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government by law, free speech, free press, free education, and “execateth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed." It is rapidly creeping over the best portions of the earth.
The most weighty feature of the Diamond Jubilee was admittedly the attendance of the eleven premiers from the selfgoverning colonies. The most important results are to flow from this. Indeed, one startling result has already come, for up to the time when these premiers appeared upon the scene in the oli home, the position of the colonies was subordinate; to-day they are on an equality with the home country. The people of Carada and Australia have to thank their representatives for having at one bound established their equality forever. One and all of these men have sounded this note with the greatest clearness, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Premier of Canada, having been first to arrive and speak, is entitled to the credit of first proclaiming the doctrine. In his speech in reply to the welcome given him at Liverpool he said: “We claim that treaties which are opposed to us cannot stand. If they do I have only this to say, that the position will have to be considered in toto, a new problem will have to be solved. Either Canada will have to retreat or Britain will have to advance." At the Imperial Institute reception he repeated this truth, saying : "Sir, the colonies were born to become nations. It has been said that, perhaps, the time might come when Canada might become a nation of itself. My answer is simple. Canada is a nation. Canada is free, and freedom is its nationality. Although Canada acknowledges the suzerainty of a Sovereign Power, I am here to say that independence can give us no more rights than we have at the present day." He subsequently stated that while he loved England, Scotland, and Ireland, the first place in his affections was naturally for his own nation, Canada. Every premier followed this lead, and finally Lord Rosebery at the National Liberal Club reception to these important men, responding to the toast of the colonies, begged to discard the word “Colonies" altogether as denoting that these free communities were still in statu pupillare, and he substituted the word “ Empire," a suggestion which was greeted with great cheering. The leading Conservative organs, from The Times and Standard down, have accepted the change. It is clear to all that the colonies are, and must
hereafter be, recognized as the equals of the parent. Henceforth the colonies acknowledge only the suzerainty of Britain, as Egypt or Roumania owns that of the Sultan. We must credit the poet, Kipling, with having struck the note which all these men sang :
“Daughter am I in my mother's house,
But mistress in my own.” The American cannot fail to note how completely the revolution of 1776 is justified by recent events. The British liberties which Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Jay, Adams stood for, their constitutional rights as Britons, and their claim that taxation without representation was tyranny,--all these are the commonplaces of to-day, as the inalienable right of the British colonies under the British Constitution. This is the registration and final settlement of a condition which existed before, but which had never before been frankly acknowledged.
It must not be supposed that this step forward involves a loosening of the ties which have hitherto bound the colonies to the motherland. On the contrary, there is every indication that the bond between them is to grow even stronger in consequence. The colonies are free to go; the movement for a federated Aastralia is encouraged by Britain, but the example of Canada onder federation proves that the attachment to the motherland becomes stronger as the government of the colony becomes more powerful. It is no legal bond now which holds, but bonds of affection. Whether the English-speaking communities divided by vast oceans can permanently exist and retain even a nominal allegiance to Britain is yet to be tested; but it is evident that as the sway becomes more and more merely nominal, it becomes much easier to maintain it than if it were real. It is hard to displace the sentimental. For the future, the allegiance of the free colonies to the parent land is practically similar to the allegiance of the British people to the monarch whose sway is likewise so purely nominal. The king can do no wrong because he is not allowed to do anything in the way of governing. As long as Britain is blessed with a monarch approaching the present sovereign lady in qualities of head and heart, who follows the example she has set, the bond of genuine affection will keep the monarchy in place. A George the Third or George the Fourth would bring about its prompt but peaceful abolition. In
like manner, it seems that the nominal tie between the free colonies and Britain will outlast almost every contingency except that of an attempt upon the part of Britain to exercise any real control over them in the matter of government. As Queen Victoria has placed the monarchy in the best possible position to survive, so the statesmen of the colonies and of Britain have placed the relations between the colonies and Britain in the best possible position. The Briton is a prudent, wise and sensible man who knows how to adapt himself to circumstances.
The question of closer union between Britain and her “Comrades”-a fitting word which we owe to Sir Henry Irving, and which was also greeted with much cheering-came also to the fore during the Jubilee, but no result was achieved. Sir Wilfrid Laurier's idea of a Federal Council was voted impracticable. There was some intimation that under certain circumstances the colonies might contribute to imperial defense, especially to the navy. But if this be done, it is evident that the amount will only be nominal in each case, and a very difficult question must be met, to what extent the contributors shall be allowed to control the movements of the navy in time of war. As the relations between the parts is one of sympathy and affection, and essentially sentimental, it will be exceedingly difficult to transmute the sentimental into anything practical of a hard and fast nature involving stated pecuniary obligations. For every note struck proved that the colonies are in nowise minded to participate in any common object without having adequate representation and power. It is probable that the good sense of the British people will soon realize that the more closely or tightly they attempt to draw the bonds, the weaker and less trustworthy the bonds must become, and they will conclude that they had better let well enough alone for the present.
After Australia has confederated, an offensive and defensive alliance between Canada and Australia on the one hand, and Britain on the other, would be natural, as they are members of the same race, and especially as they occupy to each other the relation of parent and children. This alliance would leave each an entirely separate nation as to its tariff, naval and military forces and internal policy, and unite them only for certain specific objects bearing upon imperial safety.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Premier of Canada, was the foremost
figure in the whole Jubilee proceedings, next to the Queen herself, and this chiefly because of the threat Canada has made against the United States to introduce preferential tariff conditions in favor of Britain. If Mr. Chamberlain, the principal home figure of the government in the Jubilee, and some of his ablest colleagues who are not likely to be deceived, fully understand that the action of Canada was merely intended to influence the United States to advance in the direction of meeting Canada's needs and desires in the new tariff, they were wise enough not to air their knowledge. It would have been as impolite as impolitic for them to do so.
The masses of the people of Britain do not follow foreign affairs, which are left in the hands of the few governing men of both parties. The public remains satisfied that the policy of the country in foreign affairs is to be continuous, whichever party is in power, and therefore it is impossible to direct their attention to what is going on. They have little idea, for instance, that Canada had been begging at Washington for reciprocal tariff laws with the United States and had been repulsed. The United States exports manufactured articles to Canada, and Canada exports to the United States timber, coal, barley and agricultural products. As it has hitherto been held impossible for Canada to admit the manufactured articles of the United States upon more favorable terms than those granted to Britain and European countries, President Harrison very justly described the situation by saying that “Canada could offer us nothing to trade with.” Thus repulsed, Canada attempted to create a diversion by offering preferential treatment to Great Britain, alleging that she did so in return for Great Britain's admitting her products free, which no other country did except New South Wales. Had Canada then felt herself in a position to accord such preferential treatment to imports from the United States, it is probable that an adjustment between the two countries would have taken place, and nothing would have been heard of the present law which accords preferential treatment to the manufactures of Great Britain, As she failed to obtain the desired American market, she is now trying to make a counter demonstration with the market of Great Britain, which is doomed to failure, because nothing but the market of her giant neighbor can bring her even a moderate degree of prosperity.
Previous to the Jubilee no one thought it possible that Great Britain would cancel her treaties with Belgium and Germany in order to meet the demand for independence made by Canada. These treaties secure the two countries named against any discrimination in tariffs; their products gain admission to all the colonies upon the same terms as the products of Great Britain. Now the necessary notice has been given to terminate these treaties, and we are to see the manufactures of Great Britain entering Canada under duties twenty-five per cent. less than those exacted from other nations, including the United States. It is a grave step. The new Dingley tariff taxes Canadian products entering the United States, but it is clear that further action in reply to the discrimination now established will be required. Here is our neighbor, Canada, deliberately electing to admit the products of Great Britain at lower duties than she proposes to exact from the United States, while the United States treats Canada in precisely the same manner as other nations. The products of Canada are not discriminated against. We tax her imports precisely as we tax similar articles from any other country. The question arises : Are we meekly to suffer our products to be discriminated against by our neighbor, while we accord her equality? The proper response would probably be to prohibit Canadian imports passing through the United States territory in bond, and a law adding to the duties upon Canadian imports into the United States a percentage equal to any preference given by Canada to British manufactures. At present the manufactures of Great Britain pass through Maine into Canada paying twenty-five per cent. less than similar articles passing from the United States direct into Canada. President McKinley may be safely trusted to consider this new attack, and to take the necessary steps to repel it. In electing to ally herself commercially with a European nation instead of with her neighbor upon her own continent, Canada has made a grave mistake. Least of all nations can she afford to inaugurate a war of tariffs with her natural ally, to whom she must gravitate if she would not decay.
The surprising point is that not one line has been written nor one word spoken in Britain upon the vital feature of this momentous change, which is that by it the colonies of Great Britain obtain complete control over their fiscal polioy. Hitherbo