Maclean’s Editorials

Maclean’s Editorials

December 1 1934
Maclean’s Editorials

Maclean’s Editorials

December 1 1934

Maclean’s Editorials

Stock Banditry

WHEN THE publisher of a small town weekly newspaper discus ses the foibles of folk, listen to him.

Small town editors are closer to their public than big town editors.

Publisher Roy Sayles, of Renfrew, told


“The people of small towns are easy marks. They part with their savings to the first welldressed stock salesman who comes along."

County court magistrates will agree with him.

Many are the complaints duplicating that of the Ontario farmer:

“He told me all about the oil stock. It sounded like a good thing, but I didn't have but $60. It was $130 altogether, so I gave him a cheque for $60 and he took the manure spreader. He said he would bring back the stock certificate the next day, but I never saw him again."

Big city people don't lose manure spreaders, of course.

They only lose their savings, their insurance, their homes, their children's higher education.

A lot of them don't wait for a slick salesman to come along.

They ask the way to the plucking house and run to it.

It's hard to classify under “urban and rural” the people who in the past ten years have been rooked of three-quarters of a billion dollars in mining stock deals alone, the authors of which make Kidd the Pirate look like an amateur.

It’s not only a matter of domestic concern.

Thousands of British investors have reason to look askance at the word “Canadian "on promotion literature.

The word “bond" is losing its repute.

Senator Lynch-Staunton has declared: “There is no trick m the trade not legalized by the Company Act."

Lieut.-Col. George A. Drew,former Chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission, has in these pages and on public platforms all over Canada reiterated that the Dominion and Provincial company laws are scandalously inefficient.

The provinces have taken some measures to discourage high pressure stock selling.

But if one province becomes too hot for the stock racketeer, he can always move to another province, where the law is less difficult to evade.

That there is urgent need for an adequate, unified company law for the whole Dominion is obvious.

Inter provincial conferences have toyed with drafts of unified legislation and yawned them into the unfinished business basket.

Dominion ministers are content to sponsor halfbaked revisions rather than get up and fight for an act with teeth in it.

Provincial ministers of mines hate to curb dishonest promotion in the belief that speculation helps to raise money for the mines; lest they retard our mineral development!

As if a tithe of the money taken ever went into development !

Why the all-round reluctance of lawyer politicians to give Canadians proper protection against financial banditry?

Ask your elected representative.

(If he doesn't know, tell him to find out.

While he's finding out, be your own protective act.

[Don't invest until you investigate..


SEVERAL YEARS AGO the first weeks, «of May were abnormally hot.

We remember an elderly lady, who, freshly arrived from the North of England, suffered heat prostration.

It developed that she was wearing two or three

heavy flannel undergarments.

The doctor suggested that she might suffer less inconvenience if she discarded them.

She shook her head and said: “That would be too dangerous. All my life I’ve been taught ‘Never cast a clout till May is out’."

There are a lot of businessmen in Canada who make a fetish of whatever is the equivalent of red flannel petticoats.

For instance, there is the fetish of matriculation.

They won't employ a youth to nail up packing cases or tend an electric switch unless he can produce at least a junior matriculation certificate.

What necessary connection is there between a qualification for entrance into a university and for entrance into occupational life?

Much of the time spent in acquiring a certificate of matriculation would be vastly better employed by the student in fitting himself for the type of employment to which his own inclination and the force of circumstances make him lean.

If, later, he so desired it, there should be nothing to stop him preparing for and entering university.

As things are, we are churning out thousands of lads in their late teens who haven’t any practical knowledge. The universities are not to blame. Nor the schools.

Employers and parents provide the stumbling blocks.

Recently, Dr. W. L. Grant, principal of Upper Canada College, reviewed the difficulties encountered in that school’s experiment with a form for boys who were more interested in practical business than in a university course.

These difficulties were largely the result of the attitude of prospective employers who would seem to prefer matriculated misfits to lads with sufficient initiative to seek specific business or industrial training.

It will be a revelation to most people to find that in some ways so many Canadian businessmen have less progressive business minds than have so many of our educators.

But if employers are at fault in one regard they have plenty of grounds for complaint in another.

Far too many lads fresh from school and just beginning in business are sloppy, careless and inaccurate.

They have a mediocre knowledge of the English language.

Their handwriting is utterly bad.

Their knowledge of this country’s geography could be much improved.

Children in the fifth grade of a public school in Ontario, knew all about two United States baseball pitchers; all about various hockey teams. But they couldn’t tell the inspector who R. B. Bennett is.

That’s something for the school authorities to contemplate.

A Gift for the King

NEXT YEAR, the Empire will celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of King George’s ascension to the throne. A. W. M. Hanbury, of Oliver, B.C., calls attention to the fact that just prior to the recent America’s Cup races, newspapers reported that His Majesty might have a new yacht built to replace the famous “Britannia." The dispatches further intimated that in the event of the “Endeavor” failing to lift the cup, the Royal Yacht might be so designed as to take the place of challenger next year.

Mr. Hanbury's suggestion is that it would be a splendid idea if, to commemorate the Silver Anniversary of His Majesty’s reign, the Dominions and Colonies raise by popular subscription a fund to build and equip, as a present to the King, a yacht superior to anything yet conceived in this class.

Were the necessary organization possible, we imagine that no gift would give His Majesty greater pleasure. It might not be feasible, but it is a graceful thought.