- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 18 Jan 1917, p. 371-388
- Rowell, N.W., Speaker
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- Britain's effort; the part which the United Kingdom itself has played in this great war struggle. The question which British statesmen had to face in the early stages of the war: "how could the free, peace-loving, commercial democracy of Great Britain be transformed into a powerful and effective fighting organization so that she might meet on something like equal terms the highly organized and thoroughly trained Prussian military machine, which had been the development of generations, and upon which the German authorities had spared neither intellect, energy, nor money?" How this Herculean task has been accomplished, and the part they have taken so far in the war. Appreciating what has been accomplished during the past two and a half years by recalling the position of Great Britain and Germany at the outbreak of the war: a review. Great Britain, in the midst of the war, having to face the situation of changing her whole social and industrial organization from a peace footing to a war footing, and at a time when she was withdrawing millions of men to form her new armies. A detailed report of accomplishments. Tasks and efforts of the British Navy, the Army, the Air Service. An inventory of guns and munitions. Production of machine guns, rifles, and small arms ammunition. The issue of transport. Army medical service. Financial assistance. Assistance from the Dominions across the seas. Britain and her sons across the seas standing together.
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- 18 Jan 1917
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- BRITAIN'S EFFORT
AN ADDRESS BY N. W. ROWELL, ESQ., K.C., M.P.P.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto
January 18, 1917
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN,--The last occasion on which I had the honour of addressing this Club was just a few days after the battle of Ypres, when we in Canada had received word of the magnificent courage and achievement of our Canadian troops, and I am glad that on this occasion I can mention a report of this morning relating another daring exploit by our Canadians across the seas. The brilliant record which our first Canadian division made in the second battle of Ypres has been maintained by our four divisions serving at the Front, and one would deem it a privilege if today we might have an opportunity of paying a tribute to them, and speaking of Canadians which were and are engaged in this great war.
But that, gentlemen, is not my subject. My subject today is "Britain's Effort": the part which the United Kingdom itself has played in this great struggle.
The question which British statesmen had to face in the early stages of the war was this; how could the free, peaceloving, commercial democracy of Great Britain be transformed into a powerful and effective fighting organization so that she might meet on something like equal terms the highly organized and thoroughly trained Prussian military machine, which had been the development of generations, and upon which the German authorities had spared neither intellect, energy, nor money. This was the herculean task which confronted the people of Britain. How have they accomplished it? And what part have they so far taken in the war?
In order that we may appreciate what has been accomplished during the past two and a half years, we do well to pause for a moment and recall the position of Great Britain and Germany at the outbreak of the war.
The British Empire is widely separated from its component parts. Great Britain herself depended upon her overseas Dominions and other countries for a substantial proportion of her food supply, and a still larger proportion of her raw materials, to keep her industrial organization in successful operation. Her merchant marine provided the only sure means of communication between the different portions of the Empire and the other nations of the world, and her navy the only protection of these highways of commerce and communication.
As Great Britain's great objective was peace and not war, her naval and military organization was for defence and not for aggression. Owing to her island position, her people believed that with an adequate navy they would be able to defend themselves and the Empire, and that a large standing army was unnecessary. Britain's traditional policy has been to maintain a strong navy, and a very limited and highly efficient standing army. Both of these she possessed at the outbreak of the war, and to this extent she was prepared for any contingency. Her arsenals and munition plants were on a scale commensurate with her naval and military establishments, but the whole organization of the country, both social and industrial, was on a peace footing. The great object of her foreign policy was to maintain peace. She was a democracy, largely devoted to the pursuit of commerce, in which individualism was highly developed, and where enlargements of State control were accepted with reluctance by her citizens.
The position of Germany was entirely different. She was a compact country, with over 70,000,000 population, largely self-contained. Her great ambition was increased power and enlarged territory. Her ruling classes believed in war, gloried in it, and proclaimed as their ambition conquest and power by means of the sword. Her whole military, industrial and social organization was on a war footing, or potentially so. Every man was trained to military service. She had the strongest and best equipped standing army in Europe. She had also been steadily and largely increasing her navy, so that she was gradually becoming in a position, as she thought, to challenge Great Britain's place on the sea. Her arsenals and munition plants were on a scale commensurate with her military and naval establishments and her war-like ambitions. She possessed a highly developed industrial organization, and her secondary industries-iron and steel, dye and chemical plants-were so adapted that they could be converted into plants for the production of munitions and explosives at almost a moment's notice. Strategic railways were constructed to her frontiers, so that she could mobilize her forces in the minimum of time and with the maximum of efficiency. She could multiply the efficiency of her army by her ability to move her troops from one frontier to the other as the exigencies of war might demand. Her form of Government was autocratic and the military element dominated the whole. Her governmental machine was so organized that the whole nation would move at the word of command.
Before the war a considerable element of her population, represented in the Social Democratic movement, were opposed to these warlike ambitions of Germany and sought to bring about a better condition of affairs. But the war party dominated and controlled, and the moment war broke out the whole nation was put on a war footing.
Germany not only had her own marvellous industrial organization adapted to the production of arms and munitions, but by her successes in the early days of the war she secured possession of the whole industrial organization of Belgium, and a most important part of that of France. Belgium possessed some of the best plants in the world for the production of arms and munitions; and by the occupation of one of the most important industrial sections of France, Germany also secured possession of 75 percent of France's total steel producing capacity, and 70 percent of her coal supply.
Knowing her own mind, and making her own plans, and dominated by her military ideals, she apparently had been for years preparing for the struggle; and accumulating arms and munitions on an unbelievable scale. She had strengthened her position in Europe by her alliances, particularly by the dominating position she held in the councils of Austria, and which made Austria largely subject to her will; so that you had a combined population of about 120,000,000, largely directed by the military authorities of Germany.
Great Britain had become a member of the Triple Entente with France and Russia, in order that, by the friendly co-operation of the three, they might maintain the peace of Europe, as against German aggression, acting independently or through the Triple Alliance. There appears to have been some understanding between the powers of the Entente that if Germany forced a war on France and Great Britain decided to take part in it, her contribution would be the navy and a small but highly trained expeditionary force of about 15 0,006 men, to be sent to the continent to assist in war on the continent.
There is no doubt that France, Russia and Great Britain felt reasonably confident that with this assistance from Great Britain, France and Russia would be able to meet the situation on the continent, and defeat Germany and her allies.
To the extent to which it was anticipated, Great Britain would co-operate with Russia and France, in the event of a war with Germany in which all joined. Great Britain was the best prepared of the three; she was, in fact, prepared down to the last detail to carry out her part.
Outside of Germany, no one adequately appreciated the extent of Germany's preparation for this struggle; nor the efficiency of her organization which enabled -her immediately to put immense armies into the field; to supply them with the necessary food and munitions, and to strike a staggering blow at France before France could thoroughly mobilize her forces and bring them into effective action.
It may have taken Great Britain some time to realize Germany's strength, but before many months had passed, Government and people alike came to the conclusion that a war with the Central Powers could not be successfully prosecuted on the limited liability principle, and that it would be necessary for all the allied nations to put forth their utmost strength to bring the war to a successful conclusion. Great Britain, therefore, in the midst of the war, had to face the situation of changing her whole social and industrial organization from a peace footing to a war footing. That would be a most difficult task under any circumstances. It was a particularly difficult task when, at the same time, she was withdrawing millions of men to form her new armies.
How far has she accomplished it?THE NAVY
The task of the British Navy was to keep the German battle fleet bottled up in German harbours, or to destroy it if it ventured forth; to clear the high seas of such portions of the German fleet as were outside German harbours, and of the raiders which were preying upon her commerce; to provide for the safe transport of the troops of the Dominions to the Mother Country, and of the troops of the Empire from Great Britain to the various fields of operations in Europe, Asia and Africa; and to see that they were adequately supplied with food and munitions. The British Navy has accomplished these great tasks so quietly and so effectively, that the world has failed to appreciate to this day, the magnitude of the service of the British Navy to the cause of liberty and humanity.
The navy has since been called upon to face the difficult situation created by the German submarine menace, and undoubtedly the courage and skill with which this situation has been largely met has made possible Great Britain's continued participation in the war. There have been some losses in the navy, it is true-both ships and men. But in the shipyards of Great Britain thousands of workers have been building new ships for the navy, and the Admiralty has enlisted and trained thousands of new seamen.
After you have provided for every ship that has gone down, the British Navy is today 50 percent stronger in ships than when the war broke out. After you have provided for every gallant sailor who has lost his life, there are two sailors in the British Navy today for every sailor when the war broke out.
Without the navy, the continued existence of the British Empire would be impossible. Were it not for the strength of the British Navy, neither allied nor neutral commerce could be carried upon the high seas. The navy has made victory possible in this war; and the continued command of the sea is the surest guarantee of ultimate victory for the Allies.THE ARMY
Great Britain was to send to the continent an expeditionary force of 150,000 men or thereabouts. This force was promptly sent, and the record of their gallant service in the retreat from Mons, in the battle of the Marne, and in the first battle of Ypres, is one of the most glorious in the annals of our race.
We were told at the outbreak of the war that 10 percent of a nation's population was the maximum number that any nation could put into the field, and at the same time maintain her home organization intact and efficient, so as to properly equip and feed the army at the front. Lord Kitchener, before he died, had the satisfaction of seeing that in response to his appeals Great Britain had raised by voluntary enlistment approximately four and a half millions of men for her army and navy, almost 10 percent of the entire population. It is the greatest voluntary army ever raised, and the fact that such an army was raised by voluntary effort, when no hostile foot had been placed upon Britain's shore is one of the finest possible tributes to the strength of democracy, and to the courage and virility of the British people. Since compulsory service has been adopted, several hundred thousand have been added to the strength of the army, so that I think we are fair in assuming that up to this time not less than five million men have been called to the colours in both army and navy.
All these soldiers had to be trained and equipped. That was in itself a colossal undertaking, and we cannot too highly appreciate the invaluable service rendered by Lord Kitchener in the enlistment, training and equipment of this great force. One cannot but deeply regret that he did not live long enough to see how magnificently these gallant soldiers fought at the Somme.
THE AIR SERVICE
At the outbreak of the war Great Britain had a very limited but highly efficient air service. Since then she has enormously increased the number of her machines, as well as the number of her trained airmen. Wherever you go in Great Britain you find factories turning out new aeroplanes or seaplanes; for the Air Service is also an important adjunct to the navy. Frederick Palmer is responsible for the statement that new air machines are crossing from Great Britain to France at the rate of thirty-five per day. This gives one some idea of the magnitude of the industry which has been developed for the production of aeroplanes alone. On the western front Great Britain and France have undoubtedly secured the supremacy of the air. I am told that citizens of our Empire take to the air as they do to the water, and that Britain is in process of developing an Air Service equal in quality, if not in extent, to her naval service.
In this important branch of the service our Canadians excel, and the British government is now embarking on enormous capital expenditures in Canada, to develop the air industry and to train airmen for the Imperial Service. It is the one branch of our army organization for which we, so far as Canadians, have made no provision. Surely the time has come for us to develop this important branch of the service.GUNS AND MUNITIONS
It required only a limited number of arsenals and munitions plants to provide the necessary guns and munitions for a standing army of 250,000 men-Great Britain's peace footing-but when it became necessary to provide guns and munitions for an army not of 250,000, not Of 2,500,000, but probably for an army of 5,000,000 men, it necessitated a change in the whole industrial and social organization of the country. Great Britain had to build new plants; she had to have new dies and tools prepared; and new machinery made. The whole mechanism of new gigantic industrial organizations had to be created; yet with a patience, a courage, and a determination which, I venture to think, judged by the result, is not only unsurpassed, but unequalled in history save by the heroic efforts of France, in the short space of two years, Great Britain has transformed her whole social and industrial system from a peace to a war footing. She now has over 4,000 controlled establishments in the production of munitions and war supplies. She has ninety-five Government arsenals or factories producing guns, munitions and high explosives, and of those ninety-five arsenals over 9o were built during the past two years, containing new types of machinery, designed, installed and now in operation, producing guns, munitions and war supplies.
When the war broke out Great Britain had 1,600,000 men in her engineering and chemical trades. In the early days of the war the importance of retaining many of those men at home was not appreciated, and 384,000 men from the engineering and chemical trades enlisted and went to the front. Since then she has had to bring back 45,000 skilled men in the engineering trades to assist in the work at home. She had in those industries in 1914--in all kinds of industries that might be classed as war industries--1,986,000 workers. In August last she had over 3,500,000 workers in the war industries, of whom about 600,000 are women.
It is difficult for us to conceive of the size of many of these plants. I visited one with 90,000 workers, of whom 13,000 were women, and there are several other plants where the workers are counted by tens of thousands.
What has been the result of this effort? Mr. Montague, who was Minister of Munitions in August last, made a statement of the results while I was there, and I am quoting from his figures. Undoubtedly the production is much greater today.
By way of comparison, Mr. Montague took the output for the year ending the 3 0th of June, 1915 practically the first year of the war--as compared with the output for the year ending the 30th of June, 1916. In three weeks while I was there, they were producing much 18-pounder ammunition as they had produced in the whole year ending July, 1915. They were producing as much field Howitzer ammunition in two weeks as they had produced in the whole of the previous year. They were producing as much medium-sized shell ammunition in 11 days as they had produced in the whole of the previous year. They were producing as many heavy shells in every four days of every week as they did in the whole year preceding the 1st of July, 1915.
Mr. Montague stated that in the bombardment in the week preceding the attack on the Somme, they consumed more light and medium ammunition than the total amount manufactured in Great Britain during the first 11 months of the war, while the heavy ammunition manufactured during the first 11 months of the war would not have kept the bombardment going for one day.
Great Britain has not nearly reached her maximum of production. Some of these new national factories were only getting into good working order when I was there. Many of them are capable of doubling their output, and Mr. Montague then stated that the ambition of the Ministry of Munitions and of the Government, of which he was a member, was to so increase the supply of munitions that along the whole front they would be able to keep up continuously as stiff a bombardment as they had kept up at the Somme.
If you lump all kinds of gun and howitzer ammunition together, they were manufacturing when I was in England, and issuing to France every week for the use of our armies at the Front, as much as their whole pre-war stock of land service ammunition when the war broke out.THE PRODUCTION OF GUNS
I was in one ordnance plant where they were producing every two weeks as many eighteen-pounder guns as their total output for a year before the war; and that was one of the great ordnance plants of- Great Britain; and that is only in one class of guns they are now producing. The ordnance plants are turning out in a month nearly twice as many big guns as were in existence for land service on 1st July, 1915. Take all the big guns for land service that Great Britain owned when the war broke out, add all produced during the first 11 months of the war, and Great Britain was turning out in August last every two weeks practically as many as the total thus obtained. The monthly output of heavy guns increased more than six-fold between June, 1915, and June, 1916, and according to Mr. Montague the then rate of output would eventually be nearly doubled.
Machine Guns--One of the most vital weapons for our troops, and one in which we found we were lacking at the outbreak of the war. The weekly output of machine guns has increased since July, 1915, fourteen-fold, and is still increasing; and they expect very shortly to have all the needs of tile British army supplied, and then they will be able to devote all their energies to the production of machine guns for their allies.
Rifles--The most difficult of all arms to provide. Nearly three times as many new rifles were accepted during the year 1 9 1 5-i 6 as in the previous year; Mr. Montague stated: "It was a matter of congratulation that the equipment of their whole army, both in machine guns and rifles, had been accomplished from home sources alone." I am sure it must be gratifying to us all that when our Ross rifle proved unsatisfactory as a service weapon for actual rough and tumble trench warfare, we were able to secure a supply of Lee Enfields from Great Britain.
Small Arms Ammunition--The production in Great Britain is now three times as much per week as a year ago. The production of high explosives was a matter of peculiar difficulty because, so far as Great Britain was concerned, they had not anticipated putting so large an army in the field, and they had not fully appreciated the part that high explosives would play, and it required not only the services of the best scientists and engineers of Great Britain to develop these high-explosive plants and secure a suitable product, but it required a very large expenditure of money to accomplish the work they are now doing in connection with high explosives.
The production of high explosives when I was there was sixty-six times as great as it was in the beginning of 1915. The weekly consumption was then between eleven thousand and twelve thousand times the amount required for land service ammunition manufactured in
September, 1914- In weapons for trench warfare the output of bombs increased thirty-three fold between May, 19 1 5, and May, 1916.
You ask how did Great Britain accomplish this marvellous result? A great deal of credit must be given to Mr. Lloyd George as Minister of Munitions, and this, above all things, should be said about Mr. Lloyd George as Minister of Munitions : He had the strong common sense and the patriotism to call to his assistance the ablest business men and scientists in Great Britain, and to ask their co-operation in dealing with this most difficult problem. While they had a General Staff for dealing with military affairs. Mr. Lloyd George established practically an industrial general staff for dealing with industrial war problems. I had an opportunity of meeting some of these business men, and I wish to say that some of the ablest business men of England are freely giving their whole time to this vital work, and devoting their best business energies to the accomplishment of these results. It could not have been- done by any government department, no matter how ably presided over, and when a government, realizing its position, calls to its aid the ablest men in the land, irrespective of party conditions or party considerations, you see what magnificent results can be achieved.
Today, Great Britain, in addition to making provision for herself, is turning over to France one-third of all the shell steel sheet she produces. She is turning over 20 per cent. of her machine tool production for the benefit of the Allies; and. the production of machine tools is one of the most difficult problems to solve.
She is largely supplying France and Italy with coal. Ship after ship of His Majesty's transport is required for providing coal for her allies.
Great Britain is also producing guns and munitions for Russia. She is largely producing for Belgium. There is a factory in Great Britain manned by Belgians, the whole output of which goes to the Belgian army to maintain it in the field.
She made a most important contribution to re-fitting and rearming the Serbian forces and we will not know until the war is over the exact amount of the assistance she has rendered to Italy. To accomplish all this in a little over two years and to have raised for her army and navy approximately 5,000,000 of men is, I venture to think, an achievement unparalleled in human history, and is convincing proof of the virility and courage of the British people.TRANSPORTS
The question of transport alone is an enormous problem for any country in war time, but for Great Britain in this war it is one of unparalleled proportions. The fact that it was proposed to tear up some of our lines of railway to provide rails for the laying down of new railways for transport in France at once suggests to us the importance and urgency of one phase of the problem. In addition to the transport of troops from the Dominions, the transport of food, raw materials and munitions from the Dominions and neutral countries to Great Britain, all the troops of the Empire have to be transported to the various theatres of operation in Europe, Asia and Africa; and a constant and sufficient supply of food, munitions and all classes of war supplies maintained. Let me give you one or two figures on the question of transport. More ammunition was transported to France in one week last summer than had been handled in 28 years before the war broke out including the South African war. They handled more ordnance stores in the first year of the war than in the 28 previous years.
They have to carry over material for the roads, for the trenches and for the parapets. Up to August last they had shipped over from England over 2,000,000 sandbags alone. Even in the early days of the war in one period of 5 days, they ran 1,500 special trains, all arranged for and organized under the direction of the chief officer in charge of transport. All this would not have been possible had they not taken over the whole railway system of Great Britain, and operated it as a unit:ARMY MEDICAL SERVICE
The British Army Medical Service was organized on the basis of making provision for the limited standing army possessed by Great Britain. It is difficult for us to appreciate the magnitude of the undertaking involved-in enlarging the. Army Medical Service to meet the present conditions- creating numberless new hospital units, building new hospitals, organizing and training new staffs. The first section of the British Expeditionary Forces which took part in the Battle of Mons numbered, I believe, about 70,000 men. They now have almost this number in the Army Medical Service-doctors, nurses and helpers. The object of the Army Medical Service is two-fold: First, to keep the men physically fit; second, to help restore them to health when incapacitated from disease or wounds. Its greatest triumph has been in preserving the health of the forces. You know the conditions prevailing at the front in the early stages of the war--the impossibility of burying the dead. If typhoid had prevailed in the British Army as it has in armies of modern times, we would have had 150,000 cases of typhoid on the western front. We only had 1,500; and while, of course, mistakes have been made in some phases of this enormous service, yet on the whole the development and work of the Army Medical Service has been one of Great Britain's great achievements.FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The original financial war measures I will not stop to enumerate--I have heard financial men say were really a stroke of genius. It was a miracle how Great Britain was able to save the financial credit of the world in those early days. There again Lloyd George showed his wisdom and patriotism by calling to his assistance the ablest financial men, not disdaining the assistance of his political opponents, but consulting them from the start in connection with these matters.
It is no less a miracle how Britain has carried the financial burden of the war. Her annual expenditures before the war was, in round figures, £200,000,000. Her total expenditure during the first two years of the war was £2,700,000,000, and the estimated expenditure of the fiscal year ending the 31st of March, which, according to recent information, will be considerably exceeded, is £1,826,000,000; in fact, the expenditure for the fiscal year may be nearly £2,000,000,000.
How has Great Britain been able to make this gigantic expenditure? She is raising far more money by taxation than any other nation at war. She is doing more to pay her own way than any other nation at war. She is the one nation which, by taxation, is really conscripting wealth and is requiring the wealth of the country to bear a very large share of the burden of the war.
Her income the year before the war was £200,000,000. In 191516, by reason of increased taxation, she raised £337,000,000 and her estimated income for 1916-17 is £502,000,000. Her whole revenue before the war was approximately £200,000,000 a year, and she is increasing her revenue by new taxation by 150 percent.
One most important source of income is a profits tax. At first they took 50 per cent. of the profits made over a certain amount. They have now increased this tax to 6o per cent. and this, together with the income tax and the super-tax, makes 77 per cent. of the profits over a limited allowance on the basis of previous years' profits, which Great Britain is taking for the war. Many of the rich people who have large incomes are paying no less than 8s. and 6d. on the pound by way of taxes, and the general opinion is that while the supertax which has been imposed purely for war purposes may be removed when the war is over, practically the whole of this taxation will remain. I may say that the former Chancellor of the Exchequer in his last Budget speech pointed out that these taxes would be continued. Notwithstanding this unprecedented taxation, one of the most gratifying features of the situation is that one finds comparatively little grumbling. The burden has been accepted cheerfully as part of the duty that wealth owes to the nation in this struggle. If it be true of England as it is of Canada-for I know with us 65 per cent. of the men who enlist are manual labourers--that the working men of England are going to save for the people of England their inheritance, then the people who own the inheritance must be prepared to make every sacrifice, and to contribute a large part of their fortunes. For myself I have never been able to understand why we in Canada should not bear a much larger share of our own war expenditures by taxation imposed now while the war is on. Let those who profit by the war make their full contribution to the cost of carrying on the war. Let us not permit our gallant sons, who are going to the front prepared to make the supreme sacrifice, be called upon to bear or help to bear a large part of the financial burden of the war when they return, if they do return.
The public debt of Great Britain at the outbreak of the war was 9651,000,000. Notwithstanding the enormous sums raised by taxation in 1915-i6, it had increased to £2,140,000,000. The estimated debt on the 31st of March next is £3,463,000,000. By the end of the third year of the war it will probably be in the neighbourhood of £4,000,000,000, with an annual interest charge of £200,000,000, a sum equal to the entire revenue of Great Britain when the war broke out.
The total advances by Great Britain to the Dominions and her allies, as estimated up to the 31st of March next, will be 9818,000,000. Mr. Bonar Law has already stated that this estimate will be materially exceeded and these advances must continue and probably continue on an increasing scale. The war is now costing Great Britain over £5,000,000 per day. Great Britain must not only carry her own financial burdens and provide her own munitions to carry on this war, but it is currently believed that she is guaranteeing the purchases of her allies in neutral countries and that she is practically financing Serbia and Belgium. She is bearing a financial burden unparalleled in history, and is doing it without murmur or complaint. But for the financial obligations which she has assumed and the financial assistance which she has given her allies, this war would long since have ended in disaster. When one adds to the supreme work of the navy the invaluable service of her now great armies, her marvellous organization for the production of guns and munitions and her almost miraculous financial achievements, you have an expression of courage and capacity, of faith and noble patriotism unsurpassed in human records and for which every citizen of the Empire should thank God and take courage. Those who talk about the Old Land being effete and of her people having lost their vitality, should see what is going on in her factories and shipyards, her armies at the front, and her navy upon the high seas, in her banking houses, and in her merchant marine. But the war is not yet ended. Larger burdens must be assumed and greater sacrifices made; and such is the courage and resolution of the people they will not permit politics or governments or officers in high places to stand in the way of the nation putting forth its whole effort. Everything must bend to the one supreme object-a just peace-which shall include restoration, reparation and satisfactory guarantees for the future, so that our humanity may turn away from war and bloodshed and once more devote its thought and attention to the pursuits of peace; and in that new world Canada, if she is worthy, has a noble part to play.
In conclusion, let me repeat the statement made by Mr. Asquith, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, to me
"Great Britain could not have done this but for the help she received from the Dominions across the seas."
Our attitude towards the war awakened an enthusiastic response from the people of Great Britain. It put new energy into her arm, new strength and will into her determination when she realized that all her sons overseas were rallying to support their mother country in this great struggle, and considered no sacrifice too great if victory might be achieved. Let me again repeat what Mr. Asquith said
"Great Britain could not have done this but fox' the help she received from the Dominions across the seas."
I may also mention that I met a distinguished Japanese naval officer who had been visiting all the allied countries for the purpose of studying the situation from the standpoint of his own Government, and he said
"The two outstanding features of this war up to date to my mind are, first, the marvellous spirit of France; the way in which the men and women of France have, for the love of country and liberty, sacrificed everything that victory may be achieved. And the other great outstanding fact was this, the fact of the very spontaneous and hearty co-operation of the Dominions with the mother country in the participation in this war."
We, gentlemen, may be living too close to the events to appreciate to the full their mighty significance, but the men in the East, the men in the uttermost parts of the earth realize that it means something new in the world's history when Britain's sons over the seas in this hour of Armageddon say to the mother country and to the rest of the world: "When the hour of danger threatens we stand together."
That is one of the great, moving, appealing, outstanding facts of this war; and humanity has notice today that in a struggle for justice, for righteousness, for human liberty, for free democratic institutions, now and forever, one and inseparable, Britain and her sons across the seas "stand together."
A hearty vote of thanks was passed.