Canada affords the shortest safest route to the Orient.
Canada has natural resources of mine, forest, fishery, land to supply an empire of a hundred million; to supply Europe, if need arose.
She must some day become one of the umpires of fate on the Pacific.
She yearly interweaves tighter commercial bonds with the United States, yet refuses to come under American government. It may be predicted both these conditions will remain permanent.
Panama will quicken her west coast to a second Japan.
Yearly the West will exert greater political power, and the East less; for the preponderance of immigration settles West not East.
As long as she has free land Canada will be free of labor unrest, but the dangers of industrialism menace her in a transfer of population from farm to factory.
In twenty years Canada will have as many British born within her borders as there were Englishmen in England in the days of Queen Elizabeth.
In twenty years Canada will have more foreign-born than there are native-born Canadians.
Her pressing problems to-day are the amalgamation of the foreigner through her schools; a working arrangement with the Oriental fair to him as to her; the development of her natural resources; the anchoring of the people to the land; and the building of a system of powerful national defense by sea and land.
Her constitution is elastic and pliable to every new emergency—it may be, too pliable; and her system of justice stands high.
She has a fanatical patriotism; but it is not yet vocal in art, or literature; and it is—do not mistake it—loyalty to an ideal, not to a dynasty, nor to a country. She loves Britain because Britain stands for that ideal.
Stand back from all these facts! They may be slow-moving ponderous facts. They may be contradictory and inconsistent. What that moves ever is consistent? But like a fleet tacking to sea, though the course shift and veer, it is ever forward. Forward whither—do you ask of Canada?
There is no man with an open free mind can ponder these facts and not answer forthwith and without faltering—to a democratised edition of a Greater Britain Overseas. Only a world cataclysm or national upheaval displacing every nation from its foundations can shake Canada from that destiny.
Will she grow closer to Britain or farther off? Will she grow closer to the United States or farther off? Will she fight Japan or league with her? Will she rig up a working arrangement with the Hindu?
Every one of these questions is aside from the main fact—England will not interfere with her destiny. The United States will not interfere with her destiny. Canada has her destiny in her own hands, and what she works out both England and the United States will bless; but with as many British born in her boundaries anchored to freehold of land as made England great in the days of Queen Elizabeth, unless history reverse itself and fate make of facts dice tossed to ruin by malignant furies, then Canada’s destiny can be only one—a Greater Britain Overseas.