MAILBAG

October 1 1966

MAILBAG

October 1 1966

MAILBAG

London’s not England / Tale: a whale

IN THE SECTION entitled The Look, Mordecai Richler examines British life today (Where It All Began: Has The Swing Lost Its Zing?). Unfortunately, Richler makes the mistake of assuming the shrill noises and odd behavior emanating from a microscopic group in London to be representative of British society as a whole. He should he brave and venture out of the capital into, say, the North. Yorkshire or the Midlands, to find out what the real people are doing. London, in common with many capitals, has always had its share of cranks, lunatics, exhibitionists, perverts and theatricals (in every sense of the word), only too ready to declare loudly any crackpot theory orto embrace publicly any odd form of behavior.

DAVID W. I ITT I r, MOOSE JAW, SASK.

Red herrings and revenge?

Having read Pierre Sévigny: "This Is What Really Happened," I have come to the conclusion that both this case and the Spencer case are red herrings dragged across the sands of time, to keep the people from remembering the bankruptcy cases, the fire-insurance and arson cases which were brought to public attention.-ALEX WOODS, SALMON ARM, BC

5k I found some of Sévigny’s testimony rather irritating. We don’t need to be reminded of his war record, family background or social position. But I will accept his statement that a group of Liberals, ‘'hell-bent to get Diefenbaker at all costs,” were behind the Munsinger disclosures.

GWYNETH M. SHIRLEY, COCHRANE, ONT.

5k We Canadians are fortunate indeed that Gerda Munsinger was not a spy. MRS. HANNA J. F. MCGEE, RICHMOND, BC

Ahab had one, too

In her article Wliat’s Happening On The Other Idiot Box (Reviews), Sandra Peredo mentions some Canadian radio personalities, among them Monty McFarlane of CJOR. Vancouver. She dubs him the “Orson Welles of Canadian radio” because of a fictitious whale stunt she alleges he pulled while on the air. The fact is that Red Robinson, currently program director for C-FUN. Vancouver, was the radio personality behind this and many other stunts that dramatically demonstrated the power of radio. The "whale incident” occurred in 1958.

M. F. HANSON, BURNABY, BC

Sandra Peredo replies: "Pm interested to learn that Sir. Robinson also summoned up an Imaginary whale, hut my statement still stands. .Monty Me Pariane did pull the fictitious whale stunt and his whale caused more commotion than Sir. Robinson's whale.”

Maj.-Gen. Cameron

1 refer to the review of H. George Classen's Thrust And Counterthrust. which appeared in Maclean's Reviews, June 4 edition. Mr. Classen describes my father, the late Major-General D. R. Cameron. CMG, as moody, tactless and of poor judgment: who was appointed to the Rupert's Land boundary survey of the 1870s because he was the son-in-law of Charles Tupper. This author's disclaimer of his book as a history and his

omission of footnotes is explicable. His sources must be the partisan press of a century ago, to one half of which tiny appointment by Sir Charles Tupper was to be attacked. For the record, my father had a long and distinguished career with the Royal Artillery in India on active service. Three times he was mentioned in dispatches. He was one of the early commandants of the Royal Military College at Kingston. He was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal for saving a life at the risk of his own. If I may append footnotes, see Sir John Macdonald's letter to Sir John Rose of February 23. 1870, in which he proposed a Mounted Police Force under the command of Captain Cameron; my father's appointment to the Council of the Northwest Territories. I have tributes in writing to my father from the secretary of the Saskatchewan Historical Society. He was appointed CMC in 1877. Your reviewer's description of my father as a foolish man, moody and tactless, and of poor judgment is amply disproved by the above record, and shown to be nothing more than a malicious fabrication.-FRANCES T. CAMERON, VERNON, BC

Postscript to Bobby

Thank you for giving voice to the fact that many Canadians are not neutral about the American-Vietnam war (But Bobby, We’re Not Neutral: We Think You Are Wrong, Editorial). As you say, it is wrong, wrong, wrong! The saddest part is that the more American soldiers sacrificed in the conflict, the more those responsible will have to justify the war to make it worth so much. The sacrifice should never have been made.

MRS. W. INNIS, KINGSTON, ONT.

5k Thinking Canadians with some knowledge of history support the American involvement in South Vietnam. No conquering tyrant in all history was ever stopped except by armed force. The danger is that, if we don’t face them now. the aggressors will escalate the war into World War III.

FRANK SOUTHERN, SUDBURY, ONT.

5k f was nauseated by your Editorial. It really disturbs me to see such a distinguished magazine as yours pour wrath on our big cousin, who alone is fighting for the very freedom that we hold so dear. Certainly this is a ghastly war; but is any war pleasant?

A. MACK AY. WORSLEY, ALTA.

5k I’m stunned at your views. What of the other four or five countries in there — are they fighting for nothing? They know Vietnam is just another Communist stepping-stone. And they may be next. JAMES WATT, GALT. ONT.

5k Your Editorial is a good example of why editors do not sign their names. Two world wars and you haven’t learned the obvious lesson that both have taught: "Do not send to know for whom the hell tolls, it tolls for thee." Good courageous Canadians and Americans regret the war in Vietnam, but we know that prevention is better than cure.

MRS. ISABEL TIMMONS, NORVAL, ONT.

5k You have not only insulted our country's best friend, the United States, but you have short-changed all those Vietnamese who believe in freedom.

F. H. SNYDER, KITCHENER, ONT.

continued

Captain Kennedy

As the author of the story Madman On The Bridge (February 6, 1965), 1 have since learned it has caused distress to the family of Captain Kennedy. 1 regret they consider it to be disparaging, since there was no intention in any way to reflect on the captain’s character. I wrote the article because 1 thought it was an interesting and unusual story of a young, inexperienced doctor faced with a tough problem at sea. I assumed that anyone reading the story would realize that the captain’s actions were the result of an extremely critical illness, but in no way reflected on the captain’s character or sanity prior to it or on his long distinguished career at sea.

K. F. WALKER. MD, NIAGARA FALLS. ONT.

The “silent God” speaks

In reference to the views expressed by the clergymen quoted in Is God Obsolete?, by June Call wood. I wish to express my disappointment in their belief in the “silent Cod” after Auschwitz. On the contrary, God has answered us in the most positive way. Auschwitz was the most horrible crime known to man — so far. Since time immemorial man has given lip service to God. praying for peace, but man has not tried to live peace. How can God answer man’s prayers when man’s belligerent nature does not let his prayers get off the ground?—c. F. SHUBER. TORONTO

4 One might carefully reflect on the chaotic state of a world where God is more popular dead than alive.

IMI1L WINSLE Y, LAC VERT, SASK.

* Messrs. Tarr and Wilkie demonstrated

some degree of sincerity. On the other hand, the Rev. Harrison's answers were masterpieces of evasion. One received the impression that a simple. “I just don't know.” would have been a more appropriate and commendable answer to most. - I). A. ROSS, TORONTO

4c One wonders what the Rev. Finest Harrison is doing masquerading under the cloak of religion.

V. C. BATES, TOFIELD, ALTA.

* I write as one who was born into the Jewish faith, and yet has come to believe that Christ's teaching was an advance on traditional Judaism. Stated simply, I believe that Judaism teaches the doctrine of justice, and Christ taught the doctrine of love. As regards the question of the usefulness of prayer—perhaps it would simplify the situation if we replaced the name “prayer” by the name “meditation” and leave it at that. Certainly. I would consider it essential for every human being to spend tin adequate amount of time in this activity. 1 would consider that once we accept the fact that the only thing we can know about God is that we know nothing about him. we would then stop worrying about problems which are irrelevant to life today, and start living a seven-day-a-week type of religion.

MRS. WALTER JOSEPHY. OTTAWA

First Indian magistrate

In Who They? (Reports) you speak of Edwin Godfrey Newman, appointed magistrate and judge of the family and children’s court in Bella Bella. BC. as being “the first Canadian Indian to be magistrate with full jurisdiction over Indians and whites.” This is incorrect. My brother, Brigadier O. M. Martin, was the first Indian to hold such a position. His duties on the bench began in 1945.

MRS. ED. BURNHAM. OHSWEKEN. ONT. +