COMMENT

EDITORIAL

January 27 1962
COMMENT

EDITORIAL

January 27 1962

MAILBAG

The Arthur Hailey novel: great fiction or trash? / An export market right at home

Arthur Hailey’s novel (In High Places, Jan. 6) so far, is excellent, though I sincerely hope future history will prove it to be sheer fiction.—I. C. COWAN,

WYOMING, ONT.

This novel promises to be the best work of fiction to appear in Maclean’s in recent years. Certainly the best since the late Cyril Kornbluth’s Not This August in 1955.-RICHARD G. BANNISTER,

MONTREAL.

** The next time you publish a piece like Arthur Hailey's novel In High Places you would do better to put it out in the form of a supplement instead of devoting most of one issue of Maclean's to such trash. Only the fact that the names of Canada and the States are used — or misused — prevents it being immediately apparent the story is an old-fashioned melodrama in the style of fifty years AGO.-HARRY ODONNELL, KESLO, B.C.

* While 1 am in full accord with newspapers printing the truth concerning the behavior of our leaders whether it is good or bad. I still believe this novel is typical of the trend in this age to respect neither God nor those who have been set in authority over us. It is the same spirit of disrespect that is wrecking homes across the COUNTRY.-MANSELL

JONES, MOOSE JAW, SASK.

*■" My sincerest congratulations for publishing a great NOVEL.-WM. J. DEL GRANDE, BANFF, ALTA.

A new market for exports

The report on new toys and why children will like them (Dec. 16) nearly sent me up a wall. 1 asked a Vancouver toy wholesaler where the Canadian toys were in his display and I was told that less than five percent of his buying was Canadian. No doubt he was exaggerating yet I think you get the picture. Merchants in western Canada are simply not seeing good Canadian toys in any quantity or when we do the selection is very limited. For variety and price we have to go to foreign manufacture. As long as the Canadian toy industry is interested in exporting toys why don’t

they try exporting some to Western Canada? We would love to have them.

-C. KNUTSON. KINNAIRD, B.C.

The Russians have their problems too

I enjoyed reading the report of the journey of A. J. Newlands and his wife to the USSR (What it’s like to drive a Buick to Moscow, Dec. 16) as I had

the pleasure of spending a few days in Moscow and Leningrad last October. One item that should rate mention— and we hardly ever read about—is the black market. We were approached at least 30 times in a short period of about two weeks and offered icons or money in exchange for our clothes. Rubles were offered at double and even three times the current tourist exchange.— ANDRE M. ALLARD. MONTREAL.

The safe antiques

The ten dangerous conditions which Ray Stapley attributes to older cars (A mechanic tells why we should scrap 10year-old cars, Dec. 16) can apply to all improperly maintained cars regardless of age. What is more, it is generally conceded that the quality of the material used in the older models is much superior to what is used in cars of more recent vintage, particularly in the body metal and front end assembly. I personally drive a very old car which I am informed by qualified service people is in better condition than most three-yearold VEHICLES.-FRED V. DALY, OTTAWA.

^ If I were easily scared I guess I would have turned in my ’51 model on a new car. But I am not easily scared and expect to get another four years out

of my ’51. There is no reason why a modern well-designed mechanism like most of the automobiles of today should not be serviceable for 14 or 15 years. The reason most cars are turned in after three or four years is to keep up with the style and of course car dealers encourage this PRACTICE.-NORM MANN,

DON MILLS. ONT.

^ Could Mr. Stapley be persuaded to clarify some of his rather sweeping generalizations? His whole article keeps hammering on the “seven-year-old” and the “ten-year-old” car. Ignorant as I am of the technique of assessing age, I am sure that mere age must be correlated with mileage. Different cases in my limited experience, where friends have successfully bought quite old cars that had been idle for years as a result of litigation in estates, indicate that mileage driven would be as big or a bigger factor than actual calendar age. Second, I feel that the kind of roads driven on as well as the driving habits of the former owner would be an important factor in judging a car’s condition. - WM. J. HART. LONDON, ONT.

The type of roads over which a car is driven and the way in which it is kept by an owner will, of course, affect the condition of the car. / have seen some old cars, particularly ones owned by farmers in the country, that were well kept and in excellent condition. But these are rare exceptions and I still believe that 95% of the old cars on the road today are in poor condition and khottld be either completely inspected and repaired or banned from the road. -RAY STAPLEY.

Who is so sure Lutherans are Puritans?

After reading your editorial of January 6 (Who is so sure a roistering Christmas is unchristian?) I can only conclude that you are not a Lutheran, and that your acquaintanceship among Lutherans is exceedingly limited. Otherwise, you would not have sought to lecture the Lutherans, on being too puritanical in their observance of Christmas. Indeed, had it been your good fortune to set foot in practically any orthodox Lutheran home on Christmas day, I defy you

to find anything even remotely resembling the spirit of the old Puritans. There is as much similarity between Lutheran theology and Puritan theology, as there is between day and night.— PAUL W. H. F.YDT. KITCHENER. ONT.

Is Winnipeg still bush league?

v* After reading Ralph Hedlin’s article (A ten-day trencherman’s tour of Winnipeg, Dec. 16), I cannot resist asking why these fabulous eating places have passed up the one food that puts Manitoba and Winnipeg on any gourmet’s map: Goldeyes. - ALEX S. CORIGILL.

NEW YORK.

^ Hooraw' for Winnipeg, and isn’t it wonderftd that a metropolitan city of 450,000 can support half a dozen good restaurants? Isn’t it wonderful too that the natives can order pheasant and are not embarrassed at eating crepes suzette? I left Winnipeg 15 years ago and it was bush league then. Your article shows that it is now more bush than ever.—

M. RUTHERFORD, VANCOUVER.

* Shame on Ralph Hedlin for suggesting that a hamburger was the best dining-out fare in Winnipeg before its liquor laws were changed. I wined and dined in style in that good city long before the liquor control commission said

I could. So did most newsmen and countless other good citizens as well. Dining out in Winnipeg now has a façade of respectability. But it isn’t half the fun. The new restaurants charge too much for food and liquor and there’s something decidedly phony about their names and MANNERS.-ROBERT METCALFE, VANCOUVER.

MORE MAILBAG ON PAGE 4

continued from page 2

IVI Al L B A G

Why high moments of faith are bad for children Why we (probably) won’t arm for the right war

The pictorial essay entitled High Moments of Faith (Dec. 2) is a good example of the way that the minds of the young are warped away from reality to fantasy and of the way that metaphysical nonsense perverts the mind from reason to UNREASON.-MUD G. COOK, COURU NAY. 11.c.

* In this article you make no mention of the fact that the Lutheran C hurch observes the Rite of Confirmation for children. This has been a practice in the Lutheran Church for over 430 years.

-—KAKI J. SCHWEDER, CHAIRMAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE, THE LUTHERAN CHURCH, CANADA, WII LOWDALE, ONT.

^ 'The modern Bar Mitzvah has become little but a status symbol. What was meant to be a simple but deeply religious ceremony is now helping to encourage ostentation on the part of the parents and avarice on the part of the children, both considered contrary to the Jewish religion. The Bar Mitzvah is not supposed to be an end product, but merely the beginning of a life dedicated to prayers, learning, charity and loving kindness. Unfortunately, the North American Bar Mitzvah is as spiritual as a chocolate éclair. - MRS. HANNA TENNENHAUS, MONTREAL.

The problem of changing arms

Theoretically, Peter C. Newman’s suggested solution (We’re arming for the wrong war, Dec. 16) to the universal impasse is workable. Now, what does he, as an individual, plan to do about it? What could the sizable group of his fellow citizens who share his views achieve by actively supporting his idea? Or does he, as so many brilliant thinkers, feel that he has contributed his share to the peace effort with this enlightened article, and that the next step belongs to a vague entity known as the Canadian GOVERNMENT?-T. ST-I.AURENT,

STE. AGATHE DES MONTS, QUEBEC.

*" I wish to express my appreciation for the clear informative articles by Peter C. Newman and the Special Report on Ottawa and Washington by Bruce Hutchinson in the December 16 issue.

—J. WOOLRICH, VICTORIA.

A rebuttal to Frank Beebe’s rebuttal

Frank Beebe’s rebuttal to his critics (Mailbag. Dec. 16) simply is not valid. The majority of those who raise their voices against falconry, abhor equally any sport which involves killing animals or birds for fun. The fact that falconry may be one of the less cruel or dangerous sports is no reason to condone it.—

MRS. GAY RILLS, HANNON, ONT.

Text for a sermon

Your editorial, A Seasonable Wish for More Evidence of Christian Sanity (Dec. 16) should be read in all churches. How can they sing peace on earth and yet never say a word about the way we are drifting into a nuclear WAR?-E. L. GRES-

LEY, VICTORIA.

Of dogs and men

A resounding “Hurrah” for McKenzie Porter (No thinking man would keep a pet, Nov. 18). After spending two months vacuuming and scrubbing three

floors of an apartment house every day to get rid of fleas that had been left behind when the “host” animals had moved out of the house, I can vouch for the truthfulness of the article. My little girl and the lady in the main floor apartment will also vouch for this, too, as they are still sporting scars of the bites of these little DEMONS.-MRS. REAT

KALINCAK, TERRACE BAY. ONT.

^ McKenzie Porter should be shot to the moon and leave the poor animals ALONE.-MRS. HUNTLEY, BRANDON, MAN.

^ If you do not like God’s creatures, do not have them in your house—for their sakes.—j. GAYFORTH, SMITHS FAI LS, ONT.

* McKenzie Porter is a darling, and I want him for my PET!-FRANCÉS HARVEY, TORONTO.

^ It is too bad the health departments of large cities would not take this matter of dog-infested neighborhoods under discussion. Every day property damage is caused by these useless animals . . .

-MRS. JAMES CAMERON, WILLOWDALE,

ONT.

^ I was shocked and horrified that you would publish such an article. The lack of imagination shown in the fact that you did not realize that many of your more unsophisticated readers would take this article seriously is quite terrifying.-DOROTHY JACKSON, ILE BIZARD,

QUEBEC.

Abstract art explained

The article and illustrations on The Uncanny Art of 27 Drugged Painters (Dec. 16) strengthen a belief that I have held

for some time now that a lot of modern abstract painting is the result of a mental derangement and that the artists are really SICK.-A. N. HOLMES, SYDNEY MINES, N.S.

Why we should keep out West Indians

I have read with great alarm George Lamming’s article, The West Indians, Our Loneliest Exiles (Nov. 4). I fear that a superficial “Love thy neighbor attitude” may be beginning to pervade the Canadian immigration laws, and permit them to be relaxed. I, a Negro Jamaican, spent four years in your country, and I must say that these four years were almost without incident. Of course, if one goes about looking for slights, one certainly will find them, and I can say that I have felt that I was a curiosity at times. But very assuredly. I found the people of Canada friendly.

I must seriously entreat you not to allow the realities to become submerged with sentimentality. If the number of colored people in Canada continues to increase, I can guarantee that prejudice will appear. Great Britain’s Notting Hill is adequate proof of this. Until you have colored people, you cannot have a color problem. For all George Lamming’s words, he has not told you the truth. The unvarnished truth is this: those wanting to emigrate in the most part are unskilled laborers, who are largely illiterate, and socially somewhat unfamiliar with the accepted ways of your SOCIETY.-J. MIRET, KINGSTON,

JAMAICA, W.I.

Reading, writing and a stimulating curriculum

Your readers may like to know that Toronto also has a school started this fall by parents (What happens when parents start schools of their own, Nov. 18) who are not happy about the educational facilities open to their children. In this case the school—the January school—is designed for children between 4Vi and 7V2 and follows the stimulating curriculum suggested by the Parents National Educational Union (PNEU), which has been helping parents in similar situations throughout the English-speaking world for over 70 years. My husband teaches at the University of Toronto, and before moving here I was a clinical psychologist and worked with children in England and the U. S. A. We are particularly concerned with those bright children who mature earlier than their contemporaries but who, under the Ontario public school system, would be held back to the slow pace of their fellows. We should perhaps have liked to start our school on a co-operative basis — we have, in fact, started “on a shoestring” —but time was against us in the form of our own 4'/2-year-old son. He was a January baby and, had we spent time gathering funds and parents together before starting the school, would have been left in an unhealthy vacuum between nursery school and formal education. So we took the plunge, engaged well-qualified and enthusiastic teachers, and now have a small but growing number of eager youngsters. Our group is divided into those doing reading-readiness work, and those who are ready (and keen) to read, but all the children get oral French, numberwork, geography, history, art, literature and music. The results so far have proved as rewarding as those of the better-established schools mentioned in your excellent article, and with growing numbers (and children) we hope to add at least one higher group next year. The children are all enjoying the challenge of learning, and the parents report that they have reacted to it also by better adjustment at HOME.-P. A. GRYGIER,

TORONTO.

Textbooks in context

In What It Takes (Plenty) to Get Rid of U. S. Schoolbooks (Preview, Dec. 16), you quote a remark (“It practically takes an act of God to get a textbook removed from the provincial curriculum if the B. C. schoolbook rental branch has a good stock on hand”) that I made before the Royal Commission on Education. The quotation is correct but, in the context of your article, it is misleading. My outburst was directed at the textbook situation in general and not specifically at U. S. textbooks. In fairness to the department of education of British Columbia, it should be pointed out that my remarks were made in February, 1959, and there have been many changes for the better since that time. I am very disturbed at the apparently anti-American textbook attitude

of the article in question. It should be clear to all of us that our children should be using the best textbooks obtainable no matter what the nationality of the AUTHORS.-R. D. JAMES, VANCOUVER.

* Your writer proves the results of U. S. textbook education. He uses American when he really means United States. - V. A. SNOW, HAMPTON, N.B.

The unwilling spirit

Trent Frayne’s article, The Human Body is Better Than Anybody Thought (Dec. 16) is very timely. Something drastic must be done to restore Canada to its pristine vigor and comparatively high standing in the athletic world. We

are fast becoming a nation of pushbutton, plush-bottom habitués and Croesus worshippers. — JAMES PENDERGAST,

CHARLOTTETOWN.

The effect of the discount war

With discount selling (Your money and the “discount” war, Dec. 2) has disappeared all semblance of pleasing the customer. The discount dealer has already made his money on the discount he has received in buying his merchandise . . .-LAURA F. MCINTOSH, VICE-

PRESIDENT. ONT. BRANCH, CAN. ASSOC. OF CONSUMERS, HAMILTON, ONT.

The good old days

How any mature Canadian (How I came through the great ice storm of ’61, Dec. 2) could be such a jfissy is beyond me. It is easy to see that Ken Johnstone did not pioneer in the Canadian west, or he would not make such a fuss about a couple of weeks without electric power and having to cut wood for fuel during mild weather. If he had had to rustle wood and water when it was 40 below he would have had something to howl about. - HARRY YOUNG, MILLET, ALTA.

The work-addicted mother

Honest competition is a healthy thing in a free world whether it be in business or the art of living (Work addiction, Nov. 4). But the end should not be whether you are the winner, but rather the satisfaction that you did your best, and this applies to the wife and mother even more. Too many women today think in terms of a new fur coat, a mink stole or a bigger house, whenever their husbands take a step up the ladder. Do they ever do something nice for the husband to let him see how clever they think he is, or try to make him understand that whatever success or failure he achieves, they think he is wonderful and only care about his happiness? Work addiction, I believe, in common with all other kinds, is the need for filling a void of some kind, and the smart wife and mother watches over her family and sees that a healthy relationship exists in the HOME.-IRENE ROBERTSON, TORONTO, if

MACLEAN’S