- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 30 Oct 1924, p. 285-300
- Parsons, S.R., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- A report and view of the Exhibition as the speaker saw it. The British Empire Exhibition as a great co-operative effort, and how that is so. The lack of private gain in connection with the Exhibit. The site at Wembley. The impossibility of comparing this Exhibit with that of the Canadian National Exhibition, except perhaps in terms of the grounds and the buildings. Details of the exhibits, beginning with the British Government buildings which are of a permanent character. The opening ceremony. A quotation from the reply of the King to the Prince of Wales on the opening of the Exhibition. A detailed description of many of the buildings and exhibits follows, including those of West, East and South Africa, Malta, the Canadian exhibit (in even greater detail), the West Indies, British Guiana, India, Burma, Malaysia, Borneo, Hong Kong, Ceylon, Palestine, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Great Britain (in very great detail). The continuity of the Exhibition. The hope that much woeful ignorance in high places and among all classes in England will be dispelled by this great Exhibition, especially in regard to their lack of knowledge of the Dominions and colonies. Some illustrative examples of this lack of knowledge.
- Date of Original
- 30 Oct 1924
- Language of Item
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- Full Text
THE BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION
A STUDY IN GEOGRAPHY, RESOURCES, AND CITIZENSHIP OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
AN ADDRESS BY S. R. PARSONS.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto, October 30, 1924.
MR. PARSONS was introduced by President Brooks, and was received with loud applause.
MR. S. R. PARSONS.
Mr. President and Fellow Members of the Empire Club,--I assure you I esteem it a very great honour to be asked to speak before this Club. I have a great subject but rather a difficult one to speak upon. It does not lend itself to anything like rhetorical effect of which I would be entirely innocent in any case; but it does go into a good deal of detail that is important in conection with the Great British Empire Exhibition. This morning my wife asked me if I had a good speech for the Club today, and I replied that I had not; that it was more like a report. She said, "Oh, don't tell them that, because you know that will put the 'kibosh' on it, and kill the whole thing." (Laughter) You married men here know the effect of a little remark like that on your selfcomplacency and conceit. I would like to say that really what I am about to give you is largely a report, and, as you understand, must be. I take it for granted that those who go to an Exhi
Mr. Parsons is a widely known and highly esteemed citizen of Toronto. He is president of the British-American Oil Company, a past president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, and was the representative of the Employers of Canada to the International Labour Conference of the League of Nations at Washington in 1919, and at Geneva in 1922. He is interested in social, religious and philanthropic work and his addresses on economic and social problems have been warmly commended.
bition desire first of all to see exhibits, next to see the buildings and grounds, and thirdly to see the people and their interests. Keeping these things in mind, I desire to give you, as completely as I can, a view of the Exhibition as I saw it, and, in doing so, you will understand that it is difficult to compress in a short space of time all that one sees in a great many days. I will ask the privilege of using my notes freely in order that I may get through; and in any case you know that parsons have a habit of doing that sort of thing. (Laughter)
First of all, let me say that the British Empire Exhibition is a great co-operative effort. From the beginning there was no thought of private gain in connection with it. The site is at Wembley, which is about a half-hour from Trafalgar Square, or any central point in London. Since I returned I have been asked how that Exhibition compares with our own Canadian National Exhibition. You will see that it is impossible to make such a comparison, except possibly in the grounds and buildings, but not in the exhibits. In Toronto we have an acreage of 240, and at Wembley they have 216. Here we have a beautiful site, right on the lake, and unsurpassed anywhere in the world for an exhibition, it seems to me. (Hear, hear) We have good buildings, splendid avenues, wide streets for walking or driving through. Wembley was looked upon as rather a temporary project, and the roads there were rather rough, while the conveniences and comforts were not as satisfactory as we have in Toronto. However, it is the exhibits particularly to which I wish to draw your attention.
The British Government buildings are of a permanent character, and are composed largely of concrete and steel; in fact, all of the buildings are made of concrete, stucco and steel. Concrete fulfills four conditions; architectural requirements, speedy construction, reliability, and economy. 200,000 tons of concrete were used without a single failure. It is said the cost of producing this Exhibition will be about fifty million dollars. It is really an empire in miniature. The streets and avenues were named by that great Imperialist, Rudyard Kipling. The late Lord Strathcona, Canada's Grand Old Man, is given credit for the suggestion to gather together the products of the British Empire in this manner in the year 1913, but the Exhibition was delayed by the war.
The Exhibition was opened on April 23rd last. The ceremony included a simple speech by the Prince of Wales, as President, a reply by the King, and prayers by the Bishop of London. There were bands marching and countermarching and playing, and a choir singing "Land of Hope and Glory"-the whole forming a scene of wonderful splendor. A despatch from the stadium stating that the Exhibition was open was sent to every part of the British Empire. It was received back in eighty seconds, having traversed about 31; 500 miles. (Applause) The Prince of Wales asked his Majesty the King to graciously declare the Exhibition open to all his people. The reply of the King in part was as follows:--
"You have said that your object has been to produce a picture of our commonwealth of nations. No one can doubt that this has been fully attained. It represents to the world a graphic illustration of the spirit of free and tolerate cooperation which inspired peoples of different races, creeds and ways of thought to unite in a single commonwealth and contribute their varying national gifts to one great end. This Exhibition will enable us to take stock of the resources, actual and potential, of the Empire as a whole, and to consider whether these exist, and how they can best be developed and utilized; to take counsel together as to how the peoples can co-operate to supply one another's needs and promote the national well-being. I declare the British Empire Exhibition open, and I pray that by the blessing of God it may conduce to the unity and prosperity of all my peoples and to the peace and well-being of the world."
The Duke of Devonshire, Canada's former Governor-General, is Chairman of the Executive Council and is very active in furthering the Exhibition.
On the upper part of the hillside there is the great Empire stadium covering more than ten acres, where 125,000 people can find accommodation. Here were carried out games of all sorts, great services with imperial choirs, rough-riders with their horses and cattle, the Pageant of the Empire, military tatoo, etc., etc. It is said that Rome's immortal Coliseum would be lost within this place.
To the right we come to the African Pavilions. These buildings, with their quaint blunt-edged red walls and their contents, transport one immediately to what used to be known as "the dark continent." In the buildings of West Africa, Nigeria, and the Gold Coast, you see native weavers at work, wonderful exhibits of splendid timber-some of the rooms beautifully panelled in various Nigerian woods, one single piece of polished mahogany 3 feet by 18 feet. The Gold Coast alone produced, in 1923, 198,000 tons of cocoa, being over half the world's supply. There were great displays of cotton in various stages, palm oil, rubber, as well as minerals, such as tin, coal, etc.
In the East African pavilion there were exhibits of pottery, grains, tobacco, cotton, sisal, robes more or less spectacular, tea, tusks and heads mounted. There was on exhibition an old Kimberley-Johannesburg coach of sixty years ago, which carried mails and passengers when railways were undreamed of. It was drawn by eight mules in the wild parts, but horses substituted just outside Johannesburg. Cotton is grown in Uganda to the value of ten million dollars a year. Zanzibar produces over ninety per cent. of the world's cloves. East Africa exports coffee to the extent of about three million dollars per year.
In the South African pavilion there were hides and skins, rope, cordage, tobacco, diamonds in great profusion-also plant for diamond washing, cutting and polishing; wool, fruits, grains corn, maize, cheese, minerals in great variety, including coal; one-half of the gold of the world is produced in this country, it being the largest single producer; ostrich feathers, stuffed wild animals, woods in great profusion, dried, fresh and canned fruits, tanning extracts, sugar production of about 200,000 tons per year; seals. One corner represents the wine industry of the country, housed in a pretty little Dutch building with its vine decked trellis. There is also a paddock in which full-plumed ostriches are living at ease, also merino sheep and goats from which the famous wool and mohair are produced.
Malta has a pavilion representing a fortress with turrets and battlements. Some of the articles in this pavilion, it is said, go back more than thirty centuries before the Christian era. There is a very complete collection of armour, weapons, and trophies. Its present day exhibits comprise specimens of fine work in precious metals, articles of modern arts and crafts, jewelry, pictures of fortifications, etc. The island stone is claimed to be more beautiful than anything else of its kind within the Empire. There is a good collection of agricultural and horticultural products, cotton goods, canned goods, sweetmeats, and tobacco.
Further down the hillside we come to the Golden West, in which Canada is pre-eminent. Canada's building is stately, dignified and attractive, occupying a site of three and one-half acres. It was designed by the Canadian architect, Mr. J. 0. Turcotte. Canada has a permanent government organization, existing for twenty years past, to take care of such an exhibition. Therefore Canada was the only country altogether ready when the Exhibition opened. (Applause) Mr. A. W. Tolmie is in charge. Canada's participation was at a cost of about one million dollars.
I think our Dominion Government deserves a great deal of credit for the part they have taken in this great Empire Exhibition. Hon. Mr. Larkin, the High Commissioner in London, who has been doing so much over there to put Canada on the map, as we say, has been active in helping to set forth the things that are worth while in Canadian life, and in all the activities of those in charge he was of great help and assistance. I may also say that the great building which is being erected or remodelled under Mr. Larkin's direction for the Canadian Government offices in London is in a very central place, perhaps the most spectacular point in London, fronting on Trafalgar Square; and I am glad, as others will be, that Canada is to have a home in the Metropolis of the Empire, which heretofore she has not had. (Applause) I think it is only fair to speak in this manner of the Government of the Dominion of Canada, because personally I do not always agree with the Federal Government. (Laughter)
For the first time manufactured products were exhibited along with the natural products of the country in a Canadian Government Exhibition; Canadian exhibits are purely educational, there being nothing offered for sale in the building. The inside of the Canadian building is very beautiful, the cornices and ceiling decorations being all made of grains and grasses in various colours beautifully blended. Perhaps the most realistic exhibits were those giving panoramic views and designs of our Western praries. Here were shown grain elevators (the castles of Canada), wide stretching farms with their houses and barns, harvest fields with operating gangs at work drawing the grain to the elevators, also railway trains, railway stations, etc. Alongside there were wonderful scenic effects of our mountain countries, and mining operations. One old lady remarked that she couldn't understand why Canadian farmers were so prosperous when they had to clear the rocks off their land first. (Laughter) There were harbour scenes, Vancouver, particularly, with moving ships inwards and outwards. Hundreds and thousands of boys and girls stood spellbound in front of these exhibits. Canada, long known as the granary, is also the "woodyard" of the Empire, and had a wonderful display of pulp and paper covering a thousand square feet. It is said that the mills of the Dominion produce in one day a strip of paper six feet wide and 24,600 miles long-enough to go round the earth.
One court is devoted entirely to vast mineral exhibits. There are also fascinating exhibits of fisheries, fruits, agricultural and dairy products.
In explaining the moving pictures of the Hollinger Gold Mine, the statement was quoted of an eminent U .S. Engineer that Canada would pass the United States in the matter of gold production in 1928. (Applause)
The industrial exhibits in charge of Mr. J. S. McKinnon, well known in Toronto, were well placed. There were exhibits of automobiles, pulp and paper, furniture, machinery of all sorts, food stuffs, metals, rubber goods, textiles, carpets and rugs, and silks.
The party in charge of the Dodge Pully products was asked "Where are the dark Canadians?" (Laughter) The attendant asked, "Do you mean the Indians?" The visitor said Yes, and he replied, "Well, you have a good specimen right here before you now of practically all the Indians that you will see if you go to Canada."
There was an interesting exhibit of Canadian authors' books. The Canadian universities had pictures of their buildings and some exhibits. The University of Toronto was well represented. The exhibit and information supplied concerning Insulin attracted large numbers.
One of the large glass cases which was always surrounded by a crowd represented the Prince of Wales along with a cow, wholly in butter. At the Dominion Day dinner, at which the High Commissioner presided and the Prince of Wales gave an address, the Prince called himself a "Canadian rancher" and said, "I have the greatest possible faith in evening that is Canadian, including butter." Canada tells her story admirably and without exaggeration. It is one of optimism and faith. In speaking at the Advertising Conference at Wembley, Lord Burnham said, "The Canadian building is the best piece of national advertising that has ever been attempted and carried to a successful completion by any country." (Applause)
One might stop to enquire what will be the effect, directly and indirectly, of Canada's participation in this exhibition. I have not time to dwell upon that, except to say that many of the exhibitors, especially those exhibiting industrial life and products have received large orders, and I think will continue to receive orders, for Canadian supplies of manufactured goods. It has also been an eye-opener to the people of Great Britain to see what Canada is able to produce and offer to the world. The British manufacturers are amazed at our efficiency. Canada, through this Exhibition, should attract many settlers of the finest type.
Immediately adjoining the Canadian pavilion at one end is the building of the Canadian National Railways. The mural paintings running round this building are cleverly designed to represent an historical pageant of Canadian transport; first, the Indian mode-horses and poles, and canoes; next, the old covered wagons which were superseded by the first railway train in 1852; then the representation of the very fine railway trains, tourist sleepers and diners, and services of today. There were in this building enormous maps of Canada electrically lighted.
At the other end of the Canadian pavilion is the Canadian Pacific Railway building. At the entrance are sculptured two enormous bronzed buffaloes. The effect of the great entrance is very imposing. It faces India and Burma, a literal example in architecture of the East meeting the West. There are in this building representations of rail and water transport, telegraph, express services, hotels, electrically lighted camps, splendid wheat fields, great harbours and buildings, fruit displays, big game, the Canadian Rockies, prairies and farms, various kinds of woods. An interesting feature is a huge electrically-lit map of Canada. There is also, upstairs, a lecture hall and cinema showing Canadian scenery and industry.
The pavilion of Newfoundland, Britain's oldest colony, shows in realistic form the fishing villages and cod fishing on the banks, being the largest cod-fish producing country in the world. There are also exhibits of minerals in great profusion, seals, wonderful furs, impressive woods, cod liver oil, animals, including great Newfoundland dogs, etc.
The smallest but not the least interesting of the Exhibition buildings is that of Bermuda. The climate, natural beauty, sporting attractions, with a map giving topographical appearance, agriculture, flora, and other products are all set forth. Original natives were Englishmen. The pavilion is a replica of the house occupied by Thomas Moore, the poet, who lived there in 1803. Over the beams of the poet's room is the verse:
But bless the little fairy isle, How sweetly after all our ills,
We saw the dewy morning smile Serenely on its fragrant hills.
The West Indies show a pavilion shared with her nearest neighbour, British Guiana. The West Indies exhibit in great variety, sugar (export about one million pounds sterling yearly), tobacco, cigars, fruits, cocoanuts, coffee, sponges, etc., etc. This building is a paradise for womenhats made to order by girls on the premises. There is also a representation of a lake of pitch, and outside the doorway what is said to be Columbus's anchor.
British Guiana has a working model of a diamond mine, and also by-products of the forest industries--gums, oils, and resins, also a giant pyramid of sugar. The sugar industry employs directly and indirectly about half the working population. Some natives in the building are employed in weaving cotton and making hammocks, etc.
Further down the slope we come to India's pavilion, which covers three acres of ground. It is made of steel and fibrous plaster and flanked with minarets 110 feet high In front of the pavilion is a sunken courtyard surrounded by an open colonnade. India reproduces the native architecture of the country better than other pavilions. India's population is 320 millions. India has displays of jute, carpets and oriental rugs, fancy linens, silks and embroideries, curios, bazaars, metal work, carving in wood and ivory; there is also a large display of timber. A splendid jungle exhibit contains many trophies. India produces nearly three million tons of sugar yearly, and three hundred thousand pounds of tea.
Burma section, which adjoins the Indian ground, contains a pavilion designed on purely Burmese lines, and decorated by some of the finest carving in the Exhibition. The buildings are very attractive and the little gilded bells on the three towers, that ring at the will of the wind, serve to call the visitors to this particular spot. The entrance to one of the famous temples of Mandalay is represented. The exhibit of woods is particularly striking, there being about sixty varieties of timber. There are exhibits of rice, cotton, crude oils and products, candles, wax, minerals, metal goods, fancy goods, etc. There are also costumes, umbrellas, silk work, toys. There is a native theatre, troupes of dancing girls, native jugglers, etc. It is one of the popular exhibits of the fair. Indian women were there with diamonds in their noses. At the King's garden party we saw several Indian women wearing diamonds in the sides of their noses. It is said that a "top-notcher" would also have a diamond in her forehead.
After leaving the Burma pavilion with its lure of the Orient, its weird music and dancing, we were face to face with old London Bridge running over the railway tracks. Built of grey stone, with overhead roof of green slate and a cobbled roadway, we were back to the middle ages. Little shops line each side of the roadway in which are displayed and sold the attractive products seen generally in London shops today.
The Malayan pavilion displays the produce and commerce of the Straits Settlements. The building reproduces the Moorish style of architecture, and is full of colour inside and out. The Malayan exhibits cover a large area of production, for the Straits Settlements include many places and states. The exhibits are arranged in seven sections, viz., forestry, fisheries, mines, commerce, agriculture, arts and crafts, and scenery. There are wonderful specimens of timber and of furniture, floor material, walking sticks, etc. Two-thirds of the world's rubber and one-third of the world's tin come from these states. Malaya claims to have the largest fishing grounds in the world. The rubber trees are shown and the milk taken from them in somewhat similar fashion to our maple syrup from the maple trees. There are also big game trophies and birds of rare plumage. Malaya also produces many minerals, cocoanuts, oils and fats, rice, coffee, spices, etc.
In the Borneo section there are exhibits of oils, also sago, which is a white powder-the dried sap of a tree. The stuffed ourang-outang at the entrance is, of course, a cousin of the "wild man of Borneo." The snake that has just swallowed a pig looks as contented as an alderman after a banquet. (Laughter)
Hong Kong has reproduced one of its native streets. There are twenty-four shops on one side of the road, fitted and arranged as in the colony with merchants carrying on business, provided by the visitors, as at home. Native workers in silk, silver, ivory, blackwood, rattan and paper may be watched at their tasks. The finished products are offered for sale. There are models of the docks and shipbuilding yards, and exhibits showing the resources of the colony. A complete picture of the silk industry showing processes in detail is staged by experts. On the opposite side of the road there is a large Chinese restaurant; Chinese dishes are here provided. There are such delicacies as birds' nests, sharks' fins, and mushrooms; Chinese tea and cakes are served. The harbour of Hong Kong is one of the most important and largest in the world. It is a centre for the distribution of coal, cotton, iron, sugar, tea, also a market for curios in carved jade and ivory, blackwood, furniture, silks, embroideries, and woods.
Ceylon exhibits the well known teas of the Island and also rubber production and manufactured articles made from same, also gutta-percha (which is said not to be a form of rubber but a gum from an evergreen tree). In 1922 Ceylon exported over 170 million pounds (weight) of tea. She also produces timber, spices, rice, tobacco and cocoanuts.
The Palestine and Cyprus pavilion is designed in the style following the Eastern Mediterranean. The exhibits give a complete representation of the life and industries in both countries. Palestine is, of course, our nearest possession in Asia and with the best known history of any country in the world. There are exhibited wines, fruits, grains, asbestos, and fancy stuffs of all descriptions. It is interesting to note that there is a representation of a power development on the River Jordan which is to have ultimately 50,000 h.p.
We now come to the Pacific group. Some of the pavilions are to the right and some to the left, of Canada's building. Australia is, of course, the chief country of this group. The pavilion is rather larger on the ground than the Canadian pavilion, but has not the same upstairs accommodation. When one enters it there is more or less of an empty appearance and lack of inside decoration. Australia's exhibits, generally speaking, are commercial rather than historical. We are conversant, of course, with the fact that Australia produces one-quarter of the world's wool supply. There is a sheep-shearing model capable of handling twelve sheep in a day. Australia is a large producer of sugar from the cane by white labour-100,000 persons being employed directly and indirectly. There are ranching, orchard, bush and logging scenes which are very striking, also a gold-crushing machine. There are splendid exhibits of dried and canned fruits, wheat and other cereals, cheese, native wines, furniture (partly made in England), tweeds, rugs, pearls and pearl diving scenes, fish, minerals in great variety, birds and animals in wonderful profusion, and splendid scenic effects. There are also splendid pictures of their great city buildings and streets. One of their most important exhibits is that of chilled meat in huge cases. There is also Freda, the mechanical cow, which winks, wags her tail, and moos. She is evidently in training for political life. (Laughter) Australia has a reproduction of a model bakery where cakes and buns are made from Australian flour and dried fruits. There is also a restaurant where meals are served. In addition there are fruits sold in the pavilion, especially Australian applesin contrast with Canada's exhibits where there are no sales made. Even the Australians themselves, it is said, feel that a mistake has been made as it gives the whole place more or less of the appearance of a fruit stall.
New Zealand has a fine dignified pavilion. There are native huts at each side. The pavilion is decorated with typical New Zealand scenes worked in plaster relief, depicting the producing industries of the country such as sheep shearing, milking, timber felling, harvesting, and fruit picking, also representations of great wingless birds (moas) now extinct. These are about twelve feet high with small heads and very thick legs. It is said that the native races (Maori's), have entered more into the life of the white settlers than has been the case in other countries. There are native timbers, perishable products in refrigerator cabinets such as butter and cheese, also chilled mutton, lamb, and beef. There is a splendid exhibit of fish, also canned meat, oils, etc. There is a great display of wool in various forms, milk products, agricultural seeds and cereals, also minerals of various kinds. It will be remembered that New Zealand's settlement commenced in 1840. In one of the gardens there is a Samoan hut. The island of Samoa, was captured from the Germans by the New Zealand troops early in the war. The handiwork of the natives is here displayed. This island was, as we know, Robert Louis Stevenson's home for many years.
The Fiji pavilion is one of the smallest in the Exhibition, but represents an interesting group of islands in the Southern Pacific. This colony was ceded to Great Britain by the native chiefs just fifty years ago. It is interesting to note that in May last two Fijian chiefs of high rank arrived in London as a deputation to present to the King their thanks for fifty years of satisfactory British rule. (Applause) One of the interesting exhibits is a wall-covering made of tappa, which is cloth manufactured by native women from the bark of the paper-mulberry tree. It is a sort of midway texture between cloth and paper and is used for a variety of purposes, including clothing and household requirements This country produces sugar valued at one million pounds sterling per annum. There is an exhibit of shells and white coral. There is a fine display of photographs illustrating the sugar industry as well as some natural features of the Islands. The copra industry is the mainstay of the Pacific islands. New uses are constantly being found for this dried inside shell of the cocoanuts. In fifty years the tonnage exported from the Fiji Islands has trebled while the value per ton has doubled. There is here also an exhibit of butter said to be the first ever exported from any of the Pacific islands.
We now come to Great Britain--"the dear old land, the motherland." (Applause)
The British Government Pavilion occupies a permanent position to the extreme right of the Dominions' and India's pavilions. The Motherland thus standing aside to give prior place to the overseas lands, while the two great exhibition buildings of Great Britain are further down the hillside and opposite Canada's and Australia's pavilions. Between are artificial lakes with large row boats, an island specially illuminated at night, and bridges connecting the roadways. The British Government building is guarded by lions, overhung by flags, and supported by lofty columns. It contains the special compartment reserved for the use of their Majesties during their frequent visits to Wembley. This pavilion shelters and displays many of the symbols of Empire, in fact the whole romance of history is here unfolded. That which arrests the attention of visitors immediately on entering the great building is a contour map of the world with the seas all about the land and lights across the waterways. Model ships pursue their path from port to port and the endless traffic of the ocean is here portrayed. Thus the seas no longer divide but unite. Beyond this great map there are wonderful naval, military, and aerial displays. The great battles of the Empire are here set forth. The Departments of Government, including overseas trade, the mint, the ministries of health and agriculture, are all represented. On the lower ground floor of the pavilion is the gallery of the Overseas Settlement. The purpose is to bring home to the visitors the need of settlement in the distant parts of the Empire. Within the Empire there are seven and one-half million square miles with, it is stated, only three and one-third million white folks directly engaged in agriculture, whereas in France alone more than twice as many people are fully employed on about three percent of this area. In Great Britain it is stated that there are nearly 500 people to the square mile, whereas it is shown that in Canada and Australia there are only about two people to the square mile.
Moving down the hill and opposite to the lakelet already mentioned we come to the great Palace of Engineering of Great Britain. This is said to be the largest building in the world in area of floor space. It is a triumph of ferroconcrete. It covers an area of six and one-half times the size of Trafalgar Square and the floor space is over a million square feet. Five full sized railway lines connecting with the main trunk lines of the country traverse the building from end to end. There are overhead cranes to enable the exhibits to be swung into place. In this building there seem to be gathered together everything from a nut to a steam engine and from a pin to a sixteen inch naval gun. Models of ships of all descriptions are here. The last word at the time in railway travel, is the quaint and dwarf engine that first pulled a passenger train in the world. It is George Stephenson's engine of 1825, which had a speed of eight miles per hour. When built it was thought to almost prove the Biblical assertion that "man is but a little lower than the angels." It is side by side with its great grandson that can do 100 miles per hour. Wonderful as has been the progress in our railway world, we still sit in soot and dirt as we are whirled along on our journey. Possibly we may look forward to a great refinement in that respect. The great divisions of the Palace of Engineering are: electrical engineering, general engineering, railway transport, motor and cycle section, and water transport.
Nearby is the Palace of industry, only slightly smaller than the Palace of Engineering. This building houses industries of the United Kingdom which do not come under the general head of engineering. The pavilion is really a series of halls and galleries, each to all intents and purposes self-contained. Here are found chemical industries, cotton textiles, and machinery, wool industries, silk, miscellaneous textiles, clocks and watches, gas exhibits, building trades, music, scientific instruments, paper and products, food products and beverages, tobacco, rubber, Nobel industries (mining explosives, etc.), domestic utilities and fancy goods, sports, games and toys, pottery and glass, boots and shoes, leather, furniture, floor coverings, lace, linens from Ulster, a model of an Irish whisky distillery, shipbuilding carried on at Belfast, Scottish linens, Scottish weaving and embroidery with a piper in attendance. This building is said to be the nation's shop window.
The Palace of Art is a special fireproof building and shows a collection of pictures revealing the development of British painting from the earliest days to the present. In this building there is a department devoted to sculpture. Each of the Dominions is furnished with a separate gallery so that the whole range of Imperial art may be studied. The most popular gallery in this building is that containing the exhibit of the Queen's doll's house, a perfect model one-twelfth of the full size of the royal palace, to which fifteen hundred artists have given of their best as their tribute to Her Majesty's deep interest in architecture, furniture, and decoration. The admission fee charged will be turned over by Queen Mary to charity. The applied Art section contains a number of galleries in which the exhibits are extremely interesting throughout.
In addition to all these palaces and buildings there is a Palace of Horticulture, also flower gardens which have their usual interest for people of taste in this direction. There are also great amusement parks. The latter in the language of an American, "have Coney Island beaten to a frazzle." There are, of course, various restaurants and places where food may be secured.
In regard to the continuity of the Exhibition, the guarantors, of which there are a number, feel that as all the initial expenses have already been taken care of, the Exhibition should be continued another season. They believe that practically thousands and hundreds of thousands from overseas who did not go this year because they feared there would not be accommodation would attend another year. Men like the Duke of Devonshire particularly, who have agreed to stand back of the Exhibition financially, feel that if it could be continued another year there would not be such a large deficit as there certainly would be if closed now.
It is hoped that much woeful ignorance in high places and among all classes in England will be dispelled by this great Exhibition, especially in regard to their lack of knowledge of the Dominions and colonies. (Hear, hear)
I was told that one of their school geographies, in speaking of Canada, said that there were three great cities; first of all there was Montreal, which was the commercial metropolis; in the second place there was Ottawa, the political capital; and in the next place there was St. Thomas, "where Jumbo died." (Laughter) In the British House of Commons, when the subject of preference was being discussed, Lord Arnold, the Under Secretary of State, said there was much misapprehension in the minds of many people as to what preference meant. He said, too, that there was a feeling that unless something in the shape of preference were granted to the various dominions and colonies there would be a gradual alienation of these outlying countries from Great Britain itself. He said, "That is not the case; for instance, in the matter of borrowing, it is necessary for these Dominions and colonies to come to Great Britain when they want money. Now, that statement is most remarkable, coming from an undersecretary, when we try to apply it to Canada; for it is well-known that during the war the Dominion of Canada advanced to Great Britain $1,250,000,000, and that the banks loaned an additional $300,000,000; Canada has never borrowed a dollar in the Old Country since 1913, and today it does not look as though she was in immediate need of going outside of herself in that direction. At all events Britain's financial status will have to be restored first. But this incident shows how statements are made, even those affecting great interests, that are not well considered.
There was a typical English manufacturer who felt that Canada should not manufacture anything; that we should send to Great Britain all our agricultural products and raw materials, and that Great Britain would make up those raw materials for us and send them back to Canada finished. That statement was carried to such an extent that even the Honorable Mr. Dunning, the Premier of Saskatchewan, had to correct it by a statement as to the value of manufacturing in Canada, and I do not know how he will square himself with the Progressives of the West for having done that. (Laughter)
The great British Empire covers one-quarter of the known globe and contains a population of 460 millions. What we see represented is not alone the natural products of the Empire but the handiwork of man through generations of endeavour. It is a great family party designed to bring all the parts into closer association, to stimulate trade and strengthen the bonds of Empire. The world saw a great Exhibition of the solidarity of the British Empire as we trod the scorching ways of the Great War. It now sees an equally impressive exhibition of the solidarity of the Empire in the arts and ways of peace. To visit the British Empire Exhibition is to visit every continent of the earth. No one with an ounce of Imperialism in his system can witness such a demonstration of the vastness of the British Empire and its wonderful resources without feelings of worthy and honourable pride in being a citizen of so great a commonwealth of nations. (Applause) It should engender a desire to high and noble endeavour in behalf of Empire interests. Nothing less than a proper recognition of the rights and obligations of all parts of the Empire towards each other as well as towards the world at large will justify our pride of Empire. Empire privileges carry Empire duties and it is quite possible that as individuals and as a nation we have accepted the one without having regard to the other. If the Empire is to live it must live first of all in the hearts and lives of its citizens, expressed in goodwill, courage, hearty co-operation, and a spirit of tolerance. The lesson for us in Canada is obvious. In the face of our vast Empire resources and far-flung possessions, representing unfathomable riches, one, if reverent, might well say, "0 Lord, how manifold are thy works: in wisdom hast Thou made them all." (Loud applause)
MR. ARTHUR HEWITT, past-president, expressed the warm appreciation and hearty thanks of the Club for this fine address.