Hon. F. G. Bradley (Secretary of State):
This is a day which will live long in North American history. It is a day of fulfilment-fulfilment of a vision of great men who planned the nation of Canada more than eighty years ago; and as we stand here on this day of destiny our thoughts fly back through the years to those far-seeing men of the past-Macdonald, Brown, and Cartier in Canada, and Carter and Shea in Newfoundland-whose vision was broader and deeper than their times, and whose conception of a united British North America has just become a reality. In fancy we can see them now, bending over this scene in silent and profound approval.
That they were right is not now open to question. The history of the Canada they began in 1867 leaves no room for doubt upon that point, and the logic of these eighty years indicates that a still greater and better Canada for us all lies in the future.
For me this day transforms a dream of long ago into an accomplished fact. For many years I have felt that our similar independence was unsound; that the close proximity of my native island to the mainland constituted a clear call for union with Canada; that the allegiance to one crown, which we have always shared with Canada, beckoned us westward; that the identity of our principles and traditions pointed in the same direction.
All these considerations led irrevocably to but one conclusion-that Macdonald, Brown and Cartier, and Carter and Shea, were right; and I am happy that this day has come in my time.
I suppose that this union will make hardly any appreciable impression upon the lives of the citizens of Canada of yesterday, but to the people of the new province the changes will be deep and abiding.
In some matters they will lose that exclusiveness of control of their own destinies which they have heretofore enjoyed, and in return they acquire a share in the councils of a great nation-the new Canada -of which they have become a part; they must accustom themselves to a new system of government-the federal system-which links them with all Canadians and yet assures them of a continuance of that identity of which they have always been so proud. They will experience new channelings of trade, new standards of social legislation, new methods of taxation, and a new measure of responsibility as citizens of the New Canada.
Confederation in the days of Macdonald was perhaps comparatively simple, but in the complexities and uncertainties of our modern world it is inevitable that in the process of adjustment to their changed status there will be stresses and strains. We shall have to meet these problems as they arise within the next few months, and perhaps the next few years; and yet out of the experience of the past we may confidently expect that they will not prove as difficult in the future.
Indeed, that process of adjustment has already begun, and we Newfoundland Canadians have been deeply impressed by the speedy recognition of our problems by those whom I may term the older Canadians, and their sincere desire to co-operate with us in effecting the transition as smoothly and with as little dislocation as possible.
Thus we begin life as one people in an atmosphere of unity. We are all Canadians now. Now, as never before, can it be said of this land that her bounds extend from sea to sea. From the eastern shores of the new province of Newfoundland to the coast of British Columbia let us go forward together with faith in the principles and tra-
ditions which we hold in common. Thus shall we grow in strength and prosperity. Thus will the prophetic vision of that great Canadian, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, when he said that the twentieth century belonged to Canada, be acknowledged by the whole world.
Inscribing the Arms of Newfoundland on the Peace Tower:
Topic: FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 1949