- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 28 Nov 1912, p. 91-104
- Hearst, Honourable W.H., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The great heritage we possess in being subjects of the great British Empire. A look at the area and population of the British Empire. Empire trade. Control of the money wealth of the world through London. Appreciating the influence of the Empire. What the Old Land has been doing in the matter of immigration and how that is affecting Canada and the other parts of the Empire, with figures. The position of Great Britain as a colonizing power, compared with Germany and other powers similarly situated. A consideration of what the British Empire has done generally, and of the future of this Empire. A look at Canada: her area, her resources, her possibilities; her accomplishments. The advantages and opportunities for the development of Canada in the years that are to come, particularly in comparison with other countries that have products somewhat similar to hers. Canada's position with regard to trade. The position that Canada will take in the future history of the world. Our duty to make Canada the great dominating influence in the Empire and in the world, the great civilizing force of the future. An examination of Canada's resources and products. Canada's geographical position. Other things on which we base a faith in Canada's future: the character of her citizenship; her schools and places of learning for her men and women, boys and girls. Ontario's place in the Empire. Ontario as the banner Province of Canada, going ahead by leaps and bounds. Today, Ontario leading all the other Provinces in agricultural products, in minerals, in timber, and in every other respect. Doing our share in lifting up the type of civilization, in lifting up the ideals, in helping the education of those who come to our shores, so that they with us will join in developing this great Dominion.
- Date of Original
- 28 Nov 1912
- Language of Item
- Copyright Statement
- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
- Empire Club of CanadaEmail:email@example.com
Agency street/mail address:
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West, Floor H
Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3
- Full Text
- ONTARIO'S PLACE IN THE EMPIRE
An, Address by the HONOURABLE W. H. HEARST, before the Empire Club of Canada, on November 28, 1912
Mr. President and Geneltmen,--
I am sure I feel highly honoured in having the privilege of addressing this audience today. One would always feel it an honour to have the privilege of addressing a body of representative citizens in this great city of Toronto, but the honour is doubly enhanced when one is permitted to address members of a Club having for its purpose the aims and objects of your Club. I cannot understand anything that is more important at the present time than the bringing before the people of the Empire their duty to the Empire; particularly is this so in a young country like Canada. There is nothing to my mind that is of more importance than to educate properly the people as to their duty and the high destiny of Canada in working out Empire problems, as in the Providence of God it is intended they should be worked out. I am sure I must thank you for your kind words of introduction; and from what you have said of my duties as a Minister of the Crown, I think that the gentlemen here will appreciate the claims that are madeupon my time and will understand and excuse me, if my remarks this afternoon are not as collected and not as concrete as they should be.
You have been told that I spoke a week or so ago to the Canadian Club. The subject I then took was Northern Ontario and its relationship to the whole Province. When I gave the subject for my address which I did to your Club, I had not in mind speaking so near to this date to another Club composed of gentlemen, many of whom are members of this Club. I otherwise, perhaps, might have given you a different subject, but I will try as far as possible to give new matter today and not tramp over the same ground I did before the Canadian Club.
I am sure we all this afternoon feel what a great heritage we possess in being subjects of the great British Empire-an Empire unique in its possibilities, unique in its resources, and standing among the nations of the earth in all that makes for good citizenship, for freedom, for righteousness, and for the welfare of mankind. Thinking of that great asset this afternoon, what shall we say of that great Empire whose standard is righteousness, whose path is duty, an Empire upon which the sun never sets, that has covered the habitable globe with her outposts and possessions, the red coats of whose soldiers are seen in every land and every clime, and whose ships are seen upon every sea, an Empire to which even Imperial Rome in the height of her glory as a colonizing power was not to be compared, an Empire of which it has well been said that her morning drumbeats following the sun and keeping company with the hours, fill the whole world with the martial airs of Old England we all love so well? As Canadians such is the legacy that we possess, such is the heritage that belongs to us as British subjects, but not only have we the heritage of citizenship in that great Empire, but we have the protection of the grand old Flag that is so dear to you and to me, that Flag that has always stood for freedom, for honour, for righteousness, that has never stood for oppression, of which it has been said in a way far better than I can tell you otherwise
It's only a small piece of bunting, It's only an old coloured rag; Yet thousands have died for its honour, And shed their best blood for the flag. You may say it's an old bit of bunting, You may call it an old coloured rag; But freedom has made it majestic, And time has ennobled our flag.
You sometimes hear at the present day that Great Britain is becoming decadent; you sometimes hear it said she is not keeping her place in the forward march of progress among the nations of the world, and I am afraid perhaps in this day of haste and hurry, in this age where the Almighty dollar seems to be King, we do not often enough sit down and think of what the Old Land herself is doing and the pace she is keeping among the nations of the world, and I will trouble you this afternoon to bear with me while we go over some statistics that perhaps may be of interest to us on this subject. Let us look at the area of this Empire, over twelve millions of square miles, consisting of twenty-one percent of the whole earth's surface, and that is exclusive of both Egypt and the Soudan. That territory is divided as follows: in Europe, 125,070; in Asia, 1,899,000; in Africa, 2,518,000; in Australia, 3,175,000; in America, including the West Indies, 4,023,000 square miles.
Now, let us look at her population. You will find that the population of the Empire is over 410,000,000 of people, over one fifth of all the inhabitants of the globe. The Empire exceeds all the nations of the past and all the nations of the present in point of population, and see the progress we are making and have made in comparatively recent years, both in the extension of territory and population. You will find, on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, the area of the Empire was only 7,255,350 square miles and the population only 31,712,000. Thus you see the grand old Empire has been extending her borders and increasing her population with leaps and bounds during the years that have gone by.
Next, let us look at her trade for a moment. We find that the United Kingdom exported manufactured goods in 1910 valued at $1,914,000,000. Take the total trade of the Empire in 1851 and you will find it amounted to $1,998,000,000; in 1866 this was increased to $5,395,000,000; and in the year 1910 it had reached the splendid total of $8,000,000,000, of which the United Kingdom alone furnished $6,100,000,000.
The Empire controls through London a great part of the money wealth of the world, and you can understand and appreciate the influence the Empire with its great area, with its great population, with its magnificent trade, is bound to exert the wide world over. Further, look at her marine and see what progress she has made in that connection. We find the carrying power of the ships of the world in the year 1820 amounted to 3,000,000 tons, in 1881 t0 20,000,000, in 1911 t0 41,000,000 tons, and of this tonnage the Empire furnished over 19,000,000 or nearly one half of the whole tonnage of the world.
Let us look for a moment at what the Old Land has been doing in the matter of immigration and how that is affecting Canada and the other parts of the Empire. You will find from the year 18go to 1889 sixty-seven percent of the British immigrants went to the United States. During the next ten years following the dates I have given you, I am glad to say only forty-seven percent of that immigration went to the United States, while in 1910, fifty-seven percent of the immigration from the United Kingdom came to the Colonies, and principally to our own fair Dominion of Canada. From the year 1900 to 1906, Australia and New Zealand secured less than 700 immigrants from the Old Land, but in the year agog they secured 20,000 and in the year 1910, 25,000. So that you see what is rapidly coming about is what we as citizens have desired, namely, that the people from the Old Land are coming to the Colonies and remaining with the Empire, and instead of sapping the strength of the Old Land are helping to develop her outposts and Colonies and helping to make that Empire, great as she has been in the days gone by, greater and grander still.
Look at the position of Great Britain as a colonizing power, compared with Germany and other powers similarly situated. A Briton can leave the Old Land and go to any other part of the world he wishes; he can find any kind of climate he wants, any sort of resources that the world knows of to develop; he can find any form of free Government; but he does not need to leave the old' flag, and he can claim the benefit of its protection still. Instead of weakening that nation from which he came, instead of weakening the influence of that Empire, if he is a good British citizen, he becomes a fresh source of life and strength and hope to the new land to which he immigrates and helps to plant in that country the splendid principles of the Old Land-the principles of British institutions, fair play, and honest dealing that is so characteristic of the race from which he comes.
Let us think generally of that Empire and what she has done before I leave off speaking of it. Think of the influence she has been in educating and emancipating and helping to uplift the world. It has been well said of her that she is the greatest secular influence for good that the world has ever seen. That being so what shall we say of her status and position in the days and years that are to come? Let us look from that view-point and let us consider your duty and mine as Canadians in connection therewith. Take the population of Great Britain at the present time, about 45,000,000; and take her area, about 121,410 square miles. Look at her comparatively small population and comparatively small area, and then look at the great Republic to the south of us, and what do we find? A population of nearly 100,000,000 of people with an area of over 3,000,000 square miles. What is the future of Great Britain going to be, compared with the great and ambitious and progressive Republic to the south? In the days to come will it be possible for Great Britain to hold her own in the commercial struggle and, generally, with that nation to the south? Fond as we are of the Old Land, much as we believe in the dominance of the English race, and all they have achieved in the past, and all they are capable of achieving in the future, I doubt if any of us have the hardihood to say that Great Britain could do it alone, but thank Heaven she does not need to stand alone the power and might and future of the Empire is linked up with the Colonies; she can continue not only to hold her own but to dominate the world. Not only is that so in a commercial sense, not only is that so in a geographical sense, but it is so in every other sense as well. There are none of us so young but that we can well remember the unhappy days of the South African War. That unfortunate time, as it then seemed for Old England, was a blessing in many respects to the Empire; for a new nation practically was born on the veldt in South Africa. When Great Britain seemed to stand alone among the jealous nations of Europe, she was not alone; for the first growl from the old lion brought to her assistance the whelps from across the seas, and the nations of the world learned that in the future they would have to fight, not Great Britain alone, but the Colonies from one end of the Empire to the other. And so in those days we had the magnificent spectacle of the Canadians and Australians and New Zealanders fighting shoulder to shoulder with the war-scarred veterans of the Old Land, and some falling, and some falling to die, that Britain's Imperial Flag might wave over this grand old Empire of ours. In view of these facts I ask what is the position of Canada in that great Empire? She is the most important factor in the future of that Empire; and if that Empire is to do what she ought to for the welfare of the world, for the civilization of mankind, and for uplifting the standards of righteousness, Canada will have to play a great part, I believe the predominating part, in our Empire history.
Then, let us look at what Canada is, at her area, at her resources, at her possibilities, at what she has already accomplished, and perhaps we can get a better idea of how well she is equipped to discharge the high task that I believe in the Providence of God she is called upon to perform in the connection I have mentioned. Look at the area of the Dominion, 3,729,665 square miles; it is larger than the United States, including Alaska, by over 100,000: it equals eighteen Germanys, is as large as twenty Spains, and has a sea-coast alone of over 12,000 miles, nearly half the circumference of the globe. From east to west she is 3,000 miles, from north to south practically 1,500 miles. We have unexplored territory of 1,000,000 square miles; Ungava and Franklin themselves are larger than China. The Dominion of Canada extends over forty degrees of latitude, as far as from Rome to the North Pole. Our population is only about 1.93 to the square mile, while England and Wales is 558 to the square mile. We are thirty-three percent of the area of the whole Empire, although we have only about one and one third per cent. of the Empire's population. Look at our immense area. You will grasp that better when you stop to think that it is farther from Halifax to Vancouver than from Halifax to Liverpool. At Confederation we were simply a few scattered Provinces and Territories, without any aims, purposes, or ambitions in common. We had the east, the middle west, and British Columbia. What are we today, less than half a century since Confederation took place? We are a united country, a nation extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, bound together not only by bands of steel, but by a common ambition, a common purpose, a common ideal, to make this fair Dominion of Canada the finest and best nation that God's sun has ever shone upon. Think of what has been accomplished in that time. We have already, as I have mentioned, linked the Atlantic to the Pacific with bands of steel, and at the time the Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed it was perhaps the greatest undertaking any people of the size and wealth of Canada ever undertook; but that railway has long ceased to be sufficient, and we now have two other transcontinental railways rushing to tie the Atlantic to the Pacific, and more will follow in the future. Who can tell the number of transcontinental railways in the next twentyfive or fifty years that will be necessary to carry the products of the east to the west and of the west to the east, and to afford the necessary facilities for transportation
These are some of the things that we have accomplished. Let us look from another standpoint at the advantages and opportunities for the development of Canada in the years that are to come, particularly in comparison with other countries that have products somewhat similar to what Canada has. Take the position of Canada in relation to the great consuming population of Europe. Prom New Zealand to London the mails take from thirty days to forty days, from Australia to London from twentysix to thirty-three days, from South Africa to London seventeen to twenty-three days, from South America to London seventeen to twenty-three days, from India to London fourteen to sixteen days, from Canada to London only seven to eight days, and the time required for the passage of mails shows the relative time required for the transportation of freight. This shows us the splendid position Canada occupies with reference to that great market, that great centre of commerce of the world, namely, Old London. Then, what have we beside that? Outside of Europe, probably China and Japan furnish the world's best markets, leaving out of consideration in a discussion of this kind the United States of America. These are easily accessible to the Dominion of Canada by direct ships. In other words Canada controls the Atlantic and the trade of Europe; she controls the Pacific and the trade of Asia; she stands midway between these two great markets, and has the greatest possible opportunity for supplying the wants of the people of these countries.
Let us look at Canada's progress from still another standpoint. At Confederation we had a population of about 3,000,000; today we have over 7,000,000. In our population we have had twice the rate of increase during the last ten years that the great Republic to the south of us has had. Our trade in 1866 was approximately $131,000,000, now it is $700,000,000. Our increase in trade has been over fifty percent greater than that of the United States, and our trade per head is more than double that of the United States. Our railways are the wonder of the world, and not only have we these magnificent railways, but we have our magnificent water-ways that form such an important element in the development of any country. No country in the world is better situated in that regard than the Dominion of Canada. Our Dominion Government has done much in the past for the development of our water-ways, and in my humble opinion it is their duty in the future to do very much more. I hope in the near future to see ocean vessels going to the head of the Lakes. When we ponder on Canada's splendid resources, on her unique position, and what in a few years she has accomplished, we are led to ask what position will she take in the future history of the world! You know to the east Asia is wakening. The sceptre of the world's dominion was once there. It passed to Africa and then to Europe, perhaps the poorest in natural possessions and resources of any of the continents of the world. Is it going to remain there, or is it going to come to America? Is America to be the centre of the world's dominion and power in the years that are to come? If such should be the case, what would be the destiny of Canada? What is our duty as Canadians and Britons? To make Canada the great dominating influence in the Empire and in the world, the great civilizing force of the future.
Let us look for a moment at her productions. The field crop of Canada approximates $600,000,000. Her dairy products and fruit products are valued at tens of millions, her farm animals are numbered by the hundreds of millions, and her flocks and herds whiten a thousand hills, and yet only the surface of the agricultural possibilities of the Dominion of Canada has been touched. I am credibly informed that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway at one point has opened up a wheat-growing area of 1,000 miles long by 300 wide. Take the Province of Tobolsk in Siberia, the great wheat-growing Province of Russia, and superimpose it upon the map of Canada and you will find that it is entirely north, not only of the present wheat-growing area, but of the populated portions of the Dominion of Canada today. You will find we have a mill grinding "number one" wheat as far north of the International boundary as Mexico is south of it. You will find in looking at the richness and productiveness of our soil, as compared with other wheatgrowing countries, that the average with them is less than ten bushels to the acre, while Canada's is practically double that.
But, we not only have these splendid agricultural resources, but we also have the other natural products that help to make up a nation. The mineral products of Canada in 1910 amounted to $105,000,000, an increase of over 500 per cent. in the last fifteen years. Important among our minerals are our deposits of iron and coal on the Atlantic and Pacific. Any person can easily understand the great basic source of wealth to a nation that a supply of iron affords, particularly when that supply is linked up with deposits of coal near at hand. What country could be better situated than Canada is in that connection? On the Atlantic you have iron and coal, and therefore you have the greatest impetus that possibly could be given to the steel industry; easy transportation by water, great opportunities for shipbuilding and for the launching of mighty steamers, not only for the ocean but for inland marine as well. This is also true on the Pacific, where again you have deposits of iron and coal and great opportunities for steel development. But Providence has been lavish in her bestowal of good gifts upon us; for not only have we these deposits on the Atlantic and Pacific, but we have immense deposits of iron tributary to the Great Lakes, furnishing another splendid opportunity for the development of steel industries. On the Great Lakes where we have our iron deposits, we have not the deposits of coal they have in the other places to which I referred, but, perhaps better still, we have an unlimited supply of white coal that use does not exhaust, and so we have ample power for development there as well.
Take our water powers that I have just spoken about our inexhaustible supply of white coal. The Conservation Commission tells us that Canada has easily 26,000,000 horsepower. To produce this from coal would require 551,000,000 tons of coal per annum. But not only has Providence blessed us with fertile valleys with the richest soil for the production of agricultural products, with rich prairies for the production of the finest wheat in the world; not only has she studded our mountains with minerals of all kinds, from precious gold and silver to the baser and more useful iron and nickel; not only has she studded our valleys and highlands with magnificent timber from the tall pines to the stately elm, but she has filled our rivers and our lakes and oceans with fish, the finest that there are in the world, and you can understand and appreciate something of the importance of that product, when I tell you the fisheries of the Dominion in 1910 amounted to millions of dollars. I have spoken of Canada's forest products, but perhaps we can better understand the importance of these when I tell you that the forest products of the Dominion in the year 1910 amounted to $166,000,000--in other words to twenty-two dollars per head for every one of the inhabitants of the Dominion. If you were shown a map of the earth's surface and asked to locate the position of a country, could you choose any better position than the Dominion of Canada occupies? Liverpool is nearer to Yokohama via Canada than via New York and San Francisco by some 2,600 miles. I have already pointed out to you the splendid position we occupy with reference to the markets east and west. Only think what then will be the position of Canada in the future with all these resources, with all her vitality, and with all her possibilities. I think that perhaps we will all agree that the civilization of the future must be the civilization of the Anglo-Saxon race, and I think it is within the bounds of possibility that the centre of that civilization will be the American Continent, and that this century will not have passed away until the Dominion of Canada will have as great a population as that of Great Britain herself; and so looking into your faces, men who have the interests of the Empire at heart, men who are anxious about the future, and men who love their country and love mankind, I say to no people was ever given such a high destiny and such a high calling as is given to us--to develop these resources, to develop the material we have, so that Canada not only will take a high place in the Empire, but take the place in the world that Providence intends she should take.
Let me just enlarge on that point a little. In the Old Land you have the conservative sober civilization of the people of that country; in the United States you have the other extreme, the aggressive--without meaning to be offensive at all--the flashlight civilization of the people there. The Dominion of Canada perhaps lies midway between the two, the great buffer between these two civilizations. With this buffer and with Canada true to high ideals, with her people true to the stock from which they have sprung, there will be no danger for the future but that a civilization will be worked out under the Providence of God in the way that is best for the welfare, happiness, and peace of the world.
But while Canada is great in her resources, while Canada is great in her area and possibilities, it is not on these things alone that we base our faith for Canada's future. It is the character of her citizenship, it is her schools and places of learning for her men and women, her boys and girls, that are making Canada what she is, and what she is going to be in the days that are to come. Then how important it is for all of us to try to hold up high ideals and lofty purposes before the boys and girls of the land, with our opportunities, with our clear blue sky, and invigorating climate to breed men of dominance and power. With our great resources, with our rivers and mountains and lakes, with our magnificent scenery, and with the best blood of the Anglo-Saxon and kindred races in our veins, we should develop the greatest, the highest type of manhood that has ever been developed in the world. That I believe is the destiny of Canada.
What are the facts today? I ask you to look the wide world over, and I will pit the brains and ability of the type of manhood that Canada possesses against that of any other country in the world. I was talking not long ago to a friend of mine who has travelled the world over and who has made a study of the character and types of humanity in the different countries of the world, a gentleman in whose judgment I have the greatest confidence, and he, after having studied these different types of civilization, says there is no higher or better type than we have in our own country of Canada. I can pick out for you in Canada five men, and I defy you to pick out from any country on earth, five greater men or five men that have given more to the world.
Take it from whatever standpoint we may, if it is in the world of work, of commerce, of intellect, or in the shops or professions, or wherever it is, the sons of Canada have been able to hold their own wherever they have gone on this globe.
Not long ago in an American city a very eloquent American gentleman was responding to the toast of the United States, and he said: "I represent a magnificent country; it is bounded on the north by the Aurora Borealis; it is bounded on the south by the Southern Cross; on the east by the rising sun, and on the west by the Day of Judgment." A more modest, if less eloquent Canadian, in connection with the same toast had to reply for the British Empire and he said: "It is lucky that I do not require so much eloquence as my friend who preceded me in responding for the British Empire. I represent an Empire that knows neither east nor west, but circumscribes the world. I belong to an Empire that has no western boundary, that has no eastern boundary, and so far as the Day of judgment is concerned, we are such a righteous people that I doubt if there ever will be any for the British people."
Having said so much for the Empire and so much for Canada's place in it, then what is Ontario's place in the Empire? I have already spoken longer than I intended and I have only time to give you a word or two. Ontario is the banner Province of this fair Dominion; she is going ahead by leaps and bounds. And today she leads all the other Provinces in agricultural products, in minerals, in timber, and in every other respect. But a small port of Ontario is as yet developed; we have only some 13,000,000 acres under cultivation; we have many times that number of acres to be developed. We are producing practically half of the field crops produced in the Dominion of Canada today, and yet we have only scratched the surface of our agricultural lands. We are producing one half of the mineral wealth of the Dominion of Canada, and we have scarcely commenced to develop Ontario's mineral lands. We are producing half the timberwealth of Canada, and we are only touching the fringe of our great timber wealth. The Province of Ontario will be the keystone in the arch of Confederation if she develops her heritage aright, as I believe she will in the future.
It has been said that the great weakness of Confederation, the great weakness in the development of Canada, was what has been looked upon as the barren stretch of territory from North Bay on the east to Manitoba on the west. That territory was thought for a long time to have no possibilities. That day has passed and gone, and with the mighty resources we have there, with the wealth of material we have for its development, that section is going to be one of the great industrial centres of the American continent in the near future. The Province of Ontario has a high destiny. Take Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on the east, they have their coal and iron; take British Columbia on the west, she has her timber, her minerals, and her beautiful scenery. Alberta has her coal and oil, her flocks and her herds; Manitoba and Saskatchewan have their millions of bushels of golden grain; but Ontario is the flower of them all. She possesses in a goodly degree all the resources of these different Provinces with the exception of coal, which is abundantly compensated for in her white coal; and so I say the true destiny of the Province of Ontario is to be the vitalizing force of the Dominion, cementing the different Provinces together as one nation. Ontario should not only be the geographical and commercial centre of Canada, but the intellectual centre as well. Coming to our doors day by day and year by year are tens and hundreds of thousands of people who do not know, who do not understand and appreciate British institutions and free British citizenship as we have it. It is the duty of this Province to teach these people along the lines of free institutions and along the lines of good Government. If the Dominion of Canada is to fulfill her great destiny, it becomes you and me as citizens of this banner Province to do our share in lifting up the type of civilization, in lifting up the ideals, in helping the education of those who come to our shores, so that they with us will join hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder in developing this great Dominion. Thus shall we all strengthen the Empire and help in the up-building of the human race, and the benefiting of mankind. That duty I believe we will discharge in a manner worthy of the best traditions of the British people.
Sail on Dominion broad and great; Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate! In spite of rock, and tempest's roar, In spite of false lights on the shore, Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea! Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee; Our hearts our hopes, our prayers, our tears, Our faith triumphant o'er our fears, Are all with thee, are all with thee!