Montreal Daily Star, 6 January 1897, page 12
Sir Charles Tupper speaks in Canada
Our relations with the United States
Complimentary dinner to colonial statesmen
London, January 6. – Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Robert George Wyndham Herbert, Agent General for Tasmania, and the Hon. Duncan Gilles, Agent General for Victoria, were the guests of honor last evening at a banquet given by the St George’s club, of London. Major-General Sir Owen Burne presided. Among those present were Sir Donald Smith, Hon AG Jones, Mr Sanford Fleming, Major-General Laurie, MP, and Mr Rufus Pope, MP (Canada).
General Burne, in toasting Sir Charles Tupper, made a lengthy reference to his distinguished career.
In replying to the toast Sir Charles said that he did not go from London to Canada for the purpose of succeeding Sir Mackenzie Bowell in the Premiership, but that he was summoned by the latter to confer with the Government on important public business connected with Canada and the empire. He had been reluctantly drawn into politics when he thought he had retired from an active political life. The Liberal-Conservative party in Canada had asked him to re-enter the arena.
Referring to the Washington treaty of 1888, respecting the fisheries, which the American Senate refused to ratify, Sir Charles paid a high tribute to the tact and ability of Mr Joseph Chamberlain. Sir Charles declared that the governing principles of his career had been to preserve British institutions and to promote unity between the different parts of the Empire. Referring to the situation in Canada, Sir Charles said that if the Dominion were isolated it must fall into the lap of the United States. Consolidated, it would remain firmly attached to Great Britain. He greatly admired the United States, but was profoundly convinced that union with Great Britain was the only true security for real liberties, to all parties. The United States, he added, desired to absorb Canada. (Cries of “They will never get it.”) The Canadian fisheries were the chief attraction for the United States, and the minerals of the Dominion was another. Canada could give the United States the finest harbors in the world, besides bringing that country six hundred miles nearer to Great Britain. He contended that Canada’s deep-seated loyalty to Great Britain would always constitute an impassable barrier to absorption.
Sir Charles spoke in praise of Sir Donald Smith, his successor in the Canadian Commissionership, who he said, was highly esteemed by all the present parties in Canada. His reference to Sir Donald was greeted with cheers.
The St George’s Club, which tendered the banquet, is a social and cosmopolitan club, and has a membership of 3,000.