- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 17 Apr 1919, p. 234-250
- Eaton, Rev. C.A., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Our choice between Democracy and Bolshevism as the foundation upon which we are to construct a new age. Contemplating the results of the German assault upon human liberties. Democracy and its persistence against adverse conditions down the centuries, as described by De Tocqueville. Bolshevism as the new claimant which undertakes to divide the suffrage of the world with triumphant democracy. The nature of Bolshevism and why it will fail. Admitting problems with democracy. Some tremendous issues which must be faced, such as the relationship between the nations and the future relationship between the citizen and his government. Incidents that illustrate the disadvantages of Socialism or Bolshevism. The possibilities of introducing the principles of political democracy, for which we consider this world war was fought, into the realm of industry. The speaker's belief that this can be done, and on what he bases that belief. Instances to illustrate the progress of industrial relations. Some suggestions from the speaker. The need to extend through all realms of life a oneness of moral standard. Ensuring a high character and intelligence of the community in those who run for public office. Expelling those who teach doctrines which undermine the authority and influence of our governments. Closing the gates of immigration for at least four years or longer. Going slower in building the nations of Canada and the United States.
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- 17 Apr 1919
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- DEMOCRACY OR BOLSHEVISM
AN ADDRESS BY REV. C. A. EATON, D.D.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
April 17, 1919.
DR. EATON was introduced in a neat speech by the President, and was received enthusiastically by the audience with cheers and applause.
DR. EATON said: Mr. President and Gentlemen, I would be quite unCanadian if I were not deeply moved by such a welcome home. I am unworthy of it, but 1 like it just the same.
I am going to speak to you upon what I think is the supreme question of this day for all the world, out choice between Democracy and Bolshevism as the foundation upon which we are to construct a new age. Whenever I permit my mind-and I suppose you have had the same experience-to run over the awful results of the German assault upon human liberties, I become almost speechless. If you could gather together all the traitors against humanity since the dawn of time,
Reverend Doctor Eaton is a Canadian by birth and education. He has been for years an outstanding public figure in the life both of Canada and the United States. As pastor of leading Baptist churches in Toronto, Cleveland and New York, he has become known as one of the outstanding preachers of the Continent. His broad interest in public affairs is indicated by his newspaper work. During his Toronto pastoracy he contributed extensively both to Canadian and United States newspapers. His capacity for leadership led to his selection as Chairman of the National Bureau of Speakers and in this position he and his assistants did wonderful work in educating the people of the United States during the war. As President of the Canadian Society of New York he has been indefatigable in his efforts for a closer and more friendly relation between the United States and the British Empire, and he did splendid service in upholding the cause of the Allies in the early days of the war.
including the arch-traitor Judas Iscariot, you would not begin to approach the treasonable results of the German assault upon human liberties. Your children and your grand children to the last generation in every land in the world will still be reaping the whirlwind sown by this damnable group of world assassins. Men tell me that the war is over and I must treat the Germans gently by squirting a little moral rosewater on them. I say no, the man who assumes that attitude has something wrong with his moral nature. These people have assassinated the world, and instead of patting them on the back and making a pious peace with them let them take their medicine now. That is what they went out to get. (Applause.) They wanted "world domination or ruin." They did not get the 'first, thank God. Give them their fill of the latter.
There was a dog that used to chase a train that Charlie Schwab rode in from New York to Bethlehem. One day Mr. Schwab said to the brakeman, "What is the matter with that dog? What is he chasing the train. for?" The brakeman said, "I don't know, but I have given a great deal of thought to one question, as to what that dog would do with this train if he caught it?" (Laughter.) Well now, the Germans have got the other horn of the dilemma which they erected; let them have it, and don't make it too soft for them.
We have troubles enough of our own, and in addition we have the enormous flood of troubles that has poured out' of the assassinations of mankind by the German arms. I look forward to the next five years as being as difficult, if not more difficult for the entire race of men, than were the past five years of bloodshed and strife, because, in those days, we had the compelling impulse of a great struggle; the world was knit together by a bond of common danger and common enthusiasm and common dedication to a great cause. The day the armistice was signed the binder was broken and the bundle fell apart; and we have had the great nervous re-action which comes to all men after a period of frightful strain. Under these conditions, with hell loose in every land under the sun, it takes a man with his feet on the ground and his head cool and his heart warm to stand up to it in cold blood, day after day, and discharge his obligations as a man ought to do. That is why this is going to be such a difficult age.
The Germans undertook to fasten upon the world what we call autocracy. The theory of autocracy is that power originated at the top; a mythical being known as "Gott" delegated to some favorite, who may be a wise man or a fool-it is about fifty-fifty in history-delegated to this favorite autocratic power, and this gentlemen spreads his power out upon a chosen few, and he and his associates rest squarely upon the masses of men, exploiting the mass of men for and in the interest of the few. This is Prussianism, and Prussianism is dead, thank God, never to rise again. We have settled that. (Applause.)
The other--great claimant for the suffrage of the world has been described since written history as Democracy. In 1830 De Tocqueville, a famous Frenchman, visited this continent to study democratic institutions in America, and he wrote a chapter to describe the persistence of the democratic ideal against adverse conditions down the centuries. It is one of the most fascinating and amazing spectacles of history that in spite of all obstacles there has steadily grown a hunger in the world for that thing we call Democracy.
Democracy is here, but a new claimant has reached the field and undertakes to divide the suffrage of the world with triumphant democracy. We call that claimant Bolshevism. The theory of democracy is that political power originates at the bottom, that government exists by the consent of the governed, that law and all the institutions of the state are simply a projection of the intelligence and character of the masses of the men constituting that state. Democracy knows nothing of a class; it recognizes only the government and the individuals who constitute the nation. Theoretically ,under a democratic system there are no rich and no poor, no men or women; it is like the Kingdom of God. There is room in a democracy, theoretically, for every man to realize all his powers, whether they be small or great.
Now we have Bolshevism offering itself as an opponent and substitute of Democracy. Bolshevism is simply Prussianism turned upside down. Whereas Prussianism is the exploitation of the many by the few, for the few; Bolshevism is the exploitism of the few by the many, for the many.
Bolshevism will fail, first because it is distinctly and completely and consciously a class movement. It begins and ends with the proletariat. The proletariat republic of Russia is a republic of one class, namely the people who work with their hands. Gentlemen, no civilization founded upon one class was ever permanent. Prussianism failed for that reason and for no other. It was a pyramid upon its apex, and when the torrents of outraged public opinion fell upon it, backed by the armed force of the world, it collapsed. Bolshevism will fail for exactly the same reason. There is not a free man in the earth but would rather lie down in the clean earth dead than draw a single breath of tainted air under the tyranny of an autocracy; but how much more would we fight and die before we would surrender our manhood to the domination of a mob of unwashed, bewhiskered nobodies who do not know their right hand from their left. (Applause.)
Bolshevism will fail because it is a class movement, using physical force as the instrument of its advancement. In the long run gentlemen, you can never put into a position of permanence any institution which does not rest squarely upon a moral foundation of justice. (Applause.) You can establish an institution by force, and keep it there for a little while, but the universe is against you, God is against you, human nature is against you, and sooner or later your hands holding that artificial weight up there will become palsied, and the moment you withdraw the support of force it crumbles and collapses. Nothing is permanent except that which rests upon the ultimate principles of justice.
Bolshevism will fail because it is contrary to human nature and the nature of things. It is a fact that a normal man must have more than a class if he is to realize his powers. He must have men above him to whom -he can aspire and before whom he can stand in reverence.
He must have men his equals with whom he can compete and co-operate and thus develop himself by contact. He must have a nation with all its wonderful variety of life, its arts and sciences, its religion, its irreligion even, all the vast splendid diversity of a great national complex is necessary for the complete development of any individual citizen. More than that, he must have other nations, so that the great dreams and ideals of alien races may correct and inspire his ideals. He must have more that that; he must have another world lying beyond and around this, so that in the unfathomed infinitudes of eternity he may realize the incompletions of this earthly world.
A man is a universe greater than the physical universe, and to undertake to cram him down and squeeze him into the narrow confines of the lowest class of all the world is to assassinate human nature at its very source. (Applause.)
If Bolshevism were to go on, it cannot logically end until it places the government of the world in the hands of the Hottentots and the head hunters. I need not stop to elaborate. It is the logical conclusion from the Bolshevist premise that the lower and more common people are, the more right they have to rule. Consequently we must find on the earth the lowest sweepings of hell, and when you do find them then they will become your masters by virtue of the fact that they constitute the lowest order.
It is time for us to quit our squeamish nonsense, gentlemen. Let us proclaim the fact that there are men of one lung, one engine men; there are six-cylinder men; there are big men and there are little men. A cow has two ends, one has the tail on it and the other the head. Both are useful in the proper place. How foolish it would be to reverse those ends. That is like the chap that was milking a cow, and a lady came around who thought he was a slacker and said "Why aren't you at the front." He replied "Madam, the milk is not at that end." (Laughter.)
The time has come for every man in the world to stand up and be counted for sanity and justice. Do not lose your head because a dozen ignorant, stupid men march down the street with a red banner and say "you have a few dollars and we want it." Tell them if they want it to go and get it, and meet them with a shotgun as you would any other thief. The time has come when you have got to say to these masses of men, "You have your rights, I have mine." (Applause.) "Observe them both." And if you do not take the matter in your two hands like a man now, it will get away from you by-and-by. Now is the time when the stream is not too strong.
So I would face the question squarely and first of all I propose that we recognize intelligently the failures of democracy. It is the purest kind of buncombe for any man to say that democracy is the millenium, just as it is lunacy for the Bolshevist to say that to introduce his system would introduce the millenium. Mr. Trotsky has introduced the millenium in Russia and now he wants to export large chunks of it for the consumption of the rest of us. I would suggest that if the Russians like that kind of thing, that is the kind of thing they like. Let them have it provided they keep it at home. But we don't want it in Canada, and we don't want it in the United States or anywhere else where men after a thousand years of experiment and loss and struggle have evolved even a rudimentary system of free institutions and self government.
Trotsky never had a country; he never had five minutes experience as a citizen in working the institutions of a free government, and yet with an equipment of that kind he suddenly assumes supreme command of over one hundred and eighty million people and manufactures a system of government out of hot air. And in a few months he has brought Russia so far down in the scale of life that it will take a hundred years for that great people to escape and to rehabilitate themselves, even with all the help that the rest of us can give. What is the use of our parlor Bolsheviks with wondering, dreamy eyes telling us "it is a great idealism." Gentlemen, this is an age when we need to keep our feet on the ground and to face our problem with vision and common sense. (Applause.)
Let us admit then, that our democracy has failed in many particulars and let us grasp with firm hands the task of remedying those failures. There is no doubt that we have great, unnecessary and unjust contrasts in our democratic life. I am thoroughly in favor of eliminating the parasites fastened upon our body politic under our democratic institutions. Bolshevism is a state of mind; it was born in the bowels of Prussianism; it is the illegitimate child of Prussianism laid on the doorstep of the world. And, gentlemen, there is something to be said for the antagonistic mental attitude of suddenly awakened masses of men struggling on the edge of starvation, who see men or women, whose only achievement is to be the sons or daughters of their father, who inherited immense fortunes, a goodly portion of which was probably stolen or won by slaughter of weak competitors, and by reason of this unearned inheritance spend their time in doing nothing. There are such absolute parasites who work in no factories, build no buildings, till no farms, and make no contribution to the moral or spiritual or intellectual resources of their time. There is only one thing for us to do, and that is to pinch off the parasites, whether they be cooties or humming birds; pinch them off and get rid of them. (Laughter.)
There are a handful of tremendous issues which all the world must face and solve. The first, of course, is the relationship between the nations, which has to be refoundationed and re-developed. I suppose you are just as much interested in that as we are in the United States. Public opinion there is very much divided on the subject but I imagine that between 90 and 95 per cent of the people of the nation who think at all, are determined to have some kind of a league of nations as provision against future wars. They are not quite sure that the beautiful creation which Mr. Wilson brought over to us in one of his all too infrequent visits to his native land, is just what we want. We have all sorts of opinion, ranging from that of Darwin Kingsley, the, head of the New York Life Insurance Co., who wants a confederation between the British Empire and the Republic of the United States, (Applause.) and who believes that if we have that we shall have all the League of Nations we need as a guarantee of the future, and all the other nations will come in with us sooner or later. I am inclined to believe that too, yet I am rather a partial witness and they do not take much stock in what I have to say on that particular point. (Laughter.) We have every shade of opinion all the way from the stand patters who look upon America as if she were situated in an isolated vacuum, separate and distinct from every other nation in the world. But we are going to have some kind of a League of Nations.
Beyond that, we must face and define almost de novo the future relationship between the citizen and his government. Shall we have Socialism? Shall we have Bolshevism? Shall we have old fashioned Democracy? Now, before the war I had quite a streak of socialism in my make-up. There were certain great public utilities and public resources which theoretically it seemed to me would be better owned and controlled and operated by the government in the interests of all the people.
To speak as an American, we have had two years of government control of our railways, and that has cured me, and it has cured many others. (Applause.) We had one of the greatest, if not the greatest and most efficient railway system in the world-with the possible exception of the Canadian Pacific-before the war, and if there is anything that could be wrong with railway administration that is not wrong with ours, just let us know and we will take it up. In the United States after the experience of the last two years, I think I am exactly stating public opinion when I say that state ownership is as dead as the dodo. We have come to believe, and I think Canadians will come to believe, that in free self-governing constituencies, the less government you have the better it will be for every one concerned. Give the government its function, which is simple, and then leave to the individual every conceivable opportunity to realize himself from his own initiative, his own courage, his own strength, realize himself in public and private service of his nation. (Applause.) That is our theory of Democracy.
Another great issue that I am particularly interested in is the new relationship between the various parties in industry. You have heard recently Mr. Mackenzie King. I would like to say here that Mr. King has probably done more in the United States to usher in a new era of thought and attitude on the question of industrial relationships than any other one single influence in that great country. (Applause.) I do not believe that he knows that, and it gives me pleasure to say it behind his back. It would never do to say to a man with a Scotch name a thing that was decent, to his face; he might think you were insincere. (Laughter.) I do not know how it is in Canada, but gentlemen, you might as well get down to brass tacks and face the situation. The old age of autocratic business is gone, along with the other autocracies.
I remember when I was a lad in New England, seeing the old fashioned little shoe factories built in the back yards. The fathers and mothers worked there and the sons and daughters, and the sons and daughters of the neighbors. Those people were all of one breed and all had a double consciousness. They worked with their hands; they had as a result the consciousness of the worker; they saved their money and that gave them the consciousness of the capitalist. They stood upon two feet as every normal 'being ought to. By-and-by there came a new complexity in business. The little factory was closed down and amalgamated with others, and it reappeared down town in a great barn-like building. In one corner was the office where sat the management. They were engaged in problems of buying and selling, financing their institution and administration. They had now only one consciousness, the consciousness of the capitalist. Out here a thousand workmen stood at one place all day monotonously stamping out pieces of leather, or driving pegs into heels; and these men had one consciousness, the consciousness of the workmen. Consequently society became divided into groups, each group standing only upon one leg, and therefore very unstable; in equilibrium.
When the great campaigns in this country and in the United States were instituted for Victory Bonds, we put back into our life that double consciousness, by inducing great numbers of working people to become, for the first time, investors in income-producing securities; and when they made the discovery that a bond of the United States or Canada is like a famous patent medicine, in that it works while you sleep, it had a very wholesome and happy re-action upon them.
That one thing, with thousands of other forces, has brought us to a new age, and the question is, can we introduce the principles of political democracy, for which we consider this world war was fought, into the realm of industry? For, gentlemen, it is a trite observation but I must make it, that it is inherent in every great principle espoused by men, that it should seek to enthrone itself in every walk of life. When, for instance, the theory of evolution was presented to the world some people thought that it would confine itself to natural science, but instantly it looked over the wall and sought to apply itself in business, in politics, in theology. It became the great disturber of the fixed conditions of human thought.
Before the war we had continuous strife between labor and capital; we used to think that was a matter of dollars or cussedness on the part of the men involved. We now discover that back of those externals lay the unconscious effort of political democratic principles to apply themselves in the realm of industry as they had in politics. I am surprised that men like yourselves, who have been the inheritors of a thousand years of struggle for freedom, should for a moment hesitate or be confused or afraid when the proposition is put squarely up to you, "Can we apply our principles of political democracy to industry, to religion, to other activities of life?"
I believe we can. I base that belief first upon a year and a half experience with the workingmen of the United States. I spoke personally myself to over a million of them. I recognize their limitations, but I tell you this, that I found absolutely no difference in kind between the men in the front office and the men out in the riveting gang, not a particle of difference. If one had typhoid fever, and the others got it, the bug worked just the same, and it was the same kind of a bug. When they died, they were just as dead as if they had not come from different parts of the world. There is no difference in the fundamentals of human nature.
That is the great new dream that is coming for American industry like a glorious new golden age. It is one of the most extraordinary features of the reconstruction time, the change in the attitude on the part of leaders in American industry. Take Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. He was born with a mighty handicap as the son of a very rich man. He owned a great industry in Colorado. He had at the same time a Bible class in New York and told all the boys to be good. The country used to laugh at that and criticize it, and it gave a great cause for scoffing. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. was a scandal; industrial strife and confusion were the order of the day. Mr. Rockefeller one day made the discovery that he was the owner of that institution and therefore responsible for its conditions. What did he do? He did what every strong brave man ought to do; he went and faced the music where the music was being made. And when he got there, under the guidance of one of the leading Canadian experts in such business, he evolved a system of representation in business.
The condition was analysed into four parties and that is accepted as the groundwork now of all industrial relations-capital, management, labor and the community. Heretofore labor had fought capital and management together, and the part of the community has been the part of the innocent bystander who gets the brick. That is changed today by a system of democratic representation between management and the men; all those troubles have evaporated and the Colorada Fuel & Iron Co. is composed of human beings in the management and among the men, and instead of strikes and strife and animosity and that ill-will which, I believe, economists tell us cuts down production fifty per cent, instead of that we have a great splendid family working together as a national service, proud of themselves, proud of each other and growing more like men every day. (Applause.)
The same is true in the Bethlehem Steel, under Mr. Schwab, whom I look upon as one of the very greatest Americans, and one of the greatest democrats of the ages.
George Eastman, of the Eastman Kodak Co. is another of the great men who are seeking to humanize industrial relations. I, myself, have the honor of being advisory counsel of one of the greatest industrial organizations of America, and my job is to furnish the principles on which democracy shall be introduced into the entire organization, and that at the request of the head of it, a man of untold wealth and a great autocratic power, but he reads the handwriting on the wall and he re-acts in his moral sense to the glory and challenge of this hour.
Unless you plow a furrow around your works yourself, before the fire reaches you, you will have no protection when it comes. These men in America say. "We will not leave our hundreds and thousands of workmen to the leading of the Bolshevist agitator; we will come down and stand with them and lead them ourselves." And it is a wonderful thing when men stand face to face, to see .how quickly they lose their antagonisms, which are based nearly always upon ignorance of each other. Gentlemen, that is the great revolution. Industry is the very foundation of all national progress, industry and agriculture, and unless the two parties in industry, the men who work with their hands and the men who work with their brains, can find partnership, co-operation and full brotherhood, we are going to continue an age of strife and ruin and failure, which will put behind in the race any nation unfortunate enough to keep that system as the basis of its industry.
Gentlemen, it is a falsehood; you can nail it down as an unmitigated lie that there is a natural antagonism between the interests of labor and capital. If you follow that through to its logical conclusion one must destroy the other. If therefore, labor is destroyed, the world is thrown into starvation; we cannot eat money or machinery. And if capital is destroyed, labor falls back automatically to the status of the cave man and becomes a citizen of the stone age once more. No, gentlemen; just as the rich man and the poor man have co-operated for a thousand years under British institutions in building up and working the institutions of their country in the interests of all, so the employer and the employee from now on must stand together in the interests of their nation. They must make every business that operates in this nation a national service, and they must go to it as brothers and fellow-citizens and partner in that great enterprise. (Applause.)
This industrial situation is supreme; what then are we going to do? Well, my first proposition may surprise you, being a preacher, and that is that most of the troubles between men originate in their souls. We have the American and Canadian nations side by side with between three and four thousand miles of imaginary boundary, for a hundred years, and in that hundred years .there has not been a year but some issue rose between the two peoples, containing all the seeds of war yet we never went to war. Why? Because on that side and on this we had the same moral standard to which we brought for final answer and solution our problem and our issues. (Hear, hear.) We had the same soul nurtured in the same traditions of personal responsibility and good sportsmanship. When issues arose we submitted them to arbitration. When the arbitrator decided against the United States all the newspapers immediately announced that the United States had been outraged, betrayed, and robbed. Then everybody forgot it and went about their business. When the arbitrators announced his decision against Canada, everybody in Canada put up a howl that once more Uncle Sam had outraged, robbed and betrayed us through our delinquent representatives on the board of arbitration; and then we all forgot it here and went on with our business. So we have gone on for a hundred years and so, please God, may we go on to the end of time. (Applause.)
So my first cure for the tremendous ills and difficulties of our hour is that we extend through all realms of life a oneness of moral standard. I would take the preachers out of the pulpits where they are trying to squirt religion into people that have got so much religion in them now that they can't practice it in the next thousand years, and I would put them out into the street and in the factories and on the farms and have them preach this one standard. I would have the Catholic priest and the Episcopalian rector and the Baptist pastor put their moral proposition into one term so that from one end of the land to the other every man would have one soul, and no other kind of soul but a Canadian soul. (Applause.)
I would ask the newspapers to do the same, and believe me, the newspapers are a mighty force, and growing mightier everyday. I would ask the school teachers to do the same, so that everywhere we shall have one moral standard. We believe it is just as necessary for a man to be religious on Monday as it is on Sunday. (Applause.) We have had a great contention as to what religion means, and we have discovered that the Kingdom of God is out there where men are, and unless a man who runs a factory, or drives an express wagon, or holds a plow, is just as religious when he is doing these things as when he is sitting on a cushioned pew on Sunday, then he is not religious at all. * (Applause.) A man cannot be a Christian Sunday morning by putting a nickel in the plate and cussing the preacher because he preaches thirty-five minutes instead of thirty, and then going out on Monday morning and flaying his neighbors. That day has gone by. You have either got to be at it seven days a week or not at all. That is the first cure I would prescribe, a general advancing of one moral and spiritual standard into every department of human life.
Secondly, I would see to it,-and that I think is the solemn duty of every citizen-that in the elections, local, provincial, federal, from now on, no men or women shall offer themselves for public positions unless they represent the highest character and intelligence of the community. (Applause.) And when they have so offered themselves, usually as a sacrifice-and have been elected, then it is the duty of the citizens to make a wall of fire around them instead of assassinating them by lies and abuse and slander, and making it an extra hazardous calling to go into public life. (Applause.)
In the next place I would like to see the United States government and the Canadian government go through these two countries with a fine tooth comb, and comb out every man or woman who is teaching doctrines which undermine the authority and influence of our governments. I would bring those long-whiskered, unwashed mal-contents to the shore and put them on a ship and tell them to get out of here to where they belong. (Applause.) Why not? I would stand to the last ditch for your liberty of opinion if you differed from me, for your right of public assemblage, and for full and free expression of your views, but when you become an assassin of the foundations and authority of your government, then every good man in the nation ought to be your enemy. He is not good if he is not, and he ought to see to it that you get sent back to Russia or somewhere where you will be perfectly satisfied with the beautiful conditions of life.
I do not know how it would work here, but in the United States we are advocating that we close the gates of immigration for at least four years, or possibly longer. Now in Canada you have a great temptation. You are the richest people in. the world, although you have to have Christian Science sometimes to realize that you are. (Laughter.) No nation that ever lived has had such enormous natural resources as you have per capita. Gentlemen, there is such a thing as a nation growing too fast. (Hear, hear.) I have always maintained that if the United States had had half as many people five years ago, she would have been twice as great. Why? Because she would have had one soul. And fifty million people animated by one spirit, subjected to one standard and lured forward by one ideal, are infinitely stronger than a hundred million people centred in different social centres, with different moral standards and with antagonisms in their spirits one to another. (Hear, hear.) So I would say to Canada, the dear land of my birth, seek a citizenship of quality rather than quantity and make that quality one hundred per cent Canadian. I love Canada, I ought to. My people have been here for one hundred and fifty years and in a part of Canada which is the capstone of the whole proposition, Nova Scotia, where they say we are brought up on faith, fish and philosophy. And I love the United States, where my people have lived since the Mayflower, and I feel that the destiny of this continent north of the Rio Grande is identical. I feel that these two peoples, side by side, have a most tremendous responsibility for service to mankind, and I am eager and anxious to see that Canada does not repeat the mistakes of the United States.
If you want more laborers, improve the quality of the laborers you now have. If you will take the ill-will and antagonism and suspicion out of your workingmen you will get fifty per cent more product from them. I will guarantee that. If you evolve a government policy covering the whole nation whereby you can take the square pegs out of round holes and put them in square holes, and vice versa, you will add enormously to the sum total of labor resources. If you will take the people that are doing things that do not need to be done, and give them something honest to do, you will solve your problem without flooding your nation with a horde of undigested, illiterate, unSaxon and unCanadian people.
I have no fault to find with them in their own place, but you cannot face the problems of your nation as a house divided against itself, and if you introduced millions of aliens into your Northwest you will have two Canadas, one west and one east. They have no traditions as you have; they come from the four corners of the earth and they strike their roots into your soil and they build around a new and unCanadian thought, and their Canada will not be, the Canada down here.
So I would say to Canada, go slow; and I would say to the United States, go slow. I believe with all my heart that we can meet every labor need without a great influx of immigration. You can have immigration; you can bring hundreds and thousands of Britishers across the sea; there are still splendid people who want to come here, but if they come, and when they get here, see to it that they are Canadians, first, last and all the time. (Applause.) '
Gentlemen, these are tremendous times; and they are going to try men's souls, but I say this, that life never looked so alluring, so entrancing, so challenging to all the best that is in mankind. With the great sacrifice of wounds and war that you have made, with the tremendous outpouring of men and treasure, which will make Canada immortal through all the centuries to come, you have had written by your sons and by your women in the last five years, a history that makes the sons of Canada take rank with the heroes of Thermopylae and Marathon, and all the great central struggles of the ages. That is a mighty heritage. You will have hardships, you will have problems which will try your souls, but gentlemen, you will never go wrong by betting your money on Canada-never. People of the race from which you are sprung believe in those immortal institutions which have been bought by the blood and sacrifice of a thousand years of heroes. Believe in yourselves, and give yourselves, not simply as individuals but as citizens of this fair land, and in the days to come you will suddenly discover that you have reached the Golden Age. God bless Canada. (Applause.)
CAPTAIN Rev. W. A. CAMERON presented to Dr. Eaton the thanks of the Club.