Can We Stem the Exodus?
Mobilize Canadian brains for Canadian industry! That is what Ontario indus' trialists are now planning and therein lies one of the remedies for the exodus
W. A. IRWIN
IN THE preceding article of this series, it was stated that Canada is educating relatively the same proportion of her population in colleges and universities as is the United States. According to the official figures, the Dominion is training university and college students on the basis of one in every 175 of the population while the United States is training one in ever 176. That being the case, why is it that we have not been able to absorb an annual quota of trained brains relatively no larger than that absorbed by the United States?
Why is it that many of the Canadian university graduates now employed in industry, in finance, in commerce and in the professions, in the United States, were unable to find in Canada the kind of work for which they were looking?
Why did they have to seek out opportunities in a foreign country to find that kind of an outlet for their energies which they believed their training demanded? So far as material things are concerned, the civilizations of their native countrv and their adopted country are very similar. If the United States needs trained brains to keep its industrial and business machines functioning efficiently, so must Canada. The fact that the exiles do find in the United States the kind of opportunities they are looking for argues that their training has made them useful to someone.
Why can’t we use them in Canada?
Obviously, it would be futile, not to say foolish, to seek an answer to that question by lumping together doctors, lawyers, teachers, economists, entomologists, metallurgists, chemists and all the other specialists of this specialized age, if we have any hope of finding a clue that might be of use to us in attempts to solve the general problem of the exodus.
If, for instance, we produce more teachers than there are classrooms, and if we are satisfied we have enough schools to meet our needs, we can’t cut that particular knot by building more schools merely to provide classrooms for surplus teachers.
That kind of restriction does not necessarily hold, however, when it comes to other types of graduates, and we can lump together all those specialists whose training has made them potentially useful to industry, to finance, or to commerce. And if we can uncover an answer or answers that will suggest a means whereby the brains of this group can be utilized to the advantage of Canadian business and industry, we shall, at least, be making progress. Fertilization of industry and business by the right kind of brains would mean more industry and more business, and that in turn would put us in a position where many of the problems associated with the exodus would tend to solve themselves. More emphatically, industrial and commercial expansion on a sufficient scale would come within measurable distance of putting an end to the exodus, not only of university-trained brains but of all other types of labor, skilled and unskilled. We are not concerned in a recital of the grievances of the Canadian
What our Training per Man Cost `1 nv:mgs'.n 15) stsst't is-ill, lhssl you ivould ,iiiIiI ,~5'Is,( (`hillS's (((slit`~``; (`II hat vu us Is,' \%`ot'l h. 4,,,' I.4,,,i,jI krM((UI l*sl n 14.'nd ut) tlsn - fli~~it sh h,'~,.'nI t',nn.o,s,, t)',n'~lls *f is.pl.id ,,`~n, ,o,in,h. nl I Keep Trained Canadians in Canada! 54 Young Men, who lune completed four years of practical training as Chemical Engineers, place themselves ul the service of Canadian Manufacturers. To the Manufacturers of Canada: I' .~d .~ nlts',.~ .\ S Sn. n u~s..ds n.~ l's . si .s~.. ii.. . .1.1 lXtS'. f nm n.-~ fi.i,t~s~ li.' I ..` .~.i (55 n, inn `SI sIn Ins n, ,`,s,'.n.d Inn,' S's'IsI'' ,,n,l.nn' ,,.,`l "I I',.,. 1,','n ,i, ," I.,'~n.". III'. I, - sn-n Isis:,. h,5,, ns:IIs 1..' Iii ,,I' ,.` I , II'' . `lily II ,`.~i -i'' `,l In ``I .. IL" II :., hiss is:",' nil nsssk,',n 5`s's., 5~'h's.sst tlis~.. s's',lstn' II n i'.'~~c.sI, ,f n,':','s'~', . , I.s.,~sss. t555h5'SSE.lS's''Sils'Ss',S :15.5-15 IVs. nssl,,n,I Is:, nsi'll f.'nil in Us 1155,,`..trsSW flInt)' `h, i~'I s.',lh~ .-l I.,.,~,``,,, :`ssn ni 55 ,sn,l `:.l,-.. `I ,( I I,s,n.,,l II ,.`:sn,s inn) . ,niU'i's,n,,n,,'s: Il i',t,.I 5. `ssss 15 tsr `U: inn :5.1:5 is `I,-I,' 555.5, :ssI:sgr. What our Services will Cost You We are at your Service! lssIsu fiss"' ni's ,\--,snsin 5-i,:n `n sirs 5-' `sits, 5I:III!)g v,nts', 5'\I"l 5'''' :5sit h~,`:`i.'ss. -:r `ln'5l',5s' 5''~'~5•,, `5in III:``5-:"`ftyS `,nl II. 1,1' `,f `5' `1 hiflt,
university graduate, as such; but we are concerned with any clue that will further diagnosis of a sleeping sickness which, however, much it may have affected the university graduate, has affected in still greater measure the progress of the nation.
What, then, are the answers, fulfilling the requirements suggested?
Before attempting to draw conclusions, let us examine some of the available evidence.
An Ad. That Didn’t ‘Pull’
~D EPRODUCED with this article, is a facsimile of an A Aadvertisement that appeared in the April, 1923, issue of Industrial Canada, the official organ of the Canadian Manufacturers Association. It represents the attempt, or one of the attempts, of a group of fifty-four graduates in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto
to sell their services to the manufacturers of Canada. From the point of view of those who paid for its publication it is a good advertisement. Note, in particular, what it says about the value of a training in chemical engineering, the attitude of the young engineer toward his prospective job, and wages:
‘To the manufacturers of Canada:
‘We do not pretend to “know it all”. What we do contend is that the special training wye have had, plus business experience, will make us more valuable to you than would business experience without this preliminary training.
‘We are prepared, if necessary, to don overalls and begin at the bottom, because w7e have the faith that our training will enable us to make ourselves increasingly useful to you in more important capacities as time goes on.
‘We submit that you will find in us the best raw7 man-powrer material available . . .
‘Our services will cost you the same wages to start wdth that you w7ould pay untrained manpower; then what you have found us to be worth.
‘We invite any member of the Canadian Manufacturers Association to write us, stating w7hat opportunities he believes may exist for us in his business, or asking for suggestions as to how a live young man with chemical training could be of use to him.’ Whether regarded as the appeal of one group of Canadians to another group of Canadians or as a straight business proposition, it must be admitted that that is a reasonable statement of the case. What was the response? Did the manufacturers of Canada indicate eagerness or even willingness to assist this group of potential migrants to ‘Keep Trained Canadians in Canada’? They did not. That advertisement w7as circulated among some 4,000 manufacturers scattered over the Dominion from end to end, and the total number of replies received by the aspiring hopefuls w7as precisely two.
One can draw only one of two conclusions from that fact. Either the Canadian manufacturers pay no attention to the contents of their own organ—an alternative so unlikely that it can be dismissed summarily—or in 1923 they were almost completely indifferent toward the advantages to be derived from the utilization of this particular type of trained brain in industry.
In extenuation, it might be argued that this is an extreme case. The year 1923 was a year of industrial depression. It was also a year of abnormally large graduating classes in our universities, owing to the attendance at. that period of a large number of returned soldiers. Even so, in the light of the fact that only two out of 4,000 took the trouble to write a letter in answer to this appeal, who can adjudge the manufacturers of Canada blameless, when it comes to fixing the responsibility for the exodus?
Incidentally, by way of widening the significance of this particular episode, it may be noted that twenty per cent, of the 1923 graduates from Toronto in all branches of engineering went to the United States.
Now let us see what some of the exiles have to say on the same question. Here is the comment from a Canadian graduate, now one of the executives in the Detroit office of one of the largest oil companies in the United States:
‘I happen to be a graduate in Business Administration of Harvard University and for the most of us who have come from Canada and taken similar courses, about the only opportunity available is the United States. My own experience is that either Canadian corporations are not large enough to require the services of men trained along special lines, or that they have not advanced to the point where they recognize the advantages of using such men. The result is one must stay in this country where the opportunities are large. This observation is based on four years’ university experience in Canada and two years of post-graduate work in this country, plus nine years of practical work in Canada and here.’
That particular exile happens to be in business. From an engineering graduate of the University of Toronto, also in Detroit, comes a similar analysis:
‘Now about leaving my country. I believe a great many of the manufacturers and business men of Canada are prejudiced against the college man, thinking him a kid with nothing but foolery in his head. The same cannot be said of the manufacturers and business men of the United States. In some lines the demand exceeds the supply. I, myself, have seen evidence of the eagerness of the American employer to secure university-trained men in my visits to the University of Ann Arbor (Michigan) where I was shown approximately a couple of hundred requests from manufacturers for graduates and undergraduates.
‘In my opinion, the attitude of the Canadian manufacturer is the cause of serious loss both to the manufacturer and the university-trained man. The manufacturer loses because he does not reap the benefits that would accrue from the application of technically trained brains to his business and the graduate loses because he is forced to go to a foreign country.
‘Hundreds of companies in Canada are quite capable of using technicians in their business, at a fair salary. But my experience is that most of them do not realize either their opportunities or their responsibilities. It is a crime to educate men and then practically tell them they are not wanted and not needed.’
One can’t help observing the contrast between the evidence of interest in the university-trained man found by that expatriate at Ann Arbor and the experience of those fifty-four engineers at Toronto.
Note also this testimony of a graduate in science from Acadia (Nova Scotia), who is now professor of chemistry in a college in Oregon:
‘After three years spent with a chemical company in Montreal, I took an inventory of myself :
‘Age, twenty-eight; married; Master of Arts from Harvard; salary,
$1100 per year . . .
‘As a result I decided to go to the United States for more post-graduate study in the hope of ultimately bettering my position . .
‘I had firmly in mind to settle in Canada. When it became clear after repeated efforts to find an opening, that there was no satisfying prospect, something had to be done, and the move was to the United States. I am
now professor of chemistry in--College, Oregon,
have become naturalized and intend to remain in this country.
‘I have followed Canadian affairs with interest and considerable attention. I fear that although my experience was particular and might have been different with another concern, it might also not have been different. The Canadian industries seem either to be unprepared or unwilling to take care of the supply of trained men Canada can and does furnish, and these men are appreciated and desired in the United States.’
Young Men Need Not Apply
TN THIS connection, many of the exiles who assisted in the preparation of this series of articles by responding to a questionnaire, comment on a difference in the prevalent attitude toward young men as between Canada and the United States. Not all young men are collegetrained, but all university graduates are young, therefore these comments are pertinent.
‘Over here,’ writes a Canadian graduate, now a business executive in a large public utility company in Illinois, ‘if a man is capable, conscientious, honest, and applies himself, he gets along, youth being no bar to advancement. My experience is that the latter does not apply generally in Canada.’
‘In Canada,’ adds a Canadian clergyman now in New York state, ‘a young man is not given a chance until he has proven himself. The United States gives the young man a chance. When I was graduated from the seminary a large church in this country called me at once.”
So also this Canadian doctor, now in Detroit:
‘In Canada a physician is never established until he is well up in years. Here, a young man is considered as good as, or better than, a tottering, infirm man.’
‘I am speaking of the Maritime Provinces only, as I am not acquainted intimately with other parts of CanLeaders in the move to conserve Canadian brains for the benefit of Canadian industry, through the creation of machinery for the scientific mobilization of those brains. I hey are the members of the committee Which is organizing the Icchnical5ervic~ Council for Ontario. Top row, left to right: S. R. Parsons,
ada,’ writes one of the heads of the graduate department of a university in Rhode Island. ‘In the Maritimes, however, there is a feeling that young men should not be allowed to develop their ideas. This is the crucial point, it seems to me. No responsibility or freedom given to a man until he is middle-aged—so the progressive young man goes elsewhere.’
One might go on multiplying similar comments, for the letters quoted already are typical of many. Lest it might be considered, however, that the exile is not an unprejudiced witness in regard to this particular phase of the question, it is not out of place to note corroborative opinion from other sources. Only recently, Toronto Saturday Night, which is not given to undue criticism of orthodoxy in the world of industry and commerce, declared that the migration from our universities was due ‘in part to a recognition by the United States of the value of the scientifically trained man in business and industry.’
‘Even in the modern sciences of salesmanship and publicity,’ adds the editor, ‘our enterprising neighbors have opened up a field for the student of scientific training. In this movement, it must frankly be confessed, Canadian business men and industrial leaders have hitherto lagged behind the van of progress.’
More bluntly still, Principal H. M. Tory, of the University of Alberta, has ascribed the exodus of trained brains to the fact that Canada had ‘neither the brains, the courage, nor the will power to employ them.’
‘Generally speaking,’ declares Dr. Tory, in one of the issues of the press bulletin of his university, ‘it is true that Canada has not realized the importance of using trained men in the public service and in the industrial life of the country. Political patronage on the one hand, and business and industrial stupidity on the other have been the main causes of this.’
Scarcely as blunt but even more significant, because it comes from a manufacturer, is the statement of Melville P. White, of the Canadian General Electric Company, a former chairman of the Ontario Section of the Canadian Manufacturers Association. Speaking to a group of Toronto business men who were discussing the question recently, Mr. White said:
‘Our universities have been doing their part to turn out technically trained material but the opportunities for absorption have not been sufficiently available. In consequence altogether too great a proportion has found it necessary to seek opportunities across the border and in so doing has helped to build up the effectiveness of our greatest competitor, at our expense as it were, for it costs a great deal to rear and train such material.
‘I firmly believe there is ample opportunity for all the trained boys our universities can produce if only our people were more alive to their value and cculd be made to realize what it will mean to this country’s future if they could all be intelligently absorbed into our national life.’
All of which points to one of the major causes of the exodus of trained
Contirued on page 41
Can We Stem the Exodus?
Continued from page 15
specialists: In many cases, they left
because they weren’t wanted. Not because they weren’t needed; but because, with exceptions, employers in Canada failed to realize they were needed. That’s putting it bluntly, but this problem of the exodus is too serious to permit of any watering down of a statement of its causes. The apathy of Canadian industry toward the benefit to be derived from the utilization of trained brains is not as general as it was five years ago, but the plain fact of the matter is that up to the present, we have not recognized the value to ourselves of the trained brains we ourselves are producing.
By way of qualification, it should be pointed out that we are not talking about all our Canadian graduates. All our trained brains do not go to the United States. Many of them do find in Canada the kind of job for which they were trained and, year by year, they are finding it less difficult to get jobs in Canada, for the simple reason that the number of firms whose settled policy it is to seek out young trained brains, is increasing. This year, for instance, the head of the School of Commerce and Finance in the University of Toronto had more applications for graduates from Canadian financial and commercial houses than he could fill. This year, fewer chemical engineers left the same university for the United States than had been the case in any year since the war. Each year, an increasing number of trained specialists are being absorbed into the mining industry, into the pulp and paper industry. The point toward which the evidence drives is not that Canadian industry has made no use at all of trained brains, but that it is not using them to anything like the extent to which they are being used in the United States. And that has a very direct bearing on the exodus.
On the other hand, we will never get anywhere if we attempt to explain away our troubles on the basis of excuses. One critic who read this article in typescript objected, for instance, that it was hopeless for Canada to try to absorb trained men on the scale on which the United States is absorbing them. “Look at the difference in the industrial development of the two countries,” he said. “Look at the huge urban population in the States.” Well, look at it. In the United States the urban population is 51.4 per cent, of the total. In Canada, it is 49.5 per cent. A difference, speaking relatively, of less than one per cent. No, there may be differences in the degree to which the two urban populations are organized, but we can’t blame our trouble on the supposition that we are a country far less urbanized than our neighbour.
As a matter of fact, the further one extends the search for evidence, the more patent it becomes that we ourselves have had not a little to do with creating some of the conditions responsible for the exodus. Consider, for example, the comparatively low level of the wages or salaries paid to technicians in this country. Mention has been made already of the chemist from Montreal who expressed dissatisfaction with $1,100 a year. Those who have followed this series, will recall similar experiences of other exiles whose stories were published in previous articles. Recently, a provincial government lost an extremely valuable agricultural expert who went to the United States at a salary of $6,000 a year. His salary here had been $1,800. Not so long ago the Dominion Bureau of Statistics decided it was desirable it should secure a competent railway statistician. The logical man was located in the United States. He was getting $7,000 a year. The best the bureau could offer was in the neighbourhood of half that
amount. It did not get its man. One of the mining experts employed by the Dominion Government recently turned down an offer from the United States of $18,000 a year, to remain in Canada at a salary of $2,800. His sacrifice indicates what kind of a Canadian he is but his country’s estimate of his value is by no means commensurate with the value of his services to his country. The writer happens to be acquainted with scientists in the Federal Department of Agriculture whose work has resulted in the saving, literally, of millions to the farmers of the Dominion. In comparison with the salaries paid to some of them, a plumber’s wages represents near affluence.
Nor are these isolated examples. H. G.
L. Strange, president of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, known throughout Western Canada as a grower of championship wheat, has been investigating the question as it affects the technician in agriculture. He finds that the average salary paid to scientific agricultural workers is at least thirty per cent, higher in the United States than the average salary paid to similar workers in Canada. When it comes to the more highly paid specialist, the difference is more striking still.
Mr. Strange is no longer ‘puzzled as to why so many graduates of the schools of agriculture in Canada and the graduates in agriculture of our universities are taking up their life work in the United States.’
‘After many inquiries,’ he writes, ‘I have come to the very definite conclusion that, so far as the graduates in scientific agriculture are concerned, this exodus is due almost entirely to the extremely parsimonious reward which Canada offers to its young men of brains.’
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
IT may be argued that there are sound economic reasons for conservatism in this matter of payment for technical services. There comes a time, however, when this kind of conservatism fails to pay dividends. Recently one of the largest public utility companies in Eastern Canada, whose business is of a highly technical nature, lost one of its senior executives to another company, not in the same line of business, which offered him more than twice his previous salary. Company number one now realizes that it paid for the training that made their executive so valuable to company number two, and is giving serious thought to the doctrine of the economy of high wages.
In the United States, on the other hand, the long-sighted policy is the rule rather than the exception. Take the case, for instance, of the Ingersoll-Rand Company, manufacturers of mining machinery, which plans to absorb 100 of this year’s crop of graduates in science from the universities of the continent. For the first six months or year, all of these graduates will be put to school in the several plants of this concern. For the time being, the company regards them not as producing units but as raw material being processed. Despite that, during their period of training, each of those men will be paid $175 a month. Not that the Ingersoll-Rand Company is a philanthropic institution. Far from it. Its directors have learned by experience that such apparent generosity is sound economy. They know they need brains in their business and they are willing to pay them wellieven to the extent of paying for their training.
Similarly with other large corporations in the United States. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company this year is looking for 750 science graduates. They will be taken into the organization for training on a similar basis, and, incidentally, the emissaries of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company are always eager to get the keenest of the graduates in I
science from our Canadian universities. So also are the General Electric Company, of Schenectady, the Westinghouse Company, and a long list of others which long since have learned that their progress depends very largely on the extent to which they utilize the services of trained brains.
One might be excused for thinking that Canadian industry, in view of such an example and in the face of the competition for brain-power these facts indicate, might have made some conscious effort to take positive measures to hold our brains in Canada. Unfortunately, such has not been the case, heretofore. And here we come to another cause of the exodus which is related closely to' the general apathy in regard to the value of trained brains— the almost complete lack of machinery for the mobilization of this class of labor.
On the one band industry has been apathetic; on the other, the colleges have had no sales department, no follow-up department, no real service department.
In modern production of goods, it very often happens that the sales department finds more uses for the product and often has more effect on the design and quality than the designing and production departments combined. And yet, when it comes to handling our most valuable product, our most valuable raw material—trained brains—we have neither selling nor service. Inevitably, the graduate suffers; inevitably, the universities suffer, for they have no point of contact with their market, no systematic means of discovering how best to turn out a product to suit the needs of that market. But how much more does industry suffer! How much more the country as a whole! After all, it is national interest that is paramount. If it were only the graduate we had to think of— important as his problem is—those outside the universities might be excused for their indifference. But it is not only the graduate we have to think of; it is the welfare of industry, of commerce, of finance, of agriculture and of all the other phases of our national life, for that which benefits our trained brains will accelerate national progress.
It may be true that the very lack of such machinery and such a point of view as has been suggested may explain partially the apathy of industry, but whether it be cause or effect, no matter; it exists. Up to the present anything approaching sustained effort to place the graduate in a job has been confined almost solely to individual university professors and professional associations. In some departments of some universities, members of the staff do devote, voluntarily, a good deal of energy to searching out openings for their graduates with more or less success. Their activities in this direction, however, of necessity are limited. For one thing, they haven’t the time; for another, few of them are born employment agents, and still more important, comparatively few employers of labour know they are trying to function as employment agents. On top of all that, the university professor in Halifax, say, knows little or nothing about business and industrial conditions in Winnipeg or Vancouver. In the very nature of the case, his field is limited, therefore, the opportunities open to his graduates are equally limited.
Even at that, he or she is a lucky graduate who happens to train under a professor who believes it is part of his job to find openings for his students. Most graduates, once they leave the cloister, find themselves thrust out in the cold world to sink or swim as best they may. Their university course has taught them nothing about the art of selling themselves and their services to employers; they know nothing or less than nothing about what is expected of them by business or industry; they are sensitive to rebuffs, and unless they have
influential friends they have no one to whom they can go for information or advice. Inevitably, they follow the path of least resistance which, in many cases, leads across the border.
A LL of which, when regarded from the point of view of the individual graduate, is serious enough. From the standpoint of national interest, it is nothing short of sheer folly. Here we are, a widely scattered people, a people in the early stages of national development, whose hope of future progress lies in the attraction of more population, a people living alongside the most powerful population magnet in the world —and we haven’t even taken the elemental precaution of mobilizing our trained brains for the benefit of our own industry. Periodically we bemoan our fate and lament the loss of ‘the very cream of our youth’—and that ends it.
This is the sort of thing that happens, to quote the experience of a sociologist from Nova Scotia, now in Pennsylvania:
‘In my own case, the main trouble was that I was not put in touch with any future work after I left college. I was interested in social work but when I graduated from Acadia I had not the least idea about how to get such work.
I did not have, nor was I able to secure exact information about the details of such work, nor of the positions one could hope to get, nor where to search for them.
I knew nothing of conditions in Central or Western Canada. As a result, I had to take a teaching position. Ultimately I got into the kind of work for which I was trained but the years spent in teaching retarded my advancement by several years. With a little advice and encouragement in my senior year, I think I could have gone into the field I desired upon leaving college and I have always felt somewhat resentful about this. I know many other students in the East who have floundered around in similar fashion and I believe much of this waste energy and enthusiasm could be prevented.’
And this from another Nova Scotia graduate; now in Indiana:
‘Through a Chicago medical bureau, I learned of positions for young physicians in the United States and arrived at an agreement with the people with whom I am at present. In Canada the man seeks the job, whereas in the United States the job seeks the man.’
There are many others who will tell the same or a similar story. T knew nothing of conditions in Upper Canada but had heard of several openings in New England, so naturally went there.’ ‘I had no difficulty in securing several ' good offers through a Chicago teachers’ agency.’ T had heard there were larger opportunities for men with my training in Eastern Canada but found it impossible to secure definite information, so when I was advised to get in touch with several large industrial firms in the United States, I did so, and had no difficulty in securing my present job.’
Small wonder that a Maritime graduate, now a professor of Mathematics in a Pennsylvania College, writes as follows:
T suggest that if the universities in Canada maintained Appointments Boards which were federated in some way so as to exchange information concerning vacancies, it would go a long way toward keeping young Canadian graduates in Canada. Perhaps, they have these boards now. They did not, at least in New Brunswick, at the beginning of the century. It would pay the Federal Government to subsidize such a service.’
‘There is one suggestion I would like to make,’ seconds a graduate of Acadia, formerly a Rhodes scholar and now a professor of economics in a university in Indiana. ‘That is there should have been and should now be, some machinery for bringing back Canadian Rhodes scholars to positions in their own coun-
try. I went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, hut found when I was finished there was no organized machinery whatever for bringing me in touch with positions at home. And it seemed rather lamentable—and seems so now— that 1 liad to fall hack on the placement methods by which American Rhodes scholars find openings in the universities in the United States.’
‘It seems to me,’ echoes a graduate of McGill now a professor of electrical engineering in a Texas university, ‘that there should be some employment agencies of a private or public nature in Canada to keep her sons and daughters at home—perhaps there are now, for all I know. 1 doubt if there are many Canadians who would come to, or stay in, this country if they could stay at home. Certainly, more could be done to keep Canada’s university-trained young men and women at home.’
‘There is one thing which could and should be done,’ adds a graduate of Acadia, now teaching in Maryland. ‘There should be Canadian teachers’ agencies to advertise positions vacant to Canadian university graduates. We, in Nova Scotia, know very little about the schools in Quebec, Ontario and the West and are not presented to them through agencies as we are to United States schools through American agencies.’
Hcpe in Sight
TN the light of the foregoing, it scarcely
is possible to exaggerate the significance to Canada of a movement launched recently in Ontario which aims, in part, to do that very thing these graduates suggest.
Some months ago a group of men associated with the mining industry were seized with the importance of the question that has been discussed in this series of articles. They approached the question, not from the point of view of the journalist, nor from that of the university don, but from the point of view of men whose primary concern was the welfare of industry. As it happens, their investigation was unknown to the writer, but their findings coincided with those already outlined in these articles. Being patriotic Canadians and, more important still, men of action, they decided that something had to he done. And something has been done.
They enlisted the support of the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers, the Ontario Mining Association, the Canadian Manufacturers' Association and a number of private citizens. As a result, there came into being, about two weeks prior to the time of writing, an organization known as the Technical Service Council. At the moment, a committee composed of Canon H. J. Cody, former Minister of Education in Ontario, now chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of Toronto Sir John Aird, president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, C. A. Magrath, chairman of the Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission, Sir Edward Kemp, president of the Sheet Metal Products Company of Canada, and S. R. Parsons, of the British American Oil Company, is engaged in a quiet campaign to collect $30,000 to be used in financing a plan for the servicing of Canadian industries with graduates of the technical departments of our universities.
The Council is starting out on a small scale and its operations will be confined mainly to Ontario, hut as one of its sponsors said: “Someone had to start something, somewhere.”
And this, as outlined in the appeal for contributions, is the point from which the start is being made.
‘Today we are doing almost everything possible to educate our Canadian youth along technical and scientific lines, hut as yet we have made no provision for the prompt and practical utilization of that training and knowledge in Canadian industry.
‘For the past few years, the graduates of our schools and colleges have been allowed to drift without direction, and we, with some degree of indifference, have rested content in the belief that somehow and somewhere they would find their proper niche. All this has been altered. American industry has recognized the latent values of such men. American industry is absorbing the promising graduates of United States universities faster than they are being produced. American industry not only is accepting applications from Canadian graduates but is sending staff representatives to our universities and by emphasizing the story of “greater opportunities” is enlisting all too many of our best for foreign enterprises.
‘The Technical Service Council will endeavour by every fair means to direct the practical application of our educational facilities to the benefit of Canadian indsutry and the upbuilding of the Dominion.’
In other words, to quote again from an address by Mr. White, of the Canadian General Electric Company, delivered at one of the organization meetings: ‘The Council should be the means of improving the status of industry by helping to put better brains into it, brains that rightly belong to Canadian industry and not to our friends over the line.’
Naturally, the scheme has not yet been worked out to the last detail, but in a general way the council proposes to operate as follows:
To create a bureau that shall function as a clearing house through which Canadian University graduates in science and •engineering, and graduates of technical schools may secure employment in Canadian industry, and industry may ■secure graduates:
To employ a staff competent to advise the graduate as to the line of work for which he is best fitted:
To employ a secretary who shall visit Canadian industrial plants of all kinds with a view to studying and learning how such plants can use technically trained men to the advantage of their respective industries:
And, finally, to collect information that will be of service to the universities in adjusting their courses of training to meet the needs of industry.
In view of what has been said about the economic loss to Canada by reason of the exodus of trained brains, could any more practical expression of patriotism be devised than that? I think not. The sponsors of the plan recognize that they will encounter difficulties by reason of the fact that they are venturing on untrodden ground, but they are optimistic enough to think that the obstacles will not prove insurmountable. They wisely have decided that the council should function in co-operation with, but independently of, the universities, the student bodies and employer interests There is no question as to the co-operation of the universities and the graduates. Provided the personnel of the new organization is selected carefully, the one possibility of failure lies in the as yet undisclosed, general attitude of industry. If, however, the support of recognized leaders in industry is any guarantee of success, the plan is as good as established, for its list of active sponsors includes such men as:
J. J. Ashworth, general manager of the Canadian General Electric Company; G. W. Beardmore, president of the National Assurance Company; J. P. Bickell, president of the MclntyrePorcupine Mines, Limited; J. H. Black, president of the Great Lakes Paper Company; C. S. Blackwell, vice-president, Toronto General Trusts Corporation; Dr. Herbert A. Bruce; J. A. Burns; C. L. Burton, vice-president, Simpsons, Limited; C. N. Candee, president, Gutta Percha and Rubber, Limited; C. H. Carlisle, president of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company of Canada; Kenneth J.
Dunstan, vice-president of the Bell Telephone Company; D. C. Durland, president of the Canadian General Electric Company; A. E. Gooderham, vicepresident of the Confederation Life Association; D. B. Hanna, president, Western Canada Flour Mills; R. W. Leonard, former president of the Engineering Institute of Canada; Albert Matthews, president of Matthews and Company; Ross McMaster, president, Steel Company of Canada; C. H. Mitchell dean of the Faculty of Applied Science, University of Toronto; George A. Morrow, president, Imperial Life Assurance Company; Paul Myler, president of the Canadian Westinghouse Company; Allan Ross, director, William Wrigley, Jr., Company, Limited, of Canada; Victor Ross, vice-president Of the Imperial Oil Company; E. B. Ryckman, M.P., president of the Dunlop Tire and Rubber Company, of Canada; R. A. Stapells, president of Stapells, Fletcher, Limited; H. H. Williams, president of International Realty Company, Limited; Prof. H. E. T. Haultain, head of the Mining Department, School of Science, University of Toronto; Melville P. White, of the Canadian General Electric Company; J. E. Walsh, manager of the Canadian Manufacturers Association; R. A. Bryce, and Balmer Neilly, secretary of the Mclntyre-Porcupine Mines, Limited.
Nation-wide Action Needed
C^\NE thought arises out of such a scheme as that outlined above, which must have occurred to even the most casual of readers. On the face of it, the Technical Service Council is designed primarily to meet one phase of the problem of the exodus as it applies to technical graduates and industry in Ontario. What of industry in other provinces? What of technical graduates in other provinces? What of other types of graduates in Ontario and elsewhere? What of the need for applying trained brains to agriculture, to the fisheries? What of the need for the co-relating of industry and education on a nation-wide scale?
There is nothing to be gained by attempting to run before we crawl, but if such men as those whose names have been mentioned believe in the necessity and the feasibility of the servicing of industry with brains to the point where they are willing to dig down into their own pockets to make it possible, surely their idea is worthy of national application. Similar organizations should be created in all the provinces. Once they were operating on a provincial basis, inter-provincial co-operation, easily could be provided for as occasion demanded. What is more,' there should be a similar servicing of all the phases of our national life, capable of being benefitted by the methodical application of trained brains. If the technical graduate should not be allowed to drift, no more should the non-technical graduate. The teachers, the doctors, the potential experts of commerce and finance, the specialists in scientific agriculture, are they of less value to us than engineers and chemists? Surely not.
Then, who is going to create and start the machinery that will assist us in holding them? That is a large question, and the writer is not foolish enough to think that he can answer it. He is rash enough, however, to offer a suggestion as to how we might go about answering it. A little vision, a little commonsense, a little downright hard thinking, a little co-operation, and the will to conquer our own weaknesses would go a long way toward solving the problem. If it is too big to be solved through the application of such private initiative as that instanced in Ontario, then the aid of governments should be enlisted, the aid of governments both provincial and federal. They should lend financial support, if nothing else. The need is unmistakeable. Have we the brains and the sound sense to tackle it?
And one other point before we leave this phase of the question. All that has been said thus far applies to the retention in Canada of the brains we are now producing. That, in itself, would be no mean achievement, but, if we willed, we could go further. Twenty-five per cent, of the exiles in the United States who narrated their experiences, state categorically and emphatically, in some cases, almost tearfully, that they would return to Canada if the way were opened. Many of them add that they would come back at a financial sacrifice. Do we want them? If we do, all we have to do is to serve them as Ontario is trying to serve those whom she would keep.
We need immigrants. Why not our own emigrants?
Editor's Note—What's to be done with our trained brains once they are mobilized? In a fourth article, Mr. Irwin will describe what has been done in other countries and what might be done in Canada. This will appear in the August issue.