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HISTORY OF CANADA.   307

practical turn to the oft-mooted project of a larger confederation of all the provinces.

Canada's Coalition Ministry.—In Canada, happily, the alarming state of affairs called forth the best qualities of her public men. A committee composed of men of all shades of politics was appointed early in the session of 1864 to take into consideration the state of the province with a view to devising some method for putting an end to the sectional difficulties which had so long distracted her. Sir John A. Macdonald—to give him his later title —tells us that when this n) mmnittee met "there was found an ardent desire displayed by all the members to approach the subject honestly, and to attempt to work out some solution which might relieve Canada from the evils under which she labored." When, a little later, the Tache-Macdonald ministry encountered defeat., nothing was left for them but to resign, or to bring on a fresh election ; with little hope, however, of any material alteration in the strength of the opposing parties. Then it was that the beneficial effect of the committee's discussions was made apparent. George Brown, who had been president of the committee, made overtures to the defeated ministers with the result that a coalition ministry was formed (June, 1864). This ministry was pledged to introduce at the next session a measure for a federal union between Upper and Lower Canada, with provisions for the ultimate admission of the other provinces and the north-west territories. It was pledged also to open negotiations at once with the other provinces with a view to the larger union. Of this ministry George Brown, Oliver Mowat—now (1897) Sir Oliver Mowal, Minister of Justice for Canada—and William Macdougall became members, and no time was lost in setting about the good work.

Conference at Charlottetown.—The Maritime Provinces had already arranged to hold a conference at Charlottetown on September 1st to discuss their own union project. During the sunnner a number of the members of the Canadian parliament, including the eloquent Thomas D' Arcy McGee (a member of the Canadian ministry), paid a visit to the Maritime Provinces, where they did much to create a cordial feeling toward Canada. When the Charlottetown convention met, a message was sent from Quebec asking if a Canadian delegation would he allowed to attend. Upon an affirmative answer being received, eight


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