The Canadian Commonwealth
by Agnes C. Laut
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E-text prepared by Al Haines




Author of Lords of the North, Pathfinders of the West, Hudson's Bay Company, etc.

Indianapolis The Bobbs-Merrill Company Publishers Copyright 1915 The Bobbs-Merrill Company








An empire the size of Europe setting out on her career of world history is a phenomenon of vast and deep enough import to stir to national consciousness the slumbering spirit of any people. Yet when you come to trace when and where national consciousness awakened, it is like following a river back from the ocean to its mountain springs. From the silt borne down on the flood-tide you can guess the fertile plains watered and far above the fertile plains, regions of eternal snow and glacial torrent warring turbulently through the adamantine rocks. You can guess the eternal striving, the forward rush and the throwback that have carved a way through the solid rocks; but until you have followed the river to its source and tried to stem its current you can not know.

So of peoples and nations.

Fifty years ago, as far as world affairs were concerned, Japan did not exist. Came national consciousness, and Japan rose like a star dominating the Orient. A hundred years ago Germany did not exist. Came national consciousness welding chaotic principalities into unity, and the mailed fist of the empire became a menace before which Europe quailed. So of China with the ferment of freedom leavening the whole. So of the United States with the Civil War blending into a union the diversities of a continent. When you come to consider the birth of national consciousness in Canada, you do not find the germ of an ambition to dominate, as in Japan and Germany. Nor do you find a fight for freedom. Canada has always been free—free as the birds of passage that winged above the canoe of the first voyageur who pointed his craft up the St. Lawrence for the Pacific; but what you do find from the very first is a fight for national existence; and when the fight was won, Canada arose like a wrestler with consciousness of strength for new destiny.


Go back to the beginning of Canada!

She was not settled by land-seekers. Neither was she peopled by adventurers seeking gold. The first settlers on the banks of the St. Lawrence came to plant the Cross and propagate the Faith. True, they found they could support their missions and extend the Faith by the fur trade; and their gay adventurers of the fur trade threaded every river and lake from the St. Lawrence to the Columbia; but, primarily, the lure that led the French to the St. Lawrence was the lure of a religious ideal. So of Ontario and the English provinces. Ontario was first peopled by United Empire Loyalists, who refused to give up their loyalty to the Crown and left New England and the South, abandoning all earthly possessions to begin life anew in the backwoods of the Great Lakes country. The French came pursuing an ideal of religion. The English came pursuing an ideal of government. We may smile at the excesses of both devotees—French nuns, who swooned in religious ecstasy; old English aristocrats, who referred to democracy as "the black rot plague of the age"; but the fact remains—these colonists came in unselfish pursuit of ideals; and they gave of their blood and their brawn and all earthly possessions for those ideals; and it is of such stuff that the spirit of dauntless nationhood is made. Men who build temples of their lives for ideals do not cement national mortar with graft. They build with integrity for eternity, not time. Their consciousness of an ideal gives them a poise, a concentration, a stability, a steadiness of purpose, unknown to mad chasers after wealth. Obstinate, dogged, perhaps tinged with the self-superior spirit of "I am holier than thou"—they may be; but men who forsake all for an ideal and pursue it consistently for a century and a half develop a stamina that enters into the very blood of their race. It is a common saying even to this day that Quebec is more Catholic than the Pope, and Ontario more ultra-English than England; and when the Canadian is twitted with being "colonial" and "crude," his prompt and almost proud answer is that he "goes in more for athletics than esthetics." "One makes men. The other may make sissies."

With this germ spirit as the very beginning of national consciousness in Canada, one begins to understand the grim, rough, dogged determination that became part of the race. Canada was never intoxicated with that madness for Bigness that seemed to sweep over the modern world. What cared she whether her population stood still or not, whether she developed fast or slow, provided she kept the Faith and preserved her national integrity? Flimsy culture had no place in her schools or her social life. A solid basis of the three R's—then educational frills if you like; but the solid basis first. Worship of wealth and envy of material success have almost no part in Canadian life; for the simple reason that wealth and success are not the ideals of the nation. Laurier, who is a poor man, and Borden, who is only a moderately well-off man, command more social prestige in Canada than any millionaire from Vancouver to Halifax. If demos be the spirit of the mob, then Canada has no faintest tinge of democracy in her; but inasmuch as the French colonists came in pursuit of a religious ideal and the English colonists of a political ideal, if democracy stand for freedom for the individual to pursue his own ideal—then Canada is supersaturated with that democracy. Freedom for the individual to pursue his own ideal was the very atmosphere in which Canada's national consciousness was born.

In the West a something more entered into the national spirit. French fur-traders, wood-runners, voyageurs had drifted North and West, men of infinite resources, as much at home with a frying-pan over a camp-fire as over a domestic hearth, who could wrest a living from life anywhere. English adventurers of similar caliber had drifted in from Hudson Bay. These little lords in a wilderness of savages had scattered west as far as the Rockies, south to California. They knew no law but the law of a strong right arm and kept peace among the Indians only by a dauntless courage and rough and ready justice. They could succeed only by a good trade in furs, and they could obtain a good trade in furs only by treating the Indians with equity. Every man who plunged into the fur wilderness took courage in one hand and his life in the other. If he lost his courage, he lost his life. Indian fray, turbulent rapids, winter cold took toll of the weak and the feckless. Nature accepts no excuses. The man who defaulted in manhood was wiped out—sucked down by the rapids, buried in winter storms, absorbed into the camps of Indian degenerates. The men who stayed upon their feet had the stamina of a manhood in them that could not be extinguished. It was a wilderness edition of that dauntlessness which brought the Loyalists to Ontario and the French devotees to Quebec. This, too, made for a dogged, strong, obstinate race. At the time of the fall of French power at Quebec in 1759 there were about two thousand of these wilderness hunters in the West. Fifty years later by way of Hudson Bay came Lord Selkirk's Settlers—Orkneymen and Highlanders, hardy, keen and dauntless as their native rock-bound isles.

These four classes were the primary first ingredients that went into the making of Canada's national consciousness and each of the four classes was the very personification of strength, purpose, courage, freedom.


But Destiny plays us strange tricks. When Quebec fell in 1759, New France passed under the rule of that English and Protestant race which she had been fighting for two centuries; and when the American colonies won their independence twenty years later and the ultra-English Loyalists trekked in thousands across the boundary to what are now Montreal and Toronto and Cobourg, there came under one government two races that had fought each other in raid and counter-raid for two centuries—alien and antagonistic in religion and speech. It is only in recent years under the guiding hand of Sir Wilfred Laurier that the ancient antagonism has been pushed off the boards.

The War of 1812 probably helped Canada's national spirit more than it hurt it. It tested the French Canadian and found him loyal to the core; loyal, to be sure, not because he loved England more but rather because he loved the Americans less. He felt surer of religious freedom under English rule, which guaranteed it to him, than under the rule of the new republic, which he had harried and which had harried him in border raid for two centuries. The War of 1812 left Canada crippled financially but stronger in national spirit because she had tested her strength and repelled invasion.

If mountain pines strike strong roots into the eternal rocks because they are tempest-tossed by the wildest winds of heaven, then the next twenty years were destined to test the very fiber of Canada's national spirit. All that was weak snapped and went down. The dry rot of political theory was flung to dust. Special interests, pampered privileges, the claims of the few to exploit the many, the claims of the many to rule wisely as the few—the shibboleth of theorists, the fine spun cobwebs of the doctrinaires, governmental ideals of brotherhood that were mostly sawdust and governmental practices that were mostly theft under privilege—all went down in the smash of the next twenty years' tempest. All that was left was what was real; what would hold water and work out in fact.

It is curious how completely all records slur over the significance of the Rebellion of 1837. Canada is sensitive over the facts of the case to this day. Only a few years ago a book dealing with the unvarnished facts of the period was suppressed by a suit in court. As a rebellion, 1837 was an insignificant fracas. The rebels both in Ontario and Quebec were hopelessly outnumbered and defeated. William Lyon MacKenzie, the leader in Ontario, and Louis Papineau, the leader in Quebec, both had to flee for their lives. It is a question if a hundred people all told were killed. Probably a score in all were executed; as many again were sent to penal servitude; and several hundreds escaped punishment by fleeing across the boundary and joining in the famous night raids of Hunters' Lodges. Within a few years both the leaders and exiles were permitted to return to Canada, where they lived honored lives. It was not as a rebellion that 1837 was epoch-making. It was in the clarifying of Canada's national consciousness as to how she was to be governed.

Having migrated from the revolting colonies of New England and the South, the ultra-patriotic United Empire Loyalists unconsciously felt themselves more British than the French of Quebec. Canada was governed direct from Downing Street. There were local councils in both Toronto and Quebec—or Upper and Lower Canada, as they were called—and there were local legislatures; but the governing cliques were appointed by the Royal Governor, which meant that whatever little clique gained the Governor's ear had its little compact or junta of friends and relatives in power indefinitely. There were elections, but the legislature had no control over the purse strings of the government. Such a close corporation of special interests did the governing clique become that the administration was known in both provinces as a "Family Compact." Administrative abuses flourished in a rank growth. Judges owing their appointment to the Crown exercised the most arbitrary tyranny against patriots raising their voices against government by special interests. Vast land grants were voted away to favorites of the Compact. Public moneys were misused and neither account given nor restitution demanded from the culprit. Ultra-loyalty became a fashionable pose. When strolling actors played American airs in a Toronto theater they were hissed; and when a Canadian stood up to those airs, he was hissed. Special interests became intrenched behind a triple rampart of fashion and administration and loyalty. Details of the revolt need not be given here. A great love is always the best cure for a puny affection—a Juliet for a Rosalind; and when a pure patriotism arose to oust this spurious lip-loyalty, there resulted the Rebellion of 1837.

The point is—when the rebellion had passed, Canada had overthrown a system of government by oligarchy. She had ousted special interests forever from her legislative halls. In a blood and sweat of agony, on the scaffold, in the chain gang, penniless, naked, hungry and in exile, her patriots had fought the dragon of privilege, cast out the accursed thing and founded national life on the eternal rocks of justice to all, special privileges to none. Her patriots had themselves learned on the scaffold that law must be as sacredly observed by the good as by the evil, by the great as by the small. From the death scaffolds of these patriots sprang that part of Canada's national consciousness that reveres law next to God. Canada passed through the throes of purging her national consciousness from 1815 to 1840, as the United States passed through the same throes in the sixties, but the process cost her half a century of delay in growth and development.

While the union of Upper and Lower Canada put an end to the evils of special privileges in government, events had been moving apace in the far West, where roving traders and settlers were a law unto themselves. Red River settlers of the region now known as Manitoba were clamoring for an end to the monopoly of the Hudson's Bay Fur Company over all that region inland from the Great Northern Sea. The discovery of gold had brought hordes of adventurers pouring into Cariboo, or what is now known as British Columbia. Both Red River and British Columbia demanded self-government. Partly because England had delayed granting Oregon self-government, the settlers of the Columbia had set up their own provisional government and turned that region over to the United States. We are surely far enough away from the episodes to state frankly the facts that similar underground intrigue was at work in both Red River and British Columbia, fostered, much of it, by Irish malcontents of the old Fenian raids. Once more Canada's national consciousness roused itself to a bigger problem and wider outlook. Either the far-flung Canadian provinces must be bound together in some sort of national unity or—the Canadian mind did not let itself contemplate that "or." The provinces must be confederated to be held. Hence confederation in 1867 under the British North American Act, which is to Canada what the Constitution is to the United States. It happened that Sir John Macdonald, the future premier of the Dominion, had been in Washington during one period of the Civil War. He noted what he thought was the great defect of the American system, and he attributed the Civil War to that defect—namely, that all powers not specifically delegated to the federal government were supposed to rest with the states. Therefore, when Canada formed her federation of isolated provinces, Sir John and the other famous Fathers of Confederation reversed the American system. All power not specifically delegated to the provinces was supposed to rest with the Dominion. Only strictly local affairs were left with the provinces. Trade, commerce, justice, lands, agriculture, labor, marriage laws, waterways, harbors, railways were specifically put under Dominion control.


Now, stand back and contemplate the situation confronting the new federation:

Canada's population was less than half the present population of the state of New York; not four million. That population was scattered over an area the size of Europe.[1] To render the situation doubly dark and doubtful the United States had just entered on her career of high tariff. That high tariff barred Canadian produce out. There was only one intermittent and unsatisfactory steamer service across the Atlantic. There was none at all across the Pacific. British Columbians trusted to windjammers round the Horn. Of railroads binding East to West there was none. A canal system had been begun from the lakes and the Ottawa to the St. Lawrence, but this was a measure more of national defense than commerce. Crops were abundant, but where could they be sold? I have heard relatives tell how wheat in those days sold down to forty cents, and oats to twenty cents, and potatoes to fifteen cents, and fine cattle to forty dollars, and finest horses to fifty dollars and seventy-five dollars. Fathers of farmers who to-day clear their three thousand dollars and four thousand dollars a year could not clear one hundred dollars a year. Commerce was absolutely stagnant. Canada was a federation, but a federation of what? Poverty-stricken, isolated provinces. Not in bravado, not in flamboyant self-confidence, rebuffed of all chance to trade with the United States, the new Dominion humbly set herself to build the foundations of a nation. She did not know whether she could do what she had set herself to do; but she began with that same dogged idealism and faith in the future which had buoyed up her first settlers; and there were dark days during her long hard task, when the whiff of an adverse wind would have thrown her into national bankruptcy—that winter, for instance, when the Canadian Pacific had no money to go on building and the Canadian government refused to extend aid. Had the Kiel Rebellion of '85 not compelled the Dominion government to extend aid so that the line would be ready for the troops every bank in Canada would have collapsed, and national credit would have been impaired for fifty years.

Meanwhile, a country of less than four million people set itself to link British Columbia with Montreal, and Montreal with Halifax, and Ottawa with Detroit, and the Great Lakes with the sea. The story is too long to be related in detail, but on canals alone Canada has spent a hundred millions. Including stocks, bonds, funded debt and debenture stock, the Dominion railways have a capital of $1,369,992,574; and the country that had not a foot of railroads, when the patriots fought the Family Compact, to-day possesses twenty-nine thousand miles of trackage,[2] three transcontinental systems of railroads and threescore lines touching the boundary.[3] Five times more tonnage passes through the Canadian Soo Canal than is expected for Panama or has passed through Suez; but consider the burden of this development on a people whose farmers were scarcely clearing one hundred dollars a year. It is putting it mildly to say that during these dark days property depreciated two-thirds in value. Land companies that had loaned up to two-thirds the value of farm property found themselves saddled with farms which could not be sold for half they had advanced on the loan.

Three times within the memory of the living generation Canadian delegates sought trade concessions in Washington; and three times they came back rebuffed, with but a grimmer determination to work out Canada's own destiny. Is it any wonder, when the fourth time came and Canada was offered reciprocity that she voted it down?

During the twenty dark years Canada lost to the United States one-fourth her native population.[4] During the last ten years she has drawn back to her home acres not only many of her expatriated native born but almost two million Americans. In ten years her population has almost doubled. Uncle Sam has boasted his four billion yearly foreign trade from Atlantic ports. Canada with a population only one-twelfth Uncle Sam's to-day has a foreign trade of almost a billion.


Take another look at Canada's area! All of Germany and Austria spread over Eastern Canada would still leave an area uncovered in the East bigger than the German Empire. England spread out flat would just cover the maritime provinces. Quebec stands a third bigger than Germany, Ontario a third bigger than France; and you still have a western world as large again as the East. Spread the British Isles flat, they would barely cover Manitoba. France and Germany would not equal Saskatchewan and Alberta; and two Germanies would not cover British Columbia—leaving undefined Yukon and MacKenzie River and Peace River and the hinterland of Hudson Bay, an area equal to European Russia. If areas in Canada had the same population as areas in Europe, the Dominion would be supporting four hundred million people.

It would be assuming too much stoicism to say that Canadians are not conscious of a great destiny. For years they stuck so closely to their nation-building that they had no time to stand back and view the size of the edifice of their own structure, but all that is different to-day. When four hundred thousand people a year flock to the Dominion to cast in their lot with Canadians, there is testimony of worth. Canadians know their destiny is upon them, whatever it may be; and they are meeting the challenge half-way with faces to the front. In the words of Sir Wilfred Laurier, they know that "the Twentieth Century is Canada's." What will they do with it? What are their aims and desires as a people? Will the same ideals light the path to the fore as have illumined the long hard way in the past? Will Canada absorb into her national life the people who are coming to her, or will they absorb her?

[1] Canada's area is 3,750,000 square miles. The area of Europe is 3,797,410 square miles.

[2] Canada's railway mileage at the end of 1913 was 29,303.53. The land grants to Canadian railroads, Dominion and provincial, stand 55,256,429 acres. Cash subsidies to railroads in Canada up to June 30, 1913, stand thus: from the Dominion, $163,251,469.42; from the provinces, $36,500,015.16; from the municipalities, $18,078,673.60.

[3] The tonnage through both Canadian and U. S. canals at the "Soo" in 1913 was 72,472,676, of which 39,664,874 went through the Canadian canal.

[4] The U. S. Census reports place the number of Canadians in the United States at one and a quarter million; but this is obviously far below the mark. Canada's loss of people shows that. For instance, from 1898 to 1908, Canada was receiving immigrants at a rate exceeding 200,000 a year, yet the census for this decade showed a gain of only a million. It was not till 1914 her census showed a gain of two million for ten years. Her immigrants either went back or drifted over the line. Port figures show that few went back to Europe.




Canada at the opening of the twentieth century has the same population as the United States at the opening of the nineteenth century.[1] Has the Dominion any material justification for her high hopes of a world destiny? Switzerland possesses national consciousness to an acute degree. Yet Switzerland remains a little people. What ground has Canada for measuring her strength with the nations of the world? Having remained almost stationary in her national progress from 1759 to 1859, what reason has she to anticipate a progress as swift and world-embracing as that which forced the United States to the very forefront of world powers? It takes something more than high hopes to build empire. Has Canada a foundation beneath her high hopes? No nation ever had a more passionate patriotism than Ireland. Yet Ireland has lost her population and retrogressed.[2] Why will the same fate not halt and impede Canada?

It may be acknowledged here that Canadians have no answers for such questions and short shift for the questioner. They are too busy making history to talk about it. It is only the woman insecure of her social position who prates about it. It is only the nation uncertain of herself that bolsters a fact with an argument. Canada is too busy with facts for any flamboyant arguments. It is an even wager that if you ask the average well-informed business man in Canada how many miles of railways the Dominion has, he will answer on the dot "almost thirty thousand." But if you ask if he knows that Germany, for instance, with nine times denser population has barely twice as much trackage—no, your Canadian business man doesn't know it. He is too busy building his own railroads to care much what other nations are doing with theirs. Likewise of the country's trade increasing faster almost than the Dominion can handle it. He knows that imports have increased one hundred and sixty-three per cent. in ten years, and that exports have increased almost fifty per cent.; but he doesn't realize in the least that the Dominion with seven million people has one-fourth as large a foreign trade as the United States with a hundred million people.[3] He knows that immigration has in ten years jumped from 49,000 a year to 402,000; but does he take in what it means that his country with only five million native born is being called on to absorb yearly a third as many immigrants as the United States with eighty million native born?[4] He has been so busy handling the rush of prosperity that has come in on him like a tidal wave that he has not had time to pause over the problems of this new destiny—the fact, for instance, that in two more decades the newcomers will outnumber the native born.


Unless the edifice be top heavy, beneath it all must be the rock bottom of fact. Beneath the tide is the pull of some eternal law. What facts is Canada building her future on? What pull is beneath the tide of four hundred thousand homeseekers a year? What has doubled population and almost doubled foreign trade?

It is almost a truism that the farther north the land, the greater the fertility, if there be any fertility at all. There is first the supply of unfailing moisture, with a yearly subsoiling of humus unknown to arid lands. Canada is super-sensitive about her winter climate—the depth and intensity of the frost, the length and rigor of her winters; but she need not be. It should be cause of gratitude. Frost penetrating the ground from five to twelve feet—as it does in the Northwest—guarantees a subterranean root irrigation that never fails. Heavy snow—let us acknowledge frankly snow sometimes banks western streets the height of a man—means a heavy supply of moisture both in thaw and rain. There is second the long sunlight. An earth tilted on its axis toward the sun six months of the year gives the North a sunlight that is longer the farther north you go. When the sun sets at seven to eight in New York, it sets at eight to nine in Winnipeg, and nine to ten in Athabasca, and only for a few hours at all still farther north. It is the long sunlight that gives the fruit of Niagara and Quebec and Annapolis its "fameuse" quality; just as it is the sunlight that gives western fruit its finest coloring, the higher up the plateau it is grown. It is the long sunlight that gives Number One Hard Wheat its white fine quality so indispensable to the millers. So of barley and vegetables and small fruits and all that can be grown in the short season of the North. What the season lacks in length it gains in intensity of sunlight. Four months of twenty-hour sunlight produce better growth in some products than eight months of shorter sunlight.

These two advantages of moisture and sunlight, Canada possesses.[5] What else has she? It doesn't mean much to say that Canada equals Europe in area and that you could spread Germany and France and Austria and Great Britain over the Dominion's map and still have an area uncovered equal to European Russia. Nor does it mean much more to say that in Canada you can find the climate of a Switzerland in the Canadian Rockies, of Italy in British Columbia, of England in the maritime provinces and of Russia in the Northwest. Areas are so great and diverse that you have to examine them in groups to realize what basis of fact Canada builds from.

Girt almost round by the sea are the maritime provinces—Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick—in area within sixty-seven square miles of the same size as England, and in climate not unlike the home land.[6] Your impression of their inhabitants is of a quiescent, romantic, pastoral and sea-faring people—sprung from the same stock as the liberty-seekers of New England, untouched by the mad unrest of modern days, conservative as bed-rock, but with an eye to the frugal main chance and a way of making good quietly. They do not talk about the simple life in the maritime provinces because they have always lived it, and the land is famed for its diet of codfish, and its men of brains. Frugal, simple, reposeful living—the kind of living that takes time to think—has sent out from the maritime provinces more leaders of thought than any other area of Canada. It is a land that leaves a dreamy memory with you of sunset lying gold on the Bras d' Or Lakes, of cattle belly-deep in pasture, of apple farms where fragrance of fruit and blossoms seem to scent the very atmosphere, of fishermen rocking in their smacks, of great ships plowing up and down to sea. You know there are great coal mines to the east and great timber limits to the north; you may even smell the imprisoned fragrance of the yellowing lumber being loaded for export, but it is as the land of winter ports and of seamen for the navy that you will remember the maritime provinces as factors in Canada's destiny.

When gold was discovered in the Yukon and a hundred million dollars in gold came out in ten years, the world went mad. Yet Canada yearly mines from the silver quarries of the sea a harvest of thirty-four million dollars, and of that amount, fifteen million dollars comes from the maritime provinces.[7] Conservationists have sung their song in vain if the world does not know that the fisheries of the United States have been ruthlessly depleted, but here is a land the area of England whose fisheries have increased in value one hundred per cent. in ten years. It is not, however, as the great resource of fisheries that the maritime provinces must play their part in Canada's destiny. It is as the nursery of seamen for a marine power. No southern nation, with the exception of Carthage, has ever dominated the sea; partly for the simple reason that the best fisheries are always located in temperate zones, where the glacial silt of the icebergs feeds the finny hordes with minute infusoria; and the fisherman's smack—the dory that rocks to the waves like a cockleshell, with meal of pork and beans cooking above a chip fire on stones in the bottom of the boat, and rough grimed fellows singing chanties to the rhythm of the sea—the fisherman's smack is the nursery of the world's proudest merchant marines and most powerful navies. Japan knows this, and encourages her fishermen by bounties and passage money to spread all over the world, and Japanese to-day operate practically all the fisheries of the Pacific. England knows this and in the North Sea and off Newfoundland protects her fishermen and draws from their ranks her seamen.

Japan dominates seventy-two per cent. of the commerce of the Pacific, not through chance, but through her merchant marine built up from rough grimed fellows who quarry the silver mines of the sea. England dominates the Seven Seas of the world, not through her superiority man to man against other races, but through her merchant marine, carrying the commerce of the world, built up from simple fisher folk hauling in the net or paying out the line through icy salty spray above tempestuous seas. No power yet dominates the seas of the New World. The foreign commerce of the New World up to the time of the great war was carried by British, German and Japanese ships. Canada has the steel, the coal, the timber, the nursery for seamen. Will she become a marine power in the New World? It is one of her dreams. It is also one of England's dreams. No country subsidizes her merchant liners more heavily than Canada[8]—in striking contrast with the parsimonious policy of the United States. It is Canada's policy of ship subsidies that has established regular merchant liners—all liable to service as Admiralty ships—to Australia, to China, to Japan and to every harbor on the Atlantic.

Whether heavy subsidies to large liners will effect as much for a merchant marine for Canada as numerous small subsidies to small lines remains to be seen. The development of seamen from her fisheries is one of the dreams she must work out in her destiny, and that leads one to the one great disadvantage under which Canada rests as a marine power. She lacks winter harbors on the Atlantic accessible to her great western domain, whence comes the bulk of her commerce for export. True, the maritime provinces afford those harbors—Saint John and Halifax. A dozen other points, if need were, could be utilized in the maritime provinces as winter harbors; but take a look at the map! The maritime provinces are the longest possible spiral distance from the rest of Canada. They necessitate a rail haul of from two to three thousand miles from the west. What gives Galveston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Buffalo preeminence as harbors? Their nearness to the centers of commerce—their position far inland of the continent, cutting rail haul by half and quarter from the plains. Montreal has this advantage of being far inland; but from November to May Montreal is closed; and Canadian commerce must come out by way of American lines, or pay the long haul down to the maritime provinces. There can be no doubt that this disadvantage is one of the factors forcing the West to find outlet by Hudson Bay—where harbors are also closed by the ice but are only four hundred miles from the wheat plains. There can also be no doubt that the opening of Panama will draw much western commerce to Europe by way of the Pacific.


When one comes to consider Quebec under its new boundaries, one is contemplating an empire three times larger than Germany, supporting a population not so large as Berlin.[9] It is the seat of the old French Empire, the land of the idealists who came to propagate the Faith and succeeded in exploring three-quarters of the continent, with canoes pointed ever up-stream in quest of beaver. All the characteristics of the Old Empire are in Quebec to-day. Quebec is French to the core, not in loyalty to republican France, but in loyalty to the religious ideals which the founders brought to the banks of the St. Lawrence three centuries ago. Church spire, convent walls, religious foundations occupy the most prominent site in every city and town and hamlet of Quebec. From Tadousac to Montreal, from Labrador to Maine or New Hampshire, you can follow the thread of every river in Quebec by the glitter of the church spires round which nestle the hamlets. No matter how poor the hamlet, no matter how remote the hills which slope wooded down to some blue lake, there stand the village church with its cross on the spire, the whitewashed house of the cure, the whitewashed square dormer-windowed school.

Outside Quebec City and Montreal, Quebec is the most reposeful region in all America. What matter wars and rumors of wars to these habitants living under guidance of the cure, as their ancestors lived two hundred years ago? They pay their tithes. They attend mass. At birth, marriage and death—the cure is their guide and friend. He teaches them in their schools. He advises them in their family affairs. He counsels them in their business. At times he even dictates their politics; but when you remember that French is the language spoken, that primary education is of the slimmest, though all doors are open for a promising pupil to advance, you wonder whether constant tutelage of a benevolent church may not be a good thing in a chaotic, confused and restless age. The habitant lives on his little long narrow strip of a farm running back from the river front. He fishes a little. He works on the river and in the lumber camps of the Back Country. He raises a little tobacco, hay, a pig, a cow, a little horse and a family of from ten to twenty. When the daughters marry—as they are encouraged to do at the earliest possible age—the farm is subdivided among the sons; and when it will subdivide no longer, there is a migration to the Back Country, or to a French settlement in the Northwest, where another cure will shepherd the flock; and the habitant, blessed at his birth and blessed at his marriage, is usually blessed at his death at the ripe age of ninety or a hundred. It is a simple and on the whole a very happy, if not progressive, life. Some years ago, when hard times prevailed in Canada and the manufacturing cities of New England offered what seemed big wages to habitants, who considered themselves rich on one hundred dollars a year—a great migration took place across the border; but it was not a happy move for these simple children of the soil. They missed the shepherding of their beloved cure, and the movement has almost stopped. Also you find Jean Ba'tiste in the redwoods of California as lumber-jack, or plying a canoe on MacKenzie River. The best fur-traders of the North to-day are half-breeds with a strain of French Canadian blood.

If you take a look at the map of Quebec under its new boundaries up into Labrador—it seems absurd to call a region three times the area of Germany "a province"—you will see that only the fringe of the river fronts has been peopled. This is owing to the old system of parceling out the land in mile strips back from the river—a system that antedated the railroads, when every man's train was a paddle and the waterfront. Beyond, back up from the rivers, lies literally a no-man's-land of furs plentiful as of old, of timber of which only the edge has been slashed, of water power unestimated and of mineral resources only guessed. It seems incredible at this late date that you can count on one hand the number of men who have ascended the rivers of Quebec and descended the rivers of Labrador to Hudson Bay. The forest area is estimated at one hundred and twenty million acres; but that is only a guess. The area of pulp wood is boundless.

Along the St. Lawrence, south of the St. Lawrence and around the great cities come touches of the modern—elaborate stock farms, great factories, magnificent orchards, huge sawmills. The progress of Montreal and the City of Quebec is so intimately involved with the navigation of the St. Lawrence route and the development of railroads that it must be dealt with separately; but it may be said here that nearly all the old seigneurial tenures—Crown grants of estates to the nobility of New France—have passed to alien hands. The system itself, the last relic of feudal tenure in Canada, was abolished by Canadian law. What, then, is the aim of Quebec as a factor in Canada's destiny? It may be said perfectly frankly that with the exception of such enlightened men as Laurier, Quebec does not concern herself with Canada's destiny. In a war with France, yes, she would give of her sons and her blood; in a war against France, not so sure. "Why are you loyal?" I asked a splendid scholarly churchman of the old regime—a man whose works have been quoted by Parkman. "Because," he answered slowly, "because—you—English—leave us—alone to work out our hopes." "What are those hopes?" I asked. He waved his hand toward the window—church spires and yet more spires far as we could see down the St. Lawrence—another New France conserving the religious ideals that had been crushed by the republicanism of the old land. Let it be stated without a shadow of doubt—Quebec never has had and never will have the faintest idea of secession. Her religious freedom is too well guaranteed under the present regime for her to risk change under an untried order of independence or annexation. The church wants Quebec exactly as she is—to work out her destiny of a new and regenerate France on the banks of the St. Lawrence.

A certain section of the French oppose Canada embroiling herself in European wars. They do this conscientiously and not as a political trick to attract the votes of the ultramontane French. One of the most brilliant supporters Sir Wilfred Laurier ever had flung his chances of a Cabinet place to the winds in opposing Canada's participation in the Boer War. He not only flung his chances to the winds, but he ruined himself financially and was read out of the party. The motive behind this opposition to Canada's participations in the Imperial wars is, perhaps, three-fold. French Canada has never forgotten that she was conquered. True, she is better off, enjoys greater religious liberty, greater material prosperity, greater political freedom than under the old regime; but she remembers that French prestige fell before English prestige on the Plains of Abraham. The second motive is an unconscious feeling of detachment from British Imperial affairs. Why should French Canada embroil herself and give of her blood and means for a race alien to herself in speech and religion? The Monroe Doctrine forever defends Canada from seizure by European power. Why not rest under that defense and build up a purely Canadian power? The third motive is almost subconscious. What if a European war should involve French-Catholic Canada on the side of Protestant England against French-Catholic France, or even Catholic Italy? Quebec feels herself a part of Canada but not of the British Empire; and it is a great question how much Laurier's support of the British in the Boer War had to do with that partial defection of Quebec which ultimately defeated him on Reciprocity; for if there is one thing the devout son of the church fears more than embroilment in European war, it is coming under the republicanizing influence of the United States. Under Canadian law the favored status of the church is guaranteed. Under American law the church would be on the same footing as all other denominations.


When one comes to Ontario, one is dealing with the kitchen garden of the Dominion—in summer a land of placid sky-blue lakes, and amber-colored wooded rivers, and trim, almost garden-like farms, and heavily laden orchards, and thriving cities beginning to smoke under the pall of the increasing and almost universal factory. Under its old boundaries Ontario stood just eighteen thousand square miles larger than France. Under its new boundaries extending to Hudson Bay, Ontario measures almost twice the area of France. France supports a population of nearly forty millions; Ontario, of barely two and a half millions. Both Ontario and France are equally fertile and equally diversified in fertility. Along the lakes and clustered round Niagara is the great fruit region—vineyards and apple orchards that are gardens of perfection. North of the lakes is a mixed farm region. Parallel with the latitude skirting Georgian Bay begins the Great Clay belt, an area of heavily forested lands about seven hundred miles north to south and almost a thousand diagonally east to west. On its southern edge this hinterland, which forms the watershed between Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence, seems to be rock-bound and iron-capped. For years travelers across the continent must have looked through the car windows across this landscape of windfall and fire as a picture of desolation. Surely, "here was nothing," as some of the first explorers said when they viewed Canada from Labrador; but pause; not so fast! Here lay, if nothing else, an area of timber limits seven hundred by one thousand miles; and as the timber burned off curious mineral outcroppings were observed. When the railroad was graded through what is now known as Sudbury, there was a report of a great find of copper. Expert after expert examined it, and company after company forfeited options and refused to bond it. Finally a shipment was sent out to a smelter across the border. The so-called "copper" was pronounced "nickel"—the greatest deposit of the metal needed for armor plating known in the world. In fact, only one other mine could compete against the Sudbury nickel beds—the French mines of New Caledonia. Here was something, surely, in this rock-bound iron region of desolation, which passing travelers had pronounced worthless.

The discovery of silver at Cobalt came by an almost similar chance. Grading an extension of a North Ontario railroad projected purely for the sake of prospective settlers, workmen came on surface deposits of "rose" silver—almost pure metal, some of it; and there resulted such a mining boom and series of quick fortunes as had made Klondike famous. And Cobalt and Sudbury are at only the southern edge of the unexplored hinterland of Ontario. Old records of the French regime, daily journals of the Hudson's Bay Company fur-traders, repeatedly refer to well-known mines between Lake Superior and James Bay; but fur-traders discouraged mining; and this region is less known to-day than when coureur de bois and voyageur threaded river and lake and leafy wilderness. Ontario, like Quebec, is only on the outer edge of realizing her own wealth.


We sometimes speak as though Canada had had her boom and it was all over. She has had her boom, and the boom has exploded, and it is a good thing. When inflation collapses, a country gets down to reality; and the reality is that Canada has barely begun to develop the exhaustless mine of wealth which Heaven has given her. Ontario, complacent with a fringe of prosperity along lake front, is an instance; Quebec, with only a border on each bank of her great rivers peopled, is another instance; and the prairie provinces are still more striking illustrations of the sleeping potentialities of the Dominion. In our dark days we used to call those three prairie provinces between Lake Superior and the Rockies "the granary of the Empire." I am afraid it was more in bravado, hoping against hope, than in any other spirit; for we were raising little grain and exporting less and receiving prices that hardly paid for the labor. That was back in the early nineties. To-day, what? One single year's wheat crop from one only of those provinces equals more gold in value than ever came out of Klondike. If Britain were cut off from every other source of food supply, those three provinces could feed the British Isles with their surplus wheat. To be explicit, credit Great Britain with a population of forty-five millions. Apportion to each six bushels of wheat—the per capita requirement for food, according to scientists. Great Britain requires two hundred and eighty to three hundred million bushels of wheat for bread only—not to be manufactured into cereal products, which is another and enormous demand in itself. Of the wheat required for bread, Great Britain herself raises only fifty to sixty million bushels, leaving a deficit, which must come from outside sources, of two hundred million bushels.

In 1912 Canada raised one hundred and ninety-nine million bushels of wheat. In 1913, of grain products, Canada exported one hundred and ten million bushels; of flour products, almost twenty million dollars' worth. Under stress of need or high prices these totals could easily be trebled. The figures are, indeed, bewildering in their bigness. In the three prairie provinces there were under cultivation in 1912 for all crops only sixteen and one-half million acres.[10] At twenty bushels to the acre this area put under wheat would feed Great Britain. But note—only sixteen and one-half million acres were under cultivation. There have been surveyed as suitable for cultivation one hundred and fifty-eight million acres. The land area of the three prairie provinces is four hundred and sixty-six million acres. If only half the land surveyed as suitable for cultivation were put in wheat—namely seventy-nine million acres; and if it yielded only ten bushels to the acre (it usually yields nearer twenty than ten), the three prairie provinces of Canada would be producing crops equal to the entire spring wheat production of the United States. Grant, then, two bushels for reseeding, or one hundred and fifty-eight million bushels, and six bushels for food, or fifty million bushels, the three prairie provinces would still have for export more than five hundred million bushels. All this presupposes population. Granting each man one hundred and sixty acres, it presupposes 493,750 more farmers than are in the West; but coming to Canada yearly are four hundred thousand settlers; so that counting four out of every five settlers children, in half a decade at the least, Western Canada will have five hundred thousand more farmers—enough to feed Great Britain and still have a surplus of wheat for Europe.

In connection with wheat exports from the West one factor should never be ignored—the influence of the Great Lakes and the Soo Canal in reducing freight to the West. Great Lakes freight tolls are to-day the cheapest in the world, and their influence in minimizing the toll on the all-land haul must never be ignored. Freight can be carried on the Great Lakes one thousand miles for the same rate charged on rail rate for one hundred miles.[11]

And wheat is not the only product of the three prairie provinces. On the borderland between Manitoba and Saskatchewan are enormous deposits of coal which have not yet been explored. Canoeing once through Eastern Saskatchewan and Northern Manitoba, I saw a piece of almost pure copper brought down from the hinterland of Churchill River by an Indian, from an unknown mine, which no white man has yet found. On the borderland between Alberta and British Columbia is a ridge of coal deposits which such conservative experts as the late George Dawson estimated would mine four million tons a year for five thousand years. These coal deposits seem almost nature's special provision for the treeless plains.

It is well known that the decrease in white fish in the Great Lakes for the past ten years has been appalling. Northward of Churchill River is a region of chains of lakes—the Lesser Great Lakes, they have been called—and these are the only untouched inland fisheries in America. To the exporter they are ideal fishing ground. The climate is cool. The fish can be sent out frozen to American markets. Of Canada's thirty-four million dollars' worth of fish in 1912, one and one-half million dollars' worth came from the three prairie provinces.

Under the old boundaries, the three prairie provinces compared in area respectively Manitoba with Great Britain; Saskatchewan with France; Alberta, one and a half times larger than Germany. Under the new boundaries extending the province to Hudson Bay, Manitoba is fifty-two thousand square miles larger than Germany; Saskatchewan extended north is fifty thousand square miles larger than France; and Alberta extended north is fifty thousand square miles larger than Germany. And north of the three grain provinces is an area the size of European Russia.

We talk of Canada's boom as "done," but has it even begun? Strathcona used to say that the three prairie provinces would support a population of one hundred million. Was he right? On the basis of Europe's population the three provinces would sustain three times Germany's sixty-five millions.


In British Columbia one reaches the province of the greatest natural wealth, the greatest diversity in climate and the most feverish activity in Canada. East of the mountains is a climate high, cold and bracing as Russia or Switzerland. Between the ranges of the mountains are valleys mild as France. On the coast toward the south is a climate like Italy; toward the north, like Scotland. Of Canada's entire timber area—twice as great as Europe's standing timber—three-quarters lie in British Columbia. Fruit equal to Niagara's, fisheries richer than the maritime provinces, mines yielding more than Klondike—exist in this most favored of provinces. While the area is a half larger than Germany, the population is smaller than that of a suburb of Berlin.[12] Of Canada's thirty-four million dollars' worth of fish, thirteen million dollars' worth come from British Columbia; and of her products of forty-six millions of precious and fifty-six millions of non-metallic minerals in 1911 easily half came from British Columbia.[13]

Instead of that repose which marks the maritime provinces, one finds an eager fronting to the future that is almost feverish. If Panama is turning the entire Pacific into a front door instead of a back door, then British Columbia knows the coign of vantage, which she holds as an outlet for half Canada's commerce by way of the Pacific. It is in British Columbia that East must meet West and work out destiny.

[1] In 1800, the United States population was 5,308,483; in 1901, the Canadian population was 5,371,315.

[2] Ireland lost one-half her population from 1840 to 1900, Her population dropped in round numbers from eight millions to four millions.

[3] Total foreign trade of Canada, 1912, $1,085,264,000; of United States, $4,538,702,000.

[4] This presupposes immigration to the United States at a million and a quarter, as before the war.

[5] Speaking generally, there are few sections of the Northwest where the average rainfall is scanty.

[6] The areas of all the Canadian provinces except the maritime ones have been extended in recent years—Quebec to include Labrador—except the East Shore, which is under Newfoundland; Ontario to James Bay; Manitoba and Saskatchewan to Hudson Bay; Alberta to MacKenzie River. Northern British Columbia is not yet surveyed, which explains why its northern area is largely a matter of guess—closest estimates placing the whole province including Yukon as twice Germany; without Yukon as about one and two-thirds the area of Germany; but this is rough guesswork.

[7] Canada's fisheries for 1912 yielded $34,667,872.

[8] Canada's subsidies to steamships vary from year to year, but I do not think any year has much exceeded two millions.

[9] This is including Labrador.

[10] Under crop in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta 16,478,000 acres. Area surveyed available for cultivation 158,516,427 acres; land area, 466,068,798 acres.

[11] The rate from the head of the Lakes to Montreal is usually four to five cents. It has been as low as one cent, when grain was carried almost for ballast.

[12] British Columbia's population in 1912 was 392,480.

[13] Canada, mineral production for 1911 stands thus: copper, $6,911,831: gold, $9,672,096; iron, $700,216; lead, $818,672; nickel, $10,229,623; silver, $17,452,128; other metal, $322,862; total, $46,197,428. Non-metallic production 1911: coal $26,378,477; cement, $7,571,299; clay, $8,317,709; stone, $3,680,361; in all, $56,094.258.




It is easy to understand what binds the provinces into a confederation. They had to bind themselves into a unity with the British North America Act or see their national existence threatened by any band of settlers who might rush in and by a perfectly legitimate process of naturalization and voting set up self-government. At the time of confederation such eminent Imperial statesmen as Gladstone and Labouchere seriously considered whether it would not be better to cut Canada adrift, if she wanted to be cut adrift. The difference between the Canadian provinces and the isolated Latin republics of South America illustrates best what the bond of confederation did for the Dominion. The why and how of confederation is easy to understand, but what tie binds Canada to the Mother Country? That is a point almost impossible for an outsider to understand.

England contributes not a farthing to Canada. Canada contributes not a dime to England. Though a tariff against alien lands and trade concessions to her colonies would bring such prosperity to those colonies as Midas could not dream, England confers no trade favor to her colonial children. There have been times, indeed, when she discriminated against them by embargoes on cattle or boundary concessions to cement peace with foreign powers. Except for a slight trade concession of twenty to twenty-five per cent. on imports from England—which, of course, helps the Canadian buyer as much as it helps the British seller—Canada grants no favors to the Mother Country. In spite of those trade concessions to England, in 1913 for every dollar's worth Canada bought from England, she bought four dollars' worth from the United States.

Certainly, England sends Canada a Governor-General every four years; but the Cabinet of England never appoints a Governor-General to Canada till it has been unofficially ascertained from the Cabinet of the Dominion whether he will be persona grata. Canada gives the Governor-General fifty thousand dollars a year and some perquisites—an emolument that can barely sustain the style of living expected and exacted from the appointee, who must maintain a small viceregal court. The Governor-General has the right of veto on all bills passed by the Canadian government; and where an act might conflict with Imperial interests, he would doubtless exercise the right; but the veto power in the hands of the Imperial vicegerent is so rarely used as to be almost dead. Veto is avoided by the Governor-General working in close conference with the prevailing Cabinet, or party in power; and a party on the verge of enacting laws inimical to Imperial interests can be disciplined by dismissal from office, in which case the party must appeal to the country for re-election. That means time; and time allows passion to simmer down; and an entire electorate is not likely to perpetrate a policy inimical to Imperial interests. In practice, that represents the whole, sole and entire power of England's representative in Canada—a power less than the nod of a saloon keeper or ward boss in the civic politics of the United States. Officially, yes; the signature of the Governor-General is put to commissions and appointments of first rank in the army and the Cabinet and the courts. In reality, it is a question if any Governor in Canada since confederation has as much as suggested the name of an applicant for office.

On the other hand, Canada's dependence on England is even more tenuous. Does a question come up as to the "twilight zone" of provincial and federal rights, it is settled by an appeal to the Privy Council. Suits from lower courts reversed by the Supreme Court of Canada can be appealed to England for decision; and in religious disputes as to schools—as in the famous Manitoba School Case—this right of appeal to Imperial decision has really been the door out of dilemma for both parties in Canada. It is a shifting of the burden of a decision that must certainly alienate one section of votes—from the shoulders of the Canadian parties to an impartial Imperial tribunal.

If there be any other evidence of bonds in the tangible holding Canada to England and England to Canada—I do not know it.


What, then, is the tie that binds colony to Mother Country? Tangible—it is not; but real as life or death, who can doubt, when a self-governing colony voluntarily equips and despatches sixty thousand men—the choice sons of the land—to be pounded into pulp in an Imperial war? Who can doubt the tie is real, when bishops' sons, bankers', lawyers', doctors', farmers', carpenters', teachers' and preachers'—the young and picked heritors of the land—clamor a hundred thousand strong to enlist in defense of England and to face howitzer, lyddite and shell? Why not rest secure under the Monroe Doctrine that forever forefends European conquest? It is something the outsider can not understand. President Taft could not understand it when his reciprocity pact was defeated in Canada partly because of his own ill-advised words about Canada drifting from United States interests. Canada was not drifting from American interests. In trade and in transportation her interests are interlinking with the United States every day; but the point—which President Taft failed to understand—is: Canada is not drifting because she is sheet-anchored and gripped to the Mother Country. We may like it or dislike it. We may dispute and argue round about. The fact remains, without any screaming or flag waving, or postprandial loyalty expansions of rotund oratory and a rotunder waist line—Canada is sheet-anchored to England by an invisible, intangible, almost indescribable tie. That is one reason why she rejected reciprocity. That is why at a colossal cost in land and subsidies and loans and guarantees of almost two billions, she has built up a transportation system east and west, instead of north and south. That is why for a century she has hewn her way through mountains of difficulty to a destiny of her own, when it would have been easier and more profitable to have cast in her lot with the United States.

What is the tie that binds? Is it the hope of an Imperial Federation, which shall bind the whole British Empire into such a world federation as now holds the provinces of the Dominion? Twenty years ago, if you had asked that, the answer might have been "Yes." Canada was in the dark financially and did not see her way out. If only the Chamberlain scheme of a tariff against the world, free trade within the empire, could have evolved into practical politics, Canada for purely practical reasons would have welcomed Imperial Federation. It would have given her exports a wonderful outlet. But to-day Imperial Federation is a deader issue in Canada than reciprocity with the United States. No more books are written about it. No one speaks of it. No one wants it. No one has time for it. The changed attitude of mind is well illustrated by an incident on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, one day.

A Cabinet Minister was walking along the terrace above the river talking to a prominent public man of England.

"How about Imperial Federation?" asked the Englishman. "Do you want it?"

The Canadian statesman did not answer at once. He pointed across the Ottawa, where the blue shimmering Laurentians seem to recede and melt into a domain of infinitude. "Why should we want Imperial Federation?" he answered. "We have an empire the size of Europe, whose problems we must work out. Why should Canadians go to Westminster to legislate on a deceased wife's sister's bills and Welsh disestablishment and silly socialistic panaceas for the unfit to plunder the fit?"

It will be noticed that his answer had none of that flunkeyism to which Goldwin Smith used to ascribe much of Canadian pro-loyalty. Rather was there a grave recognition of the colossal burden of helping a nation the area of Europe to work out her destiny in wisdom and in integrity and in the certainty that is built up only from rock bottom basis of fact.

Has flunkeyism any part in the pro-loyalty of Canada? Goldwin Smith thought it had, and we all know Canadians whose swelling lip-loyalty is a sort of Gargantuan thunder. It may be observed, parenthetically, those Canadians are not the personages who receive recognition from England.

"Sorry, Your Royal Highness, sorry; but Canada is becoming horribly contaminated by Americanizing influences," apologized a pro-loyalist of the lip-flunkey variety to the Duke of Connaught shortly after that scion of royalty came to Canada as Governor.

The Duke of Connaught turned and looked the fussy lip-loyalist over. "What's good enough for Americans is good enough for me," he said.

An instance of the absence of flunkeyism from the Dominion's loyalty to the Mother Country occurred during the visit of the present King as Prince of Wales to the Canadian Northwest a few years ago. The royal train had arrived at some little western place, where a contingent of the Mounted Police was to act as escort for the Prince's entourage. The train had barely pulled in when a fussy little long-coat-tailed secretary flew John-Gilpin fashion across the station platform to a khaki trooper of the Mounted Police.

"His Royal Highness has arrived! His Royal Highness has arrived," gasped the little secretary, almost apoplectic with self-importance. "Come and help to get the baggage off—"

"You go to ——," answered the khaki-uniformed trooper, aiming a tobacco wad that flew past the little secretary's ear. "Get the baggage off yourself! We're not here as porters. We're here to execute orders and we don't take 'em from little damphool fussies like you."

Yet that trooper was of the company that made the Strathcona Horse famous in South Africa—famous for such daring abandon in their charges that the men could hardly be held within bounds of official orders. He is of the very class of men who have forsaken gainful occupations in the West to clamor a hundred-thousand strong for the privilege of fighting to the last ditch for the empire under the rain of death from German fire.

"How can Canadians be loyal to a system of government that acknowledges some fat king sitting on a throne chair like a mummy as ruler?" demanded an American woman of a Canadian man.

"Well," answered the Canadian, "I don't know that any 'fat king' was ever quite so fat as a gentleman named Mammon who plays a pretty big part in the government of all republics." He drew a five-dollar bill from his pocket. "As a piece of paper that is utterly worthless," he explained. "It isn't even good wrapping paper. It's a promise to pay—to deliver the goods, that gives it value. It's what the system of government stands for, that rouses support—not this, that, or the other man—"

"But what does it stand for?" interrupted the American; and the Canadian couldn't answer. It roused and held his loyalty as if of family ties. Yet he could not define it.

He might have explained that Canada has had a system of justice since 1837 never truckled to nor trafficked in, but he knew in his heart that the loyalty was to a something deeper than that. He knew that many republics—Switzerland, for instance—have as impartial a system of justice. He might have descanted on the British North America Act being to Canada what the Constitution is to the United States, only more elastic, more susceptible to growth and changing conditions; but he knew that the Constitution was what it was owing to this other principle of which law and justice were but the visible formula. He might easily have dilated on excellent features of the Canadian parliamentary system different from the United States or Germany. For instance, no party can hold office one day after it lacks the support of a majority vote. It must resign reins to the other party, or go to the country for re-election. Or he might have pointed to the very excellent feature of Cabinet Ministers sitting in the House and being directly responsible to Commons and Senate for the management of their departments to the expenditure of a farthing. A Cabinet member who may be quizzed to-day, to-morrow, every day in the week except Sunday, on the management of affairs under him can never take refuge in ambiguous silence or behind the skirts of his chief, as secretaries delinquent have frequently taken refuge behind the spotless reputation of a too-confiding President. But the Canadian explained none of these things. He knew that these things were only the outward and visible formula of the principle to which he was loyal.


A few years ago the mistake would have been impossible; for there was, up to 1900, practically no movement of settlers from the British Isles to Canada; but to-day with an enormous in-rush of British colonists to the Dominion, a superficial observer might ascribe the loyalty to the ties of blood—to the fact that between 1900 and 1911, 685,067 British colonists flocked to Canada. Not counting colossal investments of British capital, there are to-day easily a million Britishers living on and drawing their sustenance from the soil of Canada. And yet, however unpalatable and ungracious the fact may be to Englishmen, the ties of blood have little to do with the bond that holds Canada to England. This statement will arouse protest from a certain section of Canadians; but those same Canadians know there are hundreds—yes, thousands—of mercantile houses in the Dominion where employers practically put up the sign—"No Englishman need apply."

"I've come to the point," said a wholesale hardware man of a Canadian city, "where I won't employ a man if he has a cockney accent. I've tried it hundreds of times, and it has always ended the same way. I have to break a cockney's neck before I can convince him that I know the way I want things done, and they have to be done that way. He is so sure I am 'ownley a demmed ke-lo-neal' that he is lecturing me on how I should do things before he is in my establishment ten minutes. I don't know what it is. It may be that coming suddenly to a land where all men are treated on an equality and not kicked and expected to doff caps in thanks for the insolence, they can't stand the free rein and not go locoed. All I know is—where I'll employ an Irishman, or a Scotchman, or a Yorkshireman, on the jump, I will not employ a cockney. I don't want to commit murder."

And that business man voiced the sentiment of multitudes from farm, factory and shop. I'll not forget, myself, the semi-comic episode of rescuing an English woman from destitution and having her correct my Canadian expressions five minutes after I had given her a roof. She had referred to her experience as "jolly rotten"; and I had remarked that strangers sometimes had hard luck because "we Canadians couldn't place them," when I was roundly called to order by a tongue that never in its life audibly articulated an "h."


Before digging down to the subterranean springs of Canadian loyalty, we must take emphatic cognizance of several facts. Canada, while not a republic, is one of the most democratic nations in the world. Practically every man of political, financial or industrial prominence in Canada to-day came up by the shirt-sleeve route in one generation. If there is an exception to this statement—and I know every part of Canada almost as well as I know my own home—I do not know it. Sifton, Van Horne, MacKenzie, Mann, Laurier, Borden, Foster, the late Sir John Macdonald—all came up from penniless boyhood through their own efforts to what Canadians rate as success. I said "what Canadians rate as success." I did not say to affluence, for Canadians do not rate affluence by itself as success. Laurier, Foster, Sir John Macdonald—each began as a poor man. Sifton began life as a penniless lawyer. Van Horne got his foot on the first rung of the ladder hustling cars for troops in the Civil War. MacKenzie of Canada Northern fame began with a trowel; Dan Mann with an ax in the lumber woods at a period when wages were a dollar and twenty-five cents a day; Laurier with a lawyer's parchment and not a thing else in the world. Foster, the wizard of finance, taught his first finance in a schoolroom. And so one might go on down the list of Canada's great. Unless I am gravely mistaken the richest industrial leader of Ontario began life in a little bake shop, where his wife cooked and he sold the wares; and the richest man in the Canadian West began with a pick in a mine. I doubt if there is a single instance in Canada of a public man whose family's security from want traces back prior to 1867.

But the richest are not rated the most successful in Canada. There is an untold and untellable tragedy here. There is many a city in Canada which has a Mr. Rich-Man's-Folly in the shape of a palatial house or castellated residence which failed to force open the portals of respect and recognition for himself. Folly Castle has been occupied in an isolation that was almost quarantine. Why? Because its foundations were laid in some financial mud, which Canada never forgets and never forgives. Instances could be multiplied of brilliant politicians retired to private life, of moneyed men who spent fortunes to buy a knighthood, a baronetcy, an earldom—and died disappointed because in early life they had used fiduciary funds or trafficked in politics. It may impart a seeming snobbery to Canadian life, an almost crude insolence; but it keeps a title from becoming the insignia of an envied dollar bill. It keeps men from buying what their conduct failed to win. It does more than anything else to keep down that envy of true success which is the curse of many lands. Canadian papers rarely trouble to chronicle whether a rich man wears the hair shirt of a troubled conscience, or the paper vest of a tight purse. They are not interested in him simply because he is rich. If he loots a franchise and unloads rotten stocks on widows and orphans and teachers and preachers, they call him a thief and send him to jail a convict. Three decades ago the premier's own nephew misused public funds. It could have been hushed by the drop of a hat or the wave of a hand. The party in power was absolutely dominant. The culprit was arrested at nine in the morning and sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary by six that day; and he served the term, too, without any political wash to clear him. Instances are not lacking of titled adventurers ostracized in Winnipeg and Montreal going to Newport and capturing the richest heiresses of the land. These instances are not mentioned in invidious self-righteousness. They are mentioned purely to illustrate the underlying, unspoken difference in essential values.


Set down, then, two or three premises! Canada is under a monarchy, but in practice is a democratic country. Canada is absolutely impartial in her justice to rich and poor. Have we dug down to the fountain spring of Canadian loyalty? Not at all. These are not springs. They are national states of mind. These characteristics are psychology. What is the rock bottom spring? One sometimes finds the presence of a hidden spring by signs—green grass among parched; the twist of a peach or hazel twig in answer to the presence of water; the direction of the brook below. What are the signs of Canada's springs? Signs, remember; not proofs. Of proofs, there is no need.

Perfectly impartially, whether we like it or dislike it, without any argument for or against, let us set down Canadian likes and dislikes as to government. These are not my likes and dislikes. They are not your likes and dislikes. They are facts as to the Canadian people.

Canadians have no faith in a system of government, whether under a Turkish Khan or a Lloyd George Chancellor, which delegates the rule of a nation to butchers and bakers and candlestick-makers and "the dear people" fakers. They do not believe that a man who can not rule his own affairs well can rule the nation well. They regard government as a grave and sacred function, not as a grab bag for spoils. If a party makes good in power, they have no fear of leaving that party in power for term after term. The longer their premier is in office the more efficient they think he will become. They have no fear of the premier becoming a "fat" tyrannical king. Long as the party makes good, they consider it has a right to power; and that experience adds to competency. Instantly the party fails to make good, they throw it out independent of the length of its tenure of office.

Canadians do not believe that "I-am-as-good-as-you-are-and-a-little-better." They will accept the fact that "I-am-as-good-as-you-are" only when I prove it in brain, in brawn, in courtesy, in mental agility, in business acumen, in service—in a word, in fact. They are comparatively untouched by the theoretical radicalism of the French Revolution, by the socialism of a Lloyd George, by the war of labor and capital. They are untouched by theory because they are so intent on fact. The "liberty, equality and fraternity" cry of the French Revolution—they regard as so much hot air. Canadians since 1837 have had "liberty, equality, fraternity." Why rant about it? And when they didn't have it, they fought for it and went to the scaffold for it, and got it. The day's work—that's all. Why posturize and theorize about platitudes? Canadians are not interested in the Lloyd George theory of the poor plundering the prosperous, because every man or woman who tries in Canada can succeed. He may hoe some long hard rows. Let him hoe! It will harden flabby muscle and give backbone in place of jawbone! Help the innocent children—yes! There is a child saving organization in every province. But if the adult will not try, let him die! If he will not struggle to survive, let him die! The sooner the better! No theoretical parasites for Canada, nor parlor socialism! "Take off your coat! Roll up your shirt-sleeves! Stop blathering! Go to work!" says Canada.

"But I think—" protests the theorist.

"Thinks don't pass currency as coin. Go to work, and pass up facts," says Canada.


It may be objected that all this means the survival of the fit, the rule of the many by the few. That is exactly what it means. That is the fountain spring of Canada's national idea, whether we like it or hate it. That is the belief that binds Canada's loyalty to the monarchical idea—though Canada would as soon call it the presidential idea as the monarchical idea. She does not care what name you tag it by so long as she delegates to the selected and elected few the power to rule. She believes the selected few are better than the unwinnowed many as rulers. She would sooner have a mathematical school-teacher as finance minister than a saloon keeper or ward heeler. She believes that the rule of the select few is better than the rule of the thoughtless many. She delegates the right and power to rule to those few, lets them make the laws and bows to the laws as to the laws of God, as the best possible for the nation because they have been enacted by the best of her nation. If that best be bad, it is at least not so bad as the worst. She never says—"Pah! What is law! I made the law! If it doesn't suit me, I'll break it. I am the law."

Canadians acknowledge they have delegated power to make law to men whom they believe superior to the general run. Therefore, they obey that law as above change by the individual. In other words, Canadians believe in the rule of the many delegated to the superior few. Those few do what they deem wise; not what the electorate tell them. They exceed instructions. They lead. They do not obey. But if they fail, they are thrown to the dogs without mercy, whether the tenure of office be complete or incomplete. It is the old Saxon idea of the Witenagemot—the council of a few wise men ruling the clan.

There is the fountain spring of Canadian loyalty to the monarchical idea. It is not the fat king. It is not any king. It is what the insignificant personality called "king" stands for, like the five-dollar bill worthless as wrapping paper but of value as a promise to deliver the goods.




"The Americanizing of Canada" is a phrase which has been much in vogue with a section of the British press ever since the attempt to establish reciprocity between the United States and the Dominion. It is a question if the glib users of the phrase have the faintest idea what they mean by it. It is a catchword. It sounds ominously deep as the owl's wise but meaningless "too-whoo." English publicists who have never been nearer Canada than a Dominion postage stamp wisely warn Canada against the siren seductions of Columbia's republicanism.

If the phrase means that reciprocity might lead to annexation, Canada's repudiation of reciprocity is sufficient disproof of the imputation. If it means increased and increasing trade weaving a warp and woof of international commerce—then—yes—there is an "Americanizing of Canada" as there is a Canadianizing of the United States through international traffic; but the users of the phrase should remember that the country doing the largest trade of all countries with the United States is Great Britain; and does one speak of the "Americanizing" of Great Britain? If it means that in ten years two-fifths as many Americans have settled in Western Canada as there are native-born Canadians in the West—then—yes—Canada pleads guilty. She has spent money like water and is spending it yet to attract these American settlers; and they, on their part, have brought with them an average of fifteen hundred dollars a settler, not counting money invested by capitalists. If in the era between 1900 and 1911, 650,719 American settlers came to Western Canada, and from 1911 to 1914, six hundred thousand more—or say, with natural increase, a million and a quarter in fifteen years; to counterpoise that consideration remember that in the era from 1885 to 1895 one-fifth of Canada's native population moved to the United States.

There is not the slightest doubt that within ten years the balance of political power in Canada has shifted from the solidarity of French Quebec to the progressive West; but that can hardly be considered as of political import when two out of four western provinces rejected reciprocity.

What, then, is meant by the phrase "Americanizing of Canada"?

Consider for a moment what is happening!

Twenty years ago the number of American and Canadian railroads meeting at the boundary and crossing the boundary numbered some six. Ten years ago in the West alone there were sixteen branch lines feeding traffic into one another's territory across the border. To-day, if you count all the American railroads reaching up from trunk lines north to Canada, and all the Canadian spurs reaching south from trunk lines into the United States, and all the great trunk lines having subsidiaries like the South Shore and "Soo" crossing the border, and all the lines having international running rights over one another's roadbed, there are more than sixty railroads feeding Canadian traffic into the United States and American traffic into Canada. This explains why of all the export grain traffic from the Northwest forty-four per cent. only goes from Canada by all-Canadian routing, while fifty-six per cent. comes to seaboard over American lines; and all this is independent of the enormous American traffic through the Canadian "Soo" by the Great Lakes, in some years, reaching a total five times as large as the traffic expected through Panama. One can not contemplate this constant interchange of traffic without recalling the metaphor of the warp and the woof, of the shuttle weaving a fabric of international commerce that ignores dead reciprocity pacts and an invisible boundary. Yet England does three-fourths of the carrying trade for the United States across the Atlantic. Spite of high tariff on one side of the ocean and no tariff on the other side, spite of eagle and lion rampant, British ships weave like busy shuttles across the silver lanes of the sea an invisible warp and woof that are stronger than cables of steel, or political treaty.

So much for lines of traffic between Canada and the United States! What of the traffic carried?

American imports to Canada have doubled in three years; or increased from two hundred sixteen million dollars' worth in 1910 to four hundred fifteen million dollars' worth in 1913; and instead of the war causing a falling off, it is likely to cause an increase; for Canada's purchases from Europe have been cut off and must be supplied by the United States. Of the imports to Canada, two-thirds are manufactured articles—motors, locomotives, cars, coffee, cotton, iron, steel, implements, coal. At time of writing exports from the United States now rank the United Kingdom first, Canada second, Germany third. When you consider that Canada's purchasing power is that of seven million people, where the United Kingdom's is forty-five and Germany's sixty-five million, the significance of these comparative ranks is apparent.

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