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before French settlers came to the country, and that the other six Provinces were French; would that one Province shout enthusiastically and give its children and its wealth lavishly for the glory of France, were France engaged in a distant war, on the merits of which our own Mother Country and the rest of the world were-to
say the least—by no means clear? Not a bit of it. No one would expect anything so unreasonable from us. And, if a mob tried to ram the flag of France down our throats, it would not increase our love for that flag to any great extent. In such a case, we would jealously guard every constitutional right we
We would be true to the Sovereign to whom we had sworn allegiance, but above all we would be true to the Country which our forefathers had made and in the soil of which their ashes reposed. In time, doubtless, we would fuse with the new and more numerous Canadians and become one people with them; but they would need to have great patience with us and win our affections by legitimate means if they wished to bring about such a consummation. Could we, little more than half a century after we had fought for political rights, be expected to say more than Mr. Monet said the other day?—“I am a Canadian ; I am not French, I am not English, but I am Canadian, loving this country because it is the land of our forefathers, who were Canadians, and I will defend inch by inch the bulwark of our political freedom ?” Would not some of us rise and say with Mr. Bourassa ; --" We have a written Constitution, and that Constitution is not only the legal form of our Government, it is also a solemn and sacred compact between the various Provinces of British North America. It may of course need reforms and additions. But when amendment is required, it will be made only by the free and independent action of both the Canadian and the British Parliaments and approved by the people of Canada." And if our Premier happened to be a man who raised every discussion in which he took part to a higher level, and who had given his whole political life to the promotion of unity, harmony and amity between the diverse elements of the country, what would we think of partisans who sought to excite prejudice against him in the other Provinces on the grounds of his being British and Protestant ? Is it necessary to point the moral of the parallel which I have attempted to suggest ? It is well to get at your opponent's point of view, and quite
necessary when lie is worth converting ; but it is difficult to arrive at intellectual sympathy with pro
fessed and protectionist lovers of Imperial unity who yet vote against the preferential tariff in favour of Britain. They say that it is a fraud, but how can that be if two is less than three ? Both parties declare that as the Canadian manufacturer can not stand on the basis of free trade with Britain, he must have for a time the protection of a fence against all outsiders.
Tarift Preference in favour of Britain.
But, say some of our friends, the Government first made the fence higher and then lowered it in favour of Britain. Even if that were so, it proves nothing against the reality of the preference. Suppose they had made it 100 yards high, it was still only 87} against the British manufacturer, then only 75, and hereafter it will be only 66z. It would be precisely the same if the fence were 100 miles high. The Canadian manufacturer having been encouraged to go into business has his rights, and the first of these is that the lowering of the fence must be gradual. As all admit that, how can it be said, even by people whose powers of counting are limited to their five fingers, that three and two are the same ? What increases the difficulty of appreciating their position is that they contend that a preference in our favour by Britain of even one-fourth as much would be a wonderful boon. In a word, figures mean something on one side of the Atlantic and nothing on the other side. There is no sentiment in trade, says Dr. Montague. Certainly not, echoes Mr. Bourassa, and he stands up and votes with the ex-Cabinet minister. But the Quebecker adds, there should be no sentiment in voting away public money or in sending off our sons to a more distant and sterner fight than that of trade. Canada for Canadians alone, so far as trade is concerned, cries the Ontarian. Canada for Canadians alone, all through the piece, pleads the Quebecker.Neither cry is worth a cent, but there can be no doubt which is consistent. Mr. Fielding is to be congratulated that the state of the revenue enabled him to make the duties on British goods lower; but as the previous lowering had increased the revenue, he should have held his old tone instead of hinting that he is weary in well-doing. “I do not think,” he gently hints, “that the advocates of tariff revision would ask us to go, on that class of articles, below the rates we have now named,” that is 23} per cent. Will they not? We shall see. But, after all, it was perhaps necessary for him to throw a tub to the whale, and everything depends on what is meant by "a reasonable time in the
a future." 12 in 1897, and 25 in 1898, and 33} in 1900, and 40 in 1902, would that be “reasonable ?" One point is clear, we are travelling on the only track by which a mutual preference will ever be reached. For, whether there is sentiment in trade or not, there is sentiment, lots of it and the best kind, in John Bull. And it will be wiser for us to trust to it than to worry and disgust the old gentleman by insisting that he shall turn his vast business topsy-turvy on the preposterous pretence of a possible slight increase in the 3 per cent. of it that he does with us. In dealing with a somewhat irascible multi-millionaire, it is at least prudent to press along the line of least resistance, instead of butting against the old stone walls he prides himself on possessing, he alone too of all the nations of the earth.
The admission of our securities into the rigidly guarded
trustee list is a significant proof of the changed attiOur Securities
tude of the British mind regarding Canada. We are Trustee List.
no longer a Colony. We have taken our stand as a partner. Ever since Imperial Federation was talked of, Australian and Canadian Commissioners have pleaded that trustees should be entitled by law to invest in Colonial securities, but they were always met with a curt “Non possumus." Now, the apparently insurmountable obstacles have vanished, and legislation is to be passed which will put our loans on almost the same tooting as British consols. To a country which has to borrow a hundred millions in the course of the next ten years and will have to continue borrowing for an indefinite time, the value of this boon is enormous in itself, and as regards our general credit, while it is gratifying to our national self-respect. It is another illustration of the readiness with which sensible John Bull responds to deeds, and the little heed he pays to words. No doubt, Australia will receive the same priviledge, when the Imperial Act to be passed this year constitutes it “ The Commonwealth of Australia,” in place of the old “Colonies” of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. West Australia seems disposed to remain outside for a short time, and New Zealand is strong enough to stand by itself and is in fact a separate Conferation, with a virile life of its own. It is the Great Britain and Australia the Europe of the Southern Seas. Another General, and this time a man of distinguished ability,
obliged to leave the service of Canada, because party and the Minister insisted on extending the spoils system to the Militia, of Militia.
even amid the stern realities of war! It was known for some time that friction existed between the General and his Minister; but in view of the high qualities of the former and his boundless energy, people hoped that they might be able to work together as long as the war lasted. At such a time as this, the British Government might have been spared our domestic quarrels and Canada might have been allowed to retain the best General the Militia has ever had. With us the General holds the same position as the Commander-in-Chief at the War Office in London, and he, though subordinate to the civilian Secretary of State for War and the Cabinet, is responsible for the maintenance of discipline and for all appointments. Here, however, party claims everything, and against that, as a rule neither service nor fitness counts. The General is only an “adviser,” and that is interpreted to mean receiving instead of giving advice. If he declines to take advice, which in his judgment is bad, regarding appointments or other matters, and throws the responsibility on the Minister of Militia, he is declared “insubordinate." This system, bad in any Department and shocking where the lives of men are
concerned, has the sanction of the present and past Governments but it has only to be fully shown up to be condemned by every
A real man, an entity not "a non-entity,” is needed for the post of General. Given that, it matters little whether he be English, Scotch, Irish, Australian, Afrikander or Canadian. But, as no man worth his salt will remain in the position when he discovers that he is expected to be only a figure-head and a screen for political log-rolling, the result must be to give us a non-entity, and behind his name and office abominations will go on while everything looks lovely. The present Government did well, in so increasing the salary of the General that they were able to secure a first-class man; but how could they expect such a man to be a slave and a fraud ? Let them pass an Order-in-Council defining the sphere of the General, and declaring that party and personal claims shall not extend to our War power, before they ask a self-respecting man to succeed General Hutton. It would be the most popular thing they could do as well as the right thing; for no Government, now we are at war, can retain the confidence of the militia or of the people by adhering to the old system. This is one of the things that must be done, and not merely "taken into consideration.”
. Three months ago it was said in "Current Events," “ far too much has been made of our reverses.” It may now be said with equal truth that far too much has been made of our
successes. The public always goes from one extreme
to the other, and the London press has proved itself little better than that of New York or Paris, as a restraining and steadying intellectual force. Because our two greatest Generals with 40,000 men at their command, including a sufficient force of superb cavalry, captured Cronje with his 5000 and entered Bloemfontein, a town on the open veldt incapable of being defended, shouts went up on all sides that the war was practically at an end, and “experts” announced that Roberts would enter Pretoria on May 15th! Last October, it was jauntily prophesied that Buller would eat his Christmas dinner in Pretoria. It is now denied that he ever said so. Next month it will be denied that Wolseley ever fixed on May 15th as the day for Roberts' entry into that city. Everyone wishes and hopes that the war will end soon, but can anything bnt evil come from shutting our eyes to facts as big as the Transvaal, which is a country somewhat bigger than France ? Natal is not yet cleared of the enemy; Mafeking is not relieved ; the main force of the enemy is intact ; the Transvaal has not been entered even from the South, where the approach to it is easiest and by railway ; and the burghers are still determined to fight rather than submit to British Sovereignty. In war, the unexpected usually happens and therefore possibly Kruger may wilt at any moment and sur
render what he has stubbornly fought for all his life. Is it likely? As to the defence of Pretoria, what outstanding lesson should the war have taught the man on the street ? This, that a place indifferently situated and fortified can be defended for months against overwhelming numbers. The Boers could not capture Maseking, Kimberley or Ladysmith. But Pretoria is splendidly fortified, provisioned, supplied with modern cannon, niagazine rifles, maxims, and with men who know how to shoot and who will fight knowing that Europe is with them at heart and that intervention may come in the autumn, when the Paris Exposition is over.
But, "the Free Staters are either surrendering or quarrelling with the Transvaal Burghers.” The quarrels amount to no more than the jealousies between our rival cities, and a minority in the Free State, with its headquarters in Bloemfontein, have been traditionally friends to Britain and were opposed to the war. Indeed, the common opinion amoug European experts, when the Orange Free State ranged itself on the side of the Transvaal was that our task had thereby been greatly simplified. Had it remained neutral, its best soldiers could have quietly joined their kinsfolk, and we, obliged to respect the neutrality of the State, could not have made Bloemfontein our base of operations nor advanced across the open, high veldt to the Vaal. We would have been dependent on one line of Railway, and it would have needed an enormous force to guard it, especially along the borders, while fear of exciting so model a Republic into enmity would have paralysed our operations during the war, and our freedom when effecting a final settlement. The moral advantage of capturing the capital of one of the Republics is considerable, and the strategic value of Bloemfontein now that it is in our hands immense, but to suppose that the enemy's back has been broken is a delusion. The preposterous offers of peace made by the two Presidents ought to show this. They have no conception that they are near the end of their resources. their real object in offering terms was to "draw” Lord Salisbury. They have drawn him, but they must feel to little advantage as far as their moral position is concerned. Nothing could be in better tone than his answer. In substance he says, we were arguing disputed points, and while doing so—knowing that your armed strength was greatly in excess of ours on the spot-we took steps to strengthen our garrisons; and, just when it suited you, came the insolent ultimatum and an invasion of the Queen's territories so formidable that you are still intrenched within them. You now sanctimoniously propose peace on conditions which you would not have ventured to propose six or nine months ago !!