Kipling's Winnipeg Speech

By David Alan Richards

At the Imperial Conference of Prime Ministers held in London in May 1907, the main topic was the establishment of a permanent secretariat to deal with common issues during the four-year gap between formal gatherings.

Kipling was encouraged to visit Canada to boost the imperialist cause in centralizing control over the colonies (now called dominions), because Canada's Prime Minister had opposed the notion, fearing that such a structure would serve to institutionalize British control.
To ease Rudyard and Carrie's continental travels, Sir William Horne, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, laid on a special private car, decorated in green velvet and mahogany, which could be hitched to the back of any train, and in such style the couple made their way across the prairies to Vancouver and back, stopping in the three-week odyssey at major towns - Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Calvary, and Vancouver - where the author gave keynote speeches to the local Canadian Clubs, as well as addresses at some Canadian universities.