The British Delegation
- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 6 Oct 1922, p. 237-243
- Wakefield, Sir Charles; Howarth, Sir Arthur; Stewart, Dr.; Spender, Harold, Speaker
- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- A complimentary dinner for a British Delegation who had visited the United States and presented statues of Pitt, Burke and Bryce to the American people. The Empire Club of Canada, on their arrival in Toronto, tendered a complimentary dinner in the King Edward Hotel. Some of the delegates spoke briefly.
Sir Charles Wakefield:
A personal note that "no people have ever gripped my heart so much as the people of Toronto."
Sir Arthur Howarth:
Sir Arthur described himself as "the scene shifter," referred to the work of the women on both sides of the Atlantic during the war, and spoke of the bravery of the Canadians during the war. He also gave a personal account of a visit with his daughter to the Northwest.
Dr. Stewart, representative of the United States, and of the Sulgrave Institute in America:
Dr. Stewart described in detail the work of the Sulgrave Institution, as he had done in his address before the Empire Club in 1921. He referred to the unity that had prevailed during the war between the U.S. and British troops, and to the destructive forces now at work to weaken or break the ties of unity between the two great Anglo-Saxon nations.
Mr. Harold Spender:
A few paragraphs from Mr. Spender's address are quoted. Mr. Spender was introduced as a distinguished journalist and a well-known writer of biographies. He spoke about Canada, Canadians, and our relationship to the British Empire.
- Date of Original:
- 6 Oct 1922
- Language of Item:
- Copyright Statement:
- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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- Full Text
THE BRITISH DELEGATION
Complimentary Dinner, October 6, 1922.
Members of a British Delegation had visited the United States and presented statues of Pitt, Burke and Bryce to the American people. On their arrival in Toronto, the Empire Club tendered a complimentary dinner in the King Edward Hotel. Among the guests were Sir Charles Wakefield, a former Lord Mayor of London, Lady Wakefield and Miss Wakefield, Sir Arthur and Lady Howarth, Sir William Letts, Mr. Harold Spender and friends from the Sulgrave Institution who accompanied the Delegation.
During the evening Mr. Arthur Blight sang a number of songs with much acceptance.
After dinner, the President, Sir William Hearst, welcomed the guests and their friends in warm terms and thanked them especially for the kindness and sympathy shown to Canadian soldiers in the Old Land. He expressed the Club's appreciation of the mission of good-will which the Delegation represented not only to Canada but to the neighbouring Republic, which meant so much for the fraternity of the English-speaking nations, and eventually for the cause of peace and the interests of humanity and civilization.
SIR CHARLES WAKEFIELD.
Mr. President, You are aware that I have already spoken three times today, and I will simply be the curtain raiser to the other members of the deputation, but I will say this as a personal note, that no people have ever gripped my heart so much as the people of Toronto (applause) and I shall express the feeling of my heart in the words: "God be with you till we meet again." (Applause)
SIR ARTHUR HOWARTH.
Sir Arthur described himself as "the scene shifter," referred to the work of the women on both sides of the Atlantic during the war, and spoke of the bravery of the Canadians during the war. He gave a personal incident of a visit with his daughter to the Northwest.
It is a glorious and a noble thing to fight the tyrant, but it is even nobler for one to take a part in leading the world to such a level that tyrants would know that they could never hope to disturb the peoples of the world again without the certainty that outraged humanity would rise as one and put them down at once. (Applause) Canon Cody, in a remarkable address today, quoted the words of Nurse Cavell, "Patriotism is not enough." The thought is that personality is of more worth while trying to work out in its national politics than any other form of applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the every-day work-a-day world. I am absolutely imbued with the idea that no man or woman anywhere can do a higher work than to ensure that the righteous spirit of the League of Nations is down deep in the hearts of the growing generation. You are members equally with us of the estimable League of Nations.
I am told that on some subject or other the Old Country and some of the daughter nations have not voted alike. That is their glory-that they should be allowed to go on their own way, to vote their own way on any particular question. We know well enough that though we may have difference of opinion, yet when an evil hour approaches, such as happened in 1914, all the English-speaking peoples within and without the British Empire will be found eventually to be of one mind. As prevention is better than cure, I profoundly believe in the League of Nations. In days gone by, the British Empire was not centralized in anything like. the way it is today. The last quarter of a century has brought out in the thoughts of the English-speaking world the idea of unity of purpose and kinship. Our opinions differ in certain spheres. In athletics you do not quite come to that fierce contest that England and Australia do when they are playing cricket, but every Englishman would despise an English boy, and quite rightly, if he did not cheer and throw his cap in the air when England was beating Australia; or perhaps I should say "trying to," because she did not succeed, (laughter) and vice versa. The world has learned in the last decade or two, emphatically in the last few years, that there was something greater even than Australia or England, and that was the Empire fighting for humanity. In the mud of Flanders, in the shell-swept fields of France, and those awful cliffs of Gallipoli, Australia and England absolutely preserved their identity, but were a unit in the common purpose of perpetuating the British
'Empire. We have learned that we are different races, and yet one in unity, in duality. It seems to me that in the League of Nations, the British Empire and all its constituents, must ever take the lead. It has got to put this idea one stage furtherto lead the peoples to put the coping stone on this wonderful piece of masonry in order that the peoples of the world shall never be destroyed again. I believe that we as English-speaking people must take the lead. I was therefore delighted to hear that charming call this afternoon in the rotunda, a noble call from one of your more aged statesmen in this beloved land, to teach the children, as we will teach ourselves, and then the British Empire will have done even a greater thing for humanity than it has done in the past. In every way we feel we are at one, and that the future with us is a great and mighty trust. I thank you most heartily for your cordial welcome. (Loud applause)
PRESIDENT HEARST then introduced Mr. John Appleton Stewart, LL.D., as a representative of the great country to the south of us, and the energetic, eloquent, able and untiring representative of the Sulgrave Institute in America.
Dr. Stewart apologized in advance, as he had recently attended no less than fifty-eight formal dinners in connection with the mission of the British delegation to the United States. He described somewhat in detail the work of the Sulgrave Institution, as he had done in his address before the Empire Club in 1921. He referred to the unity that had prevailed during the war between the United States and British troops, and to the destructive forces now at work to weaken or break the ties of unity between the two great Anglo-Saxon nations. His address was received with applause and every expression of good-will.
MR. HAROLD SPENDER.
Mr. Spender was introduced by the President as a distinguished journalist and a well-known writer of biographies of Asquith, Botha, Lloyd George and others. Mr. Spender's delightfully witty stories, his keen but kindly thrusts at politics and politicians, his comments on the relations between the motherland and Canada, given with a rapidity of speech that almost defied reproduction, afforded his audience a period of enjoyment rarely equalled. A few paragraphs are given
Sir William, Ladies and Gentlemen, We have been happy every hour since we have been here. We have heard the lulling of your English voices; we have seen your beautiful city; I am sorry to say I have not been here for twenty years, when I accompanied that great man who was a great friend of mine, Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
What we like about the Canadians is that they are still with us around the Table of Peace. We don't criticize the Americans; they had good reason for going away. There is always that party politics business; we know it, for we have it in England; but the Canadians have stuck to us, and now they are in the League of Nations, and that is what we like about them. We do not care a bit whether they vote with us or against us; that is the charm of politics; the man who votes with you today votes against you tomorrow; life would not be worth living if he did not do it. (Laughter) I was told by somebody--I don't believe he was a journalist, but I think he was a professor or a member of a college--that there was a great movement for independence in Canada, and for about an hour I was seriously alarmed, then I went and slipped into the doors of a newspaper, and they said it was not true and, my good friends, I know there is no movement for independence in Canada. (Hear, hear) Why should you want to leave us? Why, we might as well want to leave you. The whole thing is ridiculous. We should not try to stop you, you know. When a daughter nowadays says she is going to leave, her father says, "My dear, go and do it. I won't stop you," and she does not do it. In the olden times, of course, Americans left us because we said to America, "You must stay." (Laughter) That fellow, Edmund Burke, whom we claim as an Englishman, though he was an Irishman for we always claim successful men as Englishmen (laughter) tried to persuade us that we were wrong in locking America in her bedroom, and so from that time forward we have treated all our dominions differently; we have let them do exactly what they liked, with the result that none of them has left us since. Now, isn't that a wonderful record? You know there is no reason for wanting to leave us; you are not dependents of ours; I won't call you colonists, for I don't like the word "colony;" you are a fellow dominion of ours, a fellow commonwealth of ours. (Applause) The real fact about that is that you think we are a colony. (Laughter)
Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, we really have come from England with a message of peace and goodwill. We have preached in America, and we have preached in Canada. We know that here we are preaching to the converted, but we love to come here and tell the old, old story; that is all we have to tell you. We are brothers, we are friends, and we shall be sorry to leave you. We are here tonight, but where shall we be tomorrow ? Like "ships that pass in the night, and give no signal in passing," we pass by one another like ships. Let us tonight give a handshake one to another and say "Good bye" with increasing love in our hearts. (Loud applause)
REV. DR. CODY expressed the thanks of the Club to the guests of the evening. He remarked that the object of the British delegation was to return the gift of the members of the Sulgrave Institute of the United States who not long ago presented to the people of the Motherland two busts of Geo. Washington, one of which was put in St. Paul's Cathedral, and the other erected in Liverpool, and the American Ambassador, in accepting the gift at St. Paul's, referred to George Washington as "a distinguished British officer and a great American citizen." Please God, the day will some time come when the British officer and the American citizen may dwell easily together as brothers in the still greater Commonwealth. (Applause) Dr. Cody referred to other evidences of American good-will which are to be found in Britain, namely, the statue of Canning, the real inventor of the Monroe Doctrine, and the standing figure of Abraham Lincoln. He referred to the international services of Pitt, Burke and Bryce, whose statues were being presented to America, by the present British delegation.
The meeting closed at 9.30 p.m., with three cheers and a tiger for the visitors, the audience rising and giving the Chautauqua salute.