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ods, without protest and fatal disaffection in its own body. The peaceful agencies of commerce are more fully revealing the necessary unity of all our communities, and the increasing intercourse of our people is promoting mutual respect. We shall find unalloyed pleasure in the revelation which our next census will make of the swift development of the great resources of some of the States. Each State will bring its generous contribution to the great ag. gregate of the nation's increase. And when the harvests from the fields, the cattle from the hills, and the ores of the earth shall have been weighed, counted, and valued, we will turn from them all to crown with the highest honor the State that has most promoted education, virtue, justice and patriotism among its people.

BLAKE

E

DWARD BLAKE, an eminent Canadian statesman, is the eldest son of

the late Hon. William Hume Blake, a well-known Canadian statesman, who afterward became chancellor of Upper Canada, now Ontario. He was born at the present village of Cairngorm, Ontario, October 13, 1833, and was educated at Upper Canada College (Governor-General's prizeman) and at the University of Toronto. He was called to the bar in 1856 and entered into practice in the city of Toronto. In 1864 he was created a queen's counsel by Viscount Monck; became a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1871; and treasurer of the Law Society in 1879. For a time he was one of the examiners in, and a lecturer on, equity for the Law Society; and was appointed an honorary member of the law faculty of Toronto University in 1888. He declined appointment as chancellor of Upper Canada under Sir John Macdonald in 1869; as chief justice of Canada under Mackenzie in 1875; and as chief justice of Ontario under Sir W. Laurier in 1897. His political career began in 1867, the epoch of confederation, when he was elected both to the House of Commons and the legislature. In 1869 he accepted the leadership of the Liberal party; and on the defeat of the Sandfield-Macdonald government in December, 1871 (an event largely due to his efforts), he was called on to form a new administration and succeeded in the task. He himself took the office of president of the council without salary. On the abolition of dual representation, some time later, he resigned the premiership with the view of devoting the whole of his attention to federal politics. He was one of the greatest champions in the contest over the Pacific Railroad scandal, which resulted in the downfall of Sir John A. Macdonald. When Mr. Mackenzie became prime minister of Canada Mr. Blake accepted a position in the cabinet without office. He was sworn of the privy council November 7, 1873. Owing to ill health he resigned in February, 1874. In May, 1875, he accepted office as minister of justice, and while such undertook an official mission to England. He was mainly instrumental in perfecting the constitution of the supreme court of Canada, and personally selected the first judges. After the defeat of the Mackenzi' government at the polls in 1878, he was chosen leader of the Liberal party in the House of Commons, and remained in that position until after the general election of 1887, when he retired and was succeeded by Mr. Laurier. In June, 1892, he accepted the invitation of the leaders of the Irish parliamentary party to represent them in the British House of Commons. In 1894 he was elected a member of the executive committee of the Irish parliamentary party. In the same year he was included in the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland. In 1895 he was re-elected by acclamation for South Longford. In the same year he went to New Zealand to serve as arbitrator between the New Zealand government and the New Zealand Midland Railway Company, and made his award in December, wholly in favor of the government. In 1896 he was one of the committee of fifteen of the House of Commons, appointed to investigate South African affairs and the causes of the Transvaal raid. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from his Alma Mater, in 1889,

but declined & K.C.M.G. for his public services in 1876. He was a delegate to the third Commercial Congress, London, 1893. The “ Globe called him “ the most powerful Canadian speaker whose voice has been heard by this generation;" and Lord Roseberry declared him to be “the most brilliant orator and one of the most capable statesmen of Canada."

19

SUFFRAGE FOR WOMEN

EXTRACTS FROM SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE CANADIAN HOUSE

OF COMMONS, APRIL 17, 1885

L

ET me now look at one of the most important proposi

tions, that to which I alluded a little while ago; look

to the question of suffrage for women. Now, you found a marked difference in the language of the First Minister and that of the Secretary of State, with reference to that subject. The honorable Minister of Public Works was wisely silent; he said nothing about it. I do not know what he thought. Perhaps it was because he thought so much that he said so little; but at any rate he has kept a profound silence upon the subject of woman suffrage.

The honorable gentleman, however, upon some former occasions, was disposed, I remember, when a little badinage was passing across the House, rather to take credit for the woman-suffrage clause. recollect he alluded to the ladies in the courteous and pleasant manner in which he speaks of the whole population, whether ladies or gentlemen, and spoke about the action of the right honorable gentleman with reference to it-80 I presume that he favors it too.

But the First Minister declared himself strongly in favor of the woman suffrage; he declared the time was coming, and that soon, when it would be granted, and that he would be glad to see Canada take the first final step; and he referred to Mr. Gladstone, who, he said, was in favor of woman suffrage, and to Lord Salisbury and Sir Stafford Northcote, who had declared themselves in favor of it. Now, I think

Orations. Vol. 22-18

I have read all that Mr. Gladstone has ever said on that subject—though I have not been able to refer to all his speeches since the honorable gentleman spoke-and

my

recollection is that Mr. Gladstone had not delivered an opinion in favor of woman suffrage.

I am quite certain that in the late debate, when he had to meet Mr. Woodall's motion, he did not express an opinion in favor of it. He declared he would not express an opinion on the subject. He took the line of the Secretary of State. But, if I do not greatly err, in a former debate upon the question he expressed the view that if the franchise was to be given to the other sex he saw no ground upon which it could be limited to unmarried women; he expressed the view, if I remember rightly, that it must be conferred upon married women if conferred at all. Now, the honorable gentleman says that he will adopt Mr. Gladstone's attitude, and that he will not imperil this bill on the question of woman suffrage.

But Mr. Gladstone's attitude was wholly different. Mr. Gladstone had not brought in a bill with woman suffrage in it. Mr. Gladstone had brought in a bill that did not give the franchise to women. It was a government bill, and he was handling that government bill with a government in which the question was an open question, avowedly. Some members of the government were in favor of it and others opposed to it. But what Mr. Gladstone, who had not committed himself upon the question, said, was:

“I will not imperil this bill by allowing you to add the question of woman suffrage to it at all. I will express no opinion. It is an open question so far as we are concerned, but we have a duty to discharge, and that is to carry this bill through; and those of us who are in favor of, as well

He says:

as those who are opposed to woman suffrage, to take the ground that we are opposed to tacking it on to this bill.”

But the honorable gentleman's view is different. He

“I have introduced a bill. I introduced it in 1883; I introduced it in 1884, and now in 1885; and I commend it to your attention as a government proposition. It is the government's proposition, but, forsooth, I will adopt Mr. Gladstone's views, and I will not imperil the bill.”

The honorable gentleman had better have left it out, if he did not intend to carry it. But the honorable gentleman seems to be disposed to think that he will manage the matter. Having brought it in, in the former sessions, and having, presumably, taken the opinion of his friends upon it, he still proceeded, this session, with that clause in; and presumably he took some opinions again, and in the end he is to be forced to leave it out. It cannot be called an open question. Whoever heard of

any

ministerial measure being an open question. It is not an open question, but he has been forced to relax the tight bonds of party discipline and graciously to give his followers liberty to vote as they please on this question.

Well, the Secretary of State declared that he would not discuss the subject. He said that in different Provinces that question was not accepted in the same spirit, and that in Quebec public opinion was hostile. Now the question is no doubt a very important one. It is one of the most important that can be raised. I cannot conceive a more important political question than that which is raised by this clause of this bill, and I am free to say that I do not think the First Minister discharged his duty as a leader of the government by proposing such a clause in the bill if he did not mean to pass it, nor did he discharge his duty in the way of exposition of the views of the government in his speech.

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