The Story of the G.W.V.A.



The Story of the G.W.V.A.



The Story of the G.W.V.A.


"BECAUSE of our part in the defence of this country we would never permit Bolshevism to gain control of it and could be depended upon to suppress anything in the nature of a Bolshevist uprising here. We have grievances but we will remedy them by constitutional means and not by violence. We will be found on the side of law and order and not of Bolshevism.”

Those are the words of W. E. Turley, the Ontario Provincial Secretary of the Great War Veterans’ Association of Canada, when I asked him as one who was most closely in touch with the aspirations of returned men to epitomize the general attitude of the returned men to one of the great problems of the day.

My own connection with and knowledge of the association enables me to most heartily subscribe to that viewr; although I could not have said the same eighteen, months ago. But things have changed.

Certainly, cne could imagine no greater bulwark against Bolshevism than the creation of an organized body of men, trained to arms and at the same time bound in such a close and sympathetic contact with the rest of the population cf Canada that the two are one. And by doing all in their power to establish proper relationships with this organization the country can build up just such a bulwark against the internal disorder that responsible Cabinet Ministers have recently informed us is quite possible.

A few days ago I heard officials from the various branches of the association in Toronto comparing notes on Bolshevism. It was: “There’s none of that

in our branch,” and “Well, we had some but wre fixed ’em,” and “They don’t dare to let a peep out of themselves in my branch.”

The Inception of the G.W.V.A.

The organization cf the veterans is bound to prove one of the vital factors in Canadian affairs. Its importance, in fact, cannot be overestimated and should not be overlooked.

The movement w’as not confined to any one section. It sprang to life simultaneously in a score of places between our coasts, out of the need of the moment. It came to life in Toronto in May, 1916, as the Discharged Soldiers’ Association, and this Toronto movement w’as duplicated in Winnipeg in 1917 under the name of the Great War Veterans’ Association. As an illustration of the fact that identical ideas gestate simultaneously out of a similarity of conditions is the fact that at this very time W. E. Turley, who had never even heard of that name, now suggested it as a title for the Toronto association.

Now for the linking up of these widely separated attempts at some articulate expression of the swelling burst of thoughts that clawed for expression in the breasts of the returning men. They knew. But the people about them did not, lulled as they were by their own national self-esteem, their pride of Empire, and worst of all, having no leaders worthy of the name to .voice that tremendous desire to suffer and sacrifice that animated every true Cená-

dian breast. The returning soldiers laughed satirically when their friends at home pointed to what Canada had done already, shoving their chests out until they made a pouter pigeon look round-shouldered. The returned men knew and said that what Canada had done was net a marker to what she was going to do before she piled up on the winning side. They knew that many things must be changed, that reinforcements must be raised; that conscription must come, that the national viewpoint must change.

The Discharged Soldiers’ Association of Toronto took out a provincial charter as the Great War Veterans’ Association at this time, but it received so many enquiries from all kinds of soldier organizations in other parts of the province that a meeting or representatives from all cf them was held in Toronto so as to get acquainted with one another and co-ordinate the common effort. Thus the Ontario Provincial Branch of the Great War Veterans came into existence in March, 1917.

The presence of representatives of the Winnipeg veterans in Toronto on a parliamentary enquiry, led to their being invited to attend the sessions of this Ontario provincial convention with the result that it was decided to form a Dominion wide organization to be known as the Great War Veterans of Canada.

The Purposes of the Association npHE first convention was held in Winnipeg in April cf that year, 1917, when the present constitution was drawn up. It has been found satisfactory so far but is capable of improvement and, being elastic, will be amended and improved upon from year to year at the annual Dominion convention. One of its chief clauses

is: “To impress upon its members that they are to

continue in their service to Canada as citizens, the same spirit of sacrifice and loyalty which they have shown to Canada and the Empire as soldiers, and to remain as members of the Association, non-sectarian and non-partisan.”

Others are: “To perpetuate the close and kindly ties of mutual service in the great war, the recollections and associations of that experience, and to maintain proper standards»of dignity’ and honor between all returned soldiers,” and another: “To ensure that proper provision is made for the care of the sick, wounded and needy among those who have served; including reasonable pensions, employment for such as are capable, soldiers’ homes, medical care and equitable provision for dependent families of enlisted men.”

The G. W. V. A. ran true to Canadian form in going to Nova Scotia for its leader. Lt.-Col. N. F. Purney was elected at this convention and still is the Dominion President. The military records of all who aspire to office in this organization are closely scanned and Colonel Purney measured up, for he had a good fighting record in a Nova Scotia battalion of the 2nd Division. N. F. R. Knight, a former private, representing the sailors and soldiers of the Windsor-Walkerville district, another little Ontario group, .was elected Dominion Secretary—a colonel and a private sharing authority together, without Bolshevism.

A most dramatic incident occurred at this convention. A posthumous award of the V.C. was to be made to Sergeant Frank Hall of the Little Black Devils of Winnipeg, he having died in the winning of it. His mother was a member of the Winnipeg Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Winnipeg Branch. Some of the delegates, hearing of this, conceived the idea of having the presentation made to the mother of the dead boy as a part of the convention proceedings.

As that little woman in black, grey of hair, gentle of face, her motherly soul shining through, came into that hall she unconsciously created the natural, artistic background for an occasion which tugged at the very roots of the sentiment of all assembled hearts. And when Sergeant-Major John Robertson of Vancouver, the first D.C.M. of the Canadian Army, with thirty years of fighting service behind him, with the tears trickling down his cheek, had finished his speech of presentation to that little Canadian mother, amongst all those men, bearing evident scars, there was not a dry eye. And someone, bursting with emotion, struck up a tune that all joined in, standing at attention, their cheeks wet, the small figure of the bereaved mother standing in the heart of them :

"M is for the million things she gave me; O means only that she’s growing old :

T is for the tears she shed to save me :

H is for her heart of purest gold ;

E is for her eyes with lovelight shining; R is for right, and right she’ll always be: Put them together and they spell Mother: The word that means the world to me.”

Tommie i*r«; c%g|^H^|.timentalist.

The ÇMNCE that ^ has grown tween four and sented there

tions. To-day there are approximately 60,000 men in the association and a present growth occurring at the most rapid rate that has been attained yet owing to the great increase in the number of men now returning. Extensive organization work was begun in November of 1917 and by the end of the year six branches had been established in Ontario. There are one hundred branches established in the province now sind others constantly being formed and about two hundred in the Dominion.

It is a distinct achievement that this is the only organization of its kind that has surmounted the barrier of the Great Lakes and it is noteworthy that no other organization of any kind, religious, political or otherwise, has surmounted that barrier quite so thoroughly.

fhe association is essentially democratic. I who believe that the Canadian army and many of our institutions are far from being democratic—the opening of some of our Parliaments for instance—can say that in all sincerity. For a time there was serious danger that the association might institute a class autocracy of its own in revenge for that of the army, by not permitting officers to join it; but that unfortunate point of view was happily overcome and with us now a general is just as good as a private.

The Ontario Provincial Executive is typical of the lack of classes and the mixture of them. The president is a padre, a captain; the vice-president a major and the members of the executive include a gunner, an infantry private and a medical officer, while a nursing sister is vice-president of the St. John, N.B. branch. Bombardier or brigadier, it is all the same, merely a matter of their ability and willingness to serve. We have all known generals whom we would not want to run a peanut stand for us and privates who loomed up^ike young Napoleons. We have not got down to getting our best on top in the G. W. V. A. yet. but we are getting to it. We do not always select leaders on the basis of ability for in such a heterogeneous mass if a man is noisy enough, keeps on his feet and talks a lot. no matter how ignorantly, he can be elected to something—for a while. But just for a while. Consequently the accredited representatives of branches, executives, etc., are not always a fair representation of the intelligence of that particular group of returned soldiers. But in another couple of years when we have settled down, they will be.

The association functions chiefly through the agency of the voluntary executive committee and the paid secretary who represents each local branch, the provincial and the Dominion organizations. Government proceeds in this way: At the head there is the

Dominion command and secretary, stationed at Ottawa, elected yearly by vote of the Dominion convention. Next, there are the executives and secretaries of each provincial organization, elected yearly by their respective provincial conventions and called the Provincial Command.

VOW we approach the actual membership. Any unorganized group of returned men can, by applying to the provincial secretary of the G.W.V.A. in their province—he is usually situated in the provincial capital—be organized into a local branch which elects representatives to attend the aforementioned yearly provincial and Dominion conventions which determine the broad lines of provincial and national policies respectively for the coming year. In addition each branch elects its own executive and secretary. The branch meets once or twice a month and by function-

ing through these various executives is able to bring its suggestions before other branches, get their endorsement and present them to th&» Provincial and Dominion Commands for passing on to the Government as the suggestion of the national or provincial body as the case may be. For purely local conditions, each branch operates through its own executive machinery and by publicity given to the resolutions passed in the meeting.

In the case of some of the larger towns, there may be a number of branches scattered over the city and linked up by a District Command which is based on the Provincial and Dominion Command idea, as in the case of Toronto where there are six branches and where there will probably be three times that number eventually. It is optional with each local branch as to whether it will exist as one large branch or as a number of smaller ones linked up by means of a District Command or some similar body. Usually, as in the case of Toronto, the only paid officials are the secretaries and their office assistance, the executive and all others volunteering their services, which incidentally run into a considerable amount of working time in the course of an ordinary month, time which most of us can ill-afford to spare.

Where the Public Can Help A NOTHER way in which the Toronto G. W. V. A. functions is through its Publicity Department, which creates channels of publicity and keeps the doings of the association wTell up in the public eye. The local papers heartily support the idea and are most generous in their space. The Toronto Star in particular runs an exceedingly bright, daily Veterans’ Page which is a feature of the paper; the Telegram runs a daily column, “Shrapnel Corners,” filled with news of the soldiers and the other papers are doing what they can. The suggestion is here made to all those Canadian papers that have not already instituted such a feature that the doing of it now would constitute a real service to their community and to their local soldiers. This is pure propaganda, but that is because I am part of the publicity machine of the Toronto organization.

CERTAINLY the newspapers and the general public, particularly the employing portion of it, can perform no greater service to itself than to help this young association grow in the right direction. It is already very powerful. It will become more so. And it will be a great force for good or for evil in the life of this Canada of ours in proportion as it represents the Canadian public. There is no middle ground for it. The decision as to which it wall be rests as much with the general public as with the members of the association itself. Personally, I can say in all sincerity that it has tremendously improved since I first began to study it and that all indications point toward a continuation of the policy of purging itself of evil influences and adopting a constantly improving standard of conduct. In this task the general public can perform no greater service than to urge all their friends and relatives who are eligible to join the association, particularly those men who have nothing to gain by joining it. for we want the best blood of Canada in this force, not merely the discontented and the needy amongst the soldiers. It should be impressed upon all returned men that it is their duty as Canadians to take advantage of their privilege as returned men to join this organization and thus help to make it a force for good and not permit it to degenerate into the plunderbund of a class interest such as the Grand Army of the Republic eventually became in the United States. Surely all good

Canadians who read this article will agree and will so urge their friends to noin, or, if they are not eligible to at least pass the \>orct along. Make it serve Canadian and not class impests.

I can honestly say that in spite of offsets here and there, idealism does at present dominate our ideals, but all good Canadians should make *t their business to see that it cont.nues to do so.

Our Main Aim

'T'HOUSANDS ar.d thousands cf soldiers want no reA ward for what they regard as a privilege that was denied less fortunate men—that of fighting for their country—a privilege which like the Irishman’s twins they would not exchange for a million dollars any more than they would give ten cents for another cne like it. I saw in a Toronto paper the other day a report that the local office of the Beard of Pension Commissioners had returned to it three pension applicat on forms, the writers stating that they did not need pensions and would not receive them under any consideration. Those are the men we want in the G. W. V. A.

Now, I do need a pension, badly; for I am a writer; which means that I am a poor man and always will'be. Nevertheless, I will not accept a pension under any consideration either, although I can make out a pretty fair case for one. In fact, I refused to accept the one I was awarded the first time I went up before a pension board in Toronto in 1916. My only regret is that I did not accept it and apply it to some of those deserving cases I have since become acquainted with, cases of men who with terrible disabilities are not receiving as much as they should or of widows and orphans who are getting next to nothing. The habitual detachment of the writing temperament enables one to discuss these private matters and be immune to either shame or vanity.

We do not believe a man should draw a pension merely because he was overseas. That is graft.

But, however, much we may deprecate any raid on the public treasury for ourselves, even those of us who want nothing from the Canadian Government or people for ourselves, are insistent that men who have been badly disabled and dependents who really need assistance, should receive something that is less a pension than a salary. The blind for instance. Or consider the case of the men made insane by war. Are they to be exposed to the brutalities of the average civilian or military institution? Or the soldier’s widow struggling to bring up her little brood? Is the pittance of a pension that would force her to work and keep her children from school justice to her dead soldier? Nothing less than an income sufficient for her to remain at home and send her children to school would be plain elemental justice in such a case.

Every meeting opens with this: “At the word of the

chairman all present will stand with bowed heads in silence for one minute in memory of and out of respect for our fallen comrades and those who are yet in the trenches.” That little custom strikes the central and dominating note.

Association is Far-flung

LIKE Canada, the association is wide-flung in all its

phases. The first convention was held in Winnipeg,

the second in Toronto. The third, in June of this

year, will be held in Vancouver. The president comes

from Halifax, the first vice-president from Vancouver

and the second vice-president from Windsor, Ontario.

Continued on page 89

Continued from page 29

It has been recognized in a thousand different ways by municipal, provincial and Dominion Governments. When the Government concerned evinces any tendency to forget the association or its wants, the G. W. V. A. branch or executive in that locality is not at all backward in calling such omission to its attention with great promptitude.

In many cases legislatures and ministers anticipate the udshes of the soldiers and give more than is asked for. The recent war gratuity is a case in point, a wise move on the part of the Government to tide over a probable period of unemployment in the soldier’s life while he is shifting from the army to civilian life. Another case is the measure passed by the Quebec Legislature in February, making it very easy for soldiers to get desirable farm lands in that province. This and much similar legislation has arisen as a direct result of the organized demands of the Great War Veterans.

There is also the Government housing programme. Howmany people are aware that this is a direct result of G. W. V. A. investigations and recommendations? Fifty-five thousand Canadians have died and more have been badly crippled. They can only be replaced and the average of mentality and physique of the next generation of Canadians be replaced if the standard of living in this country is such that all Canadian children grow up freed from the retarding influences of over-crowding slum conditions in our cities.

To mention just a few other Government programmes which the G.W.V.A. stirred up! There is the post-discharged pay, increased separation allowances, increased pensions, vocational re-education and land settlement.

The acquaintance of Government officials that develops from their contact with the G.W.V.A. officials has led to the Government absorbing many of the latter and placing them in administrative positions, where within the Government they are now approaching these problems from the soldiers’ viewpoint. It is the ambition of one wing of the G. W. V. A. to fill all Government posi-

tions with returned men. Another wing of the organization is opposed to this policy as being likely to give the returned men sole control of all offices and build up a returned soldier’s bureaucracy. The one wing is frankly endeavoring to secure control of all the governmental machinery: the other prefers to share control with all other classes of the community.

The first committee of first-class national importance where representation was secured was the appointment of three G. W. V. A. men on the National Repatriation Committee; one each in Winnipeg, Vancouver and the Maritime Provinces. Now, the Dominion Executive of the association, which sits at Ottawa, is so firmly entrenched that it constitutes an unofficial advisory committee of the Government and maintains a close contact with the Premier, the Cabinet and all other responsible officials and is frequently invited to express the soldiers’ views on questions of importance, covering a wide range of effort. In short the Dominion Executive is a sort of super-lobby, but with none of the furtiveness usually associated with lobbyists but on the contrary, inviting the widest possible publicity for all of its demands, secure in the knowledge that the sentiment of the country is behind its membership in all just ones.

So close is the contact of the association with the Government that Cabinet Ministers go out of their way in public speeches to ui*ge business men and the general public to similarly co-operate with and use the veterans’ machinery for reconstructive and all other national efforts which would benefit by the tremendous influence the G.W.V.A. exercises.

In Toronto a committee of the Grand Council of the Board of Trade maintains close contact with a G. W. V. A. committee and by means of sub-committees representing each employing class in the city functions to create employment of returned men, the elimination of enemy aliens and the prompt investigation of all soldier complaints.

The Veteran in Politics

IN spite of this relation with the Union Government, the association is not tied to it, indebted to it, committed to it or to any other Government by any promise of political or any other allegiance. The veterans do not feel that they are indebted to any party and object to any hat in hand attitude on the part of their representatives. They say: “These are our rights and the

rights of the Canadian people: We

respectfully call your attention to this condition of affairs. We suggest that you do so and so.”

The G. W. V. A. helped elect the Union Government because it supported the Military Service Act, but there its allegiance ended. In fact, the constitution at present not only forbids its going into politics but prevents even the discussion of them in meeting, as it is felt that until all the Canadian soldiers and nursing sisters have returned, those in Canada now are merely acting as trustees for all and should not commit absent men to any policy, political or otherwise that might not adequately represent their views. For the women who have served are eligible to membership too. The association has made enemies, some powerful ones, as a result of this aloofness and their position has even been misrepresented to their comrades overseas by certain newspapers and officials as a result of this policy but those are the facts.

Numerous branches are beginning to grow restless under this restriction which keeps them out of politics and there is no doubt that in view of the changed situation the decision will be reconsidered at the June convention in Vancouver although the outcome is impossible to foresee. As things stand, the soldiers are free to go to any political party on an equal footing. If they should affiliate with any one, however, their efforts would become more circumscribed and they might become the prey of politicians both within and without their own membership. On the other hand they might adopt the middle course of throwing their support to men, meas-

ures and parties who from time to time seem best to express ther views, shifting such support as occasion warranted and without tying to any one body pei*manently unless they should decide to create a political party of their own. As things stand it seems that the farmers’ party and perhaps even the labor organizations are with the veterans, travelling on roads which converge more and more to one another and that may eventually blend into one strong party. At the moment there are differences and aside from an invitation from the Councils of Agriculture to the Winnipeg G.W.V.A. Branch to co-operate with them, I know of no actual tendency toward any such union but on the contrary do know that the veterans resent the farmers’ attitude on conscription, and in hide-bound Toronto, for instance, are opposed to the farmers’ free trade tendencies, so that many of them dismiss this probability as unworthy of consideration.

However a scanning of the programmes of the various organizations mentioned will discover the fact that they are all based on the same fundamental consideration, that of labor being much the farthest removed from the soldiers’ aspirations, but none the less perhaps representing some of them since most of the soldiers are workers. This fact alone, especially in view of some of the tendencies of modern labor make it highly essential that all good Canadians who are eligible should join the G.W.V.A. so that they may bring to bear on these momentous decisions of the future the unselfishness of -n patriotism removed from any thought of benefiting by that class interest which threatens to disrupt the world to-day.

That the returned soldier will be the most powerful factor in the politics of the future goes without saying. His vote will be the vote the politician will most sedulously court. That the bulk of the candidates for office will be returned men in the not far distant future is also to be expected.

But of the part that the organization as an organization will take, it is impossible as yet to say. It will depend on circumstances. We believe it will be a big part.

Helping the Individual

ONE of the most valuable services of the G.W.V.A. has been the shouldering of many responsibilities which the clumsiness of the governmental machinery does not adequately care for even though the impartial observer of to-day must give full credit to the Canadian Government and people for the generosity of their attitude to their returned men. The number of distress cases cared for by the various branches and their ladies’ auxiliaries, one of which is attached to each branch, is legion. Claims of widows, orphans and crippled soldiers are constantly being adjusted and in cases where Government action lags, the veterans themselves cheerfully vote money out of their own funds.

Women are particularly good on these cases requiring sympathy and tact and it is hoped that a large accession to the strength of the organization will occur, when many of the women who have been engaged in war work will take as much pride and interest in helping the returned men as they did in knitting socks for them while they were soldiers. Of course, these women are tired of it. Well, so are we, absolutely fed up but we have to knock along and do our whack to turn the right kind of a Canada over to those who follow us. Others did it for us. Will we do less? To any women who seek such an outlet for their patriotic services I would say: “Join the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the G. W. V. A. in your town,” for membership in that is not necessarily confined to relatives of returned men.

The Men in the Van ’PHE association has not actually developed any man who can be said to be a leader in Canadian life, yet for the very simple reason that the entire effort of such men as it has actually developed is concentrated on the association itself and not politically or in some other form of public life outside the association. It

has, however, developed a number of men, some already well-known, others obscure, into leaders within the association, and as such, able to exert a tremendous influence on the trend of all national policies.

Private Peat, the well-known Canadian war lecturer, was a delegate to the first Dominion convention at Winnipeg, in April 1917. He was unknown up to this time and had not had any experience as a speaker, so that the G.W.V.A. can fairly claim to have had its share in developing a man who has done so much to advertise Canada in the States. There were other speakers as good, perhaps better at that convention Who devoted themselves to the association, while he, doing no less, worked in another way. The association has and is developing hundreds of excellent speakers in its branch meetings. Men who had not the faintest conception of parliamentary procedure or any equipment as speakers are getting a new insight into Government on the one hand and into their own capabilities as speakers and leaders on the other, becoming articulate for a great stirring mass of citizenship.

There, are others less spectacular than Peat. There is Lt.-Col. Puraey, an unknown lawyer of Halifax, that spawning ground of lawyers. Now, as President of the Dominion Command, he is nationally known and in a position to influence Government at its source.

There is Captain, the Reverend Jekins, who was, I am told, a good sample of the average Church of England rector. It was the G. W. V. A. that gave h’m scope for his latent possibilities and now as president of the Brantford, Ontario Branch and also of the Provincial Command, he is a public man of the first importance in his town and province and like many others, is just started. He is a first rate speaker, having lectured in the States with great success, is on the Board of Education of Brantford and was recently elected President of the Chamber of Commerce; a rather variegated career for an Anglican clergyman, but certainly a career that is of inestimable benefit to the life of his community. Under his leadership, his branch has become the most progressive and perhaps the most powerful in Ontario. There is probably no officer or man in Brantford who is eligible who does not belong to it.

The first vice-president of the Dominion Command is Lt.-Col. Wm. Hendrie, a gentleman who is well-known to all lovers of good horses and clean sport throughout the Dominion. He is a brother of Sir John Hendrie, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and comes from a family so well known throughout Ontario that the presence of one of its members on the Dominion Command of the G.W.V.A. ensures for the G.W.V.A. in the rigid Ontario eyes and mind a degree cf respectability which no other human agency could attain. Because Ontario is Ontario.

Then there is Poynton of Belleville, the Ontario representative on the Dominion Command. He is a young lawyer, unknown except in Belleville until this office gave him broader scope and developed him beyond what his own fellow citizens had suspected him capable of. He has developed wonderful powers, especially as an executive man and his presentation of the G.W.V.A. views to the Dominion Cabinet, due to his legal training and his zeal for the returned men, is said by old timers in Ottawa to equal any presentation ever made to that body.

C. J. McNeil, the Dominion Secretary-

Treasurer, who camps on the trail of the Government at Ottawa, was not heard of before his activities in the G.W.V.A. in Alberta. He gave up the prospeet of a brilliant public life in his native province to shoulder his present onerous duties; which, however, have the compensation of carrying with them a power which premiers might envy.

There is “Bill” Turley, at whom the returned men shout in meetings throughout Ontario: “Hullo, Bill.” He was an unknown reporter on the Toronto Telegram before the war, had never made a speech in his life and had, as he often emohasizes, once followed the honorable profession of a navvy and is first cousin tc a pick. He is now Ontario Provincia’ Secretary of the association and as an organizer drags a couple of new branches into the G.W.V.A. cave every day or so. He is an eloquent little whirlwind or his feet a. d is one of the best all-round extemporaneous speakers I have heard on his chosen subject, on which he has the true fanaticism of the idealist he is—the subj ect of repatriation, of the raising ol all Canadian standards and of replacing the loss of life by an improved manhood and childhood by preventive and helpful measures now and forever.

These are all chicks whom the G.W.V.A. has hatched, without however being able to take the credit of such ability as they have. There are thousands like them on the nest and tapping away at their shells. I have only mentioned a few of those 1 happen to know about and because I live in Ontario I am better informed of events and men here and not able to do full justice to the men in the other provinces. A man just returned from the Pacific Coast says that there is a wonderful feeling all over the country; the G.W.V.A. is leading public sentiment everywhere.

A keen observer said to me the other day: “It is safe to say that the big men of Canada for the next fifty years will he recruited from the G.W.V.A.” The loyalty of the ex-soldiers to their military units, their pride in regiment and corps, is now being transferred to the community in which they live; a natural transplantation in which all good citizens should assist, for it is one of the great imponderables of the war, an invisible, silent and powerful moral force, constructive to the highest degree.

CONDEMNATION of the visionary aspirations of soldiers and their sympathizers, laughing at them as wild, Utopian, and foolish, only adds fuel to their consuming fire. Only the acid test of “Is it right?” or “Is it wrong?” goes to-day. An honest and impartial survey of the national situation and an honest effort to improve it is essential, even though much that is dear to all of us in the old life before the war must go, never to reappear again. For the world has so moved in the last four years that we are as far removed in thought from the year 1914 as though a century or more of ordinary time had elapsed, and that man or woman who to-day thinks in terms of 1914 lives in a fool’s paradise.

The mere gaining of a military victory did not end the war. Our dead died for a better, greater Canada. The war has driven home into all Canadian hearts the need, the privilege of service. Let us all be soldiers together, fight their fight and assume our full responsibilities as citizens and turn over to their children and ours such a Canada that they will say: “Well done, good and faithful countrymen.”