- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 12 Jan 1928, p. 256-269
- Martin, The Honourable John S., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Some of those factors of the British Empire which in ancient and modern times have served as links of Empire: Science, Settlement, Sentiment. Ways in which Science has made its most important contributions to Empire building. How advances in transportation and communication have made the world smaller. Now, the development of our natural resources. The Empire Marketing Board, its object the promotion of the consumption of Empire goods in the British market as against goods produced outside the Empire, with example concerning the improvement of poultry commodities. Research in the matter of cold storage of fruit, with a view to adopting methods which can be used in the more successful transportation of the tender fruits of Ontario to the British market. Settlement. The transfer of population from the Motherland to outlying parts of the Empire as a basic and important factor of Empire links, the result of a combination of influences. A look back at some historic settlements, supported and encouraged by the Crown, finding a ready response in the spirit of adventure of the British peoples. Some modern activities along this line. The importance of maintaining the stream of British settlement which has lost none of the fine qualities which has characterized it in years gone by. A review of one or two phases of the current aspects of this problem, with regard to the Government of Ontario. The policy of brining over boys of the ages of 16, 17, and 18 from the British Isles and settling them on farms in Ontario. The success of this plan. The Barnardo boys and their participation in the great World War. Marketing Ontario as a place for settlement. The "Ontario Bulletin," with an example of one of the letters published from one of the boys who resettled in Canada. The link of Sentiment, which considers tangible and intangible matters, such as traditions, ideals, the Flag and the Throne. Statements from Mr. Ramsey MacDonald, made in a speech in London in discussing the prospective meeting of the Empire Parliamentary Association which is to take place in Canada this fall, and which emphasizes the point the speaker wishes to make. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales as undoubtedly the greatest Ambassador of Empire in the world today, and how that is so, along with some of his words. The part to be played by Science, Settlement and Sentiment in strengthening the ties of Empire. What it means to us to maintain and safeguard these ties.
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- 12 Jan 1928
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LINKS OF EMPIRE
Tan HONOURABLE JOHN S. MARTIN, B.A., M.P.P.,
MINISTER OR AGRICULTURE FOR ONTARIO.
(Links of Empire Series)
January 12th, 1928
COLONEL ALEXANDER FRASER, President, introduced the speaker.
HON. MR. MARTIN was received with applause, and said : It is indeed an honour to be invited to appear before this distinguished body for a second time within a few years. May I confess that your gallant President not only extended to me an invitation but told me what to talk about. At least he suggested that something on the Empire, from which this Club gets its name and to which it is rendering such a marked service, might be appropriate for the occasion of the final meeting of the Club. I readily agreed with the suggestion. As a matter of fact we have rather become accustomed to agreeing with the suggestions of Colonel Fraser, as his suggestions so often can scarcely be distinguished from commands. It did seem fitting, however, that after a year in which you have given your interest and attention to a wide range of subjects that you should come back for a few moments to consider the one big overshadowing subject of all. The matter, however, did not seem quite as simple as at first thought. With fourteen and a half million square miles and four hundred and sixty million population,, the Empire is a subject of vast range, of many sides, of great comprehensiveness; so, to reduce the matter to a few brief understandable points, I have decided to confine myself to some of those factors which in ancient and modern times have served as links of Empire. It has seemed to me that these may be summed up in three words
SCIENCE, SETTLEMENT, SETIMENT.
Under these three simple heads we will all readily place some of the big factors which in years gone by, as well as at the present time, have served to strengthen the ties of Empire.
Let us then first consider Science. This opens a wide range of thought and achievement.
In the realm of transportation and communication Science has, perhaps, made its most important contributions to Empire building. The vast advances which have been made within even our memory in the facilities for spanning the ocean, have in themselves been a most important achievement. The lessening of space is of the greatest importance both in regard to human travel and in regard to the handling and transportation of commodities of trade. Then as regards communication, the laying of the ocean cable, and more recently the extension of the really wonderful development of wireless communication, have comparatively annihilated space, and linked people together in thought and in commerce as never before.
There is now coming a new application of science on an Empire basis, and that is with reference to the development of our natural resources. Not long ago, as you are no doubt aware, there was organized in London what is known as The Empire Marketing Board. Last summer I received a letter from this Board suggesting an arrangement in our respective organizations for carrying on scientific research on problems which underlie the successful marketing of our products. This Board has for its object the promotion of the consumption of Empire goods in the British market as against goods produced outside the Empire. There is a vast scope for development along this line, and hence the importance of utilizing every possible facility. In response to this invitation, therefore, I arranged to send one of the professors of the Ontario Agricultural College, who spent several weeks in close consultation with the experts of the Board in considering problems of mutual interest, on which some cooperative work might be undertaken. As a result of this preliminary discussion I have just recently completed an agreement for starting the first co-operative project of this nature. It concerns the improvement of our poultry commodities. It has been noted that in the hatching of eggs, 20% of the embryos die or fail to hatch, and there has been no definite explanation of the cause of this wastage. This, therefore, is the basis of the first co-operative work which is to be carried on, and the problem has been briefly stated in our agreement in the following words
"To make a careful study of the quality in eggs to determine the effect of such quality on the next generation of fowls and to ascertain the effect of the diet of the poultry on eggs as a human food.
To study the hatching power of fertile eggs as to the vitamin content of the eggs and also as to the mineral content of the eggs or a combination of these two factors."
I may say that in the study of the quality of eggs one of the surprising things is that eggs produced under the most hygienic conditions, where the feed is of the very finest quaity and everything is as good as can be obtained the yolk is of a pale yellow, very light and anaemic colour, while eggs produced under primitive conditions, that is, from hens that rove the barnyard, the colour of the yoke is deep yellow. The discovery of vitamins has thrown new light on our problem, and is slowly revolutionizing many of our scientific opinions. Of course the deeper colour is due to the presence 3f minerals, but we have found that the taste and appearance of the eggs can be materially changed by what is fed to fowls. In these days of discoveries our object is to make the eggs as nourishing as possible by supplying those elements which are necessary to the human system. This has opened up a whole world of problems. Cod liver oil may seem a peculiar article of food for hens, but on many poultry farms we consume a great deal of this, and on my own farm we have found it of great advantage in improving the hatches we have been able to obtain. The value of codliver oil is in the vitamins it contains, and so it is considered a necessary adjunct to the poultry farm, and many barrels of it are used, resulting in better hatches, with chicks that are stronger, and that make more rapid progress.
In carrying out this work it will be necessary to produce hatching eggs in large numbers, capable of producing a normal chicken at any time of the year. This obviously will have a bearing on the cost of production of poultry and its products and therefore on marketing. It is also believed that a detailed study of this problem may lead the way toward more complete information as to the cause of anaemia in human beings. This work is being started this month at the Ontario Agricultural College, our men working in close co-operation with the Marketing Board, which shares one-half of the cost.
This, of course, is only a beginning and the application of the same plan will be made to dairy problems, honey problems or any other problems which affect matters entering into Empire trade.
Not many weeks ago one of the professors from Cambridge University visited our Fruit Experimental Farm at Vineland, to confer with our Director as to certain research work which is being done in the matter of cold storage of fruit, with a view to adopting methods which can be used in the more successful transportation of the tender fruits of this Province to the British market.
The object of the methods employed is to keep the fruits in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide. The fruit, so far as we are able to judge, makes absolutely no deterioration. We have no difficulty in the transportation of apples, but with tender fruits such as peaches there is a great deal of difficulty. We had come to believe that it is largely a matter of temperature, but if this solution is found practicable, it will revolutionize much of our fruit trade, and we will be able to put our tender fruits on the British market in first-class condition. (Applause.)
The important point I wish to stress, however, is that a real beginning is being made in these lines, and science is being utilized to solve Empire problems and therefore serves, in this respect, as a further link of Empire.
Let us now turn to the second link-Settlement. The transfer of population from the Motherland to outlying parts of the Empire has always served as a basic and important factor. It has, throughout the centuries, been the result of a combination of influences. The encouragement and financial support extended by the Throne and the Royal Family all down through the ages has ever found a ready response in the spirit of adventure which has been one of the outstanding characteristics of British peoples ever since Henry VII, in 1497, extended his patronage to John Cabot, the Venetian merchant of Bristol, and his son Sebastian, to embark on the then perilous journey across the Atlantic. An even more important early adventure in settlement, having regard to its subsequent influence on this country, was the Royal Charter given by King Charles in 1670, to the Hudson Bay Company. Under the leadership of Prince Rupert, this party of gentlemen adventurers came out to Canada and established an activity which, ever since and to this very day, has played a most important part in the opening up and development of this nation.
Time will not permit me to dwell on the many heroic and romantic chapters which have gone to make up the story of the settlement of British peoples in this country throughout the centuries, because I desire to refer to some modern activities along this line. We all recognize that the pioneer work which has been done, overcoming difficulties which are unknown today, has laid the
foundations for the present development which we enjoy. Because of this, we feel that it is important to maintain the stream of British settlement which has lost none of the fine qualities which has characterized it in years gone by. There are many phases of the current aspects of this problem, but I will refer to only one or two in which the Government of Ontario is concerned.
One of the first things that came to my notice in the Department of Agriculture, as head of the Colonization Department, was the fact that much of our money spent on immigration was abortive. We were bringing to this Province young men from the age of 21 years upwards. After staying a year or two they disappeared; they had been just waiting for an opportunity to slip across the line: I felt that it was a waste of money and effort to bring over such young men, when we knew what they had in mind. We therefore decided to expend our energies in other directions. I might explain that this Province has its own Immigration Department. We work under the Federal Government at Ottawa, and we specialize in certain classes of immigration, so that we conduct our work direct with the British Government, with the consent and under the authority of the Federal Government.
Now nearly two years ago we decided to undertake a definite policy of bringing over boys of the ages of 16, 17, and 18, from the British Isles and settling them on farms in this Province. It was quite understood that they would not have any preliminary farm experience, but it was felt that if they were settled with an individual farmer they would soon learn the ways of the country and grow up to be very useful citizens. I am glad to say that this plan has worked out most satisfactorily. Since it was started there have been upwards of one thousand boys placed under this particular scheme and the percentage of misfits, which are always bound to occur in such circumstances, has been gratifyingly small.
One of the things that has always impressed me was the splendid part which the Barnardo boys played during the great World War. (Hear, hear, and applause.) I think that was one of the finest tributes to what " Empire" means that could be found. I have known hundreds of those boys, and I have known communities in Ontario, and I have known communities in Ontario, and in sections where recruiting was very slow it was noteworthy how those Barnardo boys came to the recruiting office and offered themselves. It was a wonderful tribute-(applause)--because, remember, they were largely boys who had been picked off the streets of Old London and other cities. When you saw those boys acting in that way, you knew that the British Empire, the Motherland, meant a great deal to them.
Our scheme was to secure a better class of boys than we had been getting. One of the most pitiable conditions in Britain today is that thousands of boys are growing up to manhood with no position offered to them, with nothing to which to look forward-boys of good breed, with good parents, with fine physique; and it seems to me that Canada could not possibly make a better investment than to bring over as quickly as possible those boys of tender years. (Hear, hear.) We were able to make an agreement with the Overseas Settlement Board by which those boys are being brought over. We bring them to Vimy Ridge Farm of 300 acres, near Guelph, and we give them a little period of training, and then put them in homes with good farmers who will train and help them. We are trustees for those boys; we keep their wages, what is left over after they have supplied their needs in the way of clothing, etc. We inspect the homes in which they are placed, because we are not going to allow greedy farmers to exploit the labour of those boys. (Hear, hear.) We want a fair proposition where both the boy and the farmer will benefit.
I may say that one of the difficult problems in the average farm today is that the revenue of small farms is not enough to pay $500 or $600 for a man. A boy is placed out on a one-year contract at a minimum wage. The boy is given a good home, and we try to select men who will treat them kindly and play the game, so that the boy has a good home. The boy is given $10 a month during the first year; after that the agreement is between the farmer and the boy. I am pleased to say that this plan is working admirably.
Speaking of Links of Empire, of course we are always trying to keep Ontario to the front. In going to the Old Country you are struck with the fact that there is very little said about Ontario in any of the literature that is being sent out by our Federal Government; it is largely about the West-Alberta and Saskatchewan. Of course we are all anxious to see those provinces built up, but we do like to hear a little about Ontario. (Hear, hear.) That is why we are more or less doing our own advertising, and conducting a lot of our own activities direct. One of the things that struck me in the Old Country was the fact that I saw so little about Ontario, but I saw in the public press fool items which were, to say the least, irritating; they seemed to be trying to put Canada in a poor light. I have no doubt-in fact we have cases in point proving that those articles were inspired. There is a keen competition in these days. I will say no more on that subject; but about a year age we felt that it would be in the interests of this province to issue our own Bulletin. I think that in Mr. Noxon, our Agent--General, we have the very finest advocate of this Province in the Motherland. He is a man we are proud of, and as the Minister having charge of that office I wish to say he is a man with whom I have had very pleasant relations, a man with whom it is a pleasure to work, and one of the most efficient representatives, I believe, that Canada has ever had. I say "Canada."
We have now what is known as the "Ontario Bulletin," and it is full of news about Ontario. It is published quarterly. We have just received the third issue. We send those magazines wherever we think the publicity will do us good. This issue of January 28th has an article by Hon. Charles McCrae. There is no advertising in these issues except what relates to our own departments. The object is to spread helpful propaganda about this Province, and disseminate knowledge.
Here is a letter from one of the boys. We have a lot of such letters:
"Dearest Mother, Bather, Sisters, and Brothers,--I received your letters this morning, It is lovely weather out here, 80 in the shade, and I am getting as brown as a berry. I have been working out on the land today, ploughing and harrowing, which is very fine work to do. I have been on the farm three weeks tomorrow. Next week I get ten dollars to save up, and at the end of the year I shall have a hundred and twenty dollars. Dear Mother, I am getting on very well with the people; they are very nice, and they treat me in the very best way. They have a six-valve wireless set. Dearest Bather, thank you very much for the letters, which I received with great joy. Write to me as often as you can. By the time this letter reaches you and, I shall expect to have that photo of you and dear mother. The orchards are looking fine with their bloom;there are apple trees, plum trees, and cherry trees. There are some goslings coming out next week, some little turkeys, too. The summer harvesting will soon be on now, that is when they get in the hay. The mangels and roots are all planted. All we have to put in now is a little millet next week, then I guess we have to get to the hoeing. There is a kitchen garden, with peas, beans, raspberries, black currants, and everything nice, especially the water melons. Can you imagine me diving into one ? Remember me to all the boys and friends that ask after me, and tell them I am O.K."
We have thousands of such letters. We all. know there are difficulties that will present themselves, and there arc misfits who will get over here in spite of all the care we can exercise-boys who would not make good anywhere; but I may say that the percentage of such boys is very small.
Many of these boys are no doubt actuated by the same spirit of adventure which has characterized the race from which they came. You might be interested in the story of our experience with a couple of boys, who illustrate this point. They came out in the fall of 1926, and apparently when they were together in the early part of the trip, and particularly at Vimy Ridge Farm, where they are received on arrival, they decided that after spending the winter in Canada they would leave for Sunny California. After a short time together they were placed on farms a few miles apart, and then they carried on their plans by means of correspondence. One of the boys was known by that fine old name of Socrates. The other bay answered to the prosaic name of Jack, but was sometimes known as Kismet. As time went on they became more impatient for their adventure, but I will give you the story as it is contained in their own correspondence. In the course of a letter "To my dear Socrates," Jack writes as follows
"Well Soc., you are not a fool and I am not. We both have plausible tongues and I even venture to say, Soc., that the two of us in partnership would make the finest adventurous combination that Vimy Ridge has yet seen. Stanley would have made a good partner, but he was mostly talk, eh ? So the question of what we are to do in case of a failure to board a southern train disappears. Some border city should provide a living and a fat living too, for two adventurers who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And when spring comes we could continue our travels considerably richer by our stay. Now Soc., I have a hunch we could do it smiling. Both of us are acclimatized and slightly hardened, so what I I'm willing to risk it if you are. An inventory of my possessions which would prove useful. At present $8 in cash, a silver watch and a gold chain, a silver cigarette case, a thick overcoat, a pair of rubber boots, heavy underwear, thick shirt and a plausible tongue."
To this Socrates, who incidentally was only about sixteen years of age, replied as follows
"Of course you understand that my whole soul longs for your pleasant companionship in the sun-kissed land of the new Mexico. Should hoboing prove impracticable, it will be a great disappointment to me, but nothing will ever persuade me to endure the disgrace of recapture and possible deportation. Never I a thousand times no I Sooner suicide than that.
"Pulling together through all kinds of weather we will carve a path through life.
"So be it Kismet. Call on me at all times. I am always prepared for adventure. Some people like to sit at home and read about it, but you and I are of a sterner mould."
To this stirring call Jack replied :
"And so, Socrates, the stage is set. For good or evil we will go on with it . . . . . This is going to be a great event in our lives, Soc., and I know it is for the best. Money will come fast and quick, and maybe 'next Christmas we can afford a holiday to the Old Land. Adventurers both."
As has happened with older people, writing letters was the cause of the undoing of the boys. The letters fell into the hands of the employer of one of the boys. He turned them over to our officers, and when one of the boys arrived at the meeting-place in Toronto he was taken in hand by our man. The other boy, who evidently saw this but was not seen by our man, realized that the game was up, and he took the next train back to his job, and has been doing well ever since. The other boy, after being reasoned with quietly, found he would be satisfied with a less adventurous life. He was again placed on a farm. A year is now past. He is on the same farm, and has just made a contract for the second year. Thus ends this romance, but it shows that the spirit of adventure is still strong in the British race, and that settlement may be counted on to be, as in the past, one of the most important links of Empire.
And now we come to the last link in my brief chain, the link without which all other links are weak and unavailing-the link of Sentiment. This has been described as the silken cord which binds with the strength of steel. Unless Science and Settlement, trade and commerce, and all other factors minister to and are supplemented
7b the bonds of sentiment, the Empire cannot endure. rue, there must be practical ties, material bonds, but sentiment takes account of more than these. It considers tangible and intangible matters, such as traditions, ideals, the Flag and the Throne. In a speech a few ago in London, in discussing the prospective meeting of the Umpire Parliamentary Association, which is to take
place in Canada this fall, Mr. Ramsey MacDonald, Labour leader, made statements which emphasize the point I am endeavouring to make.
" He doubted very much if by mere law or statute, or by mere formal agreement in the devising of formula, they were able to do this work successfully. They came back finally to that subtle, intangible, spiritual thing in our common pride and common inheritance. It was a tradition; it was an appreciation of what we were and what we had been. He believed that was the bond that was surviving all the tests put upon it."
In this speech the Labour leader mentioned the fact that he had, at some time or other, visited every part of the British Umpire. I could not help thinking that possibly that fact explained why he was able, in spite of the influence with which he is surrounded, to maintain a point of view on Empire matters such as is reflected in the words quoted. There is no doubt that the interchange of visits, the maintenance of personal touch, constitutes one of the best means of developing a proper sentiment. It is good to know that these are increasing, and this Club is serving a splendid purpose in supplying a forum through which distinguished visitors from other parts of the Empire may come in contact with large numbers of our citizens. It is good to know that the Honourable Mr. Amery, Secretary of State for the Dominions, will be here in a short time. These visits have a fine effect.
But undoubtedly the greatest Ambassador of Empire in the world today is His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. He has visited all parts of the Empire, and has been in Canada several times. His winsome personality and democratic bearing have had a wonderful effect in constituting a personal bond between the Throne and citizens of the Empire in outlying Dominions and in the Motherland. His visits have done more than this. His speeches have proclaimed a broad and sound view of Empire which cannot be too often emphasized. Did time permit it would be of interest to quote from many of the addresses which he has made at different points, which would further make clear the phases I am emphasizing. It may be sufficient, however, to quote one paragraph. On his return from his tour of 1919 he made the following statement in his address at the Mansion House in London;
"I should like to try to tell you what I feel I have learned. In the first place I have come back with a much clearer idea of what is meant by the British Empire, or, as it is often more appropriately called, the British Commonwealth. The old idea of Empire handed down from Greece and Rome was that of a mother-country surrounded by daughter-states which owed allegiance to her. Now, er left that obsolete idea behind a long time ago. Our Empire implies a partnership of free nations, nations living under the same system of law, pursuing the same democratic aims, and actuated by the same human ideals. The British Empire is thus something far grander than an Empire in the old sense of the term."
This shows, I submit, that he is not only an Ambassador of Empire but an Ambassador of an Empire based on the broadest and most democratic ideals. The importance of this kind of Empire being developed cannot be over-emphasized. If we would fully appreciate this we have only to look back at what happened a little over one hundred years ago. There has recently been an incident in Chicago which has created a great deal of amusement outside the borders of that city The spectacle of a man, who occupies the position of Mayor, trying to make an issue of what was done by George III over one hundred and fifty years ago has only proved ludicrous. He has, however, served to emphasize the change in conditions, and one leading American paper, not long ago, made the remark that if George III had been actuated by the same ideals and the same spirit which are exemplified by George V today, the American colonies would never have broken away. We should, therefore, realize the great part which the Prince of Wales is playing in interpreting the Umpire to the Throne and the Throne to the Empire.
To such an Empire we are happy to acknowledge the ties of Science and Settlement and Sentiment. In the strengthening of these ties each may play a part, because through the maintenance of these ties there is safeguarded to all of us the maximum of freedom and of security, under which each, in his own way, may attain in some measure to health, wealth and happiness. (Loud applause.)
SIR WILLIAM HEARST voiced the thanks of the Club to the speaker for his thoughtful, masterly, educative and patriotic address.