"He fully realizes the great desire of the members of the Force to enlist for overseas service, and he is aware that practically the whole Force would offer their services at the Front if permission could be given. This patriotic spirit is entirely commendable; but all members of the Force must remember that the service they are now rendering to the Dominion and to the Empire is not less important than that which they would perform if serving at the Front. Further, it is a service which can only be efficiently performed by a force which has been trained in the discharge of the duties it is called upon to undertake. For these reasons the Prime Minister has found himself unable to consent to the retirement from the Force of many officers and men who have asked that permission for the purpose of enlistment." Sir Robert is especially wise when he mentions how only the trained men of the Mounted Police could do certain duties. Men with less tact, firmness, fairness and discipline would have had the whole country in a turmoil a dozen times over during these recent decades. For during this period the West has been seething with an inrushing tide of polyglot people who have been naturally disposed to consider that the liberty of a new land gave them unrestrained licence to do what they pleased. Under proper oversight they have found their feet without losing their heads.
That year, 1916, Commissioner Perry reported that the Mounted Police had subscribed $30,000 to the Canadian Patriotic Fund. This later reached $50,000.00. These men were serving on a small wage, but if they could not get away to the Front they were going to help the cause to the limit and when the opportunity would be given they would show their readiness to go themselves wherever needed.
That year also the Commissioner reported the death of Assistant Commissioner A. E. R. Cuthbert, to be followed a few years later by the sudden demise of one of his successors, Assistant Commissioner W. H. Routledge. Both had given splendid service. Cuthbert had been thirty-one years with the Force and had served with distinction in South Africa. Routledge had served in all parts of the West, including the Yukon. He was a master of detail and system, and did work of unique value in arranging the reports and working out orderly methods in the use of documents. In the same report the Commissioner expressed the regret of himself and the Force at the retirement of Mr. Lawrence Fortescue, who had joined the corps at the very beginning, had made the trek to the West and then was recalled to Ottawa to assist with the work of the Department there. At the time of his retirement he was Comptroller of the Force. The corps has been fortunate in its Comptrollers, the men who are official administrative heads and have the general oversight of expenditures. Lieut.-Colonel Frederick White, who for long and faithful service was given the C.M.G., was the first Comptroller—a man of great ability and indefatigable disposition. The present popular and able Comptroller is Mr. A. A. McLean, a sturdy Highland type from Prince Edward Island, who was a prominent lawyer and legislator for years. Much of the steady frictionless movement of the whole department depends on the administrative talent of the Comptroller.
When we have heard arm-chair critics attack police expenditure, we have thought not only of the practice of economy as already indicated in the case of reports from officers at many points, but of the amount saved to Canada by the devoted and self-sacrificing efforts of these men to head off lawless movements and to create in the remotest points of the country a wholesome respect for constituted authority.
There were many wonderful patrols in the Arctic circle, but those which had to do with the detection of crime or the unravelling of mysteries connected with the disappearance of explorers and traders or others naturally attracted most attention. There were not many of these particular patrols, for the Esquimaux were not by any means murderously inclined. The cases investigated showed that they had been moved by provocation.
One of these cases resulted in the famous Bathurst Inlet patrol. In 1911 two men, Mr. H. V. Radford, an American, and Mr. T. G. Street, a Canadian, went on an exploring and specimen collecting journey into the North. They reached Bathurst Inlet in 1912, having wintered at Schultz Lake. In May, 1913, that well-known northern patrol man, Sergeant W. G. Edgenton, of the Mounted Police, who was in command of the post at Fullerton, reported that a rumour had come to him through Eskimo that Radford and Street had been killed by the Eskimos in June, 1912. A few days later one of the Eskimos, by name Akulack, who had travelled part of the way with the explorers, came to Chesterfield Inlet and gave Mr. H. H. Hall, the Hudson's Bay Company officer there, an account of what he had heard. It appeared that the wife of one of the Eskimos who was travelling with the explorers had fallen on the ice and was seriously hurt. So the Eskimo refused quite properly to leave her in that condition, upon which Radford tried to enforce obedience by repeatedly striking the Eskimo till a general row started and the two explorers, or whatever they were, suffered death. It took three years or so to get at the facts, with the final decision that, the murder having been traced to the perpetrators, the whole evidence showed that it was a case where the Eskimo had acted in self-defence and that, while in imminent fear of being killed by the white men, they had taken the lives of the latter. But the Mounted Police had to travel many a long and dangerous mile through many a weary month before these facts were discovered. We give an outline of the process in the following pages.
Superintendents Starnes and Demers recommended that an expedition be equipped for two or three years and sent out to investigate, but the wrecks of schooners and other untoward incidents interfered. But in July, 1914, over two years from the date of the alleged crime, Inspector W. J. Beyts, an officer of much experience in the North, left on a Government schooner from Halifax with a sergeant and two constables. The weather was so bad that they did not reach the Hudson's Bay Coast till it was too late to establish a post at Baker Lake. The next year, after enormous difficulties, he succeeded in planting the post, but the winter of 1915-16 was such that two brave attempts to get to Bathurst Inlet failed. Game on which they had to rely for dog-feed was so scarce that supply could not be secured. Dogs died by the score also amongst the Eskimo that year, and Beyts reports one case where there were only six dogs amongst ten families, and another case where the sleigh was being pulled by one man, two women and a dog. In the summer of 1916 Beyts, by previous arrangement, returned to headquarters, and his place was taken by Inspector F. H. French, who arrived at Baker Lake in September. This was more than four years after the murder, but the Police never let go their hold once they started on a case.
Commissioner Perry's instructions to Inspector French were these: "It will be your duty to get in touch at the earliest possible moment with the tribes said to be responsible for the deaths. You will make inquiries and take such statutory declarations as may seem necessary in order to obtain a full and accurate account of the occurrence. From information received, it is assumed that there was provocation. If this is found to be the case, it is not the intention of the Government to proceed with prosecution. If, however, there was found to be no provocation, the Government will consider what further action is to be taken."
French was "to the manner born" in the Police service. He was a son of that gallant officer, Inspector "Jack" French, leader of "French's Scouts" in the second Rebellion, who was killed by a half-breed sniper after having driven Riel's men from their coverts in one section of the fight at Batoche. And he was also the nephew of Colonel Sir George French, the first Commissioner of Mounted Police after their organization, although Colonel Osborne Smith, as already stated, was Commissioner for the purpose of swearing in the men.
And this younger French was evidently a "chip of the old block," because he does not contemplate failure. In January, 1917, he wrote: "I hope to make a successful trip, commencing in March next," but he knows it will be a fight against the elements and against want, for he adds: "my only difficulty will be the inevitable dog-feed question, which rises at every point where a man moves in this country." He will have to depend on game and game is always uncertain.
French was fortunate in his party having with him Sergt.-Major T. B. Caulkin (later Inspector), a most reliable and persevering man who knew the Eskimo country, and he had also police natives, Joe and "Bye and Bye," with two other natives to assist. They were absent from their base at Baker Lake about ten months of almost incessant travel amongst the Eskimo, to whom on all occasions of meeting French explained the law of the country in relation to human life and property. In that regard it was a kind of missionary tour and did lasting good.
Getting into contact with the Eskimo tribe at Bathurst Inlet, French secured many statutory declarations which established beyond all doubt that two Eskimos who were known to be quiet and inoffensive men, had been goaded by ill-treatment into turning on their tormentors and putting an end to them. French had fulfilled his mission and did not consider it necessary to arrest these men. But the patrol had impressed upon these "ends of the earth" the lessons desired.
French's return was attended by great hardship. Game was scarce and wild. So food for both men and dogs ran out again and again. Dogs were shot as they became exhausted and fed to the other dogs. Deerskins were chopped up and made into soup. Fuel oil became exhausted and sleds had to be burned. As one of the party, French himself said, "It looked like their last patrol," but they struck some deer and got food, which toned them and their dogs up so that "they made the grade." But it was a close call and every member of the party deserved the eulogy expressed by French in which all who know the history include as chief the Inspector himself. He had done good service throughout the years, but the Bathurst Inlet patrol will always remain as an outstanding mark to his credit.
Similarly will the Bear Lake patrol go to the credit of Inspector C. D. La Nauze, who also was fortunate in having splendid support from his men. The occasion of the Patrol was the disappearance of two priests, Fathers Rouvier and Le Roux, who in 1913 had left Fort Norman on the Mackenzie River for a two years' absence in establishing missions amongst the Eskimo of the far North. When the two years were well on and no news had been received from them, their friends began to get anxious, and of course appeal was made to the Mounted Police, who were expected to unravel all mysteries and solve all perplexing problems. And it is to their credit that they never turned a deaf ear to such appeals. It took nearly two years and a half to get the solution of the mystery. There were others in the patrol when it started, but Inspector La Nauze, Constable Wight, Special Native Constable Ilavinik and Corporal W. V. Bruce were those who were in at the end when two Eskimo men, Sinninsiak and Uluksak, were arrested by them at Coronation Gulf as the self-confessed murderers of the two priests. Leaving Great Bear Lake in April, 1916, La Nauze, Wight and Ilavinik reached Coronation Gulf a month later and here they met Corporal Bruce, who had been sent out by Inspector Phillips from Herschell Island to gather information that would help to locate the priests, if alive, and if they were not found to discover the cause of their disappearance. Bruce knew the whole region and knew many of the Eskimos personally. Without exciting their suspicion he had found amongst them and purchased several articles of priests' wear which strongly indicated that the priests had perished. Ilavinik proved a treasure. The party found two of the explorer Steffanson's men and they had heard of Ilavinik, so that the way became easier. Finally La Nauze and Ilavinik began to talk to the people in their igloos, and inquire if any white men had been that way at any time. They said Yes, and then La Nauze sat back and let Ilavinik do the talking. In a little while he turned, trembling with the excitement of it, to the Inspector and said, "I have got on the track. These men know who murdered the priests and they are very, very sorry that any of the Eskimos should have done it." This led very soon to the arrest of Sinnisiak, who was said to be the chief instigator of the crime, his companion being of a milder type. After examination of the prisoner and witnesses, the Inspector formally committed Sinnisiak for trial by a competent court. Then La Nauze left the prisoner in charge of Constable Bruce, while he, accompanied by Constable Wight and a bright young Eskimo "Patsy" who was attached to the Canadian Arctic Expedition, went to South Victoria Land and arrested Uluksak. He was of a gentler type. Sinnisiak had rather demurred to being arrested and had indicated his power to make medicine that would sink the white man's ship if they tried to take him away. But Uluksak came forward at once and gave himself up. La Nauze asked him if he knew what they had come for and the Eskimo said, "Yes, to kill me by striking me on the head as the other white men did." He was formally arrested by Wight and committed for trial by the Inspector. From the evidence it seemed clear that the priests in their eagerness to get ahead had attempted to force the two men to go along with them. Uluksak said one of them put his hand on the Eskimo's mouth and would not let him say anything. Generally speaking the priests showed their lack of understanding of the Eskimo nature and fell victims to their own impetuosity in dealing with them.
The prisoners were brought all the way to Edmonton and then to Calgary, where they were finally tried. They seemed to be as guileless and simple as children, and gave absolutely no trouble from the day they were arrested. They became much attached to their captors and cried when they had to leave them. But they had told their story with clearness, and the jury brought in a verdict of "Guilty with the strongest recommendation to mercy a jury can make." They were sentenced to be hanged, but this was commuted to imprisonment for life, and they were finally sent back amongst their own people in the far North. It was felt that justice had been vindicated and that their story to their own people would be of great value to prevent any such event occurring again. These two patrols of French and La Nauze, along with a recent arrest of an Eskimo in another part of the Arctic Circle by Sergeant Douglas, revealed again to the world that the long arm of the Mounted Police was unavoidable once anyone had transgressed laws in regard to human welfare. And thus are the men of this famous corps patrolling the vast white North in all directions at the time of this writing.
That such patrolling is excessively difficult and dangerous may be gathered from such a report as that sent in by Inspector J. W. Phillips, who was in command of the Herschell Island detachment in 1918. He, with Constables Cornelius and Doak, was wrecked 8 miles off Herschell Island, when their whale boat was crushed to pieces in the ice. They had to jump on the floating ice. The cakes were small and were churning round and up-ending. At times the piece on which one would be standing would up-end and then it was a case of jumping or being crushed to death. Finally they reached the shore ice. Then they started for Herschell Island, but found great cracks or leads in the ice too wide to cross. They changed their course and made for the nearest land. They found the leads narrower. By joining their belts and suspenders together a line was made. One of them would swim the lead and then assist the others over by this life-line. They crossed over more than a score of leads in this way before reaching the nearest land. We read this over and then think of men in comfortable armchairs finding fault with police expenditure.
But the remaining part of the report in this connection is still more amazing. Let me quote it. "The time spent by us from the wrecking of the boat on the ice to our reaching the land was ten hours. A gale from the north-east had been blowing all the time and in our soaking wet condition we suffered severely from the cold." One would imagine they would when he reads on. Phillips says, "The only clothing we wore at this time was our under garments, trousers and muckluks. Our Artiggies we threw away, as we found they hampered us too much when getting across the leads. Herschell Island post was still 12 miles away. We started to walk it. After travelling about a mile I noticed that Constable Doak was delirious. Constable Cornelius and I helped him to walk, but owing to cramps in the legs we could not manage. Constable Cornelius at this stage offered to go to Herschell Island for assistance, food and matches, and I permitted him to go. After he left I built a windbreak of driftwood. Constable Doak and I crawled into it. Here we remained till 11 p.m. the following day. Then we were rescued by a whale boat and taken to Herschell Island. We kept a sharp look out for Constable Cornelius, but saw nothing of him, and on arrival found he had not reached the post. I at once started out Constable Brockie and two natives with a whale boat, and found him on a sand-spit 10 miles away. He was brought in safely. I am sorry to say that at the present time (the day after the event) the two constables and myself are laid up with swollen feet and legs due to exposure." They must have had tremendous endurance to get through at all. And one gathers that the Inspector is not thinking of his own and the Constable's personal losses and exposure, but is rather concerned that some government property had to be noted as missing in the wreck. For he adds: "I must say that I am exceedingly sorry to have to give you a report of this nature, but I think you will agree that this occurred under circumstances over which I had no control. I am happy to be able to report no loss of life. As soon as I am able to send a patrol to the vicinity of the wreck I will do so, with the idea that there may be some government stores blown up on the coast." But most of us are willing to declare our readiness to let government stores go so long as men of this stamp are saved to continue their contribution to the great traditions of a corps that has done so much for Canada and the Empire.
Commissioner Perry's report for 1920 has just come to hand and is specially notable because it is the first presented under the new name of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and therefore the first since the jurisdiction of the Force was extended to all parts of Canada. It relates the change of name, the absorption of the Dominion Police by the Mounted Police Force, and removal of headquarters from Regina to Ottawa, all of which changes were made in pursuance of the policy adopted by the Government to have one Federal Force controlled by a single head and exercising authority in every part of Canada. A section of the amendment of the Mounted Police Act may be quoted here. It says, "Every member of the Force shall be a constable in every part of Canada for the purpose of carrying out the criminal and other laws of Canada and in the North-West Territories, and the Yukon Territory for carrying out any laws and ordinances in force therein." This legislation, as already intimated, involved the absorption of the Dominion Police, which in various forms had existed in older Canada from as far back as 1839. Its duties were mainly concerned with the protection of public buildings, though also with the general preservation of law and order. This Dominion Police Force came into more special prominence under the Commissionership of Colonel Sir Percy Sherwood, who was knighted for his services and under whom the Force grew to the number of some 150 men, who were scattered over Canada singly or in small groups guarding buildings, Navy yards and enforcing specific laws, as well as engaging in effective secret service work in relation to enemy aliens in war-time. After a long and highly creditable career in this service, Sir Percy Sherwood retired on account of ill-health in 1919.
The absorption of the Dominion Police into the Mounted Police was not free from difficulty, as the organizations differed fundamentally, the former being on the lines of a civil municipal force, while the latter was on military lines and engagement was for a fixed term. However, conditions of engagement were offered to the members of the Dominion Police and practically all of them enlisted in the Mounted Police, their service already given in their own Force to count towards pension under Mounted Police regulations.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is now the sole federal Force, and is under Commissioner Perry, subject of course to the Minister of the Dominion Government in whose department it comes, that minister at present being the Hon. James A. Calder, President of the Council. The duties of the Force may be summarized as follows:
(A) The enforcement, or assistance in enforcement, of all laws where the Government of Canada is directly interested or responsible.
(B) The protection of public buildings of the Dominion.
(C) The protection of Navy yards.
(D) The Intelligence Service.
(E) The maintenance of law and order in all territories and Dominion parks.
(F) Maintenance of finger-print bureaus.
(G) Paroled prisoners' record.
The Commissioner says, "The Force is distributed in the way best suited to perform its many duties. It is found along the international boundary, where it aids in protecting the revenue and preventing the entrance into Canada of undesirables. It is located on or in the vicinity of Indian Reserves to maintain good order, and to aid in enforcement of the laws pertaining to our Indian population. It occupies many lonely posts in the North-West Territories and Yukon Territory, and along the Arctic and Hudson's Bay Coasts. It is found in centres of population, and at points where industrial activities are vital to the welfare of the nation." New outposts were established in the far North: one at Port Burwell on the Hudson Straits, to act for the Department of Customs and collect duties on foreign vessels entering the waters of Hudson Bay, and the other at Tree River, on Coronation Gulf, for ordinary duty. The latter is the most remote outpost and the fact of its existence there indicates the far-flung character of the operations of this ubiquitous corps.
When the Commissioner says the force is Found at centres of population he visualizes for us the fact that our modern social life has created vast cities which have eaten up the green fields and turned them into asphalt pavements. These cities become the hardest problem for the administrator of law. Into them drift the derelicts of human society, and even these are drawn down to deeper degradation by the undertow of vice and crime. More mean in their lawlessness and much less open than the dwellers in frontiers and camps, the vicious elements in cities require from the State the oversight of an adequate force of fearless men. The illegal traffic in narcotic drugs, for instance, is carried on by the most degraded and the lowest criminals of the underworld, aided and abetted too frequently by dishonourable members of honourable professions. The gambler and the "bootlegger" and the white slave dealer find their habitat in large centres of population. And no force can keep these lawless elements in check like a force free from local influences, especially when that force is the Mounted Corps which for nearly half a century has built up a reputation for a fair and fearless administration of law. The prestige of the corps that has been proof against all attempts at intimidation or bribery on the part of the lawless classes makes it a unique power for good in the cities as on the plains.
And when the Commissioner says that detachments of the Mounted Police are found at points "where industrial activities are vital to the welfare of the nation" he strikes a chord that will find grateful response from every industrious citizen, whether employer or employed, who understands that "trade is the calm health of nations." There is nothing in this world of material things more to be feared than the wanton destruction of industries that have been built up by laborious endeavour and the unstinted expenditure of energy in brain and hand. Such destruction leads to endless suffering amongst the innocent and to the business stagnation which brings calamity in its wake. To guard against these dread contingencies the Mounted Police are on hand. They have never interfered in a partisan way when strikes and lock outs are abroad, but they stand by to preserve law and order and to prevent any destruction of human life and property which might take place at the instigation of irresponsible extremists. In this difficult and ofttimes dangerous duty the men who stand for constitutional order in society will always have the support of decent intelligent citizens.
Not only in the centres of population but away up in the Arctic regions beyond the sky-line of civilization have the Mounted Police in 1920 as always been doing their duty in their usual unobtrusive but extremely effective way. Amongst the Eskimos there were several cases of murder of adults and of infanticide, every one of which was followed up by the closest investigation even though it took months of work and patrolling amidst the rigours of Polar weather to do it. In these cases of murder there seemed to be a complete absence of that malice aforethought which constitutes the essence of the crime in the eyes of the law. The cases were very few, but occasionally an infant was put out of the misery of starvation when there was no food in sight and a man who became a moral nuisance to the tribe and was therefore considered insane (a fairly good inference) was quietly removed by the unanimous vote of the community. But the Police taught a different code of ethics, followed and investigated every case until the Eskimos have begun to see things in a more humane light. It is of great interest to find that in these recent endeavours to get the Eskimos to see these matters aright the Mounted Police had the aid of the two Eskimos Sinnisiak and Uluksak who had been convicted of the murder of Fathers Le Roux and Rouvier, as already related, but who had been finally pardoned and sent back to tell their people of the sacredness of human life. In fact, Sinnisiak entered the service as a special constable and did useful work as a guide and hunter, thus showing, as Staff-Sergeant S. G. Clay said, that "his now rather long acquaintance with the Police has had its advantages." Two other Eskimos who had been tried and acquitted were also taken back by the Police to their own tribes to preach the gospel of the value of human life.
In connection with these recent Northern patrols Sergeant W. O. Douglas with Constable Eyre and two natives left Fullerton for Chesterfield to look into rumours of a murder near Baker Lake. After a difficult patrol and serious risk Douglas arrested the alleged murderer, On-aug-wak, and brought him back to the Pas in Northern Manitoba after several thousands of miles of patrol for trial. The Eskimo made a statement as to taking the lives of two men, but there were many elements to be considered, and as the prisoner is deemed entitled to all the protection that British law affords, the Police with the accused are leaving for Baker Lake by the Hudson's Bay Company steamship Nascopie. A court will be constituted at Chesterfield Inlet with a jury from the crew of the steamship and the dozen or more Eskimo witnesses will be on hand to tell their story. This shows how carefully the Police work is done with due regard to every one's rights, no matter what his race or colour. But whatever the outcome of the trial the moral effect on the natives will be highly beneficial.
Similarly Inspector J. W. Phillips and Sergeant A. H. Joy made a patrol from Haileybury in Northern Ontario to the Belcher Islands in the sub-Arctic, taking seventy-five days and covering nearly two thousand miles, arrested an Eskimo named Tukatauk for killing a man named Ketanshauk, but the coroner's jury were unanimous in saying that Ketanshauk was "killed for the common good and safety of the tribe." Phillips saw the force of this verdict as reasonable from the point of view of the Eskimos and was satisfied with the opportunity to give them some appropriate instruction in law and morals. One other case was followed up by Phillips at the same time with somewhat the same result.
In 1920 Staff-Sergeant S. G. Clay, Constable E. H. Cornelius and Constable J. Brockie left Herschell Island and established the most northerly outpost of the Force 65 miles east of the mouth of the Coppermine River. The isolation of this post may be judged by the fact that the nearest post office is at Fort Macpherson over 600 miles away as the crow flies and the nearest telegraph office is at Dawson, over 1,000 miles distant. Here the Union Jack flies in the Arctic breeze and here revenue is collected for the Dominion from traders and trappers who venture north in schooners to ply their occupation. Sergeant Clay and his men made constant patrols to the Coppermine, to Bernard Harbour and Victoria Land, to Bathurst Inlet and Kent Peninsula with their dogs. The question of supplies of food for themselves and dogs was always pressing and at Fort Norman on the return journey there was such a shortage that the whole party had to go to Willow Lake for a month's fishing and hunting to lay in a safe supply. About 20 miles east of Cape Barrow this patrol found a tribe whom the police had not yet met. This gave the opportunity for more instruction, and Clay opines "that with the advent of the missionary and other aids to civilization" the wrongs done in ignorance by these people will cease.
I have already spoken of the oilfields in the Fort Norman district, to which at the time of this writing there is a rush of people who see in their own imaginations such roads to wealth that they miss seeing the dangers of the way through these remote regions. But the Mounted Police, under the general charge of Superintendent G. L. Jennings, an experienced northerner himself, have made stringent regulations as to entry into the district which will protect the foolhardy from their own folly.
And then, swinging away in our story to the old cities of the East, we find the Mounted Police at the ports of Montreal and Halifax, engaging the services of such experienced social-service workers as the Rev. John Chisholm and Mrs. Bessie Egan to meet unaccompanied women and girls who land in Canada, to see to their requirements and to attend them on board their trains, so that they may not be misled or enticed in wrong directions by the unscrupulous individuals who fatten on the wreckage of human lives. Social-service workers have always found difficulty in this work because of the brazenness and the threatening attitude of some of the evildoers, but when the stalwart men in scarlet and gold are at the call of these life-saving crews at the ports of entry to this country the harpies who prey on the innocent have to keep out of the way. A right royal task is this, also, for the old corps that has headed off more crime than any similar body in the world. And for all the work in Canada we have sketched, the total strength of the Force is about 1,700 of all ranks. There are some few people who so lack the power to sense nation-wide conditions that they gird at the expense of maintaining the corps. But men of vision know that the Mounted Police save Canada annually from moral and material losses that make expenditure upon this famous old law-and-order corps pale into insignificance by comparison.
In the past year there were many changes in the way of promotions. Amongst the names our readers who have followed the story of the Force will meet many of the men who gave such ample proof of their fitness that their moving up a step came as it has generally come in the Force, as a spontaneous recognition of merit. The promotions were as follows: Promoted Assistant Commissioners: Superintendents C. Starnes, T. A. Wroughton. Promoted Superintendents: Inspectors R. E. Tucker, J. Ritchie, A. B. Allard, T. S. Belcher, G. L. Jennings and H. M. Newson. Promoted Inspectors: Sergt.-Major Fletcher, A./Sergt.-Major Trundle, Staff-Sergeant Mellor, Staff-Sergeant Forde, Staff-Sergeant Reames, Sergeants Bruce, Thomas, Moorhead, Kemp, Frere, Eames and Fraser. And these men, who had won their spurs, are with their comrades carrying on in a way worthy of the great traditions to which they are heirs.
Thus has the story of the famous Mounted Police of Canada been brought down to date. An encyclopedia might be compiled on the subject by writing minute records and dry details, but an encyclopedia was not desired. It would be prohibitive in cost to the people in general and would be lacking in the personal element and the personal human touch so characteristic of the history of the corps. The aim was to bring the records of nearly fifty years into a single volume without squeezing the life out of them. Incidents and names could not all be included, but nothing has been omitted intentionally that bore upon the general trend of Western Canadian history with which the work of the Mounted Police is inseparably connected.
Two years ago the Dominion Government, as already intimated, extended the jurisdiction of the Force to the whole of Canada, so that in towns and cities as well as on the frontiers of the far North and West the influence of the Force will henceforth be felt, backed by its great prestige. Referring to this the Duke of Devonshire, who as Governor-General of Canada was so close a student of its history and affairs, said recently, "The Force is now taking over a wider jurisdiction and increased duties. It will carry with it a great tradition and a great name, and we who appreciate and value its work can be assured that its record will be as successful in the future as in the past."
And our gallant Prince of Wales, who captivated all Canada during his recent tour across the Dominion, graciously expressed his approval and appreciation of the Force by speaking at Regina Headquarters after inspection in the following words:
"It is not only a real pleasure, but a great privilege to me to inspect you on parade this morning, and to visit the depot of the Royal North-West Mounted Police, though this is by no means my first introduction to the Force, which I have seen a great deal of throughout my travels in the West, and I have been very impressed by it, particularly by the mounted escorts and guards that it has furnished for me in all the big cities.
"I am interested in the history of the Force, how it was organized forty-six years ago, at a time when treaties were being made with the Indians, whereby the lands of the North-West were made available for settlement by the white people. So well has it administered justice between all parties that it has won for itself respect and the confidence of both white people and Indians, and no new country has ever been opened up with less crime and violence than this North-West Territory.
"Up in the Klondike, when wild and lawless men thronged the Yukon gold diggings, life and property were as safe in the care of the Royal North-West Mounted Police as in any other part of the Dominion, and the splendid police work which they have done and continue to do in the frozen wastes of the North, under the most trying conditions of hardship and privation, is recognized and appreciated everywhere to-day.
"I know that at the declaration of war, the whole Force wanted to join up, though that was naturally impossible. The first to be allowed to go were many Imperial reservists, who have always constituted a large percentage of its members. Then, by degrees, men could he spared, and served in the Canadian cavalry, infantry and other units, and I know many of the last joined men are war veterans.
"I was with Sir Arthur Currie, Canadian Corps Commander, when he inspected the Royal North-West Mounted Police squadron when they arrived in France a year ago, so that the war records of the Force have been of the same high standard as its records in the past.
"The Royal North-West Mounted Police is a splendid Force with magnificent traditions, whose fame is as wide as that of the Dominion itself.
"I know the men of the Force of to-day are proving themselves worthy of those traditions and will ever uphold them."
It was appropriate that the heir apparent to the British throne should thus address the Mounted Police of Canada, for their record is part of that British tradition and British sentiment which, delicate and intangible as gossamer, but strong as steel, bind our far-flung Empire into one triumphant unity.
And now, as a fitting climax to the history of the corps at the time when it was undergoing changes that meant larger opportunities and increased usefulness in the years ahead, there comes this note in Commissioner Perry's report for 1920 just off the press:
"On March 8 last, Sir George Perley, High Commissioner for Canada, cabled as follows:
'With His Majesty's approval Prince of Wales has graciously consented accept position Honorary Commandant Royal Canadian Mounted Police and His Royal Highness asks me tell you how pleased he is to be associated with Force in this way.'
"On May 3, an Order in Council was passed making the appointment.
"The Force has been signally honoured by His Royal Highness, and it keenly appreciates the distinction conferred upon it."
This needs no comment beyond saying that the Prince of Wales knows Canada and knows the Mounted Police record in peace and in war. The Prince, who came to the overseas Dominions to represent our beloved King, has always shown his splendid capacity for thus appreciating the service of men who have stood and will continue to stand unconquered for the Flag
"That may float or sink o'er a shot-torn wreck, But will never float over a slave."
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