AN ADDRESS BY BRIG. GUN. D. G. DRAPER, C.M.G., D.S.O., CHIEF CONSTABLE OF TORONTO.
3rd May, 1928
PRESIDENT FENNELL introduced the speaker, who spoke as follows: It is with a considerable amount of apprehension that I rise to address you, and long before I have taken my seat you will have discovered that I am, to say the least, no orator. But I could not refuse to accept the very kind invitation from such a distinguished organization as this, and I shall endeavor in a conversational way to have a talk with you for a short time only. It being my first appearance in this beautiful city, naturally I have tried to reflect my best intelligence into a few words that you would accept and say, "Well, we have greeted the new Chief, he has expressed his pleasure; now let us carry on." (Applause.)
As you are well aware, I am a native of the Province of Quebec. My ancestors, like those of many citizens of Toronto, came there as United Empire Loyalists and settled in the Eastern Townships--(Applause.)--where like all pioneers they hewed down forests and cleared farms, as did the founders of this magnificent city. The large majority of the citizens of Quebec Province being French Canadian, naturally they have overflowed, and they cover many places formerly occupied by English-speaking people. This is what has happened to a large extent in the Eastern Townships, and while I can never forget the kindness of the French-Canadian, it is impossible to obliterate from my memory the tradition of my own family and those who joined with them in raising the flag to which we are all pleased today to bow. (Applause.) The English-speaking people of the Townships have, for the most part, become scattered throughout Canada. Some of them have even come to Toronto, and that contingent I am now joining with every anticipation of pleasant relationships, and with every hope of being a good citizen of this community. (Applause.)
It is about what a good citizen should be, that the few words I have to say to you will have to do. In the future I will have a good deal to do with bad citizens therefore I prefer to think of the good ones, for the more good citizens we have in Toronto, the less bad ones we will have to deal with. The very name, Mr. President, of this club suggests that its members possess the first requisite of good citizenship in this country, namely, loyalty to the British Empire. (Applause.) Canada earned her nationhood in the Great War, but the men who died in the fields of France and Flanders were fighting for the British Empire, and for all that it means in the progress of humanity. The next requisite of good citizenship in this country is to be good Canadians. We like to talk of the grain fields of the West, from which a distinguished member of this gathering, Mr. Meighen, comes, of the hills and the mountains, of our vast mineral and water-power resources, and all the other things with which Nature has endowed us, but I think the hand of man comes into contact with these; they are but silent partners. This brings us to the thought of how important it is that the citizenship of our country should be of a high character and endowed with the true and loyal patriotism, and educated to conserve and not to destroy the gifts of nature. Therefore I say without hesitation that notwithstanding all of the wealth of natural endowment which Canada possesses, the character and quality of her citizenship will be a much greater factor in her future progress. (Applause.) The place that Canada will take in the future among nations will depend far more upon her citizens than on her material resources. (Hear, hear.)
Coming nearer home, a requisite of good citizenship in Toronto is loyalty to our city. I do not know whether you are aware of it or not, but in some of the outlying districts, this city is often referred to as "Toronto the Good." Inhabitants of certain other cities, when speaking this way, flatter themselves that they are using a term which in a humorous way may be called reproach, but we can very well afford to disregard them as long as the citizens of Toronto. are good citizens, even if not always righteous. (Laughter.) Now let the other outsiders be jealous; it is our place to let them continue to have cause for jealousy. An important requisite of good citizenship in Toronto is observance of law and order. (Hear, hear.) Now, I am not saying this altogether with my own task in view. A good citizen will not knowingly break any law, and in these modern days of very complex life, it is very hard to keep track of all the laws and avoid violating them. (Laughter.) Just as the pedestrian has to be more alert and agile with the construction of every new automobile, so the citizen has to become more careful with the enactment of every new law. I often think that our lawmakers, whether federal, provincial or municipal-with apologies to those present-should bear this fact in mind, and give more thought than they sometimes do before imposing a new law on a long-suffering public. (Applause.) We have a pretty good example of the result of the enactment of too many laws, and of laws difficult to enforce, in the country to the south of us, without desiring to be too critical,-and, mind you, I am not referring or alluding in any way to the prohibition law of the United States. (Laughter.) On that subject I have absolutely nothing to say. However, there is no doubt that the violation of one law-and I consider this important leads to the violation of other laws, and then to disrespect of all laws. (Hear, hear.) Well then, the good citizen of Toronto will observe all laws, whether he likes them or not. He will not drive a car while intoxicated; I would like to lay special stress on that. (Applause.) Indeed his standard of citizenship will be higher if he never becomes intoxicated. (Hear, hear.) He will not be careless of his cigarette butt; he will not expectorate on the sidewalk. You may think this is small, but, gentlemen, it comes within the range of the duties of a certain class of the citizenship of this city,-to say nothing of countless greater and more obvious crimes-but his duty does not end there. He will take a pride in his city, and it is very easy to take a pride in such a beautiful city as this. I make that statement, gentlemen, after having gone over the city well, having reflected in my mind on other cities I have had the good fortune to visit, and at this moment, in duty to you as citizens of this city I have to compliment you on having, if not the finest, one of the finest cities that I have ever been in. (Applause.)
It is necessary for the good citizen to go much further than this, and to possess positive virtues; I have been speaking of the negative virtues. At the present time, as you know, attention is being drawn to the city of Ottawa, in a national way, on account of the government scheme of beautifying. Without speaking disparagingly of the city of Ottawa, we all know that the government of our country have expended a considerable amount of money in beautifying the city, the driveway and other things having been constructed by reason of it being the Capital of our noble Dominion. In Toronto these problems have been solved, but there is always room for improvement, therefore the good citizen will always be on the alert.
He will also see that he does his share in social service. It is true that Toronto is fortunate in having, in proportion to its size, less of a burden than most other cities have to carry in this respect, but the poor and the unfortunate and the outcast we have always with us. A good citizen will not forget his duty when a community effort to help these people is being made. (Applause.)
I do not intend to make more than a passing reference to the force of men whose duty it is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of this city. But one thing which will make certain the success of these men, and which is absolutely necessary if they are to succeed, is the constant and hearty cooperation of all citizens. (Hear, hear, and applause.) Without this, our task would be impossible, but with it we cannot possibly fail.
Everyone who has visited London, England, has been struck by the efficiency of the London bobby, and the wonderful display of law and order which prevails at all times in that great city. This state of affairs could only have been brought about by the interest and pride which the citizens of London take as a matter of tradition in the welfare of their city. In many cities to the south of us we see the results of the opposite state of affairsagain with apologies, and no desire to criticize the Americans. Without that tradition of law and order, and civic consciousness, which is the heritage of the people of Britain, and when public opinion does not give proper support to those whose task it is to enforce the law, the results have become in some cases almost appalling.
The good citizen looks to the future. We have no doubt that Canada in years to come will be one of the greatest countries of the world. Our vast natural resources make this certain. But it is necessary that we see to it that the future citizenship of the country will be worthy of their heritage. The children of today -and I wish to lay special stress on this statement -are going to be the possessors of a wonderful heritage. The good citizen will see to it that they are worthy, by providing the proper home influences for his own children, and by seeing that the children of the less fortunate have some chance to make good. 11 'or after all, the home is the only place where the future generations can be properly trained and prepared for life. It is clear that the juvenile Court is not the place for this, and yet the juvenile Court can help society. I am not reflecting on the Court, but desire to impress the duty of the citizen himself in his own home.
I have, after all, said very little about good citizenship, and told you nothing you did not know before, but I have told you what we who have the task of maintaining order in the city expect of you. Gentlemen, I desire to extend to you once more my sincere thanks for your kind invitation, and sincerely trust that I may be of service to you all individually and as a community. I thank you. (Applause.)
The thanks of the club were tendered to the speaker by Brigadier General Bell.