MAILBAG

MAILBAG

September 3 1966
MAILBAG

MAILBAG

September 3 1966

MAILBAG

Where are we going? / Sex in schools

YOUR ARTICLE on The Sharp/Gordon Debate is timely. One would think that after the failure Walter Gordon made as Minister of Finance he would retire from public life, but his recent attacks upon American plant subsidiaries in Canada indicates that he has not been silenced. Without these U. S. plants in the late 1920s and 1930s our unemployment situation would have been disastrous. Now Gordon, in one of his unwise moves, is attacking these American branch plants, and he even absurdly has suggested that we buy them out. What with? We are fortunate to have such a powerful friendly neighbor as the U.S.

A. J. REYNOLDS, TORONTO

Y Gordon’s proposals to buy Canada back from the Americans are, it seems to me, the right ones. But, unfortunately, we can be fairly certain they will never be implemented. The reason: the majority of Canadians are unwilling to tighten their belts for the sake of their young and potentially great country.

DICK HOLTE, TORONTO

T Cheers for Walter! Now, if he would only announce prospective plans for a Berlin Wall across the 49th parallel (undoubtedly necessary to stem the mass emigration south that would ensue), there would be compelling and sufficient evidence to have him quickly placed in the nearest loony bin.

JERRY LIVINGSTONE, EDMONTON

Sex in the schoolroom?

Of course Sheila H. Kieran is quite correct in her claim that sex education is not a school subject (/ Don't Want My Children Taught Sex In School — And Parents Who Do Are Deserting Their Duties, Argument). Why make a public show of natural functions? Considering that children’s development varies so widely, discussing sex in the schoolroom may do harm by introducing the subject long before Nature intends. Schools should be kept for scholastic subjects. ANN MANLEY, WHITE ROCK. BC

T The rubbish written by Sheila Kieran is typical of current Canadian thought on this subject. It’s a mixture of timidity. dishonesty, apprehension, unwholesome fantasy, plus the dregs of religious bigotry. Contrast this attitude with that of private schools in the U.S. now engaged in a bold new approach. One of its advisers, Alan F. Guttmachcr, gynecologist and chairman of Planned Parenthood International, states: “All the facts of human reproduction should be familiar to children by the end of their fifth grade, or roughly at age 11.” Since sex is the most important thing in anyone’s life, it is nothing short of criminal to withhold the facts. All the knowledge we have on sex should be taught in our schools. There would then be no need for a definition of obscenity, for it would cease to exist.

GEORGE R. FRAMETON. TORONTO

Seal hunting: tougher laws?

Mrs. Eileen Landry makes the unfortunate and untrue statement (Mailbag) that “nothing has been done to stop [the annual seal hunt].” To the contrary, a great deal has been done by Humane Societies throughout Canada to persuade the government to adopt stringent regulations to prevent unnecessary suffering to the seals during the annual hunt. 1 am quite confident that, if the government will accept the recommendations of the

societies, seal hunting will be carried on as humanely, if not more so. than any slaughter-house operation in Canada. Mrs. Landry goes on to say that the countries involved in the international agreement could “easily come to an agreement to abolish hunting seals in international waters.” I am afraid that this statement is completely untrue and pure wishful thinking. To the contrary.

Canada has had great difficulty in persuading various countries to enter into even a most innocuous form of agreement covering fishing in international waters, and I am quite certain that these countries would flatly refuse to adopt any international agreement to abolish any form of fishing. And in fact, international law being what it is. any country could simply opt out of any agreement

that was made and nothing could be done by any other country against fishermen from that particular nation. Frustrating as it may be, the solution to the seal-hunting problem is for Norway to adopt the same progressive regulations that Canada has adopted and to enforce them against their own seal hunters by sending Norwegian fishery officers and fishery cruisers to the international waters off Canada during the seal hunt.

T. I. HUGHES, GENERAL MANAGER, ONTARIO

HUMANE: SOCIETY. TORONTO

continued on page 44

Not comparable

In her Mailbag letter, Marie Goff, writing from Phoenix, Arizona, says, “The American BA is in no way comparable to the Canadian BA.” Of course it isn’t. A BA in History from Western Ontario is in no way comparable to a BA in Mathematics from Saskatchewan, nor to a BA in French from Montreal. The American BA doesn’t exist; neither does the Canadian BA. The university year in the U.S. is 36 weeks in length compared to 30 to 33 weeks in various

Canadian universities. There is no such thing as a “pass degree” (three years) in the U. S.; no BA can be conferred in an accredited university for less than four academic years of work. — w. L. EVERNDEN, EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY, JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE

As a Canadian now living in the U. S., I am impressed with the progressive attitude here. It is certainly not my experience that education in the U.S. is in any way inferior to that in Canada.

=k In reply to those who may feel that the situation I described in my letter is local, there is an excellent book on this subject by one of the top-ranking living Americans, H. G. Rickovcr, American Education — A National Failure. Rickover makes the point I mentioned — that U. S. schools are roughly one school behind those of other countries; that is, U. S. high schools are like elementary schools elsewhere, U.S. colleges like high schools, and U.S. graduate schools like undergraduate universities abroad.

MARIE GOFF, PHOENIX, ARIZONA

If Communism takes over

Returning from two months in Asia, I read the Argument by Glen W. Davis A Vietnam “Dove” Asks: Do The Americans Have The Right To Destroy A Nation Just Because The U.S. Didn’t Sign An Agreement? I wonder if Davis has spent some time in Vietnam? I interviewed a number of Protestant leaders there. Many have lost relatives in the attacks by the Viet Cong. Others had fled south to freedom. Davis completely ignores their viewpoint. They know that if Communism takes over, as Davis suggests as a preferable course, most of their leaders will immediately be executed and others subjected to atrocities. I am tired of the theoretical viewpoints expressed by Canadians living in safety, freedom and comfort. The only forces at the moment standing between extinction of religious liberty and the fierce oppression of Marxism are the brave south Vietnamese, their allies of Asia, and the U. S. — REV. DENNIS E. CLARK, DON MILLS, ONT.

Campus cover

Our special thanks for the June 4 cover picture directing attention to Jon Ruddy's article The Knowledge Explosion, and showing our son on the steps of Simon Fraser University.

J. F. FAULKNER, BELLEVILLE, ONT.

Sharing the cover with Ron Faulkner was Simon Fraser co-ed Rosalind Sinclair.

Rhodesians: not monsters

My congratulations to your Mailbag contributors who took issue with Blair Fraser’s critical report on Rhodesia (Rhodesia: Is Brash Defiance The Prelude To Collapse?). I have had letters from various people in that unhappy land, and can assure you that they are not monsters. Like the Canadians, they are law-abiding and loyal to the Crown. It is the British socialist government they oppose, not Britain, not the Commonwealth, not the Queen. — L. HOLDOM,

EDINGWORTH, AXBRIDGE, ENGLAND

sk I found Fraser’s appreciation of the position to be superficial. Whether we support Mr. Smith’s government or not does not affect our utter opposition to Mr. Wilson’s government. This is what traveling newsmen fail to observe when they pontificate about our situation. Instead of referring to the massive support for Mr. Smith, they should realize that there is overwhelming support for Rhodesia, irrespective of the government in power. Many of us have realized that Africa is the Communist target today and we have mounted active opposition to this attack for a number of years. But although America, Canada and Britain are equally menaced in their own spheres, these countries have failed dismally to recognize the threat in Africa. Canada will not be saved by throwing Rhodesia to the wolves. We will win this struggle for we are well aware of the price of failure.

S. E. AITKEN-CADE, HATFIELD, RHODESIA ^