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of political picnics during the summer months. Not one portion of the province was overlooked.
I had one amusing experience during the first by-election, that of North Renfrew, where the Liberals announced three meetings. Our friends in that riding telegraphed me to meet Mr. Mackenzie, the Premier, who had been induced to speak on behalf of the Government candidate. At the ticket office whom should I encounter but Mr. Mackenzie ? He seemed very angry, and refused to recognise me. We both boarded the same train -on a line which at the time did not extend as far as our destination. When we got to the end of the run we found that the hotel-keeper had reserved us a small table for dinner, our coming evidently having been announced. Seeing the situation, Mr. Mackenzie-who was not without humour -burst out laughing, and I confess I did likewise.
Well, Tupper," he said, as we seated ourselves opposite each other, “I guess we had better make the best of it. My friends have sent me a sleigh to cover the rest of the trip, so you had better share it with me.”
“Thanks," I replied in declining; “but my friends have done the same."
Then and there we agreed upon the arrangements for the meeting. Mackenzie was to speak first, I was to reply, and the Premier was to be allowed fifteen minutes to close the meeting. I drove there in my own sleigh. Mr. Mackenzie spoke very pleasantly, and I could only reply in kind. Then he used his fifteen minutes to make an effective attack. I respected our previous arrangement and had to take my medicine. Mr. Mackenzie proposed
the same arrangement for the next meeting and I agreed.
But I was not caught napping that time. He spoke very pleasantly in his first address, but I used the opportunity to criticise his Government in the severest terms and evened up the score. And as Mr. Mackenzie had only fifteen minutes in which to close the meeting, he did not make a very effective reply. The election was won by the Conservatives, whose candidate was the Hon. Peter White, who later became the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Another memorable by-election was the contest in Toronto to fill up the vacancy created by the elevation of Mr. Moss, the Liberal member, to the bench. Our candidate, the Hon. John Beverly Robinson, won by over five hundred majority. It was at the declaration of the poll that Sir John A. Macdonald made his first public reappearance after his defeat. He received a hearty reception. We toured the province together for the next two years. Our party unseated many Liberal members in the Court for corrupt practices, and we won a majority of the by-elections in every one of which in Ontario and the Maritime Provinces I actively participated In our various tours the Toronto Globe criticised my speeches the day after their delivery, and it was my invariable rule to demolish its arguments at the very first opportunity.
One of my other favourite subjects was the so-called “Pacific Scandal.” I publicly defied the Liberals at their own meetings to put their finger on one parliamentary supporter who had left us on that account, and proved that bribery by the
Liberals had caused the defections in our ranks. No fewer than six of our supporters left us to accept seats in the Cabinet; others were placated with governorships or with fat contracts. Sir Albert Smith, of Westmoreland, first elected as a Liberal, got back to the House in 1872 by running as a Conservative. His reward for bolting was the portfolio of Marine and Fisheries. The Hon. Mr. Cauchon, later Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, got a seat in the Cabinet for deserting. He was the individual whose “corruption smelt to Heaven," according to the indictment of the Toronto Globe.
The Hon. Isaac Burpee, a former Liberal elected as a supporter of Sir John, was given the Customs portfolio. Two other renegades, Ross of Cape Breton and Coffin of Shelbourne, also became Cabinet Ministers. The Hon. David Laird became Minister of the Interior and afterwards Governor of the North-West. Laird hailed from Prince Edward Island. I went over there in 1872 to take part in the general election. Laird persuaded me to leave. He said that the Liberals on the island would give solid support to the Conservatives, because the Liberals in Ottawa had declared the union terms granted the island were too favourable.
The following letter from Sir Francis Hincks is interesting in relation to this “Pacific Scandal” question :
418 St. Antoine Street, Montreal,
3rd Feb., 1873. MY DEAR MR. TUPPER,—There is a subject on which I had thought of speaking to you during your late visit to Montreal, but I did not get a favourable opportunity, and at last decided that I
could do better by writing. You must have noticed how the Press, in the interests of the present Ministry, ring the changes incessantly on the alleged "Charter selling.” That is the favourite term for our Pacific railway policy. Now, for many reasons, there is no one who can deal with this cry so well as yourself. There was not a dollar of Allan's money spent in the Maritime Provinces; there was not a member of the Government from the Maritime Provinces who was aware of any fund for carrying elections
-or, rather, for aiding in the payment of those expenses—which have been sanctioned by long usage, and which both parties resorted to, as the late proceedings have established. You, therefore, apart from your aptitude, for other and obvious reasons, are peculiarly competent to deal with this charge, and although I would not recommend the introduction of the subject, I can hardly doubt that an early opportunity will be afforded, if not by the Ministers themselves, by some of their warm supporters.
You could completely demolish these charges, at all events, by showing that the Ministerial plan for constructing a Pacific railway received the sanction of Parliament, and was never deviated from in the slightest degree except the very humble alteration regarding the land, which was to be subject to the approval of Parliament. Now if you look at the names in the two charters, 1872 Caps. 72 and 73, you will find that there was reasonable ground to hope that the scheme would be successful. The Ministry had no desire but to carry out the scheme. The amount of subsidy in land and money had been fixed by Parliament, and if there