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And before long the church he attends and the school his children go to form the nucleus of his new life, bringing to him its Commonwealth Sunday as it may be, on the one hand, and its All-Canadian programmes of Canadian literary product on the other, and before he knows it himself he will be found joining with his children and his neighbours in singing some such a verse as this, dear to every Canadian heart as it cannot but be:
Though other skies may be as bright,
And other lands as fair,
Our wandering footsteps there;
Beneath bright heaven's dome;
My own Canadian home. (Applause.)
A CHRISTMASTIDE CLUB NIGHT
As a new departure for the Christmas season, and to promote the feeling of good fellowship among the members of the Empire Club, a Social Evening was arranged for Friday, Dec. 19, from 6 to 9 at the Palm Room of our usual rendezvous, Col. James Mason, presiding.
There was a good attendance.
Mr. M. L. Rathbun
Address: "The Vancouver Island Riots, Causes and Effects,
with some instances, by an eyewitness"
J. R. Roaf, Esq., K.C. Old Nautical Ballad
“The Bay of Biscay"
Mr. Geo. Coles Address : “Progress of the Pacific Provinces, a short review
of a Trip to British Columbia"
F. B. Fetherstonhaugh, Esq., K.C. Nautical Song
"The Captain's Eye" Mr. Percy D. Ham Address
"A Nuisance Knight in Toronto"
Hon. James Craig, President Christmas Carols
. By Ye Olde English Choir Arranged by Albert Ham, Esq., Mus. Doc.
GOD SAVE THE KING
THE EFFICIENCY OF THE CANADIAN MILITIA
An Address by MAJOR GENL. SIR WILLIAM D. OTTER, K.C.B., C.V.O., before the Empire Club of Canada, 15th January, 1914.
Mr. President and Gentlemen,
I have to most cordially thank you for the honour of inviting me to address you to-day, but fear that disappointment may be your lot, as neither the gift nor power of imparting my ideas in a convicing form is at my disposal.
The subject selected happens to be the only one that I feel at all qualified to speak on, and if I here refer to my military services it is not with the purpose of advertising such, but solely to show you that I am not assuming a claim to knowledge without fairly good reasons.
To my lot has fallen a very close connection with the Canadian Militia for upwards of fifty years, during which I passed through all the ranks from Private to Major General; taking part in three campaigns, in each of them seeing actual fighting, besides the experience of marches in the ice and snow of our own North-West, and the heat and rains of South Africa. I know also the discomforts of the battlefield and hospitals, through wounds.
Coming to peaceful conditions, I have perhaps had more experiences in Canadian Military Camps than any member of the force, and to these may be added various attendances at manoeuvres in England, Germany and the United States: thereby obtaining opportunities of comparing the regular and volunteer troops of those nations with our own, particularly the last named.
Thus equipped, I venture to speak publicly for the first time upon "The Efficiency of the Canadian Militia for Defence," although I have twice made official reports upon lines similar to those I shall now express.
My sole aim is to place this important subject before you in as clear and lucid a manner as my capability will permit; without bias or exaggeration or any reflection upon
the many ardent and patriotic men who have served, or may now be serving, in the Militia force of Canada.
The task before me is by no means an easy one, as any remarks that savour of encouragement to a military spirit are likely to be met by strong opposition in many quarters, probable criticism, and mayhap ridicule.
The idea that the time is fast approaching when all national disputes will be settled by peaceful arbitration appears to me an extremely fallacious one and most dangerous of adoption.
The only really safe belief is that “Peace can only be secured through ability to resist aggression," and with such conviction I feel in duty bound as a Canadian to urge to the full extent of my power the necessity for the development of our Militia in accordance with that precept.
A prominent and experienced officer of the British Army has thus expressed himself upon the Empire:
"The primary duty of every self-governing portion of Great Britain is to make all reasonable provision up to the limits of its resources for defence against invasion of its own territories. If it fails, and relies rather upon its brothers over the seas than its own right arm, it is unworthy of its independence."
And again he enlarges upon the assertion by stating:
“That home defence comes first, and the chief military problem which Canada has to find a solution for, is how to organize her manhood so as to give herself a reasonable security against aggression.'
Against such sentiments I do not imagine any objection will be taken.
May I now approach the subject in another phase.
War is no doubt a terrible affliction, and the earnest hope that means may be found for the aversion of such a scourge, a most natural one.
But when a diagnosis is made of the composition of the human body and mind, in which the spirits of aggression, oppression and possession, with their attributes of envy, hatred and malice exist in what may be termed a predominating extent, there appears but little promise of any amelioration of the evil that is so devoutly desired.
In animals, birds, fish and reptiles are found the same traits; and can it therefore be doubted that in each case they were not so placed and ordained for a special purpose, to continue so long as this world lasts?
What is the natural impulse in either man or beast when aggrieved or oppressed? The answer is easy, to fight with the weapons which intelligence or nature has provided.
What induces the desire in man to oppress or possess ? The acquisition of something that the one has and the other has not; be it in the form of land, money, metals, increasing power or numbers.
Allowing this apparent truth, it may safely be concluded that the greater our prosperity the greater the danger of loss, and the stronger the necessity for means of protection.
We see examples of this in every phase of life from the individual with his revolver near at hand during the hours of darkness or alone, to the nation with its army
Why do Australia, New Zealand and South Africa educate their sons for the service of defence? The reply is not difficult: they recognize the trend of human passions and fear aggression. Are not the same dangers to be feared for Canada ? Yes, one may with safety say, doubly so.
Now, it may be asked has Canada reached a stage in which she may be classed among the rich and prosperous; likely to be thought worthy of possession, or become an object of envy by other nations?
I think that we shall all agree that very few countries equal her in resources, prospective wealth, increase of numbers and power.
Can it be assumed that Canadians have no sentiment, and will be content to serve under any flag, or be governed by any class, creed or colour, so long as permitted to individually accrue riches in ease and comfort?