COMMENT

MAILBAG

An average man’s cure for work addiction/What price the undeserving poor?

December 2 1961
COMMENT

MAILBAG

An average man’s cure for work addiction/What price the undeserving poor?

December 2 1961

MAILBAG

An average man’s cure for work addiction/What price the undeserving poor?

Alan Phillips and his most perceptive study (Work addiction, the habit that rules the men who rule the rat race, Nov. 4) have struck a badly needed blow in the defence of us average ordinary men, whom, because we are not work addicts, our wives call slobs. My own case is to the point. I am no work addict. I don’t even like work. In fact, i hate it. J go to it with great reluctance,

and generally twenty minutes late. I do as little of it as 1 can. 1 take all the coffee breaks and stretch my lunch hour by leaving early and returning late. 1 go home before five and refuse to go to the office at all at least twice a month. I love my week ends, which I spend either in bed or in front of the television set, and I detest the thought of Monday mornings. 1 refuse to do anything at all around the house save eat and sleep and if my boss were to suggest a week-end conference. 1 would quit on the spot. In a word. I am a normal. healthy Canadian male with a good, sound outlook on work. But do you think my sensible, intelligent attitude wins me any praise? It does not, sir! It brings calumny down on my head. It is the subject of more maliciously critical remarks from my familiars (all potential work addicts themselves, poor souls) than you could shake a stick at! 1 say let there be a new national movement against work and let

its motto become Stop Labor Or Bust, and may the significance of its initials escape no one: S.L.O.B.—j. G. HARRIS, PII RKI FONDS, P.Q.

** Perhaps some distant day. a saner civilization will look back upon the "Gay Nineties." the "Roaring Twenties.” the "Frugal Thirties,” and the “Neurotic Sixties” with whimsical detachment and understanding. In the meantime the upward, onw'ard path of mankind is stalled on a whirling treadmill; coming from nowhere and going nowhere at a frightful rate of speed. — ROBERT F. HARRINGTON, KASLO, B.C.

A monologue for the charitable

When the social worker goes to the door of the undeserving poor (A discriminatory report on the undeserving poor. Nov. 4) I hope she is honest and says, "Good day, Mrs. Ambrose, we have discovered that you are weak, and we want you to join our strong society. However, it will be difficult for us to help you because of a lack of money in Canada, the land of more millionaires per capita than any other nation on earth, because our intelligent, efficient and forceful government tells us that billions spent on centennial blowouts and preparations for genocide must come FIRST.”-DONALD A. L ANGE. HALIFAX.

1/0 To conclude as Jane Becker does, that the "undeserving poor" are not really undeserving and that everything can be cured by more money and more organization contradicts not only her bold title, it contradicts her facts. It is not. of course, fair to indict Miss Becker personally; she merely repeated the dogmatic catch-phrases of her informants. Certainly the feeble-minded need help and no form of aid do they need more urgently than help to practise birth control or, more accurately, abso-

lute CONTRACEPTION.-MRS. EMILY N.

CLASSEN, OTTAWA.

The cost, $53,000, of producing one human being that will be a useful citizen in our democracy, seems rather out of line. If we think of anyone engaged in agriculture, pursuing a similar course, where only 9% of the seed sown resulted in a harvest, the results would be. as Fuclid would say, absurd.—w. i. BENNETT, TORONTO.

The Russians and our national sin

Members of all diplomatic corps in all countries are required to make social contacts with the natives (My secret rendezvous with a Red attaché, Nov. 4). When the diplomat is Russian it

does not necessarily add any significance to his actions. Better snap out of this all-engulfing, national sin of triviality, before we all sit down on the floor and start tearing up little pieces of paper.—

KI N K. JOHNSON. SALMON ARM. B.C.

Is convenience the better part of honor?

The U. S. treaty with Chiang Kai-shek (Editorial. Nov. 4) is. like any other treaty made between nations, only good as long as it benefits the parties who have signed it. Any time it becomes a stumbling block to those nations, it is conveniently broken. If you think honor is at stake, 1 would like to ask how

many treaties have been broken by leading nations in the last twenty years? — F. HOLDEN, TERRACE. B.C.

What Canada needs

How sad this is (The West Indians: our loneliest exiles. Nov. 4) for a country that boasts so much and so loudly of no discriminations and prejudices. Canada needs a change of heart, less boasting and more action. - MRS. MARY

SILIS, PORI ARTHUR. ONT.

Answers for undergraduates

1 his article (The anxious years of an undergraduate. Nov. 4) should be printed in the handbook of every Canadian university; it would certainly answer a lot of questions and provide answers to many problems. — w. j. LAZ.AROWICH,

CALGARY.

Down with the l oyalists

In reply to the letter of L. Sanson (Mailbag. Nov. 4) with regard to the Loyalists, I believe that Canada would be much more advanced and dynamic at this time if it were not for traditional British Loyalists like himself, who have tried to maintain the British influence throughout Canada's history.—s. ARTHUR, CORONATION. ALTA.

The young writer

My husband, Arthur Hailey, shrugged indifferently when your last issue referred to his age as 46 instead of the 41 he is (How Art Hailey left television and really made good). Not me, though! Fearing guilt-by-association. Ld like to record politely that five extra years is something I can manage very well without. P.S. I'm 33,-SHEILA HAILEY.

MORE MAILBAG ON PAGE 9

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What we need instead of an all-French Canada Who shall lead them? Young marrieds, that’s who

The Case For All-French Canada, by

Michiael Sheldon. (Sept. 9) is dribble by another ‘anti-something,’ disillusioned human. Knowing and using French (or any other language) common to the vast variety of Canadians, is not a bad idea. We would be better equipped to better understand our fellow men, if we were able to converse with them. But to say that making Canada French would help us to attain high goals in Canadian culture and literature, etc., improve trade, industry, the national economy, etc., is simply wrong. If humans, whatever language they may use, whatever country they inhabit, do not exert themselves to develop and use their God-given mental capabilities, a new language won’t solve the problem. Perhaps Quebec should take time to learn English, a few facts re cooperation and imbue the rest of the Canadians with some lofty ideals. —

MRS. ANN QUIST, ESTEVAN. SASK.

*" Michael Sheldon suggests a Frenchspeaking country from sea to sea. I wonder just what he means. There is a type of Acadian French in Nova Scotia, a somewhat different type in New Brunswick and a third type of French in Quebec, it is difficult for people from any of these areas to understand each other. None of these patois is a true French such as is spoken in France — the so called Parisian French. If this true French is to be used then it will be necessary for the people of Quebec to learn another language, which would be as difficult as for the English to learn French.—c. E. CLARKE,

DARTMOUTH, N.S.

An apostrophe to the Gods

I do not know the origin of the name Kamloops, but the Encyclopedia Canadiana is not an authority I would accept without question (Mailbag: Oct. 21). For instance, in one volume Gods Lake is spelled correctly. But in another volume it is misspelled God’s Lake. For lake, narrows and post office the gods are plural, not possessive. — u. M. LACEY, WINNIPEG.

The Manitoba place guide, the Canadian Almanac and the Encyclopedia Canadiana agree on God's Lake but the Oxford Atlas spells it Gods Lake.

Congratulations

Barbara Moon and Maclean’s are to be congratulated on the outstanding story on Dr. Louis Slotin. - MIRLE RICE,

WINNIPEG.

Five-year-old progress

Eileen Morris (Let’s stop wasting our five-year-olds’ minds, Aug. 26) sadly illustrates the well-meaning but uninformed attitude of many parents. She is misguided in her belief that kindergartens are still Froebelian. Even Froebel would find it difficult to recognize many of his activities because of the modifications that have come about through research, a better understanding of children’s development and the demands of the life which our children today will lead. Kindergarten is not nursery school over again. Just as Grade two is the outgrowth and continuation of learning that follows Grade one, so is kindergarten planned to give the fiveyear-old an education appropriate to his

stage of development. A wise parent does not force a child to walk because he turns one year old. In just such a way a wise teacher does not force the learning of a specific thing before the child is equipped for it. We try to help him develop the powers he will need through the years to come. Play is work and learning to share, contribute to the group, listen, to use one's mind, can be fun as well as ESSENTIAL.-MRS. PATRICIA E. HIP WELL, TORONTO.

^ It must be remembered you have quite a mixture of children just starting school—to mention some—the intelligent, average, slow, shy, etc. Well, most teachers aim at the average child and the average child needs this system of education which Mrs. Morris so readily CONDEMNS.-LEO AYLWARD, ANNA-

POLIS COUNTY, N.S.

Take me to your leaders

In the article on campus marriages (The harmony and discord of one campus marriage: Oct. 21) Judith Krantz starts

off by quoting Rt. Rev. R. S. Dean, who says "early marriages are robbing Canada of its future leaders.” and proceeds to relate a story of a young couple who are very obviously leaders —leaders because they challenge old prejudices . . . This couple illustrates a determination equal to that of our early pioneers. Let us hold our responsible young people in high esteem rather than imply that if they spent more time sipping sodas with the gang they would do BETTER.-MRS. L. GULUTSAN, VANCOUVER.

The only way to make a million

Making a million (Four ways to make a million, Oct. 21) is impossible for any man or woman by his or her own labor of brain and brawn. He can only lead other people to help him in such an undertaking, and take a good percentage of their production for himself.—

G. G. HARRIS. RAPID CITY, MAN.

Young Dr. Atlee

Does Dr. Alice (Why surgeons operate. Sept. 23) realize the passage of the years, and remember an article he published in Maclean’s about twenty-five years ago, in which he insinuated — if not forcibly stated — that all doctors, when they reached the age of 60. should be shot? The late Dr. M. R. Young of Pictou. replied to that article in the pages of your MAGAZINE.-SUSAN MacQUEEN, PICTOU, N.S.

The but ure of Medicine (Maclean's, April 15. 1933) was one of 59 short stories and articles that Dr. Atlee published in Maclean's between 1926 and 1941.

Continued overleaf

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Why farmers fought against conscription in 1918 Some more ways to tell the English from the French

I have just gotten around to reading Ralph Allen’s piece about conscription in your Sept. 23rd issue. As I remember it, the conscription law was called the Selective Military Service Act. and the selecting was done by three-man tribunals that were set up at convenient locations throughout the country. The call-up was directed to single men from ages twenty to thirty-four inclusive. Anyone who wished could appeal to the tribunal of his district. The tribunals generally seem to have been inclined to leave adequate labor on the farms. Up to this stage, there was no definite farmers’ opposition to conscription here in the west, and we didn’t hear of any in Ontario. Certainly predominantly rural constituencies elected proconscription candidates to parliament. The big howl came in the spring and early summer of 1918 when the exemptions granted all those twenty to twenty-two years old were canceled. No exceptions or appeals were allowed. A widow farming with the help of a son would be left without help, while a neighboring farm where the help was outside the specified age group would be left undisturbed. Naturally there was a wave of objection. General Newborn. the minister of defense at this time, insisted “the farmers have to take this.” But provincial politicians also got insistent and the government’s attitude relaxed so that camp commanders were empowered to grant “compassionate leave” in cases where the soldier’s callup was working a hardship for his family. — FRANK DOWSON, BROADVIEW,

SASK.

^ The article was interesting and informative. Mr. Allen is in error, however, in stating that the chief recruiting officer in the Province of Quebec was "a Baptist clergyman.” The appointee was Rev. C. A. Williams, minister at St. James Methodist Church. He was given the rank of major and did excellent work under trying circumstances. —

GEORGE ADAM, MONTREAL.

What football coaches really like

The article (One set of football rules for Canada and the U. S.? Entertainment, Sept. 23) certainly was more than I had expected. It covers the subject thoroughly. However there was one mistake that I noticed. When talking about the number of players on a team you say, “Only three American coaches liked our twelve-man game better than their eleven and only eight Canadian coaches liked ours.” This should read, “ . . . and only eight Canadian coaches liked theirs.'’ The majority (57) of the Canadian coaches, myself included, prefer the twelve-man GAME.-BOB ROGERS, CHICAGO.

Who should look after the kids?

Jessica Swail suggests we use the devices of the opposition (The Case For today’s parents: one mother accuses the experts. Oct. 21). What opposition? 'The disregard for proper authority is the only thing these parents are opposing. These parents cannot go out to socalled business and expect to have someone else direct the welfare of their child. They want the job of having children but they want to pass on the responsibility of raising them. — G. SMITH, TORONTO.

A job well done

Some ten years ago you had a fine, illustrated article on Miss Yadsie Urbanovicz (Yadsie meets all trains. July 15, 1951), Montreal’s brilliant Travellers’ Aid Society linguist and port worker. You may be interested to learn that she is going on pension early in December of this year. With her goes her friend, long-time associate, fellow Slav and fellow linguist, the United Church’s immigration deaconess. Miss Louiza Mayova. Together they have written a notable chapter in the story of Canada’s reception of immigrants.—

A. S. MURRAY, MONTREAL.

You shall know them

As an English male I believe (How to tell the English from the Eiench in Canada, Oct. 21) that finesse, a sense of cultural heritage, and an appreciation of civilized living are evident in

greater depth in the French Canadian. Who ever saw a Frenchwoman looking like a piece of stainless steel?—R. s.

HEATH, OTTAWA.

* This delightful article has buttonholed a very real situation. Of Erench-Irish descent, and having resided in Montreal, Toronto and now Quebec City, 1 can give personal testimony to all statements made. — c. MONTMINY, QUF.BEC CITY.

The unfortunate Mr. Meighen

In his interesting account of the Chanak incident (This lifetime in Canada: Oct. 21) Ralph Allen stales that Mr. Meighen “carried the country” in the 1925 election. This implies that Mr. Meighen became prime minister immediately following the election and that he obtained a majority of both the popular vote and Commons seats. Mr. Meighen obtained a plurality ( not a majority) in the voting and his party became the largest in the Commons, but with only 1 17 seats out of 245. Mr. King lost ground but carried on as prime minister (although without a seat in the House himself). The Liberals had only 101 seats and depended on 24 Progressives to maintain control of the House. Mr. King's precarious government survived until June 28. 1926. His advice to Lord Byng to dissolve Parliament and call an election was ignored. Instead, Mr. Meighen was asked to form a government which lasted for only three days. The election of 1926 which, as Mr. Allen points out, resulted in a serious Conservative defeat, involved the constitutional issue arising out of Lord Byng’s action. Although twice prime minister, Mr. Meighen never won a federal election. - GEORGE S. TOMPKINS, VANCOUVER, if