As the Twig is Bent
How National Policies are Being Shaped—Recruiting, Munition Making, etc.
H. F. Gadsby
I HAD not been in the Press Gallery very long before I came to realize the truth of the old saw that, as the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined. It may almost be laid down as an axiom that no policy comes out of Parliament the same policy as it went in. In other words, the raw material is quite different from the finished product. You put a caterpillar in at one end of the machine and it comes out a silk dress at the other. Sometimes you reverse the process—you put the silk dress in at one end and it comes out a caterpillar at the other end.
The most recent and startling example of twig bending includes those changes in military policy which resulted in the retirement of Lieutenant-General Sir Sam Hughes from the position of Minister of Militia for Canada. It goes without saying that these changes were not accomplished painlessly. There were violent quarrels at the council board which it does not behoove me to discuss here. Broadly speaking, Sir Sam^wanted to live up to his certificate of character by Lord Roberts as the greatest Driving Force in history, twit there were otheYiwho didn’t want to drive his way, nor, perhaps, quite as hard. That, stripped of detail, was the chief difficulty.
The changes in policy had regard to four main subjects—recruiting, purchasing of supplies, the manufacture of munitions, and the control and management of the Canadian troops overseas.
' I ' HE FIRST recruiting was a rush order. The usual routine of sending telegrams to the various battalion officers through the D.O.C.’s was brushed aside as being too slow, and instead telegrams were sent direct from the AdiutantGeneral’s office to every officer in Canada, the D.O.C.’s being notified at the same time. The officers were instructed to enrol the men and rally at the nearest military centre, after which they were to proceed as soon as possible to Valcartier Camp. The senior officer took charge of his unit as it came aboard the train. This system of recruiting was free and easy, almost chaotic, but it turned out highly successful. It was responsible for the first Canadian division. It raised thereby thirty-three thousand men in six weeks—a record-breaking performance.
The next outfit was raised at leisure in the large centres of Canada during the fall and winter of 1914-1915. This plan was slow. When it was seen that the war was serious and was going to last a long time a big push was made for men in the summer of 1915. This was plan No. 3. It wTas Sir Sam’s plan par excellence. Briefly is was to get men wherever they could be got—to go to the men instead of waiting for the men to come to us. Officers were sent to the various towns and villages throughout Canada and the men were enrolled and trained in their own home districts.
This was the most effective plan of all. Each population group of forty thousand was expected to raise a battalion, and the expectation was in every case realized. Some centres raised many more than the battalion asked for.
Plan No. 4 was a modification of plan No. 3, the difference being that a battalion was now asked from population groups of from eighty to one hundred thousand. This wa9 the plan that was in operation in the spring of 1916 when recruiting was to a certain extent called off for the purpose of helping out the munition factories. Recruiting figures dropped from 32,000 a month to 6,000 a month and less.
THE NEXT subject of controversy mare or less heated in the cabinet was the pinchase of supplies. It has undergone four changes. The first plan was to purchase supplies through the Militia Department direct, without the formality of Orders-in-Council, but on an understanding with the Premier. Sir Sam contends that no better purchasing has been done during the war than under this system. It broke down in only one spot, and this was not the fault of the system but of those who couldn’t resist the temptation to make a rake off.
The next plan was purchase by a subcommittee of the Privy Council who would prepare data for an Order-in-Council. on which the purchases would be based. To this plan Sir Sam obiected and had it changed so that the Order-in-Council was prepared on the report of his officers and then transmitted to the Privy Council.
This plan was carried out for a while, but was eventually succeded bv a third plan by which the Minister of Militia, on the report of his officers, prepared an Order-in-Council to submit to the Privy Council, which in turn submitted it to the purchasing sub-committee. Bofch this plan and the former indicate that the Militia Department as a department was losing control of the purchase of supplies. The tendency was to get it out of the Minister’s hands—to relieve him of that part of his work by letting four of his colleagues do it instead.
The fourth plan wai a War Purchase Commission, which largely follows the lines recommended by Sir Sam Hughes at the beginning of the war. ' His plan, which was not carried out, differed from the present plan in this respect—a committee of capable business men was to do the purchasing in co-operation with the Director of Contracta.
THE making of munitions Sir A Sam appointed a Shell Committee, whose history, methods and results are too well known to need stating here. The Shell Committee, as Sir Sam says, met with the hostility of certain persons who failed to get contracts and was supplanted after severe throes, by the Imperial Munitions Board, which was appointed by the British War Office.
It ia not generally known that the Duke of Connaught, by nature of his office of Governor-General, which makes him commander of the forces in British North America, claimed control of the Canadian troops for the British Government, even while the Canadian troops were in Canada. But this and other similar claims were not sustained by the Canadian authorities, and this led to his withdrawal ; though as W. F. Maclean hinted in the World he wanted to remain. From the beginning of the war up to the present moment the control of Canadian troops while in Canada has remained in the hands of the Canadian Government.
URING the first year of the war, the entire control of the Canadian troops in England and at the front was, as Lord Kitchener explained to Sir Sam. in the hands of the British Government. During the second year of the war, certain concessions were made to Canada—that is. to Sir Sam, who fought tooth and nail for them. But the British War Office still controls the inspection of equipment, transport, and many other matters, and seeks to prune away Canadian management as much as possible. Whether this is the best policy or not is a moot question.
In 1916, with the influence of LloydGeorge, Bonar Law, and Sir Max Aitken. Sir Sam was able to score several points on the British War Office, which recognized the absolute right of Canada to control in every sense her own forces— that is to say, to carry out the British and Canadian law on this subject. Among other things, the British War Office recognized Canada’s right to appoint the Canadian divisional commanders. Thi.was the zenith of Canadian control overseas. Since Sir Sam stepped out. Canadian control has been slipping back and now the British War Office does about what it likes in regard to appointments, promotions, decorations, and other matters. against which Sir Sam struggled gallantly.
\ ND now, to further consider the sub* ject of twig-bending politics. -In their progress through Cabinet and Parliament. policies are subject for the most part to violent changes, quick decay, or abnormal growth. Some policies contract, others expand. The Grand Trunk Pacific policy belongs to the latter class. It entered Parliament the Grand Trunk Pacific and came out the National Transcontinental. It made its bow as a modest, sensible business proposition and its exit as a high-sounding patriotic enterprise. It was the caterpillar going in and the silk dress coming out. Almost fourteen years have gone by since then and the silk dress is on a fair way to shrink back to the caterpillar again, now that the Grand Trunk Pacific end is not paying interest charges and the National Transcontinental end is being operated feebly and unprofitableby a reluctant Government.
Just here I want to .-»ay that I have always been very fond of the Grand Trunk Pacific or the National Transcontinental, whichever you choose to call it, and I am sorry to see it go wrong. I saw it born. I watched it from the cradle up to the present, when it has une foot and half of the other in the grave, and I am tender of its faults. It is still the most expensive, the best built railway in the world, with the least curves and the smallest grades, and I am filled with regret to think that they won’t let it stay put, but are tearing parts of it up and shipping it to France.
At the same time, I am free to admit that I always suspected the joker clause by which the G.T.R. engineers were to approve of N.T.R. construction before taking the Government-built eastern end of the road over. The patriots who tacked the National Transcontinental on the Grand Trunk Pacific may deem it worth noting that in the long run the G.T.R. got what it originally planned—the alleged fat prairie end of the railway from Winnipeg to the Pacific Coast, leaving the lean Winnipeg-Moncton end to the Government. It may be retribution, but the prairie end didn’t prove as fat as was expected and that the G.T.R. would like to unload this on the Government, too, but the point I am making is that the politicians.might just as well have saved their breath. The G.T.R. did not take over the National Transcontinental end of the railway, and never intended to.
1X7HEN the scheme first reached Par* * liament Hill it was in the hands of level-headed business men like the late Chas. M. Hays, Wm. Wainwright and Senator Cox. They knew what, they wanted— a road from North Bay west to the Pacific to link up with the G.T.R.’s eastern lines and make use of the Atlantic terminals already provided. As these terminals were in the United States, the patriots had a good handle when they said such a railway was not loyal enough and clamored for an all-red line from ocean to ocean. But the scheme as presented by Messrs. Hay. Wainwright and Cox wa-». as 1 said before, simply to aid the Grand Trui.k to build a railway from North Bay to the Pacific, or. the terms and conditions usually granted to such enterprises. It was cold business and it was onlv when they saw danger of their plan failing if they did not yield to the politicians that they consented to burden it with the Quebec to Moncton, addition. As Andrew G. Blair put it at the time. Cox couldn’t wait, and because Senator Cox and his partners couldn’t afford to wait for fear of losing out. they took on a bit of bad business.
When it was bruited about that the reasonable commercial venture with which Messrs. Hays», Wainwright and Cox had identified their names was on the brink of blossoming out into a nationaPipstitution that would make the C.P.R. look like thirty cents, the Opposition of the day at once became prolifically practical. Thev had. as I remember, an alternative policv for every day in the week. Monday’s policy was to extend the Intercolonial Railway to Georgian Bay. and thynce to Winnipeg. Tuesday’s policy was to give assistance to the Grand Trunk Pacific. Wednesday's policy was to control rates in return for reasonable public aid: also to extend the Intercolonial and free it frorrf Government control. Thursday’s policy was to extend the Intercolonial clear across the continent and let the people own ar.d control it. Friday’s policy was to aid the Grand Trtink to build from North Bay to the Pacific as it wished. Saturday’s policy was to buy or build link railways which would bring the Intercolonial to Fort William and to assist the C.N.R., C.P.R., and G.T.R, to build lines or improve grades from there on to Edmonton, with colonization roads from Edmonton to the Pacific and from Quebec to Winnipeg, as a prospect of the near future. Sunday’s policy was to utilize the water routes, lake, canal and river.
Still another plan was to buy out the C.N.R., but Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann could not see it in that light. Instead, they were inspired to have a transcontinental railway of their own and then and there began that policy of shreds and patches, buying and building, a link here and a link there, subsidies and loans, which has since run into a lot of money. Even at that, the C.N.R. was conceived in common sense and built economically. It did business as soon as the rails w-ere down and comes nearer paying its way right nowthan the more ambitions project which had its birth at the same time. But then, Mackenzie and Mann were in the business to make money. They didn’t lôad their railway up w-ith fifteen hundred miles of patriotism running mostly through a wilderness of rock and muskeg, whose only traffic-producing business was pure air and Christmas trees. It was objected at the time that nobody knew anything about this northern fringe between W innipeg and Quebec, but the old reports of the Geological Survey were dug up and were cited as a “mountain of information.”
I ' HE trouble was that the Opposition had too many alternative policies. They worked a different one. sometimes two different ones, every day. They would have done better to settle on one policy and stick to it. As it turned out. almost any policy would have been better than the one the Liberal Government adopted. But who could have told it? It was 1903, the threshold of Canada’s century, and there was optimism in the air. There were millions hovering around and there were also men hovering around who were willing to make the millions while the making was good. Almost everything and everybody about the G.T.P. did well, the promoters, the townsite operators, all the side lines, in fact—everything except the railway. It bit off more than it could chew.
To make a metaphor of it, Sindbad might have got along all right if it hadn’t been for his Old Man of the Sea. In other wdrds, the Maritime Province members of Parliament got hold of the G.T.P. •and loaded it up with the Winnipeg to Moncton extension. “Us, too!’’ they howled, and if they hadn’t got what they were howling for, the G.T.P. would probably have died then and there. They were prepared to hold it up until they got what they wanted. But this, as it happened, fell in with' the megalomania of the Government. which was keen to make the Laurier regime famous for a transcontinental railway, as the C.P.R. had made Sir John Macdonald. I may have got this twisted. Perhaps it was Sir John Macdonald made the C.P.R. famous—let it go at that.
At all events, what had entered Parliament in 1903 as a neat little business proposition, came out in 1904 as a national project all blown up with politics and hot air. Did I say national? Well, semi-national—the fat end for the capitalists, the lean end for the people. All the nation ever got out of the National Transcontinental was the privilege of footing the deficits. Thus and so did the people go half and half with the capitalists in this great enterprise—the capitalists to take all the profits and ¿he people to take all the losses. They called this plan—that is to say, handing over to the capitalists the prairie section from Winnipeg west, and to the people the muskeg section from Winnipeg east—giving the people control of the funnel. To me it always looked more like letting the people hold the bag. The funnel has a poor job—it doesn’t keep anything—the riches are at either end.
T N spite of criticism the scheme went -*• through with comparatively little opposition considering its vast ramifications. The Opposition, though fruitful in suggestions. did not take the conflict seriously. It went through the motions, but had no real heart in the fight, the newspapers on both side of politics being agreed that Canada couldn’t have too many railways. When it came to action. Parliament was dumb, as it always is, in the presence of such high finance. Two Washington correspondents who visited Ottawa when the battle was supposed to be at its height, were surprised to find things running so smoothly. They suspected lubrication and asked if a barrel had been opened. When a negative answer was given they expressed more surprise and asked how the reporters could show so much enthusiasm for which they had not been paid. It was explained that the capitalists had a strangle hold on the newspapers, anyway, but the Washington friends still could hot see why they didn’t pay for a little warmth lower down. All of which goes to throw a certain amount of light on the Washington practice.
The public was surprised that an application for a railway charter by a private company should come out such a tremendous thing as it did, and that surprise has since cost us something like two hundred million dollars and the end is not yet. Even the most sanguine had not expected anything like public ownership, including the newspaper I worked for at the time, which expected it so little and believed it so much less that it kept my “scoop” on ice for four days before publishing it. In spite of which I contend that the man on the spot often knows more about a sub-
ject than the wise guy three hundred initas away.
The surprise of the public was followed by something like disappointment when they saw what a striped article of public ownership it was—public ownership of liabilities and private ownership of the possible dividends. And the disappointment has gradually become pain a*; the amount of money this piebald public ownership is costing us. Even at that, the public doesn’t quite understand what the Laurier contract with the G.T.P. let them in for any more than I do to this day. I have only the vaguest idea of its honrore~I would no more look them in the face than I would make a visit to Dante’s Se'-enth Circle. At the time the bill was pessed. Clifford Sifton delivered a speech which made it clear, as they said, to the Man on the Street, including myself. But since then I have forgotten the speech an I the explanation along with it. All I remember is that it was perfectly satisfactory. I understood it from A to Z, but when, years afterwards, the G.T.R. sprang a new meaning ori a certain clause which let Canada in for ten million dollars more. I felt that I had slipped a cog somewhere.
Among those who were surprised at the final disguise the Grand Trunk Pacific bill assumed was Andrew G. Blair, then Minister of Railways. He was not only surprised, but hostile. At the very beginning. Sir Wilfrid Laurier took charge of the matter—just as Sir Robert Borden took charge of the Dreadnought policy—and proceeded to handle it for himself. Sir Charles Fitzpatrick did a good deal of preliminary work. The Minister of Railways was the last man to be consulted. Mr. Blair naturally felt that the Minister of Railways should get a look in when a two hundred million dollar railway was being discussed, and was much peeved when he was brushed aside.
Blair’s chief grievance was that the Quebec-Moncton extension would parallel the Intercolonial—he wanted the I.C.R. double-tracked instead, but the real sore spot was that they were crowding him out of his job. In the end he resigned. Death and Lieutenant-Governorships had already removed a few of the all-star Laurier cast, but Blair was the first to resign.
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LIF FORD SIFTON, another of the all ^star players, resigned two years later, also on a question of policy. The Autonomy Bills, as they called them, were Sir Clifford’sfinish. In 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan, which had grown too large were given home rule. They entered the galaxy of provinces. Up to that time, like the little girl in the poem, we were seven — but for the last twelve years, we have been nine. Nine daughters in Canada’s house and plenty of room for more—going some. Drafting a constitution for Alberta and Saskatchewan was not very hard with so many good models around. As a matter of fact, Alberta and Saskatchewan were both started out with sound constitutions, and if they have done anything to undermine them since with new’ fangled patent medicines, like initialive and referendum, recall, woman suffrage, and such, it is their own fault.
The one weak spot was the educational clauses and it was this spot that Sir Clifford Sifton chose to land on. The story was at the time that he wanted to get out anyway, and that the educational clauses were a good excuse. The educational clauses were pulled about quite a bit. The twig was bent this way and that. They do say that Sir Wilfrid Laurier consuited Monsignor Sbaretti, the Papal Delegate, oftener than was his wont. At all events, they were very good friends. Henri Bourassa was credited with having his finger in the pie. While the affair was at its tensest, Mr. Sifton went south to rest and recuperate for a couple of weeks. . In his absence the educational clauses took the shape which they assumed when the bill was presented to the House of Commons. Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, the Solicitor-General, was said to have had the chief hand in the drafting. When Mr. Sifton came back the mischief had been done. He took one look at theiç horrid work and resigned on the spot.
As a matter of fact he resigned too soon. When the House got at the clauses it trimmed them down pretty fine. The origina; clauses gave the separate schools all the privileges they enjoyed under the old Northwest Territories Act when separate schools were the schools of the majority, the population in those days oon'isting mostly of Metis and the Metis being Roman Catholics. But the clauses as finally passed gave the separate schools of Alberta and Saskatchewan about as much as Ontario gives them which is as little ás possible consistent with justice and past promises. Mr. Sifton’s resignation, however, may have had something to do with the moderate tone the educational -clauses took. There was a sore feeling among the Western and «Ontario Liberals that Alberta and Saskatchewan should have been started off with a clean page so far as educational matters were concerned, and this feeling certainly helped those who wanted to pare down the clauses. I rèmember that I became engaged in a bye-election at that time and the chief thing we had to keep an eye or was the “Globe's” conscience, which was much stirred by these alleged aggressions of Rome. Incidentally the Autonomy Bills gave two well-known statesmen their first « chance. Sir Wilfrid Laurier tested them out on these bills and got their quality. Both of them gave trial sermons, as it were, with the result that Walter Scott became the first Premier of the new Province of Saskatchewan, and Frank Oliver became Minister of the Interior, via Mr. Sifton resigned for political heterodoxy.
' I ' HE naval policy is another policy which I have seen wax and wane in the course of eight years. The question of naval defence first seriously entered Canadian politics in 1909, when Sir George Foster introduced a resolution to the effect that Canada ought to get busy and pay for protecting her own coast line and seaports. Sir Wilfrid Laurier accepted the principle of this resolution and with the consent of Mr. Borden and Mr. F oster, introduced a more positive motion to the effect that Canada should get busy right away and organize a Canadian naval service that would fit into the Imperial navy organization if need arose.
This resolution passed the Hou^e of Commons unanimously. Mr. Foster poohpoohed the idea oí a fixed money contribution in support of the Imperial navy as looking too much like hiring a substitute. Mr. Borden also laughed the' contribution idea into scorn as a slacker’s method, which neglected the aspirations of the Canadian people. He wanted, as I remember, a Canadian navy which would stimulate Canadian patriotism and incidentally foster the Canadian shipbuilding industry. Mr. Borden repeated these remarks to the Constitutional Club in London. It looked like a love feast. Everybody was agreed on this vital matter of Canadian naval defence. It was, as you might say, out of politics, because both parties believed that we ought to have a navy of our own.
'T' HAT was the happy state of things at the end of 1907—perfect harmony and the goose honking high. On the faith ot it, Sir Wilfrid Laurier brought in his Naval Service Bill in 1910, which provided that Canada should make a start with four protected cruisers of the Bristol type, one cruiser of the Boadicea type, six destroyers of the improved river class, at a total cost of $11,000,000, with annual maintenance of $2,500,000. To get ahead of my story a little, the Laurier Government had opened tenders for most of these when it went out of office in September, 1911, but the Borden Government did not go on with the business, having a naval policy of its own which it was anxious to try out. The only thing the Laurier Government had to show for its naval policy was the two training ships it bought, the » Niobe and the Rainbow, the former of which was lying dismantled when the war broke out, and the latter of which has done good work on the Pacific Coast in spite of its being an old duck and a little lame.
I am sorry to say that the naval policy stopped waxing and began to wane as soon as the Naval Service Act was passed in 1910. Very soon after that the beautiful harmony was broken up. Party politics took a hand in and split Pandora’s box wide open. The winds of strife were unloosed. There looked to be a chance to break Laurier’s grip on Quebec by means of a Conservative-Nationalist alliance. The Nationalists must be flattered to the top of their bent—and the Nationalist« didn’t like Laurier navies or any other sort of navies. They apprehended, or pretended to apprehend, that a Canadian navy would be merely a donkey engine for the British navy and that the sons of Quebec would be dragged away to become cannon food on the seven seas. They said that the Laurier Government was sacrificing the interests of Canada to the interests of the British Empire.
In due course Leader Borden and his followers reached a decision against a Canadian navy and went in for a policy of two Dreadnaughts and have done with it. Just here is the place to observe that the two Dreadnaughts became three in 1913, wheg Premier Borden failed to pass his measure through the Senate, but up to this moment the Borden Government has never announced any permanent naval policy. The last w? saw or heard of the naval policy it w^ three Dreadnaughts for the British navy—that is to ssy, the money contribution which was whst Parliament started off by repudiating. Talk about whirligigs!
'T' O get back to the story. There was A sn election in Drummond-Arthabaska in November, 1910, in which the Nationalist candidate won. This was a plain intimation to! Sir Wilfrid Laurier that the Nationalist! didn’t think much of his navy and pi obably explains why the navy wasn’t further along when the Liberals went out of office. In a word, that hostile by-e ectkm gave the Laurier Government cold feet on the navy question. It threw a i care into them and prevented them gettin j on with their plans. Three years later, when the Liberal majority in the Senate put the naught in Premier Borden’s tfree Dreadnaughts, the accounts wer« balanced. It was horse and horse.
The famous Dreadnaught debate in March, 191J, is almost too recent to need recalling. Premier Borden, having collogued with Winston Churchill, came back with the ide i that three Dreadnaughts of the best thaï ; money could buy and sciencè contrive — three Dreadnaughts to cost $35,000,000, and to become part of the Imperial nary—was the thing the doctor ordered. That was his policy and he upheld it with some heat. Among other things he said that a Canadian navy would take jfifty years to build. It was plain to se^ that Premier Borden had soured on the Laurier navy. He had a bright thought of his own and he pressed it will great zeal—even to the extent of applying thj* closure when the Liberals would not ddwn. This led to the stormiest scene in the Green Chamber in thirty years. Men cursed each other across the floor of the House. Dr. Michael Clark blasphemed the rules of order and was “named” by the Speaker, who was running around his dais, like a chicken with its head cut off. Dr. Clark did not curl up and die as was expected, but lived on and outgrew Speaker Sproule’s kibosh.
Premier Borden hinted darkly — too darkly, indeed, for the House to get any clue from it — at the German menace, the emergency, and similar matters. He hinted at secrets which he could not disclose. He would have done better to disclose them. If he had breathed them, were it but privately and in strict confidence, the newspaper reporters being locked out. the Senate might have voted differently. As it was, the Liberals stuck to the Laurier navy. They would enlarge and extend it. They would have an Atlantic fleet unit and a Pacific fleet unit, too. If one measured patriotism in terms of money, their policy would cost at least twenty millions more than Premier Borden’s. And there the matter hangs. The net result of all this wind and fury is that neither party does anything for naval defence. The game has come to a stalemate.
Most people think of reciprocity as something that was suddenly sprung on the country In the summer of 1911. The fact of the matter is that the Laurier Government would have fared much better if it had given reciprocity lesa time to simmer. The negotiations were really under way with Washington from February, 1910. They reached the delegate stage a couple of moisis later, and after that there was a fullear for discussion and pondering. It was in this, interval that the sentiment for the Old Flag, industriously fanned by the Opposition, grew up and played havoc with all the good arguments advanced by the Liberals. In the long run, the heart rqles. Messrs. Patterson and Fielding visited Washington in November, 1910, and it was May, 1911, before the terms were announced in Parliament.
When the bargain was announced to Parliament, there was a general Teeling that the Yankees had conceded so much that they would never stick to it. Many ‘people remembered Uncle Sam’s sharp practice in regard to fortifying the Panama Canal, and were not inclined to take his word of honor. However that may be. such and such terms were offered and remain in the «tatute books of the United States to this day, if we care to accept them. The terms were pulled about quite a bit both at Washington and in Sir Wilfrid’s Cabinet before they took final shape. Parliament had little or nothing to do with it—they were told after it was all settled. If Parliament had been consulted the Western members, who are mostly free traders, would perhaps have asked for a great deal more. As it was, the protectionist won, and the Cabinet probably wanted a great deal less than Messrs. Fielding and Patterson brought They felt nervous without the manufacturers’ vote and the manufacturers were already protesting that it was the thin edge of the wedge, and the famous Toronto Eighteen were breaking away.
*T* HE reciprocity voted on by the peopie of Canada was considerably less than the reciprocity Messrs. Fielding and Patterson brought from Washington, but it was as much reciprocity as was considered safe. It was whittled and pared with the idea of keeping as many votes as possible It was certainly not as wide as the unrestricted reciprocity thÇ Liberals fought for in 1891, or even as wide as the limited reciprocity Sir John Macdonald was willing to accept as an alternative at that time. It was, as a matter of fact, reciprocity in a limited number of natural products and a carefully chosen list of partly prepared table products. It was drawn up with a view to disciplining the high cost of living, which was even then showing its .norrid head. Moreover, it tickled Liberul hearts because it looked like bed-rock principle, free trade, and Sir Wilfrid himself thought it “was a fair-tin^e winner.” Besides, one always chooses to have a general election on a real issue rather than on a scandal.
A S I ¿aid before, reciprocity died of too much talk. President Taft and Champ Clark barged in and made a mess of it. They helped to send it to hell with their good intentions of making Canada an “adjunct” of the United States. Of course, Canaca wouldn’t stand for that. The Liberals had the better arguments, but the Conservatives had the better feelings. Of course, sentiment won. Some of the Liberal arguments were so fine that they shot over rather than through the heads of the ultimate consumer. For instance, the public could not see how the farmer would get more for his products while the city consumer would pay less Of course, it can be shown—competition is the key—but the argument lost heat in the showing. The spread between six cent hogs on the hoof and thirty-two cent bacon in the pan—1 quote 1911 prices-*was not used as an illustration as much as it might have been, owing to the fact that a number of prominent Liberals had relations in the packing business. The Canadian hen was quoted more freely. At that time she was getting twenty-four cents a dozen, which is cheap considering the wear and tear on the hen. She was urged to make a noise about it, and no doubt she did. It was lucky for the heps, as it turned out, that they had no votes. See what happened to the hen for being loyal to her home market. Last Christmas she got a dollar a dozen!