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118   HISTORY OF CANADA.

Germain seized the opportunity to reward his political friends in England. In many ca.., far from appointing good resident officials, he sent out inferior men to take the place of old officers who had done their work in person and had done it well. The evil Carleton desired to see diminished was thus rather increased. The governor also complained that, the fees and salaries were altogether too high for a young colony.

Sir Frederick Haldimand.—Carleton was succeeded in 1778 by Sir Frederick Haldimand, a Swiss by birth, who had risen by merit alone to his present position. His instincts were those of a soldier, and he was inclined to deal somewhat summarily with those who were suspected of intriguing with Congress. The number of those who were imprisoned n,,,s, however, been much exaggerated. Even Haldimand's critics, as already intimated, acquit him of all personal malice in the performance of   . in

very trying times, he conc   ' to be his duty in defence of
the province. Congress agents were undoubtedly abroad in the parishes stirring up disaffection, and Haldimand's "rough but honest absolutism" was n,o,. at of place in a time of war, when threats of further invasion were being constantly reported.

Traders in the Council.—The council, very early during Haldimand's term, gave proof of its selfish character. Taking advantage of the need for large supplies to maintain the troops, a ring of traders by clever manipulation created an artificial scarcity in wheat. A bread famine was the result. Haldimand endeavored to have laws passed to prevent forestalling (the buying up of wheat in large quantities in advance), but the traders in the council rejected the proposed ordinance. Fortunately the promise of a good harvest and rumors of peace broke the ring, and prices came down to their ordinary level. There was much activity at this time among Montreal merchants in carrying on the western fur trade, and supplies much greater than were required for purposes of barter with the Indians were being shipped in that direction. Fearing that these might find their way by roundabout channels to the Congress troops, Haldimand curtailed the issue of passes for the Indian trade, and thus incurred the further displeasure of his councillors.

Agitation for Further Changes.—upon the return of peace in 1783, the internal affairs of the province began to attract


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