TWO YEARS AGO we went out to Alberta to look into Social Credit. We wrote what we thought was a fair appraisal of the situation as it then existed, and wound up by venturing the opinion that Premier Aberhart couldn’t do what he had promised the electors he would do.
A lot of people in Alberta promptly cancelled their subscriptions to Maclean s, and rated us as a sinister reactionary whose sole object was to impede human happiness.
Some weeks ago our associate editor,
W. A. Irwin, went out to Alberta to find out how much closer Mr. Alver hart has come to fulfillment of those promises.
He came hack looking rather bewildered and said that only the Mad Hatter of “Alice in Wonderland” could tell the story of Social Credit today. However, after sorting himself, Mr. Irwin sat down and wrote his own impressions.
His first article appears on pages ten and eleven of this issue.
(jj IT HAPPENS that we are crossing the Bay of Fundy as we write this. The Bay seems to be highly resentful about something or other, and while the Princess Helene hasn't done it any harm, Old Fundy is slapping her about. Whenever we get slapped about at sea, we think of an interview we had once with Sir Auckland Geddes when he came over to be British Ambassador to Washington. For days his ship had wallowed through a terrific storm. Sir Auckland said: "Here was a liner crowded with statesmen, great industrialists, editors, scientists and other distinguished people, yet the humblest boy in the crew, whom none of us had ever seen, was of more importance than any of us.”
We thought of that when W. B. Burchall, of Winnipeg, gently chided us over an article we ran some time ago on the achievements of Canada’s crack north-country fliers. “Like everyone else,” he wrote, “you’ve forgotten the man who ensures safety for the pilot—the airplane engineer.” So we told Mr. Burchall that if he would write the story of the “Forgotten Men of Flying” we would wipe out the blot on our escutcheon. He did, and we do, on pages eighteen and nineteen.
(jj ON PAGES fourteen and fifteen we present our 1937 All-Star Eastern and Western football teams. The Eastern team was picked by John DeGruchy, assisted by a committee representing the three major Eastern leagues, and the Western squad by a committee of the Western Canada Rugby Football Union whose findings are recorded by W. G. Hardy.
Our committees have never yet succeeded in picking teams to please everybody, and probably they never will. The All-Star teams have never played each other, and we don't suppose that they ever will. So far as we
are personally concerned we can't see much practical benefit in picking All-Star teams at all. But as to the extent of the football enthusiast’s interest in them we haven t a shred of doubt. Hamish, the composingroom messenger, wouldn’t speak to us for two weeks after we published last year’s selection.
(jj WE ALWAYS make it a point to go into a big store a day or two after Christmas and watch people changing presents. They have a furtive look about them. Their eyes rove incessantly. They are terrified of running into the very person who gave them a gift they cannot use or which won’t fit. They are a pitiful spectacle. On page twenty-four we have an article which ought to reduce this painful business toa minimum. It tells husbands what they should and should not buy for their wives; what wives should and should not buy for their husbands; what you should or should not buy for your best girl; and what your best girl should or should not buy you. The only thing the author omits to mention is that many a problem can be solved by sending your friends a long-term subscription to Maclean's.
(jj IF, IN your fiction reading, you are a glutton for action, there is a feast in “Byng of Bristol,” James Francis Dwyer’s story on page sixteen. A great many authors of adventure stories are themselves the mildest of folk who live in quiet backwaters or in steam-heated apartments. Not so James Francis Dwyer. Mr. Dwyer spent his boyhood on a ranch in Australia and since then has roamed the world. He has a passion for deserts. So has his wife. Together they have wandered all over the parched stretches of North Africa. They regard a camel pretty much as you or we would regard a street-car. And they are constantly getting in and out of what ordinary people would think were the most appalling messes. Dwyer is one of the most fascinating talkers we ever listened to. We don’t think he could ever get lost in any desert. His laugh would be heard right across it.
There are a number of chuckles in “William the Conquered,” by Gilbert Wright, on page twelve. And on page seven Ray Millholland, in “Straw Boss,” is in his element. We don’t know of anyone who can get a better story out of a factory than he can.
On page twenty-three—Beverley Baxter's London Letter. We have been doing considerable travelling lately, and wherever we have been, in cities and in out-of-the-way places, we have heard people talk of Baxter's articles. This issue, he discusses the ChineseJapanese War.
(jj IN OUR next issue various readers will tell of their strangest Christmas, and Foster Hewitt will relate some odd broadcasting experiences.
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