Kudos for Phillips


October 1 1973
Kudos for Phillips


October 1 1973


A way to finish first

A comment on your editorial Honest brokers always finish last (August), with which I totally agree. Starting with our current Prime Minister and working down to us common folk, Canadians have yet to recognize an obvious fact—that the Americans are the most nationalistic people in the Western world.

It must be very difficult for our diplomats and other civil servants who must deal with the United States to take a nationalistic position when we have a Prime Minister who pooh poohs any show of patrotism and nationalism, although as a Quebecker he is a nationalist to his home “state.”

I hope that some day soon we may have a leader who believes that Canada is the finest country in the world and is prepared to say so, a prime minister prepared to say “this is who we are and this is where we’re going.”


Kudos for Phillips

I would like to congratulate you on your factual and well-written July article, The ordeal of Marten Hartwell, by Alan Phillips. It is heartening to see our national magazine take the trouble to try and get all the details correct in a story in which the military played such a major role.

There are, however, two points I would like to clarify. Alan Phillips states that the Argus is “an impractical plane in sub-zero weather because its engines seize overnight.” The piston engines do require oil dilution for cold weather start-ups, but the Argus is capable of starting and operating in any conditions that a turboprop or jet aircraft can endure.

Also, it does not appear to be gen-

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eral knowledge that the Argus was over the crash scene at the same time as the first Hercules. In fact, we are convinced it was the noise of the Argus climbing for a navigational check that alerted Hartwell. Our aircraft was en route to its assigned search area and had just added power for the climb. Seconds later, the crew heard the distinctive wail of the Dart 2 ELT. They turned and descended, homing in on it, and in a matter of seconds arrived over the crash scene just as the Hercules overflew it. One of our members wrote to Hartwell to enquire if he thought it was our aircraft that he heard, and Miss Haley replied: “Marten says that he was only half awake when he first heard a noise, and it sounded to him like a fox growling. When he went outside, the engine noise he heard he thinks could not have been a turbo-prop noise, so it is very likely that it was the Argus.”

We are not seeking credit or publicity. All that really matters is that he was finally found. I am writing merely to set the record straight as to the suitability of the Argus, and to give you some details about the Hartwell rescue of which you may not previously have been aware.


The ordeal of Marten Hartwell by Alan Phillips (July) has been one of the most satisfying and encouraging pieces of literature I have read in quite a long time. It is such a pleasure to read such gentle, yet effective, reporting on such a delicate subject, and a great comfort to know that Canada’s National Magazine has sacrificed neither objectivity nor taste for sensationalism.


Throughout The ordeal of Marten Hartwell — by Alan Phillips (July) — I found it impossible to let my eyes wander for a single second. When you stated that Alan Phillips was an extraordinary journalist, you were perfectly justified in doing so.


Phillips has done a great job in recreating the events. It seemed I was reading a short story. All members of my family have read the article and now our neighbor wants to borrow the magazine.


C’est le gouvernement

Walter Stewart’s article on bilingualism in the federal public service, entitled Merit means never saying "Je regrette” (August), shows that, although he writes with flair, his use of “color” sometimes intrudes on his accurate presentation of facts. He is certainly entitled to express his editorial opinions, but there are a few points in the article where he is more colorful than accurate.

The most striking example is where he describes a memorandum which I am alleged to have addressed to my staff following last October’s election. I am quoted as saying: “This is to remind you that I was not a candidate, and was not defeated in yesterday’s election.”

No such memorandum was ever written.


I found Merit means never saying "Je regrette” by Walter Stewart (August) very readable and provoking. I see myself as one of the “rednecks” who say “nobody’s going to ram French down my throat.” Perhaps we would be more receptive to the bilingual concept if we had some assurance that the French-speaking people are getting English rammed down their throats.

Surely it was quite clear in the last federal election that we Westerners are 90% English speaking and resent our taxes going for bilingual signs, publications, labels and French classes which we neither need or want. What does it take to convince the C. M. Drurys, John Carsons, Keith Spicers and others in high places that it was not freight rates and economics that cost them seats in the West? It was simply the ramming down our throats of the French factor combined with the sly eroding of our monarchial form of government.

If this whole French bit is to keep Canada unified, we are wasting our

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time and money. The Quebeckers laugh up their sleeves and hold out their hands to scoop up more millions to finance grandiose schemes like Expo and the Olympics. As long as they can demand and receive money, they will dangle the carrot of unity in front of us and we will hasten after it, appeasing them at every turn and learning to parlez français.

Well, not this redneck!


Reading up on BC

George Woodcock’s article on Books in British Columbia — Getting Away From Us All (June) — appears to have been written five years ago. Where on earth has the man been?

He says “ ... There are no real trade publishers on the Coast. Instead there is a pattern of dedicated small presses like Talonbooks ... Blewointment Press ... and Sono Nis.” These small presses undoubtedly have put out worthwhile books — many aided by Canada Council grants — but their contribution to bookselling is meagre compared to the trade publishers ignored in the article.

The oldest publisher in Vancouver with a very long list of regional history books is Mitchell Press, run by staunchly independent Howard Mitchell. The November House list seems to be developing with avant-garde fiction and books of social concern. Lawyer Jack James, Self Counsel Press has made the public aware of their legal rights. Greydonald Graphics in the last three years has published three best sellers by Canadian standards. And Tad Publishing has put out three books in the last six months, one of which has sold 50,000 copies. There is also Hancock House with books on nature subjects and Saltaire with marine books. My own fall list puts us in the top five trade publishers in Canada this season.


Where the track leads

I am prompted to write you following publication of Gordon Gibson’s column That Pipeline Is On The Wrong Track (June).

He writes that a Mackenzie pipeline would “certainly” require new technology, whereas a railway would not because Canada has considerable expertise in northern railways. Evidently, Gibson is not aware that there are more miles of pipeline in Canada than railway tracks. He presumably also overlooked the highly developed state of Canadian pipeline technology. This was described by W. A. Scotland,

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senior adviser on oil and gas to the federal Energy, Mines and Resources Department: “The Canadian pipeline industry ... is an acknowledged leader and pioneer in the construction of pipelines under extreme winter conditions.”

Gibson states that an Arctic railway would mean a lower cost for moving both natural gas and oil than a pipeline. To provide a meaningful cost comparison, one must look at the equivalent pipeline costs over the same area and distance, which is estimated to be just over three billion dollars. But the costs of constructing the liquefaction and re-gasification facilities required to move liquefied natural gas by railroad are estimated to be about $3.8 billion. This means that the cost of the railroad itself would be an added cost compared to the pipe-

line. In other words, it costs as much, if not slightly more, merely to liquefy and re-gasify natural gas than it does to move natural gas by pipeline. The cost of a single-track railway that would only be able to move oil or gas, not both, is estimated at close to six billion dollars. Having regard to these facts, Gibson’s statement cannot be taken seriously.

He also states that an Arctic railway can be built with close to 100% Canadian ownership. However, when one looks at the fact that the total investment will be substantially greater than the investment associated with the pipelines, it is most difficult to understand why the Canadian ownership would be higher as a percentage of the total rather than the lesser. In this connection we believe that more than 50% of the equity in the

pipeline can be raised in Canada, thereby meeting the government’s guidelines for ownership.


A vote for a senator

As a young native Newfoundlander (who’s spent some time in Ontario and Michigan attending university), Senator Fred Rowe’s Farley Mowat and other Newfie jokes (August) came as a refreshing change to me. Not only was his article well written, but it was objective and true as well (and that’s a switch). Having read some of Mowat’s and Horwood’s creations, and having undergone the monotony of ignorant mainlanders who never tire of telling the latest Newfie

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joke (or some fantasy of life in Newfoundland), and having just two days ago come back from a visit to an area of Newfoundland where the issue of centralization versus stagnation has caused some considerable debate and controversy, I feel at least versed in the matter enough to congratulate Senator Rowe on an exceptional and revealing article.


Not the way I saw it

Here’s a delayed author’s reply to the criticisms of Mobil Oil Canada — Your View (July) — about my article Sable Island (April). While the situation may well have changed since, at the time I wrote the article Mobil and the other groups on the island certainly were in opposing, mutually suspicious, camps. If the situation has improved since, I congratulate all concerned. It had room for improvement.

I do not think I claimed Texas Eastern Transmission was the money behind Mobil Canada; I said it was behind the Sable Island project. I was given this information by free-lance photographer Leo Touchet, sent from Houston by Texas Eastern to “photograph their investment,” as Touchet put it. I have a copy of the resulting photo-essay, publicizing Tetero.

I heard about the Ecco group from a man who claimed he worked for it. We sat in his tent on Sable, while he spread out charts and talked about their work. I would say more, except that all my notes are back in Canada.

Finally, if I used incorrect terminology for oil flows, I apologize. I note, however, that Mr. Nielsen does not dispute the point I was making.


Smacking your LIPs

Thank you for the short article, Waiter, don’t give me any LIP (August). It was delightful to read that the LIP recipients had the good taste to spend their income on what appears to have been a great luncheon — and had the nerve to send some of their wine back. They set a fine example. In a nation encouraging prepacked cellophane meals, it was refreshing to learn that a LIP grant and your subtle article are indirectly encouraging good eating for all the socioeconomic categories in Canada.