On Canada!

Enduring proof that Calvin Coolidge was neither indifferent to international politics nor uninformed concerning it remains his cogent daily column published after his tenure in the White House, from June 1930 to June 1931. On this day, March 14th, 1931, his thoughts turned to the nation north of the border. He offers these praiseworthy thoughts:

One development after another emphasizes the growing self-sufficiency of Canada. At the opening of Parliament, when the Acting Chief Justice, Lyman P. Duff, represented King George in the absence of the new Governor General, the Earl of Bessborough, the speech from the throne was delivered for the first time by a Canadian.

The spectacle must have touched the pride of the people of the flourishing and resourceful Dominion. It was a recognition of their increasing importance in the empire. A proposal has been made to have a Governor General who is a Canadian citizen. No doubt that will come. It would be natural for a country of ten millions of people with a per capita wealth above that of the United States to supply its own contact with the crown.

Politically Canada looks to England. Economically she looks to us. We have invested there about one-ninth of her national wealth, while England has about one-fourteenth. Her trade with us is three times larger than her trade with the United Kingdom. Her own foreign investments are large. She has financial interests all over the Western Hemisphere. Because we represent the same economic aims, we rejoice in the success of Canada.

Coolidge’s expectation would occur in February 1952 with the appointment of Charles Vincent Massey as the first Canadian citizen to serve as Governor General of Canada. Massey had risen to the King’s Privy Council for Canada during the Coolidge 20s. In fact, Coolidge once played a joke on Massey, asking whether Toronto was near any lakes. The President kept the enjoyment of the astonished reaction to himself. Since that time, eleven Governors General have followed, Canadian citizens all. Two were born abroad, Hong Kong and Haiti, while six of Canada’s ten provinces (and the three territories) have enjoyed the distinction of at least one Governor General able to claim home there. Our investment in her has expanded to over one-fourth of her national wealth, vastly surpassing (for Canada) any other nation on earth.

So, Canada, we take joy in your growth and continued well-being. With glowing hearts we see thee rise!

One thought on “On Canada!

  1. Informative article about our neighbor to North. I enjoyed it.

    The Peace Bridge, connecting Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, was dedicated in June 1927. President Coolidge was on vacation at the time and Vice President Dawes represented the US at the impressive ceremony. Representatives from Canada and Great Britain included H.R.H., the Prince of Wales. The event was broadcast widely within Canada and the U.S. as well as to various parts of the Empire via shortwave.

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