The Problems of Our Provinces
The Conclusion of a Series of Ten Striking Articles
X. A General Survey of the Dominion
THE articles on the above subject, of which this is the last, have sought to deal with questions which are of vital concern in each of the provinces.
These problems have differed widely in form. The oldest part of the Dominion thinks itself at a disadvantage in relation to a newer section. One protests that it has been unjustly treated in the distribution of federal lands, another in being denied its natural resources and still another because of discriminatory railway rates. The outlying parts complain of lack of sympathy by the centre with their aspirations and their grievances. There are racial, religious, and educational difficulties to iron out. Physical barriers, and immense distances add to the difficulties. The adjustment of boundaries involves problems, direct and implied. Conflicting policies have to be reconciled. The opening of new trade routes, and the changes they induce in the trend of commerce increase the complications of a situation already highly complex. All combine to leave no section of the Dominion without that prized possession—a grievance.
These all grow out of the difficult ta^k of giving coherence to the thought, and a common impulse to the action, of groups of peoples separated by wide distances, by long intervals of history, and by varying racial origins, and religious beliefs.
There has been a sincere effort to examine fairly these problems. It would be unfortunate, however, if that attempt should leave an impression that Canada was an aggregation of units repellent to one another, and incapable of compromise or of concerted action.
“What impressed me most in my trip across Canada,” said that thoughtful publicist, Hon. N. W. Rowell, recently, “was not the differences which divide the provinces of Canada, but the essential unity of all.”
Less observant travellers have reached the same conclusion.
While this series has sought to explain these questions they have not presumed to answer them. They are much too involved for superficial comment. MacLean's merely undertook to disclose the facts in the hope that from a fuller knowledge by all of the problems of each the first step would be taken toward their solution.
So many letters, however, have been received, asking that the subjects at issue be pursued a little further, that in this concluding article some comment on things growing out of this series of articles, will be attempted.
Still Worthy of the Beaver
'T'HE industry of the Canadian people is not open to question. Much of the outdoor work of this country is carried on under rather stern conditions. But this is no deterrent to
labor. Where men “slow down” or product is withheld, it is because of policy and not from reluctance to toil The beaver has not yet lost its appropriateness as the emblem of Canada.
But the frugality of Canadians is not so evident. In older Canada, perhaps, it persists to a degree, as an inherited virtue. In other parts it is not conspicuous. The wastefulness of the North American is a constant surprise to the thrifty European, and the latter finds enough of it north of the international line to convince him that Canada is still part of the continent.
This extravagance in private life seems accentuated in the expenditures of public bodies and governments. The total debt of the Dominion, federal, provincial, and municipal—is stated to be $4,000,000,000. And it is still growing, and growing rapidly. It constitutes a menace staggering to a country of such limited population as Canada. The first problem in Canada, and one which presses insistently for adjustment, is its debt. This can be met by rigid economy, permitting the reduction of the national obligation, and thus reducing taxation which is crippling business, retarding development, diverting capital from industrial life, limiting employment, causing the migration of our citizens, and making Canada a dear country in which to live.
It is not an easy task. Those who administer Canadian affairs must work off large maps. At Confederation the Dominion embraced 662,148 square miles. To-day it includes ¿,729,665 square miles. It is twice as big as the Roman Empire at the pinnacle of its power. Its park system is as big as Belgium. The ordinary administrative
difficulties in such a huge territory are in themselves stupendous. And these are increased by sparseness of population. Those who compare the extent of Canada with that of the United States not only ignore the fact that Canadians are fewer in numbers, but that population is limited to restricted areas, and that there is a considerable section of Canada which can never be inhabited.
The late Senator Edwards was probably the most devoted of Sir Wilfrid Lauriers admirers, outside those of his own race, but he was given to impatient speech when his great chief dwelt upon the vast resources of Canada. The senator insisted that the only portion of great potential wealth was a comparatively narrow strip along its southern boundary. The riches which northern mines, lumber, pulp, fish, coal and other resources have since brought to the Dominion treasury have shown that the long visions of Laurier were more fully justified than the more cautious views of some of his contemporaries. But they do not liter the material facts of the case. And these Canadians would do veil to keep in mind.
Go North, Young Man!
ONE development which the senator may not have foreseen was the gradual deepening of the country. Slowly the flow of population westward, has shown a deflection to the north. Acadians in northern New Brunswick are clearing land and thriving upon land which has hitherto been idle. Northern Ontario and northern Quebec—those new empires, recently added to our old provinces—are bringing enormous tiacts of timber, lieh mines, and great vat er powers into the column of wealth production. Fine cities have grown up in the northwest, surrounded by wheat fields where long only the bison grazed. Premier Brackin recalls that sixty years ago Illinois was regarded as the northern limit of the
wheat belt. In 1882 Sir Wm, Crooks permitted that limit to be moved up as far north as Minnesota, but still kept the frozen country south of the international boundary.
“Europeans long ago pushed the polar regions out of Europe,” says Stefansson. "We ought to push them out of Canada.”
And one method of doing it is to develop by selection cereals which can be matured in a hundred days on the rich plains which for so long were abandoned to the Redskin and the buffalo. The Arctics are no longer encountered south of Great Bear lake.
Even the limits of cereal growth no longer delimit the boundaries of productive or habitable land. The great explorer mentioned, and the intrepid Grenfell of the Labrador
coast, have accustomed the mind to possibilities in subarctic production a hich would have been dismissed as fantastic a few years ago This year the Indians at the Hudson’s Bay posts will again make peinan can from the carcasses of hundreds of buffalo from the Wainwright herd of S.OOO. which has become too numerous for comfort.
In the migratory season caribou by the thousand swarm across northern rivers, and actually stop navigation. Sanctuary of 10,000 square miles has been made this year near Great Slave lake, by the government for a wild herd of buffalo, estimated at 1,500, recently found in that uncharted district. Reindeer steaks from the great Alaska herds are regularly on sale at Seattle. The hybrid eattalo is multiplying rapidly in the far North. And, leaving the land, the whale fisheries of B. C.. it is estimated, could furnish 100.000.000 pounds of meat annually, bringing twelve cents a pound. How to give depth to the country has long concerned Canadian statesmen. They are not likely to ignore the possibilities in that connection of cheap food production suggested in the above facts.
Intimately associated with Canada’s debt problem is her railway situation. Railways have long been a prime factor in the national life. They made confederation possible Through them confederation has been extended and maintained. They facilitated the expansion and the consolidation of the nation. But they still constitute one of its greatest problems.
Ever-Vexing Railway Problems
CONFEDERATION followed closely the end of the American civil war, in which there was much Canadian sympathy with the South. Such records as remain of the debates of the time show the concern of our public men lest conditions might force Canada, as Taché phrased it. into the Union, “if not by violence, because of an inclined plane which will carry us there insensibly.” Open ports on both seas, and a railway connecting them— this was the confederation plan. Hugh John Macdonald, whose illustrious father did so much to bring this about, points out that the building of the Intercolonial Railway was a nur quo non of the Maritimes coming into the union, and the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, of British Columbia joining it. Therefore one of the principal problems of confederation was railways. And so it has ever since remained.
“As a corollary of confederation,” says Mr. Macdonald, “based as it was. largely on railway considerations, the policy of the Dominion and the provinces should have been made to coordinate so as to avoid overlapping activities and jurisdictions. Thus we would have had a logical and comprehensive system, not as at present one disjointed and duplicated in many parts.”
The Leader of the Opposition, Robert Borden, when the measures for a second transcontinental railway were submitted, urged the need of the very coordination suggested by Mr. Macdonald. The language he used, while disregarded then, may well be kept in mind in planning future railways in Canada.
“There are in Canada.” he said, “two great natural divisions, the East and the West. These are at present, in some respects, separate communities. They have business interests, which though so different in some respects should fit harmoniously into one another. These great divisions of our country are connected in summer by a magnificent highway, the waterway of the Great Lakes. In winter they are separated by one thousand miles of uninhabited country and there is some tendency with excellent railway connection to the south of us for the lines of trade to run north and south, instead of east and west, as they should.”
A Prophetic Suggestion
\ FTER pointing out that East and West were already - *■ served with existing railways, whereas the intervening territory was spanned only by the C. P. R., he offered
the following suggestion:
"Let the government acquire the C. P. R. from North Bay to Fort William, and make it a national highway. Let ail the roads have running rights over it. To build two, perhaps three railways where one railway with running rights over it will serve the same purpose, is economic waste.’’
In the same way he urged a common highway across the Rockies.
To-day, twenty years later, after time has removed many of the principals, we are sufficiently remote from the political rivalries of that period to recognize the prescience of the suggestion. It was a grim commentary on our national foresight that under the pressure of a great war necessity, steam winches and sledge hammers were employed to take up one set of rails from a hundred miles of parallel track in the heart of the Rockies, to be transported to France, and that traffic was impeded by that act only long enough for a brakeman to throw a switch.
The fact that there has been such a huge waste on capital account lends more interest to the financial results of their operation now that they have come into the government’s hands. Of the 36,000 miles of railway in Canada to-day sixty per cent, are government owned. Involuntarily and unwillingly the state has become the owner of railways the losses on which, probably unavoidable, constitute an additional reason why national expenditures in all departments should come under very close scrutiny.
In a land so wide the lowering of the cost of transportation, involving as it does the whole policy of distribution and marketing, is constantly being pressed. That problem becomes more involved when as in Canada, the government is operating railways which are already losing money. Demands for the lowering of rates are peculiarly embarrassing in these circumstances because to give relief to the individual shipper the government can only add more imposts on his taxes, and still further swell the profits of private roads which necessarily must be allowed to charge the same rate.
This whole question of railway rates is beginning to loom large in the problems of government in Canada. The first inquiry took place in the northwest in 1895. A second followed in 1899. This was prolonged until 1902 and resulted in the creation of a permanent board in 1903 which has been kept constantly and increasingly active ever since.
Problems of Railway Board
/CONDITIONS in Canada make this board’s work very onerous. The growth of new centres, the building of new lines, and the linking of old lines with new, make constant adjustments in rates necessary.
“The fluctuations of price levels,” says Prof. D. A. McGibbon of the University of Alberta, “and the increase and diminishing of wage bills bring in factors in railway industry that necessarily result in changes in the wage structure from time to time.”
To these must be added the constant struggle for an equalization of rates such as is now forming the subject of a vigorous campaign before the railway board by the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The latter demand an adjustment of the anomaly whereby the railways charge as much to haul a bushel of wheat from Calgary to Vancouver as to haul it twice that distance from Calgary to Fort William—an injustice which neutralizes the benefits to Pacific ports of the Panama canal.
To what seems an unanswerable protest it is held by the railways that roads are built primarily on tonnage production possibilities, and that British Columbia, for instance, has the fewest people per mile and the lowest tonnage per mile of any province in the Dominion excepting Prince Edward Island. They quote approvingly the dictum of an old traffic manager that rates are determined by the three “C’s”—competition, compromise, and circumstances. Exigencies of trade have, as a result, given rice a rate from Vancouver to Montreal only a third of that from Montreal to Vancouver. The mileage rate on lumber is much higher to Toronto than to Halifax, whilé the rate on canned fish from Vancouver to Halifax is much less than from Halifax to Winnipeg. They further claim that this preferential rate on the raw products of British Columbia, which constitute 85 per cent, of the freight originating in that province, is a sufficient answer
to the demand for an equalizing of the rate.
To both of these difficult factors is now being added a third, more farreaching than either of the other two. The completion of the Panama canal brings it into the range of immediate consideration. The opening of Hudson’s Bay will add still another factor. Goods can now be shipped by water from Halifax to Vancouver, via the Canal, for one sixth of the cost of the railway haul across the continent. This throws a large part of the West within the legitimate trading area of Pacific ports. But this can only be done by a reduction of local rates on western lines. Westerners, too, can not understand why they should be denied the right to a customs officer at New York and to bonding privileges through that U. S. steamship port to and from Montreal as they may already bond through a U. S. rail point.
What is happening in connection with Panama will apply when the Bay is opened, as it most probably will be. Only a hundred miles of steel require to complete it to Port Churchill, and considerably less will be needed to finish the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario to James Bay. Canada will then have an ocean port, open for several months in the year, in the very heart of her grain belt. Port Nelson is nearer to Liverpool than is either New York or Montreal. The rich plateaus of the remote Peace River are nearer to the Bank corner than are the pampas of the Argentine in which so much English gold finds its investment. When the St. Lawrence canal system is finished ocean tonnage will be prolonged to the head of the lakes and more than one back door will have become a national exit to the highway of the sea.
TIKE all large and empty lands, this country urgently needs more settlers. But it is not always easy to reconcile the points of view of the transportation companies, who see in every immigrant revenue for their lines, and that of the artizan and laborer who fear, in every able bodied new comer, a competitor in their market. The late J. J. Hill estimated the value to his line of every new settler at $1,000. A great Canadian railway sets it only a little lower. From this basis it is but a step to the open door policy of “pumping them in.”
The ultimate immigration policy for Canada will doubtless be based on neither selfish exclusion, nor equally selfish grasping for mere rates and freights. A competent journalistic observer in the Commons press gallery, Grattan O’Leary, lays down two cardinal principles upon which the “immigration policy of Canada should be foundationed”: “first, that quality shall take precedence over quantity; and second, that the welfare of the settler and not the settler’s benefit to something else that we have in this country—such as our railways— shall be the primary object in view.”
Under the first head we shall reject the revolutionary, the physically unfit, and the mentally incompetent, but never the man, woman, or boy who merely lacks money. We shall recognize that a hospitable law framed when our immigration tide was from northern Europe needs revision now that the bulk of these newcomers are from southern Europe. We shall probably feel that the rejection of a half of one per cent, of immigrants which has been the average for ten years, is so low as to merit scrutiny.
Mr. O’Leary’s second principle, if followed, would prevent the ignorant newcomer from being exploited by either predatory shipping agents, or by conscienceless real estate operators. It would find much to commend in the wholesome nomination system so successfully practised by the Australasian states whereby immigrants come to a new land by direct invitation of those of similar faith, race, fraternal, or social affiliations, to find themselves among friends. The more immigration methods can be humanized the more permanent are their results likely to be.
Most Canadians will find themselves in agreement with the sage observation of E. W. Beatty, the able young Canadian president of the Canadian Pacific Railway:
“We either believe, or we don't believe, that this country can support more than nine millions of people. And if it can support more than nine millions of people then it requires more than nine million people to support it.”
But the statement requires some qualification. Better a land of nine million free men than one of ninety million helots. Already in one section of Canada by generous immigration, and fecund birth rate, the Oriental has increased in numbers to a degree which brings the day of his preponderance in some sections within measureable distance. Those sections are our frontier on the Pacific. Until the proper balance is restored immigration should be rigidly restrained or suspended. This can be done without offence to the proudest of our Oriental neighbors by limiting the number received yearly from the Asiatic side to the number of Canadians who annually seek domicile in these eastern lands. The rights of naturalization in Canada should be withheld from any nationals whose own laws do not permit their expatriation. This would exclude from the privileges of naturalization a numerous class who now seek it eagerly, and who seek with this privilege the boon of political rights.
In this connection the newcomer whether from Europe or Asia, or from any of the sixty-four countries from which Canadian settlers are recruited, might well be taught that the franchise is not an inherent right, but a conferred privilege. And the lesson would be the more pointed, if the anomaly of extending the right to vote to ignorant newcomers of a few months, untrained in our genius of government, while denying it to our sons until a proper probation had been served, be removed.
Fostering Its Own Increase
ONE Canadian province has never joined in the clamor for immigrants. Instead it has offered to its people cheap or free lands, has even bonused them to clear these lands of timber, and has relied upon its own natural increase to people its lands. It is noteworthy that this is one of the most populous and prosperous of the provinces of the Dominion. Britain, Germany, and the United States have all in turn demonstrated that natural increase following vigorous development of economic resources and increased food supply will accomplish more than the more artificial methods of immigration. Britain’s population quadrupled during the nineteenth century in spite of heavy emigration, and without any effort to attract immigrants. Since 1870, in forty-four years, and under similar conditions to those in Britain, Germany advanced from 42,000,000 to 68,000,000. Contrary to general belief, the growth of the American states has been due to internal and not external causes. In fifty years native-born Americans have increased from 4,000,000 to 50,000,000. During the last three or four years when immigration has been rigidly restrained the States have maintained their annual growth of a million and a half, the equal of the most wide-open years of immigration. Both Washington and Jefferson believed that given proper conditions the native stock would meet all population requirements. Canada may not think it wise, as yet, to accept fully that policy, but in Quebec, at least, it seems to be vindicated, though under conditions peculiar to that part of the Dominion.
Our Wheat Revenues
THE free homestead policy which is now becoming general throughout Canada should be an important factor in increasing settlement. For more than a year a hectic era of building in the States has drained Canada of much young blood. The immunity of the States from some of the financial penalties now being paid by earlier participants in the war, together with their greater wealth and population, has undoubtedly given them, temporarily at least, a great advantage in the commercial race.
But as world conditions become normal and stabilized,
Canada is not likely to suffer unduly.
These treks have not all been in one direction. The great movement from the States to Canada a few years ago, which located American settlers on one-third of the hundred million acres homesteaded in the Canadian West, was viewed with as little equanimity by Uncle Sam, as is the present movement of so many of Canada’s sons to the South, by us.
Canada being the second largest wheat producing
country in the world (she grew 388,000,000 bushels in 1922) is vitally concerned in the marketing of that crop. The Wheat Board, to which extended reference was made in former articles, did not materialize. The shrewdest men in the grain trade recognized that without control of foreign competition through shipping agreements, and arrangements with regard to prices, with foreign countries, as was possible during the war, this board was robbed of some of the greatest elements in its success. The same considerations will militate against the proposed $300,000,000 shipping corporation in the States with which certain enthusiastic senators propose to stabilize wheat prices.
Instead of the Wheat Board, there is now proposed a voluntary pool among Alberta and Saskatchewan farmers. The services of a widely advertised marketing expert from California have been invoked to project the scheme. Its adoption this year is still in doubt. But it may be that next year such a pool will be in operation, controlling its own elevators, and maintaining its own selling organization in the United Kingdom and on the continent. It is manifestly not so easy to operate as one in connection with citrus fruits and similar products where the zone of production is restricted. But gradually the Canadian farmer is struggling out to economic power. Here is a national problem which he proposes to solve himself through commercial and not political machinery. He is leaning less on the frail pillar of political action.
But he has still many faults to cure. This year’s crop will bring enormous returns to the West. It would have brought more if western farmers had not competed for threshing outfits instead of co-operating. They would be happier to-day had they learned the lesson of agriculture in the Civil war, when, as now, high prices led to speculation in farm lands; when an era of over-production, and
over-extensions of credit followed; and when a sudden drop left the farmers of that day, like the farmers of this, with crops they could not sell and with bank loans that they could not pay.
Canada’s Fuel Supply
ONE of the most difficult of all Canada’s problems has been that of her fuel supply. The country has abundant coal. But it lies in the East and West where population is sparse and manufacturing is in its infancy. In central Canada there is no coal. Yet this is where the bulk of the population lives and where the most of the manufacturing is done. The long haul from Canadian coal beds, and its soft quality make its transport difficult and gives an advantage to the nearer American fuel. Hence central Canada goes on importing fifteen million tons of coal yearly though the anthracite fields from which she draws her supply are expected to be exhausted in thirty-four years.
The transportation companies are trying to meet the situation with lower rates. But science is likely to find soonest the answer to this great problem. Already a domestic coke, equal to and no more expensive than anthracite, has been produced. Western governments have established experimental plants, western universities have set up testing laboratories. The interesting developments at Barnsley, Eng., (referred to in one of the maritime province articles) whereby under low temperature, motor and Diesel oils lubricants and fertilizers can be abstracted while leaving a superior burning residue of coal, are being duplicated at Ford, Ont. Science will yet stop the sawmill waste of Canada which is estimated to represent yearly the equivalent of 1,700,000 tons of coal. The research and conservation branches of government in
Canada wTill probably yet contribute more to the solution of her problems, if not starved by the exigencies of practical politics, than all the wisdom of Hansard since Confederation.
These branches, and private enterprise, are already bringing fuller realization of the possibilities of hydroelectric pow'er. It ia to-day the breath of industrial life in Ontario and in Quebec. Hydro enterprise has already, by harnessing cataract and waterfall, replaced 27,000,000 tons of coal. Industry will grow up more and more about the penstock and less and less around the pit mouth. In this new era of industry Canada will be preeminent. Her enormous water energy, estimated at 20,000,000 horsepower, is available close to the points where it is and w'ill be, most required. The snow's along her heights of land insure a more even flow' than in streams to the south. And, contrary to general belief, these powers are available on almost as generous a scale in the prairie provinces as on the Pacific slope and in older Canada. (Manitoba stands third in water power production of all the provinces. The Churchill and the Nelson rival the gorge of Niagara in the volume and riot of their tumultuous waters.
More, as economy of operation prompted the manufacturer in the past to carry his plant to the coal, he w'ill in future centre his activities close to the electric generator. It
Continued on page 49
The Problems of Our Provinces
Continued from vane 15
takes one hundred horsepower to make a ton of paper a day. This has led an eminent American publisher to advise U. S. paper men to establish their mills in Canada, reserving the lesser water powers of the U. S. for their more complex industrial activities. In any event the prohibition of export of both pulp and power —a likely action of the near future—may have an effect on the commercial life of Canada eclipsing anything accomplished by the artificialities of the tariff.
In this white coal Canada has, to quote Lord Shaughnessy, “a permanent and allsufficient supply of hydraulic power, cheaper than can be derived from coal which, indeed, has enriched nations, but which is an exhaustible asset.”
SCIENCE may solve the material problems of a people; it is powerless to influence or control those spiritual forces which are the elusive and often puzzling factors in producing a great and united nation. The work of the scientist cannot replace that of the statesman. But it should stimulate him. The constant internal adjustments between provinces so widely distributed and with interests sometimes so diverse must always present a task to challenge the tact, the wisdom, and the vision of great Canadian minds. The situation ih the Maritimes is not one pleasant to contemplate. That group of provinces, wdthout which confederation would not have been possible, has suffered much because of confederation. The handicaps under which these provinces rest are partly the outcome of circumstances, which may yield, more quickly than seems probable, to changing conditions. But Napoleon made circumstances. Even lesser rulers should not find all the grievances of that splendid people incapable of redress.
The growth of the French Canadian population and the resurgence of that race and of the Acadians in the seaboard provinces, is sometimes the subject of concerned comment. The solidarity of both these races is likely to become less marked year by year, and to be neutralized by a great influx of British and other immigrants. As time goes on and as the asperities which so long marred the relationships of the two central provinces of Ontario and Quebec yield to the larger tolerance which to-day pervades the world, it may be found that what was so long treated as alßroblem in this country, may be a contributing factor in the stabilizing of its national life.
The most superficial observer must be impressed with the need of some stronger agencies to foster common ideals, preserve common traditions, and promote unity throughout the Dominion. Its people would be helped to think more generally in national terms, if public men would visit and address them more frequently. A former speaker of the House of Commons, after his first trans-Canada journey, gave it as his deliberate opinion that no man should be permitted to remain in parliament who did not cross Canada, from Atlantic to Pacific, at least once during his term of office.
There are other agencies which can make their contribution to that end. Common medical, dental, legal, and educational certificates, accepted in every province, would facilitate the free interchange of professional men between all sections and be a great influence in destroying insularity. The pulpit, because it permits that facility of movement, is an influence of unity the value of which it is hard to estimate. The physical features of
Canada do not make for national newspapers, but the constant movement of reporters and editors among various publications in different sections is another unifying agency. Any magazine which, braving the great financial obstacles in the way, attempts to speak with a national voice to the whole Canadian people, is doing a service, in the same connection, of the first magnitude.
THE enterprise of Canadian papers in maintaining a telegraphic news service from coast to coast, and thus furnishing a highway of thought across the whole Dominion, as the railways have already furnished one of trade, is a factor of such vital importance that it merits wholehearted support from both government and people. The former has assisted this enterprise for some years by doing for its wires what Sir Robert Borden wanted to do for its rails, namely bridge the unproductive void between settled and productive areas with a bridge built and maintained out of the common revenues.
A minor contribution to the cause of unity might be made by appointing the Governors for each province from among the public men of the others. This would have the added advantage of permitting the elevation to such an office of men in each province who had been politically active, and who could be honored in another where the bitterness of party feel mg might make such an act inexpedient in his own. It would at the same time preserve to our public life the ripe experience of our most eminent men, and would furnish another bond of sympathy and understanding among the sisterhood of confederation.
As Canadian life develops, and is brought more and more in touch with that of other lands, one of the anomalies of our international machinery might with great advantage be removed. The Far East, as well as the mixed races of Europe, should be under more intelligent scrutiny, and the cleverest linguists in our universities should be specially schooled in the language, customs, and history of the nations which are sending their people to our shores. Canada is depending to-day for such knowledge on interpreters of the foreign races concerned. This is both unsatisfactory and dangerous. Foreign interpreters should be replaced by Canadian ones.
THE problems of Canada do not stop within hei boundaries. Her place in the family of Empire has never been, and perhaps never can be, defined. It finds expression in an attitude of mind rather than in a statutory enactment. Sometimes heedless talk creates impressions regarding the purposes of the Canadian people which are misleading. At different periods, during the journeys necessary to complete these articles, questions were asked as to secession sentiment in the East and annexation sentiment in the West. There is little evidence of either. The Canadian people have passed that stage, if it ever really existed. They are prepared to fight for their rights, but fight within the family circle and not outside of it. Few responsible people in the Maritimes seriously talk secession, though they may not be insensible to the political value of it. Premier Dunning of Saskatchewan will tell any who seek to know that the pio-British sentiment in Saskatchewan, unobtrusive though it is, needs only occasion for its exercise to be
quickly disclosed. British visitors marvel at the unction with which Canadians sing the Nat’onal Anthem. They cannot understand why American thought, speech, and sentiment have so lightly influenced ours. Perhaps a smaller people are the more tenacious of their own laws, customs and political genius, and a little moie pronounced in their loyalty to their own Empire, because they live alongside a powerful neighbor who is not slow to voice the opinion that lie is not among the least, of the nations of the earth. The question of affiliating with any other nation is not a problem in Canada.
In some sections of Canada one or two of the leading newspapers aie in the habit of discussing Canadian politics, and more particularly Canada’s relation to the Motherland, in a manner which it is sometimes thought may create false impressions among the foieign elements wbjch bulk so large in the regions in question. It is conceivable that comments which would be perfectly safe, and discussions which would be profitable in parts peopled by our own stock, may be mischievous when circulated among those who do not propei ly understand the British habit of frankness in such discussions. Those who have fled from government because it has been tyrannical, and who instinctively feel that all government is ?. hated thing, may be fortified in that opinion when they read editorials which seem to suggest that Downing street is plotting against our autonomy. On no section of the community has the problem of instructing the foreign born in Canadian ideas imposed a heavier responsibility than on the press. These editors must be constantly forced to balance their instinct to speak their minds freely with the consciousness that it is often unwise
“to preach the truth
“To those that eddy round and round.”
Whatever serious politicians may think, or say, or however necessary they may believe it to be to furnish guidance to this country in its relations to the Motherland and othei parts of the Empiie, their concern does not seem to be generally shared. On the few occasions when it became necessary to indicate Canada’s attitude, her people have not waited for suggestions hut have taken such action as has left no doubt of her sentiments. Many yeais ago Rosebery drew a picture of what the Empire might have been had Pitt not accepted a peerage and by leaving the House of Commons lost both his sanity and his authority, the whole resulting in the loss or alienation of that newer thought and virile strength which, as a daughter, the United States would have brought to Imperial counsels. He pictured how, when Ameiicans became the majority, the seat, of Empire would have passed solemnly across the Atlantic and Britain would have become the historical shrine, and the European outpost of a world Empire whose seat would have been on the other side of the Atlantic.
Possibly the realization of that vision has only been delayed. Since he spoke not only has a great Canadian Armada borne her sons in brigades and divisions to the defence of the Old Land, but the cataclysm of that war has directed attention more and more from the Mother Country to the new world where the genius of British institutions may have the freedom of expression which hampeis them in the foetid atmosphere of Europe.
Sir George Foster is fond of saying that the problems of this country will disappear, and her momentum be assured, when she has reached a population of 20,000,000. That may not be such a long view. Canada has to-day as large a population as England had at the beginning of the 19th century and twice as many as the U. S. had at the Revolution.
Lord Chancellor Birkenhead as he hurried across Canada the other day, suggested that he would feel as happy as a citizen of the Empire when the seat of government was transferred to Ottawa as he does while it is at Downing street. It ;s not without significance that a prince of the blood. Royal, the heir-apparent to the throne, should forsake Piccadilly and find his holiday neither at a French watering place nor on Scottish moors, but in chaps and sombrero, riding the ranges of his own ranch in the foothills of the Rockies. If these things give a hint of the larger destiny which may in this generation be Canada’s they carry also the challenge that her national programme shall be on a scale adequate to a future so alluring.