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other colonial statesman; but who at a time of great political crisis, when the interests alike of his party and his country seemed at stake, was tempted to aid his friends in a contest against sectional prejudice backed by the substantial aid of large money support, by accepting from a wealthy member of his party a large subscription toward party funds; who suffered defeat from it; but who throughout all the period of these discussions remained uncharged even of personal corruption for his own advantage; who even when accepting this subscription to party funds was careful not to allow it to embarrass him in his public duty; and when the time came to deal with the wealthy donor kept himself in a position to treat with him on terms of perfect independence and with a single eye to the public interests.
And, sir, when hereafter, when the discussions of to-day have been forgotten, and the influences which prompt those discussions have passed away, the correspondence of Sir Hugh Allan with his American associates comes to be read, and from it is ascertained what Sir Hugh aimed at, and that is contrasted with what he got in the charter, it will require neither skill nor courage to vindicate the great LiberalConservative leader from the aspersion of having entered into an agreement to sell a valuable public franchise for gold, with which to corrupt the electors of the country. Perhaps, gentlemen, the time has not come for that sober second thought to assert itself; but that it will come I feel as certain as that I am addressing my good friends in the county of Prescott to-day.
And now, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, why is it that we are to-day forming this association? I have shown you that the policy of the past has been sufficient to solve all the great questions which have agitated the country during the
last quarter of a century. I have shown you that the party which has just attained to office after years of agitation has not one single reform which it can call its own upon which to appeal for public sympathy and support. If, then, the great questions which have agitated parties in the past have been settled, why should we have a party organization such as is now proposed?
We must not forget that under the constitutional system which we happily possess in Canada, based as it is on the ·model of that of the mother-land, government by party is essential to the well-being and the proper government of the State. An opposition in Parliament is as essential as a gove ernment and performs almost as important a function in the administration of the affairs of the country. Not an opposition influenced simply by a factious desire to upset the administration or embarrass it in its work. That is not the ordinary work which a party out of office has to perform. The gentlemen now in power and their friends did their best when in opposition to bring our entire constitutional system into disrepute by forgetting this sound rule. Every measure of the old government was opposed with all the bitterness they could bring to bear upon it, and that from their peculiar temperament was not a little. And yet to-day we have the statement from ministerial lips, that the policy of the
new government will be in the main the same as that of the old.
The duty which is before us as Liberal-Conservatives is to illustrate by our conduct what a constitutional opposition is, as the party when in office presented the spectacle of a constitutional government. The duty of an opposition is not to obstruct, but to assist the government in carrying on the affairs of the country. That does not imply that the government should be supported, but it does imply that all measures submitted by them and all acts of administration committed by them shall be subjected to such fair and candid criticism as will tend to produce as nearly a perfect government as it is possible to have. And it is because of the necessity for this opposition in the interests of good government that the Liberal-Conservatives should organize in every part of the Dominion as you are proposing to do here to-day. Such an organization will prove to the government that it is certain to be subject to a careful vigilance; and it will give to the minority elected to fight the battle of the Opposition in Parliament the encouragement of knowing that although the representation of the party in Parliament has been greatly reduced, there is a stalwart body of men in all the constituencies upon whose intelligence and political firmness and integrity they can rely for support.
The difficulty which may present itself in the formation of these associations is a definition of distinct principles. But there is one principle, and I name it not as distinguishing us from our opponents, for that would imply a charge I should be very sorry to make, viz.: the principle of British connection, which should constitute a first plank in any platform the party may adopt.
You know, gentlemen, at this moment efforts are being made in different parts of the country to start new parties. We have in the city of Toronto one party taking as its motto “ Canada First,” and another taking as its motto “Empire First.” From my point of view both titles are admirable as mere mottoes, but neither by itself meets the requirements of the country.
Canada First”-let that be our motto in everything affecting the interests and prosperity and wellbeing of this country; let it be our motto in making the name of Canada an honored name, whether in legislation or com
merce, the world over; let it be our motto in the dissemination of such information relating to our institutions and resources as will make the Dominion an attraction for the emigrating millions of the Old World. “Canada First!"
Let that be our motto so far as the interests of the Dominion, separate and distinct from those of the mother country, so far as they can be so, are concerned. Empire First! Let that be our motto so far as the interests of the glorious empire with which we are connected are concerned. Empire First!”
Let that be our motto in our reverence for the dear old flag and in our prayer that it may be borne as loftily in the future as it has been in the past. And if at any time danger should threaten it, and we should be called upon to vindicate in other form than by words our loyalty to the throne, then let “ Empire First” be the guiding star under which we shall illustrate that the Queen has in this new Dominion as loyal, stalwart sons and as devoted and fair daughters as in any other part of her vast realms.
But let us take neither to the exclusion of the other. Both are mottoes worthy of our respect and worthy of being accepted by us. Our great object should be as a party to go conduct our public discussions, to so maintain our principles and views, that when the time of electoral struggle comes as come it must before long, we shall be able to show such a front as to save us from the defeats of the past and secure for us the triumphs of the future.
at Castletown, County Cork, Ireland, in 1830. When a young man he went to Dublin and engaged in the work of illustrating books and periodicals. In 1855 he became editor and proprietor of “ The Nation," and a few years later, having indulged in bold utterances that were considered seditious, he was thrown into prison. The following year, on the 23d of November, 1867, three Irishmen named Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien, known as the “ Manchester Martyrs, were executed in front of Salford jail for tbe murder of a police officer during the rescue of two Fenian leaders, Col. Kelly and Capt. Deasy, and for an article on the executions which appeared in the “ Weekly News” Sullivan was sentenced in February, 1868, to six months' imprisonment, lut was released when half the term had expired. In 1874 he was elected member of Parliament for Louth, and in 1876 was called to the London bar. In 1880 he was chosen to represent Meath. He died October 17, 1884, at Dublin, and was interred, amid impressive demonstrations of national grief, in the “ O'Connell Circle” of Glasnevin cemetery. His principal publications were “ The Story of Ireland," a delightful compendium of history issued in 1870 and still enjoying an immense circulation among the Irish at home and abroad; “ New Ireland, a series of vivid sketches of Irish life, published in 1877; and “A Nutshell History of Ireland,” which was brought out in 1883. As an orator he enjoyed great popularity, and an interesting collection of his speeches in Parliament, on the platform, and at the bar, was published in 1884.
“DISESTEEM OF THE LAW"
FEBRUARY 20, SPEECH DELIVERED FROM THE DOCK AT DUBLIN,
Y LORDS AND GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY,
I rise to address you under circumstances of em
barrassment which will, I hope, secure for me a little consideration and indulgence at your hands. I have to ask you at the outset, to banish any prejudice that might arise in your
minds against a man who adopts the singular course -who undertakes the serious responsibility—of pleading his own defence. Such a proceeding might be thought to