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CHAPTER V. Clergy Reserves, Rectory Endowment, And Separate School
Questions.?The "globe's" Attitude. From this time Mr. Brown and the
Globe were ranged in opposition to the ministry, which, on Mr.
Baldwin's resignation, was led by Mr. Hincks. Mr. Lafontaine
retired at the same time. The latter gentleman was probably the
greatest obstacle to progress. Mr. Baldwin was timid; Mr.
Lafontaine was hostile; and it is not improbable that if the
ministry had proceeded with the necessary measures for secularizing
the clergy reserves, that he would have seceded. It is impossible
to avoid charging him with something like deception or treachery.
He knew the principles avowed at the general election: he knew this
carried the country; he accepted office with the cry for justice
ringing in his ears, yet he retained office from April 1848 to
October 1851, ostensibly as a liberal minister practically pledged
to cany out the electoral programme, though he must have known that
the course he pursued was not altogether what would be expected
from an honourable high-minded man, and must result in the
disruption of the party whose policy and principles he was bound to
sustain and promote. That Mr. Lafontaine's friends may have
something to say for him is very probable. That many, indeed all,
of the people loved Mr. Baldwin for his high personal qualities, is
very true; but nothing can excuse the course pursued by them when
they were placed in power for a specific purpose and then failed to
attempt the accomplishment of that purpose. Sir Francis Hincks long
afterwards wrote concerning Mr. Lafontaine as follows: " The French
Canadians as a party were extremely unwilling to " commit
themselves on the clergy reserves or rectory questions . . . "Mr.
Lafontaine himself had a strong conservat...
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