Previous Index Next



immigration there is no reason why it should decline—there will be eight million French Canadians in Canada in 1961.

The relations of these people to the rest of the population of Canada and of the Empire are of vast importance.

What is their point of view? Without any persuasion or urging either by M. Bourassa on the one side, or by Imperialists on the other, the French Canadian would probably be opposed to participation in wars outside Canada, and would have little desire for any part in the Government of the British Empire, in foreign relations or in world affairs. This attitude may now seem strange, but a generation ago it was practically the attitude of all Canada. No one dreamed at that time of Canada sending a large army to Europe. Not quite forty years ago, when there was apparently a possibility of a war with Russia, there was some talk of Canadian volunteers, but they were regarded merely as adventurers, not as men fulfilling an obligation of citizenship.

Since that time the advance in Ontario and in the other English-speaking provinces has been rapid, and it has been accelerated by the large British immigration of the last fifteen years. Quebec remains where she was and where the rest of Canada was. She has been separated from the rest by difference of language. She has not been 'influenced by immigration. The Imperialist literature which has been circulated in Ontario and the West has not reached Quebec. The European mails, which bring tens of thousands of letters and newspapers to Englishmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, and Welshmen in Canada, carry little or nothing to French Canadians.

Separated from England by race, French Canada has been separated from France by the fortunes of war and by the new political relation created at the Conquest. At that time, it was desirable from the British point of view. So it was when war broke out between Great Britain and France as a result of the Revolution. Quebec had been severed from the French monarchy. With

Previous Index Next