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there was only one gentleman I cared to meet, and that was Mr. Howe. The duke thereupon invited Mr. and Mrs. Howe, and we met at Stowe Park.
The visit gave me an opportunity of saying a good word on behalf of Cartier. I told the duke that Cartier was as strong in Quebec as Sir John was in Ontario, and urged that the French-Canadian leader was entitled to equal consideration at the hands of the Crown. The duke agreed to see the Queen, and later informed me that Her Majesty was quite willing, but that nothing could be done, as the Crown could not create any new members of the Order of the Bath until a vacancy occurred. I then suggested that the difficulty be got over by recommending Cartier for a baronetcy. The duke obtained the Queen's consent, and thus the breach at home was healed.
Mr. Howe became a member of Sir John's Administration six months later, accepting the Presidency of the Council, and running for Hants County, secured nearly as large a majority as he had little more than a year before as an anticonfederate. He was afraid of the effect if I entered the constituency and spoke on his behalf, so I addressed a circular letter to the Conservatives there, giving reasons why they should support Howe, and I had the satisfaction of seeing my political friends go to the polls and make up for the defections of Howe's former supporters.
The session of 1870 proved a stormy one. Sir A. T. Galt, Minister of Finance, had previously withdrawn from the Government and joined the Opposition. He was succeeded by Sir John
Rose, who subsequently resigned, and the portfolio then went to Sir Francis Hincks. Exasperated over the selection of Hincks, Sir Richard Cartwright wrote to Sir John A. Macdonald, threatening to withdraw his support if Hincks were sworn in.
From this episode arose the bitterness of feeling which ever afterwards characterised the relations between the Premier and Sir Richard. Years afterwards, in the heat of a debate, I referred to the cause which prompted Cartwright's defection from the Conservative party. Sir Richard denied the charge, and I retorted that I had seen Cartwright's letter to Sir John.
Early in the season of 1870 the Opposition made a most determined onslaught on the Government, whose fate for a while trembled in the balance. Sir John and his colleagues were harshly criticised for the unrest, if not open rebellion, which existed in Manitoba. The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, Sir A. T. Galt, Sir Richard Cartwright and the Hon. William Macdougall formed the principal battery on the Opposition benches. To add to the trouble, considerable dissatisfaction arose among the ranks of the Government supporters. There was open talk of revolt. The Hon. Mr. Masson, a strong supporter of Sir John, showed his disaffection and voiced it in a speech, and Mr. Mackenzie Bowell declared that the Government should be turned out if half of what was said about it was true.
I fought hard on behalf of the Government, and gave and received many hard knocks, and the end was that the Government was saved by a good majority.
Sir John came to me immediately afterwards and insisted that I must enter his Government. I replied that a large deputation of Liberal members from Nova Scotia had just urged me to do SO.
Mr. Howe's health was anything but satisfactory, and he was never heard at his best in the House of Commons. I accepted the Premier's invitation and was sworn in as President of the Council on June 21, 1870.
In the general elections of 1872 Howe and I swept Nova Scotia. We were both elected by acclamation, and I had then the proud satisfaction of knowing that my earlier labours had not been in vain, and that the anti-Confederation agitation was dead for all time. Mr. Howe's health gradually became worse. I knew his ambition was to become Lieutenant-General of his native province, and I discussed the matter with Sir John, who stated that any arrangement would be agree able to him; so Mr. Howe was nominated for that high honour on my recommendation.
Before leaving Ottawa Mr. Howe gave a farewell champagne luncheon, his parting injunction being : “ Boys, I want you to stand by Tupper, as he has stood by me." Poor Howe returned to Nova Scotia and had only been an occupant of Government House three weeks when he passed away