Imatges de pÓgina

recover his franchise, you never hear a word about the British vote. It does not exist. There is no sign that it ever will exist. The Barr colonists, who made the spring of 1903 memorable by their tragically comic trailing from Saskatoon to Lloydminster, started out with the invincible determination to be British in thought and word and deed. Their adventures made them weep then. They make them laugh now. Lloydminster, which, from being 160 miles from a railway, has been over two years an important station on the Canadian Northern system, is still predominantly British with a New Brunswick mayor. The first observation made to a Sheffield journalist who passed that way last year, by a veteran who had not seen England since 1865, was, 'I want you to tell Yorkshire to brace up, or they won't get back the championship.' The colonists who have survived their picturesque ignorance of, and superiority to, prairie conditions, are living examples of what can be achieved by enforced resourcefulness, independence of overlordship in which they were bred, and the satisfaction of the land hunger that never really leaves the race. Here on the border line of Saskatchewan and Alberta there is space, outlook, encouragement to become somebody. The man who knew nothing but bricks and mortar becomes transformed. The farm labourer who knew nothing but land and little wages, and who saw nothing before him but dependent toil, may speak with the old accent; but he thinks with a new mind. When he looks behind he wonders why he didn't move sooner. He does not philosophise on the Imperial aspect of his change. But he knows that, somehow, he has become a renovated creature. Those who have succeeded press on to a higher mark of prosperity. Those who have failed did not count in public affairs in the old country; and they have, therefore, no civic root to transplant to the new.

There is a trade aspect of the metamorphosis of the progressive immigrant, which does not seem to have been noticed. He has changed his clothes as well as ideas. If the vital spirit of colonisation were as well understood as it might be by British firms who look for business in Canada, they could make money by outfitting settlers as they will be outfitted when they have been three years in Canada. It is bad enough for the discerning immigrant to find that his disdain for the letter 'h' gives him a curious distinction in any Canadian company he joins. It is worse, sometimes, to feel that his appearance from head to foot is singular and unseasonable. Thousands of families come to Canada plentifully supplied with clothes, boots, and other things, which, in England, they were sure would be splendid assets in the new life. But they learn that Canadian experience has evolved little tricks in clothes that make all the difference between discomfort and efficiency. Apparently, nobody in England has thought it worth while to make things for the settler as they are made in Canada. The point may seem small to those who have not been

through the mill. But it perfectly illustrates and enforces the main instruction which this report proffers British manufacturers. It may annoy British men of culture, who are accustomed to dealing with large affairs, to be told that if they desire Canadian business they will be compelled to adapt themselves to Canadian ideas, and that they may only hope for a remote approximation of Canadian ideas to British standards with regard to Imperial questions upon which the colonies affect a rather high and mighty independence. But the choice is inescapable in trade, and the future is a little ominous in politics. The seller must study the buyer, where there is competition. The elder must warily regard the younger where interdependent States are in concert. There are no styles and designs in No. 1 hard wheat; and in apple-packing and bacon-curing there is no traditional supremacy to maintain ; and no hoary precedent in staves and hams to guard as though it were the ark of the covenant.

It may be, as Mr. Grigg suggests, that relatively the Canadian market is too small for the manufacturer accustomed to supplying forty millions of people living nearer to his factory than Quebec is to Hamilton. For such, the friendly offices of the Tariff Reform League might be invoked. For the rest, it is axiomatic that if a market is worth cultivating at all, it is worth cultivating for all it is worth ; not so much because of its immediate value, as for its abounding potentialities. So copious have been the outpourings about the development of Canada that one refrains from pursuing a tempting theme in the manner of the roseate boomster. And one refrains from quotation from the report because one would fain leave no excuse for failure to read, mark, and digest the whole document. But glance at two or three considerations, placed in a little different setting from that which is most appropriate to a Government report. I have already shown that the newest railway map the Board of Trade could think of is two years out of date. When I first lived in what is now the province of Saskatchewan there was only one line of railway between parallel forty-nine and the North Pole. Now there are nine. As to what railway facilities mean in that province take the case of Vonda. Vonda is about twenty miles east of the Clark's crossing of the south branch of the Saskatchewan river, where General Middleton's headquarters were during the Riel rebellion of 1885. The rails were laid there in the spring of 1905, and the town site was surveyed in the following June. That autumn 100,000 bushels of wheat were shipped from Vonda station. Next season the shipment was 500,000 bushels ; and last August the local member of the Legislature told me he expected the crop tributary to Vonda would produce 750,000 bushels more than was locally required ; or enough to supply every man, woman, and child in the United Kingdom with a one-pound loaf. Again, forests which a few years ago were thought to be almost valueless by men who remembered the flourishing and decay of the square timber trade of the port of Quebec will be sources of wealth so long as human beings learn to read. Reasonable care in the cutting of pulpwood will, in the great hinterland of the St. Lawrence, give an illimitable supply of paper; and will ensure the exploitation of waterpowers that are unrivalled, in number and strength, on five continents. Further, the Pacific slope has only begun to disclose its capacity for producing wealth for the trader and racial trouble for the statesman. Once more, the building of railroads into agricultural areas has disclosed, on the way, portentous deposits of silver, copper, nickel, and iron.

The discovery of a great bed of iron ore north of Sudbury has led to the founding of the new port of Key Harbor, on Georgian Bay; the first plant in which is capable of loading 8000 tons of ore per day of ten hours. Finally, there is the real North West of Canada-not the prairie country, which is the West of Canada. This week there is published the report of a Parliamentary Committee that assembled a surprising body of scientific evidence about sections of country that were ignorantly supposed to be beyond the care of civilisation. The evidence is too voluminous to summarise here, but the testimony of Mr. J. B. Tyrrell is too important to be passed by. Mr. Tyrrell spent from 1883 to 1898 exploring Western and North-Western Canada for the Geological Survey. His knowledge of the prairie region and the territory beyond it is unique, scientific, practical. In 1893 and 1894 he traversed 3000 miles of unknown country as far north as Chesterfield Inlet; and twice in the month of October came down the west coast of Hudson Bay in a canoe ; and twice walked from Fort Churchill to Winnipeg; once via York Factory, and once via Split Lake—the journey to Split Lake never having been taken before by Indian or paleface. Mr. Tyrrell is the successor of David Thompson, whose life in the North West began in 1784 at Churchill, who delimited the Canadian-American frontier, and after whom the Thompson River is named. Mr. Tyrrell received the Back diploma and award of the Royal Geographical Society for his work. His scientific reports on practically the whole region through which the Hudson Bay branch of the Canadian Northern Railway will be built-steel is already laid to the Pas Mission, only 470 miles from Churchill—were epitomised in his evidence. To within 200 miles of Churchill the railway will be a colonisation line ; for the soil is good and the summer temperatures (it is summer only that counts in the growing capacities of any locality), certified to by the superintendent of the meteorological service, are comparable with the north of Scotland and southern Norway in May; Scotland in June ; south of England in July ; Scotland in August; and Norway and Sweden in September.

Mr. Tyrrell has dug beautiful potatoes from patches planted by Indians in the spring and forsaken till autumn. They keep down the weeds and grow amazingly without attention. Indeed, the further north you go the more rapid is the growth. The summer isotherms do not run east and west ; for congenial weather is not solely an affair of latitude. The wheat line across Canada is, roughly, V-shaped. The point of it is not far away from the Lake of the Woods, whence it goes north-westward to the Yukon. The nearer the Pacific the farther north can wheat be grown. This explains why, though Fort Churchill is on the very edge of the tree-growing limit, the Roman Catholic Mission at Fort Chippewyan, on the north shore of Lake Athabasca, in precisely the same latitude, grew the wheat that won the first diploma for weight and quality at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, as long ago as 1876. Fort Chippewyan is 400 miles north of Edmonton, the present northernmost city of Central Canada. The Hudson's Bay Company have a flour mill at Fort Vermilion, 500 miles north of Edmonton. The Peace River Valley is probably the most fertile stretch of country in all Canada. In the real North West there are enormous deposits of asphalt, the melting point of which is thirty-five degrees higher than that of the Trinidad product.

These things may suggest a new Canada to most of those who read of them. Their bearing on the picture of Canadian trade is obvious. What Mr. Grigg calls the American invasion' is also concerned with the subject. New York has secured control of the asphalt. Chicago has got a certain mastery of the fishing riches of the northern lakes. They believe in ‘getting in early.' Their advantage does not depend wholly on geography. When geography, shrewdness, and capital combine, they have a fine start towards calling political tunes. Much is discreetly said about the loyalty of Canada to British institutions. Britain will retain all the loyalty she deserves—which is much. But, study of the science of loyalty is obligatory on both parties to the quality, which may be strained. As our progress towards the nobler aspects of British public life—and Heaven knows we are badly enough in need of that kind of improvement-depends on our criticism of ourselves, so the strengthening of our tie with the old land depends on the old land's understanding of the slow, inevitable revision of our relations. The first readjustment of perspective may well be in the commercial field. Nothing could be better calculated to induce this than this report, because, forgetting political expedients, it resolves itself into an unanswerable plea for mastery of the elements of demand and supply. The first requisite is knowledge; the second is more knowledge ; the third is adaptability.

For the rest, the importance to Britain of the connexion with Canada grows faster than the importance of Britain to Canada. In the Imperial balance the addition of a thousand to the population of Canada counts for more than the addition of 3000 to the population of the United Kingdom. The predominance of British capital in Canada is a tremendous factor in the political future—it is in itself a problem of the first magnitude. But capital does not always control

public opinion when treaties are made, when prejudices are inflamed and when elections are due.

There is nothing in sight likely to produce misunderstanding. There was no resentful disappointment with Sir Wilfrid Laurier's attitude at the Imperial Conference. Mr. Bryce is at Ottawa just now obtaining the Government's endorsement of the latest accommodations with the United States. Mr. Bryce was in Canada last year. At a public luncheon the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, à cautious Scotsman, spoke with almost embarrassing frankness of the tendency of London nominees to settle international questions too much from a London and too little from a Canadian point of view. Mr. Bryce is understood to have returned to Washington somewhat perturbed over what he had learned. He was the first British ambassador at Washington to take the trouble to gather on the spot. his own impressions of Canadian sentiment. His attitude to us, of which his return to Ottawa is another proof, will always be counted to him for righteousness. With the advent of an ambassador who travels, and of a trade commissioner who searches things out, and who will come again, probably more has been accomplished during the last eighteen months for securing permanent cordiality between Britain and Canada than during any preceding three years. There will always be enough difference in our points of view to save us from becoming complacent and sloppy. Vigilance, sympathy, quest of more excellent ways—these are the approaches to mutual appreciation and profit. In trade, they are embodied in Mr. Grigg's report. In politics, they must be the subject of further elucidation.

ནི »


Beech Avenue, Toronto.

« AnteriorContinua »