The Canadian Commonwealth

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III THE TIE THAT BINDS It is easy to understand what binds the provinces into a confederation. They had to bind themselves into a unity with the British North America Act or see their national existence threatened by any band of settlers who might rush in and by a perfectly legitimate process of naturalization and voting set up self- government. At the time of confederation such eminent Imperial statesmen as Gladstone and Labouchere seriously considered whether it would not be better to cut Canada adrift, if she wanted to be cut adrift. The difference between the Canadian provinces and the isolated Latin republics of South America illustrates best what the bond of confederation did for the Dominion. The why and how of confederation is easy to understand, but what tie binds Canada to the Mother Country? That is a point almost impossible for an outsider to understand. England contributes not a farthing to Canada. Canada contributes not a dime to England. Thougha tariff against alien lands and trade concessions to her colonies would bring such prosperity to those colonies as Midas could not dream, England confers no trade favor to her colonial children. There have been times, indeed, when she discriminated against them by embargoes on cattle or boundary concessions to cement peace with foreign powers. Except for a slight trade concession of twenty to twenty-five per cent. on imports from England—which, of course, helps the Canadian buyer as much as it helps the British seller— Canada grants no favors to the Mother Country. In spite of those trade concessions to England, in 1913 for every dollar's worth Canada bought from England, she bought four dollars' worth from the United States. Certainly, England sends Canada a Governor- General every four years; but the Cab...
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