CANADA IS PIVOT OF EMPIRE
AGNES C. LAUT
Author of “The Canadian Commonwealth,” “Lord of the North,” etc.
ANEW phrase is subtly creeping into discussions of all international relations.
It was first coined by the military and naval observers of all the Governments sent abroad to study the strategy of the Great War. Then it found its way into the secret official report of the great practical scientists whom each nation involved in the War, employed to devise new inventions to counteract submarine and mine and aeroplane.
The phrase is “Land Power.”
Note it well!
It is destined to become in the next fifty years the same pivotal focus of national defence that the phrase “Sea Power” implied for the past three hundred years; and there is not a big fuel or engineering scientist, naval or military man, who observed the past War, who does not realize this.
Naval Men See Land Power
IT is the real reason why so many Americans smile contemptuously at President Wilson’s League of Nations as the fatuous myth of an impracticable dreamer, who does not know facts and refuses to recognize them, even when they impinge with irresistible impact against his stubborn determination of the whole League, or no League.
“Land Power” is the pivot of that'Greater Britain which King George foresaw when he visited Canada a few years ago, and which the Prince of Wales again foresaw when he recently crossed the Canadian prairies. Both princes had their training in the navy; and the British navy was the first to realize what was happening, though the American navy was a close second; and their realization is likely to leak out in the American Naval Enquiry, like secrets whispered by boys suddenly out of school.
No, I am not referring to Canada as “the Granary of the Empire,” the way we used to talk in the old hard times of the North-West, when we were trying to bolster up our own depression with hope deferred.
It is a deeper and subtler thing than that.
It is a new line-up for the nations of the world, which Russia and Germany foresee and are forefending by preparing to get together.
It is a new line-up, which makes Canada, not a pivot, but the pivot of the British Empire.
British statesmen see it. That is why they are eager and willing for Canada to have her own embassy, or legation, or whatnot here.
It will bring more British capital into Canada in the next twenty years than was invested in the United States in a century; and if you know the facts of the case, it was British capital that financed more than fifty per cent, of the opening of the American West.
It will bring more capital into Canada in the next twenty years than all the two billions of American capital poured into Canada in the last ten years.
■ During the War, the Navy did not tell secrets, but the most of us knew if we cared to know that wonderful scientific devices were perfected for listening in on wireless messages, for directing the spiral course of an underseas bomb, for detecting the approach of a submarine or surface ship for a radius of four miles, for camouflaging blockade runners, so that in one trial case a blockade runner actually defied hitting by all the big coast guns and war vessels guarding the coast firing at her for a radius of four miles for four hours.
Germany knows this. When she sank her fleet she knew that she suffered little loss and put the Allies to great expense.
Russia knows this, and will work a union with Germany, unless the Allies beat Germany to it in an alliance with Russia; for what most of us do not take in is that all these scientific devices cut both ways.
If we may listen in on wireless messages, so may the enemy.
If an underseas bomb can be directed unerringly on a spiral course, the submarine is ten times a more dangerous shark to Sea Power than ever before; and if scientific camouflage can defy hitting by all the warships in the world in a radius of four miles for four hours, the same camouflage renders the submarine invulnerable. The nation that is best equipped and with the greatest number of submarines is safe from attack, and invulnerable in naval war.
NAVAL men don’t like that word invulnerable. They don’t like it for two reasons. If the submarine is invulnerable, it means the end of costly navies. It means the end of big appropriations for navies, which in the past has always worked out in countless ramifications of ship yards and steel, and political support. It spells the doom of Sea Power except in terms of land defence. The old line men don’t like that, though the new blood and the scientists know it has been proved by the War. Also all navy men hate, loathe and despise submarine work. It is murderous. It is unethical. It is the deed of a hidden assassin, violating all codes of sea or land. Then, physically, it is plain hell, destructive of morale, and discipline, and nerves, and mental balance. No crew will stand it for a long term and no commander can command it for a long term. Germany could maintain her submarine warfare only by the wildest exaggeration of honors in reward and the widest latitude as to discipline and stimulants when ashore. Navy men hate the submarine; but there it is—a Frankenstein thing of evil, a menace sounding the doom of the very thing it was created to defend—Sea Power.
The End of Costly Navies
Old line navy men are setting their faces against the inevitable. New blood, guided ,by scientific facts, is facing and forefending against the inevitable.
“Do you realize,” I was asked by a scientist, who did more with new inventions in bombs and hydrophones and fuel devices for the Allied navies than any man living,
“do you realize Admiral Mahan’s Sea Power will have to be re-written? It will have to be re-written Land Power; and all the nations, who don’t want to be wiped out, will have to line up with the new order.
“People thoughtlessly criticize England for a quick conciliatory peace with Russia, the Russia of the Soviets, when she is ready to thrash the Turks at the drop of the hat; but do they stop to think? If England does not gain Russian friendship, Germany will. (This man’s most brilliant son—an inventor like himself—was killed by a German submarine.) If Russia and Germany lock power and provide themselves with sufficient submarines, of which they have the scientific secrets as well as we, they can defy the world. Supremacy becomes not Sea Power, but Land Power—Land Power reinforced by sufficient submarines to guard the coast and harry commerce at sea.
Then where is England? Where is the United States?
Naval supremacy becomes a question of land defence; and England’s boasted trade, which is her life blood, and our foreign trade, without which half our factories would have to shut down on a moment’s notice as they did when the war broke out in 1914, would be boxed up, hermetically sealed.
Canada the Pivot of Empire
“ 'Jf''HAT is why I say the change from Sea Power to Land Power makes Canada the pivot of theEmpire to-day. “That is why you will see British capital pour into Canada, not to escape war taxes, but because Canada must become the base of British supplies, the link between the United States and Great Britain for material defence against an Orient which is plotting to become hostile, or a Russian-German alliance which is now overtly hostile. With Canada, the United States and Great Britain hostile—” he threw up his hands—“the avalanche isn’t coming—it is here if we permit that. Strangle British
trade; and you strangle the Empire. Drive a wedge between England and the United States; and you throw the gift of the gods and the sacrifices of the heroes into the lap of the enemy. It is so plain I gasp that our penny politicians don’t see it. If we permit that to happen, it is continent against continent, America against Europe, and Europe against Asia—Asia menacing our West Coast—and what is to hinder except our defence of land base submarines? And how many submarines do you think we have—facts, you know, not hot-air self gratulations?
“Let me tell you some inside facts that seem to have no connection but are vital as death and taxes; and remember I was an adviser to the navy when all this was going on. I was on the ships trying out devices again and again.
“We have boasted how we got the German submarines. Did we? We had submarine chasers in the hundreds. We—I am speaking of the U. S. navy—had private yachts transformed into coast guards and scouts by the thousands. We literally seeded certain sections of the North Sea with mines. Do you know how many German ‘subs’ we actually got? The chasers got exactly five. The scouts and guards say they got four — makes nine — doesn’t it? Well; by actual count, seven German ‘subs’ are the tally of the American navy; and the mines got—” he paused—“by actual count not one. That is why the navy men, who care more for their country than for vain glory and medals, are determined to blow the lid off secrecy and let the truth out and force a reorganization along scientific lines. The mistake Germany made was in beginning the war before she had enough submarines to defy the world. Her boastfulness over vaunted as usual and fell short. If she had had enough submarines to cripple the Allies’ navies as she almost crippled the merchantmen at one stage of the war—” he paused. What I inferred from his silence was that the United States would have fought its Somme and Chateau-Thierry up in Canada repelling the German invasion which the Kaiser had definitely planned for Canadá.
Sea Power Changed to Land Power
“ IT ERE is the trouble,” he said. “You think our hydro* phones and detectors protect our big dreadnaughts; but it works just the other way. As long as the ship is above water, the detector can find a target within a hair’s breadth, can hear every footfall above decks, can register every lift of a man’s hand, or turn of his head if he is up in the crow’s nest on the look-out. But you equip the submarine with the same apparatus; and where does your big dreadnaught get off? It gets off the earth and the sea straight to bottom quicker than I can utter these words; for get this point clear—as soon as the submarine submerges and zig-zags, the waves of the sea deflect the detector. We know she is there sharking under somewhere in a radius of four miles; but the wraves deflect the register and we can’t tell within four miles where she is.
“But she knows where we .are to a hair’s breadth and she can send a spiral bomb after us to a hair’s breadth; and your $20,000,000 ship with 5,000 troops aboard may be junk in twenty seconds in the bottomless sea.
“These are scientific facts learned bitterly and at great cost in this war; and we can!t evade them.
“They change Sea Power to Land Power, and it is for Land Power we must all fortify ourselves.
“That’s where Canada comes in as the pivot of the British Empire.
The Importance of Oil Supply
LET me tell you of a trial we gave our biggest, fastest ship. She made her test the fastest a big ship has ever gone -how fast is a naval secret ; and we loaded her with men to the limit to go across. Her hydrophone registered a ‘sub.’ She made two to three miles faster getting away from that submarine in the dark than she made on her trial spin. If the ‘sub’ had had speed and a hydrophone to locate her he didn’t finish the sentence. “Then how about Daniel’s big Navy Bill?” I asked.
He laughed. “Ask the scientists,” he answered, “.lust—one big—bluff to the taxpayers if Wilson carries the League of Nations to the 1920 elections. You pay a big tax bill, or pass the Treaty! Whereas what we really want for safety is a treaty with England and Canaula himself long enough to remark that sometimes paper was held up at the freight office owing to funds for its release being unavailable. Both ladies felt that the foreman had been dowered at birth with an almost superhuman intelligence. Their belief was confirmed when careful investigations unearthed the fact that there actually was paper at the freight office. The only difficulty was that the charges were fairly heavy, and they did not have the money. However
Continued on Page 68
Note.—In the accompanying article Miss Laut spins a fascinating theory on which she hangs the statement that Canada has become the pivot of the British Empire. She prophesies a future for Canada greater than any Canadian has yet dared to predict—a future based not only on our huge territory, but on our untapped sources of oil and fuel. This article will ma/ce you think of a tremendous future for the Dominion,
Saving a Newspaper
Continued from page 19
they owed money on the newspaper, and there was no use piking on a matter of paper to put it before the public. Eventually the money was borrowed at seven per cent, and the precious paper released.
The First Complaint
' I 'HE first issue of the Tribune brought _ its own troubles. It brought for one thing Mr. Jamieson, a dour Scotchman, who dropped in to demand a statement of policy. “I’ve been a subscriber to this paper for years,” he said sternly, “because it was Conservative, and I’m not minded to see it change now. If you are thinking of changing I have come to tell you that will discontinue my subscription, and there are sixteen other Jamiesons taking it and they will stop too.”
“Well,” said Mrs. Fielding, “it won’t Liberal, and it will be temperance, and what else I’ll have to let you know later.” Mr. Jamieson went away with the scowl still on his face, and Mrs. Fielding sat down to make a little note regarding Mr. Jamieson’s visit to town. Suffice it to say that not a Jamieson was .dropped from the list.
There was another trouble, and that was in regard to a policy for the paper. Miss Forbes and Mrs. Fielding sat down figure the matter out, and they decided that it didn’t matter so much what the policy was as long as it was a fighting one. Politics is usually something that wfll stir the blood down in the Mantimes, but an election was just over, and they felt that the cream of the excitement was off for the time being. That would come later, but at the moment something else was needed. They were both temperance advocates, and that looked like a good cause.
Windsor was a Scott Act" town, but despite that fact there were 16 saloons more or less openly retailing liquor. The two ladies sitting down together argued that there would probably be as much fight in this question as in any other that could be discovered, and they were certainly right. No sooner was this policy decided on than the Tribune appeared with a blazing attack on the liquor traffic in general and on the administration of the Scott Act in the town of Windsor in paiv ticular. They demanded that either the law be enforced or that the sellers be granted a license. They _ pointed out the insidious danger of this hole-and-corner business; told what it was likely to do, and pointed out some definite instances of what it actually was doing. If John Doe, the son of a prominent family in the town, was arrested for being drunk, when there was supposedly no liquor to get drunk on, John Doe’s name appeared in print with the details of the case, but without comment. In this policy the paper has never varied. It gives the news and will not suppress names.
A Crusade Against Liquor
TP HE attack on the liquor interests, A which were pretty strongly entrenched in the town, brought about a bitter fight. Even much of the better element in the town was only half in sympathy with the Tribune’s campaign. Entrenched interests always gain a certain sympathy from the* mollusc type of individual wno hates a; change of surroundings, and whose doc-, trines is always “let it alone.”
Windsor stirred uneasily, and grew* restive under the persistent argument^ that the “blind tiger” should be forced ta) go.
“Don’t you think,”, said a friend of thej two ladies dropping into the office, if you* can speak of dropping in an office that1] requires a toilsome climb up stairs, “Don’t? you think that you are going a little tool strong? There is a lot of feeling in tbe| town.”
Well,” said Mrs. Fielding, “that’s^ what we were hoping for.” _
But it’s pretty strong feeling, and there"?
are a crowd of people, a rough lot from thef troublesome. I’nçi
district, who might be 1
afraid if you keep on, that they will raidj
the office and throw your plant inti_. the street.” .
“As long as they leave us enough type: to spell “Temperance,” Mrs. Fielding snap-' ped back, “we will publish this paper.’A
It is not to be denied that it was a) struggle, and Mbs Forbes, who presides^ at the business end, found it pretty hardy sledding. She had to see that there was-: enough money forthcoming to pay the weekly charges.
“Have we enough money to pay the wages?” Mrs. Fielding would ask OR Saturday mornings.
“No, but we will have,” would come the prompt reply from Miss Forbes, and she would start out and collect accounts till the necessary funds were in hand. That was hard business, but it was sound business^ and no small part of the success of the Windsor Tribune has lain in the fact that its proprietors were not afraid to ask for the money that was due them.
A Hard Struggle
DUT as the campaign for temperance •*-* went on the collecting grew harder. One large advertiser discontinued his advertising entirely, because, as he said, the paper was “a dirty rag.” It was a hard blow, but instead of backing down they redoubled their attacks on the liquor interests. They received threatening letters, and were solemnly warned time and again by their friends. But nothing happened, that is nothing happened to them. But gradually the town feeling began to turn to the side of the paper. The molluscs clambered off their rocks, and began to believe that there might be a worse catastrophe than a change, and one by one the “blind tigers” began to slink away till the mere name of Windsor was sufficient to parch the throats of the bibulously inclined.
And so gradually they won out. The advertiser who had thought the Tribune “a dirty rag,” forgot that remark and announced proudly that it was the only paper with the courage to tell the truth. That typified the change in sentiment of the community, and ended the lean years. Working together steadily and persistently, for Miss Forbes had given up her school and was busy all the time drumming up business for the paper, they had made the Tribune a factor in the community. They worked together in this as they have done in all the business of the paper, although Mrs. Fielding has devoted most of her attentions to the editorial side and Miss Forbes to the business manage-
A gentleman dropped in one day, in an embittered spirit. Something had diseased him, and he was bent on cancelng his subscription. He had doubtless announced his intention to his wife at the breakfast table, and had thus gained the desperate courage that comes of the bridges burned. He announced his complaints, and outlined his intentions to Miss Forbes. Miss Forbes at once countered with a variety of reasons as to why he should not adopt the course proposed. Mrs. Fielding, scenting the battle from afar, drifted in, and added her arguments to those of Miss Forbes. For the moment the business and editorial departments ceased to function and all energies were focussed on the circulation end. The man’s protests were beaten down in a torrent of argument. He threw up his hands in despair, stopping only long enough to stick his head back into the office and announce, "I give it up, what the one of you doesn’t think of¡ the other does.” But the name did not come off the list. That disgruntled gentleman had put his finger on the vital point in the success of the Windsor Tribune. “What the one of you doesn’t think of, the other does.”
A New Building Planned
"THE business began to prosper, and there began to be a little money in the treasury, and their pride began to revolt ¡at the little printing shop over the store.
There was a fine corner lot in one of the best locations in the town. It had formerly been thé site of an hotel, but the hotel had been burned down some years ■previous, and only its blackened skeleton I remained. The ladies pondered over the .matter, and to them it seemed that it would jibe a fine touch of poetic justice if the old
grog shop should give place to the temperance newspaper. Finally the lot came up for sale and Mrs. Fielding again journeyed to the court house and bid it in. It lay idle for some time, and finally in 1914 they decided to build. They had nice plans drawn by an architect and paid $200 for them. They looked nice, but when Miss Forbes and Mrs. Fielding got together and discussed them, they did not seem just to suit, so it was decided to scrap them, and Miss Forbes herself drew others that took into account that it was a newspaper office, and that it needed a large side wall on which the name of the Windsor Tribune could be blazened forth in letters so large that he who walked, ran, or motored might read. For this was one of the outstanding ideals of the proprietors.
The plans were completed and the great war broke out at approximately the same time. The ladies were anxious to get right on with the work, but there were croaking friends who foresaw dire possibilities. “The Germans might come sailing up the river any day,” they said, “and blow your new building into kingdom
The ladies, however, were not to be daunted by the bogey of a special German hate for the Tribune, and despite all arguments they decided to go ahead.
They contracted f or the building. When they had secured the whole contract they went over it and decided that they were being gouged, and that the process was neither pleasant nor profitable. So instead of one contract they made several, with the bricklayers for construction work, for which they themselves placed the orders for brick; with the carpenters, plumbers and electrician. The building when completed was and is one of the finest in Windsor. They put in a new press and when they were located in the new building, they had paid the original mortgage and had a clear receipt for the new press as well. They have a circulation that covers a 20-mile radius about Windsor, and stretches farther afield. They have a business that has more than doubled even since they went into their new building, and ask either of these ladies and they will tell you that though they have worked hard, they have had a thoroughly good time.
Mrs. Fielding is a member of the Board of Trade, the first woman member on record. She is also president of the local Red Cross, and at the time of the catastrophe in Halifax spent six weeks there helping to organize the relief in her own energetic way, which entailed riding on loads of coal to assure their delivery, and similar decisive measures. During her absence Miss Forbes ran the paper.
They are both fighters, though in a different way. Mrs. Fielding wields a forceful pen, but is fortunately gifted with a legal type of mind that has been a protection against the possibility of libel actions, even in the most strenuous days of their campaign. Miss Forbes is the business end, a very keen, systematic and fearless business getter.
Probably had Charles Lamb taken time to sit down and study the antics of that dog of his, he might have been relieved of his apprehension that its “intellectuals” were in danger. Certainly the people of Windsor, Nova Scotia, in the light of sixteen years of successful effort, have forgotten that they ever thought the scheme of two women to own and operate a newspaper, was close akin to madness.