Page images

It is the character of her citizenship, it is her schools and places of learning for her men and women, her boys and girls, that are making Canada what she is, and what she is going to be in the days that are to come. Then how important it is for all of us to try to hold up high ideals and lofty purposes before the boys and girls of the land, with our opportunities, with our clear blue sky, and invigorating climate to breed men of dominance and power. With our great resources, with our rivers and mountains and lakes, with our magnificent scenery, and with the best blood of the Anglo-Saxon and kindred races in our veins, we should develop the greatest, the highest type of manhood that has ever been developed in the world. That I believe is the destiny of Canada.

What are the facts to-day? I ask you to look the wide world over, and I will pit the brains and ability of the type of manhood that Canada possesses against that of any other country in the world. I was talking not long ago to a friend of mine who has travelled the world over and who has made a study of the character and types of humanity in the different countries of the world, a gentleman in whose judgment I have the greatest confidence, and he, after having studied these different types of civilization, says there is no higher or better type than we have in our own country of Canada. I can pick out for you in Canada five men, and I defy you to pick out from any country on earth, five greater men

or five men that have given more to the world.

Take it from whatever standpoint we may, if it is in the world of work, of commerce, of intellect, or in the shops or professions, or wherever it is, the sons of Canada have been able to hold their own wherever they have gone on this globe.

Not long ago in an American city a very eloquent American gentleman was responding to the toast of the United States, and he said: "I represent a magnificent country; it is bounded on the north by the Aurora Borealis; it is bounded on the south by the Southern Cross; on the east by the rising sun, and on the west by the Day of Judgment.” A more modest, if less eloquent Canadian, in connection with the same toast had to reply for the British Empire and he said: “It is lucky that I do not require so much eloquence as my friend who preceded me in responding for the British Empire. I represent an Empire that knows neither east nor west, but circumscribes the world. I belong to an Empire that has no western boundary, that has no eastern boundary, and so far as the Day of Judgment is concerned, we are such a righteous people that I doubt if there ever will be any for the British people.”

Having said so much for the Empire and so much for Canada's place in it, then what is Ontario's place in the Empire? I have already spoken longer than I intended and I have only time to give you a word or two. Ontario is the banner Province of this fair Dominion; she is going ahead by leaps and bounds. And to-day she leads all the other Provinces in agricultural products, in minerals, in timber, and in every other respect. But a small portion of Ontario is as yet developed; we have only some 13,000,000 acres under cultivation; we have many times that number of acres to be developed. We are producing practically half of the field crops produced in the Dominion of Canada to-day, and yet we have only scratched the surface of our agricultural lands. We are producing one half of the mineral wealth of the Dominion of Canada, and we have scarcely commenced to develop Ontario's mineral lands. We are producing half the timber wealth of Canada, and we are only touching the fringe of our great timber wealth. The Province of Ontario will be the keystone in the arch of Confederation if she develops her heritage aright, as I believe she will in the future.

It has been said that the great weakness of Confederation, the great weakness in the development of Canada, was what has been looked upon as the barren stretch of territory from North Bay on the east to Manitoba on the west. That territory was thought for a long time to have no possibilities. That day has passed and gone, and with the mighty resources we have there, with the wealth of material we have for its development, that section is going to be one of the great industrial centres of the American continent in the near future.

The Province of Ontario, has a high destiny. Take Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on the east, they have their coal and iron; take British Columbia on the west, she has her timber, her minerals, and her beautiful scenery. Alberta has her coal and oil, her flocks and her herds; Manitoba and Saskatchewan have their millions of bushels of golden grain ; but Ontario is the flower of them all. She possesses in a goodly degree all the resources of these different Provinces with the exception of coal, which is abundantly compensated for in her white coal; and so I say the true destiny of the Province of Ontario is to be the vitalizing force of the Dominion, cementing the different Provinces together as one nation. Ontario should not only be the geographical and commercial centre of Canada, but the intellectual centre as well. Coming to our doors day by day and year by year are tens and hundreds of thousands of people who do not know, who do not understand and appreciate British institutions and free British citizenship as we have it. It is the duty of this Province to teach these people along the lines of free institutions and along the lines of good Government. If the Dominion of Canada is to fulfil her great destiny, it becomes you and me as citizens of this banner Province to do our share in lifting up the type of civilization, in lifting up the ideals, in helping the education of those who come to our shores, so that they with us will join hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder in developing this great Dominion. Thus shall we all strengthen the Empire and help in the up-building of the human race, and the benefiting of mankind. That duty I believe we will discharge in a manner worthy of the best traditions of the British people.

Sail on Dominion broad and great;
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
In spite of rock, and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee;
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee, are all with thee!

[ocr errors]


An Address by Dr. J. T. GILMOUR, Warden of the Central Prison, before the Empire Club of Canada, on December 5, 1912

Mr. President and Gentlemen,

I appreciate very much the kindly interest that the Empire Club has taken in our work from the fact that they have done me the honour to ask me to come here today. Without any apology I shall talk "shop." One reason why people succeed who mind their own business is because they have so little competition. Some sage or cynic, I leave you to say which, has divided society into three parts: Those who have been in prison, those who will be in prison, and those who should be in prison. There is not the slightest need for anxiety. I am not here to discriminate.

One day a labourer was working on the streets near by a prison and a prisoner looked out between the bars and inquired the time. The labourer paid no attention to him until the prisoner repeated the question two or three times, when the labourer turned and said: "What do you want to know for, you ain't going anywhere." That story carries a sting with it, for it represents to a considerable extent the attitude of society towards the delinquent through several long and cruel centuries. When we think of prisoners, we are apt to think of them en masse. We think of a few hundred or perhaps a thousand men shut up within prison walls, but Carlyle in his characteristic and incisive manner dissipates this idea when he says, “the masses ! yea masses ! every unit of whom has his own heart and sorrows, stands there covered with his own skin, and if you prick him he will bleed." Victor Hugo sounded the key-note of penology when he said "study evil lovingly.” There are two basic facts that we should ever keep before us when dealing with delinquents. One is that the great majority of de

( 105 )

linquents are handicapped in life's race either by mental, moral, or physical defects. The other is that the great majority of delinquents are made in their youth. The two chief causes of delinquency are heredity and defective early environment; but the longer I am in this work the less I am inclined to ascribe any great degree of delinquency to heredity. I do not believe that a man or a boy should be taught to think that because his parents were delinquent he must be delinquent. (Hear, hear) The longer I am in this work the more convinced am Í of the redeemability of humanity.

Let me give you two or three types of the classes that go, to a very large extent, to compose the average prison population. We had a man in prison some months ago sixty-seven years of age. He had spent more than forty of his years behind the bars. He was a good mechanic. He has spent ten or twelve years with us in the seventeen years I have been at the Central Prison, and during those terms I never had to speak to him. He tried to anticipate our every wish both in conduct and industry, and he always succeeded. His terms would probably average one year. Before going out he would usually exhort the boys in some of our mid-week meetings to follow the good example he proposed to set, but the poor old fellow would go down. A year or two ago when his term was drawing to a close, I noticed that he was different to what he had ever been before. He had lost that selfconfidence, and I was glad of it This time, like Byron's prisoner of Chillon, “he regained his freedom with a sigh.” He said to me, “Warden, I think if I could stay here with you I could make good.” I said, "Very well, we will keep you," and I told him what I would pay him as a weekly wage, but on one condition, that we pay that wage to the Salvation Army Officer and the Officer would keep track of every item of expenditure. He said, "All right." He worked for us for eight or nine months. He was well cared for, and let me say, for the first eight weeks he was with us the Officer came to the prison door every morning at seven o'clock to guide him past the danger spots. If there had been any holes in the street, there would have been a danger signal up, or perhaps a

« PreviousContinue »