MAILBAG

“Seven Days” and its blunt critic / Does Canada back “black racism”? / Crime and no punishment

March 20 1965
MAILBAG

“Seven Days” and its blunt critic / Does Canada back “black racism”? / Crime and no punishment

March 20 1965

“Seven Days” and its blunt critic / Does Canada back “black racism”? / Crime and no punishment

MAILBAG

I wish to congratulate you on How To Survive In The CBC Jungle (February 6). This Percy Saltzman interview with the two bright young men of This Hour Has Seven Days brought out clearly the first-rate job the CBC is doing and the dangers that beset it. F. J. TOOLE. FREDERICTON

* The review of Seven Days by the iconoclastic Strabo (TV's “7 Days"— Not A Gem In All That Muck, Reviews, February 6) was amusing for the first half and absurd in the second. His criticism that “it has made stunning restatements of the obvious . . . it has plumbed new lows of taste" first of all presupposes a level of political and/or intellectual sophistication in Canada which it has not been my experience to witness, and secondly make a value judgment that is both gross and perhaps unwarranted. Here is a program that has endeavored to utilize the mass medium at its disposal for the furthering of public good. Strabo talks about handling public-affairs programs “properly.” How about a few suggestions, O leader of men and informer of the people? — F. B. COOPER, VANCOUVER

* Strabo was clever not to sign his true name under his article: to quote Strabo’s own words: “It has plumbed new lows of taste" and “revels in its own hysteria.” If he is “highbrow.” “lowbrow” is a compliment.

MRS. V. REINHOLDS, DUNTROON. ONT.

A just war—or just a war?

Calling the war in Vietnam a just war, as Hugh Campbell does in his Argument of January 23 (The Americans Are Their Own Worst Enemies In Vietnam), is the most naïve line yet.

K. POST, BROOKLIN, ONT.

* Let me add a hearty amen. Of course, this is not the first one our side has lost: there is a place called Korea, not yet won.

G. MOORE, USAF ACADEMY, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

What’s Rhodesia really like?

1 have just received your November

2 issue. Under World Report, Thomas Franck speaks of “the racism of Southern Rhodesia” and refers to “Canada's effective play against" it. Canadian-born and -educated, I am ashamed to admit to my origin when Canada comes down heavily on the side of black racism against people who are, after all, kin of Canadians through their common ancestry. In Rhodesia all citizens, regardless of color, have been eligible for the vote ever since self-government came into

effect in 1923, provided they met certain basic requirements (literacy in English is one). Under the constitution of 1961, now in effect, this basis was broadened, and thousands more black Africans became eligible to register as voters. Eleven thousand did register, but thousands more didn’t. Recent elections and by-elections have shown how uninterested the black African is in using his vote: less than twenty percent in the most recent by-election (for an African candidate to parliament), which shows how little desire the average black African has to use this instrument of democracy, which so many people outside Africa would thrust on them. The educational standard for all races compares more than favorably with many other countries. There are many instances of unjust prejudice, but not with legal backing. Can Canada boast that she is a country without prejudice? “Racism” as a term applied to Rhodesia is wrong and unjust. Look to the north of Rhodesia and you will see racism — black racism. — MRS. H. B. PRITCHARD,

BUI.AWAYO. RHODESIA

Newman corrects the record

What's British Television Got? Canadians, All Over The Place, by Mordecai Richler (January 2), was much enjoyed by me and other “refugee" Canucks I have spoken to in London. However, it contains an error which is very embarrassing to me personally. Richler quotes me as saying about the National Film Board, “It’s run by accountants.” I did not say this and have never thought it. Creative staff at the Film Board, as I recall and what I observed as recently as this summer, while intelligently administered, are not hog-tied by accountants, red tape, etc. If they were, they wouldn’t be able to make the fine films they do.

SYDNEY NEWMAN. HEAD OF DRAMA GROUP. BBC TELEVISION, LONDON

The hidden delinquents

William Zimmerman, planning secretary of the Ottawa Welfare Council, insists that laymen are creating harmful myths regarding juvenile delinquency (Backtalk About Delinquency, Reports, February 6). As a former police official. I am aware that perhaps only one case involving juvenile delinquency out of every three, where the children of well-to-do or middleclass families are concerned, ever get to court. Many such cases, therefore, do not appear in the statistics offered by Zimmerman and others of his profession. Poor families rarely have any influence at “city hall" or the money continued on page 54

continued on page 54

MAILBAG

Amateurs, stay out! / Big Brother machines / Bad to be good?

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to hire lawyers, and in consequence their children do appear in court. Most of the riots that occur among youths are started by young men and women of well-to-do families, as police officers in Canada and the U. S. know only too well.

G. CLARKE, GREENFIELD PARK, QUE.

Politics is for politicians

I find it both intriguing and meritorious that Blair Fraser should endeavor to enlarge upon Jerome Laulicht’s survey for the Canadian Peace Research Institute (Our Quiet War Over Peace: Politicians Vs. The People, January 23). A more intensive study of the

results would, I submit, reveal greater implications than Fraser has noted. Leaders will undoubtedly continue to make decisions; however, the scope of such decisions will be regulated by their personal assessment of the public volition. This can lead to unfortunate results. Foreign aid is assumed to be one of the more effective nonlethal

defenses. What do we owe these new nations? From a strictly Canadian viewpoint, very little! Ideally, nothing but pure altruistic motives would prompt international benevolence. But the Western societal ethos is probably more egoistically (not necessarily materialistically) orientated than indulgently inclined. Hence our long-term self-interest depends upon the degree to which “goodwill” is created and perpetuated in other nations. This points to more foreign aid (not charity) to lesser-developed nations. That “the people” do not readily see the subsequent assets in foreign aid is no slur upon them. I hire a doctor, dentist, lawyer, mechanic and plumber to perform specific expert functions for me. Similarly, I hire politicians to apply the same criteria to matters of state. Politics, like medicine, is still not a field for amateurs.

C. L. BROWN-JOHN, DON MILLS, ONT.

Cheers—and Town panning

Thank you for printing To Canada. With Love And Hisses, January 23). Harold Town’s observations brought back fond nostalgic memories of the way we high-school youths of 1920 used to talk when we viewed the deplorable state of the world. Those were good old days.

FRED SLOMAN, CLINTON, ONT.

* Three cheers for one Canadian (Harold Town) who—right or wrong — has what it takes to distinguish himself from a sheep.

B. M. DUNCAN, MARKHAM, ONT.

* I have two comments to make on Town’s book: Pish. Also tush.

H. W. J. PECK, LAKEWOOD, OHIO

* Town represents the shrill voice of inexperience.

JOANNE BRYERS, TORONTO

* I’m surprised Maclean's gave this fellow the space. I suppose next he'll be coming out against Churchill.

K. CLEMENT, WINNIPEG

* He has pinpointed with painful accuracy the diseased attitudes of our present Canadian society, namely those which on account of their prevalence seem normal: complacency, the cult of the mediocre well-to-do, the preoccupation with trifles, the distrust of originality, the indifference to real beauty and greatness.

A. KUGLER, CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS

Will the shock shake schools?

Cheers to June Callwood in appreciation of an impressive and stimulating report (Crisis In Our Classrooms: Tomorrow’s Here And We’re All Set For Yesterday, January 23). I trust it will instill a profoundly disturbing thought or two in the minds of those who control the provinces’ educational systems, and into the minds of those educators who attempt to “dole out” knowledge at the grade and highschool levels. In the primary and secondary years of my school life, only continued on pape 57

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one teacher attempted to prepare me for the intellectual rigors of a Canadian campus — a pretty depressing little statistic.

PAT SMALUK. WINNIPEG

* I was reminded of a shock, from which I’ve still scarcely recovered. About five years ago I went through a huge auto plant in Detroit and saw half a dozen men watching machines, which were grimly working away. But what hit me hardest was to see machines inspecting the work of other machines. If every Canadian could see that, we might get action a lot faster than we are.

PAUL A. GARDNER. OTTAWA

* The immediate economic and sociological problems resulting from automation are real and have to be solved fast. But the root problem is a cultural one: how to rid ourselves of the idea that work itself is a virtue and leisure a mere gap between shifts. What is called for is nothing less than a complete reversal of our thinking about how human beings should fill their time.

ALEX DAVIS. OUTREMONT. QUE.

In matters naval

As a British naval officer, it might be inappropriate to comment on the dispute now occurring about the white ensign, were it not for the fact that I have visited both sides of your great country and have relations in Canada who subscribe to both the British and French-Canadian mystique. No one attempts to deny pr*gress in matters of nationhood, but tradition is rarely discarded without considerable pangs and quite unnecessary subconscious disruption. One would be the last to support feelings which favor the retention of a flag of union which commemorates the administration of England. Scotland and Wales under one sovereign. However, in matters naval there can be other traditions which have served the world of free people well. I submit that the quartering of the white ensign replacing the Union Jack by the new Maple Leaf, would satisfy tradition without treading on the toes of national feeling. Further, one sees no reason why in terms of Commonwealth this might not become universal practice.

SURGEON COMMANDER G.A.R. GIRL RN, HMS TAMAR. HONG KONG

A question of life or death

Re your editorial Now We Have A Chance To Abolish Capital Punishment. Let’s Not Muff It With Sentiment (January 23): If the law is barbarous, I’d suggest that the crime for which the law provides punishment is also barbarous. Let’s be fair about this and not see just one side.

PENNY ENNS. MARTINVILLE, SASK.

* If capital punishment is defeated, it will be solely due to the unreasonable and fanatical position of those who stand for abolition of this penalty. People still don’t like being pushed around; especially when their motives are questioned, and aspersions made on their characters. This the aboli-

tionists have continually done, to all those who have an honest difference of opinion. They are determined to stampede us all into their fold, without providing an alternative that is safe, sure, and free from the possibility of human error.

THOMAS J. T. WILLIAMS, TORONTO

* Why do you label anything said in favor of the innocent, mere sentiment, while anything in favor of the guilty wretch, the sound thing to do?

C. RICHARDSON, BRANDON. MAN.

Wanted: a champion

Congratulations on When Little Tommy Burns Outslugged The Biggest Brutes In Boxing (February 6). It's good to see a Canadian writer writing something good about a Canadian athlete. It's about time we had an-

other great champion such as Burns — we need one to build up Canadian ego.

TONY TURPEN, ALDERGROVE. B.C.

* Stephen Jones Gamester refers to “Jimmy McLaren.” Since when did the unforgettable Jimmy McLarnin change his name?

G. B. DAVIS, OTTAWA

Need, not faith

Contrary to the charge made by the Rev. Arnold Thaw (Mailbag. November 16). The United Church of Canada does not demand of underprivileged people anywhere in the world that they give up their religious beliefs in order to receive material aid. The Christian spirit is the motivating force and the church guards with care that distribution is based on an intelligent

and informed knowledge of the need. A. H. CREIGHTON, CHAIRMAN, OVERSEAS RELIEF COMMITTEE, THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

A dam war next?

I read with interest They Went To War For Their Trees (January 2). The author, Earle Beattie, will sympathize with thousands of New Brunswickers who are concerned about the imminent construction of a dam on the St. John River which will destroy millions of trees, flood ten thousand acres of fertile farmland, threaten the existence of the Atlantic salmon in the river, and displace some three thousand people. There is a growing outcry against destructive projects conceived for purposes of short-term expediency. — KEN HOMER, UPPER

WOODSTOCK. N.B. ★