CONTINENTAL INFLUENCES IN CANADIAN DEVELOPMENT.
Address by Mr. J. Castell Hopkins, F.S.S., of Toronto, before the Empire Club of Canada, on February 28th, 1907. Discussion by Mr. T. E. Champion, Captain A. T. Hunter, and Dr. D. J. Goggin.
Mr. President and Gentlemen
If the bosom of the future should hold a destiny for Canada apart from the British Empire; if the cherished ideal of loyal British peoples around the globe should never be realized and separation rather than closer union become a fact; it will be due in no small measure to the present-day Americanization of Canadian thought, Canadian habits, Canadian literature and the Canadian press. By this I do not mean the creation of an annexation sentiment. Indeed, the process referred to is going on side by side with the growth of still more vigorous opposition to continental union. It is rather the gradual but steady development of a non-British view of things; a situation in which public opinion here regarding the heart of the Empire and Imperial policy is formed along the lines of United States opinion, and, therefore, of an alien point of view.
Public opinion in Canada has been curiously formed and developed. It is the product of external influence to a greater extent than has been the case in any country of historic times. In the beginning French traditions struggled with English ideas and ideals. A little later, in Upper Canada, the Americanized school-books which Egerton Ryerson so vigorously denounced, American school-teachers and American preachers, helped to fight an also imported Loyalist sentiment and the governing predominance of a Tory party whose views were those of the class to which its members had belonged in the Thirteen Colonies. After the early "fifties" came the continental influence of trade. The Reciprocity arrangements of 1854-66 created a firm belief in the beneficence of United States commerce, and although the abrupt and unfriendly abrogation of the Treaty prevented this feeling from developing into one of annexation, it none the less laid the foundation of the Reciprocity idea which held so high a place for so many years in the minds of a large part of our people and culminated so keenly in the party battle of 1891.
While this sentiment of what might be termed trade continentalism--as distinct from political policies or principles-was being urged or discussed during many years the natural effect was to aid in keeping United States greatness, United States prosperity, United States markets before the minds of our people and to, in relative proportion, exclude the trade and commerce, the markets and phenomenal prosperity, the greatness in so many quarters and so many ways of Great Britain, from the continuous thought and consideration which they might otherwise have received from our press and people. In this and other ways, the feelings of Canadians were unconsciously Americanized. Not, as I have said, in the sense of a preference for United States institutions or a desire for United States union, but in a feeling, in many circles, that our trade interests up to eight years ago (when the Preferential tariff worked a change) were more bound up in those of the United States than in those of Great Britain.
Meantime, also, came the influence of constant travel and inter-marriage between the two countries and the migration of many Canadians to the United States, with, later on, the coming of the people of the United States to Canada. Gradually our democracy has assumed a continental garb. It is not the democracy of Great Britain. In the main, what the people of the United States do not like we do not like, though in a somewhat modified form. They sneer at monarchy, we are inclined to tolerate it. They sneer at the British aristocracy, when not trying to marry into it; we copy their cartoons, reprint their often silly and ignorant articles upon the subject, accept their sensational and scandalous gossip and hear little of the environment which makes an institution of that kind, strong and valuable in one country when it may not be popular in another. They sneer at all titles except those of "Colonel" and "Honourable"; we, in many cases, do the same on the ground that knighthoods, for instance, are not suited to "our democracy." They organize theatrical syndicates which flaunt the United States flag, and vaunt United States deeds and heroism and greatness, and sneer at everything British; we accept their plays, sometimes cheer the sentiment, and, in any event, allow distorted ideals to rest in the minds of young people who have never seen the British Isles, and perhaps never will.
Our Labour organizations affiliate with and sympathize with United States concerns; our industrial organizations are, at times, doing the same thing; our social life is largely that of the United States, as is the lack of manners or respectfulness in' the young, and the code of business, commercial, or financial honour amongst their elders. In all these things, and they are the verb essence of nationality, we are far more of the United States than of Great Britain. In all these things, also, by just the degree in which we have absorbed or accepted, or followed, the fashions and follies of the great Republic, with its swarming mass of people, we have by just that degree drawn away from Great Britain-away from the Empire of which it is the heart and head.
Some of this was perhaps inevitable, but the most serious factor in drawing public sympathy and regard away from our Mother-land is still to be described, and out of it comes the connection between what I have written and the view Canada takes of such matters as the Jamaican incident, the Newfoundland affair, the Alaskan Boundary, etc. From the time when cable communication was established between London and New York, and in active working condition, a new and most vital factor arose. The American Associated Press was formed in New York. It sent trained American journalists to represent it in London, and in other parts of the British Empire and the world, with subsidiary headquarters in London. These men were born and bred in the American pride of country; American contempt for supposedly effete monarchies and wicked aristocracies; American indifference to and ignorance of the vital distinction between British institutions and those of continental Europe. Gradually, too, as United States journals evolved the "yellow" type, and became more and more inclined to sensationalism; more and more anxious for news, whether true or false, exaggerated or distorted; more and more hostile to Great Britain up through all the years of the Alabama controversy, the Atlantic Fishery and Behring Sea disputes, Fenian Raids and Boundary questions, to the days of the present change and spirit of international cordiality, the tone of the, despatches were frequently anti-British and always nonBritish.
Meanwhile, the American Associated Press had become a power--perhaps the greatest modern influence in the moulding of American thought. Into this system came most of the daily press of the United States, and, except where a few great and wealthy papers had a special correspondent in London, out of it came all the news from abroad received by the people of the United States. Into this system, too, came the daily papers of Canada-partly because it was cheaper than special cables and partly because, until very lately, it was impossible for our limited population to support the cost of a separate system. During all these years, therefore -with occasional exceptions so limited as to render them unimportant-the Canadian people, the children who are now young men, the young men who are now growing old, the women who are the mothers of this youthful nation, have been fed daily, weekly, monthly, yearly with the American view of everything British or of everything connected with that marvellous development of Imperial power which is the envy of thinking and travelled Americans and the object of jealous regard by the publicists and journalists of the Republic.
This American view of British affairs-of its politics, personalities, events, legislation, development, Colonial unity efforts, the Monarchy, the Aristocracy, the Church of England, etc., need not be-and is not alwaysactively hostile in order to work the harm in Canada which has evolved of late years, and which, as surely as these words are written, will result in our separation from the British Empire if not checked. The point I want to make and to press home to the thinking men before me is that, whether actually written in a spirit deliberately hostile to Britain or not-and much of our news in the past thirty years has been so written-it was always, unavoidedly and inevitably, written from a Foreign point of view. In other words, the people of this generation in Canada have imbibed all their information of British and Empire affairs, or of British relations with the United States, as cabled from London, or telegraphed from New York or Washington, through despatches written by Americans, in the American spirit and policy, for the people and the press of the United States.
Important as is this continuously Foreign view of affairs and conditions at the heart of the Empire, even more important is the fact that when some issue arises between Great Britain and the United States on account of Canada, the people of this country have actually formed their opinions upon what was transpiring and received their "information" regarding the policy of the Mother-Country from and through the people who for the moment were their diplomatic enemies, and at times -as, in the Venezuelan crisis-were their positive and actual enemies: ready for, and, in newspaper circles expecting, immediate war. Hence the curious ideas held in Canada regarding some of the matters at issue between the three countries. Hence the natural contempt for British diplomacy-a contempt formed in the school of American hostility or upon the vainglorious assumptions, conceited prophecies, and inaccurate statements of American journals and United States correspondents. Hence Canadian ignorance of such events as Lord Salisbury's declaration to the American Government at a certain juncture that another seizure of Canadian vessels in the Behring Sea would mean war. Hence the formation of Canadian opinion in the Alaskan Boundary question by (1) utterly unwarranted and spread-eagle despatches from New York, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco, etc., published in the Canadian press for nine months before the Arbitral decision, to the effect that Lord Alverstone would support the American contentions; (2) despatches from London to the same effect; (3) the omission of the slightest cabled information following the Award on October 20th, 1903, to the effect that Lord Alverstone had rendered an elaborate judgment giving and explaining the grounds for his decision. Hence, very largely, the extraordinary prejudices formed in Canada regarding the Jamaican episode.
Studied in the light of despatches in British papers this latter affair was very simple. Admiral Davis was the first and chief offender. He offended against international law by landing armed troops upon British soil not only without his permission, but (according to the London Tunics correspondent) against the wishes of the Governor. He acted in defiance of all recognized laws of courtesy and international decency by carrying his flag with him, planting and keeping it flying over a hospital building previously in charge of Catholic priests, and permitting the troops to carry it through the streets of the city while performing what he claimed to be a purely charitable work. It is not difficult to understand the arrogance with which this was clone, the cheers of the many American residents and merchants of Kingston, the indifference shown by the crowds of American tourists in the Island to the wishes and policy of the Governor, the danger which he feared from any aggressive treatment of the large black population by armed sailors accustomed to treat with contempt the negroes of their own country or the natives of the Philippines. In Jamaica the black population: are accustomed to the mild, but law-enforcing rule, of the British, and this landing of United States troops might have had an unfortunate effect upon them.
The Governor of Jamaica had at his command 2,000 black troops and plenty of black labour. There was no question of saving lives, as the landing took place four days after the earthquake. The Governor told Admiral Davis that he was quite able to maintain order, but the latter none the less landed troops, patrolled the streets, and guarded the perfectly safe American Consulate. Is it any wonder that Sir Alexander Swettenham was angry, and that the British lion in him made a protest which was more vigorous than wise, more accurate than diplomatic? The Governor's letter was right in principle but wrong in phraseology. Who in the name of commonsense should be the most censured-the man who first offended, and whose aggressive infraction of international law is obvious; or the Governor who properly resented what Mr. Hamer Greenwood described as American "bounce"; and who defended British prestige in the eyes of a large and ignorant native population and of the somewhat assertive American residents of Kingston-while making an unfortunate slip in the terms of a hasty letter written at an anxious time?*
* The following is an extract from a letter (July 19th) in the London Times, written by Sir Frank Swettenham, a brother of the Governor, and evidently giving the latter's version of the affair
"Admiral Davis, who had omitted to fire the customary salute on arrival in a British port, landed unannounced early on January 17th, and at once sent an armed guard to the American Consulate. Admiral Davis then, without any communication to the Governor, went to the Secretariat, where he found the Colonial Secretary, a police officer, and a number of people in the yard, as the office was not considered safe. The Admiral asked if he could be of any assistance, and the police officer volunteered the information that there was a mutiny in the penitentiary. Admiral Davis at once offered men to suppress this reported mutiny, and the Colonial Secretary apparently acquiesced, both he and the Admiral seeming to forget that under Colonial Officer Regulation No. 209, and by universal custom, the commander of a foreign warship can only communicate with the Governor. Regulation tog says, ' In no case will he communicate through the Colonial Secretary.' About 9 a.m., sixty marines were landed and marched to the penitentiary,
More important, however, than any dispute between an American Admiral and a British Governor is the fact, which I have been leading up to, of Canadian sympathy with the former caused by a twisting of the telegraphed news to a degree which even the American Associated Press never before equalled. I charge that important and responsible body with sending onesided, coloured, inaccurate pen-pictures of the complicated conditions in Kingston and Jamaica generally. There is an annexationist party there composed largely of certain American merchants and others who benefit by trade with the United States, and of a few English who resent the withdrawal of the British fleet, and look upon the West Indies as fated
and only then did the Admiral call on the Governor and inform him of what he had done. The Governor pointed out that the action taken was very irregular, and that the landing of armed foreign sailors was contrary to all international practice. The Admiral explained that if the men had to be withdrawn it would place him in a difficult position with his superiors, and the Governor recognizing that the circumstances were peculiar, said he would accept the situation on condition that the men were withdrawn as soon as he asked for their removal. Naturally this offer was gratefully accepted, and the Governor then drove the Admiral to see the General and the camp, took him to the Secretariat, the chief police station, and finally to the penitentiary; where Admiral Davis left the Governor. Shortly afterwards the Governor went on board the Missouri, returned the Admiral's call, requested him to withdraw his men from the shore, and understood that Admiral Davis acquiesced. The American armed parties were withdrawn, and the incident appeared to be concluded.
"About 9.30 a.m. on the 18th, Admiral Davis sent to the Governor a letter, dated the 17th, which has been published, and in which the Admiral stated that, in his view, the Governor had not the means to deal with the situation. To back his opinion Admiral Davis had again landed armed working parties, and had established a field hospital under the American flag. Under any circumstances these proceedings and criticisms would have been remarkable, but here they seemed to invite a repetition of the request to withdraw the American sailors, and, as that result was urgently necessary, the Governor had to employ any means in his power to establish his authority, to ensure performance of promise already given, and to relieve a situation which ought never to have arisen. He then wrote his letter of January 18th,. and the American sailors were again withdrawn." to join the Union. This action is opposed to the Governor and the English administration, and vehemently hostile to him and them in any issue such as the present. They gloried in the landing of United States sailors and the flying of the United States flag, and no doubt dictated the criticisms of the Kingston Telegraph which were cabled here. Yet it was the opinions, the protests, the animus, of this section of the population that permeated and practically controlled the despatches from Jamaica.
In a nutshell, it may be said that Canadian public opinion was moulded in this whole matter by the utterances and opinions of the American colony in Kingston, through the American Associated Press. We never received any fair report of the Governor's action. It was chiefly a retailing of virulent criticism of his inconceivable impudence in ordering American troops out of Kinston and in daring to resent in satirical terms the unwarranted action of an American Admiral. Cuba is hardly American soil, yet if a British Admiral were to land sailors at Santiago after an earthquake, clear the streets under his waving flag, and hoist the Union Jack over a public building" in the interests of charity," it does not require a vivid imagination to estimate the consequences. The initial conduct of Admiral Davies was slurred over and only casually referred to as an interrupted work of charity; the action of the Governor was dealt with in every form of varied insinuation and attack. Canadian opinion was, in short, formed along what I will again describe as continental lines, as it was in the Alaskan Boundary case, and as it is even now in the Newfoundland case. Again and again the formation of Canadian thought has been and is being Americanized, and our people are still unaware of the fact.
Before concluding, a word may be said about some other collateral influences in this process of Americanization. Most people are now aware that through the Canadian-American Postal arrangement of 1875 a clear preference was and is given United States magazines and periodicals in this country-which, by the way, many are demanding that Great Britain should make good. Most people, however, are unaware how steadily the resulting influx of cheap United States periodical literature is moulding public thought along the lines of American Military and Navy traditions, American democracy and business methods, continental conditions and social unity-aided by the affiliation of Labour bodies and the assimilation of political methods. Added to this influence of current popular literature and the already-described power of daily cabled news is the curious effect upon the opinions of Canadian journalists which is exercised by the United States press itself. It is not an exaggeration to say that the average Canadian newspaper man rarely sees a British paper and still more rarely studies British politics or conditions from both sides and from authoritative sources. As a rule the Canadian journalist sees almost entirely the papers of the United States and Canada. When dealing with questions of sudden importance, such as the Jamaica question or the cabled decision of the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal, he is naturally and inevitably influenced by (1) the cabled, and, I repeat, Americanized news in his own papers, and (z) by the clever editorials in New York, Chicago, or Washington journals. They are all before him, perhaps on the very day they are written; he has little from the British side of the case, either cabled or written; his opinion is formed or largely influenced by the piled-up masses of papers from a Foreign country-and in these cases the country opposed to the national and natural view of his own Empire.
From all these influences came the curious moulding of public opinion in Canada. Hence the blame so hastily and unfairly laid upon Sir Alexander Swettenham; hence the oversight shown toward the real offender and the real offence; hence the exaggerated importance given to an unwise utterance under conditions of peculiar provocation; hence the curious picture of this. British country hastily, and without thought, taking through its press the American view of a situation in which the United States really offered an insult to our own territorial power and national flag; hence the Americanization of Canadian thought in the way of an increasing and emphatically distinct Foreign view of British affairs and policy and politics amongst our people; hence the duty of all Canadians, whether Imperialists or not, to comprehend and combat this extraordinary and powerful influence which is moulding the sentiment of Canada and threatening to guide its future into one of separation from British ideals, institutions, and unity.
Mr. T. E. Champion, of The Telegram: I have been delighted with Mr. Castell Hopkins' remarks. I am not going to criticize them now, except to say that he is absolutely and entirely and wholly inaccurate about the newspaper press in this city and in the statement that newspaper men do not read British newspapers, and that they are wholly influenced by American sentiment. If he will have the kindness to step over to The Telegram as soon as he has listened to other comments, we will furnish him with all the English papers from January 1st. If he will come across to The Globe he will find the same, or to The Mail and Empire. As regards Mr. Hopkins' address, taken altogether, it was interesting; it was true and very convincing; but as regards his remarks about the newspaper press, all I have to say is that Mr. Hopkins has relied upon his imagination for his facts.
The latter here interjected the statement that he adhered to every word he had used or fact stated.
Captain A. T. Hunter: I am very glad that Mr. Hopkins brought up this question, and I am glad that in his treatment of the subject he has brought up the concrete instance of the Swettenham-Davis episode. One fault of Imperial Clubs of this kind is that we are too abstract; we should be concrete, and this is a concrete instance-the Swettenham-Davis episode. It is an admirable incident, in that it illustrates the entire difference of point of view which Canadians, Englishmen, and Americans now hold in England and in the United States. This SwettenhamDavis trouble was considered largely as a question of good taste or good manners. Perhaps the Admiral was too impulsive; perhaps the Governor was too previous. (Laughter.) These great nations are extremely polite to each other. They are as mutually appreciative as the President and Secretary of a company getting ready to raise each other's salary. Unfortunately, we British subjects in the New World are in a position of shareholders or policyholders. We forget to admire when our Imperial dividends are complimented over to Uncle Sam. One Editor here in this city was so lacking in Imperial and international loyalty as to suggest that "Imperialism might be found drowned in a flood of Old Country gush over the United States." Some day we will have to hold, willingly or unwillingly, a shareholder's or policyholder's meeting, and perhaps we will have to hold an Imperial audit.
We are reminded reasonably often that our contribution to the Imperial Navy has not been received at the Head Office. Perhaps if we took advantage of such a thing as the Swettenham-Davis episode we might get out everything on both sides of the account, and find whether we receive anything from being British subjects Of course, it might hurt Jamaica to close the doors at present and hold our shareholder's meeting at this moment. If you send the American "Old Glory" home you send American cash home also; because American cash never goes abroad unless chaperoned by American patriotism in the proportion of sixteen to one. But sooner or later we shall have to hold that meeting. In expressing myself, unfortunately not in the chosen language of the gentleman who has spoken, I must differ from him as to his views of Governor Swettenham's language. I do not like Mr. Hopkins' remark about the language of Governor Swettenham being ill-chosen, because I want to burn a candle to "Jimmie of Jamaica." Governor Swettenham is, to in), mind, an admirable man, whether in his acts or his letters. His literature, which he has been called upon at headquarters to withdraw, reminds me of some of the orders of the Duke of Wellington in praising an officer for doing something contrary to the Duke's orders. And in addition to that the Governor is troubled with what the Greeks used to call the love of doing things, and his method of settling about doing things reminds one of Oliver Cromwell trying to get into a fortified town.
It might pay Canada to compensate Jamaica for any injuries she may suffer. It is the irony of British connection that here is one colony that has so often suffered by Englishmen sacrificing it, and there is another colony that is perhaps now suffering by an Englishman maintaining British rights. It might be the irony of British connection, it might pay to compensate Jamaica for what she has suffered, if the British Government could thereby be induced to say that every act and every word of Governor Swettenham represents the British policy in the New World. It would, in that case, pay Canada to rebuild, at her own expense, the broken city of Kingston. If, on the other hand, we are given to understand that a King's representative in the Colonial world of America holds his job by virtue of being deferential to the Americans, and on condition that he dips the Union Jack to "Old Glory," then the advantage of British connection might require further illumination.
Dr. D. J. Goggin: I do not propose, because I do not agree with a great deal of what has been said, either as to the facts of the case or the inferences to be derived therefrom, to speak at length. It is better that I should not touch upon these points at all than to deal with them at insufficient length. Some strong language has been indulged in, language with which, so far as my knowledge of the Dominion and the United States goes, I do not agree. But these are largely matters of opinion, you can hardly call them matters of fact. One man reads one thing, and another man reads the same thing, and the inferences they draw are by no means alike. I think we have made rather too much of this Jamaica incident. We have arrived at the time when we can very well afford to drop it. England may take a long time to make up her opinions, but as I grow older I come more and more to the conclusion that when the last word is said she is nearer right, when you look at it twenty-five or fifty years after. I am prepared to leave it with her. Nor is one able to deal in three or four minutes with the influences that are at work in moulding public opinion, and with which Mr. Hopkins dealt at such length. Regarding the influence of the American Associated Press he did not say one word too much about it. I would like to emphasize that, but condemning it is not going to remedy it to any great extent. What are you going to do about getting a Canadian Associated Press? When shall we have our own representatives send us real news from Europe free from American bias. To sit still, or to talk and do nothing is not worth much.
Mr. Hopkins: We have a Canadian Associated Press subsidized with $15,000 a year by the Canadian Government, and with some $15,ooo allowed from certain newspapers. That Association sends a small amount in cablegrams daily to the morning and evening papers, and much of this cabled stuff is the most absolute slush that can possibly be described--worse even in its anti-British influences than much of what the American Associated Press has been sending.
Dr. Goggin: Mr. Hopkins has said practically what I was about to say. Whose fault is it? If the newspapers here will simply say: "That sort of thing will not do; we will not have it," and bring their influence to bear at Ottawa and on the other side, we can change the personnel thereof, and when we have accomplished that, let us improve the service. We have a vast quantity of cheap American magazines coming into this country. On the train one day I bought one dollar's worth of these United States periodicals, and of all the rubbish a man could buy for a dollar, I got it. Something can be done to remedy this in the Postal service, and our people should do something here, as well as ask the Old Country to do something. I do not agree with Mr. Hopkins about the newspaper offices. My experience has been that British journals and magazines are found to an extent that rather surprised me. In some of the larger towns of the west I saw the London Spectator and the London weeklies and quarterlies.
Now, apart from the magazines and the Associated Press there are our pulpits and debating societies, our Clubs like this, the debates in our own Local Legislature and the debates in the Dominion House, which are all tending to shape public opinion here, and I do not know that there so much Americanism is in evidence. I can only speak within the limits of my own knowledge, but I have found a strong British sentiment as I have passed from place to place. There is the question of the people we are bringing into our great West. I spent years working amongst them. These people from the South have the same customs; the same habits of thought; largely the same political aspirations as to forms of government. They have the same laws; far back they derived their laws from the same source; their literature from the same source; their love of country; and I find that when they come to the Great West they are prompt to take their part in the industrial and civic life of this Province. They take an active interest in local elections, and in the Provincial elections, and they obey our laws. They say that they are not any better than their own laws, but they admit that they are better administered. They have come to be Canadian citizens. There is no Americanizing of the West as far as that is concerned. Their children go into our schools, and are taught the Maple Leaf, and God Save the King. They read our Canadian Histories, and our English Histories, and all the great deeds that were done in the past; those things that help to shape a man's opinion, that stir his feelings; these things are taught to them there in the schools, and this is producing a British ideal, and an Imperial ideal, as I see it, and as I have watched it time after time.
All this patriotism comes in certain ways, and comes quietly. It is a thing of slow growth, but of lasting influence. That boy who in the school learns the traditions of the country is the one upon whom we have to work. We will never make Canadian citizens out of many of the old people. They cannot understand our political institutions, nor many of our customs, but their sons and grandsons, brought up in the common schools, will enter into the life, industrial, commercial, and political, of this country. The process is a slow one, expensive, more expensive than I think it ought to be. I would rather have fewer citizens of better quality, but when we get these children into the schools and educate them we will make them all right. We are creating a public sentiment in the West in favour of our own country; and when they learn in the schools to obey their teachers, later on they learn to respect the rights of others; as larger boys they learn to respect their own rights and take care of them; and when they are in the higher schools and colleges they learn that they have not only personal rights, but that every man will have family rights and national rights. He has also civic rights and duties, and he will learn to value these without fear.
The best foundation is being laid in that way, through instruction, through our press, through our schools and colleges, and we shall be able to develop it into intelligent patriotism. That is the kind of patriotism that counts in the long run. It is a fine thing to die for a country, but it is a better thing to live for one's country. It is easier to shoulder the rifle oftentimes than it is to walk up to the poll, vote according to your convictions rather than your party affiliations, and let it be known afterwards. It is the doing of these little things, fearlessly and faithfully and zealously day by day, that is going to make this country better and more united. I have some respect for flag-days, but not very much. I saw some rags of flags that had been up every day, on my trip, and was ashamed to look at them. It is a good thing to fly the flag, but I think more is being done through occasional use than through the daily use, for indifference is sometimes bred through familiarity. I have only touched upon half a dozen things, but as far as I am concerned I think public opinion needs further cultivation, though I do not think public opinion is being influenced to so large an extent as the speaker of the day has described; yet if he be right and I am wrong, then he has given you the warning, and my words will only fall in after his.