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As middle-aged men regard the rising generation, so Englishmen regard Colonials. When they refuse to be sat upon, it is audacity. When they assume responsibilities of their own free will—burdens thrust upon them by the Colonial Office are quite another story-it is taking the roaa to ruin. Indeed, any sign that they have arrived at maturity is looked upon at home with surprise, not unmixed with alarm. To the critical the reason is obvious enough. Neither a common nor a polite education includes the study of Colonial history. Hence the average Briton knows as little of any country beyond his own as the average man elsewhere in the world ; the governing class sees Imperial things either in a false perspective, or is ignorant of them altogether. True, of late years Imperialism has received such tremendous impetus that English statesmen have been at the pains to acquire at least a passing acquaintance with the Empire they once despised. But here their good intentions are marred by their constitutional defect. With imagination the little knowledge they possess of the England beyond the sea would illumine their whole political path. But so rare is this quality in the conduct of Imperial affairs, that its appearance marks an epoch. And so we have no definite Colonial policy, and, consequently, no definite foreign policy.

That the Imperial spirit is developed only in the people of these islands is a delusion dear to all sorts and conditions of men, from Cabinet Ministers to Fleet Street scribes. Their limited vision can see only one State from which proceeds the impulse to expansion, only one State invested with sovereign power. In spite of Mr. Kipling, they do not realize that every Colonial Englishman is an Imperialist; in spite of history and experience, their political perspective does not widen, which perhaps

accounts for the fact that more regard is paid to opinion in the United States than to opinion in the Colonies. Is it due to London or to Ottawa that the Empire has a quick route to the East and a North Pacific seaboard ? To the Colonial Office or to Mr. Rhodes that British South Africa extends to the Zambesi ? To Lord Derby or the Australasian Premiers that we are in possession of British New Guinea ? Nor is this all. At least a quarter of the area of the Empire, exclusive of India, is under the direct control of responsible Ministries in the Colonies. That is to say, Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand, administer territories beyond their own borders ; Canada, the Cape Colony, and Natal, administer territories which have geographical continuity with themselves, but no other social or political tie. In other words, the great provinces of the Empire exercise sovereignty.

In this, as in nearly all the important steps made by the Anglo-Saxon world towards union, the Dominion led the way. Even before the Act of 1840, faint glimmerings of her splendid destiny lit up the darkness of that critical time, and her prophetic sons saw her the power in the British Empire she has since become. But it was not until the Confederation of the Maritime Provinces and the Canadas that her future course marked itself out clearly before her. Then she began to see that her prosperity and very existence as England in America depended on an outlet to the Pacific. But between her and the western seaboard lay Rupert's Land, the truly Imperial possession of the Hudson Bay Company. She was, therefore, as completely cut off from British Columbia and the NorthWest as though an ocean rolled between.

In a vague way she had always regarded herself as the direct successor of the Company, an aspiration, which was given practical expression, when her statesmen made provision for the admission of Rupert's Land into the Confederation. Moreover, when in 1857, a Parliamentary Committee, of which Mr. Gladstone, Lord Derby, and Lord John Russell

In 1858

were members, was appointed to report on the problem presented by the North-West, she sent Chief Justice Draper to watch its proceedings on her behalf. the Colonial Office invited her to consider the boundary and other disputes on her Western frontier. But the Government at Ottawa, in an address to Her Majesty, referred these to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, a proposition which was at once vetoed by the Hudson Bay Company. During the next ten years several attempts to come to terms were made in the same direction both by Canada and the Colonial Secretary, but they all shared the same fate. But with Confederation the situation wore a new aspect. The far-reaching mind, which moulded Canadian policy for nearly half a century, saw more in the question than the extension of a Colonial farming area. In a letter from Sir John Macdonald to Sir Edward Watkin, dated March 27, 1865, occurs the following passage: “If Canada is to remain a country separate from the United States, it is of great importance to her that they (the United States) should not get behind us by right or by force, and intercept the route to the Pacific.” Three years later he went further. “ It is imperative,” he said, “that we find a broad country for the expansion of our adventurous youth, who satisfied to look here and there for an isolated tract fit for settlement. It has consequently always been a political cry in Western Canada that this country must be obtained. No sentimental cry, either, but one eminently practicala cry expressive both of principle and interest. If this country is to remain British, it is only by being included in the British North American scheme ; and in addition to the necessity which we recognise, with a stronger power un our front and fank, of extending over the whole of the British possession here the just and beneficent institutions of government which we ourselves enjoy, we are also swayed by the interested object of finding fresh lands for the outlet of our adolescent population. ... If the country was offered to



us free, should we hesitate to obtain the extension westward we so much require ? Should we be deterred, then, by this Hudson's Bay bug hear of a claim which, if well founded, might be disposed of within moderate limits? If offered to the United States—the recent purchasers of a tract of ice adjoining-can we doubt that they would consent to pay for it an amount equal to the whole debt of Canada four times over ? It was but the absorbing interest of the late internecine war that prevented the country from having been overrun already." Early in

" 1868 an address was sent to the Queen praying Her Majesty to unite Rupert's Land and the North-West Territory with Canada. At first it looked as though former diplomatic failures were to be repeated, but the desire of all parties for a settlement was now so strong that the question almost solved itself. The Colonial Office, believing that the independence of Canada was at hand, were anxious “to speed the parting guest.” The Hudson Bay Company saw that their princely day was done, and the Dominion was keen to secure the West with its littoral before it was too late. Hence early in 1868 the Duke of Buckingham officially announced to the Government at Ottawa that the transfer of Rupert's Land could be effected, at its pleasure, by arrangement with the Company under authority of an Act of the Imperial Parliament, which Act was duly passed in July of the same year. After much negotiation, it was agreed that 45,000 acres in the vicinity of the great trading posts, and one-twentieth of the fertile belt, should be reserved to the Hudson Bay Company, all other rights, privileges and interests being vested in the Crown on payment of £300,000. This arrangement was accepted by the Dominion Parliament, and provision at once made for the temporary government of the territories. Thus ended the picturesque reign of the “Great Company."

To understand the magnitude of Canada's task, it is necessary to realize the extent and nature of the region, which at the last Downing Street thrust on her with a haste that was almost indecent. The total area of Rupert's Land and the North-West is 2,665,000 square miles, or larger than Russia, Austria, and Germany combined. At that time the total area of Canada herself was 389,141 square miles, or less than one-seventh of the territory she was called upon to administer. During the past halfcentury Russia, France and the United States have each and all extended their sway over States larger than European kingdoms, but the process has been gradual. Canada at one bound carried her frontier across half a continent. An accession of territory so vast has been paralleled only in the British Empire itself. But the size of the North-West was a burden easy to be borne ; the character of its population was another matter. There were about 5,000 French and 5,000 Scottish half-breeds, a few English, Canadian, and American settlers, and 30,000 Indians; to these may be added the servants of the Hudson Bay Company. It will therefore be seen that the Dominion's new subjects were, for the most part, anything but promising

Again, Rupert's Land and the Territories were the “Great Lone Land,” a region of “ magnificent distances,” a trackless wilderness roamed over by the naked savage and the wild animals on which he preyed. Its awful loneliness and remoteness from the world can be conceived only by an Australian Bushman, its intense cold and unutterable silence in winter only by a Yukon miner. Roads there were none, and the posts of the Hudson Bay Company were as widely sundered as the oases of the Sahara Desert. The only countries in modern times which have had to overcome physical obstacles on the same scale are Russia and the United States. But it must always be remembered that Tartars and Chinese made a track, rude as it was, for the advance of the Cossack in Central Asia ; the stately Spaniard for the advance of the American in the South and Far West. Moreover, they had no serious rival on their frontier. They were on this account able to build up

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