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236 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY NATIONAL STATUS AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS* B. K. SAND.w£LL A Icommunity of human beings may have external relations without possessing any of the organs which are necessary for community action outside. All that is necessary is that it be a distinct and recognizable community. The external relations of Canada can thus quite properly be conceived as beginning with the earliest foundati~n of the French colony. Professor Glazebrook does not go so far back as that) for his first chapter, after sketching. the nature of the French colony in 1763, goes on at once' to describe the beginnings of English-speaking settlement, and then to tell of the cultural and social relations of the new British colonies at a time when anything resembling political relations with any othe~ community was scarcely conceivable. The American War of Independence , setting up a new, independent anq purely Western Hemisphere nation alongside of these colonies) rapidly s'olidified them into a consciousness of their existence as political units of a sort, and by 1815 so good a Tory as Bishop Strachan (whom the author is able to quote to very· interesting effect through his access to the unpuWished M.A. thesis on "The John Strachan Letter Book" by G. W. Spragge) could speak of the interest of {(this country" as something quite distinct from the interest ~f other parts of the Empire in the Treaty of Ghent. Whatever that distinct interest might have been, there was no way by which the Canadian colonies could advance it; they were helpless in the hands of Cl our envoys," who were envoys of the British Government . But since the British Government had defended Canada in the war, and would (or at least Strachan hoped so) pay the expense of that defence, the situation was neither too illogical nor too intolerable. ' Fifty y~ars later a new element had entered in. The enormously increased population and transit facilities of the United States made it clear that, in Newcastle's words, "no body of troops which England could send would be able to make Canada safe without the efficient aid of the Canadian people." A community which has to rely on its own efforts (even if substantially aided) fo~ its own *Canlldian External Relations: An Historical Study 10 1914, by G. P. deT. GLAZEBROOK. Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1942, $3.00. Canada at the Paris Peace Conference, by G. P. deT. GLAZEBROOK. Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1942, $2.00. . REVIEWS 237 defence is bound to develop by degrees a desire to have something to say about its own external relations-and to seek to develop the ~achinery with which to say it. All but the first one hundred pages of Professor Glazebrook's first volume is devoted to the growth of thatdesire, to the machinery for its realization, and to the use which was made of the machinery, from the completion of the federation 'movement in 1873 to the outbreak of the war in 1914-just a century after Bishop Strachan had expressed his distrust of British diplomacy. Canada, growing throughout that century ever more conscious of the desire to have a say about her external relations, was seldom able to make up her mind what she wanted to say. Only as regards th~ relations with the neighbouring Republic-vastly the most important of all her relations except those with Great Britain-was her attitude moderately firm and consistent; and the necessity, in those relations, for acting through machinery controlled by Great Britain became more and more galling. The resentment was in no way lessened by the fact that the mid-century saw a "lack of imperial enthusiasm in Great Britain, resulting in what was felt to be a distressingly mild concern for Canadian interests." (One of the charm~ of these books is their author's capacity for suggestive under-statement.) Canada was becoming a political entity of the kind which needs the power to exert itself effectively in external relations, but externalrelations can only be carried on officially by a sovereign power, and the long process by which Canada "edged in" to a steadily increasing exercise of sovereignty in external relations...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 236-240
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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