At the Canada Club Dinner to Stanley Baldwin


Stanley Baldwin and the Prince of Wales had toured Canada in August of 1927 on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of Canadian federation. A dinner hosted by the Canada Club at the Savoy Hotel was held to commemorate this tour; the Prince of Wales spoke first, then Baldwin, then Kipling.

‘Van Home’ is Sir William Van Horne (1843-1915), the American-born builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway. As Kipling wrote in Something of Myself, in 1892 when Kipling and his wife were on their wedding trip, Van Horne, then a “mere Divisional Superintendent,” had “lost a trunk of my wife’s and had stood his Division on its head to find it” (p. 198). The Kiplings had stayed with Van Horne in Montreal on their Canadian tour in 1907.


Mr Rudyard Kipling, responding to repeated calls, also spoke. He said that he hated to add contentious matter so late in the evening, but he also was one of those who a very, very long time ago stepped over into Canada, and the very first time he went there he was afraid he a little overstepped it. By an extraordinary concatenation of circumstances he had failed to connect with his remittance. (Laughter.)

His second experience was a little more happy, hut in those days he had a trunk, and he arrived from Japan at Vancouver, where the steamer had still to be held to the trunks of pine trees. He lost his trunk, and he contrived to give the marine superintendent, named Van Horne, the impression that the trunk was the only one in Canada that mattered. (Laughter.) The superintendent, to do him justice, worked very hard, but finally he said that he did not believe in the story of the trunk, to which he (Mr. Kipling) retorted: “I do not believe in your railway.” (Laughter.)

Van Home thereafter explained to him his vision of what Canada was going to be. That man was as big and as full of vision and energy as Cecil Rhodes. Those were the two biggest men he had ever met in his life. When talking of Canada today let them remember the pioneers of faith and vision. (Cheers.)
—The Times, 22 November 1927.