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James Wilson Robertson : public servant and educator 1971

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JAMES WILSON ROBERTSONi PUBLIC SERVANT AND EDUCATOR by EDWIN JOHN PAVEY B.Ed., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF EDUCATION in the Department of Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November, 1971 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ^bOCf) T< O hj The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date lO N bV4UjdejLr Wl( TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I EARLY YEARS IN ONTARIO (1875-1890) . . . . . 1 II SERVICE WITH THE DOMINION GOVERNMENT (1890-1904) 14 III PARTNERSHIP IN THE MACDONALD MOVEMENT (1900-1910) Part 1 The Manual Training Scheme . . . . 37 Part 2 The Seed Competition 58 Part 3 Rural School Consolidation . . . . 63 Part 4 Rural School Gardens 77 Part 5 Macdonald Ins t i t u t e , Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College 83 Part 6 Robertson as P r i n c i p a l of Macdonald College 93 IV ROBERTSON'S ACTIVITIES WITH THE DOMINION EDUCATION ASSOCIATION AND THE COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION (1910-1919) I l l V THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL TRAINING (1910-1913) 119 VI WORLD WAR I PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DUTIES, POST-WAR CAREER, AND CONCLUSION 144 BIBLIOGRAPHY 171 The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance and encouragement given him by his advisor, Neil Sutherland, Department of Education, University of B r i t i s h Columbia. \ M E S W I L S O N R O B E R T S O N , IA.A).. C M C ABSTRACT As a r e s u l t of rapid i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , urbanization and immigration, Canada underwent great s o c i a l and economic changes i n the f i n a l years of the nineteenth and the early years of the twentieth centuries. These changes affected many dimen- sions of Canadian l i f e including those of agriculture and education. The hypothesis of t h i s study i s that no Canadian during this period contributed more to. change i n these two areas than James Wilson Robertson, 1857-1930. This thesis, biographical i n form and chronological in development, examines and analyses Robertson's career i n agriculture and education from the time he emigrated from Scotland at the age of seventeen. He embarked on his f i r s t job as a cheesemaker i n Western Ontario at a time when too l i t t l e Canadian cheese reached f i r s t q u a l i t y . By turning out from his fa c t o r i e s a product which sold well in foreign mar- kets, Robertson demonstrated that Canadians could f i n d a large market for prime grades of cheese. The consequent interest i n his methods presented Robertson with the oppor- tunity to display and propagate those better dairying prac- t i c e s which, as they gradually overcame the conservatism of l o c a l dairymen, produced improvements i n both the quality and quantity of Canadian cheese. His i n i t i a t i v e brought Robertson a rapid succession of promotions, from managing dairy cooperatives, to Professor of Dairying at Ontario Agricultural. College, and f i n a l l y , i n 1890, to the newly created post of Dominion Commissioner of Dairying which was l a t e r extended to include agriculture. During these years Robertson taught students, developed t r a v e l l i n g d a i r i e s , issued informative b u l l e t i n s , and en- couraged l e g i s l a t i o n governing standards of q u a l i t y . In discussion and p r i n t he lauded the virtues of country l i f e , preached the gospel of excellence and taught the p r i n c i p l e s of cooperation. Through a wide variety of educational tech- niques and devices, and with the aid of a competent s t a f f , he regenerated Canadian agricul t u r e , showed farmers how to ex- change a subsistence wage for.a decent p r o f i t , and brought about a dramatic increase in a g r i c u l t u r a l exports. In achiev- ing prestige for Canada abroad, he also gained a national and an international reputation for himself. Robertson firmly believed and constantly r e i t e r a t e d that agriculture and education were the nation's most p r o f i t a b l e and b e n e f i c i a l forms of investment. By the early years of; the twentieth century, having proved the value of a g r i c u l t u r a l education to adults, Robertson turned his attention to the r u r a l young. At t h i s point i n his career, his ideas coincided with those of S i r William Macdonald, m i l l i o n a i r e benefactor of higher education. A fortuitous meeting between the two led to a plan for the improvement of r u r a l l i f e and education c a l l e d the Macdonald-Robertson Movement. This scheme combined elements from two p r e v a i l i n g educational philosophies i that which t r i e d to apply i n the. classroom pedagogical p r i n c i p l e s deduced from research i n c h i l d psychology and the s o c i a l sciences, and the other which c a l l e d for a more p r a c t i c a l and less "bookish" curriculum i n order to prepare young Canadians for l i f e i n an intensely technological and competitive age. Sustained by S i r William's money and Robertson's enthusi- asm and drive, the Macdonald-Robertson Movement (later known as the Macdonald Movement) provided school a u t h o r i t i e s , and the public with p r a c t i c a l examples of the new educational ideas. They funded three-year demonstrations of manual t r a i n i n g , nature study, school gardens, and school consolidation. In addition, S i r William endowed two teacher-training es t a b l i s h - ments, the Macdonald Institute i n Guelph and Macdonald College of McGill University to t r a i n the leaders needed for r u r a l regeneration. Robertson became the p r i n c i p a l of the l a t t e r i n s t i t u t i o n . The successes and f a i l u r e s , contemporary opinion . and present ramifications of the Macdonald Movement form a large part of the study. During his l i f e t i m e Robertson achieved wide professional recognition. The Dominion Education Association elected him i t s president. The Federal Government appointed him to the Commission of Conservation and made him chairman of the Royal Commission on Industrial Education and Technical Training. In 1913» t h i s Commission issued i t s remarkable report,, a land- mark i n Canadian educational history, which formed the basis for Federal Government involvement i n p r o v i n c i a l technical education. The thesis concludes with a summary, of contemporary impressions of Robertson, a description of his war-time and other public and private a c t i v i t i e s , an;, enumeration of the honours he gained and a survey of subsequent h i s t o r i c a l writing i n which his work i s c i t e d . CHAPTER I EARLY YEARS IN ONTARIO (1875-1890) - James Wilson Robertson, born on 2 November 1857, i n the v i l l a g e of Dunlop, i n Ayrshire, Scotland, was the fourth of . ten children. While he was s t i l l young, his oldest s i s t e r , an older brother, and his youngest brother, a l l died of s c a r l e t fever leaving James the oldest boy i n the f a m i l y — a position of some importance and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . ^ James* early formal schooling, obtained at the parish school of Dunlop, ceased there at the age of fourteen, a f t e r which he attended the Cunningham Institute, Glasgow,^ before being apprenticed to a leather merchant i n that c i t y . ^ A testimony written by the Headmaster of the parish school shows James to have been an excellent student. Dated 27 A p r i l 1875i and signed by John C. Lindsay, F.E.I.S., i t warmly and prophetically stated: Ishbel.Robertson Currier, B r i e f Biography of James Wilson Robertson, p. 1. (Mimeographed.) Box 1, Polder 2, Robertson Papers. Robertson Papers hereafter * c i t e d * as R.P. with the box number the f i r s t numeral, and folder number the second numeral. p See Chapter Six for further reference to the Cunningham Ins t i t u t e . ' . 3 Currier, Biography, p. 5« I have much pleasure in c e r t i f y i n g to the character and q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of Mr. James Robertson, Hapland, i n t h i s parish. He was placed under my t u i t i o n i n his early boyhood, and by his diligence and close application, he soon acquired a thorough (sic) good useful Education. His attainments are considerable, and his character and conduct deserve very s p e c i a l commendation. He has been engaged i n a business s i t u a t i o n i n Glasgow for several years and has always conducted himself to the entire s a t i s f a c t i o n and high approbation of his employers. Altogether, I consider him a superior young man, very upright and trustworthy i n a l l his dealings, and regarding whom, I have the highest confidence i n his success where his l o t i n l i f e may be cast. According to his daughter, Ishbel, (Mrs. Ishbel Robertson C u r r i e r ) , James Robertson often mentioned to her how much he owed to the business t r a i n i n g he had received whilst with the firm t He learned to keep accurate accounts and a l l the detailed commercial records that form the basis of any business enterprise. A l l his l i f e he was meticulous i n . his records of f i n a n c i a l matters and he seemed to keep a sort of running balance i n his mind of the s t a t i s t i c a l aspects of his various enterprises. When James was seventeen, his family emigrated to Canada. Mrs. Currier gives the reasons for the move as partly r e l i g i o u s and p a r t l y economic. The r e l i g i o u s reason stemmed from a sectarian r i f t which occurred between James* father and grand- father and i s well described i n her B r i e f Biography. The * R.P., 1, 3. 5 Currier, Biography, p. 5» economic reason was that i Canada was a dairying country and the occupation of James' grandfather was that.of a cheese importer in Dunlop. The family thus had t h e i r own farm hack- ground for t r a i n i n g and also a contact with an available export cheese market for t h e i r produce." The Robertson family s e t t l e d on a farm, "Maple Grove," near London, Ontario. There James took a job as Assistant Manager of a cheese factory at nearby Ingersoll. When the manager f e l l i l l , James accepted the whole r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the management of the operation. His e f f o r t s Were so success- f u l that his products won prizes at l o c a l exhibitions. The next year, I876, James was made manager of the North Branch cheese factory near London.? During the winter of 1878-79> he attended the college at Woodstock, Ontario, "where he received an inestimable impulse at the hands of that born teacher, Prof. S. J. McKee." On returning home he resumed his former occupation. Leaving North Branch i n 1881,,he bought a cheese factory at Fullarton. Within a" few years he was managing eight fac- t o r i e s i n Western Ontario, which made cheese for the export market. A young man with tremendous drive, James taught new methods and t r i e d to encourage the l o c a l dairymen to improve 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid., p. 6. 8 George l i e s , "Dr.. Robertson's. Work for the t r a i n i n g of Canadian Farmers," The "American Review of Reviews, (November,, 1907), pp. 576-84-. . . t h e i r cheese production. Mrs. Currier writes: With his energetic temperament and the deep seated strength of his convictions, James continually urged the establishment of more cheese f a c t o r i e s , the production of more and better milk for t h i s p r o f i t a b l e market, the side l i n e of pig r a i s i n g to make economic use of the whey and always i n s i s t e d on the highest standards of qu a l i t y i n every f i e l d . 9 This matter of qu a l i t y milk f o r the manufacture of quality 'cheese was, important to Robertson both i n his capacity as a cheese producer and as a cheese exporter. Most of the exported cheese went to B r i t a i n where i t competed with the exports of other countries. Thus quality was v i t a l , and James to the end of his l i f e advocated at a l l times the continued quest f o r improvement i n a g r i c u l t u r a l products. There i s no doubt that Robertson "knew his cheese." A note of commendation from Heath and Finnemore, London, Ontario, Produce and Commission Merchants, dated 22 February 1881, declared» During t h i s past three years while you have been at the North Branch Cheese Factory, we have bought some thousands of your make and we have pleasure i n c e r t i - fying to t h e i r uniform excellent q u a l i t y , and to the universal s a t i s f a c t i o n they have given to our friends i n Great B r i t a i n . . . .^^ Such educational e f f o r t s directed towards the development of cheese f a c t o r i e s , and i n the application of standards of qu a l i t y i n milk production, gained f o r James a reputation Currier, Biography, p. 6. R. P. , 1, 2. which did not go unnoticed by leaders of the industry. In 1886, his accomplishments l e d to his appointment as Professor of Dairying at the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, Guelph. During his stay at Guelph, Robertson t r a v e l l e d , as did other s t a f f members, the length and breadth of Ontario, addressing farmers' i n s t i t u t e s on his spe c i a l t y , and making p l a i n the necessity for i n t e l l i g e n c e i n the planning of a sound, progressive and expanding industry. In his annual reports Robertson gives d e t a i l s of these v i s i t s and of his additional duties as Superintendent of Dairying f o r Ontario. In the l a t t e r capacity he was clos e l y connected with the Dairymen's Associations, and was a frequent speaker at t h e i r conventions. At the Annual Convention of Western Ontario Dairymen, 1888, Robertson spoke on the need f o r dairying edu- cation, a theme he was to repeat constantly i n succeeding years. He believed t h i s kind of education to be "a matter of l i f e to the farmer" who requires to "know more of the p r i n c i - ples of ag r i c u l t u r e " i n a period when "competition i s keener." "I think," he said "dairymen should have as p a r t i c u l a r and thorough a t r a i n i n g as doctorsj lawyers and clergymen.. Dairy- men need i t equally with them and may p r o f i t as much by i t . " Robertson concluded that the primary aim of education " i s to enable a man to make a l i v i n g . . . , ' " l 2 His d e f i n i t i o n of the -L'1' Annual Report of the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College con- tained i n the Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture, Ontario, for the years 1886, 188?, 1888, 1889. 1 2 Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1888, no. 21, pp. 90-91. purpose of education was not to change, and he re i t e r a t e d i t i n various ways throughout the many pronouncements on the subject which he made over the whole of his career. To Ontario dairymen Robertson gave t a l k s on such subjects as "The Hog as an Adjunct to the Dairy," "The Useoof Ensilage," "Notes on Butter Making," "Experimental Cheese Making. h 13 Speaking at a Convention i n 1889, Robertson urged the use of i n t e l l i g e n t operational methods. He stated c a t e g o r i c a l l y s I would not have a cheese maker b l i n d l y grinding out b l i n d r e s u l t s by routine p r a c t i c e . I would have him so think out his business that his thought w i l l go ahead of his curd knife or steam pipe. ^ In his 1889 report, Robertson expressed his opinion that s U n t i l recently there has been no general, systematic or comprehensive e f f o r t put forth the improvement of the methods or the investigation of the p r i n c i p l e s that underlie those practices that invariably lead to success and p r o f i t . . . . The true aim of a l l operations are threefold I) the production of food i n such a way as to leave a s a t i s f a c t o r y p r o f i t to the producer II) the preservation and augmentation of s o i l f e r t i l i t y III) the provision of remunerative employment fo r the r u r a l popu- l a t i o n . 15 Of his service at the C ° H e g e » Robertson r e c a l l e d that he learned a great deal 1 The f i r s t year I was a member of the s t a f f • . . I gave more than one half of my time to attending farmers" Ontario, Annual Report of Minister of Agriculture, 1889, Pt. I I , pp. 151-204. ! : ~ ^ i P i d . , • Pt. IV, p. 22. V X5 Ibid., P t . I I , pp. 151-52. meetings. I frankly confess that I learned more from what the farmers said, than they did from what I said.' A man with an open mind cannot go to s i x t y farmers' meetings and l i s t e n to discussions and answer questions, and hear of the hest methods of doing things without , getting a college education of a superb sort 1 & • • • • With other members of the s t a f f of the College, he was responsible for the writing of information b u l l e t i n s which were made available to Ontario farmers. One of the f i r s t he wrote e n t i t l e d "Care of Milk for Cheese Making," 17 described procedures for the better handling of milk. In the summer of I887, Robertson v i s i t e d Wisconsin, a leading dairy state, where: While going about . . . I saw every s i l o I came near. I learnt a l l I could from the p r a c t i c a l men who had been successful. When I returned I got one b u i l t at the College . . . and proclaimed Indian corn and ensilage a l l over the province . . . .1° In 1886, the Ontario Government entrusted Robertson with the task of supervising the Province's cheese and butter display at the Indian Exhibition i n London, England. On his return he submitted a most comprehensive and descriptive report to the Hon. A. M. Ross, Ontario Commissioner of Agriculture, concerning his experiences and observations i n that country ^ James Wilson Robertson, Address on Education for the Improvement of Agriculture, Halifax, N.S., k March 1903. 1,3 Ontario/* Dept. of Agriculture, Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, Guelph, B u l l e t i n No. 28, 1 May 1888." . I P ± 0 Robertson, Address. and i n other parts of Europe. Denmark p a r t i c u l a r l y impressed him. He stated: For a small country Denmark deserves much praise for the long and thorough attention given to a g r i - c u l t u r a l investigation and education. . . the Govern- ment of the country has f i n a n c i a l l y and otherwise "borne most of the burdens inseparable from the establishment and maintenance of educational means and f a c i l i t i e s which have enabled the Danes . . . to gain the foremost place i n the world f o r quantity and quality exported per acre . . . . The Government a l l along has maintained a f r i e n d l y and fostering attitude towards the improvement of a g r i c u l t u r a l methods . . . and has given l i b e r a l grants towards furthering s c i e n t i f i c investigation and the dissemination of sound knowledge r e l a t i n g to land and i t s c u l t i v a t i o n , as well as to stock and the manu- facture of t h e i r products.19 Danish governmental paternalism and leadership appealed very much to Robertson. His conviction that governmental influence was necessary i n the development of the Canadian dairying industry was to come to f r u i t i o n when l a t e r he became the Federal o f f i c i a l who was to implement t h i s p r i n c i p l e . During the course of '.his engagement in London, Robertson wrote a number of newsy and descriptive l e t t e r s to one. of his s i s t e r s . In part they form a s o c i a l commentary on events and conditions of the time. Also made obvious i n these l e t t e r s i s his supreme self-confidence. They were of course private l e t t e r s and as such reveal thoughts which i n public l i f e had to be concealed with a mask of modesty. He wrote in one such l e t t e r of a banquet he had attended: Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1897» no. 6, p. 204. "Fancy my surprise on opening the programme to f i n d that I was down to reply to the toast of v i s i t o r s . . . . Then the Master of Ceremonies shouted. 'Silence f o r J. W. Robertson, Esquire, I pray you.' I commenced, went on, got through and had the honour of being congratulated on making the best speech of the evening. I observed on passing that I received the best attention and the most frequent applause . . . . He concluded his l e t t e r with, "I'm often very t i r e d but am doing good work for my Province and s e l f . " ^ A further l e t t e r informed his s i s t e r that he would be addressing a Dairying conference i n Scotland: "Quite an occasion for a young fellow." Inside the month he had been at the Exhibition: "More attention has been attracted to the Dairy exhibition than during the whole season to any other department . . . . My l e t t e r s to the papers and i n t e r - views with j o u r n a l i s t s have so won t h e i r goodwill, that I have made myself f e l t thro'out the whole of •' England. " His penchant for s t a t i s t i c s ' l e d him to claim: "The l e t t e r s and notices have been copied into so many papers (leading and l o c a l ) that already between 3 and 4 m i l l i o n of copies have been printed and the copying s t i l l goes on. I figured the other night . . . . that i f a l l the press notices regarding cheese and butter which I have either written or inspired were cut out of several papers and joined into one s t r i p , i t would mea'sure--how much?--over kOO miles long, and i t i s everyday growing." That Robertson was becoming aware of his present and future value i s clear when he explained: Robertson to his s i s t e r , (unnamed), 5 October 1888, R• P. , 1, 7• Always the observer, James compares the "luxury and misery, opulence and abject poverty" which perhaps "nowhere else meet i n such extreme conditions." He went to church and heard Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Henry Ward Beecher evangel- iz e . He hinted at the darker side of London l i f e . "The mental and s p i r i t u a l advantages are offered here at t h e i r best, while moral and physical temptations attend t h e i r elbows." He works very hard, becomes very t i r e d but gives i n d i c a t i o n that he i s a just supervisor. "You may know I'm good to the f i v e g i r l s 21 I have working f o r me." Robertson's term of duty at Guelph was not continuous. The Principal's report for 1888 noted thats Early i n the year J. W. Robertson, Professor of Dairying, l e f t 'us to engage in the produce business in Montreal; but we are glad to report that he has just returned and w i l l henceforth devote his undivided attention to the.work of the college and to the dairy interest throughout the Province.22 During the period of his absence Robertson went into business as a produce broker i n partnership with his father i n Montreal. Unfortunately, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r venture f a i l e d and expected p r o f i t s were displaced by debts which threatened Robertson with the prospect of a court action. In a l e t t e r Robertson to his s i s t e r , 22 October 1888, R.P., 1, 7. Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1888, no.. 16, p. 7» to.his debtor, Robertson pleaded for a chance .to pay o f f the money that was owed. He stateds "You w i l l s u f f e r no loss by waiting and giving me a chance to pay my share without l e g a l proceedings. I w i l l give you a written acknowledgement set t i n g f o r t h the amount. W i l l insure my l i f e i n your favour f o r a sum s u f f i c i e n t to protect you i n case of my death . . . ." Anxious to protect his. reputation, he continued, " i t w i l l be very hard on me, i f you i n s i s t on carrying the matter to court. I do not fear any r e f l e c t i o n s being cast upon, or l e f t on my i n t e g r i t y and honesty; but the public i s se n s i t i v e and the bringing of such a case into court and the. press would damage my standing •among dairymen and might lead to my being compelled to give up t h i s s i t u a t i o n . By sending the case to court you gain nothing while I s u f f e r . . . I await your reply with anxiety as t h i s matter being i n suspense i s playing the mischief with my power for work. .,23 Since nothing apparently came of i t , the problem must have been resolved but Robertson had been frightened. He knew: of the mischief, as well as of the good, the press could do to him. As a r e s u l t , a l l through his l i f e he was car e f u l to court j o u r n a l i s t s . Furthermore, his future business specula- tions involved more secure investments i n mining stocks and property. When v i s i t i n g Wisconsin over the years, Robertson became fr i e n d l y with W. H. Hoard,' publisher of Hoard's Dairyman, and . l a t e r Governor of that state.* Hoard was a frequent v i s i t o r . and .speaker at Ontario Dairymen's Conventions. It was, - 2 3 Robertson to W. H. Clark, 7 November 1888, R.P., 1, 4. 2 ^ Mining stock c e r t i f i c a t e s and d e t a i l s of property trans- actions are among his papers, R.P., 1,.6. therefore, i n recognition of Robertson's being an expert in the' f i e l d of dairying that Hoard t r i e d to persuade him to l i v e and work i n the United States and especially i n the dairying state of Wisconsin. In reply to a l e t t e r from Hoard requesting that he consider t h i s Robertson r e p l i e d ; "With the native caution of a canny Scot added to by ten years of thinking experience, I have been slow to answer your d i r e c t enquiry as to whether I could be induced to s e t t l e i n the United States . . . I could do my work . • . over there as here. The otherside i s . Our people need a man,like me . . . . (sic) But as they have some.men almost ready to do my work, i f the larger f i e l d on your side would give me enough opportunity to earn $3»000 a year I would go over and earn i t . I can get only $2,000 here. Later in l i f e i f not soon, I believe I s h a l l go to your side or back to England." 2 5 Robertson was beginning to measure his worth in terms o f dol l a r s and cents and not for the f i r s t time, or the l a s t , would the question of salary enter into his thought. To gain more experience and to augment his income, Robertson lectured i n vacation periods at Cornell University. This appointment he acknowledges as being due to the good o f f i c e s of H o a r d . H e wrote of his experiences i n a l e t t e r to his sister« "Cornell, with a l l i t s grand equipment, good men and earnest students i s now a memory to me as pleasant as the v i s i t was i n a n t i c i p a t i o n . From the f i r s t entrance within i t s campus my experiences were only pleasurable. The a g r i c u l t u r a l students were very kind to me and very appreciative. Of course I am learning to lecture as well . . . . Today two students presented 2 5 Robertson to Hoard, 15 September 1888, R.P., 1, 3 . 2 6 Robertson to. Hoard, 26 November 1888, R.P., 1, 3. me with a b e a u t i f u l cane and the A g r i c u l t u r a l class trudges . . . through some mud to give me a send o f f at the s t a t i o n . T'would have donevyou good to see and hear these young men cheer . .' . . " 2? The experience gained in these years was to form the basis of Robertson's future career. He gained an excellent grasp of the dairy industry, much p r a c t i c a l experience i n public speaking, i n writing o f f i c i a l reports, i n teaching, .and i n organization. In short, he had thoroughly prepared himself f o r what he had e a r l i e r t o l d his s i s t e r was "now ea s i l y within reach." 2 7 Robertson to his s i s t e r Ik A p r i l 1889, R.P., 1, 3. CHAPTER II SERVICE WITH THE DOMINION GOVERNMENT (1890-190^-) By any standard of measurement, Robertson was becoming, by the l a t e 1880's, a-well-known man i n the eastern part of - Canada and in areas of the United States. His work with the Dairymen's Associations of Ontario was appreciated and his advice a c t i v e l y sought by the dairymen of that province. Thus i t was, while making a speech at the annual meeting of the Ontario Dairymen's Association at Smith's F a l l s , i n 1889, on the pressing need for cold storage f a c i l i t i e s on ships carry- ing Canadian produce to England, that Robertson came to the notice of the Prime Minister, S i r John A. Macdonald, who shared the platform with him. Of t h i s occasion Mrs. Currier writes » After the meeting S i r John asked him i f he could develop such cold storage f a c i l i t i e s i f there were a government subsidy arranged for the purpose. Without hes i t a t i o n James said yes, he could. This no doubt influenced his appointment to the pos i t i o n of Dairy Commissioner for Canada i n 1890.1 This p o s i t i o n was created by the Dominion Government i n response to the ef f o r t s of W. H. Lynch, of Danville, Quebec, Currier, B r i e f Biography, p. 7. who advocated the appointment of an o f f i c i a l whose duty i t would "be to promote the'dairying industry of the Dominion. Lynch wrote a series of a r t i c l e s on the dairying industry and the Dominion Government, recognizing Lynch's in t e r e s t , bought 75.000 copies of his pamphlet, S c i e n t i f i c Dairy Practice, f o r $4,500, and d i s t r i b u t e d them to dairy farmers. 2 Lynch also lectured frequently at Dairymen's meetings. At the Eastern Ontario Dairymen's Convention, 1886, he pre- sented a masterly s t a t i s t i c a l analysis based on the exports and imports of eighteen countries during the previous f i f t e e n years, and offered a prognosis for future developments' i n Canadian dairying. Furthermore, his suggestion that the various p r o v i n c i a l associations of dairymen should appoint delegates to a general conference came to f r u i t i o n i n 1889.^ On 9.April 1889, representations of the dairying i n - dustries of. Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and the North West T e r r i t o r i e s , met i n the House of Commons, Ottawa, and formed "The Dairymen's Association of the Dominion of Canada." A deputation from the newly formed association waited upon the Prime Minister, S i r John A. Macdonald, and other members of the.Cabinet. The deputation made two s p e c i f i c For d e t a i l s of the i n i t i a t o r y movement which led to the creation of the o f f i c e of Dairy Commissioner see Canada, Sessional Papers, 1891, no. 6D, pp. 1-8. 3 Annual Convention of the Dairymen's Association of Eastern Canada, Proceedings, 1886, pp. 124 -25. • requests* f i r s t , that a grant of $3,000 be made to the new Association and, second, that a Dairy Commissioner should be appointed.^ A spokesman for the delegation was James Robert- . son who l a t e r informed his s i s t e r s "As usual your humble brother was the main spokesman ... . . A dozen or more members t o l d me afterwards that mine was the best speech ever delivered before the committee. S i r John A. was very kind and gave me (apparently) a most appreciative hearing-* . . . and asked me to submit i n writing to him a memorandum of a l l that I had urged.. I got of f one good joke on the old man at . which he laughed ^heartily . . . . The Government need and want a man quite badly to undertake the work of , Commissioner of Dairying for the Dominion.. I happen to be the only man quite big enough and of the r i g h t shape to f i l l the place, but, I begin to value my services i n dol l a r s v.ery highly. Whoever f i l l s the place . . . w i l l get a reputation from Newfoundland to Vancouver and the chance of a t r i p to Europe, Japan, South America etc. . etc. "5 . :„. Both requests were granted, but as a preliminary step the Association was asked to name a committee to.confer with the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable John.Carling, with respect to the se l e c t i o n of a Dairy Commissioner. The commit- tee selected Robertson to f i l l the post on a three year basis, with J. C. Chapais as Assistant Commissioner, with Quebec his area of sp e c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . ^ Robertson was the l o g i c a l choice for Commissioner; as- he had explained to his s i s t e r , he was the only man "of the right shape" to f i l l the-post. His work i n Ontario, the leading Canada, Sessional Papers, 1891• no. 6D, pp. 1-8. 5 Robertson to his s i s t e r Ik - A p r i l 1889, R.P., 1, 3. ^ Canada, Sessional Papers, 1891, no. 6D, pp. 1-8. province, t o l d i n his favour. There he had proven himself as a cheese manufacturer, as manager,, as an administrator,;and as a p u b l i c i s t . He was known both i n Canada and abroad. He had the common touch, was popular, was f r i e n d l y with the press, was a Presbyterian i n a day when such an a f f i l i a t i o n counted s o c i a l l y , and he was a Scot, a considerable asset among an ethnic group which played a very large part i n the p o l i t i c a l , economic, and s o c i a l l i f e of the Dominion. On his resignation from Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, he was presented with a paper knife and book, as tokens of esteem from some members of the s t a f f there. In an accompanying l e t t e r they declared: "During the whole period of your term of o f f i c e here we have observed with much s a t i s f a c t i o n and pride the success which you brought to your own special departments and the prestige'which came along with t h i s success to the entire I n s t i t u t i o n . "In viewoof t h i s fact and of the very pleasant re l a t i o n s that have a l l along subsisted between us, we f e e l that we would be errant i n our duty and p r i v i l e g e i f we allowed you to go to another sphere of labour without giving you a token of the true and deep regard that we bear towards you .. . . also of. our sense of loss i n knowing that so much of manly, honest, s t e r l i n g worth i s going from us."7 Such was. the respect i n which James Robertson was held by his associates then, and i n the future. In congratulating the Minister f o r Agriculture i n the House of Commons, a member expressed his appreciation of the Government's i n i t i a t i o n of the post, s t a t i n g that the selection- ? Letter from members of the Staff of Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College on the occasion of Robertson's resignation from the College. R.P., 1, 3. made for the position was "the very best that could be made inside of Canada, and perhaps, outside of i t either." Another member referred to the "important services to the dairy i n - terests of the country" rendered by Professor Robertson. So was Robertson given a p o s i t i o n of tremendous r e s p o n s i b i l i t y — his to i n i t i a t e , to develop, to organize, to make known» i n short, to cause to earn respect i n terms of usefulness and value to a developing Dominion. He had performed well i n Ontario; could he do as well for the Dominion? An Order-in-Council dated 10 February 1890, gave o f f i c i a l recognition to his appointment at $3,000 per annum and set out his duties. They were.formidable. In view of the great importance to Canada of the Dairy i n t e r e s t , and the fact of the very great exten- sion of both production and trade found to ar i s e from improved methods of manufacture, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n cheese, i n the Province of Ontario, i t i s advisable to appoint a Dairy Commissioner, to be a f f i l i a t e d with the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, fo r the pur- pose of d i f f u s i n g p r a c t i c a l information among the farmers of the Dominion by means of B u l l e t i n s , Confer- ences, and Lectures on the most improved and economical methods of manufacturing Butter and Cheese and of feeding Cattle to produce the best r e s u l t s in obtaining milk,9 Robertson's f i r s t report to the Minister of Agriculture* shoes that he had f a i t h f u l l y performed his task. He pointed out t h a t i a Canada, Debates, 1890, p. 2^00. 9 Copy of Order-in-Council, Ottawa, 10 February 1890, R« P. , 1, 3 • The time intervening between the date of my appointment and October, was given almost e n t i r e l y to the discharge of the duties a r i s i n g from and per- ta i n i n g to my position as Dairy Commissioner . . . . I was r e l i e v e d of much of the superintendence of farm work i n order to enable me to carry out the instruc- tions of the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, to the ef f e c t that I should v i s i t the several Provinces. . . . for the purpose of d e l i v e r i n g a series of lectures i n each on "Dairy Farming" and kindred topics. My journeys enabled me . . . to inform the farmers . .. . of the.nature, variety and extent of the service which i t i s the object of the. Dominion Experimental Farms to render. 0 Dr. J. A. Ruddick, who succeeded Robertson as Dairy and Cold Storage Commissioner for the Dominion, made reference to Robertson's f i r s t year i n his new post, explaining how, he t r a v e l l e d throughout the length and breadth of Canada addressing meetings, interviewing leading dairymen and making a general survey of the whole s i t u a t i o n . His fluency as a speaker, coupled with his wide knowledge of the subject, and his general optimism and enthusiasm made a great impression on the farmers of Canada and created much interest i n the dairy industry i n a short time.H In one such address delivered at Shoal Lake, Manitoba, on 21 August 1890, the Dairy Commissioner announced that the purpose of his v i s i t wasi to learn the conditions and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of farming i n the West than at present to teach anything new . . . I am more eager to observe than to advise, and more anxious to gain information than to express opinions . . . . When I return to the eastern part of the Dominion, I w i l l be furnished with such a knowledge of t h i s country as w i l l enable me to answer the enquiries Canada, Sessional Papers, 1890, p. 54. 11 J. A. Ruddick, "The Origins and Development, of the Dominion Dairy and Cold Storage Branch," S c i e n t i f i c Agriculture, VII (December 1926), pp. 131-4. of some young farmers and others who are bound to come or "go west," even i f they have i n some respect a good land where they presently reside . . . . Some farmers . . . i n eastern Canada, from not knowing . . . our own West, are induced to go to the States, probably a f t e r - wards to lament the haste which led them to accept, without further enquiry, the extravagant statements of* railway-lands advertising c i r c u l a r s and agents from the other side. In the same address, Robertson*made a plea for d i v e r s i t y i n farming, his concern being over a reliance of the Western grain grower on one cropi The reputation of Manitoba i s excellent, i t s superior wheat, has I think, t o l d against the province, instead of i n i t s favour. The wheat growing of Manitoba has been "cracked up" so much, that many people have been led to believe that i t i s good for nothing else . • . • The place that has been the home of countless herds of buffalo, cannot f a i l to support . . . c a t t l e i n health and comfort.12 His report for 1891 included information on meetings and lectures he had given» I attended and delivered addresses at forty-nine conventions or meeting of farmers and dairymen . . . . They were di s t r i b u t e d i n . . . Ontario, 19; Quebec, 8; New Brunswick, 2; Nova Scotia, 4; Prince Edward Island, 3; Manitoba, 3; North-west T e r r i t o r i e s , 1; B r i t i s h Columbia, 9« % assistants also attended and gave addresses upon 242 occasions . . . . The number of applications for'my presence at conventions of farmers has outgrown a l l p o s s i b i l i t y of compliance on my part with one quarter of them. . . .13 The Dairy Commissioner had c e r t a i n l y complied with his o r i g i n a l i n s t r u c t i o n s . His department was arousing keen Canada, Sessional Papers, 1891, no. 6D, pp. 55-67. Ibid., 1891, no. 7t p. 24. i n t e r e s t i n s c i e n t i f i c farming and i n the Dominion Govern- ment's supportive and advisory r o l e . And he made quite sure the Canadian public knew about i t , since he enjoyed the con- fidence of the newspaper world which cooperated exceedingly well i n reporting his speeches. Numerous b u l l e t i n s were issued o f f e r i n g advice on a l l aspects of the Dairying industry. Robertson wrote many him- s e l f with expertness and with an eye to the type of reader he wanted to i n t e r e s t , to persuade, and to move to action. In November 1892, Robertson again v i s i t e d B r i t a i n i n order to negotiate the sale of dairy '.products from the experi- mental dairy stations and at the same time» To c a l l attention to the food producing resources of Canada, the purity and wholesome excellence of Canadian dairy products, and the nature and scope of some of the educational work which i s being done by the Government i n connection with dairy farming . . . . C r i t i c a l and appreciative a r t i c l e s on-the progress and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of Canadian agriculture appeared i n many of the leading journals of Great B r i t a i n . . . .14 While i n Great B r i t a i n , Robertson addressed meetings on a number of topics including "Canada and the A g r i c u l t u r a l C r i s i s " ; "Remedies fo r A g r i c u l t u r a l Depression"; "The Food Producing Resources of Canada." He was also reported in The Scotsman, The Grocer's Gazette, London, and the Free Press, Aberdeen.15 1 .̂ Ibid., 1894, no. 8B, p. 4 . 15 Canadian Gazette (London), 15 December 1892; North B r i t i s h Daily Mail, Glasgow, 17 December 1892; Daily Post, Liverpool, 21 December 1892; 24 December 1892; 14 January 1893. A. unique feature of the Chicago World's F a i r held i n 1893» was a mammoth cheese exhibited by Canada. Robertson wrote that, I was authorized to manufacture a mammoth cheese, which was intended as an advers*ting vehicle which would carry news-paragraphs about the Canadian dairy industry and the opportunities which t h i s country enjoys and affords f o r successful dairy farming, into a l l lands whence we might hope to at t r a c t desirable s e t t l e r s . The cheese, according to a l e a f l e t d i s t r i b u t e d at the f a i r , "weighed 22,000 l b s . net, was twenty-eight feet i n diameter and s i x feet i n height. The t o t a l quantity of milk used i n i t s manufacture was 207,200 pounds. That quantity i s equal to the milk for one day i n September to ten thousand cows . . . . °' .Towards the end of his three year appointment, Robertson wrote to the Minister of Agriculture, i n order to summarize what he had done. By t h i s time, he was aware of his value not only i n terms of service rendered to the Dominion, but also i n terms of what he was worth i n salary. Surveying comprehensively the work he had done and of the innovations and improvements he had brought about, Robertson pointed out i n unmistakable language that his acceptance of the post i n the f i r s t instance had been i n the nature of a f i n a n c i a l s a c r i f i c e and that i f the government wished to take advantage of his a b i l i t i e s i n the future, then i t would have to pay for them. Since i t reviews Robertson's accomplishments to date, and provides at the same time both a record and an analysis of his own attitudes and sense, of personal regard, the l e t t e r i s worth quoting at length. Canada, Sessional Papers, 189̂, no. 8B.A, pp. 17̂-75. "Hon. A. R. Angers, "Minister of Agriculture. "Sir«- "Permit me to present the following facts f o r your considerationi- "1. When I was f i r s t i n v i t e d to become an a p p l i - cant for the position of Dairy Commissioner for the Dominion, I r e p l i e d that I would not accept such a p o s i t i o n at a salary of less than $3,500 per annum to begin with. "2 . At that time, i t was within my power to accept a s i t u a t i o n of a somewhat s i m i l a r nature i n the United States, having greater f i n a n c i a l value to me than the figures I have mentioned with an assured prospect of increase. " 3 . These matters were l a i d before the l a t e Minister of Agriculture at the time. In view of the opportunity for good work and f o r winning a good name i n the Prov- inces'; of Canada, i n which at that time I was known only through the press, I consented to accept the s i t u a t i o n from the Dominion Government for a l i m i t e d period of three years. "The Order-in-Council by which I was appointed added the duties of A g r i c u l t u r i s t of the Central Experi- mental Farm to my work. "4. In my communications with the Minister of Agriculture, I assured him that during the three years I would endeavour to demonstrate to the Government.and to the country the value of the work which would be done and the wisdom of the Government i n creating the o f f i c e and i n appointing me to discharge i t s duties. " 5 . I stated that I would accept a substantial increase i n salary at the end of the three year period. I received no assurance from the Hon. Minister that my expectation would be granted, beyond the impression l e f t on my mind that, a f t e r the work was done, the Government would give f a i r consideration to my a p p l i - cation. "6. It i s not necessary that I should make a categorical statement of what I have been permitted to do and have'been able to do; but I venture without a f f e c t a t i o n to claim that everything which I predicted should he done, and could he done by a Dairy Commissioner has been done, and that much greater success has at- tended my e f f o r t s - (always l i b e r a l l y provided for by the Government and ably seconded by the o f f i c e r s of the Department of Agriculture and my assistants) - than I had even dared to expect within three years. "7. From among the prominent features of the work which has been undertaken and carried out successfully the following may be mentionedi- . !'"a) The addressing of hundreds of meetings i n a l l parts of Canada by myself and assistants; (The estimate of value put upon such services elsewhere may be appre- ciated by the fact that during the winter of 1892-93» I declined i n v i t a t i o n s from the authorities i n no less than 7 d i f f e r e n t States of the Union to attend one con- vention i n each at $100 per meeting besides t r a v e l l i n g expenses); "b) The improvement i n the quality of the cheese mainly in Eastern Ontario, the Province of Quebec and'-' the Maritime Provinces, which has brought hundreds of thousands of d o l l a r s into the country annually from the same quantity of milk; "c) The extension of the cheesemaking business i n Ontario and Quebec and more p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. "d) The improvement i n the quality and the increase i n the .quantity of butter; and the establishment of branch Experimental Dairy Stations for the introduction • of winter butter making i n creameries; "e) The extension of growing fodder corn and. the use of ensilage for feeding c a t t l e economically; and the managements of experiments i n the feeding of. swine re- s u l t i n g l i n demonstrating the great value of frozen wheat as.a feed f o r swine and c a t t l e ; "f) The discovery and introduction of the "Robertson Combination f o r Ensilage" (Indian Corn, Horse Beans and Sunflowers) which promises to save the country .several m i l l i o n s of d o l l a r s annually i n the feeding of c a t t l e f o r beef and milk; "g) The service I was able to render Canada by'my v i s i t to Great B r i t a i n during the present winter. "8. I do not desire to obtrude my personal a f f a i r s upon your notice; but while I l i v e simply and f r u g a l l y , I may state I need a higher salary than I now receive. I have reason to believe I can obtain one much higher i n the United States and I believe I could get a higher one i n Great B r i t a i n . "In view^of these facts I r e s p e c t f u l l y submit»- "a) My d e f i n i t e engagement with Government termi- nated at February 1st, 18931 "b) I venture to hope I have f u l f i l l e d i n every p a r t i c u l a r my side of the contract J "c) The opportunities of my p o s i t i o n have enabled me to do work which has resulted and w i l l continue to r e s u l t i n great f i n a n c i a l benefit to the Dominions "d) I am w i l l i n g to renew an agreement for three years at a salary of $ 5 , 0 0 ° per annum; "e) In any case I s h a l l hope for permission to carry on and f i n i s h the work immediately on hand at the branch Experimental Dairy Stations and i n connection with the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago u n t i l the autumn of the present year; "f) In case the Government do not see t h e i r way to grant my request, i t i s my duty to myself to intimate that my services w i l l not be available i n my present capacity a f t e r that time. "I have the honour to be, S i r , "Your obediant servant, "(sgn)' Jas. W. Robertson" 1? Whether a s i m i l a r l e t t e r could be written today i s a matter for conjecture—one can suppose that Robertson had excellent grounds for writing in the way he did. There i s no doubt that he was worth every penny of his salary and that he could reasonably expect a rai s e provided he was re-engaged. . 1? Robertson to Hon. A. R. Angers, Minister of Agriculture, 18. March 1893. R.P., 1, 3. His l e t t e r suggests i n face of his vast accomplishments., that his services, i n his own estimation, were indispensable. His department had grown in s i z e and i n prestige, while he himself had become a n a t i o n a l l y and internationally-known figure. And whatever Robertson did, he did well. His educational work was outstanding; he had fostered communication between producers and the Government. His e f f o r t s were r e s u l t i n g i n an improved cheese, and i n consequence, an improved export market; happy circumstances which appealed to the r u l i n g powers of a deve- loping Dominion. ' Thus the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Coloniz- ation of the House of Commons was not slow in recommending the re-appointment of Robertsons . . . the Committee having learned that the t i m e f ° r which Professor Robertson was o r i g i n a l l y engaged has now expired, and recognizing as we do the invaluable services which he has rendered to the Dairy interests of t h i s country, we would strongly urge the Govern- ment the necessity of placing the Professor upon the permanent s t a f f of the Central Experimental Farm, and that he be paid a l i b e r a l salary f o r his services.-'-" A report .of a Committee of the Honourable, the Privy Council, was approved by His Excellency, the Governor-General- in-Council, on the 18 A p r i l 1893« . . . The Minister further states that the services of Mr. Robertson, by>placing himself i n active touch with the farmers of the Dominion, have tended l a r g e l y to promote increase of the dairy products of Canada, and that the prospect i s of a further large extension of increase from the continuation of his services. .. Canada.,.,.Standing...Committee on Agriculture and'Coloniza- t i o n . Copy of"Recommendation, 24 March 1893, R.P.. 1, 3. The Minister therefore recommends that the request of Mr. Robertson be acceded to and that he be re- appointed with a salary of $5,000 per annum, for three years.19 Having amply.justified the trust placed i n him by those who had been responsible f o r his appointment, Robertson con- tinued with the organization of the dairying interests of the Dominion. In an endeavour to protect Canada's good name he was p a r t l y responsible for the "Dairy Products Acts. 1893»" which sought to prevent the manufacture and sale of adulterated cheese, and provided f o r the branding of dairy products "Made in Canada." 2^ He was also l a r g e l y responsible for the opening, and sometime di r e c t o r , of a dairy school at St. Hyacinthe, 21 P. Q. His observations on the application;>of Federal funds, and his attitude towards Pr o v i n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for such a g r i c u l t u r a l education, are recorded i n his Evidence Before the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Colonization, .1903. However, since Robertson's involvement with the dairying .aspect of his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s occupied most of his time, the Privy Council's report of 31 December 18951 which extended his appointment, also allowed for his resignation from his posi t i o n as A g r i c u l t u r a l i s t at the Experimental Farm, and 1 9 Copy of Report of Privy Council No. 1129, 18 A p r i l 1893, R.P., 1, 3. 2 0 Canada, Statutes, 56 V i c t o r i a , 1893. Vol. 1 and 2, pp. 131-34. 21 *• ~ - — Canada, Sessional Papers, 1893. no. 7. pp. 18-9. designated him "A g r i c u l t u r a l and Dairy Commissioner." This new appointment now enabled Robertson to devote his whole 22 attention to his spe c i a l t y . It was during 1895i that a s i g n i f i c a n t phase i n the history of Canadian farming began. In the House of Commons that year, concern was expressed that something should be done to develop cold storage f a c i l i t i e s i n order that butter for export should be transported in good condition and thus com- pete on equal terms with the product of other countries. A resolution was passedi To enable the Dairy Commissioner to promote the dairying industry of Canada by making provision for the placing of fresh-made creamery butter on the B r i t i s h market in regular shipments without deterioration i n qual i t y , and for securing recognition of i t s quality there. 3 In Canada p r i o r to 1895. there was no organization i n respect to the carriage of b u t t e r i i n cold storage. No one could get a r e f r i g e r a t o r car unless he had a car-load to ship. There was no cold storage on ship-board and few creameries had any f a c i l i t i e s of that kind. Robertson, with government support, arranged with the railway companies' to run r e f r i g e r a t o r cars once a week over stated routes for purposes of developing the butter trade. Under th i s arrangement, the small butter Report of the Committee of the Privy Council, no. 3885, 31 December 1895, R.P., 1, 3. 23 Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1895, pp. 4465-70. producer could have his consignment carried as safely as the bigger man. The government guaranteed two-thirds of the ' earnings of a minimum car-load (20,000, lbs.) and paid $4 per car f o r i c i n g . The creameries were encouraged to erect cold storage rooms by the payment of a bonus of $100 for those who provided such equipment. Plans and s p e c i f i c a t i o n s were fur-, nished free by the Commissioner. By 1 8 9 7 , .the steamship com- panies were providing r e f r i g e r a t e d ships and the government paid hal f the cost of i n s t a l l i n g the machinery on a number of oh t r a n s - A t l a n t i c vessels. During the same year, the Laurier Government introduced Imperial preference and sent Robertson to Great B r i t a i n where the press reacted most favourably towards both the economic pol i c y and the Canadian representative. The Liverpool Daily Post, i n a leading a r t i c l e said of the Dairy Commissioner: Professor Robertson's i n d i v i d u a l s k i l l as a cheese and.butter maker has been demonstrated long before his appointment. But his resource as an organizer on the larger scale had s t i l l to be proved, and the proof i s found not only i n the number of establishments now successfully at work, but s t i l l more f o r c i b l y , i n the steady annual increase of butter and cheese exports and the continuous improvement i n quality . . . . 25 The Liverpool Courier observed: . It stands to reason that i f the colonies can pro- duce foodstuffs of as good a quality as those which at J. A. Ruddick, "An H i s t o r i c a l , and..Descriptive Account of the. Dairying .Industry of Canada," B u l l e t i n no. 28. (Canada: Minister of ; Agriculture, 1911) . 2 5 i o May 1897, present we take from the United States, Russia, Den- mark, France, etc., i t i s the duty of the mother country to give preference to her children across the seas. Of course i t l i e s with the colonies to show that they can produce exactly what we want, and t h i s i s the e f f o r t which Canada i s now making . . . . in her Commissioner of Agriculture and Dairying they have one of the ablest a g r i c u l t u r i s t s either i n the Dominion or anywhere else . . . . to his s k i l l , energy and resource, not forgetting the hearty support of the Board of Agriculture, are due the rapid s t r i d e s which Canada has made during recent years. ° A Daily Chronicle (London) Special, stated J Canada i s pursuing with singular boldness her p o l i c y of commercial a l l i a n c e with the Mother Country under her new t a r i f f preference for B r i t i s h goods. Buying more from England, Canada means to pay for her purchases i n produce and seeing that we must import two-thirds, of our foodstuffs, we may watch i n sympathy these c o l o n i a l e f f o r t s to beat foreign r i v a l s i n B r i t i s h markets. Today Canada i s our biggest source of supply of imported cheese . . . . In 1889, before the new methods were applied, she sold cheese to B r i t i s h consumers to the value of 8 , 7 5 0 , 0 0 0 dollars? by 1894 the increase was nearly f i f t y per cent., and i n I896 the t o t a l was nearly 1 5 , 7 5 0 , 0 0 0 d o l l a r s . In the same^period the butter exports to Great B r i t a i n have increased one and a t h i r d m i l l i o n d o l l a r s , making a t o t a l increase of 8 , 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 dollars i n B r i t i s h dairy purchases since the i n i t i a t i o n of the p o l i c y of which Professor Robertson i s the exponent. ' E n t i t l e d "Canadian Trade with Great B r i t a i n , " the London Times commentedt Further investigation of B r i t i s h trade methods and marketing i s at t h i s moment being car r i e d on by the Canadian Dairy Commissioner i n t h i s country . . . . Professor Robertson has been engaged i n d e l i v e r i n g a course of lectures on Anglo-Canadian trade i n the p r i n - , .. c i p a l p r o v i n c i a l and manufacturing towns. ... . .. 13 July .1897., 4 August 1897. The paper further noticed the improvement i n qua l i t y and i n quantity and i n the place taken by Canadian dairy products, which e f f e c t i i s no doubt to be attributed . . . to the development of demonstration as well as to the system of experiment and investigation carried on by the Canadian Department of Agriculture. 2° • On his return to Canada, Robertson t o l d a representative of the Winnipeg Free Press » The outlook for Canadian a g r i c u l t u r a l products i n the markets of Great B r i t a i n i s of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t at the present time . . . great and continuous prominence has been given to Canadian matters i n B r i t i s h papers . . , They may lead to a decided advantage i n the demand for Canadian products . . . . The consuming public of Great B r i t a i n , have been made p e r s i s t e n t l y and continuously aware of the fact that Canada i s the premier colony of the Empire . . . . I was able to arrange for the sale in Great B r i t a i n of the t r i a l shipments of peaches, pears and grapes, which are to be sent from the Niagara d i s t r i c t . . . . I saw the members of many firms and also B r i t i s h o f f i c i a l s and received and gave,information i n Canadian products" which w i l l help to develop trade along l i n e s creditable to Canadians, . . . .^9 In 1899, Robertson once more v i s i t e d Great B r i t a i n , and i t was at Dundee, Scotland, where his wife christened the Minto, a mail steamer ice-breaker, that he made a speech e x t o l l i n g the virtues of Canadian a g r i c u l t u r a l produce.30 He announcedt Canada i n 1896 exported over 1 0 , 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 pounds . worth of farm ..produce, and i n I89.8,. the exports .had. 2 8 13 August 1897. 2 9 21 September 1897. ^° He married. Jennie Mather, of Ottawa, on 6 May I 8 9 6 . Currier, Biography, p. 7. risen.to 1 5 » 7 5 010 0 0 pounds, and there was every i n d i - cation that they would keep at that rate of increase for some years to come. . . And he went on to mentioni that i n country d i s t r i c t s (in Canada), the deposits i n the Savings Banks were a t h i r d more than a few years: ago, and that there was room i n Canada for a population of 100 m i l l i o n s . Referring to the great advances being made i n mining, in f i s h i n g and lumbering, and with an increasing use of e l e c t r i c i t y , of the abundance of water power, Robertson looked forward to the time when, with the harnessing of t h i s power, Canada could "thus become a manufacturing as well as an a g r i c u l t u r a l country." Mr. Wm..Thompson, shipowner, thanked Professor Robertson fo r his speech and remarked how from his own experience of the Dairy Commissionert . he knew he had done a very great deal indeed f o r the development of the resources of Canada. In connection with the butter and cheese trade he had been i n s t r u - mental i n i n s t i t u t i n g a system of r e f r i g e r a t i o n r i g h t from thepplace where i t was made, and now he had come to t h i s side of the water to see what was the r i g h t kind of s t u f f f o r the makers on the other side to send . . . .31 In the early years of the twentieth century, Robertson could look back with s a t i s f a c t i o n on the changes he had wrought within the Canadian dairy industry. From coast to coast he had raised farming and dairying to a new height by persuasion and persistence, by education and demonstration. 31 Froman unnamed newspaper clipping,•(most probably a Dundee, Scotland, pu b l i c a t i o n ) , 13 July I 8 9 9 . Aided and supported throughout by a sympathetic Dominion Treasury, dairy exports rose from $ 9 , 7 0 0 , 0 0 0 i n 1 8 9 0 , to $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 in 1 9 0 0 . 3 2 Farmers, dairymen, r a i l r o a d managers, steamship owners and government co-operated i n developing a trade which grew very r a p i d l y . His constant v i s i t s to B r i t a i n , the main support of Canada's export trade, and his observa- tions whilst there and on the Continent, provided the dairy industry with an invaluable source of i n t e l l i g e n c e i n i t s task of building for Canada a reputation f o r dependable products. By his middle f o r t i e s Robertson was a well-regarded Canadian personality whose g i f t s as a speaker were i n great demand. It was t h i s g i f t , enhanced by an a t t r a c t i v e Scottish brogue, that enabled him to win the attention of that most conservative of men, the farmer. Once the i n d i v i d u a l farmer could see that by using the methods advocated by the Dairy Commissioner and his sta'ff he could improve his product and his output and thus raise his standard of l i v i n g , then success for the whole dairying industry was assured. The method he used was simple—education. By t e l l i n g the farmer and better, by demonstrating what was best and encour- aging him to do his best, Robertson succeeded over the years i n gaining the dairyman's tr u s t and confidence. In a l l t h i s , he was aided by the work of the Dominion Government Experi- mental Farms, t r a v e l l i n g d a i r i e s and by an excellent s t a f f . 3 2 Canada, Sessional Papers, 1 9 0 1 , no. 1 5 , pp. 1 9 - 2 0 . He provided leadership i n a time when the industry and a l l that i t meant for Canada, needed strong and wise d i r e c t i o n . That the farming interests of the country were, enjoying prosperity i s borne out by the 1902 report of the President of the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College. He noted that many agencies i n which Robertson was involved contributed to these r e s u l t s t . The condition and prospects of a g r i c u l t u r i s t s i n t h i s country are improving. The farmers of Ontario, not to speak of the other Provinces; of the Dominion, are i n a much better position now than they were i n f i f t e e n or sixteen years ago » they are on a higher . plane of i n t e l l i g e n c e ; they dress better and l i v e better, - they are getting a larger share of the necessaries and comforts of l i f e f or t h e i r labour; and as a class they stand higher s o c i a l l y than they did i n the years gone by. Many agencies have been contributing to these g r a t i f y i n g r e s u l t s , - the Public and High Schools a l l over the Province, the A g r i c u l t u r a l College, the Dairy Schools, T r a v e l l i n g Dairies, Farmers' I n s t i - tutes, Women's Institutes, Live Stock, Dairy, and Poultry Associations, Entomological Society and F r u i t Grower's Association, Winter F a i r s , other great f a i r s , p r o v i n c i a l sales of l i v e stock, and the annual d i s t r i b u - t i o n by the Minister of Agriculture to a l l members of Farmers' Institutes throughout the Province free copies of a l l reports and b u l l e t i n s issued by the Department of Agriculture, the A g r i c u l t u r a l College, the Farmers' Institutes,, and the various associations under the con- t r o l of the Minister - many agencies and a great work.33 The p r a c t i c a l i t y and p r o f i t a b i l i t y of educational methods were noted by overseas v i s i t o r s to Canada who wrote s The Dominion Government and the Provincial Govern- ments have applied themselves to a s s i s t i n g the farmer in conducting his industry i n the most s c i e n t i f i c and . pr o f i t a b l e manner possible . . . . Whether, i t i s i n the administration of the central department at Ottawa Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1902, no. 14, p. 6. or i n the experimental farms . . . or i n the teaching of s c i e n t i f i c agriculture or i n the nature of the . experiments conducted,, or i n the methods adopted for conveying the r e s u l t s to those who should p r o f i t by them, we f i n d everywhere examples well worthy of imitation here /Great B r i t a i n / . 3 ^ As Robertson was urging, guiding and d i r e c t i n g , so he was learning. Frequently he made reference i n his reports to information he had gained from v i s i t s to parts of Canada and abroad. He had learned to co-operate with Ministers and with the leaders of a g r i c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and of the general dairying industry. Above a l l , he had learned to achieve c o r d i a l relationships with the press, a most valuable a l l y in his project f o r the propagation of the gospel of excellence. Building up his department, from nothing, Robertson had created an organization which was widely respected and which formed part of the Canadian national development, with i t s emphasis on immigration and i t s concomitant need for a stable and pro- gressive a g r i c u l t u r a l industry to a t t r a c t s e t t l e r s to the West. In his t r a v e l s , i n his exposure i n the newspapers, i n his speeches and i n his every day contacts with other government departments and leading figures i n Canadian l i f e , how did Robertson view himself? There i s no evidence among his documents that he committed his personal thoughts to paper, but one can reasonably suspect E, S. Montague and B. Herbert, Canada and the Empire, (London: 1904), p. 4-0. that he began to v i s u a l i z e himself as a public man, one con- stantly i n the lime l i g h t and doing as a l l public men are expected to do, to utter some profound remark at the drop of a hat. If Robertson did see himself i n t h i s role then he was subs t a n t i a l l y correct, for he was to become i n the future exactly t h a t—the. genuine public man. A graph," of Robertson's l i f e to date would show a gradual r i s e with the advancing years. From a poor farm boy, and l a t e r clerk, he had become af t e r his a r r i v a l i n Canada, a factory hand, a manager, a teacher, and l a t t e r l y an admini- s t r a t o r . From an unknown Scottish lad with no important family connections, he had become the best known Canadian a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t , not only i n Canada, but also abroad. From the management of an i n s i g n i f i c a n t cheese factory he had be- come the head of an important and i n f l u e n t i a l Government department which exercised a benevolent influence over scores of such f a c t o r i e s . And as he progressed through l i f e so he gained i n m a t u r i t y — a maturity which was to be recognized i n the future by leading people i n Canada when they sought a man to f i l l important positions i n Canadian a f f a i r s . CHAPTER III PARTNERSHIP IN THE MACDONALD MOVEMENT (1899-1910) Part 1 The Manual Training Scheme : One man who noticed with p a r t i c u l a r interest the increase i n bank deposits i n areas where creameries had been located was S i r William Macdonald, a Montreal tobacco manufacturer, a m i l l i o n a i r e benefactor of higher education in eastern Canada, and a shareholder of the Bank of Montreal. Upon enquiry, he learned that the moving s p i r i t i n the reform of a g r i c u l t u r a l methods in the east and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n his own native province, Prince Edward Island, was the Dominion Dairy Commissioner, James Wilson Robertson. In a reminiscent mood Robertson l a t e r r e c a l l e d how one day i n 1897, he » received a l e t t e r from S i r William Macdonald asking i f he could give S i r William some time f o r a meeting at Ottawa . . . . In t h e i r interviews at Ottawa S i r • William said that one of his dreams was to give to .... Herbert Francis Sherwood, "Children of the Land," The Outlook, (23 A p r i l 1910), p. 891; Gazette, Montreal, 26 June 1922} for.a biography of S i r William Macdonald, see J. F. Sne l l , Macdonald College (Montreali McGill University Press, 1963). the English-speaking people of Quebec the means of a better education. He had c r y s t a l l i z e d his thought i n the slogans "Build up the country i n i t s boys and g i r l s . " S i r William sketched . . . his idea of an i n s t i t u t i o n which would take boys at seven years old and r e t a i n them u n t i l twenty one, then sending them out to become leaders. Robertson said the plan would rtot work. "Mothers would not give up t h e i r sons for fourteen years. During fourteen years these boys would be e n t i r e l y out of the l i f e of the country,.and at the end would not have the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s to be l e a d e r s . " 2 Robertson added that i n parting S i r William had requested that i f he had any thoughts on education to impart, to come again. Later he took up the challenge, and going to S i r William, said that he would l i k e to see manual t r a i n i n g i n the schools. From t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n between the two men grew the great e f f o r t known i n i t i a l l y as' the Macdonald-Robertson Movement and l a t e r as the Macdonald Movement. Financed s o l e l y by S i r William Macdonald and managed b r i l l i a n t l y by James Robertson, i t developed into an unique educational partnership for the reform of the r u r a l school programme and for the improvement of the status of the r u r a l school teacher. In basing t h e i r programme on the recognition of the need to prepare most r u r a l children for l i f e i n the home, on the farm and i n the workshop, the partners were convinced that the Canadian r u r a l schools were f a r too bookish, and denied the c h i l d the Ottawa C i t i z e n , 15 July 1922. opportunity to develop his i n t e l l i g e n c e to the f u l l by the promotion of hand and eye s k i l l s , which he would l a t e r require. Manual t r a i n i n g had been advocated for a number of years in Canada. In 1868, for example, Egerton Ryerson, Superin- tendent of Education for Ontario, f e l t that "the tendency of the youthful mind of our country i s too much i n the d i r e c t i o n of what are c a l l e d the learned professions and too l i t t l e i n the d i r e c t i o n of what are termed i n d u s t r i a l pursuits. " 3 i n 1872, J. Howard Hunter, addressing the Ontario Education Asso- c i a t i o n , expressed the need for technical education "for young operatives and farmers both i n primary and i n secondary schools."^ In 1884-, James L. Hughes, Public School Inspector for Toronto, pleaded for "the right of every man to be given an education that w i l l f i t him for his sphere of labour, and as the apprentice system was dying out i t became more and more the duty of the school to provide the t r a i n i n g . " The "broadest aspect of his subject" he said, "was anything that w i l l tend to enable the hand to represent more accurately i n material form the thoughts of the mind."^ Thomas Shaw, of Guelph, addressed the Ontario Education Association i n 1888, on "Agriculture i n our Rural Schools." 3 Edwin C. G u i l l e t , In the Cause of Education (University of Toronto Press), i 9 6 0 , p. 4 2 5 . ^ Ibid., p. 6 . 5 Ibid., p. 108. He found that though some provision was made for i t i n school regulations, the fact that i t was optional resulted i n neglect. Out of a t o t a l attendance of 487,496 i n Ontario public schools, only 1,489 pupils were studying are-h-it-ecture, or one i n every 327, and the subject was not taught i n high schools. What was wanted i n schools was "a p l a i n , p r a c t i c a l , teachable book on agriculture, with i t s teaching obligatory i n a l l r u r a l schools and optional elsewhere." The farmer had a low po s i t i o n i n society yet two-thirds of Canada's population were on the land. "The flower of r u r a l communities d r i f t e d to the c i t i e s and denuded the farms."^ Manual t r a i n i n g was also the subject of a paper by W. H. Huston. At the Association's 1890 meeting, he expressed his approval of shopwork's "wonderful u p l i f t i n g influence on ne- glected boys i n that grandest of educational i n s t i t u t i o n s i n t h i s Province the Industrial school at Mimico." "There were people" he said, "who r i d i c u l e d bread-and-butter education, but surely the f i r s t duty of a school i s to put the c h i l d i n the way of a l i v i n g . If i t was in the interest of the State to have well-trained doctors, teachers and lawyers, the same applied i n a l l occupations and there can be no turning back." Nor was i t only the learning of trades that resulted, for shop-work " d i s c i p l i n e d the mind and trained the student i n Ibid., p. .130. order and method." He foresaw "an integrated system of manual t r a i n i n g from kindergarten to u n i v e r s i t y . A committee of the Association dealing with Mr. - Bryant 's paper e n t i t l e d "Agriculture," i n the same year recommended that the subject "be given prominence with others on the cur- riculum, that i t should be published i n pamphlet form, sent to schools and Farmer's Institutes and brought before the Ministers of Agriculture and Education."^ In I897, James Hughes noted that manual t r a i n i n g was progressing because of the recognition that; i t was " r e a l l y educational and not merely economic i n i t s advantages." It was too, "a great aid i n d i s c i p l i n e , f o r much of a l l children's restlessness and i r r i t a b i l i t y l i e s i n t h e i r not having enough to keep them busy." He believed i t was not natural f o r most children to love books, but that "real things were of interest to them." He outlined further to the Association the advan- tages of manual t r a i n i n g " i n the preparation of the youth for l i f e . " 9 The theory that i t was not natural for a c h i l d to learn only from books "but that he must work with things and learn through his senses and physical a c t i v i t y was inherent i n the educational philosophies of Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel." 1 7 Ibid., p. 146. 8 Ibid., p. 136. 9 Ibid., p. 179. ^° F. Henry Johnson, A B r i e f History of Canadian Education (TorontoJ McGraw-Hill, 1968), p. 86. - Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his d i s c i p l e s had stressed the importance of a g r i c u l t u r a l and manual t r a i n i n g and nature study i n education, ideas which belatedly permeated North American education l a r g e l y through t h e i r adoption i n Scandi- navian countries. Thus the Pestalozzian "head, hand and heart" so well expressed in.the twentieth century i n the educational philosophies of the Progressives and i n the enter- prise method of Canada's Donalda Dickie, were being discussed, at least i n Ontario, by the end of the nineteenth century. In the United States, these methods became an educational issue when John D. Runkle, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was influenced by an exhibition of the work of Victor Delia Vos, and students of the Moscow Imperial School, of which.he was Director. The key theme of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, I876, had been the r e l a t i o n of educa- t i o n to national progress, and the Russians had developed a pedagogical system at least as old as Comenius, whereby "the mastery of any art ... . i s r e a d i l y attained only when the f i r s t attempts are subject to a law of gradation, the p u p i l following a d e f i n i t e method- . . . and surmounting l i t t l e by l i t t l e and by c e r t a i n degree's, the d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered. Runkle became an enthusiastic promoter of manual t r a i n i n g and l a t e r elaborated a more general theory of education based on the manual t r a i n i n g idea i n which lay the key to "a new Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School (New Yorkj Vintage Books, 1961), pp. 24-25. ~~ " balanced schooling" that would again marry the mental to the manual, thereby preparing people r e a l i s t i c a l l y " for l i f e i n an i n d u s t r i a l society."- 1- 2 His idea was promoted by Calvin C. Woodward, who made a new philosophy of i t . Woodward began teaching t o o l work with no. immediate vocational goal. During the 1870's, Woodward c r i t i c i z e d the public schools, charging them with adherence to an outmoded i d e a l of gentlemanliness and culture. The old s t y l e of education was useless; " i t oftener u n f i t s than f i t s a man for earning his l i v i n g . " A broadminded man, sincerely committed to a broad and l i b e r a l education, he was less un- w i l l i n g to make a preparation f o r a s p e c i f i c trade the goal of general schooling." Sharply c r i t i c a l of the ex i s t i n g "lopsided and impractical education which concentrated on the "so-called learned pro- fessions" to the "detriment of true education," Woodward's remedy was manual t r a i n i n g . "Put the whole boy i n school and educate him equally f o r a l l spheres of u s e f u l n e s s . " ^ The subject of Manual Training formed part of the I898 Report of the Minister of Education for Ontario. For many years past the educators of America and the continent have given a great deal of attention to . . . manual t r a i n i n g , by which i s meant a knowledge of the p r i n c i p l e s underlying the construction of i n d u s t r i a l value. As a subject of school work, Manual Training i s said to possess sp e c i a l value.. It gives variety to the exercises i n the schoolroom and has Ibid., pp. 26-28. Ibid., pp. 26-28. s p e c i a l interest f o r pupils of a mechanical turn of mind who otherwise might give l i t t l e attention to the regular subjects of the curriculum . . . . It promotes the development of manual dexterity ... . . accuracy of form, dimension, colour, propor- t i o n , etc. In any pursuit of l i f e , these are i n t e l l e c - t u a l aptitudes of great value, but more p a r t i c u l a r l y to the a r t i s a n and labouring classes. Knowledge gained from Manual Training . . . i s a great stimulus to the mental a c t i v i t y of the c h i l d and can be made to minister to his usefulness i n a f t e r l i f e . Among the sources of Robertson's i n s p i r a t i o n for manual t r a i n i n g were reports from Boston, U.S.A., and Ireland, ex- t r a c t s from both being included i n his booklet, The Macdonald Sloyd School Fund."^ The Annual Report of the School Committee of Boston, f o r 1892, showed some of the excellent r e s u l t s from manual i n s t r u c t i o n i n the school there. It stated* ... Manual t r a i n i n g i n the form of wood-work combined with drawing has now been a part of every pupil's education in the upper grades of the Agassiz school for three years t It was claimed "that there was a gain i n accuracy, that pupils became more thoughtful, more attentive, more observant, created more interest i n school, and made for improvements i n drawing and i n arithmetic." • • • The Royal Commission on National Education i n Ireland, set up i n I896, to determine how f a r , and i n what form, manual Ontario, Sessional Papers,.1899, no. 12, p. 21. For an account of the swing towards nature study, r u r a l gardens and manual t r a i n i n g i n Ontario, see J. M. McCutcheon, Public Education i n Ontario (Toronto» 1941), Chap. 5« 1 5 J. W. Robertson, The Macdonald Sloyd School Fund> Manual Training; i n the Public Schools (Ottawa» 1899). Sloyd i s a Swedish word meaning handwork. The system was originated by Cygnoeus (1801-1888), a Finn, i n I858, and introduced into Sweden in 18?2. and p r a c t i c a l i n s t r u c t i o n should he included in the Education System of the Primary Schools of that country, reported in 1899, that they were convinced t h a t i manual and p r a c t i c a l i n s t r u c t i o n ought to he introduced . . . i n t o a l l schools where i t does not at present exist, and that i n those schools where i t does exist, i t ought to he l a r g e l y developed and extended. The Commission f e l t that i t was important that c h i l d r e n : should be taught not merely to take i n knowledge from books, but to observe with i n t e l l i g e n c e the material world around them, that they should acquire some s k i l l i n the use of hand and eye to execute the conceptions of the brain - such t r a i n i n g was valuable to a l l , but es p e c i a l l y valuable to those whose l i v e s are to be mainly devoted to i n d u s t r i a l arts and occupations. Since the great bulk of the pupils attending such schools would have to earn t h e i r bread by the work of t h e i r hands, i t was important that they should be trained from the beginning to use t h e i r hands with . dexterity and i n t e l l i g e n c e . Robertson quoted f r e e l y from the l a t t e r report con- sidering i t : peerless . . . f o r the thoroughness of i t s information. Its statements are clear as sunshine, strong as the words of wisdom, and convincing as truth i t s e l f . Why was such a great inte r e s t being taken i n manual t r a i n i n g at t h i s time i n Canada? Perhaps the Minister of Education f o r Ontario explains i t as well as anyone i n his 1899 report. The t r a n s i t i o n from theory to practice, "this modern apartment of educational work," has been brought about by "the progress of science i n t h i s l a t t e r part of the nine- teenth century," which "has revolutionized a l l our industries and i t i s safe to predict that i n the approaching century many changes may be expected regarding the r e l a t i v e values of d i f f e r e n t branches of study." In r e f e r r i n g to the United States, Germany and England, he pointed out that i n those countries "manual t r a i n i n g had become a well recognized department of elementary and secondary education." "Technical education must" he urged, " i n i t s more elementary forms such as manual t r a i n i n g , be taken up i n the public schools, i f we are to have well-trained mechanics, farmers and merchants." He warned, "The curriculum of f i f t y years ago w i l l not do to- day, and unless the Province r e a l i z e s the important changes i n the world's progress, i t would be unreasonable to expect the laudable p o s i t i o n which our schools have held i n the past, to be retained. " ^ ..By. 1900, the Minister was able to announce that."the addition of Domestic Science to the school programme, marks another epoch i n the development of education i n Ontario." To the Normal School of Domestic Science i n Hamilton had been added a s i m i l a r i n s t i t u t e at Toronto—The L i l l i a n Massey Nor- mal Training School of Household Science—through the l i b e r a l i t y of Mrs. Massey-Treble. Other private i n s t i t u t i o n s for the teaching of Domestic Science had also developed i n Toronto, and the subject was being taught i n a number of school d i s t r i c t s in the Province.-'-''7 Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1899, no. 12, p..21. Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1900, no. 12, p. 34. Thus influences were at work to prepare the way for the i n s t i t u t i o n of manual education in the public schools of T O Canada, and the "strongest support for manual t r a i n i n g " ° came from S i r William Macdonald, who in'1900, .'.donated $40,000 on Robertson's recommendation, to s t a r t a manual t r a i n i n g pro- gramme in selected Canadian schools. Robertson was to be directo r of the programme.^9 S i r William's philanthropic gesture i n supporting Manual Training was si m i l a r in concept to that of an e a r l i e r experiment which took place at Menomonie, Wisconsin, when in 1889,.James Ruff Stout i n i t i a t e d a project of manual t r a i n i n g for which he supplied a building and equip- ment, and paid the teachers and a l l expenses for a period of three terms.^ In The Macdonald Sloyd School Fund, Robertson explained what he meant by manual t r a i n i n g and what the Macdonald plan •intended to.do. He pointed out in'his introduction that i f Manual Training "were in any sense one of the 'Gods' which every now and then are pushed to the front as a sovereign remedy for the i l l s of humanity . . . I would not for one . moment advocate or promote i t . " Instead of that, he saidT •I Q Johnson, Br i e f History, p. 86. 19 sir William Macdonald wrote a memorandum, 14 Oct. 1899. in which he had copied, from a l i s t supplied by Robertson, the estimated costs for manual t r a i n i n g equipment, teacher's t r a - v e l l i n g expenses etc., to the amount of $37,770. On 11 July 1900, S i r William deposited in the Bank of Montreal the sum of $40,000 to the credi t of the Macdonald Sloyd account. R.P., 4, 2. 20 ...Cremin, Transformation, pp. 143-46; Morang's Annual Register (Toronto» 1901), p. 318. i t i s the p r a c t i c a l application of an educational move- ment, which, during the l a s t ten years p a r t i c u l a r l y , has won an ever-widening place i n the school system of the foremost countries in Europe and also i n the United States. It i s already correcting some of the school influences which have been complained of a l i k e by parents and teachers. It has been said that the schools, where book studies are the only or chief ones, turn the children from contentment with occupations i n which bodily labour plays an important part, and also i n c l i n e them to leave r u r a l homes for c i t i e s and c l e r i c a l and professional pursuits. While much has been said and written about the danger of over-educating the r u r a l population and thereby leading them to leave the farms, I do not believe i t i s possible to over-educate anybody. Perhaps one of the many causes which have helped to bring about a preference for c l e r i c a l , professional and scholastic occupations in those who have no natural f i t - ness for them, and a corresponding distaste for manual and bodily labour, has been the too exclusively book and language studies of the common school. But when s c h o l a r r ship and p r a c t i c a l and manual i n s t r u c t i o n , j o i n hands i n the schools to t r a i n the whole c h i l d , and not merely the language and language f a c u l t i e s , the children w i l l leave school facing aright, capable and happy in making the right things come to pass, cat;, the r i g h t time and i n the right way. As Commissioner of Agriculture, Robertson proclaimed: I f i n d that the ef f o r t s of the Department to help farmers are c h i e f l y intended to increase i n t e l l i g e n c e , to develop s k i l l and to promote.cooperation. These are a l l educational objects . . . . . Education begins with a child's l i f e and should continue . ... throughout. It seems unnecessary and wholly undesirable that the school period should be d i f f e r e n t from the years which go. before and follow i t . . . . Before a c h i l d goes to school, i t i s receiving most of i t s education, by i t s senses bringing i t into conscious r e l a t i o n s h i p with the material world around i t , and by doing things with i t s hands . . . . Manual t r a i n i n g i s a means of deve- loping mental power. These, - systematic t r a i n i n g of the senses, of the hands and eyes, and of the mind, are some of the objects of p r a c t i c a l and manual i n s t r u c t i o n . Robertson believed that manual and p r a c t i c a l i n s t r u c t i o n was "not a short cut or a long step towards learning a trade," but was an "educational means f o r developing i n t e l l e c t u a l and moral q u a l i t i e s of high value, i n a l l children, without par- t i c u l a r regard to the occupation they are to follow a f t e r - wards . . . ^ From th i s i t can be deduced that he was obviously abreast of contemporary pedagogical advances. In 1899» Robertson v i s i t e d some London, England, primary schools to see manual i n s t r u c t i o n in action. This t r a i n i n g was begun i n London about 188.6. Since, woodwork was not recog- nized by the Board of Education as a subject to be taught i n Elementary Schools, the London School Board was unable to use public monies to maintain i t . However a grant of money was obtained from the Draper's Company to s t a r t woodwork i n schools u n t i l 1890, when the subject was recognized by the Board as a school subject. By 1889, there were i n London about 150 manual t r a i n i n g centres in s t r u c t i n g about 50,000 boys from age nine to fourteen. Robertson went on to describe the physical plant of a t y p i c a l i n s t r u c t i o n a l area, the models which were made and the s p i r i t of "earnestness, s e l f reliance and careful perse- verance" which seemed to "pervade the whole school." • He ex- plained the system was c a l l e d "English Sloyd," This kind of work was "a series of exercises so arranged as to have edu- cational r e s u l t s . " Manual t r a i n i n g develops i n children habits of industry and leads them to thoughtfully adjust t h e i r Robertson, Macdonald Sloyd School Fund, pp. 1-2, acts to desired ends. That of i t s e l f i s of great educational value. It helps to keep out of l a t e r l i f e whimsical and capricious conduct. It prevents the d u l l boy from being discouraged with school l i f e , and from any sense of i n f e r i o r i t y to the quick children. It gives them s e l f - r e l i a n c e , hopefulness and courage, a l l of which react on t h e i r mental and physical f a c u l t i e s . It also i s a soothing and strengthening corrective to the quick and excitable children who become over-anxious about examinations on book s t u d i e s . 2 2 Statements about the educational aim of manual instruc- t i o n often led to misunderstanding, both i n Canada and i n the United States, on the part of the trade unions. The fact that i n i t i a l advances, in t h i s kind of enterprise were advocated and a c t i v e l y supported by business men was not l o s t sight of by American unionists who f e l t that t h i s practice was ini m i c a l to t h e i r i n t e r e s t s . 2 ^ The Trades and Labour Council of Toronto on hearing an address by James L. Hughes on the subject of manual t r a i n i n g in schools to be sponsored by the Macdonald plan, opposed i t on the grounds that " i t p r a c t i c a l l y involved the teaching of trades i n schools to the detriment of the free mechanics out- side." The members, as a whole., "appeared h o s t i l e to the p r i n c i p l e of introducing any manual t r a i n i n g i n the schools." Mr. John Seath, Inspector of Schools i n Ontario writing i n the Mail and Empire on 11 January 1901, t r i e d to point out 2 2 Ibid., pp. 30-31. 23 Cremin, Transformation, pp. 36-4-1. Morang's Annual Register, pp. 316-17 the difference "between three terms often'-used synonymously. Manual t r a i n i n g was, he declared, any i n s t r u c t i o n i n hand-work designed to improve the powers of the mind and included domestic science and art. Technical education meant the same as the other phrase. Industrial education, and i t s usual and li m i t e d sense involved the teaching of those who were to "be engaged i n the industries or commercial production in general. 2 5 Claims both education and economic, were made on behalf of manual t r a i n i n g as a subject suitable for inclu s i o n i n the public school curriculum. Robertson himself considered that both these virtues were inherent i n the a c t i v i t y : It i s now generally, admitted that manual t r a i n i n g work should have a recognized place in the course of study from the Kindergarten u n t i l about the 11th or 12th year of age, for c u l t u r a l or s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n purposes. After that the "Manual Training" (the term i s used to represent a l l the others') might be directed more d e f i n i t e l y towards discovering aptitudes and tastes and developing s k i l l and a b i l i t y for some occupation.26 This conviction at once enabled his ideas to be accepted by educators and businessmen a l i k e — a most happy circumstance at t h i s stage of his career. The Macdonald scheme was begun i n a modest way i n 1900. The f i r s t plan was to open one good centre i n Ottawa. A l a t e r extension of the plan authorized Robertson to make a si m i l a r 2 5 i b i d . 26 "" ; ... Report of the Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education, 1913i Vol. 1, p. 11. o f f e r to the school authorities of B r o c k v i l l e , Ontario; Charlottetowri and Suramerside,. P.E.I.; and to some place in the Province of Quebec; in Truro, N.S.} i n Fredericton, N.B.; i n Winnipeg, Man.; in Calgary, N.W.T.; and i n V i c t o r i a and Vancouver, B.C.2? • The rationale of t h i s plan bore the hallmark of Robertson's genius. By a careful s e l e c t i o n of l o c a l i t y he hoped t o make each centre a f o c a l point of i n t e r e s t and' one that would claim the attention of a l l sections of society.. His basic experi- ence and long practice of "seeing i s b e l i e v i n g " would serve to. a l l a y the c r i t i c i s m s of p o t e n t i a l "Doubting Thomases." He was out to persuade trustees, teachers, parents, education departments, business men and anyone else, that here was some- thing s a t i s f y i n g for everybody. From these f i r s t object lessons i t was hoped the idea would spread throughout the provinces. To implement the programme, to begin i t on r i g h t educa- t i o n a l l i n e s , thoroughly trained and experienced teachers were brought from B r i t a i n and appointed to these centres, since there.was at that time, "hardly- any manual t r a i n i n g i n Canada." Sir- William offered to pay for the equipment required for edu- cational manual t r a i n i n g , to meet the s a l a r i e s of q u a l i f i e d 28 teachers, and to pay a l l maintenance expenses for three years. 2 ? For a. descriptive account of the Macdonald Manual Training Schools i n Canada see J. W. Robertson and Albert H. Leake, /'Manual Training," Canadian Magazine, A p r i l 1901, pp. 5 2 1 - 3 9 . oo .. ° J. W. Robertson, Evidence before the Select Standing Com- mittee on Agriculture and Colonization, 1 9 0 3 . Canada, House of Commons, pp. 1 9 - 2 0 . Printed copy, R.P., 3 , 7 . Robertson, a public servant, was given permission by the Federal Minister of Agriculture to carry on the work of p u b l i - c i s i n g and administering the manual t r a i n i n g scheme while undertaking his normal duties. Recognition.by the Government i s i n d i c a t i v e of i t s regard.not only for the scheme, but for the Dairy Commissioner who was to manage i t . This further example of "paternalism" i s described by Robertson who stated, "I have the happiness of working in the f u l l e s t harmony and cooperation with the department of education of every province so I am not i n any sense trespassing on the administration of educational matters by p r o v i n c i a l a u t h o r i t i e s . " 2 9 The scheme was reported widely i n the newspapers on the occasion of opening of the Ottawa Manual Training centre by the Governor-General, Lord Minto.. The Winnipeg Free Press quoted His Excellency as saying, The introduction of manual t r a i n i n g should not be i n the nature of adding a new subject to the already overburdened school course. The aim should not be a formal l i t e r a r y education, plus manual education but education of which manual t r a i n i n g i s an i n t e g r a l and highly valuable part.3 ° The Calgary Herald made reference to a speech given by Prof. Robertson before the c i t y board of school trustees, c i t i z e n s and teachers, in which the speaker praised Calgary which was considered i n the East as being "the educational headquarters of the west." 2 9 Ibid., p. 5 . 3 ° 14/November 1900. The report assured that Professor Robertson's speech was followed with the keenest interest and that a l l expressed t h e i r "unqualified approval of the entire scheme." Consequently, the hoard passed a resolution adopting the plan and hoped that manual t r a i n i n g could he started i n the New Year.^ 1 In the Canadian Magazine, of A p r i l 1901, Robertson declared that provision had been made for "about 6 , 0 0 0 boys i n the public schools and teachers attending Normal schools to receive Manual Training . . • ." On Saturdays, classes were arranged for teachers, "from whose schools the boys go to the Manual Training centres." Centres had been established i n a l l pro- vinces. The o r i g i n a l twenty-four B r i t i s h teachers were aug- mented by two from the United States and one from Sweden, while other teachers were forthcoming from Canadian sources.3 2 During November 1901, Robertson received reports from his various Provincial directors of Manual Training Schools. From Fre'dericton, N.B., E. E. MacCready wrote » The Macdonald Manual Training School for New /Brunswick i s situated i n the Normal School and occu- pies two rooms on the upper f l o o r each equipped for . • classes of twenty,, thus accommodation i s provided .•• f o r four hundred students per week. During the summer vacation of 1 9 0 0 , the f i r s t Summer School of Manual Training was conducted . . . and continued four weeks. During t h i s vacation the second room was opened . . . so that when the school reopened i n Sept. we were able to give i n s t r u c t i o n to a l l of the students 19 November 1900. ^ 2 Canadian Magazine, A p r i l 1 9 0 1 , pp. 5 2 1 - 3 9 . at the Normal School, the young women as well as the young men . . . . The Saturday class for teachers was also continued . . . . From B r i t i s h Columbia, Harry Dunnell reported on the four centres i n his care: Central School, North Ward, V i c t o r i a ; Old Burrard School and Strathcona School, Vancouver; a l l of which had been opened a matter of months. A firm be- l i e v e r , l i k e Robertson, i n p u b l i c i t y , Dunnell opened his centres for public inspection. These inspections and the l a t e Public Exhibition have done much good i n bringing before the public the. work executed by the boys, and the value of the t r a i n i n g i n conjunction with other school subjects. The treatment and encouragement we have received from the Educational Authorities of V i c t o r i a and Van- couver are g r a t i f y i n g to us. ' But Dunnell and his men were apparently not completely s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r s a l a r i e s , " i f our f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n i s put on a s a t i s f a c t o r y basis, we s h a l l not regret having l e f t our homes i n England to become pioneers of Manual Training . . The cost of l i v i n g i n B.C. caused t h i s cri-de-coeur. "We ce r t a i n l y have f e l t considerably damped i n our work t h i s l a s t two months since you wrote and gave us no hope of our s a l a r i e s being readjusted for the extra cost of l i v i n g i n B r i t i s h Co- lumbia." Both reports contained fulsome praise for the work of manual t r a i n i n g , and Dunnell reported how "the mother of one of the boys, who wishes to see what the merits of our work are; and the brother of one of the lady teachers who had some way to go home," were allowed to attend the class. In his 1901 report, Thomas B. Kidner, Director of Manual Training f o r Nova Scotia, noted that* With the idea of disseminating information as to the aims and methods of Manual Training Schools and the best means of s t a r t i n g them, I attended meetings of:. . . school boards and gave p a r t i c u l a r s of cost and plan of working . . . also of the p r i n c i p l e . . . . The majority of these- boards sent deputations to v i s i t and report on our school . . . h a l f a dozenoof these towns have d e f i n i t e l y decided to establish Manual Training Departments . . . . . That they have been able to do so i s largely due to the way i n which the Council of Public Instruction of the Nova Scotia Government has taken the matter up . . . . In the session of 1 9 0 0 , the Council determined to o f f e r assistance to school sections desirous of providing f a c i l i t i e s for Manual Training and accordingly a Short Act was passed authorizing the payment of the l i b e r a l amount of 15 cents per head per lesson f o r i n s t r u c t i o n in "Mechanics or Domestic Arts . . . . " 3 3 Robertson had good reason to be pleased with t h i s i n f o r - mation—the scheme showed r e a l s u c c e s s — a t least one province saw f i t to implement manual t r a i n i n g and support i t f i n a n c i a l l y . Robertson's advocacy of manual t r a i n i n g , the implementa- t i o n of and i t s acceptance by, the various provinces was con- tinuous with the educational work he had been doing long before his association with S i r William. In his travels across the Dominion, Robertson met many i n f l u e n t i a l people who came to regard him as a man of i n t e g r i t y . Thus the Macdonald scheme was merely an extension of his previous endeavours. Original copies, R.P., 4, 2. By the end of 1903, over forty schools had been equipped, t r a i n i n g centres f o r teachers had been established, while the actual expenditure had r i s e n from the o r i g i n a l estimate of $40,000 to $180,000.-^ After t h i s time the manual t r a i n i n g programme became the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the provinces and t h e i r l o c a l school boards. By 1909, over 20,000 boys and g i r l s i n Canadian public schools were receiving the benefits of manual t r a i n i n g as a r e s u l t of S i r William's benefactions. and James Robertson's i n i t i a t i v e and drive.^5 ...2.4 .Macdonald Manual Training. Fund,. Receipts and Disburse- ments~from 31st. Oct. 1899 to 30th A p r i l 1909. Macintosh and Hyde,, C. A., Montreal. R.P. , 4, 7. 35 Robertson, Macdonald College Movement, p. 93» R.P.» 4, 6. Part 2 The Seed Competition What might be c a l l e d the second part of the Macdonald Movement was i n i t i a t e d by Robertson. He offered incentives to farmers' children who, he f e l t , were more p l i a b l e and teachable than t h e i r elders. Having seen the p r o f i t a b i l i t y of the application of science to dairy farming, Robertson desired the same success for the grain grower. As Commissioner for Agriculture, he was v i t a l l y interested i n the sound s e l e c t i o n of seed. In 1899r he gave evidence before the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Colon- i z a t i o n i n which he pointed out some of the d i f f i c u l t i e s that confronted Canadian farmers at that time. In his section on seed grain, he spoke of the s t r i k i n g r e s u l t s of seed s e l e c t i o n he had seen. " I f the farmers of Canada can be encouraged to select out of t h e i r crops of each class of grain t h i s year, enough heads from the vigorous plants, enough big heads from the largest plants, to y i e l d two bushels of clean grain of each, they w i l l have taken a great step in advance."l J. W. Robertson, Evidence before the Select Standing Com- mittee on Agriculture and Colonization, Canada, House of Commons, 5 May 1899. p.. 2. R. P., 2, 6. .During his travels i n Europe he had become interested i n the system of so-called mass se l e c t i o n which was being prac- t i s e d there to quite an extent.. "That th i s system was i n marked contrast to the system practised by his former Chief, Dr. Saunders at the Central Experimental farm, Ottawa, did not appear to worry him." 2 On 30 December 1899, the Charlottetown Daily Examiner observed! The gospel of big heads grain for seed and clover crops f o r manure as well as fodder, taught by Professor Robertson when he v i s i t e d the Province l a s t winter.ought to be adopted i n the practice of our farmers. Robertson f e l t that good seed was.the basis of good crops and ample harvests. Since, the children of farmers would have to do ba t t l e with the elements on the raw p r a i r i e and bush- land when they became adults, t h e i r struggle would be made easier i f good seed was available and they were educated to use i t . Thus, i n 189.9, Robertson put aside $100, his own money, not public funds, to o f f e r i n prizes to Canadian farm children for submitting the "largest heads from the most vigorous plants of wheat and oats from t h e i r father's farm, p a r t l y to learn whether the country could be got ready to accept the p r i n c i p l e and adopt the practice and partly to interest and • L. H. Newman, "My Forty Years with the Canadian Seed Growers Association," Canadian Seed Grower's Annual Report, Ottawa, 19^3-44, pp. 28-44. educate the hoys and g i r l s . " Encouraged by l e t t e r s and suggestions received, Robertson approached S i r William and in substance said, "here i s a great chance to do some educa- t i o n a l work i n progressive agriculture . . . ." and suggested that $10,000 fo r prizes "would set and keep t h i s thing going for three years. Robertson r e c a l l e d how he was s i t t i n g i n his study at Wilbrod Street "toasting my feet before the f i r e at Christmas, t a l k i n g over these things, - and thinking of them with some care, with the re s u l t that I decided to go to Montreal the next day and ask S i r William C. Macdonald f o r $10,000, which was a reasonable and modest application for one Scotsman to make to another." S i r William provided the money w i t h - " a l l goodwill . . . ."4 Thus with a view to stimulating interest i n the growing and systematic s e l e c t i o n of seed grain, the competition among the boys and g i r l s l i v i n g on Canadian farms was enlarged in the spring of 1900, by Robertson and S i r William. On 12 January 1900, the Chariottetown Daily Examiner an- nounced the prize winners i n t h i s i n i t i a l round of the competi- tio n s . In the Tenth Annual Report of the C.S.G.A., 1913, Robertson, i n his Presidential Address, related what a wonder- f u l response was forthcoming. "I remember the bags containing those selected heads coming i n almost l i k e a deluge upon us. And a l l the boys and g i r l s got out of i t was $100 in prizes, plus much enjoyable education, enlightening enthusiasm and i n t e l l i g e n t encouragement to go on with growing better crops through better seed . . . ." ^ H. G. L. Strange, "The S p i r i t of Dr. Robertson," address at the Fo r t i e t h Anniversary meeting of the C.S.G.A., Saskatoon, June 19W. ' : The Toronto Mail and Empire announced the "Regulations for the Se.ed Grain Selection Competition, $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 i n cash p r i z e s , " on 4 January 1 9 0 0 , and went on to inform i t s readers that i By the kindness of a generous f r i e n d , Commissioner Robertson i s able to o f f e r $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 i n cash prizes f o r the s e l e c t i o n of seed grain on a l l farms i n a l l provinces on a plan that should lead to a great improvement i n the crop throughout the whole country • • • the competition w i l l he open to a l l boys and g i r l s who have not passed t h e i r eighteenth birthday before 1 s t January, 1900 . . . . The generous f r i e n d was S i r William. Macdonald. As a re- s u l t of the competition there were over 1 , 5 0 0 entries with 450 completing the three years' work. " The experimental plots were inspected by departmental o f f i c i a l s , prizes were d i s t r i - buted by the Department of Agriculture, and i t was learned from them that the plants contained i n these plots and grown from hand selected seeds were "heavier and better . . . more vigorous . . . ." Robertson concluded that, "when r e s u l t s so notable as those can be gained by three years of i n t e l l i g e n t labour, what do you think i s possible i n t h i r t y years . . . ?"5 The work of the boys and g i r l s taking part i n the Macdonald- Robertson competition provided tangible evidence of the enorm- ous p o s s i b i l i t i e s for the improvement of crops by the system- a t i c s e l e c t i o n of seed. The r e s u l t s were so s i g n i f i c a n t that i t was decided to form an association i n order to give the .5 J.. W. Robertson, Evidence before the Select Standing Com- mittee on Agriculture'and Colonization, 1 9 0 6 - 0 7 , pp. 191-192. R.P., 3 , 7 . s e l e c t i o n of seed by farmers o f f i c i a l recognition by i n t r o - ducing a system of r e g i s t r a t i o n of the seed produced. As a re s u l t of t h i s decision by Robertson's department, a l e t t e r was sent i n 1902, to the competitors who had stuck to the work throughout.the competition, i n v i t i n g them, or t h e i r parents, to form themselves into an association of seed growers. In March 1903, a B u l l e t i n was issued announcing the formation of the Macdonald-Robertson Seed Grower's Association. The f i r s t annual meeting of the association was.called f o r l i n June'1904, when i t s name was changed to the Canadian Seed Grower's Associ- ation with Robertson as i t s f i r s t President.^ This amalgam of private i n i t i a t i v e , private funding, and government support, well i l l u s t r a t e s the especial a b i l i t i e s of Robertson as a visionary who could translate his dreams into action. Canadian Seed Grower's Association History, 1900-1925i (Ottawa, 1926). "~~ : ~~ Part 3 Rural School Consolidation Early i n 1902, S i r William and Robertson announced t h e i r proposed plan f o r the improvement of education in r u r a l schools. In a memorandum of a Plan re Rural Schools published i n Ottawa, 6 January 1902, Robertson set out t h e i r j o i n t proposals i n several, parts. Part 1 of the plan wasi intended to give object lessons of improvement i n education from the consolidation of f i v e , s i x or more small r u r a l schools into one central graded school, with a School Garden, and a Manual Training room as part of i t s equipment. It was further proposed that one l o c a l i t y dm Ontario, and one l o c a l i t y i n each of the Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island should be offered f i n a n c i a l assistance to induce.the people to under- take' and carry on these improvements i n education. Robertson i n s i s t e d that compared with c i t y children the education of r u r a l children l e f t much to be desired. The lack of money, the i s o l a t i o n and lack".of q u a l i f i e d teachers led to a s i t u a t i o n i n which education was both i n e f f i c i e n t and weak. In the United States "the consolidation of r u r a l schools has been carried out to a considerable extent with a very great gain i n the qual i t y of the education given i n the l o c a l i t y , and i n most cases with no increase i n cost to the rate-payers." If milk or cream could be brought to one central place, " i t would not be more d i f f i c u l t to arrange for the c o l l e c t i o n of children on various routes to one central school." Part 2 of the plan was f o r the purpose of giving object •lessons of the value of school gardens and nature study, at i n d i v i d u a l r u r a l schools, as part of general education, to be begun by means of a t r a v e l l i n g . i n s t r u c t o r , who would v i s i t and spend one-half day per week with the children and teacher at each school of a group for a term of three years, or u n t i l a considerable number of suitably trained and q u a l i f i e d tea- chers would be available to carry on.'such work themselves at r u r a l schools. Part 3 of the plan had f o r i t s object to a s s i s t in pro- viding short courses of i n s t r u c t i o n and t r a i n i n g for teachers i n r u r a l schools, who desire to qu a l i f y themselves i n these newer subjects and methods of education. To that end i t was proposed to o f f e r to the Province of Ontario at the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, a g i f t of a building, including a Nature Study plant growing house, and such equipment as may be de- s i r e d . . . f o r the accommodation of teachers while taking these courses. In order to ease the d i f f i c u l t i e s of t r a v e l to the college a mileage allowance, plus a boarding allowance, would be provided to approved teachers who had taken a f u l l course s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . F i n a l l y , Part 4 of the plan was intended to a s s i s t i n providing courses of i n s t r u c t i o n and t r a i n i n g i n Domestic Economy or Household Science f o r young women from country homes, i n order "that they may have opportunities for acquiring p r a c t i c a l and advanced education not les s suitable and h e l p f u l to them, than the present courses at the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College are b e n e f i c i a l to young men . . . ." There i t was proposed to o f f e r a residence to accommodate not less than 100 female students and teachers—students, daughters of farmers and others, and classrooms, kitchen laboratories and- other equipment necessary f o r courses of i n s t r u c t i o n and t r a i n - ing i n Domestic Science or Household Science. This plan en- visaged that the pupils "might know the r e l a t i o n of those things to health and comfort, and might observe those methods and practices which make for good l i v i n g in simple, clean well-kept and be a u t i f u l homes i n the country."^ For the Toronto Globe of 16 December 1902, Robertson analysed the benefits claimed for the scheme of r u r a l schools consolidation and the transportation of students. Armed with information he had gained from a v i s i t to the United States to study the experiment, Robertson believed that t h i s i n t e - grated system t Plan re Rural Schools, Ottawa, 1902. R.P., 4-, 3. 1. Resulted i n better attendance p a r t i c u l a r l y of those .under eight years and those over f i f t e e n years. 2. Ensured the engagement and retention of more q u a l i f i e d teachers. 3. Created conditions for a proper c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of pupils and placement i n which they can work to t h e i r best advantage. 4. Permitted a timetable which enables teachers to better supervise and help i n d i v i d u a l students. 5. Enabled an enrichment programme to be i n s t i t u t e d . 6. Enabled students to obtain a high school education without having to leave home. 7. Led to better buildings and equipment. 8. Stimulated public int e r e s t and pride. 9. Might lead to an improvement i n r u r a l roads. Robertson's conviction of the value of consolidation grew a f t e r his observation of consolidated schools i n Iowa and Ohio. He described the unanimity of opinion which existed among the rate-payers- respecting the marked success and su- perior advantages of the system. The few exceptions were the "kickers," those rate-payers without children. Robertson pre- sented some facts and figures pertaining to the Ohio township of Gustavus, a pioneer community, i n the d i r e c t i o n of c o n s o l i - dation, and gave a description of the type of van used to c o l l e c t the students, the contracting for such vehicles and t h e i r cost. He gave a break-down on o v e r - a l l costs under consolidation as compared with pre-consolidation c o s t s — t h e former showing d i s t i n c t reduction over the l a t t e r . Always the i d e a l i s t , Robertson went so far as compare the consoli- dation he saw with the magnificent Library of Congress, which reminded him of a description of the New Jerusalem. But con- s o l i d a t i o n was i n his opinion a far "greater t r i b u t e and cre d i t to the enlightenment and advancement and high c i v i l i z a t i o n of the people of the United States than the splendour of the home of books at. the C a p i t o l . " 2 The newer methods of education such as Nature Study, Manual Training and Domestic Economy, would be made eas i l y possible at consolidated r u r a l schools. Centralization of schools, Robertson suggested, would provide for fewer teachers, but better teachers of more experience. At the present time there are comparatively few, i f any, prize places i n the teaching profession i n r u r a l schools. The coveted posts are i n the towns and c i t i e s ; they draw the teachers of approved a b i l i t y , from the r u r a l d i s t r i c t s . Teachers would stay i n con- solidated schools longer than i n the one room schools i n country.mparts•3 In a speech given at Halifax, N.S., Robertson dwelled at length on the subject of school consolidation, and the possi- b i l i t i e s of aesthetic appreciation i t could promote. The r u r a l schoolhouse he s a i d : i s r a r e l y a thing of beauty, indeed i t was sometimes a place of discomforts and a hindrance to the natural development of robust bodies and to the growth of mental vigour and a c t i v i t y . Many a school lacked 2 Evidence, 1 9 0 3 , pp. 3 0 - 3 1 . 3 Ibid. suitable desks with comfortable seats. Lighting, heating and v e n t i l a t i o n were often inadequate. Everybody admits the high educational value of a well-constructed, well-arranged, well-equipped schoolroom, with windows and f l o o r s shiningly clean, and walls decorated with pictures. Day by dayvbeautiful, comfortable surroundings w i l l have t h e i r e t h i c a l influence upon his development u n t i l he comes to abhor anything'that i s not b e a u t i f u l , well-ordered and clean. It i s not to be expected that simple c o n s o l i - dation of. schools w i l l create at once, a l l the desirable conditions which have been referred to. If the c e n t r a l i z i n g plan enables communities and school authorities to do better for education than they can do at one-room schools, i t i s so f a r a h e l p f u l one.4 Robertson wanted something better than mere consolidation. We want not simply consolidation, but consolida- t i o n where conditions are suitable for i t , as a means towards an improved time-table and methods of study s u f f i c i e n t for present day needs. The Macdonald Rural Schools Fund would meet fo r a period of three years the additional expense of the consolidated schools over the cost of small r u r a l schools, with the Fund acting as a ratepayer to be assessed accord- ingly, The schools would be, administered by l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s . These conditions would apply f o r three years.5 Consolidated schools were located at places chosen or approved by the Pr o v i n c i a l Department of Education. In each .case a new building was erected and each equipped with c l a s s - rooms and an assembly h a l l and also f o r manual t r a i n i n g , household science and nature study with a school garden. A ...4 J.. W. Robertson, wAddress on Education for the Improve- ment of Agriculture,'-' Halifax, N.S., 1 9 0 3 , R.P., 3 , 7. 5 Evidence, 1 9 0 3 , pp. 36-37 consolidated, school board was elected according.to the school law of the province concerned, and i t was managed as part of the p r o v i n c i a l school system. The school i n Nova Scotia, at 'Middleton, was opened i n September 1903? i n New Brunswick, at 'Kingston, .in September 1904; i n Ontario, at Guelph, i n Nov- ember 1904$ and i n Prince Edward Island, at H i l l s b o r o ' , early in the summer of 1905. On the occasion of the opening of Middleton, N.S., con- solidated school, the Maritime Farmer and Cooperative Dairyman declared: The Macdonald School system i s an experiment i n r u r a l education improvement . . . . It places within the reach of sparse r u r a l population the ad- vantages .of town or v i l l a g e high school with the addition of some new features hitherto: attempted to only a l i m i t e d extent even i n the most progressive ' c i t y institutions.7 The President of Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College noted i n 1904« The piece of land l y i n g between Macdonald I n s t i - tute and the Brock Road was purchased some time ago by Professor Robertson for the purpose of erecting a consolidated school and for the laying out of play grounds and school gardens. During the year a splendid three-story building was constructed and s i x teachers were engaged for the i n s t r u c t i o n of the children of the several adjacent school sections which had decided to unite and sent the children to a central school. As the land comprising the school grounds joins our College campus, we have, at the request of the trustees, assumed the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of caring for the same; so that the. .school may. be said to be situated on our College campus.> J. W. Robertson, Evidence, 1906-07, pp.' 197-98. 20 December 1904. Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1904, no. 14, pp. 4-5. In presenting a s t a t i s t i c a l table pertaining to c o n s o l i - dation, Robertson pointed out that the increased cost of them over the r u r a l school was caused larg e l y by the better s a l a r i e s paid to the teachers. He anticipated that when the Normal schools began to turn out teachers q u a l i f i e d to conduct school gardens, some household science work and manual t r a i n i n g as well as the ordinary book subjects, they need not be paid so much. The cost of conveyance, a large item of expense, was showing a reduction i n Nova Scotia as between the 1903-4 figure and the 1905-6 figure. He f e l t that when school boards undertook to meet the whole expense themselves, " s t i l l more economical methods of management would p r e v a i l . " 9 Robertson, i n 1903» stated, I think I am within the mark when I say that i n ten years a f t e r the Macdonald object lessons have been given, we w i l l have over 1,000 consolidated r u r a l schools i n Canada . . . . Even i f we get only 400 or 500 i n ten years, then the boys., and. g i r l s who. come from these schools . . . w i l l become teachers i n r u r a l schools which cannot be c o n s o l i d a t e d . 1 0 In the same year, Robertson announced that the Govern- mentrof Nova Scotia would b u i l d an A g r i c u l t u r a l College at Truro and coordinate i t s work with the Normal School. The Legislature of that same province voted the sum of money to provide and a s s i s t i n consolidation. 1 1 By 1907» Dr. Mackay, 9 Robertson, Evidence, 1906-07. p.p. 197-98. 1 0 J. W. Robertson, Evidence.11903. p. 38.- (.See-MacKay.,. A. H.., "Consolidation of. Schools i n Canada," Dominion Educa- t i o n Association Proceedings, Toronto, 1905. pp. 134-141.) 1 1 Ibid.. Superintendent of Education, reported that i n Nova Scotia, 53 schools had been consolidated into 22 e f f e c t i v e ones. In the • province of New Brunswick there were four large consolidated s c h o o l s . 1 2 Consolidation of school d i s t r i c t s i n the present time i s generally accepted by the public as being b e n e f i c i a l to educa- t i o n . But at the beginning of the century t h i s was not neces- s a r i l y so. Hence the anxiety of both S i r William and Robertson that the experiment should succeed. Even i n Nova Scotia, a province i n the van of educational progress, a note of concern can be detected i n the General and Financial Report from. Middleton Consolidated School, 24 June 1 9 0 5 . The f i n a l year of the experimental stage of the school i s before us. The necessity for sympathetic action.on the part of a l l concerned i s apparent, and w i l l have an important bearing on the future of the school. The school board earnestly hope that the rate-payers of consolidated d i s t r i c t w i l l more f r e - quently v i s i t the school and become acquainted with the working of the d i f f e r e n t departments and thus become able to judge more f u l l y the worth of the . . .school to our boys and g i r l s . x c Robertson, Evidence, 1906 - 0 7 , p. 199. For contemporary descriptions of the Macdonald Consolidated Schools see E. A. Howes,. .".Macdonald Consolidated School, Guelph, Ontario," The Teacher's World, 1 (Toronto, December 1906), pp. 123-27; Ibid., pp. 145-47; T. B. Kidner, "Municipal Consolidated School i n New Brunswick; Ibid., pp. 133-140; D. W. Hamilton, "Macdonald Consolidated School, Kingston, N.B."; Ibid., pp.. 12'8'-3.2; A..JH.,MacKay, "Consolidated Rural Schools in-.Nova ' Sc otla,."... Ibid...,- .pp... 141-44. (MacKay also wrote an a r t i c l e i n The Farmer's Advocate, 1 December 1904, i n which he explained the contractual arrangements for consolidation at Middleton and presented s t a t i s t i c s pertaining to i t ) ; J. W. Jones, "The Macdonald Consolidated. School, H i l l s b o r o ' , Prince Edward • Island," The School Trustee, (Toronto, January 1907), PP* 162-66. This, i n spite of the fact that Robertson, according to the same report, had i n s t i t u t e d two•interesting experiments, the provision of» warm dinners at the average cost of two and one hal f cents for 353 children by the domestic science depart- ment, and arrangements for the school to be kept open during the summer vacation i n order that each c h i l d may attend one day a week, the time to be spent in caring for the garden and i n nature study, with drives to places i n the d i s t r i c t where plant and animal l i f e can be studied to best advantage. 3 There was to be no expense to the tax-payer. When Hillsboro' Consolidated School was o f f i c i a l l y opened on 3 August 1905i the Charlottetown Guardian pro- claimed} A New Era for the Province. Never i n the history of educational progress i n Prince Edward Island has a larger or more representative gathering been held than that of yesterday afternoon at an epoch marking.period i n the Province--the formal opening of Hillsboro' Consolidated School. There were present many prominent men from a l l walks of l i f e ; leading p o l i t i c i a n s of both p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , business men, physicians and many of the representa- , t i v e farmers of the Southern side of Hillsboro . . . . In an address, Robertson stated the purpose of the school was t to help i n the progress from the helplessness and selfishness of babyhood to the i n t e l l i g e n c e and a b i l i t y and unselfishness of the grown man. Consoli- dation i s only a.means to that end—an attempt to get children together .in s u f f i c i e n t numbers to make an object lessonv- For i t s success the school depends upon the parents and the people of the l o c a l i t y for R.P. , >, 3 . L August 1905. t h e i r perseverance and patience to the school and - teachers. In no country in the world do the people pay less for education than i n t h i s province. A report by J. Walter Jones, P r i n c i p a l of H i l l s b o r o ' , showed that s i x d i s t r i c t s were consolidated, that s i x teachers were employed including a manual t r a i n i n g instructor and a domestic science teacher, that the t o t a l salary h i l l was $3,300. Children enrolled were 161 with an average d a i l y attendance of 119» Six vans conveyed'the children to and from school at an average da i l y cost of $1.67. These figures compared with s i x teachers before consolidation at a salary cost of $1,190 and a pre-consolidation average daily attend- ance from 140 children of 89. 1 6 Attendance was up, but so were costs. Of the closing exercises i n 1908 of the Macdonald School at H i l l s b o r o ' , the Daily Patriot remarked: This was a year memorable in the history of our educational progress, for i t marked the parting of the ways, the end of the three-year period . when the f i n a n c i a l assistance of S i r William Mac-, donald would i n a large measure be withdrawn, and the people given an opportunity of saying whether 'they wished the school retained or the old order of things resumed. The Daily Patriot also quoted the p r i n c i p a l speakers. Mr. MacLean, now P r i n c i p a l , gave a review of the school's work» 1 5 Ibid. . •^•^J. Waiter Jones to Robertson, 13 January 1906, R.P., 4, 3. The school was well-organized into eight grades, and had f i v e teachers. They not only did the grade work presented by the Board of Education, but also taught the s p e c i a l branches of school gardens, Manual Training, Household Science, and Music. A number of these branches are s e l f - s u s t a i n i n g . From the school gardens . . . a sale of the plants brings in a snug revenue . . . . , The Premier of the Province "had no.doubt that the school would be c a r r i e d on by the people .". . ." He pointed out that "taxationffor school purposes i s f a r lower here than i n other provinces," and urged.upon the people to r e a l i z e t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n the grand work of educating t h e i r children. The Chief Superintendent of Education f o r the Province made an eloquent appeal for the carrying on of the school, and f o r the confirmation, therefore, of the progressive move- ment i n education. The Rev. Dr. Morrison threw i n the weight of the church. He said that the manner in which t h i s school was established was5tin l i n e with the natural development of. such educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . He believed consolidation to be the solution of the school question on Prince Edward Island. Any steps "made to retard the progress made in consolidation would be disastrous to the cause of education i n Prince Edward Island." Dr. Robertson, as always, had some p r a c t i c a l suggestions for carrying on the school. He estimated that $4,369 would be required to finance i t s operation, and proposed that a tax of 40 cents on every $100 be l e v i e d on the present valuation of property i n the d i s t r i c t . This would raise $876. The government would supply $1,015.and from the Macdonald Rural Fund $1,400 would be a v a i l a b l e . Each c h i l d would be l e v i e d $2, while $100 would.be available from parents of children outside the d i s t r i c t . For every $1 raised by fees, Robertson said he would give $2 from his own pocket or $800 altogether. The t o t a l receipts would be $4,491, leaving a surplus of $122. At the close of the meeting, reported the Daily Patriot, other meetings were held i n the d i s t r i c t s under consolidation to see i f they would remain i n consolidation or n o t . 1 7 The meetings were held and the Patriot reported the following day that "four out of s i x schools i n the c o n s o l i - dated d i s t r i c t of Hillsboro* had voted against remaining i n the consolidation." The opposition "came c h i e f l y from those who had no children attending, and who feared the increased taxation." (These people of course were the "kickers," as Robertson had e a r l i e r referred to them.) Robertson, on being asked what the r e s u l t of the decision on these four d i s t r i c t s would be, gave out the following statement. The f i v e teachers . . . are as competent as any that .can be obtained. They are w i l l i n g to continue . . . . The assessment on the d i s t r i c t s which have decided to continue w i l l be at the rate of 40 cents per $100; the fee charged to pupils from other d i s t r i c t s w i l l be f i x e d at $5 per pupil per annum. The government grant w i l l be at the regular e n t i t l e - ment. The Macdonald, Rural Fund w i l l contribute at 3 July 1908. the rate of $1,200 for three years, and any balance required , . . w i l l be provided by Dr. Robertson for three y e a r s . 1 8 Hillsboro' Consolidated School carried on u n t i l 1910-1911. The school f i n a l l y closed i n 1912.19 1 0 k July 1908. 1 9 J. F. S n e l l , Macdonald College, p. 231. Part k Rural School Gardens Robertson, a fervent advocate of the s c i e n t i f i c method, recognized the importance of the r u r a l school garden as a place where a knowledge of modern-oprinciples of agriculture could be successfully taught. Despite the great progress made i n agricult u r e , there were s t i l l areas in need of development. From t h i s teaching he hoped would emerge an appreciation of the value and importance of s c i e n t i f i c farming which i n turn would act as a stimulus to l o c a l e f f o r t in edu- cation generally. The eff e c t of the r u r a l school garden would be to beautify the country school-houses, and to t r a i n the students to observe, investigate, conclude and.finally do for themselves. He wrotes when a c h i l d does anything with i t s own hands, such as planting a seed, p u l l i n g up a plant, making an examination of the changes which have taken place during its. growth, making a drawing of i t , mounting i t and putting i t s name on i t , he receives impressions by the sense of touch, he sees, he hears the noise of the movement he makes, and he smells the part of the s o i l and the part of the plant with which he is dealing. These impressions are d e f i n i t e and l a s t i n g ; they add to the sum of sensuous knowledge; they prepare for the perception of l o g i c a l knowledge, i n a common sense way. 1 Memorandum of a Plan re Rural Schools, Ottawa, 1902. R.P., 4, 6. ' \ ~ • time. However, the authors of one such text were not f u l l y confident of the reception t h e i r book might receive as the following preface shows. In placing t h i s manual before Canadian teachers the authors do not f e e l that i t i s necessary to ad- vance any plea for Nature Study. It finds i t s j u s t i f i c a t i o n in the conditions of modern society, and rests upon the same psychological basis as Manual Training and Domestic Science. The necessity for nature study has been recognized by the most advanced educators both in Canada and the United States, and i t i s only a matter of time t i l l i t w i l l f i n d a permanent place among the subjects of study. ) 2 In an address to the National Education Association, in 1909» Robertson spoke on the Macdonald Movement in general and on school gardens in p a r t i c u l a r . The school garden was an e f f o r t to give children t r a i n i n g in three important matters in connection with agriculture 1 the selection of seed; the rota- t i o n of crops; and the protection of crops against weeds, disease and insects. Children f i n d something by doing, observing and recording r e s u l t s themselves, and I say i t over again that a l l worthy progress i n matters that are worth thinking about, spring from learning the lessons of consequences. As soon as a c h i l d understands that,, and governs his l i f e accord- ingly, he becomes a better pupil and the promise of a better c i t i z e n in every, sense.3 To t r a i n teachers for t h i s new venture, Robertson recruited in 1903. a class of Canadian p r a c t i s i n g teachers which was sent S. Silcox and 0. J. Stevenson, Morang's Modern Nature Study, (Torontoj Morang, 1902). 3 J. W, Robertson, "The Macdonald College Movement," address to the National Educational Association, Denver, Colo., 7 July I909. N.E.A. Proceedings, 1909. R.P. , 4, 6. for courses to the Universities of Chicago and Cornell, to Teacher's College, Columbia University, and Clark University, with a f i n a l course at Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College.^ In Teacher-Builder, the biography of John Wesley Gibson, the author t e l l s of her husband's sel e c t i o n as one of the Cana- dian teachers to be trained by the Macdonald Fund to organize r u r a l school gardens. She writes of his experience at Cornell under Professor' Liberty Hyde Bailey who "inspired everyone with his fresh approach to laboratory methods .•....*• We must remember that Robertson was, equally impressed with that i n s t i t u t i o n . _ On his return to Canada, Gibson was engaged to supervise the f i v e centres in Carleton County, Ontario, that had been establishedt at Carp, Galetta, Bowesville and North Gower, each of two acres, and at Richmond a garden of three acres. His salary was $800 per annum for three years. Provision was made to meet the expenses of a horse and buggy.5 Robertson sent a "Memorandum to Teachers" in charge of Macdonald School.Gardens i n 1905. o f f e r i n g guidance i n con- nection with school garden-work. I think each t r a v e l l i n g instructor should re- quest the teacher at every school to devote some time every day, when the weather i s suitable, to 4 Evidence, 1 9 0 3 , .pp. 3 6 - 3 7 . . 5 Belle C. Gibson, Teacher Builder, (Victorias 1 9 6 1 ) , . pp. 39-44. See also Gibson, "The Educational Value of Agri- c u l t u r a l Instruction i n Elementary and Secondary Schools," The Phi Delta Kappan, VIII, 1926, pp. 14-18. work, with the pupils i n the school grounds and school garden. I would suggest that leaders be appointed each with a committee formed of the pupils of the school. He reminded the instructors that the garden was s p r i m arily to be used as a means of education of the ..children. Incidentally and afterwards i t should be used to interest the parents and to l e t the people of the l o c a l i t y see that the garden has also a prac- t i c a l use, in preparing the children to have a greater love f o r be a u t i f u l premises at t h e i r own homes . . . . School gardens were set up i n Carleton County, under J...W. Gibson; i n Quebec, under Mr. George F u l l e r ; i n New Brunswick, under Mr. John B r i t t a i n , B.A.; i n Nova Scotia, under Mr. Percy Shaw; and i n Prince Edward Island, under Mr. Theodore Ross.? Writing i n the Queen's Quarterly, R. H. Cowley sketched the advantages of the school garden» Speaking broadly, the school garden has an educational, and economic, and a national aim. Educationally, i t affords a healthful release, i n •' the fresh a i r and the sunlight, from the present h u r t f u l i n a c t i v i t y of the schoolroom. It provides a control suitably complementary to the otherwise bookish programme of the school . . . . It lends i t s e l f to the development of l i t e r a r y apprecia- t i o n . . . enabling the c h i l d "to catch, the imagery . of our best natural poems." The good influence of the school garden "on the d i s c i p l i n e and moral tone of the school i s remarked on by a l l , t h e teachers." On the economic side j the school garden teaches the constituents.of the s o i l , the conditions of plant l i f e , the value of f e r t i l i z e r s , seed s e l e c t i o n , drainage, t i l l a g e . ^ J.. W. Robertson Memorandum to Teachers, (Ottawa, 31 March 1905), R.P., 4, 6. ... Z.R.- ,H.„ Cowley, "The Macdonald School Gardens," Queen's Quarterly, Vol. XII, (March 1905), pp. 391-418. In i t s national aspects, the school gardens develop a wide inter e s t i n the fundamental industry of the country . . . . The tendency of young people to rush to the c i t i e s . . . i s l i k e l y to deteriorate the national l i f e of Canada . . . . The school garden w i l l t r a i n the urban population to look to the country. It w i l l t r a i n the r u r a l population to remain in the country. It w i l l convince the young mind that the work of the farmer gives scope f o r i n t e l l i g e n c e and s c h o l a r s h i p . 8 A lover of beauty and good order, Robertson f e l t that pleasant and well-arranged surroundings were s i l e n t potent educational forces. The c h i l d n aturally t r i e s to put himself into harmony with what surrounds him. That e f f o r t , often unconscious to himself i s part of his education. What a charge that sentence brings against the untidy, uncomfortable, unlovely i n t e r i o r s of many schoolhouses in r u r a l d i s t r i c t s , and against t h e i r fenceless, un- cared for and hardly decent surroundings. In comparing the over 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 European school gardens with the lack of the same i n Canada, Robertson urgedt why should not the school house and school premises be the most b e a u t i f u l and a t t r a c t i v e place i n the l o c a l i t y ? If unsightly and repellent premises are not i n themselves degrading, they have a tendency to d u l l the taste and judgement of young persons as to what should be esteemed . . . . Children who observed beautiful things . . . would also be more l i k e l y to observe graceful speech, good manners and unflagging truthfulness, and to become resp e c t f u l and reverent towards the b e a u t i f u l and the good.9 o . . . - ... . . • . - - - Ibid. For an account of Cowley's work with the Macdonald School Gardens scheme and..his association with Robertson, see Robert Stothers, R. H. Cowley, (Torontot Nelson, 1935)» PP» 1 1 2 - 3 5 . 9 Robertson, Evidence, 1 9 0 3 , p. 3 1 . The Macdonald plan for the improvement of r u r a l schools was but a component of the "New Education"—-an e f f o r t made to "lead the c h i l d into a more sympathetic r e l a t i o n to his envir^ onment." J. W. Hotson, M.A. , P r i n c i p a l of the Macdonald Con- solidated School at Guelph, Ontario, f e l t that t h i s "New Edu- cation" would endure because i t rested on "natural, funda- mental p r i n c i p l e s , " and quoted Professor Liberty Hyde Bailey as saying, much that i s c a l l e d nature-study i s only d i l u t e d and sugar-coated science. This w i l l pass. Some of i t i s mere sentimentalism. This w i l l also pass. With . the changes the term Nature-Study may f a l l , i n t o disuse; but the name matters l i t t l e so long as we hold on to the essence.1° ...M-.J...'W. Hotson, "Macdonald Rural Schools," Brandon College Monthly, (June 91904), p.9. Part 5 Macdonald In s t i t u t e , Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College The "building of the Macdonald Institute as an organic part of the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, cost S i r William Macdonald $182,500.1 The provision of the i n s t i t u t e and i t s inclusion i n the Memorandum, was in part the outcome of a movement i n i t i a t e d by Mrs. John Hoodless of Hamilton, Ontario, who founded the Women's Institutes of Ontario. As early as I89I, Mrs. Hoodless had taken an interest i n the ef f o r t s of the l o c a l Young Women's Christian Association to instr u c t g i r l s i n i n t e l l i g e n t household work. With the cooperation of the Hamilton School Board and the Ontario Department of Educa- ti o n , public school classes had been afforded the f a c i l i t i e s of the Association, and i n 1900, a normal schooloof Domestic Science and Art had been established i n Hamilton. About t h i s time, Mrs. Hoodless met S i r William and Robertson, and en- l i s t e d t h e i r interest i n her projects. On v i s i t i n g the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, she decided that i t would be of advantage 1 "The Macdonald Rural Schools Fund" cost S i r William .Mac- ... donald..more than .$26.0.., .000.. according to Macdonald Rural Schools Fund, Receipts and'Disbursements from 1899 to 1909$ Macintosh and Hyde, C.A., Montreal. R.P., 4, 7. to transfer the Normal School to the grounds of that i n s t i - t ution. Dr. James M i l l s , President of the College, agreed ;to the idea, and negotiations were conducted by Robertson between S i r William, the Ontario Government, and the College. A sample of the correspondence which passed between the parties follows. Dr. M i l l s wrote to Robertsons "You are aware that Mrs. Hoodless has been t r y i n g to int e r e s t S i r William Macdonald i n Domestic Science and Art. She i s anxious to have him do something, here or elsewhere for the promotion of education i n that important departments and knowing your r e l a t i o n s with S i r William, I am writing to s o l i c i t your influence for something handsome at Guelph. "We. have.the equipment and s t a f f f o r a great portion of the work, and I w i l l do anything in my power to meet S i r William's wishes; i n case he feels i n c l i n e d to a s s i s t us towards the erection and equipment of a building for a general,, course and a course of normal t r a i n i n g for teachers."3 In answer to M i l l s , Robertson said« "I s h a l l be glad to do anything I can to help you and the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College to do what might be done fo r the improvement of education i n r u r a l schools, and to provide a course of i n s t r u c t i o n i n domestic science p a r t i c u l a r l y for the daughters of farmers and for young women who w i l l teach i n the r u r a l schools . . . . I s h a l l be glad to take as early an opportunity as I can make of discussing with you how we can j o i n forces for the improvement of r u r a l schools i n Ontario. "But you w i l l please not think that I haye any r i g h t at a l l to be considered as the advisor of S i r William Macdonald who could influence him i n the S n e l l , Macdonald College, pp. 35-41. Dr. James M i l l s to Robertson 31 October 1901, R.P., 4, 1. matter of donating a building or equipment for the Ag r i c u l t u r a l College at Guelph.'"'4 Robertson received a l e t t e r from Richard Harcourt, Minister for Education f o r Ontario i n which he stated» . "The Premier (of Ontario) discussed with me yesterday your ideas as to Guelph. I think one feature of your scheme should be a Summer School for Nature Study and S c i e n t i f i c Agriculture . . . diplomas to be given, etc. " 5 S i r William, however, whose canny scottishness was not far' below the surface, wrote to Robertson and quoted from a l e t t e r he had received from the Premier of Ontario, G. W. Ross. "Allow me to say that the government accept with much appreciation a. grant .of -$125,00.0 from Sir.. .William-.Macdonald to be applied, .for.-.the -training of -teachers in. the elements of agriculture and of young women i n domestic science, on the terms set forth i n the said memorandum." /That i s the memo- randum of 1902 previously mentioned./ S i r William.reiterated t h a t i "The grant was not intended to be applied as above e x p l i c i t l y stated by the words which I have underlined . . . . The terms set fo r t h i n the memo- randum . . .. stated that the $125*000 was for the erection of buildings." He addedi "Mr. Ross i s a busy man and I have no doubt he means the terms.to be as set forth i n the memoran- dum, but as we are dealing with a government which i s subject to change the wording of the agreement should be c o r r e c t . " 0 5 Horn Richard Harcourt to Robertson 11 December 1 9 0 1 , R.P., 4 , 1 . ^ S i r William Macdonald to Robertson 13 February 1902, R.P., 4 , 1 . S i r William was not "putting his trust i n princes." Robertson, as coordinator of the Guelph scheme was i n f r e - quent correspondence with the government. One l e t t e r from Ross in v i t e d him "to c a l l on the Premier" at the Parliament Buildings'so that I might discuss with you some features of the Macdonald bequest i n connection with the A g r i c u l t u r a l College at Guelph."7 Preliminary planning proceeded well, claimed Dr. Mills« By the help of S i r W. C. Macdonald of Montreal, the Minister of Education f o r Ontario, Prof. J. W. Robertson of Ottawa, Mrs. John Hoodless of Hamilton, •- ;.: and; other le s s prominent workers, a d i s t i n c t step i n . advance has been taken along the l i n e of adapting our primary and secondary education to what are l i k e l y to be the functions and environment (the l i f e work and surroundings) for the great majority of our young people - manual t r a i n i n g for.boys, household science f o r g i r l s , and nature'study f o r both. Manual t r a i n i n g and household, or domestic science departments are i n successful operation at a number of our High and Public Schools} household science i s taught i n the Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Art, Hamilton, and i n the Pr o v i n c i a l Normal Schools and . Normal- College; and we hope soon to o f f e r at the Mac- donald Institute i n connection with the Ontario Agri- c u l t u r a l College a valuable course i n nature study and a broader, longer, and more thorough course i n house- hold science than can be given at the Normal Schools or Normal College. This course, i t i s expected, w i l l begin about the middle of September next; and as special provision w i l l be made for farmer's daughters i n Macdonald Hall (or the Women's Residence) along side of the In s t i t u t e , i t i s hoped that much w i l l be done towards improving the management, increasing the comfort, and multiplying the happiness of Canadian farm homes. If t h i s i s done, the standard of work and c i t i z e n s h i p throughout the Province and Dominion w i l l r i s e from year to year." Ross to Robertson 29 August 1902, R.P., 4, 1. Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1902, no. 14, p. 6. The Ontario Government was most gr a t e f u l f o r the generous g i f t of S i r William and the Minister of Education wrote to Robertson« "I notice . . . that S i r William Macdonald has given another grant to the School of Domestic Science which has been erected at Guelph . . . I assume that ." we owe t h i s to your kindly intercession . . . ."° Robertson repliedt "There i s nothing due to my intercession with S i r William. The desire and anxiety to help i n the improvement of education at r u r a l schools are S i r William's . . . . " 1 0 However, there were.some misunderstandings between Dr. James M i l l s , and the Hon. Richard Harcourt, Minister of Edu- cation, as to the purpose of the new Macdonald In s t i t u t e . Dr. M i l l s appealed to Robertson to "come to Toronto at an early date that we may have a clear understanding with Mr. Harcourt and others i n regard to the p o s i t i o n and work of Macdonald I n s t i t u t e . " Apparently, the Normal Schools, Supported by the Minister, f e l t that the Macdonald Institute should merely conduct short summer courses, and that they, the Normal Schools, should continue with the type of teacher-training for which the new Institute was erected. In his l e t t e r to Harcourt, M i l l s i n - dignantly asked t " I f now the intention i s to arrange matters so that t h i s work i s a l l to be done elsewhere, what use -, w i l l .there, be i n .maintaining, the.. .Macdonald. .Institute.,.. „.... Harcourt to Robertson, 28 November 1902, R.P., 4, 1. Robertson to Harcourt 29 November 1902, R.P., 4, 1. at the expense of the government and what i s the need of going further with the buildings?" M i l l s outlined his clear conviction that» "we should have two year's course i n Guelph for those without Normal t r a i n i n g , accepting the one yearns t r a i n i n g in the Normal School pro tanto as an equivalent to our f i r s t year's work.. , . ."H That Dr. M i l l s * view appears to have prevailed i s i n d i - cated i n his 1903 report, i n which he also describes the fab r i c of the I n s t i t u t e ! Early i n the spring of 19031 the contractor commenced work on what are.known as the Macdonald Building,,Macdonald I n s t i t u t e j and Macdonald Hall . . The former i s to furnish long and short courses i n . Home Economics (or Domestic Science), Nature Study, and Manual Training, - a l l three for.teachers, male and female, and the Home Economics f o r farmers' daughters and other young women who desire to learn the theory and practice of cooking, v e n t i l a t i o n , general housekeeping, laundry work, sewing, dress- making, m i l l i n e r y , home decoration, etc. The l a t t e r i s a women's residence, or a large and well-equipped building i n which the young women who come to take any of the course's can have good hoard, lodging, etc. on easy terms, and under proper oversight, during t h e i r stay i n College. The Institute i s a fine building of red pressed brick, with ter r a - c o t t a trimmings, - large and im- posing i n i t s general outline, commodious i n i t s i n t e r n a l arrangement, and elegant as regards the quali t y and f i n i s h of the inside woodwork. The H a l l (which w i l l be ready f o r use i n September next) w i l l also be a large and imposing brick building, with stone trimmings and of the Elizabethan s t y l e of architecture. It w i l l be well furnished, and w i l l provide a very comfortable home for 107 young women, some i n single rooms and others i n double rooms, ........ . with single iron beds. :.. _ _„.. „ 1 M i l l s to Robertson, enclosure M i l l s to Harcourt, 1 A p r i l 1903. R.P., 4, 1. 1 2 Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1903, no. 14, pp. 7-8. Robertson was f i r s t approached by those requiring f i n - a n c i a l favours from S i r William Macdonald. Dr. M i l l s and Mrs-. Hoodless sought scholarships from Lord Strathcona for students at Guelph: Dr. M i l l s wrote to Robertson: "We f i r s t thought of applying to Lord Strathcona for a number of scholarships, as he had promised to a s s i s t Mrs. Hoodless i n her' Domestic Science work and I sent Mrs. Hoodless to Montreal to interview him with that object i n view; but before she l e f t , I de- cided that i t would not be f a i r to S i r William to take steps i n that d i r e c t i o n without consulting him . . . I s h a l l esteem i t a great favour i f you w i l l d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y , use some influence to secure the object i n view. M l3 From the above correspondence i t can be seen that although people imagined Robertson was the intermediary through whom ' S i r William could be reached, Robertson himself was quick to point out that the m i l l i o n a i r e had a mind of his own, and that any help forthcoming from S i r William was because of a con- v i c t i o n that the need was genuine and b e n e f i c i a l . Lord Grey, the'Governor-General of Canada, v i s i t e d Mac- donald I n s t i t u t e . In a l e t t e r to Robertson His Excellency said i "I must write a'line to t e l l you what an immense pleasure I derived from my v i s i t to the College . . . . You have coll e c t e d around you an admirable body of helpers and the s p i r i t which pervades the whole place leaves nothing to be desired . . . . "I am writing to S i r William Macdonald t e l l i n g him how much I-envy him the s a t i s f a c t i o n he must experience when he thinks of a l l the good his heart, brains and money have accomplished,. with your a s s i s t - ance. You c a l l yourself a "back number" but long may 13 M i l l s to Robertson 5 January 1904, R.P., 4, 1. you remain available for the new annuals to r e f e r . to. I hope to see the Robertson s p i r i t go r i g h t through Canada and spread i t s influence educationally into matters municipal, p o l i t i c a l and commercial . . . ." Heady s t u f f indeed, but i n d i c a t i v e of things to come. Although meeting with general approval the "New Educa- t i o n " was not without at l e a s t one c r i t i c . Professor James Cappon, i n an a r t i c l e i n the Queen's Quarterly of January 1905* f e l t that Robertson, l i k e most reformers, was apt to take extreme views. Is i t r e a l l y necessary i n order to promote the cause of agriculture t r a i n i n g that he should dispute the place which the more general and l i t e r a r y elements of education have i n our present system, and attack everything from grammar . . . to the study of arithmetic and l i t e r a t u r e ? Cappon went on to question Robertson's general theory of education. As f a r as I have been able to follow, i n his utterances to the d a i l y press and i n personal re- ports which have reached me, he seems to be s t i l l under the influence of f a l l a c i e s , some of which belong to the old theories of the u t i l i t a r i a n school of Bain and Spencer about education, while others represent the new pedagogical tendency to set up "concrete" methods and the object lesson i n opposition to l i t e r a r y and abstract methods i n i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a i n i n g . Cappon concluded his a r t i c l e by indicating his respect fo r Robertson " i n his own sphere as an organizer of p r a c t i c a l Lord Grey to Robertson 16 December 1905, R.P., 4 , 1 . or technical education" hut was sorry "to see him i d e n t i f y i n g a cause which i s so good with theories which were so doubtful. In his reply to Professor Cappon, Robertson suggested that for a comparatively small number of children the study of the c l a s s i c a l languages was necessary for a l a t e r pro- f e s s i o n a l l i f e , and for a few of that few, as b e n e f i c i a l as a means of culture. But, nptoeven Professor Cappon w i l l claim that the study of these languages, to the extent practicable to boys and g i r l s i n the elementary or even i n the secondary schools, can compare for a moment (in culture value, or i n forming and strengthening the character and developing the i n t e l l i g e n c e of the children* or in f i t t i n g them for the work of l i f e ) with the t r a i n i n g of t h e i r f a c u l t i e s by means of Nature Study work, Manual Training and Household Science. I take i t that the c h i l d i n i t s body, mind and s p i r i t i s one and i n - d i v i s i b l e , and that "the t r a i n i n g of f a c u l t y " includes the development of whatever capacity he may have to- wards bodily a b i l i t y , i n t e l l i g e n c e and f i n e s p i r i t of service of his fellows and of truth. Robertson disclaimed any attack on the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n On the contrary I have been doing my best to commend, to encourage and to bring about more e f f e c t - ive methods of study i n arithmetic, i n language both spoken and written*' and i n l i t e r a t u r e . The methods and subject matter of the elementary schools i n the past, through t h e i r bookishness, have hindered the turning out of pupils with a b i l i t y to read and write well, to speak co r r e c t l y and to compute accurately and quickly. It i s my b e l i e f and hope that Nature Study, Manual Training and Household Science as methods of education w i l l supplement books i n helping children to express themselves i n clear, correct and b e a u t i f u l language, as well as i n actions. ? James Cappon, " S i r William Macdonald and Rural Education, Queen's Quarterly, XII, (January 1 9 0 5 ) , 3 1 5 - 2 2 . Some knowledge of the needs of r u r a l population and of the art of agriculture has taught me more useful and congenial employment for the " l i t e r a r y f a culty and i n - s t i n c t " than the mental exercise which that sort of thing affords.lo 1 ( 5 James W. Robertson, "Professor Cappon's A r t i c l e i n the Queen's Quarterly," Queen's Quarterly XII, (April 1905)i pp. 4-20-24. ' . Part 6 Robertson as P r i n c i p a l of Macdonald College On 1 January 1905» Robertson resigned the position of Commissioner of Agriculture to devote his entire time and energy to the carrying out of yet another scheme of education for the betterment of r u r a l l i f e , v i z . , an Agriculture College and Teachers' Training School situated in Quebec Province and of which he was to become P r i n c i p a l . To be known as Macdonald College, the i n s t i t u t i o n grew out of the desire by S i r William to help the r u r a l population b u i l d up the country and make the most of i t and themselves. Announcing to the House of Commons the news of the Comr- missioner's resignation to take up t h i s new p o s i t i o n , the Minister of Agriculture declared* I need hardly dwell upon the regret which I personally f e e l at the loss of so eminent and success- f u l , and painstaking a public servant. My only r e l i e f . . . i s the knowledge that . . . Professor Robertson s t i l l serves.the a g r i c u l t u r a l interests of Canada, having taken a position i n the control and management of a great . . . c o l l e g e . 1 A l e t t e r to Robertson from J. A. Nicholson, Registrar of McGill University, Montreal, expressed the feelings of the McGill Normal School Committee to.which, Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1905* p. 6932. "the p o s s i b i l i t y of bringing the Normal School into close touch with the new Ag r i c u l t u r a l College to be erected at Saint Anne was presented. And I was . instructed to inform you that great delight was expressed at the interest S i r William Macdonald has taken i n the matter of r u r a l education i n the Province of Quebec, and that the Normal School Committee i s w i l l i n g to cooperate with him i n t h i s good work . . . . " 2 On 13 March 1905#.a spec i a l meeting of the,Protestant Committee of the Council of Public Instruction for the Prov- ince of Quebec, was held at McGill Normal School, The Secre- tary, George Parmelee, announced that Professor James Robertson had been appointed a member by order of the Lieutenant Governor- in-Council, and also represented S i r William Macdonald, He was pleased to confirm that S i r William.Macdonald through the Macdonald Rural School Fund would provide fourteen scholar- ships of $50 for each female and $75 for each male teacher to. enable teachers from t h i s Province to take a three months course i n Nature Study work at Macdonald Institute at Guelph. An increase of $ 2 . 5 0 would be made to the scholarship of those who completed the course successfully, and an allowance of f i v e cents a mile one way would be made for t r a v e l l i n g expenses. The meeting further heard from Professor Robertson of Si r William's intention to establish a Teacher's College and College of Agriculture at Ste. Anne-be-Bellevue with a r e s i d - ence for female teachers-in-training, a residence for male teachers-in-training, and courses i n Nature Study, Household Science, and Manual Training. Nicholson to Robertson 3 March 1 9 0 5 , R.P., 4 , 8 , It was moved and seconded that "Whereas the proposals made to t h i s committee by S i r William Macdonald . . . i n the opinion of. t h i s committee i t i s expedient that a l l normal t r a i n i n g of teachers be done at Ste. Anne . . . ." But S i r William was anxious that any benefaction he made should not be the means "of r e l i e v i n g the government or tax- payers from the duty of providing funds" therefore, It i s proposed that such action taken by the Protestant Committee w i l l ensure that i f , and when, the government may be reliev e d from the necessity of meeting the whole (or part) of the annual expenditure incurred at the present time f o r maintaining the Normal School i n the c i t y of Montreal, the amount to be saved . .. . s h a l l be placed at the disposal as follows t a.) Not less than one h a l f the amount to a s s i s t Protestant schools, b) The remainder to pro- mote, education generally i n Protestant Schools. Mr. Parmelee's report of the meeting concluded with a l e t t e r to be sent to S i r William Macdonald thanking him for his generous proposals and assuring him that a small committee had been appointed to consider t h e i r d e t a i l s . ^ Quebec, unlike several other provinces, did not.possess an a g r i c u l t u r a l college supported by public funds. S i r William supplied.this deficiency. As early as the autumn of 1904, Robertson purchased land at Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue i n the Province of Quebec. The s i t e was a b e a u t i f u l one, over- looking the Ottawa River at Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue. The main Minutes of ;.a Meeting of the Protestant Committee of the Council of Public Instruction for the Province of Quebec, held at McGill Normal School, Montreal, 13 March 1905, R.P., .4, 8. l i n e s of the Grand Trunk and the Canadian P a c i f i c Railways passed through the property, and the stations of both railways were situated within the boundaries. The purpose of the i n s t i t u t i o n was outlined by Robertson i n a speech to the Bedford Dairymen's convention i n 1906. The i n s t i t u t e would comprise a department of farms, a depart- ment of research and a department of in s t r u c t i o n . The depart- ment of farms would consist of demonstration or i l l u s t r a t i o n farms, each f u l l y equipped and s e l f contained. The department of research was to be equipped with a competent s t a f f and com- modious and suitable laboratories. One laboratory building would contain departments of biology, bacteriology and entomo- logy. Original investigation would be undertaken for the benefit of the Dominion at large. In the department of i n - st r u c t i o n , provision would be made for short courses for farmers, t h e i r sons and daughters, i n such subjects as l i v e - stock, improvement of seeds and s o i l s , f r u i t culture, dairying, poultry keeping, farm machinery etc. Women's courses would include sewing, cooking, dressmaking, m i l l i n e r y , housekeeping and so on. In planning for an extension of the assistance which he had been giving towards the improvement of r u r a l schools, S i r William wished to implement a course of teacher t r a i n i n g suitable for the needs of r u r a l education especially i n his own province of Quebec. Teachers i n r u r a l schools would be- come competent not only i n "ordinary subjects as accepted hitherto,, but w i l l be q u a l i f i e d to use these newest means of education known as nature study work, household science and manual t r a i n i n g . " Teachers undergoing t r a i n i n g did.not need to take any courses i n the departmentoof Agriculture, hut would have the opportunity to do so i f they desired. In addition to the f u l l term courses, short courses were offered for the p r a c t i s i n g teachers. S i r William was anxious to provide the best kind of building for" the money expended. Residences for men and women together with the college buildings made "a handsome group . . . standing on a s i x t y acre f i e l d , sloping towards the r i v e r , with a f i n e southern and eastern, exposure."^ A Provisional Announcement described Macdonald College as incorporated with McGill University. It stated that the college would open on 17 September 1907.. Its purposes were 1) For the advancement of education; f o r the carrying on of research work and investigation and the dissemination of knowledge; a l l with p a r t i c u l a r regard to the interests and needs of the population i n r u r a l d i s t r i c t s . 2) To provide suitable and e f f e c t i v e t r a i n i n g for teachers and es p e c i a l l y for those whose work w i l l d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the education i n schools in r u r a l d i s t r i c t s . Both men's and women's accommoda- tions had gymnasiums and swimming pools. The buildings were of f i r e p r o o f construction with roof of s t e e l and reinforced concrete. A l l areas were air-conditioned. Addressr.at the Bedford Dairymen's Convention, Cowansville, Quebec, 31 January and 1 February 1906, R.P., 4-, 6. Admission to the School for Teachers was to be as for admission to the McGill Normal School. Tuition was free to residents of the Province of Quebec. "Board, room and washing of a s p e c i f i e d number of pieces w i l l be furnished for $ 3 . 2 5 per week each where two students occupy one room: and $3»50 f o r single occupancy."5 In a front-page spread, the Family Herald Weekly Star, Montreal, proclaimed the virtues of the new establishment. With such t r a i n i n g as i s soon possible . . . the teachers w i l l be able to a r t i c u l a t e the country school cl o s e l y and smoothly with the country home, the neighbourhood and the country at large . . . they should be able to u t i l i z e the l o c a l community l i f e - i t s occupations, resources, organizations, t r a d i t i o n s and customs for the r u r a l school. The a r t i c l e concluded with some s t a t i s t i c s to the effect that the whole plant would exceed one and a h a l f m i l l i o n d o l l a r s and that S i r William had put aside an endowment of two m i l l i o n d o l l a r s "so as to make the College s e l f - s u s t a i n i n g for a l l time." S i r William believed that the new i n s t i t u t i o n : w i l l be the main f a c t o r l i n the creation of a new agriculture f o r Quebec, whereby farmers w i l l make more of themselves and t h e i r farms. He believes, moreover, that r u r a l schools can be revived and redirected through the College . . . so that they can be r e a l u p l i f t i n g forces i n the r u r a l l i f e of Quebec. Robertson was formally appointed P r i n c i p a l of the College i n a l e t t e r from W. Vaughan,, Secretary of McGill University:. ^ Provisional Prospectus of Macdonald College, 1907» R.P.» 4 , 8 . 6 17 A p r i l 1907. "I have pleasure in informing you that at t h e i r meeting held yesterday the Board of Governors passed the following resolution. "'.Resolved that Jas. W. Robertson L.. L. D., C.M.G., be and he i s hereby appointed subject to the provisions of the Charter, P r i n c i p a l of Macdonald College,.at a salary of $ 5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 per annum with free residence, l i g h t and water..' "? Pr i n c i p a l Robertson at a l l times emphasized the need for good teacher-training, and of the importance of a public recognition of the worth of the teacher. At Charlottetown he asked, "what hinders those who might be teachers from going into t h i s profession, peerless i n i t s opportunities for good? Want of public appreciation for the profession." He com- plained of the small remuneration offered teachersi people say, "Oh, well, schools cost a great deal even with the small s a l a r i e s paid to teachers now." What of that? Instruction and t r a i n i n g i n youth are the means of bringing an abundant harvest of national . wealth . . . . I f the people w i l l starve the schools the schools may r e t a l i a t e by l e t t i n g people starve, mentally, then morally, and i n a measure materially also. Salaries for teachers must go up or the people w i l l go down. In the same speech Robertson permitted himself a look into the school of the future .and outlined a programme of study providing for the development@of the mind, body and s p i r i t symmetrically, and therefore suited to the ages and powers of children. 7 Vaughan to Robertson, 2 0 A p r i l 1 9 0 7 , R.P., 4 , 8 . Probably one quarter of the time w i l l be devoted to doing things with the hands with tangible things, including a l l forms of manual t r a i n i n g , physical exercises, games and physical culture; one quarter to languages, p a r t i c u l a r l y one's mother tongue, history, l i t e r a t u r e , songs and pictures; another quarter to arithmetic and mathematics and the remainder of the time to science. To be e f f e c t i v e , the whole course must necessarily be administered i n such a way as to develop a fine sense of proportion and a keen sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . , He dwelt on the i n t e g r i t y of the.programme, i n s i s t i n g that« Manual t r a i n i n g , household science and school gardens were not put i n the school courses to s a t i s f y women's clubs or councils, but to improve the schools fundamentally for the children and to provide for the preparation of teachers with new q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . During the course of a lecture e n t i t l e d "Education i n Re- l a t i o n to the National Heritage," delivered to the[May Court Club i n I 9 0 8 , Robertson enlarged on the importance'of education and attempted a d e f i n i t i o n of i t 1 Education i s a word of many meanings - an elusive term, d i f f i c u l t of d e f i n i t i o n , because used to represent experiences unlike i n t h e i r nature. It i s not a some- thing or a subject detachable from l i f e . It may be held to be, or to r e s u l t from, a series of experiences arranged to lead to the increase of (a) knowledge, (b) power, a b i l i t y and s k i l l and (c) good w i l l s i n the individuals and i n the community. Of the "newer educa- t i o n " no matter how new i t may be i t must s t i l l stand for culture. But i t must promote culture and knowledge as means and not ends i n themselves.^ Education, Robertson f e l t , wast f o r the benefit of the pup i l as an i n d i v i d u a l , as a coming c i t i z e n , and as one l i n k i n the chain of. l i f e . J. W. Robertson, "Education f o r the'Improvementoof Rural Conditions," Address at Charlottetown, P.E.I., 20 July 1907. R-R *+,7 The powers r e s u l t i n g from i t may be applied to the improvement of - (1) The home and i t s comforts, conveniences and safeguards. (2) The occupation and the security of i t s oppor- t u n i t i e s , s a t i s f a c t i o n s and remunerations; and (3) The s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , i n order that there may be an increase of good-will and cooperations. Such applications of education would bring about what has been c a l l e d the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of r u r a l l i f e . 9 In surveying the Macdonald Movement as helped by S i r William, Robertson hoped that i t would— a s s i s t i n building up something better than i s now known and done, and thereby displace what i s poor. It aims at helping the r u r a l population to under- stand better what education i s and what i t aims at for them and t h e i r children.. It plans to helpnin providing more competent leaders for the h o r t i c u l t u r a l and a g r i c u l t u r a l population. Robertson envisaged a wide and important role for the teacher., He claimed that i i n the Macdonald Movement, the aim.has been to aid the teaching profession, to help the teachers them- selves to q u a l i f y f o r the,new needs of t h e i r c a l l i n g , to help the public' to obtain such teachers and to encourage them to appreciate them more highly. If our future as a nation i s to be s a t i s f y i n g , i t must needs be that the teacher s h a l l be recognized as a leader and not merely as a teacher of l e t t e r s . For leadership, he'must have powers of sympathy, insight and interpretation; and to secure a following of the people, as well as of the children, he must be possessed of s k i l l , scholarship and energy, and with a l l these, have character animated by enthusiasm, unselfishness and purpose to serve. • Central Canada C i t i z e n , Ottawa, 31 March 1908, pp. 1-6. Robertson f i n a l l y warned, "National suicide l i e s i n the d i r e c t i o n of b e l i t t l i n g teachers." 1^ Macdonald College i n the words of his daughter, Mrs. Ishbel Robertson C u r r i e r i was t r u l y the creation of James W. Robertson, working, with S i r William's money. The whole project entailed an enormous amount of work of a l l kinds, t r a v e l to see other a g r i c u l t u r a l schools a l l over the country, labour disputes i n i t s construction, h i r i n g s t a f f , arguments about housing s t a f f , errors i n drainage plans for the farm land, constant v i s i t o r s and p u b l i c i t y plans., speaking engagements here, there and everywhere. 1 S a t i s f y i n g as his accomplishments must have been as Com- missioner for Dairying and Agriculture, t h e i r r e s u l t s were spread a l l over Canada. The College on the other hand, "was a s p e c i f i c contribution to Canadian education and must have given him a s o l i d sense of achievement."^ 2 An example of the kind of problem with which Robertson as P r i n c i p a l had to deal i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n a l e t t e r he received from a member of his s t a f f . Apparently two professors wanted the same side of a duplex. One of them, H. S. A r k e l l , com- plained t "Dr. Snell and I have had conversation . . . but he d e f i n i t e l y refuses to accept the proposition of drawing l o t s . I had thought over the matter care- f u l l y and could f i n d neither j u s t i c e nor s a t i s f a c t i o n 1 0 Ibid. 1 1 Currier, Brief Biography, p.11. 1 2 Ibid. i n agreeing to go into the north side . . . . Under the circumstances I wish to withdraw my proposition to cast l o t s and d e f i n i t e l y make a request for the south side of the house on the strength of my senior p o s i t i o n on the Faculty. Herbert Francis Sherwood, i n an a r t i c l e in The Outlook, i l l u s t r a t e d contemporary opinion of the.College« Intended for t r a i n i n g i n agriculture, home- making and teaching, i t i s probably the best equipped and most advanced i n s t i t u t i o n of i t s type i n the world. It stands for the advancement of education, the prosecution of research work, and the dissemina- t i o n of knowledge, allvcwith p a r t i c u l a r regard to the interests and needs of the population i n r u r a l d i s t r i c t s . It i s S i r William's greatest yeast cake. It i s the supreme i l l u s t r a t i o n of Dr. Robertson's methods of leavening. The mere fact of i t s existence i s an edu- cational force, f o r i t advertises the underlying idea of the Macdonald movement and sets people thinking about i t Thus i t came as a great shock to many people when the resignation of Robertson from the post of P r i n c i p a l of Mac- donald College was hinted at i n the Ottawa C i t i z e n . There are various rumours a f l o a t that Dr. Robertson's occupancy of the Principalship has long been something less than a bed of roses. It i s re- ported that he d i f f e r e d on many points concerning the management of the school from S i r William Macdonald . . . . It i s also said that some of those i n Montreal who had the ear of S i r William were not f r i e n d l y to Dr. Robertson and that considerable f r i c t i o n has been engendered thereby. 15 1 3 A r k e l l to Robertson, 22 September 1909, R.P., 4 , 5 . Herbert Francis Sherwood, "Children of the Land," The Outlook, A p r i l 1910, p. 9 0 1 . 1 5 5 January 1910. wrote a c o n f i d e n t i a l l e t t e r to William Vaughan, secretary of McGill University. "I enclose herewith my application for leave of absence for a period of two months. This i s the f i r s t step in the course which, you already know from our conference, I consider i t desirable to take i n the interest of Macdonald College. I s h a l l . f o l l o w t h i s up by asking the board to accept my resignation as P r i n c i p a l at the end of February, 1910."1° But there had been even e a r l i e r rumours of Robertson's problems. On 24 February 1909,. J. B. Maclean, President of Maclean Newspapers, wrote i n the strictestoconfidence to Robertson: "I was t o l d the other day that you had completed your work at the Macdonald College and might shortly give i t up to a younger man . . . . At that time I made a suggestion f o r your employment by another government but since then, I have been thinking about i t , and i f the statement i s true, I would l i k e to discuss.the future with you before you decide upon other plans."1? • W. D. Hoard, of Hoard's Dairyman, writing on 11 December 1909, requested Robertson to 1 " T e l l me i f the s i t u a t i o n i s improved any con- cerning S i r William, and do you f i n d yourself strengthened? I do not feel,that you need.consider your l i f e work as being wrapped up i n Macdonald College e n t i r e l y . Heaven knows that I wish we had you i n the United States." - l b Robertson to Vaughan, 17 December 1909, R.P., 4, 9. 1 7 Maclean to Robertson, 24 February 1909, R.P., 4, 9. 1 8 Hoard to Robertson, 11 December 1909, R.P.,4, 9.® William Vaughan for his "private information." It revealed that a resolution had been passed by the Board of Macdonald College to the eff e c t that s The Board expresses great regret that the circumstances attending the construction of the • buildings and residences of Macdonald College should have c a l l e d for such a communication from the founder . . . . It was recommended that a standing committee should be approved: to discuss with Dr. Robertson the finances of the college, and to authorize such expenditure as they may approve . . . . That without the approval of such committee, P r i n c i p a l Robertson should be i n - structed not to authorize or incur any new expendi- ture of any amount exceeding say $ 1 0 0 . 1 9 What had happened, was that Robertson had been spending money which had been appropriated for other purposes on his own College project, an action which must have i r r i t a t e d the meticulous m i l l i o n a i r e , and also Mr. Vaughan, of McGill. The l a t t e r set out a long l i s t of complaints which the Committee had considered and stated that " P r i n c i p a l Robertson f r e e l y admits that his action i n incurring the expenditure without reference to and approval by . . . the Board was a mistake on his part . . . . " 2 0 Robertson's problem was to f i n d accommodation for about forty extra teachers-in-training. Since most of the Governors 1 9 Vaughan to Robertson, 15 December 1909,. R.P., L , 9 . 2 0 Ibid. . ' were out of. the c i t y , he was instructed to consult a Mr. Green- shields, the Treasurer of McGill. He appears not to have done so, hut he did consult with members of Macdonald College Com- mittee, with the resu l t that certain s t r u c t u r a l alterations were made at Macdonald College in order to provide and•furnish additional bedrooms. , Mrs. Currier said of her father that the $100 limit.must have been "a severe blow to his pride as well as a f r u s t r a t i n g r e s t r i c t i o n to his plans for the future of the College. In resigning, he t o l d no one of his reasons, and the conditions 22 which l e d up to i t were never made publ i c . " Consequently, on 27 December 1909t Robertson made his decision. To Vaughan he wrote i "I hereby r e s p e c t f u l l y request the Board to accept my resignation as P r i n c i p a l of Macdonald . College as from 31st December, 1 9 0 9 . " ^ . The Winnipeg Free Press devoted three columns on 6 January 1910 to P r i n c i p a l Robertson's impending retirement from the College. It saidj When P r i n c i p a l Robertson requested leave of absence . . . i t was remarked that i t might be a f i r s t step towards a wider f i e l d of service for.Canadian a g r i c u l t u r e , and.the betterment of conditions of r u r a l l i f e generally. Dr. Robertson now confirms that expec- ta t i o n by stati n g that he w i l l leave . . . for Switzer- land, France and Denmark, to study at f i r s t hand the r u r a l economy of these older countries where notable 21 Ibid. Currier, Biography, p. 1 3 . 2 3 Robertson to Vaughan, 27 December 1 9 0 9 . R.P., 4 , 9 . progress has been made through a g r i c u l t u r a l education . . . Dr. Robertson w i l l take opportunities of giving . . , information on the enormously extensive and valuable resources of Canada, and also on the wonder- f u l developments of i t s people. His long experience as Commissioner of Agriculture . . . gave him an • intimate and comprehensive knowledge of Canadian a g r i - culture, such as i s possessed by few other c i t i z e n s . . . . The reasons for his action can only be surmised as yet but there has been almost from the beginning, strained relationships between Prof. Robertson and the governing powers of McGill. The l a t t e r view with i l l - concealed jealousy the pouring of mi l l i o n s by S i r William Macdonald, who has long been McGill's chief benefactor, into educational enterprises which they regard as of l e s s importance than the c l a s s i c a l , s c i e n t i f i c and medical i n s t i t u t i o n s maintained by the un i v e r s i t y . It i s quite l i k e l y that the Free Press was somewhere near the mark by i t s assumption of academic arrogance or snobbish- ness on the part of academia, i n i t s analysis of the s i t u a t i o n . Robertson himself was a highly i n t e l l i g e n t and intensely prac- t i c a l man and whilst he might i n s i s t that there was a place i n a univer s i t y programme for his kind of t r a i n i n g , there were many who f e l t i t ' had no place on a univer s i t y campus. This argument as between l i b e r a l studies and so-called voca- t i o n a l t r a i n i n g remains i n force today. On 10 January 1910, Vaughan informed Robertson that the Board of Governors of McGill had accepted his resignation ands takes the opportunity of expressing to him i t s high appreciation of the energy and vigorous i n i t i a t i v e which he threw into a l l the preliminary work of the construction and establishment of the College,, as well as i t s great admiration f o r the f o r c e f u l q u a l i t i e s which have made him one of the pioneers of s c i e n t i f i c agriculture i n Canada. They recognize that these q u a l i t i e s , together with the g i f t of l u c i d exposition and persuasive argument, have made Dr. Robertson, in the matters with which he undertakes to deal, a power i n the land . . . .24 From his many friends and students came l e t t e r s of regard, and a f f e c t i o n . The class of 1911 i n Agriculture,Ihoped that his r e l a t i o n s h i p i "to us as our Honorary Class President may not be affected i n anyway. Many t i e s already bind us to you, and we appreciate. . . . the fact that you were always to us a wise and patient f r i e n d and counsellor as well as a beloved p r i n c i p a l . . . your s p i r i t and personality under the present circumstances so strongly appeal to us and so win our admiration that i n our • "Doctor" the t r u l y heroic s p i r i t p r evails . . . ."^5 R. W. Cowley, Inspector of Continuation Schools, Toronto, was s " p a i n f u l l y surprised at the news thatyyou have severed your connection.with the Macdonald Educational Move- ment . . . . The Macdonald Schemes, including con- s o l i d a t i o n , have a l l been planted prosperously and have taken permanent root in Ontario . . . . Any f a i l u r e s that c r i t i c s point to are purely l o c a l and merely temporary . . . already the Continuation Schools represent the Consolidation of the advanced classes of nearly a thousand school sections scattered a l l the way from the doors of Montreal to the portals of Detroit, and from the suburbs of Toronto to New Liskeard and from Ottawa to Winnipeg . . . . I am i n the p o s i t i o n to know that the Macdonald Movement has helped most materially, to improve vastly our people's view point of education . . . »" 2° 24 Vaughan to Robertson, 10 January 1910, R.P., 4, 9. 2 5 Class of 1911, Agriculture, Macdonald College, to Robertson, R.P., 4, 9. 2 ^ Cowley to Robertson, 17 January 1910, R.P., 4, 9. A. H. MacKay, wrote to Robertson. "The students at Macdonald, I understand, are profoundly depressed by the news of your resignation. • I .look upon i t as merely the carrying out of. the plans you have been f o r some time forming . . . I hope there w i l l be' nothing to i n t e r f e r e with your functioning as President of the Dominion Educational Association . . . . " 2 7 From Washington D.C. came a l e t t e r from G i f f o r d Pinchot, He declared » "I am more sorry than I can at a l l say that you are going to leave Macdonald College,, It i s wrong for every reason "that t h i s necessity should have been forced upon you--a necessity which you recognize by . your generosity and which many another man would not see i n that l i g h t . . . ,"28 One very in t e r e s t i n g l e t t e r was sent by J. van der- Leek, a member of Macdonald College s t a f f , on 23 December 1 9 0 9 , just before Robertson's resignation. "When you l e f t us l a s t night, I had the crushing f e e l i n g that I was unable to show you how much I . . . respect and admire you. Many of us have since passed a sleepless night, with the fact before our eyes that we were going to lose you . . . . I esp e c i a l l y want to show you my profound respect and confidence, because there was a time, that I hated you, that I considered you my worst enemy, that I would have rejoi c e d i n the® thought, that you were going to leave us. I misjudged you, I did not see, .could not comprehend, your broad- minded plans and mistook them for. petty e g o t i s t i c scheming. I am ashamed that I have ever nursed such thought and can at present only admire you as a great man. There was a time Dr. Robertson, that I c a l l e d you the i d o l of the farmers, that I thought your i n - fluence l i m i t e d to the more simple minded people. I 27 Mackay to Robertson, 15 January 1910, R.P., 4 , 9 . 28 Pinchot to Robertson, 5 January 1910, R.P., 4 , 9 . know better now, I know how you inspire everyone, from the man who cannot read his name to the scholar with twenty years of University t r a i n i n g . It w i l l be my pride to t e l l the world, in l a t e r years that James Robertson was my p r i n c i p a l 1907-1910, the years that the college was the educational centre of Canada . . . that i t was you who formed us . . . . 1 , 2 9 It must have been with the greatest regret.that Robertson resigned from Macdonald College although he could look back with pride on a task well done. Of a l l the decisions he ever had to make, t h i s was probably the most d i f f i c u l t . The f i r s t big decision he made was when he joined Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l . College i n 1886, the second was when he became Dairy Commissioner for the Dominion, the t h i r d was when he accepted the P r i n c i p a l - ship of Macdonald College. As a man of large ideas he could not be fettered by the petty r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed upon him. Now older, his future was uncertain. 2 9 J. van der Leek to Robertson, 2 3 December 1909, R.P., 4, 9. CHAPTER IV ROBERTSON'S ACTIVITIES WITH THE DOMINION EDUCATION ASSOCIATION AND THE COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION (1910-1919) The l e t t e r s from Dr. MacKay and Gif f o r d Pinchot reveal two other interests to which Robertson gave his attention? the Dominion Educational Association, of which he was presid- ent from 1909 to 1917, and the Commission of Conservation, of which he was Chairman of the Committee on Lands. Robertson f i r s t addressed a Convention of the D.E.A. as early as 1901, when he pleaded for the appointment of a Committee of the Association to take up the matter of the improvement of r u r a l schools on the l i n e s being developed by the Macdonald move- ment. Such a committee "could approach the Departments of Education of the various provinces with suggestions and recom- mendations and offers of cooperation which would doubtless be welcomed . . . ." This committee was constituted, Dr. Goggin moving, Dr. S i n c l a i r seconding— That i t i s desirable to test under proper conditions, the educational value and Robertson also spoke at the 1 9 0 ? convention of the D.E.A., held i n Toronto, on, "Education for the Improvement of Rural Conditions." He warned his audience of some of the. problems peculiar to Canada due t o i our youth, our s i z e : to the character, vastness and pot e n t i a l values of our undeveloped resources; and to the large amount of foreign blood pouring into our c i t i z e n s h i p . The large inflow of foreigners who come to. mix with our people adds d i f f i c u l t i e s to the ordinary problems of agriculture and of education. These people bring i n not merely d i f f e r e n t methods of doing things, but d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l standards and ideals . . . . For our safety and t h e i r welfare i t i s necessary that these people should be so educated, so led and so guided by Competent leaders that they w i l l be in c l i n e d to l i v e on the land, and not herd into the c i t i e s . . . . As President of the D.E.A.*s convention i n Ottawa, 1 9 1 ? , Robertson reminded his l i s t e n e r s of the request he made i n . 1 9 0 1 for the appointment of a committee to examine the "new education" as supported by the Macdonald Movement. The results of that Movement, have passed from memoranda and reports into the organization, adminis- t r a t i o n , and methods of education i n every Province in Canada . . . i t i s not too much to say that, i n Dominion- Education Association, Proceedings (Ottawa, 1 9 0 1 ) , pp. 2 2 - 2 3 ; 9 9 - 1 0 3 . For a history of the D.E.A., see F. K. Stewart, The Canadian Education A s s o c i a t i o n — I t s History and Role. (M. Ed. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1 9 5 6 ) . For the early formation of the D.E.A. which consisted of Superinten- dents of Education, Presidents of Un i v e r s i t i e s , Principals of Normal Schools and Presidents of Teacher's Associations, see Dominion Education Association, Addresses and Proceedings (Montreal, 1 8 9 2 ) , published by the Association, Montreal, 1 8 9 3 « . D.E.A. Proceedings, (Toronto, 1 9 0 7 ) , p. 62. consequence elementary education in 'every Province in Canada has been immensely advanced, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r u r a l schools.3 The Commission of Conservation^ was a direc t outcome of the appointment, by the President of the United States, of an Inland Waterways Commission. On 3 October 1 9 0 7 , that Com-, .mission addressed to the President a memorandum suggesting that the time had arrived for the adoption of a national policy of conservation, and urging that a conference of Governors of States of the Union should be held at the White House to consider the question. Such a conference was duly c a l l e d at the White House in. May 1 9 0 8 , ' with a considerably broadened base of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Leading p u b l i c i s t s i n the United States declared that no more important gathering had ever taken place on the continent. A declaration of pr i n - c i p l e s was adopted and steps taken to promote j o i n t action between Federal and State Governments. Later a national Commission was appointed, which proceeded to make perhaps the f i r s t and only attempt to formulate an inventory of the national resources of a nation. 3 D.E.A. Proceedings, (Ottawa, 1 9 1 7 ) . p. 3 8 . ^ Act Establishing the Commission of Conservation, 8 - 9 Edward VII, 1 9 0 9 . Details of. .this. .Act and the.subsequent appointment of members of The Commission of Conservation,. Canada, see Commission of Conservation, Canada, F i r s t Annual Report, (Ottawa, Mortimer, 1 9 1 0 ) . Following t h i s action, President Theodore Roosevelt, recognizing that the p r i n c i p l e s of conservation of resources have no international boundaries, i n v i t e d the representatives of Mexico and Canada to meet at Washington i n a j o i n t North American conference. Upon the report of the Canadian delega- t i o n , the Canadian Government determined to constitute a per- manent Commission of'Conservation.^ The Canadian Government, aware of the s e n s i t i v i t i e s of the various provinces, framed the Provisions of the Act i n I 9 0 9 , i n such a way as to preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y of any ground for jealousy over sovereignty. The Commission there- fore secured the most e f f e c t i v e representation of the views of each province and was reckoned "probably the most t r u l y na- t i o n a l i n i t s composition of any body that has ever been con- s t i t u t e d in Canada."^ There were various committees of the Commission--Fisheries, Game and Fur-Bearing Animals; Forests; Minerals; Public Health; Water and Water-Power; Press and cooperating Organizations; and Lands. In his inaugural address to the Commission on the occasion of the f i r s t annual meeting, the Chairman, the Hon. C l i f f o r d S i f t o n , pointed out that under the terms of the Act of 1 9 0 9 » the Commission was not "an executive nor an adminis- t r a t i v e body." Its constitution "gives i t power to take into 0 Inaugural address of the Chairman of the Commission, the Hon. C l i f f o r d Sifton, Ibid., pp. 4-5. consideration every subject which may be regarded :,by i t s members as' related to the conservation of natural resources," but the r e s u l t s of that consideration were "advisory only" and i t was for the Governments concerned to accept or reject such advice.^ Sifton, surveying the land s i t u a t i o n i n Canada, proposed that Canadian agriculture was i n a better state of treatment than, other branches of natural resources. He praised the development of s c i e n t i f i c agriculture and expressed his ap- preciation of men l i k e Dr. Robertson "who have done a work o the importance of which i t i s impossible to over estimate." In Robertson's f i r s t report, e n t i t l e d "The Conservation of A g r i c u l t u r a l Resources," the chairman of the Committee on Lands,, gave a masterly review of a g r i c u l t u r a l conditions and p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n Canada and askedi Can anything more be done to a t t r a c t our own people to stay on the land, p a r t i c u l a r l y to keep the young men and young women s a t i s f i e d on the land? What are other peoples doing, and with what.success? Let us f i n d out. 9 Thus i n the same report, the Commission was informed that Dr. Robertson would be v i s i t i n g abroad i n the spring of 1 9 1 0 . It f e l t that he should be given the authority of the Commission "to make inquiry on our behalf as to methods that p r e v a i l i n 7 Ibid., p. 3. 8 Ibid*• PP' 25-26. 9 Ibid., p. 5 8 . other countries respecting conservation . . . . " A resolution was passed to that e f f e c t . 1 0 . I n a speech to the Conference on Conservation of S o i l F e r t i l i t y and S o i l Fibre, Winnipeg, (1919), Robertson reviewed some of the work that the Committee on Lands had done. The Committee began by ascertaining as f u l l y . as possible the condition of lands under c u l t i v a - t i o n and whether the system and methods of farming were r e s u l t i n g i n the conservation of f e r t i l i t y and productivity. For several years i t conducted surveys of conditions on groups of farms in representative d i s t r i c t s i n every province. As a re s u l t of i t s findings the Committee selected some farms which "stood out conspicuously as examples of conserva- t i o n . " Such farms were chosen by neighbouring farmers i n cooperation with the Commission as " i l l u s t r a t i o n farms," to become examples of what could be achieved. From t h i s i n i t i a l development arose the s e l e c t i o n of an I l l u s t r a t i o n County. The essence of the scheme i s to discover, develops and c a l l into use the a b i l i t y and character of the best men and women of each com- munity for l o c a l leadership; and to supplement that by helping to bring into each community the best things of any community, i n proper r e l a t i o n - ship to a l l of the other best community services and c o n d i t i o n s . H The B r i t i s h Government became interested i n the concept of i l l u s t r a t i o n farms during World War I when agriculture, so badly neglected before the c o n f l i c t , was given high p r i o r i t y Ibid., pp. 197-98. R . P . , 3 , 3 . ' i n administrative planning. A l e t t e r from the Board of Agri- culture and Fisheries, London, dated 24 January1917, and addressed to Robertson, requests information from him'on the work of i l l u s t r a t i o n farms and counties. Robertson's friendship with G i f f o r d P i n c h o t , a m e m D e r of President Roosevelt's government, began i n 1907. when S i r Horace Plunkett, 1^ a leading advocate of conservation i n Great B r i t a i n , wrote a l e t t e r to Mr. Pinchot.in which he stated: "I am very anxious that you should meet, and .have.a good ta l k with, Dr. Robertson of t h i s i n s t i - tution (Macdonald College). He has, as you know, elaborated the whole scheme out of his brain, S i r William Macdonald finding a l l the money . . . . It i s not yet i n active operation, but to my mind the scheme as thought out i s so comprehensive and so exactly what i s required for concentrating public thought on the problem of r u r a l l i f e that i t w i l l shortly take the lead of a l l s i m i l a r i n s t i t u t i o n s , either i n the Old World or the New . . . . I am urging Dr. Robertson to come to Washington . . . . I think you w i l l f i n d him the same out-standing personality i n Canada that Bailey appeared to me to be i n the United States."- 1^ In the same l e t t e r , Plunkett hoped for the p o s s i b i l i t y . of a convention i n Washington during the Presidency of President Roosevelt, to discuss r u r a l l i f e , an interest which "the President has made his own, during his term of o f f i c e . " ^ R.P., 3 , 3 . V? For a b r i e f biography of Pinchot, see Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition, 1970, XXII, 9 3 . 1 4. For a b r i e f biography of Plunkett, see Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition, 1910-11 , XXI, p. 857. 1 5 Plunkett to Pinchot, 14 October 1907. Copy to Robertson. R« P«» 3» 3• If such a convention were c a l l e d "I should l i k e i t to embrace the. English-speaking world, or i f r e s t r i c t e d to the United States, I should l i k e to have Dr. Robertson invited as a guest from Canada CHAPTER V THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL TRAINING (1910-1913) Although Robertson was no longer P r i n c i p a l of Macdonald College, he was f a r from unemployed. During the next four. years he not only occupied himself with the Dominion Education Association and the Commission of Conservation, but shortly a f t e r his departure from Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue was appointed chairman of the Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education. The investigations and findings of t h i s Commission resulted i n important changes i n Canadian Education. Upon resigning from the college, Robertson informed Dr. McKay that he intended to spend s i x months i n Europe with his wife and that he would v i s i t Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom. He hoped "to gether a good deal which I s h a l l be able to turn over to the Dominion Education Associ- ation." He would then return to Newfoundland and Canada for si x to eight weeks and s a i l from Vancouver to Japan, then go on to Aus t r a l i a , New Zealand and South A f r i c a . He c a l l e d t h i s tour "a post p r i n c i p a l ' s course. 1 , 1" Robertson to MacKay, 20 January "1910, R.P. , 4, 9. A l e t t e r to the Hon. Sidney Fisher t o l d of his attendance at the B r i t i s h House of Commons where he had l i s t e n e d to speeches by Winston C h u r c h i l l , A. J. Balfour, Bonar Law and Austen. Chamberlain. "I am interested in comparing the methods and s t y l e of public speaking with those which I know in Canada." He added» " i f I am wanted fo r anything i n connection with the work of the proposed Commission on Technical Educa- t i o n , I think I would decide to go (to return to Canada)." 2 By t h i s time, Robertson was "possibly the most widely known authority on education i n Canada," according to his daughter, Mrs. Currier.3 Thus, when the Canadian Government did appoint a Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education i n 1910^ Robertson, i n view of his educa- t i o n a l work, and the reputation he had made, was named i t s Chairman. A private and co n f i d e n t i a l l e t t e r from Mackenzie King, Minister of Labour i n S i r Wilfred Laurier's L i b e r a l Government, reached him whilst he was i n the United Kingdom. The Minister informed Robertsons Robertson to Hon. Sidney Fisher, 4- A p r i l 1910, R.P., 5 , 3 . 3 Currier, B r i e f Biography, p. 1 3 . ^ "For enquiry into the needs and present equipment of our Dominion of Canada respecting i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and technical education and into the systems and methods of technical -instruc- tion.obtaining in. other countries..." . Report of the Royal Com- mission on Industrial Training and Technical Education, 1 9 1 3 » Vol. 1 , Parts 1 & 2 , p. 5 . "The Government has had under consideration the personnel of the Royal Commission about to be ap- pointed, whose function was to enquire into the needs and present equipment of the Dominion as respects i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and technical education, and into the system and methods of technical education obtaining i n other countries . . . . I have been pleased to mention your name as that of one p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l - q u a l i f i e d to f i l l the position of chairman of t h i s important Commission . . . . You are so f u l l y seized of the national importance of the proposed work that I do not f e e l i t is necessary to add any words as to the sig n i f i c a n c e of the subject or of the ultimate' importance to the Dominion of the services which the Commission's work i f properly performed, may be ex- pected to render . . . . While I do not.want to bind my colleagues (Cabinet) i n any way, I would, were you prepared to accept the chairmanship . . . press very strongly for your appointment.5 The enactment of l e g i s l a t i o n by the Dominion Government to provide assistance towards i n d u s t r i a l education had been •advocated by* the Dominion Trades and Labour Council, and by various Boards of Trade, i n a joi n t memorial presented to the Government at Ottawa i n March 1901. It pointed out that per capita i n d u s t r i a l production i n the U.S. was $1^3, while that of Canada was only $ 9 8 . 5 0 . A Royal Commission and a Minister of Industrial- Education were asked f o r . Again in 1905, the Annual Convention of the Dominion Trades and Labour Council passed a s i m i l a r resolution to the eff e c t that an appeal be made to the federal and p r o v i n c i a l governments to enact "such l e g i s l a t i o n and make such appropriations as w i l l permit the 5 W. L. Mackenzie King to Robertson, 12 May 1910, R.P., 5 , 3 . ^ Morang's Annual Register, 1901, p. 3 1 ? . mechanic and ar t i s a n of Canada the p r i v i l e g e of education on l i n e s of E l e c t r i c and Civil•Engineering, Chemistry, Wood- carving, Modelling etc." Unfortunately, these importunings were turned aside by reference to provisions of the B.N.A. Act which sti p u l a t e d that education was the prerogative of the provinces.''7 The need of i n d u s t r i a l and technical education was recog- nized by leaders i n education and industry i n Ontario p r i o r to these demands fo r action. Dr. Ryerson made spec i a l reference to the function and value of such t r a i n i n g i n his Report f o r i.871. The Toronto City Council made provision i n 1900 for evening classes i n technical education, while other munici- p a l i t i e s , given impetus by the philanthropy of private i n d i - viduals, as for example, Mr. L i l l i a n Massey-Treble and through the e f f o r t s of Mrs..Adelaide Hoodless, also established'similar classes f o r workers. 0 In 19091 Dr. John Seath was commissioned by the Ontario Government to report upon a desirable and practicable system of technical education for Ontario, for which purpose he examined i n d u s t r i a l education systems i n Europe. His report, considered by J. M. McCutcheon as perhaps "unexcelled as a tr e a t i s e on technical education" led to l e g i s l a t i o n i n 1911, which gave effect to his recommendations. 9 7 Canada, House of Commons Debates, 1907-8, p. 2877. ^ McCutcheon, Public Education i n Ontario, Chap. VIII. 9 Ibid. That the Government did eventually appoint such a com- mission i n 1910, was i n part due to the urging of the member for South Wellington, Hugh Guthrie, who during the 1907-08 session of the House of Commons movedt That i n the opinion of t h i s House i t i s de- s i r a b l e that a commission of inquiry be forthwith appointed to investigate the needs of Canada i n respect to technical education, and to report on ways and means by which these needs may best be met. In his preamble, Guthrie informed the House that his resolution had been brought at the j o i n t request of the Trades and Labour C° ngress of Canada and of the Canadian Manufacturer's Association. Further support came from leading Canadian edu- c a t i o n i s t s , University [-presidents and boards of trade and commerce. Guthrie suggested that the demand, therefore, was by ho means " l o c a l or s e c t i o n a l , but e n t i r e l y national i n i t s character." Great changes had taken place i n Europe and the United States.. These countries were no longer contents with the old scholastic routine but they are annually spending vast sums . . . upon technical t r a i n i n g . They are putting forth e f f o r t s to re- consider t h e i r methods and systems of education with a view to the immediate heeds of the people i n the hope that i t may a s s i s t the people i n gaining a l i v e l i h o o d and a s s i s t the nation i n maintaining i t s place i n the markets of the world. The manufacturer's demand for technical educations arises l a r g e l y from the fact that . . . he has f e l t himself handicapped in procuring highly s k i l l e d labour i n s u f f i c i e n t quantities for his purpose while the demand from the workman arises from the. very laudable ambition which he has to perfect himself i n regard to his own trade . . . i n order that his work may become less laborious and more remunerative and that he may be able to f i i i a higher position than that which he now occupies. Guthrie expounded at length on the system of technical education applying i n Germany—a nation which was making enormous s t r i d e s forward i n an i n d u s t r i a l capacity. He went on to review s i m i l a r schemes i n operation i n B r i t a i n and Switzerland, and reminded the House of the functions of the M o r r i l l Act of 1862, i n the United States, by which every state which agreed to establish a college of agriculture or mechanical arts should receive a Federal Land Grant. He admitted that the t most formidable question i n regard to the matter i s to ascertain i n pr e c i s e l y what way the Parliament of Canada, can take action i n reference to i t , having regard to the somewhat po s i t i v e language which i s used i n section 93 of the B.N.A. Act, which provides "In and for each province the l e g i s l a t u r e may exclusively make laws i n r e l a t i o n to education." To circumvent t h i s obstacle Guthrie suggested that tech- n i c a l education " i s a matter of economics rather than of scholarship. It i s a matter which w i l l y i e l d a monetary return rather than a return i n culture and refinement." L o g i c a l l y then, since i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g was so "intimately associated with the general trade and commerce of t h i s country, subjects^ over which t h i s parliament has authority . . . we may f a i r l y say that i t comes within the authority and j u r i s d i c t i o n of t h i s parliament." During the debate, some members were concerned that Gov- ernment assistance in t h i s d i r e c t i o n was yet another example of paternalism, and as such should be l i m i t e d to p a r t i c u l a r aspects o f ' i n d u s t r i a l education. Others f e l t that such assistance should encompass a l l of i n d u s t r i a l endeavour. 1 0 Mr, Guthrie, unable to impress the Government with the soundness of his argument during that session, introduced a si m i l a r resolution i n 1909,' and presented arguments as before. Throughout the ensuing debate, supporters of the motion hammered home the theme of national s u r v i v a l , of the need for expanding markets; i n substance, the economics of the s i t u a - t i o n overcame considerations of p r o v i n c i a l j u r i s d i c t i o n . . Consequently, the Government gave i t s consent to the i n s t i t u t i o n of a Commission of Enquiry on the l i n e s suggested i n Guthrie's resolution and wasted no time i n composing i t s membership. 1 1 Robertson accepted the Minister's o f f e r , and the 31 May 1910, received a cablegram tfrom Mackenzie King, informing him that he had been appointed Chairman of the Commission and that the government hoped that the Commission could s t a r t work i n early J u l y . 1 2 A further l e t t e r to Robertson from. King outlined the per- sonnel of the Commission. There were the Hon. John Armstrong, M.L.C., representing the Maritimes; Mr. Gaspard De Serras, L'Ecole Technique, Montreal, representing Quebec; Dr. George 1 0 Canada, House of Commons,' Debates, 190?-08, pp. 2856-2881. 1 1 Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1 9 0 9 - 1 0 , pp. 1023-1098. .. 1 2 R.P. , 5 , 1 2 . Bryce, of Winnipeg; Mr. Gilbert Murray, Secretary of the Cana- dian Manufacturer's Association; Mr. James Simpson, Toronto, a representative of Labour; and Dr. David Forsyth, P r i n c i p a l of B e r l i n Collegiate and Technical School. .Mr. Thomas Bengough was to be secretary and reporter. Mackenzie King concluded his l e t t e r by saying, "I am pleased at your acceptance of the Chairmanship of the Commission, and that under your.guidance I look forward to- i t s . work being, of r e a l and enduring service to t h i s country. "-^ . ' Speaking before the Ontario Club, Toronto, King proclaimed t The Commission . . . w i l l meet with employers, the Boards of Trade, the working men. It w i l l study t h e i r needs and seek to understand them. It w i l l look for possible opportunities to better i n d u s t r i a l conditions. Dealing with the Commission's investigations abroad the Commission would i "see and study i n d u s t r i a l processes." 1^ What was.further wanted, was as complete an overview of a l l aspects of industry, commerce, and education pertaining to. the Canadian scene as i t was possible to get. King, Minister of Labour-, and i n d u s t r i a l r elations expert, was also anxious to receive information concerning the working man's s i t u a t i o n , hence his instructions to the committ.ee to look to ways and means of bettering working conditions. King's hand can also be...seen in, the.,Government• s. .instruction that a . l i t t l e , i n d u s t r i a l 1 3 King to Robertson,, 1 June 1910, R.P., 5 , 3 . The Biographies of the. members .of .the Commission can be found in.H. J. Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, (Toronto: Briggs, 1 9 1 2 ) , Parts 1 & 2 . Canadian Annual Review, 1910, p. 3 2 5 . "snooping" should be undertaken while the commission was abroad. Thus the Government envisaged a very wide role for the Commission. The Government's se l e c t i o n of Robertson to chair i t s Commission was indeed fortunate, and indicated the regard i n which he was held. He was the obvious choice. As an adminis- t r a t o r he had proved his a b i l i t y ; as permanent head of a Government department which he himself had started from nothing had.directed wisely, and had l e f t a t h r i v i n g concern, he was a success; as manager of the Macdonald Fund, and of the Mac- donald Seed Grain Competition, and l a t e r as the P r i n c i p a l of a college he had performed well. As a p r a c t i c a l man he could communicate with p r a c t i c a l men. As leading educator his opinions ca r r i e d weight. Furthermore, he had achieved d i s - t i n c t i o n both i n Canada and abroad. His private background was impeccable—a strong Presbyterian, in the time when such a f f i l i a t i o n s counted for something, he had a reputation for good c i t i z e n s h i p and patriotism. As a speaker his g i f t s were appreciated, while his written reports and evidence before various Parliamentary committees were models of i n t e l l i g e n c e and c l a r i t y . F i n a l l y , he knew how to handle the press i n order to propagate such information that he f e l t was i n support of schemes i n hand. Mackenzie King estimated the time allowed by the govern- ment f o r the Commission'to do i t s work as one year. 1^ . (The Commission i n fact commenced i t s work at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 18 July 1910, and brought out i t s f i n a l report on 3 1 May 1 9 1 3 - ) During t h i s time, the Commissioners investigated the state of Industrial Training and Technical Education i n every province i n Canada, crossed to Europe to continue i n England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, and returned to the United States to complete t h e i r enquiry. Great inte r e s t was aroused throughout Canada by the news of the appointment of the Commission and i t s purpose. The Morning Chronicle, Halifax, announced: The Royal Commission on Technical Education w i l l assemble i n Halifax today, to inaugurate what promises to be a great forward movement for a national system of technical education and ^ i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g . Never has a Commission appointed by the Government undertaken a more important work and never has a greater opportunity been presented i n connection with t h i s work. Under the B r i t i s h North America Act, education i s one of the subjects assigned to the Provinces, but in the present instance there i s no question of c o n f l i c t of j u r i s d i c t i o n , f o r the Pr o v i n c i a l Premiers and Govern- ments are h e a r t i l y cooperating with the Federal Admini- s t r a t i o n , and i n fact, have asked for the appointment of the commission . . . . The personnel of the Royal Commission inspires confidence, and i s fortunate i n having as i t s chairman Dr. W. J. Robertson, who has , been described as a great pioneer i n education . . . . ° *5 King to Robertson., 12 May .1905, R.P., 5, 3. Morning Chronicle, Halifax, 18 July 1910. The same newspaper also printed an a r t i c l e from the London '(England) Daily Mail, written by W. Beach Thomas, who interviewed Robertson i n London p r i o r to his return to Canada to take up his chairmanship of the Commission. Robertson i s one of the leaders of the world's thought today. His partnership with S i r William Macdonald has helped to f r u c t i f y the ideas beyond a l l . precedent. The dispersal.and the germinationnof the seeds of t h e i r philosophy have given l i f e to h a l f a great continent. Of school gardens, Robertson said, "In Canada the school garden i s becoming the foundation of the whole educational system. It i s the centre of school l i f e '. . . ." Of the Royal Commission, which he was to head, Robertson observed, "The Commission w i l l survey the whole of Canada to discover and r e g i s t e r i t s mental resources of the f i t n e s s of the growing gener- ation to understand and develop the country . . . . Have the children manual s k i l l and mental insight worthy of a great Dominion at the c r i s i s of i t s development?"17 To u t i l i z e to the f u l l the various talents of t h i s repre- sentative group and i n order to f a c i l i t a t e i t s work, the Commission was divided into compartments of study. Murray took charge of the organization of industries and o f f i c e management as his s p e c i a l t y ; Bryce organized the r e l a t i o n s of College work to Technical Education; Forsyth had the Collegiate and Secondary Technical Schools and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s to manual t r a i n i n g ; Simpson looked a f t e r the hours of labour, factory v e n t i l a t i o n and l i g h t , rates of wages etc.; Armstrong studied e s p e c i a l l y the r e l a t i o n s of i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g to l e g i s l a t i o n ; De Serras looked a f t e r the a r t i s t i c element i n i n d u s t r i a l problems. The Commission furthermore divided i t s e l f into two sections-—the Western of which Bryce was Chairman, and the Eastern of which Armstrong was Chairman. Robertson, of course, was o v e r a l l Chairman. Reviewing the work so far done i n the Toronto Globe of 29 August 1910, Secretary Bengough explained! There i s everywhere absolute unanimity of opinion as to the great need fo r more e f f e c t i v e measures for i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and technical education. To the V i c t o r i a Colonist, 2 December 1910, Robertson confidedt In Canada the general neglect .or abandonment of the apprenticeship system i s responsible i n large measure for the lack of s k i l l e d labour i n the.different industries and trades . . . . Prom every quarter we have heard that there i s a strong need for d i f f e r e n t and better education for. those who work i n the trades and industries of the Dominion. At the beginning of .1911. Robertson revealed the Com- mission's preliminary findings. To the Canadian Club of Ottawa he explainedi We began our work of enquiring into the present equipment of Canada for Industrial Training and Technical Education, our need i n respect thereto, and how our folks thought t h e i r needs could be met. We v i s i t e d one hundred c i t i e s , towns and important l o c a l i t i e s . Our course'was usually f i r s t to v i s i t i n d u s t r i a l establishments and educational i n s t i t u - t i o n s , then to hold a session to receive testimony under oath. We held 173 such sessions. We have . . . the testimony of over 1500 of the leading men and women of Canada . . . . Educationalists, ' Canadian Annual Review,' 1910, p. 327. c a p i t a l i s t s and employers and workmen gave t h e i r evidence. Women t e s t i f i e d i n regard t° the needs of women i n Technical Education . . . . It i s a l l important that our f a c i l i t i e s f or i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g should be better than they are . . . . There was i n Canada, a general discontent with the product of the schools. _ Personally, and not as chairman of the Commission, Robert- son f e l t t h i s was due to the emphasis i n school on the three "R'"s. What was needed i n schools: was some opportunity when they are past twelve, . whereby the hoy w i l l reveal to, himself and his teachers and:parents the bent of his a b i l i t y i n some experience i n handwork, as well as book work, before the boy leaves the. common school,, that w i l l • give an i n d i c a t i o n of how he should prepare for his l i f e ' s work. Another i s the need, i n the case of a boy from fourteen to sixteen who intends to go into some s k i l l e d trade, to get a chance to learn i n school the meaning and use of common tools and the q u a l i t i e s of common materials. Another i s the need of schools with an equivalent i n educational content and t r a i n i n g of our high schools, for the boys who are going into i n d u s t r i a l l i f e . . . . There i s need of. some opportunity of secondary education to make up to the boy for what he does not now get, through lack of an apprenticeship system. We need some forenoon, afternoon or evening school to give him the pri n c i p l e s - as well as the s k i l l s . . . we need evening schools for workmen, to f i t them for advancement and promotion . . . we need intimate correlations between i n d u s t r i a l management and the managers of schools and classes where workers are trained . . . . We need t r a i n i n g fo r women and g i r l s to give them fundamental concepts of sanitary conditions making f o r the safety of the home, hygienic n u t r i t i o n making for the economical maintenance of the family, and domestic art that w i l l enable them to further enjoy t h e i r love of the beau- t i f u l by a b i l i t y to make b e a u t i f u l things for the house . . . . 1 9 ., 9 Ottawa Citiz.en.,. .28 February . 1911- . .- Interim .Statement.,. Report. ,o,f Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education, Vol. 1 , parts 1 and 2 , pp. 5 8 - 6 5 . On the a r r i v a l of the Commission i n England, the London Times reported a communication from i t s chairman which was s i m i l a r in content to the views he had expounded shortly before i n Canada. Both the Canadian employer and worker were d i s - appointed with the product of the Canadian common schools, that the curriculum did not allow for the development "of close observation" or bring out "any power of management," that the young people, when they came to the f a c t o r i e s lacked i n i t i a t i v e and were "wanting i n the q u a l i t i e s which make a good e f f e c t i v e workman." Robertson pointed out how the rapid development of Canada.had led to employment, which had yielded high wages for a .time "so that a boy of eighteen finds himself too big for the job for which he was engaged and without any kind of t r a i n i n g to enable him to increase his earning power, or to help his l o c a l i t y by becoming a good productive member of so- c i e t y . " Employers stated that "they could not be bothered to t r a i n a p p r e n t i c e s . " 2 0 After spending s i x months i n Europe, Robertson and his colleagues returned to Canada. The Ottawa Ci t i z e n quoted him at length. The weather was constantly agreeable; and t r a v e l l i n g accommodation i n Europe, by railway steamer and by road.was invariably more than com- for t a b l e . The credentials of the Commission, the helpfulness of Lord Strathcona, the cooperation of the educational authorities i n England, Scotland and Ireland, and the generous assistance of the B r i t i s h Embassies i n the foreign countries, opened every desirable door . . . . The Times (London), 14 A p r i l 1911. seen and done, Robertson s t a t e d J perhaps from no other country were we able to learn as much concerning e f f i c i e n c y in organization and i n carrying out of methods fo r the t r a i n i n g of the workers as i n Ireland and Scotland respectively. He concluded by saying» one comes back to Canada, not only without any abatement of a f f e c t i o n and admiration for her people and her i n s t i t u t i o n s , but with a renewed appreciation of the f i n e outlook here for a l l who are able and w i l l i n g to work honestly and with good w i l l . Our systems of education have raised the general i n t e l l i - gence of the people to a l e v e l which compares favour- ably with that of the other countries. That determines the kind and extent of i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and technical education which can be acquired . . . . 1 On 4 June 1913» the Report of the Commission was presented i n three volumes to Parliament through the Hon. T. W. Crothers, Minister of Labour. It included a comprehensive survey of the Commission's findings and opinions; i t s study and analysis of various kinds of education and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s to the Technical branch; the experiences during t h e i r investigations abroad. (The report of what had been done or should be done in the Canadian provinces was not ready at the close of 1913».and correspondence was published i n November of that year between Robertson and the Minister of Labour which indicated a f e e l i n g on the l a t t e r * s part that the Report was long overdue and should be completed at once.) Ottawa C i t i z e n , 7 October 1911. The Commissioners were constrained to record t h e i r tribute to the character of the men and women who were responsible for the organization and administration of education and of those who worked at the classroom l e v e l . In a l l the countries v i s i t e d by/ the Commission educators discussed f u l l y and frankly not only the systems and methods which prevailed i n t h e i r countries, but also the problems which faced the central and l o c a l .authorities, and the plans and e f f o r t s which were being made to meeting existing conditions. In compiling the information obtained i n other countries, the Commissioners were guided to a large extent by what they had learned as to the needs of Canadian Workers and Canadian occupations and industries. Consequently they arranged the information from each country i n such a way as to show the r e l a t i o n of Industrial Training and Technical Education to a general system or systems of education i n that country and reported with great d e t a i l on those systems and methods, i n s t i t u t i o n s , courses and classes which seemed most l i k e l y to furnish examples of usefulness to Canada. The Commission f e l t that Canada was behind the times with regard to i n d u s t r i a l e f f i c i e n c y and that u n t i l recently she was only an interested and debating spectator of movements, i n that d i r e c t i o n . The country's growing wealth was ample for the cost of preparing the young for i n d u s t r i a l pursuits but that the educational system had few points of contact with r e l a t i o n to 'industrial, a g r i c u l t u r a l , or housekeeping l i f e . In an e f f o r t to r e c t i f y the s i t u a t i o n the Commission recommended a system which should aim at preserving provin- c i a l control,- encouraging l o c a l i n i t i a t i v e and developing l o c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y while basing i t s operations upon a gener- ous measure of Dominion aid. Many changes were suggested for urban and r u r a l communities. The types of work proposed f o r those who were to continue at school varied asi intermediate i n d u s t r i a l classes, coordinated technical classes, technical high schools, apprentice's schools, i n d u s t r i a l and technical ' i n s t i t u t e s , home economics, and fine arts colleges. The pro- posal was made for those at work that continuation classes, coordinated technical classes, middle technical classes, apprentice classes i n work shops, i n d u s t r i a l and technical i n s t i t u t e s and correspondence study courses be established. To implement these recommendations i t was proposed that the sum of $ 3 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 should be provided annually for a period of ten years by the Parliament of Canada and paid annually into a Dominion Development Fund, 75 per cent; of t h i s to go to the Provinces d i r e c t , on a per capita basis and the remaining 25 per cent, to be retained for expenses through a central Dominion Board. A l l phases of i n d u s t r i a l work should be pro- vided for including agr i c u l t u r e , manufacturing, household science, etc. In order to encourage handiwork, drawing, do- mestic science, etc., i n elementary schools the Commission suggested a fund of not less than $350,000 a year from which payments should be made to the Prov i n c i a l Governments during a period of ten years. For the administration of the grants and of the system i n general the Commission recommended the establishment of a Dominion Development Commission. Under t h i s body would be a Dominion Development Conference and under thi s again Provincial Development Conferences and Councils would operate and afford advice and assistance to Local Devel- opment Boards, urban and r u r a l . The objects to be served by the large expenditure were to be, in part, the.securing of an adequate supply of properly-qualified teachers i n elementary schools, a supply of suitable appliances, exclusive of buildings and f u r n i t u r e , the i n s t i t u t i o n of scholarships, the provision of s k i l l e d expert advisers, the establishment of central i n s t i - tutions, and the promotion of s c i e n t i f i c research. The Com- missioners believed that i n public schools more general pro- v i s i o n should be made for the teaching of drawing, manual t r a i n i n g , nature study and experimental science, as well as for the t r a i n i n g of the senses and muscles--the l a t t e r by means of organized and supervised play and games. ^ The report occasioned the V i c t o r i a Daily Times to compli- ment the Commission on i t s work and support i t s conclusions and recommendations. "The Commission," i t said on 1 0 June 1913» Deals with a v i t a l requirement i n our educational system, and if.we are to hold our own i n the race of nations steps should be taken at once to carry out the 2 2 Report of the Royal Commission,. Vol. 1 , pp. 1 - 5 ? . Vocational Education, B u l l e t i n , No. 28, Department.*:of Labour, Canada, (King'.s Printer, 1928), p.. . 2 0 . John Earl Sager, History of Manual .Training and Technical Education i n the Dominion of Canada, (M.A. Thesis i n Education, State College of Washington, 1 9 3 6 ) , pp. 2 0 - 2 1 . Canadian Annual Review, 1 9 1 3 , PP. 3 2 8 ^ 3 2 9 . recommendations of the report. There i s no doubt that Canada's system requires overhauling . . . . It compared Canada's condition with that of Germany's: The time i s ripe for the adoption of some of the German methods of technical s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . The a r t i c l e continued with: In the words of the report,, the experience of the schools should tend, more d i r e c t l y towards the inculcation and conservation of the love of productive, i n s t r u c t i v e and conserving labour. This advice should be promptly acted upon. Vocational t r a i n i n g commanded the attention of the Toronto Globe which came out strongly i n favour of: The vocational t r a i n i n g of a l l the people to be contributing earners, good c i t i z e n s and worthy members of the race i s r e a l l y the world's greatest movement at the present time. 3 The Commission's a c t i v i t i e s created a great deal of interest i n that people began to question Canadian education and i t s purpose. J. C. Sutherland, Inspector-General of Protestant Schools i n the Province of Quebec, suggested that: We.have not yet a supreme national purpose i n Canadian education, urban or r u r a l . . . we lack the proclamation of that supreme national purpose of developing national e f f i c i e n c y which marks the edu- cational history of three countries, namely Germany, Denmark and Japan . . . . We want a national p o l i c y in education. The large measure of l o c a l s e l f - government . . . has many benefits but it.'.has tended to . . . obscure the v i s i o n of larger national purpose. 2 ^ Globe. 3 February 1914. The writer complained of the lack of f a c i l i t i e s , of. teachers, es p e c i a l l y men teachers, i n r u r a l areas and recom- mended the "grand remedy of consolidation." The e f f o r t s of S i r William Macdonald to i n - augurate the. movement . . . a few years ago, have not e n t i r e l y f a i l e d . They served at l e a s t to bring the question before the public . . . . Some of the experiments . . . f a i l e d . But there are now signs of a far more favourable attitude towards the p r i n c i p l e . . . . In Manitoba alone, however, i s the plan f u l l y a l i v e at the present moment. Progress w i l l be the more certai n , and the r e s u l t s the more ef f e c t i v e i f public policy with regard to education i s s t e a d i l y illuminated by the p r i n c i p l e that the schools should exist l a r g e l y for the purpose of developing the i n d u s t r i a l e f f i c i e n c y of the r i s i n g generations.24 Albert H. Leake, a former;'director of the Macdonaid Manual Training Schools i n Ontario i n 1900, l a t e r Manual Training and Technical Inspector for the Province of Ontario, wrotei In view of the interest that i s being mani- fested in i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and i t s place i n the educational system, i t becomes pertinent at t h i s time to inquire into the part manual t r a i n i n g has played i n the past and i s to play i n the future . . . . Household Science . . . was introduced l a r g e l y f o r i t s c u l t u r a l value . . . now i t i s being recognized that house-keeping and home-making are just as much a trade and need as careful preparatory t r a i n i n g as any other industry, both the c u l t u r a l and p r a c t i c a l values, i f these can be separated, are receiving due attention. The arguments urged .for the introduction of Manual Training were deliberately designed to s a t i s f y labour organizations. It was loudly proclaimed that the • subject'Vhad nothing to do with teaching a trade . . . . ^ J. C.. Sutherland, "A National Purpose i n Education," Canadian Magazine, May 1913. pp. 57-61. With the proposition that manual t r a i n i n g does not, cannot, and should not. attempt to teach a trade we can a l l h e a r t i l y agree, hut the idea that i t has no connection with industry w i l l not today f i n d such ready acceptance. "Our i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g . . . should begin i n our Public Schools," he declared and pointed out the d i v i s i o n which existed between grade teachers and the manual t r a i n i n g teachers s There are now throughout the Province of Ontario seventy-two manual t r a i n i n g centres artd f i f t y - e i g h t household science centres, but even i n these places where the subjects have been introduced i t i s a d i f f i c u l t matter to bring them to a point where they , are looked upon as i n t e g r a l parts of the course of study. They have simply been regarded as additional subjects . . . . The grade teacher has held aloof, and the manual t r a i n i n g teacher has . . . refused to have any connection with other school subjects or industry. But fortunately, a change i s coming over the s p i r i t of the dream. The grade teacher is. coming to believe that manual t r a i n i n g and household science may be made to help her work . . . . The manual t r a i n i n g . . . i s using more and more mathematical and s c i e n t i f i c facts in his i n s t r u c t i o n , and i s establishing a r e a l connection with industry. 2 5 Members of the House of Commons were anxious to know whether the Government intended to implement the recommenda- tions of the Commission. On 10 June 1914, almost a year a f t e r i t s i n i t i a l appearance, the Member for Cape Breton, North, Mr. Daniel McKenzie, asked the Minister of Labour, i f he had given any consideration to the report of the Commission. McKenzie pointed out that the mining engineers of Nova Scotia 2 5 Albert H. Leake, "Manual Training i n The School," The School, (March 1 9 1 4 ) , 4 3 5 - 4 3 8 . had adopted a resolution urging that something he done in the di r e c t i o n of carrying out the recommendations made by the Commission. "We look forward i n a l l parts of Canada" he said, "to something being done to implement that report." The Minister r e p l i e d : This matter has been under the consideration of the Cabinet . . . . . Personally, I am very much'* in favour of doing anything within reason for the extension of technical education and i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g . I think the Parliament of Canada w i l l be w i l l i n g to materially a s s i s t the l o c a l l e g i s l a t u r e i n providing for technical education and manual tr a i n i n g . I regard i t as of very great importance to the people of Canada. The Commission had gone beyond i t s terms of reference i n proposing recommendations. Mr. C a r r o l l , Member for Cape Breton, South, stated: I understand that the provinces made some reservations as to the powers that were given to the Commission. But, however they made a recommendation and that recommendation commends i t s e l f to i n d u s t r i a l Canada and to Canada as a whole. There i s nothing . . . that goes so far i n keeping the population which we have within our confines, and also, encouraging a good class of immigration from abroad, as an e f f i c i e n t system of technical education. 2 0 In 1 9 1 5 * Robertson addressed the Ontario Education Associ- ation on "Education f o r Occupations." It was a detailed ac- count of the advances beyond the three ' R's, and p a r t i c u l a r l y Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1 9 1 0 , pp. 5 2 0 6 - 5 2 0 8 . those occasioned by the developments i n manual, technical and vocational education, 2? Unfortunately, the involvement of Canada i n World War I precluded the adoption of the report i n any p a r t i c u l a r . How- ever, Robertson was not prepared to l e t Canadian officialdom forget the work and recommendations of the Commission. At a morning session of the Dominion Educational Association, on Thursday 1 February 191?» a resolution was moved by Dr.- H. H. McKay, Superintendent of Education for Nova Scotia, and se- conded by Mr. R. H. Cowley, Chief Inspector of Public Schools, Toronto, and resolvedi That a Committee be appointed to consider the s i t u a t i o n i n respect to any means whereby the Govern- ment of the Dominion of Canada and the Governments of the several Provinces may ar r i v e at a mutual under- standing as to how assistance .for the extension and maintenance of i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and technical education could be granted by the Dominion and re- ceived by the Provinces. That the Committee be instructed to take up the matter with the Government of each Province and the Government of the Dominion . . . . The Proposer and Seconder, be i t noticed, were two of Robertson's closest friends. Both men appeared l a t e r as members of the Committee, whilst Robertson's name headed the l i s t . 2 8 Robertson sent a l e t t e r to the Premiers of the Provinces in which he asked that he might be "granted the favour of an 2 ? G u i l l e t , Cause of Education, p. 269. 2 8 Dominion Education Association, Proceedings, (Ottawa, 1917), copy of resolution, R.P., 3, 9. informal and co n f i d e n t i a l conference with you" i n order to procure "practicable extensions of i n d u s t r i a l t r a i n i n g and technical education . . . and what further action may be practicable and desirable for the attainment of that object." The Ottawa Journal reporting the opening of the Dominion Educational Association's meeting, made a point of reviewing the Chairman's address in a leading a r t i c l e . It s a i d : Educational reform such as engaged the attention of the Canadian Government several years ago i s re- quired now, prosecuted under national auspices, as an adjustment in the country's l i f e to meet changed con- ditions due to the war. It was evident from the address of the former Chairman of the Commission that the preparatory-work i n Canada had been done, and that application of the methods for improving , the school system suggested by past investigation and research had been made with conspicuous success The recommendations of the Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education were f i n a l l y p a rtly imple- mented i n 1919 by the Technical Education Act,-' "a measure for the promotion of Technical Education i n Canada." $10,000,000 were provided over ten , ryears to a s s i s t the prov- inces i n developing technical or vocational education and f a c i l i t i e s . This measure was probably hastened by the experience of war-time expansion of Canadian industry when the shortage of technical s k i l l s was keenly f e l t . Journal (Ottawa)* 3 1 January 191?. See Robertson's "Message to our Returning Soldiers Regarding t h e i r Education for. Farming," i n which he refers to the Khaki University i n The.Beaver, 14 December 1918, p. 7. 3 0 An Act for the Promotion of Technical Education i n Canada, Canada, Statutes, 1919, 9-10 George V, Vol. 1, pp. 665-67. In granting the $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 subsidy, Ottawa followed the precedent of. the A g r i c u l t u r a l Instruction Act of 1913,31 when a si m i l a r sum was dist r i b u t e d to the provinces for "the purpose of aiding and advancing the a g r i c u l t u r a l industry by in s t r u c t i o n i n a g r i c u l t u r e . " 3 2 It i s quite l i k e l y that the Agr i c u l t u r a l Instruction Act resulted in part from Robertson's report. . 31 An Act for the Granting of Aid f o r the Advancement of. Agr i c u l t u r a l Instruction in the Provinces, Canada, Statutes, 1913, 3 - 4 , George V, Vol. 1 , pp. 1 3 5 - 3 7 . 3 2 Johnson, B r i e f History, p. 8 9 . CHAPTER VI WORLD WAR I PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DUTIES, POST-WAR'CAREER, AND CONCLUSION "The fact of the war was a t e r r i b l e shock to James W. R." wrote his daughter t A l l his l i f e his energies and schemes and dreams had been bound up with the progress of the common man towards a more prosperous and happier future and i n such a context, war i s destruction, tearing down in days what took years to b u i l d up. It may have brought a s u p e r f i c i a l prosperity to the country but to James W. R., the t e r r i b l e waste of l i f e , the ru i n of l i t t l e towns i n the b a t t l e zone and the destruction of farm lands was constant underlying sorrow.1 Within a short time of the outbreak of, the war, Robertson was active i n the organization of the Red Cross Society of which he became chairman of the Canadian Executive Committee. In i t s service he toured Canada and England and France, seeing Red Cross a c t i v i t i e s at f i r s t hand. It was during his chair- manship that the Junior Red Cross, which was f i r s t formed i n Quebec i n September 1914, was given the impetus to become the Canada-wide organization that i t has, operating within our p schools today. Currier, Biography, p. 1 3 . 2 A l e t t e r headed "The Canadian Red Cross Society" and dated 4 February 1 9 2 7 , shows Robertson as Chairman of Council and Executive. R.P., 7 , 6 » Currier, Biography, pp. 1 3 - 1 6 . formation of a number of p a t r i o t i c organizations, some of which anticipated the end of h o s t i l i t i e s . a n d a brighter future for the Dominion. Among these was.the Ci v i c Improvement League of Canada, sponsored by.the Commission of Conservation, Town Planning Branch, Ottawa. A pamphlet issued by the sponsors outlined the general object of the league as beingi To promote the study and advancement of the best p r i n c i p l e s and methods of c i v i c improvement and development, to encourage and to organize i n each community those s o c i a l forces which make for e f f i c i e n t Canadian c i t i z e n s h i p and to secure a general and e f f e c t i v e interest i n a l l municipal a f f a i r s . 3 A large number of c i v i c organizations were represented at a conference held at Ottawa, on 19 November 1915» for the purpose of forming the League. The outcome of the conference was the formation of a prov i s i o n a l committee to prepare a draft constitution and to take steps to promote a National Conference to be held i n January 1916. S i r C l i f f o r d Sifton i n addressing members, said the function of the Commission of Conservation was "to s t a r t things rather than to do things . . . ." "Canada," he ob- servedt suffered from haphazard methods and lack of e f f i - ciency. Nothing had done so much harm to Canada as the system of education. Young men were 3 The Commission of Conservation c a l l e d a preliminary con- ference i n Ottawa i n November, 1915» to consider the forma- tion, .of., a. Civic. ..Improvement League f o r Canada. See Pamphlet, Civ i c Improvement League of Canada, R.P., 3 » 2 . receiving education which f i t t e d them for lawyers or professional men and nothing else. It had affected the whole development of Canada. Some improvement ought to be made . . . As a member of the Commission of Conservation, t h i s new organization was consonant with Robertson's own philosophy of public involvement i n the l i f e of Canada. It i s therefore no surprise to f i n d that he became a member of that Provisional Committee, along with luminaries of government, business, the church, public welfare, trades and labour, arid education. At the Conference held i n the House of Commons i n January 1916, and graciously' opened by the Governor-General of Canada, a number of eminent speakers addressed the par t i c i p a n t s . Robertson was slated to take part i n a discussion on Immigra- t i o n and Civic Development a f t e r the War.5 The Constitution and By-Laws of the Ci v i c Improvement League of Ottawa for the year 1916-1917, l i s t e d Robertson as • a member of i t s council. Among the general objects of t h i s group was "the study of the p r i n c i p l e s and methods of civi'c improvement and development arid also to secure a general and ef f e c t i v e interest i n a l l a f f a i r s .pertaining to the welfare of the c i t i z e n s . " " This statement could quite e a s i l y have been written by Robertson himself. Ibid. -5 c i v i c Improvement League of Canada > Programme of Con- ference, House of Commons, Ottawa, 2 0 January 1916. R.P., 3 , 2 . • ̂  Constitution and By-Laws of the Ci v i c Improvement League of Ottawa, 1916. R.P., 3 , 2 . \ ' ' ' , In 1916, the Ag r i c u l t u r a l R e l i e f for the A l l i e s Com- mittee, approached Robertson and asked him to form a Dominion branch of that body. After a v i s i t to the war zone to ascer- t a i n the needs of the A l l i e d farmers, he toured Canada organ- i z i n g groups to c o l l e c t funds to provide agriculture tools and equipment f o r use i n the devastated areas,? In 1917» Robertson's great a b i l i t y was recognized when he was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Food Controller for Canada, In t h i s capacity'he was active i n exhorting Canadians to rearrange t h e i r feeding habits i n order that more f l o u r , wheat and beef could be sent abroad. While at Rome, i n 1918, i n connection with the discussion of o v e r a l l plans for food production and control, Robertson was received i n audience by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, and also had dinner with the King of It a l y . In his diary he gave a most in t e r e s t i n g account of his meetings with I t a l i a n Royalty. 8 The Canadian Government had yet one further p a t r i o t i c duty for Robertson to perform—that of Canadian Director of Food Supplies. The supreme.Economic Council of the A l l i e d Governments had requested assistance from Canada—a great food producing nation, i n "order to underpin European recon- s t r u c t i o n . As such, Robertson was a member of the Canadian Currier, Biography, p. 14. Ibid. ,;-pp. 14 - 1 5 . delegation to Paris.when the signing of the Peace Treaty i n 1919 took place. His l e t t e r s to his wife and daughter des- cribe v i v i d l y the Paris, and the statesmen, of that h i s t o r i c Q occasion. 7 One of Robertson's interests was the Proportional Repre- sentation Society of Canada, whose first.Annual Report, issued i n February 191?1 showed Robertson to be i t s P r e s i d e n t . 1 0 In the same year his concern for the less fortunate involved him i n the.formation of the f i r s t public r e l i e f committee i n Ottawa. 1 1 He was active i n the Aberdeen Association, founded i n Winnipeg i n . 18.99 and named a f t e r Lady Aberdeen, which pro- vided, books and magazines to s e t t l e r s ' families i n Western 12 Canada.. As f a r back as 1897,. the Vi c t o r i a n Order of Nurses i n Canada had held his especial interest and he became secretary, and l a t e r Governor, of that organization. 1-^ Always deeply interested i n the welfare of boys and i n boys' work, Robertson was appointed Chief Commissioner o f Boy Scouts f o r Canada, i n 1919. Active as always i n any position 9 R.P., 1, 4 . Robertson gave an excellent survey of his work and review.ed,.the. part..Canada played during the Peace talks i n the Ottawa C i t i z e n , 9 August 1919. .- 1 0 The Proportional Representative Society of Canada. Report of the F i r s t Annual General Meeting, 1917« Report of speeches Albert an, 17:; October 1917 • 1 1 Currier, Biography, p. 17. 1 2 Ibid. See also correspondence R.P., 2, 1. Ibid. See also correspondence R.P., 4 , 18. that he accepted, he devoted much energy and time i n developing an improved central and p r o v i n c i a l organization for that i n s t i - t u t i o n . 1 ^ Robertson was cognizant of his astonishingly wide range, of a c t i v i t i e s . "Chore-boy of Canada i s his self-bestowed t i t l e , " said the Vancouver Daily Province, 29 June 1921. In 1905, however, one scheme with which Robertson was i d e n t i f i e d came to naught. The Governor-General of Canada suggested to Robertson that a R o l l of Honor be created, " i n which might be inscribed the names of youths and maidens (to- gether with a record of deeds performed or of a course, of action followed by them) considered worthy of such recognition." The proposal, containing a number of conditions concerning ages and q u a l i t i e s to be considered, was sent out by Robertson as private and c o n f i d e n t i a l to p r o v i n c i a l superintendents of education for t h e i r suggestions and possible approvel. 1^ Prom P.E.I, came a reply which stated« "I have read the memorandum on the.Governor- General* s ' R o l l of Honor with interest and approval. The only suggestion which I would o f f e r i s that I would l i k e to see a s i m i l a r recognition secured, for successful work performed by deserving teachers. As the teacher i s so i s the school . . . ."1° Other r e p l i e s tended to present the d i f f i c u l t i e s of se- l e c t i o n inherent i n such a scheme. !4 Ibid. See also correspondence R.P., 2, 5« R.P..,. 4, 1 5 . See Harold Begbie, Albert 4th. E a r l Grey 1 a Last Word (London 1 Hodder and Stoughton, 191?), pp. 128-^29. 1 6 Anderson to Robertson 21 September 1923, R.P. , 5 , 1. Council Order-in-Council, dated 2 2 September 1 9 2 3 » appointed him Chairman of a Commission to inquire into "The Industrial Unrest among the Steel Workers at Sydney, Nova Scotia." In a s t r i c t l y c o n f i d e n t i a l l e t t e r , the Prime Minister, Mackenzie King, thanked Robertson for accepting the Chairmanship of the Commission and outlined some of his personal feelings on the matter. Said King, no doubt with the lessons of the Winnipeg s t r i k e i n mind s "I have come to f e e l that the law as i t stands governing the c a l l i n g out of troops i n aid of the c i v i l power at times of i n d u s t r i a l unrest needs to be amended so as to prevent corporations from taking advantage of the powers which can be exercised through any judge to whom appeal may be made, where the c i v i l a uthorities themselves are unwilling to take the i n i t i a t i v e required . . . . My impression i s that there has been a good deal of Bolshevist propaganda at Sydney, and a concerted•Bolshevist movement there. Indeed, the statement issued by Lewis of the United Mine Workers, demanding the returnoof the coal miners to work i s a l l - s u f f i c i e n t evidence of t h i s . . . . I am i n c l i n e d to think that the Company has not appre- ciated i n the past . . . the need of the adoption of a proper labour policy i n connection with i t s r e l a t i o n s with i t s employees . . . . It might be well for you^.to see his Excellency the Governor-General, and ascertain his views on the s i t u a t i o n . . . I s h a l l mentipn to His Excellency that I have asked you to see him . . . . Please regard t h i s l e t t e r as s t r i c t l y personal and c o n f i d e n t i a l . . . I should not care for you to d i s - close i t s contents even to your colleagues on the Commission. I have f e l t that i t might be of service to you as well as to the Government if-.you were to know my personal feelings and attitude i n the matter. What I am hopeful may be accomplished i s that i t w i l l be possible for the Commission to indicate wherein a change of r e l a t i o n s may be effected which w i l l give to the employees greater f a c i l i t i e s for the consider- ation of t h e i r grievance, and just treatment in the matter of wages and hours . . . . From what I saw l a s t year of the telegrams sent to the Department of M i l i t i a and Defence by the Commanding Officer of the D i s t r i c t the e f f o r t then made not only to c a l l out the M i l i t i a , "but to bring into play the naval service and the a i r f o r c e as w e l l , — h a s led me to, see how dangerous i t i s to the whole national s i t u a t i o n that a power of t h i s kind should be given to a few men without due r e s t r a i n t s in.the way of control from a responsible source . . . .. By a l l means t r y to secure a unanimous report," 1? The Commissioners were unanimous i n t h e i r findings and although they f e l t that the c a l l i n g out of the troops was j u s t i f i e d , they considered that the company had brought about the trouble by i t s disregard of i t s employees' just and rea- sonable demands. 1 8 Robertson received recognition of o f f i c e from a number of groups with which he was connected. Among his awards i s a two-volume leather covered Bible of awesome proportions pre- sented to him by the Venus' Sunday schools, i n 1880. 1 9 An intensely r e l i g i o u s man, Robertson was an elder of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, for many years. In 1905. he was created a Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, having e a r l i e r turned down an o f f e r that he be recommended for O A a knighthood. u 1 7 King to Robertson, 21 September 1923, R.P., 5» 1. •I o "Report of the Royal Commission to Inquire;. Into Industrial Unrest of Steel Workers at Sydney, N.S."" Supplement to the Labour Gazette, (Canada, Ministry of Labour, February 1924). 1 9 R.P., Box 11. . . Currier, Biography, pp. 16-17. Robertson f e l t that his work and his i n t e r e s t lay with the r u r a l people of Canada and that they would l i s t e n better to plain.James W. Robertson, than to a man with "a handle to his.name." In 1916, the suggestion of a knighthood was again made, but "again declined, and he was admitted instead as a Knight of Grace of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem i n • England." 2 1 In the f i e l d of agriculture he was.elected a fellow of the Canadian Society of Technical A g r i c u l t u r i s t s i n 1923, while i n 1928, he was given the Order of A g r i c u l t u r a l Merit of the Province of Quebec. For his wartime work i n Europe he was awarded the Commemorative medal of the National Committee 22 of Help, and Food of Belgium i n 1919.. For ten years he was a member in the Builder's Lodge No. 177, i n Ottawa, of. the Masons. In 1930, during the l a s t month of his l i f e , he was presented with a watch chain and Masonic emblem i n appreciation of his continued i n t e r e s t , by the Canadian Seed Grower's A s s o c i a t i o n . 2 ^ To perpetuate the memory of t h e i r founder, the Canadian Seed Grower's Association established a preferred class of membership i n the association the members of which would be known as Robertson Associates. "Before a member can enter t h i s preferred class he must show that he' has made great 2 1 Ibid. 2 2 Ibid". 2 3 Ibid. s a c r i f i c e s i n the.interest of the production of t e t t e r seed. Ten Robertson Associates were selected as a beginning, and 24 not more.than two members w i l l be elected each year." Mrs. Currier says of her father: Pew men have crowded so much study of d e t a i l , such extensive planning, so much physical t r a v e l l i n g and speech making into seventy three years of l i v i n g . His one serious i l l n e s s was the nervous exhaustion which forced him to a long complete rest on the Isle of Wight, i n 1902.^5 This i l l n e s s was brought about i n part by the Boer War, and the s t r a i n i t put upon Robertson, who as a government employee, had to cope with public c r i t i c i s m of unscrupulous dealers i n horses, and fodder which were being supplied to the Imperial forces i n South A f r i c a , and also with the extensive educational developments of the Macdonald Movement. He suffered considerably from g a s t r i c disturbances and spent some time at the Battle Creek Sanatorium i n 1920. His con- d i t i o n was somewhat improved a f t e r that, but on 19 March 1930» he died of a ruptured stomach u l c e r . 2 ? He was buried in 24 Globe., (.Toronto.)..,.. 22..June-.1931. Canadian Seed Grower's Associationx Annual Report 1943-1944, pp. 6, 64. 2 5 Currier, Biography, p. 9. 2 ^ Copy of l e t t e r from Robertson to Lord Strathcona, High Commissioner, .for. Canada,- .London, England-,-..,8,.....May-..1902,. en- ,... closing Memorandum Regarding some Shipments, of Supplies. Made . by the Department of Agriculture of Canada to South A f r i c a on Account of the Imperial War Office, R.P., 3, 8. Copy of l e t t e r from Robertson to the Hon. W.'S. F i e l d i n g , Acting . Minister, of. .Agriculture, 2 A p r i l 1903, Statement re Shipments of Hay, Oats etc. from Canada to South A f r i c a . R.P., 3» 7* 2 ? Currier, Biography, p. 18. Ottawa, his funeral being attended by the Prime Minister. In reporting Robertson's death, on 20 March 193°» the Ottawa C i t i z e n said of-himi He was a b r i l l i a n t l e c t u r e r and held his audiences under his magnetic sway by his close reasoning, clever appeal and u n f a i l i n g power of speech . . . . ° The Ottawa Journal of 21 March 1930, declaredj The term eminent can be applied to the l a t e Dr.. J. W. Robertson. Throughout his working l i f e he earned that d i s t i n c t i o n by his continuously active concern for the welfare of his fellow c i t i z e n s . . . . Dr. Robertson was blessed with a very kindly nature and the widest sympathies and i t i s not surprising that the l a t t e r part-of his l i f e was devoted to big schemes of public welfare . . . . The Journal, i n describing his funeral on 22 March 193°» observed t Widespread g r i e f was occasioned by the death of Dr. Robertson . . . . There was no more popular man i n Canada than Dr. Robertson, who by his ardent work in connection with education, agriculture, the Boy. Scout Movement, the Red Cross Society and the V.O.N, had become an outstanding figure throughout Canada. . "It was a f a r reaching influence on many phases of Cana- dian l i f e that Dr. Robertson exerted" declared the Edmonton Journal on 22 March 1930. In that same newspaper was a t r i b u t e to Robertson from an e a r l i e r associate. Dean E. A. Howes, of the. College of Agriculture, University of Alberta, The Prime. Minister., Mr..'W. L. Mackenzie King, attended his funeral, Mail and Empire, 21 March 1930. 2 9 C i t i z e n (Ottawa), 20 August 1913* who began his work with Robertson in 1 9 0 3 , as one of the group of Canadian teachers selected for s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g . The Dean r e c a l l e d what he had said about Robertson i n 1925. in an address on the occasion of the reunion of the Macdonald College Alumni Association:- Back of a l l great adventures towards making things better for the race,we f i n d sometimes one great mind, never more than a few, to point the way and to b'laze the t r a i l . And i t i s a grand opportunity today to speak a few words, of appreciation of one who i s s t i l l with us, and whose name i s always honored where a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s gather . . . . Howes revealed Robertson's "Gospel of Agriculture": 1) Give the best t r a i n i n g to the children who are to make the men and women of the next generation. 2) Give the best t r a i n i n g to the teacher who t r a i n s these Children, and pay these teachers s a l a r i e s b e f i t t i n g the trustee of the nation's ' i n t e l l e c t u a l and moral l i f e . 3) Give the best t r a i n i n g to the g i r l s who are to be the homemakers of tomorrow. 4) Give the best t r a i n i n g to the farmers and •farmers' sons who are to develop our a g r i - c u l t u r a l resources. These testimonies were but an echo of s i m i l a r apprecia tions he had earned i n earlieryyears. As far.back as 20 August 1913» the Ottawa C i t i z e n reported a speech given by the Prime Minister of Canada at the Golf Club to v i s i t i n g educationalists. The paper declared: when the Prime Minister . . . referred to the good fortune of Canada i n havingiin a p o s i t i o n of high, authority and influence an i d e a l i s t l i k e Dr. James" W. Robertson, the ready response . . . amply t e s t i - f i e d to the recognized r e a l i t y of the statement. Those who have come into touch with him have i n v a r i - ably been urged to higher endeavour and broader view. He i s e s s e n t i a l l y an i d e a l i s t v i s i o n i n g l i f e as i t ought to be, then v i t a l i z i n g others that they might be able .to do something to make the dream come true . . . . He repudiates education as a mere machining of the i n t e l l e c t and makes i t the development of the noblest s e l f . . . . He believes i n man with a c a p i t a l M. He i s e s s e n t i a l l y a man of the modern s p i r i t , whose fin e influence has already done much and w i l l do much to shape to a l o f t i e r destiny the future of the country he serves so wel l . Premier Borden was r i g h t . Canada i s to be congratulated upon having as a leader in.education an i d e a l i s t l i k e Dr. Robertson. A eulogy i n the. Ottawa Journal, 31 December 1924, expresses further the sentiments contained in the preceding- paragraph} I doubt whether any other man has been of more value to modern Canada. The money he has forced into the farmer's pocket by his persistent and persuasive advocacy can only.be reckoned by scores of m i l l i o n s . Better s t i l l his rare and true v i s i o n of education as t r a i n i n g and development for r i g h t and vigorous action, not a mere f i l l i n g of brain c e l l s with information, and his insistence of the supreme value of character in farming and everything else, l i f t him head and shoulders above those who set up the d o l l a r as the chief aim of man. Perhaps the most extravagant panegyric offered Robertson occurred at the D.E.A. 1909 convention, when he addressed the members on •"The Future of Rural Schools." President Robinson in introducing him stated that "he (Robertson) has done more for the advancement of t h i s Dominion than any Premier since Confederation has done."3° Although Robertson was addressed variously as Professor and Doctor, he never received any University education. Among his papersiis correspondence which took place between himself, D.E.A., Proceedings, 1909, p. 100. and the Registrar of Toronto University, while he was at Ontario Agriculture College. In 1888, Robertson wrote to the Senate of the University of Toronto requesting that '-'he be allowed to proceed to the degree of B.A. by an Examination i n such subjects as under the circumstances the University s h a l l see f i t to prescribe and for t h i s purpose he ventures r e s p e c t f u l l y to suggest the following." Robertson then set down, a course of studies and further requested "that he be granted dispensation from " 3 1 attending lectures at University College., After leaving his v i l l a g e school, James pursued further studies at the Cunningham'Institute, Glasgow. The University asked for information about James' academic attainments, to which he r e p l i e d : "I did not try the matriculation exam of the Glasgow University though I was thoroughly prepared to do so when I l e f t the Institute, to be apprenticed to a commercial occupation. At the time of my leaving I stood f i r s t i n the highest class, and had obtained the f i r s t place at the three previous examinations. .": I mention these l a t t e r facts to show that I did f a i r l y good work as far as I went.-"32 A statement of the Course of Studies he had taken at Cunningham Institute included: Latin - Grammar; Caesar, Commentaries; V i r g i l , Aenid. Greek - Grammar; Translation of simple fables, Dialogues of the Gods etc.; French - Grammar; Fables; New Testa- ment; V o l t a i r e , History of Charles XII. Mathematics,, English,. .History.,... Geography, .and,.Drawing, ^ Robertson to Senate of the University of Toronto, 9 July 1888, R.P., 1, 3. 32 Robertson to the Registrar, University of.Toronto, 11 October 1888, R.P., 1, 3. Robertson concluded his p e t i t i o n by asking i f there was any reason "why a l l the examinations should be taken next year" as "I have promised to deliv e r a series of lectures at Cornell University, t h i s winter, and trust that Senate w i l l not l i m i t the time closer than 1890."33 However, his e f f o r t s toward the obtaining of a degree did not bear f r u i t since there was some d i f f i c u l t y over exami-. nation timing which was not reconciled. 3 ^ Nevertheless, his merit was recognized by his being awarded a number of honorary doctorates. He was given. LL.D. degrees by Toronto University i n 1903» "by Queen's University and the University of New Brunswick i n 1904, and by McGill University i n 1909. A D.C.L. was forthcoming from Bishop's College, i n 1909, while International recognition came with a D.Sc. from Iowa State College in the same year.3 5 in 1917, he was elected Rector of Queen's University. In 1963, his p o r t r a i t was hung i n the A g r i c u l t u r a l H a l l of Fame i n Toronto, on the 36 recommendation of the Canadian Seed Grower's Association. One man who was influenced by Robertson was H. B. Maclean, f i r s t v i c e - p r i n c i p a l , then p r i n c i p a l of Hi l l s b o r o ' Consolidated 33 i b i d . 34 Currier, Biography, p. 16. 35 i b i d . , R.P. Box 11. 36 Currier, Biography, p. 16. School, P.E.I., and l a t e r a member of the f a c u l t i e s of V i c t o r i a and Vancouver Normal Schools. Looking back over the years to his f i r s t meeting and subsequent acquaintance with Robertson, Mr. MacLean, now eighty seven years of age, said of him, "He was a lovely man." The originator of the famous Maclean system of writing remembered a v i s i t he. paid to Ste.-Anne-de- Bellevue, around 1907» when Robertson was supervising the con- str u c t i o n of Macdonald College. He spoke kindly to the workmen and encouraged them to do a good job. His enthusiasm, his v i s i o n of what the College should mean was contagious. He was a man ahead of his time, and a fine orator whose Scotch accent was most a t t r a c t i v e . His audiences l i s t e n e d with attention to what he had to say. But Hil l s b o r o ' Consolidated School f a i l e d , some trustees Of the contributing areas were not w i l l i n g to continue the experiment. Mr. MacLean remembered the fine speech Robertson made at the end of the three year experimental period and just p r i o r to the vote in favour of either i t s continuance or d i s s o l u t i o n . His splendid appeal was repudiated and Mr. MacLean f e l t down- cast, but he said, "Dr. Robertson was most encouraging to me and to the rest of the s t a f f of the school."3? Dr. John Ferguson S n e l l , Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Honorary Historian of Macdonald College, contrasted S i r William Macdonald's reticence«with Dr. Robertson's: F love of p u b l i c i t y and his believ* i n i t s value. Doubtless Dr. Robertson's long experience i n the Government service, where informing of the public 3? Mr. H. B. Maclean, personal interview, Vancouver, B.C., 28 November 1969. was a duty had developed t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . . . . It was probably not merely from habit and personal preference, but also from an apprehension of the d i f f i c u l t y of convincing the r u r a l people of the benefits of school consolidation and, afterwards, the need to r e c r u i t students . . . that Robertson chose through newspapers, pe r i o d i c a l s and public addresses to claim so much public notice for the "Macdonald-Robertson Movement," Sne l l remembered during the period of college construction how s Dr, Robertson laboured d i l i g e n t l y i n l i n e s that were unfamiliar to him, while at the same time keeping up a stream of a r t i c l e s and public addresses that the p u b l i c i t y demanded. He would read and write l a t e into the night and be up at f i v e in the morning to make a tour of the property. His energy was boundless but the s t r a i n t o l d on him and, though he was only f i f t y years old i n the year of college opening, he had the appearance of a man of sixty.3° The Toronto Globe and Mail described Robertson as s T a l l and s l i g h t l y stooped, face lean and angular, jaw prominent and firm, eyes of the clearest blue deep-set i n his head, a high forehead, grey hair, and moustache grey and g r i z z l e d , the man betrays his n a t i o n a l i t y by his speech.39 The breach which occurred between Dr. Robertson and S i r William and which led to the former's resignation from Mac- donald College was never healed. Dr. Snell points out that Robertson's v i s i t s to the College with the Royal Commission on Technical Education "though d i s t a s t e f u l to S i r William Macdonald were welcomed by the members of the s t a f f , especially 38 S n e l l , Macdonald College, pp. 60-61. 39 Globe and Mail, Toronto, 1J June 1908 those who had served under him. i t can he determined that Robertson excelled as a speaker, a g i f t apparent i n his early days. His daughter observes: He must have been a great a t t r a c t i o n as an entertainment factor . . . l u c i d i n argument and f u l l of v i v i d description and funny stories . . . . Farmers drove for miles around to attend his meetings. 1 ' A member of the Vancouver Club, expressed his appreciation of one speech Robertson made t "Your address today moved me more than any address or sermon I ever heard or any book I ever read. It convicted me I f r e e l y confess to you, of l i v i n g on a very low plane and i t made me wish here- a f t e r to do a whole l o t better. I doubt not i t had the same eff e c t on others . . . I value so much every word of your address . . . . "Permit me to add that I am f i l l e d with admira- t i o n of your g i f t of expressing yourself. The words . hold the l i s t e n e r and yet the thought never dominates, and what economy of words! , It was indeed a t r e a t . " ^ 2 There must have been an'evangelistic quality both i n Robertson's delivery and presence. "Through his utterances . . . shone a broad-minded and enlightened Canadianism . . . . He s t i r r e d a f e e l i n g of reverence i n his audiences."^ One of the f i r s t directors of the Canadian Seed Grower's Association remembered t ^° S n e l l , Macdonald College, p. 62. in Currier, Biography, p. 6. ^ 2 J. Goodwin Gibson to Robertson, 29 June 1921, R.P., 1 , .4 . 4 3 Sentinel Review (Woodstock), 6 February 1914. I best r e c a l l Dr. Robertson's e f f o r t s to educate the hand, the head and the heart, through the medium of consolidated r u r a l schools. Never s h a l l I forget an oration I heard him de l i v e r at the Kingston Consolidated School in New Brunswick, where, he seemed to be groping f o r the stars.. One way and another, he l e f t a great impression on Canadian agriculture and Canadian thought.44 Another member of that organization recorded: Dr. Robertson was an optimist and had the faculty of imparting optimism to others . . . . 45 A business man said of him: Dr. Robertson was a man blessed with a most kindly nature and the widest sympathies; he was quiet, unassuming and ge n i a l . He made, as the years went by an increasing number of friends i n many walks of l i f e . . . . These a c t i v i t i e s engaged in by Dr. Robertson and the acknowledgement of the value of these a c t i v i t i e s as revealed by the many honours showered upon, him, show that he was a man of high Ideals, of l o f t y and elevated thought, and that he was supremely g i f t e d with a v i s i o n for the future which was far i n advance of his times. It may be said, I think, that the outstanding t a l e n t s , the v i s i o n , the s p i r i t and breadth of view, possessed by Dr. Robertson merit us i n applying to him the rare appellation of genius, f o r i t i s ch a r a c t e r i s t i c of men of genius that they are endowed with q u a l i t i e s which are not usually present i n ordinary mortals . . . . He was p r a c t i c a l to the extent that he r e a l i z e d that man's f i r s t concern i n t h i s world was with his own relenting struggle f o r existence, the attainment of s u f f i c i e n t material reward so that he could survive. ... ..... . .46 44 w. D. Albright, Canadian Seed Grower's Association Annual Report: 1943-44, pp. 11-12. 45 i b i d . , p. 16. 4 6 i b i d . , pp. 19-27, Robertson's speeches tended to be repetitious as may well be expected when so much distance had to be covered i n an era lacking radio' or t e l e v i s i o n . But, wherever he found himself, he was able to a l l y his subject with the l o c a l i t y and thus provide a focus of interest for his audience. In newspaper accounts of his talk s there i s frequent mention of "loud laughter" and "prolonged applause."' He wrote many b u l l e t i n s and a r t i c l e s while Commissioner for Agriculture, each a model of c l a r i t y and appropriate to the a b i l i t i e s of his farmer readers. His speeches, of which he kept copies, are l o g i c a l l y developed, informative, persuas- ive, and include just the r i g h t amount of o r a t o r i c a l embellish- ment for the occasion. The evidence he gave before the Standing Committee f o r Agriculture and Colonization drew the warmest appreciation from members of that body. . In his day wr i t i n g was used much more for communication. Among his papers are copies of many l e t t e r s addressed to his family, friends, colleagues, Cabinet Ministers, Prime Ministers, Governors-General and English n o b i l i t y . Robertson's favourite sports were go l f and f l y - f i s h i n g . ^ 7 There i s no evidence that he took any interest i n art or music. But there i s no doubt that he found an aesthetic s a t i s f a c t i o n in the imposing of man's design on nature. He could exercise his imagination i n creating waving wheat f i e l d s ^ 7 Currier, Biography, p. 18. out of the p r a i r i e ; see beauty i n the production of a f i n e cheese; and hear music i n the sound of a reaper. One expects he could see a grace in the settlers': homesteads with t h e i r gardens and a i r of prosperous s o l i d i t y . His consuming passions were agriculture and r u r a l educa- t i o n . Enough has been stated of his e f f o r t s i n the f i e l d of agricul t u r e , a fact widely recognized. What was recognized equally widely during his l i f e t i m e , but which i s not quite so at present, i s his contribution to Canadian education. This neglect i s obvious i n texts on Canadian Education. In his lengthy volume, The Development of'Education i n Canada, Charles E. P h i l l i p s presents a table depicting the changes which took place i n the elementary school curriculum, from 1825 to 1950. For the period 1900 to 1 9 2 5 , three new subjects are included, nature study, manual t r a i n i n g and household science. 0 A l l these subjects were given impetus by the Macdonald Movement, yet P h i l l i p s says nothing about Robertson, and refers only i n passing, to S i r William and his f i n a n c i a l contribution to school consolidation. ^ 9 Surprisingly enough, P h i l l i p s omits reference to the Royal Commission on Technical Education, an important land- mark i n the history of Canadian education. ho _ Charles E. P h i l l i p s , The Development of Education i n Canada, (Toronto 1 Gage 1 9 5 7 ) . p. 433. ^ 9 Ibid.» p. 271. F. Henry Johnson, i n A B r i e f History of Canadian Education, devotes a section of his book to the broadening curriculum introduced into the public schools at the turn of the century, and to manual t r a i n i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r . Dr. Johnson describes the partnership of Macdonald and Robertson and t h e i r involve- ment i n the Manual Training scheme and i n Domestic Science i n s t r u c t i o n as championed by Mrs. Adelaide Hoodless. Due recognition i s given by the author of the importance of the Royal Commission on Technical Education. From i t s recommendations two important Federal measures followed. The f i r s t was the A g r i c u l t u r a l Instruction Act of.1913, which a l l o t t e d $10,000,000 of Federal Funds to be spent i n encouraging a g r i - c u l t u r a l education i n the provinces as they might see f i t . The second act delayed by. World War I, was the Technical Education Act of 1919, authorizing an equal sum to be spent i n ten years to enable provinces to i n i t i a t e or expand t h e i r e f f o r t s i n technical education.50 A recent book has rather more to say. In Canadian Educa- t i o n t A History, Robert M. Stamp states t Although p r o v i n c i a l authorities gave tentative verbal support to manual t r a i n i n g , t h e i r actual response during the 1890's was very cautious. With- out money and without teachers, the department hesitated to commit themselves to such a costly and controversial departure i n education. It was the generosity of S i r William Macdonald that made both• money and teachers available James Robertson . ... persuaded Macdonald of the value of p r a c t i c a l work i n the elementary school, and saw that the Fund's monies were wisely spent.51 D Johnson, B r i e f History, Chap. 9« 51 Robert M. Stamp, "Education and the Economic and Social M i l i e u : The English-Canadian Scene from the 1870's to 1914," in Canadian Education; A History, ed. by J.. Donald Wilson, Robert M. Stamp, Louis-Philippe Audet Prentice, (Scarborough, Prentice-Hall), pp. 298-299. Writing on the r u r a l school Stamp considers that, "One of the main concerns of Canadian education at the beginning of the twentieth century was the so-called r u r a l school problem," brought about by a declining r u r a l population, un- s a t i s f a c t o r y attendance, a curriculum unsuited to r u r a l needs and taught by p o o r l y - q u a l i f i e d teachers who could not adjust to those needs. "Perhaps the best organized and best financed approach to problems of r u r a l education , . .came from the Macdonald Education Movement . . . . "5 2 Of the campaign for Technical Education Stamp asserts: Educators and i n d u s t r i a l i s t s were delighted when Ottawa appointed a Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education i n 1910, with James Robertson . . . as chairman. The Commission's Report included a. comprehensive survey of technical education abroad, a condemnation of the lack of such opportunities at home and a recom- mendation that the federal government give massive assistance to the Provinces to help expand tech- n i c a l education. The report was greeted with delight by management, labour, and educators i n English- . speaking Canada . . . .53 . In 1958, Dr. J. F. K. English stated, "Probably the most s i g n i f i c a n t development i n Canadian education during the past twenty years has been the establishment of larger l o c a l units of school a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . " ^ Consolidation on a large scale was an area i n which the Macdonald Movement quantitatively 5 2 Ioid., p..297. 5 3 I p i d . , p. 297. 54 J...F. K. English, "The Reorganized System of Local School Administration in B r i t i s h Columbia," Education, 11 (Toronto: W. J. Gage, 1956-58), p. 41. but only temporarily f a i l e d . There were a number of reasons for t h i s , among them being the reluctance of the l o c a l tax- payer to provide f o r the extra costs of student transportation by an increase i n the m i l l rate, and p a r t l y from t h e ' i n a b i l i t y of the r u r a l population to acknowledge education, per se, as of benefit generally. Consolidation, as envisaged and promoted by Macdonald and Robertson, was in h i b i t e d i n part by the poor condition generally of r u r a l Canadian roads, a fact of l i f e which tended to preclude the transportation of pupils over a • distance. '(That r u r a l school consolidation did not e n t i r e l y cease can be ascertained from an a r t i c l e ' i n the Farmer's Advocate of 13 July 1916, which maintained that, "Manitoba Was the only province where a study of consolidation could be made since i t was the most advanced numerically." ) 5 5 With-;;the improvement i n attitude toward education, (albeit precarious), and with the development of motor transportation and better roads, the p r i n c i p l e of c e n t r a l i z a t i o n has since been accepted' by the Canadian public. Nature study and the school garden flourished for some time, but eventually the former was absorbed by the elementary 55 For a comparison between the number of consolidated d i s t r i c t s i n Ontario and Manitoba which presents the l a t t e r province i n a most favourable l i g h t , see McCutcheon, Public Education i n Ontario, pp. 111-113. This d i s p a r i t y between the two provinces may r e f l e c t the progressive attitude of the p r a i r i e province i n regard to i t s educational system and the more conservative attitude of Eastern Canada. school general science programme, while the l a t t e r faded away by the l a t e 1930's. P h i l l i p s ' s table of elementary school subjects for the period 1925-1950 shows manual t r a i n i n g trans- formed into i n d u s t r i a l a r t s , and household science into home 56 economics. J Robertson's educational philosophy owes much to the e a r l i e r educational reformers, although he does not appear to have acknowledged this i n any of his speeches or pamphlets. Alert man that he was, he could not have avoided being i n f l u - enced by his educational contacts during his v i s i t i n g pro- . fessorship i n the 1880*s, and by his attendance at educational meetings of various kinds. Furthermore, he was an avid reader, p a r t i c u l a r l y on r u r a l and a g r i c u l t u r a l education as his c o l l e c t i o n of a r t i c l e s , a number by Liberty Hyde Bailey and other progressive American Writers, shows. Above a l l , the turn of the century saw the development of the progressive movement, that response of concerned people to urbanization with a l l i t s s o c i a l ramifications. Robertson, occupying as he did, a s t r a t e g i c p o s i t i o n i n Government, and as d i r e c t o r of the Macdonald Movement, was not unaffected by the turmoil. It i s clear that Robertson's sympathies, shared by S i r William, lay i n the d i r e c t i o n of a p r a c t i c a l education around which a general education should revolve. -•56 P h i l l i p s , Development, p. 4-33. He believed that agriculture could be made more p r o f i t a b l e by the teaching of s c i e n t i f i c methods, ascribing to i t a s c i e n t i f i c interest which would elevate farmers to the l e v e l of the professions. Thus would farming be made a t t r a c t i v e to young men and women. Robertson was a reformer whose mission, encouraged and supported by S i r William, was to spread the gospel of the value of p r a c t i c a l and constructive work i n the education of Canadian, children. Both men r e a l i z e d that the impact of the object lesson would have a greater e f f e c t upon the farmer and his family than the written word. It must be remembered that both he and Macdonald were p r a c t i c a l men even i f i d e a l i s t s . Both had been denied higher education, the one becoming a cheese maker, the other a merchant and manu- facturer. Perhaps Robertson, despite his honorary doctorates, regretted his lack of education and sought to compensate by advocating the kind of "hon bookish" programme that he did. However, they were in good company. Contemporary pro- gressive educators leaned towards the Pestalozzian, Froebellian, Spencerian, type of sensual, self-exploratory, s c i e n t i f i c and p r a c t i c a l learning. Thus together, the two men boldly acted to pave the way and i n doing so, set an example for others to follow. Robertson was a romanticist. He spoke of "Old Mother Nature," and f e l t that the country man was somehow morally superior to the town dweller.57 This again was an expression 57 j . w. Robertson, Conservation of L i f e i n Rural D i s t r i c t s (New York i Association Press, 19H). of his period, and one can trace certain Rousseauean over- tones i n t h i s attitude. He t r i e d , as did Bailey, Knapp and other American educators, to stem the migration from the country to the town, a development which was already i n f u l l flood by 1900 i n the United States, and which was beginning i n Canada by the f i r s t decade of the twentieth century. Accompanying his attitude on r u r a l education for boys, were his ideas on the r u r a l education of women. One can estimate from his pronouncements, that Robertson was not i n sympathy with an education which f i t t e d women for anything other than t r a d i t i o n a l occupations, f o r a woman's place, above a l l , was i n the home, feeding'her family according to s c i e n t i f i c methods while inculcating at the same time a good moral tone. The growth of industry during the l a t t e r part of the 19th century, brought with i t a demand for a highly s k i l l e d labour force. The country that could.organize the kind of education that could produce t h i s force i n what was then becoming a very n a t i o n a l i s t i c period, was sure of economic growth and economic su p e r i o r i t y . Canada as a young nation, s t i l l a g r i - c u l t u r a l , but by 1910, fast becoming i n d u s t r i a l i z e d , had need of the kind of t r a i n i n g which was well-established in the very powerful United States to the South. Thus, with the example of Europe, and of the United States always before her, Canada followed suit$, the Technical Training Act of 1919, being an expression of recognition that i f Canada was to thriv e or hold her own in company with the giants, then there must "be a reorganization of the curriculum i n Elementary Schools, Secondary Schools and post-Secondary i n s t i t u t i o n s . This reorganization has come about. It may be said that Robertson grew up with Canada. He arrived i n the country only eight years a f t e r Confederation, and l i v e d under no fewer than eleven Prime Ministers, from S i r John A. Macdonald to W. L. MacKenzie King. He appears to have expressed no p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l sentiments, but served l o y a l l y L i b e r a l and Conservative Governments a l i k e , as Com- missioner for Agriculture and Dairying. Robertson was a member of the establishment of his time. He believed i n the ethic of hard work and i n the dignity of labour. As a c i v i l servant he preferred order to chaos. As an educational ad- ministrator he held the optimistic view that Canadian national progress depended on a s c i e n t i f i c education. As a public figure he was a l i v i n g example of what i s now c a l l e d " p a r t i - cipatory democracy." He was intensely p a t r i o t i c towards Canada and Great B r i t a i n . For Canada he wanted stable a g r i - culture counterbalanced by a developing i n d u s t r i a l i s a t i o n . With B r i t a i n and the United States he wanted strong t i e s . James Wilson Robertson i s deserving of a fa r wider recognition than he has received. It has been the purpose of t h i s paper to t r y to r e c t i f y t h i s . BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources The James Wilson Robertson Papers, Special Collections, Library, University of B r i t i s h Columbia. These papers, contained i n eleven feet of boxes, were purchased from Robertson's daughter, Mrs. Ishbel Robertson Currier, through Mr. Neil Sutherland of the Faculty of Education during 1966-67. They represent the extraordinarily wide range of Robertson's a c t i v i t i e s , primarily through his correspondence, addresses, newspaper and magazine a r t i c l e s , reports, pamphlets and photographs. Personal interview with Mr. Harry MacLean, Vancouver, 16 May 1970. Government Publications Ontario, Sessional Papers, Report of the Ontario A g r i c u l t u r a l College, 1886-89. Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1890-1904, 1908-1914, 1919, 1923. Canada. House of Commons, Standing Committee on Agriculture and Colonization. Evidence given by James Wilson Robertson, 1899, 1903, 1906-07. Report of the Royal- Commission on Industrial Training and Technical -Education,, 1913. Report of the Royal. Commission ...to. Inquire Into Industrial Unrest of Steel Workers at Sydney, Nova Scotia, Supplement to the Labour Gazette, (Canada, Ministry of Labour, February 1924). A r t i c l e s Canadian Seed Grower's Association Annual Report, 1943-44. Cappon, James. " S i r William.-Macdonald and A g r i c u l t u r a l Education." Queen's Quarterly, XII (January 1905), 315-322. Cowley, R...H. ."The Macdonald School Gardens of Canada." Queen's Quarterly, XII (April 1905). 391-420. Currier, Ishbel .Robertson. B r i e f Biography of James Wilson Robertson. R.P., 1, 2. English, J.. F. K. "The Reorganized System of Local School Administration i n B r i t i s h Columbia." Education, II (Toronto« W. J. Gage, 1956-58), 41. Hotson, J..W. ."Macdonald Rural Schools." Brandon College Monthly, (July 1904), 9. l i e s , George. "Dr. Robertson's Work for the Training of Canadian Farmers." The American Review of Reviews, . November 190?, 576-5W. ' Gibson, J. W. "The Educational Value of . Agricultural. Instr.ua- t.ion-..in-Elementary and Secondary Schools." The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 8, 1926, 14-18. Leake, Albert H. "Manual Training." Canadian Magazine, A p r i l 1901, 537-39. Leake, Albert H. "Manual Training i n the School." The School. March 1914, 435-438. Robertson, J. W. "Manual Training." Canadian Magazine, A p r i l 1901, 521-37. Robertson, J. W. "Professor Cappon's A r t i c l e in Queen's Quarterly." Queen's Quarterly, XII (April 1905), 420-424. Robertson, J. W. "The Macdonald College Movement." Reprinted from the National-Education Association of the United States, Proceedings. 1909, 92-100. Robertson,. J... .W... "Message to our Returning Soldiers." The Beaver, 14 December 1918,7. Ruddick, J. A. "The Origins and Development of the.. .Dominion Dairy, and Cold Storage Branch." S c i e n t i f i c Agri- culture , VII (December 1926). Sherwood, Herbert Frances. "Children of the Land." The Outlook, 2 3 rApril 1910, 891 - 9 0 1 . Sutherland, J. C. "A National Purpose i n Education." Canadian Magazine, May 1913, 5 7 - 6 1 . Books Begbie, Harold. Albert, Fourth E a r l Grey; A Last Word. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1917. Canadian Annual Review, 1905, 1909, 1910, 1913. Canadian Seed Grower's Association History, 1900-1925, Ottawa: 1925. Cremin., Lawrence A. The Transformation of the School. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1961. Currier, Ishbel. Robertson.- B r i e f Biography of James Wilson Robertson. Robertson Papers. Dominion Education Association. Proceedings, 1892, 1901, . 1907, 1913, 1917.. Firestone, 0. J. Industry and Education. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1969. Gibson, Bette C. Teacher-Builder. V i c t o r i a : 1961. G u i l l e t , Edwin C. In the Cause of Education. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, I960. Innis, Mary Q. An Economic History of Canada. Toronto: Ryerson, 1935• Johnson, F. Henry. A B r i e f History of Canadian Education. Toronto-: McGraw-Hill, 1968. McCutcheon, J. M. Public Education in Ontario. Toronto: 1941. P h i l l i p s , Charles E.. The Development of Education i n Canada. Toronto: W. J. Gage, 1957. Robertson, James Wilson. Conservation of L i f e i n Rural D i s t r i c t s . New York: Associated Press, 1911. S n e l l , J. F. Macdonald College. Montreal: McGill University Press, 1963. Wilson, J. D., Stamp, R. M..,. Audet, Louis-Philippe. Canadian Education: A History. Scarborough: Prentice- H a l l , 1970.

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