Page images

the four years of struggle without a scratch. He wrote us his experiences. They were spared the worst of the gas, and put mud and spittle on their handkerchiefs and tied them on their faces. He gave us the full details of how, later on, out of the mist, flood after flood of Germans came charging on.

Our boys fired and fired until the German dead lay thick before them, and their gun barrels were red hot. And still they came on, wave after wave of gray figures. We held them, while our own numbers dwindled alarmingly. The captain went, then the lieutenant, and at last in the whole trench there remained but threea corporal, Billy, and a drummer boy of fifteen.

The Huns paused and the three slipped out over the top and crawled back. The little drummer boy gave in under the sights he had crawled through and over, and began to shriek, covering his eyes. The big corporal grabbed him and thrust him within his own great coat, buttoning it up, so that the little fellow could see nothing, and so they continued. At last they met reinforcements, and Billy returned with them to show the way. They were even then but a handful, but the Germans did not know that and the attack was stayed.

[blocks in formation]

done well, but we take off our hats to the mother country. One of the lessons we have learned from the war is to appreciate the Scotchman, the Englishman, and the Frenchman as we never did before; and we appreciate them now because we know them now.


Now let us turn to finance:

We are a young and borrowing country; we have been an extravagant country, and we thought we could do little toward financing the war. At the beginning the mother country advanced money to the various dominions at the same rate as she herself had to pay, but by 1915 we began to rely on ourselves. The government issued the call for the first domestic loan. They asked for $50,000,000, and wondered if they would get it. The subscriptions came to over $113,000,000. On the strong urgency of the larger subscribers the government took $100,000,000 of this amount.

In September, 1916, they asked for $100,000,000, and we offered them $201,


Six months later, in March, 1917, they asked for $150,000,000, and we offered. them $254,000,000.

In November of the same year they asked for yet another $150,000,000, and we offered them $419,000,000. For this loan the government had reserved the right to accept all subscriptions, and they did take $400,000,000.

If in 1915 a man had told us that within the next two years the people of Canada would supply the government with $750,000,000, or $100 for every man, woman, and child in the country, he would have been looked on as a wild visionary. People know not what they can do until they really try, and we surprised ourselves.

The subscribers to our first loan numbered 24,800; to the last loan they numbered 820,000, or nearly one in nine of the population. And now our government has asked for $300,000,000 more, and I shall be surprised if the answer is not at least $500,000,000.*

We shall have a heavy debt, but what of that? We shall carry it with ease, for

*The subscriptions totaled $676,000,000, according to the official returns, November 19.


we are young and growing, and our shoulders are broad. Canada never was so strong or so prosperous as at this moment. The safest government bonds in the world are those of the United States and Canada, and I bracket them together as regards security.


Not only in the actual manufacture of explosives and shells have Britain's women been bearing a large part of the burden of war, but in preparing these instruments of destruction for immediate use. This group of war workers is engaged in wiring floats for mines.

Not merely have we raised these large amounts of government loans, but we have kept up the price of our bond issues, so that every person who bought a Canadian Victory Bond can today get for it on the spot more than it cost him. The brokerage and bond houses of the Dominion have been organized into a great committee, and whenever any bond is offered for sale it is at once resold to other purchasers.

The demand for bonds has been stimulated until it now exceeds the supply, and the market price is above the cost price. Our government can borrow this year on slightly better terms than it had to give

Underwood & Underwood

last year. That speaks for itself for the value of the bonds and the credit and wealth of the country.

In addition to paying for the upkeep. of our own troops, Canada has granted war credits to the Imperial Government of $532,000,000 with which to purchase foodstuffs, munitions, etc., in the Dominion. Our banks have loaned the Imperial Government $200,000,000 more. But despite the withdrawal for governmet loans, the deposits in our banks are $300,000,000 more than they were at the beginning of the war. The country never was so wealthy.



Prior to the war we lived too easy a life, and our municipalities and corporations borrowed freely in Britain. When the British markets were closed we turned to the United States. Of our

provincial and municipal securities sold in 1916, 85 per cent went to the United States. Of similar securities sold in 1917. only 22 per cent went to the United States.

Our expenditures for war purposes have now risen to about a billion dollars. A considerable amount of this has been raised from taxes. There has been a tremendous increase in the national revenue. But the way in which this extra money has been raised and the kind of taxes which have been imposed would, I am sure, not be interesting. You know all about that sort of thing in your own country. Perhaps I had better say the details would be interesting but not very pleasant.

But more than men and money were required. There was a pressing need for munitions with which to meet the German hordes. Canada had never been a great manufacturing country. But again we surprised ourselves, for we have already supplied 60,000,000 shells, which I have no doubt have done good work. We have furnished munitions to the value of $1,000,000,000, and will soon have furnished another $200,000,000 worth.

We are helping in shipbuilding, too, for we expect to turn out this year about 500,000 tons of new shipping, about twothirds of steel and one of wood. I understand that this will about equal one-fourth of the output of the British shipbuilding yards for the year of 1917.

In aircraft, too, we are trying to do our share. We are turning out about 350 aëroplanes per month. The total to date is about 2,500. Besides that, we are manning them.


But it has not been all men, money, and munitions. Our people have responded gloriously to all appeals for the relief of suffering. For our Canadian. Patriotic Fund, which looks after the wives, children, and dependents of our men at the front, we have already given $44,000,000. For every two dollars the government has asked from the people it has generally been given three.

To the Red Cross the contributions have been $12,000,000 in cash and $15,000,000 in supplies. Of the cash con

tribution, $7,000,000 were spent by the British Red Cross and the balance by the Canadian Red Cross. According to a newspaper item which I saw the other day, Canada leads all the nations of the world in Red Cross contributions per capita.

To the Belgian Relief Fund we have contributed over $1,500,000 in cash and an equal amount in supplies, while $8,000,000 more went to French, Serbian, and Polish relief funds and numerous other charitable and patriotic associations.

For military work by the Y. M. C. A. the contributions have been $4,500,000.

In addition to the donations from the public, the Dominion and Provincial governments have given $5,250,000 for charitable work through the Imperial Government. In all, the relief contributions from Canada amount to $90,000,000, or over $12 for every man, woman, and child in the Dominion.

Our educational leaders have also organized the Khaki University for educating the men at the front and fitting them for their return to civilian life, and our government has undertaken its support. This idea has now been copied in Britain, France, and I believe even in Germany. It had birth in the brain of Dr. H. M. Tory, president of the University of Alberta. Dr. Tory has entire charge of the work on the other side.

To summarize what we have done in finance. We have paid about one billion dollars for war expenditures, and have raised $750,000,000 of this amount by domestic loans. We are asked to raise another $300,000,000 during November for further expenditures, and I feel sure we will offer $500,000,000. We have given a credit of over $500,000,000 to the Imperial Government for purchase of munitions and supplies, and our banks have given a further amount for the same purposes of $200,000,000.

We have supplied 60,000,000 shells, one billion dollars' worth of munitions, and will soon deliver $200,000,000 worth more. We will, besides, this year add 500,000 tons of shipping, and are making 350 aëroplanes per month, having already completed 2,500, and in addition to all this we have contributed $90,000,000 to relief work.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Underwood & Underwood


When her father answered his call to the colors, this girl of Thetford, England, carried on his work as official bill-poster and town-crier for the town council

We are a practical people, and yet a sentimental strain runs through us. We have always a soft spot, and especially for those who help us or do us a good turn. Did you ever hear of the Canadian soldier who hailed from one of our Scotch settlements? In the course of an attack Sandy was rushing forward, rifle and bayonet at the charge, when suddenly he was attacked viciously by one of his smallest enemies, who was also nearest at hand. He felt that he could not do justice to the enemy in the distance unless he first disposed of the enemy in his midst. So he paused, put his rifle in the hook of his elbow, and made a vigorous home attack.

He was successful. But just as he caught his tormentor a German shell burst in front of him, in the very spot where he would have been had he not paused. Sandy held the little thing before him, and as he looked at it he said: "Weel, ma wee mon, I canna give ye the iron cross; I canna give ye the Victoria Cross, but ye hae saved ma life. I must reward ye somehow. I'll just put ye back where ye belong." And back he



For years before the war broke out, many of us knew of Germany's ambitions to rule the world, and feared that this struggle was coming. The question had to be settled whether Anglo-Saxon ideals of freedom and democracy were to prevail or the world was to be Germanized and ruled by the Kaiser.

When the future of humanity was at stake, we wanted to have some influence in the decision, and we were thankful that, as part of the British Empire, we were at war and privileged to take a man's part in this great world struggle, the greatest crisis that has come in the history of humanity for over a thousand


There was no compulsion on us. The Germans expected us to stay out, and simply could not understand our going in. At first we were influenced by patriotic and humanitarian reasons which we felt in a general way. But our boys soon came in contact with German bru

tality in a concrete way and our feelings became vastly deeper and more intense.

For instance, Lieutenant Holt, of Winnipeg, returned on leave of absence and brought with him as a souvenir a little doll. In one of those early days his regiment was forced back by the enemy through a Belgian village. He stopped at a small house to ask directions, and a little girl of about seven years ran out and gave him her dolly. She said, "Please take my dolly to a safe place." To please her he took it. Next day our men retook the village and he at once went to the cottage to see how the child had fared. He found her-lying across the threshold, dead-killed by a German bayonet. Lieutenant Holt brought back that dolly to a safe place in Canada, but your boys and our boys are now fighting that the whole world may be made a safe place for little mothers like that.

King's Staff-Sergeant James W. Smith, who has returned with his right arm shattered and shortened and the hand little better than a deformed claw, who was foreman in the W. C. White boiler works of Montreal and is now superintendent in a munition factory, told me personally that he had himself assisted in taking down some Canadian soldiers who had been crucified by the Germans nailing them to a barn door. Do you wonder that our Canadian boys were very demons in ferocity when next they attacked?


It is no selfish struggle in which we are engaged. Like you of the United States, we have nothing to gain. We seek no territory, no indemnity, no advantage. But, like you, we are glad and proud to be in, and glad and proud to have been of any service.

This is the brief story of some of the things that have been done. But after all, those things belong to the past; they are written in history and are now mere records and memories. Nothing that we can now do can change them, and the future, which we have the power to change, is therefore more interesting and more important. In our outlook on the future we are now, thank God, united as Allies-Allies who are working together with heart and soul.

« PreviousContinue »