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Dominion, most earnestly and sincerely appreciate the spirit of friendship and neighborliness which has led you to select a Canadian city for this gathering. As in the national life it is essential that dissimilar types, divergent interests and separated communities should understand and comprehend each other, so also friendly relations between neighboring nations are most securely founded upon the mutual understanding and respect which arise from acquaintance and association. It is also most opportune, and to us especially welcome, that as your first gathering outside of the United States now takes place in the greatest self-governing Dominion of our Empire, the Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom should be present to address you and to visit that Dominion. In no empty or formal phrase do I bid you welcome. Indeed, the word is hardly necessary; "res ipsa loquitur." Your welcome is before you and around you; it will greet you on every hand and pervade you throughout your visit to our country. There will be no occasion for you to use in that regard your practiced powers of weighing evidence.
May I be permitted to say, as a lawyer, although one who for some years has been divorced from the active practice of his profession, that we in Canada thoroughly realize the high tradition of the Bar of the United States, and the splendid influence which it has exercised upon the public life of your country, to which a just and eloquent tribute has been paid by Mr. Bryce in his work on "The American Commonwealth." The interest of your Bar in all that concerns the elevation and dignity of the profession and the maintenance of high and worthy standards of practice and of conduct is evidenced by the very existence of this Association. It is a matter of regret that we have no similar organization in Canada, and I trust that the day may not be far distant when that deficiency will be remedied.
Our constitution, as your own, has been established upon a federal basis, involving a division of legislative and executive authority between the Dominion and the Provinces. Thus our courts, like your own, are necessarily invested with the power and duty of interpreting the constitution and of inquiring whether any authority, federal or provincial, has in any par
ticular instance overstepped the limits of its jurisdiction. A just conception of all that is entailed in the performance of this duty, always important, often difficult and sometimes delicate, should call forth the highest powers and the finest moral and intellectual qualities, not only of the judge, but of the advocate. Such, I believe, has been your experience in the main; and it is fitting to note that principles established by the great jurist of a century ago who contributed so much to the wealth of your constitutional jurisprudence have not been restricted in their influence and application to your own country.
A strong love of individual liberty and a remarkable instinct and capacity for orderly government have gone hand in hand in the development of representative institutions among the Englishspeaking nations. Changes, whether constitutional or otherwise, have come not upon theory but of necessity; old forms and usages have gradually acquired new meanings to serve new needs; the instinct of the nation has taught it to tread warily and to trust in such matters to experience rather than to logic. And it is not amiss to remind you that, in the evolution of representative and responsible government in this country, Canadians of French descent have taken a great part and have been especially distinguished both by a fine knowledge of constitutional development and by a splendid grasp of constitutional principles.
There are those who doubt the permanence of existing systems. of representative government as they have been developed in the English-speaking nations. Untouched by any such doubt and inspired with perfect confidence in a capacity for self-government which hitherto has not failed under test of the most searching experience, we must yet be mindful that the fabric of our national life rests upon no enduring foundation unless it is based upon a just conception of the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. I desire to offer my tribute of admiration and respect to those of your fellow citizens (and they include many distinguished members of your Association) who have consecrated their highest energies and abilities, often at great personal sacrifice, to the task of instilling lessons of civic and national duty, and who not infrequently have exemplified in the assumption of high and
arduous responsibilities one great ideal which they taught, the duty of service to the nation. Nor have they been unmindful of the truth that the national organization is not for those of today alone; institutions, laws, traditions, a boundless material heritage, all that has been committed to our keeping by those who have gone before is nevertheless impressed with a certain trust for those who are yet to be born.
With us as with you, the development of industry and of commerce, the marked progress and advancement in every field of national activity, the marvelous increase in wealth and the inequality of its distribution are attended with problems, the solution of which is sought insistently and even vehemently. Some of these problems are in reality no other than those with which Parliament has been confronted in the British Islands for the last four hundred years.
Today their importance is more gravely impressive and their solution is more urgently required by reason of the increasing stress and complexity of modern economic organization, and because the interests involved are of so vast and increasing a magnitude, and the results so momentous and far reaching. Yet they are in many cases the much-considered phenomena of the past, appearing perhaps in new guise and developed on a more tremendous and impressive scale.
Whether new or old, the problems of today are sufficiently complex to test the highest capacity for self-government. Seven centuries ago personal liberty, equality before the law and security of property were guaranteed by the great charter which is our common heritage. It is the high and difficult task of modern democracy to establish and maintain another charter not less enduring in its fame and in its results; namely, that to each individual there shall be accorded, so far as may be humanly possible, equality of opportunity in the national life.
Centuries ago "trial by battle" was recognized by our courts as a lawful method of determining disputes between individuals. Between the nations that old and barbarous method still survives in almost undiminished vigor. It has been urged that the highest widsom is not always exemplified by the making of
treaties which are in advance of public opinion. If this be true, there is the stronger reason to acknowledge with grateful thanks the work of those who have devoted their best energies to the task of teaching their fellow countrymen that war should cease to be the supreme arbiter between the nations, and that there is a nobler and wiser course.
Have we not before our eyes a notable, perhaps an unequalled, example of high international achievement. From neighboring coasts on which thunder the surges of the Atlantic to those distant shores where the West confronts the East across the vast expanse of the Pacific, the thousand-league boundary these sister nations remains unguarded. On our great inland seas the busy fleets of commerce, not of war, ply to and fro.
It is fitting that nations should be thrilled by the memories of valiant deeds which in days gone by preserved and safeguarded land and liberty. But our hundred years' victory of peace was won by both nations and carries with it no gloom of defeat to either country. It is with profound thankfulness that we look back upon that century, not always free from differences or even from troublous days; and we honor the statesmen of both nations, who, in times of stress and difficulty, so guided the affairs of either country that the truce of God during all those splendid years was never broken.
By the ties of close kinship, and of firm allegiance, by the ties of common institutions and traditions, of a mighty heritage and of vast responsibilities, by the enduring bonds of affection and of duly, we Canadians are bound to the great Empire of which our country forms no inconsiderable part; and we rejoice that those ties were never stronger or closer than they are today. By like ties of kinship, by the bonds of social and commercial intercourse, by the enjoyment of like institutions, by the possession of a common language and literature, by the inheritance of common liberties, by the duties and responsibilities of a citizenship confronted with common problems, by the ties of comradeship and neighborliness, we are also united to you. May the national life of each country be so guided that, while emulating each other in the development and conservation of our natural resources, in
the growth and progress of our industries and our commerce and in every legitimate walk and field of national activity, we may find example from each other of much that is good and little that is evil.
Not only in all that concerns our material civilization, but in the laying of those foundations upon which alone the structure of enduring national greatness can be reared, in the education of the people, in the full appreciation of the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, in the just and equitable organization of our national life, in the cultivation and development of the arts, of science and of literature, in striving to attain the highest ideals and aspirations of nationhood, I pray that we may learn from each other all that is best to be learned.
Corroborate the bond," said a great British statesman of the last century in speaking of the growing spirit of cordial friendship between the Republic and the Empire. His words find a clear echo in all our hearts. Through a thousand valleys on either side of the boundary line flow the streams from each country to mingle their waters in the mighty river at our feet. So may the ideals and aspirations of the two nations flow in a gracious stream of friendship and peace during all the glorious years of the future.
The President then delivered the President's Address.
(See the Appendix, page 331.)
A recess of fifteen minutes was then taken to enable the members from the various states to nominate members of the General Council.
After the recess, members of the General Council were duly elected.
(See List of General Council, page 155.)
The report of the Executive Committee was presented by the Secretary.
(See Report at End of Minutes, page 105.)
I will give an epitome of the report. It shows that upon proper local recommendations more than 2000 new members of