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Title: The Message of the Carillon And Other Addresses

Date of first publication: 1927

Author: William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950)

Date first posted: Dec. 8, 2019

Date last updated: Dec. 8, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20191215

This eBook was produced by: Al Haines, Howard Ross & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

Copyright, Canada, 1927, by








Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,

To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:

Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s,

Thy God’s, and truth’s;

King Henry VIII: Shakespeare.


The celebration by Canada of the Sixtieth Anniversary of Confederation has done much to awaken a new interest in our country. I hope that a desire to further the spirit of good-will, which the celebration, has done so much to foster, will be accepted as sufficient justification for bringing together in the pages of a book some addresses of my own which are related to the year’s events, and which seek to record the historic significance of these events. In the present volume there have been added addresses or extracts of speeches of other years, which owe their origin to a like purpose.

The selections have been made from among a number of public speeches of which the record has been sufficiently adequate to permit of their publication. It need scarcely be said that there was, at the time of their delivery, but little opportunity for careful preparation, and that there has been since even less in the way of opportunity of revision. For the most part, they are the fruit of an endeavour to be faithful to a tradition of British public life which aims at an association of letters with politics, and an interpretation on the part of public men of events in which they may be called upon to participate.

I have been careful not to include speeches dealing with controversial politics. This of necessity has limited considerably my field of choice. On the other hand, it has enabled me to make clear my views on some matters of national interest in a form which I hope may prove acceptable to the public.

The message of the carillon is a message of peace and good-will. Some of its notes will, I believe, be found in each of the selections which go to make up the pages of this book. The speeches themselves are on a variety of topics, and have been made in different countries, and at different times. The motif of all is, however, the same. In the circumstances it will, I trust, not seem inappropriate that they should appear collectively under a title which belongs more exclusively to the first address.

W. L. Mackenzie King.


Laurier House, Ottawa,

  11th November, 1927.


The Message of the Carillon3
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales30
The Prime Minister of Great Britain38
Growth and Expansion61
The Diamond Jubilee of Confederation72
Symbols of Sovereignty97
Canadian Unity100
The Freedom of London105
The British Commonwealth of Nations112
Historical Records and Personalities117
The British Constitution151
Imperial Unity154
One Hundred Years of Peace. I163
One Hundred Years of Peace. II169
One Hundred Years of Peace. III174
Canada and the United States179
Industrial Peace191
The University and Public Life225
Canada and France233
Marshal Foch240
The University and Service249
Thomas D’Arcy McGee258
The Supremacy of Ideals270




At the Inauguration of the Carillon, Houses of Parliament, Ottawa

1st July, 1927

In the main entrance to our Houses of Parliament there are carved on the central column, which supports the entire structure, words commemorative of two epoch-marking events in the history of Canada. The one is Confederation, the Diamond Jubilee of which we celebrate to-day; the other, Canada’s participation in the Great War. The main tower of our parliament buildings is a memorial of the Peace born of Victory. In this tower a carillon of fifty-three bells has been installed by authority of Parliament. At twelve o’clock noon, His Excellency the Governor General, Viscount Willingdon, the representative in our Dominion of His Majesty the King, will inaugurate the carillon. Both Confederation and the Peace are immediately associated with to-day’s ceremony. In the anthem, which will peal forth at midday, will be sounded the notes of “O Canada”, notes which will be heard far beyond the bounds of our Dominion, in proclamation of its sixtieth birthday anniversary; notes that will carry an even greater proclamation—the message of peace and good-will, to all men, in all lands.

Of Confederation much will be said throughout our country to-day. This morning’s ceremony is concerned more particularly with the inauguration of the carillon which has been installed in the Memorial Tower.

Before inviting His Excellency to perform the ceremony which will make the carillon a part of our national life, it will, I trust, accord with your wishes, if, on behalf of the Government, I attempt briefly to make mention of a few features, incidental to its installation, which, I believe, on this occasion, all present will wish to have in mind, and which our country will desire to have on record.

It is necessary for me, in referring to the circumstances which led to the installation of the carillon, to recall the disastrous fire which, on the night of February 3, 1916, occasioned the destruction of the parliament buildings. The buildings were not totally destroyed, but the extent of the irreparable loss was such as to appear to warrant their complete reconstruction. This work was entered upon immediately. On September 1, 1916, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, Governor General of Canada at the time, laid the corner stone of the present buildings, exactly where fifty-six years before, his brother, King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, had laid the corner stone of the original Houses of Parliament. At the north-east corner of the buildings is to be seen the inscriptions descriptive of both ceremonies.

The work of reconstruction was well under way when the Great War was ended. The Government of the day decided that in no way could the Peace be more appropriately commemorated than by dedicating, as a memorial to the Peace, the main tower which was still to be erected. As the Tower of Victory, it was to mark the completion, and to be the crowning feature of the newly constructed Houses of Parliament. The idea was one alike of beauty and of vision. On September 1, 1919, on the occasion of his first visit to Canada, the corner stone of the tower was laid by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

In keeping with the commemorative character of the tower it was decided to reserve the space immediately above the entrance to the Houses of Parliament, as a Memorial Chamber. There will be recorded the names of all who served with the Canadian Forces in the Great War. In the centre of the Memorial Chamber there has been erected an Altar, on which is to be placed The Book of Remembrance, and, within its covers, constituting a national roll of honour, will be inscribed on illuminated parchment sixty thousand names, the names of those who, in the hour of the world’s greatest need, made the supreme sacrifice.

O valiant hearts, who to your glory came

Through dust of conflict and through battle-flame;

Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,

Your memory hallowed in the Land you loved.

The stone of the Altar, on which will be placed The Book of Remembrance, was laid by His Excellency Lord Byng, before his departure from Canada, as a last official act. The Memorial Chamber itself, the work on which is now nearing completion, will, it is hoped, be formally dedicated by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the occasion of his visit to our country in the course of the next few weeks.

It is in the space immediately above the Memorial Chamber that the carillon has been installed. Above the carillon is the Tower Clock, with its dials, each fifteen feet nine inches in diameter, visible from the east, south, west, and north. Surmounting the pinnacle of the Tower, and over all, is the Union Jack, caressed, at their caprice, by the four winds of heaven.

So far as I am aware, the proposal to install a carillon in the tower was first made in Parliament by the late Senator George Bradbury. The suggestion was favourably received by members of both Houses, and in all parts of Canada. The project came before the Government for consideration when the Administration in 1923 was being called upon to decide what chimes, if any, should accompany the striking of the hours of the Tower Clock.

May I pause for a moment to say a word about the Tower Clock. In the great fire of 1916, the bell in the old tower which sounded the hours continued to the very last to perform its duty. The base of the tower was on fire when the hour of ten was struck. Through its apertures the flames were flashing when the bell sounded the hour of eleven. As the hour of midnight approached most of the tower was already a ruin, its base was a smouldering mass, its pinnacle had been devoured by the flames. Still the old sentinel stood on guard. At midnight the crash came. In an endeavour to strike the final hour, it fell, its belfry demolished, its voice silenced. That sacrifice, however, has not been in vain. Out of the ashes of the tower which was destroyed, a destruction which at the time seemed to symbolize the devastation of the Great War, has risen a more beautiful tower, the tower which we at this moment behold, a Peace Tower, which stands to the world as a symbol of the spirit of this nation, bearing in its breast the record of the sacrifice made by our country for the world’s peace. In a few moments it will be our privilege to bear witness to the immortality of that spirit. When the clock which is now installed begins to sound forth the hours of the day, it will take the flaming torch, thrown to it over a space of years by the old sentinel at midnight, and holding it aloft will strike at high noon the hour of twelve in commemoration alike of birth and of resurrection.

The present clock will have yet another association of even vaster scope and dream. The completion of our reconstructed Houses of Parliament seemed to the Administration an opportune moment in which to give renewed expression to our near relationship to England, the Mother of Parliaments. Accordingly, in arranging for the new clock which was to be placed in the tower, an effort was made to reproduce, as accurately as sound would permit, the notes of Big Ben and the Westminster Chimes. When, therefore, from time to time, we hear the striking of the hours and the quarters, we shall be reminded of the heritage of freedom which has come to us through the establishment in Canada of British parliamentary institutions, the like establishment of which in other dominions beyond the seas is the surest bond of union between the community of free nations which comprise the British Commonwealth.

Having decided to reproduce at Ottawa the chimes at Westminster, the Government next gave careful consideration to the larger project of installing a carillon. Mr. Frederick C. Mayer, who had completed a survey of the carillons of the world, was invited to come to Ottawa to advise on the project. When Mr. Mayer saw the Peace Tower, viewed its commanding position, and the wide open spaces by which it is surrounded, he grew enthusiastic over its possibilities and became emphatic in his statement that with such a campanile, in such a setting, the Government had it within its power to secure for the people of Canada what would prove to be the finest carillon in the world.

Again, having regard to the commemorative character of the tower, and more particularly to the sixty thousand names upon the roll of honour in The Book of Remembrance, it was felt by the Administration that the more worthily the service and sacrifice of Canada in the Great War could be commemorated, the more would the commemoration accord with the will and wish of the Canadian people. It was thereupon decided to install the carillon as the crowning feature of the Memorial Tower and as the most fitting symbol of the Peace.

To the firm of Gillett and Johnson, of Croydon, England, was entrusted the work of installing the carillon. This work is now practically complete, and Mr. Cyril Johnson, who has given to it throughout the closest personal attention, is here to-day to witness the supreme triumph of his art. To him and to Mr. Mayer, for their invaluable services, I should like publicly to extend the thanks of the Government.

To indicate to the country the degree to which Mr. Mayer’s prediction has been fulfilled, I cannot perhaps do better than to read the concluding paragraph of the latest report he has made to the Government, written upon the completion of a test of the bells, made at Croydon, just prior to their shipment to Canada. In a communication dated May 1, 1927, addressed to Mr. J. B. Hunter, the Deputy Minister of Public Works, of which Mr. Mayer at the time was kind enough to send me a copy, he says:

With the beauty of quality and perfection of tuning that all of your bells will have, with the high spacious tower for position, with the beautiful architectural setting, with the surroundings combining open space and quiet, and with an unprecedented total weight of bell metal contributing unrivalled richness and sonority of artistic effect, I feel confident that you are going to have the greatest carillon in the world.

Time forbids more than a passing reference to the carillon itself. As already mentioned, it numbers in all fifty-three bells, of which the smallest is fifteen pounds in weight and the largest, the Bourdon bell, ten tons. The total of bell metal for the carillon approximates sixty tons; to this must be added, in estimating the weight which the tower supports, an additional thirty tons, that being the weight of the steel work of the chamber in which the carillon is installed. Such is the avoirdupois of the instrument, as sensitive to the touch of a musician as the chord of a harp, upon which our carillonneur, Mr. Percival Price, will play.

In conclusion, there is one feature of which I desire to make special mention. It is the inscription which appears on the largest bell. In the fewest possible words, the inscription seeks to epitomize the purpose of the carillon as a national memorial, commemorative of the Peace, and of the service and sacrifice which contributed to that great end. It appears in both English and French, doubly significant when one recalls the association of the two peoples in the great War and in our country’s story.

The inscription reads:

This carillon was installed

by authority of Parliament

to commemorate

the Peace of 1918


to keep in remembrance

the service and sacrifice

of Canada

in the Great War

“By authority of Parliament”, there is something splendidly impressive in those words! There is no comparable authority in the affairs of state. “To commemorate” and “to keep in remembrance”, what words more full of meaning will be found in our language! To Leonardo da Vinci we owe much for the portrayal of the sacrament with which these words will ever be associated. How full of kindred meaning they are when applied to the service and sacrifice of our young country, and to a peace which relates itself to the entire world! Around the rim of the bell which carries the inscription, are the words: “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace, Good-will toward men”.

Such is the message of the carillon—a message of rejoicing and thanksgiving known in biblical lore as “The Angels’ Song”. It was heard from the skies nearly twenty centuries ago by a few shepherds who were watching their flocks by night. Back to the skies it returns at noon to-day, not the echo of a mystical strain heard on a Judean moor, but the voice of a nation in thanksgiving and praise which will sound over land and sea to the uttermost parts of the earth, and which, from the place where we are now assembled, may yet, in the course of time, be borne down the centuries to come.


At the Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

1st July, 1927

Four hundred years ago, Canada, from ocean to ocean, was a primeval forest, unknown to the civilized world. Its verdant grandeur lay mirrored in mighty rivers and inland seas. The boundless plains, concealed within its depths, rivalled in their sweep vast stretches of mountain range, unsurpassed in immensity, and unparalleled in antiquity. Through these ancient solitudes the Indian roamed, the lord of the forest, the monarch of all he surveyed.

In the perspective of history it would seem that our country has been well and truly named. Canada, when discovered, was the home of the Indian. Legend has it that the name, Canada, is derived from the Indian word, Kanata, which means a group of huts. If we are to go back to the beginning of things, where shall we find a truer picture of the primitive than that afforded by a group of huts?

The Confederation of Canada, the Diamond Jubilee of which we celebrate to-day, was the culmination of a two-fold undertaking, the task of settlement and of government which began more than three centuries ago.

Settlement and government of themselves are not sufficient to make a country. They must be continuous and combined. When, at the close of the fifteenth century, John Cabot, under royal charter from Henry VII, planted on the Canadian mainland the banner of England and the first cross, and when, early in the following century, Jacques Cartier erected a great cross, on which were the fleur de lis, and the words “Long live the King of France”, these intrepid mariners bequeathed their names to our country as its discoverers. It can hardly be said that they were its founders. They established no authority, they set up no colony. Their presence at the dawn of our history was, however, strangely prophetic of the two great races that were to develop settlement and government in our midst. Whilst a settlement was begun at Port Royal by Champlain and De Monts in 1605, it was not until Champlain in 1608 erected a small fort at Quebec, felled trees and planted wheat, that order and permanency, the essentials of nationhood, had their beginnings. That day, our Canada, daughter of the woods and mother of the fields, was born.

From a group of huts to a group of provinces, such was the development of Canada in the period that intervened between the founding of our country and Confederation. It was a period of combined settlement and government, continuous over some two hundred and sixty years. In settlement and government alike there were, during this period, mighty developments and transitions. At the end of a century and a half, Canada passed from a French to a British possession. Quebec, grown from a tiny fort to a rock fortress, reappears, at the moment of transition, as the corner stone of the new national edifice. The monument erected at Quebec to the honour and memory of Montcalm and Wolfe is a fitting symbol of the spirit which has made our nation; a spirit which, in preserving the heroisms, has buried the animosities of the races which have shaped its destiny.

Throughout the seventeenth century, colonization along the St. Lawrence and in the interior was largely French. In 1621, James I granted a charter to Sir William Alexander in the lands now included in the Maritime Provinces. This was the beginning of Scottish settlement in Canada. In the first half of the eighteenth century, the French colonists continued to out-number the English, but in the second half, especially after the conquest, it was the other way. In the nineteenth century, English colonization increased very considerably and settlers began to come in numbers from other lands. The most significant contribution was the influx, following the war of American Independence, of United Empire Loyalists into Nova Scotia and the western portion of what was then the province of Quebec, as defined in 1774. As a result of this influx of new settlers, the Province of New Brunswick was established in 1784. What formerly had been one colony, largely French, was, by the Constitutional Act of 1791, divided into two provinces, Upper Canada and Lower Canada, corresponding, though in lesser outline, to the Ontario and Quebec of to-day. By the Atlantic, in addition to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, was the colony of Prince Edward Island. British Columbia, as yet under another name, was a lone colony by the Pacific.

In matters of government, during this period, control passed by degrees from autocratic governors and nominated councils to the elected representatives of the people under a system of responsible self-government. To Nova Scotia belongs the distinction of having led the way in representative institutions. The first Legislative Assembly met at Halifax in 1758. In Nova Scotia and the other Maritime Provinces, representative government of a restricted character was succeeded in the course of a normal evolution by responsible self-government. In the Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, however, it was not without open revolt that responsible self-government was finally established. The rebellion of 1837-38 was, in reality, not an uprising against British authority in Canada; it was an effort to bring the governments of Upper and Lower Canada more into accord with principles already recognized and established under British parliamentary practice. It was a rebellion claiming British rights for British citizens; a rebellion which failed on the field of battle, but which won on the field of principle.

As settlement in the provinces increased, and representative institutions in government paved the way for responsible self-government, the desire for wider political union manifested itself. In 1841 Upper and Lower Canada were united. In 1864 the Maritime Provinces held a Conference at Charlottetown to consider the possible union of the British colonies by the Atlantic. It was to this Conference that, in September of that year, delegates from Upper and Lower Canada repaired in order to suggest a larger idea, the idea of a confederation of all the provinces of British North America. They began to talk about a Nation to which all would belong, a Nation that one day might extend from sea to sea. The idea made its appeal. A conference to bring this project into being was decided upon. Charlottetown thus became “the cradle of Confederation”.

Once more, however, Quebec was the historic centre. There, in the October following, the official conference was held. At the Quebec Conference assembled thirty-three delegates, men of diverse temperaments, racial origins, religious and political faiths, but all animated by one supreme purpose. They adopted seventy-two important resolutions which became the basis of the British North America Act, subsequently passed at Westminster. Under its provisions, the Dominion of Canada came into being on July 1, 1867. Thus, in the place of its beginnings, was completed the first epoch in the task of settlement and government, begun two hundred and sixty years before.

History has given to the leaders who assembled at Quebec the title of “Fathers of Confederation”. It has been well said they were “the first flowering of responsible Government, fitted by experience for their great task and responsibility”.

With Confederation on July 1, 1867, the centre of our national stage shifts from Quebec to Ottawa. Here sixty years ago, on November 6, the first parliament of the Dominion of Canada met on the hill where we to-day are assembled.

The Canada of 1867 was, however, vastly different from the Canada of 1927, the Canada of to-day. In the light of what many of us have lived to witness, it would appear that, with Confederation, the work of settlement and government had just begun. The Great West had still to be acquired, most of it still to be explored. The record of its development is a history in itself. British Columbia, at the time of Confederation, remained in splendid isolation, a British colony by the Pacific. Prince Edward Island, despite its historic setting, continued, by the Atlantic, to enjoy a like isolation. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, save as Territories, were as yet unknown; as Provinces they were as yet unborn. The transformation of colonies into autonomous provinces, and of combined provinces into a self-governing nation became the larger task of settlement and of government. To settlement and to government there remained also the task of creating new provinces and of widening the country’s bounds, that there might be one Dominion from sea to sea.

The sixty years which have intervened since Confederation constitute an era of unprecedented expansion. Manitoba in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, became a part of the Dominion. Saskatchewan and Alberta, newly created in 1905 out of the Middle West, brought to completion the federation of Provinces from coast to coast.

If the period prior to Confederation marked the development of Canada from a group of huts to a group of provinces, it is equally true that the period succeeding Confederation has witnessed Canada’s transition from a group of colonies to a nation within a group of nations, and her transition from a group of provinces to a nation among the nations of the world.

A land of scattered huts and colonies no more,

But a young nation, with her life full beating in her breast,

A noble future in her eyes—the Britain of the West.

As Canada has developed in settlement and government, so has the great Empire of which Canada is a part. From a parent State with colonial possessions, the British Empire has become a community of free nations “in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs”. They are “united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations”. Such is the position and mutual relation of Great Britain and the Dominions, as defined at the Imperial Conference of 1926. As one of the nations of the British Commonwealth of Nations, though of her own accord, Canada shared in the sacrifices of the world’s war; as a nation, Canada participated in the terms of a world’s peace. In the larger Councils of Empire her position has been increasingly acknowledged; it has been accorded the highest recognition in the League of Nations as well. At no previous period of her history has Canada’s status as a nation been so clearly defined, and at no time in her history have her relations, intra-imperial and international, been happier than they are to-day. Thus has been realized, far beyond their dreams, the vision of the Fathers of Confederation.

As we view in retrospect our country’s history, what impresses us most is the very brief time within which so much has been achieved. Even to-day we have not lost traces of the earliest Canada. In the background of the present, there remain the Indian habitations—the little groups of huts, silhouetted against the forest depths, content to remain within its shadows that the larger Canada, emerging from obscurity and shade, may take her place in the sun among the powers of the world.

Coming then to our own day, how shall we, who have the responsibilities of the present, play our part? As nation-builders, as Empire-builders, our opportunities are even greater than those of our forefathers. To the problems of nationhood and Empire have been added world problems, problems intimately related to the world’s progress and the world’s peace. A nation, like an individual, to find itself must lose itself in the service of others.

First and foremost we must strive to be worthy of our past. And to be worthy of our past we must come to have a more intimate knowledge of its history. In the annals of the world there is no more illuminating and inspiring history than the history of Canada. Take whichever phase you will, the economic, the political, the constitutional, where will you find within so small a compass so complete an evolution, and so many factors of world significance? Let us hope that the interest created by the present anniversary will give us a greater pride in our country’s past, and mark a place of new beginnings in the importance to be attached to Canadian history in our universities and schools. Let it be a study not from some prejudiced, partisan, or favoured point of view, but a simple record of the truth. There will be sufficient there to reveal the working of Providence through the years.

Next let us strive to build wisely in the present; to make the present, if we can, even more wonderful than the past, knowing that other generations will follow our own, and that our day, too, will be weighed in the balances of Time. “The House Beautiful”—that would seem to be our particular task. Much of the rough and heavy work has been done by those whom we have most in mind to-day—the pioneers in settlement and government who have given us the house in which we dwell. As they laboured, their thought was less of themselves than of their children, and of their children’s children. To bequeath to them a freedom, an education which they themselves had been denied, that was what made the hard struggle worth while. What Canadian home has not witnessed that sacrifice of parent for child? What privation and toil has there not been that, in the end, the rough places might be made smooth?

To the builders of our nation, we owe much for what in the way of adornment they have added to utility. The flowering geranium in the cottage window, the tree planted by the wayside, the spire on the village church, all these speak of the love of beauty in the human heart. To the powerful corporations of our land, we owe much for a kindred service. Our railways, our banks, our insurance and investment companies, many of our industrial concerns, have had an eye to the beautiful as well as to dividends. While furthering its economic development in different ways, they have given to our country some noble pieces of architecture and taught many a lesson in artistic design. Our municipalities and governments have done much to educate popular taste in seeking to express a true feeling of form and proportion and to give a befitting dignity and artistic quality to public buildings and other public works. They have done much in the way of establishing parks and public squares and in them of worthily commemorating great personages and great events in our history. My own view is that those in authority cannot have too high a regard for national memorials, nor do too much in the way of beautification of our land. Industry and commerce have robbed our country of much of its natural beauty. We shall not greatly err if, in different ways, we seek to restore what in this respect has been lost.

I am glad that in this year of Diamond Jubilee we have witnessed on the part of parliament and the city of Ottawa, a readiness to share in the permanent improvement of the capital of our Dominion. Let us always remember, it is not the Ottawa or the Canada of to-day that we at this hour are called upon to consider, nor the Ottawa or the Canada of a few years hence; it is the capital of our country as it will exist through generations to come. Already we condemn the failure which has denied us a fitting approach to these beautiful buildings and their magnificent setting. As years go by the extent of that failure will be increasingly felt. With all my heart I hope that the great event in our history which we celebrate to-day may be commemorated in this capital by a means of access to the Houses of Parliament worthy of their great dignity and beauty, worthy of the vision which brought them into being and which placed them here, and in keeping with the place which they hold in our national life. Such an approach we all but have in the improvement already under way in the very heart of the city. Let us bring that splendid work to its obvious completion. Confederation Park, dedicated to the Fathers of Confederation, would be a worthy memorial to this historic occasion. It is a memorial which the Canada of to-day, but even more the Canada of future years, would, I believe, loudly acclaim.

In seeking to be worthy of our past, to build wisely in the present, how can we do better than to remain true to the spirit of those whom we honour to-day; not the Fathers of Confederation alone, but that long procession of discoverers and explorers, pioneers and settlers, sailors and soldiers, missionaries and traders; the men and women who have hewn their homes from the forests, who have developed our resources, fashioned our industries, extended our commerce; the moulders of thought and opinion and ideals in the realm of letters and art and government; that vast unnumbered company, long since gathered to their fathers and now resting from their labours, whose courage and daring, whose heroic purpose and steadfast endurance, whose vision and wisdom, manifested in a multitude of ways, have created a record of achievement unequalled in the romance, and unsurpassed in the pageantry of history.

In the Legislative Buildings at Prince Edward Island there was erected on the fiftieth anniversary of the event, a bronze mural tablet which commemorates the meeting at Charlottetown on September 1, 1864. It reads:

In the hearts and minds of the

  delegates who assembled

in this room on Sept. 1st, 1864

was born the Dominion of Canada


Providence being their guide

They builded better than they knew.

As I reflect upon our country’s past, I come to believe more and more in the profound truth of that inscription. Only I would give to it a wider application. I would have it include all who by service and sacrifice have made Canada what it is to-day. One cannot but be impressed with the sublime faith and the spirit of reverence which in the humblest and the highest have been so generally apparent. From every side they seem to have caught glimpses of “The Vision Splendid”. “He shall have Dominion also from sea to sea.” It would almost seem that this ideal had been present to the hearts and minds of all, and that they had worked together from the beginning to this great end. Can we do better than to find in these words a like inspiration, remembering always “Where there is no vision the people perish”, and that “His truth endureth to all generations”.


At the Dinner Given by the Government of Canada, The Houses of Parliament, Ottawa

2nd August, 1927

While it has been our privilege on former occasions to welcome His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, we are deeply sensible to-day of the honour which he has done us in making a special visit to Canada for the purpose of expressing, in the year of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation, the deep personal interest which the Royal Family has always evinced in the welfare of the Canadian people. We are delighted also to welcome His Royal Highness as one who brings to us at this historic time greetings from our beloved Sovereign, towards whom, on the part of His Majesty’s Canadian subjects, there is entertained, from one end of the Dominion to the other a sentiment of devoted attachment.

We are greatly honoured, also, in having as a guest of our country at this time His Royal Highness Prince George, who was recently in Canada on his return to England from the Orient. We are glad to know that he is to accompany his royal brother on his journey across the Dominion, and hope that the remembrance of the present tour will be such as to cause him to re-visit Canada in the near future. May I venture to express the wish, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses, that on some future occasion, some future birthday of the Dominion, Canada may be honoured by the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen!

Your Royal Highness will be pleased to know that there never was a time in the history of Canada when its citizens were more conscious of their unity, or enjoyed a greater pride in their native land. At no time has Canada been happier in her relations with all other parts of the British Empire and with foreign countries, or more loyal to the Crown. We believe that this pride in our country and the Empire will be enhanced by your present visit, which brings to mind an allegiance to the Crown, a devotion to British institutions and British ideals enjoyed in common by the peoples of the Empire in all parts of the world. We shall be grateful if, on your return to England, you will convey to His Majesty the assurance of our continued loyalty and fidelity, and of our readiness heartily to co-operate in all that may best serve to safeguard and promote the interests of the community of free British nations of which His Majesty is King.

There is something especially appropriate in honouring the toast to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales within the walls of our Houses of Parliament. No association with the Parliament of Canada has been so long and unbroken as that of the Royal Family.

About seventy years ago, what is now the City of Ottawa was selected by Queen Victoria as the site of the future capital of Canada. The choice was made with reference to what was then a Canada of but two Provinces, united as one from 1841. In 1860, the corner stone of the new Houses of Parliament was laid by King Edward VII, at the time, Prince of Wales. In 1867 came Confederation, the Diamond Jubilee of which we are celebrating this year. The Canada of the two united Provinces became, by Confederation, a Canada of four Provinces extending from the Great Lakes to the sea.

The era of Confederation was followed by an era of expansion in settlement and in government. From 1878 to 1883, during the regime of her husband the Marquis of Lorne as Governor General, Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise, another member of the Royal Family, resided in Canada, and honoured with her presence the formal ceremonies of Parliament. By that time, Canada had become a Dominion of seven Provinces. Such was the Canada as seen by Their Majesties the King and Queen when, in 1901, as Duke and Duchess of York, they visited the Parliament Buildings at Ottawa and made a tour of the Dominion from coast to coast. In 1908, Canada was revisited by His Majesty the King, at that time, as Prince of Wales. Meanwhile, in 1905, the Canada of 1867 had become a Dominion, not of four Provinces restricted to the areas adjacent to the Atlantic, St. Lawrence, and the Great Lakes, nor of seven Provinces, with vast territories separating one province by the Pacific from all the rest, but a Dominion of nine connected Provinces occupying the northern half of this great continent, and stretching from sea to sea.

Following the era of expansion in settlement and in government came the epoch of the Great War, and the destruction, in 1916, of the old Parliament Buildings, a destruction which at the time, seemed to symbolize the devastation of the War. The Duke of Connaught was then our distinguished Governor General. With His Royal Highness in Canada were the Duchess of Connaught and Her Royal Highness the Princess Patricia. In September of 1916, the Duke of Connaught laid the corner stone of the new Parliament Buildings. The new corner stone is placed immediately above that of the old, and the two are united by a marble slab, the inscription on which records their association. The War was over when, in 1919, the present Prince of Wales paid his first visit to Canada. On the occasion of this visit His Royal Highness accepted the invitation of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden, to lay the corner stone of the tower of these Parliament Buildings, which, as a Memorial Tower, was to stand thereafter as a symbol of Peace with Victory.

To-morrow, His Royal Highness, as a first official act on the occasion of his present visit to Canada, will dedicate the Altar in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower. On this Altar will be placed the Book of Remembrance, containing the names of sixty thousand members of the Canadian forces who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War. How fitting, I repeat, that within the walls of these Houses of Parliament we should be privileged to honour the toast to His Royal Highness who, in the year of our Diamond Jubilee, has again honoured Canada with his distinguished presence.

The few words I have spoken are, I trust, sufficient to disclose how rapidly, in the course of years, our Dominion has grown, and how many of its memorable associations cluster about the Throne, represented to-night, in these halls of Parliament, by the Heir Apparent.

May I speak of another expansion and growth which finds its common centre also in the Throne, and which is brought to mind by the presence of the Prince of Wales! The visit of His Royal Highness to Canada in 1919 was his first to any of the British Dominions. We in Canada have since been honoured by two other visits. The present one is doubly significant in that it completes the circle of a series of visits which His Royal Highness has made to the British Dominions and India, and to British Colonies and Possessions, and which may be said to have embraced the British Empire as a whole. Each and all of the Dominions have been proud to honour the representative of His Majesty the King, and to express to him and through him their common allegiance to the Crown. Wherever he has gone, throughout the Empire, the Prince of Wales has been an ambassador of good-will. He has strengthened the bonds of sympathy and interest between all parts, and has evoked feelings of deeper loyalty and affection towards the Throne. In seeking to-night to honour His Royal Highness, we feel that we are honouring one who has helped to unite us all; one who through his personality has done much to knit together all parts of the British Empire, already so largely united by common memories, and traditions, by common ideals and aspirations.

Confederation in Canada grew out of a desire for union which sought and found its expression in the British Crown. From 1867 to this day the Crown has remained the symbol of our unity. In the name of the Crown are performed all the functions of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, whether belonging to the several Provinces or to the Dominion. It is the same throughout all other parts of the British Empire, whether it be Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Irish Free State or India. Just as our Dominion has grown from isolated and scattered settlements to colonies, and from isolated colonies to a nation, so the British Empire has grown from isolated and scattered communities, knowing but little of government, to a community of free nations enjoying the fullest measure of self-government and united by a common allegiance to the Crown. Upon the Crown in the person of the Sovereign, more, perhaps, than on all else, rests the maintenance of this unity. Towards one called to inherit a responsibility so vast, a responsibility never before equalled in the history of the world, our hearts fill with a warmth it would be impossible to express in words. We can only pray that, with so great a responsibility, a kind and wise Providence, in fullest measure, may bless and protect and guide our Prince of Wales.


At the Dinner Given by the Government of Canada, The Houses of Parliament, Ottawa

2nd August, 1927

The British North America Act, which brought our Dominion into being, was accomplished through the co-operation of the British Crown, the British Parliament, and the representatives of four of the provinces of British North America. Sixty years ago, Ministers from Canada crossed the Atlantic to join in London in conference with British Ministers in the framing of this Act. Having passed the British Parliament and having received the Royal Assent, it became the written portion of the Constitution of our Dominion. How singularly appropriate that in commemoration of this event, in this year of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation, Canada should be honoured by the presence in the halls of our Houses of Parliament of a representative of the Crown, in the person of His Royal Highness, the Heir to the British Throne, and of the Parliament of Great Britain, in the person of its distinguished Prime Minister.

This is the first occasion on which, during his term of office, a Prime Minister of Great Britain has visited Canada; the first time, in fact, that a British Prime Minister while in office has found it possible to visit any of the self-governing Dominions. I cannot express too sincerely how deeply gratified we all feel that Mr. Baldwin should have thus honoured our Dominion and thereby afforded the Canadian people the opportunity to extend greetings to a British Prime Minister on Canadian soil. Upon several occasions it has been the privilege of Prime Ministers of Canada to enjoy the hospitality of the British Government, especially when attending the Conferences of the Empire. To-day a new precedent has been established in intra-imperial relations, one vastly significant of the change that has come with time in the status of the self-governing parts of the Empire and significant, as well, of the reciprocal attachment which exists between our country and the motherland.

May I be permitted to say what a pleasure it is to me personally to have the privilege of welcoming Mr. Baldwin to our country, and, this evening, to our Houses of Parliament! On two occasions, once in 1923, and again in 1926, I had the honour, as one of the representatives of Canada at the Imperial Conference, to receive his welcome to England and to No. 10 Downing Street. As a member of the two Conferences, I shared the privilege of being present at the gatherings over which, on each occasion, Mr. Baldwin presided, and thus became acquainted, in the intimacies of public and private discussion, with those qualities of modesty, of patience, of sincerity, and I might add of rare impartiality and sound common sense, which the world has come to recognize as outstanding in the present Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Members of the Conference saw Mr. Baldwin at times of great strain. In considerable part, the Conferences were held while the British Parliament was in session. On the first occasion, Mr. Baldwin had only shortly before taken office as Prime Minister. Dissolution of the British Parliament actually took place on the very day of the conclusion of the Conference of 1923. On the second occasion, Mr. Baldwin and his Government had just come through the General Strike, and had enjoyed thereafter little or no respite from parliamentary duties. The position of Prime Minister at any time is not an easy position. It has, however, become increasingly difficult with the problems which the War bequeathed. The position is even more difficult in Great Britain than anywhere else in the world. I should say it was at the peak of its complications with an Imperial Conference and Parliament simultaneously in session, to say nothing of a pending election. Such a time made it possible to witness the calmness, moderation, and endurance which have made Mr. Baldwin’s character a recognized expression of British character at its best. Even his political opponents will, I think, agree that few Prime Ministers of England have had to govern in more difficult times, or have had more worrying situations to meet; and he would be a bitter partisan indeed who was not prepared to express to Mr. Baldwin both admiration and gratitude for the part he has played.

In connection with this year’s celebrations, there have been many interesting features, but to Mr. Baldwin we are indebted for a coincidence that is unique. To-morrow is, I believe, Mr. Baldwin’s birthday. He has seen to it that we should have the enjoyment of celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of his birthday at the same time as our country is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. May I take occasion, on behalf of all present, to extend to Mr. Baldwin, our best wishes for many happy returns of the day.

I have mentioned that when the British North America Act was drafted, there was set forth in its preamble, and is preserved there, an expression of the desire of the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick to be federally united under the British Crown. There was expressed the further desire that they should have a constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom. If, as I believe, the Crown is a bond of union and the symbol of unity in our federal system, and, likewise, a bond of union and the symbol of unity of the several parts of the British Empire, equally, I believe, is it true that the British Constitution is, under our federal system, the charter of our freedom, and the enduring foundation of the community of British Nations which surround and uphold the Throne. What impressed me most at the Imperial Conferences was the ease with which it was possible, because of this, to confer on most questions with representatives of other parts of the British Empire. There was, for the most part, a ready understanding of each other’s problems. This was due to the similarity of our political constitutions and of the parliamentary institutions based thereon. In this respect the British Empire is vastly different from the League of Nations, which, in some particulars, it resembles. In the League of Nations the varieties of constitutions are almost as numerous as the principal countries represented; in the British Commonwealth of Nations, political constitutions in all essentials are the same. In other words, we of the British Empire speak a common political language, and a common language of any kind is a bond of understanding and unity. I venture to say that what, more than anything else, will impress Mr. Baldwin as he visits our country, and what would impress him even more were he able to visit the legislatures of our Provinces, would be his instant familiarity everywhere with procedure and practice, and the similarity in all essentials of our law-making bodies to his own Parliament at Westminster.

In Canada, as in the other self-governing Dominions of the British Empire, the corner stone of the constitution is responsible self-government. It was in Canada that the evolution from a colonial dependency to a self-governing nation was worked out before it was worked out elsewhere in the British Dominions. It was the development of responsible government in Canada that made Confederation possible, and made possible the subsequent growth and expansion of the Dominion. During the period of our constitutional growth since Confederation, the Parliament of Canada has assumed from time to time powers which were formerly exercised on our behalf by the Parliament of Great Britain. We are proud to proclaim that in all that pertains to our domestic and external relations our Parliament now enjoys a freedom comparable to that of the Parliament at Westminster. With this increase of authority and responsibility has come a closer bond of sympathy and union with the free Parliaments of the Empire, and more cordial co-operation in the common concerns of government under the British Crown.

It is the maintenance of responsible government in each of the several parts of the Empire that makes possible effective consultation and co-operation between them. Responsible self-government, in a word, is the secret of liberty within the Empire. Knowing and believing this as we do, well may we, in the affairs of Empire, give to the petition of our forefathers a wider application than was possible in their day, and pray for the Empire as a whole, as for each of the self-governing parts, that He who doeth all things well, will establish in righteousness the Throne of our Monarch, setting wise and able counsellors around him.

May I say to Mr. Baldwin, in conclusion, that our one and only regret is that the time at his disposal during his present visit will not permit him and the members of his party to traverse Canada from coast to coast. We cannot acknowledge too sincerely his courtesy in giving up to travel and to public appearances so much of the time which it was hoped might afford him a respite from the responsibilities and cares of his great office, the unremitting duties of which, over a number of years, he has filled with such fidelity. We trust, however, that, despite its exacting engagements, the Prime Minister of Great Britain will enjoy to the full his all too brief stay in Canada, and that on his return home he will convey to the Parliament and people of Great Britain our cordial greetings and warm appreciation of the evidence of their affectionate regard for our country which his visit so completely affords.


At the Unveiling of the Statue of Sir Wilfrid Laurier by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

3rd August, 1927

The statue which His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has graciously consented to unveil this afternoon has been erected by the authority of Parliament to commemorate the name and memory of one whose life is a part of the history of Canada, and a part of the history of the larger community of British nations of which His Majesty is King.

In the lights and shadows of history, there are few events which present more in the way of parallel and contrast than the ceremony of to-day and a ceremony of thirty years ago which it serves to recall. Thirty years ago, the British Empire was celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s accession to the Throne. This year, Canada is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Confederation of her provinces. Thirty years ago, at the heart of the Empire of which she was Queen, the revered and venerable Victoria was bestowing, as a mark of royal favour, a knighthood on Wilfrid Laurier, at the time the Prime Minister of Canada. To-day, in the capital of Canada, the memory of Sir Wilfrid is being honoured by the illustrious great-grandson of her late Majesty, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who is about to unveil the statue of Sir Wilfrid in the distinguished presence, amongst others, of His Royal Highness Prince George, His Excellency the Viscount Willingdon, Governor General of Canada, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Where in history will be found aught that speaks more of the inheritance which we of the British communities share in common, or more of its poetry and romance? It would almost seem as if Time, itself, had paused to pay a tribute, and to give to the occasion its appropriate setting.

I have said that the life of Sir Wilfrid Laurier is a part of the history of Canada and of the British Empire. It is in the perspective of history that we must seek to view the life of Laurier to-day. That is not an easy task, for the great figures of history are seen in retrospect. They emerge in their true proportions only as the present recedes into the past. There is much, however, in the Laurier whom they all knew, which his contemporaries, by common consent, would have been quick to concede, and it is of this, more especially, that I desire to speak.

Laurier was, first and foremost, a great Canadian. I do not, I trust, take from the greatness of other lives, some of them commemorated on this hill, when I say that of all the personalities in our history, his was the most distinctively Canadian. It embodied much of Canada’s past as well as of its present. It spoke to us of the two great races that have shaped our destiny, and of a broad toleration in religious faiths.

In his ancestry, by direct descent, Laurier went back to the beginnings of French colonization in Canada. Allied to the first enduring French settlement, established by Champlain at Quebec in 1608, was the sister settlement at Montreal founded by Sieur de Maisonneuve in 1641. Among the number who, as soldier colonists with Sieur de Maisonneuve, sought to gain a wider dominion for their sovereign and their faith, was Laurier’s first Canadian ancestor. Others of his ancestors came in the years immediately following. For eight generations in unbroken succession, his forefathers pioneered in the wilds of the Laurentians, making for their children, and their children’s children, homes on the shores of the St. Lawrence.

It was exactly two hundred years from the time at which his first ancestor arrived in Canada, that Laurier was born on November 20, 1841, at St. Lin, a French-Canadian village not many miles distant from Montreal. In that interval of two hundred years, Canada had passed from a French to a British possession. More remarkable still, Canada, largely French-Canadian, had remained British, when elsewhere in North America, British colonies in 1776 declared their independence. Within this period also, during the war of 1812-14, French-Canadian loyalty once more aided in preserving Canada to the British Crown.

The seventy-seven years which elapsed between the birth of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1841 and his death on February 17, 1919, contain the other epoch-marking events of our history—the establishment of responsible self-government, the Confederation of the Provinces, the expansion of the Dominion, and Canada’s participation in the Great War. It was within this framework, which embraces Canada’s development from a group of small colonies united by the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, to a nation extending from sea to sea, and holding its place among the nations of the world, that Laurier played his part as a leading, and, for a considerable time, the foremost figure in our public life.

Laurier was elected to the legislature of the Province of Quebec in 1871. He entered the parliament of Canada in 1874. Three years later he became a Minister of the Crown in the Administration of Alexander Mackenzie. In 1887 he became the Leader of the Liberal Party, and Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. In 1896 he became Prime Minister. The office of Prime Minister he held continuously for fifteen years. From 1911 to his death in 1919, he continued the Leader of his party and the Leader of the Opposition. It was a great public career. In period of time alone, it embraced membership in the House of Commons for within five years of half a century.

At a moment such as the present, it would be impossible, even were it appropriate, to attempt to sketch the incidents of Laurier’s career. At most one can but seek to recall a very few of the characteristics, qualities, and guiding principles which gave to his leadership the commanding place it never lacked. “Nature,” says one of his biographers, “was prodigal of her gifts to Wilfrid Laurier.” In appearance, he was markedly distinguished. His manner and bearing spoke of the chivalry of his race, and in more particulars than one, he gave to chivalry its highest expression. His great natural endowments were enriched by a nobility of character that made his personality one of rare dignity and serenity. Wherever he went, he seemed to shed “a constant influence, a peculiar grace”. He was singularly devoid of jealousies and prejudices, singularly charitable in his estimates of others, and singularly forgiving. In all things, he was a great gentleman. His public and private life was sans peur et sans reproche. He was the type of leader whom men delight to follow, and whom a nation is proud to honour.

Laurier was a great parliamentarian. His life was centred in the House of Commons and its associations. Neither law nor journalism claimed more than the beginnings of his career. Once he became the leader of his party, it was amid the affairs of state that his life was wholly lived. It is difficult to say whether the gift of oratory, in which he was unsurpassed, and which he exercised with a natural and equal grace in the French and English languages, brought him more of power and influence on the platform or in Parliament. Wherever he spoke, men were attracted by his words, and above all by the charm of their delivery and expression. Behind the gift of utterance lay a mind keen in its perceptions, and richly stored in a knowledge of affairs, in history and literature; also a heart, tender and strong in its emotions, and warmly responsive to the interests of other lives.

Sir Wilfrid’s political thought was largely shaped by his study of British history and British politics, and by his admiration of British parliamentary institutions. He never ceased to speak of what he felt he owed to the writings and example of such men as Macaulay and Burke, of Pitt and Fox, of Bright and Gladstone. To him the British Constitution was a bulwark of freedom, and British parliamentary procedure and practice the palladium of liberty. He was an upholder of constitutional monarchy and had a very real concern for the unity of the British Empire, of which he believed the Crown to be the great bond. There was, he said, something which appealed strongly to the imagination, and which for him had a great attraction, in an agglomeration of continents under the British Crown. The firm basis of the British Empire, next to the British Crown, he believed to lie in the complete autonomy of the self-governing units. Addressing the then Prince of Wales, now His Majesty King George, on the occasion of the Tercentenary Celebration at Quebec in 1908, Sir Wilfrid said: “As I advance in years I appreciate the more the wisdom of that British Constitution under which I was born and brought up, and under which I have grown old, which has given to the various portions of the Empire their separate free governments. It is our proud boast that Canada is the freest country in the world. It is our boast that in this country liberty of all kinds, civil and religious liberty, flourish to the highest degree.” To those of his own race, he never failed to extol the degree to which he believed justice to be secured and rights to be protected under the British Flag. Nor did he hesitate heartily to commend the free institutions of Britain to those of other parts. It is an open secret that in the framing and acceptance of the South Africa Constitution, General Botha was not a little influenced by the counsel and advice of Laurier. In a letter written to Sir Wilfrid, and read by him at the Tercentenary Celebration, to which I have just referred, General Botha said: “It is our intention to follow in the footsteps of Canada.” More than one part of the Empire has looked to Canada in the development of free government.

The rights of minorities were to Sir Wilfrid a sacred cause. Frequently I have heard him say that, in his public life, to be of the minority in both race and religion was the cross that had been given him to bear. At the time he became the leader of his party, he is known to have asserted that it would mean much of sacrifice in the end. He was thinking of how in appeals that are made to prejudice and passion, the real significance of larger issues is often lost. But here let us seek the perspective of history and the light it throws upon crosses and sacrifice. To have been of the minority in race and religion, as Sir Wilfrid Laurier was, and to have enjoyed, as he did, so great a confidence on the part of all, will, I believe, come to be recognized as the crowning glory of his career. Not only in Canada did it help to inspire in the breasts of minorities a confidence in his advocacy of British traditions and laws, but in the larger arena of Empire, it gave to men of other races a faith in the justice and freedom of British institutions which, with less in the way of example, they might have found it difficult to possess.

As I seek for the guiding principles in Laurier’s leadership, I find them in the words, unity and liberty. To his mind the one was indispensable to the other. There could be no true unity where doubts existed as to liberty; and there could be no true liberty without a conscious unity. Unity and liberty, he believed, could only be attained through counsels of moderation and toleration. For this reason he sought, in all that pertained to differences of opinion, to avoid coercion and to practise conciliation. Unity and liberty were essential as underlying principles equally in national and in imperial policies. Appreciating to the full the significance of the differences in origin of the Canadian people, Sir Wilfrid believed with all his heart that only by a profound regard for each other’s points of view in racial, religious, and economic controversies could the unity of Canada be maintained; and Canadian unity was Laurier’s supreme aim. In the liberty of worship, of language and custom guaranteed to his compatriots by the policy of the Quebec Act of 1774, and confirmed in the Constitutional Act of 1791, he won his first confidence in the breadth of vision of British statesmanship. In the autonomy of the provinces of our Dominion, he came to feel a security in the larger project of Confederation. In national autonomy, he believed, lay the secret of Imperial unity. Self-government, expanding in area as it developed with time, such was his vision of unity secured by liberty, and his vision of liberty maintained by unity.

The Imperial Conference of 1926 has declared the British Empire to be a group of self-governing communities, equal in status and in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs. Here and now, it is interesting to recall that as early as 1897, in London, at the time of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, Laurier spoke of the British Empire as “a galaxy of Nations”. If, as is now generally accepted, “a community of free nations” united by a common allegiance to the Crown is an accurate description of the British Empire, it may, I think, truthfully be said that few, if any, entertained this conception earlier, or in its entirety of outline more clearly, than Sir Wilfrid Laurier; and that working towards its realization as he did, through good report and ill, no man in his day or generation contributed more to what we believe will prove to be the enduring foundation of that great structure.

All important, however, as is a right development in intra-imperial relations, it was not on the place he would hold in the building of Empire, that Sir Wilfrid’s thoughts were centred. If he gave thought to the matter at all, it was of the place he would hold in the hearts of the people, in the hearts of the people in the land that gave him birth, and in the humble homes with which, in his boyhood, he was so familiar. There was much about him that made one think of Abraham Lincoln. He gave more study to the life of Lincoln than to the life of any other man. “With firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right” were the words he was fondest of quoting; and more than once he made them words of counsel and advice to the rising generation. To the young sculptor who has made the portrait about to be unveiled, we are indebted for an interpretation of Laurier that would most have accorded with his own wish. It is not the Laurier in the early days of his premiership, receiving a knighthood from the world’s most illustrious Queen; nor the maturer Laurier, at the zenith of his power; but the Laurier of years, the Laurier of the people, fighting for the right as God gave him to see the right.

That his spirit already has inspired the youth of our land is evidenced by what we shall see in a few moments. In a competition open to the sculptors of the world, the first place was won by the author of the portrait in bronze about to be unveiled. It was only after the award was made that it was discovered the successful competitor was Mr. J. Emile Brunet, a young French-Canadian, in his twenty-seventh year, born not many miles from where Sir Wilfrid himself was born. I am free to confess that, because of his youth, it was not without some misgivings that Mr. Brunet was commissioned by the Government to execute the work. On behalf of the Government, I should like publicly to express to him to-day our satisfaction with the manner in which his task has been performed, and our high admiration of the statue itself. As Canadians, we share his pride, that the honour of executing the statue of Sir Wilfrid Laurier now erected on Parliament Hill should have fallen to one of whom Sir Wilfrid himself would have been more than proud, and who has given to his country one more notable example of the artistic genius of the people of the province of Quebec.

As a resident of Ottawa, may I be permitted to say, in conclusion, with what pride we of this capital city behold this statue, in the place which has been accorded it on Parliament Hill. How befitting are the surroundings! Here are the Houses of Parliament with which Sir Wilfrid’s life was so intimately associated; yonder are the Laurentian Hills that he so dearly loved; and, there, the gate through which he was wont to pass. This city, more closely than any other, was identified with his public life. It contains innumerable associations with his name. It was here that, for many years, he and Lady Laurier had their home. It was his great ambition to make Ottawa a capital of which all Canada would be proud.

To me there is something deeply impressive in this bronze figure standing where it is. I have watched little children play about its base. How Sir Wilfrid would have loved that! I have seen men and women of all walks of life come in the quiet of evening to pay it reverence. To-day, it is given unto Princes to do it honour. There is something, however, even more impressive than all this. It is what is left when “the captains and the kings depart”. It is what future generations will see, when we who knew him shall have passed away, and others gather where we to-day are assembled. It is the old man, with his bare head and his white hair, standing alone, fighting for the right as God gave him to see the right.


At the Directors’ Luncheon, Opening Day of the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto

27th August, 1927

In nothing has the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation been more fruitful than in the encouragement it has given to the study of Canadian history; and in what, as a consequence, it has taught by way of comparison. In our varied activities, social, political, and economic, we have gone back to the early beginnings. We have traced growth and expansion year by year. Then we have made our comparisons between the past and the present, with, I believe, a degree of surprise which, in every sphere, borders on amazement.

Let us look first of all at our Dominion. Its legendary past, associated with Indian tribes and their primitive habitations, is but four hundred years distant. For one hundred years, there is the early era of intermittent discovery and exploration, nothing more; then, the beginnings of settlement and of government, with which the name of Champlain will ever be associated. We speak of the settlement at Quebec as constituting the founding of Canada, because settlement there proved to be continuous, and because there was established also something in the nature of authority. But what a tiny thing it was, the settlement at Quebec! And what a mere spot it occupied in the wilderness by which it was surrounded! There were a few soldier pioneers who, by a strange coincidence, were engaged, primarily, on a religious mission; they occupied the rude beginnings of a fort. That was little more than three hundred years ago. Take all the intervening period and divide it roughly into half, and we have one period, of approximately one hundred and fifty years, in which Canada’s history was a part of the history of France in the new world; a history, at the time, but little known either to France or to Canada. That leaves just more than one hundred and fifty years in which the history of Canada can be said to have had a direct and continuous association with Britain. And how slender at first was that association!

The policy of the Quebec Act of 1774 aimed at enlarging the area of French influence in Canada rather than at increasing the British sphere of control. Not till 1791 was there the beginning of what is now the Province of Ontario, known, at that time, as Upper Canada. What there then was of Quebec was known as Lower Canada. The two constituted, up to 1867, all that was referred to as Canada. That was just sixty years ago. Many a citizen of our Dominion has learned this fact for the first time in what was said or written on or about July the first of the present year. Even to those of us who by good fortune of early training at schools or universities, had some knowledge of the sequence of events, the facts, as I have narrated them, come, I venture to say, as a surprise in what, in the years immediately following, they disclose of growth and expansion.

Pause for a moment to think of the Canada of 1867. Up to July the first of that year, the development, over a period of three hundred years, had been one of scattered huts grown to scattered colonies. Reflect now, for a moment, upon what united the colonies which came into Confederation. It was little more, geographically, than that all were adjacent to waters which flowed from one to the other. Settlements scattered over the lands contiguous to the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean, constituted about all that made up physically the Canada of sixty years ago.

There were, however, other ties which were more significant. They find expression in the preamble to the British North America Act, by which the new Dominion was brought into being. There was, first, a common allegiance to the British Crown; and, secondly, in the case of each colony, a political constitution similar in principle to the constitution of Great Britain. The invisible bonds of union were mightier than the visible bonds. Similar bonds of union served to bring about the subsequent growth and expansion. In 1870, Manitoba, newly created a province, and given a constitution similar to that of the other provinces, became a part of the Dominion. In 1871, British Columbia, already owing allegiance to the British Crown, already possessing a political constitution after the model of the British, found its natural home in the larger entity, and, with the entry of British Columbia, the Dominion spread to the waters of the Pacific. In 1873, Prince Edward Island for like reasons—a common allegiance to the Crown, a similar political constitution—completed the expansion of the Dominion by the waters of the Atlantic. Then, in 1905, out of the territories of the middle west, already owing allegiance to the Crown, but given for the first time the status of provinces, came Saskatchewan and Alberta, completing the Dominion of Canada from sea to sea as we know it to-day,—one in its physical unity, one in its allegiance to the British Crown, one in its constitution after the model of the British Constitution. 1905! Twenty-two years ago. How many of us realize what this means? In one sense, it is true that our Dominion this year celebrates its Diamond Jubilee; in another sense, it is also true, that three years hence it will be celebrating, not its Diamond Jubilee, but the first quarter of a century of its history as a Dominion composed of a community of provinces extending from coast to coast. Where in all history shall we witness a more amazing growth? As a country, we are only on the threshold of our existence.

If Canada has expanded beyond recognition in the one hundred and fifty years of her history as a British country, scarcely less amazing has been the growth and expansion of the British Empire within the same period. It will be recalled that at the time Wolfe was establishing British authority in Canada, Clive was laying the foundations of British rule in India. The Seven Years War (1756-63) marks the real beginning of the British Empire. At that time, very little was known of Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. To-day, all three are self-governing Dominions of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and, like Canada, as we have just been told by the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the Heir to the British Throne, are equal in status with the other self-governing parts of the British Empire. It is interesting to observe the similarity of the position of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, to that of the provinces of Canada at the time of their entry into Confederation, and to the position of Canada to-day. Each possessed originally a colonial status. Each owed and still owes a common allegiance to the British Crown; and each possessed and still possesses a constitution similar in principle to that of Great Britain. In a common allegiance to the Crown will be found the symbol of British unity, and in like political constitutions the firm foundations of that unity.

It is from a group of colonies to the full stature of a nation within this community of British nations that Canada has grown in the years that have intervened since Confederation. Her place to-day is even greater than this; she is a nation among the nations of the world. Her relations, political, commercial, industrial, are no longer merely national; they are not even, mainly intra-imperial; they have become international in the largest meaning of the word.

Did opportunity permit, it would be interesting at this place and at this time to sketch the growth, not of the British Empire, nor of the Dominion, but of a single province; in particular, of our own Province of Ontario, for in many things it has been a pioneer. I venture to say that most of us would be not only amazed but actually startled at the rapidity of its growth. Imagine being reminded that quite as recently as 1791, what is now Ontario was a part of what was then the Province of Quebec; that the year following witnessed, at Newark, the first Legislature within its borders, that the next year saw the appearance of its first newspaper, the passing of an act for the building of roads, and an act for the abolition of slavery. Then, that after less than half a century of separate existence, the province became again, with Quebec, a part of United Canada, and from 1841 till within some sixty-three years ago, its seat of government shifted to and fro between Lower Canada and what was formerly Upper Canada. We of Ontario have come to look upon our province as a long established political entity; as a matter of fact, it was not until after Confederation that Ontario, as a province, can be said to have had a continuous existence of her own.

Toronto, in the rapidity of its growth, occasions even more surprise than the province of which it is the capital. Toronto was not by any means the earliest settled community in Ontario. Imagine, only a century and a quarter ago, a solitary log cabin stood at what is to-day the corner of King and Yonge streets, the very heart of this great city. What an evolution it all has been! How very recent! And how full of hope and promise! If one wishes to have faith in the future, as respects the city of Toronto, the Province of Ontario, the Dominion of Canada, or the British Empire, one has but to take a glimpse into the past. All are parts of one great whole. Take any one and you find something that is expressive of all the others; something which possesses qualities and characteristics that are held in common, a sort of common centre, a single heart. I have tried to find something which would express this in a graphic way. I suppose Nature is the most fruitful source of apt illustration. Usually, somewhere in her vast labyrinth will be found just the thing that is wanted. Well, I think I have discovered what I was seeking. It is what you see when you cut a tree in half, and look on the cross section, at the circles which the years have made. There they are, each circle related to all the others, the larger encompassing the less, but all of similar design, each fashioned and moulded by what has gone before, each, in one sense, complete in itself, and yet incomplete without all the rest.

I have been, searching for yet another illustration; something which would appropriately relate this Exhibition to the City of which it is a part, to the Province of which it is a part, to the Dominion of which it is a part. But another illustration is unnecessary. If the circles in a tree made by successive years are helpful by way of illustrating the inter-relationship in growth and character of City, Province, Dominion and Empire, it seems to me that what is suggested by the cross section of a tree is equally illustrative of their relationship to this Exhibition. Here we have the innermost circle of all, a world within a world, or, rather, within a series of worlds, which innermost circle, with the passing of the years, has taken unto itself more and more of the qualities and characteristics of all by which it is encompassed.

From a series of industrial shows and agricultural fairs, held periodically, the Exhibition became identified in 1878 with the name of Toronto, and, at the same time, assumed the character of a permanent institution, holding annual meetings. More and more, it came with time to be identified with the Province; then, more and more, it outgrew its provincial role and became, in the truest sense of the word, a national institution. For some years now, it has ceased to be regarded even as a national exhibition, and has become an Empire exhibition; certainly the greatest annual exhibition in the British Empire; and that means the greatest exhibition in the world. Here then, in microcosm, we have our City, our Province, our Dominion and our Empire.

In view of what I have endeavoured to describe, what, may I ask, will be the panorama which future generations will witness when they come to the place where we are assembled to-day? Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being shown over the Exhibition grounds, and visiting some of the exhibits. I should like to say to Mr. Ferguson, the Premier of Ontario, what a pleasure it was to visit the Ontario Building, and to congratulate him upon it. I believe in time we shall see in these grounds permanent buildings, not for Ontario only, but for all of the Provinces, and buildings not for our Dominion only, but for Great Britain and for all of the Dominions. We shall see special exhibits of the British colonies and possessions not alone from Bermuda and Jamaica as shown to-day, but from all other parts of the British Empire, and increasingly we shall come to realize what an inheritance we have in our Empire citizenship.

I would go a step further, and emphasize the international character of this Exhibition. I believe that some of us who are present at this gathering will live to see the Exhibition representative not only of the Provinces, the Dominions, and the British Empire, but of all the countries of the world. Surely, that is the inevitable outcome of a growth and expansion such as recent years have witnessed, and of a trade which more and more is on a world scale!


At the Opening Ceremonies of the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto

27th August, 1927

The Canadian National Exhibition of 1927, affording as it does a panorama of Canadian progress, and marked by the erection of an Eastern Gate commemorative of the Diamond Jubilee, constitutes a fitting climax to the memorable incidents which, in the history of our country, will ever be associated with this year. It has appeared to me that, at this time and in this place, it would be most fitting were I briefly to review a few of the features which have served to give historic interest and value to the celebration we are now about to conclude.

During the last session of Parliament, as all present are aware, an Act was passed making provision for a National Committee to plan a suitable commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. From a nation-wide observance of the birth of the Dominion, it was hoped that the Canadian people would come to have a more intimate knowledge of and a deeper interest in the history of Canada, a new pride in their national heritage, and above all, a consciousness in larger measure of national unity. High as were the aims of the National Committee, it can be said to-day that the most sanguine expectations of its members have been surpassed in the memorable success of the celebrations throughout the Dominion. It is safe to predict that, through the general recognition it has afforded of our country’s attainment of the full stature of nationhood, the present year will be remembered as one of outstanding significance.

Let me make mention first of what the celebration, in one form or another, has brought forth by way of increased knowledge of our history. Foremost are the publications of the National Committee and of the Departments of Government, both Federal and Provincial, which review the progress of Canada in the last sixty years, and which give in historical outline the main political, constitutional, and economic developments. They are a part of the permanent literature which, from now on, will serve as sources of ready reference. Next, there is the vast wealth of descriptive and historical material which has been published by the daily and periodical press. This has been supplemented in no small degree by individual publications, both of institutions and persons, touching upon many phases of our industrial, commercial, and social life. In the universities and schools, special attention has been given to historical studies, and from one end of the Dominion to the other, there have been competitions in essay writing and oratory on Canadian subjects. Last, but by no means least, a special issue of Jubilee stamps has sought to convey its historical message through the medium of His Majesty’s Post. When we begin to reflect on what all this has meant in the way of revived intellectual interest, the fruits of which have been permanently preserved, we begin to see how vast, in one of its phases only, has been the nation-wide educational effect of the celebration.

In two most important directions, the celebration has served to arouse a new interest in Canada as a country of one’s own—“our own, our native land”. First, there is the influence of the celebration upon the children, the rising generation; and secondly, its influence upon the newcomers, especially those of foreign origin. The imaginations of both children and adults have undoubtedly been stirred, and their interest in Canada and its history deepened and broadened. The unprecedented extent to which the celebration was carried out by voluntary effort in which all alike participated, was, in this particular, a factor of supreme importance. The National Committee was far-sighted in so largely encouraging voluntary effort, and seeking to lend only such guidance as would serve to give unity and harmony to the whole. The National Committee salary list merely covered a necessary supervision of routine. Practically all the planning, organization, and executive work was done by persons who were glad to offer their services as a patriotic gift.

At the time of the Tercentenary Celebration in Quebec, the planning for and direction of the pageantry was undertaken almost altogether by persons from outside Canada. In the Diamond Jubilee Celebration, pageantry on a considerable scale was carried out in almost every community, but the organization, artistic work, and direction of these pageants were undertaken locally. They were carried out extremely well. The whole accomplishment revealed an advance in artistic taste, organizing ability, and patriotic feeling, that is of the greatest significance. It is gratifying to notice that a pageant of Canadian progress will constitute the spectacular evening display of this year’s Exhibition. Nothing finer could have been conceived in the way of an educational and patriotic appeal.

The National Committee was far-seeing also in seizing the occasion as an opportunity for placing patriotic plaques in our public and separate schools, emphasizing the idea of “Canada, our country”, and in distributing commemorative medals to all school children participating in the celebrations. It seems to me that this generation of school children will have a new and wholly different feeling of attachment and devotion to Canada. I am told that in the West, the commemorative medals are particularly valued, and that they are looked upon by the children of newcomers as a sort of passport to a common citizenship with the children of native Canadians. The extent to which adult newcomers, particularly in Western Canada, participated in the various celebrations, was truly remarkable, and had a kindred effect. Some of the best celebrations were held in communities in which there were scarcely any persons of either Anglo-Saxon or French origin.

The consciousness of national unity, which the celebration has so greatly furthered, has been, perhaps, its supreme achievement. This was due in large measure to the completeness of the organization of local celebrations, and to the similarity of methods of commemorating the Diamond Jubilee as arranged by the Committee. Especially impressive and unifying were the ceremonies on Parliament Hill on July the first, with the broadcasting of the Ottawa programme over the whole of Canada, and the Service of National Praise and Thanksgiving on July the third, which extended from sea to sea.

In its way, there has been nothing comparable to the nation-wide broadcasting of the proceedings on Parliament Hill, as effected through the co-operation of the railway, telegraph, telephone, and radio companies, under the direction of the National Committee. For the first time in the history of Canada, the words spoken on Parliament Hill and the sound of its chimes and bells were carried instantaneously to, and heard simultaneously in all parts of this vast Dominion. Never before was a national programme enjoyed by the citizens of any land over so vast an area. It is doubtful if ever before, the thoughts of so many of the citizens of any country were concentrated, at one and the same moment, upon what was taking place at its capital, or those in authority brought into such immediate and sympathetic personal touch with those from whom their authority was derived.

In the Confederation debates in the Legislature of United Canada in 1865, the Honourable Christopher Dunkin drew attention to what seemed, at the time, an inevitable impediment to national consciousness on the part of the citizens of Canada. He said: “We have a large class whose national feelings turn towards London, whose very heart is there; another large class whose sympathies centre here at Quebec, or in a sentimental way may have some reference to Paris; another large class whose memories are of the Emerald Isle, and yet another whose comparisons are rather with Washington; but have we any class of people who are attached, or whose feelings are going to be directed with any earnestness, to the City of Ottawa, the centre of the new nationality that is to be created?” After many years, this doubt has been dispelled, and the question has been answered by the voice of the Canadian people united in the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation.

On the morning, afternoon, and evening of July the first, all Canada became, for the time being, a single assemblage, swayed by a common emotion, within the sound of a single voice. Thus has modern science for the first time realized in the great nation-state of modern days that condition which existed in the little city-states of ancient times, and which was considered by the wisdom of the ancients as indispensable to free and democratic government, namely, that all the citizens should be able to hear for themselves the living voice. To them it was the voice of a single orator, a Demosthenes or a Cicero, speaking on public questions in the Athenian assembly, or in the Roman forum. Hitherto, Ottawa has seemed to most Canadians far-off, a mere name to hundreds of thousands of our people. Henceforth, all Canadians will stand within the sound of the carillon, and within hearing of the speakers on Parliament Hill. May we not predict that as a result of this carrying of the living voice throughout the length and breadth of the Dominion, there will be aroused a more general interest in public affairs, and an increased devotion on the part of the individual citizen to the common weal?

Let me pause for a moment to say a word of the historic significance of the Tower Clock and the carillon, the notes of both of which were sounded for the first time from the tower of the Houses of Parliament on July the first. In the disastrous fire which occurred on the night of February the third, 1916, the old tower was destroyed and along with it the clock which, from the time of Confederation, had sounded the hours. When at noon of July the first, 1927, after a silence of the intervening years, the clock, which has been installed in the new tower, resumed the striking of the hours, it brought to all parts of the Dominion word of the completion of the reconstruction of our Houses of Parliament. Reproducing in sound, as it does, the Westminster Chimes and quarters, and the notes of Big Ben, it brought to all an even more significant message, that of the near relationship of our own Parliament to the Parliament at Westminster.

More wonderful still in its significance was the voice of the carillon. It, too, was heard for the first time on July the first, in the pealing forth of our National Anthems. Only when it is recalled that the carillon was installed by authority of Parliament to commemorate the peace of 1918 and to keep in remembrance the service and sacrifice of Canada in the Great War, and that on the rim of the Bourdon bell, the largest of the fifty-three which comprise the carillon, are inscribed the words: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good-will toward men”, is it possible to realize how significant was that message of national and international good-will. Having regard to the events of recent years, could human ingenuity have devised a more beautiful way of expressing all that is highest and best in our national life, alike in intra-imperial and international relations! Never before in the history of mankind has the message of peace and good-will, given to the world nearly twenty centuries ago, been sounded so far over land and sea.

If the voice of the carillon, sent broadcast over land and sea, served to stir the imagination of the peoples of our own and other lands, equally, if not more impressive, was the voice of the people themselves, as expressed in the Service of National Thanksgiving on Sunday, July the third. Beginning by the Atlantic at the hour of 2.30 in the afternoon of that day, there was sounded across this broad Dominion a continuous chorus from sea to sea. More than four hours after the music of this service had ceased by the waters of the Atlantic, it was still, at the same hour in the afternoon, summoning to praise and prayer those who dwell by the waters of the Pacific. Men and women of diverse origins and faiths sang and prayed as one throughout the length and breadth of this land. Where, in all history, has there been a nobler expression of national unity!

There were other incidents of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation which will hold for all time an historic association with our country and its Houses of Parliament. Each, in its way, was declaratory of the position which Canada now holds in world relations and world affairs. In this year of Diamond Jubilee, Canada, for the first time in her history, sent from her Government to a foreign power, to be resident abroad, a Minister Plenipotentiary accredited by His Majesty the King; and for the first time in her history, Canada received from a foreign power, to be resident at Ottawa, a Minister Plenipotentiary accredited by the head of his country. At an official dinner, given at Ottawa in the Houses of Parliament during the July Celebrations, the voices of the Canadian Minister to Washington and of the United States Minister to Ottawa were heard for the first time within the walls of our Parliament Buildings. On that occasion, an interesting international touch was added by the proposal of the health of the Canadian Minister to Washington by a highly honoured member of the Canadian Parliament who had held the position of President of the League of Nations. It is, I am sure, a source of no small pride to the people of this province and city, that the first person from Canada to hold the position of Minister Plenipotentiary to a foreign power should be a distinguished citizen of Toronto.

It will be recalled that the British North America Act was the outcome of the combined effort of representatives of the people of British North America, of the British Parliament, and of the British Crown. Particularly pleasing and significant, therefore, has been the visit to Canada, in this year of our Diamond Jubilee, of a representative of the British Parliament in the person of its distinguished Prime Minister, and of the British Crown in the person of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The Fathers of Confederation may have been far-seeing. Men of vision they certainly were. I question, however, if any one of their number ever dreamed that within sixty years from the time at which four provinces tributary to the waters of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence, and the Atlantic were brought into one Dominion, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the Heir to the British Throne, would be speaking, on the same evening, in the Houses of Parliament of a Canada extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Yet such was the scene which some of us were privileged to witness. We have had the even greater pleasure and honour of having many parts of our Dominion visited by our distinguished guests. They have spoken freely of the equality of Canada’s status with that of the other self-governing parts of the British Empire. They have participated in many national ceremonies, and in an important international gathering as well. Altogether their visit has served to enhance our pride not only in our own country, but in the community of British nations united by a common allegiance to the Crown, the sure and firm foundations of which rest upon similarity, if not identity, of political institutions, customs, and laws; and similarity as well of aims, ideals, and aspirations.

Did time permit, I should like to make mention of the Commemoration Service held in Westminster Abbey on the morning of July the first, and which was attended by His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, representing the Crown, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and his colleagues, former Governors-General of Canada, ambassadors, and lesser diplomats, as well as many of the most distinguished citizens of Great Britain. To our High Commissioner, the Honourable Mr. Larkin, we are indebted for what was admittedly one of the most impressive services ever held in Westminster Abbey. I should like, too, to speak of the recognition given in France to the sixtieth anniversary of confederation, and for which our thanks should be extended to many of the leading citizens of the Republic, and to our Commissioner General, the Honourable Philippe Roy. The dedication of the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings, and the unveiling of the statue of the Right Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, on Parliament Hill, at each of which ceremonies His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales officiated, were other memorable events associated with the year’s celebrations. A government departmental building at Ottawa, to be known as Confederation Block, will be yet another permanent memorial. The corner stone was laid by His Excellency, the Viscount Willingdon, on the morning of July the first. The visit of Colonel Lindbergh to the Capital on July the third will also be long remembered, for itself, and as an expression of international good-will on the part of the United States.

While there may be many other features which should be mentioned in any review of the events associated with the celebration of our Diamond Jubilee, what I have said will, I trust, be sufficient to illustrate something of the pageantry of our history which the celebration has served to recall. We have witnessed anew the beginnings of discovery and exploration and the early development of settlement and colonization; we have seen the country grow within three centuries from a group of huts to a group of colonies, and, in sixty years, from a group of colonies to a nation in a galaxy of sister nations, and a nation among the nations of the world. In constitutional development we have witnessed a steady growth of freedom in the transition from non-representative to representative government; and from representative government, much restricted and curtailed at the outset, to responsible self-government as full and complete as that enjoyed by the parent state. From scattered communities, comprised of men of diverse racial origins and religious creeds, we have witnessed the gradual blending of all classes into a single people, preserving the richness of individual traits and characteristics, but united by a common aim and purpose. In other words, we have witnessed the achievement of nationhood itself.

We sometimes think of nationhood as the distinctive achievement of statesmen and scholars, forgetting that the strength of a nation is founded ultimately upon the integrity of its people, upon the stern discipline of thrift and industry, and upon the wise employment of the resources which are the peculiar gift of Providence. If Canada to-day enjoys the blessings of prosperity, if we take up the responsibilities of nationhood with a sure confidence in our ability to meet our obligations, it is because our people have been faithful in their stewardship, and have not buried their talents. The economic history of Canada since Confederation is an epic of perseverance and courage in which the outstanding characters are the husbandman in his field, the artisan at his bench, the engineer whose faith has removed mountains, and the adventurers who have gone down to the sea in ships and have done business in great waters. In agriculture, manufacture, transportation, and commerce, our progress during the past sixty years has been nothing less than phenomenal. From scattered and dependent colonies, we have passed through successive stages of economic development to the proud position which we occupy to-day, when the products of our fields, forests, and factories are carried to the far corners of the earth.

If, in the Jubilee Celebrations, aught remained to complete the story of Canada’s development, that omission is more than supplied to-day by the portrayal on a national scale of our arts and industries, which it is the known purpose of the Canadian National Exhibition to present. Emerging from the agricultural fairs and industrial exhibitions held in bygone years, it has come to be recognized not only as a great national exhibition, but in effect the greatest annual exhibition existing anywhere in the world. How fitting, therefore, that this year’s Exhibition should find a place as one of the many events to be associated with the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation! Here, in miniature, we have a picture of the industrial and commercial life of our country, the story of its development in commerce and trade. Here will be found much that is descriptive of the extent and development and present position of the country’s natural resources, its agricultural wealth, its forests, its minerals, and its fisheries, as well as of its great water powers. Here will be seen the processes whereby our raw materials are transformed, through the aid of capital and labour, into commodities available for human use. Here also will be seen the methods of world-wide production and distribution, and the means whereby, in our own and other lands, the interests alike of producers and consumers are served.

It is with the greatest possible pride, as well as pleasure, that, at the request of its President and Directors, I invite the people of Canada and of other lands to view this Canadian National Exhibition, and, to that end, now declare the Exhibition to be open.


At the Centenary, University of Toronto

6th October, 1927

In the history of Canada, the present year will long be thought of as one of memorable anniversaries. The Diamond Jubilee of Confederation, which has been celebrated with such enthusiasm and so impressively in all parts of the Dominion, has created an unparalleled interest in the story of our country’s development. Outstanding has been the recognition of rapid achievement: achievement in government, in political growth and expansion, in colonization and settlement, in transportation and industry, in commerce and finance, in rural and urban development, in the arts of war, and happily, even more notably in the arts of peace. We now come to another anniversary, the one hundredth anniversary of this great University, which stands as a symbol of achievement in the intellectual life of our country.

It is fortunate that the order of the respective celebrations has been what it is, for it is doubtful if, in the celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee, there has been a sufficient appreciation of all that is owing to science and learning in what has been recorded of our national progress. It is well that the year should not close without a reminder of this aspect of our development. The opportunity would appear to be fittingly accorded in this centennial celebration of the University.

Science we know to be nothing other than organized knowledge, and applied science, knowledge organized for practical use in the affairs of men. What is it that has made possible the wonderful achievement in the various phases of our national life of which this year we have heard and learned so much? Surely nothing other than scientific knowledge applied to the problems which from day to day have presented themselves for solution. This truth, so apparent when we stop to reflect, is seemingly one of the most difficult adequately to comprehend. It can perhaps be best appreciated by asking what would become of all achievement were scientific knowledge suddenly to vanish from the minds of men. Scientific knowledge, as applied to life and its problems, is the foundation of organized society as it now exists. If that scientific knowledge, and its application in action were to be wiped out from men’s minds to-day, our organized societies would crumble into dust and human life would be reduced to its simplest terms. Our great cities would pass away with the decline of the knowledge and equipment which make their existence possible. Indeed the situation would be like that produced by the decline of the Roman Empire, and its invasion by the barbarians. Our very existence might be forgotten, as has happened before in the world’s history; and our successors, ten thousand years from now, might come upon our buried cities, and marvel when they attempted, from these relics of the past, to reconstruct our vanished civilization.

When we pass from the achievements of our own country, to that larger entity, the British Empire, and realize that there, too, applied science is the basis of all achievement, or when we further expand our thought so as to embrace the achievements of all nations, we begin to see the vital role played by science in this modern world, and gain some comprehension of the debt of mankind to those men and women whose lives are consecrated to its advancement and to learning. In the praise of the founders and builders of our country, let us not fail to give recognition to the obscure and often unrewarded labours; of the study and the laboratory to which are owing some of the great pages in Canadian history. It is well, may I repeat, that before the year draws to its close, this tribute should be paid to the achievements of the mind; and that we should acknowledge in their proper perspective the services of scientists and scholars to our country, to the Empire, and to the world.




In the House of Commons, Ottawa, on the Presentation of a Replica of the Speaker’s Chair at Westminster

20th May, 1921

The constituent elements of Parliament here represented do well to regard the present moment as one of historic significance. There are, under British parliamentary institutions, two symbols of authority—the Crown, which speaks of the sovereignty of the King; the Speaker’s Chair, which speaks of the sovereignty of the people. That, under the aegis of the British flag, the two sovereignties have blended into one, is not less a tribute to the character and devotion to duty of British rulers, than to the genius of the British peoples in the art and science of government.

On the present occasion, the two sovereignties are represented in the symbols I have mentioned. They are also personified in the presence of His Excellency the Governor General, the King’s representative in Canada, and of the Right Honourable Mr. Lowther, the Speaker of the British House of Commons. Mr. Lowther has crossed the sea to present to the Parliament and people of Canada a replica of the Speaker’s Chair in the House of Commons at Westminster, a gift which he has made on behalf of the United Kingdom Branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association, and which by you, Mr. Speaker, has just been accepted in terms so appropriate and adequate.

It is said of Queen Victoria that

. . . statesmen at her council met

  Who knew the seasons when to take

  Occasion by the hand, and make

The bounds of freedom wider yet.

We of the Parliament of Canada, reverencing British traditions, and schooled in British parliamentary lore, recognize such an occasion in this moment. We recognize in our parliamentary institutions, fashioned as they are upon the British model, the surest guarantee of freedom a people can possess. We recognize that in the maintenance of the principles of government underlying our free parliamentary institutions, and in their extension, lies the possibility of our largest contribution to the freedom of mankind. Above all, we recognize that it is around the Speaker’s Chair that the battles of political freedom have been waged, and that it is in appeals to the authority of the Chair, as the symbol of a people’s sovereignty, that British political liberties have been won. This gift, therefore, is accepted by the Canadian House of Commons with a full appreciation of all that it signifies of what we owe to England, the Mother of Parliaments, as well as of what it expresses of unity and good-will.

We would ask Mr. Lowther, in conveying the thanks of this Parliament and of the Canadian people to the members of the United Kingdom Branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association, also to convey the assurance that it will be our high privilege to seek to preserve, with due regard to its rightful dignity and authority, and its ancient and honourable tradition, this noble expression of the unity and freedom of the British peoples.


At Quebec, on eve of departure for England to attend the Imperial Conference of 1923

21st September, 1923

It is a happiness to me to be sailing for England from this old city of Quebec. It brings to mind many associations, some of an historic, others of a personal interest. Here our Dominion had its beginning. Here Champlain established the foundations of French settlement in the new world. Here, only a few years ago, we celebrated the tercentenary of that event. It was here, a century and a half after its founding, that Canada was ceded by the French to the British. That event, we might say, marked the birth of what is to-day the greater Britain beyond the seas.

I regard it as a happy augury that the ship on which I am to cross to Britain is named The Montcalm. What expression of the cordiality of relations now existing between Canada and Britain could be more significant? It suggests better than words can express what, above all else, is the spirit of Canada to-day. What is that spirit, the truly Canadian spirit? It is, if I mistake not, one of conciliation, one, I might even say, of reconciliation, a spirit essentially of equal rights for all, and good-will towards all.

It is not many years ago that an ancestor of mine, but one generation removed, went on a mission to England on behalf of the people of Upper Canada. He carried with him a Grievance Report for presentation to the British Government. How many in number were the grievances enumerated, I cannot say. To-day it is my privilege to go to England in the name of the people of Canada without a single grievance. It will be for me to say that our relations with Britain and with all parts of the Empire are of the best.

If there is a fitting symbol of unity anywhere, it is surely to be found in the simple shaft erected here at Quebec to the memory of Wolfe and Montcalm and which commemorates in a single epitaph the virtues alike of victor and vanquished. Here from the hour of the conquest, men of British and of French descent have sought to forget the enmities of the past, and have united in an endeavour to make one great, one prosperous, one contented people. Has this shaft, the symbol of Canadian unity, no meaning for Europe to-day?

I do not forget, at this moment, that no Prime Minister of a British Dominion ever devoted his life and talents to the cause of Canadian unity with more unremitting zeal than Sir Wilfrid Laurier; and that it was from this old city of Quebec, which for forty years he represented in our Parliament, that, on more than one occasion, Sir Wilfrid sailed to attend an Imperial Conference at the heart of the Empire in London. With what pride the whole Canadian nation witnessed his going, and welcomed his return! In the councils of Empire his voice was powerful for imperial unity, because Laurier understood, as few men in history have understood, the secret of national unity. I shall not greatly err if I seek to follow his example.

There is one other association with this ancient capital which gives it, in my heart, a place apart, and which, at this time, is not without some significance. Within the walls of this city, lie the remains of my paternal grandfather. His grave, like many another, is that of an unknown British soldier. He came to Canada from Scotland in 1834 with a Highland detachment of the Royal Horse Artillery. During the Rebellion of 1837-8 he was stationed at Prescott, Ontario, and was active with others in the suppression of that uprising. Some six years later, while still in the army, he died in this city at a comparatively early age. His remains were buried here in the old military burying ground. Within your keeping his ashes lie. I mention the incident because it is illustrative of a phase of Canadian history which is not without its effect upon our outlook and our attitude.

Canada has been a land of reconciliation. Many strains of blood go to make up our nation. Through the veins of some of us there flows alike loyalist and rebel blood. But we are essentially one people. We have learned to admire principle, and the spirit which is ready to fight to maintain it, but we have learned also to respect honest differences of opinion. In our soil, the enmities of past generations lie buried, enmities of race which have occasioned war, enmities of political hate which have occasioned rebellion. To-day we are a united people, seeking first and foremost an enduring unity; not a unity which aims at uniformity, but a unity which delights in diversity. Such, I believe, is the model on which the community of British nations is patterned. Such a model, I believe, it is the aim of Imperial Conferences to maintain. To this task the representatives of Canada, at the forthcoming Conference, can give themselves with a glad heart.


At the Guildhall, London, England

12th October, 1923

I thank the Corporation of the City of London for the presentation of its Honorary Freedom which, in distinguished association with the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the Prime Minister of Australia, it has just been my high privilege to receive. May I also thank the Chamberlain for his courtesy in associating with this great honour the remembrance of the Honorary Freedom of the City conferred in 1907 upon my revered Leader, the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The citizens of Canada will be quick to recognize the kindly feelings and fraternal greetings of the citizens of London which, in this manner, it is sought to convey to them. They will share my pride that this ancient Corporation welcomes the opportunity afforded by the present Imperial Conference in London thus to relate its honourable and venerable history to the proceedings of that gathering.

May I be permitted to say that, historically, not less than by reasons of good-will, there would appear to be grounds for linking, by unbroken tradition, the Freedom of the City of London with the freedom of the community of British Nations to which formal expression is given in the Imperial Conference? London and the Empire are related by a sequence of incidents and events which carries us back to the beginning of English national life, which, if it is to be found anywhere, is surely to be found within the precincts of the very hall in which we are to-day assembled. It was here in the heart of London—which itself is the heart of the Empire—that local self-government had its birth, self-government which is the very kernel of the freedom enjoyed to-day, not less in Canada and Australia, in New Zealand and Africa, in Ireland and Newfoundland, than in the United Kingdom itself.

True it is that in any minute survey of self-government as it exists in the constituent parts of the British Empire, there will be found forms and methods of procedure, customs and ceremonies, some of them venerated, others antiquated, which upon occasion may afford to the critics of British connection themes for discussion and debate. These are, however, outer trappings, in no way significant of the spirit of our constitution. They neither shackle nor bind. Where, at moments, they have occasioned irritation or a feeling of restraint, by a little mutual forbearance and common sense, a way to modify or change them has been quickly found.

It is inevitable that as the British Dominions continue to increase in size, to grow in importance and in influence, their freedom will, in all particulars, become commensurate with the extent of their interests. Such changes and modifications of existing forms and methods of procedure as may be necessary, will be worked out between the mother country and the sister dominions in a spirit of co-operation. They will be worked out by conference and conciliation in a manner which, whilst rendering more apparent the complete autonomy of the self-governing parts, will continue to maintain the unity of the whole.

Here in England, as nowhere else in the world, “great oaks from little acorns grow”. The oak as the emblem of England’s strength has been symbolic in more ways than one. The kernel of the oak lies in the acorn; it is in the acorn that the inherent power of the growth and endurance and expansion of the oak is to be found. It is that kernel, transplanted in a thousand and one different ways, which has served to bring to the outlying British Dominions much of the freedom they enjoy to-day.

It is not that England was first in the race for Empire beyond the seas. She was not. The Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, all possessed their colonies in the New World ere the real expansion of England had begun. They carried with them, those brave seafaring peoples, worthy traditions of discovery and adventure, of missionary effort and of trade; but that was not enough. They could not bring what they themselves had yet to find, namely, the acknowledgment of the right and capacity of peoples to govern themselves, which is the secret of loyalty and contentment overseas. In other words, they had no freedom of London to bestow.

What a heritage, this freedom of London! It takes us back to the days of the Norman Conquest. We see the citizens wresting from the invader a charter by which their liberties and power of local self-government are guaranteed. The sacred privilege thus maintained, they have never surrendered. It is now a possession of nearly a thousand years. All along the way, in the great crises of the nation’s history, the City of London stands “the Protectress of Freedom”. In the historic struggle of the Crown and Parliament, the City has been the stronghold of freemen against the autocratic acts and pretensions of rulers. Not less has she been, against the House of Commons itself, the champion of the people for the right of the electors to choose their own representatives, and for the liberty of the press and the freedom of speech. At one moment we read of the Common Council conferring the Freedom of the City upon a Chief Justice for deciding that general warrants are illegal; at another, of its conferring the same great honour upon statesmen who have helped to win an extension of the franchise, and such a distribution of the seats as gave the nation in general a real and effective control over the Government of the day. These are a few of the acorns that have grown into great oaks wherever the freedom of London has gone.

In the history of colonial government there is an even more significant chapter. It relates to the days of the American Revolution—days when the eyes of British statesmen were unfortunately blind to the City’s vision. Whilst Westminster, despite the protest of some of its greatest statesmen, was maintaining an attitude which made for revolution, the Guildhall was drawing up “a respectful but solemn warning against the fatal policy pursued by the King’s Ministers toward the American Colonies.” What action of the Common Council of London could have significance for us to-day comparable to the resolution passed at that time, and which its minutes still record, namely, that a humble address and petition be presented His Majesty, praying him “to suspend hostilities and adopt such conciliatory measures as might restore union, confidence and peace, to the whole Empire.”

“Union, confidence, and peace to the whole Empire”—such is the object of the Conference which has brought together, from beneath the Southern Cross and the North Star, the representatives of the self-governing Dominions and India to meet in London the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the United Kingdom in conference upon matters of supreme interest and importance, and of common concern. Into our conferences we shall seek to carry the spirit of the Freedom of London, knowing that so long as that spirit survives, the British Empire will endure.

Enjoying and bestowing freedom, may the community of British Nations forever flourish and expand, conferring upon countless millions the benefits of its social and political civilization! Such is my sincere wish as a Canadian, and my first wish as a Freeman of the City of London.


At the Canada Club Dinner, Savoy Hotel, London, England

18th October, 1923

In an Empire Day message recorded at Buckingham Palace on the 24th of May, His Majesty the King referred to the British Empire as a “community of free nations”. I can think of no expression which more adequately or exactly describes the character of the Empire. There is about the word “community” something which denotes association of separate entities, as well as a collective unity; something which recognizes individuality of the parts, as well as oneness of the whole. Not only is the British Empire a community of free nations, with the emphasis on the word, “community”; it is a community of free nations, with the emphasis, as well, upon the words, “of free nations”. It is this double emphasis which gives to the British Empire its distinctive character.

In symbolism, and in many other ways, we have sought to make clear to ourselves and to others this conception of an Empire in which are reconciled the ideals of national autonomy and imperial unity. One of the most striking of all symbols is that to be seen in the architectural design of the main entrance to the Canadian Houses of Parliament. At Ottawa, as in London, the central hall of the Houses of Parliament lies opposite the main entrance to the buildings, and is at the place of meeting of the corridors which lead to the two Houses.

In the Canadian Buildings, supporting the dome roof of the central entrance, stands a column of stone, around which, at the base, is carved a mythical sea. In the cut stone, Neptune is seen projecting his trident through the waves while the wavy blue marble of the floor at the base of the central column lends emphasis to its symbolism. The column bears inscriptions commemorative of the two outstanding events in the history of the Dominion—Confederation, which united the provinces under a constitution fashioned and moulded upon the model of the British constitution, and Canada’s participation in the Great War, in which her sacrifices were shared with those of the other countries of the Empire in the cause of the world’s freedom. This central column represents the British Isles, the Mother of Parliaments, whence our political institutions are derived. From this column spring arches of fan-shaped vaulting, supported, at the opposite side, by large pillars which surround the central court. These pillars, separate and distinct, are said to be symbolical of the Dominions. The arch formed by the fan-shaped vaulting which unites the central column and the surrounding pillars affords a striking symbol of the relation which exists between the component parts of the British Empire. The central column and surrounding pillars preserve the separate identity and individuality of character of the Mother Country and of the self-governing Dominions. The union effected by the arch speaks of mutual support, and of strength gained through unity. The gothic style of the arch lends the note not only of common aims, but of common aspirations. This symbolism is a fitting expression of a common political inheritance, and of a spirit possessed in common.

A more perfect analogy to the community of free nations will be found, I believe, in the realm of Nature. In her vast labyrinths, there is much to help us by way of comparison. An astronomer gazing at the heavens sees what appears to be the light of a single star. When, however, he applies the instruments of science, and his preciously acquired scientific knowledge, he discovers that what apparently is a single star, in reality is a cluster of stars. Nay more, he perceives that the stars of the cluster are a part of a great astral system; that each star possesses its own orbit, within which it moves with precision and grace, while all move together in perfect harmony. This analogy appears to me to be a very true one. You of the British Isles, we of the self-governing Dominions, have as countries, our own orbits within which each moves with perfect freedom. As a community of free nations, we move in our several orbits as parts of one great system which sends forth its combined rays as the light of a single star.

What, it may be asked, are the secret sources of the influence which holds the several parts of the Empire together? If the analogy to our Empire, which I have just suggested, be a true one, must we not look for some law of attraction? And does not this law of attraction lie in the mind and heart of Britain? Empire may owe much to discovery, to trade, to war, to conquest; all these may make for expansion; they do not necessarily make for unity. Geography and arithmetic are concerned with material things. Unity is of the mind and of the heart.

The mind and heart of Britain have been carried overseas, by those who have gone out from the British Isles to serve their day and generation as the missionaries of British thought and tradition. From earliest colonial days we see them pass, they who, to-day, stand as the cloud of witnesses by which we are encompassed. Wherever they have gone, these men of high character and attainments have carried with them traditions of which they were the inheritors and have left, as the most precious of legacies, their learning and their culture.

In a manner less conspicuous, but none the less real, the mind and heart of Britain have been carried to the outlying Dominions by the multitudes of men and women who have left the old land for the new, bearing with them the remembrance of bygone struggles, the unrealized ambitions of their fathers, and the hope of a freedom yet to be attained. Wherever they have gone, it has not been agreements or charters or treaties that have made for the unity of Empire; it has been the vision of the mind, and the dream of the heart.


At the Inauguration of the Canadian History Society, London, England

7th November, 1923

I esteem it a high privilege to have the opportunity of being present at this gathering at which the Canadian History Society is being formally inaugurated. May I join with fellow Canadians whom I am pleased to see here this evening, in expressing to Sir Campbell Stuart and to the members of the Society, our deep appreciation of the interest being taken in the history of our country by many present who themselves have contributed pages to its growth, or, who hold to-day, as a family inheritance, many precious records of our country’s past.

I doubt if any historical society was ever inaugurated under more favourable auspices. There has been read to-night a telegram from His Majesty the King, expressing His Majesty’s willingness to become the patron of the Society. The occasion itself is graced by the distinguished presence of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, who has expressed his sympathy with all that relates to Canada’s past and future. The Society has as its President, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, who has left in Canada a memory cherished by all who knew him, and which will be revered by generations to come. The Presidency of the Council of the Families could not be entrusted to better hands than to those of the Duke of Devonshire, the distinguished Secretary of State for the Colonies, who is also a former Governor General of Canada, one whose name is held in highest esteem by all Canadians.

There is something singularly appropriate in the fact that the Society owes its origin to Lady Minto, who is its vice-president, as well as to His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught. I recall a conversation with Sir Wilfrid Laurier a few years ago, in the course of which Sir Wilfrid remarked that it was the late Lord Minto who was responsible for the creation of the Archives Department of Canada. Lord Minto saw how important it was that the history of Canada should be gleaned from original documents, and how necessary it was that the Government should have an appropriate building in which these valuable records could be housed. To Lord Minto’s interest and insistence is owing the establishment at Ottawa of the Canadian Public Archives. With all Lord Minto’s good works in Canada, Lady Minto was intimately associated. It is a source of pleasure to know that this association remains unbroken by the interest which Lady Minto is now taking in the work of this Society.

It is difficult to imagine the appeal of such a gathering as this to the heart and mind of one coming from Canada to the Old Land. Here are assembled many whose names have been household words with which from childhood one has been more or less familiar. Here one can picture, in terms of their respective personalities, not a little of the story of the Dominion.

Sitting here to-night, I have been recalling Miyajima, in Japan, which I visited some years ago on a trip to the Orient. There, on an altar at the summit of a steep ascent, a flame is burning, which was lighted over a thousand years ago. The Japanese have safeguarded that flame; they have never suffered it to become extinguished, even for a moment; they have kept it alight as a holy fire. In the years of the past there went forth from this old land, men and women inspired by high ideals of public service, who sought to bring the traditions and the ideals of the Old World to the New. They did their part in the making of Canadian history. They lit sacred fires on the altars of the Dominion. Can there be for their sons and grandsons a nobler service than to carry on their work, to keep the glow of those fires reflected in the hearts of others—those sacred fires, lighted by their ancestors in the past?

A glance around this room is sufficient to reveal how much of the history of Canada finds an association with many who are present. I have referred to the late Lord Minto. It is a real pleasure to see his son here to-night, and to renew in this old world the friendship we formed in Canada a few years ago. I see seated near to him, on the other side of Lord Durham, Lord Grey. What memories his presence recalls! I do not know of any public man who sought more diligently than his father, the late Earl Grey, to inspire younger men with noble aims and high ideals. It would be difficult for many of us to say how much we owe to words of encouragement given by the late Lord Minto, by the late Lord Grey, and by His Grace the Duke of Devonshire during the years of their respective sojourns in Canada.

Opposite to me I see Lord Durham, whose name I have just mentioned. The name of Durham carries one back to a memorable chapter in the history of Canada. It comes closer to me, perhaps, than to some others in this room, because it relates to the period of the struggle for responsible government in which one, at least, of my ancestors played a somewhat conspicuous part. That was in the ’thirties. Political parties in Canada were strongly divided at the time, so bitterly, in fact, that uprisings occurred. The then Lord Durham came out from England to Canada to see who was in the right and who was in the wrong. May I take this opportunity of thanking the present Lord Durham for having so generously presented to Canada the valuable collection of manuscripts which belonged to his illustrious grandfather, and which, undoubtedly, will lead to the re-writing in part of that period of Canada’s history. It is one of the most valued gifts Canada has received, and I assure Lord Durham that Canada will greatly treasure it.

Speaking of the period of 1837 and 1838, I see, in the not far distance, Sir George Arthur. An ancestor of his, if I mistake not, had close association in Canada with the political group known as the Family Compact. He was not without his share of responsibility for the exile of my grandfather. Perhaps I should explain that, as one of the leaders of the rebellion, a price was put on my grandfather’s head, and for a period of time he suffered exile from the country. Then I see before me, Lord Elgin. I must thank him for the pardon granted by his grandfather to mine. The Lord Elgin of that day sanctioned the measure which enabled my rebel ancestor to return to Canada, again to take his part in the politics of the country. He was the Lord Elgin who assented to the Rebellion Losses Bill, by which enactment many who had been rebels were, along with others, compensated for their losses during those troublous times. I do not know where I should have been but for the ancestors of these two gentlemen. My mother was born when her father was in exile, so probably I owe a little by way of acknowledgment to each of them.

Then I see here, Sir Charles Townshend, a descendant of the distinguished General Townshend, who was present at the capture of Quebec, and who took over the country in the name of the British; also the Master of Elibank, a descendant of Murray, the first Governor of Canada. This reminds me that the mortal remains of my father’s father lie buried, with those of many another unknown British soldier, in the old military burial ground at Quebec. My paternal ancestor came to Canada with a Highland detachment of the Royal Horse Artillery some little time prior to the Rebellion of 1837 and 1838, and throughout that period was on active service. How many are the reminiscences which one might recount on an occasion such as this! Those already mentioned will perhaps suffice to disclose how strong in their convictions are the peoples of British stock; how prepared, if need be, to fight out our differences by the sword. They disclose, too, how ready we are to respect differences of opinion, once the struggle is over. They reveal something alike of the tenacity and the magnanimity of the British race.

You, sir, have referred to the Marquis de Montcalm, and have read the very chivalrous letter which he has written for this occasion. If I may be allowed to make the request, I would ask that you convey to the Marquis de Montcalm the thanks of the Government of Canada for his words which you have quoted to-night. There is, in the ancient capital of Quebec, a memorial shaft erected, not to Wolfe, not to Montcalm, but to the memory of the two. There it stands, a single shaft. History recognizes that each was ready to fight for principle and to die for what he believed to be right. Those of their respective races who have succeeded them have been prepared to accept and to abide by the issue of their encounter. These incidents reveal what I believe to be an outstanding characteristic of our country. We had one hundred and fifty years of French rule; we have had a little over one hundred and fifty years of British rule. To-day the descendants of the two peoples are living side by side, united in working out a national development within the British Empire. The differences of the past are forgotten; its animosities lie buried; they too are forgotten. We seek only to be a united people, free under the British flag, proud in our allegiance to the British Crown, and ready to do our part within the British Empire wherever its common interests are threatened or imperilled.

I feel that this Society possesses a significance, greater perhaps than any of us realize, even on this occasion. Not only is it seeking to see that justice is done the past; it is helping as well to discharge a mighty obligation to the future. In endeavouring to make readily available the authentic records of the evolution of constitutional government in our Dominion, it will, I believe, be helping in the development of constitutional liberty and freedom in all parts of the British Empire, and, through the British Empire, in all parts of the world. What more helpful than the story of how men of opposing points of view have come to work as one, and, as a result, to achieve a common purpose!

May I, in the name of our Government, venture to say a further word? After the Archives Building had been erected, we were surprised at the extent to which it was found possible to secure manuscripts which served to throw a flood light on the history of our country. The building was constructed for the safekeeping of records and for rendering them available not to students of history alone, but in equal measure, to journalists, jurists, educationalists, business men, and others. Already, great use has been made of the Archives by persons from all parts of Canada, as well as from other countries. So much has this been the case, that the Government at its last session asked Parliament to make the necessary appropriation for the construction of a substantial addition to the Archives Building.

Here may I pause to say a word about the Archivist, Dr. Doughty. I do not think I need tell anyone in this audience who Dr. Doughty is. I would like, however, to pay him the tribute of saying that in the public service of Canada no one has devoted himself more entirely, more disinterestedly, or more energetically to his chosen field of work than has Dr. Doughty. Being himself a scholar and an author, and knowing the value of original documents, he has been successful in securing for Canada a large part of the vast store of valuable records we possess at the present time.

I should not like to suggest that Canada is seeking, in any way, to deprive historic families in the Old World of what must be among the most precious of their family possessions, namely, the letters and papers of ancestors and friends. Speaking of the Archives, I should, however, like to say that we have facilities for photographing manuscripts, and that copies of documents will serve the purposes of students and scholars quite as well as originals. We should be glad if an organization could be maintained in this old land, which would assist in the discovery of sources of valuable information, and help us to secure copies of important documents. The Government of Canada will be ready to lend its co-operation. A vast amount of material has already been collected, but a great deal more remains to be discovered. It is easy to secure the names of Governors, and the names of the members of the families of Governors, also the names of their descendants, but it is not so easy to secure the names of members of their households and staffs, of officers, secretaries, and others who accompanied them to Canada. There must be possessed by many of these persons, or their descendants, and by members of regiments which came to Canada, and their descendants, records and diaries brought back to this country and now somewhere in the custody of old families. If this Society could be the means of bringing the names of any such to light, so that copies of documents in their possession might be made for our records, it would mean very much to our country.

I am pleased to notice by the sketch of the Canadian History Society, which we have had placed in our hands, that there is to be a sister French Society, and that the Marquis de Montcalm is to take the Presidency of the Council of the Families in France. It will be extremely valuable to have in France a Society similar to the one now established in Britain. May I express the hope that the bringing together of their respective records will prove to be yet another of those agencies which bind together in friendly relationship the peoples of these two great races?

I should not like to leave this historic gathering without availing myself of the opportunity of saying how much we of Canada, who have a reverence for the past, feel we owe to the Old Land. Looking around this room, and recalling that most of those who are assembled here have themselves been associated with the development of Canadian affairs, or are the descendants of those who have played a prominent part in Canada’s history, one begins to realize to what an extent Britain has sent to Canada the best of her sons. Many who have held high positions in Canada have been educated here amid great and noble traditions. From a fine sense of honour and of public duty, they have sought to make these traditions a part of the inheritance of the new world.

I believe that the records secured by this Society will disclose, in growing measure, a story of unselfish action, of lofty patriotism, and of devotion to what is best in the way of public service. As this story is unfolded to the Canadian people, as they learn of the care with which their national life in its early beginnings has been nurtured by the motherland, more and more, as the days go by, and she continues to advance in years, will her children across the seas rise up and call her blessed.


At Kitchener, Ontario; Old Boys’ Reunion

4th August, 1925

I wish it were possible to express the pleasure and pride I feel at being in the midst of so many of those who have been my friends from earliest days. This circle of personal friendships had its beginning fifty years ago, in those friends of my father and mother who shared with them the associations and interests of the picturesque little cottage which still stands not far from where I am now speaking, and which was the place of my birth. Very many of those friends have since passed away. They are the cloud of witnesses by which, at this moment, we are encompassed. A few remain. I see some of their number in this great gathering. May I be permitted to say to them—I hold you in warmest affection; you, who alone can tell the story of the past, can tell of incidents which will be forgotten when you are gone, can help us to live over the innocent delights of childhood’s days, and who bring glimmerings of the morn, where I can see

. . . . those angel faces smile,

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

May Time and Care deal gently with you; and a reward be yours, worthy of your labours and of your years!

But if the circle of friendships in its earliest beginnings has diminished, and with the years is fast vanishing, the years have served also to add to its enrichments and to widen its compass. To the friends of early childhood have been added the friends of boyhood and of youth. Of this joyous company there is happily seated at these tables a wealth in numbers to-day. That is, above all else, the purpose of an Old Boys’ Reunion; to bring back to the place of their youth those whom circumstances have taken to other parts; and to make those of us who are advancing with the years, boys again; to bring us again to the scenes of our youth, yes and to the joys and delights of our youth, to the hopes, the aspirations, to the beliefs of our youth, when all the world was fair, and when

The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d.

To you, the friends of my youth, whom it is my privilege and delight to meet again, what words can I use to express the happiness I experience at being with you once more in the old town which holds so much that will ever be of precious memory to us all. I can only say that the lapse of time, the vicissitudes of intervening years—yes, and I might add, the very gifts which fortune herself has brought—have but served to make more cherished the remembrance of scenes and joys shared together or in common, to increase the interest which I hold in your lives, and to make you, one and all, nearer and dearer to my heart.

There is a very touching story told of Abraham Lincoln, which relates itself to the Civil War, when Lincoln’s mind and frame were well-nigh overborne with the burden of responsibility which was his. A man, unheralded and unknown, called at the President’s office and demanded to see Mr. Lincoln. He would give no reason for his desire other than that he was sure the President would wish to see him. Though told many times that there were thousands of persons who wished to see the President, and many hundreds waiting to see him, he would not take a refusal. Finally, he asked that his name, with that of the village from which he came, be given Lincoln, and stated that if the President did not then express a desire to see him, he would understand, and would be prepared to go away. The name was taken in. A few moments later, Lincoln, himself, came out to greet the stranger, expressed regret that he was too busy to have a word just then but asked him to come to the White House in the evening.

The narrative goes on to say that they sat that night on the steps, as had been their wont in boyhood’s days, and talked together in the evening’s twilight. The visitor was from the place of Lincoln’s birth; they had known each other as boys, but had not seen each other since. Believing that his old acquaintance must have some request to make, but was hesitant about preferring it, the President sought to ease the situation by inquiring whether there was a vacancy in the village Post Office which he desired filled; whether he had relatives who wished a commission in the army, or whether friends of his had contracts in which he also might have an interest. In vain did his companion seek to have Lincoln believe there was no ulterior motive in his visit. Finally, Lincoln said to him, “Then why did you come?” To which his friend of earliest days replied, “I came, Abe, to see you. I knew you would be anxious and worried with this great war, that you would like someone to talk to; I knew that at this time you would be glad to see one of the folks from home, so I just came to see you.” “You came to see me, just to see me, Abraham Lincoln, and for no other reason!” exclaimed the President. “Yes, Abe, what other reason could I have?” It was too much for Lincoln. We are told that the War President, whom all the terrors and responsibilities of a Civil War could not shake, broke into tears at this expression of disinterested, truehearted friendship. Of all the men with whom Lincoln had conversed during the period of the War, yes, possibly, the period of his Presidency, this man had nothing to seek, he had only a great desire to share a burden, a great desire to serve.

There may be but one Lincoln, and, fortunately, but few men in public life are ever called upon to face problems such as Lincoln was called upon to face; I venture to say, however, that of those who have ever carried the responsibility of government for long there are none who will not be touched by that story and understand its meaning, or who will know better the difference between new and old friends. Yes, there are times in the lives of all of us when we long to share with another the memories we cherish most; not the mention of the position or the wealth to which, through one circumstance or another, we may have come, but the memory of the days when personal differences and divisions of class were unknown, when the rude jostlings of competition, and the crude and often cruel jibes of jealous rivalries and disappointed ambitions were likewise unknown, and when all we saw in those we knew was a nature akin to our own. This is the inheritance of youth, but it is an inheritance from which we are parted all too soon.

’Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,

Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home!

A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,

Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.

    Home! home! sweet, sweet home!

    There’s no place like home!

Those lines were written not of the homes to which we come in later life, but of the homes in which we were born, the homes of our childhood and our youth, with “the birds singing gaily, that came at our call” and that “peace of mind, dearer than all.”

It was my privilege, in the early spring of this year, to visit East Hampton, Long Island, and to seek out, as many another pilgrim has sought, that “lowly thatched cottage” in which John Howard Payne, the author of “Home, Sweet Home” was born. I carry in my pocket a leaf picked from the rose bush by its door. What other verse has touched so many hearts? Does it not contain the chord to which all hearts vibrate? Is it not the chord which unites us as one to-day?

I have heard it said that few men in our country have more to be grateful for than I have. Whatever the measure of my obligation may be, I am prepared gladly to acknowledge it to the full. This, however, I will say without equivocation, that not a day passes that my heart does not go out in thankfulness to a Providence that has left, as a background to my life, the trees and the vines and the hills of “Woodside”; the road thereto in and out of town, the old white horse, and the friendships without distinction of class or creed or race, of men and women, of boys and girls, in every station and every walk of life.

But I must proceed. Childhood and youth all too quickly pass, and we arrive, ere we are aware, at man’s estate. As we count our blessings over, we are brought again to the circle of personal friendships. Has this circle widened or diminished with the years? Is that not one of the real tests of happiness? Have our life’s work and service been of a character to make for us new friends and to keep old ones? The longer we live, the more truly we shall learn that friendship is rooted in service. The garden of friendship is like every other garden—to keep it fresh and beautiful requires cultivation, and cultivation in Friendship’s garden is none other than

. . that best portion of a good man’s life,

His little, nameless, unremembered acts

Of kindness and of love.

I wonder if I have not touched the note which gives the key to the underlying purpose of the clubs whose membership it is my privilege to address. In our homes these “little, nameless, unremembered acts” fall into the category of “kindness and of love”. We hesitate so to classify them when we go out into the world. We have heard about the world’s harsh gaze, about “the world’s coarse thumb”, and we would shelter these plants of tender growth. But we are unwilling to part with the reality, so we speak of service; and when we wish to give to service its meaning in relation to public affairs, we speak of citizenship.

Citizenship is nothing more nor less than public service. Incidentally, it is a means of widening the circle of personal friendships to its utmost bounds. The Rotary, the Kiwanis, and the Canadian Club, each has its own field of service and each seeks to keep the man a boy. It would help him to escape from the narrowing influences of purely self-seeking pursuits, and to discover a larger joy and a wider freedom in making his vocation also a means of service to others. All three would enrich and ennoble his life by giving him friends and making him worthy of them.

I should like to say a word on service in its relation to citizenship. What the home is to the town in civic affairs, the town and the city are to the country in national affairs. It is the spirit of the home that more or less determines the measure of our service to the community in which we live, and it is the spirit of service in the community which more or less determines the measure of the community’s value to the state. It is a radiating influence making its presence felt in that subtle, intangible thing which we call Public Opinion.

Government, in the last analysis, is organized opinion. Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government. Where there is an intelligent and informed and enlightened public opinion, there is certain to be good government, which will become increasingly democratic government. If a government is bad, it is more of a reflection upon the governed than upon those who come to the office of government; it means the absence of a sound and restraining public opinion, which again means the absence of a spirit of service. If a government is good, the people even more than the authorities are to be thanked, since good government signifies a sound public opinion controlling the standards of the State; this, in turn, evidences that the spirit of service is abroad throughout the land.

If in this I am correct, it should give a new meaning and a new sense of responsibility to membership in clubs such as those I am now addressing. Organizations like yours are the centres from which public opinion emanates, not as regards particular policies—men will always differ, and have a right to differ, as to what particular policies shall prevail—but as regards standards, whatever the policies may be. You are in the main responsible if the standards of our public life are high or low, for no river ever rose higher than its source, and you lie at the source of political representation.

Have you ever considered how vast is the responsibility implied in being a citizen of Canada? You may ignore it; you may seek to shut your eyes to it; but you cannot escape it. Upon the degree to which, as individuals, you recognize it, and have others do likewise, to that degree you will advance the happiness of all concerned.

There is, first of all, the responsibility to your immediate town or city, to the country, and to the province in which they are located, and then to our vast Dominion. As a citizen, you have a duty to take an intelligent interest in the affairs of all. If in any particular the standards of government which prevail are low or indifferent, remind yourself that in part the responsibility is your own. There is a tendency in our day to criticize public men, to make light of their efforts, to misconstrue their motives, to ridicule their achievements. In so far as criticism is just, and is made by those who themselves are willing to incur the contumely which seems inseparable from public life, it is to be welcomed. It is a restraining influence, a helpful guide. Where, however, criticism owes its origin to mere indifference, to ignorance, to prejudice or malice, as is too often the case, and is indulged in by men or women who themselves have never made and are not prepared to make any sacrifices to serve the community or the state, it is merely an undermining process, a species of Bolshevism which seeks to destroy where it is unable to construct. In your own individual attitude towards those who hold or who seek public office, you cannot escape the responsibility of either cementing or undermining the groundwork of organization by which human society is held together and given its opportunity to advance.

But citizenship in Canada is not confined to the bounds of the Dominion, extensive as they are, and wide as they may be apart. There is a larger citizenship for which we have a responsibility and from which we cannot escape, namely, our citizenship within the British Empire. How that citizenship has come about is a matter of history, and history is still in the making. What form it will ultimately take is ours in large measure to determine.

Since the War, an even wider citizenship has come into being. It is a kind of world citizenship, a responsibility we owe, not only to our country, or to the British Empire, but to other countries as well. It has found concrete expression in the League of Nations, of which our country is a member, and for the rightful government of which we have assumed a share. This, too, is a responsibility we cannot escape. It is, in fact, a part of our own making. Our own representatives at the Peace Conference helped to bring it into being, and to give it form and substance. Moreover, they demanded that Canada should be a member, not as a part of the British Empire merely, but of and in her own right—a right which was admitted, and which we to-day enjoy.

As Canadians, we have then, in a sense, if I may for the sake of clearer understanding so define them, a national citizenship, an empire citizenship, and a world citizenship, each of which carries with it a certain responsibility, a responsibility which it is our duty to recognize and our privilege to assert. The question which confronts you and me is to what extent we will seek to recognize a responsibility so vast. In other words, how shall we recognize it? That raises at once the question of our national status, and all the problems incidental thereto. I have but one answer to make to that question. It is the one which underlies all our public relations. It is contained in the word to which I have made frequent reference to-day: it is patriotism in its highest form, the measure of our possible service, what best will serve the good of our own country, the good of the Empire of which it is a part, the good of the family of nations of which the League of Nations is the limited organized expression to-day.

The individual who seeks change from existing relationships, who would divide Canada into a dual state or a heptarchy, who advocates complete independence, or who seeks annexation, is, it seems to me, called upon to justify his position on some score of more effective service, some greater good for his fellows in their immediate relationships than is possible under the political arrangement of to-day, some greater possible service to mankind. Unless able so to defend his position, I doubt if he is entitled to a hearing.

When I hear change, in any one of the forms above mentioned, seriously proposed, there comes to my mind an Italian epitaph to which Sir John A. Macdonald in his day was fond of referring. Over the grave of one who had unnecessarily sought change, there is written, “I was well, I wanted to be better, and here I am.” That is one reason why I am opposed to change, save such as may come in the course of the natural evolution which has characterized the development of British political institutions. Well may we cry “All’s Well” from the foremast of our ship of state. But I have another reason. I believe the good of our own people and the measure of our service on their behalf and on behalf of mankind is greater, under the present arrangement and order of development, than it would be were any of the changes mentioned to come into effect.

Take, first of all, our national citizenship. There are some who think it ought to be our only citizenship; there are others who think we should not have a national citizenship at all, but only an empire citizenship. To the former, I would say: What freedom could you gain for our fellow citizens in an independent Canada which they do not to-day enjoy? I can see new obligations that would soon overshadow all else. Considering the wider field of service, if Canada ceased to be a part of the British Empire, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa might also cease to be parts; the Empire itself might speedily disintegrate. Do you believe that would be good for Canada, or for the other peoples that are at present within the Empire? Do you believe it would be a good thing for the peace of the world, or for the greater happiness of mankind? I do not. I believe it would be among the greatest of calamities. If the League of Nations is an ideal towards which we should aim as a means of preserving the peace of the world, why should we endanger the existence of that lesser League of Nations which, in reality, the British Empire already is. The world’s security lies in having like ideas and ideals made to prevail over as wide areas as may be possible. Nowhere in the world have the ideals of British right and British justice been surpassed. If we did not co-operate with other parts of what is to-day the British Empire, we would have to co-operate with some other country or group of countries. In a world which has become one, we cannot live unto ourselves. What possible combination could be effected which would mean as much and leave us with the freedom we to-day enjoy?

To those who think that we should have no national citizenship, that ours should be only an empire citizenship, I would say, with Sir Walter Scott:

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

You cannot speak of an empire, such as the British Empire, as “my own, my native land”. You dissipate the virtue and the power of patriotism in the attempt. As Canada is true to herself, and Canadians are true to Canada’s highest interests, so will Canadian citizenship mean most for Empire citizenship.

The British Empire, so far as Canada is concerned, is exactly what His Majesty the King, on more than one occasion, has described it to be, “a community of free nations”. We have all that any nation could desire in the way of self-government, and more than most nations have by way of a much to be envied political association with other nations of like aims and ideals. Were we out of the British Empire, would not the first nations with which we would wish to co-operate be those of the British Empire as it might remain?

I dismiss as unworthy of consideration any change which contemplates the break-up of our Confederation. In what better position would be the people of a Canada East or a Canada West, than as citizens of a United Canada? What schism can be imagined that would not work injury to Canada as a whole, and even greater injury to the part more immediately concerned?

There remains the suggestion of annexation to the United States. I believe Canadians are concerning themselves with such a possibility to about the extent that the United States is concerning herself with annexation to the British Empire. Annexation is not so much as thought of in Canada to-day, save, perhaps, as a species of propaganda resorted to by a certain class of politicians in an endeavour, by way of unwarranted imputation, to discredit their political opponents. But were it thought of, nay rather, were it seriously proposed, what would be our attitude towards it? I know that, so far as I myself am concerned, I should oppose the idea of annexation, with all the power at my command. Not that I do not entertain a high regard for the American people—I entertain for them the highest regard—but I believe that both they and we are better off as we are, and that our joint contribution to civilization and to the happiness of mankind is infinitely greater under existing conditions than it could possibly be under any new arrangement that annexation would bring.

I shall not stop to argue in what way we, as a people, are better off as we are. That, I think, is apparent; but I should like to say just a word of our possible service to others. We have on this continent between our two countries an unprotected frontier of some four thousand miles. For more than a century, the absence of armaments has occasioned us no concern, but rather has served to remove concern. We have substituted for competitive arming a system of international conciliation and arbitration, as a means of settling international differences as they arise. In this way we have given, and we are giving to the world to-day, the finest object lesson it has had of the wisdom of the appeal to reason as contrasted with the appeal to force in the settlement of world problems. That lesson would be lost were our nationalities merged; and the moment the merging took place, at that moment new and unforeseen troubles would begin.

In another particular, civilization, I believe, would be the loser by such a union. As we stand to-day, we, of Canada, are in the position of interpreter between the two most formidable bodies of opinion in the world, the American and the British; interpreter between the two greatest world powers. Our geographical position on the North American Continent gives us an understanding of the one; our political affiliations and associations within the British Empire give us an understanding of the other. We are able, in large part, to reconcile differences as they arise; we are able to promote understandings, and to prevent misunderstandings. In a word, we are able to avoid ill-will and to foster good-will, in a manner and under conditions which promise more for the peace of the world, than would be possible through association in any other way. Is this an opportunity which we should lightly forego? Perhaps our opportunity of service in world affairs is vastly greater than we had thought or dreamed.

This brings me to the conclusion of what I have to say. Our opportunity being what it is, shall we shirk the responsibility of that largest citizenship of all, the world citizenship of which our membership in the League of Nations is an expression? Shall we not rather believe that as a country, as a nation, we have arrived at man’s estate, and that it is for us to do our part in world affairs? Whether we will it or no, we shall be compelled to play some part. Not only do we inhabit the northern half of the Western Hemisphere, but we have been placed, geographically, midway between the Occident and the Orient. Our coasts are washed by the waters of the Atlantic and of the Pacific. Ships carrying the flags of many lands enter our harbours. Our trade has expanded to every quarter of the world. The circumference of the globe is now the defining circle of our international relations.

Let me recall what I said of citizenship—that it was but another word for public service, and that public service was the means of enlarging the circle of friendship to its utmost bounds. We have reached the fringe of that possibility. Shall we draw back merely because of the vastness of the opportunity it affords? Surely here, at last, emerging from our national citizenship, our empire citizenship, our world citizenship, is a return to the democratic ideals of our boyhood’s days, and we glimpse something of the vision of the world that is to be.

The ideal of peace and good-will, however it may be expressed, is the ultimate aim of all citizenship. When it will be achieved, and how it will be achieved, will depend, more than all else, on how we serve.


At the Auditorium, Ottawa

23rd July, 1926

What is the real link of Empire, the most enduring of the bonds which unite British peoples in all quarters of the globe? What is the secret of loyalty to the British Crown and to the British Flag? What, if it is not the liberty and the freedom ensured under British parliamentary institutions, and all that is bound up in what we know and reverence as the British Constitution?

It is a strange mystical sort of thing, this British Constitution that we love. It is partly unwritten; it is partly written. It finds its beginnings in the lore of the past; it comes into being in the form of custom and tradition; it is founded upon the common law. It is made up of precedents, of magna chartas, of petitions and bills of rights; it is to be found partly in statutes, and partly in the usages and practices of Parliament. It represents the highest achievement of British genius at its best. No one has ever seen it; no one has ever adequately described it; yet its presence is felt whenever liberty or right are endangered, for it is the creation of the struggle of centuries against oppression and wrong. It embodies the very soul of freedom itself.

It is the principles of liberty and freedom embedded in the British Constitution, and secured to those who live within its guarantees, that have made of men of many races and many climes a great brotherhood in name and in heart. To the people of Great Britain it is one thing. To the community of British nations which comprise the sister Dominions beyond the seas, it is the same thing, but something more. It is the magnet which counteracts all tendencies to separation from Britain, or to annexation with other lands. Scattered as the Dominions are amid the several oceans of the world, their coasts washed by the waters of many zones, it is the sheet anchor which holds all true to the little isles in the northern sea. The Crown and the Flag are symbols, symbols which we reverence and which help to keep us one; but in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in South Africa, in Newfoundland, in Ireland, it is the British Constitution that is the sustaining and enduring element in loyalty alike to the Crown and to the Flag.


At London, Royal Gallery, House of Lords, at the Conclusion of the Imperial Conference, 1926

26th November, 1926

In the period of our sojourn in the Old Land, it has been the privilege of the representatives of the Dominions to share an unparalleled inheritance. The lore of the past, the sacredness of time-honoured traditions, the renown of venerable institutions, have been ever present to our thoughts, and have constituted the background of all our labours. Art, in many forms of expression, has lent its note of inspiration, and Learning its note of wisdom. Amid the historic associations of the Mother of Parliaments, we of the sister Dominions have become increasingly conscious of the extent to which the great structure of Empire rests upon political institutions which have a common origin in the parliament at Westminster.

Through common political institutions, we of the British Empire have all come to speak a common language—the language of political freedom—which finds expression in British traditions of right and honour, in British practice in the making of laws and in British justice in the enforcement of law. Over all, and the symbol of all, is the Crown, long since identified, in the person of the reigning Sovereign, with high conceptions of public duty, and a never-failing concern for the common weal.

With this gathering, and the speech of the Prime Minister to which we have just listened, the Imperial Conference of 1926 passes into history. I believe it is the opinion of all who have shared in the deliberations of the Conference that it will go down in history as one of the most significant ever held, certainly, one of the most important of all Imperial Conferences. From Press opinion, gleaned from many quarters of the globe, it is already apparent that the significance of the Conference will be viewed differently by those whose opinions on public matters also differ. That was to have been expected. In this particular, British peoples are only running true to form. For a time, the real work of the Conference may be obscured in controversy, but when controversy subsides, and history lends a truer perspective, it will, I believe, come to be recognized, not only in all parts of the British Empire, but by the world at large, that the Conference of 1926 has revealed foundations of national autonomy and imperial unity deeper, broader, and more enduring than many had dreamed.

It is true, I believe, of most of the great charters of political freedom in these isles, that they enjoy a common characteristic. They do not pretend to set up something entirely new, but purport rather to assert, in a form thereafter no longer open to challenge, rights which with time have come to be established. Speaking for the Dominion of Canada, I know I can say that the pride of our people in the achievements of the Conference will lie, not in what has been gained, but rather in what the Conference has recognized as having been attained, and as now no longer open to debate. Our pride will be the greater in that this acknowledgment, in so far as the Conference is concerned, has been without a dissenting voice. In all that has been recorded, you of the Motherland and we of the Dominions have been in complete accord. In appearance, the charter of the liberties we individually and collectively enjoy may have been enlarged; in reality, there has been, as respects British political institutions, a natural development along inevitable lines. Once more the prophecy of our destiny has been fulfilled, and we have seen that—

. . . . thro’ the ages one increasing purpose runs,

And the thoughts of men are widen’d with the process of the suns.

In our efforts, I shall not say to formulate a constitution for the British Empire, but rather, to further the evolution of government within the Empire, we shall not greatly err if we give practical advocacy to the principles which underlie all free government, and upon the application of which the British constitution itself has come to be what it is to-day. Three centuries ago, when the British constitution was still very much in the making, the illustrious statesman, John Pym, speaking not far from where we are now assembled, used these memorable words: “That form of government is best which doth actuate and dispose every part and member of the State to the common good.” No saner or sounder political maxim has ever been expressed. If Great Britain enjoys the freedom which she does to-day, it is because in matters of government the principle therein enunciated has been increasingly applied. Can we do better, in the evolution of government within the Empire, than to seek to apply a like principle? This, I believe, is what, above all else, the Imperial Conference of 1926 has sought to do, and what in large measure it has actually accomplished.

The Conference has not attempted to formulate a constitution for the Empire. That would be to forget that constitutions adequate to the needs of human society are not quickly or mechanically made, but are a matter of growth. As respects the Empire, the Conference has sought to discover that form of government “which doth actuate and dispose” every part to the common good. In emphasizing the individuality of the parts in the description of what thus far has been attained, it has given, I believe, an added emphasis to the unity of the whole. No observation on the work of the Conference has been more to the point than that which appeared in The Washington Post of a day or so ago, to the effect that, if the Government of George III had possessed the wisdom of the Government of George V, there would have been no Declaration of Independence, and the United States would now be part of the British Commonwealth. We have studiously attempted to remove all notes of possible discord within the Empire. But we have gone further than this; in their stead, we have attempted to substitute notes of no uncertain good-will.

It was my privilege last week to take part in a ceremony at Croydon where some skilled English foundry-men were casting a great bell for the carillon which is to be installed in the main tower of the Parliament Buildings in Canada. You will be interested to learn that when the installation is complete, the visitor to our capital will hear the Westminster Chimes ring out the quarter-hours in Ottawa as they do in London, and will also hear, as the hours strike, the resonant note of Big Ben.

On July first of next year, we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Confederation of Canada. We propose to proclaim this historic event by ringing on that day, for the first time, the fifty-three bells of which the carillon is composed. We hope that His Majesty the King, from the Capital of Great Britain, may graciously inaugurate the occasion by causing to ring forth from the Capital of Canada the finest peal of bells to which the world has ever listened. By the wonderful development of radio broadcasting, we hope that the peal will be heard not only throughout our Dominion, and in Great Britain and Ireland, but that it will be carried also to the distant Dominions of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and to the great Empire of India as well. Should the National Anthem thus be heard simultaneously in all parts of the Empire, we shall have discovered yet another symbol of our imperial unity—a British Commonwealth of Nations composed of communities diverse in character, in historical development, in potential powers, enjoying, as self-governing nations, individual expression to the full, but above all united by a community of interest and a harmony of purpose and ideals which it is our highest pride to maintain.




On Commencement Day, Harvard University

30th June, 1909

It is natural that the citizens of Canada should have an abiding interest in the progress of Harvard University. It is the oldest seat of learning on the continent of North America. Many members of the learned professions in the Dominion are its graduates, and several members of the Harvard faculty are Canadians. Even more significant is the fact that old as Harvard College may be as an American institution of learning, its history as a British college is of longer duration. Notwithstanding that to-day another American citizen has been added to the succession of learned scholars who have filled the President’s chair, the number is still larger of those who as British subjects have held the same distinguished position. Surely there is something in this joint inheritance which places upon Harvard graduates in the United States and in the Dominion of Canada a special responsibility to safeguard the international relations of their respective countries.

In less than six years we shall be celebrating the One Hundredth Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which marked the conclusion of the War of 1812-1814. In the years that have elapsed since the War, no sword has been drawn and no shot has been fired across the four thousand miles of boundary which separates British from American territory on this continent. Dr. Eliot, in an address delivered before the Canadian Club of Ottawa a year or so ago, made reference to the legal instrument to which we are mainly indebted for this prolonged peace. Dr. Eliot spoke of it as a “self-denying ordinance”; Secretary Root has called it a “convention”; the proclamation of James Monroe, President of the United States, described it as an “arrangement”. The word “agreement” may serve as an equivalent to any one of these, for it was actually an agreement between the Government of Great Britain and the Government of the United States to limit armaments on the Great Lakes, and was made at a time when the two countries had just emerged from the war in which these inland waters had been a prominent theatre of conflict. By whatever name we call it, this agreement has afforded a way of escape from competitive armaments, and has secured a perfect peace for nearly a century.

On the occasion to which I have referred, Dr. Eliot declared his belief that the universities expressed perhaps more adequately than any other of our institutions, the common loves and aspirations of our two countries. This being true, have we not, as university men charged with the sacred duty of safeguarding the common loves and aspirations of our two countries, a special obligation to see that our countries awaken to a full realization of the significance of this noble achievement? Does it not constitute, on the part of the peoples of the United States and Canada, a very remarkable contribution to World Peace, and to the method of its attainment?

One hundred years of international peace over the greater part of an entire continent! Is not this an achievement of which the world should be made aware? Europe has not known it; Asia has not known it; other continents have not known it. What might it not mean to the future of the world if Europe could utter such a boast? What may it not mean to mankind if we, through time, can hold in unbroken continuity this evidence of international good-will.

We are rapidly approaching the completion of the one hundred years of peace. Five and a half years will see its consummation. Let us begin therefore to prepare for a recognition of this achievement in a manner befitting its historic significance. There are few who realize that, within the past year, not less than five treaties, all having to do with outstanding differences or sources of possible irritation between the United States and Canada, have been negotiated, signed and ratified between Great Britain and the United States, and that a sixth awaits ratification. President Roosevelt and Earl Grey, Mr. Root and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, have given to their administrations a place second to none in the history of the peace movement of our times. To Mr. Bryce, the British Ambassador at Washington, all are alike indebted for the success which has attended these transactions. The diplomacy which is prepared to enthrone Reason above Force as the most effective means of preserving peace between nations, is the new world’s answer to the armed forces of the old. While European countries have been increasing their frontier armaments, the United States and Canada have settled all their boundary differences by joint international commissions, or have referred to the Hague for adjustment by arbitration particular points of controversy. This achievement is one of which the peoples of this continent are justly proud. Should we not, I repeat, as we round out the one hundred years of peace, make the occasion one of great rejoicing, and one the significance of which will not fail to strike the imagination of the peoples of other lands? If I might be allowed to make a suggestion, it would be that we at once prepare to celebrate this triumph of peace; that we choose as the place of celebration historic ground in the vicinity of Niagara, near where there was conflict a hundred years ago, and, on some suitable approach to that scene of marvellous beauty, erect an international monument which will commemorate the One Hundred Years of Peace, and which will serve to proclaim to the world that

Peace hath her victories

No less renowned than war.

Let us dedicate our monument to another one hundred years of peace. When asked by what power we propose to safeguard it from defilement, let us reply, by the wisdom of the nations, which in the years of their infancy has been sufficient to achieve the victory we seek to commemorate, and which with the addition of years will be mightier than it ever has been.

In this great project, all lovers of freedom and liberty will gladly share. The workingmen of this continent will gladly share. Women and little children will gladly share. Over it all, the genius of the University which protects our national loves and national aspirations, which holds aloft the torch of learning, and which seeks to bring enlightenment to mankind, may well and fittingly preside.


On Commencement Day, Harvard University

21st June, 1923

Fourteen years ago, I enjoyed the privilege accorded me again to-day, of addressing the graduates and members of the Harvard Alumni Association at a University Commencement. I took occasion at that time to bring greetings from my fellow Canadians. I am happy, to-day, to be the bearer of a like message of good-will from the citizens of Canada to the people of the United States. The momentous events of the years which have intervened have but served to strengthen the bonds of friendship, and to reveal more clearly the community of interest which exists between our respective countries.

In referring to the interest which university men, especially those of Harvard, might be expected to take in an inheritance shared in common with British universities on this continent, I ventured to remind my audience that while Harvard claimed to be the first of American universities, and the oldest seat of learning on the continent, it was not less true that Harvard’s history as a British college covered, at that time, a longer period of years than her history as an American college. That is now no longer true. In the period which has intervened since I last addressed the graduates of Harvard, there has been a change. To-day, in point of years, Harvard holds the distinction of being the oldest British and also the oldest American university on this continent. In yet another respect the Commencement of 1909 was a time of transition. President Eliot, after forty years of active and distinguished service, was retiring as President of the University. He was being succeeded by Mr. Lowell, who has continued to fill the position of President of Harvard with distinction to himself and to the University. Notwithstanding, however, that at that time another American citizen was added to the list of Presidents of Harvard, it is still noteworthy that of the Presidents of Harvard, a larger number have been British subjects than American citizens.

I shall not attempt to estimate the number of Canadians who to-day hold positions of honour and distinction in the universities of America, or the number of Canadian public men, or of men and women in professional and business life in Canada, who have received their training, in whole or in part, at American universities. This, however, I will say: that as between the United States and Canada, this form of reciprocity, a reciprocity in ideas and ideals, and in public service, is one to which no exception can be taken on either side of the international boundary. It is a form of relationship calculated to benefit each of our countries. It should go far in the fostering and maintenance of international good-will.

Referring to our common inheritance and common interests, I ventured, at the Commencement of 1909, to direct attention to the one hundred years of peace which shortly thereafter we, on this continent, would have occasion to celebrate. I ventured then to express the hope that this anniversary would not be permitted to pass without international recognition in some appropriate form. I went so far, I believe, as to suggest that representatives of the two countries might visit scenes of conflict of the war of 1812-14, and that, on some historic spot, they might erect a monument which would commemorate the One Hundred Years of Peace and give symbolic expression to international good-will.

In the years which have since intervened we have come to a more profound realization of our community of interests, ideals, and aspirations. We have recorded a contribution to world peace, greater than any which at that time could have been foreseen. We have witnessed the young manhood and womanhood of our respective countries cross the wide Atlantic to the scene of the world’s greatest conflict, and there pour forth their blood in sacrifice, in order that the ideal of peace, which in their hearts they had learned to cherish, might become not the possession merely of a single continent, but a part of the common inheritance of mankind. This is the memorial of our common interests, ideals, and aspirations which has been raised, and of which, pray God, we may prove worthy. Let us never forget the great cause for which they fought and died; nor the pledge which we, the living, gave to those now dead:

Here—or hereafter—you shall see it ended,

This mighty work to which your souls are set;

If from beyond—then, with the vision splendid,

You shall smile back and never know regret.

To keep the vision splendid; to keep it pure and undefiled; to keep it ever before the young manhood and womanhood of the world—this is the sacred duty of the University, and of our respective countries. The vision splendid! It means all that we hold in common of the sense of right, of justice, of human freedom, of the sacredness of human personality, and of the blessedness of international good-will.


At the Opening of the Bridge Between Buffalo, United States, and Fort Erie, Canada, at Buffalo

7th August, 1927

On behalf of the Government and people of Canada, I thank His Excellency the Governor of the State of New York for the welcome he has extended to the guests of our country, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness Prince George, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and for the welcome which, through his words, and the distinguished presence of the Vice-President and the Secretary of State, comes from the people of the United States to all who are here from Canada to-day.

You will notice that I have referred to our distinguished visitors as our guests. We are all part of the same family. We are all of the same British household united by a common allegiance to the Crown, which is represented here to-day in the person of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. We are united, too, by common political institutions based upon those of the Mother of Parliaments, which also happily is represented here in the person of Mr. Baldwin. As members of the British household have grown up, scattered as they are throughout different parts of the world, they have come to possess on different continents their own individual households, while remaining members of the one British family. We of Canada are greatly pleased to have the privilege of having with us some of the older members of the family, and having them see how we live among ourselves, and how we live with our neighbours.

We are delighted to have the opportunity of bringing our royal and distinguished visitors to a part of the international frontier which is unparalleled in its scenic beauty. It is a source of even greater pleasure to be able to show them a frontier whose history is unique in the annals of the world—an international frontier across which, for over one hundred years, not a single shot has been fired, not a single sword has been drawn, and along the whole of which, a distance of nearly four thousand miles, there is to-day not a single fort. Where at one time, more than a century ago, near the place where we are now assembled, there were two forts, one on this side of the Niagara River, and the other on the Canadian shore opposite, there are to-day the two great supports of the international bridge which has just been formally opened, and which stands as a symbol of international amity, international good-will and international peace. This is the great object-lesson which we of the New World have to give to those who come to us from the Old.

In the one hundred years of peace we have enjoyed on this continent, we have sought to develop a method of adjusting our differences which would make Reason supreme over Force. While we recognize that peace stands rooted in the instinctive good-will of our peoples, we know it is due also in no small part to the conscious planning of those who strive for peace. The Rush-Bagot Agreement of 1817 laid the foundations. The International Joint Commission, which was appointed in 1911 as the result of legislation by the Governments of the two countries, has, through the careful judgment of wise and thoughtful men and the influence of public opinion, been the means of settling practically all the boundary questions which of recent years have arisen, and which were likely to lead to serious controversy. Therein lies an assurance and a means of peace which we shall not only cherish for ourselves, but which we hope may prove of value in wider fields. We believe that in the years to come, the International Joint Commission will continue to carry on its work with equal success. But we hope, nay, we believe, that it will not be confined to settling questions which may arise between Canada and the United States, but that empowered as it is to deal with any question which may be referred to it by agreement, it will prove a helpful model for the adjustment of all international differences which may arise between English-speaking peoples.

We of this continent have taken this year yet another forward step, of which this Bridge may well stand as a symbol. We have sought, by an exchange of Ministers, to throw a bridge of international good-will from the one capital to the other. The presence on this occasion of the newly appointed Ministers adds significance to this ceremony. The appointment by the United States of a Minister to Canada, and the appointment by Canada of a Minister to the United States, had the full approval and concurrence of the British Government, and of His Majesty the King. The appointment of our Minister means a more direct representation of Canada at Washington. It will mean, as well, a closer co-operation on the part of Canada with the British Embassy at Washington in questions affecting the relations between the United States and the whole British Empire. We believe that this further exchange of personal relationships in international affairs will help to perpetuate the peace which the English-speaking peoples have enjoyed for more than a century; a peace which it is our hope to-day may be continued for all time.

This is indeed an occasion which we may well remember, an occasion for thanksgiving, an occasion for dedication. We thank a wise and kind Providence which has given us in the New World this friendly border, the most precious of our common heritages; and which has inspired new world methods of settling matters of international dispute. To-day, in the presence of the multitudes here assembled, representing as we do the peoples of the United States, and of the British Empire, with all the fervour of which our moral beings are capable, we consecrate the years to come to a perpetual peace.


At a Dinner of The Canadian Society of New York

10th December, 1913

To be the guest of fellow Canadians in New York is to be reminded of an inheritance shared in common by the peoples of this continent. Perhaps it is well to have that reminder occasionally. It serves to emphasize our similarities rather than our differences. It helps to foster the amenities and to lessen the animosities of life. Yet it is only by a recognition of both differences and similarities that the peoples of this continent will gain a true appreciation of the contribution which it may be theirs to make to the civilization of the world. Opportunities and possibilities there are, through our different origins, and in virtue of our different and separate nationalities, which could not arise were we one community. On the other hand, what we inherit and possess in common makes possible a degree of achievement not otherwise to be attained.

Side by side on this continent, the peoples of the United States and of the Dominion are working out problems of modern democracy within national and political frameworks different in origin, and to some extent different in ideals. The United States originated in separation on the part of its founders from British political and social traditions, in separation, for that matter, from the political and social traditions of the whole of Europe. A republican form of government was substituted for a monarchy, and a written constitution and declaration of rights for the political institutions which had come into being through centuries of custom and successive enactments. The origin of Canada as a nation is quite different. There are no marks of separation. We have chosen to seek the realization of the same dreams of happiness and progress, not without, but within British political and social conditions. It is the unbroken connection with Britain, the maintenance on this continent of British institutions, traditions, and ideals, that gives to Canada her distinctive character, and to her relations with the United States a special significance. In all that we do, and in all that we may be privileged to share, it is not as a nation merely, but as part of the British Empire, that the far-reaching nature of our opportunities and of the consequences of our actions lies.

It is not so much of the advantages which come through our differences, as of the common problems and possibilities which arise out of similarities, that I wish to speak to-night. As I have said, in form of government there is not similarity. Our laws are different, and many of our institutions also differ. Yet back of our separate nationalities and separate histories, lies the race, and a thousand years of common tradition. The one great continent of America sustains us both. While the separation which marks the beginning of American history is likely to be enduring, in historical record it is marked by a moment of time. While the boundary which assigns us the respective portions of the continent we share is apparent to all the world, the line which designates it is so fine as to be invisible. Time and geography speak of a common ancestry and a common abode. To be unmindful of this is as great an omission as to forget all that makes us distinctive peoples. It is not the breadth of the New World nor its wide expanses which makes the Americans and ourselves lovers of liberty; that love of liberty comes in the blood, through centuries of Old World struggles. It was not the soil of America that made the United States a federation of free states, and Canada a self-governing dominion. It was the spirit that inspired Hampden, Pym, and Pitt, the spirit which was found in the men who wrested the great charter from John, and the Petition of Right from Charles. A new continent may afford new scenes of action, but the genius of a people is interwoven in the mysteries of race.

In this relationship of a common race to a continent held in common, lie the perils and possibilities of our joint trusteeship. Here we may each help the other to realize the dangers and advantages of our common inheritance. A material foundation is essential to all development and growth. In sharing as we do the hidden wealth and vast resources of a continent, material prosperity would seem to be amply assured. Seeing some of the consequences of that development, as yet scarcely begun, the thought suggests itself—are we to surrender ourselves, through greed of possession and power, to the vulgar conception that material gains are a supreme concern? Or are we, in the working out of our respective destinies, to conceive ideas and fashion ideals which shall be of lasting benefit to mankind? That, it seems to me, is the supreme question for Canada and the United States, and one which, because of our similarities in temperament, and the vastness of our possessions, is the same for both. In this New World, with the wealth which makes possible higher forms of development, are we to emulate the lust of nations which have exhausted their resources or which have concerned themselves with expansion only for the sake of power? It were better a thousand times for civilization and mankind that this continent should have remained unknown and unexplored, a wilderness for the savage and his prey, than that it should become, as under a mere materialism it is certain to become, a place of bondage for millions of sensitive hearts.

Is it not true that in the very prosperity which both Canada and the United States enjoy, lies the danger of forgetting that it is only in the social, moral, and intellectual well-being of its citizenship that the real strength and greatness of a people is to be found? Labour is essential to development. Labour to noble ends brings freedom. But labour which alone administers to greed is servitude. Dollars and mileage, acres and bushels, tons and rates, stocks and bonds, are all necessary indices of present-day organized industrial and commercial life. We should never forget that these are but indices of a material foundation which should be made to serve the higher ends of existence. Even in the noblest of utterances, the patriotic, emphasis is all too frequently put upon extent of territory rather than upon national character. The size and strength of armies and navies are continually stressed, as if instruments for the destruction of human life were of more concern than life itself. While it would be unwise to ignore what may be necessary to a nation’s expansion and security, it is still more serious to forget that the arts of peace constitute the permanent and enduring side of a nation’s progress, and that human life and the realization of its highest possibilities, should ever be the supreme concern of men and of nations.

In the verses of our Canadian poet, Wilfred Campbell, will be found words which beautifully and adequately express what we need constantly to call to mind in the conflict which has arisen in our present-day civilization between the driving necessities of economic development and the higher ideals of national life:

Teach me the lesson that Mother Earth

  Teacheth her children each hour,

When she keeps in her deeps the basic root,

  And wears on her breast the flower.


And as the brute to the basic root

  In the infinite cosmic plan,

So in the plan of the infinite mind

  The flower of the brute is man.

How are we to keep ever present to our minds the purpose of existence, national and individual, as thus defined? How make it the motive of all our policies, the driving force of all our actions? Perhaps the only way is to go back, as our fathers before us did, to sources of inspiration which have served mankind through the ages. Coming down to us from the ancients, two great streams of influence have helped to mould the thought and strengthen the purpose of men, Hellenism and Hebraism—in other words, culture and religion. “Greece has written her spirit in books and on tables of stone which time has spared for our reading.” In her architecture, her sculpture, her painting, her prose, and her poetry, she has shown us how the love of beauty may be united with the love of truth; how spirit may reign supreme over matter; how mind may control sense; how art may be united with science. She has shown how an untrammelled expression may widen the bounds of freedom. The spirit of the Hebrew is to be found in the writings of the sacred books. Its dominant idea is that of a divine law of righteousness, of an all-pervading spiritual existence, and of a great hope which has sustained the world. To some it has appeared that these two streams of influence were irreconcilable, that the conception of culture of the Greeks, demanding as it did full and free expression of all human energies, was incompatible with the restrictions of the Hebrew code. Yet in the harmonizing of these two lies the highest achievement possible to human character.

As respects human life, the Greek has taught us that man can only find true and full expression as a citizen sharing in the government of the state; the Hebrew, that the common people are dear to Jehovah and should therefore be a special concern to those who rule. Here again would appear to be conflict, though, at first, not so apparent. To the Greek full participation in the affairs of the state presupposed slavery; the mass of men were ignored. The Hebrew thought ever of the poor and the oppressed. The harmonizing of these two is necessary. To the conception of civic duty of the Greek, we must add the sense of social justice of the Hebrew, if we would realize the highest that is to be attained in community life. Christ caused these two streams to flow as one, and gave to men and to nations a veritable river of life. By imparting a divine conception to the whole of life, the national was broadened into the universal. To individuals, Christ spoke of love; to communities he spoke of peace.

It is at this point I would seek to emphasize the opportunity shared by the two peoples on this continent in the shaping of world ideals. Compared with the Greek city state, what opportunities of expression are to be found in the mighty and complex life of continents as we are privileged to know it to-day! Compared with Israel and her tribes, what obligations are ours in the multitudes that have come to our shores from all portions of the globe, to say nothing of the millions of the Orient to whom also we have obligations, albeit seemingly more remote!

It is a Japanese saying that the ordinary man thinks only in terms of to-day, that the higher man thinks in years, but that the really great man thinks in generations. To the Greek and Hebrew conception of public duty, we may be obliged, if we are adequately to discharge our national obligations, to add this further idea, borrowed from a remote Oriental philosophy. As we of Canada and the United States have shared in the past a common background, and drawn inspiration from a common source, so as we look into the future and consider its problems, a vision too vast for one people meets our gaze. The horizon ever widens as the centuries unroll. To the New World vaster obligations and opportunities are being presented than were ever known to the old. Geography, which keeps us side by side, has placed us midway between other continents of this world, and the problems arising for each of us out of the new contacts will be much the same. We do well, as nations sprung from one great family, to make our friendships fast and sure. In the fashioning of world ideals, British and American endeavour must go hand in hand. Already something toward this end has been attained.

Our common race, inheriting a common continent, has given to mankind a world ideal which is expressed in the unprotected frontier of four thousand miles which separates the United States of America from the part of the British Empire from which we come. This world ideal will be heralded far and wide when, in little more than the compass of another year, a century of unbroken peace will be rounded out between the British and American peoples. It is difficult to realize that one hundred years ago we were at war. In the success which, in the interval, has attended upon conference and arbitration, we see in the settlement of our boundary disputes the triumph of Reason over Force. If, to international peace, we on this continent can add industrial peace, in the furtherance of which beginnings have already been made, so that men’s minds may be liberated and men’s energies freed to give to the problems of humanity the consideration they deserve, to what joint service for mankind may we not yet be called!

Knowing that it is given to Canada to share in such a destiny, shall we not strive as never before to make her worthy of so high an end! With the Greek, let us measure our contribution to civilization in what we give to the humanities. While developing our industries, let us also develop our men. With the Hebrew, let us believe that God continues to work through the centuries, and that He may have work for continents as well as for men. With the Founder of our Faith, let us believe that all life is sacred, and that all human life is but the reflected image of the Divine. With national aspiration finding expression in aims such as these, with possibilities, so infinite on the threshold of our country’s life, with the light of the Great Adventure in her eyes, may we not tremble at the awful responsibility which hangs upon the choice of nations as well as of men, and awaiting the call that comes from the Unknown, may we not, on behalf of the Canada we love, utter the sublime sentiments of our Canadian poet’s prayer:—

And when from the winter of Thy wild death

  Thine angels of sunlight call,

Waken me unto my highest, my best,

  Or waken me not at all.


At the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto

13th March, 1919

The shock of war, stirring the world’s soul to its very depths, has brought before our eyes the shattered image of an industrial civilization which is full of injustice. It has left us to decide whether the new order shall be little more than a return to the old, with all its worship of material wealth and material power, and its relative indifference to human worth and human well-being; or whether it will be an order worthy of the sacrifices of the heroic dead, and the services of those who, on land and sea, have endured all manner of hardship and peril to preserve the liberties and freedom that we still enjoy.

Let us be assured of this: the unrest in the world of industry to-day is no ephemeral and transitory affair, no mere aftermath of the hideous convulsion which has shaken existing society to its very foundations. It is the voice of a grief-stricken humanity, crying for justice in the relations of industry. Let us be equally assured that the sword is not the instrument, and repression not the method, to stay this unrest. The truth is mightier than the sword, and in conference and co-operation between all the parties in interest, not in coercion of the others by any one, lies the only hope of an ultimate solution.

We shall reach no understanding of the problems of industry until we adequately appreciate what industry itself is, and who the parties are that are responsible for the carrying on of industry.

Industry is the means by which the material resources of the world are transformed, through human intelligence and human energy, with the aid of natural powers, tools, and machines, into commodities and services available for human use. It is a vast process of transformation, itself a series of transforming processes so inter-related and numerous as to unite mankind, in this age of world-wide industrial expansion, in an enterprise that encompasses the globe.

We are accustomed to discuss the problems of industry in terms of Capital and Labour. The inability to find a workable solution to many of these problems arises from a vision thus circumscribed, and an indifference to other factors equal in significance and importance. To carry on industry in any but the most primitive kind of way, four parties, discharging separate and distinct functions, are necessary.

First of all, there is Labour, which supplies the muscular and mental energy necessary to effect the processes of immediate transformation.

Next, there is Capital, which is necessary to provide the raw materials, the tools, appliances, and equipment essential to industrial processes, and the advances in the way of food, clothing, and shelter required by Labour pending the distribution of the finished product.

Then there is Management, or Directing Ability. So frequently has Management been associated with the ownership of capital, that the identity of the former has more or less been merged in the latter. However, a moment’s reflection is sufficient to disclose the complete dissimilarity of function between the two. Capital’s contribution to industry is in the nature of material substance loaned by way of investment. Its possessor may be any kind of person, a social parasite or ne’er-do-well who is the inheritor of a fortune, or an infant totally incapable of any service to industry, and whose property is necessarily held in trust. Managerial ability, on the other hand, is in the nature of personal service of the very highest order, and is wholly necessary, not only to bring about efficient co-operation between Labour and Capital in the work of production, but also to effect and maintain right relations with the fourth party, without whose co-operation in all that pertains to industry, the other three parties could accomplish little or nothing.

The fourth party is the Community, that entity which we speak of sometimes as organized society, under whose sanction all industry is carried on, and by whose continuous co-operation with the other parties to industry, production, distribution, and exchange are rendered possible.

Not only are the four parties necessary to industry, but they are equally necessary to one another. Capital can do nothing without Labour. Labour can do nothing without Capital. Neither Labour nor Capital can co-operate effectively in industry, save under the guiding genius of Management; and Management, however great its genius, can do nothing apart from the opportunities and privileges the Community affords.

If all four parties are necessary to industry, and equally necessary to one another, then, surely, all four should have some voice in the control of industry, and in the conditions under which their services to industry are rendered.

Is our present organization of industry in any way suggestive of a partnership, in which Labour, Capital, Management, and the Community are regarded as inter-related and inter-dependent? Far from it, as everyone knows who has given the organization of industry a moment’s reflection. I am dealing, of course, only with the dominant types of large industrial organization, for it is mainly from this source that our present problems arise: transportation, manufacturing, mining, etc., etc. So far as control goes, it is largely in the nature of monopoly; and that, a monopoly of control on the part of Capital.

The owners of capital, the capital investors, choose the Board of Directors; the Board of Directors choose the Management, and dictate the policies. The Management regards itself as responsible solely to Capital. Labour and the Community become a consideration only in so far as they are able to make their power felt. Profits for Capital are a first consideration, profits usually as high as it is possible to make them. Wages to Labour, prices to the Community, are what they can be kept at, what the market will allow. Labour and the Community, are not regarded as partners, sharing, through common knowledge, in a common venture, in gains and losses alike. Such control as they exercise is a control that is forced, not a control that is voluntarily shared; a control that in the nature of things begets, on their part, an attitude of militancy.

It is this monopoly on the part of Capital in the control and direction of industry that has led to the developments that are described as socialistic, ultra-radical, and even anarchistic. More than any other factor, it lies at the root of the industrial upheavals of the present time. The other parties to industry, though feeling themselves entitled to be regarded as partners, have despaired of gaining any measure of joint control by concession. They have felt themselves driven to exact, by force, what they believe to be their rightful dues. In the case of Labour, this demand for recognition in the control of industry has asserted itself in the form of strikes. In the case of the Community, it has taken the form of arbitrary enactment, leading to an assumption of single control by the state or municipality.

What is the Socialistic State, or Collectivism, which is its industrial expression, other than industry so organized as to transfer industrial control from Capital to the Community, to the exclusion of the other parties? Under the Socialistic State, the Government would choose the managers of industry, would own the instruments of production, appropriating funds where more Capital was required, and would fix the wages of Labour, and the prices at which commodities are to be sold.

The War has revealed that the Socialistic State, which many workers have been led to believe is certain to be beneficent and idealistic, may become the most bureaucratic and autocratic of agencies, holding within its power the lives and freedom of men, as well as the conditions of their employment. Germany has given that object lesson to the world.

The little there has been of State control during the War has also revealed that the substitution of political managers for industrial managers is not likely to be the best for either industry or the State. Of that, all countries have had a taste.

What are the extreme movements on the part of Labour but a similar reaction against the monopoly of Capital control? In its most violent forms, this reaction has found expression in Revolutionary Syndicalism, Bolshevism, and certain forms of I.W.W.-ism, where, in addition to the ignoring of Capital and Management as parties to industry, the Community is also ignored, and Red Terror used to supplant Reason in all that pertains to the accomplishment of lawless designs.

Guild Socialism is similarly a reaction on the part of Labour against monopoly of control on the part of Capital. Like State Socialism, it would rule out Capital’s right to joint control just as effectively as Capitalism seeks to rule out Labour’s right to joint control; but as the predominant factor in control it would substitute national guilds for the State. Industrial unions would select the managers, would own the capital, and would determine alike wages and prices.

In protesting against an actual monopoly of control by Capital under Capitalism, and a possible monopoly of control by the State under Socialism, Guild Socialism would establish a monopoly of control by Labour under National Industrial Guilds. This is a natural reaction. It represents the extreme of the protest by a militant Labour Unionism against the monopoly of control by Capital, just as Collectivism represents the extreme of a protest of an aggressive State Socialism against the monopoly of Capitalistic control. Guild Socialism and Collectivism are alike in that each would oust Capitalism by setting up a monopoly of its own.

But the cure for monopoly of control by one of the parties to industry is not to be found in the substitution of monopoly of control by one of the other parties; it lies in the destruction of monopoly altogether. It is to be found in the substitution of joint control for single control.

Single control, whether it be by Capital, Labour, or the State, sooner or later is certain to mean autocratic control. Whether Labour or the State as the autocrat is preferable to existing capitalistic control, beholden as it is, in some measure at least, to both Labour and the State, is something to which conditions in Europe at the present time afford an all-sufficient answer.

It is not monopoly of control in any form that we must seek to bring about in this period of transition, but a gradual evolution into a system of joint control, whereby each of the parties to industry will be afforded a voice in the determination of the terms and conditions upon which its services to industry are rendered.

And is not joint control by all the parties to industry in every way eminently wise, as well as fundamentally just? Is it not in every way, in the long run, to the interests of industry, and to the interests of each of the parties to industry? Continuance of the system of monopoly of control by Capital is no longer possible. Once autocracy was doomed in the political world, its doom was equally sounded for the industrial world. The interest of every one of the parties to industry is being menaced to-day in the reactions to which the monopoly of control by Capital has given rise.

No one of the parties stands to lose quite so much through a continuance of the struggle arising out of the monopoly of control by Capital, as Capital itself. As things are to-day, it is at Capital, and at Management identified with Capital, that the stones are being blindly hurled. War-ridden, hungry, and penniless men and women have witnessed the wanton extravagance of many of those possessed of luxury. They have become bewildered with a condition which enables an idle investor to reap a fortune while the masses toil excessive hours for a bare subsistence. In witnessing the debauchery of indolence combined with riches, and the unearned millions of profiteers, they have lost sight altogether of the services of Capital and Management.

But let the service that Capital and Management are capable of rendering industry once be lost to sight, and industry itself will be ruined, and with it the well-being of Labour and also of the Community. What is needed is, not the ruination of Capital and Management, but that each be given its rightful place in a system of the government of industry which will make for the good of all the parties to production.

Nor is the monopoly of control by Capital wholly fair to Management, or in its best interests. During the past few years it has been my privilege to talk pretty freely with the managers of many large industries, and I find in the minds of not a few of them a feeling that everything is to be gained, and nothing lost, by having the function of Capital and the function of Management kept separate and distinct, and Management given a freer hand in considering the interests of Labour and the Community.

Some managers there are who obtain their positions, in spite of the absence of any special managerial ability, but solely because of personal ownership of large quantities of capital, or intimate association or relationship with some investor. The incompetence of such managers, and their slavish subservience to privilege and position, to the exclusion of a due consideration of the rights of Labour and of the Community, only serve to rouse the bitter antagonism of both these parties, who feel that their rightful interests, as necessary partners in industry, are being thwarted and jeopardized.

Not a little of the militant attitude on the part of Labour, and impatience on the part of the public with the present order of industry, is due to a feeling that some managers fail to render to industry any service at all commensurate with the enormous salaries they receive, and to a belief that the interests of Labour and of the Community alike are sacrificed to incompetence and extravagance which would not be permitted were all four parties to industry allowed some voice in the shaping of industrial policy.

Management, instead of being regarded as the servant of Capital exclusively, ought to be in a position to regard itself, as in fact it is, one of the necessary parties to industry, and as such entitled to a voice in matters which pertain to its administrative functions; responsible in the exercise of its duties, not to one party only, but to all.

In the emancipation of Management from the single control of any one of the parties, whether it be Capital, Labour, or the Community, and in the development of its function into that of a responsible executive, concerned equally with the interests of all the necessary parties to industry, lies the hope of any ultimate solution of the industrial problem.

Referring to what is fundamentally right and just, may it not be asked: Is Labour not quite as much entitled to a voice in the control of industry as Capital? It is investment in industry which affords the right to share in corporate control. Capital and Management receive representation on this basis. If Capital and Management are so entitled, why not Labour also?

Industry is a joint venture, a venture of Labour as well as of Capital. The difference in the nature of the investment of Capital and Labour only serves to emphasize the fundamental justice of Labour’s right to a share in control. The investment of Capital is in the nature of an investment of substances and dollars; the investment of Labour is an investment in the nature of skill and life. The one is a material, the other a human investment; and of the two, the one involving life is the more precious.

The capital investor—the individual who in industry loans and risks his capital or a part of it—receives for his capital a return in the form of interest; but he receives something more. As an investor, he becomes entitled to a voice in the control of the industry in which his investment is made. The life or labour investor—the worker who in industry loans and risks his life, or gives to industry that part of it described as labour—receives for his labour, which is the use of his life and skill for the time in which labour is given, a return in the form of wages. He lacks, however, the additional right, which Capital receives, of a share in the government of industry. If Capital obtains this right, in addition to financial reward for the use of capital for the time for which it is invested, is Labour not in justice equally entitled, in addition to its monetary reward, to a voice in the control of industry in which, for the time being, its life and skill are likewise invested? If investment in industry has any meaning at all, it is surely one equally shared by the man who gives his labour and the man who gives his capital.

The Community’s right to representation in the control of industry, and in the shaping of industrial policies, is wholly similar to that of Labour. But for Community investment on a local, national, and international scale, Capital, Labour, and Management would be obliged to make scant shift under present-day conditions of world competition. But what of the Community’s part in industry? Here, too, is joint venture on the part of the Community just as much as on the part of Labour, Capital, or Management. What is ninety-nine per cent. of the expenditure of government in normal times but outlays in the nature of investment in industry: investment in property and services of one kind or another, which alone makes possible the vast co-operation and co-ordination of effort which is the very life-blood of industry?

The vaster industrial organization becomes, the more it depends, in a multitude of directions, upon the investments of the Community.

It is the Community which provides the natural resources and powers that underlie all production. Individuals may acquire title by one means or another, but it is from the Community, and with the consent of the Community, that titles are held. It is the Community, organized in various ways, which maintains government and foreign relations, secures law and order, fosters the arts and inventions, aids education, breeds opinion, and promotes, through concession or otherwise, the agencies of transportation, communication, credit, banking, and the like, without which any production, save the most primitive, would be impossible. It is the Community which creates the demand for commodities and services, through which Labour is provided with remunerative employment, and Capital with a return upon its investment. Apart from the Community, inventive genius, organizing capacity, managerial or other ability would be of little value. Turn where one may, it is the Community that makes possible all the activities of industry, and helps to determine their value and scope.

Community investment is supposed to receive its return in enhanced purchasing power to consumers as respects the number and quality of available services and commodities. This is a return akin to the interest Capital receives, and to the wages Labour receives. But is not the Community equally entitled, on grounds of investment, to a voice in the control of industry and in the shaping of industrial policy? Without participation by the Community in the control of industry, there is nothing to prevent the emergence of a joint-profiteering scheme by the other parties, in which high wages and high profits are secured by charges which fall either immediately or ultimately upon consumers.

If industry is to cease to be the battle-ground of rival factions, each selfishly seeking its own interest, regardless of the interests of the others, its government must cease altogether to be a matter of single control by one of the parties, or of contending controls by the several parties. The parties to industry must be brought into a relationship of partnership, with a recognized community of control.

Partnership is essentially a matter of status. It does not involve identity or similarity of function on the part of the partners, or equality of either service or rewards; but it does imply equality as respects the right of representation in the determination of policy on matters of common interest. It is this principle that has thus far so largely failed of recognition. The justice of the principle, however, cannot be gainsaid.

If to secure a just consideration of the rights of all four parties to industry something in the nature of a partnership, involving community of control, is necessary, how, it will be asked, is that transition to be effected? Certainly, it will never be brought about by violent upheavals or revolutionary methods, which serve only to disorganize industry and occasion loss to all its parties. It must be brought about in an evolutionary manner, here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept, all working toward the consummation of one ideal.

There is much in the government of the State to give us guidance as well as hope in the evolution of government within industry. The British constitution may have its limitations, but no instrument of government has ever been devised which has so effectively helped to preserve and extend the freedom and liberties of men. What the British constitution stands for in the government of the State, we should aim at effecting in the working out of a constitution for industry. It will not all be accomplished within a day; neither need it be the work of generations. With free political institutions our one great inheritance, the application to industry of those principles which underlie government within the State should be neither impossible nor difficult. A willingness to recognize the justice of them, and to act in the light of knowledge we already have, is all that is necessary.

In government within the State, there are three outstanding stages of development. The first stage is that of the autocratic executive, in which there is single control by one only of the parties to the State. King John is an outstanding example of this type of autocratic government. It was not believed, in the time of John, that the people had any ability to govern themselves. Even the lords and the nobles were without a voice in the government of the kingdom. They secured the first advance in popular liberties when they wrested Magna Charta from John, and secured his signature to a written statement of their rights as citizens.

Representative Government marks the next important phase in the evolution of government within the State. That takes us back to 1265, to the famous Parliament of Simon de Montfort, when for the first time in British history there was at least an attempt at representation of all three estates. At the outset, representation was restricted and nominal. All subsequent development has been in the nature of broadening the basis of representation, and of rendering more effective the representation gained.

It is only within the past century that the highest form of government, namely, Responsible Government, has been attained. Under Responsible Government, the executive is responsible to the people as a whole, not to any one class.

When the managers of industry become responsible to Labour, Capital, and the Community for the manner in which their vast powers and opportunities are exercised, we shall have something in the government of industry closely resembling the responsible executive in the government of the State. Meanwhile, our duty would appear to be that of putting an end to autocracy and monopoly of control, no matter by which of the parties to industry it may be attempted or exercised, and to work out a system of joint control, based upon representation of all the parties, in the determination of industrial policy.

Time forbids more than a suggestion or two as to the manner in which a constitution for the parties to industry might be worked out in a way which will help to allay the industrial unrest of our times, and advance the highest interests of industry, and of all its parties. Obviously, what is most needed is recognition of the fact that industry is not a matter which concerns only one party, but that it is of vital concern to all four: to Capital, to Labour, to Management, and to the Community, and that no one of the four is entitled to a monopoly of control.

Once recognition is given the four parties to industry, the solution of the problem of industrial relations is a matter simply of proceeding in accordance with principles which have long been regarded as obviously fair and just.

The first of these principles I should like to mention is that of Conference. It is impossible to get anywhere with a man with whom you are unwilling to confer. Conference is chiefly a matter of attitude. It implies approach, good-will, confidence; not aloofness, distrust, and suspicion, which too frequently is the attitude between the parties to industry.

Conference between the four parties to industry has been tried, and with the best of results. It was found absolutely necessary to the winning of the War. It was not until the Government of Britain, representing the Community, invited Capital, Management, and Labour to meet in common, and policies were arrived at as the result of Round Table Conference, that the necessary adjustments of industry were so arranged as to make possible the vast production of munitions required to win the War. What was necessary to the winning of the War is equally necessary to the winning of Peace—which we can hardly say exists so long as international strife gives way only to industrial unrest.

The second principle is that of Investigation. Investigation is but a method of getting at the truth; and it is the truth alone that will set us free. In problems of the magnitude of those which industry presents, any just solution is impossible without a knowledge of the facts. There are certain evils which publicity is more effective in preventing and remedying than penalty; and unfair dealing between the parties to industry is of this kind. Meanness, injustice, gross selfishness—these cannot endure under the light of an intelligently formed public opinion. Most industrial ills belong to this class.

Investigation, too, has been tried between the four parties to industry, and found to be of the utmost service.

I notice that the Minister of Labour informed the House of Commons a day or two ago that Canada had had fewer strikes in recent years than any other country in the world. If that statement is true, and I believe it is, it is because we have on our statutes a law which makes provision for the investigation of industrial controversies prior to lockouts and strikes.

It is upon the same principle of investigation prior to the commencement of hostilities that the League of Nations is being founded. If war between nations and between the parties to industry is to end, it will only be through the acceptance of the principle of investigation before a severance of relations.

What we need quite as much as a League of Nations is a League of the Parties to Industry to see to the enforcement of this great principle, and the moulding of public opinion to that end. Such a league, I believe, would lead, even more quickly than a league of nations, to the maintenance of international peace, as well as of industrial peace. Accustom men to the adoption of fundamental principles in adjusting their industrial relations, something which immediately concerns their everyday life, and the application of like principles to international affairs will take care of itself.

A third principle is that of Organization and Collective Action. The problems of industry are world problems. To cope with them successfully, organization is absolutely necessary.

What would become of Capital, under the stress of world competition, if its units were not permitted to coalesce, and large organization of business were thereby rendered impossible? What would become of the Community, if its activities were not organized? Deprive managers of the right of membership in an employers’ or manufacturers’ association, and they would be the first to say that their liberties had been infringed. Where, then, is the justice of denying to one party to industry a right which is conceded as just and necessary to the other three? If Capital, Management, and the Community have the right to organize, so also should Labour have this right.

Without organization of Labour—where Capital, Management, and the Community are organized—what equality of relationship can there possibly be between the four parties to industry? And where, under such a condition, are the individual units of Labour likely to find themselves in the teeth of a world competition, more relentless where Labour is concerned than in the case of Capital or Management? Labour left for but a brief time in a condition of isolation will starve; Capital and Management are usually in a position to wait.

It is not against organization that we ought to protest, but against the possible abuses of organized power. In this connection it is well to remember that the use of a thing is one thing, and its abuse another; and that with human nature what it is, abuse of power is not confined to any one class.

A fourth principle is that of Representation. Here we are at the beginning of the real solution of the problems of industry. Government within the State has broadened down from autocratic authority to authority based upon a people’s will. The expansion of the principle of representation is responsible for that development. It will be equally so in industry. The problems of industry are essentially problems of government. Adequate representation of the parties, effected through organization, all enjoying the right of investigation, and meeting in Round Table Conference—in such an obviously just and fair arrangement, we have the beginnings of law and order in industry, just as we have had it in the State, and the hope of a future development along constitutional and evolutionary lines, instead of along lines that are illegal and revolutionary.

Once the principle of representation is conceded, it is only a step to the formation of joint committees of employers and employees, the establishment of known, orderly, and expeditious procedure in all matters requiring adjustment, and the determination of industrial policies in a manner which will have regard for the interests of all concerned.

From joint committees in individual establishments, meeting at periodical intervals for little more than purposes of conference and consultation, the principle of representation should lead to the establishment of permanent standing joint industrial councils, embracing all the workers and all the employers in a given trade or industry and concerned with the determination of industrial policies, and the fixation of industrial standards enforceable throughout by the co-operation of Government, representing the Community and protecting its interests.

Nor is the formation of such joint committees and industrial councils any longer a matter of experiment. Every day is adding to the number that are being formed, many of them in industries which have hitherto opposed anything in the way of organization among employees, and which have conceded little or nothing in the way of conference.

The Trade Unions are mainly responsible for the development that has thus far been achieved. They have pioneered the path; they have blazed the trail which has led to collective bargaining, joint agreements, and contracts between the parties to industry. It has been a long and bitter struggle, this struggle for recognition on the part of Organized Labour. It has involved any amount of ill-feeling and misunderstanding, and fostered no end of prejudice and hatred; but the real purport of Labour’s struggle is coming to be better understood, and the part which the large organizations of Capital and of Labour are capable of playing in reconstructing human society is emerging into clearer day.

It is coming to be seen that the control of Labour by its leaders is wholly dependent upon its organization into conservatively directed unions; that it is among the unorganized and undisciplined workers that Bolshevism and I.W.W.-ism recruit their armies of terror and destruction. In a union of the organized forces of Labour and of Capital, against a common enemy which menaces all human society, lies the hope of the future. Industrial concerns which have hitherto stood out against anything in the nature of a democratic organization of industry will do well to evidence a disposition to act upon the principles of conference, investigation, organization, and representation, in dealings with their employees, and to concede to Labour the right of collective bargaining, and a voice in the determination of terms of employment and matters pertaining to their working and living conditions.

It may be that Labour needs educating, that its leaders need more in the way of experience; but, in the absence of other opportunities, where are education and qualities of leadership to be gained if not in the industries in which Labour is employed, and through joint dealings with parties more highly favoured?

This new approach between Capital and Labour is certain, in its most highly developed forms, to take account of existing organizations of Labour and Capital, and to change the attitude of these powerful bodies from one of militancy based on a belief in opposed interests into one of co-operation based on a belief in the larger interests which they have in common.

One thing, and one thing only, remains to ensure a new world rising out of the ashes of the old; but without it nothing can be achieved. It is the acceptance by each of the parties to industry of the spirit which has saved not only Britain, but the world, in the overthrow of Prussian arrogance and ambition. It was through a love of liberty and a hatred of domination that men by millions sacrificed their lives that freedom might not perish from the earth. The overthrow of Prussian despotism is only part of the vast undertaking which the free nations of the world have still before them if freedom worthy of the name is to be maintained. Industrial autocracy and political autocracy may go hand in hand, but not autocracy in industry and democracy in politics. The latter combination is as ill-mated as the former is natural. To the nations that have won political freedom, there remains the task of reorganizing their industries into harmony with their governments. Anything short of harmony means perpetual conflict. Institutions opposed in organization and spirit will work against each other only till one or the other prevails. To democratize industry, so that along with democracy in government there may be a true industrial democracy, is the task that lies ahead.

With the new spirit must come also a wholly new conception of industry. No longer must industry be thought of as a mere revenue-producing process, in which Capital, Labour, Management, and the Community meet like so many rival and contending factions, each to appropriate to itself by force or might the largest possible share of the fruits of industry. Industry must be thought of, as in reality it is, as being in the nature of social service, and participation in industry, whether in the form of labour or capital investment, as social service of the highest kind, since upon its successful accomplishment rest all other forms of human service.

May I conclude these remarks with words with which I have concluded a volume in which I have sought to enlarge upon the principles outlined to-day? This moment of silence at the close of the Great War, and this Lenten season, seem to lend them appropriateness to this occasion, and to the subject we have been considering.

“Is it too much to believe that, having witnessed Humanity pass through its Gethsemane, having seen its agony in its Garden of Fears, having beheld its crucifixion upon the cross of Militarism, Labour and Capital will yet bring to a disconsolate and broken-hearted world the one hope it is theirs alone to bring; and that, in the acceptance of principles which hold deliverance from the scourges that beset mankind, they will roll back the stone from the door of the world’s sepulchre to-day, and give to Humanity the promise of its resurrection to a more abundant life?”




At Convocation, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

16th October, 1919

The ceremonies we have had the privilege of witnessing to-day speak of ancient and honourable traditions which it is the peculiar function of institutions of higher learning to preserve. Tradition unites us with what is best in the past, and affords the surest foundation on which to build. It is a part of the tradition of Queen’s University that the Chancellor and Principal should be men of executive ability and scholarly attainments, but also that they should be citizens in the fullest and finest meaning of the word.

The conception of citizenship, in this comprehensive sense, carries us back in thought to one of the two great streams of influence which have come down to us from the past. In the Greek view of life, man was a being of many faculties. His faculties were there to be developed. For the perfection of manhood, the use of all his faculties was essential. “Man”, said Aristotle, “is born to be a citizen.” It was only as citizens, sharing in the life and government of their state, that men could realize the full expression of their manhood. It is this conception of citizenship that Queen’s University has kept to the fore.

In the deliberate association by the Chancellor of Queen’s of the interests of higher education with his business concerns, there is something splendidly reminiscent of what was best in the many-sidedness of life, and the opportunities of citizenship, as conceived by the Greeks. There is something equally splendid, and equally reminiscent of Greek life at its best, in a Christian minister quitting the pulpit for the battlefield, and returning from the scene of war to the University to assume the high and dignified position of Principal. Not only do careers such as these recall the ancient past, they are illustrative also of the many-sidedness of the present in our own land, and of the limitless opportunities which lie on the horizon of the future.

It is not the Hellenic influence alone which has been preserved in the ceremonies of to-day. The spirit of the Hebrew, not less than the spirit of the Greek, has had its influence on all subsequent civilization, and Queen’s University has been the custodian of the Hebrew tradition of a divine law of righteousness as the greatest of realities, and the highest of all inspirations. The founders of Queen’s University were men who believed that righteousness exalteth a nation. They imposed no religious tests, they opened wide the doors of this University, and extended to all the advantages of a liberal education; at the same time, they were far from indifferent to the power of religion in intellectual and other achievements. It is of more than passing interest that the Principal of this University should be not only an eminent Divine of the Church of Scotland, but also an authority on ancient Hebrew literature. It is of this combination of the Hellenic and Hebraic influences in their relation to our public life, of many-sidedness combined with a passion for righteousness, that I should like to say just a word. Perhaps I might phrase the matter differently, and, having regard to the traditions referred to, speak for a moment on the relation of the University to the State.

There is a tendency to-day in many quarters to make light of our public life, and to deplore the growing democracy of our times because of the class of men it is said to bring to the fore. One hears too often that politics is a sordid business, and that no decent man should go into politics. Well, if this be true, if our standards of public morality fail to reach a high level, if our public life is not what it ought to be, remember that this is not so much the fault of men who go into public life, as of the men who remain indifferent to the obligations of citizenship.

I once heard Sir Wilfrid Laurier say in reply to an editor of a newspaper which was criticizing certain of his colleagues: “You good people want me to have a Cabinet of angels, but you do not send me angels to make a Cabinet out of.” It is well, perhaps, to remember that constituencies are limited in the choice of their candidates, even more from the unwillingness of able and high-minded men to endure the hardships, incur the sacrifices, or suffer the abuse of public life, than from any other circumstance.

Goldwin Smith, who knew more of the public life of England than almost any other writer of his day, and who had a more intimate association with university life than any scholar we have had among us, has said somewhere, with rare discernment, that “politics is the noblest of all callings, but the meanest of all trades”. In this there is a distinction that goes to the root of the whole matter. Make of politics a means to an end, and that end a sordid or a selfish one, and there is nothing so despicable and unworthy. Make of it a means to an end, and that end the service of one’s country, and of one’s fellow-men, and there is no form of service that is higher or nobler. It is this latter conception of public life, and of the opportunities it affords, that I should like to see kept before the undergraduates and graduates of our Canadian universities.

If there ever was a time when men of trained intelligence should feel an obligation to share in the public life of their country, that time is the present. There never was a moment when so many questions of national and international importance were pressing for solution. All kinds of problems of the first magnitude confront us—financial, industrial, and social. No single intelligence can hope to grapple with these problems nor can any single group of minds, be they members of an entire Cabinet, or even of a Parliament. The best brains of the nation as a whole are needed to cope with the problems of reconstruction now emerging out of the wake of the War. It is true that everyone cannot become a legislator, but everyone possessed of intelligence can contribute in some measure towards the formation of an enlightened public opinion. All government is based on public opinion. It is an informed and enlightened public opinion that is most needed to-day if society is to progress, and be spared those extreme reactions which make for disorder.

On yet another ground, I would appeal to university men to serve their day and generation. Many of the best and bravest of our land, including university men in large numbers, have laid down their lives that our liberties might be preserved, and that freedom might not perish from the earth. Did they, our heroic dead, the chivalry of our race, leave these shores, never to return, in order to fight for a civilization that can be estimated in tons, or calculated in dollars? Or was it for the maintenance of a great ideal, vaguely defined, perhaps, as most ideals are, but to be expressed, nevertheless, in terms of freedom and righteousness in national affairs—the making of this world a better place in which to dwell, a place where good-will and not hate, will be the actuating motive in the lives of men, and where social justice, and a larger toleration will replace all handicaps of race or creed or class. It is this ideal which we have received in trust from those who have suffered and died. Its realization in our national life is the only memorial worthy of the sacrifices they have made.

May I say one word in conclusion to the young men and women who have received their higher education here, and who are now about to go out into a world which holds lightly many of the things which they have been taught to reverence. It is a word which I heard the late Professor Charles Eliot Norton, who was Longfellow’s successor in the chair of Fine Arts at Harvard, deliver in a valedictory address: “Let not the dust of the world obscure your vision!” This, in a single sentence, was Professor Norton’s summing up of the relation of the University to the affairs of everyday life. I recall how he said that he wished he could give to everyone of us a talisman that would be a guide through life. He could only repeat the threadbare maxims “love beauty”, and “find in duty the fulfilment of the law of life”. He spoke of the words over the door of the temple at Delphi, “Know thyself”, and concluded with a reference to the last hours of Sir Walter Scott who, as he lay dying, looking out from his windows to the Tweed as it wandered through the meadows hard by, said to Lockhart, his son-in-law, “Be a good man; that is all that will comfort you when you come to lie here.” “Be a good man”, said Professor Norton, “that is my last, my best wish for each of you.” Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Duty: these are the possessions which the University places in our hands and teaches us to reverence. It is for us to see that they become a national possession, and that our vision concerning their worth is not obscured by the dust of the world.


At Ottawa, on the Presentation to Canada of Rodin’s “Victoire”, by Marshal Fayolle and the French Mission

29th June, 1921

I am deeply sensible of the honour accorded me by the Right Honourable the Acting Prime Minister, in permitting me to join with him in expressing to Marshal Fayolle and his distinguished compatriots, and through them to the President and people of the French Republic, the appreciation felt by the citizens of Canada of the visit of the French Mission to our country; and the thanks of the Government and people of Canada for the gift which has just been made to our country in the name of France.

It is pleasing at this time to recall that the history of Canada begins with the story of the early French missions. They were concerned with exploration and discovery, but even more with the promotion of trade and the spread of Christian teaching and Christian civilization in the New World. Now, after the lapse of over three centuries, History, in a manner, repeats itself, under conditions, however, that are vastly changed. Another French Mission visits our shores, exploring our country from ocean to ocean. Like the earliest missions from France, it comes for the purpose of fostering and promoting trade, but it comes also with the loftier aim of exemplifying, in the name of France, that spirit of brotherhood and Christian love which bears fruit in noble aims and valiant deeds.

I wish it were possible adequately to convey to Marshal Fayolle just what the gift he has presented to our country will ever mean to the Canadian people; a gift which in itself is such a noble expression of the highest artistic genius of France. I wonder if ever before a gift has symbolized so much, or has expressed so much!

In the reconstruction of these Halls of Parliament, destroyed by fire during the period of the War, we have sought, in sculptured pillar and monumental tower, to commemorate the sacrifices of our heroic dead; but nowhere in or about these buildings, nowhere among our monuments or in the archives of the nation, will be found words so full of meaning, so soul stirring, so immortal, as those which find expression in the chivalrous inscription which this gift bears: “To Canada, which has poured out the blood of her sons for the liberty of the world, from grateful France.” In so far as it is within the power of language to put into words what is most noble, most heroic, and most enduring, it has found expression here.

“To Canada from grateful France.” Think of all that is implied and expressed in these five words! Canada, at one time the possession of France—now, for over a century and a half, a lost possession! France, that proud and illustrious nation, bending in an attitude of humility in the bestowal of her gift in order that she may write, in loving sincerity, the word, “grateful”, before her immortal name! And this to the descendants alike of the conqueror and the conquered! Has history anything more beautiful, more inspiring, to disclose? We rise in thought and feeling to the very summits of the sublime when we realize that it is not an individual but a nation that is thus revealing its highest and tenderest emotions.

And what shall we say of the words France has chosen wherewith to express her gratitude? “To Canada, which has poured out the blood of her sons for the liberty of the world”. The words, “liberty” and “world” are large in meaning. “Poured out the blood of her sons”; what extent of sacrifice is not therein expressed! We would scarcely have dared so to utter what in our hearts we feel belongs to our heroic dead. It has remained for France to give these words a place within our nation’s Hall of Fame. And yet, with it all, there is not one word of her own sacrifice; not one word of the last drop of her own life’s blood which she was prepared to give for the freedom of mankind; only this expression of gratitude to her conquered child! Chivalrous! France was ever chivalrous! But I doubt if the whole annals of French chivalry hold anything comparable to this!

And what shall we say of the gift itself—this priceless treasure of art, not less inspiring and full of meaning in its symbolism, its strength, and its beauty, than the inscription it bears! It is impossible to say with what reverence we shall cherish the possession of this exquisite expression of what is best in the unsurpassed artistic genius of the French race. We recognize that the name of Rodin connotes not only what is finest in French sculpture, but that it speaks of what is highest in the creative art of modern times. In thus associating the work of this great artist with her gift, France has paid our country a compliment paralleled only by that which she has so delicately conveyed through the distinction which attaches to the personnel of the present Mission, and to the group of illustrious and able men who are shortly to accompany the industrial exhibition.

We welcome the exhibition also as an evidence of French genius, and of the unconquerable spirit of France. We trust that in the extended intercourse of commerce and trade, which we believe it will serve to promote, it may be as successful in advancing the material interests of our two countries as the present mission is certain to prove in advancing what is most to be desired by way of reciprocal affection and regard.

The bust which has just been presented to the people of Canada is symbolic of France after her victory. She has sought in this gift to remind us of the gratitude of France to Canada for what our sons have sacrificed in the cause of the liberty of the world. For that we are profoundly grateful. We, however, shall never look upon this gift without feeling in our hearts something of the gratitude which Canada would like to be able to express to France, for what in the preservation of the liberties of mankind, she has contributed at a sacrifice that is wholly unparalleled.

That out of anything so cold, so hard, so barren, so unattractive, as metal or stone, a spirit can be revealed with such perfection that its message never dies, is evidence, surely, of the all but infinite possibilities of human genius! That through anything as destructive, as desolating, as hideous as war, a spirit of a people can be revealed, so unconquerable, so immortal, that its message remains a lasting inspiration to mankind, is surely equal evidence of a celestial fire that inspires the human race!

Where better than in the words of the late William Wilfred Campbell, one of our own Canadian poets, can be found the expression of what we feel of the part played by France in the Great War? France hath taught us

That under all the brutish mask of life

And dulled intention of ignoble ends,

Man’s soul is not all sordid; that behind

This tragedy of ills and hates that seem,

There lurks a godlike impulse in the world,

And men are greater than they idly dream.

It is this unconquerable, this immortal spirit of France, that we shall ever behold as we look upon this gift, expressive as it is of what is highest and best in human genius, and in the genius of a race.

In the three centuries and more of historic association which have served to unite, to divide, and to reunite, the fortunes of Old France with those of the New World, there have been two great epochs of almost equal duration. The one opened with French discovery and settlement and French possession, and closed with British conquest. The other opened with British possession and rule. It was followed by British settlement, but also by the spread of British law and institutions, and by British conceptions of human freedom. Until but yesterday, that epoch was still in the making. It closes to-day, not with the conquest of our territories by force of British arms, but by the conquest of our hearts in this expression of the gratitude of France. Henceforth, we enter upon a new epoch, an epoch, not of separation, but of a nobler union of the British and French races; a union of French and English, not in Canada alone, but wherever throughout this wide world there float the Tricolour and the Union Jack; a union of minds and hearts and purpose au service de la Liberté, de l’Egalité, et de la Fraternité, pour les nations aussi bien que pour les hommes.


At Ottawa, on the Occasion of the Visit of Marshal Foch to Canada

11th December, 1921

I have been requested by the Societies under whose auspices this reception is being held, to supplement the remarks of previous speakers by a few words on behalf of the citizens of Canada in appreciation of the honour conferred upon our country by the visit of Marshal Foch.

May I say, at once, that it is not possible to express in words the deep feelings evoked by the presence of Marshal Foch in our midst. Never before has it been given to any generation to look upon one man to whose single judgment the fate of so many nations has been entrusted, or whose single command has so largely served to determine the destinies of mankind.

We recognize in you, Sir, the central figure of modern times; the man of whom History will say that, here, was momentary pause in the affairs of Nations; here, the past and future met; here, peril, terror, and suffering at their worst gave way to new-found strength and to freedom newly-born; here, world despotism was overthrown, and a new brotherhood established among the children of men.

Your visit has made us participators in this world acclaim; for adding this page to its history, our country thanks you with feelings of gratitude and pride.

It is, however, not alone because in the hour of supreme conflict in the world’s greatest of wars, millions of warriors looked to you as their leader, or because a war-swept world hails you to-day as a deliverer, that we most honour you. Rather is it that in your singleness of vision and humility of spirit we perceive the secret of all guiding genius worthy of the name.

Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he

That every man in arms should wish to be?

—It is the generous Spirit, . . .

Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,

And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!

Turns his necessity to glorious gain; . . .

He labours good on good to fix, and owes

To virtue every triumph that he knows:

In Foch, the man, we discern the character of the Happy Warrior. He who, whether amid adversity or triumph, loves mercy, seeks to do justly, and walks humbly with his God. To have had among us one who is truly great, a hero with a hero’s soul, is to inspire within our country more of reverence for the source of all true greatness. For this inspiration, which we shall ever hold in remembrance of this visit, we thank you, too, with all our hearts.

As Canadians, we honour your illustrious name; your immortal fame we shall ever cherish. May the light that never faileth lead you on!


At Convocation, the University of Toronto

17th June, 1923

Many are the personal associations which cluster around this University, and which come to my mind to-night. It was, as several present are aware, the Alma Mater of my father, and of my brother, as well as my own Alma Mater. At the time of my father’s death, he had been for thirty-seven years continuously a member of the Senate, as a representative of the graduates in Arts. Many of the interests of our home centered in the University. Among my earliest recollections are visits with my father to University College, years before I entered its halls as an undergraduate, and long before the old Convocation Hall was destroyed by fire. Many were the walks we took together about its precincts, before and during the years of his blindness. Nor do I forget at this moment that it was by my father that I was presented to the Chancellor for degrees in Arts and in Law.

You will not be surprised, Mr. President, in view of what I have just said, that when, more than a year ago, I received your letter mentioning that the Senate of the University had decided to confer on me the degree of Doctor of Laws, and inviting me to attend Convocation to receive this distinguished honour, my thoughts flew instantly to a passage which appears in the biography of Louis Pasteur, by René Vallery-Radot, and which, with your permission, I shall read. It relates to a visit by Pasteur to the home of his parents on the Rue des Tanneurs in the little town of Dôle. The Town Council of Dôle had decided to place a memorial plate on the wall of the house, marking it as the place of Pasteur’s birth. His biographer tells us that Pasteur, who had not seen the place of his birth since early childhood, on finding himself near the tannery, in the low humble rooms in which his father and mother had lived, felt himself the prey to a strong emotion. He remarked that he was moved to the bottom of his soul. Then came the passionate outburst of a truly noble heart. Here are his words:

Oh! my father, my mother, dear departed ones, who lived so humbly in this little house, it is to you that I owe everything. Thy enthusiasm, my brave-hearted mother, thou hast instilled it into me. If I have always associated the greatness of Science with the greatness of France, it is because I was impregnated with the feelings that thou hadst inspired. And thou, dearest father, whose life was as hard as thy hard trade, thou hast shown to me what patience and protracted effort can accomplish. It is to thee that I owe perseverance in daily work. Not only hadst thou the qualities which go to make a useful life, but also admiration for great men and great things. To look upwards, learn to the utmost, to seek to rise ever higher, such was thy teaching. I can see thee now, after a hard day’s work, reading in the evening some story of the battles in the glorious epoch of which thou wast a witness. Whilst teaching me to read, thy care was that I should learn the greatness of France.

Be ye blessed, my dear parents, for what ye have been, and may the homage done to-day to your little house be yours!

I thank you, gentlemen, for the opportunity of saying aloud what I have thought for sixty years.

In the passage I have just read will be found what I should most like to say to you, Mr. President, and to the Chancellor, and to others of the University who have joined with you in permitting the honour I have just received to be conferred.

The conferring of this degree, my dear father,

. . . . . . to my mind

Brings thee back in the light

Of thy radiant vigour, again!

May I say to this distinguished company, that if I wear this hood, it is only because I realize that my father is not here to receive it. It belongs to his shoulders, not to mine.

I am sure I echo a sentiment which lies deep in the breast of most men who receive academic distinction, when I say it is to our parents, rather than to ourselves, that all such honour is mostly due; that far more than to any merit of our own, it is owing to the inspiration, the nurture, the sacrifices, the hopes and the aspirations of their lives.

To you, young men and women, who are about to receive your degrees, may I say just a word. As you go forth to pursue your several vocations, and to play your part in this work-a-day world, be careful of the value you attach to recognition of attainment. In the matter of human greatness, seek to guard against the creation of false values in your minds and hearts. Learn to distinguish between that form of service which seeks recognition, and the higher form which loves service for its own sake. Remember that recognition often wholly fails of its purpose. For the justice it may do to one, it may do a relative injustice to unknown thousands. In every walk of life, back of all that is heard and seen, lies something unobserved, more deserving of recognition, which thus far neither our universities nor our parliaments have found it possible to acclaim, and that is the true worth which dwells in silence, and often in obscurity. You will find it everywhere. It is to be found in the sacrifices that have made possible your college education and career. It lies hidden in your own lives. It is not to be found in the degrees which you may receive, but in your longings and strivings after what is highest and best, never wholly attainable, and which you only begin to experience as you seek to serve. You will recall that Browning said:

All I could never be,

All, men ignord in me,

This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.

It lies hidden in the lives of others,—the true worth that dwells in silence, and often in obscurity. How beautifully this is told by Thomas Gray, in his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”. Never forget, as Professor William James was so fond of emphasizing, that the truly heroic is not to be found in those expectant of decoration or recognition, but lies in the unidealized life around us. Never forget that the divine is to be found in the common. In this way, and in this alone, will you keep a true perspective throughout life, and help to guide the future of our country along the paths of justice, righteousness, and peace.


On Commencement Day, Yale University

18th June, 1924

I should be altogether unworthy of the high honour conferred at this morning’s Commencement did I not recognize a desire on the part of Yale University to express in this ceremony—one, I confess, most gratifying to the fortunate recipient—something of the friendly sentiments entertained by the people of the United States towards their neighbours to the north. May I express to the University authorities, not less in the name of my fellow-countrymen than on my own behalf, very sincere appreciation of this signal expression of international good-will.

It affords me great pleasure to bring to the citizens of the United States, through the medium of this renowned seat of learning, cordial greetings from the citizens of Canada. I can think of no time in the history of this continent when the relations between our two countries have been more friendly, more helpful, shall I not say more intimate, than they are at present. When I speak of Canada, I should wish to be understood as referring in like terms to the British Empire as a whole. I believe it to be profoundly true, despite any surface indications to the contrary, that the sum of good-will between English-speaking peoples the world over is greater to-day than at any previous time. In a world much perturbed by industrial and international unrest, this is an inheritance we may be glad to possess in common, and which we do well to cherish.

It is of the University as the custodian of ideas and ideals which underlie international good-will, that I desire to say just a word in the few moments at my disposal. It has been truly said that the universities express better than any other institutions our common loves and aspirations. It is not without interest to recall that while, as between British and American Universities, ideas and ideals continue to-day to be held in common, for a not inconsiderable time, they were a possession of the one people. For a century and a half, Yale has been pre-eminent as one of the first of American universities. For half that length of time, a third of her history in fact, she enjoyed a like distinction as a British university. Events may occasion the severance of allegiance to crowns and thrones. Tradition keeps true our allegiance to ideas and ideals. It is a part of the glory of a great University to reverence tradition.

Of ideas and ideals which have inspired peoples of British origin, association, and descent, and which have been nurtured by the universities of the Old Land and the New, none has been so powerful in promoting good-will between men and nations as that of public service. If one were asked what contribution of greatest worth the British Isles had made to civilization, one would be forced, I believe, to reply—the ideal of public service which the schools and universities have helped to foster in the youth of their land. Such certainly would appear to have been the aim of those who framed the charter of the Collegiate School which was granted the divines who in 1701, with not less of humility than of vision, laid the foundations of this great University. The end of the new institution of learning was set forth as the instruction of youth in the arts and sciences in order that, to use the quaint language of the charter, they might be fitted “for public employment both in Church and Civil State”.

I am sure that no illustration could be found which more adequately reveals the influence of English schools in promoting ideals of public service, than that which is afforded by the life of the great benefactor of the Collegiate School whose name this University bears. Elihu Yale, though born in Boston, was taken to England at the early age of four, received his youthful training and education there, and never returned to New England. At this distant date, we of this continent think of him as a great American. Without doubt the men of his day, both in the Old Land and the New, looked upon him as a great Englishman, exemplifying in his career as Governor of Madras and philanthropist, the best traditions of British public life.

We do well to pause and reflect upon what it has meant, in a better understanding between men and nations, to have had the ideas and ideals, of which through generations the universities of the Old Country have been the faithful custodians, carried to all quarters of the globe by men who have been “fitted for public employment in Church and Civil State”. We do equally well to consider what it is likely to mean to the future peace and happiness of mankind, to have like ideas and ideals spread even more widely by men in the New World similarly fitted to carry with them, wherever they go, high standards of public right and public honour, and noble conceptions of public duty.

A splendid pageant presents itself to the gaze of the imagination as we picture, year after year, century after century, those of the honour rolls of the schools and colleges of England, men of high character and attainment, lovers of home and country, forsaking the companionship of their life-long friends, the comfort and security of an established order, traversing the seas to far distant lands, carrying with them the great traditions of which they were the inheritors, the culture of the university, the training and experience of public life, the sense of fair play and justice, the love of freedom and liberty; bringing all this, and much else of pure worth wrought out of the sum of Britain’s story, as a contribution to the unformed but none the less aspiring life of the countries to which they have gone. We who, under different flags, divide between us to-day the major portion of this continent are apt to forget this background of a history we possess in common, this permeating influence, this fertilizing power; and yet it is the silent force that, all unconsciously, makes and keeps us one in aim and purpose, and unites our efforts in the common service of mankind.

In the autumn of last year, I had the privilege of being one of the representatives of the self-governing British Dominions attending an Imperial Conference in London, at which, in addition to the representatives of the Governments of Great Britain and Canada, there were present representatives of the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, and the Irish Free State, as well as representatives of India. It was a gathering, as the name implied, for purposes of conference and consultation with respect to co-operation in matters of common concern between component parts of the British Empire. Here is a picture which presents at once a parallel and a contrast to that of the contribution to new world civilization which I have just endeavoured to portray. It is the return to the shores of Britain of the representatives of the peoples of the far-flung democracies of the British Commonwealth, bringing with them ideas and ideals of the old world, recast in the mould of the new. It is after this fashion that we of the community of British Nations seek to keep the spirit of our Empire true to the spirit of our times, and the heart and mind of Britain forever young.

Were I to be asked what bond, other than that of a common political allegiance, united those who composed that great gathering, reflecting upon its personnel, and recalling the number of those present who were university graduates, I should say without a moment’s hesitation, the University, with its ideas and ideals. It was the note of public service, enjoyed in unbroken political association, that in the deliberations of the Conference was uppermost from its beginning to its close.

The events of history, as I have already said, may alter political allegiance, but tradition keeps us true to ideas and ideals, and the University remains the custodian of tradition in all that pertains to international good-will. An eminent scholar, himself a distinguished graduate of Oxford, subsequently a professor of History at Cornell, has reminded us that over all nations is Humanity. It is to the service of Humanity that we as university men are called and united in a fellowship more ancient and honourable, and wider, than any our political affiliations can promote. The day may yet come when to keep that fellowship unbroken may be to keep unbroken the peace of the world.

I have referred, with your kind indulgence, to the contribution which, in furtherance of the ideal of public service, British universities have made to the good-will which prevails among English-speaking peoples, and, to a lesser degree, to our present-day civilization. May I say just a word in acknowledgment of the contribution, which in furtherance of the same ideal, America and American universities have been making to the well-being of mankind throughout the world. Here, in the United States, universities and philanthropists have combined in public service, for the greater good of the English-speaking peoples, and the advancement of civilization.

Already the universities of Canada and Great Britain, to say nothing of the institutions of learning situated in other quarters of the globe, have benefited greatly by the generous benefactions of Foundations established in the United States for the promotion of international well-being and international good-will. In all quarters of the globe, graduates of American universities, aided by philanthropy on a scale hitherto unthought of, are making known the advances of sanitary science, of preventive medicine, and of countless other agencies for the promotion of what Pasteur has described as “the law of peace, work and health”.

You will recall the passage to which I refer:

Two contrary laws seem to be wrestling with each other nowadays, the one, a law of blood and of death, ever imagining new means of destruction, and forcing nations to be constantly ready for the battlefield; the other a law of peace, work, and health, ever evolving means of delivering man from the scourges which beset him. The one seeks violent conquests, the other the relief of humanity. The latter places one human life above any victory; while the former would sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives to the ambition of one. Which of these laws shall ultimately prevail, God alone knows.

Already in the great conflict between “the law of peace, work and health”, and “the law of blood and of death”, the ideal of “public employment in Church and Civil State” has passed the bounds of nationhood and empire. It has entered upon the service of mankind. This is the alternative to war which our universities present as a means of solving world problems as they arise. In the furtherance of international good-will, in the promotion of world peace, who will say that the last word will not be with the University and its traditions, and that the ideal of public service will not ultimately prevail?


At Ottawa, at the McGee Centennial Dinner

Easter Monday, 13th April, 1925

We are gathered together to-night to do honour to the memory of one of Ireland’s patriot sons who, in his day and generation, in the theatre of the English-speaking world, played many parts, but whose name is immortally associated with our Dominion.

One hundred years ago to-day, Thomas D’Arcy McGee was born in Ireland, in the picturesque village of Carlingford. Fifty-seven years ago to-day, also an Easter Monday, his remains were laid to rest in Montreal, the city which had honoured him with its representation in the old Parliament of the United Canadas, and also in the first Parliament of the new Dominion.

The romantic and dramatic incidents of the forty-three years of McGee’s strenuous and varied career might well have sufficed to give fame to his name. At the early age of twenty-two he began to take an active part in the movement to gain a larger measure of political freedom for his native land. As a consequence, he suffered exile. Ten years of the period of exile he spent in the United States, after which he came to Canada. Here, while in his thirties, he was soon returned to Parliament, and later became a Minister of the Crown. In his forty-third year he met death at the hand of an assassin. He had laboured for a decade, as few men in the history of any country have ever laboured, to bring about harmony and concord, and to further that crowning achievement of British constitutional development, the confederation of the British North American colonies.

It is due to something more than romantic or dramatic incident that to-night, History is proud to place a centenary wreath upon the brow of D’Arcy McGee. As already indicated, in the period of his brief life, over twenty years were spent in Ireland, some ten years in the United States, and ten years in Canada. To-day in all three countries reverence will be done the day of his birth. It was the soul of the man which made him what he was. It found expression in many noble ways. McGee was by no means unconscious of its mystical transcendent powers, nor did he mistake their real origin. He was the first to attribute his qualities of heart and mind to what he had inherited from his parents, and more particularly from his mother, who with tender solicitude in his early childhood nurtured the moral and spiritual qualities with which she had endowed him. To adversity and to industry we must attribute what in early youth he acquired in other ways.

At this Easter Season it may not be amiss to reflect that via crucis via lucis is perhaps the profoundest of the laws of life. The way of the cross is the way of light; Good Friday comes first, and then the Easter dawn. To hold aloft for others the lamp of progress, one has first to learn to carry one’s own cross. It is thus that humanity is helped. To one of McGee’s fine sensibilities, personal privation was but a path to the understanding of the lot of his fellow-men. As he sought to grow in moral stature and in personal freedom, so he sought to win for all around him like opportunities of growth. We know that this endeavour found expression in revolt; it found expression also in poetry and in oratory, in historic and prophetic utterance, and in the many constructive qualities of the highest statesmanship.

In the case of D’Arcy McGee three qualities were certainly pre-eminent, and of each of these I should like to say just a word. First and foremost I should place vision, without which, as the scriptures declare, “a people perish”, and without which, no man was ever leader in any true sense of the word. Vision is the power to discern; to see a need in its relation alike to the past and the future. It was this quality which, in the field of letters, made McGee an historian and a poet, and in politics, an orator, a helpful legislator, and an administrator. He saw the needs of the people and of the times, and he was able to interpret these needs to the people themselves. It was in this particular that he was so very helpful in the great work of Confederation to which his illustrious talents were so unceasingly and unselfishly devoted.

Next I should place his desire for unity. This was based on an understanding of the laws of growth. In this field of endeavour, McGee laboured with singular assiduity. It was a unity which sought to preserve variety, not a unity which meant uniformity. It was in this that he displayed, more particularly during his years in Canada, those all-important qualities of moderation and toleration, in which he set to all classes so splendid an example. He was essentially liberal-minded, and recognized the many-sidedness of truth and of human nature. That McGee was not without a certain versatility in his political affiliations may be gathered from the fact that during his years in parliament he was, at one time, an Independent, at another, a Liberal, and at yet another, a Conservative. In extenuation of these changes, it must be recalled that in the ’fifties and the ’sixties, the fate as well as the complexion of parties in Canada was often a very uncertain quantity. Regardless, however, of party allegiance, McGee ever sought to lessen, and where he was able so to do, to obliterate racial and religious strife, and to remove sectional jealousies and prejudices. In this he was the true patriot. This quality should cause men of all faiths and origins to reverence his memory. Wherever there were differences of race or creed or birth, he looked for what was best in each, and sought the common ground. With equal zeal he endeavoured to stamp out whatever tended to create bitterness and hatred. It is only thus that men can be brought to dwell together in accord. There was nothing finer or braver in his whole career, and nothing of greater service at the time to Canada and the British Empire, than McGee’s stern repression of Fenianism when it threatened in no uncertain manner to display its ugly mien on this side of the Atlantic. To this patriotic cause, he died a martyr.

Lastly, I should mention, as the third of the qualities of constructive statesmanship pre-eminent in McGee, his belief in nationality; which is another way of expressing what we mean when we speak of love of country. In a sense, this love of country was the alpha and omega of all the rest. I like, particularly, the way in which, as a mere youth in Ireland, he sought by voice and pen, in prose and in verse, to give to Irishmen a pride in their race and in their native land. How he laboured to have them appreciate that they had distinctive characteristics worthy of being cherished, a history and traditions of their own, a literature of their own, an art of their own, all expressive of the genius of the race, and of the warmth and generosity of the Irish heart! He felt that all this wealth of culture and achievement was being lost, not only to Ireland but to mankind, through lack of adequate national expression. To gain for others so great a possession he was prepared, if need be, to sacrifice his own life.

From the moment McGee put foot on Canadian soil, the same high aim actuated him with reference to Canada. The national ideal underlay all his efforts to bring about Confederation. He discerned the richness of our vast spiritual inheritance. His experience of other lands had given him power, by comparison and contrast, to see how much we who live under Canadian skies have reason to be thankful for to Providence. With the scholar’s eye, he surveyed our past, and saw distinctive streams of influence and of culture pouring their contributions into a common national inheritance. He loved the French explorers, missionaries, and early pioneers. He cherished with equal fervour the exploits of the early settlers of British stock. With the seer’s vision he looked to a future Canada as wide as the seas are apart, single in purpose, and utilizing for the good of all what properly was the inheritance of all.

It is impossible to look back on these years preceding Confederation without feeling that to one of McGee’s vision, passion for unity, and love of country, it was a great moment in which to have lived. It is well to remember that they alone live who have the vision, and that the dream of Canadian unity and nationality, as McGee cherished it, is even yet not wholly fulfilled.

There is one aspect of McGee’s patriotism of which I should like to say a further word. It was a patriotism which was continually expanding, not contracting. It sought its realization in the larger entity, not in the smaller. It found its real expression, not in dismemberment, but in wider union. Had he lived in our day, he would have sought, not a separate Ireland or a separate Canada, but an Ireland and a Canada of national status, with powers of national expression, co-equal with those of the United Kingdom itself. To him, membership in the British Empire would have been, not something of which to entertain a fear, but something to cherish, something to develop and expand. He would have seen the British Empire, as it is fast becoming, if, indeed, it has not already so become, “a galaxy of free nations”, a union of sister states, a great co-operative commonwealth, inspired, in all its parts, by ideals of freedom and justice, and not only extending from sea to sea, but encircling the entire globe.

To the memory of D’Arcy McGee the Government of Canada has erected a bronze portrait statue. We are all familiar with its location in close proximity to the Library of Parliament. The environment is one in which McGee’s spirit might well love to dwell. It stands, in an attitude suggestive of kindliness and moderation, looking across the waters of the Ottawa towards the Laurentian hills and the setting sun. The statue is a memorial to a patriot son of Ireland who was a great Canadian, and whose life was a sacrifice to the ideals he cherished. There it stands, on this Easter Monday, this thirteenth of April, speaking to us of the day of his birth, and of the day of his burial.

On the approach to the main entrance of the grounds of our Parliament Buildings there stands another monument. It is a symbolical figure. Cut in the stone base are the words: “Galahad cried: ‘If I lose myself, I save myself’.” Such is the vision of immortality it seeks to express. It, like the McGee memorial, commemorates the life of a Canadian of Irish descent, a life which, in an attempt to save the life of another, was given in sacrifice. By the strangest of coincidences, the day of the burial of Henry Albert Harper, the young journalist and public servant to whose memory it has been erected, was also the anniversary of the day of his birth. Thus Destiny, linking the cradle with the grave, leaves us to wonder over the mysteries which she delights to weave.

These are memorials of bronze. Other memorials to McGee have found their place in our midst. They are perhaps more of the spirit, which is eternal. Of such is this evening’s centenary celebration. Of such is the tribute paid to McGee’s memory by the presence here this evening of His Excellency the Governor General, the representative of His Majesty the King, and by the presence of the president of the New York Bar Association, as a representative of the United States. I might mention the many other tributes being paid his memory to-night, the many tributes alike in the spoken and in the written word, which are being paid by public men and by the press in all parts of our country, and in other lands as well. Two other memorials there are, of which I should like to make special mention. Each is biographical. The one is a second edition, issued this year, of Memoirs of Ralph Vansittart. It was written some twenty years ago by Mr. E. R. Cameron. It is the story of McGee’s years in Canada. It details, in a most informing and entertaining manner, McGee’s activities in relation to the important issues of his day, and, in particular, to the supreme issue of Confederation. The other, just published, is the Life of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, by Isabel Skelton. It is a volume of some five hundred pages, which, as biography and history, constitutes a priceless addition to our Canadian literature. The pages of these books present the life and work of McGee in a manner which brings to the men and women of to-day all the fine impulses of his generous nature, and all the greatness of his noble spirit. More than that, they help to make his spirit the heritage of future generations.

There remains yet another memorial, a memorial which it is ours to make or to mar. It is the living, breathing memorial of our own words, and deeds, and lives. This centenary celebration, if it has significance at all, is surely an occasion of renewed dedication to the great principles for which Thomas D’Arcy McGee lived and died. We have seen the vision, the vision of national unity which he gave to our country. Are we prepared to follow the gleam? From the emerald isle, its bright rays fall upon our land to-night, across a century of years. They are infused with the mysteries of martyrdom, and with all that martyrdom signifies of hope and of promise at this Easter-tide. “Our friends, sir, need have no fear but that Confederation will ever be administered with serene and even justice.” These words, addressed to His Honour, the Speaker of the House of Commons, were among the last uttered by McGee on the night of his life’s tragic close. “Serene and even justice” to men of all races, of all creeds, of all classes, of all sections of our great Dominion, and of the great Empire of which it is a part! This is the memorial it is ours to raise. It is the only memorial worthy the memory of so great a man.


At Ottawa, on the Presentation to Canada of a Borglum Sculpture by the George Washington-Sulgrave Institute

3rd June, 1925

This is the second occasion since the Great War on which the Government of Canada has been the recipient of a work of art in recognition of sacrifices made by Canada’s sons and daughters, and as an expression of the international sympathy and friendship which those sacrifices have evoked. It is, perhaps, something more than a coincidence that, on each occasion, the work of art should have been that of a sculptor who is outstanding in his profession in the country to whose generosity we owe these gifts, and that the artist should have sought to convey the message of his country through a figure or figures symbolical of the infinite tenderness and endurance of woman.

Five years ago, a mission from France presented our country with a bronze bust, the head of a woman, by the sculptor, Rodin. It is symbolical of France triumphant at the close of the war, and bears the inscription: To Canada, which has poured out the blood of her sons for the liberty of the world, from grateful France. The memorial carries with it no boastful note of victory, but is full of human compassion. It speaks only of those higher virtues which are born of the struggle for right and truth and justice, and which seek to make those virtues prevail in all human relations. In yet another way the memorial speaks to us of a unity of spirit and aims, and of purpose and ideals which have survived the severance of political ties. It serves to recall that the history of our country, extending over some three hundred years, was associated for half of that time at least, more intimately with France than with Britain; that notwithstanding the separation which came in 1763, the influence of the things of the mind and of the spirit which are held in common, are greater than material differences which tend to divide.

To-day, it is not the Republic of France, but the Republic of the United States, which seeks to express towards our Dominion something of her feeling of appreciation of the sacrifices made in the cause of freedom and justice, more especially by the women of Canada. In the artistic world, Gutzum Borglum, whose work of art has just been presented to us, may be said to hold a place in the United States corresponding to that of Rodin in France. Each country has given to us of its best. In the present instance the memorial does not take the form of a single head; it consists, as we see, of a group of figures, but, like the Rodin sculpture, is representative of woman, and symbolical of her infinite endurance and tenderness. What more fitting memorial could be found to express the part played by the women of Canada in the Great War. It is designed to proclaim that amid the mighty forces of the universe, women, silently and unobtrusively, bear in their hearts the burden of the world’s sorrow and its needs, and that their arms and hands help to sustain both. The memorial, too, speaks of the unity of aim and purpose and ideals which continues to exist between the United States and ourselves, despite a severance in a relationship which was even closer, as respects ourselves and the American colonies, than that of Canada and France.

It is most fitting that this memorial in the capital of Canada should be unveiled at a time when the Daughters of the Empire, a foremost national patriotic organization, should be holding its twenty-fifth annual convention in our city, and that to its president should have been assigned the honour of its unveiling. It is peculiarly pleasing that this ceremony should be held at this particular place, and on this particular date. As all present know, the museum in which we are assembled, and which is to retain the beautiful gift just presented, is known as the Victoria Memorial Museum. It speaks of the life of a great woman who has given to the world a noble example of goodness in high places, and of woman’s power and influence for good, not only in royal courts, but among nations.

It is not less pleasing that this presentation should be made by our American friends on the anniversary of the birthday of Queen Victoria’s grandson, our present king. Were His Majesty King George to be asked which of the influences in his high position and great career had been the most inspiring, he would, I believe, not hesitate to say the influence of woman. Nor would His Majesty hesitate to place first among women, the Queen who reigns at his side, the Queen Mother, and the great Queen whose illustrious name I have just mentioned.

On behalf of the Government and people of Canada, I have the honour to accept this beautiful gift, so expressive in itself of all that the George Washington-Sulgrave Institution has sought to convey. I need scarcely say that this expression of international friendship and good-will is one we shall greatly cherish, and that the memorial itself will be held as the token of a friendship between the peoples of the United States and the British Empire which has remained unbroken for more than a century. This friendship, I venture to assert, it will be the aim of all here assembled, and of those who may follow in our places, to keep unbroken for all time.

Transcriber’s Notes

Discrete changes to spelling and punctuation have been made silently to achieve consistency.

[The end of The Message of the Carillon And Other Addresses by William Lyon Mackenzie King]