- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 14 Mar 1912, p. 175-190
- Taylor, Rev. Dr. W.E., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Coming back from China a more ardent Imperialist than ever. Offering in a brief, concise, and practical way some suggestions by which we can aid in propagating the true Imperial spirit, as far as it is related to the new East. Business men coming out to China, mainly from the United States. Suggesting to the Boards of Trade of Canada, representing the cities right from the east to the west, to do something of a similar nature. Some strange enlightenment for those of us who go out to the East. The speaker's own experience in the East, first in Japan, then in China. Studying the national character. Ways in which the Chinese are the Anglo-Saxons of the East. World interest in China today. China today as the centre of political interest. Why that is so. The difficulty of understanding the significance of the changes that have been sweeping over China within the last five or six years. The change that came in the year 1907 with the signing of the Portsmouth Treaty between Russia and Japan. China entering upon a new policy from the day; taking her first step into a new life with a new spirit. The first provincial assemblies meeting in 1907; provincial assembly buildings now to be found in the great capital cities of China. The present Revolution in China as the natural, yet inevitable outcome of that recent modernizing movement that has captured China. That movement characterized by these things: by its silent and yet very thorough preparation; by its wide sweep; by its trained and efficient leadership; by its spirit of moderation and humanism. The most remarkable thing that Christian men are leading. The new government that is in substance a reform government. The difficulties at the present day in China, with its complication in the north and with its anarchy in the south, being encouraged by certain influences in order to make it more difficult for the Chinese government to get established. A new adjustment coming. The United States Government standing first in the confidence of the Chinese Government and of the thinking classes of the people. The Imperial situation. British public opinion with China and the Chinese people. The British foreign policy temporary under a cloud in China, and reasons for it. The way in which Japan is using the alliance. England forced to put Japan as the buffer between Russia and India. Japan free to use that treaty as a cover under which she is pushing in aggressively on China. The attitude of the British merchants in the far East. Constructive helpfulness to stand by them in setting their house in order what China wants today, and what the leaders of China want. The possibility that Canada can come to the rescue in this situation. Urging Canada to show our real friendship to China now. The famine this year, worse than the famine of last year. Why succour needs to come from outside. The appeal that has come from China. Different municipalities in Canada that have acted. What the Canadian Government might do. How we might send wheat to China. A word or two as to the industrial revolution that is taking place in China. An invitation to those in the audience to come out and see China; to come and find a modern city in Shanghai. The Shanghai British Club. A word as to the social revolution. The issue of foot binding. Changes from old China, with the best example in the opium. The educational revolution as the most interesting and most significant of all. The possibilities of opening up our universities to Chinese students, giving them an opportunity for us to know them better and for them to know us better. The result today of China's education revolution. For China's interests and also for ours if Canada, if the British Empire, can add to the splendid things that are in the national life of China the best things in our own Imperial life.
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- 14 Mar 1912
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- EMPIRE RELATIONS WITH CHINA
An Address by Rev. DR. W. E. TAYLOR, of Shanghai, China, before the Empire Club of Canada on March 14, 1912.
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen,-
Your Chairman has spoken about the risks to which we are exposed in China. The greatest risk I can recall, to which I have ever been exposed in Shanghai, has been the risk of being run over by a motor car.
It is a special pleasure for me, as one born in England, brought up in Canada, and having spent seven years in Shanghai, the Toronto of the East, and having had some opportunity to inquire into the student, business, and official life of China, to come back a more ardent Imperialist than ever, to try to give to you in a brief, concise, and practical way some suggestions by which we can aid in propagating the true Imperial spirit, as far as it is related to the new East.
Business men are coming out to China. I regret that so far the flow seems to have been mainly from the United States. I can recall a visit that we had from the then Minister of War, Secretary Taft. Last spring we welcomed in Shanghai, off one steamer alone, one party of 142 merchants who were coming out to examine China with a view to future investment. In that same month we entertained a party of 5-5 members of the Allied Chambers of Commerce of the Pacific Coast, who had been invited specially by the Chambers of Commerce, in Shanghai, in Hankow, T'ien T'sin, and Peking. They were met by a special delegation, were specially feted and entertained; and following on the entertainment, there were special conferences in which the leading business men of both countries got together to plan as to how they could best develop international commercial relationships. I would like to suggest whether it would not be possible for the Boards of Trade of Canada, representing the cities right from the east to the west, to do something of a similar nature.
Those of us who go out to the East get some strange enlightenment. Before I went out there, I thought I would like to live in Japan and spend my life there. I wasn't there three months before I changed my opinion very decidedly. It was the editor of Collier's Magazine, who has just returned from a trip around the world, who said, when contrasting and comparing the nations of the earth, that the Chinese appeared to him to be the competent and the resourceful people of the far East. Sit Robert Hart, the great British statesman, who was in a position to know and to speak with authority, said, just before his death about a year ago, that the Chinese can learn anything and they can do anything.
It has been particularly interesting to me, living in China, in Shanghai, and meeting men coming from all parts. of the Empire, to study the national character. The Chinese impressed me as being the Anglo-Saxons of the East. Why? Because they have backbone, moral backbone; they have stability of character; they have dependability. Once get the thing on the basis of friendship and establish relations of confidence, and I don't hesitate to say that anything is possible in our cooperative dealings with the Chinese nation. That very complacent assumption that we have had, some of us in the past, that all that the Chinese nation needed to do was simply to copy us in the West is really as amusing as it -is dangerous. The thoughtful Chinese, and they form, after all, a large part of the make-up of the nation, know the West, and they are quite aware that there are several things in our social life and in our political life,-too, that they will do very well not to copy in the re-organization of their constitution and of their national life. China is undoubtedly the centre of worldinterest. I come back after a lapse of seven years, and everybody is interested in China; but there is something more than that. China is today the centre of political interest. I would like you to remember the statesmanlike words of the late Secretary John Hay. I saw them first over there, put up in the Consulate at Shanghai. He said: "The political storm centre of the world has Shifted steadily eastward from the Balkans, from Constantinople, from the Persian Gulf, from India to China, and whoever understands that Empire and its people has a key to world politics for the next five centuries." Well, that is a pretty difficult thing for us to comprehend. It is not easy to understand the significance of the changes that have been sweeping over China within the last five or six years. We know more about Japan. We have got more adjusted in our thoughts to rapid changes in Japan, though I can say this, that although Japan did move far and fast, yet, Japan never moved so far nor so fast in any ten years of her transformation as China has done within the last five.
The change came in the year 1907. It is clear as day when you are living out in the East. With the signing of the Portsmouth Treaty between Russia and Japan, when there was made the very practical demonstration to China that a nation of 40 millions of people, by the adoption of western methods, could line itself right up along side of the great nations of the world, China began asking herself the question, if a nation of 40 million can do that much what can't China do with her 300 or 400 millions of population. From that day China entered upon a new policy; it is fair to say she took her first step into a new life; there was a new spirit. Ten years ago outside of the treaty ports and some of the most developed centres of China, it was impossible to find a man whom you might call a Liberal in his views. Today it would be almost impossible to find, in the old re-actionary sense of the word, a Conservative. The men are committed to a new ideal, to a new idea, to a new policy; they want to make their nation a westernized nation in order to get in line with the rest of the civilized world. The more carefully you investigate that question, the more you, look into it and study it, the more you are impressed with its solidity. Take the political situation in 1905, and what was the plight? An absolute monarchy with a government not very much removed from that of Babylon ox of Nineveh; and then because of pressure from below, not because of spontaneous action of the government, an Imperial edict was issued promising China constitutional government-an absolute change from anything she had had for four thousand years. In that year, 1907, the first provincial assemblies met. Provincial assembly buildings are now to be found in the great capital cities of China. I have been in them. They are fine buildings. I spoke in one of them-when nobody else was there--just for the sake of saying I had spoken in one. (Laughter.) The most of those provincial assemblies elect their representatives to the national assembly. They held their first meetings two years ago, and the competent critics of China, men like Dr. Morrison of London, almost were agreed that the Chinese displayed a dignity and breadth of thought that showed that they were equal to constitutional government. That-was the beginning. We know what has come even from that time.
The present Revolution in China, which has startled the world, is the natural, yet, the inevitable outcome of that recent modernizing movement that has captured China. That movement is characterized by five things
First, by its silent and yet its very thorough preparation. We knew it was coming; we didn't know it was coming so soon; but they are ready for it. Secondly, it is characterized by, its wide sweep. It affects all classes of people. Don't make the mistake of thinking that only a few are influenced by this movement. You cut out the Manchus, who are not Chinese by the way, and the Chinese people are practically one. I don't mean to say, of course, that they all have an intelligent grasp of what is involved, but they have caught the spirit; they say we want a new China. It is marked thirdly, by its trained and efficient leadership. Have you realized that for the last five or ten years, tens of thousands of Chinese students have been going abroad to study? Literally. tens of thousands. They come back again fairly well trained men; they are practical men. Now those men are called upon to shoulder the responsibility. They are strong leaders. That movement has been characterized, fourthly, by its spirit of moderation and humanism. Some of us had got the idea that it was a bloody movement. It has been quite the contrary. When you think of the numbers involved 4oo,ooo,ooo of people, the issues at stake, the tremendous revolution-it is not too much to say that it has, been practically a bloodless revolution; and I think it might be appropriate here to ask you to have just a' word of caution, to ask you to be tolerant and moderate in your judgment of the reports that are in the papers at the present time. It has been suggested that Yuan-Shi-Kai is in his degeneracy, that he is no good any longer, that he cannot control the situation. I would just like to suggest that it is possible that those impressions that are being given to the world today emanate from others than from Chinese sources. There are parties who are interested; there are one or two nations who find it to their advantage to give the impression to the west that China cannot set her house in order; that there must be foreign intervention; and I would just pass that word on. Without doubt within the next two or three months there will be disturbances. The old Government is out; the new Government is not yet in. There is an interregnum. There is no police force anywhere. All the forces of disorder will cut loose and do what they can. I would doubt whether such a movement as is now on in China could be repeated on our own continent without even graver offences, without even more excesses than have been experienced in the land of China. There is a reason for that strong leadership. Most of the men who are leading the movement in China today are foreign educated men. Four of the nine perhaps most 'consulted on the new cabinet are graduates of Yale University. There is a strong pro-Christian attitude today. I mention it because it is a factor that must be dealt with in the new situation. The General of the Army, General Lee is a baptized Christian man; Yuan-Shi-Kai, while not a Christian is favourable to Christianity, and gave us a thousand dollars three years ago towards our work in China. His four children are in a Christian school up in the North. Sun-Yat-Sen who has come from abroad to lead in the movement is a Christian man, and in the new organization, it is a most remarkable thing that Christian men are leading. I hold in my hand a letter I received two weeks ago from a member of our student work, who is living in the city of Foochow, the capital city of the Province of Fukien, one of the oldest, one of the wealthiest, one of the most progressive provinces of China. What does he say in regard to this new situation in this Province? "Now this Province is being thoroughly organized under the new government. That is significant. Already four of the five departments of the Province have Christian men as presidents.
There are now six Christian men holding leading provincial offices in Voochow." He says, "I would not say with whose approval, but recently at a gathering of Chinese here two students who had thrown bombs were caught by Manchu soldiers and were killed and cut to pieces. Last Saturday a memorial meeting was held for these citizens, and over 4,000 Chinese were present. For the first time in a public gathering in Foochow three Chinese women spoke; two of these three were Christians, one a returned student from America. Several of the leading gentry of the city and Province also spoke at various times during the gathering. Several speakers, Christian and non-Christian, mentioned with strong emphasis that from now on Christianity was the only hope for China." I mention this, not to make a case for Christianity but to say that as the men who are investigating this subject are the leaders that that .is a factor that has to be reckoned with.
As to the new government, it is in substances of course a reform government; there is no doubt about that. In name it looks as if it would be Republican. It is true that there is quite an influential body of opinion in China that would favour a constitutional monarchy. Yuan-Shi-Kai himself, as you know, stood out long for that. There are, I think, two reasons why they have been constrained. to take the Republican name, if not the form; I would not be surprised if the form were somewhat similar to our Canadian Government. They won't blindly follow the American Renublican form of Government. That is my impression. One reason why they have adopted the name is, because so many of their students have been educated in America. They have seen the best side of American life in their universities; they have gone back educated men impressed with that; but I think the chief reason is the inherent fear in the leaders, and amongst they people, lest they should carry over one shred of the old monarchical system of the Manchu Government. If you had lived in China and seen the corruption, the rottenness-there is no other word that so well applies to the situation-of the old system of Government, you would have sympathy and appreciation of that attitude of mind which makes them fear lest, if they should take even a constitutional monarchical system, they would carry something of the evils of that system. But I would like you to understand something of that situation. Whatever the form, whatever the name, in reality it is a reform constitutional government, and I would like to add this word to it, ,that undoubtedly there has been a good deal of outside pressure. Not officially; that could not be done, but in more ways than one it could be done. Pressure from one or two sources in the East to discourage a new form of government there was. You can easily appreciate the situation. Take Japan; not only its political system but its whole national system is built up on a monarchical form of government. They even go so far now as to deify the Emperor. If they should see established beside them a new progressive reform government under Republican control, you can easily appreciate the difficulties in which the Japanese may see themselves put.
Another thing is this-I am speaking frankly, but I think you want the point of view from the other end--Russia has everything to gain with a weak China and everything to lose with a strong orderly controlled government in China. I think it is enough for me simply to say that, to throw out those two hints. And may it not be that these difficulties at the present day in China, with its complication in the north and with its anarchy in the south, is being encouraged at the present time by, certain influences in order to make it more difficult for the Chinese government to get established, to get on its own feet) I think if we would understand the condition intelligently, we must reckon with those forces that are working out in China. Just let me say this: in any event this much is sure, that a new adjustment is coming. Just as sure as tomorrow is coming, there is going to be a new adjustment, a new balance of power that is going to affect the whole world. For reasons I need not go into, the United States Government stands first in the confidence of the Chinese Government and of the thinking classes of the people. I mentioned the fact that students were studying over in America. There are other reasons that I need not go into. There have been certain definite lines of action taken with regard to the policy in Manchuria and so on.
But I must pass on. We are more interested as Imperialists, and here in the presence of the Empire Club, to discuss the Imperial situation, and it is most interesting. It is not a simple situation; it is complex. In the first place, British public opinion is undoubtedly with China and the Chinese people, I think, appreciate that fact. They know that it is British public opinion that has done more than anything else to maintain the open door in China. Let me be frank. The British foreign policy is temporarily under' a cloud in China? Why? It is because of the way in which Japan is using the alliance. It is as clear as day out there that, while England was forced into that alliance, she had to put Japan as the buffer between Russia and India. She had to develop her navy, she had; her home problems, she had her affairs on the continent, she had her problems down in India, and while England is perplexed and distressed and in difficulties with that complex situation, Japan is free to use that treaty as a cover tinder which she is pushing in aggressively on China.
It is most interesting to see the attitude of the British merchants in the far East. Five years ago they stood loyally by that compact, and they are loyal to it yet, of course. But they are suffering, and they realize it would be a good thing, if by some generous action on our part as a nation, as an Empire, we could impress the the Chinese government to get established, to get on its own feet? I think if we would understand the condition intelligently, we must reckon with those forces that are, working out in China. Just let me say this: in any event this much is sure, that a new adjustment is coming just as sure as tomorrow is coming, there is going to be a new adjustment, a new balance of power that is going to affect the whole world. For reasons I need not go into, the United States Government stands first in the confidence of the Chinese Government and of the thinking classes of the people. I mentioned the fact that students were studying over in America. There are other reasons that I need not go into. There have been certain definite lines of action taken with regard to the policy in Manchuria and so on.
But I must pass on. We are more interested as Imperialists, and here in the presence of the Empire Club, to discuss the Imperial situation, and it is most interesting. It is not a simple situation; it is complex. In the first place, British public opinion is undoubtedly with China and the Chinese people, I think, appreciate that fact. They know that it is British public opinion that has done more than anything else to maintain the open door in China. Let me be frank. The British foreign policy is temporarily under' a cloud in China? Why? It is because of the way in which Japan is using the alliance. It is as clear as day out there that, while England was forced into that alliance, she had to put Japan as the buffer between Russia and India. She had to develop her navy, she had, her home problems, she had her affairs on the continent, she had her problems down in India, and while England is perplexed and distressed and in difficulties with that complex situation, Japan is free to use that treaty as a cover tinder which she is pushing in aggressively on China.
It is most interesting to see the attitude of the British merchants in the far East. Five years ago they stood loyally by that compact, and they are loyal to it yet, of course. But they are, suffering, and they realize it would be a good thing, if by some generous action on our part as a nation, as an Empire, we could impress the Chinese people with the fact that while that treaty is a necessity, and a good thing by virtue of its necessity, that we will show them in some real way our practical friendship in this time of reconstruction. And yet the key to the situation really is not there. It lies in the hands of the British merchants in the far Fast, and I would like to say a word on their behalf. The British merchants got in early in China, and got in on the ground floor, if I may be excused for using that expression. They have established for themselves a splendid reputation for business integrity, for doing the square thing in business. The weak spot in the situation, however, is just this, that the British merchant because of his many and complicated relationships finds it difficult to adjust rapidly to an entirely new situation; and China is moving more rapidly than perhaps any other nation in the world. The old prejudices and suspicions of the Manchu government, which I think were entirely justified ten years ago, are out of date today in China in dealing with a new government under efficient trained leadership; and there lies the problem. What China wants today, and what the leaders of China want is constructive helpfulness to stand by them in setting their house in order. May it not be possible that Canada can come to the rescue in this situation? We are free, eve have no territorial embarrassments, we have no' treaty regulations to tie us down; we can go in a free way. By some gracious act, by some national act, let at this crisis show our real friendship to China. Let tie make this thing practical. There is a critical situation in China. I don't refer to the revolution; I refer to something more deadly than the revolution, that is, the famine. You are surprised. You knew of a famine last year. You have not heard of a famine this year. There is a famine this year that is worse than the famine of last year. There has not been such famine for '-forty years. It is estimated that between two and a half and three and a half million people will die before the end of May, unless succour comes from outside. Why from outside? Because China is distracted, money is tied up; merchants are benevolent, they are liberal, but they have, nothing to give. A committee has been formed of the most responsible men, foreigners, British, American, and Chinese merchants, and they have issued an appeal to America-they put it in that way-for $1,000,000. Sun Yat Sen, the leader of the provisional government, endorses the appeal and he says if the West will help China in this crisis, it will do more than anything else to cement the relations of friendship; that once on their feet they will look after the thing themselves in the future. It looks like the last appeal from China. The appeal has come. Different municipalities have acted; Boards of Trade are acting. We were down in Montreal three days ago, and in Ottawa yesterday. A letter I received today from Quebec shows they are acting, but how? Individually, in a sporadic' way. That can't impress China with the Canadian national feeling as related to an Imperial question. Why should it not be possible for our Canadian Government to do something in a generous way and for its to line ourselves up with our Boards of Trade to impress them that there is a Canadian national movement? I was in Shanghai when your contributions came last year. How did they come? Individually, into a common fund, and the average man in China took that as help from America, not from Canada. All credit to them for the liberal attitude the Americans showed, but I simply want to make it clear that now is the time for us to do something in a national way, and the way is open.
We have made some approach to the Government. There is a peculiar situation in the west. There are nearly fourteen million bushels of wheat that has not, a great part of it, even been put in the granaries; it is out in the fields covered with tarpaulins. Unless that wheat is, shipped east before the thaw within the next few weeks, it will be spoiled. Our people are face to face with a crisis in our own northwest. Now, if the Government could be a little generous and could buy up at a cheap rate a certain amount of that wheat-it may not be No. 1, but certainly would do for people who are on the verge of starvation and are eating roots and doing everything in their extremity, and could ship that West instead of East what a grand thing it would be! The C. P. R. in Montreal have expressed their willingness to handle that at less than cost price to provide a ship to take it out. It only needs Canadian public opinion to do it. It is a great stroke of policy for any government. Let it not be a political question; let it be a national question. Let them appropriate an amount. It will relieve the situation in the West, it will please the farmers, it will help Canada, and it certainly will relieve China, and whatever we as a nation do, at this crisis in the history of China, will come back to us a hundredfold. But, gentlemen, I don't want to put it on that basis. Here is a need. Here are people who are in distress, peoples who have appealed to the world in their simple, earnest desire to get on their feet.
Shall we help them do it? That is a suggestion. I hope you won't let it drop, and I hope men will be here who will see the thing is followed up. It is with you. The crisis is not altogether in China, it is here. What is Canada going to do? Don't make it a national question alone-of course you won't make it a political question, but I say, don't just make it a national question. 'While England cannot act so quickly in adjusting herself to a new important situation; Canada can come in and show her loyalty to the Empire by giving to the East a real practical evidence of our true friendship to a nation, a democratic nation, that is trying to get away from the rottenness of the past and to get into line with the modern nations of the world. (Applause.)
Now, I must pass on rapidly. I have dwelt at length on the political situation, because it is of intense interest and of great importance. Let me say a word or two as to the industrial revolution that is taking place in China. I wish you men would come out and see China. Come and see Shanghai, the Toronto of the East, ten miles up the river, a modern shipping port, nine tenths of its ships flying the British ensign, the port now that stands next to Liverpool, second in the world for foreign shipping. Come to Shanghai and find a modern city-17,000 foreigners and half a million of Chinese, macadamized roads, street cars, automobiles, a model settlement influencing the nation without doubt. I was in the Shanghai British Club, which by the way has 2,000 members, and it costs you $100 to get in and $300 or $400 to get out, I suppose. I was upstairs at the opening of that Club last year, a Club that would do credit to any city, in this, country, a building that cost over half a million dollars. I looked out and I counted 42 automobiles drawn up outside the door. Now, gentlemen, let me say in passing, that Club is not open to any Chinese. Something is wrong. We tried to get our University Club in there, but the Constitution of the Club says no Chinese can enter. We can't have a basis of fellowship until we get things like that changed. I am not complaining, I am a Britisher; but we want to help to bring about a readjustment which is necessary in our dealings with a new government. I have seen aeroplanes flying over Shanghai. I saw the man tumble out too, but that wont necessarily follow with all areoplanes that go out to Shanghai. Go up the river to Hankow, where the revolution started, and there they have a model settlement with a water front of five miles. I wish, our Railway Commission, or whoever is responsible, could come out and have -a look at that bund, the finest water front in the East, right in the heart of China, forty steamers plying in daily traffic, sustaining a larger traffic on that river than on any other river in the world. Electric lighted, electric fanned, those steamers are fine. In Hankow are the largest iron works in the East which are now putting iron down in Pittsburgh cheaper than it can be got there. Those iron works employing 25,000 hands are-mark this, gentlemen; all under Chinese ownership, and the head of the works I know personally. He is a fine Christian man. When the government offered him the position, he named his terms. He said:
"I want a trip around the world (he had been around and he speaks English well); second, you won't interfere with my Christian belief; third, I can employ Christians and non-Christians if they are efficient men; and fourth, I will close down these works on Sunday." He won on every count. I think in the commercial press in Shanghai, the largest printing establishment in the far East, also under Chinese ownership, there are 7,000 men employed, all Chinese, except about 12 Japanese. It is run on the co-operative plan and has a capital of $1,000,000. It has established 2o branch presses within the last year through the Empire. It has model homes for its employees and kindergartens for its children. The founder of that institution, the present manager of that institution, and the head of every department, except one, is a Christian man, a Chinese. There is a revolution on in China. That city has been transformed within the last five years by Yuan-Shi-Kai, the man who is now head of the Government. What did he do? He went into the narrow streets and pushed back the houses. They have wide roads, they have waterworks, a city system; the old mediaeval wall that used to go around the city has been levelled and on the foundations of that old wall they are running today a belt line of electric cars. Take T'ien T'sin; ten years ago one daily newspaper, today eleven newspapers in Chinese, one edited by Chinese women for Chinese women-probably the only daily newspaper of that kind in all the world. Just realize that there are over 200 daily newspapers circulating widely through China in Chinese; they get the cable news and they know what we are doing; we can't fool those people; we have got to, if you will excuse the expression, deliver the goods; we have got to be sincere; we have got to come in on the basis of friendship with fair and square dealing, and then anything is possible. You can help them in the reconstruction.
A word as to the social revolution. You know of course that foot binding is against the law, but you will be interested in knowing that it is so unpopular a thing to bind the feet that society ladies wear two shoes on each foot in order to make it seem as if they had the normal sized feet. Queues have gone in China. Two years ago the government dismissed students from the schools for cutting off their queues. Now, the new government favours this, and I will not be a bit surprised when I go back to China-and I want to go back, it is an opportunity of a lifetime-to see, absolutely, without exaggeration, millions with their queues cut off. What a change from old China! But without doubt the best example is in the opium. Here is a genuine movement. I don't know of any country in the world that could do what-China has done in that one thing in the last four years-half the trade cut down. But what is more 'remarkable, in my opinion is, that four fifths of the production has ceased. It is not merely the doing away with an evil; they have had to even take what might be the staff of life from the people, the people who grew it in 'Order to get a living. You might as well go to the Northwest and say do away with the growing of wheat, but the Chinese people have done it for their national reputation and their national good.
Now, as the last thing, the educational revolution, which is the most interesting, the most significant of all. Literally tens of thousands of students go abroad to study. Ten years ago there were not a score going over to Japan. After 1905 the numbers rapidly grew until in 1908 there were 15,000 Chinese students in the one city of Tokio alone. An interesting indication of the growing suspicion of China against Japan is the fact that those students have been decreasing in number until last year there were only 4,000 in Tokio, I passed through there and Wallace, of Toronto, who has charge of our student work, came to the ship and said: "The students come to me in the middle of the night; they say, we can't work, we can't sleep, we must go back and help China, and today instead of 4,000 there are not 400 of those men; they have gone back to help China." It is an evidence of the educational movement. Are you aware that there are nearly 500 Chinese students in the Universities of England and on the continent, that there are nearly 1,000 Chinese students in the Universities of the United States, and that we have only three or four. The United States did, four years ago, one of the most diplomatic things any nation ever did when by an agreement that was satisfactory to both parties she remitted half of the Boxer indemnity. Each year $250,000 is given back to China on the condition that it be applied in sending out and training Chinese students in the Universities of the United States; and at the end they return to be employed by the Chinese Government I would like you to tell me of anything more diplomatic than that. It has put the United States miles ahead of any other country in the estimation of the thoughtful people of China. They say there is an evidence of real practical friendship. It does not affect the labour situation in the Fast, except so far as it makes the solution of the labour question easier; because, if you have got the confidence of the people, you can negotiate; if you haven't, you can't. Mr. Soy, the general secretary of our Y.M.C.A. in Shanghai, and his brother and sisters are graduates of Yale. Last year that young fellow, in the third year of Yale, and again in the fourth year won the gold medal in English oratory in open competition with the American students. I think of Mr. Kew. I met him at Northfield six years ago before going out. He was just entering Cornell. Now he has his B.A. and M.A., and is taking his Ph.D. He was editor of the Cornell University Magazine. He was chosen by Cornell as its representative at the intercollegiate debate between Cornell and Yale, and he won. It goes to indicate that the Chinese are men of ability. Why can't we do something like that? Is there any reason why we cannot at this crisis, if we are sure there is going to be a reconstruction and if the Chinese are in earnest as they are, I say, why can't we do something to open our universities to admit students-a limited number, if you will-and give them an opportunity for us to know them better and for them to know us better? It would be to our mutual advantage.
A most interesting situation is that in China; for 4,000 years, the educational system remained unchanged. In the year 1905, just at the time of the signing of the Portsmouth treaty, the Empress Dowager issued, an Imperial edict. Just by the stroke of her pen, she abolished that old educational system that had stood for 4,000 years and substituted in its place a modern system of Western Education based on the model of Japan, the United States, and England, and practically the same as ours, except they have dropped out Greek and Latin and take English, a modern language, with French and German. What is the result today? Since 1905, 42,000 schools and colleges of Western learningof Western architecture, fine buildings many of themone million and a half of students crowding those colleges, 200,000 students of university standing not scattered all over the Empire but gathered in the provincial capitals. Do you wonder why we crave the opportunity to get out in this student work and treat with these mete and help them on the basis of friendship to build up their new national life? It is a way in which we as Britishers can go in and give our contribution.
There is the situation. It is an open situation. All the forces are going to come in; at any rate the forces that are not very uplifting are bound to come in. With the harm that comes in, are we going to make up our minds, some way or other, to put in the best we have got? If Canada, if the British Empire, can add to the splendid things that are in the national life of China the best things m our own Imperial life, then it will be greatly for China's interests and also for ours. (Applause.)