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When the Public Utilities Commission was established, it was believed by the railroads that they would be robbed. It was believed by them that this new commission would take away their property. But the Government appointed a scientific commission of three men, an able statistician, an able lawyer from the centre of the State, and one man from the university as chairman. «He was in Germany at the time, but was cabled for and came back. The presidents of the railroads told me that they favoured the commission; that neither side would go back to the old plan, when if either side held up bills they would be defeated by questionable methods, to the deep displeasing of the people. Now we have peace, because we have the rule of reason applying to both parties.
In addition to this Public Utilities Commission, we have a Taxation Commission, and the last is an Industrial Commission, the bill for which was very largely constructed by Professor John R. Commons, of the university. After this bill passed the Legislature, the Government asked him to become a member of the commission, and asked a live business man to serve as chairman for two years, who got it up on its feet. As is the usual practice, the bill simply laid down that there should be reasonable conditions of safety and sanitation, leaving to the commission the working out of the details under these broad principles of law. The result was deep satisfaction on the part of both workingmen and employers. It is sometimes said that professors are not practical. Professor Commons did not work out these details out of his own head. He found out by talking with manufacturers and labourers what was done and what was wanted. He would ask, "What are you doing here, in this shop? Is this reasonable?" And he practically got both sides to agree upon reasonable requirements which should be enforced. After the commission had been in operation two years, various lines of amendment were suggested, which were practically based on ruggestions by both sides. And now, having done that constructive work, the professor, having decided that a professor cannot possibly spend $5,000 a year, came back to the university and a salary of $3,500, to carry on his work of instruction and research.
We estimated last year that we reached, directly and indirectly, some two hundred thoirand people in the State of Wisconsin through our various lines of the Extension Movement. But President Falconer knows that this was not done without money. When this Extension Movement began, five or six years ago, when I had this rainbow vision first of what might be accomplished, we were delighted at succeeding in getting from the Legislature the sum of $7,500 for the first two or three years. Then we went and asked the Legislature for $20,000 for this work , for the following year; and they voted it. The next year we asked them for $50,000 for the first year of the biennium; and another $50,000 for the second year; and they gave it. The next biennium we told them we could not do this work under one centre, and must have more centres established; we asked for $100,000 and $125,000 for the two years; and they granted it. And this last year we went back with our request for the usual implement of $25,000; and they voted it. This, of course you understand, is in addition to the agricultural extension—I am not speaking of the agriculture, to which they gave $60,000 more. That, of course, is such work as is carried on by the Province of Ontario from Guelph.
Now in voting these increafed sums of money from the State, the Legislature has not in any way crippled the university, or lessened its growth in other directions; it has indeed increased our growth and spread it in other directions. For if you do for the people what they want done, then they have confidence that you may have sound reasons for wanting to spend money in some other direction. For, in addition to this appropriation for this extension work, they give for general university purposes about $1,200,000 a year, and have voted for buildings during the next two years $1,000,000. .
While, therefore, this University Extension Movement was thus actuated at the inception by no other purpose but to perform the larger service, we have found that at the same time it was wise simply from our own point of view. Of course, a university nowhere exists for itself; its existence is ju tified only as it performs service to the people. While this service of the advancement of knowledge is immeasurable in its results, in educating our own men and women and sending them all over the Commonwealth, so men of unlimited breadth of view do so much for the material wealth of the State, that this has been increased many fold in comparison with the contributions made by the State to the institution. Therefore, when you increase the resources of the university in these things, it will further grow. Thus, without taking anything from it, you are giving to it, adding to the intellectual, moral and spiritual growth of the Commonwealth, which, after all, must ever remain the prime, fundamental and chief purpose of the university. We create things for men and women, and if in creating things we forget men and women we make a profound mistake.
This principle of carrying knowledge to the people, this principle of finding a way for the boy and girl of parts, is fully developed in Ward's Applied Sociology, a book of rome two hundred pages or more. He shews that the greatest loss of a nation or a province is its loss of talent. You know not all the ability is born in your palatial residence sections of the city. You know it is quite as likely to be found in the boy placed among your manufactories or clo e to your docks. Therefore, it is your duty to build a system of education which will find a way for the boy and girl.
It is proposed sometimes to take all property and have an equal distribution of wealth. That method has never met with the approval of the majority of people, of Anglo-Saxons, anywhere; I doubt if it ever will. That is not the fundamental principle of democracy. But so long as you have an institution, so long as you have a system of education, ;uch that the boy or girl of parts can find a way, so long you maintain the essentials of democracy. And just the moment you have a school system and the development of social institutions in such a way that this is not possible, then, whatever your forms, they may be the forms of democracy, but the real democracy has ceased to exist.
When elementary education was democratized in the States, it was regarded as a great achievement—as far as we could possibly go. Then later, in the Middle West, people were not satisfied till secondary schools were built up, and it was recognized as the proper function of Government to support the recondary schools. The east regarded this as a great innovation, an unwarranted waste of public money. But it extended through the middle west, and to the west, and to the south. Still later came the idea of democratizing university education. This was deemed highly socialistic— "taking my property to give a higher university education to some other man's boy!" But whatever theories there were about this, there were no funds in the middle west from private sources to build up a university; yet there came ever stronger pressure from the boys and girls who wanted a university education. And a state university was the result, such as you have in Ontario. That has extended throughout the country, with the exception of two or three eastern states, where great endowed universities are performing substantially the same function.
In short, it has become our ideal not only to democratic primary and secondary education, but to democratize higher education. And if this can be accomplished on the North American continent, it will be a new thing in the world. We know that German universities, while state universities, are largely available only to the well-to-do classes. This same is true to a large extent of the ancient and honourable Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which have done so much to make that great nation of such tremendous world power. But only recently has England, by the development of her municipal universities, realized this responsibility. I was asked a question by' Lord Morley when in England two or three years ago, why it seemed that England was losing ground in comparison with Germany. I replied: "You will excuse my profession as a pedagogue, hut we in America think it is because you do not recognize higher university education as a public function."
If you in Ontario have good primary schools, and secondary schools equal to any, and a system of continuation schools where the boys and girls are obliged to go who are in shops, and a university covering all fields of knowledge for which there is sufficient demand, the Province of Ontario will move forward, materially, intellectually, and spiritually, with a speed vastly greater than even the amazing acceleration of the past.
The announcement has been made that Lord Alverstone the Lord Chief Justice of England, who has for some time past been suffering from severe illness, has sent in his resignation of his high office, and Sir Rufus Isaacs has been appointed his successor. Lord Alverstone's reputation as a lawyer both at the Bar and on the Bench has been deservedly high, and he will carry with him the sincere respect and good wisihes of a large circle of friends. For us in Canada his name will always be associated with the Alaska award, and he will no doubt be remembered by many as one who sacrificed the interests of this country in order to effect a settlement of a troublesome question; but we venture to think the verdict of posterity will be quite the reverse, and that succeeding generations will find that he did nething of the kind, but on the contrary, by his decision in that case, came to a reasonably just and proper conclusion. That his conclusion was perfectly right and in accordance both with international law and the evidence we think is reasonably certain, though perhaps his alleged failure to communicate to the Canadian Commissioners his change of view as to the proper course of the Portland Canal as an international boundary, may not unfairly be the subject of criticism. But those who have criticized the merits of the decision find it convenient to ignore a very important and indisputable fact, viz., that the only British plan purporting to shew the course of the Portland Canal in detail was one prepared by officers of the British Admiralty in 1868 and is numbered 23, and this plan shews the course of the canal to be exactly as Lord Alverstone determined it. •
His decision was unfortunately the subject of misunderstanding. There was first the personal element arising from his alleged change of opinion without communicating the fact to the Canadian Commissioners—which aroused a feeling of resentment in the latter at having been slighted, and, as they thought, to some extent betrayed. But a little calm discussion would, we feel confident, have sufficed to convince any reasonable man, that the change of opinion was perfectly justified, and involved no unreasonable concession to