Northern Approaches Canada and the Search for Peace

By James Eayrs | Go to book overview

4 COMMONWEALTH ANXIETIES

1. THE QUEEN OF CANADA AND HER CRITICS

An article in the Canadian Forum, November 1957.

A multiple Crown is not a multiple personality. The Queen of Canada cannot remain untouched by comment upon the performance of the functions of the Queen of the United Kingdom. For this reason, recent criticism of their Sovereign by three Englishmen is worth closer attention than misleading newspaper accounts enable her Canadian subjects to give to it.

The first to bring the Monarchy under fire was Malcolm Muggeridge , the "Townsend affair" providing the slight stimulus required, and also prompting the title of his piece in The New Statesman and Nation of October 22, 1955. "Royal Soap Opera" is vintage Muggeridge, belonging to that imperishable period of his editorship of Punch when names fell from the subscription list like leaves in an autumn gale -- the period of the cruel sketch of Sir Winston in senility, of the Bugs Bunny portrait of Sir Anthonyà la Graham Sutherland. His treatment of royalty, like Punch's treatment of statesmen, is marked by lack of proportion and perspective: these commoner virtues are gladly, cheerfully sacrificed for the biting gibe and the flashing phrase. The little Princess Anne is chided for her early acquisition of "that curious characteristic gesture of limply holding up her hand to acknowledge applause"; the Queen's Governess is "the unspeakable Crawfie"; and of the hapless suitor and his idolators he remarks: "I dare say what really drove the Gadarene swine mad was the thought that Group Captain Townsend was at the bottom of the cliff."

But beneath the veneer of flippancy there is a serious purpose.

-70-

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Northern Approaches Canada and the Search for Peace
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Northern Approaches 1
  • 2 - Defending the Realm 17
  • 3 - The Over-Loaded Alliance 57
  • 4 - Commonwealth Anxieties 70
  • 5 - The Disunited Nations 101
  • 6 - In the Laboratory Of Co-Existence 117
  • 7 - The Nostrum of Neutralism 168
  • References 177
  • Index 183
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