Canada and the Monarchy


JUNE 1939


IF you were to ask any Canadian, ‘Do you people have to go to war if England does? ‘ he’d answer at once, ‘Oh, no.’ If you then said, ‘ Would you go to war if England did?’ he’d answer, ‘Oh, yes.’ And if you asked, ‘Why?’ he would say, reflectively, ‘Well, you see, we’d have to.’

And with that you would receive a first introduction into the peculiar political mystery that one may call the paradox of the British Empire. We in Canada never saw it better illustrated than in the emergency of the Czechoslovakian crisis. All men of sound nationality and allegiance old enough to remember the suffering and sacrifice of the Great War, and above all those who had served in it, seemed to be of one mind. They heartily damned the Sudeten Germans and the Czechs with them; they even damned all Europe and denied all connection with the place; but they took no interest in mere legalistic discussions as to whether Canada was bound — legally, if such a silly word can be used — to go to war.

As they themselves said, that was not the point; nobody was talking of that. The point was that they couldn’t see any way out of a war if England was in it: to be a neutral country, with bombs dropping on England, the British people fighting for life, enemy ships in and out of our ports, recruiting forbidden, aid prohibited — why, the thing just seemed damned silly; did and still does. It is fit only for futile discussions by the people called ‘pink’ professors for whom academic abstractions take the place of reality.

Yet, on the other hand, here we are, Canadians living in Canada — what real interest have we in the people on the Elbe and the Danube? What do we really know about whether the Czechs lorded it over the Sudetens or the Sudetens undermined it under the Czechs? Or, for the matter of that, what does India matter to us? We have nothing to do with it economically, spiritually, or in any other way, and we don’t want its people over here. Or Japan — or no, wait a minute — that’s different. As you go round the world you reach us again on our Pacific side: Japan is of vital interest to us, and of course to deal with the Japanese we must have England behind us. But if England safeguards us from

Japan, then we can’t keep out of Europe, can we? So there you are, round the full circuit of the centrifugal and centripetal forces of the British Empire — and even at that we have left out the whole problem of Africa.

Copyright 1939, by The Atlantic Monthly Company, Boston, Mass. All rights reserved.

One asks, then, what really is the British Empire, and in what direction are these internal and external forces moving it? If we look for a constitutional definition of what the British Empire is, the only approach to it is found in the resolution of the Imperial Conference of 1926 on which was based the Statute of Westminster of 1931. The resolution declared that the United Kingdom and the Dominions are ‘autonomous communities within the British Empire, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.’

This pronouncement is as much a riddle of the Sphinx as was the United States Constitution in regard to state sovereignty in the ante-bellum period. ‘Freely associated’ can mean anything or nothing. Indeed, it is felt that the constitution of the Empire is so nebulous that it can’t be solidified. It is like the Polynesian gods surrounded by a taboo which forbids even naming them. They have to be just called ‘Oom,’ which isn’t really their name. ‘Nothing would be gained,’ so resolved the same Conference, ‘by attempting to lay down a constitution.’ So the ensuing Statute of Westminster became the ‘Oom’ of the British Empire.

Even the indicated existing bonds that hold the ‘free association’ look fragile when you examine them. There is a common allegiance to the Crown; but as a matter of fact George VI began reigning in South Africa one day before he reigned in England, and did not begin reigning in Ireland till one day after that. ‘Legalistically’ speaking, there were two Kings at once. More than that, the reign of the King in Ireland, now properly called Eire, is only a sort of twilight. By the Constitution (Amendment No. 27) Act of December 1936, also a product of the abdication, the King is King of Ireland outside of it but not in it. The bond of union formerly represented by a common court of first appeal (the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council) shakes loose at a trick like a conjuror’s knot. It is only there unless the Dominions refuse it. Ireland has done so.

The Dominions are members of the League of Nations, and three of them hold mandates under it; academically it is held that that makes them ‘sovereign states’ as far as international law is concerned — in other words, what one might call sovereign states in the Pickwickian sense, international law being now an abstraction. In the British Empire there is no common citizenship, no common taxation, no common army or navy, no common currency or legal tender, no common foreign policy. Are not, then, the parts of the Empire sovereign states? Not at all — they are just ‘freely associated.’ It sounds about as logical as Amos ‘n’ Andy or Huckleberry Finn.

And yet, the great majority of those who have occasion to think most about it will, I am certain, agree with me in saying that the British Empire was never so closely bound together as now, never so far from any thought of dissolution or secession, and is moving, in its own peculiar path, into closer, more organic union. The legal aspect of its structure — or rather the lack of legal aspect — merely reflects the fact that the days of legalistic structure, compacts, and scraps of paper are passing away. They are ropes of sand, holding nothing that will not join — at best a bandage round a healing limb, worthless without nature.


To read the present right we must go back to the past. The starting point for the constitutional study of imperial relations must be found in the monarchy of the eighteenth century, when the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 and the Act of Settlement that followed it in 1701 had established in Great Britain the ‘supremacy of parliament’ as the basis of law and government. Parliament here meant ‘King, Lords and Commons,’ and an ‘Act of Parliament’ enjoyed a plenary sovereignty with no (legal) limitation of prerogative, custom, or moral right. Incidentally, this made the jurisdiction over the American colonies a misfit in common sense and led to disunion. But no English lawyers questioned the pure law of the matter as to sovereignty. Indeed, the Declaratory Act of 1766 said that it was so.

This theory of parliamentary supremacy lasted from 1766 till 1926. Formulated by Bentham and Austin, rehearsed by a hundred law schools, it took its place, for British lawyers, alongside of Newtonian gravitation and the axioms of Euclid. But its inherent insufficiency was there all the time: the ‘Lords and Commons,’ who with the King made up the ‘Supreme Parliament,’ were Lords and Commons of Great Britain and Ireland. Settlers in outlandish parts had no share and no say in it. This did not matter much when the settlers were still few and the parts truly outlandish. Nor did it matter at all with populations not settlers, but natives, living on their own ground. ‘King, Lords and Commons’ was good enough for them. And the white settlers at first found dependence natural and necessary. The 40,000 Loyalists (1783-1790) who came into what is now Canada owed everything to the fostering care of the mother country transport, food, land. Infant colonies, of course, clung to the leading strings of their mother’s apron.

But as settlement grew and colonies changed to communities, the misfit that had led to the separation of the American Colonies was felt again. It is true that a measure of self-government existed from the start. Elected assemblies had been given to the two Canadas in 1791. Nova Scotia was allowed an Assembly as far back as 1759, by a sort of prescriptive British right, based on those of the other American plantations. The refugee-loyalist Colony of New Brunswick (1784) had an Assembly from the beginning. The Australian settlers received one each in due course, as did the Cape and Natal. But these popular assemblies conferred the name of freedom without the fact. The royal governor still controlled the executive and the purse.

To this sentimental grievance, the inferiority complex, of the colonies were added various practical injustices — about the public lands, the status of the churches, and so forth—things impossible to understand or to regulate from England. When Governor Simcoe told his log-house parliament at Newark (Niagara) in 1792 that they enjoyed an ‘image and transcript of the British Constitution,’ the image was distorted by the alien mirror and the transcript by the alien hand. By the time the two Canadas had half a million people, English and French, this misfit of government had become intolerable to free people — meaning people allowed to grumble. The result was the sudden rebellion of 1837. The British Government suppressed it, hanged all the leaders within reach, and sent out Lord Durham to ask what had happened.

Durham, a British Liberal, wrote a famous report which said that what these people needed was British Liberalism, prescribed in those days by the Cobdenite School for peoples of all races, colors, and environments, like a salve for rheumatism sold from a street wagon. Its special application took the form of ‘responsible government,’ meaning an executive cabinet responsible to the elected house. This was duly installed in Canada in 1842, and became, in the following twenty years, the standard system of the British (white) colonies. The Duke of Wellington, still alive and living on the memory of Waterloo, was declared ‘ thunderstruck’ when he heard of it. He considered it ‘fatal to our connection with the colonies.’ But that to the Liberals was the chief merit of it. The example of the United States was interpreted as ‘manifest destiny.’ The future of all colonies was independence — a painless dissolution of the Empire in which the colonies were to float away on a sea of the milk of human kindness. Even the Tories wanted to be rid of them. ‘These wretched colonies,’said Disraeli, ‘will all be independent some day, and meantime are like millstones round our neck.’ The Manchester School reveled in Tittle Englandism’ and the dream of a ‘right little, tight little island.'

So the next thirty years after the Duke had been thunderstruck in 1842 witnessed a progressive loosening of the bonds of empire. After 1840 the colonies began making their own tariffs. Canada and Victoria (Australia) plunged for ‘protection.’ British ministers explained this to British manufacturers as a temporary aberration of ignorance. British garrisons were removed from colonial towns; the last garrison of Montreal went away to music in 1870. There was relief when they went. Their uniforms had turned the girls’ heads: a farmer is a shabby lover beside a hussar, and a merchant smells of coffee rather than of gunpowder. The men of the colonies decided to defend themselves — and there wasn’t any war anyway.

A severe jolt to complacency came with the American Civil War. The crisis over the Trent Affair (1861), and the new outlook it gave, helped to make possible the British North America Act of 1867, creating the Dominion of Canada. But the Act altered nothing as to the ultimate constitution of the Empire. Parliament was still supreme — indeed its supremacy was used (1871, 1884, and so forth) as a mechanism, as the only mechanism, for amending the government of Canada. Amendment was made only when asked for by both the Canadian Houses, but that was usage, not law. There was no other way — nor is there even to-day. Oddly enough, there is no power findable in the present Dominion which could, let us say, abolish the Canadian Senate, or alter the jurisdiction of the federal government. The voters can’t, parliament can’t, a convention can’t — so, unless the British Parliament can, nobody can.

Freedom under responsible government kept on ‘broadening down’ as Tennyson had said it would. The Governor-General lost, bit by bit, his remaining independent powers. He stopped using his power of disallowance, and it died. After 1878 the Dominion hanged its own criminals, the Minister of Justice becoming the fountain of mercy and the Governor-General merely signing on the (fatal) dotted line. Goldwin Smith, in 1891, called him a rubber stamp. By the turn of the century, or just a little after, Canada was entirely separate from the British Army; the Navy had gone from Halifax and Esquimalt, and the Governor-General presided not over councils but over drawing-rooms.


But in another aspect the situation had entirely changed. ‘Little England’ hadn’t come off. In place of it was ‘big Germany.’ The milk of human kindness was too thin to float colonies. Free trade was bankrupt, and universal peace replaced after 1854 by wars that never stopped. The constituents of the Empire found themselves in a new world — a world grabbing for territory, dividing up Africa, reconquering Asia, searching the earth for rubber, oil, metals, markets, resources.

Hence the new movement for imperial unity, — the mixed creed of imperialism, partly good and partly bad, — inspired by grandeur and by courage, by meanness and by fear, but above all guided, as the event has shown, by instinct.

The movement aimed first at formal Federation (the Imperial Federation League of 1884). The colonies were all for it, singing ‘God Save the Queen’ at hundreds of meetings, in colonial towns, in the bush, and on the prairie. The song stopped as soon as it turned out that there would be a ‘collection’ after the meeting — that is, that imperial federation meant imperial taxes. The league divided, dissolved, vanished.

In place of taxes to unite the Empire, the next expedient was imperial pageantry, the Colonial Conferences or the Golden Jubilee of 1887 and the Diamond Jubilee of 1897. Assembled London marveled to see colonial prime ministers actually wearing silk hats and riding in open barouches with maharajahs from Hyderabad and native chiefs from the Cannibal Isles. Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Recessional’ anthem marked the high tide of imperial sentiment: the only trouble was to find a mould to pour it into and let it solidify. The Conferences —from 1897 till the war — proved a vain hope. All attempts at closer union split on the rocks of taxation and representation. ‘If you want our aid, call us to your councils,’ said the grandiloquent premier of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. ‘If at any time you are prepared to share the burden of Empire,’ answered the equally eloquent Joseph Chamberlain, ‘we are prepared to give you a proportionate share in the councils of the Empire.’ The two phrases matched and met. England didn’t want advice, but money; the colonies had advice to give, but not money. And the advice, anyway, was merely to let them alone. The situation reached an impasse. A blunt Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith, said (1911): ‘Our responsibility cannot be shared.’

Equally unattainable was any form of commercial union. The colonies — called Dominions after 1907 — had protective tariffs and proposed to keep them. They gave ‘preferences’ to England, but adjusted them with great nicety not to prefer. The foreigner had to jump a high wall and John Bull only a low wall; but he couldn’t jump it anyway. Later on, much later, a still blunter British Minister, Mr. Jim Thomas (1930), called preference ‘humbug.’ Blunt people say things which polite people have known and not said for years. This separation, in point of fact, — of government, of defense, of tariffs, — presently got itself a theory and called itself Colonial Nationalism. Political theory always means wisdom after the fact, a post-mortem, not a prophecy. ‘Nationalism’ meant being let alone and letting freedom broaden down some more. ‘We are happy as we are,’ said a distinguished French Canadian.

Thus there were two schools — those for closer formal union and those too happy to want it. The Unionists being a band of crusaders, Mr. Lionel Curtis’s organization, ‘The Round Table,’ went round the Empire like the Old Federation League. I myself, the writer of this article, shared in these mistaken activities, lectured round the Empire under the auspices of the Rhodes Trust, and was one of those to expound the case of security by formal Imperial Union. Our chief argument was that, in case of war, united action was impossible without imperial unity. Speaking broadly, New Zealand was all for formal union. Itself a reproduction — in climate, resources, and nationality — of the British Isles upside down in the Pacific, New Zealand is the most ‘loyal’ (a Victorian word) of the Dominions, still calling England ‘home’ and without major ambitions. All for union also was Natal — hemmed in by the Dutch — till the Union of 1909 amalgamated it with South Africa. Dead against unity, and bitterly against it, were all the Dutch — many, perhaps most of them, dreaming still at that date of independence, and the rest, under Botha and Smuts, held only as honest men keeping their compact of Vereeniging (1902). Dead against unity, with the deadness of inertia, was Canada. Australia, federated in 1901 into a Commonwealth, faced both ways, wanting lots of British ships and British money but not British interference. Under these forces the Empire drifted like the star drift of the great constellations across the sky, slow, majestic, in part retrograde, and moving nowhere.

Then came the war. It turned out that the Imperial Unionists were quite wrong. The Empire fought better in sections. Local patriotism draws best. The war sealed the fate of the Federal Empire and at last fashioned its mould — a ‘Commonwealth of Nations.’ After the war the Commonwealth ran as true to form as had the Dominions and the colonies. It kept on disintegrating. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa become signatories of the Treaty of Versailles and members of the League of Nations. South Africa took over ‘German Southwest’ and ‘German East’ (Tanganyika) as ‘mandates.’ The Union government expressly declared that it would never give mandates back; it refused to make returns to the League as to how the mandates were getting on. That kind of thing doesn’t do for white people isolated among myriads of blacks. Australia took over Kaiser-Wilhelmsland and called it Papua, to take the German taste out of it. New Zealand got a piece of Samoa, for the sake of prestige and class — and felt as proud as a poor white with a slave.

The drift continued unabated. When Mr. Lloyd George suggested that the colonies might join in the Turkish War of 1921 (which didn’t happen) the answer from Canada was that Parliament would look into it. Southern Ireland — admitted as a Dominion, the Irish Free State of 1921, in preference to having a permanent civil war — became the Peck’s Bad Boy of the Commonwealth, tore up the account books of the land debts, canceled all appeals from the courts, pretended it could talk Gaelic (its sole official language; English is only by necessity and courtesy), called itself Eire, appointed its own Governor-General, and finally made a new constitution in 1937, in force after 1938, which cuts out the Crown altogether except for relations abroad and sets up a President with a cabinet of ministers and a citizenship all its own as far as it can make it. The Irish since then are thinking what to want next. The weak spot of their position is that at the abdication of December 1936 they had independence lying at their feet and wouldn’t pick it up.

The other Dominions shared the drift without the animus. Newfoundland, like a retrograde star, drifted the other way: crippled in resources, half-frozen, halfstarving, it called on the mother country to take it back, and in 1933 became again a colony with the supremacy of parliament warm around it like a winter blanket, and a sustaining diet of British loans to revive its industry. Not too much is said about this by any of us — it looks somehow like freedom broadening backwards.

But the other Dominions steadily and without animus have slackened each remaining formal bond. They make their own treaties; since 1929, no British Minister is needed even for the signature — the Dominions can write their own names. They have now, as far as they wish to, their own diplomatic staff. Canada has ministers at Washington, Paris, Tokio — we prefer not to have one among the Nazis. We remember too well the missionaries among the Iroquois. So in such cases the obliging United Kingdom — the phrase now replaces ‘mother country’ — acts for us without charge.


As far as the situation has a constitutional basis, it rests on the (Imperial) Statute of Westminster of 1931. This was intended, not as introducing anything new or abolishing anything old, but merely as a recognition of existing fact. Nearly all British constitutional statutes, from the Magna Carta downwards, prefer to do this and nothing more, as notably the Magna Carta itself, the Petition of Right of 1628, the Bill of Rights of 1689. This is what is called the British genius for government: the British can tell themselves anything and believe it. The Statute of Westminster had its genesis thus — the war conferences, viewing the actual innovations of the war organizations, recommended reconsideration of imperial relations after the war. The Imperial Conference of 1926 drafted resolutions. These carried, of course, no legal ‘sanction.’ The Dominions, on the report of the Conference, expressed a general approval of embodying the resolutions in an imperial statute. As drawn, it contained the definition of the status of the Empire already quoted — ‘autonomous communities, and so forth.’ It enacted that henceforth no imperial legislation could override dominion legislation: both are without limit, territorially or exterritorially. The obvious possibility of conflict is left to look after itself. The Statute declared itself inoperative in regard to Australia and New Zealand till expressly ratified by their parliaments, this being in accordance with their declared views. Ratification was not completed in fact till 1938. But the Statute was accepted as applying to the other Dominions on the strength of their antecedent approval.

In strict law the Statute is as full of holes as a sieve. On the face of it, it leaves the Dominion of Canada bound hand and foot beyond constitutional amendment with a chain and padlock of which it has thrown away the key. Anomalies like this don’t matter a particle in British government. We’ve lived on them since Edward the Confessor. But, as far as it has a general apparent meaning, the Statute dissolves the Empire into seven (now six) separate sovereign parts, free to secede and indissolubly bound together. It thus proudly takes its place on the shelf with Magna Carta and the rest. Americans will recall their ‘Confederation of 1777’ and understand the idea exactly. They also share in the genius of government.

An observer who had eyes but no mind, looking at this, would tell us that the British Empire was visibly drifting apart — indeed, that it had already drifted apart. But an observer who could interpret what his eyes saw would form a judgment exactly the other way. The British Empire, disunited in legalistic form, represents at the present time a closer union than ever before in its history, with every evidence, as far as observation can penetrate, of a permanent unity, one that will not be lost except by submergence in a wider union.

Consider this. What parts or sections of the Empire at present want independence? Absolutely none. Contrast with this the situation of the opening century. After the bitter end of the inglorious Boer War in the forced compact of Vereeniging, forced by sheer weight of numbers, destruction of homes, and death of women and children in concentration camps, nearly all the South African Dutch still dreamt of independence. It was for independence that old De Wet and his associates rebelled in 1914. Ultimate independence, peacefully obtained, was the inspiring thought of Heb Volt and Judge Hertzog (formerly) and of the Dutch Nationalist parties. Those of longer vision, Botha and Smuts, would have none of it; against it stood not only their given word but their vision of the long future. And now the long future has come, and with it the idea of independence in South Africa has floated away like mist over the mountains in the new winds of world danger.

The South African elections of 1938 showed an overwhelming majority for Hertzog’s United National South African Party. Their opponents on the right were the ‘Ultra-British’ group, on the left the ‘Ultra-Dutch’ of Dr. Malan. But even for these last the demand for ‘independence’ as an actuality has faded away. It lives on only in symbols and side issues. All Africa bubbled with mimic fury last summer over whether to sing ‘God Save the King’ or ‘God Save South Africa’ — the song is literally ‘ Die Stem von Suid Africa.’ The government decided to save both: the bands play now either twice or not at all. But this is not independence. It is just what they call in England the old school tie.

Forty years ago South Africa stood by itself, protected by infinite distances, by harborless coasts, by an impassable hinterland. Organize its port defense and all Europe could not harm it. Dr. Jameson (of the Raid of 1895) used to say — I have heard him say it — that if the Boers had moved faster to the sea in 1899 they would have licked all Britain.

But now — what are a few thousand miles to aerial flight? What coast is closed against bombardment? What better gun platform than an empty hinterland? South Africa can no more stand alone than Czechoslovakia — and the South Africans know it. Mr. Pirow, the energetic Defense Minister of the Union, stated officially in the parliament a little while ago that South Africa is free to stay out of a British war. Such a statement now is merely a chewing of old straw. Nobody doubts it, and it doesn’t matter anyway: it’s not what people are free to do, but what they are going to do. In short, the typical attitude among South Africans is that, as long as it is understood that they can leave the Empire overnight, they’ll stay in it forever.

The last statement sounds Irish. It is Irish: it represents exactly what Ireland did at the time of the abdication. Indeed, the abdication of Edward VIII acted as a peculiar test of the imperial structure — or, if one will, a peculiar revelation in a strong light of its mode of operation. Technically the abdication in England took place as follows. The King wrote a letter in which he said, ‘I want to abdicate.’ Of itself that wouldn’t effect anything. The King has no power to put himself off the throne. So a bill was presented to Parliament and passed by the Commons and the Lords. Then the King assented to the Act, and the abdication became operative at an exact day and hour indicated in the Act.

But the Union of South Africa refused to see it that way. What to it was the action of Lords and Commons? They don’t affect South Africa. For South Africa the abdication took place as soon as its government heard of the King’s desire and said yes —which beat the Lords and Commons by a day. Ireland, meaning Eire, did not agree to either idea; it never does. As Eire saw it, the King couldn’t abdicate till the parliament of Eire let him out: that look one extra day over England. But the essential point is that both the formerly dissentient Dominions had their free choice of green flags and vierklur flags, and of slipping painlessly out of the Empire under a new King or without any — and both commonwealths instinctively drew back as one shuts the door against cold weather.

Ireland is a queer place, a lovable place. It was just like it to stay in the Empire; and, what is more, the two parts of Ireland — Northern Ireland and Eire — will be joined before so very long as a single imperial unit. I know no statement calculated to enrage Irishmen as much as this. Ulstermen shout with indignation at the idea of such a union with republican idolatry; Free State Irishmen scorn to think of any union based on concessions to monarchy. But the shouts sound hollow, the anger overloud — like the voice of age raised in the dispute that the young must settle. People shout most against what they know is coming; and peaceful settlement seems tame after a hundred years of grievance and excitement and fun.


Now take Canada. To those of us who live here, separation from the Empire is quite unthinkable — not from the anger of patriotism, but because we can’t think it. Union with the United States — we have it now: a peculiar beautiful union of hearts, with old quarrels asleep, and surrounded with the reverence of slumber. Independence? What from? A little group of our French people — a group only in the sense that four-leaf clovers are a group, one here, one there — like to talk of a sort of dream republic called Laurentia. It is a lovely place: there are no English there, and no capitalists or power companies, and there are no soldiers and armies, and it never goes to fight in Europe; in this dream world the government is all by orators — young orators—and they talk and talk, and write newspapers and pamphlets, and fall asleep and wake up and talk. No one quite knows where this Laurentia is, whether Montreal is in it, whether it has ports and ships that block the outlet of a continent, or whether it is up somewhere in the snow near Peribonka, in the country of Maria Chapdelaine. But what is life without dreams?

Thus does the British Empire, as the clouds gather over Europe, Asia, and Africa, draw close together. The earlier grievances, like the inferiority complex that magnified them, are all forgotten now. Even the most unreflecting realizes how fortunate has been our escape from dissolution, how fortunate has been the evolution of our monarchy, unique in the world’s history, reconciling or offering an opportunity to reconcile liberty with sovereignty, democracy with kingship, prestige and pageantry with plain equality.

And in this new process of ‘getting together,’ this new phase of history, repudiating all the false starts, the mistaken aspirations of the past, where do we find our new bond of union, our common centre towards which to draw? In the monarchy: that at least remains. The worn-out fetters of authority are broken and thrown away, but the golden links of a voluntary union of hearts hold tighter. That phrase ‘a union of hearts’ is too sentimental for British taste. Put with it, as a Scottish addendum, that it is ‘highly advantageous’; admit, with an Irish grumble, that there’s nothing else; add the cheerful Australian expression ‘good enough’ — and you get the idea.

At any rate, the new union is symbolized and embodied in the monarchy alone. Legislative union, economic union, judicial union, military union — all these are gone. But the monarchy, so easily explained away at home as a constitutional nullity by Walter Bagehot and abroad as a rubber stamp by Goldwin Smith — this has become the central fact, the real effective bond of the Empire. What if the band plays ‘The Stem of South Africa’ in Pretoria and ‘O Canada’ in Ottawa? It still plays ‘God Save the King’ in both. What if fourcolor flags fly over Johannesburg, and Kangaroos over Canberra, and Maple Leafs over Ottawa? The Union Jack floats beside every one of them.

This new sense of unity under our monarchy has come over us in the Empire like a new wave of consciousness. It palpitates in the common thought of the common people, as at once our destiny and our salvation. They have no time for the professorial argument about neutrality, a monkey on a stick, lifeless: they seize by instinct the larger fact.

This is for us in Canada the real significance of the hoped-for visit of the King and Queen. It is the new inauguration of the British monarchy in the hearts of the people. The past is gone. Its mistakes are forgotten. This is the beginning of the future.

So we want the King and Queen to come, not just the King — King and Queen both, because ‘King and Queen’ spell princesses, and princesses spell the long fairy tale of the future. We want the King and Queen to see what a wonderful place Canada is — full of water power, and quintuplets, and the best wheat they ever tasted. We are like children with treasures to show. They must see it all, — from the apples of the Annapolis Valley to the giant trees of Vancouver, — because now it’s as much theirs as ours.

All this is not because we are ‘loyal ‘ — that old word went out with Queen Victoria. We just ‘belong.’