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CHAPTER III.
THE MACKENZIE MINISTRY.

The Pacific In 1872 there was a general election. Sir Railway. John Macdonald's majority in the House of Commons was much lessened, and in 1873, during

the first session of the new parlia-

ment, a storm arose which wrecked

his government altogether.

Different companies had been

anxious to build the railway to

~'   British Columbia. One of these

' Q1,   was formed by Sir Hugh Allan,

the head of the great steamship

line. But the government was

accused of having corruptly prom-

ised the charter to this company

Six IIt;Ga ALL.4V,   in consideration of large con-

tributions to the funds raised to promote the return of the supporters of the government at the elections, in which both political parties usually spent large sums of money. It was found that, whether or not there had been any wrong agreement, some of the ministers had certainly sanctioned those money contributions from Sir Hugh Allan while lie was an applicant for the charter. This is whaf was called the " Pacific Railway Scandal." All summer it kept the country in excitement, and in the autumn Sir John Macdonald resigned.

Alexander Alexander Mackenzie then formed a gov-Maeken:le. ernment. He was born in Scotland in 1822, and from the age of fourteen, when he was left an

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