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Stacey, C.P.

Toronto, University of Toronto Press, c1979, 1984. 410pp, paper, $17.50, ISBN 0-8020-6560-0. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by John H. Harkness

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

In this book, first published in 1977 by Macmillan but out of print in 1983, the author begins his authoritative and magisterial history of Canada's relations with the outside world. The period from 1867 to 1914 "proved to merit more attention" than the author had proposed to give it. The crowded and dramatic years from 1914to 1921 "demanded five long chapters." So this volume finishes with the end of a decade of Conservative and Unionist rule and the dawn of the day of Mackenzie King.

In 1867, at Canada's beginnings, there is no reference to external affairs in the British North America Act: these were universally regarded as the business of the British government. Professor Stacey traces the many developments, not least Canada's military contribution to victory in World War I, that occurred so that in 1919 Sir Robert Borden could say "we are recognized as a nation of equal status with the Mother Country and other Dominions," in his speech proposing the approval of the Treaty of Versailles. Nevertheless, Borden still felt "a unified imperial foreign policy, based on consultation" was practicable as well as desirable. However, Stacey concludes the volume by commenting that the 1921 Conference in Washington "was the last occasion when a serious effort was made to use that machinery or apply those principles. New men with different ideas were already in power at Ottawa."

The earlier makers of Canadian policy, especially Macdonald, Laurier, Borden and Meighen, are strongly depicted, and Professor Stacey quotes from many of their speeches in this detailed book. There are no illustrations. There are thirty-nine pages of references and two appendices at the end.

John H. Harkness, Emery C.I., North York, Ont.
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