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Cuba are not the affairs of the United Sates, who insist that we can stand idly by and see that island devastated and depopulated, its business interests destroyed, its commercial intercourse with us cut off, its people starved, degraded, and enslaved. It may be the naked legal right of the United States to stand thus idly by.
I have the legal right to pass along the street and see a helpless dog stamped into the earth under the heels of a ruffian. I can pass by and say that is not my dog. I can sit in my comfortable parlor with my loved ones gathered about me,
and through my plate-glass window see a fiend outraging a helpless woman near by, and I can legally say this is no affair of mine—it is not happening on my premises; and I can turn away and take my little ones in my arms, and, with the memory of their sainted mother in my heart, look up to the motto on the wall and read, “ God bless our home.”
But if I do I am a coward and a cur unfit to live, and, God knows, unfit to die. And yet I cannot protect the dog or save the woman without the exercise of force.
We cannot intervene and save Cuba without the exercise of force, and force means war; war means blood. The lowly Nazarene on the shores of Galilee preached the divine doctrine of love, “ Peace on earth, good will toward men." Not peace on earth at the expense of liberty and humanity. Not good will toward men who despoil, enslave, degrade, and starve to death their fellow men. I believe in the doctrine of Christ. I believe in the doctrine of peace; but, Mr. President, men must have liberty before there can come abiding peace. Intervention means force. Force means
War means blood. But it will be God's force. When has a battle for humanity, and liberty ever been won except by force ?
What barricade of wrong, injustice, and oppression has ever been carried except by force?
Force compelled the signature of unwilling royalty to the great Magna Charter; force put life into the Declaration of Independence and made effective the Emancipation Proclamation; force beat with naked hands upon the iron gateway of the Bastile and made reprisal in one awful hour for centuries of kingly crime; force waved the flag of revolution over Bunker Hill and marked the snows of Valley Forge with blood-stained feet; force held the broken line at Shiloh, climbed the flame-swept hill at Chattanooga, and stormed the clouds on Lookout Heights; force marched with Sherman to the
sea, rode with Sheridan in the valley of the Shenandoah, and gave Grant victory at 'Appomattox; force saved the Union, kept the stars in the flag, made“ niggers” men. The time for God's force has come again. Let the impassioned lips of American patriots once more take up the song:
“ In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
For God is marching on." Others may hesitate, others may procrastinate, others may plead for further diplomatic negotiation, which means delay, but for me, I am ready to act now, and for my action I am ready to answer to my conscience, my country, and my God.
Mr. President, in the cable that moored me to life and hope the strongest strands are broken. I have but little left to offer at the altar of Freedom's sacrifice, but all I have I am glad to give. I am ready to serve my country as best I can in the Senate or in the field. My dearest wish, my most earnest prayer to God is this, that when death comes to end all, I may meet it calmly and fearlessly as did my beloved, in the cause of humanity, under the American flag.
NEORGE EULAS FOSTER, a Canadian statesman and orator of the
Liberal-Conservative party, was born in Carleton County, New Brunswick, September 3, 1847. After receiving a common-school education and working for a time in a grocery store, he entered the University of New Brunswick, whence he graduated at the head of his class, and in 1871 was appointed professor of history. He resigned in 1879 and devoted himself to lecturing on temperance and prohibition. In 1882 he was elected to the House of Commons and immediately made his mark as a parliamentary speaker. In 1885 he was appointed Minister of Marine and Fisheries and took charge of the Canadian interests in the Joint Commission that sat at Washington in 1888. That same year he succeeded Sir Charles Tupper as Minister of Finance, a position which he held through four administrations until July, 1896. He was returned to the Eighth Dominion Parliament as a member for York. Mr. Foster advocated the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and favored the idea of an imperial federation of the British dominions, in which each country, while free to manage its own domestic affairs, should be leagued with all the others in a community of trade and defence. At the unveiling of the Macdonald monument in Montreal in June, 1895, he delivered an impressive oration.
DEFENCE AND PROTECTION
(Extract from a speech delivered in the Canadian House of Commons, January 16, 1896, during the debate on the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne delivered by his Excellency in opening the session of Parliament.]
Y honorable friend also drew attention to the section
in the Address which refers to the arming and the
strengthening of the militia and defences of Canada. He spoke words none too hearty, he spoke none too approvingly of the militia of this country, and he voiced what is the general sentiment of this House and the country, that its militia deserves well at its hands, and it is the duty of the country to put the best and the newest arms in the hands of the militia, and see that they are well taken care of and equipped in this respect.
But he had to qualify that by saying that he could perceive in it the flavor of a “jingo ” policy.
Well, sir, I leave it to the honorable gentleman and all reasonable men to say if, taking up that paragraph in reply to the Speech, they can see anything in it which savors of defiance or in the least approaches to a jingo policy. It is a modest and straightforward expression, meaning exactly what he says and nothing more, and my honorable friend, I think, will agree that it does not in the least show a tendency in the direction suggested.
No person in Canada who loves his country and desires its peace and prosperity can, in the present juncture of circumstances, whatever may be said at other times, think of breathing a spirit of defiance and jingoism. This would be furthest removed possible from the sensible and well-developed sentiment of Canada, which, while it honors love of country, feels the evidence of strength in its arms, and cherishes in its heart the full purpose to defend that country and stand by it whenever it is threatened, yet, relying on its own calmness, force, and strength, does not ask for declamation and does not flaunt itself in defiance.
But he would read the signs of the times not aright in these somewhat troublesome days, when the great mother Empire stands splendidly isolated in Europe, with interests stretching over the wide world, with a commerce the greatest any nation of the world has ever possessed and vulnerable on every quarter of the sea, who did not feel as Britain feels to-day, and is showing it, that the country's weal, the country's progress, the country's stability, all of the country's pride and glory must base itself upon the strong arms and willing, loyal hearts of the citizenship of that Empire from one end of it to the other.
It is the right and duty of Britain herself and of every dependency that belongs to her to be ready, aye, ready as well as steady in its sentiments of loyalty and devotion for the Empire as a whole. It is in that spirit, and not in any spirit that asks for war or trouble, that that modest reference was placed in the Queen's Speech. And in pursuance of that it is the determination of this government to put the militia and the defences of this country, so far as can possibly be done by Canada, into a state which is adequate to the feelings, the interests, and the security of this country in itself, and as a portion of the Empire.
Now, sir, my honorable friend [Mr. Laurier) has referred to the development of foreign markets. I would not speak of that for a single moment except that he introduced a specious fallacy which is often thrown at the Liberal-Conservative party.
It is this: You tell me that the farmer of Great Britain is seeking for protection, that to-day the weight of competition is being felt by the English farmer who, when raising his wheat one hundred miles from London, is at a disadvantage in competition with the man who raises his wheat three thousand miles away under other and freer conditions ; and that therefore the British farmer is looking for protection to aid him in the unequal competition. But, says my honorable friend, if the British farmer gets the protection that he needs, it is a death-blow to you as a protectionist in Canada.
That I think, sir, is not a view that takes in the whole of the situation. We shall have time to discuss that by and by, but there is just one great question to-day which is pressing itself to the front, which is becoming every day more and more considered by the best statesmen of Great Britain and