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Memories of Canada and Scotland

The following is from Memories of Canada and Scotland by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell:


The Annual Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures of the Province of Ontario for 1883 was held at Toronto. The formal opening was on Sept. 15th, and His Excellency, who was invited to open it, and who was received with the greatest enthusiasm, spoke as follows.

At Toronto--Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures

Ladies and Gentlemen,--I only wish my voice were strong enough to carry to each of you the thanks we owe to every citizen of Toronto, for nowhere have we received more kindness, and nowhere have we had occasion to feel greater gratitude for receptions accorded us, than in your city. These farewells I feel to be very sad occasions. I know that if the matter had rested with the Princess she would have wished to postpone them for another year--(cheers)--for we have spent many happy days in Canada, and would have wished to prolong them. That, however, could not be. The time for departing, I am sorry to say, has very nearly come. For my part, I feel as if the sands of the last days of happiness had nearly run out. (Cheers) I beg to thank you, sir, for the reference which you have made in your address to the visit of Prince George of Wales. (Loud cheers) It is now nearly twenty-four years, I think, since his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (loud cheers) came here, he being at that time, nearly of the age which Prince George has now attained. I have often heard from him of the kindness and loyalty with which he was greeted in Canada. (Cheers) I know it has been a matter of regret to him that he has been unable in recent years to repeat his visit. I know how he watches with the greatest interest and sympathy the progress of this country, and how he hopes at some future day he may possibly revisit it. (Loud cheers) In the address you desire me to convey to Her Majesty the assurance of your loyalty--an assurance which we shall deliver, not that any such assurance is needed--(Cheers)--the reverence and loyalty with which Her Majesty is regarded is well known to me, but we will faithfully carry out your commission. It is a message of devotion to the Throne and Empire coming from a great community. (Loud cheers) I do not know anything more remarkable in the recent history of this great continent than the story of this populous and extensive Province, whose shores are washed by the beautiful waters of Erie, Huron, and Ontario. Within the lifetime of a man, indeed only sixty years ago, nothing but an untouched growth of wood was visible throughout this wide region, where there are now myriads of happy homesteads--(cheers,) and, while this remarkable result has been accomplished in so short a time, we see no diminution in the progress and prosperity of the Province. During the last few years Ontario may be said to have become a Mother Country, for she has sent out colonies to the West by tens of thousands, and yet, owing to the rapid and natural increase of her people, and to the manner in which the void occasioned by the departure of these has been filled up from across the seas, we still see the population constantly increasing--(cheers)--and I believe the next census will show as great an increase as the last, and that, I believe was 18 per cent. (Loud cheers) I was very much struck some time ago by the manner in which some men, comfortably situated here, wished, nevertheless, to see the West. I had occasion to ask for the services of two men for a friend of mine who had taken a farm in Manitoba. One was got immediately, and an Ontario gentleman, to whom I applied, came to me and said: "You will be surprised to hear who the second man is whom I have obtained for your friend; he is a man having a large farm and a very comfortable homestead, and, while he does not wish to leave the Province permanently, he desires to go to the North-West to see the country, and has volunteered to go as a hired man for a year to Manitoba." He left for that year his wife and child at home. I hope by this time he has been able to rejoin them. I do not think the desire prevailing amongst you in Ontario to go westward need cause the men of Ontario one moment's anxiety. Your ranks will be quickly refilled. Numbers are now coming in from the Old Country--and I beg to congratulate the Government of Ontario on the successful way in which they have put forward the attractions, I may say the great attractions, of this Province as compared with those of the West, with the view of arresting some of those who were on their passage farther west. (Cheers) I had a conversation only yesterday with a gentleman who is at the head of the Agricultural Science Department of South Kensington, in London; and to show you there is a wide field open for the surplus population of a class you wish to attract, I would like to quote that gentleman's words. He is a great authority, a Government official, and I am sure his name is known to many of you--Professor Tanner. (Cheers) He told me that over 7,000 men are studying agriculture in Great Britain at the present time; that over 6,000 had passed last year the examination provided by Government; that of those 6,000 there certainly would not be an opportunity in Great Britain for the employment of more than one-tenth; that is to say that nine-tenths will assuredly, if they wish to follow out the course which their studies would indicate as the career they seek to pursue, have to find a place outside the limits of the old country. I would certainly recommend them to come here. (Cheers) I have made such recommendations often at home. Sometimes I have been told that I incur a great responsibility for doing so. (Cheers) I shall be very glad to assume the responsibility for the rest of my days. (Renewed cheering) I shall only ask of Ontario societies when they invite women to come here, to back me in advising the old country people not to send too many instructresses of youth--(hear, hear)--for wherever I have made a speech in England advising women to emigrate, I have always received about 500 letters on the succeeding day from people who said they were perfectly confident that there was an opening for a good governess in Canada. (Laughter and cheers) I wish to emphasize the fact that there is hardly any opening, for we grow our own stock in that respect--(Loud cheers),--and I believe in the Exhibition of which we shall soon be making an examination strangers will see that among the objects placed in the most honourable position is the school desk, the school bench, and the school book. (Renewed cheers) They will find these exhibited along with the best products of the factory, the forest, the field and the mine. I say, I shall continue to recommend this Province, for you have inspired me with additional confidence--(Cheers)--perhaps because the community have confidence in themselves. (Renewed cheers) I will say nothing more, for I feel I might expatiate at too great a length upon your prospects. (Continued cheers) I beg now formally to declare the Toronto Exhibition of 1883 to be open to the public. (Loud and continued cheering)

The following is the Governor-General's reply to an address presented in the Queen's Park, Toronto. Several thousand persons had assembled although the rain had descended in torrents for some hours.

At Toronto--Reply to Address At the Queen's Park

Mr. Mayor and citizens of the city of Toronto,--Ladies and Gentlemen of this great Province of Ontario,--I have again to thank you for a loyal and affectionate address, conveying your reverence and love to the Queen. Already several of the Queen's children have visited Canada. On this occasion you have been welcoming, kindly and cordially, a grandson of her Majesty. (Cheers) On all occasions on which members of the Queen's family have visited this country they have met with a welcome which evinces your determination to sustain the Empire in which Canada occupies so large a place. I thank you, sir, for what you have stated with regard to my term of office. You have had the good fortune to enjoy five years of prosperity and progress. I would, if you will allow me, take the words you have addressed to me as not in any sense conveying a personal compliment, but as expressing your appreciation of the value of the office which I have had the honour to hold for five years, and your wish to maintain its dignity. I confess that I am not so desirous of any personal popularity, but I am jealous for the position of the Governor-General. I need not tell you, who know it already, the value of the constitutional rules under which its functions are exercised. They who disparage the office by telling you that it is one of no influence would be the first to cry out against its powers, and they would be right to do so, should those powers be used in excess of constitutional privilege. It is sufficient that the ministers, both of the last Government and the present, regard the office as valuable, and desire its continuance. There is, however, one point in connection with it which I should wish to impress upon you. In some quarters, although not, I am satisfied, by the people at large, the presence of a Governor-General is held to imply something called "etiquette"--(Laughter),--and implies also the establishment of a "court." I wish to say from my experience in Canada I am sure that this is by no means the case. Etiquette may perhaps be defined as some rule of social conduct. I have found that no such rule is necessary in Canada, for the self-respect of the people guarantees good manners. (Cheers) We have had no etiquette and no court. Our only etiquette has been the prohibition of any single word spoken by strangers at the Government House in disparagement of Canada. (Cheers) Our only court has been the courting of her fair name and fame. (Cheers) Now, ladies and gentlemen, you ask me why it is I am so enthusiastic a Canadian. I believe I am perhaps even more of a Canadian than some of the Canadians themselves. I ascribe it to the very simple cause that I have seen perhaps more of your country than have very many amongst you. I know what your great possessions are, and to what a magnificent heritage you have fallen heirs. I know that wide forest world out of which the older Provinces have been carved. I know that great central region of glorious prairie-land from which shall be carved out future Provinces as splendid or yet more splendid than those of which we now proudly boast. I know also that vast country beyond the Rocky Mountains, that wondrous region sometimes clothed in gloomy forest, sometimes smiling beneath the sun in pastoral beauty of valley and upland, or sometimes shadowed by Alpine gorges and mighty mountain peaks--the territory of British Columbia. And in each and all of these three immense sections of your great country I know that you have possessions which must make you in time one of the foremost among the nations, not only of this continent, but of the world. (Cheers) It is because I have seen so much of you and of your territories that I am enthusiastic in your behalf, and that the wish of my life shall be the desire to further your interests; and I pray the God who has granted to you this great country that he may in his own good time make you a great people. (Loud cheers)

On leaving Ottawa, an address was presented by the Corporation of the city. The Governor-General replied as follows:--

At Ottawa--Reply to Address of the City Corporation

Mr. Mayor, members of the Corporation, and citizens of Ottawa--We both thank you most cordially for your words, which are so full of kindness.

It is indeed a sorrowful thought to us that the present must be our last meeting for all time, as far as any official connection between us is concerned; but we shall hope that it will not be the last occasion on which we shall again be brought together, for it would be indeed a melancholy prospect to us were we not able to look forward to some future day on which we might revisit the scenes which have been so much endeared to us, and witness the continuance of that progress which has been so marked in the Dominion during the last five years.

You kindly wish us God-speed, and hope that our future career may be happy; but we can never again have a happier or more fortunate time than that spent amongst you; indeed, whenever, in the future, life's path is darker, we can take comfort and refreshment from the recollection of the bright days passed under the beautiful clear sunshine of the Canadian seasons.

If in any way we have been able to please you in the personal intercourse which it has been our happiness to have experienced on civic occasions, and in social meetings at Government House, we shall certainly leave with the feeling that there is no community more easy to please. The interest and affection we have for you will always endure, and I hope that when any of you visit the Old Country (should I happen to be there) you will let me again see you.

But, gentlemen, however pleasant may have been the friendships begun during the last few years, or the official relations at my office, it is important that we should not over-value individual likings. So long as the Governor-General follows the example set by our beloved monarch as a constitutional sovereign, so long should the favour he finds with the people endure, and any personal popularity is a thing of no account. You have been pleased to endorse afresh the system under which we live and which you think infinitely preferable to that which obtains among our neighbours to the south of us. But my constitutional governorship is nearly over, and now that I am practically out of harness, I mean to assume autocratic airs, and confess to you that I have sometimes wished for the benefit and adornment of your city to become its dictator with plenary power of raising federal and local taxes for any object which may have seemed best to my despotic will. But I have faith in popular rule, and believe that when I next visit Ottawa I shall see the city not only embellished by the completion of some of the good buildings which are now rising, or about to be erected, within its limits, but that I shall see every street, and especially those which are widest, planted with flourishing shade trees. I shall probably see a new Government House, from whose windows the beautiful extent of your river shall be visible, as well as the noble outlines of your Parliament Buildings. Leading from this to the city I shall mark how the long, fine avenue planted in 1884, an avenue which will stretch all the way along Sussex street past New Edinburgh to Government House, has sent forth beautiful branches of the foliage of the maple, which perhaps at intervals may mingle with a group or two of dark fir-trees. I am sure I shall see any boulders now lying by the wayside broken up to form the metal for excellent roads, and of course no vestiges of that burnt wooden house at the corner of Pooley's Bridge will remain. Indeed, I shall see few tenements which are not of brick or stone both in Ottawa and Hull, and last, but not least, I am sure we shall find the Ministry and Supreme Court properly housed in official residences such as are provided for those functionaries by most of the civilized nations of the world.

But do not think that I say anything of this prophetic vision in any spirit of detraction of what we possess here at present. I know well that without Federal help, such as is given at Washington, and with the limited area from which assessments can be drawn, it must take time to build up an ideal city, and I have always found the Ottawa of to-day a very pleasant place as a residence. You have a society of singular interest and variety, because so many men of ability are brought together at the seat of government, and I believe that a gayer and brighter season than the Ottawa winter is hardly to be met with. By the increase of good accommodation afforded by the hotels, an improvement, which has been most notable within the last few years, has been effected for the comfort of visitors, and its results are apparent in the great number of strangers who throng your city during the time of the sitting of Parliament. Ottawa should become during these months more and more the social centre for the Dominion, and in contributing towards this, and in working for this end, you will not only be benefitting yourselves, but aiding in strengthening the national spirit and the unity of sentiment between the provinces which may be greatly fostered in convening together, not only the leading men of the Dominion, but those ladies belonging to other centres of social life in Canada, without whose patriotic feeling it would be vain even for the ablest statesman to do much towards national unity and purpose.

For our part we shall always look back upon many of the months spent in this city as being among the brightest and pleasantest, and in bidding you farewell we wish to express a hope that it may only be farewell for the present.

Let me now thank you once more, and may all good remain with you and yours.


Government House, Ottawa, 9th October, 1883.

At Montreal, on his departure, the St. Jean Baptiste Society and the Caledonian Society presented addresses. Lord Lorne thanked them for the personal good wishes expressed, but referring to the presentation to the Governor-General of addresses from societies representing some race or old national sentiment among Canadians, he said that he would suggest that, for the future, Canadians should approach the Head of the Government only as Canadians, the Mayor or Warden representing all. Although among themselves they might and would always cherish recollections of the nationality from which they sprang, a Governor-General must recognize them only as that which they now are, namely, component parts of the Canadian people.

His Excellency then replied as follows to the address presented by the Mayor on behalf of the city:--

At Montreal--Reply to Address of the City Corporation

To the Mayor and Corporation of the City of Montreal

Gentlemen,--Your kind words remind us rather of what we would have wished to have done than of any accomplishment of those desires. It is but little that an individual placed at the head of your Government as its impartial chief magistrate can or may do, and it is perhaps as well that this is so, for it would be a matter of regret, and one to be deplored, if the esteem in which that high office is held should depend on any individual's capacity for capturing popular sympathy. The position is one capable of much good in moderating counsel, and even in the suggestion of methods of procedure in government; but any action the head of the state may take must be unknown, except at rare intervals, to the public, and must always be of such a nature that no party may claim him as their especial friend. As a sign of the union of your country with the rest of the Empire, he has other functions more important than that of making Canada well known abroad, which it may be in his power greatly to use for your benefit. Steam communication has made the advent of emigrants easy, and the emigrant is a better advertiser for you than any official can be. In short, so far as the public activity of a Governor-General is concerned, he should rely rather on the approbation of posterity than on any personal recognition, taking care only that his name be associated with constitutional rule, and his impartial recognition of whatever Ministry the country, through the House of Commons, elects for his advice. It is a source of much satisfaction to me to know that my successor is certain to follow in this respect the example of the Queen, whose representative he is.

It would be impertinence in me to speak of his private character, for they who desire to know of this have only to go and hear what is said by his loving tenantry and friends on his estates in County Kerry, Ireland, where an emphatic tribute to his personal worth has been lately paid him at Dereen. In a few days he will land upon your shores, and I am certain he will receive that warm welcome which a generous and loyal people are ever ready to accord to the temporary representative of constitutional government.

You have alluded, sir, to that happy day in November, five years ago, when Montreal gave us so splendid a welcome. I remember when the horses became unmanageable it was the good will of the citizens to honour us by detaching them, and by drawing the carriage for a long distance until we reached the great Windsor Hotel. I told them at the time that I considered it an omen of how a Governor might always trust to them for support. That impression was strengthened during my stay in Canada, together with this other, namely, that if anything goes wrong, it is easy for the people to take matters into their own hands, and to change the programme, substituting another where order and active purpose may be clearly discerned.

My residence amongst you has led me greatly to honour your people, and in honouring them it has been my privilege to honour also its men of both sides of politics in the State, who have been chosen by the constituencies to lead their political life. Almost the only pain I have experienced during my term here has been caused by the personal attacks which are too frequently made on both sides against party men. Believe me, gentlemen, such personal attacks do no good in advancing any cause, but belittle the nation in the eyes of strangers. They are also, as a rule, as unwarrantable as they are repulsive, useless and mischievous. I have seen a good deal of the public life and of the politicians of many countries, and I unhesitatingly affirm that you have in general in Canada as pure and noble-minded statesmen as may be found anywhere the wide world over. Where in other lands you see those who have had political power and patronage occupying palaces and raising themselves to be amongst the richest of the people, we here see perhaps too much of the other extreme, and men who have led parties to battle and been the victorious leaders in honest political strife are too often left to live in houses which an English squire would not consider good enough for his bailiff. This leads me to speak to you of a wish which I have often cherished, but which, to reveal a Cabinet secret, I have never succeeded in persuading any Canadian statesman to support by a speech in the chambers of the Legislature. They fear, I suppose, that selfishness would be assigned as their motive. I therefore come to you, the people, to propose it, and to ask you--the representatives and citizens of the wealthiest community in Canada--to take it up. It is this: that we should have at Ottawa official residences not only for the Judges of the Supreme Court, but for the Dominion Ministers of the day. This is, of course, a matter which would indifferently benefit whatever party may be in power. Should you encourage the idea through your representatives you will be only following in the footsteps of many other peoples. Every little state in Germany provides good residences for its Ministers. At Berlin and at Paris the nations of France and of Germany look upon it as a matter of course that the Ministry should possess fit residences. Why should we not follow an example so obviously good, and, because we rightly ask the Judges of the Supreme Court and federal Ministry to reside at the Capital, furnish them with the means of doing so in a manner suited to the dignity of this nation?

Forgive me for detaining you at length, but in speaking to you it is impossible not to remember that I am addressing the wealthiest and greatest community in the country. Montreal must always keep her pre-eminent position on the St. Lawrence, situated as she is at the end of the ocean waterways, which form so imperial an avenue to the artificial navigation connecting the great lakes that lie at the limits of the vast grain region of the prairies. But while our thoughts naturally turn westward to the vast interior with gratitude to the Giver for so wondrous a wealth in the new soils of the central continent, let us be thankful also for the Providence which has enabled our thrifty and hardy people to turn to good account the banks on both sides of the great stream flowing from hence seawards. Let us be thankful that this great arterial channel has tempted people not only up its own current, but up the channels of its tributaries, and that under the guidance of men like Labelle and others, we are gradually having the great country to the north opened up by settlements which have spread along the Ottawa, the River Rouge, the Lievre and the Saguenay, until the long silent shores of Lake St. John have become the busy scenes of agricultural life. Let us be grateful also that we have this country garrisoned by men who are as true to the Constitution and the Throne as they are faithful to their Church, and while we direct our own young men and the youthful emigrant from Europe to the North and to the West, let us take care to point out to the stranger the advantages which are so manifest here for those who either desire a city life or who wish to reside upon the fruitful and long cleared farms of the ancient provinces of Old Canada.

Now, Monsieur le Maire, accept our thanks and our farewell, but let me express our wish that our parting may be only for a time, and au revoir.

At Quebec--Reply, Oct. 20th 1883, To Address of the City Corporation

On the 20th October the Corporation of the City of Quebec presented a farewell address. The Governor-General in the course of his reply, made the following remarks:--

Where the laws, the language, and the institutions of each of the Provinces forming our great Confederation are guarded by a constitution which sees its own strength in the happy continuance of local privileges, what wonder is it that success and progress are everywhere to be seen. The Englishman, Scotchman or Irishman here finds the traditions of his country continued; the French-Canadian enjoys the most absolute liberty and safety under the flag which secures to him in common with all citizens of every Province a national life, the natural and legitimate desire of the growing communities of this great country. From East to West the spreading colonies are now able to give each other the hand. They are beginning to find out what vast possessions they have. They value national coherence and the maintenance of local laws. They glory in that glorious name which you first assumed--a Canadian. You know me well enough by this time to make it superfluous for me to render any long éloge upon your characteristics. Although we leave you we shall always be with you in spirit, and cherish a desire to assist you.

The words of affectionate regret come easily, and I have but little advice to give you. If there be any, it would be that no part of the Dominion should exclude itself from the influence of the rest. They who know only themselves and avoid contact with others go backwards; they who welcome new impressions and compare the ideas of other men with their own, make progress. Open your arms to the immigrants who come, while you endeavour to repatriate your own people; there is room enough here for all; continue to make the country to the north of you a second line of wealth-giving lands for the first line formed by the valley of the St. Lawrence. Remember to direct some of your young men to the West. I feel that you throughout Canada are on the right track. You have only to keep it. With the motto--"Our Rights and our Union" you will, with the blessing of God, become a people whose sons will be ever proud of the country of their birth.

May your triumphs continue to be the triumphs of Peace, your rewards the rewards of Industry, Loyalty, and Faith!


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