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Manitoba History No. 90

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Jack Houston’s Editorials in the OBU Bulletin: 19 June 1920

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Canada, A Nation

The old school histories and geographies classified the countries of the world as monarchies, limited monarchies and republics. Then there were dependencies and subject peoples.

The politicians and the newspapers are claiming that Canada has arrived at the status of an independent nation. If Canada is a nation, she certainly is not a power. And no nation not in a position to break the peace with her neighbors is a power. And no nation that does not have as an asset, the nation of honor, which may be injured and may be repared [sic=repaired] can be a power. The growth of the national honor must at least show some signs of sending forth shoots before other nations will regard a country seriously as possessing the attributes of power.

Let us look at some of the recent political phenomena’s in this connection, for it is only by the acts of independence on the part of Canada that the actual state of manhood can be observed. First, the changes in the immigration act take away from born Britons the right to participate in the Status of Canadian citizenship. This alone should be conclusive evidence of the independence of our country. Then the Criminal Code of the country refuses the Canadian the once imperial right of appeal to the throne. This also should be conclusive evidence. If further evidence were wanting it can be observed in the extent and crushing weight of the national debt. All modern nations with only sufficient exceptions to prove the rule are impelled to go so deeply in debt that liquidation is impossible. Here again Canada measures up to standard. But the final and conclusive proof lies in none of three, but it does lie in the fact of the possession of a diplomatic corps which engage in secret diplomacy, which is of greater importance than any more consideration of democratically principles of self government. Canada has diplomatic representatives, now, in the foreign countries of Great Britain and the United States and we think, in France also. As to diplomacy there is no reason outside the habit for using the term “secret”. The secrecy is the one and only mark of diplomacy as in contrast with open negotiations and agreements.

As to the character of the new government functioning under the new status, we can only find a counterpart when the recent conduct of the government is reviewed in the extent of its varied activities taken as a whole, on one of the absolute monarchies of the type described in our school geographies of forty or fifty years ago. In Canada as these countries of that time, there appears to be no restraint of a democratical nature on our government, in doing any thing under the sun suggested by its own sweet will. It accepts a navy as a gift with the implication that the said navy will be manned and maintained all ready to be mobilized at a moment’s notice for warfare. This implies the existence of secret treaties with some power or powers. It appoints diplomats to foreign nations and refuses to the representative in parliament any of the correspondence relating thereto. It floods the country with secret police and spies to see that the people are not even using the horrible words “Force” or “Violence” in regard to any change of a political economic or industrial nature.

We expect that Canada is a nation all right but with some of the survivals from, the colonial status which will soon be eliminated by so bold and resolute a government.

Page revised: 6 August 2013

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