Maclean's Editorials

A Brief for the Dominion

February 1 1938
Maclean's Editorials

A Brief for the Dominion

February 1 1938

A Brief for the Dominion

Maclean's Editorials

WE HOPE that Premier Duplessis of Quebec and Premier Hepburn of Ontario are

served by a good press clipping bureau.

If so, they know by this time what the Canadian viewpoint is concerning the former’s proclamation of sectionalism and the latter’s petulant outburst against the Prime Minister of the Dominion.

Also they will have read two items which ought to figure in their meditations.

First is the announcement by W. F. Marshall, Red Cross Commissioner for Saskatchewan, that despite difficulties faced by the people of that province during 1937, they contributed $800 for Ontario flood sufferers.

Second is the report of an address by John W. Dafoe, editor of the Winnipeg Free Press and member of the Rowell Commission on DominionProvincial Relations, who told the Vancouver Canadian Club that there has been going on in Canada “a national integration the extent and strength of which is not known even to those who have worked for it and desired it,” a movement which would not be revealed in its full power unless the need arose for its manifestation.

“If that need arises,” Mr. Dafoe said, “it will be found that the country called Canada is a real country, and that the name, ‘Canadian,’ borne by its people is not a term merely of convenience.” •

In both East and West the vast majority of the Canadian people believe, as Dr. H. L. Stewart, the Maritime commentator, puts it, that “the essence of Confederation is partnership in a Joint enterprise.”

No one section of Canada could exist as a separate entity. No two sections could jointly carry on without the others. “Ganging up” can have but one result—the downfall of the gang.

Perhaps the Rowell Commission will yet record its thanks to Duplessis and Hepburn for the part they have played in arousing, by their attempts to stifle it, the real, unifying spirit of this Dominion.

Perhaps, before the Commission concludes its labors, it may find among the briefs for this, that or the other section, a Brief on Behalf of the Citizens of the Dominion of Canada.

Cure for Drunken Driving

DURING the Christmas week-end in Toronto and district there were 140 known automo-

bile accidents.

Three persons were killed. Sixty-one were injured, fifteen seriously.

In spite of police warnings and a full force kept on duty to check reckless and drunken driving, the record was worse than that of the Black Christmas of 1936.

In Toronto during 1937 there were more than 6,700 traffic accidents.

Sixty-eight persons were killed and 3,571 injured. One more death, 300 more maimings than there were the previous year.

There was an increase in the number of motorists found guilty of drunken driving.

Ontario automobile owners face the prospect of an increase in accident insurance premiums as a result of the lengthening casualty lists. Thus the safe driver may be penalized for the sins of the reckless and the drunken driver.

But what of the latter? Sentences continue to be comparatively light. Licenses are suspended for trivial periods.

Toronto courts might consider the example of Judge Michael Angelo Musmanno, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh used to have a bad record in the matter of drunken drivers. The courts were lax. In seven years prior to 1935, eighty drunken drivers went to jail. In 1935, only fourteen. Yet each month there were about ninety-four charges of driving while intoxicated.

Then arose Judge Musmanno. Said he, “I don’t care what his financial, political or social connections may be, nothing under the skies will save.the drunken driver from jail.”

In five months, 413 drivers were proved or pleaded guilty, and every one of the 413, without exception, went to jail.

Politicians with now powerless “pull” raged. Law violators of high social and financial standing underwent the indignity of finger-printing and photographing before going to the cells.

Hard for spoiled men and women to take, Musmanno’s medicine produced results. The number of drunken drivers in Pittsburgh dropped from ninety-four a month to seventeen. Fatal accidents dropped fourteen per cent.

There is need of a few more judges of the Musmanho type.

"Ah, But Look at the U. S."

WE ASKED a Toronto manufacturer how things were with his business.

He sighed, shook his head, and replied, “Not so good. Not so good.”

We said we were surprised to hear that because several times we had passed his plant at night and the place was ablaze with light; it looked as if the factory was running overtime.

“Yes,” he said. “We’ve been working three shifts to keep up with our orders.”

We asked him why on earth he kept on moaning about things not being so good.

“Well,” he said, “just look at things in the States. They’re so unsettled.”

We suggested that if a stock ticker in New York was to make a mistake and erroneously report a severe drop, he might jump out of the window without any real reason.

It is true that Canada cannot altogether escape business trends in the United States. It is true that United States business has reason to be jittery. But it is equally true that, so far, the causes of business nervousness in the United States do not exist in Canada.

Too many Canadians pay too much attention to the other fellow’s business and not enough attention to their own opportunities.