Some Men and Events in the Public Eye

S. A. Warner November 1 1908

Some Men and Events in the Public Eye

S. A. Warner November 1 1908

Some Men and Events in the Public Eye

S. A. Warner

WALTER SCOTT, printer’s devil, compositor, publisher, politician and premier of his province. It is not an exceptional story for Canada offers to every youth the opportunity to ascend. Mr. Scott, who was recently elected for a second term to the highest office in the gift of the people of Saskatchewan, can review a career that is an inspiration to any young man of ambition. To find the secret of his success one must know the man. If asked to name the qualities which led to the distinction, enjoyed so early in life, his friends would say that courage and stickto-itiveness combined with an affable disposition were the predominant characteristics. It is not every boy who serves as an apprentice at a trade who has the determination to soar beyond the calling he had selected for life. No one would have dreamed that back in the early days of Regina, when it was a small town, its only claim to note being the headquarters of the Territorial Government, that the boy sweeping the office, pulling proofs and doing other' chores in connection with a country weekly, would reach the honor of being the chief adviser of His Majesty in one of the principal provinces of this great commonwealth. In political warfare Mr. Scott is a hard hitter. He wouldn’t thrive in the West unless he were. . He never strikes below the belt but when it is necessary to make a charge he does it without resort to suggestion, or surmise. Wher Walter Scott says anything unpleasant it’s generally uncomfortably definite. He has little use for the petty slanderer and dealer in insinuations. In the recent campaign there was an unfortunate amount of recrimination but, when the Premier took a hand in it he made unmistakably clear charges, fully realizing the legal responsibility involved. He is called on to face that responsibility and his admirers will be disappointed if

he flinches before the ordeal. As a speaker, he cannot be classed as an orator. He is not prosaic, however, and is pleasing to listen to. He has a free, easy, conversational style and holds his audience without difficulty. He is not a man to trifle with, as many an intefrupter has learned to his chagrin. A story of the recent campaign will suffice to illustrate this point. The Premier was speaking at Lumsden, where there are some strenuous opponents. As Mr. Scott was talking one over-zealous Provincial Righter yelled the hackneyed word of contempt “Rats.” Quick as a flash came the retort, “Has my young friend got them in his pocket or in his head?”

The politician, who, during the present election campaign, has kept large crowds in various Ontario towns and cities in good humor by his witty sallies and breezy anecdotes, drawn mostly from rural life, is Hon. George P. Graham, Minister of Railways and Canals in the Laurier Cabinet. At school he was a diligent pupil and excelled in English composition. Beginning life as a rural pedagogue, after one year’s experience, he gave up teaching and entered a general store in the village of Iroquois. There he spent some months behind the counter. His father, the late Rev. W. PI. Graham, was then stationed in the neighboring town of Morrisburg in Dundas County. Driving to Iroquois one day he called his son to the front of the store. “Well, George!” he said, “do you know what I have done? I have just bought the Morrisburg Plerald for you and I want you to take charge of it.” “Thank you, father,” he replied. “I will do my best to make a success of the business.” The office was then in anything but a desirable condition, but the ambitious youth went to work with perseverance and determination and soon placed it on a pay-

ing basis. He had tact, good judgment and executive ability, coupled with a boundless store of energy. His father had made only a small payment on the plant, but under the energetic guidance of the young proprietor, things began to move and in a few years the debt was cleared off and the property greatly improved. He was Reeve of Morrisburg for some time and a member of the County Council of Dundas. So closely did he

apply himself to the duties of private and public business that his health, which has never been too robust, was undermined and he was forced to give up newspaper work for some time. He sold the Herald and intended, after being in the publishing business eleven years, taking a trip to the West with the object of locating there. The late Mr. Gorman was then at the helm in the Ottawa Free Press, but owing to illness had to give up his duties

for some months. Mr. Graham was asked to take a position on the editorial staff of that paper and was leader writer for some months. Mr. Thomas Southworth, now Colonization Agent for the Province of Ontario, was the proprietor of the Brockville Recorder and his editor, Mr. John A. Mackenzie, having left to enter the service of the Dr. Williams Medicine Company, Mr. Southworth had to look after both the business and editorial ends. He found these duties too exacting and offered Mr. Graham a position which he accepted. This was in 1893. At the beginning of the following year the business was organized into a joint stock company with George P. Graham as Managing Director. Mr. Southworth retired in 1895 to take the post which he now holds with the Ontario Government. Mr. Graham was given entire charge of the Recorder and was both its business manager and editor

up to the time that he was created Minister of Railways and Canals. On the platform, while not eloquent, Mr. Graham is a clear and ready speaker who is regarded as one of the best “stumpers” in his party. His grasp of detail is one of his strongest points. He can present the most abstruse problem in a businesslike and clear cut manner and is always listened to attentively. His arguments are concise. He does not travel all over the map to reach a climax, nail an argument, or drive home a truth. He is an indefagtigable worker and it is not unusual for him to put in sixteen hours a day in his department.

Hon. Charles Murphy, who was last month sworn in as Secretary of State, succeeding Hon. R. W. Scott, is a young man of promise and ability. His predecessor in office has stepped down and out at the advanced age of 84 years, af-

ter a usefttl public career of over half a century. It is not many years ago that the new Secretary of State was employed as a sawyer in the large lumber mill of J. R. Booth in the Capital. One day he met with an accident in which he lost his left arm. It was then that he resolved to study law. By application and tireless energy he forged ahead until he became one of the leading members of the Bar in Eastern Ontario. He had no advantages, no influential friends, no pull of

any kind in his uphill struggle. By his own unaided efforts and strength of mind and character he came to the front.

It is not often that a young man is called to the cabinet without first winning his spurs in a political fight; in recent years, there have been only one or two similar instances, Mr. Justice Latchford being made Commissioner of Public Works for Ontario in the Ross Government in 1899 and Hon. Frank Cochrane, Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines in

the Whitney administration in 1905. The new Secretary of State is as well versed in law, systems of government and parliamentary procedure as if he had spent several terms in the House. He has always held aloft a high standard of citizenship, morality and honor. He held strong views and was never afraid to take a firm grasp for what he conceived to be right. He is a former law partner of Judge Latchford and has frequently appeared before committees of the Commons. A fluent, forceful speaker, a ready and clever debater, he will add strength to parliamentary oratorical ranks.

Charles Murphy is a young man who has a friendly word and kindly smile for all. He is president of the Federation of Liberal Clubs and a close student of the affairs of state.. His friends arc pleased that his selection marks an aDpreciation of his public spirit and exalted sense of duty and his elevation to the cabinet furnishes another of those decidedly rare instances where the office itself has sought occupant rather than the occupant the office.

Sir Louis Jette, who has recently left the gubernatorial chair of the neighboring province, after serving most acceptably two terms in the calm of the viceregal office at Spencerwood, has done as much as any representative of his race to cement the bond of' friendship—between English-speaking and Frenchspeaking Canadians—the fruits of which were so amply evidenced on all sides at the Quebec Tercentenary. He now resumes his former post on the Bench of the Superior Court of Quebec, to which he was first raised thirty years ago. The son of a merchant, Sir Louis began to study law in Montreal when seventeen years of age and was admitted to the Bar at twenty-six. He became an able, skilful pleader. In 1878 he was appointed professor of civil law in Laval University where he had the degree of LL.D. conferred on him. He subsequently became Dean of the hacuity. He was one of the Alaskan Boundary Commissioners to represent Canada and along with Hon. A. B. Aylesworth, declined to sign the award. In addition to his Canadian and honors he holds honors from the

French Government. In September, 1901, he was made a K.C.M.G. and the investiture was made by the Duke of York.

Sir Louis was offered a place in 1878 in the Cabinet of Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, but declined the honor. He is one of the most cultured and genial of French-Canadians, being a member of several literary and scientific bodies. He also spent some time in journalism. In the course of a broad-minded address, when opening the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto a few weeks ago, he spoke of the value of such occasions in engendering a better acquaintance of the two races in Canada and to the necessity of the encouragement of processes through which the measure of sympathy, now existing between the English-speaking and French-speaking people, may be broadened and deepened.

One of the remaining links—now so few in number—between the present generation and the stirring times of the pre-Confederation period is Sir Charles Alfonse Pantaleon Pelletier, wso was recently sworn in as Lieut.-Governor of Quebec, succeeding Sir Louis Jette. A former Speaker of the Senate and latterly a Judge of the Superior Court of his native province, his career as a politician has been a spectacular one. Apart from his work his great hobby has been military matters. Pie was an officer in the Fenian Raid of 1866 and his son has done splendid service in the cause of empire in the Reil Rebellion of 1885 and in the South African war where he was wounded at Paardeberg. Sir Alphonse, in his stirring public life, has been a hard hitter but was eminently fair in his treatment of his opponents, believing that courtesy and truthfulness were always the best instruments. While running for the Local House in Quebec many years ago, party feeling ran high and it is said that his opponents received instructions, to prevent, at any cost, his getting a hearing on the public platform. While speaking he was shot in the back of the head and stunned by the bullet. He fell off the platform on to the ground, and was there assaulted by the crowd, who jumped upon him and pounded him as he lay unconscious on the ground. His

friends came to his rescue and before the melee ended there were other broken heads. It is stated as a fact that

îained upon him, he would have been killed. The father of Sir Alphonse Pelletier was a farmer who was financially

only for a heavy fur coat which Mr. Pelletier wore at the time and which protected his body from the blows and kicks

unable to assist his son in the pursuit of his ambitions. Nothing daunted, the young man came to Quebec with no as-

sets other than the memory of a proud lineage behind him. and ambitious dreams in his heart to lure him on. He studied

lege and university. He was called to the Bar in i860, and practised in Quebec, where he was afterwards made City At-

at St. Ann’s College and later at Laval University, earning enough by private

tutoring to pay his way through both col-

torney. In i867 he ran for the Dominion House in the County of Kamouraska against the lion. C. Chapais, one of the

Conservative Ministers. Party feeling ran so strong in the riding that riots took place, and, although young Pelletier was elected, the country was disfranchised and he was not allowed to take his seat, although he attended the session. He was re-elected in 1872, and remained their representative during the Mackenzie regime. In Mackenzie’s Cabinet he was Minister of Agriculture and was also made a Senator and joint leader of that body. While Minister of Agriculture he was appointed President of the Canadian Commissioners at the Paris Exposition in 1878, and for that service he rendered his country he was made a C.M.G..

Eugene V. Debs, - candidate for the Socialist party for President 01 the United States, has long been a conspicuous figure in the world of labor. He says he knows what is the matter in America and what to do about it. In an exceedingly interesting article in the October number of Everybody’s Magazine, Lincoln Steffens says: “It may be deemed expedient to hang Debs some day, and that wouldn’t be so bad, but don’t try to hurt him. In the first place, it’s no use. Nature has provided for him, as she provides for other sensitive things, a guard; she has surrounded Debs with a circle of friends who go everywhere with him, shielding, caring for, adoring him. They sat all through my interview, ready to accept what I might reject. So he gets back the affection he gives, and no strange hate can hurt him. It can hurt only the haters. And as for the hanging, he half expects that ... I met Debs at a Milwaukee Socialist picnic (25,000 paid admission) where he was to speak, and, as he came toward me with his two hands out, I felt, through all my prejudice, those hands represented as warm a heart as ever beat. Warm for me, you understand, a stranger; and not alone for me : those two warm hands went out to all in the same way: the workers, their wives, their children ; especially the children, who spring at sight right into Debs’ arms. It’s wonderful, really. And when, piloted, plucked at, through the jammed mass of waiting humanity, he went upon the platform to speak, he held out his handfuls of affec-

tion to the crowd. He scolded them. “Men_ are beginning to have minds,” he said; “some of you don’t know it:” There was nothing demagogic about that speech. It was impassioned, but orderly; radical, but (granting the premises) logically reasoned. It was an analysis of the platforms and performances of the two old parties to show that they would do for Business as much as they dared and for Labor as little; and the conclusion was an appeal to the workers—not to vote for Debs : “I don’t ask that,” he

said, and sincerely, too. “All I ask is that you think, organize, and go into politics for yourselves.” Delivered from a crouching attitude, with reaching hands and the sweat dripping from head and face, the speech fairly flew, smooth, correct, and truly eloquent. Debs is an orator. “If Debs were a priest,” wrote Eugene Field, “the world would listen to his eloquence, and that gentle, musical voice and sad, sweet smile of his would soften the hardest heart.” Half the

world does listen to Debs, and his eloquence does soften its heart. But it wasn’t art that kept that Milwaukee crowd steaming out there in the sun and, at the close, drew it crushing down upon the orator. And it wasn’t what he said, either; too much of the gratitude was expressed in foreign tongues. It was the feeling he conveys that he feels for his fellow men; as he does, desperately. Debs is dangerous; it is instinct that makes one half of the world hate him; but don’t. He loves mankind too much to be hurt of men; and that’s the power in him; and that’s the danger. The trouble with Debs is that he puts the happiness of the race above everything else: business, prosperity, property. Remarking this to him, I said lightly that he was, therefore, unfit to be president. “Yes,” he answered seriously, “I am not fitted either by temperament or by taste for the office, and if there were any chance of my election I wouldn’t run. The party wouldn’t let me. We Socialists don’t consider individuals, you know ; only the good of all. But we aren’t playing to win ; not yet. We want a majority of Socialists, not of votes. There would be no use getting into power with a people that did not understand; with a lot of officeholders undisciplined by service in the party ;. unpurged, by personal sacrifice, of the selfish spirit of the present system. We shall be a minority party first, and the co-operative commonwealth can come only when the people know enough to want to work together, and when, by working together to win, they have developed a common sense of common service, and a drillcd-in capacity for mutual living and co-operative labor. I am running for president to serve a very humble purpose : to teach social consciousness and to ask men to sacrifice the present for the future, to ‘throw away their votes’ to mark the rising tide of protest and build up a party that will represent them. When Socialism is on the verge of success, the party will nominate an able executive and a clear-headed administrator; not—not Debs.”

Every battle at the polls brings to the front, in a more or less notorious sense,

some member of the administration u

whom his opponents scathingly denounce as unworthy of a place in public life or in the confidence of the people, a man whom his friends love, “for the enemies he has made” and fondly point to as the “best hated man in the Government.” In the cross-firing, that goes on in political life, the shafts of invective, sarcasm and vituperation are invariably levelled at some picturesque head. Some person has to stand the brunt. He is singled out as a shining mark and many charges hurled in his direction. His sins of omission and commission are referred to on every platform where his critics gather. The “honor” roll is a long one, sinc'e it must needs be that some one has to suffer. Many years ago Sir Richard Cartwright was known as “the apostle óf jeremiads” and dubbed “the blue ruin knight.” A few years after the late Hon. J. Isreal Tarte was ironically styled “Master of Administration.” Hon. Clifford Sifton had his turn and was derisively referred to as “The rich young baron” and “The young Napoleon of the West.” The stormy petrel at the present time, the man occupying the centre of the stage in the fierce light that beat's: upon all the actions, sayings and doings of a public man, is Hon. William Pugsley, Minister of Public Works, former Attorney-General and subsequently Premier of New Brunswick. He is a picturesque figure and, while he has received some staggering knocks hè 'lias' managed to deliver a few in exchange. The charges against him are that, while a member of the New Brunswick admirvistration, he improperly handled public moneys and converted certain sums fa his personal use; funds, which it is contended, belonged to the province and have not been properly accounted foi*. In answer to the allegations Mr. Pugsley has characterized these attacks as base and malicious and as grossly false and unwarranted. Mr. Pugsley is a hard hitter and aims with directness and force. If he gets a few blows in retaliation it creates no surprise in the public mind as there is an old maxim that if you are searching for trouble you can easily find it. In the meantime the electors, who are looking on, can see most of the moves which they doubtless will follow with

interest and patiently await the outcome.

There is endless variety of styles in dress, hats, furniture and houses. The desire to present something new and striking has lately found expression in the political arena. Across the border in their anxiety to reach as many electors as possible Messrs. Taft and Bryan, candidates for the Presidency, have been

gaging the attention of the electorate, is Mr. H. B. Ames, M.P. for St. Antoine division, Montreal. His picture gallery talks are given with aid of stereopticon, the novelty and originality of the enterprise arousing the curiosity and interest of the multitude. The views are very distinct and his talks are instructive, having been given in many parts of the country. By pictorial representation Mr. Ames, who is a widely known business

speaking into gramophones. The records of their remarks have been distributed in scores of cities and towns in order that as many people as possible may learn their views on the leading issues of the campaign. In Canada we have not reached this advanced stage, of preserved oratory, but we have instead the illuminated address. The man, who has introduced this scenic method of presenting the questions and topics now en-

man of a quiet, serious disposition and a close student of public events, unfolds some of the scandals which he has brought up in the House during the past session. He goes about his work in a systematic way, dividing his address into six heads, flashing views upon a large canvas of the alleged timber, grazing lease, land, irrigation, coal and inland fishery scandals against the Laurier administration. The pictures are all mounted

ed and well selected from the standpoint of driving his arguments home, while his tables of figures are explicit and simple. Mr. Ames has attracted attention since his entry into Parliament last term by calling for original documents and by his incessant examination of blue books, reports, tenders, contracts, and papers bearing on or dealing with public lands, timber and fisheries. Whether his ingenious manner of campaigning is one that has come to stay—spectacular and original as it is in Canada—is something that no one can as yet accurately foretell. Meanwhile he is in the limelight in a larger and more liberal sense than the usual interpretation of the term implies. Previous to entering Parliament he spent ten years in the Montreal City Council devoting much attention to the purification of municipal government and the reform of civic methods. He was largely instrumental in organizing the Volunteer Electoral League in his native city. He is a multi-millionaire, inheriting his wrealth from "his father, who made it :n shoe manufacturing.

The Chairman of the National Democratic Committee, who is a strong figure

in American politics and one of the few really big men in the Presidential campaign, is Norman E. Mack, who is a Canadian. He is a native of Middlesex County, Ontario, who has given to the world and to Canada in particular, some of the most eminent statesmen and educators of the time. In the Township of West Williams, near Parkhill, Mr. Bryan’s general manager and financier of the I democratic party, first opened his eyes. A Canadian by birth, he is an American by naturalization, and a “Mack” by act of the New York State legislature. His name originally was Norman E. McEachren. Of Highland descent he probably found nasal-toned Yankees unable to pronounce his name with the true Gaelic guttural, and rather than have it lose its Highland flavor he had it changed. “Mack” can still ask for subscriptions either for the Buffalo Times or for the campaign fund in “the language of the Garden.” The October number of Hampton’s Broadway Magazine • in an appreciative reference, says: “When Mr. Norman E. Mack, of the rising, rous-

ing town of Buffalo, N.Y. the recentlyappointed Chairman of the Democratic Committee, selects an idol from the available idols of his party, all the others might just as well go out of the business so far as Mr. Mack is concerned. He is a political monotheist and is right on the job all the time. When the fame' of William Jennings Bryan spread across the Missouri River and into strange lands a good many years ago, Mr. Mack gazed interestedly on it with a prophetic eye. Then he went out and got acquainted with its source and ever since then his political prayers have been said with his face toward Lincoln, Nebraska. He immediately began whooping things up in his Buffalo paper for Mr. Bryan and when he came to New York on his regular weekly visits he was a press agent, a steam'calliope, and a Methodist exhorter in Lis efforts to get his particular idol into a job. If a medal for the most optimjgtic democrat had been offered at that time Mr. Mack would have won it hands down. Through all the desertions from the party which marked the democratic campaign in New York in 1896, the Buffalo Times, Mack’s prosperous paper, stood by him with double-leaded editorials, first-page news stories, and illustrated Sunday articles. In 1900 he was again at the job—just as cheerful as ever and more skillful because of riper experience. In 1904 he was thrown out of his regular employment by the hasty action of the St. LorHs«« convention and supportée! Judge Parker in a half-hearted way. “Parker may come and Parker may go,” reflected Mr. Mack, “but Bryan runs on forever.” In 1906 his prophetic eye had recovered from the shock of

two years previous and he came out in an interview in which without any weekkneed “ifs” or “probablys” he said that Bryan would be the democratic nominee and would be opposed by Taft. He also added that Bryan would be elected. Mr. Mack is a self-made man and has done a pretty good job of it. He went into the newspaper business with less money than would now be required to pay the Times’ salaries for one day. He now makes about $40,000 a year out of it and lives in the most exclusive residence section of Buffalo. He is 49 years old. As a handshaker and a smiler he is untiring. He is regarded as the best dressed man in Buffalo. Mrs. Norman E. Mack would be well known even if she were not the wife of the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. She was a member of the New York State Commission at the St. Louis World’s Fair and successfully directed the varied and intricate social functions of that body. She accompanies Mr. Mack on his political pilgrimages and at the Denver Convention she was one of the most prominent figures. She never appeared in the same gown twice and changed her jewels every day. In Buffalo, people have been taking notice of Mrs. Mack for quite a long time. In fact, she rather overshadows her famous husband there. A social affair where Mrs. Mack is not present could scarcely be called a function, and Mr. Mack accompanies her. When Mrs. Mack is at home, Mr. Mack is also there. In all of his work Mrs. Mack has been an able assistant, and if he ever gets elected—well, it would be a mighty big job that the two of them couldn’t handle.

It is wicked for us to go about with faces which indicate that life has been a disappointment to us instead of a glorious joy. It shows that we have missed the real object of living, that we have never caught a glimpse of the realities of life, but that we are living in the shadows, in the gloom instead of the sunshine of reality, of truth, of beauty. It indicates that we have not even caught a glimpse of the real glory of life. —Success Magazine.