Saint John Globe - 1882-04-28

Titre de l'article
The Loyalist Idea
Type d'article
Contenu de l'article
To the Editor of the Globe: Sir-“C.” has written another letter on this subject, which is not so objectionable as his first. He admits that the Loyalists did what they conceived to be their duty, which is all that is claimed for them, but the statement that the Loyalist Idea in Canada to-day is a Royal Court and a State Church, is an unmitigated libel, and scarcely deserves a notice. I must however, give him credit for the information he affords, viz., that the Loyalists and the Refugees were not identical, and feel concerned to hear that the latter left no heirs. His statement that the agitation made by the Tories to establish a State Church was really the cause of the rebellion, is unsupported by any evidence I have seen; but assuming such to be case, “C,” must be aware that the spirit of one age is very much changed in a succeeding one. For instance, at one time the State of Massachusetts outlawed Roman Catholic Priests and Quakers, and if they returned the penalty was death, and the good folks of Connecticut were so straight laced that the law forbid a woman to kiss her child on Sunday, and if in these days the Tories hankered for a State Church I fail to see that they were a whit worse than their neighbours. “C,” thinks the agitation now going on in England to disestablish the Church is sapping the monarchy, but that is a mere opinion: no sovereign ever had a warmer place in the hearts of her people than the present one; the English constitution is not a written one, and accommodates itself to the requirements of the age. True the matter is none of our business, nor am I sufficiently informed to hold a decided opinion as to the advisability of such a step, but it should be borne in mind that England is an old country, and that at one time the Church included all within the pale of Christianity, and if by disestablishment it is proposed to dispossess the Church of bequests made to it in former ages, I submit that justice would not preside in the award. I do not know whether the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland has given general satisfaction or not – but remember that Mr. Gladstone in proposing that measure claimed that it would be quite a panacea for the wrongs of Ireland – but I fancy he knows more about Ireland now than he did then. We need not at present concern ourselves very much about the future of Canada, but if Independence were thrust upon us at once, by devolving on the President of the Privy Council, during the existence of each administration, the duties now incumbent on the Governor General, very little real change would result in our constitution. Annexation, viewed from a financial stand point, would not improbably be a benefit, but our system is more democratic than theirs. A few years ago the entire fiscal policy of the country was changed by the voice of the people in one day, and a short time hence they will be called on to reiterate or revoke that policy; and from their decision there is no appeal. But in the United States a few days ago the President vetoed a measure that had been carried through both branches of their Legislature, which was an act of autocracy the Queen of England would not assume. And further, a few years ago it was alleged – and my impression is that the allegation was not unfounded – that the person invested with such great authority was counted in by fraud and chicanery, which would not occur under our constitution. And finally the Yanks say they do not want us, and I should hope there are few Canadians so craven hearted as to go hat in hand to brother Jonathan and beg of him to take them in. The drawback with us to-day is, that we have too much of a good thing, we have too many Kings, Lords and commons in proportion to our population, and are a good deal handicapped in that respect. Someone who took the trouble to go into the figures reported that on an average every family in the Dominion was taxed Fifty Dollars a year for Legislative expenses alone, which, certainly, is an expensive charge. I will not trespass further on your space, but before closing would say to “C,” that if we should hear from him again, perhaps he would favor us with further reminiscences of his great-grandfather, anyway better leave the “State Church” out. He said he did not expect his letter would call forth a reply – no more it should have – life is too short to argue dead issues, but I took exception to the whole cast of his letter, it was too much in the spirit of the “Blue laws” of Connecticut for such a dyed in the wool tory as Your obd’t. servant, April 19, 1882. D