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HE HONORABLE THOMAS WHITE was born in Montreal in 1830, where
he received his education and where his early life was spent. He studied law in Ontario, but did not engage in the practice of the profession. During a number of years he was engaged in journalism in Hamilton and subsequently in Montreal, and he was one of the most brilliant writers and platform speakers of his day. He was returned to the House of Commons for Cardwell, Ontario, in 1878, and re-elected in 1882, becoming minister of the interior in 1885; and he remained in the Macdonald government until his death in the spring of 1888. His death was a great loss to Parliament and to the Conservative party of which he was a devoted member.
TWENTY YEARS OF LIBERAL-CONSERVATIVE ADMINIS
TRATION IN CANADA
DELIVERED AT THE VILLAGE OF L'ORIGINAL, MARCH 5, 1874
E are here to-day for the purpose of forming a
Liberal-Conservative Association. Mr. Hamilton
has told you that all through Ontario a similar course is being adopted by the party. You, gentlemen, have not been alone in the absence of proper organization. Unfortunately it has been the lot of the party generally to neglect the organization of the ranks and to depend upon the great skill and statesmanship of the leader.
We have been disposed to think, because our party has been in office for twenty years, it was impossible that it could be defeated, and we have trusted to that skill and statesmanship and to the fact of previous triumphs, rather than to our strong united effort to win the contest. To-day the party is becoming more organized than I believe it has ever been, and from one end of Ontario to the other, and in the other Provinces as well, the electors who hitherto have had LiberalConservatism inscribed upon their banners are uniting, so that when the day arrives they may be ready for the contest with the certainty of success.
It has occurred to me, as we are about to organize, that if possible we should know the grounds upon which we organize. Are we as Liberal-Conservatives entitled to maintain ov organization and to look forward to future party triumpla? Is the record of the past such as we may be proud of? Are the achievements of the party during its long tenure of office, such as, if we look back upon them, justify us in keeping alive our party organization, and in looking forward with confidence to the achievements of electoral triumphs in the future?
As an answer to these questions it may not be amiss, as we are about establishing this association, if I should refer, as briefly as the circumstances will permit, to the history of the last twenty years, during which the party of which we are members has held office and guided the destinies of this country. I say twenty years during which they have been in office, because although for eighteen or twenty months our opponents held the reins of power, the legislation and results of those months were such as scarcely to take from the Liberal-Conservative party the fair credit of having done whatever has been done during the last twenty years to promote the prosperity of Canada.
Let me, sir, at the outset, refer to some of the incidents connected with the formation of what to-day is the LiberalConservative party. Such of you as attended some of the meetings that were held during the contest will remember that one gentleman-a learned gentleman, who evidently, thinks he has more knowledge than those whom he came to address, and who traversed this county from one end to