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S Canadians, we are proud of our
nationality. Our amor patrice is not on the surface, and possibly requires the positive stimulus of a *Trent Difficulty,' or the negative in. fluence of a Times article, before its latent depths are stirred. But the national feeling exists. We are justly proud of our position as the first colony of the Empire, and of our commercial rank among the nations of the world. It is our boast that we have a commercial marine only surpassed in numbers and tonnage by four of the leading nations of the earth. We have a territory richer in vegetable and mineral wealth, and larger in area, than any of the kingdoms of Europe. We have a hardy and intelligent population, and the freest institutions on the face of the globe. How should we maintain those rights, protect our liberties, and retain our possessions, were Great Britain's naval and military assistance withheld or withdrawn? We have no navy to protect our ships; we have developed no sufficient military organization to
stand the crucial test of war; we have no manufactories for warlike material, and no internal resources for their immediate creation. We have not even arms and ammunition enough to supply a single army corps in the field and to organize its reserve, should hostilities commence now. Nothing could be done, therefore, without Britain's aid, save to submit peacefully to the first power that attempted forcible annexation.
Now, is this a condition that should be acquiesced in by a free people, accustomed to the exercise of the fullest civil and religious liberty? The merchant who will not insure his life against accident, or his property against fire, is blameworthy, should he suffer loss by these means. The nation which declines or neglects to protect its liberties in not providing for their defence by all means within its power, is equally reprehensible.
Contrast our position with that of some of the smaller European Powers :
for military purposes Army
Ships Navy Guns
3,727,000 3,967,263 2,669,147 4,383,291 1,817,237 1,910,400 1,457,864 3,580,310 sq.m. 13,680 sq. m. 15,991 sq. m. 171,750 sq.m. 122,280 sq.m. 15,504 sq.m 19,941 sq. m.
£4,500,000 £8,642,556 £1,580,640 $4,340,000 £2,177, 200 £2,584,000 £1,356,971 £290,000 £1,541,909 £586,237 £925,000
£1,114,000 £336,757 none 61,947 men 84,369 7,885
From these figures it appears that, with a population almost equal, and a revenue half as large as the Netherlands, we spend less than one-seventh as much for military and naval purposes, and train for such services less than one-fourth the number of men. We have no ships of war; she has sixty-seven, some of first-class power ; and yet her mercantile marine only numbers 1,835 vessels, of 526,527 tonnage, while we have 6,952 vessels, of 1,205,565 tons burden! Denmark, with about half our population and revenue, trains annually double the number of men that we do, and has a small and well appointed navy.
Another striking comparison may be made in the amount paid for military purpose per head of population annually in different countries. For example, in Great Britain the people are taxed $6.86 per head per annum, in France $4.50 per head, in Prussia $2.20 per head, and in the United States (exclusive of the cost of the State Militia) $1.39 per head, while in Canada we only burden ourselves with the trifling tax of 14 cents per
head of our population for militia purposes. Certainly no Canadian would object to that tax being doubled or quadrupled.
It is not necessary to force these comparisons to an application. There are many circumstances which prevent a comparison with he states of Europe. It is merely to point the fact, that other nations having small populations and resources, do more to ensure their national rights and liberties than we do. And it is beyond the power of the most prophetic soul to say that our rights and liberties may not be invaded.
The question is, how are our means of defence to be developed at the least cost to a young and struggling people, both in the matter of money, and of time? There is only one way by which a defensive organization can be maintained, adequately and inexpensively, and that is by means of a militia. But many of our fellow-citizens are
accustomed to ask the question, Why expend money to support a militia that in peace is not required, and in war would be inadequate as a protection against invasion?' Let our history answer this question.
Barely twelve years after the struggle which terminated in the cession of Canada to the British, the arms of the rebellious American colonies were directed against Canada. At that time there were only about 500 British troops in the colony, but General Carleton embodied some 1,800 militia and garrisoned Quebec, defeating the attempt of the enemy to carry the fortress by storm on the 30th December, 1775, and holding it until the arrival of British reinforcements on the 6th May, 1776. All the country, west of Quebec, had been overrun by the Americans, and had not the militia proved loyal, in spite of the temptations offered them by the various proclamations of the American Generals, it is probable that, at the present time, Canada would have been one of the States of the Union. This time, therefore, the steady valour and loyalty of the Canadian militia, preserved Canada to the British Crown.
In 1812 the Americans attacked Canada with two corps, numbering 13,300 men. The British troops in the Province were but 4,500 strong, nearly 3,000 of whom were in garrison at Quebec and Montreal, only 1,500 being in Upper Canada. From the capture of Michilimacinac, the first blow of the campaign, down to its close, the militia took their share in every military operation. Of the force that captured Detroit with its garri. son of 2,500 men, scarcely 300 were regular troops. Brock had but 1,200 men to oppose 6,300 Americans on the Niagara frontier, and more than half were militia ; yet he confronted the enemy, and in the gallant action in which he lost his life, left an imperishable record of the steady valour with which Canadians can defend their country. At that time the population
of Upper Canada, capable of bearing therefore, the efforts of the Canadian arms, did not exceed 10,000 men, yet militia largely contributed to the prethe Province supplied 5,455 officers servation of Canada to the Crown. and men as its contingent for service During 1837, in Upper Canada during the war.
alone, with a population of 450,000, In 1813, Canada was menaced by there were 10,000 militia enrolled, in three separate armies, numbering over the expectation of a war being pro30,000 men. The British force con- voked by the action of the too active sisted of 13,000 regulars, and 15,000 sympathisers with the Rebels. Of militia, scattered over a frontier a this number there were 16 battalions thousand miles long. The Americans and 35 companies of cavalry, artillery, overran Upper Canada for a while, and riflemen, placed on active service, but by the end of the campaign had several of whom did military duty for been driven across the border. At
some years afterward. Chateauguay, Col. de Salaberry showed In 1862, when the Trent difficulty' of what stuff our militia was made. rendered a war with the United States The American force consisted of 7,000 a matter of extreme probability, the infantry, 10 guns, and 250 cavalry. alacrity with which the Canadian miThe Canadian force, under de Sala- litia sprung to arms, resolving to abide berry, was about 1,000 strong-nearly by all consequences rather than that half of whom took no part in the bat- their dearly loved flag should be intle- and yet he totally defeated and sulted with impunity, no doubt had drove back a force eight times his its influence in securing the submisstrength. Of this action, General sion and apology that was made by Sir James Carmichael Smyth says: the American Government. * The affair upon the Chateauguay River In 1865, it became necessary, in is remarkable as having been fought, order to restrain the Southerners reon the British side, almost entirely by sident in Canada from making our Canadians. The Republicans were territory a basis for warlike operations, repulsed by a very inferior number of
to place corps of observation at cerCanadian militia, and of troops raised tain points on the frontier. These in Canada, thus affording a practical battalions were formed from the elite proof of the good disposition of the of our militia and they became, after Canadians, and the possibility, to say a few months' duty, equal to any solnothing of the policy, of improving diery in the world. How could we the Canadian militia, so as to be fully at that time have sustained our Interequal in discipline and instruction to national obligations, had we no miliany American troops that may be tia 3 brought against them at any future From 1866 to 1870 came the Fenian opportunity. He also says, “Not a raids. How serious would these small single Canadian militiaman was known matters have become had we not had to desert to the enemy, during the our militia ready to repel such attacks ! three years the war continued.' At Those who now cavil at the expense, the end of the war, the Americans had and argue against the necessity of the gained no foothold upon
Canadian Force, were in those days the first to territory, and were forced to postpone recognize their usefulness, and to seek that conquest of Canada, originally to place the militia between themundertaken as “a military promenade.' selves and the enemy. In twenty-four Yet at that time the entire population hours from the call for active service, of Canada did not exceed 300,000, 33,754 militiamen had come forward, while that of the United States was upwards of 8,000 in excess of the over 8,000,000,—an odds of 27 to 1 | quota allowed by the Militia Act, and against us.
For the second time, 13,000 more than had been on the
strength of companies in the preced- Every male subject, at the age of ing year.
22, has to assemble in his military In 1869, our militia took a part in district for the purpose of conscripthe expedition to Red River, and, by tion. They are then sorted for the their soldierlike qualities and cheerful various arms—the smallest or weakest endurance, won such high considera- never being called upon for duty in tion from their gallant commander time of peace, and the physically inthat in the wilds of Ashanti he wished capable being rejected altogether. for those two corps of Canadian mili- About 40 per company are selected tiamen, when the picked regiments of for active service, and are, to all in. Imperial troops were at his disposal. tents and purposes, regular soldiers
Since 1870, have not the Guibord for sixteen months, and after that riots and the 12th of July outrages in time are incorporated with those men Montreal ; the Grand Trunk riot at of their year, not called upon for serBelleville and elsewhere on the line ; vice, as a reserve, to be called upon in the pilgrimage riots in Toronto, and case of need. These reserves half a dozen other occasions in which formed into battalions, of which it military aid has been invoked to en- will be seen forty per cent are drilled force the civil power, proved suffi
When a man has been in the ciently the imperative necessity for reserve for ten years, he goes into the the maintenance in our midst of a second reserve, and is not called upon for body of armed and disciplined mili- duty, unless the first reserve is drained tia, who regard their duty as soldiers by war. Officers obtain commissions first, and their prejudices and feelings only upon examination, and are prolast?
| moted by seniority,--promotions in Suppose that we take it for granted the Artillery and Engineers being that a militia is a necessary adjunct based
the number of marks to Government, even in a country gained by those who are entitled to where the people have an hereditary compete, and appointments being respect for the majesty of the law. made to the Staff from those who pass l'pon what principle, and what de- the best examinations. In some cases, tail, shall we render that constitu- however, these promotions are made tional force at once inexpensive and by merit. Non-commissioned officers eficient? There are three ways af- above the rank of corporals enlist for forded us by precedent. First, the eight years, after which time they are old feudal system, making the land, entirely exempt from military service. through its owners, responsible for Corporals are selected from among the the forthcoming of a certain force. recruits of the year, and are kept on This was the system in Canada prior duty for two years, by which time the to the conquest, and which, singularly new non-commissioned officers are fairenough, was engrafted upon British ly able for duty. law by the Quebec Act. Second-the
The Danish army is composed of: ballot, which is the law of this country, though suspended in its opera
Cavalry-1 Regiment Life Guards. 1
Hussars. tion by the present system of volun
1 tury enlistment
Dragoons. The nearest approach to our system
Artillery-30 Batteries (8 guns each.) ) as defined by law, is that in force in
Engineers-18 Companies. Denmark, which is based upon the
Infantry-1 Battalion Life Guards. liability of all able-bodied men to
22 Battalions (4 Compan
ies each.) serve, but adopts the ballot as a practice. Let us glance at its working
Or a total of 37,000 of all ranks. and results.
The third system is that wherein the
entire male population takes it in turn it will neither shrink nor give way under to serve, as in Switzerland, a country the pressure of war. Therefore we apwhich has for centuries presented the peal to our legislators, and to our edifying spectacle of a nation deter
countrymen at large, to give the matmined to be independent, but never to ter serious and instant consideration. interfere with its neighbours—an ex- To have an efficient militia, sufficient ample it would be well for us to fol- funds must be provided to carry on low.
the work regularly. It will not do to With exception of the clergy and spend two millions in one year, and certain civil functionaries, every Swiss half a million in the next. The vote is a soldier. From the age of 19 to should be a standing sum, and not that of 44 he may be at any time subject to legislative caprice, or cheesecalled upon for military service. But paring administration.
Let the counpractically a man passes into the re- try decide, once for all, what it can serve or Landwehr, at about 28 to 30, afford to spend annually for defensive serving his time in the élite or first purposes, and then hold those persons line, before that age.
As soon as a responsible for its proper expenditure, youth attains the age of 19 he is at- who are also responsible for the tached to a battalion in his canton and efficiency of the Force. there undergoes 28 days' drill for the It is difficult to understand on what first year, and eight days' drill in the grounds the successive Governments succeeding years. If he is suitable he have been so parsimonious in reference is placed in the engineers or artillery, to militia expenditure. There is no and then undergoes 42 days' training item in the Public Accounts less for the first and 14 days in the suc- grudged by the masses of the people ceeding years.
Riflemen are trained than that devoted to the support of the for 35 days the first, and 14 the follow- militia ; there is no outlay that is dis
. ing years.
tributed so evenly over the countryStaff officers are obliged to pass and there is little doubt but that any through the military school at Thun, Government would be liberally supas are also the officers of engineers and ported in a generous policy towards artillery. Regimental staff officers the force. also pass examinations on promotion. Members of Parliament have said The military college at Thun is self- that the country would not submit sustaining
to an increased expenditure for miliThe élite or first line, numbers 84,- tia purposes. This is either found369 of all ranks, the reserve or second ed on ignorance of the real feelings of line 50,069, of all ranks, and the the Canadian people, or is but a shalLandwehr or third line, 65,981 of all
Have we not seen year ranks; the first two (in round num- after year Municipal Councils all over bers 140,000 men) being armed and the country voting large sums to their equipped.
local volunteer corps to supplement Thus we see what can be accom- the Government Grants? Do not the plished in the way of defensive organi- Municipalities meet the Government zation, by smaller nations, with lesser half way and build handsome drill revenues than our own.
What are sheds, of which they pay a large porwe to do towards the same end ? No tion of the cost ? The municipal bodies hurried extension of our present sys- are not bound to expend these sums, tem is necessary or would be prudent. is no part of their duty any more Armies are not made in a day, nor can than that they should give grants to the a military system be perfected in a year. customs and the post office, or for the But the framework must be built in time erection of light-houses. This liberalof peace, upon such solid foundations that ity is the most conclusive proof that