TALKBACK

November 1 1969

TALKBACK

November 1 1969

TALKBACK

Taxpayers’ revolt: ‘About time’ / The north: “Frighteningly prophetic’ / Our schools: ‘Society must change first’

YOUR ARTICLE, Taxpayers Revolt, was a job well done. It was about time you expressed our strong feelings about too much spending at all levels of government. I am prepared to pay for performance, but not when $35 out of every $100 salary increase I receive is going to Ottawa.

ARIE VERDUYN, HAMILTON, ONT.

* I begin to question your sanity.

J. G. MCCAUL, TORONTO

* I can suggest one positive step that could be taken to reduce the tax burden: elimination of the subsidization to publishers in the form of postal rates thát do not cover the cost of the service.

L. L. YOUELL, TORONTO

* A realistic picture of what may have to happen before the people who spend our money realize that Canadians are heartily sick of paying exorbitant taxes, especially when we know that millions are going down the drain at all levels of government. The prime minister froze the estimates of some departments at this year’s level — but his own establishment and those of most of his ministers are exempt from the freeze. Why? — W. CHAPMAN, KINGSTON, ONT.

* Sounds to me like a bunch of hippies

engaged in a discussion of Utopian political philosophy in some dingy Ontario beverage room.-L. A. OLIVER, ALLISTON, ONT.

* Grattan Gray must really have a distorted sense of humor.

MRS. JANE R. C. CRAIG, VANCOUVER

‘Worst thing said about me’

One of the publicity releases sent out by your promotion department relative to my article, Let’s Turn Toronto And Montreal Into Provinces (Platform, August), describes me as a Progressive Conservative senator. I thought you should know that this is the worst thing that has ever been said about me. Some of my best friends are Conservatives, but I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one.

SENATOR KEITH DAVEY, TORONTO

* Senator Davey’s proposal that city provinces be created when a population of two million is reached fails to take into account the ever-increasing pressure to organize human society on a functional basis, rather than within geographical or political divisions. The technological explosion dictates that function will continue to submerge geography and communities in the future. To be more specific: how does Senator Davey propose the City Province of Toronto deal with air pollution originating in Hamilton? Emotionally, we want the friendly, warm neighborhood of our past, but our

cultural and scientific sophistication, as well as our sheer numbers, won’t allow it. We must find a middle ground, but we must recognize that if we want a cozy neighborhood then it is axiomatic that it must be somewhat polluted. Senator Davey’s proposal flies in the face of Canadian history and modern worldwide experience. We subdivide ourselves even further at our peril. BRIAN J. WALLACE, SCARBOROUGH, ONT.

Alcoholics & their families

Philip Sykes’ article, The Child Of The Alcoholic, was excellent. Help is available for the spouses of alcoholics in Al-Anon; for the child there is Alateen. At Alateen meetings the children learn they are not different, that other children live with this problem, and they learn to detach themselves emotionally from their parents’ difficulties, while continuing to love them. There are Al-Anon and Alateen meetings in most communities in Canada and the U.S. For further information, contact our headquarters: P.O. Box 182, Madison Square Station. New York, N.Y. 10010.

(NAME WITHHELD), VANCOUVER

Insecurity underlies our assault on the north

Alan Edmonds’ article, Power, terrifies me because of the attitudes expressed by the men who are going north. Man’s ideas of “taming the wilderness” and harnessing giant waterfalls “simply because they are there” reflect his massive inferiority complex. We can't stand the idea that we may not be the superior being we think we are, so we try to prove otherwise by “conquering” nature. In 15 or 20 years “you won’t recognize the north country — not after what we’ve done to it!” A frighteningly prophetic statement. - DAVID K. STEWART, VANCOUVER

Ferguson made the Star shine

As a constant reader of the Montreal Star for the past 10 years, I find almost astonishing some of the statements in Quebec Exists: Read AH About It In The Latest Montreal Star (Reports). The idea that one would have “scarcely guessed” the French fact existed, or that the people were “barely aware” of “things French-Canadian” before Frank Walker took over as editor last fall is simply impossible to believe. If anyone deserves the credit for interpreting what is going on in Quebec to the English-speaking population of Montreal and Canada, it certainly is George Ferguson, now Editor Emeritus of the Montreal Star. At the time that the so - called “révolution tranquille” raised so much hope and fear and anxiety, it was George Ferguson who in clear-cut, precise, and ever so intelligently competent editorials presented that revolution in its proper perspective.

LAURIER L. LAPIERRE, OTTAWA

English: it’s alive and well

Re Robert Thomas Allen’s article, If We Keep On Doing Our Thing And Blowing Our Mind We’ll— Uh — Forget How To Talk: As long as new words are being invented, it proves that we are not letting our language become uninteresting and archaic.

MISS S. BLAND, CALGARY

The trouble with schools

Your survey of the school system (Our Schools, Canada Report) did not investigate the attitudes of the students. Contrary to your statement, there is a teacher shortage, in numbers and especially in competence. Among students, the teacher - knows - best attitude is dead. They have neither respect nor mercy for inadequate teachers or for the present irrelevant courses. Student unrest would be far preferable to the present apathy, disillusionment, cynicism and mental atrophy. - AMANDA BANKIER, DUNDAS, ONT.

* A comprehensive work, full of a great many truths. It indicates the sign of the times and makes the old-fashioned teacher like myself realize that most of the new ways are the best. But we’re a lazy bunch and we also hate to relinquish our authority.

MRS. J. R. DEARDEN, EDMONTON

* Schools must turn out the type of “product” society demands. If there is any criticism of the type of person the schools are producing, then society must accept much of the blame. Society will have to change before schools can change. Society is not ready to accept people who lie around all day on broadloom, people who have not learned to function within a framework of law and acceptable standards.

G. L. WADE, AVONPORT, NS

continued on page 43

TALKBACK from page 13

* School boards have only to realize that to halve the number of pupils per class would relieve the strain on teachers and help to bring about the much-longed-for informality.

MRS. MARGARET MONKS, MONTREAL

* Sitting about on the broadloom may be fine for the growth of one’s self-identity, but it’s a hell of a way to become an engineer or a doctor or to enter any calling where a grasp of facts is crucial.

RALPH GRAY, HEIDELBERG, ONT.

* The Moncton high school pictured as so authoritarian is one of the few in Canada where the academic department does not look down its long academic nose at the vocation or nonacademic department. It also produced the leader in university matriculation in the province (or isn’t Canada interested in producing scholars any longer?). Educational reform in NB has been revolutionary. Our system now features: an increased province-wide teachers’ salary scale, ungraded schools, individual time-tabling, complete consolidation of small school districts, a completely reconstructed curriculum, French - language schools that now function to the end of university.

H. M. GRANT, MONCTON, NB

* Poor Julie Mollins. So she isn’t being taught “readin’,” “writin’ ” and “ ’rithmetic” at the age of five. Good! Perhaps now her little mind will be open for inquiry, innovation and creativity as advocated by the HallDennis Report. - R. CAMERON, KANATA, ONT.

* Julie may have unlearned the alphabet, simple sentences and some arithmetic and she and her sister now never chatter about school at home, but I’ll bet that their principal and teachers believe in the HallDennis Report and feel that they are practising it. Lloyd Dennis has restated the words of the progressive-education movement of more than 30 years ago in the U.S. The words sound good, but when schools tried to put the words into practice, the U.S. became the laughingstock of the educational world.

R. F. SCHWEIKER, TORONTO

Fashion with a jolt

Re Marjorie Harris’s article on the Toronto and Montreal fashion shows, A Tale Of 2 Cities: Let’s hope it will jolt more than a few people. I thank you on behalf of the The Fashion Group. — HELEN OPPENHEIM, THE FASHION GROUP INC., MONTREAL

After ‘Gabler,’ football’s better

Congratulations on the sensitive, well-written article on football’s Wally Gabler ( . . . Out To Win A Vote Of Confidence—His Own). My appreciaton of football is now much greater. — PAUL BRIGEL, TORONTO

* With Gabler being dealt to Winnipeg in return for halfback Dave Raimey, it is evident the Argo management did not think that Gabler could bring them the Grey Cup.

continued on page 44

Mel Profit is quoted in your article as saying: “It was like the nine teams in the league had decided to dump their garbage and it all landed in Toronto.” The Gabler trade seems to have just lightened the load. DENIS MORAND, WINDSOR, ONT. Vancouver: pre-Shadbolt Re your item on Doris Shadbolt of the Vancouver Art Gallery (Canadians You Should Know): Everyone agrees that Mrs. Shadbolt is doing a good job. However, it would appear that your reporter did not visit the gallery previous to Mrs. Shadbolt’s appointment and see the contemporary collections, the attractive programs and the pleasant staff. The campaign to publicize the painting by Jordaens (misspelled in your report) originated not with Mrs. Shadbolt but with the National Gallery. MRS. BARBARA O’NEAL, OTTAWA ‘Lucky’ Lakehead A. L. Bicknell, of Fort William, Ont., complains that a minister of the Ontario government is autocratic because he imposes his will on the matter of “compulsory amalgamation [at the Lakehead] without benefit of a plebiscite” (Talkback). But Fort William, Port Arthur, Neebing, and Shuniah speak the same language, have the same laws. Bicknell should think how lucky he is, in comparison with the people of Britain, up to perhaps 75 percent of whom have no wish to be forced into “compulsory amalgamation” with the countries of the Common Market, also “without benefit of a plebiscite.” Bicknell can always move to another part of the country. We are not that lucky. LES HOLDOM, EDINGWORTH, ENGLAND

Pornography: antidote Re your Editorial, Pornography: The Blind Eye And The Deaf Ear: If decent books are made available to children, they will not be bothered with pornographic junk in later years. Some of us refuse books because of their covers, just in case the insides are as bad as the outsides. CECILIA L. HILL, PARKSVILLE, BC No-sell commercials Hurrah for Douglas Marshall’s Television column in which he criticizes some TV commercials. He speaks for most of us. We have been revolted and infuriated, yet have had little confidence, in this permissive society, that “railing” would accomplish anything. My reaction is to buy as few of the products as possible. MRS. W. G. HAMILTON, VICTORIA * I certainly agree with you that Laureland-Hardy is one of the best series on TV right now: probably the best on CBC. I was furious when the segment, Putting Pants On Phillip, was taken off the air without a word of apology. On the Saturday in question, August 16, there were 8V2 hours of regularly programmed sports broadcasting, and yet our half hour of Laurel-andHardy was displaced to give yet another 20 minutes of the same dismal sports fare.

This kind of unapologetic arrogance on the part of the CBC has turned me in 10 years from one of their staunchest supporters to one of their bitterest critics. D. W. RIVETT, OTTAWA >k Oh, how right you are about commercials — but so wrong in thinking that a few letters of protest will change the situation. I have written several over the years. I am afraid the men at the top don’t care at all if we are nauseated. D. LAWRENCE, POWELL RIVER, BC The gentle giant How could Robert Thomas Allen, in his article on large dogs (Smile When You Say ‘Heel’), brush off Canada’s national dog, the Newfoundland, with hardly a mention? Even as one of the “giant” breeds, they are widely acknowledged to be the gentlest breed known. One of the reasons: the Newf has never been the subject of a fad and, therefore, rarely is bred indiscriminately. From a low of 28 in 1953, the registration of pure-bred Newfoundlands in Canada has climbed slowly and steadily to 235 in 1968. Must go now as a new litter is being born under the table at which I am writing this. MISS N. E. ELIAS, WILLOWDALE, ONT. * Although bullmastiffs are an incredibly strong breed, and thoroughly enjoy a hearty romp, they are a gentle breed with their family and friends, especially with the children. They have a notably stable temperament, delight in human company and adapt readily to city and even apartment life. JOHN G. ROBERTS, WATERLOO, QUE. 5k Robert Thomas Allen’s article was a gas! D. PURVIS KINNEY, EDMONTON

The Fessenden file A few additional facts that might be added to Alan Edmonds’ article on the brilliant Canadian inventor, Reginald Fessenden (The Canadian Genius Canada Forgot): A U.S. Navy destroyer was named after him (and the navy used some of his inventions in submarine detection). This ship was on active service in World War II. U.S. Admirals Nimitz and Robinson were close friends of Fessenden’s. While he was principal of Whitney Institute in Bermuda he met and married Helen Trott. For several years he was a professor at Purdue University and later at Western University in Pennsylvania. His parents are buried in St. John’s churchyard in Ancaster, Ont. Fessenden’s photograph can be seen in the Hall of Memory in the Ontario Hydro building at Niagara Falls. - MRS. MARION FRASER, TORONTO 5k I cannot help but think of a Danish scientist by the name of Valdemar Poulsen, who contributed in the same field. In fact, Poulsen is recognized by some as the inventor of the radio. It is fascinating to realize that two great scientists of almost the same age, separated by the Atlantic, simultaneously came up with almost identical inventions — and depressing that neither has gained international fame despite his great work and dedication. GEORG NIELSEN, WESTON, ONT. □