MAILBAG

Liars, Quitters and Prophets of Doom

May 1 1949
MAILBAG

Liars, Quitters and Prophets of Doom

May 1 1949

Liars, Quitters and Prophets of Doom

MAILBAG

During the course of an evening in almost any tavern there will appear on the scene a garrulous character who, on being well-primed with free beers, will gladly sit at your table and play the role of the Prophet of Doom . . . In printing “The Big Lies” (by Bruce Hutchison, March 1) Maclean’s has merely given the Prophet a coast-to-coast hookup . . . “The Big Lies” reeks with extravagant hyperbole . . . Nevertheless, at times some wonderfully constructive thinking has come out of Winnipeg.-F. A. Thompson, Montreal.

• Just too bad there are not a few more million writers like Hutchison.—George Robertshaw, Kilworthy, Ont.

• Speaking of lies, it seems to me Bruce Hutchison left out the biggest and most important—the lie that we are a Christian nation.—M. C. C., Nelson, B.C.

• Glad to see our old friend Bruce Hutchison back in Maclean’s again. —Alan Iveslie Greig, Victoria, B.C.

• “The truth,” Mr. Hutchison says, “which our surface prosperity can obscure but cannot alter, is that Canada today is living unnaturally, synthetically and dangerously . . .” Stuff' and nonsense. It could be said that man has lived unnaturally since Eve donned a fig leaf. E. D. Haiiburton, Avonport, N.S.

• Someone please debunk the debunker. — D. Adamson, Winnipeg.

• Why should Bruce get himself all worked up into a lather about big lies at this late date? Is he not aware that the human race has been living on big lies for thousands of years? —F. J. McNey, Craigmyle, Alta.

• Just a line of appreciation and respect to you for publishing Bruce Hutchison’s sound, forceful and timely article, “The Big Lies.”—Winthrop Bell, Chester, N.S.

On Surpluses

In your editorial on cutting taxes (Feb. 15) you said: “The sellers’

word 'surplus’ is cropping up again in regard to many commodities.”

... I understand there art1 a large number of unemployed in Canada now. The quickest way of disposing of these, of course, is via war. By that means we could also dispose of our surplus commodities. It is to this frightful condition we are rapidly drifting.

Will our young men take kindly to this method of disposal of surpluses? 1 wonder.—H. A. Gibson, M.D., Calgary.

• You wrote editorially about price floors under farm products . . . We must admit it seems funny for a Government to pay high prices for a product when it has lit tle market value, but we mustn’t forget that the Government in paying a bonus on flax and others was merely fulfilling a contract made with the producer. This contract

said, in effect, “We (the Government) will pay you (the producer) a price high enough to encourage you to produce the kind of crop most needed to win the war and peace.” True, all moneys over and above the market value come from the taxpayer’s pocket, but the producer is also a taxpayer. Did you - are you kicking now when the price of wheat is kept below the market value? Do you write editorials about the injustice?

Keep money in the farmer’s pocket and everyone wall be working and eating . . . If the Government has the courage to keep a high floor under farm products. Maclean’s will have a large paid-up circulation. But if farm income comes down my subscription will not be renewed in 1950.—W. H. Tingley, Farmer, Hatherleigh, Sask.

• To lessen that bulging (federal) surplus, why not return to three-cent postage? — Letter Writer, Wolfville, N.S.

Profits for Pensioners

Re “Pension Poverty” (March 1), I am making a suggestion which I believe worked well in England. Cinemas were allowed to open on Sundays on the understanding that (I think) 30% of all profits were to be used for

the old people of the town. Where I resided at that time a piece of land was bought, small bungalows were built of one, two and three rooms and a small garden allowed for each.

1 think some of the profits of the leverage rooms could be put to such a purpose.Albion, Tottenham, Ont.

Royal True Love

In “Mrs. Majesty” (March 1) it was stated that Queen Mary was dealt a fearful blow when the Duke of Clarence died. It was true that Queen Mary was destined to marry the Duke of Clarence had he lived, but her real love was for George V.—Harold Spooner, Waseca, Sask.

They’re Glad He Quit

Thank you for publishing “I Quit!” (March 1). If more people, especially women, could see themselves in a mirror after taking two or three drinks they’d quit too. — Elizabeth Warr, Toronto.

• “1 Quit!” . . . has been an item I have looked for with every issue. 1 am astounded at the amount spent on liquor, especially here in Alberta . . . Our own liquor expenses for 1948 were probably lower than $15. And we became parents, to boot! So far this year we have still three fourths of a

13-ounce bottle of rye whisky and half a gallon of sherry. All the whisky has been drunk by friends—we don’t care for it. —Mrs. H. Simpson, Peace River, Alta.

Backward Golfer

The March 1 issue is chuck full of interest. The cover has color, imagination, humor and is generally attractive, but, ye gods, why did not the artist consult a golfer? How the fellow got into that green patch except by backing in, according to the footprints, will remain a mystery. And every time I look at the picture I want to move that golf bag so that he won’t hit it, though how he can ever make a swing with a stance like that is quite beyond explanation.—Hugh Mathewson, St. Sauveur des Monts, Que.

Flues Do Bend

In Mailbag, Feb. 15, I read about the crooked flue and I wish to tell Charles Dube (who complained that the chimney on the Jan. 1 cover wasn’t over the fireplace) that in my old home in Durham, England, we had a window directly over the fireplace—the flue went to one side of the fireplace. I expect the window was put there because of the view.—Mrs. S. A. Patterson, Halifax, N.S.

Implements and Astronomy

Mr. C. Swann of Manning, Alta. (Mailbag, March 1), suggested an editorial entitled “High Wages, High Freight Rates, High Tariffs for the Protection of Uneconomic Eastern Industries with Resulting Astronomical Prices of Farm Machinery and Equipment Floor the Farmer.”

It’s a common habit to think that farm implements must be the bad example, but this is not so. Dominion Bureau of Statistics index figures show that since 1941 materials have increased 92.6% and hourly wage rates 87% , yet the increase in the retail price of farm implements is only 43.9%,. The increase of all commodities is 70.1% . Surely this is a very commendable job of holding prices down in the face of increasing costs during an inflationary period.—John Martin, director of public relations, Massey-Harris Company, Toronto.

South Africa Speaks

I would like to correct McKenzie Porter’s statement (in “Three Thousand Nights on Wheels,” March 15) that in South Africa the best job most Negroes can get is pulling a rickshaw. There are only about 200 rickshaw boys left for the benefit of tourist trade. South Africa Negroes are absorbed in all types of industries and are employed to drive all types of motor vehicles.

My husband and I with our five

children left South Africa a year ago to settle in Canada. We like your excellent magazine. We think Canadians are grand people.—Mrs. L. U. Creed, Vernon, B.C.

Cross Word for Cross Country

I am always anxious to read Cross Country for 1 am interested in all provinces, but when I get to Quebec and especially to Montreal I get very annoyed. Couldn’t you for a change say something nice about our lovely city . . . For instance, the article about . . . the mental cases walking the streets (Feb. 15) was a bit exaggerated, don’t you think? If you look around you will find the cause to be housing conditions.

I do enjoy your covers.—Mrs. Case Seasons, Westmount, Que.

Cannibal Cameraman

Accompanying the article, “We Fled to a Cannibal Isle,” by Thor Heyerdahl (Aug. 15, 1948), are some interesting photos of the author and his wife at rest and at play in their dubious paradise. Who took the pictures? I have a fascinating mental image of a hostile cannibal taking time out to learn how to operate a camera—or was it a trained ape who popped up and obligingly helped? Methinks I see a triangle in this honeymoon.

Please answer and save me from becoming a frustrated female.—Joyce Hawkinson, Vancouver.

No cannibal, no ape—just a little gadget on the camera that snaps the shutter after the photographer has got himself into the picture, too.—The Editors.

Career Children?

I could not let go unchallenged the statement by Dr. Frances Seymour (in “Is It Adultery?” Feb. 15) that “nature intended the unmarried businesswoman to bear children.” Certainly not in a partly civilized, cultured, democratic and Christian society which the most of us believe we live in. Every child is entitled to two parents and a home to provide him with love and security. The child should not be created to furnish expression to the mother love in a business or career woman or to provide outlets for frustrated longings.—Mrs. Lucy V. Hopley, Oak River, Man.

• I don’t believe it is adultery for a woman to receive artificial insemination if it’s to bind the husband and wife together, provided there is consent on both sides. I know the sorrow and anguish in the heart of a woman who is married and no children to brighten the home. I am a woman married twice. They both walked out on me for the same reason: “Why are you

not like other women, why can’t you have a child?”—Mrs. A. S., Montreal.