MAILBAG

January 1 1967

MAILBAG

January 1 1967

MAILBAG

Germany: then and now / Law & taxes

THANKS TO Irving Layton for his fair report on West Germany, 1966 (Two Views Of Germany). Since I've been in Canada I've met with rather distorted views and much prejudice concerning Germany and the German people, based, to a great extent, on mere lack of information. Horst Ehricht’s photographs are more in line with what Germany and the German people are usually considered to be. The present German Bundeswehr shown is an integrated part of NATO's western-defense system—quite different in organization and morale from the Wehrmacht. Why call the ghosts of the past from their graves?

HELGA LETZMANN, WINKLER, MAN.

* Layton has much praise for Germany, and severe admonitions for the Jews. It puzzles me how he. a poet of unquestioned sensitivity, can ignore the uncontrollable reaction of a former victim of torture, degradation, and immense psychological hurt, when he is reminded of his suffering by, say, a phrase spoken in the dreaded tongue. Forgiveness has nothing to do with this response. In popular parlance, it could be called "instinctive horror,” though, of course, it is not instinctive, but a reaction learned or conditioned so forcefully that it may be impossible to “unlearn” it. Is 20 years such a long time to mourn not one, but six million dead? But our sensitive poet goes further in his social criticism: the 10 percent of admitted German Nazis are negligible. Are 10 percent of potential mass murderers in a civilized society a fringe group? — H. KAUFMANN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

* A fair, sensitive, and courageous re-

port. As further illustrations of Germanophobia in Canada, I offer the following episodes, all within the last year: On a local television program

featuring the pre-kindergarten set. the interviewer asked a little boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. "A soldier,” replied the tot. Why a soldier? “So I can kill lots of Germans.” Why? “Because Germans are bad people.” A respected Toronto newspaper headlined an article urging greater understanding of Germany: ARE GERMANS HUMAN AT LAST? A national magazine found no better way to dramatize the word “HATE” in a headline than to set it in what all readers would recognize as German characters. Surely something, somebody is sick here.

I don't think it’s Germany.

H. GEORGE CLASSEN, OTTAWA

* I emphatically disagree with Layton when he implies that we should forget what has happened in Germany. As the saying goes, “He who forgets the lessons of history is doomed to repeat his errors.” This applies not only to Germany, but to Canada and the U.S. as well. Layton went to Germany as a visitor; would it not have been more objective to ask one of the few Jews presently residing in Germany to write an article entitled “A Jew In Germany”? — ROBERT R. GOODMAN. RIVERDALE, NEW YORK

Schools: who pays, and how

In How Regina’s Courts Favored Segregation (Reports) we are told with anguish that Bernard Bintner and “about 100 other like-thinking Catholic parents in Saskatchewan” are prevented by law from supporting the schools of their choice: the public schools. Ontario has long had a similar problem of much greater magnitude. As the result of mixed

marriages, approximately five percent of Ontario's separate-school pupils are Catholic children having Protestant fathers. The law prohibits these parents from allocating their taxes to the schools provided by law for their children. Hence the Catholic ratepayers must subsidize these 19.000 pupils. The provincial law discriminates against them solely because their fathers are not Roman Cath-

olies. The simple solution for both provinces is to combine the best features of the laws in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Let the tenant (hence not primarily the owner) decide which system he wishes to support if his school-age child (hence not the man) is a Roman Catholic. If he has no school-age children, give him a choice of support.

CARL J. MATTHEWS. WILLOWDALE. ONT.

Welcome, Yanks!

Paul de Granville, of Sillery, Que., commenting in Mailbag on Calgaryanks, says. "To all those Yanks who have become Canadians. 'Welcome.' To all the rest who haven't. 'Yankee, go home.’ ” I am among many people who like the Yanks. Indeed, we in the west say, “Welcome.” to all immigrants. Most take out their Canadian papers: if some Yanks who are not necessarily here to stay do not. well that’s their own affair. We still like 'em. They've brought a lot of

MAILBAG continued

Anybody here seen Mr. Chips? / Store boycotts: no solution

Yankee know-how here and, speaking for the oil industry, just when we needed them the most. - A. IRVINK, EDMONTON

Draft-dodgers fight for Canada?

Re your Editorial, Deur RCMP: DraftDodgers Are Refugees, Not Criminals: From what 1 have seen of Canada, it could stand a generous influx of young people with honorable intentions who want to make it their future home. Were these draft-dodgers seeking asylum of that calibre I would be all for it. Until they prove otherwise, in fairness to Canada I think they should be forced to sign a statement that in the event ( añada becomes embroiled in hostilities, they will be forced to serve in the armed forces. They have branded themselves for all time as a bunch of gutless wonders. DR. G. ». Ri ll). SISSETON, SOUTH DAKOTA

“All we hear are threats”

In The Sad IS ho Of A Quebec Rebel's Bomb (Reports), Susan Dexter states, "It is ironic that |Jean] Corbo’s futile gesture of protest should come at a time when terrorist activities in Quebec are almost passé.” I would ask Susan Dexter where she lives. Surely not in Quebec. We who live here are sitting on a keg of dynamite. All we hear are threats of separatism, and of separatists planting bombs all over.

BETH WHIDDINGTON. CHATEAUGUAY, QUE.

Don’t — or do?

I found Jon Ruddy’s article. Where Did You Go? School! What Did You Learn? Don't!' very truthful. Students are not being prepared for life, but for military camps. Our school newspaper was banned from the school because it lacked "school spirit” and had a “generally depressing outlook toward life.” We (of the yearbook executive) chose Youth as the theme for our annual, but it was rejected because of its connotations of rebellion. Someone caught smoking is expelled from the school, and gum chewers can easily be suspended.

PEGGY BERKOWITZ, MONTREAL

* Some school principals may have permitted the velvet glove over the mailed fist to wear thin. Others again may emulate Mr. Chips in gaining love and respect. Let us hope they do—but lack of discipline must not be encouraged.

WALTER BAP rY, VICTORIA

* It is always heartening for teachers to read such unbiased articles. They give you the power to go on teaching. Has Ruddy ever taught? He should try it sometime. On second thought—don’t! The children have enough problems keeping their Beatle hair in place without adding a nitwit like him to their woes. — PAUL R. BATCHILDER, MONTREAL

* Your article reflects the modern tendency to confuse freedom with irresponsibility. It is rather appalling to find your considerations based on fatuous comments voiced by individuals who could hardly be called authorities. To judge our schools on such trivial complaints results in a specious and misleading analysis. The past 30 years have seen a tremendous freedom for both students and teachers to express themselves. to experiment, to be creative and to make mistakes. You might better spend your time and money examining what most universities demand of high-

school graduates before accepting them. In your investigation you might even find Canadian high schools are staffed with many successful, happy, reasonable teachers and administrators who sincerely have the welfare of students at heart.

NORMAN E. PYCOCK. HEAD OF ENGLISH DEPT., WEST HILL HIGH SCHOOL, ONT.

* What's so different about school rules and those adults have to face in the business world? Conformity to rules and regulations is a must, and school is the best place to learn it. I shudder to think of the world of the future, where youth is king and can do no wrong.

MRS. G. .1. HALL. VANCOUVER

* Obviously, the author is not interested in showing the complete picture, or surely he would have mentioned some of the positive projects carried on in connection with school programs, such as: an exchange of a week’s duration between Ontario and Quebec grade-8 pupils; exciting Centennial projects; staging a major musical production as an integrated project of elementary-school pupils; classroom programs centred around group work, with pupil planning and leadership. I would agree that a list of rules taken by itself might well give the impression of a highly restricted program. Actually, in many cases the main function of such a list is to provide information to assist new pupils in learning the routines of the school. — j. A.

PIPHER. PRINCIPAL, DEER PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL, TORONTO

How about a LFSASGS?

Congratulations to Barbara Klich for her Argument. Boycotts Are Hysterical . . . Don’t Blame The Supermarkets Just Because You Can't Tell A Bargain From A Bandsaw. I agree that boycotts are not the answer. It seems to me that too many people are saying, “Oh well, what's the use—everything has gone up. so what's the difference.” instead of looking at the things they are buying, and trying to find the best buys for the least money. The few who are protesting are perhaps covering up their own deficiencies. We have groups for so many other things, how about a League For Safe And Sane Grocery Shopping?

MRS. LEO K. PEDERSEN. CHILLIWACK. BC

Make noise costly

It is gratifying to see that Robert Thomas Allen “lashes out at those who find joy in the sound of an unmuffled engine” (Argument). The subject of needlessly noisy cars, trucks and motorbikes is one long overdue for effective treatment. The police seem not to notice the very frequent breaking of the by-law which covers this nuisance. If it's difficult to enforce, let us have bylaws prohibiting the sale of engines that make more than necessary noise. And for violators, magistrates should make the fines prohibitive.

MRS. N. FREEMAN, VANCOUVER

Remember Mrs. P?

Why Sandra Peredo's patronizing attitude toward the little magazines (The Little Mags: Sexy, Arty — And Obscure, Reviews)? She states, for instance, that the mimeo mags are interested in dirty w'ords and anti-Establishment statements as their main themes. For heaven's sake, even an arithmetical count of the mags’ contents would belie that statement. The

little mags are now publishing the poets who will be the major literary figures in graduate schools in another half-century, while those who are published by the slicks, like Maclean’s, will be about as much remembered as one Mrs. P. GEORGE BOWERING, LONDON, ONT.

The “jolly good fellows”

Re The New Moralists: I agree with Robert Thomas Allen that the New Moralists are playing an old and foolish game. Mainly, the New Moralists are those who wandered into theology as an exploratory course, and didn’t have the guts to get out gracefully, without dragging religion down as a face-saving gimmick. Our hope lies in our young people, who can spot a phony in a minute and are quietly assessing the antics of these jolly good fellows who are engaging in the shoddiest form of compromise to buy votes at the expense of their conscience. — ALLAN WELSH, EDMONTON

* Poor Allen! He certainly looks in the

wrong places for information: Ann

Landers and Alice In Wonderland do not claim to offer sexual advice to female spies. Neither are New Theologians indicative of the clergy. If, as he claims, he wants to hear orthodox Christianity preached, he’d have to attend church instead of reading the sensational reportages of the press, which often take out of context that which the New Theologians postulate. I’m no swinger but do recognize that the New Theologians are trying to make Christianity relevant for such “morally lazy” people as Allen. Please, Mr. Allen, before presuming to flippantly criticize modernday preachers, start hearing at first hand what is preached or talked about in church. - REV. MALCOLM A. HUGHES,

DIOCESE OF NASSAU & BAHAMAS, NASSAU

* Please assure Allen that he can still

find the kind of clergyman he likes, even though he may have to do a bit of looking. - REV. CHARLES TARRY, FIRST BAP-

TIST CHURCH, GALT, ONT.

* There’s no such a thing as new morals: it’s the people who are changing, with the help of some clergy not worthy of the name “reverend,” and papers and magazines which use the subject to help to sell their wares.

A. L. MaCMILLAN. NEW GLASGOW, NS

* The Rev. E. W. Harrison defines the New Morality as the rule of love, personal and flexible, applied to every given situation; its converse, the “Old Morality,” as the rule of law and commandment. rigid and external. Allen quite properly impugns the few clergymen who dilute their ministry by attempting to become “one of the boys.” Both of these articles are clear, helpful and needed. The confusion lies with Maclean’s, whose editor, by placing one article in juxtaposition to the other, apparently thinks the second is a refutation of the first.

REV. R. BRUCE VANSTONE, FIRST UNITED CHURCH, TIMMINS. ONT.

* If they don’t soon put religion and morality back on a right-and-wrong level instead of all this maybe-it’s-okay tune, there will be a lot of folks wondering how the hell they landed down there — in hell, for eternity.

MRS. R. F. CHRISTIE, SUDBURY. ONT.

* I take Allen to task for quoting out of context the Rev. Harvey Cox. author of The Secular City. On one occasion

Cox and his host, Playboy's Hugh Hefner, were arguing in the latter’s living room when several scantily clad bunnies went through. Cox reported, “My eyes nearly popped out of my head.” (Allen stops the quote here.) “But Hefner didn’t even look up. It’s pretty sad. If you don’t even look up any more, you’ve lost something.” Allen says the church needs to talk “about things like Being, Eternity and . . . souls.” To my mind, this is just what your radical theologian is saying: “The believer, faced with a decision, is on his own. He is offered one guideline:

love.” - REV. GEORGE W. STRONG, OAK-

VILLE. ONT.

* It may be possible for a man to be a Christian and too lazy to go to church, but I doubt if he can be a Christian while denying a basic tenet of the faith agreed upon by all Christian bodies — the doctrine of the incarnation of our Lord. “Religion is not down to earth. Tt’s up in the sky,” Allen asserts. But God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself — that is, on earth in human flesh — and if religion isn’t dealing with the world we pass on the bus each morning, it isn’t doing anything. - REV. E. L. JOHNS, EMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH, SARNIA, ONT.

* Things have come to a strange pass

when the laity have to take up the cudgels for Christianity, and the ministers seem to be undermining their own business. - HERBERT WOOD. TORONTO

Angels by daylight

It seems that Wendy Michener either did not see the movie The Wild Angels which she reviewed, or that there are two versions of the film being shown. She writes: “One nothing-else-to-do night, they ride into a neighboring town and beat up the non-white garage mechanics.” The incident referred to occurred in broad daylight. not at night. The “non-white garage mechanics” were the members of a rival gang who had stolen a motorcycle belonging to one of the Angels.

E. KING, TORONTO

Wendy Michener replies: “Same movie, but you are so right. The beating was an act of revenge.”

“Revenge at any cost”?

Gerald Caplan’s Argument reads to me like “revenge at any cost” (Canada Has A Mystique To Live Up To In Africa — And We Shouldn’t Hesitate To Threaten Rhodesia With Force). As a university lecturer in Salisbury. Rhodesia, and a foreigner to boot, it was not his place to become involved in any political situation of the host country. If he did not like what was happening, he was not under any compulsion to stay. As it turned out, he should count himself fortunate in receiving such mild treatment at the hands of the Rhodesian authorities. - THOMAS A. AIERS, SIDNEY, BC

* I am appalled at this suggestion that, should other means of suppressing the Smith regime fail, force must be used. That white men should be expected to unleash the forces of war on their own kind to settle this impasse is nothing short of infamous.

MRS. J. SAUNDERS. OSHAWA. ONT. ★

PHOTO CREDITS — Cover, Horst Ehricht. Page 10, top, Globe & Mail; bottom, James C. Fish. Page 11, top. Capital Press; bottom right, Canada Wide. Page 12, top, Horst Ehricht; bottom, Alex Gray. Page 13, top, Horst Ehricht. Page 14, top, Canada Department of Agriculture; centre, left, Turofsky, Alexandra Studio; right, Bill Cadzow, Capital Press. Page 15, bottom, Toronto Star.