« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
With us in the United States the people is the sovereign. It is actually so with you. We must see that it knows its duties as its rights. The people,not the convention, added to our constitution the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, without which they would not ratify the constitution, every one of them to limit the sovereign and protect the individual, and to protect minorities. We must be the sovereign's remembrancers, we ministers of the law, servants of freedom. With us, immigration, the change of economic conditions, the activities of demagogues, and now above all the revolutionary propaganda make it essential that we should remind the sovereign of its own Bill of Rights, and of its own danger from foes within rather than without, and especially warn against a government of men, not of laws.
The Father of Lies, rebel against law, is the great Anarch. He is our chief adversary, working through the selfishness of men. But the God of Truth, of Freedom and of Justice shall win again and again, and the laws of His universe, which cannot be repealed by Soviets or congresses or parliaments shall prevail against the gates of hell. Each for his own country may well pray—
"God of our fathers! Thou who wast,
Art, and shalt be, when those who flout
Thy secret presence shall be lost
In the great light that dazzles them to doubt!
We, sprung from loins of stalwart men
Whose strength was in their trust—
That Thou woulds't make Thy dwelling in their dust,
Who build the city of the just!
We, who believe life's bases rest
Beyond the probe of chemic test,
Still, like our fathers, feel Thee near;
Sure, sure, that while lasts the immutable decree
The land to human nature dear
Shall never be unblest by Thee."
ADDRESS BY HON. W. E. RANEY, K.C.
Your Excellency, Lord Cave, Mr. Chairman, Ladies and
Let me first congratulate the Canadian Bar Association on the national and international character of this event-international at all events in an Anglo-Saxon sense-and especially in a Britannic sense.
Stupendous things have happened since the birth of the Canadian Bar Association five years ago. These things interfered with the growth and development of the association and at the annual meeting last year the air was still heavy with the sulphurous fumes of war, and we were still too close to the cataclysm to get a detached view either of ourselves or of other peoples. Now the outlines of our surroundings are fairly well defined, and big though the time is with political and social turmoil, we are meeting at the capital of our beloved country under most auspicious circumstances, so far as Canada is concerned, and indeed so far as all the Anglo-Saxon nations of the world are concerned. But there are great problems ahead of all the nations and the lawyers of Canada must not return to their briefs with the comforting assurance that, God being in His heaven, all will be well with the world, without any assistance from them. As perhaps never before, the times call for wise counsels and for the active participation of all the best citizens in the affairs of their country.
One of these public affairs in which all Canadians, and especially all Canadian lawyers, ought to be interested is the status of the British over-seas Dominions.
A by-product of the war is said to have been the birth of Canada and Australia and South Africa as nations. Others prefer to say that the war only led to the discovery of what had already long been the fact. Be that as it may, this is at all events true that there was no official recognition of the overseas dominions as autonomous States until the war, and that now the fact is officially conceded not only by Great Britain, but by all the other nations of the world.
Of course, the birth of a nation, or the discovery of the birth of a nation, and of their own nations at that, must be a profound event for the lawyers of Canada, and it was fitting that they should invite their relations to assist in the celebration of the event. May we therefore, regard this as a lawyer's national birthday celebration, and Viscount Cave, and Mr. Taft and Sir Auckland Geddes as wise men from the East and South come to honour the new star in the national firmament.
When I was a school boy, we were taught that there were some half a dozen first rate powers in the Western world. There were Great Britain, the United States, Russia, Germany, France, Austria and perhaps Italy. Then there was a list of second rate powers, headed by decrepid old Spain; and finally there was a list of third rate powers-Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Mexico and so on. And if any of the boys noticed that Canada was not included in any of the lists, they were told that Canada was not a nation, but only a colony-and no other explanation was thought necessary.
It is true that some of the fathers of the Canadian Confederations saw visions and dreamed dreams, and in his correspondence with Lord Carnarvon over the jurisdiction to be given to the Supreme Court of Canada, Edward Blake made a brave attempt to establish the court on a national rather than a colonial basis. But whilst the Minister of Justice at Ottawa had the best of the argument the Colonial Secretary in Downing Street had the last word.
Even a quarter of a century later, when the Australian Confederacy was being born, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain was able, in spite of the vigorous protests of the Australians, to impose the colonial status upon the Supreme Court of the Island continent.
But many things have happened since the Blake-Carnarvon correspondence of the middle seventies of the last century, and many things besides the automobiles, and the flying machine and wireless telegraphy, have happened even since the beginning of the present century. Some political dreams have come true and some political visions have taken on form and substance. The war has not only torn down, but it has built up, and whether we like it or not the political world of 1920 is a different world from that of the natal year of Australia 20 years ago, and a vastly different world from that of the natal year of Canada more than 50 years ago.
Germany, the great Babylonia of the modern world, is fallen, bankrupt morally and materially. Austria has all but disappeared from the map. Russia is another name for anarchy and old chaos come again. France and Italy are war-torn and weary and will not recover from the shock in a generation. Besides, they have no area for expansion and no reserve of natural resources. So that the Geographers' list of first rate powers of my boyhood has been pretty well shot to pieces, and the AngloSaxon nations alone emerge comparatively and potentially greater than they were before and therefore with correspondingly greater responsibilities. The North American Continent, from the Rio Grande to the Arctic Circle, the continent of Australia, New Zealand, the continent of Africa, and lastly, the right little tight little islands, set like gems in the midst of the seas, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Mother of the free
institutions and of the common law of them all,-in the hands of these nations, for good or for ill, is to a very large extent the destiny of the world.
And if any division of the nations of the world into classes were now to be made by geographers or historians for the information of the rising generation, Canada and Australia would certainly be included among the first half dozen names, and any study of the present, or forecast of the future, relations of the Britannic nations must take notice of this change of status of Canada and Australia. It has ceased to be a question for academic discussion. It is not a matter of theory or argument. It is a matter of conditions and of fact.
Greatness in a nation does not depend wholly upon any one factor. It certainly does not depend upon numberselse China would be the greatest country in the world. It does not depend upon area alone. or Russia would be greatest. Both numbers and area are factors, but the greatest assets of a nation and therefore the greatest factors in nationality are in the character, the intelligence, the energy and the initiative of her people.
Canada has vast area and boundless reserves of natural resources and 8,000,000 of people unsurpassed in intelligence, energy, initiative and character by the people of any nation in the world, and if not now actually in the front rank of the nations, she is so potentially and before the middle of the 20th century will, if she is true to herself, take rank in wealth and world influence beside her elder sister on this continent.
That is the material and practical side. There is also the sentimental side.
The young poet, Rupert Brooke, wrote in his diary just before his death, early in the war, that he intended to write a poem on the "non-locality of England." Wherever his dust might mingle with mother earth,-whether on an island of the Aegean or, under the burning sands of Egypt, or in the southern Seas, there would be a spot of old England, there would be the lanes and hedge-rows of the banks of Avon, there the larks would soar and sing.
But England is not the only country of which "non-locality" can be predicated. In Flanders fields lies the dust of 50,000 or more of the sons of Canada, and wherever one of them who was born in Canada lies buried and many of them were of the fourth and sixth and even the tenth generation of Canadians,— there is a spot of Canada, a bit of the blossom scented apple orchards of the provinces down by the sea, or of the blue skies and clover meadows of the valley of the St. Lawrence, or of the wild free life of the prairies, or of the mountain vistas on the Pacific slope.
They all died for Canada and for freedom and justice and the right of Belgians and Serbians and of all nations every
where to control their own affairs free from the dictation of some more powerful neighbours,-and their memory will abide for
The cabled newspaper reports of the recent argument of the Russell case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council credited Lord Haldane with the remark that "more and more the principle of self government is being granted to Canada.' ." If Lord Haldane was correctly reported, his words were not well chosen, for it is not necessary for Englishmen and Irishmen and Scotchmen and Welshmen at Westminster to grant self-government to Englishmen and Irishmen and Scotchmen and Welshmen or their descendants in Canada. We already have it.
It is true the shell of the old colonial order remains, but the life is as extinct as the dodo.
It only remains to make the necessary adjustments and the Blake-Carnarvon correspondence of forty odd years ago, as indeed Lord Haldane admitted in his remarks in the Russell case, could not be repeated in the 20th year of the 20th century. There are no differences between Englishmen and Canadians on that point.
In short, the old colonial bottles will no longer hold the new national wine.
Under the new order, which is now here, Canada will, in the future, amend her own constitution and make her own treaties.
The issues of peace and war for Canada will be determined both actually and technically, at Ottawa and the Governor General of Canada will be appointed by the King on the nomination of His Majesty's Privy Council for Canada. (Not, of course, that Canada has any fault to find with the Governor Generals of the past or present. They have been of the very highest type of British Statesmen, which means the highest type of Statesmen in the world.)
Moreover, a nation cannot be a nation and have its ultimate court of judicial appeal located outside its own boundaries and independent of its own government. And, as this is a subject in which the Canadian Bar Association has a special interest, I will be pardoned if I discuss it briefly.
The Judicial Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council has rendered great service to the old order, and it will continue for many years and perhaps for generations to carry the white man's burden of "the lesser breeds without the law." But besides acting as an appellate court for India and the crown colonies, it may render a great service to the new political order, the confederacy of British nations.
British, Canadian, Australian, South African statesmen all are agreed that in this confederacy or as Lord Cave prefers to call it, Imperial Commonwealth, and perhaps that is a better