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States to the prejudice of British-Canadian trade, by giving New York better trans-oceanic service than Montreal.
The time has come for a re-adaptation of methods to ends, as plainly as the time comes for adolescents to adapt their nether garments to the length of their limbs. The Dominion Government cannot offer free homesteads as freely as it could when I went to Saskatchewan twenty-six years ago. The Ontario Government, if it is to open up its clay belt to rapidly remunerative settlement, will have to pursue a more seductive method than that which painfully transformed old Ontario from a forest into a garden. The Maritime Provinces cannot recreate their agricultural prosperity on an expenditure of 25,000 dollars a year. The British attitude towards Canada has been revolutionised within the last decade. There is a new Canada, and a changed Britain; and new light on old phases of political relationship has been acquired.
It has been reserved for the Duke of Sutherland to crystallise these hitherto elusive factors into a concrete suggestion that has uniquely appealed to the public mind in Canada. As the ducal plan is founded on his own Canadian experience it has double merit, for the Duke has a Canadian home and has sensed the Canadian spirit. He knows too much about the country to suppose, as a Hudson's Bay Company shareholder supposed, that land in Western Canada can be rented to farmers as it is in Staffordshire. The Duke sees that service to Canada and the Empire is to be rendered by helping the settler to purchase his farm, and then retiring gracefully with your capital and six per cent. for the period during which the settler used it. He laughed greatly when he heard that some people imagined he desired, in the transference of people to Alberta from his own Scottish territory, to perpetuate any shred or shadow of the ancient feudalism.
The Duke has grasped the simple truth that it is neither wise nor profitable to turn a green Briton with a cheque-book into a new country, and tell him to buy land and equipment, and begin to build houses and barns, without experience, and without the aid of those who know how to save money in the spending of it. Experience is worth paying for, but there is no sense in throwing away money inaugurating a Canadian farm under the mistaken notion that you are investing it. He sees that if a Britisher can go to a farm which carries fifty acres of crop the first year, and the cost of which can be paid for on the same terms as the land is paid for, the farm is at once on a profit-earning basis, and is more sure to recompense the seller of the land than would be the case if a 'green' hand were left to gain his livelihood by the slow annual increase of his crop area which has distinguished the course of many thousands of Britishers' entry to the honourable field of agriculture.
The Duke has also discovered that, as the successful settlement of Canadian lands must be on Canadian lines-the genius who was confident that a Derby digger was the ideal implement for breaking up prairie had died some time ago-any large readjustment of method must carry the co-operation of Canadians experienced in settlement, and desirous primarily of strengthening the foundations of Canadian-British unity.
As I write, the details of the Duke's plan have not been disclosed. But it is known that he proposes the association of Canadian and British brains and capital in obtaining, from all the Canadian Governments which desire to promote immigration, lands, and means of intercommunication, on which will be placed settlers through a company which will partially prepare the farm, erect buildings, and put a certain amount of land into crop-and sell it to the occupant on terms devised to allow a certain elasticity according to crop results.
From the multitude of difficulties such as beset every workable scheme two are specially obvious in the Duke of Sutherland's scheme. One is of management, the other is of the quality of the people who are to become farm-purchasers. The greater of these is the second.
Management is primarily a one-man question, given adequate resources. The selection of settlers looks quite simple. The handling of them after they are settled is going to be extremely difficult, because of the manifold differences between life in the Old Land and life in the New, which I have sketched in preceding pages. I am not so sure whether at first it will not be better to get people who have already begun to make good in Canada. Certainly a leaven of them should be in every district wherein the Duke's Company will operate.
Anyway the initial task of getting people to understand that nothing that can be done for them is comparable to what they can do for themselves, and that things will necessarily be different in Canada from things in Britain, can be undertaken more successfully in Britain than has hitherto been the case. It is the lesson of the Emigrant Returned; the conscious doing in the realm of the family what the Imperial Conference is subconsciously doing in the august spaciousness of the Empire. It is merely the anticipation in Britain of what will happen to the emigrant in Canada.
Two years ago I discussed Chinese immigration to Canada with a Vancouver Chinaman who has become the legal guide, philosopher, and friend of his countrymen in British Columbia. In the club-rooms of the Chinese Reform Association he told me of a plan to establish schools in Shanghai and one or two other Chinese cities, wherein the intending emigrant to Canada and
the United States might prepare for a queueless life. The idea is good, and not for Chinamen alone. We expect the Celestial to be different from, we desire the Britisher to be like unto, ourselves. Though there is no queue to be shorn, there are things to be learned which might save a great deal of trouble.
I shall mention one potential aid to emigration that too few 'experts' have appreciated. Recently there came to me an English farmer from Alberta, who finds great happiness in that province, and whose children would not return to Manchester for bags of gold. His wife, he said, preferred city life, but vowed that if ever she returned to England she would take her cookstove with her. There are thousands of British men who would like to live in Canada, but whose wives do not wish to come because they have exaggerated notions of the hardships they would have to contend with. Not one in ten of these good women is accustomed to do her cooking with anything like the convenience that is enjoyed by those who cook in such stoves as are found in the remotest, most primitive houses of the New Country.
Again, the winter is a definite hindrance to many excellent people. I have never seen a child's sleigh exhibited in Britain as an evidence of the fact that winter in Canada is a time of abundant sport for the youngsters. When my three girls had been a year in Canada I asked if they would like to live again in England. They said 'No,' and when I asked Why not?' the first reason was 'Because we could not have our sleighs there.'
One of these days I expect to write an article on How to Canadianise Britain,' in which I shall try to show how the process of approximating the life, ideas, and standard of living of the average man in Britain to the life, ideas, and standard of living of the average man in Canada may be advanced. For, be it remembered, if there is to be complete Imperial unity there must be a growing likeness between your life and ours, and not a divergence in the standards that are most common to the greatest number of the people. In some respects the New Land has gone beyond the Old.
Wherever you look for guidance as to what the future may profitably bring forth, you are bound to come across sign-posts to the Emigrant Returned.
I am not concerned to reduce the political religion of the Imperial emigrant to precise articles of faith. He will have to translate his faith into votes on his own experience. Still, from a distance he can discern the broad, deep current of CanadianImperial progress, and can learn that there are some eddies in the stream that his political barque should avoid.
It is the business of Canada to become an increasing power within the British Empire. I have not for a long time seen
such a wise statement of what I believe to be the true position as that which was made by Lord Grey on his return to England in October. The ex-Governor General, who was the first of the line thoroughly to identify himself with the Canadian spirit, has raised a standard which I believe the Imperial emigrant may regard as his own. He said :
'Notwithstanding some desire to the contrary, there is no expectation in Canada that the recent Canadian elections should be used for inducing any change into the tariffs of the United Kingdom. It cannot be too clearly understood that Canadians are as averse to the idea of interfering in your local affairs as they are to any interference on your part in theirs. The method by which the self-governing Dominions may collect the revenue required to fulfil not only national but Imperial obligations is regarded by Canadians as a local matter within the sole jurisdiction of the Dominions concerned. They do not wish to interfere with the desire of the people of the United Kingdom to raise revenue in such a way as may seem best to them. Let it be clearly understood that the Canadian people are not in sympathy with any form of Imperialism which involves the idea of the subjection of a self-governing people to any authority outside, or to any form of government involving the idea of Jingo aggressiveness or arrant interference with the rights of others. Canadians are all Imperialists and all Nationalists.'
Politically, the emigrant has things to unlearn even as he has when he travels, when he farms, when he builds a house. He must learn that party names do not mean the same things in Canada as they mean in Britain. Let me illustrate. There has recently been unpleasantness in Britain over the House of Lords. The Liberal party has clipped its wings, as an Irishman said the other day, to prevent it trampling upon Liberal legislation.
The complaint against the House of Lords was that it had become a Tory organisation. When a Tory Government passed legislation in the House of Commons, the House of Lords opened its mouth and shut its eyes, and took all that was sent to it. But when a Liberal Government sent important Bills to the Upper Chamber, the process was reversed-the House of Lords opened its eyes, shut its mouth, and took what it was obliged to.
In Canada there is a pale and feeble imitation of the House of Lords-the Senate. Half a generation ago Sir Wilfrid Laurier pledged himself to reform it for the very same reason that the Liberal party attacked the House of Lords-it had become a Conservative party institution. He has governed the appointments to the Senate for fifteen years, and it is now as much a Liberal institution as it was a Conservative institution twenty years since.
Take an illustration from provincial politics. A Conservative Government at Toronto is distributing the lightning over the province. It is bringing Niagara Falls into the electric lamps in the room in which I write, and has pledged itself to supply practically all Ontario with the dangerous fluid-the most radical piece of administration I know of in the Empire.
Again, in Britain the emigrant probably belonged to the Conservative party which has vehemently opposed local veto. The Conservative Government in Ontario is enforcing local veto on smaller majorities than the United Kingdom Alliance would gladly accept. Lately in Nova Scotia I saw a letter from a Conservative candidate, a letter pledging himself to the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating beverages in Canada. He has since become the Chief Whip of the Conservative party.
Take still another illustration. Many people think that Free Trade is an immutable article of the Liberal faith in Britain. agree with Sir Edward Grey that it was, and is, an expedient. Free Trade was introduced into Britain to help manufactures. Agriculture could not support the rapidly increasing population. It was necessary to obtain and keep overseas markets, and the great apostles of Free Trade, Bright and Cobden, who were manufacturers, preached the necessity of obtaining cheap food and cheap raw material as a means of maintaining the industrial supremacy of Britain.
In Canada Protection was adopted with the same object that Free Trade was adopted in Britain-to encourage manufactures. At that time the Canadian people were producing, as they are producing to-day, far more food than they could eat. Whatever your theories of Free Trade and Protection-and of course I admit that Protection is liable to abuse, and has been abused in some respects-it is true that thousands and thousands of Old Country workmen are better off in Protected Canada than ever they expected to be in Free Trade England.
There is a special reason why the British emigrant shoul become seized of these things before he reaches Canada-because he becomes a full-fledged citizen almost before he has had time to realise that he is thousands of miles away from his old home. Of all those who come to Canada from outside, he is the only one who is endowed with all the rights of Canadian citizenship the moment he sets foot on Canadian soil. When he enters Ontario from Britain, he is, civically, in precisely the same position as the native-born Canadian who enters Ontario from Quebec. Both receive the vote on exactly the same terms-residence for a year in the province, and for three months in one constituency.
The obligation, therefore, to become a Canadian presses more
VOL. LXXI-No. 419