the charge.) Whether those acts had been
done by the members themselves Of their friends, money was spent
anda! lid be spent OH elections. I don't hesitate to say — and I

state this in the face of this house, of the country, and of the world — that
1 am l my '>ne single farthing having been spent illegitimately

and i ion laughter and cheers) —by members on

!ie house. I can tell of one man on the other
side- $26,000 ; another case lean prove of spending $30,000,

and I prove cases of spending | ,000, $7,ouo. sad 18,000,

and when the I which the hon. member for Bothwell challenged

id which I intend to move, is appointed, 1 shall give the
iter, in which Mr. I'.lain joined.) I can prove the expendi-
•y that gentleman (Mr. Ulain) himself.
Mr. I ; i \ i \ If the right hon. gentleman refers to me, I say there is not a
particle of truth in the statement. Not one single, solitary cent came out
mfairly. (Cheers and laughter.)
JOBS M u OOVALD — Perhaps the hon. gentleman has not a pocket.
Perhaps his wife has. (Laughter, and cries of "shame" from the opposi-


Mr. Ulain rose. (Cries of "order.") He said the right hon. gentleman
had made a ohm him. He would answer it at another time.

Sir John M l< DOB \li<— Before the committee which I propose to urn re,
and which will have the power to administer an oath, and which the mem-
ber for Both well has invited, I shall be able to prove the fact I stated.
The hon. gentlenrm will perhaps reserve himself for that. (Interrup-

Mr. Hoi r.'V— I raise the question of order. 1 doubt whether the right
hon. gentleman is in order in making statements alleeting the right of
hon. gentlemen to sit in this house without formulating charges to be ful-
I by i notion. Th. atleman intimates his intention <>f mak-

ing a motion at a future time, but he cannot move a motion of the kind
indicated in a d 'headdress. T aembers with having ob-

tained th- tl there for e ■ violation of the pro-

prieties of debate, and I believe of other standing orders of the house.

Mr. IIi.akk— In the case of the mem' k the proceeding is

doubly irregular, for it is in* ith an actual petition pending be-


The Speaker said a good deal of language had been used during the de-
bate which would ha used, but the subject was of such a
character that he should not interfere with free discussion. It would be
better if the minister of justice refrained from directing charges against
individual members.

Sir John M -I submit tOJOQI decision, sir, I would not have

alluded to the hon. I if it had not been for the offensive way in

which he interrupted me, and my knowledge about his case. The hon.
gentlemen opposite will find out that I know a great deal more about their
elections than they would care that I should know. I shall now proceed
with the history I ■ to the house as well as I can under these un-

seemly interruptions. Sir, there never was an occasion, there never was
a minute, in which the interests of Canada were sacrificed by the govern-
ment of Canada for election purposes. (Loud cheers. ) I say that we car-
ry out the law as well as the law can be carried out. (Cheers. ) I say
that up to the very last moment we tried to obtain an amalgamation of
the two companies. I almost went on my knees, which is not my habit, I
am sorry to say, to my friends in Toronto, for the purpose of securing
an amalgamation, and though I did not secure an amalgamation of the two
companies, yet I got an amalgamation of the two interests, and secured the
best men in western Canada. I have no hesitation in saying that in the
company chartered by the government, we have the very best men in Can-
ada, considering all the circumstances. Let us go over the whole board


from Upper Canada. There is Mr. Donald Mclnnes, of Hamilton. 1 will ask
the hon. member for Welland if he is not a merchant of standing and res-
pectability, and one of the last men to sell the interests of the Dominion to
the Yankees. I asked the Hon. Mr. Carling to come on the board, but
when the house came to the conclusion to exclude members of parliament
fr<»in that board, I obtained Major Walker, representing one of the Lead-
ing industries in the west. Then there is Col. Cumberland, and can we
suppose that Col. Cumberland, who is at the head of the great railway in-
terests, and is charged with the management of millions of dollars, would
sell himself to Sir Hugh Allan or the Yankees. (Cheers.) I asked Mr.
Fleming, the engineer, the man whose name will live on this continent for
his great ei lt>its, and who was objected to with Col. Cumber-

land and Major Walker by Sir Hugh Allan. Then thdafast man 1 asked
was Mr. Walter Shanly. To some of you Walter Shanly may be un-
known, but in the old provinoea of Canada be ii everywhere known aa be-
ing most highly . and as an engineer, the man who formerly man-
i Trunk, the man who achieved the great triumph of con-
strucing the Hoosac Tunnel. I asked him as a personal friend of mine, as
i. as one who was repreaenting a wealthy constituency, to
QO that board, and much against his will he came. In the same way
look at the lower proviso! member*. We look at Mr. EL it. Burpee.

That is a truly honoured name, I am told, in New Brunswick. Do yOU
think that BE, II. B t > sell to the Yankees, .lay Cooke, &

Co.,- (Laughter and cheers.) Then we

i, and is he likely to sell
us to the Yankees, the n lord, or .lay Cooke & Co. ? 1 ap-

• > all the members for British Columbia, some of whom were oppoe-
him in politics, whether the name of Dr. Helmeken did not inspire
respect. (Cheers.) pect to Manitoba, I will only ask you to say

whet: •, the richest and oldest merchant in Manitoba, a

man who was the last who would sell the interest of this great Dominion to

i would sell Canada. If ever any government

succeeded in accomplishing any particular object, surely this government

. and succ< ut foreigners from obtaining influence in, or

:r transcontinental railway. (Cheers.) By their line of ac»

tion, the gentlemen opposite have postponed for some years the building

of that railway, and they have besmirched unjustly, dishonourably, the

character of the Canadian government and of the Canadian people.

rs.) If there be any delay, any postponement in the completion of

'reat system of railways, I charge it to the hon. gentlemen opposite.

(Cheers.) Long after this quarrel is over, it will be recorded in the his-


tory of this Dominion of Canada that there was one body of men in this
•ountry willing to forget self, to forget party, to forget section, to build up
a great interest and make a great country, and they will say there was an-
other party who fought section against section, province against province,
who were unable to rise to the true position of ailairs, and I say the his-
tory of the future will be our justification, and their condemnation. (Loud
cheers.) But, sir, I have some more to say. I say this government has
been treated with foul wrongs. (Cheers.) I say this government has been
treated as no government has ever been treated before. It has been met
with an opposition the like of which no government in any civilized coum*
try was ever met. (Loud cheers.) I say we have been opposed not with
fair weapons, not by fair argument, not by fair discussion , as a govern-
ment ought to be opposed, but opposed in a manner which will throw
shame on hon. gentlemen opposite. (Renewed ohaojl.) When we first
met in this house, and we first discussed these Pacific railway measures, I
told you, sir, that there was a confirmed plot to kill the Pacific railway
company. The attack on the government was a secondary matter. It
was a comparatively inferior matter. But those gentlemen opposite
went into the attack for the purpose of getting in evidence as quick-
ly as possible for the purpose of sending it across the Atlantic by
cable and kill Sir Hugh Allan's enterprise, and afterwards leave the
proof of the evidence to chance. Then we found that Sir Hugh Allan,
by a very natural feeling agreed to pay a certain sum of money to
Mr. McMnllen for the return of his correspondence, which was accepted,
and the whole matter was arranged. Then blackmail was attempted to be
•ut I was not subject to be blackmailed. (Laughter.) They
did levy blackmail on Sir Hugh Allan in Montreal, and McMullen for sur-
rendering his letters to Sir Hugh, was paid $20,000, and was promised
$17)000 more on certain conditions being fulfilled. McMullen got his ex-
tra sum from some one. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Huntington) would
deny that Mr. McMullen was paid by some one. Everyone will believe
that the man who was to be paid that large sum of $17,000 did not accept
it because he was offered some larger sums. (Cheers.) I believe that
when we have the committee which the member for Bothw ? ell challenged
to move for, I shall be able to prove more than the $17,000, and I believe
I shall be able to prove there were other parties in the purchase of G. W.
McMullen, who over-bid Sir Hugh Allan. (Cheers and an opposition
member, " is it not right ? '') It was never right to buy him in the first
place, nor in the second place, but if Sir Hugh Allan by paying $17,000
committed a crime, the man who paid him a larger sum must surely have
committed a larger crime. (Laughter and cheers.) I say that you must


have a committee in order to ascertain who are the gentlemen who went
and deliberately bought those documents from Sir Hugh Allan. That may
be fair war, but some one said it was striking below the belt. The man
who goes deliberately and bribes people to hand a man's private letters,
is a man who will be marked as a criminal all his life, and the man who
goes and deliberately purchases private letters for any purpose, even
;h it may do good to the public, and expose a corrupt government,
will be generally condemned. Then we come down to a litcle more in-
famy. When I tell you that a letter of mine, addressed to a colleague at
Montreal, was deliberately stolen, and when I tell you there is no doubt
that it was stolen because it was thought to contain something that could
be made politically useful, you can understand what infamy that is.

Mr. 1 1 : i i i n n »se to a point of order, and submitted that this question was
not before the house.

Mr. Sif \ k 1:1; ruled against him stating that it came on the address, which
covered all grounds.

Sir .John M \. DONALD — When I wrote that letter to my colleague, the
Mini.- . I sent, at the same time, three telegrams to three

.pram was seen by some one acting in the in-
Ippontton, and from it they supposed that the letter would
be connected with the Paciti That letter was deliber-

ately stoh \y stolen but was stolen by anollieer of the Post Office

Department. I say stolen by an officer who was bought by some one, and
who will some day, not long distant, for the evidence it being followed up
and has not been abandoned, be found out, and it will be shown that he, be-
tiering thai tin tainedeomething that would criminate the govern*

tnd banded it over to be used in the manner
the house was I True it was that the letter contained nothin

specting the Pa id. I have got evidence beyond the possibility of

legrami were ttoien from Sir Hugh Allan's office, day

day ; that a man went to the Office night after night, after six o'clock,
and coj.ied those telegrams, and brooghl them down and sold them to tin
le safe of tho office was not broken, and that after the
1 were copied and sworn to by tho man, he was paid money for
them. I state 1 1 1 i - in presence of the house and of the country ; and there
was such a dishonest system of espionage carried on. And I say more than
this, I join with the hon. member for Ilothwell in asking for the committee,
before which I will prove all that I have said, and will put a crediblo wit-
ness in the box, who will swear he saw it with his own eyes. You can
•how poorly the governmi at has been treated. In fact no govern-
in the world could exist if every drawer is to be searched, if every


confidential servant is to be bribed by money offered to them. I may tell
you this one thing, that I had got the evidence of this treachery, parties
actually approached a secretary in Mr. Abbott's office, and offered him
money to tell how much evidence had been obtained. Mr. Abbott is pre-
sent In the house and will attest the truth of what I state. I can prove
that from the beginning to the end of this business, there w r as never a
more gross system of espionage, of corruption, of bribing men to steal
•heir employers; and I would ask how any opposition or
party in this country could stand under such an accusation if it be proved.
Sir, before 1 sit down 1 will touch \ipon one point to which I havo not
yet adverted, and that is how far a government, <>r member of a govern-
ment may concern themselves in elections, and tho necessary expenditure

ipposed expenditure of elections. I would wish to point

hat has taken plao nd. not under the old rfyime, but by

the reform party in England. It is of some importance, as showing at all
y thing I have got good authority. The house well re-
-t amounting to a revolution, which ac-
companied the passage of the Ref< >rm bill in England. Well, Mr. Speaker,

ge to say, the reform party there, who were going to purify the po-
litical atmosphere, those who were going to put down the old borough-
mongers, did i lie to spend money at elections. They did not
trust to the excellence of their measures, to the justness of their cause,
and t : lence was that before the date of the Carlton club and the

rm club, of which so much has recently been said, the Reform party
had a tret I whom do you think they gave the office to 1 It was

ml unmaker of Whiggery, Edward Ellice. Now, Edward
Ellice was the man who made the Whig government. He was a member
« 'f the government and acted as whipper-in of the party, and was the
man ordinarily employed in making arrangements about elections.
P.ut Edward Ellice was a man incapable of doing anything which he
did not think he was justified in doing. Any man who knew that right
hon. gentleman, who knew what a great influence he had on the history
of his country., would know that Edward Ellice was perhaps a greater man
for pulling the strings and making arrangements for reform than even Lord
John Russell himself. Let me tell you a little story about him. In my
boyhood, when I knew him, he often told me stories of this sort. In 1834
there happened to be a committee on the inns of court. Mr. Danie[
O'Connell was the chairman, and it came out in that investigation, which
involved the seat of a member of parliament, that Lord Westham had got
five hundred pounds from Mr. Ellice, the secretary of the treasury, in or-
der to carry the Liberal candidate. O'Connell felt it his bounden duty to


report this matter to the house, and there was a motion of censure moved
against Mr. Ellice by Mr. O'Connell. Mr. Ellice resigned his place, and
I shall read you what he said. At the time he made that speech he was
secretary of war ; at the time he expended the money he was secretary of
the treasury. He was an important man to the government, and might
have been a cabinet minister, had it not been that, as every one who knew
the history of those times knew, he would not take that position.
He was the man who arranged matters for the whigs, and he was charged
with having used the secret service money in elections, as by the way, I
was a short time ago. The right lion, gentleman then quoted from Mr.
Ellice's speech, volume 87, ** Mirror of Parliament," andnow, said he, I will
DO Sir Charles Buller. Sir Charles Buller was the head and front
ol the philosophical radicals of England. They fonned a party of their
own, and tried to engraft their principles on the politics of England, and,
did not succeed, they sowed good seed, the results of which
are seen I day. I, who was I boy, remember him, and re-

member the kindness with whieh he discussed politics with me, and I am
would have sustained the cause of the liberal party by no-
thing that was wrong. I llOU. gentleman quoted from the speech
red to. The attack was made upon Mr. Ellice that he had spent
moiK -e fund ; but when Mr. Ellice rose and said
that he had of the secret service fund, and that al-
though very large sums of money had passed through his hands for elec-
tion purposes, none of it had been improperly procured, the house passed
nh"Ut taking any action, though .Mr. O'Connell supported the mo-
tion with all his great eloquence and ability. A remark has been made in
• on one occasion 1 stated that no money had been ex-
pended by the government on elections, and in answer to the charge I
asked Mr. Kidd, 09 the hustings it South Perth, whether any money had
I at his election, and he said no, no statement could have
been truer. Sir, the money that was expended by the conmiittc
whieh I was a member, was not with the purpose or object of endangering
any man's seat. (Ironical cheers from the opposition, and cheers from the
.) 1 state distinctly, so far as 1 know, not one single
firthillg that passed through my hands was expended improperly or con-
trary to the law. If it is so, the election tribunals of the country will set-
tle that question, and, as 1 understand it, no improper expenditure has
DM!! proved in any election tribunal. (Cheers.) I say distinctly, say it
in my place as a member of parliament, ^that money was distributed for
the purpose of fighting moruy against money, fire against fire, influence
net influence ; and we were over-matched by the hon. gentlemen op-


posite. (Loud cheers.) There is one more remark that I have to make
before I sit down. The government never gave Sir Hugh Allan any con-
hut I am aware of. (Cheers.) We never gave him any contract in
which he had a controlling inlltience. We had formed a committee of
thirteen men, chosen carefully and painfully, for the purpose of control-
-;r Hugh Allan from having any undue influence. We promised, we
provided, that not one of the board should hold more than one hundred
thousand dollars of the stock ; that not one single man should have
any interest in the contract whatever, which were of course, only the
ordinary provisions in a charter of incorporation. (Cheers.)

, Mr. RpoafrT. I have only one more thing to say on this point. I put
it to V"ur OWB minds. There were thirteen gentlemen — Sir Hugh Allan
and others — incorporated by that charter. That charter — study it, take it
home with you. Is there any single power, privilege or advantage given
h Allan with that contract that has not been given equally to
her twelve I (Cheers.) It is not pretended that any of the other
twelve paid money for their positions. It is not contended that the gen-
tlemen gave anything further than their own personal feelings might dic-
tate. (Cheers.) You cannot name a man of these thirteen that has got
any advantage over the other, except that Sir Hugh Allan has his name
But on the paper. (Cheers.) Can anyone believe that the govern-
ment is guilty of the charges made against them ? I call upon any one
who does to read that charter. Is there anything in that contract? If
there is a word in that charter which derogates from the rights of Canada;
if there is any undue privilege, or right, or preponderance, given to any
one of these thirteen directors, I say, Mr. Speaker, I am condemned.
But, sir, I commit myself, the government commits itself, to the hands of
this house; and far beyond the house, it commits itself to the country at
large. (Loud cheers.) We have faithfully done our duty. We have
hi the battle of confederation. We have fought the battle of union.
We have had party strife setting province against province; and more than
all, we have had in the greatest province, the preponderating province of
the Dominion, every prejudice and sectional feeling that could be arrayed

Online LibraryJoseph Edmund CollinsLife and times of the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, premier of the Dominion of Canada → online text (page 54 of 57)