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William Vallance Whiteway

(1828—1908) politician in Newfoundland


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(1828–1908). Whiteway moved to Newfoundland from his native England to work in the fish trade but started practising law in 1852. He was elected as a Conservative in 1859, serving as speaker of the House from 1865 to 1869, when, as a pro-Confederate, he lost his seat. Re-elected in 1874, he was solicitor general until 1878, when he became premier. Whiteway favoured removing the obstacles to development of the west coast imposed by French fishing rights, and constructing a railway to develop the resources of the island. Sectarian tensions and the first railway company's failure tore apart the Conservative coalition in 1885. After a period in opposition Whiteway returned as premier in 1889, leading the Liberal Party. His government attempted to negotiate an end to the irritant of the French Shore and reciprocity with the United States, but both failed due to British and Canadian opposition and the less-conciliatory lieutenants within his party. The opposition brought down the government through legal technicalities in 1894. While the elderly Whiteway resumed the premiership in 1895, younger cabinet members outshone him. Three years after losing the election of 1897, Whiteway was ousted as Liberal leader by Robert Bond.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.


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