COMMENT

MAILBAG

What a Quebec republic would do to its minorities / The untold Jewish story

March 24 1962
COMMENT

MAILBAG

What a Quebec republic would do to its minorities / The untold Jewish story

March 24 1962

MAILBAG

What a Quebec republic would do to its minorities / The untold Jewish story

It was interesting to observe (A policy blueprint for the Republic of Quebec, Feb. 24) that Dr. Marcel Chaput is indeed human — perhaps all too much so. But one must wonder whether he is entirely unemotional, and whether the lively sense of humor which enjoyed demonstrating the insensibility of Ottawa's officialdom to French-Canadian aspirations, as revealed by the letter of suspension written to him in English, appreciates equally the evidence that part of his ambition for a separate Quebec would be to impose on minorities disabilities in some ways more obvious than those Canadiens have ever faced? “The English wotdd be welcome to stay, providing (sic) they . . . recognize that they would be living in a country whose only official language would be French.” . . . “Businesses would have to conduct all their dealings in French.” While it may be that Canadiens have many legitimate grievances, one cannot help wondering if that may be just as much due to their long adherence to the clericalism, system of education, and electoral practices which men such as Pierre Trudeau are attacking (Portrait of an intellectual in action. Eeb. 24). In a similar way, the increasing influence of the United States in Canada, of which English-speaking Canadians often complain, may be just as much due to our desire to acquire rapidly all material progress without paying for it out of our own labor and accumulation of capital. - A. E. RAYMOND. LONDON, ONT ARIO.

The gap in our history

1 greatly enjoyed reading The welcome enemies (Feb. 10) about the internees who were brought over in 1940. It was an article long overdue about a very remarkable group of people. Without in any way disparaging a person for whom I have admiration. I would point out that it is somewhat inaccurate to say that Heinz Warschauer is the country's leading expert on Canadian Jewish history. Mr. Warschauer has indeed

done some good work on Jewish history — but it has been confined to Toronto Jewish history and has not extended to Canada-wide study. There are others such as Rabbi Arthur Chiel, David Rome, Abe Arnold, Louis Rosenberg, Isador Goldstick who have also done work on local Jewish history, but other than B. G. Sack’s study done 17 years ago (and incomplete) there is as yet no over-all Canadian Jewish history. — HARRY S. WEINBERG, TORONTO

Christianity vs. the Church

J. A. Eilshie denies (Mailbag, Eeb. 24) that “Christianity” is responsible for Canada’s divorce laws. He may be right in that, but the Christianity propagandists -— of whom he is one — and their

henchmen in the Senate are surely responsible. These people prate about Christianity but they practise “churchianity.” Existing divorce laws demonstrate how utterly church-ridden Canada is! — E. It. STAVE RM AN. VICTORIA, B.C.

How Halifax was saved

1 was most interested in your Feb. 24 flashback. The short heroic cruise that saved Halifax, as 1 was Port Defense Officer on duty at the time the fire broke out. First word of the fire came from U. S. Naval Authority at some place down the American coast. They had picked up Volunteer’s radio distress

calls. The U. S. Navy gave us the position. This was plotted on our charts and showed the source of the signals to be in the Port of Halifax area. We checked Port War’s signal station at Chebucto Head and they knew nothing. We then checked Turple Head signal station at the mouth of Bedford Basin. They reported strange flares, etc. Simultaneously, our naval station at Albro Lake in Dartmouth reported the distress calls. Having thus determined that the ship in trouble was the Volunteer in Bedford Basin, we checked her anchorage and cargo particulars with the Duty Naval Control Service Officer. While this was being done fire boats were dispatched and Commander Robertson and other port authorities advised. A quick check with the NCSO revealed a highly explosive cargo. Commander Robertson was thus further advised. This, then, launched the round-theclock battle of Commander Robertson and his gallant civilian and naval fire fighters, pilots and SEAMEN.-GEOFFREY

W. SMITH. ISLINGTON, ONTARIO.

Hope at the eleventh hour

Plans have been made to set up a Peace Research Institute (The man who wants peace. Eeb. 24). Many scientists are eager to work in this Institute. Every person in Canada will be given a chance to contribute toward the project. This idea is so timely, we are sure the people of other countries will follow our example. We know that we have entered at the eleventh hour but we also know “There is no power in the world like an idea whose time has come.” We can do anything we want, if we only want to ENOUGH.--CHRISS

DOUGLAS, VICTORIA, B.C.

Birth control and the public good

At least the magistrates have an unambiguous law to administer, and the inconsistencies are in the sentencing ( The lottery in our courts, Feb. 24). But what of the law about selling and ad-

vertising contraceptives in Canada? This is unlawful, you may be surprised to know, unless each separately accused individual can prove he has acted in the public good—and the law' specifically states his motives are not relevant. There is an unfortunate small businessman at present appealing against his conviction, brought on the appeal of a member of the Knights of Columbus. Surely the lawmakers could make up their own minds whether voluntary birth control is in the public good.—

MRS. BARBARA CADBURY, TORONTO

Where to find good reading

Your editorial in the Feb. 24 issue (How the new magazine proposals have been misrepresented) was excellent. 1 receive many U. S. publications. The material in most is good—but I am now finding that Maclean’s and other Canadian publications are, if anything, better. — AL AST AIR GRANT, COMO. QUE.

Sources for social workers

I should like to correct the impression given in The unmarried w'ives by McKenzie Porter (Jan. 27) that 1 am a

sociologist. I am a social worker; we in social work are grateful to sociology and the other social sciences for the wealth of concepts on which we draw in our profession of helping people. We are inveterate “borrowers” of knowledge but not of TITLES.--ANN FOSTER, M.S.AV.,

TORONTO.

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A French Canadian cheer for the British tradition Forgiveness, at last, for some pilfering soldiers

If you claim to be the “national magazine,” stop publishing the Communist line articles. Marxists are Bolsheviks, and enemies of Christian Canada. The Red Army chorus (Leo Hodson’s hitch with ihe Red Army singers, Feb. 24) was led by known and trained spies. My family is Canadian French for ten generations — pioneers, coureurs du bois. Quebec people are too sane to give up loyalty to the Queen and to Confederation for chimeras made by Dr. Chaput, Lesage et Cie., and so on. Québécois should uphold solid Canadianism and respect Fnglish traditions — then Canada can become bilingual and will respect French Catholic traditions. —

TELESPHORE RICHARD. PRAIRIE GROVE, MANITOBA.

No pennies for the Camp Hoys

1 was very much interested to read The welcome enemies (Feb. 24) and to be reminded of those dark days twentyodd years ago. Having been a witness of the collapse of the Dutch Jewish Congress in the days of Dunkirk and Rotterdam. I was not surprised at the lack of constructive work done by Canadian Jewry in our case. Many socalled prisoners of war were released for philanthropic reasons, but even so, many-were employed for wages below the general level and had to work at starvation wages. General conditions in the camp could have been improved by pennies. I personally organized a reading room in Ile aux Noix and my weekly letters to the Congress asking for a few yards of electrical wiring to lower the bulbs, so that the boys could read without spoiling their eyes, were never answered. I forgive the Canadian soldiers who rifled our luggage. They did not know better, but I will remember the members of the so-called Refugee Committees since they should have known better. This story is a dark page in the history of Canadian Jewry. — JULIUS PFEIFFER, M.L., PIED., C.A., EXJUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF DUSSELDORF, MONTREAL.

^ Allow me to congratulate you for the wonderful account of the rehabilitation of the young victims of Nazi brutality. This seems to mark a very special high point in the policy of Maclean’s. Could you let us have more articles of this kind, for it makes a Canadian feel proud indeed and anxious that we should do much more to welcome and make a home for these poor little children. — D. W. DAVIES, M.D.,

VANCOUVER.

What forest fires do

As a practising forest engineer, T suggest that Franklin Russel! (The pedigreed forest of the future, Feb. 24) is slightly off the beam with respect to the benefits, to the forest, of fire. The caption to the large photograph on page 21 is especially misleading. I would guess that the over-all loss-tobenefit ratio in this case is about 1,000 to one. The good things about any forest fire 1 have seen are negligible when compared to over-all loss in invested capital, suppression costs, wild life, and more often than not a delay of from 10 to 20 years before the estab-

lishment of a new crop of the right kind of seedlings. — i:. s. CADENHEAD,

CASEY, QUE.

* Many readers will have been saddened by Franklin Russell’s story of the McGill University greenhouses torn down to make room for a cyclotron. Tearing down cyclotrons to make room for greenhouses won't help much, though, because Canada still has only one operating cyclotron, in contrast with dozens of botanical research greenhouses, experimental tree nurseries, and forest experiment stations. Earlier in his article, Mr. Russell mentioned tree research conducted with radioisotopes, most of which were discovered with

cyclotrons. 1 don't know where Mr. Russell thinks radioisotopes come from, but they don’t grow on trees. - K. E. BELL, DIRECTOR, MCGILL RADIATION LABORATORY AND CYCLOTRON. MONTREAL.

The imported gavel

What is the significance of the gavel on the front cover of your Feb. 24 issue and the two gavels illustrating the article on Canadian courts (The lottery in our courts)? You know of course, that the gavel is an American court accessory and not used in Canadian courts. You are equally aware, naturally, that the Canadian court symbol is the figure of Justice carrying a pair of scales. The question therefore arises: why did you choose the American rather than the Canadian symbol? Could it be that you are anticipating the realization of the plot of "In High Places?” — ARTHUR JENSEN, KEMPTVILLE, ONTARIO.

Citizens for Alcock

At about the time your article on Dr. Norman Alcock appeared (The man who wants peace, Feb. 24), he addressed an audience in Victoria and my husband and I were there to hear him. We came away with a feeling of hope for this poor old world, because at last here was a man who was a realist, able to admit the problems of the human race are pretty stupendous but willing to try, at great personal sacrifice, to tackle them with a plan that seemed most feasible to us. I sincerely hope everyone will investigate his ideas on a "Peace Research institute” and 1 thank you for outlining them in the article. Here is one family that is supporting him all the WAY.-MRS. MURIEI M. ARMSTRONG,

VICTORIA, B.C.

Continued on page 58

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What our movie makers can learn from Russia

It was quite to be expected that Clyde Gilmour would rate Saturday Night and Sunday Morning as the best movie of the year in spite of what Eric Nicol

calls its “ruttish degradation.” The Chinese have a proverb, “You cannot carve rotten wood"; you cannot make a work of art out of materials inherently squalid and degenerate. The surge of abhorrence against the almost unvarying fare the movies are now offering us is strong and unmistakable. If the movies wish to woo people away from their TV, let them emulate the Russians and give us beautiful films of ballet and opera, historical epics of our past, tales of heroism of the present, the wellloved classics, fairy tales for children.

family films which do not play down the role of father, and really funny films in place of these dreary squalid tales of heels and worthless types. —

L. K. B ROD IE, VANCOUVER.

The U.N. and the demagogues

Congratulations to Mr. John Phillipson on his excellent article (Stop whitewashing black African demagogues, Feb. 10). His exposure of the tyranny and oppression of black dictators is all the more valuable as he cannot be ac-

cused with any justice of “colonialism.” As the daughter of a former colonial secretary of Gambia (my late father, C. R. M. Workman, retired from the English Colonial Service in the late twenties), I have long been interested in African affairs and have regarded the ominous trend of the United Nations’ policy in supporting these “black demagogues,” and doing its utmost to destroy what is left of law, order and decent government in that even darker continent, with increasing dismay. It is really encouraging to read an article like Mr. Phillipson’s that dares to expose these abuses and Maclean’s is to be congratulated on its courage in publishing such a fine article. — MRS. KATHARINE M. WIDDOWSON, READ ISLAND, B.C.

The force behind Puerto Rican co-ops

One inexcusable omission in an otherwise excellent article by Ian Sclanders, What a decent government can do in Latin America (Jan. 27), is any reference to the significance of the co-operative movement in the Puerto Rican economy—and to its Canadian origins. During the last war the world-famous extension department of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., had a request from Governor Luis Muñoz Marin for assistance in co-op development and Reverend Father Joseph A. MacDonald was sent there by Reverend M. M. Coady, the director. Over the past 20 years of intermittent residence in Puerto Rico, Father MacDonald has inspired and assisted in the development of co-op supermarkets, credit unions, co-op insurance, co-op housing, co-op dairies and marketing co-ops. A November conference in Bogotá, Colombia, to form a Western hemispheric grouping of national co-operative movements, paid generous tributes to Father MacDonald and to St. Francis Xavier University for their assistance in pioneering co-operative development in Puerto Rico. The island’s example will be the model for intensive co-op development in all of Latin America in order to ensure that the benefits of Kennedy’s “Alliance for Progress” program will be quickly felt by the people, instead of making the rich richer as some other aid programs have DONE.-JIM MacDON-

ALD, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE NATIONAL LABOR - COOPERATIVE COMMITTEE, OTTAWA.

How to save the country

In answer to Jim Raines (Mailbag, Feb. 24), there is no need for making that swap with Puerto Rico. We have a man in our own country capable of good government if given the chance — the leader of the NDP.-F. J. HEAL, NARA-

MATA, B.C.

Toronto's culture curtain

Your article on Pierre Trudeau (Portrait of an intellectual in action, Feb. 24) was a fascinating study. I immediately went out to look for a copy of Cité Libre, the periodical which provided so much of the stimulus for the social revolution taking place in Quebec today, but believe it or not, there’s not a copy to be had in Toronto. I tried the three bookstores which carry French periodicals (La Librairie Française, University of Toronto Bookstore and The Book Cellar), but it was not carried or displayed. The Toronto Reference Library does not receive it, and carries practically no French Canadian periodicals, not even Le Magazine Maclean. It appears that in English Canada (in Toronto at any rate), we are isolated from what is happening in French Canada not only by a language barrier, but by a cultural barrier as well. — ELGIN BLAIR, TORONTO. ★