The McInnes Incident in British Columbia  

John T. Saywell
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, July 1950

Lt. Gov. Of B.C. Thomas Robert McInnes. BC Archives a-01494

A study of the Mclnnes incident in British Columbia from 1897 to 1900 is of interest not only to students of local history; it also extends into the realms of Canadian constitutional development for it involves the right of a Lieutenant-Governor to dismiss his responsible Ministers. The case of Mclnnes and the much better known Letellier incident are the two outstanding instances when this power has been exercised in Canada, and for this reason alone both deserve a more earnest and less biased examination than has been attempted to date. Although scattered references to the Mclnnes affair occur in most constitutional studies of Canada, the events are fully understood by few authorities. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding arises not only from the lack of documentary political evidence, but, more important still, because each phase of the evolving situation was shaped and determined by individuals into whose minds historians are unable to peer.

The topic is significant in three distinct ways: it hinges constantly upon personalities—chiefly that of Lieutenant-Governor Mclnnes, whose story is intrinsically interesting; it involves an examination of the office which he held—one of the significant features of the Canadian Federal system; and, finally, it demands a brief survey of political development during a very important period in the political and economic evolution of British Columbia. Each of these features must be considered in turn.

Thomas Robert Mclnnes was born in 1840, the son of an Inverness Scot who, after following a career at sea, had settled at Lake Ainslie, Nova Scotia. The youth received an excellent education and graduated successively from Truro Normal School, Harvard University, and Rush Medical School.[i]  After graduating from Rush the young doctor, inheriting much of his father’s restlessness and yearning for adventure, remained in the United to enlist with the Confederate forces, and served as an army surgeon for the duration of the Civil War.

Before moving to British Columbia in 1874 Mclnnes lived in Dresden, Ontario, where he filled numerous public offices with some distinction. Three years after his arrival in New Westminster he became Mayor of the “Royal City.” The following year he successfully contested a Federal by-election and sat in the House of Commons as an independent. In the general election of 1878 he was returned and served for three years in the Federal chamber. Although seldom brilliant, Mclnnes was always forceful in debate. He supported causes which he deemed worthy with a staunch conviction usually based on a wide knowledge and a comprehensive grasp of the subject under discussion. In 1881 Mclnnes was appointed to the Senate, and despite his youth soon achieved a prominent position in that assembly. Fluent and pleasing in debate, with an outstanding record and a blameless past, popular and respected in his own Province, Mclnnes, despite his independence of political parties, was a logical choice of the Laurier Government to succeed Lieutenant-Governor Dewdney, whose term of office expired in November 1897.

Mclnnes’ appointment as Lieutenant- Governor was very favourably received in British Columbia; not a voice was raised in protest. “We feel satisfied,” wrote the editor of the Victoria Colonist, soon to become his most bitter critic,

“that in Mclnnes British Columbia will have a constitutional administrator. He has had a long experience. He is a gentleman of more than ordinary ability. He is a conscientious man. In his hands the prerogatives appurtenant to his high office will be perfectly safe.”[ii]  

These eulogistic phrases were soon retracted, for Mc Innes had the misfortune to arrive in the midst of an imbroglio which gradually became more violent and confused, and from which there seemed to be no escape. However, before any discussion of political affairs begins it might be advisable to mention several incidents which serve to illustrate the new Lieutenant Governor’s character, for it was not long after he assumed office that Mclnnes began to exhibit certain traits which, before his term ended, were to affect the political situation profoundly.

Like many other Scots, Mclnnes possessed a streak of obstinacy which, when mixed with an individualistic philosophy concerning many aspects of political, social, and economic life, made him a most difficult person with whom to work.[iii]  On an early occasion Mclnnes revealed that he held an exalted opinion of his newly acquired office. In the summer of 1898 the Vancouver Amateur Dramatic Society advertised a performance under the patronage of the “Governor-General and Countess of Aberdeen, Rear-Admiral Palliser and Officers of the Fleet, Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Mclnnes.”[iv]  Although the established order of precedence was rigidly adhered to, Mclnnes, furious at being placed lower in the hierarchy than the naval officer, withdrew his good offices.[v]  His action was applauded by most people, Canadians all, slowly becoming aware of their badge of inferiority. Undoubtedly Mclnnes’ new popularity heightened his estimation of himself and his position. The approving audience were in part morally responsible for the attitude which he was to take later on.

For the purposes of this study, the office of the Lieutenant Governor originated with the British North America Act, 1867, which called into existence the Dominion of Canada. The position of the Lieutenant-Governor is a creature of positive legislation. “It owes its existence, its constitutional character, functions, and incidents to the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, and to the terms of the commissions and instructions issued to this important officer.”[vi]  

The office was in great part the child of Sir John A. Macdonald’s fertile brain. At Quebec in 1864 Macdonald suggested its creation in terms later echoed in the British North America Act. The Lieutenant-Governor was an integral part of Macdonald’s over-all conception of a highly centralized Federal system. “As this is to be one united province,” said he in the Canadian assembly, with the local governments and legislature subordinate to the General Government and Legislature, it is obvious that the chief executive officer must be subordinate as well.”[vii]  The Lieutenant- Governor, although theoretically appointed by the Queen, was in practice an appointee of and subject to dismissal by the Federal Government. He was compelled to refer all Provincial Acts to Ottawa, and upon the advice of the Dominion Cabinet he was empowered to reserve legislation. Moreover, his office was expressly removed from the sphere of Provincial legislative jurisdiction.[viii] Yet positive law can only set boundaries around political institutions; it cannot rigidly determine evolution within these limits. Despite the apparent clarity of the British North America Act, confusion and uncertainty often resulted, and for many years the legal and constitutional position of the Lieutenant-Governor remained unclear.

The rather obscure position held by the Lieutenant-Governor was further clouded by the nature of his appointment as the theoretical head of a responsible ministry. It is wrong to assume that because of his appointment by the Federal Government he lost all vestiges of the royal prerogative. This point was clearly made in a Privy Council decision in 1892. “A Lieutenant Governor, when appointed,” stated Lord Watson, “is as much the representative of Her Majesty for all purposes of provincial government as the Governor-General himself is for all the purposes of the Dominion Government.”[ix] In the exercise of many of the royal prerogatives the Lieutenant-Governor was limited by established convention, the nature of his office, and the weight of his prestige in the Province and among his advisers. The task of this officer was not to be an easy one, for between his three obligations—to the constitution, to the Federal Government, and to his Provincial advisers—there was frequently a great divergence.

British Columbia enjoyed only representative government before its entry into the Canadian federation on July 20, 1871. Upon the union with the Dominion of Canada, responsible government was granted to the new Province, but it did not exist, except in theory, for several years. “In British Columbia during the first five years following federation,” writes Dr. W. N. Sage, “the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Joseph Trutch, was in a very real sense the head of the government. To him fell the task of bridging the gap between colonial and provincial status, and especially of introducing responsible government.”[x]  Once this had been attained and the Lieutenant-Governor had been divorced from a controlling voice in government, relations between the Lieutenant -Governors and their advisers remained relatively unperturbed until the closing years of the century when T. R. Mclnnes came to Government House.

When Mclnnes became Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia in November, 1897, the Government led by John H. Turner was being severely attacked from all sides.[xi]  This Government was actually the last remnant of the group which had risen to power with Premier William Smythe in 1883; since that date, although the personnel had varied, little had changed in govern mental outlook or policy.[xii]

Premier John Turner BC Archives f-07265

Turner himself had become Premier in 1895 when Theodore Davie resigned to accept the office of Chief Justice. Davie had been returned to office in 1894 with a two-thirds majority, largely because he had taken a well-organized machine into the electoral fray while his opponents lacked both organization and leadership. Davie’s Government, which Turner inherited body and soul, was by no means as popular as we are led to believe. But his ability to defend his administration against the numerous charges of corruption, incompetence, and extravagance hurled by the Opposition, and the indiscreet statements of his opponents, which needlessly alienated certain sections of the populace, were telling factors in the contest. Despite the conclusiveness of the victory, however, the machine showed signs of almost inevitable. collapse.[xiii]

Turner had been Minister of Finance since 1887. In many respects he was an able man and had a wealth of experience. Yet he was by no means suited to lead a government, particularly one which was dependent not upon party discipline but upon personalities, and, above all, one which was the heir to legacies that would have taxed the best genius of any Premier. Turner had qualities which set him apart from and above many others, but he lacked those so necessary for effective political leadership— steadiness, strength of will, and aggressiveness.

The basis of Turner’s difficulties can easily be stated, although an intensive examination is impossible here. After 1895 British Columbia was undergoing a vigorous process of development. As a result of increasing activity in mining, logging, and fishing, there was a significant growth in population. Districts such as the Kootenays, the Similkameen, and Cassiar were growing rapidly; cities such as Grand Forks, Nelson, Greenwood, and Rossland appeared almost overnight. Oriental immigration increased rapidly, much to the displeasure of the white workers in British Columbia. Yet the Government seemed incapable of keeping pace legislatively with this rapid expansion. Organized railroad construction on the Mainland, although badly needed, was almost completely ignored. Many small companies had received charters, land grants had been liberally allocated, and government aid had been poorly distributed.

In an attempt to assure the success of a loan being floated in London, Turner and Charles Pooley, a member of his Cabinet, openly allowed their names to figure on the prospectus of a mining company, and while in London advertised the surety arising from this “peculiar” connection.[xiv] Not only were such acts bitterly resented in the Province, but also, they attracted the attention of Eastern Canadian and English press. The editor of the Toronto Globe became quite impassioned as he implored the electorate to oust Turner and his colleagues. “The Ministers,” he wrote, “seem to have been affected with a violent desire to give away, on every possible pretext, the mineral and forest wealth which would serve the purposes of public revenue for generations to come.”[xv]

From the time of Mclnnes’ accession to office all thought was turned toward the forthcoming election, for the mandate of the Turner Government was to expire in the summer of 1898. The public temper as reflected by the newspapers was becoming increasingly hostile to the Administration, and the defeat of the Government was forecast by many commentators. The Session of 1898, therefore, was unimportant and the assembly was usually quite lethargic in its operation. The only feature meriting comment was the introduction of a Redistribution Bill. This measure, introduced only after consistent pressure from the Opposition had wearied the Government and made normal procedure almost impossible, was very disappointing. It was by no means a true redistribution, but rather a “sop” to the Mainland, to which it gave four more members. The representation in the various electoral districts was almost unbelievably unequal. Attempts by the Opposition to defeat the Bill failed, and, finally, after an all-night session the members walked out in protest and allowed it to become law.

The Leader of the Opposition was Charles Semlin, a farmer from Cache Creek, who had first entered the Legislative Assembly in 1871 and had held a seat continuously since 1882. Although popular and respected, Semlin was very colourless and unaggressive. Consequently, many turned for leadership to Joseph Martin, a new arrival in the Province, who possessed the qualities which Semlin lacked and who had a brilliant record. Martin came from Manitoba, where, after playing a leading role in the Manitoba schools crisis, he had been defeated in the Federal election of 1896 and apparently had been snubbed by the Laurier machine. Although Martin has proved to be unpopular among British Columbia historians, he deserves a new analysis, as any study of the Province in this period centres around “Fighting Joe.” Martin agreed to be a candidate in the election and soon became the leading Opposition figure.

Premier Joseph Martin – B.C. Archives d-09313

The election was bitter and close. The hold of the Turner faction on Vancouver Island was finally broken and its unchallenged supremacy in the Province forever shattered. When the smoke of battle cleared, it was obvious that Turner had lost the support of the electorate. Government candidates had been successful in only seventeen constituencies while the Opposition had won nineteen. Two seats in Cassiar remained undecided, but it was almost certain that the Government would win them.[xvi] Moreover, fraud and corruption had so characterized the day that twenty-nine election protests were filed, and it was possible that one or more Government members would lose their seats. [xvii] The popular vote showed that the Government had exchanged a majority of over 3,000 for a minority of 2,500.[xviii] The editor of the Vancouver Province colourfully described the situation: “Turner is still there, Pooley has been elected, son-in-law Bryden is still in and the Dunsmuir interests have been strengthened by the election of James Dunsmuir himself, but thank God, they are powerless to harm us any longer. Their claws have been clipped and their teeth pulled.”[xix]
Cries for the immediate dismissal of Turner arose on all sides. Denunciation of the Administration for having alienated public lands and squandered the public revenue, for the system of class taxation and the encouragement of and participation of Cabinet members in monopolies, for the support of cheap Oriental labour, and for the attempts to encourage sectional jealousies between the Island and the Mainland increased in intensity, while all the critics of the Government pointed to the unmistakable verdict of the electorate. Dismissal, however, was the most extreme solution, and in England the power had lain dormant for over a century. The normal procedure would have been for the Lieutenant-Governor to act only on the advice of his responsible advisers and, if they so desired, to await the normal opening of the Session early in the following year. Yet with economic development proceeding so rapidly that vigorous governmental interference and control were necessary, Mclnnes would have served his Province well had he pressed upon the Government the need for an early Session. An immediate dissolution would have provided a final solution, throwing the entire question once again before the people. In these circumstances dissolution, like dismissal, would clearly have been unorthodox.

Soon after the election Mclnnes refused his assent to several Orders in Council and recommendations for appropriations. His actions, wrote Mclnnes, were governed by the fact that he “could not look on the result of the general election . . . as other than adverse . . . to the existing ministry” and as an expression of a want of confidence by the people.[xx]  Thus, unless he could be shown that “an urgent necessity existed . . . in the interests of the province” he was determined to continue this policy of refusal.[xxi]  Despite such an explicit and rational statement of policy, Mclnnes was constantly badgered by his Ministers. In one instance the Government Agent in Cassiar was deliberately advised to ignore the Lieutenant-Governor’s veto of a public works appropriation for that district immediately prior to the election there.[xxii]  Mclnnes began to suspect that his advisers— particularly Attorney-General Eberts—were attempting to hood wink him into assenting to various appropriations, and in a letter to Lord Minto, the Governor-General, he stated that the actions of his Ministers not only justified but necessitated their dismissal.[xxiii] On August 8, 1898, therefore, Premier Turner received the following notification of dismissal :

“I have decided to no longer delay in calling for other advisers. For, as I would not feel justified in granting you another dissolution and appeal to the electorate, and as after a careful study of the situation I am convinced that you could not command a majority in the Assembly, I shall not put the Province to the delay, or to the expense, of a special session of the Legislature, merely for the purpose of formally demonstrating what has been sufficiently demonstrated to me by the General Election.[xxiv]  

It is certain that Mclnnes had been considering dismissal for some time. His delay was understandable, as this action was not only unorthodox but also presented him with the difficult task of choosing Turner’s successor. Before dismissing the Premier, Mclnnes had consulted with Robert Beaven, one-time Premier of the Province and a man possessing a long and fairly clear political record. Beaven, however, had neither a seat in the Assembly nor a following in the Province. His only chance of success lay in reconciling the two parts of the Opposition which, although allied in opposing Turner, were split into the Martin and Semlin factions. An Opposition meeting had been arranged to iron out the difficulties and to agree upon a single leader and a common policy. It is probable that Beaven’s task was merely to accelerate this union and then to fade quietly out of the picture. After four days of negotiations he admitted failure, and McInnes called upon Charles Semlin to form a government.[xxv]  

Premier Charles Semlin – B.C Archives pdp00251

Semlin had no great difficulty in forming an administration, but he was unable to command a majority in the Assembly without the support of Joseph Martin. Yet the latter, feeling that Semlin had betrayed his trust in taking office before the Opposition had met, refused to accept the proffered post of Attorney General.[xxvi] He soon relented, however, realizing that his refusal would mean the return of Turner.[xxvii]  Francis Carter-Cotton of Vancouver (Minister of Finance), Dr. R. McKechnie of Nanaimo (President of the Council), and J. Fred Hume of Nelson (Minister of Mines) completed the five-man Cabinet.

The new Administration began its work energetically. Martin was a bundle of energy and his mark remained on most of the legislation. The Session of 1899 was a stormy one, with the dismissal of Turner, the wholesale removal of ”Turnerites” from public office, the election trials, and revolutionary legislation providing topics for animated debate. The Government attempted to restrict underground work in mines to eight hours a day, and in so doing alienated the majority of the people in the mining areas.[xxviii]  An Act confining future entry into the placer-mining industry to British subjects, although designed to exclude Orientals, offended American interests in the Province. When pressure exerted by the American and Canadian Government proved unsuccessful, the latter was forced to disallow the Provincial Statute.[xxix]  Several by-elections showed an increase in Government strength; even in Victoria, Turner, Hall, and McPhillips, after resigning their seats on technicalities, were returned with greatly reduced majorities.[xxx] As a rule the Government secured majorities of from three to seven in the Assembly, and when the Session ended there were no visible signs of decreasing strength or internal decay. The Semlin-Martin Government had weathered its first stormy session and had been granted a respite. No one foresaw the rift which was to appear within their ranks and make impossible any prolonged retention of power. The historian, wise in retrospect, can see that dissension was inevitable.

Premier Semlin was neither a strong nor an able leader. The Cabinet was dominated by Cotton and Martin. The latter was the more masterful; the former the more sagacious. Martin, vain, ambitious, and unconcerned with the feelings of others, tried to ride roughshod over his opponents; Cotton pursued his way throughout tactfully and insidiously. In a Cabinet led by the vacillating Semlin there was no room for two such strong and clashing personalities, and in the end Martin’s impetuosity, rashness, and domineering methods were to prove his undoing.

Semlin soon realized his dilemma and chose to retain his old friend Cotton. Differences over the use of Deadman Island brought the Martin-Cotton controversy into the open, and although Cotton was guilty of underhanded practices, Semlin refused to take any action against him. At last, on June 21, 1899, Martin’s very peculiar action at a Rossland banquet, which brought disgrace to the Cabinet, gave Semlin the opportunity he desired to request the resignation of his colleague.[xxxi]  True to his nature, Martin refused, and demanded written cause for the request. In the correspondence that followed, Semlin clearly came off second best. Martin accused the Premier of gross inefficiency, neglect, and lack of ability to administer a Cabinet post.[xxxii] Semlin, charged with betraying his trust to his supporters in taking office, offered no reply when the Attorney-General asserted that:

“You are, therefore, the premier of this province only by sufferance and in demanding my resignation you do not command a majority of the supporters in the house. If my statement upon this point is correct then, instead of me resigning from the government, it is your duty to take that step at once.[xxxiii]  

It was evident that the basis of Semlin’s support had vanished. The Opposition, particularly the “Turnerites,” demanded an early Session, hoping that a government in line with the former Turner Administration would be reinstated. Mclnnes, while favouring an early Session, took the advice of the Hon. R. W. Scott, Secretary of State, who, speaking for the Laurier Government, revealed that the Ottawa Liberals feared the introduction of a government led by Martin. Scott advised Mclnnes that “your ministers are at all times the proper judges of the time to call the Assembly.”[xxxiv]  The days of the Semlin Government were numbered. Although able to carry on for several weeks after the Session opened, sometimes with the casting-vote of the Speaker, its final defeat was assured with a full house. On February 23, 1900, with all the members present, the curtain rose for the last act. The Government was defeated twice on a Redistribution Bill, and the Assembly adjourned to await developments.[xxxv]

That evening Semlin informed Mclnnes of his defeat and asked for several days in which to survey his position and if possible to improve it. The Lieutenant-Governor agreed, and intimated that Semlin should either strengthen his Government considerably by the evening of the twenty-sixth or resign. The Premier attempted to form a coalition with some of the Opposition, and, although definite information is lacking, it appears that some arrangement was made with the leaders, Turner, Eberts, and Helmcken, whereby they agreed to desert their followers for a price—two or three Cabinet positions and a change of policy.[xxxvi] Semlin told Mclnnes late in the evening of the twenty-sixth that he felt confident that he could control the Assembly, but refused to give any particulars.[xxxvii] Mclnnes, obviously aware of the political maneuvering that had taken place and probably disgusted with it, promised an answer within a few hours. On his return from Government House, Semlin appeared quite pleased, but he was rudely awakened in the cold grey hours of the morning when he received a letter of dismissal.

For some unknown reason Mclnnes did not stress as causes for the dismissal the general weakness and inefficiency of the Semlin Government since the resignation of Martin, or the un usual means that Semlin had employed to retain his precariously held office. On the contrary the Lieutenant-Governor chose to place his emphasis on recklessness and unwarranted expenditure, an incomplete Executive Council, and the failure of badly needed legislation merely by the efflux of time, while the Government seemed incapable of acting.[xxxviii]  “I believe,” wrote Mclnnes in the letter of dismissal, “it now to be sufficiently demonstrated that the interests of the province have suffered and are suffering in consequence of a weak and unstable government.”[xxxix]

The next few days are among the most confused and peculiar in the history of British Columbia. Developments proceeded so rapidly that no one was able to keep fully abreast of them. Upon hearing of Semlin’s defeat, Scott wired to Mclnnes: “I under stand your government is being materially strengthened by accession of several members from opposition ranks. Think you should give them a little time rather than force dissolution or change.”[xl]  How different the subsequent few months may have been if the telegram had arrived before the dismissal rather than three hours after it!

On the afternoon of February 27, 1900, the House assembled in anticipation of a highly spectacular sitting. Semlin immediately declared that the Lieutenant-Governor’s action was unconstitutional, and asked for the adoption of a virtual vote of censure which read:

“That this House, being fully alive to the great loss, inconvenience and expense to the country of any interruption of the business of the House at the present time, begs hereby to express its regret that His Honour has seen fit to dismiss his advisers as in the present crisis they have efficient control of the House. [xli]  After long and acrimonious debate, the resolution was adopted by twenty-two votes to fifteen.[xlii] Martin and Dunsmuir were challenged to deny that they had been called upon to form an administration.[xliii]  Dunsmuir was absent and Martin merely smiled a seraphic and indulgent smile that could have meant anything.

In his search for Semlin’s successor, Mclnnes was in a most unenviable position. Failure would have been an admission of error and defeat. Although outcries for dismissal had arisen on all sides, no one except the editor of the Victoria Colonist had suggested a possible successor; and to follow his advice and reinstate Turner was clearly distasteful, even impossible for Mclnnes. There was no recognized leader who could control a majority in the Assembly. At last, from over a dozen prominent men and possible alternatives, Joseph Martin was chosen as the man “best able to meet the necessities of the situation, create decisive issues, and establish final order, and something like usual political conditions out of the chaos of factions into which provincial parties have been rent.”[xliv]  Hoping that a coalition could be formed, Mclnnes consulted with J. C. Brown, member for New Westminster, in conjunction with Martin, but Brown was disinclined to accept office. The Lieutenant-Governor was fully aware of the protests that would arise and realized that all the other factions would make common cause against whomever he chose. Nor did he fail to understand that:

“Mr. Martin was distasteful to Sir Wilfrid’s government, and that if I considered my own interests and my own position merely, I should under no circumstances call upon him, and immediately upon the defeat of Mr. Semlin’s government I was made fully aware also that the great corporations, whose metallic influence is apparently all-powerful at Ottawa, would do their utmost to have me politically assassinated if I should dare call on Mr. Martin.[xlv]  

On February 28, two days after the dismissal, Martin announced that he had agreed to form a government.[xlvi] On the following day, immediately after prayers, ex-Premier Semlin moved: “That this House has no confidence in the third member for Vancouver who has been called in by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor to form a government.”[xlvii] A cry of “ayes” greeted this motion, and on the division only one member, J. M. Martin, supported the Premier, while twenty-eight voted for the motion.[xlviii]

As soon as the division had been completed, notice was given that the Lieutenant-Governor was approaching to prorogue the Assembly. As the Bar was being removed to admit him, the members, led by Dunsmuir, vanished through the exits, and a round of cheers from the gallery rang through the chamber. Mclnnes, bewildered and confused, took his seat on the throne amid boos and hisses from the spectators. He sat for several minutes, pale and nervous, while his attaches looked at each other in evident indignation at their own position. Even Martin, theatrical, experienced, and usually unperturbed, standing at the foot of the dais, bit his lips in evident agitation, as he alone in the House was subjected to this disgraceful behaviour. Mclnnes eventually found voice to speak. As he finished his short address someone called for “three cheers for Mclnnes” and resounding boos and catcalls followed him from the chamber. The members reappeared in a most spectacular fashion, and after a few moments the Eighth Parliament was ended.[xlix]  

The next three months rank among the most significant, confused, and interesting in the history of this Province. The Lieutenant-Governor was attacked from all sides. The Dominion Government was continually demanding reports and giving instructions, which for the most part were mild reprimands, and which were always at variance with the advice tendered by Mclnnes’ Ministers. The Provincial press, like the Federal Government, demanded an early Session or an immediate election. Martin experienced serious difficulty in forming a Cabinet, and that with which he finally emerged was in some ways ludicrous. Upon taking office Martin announced that J. Stuart Yates, of Victoria, would take the position of Provincial Secretary and that Smith Curtis, a former law partner from Grand Forks, would hold the portfolio of mines. Then his troubles began. No important political figure in British Columbia was willing to stake his future on an association with Martin. J. C. Brown, however, later repented and joined the Cabinet, and after a long search two unknowns were found. One, George Washington Beebe, was an Agassiz farmer with no political experience whatever. The Minister of Finance was Cory S. Ryder, whose sole qualification was that he had successfully managed a small store in Cumberland.

While Mclnnes and the Dominion authorities argued over the date of the election which, as Martin desired, was finally fixed for June 9, 1900, British Columbia prepared for another contest—the second in two years. In his appeal to the electorate Martin conducted a campaign which in its brilliance outshone anything which the Province had ever witnessed. His platform and policy have been characterized by casual historians as insincere—merely the means to an end. With this interpretation one must differ entirely. Martin’s plan was twofold. Realizing that every faction in British Columbia was against him, he knew that his only hope of success lay in the introduction into the Province of political party lines. This step had long been needed, and Martin had openly espoused the idea before it was forced upon him. He was to carry the Liberal banner, yet the Laurier Government desired no association with a Liberal Government led by the fire-brand Martin. Perhaps they feared his individuality and rashness; undoubtedly, they distrusted and resented his ability.

Martin at once began to transfer his ideas from the realms of theory into practice. A meeting of the Vancouver Liberals was held, at which a resolution was passed approving of him as the Liberal leader. It appears, however, that this meeting was attended mainly by Martin’s supporters and did not truly represent the sentiment of the Provincial Liberal Association.[l]  Liberal conventions in Victoria and New Westminster declared against him, expressing great admiration for his platform but unanimous distaste for him as their political leader. Thus, in the first step of his plan Martin failed. The much-needed intro duction of party lines awaited another picturesque figure, Sir Richard McBride.

Martin’s platform exceeded any previous one in its scope, far sightedness, applicability, and recognition of the major needs and desires of the rapidly expanding Province. It was so admirably conceived that it won the support of some of his bitterest enemies and the approval of nearly everyone. The main “plank” was the construction of a Government-owned railway from the Gulf of Georgia to the mining districts of the Interior, via the fertile Fraser Valley, the rich copper region of the Similkameen, and the Okanagan.[li]

The Opposition showed no signs of constructive ability, let alone brilliance. Their entire campaign was a perfect barrage of vituperation and abusive language fired at Joseph Martin. No charge was too vile to hurl at the Premier, yet none of his adversaries dared to meet him publicly and substantiate their attacks. To incite fear and hatred seemed to be their sole desire. It was a bitter campaign, one of the most animated and violent ever witnessed in the Province. Martin, the “one-man party,” met defeat on June 9, but it had been an outstanding and almost an epic struggle.

At first it appeared that only three or four of Martin’s followers had been elected, but when the air cleared seven assured “Martinites” had won seats. There were also six men who, although assuming various labels, were to be found siding with Martin during the next Session. The Semlin faction had been utterly annihilated. The only one of Semlin’s Ministers who chose to run, Carter-Cotton, barely saved his deposit in Vancouver, and of the eighteen Semlin supporters only six were re-elected, while several lost their deposits. The victors were not a united group. Thus, in some ways Martin was still the strongest single figure, for he had the largest homogeneous party. Some men could secure the adhesion of other factions, however, while he could not. As his last official act Martin advised the Lieutenant-Governor to call upon James Dunsmuir to form an administration. His advice was followed, and Dunsmuir brought with him Turner as Minister of Finance and Eberts as Attorney General. The story now enters its last and most painful chapter. As soon as Martin had taken office, an association arose between the alleged unconstitutional action of Lieutenant-Governor Mclnnes and Martin’s success at the polls. Critics of the Lieutenant Governor maintained that he had overstepped his prerogatives in dismissing Turner and Semlin. Mclnnes’ only hope of vindication, they asserted, had rested in the popular endorsement of “his candidate,” Martin. As early as March 27, 1900, Mclnnes had referred to this feeling in a letter to Lord Minto, the new Governor-General. With reference to the approaching election, he stated that “if some new leader be elected upon new issues— I fail to see how, in such an event, it can with justice be said that the people have condemned my action in dismissing Mr. Semlin and that my official life is involved in Mr. Martin’s defeat.”[lii]  

Many people did not share this point of view. In Ottawa a prominent Liberal wrote: “We hear today that the House is dissolved, and the elections will be held June 9. Well, I would not give much for Mclnnes’ scalp if Martin is turned down.”[liii]  

In the House of Commons, the British Columbia members, particularly Colonel E. G. Prior, Conservative member from Victoria, kept the issue alive. When Prior first brought the crisis in British Columbia to the attention of the House and demanded that the Dominion Government actively intervene, the Prime Minister, Wilfrid Laurier, replied:

“I must confess to my honourable friend that I do not at all appreciate at this moment the motive which has induced him to bring this matter to the attention of the government. The question which exists in British Columbia today is certainly very serious, but . . . it is not an unconstitutional one. It is today in the hands of the people of British Columbia. The Lieutenant Governor has acted within the precincts of his power. Whether he has acted wisely or not is a question which is submitted not to the government, not to this parliament, but to the people of British Columbia.[liv]  

The Prime Minister emphatically pointed out that Lieutenant Governor Mclnnes had not violated the fundamental principles of responsible government, for he had found in every instance responsible advisers ready and willing to assume office and accept the responsibility for his actions.

“Now it has been determined more than once, and the question is no longer under dispute, that under such circumstances it is in the hands of the people of British Columbia themselves. It is for the people of the province to declare whether they approve or disapprove of the action of the Lieutenant Governor. . . . If they approve of the action . . . in my judgment that is the end of the question. If they disapprove of it by returning to the House of Assembly a majority opposed to the present government, it is obvious that the Lieutenant-Governor will be found to have taken a very serious step.[lv]  

Colonel Prior did not cease his agitation. When the election results became known, he bluntly demanded an explanation of the Government’s policy. Laurier refused any comment. He received telegrams from the Rossland and Inland Boards of Trade requesting Mclnnes’ removal. On June 18 the recent victors in British Columbia met and drafted the following resolution:

“In the opinion of the undersigned members elect of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, the action of the Lieutenant Governor in calling upon Mr. Joseph Martin to form a Ministry, while wholly unsupported in the Legislature, and in giving him such an unwarranted time to complete his Cabinet and his completion of the same by gentlemen unendorsed by the electorate was contrary to the principles, usages and customs of constitutional government, and detrimental to the best interests of the Province, and having been emphatically condemned by the electorate at the late general election, the undersigned would respectfully request the Premier of Canada to lay these facts before the Governor General of Canada humbly suggesting that the usefulness of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor is gone.[lvi]

Two days later the Governor-General, upon returning from a fishing trip, gave his assent to the following Order in Council:

On a memorandum dated June 20, 1900, from the Right Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, stating that the action of the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia in dismissing his ministers had not been approved by the people of that province, and further, that in view of recent events in the said province of British Columbia it is evident that the Government of that province cannot be successfully carried on in the manner contemplated by the constitution, under the administration of the present Lieutenant-Governor, His Honour Thomas Mclnnes, whose official conduct has been subversive of the principles of responsible government.

“The Right Honourable the Premier submits that therefore Mr. Mclnnes’ usefulness as Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia is gone, and he recommends that Mr. Mclnnes be removed from said office, and that the cause to be assigned for such removal under the provisions of section 59 of the British North America Act shall be the matters set forth in this minute.[lvii]

The official appointment of Sir Henry Joly de Lotbinière as Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia occurred the following day. It was felt in the Province that with Martin powerless and Mclnnes removed a period of political stability would commence. Unfortunately, there remained the extraordinary conditions of which the incidents covered in this survey are just a fraction. These incidents were the result, rather than the cause, of the political instability and uncertainty. From 1898 to 1900 British Columbia was a seething cauldron of political unrest. Ministries rose, played well or ill their part, and vanished into the limbo which yawns for the unfit and defective. Men appeared and vanished; only the confusion remained.

The standard interpretation of the Mclnnes episode appears to be that held by Professor A. B. Keith, who writes “that Mclnnes had set about to turn the province into a good Liberal province and had dismissed a couple of ministries as a preliminary to this result, and had kept another ministry in office for months without a parliamentary majority.”[lviii]  R. MacGregor Dawson, a noted authority on Canadian constitutional history, seems to agree almost completely with Keith and adds that “Lieutenant-Governor Mclnnes . . . succeeded in getting the affairs of that province into hopeless confusion in 1898—1900 through a misguided use of the power of dismissal.”[lix]  Later in the same article he comments that “the politics were . . . in such confusion that the Dominion Government was forced to intervene, which it did in a very effective manner by removing the Lieutenant-Governor.”[lx] With this analysis one cannot help but disagree.

Mclnnes was charged with having unconstitutionally dismissed Turner and Semlin, allowed Martin to form a government, and retained him in office while he lacked support in the Assembly. The Turner Government had definitely lost the support of the electorate and, as events were soon to prove, could not control the House. This seemed fully apparent immediately after the election of 1898. Turner, however, chose neither to resign nor to have an early Session. While he pursued this policy of vacillation, the Province was undergoing a process of development which demanded legislation. At no time had the Turner Ministry been able to keep pace with this expansion; rather it had seemed preoccupied with the active and moral support of what might be called “vested interests” in the Province, and the new elements and new industries had suffered accordingly. Mclnnes must have seriously questioned the fitness of the Administration to govern. Moreover, if we can rely on the correspondence, Mclnnes distrusted the advice tendered to him by his Ministry, for on several previous occasions he had been almost purposely misled. Accordingly, believing that the Government was not acting in the best interests of the Province, and feeling that advice was not tendered to him in good faith, Mclnnes was easily convinced by the election results that the people, too, had a definite distaste for Turner and his colleagues. When the Premier refused to take any action—that is, either resign or meet the Assembly—Mclnnes dismissed him. Considering all the impinging factors, the dismissal appears justifiable, however slim the margin of constitutionality might have been. The acclaim which his action received in most parts of the Province was adequate testimony to the expected benefits arising from the dismissal.

Semlin had more clearly lost the support of the Assembly. He had achieved and held power because of the brilliant campaigning and strenuous efforts of Joseph Martin. When Martin left the Cabinet, Semlin’s strength collapsed. Rather than resign or request a dissolution,[lxi] the Premier attempted to form a precarious and somewhat unorthodox coalition, where the only bond of unity would be a common determination to retain the spoils of office. Such a government as Semlin contemplated would have been hesitant, ineffective, and almost fraudulent. In dismissing Semlin, Mclnnes had served his Province well. He stretched the constitution to its limits. He did not break it.

Theoretically the monarch may call upon almost anyone to form a government, but convention has determined the course normally followed, and the Leader of the Opposition is usually approached. During this crisis, however, there was no official Leader of the Opposition and the correctness of Mclnnes’ act in calling upon Martin is not disputable. With the public outcry so strong and spontaneous and the displeasure of the Assembly so emphatically pronounced, Mclnnes should have taken further steps. He would have suffered little loss of dignity or prestige had he revoked his decision outright when Martin experienced such severe difficulties in forming a ministry. Better still, Martin, upon threat of dismissal, might have been persuaded to relinquish office by admitting his inability to form a government. He could still have participated in a general election, for irrespective of who was called an election was necessary.

Considering the Cabinet which Martin had formed, and remembering that none of the new Ministers had obtained a seat, the three months’ delay before the election was very irregular and perhaps unconstitutional; it certainly violated convention. Yet the Lieutenant-Governor faced a dilemma. His responsible advisers wanted the new Redistribution Bill to take effect before the election, in order to remove many of the glaring inequalities in representation. Although Scott at this point demanded an early Session or an immediate election, Mclnnes chose to adhere rigidly to the advice of his Cabinet.[lxii]

It appears from this survey that Lieutenant-Governor McInnes can be justly charged with violating outright the fundamental principles of the constitution in one instance alone, and even on this occasion he had followed the advice of his responsible Ministers. To condemn him on all charges would be to disregard completely the fundamental issues underlying the situation which he faced. Above all, it must be kept in mind that, in many ways, political conditions are but an outward reflection of the social and economic nature of a society.

There is no evidence to support Keith’s statement that Mclnnes acted with a preconceived plan—the introduction of a Liberal government on true party lines into British Columbia. No doubt Mclnnes wished to see the end of factional government, as did most progressive public men who were not so deeply involved in the local maelstrom that their vision was clouded. Many realized that only with the introduction of true political parties would political stability result. Later events were to prove the soundness of this belief.

To state that Mclnnes created the confusion in British Columbia lies no nearer the truth. Confusion already existed. It was the natural corollary of factional government. This period was one of transition, politically and economically, from adolescence to maturity. Factional alinements were breaking down in the face of new, larger, and more significant issues. British Columbia was at last coming of age, and the existing type of government could not cope successfully with the new demands made upon it. The confusion was to remain until true political parties, organized and disciplined, with definite political philosophies and practical programmes, became permanent features of Provincial politics.

The last point that must be considered is the justice of Mclnnes’ dismissal. The only similar case before that time had occurred when the Conservative government of Sir John A. Macdonald had dismissed Lieutenant-Governor Letellier of Quebec in 1878.[lxiii] The precedent established in that case, however, was not one that could be easily or justly followed. Mclnnes was fully aware of the association that had arisen between his actions and the success of Martin. Immediately after the election Mclnnes wrote to the Governor-General informing him that the Semlin faction had been utterly annihilated. In Mclnnes’ own words: “had Mr. Semlin made an issue of his dismissal and had been sustained by the electorate, I admit that my action could justly be said to have been condemned by the people of this province, and I should have tendered my resignation.” He believed, on the contrary, that the election proved that “my action in dismissing the Semlin Government has been completely justified by the people.” “And at that point,” Mclnnes concluded, “I respectfully submit that my responsibility ends. For if the people themselves cannot indicate a leader in whom they have confidence—and they certainly have not done so —I submit that I cannot be fairly condemned for having to select a leader under whom they would unite.”[lxiv]  

When the Letellier question arose in the House of Commons, Wilfrid Laurier, then in Opposition, had strongly opposed any Dominion interference in what he considered a purely Provincial affair. With reference to the projected dismissal of Letellier, Laurier maintained that it rested solely in the hands of the Quebec electorate, and intimated that if the vote went against the Cabinet chosen by the Lieutenant-Governor, the reinstatement of the dismissed ministry would be the only proper punishment. In 1900, although his words were reminiscent of his earlier statements, Laurier discovered, probably to his own dismay, that his position had undergone a profound change. While there is no reason to doubt that he was still firmly convinced that the Federal Government should not interfere in the Provincial imbroglio, as Prime Minister he could not disregard the public outcry. Principle was overridden by political expediency.

The note of dismissal charged that Lieutenant-Governor Mclnnes’ policy had not been approved by the people and that his actions had been “subversive of the principles of responsible government.” This statement is rather too narrow an approach. It is necessary to realize that the election of 1900 was fought, not upon the action of the Lieutenant-Governor, but between two political groups striving to seize the reigns of office. The act and the cause assigned were slightly incongruous.

Yet, Mclnnes’ dismissal was necessary. He would have found it impossible to achieve an amicable working relationship with his new advisers. Deadlock would have resulted, and dismissal was a necessary last resort. It is not known how far the Laurier Ministry went in an attempt to work out a satisfactory adjustment before the dismissal. Mclnnes was asked to resign, but in such a way that he refused, believing that resignation would be construed as an admission of error and would relieve the Government of the difficult task of having to devise a justification for his dismissal. The note, however, was couched in phrases which were an undue reflection upon Mclnnes’ integrity and far too severe an indictment of his policy.

Only one more point remains to be stressed. Mclnnes found extant a political situation that would have taxed the ingenuity, patience, and resourcefulness of the greatest of statesmen. Had he let matters drift, he would have betrayed his position of moral responsibility and destroyed the faith and trust of those over whom he had been placed. That he took too strong a stand when he had become convinced of the soundness of his policy, and that he moved boldly when his path became clear, is indisputable. That he erred in judgment is also beyond dispute. Those who charge him with political partisanship, like those who maintain that he was the creator of the confusion, have failed to under stand the nature of the conditions which he faced. The confusion was pre-existent and ever increasing, and in his attempts to stem the rising tide of uncertainty and stabilize the politics of the Province, Mclnnes had ignored the old, firmly entrenched interests. In so doing he had helped to bring about their down fall but had also assured his own.

John Tupper Saywell. University of British Columbia

[i] The material pertaining to the family background and early life of Mclnnes can be found in E. 0. S. Scholefield and F. W. Howay, British Columbia from the earliest times to the present, Vancouver, 1914, Vol. IV, p. 1116

[ii] Victoria Colonist, December 2, 1897

[iii] Shortly after his appointment Mclnnes ordered that all toasts at government functions should be drunk only in some mild beverage. A firm believer in temperance and a total abstainer, he remained oblivious to the storm of protest. Actions like this indicate his weaknesses and served only to irritate the populace, destroying amicable relations between the Lieutenant-Governor and his Provincial charges. Vancouver Province, March 19, 1898.

[iv] Victoria Colonist, July 23, 1898.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Canada, Department of Justice, Memorandum on the office of Lieutenant-Governor of a Province: Its constitutional character and functions, Ottawa, 1938, p. 3.

[vii] Canada, Parliamentary debates on the subject of the confederation of the British North American Provinces, n.p., 1865, p. 42

[viii] On the position of the Lieutenant-Governor as provided for in the British North America Act, 1867, see sections 9, 10, 11, 13, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 82, 90, 92 (1).

[ix] E. R. Cameron, The Canadian constitution as interpreted by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Winnipeg, 1915, p. 419, quoted from The Liquidators of the Maritime Bank of Canada v. The Receiver General of New Brunswick.

[x] W. N. Sage, “The position of the Lieutenant-Governor in British Columbia in the years following Confederation,” R. Flenley (ed.), Essays in Canadian history, Toronto, 1939, p. 178

[xi] The press was almost unanimous in its condemnation of the Government. The notable exception was the Victoria Colonist, while among the harshest were the Victoria Times, Vancouver Province, and Kamloops Inland Sentinel.

[xii] E. B. Mercer, Political groups in British Columbia 1883—1898, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1937.

[xiii] Davie completely controlled the Island, but he was very weak on the rapidly growing Mainland. Two Government supporters won minority seats in the Cariboo; four others won uncontested seats. The Government received only 55 per cent of the popular vote. During the early years of the Turner Government there was a noticeable change of sentiment and signs were manifest of the inevitable break-up of the faction which had been so long in power.

[xiv] Vancouver Province, November 13, 1897, et seq

[xv] Ibid., November 13, 1897.

[xvi] The election of two members from Cassiar, a district with only 300 voters, was held three weeks after the other contests. Cassiar was a recognized Government stronghold, due in great part to the generous public-work doles handed out in the area.

[xvii] ) The only recorded trial, that in Esquimalt, reveals that road work, liquor, cigars, etc., were liberally handed out by W. B. Bullen, the Government candidate. The evidence was so damning that D. W. Higgins, with a minority of two votes, was declared elected.

[xviii] Figures compiled from the official election returns.

[xix] Ibid., July 11, 1898.

[xx] Mclnnes to Turner, July 11, 1898, in British Columbia Gazette, September 1, 1898, p. 1790

[xxi] Ibid. In this instance Mclnnes followed the precedent set by Lord Aberdeen in 1896 when he refused his assent to many Orders in Council of the interim Tupper Administration. Aberdeen’s course was approved by most public men, except the Conservatives of course, and by the Colonial Secretary, to whom he was responsible.

[xxii] Mclnnes to Lord Aberdeen, August 19, 1898, in Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1899, Vol. XIV, No. 89, p. 4.

[xxiii] Ibid. Eberts informed the Lieutenant—Governor that despite official refusal of assent, he, the Attorney-General, had the power to grant appropriations from the Treasury on his own authority. Mclnnes doubted the validity of such a claim and after much investigation, found that Eberts was wrong. It appeared to McInnes as if it was an attempt to bluff him.

[xxiv] Mclnnes to Turner, August 8, 1898, in British Columbia Gazette, September 1, 1898, p. 1790.

[xxv] Mclnnes to Lord Aberdeen, August 19, 1898, in Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1899, Vol. XIV, No. 89, p. 5.

[xxvi] Victoria Colonist, August 14, 1898.

[xxvii] Vancouver Province, August 16, 1898.

[xxviii] For the correspondence pertaining to this topic see British Columbia, Sessional Papers, 1900 (Victoria, 1901), pp. 463—483.

[xxix] Ibid., pp. 273, 485—486.

[xxx] C. E. Tisdall, the owner of a Vancouver store which for years had supplied the Provincial Police with their ammunition, discovered that soon after his election a clerk had sold a box of cartridges to a policeman. A law was violated whereby a member having commercial associations with the Government could be fined $500 for every day he sat in the Assembly. Tisdall resigned to recontest his seat. Hall realized that he had sold coal to Government House and resigned also. McPhfflips, Turner, and Baker were worried about their status, and all but Baker resigned. Victoria Times, January 11, 1899.

[xxxi] ) Martin happened to be in Rossland on a night when a huge banquet was held. He was invited and in due time was called upon to respond to the toast to the Government. Fluent and pleasing in speech, Martin was usually well received. This was no exception, but Martin talked on and on. His words became more flat, stale, and unprofitable—” a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” His audience became restless and inattentive, but Martin, visibly bothered by the frequent interruptions, went on like an unappreciated end man in a variety show. Suddenly he roared, “I will not be silenced by hobos in evening dresses.” When someone had recovered sufficiently to reply, “You’re the hobo,” Martin lost his temper completely. See Rossland Miner, July 13, 1899.

[xxxii] Martin to Semlin, July 5, 1899, quoted in Victoria Colonist, July 6, 1899.

[xxxiii] Ibid.

[xxxiv] Scott to Mclnnes, August 30, 1899, in Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1900, Vol. XIII, No. 174, p. 7.

[xxxv] Journals of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Victoria, 1900, p. 77.

[xxxvi] Vancouver Province, February 27, 1900; Martin to David Mills, Minister of Justice, March 19, 1900, Premier’s official letter book, 1900—03, Letter No. 17, MS., Archives of British Columbia.

[xxxvii] Mclnnes to the Governor-General, March 27, 1900, in Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1900, Vol. XIII, No. 174, p. 7.

[xxxviii] Mclnnes to Semlin, February 27, 1900, ibid., p. 11.

[xxxix] Ibid.

[xl] Scott to Mclnnes, February 27, 1900, ibid., p. 7.

[xli] Journals of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Victoria, 1900, p. 78.

[xlii] Ibid.

[xliii] Vancouver Province, February 28, 1900.

[xliv] Mclnnes to the Governor-General, March 27, 1900, in Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1900, Vol. XIII, No. 174, p. 8.

[xlv] Mclnnes to the Toronto Globe, cited in Canada, Senate, Debates, Ottawa, 1900, p. 850.

[xlvi] Journals of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Victoria, 1900, p. 79.

[xlvii] Ibid

[xlviii] Ibid

[xlix] Cf. Vancouver Province and Victoria Colonist, March 1—2, 1900.

[l] Vancouver Province, March 7, 1900.

[li] The construction of a line such as Martin advocated had been, and was to remain for another fifteen years, the crying need of the Southern Interior. Development in the Kootenays, the Okanagan, and the Similkameen was almost entirely dependent upon the introduction of transportation facilities. The Turner Government, as early as 1897, had turned down the application of the V.V. & E. for a charter to build. After Martin had failed, the Dunsmuir Government followed a policy of hesitation and procrastination. The railway was not completed until 1915.

[lii] Mclnnes to the Governor-General, March 27, 1900, in Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1900, Vol. XIII, No. 174, p. 9.

[liii] Ibid.

[liv] Canada, House of Commons, Debates, Ottawa, 1900, p. 1386.

[lv] Ibid.

[lvi] Vancouver Province, June 19, 1900.

[lvii] Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1900, Vol. XIII, No. 174, p. 26.

[lviii] Arthur Berriedale Keith, Imperial unity and the Dominions, Oxford, 1916, p. 432.

[lix] R. MacGregor Dawson, “The independence of the Lieutenant Governor,” Dalhousie Review, Vol. II (1922), p. 239.

[lx] Ibid.

[lxi] Most authorities would agree that Semlin was entitled to ask for a dissolution. It is probable that he would have received one.

[lxii] Cf. Scott’s advice to Mclnnes of August 30, 1899, v. suprct, foot note (34).

[lxiii] On the Letellier incident see A. Shortt and A. G. Doughty, Canada and its Provinces, Toronto, 1914, Vol. XV, pp. 180—190; “The Mclnnes incident in British Columbia,” a graduating essay by this author available at the University of British Columbia or Provincial Archives; Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1879, Vol. VIII, No. 19, and ibid., 1880, Vol. IX, No. 18.

[lxiv] Canada, Sessional Papers, Ottawa, 1900, Vol. XIII, No. 174, p. 7.