Canadian Help for England

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Canadian Help for England
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CANADIAN HELP FOR ENGLAND. It is more than probable that the language used by Sir John Macdonald in some of his public addresses delivered in England, have given to the statesmen and people of England a too sanguine view of the probable aid to be received by the mother country from Canada in case of war. Canadians are not a military people. Doubtless our people are quite as brave, and would fight in defense of their hearths and homes and endure hardships in case of invasion with as much fortitude and courage as any people on earth. But we have had seventy years of peace, and our people are wholly devoted to the pursuits of peace. We are loyal too, to the throne and government of England, but doubtless hold our own Canadian country as first in our affections. We have not yet offered, as New South Wales has done, to furnish, equip and pay the troops which it has been proposed to raise in Canada. Our population of four and a half millions is scattered over a very large area, and all our people are needed at home. There is also some significance in the fact that one million and a third of our population are French, who, while unquestionably loyal to Canada and to England, have not the ties of race to stimulate them to fight for England in her foreign wars. Pretty nearly a million more are of Irish descent, many of whom sympathize too strongly with their native country in her aspirations for home rule to be very enthusiastic volunteers for the Imperial military service. At least a quarter of a million more are of German or other European decent, who are certainly not so English in their sentiment and feeling as the descendants of the Loyalists who settled a hundred years ago in Ontario and the Maritime provinces. It is not, therefore, to be supposed, as some of Sir John Macdonald’s florid speeches might lead his English hearers to believe, that Canadians are more eager to fight in England’s foreign wan than an the people of England themselves. Canadians are loyal, quite sufficiently so, but it would be a mistake to suppose that the Dominion would furnish any considerable force of fighting men for England’s foreign service unless the emergency was very great.