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The prominent weaknesses in the discipline of the Canadian Militia Force are not apparent on the outside, nor do they consist in the commission of serious crimes or exhibitions of rank insubordination ; but rather in the evasion of duties and responsibilities, the performance of which cannot be avoided without disjointing the whole structure of military efficiency—the principal cause of this deficiency can be traced to ignorance of the danger and to the laxness of youthful training.
From my rather hasty synopsis of the situation can it be claimed that the Canadian Militia in its present condition guarantees immunity from attack or conquest by a powerful aggressor ?
The situation is briefly this: Canada, rich and prosperous, with a frontier extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the 9th parallel to the North Pole, vulnerable on all sides, requires by expert computation a force of 250,000 trained officers and men, with their attendant Reserve, Arms, Equipment and Transport, to ensure her safety from aggression under probable circumstances. While against these obligations for safety her only present asset is a Militia Force of under 55,000 practically untrained and barely equipped.
The Militia Force itself has seemingly but little conception of its weakness or is lulled into a blind belief in its efficiency by the plaudits of admiring friends at a ceremonial or church parade; yet a greater evil appears in that the public, busily engaged in private affairs, remains totally unconcerned and oblivious to the dangers which its own enterprise are creating.
Is the all-important question of safety being treated as a business proposition and insurance provided against probable loss?
Are we not partaking of the habits of the ostrich who, when pursued, sticks his little head in the sand and imagines that safety for his great body is thus attained ?
Would it not be better to unite with our friends who see universal peace in sight, abolish the militia and save the expense of maintaining an organization that without adequate support can only be the means of a useless waste of life?
You may ask what is the best remedy for our apparent neglect, supposing we eventually awaken to the danger of our position.
I venture to assert that the most economical and effective mode of meeting the deficiencies classed under "Personnel," "Training" and "Discipline" is by the adoption of the Australian system, that is, Compulsory Military Training in Schools and Universities; because from these sources we can secure both officers and men possessed of a fair knowledge of the rudiments of drill and discipline, thus forming a solid foundation upon which to prosecute further advancement.
Doubtless many of you will at once say: Are not our Schools and Universities now engaged in this very work?
Quite true, but under what conditions, and to what extent?
The Cadet and Officers' Training Corps are purely voluntary organizations, therefore if the parents of the boy and young man are opposed to anything in the way of military instruction, and there are many such, their sons will naturally forbear from becoming cadets.
As an example of the correctness of my contention:
A return published in November last shows that only 5 per cent. of the boys attending schools throughout the Dominion belong to Cadet Corps. Universities assist to a less degree than even the schools in this desirable direction.
A patriotic citizen (Major Leonard) is endeavouring to encourage the prosecution of Military Training amongst the students of Queen's University by the contribution of a large sum of money for the necessary land and buildings, but why should a matter affecting the safety of the country be left alone to patriotic and public spirited individuals ?
I repeat, what is necessary is compulsory education in drill and discipline for all boys at school, with the higher military education necessary for officers at the universities on similar conditions.
Such a course will likely induce the cry of “Militarism" and strong opposition; but does not every male inhabitant owe some return to his country for the air he breathes, the land that feeds him and the flag which protects him?
Is the education that will improve a lad's mental, moral and physical condition, and prepare him for the duty of defending his country if occasion arises, to be dubbed and denounced "Militarism?”
My designation for such a service is "Patriotism," and for it no other is applicable.
A word or two respecting the Reserve. Its functions, I have said, are to supply the “waste” in officers and men, and no army would feel safe in taking the field without such a backing.
To obtain a Reserve in our case we should naturally take advantage of a clause in the Militia Act which prescribes that the whole male population between the ages of 18 and 60 is liable for military service. But in resorting to this means we should find a lamentable condition as no rolls or lists are kept of those to be detailed for this service, and as a consequence delay and confusion would ensue at a time when such could least be tolerated.
With respect to Training Areas, the acquisition of this indispensable adjunct to training will doubtless entail expense, but the outlay is fully justified, and delay will not help matters from a pecuniary point of view.
The several provinces could fairly be asked to assist in this direction.
Touching the subject of "Material.”
Steps have already been taken in this country for the manufacture of small arms and ammunition; but for that of big guns and their ammunition we are obliged to depend upon Great Britain, and if she is engaged elsewhere, our own ports will likely be closed to the supply of any further assistance in that direction.
We must be self-contained.
Presuming we continue to "drift” what will be the result? In most undertakings time is an outstanding factor, but in none so important as military operations, and the nation that has not foreseen and arranged every detail for the mobilization of its forces immediately on the outbreak of hostilities will surely suffer severely for its procrastination.
Are we not cultivating the belief that we are fit and capable for any military strain coincident with invasion ?
Are we not encouraging a rude awakening to find ourselves far short of such a consummation, with the result irreparable loss to us of all most dear and precious ?
THE AGRICULTURE OF THE PROVINCE
An Address by C. C. JAMES, Esq., C.M.G., LL.D., before the Empire Club of Canada, Jan. 23, 1914.
Mr. President and Gentlemen,
Over the entrance of the temple of Apollo at Delphi there were two Greek words which in English are “Know Thyself.” It is uncertain who was the author, but that is unimportant. I doubt if any greater truth was ever uttered outside of the Holy Scriptures than those two Greek words, Know Thyself. I am not a descendant of the wise men of Greece, but in these modern days I would add to that this, “Know thy country, it's people, its powers and its possibilities.” (Applause.) If we could only instil that into the minds, and thoughts, particularly of the young people of this country, we would need to have little or no anxiety as to the future. And if we are going to do that we must certainly not exclude the study of agriculture, its conditions, its scope, and its possibilities. I read in one of the morning papers to-day two items. One was headed in large black type, “Big Increase in Canada's Exports." In nine months the gain exceeded $80,000,000. Then away in a little corner was this: “No butter sent to Britain. For the first time in sixty years Canada exported no butter to Great Britain. About half a million pounds was exported to the United States, while butter imported from New Zealand amounted to almost six and a half million pounds." You cannot estimate these things by dollars and cents, nor by pounds. Statements of that kind need to be understood to be appreciated; they require a knowledge of the principles underlying the agriculture of this country. Six and a half million pounds of butter from New Zealand, and every particle of it made up of air! The New Zealanders took air and water and made butter and