FRATERNITY AND PATRIOTISM
An Address by the HONOURABLE W. E. ANDREWS, Auditor for the United States Treasury, before the Empire Club of Canada, on March 27, 1913
Mr. President and Gentlemen,
I remember very distinctly a delightful visit that I had in Newport, Vermont, on the 4th of July, 1898, my first visit to that portion of Vermont. When I arose in the morning and looked out upon the scene I saw that the principal entertainment was to be carried on near the window of my hotel. About 8 o'clock, I saw the boat coming down the lake from the Canadian side crowded with passengers to the rail. Wagons from both sides of the line poured into the city for hours. I never saw so large a crowd spend a celebration day in more cordial spirits than we had that 4th of July on the border of the two countries. (Hear, hear) In the evening, just as it was growing dark, people in their carriages and wagons crowded the streets wherever they could secure a good view of a canvas that was stretched on the end of a large building on one of the principal streets of the city. They watched with anxiety for the beginning of the stereopticon exhibition. What was the first picture thrown upon the canvas? A life-size bust of that splendid patriot and wise statesman, William McKinley, our martyred President. The people cheered to the echo and you could not discover the lines of nationality. (Hear, hear) They watched for the second picture. What was it? A life-size bust of Queen Victoria. God bless her memory! (Applause) Without any distinction as to nationality that audience from both sides of the line cheered again and again to the echo. I said to myself then, as I say every time I think of it, what an uplift for the people of the two great nations when characters like those of President McKinley and Queen Victoria guide the thoughts and the aspirations not only of men and women in mature years but especially the young men and women that have the long race yet to run. Friends, we cannot over-estimate the importance of such influences. While the nation rests upon fundamental principles of justice and equity, we trust in all instances, yet the multitudes look for the reflection of those principles in the characters of the men and women that lead the way. Measure that in business, measure it in government, and you have the important responsibility laid upon the conscience of every person who wields a ballot in the determination of the great policies of government and the selection of those who are to lead the way. But let me direct your attention to another scene which is alike interesting to me and which will help to suggest the body of the sentiment upon which I will dwell for a few moments at this time.
Frequently I go to the western steps of the Capitol building in Washington and watch the beauty of the scene as the sun descends the western sky on a cloudless day. The eyes turn towards the east and I behold the golden dome of the Congressional Library shining like an unfading torch of intellectual light. I turn a little further and I behold the outlines of the Capitol building bounded on the south and north by the Hall of Representatives and the Senate Chamber, sometimes in our country facetiously called the Cave of the Winds. (Laughter) In the midst of the building is situated our supreme judicial tribunal. As the eyes pass around the circle of vision to the north, the west, and the south, historic scenes are recalled with profound interest. The great departments of government appear clustering about the White House as the Executive centre of the American Republic. On such occasions my mind runs back hastily through history to the builders, and I ask this question "What were the purposes? What were the motives of the great architects and builders of nations?" When I see in history the struggles of the race under this form of government and under that, and I see the shifting of the scenes, and the conflict of ideas, I ask another question: "What was the chief corner-stone of survey?" Changing the figure a little, I again ask: "How much of selfish ambition was there in the hearts of the architects and the builders? On the other hand again, how much of the high purposes of humanity actuated their lives?" As I reviewed history, I saw that various cornerstones of survey had been taken, various plans appeared, the lines crossed and recrossed, resulting in the conflict of ideas and the conflict of arms. Then I recalled the Battle of the Pyramids, I recalled the Battle of the Nations on the field of Austerlitz. In the midst of those great contests, I see the firm qualities and calm judgment of the Iron Duke of Wellington rising to victory on the field of Waterloo. (Applause) Thus, as I review one by one, the great struggles on immortal fields, I realize that the earth has trembled many times beneath the tread of contending armies, and that, out of those conflicts, have come the governments of the present day. What do they possess? Take the history of the British Empire. Place its present in contrast with its history of centuries ago. How much of transformation has taken place in the forms of government, the methods of administration, and the expression of the voice of the people. Take it in my own country within the comparatively brief period that the American Republic has lived among the nations of the earth. But after recasting this wide field of conflict and study, I see this: not until the architects and builders of nations found the true corner-stone from which to make that survey, the true foundation upon which to build, did civilization begin to move aright and keep peace with accelerated motion. But what was it? The individual human soul with its God-given rights to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the open field to make out of itself all that God had designed it to be. (Applause) Right there I find the thought of the great men and women of later years, centreing with men like Gladstone, McKinley, and others, standing out in the history of the world to recognize the God-given rights of the individual. Fraternity brought that, and that is the spirit and that is the doctrine underlying the genuine progress of modern times in the unfolding of the privileges of the present day for the people of the nations of the world. (Applause)
As each man has recognized this fact in relation to his neighbour and his neighbour in relation to him, the world has been moving in the right direction. The rigid forms of government of the early days of the British Empire have gone through a remarkable transformation, until today the people speak with a potency never before known in British history. The people of the United States, the people of Canada, yes, the people of the world, are coming to claim possession of their Godgiven rights to liberty.
At this point I see the brilliant reflection of those sublime sentiments, Fraternity and Patriotism. Fraternity as broad as the race and as genuine as the gold standard; Patriotism unbounded, yes, "free and unlimited," without regard to "ratio," or the "consent of any other nation on earth."
The electric current seeps to encircle the earth and its pulsations are felt at the portals of victory. Likewise the spirit of genuine fraternity encircles the world, and its paeans of victory are heard on land and sea, as it proclaims to all nations the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man.
As the electric current lights up the highways of commerce and travel, so has patriotism illuminated the pathway of an advancing civilization and thrown its searchlights upon the great problems of the present and future.
The rich fruitage of the principles of fraternity and patriotism may be gleaned from the pages of sacred and secular history.
Fraternity extends a helping hand to our friends and neighbours about us. It breathes a spirit of mutual helpfulness into international affairs. It recognizes the rights of our fellow-men everywhere. Yes, "man to man shall brother be, 'round the world, for a' that." It has destroyed in large measure the practices of tyranny and intolerance so prevalent during the ancient and mediaeval periods of human history. Through centuries it has stimulated honourable inquiry as to the native birthright of the human soul, the true principles of government, the methods of administering justice and equity, not only within national boundaries, but among the nations of the world. In its gradual evolution, it has enforced the recognition of our neighbour as our equal "endowed with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thus in modern times fraternity has become one of the potent factors, not only in religion, but in education and government also.
Look back into ancient history. Take mediaeval history, if you please. Take the history of the British Empire itself, and see how under these refining influences its own people, from the days of the Magna Charta down to the present hour, have been transforming conditions and bringing into life the recognition of the individual as a potent factor in government. (Applause) Upon what does it rest? Here it is: each man came to know, not all of them, but many of them, enough of them to create a moving force however,--yes, to recognize the fact that their neighbours were their brothers. Whenever a man recognizes his neighbour as his brother and the stranger recognizes the neighbour as a brother, then there is reciprocity that can live and ought to live, the recognition of individual rights. This spirit of fraternity makes them equal. The great doctrine of political equality is a product, an original outgrowth of the doctrine of fraternity. Man to man the wide world o'er shall brother be and a' that. Yes, in that we can practise reciprocity without voting at the polls every day of the year.
Down in my country I frequently met people not long ago who said: "What do you suppose our Canadian brothers meant by rejecting that reciprocity proposition?" "Well," I said, "Judging from the majority vote it seems as though they had a clear recognition of the difference between a Canadian Clyde and an American Donkey, and they did not propose to make a treaty of that kind." (Laughter) Well, whether that was true or not, we do come to these questions, and we can see the mirthful side, and apply the story. To me it is one of the profound gratifications that I meet in the course of my readings, one of the profound gratifications that I have enjoyed today as I have mingled with some of your people here in Toronto, that the spirit of fraternity and good-will covets success for neighbours regardless of nationality or border lines. We come together as English-speaking people, and under God's leadership we move forward for the conquest of the world.
Whenever we find these principles in operation, we recognize the spirit of mutual helpfulness in international affairs. With fraternity as genuine as the gold standard and patriotism unbounded, yes, free, unlimited, without regard to ratio, national and international interests will become progressively conservative and conservatively progressive.
Actuated by such influences men and women of all nations will naturally abandon military strife and fields of carnage and seek the paths of universal peace. That spirit led the way to the drafting of an Arbitration Treaty by the United States, Great Britain, and France, in the interests of the world-wide peace. It also prompted Japan to consent to a modification of her Treaty with Great Britain, in order that the latter might join France and the United States without question in the cause of arbitration. If those efforts had been successful great reductions could have been made in the enormous expenditures now required for military and naval establishments. Thus the economist could have gone forth under the banners of fraternity and patriotism in the cause of universal peace. What a grand mission! What a sublime opportunity! Who could refuse his support to such a cause?
My friends, I could not describe to you the disappointment when I read in a Washington paper, that the American Senate had defeated by one vote the Arbitration Treaty submitted by President Taft to the Senate for ratification. Think of it, my friends! What an opportunity was lost! The British Empire, the Republics of France and the United States had joined hands, in the cause of world-wide peace, and Japan had consented to a modification of her Treaty with the British Empire in order that the Treaty obligations of that country might not be brought into question. With those national forces united in a common cause, hand in hand helping for worldwide peace, what might we not reasonably hope to accomplish? (Hear, hear, and applause) But in my country factional politics delayed it; I hope it did not permanently defeat it.
When the English-speaking people of the world had joined hands for a world-wide conquest of peace, how could any man dare stand in the way? (Hear, hear, applause) But one Senator seemed to close his eyes and sear his conscience against the highest welfare of humanity and deliberately force defeat in one of the greatest issues of modern times. Is it possible that he, as a youth, had been led by his dictator daily to the altar of the gods and required to swear eternal loyalty to the military spirit of the Caesars? May the one true and living God burn into his soul the deep consciousness of his sin against humanity, and may his dictator receive a double portion of divine retribution!
If the leaders and the people of those great nations will demand a renewal of the negotiations and the triumph of that undertaking, they will be discharging one of the highest duties that can be performed for humanity. Peace and good-will to men on earth around the world! Think of that little band, the Master and his apostles, thirteen only. Think of the story today; nearly five hundred million Christian communicants pledging loyalty and devotion to the great doctrine of fraternity around the world. If they speak, will they not be heard? It is the doctrine of fraternity leading on in government that will create a fountain of patriotism that will flow onward through all the years of national life.
I give you one more illustration, reflecting the sentiments Fraternity and Patriotism. On the 22nd of February, 1909, our battle fleet returned from its journey around the world with a message of peace. Near Old Point Comfort, Virginia, we watched the ships, sixteen in number, as they passed in review before the President of the United States, through the Capes, into Hampton Roads, where they dropped into double column. The programme of the afternoon passed hastily. The night came on. Rain was falling and not a star could be seen in the sky. We were just about to begin our journey back to the national Capital. As if to say goodnight, we looked out upon those fighting engines of war, representing $130,000,000 of property afloat. Just then to our delight and surprise a band of electric light flashed forth from the bow of each ship to the top of the first mast, then to the second, then diagonally to the stern of the ship. Then from each mast on every ship. Then from every crossbeam on every mast, presenting thirty-two images of the cross in electric light on those fighting engines of war. Strange paradox! A message of peace around the world! Yes, and so it was. That cross in electric light suggested the cross of Calvary yonder and the words of its obedient sacrifice: "I am the Light of the World, I will lift men up to me. Peace, peace on earth, good-will to men."
I bring you peace, not a sword. The United States of America, the British Empire, and the Republic of France are united in purpose to carry out the high mission of our Elder Brother, for fraternity around the world, with peace and good-will.