Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/202

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Germany, and the United States are increasing year by year, and if we are to maintain the command of the seas we must have a strong Navy. Further expenditure may be necessary on the Navy; while the burden on the taxpayer in this country has almost reached its limit. Increased help will be needed from the Colonies, or otherwise we shall lose the command of the seas, upon which our prosperity and very existence as an Empire depends. At present the Colonies are doing very little, and Canada, in fact, has not hitherto made any direct contribution to the defence of the Empire in time of peace; but I am satisfied from what I have heard from Canadian friends who have recently been visiting this country that if Mr. Chamberlain's policy is carried through there will be a very much greater disposition on the part of Canada to bear her share of Imperial burdens than there is at the present time. In a speech delivered at Epsom twelve years ago I said: 'Though a commencement has been made in this direction, it may well be doubted whether the Colonies will face their fair share of the burden unless you give them further advantages than a control of Imperial questions. The Colonies, as you know, are all rigidly Protectionist. On the other hand, it is said that all that the Colonies hope for from a connection with the mother country is the enjoyment of trade advantages. I am a staunch believer in the economic advantages of Free Trade to this country, even on the present one-sided system; but, in my opinion, it is well worth considering whether we should not gain more than we lose if, by entering into reciprocal trade arrangements throughout the Empire, we induced the Colonies to bear their fair share of the cost of Imperial