America Must Prepare for a War Over Taiwan
Being Ready Is the Best Way to Prevent a Fight With China
THE relations of Canada and the United States are unusually intimate and important, and will become even more intimate and more important as the Dominion grows in population and power and as the United States becomes more conscious of that growth than she is at present.
It is true, of course, that they loom far larger in the eyes of a Canadian than of an American. That is natural. The United States is a great World Power, with interests and contacts in every corner of the globe. If Americans cannot indulge in that Britannic boast that the sun never sets on the Empire they can console themselves with the thought that it never sets on their influence. Canada, on the other hand, as an international unit, is at the very beginning of her career. In world affairs, as a state apart from an empire, she has hardly commenced to make her influence felt. At the present time, indeed, she really has only two immediately important external problems: first, her relations with the other members of the British Commonwealth of Nations; and second, her relations with the United States. All else is subordinate to these, and the Dominion's external policy must for some time center about their handling.
The phrase "Canada's relations with the United States" almost invariably brings to the American mind a vague reminder that Canada is a sort of northern extension of the United States, a delightfully wet place for a vacation; that there are millions of American dollars and hundreds of American branch factories in Canada; and that the Dominion, in spite of tariff walls, is the Republic's best customer -- a proud position for any country to achieve.
It is not intended here to examine these more material aspects of our relations, but rather those which, in default of a better word, may be designated "political." More particularly it is desired to touch on two phases of these political relations: the first, certain influences affecting Canadian-American relations; the second, certain problems arising out of these relations, considered in the light of those influences.
In respect of the first, there are certain obvious influences such as our common language, our common inheritance, geography, history, trade -- those things which are the inevitable ingredients of every public utterance on this subject. They may be dismissed with mere mention, along with the four thousand miles of unguarded boundary and the hundred years of peace.
There are, however, two other influences, less obvious but not less important, which affect and will continue to affect the relations between the two countries. The first is Canada's position as a Dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The importance of this in Canadian-American relations has not been sufficiently emphasized. The British Commonwealth, in its organization, is not freezing -- British institutions do not do that -- but it is, at least, being consolidated. It would appear, for instance, that Canada has now reached a point where she is perfectly satisfied with her position as a Dominion in that Commonwealth. Why not? She has all the advantages of independence, without some of its obligations, and at the same time she has the prestige and the benefits, material and otherwise, that go with membership in a great political society. Canada, in fact, is one of the few states that can have its cake and eat it, and a Canadian is in the fortunate position of being able to say in far corners of the world "civis Britannus sum," while at home he can shout "Canada First." To put it in another way, Canadians can go out into the international rain if they care to, but when they get drenched they can always scramble back under the Imperial umbrella.
Now this position of Canada as a virtually independent state in a British Commonwealth means that the relations between Canada and the United States, so far as the former is concerned, will be under the exclusive control of the Canadian Government. It is far from certain, however, that this is going to make the conduct of those relations any easier for the United States than it has been in the past. Canadians have a feeling that before the Dominion was given the honor of running her own affairs, Great Britain, in controversies between colony and Republic, taking what she considered the larger view of the interests of the Empire as a whole, had to sacrifice at times the interests of Canada. In the future, no Canadian Government is likely to leave itself open to that reproach. Canada may be relied on to protect her interests possibly a little more tenaciously than Great Britain did. If a sacrifice is to be made of immediate interest for the larger value of international goodwill, it will be made by Canada and by nobody else. One might go even further. The former colony may turn the tables on the Mother Country and ask her to sacrifice certain things, which may seem to be to Great Britain's advantage, for the sake of the British Commonwealth as a whole. Indeed, this has already been done in the case of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. It has also been done in relation to certain phases of Great Britain's policy towards the League of Nations and towards the policy of European political commitments. It has at times been to London's convenience, as well as to her interest, to be able to say "we would like to be able to do this or that, but those Dominions, don't you know . . ." But more than once there has been a stronger basis than convenience for this position, and the excuse of Dominion reluctance or Dominion refusal has been a real one.
When Canada attempts to influence British policy in this way it is because she is acutely conscious of the fact that, though she is in the British Commonwealth of Nations and happy to be there, she is also on the North American continent, alongside a mighty neighbor. The mainspring of Canada's external policy lies in this duality, and in the necessity of preventing her two positions -- as a British Dominion and an American state -- from conflicting. If they should conflict, Canada would be placed in an impossible position, one which British policy as well as Canadian must avoid if the Dominion is to stay in the Commonwealth.
After-dinner speakers on Anglo-Canadian-American topics often give Canada the rôle of interpreter of the United States to Great Britain, and of Great Britain to the United States. One may be pardoned for being somewhat skeptical of the reality or the impressiveness of this Canadian contribution to Anglo-American goodwill. Great Britain has her own interpreters, and hardly needs the services of Canada in this regard. The part that the Dominion can play in Anglo-American relations is rather that of making certain that the policy of Great Britain with respect to the United States will always be guided by the recognition of the impossibility of Canada's position if her neighbor and her Mother Country should drift apart on vital issues.
This is not to deny that in matters of detail Canadian policy with respect to the United States will often be different from that of Great Britain. That will be inevitable. It will, for instance, become increasingly difficult to negotiate joint treaties between the United States and the British Empire. The disadvantage of certain treaties of that kind, so far as Canada is concerned, has already become apparent, notably in the case of the Liquor Treaty of 1924 where the negotiators in the first place were British, and Canada only later adhered. But a possible divergence from Great Britain on certain specific questions does not alter the fact that the broad basis of British policy with respect to the United States must be determined almost as much by conditions in Ottawa as in London.
These considerations explain the part that Canada can play at international conferences, such as the London Naval Conference and the Geneva Disarmament Conference, where the United States is vitally concerned and where Canada's own interests may seem to be small. The Dominion can be, and has been, a friend to the United States at such conferences, without sacrificing either her own interests or the interests of the Empire. Is it rash to say that in return for such friendship the Republic offers her neighbor another umbrella, the Monroe Doctrine? Washington never mentions it; Canada can scarcely bear to think about it, for it ill becomes her pride; but it appears to be a fact nevertheless that the United States would not allow a foreign invader to set foot on the shores of her northern neighbor.
The second influence on the relations between the two countries is that of a developing Canadian national consciousness. The United States now faces on the northern half of this continent a self-governing state, independent in all but name. But has that state a national personality of its own and, if so, what kind?
There are not a few Canadians these days who at every opportunity flourish the fact that above the 49th parallel a new race has developed, possessing a new national consciousness different from and, of course, superior to that of the United States or the trans-Atlantic peoples from which Canada sprang. It would be difficult indeed to show that such a distinctive race has yet developed. It would be equally difficult to prove that it is not developing. It certainly is. Canada is British and French, it is true, and remains loyal to certain sentiments and certain obligations that her origins entail. She is also North American, but above all she is Canadian, and there does not appear to be any possibility of her Canadianism being lost in a North Americanism.
There are many in the United States who refuse to consider Canada as a foreign country. That is flattering, but it may be misleading. It would possibly be better to recognize that Canada is acquiring an individuality of her own, similar in many respects to both the United States and Great Britain, but distinctive in many other respects from both. The two peoples are, of course, closely akin, and superficially the resemblance is so striking as to make it the sad fate of every Canadian abroad to be mistaken for an American. They talk alike, though Americans sometimes forget that one Canadian in every four uses French as his mother tongue; their mental processes are often alike; their physical environment and social customs are similar; Canadians read American newspapers and magazines, and play American games. Hollywood has descended on the north, and the radio knows no international boundary. There is continuous travel backwards and forwards across the frontier, although it is not as easy as it once was, and very often citizens of one side live on the other side of the line. Possibly more people cross our boundary each year -- it has been stated that the total comes close to 30,000,000 -- in pursuit of business or pleasure than any other boundary in the world. Finally, the financial and economic stake of United States in Canada is enormous and cannot help but draw the two countries together.
But because Canadians are similar to Americans in so many respects it would be unwise to imagine either that they are similar to them in all or that this similarity is going to make relations any easier in their day-to-day conduct. May it not be true that American influence on Canada, far from really Americanizing the Dominion, is one of the strongest forces making for a Canadian national consciousness? One must, of course, fully recognize the tremendous force that 120,000,000 cannot fail continually to exert on 10,000,000, and realize that Canada must react in some way to that force. But it can be argued that she more often reacts against it than in favor of it. To put it crudely, Canadians have Americans right on top of them and so constantly about them that if they would survive as a separate people, with their own definite characteristics, they are forced to emphasize the fact of their own existence and of their own separateness. In short, the United States causes Canadians to think more about Canada.
Two other forces have made for the development of a Canadian national consciousness, namely, the World War and French-Canada. The influence of the latter is so well known that it need only be mentioned here -- Quebec knows she would be lost in a continental state, or even in a continental culture.
Canada really became conscious of her separate place in the Empire and in the world when she sent 400,000 men overseas to fight the battles of Europe. It was during the dark days of 1914-1918, amidst blood and sacrifice, that Canadians first acquired faith in themselves and confidence in their ability to work out their own national future. In a very real sense the fields of Flanders are the birth-place of the Canadian nation, and it is a source of never-ending satisfaction to the Dominion that, while the United States was forced to win her right to nationhood fighting against the British soldier, Canada won hers fighting by his side.
The effect of this national development is bound to make itself felt in the conduct of relations between the two countries. And yet, while Canada is growing in political stature and national consciousness, she is not -- as is so often the case with young states -- always sure of herself and is somewhat afraid that other countries, especially the United States, may not appreciate her new position as much as she appreciates it herself. This may make Canadians somewhat assertive -- a fault Americans will find it easy to overlook -- and, at the same time, sensitive to the actions of their neighbor and even more sensitive to her indifference. Our material inferiority we will balance by our moral superiority. You are big, but we are better; you are great, but we are good. The United States may, therefore, expect to encounter this attitude of mind, combined with an active national viewpoint, on questions which will arise between herself and Canada. She will also probably find, in regard to those questions, that Canada is somewhat suspicious of her neighbor and determined to drive the best possible bargain for herself. In this connection the Dominion encourages herself by believing that she is in a somewhat better position than most countries for bargaining with Washington.
The other phase of our subject is a consideration of some of the concrete problems which have arisen or may arise between the two countries.
There are, of course, certain general problems which, though they have not yet proved disturbing, have possibilities of disturbance. Canada's position in the British Commonwealth has been mentioned in this regard. Her membership in the League, combined with the fact that the United States is not a member, is another source of possible difficulty. But Canada has been anxious from the first to insure that the fulfilment of her Geneva obligations will not bring her into conflict with the United States. So we find the Dominion, along with Great Britain and the Scandinavian states, taking the lead in opposition to every effort to strengthen the police or super-sovereign powers of the League, whether this is attempted by interpretations of the Covenant or by separate agreements or understandings.
It is probably correct to say that on nearly every important political question that has come before the League, Canada has adopted a point of view which may be described as North American, one that would probably have been adopted by the United States herself if she had become a member of the Geneva organization.
This point of view has been particularly noticeable in respect to such questions as the interpretation of Articles X and XVI of the Covenant; the application of sanctions; the Geneva Protocol of 1924; advisory opinions of the Permanent Court; the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes; the Treaty of Financial Assistance to States Victims of Aggression; and the 1930 proposals to amend the Covenant to bring it into harmony with the Pact of Paris.
Canada's attitude to all of the above questions has been clear, consistent and, so she feels, constructive. It is based on an insistence that the determination of questions of peace and war must rest with national legislatures rather than with supernational assemblies; that the true function of the League is to prevent crimes rather than to punish culprits, and, therefore, that the League should act primarily as a center for international consultation and coöperation, as an institution through which international public opinion can express itself and make its weight felt. She does not believe, any more than the United States does, in the League as a super-state, as a glorified Foreign Office, or as a machine designed primarily to maintain a political status quo.
This Canadian attitude toward the League of Nations has been voiced not only at Geneva but in London. In the latter place it has probably had some influence on British policy. It has been determined primarily by three considerations. In the first place there is Canada's position as a British Dominion. Fifty thousand graves across an ocean have proved to Canadians that Sarajevo means something to Saskatchewan, that there is a price for our place in an Empire. Let that Empire, therefore, keep out of dangerous European commitments. Secondly, there are Canada's North American isolationist instincts, with the resulting North American prejudice against European entanglements, and against treaties which ask Canada to produce security for the consumption of others. And finally, Canada's attitude has been influenced by the effect that unlimited League obligations, involving political or economic action, might have on the Dominion's relations with the United States.
The United States remains outside the League and has not yet given any assurance that in a League or coöperative war she would forego her traditional insistence on neutral rights. Canada has no desire, any more than Great Britain has, of becoming involved at the behest of Geneva in a struggle with her neighbor over neutral rights. That is one reason why she is so definitely opposed to the French idea of putting a club in the hands of the League. The use of that club might cause the United States to brandish one of her own, an eventuality which could hardly be viewed with equanimity by the Dominion.
There is, however, a lesson to be learned from Canada's experience at Geneva. It is this. She has demonstrated that it is possible to maintain a North American viewpoint and, at the same time, to remain a loyal friend and staunch supporter of the League, refusing none of the legitimate obligations of membership. There are many Canadians who wonder if the United States will ever learn that lesson.
Another general problem, already mentioned in another connection, is the relation of the Monroe Doctrine to Canada. What would be the attitude of the United States if the British West Indies desired to join the Dominion or if Canada, not Great Britain, should intervene in a Venezuelan dispute? This is an interesting question, but one which will hardly require an immediate answer, because Canada, for the present at least, has no desire to become a Caribbean Power or to receive the attentions of the State Department as such. Indeed, she emphasizes her safe and splendid isolation from Latin-American turmoil by shunning the vacant chair in the Pan-American building. Contact with that turmoil has the same lack of attraction for her as participation in European questions has for certain United States Senators.
Among the more concrete and immediate problems between the two countries, possibly the most important is the St. Lawrence Waterways question. This is of great political and economic significance to both countries and causes Canada for the first time to be confronted with the negotiation on her own responsibility of a treaty of the first magnitude. There is a strong feeling in Canada that, advantageous as this undertaking might be to the country, every precaution should be taken to protect our political and other interests so completely that they cannot conceivably be prejudiced -- a feeling which often expresses itself in the demand for an all-Canadian waterway and always in an insistence on caution. There are difficulties enough in the way of the "canal to the sea" -- economic difficulties, difficulties over state and provincial rights, power difficulties -- without having the matter tangled up with national fears and prejudices. But it should be recognized that such entanglement is possible, and wise statesmanship will take every care to avoid it.
There are also questions arising out of the enforcement of American prohibition laws. These, it may be assumed, provide no small part of the work for the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa, and have caused no slight trouble in Washington as well. They have occasionally resulted in incidents which have caused unfriendly comment north of the border. There should be a clear and definite understanding between the two countries, possibly embodied in a treaty, which might serve to settle these rum-running and prohibition difficulties. Canadians certainly feel that they have done their part, as a friendly neighbor, in coöperating in the enforcement of the laws of another country. They have accepted a Liquor Treaty which extends the jurisdiction of foreign officials over Canadian boats far beyond the distance which is recognized as permissible in international law, without gaining the compensating advantages which accrue to Great Britain by that Treaty. They have passed an Act of Parliament which has prohibited clearance of liquor from Canada to the United States, an Act which has resulted in the loss of a large revenue to their country and the main effect of which seems to have been the diverting of rum-running from the Canadian border to the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Some Canadians are awaiting representations from Washington to Paris asking France to take the same steps in respect to St. Pierre and Miquelon that Canada was requested to take and did take in regard to her territory.
It would, of course, be mere cant for the Dominion to take credit to herself for these acts as manifestations of superior virtue, for they were inspired simply by those considerations which should influence all governments in their relations with each other. But there is a feeling in Canada that the same spirit has not always been shown by Washington, and also that there has been rather more zeal than discretion displayed by Coast Guard and other officers in the enforcement of the prohibition laws in so far as they affect smuggling. Canada, of course, is not desirous of standing before the world as the great protector of the rumrunner; in fact, there is little doubt that most Canadians would be intensely relieved if, in respect to I'm Alone's, Josephine K.'s, and others of that breed, we could strike a medal at Ottawa with Queen Elizabeth's Armada inscription on it, "Deus efflavit et dissipati sunt." We do feel, however, that we are often forced into the invidious position of being the defender of these dubious people in cases where the defense would seem to be absolutely unavoidable on grounds of international law.
Border crossing and immigration questions constitute a vexed problem. Here there is a real danger of bureaucratic stupidity on both sides causing irritations which are not easy to remove. Canadians have become accustomed to going to and fro across the international boundary, and the eradication of the habit causes not only inconvenience but unfriendliness. It is not easy to talk with enthusiasm about the 4,000 miles of unguarded boundary when immigration officers make it as difficult to cross that boundary as to climb over the tariff wall. This is a question which particularly affects some thousands of Canadians living on one side of the border and working on the other, whose position has become difficult of late owing to Washington's tightening up of regulations, caused, no doubt, by the prevailing economic depression and consequent unemployment. At the very time when Canada was refusing liquor clearances the United States was, if not refusing, at least making more difficult, border crossing.
In this connection, a citation from the Border Cities Star, of Windsor, Ontario, dated December 24, 1930, is interesting:
Thousands of Americans are employed in this country -- many of them in highly important and highly-paid executive positions. We are delighted to have them; we want more of them. At the same time, we believe that Canadians crossing the line for employment, business or social visits are entitled to just as much courtesy, just as much consideration there. For many decades it has been common custom for Canadians to work on the American side and Americans on the Canadian side, as fancy or interest dictated. For years and years this arrangement was not even a topic of discussion. It was traditional; it was part of the regular routine of life along the international border. Business was established on that basis. Homes were built. Investments were made. The arrangement was a perfectly satisfactory one all around.
A few short years ago, however, rumblings began. In 1927 it was estimated that more than 15,000 persons were crossing daily from the Border Cities to work in Detroit. Today, our Chamber of Commerce figures, this number has been reduced to approximately 3,600 and is steadily shrinking. This is due, largely, to the persistent efforts of the American immigration authorities, working, of course, on orders from Washington. The going has been made harder and harder for those who have their employment in Detroit. All the commuters have been put to expense, inconvenience, annoyance and, in many cases, real humiliation. People of the finest type have been called before boards of inquiry and then forcibly deported for a year -- for no other reason than they may not have been working in Detroit for some months. It has been a wearing-down process, the idea being apparently to crowd the Canadian commuters out as rapidly as possible.
The time has come for a show-down. Does Uncle Sam want to continue friendly business relations with this country or does he not? Does Uncle Sam want Canada to keep on buying his goods or is he no longer interested in our money? Does Uncle Sam appreciate Canada's action in meeting his request for a stoppage of liquor exports from this country -- at a cost of millions to Canada -- or does he not care? All these and many other questions are being asked. Perhaps we shall be able to secure the answers to them before long.
Fisheries disputes have been a fertile source of controversy for a hundred and fifty years or more, and the source shows no signs of drying up. The development of large scale trawler fishing with modern refrigeration has enabled United States fishermen on the North Atlantic to base their operations on home ports; this has removed most of their grievances. Minor irritations, however, continue to develop, especially in the Pacific where the use of Canadian shores is still essential for American fishermen and where the Dominion's fisheries protection vessels have lately been showing an unwonted zeal in prohibiting that use.
Closely allied to fisheries questions is the problem of territorial waters. Canada's attitude to this problem should, one would think, be the same as that of the United States, as conditions are so much alike in both countries. But the Dominion has inherited certain policies and certain preconceptions from Great Britain in regard to territorial waters, and the British and American views sometimes clash, notably in regard to the admissibility in international law of a 12-mile jurisdictional zone for Customs purposes. Each country has also claimed certain bays and straits as territorial waters, though it is extremely doubtful if the other in every case admits these claims.
There are boundary problems. Our boundary may be free from cannon but it certainly is not free from controversies. Most of them, however, can be left to that unique and valuable institution, the International Joint Commission. The work of that body during the last twenty years has demonstrated its usefulness as a medium for the adjustment of questions among conflicting interests where it is necessary to have a certain amount of "give and take" in order to get a workable settlement. But by reason of equality of representation from both countries it does not seem to be the most suitable type of tribunal for dealing with justiciable disputes. This Joint Commission has been more often the subject of uncritical praise than careful appraisal. But if its history and achievements are dispassionately studied it becomes apparent that it has not yet been seriously tested and that its chances of successfully meeting that test when it comes will depend on whether or not it has been kept above politics, with a stable and able membership, working as a court of law rather than as a commission of diplomatic representatives. The numerous changes that have been made in the United States personnel on the Commission have caused some suspicion that the above attributes are not considered essential in Washington. Certain it is that if the Joint Commission is used by either country as a final resting place for discarded politicians it will soon become as futile as most of the other commissions that clutter up the international scene.
A new and interesting problem has been created by radio broadcasting. Here is one commodity which laughs at tariff walls and refuses to recognize embargoes and anti-dumping regulations. In time of acute national feeling the radio will be used by every country to protect and promote the national interest, but even in periods of calm it acts as an instrument, if not always consciously, for the propagation of national viewpoints, national cultures, national ideals. For Canada, this question of radio broadcasting is an especially important one because owing to the fact that the United States possesses nearly all the broadcasting channels and fills them with a language which Canadians can still understand, the Dominion is, in the ether, more or less at the mercy of her neighbor. It is suspected that most Canadians, when they should be listening to a half-hour's historical broadcast from Ottawa, are absorbing the strains of a jazz orchestra from Chicago or hearing of the virtues of a toothpaste from New York. Canada would like to be less dependent on her neighbor in this respect. This feeling, indeed, is one of the strongest motivating influences behind the Canadian Radio League, which is conducting a vigorous campaign to bring radio broadcasting under federal government control.
Finally, there are those political problems, the most important of all, which arise out of commercial and financial contacts between the two countries. There are some in Canada who fear that the exploitation, or better, the development by United States interests of Canada's natural resources will Americanize their country. Possibly there is more cause for fear that it may Canadianize the United States -- that the enormous American investments in this country may encourage an embarrassingly acute interest in Canada's efforts to regulate and control her own economic activities, and particularly in legislation to conserve her natural resources or to extend the development of public ownership and social control. This development has gone farther in Canada than in the United States, witness the Canadian National Railways, the Ontario Hydro-Electric enterprise, government encouragement of coöperative institutions in agriculture and the present agitation for government control of radio broadcasting. Last November a Canadian Professor of History, speaking in Montreal, suggested that the only real safeguard against the absorption of Canada by the United States through economic penetration lay in putting the Dominion's strategic industries and services under public ownership and in building up through that means an economic system quite distinct from the American. Such a safeguard, if it were effective, might prove troublesome, but there is at least the satisfaction of knowing that Canada is not Nicaragua, and that there will be no need either for marines or Sandinos.
It may be expected, then, that the relations between the two states will become increasingly important and that the problems arising therefrom will grow in number and in magnitude. The very similarities of the two peoples and the intimacy of their contacts will promote such problems, while making easier, it is to be hoped, their peaceful solution. As Chief Justice Hughes has said, "While we will have much to discuss, we will have nothing to fight about." Why?
There will be nothing to fight about because there is developing in each country with respect to the other the habit of arbitration and peaceful settlement. So true is this that when differences now arise there is a tendency to regard them almost as domestic matters and to apply to them domestic procedure based on inquiry into the facts followed by an award based on that inquiry, which is to be accepted as a domestic award is accepted -- with obedience even if with grumbling. Furthermore, the differences and controversies are not likely to involve directly those inflammatory issues of national defense, national security and national prestige, the sources of so much disaster. War psychology based on fear has no place in Canadian-American relations. It would be dangerous for Canada to be afraid of the United States in what might be termed the European sense, while it would be absurd for the United States to be afraid of Canada in any sense.
But it should not be forgotten that while in the past peaceful solution of mutual differences has been encouraged by Canada's weakness and her colonial position, in the future it will have to rest on a basis of mutual compromise, mutual understanding and mutual respect, as between self-reliant and independent states. That solid basis exists now, and it is because of that fact that we can feel confident that the relations between the two great democracies of North America will not result in serious difficulties or engender bitterness as the seed for future trouble. There is between them neither malice nor fear, for each feels that it can rely on the other's sense of justice and appreciation of the advantages of good neighborhood.