Who needs MPs? / Bruce Kidd on the sports barons

March 19 1966


Who needs MPs? / Bruce Kidd on the sports barons

March 19 1966


Who needs MPs? / Bruce Kidd on the sports barons

DOUGLAS FISHER'S article on how to pick a good MP (How Good Or Bad Is Your MP?), while a little holier-than-thou in flavor, strengthens my growing belief that a good half of our so-called representatives in parliament could be dispensed with. I hat we arc possibly willing to pay some of these men eighteen thousand dollars a year to say nothing, do nothing and, apparently in some cases, to think nothing, is an insight to our appalling lethargy as a nation. A dedicated civil servant would better serve the interests of a constituency than an MP. and do it at half an MP’s stipend! R. C. BARNARD, COURTENAY, BC

The Sports Establishment

Congratulations on your fine article, The Sports Establishment, by Jack Batten. I hope as a result of the article many more Canadians will become concerned about the values such men foist on the public. In a country where more people watch Saturday-night TV hockey than attend church the following morning, where the prime minister locks himself in a study during a crisis of some import to watch the World Series (Dick Ballentine’s film, Mr. Pearson), sport has a tremendous sociological impact. And yet we give the Smythes and the Bassetts almost undisputed right to shape sport values. The sort of thing that has me worried, for example, is the recent statement by Pat Mahoney of the Canadian Football League, chastising Canadian universities for not producing enough professional football players. What could be more ridiculous? And yet this was seriously considered, it seems, by many people. Part of the solution, I think, is a realization by all sports-minded people, especially coaches and athletes, that both on and off the playing field, sport has a powerful influence on the way we live. I would hope such a realization would touch off the acceptance of some responsibility for sport values, for today we have abdicated that responsibility to the Establishment. Establishment monopoly will be pretty difficult to topple, you well might argue, especially from within its own ranks. If changes are to come at all. I think they 11 come from amateur sport—and for these reasons: amateur sportsmen are not

chattels, but pride themselves on a curious form of independence: many amateur values are diametrically opposed to professional ones: while the amateur

position vis-à-vis the pros has been traditionally weak in Canada, it will not always be so. ( Through its Council for Fitness and Amateur Sport, the federal government is rapidly strengthening such organizations as the ( anadian Olympic

Association, and the day might come when the amateurs will really do battle with the pros.) Finally, although Canadian sport is certainly a bastion of conservatism, sport itself doesn’t have to be that way. Sport will never be revolutionary, but it can be a progressive force. Look at the changes it has made for the American Negro. And you should see how it acts as a cultural escalator in India-—enabling boys and girls to break out of the rural tradition of their families, but yet not alienating them. If people are to become aware of what sport means today in Canada, and not what it preaches, we need more analyses like yours. — BRUCE KIDD, DEPT, OF ADULT


Lousy lovers? You’re kidding!

In his discussion of the sexual malaise of the French-Canadian male (Mon Dieu! Québécois Are Lousy Lovers, Too, Reviews), Gerald Taaffe has written that “French - Canadian men are all too wrapped up in their work, to the detriment of their love lives.” Is this not a gross underestimation of their prowess? I think that it is closer to the truth to say that the French Canadians are the greatest lovers that this world has ever known! If not, how could one rebut the observation of J. Henripin in an article in the Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science: “During the last two centuries, world population has been multiplied by three, European population by four, and French-Canadian population by eighty”!


Where a nickel gets a number

I enjoyed reading Paul A. Gardner’s New Orleans, Oui —— Mardi Gras, Non. But I would like to enlighten him on the fact that here in Canada such cities as Calgary and Lethbridge also have nickel phone calls. New Orleans is by no means the only city in North America to have this distinction.


To help The Few to help

In The Many Remembered By “The Lew" (Reports), you tell of the efforts of the Royal Air Force’s Escaping Society, a group of British and Commonwealth airmen shot down over Europe during World War IT, to assist European civilians — now in need of help — who risked their lives aiding downed allied airmen to escape capture.

Would you please forward the enclosed cheque to the society on my behalf? My son, who was shot down in 1941 after a raid on Cologne, was helped along in his escape by European civilians such as you describe.


Reader Ives’ cheque has been forwarded. Others who may wish to assist the society’s work should send their contributions to: Royal Air Force’s Escaping Society, 57 Colin Ave., Toronto.

Germans at Shilo

Re How Ottawa Hid The German Army, by Per Holting (Reports): Even a single German under military orders who sets foot on Canadian soil, at any time, for any reason, is simply one German too many. Nazism is far from dead. ExNazi Germans don’t brandish their insane philosophy on the sleeves of their uniforms. Only Canadian and American Nazis, safe in the arms of public apathy and amnesia, are free to do so. And the Communists aren’t the only people with functioning memories. From experiences of twenty-five, let alone fifty years ago, it should be self-evident, that to give Germans arms and a place to play with them, is like handing a child a loaded revolver.


* I was a participant in, but not the leader of the demonstration at Camp Shilo. The reporters and TV cameramen chose to make my presence the focal point of the reporting of the event in an effort to dub the protest movement as Communist-inspired. One does not have to be a Communist to realize the danger of another remilitarized Germany. You and your readers must wonder why the army, as Holting implies, would invite a Communist into Camp Shilo. The army did not invite me but was ordered by the Defense Department to admit me as a newsman for the Canadian Tribune. Originally, the army barred me from the press conference and only after a protest was lodged with Ottawa was I admitted. After demonstrating my whole-hearted opposition to ex-Hitlerites on Canadian soil, not once, but several times, it is ridiculous and to twist the facts to suggest I would turn around and socialize with them. I he only time I spoke to the Germans was at the press conference in my capacity as a newsman. Holting is concerned about how the government could have saved the Germans from embarrassment. No amount of Madison Avenue public relations could have avoided the protests. Every German officer at Camp

“Disgraceful exhibition by the press” / Mental illness: people must care

Shilo openly admitted that he was a veteran of either the Polish, French ot Soviet fronts. The facts are that German troops under any circumstances are unwelcome in Canada.


* I don’t know Don Currie. I am not a Communist, nor a member of the Manitoba Peace Council. But I am a former journalist and 1 did see the TV news broadcast of the press ‘‘interview’’ of the German soldiers at Shilo. Man. It is inconceivable that your correspondent should simply dismiss this disgraceful exhibition by the press as "a shouting match.” His report is not only false: it is from first to last an effort to convince that the war manoeuvres w'ere almost one hundred percent acceptable to Manitobans. He neglects to mention the flood of letters to the editors of the Free Press and Tribune, denouncing the German rehearsal for future wars by former members of Hitler’s troops (which no one denies a large part of the soldiers are). The “shouting match" was a one-sided harangue by the press, w hich shocked everybody. The press lost all objectivity when faced with peaceful picketers legitimately demonstrating their objections to the presence of former Nazis, became highly emotional, pounced on the picketers shouting (they were the ones who did the shouting) and generally disgracing themselves and their profession. They did not interview, they made fun, ignored the replies and then subsequently, calmly and objectively interviewed the German soldiers. Holting’s attempt to show' the Canadian government as sweet bumblers who just made a tactical boo boo and that that is what caused the outburst, won’t wash. Ihe government knew public opinion was not in favor of former Nazis practising for a future war on Manitoba soil.


Sweeney to Shack to Dexter

In The New Shuck, Susan Dexter mentions Fd Sweeney, who played with Fddie Shack in Guelph. I think you will find it’s Hill Sweeney—who, incidentally, should be in the NHL: he’s a better player than Shack.


* Your photo cutline asks: "Who needs finesse?” The people who like hockey players to perform like ballerinas in lace panties while reading Bertrand Russell— that’s who! Who needs Susan Dexter?


No clichés for mental illness

Alexander Ross's The Menace Of Insane Killers At Large was. in spite of its good intention, a serious blow against efforts being made in constructive mentalhealth education. It is deplorable that journalists must continue to construct catchy headlines anti rude generalizations for the purpose of sensationalism even when they are dealing with issues as complicated and misunderstood as mental illness. Many former and present mentally ill patients and their relatives have already expressed deep discouragement about Ross s liberal use of such cliches as “insane killers . . . crazy old man . . . fevered mind . . . dangerous as an unexploded grenade," which only are relevant in exceptional cases of mental illness. Admittedly, the article did contain criticism of current mental-health provisions, but these remarks came as weak afterthoughts, which did not have

the same punch as the long detailed descriptions of gruesome acts. The authorities whom Ross quotes speak all so glibly about probation and parole. The fact is, how'ever, that these men continue to use the funds to build and run custodial and coercive institutions. They do not put the money into the training of, and salaries for, community psychiatrists and parole workers. We cannot go

on thinking that we can solve our problems by confining everybody who might endanger the society’s stability in institutions. Citizens must be given the opportunity as well as the means to become involved and active in defining and handling social problems. Accidents and crimes cannot be foreseen, treated or controlled as long as the majority of the citizens prefer to keep their ears, their

eyes and their mouths shut and expect or hope that someone else somehow' will take on their responsibilities.


Hon. Member from Hollywood

While 1 wholeheartedly endorse Professor Robert Stamp’s bemoaning of the woeful neglect of Canadian history in our high schools (and universities). I feel that his Argument tells only half the sad. sad story. Canada is surely lost unless

MAILBAG continued

Who’s uneducated? / Who’s a pickpocket?

our educators, for whom we the public are responsible, actively promote and encourage the discussion and study of current affairs in our classrooms. To what didactic depths have we allowed ourselves to sink. I wonder, when I hear an acquaintance, a university student who should know better, solemnly inform me that the premier of Ontario is Jason Robards? How many high-schoolers in Ontario could intelligently discuss séparatisme? The thought makes me cringe.


T Prof. Robert Stamp deplores that most Canadians cannot name our prime ministers of the past. However, one section of the population would do well in such a test — Canadian philatelists. They know that every prime minister since Confederation, who is deceased, was honored by a commemorative stamp, and that in due course Messrs. St. Laurent, Diefenbaker and Pearson will receive similar recognition.


T I thoroughly agree with Stamp. Some years ago I was shocked at the history hook used in the high schools of New Brunswick. After talks with the then minister of education, certain things became plain: the provinces arc jealously guarding their control of education; the smaller provinces cannot afford to publish their own textbooks, so they buy them from the U. S. rather than from a larger province. (The American history of Canada and Britain is most inaccurate and unfriendly.) Canada has the greatest potential of any country in the world and our young people should not have the truth hidden from them.


No comparisons

Blair Fraser errs by suggesting in Who’s Uneducated? The Boss, That's Who (Reports) that my analysis of educational levels in Canada involves a comparison of Canadian and American standards. My study uses a somewhat abstract set of criteria in assessing educational levels of the Canadian labor force and nowhere in it do I compare these levels with those prevailing in the United States. Moreover, if Fraser had examined my work carefully he would have noted that I severely question the value of inter-country comparisons of educational levels and expenditures for purposes of deriving policy recommendations. How do we know that educational levels of the United States’ labor force are correct for Canada? We have a somewhat different industrial distribution of workers. Therefore, do we need the same numbers and types of educated people? How do we know that the United States' educational levels are correct even for the United States? The answer is that we do not. At least one study has suggested the actual level of educational achievement in the United States is greater than what is required. Again, educational standards differ between the two countries so that a grade-twelve graduate from Louisiana may not know any more than a grade-ten student in Ontario. I have perhaps taken an extreme case but the principle is nevertheless an important one to keep in mind. Unless it is kept in mind, inter-country comparisons of absolute educational levels are meaningless. My study was not commissioned by the Economic Council, as Blair Fraser’s remarks would imply. Rather it was undertaken independently and will be published in the coming months as Occasional Paper No. 4, De-


It’s the effort that counts

Your article Why The Mice Are Playing In St. James (Reports) showed a callous, rather supercilious attitude toward the noble efforts of an old-age pensioner in straitened circumstances. Miss Bertha Rand is to be respected and commended for her efforts to save unwanted cats from starving to death on the icy streets of St. James. - MRS. GERTRUDE E. BENNETT, SOUTH PENDER ISLAND, BC

T Brickbats to Maclean's for the way you presented the case of Miss Rand and her eats. She is to be congratulated. Hers is probably not the best solution to the problem, hut she is at least making an effort. - MRS. J. P. QUINL, CALGARY

It seems St. James is now making an effort, too. City council has passed a bylaw permitting an unlimited number of eats in a household, provided they are not mistreated. City officials reported to council that (dl 23 of Miss Rand's eats arc ia good condition.

Let’s be fair

As a Colombian citizen and physician. I was somewhat dismayed by your article, It's A Grand A lime Tor Pickpockets (Reports), in which you quoted a court reporter, Russell Cilliece, stating “Colombia is famous for two exports: coffee and pickpockets.” Could one therefore generalize, saying, “Canada is famous for two exports: wheat and

gangsters (Rivard, Lcmay, etc.)”? This would not he a fair generalization about Canada, as the first is not a fair one regarding Colombia. Secondly, the Mailbag letter from James B. Courtney, of St. Catharines, Ont., under the title “Do We Want Foreign Doctors?” makes it clear that he does not want them. But here again, if one foreign-trained physician is not well qualified, this does not mean that all foreign doctors are not well qualified. I fail to see a relationship between the allegedly poor standard of medical care in India (where incidentally, the ratio of patients to physicians is many times that found in Canada), and the ability and competence of a fully licensed — and therefore by implication, qualified — physician practising in Canada who happens to have been trained abroad.


Which “young people”?

Re The Coni puny Of Not So Young Canadians (Reports): If this noble undertaking fails it will not be because “old” people have been induced to guide its formation, but because of our tendency to associate “young people” with university students, and in particular with those who have participated in some form of agitation, whether political, religious or socio-political. There arc hundreds of high-school and university students who are ready to offer their services to society, provided the objective is to help the less fortunate, rather than to fight for principles which they do not understand or to which they do not subscribe. Furthermore, let us not forget that thousands, who are not students, do

Breakfasts are a bore / Shortage of skilled workers? Here’s who to blame

partcipate wih vigor in activities designfd for social betterment — in 4H club). Boy Scouts, Junior Chamber of Corrmerce, Circle K Clubs, international branches of service clubs, St. John s Ambulance Brigade, Junior Red Cross, and many others. Considering the existent of these organizations, dedicated as they are to social betterment, and in view of the magnificent work accom-

plished by the Canadian Branch of the Word University Service, it would be most unfortunate if a politically oriented group such as the Student Union For Peace Action, controversial universitybased politico-religious organizations, and the Canadian Union of Students are allowed to influence the progress of the Company of Young Canadians.


Leddy of the Young Canadians

In your article The Company Of Not So Young Canadians (Reports) an unfortunate personal reference is made to Dr. J. F Leddy. who recently served as Chaiiman of the Company of Young Canadians on the Organizing Committee. In stiting that “the young people didn't like him,” the author makes an unwarranted assumption which improperly reflects on Dr. Leddy and on his long association with several national youth organizations, including CUSO. As chairman of CUSO during its formative years. Dr. Leddy was, and still is. held in high regard by those persons associated with the CUSO program. Some individuals within the youth community may have wanted to see a younger person appointed as chairman, but this certainly should not be interpreted as a reflection on Dr. Leddy personally. In fact, he is one “older Canadian” who has really given strong personal support to the activities of organized Canadian youth over the past several years, and w'ho is widely respected because of it. — n. B. MARSON.


Don’t have to be — but are

Ian Schinders, in Gourmet’s Notebook, has written a column he titles Breakfasts Don’t Have To Be Dull. All I can say is; don’t ever come to live in a seniorcitizens home. Breakfast consists of some kind of cereal, a piece of black toast and a poached egg — a study in black and white. - F. HERRON, TORONTO

Eliminate the negative

Aware of the problems of promoting adult education among the blue-collar workers, I can understand the frustration experienced by James Brechin in his local union (/1 lime To Fish, And A Time To Cut Bait, Editorial). But I find his views and yours, that forty-plus workers are unwilling to up-grade themselves and that this is the cause of the present shortage of skilled workers, both shallow and negative. From my observations. trying to find answers to why


Cover, John de Visser. Page 12, Ted Grant. Pages 13, 14 & 15, Beverley Rockett. Page 17, Ken Oakes. Page 18, Horst Ehricht. Page 19, J. L. Stage, Photo Researchers, Inc. Pages 20 & 21, John de Visser. Page 22, top left, John de Visser; bottom left, J. L. Stage, Photo Researchers, Inc. Page 23, Ted Grant for Canadian Government Travel Bureau. Page 24, Peter Varley. Page 25, J. L. Stage. Photo Researchers, Inc. Pages 29 & 30, John de Visser.

adult-education classes were attended by white-collar workers and few blue-collar workers, 1 came to the conclusion that the reason lies in the nature of our work. Modern industrial work is dull, monotonous and uninspiring. Individual initiative is dampened and even discouraged. Lacking stimulation, the worker soon becomes an automaton. Coupled with shift work, irregular hours, overtime, layoffs.

the worker is soon discouraged from attempting a planned regular school attendance and a steady program. No wonder that after twenty-five years of such conditioning the worker is satisfied to watch TV or go to a movie. Also our society stresses youth. Industry is reluctant to accept anyone over forty, even in management positions. Government and industry must share the blame for

the shortage of skilled workers. If they did not see the need in advance then they were stupid. If they did see the need but thought that it could be filled, cheaply, by skilled immigrants from Europe. then they were callous. Canada is far behind European countries, which look upon their people as an asset to be encouraged to develop their talents. It is the young workers entering industry now that we need to worry about. Education and training must be made readily available to them before their minds become useless through inactivity.