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Title: The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time
Author: Skelton, Oscar Douglas, 1878-1941
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Frontispiece:  SIR WILFRID LAURIER 'IN ACTION' After an instantaneous
photograph taken during an address in the open air at Sorel, 1911]



A Chronicle of Our Own Times






_Copyright in all Countries subscribing to
  the Berne Convention_



In conformity with its title, this volume, save for the earlier
chapters, is history rather than biography, is of the _day_, more than
of the man.  The aim has been to review the more significant events and
tendencies in the recent political life of Canada.  In a later and
larger work it is hoped to present a more personal and intimate
biography of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.






        PREFATORY NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   vii
    I.  THE MAKING OF A CANADIAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
   II.  POLITICS IN THE SIXTIES  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    18
  III.  FIRST YEARS IN PARLIAMENT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    32
   IV.  IN OPPOSITION, 1878-1887 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    53
    V.  LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, 1887-1896  . . . . . . . . . .    91
   VI.  LOOKING TO WASHINGTON  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   101
  VII.  AN EMPIRE IN TRANSITION  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   126
 VIII.  THE END OF A RÉGIME  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   153
   IX.  NEW MEN AT THE HELM  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   169
    X.  CANADA'S NEW PLACE IN THE WORLD  . . . . . . . . . . . .   176
   XI.  THE COMING OF PROSPERITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   218
  XII.  CANADA AND FOREIGN POWERS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   249
 XIII.  NATION AND EMPIRE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   270
  XIV.  FIFTY YEARS OF UNION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   321
        BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   331
        INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   333



SIR WILFRID LAURIER IN ACTION  . . . . . . . . . . .    _Frontispiece_
  After an instantaneous photograph taken during
    an address in the open air at Sorel, 1911.

SIR ANTOINE AIMÉ DORION  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Facing page_ 12
  From a photograph.

PRIME MINISTERS OF CANADA, 1867-1915 . . . . . . . .        "       36
  From photographs.

GOVERNORS-GENERAL OF THE DOMINION  . . . . . . . . .        "       48
  From photographs by Topley.

VICE-REGAL CONSORTS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        "       64
  From photographs by Topley.

HONORÉ MERCIER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        "       90
  From a photograph.

SIR WILFRID LAURIER  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        "      128
  From a photograph by Topley.

  From photographs.

SIR ROBERT BORDEN  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        "      194
  From a photograph by Montminy, Quebec.

SIR WILFRID LAURIER IN ENGLAND, 1911 . . . . . . . .        "      294
  From a photograph.




Early days at St Lin--Seven years of college--Student at
law--Arthabaska days

Wilfrid Laurier was born at St Lin, Quebec, on November 20, 1841.  His
ancestral roots were sunk deep in Canadian soil.  For six generations
Quebec had been the home of Laurier after Laurier.  His kinsmen traced
their origin to Anjou, a province that ever bred shrewd and thrifty
men.  The family name was originally Cottineau.  In a marriage covenant
entered into at Montreal in 1666 the first representative of the family
in Canada is styled 'Francois Cottineau dit Champlauriet.'  Evidently
some ancestral field or garden of lauriers or oleanders gave the
descriptive title which in time, as was common, became the sole family
name.  The Lauriers came to Canada shortly after Louis XIV took the
colony under his royal wing in 1663, in the first era of real
settlement, and hewed out homes for themselves in the forest, first on
the island of Jesus, at the mouth of the {2} Ottawa, and later in the
parish of Lachenaie, on the north bank of the same river, where they
grew in numbers until Lauriers, with Rochons and Matthieus, made up
nearly all the parish.

Charles Laurier, grandfather of Wilfrid Laurier, was a man of strong
character and marked ability.  In face of many difficulties he mastered
mathematics and became a self-taught land surveyor, so that he was able
to make the surveys of the great Pangman seigneury at Lachenaie.  Early
in the nineteenth century he settled his son Carolus on a farm just
hewn out of the forest, near the little village of St Lin, a frontier
settlement nestling at the foot of the Laurentian hills north of
Montreal.  He himself continued to reside at Lachenaie until far on in
years, when he went to live with his son at St Lin.

Carolus Laurier followed in his father's footsteps, surveying and
farming by turns as opportunity offered.  He had not his father's
rugged individuality, but his handsome figure, his alert wit, and his
amiable and generous nature made him a welcome guest through all the
French and Scottish settlements in the north country.  That he had
something of his father's progressiveness {3} is shown by the fact that
he was the first farmer in the neighbourhood to set up a threshing
machine in his barn, to take the place of the old-time flail.  It was
his liberal views that gave the first bent to his son's sympathies; and
he was, as we shall see, progressive enough to give the brilliant lad
the education needed for professional success, and far-seeing and
broad-minded enough to realize how great an asset a thorough knowledge
of English speech and English ways would be.

Yet it was rather to his mother that Wilfrid Laurier, like so many
other notable men, owed his abilities and his temperament.  Marcelle
Martineau, kin to the mother of the poet Fréchette, was a woman of much
strength of character, of fine mind and artistic talents.  She lived
only five years after her son was born, but in those few years she had
so knit herself into his being that the warm and tender memory of her
never faded from his impressionable mind.  The only other child of this
marriage, a daughter, Malvina, died in infancy.  Carolus Laurier
married again, his second wife being Adeline Ethier.  She was much
attached to his children and they to her.  Of this second marriage
three sons were born: {4} Ubalde, who became a physician and died at
Arthabaska in 1898; Charlemagne, a merchant in St Lin and later member
for the county at Ottawa, who lived until 1907; and Henri, the
prothonotary at Arthabaska, who passed away in 1906.  Carolus Laurier
himself lived on in his little village home forty years after the birth
of his eldest son, and his wife lived nearly twenty years longer.

It was a quiet, strength-shaping country home in which the future
statesman's boyhood was cast.  The little village was off the beaten
track of travel; not yet had the railway joined it to the river front.
There were few distractions to excite or dissipate youthful energies.
Roaming amid the brooding silence of the hills, fishing for trout,
hunting partridges and rabbits, and joining in the simple village
games, the boy took his boyish pleasures and built for his manhood's
calm and power.  His home had an intellectual atmosphere quite out of
the ordinary, and it enjoyed a full measure of that grace or native
courtesy which is not least among Quebec's contributions to the common
Canadian stock.

He had his first schooling in the elementary parish school of St Lin,
where the boys learned their _A-B-C_, their _two-times-two_, and their
{5} catechism.  Then  his father determined to give him a broader
outlook by enabling him to see something of the way of life and to
learn the tongue of his English-speaking compatriots.  Some eight miles
west of St Lin on the Achigan river lay the village of New Glasgow.  It
had been settled about 1820 by Scottish Protestants belonging to
various British regiments.  Carolus Laurier had carried on surveys
there, knew the people well, and was thoroughly at home with them.  The
affinity so often noted between Scottish and French has doubtless more
than a mere historical basis.  At any rate, son, like father, soon
found a place in the intimate life of the Murrays, the Guthries, the
Macleans, the Bennetts and other families of the settlement.  His
experience was further varied by boarding for a time in the home of an
Irish Catholic family named Kirk.  Later, he lived with the Murrays,
and often helped behind the counter in John Murray's general store.

The school which he attended for two years, 1852-53 and 1853-54, was a
mixed school, for both boys and girls, taught by a rapidly shifting
succession of schoolmasters, often of very unconventional training.  In
the first session the school came to an abrupt close in April, {6}
owing to the sudden departure of Thompson, the teacher in charge.  A
man of much greater ability, Sandy Maclean, took his place the
following term.  He had read widely, and was almost as fond of poetry
as of his glass.  His young French pupil, who was picking up English in
the playground and in the home as well as in the school, long cherished
the memory of the man who first opened to him a vista of the great
treasures of English letters.

The experience, though brief, had a lasting effect.  Perhaps the
English speech became rusty in the years of college life that followed
at L'Assomption, but the understanding, and the tolerance and goodwill
which understanding brings, were destined to abide for life.  It was
not without reason that the ruling motive of the young schoolboy's
future career was to be the awakening of sympathy and harmony between
the two races.  It would be fortunate for Canada if more experiments
like that which Carolus Laurier tried were even to-day to be attempted,
not only by French but by English families.

In September 1854, when well on in his thirteenth year, Wilfrid Laurier
returned to the normal path prescribed for the keener boys of the
province.  He entered the college {7} or secondary school of
L'Assomption, maintained by secular priests, and the chief seat of
education in the country north of Montreal.  The course was a thorough
one, extending through seven closely filled years.  It followed the
customary classical lines, laying chief stress on Latin, and next on
French literature.  Greek was taught less thoroughly; a still briefer
study of English, mathematics, scholastic philosophy, history, and
geography completed the course.  Judged by its fruits, it was a
training admirably adapted, in the hands of good teachers such as the
fathers at L'Assomption were, to give men destined for the learned
professions a good grounding, to impart to them a glimpse of culture, a
sympathy with the world beyond, a bent to eloquence and literary style.
It was perhaps not so well adapted to train men for success in
business; perhaps this literary and classical training is largely
responsible for the fact that until of late the French-speaking youth
of Quebec have not taken the place in commercial and industrial life
that their numbers and ability warrant.

The life at L'Assomption was one of strict discipline.  The boys rose
at 5.30, and every hour until evening had its task, or was assigned {8}
for mealtime or playtime.  Once a week, on Wednesday afternoon, came a
glorious half-day excursion to the country.  There was ample provision
for play.  But the young student from St Lin was little able to take
part in rough and ready sports.  His health was extremely delicate, and
violent exertion was forbidden.  His recreations took other forms.  The
work of the course of study itself appealed to him, particularly the
glories of the literatures of Rome and France and England.  While
somewhat reserved and retiring, he took delight in vying with his
companions in debate and in forming a circle of chosen spirits to
discuss, with all the courage and fervour of youth, the questions of
their little world, or the echoes that reached them of the political
tempests without.  Occasionally the outer world came to the little
village.  Assize courts were held twice a year, and more rarely
_assemblées contradictoires_ were held in which fiery politicians
roundly denounced each other.  The appeal was strong to the boys of
keener mind and political yearnings; and well disciplined as he usually
was, young Laurier more than once broke bounds to hear the eloquence of
advocate or candidate, well content to bear the punishment that
followed.  {9} Though reserved, he was not in the least afraid to
express strong convictions and to defend them when challenged.  He
entered L'Assomption with the bias towards Liberalism which his
father's inclinations and his own training and reading had developed.
A youth of less sturdy temper would, however, soon have lost this bias.
The atmosphere of L'Assomption was intensely conservative, and both
priests and fellow-pupils were inclined to give short shrift to the
dangerous radicalism of the brilliant young student from St Lin.  A
debating society had been formed, largely at his insistence.  One of
the subjects debated was the audacious theme, 'Resolved, that in the
interests of Canada the French Kings should have permitted Huguenots to
settle here.'  Wilfrid Laurier took the affirmative and urged his
points strongly, but the scandalized _préfet d'études_ intervened, and
there was no more debating at L'Assomption.  The boy stuck to his
Liberal guns, and soon triumphed over prejudices, becoming easily the
most popular as he was the most distinguished student of his day, and
the recognized orator and writer of addresses for state occasions.

Of the twenty-six students who entered L'Assomption in his year, only
nine graduated.  {10} Of these, five entered the priesthood.
Sympathetic as Wilfrid Laurier was in many ways with the Church of his
fathers, he did not feel called to its professional service.  He had
long since made up his mind as to his future career, and in 1861, when
scarcely twenty, he went to Montreal to study law.

By this time the paternal purse was lean, for the demands of a growing
family and his own generous disposition helped to reduce the surveyor's
means, which never had been too abundant.  The young student, thrown on
his own resources, secured a post in the law office of Laflamme and
Laflamme which enabled him to undertake the law course in M'Gill
University.  Rodolphe Laflamme, the head of the firm, one of the
leaders of the bar in Montreal, was active in the interests of the
radical wing of the Liberal party, known as the _Rouges_.

The lectures in M'Gill were given in English.  Thanks to his experience
at New Glasgow and his later reading, the young student found little
difficulty in following them.  Harder to understand at first were the
Latin phrases in Mr, afterwards Judge, Torrance's lectures on Roman
law, for at that time the absurd English pronunciation of Latin was
{11} the universal rule among English-speaking scholars.  Most helpful
were the lectures of Carter in criminal law, admirably prepared and
well delivered.  J. J. C. Abbott, a sound and eminent practitioner, and
a future prime minister of Canada, taught commercial law.  Laflamme had
charge of civil law.  Young Laurier made the most of the opportunities
offered.  While carrying on the routine work of the office, joining in
the political and social activities of his circle, and reading widely
in both French and English, he succeeded admirably in his law studies.
H. L. Desaulniers, a brilliant student whose career came to an untimely
close, and H. Welsh, shared with him the honours of the class.  In
other classes at the same time were Melbourne Tait, C. P. Davidson, and
J. J. Curran, all destined to high judicial rank.  The young student's
success was crowned by his being chosen to give the valedictory.  His
address, while having somewhat of the flowery rhetoric of youth, was a
remarkably broad and sane statement of policy: the need of racial
harmony, the true meaning of liberty, the call for straightforward
justice, and the lawyer's part in all these objects, were discussed
with prophetic eloquence.


But even the most eloquent of valedictories is not a very marketable
commodity.  It was necessary to get rapidly to work to earn a living.
Full of high hopes, he joined with two of his classmates in October
1864 to organize the firm of Laurier, Archambault and Desaulniers.  The
partners hung out their shingle in Montreal.  But clients were slow in
coming, for the city was honeycombed with established offices.  The
young partners found difficulty in tiding over the waiting time, and so
in the following April the firm was dissolved and Wilfrid Laurier
became a partner of Médéric Lanctot, one of the most brilliant and
impetuous writers and speakers of a time when brilliancy and passion
seem to have been scattered with lavish hand, a man of amazing energy
and resource, but fated by his unbalanced judgment utterly to wreck his
own career.  Lanctot was too busy at this time with the political
campaign he was carrying on in the press and on the platform against
Cartier's Confederation policy to look after his clients, and the
office work fell mainly to his junior partner.  It was a curiously
assorted partnership: Lanctot with his headlong and reckless passion,
Laurier with his cool, discriminating moderation: but it lasted a year.
{13} During this time Mr Laurier was in but not of the group of eager
spirits who made Lanctot's office their headquarters.  His moderate
temperament and his ill-health kept him from joining in the revels of
some and the political dissipations of others.  'I seem to see Laurier
as he was at that time,' wrote his close friend, L. O. David, 'ill,
sad, his air grave, indifferent to all the turmoil raised around him;
he passed through the midst of it like a shadow and seemed to say to
us, "Brother, we all must die."'[1]

[Illustration: SIR ANTOINE AIMÉ DORION From a photograph]

In fact, Mr Laurier's health was the source of very serious concern.
Lung trouble had developed, with violent hemorrhages, threatening a
speedy end to his career unless a change came.  Just at this time the
chief of his party and his most respected friend, Antoine Dorion,
suggested that he should go to the new settlement of Arthabaskaville in
the Eastern Townships, to practise law and to edit _Le Défricheur_,
hitherto published at L'Avenir and controlled by Dorion's younger
brother Eric, who had recently died.  Largely in the hope that the
country life would restore his health, he agreed, and late in 1866 left
Montreal for the backwoods village.


The founder of _Le Défricheur_, Eric Dorion, nicknamed _L'Enfant
Terrible_ for his energy and fearlessness, was not the least able or
least attractive member of a remarkable family.  He had been one of the
original members of the _Rouge_ party and, as editor of _L'Avenir_, a
vehement exponent of the principles of that party, but had later
sobered down, determined to devote himself to constructive work.  He
had taken an active part in a colonization campaign and had both
preached and practised improved farming methods.  He had founded the
village of L'Avenir in Durham township, had built a church for the
settlers there to show that his quarrel was with ecclesiastical
pretensions, not with religion, and for a dozen years had proved a
sound and stimulating influence in the growing settlement.

When Mr Laurier decided to open his law office in Arthabaskaville, the
seat of the newly formed judicial district of Arthabaska, he moved _Le
Défricheur_ to the same village.  Lack of capital and poor health
hampered his newspaper activities, and, as will be seen later, the
journal incurred the displeasure of the religious authorities of the
district.  Its light lasted barely six months and then flickered {15}
out.  This left the young lawyer free to devote himself to his
practice, which grew rapidly from the beginning, for the district was
fast filling up with settlers.  The court went on circuit to Danville
and Drummondville and Inverness, and soon, both at home and in these
neighbouring towns, no lawyer was more popular or more successful.  The
neighbouring counties contained many Scottish, Irish, and English
settlers, who were soon enrolled in the ranks of the young advocate's
staunch supporters.  The tilting in the court, the preparation of
briefs, the endeavour to straighten out tangles in the affairs of
helpless clients, all the interests of a lawyer deeply absorbed in his
profession, made these early years among the happiest of his career.
Arthabaska was, even then, no mean centre of intellectual and artistic
life, and a close and congenial circle of friends more than made up for
the lost attractions of the metropolis.

But neither work nor social intercourse filled all the young lawyer's
nights and days.  It was in this period that he laid the foundation of
his wide knowledge of the history and the literature of Canada and of
the two countries from which Canada has sprung.  Bossuet and Molière,
Hugo and Racine, Burke {16} and Sheridan, Macaulay and Bright,
Shakespeare and Burns, all were equally devoured.  Perhaps because of
his grandfather's association with the Pangman seigneury (the property
of the fur trader Peter Pangman), his interest was early turned to the
great fur trade of Canada, and he delved deep into its records.  The
life and words of Lincoln provided another study of perpetual interest.
Though Montreal was intensely Southern in sympathy during the Civil
War, Mr Laurier, from his days as a student, had been strongly
attracted by the rugged personality of the Union leader, and had
pierced below caricature and calumny to the tender strength, the
magnanimous patience, of the man.  A large niche in his growing library
was therefore devoted to memoirs of Lincoln and his period.

Congenial work, loyal friends, the company of the great spirits of the
past--these were much, but not all.  The crowning happiness came with
his marriage, May 13, 1868, to Miss Zoë Lafontaine of Montreal.  To
both, the marriage brought ideal companionship and fulfilment.  To the
husband especially it brought a watchfulness that at last conquered the
illness that had threatened, a devotion which never flagged--for Lady
Laurier is still {17} to-day much more a 'Laurierite' than is Sir
Wilfrid--and a stimulus that never permitted contentment with second

The years of preparation were nearly over.  The call to wider service
was soon to come.  The new Dominion, and not least Quebec, faced many
difficult political problems.  Aiding in their solution, the young
lawyer in the quiet village of Arthabaska was to find full scope for
all the strength of brain and all the poise and balance of temper which
the years had brought him.

[1] _Mes Contemporains_, p. 85.




Parties in flux--Church and state--The war on the Institute--Le

The year 1841, when Wilfrid Laurier was born, was the year of the Union
of Upper and Lower Canada as a single province.  There followed, as he
came to manhood, a time of intense political activity, of bitter party
and personal rivalry, of constant shift in the lines of political
groups and parties.  The stage was being set and many of the players
were being trained for the greater drama which was to open with

Canadian political parties had originally been formed on the plain
issue whether or not the majority of the people were to be allowed to
rule.  In Upper Canada the governing party, known as the 'Family
Compact,' composed chiefly of representatives of the Crown and men who
had inherited position or caste from their Loyalist fathers, had been
attacked by a motley and shifting opposition, sober Whig and fiery
Radical, newcomers from Britain or from the States, and {19}
native-born, united mainly by their common antagonism to clique rule.
In Lower Canada the same contest, on account of the monopoly of
administration held by the English-speaking minority, dubbed
'Bureaucrats' or the 'Chateau Clique,' had taken on the aspect of a
racial struggle.

When at last self-government in essentials had been won, the old
dividing lines began to melt away.  All but a small knot of Tory
irreconcilables now agreed that the majority must rule, and that this
would neither smash the Empire nor make an end of order and justice in
the province itself.  But who were to unite to form that majority, and
what was to be their platform?  In the Reform party there had been many
men of essentially conservative mind, men such as John Redmond before
the winning of Irish Home Rule, who on one point had been forced into
hostility to an order of society with which, on other points, they were
in almost complete sympathy.  Particularly in Quebec, as John A.
Macdonald was quick to see, there were many such, quite ready to rally
to authority now that opportunity was open to all.  Other factors
hastened the breakdown of the old groupings.  Economic interests came
to the fore.  In the {20} discussion of canal and railway projects,
banking and currency, trade and tariffs, new personal, class, or
sectional interests arose.  Once, too, that the machinery of
responsible government had been installed, differences in political
aptitude, in tactics and ideals, developed, and personal rivalries

As a result of this unsettling and readjustment, a new party developed
in the early fifties, composed of the moderate sections of both the
older parties, and calling itself Liberal-Conservative.  It took over
the policy of the Reformers, on self-government, on the clergy
reserves, on seigneurial tenure.  The old Tory party dwindled and its
platform disappeared.  Yet a strong Opposition is essential to the
proper working of the British system of parliamentary government; if it
did not exist, it would have to be created.  No artificial effort,
however, was now needed to produce it.  A Liberalism or a
Liberal-Conservatism which stood still as time marched by soon ceased
to be true Liberalism; and new groups sprang up, eager to press forward
at a swifter pace.

In Canada West the 'Clear Grit' party, founded by Radicals such as John
Rolph, Peter Perry, and William M'Dougall, and later {21} under the
leadership of George Brown, declared war to the knife on all forms of
special privilege.  Denominational privilege, whether the claim of
Anglicans to clergy reserves, or of Roman Catholics to separate schools
in Canada West and to ecclesiastical supremacy above the civil law in
Canada East; class privilege, like the claim of the seigneurs to feudal
dues and powers; sectional privilege, such as it was asserted Canada
East enjoyed in having half the members in the Union parliament though
her population had ceased to be anything like half--all these Brown
attacked with tremendous energy, if not always with fairness and

In Canada East the _Rouges_ carried on a similar but far more hopeless
fight.  The brilliant group of young men who formed the nucleus of this
party, Dorion, Doutre, Daoust, Papin, Fournier, Laberge, Letellier,
Laflamme, Geoffrion, found a stimulus in the struggle which democratic
Europe was waging in 1848, and a leader in Papineau.  The great
agitator had come back from exile in Paris to find a country that knew
not Joseph, to find former lieutenants who now thought they could lead,
and a province where the majority had wearied of the old cries of New
France and were {22} suspicious of the new doctrines of Old France.  He
threw himself into violent but futile opposition to LaFontaine and
rallied these fiery young crusaders about him.  In _L'Avenir_, and
later in _Le Pays_, they tilted against real and imaginary ogres, and
the hustings of Quebec rang with their eloquence.  Their demands were
most sweeping and heterogeneous.  They called for a vigorous policy of
colonization and of instruction and experiment in agriculture; for
simplification of judicial procedure and the forms of government; for
the election, on the American plan, of administrative as well as
legislative authorities; for annual parliaments; for increased powers
of local government; for universal suffrage; for the abolition of
clergy reserves, seigneurial tenure, and church tithes; and for the
repeal of the Union.  They joined the disgruntled Tories of their
province in demanding, for very different reasons, annexation to the
United States.  Many of these demands have been approved, some have
been disapproved, by time.  Right or wrong, they were too advanced for
their day and place.  The country as a whole wanted, and doubtless
needed, a period of noncontentious politics, of recuperation after long
agitation, of constructive {23} administration, and this the
Liberal-Conservative majority was for the time better able to give,
even though corruption was soon to vitiate its powers for good.

The alliance of the _Rouges_ with the 'Clear Grits,' who were ever
denouncing French Canada's 'special privileges,' was a great source of
weakness to them in their own province.  It was, however, the hostility
of a section of the Catholic hierarchy which was most effective in
keeping these agitators long in a powerless minority.  In the early
days of the party this hostility was not unwarranted.  Many of the
young crusaders had definitely left the fold of the Church to criticize
it from without, to demand the abolition of the Pope's temporal power
in Europe and of the Church's tithing privileges in Canada, and to
express heterodox doubts on matters of doctrine.  This period soon
passed, and the radical leaders confined themselves to demanding
freedom of thought and expression and political activity; but the
conflict went on.  Almost inevitably the conflict was waged in both the
political and the religious field.  Where the chief question at issue
was the relation of church and state, it was difficult to keep politics
out of religion or religion out of politics.  It was {24} to be one of
the signal services of Wilfrid Laurier, in his speech on Political
Liberalism, to make clear the dividing line.

The conflict in Canada was in large part an echo of European struggles.
In the past Canada had taken little notice of world-movements.  The
Reform agitation in Upper Canada had been, indeed, influenced by the
struggle for parliamentary reform in Great Britain; but the
French-speaking half of Canada, carefully sheltered in the quiet St
Lawrence valley, a bit of seventeenth-century Normandy and Brittany
preserved to the nineteenth, had known little and cared less for the
storms without.  But now questions were raised which were
world-questions, and in the endeavour to adjust satisfactorily the
relations of church and state both ultramontanes and liberals became
involved in the quarrels which were rending France and Italy, and
Canada felt the influence of the European stream of thought or passion.
When in 1868 five hundred young Canadians, enrolled as Papal Zouaves,
sailed from Quebec to Rome, to support with their bayonets the
tottering temporal power of the Pope, it was made clear that the moving
forces of Europe had taken firm hold on the mind and heart of Quebec.


In Old France there had been much strife of Pope and King.  The Pope
had claimed authority over the Church in France, and the right to
intervene in all state matters which touched morals or religion.  King
after king had sought to build up a national or Gallican Church, with
the king at its head, controlled by its own bishops or by royal or
parliamentary authority.  Then had come the Revolution, making war on
all privilege, overturning at once king and noble and prelate who had
proved faithless to their high tasks.  But in the nineteenth century,
after the storm had spent itself, the Church, purified of internal
enemies, had risen to her former position.

Within the Church itself widely different views were urged as to the
attitude to be taken towards the new world that was rising on the ruins
of the old order, towards the Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity and
other ideas of '89.  One wing called for relentless hostility, for an
alliance of altar and throne to set up authority once more on its
pedestal and to oppose at once the anarchy of democratic rule and the
scepticism of free-thought.  This ultramontane attitude--this looking
'beyond the mountains' to a supreme authority in Rome to give stability
in a shifting {26} world--found able and aggressive exponents.  De
Maistre denied the right of individual judgment in politics any more
than in religion, insisting on the divine source of kingly power and
the duty of the Pope to oversee the exercise of this power.  Lamennais
brought De Maistre's opinions into practical politics, and insisted
with burning eloquence on the need for the submission of all mankind to
the Pope, the 'living tradition of mankind,' through whom alone
individual reason receives the truth.  Veuillot continued the crusade
with unpitying logic and unquenchable zeal.  In this era the disputes
turned most significantly on control of press and school, for, as the
revolution progressed, it gave the masses political power and made
control of the means of shaping popular opinion as important as control
of feudal fiefs or episcopal allegiance had been in earlier days.
Opposed to this school stood men like Montalembert, Lacordaire, and
Bishop Dupanloup--men who clung to the old Gallican liberties, or who
wished to make peace with liberalism, to set up a Catholic liberalism,
frankly accepting the new order, the right of the people to rule
themselves, and seeking to show that by liberty of thought and
discussion the true interests of {27} the Church would be advanced and
its power be broadest based.  Now one wing, now the other won, but in
the main the current flowed strongly towards ultramontanism.  Pius IX,
liberal in sympathies up to 1848, completely reversed his position
after that date.  In the Syllabus which he issued in 1864 he gave no
quarter to modern tendencies.  The doctrines that 'every man is free to
embrace the religion which his reason assures him to be true,' that 'in
certain Catholic countries immigrant non-Catholics should have the free
exercise of their religion,' and that 'the Roman Pontiff can and ought
to be reconciled with progress, liberalism, and modern civism,' he
explicitly condemned as false and heretical.

In Canada these successive conflicts had found many echoes.  During the
French régime Gallican principles of the power of the king over the
Church had been frequently asserted; governor or intendant had, in a
few notable instances, endeavoured to bridle the Church authorities.
When the English came, the Church lost its place as the state church,
but it consolidated its power, and soon was freer from intervention
than it had been under the Most Christian King of France.  During the
French Revolution Canada was kept {28} isolated from contact with
France, but after the Restoration, with ultramontanism in the
ascendant, intercourse was favoured; and the most thoroughgoing
principles of clerical supremacy, with the most militant methods of
controversy, found lodgment here.  In both private and public life,
among clergy as well as laity, each of the opposing tendencies was
stoutly championed.

When Wilfrid Laurier went to Montreal in 1861, the leaders of the
Liberal or _Rouge_ party had sobered down from the fiery radicalism of
their youth, and were content to leave the authorities of the Church
alone.  But leading authorities of the Church remained suspicious of
that party.  Bishop Bourget of Montreal, one of the most pious and
energetic of ecclesiastics, firm to the point of obstinacy, seemed
determined to crush it out.  And though many eminent churchmen held out
for a broader and more tolerant policy, the ultramontanes, by reason of
their crusading zeal, steadily gained the ascendancy.

The issues raised in Quebec were manifold.  Among them were the right
of private judgment, the authority of canon law in the province, civil
or ecclesiastical control over marriage, clerical immunity from the
{29} jurisdiction of civil courts, and the degree of intervention which
was permissible to the clergy in elections.

The first question, that of the right of private judgment, concerned
the future leader of Canadian Liberalism and became acute in connection
with the _Institut Canadien_ of Montreal.  This was a literary and
scientific society, founded in 1844 by some members of the same group
who later organized the _Rouge_ party.  It supplied the want of a
public library and reading-room in Montreal, and a hundred branches
sprang up throughout the province.  The _Institut_ soon fell under the
suspicion of a section of the clergy.  It was declared by Bishop
Bourget that immoral or heretical books which had been put on the
_Index_ were contained in the library.  Rival societies were founded
under the auspices of the Church and many of the members of the
_Institut_ were induced to secede.

Nevertheless young Laurier joined the _Institut_ shortly after coming
to Montreal.  In 1863 he was one of a committee of four who endeavoured
in vain to induce Bishop Bourget to specify what books were under the
ban, and in 1865 and 1866 he was a vice-president of the society.  Like
his associates, he was {30} placed in a difficult position by the
bishop's unyielding attitude, for he did not wish to quarrel with his
Church.  So far as he was concerned, however, his removal to
Arthabaskaville in 1866 ended the episode.

The remaining members of the _Institut_ struggled on until 1868, when
they published a _Year-Book_ containing an address by Mr L. A.
Dessaules, president of the _Institut_, commending toleration.[1]  A
nice question of interpretation followed.  Mr Dessaules asserted that
he meant to urge personal toleration and good-will.  Bishop Bourget
contended that the address meant dogmatic toleration or indifference,
the attitude that one creed was as good as another.  In spite of an
appeal to Rome by Joseph Doutre the work was placed on the _Index_, and
the announcement followed that members who persisted in adhering to the
_Institut_ would be refused the sacraments of the Church.  After this
blow the _Institut_ {31} dwindled away and in time disappeared entirely.

Meanwhile Mr Laurier's weekly newspaper at Arthabaskaville, _Le
Défricheur_, had come under the ban of Bishop Laflèche of Three Rivers,
in whose diocese the little village lay.  Subscribers refused to take
their copies from the postmaster, or quietly called at the office to
announce that, in spite of their personal sympathy, they were too much
afraid of the curés--or of their own wives--to continue their
subscriptions.  The editor warmly protested against the arbitrary
action, which threatened at once to throttle his freedom of speech and
to wipe out his saved and borrowed capital.  But the forces arrayed
against him were too strong, and some six months after the first number
under his management appeared, _Le Défricheur_ went the way of many
other Liberal journals in Quebec.  It was not likely that Mr Laurier's
growing law practice would have long permitted him to edit the paper,
but at the moment the blow was none the less felt.

[1] 'Is it not permissible,' Mr Dessaules asked, 'when Protestants and
Catholics are placed side by side in a country, in a city, for them to
join in the pursuit of knowledge? ...  What is toleration?  It is
reciprocal indulgence, sympathy, Christian charity....  It is
fraternity, the spirit, of religion well understood....  It is at
bottom humility, the idea that others are not worthless, that others
are as good as ourselves....  Intolerance is pride; it is the idea that
we are better than others; it is egotism, the idea that we owe others




In the Provincial Legislature--In federal politics--The Mackenzie
government--The Riel question--Protection or free trade--The Catholic
programme--Catholic liberalism--The clergy in politics--Political
liberalism--In the administration

Less than five years had passed after Wilfrid Laurier came to
Arthabaskaville, a boyish, unknown lawyer-editor, when he was chosen by
an overwhelming majority as member for Drummond-Arthabaska in the
provincial legislature.  His firmly based Liberalism, his power as a
speaker, his widespread popularity, had very early marked him out as
the logical candidate of his party.  On many grounds he was prepared to
listen to the urging of his friends.  His interest in politics was only
second, if second it was, to his interest in his profession.  The
ambition to hold a place in parliament was one which appealed to
practically every able young lawyer of his time in Quebec, and, thanks
to the short sessions of the provincial assembly and the nearness of
Arthabaska to Quebec, membership in the legislature would not greatly
interfere with his work at home.  Yet his health was still {33}
precarious, and it was with much hesitation and reluctance that he
finally consented to stand for the county in 1871, at the second
general election since Confederation.  Though ill throughout the
campaign, he was able to make a few speeches, and the loyal support of
his friends did the rest.  His opponent, Edward Hemming, a barrister of
Drummondville, had been the previous member for the riding.  At the
close of the polls--those were still the days of open voting--it was
found that, while the Liberal party in the province was once more badly
defeated, Wilfrid Laurier had won his seat by over one thousand

When the legislature met at Quebec in November, there was a lively
interest on both sides of the chamber in the young man of thirty who
had scored such a notable victory.  At that time the legislature had an
unusually large number of men of first rank in eloquence and
parliamentary ability, including Cartier, Chapleau, Cauchon, Holton,
and Irvine.  All these except Chapleau were also members of the House
of Commons, since at that time no law forbade dual representation, and
the standards were relatively high.  The Government under Chauveau, the
prime minister, {34} was too firmly entrenched to be shaken by any
assaults from the Opposition leader, Henri Joly de Lotbinière, and his
scanty following.  In the criticism, however, the member for Arthabaska
took a notable part.  He did not speak often, but when he did his
remarks were fresh and constructive.  In the debate on the Address he
scored the Government for its backward educational policy, urged active
steps to check the exodus of French Canadians to the mills of New
England, praised the ideals of British Liberalism, and called for a
truce in racial and religious quarrels.  In a later speech he presented
the keenest constitutional criticism yet made of the system of dual
representation, showing that it tended to bring the provinces too
completely within the orbit of the central power and confuse local with
federal issues.  Three years later, it may be noted, the system was

The vigour and yet moderation of these first efforts, so aptly phrased
and so admirably fitted to the peculiar requirements of parliamentary
speaking, the grace and flair of the orator, gave the member for
Arthabaska at a stroke high rank in the party.  He was very soon urged
to seek the wider opportunities of federal politics.  Ottawa, it was
clear, would {35} make much greater demands upon his time than Quebec,
yet his health was now improving.  Accordingly he determined to make
the change, and in the general federal elections of 1874 he was
returned for Drummond-Arthabaska by a majority of two hundred and

In 1874 the Liberal Government at Ottawa, under Alexander Mackenzie,
seemed assured of a long term of office.  It had been given an
overwhelming majority in the election just concluded; its leaders were
able and aggressive; and the Opposition was still crushed by the
indignation which followed on the exposure of the Pacific Scandal.

Yet there were many weaknesses in its situation, which time was to make
clear.  The Government's forces were not closely united: the only bond
holding together several of the groups which made up the majority was
that of common opposition to the late administration.  Many stragglers
on the flanks were waylaid and brought back into their old camp by that
arch-strategist, Sir John Macdonald.  The question of leadership was
not fully determined.  In Ontario Edward Blake divided allegiance with
{36} Alexander Mackenzie, and Blake's inability to make up his mind
definitely to serve under Mackenzie greatly weakened the party.  In
Quebec the situation was even more serious.  Dorion was the man whose
constructive ability, admirable temper, and long years of fighting
against heavy odds marked him out as chief, but family and health
considerations determined him to retire to the quieter if not less
heavy labours of the bench.  Fournier soon followed.  Laflamme, in
whose office Laurier had studied, was hardly a man of sufficient
weight.  Holton, leader of the small group of English Liberals in
Quebec, was also in very poor health.  To fill the gap Mackenzie
summoned Joseph Cauchon, a former Conservative who had left his party
on the Pacific Scandal; a man of great ability, active in the campaign
for Confederation, but weakened by an unfortunate record of corruption
in earlier days, a record which his Liberal opponents of those days had
painted in startling and unforgettable colours.


[Illustration:  PRIME MINISTERS OF CANADA, 1867-1915

  2.  SIR JOHN ABBOTT, 1891-92
  3.  SIR JOHN THOMPSON, 1892-94
  4.  SIR WILFRID LAURIER, 1896-1911
  5.  SIR JOHN MACDONALD, 1867-73, 1878-91
  8.  SIR ROBERT BORDEN, 1911-]


These difficulties were, however, not insuperable; and doubtless the
party would have drilled into working cohesion under definitely
acknowledged leaders, had it not been for two more serious sources of
{37} weakness.  The first of these was the commercial depression which
fell upon Canada, in common with the rest of the world, in 1873, and
made it possible for an Opposition, itself most courageous in promises,
to hold the Government responsible for all the country's ills.  The
other was Mr Mackenzie's high-minded but mistaken idea of his duty.
Somewhat lacking in imagination though he was, Alexander Mackenzie had
in him the stuff out of which party leaders are made.  He was a man of
vigour and ability, a hard-hitting debater, a thoroughgoing democrat,
and he had a well-earned reputation for downright frankness and
unswerving honesty which could easily have rallied the country's trust
and affection.  But while prime minister he gave to the details of
departmental administration the care and thought and time which should
have gone in part to his other duties as leader in constructive policy
and chieftain of the party.  He failed to keep in touch with public
opinion, and so was caught unawares.

In spite of these drawbacks the Mackenzie administration left a notable
record.  It passed the law which introduced voting by ballot and
required all elections, in a general contest, to be held on one day.
It brought {38} forth the Scott Act, which proved a useful if not a
final measure of temperance reform.  It established the Royal Military
College and the Supreme Court of Canada.  It pushed the Pacific Railway
forward steadily, if somewhat slowly, as a government work.  Had the
stars been favourable, the Government might well have thought itself
secure on its record of legislative progress and administrative

The questions which roused most debate both in parliament and in the
country were the Riel Amnesty, the National Policy, and, in Quebec, the
perennial issue of the relations of church and state.  These may be
noted in turn, particularly in so far as Mr Laurier took part in the

For nearly twenty years the Riel question in its various phases
bedevilled Canadian politics and set race against race and province
against province.  Had it been only the resistance offered by the Red
River settlers to Canadian authority which was in question in the
seventies, time would soon have brought understanding and
forgetfulness.  That the half-breed settlers had just grievances, that
the Canadian authorities bungled badly their first experiment in
national expansion, all {39} would have admitted.  But the shooting in
cold blood of Thomas Scott, an Orangeman of Ontario, by the order of
Louis Riel, lit fires of passion that would not easily die.  And
politicians fanned the flames for party ends.  Neither party was
guiltless.  At the outset in Ontario the Liberals played to the Orange
gallery, while in Quebec they appealed to French prejudices.  Sir John
Macdonald could attack Blake for frightening Riel out of the country
and beyond the reach of justice, by offers of reward for his arrest, at
the very time that Macdonald himself was paying Riel out of the secret
service funds to keep away from Canada.

During the Mackenzie administration the question twice gave rise to
full-dress debates.  Early in 1874 Mackenzie Bowell moved that Riel,
who had been elected a member for Provencher, should be expelled from
the House; Holton moved an amendment that action be deferred until the
committee, then inquiring into the whole matter, reported; while
Mousseau demanded immediate and unconditional amnesty.  In the debate
that followed Mr Laurier made his first parliamentary speech in
English.  He supported Holton's amendment, while making it clear {40}
that in his view of the evidence the country had been pledged to
amnesty by the action of the former Government.  It was a forceful and
well-reasoned argument, in both its felicitous phrasing and its
moderate tone an appropriate introduction to the parliamentary career
which was just beginning.  Again in 1875, when Mr Mackenzie moved that
full amnesty be given to all concerned in the rebellion save Riel,
Lepine, and O'Donoghue, and that the former two be pardoned, subject to
five years' banishment, Mr Laurier defended this reasonable compromise
against both the Quebec extremists who demanded immediate pardon and
the Ontario opponents of any clemency whatever.

Protection was an even more fertile topic of debate in these and
following years.  It was only recently that it had become a party
issue.  Both parties had hitherto been content with the compromise of
'tariff for revenue, with incidental protection,' though in the ranks
of both were advocates of out-and-out protection.  In Ontario the
Canada First movement, which looked to Blake as its leader, had strong
protectionist leanings, and in Quebec the _Parti National_, under which
name the _Rouges_ had been reorganized and made {41} ultra-respectable,
were of the same tendency.  But Mackenzie was a staunch free-trader,
while the Liberals from the maritime provinces were opposed to any
increase in the tariff on the many things they consumed but did not
produce.  Accordingly, after much hesitation, the Liberals in 1876
declined to raise the tariff beyond the existing average of seventeen
and a half per cent.  At once the Conservatives, who, it was alleged,
had been prepared to advocate freer trade, came out for protection.  On
this question Laurier was more in agreement with Blake than with
Mackenzie.  In early years he had been influenced by Papineau's crusade
for protection, and believed that in the existing crisis an increase in
the tariff to twenty per cent would aid the revenue and would avert a
demand for more extreme duties.  Time proved, however, that the
appetites of protectionists could not so easily be appeased; and all
wings of the party presently found themselves in harmony, in resisting
the proposals to set up extremely high barriers.

But it was on the vexed question of the relations of church and state,
and particularly of the Catholic hierarchy and the Liberal party in
Quebec, that Mr Laurier gave the most distinctive service.  This
question had become {42} more acute than ever.  In 1870 the
ultramontane element in the Roman Catholic Church had won a sweeping
victory by inducing a majority of the Vatican Council to promulgate the
doctrine of Papal Infallibility.  There followed a wave of ultramontane
activity throughout the world, and not least in Quebec.  Bishop
Bourget's hands were strengthened by Bishop Laflèche of Three Rivers,
and by other prelates and priests of perhaps less relentless temper;
while a cohort of journalists, in _Le Nouveau Monde, La Vérité, Le
Journal de Trois Rivières_, and other papers, devoted themselves
whole-heartedly to the ultramontane cause.  On the other hand,
Archbishop Baillargeon of Quebec and his successor, Archbishop
Taschereau, the priests of the Quebec Seminary and of Laval University,
and the Sulpicians at Montreal, were disposed to live at peace.  They
would all have denied sympathy either with Gallicanism or with Catholic
Liberalism, but they were men of tolerance and breadth of sympathy,
very doubtful whether such militant activity would advance the
permanent interests of their Church.

There broke out a violent struggle between the two political parties in
1871, with the issue {43} of the _Catholic Programme_.  This famous
document was a manifesto prepared by a group of editors and lawyers,
who, in their own words, 'belonged heart and soul to the ultramontane
school'--Trudel, Desjardins, M'Leod, Renault, Beausoleil, and
others--and was drawn up by A. B. Routhier, then a lawyer in
Kamouraska.  It sought to lay down a policy to govern all good
Catholics in the coming elections.  The doctrine of the separation of
church and state, the document declared, was impious and absurd.  On
the contrary, the authorities of the state, and the electors who chose
them, must act in perfect accord with the teachings of the Church, and
endeavour to safeguard its interests by making such changes in the laws
as the bishops might demand.  To secure this end the Conservative party
must be supported.  When two Conservatives or two Liberals were
running, the one who accepted the _Programme_ was to be elected; where
a Conservative and a Liberal were opposed, the former would be
supported; if it happened that a Conservative who opposed the
_Programme_ was running against a Liberal who accepted it, 'the
situation would be more delicate'--and Catholics should not vote at all.


This frank declaration of war on the Liberal party, this attempt to
throw the solid Catholic vote to the Conservatives, at once aroused
violent controversy.  Bishops Bourget and Laflèche announced that they
approved the manifesto in every point, while Archbishop Taschereau and
the bishops of St Hyacinthe and Rimouski declared that it had not their

The Liberal party was sorely pressed.  In the emergency some of its
moderate members determined to throw off the incubus of their
anti-clerical traditions by reorganizing and renaming the party.  So in
1871 Louis Jetté and other leading Quebec Liberals undertook to secure
a fresh start by organizing the _Parti National_, and the result of the
following elections gave some ground for hope.  'This evolution of the
Liberal party,' declared Bishop Laflèche later in a memorial to the
Cardinals of the Sacred Congregation, 'had the success expected from
it; it made a number of dupes not only among our good Catholics but
even in the ranks of the clergy, who had hitherto been united against
the Liberal party....  It is from this development that there dates the
division in the ranks of the clergy on the question of politics.'


But this prudent step did not avert the wrath of the now dominant
ultramontane section.  In 1873 a brief pastoral was issued by all the
bishops condemning Catholic Liberalism in vague but sweeping terms.
Two years later another joint pastoral, that of September 22, 1875,
went into the whole question elaborately.  Catholic Liberalism, that
subtle serpent, was again denounced.  The right of the clergy to
intervene in politics was again upheld, whether in neutral matters in
which they, like all other citizens, should have a voice, or in matters
affecting faith or morals or the interests of the Church.  In the
latter case the clergy should declare with authority that to vote in
this or that way is a sin, exposing the offender to the penalties of
the Church.  In a letter issued a year later Archbishop Taschereau
modified these pretensions, but the assault went on.  Regarding the
identity of the Catholic Liberals in question both pastorals were
silent, but not silent were many of the clergy who interpreted them to
their flocks.  The cap fitted the Liberal party and its chiefs, they
averred, and good Catholics must govern themselves accordingly.

This determined attempt of a section of the {46} clergy to use the
influence they possessed as spiritual guides to crush one political
party aroused the most moderate sections of the Liberals to
counter-attacks.  The election law of Canada, copied from that of
England, forbade the use of undue influence in elections, and undue
influence had been said to include use by ecclesiastics of their powers
to excite superstitious fears or pious hopes.  Baron Fitzgerald had
declared in the Mayo case in Ireland, in 1857, that the priest must not
use threats of punishment here or hereafter, must not threaten to
withhold the sacraments or denounce voting for any particular candidate
as a sin.  The Liberals of Quebec had no desire to deny the priest the
same rights as other citizens enjoyed, of taking part in the discussion
of any political question whatever, and using all the powers of
persuasion to secure this end.  But, they insisted, for a priest to
threaten eternal punishment was as much a case of undue influence as
for an employer to threaten to dismiss a workman if he would not vote
for a certain candidate, and as just a ground for voiding an election.
The matter was pressed to a decision in appeals against candidates
returned in two federal by-elections, in Chambly and Charlevoix, and
{47} in one provincial election, in Bonaventure.  In these instances
the proof of open partisanship and open use of ecclesiastical pressure
was overwhelming.  'The candidate who spoke last Sunday,' declared one
priest in Chambly, 'called himself a moderate Liberal.  As Catholics
you cannot vote for him; you cannot vote for a Liberal, nor for a
moderate Liberal, for moderate is only another term for liar.'  'The
Church has condemned Liberalism, and to vote against the direction of
the bishops would be sin,' declared another.  'The sky of heaven is
_bleu_, the fire of hell is _rouge_,' another more pointedly urged.  'I
was afraid,' one witness testified, 'that if I voted for Tremblay I
should be damned.'  In defence it was urged that, in the first place,
the civil courts had no authority over ecclesiastics, at least for acts
done in their spiritual capacity, and, in the second place, that the
Church had a right to defend its interests against attack, and that in
using to this end all the powers at its disposal it was employing no
undue influence.  Judge Routhier, the author of the _Catholic
Programme_, upheld these contentions in the first trial of the
Charlevoix case, but the Supreme Court, in judgments delivered by Mr
Justice Taschereau, brother of {48} the Archbishop, and by Mr Justice
Ritchie, denied the existence of any clerical immunity from civil
jurisdiction, and found that the threats which had been made from the
pulpit constituted undue influence of the clearest kind.  Accordingly
they voided the election.  Their action met with violent protests from
some of the bishops, who, when Judge Casault in the Bonaventure case
followed this precedent, sought, but in vain, to have him removed by
the Sacred Congregation from his chair in the law faculty of Laval.
But in spite of protests the lesson had been learned, and the sturdy
fight of the Liberals of Quebec for the most elementary rights of a
free people had its effect.



  1.  VISCOUNT MONCK, 1867-68
  2.  LORD LISGAR, 1868-72
  3.  EARL OF DUFFERIN, 1872-78
  4.  MARQUIS OF LORNE, 1878-83
  5.  MARQUIS OF LANSDOWN, 1882-88
  6.  LORD STANLEY, 1888-93
  7.  EARL OF ABERDEEN, 1893-98
  8.  EARL OF MINTO, 1898-1904
  9.  EARL GREY, 1904-11
 10.  DUKE OF CONNAUGHT, 1911-]


It was when matters were at this acute stage that Wilfrid Laurier came
forward to do for his province and his country a service which could be
accomplished only by a man of rarely balanced judgment, of firm grasp
of essential principles, of wide reading and familiarity with the
political ideals of other lands, and, above all, of matchless courage.
Rarely, if ever, has there been delivered in Canada a speech of such
momentous importance, or one so firmly based on the first principles
with which Canadian statesmen too rarely concern {49} themselves, as
that which he addressed to _Le Club Canadien_, a group of young
Liberals, in Quebec City in June 1877.

The subject of the address was Political Liberalism.  The speaker
cleared away many misunderstandings.  Liberalism did not mean Catholic
Liberalism; it had nothing to do with opinions on religion.  Nor did it
mean Liberalism of the type still prevalent on the continent of Europe,
revolutionary, semi-socialist, openly anti-clerical; the type which had
been given brief currency by the young men of twenty who thirty years
before had lent the Liberal party an undeserved reputation for
anti-clericalism.  No, the Liberals of Canada found their models and
their inspiration in the Liberalism of England, in the men who had
fought the battles of orderly freedom and responsible self-government
against privilege and selfish interest.  As to the Church, no true
Liberal wished to deny its officers the right which every citizen
enjoyed of taking a part in his country's politics; they had opposed,
and would continue to oppose, every attempt of politicians in clerical
garb to crush freedom of speech by spiritual terrorism.  The right of
ecclesiastical interference in politics ceased where it encroached upon
{50} the elector's independence.  Any attempt to found a Catholic party
was not only a crime against the country but was bound to injure the
Church itself; it would lead inevitably to the formation of a
Protestant party among the majority.  On individual freedom alone could
a sound national political system be built up, just as on colonial
freedom alone had it been possible to build up a lasting imperial

The speech was received with enthusiasm throughout the country.  Its
renunciation at once of anti-clericalism and of ultramontanism, its
moderation and its fearlessness, rallied Liberalism to its true
standard and marked out clearly the lines within which party and priest
alike should act in the interests of church and of country.  It was a
master-stroke both for freedom and for harmony.

We are to-day sometimes prone to overlook the services of those who in
England or in Canada fought for us the battles of political freedom.
We tend to forget the services of the political leaders of the thirties
and forties who won freedom from class and racial domination, the
services of the leaders of the sixties and seventies who won freedom of
thought and speech against heavy odds.  It has taken a European war to
make us realize {51} how precious are those liberties, how many great
peoples are still without them, and the height of our debt of gratitude
alike to those who won them for us in the past, and to those who
preserve them for us in the present.

A few months after this historic address Wilfrid Laurier entered the
Mackenzie Cabinet as minister of Inland Revenue.  He had been thought
eligible for ministerial rank ever since his first entry into the
House, and might have had a portfolio in 1876 had it not been that he
objected to serve along with Cauchon.  The appointment of Cauchon as
lieutenant-governor of Manitoba now having cleared the way, Mr Laurier
accepted the office and appealed to his constituents for re-election.
The tide of opinion had latterly been running strong against the
Government, but the great personal popularity of the new minister was
deemed an assurance of victory.  The Conservatives, however, threw
themselves strenuously into the fight, and, much to their own surprise,
won the seat by a majority of twenty-nine.  The result was due in part
to the over-confidence and inactivity of the Liberals, but on the whole
it was the handwriting on the wall--a token of the prevailing {52}
sentiment against the Government which was shortly to sweep all before
it.  Another seat was speedily found for the new minister, in Quebec
East, and he entered upon a brief year's tenure of office.  Though
under no illusion as to the failing strength of the Government in the
country, he loyally did his best both in the administration of his
department and in the campaigning for the party until the _débâcle_
came in 1878.



IN OPPOSITION, 1878-1887

The party leadership--Tariff and railway--Dominion and province--The
second Riel rebellion

In the general election of September 1878 the Liberal party suffered
not merely defeat but utter and overwhelming rout, as unexpected and
disastrous as a tropical earthquake.  Only five years before, Mackenzie
had been swept into power on a wave of moral indignation.  The
Conservative leaders had appeared hopelessly discredited, and the rank
and file dispirited.  Now a wave of economic despair swept the Liberals
out of power.  Their majority of two to one in 1873 was reversed by a
Conservative majority of over two to one in 1878.  The defeat was not
local: every province except New Brunswick went against Mackenzie.
Edward Blake, Richard Cartwright, Alfred G. Jones, and other stalwarts
lost their seats, and though Sir John Macdonald suffered the same fate
in Kingston, and though seats were soon found for the fallen leaders,
the blow greatly damaged the prestige of the Liberal party.


Mackenzie was stunned.  To the last he had been confident of victory.
In spite of the warnings of Charlton, Cartwright, Laurier, and others,
he had underestimated the impression which the campaign for protection,
with its lavish promises of work and prosperity for all, made even in
old Liberal strongholds.  He could not believe that the people of
Canada would take up the heresies and fallacies which the people of
Great Britain had discarded a generation earlier.  He would not believe
that they were prepared to send back to power men found guilty of
corruption only five years before.  For these illusions he paid the
penalty, in bitter regrets, in loss of touch with the party, in broken
health, and at last, in April 1880, in resignation of the leadership.
Alexander Mackenzie had deserved well of Canada and of his party; but,
apparently, both wanted more than the dauntless courage and the
unyielding and stainless honour which were all he had to give them.

There was only one possible successor.  Edward Blake had for many years
been the choice of a large section of the party in Ontario, and he now
became leader by unanimous vote.  The new chief was a man of great
intellectual capacity, of constructive {55} vision, of untiring
thoroughness and industry.  He stood easily at the head of the bar in
Canada.  His short term of office as prime minister of Ontario had
given proof of political sagacity and administrative power.  He, if any
one, it seemed, could retrieve the shattered fortunes of the Liberal

Mr Laurier's position as first lieutenant for Quebec was now
unquestioned.  It was not a wholly enviable post.  The Liberal
representation from Quebec had fallen to twenty.  There were few able
men in the ranks.  The Dorions were gone.  Soon to go too were Holton
and Huntington, the English leaders who formed the connecting link
between the Liberals of Ontario and the French-speaking Liberals of
Quebec.  In the Eastern Townships John Henry Pope, that shrewdest and
most pugnacious of Conservative politicians, was perfecting the
organization which later made him the uncrowned king of several
counties.  True, Sir George Cartier, who for nearly forty years had
dominated Quebec politics, was gone, but Langevin, his successor in the
Conservative party, though not a strong man himself, had the clergy
behind him; and Chapleau, who entered federal politics in 1882, brought
a fiery eloquence to his party's aid.  It was {56} clear that the young
Liberal leader would have no easy task in winning his province.

Yet he was not content with provincial aims.  Each year saw him more
widely recognized as a man not of Quebec merely but of all Canada.  The
issues which arose in these trying years were such as to test to the
utmost men's power to rise above local and sectional prejudices and see
Canada's interest steadily and see it whole.  Mr Laurier did not speak
often in these early years, but when he did speak it was with
increasing power and recognition.  And in the councils of his party the
soundness of his judgment became more fully appreciated as each of the
great issues of the eighties developed.

The chief of these issues were: the Tariff, the Pacific Railway,
Provincial Rights, and the troubles which arose out of the second Riel
Rebellion.  These may now be summarily reviewed.

Victorious on the issue of protection, the Government more than lived
up to its promises in the first tariffs framed.  'Tell us how much
protection you want,' Sir John Macdonald had promised the
manufacturers, 'and we shall give you what you need.'  And whether it
{57} was cotton or sugar or furniture, needs and wants were judged to
lie not far apart.  Purely revenue duties on goods that continued to
come in freely, purely protective duties on goods which were
practically shut out, and duties which served both ends in some degree,
all were advanced.

The Liberals, _ex officio_, that is, being out of office, opposed these
increases one and all.  Neither Blake nor Laurier, however, was an
out-and-out free-trader like Mackenzie.  Mackenzie had received his
point of view from his British upbringing; his colleagues had been
brought up on a continent where protection ruled.  Blake, after a
session or two, seemed content to accept the country's verdict and
criticized chiefly the details of the N.P., as the National Policy of
Protection to Native Industries was affectionately called by its
supporters.  Laurier, while admitting that in theory it was possible to
aid infant industries by tariff pap, criticized the indiscriminate and
excessive rates of the new tariff, and the unfair burden it imposed
upon the poorer citizens by its high specific rates on cheap goods.
But in 1880, after a night of seven years, prosperity dawned in
America.  The revival of business in the United States {58} proved as
contagious in Canada as had been its slackening in the early seventies.
The Canadian people gave the credit for the improvement in health to
the well-advertised patent medicine they had taken just before the
change set in; and for some years all criticisms of the N.P. were fated
to fall on deaf ears.

Then came the contract for the building of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, and the tariff question was shelved.  Both parties were
committed to build the road to the coast.  Both had wavered between
public and private construction.  But the Macdonald Government had now
decided upon pushing the road through with all speed, regardless as to
whether current revenues sufficed to build it, while the Opposition
advocated a policy of gradual construction within the country's means,
concurrent with a close and steady settlement of the western plains.
The Government's first plan of building the road out of the proceeds of
the sale of a hundred million acres of prairie lands proved a flat
failure.  Then in 1880 a contract for its construction and operation
was made with the famous Canadian Pacific Syndicate, in which the
leading figures were a group of Canadians who {59} had just reaped a
fortune out of the reconstruction of a bankrupt Minnesota
railway--George Stephen, Richard B. Angus, James J. Hill, and in the
background, Donald A. Smith.[1]

Under Blake's leadership instant and determined attack was made upon
the bargain, in parliament, in the press, and on the platform.  Blake
himself moved against it a resolution of over a hundred clauses, which,
as usual, exhausted the subject and left little for his lieutenants to
say.  Mr Laurier particularly criticized the large land-grant and the
exemption from taxation.  Had the policy of gradual construction been
adopted, he contended, it would not have been necessary to take a leap
in the dark and give the syndicate the power of a monopoly in the
western country: 'there might have been fewer millionaires in this
country, but there would have been many more happy and contented homes.'

The Government was, however, committed, and a party majority ratified
the contract.  After events justified both the policy of the Government
and, to some extent, the criticism of the Opposition.  Great national
interests were at stake.  Nothing short of an {60} all-Canadian railway
could bind together the far-flung Dominion.  But the building of this
railway, and still more its operation, would be a task to daunt all but
the most fearless, and to those who undertook it generous terms were a
necessity.  In their clear understanding and courageous grasp of the
facts, and in their persistent support of the company through all the
dark days until the railway was completed, Macdonald and Tupper and
Pope deserved well of their country.  Yet it is equally clear now that
in many points the criticism of the Opposition was well founded.  The
land-grant was of least value when most needed--in the early years.
The freedom of the company to select land where they pleased gave them
a mortgage on the West and power to deter possible rival roads.  The
exemption from taxation of the company's lands for twenty years after
the issue of the patents, and of its capital stock and equipment for
ever, threw unfair burdens upon the straggling settlers.  Still more
threatening to national unity was the monopoly clause, guaranteeing the
company for twenty years against the chartering, either by the Dominion
or by any province afterwards established, of any road enabling United
States railways to tap western traffic.


The issue was decided, as to any immediate effects, by the success of
the Conservatives in the general elections of 1882.  The country wanted
the road, and as usual was not disposed to read too closely the fine
print in the contract.  But the matter did not end there.  Each party
had been led by attack and counterattack to take a stronger stand of
defence or opposition than was reasonable.  For another ten years the
Canadian Pacific Railway remained, if not an issue in politics, itself
an active participant in politics.  And its great weight thrown against
the Liberal party turned the scales more than once.

In every federal state the adjustment of the powers of the central and
of the local authorities gives occasion for much friction and
difference of opinion.  In Canada this adjustment, though never-ending,
perhaps reached its climax in the eighties, when question after
question as to the rights of the provinces came up for discussion.

We are apt to forget how recent a development the modern federal state
is.  Save for certain Latin-American countries, nominally federal, the
Dominion of Canada is the third oldest of such states; the United
States and {62} Switzerland alone are of longer standing.  The
Austro-Hungarian Empire and the North German Federation were formed in
the same fateful year, 1867.  There were, therefore, few models before
the framers of the constitution of Canada, and the marvel is that they
planned so wisely and so enduringly.

In determining what powers should be assigned to the Dominion and what
to the provinces, the Fathers of Confederation were led, by the
object-lesson which the Civil War in the United States afforded, to
give the central government more authority.  To the Dominion they
assigned several fields of legislation which in the Republic fell to
the respective states; and the Dominion was made residuary legatee of
powers not specified.  The central government, too, was given a right
of veto over all provincial laws and empowered to appoint the
lieutenant-governors of the provinces.  Had Sir John Macdonald had his
way, centralization would have gone much further, for he would have
abolished the provincial governments entirely and set up a single
parliament for the whole country.  Fortunately Cartier and Brown
prevented that unwieldy experiment from being tried.

Experience has shown that the central {63} government should have full
authority to deal with foreign affairs so far as they can be
differentiated, and should have a wide measure of control over commerce
and industry, which more and more are nation-wide in scope.  But, this
secured, it has been found equally essential that the provinces should
be given wide power and responsibility.  Fortunately Canada has only
nine provinces, as against forty-eight states in the United States, so
that authority is less divided here than in the Republic.  In a country
covering half a continent, with great diversity of climate and
resources and industrial development, centralization of all power would
mean the neglect of local needs and the disregard of local differences.
Particularly where, as in Canada, thirty per cent of the people differ
in race and language and creed from the majority, and are concentrated
mainly in a single province, the need for local autonomy as the surest
means of harmony is abundantly clear.

It was in Quebec that the first issue as to provincial rights arose.
The Mackenzie Government in 1876 had appointed Luc Letellier de St
Just, one of their most steadfast supporters, lieutenant-governor of
that province.  It was not long before political and {64} personal
antagonism strained to the breaking point the relations between the
Liberal Letellier and his Conservative ministers at Quebec.  The
neglect of the premier, M. de Boucherville, to consult Letellier before
introducing some railway legislation proved the last straw, and in
March 1878 Boucherville was dismissed and Henri Joly de Lotbinière was
called upon to form a Cabinet.  This sudden rupture raised a storm of
protest in Quebec, of which the echoes soon reached Ottawa.  Sir John
Macdonald, then leader of the Opposition, moved a vote of censure upon
Letellier, which was defeated on a party vote.  A year later, after the
change of government at Ottawa, a Quebec ministerialist again moved in
the House of Commons the resolution of censure.



   9.  LADY GREY


The Liberal leaders at Ottawa were inclined to agree that Letellier had
been too sensitive about his dignity as governor, and Sir John
Macdonald on his part would have preferred to let the matter rest,
since the elections in the province had upheld Joly, had not his Quebec
supporters demanded their pound of flesh.  But the constitutional issue
was clear, and on this the Liberals rested their case.  It was for the
people of Quebec, they contended, to {65} decide whether or not the
lieutenant-governor had violated their liberties.  If the
lieutenant-governor could find ministers with a legislative majority
behind them to uphold his action, there was nothing more to be said:
the doctrine of ministerial responsibility covered all his acts.  And
this support he had found; for the Joly Government, on appealing to the
people, had turned a minority of twenty into a majority of one.  'The
people of the province of Quebec,' declared Mr Laurier in the Commons,
'who alone are interested in this question, have decided that in their
opinion, whether that be right or wrong, the act of Mr Letellier was
just and constitutional....  You say No.  What are you here for if you
say No?  If your policy had been supported by the people of Quebec, you
would not now be seeking vengeance at the hands of this House.'  But
logic was in vain.  The vote of censure carried, and Macdonald
recommended to the governor-general, the Marquis of Lorne, that
Letellier should be dismissed.  Here again a nice question of
responsibility arose.  First the question had been whether the
lieutenant-governor was to be guided by provincial ministers or by the
federal government which appointed him.  Now the problem {66} was
whether the governor-general should be guided by his advisers in
Canada, or by the British Government which had appointed him.  With the
assent of the Canadian Cabinet the question was referred to the
Colonial Office.  Mackenzie's protest against this colonial-minded
appeal was in vain, but the upshot proved satisfactory to him.  The
colonial secretary replied that the lieutenant-governor was undoubtedly
responsible to the governor-general for any act, and that equally
undoubtedly the governor-general must act upon the advice, in this as
in other matters, of his responsible ministers.  The governor-general
suggested reconsideration, but the Macdonald Cabinet was obdurate and
Letellier was dismissed.  Fortunately the precedent thus set has not
been followed.  The principle is now established that a
lieutenant-governor may be dismissed only when he cannot find
provincial ministers willing and able to support him.

The later constitutional issues were chiefly disputes between the
Dominion and the province of Ontario.  They were not merely differences
of opinion on abstract constitutional points.  They were in large part
struggles for power and patronage between two very shrewd practical
politicians, Sir John {67} Macdonald and his one-time law-student at
Kingston, Oliver Mowat, for many years premier of Ontario.

First came a struggle as to the western boundary of Ontario.  The
dividing line between the old province of Canada and the territories
purchased from the Hudson's Bay Company had never been determined
After ten years of negotiations a commission, consisting of one
representative of the Dominion and one of Ontario together with the
British ambassador at Washington, gave a unanimous award in 1878, an
award which the Dominion refused to carry into effect.  Other provinces
were involved.  The Dominion had presented Manitoba with much of the
territory in dispute, and the conflict as to jurisdiction between that
province and Ontario nearly led to bloodshed; while Quebec was stirred
up to protest against the enlargement of Ontario, which would make
Ontario, it was said, the preponderant power in the Dominion.  Mr
Laurier inveighed against what he termed the dishonourable course of
the Dominion Government.  When negotiating with the Hudson's Bay
Company for its lands, it had contended that the old province of Canada
extended far west and north, but now it took {68} precisely the
opposite stand.  As for Quebec's interest, he continued: 'I do not fear
the appeal that will be made against me in my own province.  This award
is binding on both parties and should be carried out in good faith.
The consideration that the great province of Ontario may be made
greater, I altogether lay aside as unfair, unfriendly, and unjust.'
The Government, however, persisted in rejecting the award, and forced
an appeal to the Privy Council, only to have Ontario's claim fully
substantiated, and the total area of the province confirmed as more
than double what Sir John Macdonald would have allowed it.

The next issue put to the test the power of the Dominion to veto
provincial laws.  It was, in form, merely a dispute between two
lumbermen, M'Laren and Caldwell, as to whether the one higher up on the
stream could use, upon paying tolls, timber-slides built by the other
lower down.  But, as Edward Blake declared in 1886, this was 'of all
the controversies between the Dominion and the provinces, by far the
most important from the constitutional point of view, for it involved
the principle which must regulate the use by the Dominion Government of
the power of disallowing provincial legislation.'  When in 1881 a court
of {69} justice in Ontario held that the lumberman on the lower reaches
could prevent the one higher up from floating down his logs, Mowat had
an act passed providing that all persons possessed, and were thereby
declared always to have possessed, the right denied by this judgment.
This measure was at once disallowed by the Dominion Government.  Then
the Privy Council upheld the contention of the Ontario Government as to
what the law had been even before the act was passed; and, when in 1884
the provincial legislature again passed the same act, the Dominion
conceded the point.  Thereafter the veto power has been used only when
Dominion or Imperial interests were concerned, or when a statute was
claimed to be beyond the power of the province to pass.  The wisdom or
justice of measures affecting only the local interests of the citizens
of a province has been left to the judgment of its own people to

The regulation of the liquor traffic provided the next battle-ground.
In 1876 Ontario had passed the Crooks Act, which took the power of
granting licences from the municipalities and gave it to provincial
commissioners.  Two years later the Dominion parliament passed the
Scott Act, giving counties power to {70} prohibit the sale of liquor
within their limits.  The constitutionality of this act was upheld in
1882 in the Russell case, and Sir John Macdonald concluded that if the
Dominion had power to pass the Scott Act, the province had not the
power to pass the Crooks Act.  'If I carry the country,' he declared at
a public meeting in 1882, 'as I will do, I will tell Mr Mowat, that
little tyrant who has attempted to control public opinion by getting
hold of every office from that of a Division Court bailiff to a
tavern-keeper, that I will get a bill passed at Ottawa returning to the
municipalities the power taken from them by the Licence Act.'  At the
next session the M'Carthy Act was passed, providing, not for municipal
control, but for control by federal commissioners.  Here again the
highest courts held in 1883 and 1884 that the Ontario measure was
within the power of the province, but that the M'Carthy Act was beyond
that of the Dominion.  Once more 'the little tyrant' had scored!

The Dominion Franchise Act of 1885 was the last important measure which
need be noted in this connection.  By the British North America Act the
Dominion was to adopt the provincial franchise lists for its elections
{71} until parliament should order otherwise.  Sir John Macdonald
decided, after eighteen years' use of the provincial lists and six
half-hearted attempts to change this situation, that the Dominion
should set up its own standard, in order both to secure uniformity and
to preserve the property qualifications which Ontario and the other
provinces were throwing overboard.  The Opposition contended that this
was an attack upon provincial rights.  The argument was weak; there
could be no doubt of the constitutional power of the Dominion in this
matter.  Better founded were the attacks of the Opposition upon
specific clauses of the measure, such as the proposal to enfranchise
Indians living upon government reserves and under government control,
and the proposal to put the revision of the lists in the hands of
partisan revising barristers rather than of judges.  The
'Conservatives' proposed, but did not press the point, to give single
women the franchise, and the 'Liberals' opposed it.  After months of
obstruction the proposal to enfranchise the western Indians was
dropped,[2] an appeal to {72} judges was provided for the revision of
the lists, and the income and property standards were reduced.
Inconsistently, in some provinces a variation from the general
standards was permitted.  The Franchise Act of 1885 remained in force
until after the coming of the Liberals to power in 1896, when it was
repealed without regret on either side.

Suddenly the scene shifted, and, instead of the dry and bloodless court
battles of constitutional lawyers, the fire and passion of armed
rebellion and bitter racial feud held the Canadian stage.  The
rebellion itself was an {73} affair of but a few brief weeks, but the
fires lighted on the Saskatchewan swept through the whole Dominion, and
for years the smoke of Duck Lake and Batoche disturbed the public life
of Canada.

Long years before the Great West was more than a name to any but a
handful in older Canada, hardy French voyageurs and Scottish
adventurers had pushed their canoes or driven their Red River carts to
the foot of the Rockies and beyond.  They had mated with Indian women,
and when in 1870 the Dominion came into possession of the great hunting
preserve of the Hudson's Bay Company, many of their half-breed children
dwelt on the plains.  The coming of the railway, the flocking in of
settlers, and the rapid dwindling of the vast herds of buffalo which
had provided the chief support of the half-breeds, made their nomadic
life no longer possible.  The economic difficulties of making the
needed readjustment, of settling down to quiet farm activities, were
heightened by the political difficulties due to the setting up of the
new Dominion authority.  Then it was on the banks of the Red River that
these half-breeds, known as Métis, had risen under the firebrand Riel
in armed revolt against the incoming régime.  Now, in 1885, {74} it was
on the North and South Saskatchewan.  There numerous groups of the
Métis had made their settlements.  And when the Canadian authorities
came in to survey the land, to build railways, and to organize
government, these people sought to have their rights and privileges
accorded them.  In Manitoba, after the insurrection of 1870, the dual
claims of the old half-breed settlers had been recognized.  As part
Indian, they had been given scrip for 160 acres each, to extinguish the
Indian title to the land, and as part white men, they were each allowed
to homestead 160 acres like any other settler.  The Métis in the
North-West Territories now asked for the same privileges.  They wanted
also to have their holdings left as they were, long narrow strips of
land facing the river front, like the settlements on the St Lawrence,
with the houses sociably near in one long village street, rather than
to have their land cut up into rectangular, isolated farms under the
survey system which the Canadian Government had borrowed from the
United States.

The requests were reasonable.  Perhaps a narrow logic could have shown
inconsistency in the demand to be considered both white and Indian at
once, but the Manitoba Act had {75} set a precedent.  Only a few
thousand acres were at stake, in a boundless land where the Government
stood ready to set aside a hundred million acres for a railway.  The
expediency of winning the goodwill of the half-breeds was apparent to
Canadians on the spot, especially now that the Indians, over whom the
Métis had great influence, were also becoming restless because of the
disappearance of the buffalo and the swarming in of settlers.

Yet the situation was never adequately faced.  The Mackenzie
Government, in 1877, on the petition of a hundred and fifty Scottish
half-breeds at Prince Albert, agreed, where settlement had been
effected on the narrow frontage system, to conform the surveys in
harmony with this plan, and the Scottish holdings were so confirmed.
Two years later the Macdonald Government passed an act authorizing the
giving of scrip to the half-breeds of the North-West on the same terms
as it had been given to those in Manitoba.  So far so good.  Then came
year upon year of neglect, of clerkly procrastination, and of
half-concessions.  The French half-breeds passed resolution after
resolution, sent to Ottawa petition after petition and delegation after
delegation, but in vain.  The Government {76} forgot the act which it
had itself passed in 1879.  Nor were the half-breeds themselves the
only petitioners.  Time and again Father André and other missionaries
urged their claims.  Some of the Government's own land agents on the
spot urged them.  Charles Mair of Prince Albert, one of the first of
Ontario's settlers in the West, appeared at Ottawa four times before
the outbreak, to try to waken the Government to the seriousness of the
situation.[3]  The North-West Council sent strong memorials backing the
requests of the Métis.  And still, though some of the grievances were
redressed, in piecemeal fashion, no attempt was made to grapple
adequately with the difficult questions presented by the meeting {77}
of two stages of civilization, to understand the disputes, the real
wrongs, the baseless fears.  When in 1883 Blake in the House of Commons
called for papers, none were brought down for two years; when in 1884
Cameron called for a committee of investigation, the reply was that
there was nothing to investigate.

What was the cause of this neglect?  At bottom, the Government's
ignorance of the West.  There was not in the Cabinet a man who knew its
conditions and needs.  The Métis were two thousand miles away, and they
had no votes, for the North-West Territories were not then represented
at Ottawa.  For five years Sir John Macdonald himself had acted as
minister of the Interior.  In taking over the cares of a busy
department, added to the office of prime minister, he made the mistake
that Mackenzie had made.  But while Mackenzie put in ten to fourteen
hours a day at departmental routine, at the expense of his duties as
leader, Macdonald did his work as leader at the expense of his
department.  'Old To-Morrow' solved many a problem wisely by leaving it
to time to solve, but some problems proved the more serious for every
year's delay.  Late in 1883 Sir John gave up {78} the portfolio, but
his successor, Sir David Macpherson, effected little change.  Late in
1885 Thomas White, an energetic and sympathetic administrator, became
minister, but the mischief was then already done.

In its defence the Government urged that no half-breed had actually
been dispossessed of his river-front claim, and that many who were
demanding scrip had already received land in Manitoba.  It contended
further that the agitation of the half-breeds was fanned by white
settlers in Prince Albert, eager to speculate in scrip, and hinted
darkly at mysterious forces and personages in the background, in Canada
and elsewhere.  No attempt was made, however, to prove the truth of
these latter charges or to bring the guilty to justice.  Doubtless the
grievances were not so great as to justify rebellion; the less excuse,
then, for not curing what was curable.  Doubtless, also, this was not
the first time nor the last that a government lacked energy or vision,
and had it not been for the other factor in the situation, Louis Riel,
no heavy penalty might have followed.  But unfortunately, luck or
Nemesis, the other factor was very much to the fore.

Wearied of unending delay, the Métis looked {79} again to Riel, then
living in exile in Montana.  He was the one half-breed with any measure
of book-education and knowledge of the vague world beyond the Lakes.
Early in the summer of 1884 James Isbester, Gabriel Dumont, Moise
Ouellette, and Michel Dumas trudged seven hundred miles to Montana, and
laid their case before him.  He needed little urging.  The call
appealed strongly to his erratic ambition.  His term of banishment had
expired, and he hastened to the Saskatchewan to organize the Métis.
Still the Government did not stir, though it knew the reckless daring
of Riel and the influence he wielded.  Riel at once set to work to fan
the discontent into flame.  Though the English-speaking half-breeds
drew back, he soon gained remarkable ascendancy over his
French-speaking compatriots.  He preached a new religion, with himself
as prophet, threatened to dethrone the Pope, and denounced the local
priests who resisted his campaign.  He held meeting after meeting, drew
up an extravagant Bill of Rights, and endeavoured to enlist the support
of the Indian tribes.  Still all the Government did was to send, in
January 1885, a commission to take the census of the half-breeds,
preparatory to settling their claims.  Yet, {80} speaking in the House
of Commons, on March 26, 1885, Sir John Macdonald made it clear that
the half-breeds could not get both Indian scrip and white man's
homestead.  On the very day that this refusal was reiterated the first
shot had been fired at Duck Lake, where a superior force of insurgents
under Riel and Dumont routed a party of Mounted Police and volunteers,
killing twelve, and seized the supplies in the government post.  Open
rebellion had come for a second time.

Now at last the Government acted with energy.  On the 6th of April, ten
days after Duck Lake, instructions were telegraphed from Ottawa to give
the half-breeds the scrip they had sought, and to allow occupants to
acquire title by possession.  At the same time troops were hastily
mobilized and speeded west over the broken stretches of the Canadian
Pacific Railway.  The young volunteers faced danger and hardship like
veterans.  In spite of the skilful tactics of Riel's lieutenant,
Gabriel Dumont, a born general, the volunteers soon crushed the
half-breeds and prevented the much more serious danger of an Indian
uprising from going far.

Once the back of the revolt was broken, the storm broke out in Eastern
Canada.  In one {81} way the rebellion had made for national unity.
Nova Scotia and Ontario and the West had thrilled in common suspense
and common endeavour.  But this gain was much more than offset by the
bitter antagonism which developed between Ontario and Quebec, an
antagonism which for a time threatened to wreck the Dominion.  The two
provinces saw different sides of the shield.  Ontario saw the murderer
of Thomas Scott--an Ontario man and an Orangeman--a second time
stirring up revolt, and cried for summary punishment.  Quebec saw the
grievances which had stirred the men of French blood to rebel.  Riel
was tried in Regina in September, and found guilty of treason, with a
recommendation to mercy.  The Queen's Bench of Manitoba confirmed the
verdict, and the Government, in spite of many protests, refused to
grant a pardon or to commute the sentence to imprisonment.  On the 16th
of November 1885 Riel's chequered existence ended on the scaffold at

Now the storm raged with renewed fury.  The Liberal party all held the
Government responsible for the outbreak, but were not a unit in
condemning the execution of Riel.  By clever tactics the Government
took advantage of this divergence.  Early in the session {82} of 1886 a
Quebec Conservative, Auguste Philippe Landry, moved a resolution
condemning the execution.  The Liberals had intended to shift the
discussion to the record of the Government, but before they could
propose an amendment, the minister of Public Works, Hector Langevin,
moved the previous question, thus barring any further motion.  Forced
to vote on Landry's resolution, most of the Ontario Liberals, including
Mackenzie and Cartwright, sided with the Government; Blake and Laurier
took the other side.

The crisis brought Wilfrid Laurier to the front.  Hitherto he had been
considered, especially in Ontario, as a man of brilliant promise, but
not yet of the stature of veterans like Blake and Mackenzie and
Cartwright.  But now an occasion had come which summoned all his latent
powers, and henceforth his place in the first rank was unquestioned.
It was an issue peculiarly fitted to bring out his deepest feelings,
his passion for liberty and straightforward justice, his keen
realization of the need of harmony between French and English, a
harmony that must be rooted in sympathy and understanding.  He had
faced a hostile Quebec, and was to face it again, in defence of the
rights of the English-speaking {83} provinces.  Now he faced a hostile
Ontario, and told Toronto exactly what he told Montreal.  In the great
meeting of protest which was held in the Champ de Mars in Montreal on
the Sunday after Riel's execution, Mr Laurier took a leading part, and
a year later he spoke before a great audience in Toronto and pressed
home the case against the Government--that 'the half-breeds were denied
for long years right and justice, rights which were admitted as soon as
they were asked by bullets.'

But it was in the House of Commons that he rose to the full height of
the theme and of his powers.  Seconding Blake's indictment of the
Government in July 1885, and replying to Sir John Macdonald, he
analysed mercilessly the long record of neglect.  Then, replying to the
contention that the grievances were petty and that Riel alone was to
blame, he made a pointed contrast:

Few men have there been anywhere who have wielded greater sway over
their fellow countrymen than did Mr Papineau at a certain time in the
history of Lower Canada, and no man ever lived who had been more
profusely endowed by nature to be the idol of a nation.  A man of
commanding presence, of majestic countenance, of impassioned eloquence,
of {84} unblemished character, of pure, disinterested patriotism, for
years he held over the hearts of his fellow countrymen almost unbounded
sway, and even to this day the mention of his name will arouse
throughout the length and breadth of Lower Canada a thrill of
enthusiasm in the breasts of all, men or women, old or young.  What was
the secret of that great power he held at one time?  Was it simply his
eloquence, his commanding intellect, his pure patriotism?  No doubt
they all contributed, but the main cause of his authority over his
fellow countrymen was this, that at that time his fellow countrymen
were an oppressed race, and he was the champion of their cause.  But
when the day of relief came, the influence of Mr Papineau, however
great it might have been and however great it still remained, ceased to
be paramount.  When eventually the Union Act was carried, Papineau
violently assailed it, showed all its defects, deficiencies and
dangers, and yet he could not rouse his followers and the people to
agitate for the repeal of that Act.  What was the reason?  The
conditions were no more the same.  Imperfect as was the Union Act, it
still gave a measure of freedom and justice to the people, and men who
once at the mere sound of Mr Papineau's voice would have gladly courted
death on battle-field or scaffold, then stood silent and irresponsive,
though he asked from them nothing more than a constitutional agitation
for a repeal of the Union Act.  Conditions were no more the same.
Tyranny and oppression had made rebels of the people of Lower Canada,
while justice and freedom made {85} them the true and loyal subjects
which they have been ever since.  And now to tell us that Louis Riel,
simply by his influence, could bring those men from peace to war, to
tell us that they had no grievances, to tell us that they were brought
into a state of rebellion either through pure malice or through
imbecile adherence to an adventurer, is an insult to the intelligence
of the people at large, and an unjust aspersion on the people of the

When the debate on the Landry motion came on in the following session,
Laurier and Blake again shared the honours, along with the new minister
of Justice, John S. D. Thompson, who spoke forcefully for the
Government.  Mr Laurier's speech on this occasion was perhaps the
greatest of his career, and made a profound impression.  He was called
upon to speak unexpectedly, late at night, through the tactics of the
Government in not putting up a speaker.  Two dull speeches had nearly
emptied the House.  No one rose to follow, and the speaker had asked
whether the question should be put, when Mr Laurier rose.  The House
filled quickly, and for two hours he held it breathless, so that not a
sound but the orator's ringing voice and the ticking of the clock could
be heard in the chamber.  When he sat down, the opinion of {86} the
House was unanimous that this was one of the rare occasions of a
parliamentary lifetime.  Thomas White generously voiced the feeling of
the Government benches when he declared: 'I think it is a matter of
common pride to us that any man in Canada can make, on the floor of
parliament, such a speech as we listened to last night.'  Edward Blake
declared the speech was 'the crowning proof of French domination.  My
honourable friend, not content with having for a long time in his own
tongue borne away the palm of parliamentary eloquence, has invaded
ours, and in that field has pronounced a speech, which, in my humble
judgment, merits this compliment, because it is the truth, that it was
the finest parliamentary speech ever pronounced in the parliament of
Canada since Confederation.'

Blake and Laurier differed in their view of the tactics to be followed
by the Opposition.  Mr Blake wished to throw the chief emphasis upon
the question of Riel's insanity, leaving aside the thorny question of
the division of responsibility.  Mr Laurier wanted to go further.
While equally convinced that Riel was insane, he thought that the main
effort of the Opposition should be to divert attention from Riel's
sorry figure and concentrate it on {87} the question of the
Government's neglect.  Accordingly in this speech Mr Laurier reviewed
once more the conduct of the Government, arraigning it unsparingly for
its common share in the guilt of the rebellion.  He denied that the
people of Quebec were demanding that no French Canadian should be
punished, guilty or not guilty.  As for Riel, who shared with the
Government the responsibility for the blood and sufferings of the
revolt, he urged, with Blake, that it was impossible to consider him
sane and accountable for his actions.  'Sir,' he declared, 'I am not
one of those who look upon Louis Riel as a hero.  Nature had endowed
him with many brilliant qualities, but nature had denied him that
supreme quality without which all other qualities, however brilliant,
are of no avail.  Nature had denied him a well-balanced mind.  At his
worst he was a fit subject for an asylum, at his best he was a
religious and political monomaniac.'  True, some of the Government's
experts had reported that, while insane on religious questions, Riel
was otherwise accountable for his actions, but other experts had held
him insane without qualification.  In any event, the same experts for
the Government had declared that Riel's secretary, an {88} English
half-breed, William Jackson, was insane on religious questions, and
dazed at times, but that 'his actions were not uncontrollable'; yet
Quebec bitterly reflected that one of these men had been acquitted,
sent to an asylum and then allowed to escape, while the other was sent
to the gallows.  'Jackson is free to-day, and Riel is in his grave.'[4]

On wider grounds the Government should have stood for clemency.  Who
was right in the United States after the Civil War--President Johnson,
who wished to try Lee for treason, or General Grant, who insisted that
he be not touched?  Twenty years after, the unity of North and South
proves unmistakably Grant's far-seeing wisdom.  'We cannot make a
nation of this new country by shedding blood,' Mr Laurier concluded.
'Our prisons are full of men, who, despairing of getting justice by
peace, sought it by war, who, despairing of ever being treated like
freemen, {89} took their lives in their hands rather than be treated as
slaves.  They have suffered greatly, they are suffering still, yet
their sacrifice will not be without reward....  They are in durance
to-day, but the rights for which they were fighting have been
acknowledged.  We have not the report of the commission yet, but we
know that more than two thousand claims so long denied have at last
been granted.  And more--still more: we have it in the Speech from the
Throne that at last representation is to be granted to those
Territories.  This side of the House long sought, but sought in vain,
to obtain that measure of justice.  It could not come then, but it came
after the war; it came as the last conquest of that insurrection.  And
again I say that "their country has conquered with their martyrdom,"
and if we look at that one fact alone there was cause sufficient,
independent of all other, to extend mercy to the one who is dead and to
those who live.'

In parliament, for all the eloquence of Laurier and Blake, the
Government had its way.  In the country the controversy raged in more
serious fashion.  In Quebec Honoré Mercier, the brilliant, tempestuous
leader of the Liberals, carried on a violent agitation, {90} and in
January 1887 rode the whirlwind into power.  Wild and bitter words were
many in the contest, and they found more than an answer in Ontario,
where the leading ministerial organ, the _Mail_, declared it better to
'smash Confederation into its original fragments' rather than yield to
French dictation.

[Illustration: HONORÉ MERCIER From a photograph]

The general elections, held in February 1887, proved that in Ontario
the guilt of Riel was more to the fore than the misdeeds of the
Government, and the Conservatives lost only two seats.  On the other
hand, the Liberals gained less in Quebec in the Dominion contest, where
the Riel question was a legitimate issue, than in the provincial
contest, where it properly had no place.  The influence of the Church,
though now transferred to Mercier in provincial politics, remained on
the side of Sir John Macdonald in Dominion politics.  Counting on the
Liberal side the former Conservatives who had deserted the Government,
the returns showed the province about equally divided; but after it was
seen that Sir John was again in power, several of the wanderers
returned to his fold, influenced by his personal ascendancy or by the
loaves and fishes of patronage and office.

[1] See _The Railway Builders_, chap. viii.

[2] Indians in the eastern provinces, however, were given a vote.  This
gave rise to one of the most artful, yet amusingly simple,
electioneering documents on record.  In the Haldimand, Ontario,
election of 1891 the Conservative candidate, Dr W. H. Montague,
afterwards minister of Agriculture, had the following circular
distributed on the Indian Reserve, with the royal coat of arms at the


To the Indians: The Queen has always loved her dear loyal subjects, the
Indians.  She wants them to be good men and women, and she wants them
to live on the land that they have, and she expects in a little while,
if her great chief John A. gets into government again, to be very kind
to the Indians and to make them very happy.  She wants them to go and
vote and all to vote for Dr Montague, who is the Queen's agent.  He is
their friend, and by voting for him every one of the Indians will please


Liberal (or rather Conservative) supplies of fire-water effectively
backed up this touching appeal of 'the Queen.'

[3] Mair made his last appeal but one in April 1884.  Finding it
impossible to rouse the Government, he returned to Prince Albert and
brought his family back to Ontario, out of the way of the inevitable
rebellion.  A final visit to Ottawa in December was equally futile.  Of
the April attempt Lieut.-Colonel George T. Denison writes: 'When he
returned to Toronto from Ottawa he told me most positively that there
would be a rebellion, that the officials were absolutely indifferent
and immovable, and I could not help laughing at the picture he gave me
of Sir David Macpherson, a very large, handsome, erect man of six feet
four inches, getting up, leaving his room, and walking away down the
corridor, while Mair, a short stout man, had almost to run alongside of
him, as he made his final appeal to preserve the peace and prevent
bloodshed.'--_Soldiering in Canada_, p. 263.

[4] 'When one considers the mass of testimony pointing to Riel's mental
defect--paranoia--the undoubted history of insanity from boyhood, with
the recurring paroxysms of intense excitement, he wonders that there
could have been the slightest discussion regarding it.'--'A Critical
Study of the Case of Louis Riel,' _Queen's Quarterly_, April-July,
1905, by C. K. Clarke, M.D., Superintendent of Rockwood Asylum (now
Superintendent, Toronto General Hospital).




Dark days--Sectional discontent--Railway monopoly--Exodus and stagnation

The outcome of the elections was an intense disappointment to Edward
Blake.  His health, too, was failing, and this increased his
despondency.  He decided to give over to other hands the leadership of
his party.  Early in June 1887, two months after the new parliament
assembled, he definitely and firmly refused to hold the post longer.

Who was to succeed him?  For the moment the leadership was put into
commission, a committee of eight being nominated to tide matters over.
The Ontario Liberals had always been the backbone of the party, and
among them Sir Richard Cartwright and David Mills stood pre-eminent in
experience and ability.  Yet it was neither of these veterans whom Mr
Blake recommended to the party 'caucus' as his successor, but Wilfrid
Laurier; and on the motion of Sir Richard Cartwright, seconded by Mr
Mills, Mr Laurier was unanimously chosen as the new chieftain.


It was with much difficulty that Mr Laurier was induced to accept the
leadership.  On both personal and political grounds he hesitated.  He
had his share of ambition, but he had never looked for more than
success in his profession and a place in politics below the highest.
It was not that he underestimated the greatness of the honour; on the
contrary, it was his high sense of the responsibilities of the post
that gave him pause.  He was not of strong physique, and he knew that
the work meant ceaseless strain and pressure.  Though his profession
now gave him an ample income, he was not a rich man, and much if not
most of his law practice would have to be abandoned if he became
leader;[1] and parliament had not yet awakened to the need of paying
the leader of the Opposition a salary.

On political grounds he was still more in doubt.  Would Canada, would
the one-time party of George Brown, welcome a leader from the minority?
The fires of sectional passion were still raging.  In Ontario he would
be opposed as a French Canadian and a Catholic, the resolute opponent
of the Government on the Riel question.  And though it might be {93}
urged that the pendulum was swinging toward the Liberals in Quebec,
while in Ontario they were making little ground, the irony of the
situation was such that in Quebec he was regarded with suspicion, if
not with open hostility, by the most powerful and aggressive leaders of
the Church.

Yet the place he had won in parliament and in the party was undeniable.
His colleagues believed that he had the ability to lead them out of the
wilderness, and for their faith he accepted.  At first he insisted that
his acceptance should be tentative, for the session only; but by the
time the session ended the party would not be denied, and his definite
succession to the leadership was announced.

The Canada of 1887, in which Wilfrid Laurier thus came to high and
responsible position, was a Canada very different from the land of
promise familiar to young Canadians of the present generation.  It was
a Canada seething with restlessness and discontent.  The high hopes of
the Fathers of Confederation had turned to ashes.  On every hand men
were saying that federation had failed, that the new nation of their
dream had remained a dream.


At Confederation men had hoped that the Dominion would take high place
in the Empire and among the nations of the world.  Yet, twenty years
later, Canada remained unappreciated and unknown.  In Great Britain she
was considered a colony which had ceased to fulfil the principal
functions of the traditional colony, and which would probably some day
go the way of all colonies: in the meantime the country was simply
ignored, alike in official and in private circles.  In the United
States, in those quarters where Canada was given a thought at all,
curious misconceptions existed of her subordination to Great Britain,
of her hopelessly Arctic climate, and of her inevitable drift into the
arms of the Republic.  Elsewhere abroad, Canada was an Ultima Thule, a
barren land of ice and snow, about as interesting and important as
Kamchatka and Tierra del Fuego, and other outlying odds and ends of the
earth which one came across in the atlas but never thought of otherwise.

Twenty years earlier glowing pictures had been painted of the new
heights of honour and of usefulness which the new Dominion would afford
its statesmen.  The hard reality was the Canada of gerrymanders and
political {95} trickery, of Red Parlor funds and electoral bribery.
The canker affected not one party alone, as the fall of Mercier was
soon to show.  The whole political life of the country to sank low and
stagnant levels, for it appeared that the people had openly condoned
corruption in high places, and that lavish promises and the 'glad hand'
were a surer road to success than honest and efficient administration.

Sectional discontent prevailed.  That the federation would be smashed
'into its original fragments' seemed not beyond possibility.  We have
seen that a racial and religious feud rent Ontario and Quebec.  Nova
Scotia strained at the leash.  Her people had never forgotten nor
forgiven the way in which they had been forced into Confederation.
'Better terms' had failed to bribe them into fellowship.  A high tariff
restricted their liberty in buying, and the home markets promised in
compensation had not developed.  In the preceding year the provincial
legislature had expressed the prevalent discontent by flatly demanding
the repeal of the union.

Manitoba chafed under a thirty-five per cent tariff on farm implements,
and complained of the retention by the Dominion of the vacant lands in
the province.  And her {96} grievances in respect to transportation
would not down.  The Canadian Pacific Railway had given the much
desired connection with the East and had brought tens of thousands of
settlers to the province, but it had not brought abiding prosperity or
content.  The through rate on wheat from Winnipeg to Montreal was ten
cents a bushel more than from St Paul to New York, an equal distance;
and, from the farm to Liverpool, the Minnesota farmer had fifteen cents
a bushel the advantage of his Manitoba neighbour.  Local rates were
still heavier.  'Coal and lumber and general merchandise cost from two
to four times as much to ship as for equal distances in the eastern

Why not bring in competition?  Because the Dominion Government blocked
the way by its veto power.  In the contract with the Canadian Pacific
Syndicate a clause provided that for twenty years the Dominion would
not authorize a competing road between the company's main line and the
United States border running south or southeast or within fifteen miles
of the boundary; it was provided also that in the formation of any new
provinces to {97} the west such provinces should be required to observe
the same restriction.  It was urged by the railway authorities that
foreign investors had demanded a monopoly as the price of capital, and
that without the assurance of such a monopoly the costly link to the
north of Lake Superior could never have been built.  The terms of the
contract did not bar Manitoba from chartering railways: the Dominion
had indeed no power to forbid it in advance, and it was explicitly
stated by Sir John Macdonald at the time that Manitoba was not
affected.  Yet when Manitoba sought to charter one railway after
another, the Dominion disallowed every act and repeatedly declared that
it would use its veto power to compel Manitoba to trade with the East
and by the Canadian Pacific Railway.  A more effective means of
stirring up ill-feeling between East and West and of discouraging
immigration to the prairies could hardly have been devised.

Against these conditions Manitoba protested as one man.  The Winnipeg
Board of Trade denounced the policy of 'crushing and trampling upon one
hundred thousand struggling pioneers of this prairie province to secure
a purely imaginary financial gain to one soulless corporation.'  Every
Conservative candidate {98} for the House of Commons in the province
pledged himself to vote for a motion of want of confidence if the
Macdonald Government persisted in its course.  The Conservative
administration of the province was overthrown because it did not go
fast or far enough in the fight.  At last, in 1888, Ottawa gave way and
bought off the Canadian Pacific by a guarantee of bonds for new
extensions.  After some further negotiations the Northern Pacific was
brought into Canada; and if this did not work all the miracles of cheap
rates that had been expected, Manitoba at least knew now that her ills
were those which had been imposed by nature and geography and not by
her sister provinces.

It was not only in Manitoba that economic depression prevailed, though
nowhere else were the grievances so concrete and so irritating.
Throughout the Dominion the brief gleam of prosperity which dawned with
the eighties had vanished.  After the completion of the Canadian
Pacific Railway stagnation was everywhere the rule.  Foreign trade,
which had reached a total of $217,000,000 in 1873, was only
$230,000,000 in 1883 and $247,000,000 in 1893; these were, however,
years of falling prices.  Bank discounts, the {99} number of tons of
freight moved, and other records of general business activity showed
creeping progress and sometimes actual falling back.  Homestead entries
had risen to nearly seventy-five hundred in 1882, when the construction
of the Canadian Pacific was bringing on the first western boom, but a
great part of these had been cancelled, and up to the middle nineties
entries averaged fewer than three thousand a year in the whole vast

The movement of population bore the same melancholy witness.  Even the
West, Manitoba and the North-West Territories, grew only from 180,000
in 1881 in 250,000 in 1891, whereas Dakota alone grew from 135,000 to
510,000 in the same period.  The Dominion as a whole increased at less
than half the rate of the United States, and Sir Richard Cartwright had
little difficulty in establishing the alarming fact that in recent
years one out of every four of the native-born of Canada had been
compelled to seek a home in the Republic, and that three out of every
four immigrants to Canada had followed the same well-beaten trail.
There were in 1890 more than one-third as many people of Canadian birth
and descent in the United States as in Canada itself.  Never in the
world's history, save in {100} the case of crowded, famine-stricken,
misgoverned Ireland, had there been such a leakage of the brain and
brawn of any country.

Perhaps no incident reveals more clearly the stagnation and lack of
constructive courage of this period than the break-down of the
negotiations carried on in 1895 for the entrance of Newfoundland, then
still more nearly bankrupt, into Confederation, because of the
unwillingness of the Canadian Government to meet the financial terms
Newfoundland demanded.  For the sake of a difference of fifty thousand
dollars a year the chance to round out the Dominion was let slip,
perhaps never to recur.  Ten years later fifty thousand a year looked
small.  To each generation the defects of its qualities; in one
prudence degenerates into parsimony, in another courage runs wild in

[1] After 1887 he rarely, and after 1892 never, appeared in court.

[2] _Plain Facts regarding the Disallowance of Manitoba Railway
Charters_, by the Winnipeg Board of Trade.




Canada and the States--The fisheries dispute--Political
union--Commercial union--Unrestricted reciprocity--Jesuits'
estates--Unrestricted reciprocity

For desperate ills, desperate remedies.  It is little wonder that
policies looking to revolutionary change in political or commercial
relations now came to take strong hold on the public mind.  To many it
appeared that the experiment in Canadian nationality had failed.  Why
not, then, frankly admit the failure and seek full political
incorporation with either of the great centres of the English-speaking
people, of whose political prestige and commercial success there was no
question?  Annexation to the United States, Imperial Federation, with a
central parliament in the United Kingdom, each found a small but
earnest company of supporters.  Or, if the mass of the people shrank
from one and held the other an impracticable dream, why not seek the
closest possible commercial tie with either nation?  Thus Commercial
Union, or a _zollverein_ between Canada and the United {102} States,
and Imperial Preferential Trade, or a _zollverein_ between Canada and
the United Kingdom and the other parts of the British Empire, came into
discussion.  What British and American conditions and opinion met these
Canadian movements, and what changes were made in the programmes first
urged, may next be reviewed.  Canadian relations with the United States
will be noted first.

In the decade from 1886 to 1896, when the Venezuela episode opened a
valve for the steam to blow off, the relations between Canada and the
United States were continuously at high tension.  It was an era of
friction and pinpricks, of bluster and retaliation.  The United States
was not in a conciliatory mood.  It was growing in wealth and numbers
and power, in unprecedented ways.  Its people were one and all
intensely proud of their country and satisfied with themselves.  The
muckraker had not yet lifted his voice in the land.  The millionaire
was still an object of pride and emulation, _Exhibit A_ in the display
of American superiority over all creation.  No foreign danger
threatened, no foreign responsibility restrained the provincial
swagger.  In short, the United States was 'feeling its oats.'


Towards Great Britain it was specially prone to take an aggressive
attitude.  Still fresh was the memory of 1776 and 1812, fed by
text-book rhetoric and thrown into relief by the absence of other foes.
Still rankled the hostility of the official classes of Great Britain
during the Civil War and Tory attacks upon American manners and
American democracy.  Irish-Americans in millions cherished a natural if
sometimes foolishly directed hatred against the country that had
misgoverned Erin and made it lose half its people.  The rejection of
Home Rule by the House of Commons in 1886, confirmed by the results of
the general elections which followed, intensified this feeling.
Canada, the nearest British territory, had to bear much of this
ill-will, though she had no share of responsibility for its creation,
just as she had borne the brunt of invasion in wars which were none of
her making.

There were, however, other sources of trouble for which Canada was more
directly responsible.  She had followed the example of the United
States in setting up a high tariff wall.  Inevitably the adoption of
protection by both countries led to friction.  The spirit of which it
was born and which in turn it {104} nourished, the belief that one
country found its gain in another's loss, made for jealousy, and the
rankling sense on Canada's part that her policy had not succeeded made
the feeling the sorer.

But the immediate occasion of the most serious difficulty was the
revival of the northeastern fisheries dispute.  The century-long
conflict as to the privileges of American fishermen in Canadian and
Newfoundland waters, under the Treaty of 1783 and the Convention of
1818, had been set at rest during the era of Reciprocity (1854-66) by
opening Canadian fishing-grounds to Americans, practically in return
for free admission of Canadian natural products to the United States.
Then once more, by the Treaty of Washington in 1871, access to the
inshore fisheries was bartered for free admission of fish and fish-oil
plus a money compensation to be determined by a commission.  The
commission met at Halifax in 1877, Sir A. T. Galt representing Canada,
and the award was set at $5,500,000 for the twelve years during which
the treaty was to last.  The United States condemned the award with
much heat, and took occasion to abrogate the clause of the treaty on
the earliest date for which notice could be given, July 1, 1885.  {105}
For that season the fishing privileges were extended, but with the next
year the whole dispute revived.  The Canadian authorities insisted on
restricting American fishermen rigidly to the letter of treaty
privileges as Canada interpreted them.  American fishing vessels were
not only barred from fishing within the three-mile limit but were
forbidden to enter a Canadian port to ship cargoes or for any other
purpose, save for shelter, wood, water, or repairs.  Several American
boats were seized and condemned; and Canadian fishery cruisers
patrolled the coasts, incessantly active.  A storm of genuine if not
informed indignation broke out in the United States.  The action of the
Canadian authorities was denounced as unneighbourly and their
insistence on the letter of ancient treaties as pettifogging; and, with
more justice, it was declared that the Canadian Government used the
fishing privileges as a lever, or rather a club, to force the opening
of the United States markets to all Canadian products.

President Cleveland sought a friendly solution by the appointment of a
joint commission.  Congress, more bellicose, passed unanimously (1887)
a Retaliatory Act, empowering the president, if satisfied that American
vessels {106} were illegally or vexatiously harassed or restricted, to
close the ports and waters of the United States against the vessels and
products of any part of British North America.  The president declined
to fire this blunderbuss, and arranged for the commission on which
Joseph Chamberlain, Sir Lionel Sackville-West, and Sir Charles Tupper
were the British representatives.  The draft treaty which the
commission framed failed to pass the United States Senate, but a _modus
vivendi_ was arranged permitting American vessels port privileges upon
payment of a licence fee.  This, together with more considerate conduct
on both sides, eased the tension.

Once Congress had taken the drastic step of threatening complete
non-intercourse With Canada, a reaction set in, and many Americans
began to consider whether some more pacific and thoroughgoing solution
could not be found.  Two were suggested, political union and commercial

The political union of the two democracies of the continent has always
found advocates.  In the United States many believed it was 'manifest
destiny' that some day the Stars and Stripes should float from Panama
to the Pole.  At times Canadians here and there {107} had echoed this
belief.  It seemed to them better to be annexed at one stroke than to
be annexed piecemeal by exodus, at the rate of fifty or a hundred
thousand Canadians a year.  In St John and Halifax, in Montreal and
Toronto, and on the Detroit border, a few voices now called for this
remedy, which promised to give commercial prosperity and political
security instead of commercial depression and sectional, racial, and
religious strife.  Yet they remained voices crying in the wilderness.
As in 1849, when men of high rank in the Conservative party--notably
three,[1] who are known in history as colleagues of Sir John Macdonald
and one of them as prime minister of Canada--had joined with Quebec
_Rouges_ in prescribing the same remedy for Canada's ills, so now, in
the late eighties, the deep instinct of the overwhelming mass of the
people revolted from a step which meant renouncing the memories of the
past and the hopes of the future.  Imperial and national sentiment both
fought against it.  It was in vain that Goldwin Smith gave his life to
the cause, preaching the example of the union between Scotland and
England.  It {108} was in vain that British statesmen had shown
themselves not averse to the idea.  In 1869, when Senator Sumner
proposed the cession of Canada in settlement of the _Alabama_ claims,
and Hamilton Fish, the American secretary of state, declared to the
British ambassador that 'our claims were too large to be settled
pecuniarily and sounded him about Canada,' the ambassador had replied
that 'England did not wish to keep Canada, but could not part with it
without the consent of the population.'[2]  Wanted or not, the people
of Canada had determined to stay in the Empire; and did stay until
different counsels reigned in London.  Even in cold-blooded and
objective logic, Canada's refusal to merge her destinies with the
Republic could be justified as best for the world, in that it made
possible in North America two experiments in democracy; possible, too,
the transformation of the British Empire into the most remarkable and
hopeful of political combinations.  But it was not such reasoned logic
that prompted Canadians.  They were moved by deeper instincts,
prejudices, passions, hopes, loyalties.  And in face of their
practically solid opposition the solution of the 'Canadian Question'
had to {109} be sought elsewhere than in political union with the
United States.

Commercial union, or a _zollverein_ between Canada and the United
States, involved absolute free trade between the two countries, common
excise rates, a common customs tariff on the seaboard, and the pooling
and dividing according to population of the revenue.  This was not a
new proposal; it had been suggested time and again in both countries,
from its advocacy by Ira Gould of Montreal in 1852 down to its advocacy
by Wharton Barker of Philadelphia--a strong opponent of reciprocity--in
1886.  But now, for the first time, the conjuncture of political and
economic conditions on both sides of the line ensured it serious
attention; and, for the first time, in Erastus Wiman, one of the many
Canadians who had won fortune in the United States, the movement found
an enthusiastic and unflagging leader.  In 1887 Congressman Butterworth
introduced a bill providing for free entrance of all Canadian products
into the United States whenever Canada permitted the free entrance of
all American products, and received a notable measure of support.  In
Ontario, under the leadership of Erastus Wiman and Goldwin Smith and
Valencay {110} Fuller, the latter a leading stock breeder, the movement
won remarkably quick and widespread recognition: in a few months it had
been endorsed by over forty Farmers' Institutes and rejected by only
three.  Much of this success was due to the powerful and persistent
advocacy of leading Toronto and Montreal newspapers.  Needless to say,
the movement met with instant and vigorous opposition from the majority
of the manufacturers and from the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The movement had begun entirely outside the ordinary party lines, but
its strength soon compelled the party leaders to take a stand for or
against it.  Neither party endorsed it, though both went far towards
it.  The Conservatives had long been in favour of a measure of free
trade with the United States.  The National Policy had been adopted
partly in the hope that 'reciprocity in tariffs' would compel the
United States to assent to 'reciprocity in trade,' and many who, like
Goldwin Smith, had voted for protection in 1878, now called upon the
Government to follow its own logic.  But commercial union, with its
discrimination against Great Britain and its joint tariffs made at
Washington, did not appeal to Sir John Macdonald and his {111}
following.  They were, however, prepared to go far.  More than half the
time of the Fisheries Commission of 1887, which sat for three months,
was spent on tariff matters; and Sir Charles Tupper made the most
thoroughgoing offer of free trade with the United States ever made by
any Canadian Government--'an unrestricted offer of reciprocity.'
Congress, however, would not consent to discuss trade under pressure of
fishery threats, and no terms were made.

The Liberal party was equally uncertain as to its policy.  It was much
more strongly in favour of freer trade than its opponents, and being in
opposition, would be more likely to take up a policy opposed to the
_status quo_.  Sir Richard Cartwright in October 1887 came out clearly
in favour of commercial union.  What of the new leader of the party?

Mr Laurier's first public address after his election to the leadership
was given at Somerset, Quebec, in August 1887.  After reviewing the
deplorable discontent which pervaded the Dominion, due mainly to the
Government's policy, he referred to the trade issue.  The restriction
policy practised for a decade had led to a reaction, he declared,
'which has not stopped within moderate {112} bounds; on the contrary,
it has gone to extremes, and at this very hour the great majority of
the farmers of Ontario are clamoring for commercial union with the
United States....  For my part, I am not ready to declare that
commercial union is an acceptable idea.'  The root of the commercial
union movement, he continued, was the desire for reciprocity with the
United States in some form, and to that policy the Liberal party had
always been, and still remained, favourable.

In the following session the Liberal party made clear its position on
the question.  It definitely rejected by a large majority the proposal
for commercial union.  Adopting a suggestion of Mr J. D. Edgar, it
advocated reopening negotiations with Washington to secure full and
unrestricted reciprocity of trade.  Under this policy, if carried to
its full extent, all the products of each country would enter the other
free, but each would continue in control of its own tariff, and the
customhouses along the border would also remain.  Sir Richard
Cartwright opened the debate with a vivid summary of the backward and
distracted condition of Canada, and of the commercial advantages of
free access to the large, wealthy, and convenient market to the south.
{113} He concluded with a strong appeal to Canada to act as a link
between Great Britain and the United States, and thus secure for the
mother country the ally she needed in her dangerous isolation.  Mr
Laurier followed some days later.  He emphasized the need of wider
markets, of a population of consumers that would permit large-scaled
industry to develop, and contended that any manufacturing industries
which deserved to survive would thrive in the larger field.  The same
terms could not be offered England, for England had not a tariff in
which to make reciprocal reductions.  Canada would not always be a
colony; what she wanted, however, was not political independence, but
commercial independence.  The opponents of the proposal had appealed to
the country's fears; he appealed to its courage, and exhorted all to
press onward till the goal should be reached.

In parliament the discussion led to little result.  The Government took
its stand against unrestricted reciprocity, on the ground that it would
kill infant manufacturing industries and lead to political absorption
in the Republic, and the division followed party lines.  Meanwhile in
the country interest slackened, for the time.  In the presidential
{114} campaign of 1888 the Republicans, by a narrow margin, won on a
high-tariff platform, so that reciprocity seemed out of the question.
In Canada itself a new issue had arisen.  Once more race and religion
set Quebec and Ontario in fierce antagonism.

The Jesuits, or members of the Society of Jesus, do not now for the
first time appear in the history of Canada.  In the days of New France
they had been its most intrepid explorers, its most undaunted
missionaries.  'Not a cape was turned, not a river was entered,'
declares Bancroft, 'but a Jesuit led the way.'  With splendid heroism
they suffered for the greater glory of God the unspeakable horrors of
Indian torture and martyrdom.  But in the Old World their abounding
zeal often led them into conflict with the civil authorities, and they
became unpopular, alike in Catholic and in Protestant countries.  So it
happened that 'for the peace of the Church' the Pope suppressed the
Society in 1773, and it remained dormant for forty years.  After the
Conquest of Canada it was decreed that the Jesuits then in the country
should be permitted to remain and die there, but that they must not add
to their {115} numbers, and that their estates should be confiscated to
the Crown.  Lord Amherst, the British commander-in-chief, made an
unsuccessful attempt to have these estates granted to himself; but in
the Crown's possession they remained, and fell to the province of
Quebec at Confederation.  This settlement had never been accepted.  The
bishops contended that the Jesuits' estates should have been returned
to the Church, and the Jesuits, who had come back to Canada in 1842,
asserted their own rights to their ancient lands.  Thus the thorny
question as to what disposition should be made of these lands baffled
the provincial authorities until 1888, when Honoré Mercier, himself a
pupil of the Jesuits, and now a most aggressively faithful son of the
Church, grappled with the problem, and passed an act embodying a
compromise which had been found acceptable by all parties concerned.
The sum of $400,000 was to be paid in satisfaction of all claims, to be
divided among the Jesuits, the Church authorities, and Laval
University, in proportions to be determined by the Pope.  At the same
time $60,000 was voted to Protestant schools to satisfy their demands.

In Quebec the measure was accepted with little discussion.  All the
Protestant members {116} in the legislature voted for it.  But in
Ontario the heather was soon on fire.  It was not merely that the
dispossessed Jesuits, whom some Protestants regarded as the very symbol
and quintessence of clerical intrigue, were thus compensated by the
state, but that the sanction of the Pope had been invoked to give
effect to an act of a British legislature.  The Protestant war-chiefs,
D'Alton M'Carthy, Colonel O'Brien, and John Charlton, took up the
tomahawk, and called on the Dominion Government to disallow the act.
But Sir John Macdonald declined to intervene.  A resolution in the
House of Commons calling for disallowance was defeated by 188 to 13,
the minority being chiefly Conservatives from Ontario.

In opposing the resolution Mr Laurier congratulated the Government on
its tardy conversion from the vicious doctrine of centralization.  The
revolt of its followers from Ontario was the inevitable retribution due
to a party which had pandered to religious prejudices in both
provinces--due to 'that party with a rigid Protestant face turning
towards the west and a devout Catholic face turning towards the east';
and which at the same time had proclaimed the right to disallow any
provincial {117} act.  He did not, however, base his position solely on
the plea of provincial rights.  In itself the legislation was just and
expedient, a reasonable compromise between seriously conflicting
claims.  Nor would he listen to those who called upon the Liberals to
emulate the Liberals of continental Europe in their anti-clerical
campaigns.  He preferred to take tolerant Britain as his model rather
than intolerant France or Germany.  Once more he declared, as he had
declared in Quebec twelve years before, that he was a Liberal of the
English school, not of the French.

Outvoted in parliament, the champions of militant Protestantism found
strong support in the country.  An Equal Rights Association was formed
to resist the danger of Catholic domination which many believed
imminent.  It had less influence in the politics of the Dominion than
in the politics of Ontario, where Oliver Mowat was solemnly accused of
having conspired with Honoré Mercier to raise the Jesuits to power.  It
contained many able and sincere men, yet its influence soon ceased.  By
1894 its place was taken by the Protestant Protective Association, or
P.P.A., a boycotting organization imported from the United States,
which had a deservedly short {118} life.  But, while the fires burned
low in the East, the torch had been passed on to the far West--from
D'Alton M'Carthy to Joseph Martin.  Of the conflagration which ensued
we shall learn in a later chapter.

Men will sometimes pray, or may try to prevent others from praying as
they list; but they must always eat.  The pendulum of public interest
swung back to trade relations with the United States.  Depression still
pervaded farming and manufacturing centres alike, though the
abandonment of the policy of federal coercion had lessened political
discontent.  The return of the Republicans to power in 1888, it has
been seen, appeared to put freer trade relations out of the question.
The M'Kinley tariff of 1890 slammed the door in Canada's face, for in
order to delude the American farmer into believing that protection was
in his interest, this tariff imposed high and often prohibitive duties
on farm products.

Should Canada retaliate, or make still another effort at a reasonable
arrangement with its unneighbourly neighbour?  The possibility of
adjustment was not as remote as might have seemed probable.  After all,
reciprocity is as much a protective as a {119} free-trade doctrine,
since, as usually interpreted, it implies that the reduction in duties
is a detriment to the country making it, only to be balanced by the
greater privilege secured at the expense of the other's home market.
James G. Blaine, secretary of state in President Harrison's Cabinet,
was strongly in favour of reciprocity, particularly with Latin-American
countries.  In the same session which saw the passing of the M'Kinley
Act, the House of Representatives agreed to the Hitt resolution,
providing that whenever it should be certified that Canada was ready to
negotiate for a complete or partial removal of all duties, the
president should appoint three commissioners to meet the Canadian
representatives, and report their findings.

This was the position of affairs when, early in 1891, Sir John
Macdonald suddenly decided to dissolve parliament, in spite of an
explicit promise to the contrary made a short time before.  With the
dissolution came an adroit attempt to cut the ground from under the
feet of the Liberal party.  It was asserted that, on the initiative of
the United States, negotiations had been undertaken to settle all
outstanding disputes, and to renew the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854,
'with the modifications {120} required by the altered circumstances of
both countries and with the extensions deemed by the Commission to be
in the interests of Canada and the United States.'  This announcement
greatly strengthened the Government's position.  Since the United
States had taken the initiative there was likelihood of a successful
outcome.  Many who favoured reciprocity but felt doubtful as to the
political outcome of the more sweeping proposals of the Opposition were
thus led to favour the Government.

The announcement proved too audacious.  Secretary Blaine indignantly
denied that the United States had initiated the negotiations, and Sir
Charles Tupper so admitted after the elections.  Mr Blaine further made
it plain that no treaty confined to natural products would be
entertained.  In the face of this statement the Government executed
another sharp turn, and appealed to anti-American sentiment and
protected interests, denouncing vigorously the Opposition's policy as
sure to lead to ruin, annexation, and--the climax--direct taxation.
Sir John Macdonald issued a skilful address to the electors, and the
cry of 'the old flag, the old man, and the old policy' appealed to
noble feelings and to deplorable prejudice alike.


In his address to the Canadian people Mr Laurier arraigned the National
Policy for its utter failure to bring the prosperity so lavishly
promised.  Reciprocal freedom of trade with the United States would
give the larger market which had become indispensable.  The commercial
advantages of such a plan were so clear that they were not disputed, it
was attacked entirely on other grounds.  The charge that it would
involve discrimination against Great Britain could not have much weight
in the mouths of men whose object was to prevent the importation of
English manufactures.  If it did involve discrimination, if the
interests of Canada and the motherland clashed, he would stand by his
native land.  But that discrimination was involved he did not admit.
It was not essential to assimilate the Canadian to the American tariff:
'Should the concessions demanded from the people of Canada involve
consequences injurious to their sense of honour or duty, either to
themselves or to the motherland, the people of Canada would not have
reciprocity at such a price.'  Direct taxation might be averted by
retrenchment and revision of custom schedules.  The charge that
unrestricted reciprocity would lead to annexation was an unworthy
appeal to {122} passion and prejudice, and, if it meant anything, meant
that it would 'make the people so prosperous that, not satisfied with a
commercial alliance, they would forthwith vote for political absorption
in the American Republic.'

The Government's appeal to the flag was greatly aided by some letters
and pamphlets of Mr Farrer and Congressman Hitt and other leaders in
the commercial union movement, which were made public and which gave
colour to the cry that unrestricted reciprocity was only a first step
towards annexation.  It was in vain that Oliver Mowat and Alexander
Mackenzie, the latter now soon to pass from the scene, voiced the
deep-lying sentiments of the Liberal party in favour of British
connection, and indignantly denied that it was at stake in the
reciprocity issue.  Sir John Macdonald's last appeal rallied many a
wandering follower on grounds of personal loyalty, the campaign funds
of the party were great beyond precedent, and the railway and
manufacturing and banking interests of the country outweighed and
outmanoeuvred the farmers.  The Government was returned by a majority
of thirty.  In Ontario it had only four seats to the good and had a
minority {123} of the popular vote, while in Quebec the Liberals at
last secured a bare majority.  The other provinces, however, stood by
the party in power, and gave the Government another lease of life for
five years.

The smoke of battle had not cleared when a remarkable letter from
Edward Blake, the late leader of the Liberal party, was published.  It
was a curiously inconclusive document.  It began with a scathing
indictment of the Conservative policy and its outcome: 'Its real
tendency has been towards disintegration and annexation....  It has
left us with a smaller population, a scanty immigration, and a
North-West empty still; with enormous additions to our public debt and
yearly charge, an extravagant system of expenditure and an unjust
tariff, with restricted markets whether to buy or to sell....  It has
left us with lowered standards of public virtue and a death-like apathy
in public opinion, with racial, religious, and provincial animosities
rather inflamed than soothed....  It has left us with our hands tied,
our future compromised.'  A preference in the English market was out of
the question.  Unrestricted free trade with the United States would
bring prosperity, give men, money, and {124} markets.  Yet it would
involve assimilation of tariffs and thus become identical with
commercial union.  'Political Union,' he added in a cryptic postscript,
'though becoming our probable, is by no means our ideal, or as yet our
inevitable, future.'

Mr Blake had persistently withheld his aid and advice from the leaders
of the party since his resignation.  His action now was resented as a
stab in the back, and the implication that the Liberal policy was
identical with commercial union was stoutly denied.  If, as Mr Laurier
had made clear in his electoral address, negotiations proved that
reciprocal arrangements could not be made except on such terms, they
would not be made at all.  Yet the letter had undoubted force, and
materially aided the Government in the by-elections.

The Government formally carried out its undertaking to open
negotiations with the United States.  Sir Charles Tupper, Sir John
Thompson, and George E. Foster went to Washington and conferred with
Secretary Blaine.  But the negotiators were too far apart to come to
terms, and the proposals were not seriously pressed.  Later, when the
tide of reaction brought the Democrats back to power in 1892, the
Conservatives made no {125} attempt to renew negotiations; and later
still, when the Liberals came to power in Canada, the Republicans were
back in office on a platform of sky-high protection.

Meanwhile, the increase of exports of farm products to Great Britain
promised the larger markets sought, and made admission to the United
States of less pressing importance.  When, in 1893, the Liberal party
met in national convention at Ottawa, limited reciprocity, 'including a
well-considered list of manufactured articles,' was endorsed, but it
was subordinated as part of a general demand for a lower tariff, now
again prominent in the party programme.

[1] Sir Alexander T. Galt, Sir John Rose, and Sir John Abbott.

[2] _Memoir of Sumner_, vol. iv, p. 409.




The secret of empire--The old colonial system--Partner
nations--Achieving self-government--Building up the partnership--The
High Commissioner--New foreign problems--First colonial
conference--Political federation--Inter-imperial
defence--Inter-imperial trade

When Canada's problems seemed too great for her to solve unaided, many
had looked to Washington for relief, in ways which have been reviewed.
Others looked to London.  The relations between Canada and the other
parts of the Empire did not become the central issue in any political
campaign.  Until late in the period now under survey they aroused
little systematic public discussion.  There were few acute episodes to
crystallize the filial sentiment for the motherland which existed in
the country.  Yet throughout these years that readjustment in the
relations between the colonies and the mother country, which is perhaps
the most significant political development of the century, was steadily
proceeding.  Steadily and surely, if for the most part unconsciously,
the transformation of the Empire went on, until in the following period
it became a fact and a problem which none could {127} blink, and the
central theme in public interest and political activity.

The story of this transformation, of how the little isles in the North
Sea ventured and blundered into world-wide empire; of how at first they
endeavoured to rule this vast domain in the approved fashion, for the
power and profit of the motherland; of how this policy was slowly
abandoned because unprofitable and impossible; of how, when this change
took place, most men looked to the ending of a connection which no
longer paid; of how acquired momentum and inherited obligations on the
one side and instinctive loyalty on the other prevented this result; of
how the new lands across the sea grew in numbers and strength and
national spirit and, withal, in the determination to work out a
permanent partnership on the new basis of equality--this is the most
wonderful story political annals have to tell.  The British Empire of
to-day, tested in fire and not found wanting, is the paradox and
miracle of political achievement, full of hope for the future of the
rest of the world.  In shaping the policy which made the continuance
and growth and adjustment of the Empire possible, Canadian statesmen of
both parties played a leading part.  That {128} long story cannot here
be told, but a few of the significant steps must be recalled, to make
clear the development of yesterday and to-day.

In the expansion of Europe over all the five continents and the seven
seas which has marked the past five centuries, the Englishman found a
roomy place in the sun.  By luck or pluck, by trusted honesty or
sublime assurance, and with little aid from his government, he soon
outdistanced Frenchman and Dutchman, Spaniard and Portuguese, in the
area and richness of the regions over which his flag floated and in
which his trading-posts or his settlements were established.  This
empire was ruled, as other colonial domains were ruled, to advance the
power and the profit of the motherland.  The colonies and dependencies
were plantations, estates beyond the seas, to be acquired and guarded
for the gain of the mother country.  They were encouraged by bounty and
preference to grow what the mother country needed, and were compelled
by parliamentary edict to give the mother country a monopoly of their
markets for all she made.  Great Britain never applied these doctrines
with the systematic rigour of the Spaniard of the seventeenth century
or the German of the twentieth, but monopoly of {129} the direct trade
with the colonies, and the political subordination of the colonies to
secure this end, were nevertheless the cardinal doctrines of imperial

[Illustration: SIR WILFRID LAURIER From a photograph by Topley]

Slowly this old colonial system broke down.  It became impossible to
keep in political subjection millions of men across the seas of the
same vigorous race.  This the American Revolution drove home and the
Canadian insurrections of 1837 again made unmistakable.  In the views
of most men it came to appear unprofitable, even if possible.
Gradually the ideas of Adam Smith and Pitt and Huskisson, of Cobden and
Bright and Peel, took possession of the English mind.  Trade
monopolies, it now was held, hampered more than they helped, even if
costless.  But when maintained at heavy expense, at cost of
fortification and diplomatic struggle and war, they became worse than
useless, a drag on the development of both colony and mother country.
So the fetters which impeded trade and navigation were discarded.

There followed, from the forties onward, a period of drift, of waiting
for the coming separation.  When the trade monopoly which was the
object of empire ceased, most men in Britain reasoned that the end of
the Empire, {130} in so far as it included colonies settled by white
men, could not be far distant.  Yet the end did not come.  Though
Radical politicians and publicists urged 'cutting the last link of
connection'; though Conservative statesmen damned 'the wretched
colonies' as 'millstones about our necks'; though under-secretaries
said farewell to one 'last' governor-general after another and the
London _Times_ bade Canadians 'take up your freedom, your days of
apprenticeship are over'; in spite of all, the colonies lingered within
the fold.  Some dim racial instinct, the force of momentum, or the grip
of inherited obligations, kept them together until gradually the times
changed and the stage was set for another scene.

Alike in the motherland and in the colonies men had stumbled upon the
secret of empire--freedom.  Expecting the end to come soon, the
governing powers in London had ruled with a light rein, consenting to
one colonial demand after another for self-government.  In these years
of salutary neglect the twofold roots of imperial connection had a
chance to grow.  The colonies rose to national consciousness, and yet,
in very truth because of their freedom, and the absence of the {131}
friction a centralizing policy would have entailed, they retained their
affection and their sympathy for the land of their ancestors.  Thus the
way was prepared for the equal partnership which it has been the task
of these later years to work out.

Two lines of development were equally essential.  It was necessary to
secure complete freedom for the colonies, to abolish the old relation
of ascendancy and subordination, and it was necessary to develop new
ties and new instruments of co-operation.  Nowhere in early years do we
find a more nearly adequate recognition of this twofold task than in
the prophetic words of Sir John Macdonald: 'England, instead of looking
upon us as a merely dependent colony, will have in us a friendly
nation, a subordinate but still a powerful people, to stand by her in
North America in peace as in war.  The people of Australia will be such
another subordinate nation....  She will be able to look to the
subordinate nations in alliance with her and owing allegiance to the
same sovereign, who will assist in enabling her to meet again the whole
world in arms as she has done before.'[1]  It was Sir John also who
urged that the new {132} union should be called the 'Kingdom of
Canada,' a name which the British authorities rejected, ostensibly out
of fear of offending the republican sensibilities of the United States.
Had that name been chosen, the equality of the status of Canada would
have been recognized much sooner, for names are themselves arguments
powerful with wayfaring men.  Both in act and in word the Conservative
chieftain oftentimes lapsed from this statesmanlike view into the
prevalent colonialism; but he did much to make his vision a reality,
for it was Macdonald who, with the aid of political friend and
political opponent, laid the foundations upon which the statesmen of
the new generation have built an enduring fabric.

The first task, the assertion of the autonomy of the Dominions, had
been largely achieved.  So far as it concerned domestic affairs,
practically all Canadians accepted the principle for which Liberals had
fought alone in the earlier days.  In the thirties a British colonial
secretary, replying to Howe's demand for responsible government, had
declared that 'to any such demand Her Majesty's Government must oppose
a respectful but at the same time a firm declaration that it is
inconsistent with a {133} due adherence to the essential distinction
between a metropolitan and a colonial government, and it is therefore
inadmissible,' and a Canadian Tory Legislative Council had echoed that
'the adoption of the plan must lead to the overthrow of the great
colonial Empire of England.'  But now, since Elgin's day (1849),
responsible government, self-government in domestic affairs, had been
an unquestioned fact, a part of the heritage of which all Canadians,
irrespective of party, were equally proud.

In foreign affairs, too, some progress had been made.  Foreign affairs
in modern times are largely commercial affairs.  In part such questions
are regulated by laws passed by each country independently, in part by
joint treaty.  Complete autonomy as to the first mode was early
maintained by Galt and Macdonald.  In 1859 Galt affirmed the right to
tax even British goods, 'the right of the Canadian legislature to
adjust the taxation of the people in the way they deemed best, even if
it should unfortunately happen to meet the disapproval of the Imperial
Ministry.'  And twenty years later, in spite of British protests, Sir
John Macdonald went further in his National Policy, and taxed British
goods still {134} higher to encourage production at home.  The tariff
of 1879 was the last nail in the coffin of the old colonial system.
Here was a colony which not only did not grant British manufacturers a
monopoly, but actually sought to exclude from its markets any British
wares it could itself produce.

Self-government in the regulation of foreign commercial affairs, so far
as treaties were essential to effect it, came more slowly, and with
much hesitation and misgiving.

Negative freedom was achieved first.  After 1877 Canada ceased to be
bound by commercial treaties made by the United Kingdom unless it
expressly desired to be included.  As to treaties made before that
date, the restrictions lasted longer.  Most of these treaties bound
Canada to give to the country concerned the same tariff and other
privileges given to any other foreign power, and Canada in return was
given corresponding privileges.  Two went further.  Treaties made in
the sixties with Belgium and Germany--history discovers strange
bedfellows--bound all British colonies to give to these countries the
same tariff privileges granted to Great Britain or to sister colonies.
In 1891 the Canadian parliament sent a unanimous address to {135} Her
Majesty praying for the denunciation of these treaties, but in vain.
It was not until the Laurier administration had forced the issue six
years later that the request was granted.

Positive freedom, a share in the making of treaties affecting Canada,
came still more gradually.  When in 1870 Galt and Huntington pressed
for treaty-making powers, Macdonald opposed, urging the great
advantages of British aid in negotiation.  A year later, however,
Macdonald gave expression to his changed view of the value of that aid.
As one of the five British commissioners who negotiated the Washington
Treaty (1871), he declared that his colleagues had 'only one thing in
their minds--that is, to go home to England with a treaty in their
pockets, settling everything, no matter at what cost to Canada.'  In
1874 George Brown went to Washington as one of the two British
commissioners in the abortive reciprocity negotiations of that year.
In 1879 the Macdonald Government made Galt ambassador at large to
negotiate treaties in Europe, but he was hampered by being compelled to
'filter' his proposals through the various resident British
ambassadors.  When in 1882 Blake moved in the House of {136} Commons a
resolution in favour of direct treaty-making powers, Sir John Macdonald
opposed it as meaning separation and independence, ending his speech
with the declaration, 'A British subject I was born, a British subject
I hope to die.'  Yet action moved faster than the philosophy of action.
In 1883 Sir Charles Tupper signed the protocols of the Cable Conference
in Paris on Canada's behalf; and at Madrid, in 1887 and 1889, the same
doughty statesman represented Canada in the conduct of important
negotiations.  It was in 1891, only nine years after Sir John
Macdonald's reply to Blake foreboding separation and independence, that
the House of Commons and Senate of Canada, praying for the abrogation
of the Belgian and German treaties, unanimously declared that 'the
self-governing colonies are recognized as possessing the right to
define their respective fiscal relations to all foreign nations.'

The first task had been practically achieved; freedom had been won; but
it still remained to rise through freedom to co-operation, to use the
newly won powers to work out a lasting partnership between the free
states of the Empire.  This was the harder task.  There was no
precedent to follow.  Centralized {137} empires there had been;
colonies there had been which had grown into independent states.  But
of an empire which was not an empire, of colonies which had achieved
self-government only to turn to closer union with the parent state, the
world had as yet no instance.

It had not even a model in idea, a theory of how it should be done.
Such a forecast as that already quoted from Sir John Macdonald[2] came
as near as might be, but this long remained a peroration and no more.
No man and no school divined absolutely the present fact and theory of
empire.  It has worked out of the march and pressure of events, aided
by the clash of the oppositions which it has reconciled.

In the eighties and nineties four possible futures for the Dominion
were discussed.  The first was the continuance of the colonial status,
the second Annexation, the third Independence, and the fourth Imperial
Federation.  Colonialism had only inertia in its favour.  Annexation
ran counter both to filial sentiment and to national hopes, but its
discussion served to show the desperate need of change and forced the
advocates of other ideals to set forth their creeds.  Independence
meant {138} the complete severing of the ties which bound Canada to the
rest of the Empire.  Imperial Federation proposed to set up in London a
new authority with representatives from all the white Dominions and
with power to tax and bind.  Each played its needed part.  The
advocates of Imperial Federation did much to prevent a drift towards
Annexation which might otherwise have set in.  The advocates of
Independence expressed the national aspirations which must be satisfied
in any solution that would be enduring.  The resultant of these forces
was of a character none had precisely anticipated.  Empire and
Independence were reconciled.

In this period the two most important steps towards co-operation were
the appointment of a Canadian High Commissioner in London and the
beginning of the Colonial Conferences.

The first step was taken on the initiative of the Macdonald Government
in 1879.  It was found necessary to appoint a Canadian representative
in London both to act as ambassador at large in dealing with European
states, and to serve as a link between the Canadian and British
Governments.  The latter purpose was especially significant.  In the
days of {139} colonial subordination the governor-general had served as
the only needed link.  His duty was to govern the colony in accordance
with the interest and policy of the mother country, and in carrying
that out he was responsible to the British Government.  Now he was
becoming the representative, not of the British Government, but of the
king, who was king of Canada as well as of the United Kingdom, and,
like the king, he governed by the advice of the responsible ministers
in the land where he resided.  This change in the governor-general's
status marked the ending of the old colonial relationship.  The
appointment of a commissioner to represent to one free government the
wishes of another free government was one of the first steps in
building up the new relationship.

The initiative in the second step came from the United Kingdom.  A
change was now apparent in the attitude of many Englishmen upon
imperial questions.  The present value of the colonies, their possible
greater value in the future, and the need of all the help that could be
had from them, were coming to be the leading articles in the creed of
many fervent thinkers.  The Imperial Federation League, founded in
London in 1884, gave {140} vigorous expression to these views; and its
Canadian branch, formed at Montreal in the next year, to be followed by
local branches from sea to sea, exercised a strong influence on the
current of Canadian thought.

The new desire to bind the colonies closer was largely due to the
revival of protection and of imperialism both in the United Kingdom and
in foreign countries.  Alike in trade and in defence, colonial aid was
by many coming to be felt essential.  Abroad, protection was in the
ascendant.  Cobden's prophecy of the world following Britain's example
in free trade had not been fulfilled.  France, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia, the United States, were rearing higher
tariffs, threatening to shut out British goods.  Even Canada and
Victoria had done likewise.  Moreover, France and Germany and the
United States were becoming formidable rivals to Britain, as they
turned more and more from farming to manufacturing.  It was little
wonder that a section of English opinion began to sigh for protected
markets, for retaliatory tariffs to force down bars abroad, and for a
revival of the old preference or monopoly in the markets of the

Defence, too, assumed a more anxious {141} aspect.  The nations of
Europe were entering on a mad scramble for empire, for colonial
possessions overseas.  Russia pushed steadily westward to the Pacific
and south to the gates of India.  France sought territory in Africa and
in Asia, Germany in Africa and the Pacific, Italy in Africa.
Nationalism had gone to seed in imperialism.  Long prevented by
internal dissensions from competing with England in the acquisition of
territory, the nations of Europe, now that national consolidation had
been largely effected, turned to follow her example.  England could not
logically object to their desire for territory or to their plans for
larger navies.  Her Palmerstons and Disraelis had boasted of the might
of the empire on which the sun never set; her Froudes and Seeleys were
singing the glories of the 'expansion of England'; the man in the
street felt the manifest destiny of the Anglo-Saxon to rule the 'lesser
breeds'; while the American Mahan had made clear the importance of
sea-power and had pointed the means to the end so glorified.  None the
less the rivalry was felt uncomfortable, the more so as these nations
did not follow Britain's free-trade policy in their new possessions,
and sometimes manifested a lack of {142} scruple which boded ill for
future peace.  And so from some quarters in Britain came the demand for
colonial contributions to the Army and Navy, or failing that, for some
form of imperial federation which would set up a central parliament
with power to tax and to control.

In August 1886 an influential deputation from the Imperial Federation
League waited upon the prime minister, Lord Salisbury, and asked him to
summon a conference of all the colonies to discuss the idea of setting
up a federal council as a first step towards centralizing authority.
The prime minister expressed his doubt as to the wisdom of discussing
political changes which, if possible, were so only in the distant
future.  Believing, however, that there were other subjects ripe for
discussion, he took the momentous step, and called the first Colonial

Every self-governing colony and several crown colonies sent
representatives.  Canada sent Sir Alexander Campbell,
lieutenant-governor of Ontario, and Mr, later Sir Sandford, Fleming,
the apostle of an All-Red Pacific cable.  Lord Salisbury, in opening
the proceedings, referred to the three lines upon which progress might
be made.  The German {143} Empire evidently suggested the ideas which
he and others had in mind.  A political federation, like that of
Germany, to conduct 'all our imperial affairs from one centre,' could
not be created for the present.  But Germany had had two preliminary
forms of union, both of which might be possible, a _zollverein_ or
customs union, not yet practicable, and a _kriegsverein_, or union for
purposes of mutual defence, which was feasible, and was the real and
important business before the Conference.

In the weeks of discussion which followed the Canadian delegates took
little part except upon the question of the cable which was at Sandford
Fleming's heart.  Australia agreed to make a contribution towards the
cost of a British squadron in Australasian waters, and Cape Colony
agreed to provide some local defence at Table Bay.  Sir Alexander
Campbell referred to the agreement of 1865 as still in force, denied
that the naval defence of Canada had proved burdensome to Britain,
talked vaguely of setting up a naval school or training a reserve, and
offered nothing more.  The Conference did not discuss political
federation and touched only lightly on preferential trade.  As the
first of a series, and for its {144} revelation of the obstacles to
proposals for Germanizing the British Empire, it proved more important
than for any positive achievements.

In the stand thus taken the Canadian delegates adequately reflected the
feeling both of the general public and of the leaders of both parties
in Canada at that time, alike as to political defence and trade

As for political relations, the only proposal for change came from the
Imperial Federationists.  The idea had some notable advocates in
Canada--Grant, Parkin, Denison, M'Carthy and others.  But many of them
advocated it simply because it was the only theory of closer imperial
relations then in the field.  At first it was too hazily pictured to
make clear the extent to which the Canadian and other parliaments would
be subordinated to the proposed new central parliament.  When faced
with a concrete plan, few Canadians were eager to give up control of
their destinies to a parliament in which they would have only one-tenth
of the representation.  The responsible politicians did not at any time
endorse the scheme.  Sir John Macdonald, as a practical man, saw at
once a fatal objection {145} in the sacrifice of Canadian
self-government which it involved.[3]  Some of the members of the
Imperial Federation League urged with plausibility that political
federation would bring the colonies new power in the shape of control
over foreign policy, rather than take old powers away, but Macdonald
much doubted the reality of the control it would give.  Nevertheless
the Imperial Federation League and its branches did useful educational
work.  Owing to differences of opinion among its members it was
dissolved in 1893, but was revived and reorganized two years later as
the British Empire League.

Nor was Canada greatly interested in questions of defence.  In the
sixties and seventies, it is true, the larger colonies had agreed, with
some reluctance, to assume the increasing share of the burdens of
defence made necessary by the increasing control of their own affairs.
{146} Gradually the British troops stationed in Australia, New Zealand,
and Canada (save for a small garrison force at Halifax) had been
withdrawn, and their places taken by local militia.  But as yet it was
understood that the responsibilities of the colonies were secondary and
local.  As a result of long discussion, the British House of Commons in
1862 unanimously resolved that 'colonies exercising the right of
self-government ought to undertake the main responsibility of providing
for their own internal order and security and ought to assist in their
own external defence.'  The duty of the United Kingdom to undertake the
general defence of the Empire was equally understood; the Committee on
Colonial Defence (1860), whose report led to the adoption of this
resolution, agreed that since 'the Imperial Government has the control
of peace and war, it is therefore in honour and duty {147} called upon
to assist the Colonists in providing against the consequences of its
policy,'--a position affirmed by Mr Cardwell's dispatch of June 17,

Given the fact and theory of political relationship as they existed in
this period, this compromise was the natural result.  Under the old
colonial system the empire was Britain's, governed for its real or
fancied gain, and imperial defence was merely the debit side of
colonial trade monopoly.  The myth that Britain had carried on her wars
and her diplomacy for the sake of the colonies, which therefore owed
her gratitude, had not yet been invented.  True, the day had passed
when Britain derived profit, or believed she derived profit, from the
political control of the white empire, yet the habits of thought begot
by those conditions still persisted.  If profit had vanished, prestige
remained.  The Englishman who regarded the colonies as 'our
possessions' was quite as prepared to foot the bill for the defence of
the Empire which gave him the right to swagger through Europe, as he
was to maintain a country estate which yielded no income other than the
social standing it gave him with his county neighbours.  As yet,
therefore, there was no thought in official {148} quarters that Canada
should take part in oversea wars or assume a share of the burden of
naval preparation.  When an English society proposed in 1895 that
Canada should contribute money to a central navy and share in its
control, Sir Charles Tupper attacked the suggestion as 'an insidious,
mischievous, and senseless proposal.'  He urged that, if Canada were
independent, 'England, instead of being able to reduce her army by a
man or her navy by a ship, would be compelled to increase both, to
maintain her present power and influence.'  He quoted the London
_Times_ to the effect that the maritime defence of the colonies was
only a by-product of that naval supremacy which was vital to England's
very existence as a nation, and cost not a penny extra, for which
reason the control of the fleet must always remain unconditionally in
the hands of the responsible government of the United Kingdom.[4]  Sir
Charles, too, was wont to stress the strategic importance of the
Canadian Pacific Railway as Canada's contribution to the defence of the
Empire.  His arguments had much force, but they were obviously the
product of a time of transition, {149} uneasy answers to the promptings
of the slow-rising spirit of nationhood.

Action, or inaction, corresponded to words.  In 1885, when Britain was
waging war in the Soudan, New South Wales offered to raise and equip a
regiment.  The secretary for war at once spread the news of this offer
through the other colonies.  Sir John Macdonald's only reply was to
offer to sanction the raising of troops in Canada, the whole cost to
fall on Great Britain.  The offer was declined with thanks.  A company
of voyageurs, largely French-Canadian, however, was recruited in
Canada, at Britain's expense, and did good service in the rapids of the
Nile.  Sir John Macdonald did not, of course, proclaim Canada's
neutrality in this war, any more than Hincks and MacNab had done in the
Crimean War, when hired German troops garrisoned Dover and Shorncliffe.
Canada simply took no part in either war.

But, if political federation and inter-imperial defence thus fell on
deaf ears in Canada, the question of trade relations received more
serious attention.  In urging the Pacific cable and a service of fast
steamships on each ocean, Sandford Fleming had hit upon the line along
which progress eventually was to be made.  {150} Tariff preferences,
inter-imperial reciprocity, began to be discussed.  As early as 1879
Sir John Macdonald, on finding in England much dissatisfaction over his
high taxation of British imports, proposed to give British goods a
preference if the United Kingdom would give Canada a preference in
return.  Thus, on the ruins of the old colonial system imposed by the
mother country's edict, would be built a new colonial system based on
free negotiation between equal states.  In view of Britain's rooted
adherence to free trade, nothing, of course, came of the proposal.  Ten
years later there was in England some discussion of protection or 'fair
trade,' and in Canada, during the elections of 1891, the idea of an
imperial _zollverein_ was rhetorically mooted as an alternative to
reciprocity with the United States.  Three years later still (1894) the
second Colonial Conference met at Ottawa, on the invitation of the
Dominion Government.  The object was to arrange treaties of reciprocity
in trade between the various colonies, to serve until such time as the
mother country should renounce her free-trade errors.  There were many
forceful and eloquent speeches, notably one by Mr, now Sir George,
Foster, and a resolution was {151} passed in favour of an Imperial
Customs Union.  But, save for a limited arrangement with New Zealand in
1895, no definite result followed.

The policy of the Liberal Opposition in Canada in respect to
inter-imperial trade may be briefly stated.  Mr Laurier's first speech,
as leader of the party, at Somerset, in 1887, has already been
mentioned.  There he declared that if commercial union with Great
Britain were feasible, he would favour it.  But he had more hope of
commercial union with other British colonies, which had protective
tariffs.  Two years later, speaking at Toronto, he referred to the
obvious difficulties in the way of commercial union with Britain
itself.  'I would favour with all my soul,' he said, 'a more close
commercial alliance of Canada with Great Britain.  But, sir, if there
is any man who believes that any such an alliance between Canada and
Great Britain can be formed upon any other basis than that of free
trade, which prevails in England, that man is a Rip Van Winkle, who has
been sleeping not only for the last seven but for the last forty-four
years.  The British people will not to-day go back upon the policy of
free trade, and Canada is not in a position at the moment, {152} with
the large revenue which she has to collect, to adopt any other tariff
than a revenue tariff at best.'  That free trade among all the British
communities would some day be to their advantage, and that it would
come in time, he stated elsewhere, but added that it could not for many
years be a practical issue.

A notable step forward was taken in 1892.  Hitherto Liberal and
Conservative alike had been considering the trade question chiefly from
the standpoint of the producer, seeking fresh markets by offering in
return concessions in the Canadian tariff.  Now the Liberals, and the
M'Carthy wing of the Conservatives, began to speak of the consumer's
interests.  The reduction of the tariff would be more important as a
relief to the consumer than as a means of buying markets abroad for the
producer.  Instead of waiting for the distant day when Great Britain
should set up a tariff and give Canada reciprocal preference, the
Liberals now pressed for giving an immediate and unconditional
preference on British goods.  A resolution to this effect, moved in the
House of Commons by Mr, now Sir Louis, Davies, was voted down by the
Conservative majority, but it was to bear notable fruit later.

[1] _Confederation Debates_, p. 44.

[2] See p. 131.

[3] 'During the last few years of his life, when asked if he were an
Imperial Federationist, he would reply somewhat after this fashion:
"That depends on what you mean by Imperial Federation.  I am, of
course, in favour of any feasible scheme that will bring about a closer
union between the various portions of the Empire, but I have not yet
seen any plan worked out by which this can be done.  The proposal that
there should be a parliamentary federation of the Empire I regard as
impracticable.  I greatly doubt that England would agree that the
parliament which has sat during so many centuries at Westminster,
should be made subsidiary to a federal legislature.  But, however that
might be, I am quite sure that Canada would never consent to be taxed
by a central body sitting at London, in which she would have
practically no voice; for her proportionate number of members in such
an assembly would amount to little more than an honorary
representation.  That form of Imperial Federation is an idle dream.  So
also, in my judgment, is the proposal to establish a uniform tariff
throughout the Empire.  No colony would ever surrender its right to
control its fiscal policy."'--Pope, _Memoirs of Sir John Macdonald_,
vol. ii, p. 213.

[4] Address on Canada and her Relations with the Mother Country.
Newcastle-on-Tyne, November 21, 1895.




Abbott and Thompson--Tariff reform--Manitoba school question

The strain of a winter campaign proved too great for Sir John
Macdonald's weakened frame.  On June 6, 1891, died the statesman who so
long had guided the destinies of Canada.  All Canada felt the loss.  No
one else voiced the common judgment with such discrimination and
generosity as did the leader of the Opposition.  Speaking in parliament
a few days later, Mr Laurier declared:

Sir John Macdonald now belongs to the ages, and it can be said with
certainty that the career which has just been closed is one of the most
remarkable careers of this century....  I think it can be asserted
that, for the supreme art of governing men, Sir John Macdonald was
gifted as few men in any land or any age were gifted--gifted with the
highest of all qualities, qualities which would have made him famous
wherever exercised, and which would have shone all the more
conspicuously the larger the theatre.  The fact that he could
congregate together elements the most heterogeneous and blend them into
{154} one compact party, and to the end of his life keep them steadily
under his hand, is perhaps altogether unprecedented.  The fact that
during all those years he retained unimpaired not only the confidence
but the devotion, the ardent devotion and affection of his party, is
evidence that besides those higher qualities of statesmanship to which
we were daily witnesses, he was also endowed with those inner, subtle,
undefinable graces of soul which win and keep the hearts of men.

As to his statesmanship, it is written in the history of Canada....
Although my political views compel me to say that in my judgment his
actions were not always the best that could have been taken in the
interests of Canada, although my conscience compels me to say that of
late he has imputed to his opponents motives which I must say in my
heart he has misconceived, yet I am only too glad here to sink these
differences, and to remember only the great services he has performed
for our country--to remember that his actions always displayed great
originality of view, unbounded fertility of resource, a high level of
intellectual conception, and, above all, a far-reaching vision beyond
the event of the day, and still higher, permeating the whole, a broad
patriotism--a devotion to Canada's welfare, Canada's advancement, and
Canada's glory.

Sir John Macdonald had been prime minister of the Dominion for twenty
of its twenty-four years.  In the next five years the Conservative
party had four different leaders {155} and the Dominion four prime
ministers.  The first was Sir John Abbott, who had lived down the
memory of his early views in favour of Annexation and had become 'the
confidential family lawyer of his party.'  A little over a year later,
ill-health compelled him to resign in favour of Sir John Thompson, an
able and honest administrator, who grew in breadth of view with
experience and responsibility.

All Abbott's astuteness and Thompson's rigid uprightness were soon
required to deal with the revelations of rotten politics which
presently claimed the country's attention.  It had long been believed
that the department of Public Works, under Sir Hector Langevin, was a
source of widespread corruption, but it was not until Israel Tarte, a
member of the House of Commons and a _bleu_ of the _bleus_, made
charges to that effect during the session of 1891, that the full
measure of the evil was understood.  In the investigations and trials
which followed it was made clear that huge sums had been extracted from
contractors in the service of the Government and used in wholesale
bribery.  These revelations, as a London newspaper remarked, 'made
Tammany smell sweet.'

But the public indignation at these proofs {156} of the sinister side
of the Government's long hold on power was weakened by similar charges
brought and proved against the Liberal Government of Quebec, under
Honoré Mercier.  The lieutenant-governor summarily dismissed Mercier,
the Church set its face sternly against his ministry, which it had
erstwhile approved, and the people of the province voted him out of
power (1892).  The effect on the public mind of this corruption at
Ottawa and Quebec was an apathy, a lowered standard of political
morality, since it gave point to the common saying that 'one set of
politicians is as bad as another,' by which good men excuse their
unpatriotic indifference to public affairs.

The Conservative party, and the whole Dominion, suffered a further loss
in 1894, when Sir John Thompson died suddenly at Windsor Castle.  Sir
Mackenzie Bowell was chosen as his successor.

Meanwhile the fortunes and the spirit of the Liberal party rose
steadily.  Mr Laurier's position as leader strengthened as each year
gave proof of his steadfast character, his courage, and his political
sagacity.  He gave his time and energy wholly to the work of the party.
During these years he addressed {157} hundreds of meetings in Quebec
and Ontario, and made tours to the maritime provinces and through the
West to the Pacific.

The convention of Liberals from all ends of the Dominion, which met at
Ottawa in 1893, had given fresh vigour to the party.  At that
convention, as has already been noted, emphasis was placed upon the
need of lowering the tariff.  It was urged that the tariff should be
made to rest as lightly as possible upon the necessaries of life, and
that freer trade should be sought with all the world, and particularly
with Great Britain and the United States.

It was about this time, too, that D'Alton M'Carthy, who was mellowing
in religious matters and growing more radical on other issues, voiced a
demand for a reduction of customs burdens and for the adoption of
maximum and minimum schedules, the minimum rates to be given Great
Britain and British colonies and foreign countries which offered
equivalent terms, and the maximum rates to be applied to countries like
the United States which maintained prohibitive tariffs against Canadian
products.  The Patrons of Industry, an organization of farmers which
for a few years had much power {158} in Ontario, also demanded tariff
reform.  Even the Government went a little with public opinion and
lopped away a few 'mouldering branches' in 1894.  Thus the tariff
remained an issue during the last five years of the Conservative régime.

A more burning question, however, was the revival of the old contest
over provincial rights and denominational privileges.  This was the
offspring of the Equal Rights agitation, which had spread to Manitoba.
In August 1889 Joseph Martin, a member of the Manitoba Cabinet,
following D'Alton M'Carthy at a public meeting, announced that his
government would establish a non-sectarian system of education.  A few
months later this was done.

When Manitoba entered Confederation, in 1870, there had been no
state-supported system of education.  Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and
Presbyterians maintained denominational schools, supported by fees and
church grants.  The settlers were about equally divided between
Catholics and Protestants.  The Manitoba Act, Manitoba's constitutional
charter, gave the new province in most respects the same powers as the
older provinces.  The province was given control of {159} education,
subject, first, to the provision that no law should be passed
prejudicially affecting any right or privilege, with respect to
denominational schools, which any class of persons had by law or
practice at the union, and subject, secondly, to an appeal to the
federal authorities from any provincial act or decision affecting the
rights of any minority, Protestant or Catholic.  In 1871 a school
system much like that of Quebec was set up.  Protestant schools and
Catholic schools were established, and each was granted half the
provincial appropriation.  Later, as the Protestant population grew
relatively larger, the amount was divided in proportions corresponding
to the number of pupils in each class of schools.  Now, in 1890, this
system was completely swept away and replaced by a single system of
state-supported schools.  At first it had been the intention to make
them entirely secular, but in the end provision was made for some
non-denominational religious teaching.  Any Catholic who did not wish
to send his children to such a school would be compelled to pay for the
support of a school of his own, besides paying taxes for the general
school system.

The Catholics, first under Archbishop {160} Taché's firm but moderate
guidance, and later under Archbishop Langevin's crusading leadership,
demanded redress.  The provincial authorities would not change their
policy.  It was thought that the constitution provided ample protection
for a religious minority deprived of its rights.  The provision was
three-fold.  First, the Dominion Government might disallow the
offending act.  But the Dominion Government saw fit not to exercise
this right, preferring to leave the matter to the courts, if possible.
Secondly, there was the provision of the Manitoba Act forbidding the
province to take away any rights as to denominational schools possessed
by any class of persons at the union.  Test cases were brought and
elaborately argued in the courts.  The Supreme Court held that the
privilege of paying only for one's own denominational schools existed
at the union, and had been infringed.  The Privy Council reversed this
judgment, holding that Catholics were still free to support schools of
their own, and that this was the only privilege which they had before

There was still a third string to the bow--the appeal to the
governor-general in council, the Dominion Government, to pass remedial
{161} legislation.  Here again the Supreme Court and the Privy Council
differed.  The Supreme Court held, but not unanimously, that no right
of federal intervention existed; but the Privy Council maintained, as
the last word in the case, that the Dominion had power to intervene.

This decision put the question squarely before the Bowell Government.
It was a difficult situation.  An administration drawing its chief
strength from Ontario, and headed by a prominent Orangeman, was called
upon by the Catholic authorities to use its powers to compel a
determined province to change its policy or, in default, to pass a
federal law restoring the minority's privileges.  But Bowell and his
colleagues soon made their decision.  Early in 1895 the province was
ordered in uncompromising terms to restore to the minority its former
rights and privileges.  The legislature declined, on the ground that
the old system was inefficient and disruptive, and urged the federal
authorities to investigate school conditions in Manitoba, past and
present, before taking the fatal step of coercion.  But, after a
commission had failed to induce the province to yield, the Bowell
Government announced that at the next parliamentary {162} session
(1896) a Remedial Bill would be introduced and passed.

On the eve of the meeting of parliament for this last historic session
came the startling news that seven of the members of Sir Mackenzie
Bowell's Cabinet, chief among them being Mr Foster and Sir Hibbert
Tupper, had revolted against their leader.  The revolters urged the
supreme need of forming the strongest possible administration in the
crisis, and to that end demanded the resignation of the prime minister.
Bowell bitterly denounced the 'nest of traitors,' and sought to form a
Cabinet without their aid, but the strikers picketed every possible
candidate.  Finally a compromise was reached by which the bolters were
to return under Bowell's leadership for the session and Sir Charles
Tupper was to take command at its close.

Meanwhile Mr Laurier had been obliged to face the same difficult issue.
He was a sincere Catholic.  He sympathized with the desire of his
fellow-religionists for schools in which their faith would be
cherished, and believed that at the creation of the province all
parties had understood that such schools were assured.  He knew, too,
the power of the Church in Quebec, and the fierceness of the storm that
{163} would beat upon him if he opposed its will.  Yet he kept a close
grip on fact.  He saw clearly that any attempt by the Dominion to set
up a separate school system, which would have to be operated by a
sullen and hostile province, was doomed to failure.  He condemned the
Government's bludgeoning policy and urged investigation and
conciliation by minor amendments.  Further than this, in the earlier
stages of the agitation, he would not go.  In spite of entreaties and
threats and taunts from the opposite camps, he remained, like
Wellington, 'within the lines of Torres Vedras.'

At the session of 1896 the Government introduced its Remedial Bill,
providing for the organization and maintenance of distinctly separate
schools in Manitoba.  The Catholic authorities accepted the bill as in
full compliance with their demands, and bent all their energies to
secure its adoption.  A _mandement_ was issued by all the bishops
urging electors to support only candidates who would pledge themselves
to restore separate schools.  And in January Mr Laurier received a
letter written by Father Lacombe in the name of the bishops and
published in the newspapers throughout Canada.  This letter besought
the Liberal leader to support the bill, and warned him that {164} 'if,
which may God not grant, you do not believe it to be your duty to
accede to our just demands, and if the government which is anxious to
give us the promised law is beaten and overthrown while persisting in
its policy to the end, I inform you with regret that the episcopacy,
like one man, united to the clergy, will rise to support those who may
have fallen to defend us.'

Mr Laurier met the challenge squarely.  In one of his strongest
speeches he reviewed the whole tangled issue.  He admitted the legal
power of Canada to pass and enforce the bill, but denied that the
judgment of the Privy Council made such action automatically necessary.
It was still the Government's duty to investigate and seek a
compromise, not to force through a bill framed in darkness and
obstinacy.  The minority itself would be more effectually and more
permanently benefited by amendments made voluntarily by the province as
the result of reasonable compromise.  Then he turned to the threats of
ecclesiastical hostility:

Not many weeks ago I was told from high quarters in the Church to which
I belong, that unless I supported the School Bill which was then being
prepared by the government, and which we have now before us, {165} I
would incur the hostility of a great and powerful body.  Sir, this is
too grave a phase of this question for me to pass it by in silence.  I
have only this to say, that even though I have threats held over me,
coming, as I am told, from high dignitaries in the Church to which I
belong, no word of bitterness shall ever pass my lips as against that
Church.  I respect it and I love it.  Sir, I am not of that school
which has been long dominant in France and other countries of
Continental Europe, which refuses ecclesiastics the privilege of having
a voice in public affairs.  No, I am a Liberal of the English school,
which has all along claimed that it is the privilege of all subjects,
whether high or low, whether rich or poor, whether ecclesiastic or
layman, to participate in the administration of public affairs, to
discuss, to influence, to persuade, to convince, but which has always
denied, even to the highest, the right to dictate even to the lowest.
I am here representing not Roman Catholics alone but Protestants as
well, and I must give an account of my stewardship to all classes.
Here am I, a Roman Catholic of French extraction, entrusted with the
confidence of the men who sit around me, with great and important
duties under our constitutional system of government.  Am I to be
told--I, occupying such a position--that I am to be dictated to as to
the course I am to take in this House by reasons that can appeal to the
consciences of my fellow-Catholic members, but which do not appeal as
well to the consciences of my Protestant colleagues?  No!  So long as I
have a seat in this House, so long {166} as I occupy the position I do
now, whenever it shall become my duty to take a stand upon any question
whatever, that stand I will take, not from the point of view of Roman
Catholicism, not from the point of view of Protestantism, but from a
point of view which can appeal to the consciences of all men,
irrespective of their particular faith, upon grounds which can be
occupied by all men who love justice, freedom, and toleration.

Mr Laurier concluded by moving, not an equivocal amendment, as had been
expected by the Government, but the six months' hoist, or straight
negative.  A few Catholic Liberals supported the Government, but the
party as a whole, aided by a strong band of erstwhile ministerialists,
obstructed the measure so vigorously that the Government was compelled
to abandon it, in view of the hastening end of the legal term of
parliament.  Sir Charles Tupper dissolved parliament, reorganized his
Cabinet, and carried the question to the country.

A strenuous campaign followed.  Mr Laurier took, in Ontario and Quebec
alike, the firm, moderate position he had taken in the House of
Commons.  The issue, in his view, was not whether the constitutional
rights of the Catholics of Manitoba had been violated; {167} for he
believed that they had been.  The issue was, Could these rights be
restored by coercion?  The Conservatives and the Church said Yes.  True
to his political faith, Mr Laurier said No.  Up and down the province
of Quebec he was denounced by the ultramontane leaders.  Here was
sheer, stark Liberalism of the brand the Church had condemned.  Bishop
Laflèche declared that no Catholic could without sin vote for the chief
of a party who had formulated publicly such an error, and Archbishop
Langevin called upon every true son of the Church to stand by those who
stood by it.  In Ontario and the other English-speaking provinces, on
the contrary, the welkin rang with denunciations of hierarchical
presumption.  Sir Charles Tupper fought with the wonderful vigour and
fearlessness that had always marked him, but fought in vain.  His
forces, disorganized by internal strife, weakened by long years of
office, weighted down by an impossible policy, were no match for the
Liberals, strong in their leader and in a cause which stirred the
enthusiasm of a united party.  The election resulted in a decisive
victory for the Liberals.  Strange to say, Manitoba went with the
Conservatives and Ontario gave the Liberals only {168} forty-four out
of ninety-two seats, though seven fell to independents opposed to the
Remedial Bill, while Quebec gave forty-eight seats out of its
sixty-five to the party which its spiritual leaders had denounced.




The school settlement--The new tariff

The long night of opposition was over.  The critics were to be given
the opportunity to do constructive work.  Under the leader who had
served so fitting an apprenticeship they were to guide the political
destinies of Canada for over fifteen years.  These were to be years of
change and progress, years which would bridge the gulf between the
stagnant colony of yesterday and the progressive nation of to-day.

[Illustration: The Liberal Government formed by Mr. Laurier in 1896.]

Mr Laurier gathered round him the ablest group of administrators ever
united in a single Canadian Ministry.  To augment his already powerful
parliamentary following he called from the provincial administrations
four of the strongest men[1] and took them into his Cabinet.  The prime
minister himself, warned by the experiences of Mackenzie and Macdonald,
did not burden himself with a department, but wisely decided to save
his strength {170} and time for the general oversight and guidance of
the Government.

The first task of the new Ministry was to seek a peaceful settlement of
the Manitoba school question.  A compromise was {171} doubtless
facilitated by the fact that the same party now ruled both in Ottawa
and in Winnipeg.  The province would not restore the system of
state-aided separate schools, but amendments to the provincial law were
effected which removed the more serious grievances of the minority.
Provision was made for religious teaching in the last half-hour of the
school day, when authorized by the trustees or requested by the parents
of a specified minimum of pupils.  Any religious denomination might
provide such teaching, upon days to be arranged.  Where the attendance
of Roman Catholic children reached twenty-five in rural and forty in
urban schools, a Catholic teacher should be engaged upon petition, and
equally a non-Catholic teacher should be engaged for a Protestant
minority similarly situated.  Where ten pupils spoke French or any
other language than English as their native tongue, bi-lingual teaching
should be provided.  In the ordinary work of the school the children
were not to be divided on denominational lines, and the schools were to
remain public schools in every sense.

The settlement was accepted generally in the country as a reasonable
ending of the strife--as the best that could be done in the {172}
circumstances.  Edward Blake, counsel for the Catholic minority,
declared it more advantageous than any legislation which could have
been secured by coercion.  Speaking in the House of Commons (March
1897) in defence of the settlement, Mr Laurier again declared his
doctrine, 'that the smallest measure of conciliation was far preferable
to any measure of coercion.'  The settlement, he continued, was not as
advantageous to the minority as he would have desired; 'still, after
six long years of agitation, when the passions of men had been roused
to the highest pitch, it was not possible to obtain more, nor for the
Government of Manitoba to concede more, under present circumstances.'

By the Catholic authorities, however, the compromise was not accepted.
They denounced it as sanctioning a system of mixed and neutral schools
which the Church had condemned, and as sacrificing to fanaticism the
sacred rights of the minority.  Archbishop Langevin vigorously attacked
the settlement and all the parties to it, and some of his brother
ecclesiastics in Quebec agreed with him.  Voters in by-elections were
told that they had to choose between Christ and Satan, between bishop
and erring politician.  The {173} leading Liberal newspaper of Quebec
City, _L'Electeur_, was formally interdicted--every son of the Church
was forbidden to subscribe to it, sell it, or read it, 'under penalty
of grievous sin and denial of the sacraments.'  So the war went on,
until finally a number of Catholic Liberals, in their private capacity,
appealed to Rome, and a papal envoy, Mgr Merry del Val, came to Canada
to look into the matter.  This step brought to an end a campaign as
dangerous to the permanent welfare of the Church itself as it was to
political freedom and to national unity.

The other issue which had figured in the general elections was the
tariff.  At the approach of power the fiscal policy of the Liberals had
moderated, and it was to moderate still further under the mellowing and
conservative influences of power itself.  The Liberal platform of 1893
had declared war to the knife upon protection.  In 1896, however, it
was made plain that changes would not be effected hastily or without
regard to established interests.  In correspondence with Mr G. H.
Bertram of Toronto, published before the election, Mr Laurier stated
that absolute free trade was out of the question, and that the policy
of his party was a revenue tariff, {174} which would bring stability
and permanence, and would be more satisfactory in the end to all
manufacturers except monopolists.  He added prophetically that 'the
advent of the Liberals to power would place political parties in Canada
in the same position as political parties in England, who have no
tariff issue distracting the country every general election.'

The new Government lost no time in grappling with the problem.  A
tariff commission was appointed which sat at different centres and
heard the views of representative citizens.  Then in April 1897 Mr
Fielding brought down the new tariff.  It was at once recognized as a
well-considered measure, an honest and a long first step in redeeming
platform promises.  In the revision of the old tariff beneficent
changes were effected, such as abolition of the duties on binder twine,
barbed wire, and Indian corn, substantial reductions on flour and
sugar, the substitution of _ad valorem_ for specific duties, and a
provision for reducing the duty on goods controlled by trusts or
combines.  The duties on iron and steel were reduced, but increased
bounties were given on their production in Canada.  More important,
however, than such specific changes was the adoption of the principle
of a minimum and maximum tariff.  {175} A flat reduction of twelve and
a half per cent, to be increased later to twenty-five per cent, on all
goods except wines and liquors, was granted to countries which on the
whole admitted Canadian products on terms as favourable as Canada
offered.  This, although not so nominated in the bond, amounted in
intention to the British preference which the Liberal party had urged
as early as 1892, for, except New South Wales and possibly one or two
low-tariff states like Holland, Great Britain was believed to be the
only country entitled to the minimum rate.  But the Belgian and German
treaties, already mentioned,[2] by which Great Britain had bound her
colonies, stood in the way.  While those treaties remained in force, so
the law-officers of the Crown advised, Germany and Belgium would be
entitled to the lower rates, and automatically France, Spain, and other
favoured nations.  It Canada was to be free to carry out her policy of
tariff reform and imperial consolidation, it became essential to end
the treaties in question.  Sir Charles Tupper, now leading the
Opposition, declared that this could not be done.

[1] These were: Sir Oliver Mowat, William Stevens Fielding, Andrew G.
Blair--prime ministers respectively of Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New
Brunswick--and Clifford Sifton, attorney-general of Manitoba, who
joined the Ottawa Ministry a few months later.

Mr Laurier's administration was formed as follows:

Prime Minister and President of the Council, WILFRID LAURIER.

Minister of Finance, WILLIAM S. FIELDING, of Nova Scotia.

Minister of Justice, SIR OLIVER MOWAT, of Ontario.

Minister of Trade and Commerce, SIR RICHARD CARTWRIGHT, of Ontario.

Secretary of State, RICHARD W. SCOTT, of Ontario.

Minister of Public Works, J. ISRAEL TARTE, of Quebec.

Minister of Railways and Canals, ANDREW G. BLAIR, of New Brunswick.

Postmaster-General, WILLIAM MULOCK, of Ontario.

Minister of Agriculture, SYDNEY A. FISHER, of Quebec.

Minister of Marine and Fisheries, LOUIS H. DAVIES, of Prince Edward

Minister of Militia and Defence, FREDERICK W. BORDEN, of Nova Scotia.

Minister of the Interior, CLIFFORD SIFTON, of Manitoba.

Minister of Customs, WILLIAM PATERSON, of Ontario.

Minister of Inland Revenue, H. G. JOLY DE LOTBINIÈRE, of Quebec.

Ministers without Portfolio  ( CHRISTOPHE A. GEOFFRION,
                             ( RICHARD R. DOBELL, of Quebec.

Solicitor-General, CHARLES FITZPATRICK, of Quebec.

[2] See p. 134.




Laurier in England--Laurier in France--The South African War--The
elections of 1900--The conference of 1902--The Alaskan boundary

In 1837 a young girl of eighteen had come to the British throne.  Many
had wished her well, but few had dreamed that, as the best beloved of
British sovereigns, she would prove an essential factor in a great
imperial movement which was to mark the close of her reign.  The
extraordinary length of that reign, her homely virtues, and her
statesmanlike prudence had made her Queen indeed in all her vast
domains and the one common, personal rallying-point for all her people.
The year 1897 marked the sixtieth anniversary of her reign, her Diamond
Jubilee, which the whole Empire now planned to celebrate in fitting

The prime minister sailed for England early in June, accompanied by
Madame Laurier.  It was his first voyage across the Atlantic.  It can
be imagined with what interest he looked forward to seeing both the
land from {177} which he had imbibed his political ideals and the land
from which his ancestors had come to New France more than two centuries
before.  But his interest and his mission were more than personal.  He
had great tasks to perform.  The most immediate purpose was to secure
the denunciation or revision of the Belgian and German treaties.  He
was to sit in the third Colonial Conference which had been summoned for
the occasion and in which all the self-governing colonies were to be
represented.  There it would be his mission to interpret to his
colleagues from overseas the new imperial and national ideals which
were taking shape in Canada.  To the general public he desired to make
better known the vast opportunities Canada had to offer both for the
venturing settler and for the trader who stayed at home.  Perhaps less
purposed, but, as it proved, no less successful, was a desire to bring
together more closely the land of his allegiance and the land of his

From the landing in Liverpool in June until the sailing from
Londonderry in August, the Canadian prime minister passed through a
ceaseless whirl of engagements, official conferences and gorgeous state
ceremonies, public dinners and country-house week-ends.  He {178} made
many notable speeches; but, more than any words, his dignified bearing
and courtly address, the subtle note of distinction that marked his
least phrase or gesture--with the striking proof which he gave, as the
French-Canadian ruler of the greatest of the colonies, of the wisdom,
the imperial secret, which Britain alone of nations had learned--made
him beyond question the lion of the hour.  The world, and not least
Britain herself, realized with wonder, in the pageant of the Jubilee
ceremonies, how great and how united the Empire was; and, at this
moment, when all eyes were focussed upon London, the prime minister of
Canada seemed to embody the new spirit and the new relationship.  The
press rang with Canada's praises.  'For the first time in my
experience,' declared a shrewd American observer, 'England and the
English are regarding the Dominion with affectionate enthusiasm.'  When
the tumult and the shouting died and the Captains and the Kings
departed, Sir Wilfrid Laurier[1] had a proud accounting to give his


The Belgian and German treaties, so long a stumbling-block in the path
of closer imperial trade relations, were at last denounced.  The
definite, concrete offer of the Canadian preference proved effective,
for it was given freely, in no huckstering spirit, with no demand for
any equivalent or that Britain should reverse her whole fiscal system
for the benefit of a small fraction of her trade.

The Colonial Conference was an important incident of the Jubilee year.
Mr Chamberlain, the new colonial secretary, made the chief address and
laid before the members the proposals for discussion.  He suggested the
desirability of setting up an Imperial Council, with more than advisory
power, and bound 'to develop into something still greater.'  But, as
only the prime ministers of New Zealand and Tasmania gave any sympathy,
the suggestion was not pressed.  He spoke in laudatory terms of the
contribution of the Australasian colonies towards the British navy, and
invited the other colonies to make similar offers.  As to trade
relations, the colonial ministers decided to consider whether they
could follow Canada's example of a free preference.  No definite step
by Great Britain towards _zollverein_ or protection and preference was
suggested.  Fruitful {180} discussion took place on Asiatic
immigration, the Pacific cable, and imperial penny postage.  All these
discussions, though without immediate results, served to outline the
problems which were to face the Colonial Conference in the
future--after the Boer War had given a new turn and a new insistence to
these problems.  It was not until then, and not until Australia spoke
with one voice rather than with six, that the Colonial Conference was
to come into its own as an established body for inter-imperial

Outside the Conference there was much discussion of imperial relations.
It was for the most part vague and rhetorical, but it showed clearly
the new-born interest which was stirring wide circles in the United
Kingdom.  As yet Imperial Federation was the only scheme for closer
union which had been at all clearly formulated, and, though it had been
discredited by the failure of its advocates to find and agree upon any
feasible plan, its phraseology still held the field.  Sir Wilfrid
himself sometimes expressed his vision in its formulas.  In a striking
passage in his first speech at Liverpool he pictured Macaulay's New
Zealander coming not to gaze upon the ruins of St Paul's but to knock
for {181} admission upon the doors of Westminster.  Yet even these
earlier speeches forecast the newer conception of the Empire as a
partnership of equal states.  'A colony,' he described Canada, 'yet a
nation--words never before in the history of the world associated
together.'  Making a dramatic contrast between the rebellion and
discontent which marked the beginning of the Queen's reign in Canada,
and the willing and unquestioned allegiance which marked it now, he
showed that the secret lay in the ever-wider freedom and
self-government which had been claimed and granted.

From London Sir Wilfrid passed to Paris.  It was before the days of the
_entente cordiale_.  In Egypt, in Soudan, in Siam, in Newfoundland, the
interests of Britain and those of France were clashing, and there was
much talk of age-long rivalry and inevitable war.  The reports which
had reached Paris of the strong expressions, uttered by a son of New
France, of attachment and loyalty to the Empire and the Queen had made
still more bitter the memories of the 'few acres of snow' lost in 1763.
There was much wonder as to what Laurier would say on French soil.  His
message there was the same.  The French Canadians, he said, had not
forgotten the {182} France of their ancestors: they cherished its
memories and its glories.  'In passing through this city, beautiful
above all cities, I have noted upon many a public building the proud
device that the armies of the Republic carried through Europe--Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity.  Very well: all that there is of worth in that
device, we possess to-day in Canada.  We have liberty absolute,
complete, liberty for our religion, our language, for all the
institutions which our ancestors brought from France and which we
regard as a sacred heritage....  If, on becoming subjects of the
British Crown, we have been able to keep our ancient rights and even
acquire new ones, upon the other hand we have undertaken obligations
which, descended as we are from a chivalrous race, we recognize in full
and hold ourselves in honour bound to proclaim.  May I be permitted to
make a personal reference?  I am told that here in France there are
people surprised at the attachment that I feel for the Crown of England
and which I do not conceal.  Here that is called _loyalisme_.  (For my
part, may I say in passing, I do not like that newly coined expression,
_loyalisme_: I much prefer to keep to the good old French word
_loyauté_.)  And certainly, if there is one thing that the story {183}
of France has taught me to regard as an attribute of the French race,
it is loyalty, it is the heart's memory.  I recall, gentlemen, those
fine lines which Victor Hugo applied to himself, as explaining the
inspiration of his life:

  Fidèle au double sang qu'ont versé dans ma veine,
  Mon père vieux soldat, ma mère vendéenne.

That double fidelity to ideas and aspirations, quite distinct, is our
glory in Canada.  We are faithful to the great nation which gave us
life, and we are faithful to the great nation which has given us

A little later to a brilliant gathering he uttered a prophetic wish:
'It may be that here in France the memories of the ancient struggles
between France and England have lost nothing of their bitterness, but
as for us, Canadians of whatever origin, the days we hold glorious are
the days when the colours of France and of England, the tricolor and
the cross of St George, waved together in triumph on the banks of Alma,
on the heights of Inkerman, on the ramparts of Sebastopol.  Times
change; other alliances are made, but may it be permitted to a son of
France who is at the same time a British subject, to salute those
glorious days with a regret which will {184} perhaps find an echo in
every generous mind on either side the Channel.'  Long cheering
followed these words.  Echo, indeed, they have found in these later
days of new battlefields, of a nobler cause and of bravery no less than
of old.

At last this close-pressed summer was over, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier
returned to a country that for a brief time knew no party.  Every
Canadian felt that his country stood higher than before in the world's
regard, and the welcome given to the prime minister on his return
fittingly marked that nation-wide feeling.  Canada's hour at last was

In 1899 the outbreak of the war with the Boer republics gave occasion
for a new step in Canada's national and imperial development.  By
instituting the British preference Canada had made a distinct advance
towards closer union along the line of trade.  Now, by sharing for the
first time in an imperial war overseas, the Dominion made an equally
momentous advance along the line of closer union for defence.

The conflict in South Africa had been brewing for years.  Over and
above the racial antagonism between Boer and Briton there was the
strife unavoidable between a primitive, {185} pastoral people and a
cosmopolitan, gold-seeking host.  The Transvaal burgher feared that, if
the newcomers were admitted freely to the franchise, he and all things
that he cherished would be swamped.  The Outlander was equally
determined to have the dominant voice in the country in which he was
rapidly gaining the majority.  And what with corruption rife in the
little oligarchy that surrounded Paul Kruger at Pretoria; what with the
Anglo-German-Jewish mining magnates of Johannesburg in control of a
subsidized press; what with Rhodes and Jameson dreaming of a solid
British South Africa and fanatical Doppers dreaming of the day when the
last _rooinek_ would be shipped from Table Bay, and with the Kaiser in
a telegraphing mood--there was no lack of tinder for a conflagration.
Even so, the war might have been averted, for there were signs of
growth among the Boers of a more reasonable party under Joubert and
Botha.  But, whatever might have been, Paul Kruger's obstinacy and
Joseph Chamberlain's firmness collided; and when, on October 9, 1899,
Kruger issued his ultimatum, demanding that Great Britain should
withdraw her troops from the Transvaal frontier and submit the dispute
to arbitration, the die was cast.


What of Canada?  She had never before taken part in war beyond the
American continent.  Yet no sooner was the ultimatum launched than
offers of service from individuals and military units began to pour
into Ottawa, and press and public to demand that a Canadian contingent
should be sent.  It was a startling change from the day when Sir John
Macdonald had declined to take any step towards equipping a Canadian
contingent for the Soudan.  It was not because Canada was deeply
convinced that in the Boer War Britain's cause was more just than in
the Egyptian War.  The vast majority, indeed, believed that the cause
was just, that Britain was fighting to free a population suffering
under intolerable tyranny.  When neutral opinion the world over
condemned Britain's policy, Mr Balfour urged in its defence that the
colonies believed in its justice.  True; not because, in Canada, at
least, there was at the outset any real knowledge of the tangled issue,
but simply because of the reputation which British statesmen had
acquired in the past for probity and fairness.  Nor was it that Canada
believed the Empire's existence to be at stake.  Many a time leaders of
both parties had spoken fervently of coming to {187} Britain's aid if
ever she should be in serious straits.  But few, if any, in Canada
believed this to be such an occasion.  In the phrase of a fervent
Canadian imperialist, it seemed as if a hundred-ton hammer was being
used to crush a hazel-nut.  Faith in the greatness of Britain's naval
and military might was strong, and, even more than in Britain, public
opinion in Canada anticipated a 'promenade to Pretoria,' and was only
afraid that the fighting would be all over before our men arrived.  It
was just another of Britain's 'little wars.'

The real source of the demand that Canada should now take a part lay in
the new-born imperial and national consciousness.  The crisis served to
precipitate the emotions and opinions which had been vaguely floating
in the Canadian mind.  The Jubilee festivities and the British
preference had increased imperial sentiment; and, with returning
prosperity and rapid growth, national pride was getting the better of
colonial dependence.  A curious element in this pride was the sense of
rivalry with the United States, which had just won more or less glory
in a little war with Spain.  All these sentiments, fanned by vigorous
newspaper appeal, led to the wish to {188} do something tangible to
show that the day of passive loyalty was over and the day of
responsible partnership had begun.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier was faced with a difficult problem.  He had not
expected war.  'I had hoped to the last,' he said later, 'that there
would be no war ... that the Uitlanders would get their rights from Mr
Kruger's Government, not by the use of force but simply by the means of
reason applied to the case.'  Now he was suddenly called upon to decide
one of the most momentous issues that had ever confronted the Canadian
people.  He had to decide it in the midst of a rising tide of popular
enthusiasm in the English-speaking provinces.  Equally he had to take
into account the lukewarmness or hostility of Quebec.  The majority of
French Canadians stood where their English-speaking fellow-citizens had
stood ten or twenty years before.  They were passively loyal, content
to be a protected colony.  The instinctive sympathies of many would be
for the Boer minority rather than for the English Outlanders in the
Transvaal.  We may read the prime minister's thoughts on this aspect of
the problem from his own words, addressed to an audience in Toronto:


Blood is thicker than water, and the issue may not appeal to my
fellow-countrymen of French origin as it appealed to you....  Still we
are British subjects, and claim the rights of British subjects, and we
assume all the responsibilities this entails.  There are men foolish
enough, there are men unpatriotic enough, to blame us and to say that I
should have rushed on and taken no precautions to guide public opinion
in my own province.  That is not my way of governing the country.  I
told you a moment ago that I would not swim with the current, that I
would endeavour to guide the current, and on this occasion I tried to
do so.

Moreover, parliament was not in session, and British precedent required
the consent of parliament for waging war.

In an interview given on the 3rd of October, a week before the war
broke out, Sir Wilfrid denied a report that the Government had already
decided to send a contingent, and stated that it could not do so
without parliament's consent.  On the same day a dispatch was received
from Mr Chamberlain expressing thanks for individual offers of service,
and stating that four units of one hundred and twenty-five men each
would gladly be accepted, to be equipped and sent to Africa at their
own or Canada's cost, and thereafter to be maintained by the Imperial
Government.  {190} Ten days later, three days after the declaration of
war, the Government at Ottawa issued an order-in-council providing for
a contingent of one thousand men.[2]

The decision once made, the Government lost no time in equipping and
dispatching the contingent.  On the 30th of October the troops sailed
from Quebec.  A week later the Government offered a second contingent.
Already it was becoming clear that there would be no 'Christmas dinner
in Pretoria.'  Mafeking, Kimberley, and Ladysmith were besieged, and
the British were retiring in Natal.  Six weeks passed before the
British Government accepted.  This time the Canadian authorities
decided to send a regiment of Mounted Rifles and three batteries of
artillery.  Later a battalion of infantry was raised to garrison
Halifax and thus release the Leinster regiment for the front, {191}
while Lord Strathcona provided the funds to send the Strathcona Horse.
In the last year of the war five regiments of Mounted Rifles and a
Constabulary Force, which saw active service, were recruited.  All
told, over seven thousand Canadians went to South Africa.

The course of the war was followed with intense interest in Canada.
Alike in the anxious days of December, the black week of Stormberg,
Magersfontein, and Tugela, and in the joyful reaction of the relief of
Kimberley and Ladysmith and Mafeking and the victory of Paardeberg,
Canadians felt themselves a part of the moving scene.  Perhaps the part
taken by their own small force was seen out of perspective; but with
all due discount for the patriotic exaggeration of Canadian newspaper
correspondents and for the generosity of Lord Roberts's high-flown
praise, the people of Canada believed that they had good reason to feel
more than proud of their representatives on the veldts of Africa.
After Zand River and Doornkop, Paardeberg and Mafeking, it was plain
that the Canadian soldier could hold his own on the field of battle.
In the words of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, replying to an attack made by Mr

When we heard that our volunteers had justified fully the confidence
placed in them, that they had {192} charged like veterans, that their
conduct was heroic and had won for them the encomiums of the
Commander-in-Chief and the unstinted admiration of their comrades, who
had faced death upon a hundred battlefields in all parts of the world,
is there a man whose bosom did not swell with pride, the noblest of all
pride, that pride of pure patriotism, the pride of the consciousness of
our rising strength, the pride of the consciousness that on that day it
had been revealed to the world that a new power had arisen in the west?
Nor is that all.  The work of union and harmony between the chief races
of this country is not yet complete....  But there is no bond of union
so strong as the bond created by common dangers faced in common.
To-day there are men in South Africa representing the two branches of
the Canadian family, fighting side by side for the honour of Canada.
Already some of them have fallen, giving to the country the last full
measure of devotion.  Their remains have been laid in the same grave,
there to lie to the end of time in that last fraternal embrace.  Can we
not hope, I ask my honourable friend himself [Mr Bourassa], that in
that grave shall be buried the last vestiges of our former antagonism?
If such shall be the result, if we can indulge that hope, if we can
believe that in that grave shall be buried our contentions, the sending
of the contingent will be the greatest service ever rendered Canada
since Confederation.

Meanwhile another war, much less honourable than that on the plains of
Africa, was {193} being waged against the Government on the hustings of
Canada.  The general elections of 1900 gave countless opportunities for
the unscrupulous and reckless appeals to racial prejudice and for the
charges of disloyalty which have unfortunately marked so many Canadian
political contests.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier had to face the attacks of
extremists in both Quebec and Ontario.  In Ontario he was denounced for
hesitating to send the first contingent, and particularly for retaining
in his Cabinet Mr Tarte, who was reported to have made anti-imperial
speeches in Paris.  Blissfully unaware that before the next general
election they would be lauding the same Tarte to the skies, the chiefs
of the Opposition made their war-cry for Ontario, 'Shall Tarte rule?'
Concurrently in Quebec the prime minister was denounced for sending the
contingent at all, both by Conservatives and by one of the ablest of
his former followers, Henri Bourassa, who had broken with his leader on
this issue and on other more personal grounds.  Even the veteran leader
of the Opposition, Sir Charles Tupper, played a double rôle.  'Sir
Wilfrid Laurier is too English for me,' he declared in Quebec, and
inveighed against the prime minister, whom he characterized as {194} an
advocate of imperialism.  But at Toronto, some time later, he strove to
explain away these words and to convince his hearers that Sir Wilfrid
was 'not half British enough.'

Nevertheless, when polling day came in November, the Government was
sustained by an enlarged majority.  In Ontario it lost fourteen seats,
but it gained in the maritime provinces, while Quebec still further
increased its overwhelming contingent of Liberals in the House of
Commons.  The country as a whole evidently approved the Government's
policy in the war, and was not unmindful of the long-sought prosperity
which was coming under a vigorous administration at Ottawa.

Sir Charles Tupper, now over eighty, but still aggressive and full of
enthusiasm, decided to give up the leadership of the Conservative
party.  He was succeeded by a fellow Nova Scotian, Mr Robert Laird
Borden of Halifax.  The new leader had been only four years in
parliament, but his ability and straightforwardness had won instant
recognition.  Few changes had occurred in the ranks of the 'Ministry of
all the Talents' of 1896.  Sir Oliver Mowat and Sir Henri Joly de
Lotbinière had retired to lieutenant-governorships, and their places
had been taken respectively {195} by Mr David Mills and Mr M. E.
Bernier.  The permanence of this Ministry was in strong contrast to the
incessant changes which had marked the last Liberal Cabinet, that of

[Illustration: SIR ROBERT BORDEN From a photograph by Montminy, Quebec]

The questions of imperial relationship raised by the Boer War lent
especial interest to the Colonial Conference of 1902.  Again the formal
occasion for inviting the representatives of the Dominions to Great
Britain was a royal ceremony.  Good Queen Victoria had died in 1901,
and the coronation of Edward the Seventh was to take place in June.
The sudden illness of the king postponed the festivities, but the
meetings of the Conference went on as arranged.

The United Kingdom was represented by Mr Chamberlain, Lord Selborne,
and Mr Brodrick.  Sir Edmund Barton and Sir John Forrest represented
Australia, now a single Commonwealth.  To speak for the smaller
colonies appeared their respective prime ministers--Mr Richard Seddon
for New Zealand, Sir Gordon Sprigg for Cape Colony, Sir Albert Hime for
Natal, and Sir Robert Bond for Newfoundland.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier
represented Canada.  He was accompanied {196} by Mr Fielding, Sir
Frederick Borden, Sir William Mulock, and Mr Paterson.  The sessions
were more formal than on previous occasions.  Only the prime ministers
of the Dominions spoke, except when questions arose affecting the
special department of one of the other ministers.  The earlier
conferences had been in a sense preparatory, and the issues raised had
not been pressed.  Now the dramatic pressure of events and the
masterful eagerness of Mr Chamberlain alike gave to the meetings a much
more serious aspect.

English imperialists were intensely interested and intensely hopeful.
'I cannot conceal from myself,' declared Mr Chamberlain in his opening
address, 'that very great anticipations have been formed as to the
results which may accrue from our meeting.'  The enthusiasm of Canadian
and Australian and New Zealander for the cause of the mother country in
the war had led many to believe that the time was ripe for a great
stride toward the centralization of the Empire.  The policy of autonomy
as the basis of union was attacked as obsolete.  According to the new
imperialism, the control of the Empire should be centralized, should be
vested in the British Government, or in an Imperial Council or {197}
parliament sitting at London, in which numbers and the overwhelming
force of environment and social pressure would give Great Britain
unquestioned dominance.  Mr Chamberlain himself shared these hopes and
these limitations.  He was, indeed, more popular in the colonies than
any other British statesman, because he had recognized more fully than
any other their strength and the value of their support.  Yet he, too,
laboured under the delusion that Australia and Canada were simply
England beyond the seas.  He not only looked at imperial questions from
the point of view of one who was an Englishman first and last, but
expected to find Australians and Canadians doing the same.

These expectations were destined to be rudely shattered.  The new
imperialism did not give scope for the aspirations of the Dominions.
Its apostles had failed to recognize that if the war had stimulated
imperial sentiment in the Dominions it had also stimulated national
consciousness.  The spectacular entry upon the world's stage involved
in sending troops half-way across the globe, the bravery and the
steadfastness the troops had displayed, had sent a thrill of pride
through every Dominion.  The achievement {198} of federation in
Australia and the new-found prosperity of Canada gave added impetus to
the national feeling.  And, as a cross-current, opposed alike to the
rising nationalism and to any kind of imperialism, there was still the
old colonialism, the survival of ways of thought bred of the days when
Englishmen regarded the colonies as 'our possessions' and colonials
acquiesced.  These three currents, colonialism, nationalism, and
imperialism, ran strong in Australian and Canadian life, and none of
them could be disregarded.  A free imperialism, consonant with and
allied to national ambitions, the Dominions would have, had indeed
already, but the idea of Mr Chamberlain and his followers, which
contravened both the new nationalism and the old colonialism, could not

As before, the chief subjects dealt with by the Conference fell into
three fields--political relations, commercial relations, and defence.

In opening the Conference Mr Chamberlain declared that the problem of
future political relations had been simplified by the federation of the
Australian colonies and the coming closer union of South Africa.  The
next step would be the federation of the Empire, which he believed was
within the limits of {199} possibility.  This might come by sending
colonial representatives to the existing House of Commons at
Westminster, but perhaps a more practical proposal would be the
creation of a real Council of the Empire, which in the first instance
might be merely advisory but in time would have executive and perhaps
legislative powers.  Elsewhere Mr Chamberlain had made more clear the
extent of the power which he hoped this central council would in time
acquire: he had defined it as 'a new government with large powers of
taxation and legislation over countries separated by thousands of

The appeal met with little response.  The prime ministers seemed in no
haste to abandon the policy by which they had already acquired powers
so many and so wide.  No resolution was moved in the direction Mr
Chamberlain urged.  Instead, a step was taken towards making the
Conference itself a more organic body by providing that it should meet
at intervals not exceeding four years.  The vital difference between
the Conference and the Imperial Council which Mr Chamberlain desired,
was that the Council when full-fledged should be an independent
government exercising direct control over all parts of the Empire,
{200} and with a dominating representation from the United Kingdom;
whereas the Conference was simply a meeting of governments in which all
the countries met on an equal footing, with no power to bind any
Dominion or to influence its action otherwise than by interchange of
information and opinion.

As to defence, a determined attempt was made to induce the colonies to
contribute to the support of the British army and navy.  Mr Chamberlain
submitted a memorandum showing that the United Kingdom spent annually
for military and naval purposes 29s 3d per head--while Canada spent 2s,
New Zealand 3s 4d, and Australia 4s--and urged that it was inconsistent
with the dignity of nationhood that the Dominions should thus leave the
mother country to bear the whole or almost the whole cost of defence.
He trusted that no demands would be made which would appear excessive,
and that something would be done to recognize effectually the
obligation of all to contribute to the common weal.  Lord Selborne for
the Admiralty followed by urging contributions of money as well as of
men to the navy.  And Mr Brodrick for the War Office proposed that
one-fourth of the existing colonial militias should be specially
trained {201} and earmarked for service overseas in case of war.

These suggestions met with a limited measure of success.  Cape Colony
agreed to grant £50,000 a year and Natal £35,000 to the maintenance of
the navy, while Australia[3] and New Zealand increased their grants for
the maintenance of the Australasian squadron respectively to £200,000
and £60,000 a year.  Canada declined to make any grant or promise of
the kind desired.  Her representatives stated that their objections
arose, not so much from the expense involved, as from a belief that
acceptance of the proposals would entail an important departure from
the principles of colonial self-government, which had proved so great a
factor in the promotion of imperial unity.  They recognized, however,
the need of making provision for defence in proportion to the
increasing wealth and population of the country.  They were prepared,
in the development of their own militia system, to take upon Canada the
services formerly borne by the Imperial Government, and would consider
the {202} possibility of organizing a naval reserve on the coasts.

Mr Brodrick's proposal to have a special body of troops earmarked for
imperial service was endorsed by the small states, New Zealand, the
Cape, and Natal, but strongly rejected by the nation-states, Australia
and Canada.  The latter countries were of the opinion 'that the best
course to pursue was to endeavour to raise the standard of training for
the general body of their forces, leaving it to the colony, when the
need arose, to determine how and to what extent it should render
assistance....  To establish a special force, set apart for general
imperial service, and practically under the absolute control of the
Imperial Government, was objectionable in principle, as derogating from
the powers of self-government enjoyed by them, and would be calculated
to impede the general improvement in training and organization of their
defence forces.'

Thus, so far as the Dominions had awakened to the need of greater
outlay for defence, they desired to make that outlay as they made all
other expenditure, under the direction and control of their own
Governments.  It may be asked, Why then did not Canada, in the
succeeding decade, make better progress along {203} this line?  The
reasons were many.  One was the engrossment in the tremendous task of
opening up and subduing vast continental wildernesses, a task more
costly than outside opinion often realized, a task which rose to such
proportions that the per capita burden of taxation on the Canadian
became decidedly greater than that borne by the Englishman for navy,
army, social reform, and all other expenditure.  Then, too, there was
the old colonialism, the habits of thought acquired under different
conditions, which, by force of momentum, persisted after these
conditions had passed away.  Though Canada had ceased to be a
'possession' and was emerging into nationhood, she awoke but slowly to
the idea of taking up her own burden of defence.  There was the lack of
any pressing danger.  The British navy was still unchallenged in its
supremacy.  Canada had only one near neighbour; and with that neighbour
war was fast becoming unthinkable.  In fact, the United States was
regarded by some as being as much a protection in case of German or
Japanese attack as a menace in itself, though doubtless most Canadians,
if put to the test, would have refused to accept such patronizing
protection as that afforded by the Monroe Doctrine; the {204} day had
not yet come, however, when the similar refusal of the South American
states to be taken under any eagle's wing, however benevolent, was to
lead to the transformation of that relationship into a self-respecting
quasi-alliance of pan-American republics.  There was the view strongly
advanced by Sir Charles Tupper and others, that if Canada were
independent the United Kingdom would require not a ship the less to
protect its world-wide trade.  True; and few Canadians saw the equal
truth that in such a case Canada would require many a ship the more.
And if it seemed probable, or even as certain as reasoning from the
experience of others could make it, that an independent Canada would
have been involved in wars of her own, it was also certain, as an
actual fact, that through her connection with Britain she had been
involved in wars that were not her own.  All such ideas and forces not
only ran counter to Mr Chamberlain's new imperialism, but set a
stumbling-block in the path of any rapid progress in defence upon
national lines.  The unwillingness of the British authorities to
sanction Dominion fleets equally blocked progress along the most
promising path.

As to commercial relations, Mr Chamberlain {205} stated that his ideal
was 'free trade within the Empire,' presumably with a common customs
tariff against all foreign countries.  This proposal met with no
support.  None of the colonies was prepared to open its markets to the
manufacturers of the United Kingdom.  For the present, protection was
their universal policy.  It was recommended, however, that those
colonies which had not done so should follow Canada's example in giving
a preference to British goods, and that the United Kingdom should in
turn grant a preference to the colonies by exemption from or reduction
of duties then or thereafter imposed.  Mr Chamberlain belittled the
value of the preference already given by Canada.  The Canadian
ministers had no difficulty in showing the unfairness of his
conclusion.  The preference, which had been increased to thirty-three
and a third per cent, and made to apply specifically to Great Britain
and to such other parts of the Empire as would reciprocate, had not
only arrested the previous steady decline in imports from Great
Britain, but had led to a substantial growth in these imports.  Canada
would agree, however, to go further, and grant some increased
preference if Britain would reciprocate.  These proposals for
reciprocal {206} preference turned upon the fact that, as a war revenue
measure, the British Government had recently imposed a duty of a
shilling a quarter upon wheat.  A few months later the tax was
abolished, and reciprocal preference again became merely an academic

Canada, still leading the way in the matter of commercial relations,
secured the passing of a resolution favouring cheap postage rates on
newspapers and periodicals between different parts of the Empire.
Already in 1898, Canada had lowered the rates on letters to any part of
the Empire from five to two cents per half-ounce, and her example had
been widely followed.

For the much cry there was little wool.  Neither in trade nor in
political relations had Mr Chamberlain's proposals received any
encouragement, and in defence matters only small and precarious advance
had been made towards centralization.  Mr Chamberlain did not conceal
his disappointment.  In Sir Wilfrid Laurier he had met a man of equally
strong purposes and beliefs, equally adroit in argument, and much
better informed than himself in the lessons of the Empire's past and in
the public opinion overseas on questions of the day.  He was plainly
inclined to attribute {207} the policy of the Canadian prime minister
to his French descent.  Divining this, Sir Wilfrid suggested that he
should invite the other Canadian ministers to a private conference.  Mr
Chamberlain accepted the suggestion with alacrity; a dinner was
arranged; and hours of discussion followed.  To his surprise Mr
Chamberlain soon found that the four responsible Canadian ministers of
the Crown, all of British stock, two of Nova Scotia and two of Ontario,
took precisely the same stand that their French-Canadian leader had
maintained.  They were as loyal to the king as any son of England, and
were all determined to retain Canada's connection with the Empire.
But, as Canadians first, they believed, as did Mr Chamberlain himself,
that the Empire, like charity, began at home.  The outcome was that the
colonial secretary perceived the hopelessness of endeavour along the
lines of political or military centralization, and henceforth
concentrated upon commerce.  The Chamberlain policy of imperial
preferential trade, which eventually took shape as a campaign for
protection, was a direct result of the Conference of 1902.

It is not without interest to note that the policy of the Canadian
prime minister as to {208} political and defence relations was not once
called in question by the leader of the Opposition when parliament next
met.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier had faithfully voiced the prevailing will of
the people of Canada, whether they willed aright or erringly.

We must now turn to see what relations existed during these years
between Canada and the neighbouring land which Canadians knew so well.
In 1896, when the Liberal Government took office, there still remained
the disputes which had long made difficult friendly intercourse with
this neighbour; and as yet there seemed few grounds for hope that they
could be discussed in an amicable temper.  In the same year the
Republicans came again to power, and presently their new tariff
out-M'Kinleyed the M'Kinley Act of 1890, raising the duties, which the
Democrats had lowered, to a higher level than formerly.  Little had yet
occurred to change the provincial bumptiousness of the American
attitude towards other nations--though there had been a reaction in the
country from President Cleveland's fulminations of 1895 on the
Venezuelan question--or to arouse towards Great Britain or Canada the
deeper feelings of friendship {209} which common tongue and common
blood should have inspired.  Moreover, the special difficulty that
faces all negotiations with the United States, the division of power
between President and Congress, remained in full intensity, for
President M'Kinley made the scrupulous observance of the constitutional
limits of his authority the first article in his political creed.  In
Canada a still rankling antagonism bred of the Venezuelan episode made
the situation all the worse.  Yet the many issues outstanding between
the two countries made negotiation imperative.

A Joint High Commission was appointed, which opened its sessions at
Quebec in August 1898.  Lord Herschell, representing the United
Kingdom, acted as chairman.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Richard
Cartwright, Sir Louis Davies, and John Charlton represented Canada.
Sir James Winter sat for Newfoundland and Senator Fairbanks, Senator
Gray, Congressman Dingley, General Foster, Mr Kasson, and Mr Coolidge
for the United States.  The Commission sat at Quebec until October and
adjourned to meet at Washington in November.  There it continued its
sessions and approached a solution of most of the difficulties.  It
seemed possible to give {210} permanence to the existing unstable
arrangements for shipping goods through in bond, to abolish the
unneighbourly alien labour laws, to provide that Canadian sealers
should give up their rights in Bering Sea for a money payment, and to
arrange for a measure of reciprocity in natural products and in a
limited list of manufactures.  But the question of the Alaskan boundary
proved insoluble, and the Commission broke up in February 1899.

Step by step the long and often uncertain border between Canada and the
United States proper had been defined and accepted.  Only the boundary
between Canada and Alaska remained in dispute.  There was a difference
of opinion as to the meaning of certain words in the treaty of 1825
which defined, or purported to define, the boundary between British and
Russian America on the Pacific.  That treaty gave Russia a panhandle
strip of coast half-way down what is now British Columbia; and, when
the United States bought Alaska in 1867, the purchase of course
included this strip of coast.  As British Columbia grew, the
disadvantage of this barrier became seriously felt, and repeated
attempts were made to have the boundary defined and, if possible, a
port awarded to Canada.  The discovery of gold {211} in the Klondike in
1896 made this all the more urgent.  The treaty of 1825 provided that
north of Portland Channel the boundary should follow the summit of the
mountains parallel to the coast, and where these mountains proved to be
more than ten marine leagues from the coast, the line was to be drawn
parallel to the windings of the coast at ten leagues' distance.  Canada
contended for an interpretation of this wording which would give her a
harbour at the head of one of the fiords which ran far inland, while
the United States, following the usual international doctrine that a
disadvantage to your neighbour must be an advantage to yourself,
insisted that its spite fence should be as high and as gateless as

The main point of difference between the two countries was as to the
way of settling the dispute.  The United States proposed a commission
of three representatives from each side.  Given a desire for fair
dealing, such a commission is perhaps most satisfactory, at least for a
permanent body, as the experience of the Waterways Commission has since
shown.  But for a temporary purpose, and in the spirit which then
existed, the Canadian negotiators knew too well that such a board {212}
could reach a decision only by the weakening of one of the British
members.  They urged, therefore, that a board of three arbitrators
should be appointed, one of them an international jurist of repute who
should act as umpire.  This was the course which the United States had
insisted upon in the case of Venezuela, but what was sauce for the
Venezuelan goose was not sauce for the Alaskan gander.  The United
States asserted that the Canadian case had been trumped up in view of
the Klondike discoveries, and would not accept any medium of settlement
which did not make it certain beforehand that, right or wrong, the
claim of Canada would be rejected.

The deadlock in this issue proved hopeless, and the Commission's
labours ended without definite result upon any point for the time.  Yet
the months of conference had done good in giving the statesmen of each
country a better idea of the views and problems of the other, and had
contributed not a little to the final solution or the final forgetting
that the problems existed.  Later, during Mr, now Lord, Bryce's term of
office as ambassador at Washington, most of the provisional
arrangements agreed upon were taken up and embodied in separate
agreements, accepted by {213} both countries.  When the new era of
neighbourliness dawned, a few years later, some of the difficulties
which had long loomed large and boding ceased to have any more
importance than the yard or two of land once in dispute between farmers
who have since realized the folly of line-fence lawsuits.

After the adjournment of the Joint High Commission in 1899 the two
countries agreed upon a temporary Alaskan boundary-line for purposes of
administration, and it was not until early in 1903 that a treaty for
the settlement of the dispute was arranged between Great Britain and
the United States and accepted by Canada.

By this treaty the American proposal of a commission of three members
from each side was adopted.  The Canadian Government agreed to this
plan with the greatest reluctance, urging to the last that arbitration
with an outside umpire was preferable.  Seemingly, however, fairness
was secured by a clause in the treaty which provided that the members
should be 'impartial jurists of repute, who shall consider judicially
the questions submitted to them, and each of whom shall first subscribe
an oath that he will impartially consider the arguments and evidence
{214} submitted to the tribunal and will decide thereupon according to
his true judgment.'  Further, the United States now agreed to abandon
its former position, that in any case territory then settled by
Americans should not be given up.  That the United States risked
nothing by withdrawing this safeguard became clear when the American
commissioners were named--Elihu Root, a member of President Roosevelt's
Cabinet, which had declined to make any concession, Senator Lodge, who
had only a few months before declared the Canadian contention a
manufactured and baseless claim, and Senator Turner from Washington,
the state which was eager to retain a monopoly of the Klondike trade.
Undoubtedly these were able men, but not impartial jurists.  In the
words of an American newspaper, 'the chances of convincing them of the
rightfulness of Canada's claim are about the same as the prospect of a
thaw in Hades.'

The Dominion Government at once protested against these appointments.
The British Government expressed surprise, but held that it would be
useless to protest, and suggested that it was best to follow this
example and appoint British representatives {215} of a similar type.
Canada, however, declined the suggestion, and carried out her part
honourably by nominating as arbitrators, to sit with the lord chief
justice of England, Lord Alverstone, Mr Justice Armour of the Canadian
Supreme Court, and Sir Louis Jetté, formerly a judge of the Superior
Court of Quebec.  Later, on the death of Mr Justice Armour, Mr (now Sir
Allen) Aylesworth, K.C., was appointed in his place.

The case was admirably presented by both sides, and all the evidence
clearly marshalled.  Late in October the decision of the tribunal was
announced.  A majority, consisting of Lord Alverstone and the three
American members, had decided substantially in favour of the United
States.  Sir Louis Jetté and Mr Aylesworth declined to sign the award,
and declared it in part a 'grotesque travesty of justice.'

In Canada the decision met with a storm of disapproval which was much
misunderstood abroad, in Great Britain and still more in the United
States.  It was not the petulant outburst of a disappointed litigant.
Canada would have acquiesced without murmur if satisfied that her
claims had been disproved on judicial grounds.  But of this essential
{216} point she was not satisfied, and the feeling ran that once more
Canadian interests had been sacrificed on the altar of American
friendship.  The deep underlying anti-American prejudice now ran
counter to pro-British sentiment, rather than, as usual, in the same
direction.  Had Mr Aylesworth, on his return, given a lead, a
formidable movement for separation from Great Britain would undoubtedly
have resulted.  But while repeating strongly, in a speech before the
Toronto Canadian Club, his criticism of the award, and making it clear
that the trouble lay in Lord Alverstone's idea that somehow he was
intended to act as umpire between Canada and the United States, Mr
Aylesworth concluded by urging the value to Canada of British
connection; and the sober second thought of the country echoed his
eloquent exhortation.  While Canada had shown unmistakably at the
Colonial Conference that the Chamberlain imperialists would have to
reckon with the strong and rising tide of national feeling, she showed
now that, strong as was this tide, it was destined to find scope and
outlet within the bounds of the Empire.  Now imperial sentiment, now
national aspirations, might be uppermost, but consciously or
unconsciously {217} the great mass of Canadians held to an idea that
embraced and reconciled both, the conception of the Empire as a free
but indissoluble league of equal nation-states.

When the terms of the treaty were first announced Mr Borden declared
that it should have been made subject to ratification by the Canadian
parliament.  After the award Sir Wilfrid Laurier went further,
contending that the lesson was that Canada should have independent
treaty-making power.  'It is important,' he said, 'that we should ask
the British parliament for more extensive powers, so that if ever we
have to deal with matters of a similar nature again, we shall deal with
them in our own way, in our own fashion, according to the best light we
have.'  The demand was not pressed.  The change desired, at least in
respect to the United States, did come in fact a few years later,
though, as usual in British countries, much of the old forms remained.

[1] Shortly after arriving in England Mr Laurier had been made a Knight
Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George.  Though on
personal grounds sincerely reluctant to accept such honours, he had
bowed to circumstance and the wishes of his friends.

[2] The reason for the Government's action was clearly stated by Mr
David Mills, minister of Justice, as follows: 'There were two things
that presented themselves to the minds of the administration.  One was
to call parliament together and obtain its sanction for a proposition
to send troops to South Africa.  The other was to await such a
development of public opinion as would justify them in undertaking to
send the contingent ... the general sanction of the political
sovereignty of this country from which parliament derives its
existence.  Now there was such an expression of opinion in this country
as to justify the government in the course which they took.'--Senate
Debate, February 6, 1900.

[3] The Australian representatives afterwards met with much difficulty
in securing the consent of the Commonwealth parliament to this
arrangement.  A majority of the members who took part in the debate
expressed the opinion that an Australian navy must sooner or later take
the place of direct contributions.




The opening of the west--Railway expansion--State aids to
production--New provinces and old cries--Party fortunes

We have seen that in the early years of the Laurier régime Canada
attained a new international status and came to play no small part in
the affairs of the Empire.  No less notable in the succeeding years was
the remarkable industrial expansion at home, the sunrise of prosperity
which followed the long night of depression.  This expansion touched
every corner of the far-flung Dominion, and was based on the
exploitation of resources and possibilities of the most varied kind.
Yet the central fact, the development which caused and conditioned all
the rest, was the settlement of the great western plains.

For years 'Canada's unequalled western heritage' had given many an
after-dinner speaker a peroration, but it had given very few new
settlers a living.  The Conservative Government had achieved one great
task of constructive patriotism, in providing for the {219} building of
a railway across the vast wilderness to the Pacific.  Over thirty
million acres of the choicest lands of the West had been given to this
and other railways to encourage settlement.  A liberal homestead policy
had been adopted.  And still the settlers came not, or if they came
they did not stay.  Barely three thousand homestead entries a year were
made in the early nineties.  By 1896 the number had fallen to eighteen
hundred.  Canadians themselves seemed to have lost faith in the West,
for in this year the applicants for homesteads included only five
hundred and seventy settlers from the older Canada.  The stock of the
railway which had been built with such national effort had fallen to
fifty.  West of Lake Superior, after thirty years of Confederation,
there were little more than three hundred thousand people, of whom
nearly one-third were Indians.  And, in the phrase of a western
Conservative newspaper, 'the trails from Manitoba to the States were
worn bare and brown by the waggon wheels of departing settlers.'

In the remarkable development of the West which now began, and which
profoundly changed the whole outlook and temper of Canadian life, there
were some general factors {220} with which statesmen or business men
had nothing to do.  The prices of farm products began to rise the world
over, due in part to the swing of population in every land from country
to city, and in part to the flooding supplies of new gold.  The
lessening of the supply of fertile free lands in the United States gave
new value to Canada's untouched acres.  Yet these factors alone would
not have wrought the transformation.  In the past, when Canada's West
called in vain, low prices had not prevented millions of settlers
swarming to the farms of the United States.  Even of the Canadians who
had migrated to the Republic, half, contrary to the general impression,
had gone on the land.  Nor was Canada now the only country which had
vacant spaces to fill.  Australia and the Argentine and the limitless
plains of Siberia could absorb millions of settlers.  In the United
States itself the 'Great American desert' was being redeemed, while
American railways still had millions of western acres to sell.  Canada
had the goods, indeed, but they needed to be advertised.

The new ministers at Ottawa rose to the occasion.  They were not
content to be 'merely flies on the wheel,' in Sir Richard {221}
Cartwright's unlucky phrase of 1876.  They adopted a vigorous and
many-sided policy for the development of the West and of all Canada.
The preferential tariff and the prime minister's European tour
admirably prepared the way.  The British people now regarded Canada
with lively interest, and for the first time the people of the
Continent began to realize the potentialities of this new northern
land.  The general impression thus created was followed up by more
specific measures, aiming to bring in men and capital, to extend and
cheapen transportation, and to facilitate production.

The call for settlers came first.  Never has there been so systematic,
thorough, and successful a campaign for immigrants as that which was
launched and directed by the minister of the Interior, Mr, now Sir
Clifford, Sifton.  He knew the needs and the possibilities of the West
at first hand.  He brought to his office a businesslike efficiency and
a constructive imagination only too rare at Ottawa.  Through
Continental Europe, through the United States, through the United
Kingdom, with an enthusiasm unparalleled and an insistence which would
not be denied, he sent forth the summons for men and women and {222}
children to come and people the great plains of the Canadian West.

It was from Continental Europe that the first notable accessions came.
Western Europe, which in earlier decades had sent its swarms across the
sea, now had few emigrants to give.  Falling birth-rates, industrial
development, or governments' desire to keep at home as much food for
powder as might be, had slackened the outward flow.  But the east held
uncounted millions whom state oppression or economic leanness urged
forth.  From Russia the Doukhobors or Spirit-Wrestlers, eager to escape
from the military service their Quakerlike creed forbade, turned to
Canada, and by 1899 over seven thousand of these people were settled in
the West.  Austrian Poland sent forth each year some four to six
thousand Ruthenians, more familiarly known as Galicians.  Both
contingents brought their problems, but they brought also notable
contributions to the western melting-pot.  Their clannishness, their
differing social ideals, the influence of religious leaders who sought
to keep them a people apart, created political and educational
difficulties of undoubted seriousness.  But they turned to farm
production, not to selling real {223} estate, and in a few years many
came to appreciate and follow Canadian ways, for good or for ill.  And
if Doukhobor communistic practices or religious frenzy had their
drawbacks, they served to balance the unrestrained individualism and
the materialism of other sections of the community, and to add vast
potentialities of idealism to the nation's store.

Much more significant, however, was the influx of American settlers,
which reached a great height soon afterwards.  Mr Sifton knew that no
settlers could be had anywhere with more enterprise, capital, and
practical experience of western needs than the farmers of the western
and mid-western states.  As these states became settled, many farmers
who desired larger scope for their energy or farms for their growing
sons were in the mood to listen to tales of pastures new.  Among these
Americans, then, the minister prepared to spread his glad tidings of
the Canadian plains.  Agents were appointed for each likely state, with
sub-agents who were paid a commission for every settler who came.  The
land of promise was pictured in attractive, compelling booklets, and in
advertisements inserted in seven or eight thousand farm and weekly
papers.  All inquiries were {224} systematically followed up.  In
co-operation with the railways, free trips were arranged for parties of
farmers and for press associations, to give the personal touch needed
to vitalize the campaign.  State and county fairs were utilized to keep
Canada to the fore.  Every assistance was given to make it easy for the
settler to transport his effects and to select his new home.

As a result of these aggressive efforts, the ranks of incoming
Americans, negligible in the earlier years, rose to astounding
proportions--from seven hundred in 1897 to fifteen thousand in 1900 and
one hundred thousand in 1911.  This influx had a decisive effect on the
West.  It was not only what these well-to-do, progressive settlers
achieved themselves that counted, but the effect of their example upon
others.  Every American who preferred Canada to his own land persuaded
an Englishman or a Scotsman that the star of empire was passing to the

Backed by this convincing argument, Mr Sifton now turned to the United
Kingdom.  For many years his predecessors had directed their chief
efforts to this field.  Early in the eighties a large influx of British
and Irish immigrants had come, but most of them had quickly passed to
the United States.  In the {225} nineties scarcely ten thousand a year
crossed from the crowded British Isles to Canada, while the United
States secured thirty or forty thousand.  Now conditions were soon
reversed.  The immigration campaign was lifted out of the routine and
dry rot into which it had fallen.  Advertisements of a kind new to
British readers were inserted in the press, the schools were filled
with attractive literature, and patriotic and philanthropic agencies
were brought into service.  Typical of this activity was the erection
of a great arch of wheat in the Strand, London, during the Coronation
ceremonies of 1902.  Its visible munificence and its modest mottoes,
'Canada the granary of the Empire' and 'Canada offers 160 acres free to
every man,' carried a telling message to millions.  From nine or ten
thousand in the nineties British immigration into Canada rose to fifty
thousand in 1904 and over a hundred and twenty thousand in 1911.
Australia soon followed Canada's example, with the result that whereas
in 1900 only one of every three emigrants who left the British Isles
remained under the flag, a dozen years later the proportions had grown
to four out of every five.  This was empire-building of the most
practical kind.


This incoming of English-speaking peoples also brought its problems.
The Americans contributed largely to the rise of the 'subdivision
expert,' though in this matter of land speculation the native sons soon
bettered their instructors.  The British immigrants at first included
too many who had been assisted by charitable societies, and always they
flocked more to the towns than to the land.  Yet these immigrants were
in the main the best of new citizens.

During the fifteen years of Liberal administration (1896-1911) the
total immigration to Canada exceeded two millions.  Of this total about
thirty-eight per cent came from the British Isles, twenty-six from
Continental Europe, and thirty-four from the United States.  This
increase was not all net.  There was a constant ebb as well as flow,
many returning to their native land, whether to enjoy the fortune they
had gained or to lament that the golden pavements they had heard of
were nowhere to be seen.  The exodus of native-born to the United
States did not wholly cease, though it fell off notably and was far
more than offset by the northward flow.  After all deductions, the
population of Canada during this period grew from barely over five to
seven {227} and a quarter millions, showing a rate of increase for the
last decade (1901-11) unequalled elsewhere in the world.

Closely connected with the immigration campaign was the Government's
land policy.  The old system of giving free homesteads to all comers
was continued, but with a simplified procedure, lower fees, and greater
privileges to the settler.  No more land was tied up in railway grants,
and in 1908 the odd sections, previously reserved for railway grants
and sales, were opened to homesteaders.  The pre-emption regulations
were revised for the semi-arid districts where a hundred and sixty
acres was too small a unit.  Sales of farm lands to colonization
companies and of timber limits were continued, with occasional
excessive gains to speculators, which the Opposition vigorously
denounced.  Yet the homesteader remained the chief figure in the
opening of the West.  The entries, as we have seen, were eighteen
hundred in 1896.  They were forty-four thousand in 1911.  Areas of land
princely in their vastness were thus given away.  Each year the
Dominion granted free land exceeding in area and in richness coveted
territories for whose possession European nations stood ready to set
the world at war.  In 1908, for {228} example, a Wales was given away;
in 1909, five Prince Edward Islands; while in 1910 and 1911, what with
homesteads, pre-emptions, and veteran grants, a Belgium, a Holland, a
Luxemburg and a Montenegro passed from the state to the settler.[1]

After and with the settler came the capitalist.  The vast expansion of
these years was made possible by borrowing on a scale which neither
credit nor ambition had ever before made possible.  Especially from
Britain the millions poured in as soon as Canadians themselves had
given evidence of the land's limitless possibilities.  The yearly
borrowings from the mother country, made chiefly by national and local
governments and by the railways, rose to a hundred and fifty millions.
French, Dutch, Belgian, and German investors followed.  American
capitalists bought few bonds but invested freely in mines, timber
limits, and land companies, and set up many factories.  By the end of
the period foreign capitalists held a mortgage of about two and a half
billions on Canada, but in most cases {229} the money had been well
applied, and the resources of the country more than correspondingly

The railways were the chief bidders for this vast inflow of new
capital.  It was distinctly a railway era.  The railway made possible
the rapid settlement of the West, and the growth of settlement in turn
called for still new roads.  In the fifteen years following 1896 nearly
ten thousand miles were built, two miles a day, year in and year out,
and the three years following saw another five thousand miles
completed.  Two great transcontinentals were constructed.  Branch lines
innumerable were flung out, crowded sections were double-tracked,
grades were lowered, curves straightened, vast terminals built,
steamship connections formed, and equipment doubled and trebled.

In this expansion the state, as ever in Canada, took a leading share.
The Dominion Government extended the Intercolonial to Montreal and
began a road from the prairies to Hudson Bay, while the Ontario
Government built and operated a road opening up New Ontario.  The
federal policy of aid to private companies was continued, with
amendments.  No more land-grants were given, and {230} when cash
subsidies were bestowed, the companies so aided were required to carry
free government mails, materials and men, up to three per cent on the
subsidy.  The transcontinentals were specially favoured.  The Grand
Trunk system was given large guarantees and cash subsidies for its
westward expansion, and the Government itself constructed the National
Transcontinental to ensure the opening up of the north, and to prevent
the traffic of the west being carried to United States rather than to
Canadian Atlantic ports.  The Canadian Northern was assisted in its
prairie construction by both federal and provincial guarantees.  The
Laurier Government aided the dubious project of building a third line
north of Lake Superior, but refused to take any share in the
responsibility or cost of building the much more expensive and
premature section through the Rockies.  The Borden Government and the
province of British Columbia, however, gave the aid desired for this
latter venture.  Another important development was the establishment,
in 1903, with the happiest results, of the Dominion Railway Commission,
to mediate between railway and shipper or traveller.


The railway policy of this period is still matter for dispute.  On the
economic side, it is clear that the greater part of the construction
was essential in order to open up the West, with all that this implied
for both West and East.  Yet there were many evils to set against this
gain--the stimulus to unhealthy speculation, the excessive building in
settled districts, the construction of roads ahead of immediate needs
or possible traffic.  The fact is that the railway policy was part and
parcel of the whole business policy of the period, the outcome of the
same new-born optimism which induced many a municipality to build
pavements and sewers before the population warranted, or manufacturers
to extend their plants too rapidly, or banks to open branches that did
not pay.  Progress comes in zigzag fashion; now one need is stressed,
now another.  To each time its own task, to each the defects of its
qualities.  And if in the reaction from unexampled prosperity some of
the expansion seemed to have come before its time, most Canadians were
confident of what the future would bring, and did not regret that in
Canada's growing time leaders and people persevered in putting through
great and for the most part needful works {232} which only courage
could suggest and only prosperity could achieve.

On the political side, also, there were entries on both sides of the
ledger.  Campaign-fund contributions and political intrigue were the
chief debit entries.  Yet there were heavy credit entries which should
not be forgotten.  No other country has made the effort and the
sacrifice Canada has made to bind its far-distant and isolated
provinces in links of steel.  The Intercolonial made the union of east
and centre a reality, the Canadian Pacific bound east and centre and
west, and the National Transcontinental added the north to the
Dominion, gave the needed breadth to the perilously narrow fringe of
settlement that lined the United States border.  The national ends
which Sir John Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier steadfastly held in
view were so great and vital as to warrant risk, to compel faith, to
justify courage.

In Canada the state, without much discussion as to the theory involved,
has endeavoured to foster production in countless ways.  The
encouragement and sifting of immigration and the building or aiding of
railways and canals are perhaps the most important {233} single forms
this stimulus has taken; but they are far from the only ones.  Farmer,
miner, fisherman, manufacturer, artisan, all have been aided by
policies more or less effective.

Under previous administrations the department of agriculture had done
good work and had raised the standard of farm production.  That work
was now extended and re-vitalized.  For the first time a farmer, Mr
Sydney A. Fisher, took charge of the department.  Better farming and
better marketing alike were sought.  On experimental farms and in
laboratories, studies were carried on as to the best stock or plants,
the best fertilizers or the best feeding-stuffs, to suit the varied
soils and climates of the wide Dominion.  By bulletins and
demonstrations farmers were instructed in such matters as the selection
of seed, the cool curing of cheese, the improvement of stock, the
vigilant guarding against disease in herd and flock.  Marketing
received equal attention.  For the fruit and dairy industries
refrigerator-car services and cold-storage facilities on ocean ships
were provided.  In these and other ways the effort was made to help the
Canadian farmer to secure full value for his toil.

The miner received less direct aid.  {234} Railways built into mining
areas, bounties on lead and petroleum, bounties on iron ore and steel
products, laboratory studies in metallurgy, and reduction of the duties
on mining machinery, all played a part in the great development of the
mines of Canada which marked this era.

None too soon, an important step was taken in 1909 to ensure the
perpetuation or the prudent use of the country's natural resources.  In
the early, lavish days men had believed these resources inexhaustible,
or had recklessly ignored the claims of the future in their haste to
snatch a fortune to-day.  The United States had gone furthest on this
path, and was the first to come to its senses.  A conference held at
Washington, in 1909, attended by representatives of the United States,
Canada, Newfoundland, and Mexico--notable also as one of the first
instances of Canada's recognition of the fact that she was an American
power--recommended the establishment of a conservation commission in
each country.  Canada was the only country that acted upon the advice.
The Conservation Commission was established that very year, with wide
duties of investigation and recommendation.  Under Sir Clifford Sifton
as chairman and Mr {235} James White as secretary it has performed
valuable and varied service.

The sea was given thought as well as the land.  The fishing bounties
already established were continued.  Experts were brought from Europe
to improve the methods of curing fish.  Co-operative cold-storage
warehouses for bait were set up, and a fast refrigerator-car service on
both coasts brought fish fresh to the interior.  Laboratories for the
study of marine life and fish hatcheries came into being.
Unfortunately, disputes arose as to jurisdiction between Dominion and
provinces and between Canada and the United States, and the fisheries
did not grow at the rate of other industries.

The manufacturer, however, continued to be the chief object of
attention.  An increase took place in the service of trade
commissioners for Canada in other countries, whose duties are similar
to those of a foreign consular service.  The bounties on iron and steel
production, amounting in all to twenty millions, undoubtedly did much
to stimulate that industry.  The protective tariff, as we have seen,
remained in a modified form.  After the notable step of 1897 towards a
purely revenue tariff, there came a halt for some years.  In fact, it
seemed for a time that the pendulum {236} would swing towards still
higher duties.  In 1902 the manufacturers began a strong campaign in
that direction, which was given aggressive support by the minister of
Public Works, J. Israel Tarte, often termed by opponents of the
Government the 'Master of the Administration.'  This breach of
ministerial solidarity Sir Wilfrid Laurier met, on his return from the
Colonial Conference, by an instant demand for Mr Tarte's resignation.
It was made clear that the compromise which had been adopted in 1897
would not be rashly abandoned.  Yet the movement for a tariff 'high as
Haman's gallows' continued, and produced some effect.  It led (1904) to
a reduction of the British preference on woollens and to an
'anti-dumping act'--aimed against slaughter or bargain sales by foreign
producers--providing for a special duty when articles were sold in
Canada for less than the prevailing price in the country of origin.  In
the same year Mr Fielding foreshadowed the introduction of a minimum
and maximum tariff, with the existing duties as the minimum, and with
maximum duties to be applied to countries which levied especially high
rates on Canadian products.  Only the vigorous opposition set up by the
farmers of Ontario {237} and the West checked the agitation for still
higher duties.  The new tariff of 1907 made many careful revisions
upward as well as downward, but on the whole the existing level was
retained.  Below the maximum or general rate, but higher than the
British preference, there was set up an intermediate tariff, for
bargaining with foreign states.  This compromise tariff of 1907
remained in force with little change or strong agitation for change
until three years later, when negotiations for reciprocity with the
United States once more brought the issue to the front.

The field of social legislation, in which so many radical experiments
have been made by other lands, in Canada falls for the most part to the
provinces.  Within its limited jurisdiction the Laurier Government
achieved some notable results.  Early in its career it put down
sweating and made compulsory the payment of fair wages by government
contractors.  It set up a department of Labour, making it possible to
secure much useful information hitherto inaccessible and to guard
workmen's interests in many relations.  Late in the Laurier régime a
commission was appointed to study the question of technical education,
important alike for manufacturer {238} and for artisan.  The most
distinctive innovation, however, was the Lemieux Act, drawn up by W. L.
Mackenzie King, the first deputy minister of Labour.  This provided for
compulsory investigation into labour disputes in quasi-public
industries.  It proved a long step towards industrial peace, and was
one of the few Canadian legislative experiments which have awakened
world-wide interest and investigation.

The growth of the West made it necessary to face the question of
granting full provincial powers to the North-West Territories.
Originally under the direct rule of the Dominion parliament, step by
step they had approached self-government.  In 1886 they had been given
representation at Ottawa; in 1888 a local legislature was created, with
limited powers, later somewhat enlarged; and in 1897 the Executive
Council was made responsible to the legislature.  Now, with half a
million people between Manitoba and British Columbia, the time had come
to take the last step.  And so in 1905 the Autonomy Bills, establishing
the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, were brought before the
House of Commons by the prime minister.


There were many controversial issues involved.  How many provinces
should be created?  Two were decided upon, to comprise the area south
of the sixtieth parallel; the area to the north was left in the
territorial status.  What should be the capitals?  Provisionally
Edmonton and Regina were selected.  Should the provinces be given
control of crown lands?  Notwithstanding some opposition, it was
decided to maintain the policy, in force from the first acquisition of
the West, of keeping the lands in control of the Dominion, which also
had control of immigration.  What financial aid should be given?
Liberal grants were provided, accepted by all parties as fair and
adequate.  What legislative powers should the provinces be given,
particularly on the subject of education?  This proved a thorny
question.  It provoked a storm of heated controversy which for a brief
time recalled the days of the Jesuits' Estates and Manitoba school

A clause in the bills, which Sir Wilfrid Laurier introduced in February
1905, provided: first, that Section 93 of the British North America
Act, safeguarding minority privileges, should apply; secondly, to make
it clearer what these privileges were, it stipulated that {240} the
majority of the ratepayers in any district might establish such schools
as they thought fit, and that the minority, whether Protestant or
Catholic, might also do so, being in that case liable only for one set
of school rates; and thirdly, that legislative appropriations should be
divided equitably between public and separate schools.

Three main questions arose.  Were separate schools desirable in
themselves?  Was there any obligation, legal or moral, to establish or
maintain them?  If so, what form should they take?

Introducing the bills, Sir Wilfrid stated that he 'never could
understand what objection there could be to a system of schools
wherein, after secular matters had been attended to, the tenets of the
religion of Christ, even with the divisions which exist among His
followers, are allowed to be taught.'  He went on to contrast the
schools of Canada, wherein Christian dogmas and morals were taught,
with those of the United States, where they were not taught, and to
point out the resulting difference in moral standards as witnessed by
lynching, murder, and divorce statistics.

The great majority of Catholics and a {241} minority of Protestants, or
their ecclesiastical spokesmen, regarded the school as a means of
teaching religion as well as secular subjects, and wished secular
subjects, where possible, to be taught from a distinctly religious
point of view.  A small minority were in favour of complete
secularization of all schools.  The majority of Protestants would
probably have favoured some non-denominational recognition of religion
in the schools, and would judge denominational teaching by the test of
how far this would involve herding the children apart and putting
obstacles in the path of educational efficiency and of national unity.

But was parliament free to grant the provinces the liberty to decide
the question solely in accord with what the majority might now or
hereafter think expedient?  On the one hand, it was vigorously
contended that it was free, and that any attempt to limit the power of
the province was uncalled for, was an attempt to petrify its laws, and
to revive the coercion which Sir Wilfrid Laurier himself had denounced
and defeated in 1896.  The recognition of separate schools in the
British North America Act, the critics continued, applied only to the
four original provinces, and there was probably no power, and {242}
certainly no legal obligation, to extend the principle to the West.  On
the other hand, it was argued that Section 93 of the British North
America Act--introduced at the instance of the Protestant minority of
Quebec, and designed to protect the interest of all minorities--morally
and legally bound the whole Dominion; that the Manitoba Act of 1870
confirmed the principle that the Dominion could give a new province
only such powers as the constitution provided, which meant control over
education _subject to the minority's privilege_; and that parliament,
by unanimously establishing separate schools in the North-West
Territories in 1875, had still further bound its successors, or at
least had shown how the Fathers of Confederation interpreted the

To many, however, the abstract questions of separate schools and the
constitution were less important than the practical question, What kind
of schools were to be guaranteed by these bills?  Sir Wilfrid Laurier
declared that the school system to be continued was that actually in
force in the North-West, which had been established under the clause
respecting schools of the Dominion Act of 1875, which the present bills
repeated word for word.  {243} This system worked very satisfactorily.
It gave Catholic and Protestant minorities the right to establish
separate schools, and to pay taxes only for such schools.  In all other
respects the school system was uniform; there was only one department
of education, one course of study, one set of books, one staff of
inspectors.  No religious teaching or religious emblems were permitted
during school hours; only in the half-hour after the close of school
might such teaching be provided.  The separate schools were really
national schools with the minimum of ecclesiastical control.

It soon became apparent, however, that the schools then existing in the
North-West, though based on the Act of 1875, were much less
ecclesiastical in character than the act permitted, and less
ecclesiastical in fact than the schools which had formerly existed in
the territories.  In 1884 the Quebec system had been set up, providing
for two boards of education, two courses of study, two staffs of
inspectors, and separate administrations.  But in 1892 this dual system
had been abolished by the territorial legislature, and in 1901 the
existing system had been definitely established by a series of
ordinances.  To meet the {244} objections urged, the new bills were
amended to make it clear that it was the limited separate school system
established in 1901 that was to be continued, and not a complete
separate system as authorized in 1875.  The bills as originally drafted
virtually gave the Church complete control over separate schools, but,
as now amended, control over religious education only.

The measure was hotly debated, inside and outside parliament.
Particularly in Ontario the original bills were denounced by many
Liberals as well as Conservatives as oppressive, reactionary, and a
concession to the hierarchy.  The West itself was not disturbed, and
the Protestants of Quebec acquiesced in the recognition of separate
schools.  Mr Sifton made the measure the occasion for resigning from
the Ministry.  The controversy was a great surprise to Sir Wilfrid, who
had considered that he was simply carrying out the agreement reached
unanimously in 1875.  The amendment satisfied all the malcontents of
his party in parliament, but the controversy continued outside.  The
more extreme opponents of separate schools would see no difference
between the new clause and the old.  Archbishop Langevin strongly
denounced the {245} amendment; but the fire soon cooled.  Today fewer
than one school in a hundred in the two provinces is a separate school.

Throughout this period of rapid growth the Liberal party maintained its
place in power.  The country was prosperous and content and the party
chieftain invincible.  The general elections of 1904 turned chiefly on
railway issues.  The criticisms of the Opposition, many of them well
grounded, proved unavailing.  The contest ended in a victory for the
Government with a majority of sixty seats in the House and of fifty
thousand votes in the country.  The results presented the usual
discrepancies between electoral votes and parliamentary representation.
Though the Liberals had only 54,000 votes in Nova Scotia, as against
46,000 for the Conservatives, they captured all the eighteen seats.
Prince Edward Island, giving the Liberals a popular majority, returned
three Conservatives to one Liberal.  Ontario cast 217,000 Conservative
and 213,000 Liberal votes and returned forty-eight Conservatives and
thirty-eight Liberals.  An untoward incident of the elections was the
defeat of Mr R. L. Borden in Halifax.  The leader of the Opposition had
won universal respect, {246} and it was to the satisfaction of
opponents as well as followers that another seat was shortly found for

In the general elections of four years later (1908) no single issue was
dominant.  The Opposition alleged 'graft' and corruption, and charged
ministers and ex-ministers with breach of the eighth and neighbouring
commandments.  Government officials, too, they said, were guilty of
extravagance and fraud.  Timber limits, contracts, land deals, figured
in still further scandals.  The ministerial forces replied in the usual
way, claiming in some cases that there was no ground for the
allegations, and in others that they themselves had intervened to put a
stop to the practices inherited from previous administrations.  They
carried the war into Africa by counter-charges against leading members
of the Opposition.  The air was full of scandals and personalities; but
none of the charges were of sufficient magnitude or sufficient
certainty to weigh heavily against the prosperity of the country and
the personality of the prime minister.  The parliamentary majority,
however, fell from sixty-two to forty-seven, and the popular majority
from fifty to twenty thousand.


The years had brought many changes in the Ministry.  Mr Sifton had
retired, Mr Tarte's resignation had been accepted, and Mr Fitzpatrick
had gone to the Supreme Court.  Mr Oliver had succeeded Mr Sifton, Mr
Aylesworth had come from a distinguished place at the bar to the
portfolio of Justice, Mr Pugsley was in charge of Public Works, Mr
Graham had left the leadership of the Ontario Opposition for the
portfolio of Railways, Mr Mackenzie King had jumped from the civil
service to the Cabinet, and Mr Lemieux and Mr Brodeur were the prime
minister's chief colleagues from Quebec.  The Opposition benches showed
almost as many changes.  Of the former Conservative ministers, Mr
Foster and Mr Haggart only remained in active service, while Mr
Doherty, Mr Ames, and Mr Meighen were among the more notable
accessions.  Some rumbles of discontent were heard against Mr Borden's
leadership, but the party as a whole rallied strongly to him, and his
position both in the party and in the country grew increasingly firm.

Through all the changes the prime minister grew in strength and
prestige.  Each year that passed gave proofs of his masterful
leadership.  {248} The old cry that he was too weak to rule now gave
way to the cry that he was too strong.  There was no question that for
all his suavity he insisted upon being first minister in fact as well
as in form.  In Canada he had a hold upon the popular imagination which
had been equalled only by Sir John Macdonald, while abroad he was the
one Canadian, or in fact the one colonial statesman, known to fame, the
outstanding figure of Greater Britain.

[1] It is estimated that 15 per cent of the Scottish, 18 per cent of
the English, 19 per cent of the Irish, 27 per cent of the Continental,
and 30 per cent of the United States immigrants made entry for
homesteads.  The proportion of Americans who bought land was in still
greater degree much the largest.




Europe and Asia--The United States--Reciprocity

The early years of the Laurier régime brought Canada into the visual
range of the outside world.  During the middle years the business of
the country's internal development overshadowed everything else.  Then
in the later years the relations of Canada with other countries came to
occupy an increasingly important place on the political stage.

At last, Canada's rising star compelled the attention of foreign
countries beyond the seas.  Some of these countries sent capital, and
no Canadian objected.  Some sent goods, and manufacturers and producers
raised the questions of protection and reciprocal tariff privileges.
Others, as we have seen, sent men.  Some of these immigrants Canada
welcomed indiscriminately, some she took with qualms, while against
others she erected high barriers, with half a mind to make them still

First, as to trade and tariffs, which were the {250} chief subjects of
discussion with European governments.  The original Fielding tariff of
1897 had adopted the minimum and maximum principle, with the intention
that a few low-tariff countries should share with Great Britain the
advantages of the lower rates.  Treaty complications made this
impossible, and the lower rates were confined to the Empire.  Then in
1907 came the intermediate tariff as a basis for bargaining.  The
Government turned first to France.  Mr Fielding and Mr Brodeur,
associated with the British ambassador at Paris, negotiated a treaty,
giving France the intermediate and in some cases still lower rates, and
receiving advantages in return.  The treaty, though made in 1907, was
not ratified until 1910.  Owing to existing British treaties with
most-favoured-nation clauses which bound the colonies, the concessions
given France had to be extended to Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden,
Spain, and Switzerland.  Belgium and Holland, both low-tariff
countries, received many of the same concessions, and in the same year
(1910) a special convention was made with Italy.  All the latter
negotiations were carried on direct between the Canadian Government and
the foreign consuls-general in Canada.  In the {251} agreement with
Italy the parties were termed 'the Royal Consul of Italy for Canada,
representing the government of the Kingdom of Italy, and the Minister
of Finance of Canada, representing His Excellency the Governor-General
acting in conjunction with the King's Privy Council for Canada.'

Meanwhile less friendly relations had arisen with Germany.  Angry at
the action of Canada in giving British goods a preference, Germany in
1899 withdrew her minimum rates on Canadian products, imposing the much
higher general rates.  The Laurier Government protested that the
British preference was a family affair, and that so long as Germany was
given the same rates as other foreign countries she had no excuse for
retaliation.  But this soft answer did not turn away Teutonic wrath; so
in 1903 Canada retorted in kind, by levying a surtax of one-third on
German goods.  The war of tariffs lasted seven years.  While it
hampered the trade of both countries, German exports were much the
hardest hit.  Germany took the initiative in seeking a truce, and in
1910 an agreement was reached between Mr Fielding and the German
consul-general.  Germany dropped her protest against the British
preference, and gave the Dominion the {252} minimum rates on the most
important dutiable exports in return for, not the intermediate, but the
general tariff rates.  So ended one of the few instances of successful
retaliation in all the chequered annals of tariff history.

Secondly, as to men.  This was the issue with Asiatic powers.  The
opposition to Asiatic immigration, so strong in Australia and South
Africa as well as in the United States, prevailed in Western Canada.
Working men demanded protection against the too cheap--and too
efficient--labour of the Asiatic as validly as manufacturers objected
to the importation of the products of European 'pauper labour.'
Stronger, perhaps, was the cry for a White Canada based on the
difficulty of assimilation and the danger to national unity of huge
colonies of Asiatics in the thinly peopled province beyond the

Chinese navvies first came to Canada to aid in building the government
sections of the Canadian Pacific Railway.  An immediate outcry
followed, and in 1885 a head-tax of $50 was imposed on all Chinese
immigrants not of the official, merchant, or scholar classes.  During
the nineties slightly over two thousand {253} a year paid the price of
admission to the Promised Land.  Then growing prosperity attracted
greater swarms.  Doubling the tax in 1901 only slightly checked the
flow, but when it was raised to $500 in 1904 the number willing to pay
the impost next year fell to eight.  But higher wages, or the chance of
slipping over the United States border, soon urged many to face even
this barrier, and the number paying head-tax rose to sixteen hundred
(1910) and later to seven thousand (1913).  These rising numbers led
British Columbia to demand total exclusion; but, thanks to the
diffusion of the Chinese throughout the Dominion, their lack of
assertiveness and their employment for the most part in industries
which did not compete with union men or the smaller merchants, the
agitation did not reach great proportions.

It was otherwise with the newcomers from Japan.  Their competition was
more serious.  Aggressive and enterprising, filled with a due sense of
the greatness of Japan, aspiring to not merely menial but controlling
posts, they took firmer root in the country than did the migratory
Chinaman.  At the same time Japan's rising power, her obvious
sensitiveness, and her alliance with Great Britain made it {254}
expedient to treat her subjects more warily than those of quiescent
China.  There was practically no Japanese immigration until 1904-5,
when three hundred entered.  In 1905 the Dominion Government decided to
adhere to the Anglo-Japanese treaty in order to secure favourable terms
in Japan's market.  A clause of this treaty provided for the free
entrance of each country's subjects into the other country.  When asked
by the colonial secretary whether they wished to reserve the right to
restrict immigration, as Queensland had done, the Dominion authorities
declared that they would accept the treaty as it stood, relying upon
semi-official Japanese assurances of willingness to stop the flow in
Japan itself.  Then suddenly, in 1906 and 1907, a large influx began,
amounting to seven thousand in a single year.  This immigration, which
was prompted by Canadian mining and railway companies acting in
co-operation with Japanese societies, came via the Hawaiian Islands.
Alarm rose rapidly in British Columbia, and was encouraged by agitators
from the United States.  The climax came in September 1907, when mobs
attacked first the Chinese and later the Japanese quarters in
Vancouver, doing much damage for a time, but {255} being at last routed
by Banzai-shouting bands of angry Japanese.  The Dominion Government at
once expressed its regret and in due time compensated the sufferers
from the riot.  To solve the larger question, Mr Lemieux was sent to
Japan as a special envoy.  Cordially supported by the British
ambassador at Tokio, he succeeded in reaching a very satisfactory
agreement.  The Japanese Government itself agreed to restrict
immigration direct from Japan, and to raise no objection to Canadian
prohibition of immigration by way of Hawaii.  This method was much more
acceptable to Japan's pride than direct Canadian restrictions would
have been, and proved equally effective, as the number of Japanese
entering Canada averaged only six hundred in the following years.  The
Dominion Government's course was open to criticism in some points, but
its earnest endeavour to safeguard imperial as well as national
interests, and the success of Mr Lemieux's diplomacy, were indications
that the Dominion was rising to the demands of its new international
position.  Incidentally it was the Government's unwillingness to agree
to complete Japanese exclusion that in 1908 brought the loss of every
seat, save one, in British Columbia.


After the Alaskan boundary had been settled, no critical issue arose
between the two North American democracies for several years.  There
were still questions outstanding which in earlier days would have given
opportunity for tail-twisting or eagle-plucking politicians to make
trouble, but in the new era of neighbourliness which now dawned they
were settled amicably or allowed to fall into blessed oblivion.

A remarkable change in the spirit in which the two peoples regarded
each other came about in this period.  The abandonment by the United
States of its traditional policy of isolation, its occupation of the
Philippines, its policy of the open door for China, its participation
in the Morocco dispute, effected a wonderful transformation in the
American attitude towards questions of foreign policy and compelled a
diplomacy more responsible and with more of give and take.  This led to
incidents--such as that in Manila Bay, when a British admiral lined up
alongside the American fleet against a threatening German
squadron--which made it clear that Great Britain was the one
trustworthy friend the United States possessed.  The steady growth of
democratic feeling in Britain, her daring {257} experiments in social
betterment, her sympathetic treatment of the Irish and South African
questions, increased the friendliness and the interest which the
majority of Americans felt at bottom for what was their motherland.
Canada's prosperity awakened respectful interest.  A country which
fifty or a hundred thousand good Americans every year preferred to
their own must be more than the negligible northern fringe it once was
thought to be.

Canada reciprocated this more friendly feeling.  Prosperity mended her
querulous mood and made her too busy to remember the grievances of
earlier days.  Her international horizon, too, had widened; the United
States was no longer the sole foreign power with which she had to deal,
though still the most important.  Yet this friendlier feeling did not
lead to a general desire for freer trade relations.  Quite the
contrary; confident in her own newly realized resources and in the
possibility of finding markets elsewhere, dominated by protectionist
sentiment and by the growing cities, Canada became on the whole
indifferent to what had once appeared an essential goal.  In Sir
Wilfrid Laurier's phrase, the pilgrimages from Ottawa to Washington had
ceased: {258} the pilgrimages must come, if at all, from Washington to

Washington did come to Ottawa.  Notable was the visit of Secretary Root
in 1907, to discuss outstanding issues.  Notable too, in another
direction, was the increased interest of the British ambassador at
Washington in Canadian affairs.  This was particularly true of Mr
Bryce, who made it a point to visit Ottawa every year of his term, and
declared that he was really more the Canadian than the British
ambassador.  His skilful diplomacy and his intimate knowledge of
American politics served Canada in good stead, and quieted the demand
which had frequently been voiced for a separate Canadian representative
at Washington.

Among the fruits of the new friendliness and the more direct diplomatic
discussion was the settlement of two long-standing fishery disputes.
The much discussed Convention of 1818, in respect to the Atlantic
fisheries, was referred to the Hague Tribunal in 1910, where it was
finally set at rest.  The controversy as to fur-sealing on the Pacific
was settled by international agreement in 1911.  Less success was met
in dealing with the fisheries of the Great Lakes.  A comprehensive
treaty {259} for the protection and development of these fisheries,
drawn up in 1908, was not ratified because of the opposition of some
private interests in the United States.

The most significant achievement of these years, however, was a broad
provision for the settlement of all disputes as to boundary waters.
The pressure for the use of boundary rivers for the development of
power, with all the difficult questions arising as to division of the
power or obstruction to navigation, made necessary such a provision.
In accordance with a suggestion from the United States a temporary
Waterways Commission was set up (1905); and in 1910 a treaty was
ratified providing for a permanent International Joint Commission, to
consist of three Canadians and three Americans.  The treaty provided,
further, that any matter whatever in dispute between the two countries,
quite aside from boundary-water issues, might be referred to the
commission for settlement, with the consent on the one hand of the
United States Senate, and on the other of the Governor-General in
Council--the Dominion Cabinet.  Quietly, with little public discussion,
the two countries concerned thus took one of the most advanced steps
yet made towards {260} the peaceful settlement of all possible sources
of conflict.

The revival of the tariff issue was the most spectacular and most
important episode in the new relationship.  The revival started in the
Republic.  For some years a steadily growing agitation in favour of
reciprocity with Canada had been carried on in the New England and
Northwest states.  Nothing might have come of the agitation, however,
had not the Payne-Aldrich tariff of 1909 compelled official negotiation
and opened up the whole broad issue.  Under that tariff the system of
maximum and minimum schedules was adopted, the maximum designed to
serve as a club to compel other nations to yield their lowest rates.
The president was directed to enforce these higher duties against all
countries which had not agreed by April 1910 to grant the concessions
demanded.  The proposal partook of the highwayman's methods and ethics
even more than is usual in protectionist warfare; and it was with wry
faces that one by one the nations with maximum and minimum tariffs
consented to give the United States their lower rates.  France and
Germany were the last of European nations to accept.  Canada {261}
alone remained.  It was admitted that the preference granted other
parts of the Empire did not constitute discrimination against the
United States, but it was contended that the concessions made to France
should be given to the United States.

Canada resented this demand, in view of the fact that the minimum
tariff of the United States stood much higher than the maximum of
Canada, and it was proposed to retaliate by a surtax on American goods.
In the United States there was wide sympathy with this attitude; but
under the act the president had no option but to enforce the higher
duties if the concessions were not given.  Fortunately he was left to
decide as to the adequacy of such concessions, and this made agreement
possible at the eleventh hour.  President Taft proposed a conference at
Albany; the Dominion Government accepted, and an agreement was reached
on the 30th of March, the last day of grace but one.  Canada conceded
to the United States its intermediate rates on a few articles of minor
importance--china-ware, window-glass, feathers, nuts, prunes, and other
goods--and the United States accepted these as equivalent to the French
concessions.  Then, to complete the comedy, Canada at once made {262}
these lower rates part of its general tariff, applying to any country,
so that the United States in the end was where it started--enjoying no
special concessions whatever.  Canada had gone through the motions of
making a concession, and that sufficed.

This agreement, however, was only the beginning.  President Taft, who
recognized too late that he had antagonized the growing low-tariff
sentiment in the United States by his support of the Payne-Aldrich
tariff, decided to attempt a stroke for freer trade.  He proposed a
broad revision of trade relations with Canada.  In negotiations which
began at Ottawa and were concluded at Washington in January 1911, an
agreement for a wide measure of reciprocal free trade was effected.  It
was nearly as broad as the treaty of 1854.  Grain, fruit and
vegetables, dairy products, live stock, fish, hewn lumber and sawn
boards, and many minerals were put on the free list.  Meats, flour,
coal and other articles free in the earlier agreement were subjected to
reduced rates, a limited number of manufactured articles were included,
some of them Canadian and some of them American specialties.  The
agreement was to be effected, not by treaty but by concurrent
legislation for an {263} indefinite period.  The Canadian Government
announced that the same terms would be granted all parts of the British

After the cabinets, the legislatures.  President Taft had great
difficulty in securing the consent of Congress.  Farmers and fishermen,
stand-pat Republicans and anti-administration insurgents, opposed this
sudden reversal of a traditional policy.  Only by the aid of Democratic
votes in a special session of Congress was the measure adopted, late in
July.  Meanwhile the Opposition in the Canadian parliament, after some
initial hesitation, had attacked it with growing force.  They resorted
to the obstruction which the Liberals had practised in 1896, and
compelled the Government to appeal to the country, a week after
Congress had accepted the agreement.

After parliament, the people.  Apparently the Government anticipated
that the bargain would be welcomed by nearly all Canadians.  That
expectation was not without warrant.  It was such a treaty as Canada
had sought time and again during the last fifty years, and such as both
parties would have accepted without question twenty years before.
Every important leader of the Conservative party was on record as
favouring such an {264} arrangement.  Yet it was received first with
hesitation, then more and more freely denounced, and finally

On the economic issues concerned the advocates of the agreement
apparently had a good case.  The farmer, the miner, the fisherman stood
to gain from it, not so notably as they would have done twenty years
before, but yet undoubtedly to gain.  It was contended that the United
States was itself a rival producer of most of the commodities in
question, and that Canada would be exposed to the competition of the
British Dominions and the most-favoured nations.  These arguments had
force, but could not balance the advantages of the arrangement,
especially to the western farmer.  That this gain would accrue and a
large trade north and south be created, to the destruction of trade
east and west, was in fact made by the opponents of the treaty the
chief corner-stone of their economic argument.  It was held, too, that
the raw products of farm and sea and forest and mine ought not to be
shipped out of the country, but ought to be kept at home as the basis
of manufacturing industries.  And though the arrangement scarcely
touched the manufacturers, the thin end of the wedge argument had much
weight {265} with them and their workmen.  It would lead, they thought,
to a still wider measure of trade freedom which would expose them to
the competition of American manufacturers.

But it was the political aspect of the pact that the Conservatives most
emphasized.  Once more, as in 1891, they declared Canadian nationality
and British connection to be at stake.  Reciprocity would prove the
first long step towards annexation.  Such was the intention, they
urged, of its American upholders, a claim given some colour by
President Taft's maladroit 'parting of the ways' speech and by Speaker
Clark's misplacedly humorous remark, 'we are preparing to annex
Canada.'  And while in Canada there might be as yet few annexationists,
the tendency of a vast and intimate trade north and south would be to
make many.  Where the treasure was, there would the heart be also.  The
movement for imperial preferential trade, then strong in the United
Kingdom, would be for ever defeated if the American offer should be
accepted.  Canada must not sell her birthright for a mess of Yankee

The advocates of reciprocity denounced these arguments as the sheerest
buncombe.  Annexation sentiment in the United States {266} they
declared to be rapidly disappearing, and in any case it was Canada's
views, not those of the United States, that mattered.  Reciprocity from
1854 to 1866 had killed, not fostered, annexation sentiment in Canada.
And, if the doubling and trebling of imports from the United States in
recent years had not kept national and imperial sentiment from rising
to flood-tide, why now should an increase of exports breed disloyalty?
Canadian financiers and railway operators were entering into ever
closer relations with the United States; why should the farmer be
denied the same right?  The reciprocity proposed in 1911, unlike the
programme of twenty years earlier, did not involve discrimination
against Great Britain, but in fact went along with a still greater
preference to the mother country.  The claim that reciprocity would
kill imperial preference was meaningless in face of this actual fact.
Moreover, the British tariff reformers proclaimed their intention, if
Mr Chamberlain's policy prevailed, of making reciprocity treaties with
foreign countries as well as preferential arrangements with the
Dominions, so why should not Canada exercise the same freedom?

But elections are not won merely by such {267} debate.  The energy with
which they are fought, or the weight of the interests vitally
concerned, may prove more decisive than argument.  And in this contest
the Opposition had the far more effective fighting force and made the
far stronger appeal.  Mr Borden's followers fought with the eager
enthusiasm which is bred of long exclusion from office, while the
ministerialists--save only the veteran prime minister himself and a
small band of his supporters--fought feebly, as if dulled by the
satiety which comes of long possession of the loaves and fishes.
Outside the party bounds the situation was the same.  The western
farmers were the only organized and articulate body on the side of
reciprocity, while opposed to it were the powerful and well-equipped
forces of the manufacturers and the closely allied transportation and
financial interests.  Through the press and from a thousand platforms
these forces appealed to the dominant beliefs and feelings of the
people.  Quite effective was the appeal founded on the doctrine of
protection.  In twenty years Canada had become a city-dominated land,
and the average city-dweller had come to believe that his interests
were bound up with protection--a belief not unnatural in the {268}
absence for a decade of any radical discussion of the issue, and not to
be overcome at the eleventh hour.  But the patriotic appeal was still
more effective.  Here was a chance to express the accumulated
resentment of half a century against the unneighbourly policy of the
United States, now suddenly reversed.  The chance could safely be
seized, for Canada was prosperous beyond all precedent.  'Let well
enough alone' was in itself a vote-compelling cry.  In fact, 'Laurier
prosperity' proved its own Nemesis.  Jeshurun Ontario, having waxed
fat, kicked.  An American philosopher, Artemus Ward, has recorded that
his patriotism was so worked up during the Civil War that he consented
to send all his wife's relations to the front.  Many an Ontario patriot
in 1911 was prepared to sacrifice the interests of his fellow-Canadians
to prove his independence of the United States.  And in Quebec the
working arrangement between the Conservatives and Mr Henri Bourassa and
his party told heavily against the Government.

The result of the elections, which were held on the 21st of September,
was the overwhelming defeat of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Ministry.  In
Ontario the Liberals saved only thirteen seats out of eighty-six.  In
the rest of the {269} country they had a majority, but not sufficient
to reduce substantially this adverse Ontario vote.  The complete
returns gave 133 Conservatives to 88 Liberals.  As usual, the popular
vote was more equally divided than the parliamentary seats, for the
Liberals secured 625,000 and the Conservatives 669,000 votes.  The
Liberal majority of only 5000 in Quebec, 3000 in the maritime
provinces, and 20,000 in the prairie provinces was overcome by the
Conservative majority of 63,000 in Ontario and 9000 in British
Columbia.  A fortnight later Sir Wilfrid Laurier tendered his
resignation to the governor-general and Mr Borden formed his Government.




Imperial preferential trade--Political relations--Defence

Neither new relations with foreign lands across the sea nor new-old
relations with the United States bulked as large in these later years
as relations with the other parts of the British Empire.  The question
of the Empire's future was a constant theme.  It was a time of
unparalleled progress in each and all the British states.  Great
Britain's vast strides towards social justice, Canada's growth and
economic activity, the similar, if lesser, expansion of Australia and
New Zealand, the unification of South Africa, all bespoke the strength
and soundness of each of the Five Nations.  The steady growth of
community of feeling and of practical co-operation in many fields bore
witness that progress did not mean disunion.

Yet there were many at home, and in Great Britain and the other lands
overseas, who were far from content with the trend of events, who {271}
were convinced that the Empire was drifting to eternal smash unless
some change in policy should be effected.  To some it was Britain's
free-trade policy that was the danger; to others it was the steady
growth of self-government in the Dominions.  Imperial preferential
trade, political federation, colonial contributions to a central army
and navy, were all vigorously urged as remedies.  Not one of these
things came to pass in the years under survey, and yet when the
testing-time arrived the Empire proved one in heart and soul.

Great Britain's free-trade policy was first called in question.
Scarcely ended were the Boer War and the disappointing Conference of
1902 when Mr Chamberlain, fresh from a tour through South Africa,
launched his great campaign for imperial preferential trade.  Though
protection and retaliation later became more important phases of the
tariff-reform movement, at the outset it was its imperial side which
was emphasized.  The colonies and the mother country, it was urged,
were certain to drift apart unless bound by links of material interest.
Give the colonies a preference on their wheat or wool in Britain, give
British {272} manufacturers a real preference in colonial markets, and
the Empire would cease to be merely a sentiment.

Once committed to setting up a protective tariff in order to make
reductions in favour of such colonies as would reciprocate, Mr
Chamberlain and his followers went on to find in it other great
advantages.  It would aid British agriculture and British industry,
would protect both farmer and manufacturer from the competition they
were increasingly unable to bear, and would give a weapon for forcing
foreign countries to tear down their tariff barriers.  The colonial
market, the home market, and the foreign market would thus all be
gained, and none too soon, if the complete decay of British industry
and the triumph of its rivals were to be averted.  'We have reached our
highest point,' declared Mr Chamberlain.  'Our fate will be the fate of
the empires and the kingdoms of the past....  Sugar has gone, silk has
gone, iron is threatened, wool is threatened, cotton will come....  We
are no longer first.  We are third.  We shall be fifth or sixth if
things go on as they are at present....  The trade of this country, as
measured by the exports to foreign countries and to British
possessions, {273} has during the last twenty or thirty years been
practically stationary; our export trade to all these foreign countries
which have arranged tariffs against us has enormously diminished, and
at the same time their exports to us have enormously increased.'

For a time it seemed that the tariff reformers would sweep all before
them.  Their chief was the most skilful and popular leader of his time.
The inevitable growth of other countries in manufacturing had excited
the alarm of the British manufacturer, and protectionist sentiment
among the landowners, though scotched, had not been killed.  The almost
universal reign of protection in foreign countries and the other
colonies appeared to prove obsolete the doctrines of Cobden and Bright.
It seemed that fifty years of unquestioned triumph in England itself
had left free trade a traditional dogma, not a living belief.  To the
poor, tariff reform promised work; to the rich, a shifting of heavy
taxation from their shoulders; to the imperialist, the indissoluble
empire of his dreams.

Yet the pendulum soon swung against Mr Chamberlain.  Investigation
showed that his jeremiads were largely unfounded, and gave new life to
the principles of free trade.  They {274} were shown not to be obsolete
dogmas, but reasoned deductions from the actual situation of the United
Kingdom.  Imperial preference meant a crippling tax on food and on raw
materials for no adequate return.  The share of colonial markets which
British manufacturers did not have, for which they could compete, and
which colonial producers did not desire to keep themselves, was very
small.  Mr Chamberlain was stricken soon after with lingering illness,
and of the younger men of capacity who came upon the scene practically
all were on the side of free trade.  The stars in their courses fought
against him, for, from 1903 onward, British trade began to flourish as
never, or rarely ever, before.  In the elections of 1906, though other
issues were also factors in the result, the sweeping victory of the
Liberals was mainly a triumph for free trade.

In Canada, also, at the outset, Mr Chamberlain's proposals were widely
welcomed.  He was personally popular.  The majority of Canadians
believed in protection.  Some of those who did not were ready to
recognize the value of a preference in the British market.  Yet as the
full implications of the proposal became clear, and as the British
free-trader made good his case, opinion in Canada became {275} as
divided as in Great Britain.  It was realized that it was one thing for
Canada to give a reduced tariff, leaving the fiscal system protective
still, and quite another for Great Britain to abandon entirely her
free-trade policy in order to be able to give preferential rates to
colonies or to low-tariff foreign states.  Canadian manufacturers gave
the movement a warm but vague welcome; it soon became clear that Mr
Chamberlain was much mistaken in supposing they were prepared to
relinquish any corner of the Canadian market to British manufacturers.
They declared officially that they would not favour an increase in the
British preference even on articles not made in Canada: 'we were not
prepared to admit that there was any article that could not at some
point in Canada, and in time, be successfully manufactured.'[1]  They
were, however, fully prepared to give British manufacturers lower rates
than American, provided that both rates were high enough.  The farmer,
who chiefly was to profit, did not appear eager for the boon of a
preference in the British market, so far as farm journals and farmers'
organizations represented his view.  He would be glad {276} to have
higher prices for his wheat or stock, but did not want the British
workman to pay a halfpenny a loaf to bribe him to remain in the Empire.

To some extent opinion followed party lines.  The Conservative party
had consistently supported reciprocal preference and opposed the
Laurier-Fielding free gift.  The Liberals had defended that preference
as in itself a benefit to the Canadian consumer, and had deprecated
higgling with Great Britain.  They would be glad to receive a
preference in Great Britain if Britain felt it in her own interest.
Convinced believers in self-government for themselves, however, they
were willing that the United Kingdom should have the same privilege,
and declined to intervene in the British campaign.  Mr Borden took the
same stand as to intervention; but many of his followers were not
hampered by such scruples, and Mr Foster made eloquent speeches in
England on Mr Chamberlain's behalf.

The Conference of 1907 was essentially an appendix to the Chamberlain
campaign.  Imperial preference found vigorous advocates among colonial
prime ministers, notably Dr Jameson of the Cape, Mr Ward of New
Zealand, and especially Mr Deakin of Australia, {277} whose eloquent
appeal was one of the chief features of the Conference.  All expressed
themselves as not wanting the United Kingdom to set up a protective and
preferential system unless convinced it was for her own good; but with
more persistence than success they sought to prove that it would be for
her good, and especially to show that prices to the English consumer
would not be increased, and yet that colonial producers would gain.
The representatives for the United Kingdom, ministers in the British
Government, fresh from a three-year discussion of the whole issue and
backed by the largest parliamentary majority on record, were equally
frank in their rebuttal of the arguments advanced and their refusal to
lead Britain to commit what they considered commercial suicide.  Mr
Asquith and Mr Churchill were especially uncompromising; Mr Lloyd
George showed more temperamental sympathy with protection in the
abstract, but was equally clear that free trade had been proved best
for Great Britain beyond question.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the doyen of the Conference, the only member
present for a third time.  He took a less vigorous part than in the
previous meetings, letting the younger {278} lions roar.  He had opened
the debate by announcing his intention to move again the preference
resolutions of 1902, and did so in a brief speech at the close, making
his position clear.  Canada had given a free preference to British
goods deliberately, and had not repented.  If it had not done for the
British manufacturer all that he would like, more could be done by a
system of mutual preference.  'Yet this is a matter,' he continued,
'that is altogether in the hands of the British people, and if they
think on the whole that their interests are better served by adhering
to their present system than by yielding ever so little, it is a matter
for the British electorate.  I think the best way of serving the whole
is by allowing every part to serve and recognize its own immediate
interests.'  On his motion the resolutions of 1902--recognizing the
value of preferential trade, declaring free trade between the different
parts of the Empire impracticable, urging the colonies to follow
Canada's example in giving a preference to the United Kingdom, and
urging the United Kingdom to consider the expediency of granting a
preference to colonial products, either by an exemption from or
reduction of duties now or hereafter imposed--were adopted by {279} all
the Dominions, the United Kingdom dissenting.  Sir Wilfrid laid more
stress upon the proposal for an All-Red line of steamers for faster and
better service on the Atlantic and on the Pacific, with joint
subsidies, urging that the best way to bind the Empire together was to
facilitate intercourse.  The proposal was received with enthusiasm;
yet, though its advocacy was continued by Lord Strathcona and Mr
Sifton, little progress was made towards its adoption.

After the Conference of 1907 preferential trade ceased for a time to be
a living issue.  Social reform, the budget controversy, the struggles
with the House of Lords, Home Rule, foreign affairs, in turn took the
leading place on the stage.  Four years later, at the Conference of
1911, the subject was not even mentioned.  The Unionist party was now
definitely pledged to protection on manufactures, but the tax on food,
essential to effective colonial preferences, had been thrown overboard
by a large section of the party.  The British farmer was promised land
reform instead of protection on foodstuffs.  Even Mr Bonar Law,
speaking in 1912, declared that he did not wish to impose food duties,
and would impose them only if, in a conference {280} to be called, the
colonies declared them to be essential.  This endeavour to throw on the
colonies the onus and responsibility of making the Englishman pay food
taxes was denounced on every side, and after much shuffling a
compromise was reached to the effect that 'if when a Unionist
Government has been returned to power it proves desirable, after
consultation with the Dominions, to impose new duties upon any articles
of food, in order to secure the most effective system of preference,
such duties should not be imposed until they have been submitted to the
people of this country at a general election.'

Thus, after ten years of ardent agitation for tariff reform, one great
party in the state was as resolutely opposed to the scheme as ever,
and, while the other was committed to it, the duty on foodstuffs, once
declared essential to save the Empire, was made conditional and given
second place to protection of manufacturers.  It was by no means
improbable that the whirligig of time would once more bring to the
front food taxes and imperial preference.  Yet as far as the early
years of the century went, the years within which Mr Chamberlain
declared that the decision had to be made, no step towards preference
had {281} been taken by Great Britain, and still the Empire drew closer
together instead of drifting apart.  As a matter of fact, the
empire-binding value of tariff preference was greatly exaggerated by
its advocates.  The Laurier-Fielding preference was a real bond of
imperial unity simply because it was a free-will offering, given from
motives of sentiment, not of profit.  A system of preferences such as
Mr Chamberlain advocated might possibly be a good business arrangement
for one or all of the countries concerned, but it could have little
force as empire-cement.  It would be a matter of cold-blooded bargain,
on a par with the similar reciprocal or preferential arrangements which
the protectionists proposed to make with foreign countries.  There
would be nothing exclusive about it.

Good came of the agitation.  It compelled a bed-rock consideration of
British business and social conditions, and proved that if free trade
had made possible the production of great wealth, it had not been
enough to ensure its fair distribution.  This searching inquest was
largely responsible for the great series of democratic and social
reforms adopted by the Asquith Government, reforms which gave the
United Kingdom the world's leadership in {282} democracy and won fresh
sympathy and loyal emulation in the Dominions.  In undying words Mr
Asquith gave (1909) a definition of Liberalism which awoke immediate
sympathy in every Dominion.  It expressed in concentrated form ideals
which more and more would be the common heritage of all the Empire,
particularly in those Dominions, such as Australia and Canada, where
all parties are almost equally democratic and progressive:

As regards the Empire, to secure full unity by allowing the greatest
diversity and the fullest liberty of self-government in all its parts.

As regards property, to make it secure by divesting it from injustice.

As regards political authority, to make it stable by resting it on the
broadest possible basis of popular responsibility.

As regards religion, to remove it from the odium of alliance with
political disabilities.

As regards trade, to make it world-wide by opening our own markets here
at home to everybody.

And, finally, as regards the liberty of the individual citizen, to make
it a reality instead of a sham, by universal education and by an
ever-rising standard of humane conditions both in the factory and the

We have now to review briefly the discussions which went on during
these years in {283} respect to the political relations of the
different states of the Empire.  Broadly speaking, two schools or
tendencies existed.  One favoured the retention of the powers of
self-government already acquired by the Dominions and the taking up of
still further duties, while at the same time aiming at full
co-operation and harmony in matters of essential common interest.  The
other, declaring that the tendency towards self-government had already
gone too far and would if continued lead to the disruption of the
Empire, advocated setting up some central council or parliament with
legislative and executive control over the whole Empire, within
limitations more or less wide.  One stood for a free alliance and
co-operation, the other for organic or federal union and
centralization.  These two theories of empire did not, in Canada,
become party creeds; but, on the whole, Liberals were sympathetic with
free alliance, while centralization drew most of its support from
Conservative ranks.  On some issues, however, there was an approach to
unanimity, and on others the division cut across party lines.

In domestic affairs self-government was almost entirely won.  Some
survivals of the {284} old colonial subordination remained in the
formal inability of Canadians to amend their own constitution and in
the appeal from the decisions of Canadian courts to the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council--limitations which had been wholly or
mainly removed in the case of the newer Commonwealth of Australia.  But
the long-contested control over copyright was finally conceded, and the
Hutton and Dundonald incidents led to the clearer recognition that if
imperial officers entered the military service of the Dominion they
were, precisely as in the United Kingdom, under the control of the
responsible civil ministers.  The provision that the commander of the
militia must be a British officer was dropped in the revision of the
Militia Act in 1904.  In the words of Mr, now Sir Robert, Borden in
1902, words which became increasingly true as years went by; 'Step by
step the colonies have advanced towards the position of virtual
independence so far as their internal affairs are concerned, and in all
the important instances the claim has been made by Canada, has been
resisted at first by the imperial statesmen, and finally has been
conceded, and has proved of advantage both to the Mother Country and to
the colonies.'


In foreign affairs self-government came more slowly, in the face of
greater opposition, but still steadily and surely.  Its coming was more
imperceptible; in fact, many Canadians continued to believe that they
had no voice in the control of foreign policy, and made on this very
ground a strong plea either for setting up some central authority in
which they would have representation, or else for declining to take any
part in imperial wars because they had not and could not have a real
voice in imperial policy.

This belief was well founded, so far as concerned part of the field of
foreign affairs, but it failed to recognize the striking advance made
in other areas.  We were like M. Jourdain of Molière's comedy, who was
surprised to find that he had been talking prose all his life without
knowing it.  We had been carrying on a steadily increasing part of our
foreign affairs without consciously labelling them as such.  For to-day
foreign affairs are largely commercial affairs, questions of trade and
tariff, of immigration and transportation, of fishery or power or
navigation rights.  And it is largely with contiguous countries that
the most important questions arise.  Now, as has been seen from the
review of relations with {286} the United States and other foreign
countries in an earlier chapter, Canada had come to have all but
complete control of such affairs.

In 1909, following Australia's example, Canada established a department
of External Affairs for 'the conduct and management of international or
intercolonial negotiations, so far as they may appertain to the
government of Canada.'  In introducing this measure Sir Wilfrid
declared: 'All governments have found it necessary to have a department
whose only business will be to deal with relations with foreign
countries....  We have now reached a standard as a nation which
necessitates the establishment of a Department of External Affairs.'
On Sir Robert Borden's accession to power one of his first steps was to
increase the importance of this department by giving it a minister as
well as a deputy, attaching the portfolio to the office of the prime
minister.  For other purposes special envoys were sent, as when Mr
Fielding negotiated trade relations in France and in the United States,
or Mr Lemieux arranged a compromise with the government of Japan upon
the immigration issue.  In these cases the British ambassador was
nominally associated with the Canadian envoy.  Even this formal {287}
limitation was lacking in the case of the conventions effected with
France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Italy in 1909-10, by negotiation
with their consuls in Ottawa.  Finally, in the Waterways Treaty with
the United States, the international status of Canada was for the first
time formally recognized in the provision that the decision to submit
to arbitration matters other than those regarding boundary waters
should be made on the one hand by the President and Senate of the
United States, and on the other by the Governor-General in Council, the
Cabinet of the Dominion.

At the close of this period, then, every phase of our foreign relations
so far as they concerned the United States, and an increasingly large
share of our foreign relations with other powers, were under Canadian
control.  It remained true, however, that Canada had no voice in
determining peace and war.  In other words, it was with Britain's
neighbours, rather than with Canada's neighbours, that any serious war
was most likely to come.  Diplomatic policy and the momentous issue of
peace or war in Europe or Asia were determined by the British Cabinet.
In this field alone equality was as yet to seek.  The {288} consistent
upholder of Dominion autonomy contended that here, too, power and
responsibility would come in the same measure as military and naval
preparation and participation in British wars.  Just as Canada secured
a voice in her foreign commercial relations as soon as her trade
interests and industrial development gave her commercial weight, so a
share in the last word of diplomacy might be expected to come almost
automatically as Dominion and Commonwealth built up military and naval
forces, or took part in oversea wars.

In this conception the Crown became the chief visible link of Empire.
Autonomists believed that 'His Majesty's Government' should remain a
manifold power.  'We all claim to be His Majesty's Government,'
declared Sir Wilfrid at the Conference of 1907.  The Government at
Sydney was as much His Majesty's as the Government at Westminster.  The
Canadian Privy Council was as much His Majesty's as the Privy Council
of the United Kingdom.  The tendency in the Dominions had been to
magnify the powers of the king, who was equally their king, and to
lessen the powers of the parliament elected in the United Kingdom.  In
fact the Crown became, if the metaphor is not too homely for such great
{289} affairs, a siphon which transferred power from His Majesty's
Government in the old land to His Majesty's Governments in the

It was, however, not enough to have independent control.  It was
equally necessary, as the other half of the policy of co-operation, to
provide means for securing united and effective action.  These were
provided in many forms.  High commissioners and agents-general became
increasingly important as ambassadors to London.  Departments of
External Affairs ensured more constant and systematic intercourse.
Special conferences, such as the Naval Conference of 1909 in London, or
the several exchanges of visits between the Australian and the New
Zealand ministers, kept the different states in touch with each other.
But by far the most important agency was the Colonial or Imperial
Conference, now a definitely established body, in which Dominions and
Kingdom met on equal footing, exchanged views, and received new light
on each other's problems.  Thus the question of co-operation between
the Five Nations became much like the problem which faces any allies,
such as those of the Triple Entente, save that in the case of the
British Empire the alliance is not transitory and a {290} common king
gives a central rallying-point.  Nowhere has this free form of unity,
as unique in political annals as the British Empire itself, received
clearer expression than in the words of Edward Blake in the British
House of Commons in 1900:

For many years I for my part have looked to conference, to delegation,
to correspondence, to negotiation, to quasi-diplomatic methods, subject
always to the action of free parliaments here and elsewhere, as the
only feasible way of working the quasi-federal union between the Empire
and the sister nations of Canada and Australia.  A quarter of a century
past I dreamed the dream of imperial parliamentary federation, but many
years ago I came to the conclusion that we had passed the turning that
could lead to that terminus, if ever, indeed, there was a practicable
road.  We have too long and too extensively gone on the lines of
separate action here and elsewhere to go back now.  Never forget--you
have the lesson here to-day--that the good will on which you depend is
due to local freedom, and would not survive its limitation.

But to many this trend of affairs was far from satisfactory.  They
urged that Canada should retrace her steps and take the turning that
led to imperial parliamentary federation.  This agitation was carried
on chiefly in private circles and through the press.  One organization
after another--British Empire League, {291} Pollock Committee, Round
Table--undertook earnest and devoted campaigns of education, which, if
they did not attain precisely the end sought, at least made towards
clearer thinking and against passive colonialism.  Occasionally the
question was raised in parliament.  Typical of such debates was that of
March 13, 1905, when Colonel, now General Sir Sam, Hughes moved a
resolution in favour of parliamentary federation.  Mr Borden refrained
from either opposing or approving the motion, but, as did other members
of his party, made it a starting-point for a speech in favour of
imperial preference.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier declared:

I do not think that it would be possible to find in any of the
self-governing colonies any desire or any intention to part with any of
the powers which they have at the present time.  At present we are
proud to say and to believe that the relations of the British Empire,
within all its parts, are absolutely satisfactory....  It is not in
accordance with the traditions of British history, it is not in
accordance with the traditions of the Anglo-Saxon race, to make any
change in their institutions until these institutions have been proved
insufficient or defective in some way....  The British Empire to-day is
composed of nations, all bearing allegiance to the same sovereign.

At the Conference of 1907 it was proposed {292} that the Colonial
Conference be changed into an Imperial Council.  This suggestion met
support from various quarters, but was blocked by Sir Wilfrid's firm
opposition.  He agreed heartily that the Conference should be styled
Imperial rather than Colonial, but, backed by all his colleagues,
opposed any attempt to turn the Conference into a Council, with
independent powers and an overwhelming representation from the United
Kingdom.  In fact the Conference was established more firmly than ever
on a basis of equality.  The prime minister of the United Kingdom,
rather than the colonial secretary, became the special representative
of his country, and the Conference was declared to be 'between His
Majesty's Government and His Governments of the self-governing
Dominions overseas.'



_Left to right_--General Louis Botha, Sir Wilfrid Laurier,
                 Mr. Asquith, Sir Joseph Ward

_Children standing_--Doris Harcourt, Olivia Harcourt

_Children seated_--Barbara Harcourt, Anthony Asquith]


At this Conference, perhaps more significant than anything that was
said or done was the presence of General Botha as prime minister of the
self-governing colony of the Transvaal.  It was only five years since
Botha, as commander-in-chief of the Boers who had held out to the last,
had laid down his arms.  Now he sat in the highest councils of the
Empire, saying little, studying his fellow-ministers and the common
problems, and impressing all by {293} his strong common sense and his
frank loyalty.  His presence there was due to the courage and
confidence which had been displayed by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.
One of the first steps taken by Campbell-Bannerman's Ministry in 1906
had been to grant to the Transvaal full and immediate self-government
without any intervening period of half-freedom.  The policy had been a
bold one.  To a German empire-framer it would have appeared incredible
folly.  The king had remonstrated against it, the leader of the
Opposition had termed it dangerous and reckless, Mr Kipling had hurled
sonnets against it.  But the Government had stood firm, with the result
here seen, and with still greater justification to follow.  In this and
the following Conference General Botha manifested a special regard for
his Canadian colleague, like himself a leader from a minority race.
Undoubtedly Wilfrid Laurier's example, Canada's example, counted much
in making clear to Louis Botha the path which led to loyal and lasting

The centralization policy found a new champion at the Conference of

Sir Joseph Ward, Mr Seddon's successor as prime minister of New
Zealand, {294} submitted some months in advance a proposal for an
Imperial Council of State advisory to the British Government, and then,
having meantime been persuaded to go the whole road, made a speech in
favour of a central parliament.  The proposal met with still less
favour than before.  British, Australian, South African, Newfoundland,
and Canadian prime ministers joined in pronouncing it unworkable and
undesirable.  'The proposal seems to me to be absolutely
impracticable,' declared Sir Wilfrid Laurier.  'It is not a practical
scheme; our present system of responsible government has not broken
down,' agreed Premier Fisher of Australia.  'The creation of some body
with centralized authority over the whole Empire would be a step
entirely antagonistic to the policy of Great Britain which has been so
successful in the past, and which has undoubtedly made the Empire what
it is to-day.  It is the policy of decentralization which has made the
Empire--the power granted to its various peoples to govern themselves,'
added Premier Botha of South Africa.  'Any scheme of representation--no
matter what you may call it, parliament or council--of the overseas
Dominions must [give them] so very small a representation that it would
be {295} practically of no value,' said Premier Morris of Newfoundland.
Mr Asquith summed up:

We cannot, with the traditions and history of the British Empire behind
us, either from the point of view of the United Kingdom, or from the
point of view of our self-governing Dominions, assent for a moment to
proposals which are so fatal to the very fundamental conditions on
which our empire has been built up and carried on....  It would impair,
if not altogether destroy, the authority of the United Kingdom in such
grave matters as the conduct of foreign policy, the conclusion of
treaties, the maintenance of peace, or the declaration of war, and,
indeed, all those relations with foreign powers, necessarily of the
most delicate character, which are now in the hands of the Imperial
Government, subject to its responsibility to the Imperial Parliament.
That authority cannot be shared, and the co-existence side by side with
the Cabinet of the United Kingdom of this proposed body--it does not
matter by what name you call it for the moment--clothed with the
functions and the jurisdiction which Sir Joseph Ward proposed to invest
it with, would, in our judgment, be absolutely fatal to our present
system of responsible government....  So far as the Dominions are
concerned, this new machine could impose upon the Dominions by the
voice of a body in which they would be in a standing minority (that is
part of the case), in a small minority, indeed, a policy of which they
might all disapprove, a policy which in most cases would involve
expenditure, and an expenditure which would have to {296} be met by the
imposition on a dissentient community of taxation by its own government.

Mr Asquith's statement that 'that authority cannot be shared' has
sometimes been taken to mean that the United Kingdom could not and
would not admit the Dominions to a share in the control of foreign
policy.  As the context and later action showed, however, it was to
sharing control with a new super-parliament that the prime minister of
the United Kingdom, in common with the prime ministers of every
Dominion except New Zealand, expressed his opposition.  Later in the
Conference a further, if far from final, step was taken towards sharing
control with the Dominions.  Upon Mr Fisher's demand that the Dominions
should be consulted in international agreements such as the Declaration
of London and the conventions of the Hague Conference, it was agreed
unanimously that, at further Hague Conferences and elsewhere when time
and subject-matter permitted, this would be done.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier
agreed with this proposal, though stating his view that in such
negotiations the United Kingdom should be given a free hand.  Some
greater share in foreign policy, most nationalists and {297}
imperialists alike agreed, the Dominions must possess.  The real
question was, whether they should seek it through a central body in
which they would have a minority representation, and whose functions it
was impossible to define without serious infringement of the existing
powers of the Dominions, or whether they were to secure it along the
line so long pursued, of independence in what was overwhelmingly the
prime concern of each separate state, plus co-operation in what was
distinctly of common interest.

Hardly had preferential trade as a mooted topic receded into the
background when the question of Canada's share in the defence of the
Empire came to the front and took on a new urgency and a new interest.

The forces of Canada for land defence had been made much more effective
since the twentieth century began.  The permanent militia had been
largely increased; engineer, medical, army-service, and ordnance corps
had been organized or extended; rifle associations and cadet corps had
been encouraged; new artillery armament had been provided; reserves of
ammunition and equipment had been built up; a central training-camp had
{298} been established; the period and discipline of the annual drill
had been increased; the administration had been thoroughly reorganized.
In 1911 over six times as much was spent upon the militia as in 1896.
Though the service was still very far from ideal efficiency, there was
no question that it had been greatly improved.

In Canada as in the other Dominions the problem of bringing the
military forces into relation with the forces of other parts of the
Empire was solved without any sacrifice of the principle of
self-government in command or administration.  After 1902 little was
heard of the proposal to give the British War Office control over a
section of the troops of each Dominion.  Matters moved rather in the
direction of co-operative action.  In 1907 it was arranged that each of
the larger Dominions should organize a General Staff to act in close
touch and to exchange officers with the newly reorganized Imperial
General Staff.  It followed that equipment and administration became
largely uniform.  In 1909, and again in 1911, further steps were taken
to secure effective co-operation between the General Staffs.

Naval defence proved a harder problem to {299} solve.  A beginning was
made.  The fishery-cruiser service was extended.  In 1905 the Dominion
took over the garrisons at the naval bases of Halifax and Esquimalt.
The minister of Marine, Mr Prefontaine, took some steps towards the
organization of a Naval Reserve, but with his death (1905) the movement
ceased.  The belief in Britain's unquestioned supremacy, a reluctance
to enter 'the vortex of European militarism,' the survival of passive
colonialism, kept the vast majority of Canadians indifferent.  And,
though a persistent minority of enthusiasts called on the country to
awake, the unwillingness of the British authorities to sanction
Dominion action along national lines blocked the most promising path.

By much effort all the self-governing colonies except Canada had been
induced to send annual cheques to the Admiralty.  But the total amount
was negligible, and no permanent results had been achieved.  After
fifteen years of contribution not a single Australian had been trained
as a sailor.  At last, opinion in the Commonwealth took decided shape
and demanded immediate national action--demanded the creation of a
Royal Australian Navy.


Heretofore Canada had blazed the trail that led from colonialism to
nationhood.  Now Australia took the lead.  The reasons were clear.
Canada's chief neighbour was the United States--on the whole, not a
militarist country--and there was little fear of military aggression.
But commercial intercourse with this neighbour, along a frontier of
three thousand miles, was close and constant, making it necessary for
Canada to take into her own hands the control of commercial relations.
Australia had no such overshadowing commercial relations with any
power, but had neighbours in the Pacific--the colonies of aggressive
European states, first France and later Germany, and the teeming and
awakening powers of Asia--which gave urgency to the question of
defence.  A Commonwealth which ruled a dependency of its own, in Papua,
and shared dominion of the world's second greatest island with imperial
Germany (nowhere except in this anomalous, precedent-defying British
Empire could any one have dreamt of 'the colony of a colony'), could
not long remain indifferent to naval defence.  For twenty years
discussion of the issue had gone on in Australia, clarifying and
precipitating opinion.  It was no wonder that Canada, which tried to
{301} concentrate the same discussion into four or five years, years of
great economic pressure, proved more confused in opinion and less
unanimous in action.

At the Conference of 1907 the Admiralty modified its former policy and
suggested that instead of a money contribution any Dominion might
'provide for local service in the imperial squadrons the smaller
vessels that are useful for defence against possible raids or for
co-operation with a squadron.'  The prime minister of Australia, Mr
Deakin, welcomed the proposal as a step forward, but on his return to
Australia it was still found impossible to reconcile the national
aspirations of the Commonwealth and the desire of the Admiralty to
control all ships, however provided, and no definite action followed.
Canada for the present remained content, having extended the fishery
service and garrisoned with her own troops Halifax and Esquimalt.  Both
parties in Canada agreed in giving no attention to the question.
During the general elections which followed shortly after the
Conference of 1907, neither Sir Wilfrid Laurier nor Mr Borden said one
word about naval defence.  Nothing but a dramatic crisis would rouse
the people to give {302} the support necessary to enable either leader
to take a decided stand.

The Kaiser provided the crisis.  During 1908 and 1909 cries of alarm
over the growth of the German navy awoke the United Kingdom and found
echoes in Canada.  It appeared that Britain's margin of safety was
being dangerously lessened, that the Mistress of the Seas had been
challenged.  The British House of Commons voted eight additional
Dreadnoughts and the Admiralty continued to withdraw ships from the
ends of the earth and to concentrate the fleet in the North Sea.

Since the eighties international affairs had shown increasing tension.
In Europe the struggle for national freedom, which marked the previous
era, had in many cases been perverted into an endeavour to impose one
nation's will upon another.  Not only did France cherish the memory of
Alsace-Lorraine; not only did Italy dream of her lost provinces; not
only did the Balkan states plot to complete the half-done task of
driving out the Turk; but the German Austrian sought to dominate the
Magyar and the Magyar the Slav, while Italy swelled with visions of the
Eastern Mediterranean once more a Roman {303} lake, and Pan-German and
Pan-Slav drew and re-drew the map of Europe to their liking.

But it was not in Europe alone that these nations sought expansion.
The belief that empire overseas was necessary to national greatness,
and that sea-power was the means to that end, spread through
Continental Europe.  During the thirty years following 1880 France
added three and a half million square miles to her colonial
possessions, Germany a million, and Italy a quarter-million.  Even the
United States was carried away by the current, and Great Britain,
already the greatest of colonial powers, picked up nearly four million
square miles more.  Europe's aggression stirred sleeping Asia, and
Japan gave promise of beating her teachers at their own game.  This
hasty parcelling out of the non-white world brought friction and often
threatened war.  For years a conflict with Russia was believed
inevitable in England.  Then France became the inevitable foe.  Next
Germany took up the rôle.  Though felt at fewer points, her rivalry was
more serious.  A state with the ideals of mediaeval feudalism and the
might of a modern industrial nation--with all the wealth and organizing
power of industry and science at the disposal {304} of a monarchy based
on 'divine right,' and a military aristocracy which moulded and
mastered the nation through control of school and press and army--was a
constant danger to its neighbours.  Germany's aims were more aggressive
than those of the western democracies, and its methods were more
efficient than those of other European states of no higher ideals.
True, the democratic and anti-militarist forces were gaining ground in
Germany itself, while elsewhere the folly and waste of militarism were
rousing unprecedented efforts towards peace.  But no way out was found.
It was clearly impossible for one state to disarm while its neighbours
armed to the teeth.  A few fitful efforts, in which Great Britain took
an honourable part, to bring about a concerted halt came to nothing.
The world appeared convinced that the only statesmanlike way to avert
war was for each state or group of states to make itself stronger than
every other state or group.  The war of armaments went on unchecked.
Europe slept on a powder-mine.

In every Dominion the new sense of peril stirred instant response.  If
Britain's rivals had counted on the Dominions holding aloof in the hour
of her need, or had held their {305} resources negligible, they were
speedily awakened.  In Australia, in New Zealand, in South Africa, and
in Canada, press and parliament voiced the new realization of danger
and the new determination to face it more effectively.

At first the prospect in Canada of speedy and harmonious action was of
the brightest.  Mr Foster gave notice in the House of Commons of a
resolution in favour of Canadian naval preparations, and the leaders of
both parties met in private conference and agreed upon the general
course to be followed.  Late in March 1909 Mr Foster moved his
resolution and supported it with powerful and kindling eloquence.  He
dwelt on the burden which Britain bore alone and the urgent need that
Canada should take a more adequate part in naval defence.  He opposed
strongly the policy of a fixed annual contribution.  The certainty of
constant friction over the amount, the smack of tribute, the radical
defect that it meant hiring somebody else to do what Canadians
themselves ought to do, the failure of such a plan to strike any roots,
were fatal objections.  A Canadian Naval Service was the only possible
solution, though for himself he would agree to vote a Dreadnought as
{306} a preliminary step.  Mr Borden emphasized the need of action, and
advocated 'a Canadian naval force of our own.'  Sir Wilfrid Laurier
declared that Canada must realize to the full both the rights and the
obligations of a daughter nation by rising to any sacrifice that might
be needed to maintain unimpaired the power of the British Empire,
essential as it was not only for Canada's safety but for the
civilization of the world.  As to the form of action, he opposed being
stampeded into any spectacular policy inconsistent with the principle
of self-government, and closed by moving a series of resolutions,
which, with some changes suggested by Mr Borden, were unanimously
accepted by the House.  The resolutions recognized the duty of Canada
to assume larger responsibilities with growth in strength, declared
that under existing constitutional relations money payments to the
British Treasury would not be the most satisfactory solution, and
expressed cordial approval of any expenditure necessary to promote a
Canadian Naval Service to co-operate in close relation with the British

During the summer a special Conference was held in London, attended by
ministers from all the Dominions.  Mr M'Kenna, while {307} repeating
the orthodox Admiralty view that considerations of strategy favoured a
single navy, now recognized that other considerations had to be taken
into account, and that 'room must be found for the expression of
national sentiment....  While laying the foundation of future Dominion
navies to be maintained in different parts of the Empire, these forces
would contribute immediately and materially to the requirements of
Imperial defence.'  No wonder that the London _Times_ congratulated
Australia and Canada 'on their achievement in having at last educated
the Admiralty up to their own point of view.'  Unfortunately the
convert was soon to backslide, but for the present hearty and ready aid
was given in establishing the Dominion naval policy.  Australia agreed
to form a distinct fleet unit, consisting of a large armoured cruiser,
three unarmoured cruisers, six destroyers and three submarines, with
auxiliary ships.  Canada, not an island like Australia or Great
Britain, had two seaboards to protect, ten thousand miles apart.  The
Canadian representatives, therefore, while agreeing that a second fleet
unit in the Pacific would be desirable in the future, requested
suggestions, which were given, for the expenditure, first, of {308} an
equivalent and, second, of a lesser amount on two squadrons.

When the Canadian parliament met in January 1910 Sir Wilfrid Laurier
submitted the Naval Service Bill, which provided for the establishment
of fleets according to the plan finally approved by the Admiralty.  The
ships were to be under the control of the Dominion Government, which
might, in case of emergency, place them at the disposal of the
Admiralty, summoning parliament to ratify such action.  The bill was
passed in March.  In the autumn the cruiser _Niobe_ (11,000 tons) and
the _Rainbow_ (3600 tons), purchased from the Admiralty, reached
Canadian waters, where they were to serve as training-ships.
Recruiting for these ships was begun and, while not speedy, was
reported by the department as satisfactory.  The Halifax and Esquimalt
dockyards were taken over.  Early in 1911 a Naval College was opened at
Halifax; and in May tenders were received, ranging from eleven to
thirteen millions, from six British and Canadian firms, for the
construction, in Canada, of four Bristol cruisers, one Boadicea
cruiser, and six destroyers.  In June (1911), at the Imperial
Conference in London, agreement was reached as to the boundaries {309}
of the Australian and Canadian stations.  The naval services of the two
Dominions were to be 'exclusively under control of their respective
governments'; but in time of war any fleet or ships placed at the
disposal of the British Government by the Dominion authorities would
'form an integral part of the British fleet and remain under the
control of the Admiralty during the continuance of the war.'  Training
and discipline were to be generally uniform.  Dominion ships were to
fly the white ensign at the stern as the symbol of the Crown's
authority and the distinctive flag of the Dominion at the jack-staff.
Then came the reciprocity fight, the blocking of supplies by the
Conservatives, and the general elections of September, all intervening
before any tender had been finally accepted.

Long before this time, however, the issue had given rise to bitter
party controversy.  The unanimity of parliament in 1909 had not truly
reflected the diversity of public opinion.  Mr Borden was not able to
carry his party with him.  In the English-speaking provinces many
Conservatives denounced a Canadian fleet as 'a tinpot navy,' useless,
expensive, and separatist, and called for a gift of Dreadnoughts.  Mr
Borden's lieutenant from Quebec, {310} Mr F. D. Monk, came out strongly
against either Canadian navy or contribution, unless approved by
popular vote.  So, after a loyal attempt to defend the agreement of
1909, Mr Borden found it necessary to change his position.  By
attacking the Laurier navy as inadequate, and at the same time
declaring that no permanent policy should be adopted without an appeal
to the people, he endeavoured to keep both wings of his party in line.
The opposition in Quebec was strengthened by Mr Henri Bourassa and his
following--'Nationalists' in some respects perhaps, but more rightly
labelled Colonialists or Provincialists.  They dealt a shrewd blow in
defeating the Government candidate at a by-election held in November
1910 for Drummond-Arthabaska, Sir Wilfrid's old seat.  And, though in
all the other provinces the general elections of 1911 were fought on
the issue of reciprocity, the navy was made the chief issue in Quebec.
Conservatives formed a close working alliance with the Nationalists,
who attacked the prime minister as a tool of the English imperialists,
and pictured to the habitants the horrors of the _marine_, of
conscription and the press-gang.

A little over a year after his accession to {311} power in 1911, Sir
Robert Borden brought down his naval proposals, providing for a gift or
loan to Great Britain of three Dreadnoughts to meet the current
emergency, and promised to submit later on his permanent policy to the
electorate.  What that permanent policy would be he did not reveal.  It
was stated that the Government had not definitely decided against a
Canadian navy, but the insistence upon the difficulty of building up a
naval organization in Canada, and other remarks, made it appear that
some plan of permanent contribution, with a share in the central
controlling body, was under contemplation.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier
vigorously opposed the proposals and adhered to the policy of a
Canadian navy.  And, not to be outdone in bigness, he now advocated two
fleet units.  After a prolonged discussion and determined obstruction
by the Opposition, the Government introduced the closure and forced the
bill through the Commons, only to see it rejected by the Senate on the
motion of Sir George Ross, 'that this House is not justified in giving
its assent to this bill until it is submitted to the judgment of the

The Government's abrupt change of policy was in part due to the
activity of the first {312} lord of the Admiralty, Mr Winston
Churchill.  Whether moved by his own impetuous temperament or by the
advice of others, Mr Churchill threw overboard the M'Kenna memorandum,
and endeavoured once more to revive the contribution policy.  He was
not content with laying before the Canadian prime minister the opinion
of experts on the strategic questions involved, and advising on means
to reach the desired end, but sought to influence public opinion in the
Dominions by word and act.  The memoranda sent at Sir Robert Borden's
request in January 1913, emphasizing the difficulty of building
battleships in Canada--which was not proposed by the Opposition--and
the difficulty of helping to man the two Canadian fleet units--though
at the same time men were declared to be available for as many as five
Dreadnoughts, if contributed--were preceded by pressure on the Malay
States to contribute a battleship, and were followed by Mr Churchill's
announcement of his intention to establish at Gibraltar an Imperial
Squadron composed of Dominion ships, under the Admiralty's control.
When Australia suggested that a special Dominion Conference to discuss
the matter should be held in Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, {313}
the United Kingdom would not consent.  It was made emphatically clear
that Mr Churchill was in favour of contribution, not as an emergency
but as a permanent policy.  It was his doubtless well-meant--and
invited--intervention in the dispute, ignoring the principles by which
imperial harmony had been secured in the past, which more than anything
else stirred up resentment in Canada.

The dispute in Canada turned partly on constitutional, and partly on
technical, naval considerations.  A Canadian navy was opposed by some
as tending to separation from the Empire, and by others as involving
Canada in a share in war without any corresponding share in foreign
policy.  It was defended as the logical extension of the policy of
self-government, which, in actual practice as opposed to pessimistic
prophecy, had proved the enduring basis of imperial union.  The
considerations involved have been briefly reviewed in an earlier
section.  It need only be noted here that the constitutional problem
was no more acute in December 1912 than in March 1909.  Whatever the
difficulties, they had been faced and accepted by all the other
Dominions.  Australia was irretrievably and proudly committed to her
{314} own navy--'His Majesty's Royal Australian Navy'; New Zealand
announced her dissatisfaction with the original contribution policy;
General Botha declared that South Africa would prefer 'a navy of our
own.'  Not contribution therefore, but local navies, afforded the only
basis of uniformity throughout the Empire.  Given this attitude on the
part of all the Dominions, there was little question that forms would
soon follow facts, and each of the Five Nations be given its due place
and weight in settling common issues of policy.

On the more technical issues there was equally wide divergence.  A
Canadian navy was attacked by some as useless even in the long run.
Canada could not build up an adequate naval administration in half a
century.  Inefficiency and jobbery would mark the navy's management.
The sea was one and the navy should be one; concentration at the
supreme danger point, defence by attack, were the latest maxims of
naval strategy.  On the other hand, it was urged that what Australia
had done Canada could do, and that the German navy itself had been
built up in twenty years.  The sea was one, but it was tens of
thousands of miles in width; {315} the trade routes required
protection, and the coasts must be guarded against sudden raids.

Greater stress, however, was laid on the 'short-run' arguments.  That
there was only one possible enemy, Germany; that war with her in a few
years was inevitable; that when it came Great Britain's fleet would be
overmatched, or perilously equalled, were the insistent contentions of
one party.  That the Pacific required watching as well as the North
Sea; that relations with Germany, on Sir Edward Grey's testimony, were
improving and war unlikely; that if war came in a few years the naval
power of Britain, to say nothing of that of France and Russia, would be
overwhelming, was the other party's oft-reiterated answer.  It was
urged, also, that the Canadian Government's belief in the seriousness
of the emergency must be judged by its acts, not its words.  Had it
believed war imminent and the naval situation so dangerous that its
three Dreadnoughts were required, it would unquestionably have been too
patriotic to think for a moment of any other course but to bring on a
general election in 1913 to override the Senate.

That is now ancient history.  The outbreak of the Great War threw the
Canadian naval {316} question, along with so many greater questions,
into the melting pot.  The temporary easing of the international
situation after 1912 was followed by acute tension again, and this time
the restraining forces gave way.  The rivalry of Teuton and Slav in the
Balkans, where of late the balance had tilted against the Central
Powers because of the defeat of their quasi-ally, Turkey, provided the
setting.  The murder of an Austrian prince by a Servian subject gave
the occasion, and Germany set the fatal drama in motion.  What part was
played in her decision by dreams of world conquest or dread of being
hemmed in by ever-stronger foes, what part by the desire of a
challenged autocracy to turn the people from internal reform to
external policy, will not be certain until the chancelleries of Europe
have given up their secrets, if certain then; but, whatever the motive,
all the world outside Germany has agreed that had she willed she could
have averted the fatal ending of those tense days of July 1914.

When the intervention of the United Kingdom was made inevitable and
practically unanimous by the brutal attack on Belgium, Canada never
hesitated for a moment as to her attitude.  The rights of the immediate
issue {317} were clear; the whole world's liberty was plainly at stake;
the struggle promised to task, if not to overtask, every resource of
the mother country.  Sir Robert Borden acted promptly and effectively,
and parliament when called in special session unanimously backed his
actions.  In a few weeks the largest force that had ever crossed the
Atlantic sailed to England, and throughout the war ten thousand upon
ten thousand followed.  The Dominions surprised the world, and not
least themselves, by the greatness and effectiveness of the efforts
made in the common cause.  At first, distance or over-confidence
prevented a full grasp of the crisis by the general public, and even by
the leaders of opinion; but, as time went on, the sense of the
greatness of the issue deepened, resolution hardened, and the only
measures of effort were what the crisis called for and what Canada
could give.

The country was united as on few occasions.  Here and there undigested
groups of immigrants from the enemy lands stood out from the common
enthusiasm, but gave little overt trouble.  In Quebec some, but not
all, of the Nationalists opposed Canada's participation in the war,
taking either the belated colonial view that it was Britain's part to
fight the {318} Empire's wars, or the more logical but inopportune view
that Canada should not fight in a war when she had had no part in
shaping the policy that went before it.  They claimed to stand where
practically all Canadians had stood a generation before.  They forgot
that meanwhile the world, and Canada, had moved forward.

The ordeal of battle put to the test the facts and the theories of
empire which had been shaping in the years which have been reviewed.
The splendid response of the whole Empire to the call of need proved
that it was not the weak and crumbling structure that enemies had hoped
and zealous friends had feared.  Of their own free will the Dominions
and even India poured out their treasures of men and money in measure
far beyond what any central authority could have ordained.  Freedom was
justified of her children, and the British Empire proved its right to
exist by its very difference from the Prussian Empire.  When General
Botha and General Smuts, after crushing with ease a rebellion which
under a different imperial policy would have been triumphant, led the
army of the Crown in triumph against the German dominions to which it
had once been proposed to banish {319} them, they gave a most dramatic
proof of the power of the unseen bonds of confidence and liberty.

Yet, as the war proved, the Empire had not yet reached its final stage.
Now that the Dominions helped to pay the piper, henceforth they would
insist on a share in calling the tune.  That the decision as to peace
and war must no longer rest solely with the government of Great
Britain, however wisely that power had been used in this instance,
became the conviction of the many instead of the few.  It was still
matter for serious debate how that greater voice could be attained, and
the conflict between the policy of consultation between existing
governments and the policy of creating a new central over-government,
which had marked the years before, bade fair to mark the years after
the war as well.

The subsidiary question of naval defence had also its after-lights.
Those in Canada who had urged the contribution policy had the gloomy
satisfaction of seeing their prophecy of speedy war with Germany
fulfilled.  Those who had urged the policy of a Canadian navy had the
more cheerful satisfaction of seeing that the only 'emergency' was that
which faced the Kaiser's fleet, bottled up by {320} the vastly superior
allied forces.  The battle of the Falkland Islands, redeeming the
defeat at Coronel, proved the wide range of action of fast cruisers
based on European waters, while on the other hand the raids of the
_Emden_ proved the need of cruisers for defence on every sea; and the
exploits of the _Sydney_, sister ship of Canada's unbuilt Bristols,
ended all talk of tin-pot navies.  The lessons of the war as to ships
and weapons and strategy were all important for the reconsideration of
the question.  Still more vital for the decision as to this and
weightier matters were the secrets the future held as to the outcome of
the war, as to the future alignment of nations, and, above all, as to
the possibility of building up some barrier against the madness, the
unspeakable sufferings, and the blind, chaotic wastes of war, more
adequate than the secret diplomacy, the competitive armaments, and the
shifting alliances of the past.

[1] Report of Annual Meeting, Canadian Manufacturers' Association, in
_Industrial Canada_, 1912, p. 334.




The Dominion of Canada's first fifty years have been years of momentous
change.  The four provinces have grown into nine, covering the whole
half-continent.  The three million people have grown to eight, and the
west of the wandering Indian holds cities greater than the largest of
the east at Confederation.  From a people overwhelmingly agricultural
they have become a people almost equally divided between town and
country.  The straggling two thousand miles of railways have been
multiplied fifteen-fold, forming great transcontinental systems
unmatched in the United States.  An average wheat crop yields more than
ten times the total at Confederation, and the output of the mine has
increased at even a more rapid rate.  Great manufacturing plants have
developed, employing half a million men, and with capital and annual
products exceeding a thousand {322} million dollars.  Foreign trade has
mounted to eight times its height of fifty years ago.  The whole
financial and commercial structure has become complex and intricate
beyond earlier imagining.  The changes, even on the material side, have
not been all gain.  There is many a case of reckless waste of resources
to lament, many an instance of half-developed opportunity and even of
slipping backwards.  With the millionaire came the slum, and the
advantages of great corporations were often balanced by the 'frenzied
finance' and the unhealthy political influence of those in control.
Yet, on the whole, progress, especially in the last twenty years, has
been unquestioned and rarely paralleled.

Political has kept pace with economic change.  The far-flung Dominion
is at last being welded into one, and a Canadian nationality is arising
of a distinct character and with conscious unity.  The average man
thinks of himself no longer as first a citizen of Nova Scotia, Ontario,
or Manitoba, an Englishman, a Scotsman, or an Irishman, but as first a
Canadian.  Provincial and racial jealousy, though not passed away, are
less intense and less critical than in the days of old.  There is less
bitterness in party {323} conflicts, less personal abuse, and more of
the broader patriotism.  Of jobbery and corruption and low political
ideals there are unfortunately no less, but there is more conscious
endeavour to grapple with and overthrow these foes.  The Dominion has
found its place in the family of nations, and has taken its full share
in the transforming and upbuilding of the British Empire.  Fifty years
ago, merely colonies of Britain, looked upon by most men in the mother
country as being about to break from the Empire to which they were now
profitless, and to the rest of Europe scarcely a name!  To-day, sending
hundreds of thousands of men across the seas to fight shoulder to
shoulder with Britain to maintain the unity of the Empire, the freedom
of Europe and the world!  History has few more striking transformations
than this to show.

Even more striking, but less within the scope of this brief survey,
were the changes in the life and thought, in the manners and the social
texture of the nation.  The growth of luxury and of restless change;
the quickening pace of business and the accompanying shortening of the
work-day and the work-week; the transformation effected by railway
{324} and steamship, by telephone and typewriter, by electric light and
skyscraper; the coming of the motor-car, of bridge, and of society
columns; the passing of cricket, the rise and fall of lacrosse, the
triumph of baseball and hockey and golf and bowling, the
professionalizing of nearly all sport; the increasing share of women in
industry and education; the constant shift of fashion, the waxing and
waning of hats and skirts; the readjustment of theological creeds and
the trend towards church unity; the progress of medical science, the
widening of university interests, the development of advertising and
the transformation of the newspaper;--all these and many more phases of
the changing times bulked larger in the daily life of the people than
the constitutional and political issues with which statesmen and
politicians had to deal and which historians have to describe.

Even in the political and economic change no man and no party had a
dominating share.  The Canada of to-day is the creation of millions of
hands, of the known or unknown few who toiled primarily for their
country's advancement, and of the many who sought their own private
ends and made national progress as a by-product.  Yet if statesmen
{325} are, on the one hand, not directly responsible for good harvests
or bad, on the other, they are not 'flies on the wheel.'  The powers
confided to them are great for good or ill.  They may hasten or retard
material progress, and guide, if they cannot create, the current of
national destiny.  It is impossible to imagine what different course
the Dominion would have taken had there been no Macdonald and no
Laurier at the helm.

In Sir Wilfrid Laurier's career four guiding principles, four goals of
endeavour, have been steadily kept in view--individual liberty,
collective prosperity, racial and religious harmony, and growth to
nationhood.  The end in view was not always reached.  The path followed
was not as ruler-straight as the philosopher or the critic would have
prescribed.  The leader of a party of many shades of opinion, the ruler
of a country of widely different interests and prejudices and
traditions, must often do not what is ideally best but what is the most
practicable approach to the ideal.  Yet with rare consistency and
steadfast courage these ends were held in view.  Ever an opportunist as
to means, Wilfrid Laurier has never been an opportunist as to ends.


The historic task of Liberalism--the promotion, by negative and
positive means alike, of individual freedom with full opportunity for
self-development--has been less urgent in Canada than in many other
lands.  Civil liberty Canadians inherited from their fathers overseas.
Political liberty was the achievement of the generation before the
Dominion was formed.  Social liberty, the assuring for each man genuine
equality of opportunity, has in great measure been ensured by the wide
spaces of a virgin continent.  What legislation is required to
guarantee it further falls for the most part within the scope of the
provincial legislatures; though one most important factor in securing
equality and keeping open the door of opportunity, the free gift of
farm lands to all who will, has been a federal policy.  But in one
important field, liberty of thought and discussion, the battle has had
to be fought in our own day, and has been fought valiantly and well.
In standing for the elementary rights of freedom of speech and
political action, Sir Wilfrid Laurier braved the wrath of powerful
forces in the Church he loved and honoured.  He did not deny any church
or any churchman the right to take a full part in political discussion.
But he {327} did deny any religious teachers the right to brandish for
a political purpose the weapons of their spiritual armoury; and he
urged the inexpediency, in the Church's own interest, of endeavouring
to build up a clerical party.

The promotion of the country's economic welfare has been the chief task
of every Canadian Government, and the one most in discussion.  A tariff
marked by stability and by moderate advances towards freedom of trade,
a railway policy reflecting the new-found faith of Canada in its
future, an immigration campaign that opened up the West and laid the
foundation for mounting prosperity, and for a new place in the world's
regard, aid to farmer and fisherman and miner--these were the
outstanding features of the Canadian administration after 1896.
Mistakes were made, errors of omission and commission, due now to lack
of vision, now to over-confidence, but the accounting was not to be
feared.  'When I am Premier,' declared Mr Laurier in the early
nineties, referring to some dubious statistics used to prove that all
was well with the country, 'you will not have to look up figures to
find out whether you are prosperous: you will know by feeling in your


No need of Canada has been greater, none has lain nearer Sir Wilfrid
Laurier's heart, than the lessening of misunderstanding and hostility
between the men of the different races and tongues and creeds that make
up the Dominion.  It is a task which has been the more difficult
because not merely was there a difference of races, but one race was of
the same blood as the people of the United Kingdom and the other of its
hereditary foe.  It was always easy for politicians of the baser sort,
or for well-meaning but rigid and doctrinaire extremists on either
side, to stir up prejudice and passion.  It was a statesman's task to
endeavour to bridge the gulf, to work for better feeling between
Britain and France, to emphasize the future which all Canadians hold in
common, to urge the men of each race to seek that knowledge of the
other which is the first and longest step towards harmony.  In training
and temperament Sir Wilfrid Laurier was uniquely fitted for the task of
interpreting each race to the other, and though it was a task that was
never completed, he had the satisfaction of achieving a marked advance.

The share of Canadian statesmen in working out the unique political
achievement which {329} we call the British Empire has not yet been
fully recognized.  When the history of its upbuilding comes to be
written, it may well be that the names of Baldwin and LaFontaine and
Howe, of Brown and Galt, of Tupper and Blake, of Macdonald and Laurier,
will stand, in this regard, higher than those of Peel and Disraeli,
Gladstone and Salisbury, and even Durham and Elgin.  Some in England
opposed the grant of self-government, believing that it led to
separation.  Some, reconciled to separation, urged it.  Canadians,
though not always seeing the path clear, both demanded self-government
and trusted it would make union all the firmer.  It fell to Sir Wilfrid
Laurier's lot to carry out this traditional Canadian policy through an
exceptionally critical era of development.  He steadfastly asserted
Canada's right to full nationhood, and as steadily faced each new
responsibility that came with added rights.  He often incurred the
hostility of ultra-imperialist and of colonialist alike, going too slow
for the one and too fast for the other.  Many autonomists failed to
recognize how manfully and how effectively he had stood at the London
Conferences for self-government, until at last practically all the
Dominions {330} swung into line.  Many imperialists failed to recognize
how hard he had struggled to bring Quebec into harmony with the rest of
the Dominion on imperial issues and particularly on the naval question.
A wise opportunism, that met each issue as it arose and dealt with it
in the light of long-held principles, kept the nation advancing
steadily and advancing abreast.



The primary sources to which any student of the period covered in this
work must refer are too numerous to specify here.  Foremost come
Hansard and the Sessional Papers.  Such autobiographies as those of Sir
Richard Cartwright, _Reminiscences_, Sir George Ross, _Getting Into
Parliament and After_, Sir Charles Tupper, _Recollections of Sixty
Years in Canada_, and Charles Langelier, _Souvenirs Politiques_, are as
few as they are valuable.  For the years since 1901 see Castell
Hopkins, _The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs_.  This work,
now in its fourteenth volume, is a mine of orderly information.

A most complete historical summary of the period is found in _Canada
and its Provinces_.  See the various monographs, especially in volumes
vi, vii, viii, ix, and x.  Indispensable for any survey of the period
up to 1900 is Sir John S. Willison's work in two volumes, _Sir Wilfrid
Laurier and the Liberal Party_, which shows the ripe, balanced judgment
and the literary skill of the distinguished Canadian journalist at his
best.  David's _Laurier et son Temps_, and his earlier sketch in _Mes
{332} Contemporains_, give brilliant impressionistic portraits of Sir
Wilfrid Laurier by an intimate friend.  See also Sir Joseph Pope,
_Memoirs of Sir John Macdonald_, and Castell Hopkins, _Life and Work of
Sir John Thompson_.



Abbott, Sir John, 11, 107 n.; prime minister, 155.

Alaskan boundary dispute, the, 210-16.

Alberta, the forming of the province, 238-9; the school question,

Alverstone, Lord, 215, 216.

Annexation sentiment in Canada and United States, 101, 137, 138, 265-6.

Asquith, H. H., 277, 281; his definition of Liberalism, 282; and a
central parliament, 295-296.

Australia, and imperial defence, 143, 149, 179, 195, 198, 200, 201,
202, 284, 286, 304-5; her navy, 299-300, 312, 313-14.

Aylesworth, Sir Allen, 247; and the Alaskan boundary dispute, 215, 216.

Baillargeon, Archbishop, 42.

Balfour, Arthur, 186.

Barton, Sir Edmund, 195.

Belgium, her trade treaties with Canada, 134-5, 179, 228, 250.

Bernier, M. E., 195.

Bertram, G. H., 173.

Blaine, James G., 119, 120, 124.

Blair, A. G., 169 n., 170 n.

Blake, Edward, 35-6, 39, 40, 53; Liberal Opposition leader, 54-5, 57,
59, 68, 77, 82, 83, 85, 89, 135-6; resigns, 91, 172; his tribute to
Laurier, 86; his remarkable letter, 123-4; an empire-builder, 290, 329.

Boer War, Canada's part in, 184-92.

Bond, Sir Robert, 195.

Borden, Sir Frederick, 170 n., 196, 207.

Borden, Sir Robert, leader of Conservative Opposition, 194, 217, 245-6,
247, 276, 284, 291; his naval policy, 306, 309-10, 311, 312, prime
minister, 286, 311, 312, 317.

Botha, General, 185, 292; his regard for Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 293; his
imperial policy, 294, 314, 318.

Boucherville, M. de, 64.

Bourassa, Henri, and Laurier, 191, 193, 268; leader of 'Nationalists,'

Bourget, Bishop, his aggressive policy, 28, 29, 30, 42, 44.

Bowell, Sir Mackenzie, 39; prime minister, 156, 161-2.

British Columbia, and Asiatic immigration, 252-5.

British Empire League, the, 145.

British Empire: formation and development of, 126-30, 270-271; freedom
the secret of, 130, 318; equal partnership in, 130-1, 270; the problem
of defence, 143, 146-8, 200-4, 298-320; political relations.  198-200,
282-97; commercial relations, 204-7, 271-81; Canada's share in forming,
206, 328-9; the Crown the chief link of Empire, 288-9; the Great War,
316-20; the question as to decision of peace and war, 319.

Brodeur, L. P., 247, 250.

Brodrick, St John (Viscount Midleton), 195, 200-1, 202.

Brown, George, 21, 62, 135, 329.

Bryce, Lord, his diplomatic services to Canada, 212, 258.

Campbell, Sir Alexander, 142, 143.

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., his courageous policy, 293.

Canada: political development between 1841 and 1867, 18-24; Church and
State, 24, 27-8; 'Institut Canadien,' 29-31; Ultramontanes and
Liberals, 41-50; the tariff question, 57-8, 109-14, 118-19, 124-5,
157-8, 173-5, 235-7, 274-6; provincial rights and the Dominion, 61-72;
despondency and stagnation, 93-100; the population question, 99-100,
226-7; her relations with United States, 101-6, 187, 203-4, 208-15,
256, 257-60, 266, 268; the fisheries dispute, 104-6; annexation,
106-109; commercial union, 109-112; unrestricted reciprocity, 112-14,
118-25, 260-8; upholds the imperial connection, 129-130, 216-17, 304-6;
from colony to free state, 131-9, 187-8, 197-8, 216-17, 283-8, 290;
treaty-making powers, 134-6, 175, 179, 217, 250-2, 285-8; the High
Commissioner, 138-139; inter-imperial defence, 143, 146-9, 184, 200,
201, 202-204, 299, 301; imperial federation, 144-5 and note;
inter-imperial trade, 150-2, 206; the Boer War, 184-92; cheap postage,
206; the Joint High Commission, 209-10; the Alaskan boundary, 210-17;
the settling of the West, 218-227; her land policy, 227-8; industrial
and railway development, 228-32; state aids to production, 233-5;
Conservation Commission, 234-5; the department of Labour, 237-8;
Alberta and Saskatchewan, 238-45; trade relations with foreign powers,
250-2; the Asiatic immigration question, 252-5; International Joint
Commission, 259; the department of External Affairs, 286; land defence
development, 297-8; the naval problem, 298-9, 305-309, 310, 312-15; the
Great War, 316-18, 319; progress since Confederation, 321-4.  See

Canada First movement, the, 40.

Canadian Pacific Railway, the, 38, 110; the building contract, 58-61,
95-8, 252.

Cape Colony.  See Colonial Conferences.

Cartier, Sir George, 33, 55, 62.

Cartwright, Sir Richard, a colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 53, 54,
82, 91, 99-100, 111, 112, 170 n., 209.

Casault, Judge, 48.

Catholic Programme, the, 43-4.

Cauchon, Joseph, 33, 36, 51.

Chamberlain, Joseph, 106; colonial secretary, 179, 185, 189, 195; his
policy of centralization, 179, 196-200, 204, 206-7; his ideal of 'free
trade within the Empire,' 205, 207; and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 206-207;
his tariff-reform campaign, 271-6, 281.

Chapleau, Adolphe, 33, 55.

Charleton, John, 54, 116, 209.

Chauveau, P. J. O., 33.

Churchill, Winston, 277; his naval policy, 312-13.

'Clear Grit' party, the, 20-1, 23.

Cleveland, President, 105-6, 208.

Colonial Conferences: (1886) 142-4; (1894) 150-1; (1897) 179-80; (1902)
195-208; (1907) 276-81, 291-7, 301; (1909) 306-307; (1911) 294-6,
308-9; an important agency of empire, 289; proposal to change name to
Imperial Council, 292; Dominions to be consulted in international
agreements, 296.  See British Empire.

Conservation Commission, the, 234-5.

Conservative party, the, 20, 23; its tariff policy, 56-8, 110-11, 113,
119-20, 157-8, 276.  See Parliament.

Crooks Act, the, 69-70.

David, L. O., 13, 331.

Davies, Sir Louis, a colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 152, 170 n., 209.

Deakin, Alfred, 276, 301.

Denison, Lieut.-Colonel G. T., 76 n., 144.

Desaulniers, H. L., 11, 12.

Dessaules, L. A., advocates religious toleration, 30 and n.

Dobell, R. R., 170 n.

Dominion of Canada, 61-3.  See Canada.

Dominion Railway Commission, the, 230.

Dorion, Antoine, and Laurier, 13, 21, 36, 55.

Dorion, Eric, 'L'Enfant Terrible,' 13, 14, 55.

Doukhobors, the, 222, 223.

Doutre, Joseph, his appeal to Rome, 30.

Edgar, J. D., 112.

Edward VII, 195.

Election law, 37, 46, 70-2.

Equal Rights Association, the, 117.

Europe, the tariff question in, 140; mad scramble for empire, 141, 303;
her interest in Canada, 221, 222, 226, 228, 250; the war of armaments,
302-4, 316; the Great War, 315-20.

Fielding, W. S., a colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 169 n., 170 n.,
174, 196, 207, 236-7, 250, 251, 286.

Fish, Hamilton, 108.

Fisher, Andrew, 294, 296.

Fisher, Sydney A., 170 n., 233.

Fitzpatrick, Charles, solicitor-general, 170 n., 247.

Fleming, Sir Sandford, his All-Red route, 142, 143, 149.

Forrest, Sir John, 195.

Foster, Sir George, 124, 150, 162; assists Mr Chamberlain in his
tariff-reform campaign, 276; his Canadian Naval Service, 305-6.

Fournier, Telesphore, 21, 36.

France, the conflict between church and state in, 25-7; the tariff,
140; colonial expansion, 141, 302, 303; relations with Britain, 181,
183, 303; and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 181-4.

Franchise Act (1885), the, 70-2.

Fuller, Valencay, 109-10

Galt, Sir A. T., 104, 107 n.; an empire-builder, 133, 135, 329.

Geoffrion, C. A., 21, 170 n.

Germany, 143; her trade relations with Canada, 134-5, 179, 228, 251-2;
the tariff question, 140; colonial expansion, 141, 303; challenges
British naval supremacy, 302, 303-4; her responsibility for the Great
War, 316.

Graham, G. P., 247.

Great Britain, her relations with the United States, 103, 256-7; the
development of the Empire, 108, 126-30, 147-8; the tariff question,
140, 150, 151, 265, 266, 271-81; her relations with European nations,
140-2, 181, 183, 303-4; the Boer War, 184-92; the problem of imperial
defence, 200-2, 204, 301, 302; the Alaskan boundary, 213, 214, 215,
216; the Canadian West, 224-6; her democratic leadership, 256-7, 281-2,
293; the Great War, 316-20.

Grey, Sir Edward, 315.

Hemming, Edward, 33.

Herschell, Lord, 209.

Hime, Sir Albert, 195.

Hitt, Congressman, 119, 122.

Holton, Luther H., 33, 36, 39, 55.

Howe, Joseph, 132, 329.

Hughes, General Sir Sam, 291.

Huntington, L. S., 55, 135.

Immigration: the campaign for settlers, 218-27; the Asiatic question,

Imperial federation, 101, 137-8, 139-42, 144-5, 180, 196-7, 198-9,
294-5; the League, 139-40, 145; First Colonial Conference called, 142;
impracticable, 144-5 and note.  See British Empire.

Indians, the enfranchisement of, 71-2 and note.

'Institut Canadien,' the, 29-31.

International Joint Commission, the, 259.

Italy, 302; the tariff question, 140; colonial expansion, 141, 303; her
agreement with Canada, 250-1.

Jackson, William, 88.

Jameson, Sir L. S., 185, 276.

Japan, her relations with Canada, 253-5; and European aggression, 303.

Jesuits in Canada, the, 114-16.

Jesuits' Estates question, the, 114-17.

Jetté, Sir Louis, 44, 215.

Joly de Lotbinière, Sir Henri, 34, 64; in the Laurier Cabinet, 170 n.,

Jones, Alfred G., 53.

Kaiser, the, 185, 302.

King, W. L. Mackenzie, 238, 247.

Lacombe, Father, his threatening letter to Laurier, 163-4.

Laflamme, Rodolphe, 10, 11, 21, 36.

Laflèche, Bishop, and Laurier's newspaper, 31, 42, 44; and the Manitoba
school question, 167.

Lanctot, Médéric, in partnership with Laurier, 12.

Landry, A. P., 82, 85.

Langevin, Archbishop, and the school question, 160, 167, 172, 244.

Langevin, Sir Hector, in the Macdonald Cabinet, 55, 82, 155.

Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, his birth and descent, 1-4; schooldays, 4-10;
early bias towards Liberalism, 9; his knowledge of French and English
literature, 6, 15-16; studies law in Montreal, 10-11; his early
partnerships, 12-13; the 'Institut Canadien,' 28-30; edits 'Le
Défricheur' and opens a law office in Arthabaskaville, 13-15, 31, 92;
his marriage, 16-17; enters the Quebec Assembly, 32-3, 34; his
criticism of dual representation, 34; enters the Dominion parliament,
34-5; the Riel question (1874-75), 39-40; a moderate protectionist, 41,
57, 173-4; his address on Political Liberalism, 48-50, 24; enters the
Mackenzie Cabinet, 51, 54; leader of French wing of Liberal Opposition,
55-6; his rising popularity, 56, 184; the C.P.R. contract, 59; the
Letellier case, 65; the Ontario boundary dispute, 67-8; the Riel
episode, 82-9; on Papineau, 83-4; his great speech in the debate on the
Landry motion, 85-9; Liberal Opposition leader, 91-3, 156-7; the
hostility of the Church, 93, 164-6; advocates unrestricted reciprocity
with the United States, 111-13, 121-2, 124; the Jesuits' Estates Act,
116-17; on commercial union with Britain, 151-2; his tribute on the
death of Sir John Macdonald, 153-4; the Manitoba school question,
162-7, 172; his answer to the threat of ecclesiastical hostility,
164-6; his electoral campaign of 1896, 166-8; prime minister, 169-70
and note, 236, 247-8, 257, 327; his doctrine of conciliation, 172; 'the
lion of the hour' at the Jubilee ceremonies, 176-8, 180-1; G.C.M.G.,
178 n.; his conception of Empire, 181, 278-9, 291; his visit to France,
181-4; the Boer War, 188-90 and note, 191-3; Colonial Conferences
(1902), 195, 206-8, 236; (1907) 277-9, 288, 292; (1911) 294, 296; his
meeting with Chamberlain, 206-7; Joint High Commission, 209; desires
treaty-making powers for Canada, 217, 286; the school question in
Alberta and Saskatchewan, 239-40, 242, 244; the defeat of his ministry,
268-9; favours imperial preference, 278; opposes the doctrine of
centralization, 291-2, 294, 296, 116; favours a Canadian navy, 306,
308, 311; four guiding principles, 325-30, 34, 49-50, 121, 192; his
great task, 329-30; a Liberal of the English school, 41, 117, 165; his
personality, 3, 4, 6, 8-9, 11, 12, 13, 34, 48, 56, 82-3, 92, 165-6, 178.

Law, A. Bonar, and food taxes, 279-80.

Lemieux Act, the, 238.

Lemieux, Rodolphe, 247; his mission to Japan, 255, 286.

Letellier de St Just, Luc, 21; lieutenant-governor of Quebec, 63-6.

Liberalism, definition of, 282, 326.

Liberal party: leadership in commission, 91; its tariff policy, 41,
111, 112-13, 120, 125, 157, 173-5, 250-2, 276; election anomalies and
sphere of influence, 245, 269, 167-8, 194.  See Parliament.

Lincoln, Abraham, 16.

Lloyd-George, D., 277.

Lorne, Marquis of, 65-6.

M'Carthy Act, the, 70.

M'Carthy, D'Alton, 116, 144; his tariff policy, 157, 158.

Macdonald, Sir John, 19, 35, 39; his administration, 53, 56, 60, 62,
64-6, 68, 70, 71-2, 77, 90, 97, 110, 116, 119, 149, 150; his contest
with Sir Oliver Mowat, 66-7, 70; his tariff policy, 56, 133-4, 150; his
political craft, 35, 77, 119-20; an empire-builder, 131-2, 135-6, 144-5
and note, 329; Sir Wilfrid Laurier's tribute, 153-4.

M'Kenna, Reginald, his naval policy, 306-7.

Mackenzie, Alexander, 57, 66, 82, 122; his administration, 35-8, 39,
40, 41, 51-4.

M'Kinley, President, his tariff, 114, 118, 208, 209.

Macpherson, Sir David, 76 n., 78.

Mair, Charles, and the North-West Rebellion, 76 and note.

Manitoba, its boundary dispute, 67-8; the agitation against the C.P.R.
monopoly, 95-8; the school question, 158-68, 170-3.

Martin, Joseph, 118, 158.

Mercier, Honoré, his rise and fall, 89-90, 115, 117, 156.

Merry del Val, Mgr, 173.

Métis, the, 72-7, 78-9.

Mills, David, a colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 91, 190 n., 195.

Monk, F. D., 310.

Montague, Dr W. H., his artful appeal, 71-2 and note.

Morris, Sir Edward, 294-5.

Mousseau, Joseph A., 39.

Mowat, Sir Oliver, premier of Ontario, 66-7, 69, 70, 117, 122; in the
Laurier Cabinet, 169 n., 170 n.; lieutenant-governor, 194.

Mulock, William, a colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 170 n., 196, 207.

National party, the, 40-1, 310, 317-18; and the Church, 41-8.

National Policy, the, 56-8, 121.  See Tariffs.

Newfoundland, and the Dominion, 100, 234; and the Empire, 195, 294-5.

New Zealand, and the Empire, 151, 179, 195, 200, 201, 202, 304-5, 314.

North-West Rebellion, the, 72-80.

O'Brien, Colonel, 116.

Oliver, Frank, 247.

Ontario, the boundary dispute, 67-8; the M'Laren v. Caldwell case,
68-9; liquor traffic regulation, 69-70; the Riel agitation, 81, 83, 90;
the tariff question, 109-10, 112; religious controversy in, 116-118,

Papineau, L. J., 21-2, 41, 83-4.

Parliament: Liberal (Mackenzie, 1874-78) Administration, 35-8, 39-40,
51-3, 75; --Conservative (Macdonald, 1878-91) Administration, 53, 100,
116, 152; status of lieutenant-governor, 63-6; provincial rights,
67-70; Franchise Act of 1885, 71-2; the Riel (North-West) Rebellion,
72-90; the C.P.R. monopoly, 97-8, 218-19; 'the old flag, the old man,
and the old policy,' 119-25; (Abbott, Thompson, Bowell, 1891-96) rotten
politics, 155-6; the Manitoba school question, 158-68, 170-3; Liberal
(Laurier, 1896-1911) Administration, 168-70, 213, 214, 220-1, 245-6,
254-5, 269; the schools question, 170-3, 239-45; the Boer War, 189-90
and note, 194; Conservation Commission, 234-5; Labour Disputes Act,
237-8; Alberta and Saskatchewan, 238-45; External Affairs, 286, 250-2;
the Naval Service Bill, 305-6, 308, 310; reciprocity negotiations with
the United States ends in disaster, 261-9; --Conservative (Borden,
1911-) Administration, 268-9, 230, 286, 312; the Great War, 316-17.
See Canada.

Paterson, William, 170 n., 196, 207.

Patrons of Industry, the, 157-8.

Pope, J. H., 55, 60.

Prefontaine, J. R. F., 299.

Protestant Protective Association, the, 117.

Pugsley, William, 247.

Quebec, the assembly of 1871, 33; the Letellier case, 63-6; the Ontario
boundary, 67; the Riel agitation, 81, 83, 89; the Jesuits' Estates Act,
115; the school question, 168, 243.

Reciprocity question, the, 104, 111, 112-14, 119-22, 261-8.

Rhodes, Cecil, 185.

Riel, Louis, 39-40; leader of the North-West Rebellion, 73, 78, 79-80,
81, 85, 87-8 and n.

Riel Rebellions, the, 38-40, 72-80.

Ritchie, Mr Justice, 48.

Roman Catholic Church in Canada, 23-4, 27-8; its hostility to
Liberalism, 29-31, 41-8, 90, 167; the schools question, 159-61, 163-4,
167, 172, 240-1, 244-5.

Root, Elihu, 214, 258.

Ross, Sir George, 311.

Rouge party, the, 21-2, 23-4, 28, 40.

Routhier, A. B., 43, 47.

Royal Military College, the, 38.

Russia, 140; and empire, 141, 210, 303.

Sackville-West, Sir Lionel, 106.

Salisbury, Marquis of, 142-3.

Saskatchewan, the province formed, 238-9; the school question, 239-45.

School question, the, 158-68, 170-3, 239-45.

Scott Act, the, 38, 69-70.

Scott, R. W., 170 n.

Seddon, Richard, 195.

Selborne, Lord, 195, 200.

Sifton, Sir Clifford, 170 n., 234, 244, 247, 279; his immigration
campaign, 221-2, 223, 224.

Smith, Goldwin, 107, 109, 110.

Smuts, General, 318.

South Africa, 198; the Boer War, 184-92; and imperial defence, 304-5,
314.  See Colonial Conferences.

Sprigg, Sir Gordon, 195.

Strathcona, Lord, 59; High Commissioner, 191, 279.

Taché, Archbishop, 160.

Taft, President, 261-3, 265.

Tariffs: in Canada, 56-8, 150, 174-5, 205-7, 235-7, 249-52, 260-8,
274-6; in Europe, 140; in Britain, 150, 205-7, 271-81; in United
States, 260-3.

Tarte, J. Israel, 155, 170 n., 193; 'Master of the Administration,'
236, 247.

Taschereau, Archbishop, his moderate policy, 42, 44, 45.

Taschereau, Mr Justice, decides against the Church, 47-8.

Thompson, Sir John, 85, 124; prime minister, 155, 156.

Tupper, Sir Charles, in the Macdonald Cabinet, 60, 106, 111, 120, 124,
136; prime minister, 148, 162, 166, 167; leader of Opposition, 175,
193, 194, 204; an empire-builder, 329.

Tupper, Sir Hibbert, 162.

Turner, Senator, 214.

United States, 62, 63, 99, 209; misconceptions regarding Canada, 94;
'feeling its oats,' 102; relations with Britain, 103, 257; the
fisheries dispute, 104-6; political and commercial relations with
Canada, 106-9, 109-14, 118-19, 124-5, 208-15, 257-63, 266, 268; the
Monroe Doctrine, 203-4; the Joint High Commission, 209-10; the Alaskan
boundary, 210-15; the conservation conference, 234; her diplomatic
development, 256.

Venezuela episode, the, 102, 208, 209, 212.

Victoria, Queen, 176, 195.

Ward, Sir Joseph, 276, 293-6.

White, James, 235.

White, Thomas, 78; his tribute to Laurier, 86.

Wiman, Erastus, 109.

Winter, Sir James, 209.

 Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
  at the Edinburgh University Press

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