MAILBAG

MAILBAG

January 22 1966
MAILBAG

MAILBAG

January 22 1966

MAILBAG

Should students pay fees? / Toys and Beefniks

YOUR EDITORIAL Why University Students Should Go On Paying Fees completely missed the point. Contrary to what you imply, all official statements made by the Canadian Union of Students emphasize that any financial aid must be given to all post-secondary institutions—academic, technical and vocational—to permit the development of the skills of the widest possible range. Your argument that university education is unsupportable because only a minority of the taxpayers’ children are directly benefiting from it contradicts your assertion that high school should be paid for out of public funds. In Nova Scotia, a definite minority, about one in three of the students who begin school, ever finish grade eleven. The argument favoring universal accessibility to high school applies equally to higher education.

JOHN W. CLEVELAND, SECRET ARY-TRE ASURE*, ASSOCIATION OF ATLANTIC STUDENTIS (ATLANTIC REGION OF C.U.S.), HALIFAX

* Your preference for financial resources above merit as the chief criterion of admission puts your thinking hack into the nineteenth century and before. - NEIL CAPLAN, LAVAL, QUEBEC

* I was delighted to read your editorial. The fact is that all initiative is being taken away from the children and students to plan or accomplish anything. There are so many scholarships and bursaries now that anyone can get a good education without any hardship. Everything free is very demoralizing.

EDITH F. LAURENCE CLARK, ERSKINE, ALTA.

* If society benefits by supporting primary and secondary education, it receives similar benefits from tertiary education including university education. Universities are for the intelligent, not for the wealthy. You say that the admission of capable students will produce a meritocracy. I have long believed that this was the precise function of a university, and with my colleagues have regularly failed incompetent students regardless of their wealth or poverty. The twentieth century is here — Maclean’s should do an about-face and greet its challenge with the same spirit that the universities are showing. - JOHN

s. MOIR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (SCARBOROUGH COLLEGE)

* T he majority of students now have their bills paid to a considerable degree by their parents, who are virtually kept poor all their lives. I would do everything for my children but I sometimes ask myself: Why should I keep myself poor so that our Canadian society as a whole will some day have three college grads who will, I hope, make a valuable contribution to Canada? Why shouldn’t all Canadians help finance their education?

RF-V. H. L. WIPPRECHT, COBALT, ONT.

* You chose the point of view that fees do not keep many students from attending university: “Already there are student loans, student bursaries, student scholarships to make it unlikely that anyone who is both qualified and energetic will be denied the benefits of higher education. In the next paragraph you went on to point out the overcrowding that will occur if fees are

abolished: “If all financial barriers are removed . . . the flood of prospective scholars would become a deluge.’’ Where, pray tell, will the deluge come from if already financial considerations are not a barrier to university education? The writer may use either argument but surely not both in the same article! — J. R. A. ROBERTSON, TRURO. NS

* I was intrigued by your mental gymnastics. You assure us that university training is “a privilege reserved for a minority whose intelligence or academic ability is above the general average.” but then caution us against the danger of educating only those students with high marks, thus creating a “meritocracy.” DAVID MAXWELL, HALIFAX

* The editorial writer appears to be liv-

ing dodderingly in the pre-nineteenth century. The writer objects that "university training cannot be for everybody.” This is an obvious fact. But university training should be for everybody who has the capacity and ability for it. And this is quite a different thing. The writer of the editorial would probably deny the validity of the dictum, “It was good enough for father

and it’s good enough for me.” But he would still saddle the needs of the future of this country with his stand-pat preference for “the present system.”

REV. P. M. PETURSSON, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, WESTERN CANADA UNITARIAN

REGION, WINNIPEG

* Congratulations on your brave stand

against establishing a Canadian “meritocracy.” We. the middleand upper-

class plutocrats of this country, salute

you! - DAVID E. S. MACGREGOR, OTTAWA

But, baby, it’s cold outside

In Off - Season Skiing — In Winter?, Blair Fraser says Canadians can better stand the cold Alpine weather than Europeans. I was born and raised in St. Moritz and can tell you that the natives go about their daily outdoor work wearing fewer clothes than visiting Canadians, who are to be seen bundled up heavily against the weather.

C. TUGNUM, SMITHERS, BC

Will the real Layton stand up?

Poet Irving Layton (The Man Who Copyrighted Passion) is the delight of the journalist interviewer. He is loquacious on many subjects and often revels in having the last laugh as he shocks and provokes our sensitive society. Obviously, your writer, Alexander Ross, succumbed to his many charms. His co-called “revealing” story about Layton has failed to grasp the real character and personality of this vital man. MRS. HYMAN TESSLER, COTE ST. LUC, QUE.

Too late for Banff?

Blair Fraser’s article Unspoiled Parks Or Neon Jungles? was excellent. Let us hope it saves the natural beauty in some national parks. But it might he too late for Banff. We used to enjoy a lovely little mountain town, but all it needs today are a few one-armed bandits and you could mistake it for a run-down Las

Vegas. It is impossible to park your car within a twelve-block radius of downtown. We visit Revelstoke instead now —what Banff used to have is still there. MRS. w. F. HICKS, SOUTH COOKING LAKE, ALTA.

* Blair Fraser says there is not one bookstore in Banff. As the owner of the Book And Art Den. I wish to correct him. I am surprised that he found no fault in the government’s service-centre policy, restricting developments to three centres, Banff being one of them. Spend-

ing a night adjacent to Banff Avenue is as remote from a quiet peaceful night in the wilderness as a night spent in any small compact town in North America. The fact that twenty thousand summer visitors live in the space occupied by the permanent three thousand populace, does not enhance this experience. I am not in favor of strip development, but I do think that some of the remote valleys, where nature as seen from the highway would not be disturbed, should be made accessible for development. These valleys could provide a peaceful vacation in

an area abundant with meadows, creeks and lakes—places of solitude rather than congestion.

PETER STEINER, BANFF, ALTA.

Declare war — on war toys

As war toys increase in numbers and grimness and sadistic qualities, and as pornography and obscenity in publications fill our newsstands, the public is repeatedly told to relax. Eileen Morris concludes her article, Agent 007 And

The Great Christmas Caper, with words from psychologist Fred Hopley: “The important thing is the way parents see things; if you are against violence and war, your child will reflect this ... In the long run, it will he the good qualities that parents stress that will win out.” (The italics are mine.) In the light of statistics on broken homes, indifferent or incapable parents and also on the enormous increase in crime, is it not time we discarded this easy talk, this namby-pamby attitude? Surely our responsibility and concern must be with those children and young folk who haven’t the security of perfect homes.

MRS. .1. H. COVENTRY, NARAMATA, BC

* The most effective way to get rid of war toys is not to buy them. The toy manufacturers are interested in only one thing and that is to make money. When it is no longer profitable, they will quit. It is as simple as that.

JEAN ALARD, KELOWNA, BC

What’s our man doing in Saigon?

After reading and re-reading Our Man In Saigon, it appears to me that the sole purpose of Canada’s participation on the International Supervisory Control Commission has been to act as an agent for the United States.

MILDRED B. MOOR, LUMBY, BC

* Despite official denials, responsible citizens of the United States do not accept this war. From the beginning many thousands have marched, written letters and sent telegrams. Surely Canadians who have read and remembered the Potsdam and Geneva Agreements cannot agree that it is honorable for our government to be spending some million and a half dollars a year in support of the Saigon government! Or that those who carry on this war against a people who have fought more than twenty years for the right to run their own country, can escape the judgment of history!

MRS. R. S. RODD, TORONTO

* Far from being the objective study it purports to be, this is a whitewash job. The neutrality of Canada’s representative, Blair Seaborn, is as phony as the regime he promotes.

D. H. EDWARDS, FRUITLAND, ONT.

What’s a Beefnik?

Enjoyed immensely Jon Ruddy’s report on the hippies—Stop The World—They Want To Get Off. We’ve formed a group called “Beefniks,” whose membership, if ever paid up, might number three quarters of the Canadian population. The title was actually coined by my ninety-year-old grandmother. (She insists she’s only eighty-nine!) The basic precept of our little band is mediocrity. Our aim: protest but never to the right person. We can be spotted anywhere. We wear ordinary clothes, have haircuts, do ordinary things like work for a living. Our biggest sin might be to smoke two packs a day. The closest we ever get to grass is with a Iawnmower. But how we do love to talk! We solve international, national and our neighbor’s affairs over a glass of ale, on the streetcar or at coffee breaks. We hate taxes but pay them, abhor politicians but vote for them, travel on “The Canadian,’’ disagree with our bosses but always behind their backs. We are fiercely for all things Canadian, fiercely for “Tranna” (or Victoria or St. John’s), and fiercely anti-American, except when reading their books, watching their TV, working for their subsidiaries or wearing copies of their fashions. In short, we’re so “in.” we’re “OUT.”ANNE SMELLIE, TORONTO ★