- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 16 Mar 1916, p. 128-136
- Donovan, A.E., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The sound economic war policy of increased production in order to repair the wastage of war. The need for money and supplies to wage war successfully; these can only come from production. A patriotic obligation rests upon the great agricultural industry to raise greater field crops and rear more food animals. The country whose agricultural industry can be kept up to the maximum of production in war time as the one whose armies can remain in the field the longest. Contributions from Ontario, with specific figures and dollars. Comparing our live stock supply with that of Australia and New Zealand. Canada's agricultural production not having kept pace with the rapid growth of the country. Consequent increases in imports to meet the demand of consumers. Increased production as the only way to strengthen the national financial condition. Ways in which Canada can take advantage of the lack of travel in Europe by North Americans. What Canada has to offer in terms of tourism and recreation. Canada doing her part well in this war. How to encourage enlisting, and to secure the co-operation of 15,000 boys to go out from the schools and go up on the farms and help the farmers. What Canada has to offer to her young people. The British Navy and what we owe her. The speaker's speculation that there is no possibility that the German Emperor will win this war. Reasons for that belief. A debt of gratitude to Belgium. A wonderful thing to belong to the British Empire.
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- 16 Mar 1916
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- CANADIAN RESOURCES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
AN ADDRESS BY A. E. DONOVAN ESQ., M.P.P.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto March 16, 1916
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN,--I very much appreciate the honour that you have conferred upon me in extending an invitation to address such a representative and influential body of citizens of the Province of Ontario. It is, indeed, a rich and hand some compliment to myself, and to the people whom I represent in my constituency, to be honoured with an invitation to address the Empire Club, especially at this particular time when the Empire is so absorbed and so devoted in the great cause of liberty, freedom and justice that the Empire has always stood for.
Gentlemen, I have some matter which I have prepared and I would like to have it go out exactly as it is prepared, because it is a matter of importance for the people, I think, throughout the whole of the country to read. I have never had recourse very much to reading anything, but I thought on this particular occasion I would do so, which will only take about four minutes of your time, and then I shall hasten right on and let you away
The sound economic war policy is increased production in order to repair the wastage of war.
To wage war successfully we must have money and supplies and these can only come from production.
Therefore a patriotic obligation rests upon the great agricultural industry to raise greater field crops and rear more food animals. The monetary returns to the former, while perhaps secondary in importance, are by no means insignificant. The country whose agricultural industry can be kept up to the maximum of production in war time is the one whose armies can remain in the field the longest. While the old maxim "An army marches on its belly" has been made to read in these days of motor transport "An army marches on its gasoline," yet the old maxim is still true. Not only must production be increased to supply the millions of men under aims, and therefore withdrawn from productive labour; but it is out of the agricultural resources of the country that the nation is enabled to pay the war debts -that have had to be contracted, not only for military efficiency, but for food supply also, a great factor in the struggle now being waged.
Ontario has set herself resolutely to bear a share of the burden so cheerfully and unhesitatingly assumed by Canada in this struggle against tyranny, and for the--preservation of that marvellous instrument of freedom and enlightenment, the British Empire. Not only is she giving her sons, but she is contributing to the food supply of the Mother Country and her allies. The donation of 250,000 bags of Canadian flour to the Motherland, the contribution of carloads of apples for the British fleet, and for Belgian relief, are but an earnest of what this Province will do. Her farmers responded heartily to the appeal of the Minister of Agriculture to plow more land this fall, to, break up more pastures and sow an increased acreage of fall wheat. We are a mixed-farming province. Our live stock investment exceeds $238,000,000--and so we are not rated among the grain growing provinces. But our annual production of wheat totals some twentyseven .million bushels, an increase of seven million over 1914, which could easily be increased to thirtyfive million bushels. Our live stock supply in Canada amounts to one sheep and three cattle to every four of population, and two swine to every five.
In Australia for instance, there are seventeen sheep and three cattle, and in New Zealand twenty-two sheep and two cattle per head of population.
As a matter of fact our agricultural production has not kept pace with the rapid growth of the country and, consequently, greatly increased requirements of the population. Manufacturing has more than doubled in the past dozen years. Horses have increased in number 50 per cent and food animals 20 per cent.
Consequently we have imported much to meet the demand of our consumers. We must produce more and import less. A nation in order to pay its debt must export more than it imports. If the imports exceed the exports, the balance of trade must be met by payments in gold or by borrowings. London is the money market of the world, and under the conditions that now prevail it is not expedient to pay out gold or loan money in Canada as freely as was formerly the case. In the last nine months. We have reduced the balance of trade against us by $80,000,000. Increased production is the only way to strengthen the national financial condition. Through the District Representatives of the Ontario Department of Agriculture located in the various counties of Ontario, the former have become a mighty organization; brought together by the common desire to increase production, to adopt better methods in doing so by eiminating waste and increasing efficiency. In this struggle Canada's position as one of the great storehouses of the Empire must be maintained. Not only the successful prosecution of this war but the future prosperity of Canada after the war largely dependupon the farmer.
It has been estimated that in recent years American travellers have spent $4,000,000,000 annually in touring Europe. Many parts of the old world have derived probably the bulk of their revenue from this source. This year Europe is cut off as a pleasure resort, and though Americans may not have as much money as usual to spend, they are likely to spend a great deal in exploring North America.
It so happens that the temporary withdrawal of Europe's attractions falls in the hundredth year of peace between the British Empire and the United States. For this reason alone Americans may be inclined to visit this part of the Empire. In addition there is the fact that great tracts of Canada form a natural playground and summer resort for an entire continent.
For tourist and fisherman, and hunter, few lands compare with Thunder Bay. We can offer a wide variety of water places on river and lake. Our fresh water fishing compares with any in the world. Nowhere else are the bass and trout so game as in our northern latitudes. We have myriads of lakes beside which to camp, river-threaded forests to explore, and whole series of Alpine mountain chains to climb.
Mr. President and gentlemen, we are living at a time when we ought to know something of the great -Empire of which we form a part. It is a great thing to be a British subject and it is a greater thing today to be a British subject than it ever was before in- the history of the world. May I remind you, Mr. President and gentlemen, that one person out of every four upon the earth is a British subject. May I remind you that twelve million Australians and Canadians occupy one-eighth of the whole earth. May I remind you, gentlemen, that if the British Empire -were cut in strips a mile wide it would reach four hundred times around the world. Ontario is larger than Germany, France and Belgium combined. We have 150 languages spoken in the British Empire. Two thousand years ago, sir, St. Paul boasted of his freeborn citizenship, how much more can we as British subjects boast of the great British Empire of which we form a part. Canada is the gem and the flower of all the overseas dominions. And we have been living here contentedly and quietly as a peaceable people engaged in our industrial, commercial, agricultural pursuits without any interruption. But let me remind you, also, that war is a great searcher of character and a great tester of citizenship. And if there ever was a time in the history of the world when
Canada should do her part it is at the present time and she is doing it well. When I looked into the faces of the eighteen thousand soldiers who were marching past the Parliament Buildings the other day, I saw the security of the present and the assurances of the future. It is just as easy, Mr. President, to love one's country as it is to love one's mother. It was taught us from the days when we clung around our mothers' knees in early infancy, learning to lisp .our evening prayer, the very microbe of patriotism and loyalty and devotion was then created and developed and the cornerstone of citizenship was laid; and hence we have no more loyal people in the world today than the Canadian people towards the great British Empire of which we form a part. I also want to say that a nation whose men will not fight will soon pass away from the roll of nations, and it will be governed by foreigners: but I am glad to say that in Canada, Canadians are setting forth every effort to have a part in the development and the government of their country.
I am glad, sir, that I live in a country and under a constitution where the rose smells just as sweet in the humble cottage of the peasant as it does in the marble palace of the king. I am glad that I live in a country and under a constitution where the humblest citizen can take his little boy and girl and place them upon his knee and say to them "Johnnie," or "Mary," the avenues of distinction are wide open to you; all you need to do is to be honourable, highminded and have high ideals." High ideals are the seeds and character is the harvest. The question is asked : What are we going to do if all the soldiers go to war ? We have thirty-six thousand boys, capable chaps, attending the high school and collegiate institutes of the Province of Ontario, and at the present moment the Ministers in our Ontario Government are now trying to solve this difficulty of encouraging enlisting, to secure the co-operation of fifteen thousand boys to go out from the schools and go upon the farms and help the farmers. I also wish to say that an order has come, I understand, direct
from Ottawa, that the soldiers in Toronto, some ten thousand or fifteen thousand, if needs throughout the Province, will be sent off on a furlough during the seeding time; they will be paid a dollar and ten cents a day and they will go home and help to put in the crops, so that Ontario may develop
md go on in her usual way. In the fourth year ofthe American War states like Massachusetts and several others of those wealthy states produced more in the fourth year than they did in the beginning of the war the first year. Because the boys were engaged, the girls were engaged, the women were engaged, and the result was that everybody put his hand to the plow, and he never turned back until he reached the end of the furrow. And I believe in the Province of Ontario that is our position today. Just here I want to read to you a little phrase that was penned at the bottom of a letter from a young chap, who is now in the trenches, to his mother, to show you how patriotic, and how enthused our youths are to do something for the country. This young Scotchman writes home to his mother in Toronto, closing his letter with this verse "There is a piper playing in the morning An old Scotch tune sa fine; There is a tartan plaidie, On each heilen laddie Just like old Lang Syne And we hear him praising Bonnie Scotland and Bonnie Scotland's fame So cheer up, dearie;it's alright here It's just like being hame."
That is one of the ideas and one of the positions in which we stand in relation to our boys who are at the front. A country that is good enough to prosper in is good enough to give your heart to and, if needs be, give your life. And I do not think in the whole British Empire that there is any part of it that is superior or excels the Dominion of Canada and particularly the Province of Ontario. We are a home loving people, a liberty loving people, contented, happy and prosperous and in proportion to our numbers we have more money in the Dominion Savings banks and in the savings banks of the Province than any other people, per capita, in the British Empire. That of itself is important. They say, "Where are you going to get your money? " Why, Canada is full of money from one end to the other and we are prepared to give all the money we have, and the last man we have, in order to save the old Union Jack. Wherever it is unfurled there is power, there is liberty, there is freedom, there is Christianity and fair play to all citizens whether he may come from Merry England, romantic Scotland, the green fields of Ireland, sunny Italy or France or India, the moment he places his feet upon Canadian soil, he can fold his arms in the blanket of satisfaction and look up into the sunshine and thank God that he is in the presence of the unquenched and unquenchable fire of British liberty.
No country has so much to offer her boys arid girls as Canada has to offer. No country has so much with her wide and spreading fields, with her ninety millions of acres of prairie land whose bosom has never been tickled by a plow, and whose heart and arms are open wide to welcome the newcomer, no matter what his nationality or colour is. I say, that no country in the world has so much to offer her boys and her girls. We ought to be very proud indeed to feel that we are Canadians. We are very much honoured in the old land. Those of you who have visited London and visited Scotland and Ireland, or any part of Britain, while on the top of the busses tell them you are a Canadian and the very moment you mention the word the hand of welcome goes out and the heart of sympathy towards our country is immediately opened.
Now, regarding the navy. It is a wonderful thing for the Empire to have this British navy. If it were not for the navy today, where would we be? Three hundred thousand loyal fellows riding on the billows of the seven seas day and night, with their eyes and their ears and hearts open, patiently helping to save the old Union Jack and the great British Empire.
I say again that St. Paul boasted of his citizenship two thousand years ago; we read of the Persian Empire, of the Grecian Empire and the Roman Empire--which could not compare for a moment with the grandeur and beauty and wealth and the intellect and the infuence of the great Empire of which we form an;important part. The navy, I say, these men are there night and day watching for us, living for you and ready to die for you. It is what you might call vicarious suffering, almost as deeply rooted as the vicarious suffering of our Saviour, who died that man might be saved. But, sir, if it were not for that navy . I doubt today that we would occupy the position which we do.
I am not going to make any prophecies; but there are thirteen nations engaged in this war, and for my part and for the life of me I do not see how it is possible for the German Emperor to win, and he will not win. He shall not win because he has not right upon his side. If there was ever a murderer let loose on the world it is the Kaiser of Germany and he will rue the day that he began this war. And I see that Harden, the man that made all German statesmen sit and look around, is advocating in his articles that they sue for peace because their agricultural, their industrial, their bank and financial systems are being ruined, depleted and absolutely put out of business. And what does that mean ? It simply means, sir, that Germany must fall.
I heard an address yesterday, where I spoke to three thousand people in Simcoe, by Dr. Aikens of the Metrapoiitart Church, and he proved conclusively by the Bible"that this war must be won and will be won by the Allied: -He proved conclusively that it was necessary to have small nations, and Germany's designs and desires are that they absorb those nations. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Belgium. She saved the day, and we must never forget Belgium and her patriotism and her wonderful devotion and loyalty to the compact that existed between Great Britain and Belgium.
Oh, it is a wonderful thing, gentlemen, to belong to the Empire.
It stands for so much, it means so much; it is so extensive and far reaching that one cannot find words to clothe his thoughts and to give beauty, to the grandeur and the nobility of being a British subject.
There is but one task for all, For each one life to give; who stands if freedom fall, who dies if Britain lives ?
A hearty vote of thanks was passed