MAILBAG

How to Keep the brains home / The other ranks on the navy brass

October 19 1963
MAILBAG

How to Keep the brains home / The other ranks on the navy brass

October 19 1963

How to Keep the brains home / The other ranks on the navy brass

MAILBAG

Your editorial (July 27) about the export of the best Canadian “brains” to the U. S. is timely...If Canadians want to stay with the advanced countries, the following suggestions warrant consideration:

1) There should be available incentives to professionals to stay and work in Canada.

2) Free higher education, and the government’s planned ten thousand scholarships and more, should be made conditional on the recipients working in Canada for, say, five years before these “loans” are annulled.

3) Any grants to universities should be based on co-ordinated plans with the new National Economic Council, showing how many graduates are needed and in which field for the next ten years.

4) A ministry of education should be set up to give guidance in upgrading the whole educational system, especially high schools.

There arc many ways to help technological evolution, but the question is, which of our governments has courage to apply available experience? —

E. KULMAR, P.ENG., VANCOUVER

* The Canadian people, of themselves and as represented by their government, have no particular use for excellence. Nor have they the wit to recognize that the survival of their own ostrich-like existence depends upon the fostering of new and creative talents in their own midst, and upon the retention of those talents in the country. What is worse, they add to their euphoria by providing token financial support to the arts and sciences — quite incommensurate with the need —and then pointing with mistaken pride to what they do actually manage to accomplish thereby. Your article, which is in fact a measure of their wholesale failure, will meet this same response if it meets any at all.

My own exodus (complete with PhD, wife with MA, and three “fortunate” children, to keep your records straight) came about last year. It followed upon the recognition that Canada’s current crisis in the sphere of scientific education and research was foundering upon complete indifference within the federal government, and that that indifference could be expected to persist until the cabinet contained men of greater insight and constructive initiative than were then in view. The men have changed: there is as yet no sign that the indifference has.

And make no mistake, initiative within the federal cabinet is essential if effective action is to be taken. In the case of the scientifically trained, the competition that is to be faced stems largely from the U. S. government, in the form of massive funds judiciously expended, and more specifically from the agencies of its executive branch. If Canadian research is

to survive—and so if modern Canadian industry is to thrive and Canada itself remain in being—that competition must be matched effectively. The federal cabinet has the power, had it only the will as well.

The onus for initiative falls on the cabinet once again in other areas of academic and artistic endeavor, if only to show that at last it recognizes there is a problem that must be faced. One step in this process, but only one and a slow-moving one at that, was recommended in the editorial that accompanied the above-cited article. A year or so from now, when you find that it too has been ignored, a followup editorial might well be published under the title, “The death of a nation.”—c. o. HIÑES, PROFESSOR OF

AERONOMY, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO (FORMERLY SUPERINTENDENT OF THE RADIO PHYSICS LABORATORY OF THE DEFENSE RESEARCH BOARD, OTTAWA. AND HEAD OF THE DRB THEORETICAL STUDIES GROUP)

^ My father and I emigrated last year and 1 am attending the University of Akron. I am in the period described

in the article by one woman as “when you refuse to admit that you are really here.” 1 suppose that this uncertainty will exist at least until graduation, and although I brag about the distinctive virtues of Canadian life to my fraternity brothers, the process of indoctrination in this American sanctuary has started and my memory dims.—

ROBERT HOWIESON, AKRON, OHIO

Another shot at the navy

Re: Commodore Plomcr’s article (The gold-braid mind is destroying our navy, Sept. 7), every word is true and good for YOU.-ABMA J. MERCHANT, HMCS STADACONA, HALIFAX

^ We of the Outremont wish to extend our congratulations to Commodore Plomer on a job well done and a point magnificently expressed. We are sure that after reading your article a Canadian will have a better idea of what is going on in his navy. We arc sure that your article will cause an investigation. At any rate it is

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our hope that an enquiry of some sort will he HELD.-CREW OF HMCS OUTRE-

MONT. HALIFAX

The lucky South African Negroes

Blair Fraser's Overseas Report (Sept. 7) makes one wonder how much longer the unfair and senseless criticism of South Africa is going to continue. South Africa is constantly improving conditions for the Negroes there who already enjoy the best living conditions of any Negroes in Africa and it is time she got credit for this instead of the abuse heaped upon her. — MAUD

ROBERTSON, ARNPRIOR, ONT.

The men behind the bookman

There is one major distortion in your article What Jack McClelland has done to hooks (Sept. 7) that I wish you would correct. Mrs. Robert has clearly given the impression that everything we may have accomplished has been done by Jack McClelland. It requires no false modesty on my part to say that this just isn't so. We have an outstanding group of publishing executives — I will name only Hugh Kane, our executive vice-president, because to name them all would take a great deal of space—who have made our publishing program possible. I think, too, that my father, who founded the firm almost sixty years ago and who published such giants of Canadian literature as Stephen Leacock, Bliss Carman, Ella Montgomery, Ralph Connor, Margaret Marshall Saunders to mention only a few and who, indeed, conceived the idea for our Canadian Dictionary, deserved much more than the scant reference he was given. My mother-in-law is upset by the suggestion that I am such a fond admirer of John Barleycorn but I have assuaged her feelings by pointing out that I have yet to meet an editor from Maclean's that I could outdrink. — JACK MCCLELLAND, TORONTO

How honest was Mr. Harkness?

In How Hamilton holds the West (Aug. 24) Peter Newman states that former Minister of Agriculture Douglas Harkness treated the farmers' complaints “with honesty." I wonder if he has ever looked up the definition of "honesty." I suggest that Mr. Newman read Harkness' speeches on the Agricultural Stabilization Act prior to its passage, and compare them with his administration of the act. Furthermore, when a group as conservatively minded as the western farmers send a thousand-member delegation to Ottawa to demand justice. Mr. Newman can be sure that their complaints have been treated with something less than “honesty.”

It was Harkness’ task to tell the farmers that the election pledges

would not be honored. It was Hamilton's job to make them like it. Both SUCCEEDED.-HERB SCHUL/, WINNIPEG

Dow n with Massey College!

To say I was interested in the report on Massey College (Maclean's Reports. Aug. 24) would be an understatement . . . Massey College has been clumsily conceived and crudely devised, notwithstanding its façade of refinement and gentility. It is reported that in keeping with its modern trend it will foster a sort of alliance between “brains” and “business." Will high academic standards be forc-

ed down to a business level or will business aspire to the heights of erudition? I sincerely hope that those to whom authority in educational affairs has been entrusted will not be awed by the claptrap of riches but will stand firmly for the traditions and law's upon w'hich our colleges w'ere originally founded. — MRS. G. HAMMOND, PINCHER CREEK, ALTA.

New Brunswick dull? En garde!

I wish to comment on The Six Basic Canadian Highway Holidays by James Knight (July 27). Alan Collier’s trips are inspired by the search for artistic and original views. His “search” must surely have ended when he so nonchalantly referred to the area in the Campbell ton - Bat hurst-Newcastle district as dull. Even everyday sightseers are breath-taken by the beauty, calm and serenity of the valleys and wooded hills. I find such non-observance inexcusable in a man who has traveled Canada so extensively and chooses to publish his opinions. — SHEILA SHARPE,

TIDE HEAD, N.B.

A minority report on Medgar Evers

Mr. Sclanders has every right to personally mourn Medgar Evers (U. S. Report. July 27) — but I do not think he has any right to print such a condemnation of the people of a state he so obviously does not know, on an issue he obviously has viewed from only one angle. — BARBARA VICKERSTAFF,

MIDLAND, TEXAS ★