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throws it aside, saying that “the diplomatic unity of the Empire has been expressly preserved”. When announcing the terms of the arrangement, Mr. Bonar Law said (in part):
Accordingly it has been agreed that his Majesty, on the advice of his Canadian Ministers, shall appoint a Minister Plenipotentiary who will have charge of Canadian affairs, and will be at all times the ordinary channel of communi. cation with the United States Government in matters of purely Canadian concern, acting upon instructions from and reporting direct to the Canadian Government. In the absence of the Ambassador, the Canadian Minister will take charge of the whole Embassy and of the representation of Imperial as well as Canadian interests. He will be accredited by his Majesty to the President with the necessary powers for the purpose. This new arrangement will not denote any departure either on the part of the British Government or of the Canadian Government from the principle of the diplomatic unity of the British Empire. The obvious deduction from this is that “the principle of the diplomatic unity of the British Empire” has sustained something of a shock by the institution of a practice disruptive of it.
Not only has Canada, in this respect, acquired one of the elements of international status, but her elevation (her partial or qualified elevation) has been recognized by the Powers signatory of the Versailles Peace Treaty. In this connection, Professor Kennedy says:
Canada is a distinct member of the League of Nations with the right to representation on its council, and again: Canada has a separate status within the Empire, but contingent on its position as a constituent part of the British Empire. The contingency is nowhere expressed in the Covenant, and various of the clauses are inconsistent with its existence. Note, for example, articles 1, 10, 11, 16, 23. Whether, however, in this respect the Professor's view or mine be correct, is not, for the present, very important. All that is here insisted upon is that the assertions that “Canada has no international status", and that Canada cannot negotiate directly with a foreign country in the political or any other important sphere require qualification (1) because of her right to appoint a Minister Plenipotentiary at Washington who will be at all times the channel of communication with the United States Government in matters of purely Canadian concern;
(2) because of her position as a member of the League of Nations; and (3) because of the relations of other of the Dominions to the League of Nations as Mandatories making reports to the League. Italy's invitation to attend the recent Genoa Conference came direct to Canada.
The Professor is undoubtedly right when he declares that was the law of nations now stands Canada is not a sovereign state”, but if so, why does he speak of the period subsequent to 1914 asthe period of national manhood suddenly matured by the most tragic events of history; and why, without warning of its inaccuracy, does he tell us, when referring to the effect of the war, that, The Prime Minister of Canada emphasized the situation. The English Premier was only primus inter pares, and Canada was Great Britain's constitutional equal, preserving its full autonomy and its complete self-government, carrying on diplomatic correspondence no longer through the Colonial Office but directly with the Prime Minister of Great Britain? I am not aware that Sir Robert Borden has said that “Canada was Great Britain's constitutional equal”, but if he did, he was clearly wrong, for the United Kingdom is a sovereign state and Canada is not. That Sir Robert made the statement as to correspondence is almost certainly not correct. All that has happened in that respect is that the Premiers agreed that (as appears in the official announcement)It has therefore been decided that for the future the Prime Ministers of the Dominions, as members of the Imperial War Cabinet, shall have the right to communicate on matters of Cabinet importance direct with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, whenever they see fit to do so. Save for the infrequent interchange of communications between the Premiers “on matters of Cabinet importance", the correspondence continues as before.
Although the Professor declares that “it is necessary to walk carefully” when dealing with “consultations” during the war, he disregards his warning. Had he been writing for British or Canadians only, he might possibly plead common carelessness of expression for saying that, Canadian Ministers became members of the Imperial War Cabinet created by Mr. Lloyd George,
Lord Milner having regretfully recanted his use of the misleading phrase “Imperial War Cabinet”, saying “I see I am in a minority" (The Times, 20 July 1921), there is little excuse for continuing it. And there is none at all for the statement that the decisions of the Prime Ministersremained mere decisions until concurred in by the Imperial and Dominion Cabinets. The meetings were (as the report for 1917 declares) for deliberation about the conduct of the war, and for the discussion of the larger issues of imperial policy connected with the war (p. 7). For translation into operation, the decisions could not, and did not await the concurrence of the five widely separated cabinets.
Mr. Kennedy's ideas as to the only method by which Canada could separate herself from the United Kingdom are original, but of doubtful validity. It would necessitate, he thinks, (1) a British statute, and (2) “agreement on the part of the other constituent members of the Empire". The Professor forgets that when the thirteen American colonies separated from the British Crown there was no British statute. If Canada chose to declare her independence,' the British Government could either endeavor, by military effort, to subdue her (he rightly agrees that that would not be attempted), or recognize the indisputable right of such a community as Canada to be independent if it so desired. Concurrence on the part of the British Parliament would be acceptable, but quite unnecessary. In support of the astonishing assertion that common action of the British and Canadian Parliaments would be ineffective without the assent of Australia, New Zealand, etc., the Professor refers to the League of Nations, which, he declares binds every member of the Empire to preserve its territorial integrity. Article X does indeed provide that members of the League are to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity he overlooks the qualifying words “as against external aggression”. The clause has no application to internal disruption.
of all members of the League, but when the Professor says thatthe Covenant binds Canada with other members of the Empire to preserve the territorial integrity of the Empire,
1 The Professor declares that Canada could not enact separative legislation because the Crown could not assent. The Thirteen Colonies were in the same case. But nobody thought that legislation was necessary.
Referring to Canada's political future, the Professor denies that
the logic of the situation leaves Canada with the alternative of complete independence or permanent inferiority of status.
We may agree with what he says about the division of sovereign powers (while retaining our view as to the impartibility of sovereignty), but it is difficult to follow him when, from that, he
We need not therefore despair of the unity of the British Empire because Canada and its other constituents, as they attain political manhood, claim a political sovereignty of their own.
Why then, we may well ask, should not the British Empire remain a unity although the aspirations of its parts for autonomy find the complete expression they may desire? The reason, of course, is that although in theological discussion we bow our ignorant heads before the doctrine of three and yet only one, we confidently assert in other realms that one is one and two are not one. That there can be two communities, each possessed of (complete) political sovereignty, and yet that they can in some way be regarded as parts of a united empire, is an assertion which, for its acceptance, requires much more exposition than the Professor supplies. It cannot be sufficient to declare thatthe final unity of any State is to be sought not within the form of government at all but in the concensus of political opinion, in the communal will which sets up and pulls down the instruments of political power.
Sovereignty certainly may be sought in that direction, but concensus of political opinion” has no relation to political unity. Political unity frequently exists, and for many years continues, in spite of discord in “the communal will”, and there may be concensus of political opinion in two states between which there is not a trace of political ligament. No word-juggling will ever make a political unit out of two (completely) sovereign states. It would be interesting if the Professor, besides asserting the contrary, would indicate what in that case would be the relations between the several parts of the one, and between the parts
and the whole. If each state is to be sovereign, and therefore independent of the other; if there is to be neither superiority nor inferiority; if in reality there are two unrelated States, in what can their political unity consist? If the question is curious, it must be charged to the existence of incongruity between the Professor's view of political unity and customary mathematical prejudices. And I add a further question: If “complete independence” and " ‘permanent inferiority of status” are not the only alternatives, what is the other? There is none. For remove inferiority, establish equality, and the result is independence. In other words, Canada's equality of status with the United Kingdom is Canadian independence. If Sir Robert Borden has said that “Canada was Great Britain's constitutional equal”, very many Canadians would be glad if he could make good the assertion.
JOHN S. EWART.