- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 15 Jun 1917, p. 570-587
- Rathom, John R., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The machinery of the United States, a little to get into motion, is in motion, and the statement made by the President true: that the United States is in this thing to her last dollar and her last drop of blood. Stories of the discovery of German espionage in the United States. The Germans, unable to understand a mind unlike their own State-made mind. The Germans, forgetting in their real intelligence in certain directions that other people may have some intelligence also. An illustrative example. The fire in the Ottawa Parliament Buildings, and the blowing up of two Canadian munitions factories. German attempts to frighten the Anglo-Saxon people. A word about Canada. The depth of sentiment and the change of sentiment that has come over the people of the United States in regard to the people of Canada since the beginning of the war. The need for visionaries in Canada. Concluding with some lines from Thomas Hardy.
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- 15 Jun 1917
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- THREE YEARS OF GERMANY'S WAR ON THE UNITED STATES
AN ADDRESS BY MR. JOHN R. RATHOM
Editor, Providence Journal
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto
June 15, 1917
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN,--I have come to the conclusion in the last forty-eight hours that it is a whole lot harder to live up to this reputation than it was to make it. I do not know whether you, gentlemen, many of whom, I presume, are more or less accustomed to going out into public life, know the real brain of the newspaper man, which, like the modest violet, seeks all the seclusion possible. That is the reason why these gatherings embarrass one who has lived the cloistered life for at least three years past. Your President's introduction rather knocked me off my feet. It reminded me of a story I told once in his presence concerning the late unlamented Mr. W. J. Bryan. Bryan was invited down by the Governor of one of the Mexican States to see a bull fight across the border one Sunday, and he went and occupied the Governor's box in the presence of about thirty thousand enthusiastic Mexicans. Three very fine bulls were brought out and killed, and the fourth bull, a most ferocious beast, came out and killed two matadors and three or four battledores and shuttlecocks, and then made straight for the Governor's box. Everybody in the box got away, but Mr. Bryan, brave man that he was, stood right there, and drawing a revolver, jumped into the ring. The animal was just at the moment about to gore to death a poor horse that was almost in its dying agonies, and it was up to Mr. Bryan to make a very rapid choice, either to put the poor animal out of its misery or turn around and face the infuriated brute that was rushing on him. He did not hesitate a moment; he killed the horse. He knew he could shoot the bull any time.
When I was coming across the line, on the International Bridge at Black Rock the day before yesterday, I thought to myself, here are two countries, probably the only two countries in the world, to which the boundary line, so-called, is really nothing but a surveyor's myth. So overgrown with the affectionate regard of both peoples, and so obliterated by the same spiritual and moral and mental influences, that, gentlemen, for all practical purposes of daily living and brotherhood living side by side, the boundary line is nonexistent. If that condition has been true during the past twenty or thirty years, it certainly has been infinitely more true during the past thirty or forty days. It was a long struggle. The vast majority of the American people from the very beginning were heart and soul, morally and spiritually, with the Allies, and if a certain amount of timidity was apparent at headquarters, you must remember, gentlemen, that these men who were put into that position were men in the ordinary walks of life, with no special training for that sort of problem, and they did the best they could, not, unfortunately, to lead public opinion, but to follow it, and the time did come, and we cannot be too grateful for it, when they realized and were compelled to realize that public opinion demanded action. The condition in the United States-and I want to dwell on this for a moment because I want to have you gentlemen understand what it is-since we entered the war, has shown the marvellous adaptability of the American people. In forty or fifty days they have accomplished wonders. I am not speaking of the President or his cabinet, but the good common sense after all that has brought about the President and his cabinet a hundred and fifty to two hundred of the brightest commercial brains in the world. We have now in Washington purchasing our coal, running our steel business, buying our shoes, giving orders for our millions of yards of cotton duck tentage, our rubber goods, everything in the way of food and supplies that our armies and the European armies will need--men who know what they are talking about, the leaders in their own lines of business. The great millionaire coal operators are there, so that when the coal companies came to them and made a price for eight hundred thousand tons of coal for Italy at $6.85 a ton, these gentlemen said, "You will give us that coal for $4.95 a ton," and when they began to argue that it was a price that would send them into bankruptcy, these men were able to tell them down to a dollar what the cost of mining and shipping the coal was. That is going on in every department of the Government today and we have already saved forty or fifty million dollars in that way. But the main point is this, that our machinery, a little slow to get into motion, is in motion, and the statement made by our President is literally and actually true that the United States is in this thing to her last dollar and her last drop of blood.
The thing that I suppose you want me to tell you something about, I will not delay longer in coming to. I know that these luncheon meetings are brief, and you gentlemen have other things to do. We were very fortunate at the beginning of this war to have had for some eight or ten years what our newspaper friends termed a bug on wireless. The Providence Journal has maintained two very powerful wireless stations for over nine years at points on our coast that are very dangerous to shipping, one at Point Judith and one on Block Island, and some good angel at the beginning of the war gave us the idea of listening in to Sayville and Tuckerton. Well, after two or three weeks listening in we were greatly puzzled. We could not understand why the men in leading German-American banks in New York should be sending messages to the Deutscher Bank in Berlin asking how George's vegetables were coming along. We could not understand why our stock market quotations, apparently going over as genuine quotations for all our best known stocks, were ridiculously off colour as regards figures. Then we had a series of mysterious words that could not be understood, jumbles of figures that could not be understood, and quietly, without saying anything, we set to work to see what we could do to find out what all these things meant. Well, it was five or six months before we let anybody know that we were watching Sayville, and after we had been fortunately able to decipher many of these messages and had got into our hands material enough to keep us going with exposures for ten or fifteen years if necessary, we went to the President of the United States with the notes of what Sayville had been doing and I asked the President in the presence of the Secretary of the Navy and a number of the members of the Cabinet if he believed in the Pythagorean theory. He said no, he did not, and I said, "Do you believe that little Emily can die of nine different diseases on nine separate days and can be laid in a different corner of the parlor in a different wooden coffin with different kinds of flowers on the coffin, and be buried in a different named cemetery alongside of a different named uncle on nine days running?" He said no, he did not believe it. Two days later, Sayville was closed up. In connection with that we discovered a rather interesting condition, namely, that the Secretary of the Navy had issued orders from the beginning of the war that the Sayville wireless station was to be watched by the great wireless station at Brooklyn Navy Yard, but for some reason, which we discovered later, no such watching had been carried out. The result was that when we presented our evidence, the Secretary of the Navy indignantly asked how they could tell whether this stuff was really wireless or not. Our very logical reply was, "Why don't you know whether it is wireless or not?" and we discovered that the gentleman at the head of the wireless division of the Brooklyn Navy Yard had presented a report which he was supposed to have made, on Sayville, to the German Ambassador five days before it reached the hands of our own Government. We know, because we gave a copy of that report to Secretary Daniels five days before he got it from the gentleman. As a matter of fact the material we secured after deciphering a great many of these wireless codes enabled us to place into the offices of the Consuls and Consul Generals throughout the country of Austria and Germany, and in the German Embassy itself, our own representatives. Our representative in the German Embassy was placed there on the suggestion of a very prominent German-American banker who went to Count Von Bernstorff, knowing that he wanted an assistant secretary, and suggested that this man would fill the bill; and the reason why the German-American banker went to Count Bernstorff his friend was because we had positive proof that would have landed this gentleman in the United States penitentiary, and the cost of his freedom was that action. He kept his word and we have kept ours. It was not until Mr. Bernstorff left New York for Halifax on the Frederick VIII., twenty minutes before his ship left the dock, that he realized that all was not right with his second secretary, because that gentleman, instead of coming aboard the Frederick VIII., kissed him good bye on the dock. He said, "What does this mean?" and the Secretary said, "I am not coming, sir," and I think that on the way up to Halifax the facts must have dawned on the ambassador. That man was in the Embassy for seventeen months; he was a common, ordinary, garden brand of reporter. Our policy to put these men into these various offices gave us of course a tremendously valuable insight into everything they were doing. For the first year of our investigations and disclosures, very naturally the press of the country and the public men of the country too, were rather chary about believing them. It did seem incredible, it did seem as if no civilized nation could be guilty of what those people were guilty of through their official channels, but after that period, when the facts became known, for the following three years, we have been very happy because the press of the United States has most liberally supported us, and the press of Canada of course also, in giving full publicity to everything we have printed; in fact, so generously have they done this, and so remarkably have they taken our material, that the circulation of our papers has not increased perceptibly at all. One day our representative in the German Embassy informed us that he had been instructed by Captain Boy-Ed to come to New York and select a suite of six quiet rooms in which Captain Boy-Ed could meet Mr. Heurta. Naturally enough I could do nothing less than help to pick out the six quiet rooms, so we secured a suite of six rooms at the Manhattan Hotel in New York. The next day Captain Boy-Ed with an interpreter and several members of the staff came to inhabit these rooms, and in order to make assurance doubly sure, one of our other reporters was the gentleman who drove the motor car which brought. Mr. Heurta from the Ansonia Hotel to the meeting place. We wanted to be sure when we got everything ready that they would really meet. In the meantime these rooms had been rigged up with various little devices for overhearing what they said, devices made by the way in Germany. The day after that conference we were fortunately able to present to the United States Government through the President himself a full and complete report of those proceedings.
One day one of our young women, who through somewhat similar methods, had been put in the office of the Austrian Consul General, Von Nuber, in New York City, as a stenographer, informed us that a large packing box was being prepared to be sent on the Oscar II. through Falmouth to Stockholm and from there down to Germany. This box contained a tremendous lot of evidence of the plots that had been carried out against our country and our munition plants with the actual sums of money that it cost to pay the men that committed these deeds. The day this box was to be finally nailed up, this young woman, under instructions, stayed and ate her luncheon in the office. There were only two or three people left in the office during the lunch hour; one of them was Captain Von Papen, the German military attache, a man with a weakness like that of a good many of us, for beauty and talent in feminine form. This young lady answered that description and Captain Von Papen proceeded to make love to her, sitting on this box, a packing case some three or four feet square. We could not possibly stop the box on this side so the only thing we cared about was to identify the box by marking it so that the British officers in the first port of call could get it from among the hundreds of other articles in the hold of that ship. This young lady, taking out a heavy red crayon pencil, and listening to Papen's advances, drew sentimentally two large red hearts on the top of that box--and it was Captain Von Papen himself who took the pencil and put the arrow through the hearts. The British authorities informed us and we have their word for it, that that was the method of identification of that box when it reached Falmouth.
When Dr. Heinrich Albert, who was the fiscal agent of the German Government in the United States, reached New York, it was vitally necessary for us, if we would, to establish some connection with him. He went to the Ritz Hotel surrounded by a very large staff of men; and a letter which he had written the day before sailing had reached Washington and had been secured by our representative in the Embassy, so that on the Sunday morning, the day after he reached New York, I appeared at the Ritz Hotel with this letter in my hand. After getting an audience with the gentleman, I said, "You understand, sir, that the Ambassador is in the Adirondacks. I cannot tell you who I am, I cannot even say what I am doing here, but you of course can identify this letter," and he said he could. Then I said, "Of course you realize, too, that in times like this we have to be extremely careful, and while you are here in this room I do not know you and you may be one of the Doctor's staff, and I want, and I hope you will pardon me for wanting it, some real assurance of your personality; I want to know that you are Dr. Albert." Well, he sweat blood so long trying to convince me that he was Dr. Albert, that he entirely forgot the identity of the person he was talking to; he did not think of it. We sat down and had a comfortable chat for an hour and a half, and the letter went on to Washington and was opened on Monday, and on Tuesday when Dr. Albert went down to Washington and was greeted by his friend, the Ambassador, the first thing Dr. Albert said-and I am quite sure he said it, because my man was close when he said it-was to tell the Ambassador of the charming personality of the gentleman he had sent to him the day before. Well, at that interview with Dr. Albert we secured some very interesting material which we followed up later on. You probably remember, although you will not know till a moment or two later the circumstances of the discovery, of the incriminating documents which sent the Ambassador Dumba, the Austrian Ambassador, home within forty-eight hours. Our representatives were staying rather close to Dr. Albert because conditions were getting very interesting. We knew that he had secured some twenty-eight million dollars through the Guarantee Trust Company in New York for that work, and we were anxious to see, if we could, how some of this money was being spent. One day Dr. Albert himself walked into a leather goods store in New York City and ordered a lawyer's portfolio for carrying papers, ordering the bag to be marked. After he left the store our representative immediately bought a similar portfolio at the same place and on being asked if he wanted it marked with initials, he said he would come back the next morning and see how the other gentleman's bag looked. He did, and after seeing the form of the letters, took his bag into another place and had it lettered in a similar fashion. The next day, Saturday, Dr. Albert left his office down town on Broadway and boarded an elevated train, and up in the forties, two young men apparently drunk, started to wrestle with the conductor, and everybody in the car getting up in an excited way to see what the trouble was, a young man behind Dr. Albert took advantage of that moment to substitute one portfolio containing a lot of newspapers for the other. . That portfolio was at once taken to our headquarters in New York and ripped open-we could not unlock it-and we found what we were looking for. Dr. Albert stated later that he had informed the police immediately after he left the train; as a matter of fact, and fortunately for us, Dr. Albert didn't discover his loss for some time later. He went into the house; on Saturday evening he went to a threatre; on Sunday morning he came in a silk hat and took a walk in the park and on Sunday afternoon he and his wife went in a motor car to Coney Island, everything serene and happy. On Monday morning, about five minutes to, eight, a madman with dishevelled hair, rushed down the apartment steps and called for a policeman. That was the moment that he discovered the loss. Those documents were given at once to the Secret Service and two days later Ambassador Dumba, who the day before had gone to the Department and protested that he was being treated in inhuman fashion by the newspapers of the United States, particularly our paper, was ordered home.
The Du Pont explosion which wrecked two of their big powder buildings at the cost of three or four million dollars and destroyed the lives of thirty-one men who were blown to pieces in a moment, was followed the next night by a conference at a home in Brooklyn, at which conference were present four German-Americans, one of our representatives, Captain Boy-Ed and Captain Von Papen, and there those gentlemen opened champagne and drank to the health of the man who had done this deed, and the man himself was there, and with great relish told exactly how it happened. We informed the Government of these conditions; we gave them practically, although not really, a stenographic report of everything that was said there, and that cumulative testimony, on top of the thousand things we had already piled into the Government day after day and week after week about these two men, resulted three days later in their being ordered home. You probably remember the day Von Papen left he paid his respects to the Providence journal and declared it was a rotten sheet paid by British gold and that it was full of false charges against him. Captain Von Papen also delivered an oration from the dock about the Providence Journal. He went a little further; he said in his country papers of this type were torn down and their editors put in prison. In fact, the same spirit was shown by Mr. Bernstorff, who wrote a letter to Mr. Lansing, demanding that we be stopped at once from publishing any more papers. He was told by Mr. Lansing that this was not Germany, and that if he felt aggrieved he could go to the courts of Rhode Island.
The entire German propaganda was based upon two important ideas in the minds of these German people. Our President, I think unfortunately, and supported unfortunately by an immense lot of people in our own country, and I have no doubt by the same people in this country, has declared that German devil idea, "the good German people." Our experiences have all run the other way. The trouble with the German people is that they have a State-made mind. Whatever they are told from above, that is gospel. That is one of the great difficulties with them and that is one of the reasons why Bethmann-Hollweg and the other gentlemen could not understand why when they told the American people a certain thing was so, we did not at once believe it. They cannot understand that frame of mind; all they understand about us is that we are a lot of fools and children, and the reason why we have been fortunately able in the last two years and a half to make these disclosures is simply because they felt that there was no cleverness in the world but their own. We have realized in every investigation we have made that if we kept on far enough and carefully enough we would come to a place with a hole in it that a school boy could crawl through. They forgot in their real intelligence in certain directions that other people may have some intelligence also. When we discovered this Werner Horn plot to blow up the Vanceboro bridge on your border, there was a very interesting sidelight on that frame of mind. I saw Horn myself, in fact we got his confession and made him sign it and then turned it over to the Secret Service. Horn detailed to us very elaborately that he let his beard grow for a week-he was a handsome clean-cut German officer-and he went out on that bridge that cold night with two German flags wrapt round his arms and he felt he was doing his military duty; and he was, because he was ordered to do it by Captain Von Papen. He said he went down to West Street, bought a slop suit of clothes for $3, put on an old dinky cap and a shirt with no tie, and got an old carpet bag and a go-cent pair of hob-nailed shoes; and then after all these elaborate preparations which took him a week, he got on board the Merchant's Limited train from New York to Boston, the extra fare train, one of the best trains on the American continent, where every man, woman and child aboard stared at that apparition. I said to him, "Why did you do that after making all those wonderful preparations? Why didn't you travel in an ordinary train? " And standing up stiffly, he said, "Sir, I am an officer and a gentleman, and I do not travel any other way."
The way in which we discovered that Werner Horn was implicated in this case is rather interesting. There were three men who formed a fraudulent passport bureau for the German Government, who hired a room in Trinity Building, iii Broadway, New York City. We discovered that they were there, from one of the Consul General's offices and we immediately hired the rooms on either side of these rooms; on one of our doors I remember we had "Wholesale Swiss Toys," and on the other an accountant's name. After three weeks of rather patient waiting we got the run of the office and were able to see exactly what was going on, and we informed the Secret Service officers, who on a certain morning when these gentlemen came to work, took them away before they got their coats off. They are now in Atlanta. Their places were taken by three of our own Providence Journal men in their shirt sleeves, and it was not an hour after they got into their positions and had the scenery all set before Captain Von Papen walked into the room. Evidently he did not know any of these three men; he had with him the German Naval Attache from Tokio and they had in their hands a list of German army officers in this country for whom fraudulent passports were requested by the Ambassador, on the Ambassador's own notepaper, and on the top of the list was Lieut. Werner Horn. That is how we first had the intimation that Werner Horn was an officer of the German army, because he strongly denied at first that he had any connection with the German army. When he signed his confession he said, "I received my money and orders from an officer not now in this country." He signed his name and I wrote underneath, "I declare the above to be true on my honour as a German officer," and I asked him to sign again. He refused. When I crossed out the word "not," so that it read, "An officer now in this country;" and he signed it. Three weeks later when we began to print facsimiles of Von Papen's cheques, we found the cheque to Werner Horn was made out in a personal cheque by Von Papen, which, had been given to Von Papen by Bernstorff the day before.
You probably all remember the gentleman about whom I spoke, Mr. Bryan. Although we have tried to keep aloof from the personal element of revenge in this entire matter, we have reason to feel rather revengeful against Mr. Bryan. He came to Providence, hired by the Germans, paid we think a thousand dollars--it may have been less--and spent the entire night with an audience of over two thousand people denouncing the Providence journal. We know he was sent by the German gang, that they paid for the hall and paid him, for the performance. It was with great satisfaction a few weeks after that that I received from our energetic representative in the German Embassy a typewritten copy of a memorandum of agreement made between the Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, and Ambassador Dumba, in which the Secretary of State of the United States declared that the Ambassador should not pay any attention to Mr. Wilson's declarations because they did not mean anything at all, and not to worry about them. When we printed that statement, and every paper in the United States printed it and gave us credit for it, Mr. Bryan started for the coast, and the New York Times and New York World and every other prominent paper in the country tried to head him off at every station and asked him whether this story was true or false; but Mr. Bryan never from that day to this has replied whether that story was true or false. It was absolutely true, and as you all know a few days later Mr. Bryan was eliminated from the Cabinet of the United States.
At the beginning of the struggle, I do not know how it came about really, but this was before we had anything actual from the wireless, before he had been able to discover a single code, and certainly before the Germans could have known anything about our activities, I was approached by the press agent of the Hamburg American Steamship Company, who came to Providence and asked me if I would not like to meet Captain Boy--Ed at the German Club in New York City. This being after we had begun to run these people down, I said I would be delighted, and I went down there one Sunday afternoon and a couple of pleasant hours we spent, during which time Captain Boy-Ed told me he felt that they had discovered a plot that should be given to the American press, and having been informed by this representative of the Hamburg American Company that our paper was influential in New England where this plot was hatched, he thought we ought to have the first chance on it. I said we would be very glad. He proceeded, with the help of Mr. Julius P. Meyer, the General Manager of the Hamburg American Company, a man who in my opinion ought to be in jail, and informed me that the British cruisers outside New York harbour were being provisioned right along, and fearful breaches of neutrality were committed through tugs and vessels going out to them every day outside of Sandy Hook; and he offered very generously if we would use this story prominently, and send it all over the country through our connections, that he would give it to us and give us all the facilities for getting the facts. I said very well, and they brought four tug boat captains who gave us affidavits that they had carried these provisions out to these ships in the belief that they were carrying them out to American warships. Two days later, with the assistance of the collector of the Port of New York, Mr. Dudley Field Malone, we had their captains in the sweat box and they confessed that they had been bribed by the Hamburg American Company to sign those affidavits, and we then printed the real story of that transaction. As a matter of fact there was never even a newspaper sent aboard the British cruisers; the Admiral at Halifax had given strict orders to that effect and they had been carried out.
Now I want to speak for a moment about a matter that I know has been a subject of considerable controversy on this side of the line. I am not referring to nickel-I am referring to the fire in the Ottawa Parliament Buildings. Frankly we do not know and have no means of knowing whether that fire was accidental or not, but all we do know is this, that three weeks before that fire our men in the German Embassy came to me-I was in our New York office at that time-and told me that that morning the plan for destroying the Ottawa Parliament buildings had been discussed and they were to be fired in three weeks from that date, and on that same day I went to Snowden Marshall, the United States District Attorney for New York, and made that statement to him, coupled with the statement that two or three munition factories in Canada were to be blown up at the same time. And three weeks to the day after I had made that statement, the Ottawa Parliament Buildings were destroyed, and within forty-eight hours of that time two of your munition factories were blown up. Now I am not prepared to say that this was anything but a coincidence, but if it was a coincidence, it was one of the most remarkable coincidences in the history of the world. The Attorney General of the United States declared that he had never received any such message. That statement was true; I asked Mr. Marshall about that and he said no, he had not given it to the Attorney General because it was one of a hundred things that they had got and the great majority of those things had for some reason or another never been pulled off; but Mr. Marshall generously did give out through the Associated Press the statement that I had gone to him three weeks before the date and said what I have said. That is all we know about the Ottawa fire. I am quite content to believe that whatever happened probably could not be charged to carelessness or lack of foresight at Ottawa. I say that all the more honestly because in spite of the fact that we have had our own building guarded night and day we were blown up, the front of our entire building was blown out and the work was done practically in exactly the same manner. The fire started in a pile of newspapers in our Managing Editor's room, next to mine, five minutes after I reached my desk. In four or five seconds after it touched off a bomb and things were jumping there for quite a long while. Nobody was injured; there was some property damaged which was paid for by the Insurance Companies. Our building was watched and it was a very easy building to watch. We have positive knowledge of course that that was incendiary-it was German propaganda work; and I do not blame anybody in Ottawa or anywhere else for not being able to overcome the machinations of these people when they set out to do anything. What they have done in our country, gentlemen, is almost inconceivable. In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars of property damaged and the thousands of workmen, innocent men, that they have sent to death in a moment, they have poisoned horses and mules by the thousands after leaving New Orleans in ships; they have put bombs in ships, sugar ships and munition ships; they have put every kind of poisonous substance in our Red Cross bandages being made by our good women; they have gone to the limit of damnable inhumanity in a thousand different directions. One reason for that is not that they wanted to destroy life because they wanted to be murderers; it is the idea of frightfulness. These people have still in their minds what they had in their minds three years ago, and I believe it is in their minds as strongly as ever, that they can frighten a people like the Anglo-Saxon people. They think they can. What do you think is the meaning of these zeppelin raids? It is the old idea of the Japanese war mask; it is the same idea, that they can frighten the Anglo-Saxon people to death. You know as well as I do that in these zeppelin raids the hardest thing the military authorities can do is to keep the people back in their homes; they want to go out and see the blimy things. I read a report of the zeppelin raid and got feeling rather blue because I felt the air service was not doing its full duty and then I remembered that a friend had told me if ever I felt that things were going all wrong in this country to remember four little lines of verse; and I have remembered them
"So small a shield to hold so great a sign,
So small a sheath to hold so great a blade!
England, but in this darkest hour of thine
Those that have known thee best are least afraid."
Before I sit down I want to say one word about Canada. I do not know whether you realize the depth of sentiment and the change of sentiment that has come over the people of the United States in regard to the people of this Dominion since the beginning of the war. This idea of "Our Lady of the Snows," which you yourselves have dissipated by your tremendous business activity in the last twenty years, still held within itself the idea that you were a sort of juvenile people, a small race of good people, planted up here, who were all right as neighbours, but there wasn't very much else to talk about. Now one thing that Canada has done since the beginning of this war has been not only to place herself, in my judgment, on the map of the Western Hemisphere, but to put herself in the forefront of every Western people. Do you realize what it is going to mean to our men-and it is no secret that tens of thousands of them will be heard from at the front before very many weeks--do you realize that every foot of ground they tread, they will have to figure that here and here and here Canada has helped to make history before them. I tell you that your victories, that epic story of Vimy Ridge, was read and caressed and thought over just as deeply on our side of the line as it was on yours. 'You have here in this community, I know, thousands of homes that have been touched by the deepest sorrow that can touch a home. You have your weeping mothers and your distressed fathers, and while mingling our tears with theirs we can see something beyond the actual thought and fact of death. We can see a great new nation born at this head of the continent, carrying, through these dead young men, an eternal wreath of honour and bravery. Memory, which falls on the hearts of men and women like the petals of the apple blossom in the spring time, will bring to the hearts of these people who are in mourning, a cry and a prayer of joy that those young men of theirs who died, died well. That is all there is to it; it is not when you die, or where you die, it is how you die. Gentlemen, do not fail to face the issue; this is a war of ideals, of idealism against barbarity; it is a war for the spiritual uplifting of democracy; that is what it amounts to, and the only way to win a war like that is to forget every petty, party, political and commercial and business difference there is. There is a story of an old priest in France, a dear old man down in one of the Basque villages, who was celebrating his twenty-fifth anniversary in the parish. It was a little village with a congregation of thrifty French farmers and peasants; they had no money and did not know what to do for him to celebrate this anniversary; so they all decided that in the night each one take a bottle of his best wine and put in the empty barrel back of the pastor's house and in the morning when they came to ask his blessing they would ask him to turn the spigot and tell him this came with their love. The next morning the people came and the priest came and turned the spigot and nothing but pure water came out. Every man had figured that the other man would put in the wine. Gentlemen, you can't win the war that way; there has got to be faith; there have got to be all these spiritual virtues; there has got to be in the future world--in journalism, in business, in professions of every kind--there has got to be vision. If you have any visionaries in Canada, and you have lots of them, arise and put them where they belong, because the day is coming in this democracy and in every other one when the visionary is going to lead his people. You have a lot of them; I have met some in the few days I have been here.
The lines of Hardy always have a peculiar and reverential appeal to me when I see as I do see here in this city so many evidences of the sorrow I have been speaking about. It must be when time heals these wounds, a tremendous and joyous satisfaction just to think of that one verse of Hardy's which contains so much of condolence and thoughtfulness and happiness to those who have sent their own boys
"What of the faith and fire within us We who march away Ere the dawn should come whose night is growing grey, To hazards whence no tears can win us, What of the faith and fire within us We who march away! "
The Chairman expressed the thanks of the meeting to the speaker, his sentiments being echoed in three hearty cheers.