AFTER WAR, PEACE COMPLICATIONS, FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF EUROPE
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED By ROBERT DONALD, ESQ.
Before the Empire Club o f Canada, Toronto,
Wednesday, August 11, 1920
PRESIDENT HEWITT, in introducing Mr. Donald, said, Gentlemen, in our guest of today we have an outstanding figure. There is perhaps in England today no better, exponent of progressive journalism than Mr. -Robert Donald. I do not know how many newspaper interests he is responsible for, nor am I very much concerned with that fact, but I do know that, during important years in British History, he had absolute control of the policy of the Daily Chronicle, .of London, and that the Daily Chronicle did some wonderful things. In the first place, its strong support of the Right Hon. David Lloyd George evidently was a mighty factor in that man's progress towards the front rank of the Empire. (Applause) Mr. Donald knew Lloyd George as few could know him; he used to play golf with him one day every week, and any man who plays golf with another every day in the week knows him down to the ground. (Laughter) That is why during all the years of Mr. Donald's connection with the Daily Chronicle, its hearty and strong support of David Lloyd George must have told with very great effect on the history of Britain at that time. As a finder of men Mr. Donald has had a unique history, too. Philip Gibbs, the great war correspondent, is one of his "finds." Gibbs first chance to write was for the Daily Chronicle under Mr. Donald and we know what the chance resulted in.
We have been hoping, Mr. Donald, that in the not to distant future, Canada may have the opportunity of seeing and hearing Mr. David Lloyd George. (Loud applause) We have given special commissions to almost every speaker who has come within hailing distance of him, to tell him that we want him and we want him soon. When he comes, we want the Empire Club to have the great and distinguished honour of fathering his first public utterance, at all events, to the Toronto people. (Applause) This Club exists solely for the purpose of developing the ideal of the Empire, for filling whatever function is possible for it to fulfil in aiding in the prosperity and unity of the British Empire, and it is on such occasions as this that we value the opportunity of hearing from men who really know, who come from the geographical and financial centre of this Empire to tell us what 'they know and give, us their views and make us better citizens and better members of that Empire because of their having come to us. (Applause) Mr. Donald, we welcome you with all the heartiness that it is possible for us to show you. We are glad you have come to us, we are grateful to you for coming, and we will now be glad to hear what you have to tell.
MR. ROBERT DONALD
(Mr. Donald was received with three cheers and a tiger, the audience rising and giving him the Chautauqua salute.)
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Empire Club,-
I thank you very much for your cordial welcome, and I consider it a very high compliment that you should come out today in such large numbers to listen to a very dry address. I thank your President for the complimentary words he has said about me; he has magnified my importance very considerably, but nobody at home will know what he has said, so I won't have to live up to it. (Laughter) I would like to say that I see you are not afraid of the word "Empire" here. (Hear, hear and applause) I have come across people in Canada who rather object to the words "Empire" and "Imperial." I have had to explain them as we see them-when I say "We" I mean Radicals, for I don't conceal my convictions-I. am a Democrat and a Free Trader-The British Empire is an anomaly; there is no such thing; it is not known to the law or the constitution; it has no comparison with any Empire of ancient history or of the recent past. An Empire, in the historical sense, means a central domination of an individual or of an oligarchy. The British Empire is the exact opposite. The British Empire does not seek to dominate you or any other part of the British Dominions. We have a King, not an Emperor. We have a. constitutional democratic government. The British Empire is a huge democratic organization, and we have no other word for it but Empire; but T think we know what we mean by Empire. (A voice-"It is good enough.") We have talked about it so long, we know that our Empire does not mean Prussianism or Bismarckism or anything else; we know what it means; we know it is a convenient word to express a great world commonwealth of nations, of protectorates and territories, and an Empire thrown in--India. Therefore I say I am glad that you emphasize the importance of your convictions in this Club by taking the name "Empire" as your own name.
Well, now, I have been asked to talk to you about some afterwar conditions. At the moment the afterwar conditions do not look very hopeful. Today's news and the news of recent weeks have been thoroughly depressing. However, the recent differences between Russia and Poland will be settled, but you may take it from me that not a single British soldier will go to help in the settlement. The British working people do not intend to encourage any more military adventures. We have quite enough on hand now without straining our military strength and resources, and we certainly will not participate in any new war in Russia on behalf of Poland or any other country. (Hear, hear)
The chaos which exists in Europe today is due, I think, to causes which might have been avoided if statesmen had had the foresight which it is very difficult to have in these days; it is always easy to be wise after the event. If I may put my point of view-which may be altogether wrong-the chief cause which now, two years after the armistice, makes the condition of Europe worse in many phases than it was at the time of the armistice, is due to two or three causes.
First, there is the Peace Treaty, which made no provision for peace. It contained the germs of international jealousies and strife. Its chief weakness was that it ignored entirely economic conditions. It cut up vast territories that had formerly been economic units, and set them at loggerheads.
I will illustrate that paint by the case of -the Balkans. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire was a very rotten affair, politically, but it was an economic unit; it had one railroad system throughout the different countries belonging to it; it had one economic system. Now, when we set up the Jugo-Slavs and the Czechos, and Austria and Hungary and Roumania, and drew the new boundaries for Bulgaria, the whole economic unit was smashed to pieces. Each country set up on its own as the Robinson Crusoe Land; they would not have any communication by railway or anything else with their neighbours, even when they had formerly been fighting as allies. They would not allow their railway trucks to cross the frontier, because they were not sure they would come back. They set up tariffs to keep goods out and to prevent them from from coming in. For instance, when the British Food Mission went into Bohemia and bought food for the starving children of Vienna, before they could get the food out, the government put on an extra export duty of forty percent. They were independent. They had leaped from the Middle Ages-some of those people like the Slavs-and become a democracy leaving one leg in the Middle Ages, and they thought the great thing to do was to be thoroughly independent. The first thing they did was to spend money on new uniforms and army reorganization; then they wished to put barriers on inter-communication. That is one of the evils that came out of the Peace Treaty. That will have to be remedied.
The other difficulty, which perhaps could not have been foreseen, was how to get Germany started working, because unless Germany works and produces there is no' indemnity for anyone. Now, the French people, who had lived for fifty years under the terrible nightmare of Germany, always fearing for their very existence, when this war came staked everything on it everything-because if Germany had won, France would have been wiped out. The British Empire would not have been wiped out, but France would absolutely have been a helot nation. Therefore they staked everything on it; without victory they were finished. But they had got this impression-all the French people and the statesmen that when they did win, there was an inexhaustible fund of gold over in Germany that they would simply draw upon to help pay their war debt and to start working again. They held this illusion for four years or more, and when Peace came, France was like a man who has been blind for four years, and, recovering his sight, finds himself on the edge of a precipice. That is the financial condition of France. France is in a very deplorable financial position. It cannot get indemnity from Germany, and will not get it until we start Germany working. But Germany can only pay in goods, and there is no place where Germany can buy, and unless the German people are left something of the fruits of their labour, they won't work. The interest of Europe today is to get Germany working. I believe that if Germany is set to work, Germany will realize the situation and develop peace under Democracy. The interest of the Allies is to keep Germany in a middle course so that it will not go to the extreme of Autocracy or the extreme of Bolshevism; then Germany will realize that her destiny is to remain a peaceful country and give up all military aspirations. I think that is the policy of Mr. Lloyd George. It was due to him that the delegates from Poland and Russia met; he is now the greatest personality in European politics, and if he can enforce this policy, I believe that it will be the solution of the difficulty as regards Germany. (Applause)
Another cause of the prolonged war after the war is to be traced to the Allies' treatment of Russia. The policy of intervention was a profound blunder, as is now generally admitted. It had the effect of encouraging the Bolsheviki, of bringing them recruits and maintaining their spirit of resistance. Had the allies held aloof and allowed the Russians to work out 'their own salvation, it is more than probable that by this time some kind of ordered government would have been established. Just when things were getting better Poland began an agressive campaign against Russia. It is known that the French policy favours building up a strong Poland as a buffer State between Germany and Russia, and England supplied Poland with munitions for defence. Poland could not have moved a man without the help or the Allies, but so long as the Allies had no military control it was impossible for them to say where a defensive war began. The ambitions of the Poles have been encouraged by the Allies, and more especially, by President Wilson. The Poles have given no indication up to now that they are capable of forming a strong compact peaceful nationality.
I have assigned two reasons for the present anarchical condition of the things in Europe and Asia. The first was a thoroughly bad peace. The other was intervention in Russia. The Allies might have succeeded in overcoming some of the difficulties which followed the bad peace, had not President Wilson ceased to support them.
After the magnificent help which the United States gave the Allies, and it was vital in the end, the President withdrew his influence from the councils of Europe. The entrance of the United States in world politics would have been paramount. America was outside all the historical jealousies, suspicions and national animosities of Europe. America was disinterested. It wanted no territory. It sought no indemnity. Therefore as an arbiter between clashing interests, and as 'the benevolent guardian of young democracies, America would have been supreme. But neither as a patty to post-war settlement nor as a member of the League of Nations has the great Republic given the world the benefit of its help.
The withdrawal of President Wilson has thrown a much heavier burden on the British Government, and more especially on the Prime Minister. The Old Country is going through a time of trial which is testing the ability of its statesmen and its powers of endurance. The events, are proving too great far the men, but I believe that Great Britain will fight her way through, and in doing so will, I hope, drop some of the new burdens which she has picked up, and lessen her foreign responsibilities, so that she can devote more time and energy to the development of her own Empire. England is only just recovering from the stupendous sacrifices of the war. I doubt whether you in Canada fully realize the part which England played in the world war, and what it cost her in service, treasure, sacrifice and life. Great Britain is the one country which has not received full credit for what she did. (Hear, hear and applause)
A great deal of mischief was done in 'the early days of the war by attempts 'that were made to depreciate British effort. Probably it was intended by so doing to stimulate the Government and the War Office, but the effect abroad was to create misunderstandings; particularly between France and England, which have reappeared after the war. The British press was handicapped when it desired to counteract this propaganda, as it could get no information. Many months went past before permits were obtained to take photographs at the front, and cinematograph pictures. The Canadian army obtained those means of publicity long before the War Office extended the same facilities to correspondents with the British Army.
I would like to tell you a few home truths about what England did. In the first place the only country that was well prepared for war was Great Britain, though it was the last country that wanted war. That statement may surprise you. You will admit, I think that the fleet was always ready (applause); but so was the army. (Applause)' The French military experts asked England to send to France an expeditionary force of 160,000 men. They knew what they wanted. As they considered that the war would be over in three months they thought that that help would be sufficient. This expeditionary force was despatched, and its conveyance to France was one of the greatest military achievements of the war: greater than Von Kluck's march to Paris or than the evacuation of Gallipoli. It was in France before the Germans knew that it had started. It went into line fully equipped to the last button, without the loss of a single man or any material.
This work was done by the military, but the part which Sir William Robertson did as head of the Commissary Department was one of the finest pieces of organization that we ever saw in the country. Nothing went wrong; everything went like clockwork; therefore we fulfilled that part of the contract.
All the belligerents had miscalculated how the war would go and what forces would be required, and had not foreseen what methods would have to be adopted. The British government acted on the advice of the French and English military experts, and to that extent was fully prepared. It was often said that we might have had a bigger army by establishing national .service. There are three reasons why we could not have done so. In the first place, military experts did not favour any change in our military organization. In the next place, no House of Commons -would ever have voted more money for the army, and even if we had succeeded in getting over these two difficulties, the Germans would not have waited to declare war until our new army was in being. They would have caught us while we were in a transition state.
In the early days of the war I played a good deal of golf with Mr. Lloyd George (he was then Chancellor of the Exchequer) and he was thinking more of the war than he was thinking of the game, but it was necessary for him to take some exercise. The first thing that got on to his mind was our serious shortage in rifles; he did not know how a rifle was made but he soon picked up information. He said, "We are searching the whole world for rifles and we can't get them, and we won't get rifles for a year"-but he got the rifles. Someone came from America and said that that country could supply rifles and munitions, and Lloyd George went to the War Office, which had turned the whole thing down, and said, " We must get rifles," and it was due to Lloyd George that the Americans were brought in to supply munitions. America had tremendous industrial establishments, and they could go to work quite as quickly as we could. In any case, we had not got adequate facilities. The first things we needed were the rifles. We had the men for Kitchener's army. There was no difficulty about the men; the difficulty was about the equipment.
The man of vision was Kitchener. Kitchener was a great man. (Applause) Kitchener has been very much depreciated, because he was entirely out of his element. You must think of Kitchener not as an Englishman but as an Oriental, coming to England as a country almost foreign to him; he did not know its psychology. I remember a member of the Cabinet 'telling me one day that they told Kitchener, "Oh, you must have chaplains, you know; you must have other chaplains than those of the Church of England and Catholics." Kitchener asked "What are they?" The minister replied, "Oh, you must have Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and others, otherwise we won't get the soldiers." Kitchener said, "What did you say those fellows are, Baptists, Methodists? I don't know anything about them, but if a chaplain will help to get soldiers let us have chaplains." He was a dictator in the Cabinet for a while but he began to argue with politicians-and then it was all up with him. (Laughter) He could not argue with politicians; but after all, though Kitchener would have been better if he was ten years younger, he was a man of vision, and saw from the first that this was going to be a long war--not a three years' war, but longer than that. If you read his life by Sir George Arthur you will find that Kitchener believed it was to be a longer war than that. Then, it was Kitchener who held off conscription in England. He didn't want conscription till he was ready for it and the people were ready for it. It was Kitchener who advocated the dilution of labour. He was the only one in .the British Government who called for labour to produce the war machinery. He said, "You want to dilute labour," and he asked Lloyd George to take up that campaign, which he did magnificently, to get the British workman to give him the munitions. In many other ways, Kitchener was a man of vision. He really saw that this was going to be a big job and that it would take years to finish.
Now, I said that all the French required of us to do was to supply .an army of 160,000 men. That is why I say we were ready, because we fulfilled that contract absolutely. How many did we raise? While we undertook to send only 160,000 men to France, to help France while she won the war in three months, we raised an army in the British Isles numbering 5,704,416 men; and the total men employed in the war, raised within the British Empire including India, and also including coloured troops, was 8,654,467. We were not by any means exhausted when the war ended. Our combatant strength in France when the great German offensive began in March, 1918, was 1,293,000 men. Our rifle strength=that is, men at the front-was 616,000. We kept those numbers fairly well maintained until the armistice. In addition to that, we had an army of 80,000 fighting in Italy, an army of 400,000 in Mesopotamia and the East, and smaller armies in Russia and elsewhere.
During the great offensive, in the summer and 'autumn of 1918, which ended with the defeat of the Germans, the British armies captured no fever than 200,000 prisoners and 2,540 guns, much more than did all the other armies of the Allies. When the critical days of March, 1918, came upon the Allies somewhat unexpectedly, the United States had in France a rifle strength of only 49,000 men, .but in response to an appeal by the British Prime Minister President Wilson hurried troops across the Atlantic, and on the 11th of November the American army had a rifle strength of 322,000, while the total number of Americans in France was close to 2,000,000. They were coming over at the rate of over 100,000 a month, chiefly in British ships.
The next series of figures which I give you are not such pleasant reading. They refer to the toll of death which was exacted from our gallant armies. The number of soldiers from the British Isles who were killed or died of wounds was 662,083, to which must be added 140,000 missing and prisoners, and so far as they are missing they are lost. The wounded numbered 1,644,786. In proportion to her army, Canada lost quite as many, and so also did Australia. The total losses in the British Armies in the war amounted to close on 1,000,000 killed and missing. This is the army alone, not the navy. That is not very far short of the French losses.
One of the strongest and most critical decisions that Lloyd George took-and he was a man of great courage -(hear, hear)-was when that crisis came in March, 1918. He said, "Stop food ships; stop everything; get American soldiers over"; and we did; and mind you, the Germans knew that this great American army was in France. They were not in a fighting state, but in three months they would have been, and those tremendous reserve forces from America were a great factor in dragging down the Imperial German Army and the German people.
Great Britain, as you know, had not adequate facilities for producing munitions, but under the direction of Mr. Lloyd George it quickly got to work, and after a good deal of muddling, which we always go through, we emerged triumphantly, and the amount of production of munitions we were doing towards the end of the war had increased altogether out of ratio to the man-power employed; that is to say, 1,000 men would be producing, after their experience, one-third more than they did the year before. We were gaining experience in efficiency, and we could have gone on producing munitions at that rate for a long time. The figures in regard to munitions are so colossal and varied that I will not weary you with them except on one point, where Canada rather distinguished herself. Take the item of shells. England produced 162,000,000 shells; 98,700,000 were obtained from overseas. Of these no fewer than 64,221,000 came from Canada, and only some 33,000,000 from the United States. A prodigious amount of gun ammunition was fired on the Western front, the highest point being reached .in the third quarter of 1918, at the record figure of 641,000 tons. Canada's share in supplying munitions was relatively as great as, and in some cases actually much greater than that of the United States. You supplied a great deal of explosives, but I think the shell production in Canada is one of your great achievements in the war. (Applause)
Most important of all is the Navy. The British Navy won the war. (Hear, hear, and loud applause) Without it it the war could not have been won; so you may say that the British Navy won the war. It was the blockade, and it was our command of all the seas in the world. In the early days of the war, before America came in, there was a great deal of criticism about the ineffectiveness of the British blockade. Now, I do not think I need tell you Canadians that there could never have been an effective blockade by the British fleet until it was joined by the American fleet. We were adapting our sea-law to new war conditions; in fact, we had to manufacture our sea-law as we went along. (Laughter) It was due to the great tact and judgment and patience of Lord Grey, and the same qualities in Ambassador Page, that prevented any serious friction with the United States. We were doing things which were entirely contrary to our own sea-law-(laughter)-but you see, we were fighting an inland nation, and we were trying to carry the policy and doctrine of continuous voyage not only over seas but over land.
The British Foreign Office succeeded in rationing Holland and all the little countries in the neighbourhood of Germany, and rationing them pretty well. There were no doubt leakages, but we could not help that; but it was a great triumph in diplomacy, and that was due to Lord Robert Cecil when he became minister. You remember the rumpus about cotton; we were letting in cotton. Of course we were letting in cotton; we couldn't do anything else unless we wanted to quarrel with the United States, but we let in just as little as possible(laughter)-so that the blockade, while not altogether effective, was a great factor in squeezing Germany. When America joined us it was an easy matter.
But the British fleet was not merely negative. It had very little chance of fighting the Germans, because they would not come out--(laughter)-but when they did come out some of them did not go back. The neatest battle in the war was that at the Falkland Islands. I remember when Lord Fisher went to 'the Admiralty though he was an old man his intellect was quite clear and his powers were as keen as ever they were. That was one of the first things he did. He said, "Von Spee is somewhere in the Pacific; we have to get him; you have got to get certain battle cruisers ready tomorrow." They said it could not be done for a week, but he said, "They have got to go tomorrow," and he got his way, and they arrived only three or four hours before they were needed; and we not only demolished Von Spee, but got his ships without losing a man.
The British Navy was the strongest in the world before the war, but what I have told you about our munition production is nothing to what we did in building up the navy. After all, we depended on the navy: if we lost the navy we were finished. Between 1914 and November 1918, warships of all types were completed to the number of 842 vessels with a total tonnage of 1,602,090. Auxiliary vessels such as patrols, drifters, minesweepers, etc., manned by the mercantile marine, totaling 671 vessels with a tonnage of 754,111, making a grand total of 1,513 vessels with a total tonnage of 2,3$6,201.
(Applause) That was a magnificent effort. The British Navy is now stronger than ever it was, but the fact that we repaired continuously and built new vessels during the war to that extent 3s a great tribute not only to our shipbuilders, but also to our British mechanics. (Applause)
The losses in the navy were not, of course, so heavy as those of the army. Altogether the navy losses amounted to 39,940 officers and men, and of the Royal Naval Reserve, 33,060. We have strengthened the navy since the war, and the cost is very much greater than it was previously. In fact, the military cost of army and navy and air force in England today comes pretty near the total budget before the war.
If I might inflict a few more figures on you, I would say that before I came from England I wrote around to all the government departments, to my friends, asking them to give me the latest information, and some of those figures I have given you were never published before-we are too modest, you know, to do so. (Laughter) I wrote to the Treasury that I wanted to get all the latest figures about finances. I think nothing shows better the stability of the British Empire than how we managed finances. (Hear, hear) I only got the information yesterday, for it is .a very slow-moving department, and I wish to quote only a few figures for you. Some other countries may have done as well as as Great Britain in raising men and producing munitions, but not one equalled it in raising the money to pay for the war. From 1914 to 1920 more than one-third of the cost of the war-the exact percentage is 36-was raised in revenue amounting to a total of £4,000,000,000. (Loud applause) The total cost of the war 'to Great Britain was f11,257,000,000 the balance not raised by taxation being over (7,000,000,000. In the present financial year we are raising no less than X1,418,000,000 by revenue, and the expenditure is estimated at £1,1.84,000,000.
Notwithstanding these colossal sums we are alive very much so. (Applause) Cur trade is piling up, our production is increasing, our export is increasing. There are some difficulties ahead which I will point out, but we are perfectly sound industrially, we are sound economically, and we are sound financially. (Applause)
The reason why we have not been able to invest more money in Canada is because of this (11,257,000,000. We cannot run a great war and invest at the same tune. It is all very well for America, which was out of the war for three years piling up millions; it can invest. We will do it by and by, but we have got to get a new start. (Hear, hear, and applause) There is only one country that has done better financially than Great Britain, and that is Canada. (Laughter) We loaned money to Canada, and you paid it all back, and now we owe you. We loaned 11,900,000,000 to the Dominions; to Canada only a very small amount, which you have more than paid back. But there is a very serious item in this financial bill. We have been very good to the Allies, but the credit is very low. We lent Russia 1568,000,000. I think we would take it at a discount. (Laughter) We lent France 1514,000,000; I think that is just safe, that is all-not very much more than that; we could not sell it at a profit. We lent Italy (455,000,000; that is not very strong, either. We lent Belgium 92,000,000; that is quite good. (Applause) Belgium is a little industrial country that has started to work splendidly; it is producing from its factories and its mines 907o of what it did before the war. (Applause) Belgium has the advantage of having a coalition government that unites. (Laughter) We have in England a coalition government that does not unitenot very well-and it has not got the confidence-Oh, well, I won't say that-(laughter) -as well in comparison with the Belgians. The Belgian government contains Conservatives, Liberals, and Socialists, and they got to work-the Belgian workmen and manufacturers got to work together, and little Belgium is a great object-lesson in Europe for successful reconstruction. Of the Portugal loan I do not think much. The total we have loaned to Allies, exclusive of British
Dominions, is 1,731,000,000. Now, of course we had to do that. And where did we get the money? From our securities in the United States; but we had to do it. We had to plan to go through this war without the United States; we did not know that the United States was coming in, so we had to plan without the United States, and we would have done it. (Hear, hear, and loud applause) It would have taken us longer, but we were not by any means exhausted.
I have given you the figures of the armies we had in the front. The Germans were more exhausted than we were. You must consider our relative strength and our capacity of reserve in comparison with the enemy. The enemy was breaking down; we were not. Our spirit was sound. We put up with great sacrifices in the field, and everywhere else. You heard a great deal about conscientious objectors in England-a few hundred men, cranks chiefly; but you did not hear about the men who were rejected six times by the doctors and then went to the war; you did-not hear about them. (Applause)
Well, there are a great many snags ahead of us. I have not time to deal with the foreign situation that will take some time to clear up, but the home industrial situation is perfectly sound. British manufacturers have come out of this war with bigger ideas. Our system of production is more efficient. We have scrapped a lot of old-fashioned methods; it took the war to do it, but we have done it--(applause)--and we have adopted mass production in steel and other things, and we are perfectly ready to compete with any country in the world. (Hear, hear) We want to be able to draw raw materials from anywhere; we don't want a poverty-stricken Europe; we live on the prosperity of other nations; if they are not prosperous; we do not thrive; therefore we want the whole of Europe to produce raw materials, and we want the free interchange of productions as much as possible over the whole continent. A big snag is the condition of labour. Labour has been very discontented during and since the war. There are many causes. One cause is the increased cost of food. It is an extraordinary thing that two years after the armistice the cost in England, for certain things, is higher than during the war. Food is dearer and rent is higher. That causes dissatisfaction among the working men. Employers do not object to high wages, but they want the work done. The difficulty is to get the men to produce as much in the time as formerly.
On the whole, our leaders of labour are very sound patriots; they believe in Britain. Clynes, Thomas, Barnes, and Henderson are sound men. The left wing is labour in parliament, and we have to look forward in England to those fellows being in power some day; and it is very fortunate for the Empire that they are sound, that they are moderate. They would not bring about any revolution. They are growing in strength, and, if they only keep up their present attitude, I do not think there is very much to fear. We have to face it-I won't say when but the tendency is all in that direction. There is a .strong labour movement running, and it is bound to increase. The worst thing which can happen to labour in England is to have office too soon; I think they will break up as soon as they are in power. Of course it is very easy to administer things when in opposition, but, when you get into office, you find really big difficulties to face. -(Laughter) But we cannot escape the progressive democratic movement in England. It does not concern the Empire at all; it does not mean that they are going to be in anything but the British Empire; the leading labour men are all perfectly sound.
At any rate, I look forward with absolute confidence to the future of the Old Country. It is regenerated by the war. It has come out of it stronger in many ways than before, and if our statesmen would only just clear up this international mess and let us get to work you need have no fear but that we will make great progress at home, and be able to affect an interchange of capital and do everything else that will assist the development of your great Dominion. (Loud applause, the audience rising and cheering)
PREISDENT HEWITT: I have great pleasure in calling upon Sir Edmund Walker, an old friend of this Club and a great friend of British Empire interests, to present the thanks of this Club to the speaker of the day.
SIR EDMUND WALKER
Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen,-I think you will all agree with me that we have heard today one of the most sane and reasoned and uplifting accounts of Britain's share in the war that has ever been delivered to the Empire Club. (Hear, hear, and applause) What I wish to bring to your attention is that we have heard it from a Scotchman born, by the way, in Banffshire-a little shire where Lord Mount Stephen was born-who made the usual pilgrimage to London when he was about twenty, and spent twenty years of life there, administering one of the greatest journals in the world. If there is any man that is calculated Radical as Mr. Donald is---to give us an account of what true Imperialism means, it is 1-fr. Donald. He is a Scotch Radical. He was a member of the association to which I belonged, which attempted to celebrate the hundred years of Peace between Great Britain and the United States. He believed in and loved Peace. He did not like war; he represents everything that is opposed to what happened in this war; and yet you have heard from him as enthusiastic, .as uplifting, as frank and as careful an account of Britain's share in the war as you, have heard from any man of the most jingo spirit. (Applause) I am sure that we will go away from here more convinced as to what the war has meant to Great Britain, and what her share has been in it, than we have been able to be from any authority, military or otherwise, that has spoken to this Club. Mr. Donald has been a great friend of the Empire, and I was very glad to have him know that in Canada he has had an opportunity to speak to those Canadians whose notion of Imperialism I tried to describe yesterday as the desire to have a complete kingdom inside of a commonwealth, and reserve our opinion of what we were going to do when the commonwealth's troubles came to a head. There are Canadians of that type, but the overwhelming bulk of us are not of that type; and whether we have a difference of opinion as to what Imperialism means, there is no question that the heart and soul of the great majority of the Canadian people is for British connection, and will stand with the British Empire for all time to come. (Loud applause) Gentlemen, will you allow me on your behalf to tender the thanks of the Empire Club to Mr. Donald for his kindness in addressing us today.
The audience approved by rising and cheering.