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The King Byng affair started with corruption in the Customs department which became a scandal when a Liberal MP and Minister responsible for duties and excise , George Boivin, interfered with the incarceration of one of the convicted parties in the corruption case, a Moses Aziz who had been caught with contraband liquor for a third time which drew a 1 year sentence.

A Parliamentary committee was formed to review the transactions and the regulation of liquor passing through Canada in general. The committee found several issues to report back to Parliament about and when a motion of censure against the Liberal government was introduced, it became a life and death issue for Mackenzie King. He could not accept the passage of the motion because if he did then he would probably not be able to get elected again and in essence his career in politics would be over. As King scrambled to find support in the House where the Liberals held 101 sold votes, the Conservatives 116 votes, the Progressives 24 votes, 2 by independents and 2 by Labour.

The Labour leader J.S. Woodsworth made a two hour speech trying to mobilize support fro King, who he felt was the a better choice then the Conservatives but by the 5th day of debate defeat for the Liberals looked certain. On June 25th, 1926 Mackenzie King, the wily fox of Canadian politics, thought he saw a way out of the quagmire. He went to visit the Governor General three times to not only ask that Parliament be dissolved but to demand that it be dissolved and that a Federal Election be called. His reasoning was that no party except the Liberals had been the government since the last election and they were, so far, still in charge, hence they had the right to request an election.

What was actually discussed between Byng and King seems unclear but the result was that Lord Byng refused to allow him to call an election. King returned to the House of Commons where he caught everyone by surprise when he announced that the Government had resigned and moved to adjourn. As Arthur Meighen began to reply, he was cut off by King who stated "I might say that this motion is not debatable." Meighen, clearly caught off guard suggest that  he and the Prime Minister discuss the matter and King essentially responded by stating that there was no Prime Minister.

Later that day the Governor General sent for Arthur Meighen and asked him if he could form a stable government. Meighen responded that he thought he could and managed to broker a deal with the Progressives who were tired of King's tricks and politics and hence jumped into bed with the Conservatives, the party which the Progressives had originally been formed to oppose.      

Meighen took up the office of the Prime Minister but according to Parliamentary tradition and law at that time, he was required t resign his seat in the House and run in a by-election before he could take up a Cabinet post, which the Prime Ministership certainly was. He did however get around the issue of appointing Cabinet Ministers who would have to resign and run again by designating them as acting Ministers.

King however went on the attack as soon as the Conservatives tried to conduct normal House business by asking under what authority the bills and financial matters were being presented and asked to vote upon. King claimed that the acting Ministers had not taken an oath of office to conduct business and hence the whole setup was not within the boundaries of the law.  King implied that Meighen who he claimed could not form a government and hence the whole situation was the fault of the Conservatives for claiming that they could, not the Governor General who had accepted Meighen's assurances in good faith. The Progressives were persuaded and when matters came to a vote, the Conservatives lost 96 to 95. Byng was now forced t call an election and King was able to gather all of the nationalistic symbols, sentiments, and arguments around the Liberal party and go to a general election with Meighen's attempt at governing as the issue instead of corruption and political interference by Liberal Ministers.

The election was held and King and his Liberals on 60 of 65 seats in Quebec and 116 seats nationally to the Conservatives 91 and the Progressives, who could again be counted on to support the Liberals, winning 30 seats. Meighen was replaced at the next Conservative party convention as leader with R.B. Bennett.