Mailbag

Mailbag

Tales of Ottawa’s wild and woolly past An outspoken objection from Samuel J. Zacks The Depression: Flashback or news?

May 21 1960
Mailbag

Mailbag

Tales of Ottawa’s wild and woolly past An outspoken objection from Samuel J. Zacks The Depression: Flashback or news?

May 21 1960

Mailbag

Tales of Ottawa’s wild and woolly past An outspoken objection from Samuel J. Zacks The Depression: Flashback or news?

MACLEAN’S is up to date and dead right in its assessment of the importance of Eskimo graphic art, one of the most exciting artistic developments in Canada in recent times. (Preview. April 9). Maclean's is dead wrong, though, in its reference to Eskimo sculpture as “a glut on the market.” The market for Eskimo stone carving is as strong as ever—and growing stronger. For every existing retail outlet, there are probably ten others that would like to sell it. —DONALD SNOWDEN, DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL RESOURCES, OTTAWA.

The original Six-gun Greene

In his article, How I Switched From Shakespeare To Six-guns (April 23), Lome Greene asserts that until a year

ago he never “lifted” a Colt .45 and that at one time he felt there should be a law against westerns. I can produce evidence, which Greene cannot deny, that his blazing gun felled villains and Indians by the score as he headed ’em off at the pass riding his trusty cowpony as long ago as circa 1920. Surely Lome has not forgotten when we rode the range together in the area surrounding the corner of Bell Street and Gladstone Avenue in Ottawa, on our trusty wooden steeds. I have often wondered as I see him in Bonanza or when I read the excellent story in Maclean’s if Lome Greene recalls those days. — MAX

BOOKMAN, OTTAWA.

Samuel Zacks takes exception

I have read with great consternation and dismay The Four Fabulous Lives of Samuel J. Zacks (April 23) in your magazine. I must take exception to it on many counts.

First of all, the article was to deal with art, and it was on that basis that I agreed to co-operate with you, as I thought I would be helping the cause of art. I had hoped and had reason to expect that it would be a friendly article, and not an attempt to make a cloakand-dagger caricature of me. Further, there is much distortion and error in this article.

I resent very much many of the attributed quotations which certainly were never made by me, for example: “I kicked in a million dollars to the Sonneborn Institute.” Actually there was no such organization. I was not asked nor was anyone else asked for a million dollars. I did not make a million-dollar donation as reported, and the meeting referred to did not have many millionaires. I do not know of any organization of the type he described, public or secret.

Secondly, I categorically deny that I ever bought or participated in the purchase of scrap Bren guns for Israel in Canada, nor did I sell any of these items to agents. Mr. Porter's information is completely erroneous. I did men-

tion that in the early Fifties when the Israel government was purchasing obsolete and discarded guns from the Canadian government — a public transaction — my friends and I borrowed some money from a Canadian bank to help the Israel government complete the transaction. This was repaid in full by the Israel government. This episode was placed out of context in his story.

Thirdly, I must take exception to the way Mr. Porter treated the internee problem. The fact is that I served on a national committee headed by Senator Cairine Wilson, which did a magnificent job. This I told Mr. Porter but he confused this activity with some work I did for another national organization. His presentation has certainly caused me great embarrassment. The internees were not my protégés, but were wards of the state. I did not and would not claim credit for the work of a committee. I emphasized to Mr. Porter that all Zionist funds raised in Canada were spent for the purchase of food, clothing, housing and medical supplies.

He apparently was not interested in our art collection, although it was used as an entrée for the purpose of writing this story. We are very disappointed that the story behind our collection and the true tale of how we assembled it with great care and investigation has not been told. We feel that art belongs to the public, and have arranged many exhibitions of great educational value. This is what we had hoped would be discussed.

With reference to my part in the establishment of the state of Israel, everything I did was done conscious of my responsibility as a Canadian citizen and never in violation of any law. —

S. J. ZACKS, TORONTO.

Is the Depression dead yet?

In Frank Croft’s Flashback, How Did We Ever Get Through The Depression? (April 9), I wonder if we're not a little

premature in thinking that we're through it at all? With inflation, unemployment, rising taxes, public and private debt increasing, maybe we’d be wise to take another look. — LEO N.

PROBE, AMHERSTBURG, ONT.

Persistent icebergs

The final paragraph of How We've Mastered The Iceberg Menace (March 26) reads: “By August, the last of them are gone.” I was on the S.S. Saxonia, sailing from Montreal in August 1956. On August 26 we had passed through the Belle Isle Straits and were on the open Atlantic. It was a bright, sunny, clear day. After breakfast we saw one huge iceberg and maybe a dozen smaller ones. The pinnacle of the berg must have been at least sixty feet high. These were bergs that would hang around till the following year, at least the big one.

— B. ASQUITH, MUSKOKA, ONT.

MORE MAILBAG ON PAGE 90

continued from page 4

v* Why South Africa should stay “in the family” l^ “Let’s do away with schools for blind children”

I JUST READ Terence Robertson’s Argument, Kick South Africa Out Of The Commonwealth (Dec. 19) at the time the most recent trouble began here in South Africa. South Africa hasn't enjoyed the criticism she has received from all over the world. But if she should withdraw or be kicked out, the African, the colored and the Indian would lose whatever small hope they have of ever gaining their freedom.

This system of apartheid is really beyond words. I am amazed that these people have not revolted long ago. I came down from Angola by train. At Elizabethville, where I spent one night, there were Africans eating in the hotel and sitting in the lounge behaving like gentlemen. At Victoria Falls I saw one African in the dining room, so it is permitted in Rhodesia. But at Johannesburg, the first thing I noticed was the benches printed “for Europeans only.” Then there are the separate buses, trains, exits, entrances, waiting rooms, and the movies and concerts for whites only.

The wage scale for the African is the lowest rate — a colored doing the same would receive more. The Indian in some ways is better off but even though he pays the same taxes as a white, he has no vote. For us to kick South Africa out of the Commonwealth would be abandoning all these people to their present fate. At least while South Africa is still in the “family,” surely we can put some pressure to bear to change this. I agree with Robertson that the voice of Canada would be stronger if our own policy on immigration were improved. Canada could well take the lead in true non-discrimination. - MISS LILLIAN TAYLOR,

ANGOLA, PORTUGUESE WEST AFRICA.

Women in real estate

Re New (And Expert) Players Join The Real-Estate Game (Preview, April 9), I should like to point out that while Mrs. Beatrice Sankey is chairman of our women's committee and automatically a director of the Toronto Real Estate Board, she is not the first woman to have served as a director. Mrs. Grace Leckie served on the directorate of the board for four years and was instrumental in forming the present women’s committee. - A. G.

SANAGAN, PRESIDENT TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD, TORONTO.

Hon. Ellen Fairclough protests

In Peter Newman’s article, Donald Fleming: The Man Who Spends Your Money (April 9), I find a reiteration of a statement which has been made before and which is an outright falsehood... With reference to the flag incident when Mr. Fleming was expelled from the House in 1956, Mr. Newman’s article states: “Because Mrs. Fairclough had shown the Hag hidden in her desk to reporters the previous day ...” This is completely false. I had great difficulty in securing a Red Ensign on very short notice. It was not available until just a few minutes before the motion of expulsion was put to a vote in the House. I do not, as a rule, bother to refute statements which are made because I feel that they die a natural death in the course of time, but this particular one has recurred and been used on sev-

eral occasions to the point where I feel that I cannot let it proceed any further without protest ... I can assure you on my honor as a loyal Canadian citizen and as MP that the incident was a spontaneous one dictated by the excitement and fervor of the hour. - ELLEN FAIRCLOUGH.

The PM and the “money-bags”

Judging from Peter C. Newman's backstage at Ottawa ( Diefenbaker’s non-Tory Tories, March 26) one would assume that it is irritating to the money-bags of Ontario and Quebec to have a prime minister in Ottawa who stands up for what he considers the best interests of the majority of Canadians, and who cannot be pushed around by such big shots as the president of A. V.Roe, who threatened the PM with anti-Conservative propaganda. - W. J. GERBRACHT, WHITE ROCK, B.C.

Whopping wheat surplus

The article How did we ever get through The Depression? (April 9) says, “In 1929, Carl Langlet had harvested three

hundred thousand bushels on his fifteen hundred acres near Rosebud, Alberta.” Would you please find out for me what type of grain he was growing? Possibly at two hundred bushels per acre even I could beat the cost-price squeeze. — FRANK B. KIME, MILESTONE, SASK.

Maclean's should have said thirty thousand bushels — for a yield of twenty bushels per acre.

Segregating the blind

Leo Glassbourg’s Argument (Charity for the blind is really discrimination, April 9) comes awfully close to hitting the nail on the head in many instances. Charitable organizations could do a lot more in developing employment opportunities for the blind, but they cannot do it alone; the public, particularly employers, have an obligation . . . However, segregation of the blind is not an idea of the charitable organizations. Until recent years, the CNIB opposed gatherings confined to blind people alone and only accepted them when efforts to promote social intermingling of blind and sighted people proved inadequate. The present system of educating blind children in schools for the blind contributes to segregation of the group. This may have been necessary in past years but the time is fast approaching when normal blind children can be handled in the public school system — after a period of orientation in a school for the blind. Blind children growing up in their own communities would become accepted by their future fellowcitizens at an early age, rather than returning home as young adults to face the frustrations of being strange and unacceptable.-J. IVAN DAVISON, HALIFAX, if