A HISTORY OF CANADIAN WEALTH

CHAPTER XVII

DISTRIBUTION OF RAILWAY SUBSIDIES



The circumstances of the promotion of the Caraquet Railway and the operations of its chief promoter and owner, K.F. Burns, member of the House of Commons for Gloucester, occupied discussion in Parliament on May 8, 1890.  This was a railway chartered, in 1874, to run from a point near Bathurst to Caraquet in New Brunswick.  This distance originally was to be about 60 miles.


Caraquet Railway Transaction


Directing his attention to this transaction, Edward Blake said that Burns represented and owned eleven-twelfths of the subsidies that the Caraquet Railway Company had received.  The Dominion Government, Blake said, had given a subsidy of $224,000, of which Burns’ eleven-twelfth share would be $205,000, and the Government of the Province of New Brunswick had donated a subsidy of about $180,000 of which Burns’ share would be $165,000.  These amounts, Blake figured, made a total from both Governments “ for the corporate Burns ” of $370,000.1

In a sort of prefatory style, doubtless to let other members know that this was not a personal attack upon Burns, nor solely applying to him, Blake quoted J.C. Rykert, then a member of the House of Commons, as saying in an address to his (Rykert’s) constituents, “ Why I should be singled out for public censure when there are dozens of members in the same House, who not only have applied for and obtained limits for themselves, but sit there daily voting money into their own pockets, I cannot understand.”2

Blake proceeded.  He told how Burns was the president, contractor, financier and altogether the general all-in-all of his own company.  The capital stock of the Caraquet Railway Company had been subscribed to the full amount of $950,000, of which about $751,000 had been paid in.


Ways of Railway Contractors


Edward Blake 1833-1912 “ I believe,” Blake went on, “ that the whole cost of the enterprise, rails included, at fair values, with contractors’ profits, was provided for out of the Government subsidies and the sale in bonds in England for 100,000 sterling ;  and not merely was the whole cost, at fair values, with contractors’ profits, so provided, but there was left an excess of a very considerable amount, which went into the pockets of the honorable member for Gloucester.  So that he received eleven-twelfths of the stock, and he made a considerable fortune out of his construction account.

“ It is quite possible to project a railway as disastrously as this railway has resulted, and yet make a fortune of the undertaking. . . . I believe the honorable member paid a very large proportion, probably about three-fourths, of the wages and local supplies in truck out of his store ;  and that he issued a sort of ticket, which passed as local currency in the country to some extent, and by this means of paying in truck he made a very considerable addition to his profits.”3

Why, asked Blake, was the Caraquet Railway, projected at first to cover 60 miles, represented as being 70 miles ?4  “The honorable member for Gloucester [Burns] has a couple of mills in the neighborhood.  To one of these a branch somewhere about a mile long was built, which forms part of the mileage, and to reach the other mill he deflected the road, increasing its length in that way, five or six miles.”  The true value of the work, including contractors’ profit, Blake said, was a great deal under $8,000 a mile, instead of $22,000 or $23,000 a mile.  Blake also pointed out that in 1888 there were five employes injured and eight killed on that railway ;  perhaps it was due to bad construction.5

Burns made an elaborate defense, not denying that his workers got supplies from the stores of K.F. Burns and Company, but asserting that he paid them monthly in cash.  His explanations made a poor impression.

Richard Cartwright 1835-1912 Sir Richard Cartwright attacked the subject.  Saying that Mr. Blake and William Mulock deserved thanks for exposing the transaction, he went straightway into a denunciation of “ the thoroughly rotten system,” accusing Premier Macdonald of maintaining himself in power chiefly by the following four methods :

“ First, by the free distribution of the public domain to certain favored parties, of which we had a recent, eminent and notorious example ;  next, I was going to say of thinly-disguised bribery, but I will say instead, by a system of open bribery on the part of contractors in testimonials and otherwise ;  next by a system of tariff corners and subsidies ;  and lastly by the method of which we had had so notable an illustration just now, the method of railway subsidies among various constituencies and among various members of this House. . . .”6


Where Did a Certain $800,000 Go ?


Dissecting Burns’ explanation, Cartwright inquired that if Burns’ assertion was true that he got only $600,000 of the available funds, then who pocketed the other $800,000 of the $1,400,000 that the railway was said to have cost ?  Cartwright was exceedingly insistent as to the destination of this $800,000 ;  he demanded to know what became of it, but could get no real enlightenment.  The English stockholders, he said, were induced to put 80,000 or 100,000 in the railway, upon the representation that there would be a profit of 1,000 a mile, but instead had met only a dead loss.7

Another denunciation of the transaction came from P. Mitchell, member of the House of Commons for Northumberland.  He said that members of Parliament were corrupted by subsidies, local improvement appropriations and other means which formed “ one of the greatest sources of bribery and corruption ever initiated in any country.”  He denounced it as “ a cursed system, a system which has corrupted the representatives of those constituencies.”8


A Series of Charges


Presently, there came an unfolding of another serious scandal.  On May 11, 1891, J. Israel Tarte, a member of the House of Common, formally made a series of specific charges against Thomas McGreevy, a conspicuous member of the House.  McGreevy had long been a railroad promoter, he had been associated as far back as 1869 with the Hon. Hector L. Langevin and other members of Parliament in securing for themselves the charter of the Levis and Kennebec Railway,9 he had been a large railroad contractor in the Province of Quebec, and for a considerable time was chairman of the Railway Committee of the House of Commons.

Tarte’s charges were as follows :

That in order to get Thomas McGreevy’s influence in Parliament, the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company, dredging contractors, took in his brother, Robert McGreevy, as a partner, giving him an interest of 30 per cent. in the firm.

Sir Hector-Louis Langevin 1826-1906 That McGreevy consented to this arrangement, saying that he had first consulted Sir Hector L. Langevin, the Minister of Public Works, and secured his consent.  Langevin had occupied that office for almost 20 years.

That at the same time, Thomas McGreevy was a member of the Quebec Harbor Commission, and gave his help, in an undue manner, to the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company to secure the dredging contract.

That by manipulation and other means on Thomas McGreevy’s part, the firm in question obtained the contract, for which $375,000 had been voted by the Parliament of Canada in 1882.

That a few days after Larkin, Connolly and Company had secured the contract in 1883, “the sum of $25,000 was, in fulfillment of the corrupt arrangement above stated, paid to the said Thomas McGreevy in promissory notes signed by the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company which said notes were duly paid.”

That on or about the same date, June 4, 1883, a sum of $1,000 was paid by the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company towards the “ Langevin Testimonial Fund ”—a fund intended as a gift to Sir Hector Langevin.

That in 1884 Thomas McGreevy received another corrupt sum of $22,000 for getting for the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company the contract for the completion of the Graving Dock of Levis.

That to get the contract for the completion of Graving Dock at Esquimault, B.C. in 1884, the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company gave Robert McGreevy a 20 per cent. interest in the firm ;  and that on the suggestion of Thomas McGreevy, the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company “ approached” members of Parliament ;  that certain members of the firm declared that these members asked for a certain sum of money to exert their influence for the firm, and that the firm had agreed to give it to them ;  that McGreevy corruptly tried to get dismissed certain public officers who had incurred the ill-will of the firm, and have them replaced by others who would suit the firm’s interests.

That in 1886-1887, Thomas McGreevy arranged to get $25,000 from the firm on condition that he would get for that firm at an exorbitant price, much above the lowest bids tendered, the contract for the dredging of the Wet Basin in the harbor of the City of Quebec, and that McGreevy corruptly received $27,000 as his share.

That from the year 1883 to 1890, both inclusive, Thomas McGreevy received from the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company and from his brother Robert McGreevy, a sum of about $200,000.

That during the forementioned period Thomas McGreevy was the agent and paid representative of the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company on the Quebec Harbor Board of Commissioners in Parliament, in connection with the Department of Public Works.

That Thomas McGreevy, on several occasions, demanded sums of money from the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company in the name of Sir Hector Langevin, Minister of Public Works.

That from 1882 to 1891, Thomas McGreevy, had always lived when in Ottawa in the same house as the Minister of Public Works, “ and that he seems to have done so in order to put in the mind of Larkin, Connolly and Company the impression that he had over said honorable Minister an absolute control, and that he was acting as his representative in his corrupt transactions with them.”

Tarte further charged that certain members of the firm of Larkin, Connolly and Company “ paid and caused to be paid large sums of money to the honorable Minister of Public Works out of the proceeds of the said contracts, and that entries of the said sums were made in the books of that firm.”10


Charges Substantially Proved


A Select Committee to inquire fully into the charges was demanded by Mr. Tarte.  After the committee had held 100 sittings and taken a mass of testimony, Mr. Girouard, chairman of the Select Committee, reported to the House of Commons, that the Committee had “ come to the conclusion that the charges made by the honorable member for Montmorency (Mr. Tarte) were substantially — in fact amply — proved as far as the Hon. Thomas McGreevy is concerned, but as far as Sir Hector Langevin is concerned, the members of the Committee came to a division.  The minority report concluded that Sir Hector Langevin knew of the conspiracy with Larkin, Connolly and Company, but the majority would not arrive at that conclusion.”  As to Thomas McGreevy’s corrupt acts, the Select Committee’s report was unanimous.11

Chairman Girouard reported that the total amount of the contracts awarded to Larkin, Connolly and Company was $3,138,234 ;  that these contracts extended over a period from 1878 to 1891 ; that the contractors received $735,061 in profits ;  and that in addition to these profits, sums totaling $170,407 were paid out in donations for political and other purposes.12  The evidence showed that not only money but diamonds and other valuable presents were given to officials in the Public Works Department, and that large sums went to a newspaper run in Quebec by Langevin’s son-in-law.

The report of the majority of the Select Committee was adopted after a long and bitter debate.  Meanwhile, Langevin had, on August 11, 1891, resigned as Minister of Public Works ;  and, on September 29, 1891, Thomas McGreevy was expelled from the House of Commons.13  Later he went to jail.


McGreevy Made a Scapegoat


According to Sir Richard Cartwright, “ there was a general and perfectly correct opinion that Mr. McGreevy had been made a scapegoat, and that he was really far less culpable than many of the Ministers themselves.”14  Elsewhere, Sir Richard wrote that, “Mr. McGreevy was one of those men who influence the course of public affairs ten times more than any Cabinet Minister, but who are often never heard of outside a very limited circle.  Mr. McGreevy was in many ways a remarkable man.  He was thoroughly conversant with every irregular transaction which occurred in several great spending departments over a wide area for a long space of time, and above all, in the case of Sir Hector Langevin’s, namely, the Department of Public Works. . . . Millions of corruptly gotten money, to be expended for yet more corrupt purposes, passed through his hands, and yet for all that I believe Mr. McGreevy was by far the most honest man of the lot — which was perhaps the reason he was made the scapegoat.”

Then saying that McGreevy divulged only a fraction of the facts he knew, Sir Richard Cartwright went on :

“ All sorts of pressure was brought to bear on him, and he may have become convinced that further disclosures would hurt some parties whom he did not wish to injure.  One thing I do know, that when Mr. McGreevy was in durance nothing could exceed the solicitude for his welfare displayed by certain members of the ministry.  There were few days during the time he spent in jail on which Mr. McGreevy, if so disposed, could not have held a Cabinet Council in the corridor, as far as the requisite number to form a quorum was concerned.”15


Mr. Murphy’s Opinion


The remaining question is, How was it that such facts as were brought out were divulged ?  Who originally informed, and why ?  Here we shall have to turn to an interview with Owen E. Murphy, published in the New York Times, and republished in the Toronto Globe, issue of November 23, 1891.  Murphy had been an Excise Commissioner in New York City, and had hurriedly left there in 1877 with a shortage of $50,000 in his official accounts.  He went to Canada, and became a contractor associated with Robert McGreevy.  In 1891 he returned to New York City with the announcement that he intended to make restitution to New York City for the old shortage, and reside in that city permanently.  He was interviewed by a reporter for the New York Times.

“ His views on Canadian politics and Canadian politicians are not flattering to us,” said the Toronto Globe editorially.

“ ` We bribed them all,’ he said with a smile, `and generally acquired nearly everything in sight.  We literally owned the Province.  Public officials in Canada, so far as my experience goes, do not have that suspicious hesitancy in accepting money that characterizes some officials in this country.  The Langevin crowd did not scruple to take all they could get.’

“In Mr. Murphy’s estimation — and as a veteran Tammanyite his opinion is worth something — the ` Langevin crowd is worse than the Tweed gang ever was.’  He spoke pathetically of the dissension between the McGreevys.  `The quarrel was really one over the division of the spoils.’  Had the brothers remained on friendly terms, and had he and the Connollys kept out of each other’s hair, they `would have owned nearly the whole of Canada.’  The reporter asked him for an expert judgment on the moral condition of the Canadian electorate as compared with that of New York electors.  His reply was :  `Votes cost more than in New York.  I figured in one election where I myself paid out $6,500 for a certain candidate, and the votes cost from $25 to $30 apiece.  I considered this price somewhat high, but we had to have them.’”16

Premier Sir John Macdonald was not called upon to face these disclosures and the series of further revelations now following.  He died in 1891, a comparatively poor man ;  nobody charged that he had been personally enriched by the long-continued system of corruption, although his critics had asserted that he had been fully willing that it should be used for political campaign purposes, and that his supporters of every stripe from the railway magnate and manufacturer to the merest political henchman should be kept in line by the lavish granting of charters, subsidies, tariff benefits, contracts, offices or other largess proportionate to their power and demands.  J.J.C. Abbott succeeded him as Prime Minister.


Baie Des Chaleurs Railway Disclosures


Sharply on the heels of the McGreevy disclosures, came more revelations.  This scandal dealt with the means used to get subsidies for the Baie des Chaleurs Railway, in the Province of Quebec.

The Baie des Chaleurs Railway Company was chartered in 1882.  In that year and succeeding years, various Acts were passed by the Dominion and the Province of Quebec governments allowing the company total cash subsidies of $1,250,000, of which $894,175 was paid on the first 70 miles constructed.  Charles N. Armstrong had obtained, in 1886, the contract for constructing 100 miles of the projected 189 miles ;  he, in turn, subcontracted the job.  A contest developed between two sets of capitalists aiming to get control of the railway, and there was danger of forfeiture of the charter for non-fulfillment of conditions.  Armstrong wanted to prevent forfeiture, and at the same time he sought to collect on a claim for $298,000 which he presented against the Quebec Government.

One Ernest Pacaud agreed, in 1891, to get the necessary official action favorable to Armstrong.  Although his claim was for $298,000, Armstrong did not expect more than $75,000 in settlement.  He readily consented to give Pacaud $100,000 if Pacaud should get $175,000 from the Quebec Government.  Thereupon, Pacaud at once set matters in motion, and in 1891, the Government of Quebec by an Order-in-Council, gave an additional subsidy of $50,000 and also 800,000 acres of land convertible into cash at 35 cents an acre — $280,000 cash in all as the proceeds of the land grant.17


The Corruption Proved


Charges were made, in 1891, that this transaction had been accomplished by means of corruption.  A Royal Commission, composed of Judges Baby, Davidson and Jette was appointed to investigate.  On October 23 and 24, 1891, Ernest Pacaud, the intermediary for the corruptionists, made a full confession before the Royal Commission.18  Pacaud confessed that he had extorted $100,000 from Armstrong to effect the settlement of Armstrong’s claim against the Quebec Government.19

The report of Judges Baby and Davidson showed that $175,000 in letters of credit had been given to the railway contractors in violation of the Treasury laws without the sanction of the Lieutenant-Governor, and to the detriment of public credit ;  the misappropriation of a sum of $175,000 from its legislative destination ;  the payment made to Armstrong to whom nothing was due by the Government or by the Company in money ;  the division of the $100,000 obtained from Armstrong, and its employment to pay the debts of several of the Ministers and to subsidize several members of the Legislature, partisans of the Cabinet.  Judges Baby and Davidson reported in both their ad interim report and their final report that it was not proved that Premier Mercier and some of the other Cabinet Ministers knew of the existence of the bargain between Armstrong and Pacaud, but Judges Baby and Davidson did find that Provincial Secretary Charles Langelier “ had knowledge of the source whence came the funds out of which Mr. Pacaud paid to him about $9,000 for his personal benefit.”20  Judge Jette, however, held that Langelier did not know the source of the money.21

Such facts as were brought out in Baie des Chaleurs Railway transaction made a deep public impression.


An Entire Administration Dismissed


On the receipt of the Royal Commission’s ad interim report Lieutenant-Governor A.R. Angers, of the Province of Quebec, dismissed the Mercier administration from office, on December 16, 1891.22  Mercier’s political opponents pushed matters to the point of haling him to the criminal court on charges of malfeasance in office, but the charges could not be proved, and he was acquitted.


Quebec and Lake St. John Railway


Only a few months later, another transaction was under discussion in the Dominion House of Commons.  On April 6, and May 4, 1892, James D. Edgar, a member of the House, produced charges asserting :

That during the ten years from 1882 to 1891 inclusive, the Quebec and Lake St. John Railway Company 23 received from the Dominion Government subsidies of more than $1,000,000, which subsidies were voted on the recommendation of Ministers of the Crown.

That during this whole period — 1882 to 1891 — Sir Adolphe P. Caron was, and still remained, a member of the Canadian Government — (he was at different times Dominion Minister of Militia and Postmaster-General) — and one of the Queen’s Privy Councilors for Canada, and also a member of the House of Commons.

That also during this period Caron knowingly aided and participated in diverting these subsidies from the purpose for which they were granted, and that such money was used for election purposes to aid the election to the House of Commons of Caron and other supporters of the Government.

That after some of the last payments were so obtained and made, Sir Adolphe P. Caron, “ in consideration thereof,” corruptly aided and assisted the Quebec and Lake St. John Railway Company to obtain further and other subsidies from the Dominion Parliament.

That since October 6, 1885, the Temiscouata Railway had received about $649,200 in subsidies from the Dominion of Canada, and that Caron aided in diverting such subsidies for use in elections, and that after doing this Caron — so it was charged — had corruptly aided and assisted the Temiscouata Railway Company to obtain further and other subsidies from the Dominion Parliament.24

These charges, put in such specific form and directly naming a high member of the Government, could not safely be ignored or lightly dismissed.

One aspect of these charges was not new.  In the debate of May 28, 1886, Caron had admitted, in reply to a direct question by Edward Blake, that he was then a member of the construction company building the Quebec and Lake St. John Railway.  This railway company, Caron had then explained, turned over its subsidies to the construction company, headed by James G. Ross and composed of himself and others.25

A heated debate followed the introduction of Edgar’s charges.  Sir Richard Cartwright denounced at length “ the system of organized corruption,” and declared that “ taking the railway subsidies as a whole, they have been one of those sources of organized corruption by which the Government have held and kept their power ;  and I, for my part, do not wonder in the least at finding many men objecting to this investigation, knowing as I do how these same railway subsidies have been used for the corruption of members of Parliament, how they have been tolled for the private advantage of members of Parliament, how stock formerly worthless has been made valuable by means of subsidies got by political influence, how in many ways they have been used in debauching representatives and constituencies alike. . . .”26


Altering the Original Charges


Finally, a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate.  On September 13, 1892, Mr. Edgar formally protested to the Commission that the charges he made were definite and specific and complaining that the substitute motion which had passed the House (in place of his motion which was defeated) “ did not state the full charges and was designed to elude and defeat the ends of justice.”  This substitute motion was made by Hon. Mackenzie Bowell, a colleague of Caron in the Ministry.  Edgar further protested that “my charges are not fairly stated to you.”

The accusation made by Edgar that the charges brought by him had been distorted, caused a great stir, but his protests were of no avail.

James G. Scott, secretary of the Quebec and Lake St. John Railway Company, testified before the Royal Commission that Caron had been, since 1879, a shareholder in the company constructing that railway, and that other members of Parliament were shareholders.  Caron, however, was not a member of the railway company.  Scott further testified that in numerous applications for Government subsidies he often saw Caron who gave “ loyal assistance.”  Still further, Scott testified that the firm of Andrews, Caron and Andrews had been for years solicitors for the Quebec and Gosford Railway.27

Many other witnesses, including Thomas McGreevy, were examined ;  McGreevy’s testimony was definite, but other witnesses were mainly railway contractors and associates, and much of their testimony was more or less of a negative character.

The Royal Commission handed in the evidence with exhibits, refraining from making any comments whatever.


Sir Adolphe Caron Remains


No action adverse to Caron was taken ;  he remained in the Dominion Government Ministry until 1896.

The political opponents of Caron and his party regarded the substitute motion upon which the Royal Commission had to act, as a “ white-washing ” one.  According to Sir Richard Cartwright “ the evidence was overwhelming,” and Caron dared not prosecute the Toronto Globe for publishing two whole pages of fac-similes of documents implicating him in transactions with Thomas McGreevy.  Sir John Thompson (then Prime Minister) did not “ dare compel Sir Adolphe Caron to resign.  To have done so would have caused a split among his Quebec supporters which would have wrecked his Government at once, to say nothing of the certainty of being followed by other and even uglier revelations.”28


Comments of the British Press


The Pall Mall Gazette declared that “ a more sordid spectacle of corruption has never been presented to a free people. . . . Political life in the United States is not particularly pure, but we would be exceedingly surprised if the Canadian record could be beaten.”

The Speaker, September 12, 1891, thus commented :  “The undisputed facts are bad enough.  The defense constantly set up when large sums are traced from a contractor or office seeker to a legislator is that the money was not for the recipient’s private benefit, but for legitimate political purposes.  That this is reckoned any defense at all shows the extent to which the political conscience in Canada has been blunted. . . .”  Of Abbott, the successor of Macdonald as Prime Minister of Canada, the Speaker said that he was “ the man who in 1872 negotiated the great bribery scheme [the Pacific Railway transaction] by which Sir John Macdonald was driven disgraced from office. . . .”

“ No honest Canadian,” said the London Standard, September 25, 1891, “ can read the testimony without feeling that corruption has saturated departmental and Parliamentary life. . . .”

The London Despatch, October 4, 1891, describing the system of corruption in Canada, remarked :  “ . . . Yes, some have been punished — the small fry who were not in a position to steal much.  But the conspicuous thieves . . . where are they ?  Living on their stealings, some of them even blazing with decorations bestowed upon them by the Queen — quite comfortably either in Canada or the United States.”

The Saturday Review, September 12, 1891, advanced the opinion that in the field of corruption, Canada could “ modestly challenge comparison ” with the United States.  “ Her opportunities and means are not so great as those wielded by the lobbyists and log-rollers of Washington, or the bosses and wire-pullers of New York, but the most has been made of them. . . .”



END OF VOLUME I




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1 Debates, House of Commons, Dom. of Canada, Session 1890, Vol. II, p. 4611.  The subsidy sums as stated by Blake were exact ;  the amounts are so entered in the annual Railway Statistics of the Dom. of Canada.

2 Ibid., p. 4611.

3 Ibid., p. 4612.

4 As finally constructed it was 68 miles.  Blake could not be accused of unreasonable hostility to railroad construction ;  his objections were to the methods used to get the subsidies.  He himself was a stockholder in various corporations ;  after his death, his estate was appraised, in 1912, at nearly $300,000, more than half of which was in stocks.  These he acquired in legitimate ways.

5 Debates, House of Commons, etc., 1890, Vol. II, pp. 4616-4617.

6 Ibid., p. 4631.

7 Ibid., p. 4633.

8 Ibid., p. 4644.

9 Statutes of Quebec, 1869, pp. 217-218.  The Levis and Kennebec Railway, projected for 90 miles, was voted a Government subsidy of $360,000 of which nearly the whole was paid.  This railway became part of the Quebec Central Railway.

10 These charges, as above given, are set forth in full in Debates in the House of Commons, Dom. of Canada, Session 1891, Vol. I, pp. 149-152.

11 Debates, House of Commons, etc., Session 1891, Vol. III, p. 5778.

12 Ibid., pp. 5781-5782.

13 Ibid., p. 6286.

14 Reminiscences, p. 355.

15 Ibid., pp. 334-335.  Cartwright wrote that later, when the party to which he belonged came into power, it could, had it been so pleased obtained and made public the whole details, but that the chief consideration which had most influence was “ that the exposures which had already taken place had damaged the reputation of Canada to an enormous extent, and we dreaded the result of these further revelations.”  Personally, Cartwright did not, he wrote, altogether approve this policy of suppression.  But his objections were not based upon the desire to let the public know to what vast extent graft and corruption had been used to acquire public property and great fortunes, but upon the partisan aim to let the Canadian public “ understand how and by what means our opponents had regained power in 1878 and kept it till 1896.”

16 An editorial in the Toronto Globe, December 1, 1891, quoted a Quebec newspaper, LeCorrier de St. Hyacinthe as dividing corrupt voters into three herds — those who demanded spot cash for their votes ;  those who waived cash, but insisted on something being done for their families, such as the payment of a store bill ;  and those who with greater modesty refused to go to the polls unless they were paid for the day’s expenses.  Another Quebec newspaper, La Justice, was quoted by the same editorial as saying that 19 in every 20 of the leading politicians calculated upon making politics pay directly or indirectly, and that below them was a large class of “workers” who served their party so as to get Government offices or plunder in some form and who stopped at nothing to win.

17 Under the laws of the Province of Quebec, land subsidies were exchangeable for cash.

18 See Royal Commission Inquiry into the Baie des Chaleurs Railway Matter ;  Reports, Proceedings, etc., 1802, pp. 361-488.

19 Pacaud’s statement of the disposition of the $100,000 “ boodle fund” was full and explicit.  Most of it went to politicians, and he stowed away $25,456 of it in various banks, chiefly in the National Park Bank, New York City.

20 Royal Commission Inquiry into the Baie des Chaleurs Railway Matter, etc., 1892, pp. 5, 89, etc.

21 Ibid., p. 191.

22 Mercier and his Cabinet were Liberals.  “ The attacks on the Dominion Government had been largely on the score of their corrupt practices in this very province, and now we were confronted with evidence that the Liberal leaders in Quebec were as bad or worse than their opponents.”—Sir Richard Cartwright’s Reminiscences, p. 309.

23 This was a railway extending 286 miles from the City of Quebec to Chambord junction, with various branches.

24 The Quebec and Lake St. John Railway Company received bonuses of $1,233,943.50 from the Dominion Government, $2,368,816 from the Quebec Government, and $12,000 from municipalities.  The Temiscouata Railway — 113 miles from Riviere du Loup to Edmunston and Connors, N.B. — received bonuses of $645,950 from the Dominion Government, $428,250 from the Governments of Quebec and of New Brunswick and $25,000 from municipalities.

25 Debates, House of Commons, Dom. of Can., Session 1886, Vol. II, p. 1622.  Ross was a conspicuous Quebec capitalist.  He left a fortune of about $7,000,000.

26 Ibid., Session 1892, Vol. I, pp. 1746-1747.

27 Sessional Paper No. 27, 1892, pp. 98-109.  This document contains the full evidence.

28 Reminiscences, p. 332.