On Politics: Quotes of PM Sir Robert Borden

Sir Robert Borden was Canada’s Prime Minister from 1911 to 1920, leading the country during World War 1. Borden’s government introduced the first federal income tax to Canada and he nationalized the Canadian railways and he was responsible for WW1 conscription in 1917. 

  • It is a miserable irregular life one has to lead and I am more than sick of it, I can assure you. [in a letter to his wife on politics in Ottawa]
  • Canadianism or Continentalism [the victorious 1911 campaign slogan against PM Laurier’s vision of U.S. trade reciprocity]
  • Freely and voluntarily the manhood of Canada stands ready to fight beyond the seas in this just quarrel for the Empire and its liberties.
  • It can hardly be expected that we shall put 400,000 or 500,000 men in the field and willingly accept the position of having no more voice and receiving no more consideration than if we were toy automata. 
  • We must not forget that days may come when our patience, our endurance and our fortitude will be tried to the utmost. In those days, let us see to it that no heart grows faint and that no courage be found wanting. . .
  • In this country we are a peace loving people, and great tasks lie before us in the peaceful development of our resources. We have no lasting quarrel with the German people, who have great qualities and whose achievements in every important sphere of human progress are conspicuous, although they are temporarily misled by the militarism of Prussia; but we will fight to the death against the vain attempt of an arrogant militarist oligarchy to impose upon the world its ideals of force and violence and to achieve its unworthy purpose by “blood and iron”.
  • There is but one way to deal effectively with the Prussian gospel of force and violence and the Prussian ideal of absolutism. It must be smashed utterly and completely. The sooner that is accomplished the better for the German people and for all the nations. Canada joins wholeheartedly in that great task. What has been done is known to all. What remains to be done shall be limited only by the need.
  • Let us never forget the solemn truth that the nation is not constituted of the living alone. There are those as well who have passed away and those yet to be born. So this great responsibility comes to us as heirs of the past and trustees of the future. But with that responsibility there has come something greater still, the opportunity of proving ourselves worthy of it; and I pray that this may not be lost.
  • The Canadians who have fought so gallantly for our liberties and those of the world, and who have given to our country a great place among the world’s nations, will return to Canada with a wider vision and with a higher appreciation of the opportunities that lie before them.
  • Canada got nothing out of the war except recognition. [in a letter to his wife on what Canadians achieved from the war]

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *