IN OUR VIEW — AND YOURS

LETTERS

July 1 1970
IN OUR VIEW — AND YOURS

LETTERS

July 1 1970

LETTERS

The morals of birth control

It was appropriate that the May issue of Maclean's, containing Roger Keene’s article, The Woman Who Tells Girls In Trouble: 'Have Your Baby,’ arrived on the day designated across the United States to be "Earth Day.” Mrs. Summerhill (mother of seven) seems unaware that the earth is approaching a population crisis. She is encouraging young girls to bring unwanted children into an already overcrowded world. Mrs. Summerhill, please, don’t help make the population problem worse. Encourage abortion reform and birth control. You are a human being first, surely, and a Roman Catholic second. For those of your faith who can practise neither of the above, the only salvation is abstention — no more than two tots please!

ROBIN JANE BYRNES, VICTORIA, BC

>k It is disheartening to see that Maclean’s would publicize such an organization as Birthright. The immorality of encouraging women to bear babies they neither want nor can afford absolutely shocks me. We must encourage, and probably legislate, not only birth control but abortion and sterilization. The federal government should eliminate family allowances, adjust the income-tax structure to penalize couples who have more than two children, and municipal welfare offices should announce that payments will not be increased to include any children produced while on welfare lists. MRS. H. O. NEWMAN, CLARKSON, ONT.

* If Mrs. Summerhill were really concerned about the birthrights of human beings, she woLild be fighting to have abortion legalized so that no woman would have to endanger her life by going to an untrained, backroom abortionist. I do not understand how Mrs. Summerhill’s organization can gain the support of individuals and organizations who should be educated and aware of population versus survival. Tt is easy and selfish to have many children, but it takes a strong and unselfish person to limit the family to one or two children. The women who get abortions are not the cowards. They are very brave and unselfish people.

JEAN EISERT, LOS ANGELES

Of moose and place-names

If Dave Sanderson, Toronto, thinks “Moose’s Armpit, Alberta," funny (Letters, In Our View — And Yours, May), he will die laughing at this. If, indeed, the present map of Canada represents a moose and we, indeed, contain the armpit. then he is the east end of a moose heading west.

CAMILLE LAYCRAFT, BLACKIE, ALBERTA

Welcome to the violent land

In your map contest earlier this year 13% of those who entered indicated that they would like to see Canada join the U.S. If they enjoy wholesale murder.

rape, burglary, bombing, arson, smashed windows, race riots, slashed tires, smashed windshields, stolen cars — in fact all types of crime — then by all means have them come and join us. We will gladly welcome more victims.

JAMES R. HATCH, ALTOONA, PENNSYLVANIA

The Oronsay: a TV series?

I have just read your article on the Oronsay (The Case Of The S.S. Typhoid, May) and I would like to congratulate you on an excellent and factual treatment of the ill-fated cruise. My wife and I flew to Florida and embarked there. We disembarked just before the quarantine was lifted and flew home. Being a professional engineer (retired) I gave the ship close scrutiny. I found her sadly in need of repairs and paint. Staterooms were small and furnishings completely worn out and they had never redecorated. Many times there was not enough hot water and the air-conditioning was practically nonexistent. Capt. Wacher did an excellent job in a very difficult situation. We hope to complete the Pacific cruise at a later date, but on a much newer P & O ship. Being a non-drinker I laced the chlorine water with lime juice and drank gallons of it with no ill effects.

R. G. CARSON, SAINT JOHN, NB

T “Vancouver’s floating typhoid bomb" was a joy. Apart from being a thoroughly engrossing story it touched upon so many social, economic, psychological and ethnic ramifications present in such an incident. Here’s the story for a Canadian movie and/or serial TV epic with all Canadian content.

E. SHIERSGREEN, SUDBURY, ONT.

T For years I’ve dreamed of going to New Zealand on a P & O ship on retirement. The excellent, no-punch-pulling article on Oronsay by Alan Edmonds shattered my dream. Keep up the good work. - RAY BONNER, LACHINE, QUE.

T Your article on the typhoid outbreak on the Oronsay was journalism of a very high order. You are to be commended for your decision to publish all

the details, and Public Health officials deserve the highest praise for their dogged determination, devotion to duty, and their canny analyses of the evidence.

ROBERT SHEARER, SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.

T If Maclean's offers more “bonus length” articles such as Alan Edmonds’ fascinating and truly suspenseful account of the Oronsay events, I’ll surely take the time to read them. Not since Doctor Zhivago have I read anything 1 literally could not put down.

J. A. REID. TORONTO

* I wish to say how much 1 appreciate your story of the S.S. Typhoid. For once 1 felt glad I had subscribed to Maclean’s over a good many years. Outside of reading the yellow pages. I've never had time to devour the contents fully. This time here was a remarkable story to read. My thanks for a job well done.

SAMUEL G. LAKE, NANAIMO, BC

Self-contradictory camels

Your article. Why This man Thinks Those Camels Can Change The Way You See The World (May), mentions odorless plastic camels, which have “the quality of camel-ness.” This is a contradiction: whoever heard of an odorless camel? Why pollute our culture with these New York “objets d'art"! This useless expenditure of the taxpayers’ money at this time of inflation calls for intervention by the Auditor General.

A. J. GOODMAN, CALGARY

More about us

Thank you for putting out a truly Canadian magazine, one in which patriotic Canadians can be proud. I am glad to see a rise in nationalism because we have so much to be proud about.

MRS. ELEANOR JAMES, PORT CREDIT, ONT.

T Recently, Maclean’s has become the rallying ground for those who v/ish to do away with the monarchy. The Crown is a symbol of the hopes of man for a tomorrow. It is above the pettiness of politics and feives hope to an at times seemingly useless political system. Maclean's is doing its best to blacken this valuable institution.

DOUGLAS N. SMITH, DRUM MQNDVILLE, QUE.

T For years I have subscribed to Maclean's accepting it as a magazine suitable for my family of five children. In recent months you have worked hard at smartening up the magazine by making it more lively, contemporary, readable. Now you publish an article which indirectly intimates that the Georgia Straight is fit reading for decent people. Please cancel my subscription.

H. D. BARTHOLOMEW, VERNON, BC

T Many thanks for the very fine issue of your April magazine. Being senior citizens, we had thought we would not continue to buy the book as we were disappointed in so many previous issues. Your April issue is the first in a long continued on page 22

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time in which we found each story and article worth reading. So many previous issues were written for the young “trend setters.” 1 do wonder how many of them take the time to read Maclean’s?

MRS. H. L. HAMILTON, WINNIPEG

The silent Right

In his criticism of a predominating Leftist viewpoint within the news media, Keith Knowlton questions the chances of the conservative point of view being heard (In Our View — And Yours, April). 1 have recently undergone an experience in which the Left side practically begged the Right for some public statements of its view, and not a relevant peep resulted. As far as I know there is no law against the Right making its views known. But it seems to prefer to act in secrecy and not use modern methods of communication.

MRS. N. M. ARMSTRONG, DIGßY, NS

Keith Knowlton replies: “As Mrs. Armstrong says, there is no law against the Right making its views known. But the point I was making was that those in the news media, being generally opposed to the conservative viewpoint, make little effort to report that viewpoint to balance, at least in part, their liberal-viewpoint interpretation of the news. Still, Mrs. Armstrong hits home when she implies conservatives make little use of what opportunities they have. This was in my mind when I wrote: ‘So who’s to blame? Well, conservatives are, in part. When you’re number two, you're supposed to try harder. We haven’t been trying: ”

It wasn’t fiction for McCutcheon

Bob Bossin’s article. My Friend has quit climbing the CBC tower. And it wasn't the height that scared hell out of him, sounds like a big “put on." It reads like an excerpt from Catch 22. But if half the things the article says are true then Heller was not writing fiction but prophecy. Truth is stranger than fiction.

ROSE KRENN, TABER, ALTA.

* Is there anything the average Canadian can do to encourage Parliament to take steps to see that some restitution is made to people like Sean? Frightening things are happening all across Canada and innocent people are offered no redress. To mention one small part of this injustice: two or three young people meeting accidentally on the street and talking for a few minutes are liable to be given a summons to appear in court, especially if they have beards or long hair. The older generation (and I belong in that category) gather in groups, blocking sidewalks, and talk for half an hour and a policeman wouldn’t even think of asking them to move on. - IRMA v. SANDERSON, SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT.

* I suggest that Sean McCutcheon, the gentleman who had so much trouble after climbing the CBC tower (Bob Bos-

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sin’s column, May) has been reading too much of, or perhaps borrowing from, Ken Kesey’s book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. As a volunteer with the Company of Young Canadians, I worked for more than two years at the Ontario Mental Hospital. Í find McCutcheon’s account of what happened to him there somewhat incongruent with my knowledge of the place. It’s a dirty, ugly, nasty place in many ways — but it’s also full of people (patients and staff) who are honestly looking for the best ways of coping with all that they are forced to deal with. Given the circumstances under which they have to work, they are doing a damn fine job! — MAGGI REDMONDS, TORONTO

No to ‘pr°gress’

A salute to author W. O. Mitchell for his courageous protest against the type of progress that could threaten the existence of human life on earth (21 Great Canadian Holidays). Some years ago, an industrialist wanted to build a power station on the Fraser River. To the protest of conservationists that it would block the way for the salmon to their spawning grounds, he replied, “To hell with the fish — you can’t stop progress.” One may chuckle at the thought that on the day the fish go to hell the industrialist will go with them.

JOHN FLATT, PENTICTON, BC

>|c I was surprised to see that Dalton Camp, who speaks glowingly of Grand Lake, New Brunswick, was photographed not at Grand Lake but near the village of Cambridge on the Washadenoak Lake. The photo shows the covered bridge that spans the lake and connects the communities of Cambridge on the West and Narrows on the East. It is quite a distance from the Grand Lake.

-MRS S. DESMOND PURDY, CODY’S, NB

Well, it’s not that far. Photography Director Horst Ehricht wanted to show Mr. Camp with a town in the background that typifies the historic qualities of the general area that appeal so much to Mr. Camp. Photographer’s license, we felt.

Consumer testing — R.I.P.

Your April Canada Report on consumerism, Q: Who Needs Ralph Nader? A: Canada, interested me greatly. For 18 months in 1964-65 I enjoyed the grand title of Director of Testing and Editor of Canadian Consumer, the magazine of the Consumers’ Association of Canada. That was during the unhappily short era when CAC, like counterparts in many other countries, carried out comparative tests of consumer goods and published the results, complete with brand names. So what happened to CAC’s testing program? It suffered many hazards — the usual competition from the American big brother, Consumer Reports', the extraordinarily subtle small-town attitudes that Ottawa generates in any organiza-

tion headquartered there; and some defects in CAC’s leadership at that time. But the slow and certain death of Canadian consumer testing was by suffocation,

I believe, from the persistent refusal of the National Research Council to do for CAC what the Council would do for almost any private profit-making organization — to carry out specified tests to the best of its ability for its normal fees. Some NRC staff members, strictly as volunteers, supplied CAC with invaluable advice on technical questions. But the big NRC bosses seemed fearful that the Council might be discovered as the source of test data published in Canadian Consumer. It takes courage, this consumer-testing work. Of the many discouragements I experienced in Ottawa, the Council’s dosed doors now seem the bleakest of all. So here I am, an emigrant to the States, editing for a huge contract research organization that would gladly carry out tests for CAC — for a huge fee.

SHIRLEY MANNING, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA

* It was amusing in a frustrating way to read in your April edition that the Hon. Ron Basford feels that we need more Ralph Naders in Canada. After a year of dealing with Mr. Basford’s department I am inclined to agree with him. Briefly, in March, 1969, I brought to the department’s attention the problem I was having with my car. In one of their last letters they advised me that if I was dissatisfied with their efforts 1 should consult my solicitor. What chances do I have with my solicitor if our “all powerful” federal government cannot get any action? With friends like this, obviously the consumer needs Mr. NADER.-MALCOLM H. BAYNE, CORNER

BROOK, NFLD.

* I draw your attention to the statement: “ . . . but there were 20,000 complaints last year to the Calgary Better Business Bureau.” This figure is grossly inaccurate. Our office, during 1969, served the public on approximately 20,000 occasions, which included about 2,500 instances of “complaint.” Of this latter figure, many were the result of simple misunderstandings and a large percentage of those that were justified were adjusted to the satisfaction of both parties through the efforts of the BBB. The so-called “consumer revolution” has not only been ably aided and abetted by vote-conscious politicians but also, to some degree, by journalistic sensationalism. — ALLAN N. ROSE, MANAGER, BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF CALGARY

Was Franco right?

Joy Carroll’s article, Madrid And The Single Girl (May), was very interesting, but I was rather surprised by the comment that in the Civil War of 30 years ago “the wrong side won." Don’t you know that the “right side” were Communist-led and inspired? Franco’s government may not be all that could be desired by a long way but had the others won, Spain would now be a Communist state and all the fun Joy Carroll had in continued on page 26

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Madrid would not exist any more. Surely it is time people realized that and stopped eulogizing the Loyalists as democrats, which they were not.

D. MORGAN, VANCOUVER

Those soothing acrostics

Diana Filer’s Canada's Toughest Acrostic was a soothing experience to work over after reading some of the hatefilled columns in the rest of the magazine. The Saturday Review acrostic may cover more worldwide subjects, but Diana’s is more suitable for Maclean’s because it has an inward look Canadians crave.

MARY VALENTINE, BURLINGTON, ONT.

* I very much enjoy the Acrostics by Diana Filer. Don’t be in a hurry to make them more difficult. Pleased that Diana is a determined nationalist, but maybe she should know her country a little better. Estevan (Acrostic No. 2, April) isn’t in southwest Saskatchewan; it's in the southeast.

MAY H. PAYNE, DUNCAN, BC

Inflation — what’s wrong with it?

As a grade-12 student currently taking an economics course, 1 have become increasingly aware of both the political and economic situation in our country. Much of this awareness has come from reading magazines such as Maclean’s. Prof. Rosalind Blauer’s article. What’s So Terrible About Inflation? was both informative and thought-provoking. It is sad to think that the future of Canada is to be based on the trembling foundations of a collection of unbelievable economic myths.

LINDA KOPYS. WINNIPEG

T Prof. Blauer has a lot to learn. She should be advised that the critical difference between government and private spending is that the latter induces us peasants to be more productive than the former. She may work for love, but we take life easier if our marginal efforts do not provide us with additional direct benefits of our own choosing.

MRS. H. W. LEGGETT, CALGARY

* What’s so terrible about inflation? Mostly, that we don’t have it. It’s a perfect example of the Nazi dictum that if you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will believe it. The word “inflation” is being used as a smokescreen by orthodox finance to hide the fact that the out-of-date system of debt finance has broken DOWN.-R. T. BOWMAN, VANCOUVER.

T 1 am a Grade 12 student taking economics and I found this article helpful in studying about inflation in Canada. Professor Rosalind Blauer sounds like a person who has taken the problem of inflation very seriously. She has given me a new outlook on inflation’s dangers and I find that it is up to everybody to do something to control inflation.

ANNETTE FONTAINE, WINNIPEG

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Support the hometown team

Karen Douglas, of Houston, Texas (but who was born in Canada), derides Canadians for their nationalism and points out that were it not for U.S. money and get-up-and-go we’d still be a vast wasteland (Letters, April). Does she imagine for one minute that Americans came up here with their money and get-up-and-go to benefit Canada? They are not quite that ALTRUISTIC.-M. MARTIN, TORONTO.

* Let’s face it, nation states will be around for a long time. The idealistic global village is unfortunately far from us. Meanwhile, we who occupy the portion of earth known as Canada must fully promote it, or be intentionally or unintentionally engulfed by other states which promote themselves. Call it “nationalism” or “support of the hometown team,” but Canadians-Canadiens must endorse Canada. No other country on earth or international business corporation is likely to perform that task for us. I say, “Well done, Maclean’s, for continuously exercising your Canadian citizenship.”

W. G. RYMAK, WETASKIWIN, ALTA.

* I am 18 years of age, a card-carrying Progressive Conservative, and an ardent nationalist. As Prof. Creighton says in Canada’s First Century, 1970 finds my country “a branch-plant economy, a military and cultural colony” of the United States. What appalls me is that so many Canadians are resigned to this situation. But when Maclean’s attempts to foster at least some glimmer of national feeling, narrow-minded readers accuse the magazine of “promoting socialism and trying to destroy the best leader Canada has” and “narrow and bigoted . . . anti-Americanism.” I respect a great many Americans and many aspects of their nation. Yet I believe that one can be a proCanadian rather than anti - American nationalist without causing a “Commie scare.” The time has come for all of us to decide if the values of our society are worth keeping; and if they are, how best to keep them. I am a Canadian, my roots are here, and 1 love this mixed-up country of ours. Let us all work together to build a truly great society; or let us join the United States, get a vote in Congress, and in this way at least have some control over our destiny.

ALAN D. PRYDE, LONDON, ONT.

Zolf, you’re only medium

Just because Larry Zolf happens to like Zabriskie Point is no reason to downgrade Medium Cool and Easy Rider, both refreshing new-form films, especially Medium Cool, which for some strange reason was ignored at the grand old ceremony of corn. Academy Awards night. His comment on the last two movies as “posturings of thumbsucking infants” (a peculiarly inept phrase in view of their effective departure from old-line films), makes him, for me, at any rate, suspect.

RAYE PERLIN, ST. JOHN’S, NFLD. □