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concern both the destiny of the nation of commercial wealth unparalleled in and the Parliamentary character of its history, hundreds of colossal fortunes. Government. Are the energies of the made within a few years, palaces English people to be henceforth de- crowning every English hill, milesvoted to industry and maritime enter- upon miles of sumptuous town houses, prise or to territorial and military ag- London parks filled with endless trains grandizement ? That is now the ques- of splendid equipages, merchant tion between the aristocracy and the luxury outvying what was once the democracy of England. Closely con- luxury of kings, the wantonness of nected with it is the question whether plethoric opulence, squandering foreign policy, the employment of the thousands of pounds upon a china army, and the diplomatic and military vase, prove that the British workman expenditure shall be under the con- with all his faults, has not done badly trol of Parliament, or parts of the for his employer. If he strikes against prerogative of the Crown, to the ex- what he believes to be an undue reercise of which Parliament shall only duction of his wages, it is not easy to be called on to register its submission. draw a line, in point of principle, beThe immediate result is very doubt- tween his conduct and that of his emful; the ultimate result might be ployers, who combine to lock out the doubtful if it depended on the balance workmen, and sometimes in a pretty of parties in England alone. But peremptory manner. The struggle England has now, by the growth of is infinitely to be deplored, and we international sympathy and intelli- must all rejoice to see that the milder gence, been made an integral part of and more rational method of arbitraEurope, which as a whole is moving tion is gradually gaining ground. But
in the apportionment of the fruits of The Conservative party will pro- labour, the interest of society, ecobably gain by the strikes, which alarm nominal as well as moral, requires the well-to-do and order loving classes, justice, and if the associations of emwhile, from what reason it is difficult ployers had it in their power to fix to say, the strikers as a rule, do not the rate of wages, without any counsupport the Liberals in politics but teracting combination on the other rather the reverse. In Blackburn and side, it is by no means certain that Sheffield, for instance, the roughest of justice would always be the result. It the trade unions are Tory. At Shef- is quite certain that justice was far field, ten years ago, the very union from being the result when legislawhich had committed the notorious tures, entirely under the control of outrages perpetually, though unfairly, masters, made laws concerning the reimputed to all trade unions, voted lations of the masters and the men. against the Liberal, Mr. Mundella. The greatest enemy of the Unions
Of course there will also be a strong will hardly assert that the lot of the reaction against trade unions, on agricultural labourer in England, with which the blame of the commercial his three dollars a week for himself, depression is cast. •If I could only his wife and children, bis wretched have the free use of my labourer,' says hovel, his worse than prison fare, and the English capitalist, I could beat all the workhouse for his haven of rest the manufacturers of other countries.' in his old age, was one which, in the But if the capitalist could have the interest of society, called for no imfree use of his labourer, without limit provement, or deny that it has been imof hours or of severity of toil, with- proved since the labourer has learned out any restriction in regard to age combination under the leadership of or sex, would the labourer have Joseph Arch. much use of his life? A development The main causes of the depression
are manifest. They are the infringement of the monopoly which since the Napoleonic war England has enjoyed, by the growth of manufactures in other countries, and the violent impulse given to speculation by ten years of unbounded prosperity which caused the means of production to be multiplied beyond the demand. These are things with which the workman has had nothing to do, any more than he had with the tricks of trade which have brought English goods into disrepute in many foreign markets.
After all, in this contest, Labour, in spite of its unions, succumbs. In the industrial war, as in other wars, the long purse wins. The men who negotiate fasting give way to those who have had their breakfasts. The wages of the British workman will go down. And then, as food has been made very plentiful in England by importation from various quarters, as there is an immense accumulation of machinery of all kinds and a superabundance of capital, ready to set it going, production will become very cheap, and the producers of Canada and all other manufacturing countries will find themselves placed under the stress of a competition much severer than before.
every other respect as foreigners and almost as natural enemies. They will deserve the credit of at least trying to act upon
their principles and of not being mere flies on the wheel.'
But they seem destined speedily to have their attention called to the weak points of their position. Against the United States they may in some measure protect the interests of the Canadian producer ; but in the meantime their client will be drowned by a torrent from another quarter against which they cannot consistently with their political principles afford him any protection at all. Difficulties attend the task of devising a national policy for a country which is not a nation. Difficulties attend that task even from the Protectionist point of view; much more from the point of view of those who hold that what Canada really needs is free access to the markets of her own continent, and to those of the other countries which would take her goods and with which, if she were in possession of commercial autonomy, she might make terms for herself,
Whatever may be the result, however, of the present revision of the tariff, commercial questions are apparently coming to the front, while the old political issues are for the time receding into the background. Depression has forced the people to put aside party figments and turn their attention to the solid interests of the country. The last election, which turned on an economical question, is likely to prove a new departure in the politics of this country.
Together with the revelation of the National Policy Parliament will, no doubt, receive an announcement of the vigorous resumption of the Pacific Railway. There are among our lead. ing men of business those who regard the enterprise as commercially desperate, and see in it a signal instance of the sinister influence exercised by the Imperialist sentiment on the economical policy of Canada.
In view of this probability, the National Policy, which, before this paper meets the reader's eye, will have been disclosed at Ottawa, becomes a matter more of curiosity than of importance. The new Premier and his able Minister of Finance will no doubt have framed a revised tariff skilfully from their own point of view-from the point of view, that is, of statesmen who believe it possible to cut off Canada economically from the continent of which she is a part, to make her for ever a commercial as well as a political appendage of a country on the other side of the ocean, and to treat the rest of the English-speaking race on this side of it fiscally and in
these prophets may be mistaken, as hope ; but it will be by other agenLord Palmerston was when he pre- cies than those of war; and it is
predicted the failure of the Suez Canal. posterous to dream of military glory The scheme has been adopted on po- and aggrandizement to be won at the litical grounds with the consent of the expense of a nation ten times exceedcountry, and it is better in any event ing ours in numbers, increasing much that it should be carried into effect more rapidly than we do, and, as many in earnest by its authors than that a murderous field has witnessed, inthose who are not its authors, and do ferior in courage to no people in the not really believe in it, though they world. It is as a school of bodily lack courage to renounce it, should vigour, of patriotism, of comradefritter away money in half-hearted ship, of discipline, as an antidote to and wavering measures. When the some of the bad tendencies both of railroad is completed we shall 'learn democracy and of commercial life, what Manitoba and British Columbia that the Canadian aruy is likely to will be really worth to us.
be useful and worthy of a liberal supsent British Columbia brings mere ir- port; but its professional efficiency is ritation, expense and weakness. Man- of course essential to the production itoba is taking away some of our best of the moral effect. farmers, with their enterprise and capital, while her trade must be main- It seems that the Letellier quesly with the tract of country to the tion is not to be allowed to drop. markets of which she has the readiest An impression is abroad that the access, and of which, in fact, nature majority will revive the motion of has made her an integral part.
censure which was voted down last
session. Sir Francis Hincks vigor. In the last number of this maga- ously sustains the conduct of the zine there was a vigorous plea for an Lieut.-Governor. He deprecates the increase of the appropriation to the imputation of motives. Unluckily militia, which will probably find ex- in this case the motive, or to put it pression in Parliament. Undoubtedly in a rather less invidious way, the the service at present receives nig- apparent inducement is the main gard recognition
But will the peo- question for consideration. Nobody ple consent to do more for it, especi- can deny that the Lieut.-Governor ally in a time of deficit and retrench- had a legal right to change his minisment? To persuade them you must ters. Nobody can deny even that he alarm them; and what cause have acted in accordance with the formal they for alarm ? A naval war, it is theory of the constitution as set forth true, may any day break out between by such writers as Blackstone and England and some maritime power ; Delolme. But it is equally undeniin that case our mercantile marine able that in the period subsequent to would suffer; but it is very unlikely the full development of parliamentary that a landing would be effected or and cabinet government a precedent even attempted on our coasts. War for his proceeding will be sought in with the United States, though it vain. The dismissal of Lord may hover before the imagination of Palmerston is scouted by Sir Francis some of our military men, is not con- Hincks as totally foreign to the distemplated as a practical possibility by cussion, though it was brought forthe people. That Canada will greatly ward on his own side. An extraorinfluence the political development dinary use of the dormant prorogaand the general destinies of the Eng. tive of the Crown by such a functionlish-speaking race upon this continent ary as the Lieut.-Governor of a is a reasonable as well as a proud Province 'surely is a subject for remark if anything can be. The of their office ; and it is a pity that neglect of a formal observance toward their functions and powers are not the Lieut.-Governor in bringing in a perfectly defined by law, and that Government bill, for the policy of anything should be left to mere which the Cabinet was of course usage and tacit understanding. Unresponsible, might be a ground for written constitutions may do very notice, and perhaps for rebuke, but well for old countries like England, could hardly be a sufficient occasion where the tradition is thoroughly for a coup d'état. It does not appear established by centuries of practice, that the Lieut. Governor, having an and is, moreover, in the constant safe extraordinary case to deal with, and keeping of an almost hereditary caste being placed, as he must have known of statesmen. But they are not so he was, in an equivocal position, con- well suited to new countries, where sulted his natural adviser the Gover- tradition can hardly be said to exist, nor-General ; and it does appear
where opinion is without authoritative that not long before the occurrence organs, and where there is little to he had a meeting with Mr. Brown. steady or control individual fancy. The suspicion of a desire on his part The private studies of a partisan to throw the government with its Lieut.-Governor on the principles of patronage and influence into the the constitution, will be apt to have hands of his own friends before the elec- as untoward a result as the private tion was so sure to arise, even in the studies of Commander Wilkes in inmost charitable minds, that he must ternational law had in the case of the have felt the necessity of obviating Trent. it; and he might have done so by Still, to stir the question again strictly enjoining his new ministers, seems inexpedient. It is not desirable in the name of his honour and their that the advent of a new party to own scrupulously to abstain from power should be marked by reprisals
. meddling with the Dominion elec- The act of the Lieut.-Governor was legal tion.
and cannot be cancelled, nor without
the positive proof of flagrantly bad moLieut.-Governor with a political party shall be left out of sight, is surely to proceeding in the nature of an imask us to wink very hard indeed. We peachment. It was passed upon at are told that the Judges are taken the time both by the Dominion Parfrom political parties, and that, never- liament and by the people of Quebec ; theless, we give them credit for im- and though the verdict is not likely, partiality on the Bench. But our in either case, to command the deferJudges, with one exception, on enter- ence of posterity, it must, like other ing the judiciary, have finally severed verdicts delivered by the proper their connection with party ; and to authority, be taken as practically assume that they will still be un- final. able to clear their minds of the political associations of the past, is to Parliament is opened with the suppose a rare attachment to the lad- pomp and circumstance befitting so der by which we have risen when the extraordinary an occasion as the in. desired elevation has been attained. auguration of Etiquette in the new Lieut.-Governors do not sever their world. Professor Fanning, who, deconnection with their party; we ride him as you will, is the real soul have two of them in active political of this great enterprise, has gone life at this moment. Officers under down, we are told, express to teach such temptations ought, for their own the presentation bow and curtsey. sake, to be held strictly to the rules Curious manifestations of human na
ture will be seen, and perhaps some shrewd observer may collect the ma. terials for an amusing chapter in the social history of Canada.
he still clutches Ontario. A genuine Liberal be never was, for the most essential part of genuine Liberalism is. respect for freedom of opinion ; but from rampant demagogism he has now, in the course of nature, sunk into servile Toryism, and upon every question that arises, political, fiscal or commercial, he tries at once to commit the party to a reactionary course. The party, however, has probably begun to reflect that the sacrifice of its future to his political decrepitude may be a bad investment, to say nothing of more patriotic considerations; and if Sir John Macdonald has anything to propose for the good of Canada, it is not likely that he will find the Liberals of Ontario disposed to play an anti-national part for the sake of keeping the Province under the exclusive dominion of Mr. Brown.
The most robust faith in the final perfection of our Federal arrangements will scarcely survive this session of the Ontario Parliament. Everybody is saying that half a dozen Reeves and men of business would do all the work in a quarter of the time, and without any of the expense. For legislation of the more important kind, and the solution of such questions as that of City government, these local assemblies are not qualified. Whatever amount of the raw material for statesmanship there may be among us, not enough can be worked up under the circumstances of a new country to supply more than one Parliament fit for the exercise of the highest powers. Neither i Sir John Macdonald, nor anybody who is entitled to speak for him, has said a syllable about legislative union ; but there seems to be some reason for believing that he is not unwilling to make improvements in the direction of economy and simplicity if he can see his way to them. At once Mr. Brown, through his organ and his satellites, appeals to provincial selfishness and jealousy against his rival's supposed designs. Sir John Macdonald, if he has been eager and sometimes little scrupulous in the pursuit of power, if in the fury of party battle he has done things which all
, excepting extreme partisans, condemn, has at least not been devoid of generous ambition. He has desired to connect his name with the prosperity and greatness of the country; and whatever in any way conduces to them, receives from him a measure of liberal sympathy, though it may not square exactly with his own notions or contribute to his own ascendancy. But the sole aim of Mr. Brown has been to keep the country under his control. The country has shaken him off, but
With regard to the delectable question of the Pay Grab' both parties may be said to have proved themselves worthy of the prize. But the community cannot afford to forego its hold upon the special responsibility of the leader of the House. It surely was his duty when approached upon the subject with a request in the somewhat suspicious guise of a round rubbin, to insist that whatever was to be done should be done openly, with ample notice to the public and full opportunity for discussion.
If he lends himself to a plan for hurrying through, in secret session, so equivocal a measure, he may still insist on calling himself a Reformer; but it must be on some supralapsarian theory of the character, assuming that its possessor will be saved by indefectible grace, however little consonant to his professions his external acts may be.
In the case of the Algoma writ and its effect on the life of the Ontario Parliament lawyers differ and laymen must not pretend to decide. But there is one thing which even a layman may safely say—the legislative power ought not to be exercised with