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doubted rights, dismissed his Govern bate on the address, the Opposition ment. This he did on three separate succeeded in carrying a vote of congrounds: firstly, because he doubted demnation against the Ministry, owing whether his advisers possessed the to the absence of a supporter of the confidence of the electors ; secondly, Government. This was the only case, because his ministers had introduced however, in which the Opposition measures without laying them before gained a point, all other motions imhim, and obtaining his sanction; and, plying want of confidence being negathirdly, because his ministers, know tived by the casting vote of the Speaking of his determined hostility to the Affairs dragged along the new Railway and Stamp measures, had Premier doing his utmost to give the passed them through, nominally with province a pure and honest administrahis consent, although he had never tion, and practising economy, and sanctioned them, instead of either checking reckless waste in all direcabandoning them or resigning their tions. In October, 1879, Mr. Jolyoffices.
a statesman of the Bayard mouldMr, de Boucherville refused to nom found himself the captain of a partially inate his successor, and His Hon attainted crew. There were six deserour then sent for Mr. H. G. Joly, tions from the ship, and he fell an easy now Sir H. G. Joly de Lotbiniere, and victim to the wiles of his enemies. Commissioner of Inland Revenue for A little later the fortune of politics reCanada, who was instructed to form a stored Sir John Macdonald to power Government and assume full responsi at Ottawa, and Mr. Letellier's head bility for Mr. Letellier's act. It may be fell into the basket. That was the price said here, that a large part of the English he paid for trying to govern the provpopulation was dissatisfied with the ince by constitutional laws. His “usede Boucherville administration on sev tulness is gone” was the edict issued eral points, and this important element, wealthy and enterprising, had to be reckoned with. Mr. Joly had no difficulty in getting followers, and on the 8th of March, 1878, his Government was ready for business, Agriculture and Public Works becoming his department. The Opposition promptly stopped the supplies, dissolution ensued, and the country was appealed to, resulting in the defeat of the Bleus. Three of the ex-Ministers were beaten at the polls ; several important Conservative constituencies were lost. The House assembled shortly after the election, and Mr. Arthur Turcotte was elected Speaker by a majority of one, the vote standing 33 to 32. In the de
THE HON. SIR J. ADOLPHE CHAPLEAU, K.C.M G., LL.D.
liant orators, sharing with Mr. Laurier the praises of enraptured audiences. He was born at Ste. Therese de Blainville, Terrebonne, on the 9th of November, 1840, studied law, and was enrolled a barrister in 1861. His Q.C. came to him twelve years later. He has filled many positions of trust. Criminal law and international law, were, respectively, his chairs in Laval University. A born leader, and popular, he never had any difficulty in attracting infuential friends to his side. In 1873 he was Solicitor-General; three years afterwards he was Provincial Secretary. In 1878 he was chief of the Opposition, and in 1879
he became Premier and HON. J. A. MOUSSEAU, Q.C.
Commissioner of Agricul
ture and Public Works, against him, and a new king was en and a year after he took the portfolio of throned in his stead. Mr. Joly, during Railways, then a very important departhis short tenure of office, proved his ment of the public service. Mr. Chapcapacity as a departmental and execu- leau's statesmanship was characterized tive officer. He was conciliatory, oblig- by daring, enterprise and broad-mindeding, courteous and manly. For the ness. His career in the comparatively cause of Forestry he has done more small arena of Quebec attracted the than one man's work. Queen's Uni attention of Sir John Macdonald, alversity and Bishops of Lennoxville ways on the alert for lieutenants of made him a Doctor of Laws. After ability, and, in answer to repeated relong retirement from public life, the quests from that veteran chieftain, Mr. County of Portneuf elected him last Chapleau in 1882 entered the DominJune, a member of the House of Com- ion Government as Secretary of State. mons, and Mr. Laurier invited him to He remained in the Cabinet until aptake a seat in his Cabinet. For his pointed to his present post, the Lieut.many services to Canada ---for he was Governorship of Quebec. In Novemin public life as early as 1861—he re ber, 1874, he espoused the hand of Miss ceived the honour of knighthood at the Marie Louise King, daughter of Col. hands of the Queen, on the recommen King of Sherbrooke. On the hustings, dation of his unvarying friend, the Earl as well as in debate in Parliament, Mr. of Aberdeen.
Chapleau has few equals as a speaker. Mr. Joly's successor was, of course, His style is clear, argumentative and Mr. Chapleau, at present Lieutenant convincing, his manner is striking, Governor of Quebec, a Knight Com- and his gestures, though few, are elecmander of St. Michael and St. George, trifying. As an organizer in a great and ex-Secretary of State for Canada. election campaign his superior has yet He is one of the Dominion's most bril to be found. Neglectful of no resource,
untiring in his every effort, he has car reign was brief andlittle of importance in ried to success many candidates who, the way of legislation occurred. It was left to themselves, would scarcely have during his term of office that the comsaved their deposit money. In repar mittee was appointed to look into the tee he is as quick as a flash. Inter Civil Service question, and in the reruption adds so much to the brilliancy commendation of that Commission many of his speech, that his enemies have employes were sent adrift. been wont to say that the interrupters shown that the State was paying far were set up by himself to ask questions too many persons for the amount of that he might discomfit them, to the work which efficient service demanded. amusement of the crowd and their The Government's action was criticised, own chagrin. This, however, may be and many of the dismissed officials only a scandal. A strong party man were reinstated. The effect of the in provincial and Dominion politics, enquiry, however, on the whole, was Sir Adolph Chapleau has acted as Chief not bad. In January, 1884, Mr. MousMagistrate of Quebec in a most impar seau, who was Attorney-General as tial and constitutional manner, earning well as. Premier, resigned, and was apin that capacity golden opinions from pointed a judge. He died a few years Government and Opposition members. afterwards, much regretted. He was
In July, 1882, Quebec looked to Ot succeeded by the Hon. John Jones tawa for a Premier, and found him in Ross, M.D., who took the portfolio of the person of the Hon. J. A. Mousseau, Agriculture and Public Works. Secretary of State at the Dominion Dr. Ross was an old parliamentary capital. He had taken a very active hand, having been in politics since part in the debate in the House of Com 1861. Before the Union he was an mons, which led to the dismissal of Mr. Assembly-man. After the Union he Letellier from office. He had made was a member of the House of Coma powerful speech in support of his views, and his friends thought that in Quebec he would find ampler scope for the display of his abilities. Nor were they disappointed. He had a good knowledge of men and events, and his long newspaper training had furnished him with a ready and trenchant pen.
Though his experience as a parliamentarian had been short, his skill in grasping details soon made him familiar with the work of the House, and it was not long before he took a commanding position among his colleagues. Good-natured in disposition, he easily made friends ; of real enemies he never had one in the world. He made a very good Premier, though his
HON. JOHN JONES ROSS, M.D.
uary, 1887, the Hon. L. O. Taillon formed a Government
and met the House. The ministry lasted little more than day, the Opposition, led by Mr. Honoré Mercier, defeating it on the first vote. Mr. Mercier, then sitting for St. Hyacinthe County, was sent for, and invited to form a Cabinet. This he managed to do in a couple of days. He became Attorney-General and President of Council. It was in Mr. Mercier's time that the gravest crisis in provincial politics, that had occurred since Confederation took place. For a second time, in its short history, Quebec was called upon to witness the dismissal of a ministry having the confidence of the electors at its back. And
by the irony of fate, the mons, the Legislative Council and the Lieutenant - Governor, who performSenate. When called upon to form a ed the happy despatch on this ocGovernment by Lieutenant-Governor casion, was the same gentleman who Robitaille, he was a member of the in 1878 was Attorney-General of the Provincial Upper House. His Adminis Province and suffered a like indignity tration included some of the best men at the hands of Mr. Letellier, for in the country, several of whom had
years the political friend and chief of been members of former administra Mr. Mercier and his followers. The tions. Though physically weak, through Mercier Administration was strong in serious illness of many years' duration, ability and boldness. The leader was the new Prime Minister brought to bear one of the most brilliant politicians, on his office lengthened experience in which his native province had ever public affairs, extensive knowledge of turned out. He was a captivating the needs of the province, force of speaker, and though he could not boast will, intellectual robustness, and the of the eloquence of Laurier or of Chapquality of caution, derived, no doubt, leau, he was equally effective in debate, from his Scottish ancestry. He was
and in presenting his arguments in a masterful, and with his methods it clear and convincing style. would be dangerous to interfere, but He had a magnetic influence over his colleagues who knew him well, men which was irresistible, and this trusted him fully, and, recognizing his power enabled him, at any time, to extraordinary mental strength, accepted secure for whatever purpose he had in his leadership implicitly. He carried hand the very man upon whom he on affairs successfully until the general could depend with certainty. While elections of 1886 changed the political his word was law in the Council-room, colour of parties in Quebec. He re he was never domineering nor arrogant. signed with his colleagues. In Jan He always trusted in his own powers
of persuasion, and after a few words of committee to be formed of members earnest pleading the recalcitrant in of both sides of the House. The variably yielded the point, and grace Lieutenant-Governor was not satisfully, sometimes gladly, accepted the fied, and insisted on having his own situation. The story of the downfall way. The Royal Commission was apof the Mercier règime is, perhaps, too pointed, and performed its duty. Mr. fresh in the minds of the readers of Mercier, in his evidence, admitted the these pages to need enlargement here. misapplication of the funds, but disThe immediate causes of the crisis grew claimed all personal knowledge of the out of the Baie des Chaleurs Railway transaction, and threw the blame enscandal, which was discovered by acci tirely on the shoulders of his quondam dent during the sitting of the Railway agent. The absence of certain letters Committee of the Senate at Ottawa. by the ministers implicated rendered was found that one hundred thousand the investigation incomplete, but dollars of public money belonging to the enough was elicited to absolve four Province of Quebec had been misap members of the Cabinet, including the plied. An investigation was held, and treasurer, from fault, while against the certain members of the Quebec Govern Attorney-General and the Provincial ment were summoned to the Federal Secretary
suspicious circumcapital and requested to testify. This stances were found. Two of the memthey declined to do, on the ground that bers of the commission furnished His the Senate had no right to enquire into Honour with an interim report, on the Provincial affairs. No effort was made strength of which he dismissed his to force them, but other witnesses gave Government, and for a second time evidence, and enough was found to called upon Mr. de Boucherville to place in the hands of the Lieutenant form a Cabinet. The general elecGovernor a weapon which he did not tions of March, 1892, resulted in the shrink from using. He demanded from his advisers an explanation of their conduct, and suggested the immediate appointment of a Royal Commission, to be composed of three Superior Court judges, whom he named, to investigate the whole affair. To this Mr. Mercier demurred. He complained of the personnel of the proposed commission, two of the judges having, for years, been violently opposed to him in politics. He preferred to have a commission of one judge, and named the Chief Justice of Quebec, who had long retired from political life, and, though a Conservative, was not regarded as a partisan.
The Premier's preference was, of course, for a Parliamentary enquiry, the