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332   HISTORY OF CANADA.

of which Sir Hugh Allan was president, and to it the contract was let. In the session of 1873 a formal charge was made against the government that the company had bought its charter by means of large subscriptions to the ministerial campaign fund for the election recently held. Evidence was taken before a Royal Commission ; and, though the ministers denied the existence of any corrupt bargain, the fact that very large sums had been paid them for use in the elections was clearly proved. This transaction —known as the Pacific Scandal--wrecked the ministry, and early in November Sir John A. Macdonald resigned office.

The Mackenzie Administration. — He was succeeded in the office of premier of Canada by the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie. Parliament was dissolved, and as the result of the election a large majority was returned to support the new ministry, which held power for nearly five years. The introduction of the vote by ballot in Dominion elections by an Act passed in 1874, the establishment of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1875, and the Canada Temperance Act of 1878 (usually called the Scott Act), were among its legislative achievements. The construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was taken up as a government work. The policy of the Mackenzie government in reference to this great undertaking was much criticised by the opposition, but now that the road is an accomplished fact nothing can be gained by going over the old grounds of dispute. British Columbia was much incensed at the announcement that the road was to be built slowly, and it required all Lord Dufferin's tact and eloquence to still the outcry. A world-wide depression in trade, which set in toward the close of 1873 and lasted for several years, led to the adoption, by Sir John Macdonald and his party, of what is known as the " National Policy " of protecting home industries by heavy duties upon goods imported from other countries. This policy received such support throughout the Dominion that in the general election of 1878 the Mackenzie ministry was utterly routed, and Sir John A. Macdonald returned to power supported by a very large majority in the House.


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