TOPICS OF THE WEEK - 25 MARCH 1886

THE Riel Debate still goes on: the discussion is widening till it threatens to use up every particle of ammunition belonging to the Opposition, who are firing all their powder and shot in a cause they have properly no concern with. This is improvident; for when the main attack on the Government in respect to the causes of the rebellion is to be made, nothing will remain to be said: the whole Opposition case -- the case of the country this time -- will be like an extinct volcano, the force of whose fires have been spent -- scattered broadcast at everybody's feet, and neglected or regarded as dead ashes. Arguments cannot be used with the same effect a second time. Riel's sympathizers, it must be admitted, have shown themselves able to do justice to their cause: seldom has a more telling speech than that of Mr. Laurier been uttered in Parliament on any subject. When with upraised finger pointing at ministerial delay he cried -- “Too late, too late! when hearts are swelling with long accumulating bitterness; when men, from long and weary waiting, have grown sullen and sore, a trifle sets the fatal mischief in motion, even as a spark of fire dropped into the prairie grass at certain times and seasons starts an unquenchable and mighty conflagration” -- when, referring to the sudden admission by Government of the dual privileges of the Metis, he asked "And why this sudden change of policy?" and thundered in reply, “Because of the bullets of Duck Lake, by which the Canadian Government stood convicted, yielding justice, not to right, but to rebellion," -- when he thus indicted the Government he rose above his subject; but after all in the main his plea was for the French-Canadian National cause, which is not that of the Liberal


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