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The "Little Portland Engine," built about 1873 for the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway, later a branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway
"The Dainty Dish," a political cartoon by J.W. Bengough, depicting evidence of the Pacific Scandal being presented to the governor general
In this section:
The government of Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) was toppled in 1873 when it was revealed that prominent members of Parliament had accepted illicit funds from Sir Hugh Allan (1810-1882) in exchange for assurances that Allan would win the contract to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway. Orders-in-council provide unique insight into the infamous affair, which became known popularly as the "Pacific Scandal. "The charges against the government were made public in April 1873. A few months earlier, an order-in-council approved on January 31, 1873, had recommended that the government begin negotiating with a number of individuals -- including Sir Hugh Allan, Sandford Fleming (1827-1915), Privy Council member Adams George Archibald (1814-1892) and others -- who had raised ten million dollars for the construction of the transcontinental railway. The negotiations must have been exceedingly brief, for another order-in-council was approved on the same day recommending that an agreement be entered into with the same list of entrepreneurs. A draft charter accompanied the recommendation, and Macdonald himself certified that he had conducted the negotiations with Sir Hugh Allan and his associates.