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CHAPTER VIII.

FIRST YEARS OF THE BORDEN MINISTRY.

\ TheReciproe-The Parliament of Canada had a very ity Question. lengthy session in 1911, despite a welcome holiday to enable some of its members to go to England for the coronation. It happened that the old question of a trade agreement with the United States had come up again, and there was very strong feeling for and against it. The farmers, especially those in the new grain-growing provinces of the \Vest, had long been urgent for " Reciprocity," but the manufacturers, as a rule, were averse to it. In 19o9, however, the United States government, which had refused several times since 1866 to make a new reciprocity treaty with Canada, had offered to lower the import duties on certain commodities, if Canada would do the same. Accordingly the two governments had worked out an agreement, and the United States had passed a law to give it effect; but when Sir Wil-feid Laurier tried to do the same he was met with such determined opposition that he could not get the bill through the House. At last he asked the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament, so that the people, by means of a general election, might decide for or against Reciprocity.

Sir Wilfrid A most exciting campaign followed. For Defeated. weeks before the election day (September 21st) the best speakers of each side hurried from one meeting to another, trying to persuade the electors to vote with them. The end of it was that Sir `Vlfrid Laurier and the Reciprocity Bill suffered defeat, and on October 6th the Liberal ministry resigned.

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