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British possessions in North America, and I hope, in the interests of both, to see such an arrangement carried out.
I arrived in Ottawa on December 10, 1895, to take up the leadership of my party, and a week later called on Lord Aberdeen to hear from him officially that a peerage would be conferred on Sir Donald Smith. I had urged Mr. Chamberlain to do this as Sir George Stephen had been so honoured, and pointed out that his claims in connection with the construction of the C.P.R. were of the highest character. Some kind friend, however, put a spoke in the wheel, and Sir D. A. Smith then received but the G.C.M.G. Subsequently I saw Mr. Chamberlain again, and the peerage duly followed. Some time afterwards I approached Mr. Chamberlain with the further suggestion that in consequence of Lord Strathcona's munificent action at the time of the Boer War, arrangements should be made for the title to descend to his only daughter. Mr. Chamberlain concurred in this, and the matter was so settled.
On my attaining the position of Premier I was inundated with letters of congratulation, and I give a selection from them from persons of note :
30 Lowndes Square,
London, S.W. (1896.) MY DEAR SIR CHARLES TUPPER,-Will you permit me to congratulate you—and Canada and the Empire—upon the proposal to place you in the Premiership of your own country, and to express my sense of the great loss of mine in your absence
from it in the future. We shall miss you very greatly from all our best and most useful gatherings, and can only be reconciled to this by the knowledge of your advancement and of the gain of the statesmanship of the world.
With every good wish for 1896 and afterwards. -Believe me, yours very sincerely,
January 18th, 1896. MY DEAR SIR CHARLES, I must not, and do not wish, of course, to express any opinion in regard to Canadian politics; but you must let me write you a line of personal congratulation on the fact-as I judge from the somewhat meagre cablegrams—that, in the present crisis in Canada, you have been marked out as the essential man; and that the arrangement just now is makeshift, and will, before long, lead to your becoming Premier.
This compliment to your abilities and tact must be pleasant.
Though for at present divorced from the C.O., one follows Colonial questions with the deepest possible interest; and one is especially glad to see those whom one liked and admired coming still more to the fore.
Please do not trouble to answer this.-Yours very truly,
59 Grosvenor Street, W.,
February 8th, 1896. MY DEAR SIR CHARLES,—I cannot resist writing a few hurried lines to offer my hearty congratulations
upon your grand electoral triumph, and upon your acceptance of a high office which is, I trust, at no distant date to be exchanged for one still higher in the counsels of the Dominion.
Though regretting much upon personal grounds that so great a space is now interposed between us, I feel that much important work, upon which our sympathies are in warm accord, will be materially forwarded by the transfer of your field of labour to its present location.
There can be no doubt, as I am so glad to read that you are plainly putting before our fellow subjects in Canada, that recent events in various directions are making rapidly for the establishment of preferential trading relations within the Empire, a policy which you have so long and so earnestly advocated, and in the early attainment of which the largest share of the thanks of all concerned will be your unquestioned due.
I rely upon your not troubling at so busy a moment to answer this, and with every good wish, believe me, very sincerely yours,
JAMES LOWTHER. Kensington Palace, W.,
April 29th, 1896. MY DEAR ŞIR CHARLES,—Allow me to send you the best good wishes of the Princess and myself on the assumption of the post of Prime Minister. Your party is greatly to be congratulated that it has so strong a leader for the forthcoming electoral campaign,'and it is a pleasure to me to hear that you feel yourself well and able to undertake so heavy a task after so many years of distinguished public labour.