Imperial Organization
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 2 Mar 1916, p. 100-118


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Imperial Organization


The Dominions, during the present great war, shown a disposition to bear their respective shares. The time ripe for the formal consideration of a scheme of government for the Empire, which, in return, will provide for the just aspirations of the Dominions to share in the direction of foreign policy and common interests. The vital need to organize the forces and resources of the Empire. Of all the forces of the Empire, only the British Navy completely prepared and adequate. Wise leadership now required to guide Canada along the true path of Imperial nationhood, along with all the other Dominions. Bearing in mind that the Mother County is not seeking to increase her power over the Dominions, and that no one is proposing a scheme of government that would have that effect. The Dominions seeking to extend their powers. Supreme control now standing with the United Kingdom under the constitution. How supreme power would be placed in any acceptable Imperial Constitution. A consideration of the nature of the Imperial Organization, observing certain fundamental principles and objects. Without violating those principles, adapting the Imperial machinery to the objects in view. Six principles are listed and outlined. Bearing in mind the historic trend of events by which the British Empire has come to b what it is. The development of our modern Dominions. What has occurred over the last 30 years; a summary which seems to indicate that the Dominions think they have travelled far enough towards independence, and to proclaim to the world that they have finally decided to stand or fall with the Mother County as a United Empire. The same history proclaiming on the part of the Mother Country the welcome of the Dominions to her Councils, and inviting them to full co-operation in Imperial affairs. An examination of what constitutional machinery could be devised by means of which our Imperial relations can be put upon a satisfactory and permanent basis. A detailed review and critical analysis of the suggestion of a perpetual voluntary Britannic Alliance which has been put forward as an alternative to political organization. Some form of federation as the ultimate solution of our problem. Reasons why such a scheme would work better than others. The speaker's urging of a federation of the United Kingdom and the Dominions, and one Imperial Parliament; a Parliament that should be a new creation, not a grafting of something new upon the present British Parliament. Some specifics. A word to the autonomist who fears that Imperial Organization will infringe the right of self-government of the Dominions in their domestic affairs. Organization under an Imperial federal system: who would do what. The Constitution, providing for a just distribution of the burdens of Empire. Taxable capacity and what that means. The first and grand purpose for which the Imperial revenues would be required being the security of the Empire. Simple steps to be taken to accomplish an organization of the Empire.