CANADA’S NOT IN THE SPUTNIK STEEPLECHASE, but there’s a good chance we'll be the first to build an atomic clock. It’s only a few months from completion, and Dr. S. N. Kalra of the National Research Council says we’re ahead of the U. S. and probably Britain on the project. The clock will tell time practically on the dot of astronomical time, so you can forget the stars in computing exact time.
ESKIMO-STYLE CLO THES are in such big demand at booming Frobisher in the Arctic, and hunting's so poor, that Eskimos are going into the garment business, with fabric made in Canadian mills, cut by Montreal garment makers and finally stitched by the natives. It’s part of a federalgovernment plan to introduce Eskimos to commerce, since the white man’s march north has destroyed many of their hunting grounds.
i^WiH Canada score a first in atom-gadget race? * MPs scoff at sound—they’ll keep Hansard
PREVIEWING TALENT: Montreal novelist Suzanne Butler is expected to hit the jackpot again with Portrait in a North Light (young girl marries artist, helps him to fame, loses him). She did it before with My Pride. My Folly . . . Norman Kihl, ex-ski instructor who first made his name on CBC's Tabloid before quitting in a policy feud, is headed for bigger things in New York. He's been testing for a five-a-week stint as emcee for NBC and also has a chance at two large commercial assignments . . . Marcel Dube, whose Au Temps des Lilas (Lilac Time) will represent Canadian playwriting at the Brussels international fair, is being touted as French Canada's best playwright, high praise considering his mere 28 years.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST WEEDING JOBS this spring is almost certain to be in the crowded ranks of candidates for scholarships to be given by the Canada Council. The Council has $800,000 to be parceled out to 400 individuals. It has already received 2,000 applications for it.
WHOEVER WINS THE ELECTION, what the parties have to say in the next House of Commons is going to be recorded in the same old way. After watching the Ontario legislature's unhappy trial with tape-recording speeches Commons experts agreed it was a flop and they’d stick with Hansard. The tape garbled some speeches; some speakers couldn’t be identified. Hansard's 20 reporters, who take 200 words a minute without a skip, knew they’d win.
THE HEADACHE OF MIXED-UP SIZES in women’s clothes may at last be cured in a way men have been suggesting for years. Instead of Size 12 dress, Size 34 sweater, “medium” T-shirt, all these different garments will be labeled in dress sizes only, according to the plans of some U. S. manufacturers. They'll start it this year and they can't imagine anyone objecting.
ALTHOUGH MOST faculty members tried prudently to stay out of the imbroglio between Premier Duplessis and striking students of five universities, an older feud between Duplessis and Laval University’s faculty now shows signs of bursting into fresh heat. The reason is a literary broadside to be delivered at Quebec’s leader and life in general by five Laval teachers in the April issue of the University of Toronto Quarterly.
In earlier altercations Duplessis had differed with some members of the faculty over social and labor questions. Again, on one contentious issue he threatened to withdraw provincial financial aid if the university accepted federal money (Laval backed down).
Duplessis is not the only target of the five Laval professors in their forthcoming articles. They deal with many forces and many figures inside their own province as well as outside; but if the hypersensitive Maurice runs true to form he’ll still take it as an affront.
Here are the Laval men and some of the things they say:
On Union Nationale: “Its fine majority (4 or 5 percent of the votes) is insecure ... It is a man without a party. This is its strength and its weakness. The provincial Liberals are a party without a man. That is their weakness.”
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On Premier Duplessis: “He is an autocrat. He loves, thinks, wants to be what is strong. He is feared by all of his lieutenants from whom he docs not hide that they are what they are because of him. He has been able to render ineffective all opposition including the Liberal opposition, which suffers obviously from an inferiority complex. Since 1948 ho has reduced parliamentary procedure to a hollow pretense.” Arthur Maheux
On Quebec culture: “The poor position of French culture outside Quebec is the effect of tyranny. The same cry is heard today as in 1830: The country shall be English at the cost of being British.’ ”
On a Quebec nation: “There are groups working on it. Will they triumph? The answer is in the hands of the non-French. They may kill forever the idea of democracy unless they make it the expression of equality between the two groups.”
On education: “Secondary education must be made available to all who are capable of receiving it. For a long time only a minority have been able to carry their schooling past elementary level." Jean-C. Bonenfant
On literature: “French Canada has inspired only one important book, Maria Chapdelaine.”
On labor: "Quebec labor leaders are neither better nor worse than those elsew'here. But they are too advanced for the members they lead."
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PHYSICAL FITNESS EXPERT Lloyd Percival. who startled Canadian parents by saying their children were developing "TV legs.” is preparing another shock for them. His tests for muscular flexibility indicate that more than half of Canada’s children are at least 90 solid hours of exercise short of being fit. Unless our physical habits, including TV watching, change radically, Percival made the startling (and only slightly tongue-in-cheek) prediction to Maclean’s that three out of four youngsters in the next generation will be too weak and fat to walk around.
Percival ran a group of typical schoolchildren (6-12) through the Kraus-Webber test five years ago. It consists of such simple exercises as lying on the back, lifting legs stiff-kneed off the floor, touching toes; 42% failed. This year out of a similar group in the same district 55% failed. "Project that
and you'll see that by 1970 a quarter of our grade - school children won’t really be fit to move.”
Percival’s latest findings stirred up a storm of interest.
He was sought for nine radio and two TV shows. New York. London and f>rophet Percival Paris schools enquired about his tests. He got 5,000 letters from parents, many of them frantic, asking what they could do if their children had “TV legs.”
“Change the family's habits of exercise.” Percival replies. "In Canada our six-year-olds are fitter than nine-yearolds, which shows a fault in training. “In Russia," he adds significantly, “95% of children pass these tests."
ELECTION FORECAST Pros and Pundits muffed it the last time j Here’s how the “amateurs” see it
SINCE THE POLLSTERS and pundits —none half so spectacularly as this magazine itself—all proved no better than amateurs at forecasting the last election, Maclean’s decided to ask a number of self-acknowledged amateurs for their views on this one. Thirty people with no professional connection with politics or punditry were solicited for their guesses on the make-up of the next parliament. Quite a few took evasive action but some spoke boldly: Sir Ernest MacMillan: "The only sure seat is in the lap of the gods, but I’m willing to hazard a guess the PCs will return with an increased representation but no over-all majority.”
Kate Aitken: “Conservatives will pick up three in B. C., two in Saskatchewan, one in Manitoba, two in Ontario, ten in Quebec. In the next house—Conservatives 135, Liberals 81, CCF 25, Social Credit 18, others 5.”
Actress Toby Robins: “A lot of Liberals didn’t bother to vote last time, but they will this time, reversing the trend—Liberals 111, PCs 104."
Painter Jack Bush: “PCs 125, Liberals 94, CCF 23, Social Credit 17.”
Claude Bissell, president, Carleton University: "PCs 118, Liberals 102, CCF 27, Social Credit 16.”
Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto: “A tossup. If world tension increases many voters may decide to rely on the prestige of Lester Pearson in world affairs.”
The most professional-sounding sum-
mation was made by a forecaster not yet old enough to vote, Joan Fitzpatrick, Miss Canada. In the most solemn Walter Lippmann tradition, she allowed, “My best guess would be instinctive rather than knowledgeable,” and then ventured, “However, it appears to me that the present incumbents might be returned on a slightly better margin than hitherto.”
As for the professionals, Blair Fraser explains (page 2) why in an Ottawa Press Gallery sweepstakes he guessed the Tories would win 170 seats—top figure. Low man with 100 for the PCs was Charles Lynch, of the Southams, formerly of the CBt .
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