MAILBAG

MAILBAG

Should Wives Stay Home and Work?

July 1 1951
MAILBAG

MAILBAG

Should Wives Stay Home and Work?

July 1 1951

MAILBAG

Should Wives Stay Home and Work?

No one can seriously doubt that a mother’s place is in the home when she has small children and yet your article (Why Wives Go Out To Work, May 15) states that many of them are out working all day, every day. I have to manage a large house and three small children on a rural minister’s salary and know that present prices make wages of many quite inadequate.

Suppose, instead of the wife working and paying board for her children away from home, the husband were to work an additional ten hours at his superior male rate of pay . . . would this amount not be almost equal to that which can be termed pure gain from the wife’s wages?

Is this not a chance for employers to offer an opportunity to male employees to increase their take-home pay by voluntarily working regular overtime? From the disputes which arise over union demands for shorter working hours it would appear that employers ought to be willing and anxious to offer such opportunities; and surely as a nation we would be better off with the men working longer hours but coming home to a wife who wasn’t exhausted and who had her home and children in order, who had the time to stretch her dollars as carefully as possible.Mrs. G. E. Ball, Niagara, Ont.

• There was one angle writer Sidney Katz ignored — I suppose it actually did not come within the scope of his subject. Granting that married women have to take a job to make ends meet and that newly married girls have to keep on working to get a home,etcetera, what about each year’s crop of girls graduating from school and also needing jobs? Once upon a time when a girl got married it created a vacancy —nowadays it does nothing of the sort.

I would very much like to see an article dealing with this matter, if possible.Marion E. Nicholson, Sardis, B.C.

• I am 63, born in Scotland of working-

class parents. They were married in 1877 and I was born in 1888, eleven years and one month after, and was the eighth child. Three girls an 1 a boy were born after. •»

How soon after marriage my mother worked out I don’t know, hut it wes several years before I was born. At first mother worked in the mill . . . but by my time she was doing washing and scrubbing. This enabled her to get the children ready for school, and breakfast for those who started work at six then came home to eat at 8.30.

By the help of a good friend we came to Canada in 1903. Some of us worked in a cotton mill in Hamilton, starting at 6.30 in the morning. Mother had to get up and make breakfast and make lunches by 6 a.m. She also took in hoarders.

There was one problem that didn’t have to be solved. There were no cars, no movies, no radio. We had to make our own pleasures, which, as far as I can think back, was no harder on us than the present mad rush. In the long winter evenings we were not allowed to run the streets. Father couldn’t read but Mother could, so she read, and wre read. Then she would sing to us, and we all joined in. Then there were rugs to make. Time never seemed to be a problem.

Modern life has some compensations, at least some things are interesting, but as far as living is concerned we could stand some of the old ways.John A. Henderson, Melissa, Ont.

Where on Earth is Fundy?

Referring to your article, The Pill That Rules The Waves (April 15), I note that Dr. Claude Fortin frequently traveled back and forth between St.John’s and Halifax and was affected by the turbulent waters of the Bay of Fundy. If you will look at a map of eastern Canada, you will naturally wonder what the good doctor was doing in the Bay of Fundy while on his way fron Halifax to St. John’s or vice versa.

Your magazine is widely read in the maritime provinces and I can well imagine that you will receive many letters similar to this one.— H. G. Ellis, Rothesay, N.B.

We got off lightly. Only twelve letters so far.

Manitoba, State of Moncton

Your discussion of CBC broadcasts (Backstage at Ottawa, May 1) . . . has made me wonder if the CBC could not profitably conduct an education programme aimed at the U. S. in addition to Latin America. Some such campaign is certainly overdue. For example, when asked by Americans where I am from, I reply “Ottawa, Canada,” which usually results in a most perplexed expression. Perhaps one in five recognizes it as the capital city, but not that many would know if asked to name the capital themselves. Even telephone and telegraph employees have asked me if Ottawa is in British Columbia or Alberta, which, incidentally, they are more likely to call states or districts than provinces. - Ian Halliday, Berkeley, Calif.

The Case for Conscription

May I congratulate you on the clear manner in which you stated the case for and against conscription (March 15). I would like, however, to call attention to one reference in your article. You have stated that “no group in Canada, not even the Legion, has suggested full-scale conscription over a period of years.”

The Canadian Corps Association, representing a large number of veterans in Canada, has consistently advocated conscription in Canada on a form which I think conforms to the requirements of the above quotation. The policy of conscription has been approved by resolutions of the Quebec and Ontario provincial commands and by the dominion annual meeting.— J. A. McCamus, Dominion President, Canadian Corps Association, Toronto.

• If conscription is ever put into effect it should be applied to everything. Nobody has mentioned the conscription of wealth as well as manpower. It seems to me grossly unfair for men to be losing their lives in war while big business is making huge profits through the manufacture of war materials. — Percy A. Baker, Red Deer Hill, Alta.

The Search for Peace

Please accept my congratulations on Fred Bodsworth’s article, The Fight to Keep the Wilderness Wild (May 15). The search for quiet and privacy is becoming harder all the time, thanks to the ever-growing tourist trade and ease in transportation. I hope that articles like his will bear fruit and that more such parks will be made available and permanent before it is too late. - W. E. A., Toronto.

• I have read and enjoyed the article on Quetico and hope you receive many more letters similar to this, which, being placed in proper hands, will help to obtain the permanent reservation you mention hoping for, and the exclusion of highways and dance halls throughout this unique wilderness.— “Luck” Tikton, Manitowaning, Ont.

• By all means fair and foul let us at least keep one small patch of our wonderful country clean from honky tonks, jazz bands and juke boxes . . . What better recreation could our young people be taking than this wilderness training? This is the kind of stuff that stays with a man all his life.— Geo. Robertshaw, Kilworthy, Ont.

From the Wheat Belt

Re your May 1 editorial, Who’ll Join Our Anti-Lobby Lobby?— You use the sixty-five million dollars the Canadian farmers may get as an example cf lopsided democracy. I have taken this paper for thirty years, but if you continue to employ an ignoramous, block - headed, thick - skulled, rattlebrained editor I shall be forced to organize a citizen’s league to promote a paper which will run Maclean’s out of business.—C. R. Dick, Ponoka, Alta.

• I am not in favor of lobbies, farm or otherwise. I particularly fear farm lobbies, because I know just how ugly they can be. But some of the responsibility for this lobby must rest with the Press of this country.

I conceive it to be the duty of respectable journals to expose and brand injustice wherever it be found. That there is injustice in some farm lobbies I am too well aware . . . But the public has been educated to think of the farmer as the doormat of the economic tower of thought and the farmers will no longer tolerate this. Part of the responsibility must lie with our Press which has neglected, or even worse, ignored, its duty to place all the facts before the public.—George S. Colvin, Regina Beach, Sask.

• No sir! You don’t want to underestimate the country cousin. He may look and act dumb, but he’s a whole lot smarter than you think. In short, Mr. Editor, the Western farmers have just begun to fight!—M. Beryl Keefe, Griffin, Sask.

• Listen, chum, you are full of prunes. —A. F. Pollex, Kehvood, Man.

Nice and Comforting?

Re Backstage at Ottawa (April 1) •—I quote: “Gallup Poll officials, on

the strength of their surveys in recent months, say Canadians are much more aware of danger than they may appear.” Isn’t that nice and comforting!

Where did George Gallup and his sheet writers get such an optimistic outlook? Remember the Truman election forecasts? I have traveled more miles in Canada in the last three months than all the pollsters of Mr. Gallup and I disagree one hundred per cent with their findings in this country.—James E. Branch, Moose Jaw, Sask.

Amazing, Wonderful Piffle

I’m a newcomer to your amazing magazine. And I must tell you how much I enjoyed your March 15 issue. Especially the article, Regina’s Always Starting Something . . Thank you for your wonderful story.—Mrs. G. Woods, Jr., Niagara Falls, Ont.

• Your last issue was definitely the poorest in over a decade. If it entered in a competition for piffle it would definitely receive first-class honors. —C. E. Petch, Hemmingford, Que.

• We like the fine articles in Maclean’s but have not been pleased with the slangand profanity which have appeared in so many recent fiction offerings. —Mrs. A. F. Nixon, Kindersley, Sask.

Re Reds at Trail

Congratulations. I have followed the battle between the two unions and wish to state your article (April 1) is to the point. It is hoped that something will be done to prevent a Communistdominated union from injuring our Canadian security in the event of war. — Rev. Father Ulric Ell, O.F.M., Trail, B.C.

• So Maclean’s too has lost its Canadian common sense and has fallen for American hysteria! Just what do you want your readers to do about this? Ha ^e the RCMP and FBI kicked out ar'i let Master Sleuth Berton take over instead? — G. Bartlemy, Castlegar. B.C.

• Maclean’s could give its readers a real story by describing what it took to organize Trail in the first place, who paid the shot and where, then, were the men who are now so anxious to take over what someone else built.—Walter Wiggins, Regina.

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