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with the declaration that if he succeeded they would have Continental Free Trade with the United States. After a most desperate struggle that measure was defeated-a measure which would have involved the adoption by Canada of the tariff made at Washington against this country, as well as the rest of the world; and I want to know how long we could expect to be part of the British Empire if we adopted a policy of that kind. The Hon. Edward Blake deserted his party on the ground that this policy involved the annexation of Canada to the United States. We cannot over-estimate the vital importance of the rejection of that reciprocity arrangement. In that great struggle in 1891 in favour of the maintenance of British institutions, Sir John Macdonald fell, but he did not fall until he had placed on the ramparts of Canada the inscription, No discrimination against the Mother Country.'
“ This policy animated the Liberal-Conservative party then, and it animated them in the recent contest. The result you know. Mr. Borden, a gentleman of the highest character and standing, challenged the arrangement submitted by Mr. Fielding. Leading his party with great ability and sagacity, he forced the Liberal party to go to the country, and when he had done so, fought the contest in the most brilliant and effective manner from the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains to the shores of the Atlantic at Halifax. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, with his charming personality and the brilliant eloquence with which he can support any side of a question he takes up, fought to the bitter end, but only to meet that overwhelming defeat which, I think, has settled for all time the question of whether Canada
shall be British or Republican. Mr. Borden had the support of Mr. MacMaster, who gave most able aid, and of fellow members in the House of Commons. He had, too, the support not only of the Liberal-Conservative party, but of the Hon. Clifford Sifton, a previous colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and of Mr. White, another Liberal, who, I am happy to say, is now Finance Minister in Mr. Borden's Cabinet. The result was received with intense satisfaction by the mass of this country. (Cheers.) What did Mr. Balfour say, that great man whose health has obliged him to retire from the parliamentary position which he adorned ? He prophesied that it would be shown that on September 21, 1911, the future course of the Empire was set for all time. In these circumstances you can imagine how gratified I feel to see the party to which Canada from the first owes all these measures led to this triumphant position.
“But I must not forget to say that the efforts neither of Mr. Borden nor of the Conservative party, nor Mr. Sifton, nor Mr. White, were conclusive. There was a speech against reciprocitya speech that had great weight in Canada-made by a no less distinguished individual than President Taft. I find no fault with him because he was endeavouring to make the United States the dictator of the world by bringing Canada within its folds. They had half the North American continent already, but we had the better half. We have enormous resources, rich soil, and last, but not least, gigantic water-power throughout. Mr. Taft could well believe that now was the time. He said that we were at the parting of the ways. This
was their opportunity; and mark, gentlemen, how this acute statesman declared it to be the last chance of preventing the consummation of Mr. Chamberlain's policy for the consolidation of the British Empire. Talk of the obsequies of Tariff Reform-why, it is ridiculous that any man should be found in this country to talk of such a thing. Mr. Taft saw with an eagle's eye that Mr. Chamberlain's policy was perhaps the only means by which the great British Empire could be made greater still. As an intelligent statesman, he knew that the progress made by that movement since Mr. Chamberlain laid down his high office in 1903 has been one of the most gigantic and overwhelming changes that has ever taken place in this country. Mr. Taft's speech sank deeply into the heart of every intelligent man in Canada who had to decide on the question, by Mr. Taft's showing, whether Canada was to be Republican, or to become with the other great dominions and the Mother Country an Empire overwhelmingly strong and in a position to dictate the peace of the world. No person can attach more importance than I do to the position at which Canada has now arrived—a position which will render this Empire the bulwark of the throne and British institutions, a greater Empire than the world has even seen."
MY PREMIERSHIP, AND AFTER THE downfall of the Conservative party in 1895-6 was occasioned by the determination of the Government not to deal with the Manitoba school question in the session of 1895. The delay resulted in that question being thrown into the final session of Parliament which ended on a certain day, and enabled Sir Wilfrid Laurier, leader of the Opposition, to join with a large section of the Orangemen in preventing the Government from passing the remedial legislation giving effect to the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council. Sir Wilfrid had himself previously demanded the strongest form of coercion of Manitoba by demanding the disallowance of the Act of the Manitoba Legislature abolishing separate schools. The attitude taken at that time by Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir John Thompson was that the question being before the Courts, the final decision of the Privy Council must govern it.
When a majority of the members of the Bowell Cabinet had resigned and the party had been broken into pieces, I was reluctantly induced to come to the rescue on the meeting of Parliament in 1895. Asked by the recalcitrant members of the Cabinet to assume the leadership, I refused, declaring that I would not do so except at the request of_the
Premier, Sir Mackenzie Bowell. It was not until all efforts on his part at reconstruction had failed that he requested me to become leader of the party. I told him I would do so if he was prepared to receive back all of his colleagues, to which he assented.
The Government was then reconstructed by my appointment as Secretary of State and leader of the party in the House of Commons until after the session was over, when, by arrangement, I was to succeed Sir Mackenzie Bowell as Prime Minister. Sir Mackenzie proposed that my son, Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, should succeed me in the office of Canadian High Commissioner in England. I told him that in view of the vitally important question of the establishment of a fast Atlantic steamship service, for which I had previously made arrangements with Mr. Chamberlain, and the impending Pacific Cable Conference, I thought it desirable that the position should be tendered to Sir Donald Smith, in view of his prominent financial standing. One of my first official acts on assuming the Premiership was to make this appointment. Sir Mackenzie was also appointed jointly with him as one of the delegates to represent Canada at the Cable Conference.
In consequence of Bowell's refusal, in 1885, to deal with the Manitoba school question at the previous election by seeking to carry out the decision of the Imperial Privy Council, the Hon. A. R. Angers, one of the French-Canadian members of the Cabinet, had resigned, and efforts to fill the vacancy had proved fruitless.
When I moved the second reading of the remedial