Brickbats BouQuets

August 15 1934

Brickbats BouQuets

August 15 1934

Brickbats BouQuets

The Cause of War

You are to be congratulated on publishing “Tell Britain.” If the majority of the nation could be shown behind the scenes and learn what goes on, it would be the greatest factor in allaying war fever.

We hope you will continue along the same lines cf educating the public on these vital issues, and would commend to your notice a book which is full of striking corroboration of Drew’s article—The Bloody Traffic by Fenner Brockway.

But we hope too that you will go deeper into the issue and that some time you will publish an article discussing the fundamental causes of modern war. In this connection may we quote from the book just mentioned?

“The armament industries are only doing what all industries do. All lie and bribe and profiteer, and use newspaper publicity and take every possible step to create a market for their goods. The struggle for markets is the underlying cause of the rivalries in the foreign policies of governments and of the rivalries in armaments themselves. It is only by a fundamental change in the economic system that the bloody traffic will be ended.”

The truth of this statement is apparent to anyone who has a knowledge of the cause of the necessity of export, i. e., that the nationals of any country have not enough purchasing power to buy all they produce. Not that the money is inequitably distributed within the country, which is the Socialist claim, but there is an inherent flaw in the monetary and cost accounting system which produces a chronic, automatic shortage of purchasing power. The way to make up this shortage is known, and if adopted it would put an end to the universal struggle to resist imports.—Douglas Credit League of Canada, per C. V. Kerslake, Toronto.

A Nefarious Condition

The article of Lt.-Col. George A. Drew’s in Maclean's Magazine, July 1, strikes me as, on the whole, very genuinely the truth. I feel that he has an inspired view on the matter, a growth of rich experience and thought concerning the same.

Canada is fortunately situated in more ways than one. She can, and not with a “holier than thou” attitude, speak in kindness to Britain and make suggestions, which if followed by Britain would make her the admiration of the world. In one way she can do it, and that is by grasping with faith the idea that Britain as a power can divorce herself from the dominating idea that arms and ammunition for war purposes, as distinguished from firearms for times of peace, must be in the hands of private parties for whom a profit to the investors depends on a demand for big guns, etc.; otherwise the investors would feel obliged to withdraw their capital, which would be the most salutary thing that could hapjien.

This need of profit is a nefarious condition, and is the basic element in the cause of many of our international troubles. It cannot but breed propagandists or those interested in wars, even if those fighting are using therein our own manufactured implements against our very selves.

What an awful mess and almost unthinkable that a country can manufacture siege guns, machine guns, airplanes, tanks, submarines, ammunition, etc., ship them into a foreign country for a return in money, and know that these destructive implements may be used, indeed are used, in killing our own people !

It is utterly absurd for anyone to say that the government, with all its powers in any country, cannot introduce measures to stop

the carrying on of such nefarious practices. Cannot we get any common sense into sufficient of our representatives in Parliament to have them introduce sane measures in this respect?—Arthur S. Bums, M. D., Kentville, N. S.

More About “Cry Havoc!”

Congratulations to Maclean's and to Lieut.-Colonel Drew on the fine article “Tell Britain.” This is constructive and a real addition to Maclean’s “service record.” G. G. K. challenges my conclusion in a previous letter without attempting to answer the argument as printed and open to a reply. Perhaps he found it unanswerable.

I wrote as a returned man, trying to put in words what many must have felt who read “Cry Llavoc!” Let me assume that G. G. K. himself is one who made some sacrifice. He lost, perhaps a son, a brother or a friend, and he has helped to raise a war memorial in honor of the fallen. Along comes a man who speaks to him like this: “Those war memorials make me sick. They ought to be defaced or carted away. It would do you more good, my friend, and your children, too, to make a study of some photographs of mutilated soldiers.” Wouldn’t you feel disgusted, “G. G. K.”? I hope you would. I do not think “disgust” was too strong a word to express the natural sentiment of decent people.

“Tell Britain,” writes Lieut.-Col. Drew, “that Canada is proud of the sacrifice it made on behalf of the British Empire.” There speaks a man! Are you with him, “G. G. K.”? Or are you still with Mr. Beverley Nichols?—Geo. E. Clough, Virden, Man.

Food Versus Dividends

A very interesting editorial appeared in one of your recent issues in which you criticized the provincial governments for spending such large sums of money and favored the Premier’s idea of Federal control of provincial expenditures.

Now I am quite convinced that our provincial governments have been somewhat extravagant. But you must agree that a large part of the money has gone for the relief of human suffering during the last two or three years, and the provincial governments are not resixinsible for that suffering. Rather, the blame rests with the Federal Government.

You will no doubt recall that some time ago the Dominion Government handed out some twenty million dollars to the C. I’. R. without interest, and again guaranteed a loan of sixty million dollars just this session. Have you heard the Premier suggest the control of C. P. R. expenditures? Is the C. P. R. so much better managed than our provinces? What about the building of the last C. P. R. steamship—some five million dollars, I believe—also look at the extravagant hotels, not to mention thousands of other things which the public know nothing about.

I am afraid there are still many who think that dividends are much more important than food, clothing and shelter for the needy. —H. A. Gibson, Calgary.

Candor for Candida

Please accept a big bouquet for Maclean’s as our one hundred per cent Canadian magazine.

As an old subscriber, I watch for it eagerly and enjoy its cleanness in fiction and its comprehensive educational articles.

But I am seconding your Montreal correspondent of the June 1 issue in presenting a brickbat for Candida. I’ve had

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the urge for a long while to tell Candida that his or her criticisms are of no value whatever to a would-be movie goer, as one is always given the impression that the pictures criticized are not worth seeing.

I have yet to read a really enthusiastic write-up by said critic.

Without exception, they are sarcastic, as “Montrealer” says, and given with an unmistakable air of disdain, almost disgust even, for anything offered in the way of movie entertainment. This department should be a help to those of us who want to know what is worth while in talkies.

Candida is surely no criterion.—B. P., Iroquois Falls, Ont.

Disagrees with Piper

Two articles I have read recently in Maclean’s have been distasteful—“This Sloppy Pacifism” and “Why We Dislike English.” The first article I am not going to comment on.

I am unable to agree with Mr. Piper, because I like English. Ilis scathing criticism of “Shorter Poems” and “Short Stories and E says” is most uncalled for. Mr. Piper claims that “A Man’s a Man for a’ that” was world-shaking a century7 ago. I presume that for the same reason he would ridicule the New Testament. “Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” was said a long time ago and consequently would be “aged in wood.”

The first part of his article was, of course, ridiculous. I presume most of the “nosey old women”—just what, anyway, does he mean by this?—know as much of Edgar Wallace as Mr. Piper does.

He is not speaking for the general public, but for those who are too indolent to study English. I hate to see articles like the ones I have mentioned appear in magazines such as Maclean’s, and be read and accepted as though they expressed the voice of the public.—Mary E. Campbell, Hamilton.

Our Review Advanced a Theory

Concerning the story entitled “How America Got Its Name,” permit me to observe that no real authorities on American geographical nomenclature such as G. E. Weare in Cabot’s Discovery of North America, J. C. Kohl in A Popular History of the Discovery of America from Columbus to Franklin, or Dawson’s Discovery of America by John Cabot, comprising extracts of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada, with voyages of the Cabots, make any reference to the Richard Ameryk, the Sheriff of Bristol, England, who, in your curious article, is said to have been the inspiration of John Cabot for naming the Northern continent of the new world “America.”

By authorities, neither John nor Sebastian Cabot is credited with having suggested the name “America” for any part of the new world, of which John discovered Newfoundland. On the contrary, all authorities have credited Martin Waídseemüller, cartographer, and associated savants, of Saint Dié, Lorraine, with having proposed the name “America” in Cosmographiae Introductio and its maps of the then known world, published in 1507, so honoring Amerigo Vespucci.

On the map of the world made by Sebastian Cabot in 1544, the word “America” does not appear at all, Reproduced in Kohl’s History of the Discovery of Maine, with continental North America designated merely “Terra Incognita,” it would seem that, if Cabot had intended to apply the name “America” to any part of North America in honor of his reputed friend, Richard Ameryk, Sheriff of Bristol, as suggested in your article, his son, Sebastian, would liave adopted his proposal.

North America of today was not known by the name “America” at all for many years after its bestowal by Waldseemüller, in 1507, to the mainland of South America; and the reason for honoring Amerigo Ves-

pucci in naming the New World was that he was reputed to have been first to reach its mainland rather than its islands.

“America House,” in Saint Dié, Lorraine, France, sometimes called “The Baptismal Font of the American Continents,” still stands in a street called Place Jules Ferry. Now a drugstore and dwelling, this monument to American geographical science, the actual site of the publication of Cosmographiae Introductio twenty-seven years before Jacques Cartier discovered New France, should be acquired as “The Cradle of American Geography.” Its former owner, Monsieur Louis Serres, firstclass pharmacist, died in March last. Shortly before his death, Monsieur Serres authorized the undersigned to secure offers from patriotic Americans interested in collecting and preserving Americana for America House.

It is understood that America House, duly authenticated by the Municipal Council of Saint Dié as being the original site of the printing of Cosmographiae Introductio, may still be purchased for about 500,000 francs.

Let honor be done to them to whom honor is due.—Roscoe R. Miller, New Liskeard, Ont.

The Boyds are not Cowards

Your magazine is always enjoyed in our home, but the story “The Boyds are Cowards” was such a complete misrepresentation of the Newfoundland people and conditions there that it makes one wonder if the stories written about places with which we are not acquainted are as unreliable.

Miss Betts does not know Newfoundland or its people, or she would not write such a fantastic tale totally untrue to life. Harbor Grace is not a fishing village, but a town where such sights as she described would be ridiculous. Women rushing round our streets with shawls on their heads would be as much out of place as in Toronto. St. George’s is about 400 miles from Harbor Grace, on the opposite side of the Island, so it would be very odd to bring workers from there to Harbor Grace, where conditions are entirely different. The characters show no resemblance to the hardy Newfoundlanders, who are as much at home on sea as on land, to whom cowardice is unknown, and who daily risk their lives without thought of danger.

Long may Maclean’s flourish, but please do not disappoint us by letting such misleading ideas get in its pages—Muriel E. Munn, Harbor Grace, Nild.

Pleasant Study

It’s rather fortunate for Maclean’s that the reading public of Canada does not “judge a book by its cover,” or the wishywashy covers of your magazine would scare most of your readers away. Also a little variety would be agreeable.

However, once safely behind the offending front page, Maclean’s is a treasurehouse of information. Such articles as “Round the Gaspé,” dealing with Canadian geography, are the greatest h lp in the classroom; and R. K. Hall’s “Inside History of Canada” stirs the interest of many children who otherwise show no liking for history. They don’t seem to realize that the reading of such articles is just as much study as the textbooks, and think they’re having a grand time “reading the magazines.” Altogether, I'd certainly never be without Maclean's in the classroom.—R. J. Downey, Pouce Coupe, B. C.

A Clever Story

I must admit that “Dress Rehearsal” is one of the cleverest stories I’ve read in many a day. I’m going to lend this number to a couple of friends who will enjoy “Dress Rehearsal” as I have, I am sure.—Isabella B. Marin, Washington, D.C.