By Robert A. Wright
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Extra info for A World Mission: Canadian Protestantism and the Quest for a New International Order, 1918-1939
Canadian churchmen felt this pressure, too. League advocates in the churches were themselves aware that apathy and doubt about the efficacy of the organization was widespread in Canada and especially within the Protestant community. Local congregations and readers of the Protestant papers were admonished repeatedly for their lack of enthusiasm; national councils and regional conventions regularly spoke to the issue of Canadians' indifference to the league. Only one month after the armistice an editorial in the Canadian Churchman, noting that many people in Canada had already begun to give up hope of creating a league of nations, countered with the cry, "But in the name of God let us try to get such a thing.
The conference, held from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922, produced among other things a "Five-Power" naval disarmament treaty considered by some historians to have been a diplomatic milestone. 30 A World Mission Partly because of the duration of the Washington conference and its circuitous progress, however, the passion with which Canadian Protestant officials greeted it soon gave way to sober reflection. At the root of their disillusionment seems to have been the numbing realization that agreements between politicians offered no magical guarantee of peace.
51 Elsewhere Canadians were urged to think of Goethe, Kant, and Beethoven when they thought of Germany! 52 The essential pragmatism and humanity of Canada's Protestant leaders prevailed against their wartime patriotism and they urged Canadians to reflect on the travails of postwar Germany in a spirit of Christian charity and understanding. G. Smith's admitted incapacity to "express an unbiased judgment" about Canada's German community,53 but it is apparent that by the mid-i92os the general attitude of church officials in Canada toward their vanquished enemies was one of forgiveness.