Distillers-Seagrams: it’s all-Canadian

July 1 1968


Distillers-Seagrams: it’s all-Canadian

July 1 1968


Distillers-Seagrams: it’s all-Canadian

IN THE JUNE 1968 issue of your excellent magazine, under the title It's Tough To Be The Boss's Son, you devoted a page to Mr. Charles Bronfman, President, The House of Seagram Ltd. In this article you refer to Mr. Charles's brother, Mr. Edgar Bronfman, who resides in New York. You state that Mr. Edgar “runs Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Limited, the parent company, from New York.” This statement is not factual but the error is quite understandable in view of the similarity in the names of our parent company and its subsidiaries.

Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Limited is the parent company. It has its head office in Canada, in Montreal. It is directed by the president, Mr. Samuel Bronfman, father of Edgar and Charles. Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc. is the American division of the parent company and it is this division that Mr. Edgar Bronfman heads. It has long been a matter of pride to Mr. Samuel Bronfman that even though Distillers CorporationSeagrams Limited does well over 90 percent of its business outside of Canada, the company remains Canadian and returns to Canada each year millions of dollars of foreign exchange. — MICHAEL


“Canada needs a cold shower”

In The Suelden Rise of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Blair Fraser mentioned what a gas Trudeau's long leather coat was. He wore the same "Josef Goebbels — 1935" outfit to a delegate tea in Oakville. Ont.. plus (oh, shades of Edna Mae Oliver) a kiss-curl hairdo! The courage of the man! More than a few of the adoring choked on their sausage rolls that day. What's happening to us. do you suppose? What could we sober Canadian squares possibly be thinking of, wanting this strange little customer for prime minister? It's madness! The whole country needs a cold shower! I. like the rest, will probably vote for him anyway, and in a few years, when the ascot is replaced by the knitting shawls, and those tearful seances with Mummy begin, we'll have only ourselves to blame.


Abortion: No isn’t good enough

Congratulations to Alexander Ross on Your Friendly Local Abortionist. As he says, it is ironical that with nearly 70 percent of Dr. McCallum's abortion patients being referred to him by other doctors, the BC Council of Physicians did not investigate these accusations. There is as great an onus on medical councils to demand a high standard of ethics from all doctors as there is a need for legislators to create good laws. As for abortion, its reduction depends more on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies than anything else. So far, Canadians have depended too much on laws that say No and social stigma that shames; these have failed miserably. We need clinics for doctors to refer abortion-seeking mothers, which will provide anonymity, nurture and advice.


* Thank God for a writer who admits that his thinking arises in the gut. not in a vacant space between the ears. If

we are too flabby to accept responsibility for our acts, then at least let us admit that we are pagans, who always controlled population by the efficient method of infanticide. Certainly. I do not wish to obstruct abortion among pagans, but I vigorously protest the sloppyminded idea that abortion is Christian. NINA GREEN. OTTAWA

* 1 have never before read an article wherein the writer, in not s.> subtle a way. “judges” the morals of the person he has interviewed. Nor one wherein he tries to impress the readers with his own unimportant opinions, and makes hostile and ridiculous statements such as the one that “nice girls" have so few illegitimate children because they can afford safe abortions. Why is he so concerned about the unfairness of the price of a safe abortion if he is against abortion in the first place? I would think he would be busy with methods designed to persuade deferment of legislation of the abortion law, instead of pouting about the high price. Ross’s reasoning does not make sense.


* I say, let the individual woman decide. The time is long past when it was necessary to force the reproduction of the species regardless of personal suffering. The hope for humanity’s future is that every child born shall be wanted and therefore have the best opportunity to become a decent, rational, adult human being.—v. KIRKPATRICK, VANCOUVER

* The article was an indictment of the medical profession and society at large, yet Alexander Ross saw fit to end the otherwise well-written article with the perennial old saw that to perform an abortion is to commit “murder.”


* Ross sure missed the boat.


En garde, Mowat!

Farley Mowat’s letter Smallwood v.v. Mowat confronts me with, to use his own words, “the kind of calculated challenge that few real writers could easily refuse.” Mowat's accusation, subsequently withdrawn, that Premier Smallwood attempted to bribe him to write his biography is. directly, none of my concern. Smallwood is able to look after himself. However, in the course of his duel with the Premier. Mowat has gratuitously waved his claymore in my direction. He now writes that instead of a bribe. Smallwood offered him “bait” to write the biography by confiding to him that “a young reporter from Time" wanted to do the book. Mowat interprets this remembered remark as an attempt to provoke in him the reaction; “What? Let a mere cub reporter-type do the job when there was a Mowat ready and able?” Once again Mowat’s memory errs. By the time that this lure is supposed to have been cast — at a state dinner Smallwood tendered Mowat on February 3, 1966 — I had already begun work on the biography. Three months earlier, on November 19, 1965, and shortly after The Shape of Scandal was published, I wrote to Premier Smallwood to say that 1 would like to write his biography. A fortnight later, Smallwood replied in the

It’s not good-by to the Eskimos / “Susan,” where were you?

affirmative. I first interviewed him early in January 1966. My book will be published this September. Mowat’s claymore is entangled, unhappily and undexterously, in his kilt. Nevertheless, as a cub reporter-type, 1 admire his literary imagination. — RICHARD GWYN, WESTMOUNT, MONTREAL

* Mowat declares: "If the Americans invaded this country. I’d fight them and die happily. But no one else would.” What makes Mowat think he has a corner on being the only Canadian? No doubt we have been presumptuous telling our children that this is their country, when it appears we should have told them it was Farley Mowat’s country. Come off it, Farley, there are lots of us who love Canada and feel blessed to be Canadian.


* Farley Mowat concluded with: “The Eskimo people arc fast disappearing and this breaks my heart." We have good news for Mr. Mowat. Between 1941 and 1961 the Eskimo population in the Northwest Territories tripled. In the next 10 years, the school-age Eskimo population is expected to be 50 percent higher than at present, and there will be a corresponding increase in schools and training programs. The population figure for the Canadian Eskimo people is now slightly over 15,000. - MICHAEL DIBBEN,


By George, she’s got it!

Re the “novel nomenclature” and “fastspreading game of monstro-Latinizing” of the language by Ontario teachers (Want A Job As A Resource Transfer Agent? Reviews): Why prostitute our educational facilities with ridiculous hyperbole when fundamental realities are so much to be preferred?


The lives of Joanne

In his article The Girt Who Lived More Than Once, Ian Adams reports a conversation between my daughter. Penny, and Joanne Maclver as if it were gospel truth. It isn't. Since Adams was not present at this meeting, and since his only source appears to be Miss Maclver, he might have shown himself a better journalist had he either attributed the story directly to her or checked with the other party.


* Ian Adams quotes Joanne Maclver as saying that I walked up to her on the beach at Lake Couchiching and “squealed”: “Daddy told us he thought you were nuts.” This is not what happened. What I did say was that my father was skeptical (as indeed Mr. Adams was) that Joanne was actually reincarnated. I indicated that I was less skeptical than my father on the subject of reincarnation, and was interested in hearing more about her experiences. This incident' occurred three years ago, and I doubt that even Joanne's remarkable memory could have recorded my exact words. I hope I am not as rude, brash and callous as the misquote makes me sound. — PENNY BERTON, GLENDON


* In the dialogue between Joanne and her father, who supposedly had put her into a trance, she was asked: “What

year is it?” Answer: “1855.” Question: “What place and country do you live in?” Answer: “Northern Ontario, Canada.” It would seem logical to assume that had Joanne truly retrogressed to the personality of a life she had lived previously, her answers would be in keeping with the time to which she had reverted. In 1855 there was no Ontario or Canada. The provinces known today

as Ontario and Quebec were at that date a unified colony, known as the Province of Canada, sometimes referred to as Canada West and Canada East. A person of that era would be inclined to answer: “Near Massie, Canada West (or possibly Upper Canada, as some of the oldtimers would still refer to it), British North America.”


* For shame thet a Canadian magazine does not know its Canadian history any better than that!


Maclean’s knows its history — hut not a responsible way to put words in other people’s mouths. “Northern Ontario, Canada" is what "Susan Ganier” said, as reported by author Jess Steam on page 37 of his book The Search For The Girl With The Blue Eyes. The implications of this, if any, are left to the readers. Reference to "1855" — appearing in Adams’s

story and in Steam’s original book manuscript — was, for reasons unexplained, changed to "1848” in the published book.

The Bandera record

I wish to put straight Kim Philby’s story on the issue of the Ukrainian anti-Communist leader Stepan Bandera, published in your extract from Philby’s book. My Silent War. Bandera was a Ukrainian nationalist, but never of “marked fascist views.” It is slanderous to call somebody

a “fascist” who has spent four years as an inmate of Nazi concentration camps. It is true that he was “quite a noise among exiles,” but it is also true that he was "quite a noise" back in the Ukraine beginning in the 1930s. His organization created in the early 1940s an anti-Soviet guerrilla force which engaged in its activities, over a period of 10 years, about 200,000 persons. This force — officially called the Ukrainian Liberation Army — stood up against the Nazi invaders first, and against the Soviets later — until the bitter end. Contrary to

Philby's version. Bandera was assassinated by a Russian intelligence agent, Bogdan Stashynsky, on October 15, 1959.


All about The Place

We were grateful to Maclean's and author James Purdie for the appreciative article about our life and work at the Mission House of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (Fed Up? So Was This Man. Here's What He Did About

It). But there is an inaccurate sentence in it which might harm the good work being done at The Place Youth Centre, Bracebridge. It is true, as the article states, that some of the fathers and brothers of this Society have interested themselves in the problems connected with the widespread use of drugs, and one of them has shared social work of this nature in one of the big cities of North America; it is also true that some of them take an active part in The Place Youth Centre. But the connection drawn between these two facts is not one which was made by Fr. MeCausland in his talk

and it is quite inaccurate. The Place Youth Centre is a piece of social-service work being done in Bracebridge, and problems connected with either drugs or drink play only a very small part imleed in its life. — DAVID HEMMING, SSJE, ASSISTANT SUPERIOR, SOCIETY OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, CHAIRMAN OF THE ADULT COMMITTEE OF THE PLACE, BRACEBRIDGE, ONT.

Regina: Have we got theatre!

I felt justly incensed to read your Reviews article about Eric Salmon and theatre in Regina that “Regina hardly knew what a stage looked like ...” Per capita, 1 am positive we are as completely informed as any city in Canada, United States or England. Before Mitchell was even born, we were seeing quite regularly any number of extremely professional theatrical productions in Regina. We also had a resident professional stock company. Regina Little Theatre Society has been in operation for the past 26 years, their productions having won top honors in Dominion Drama Festivals. From experience in these productions. Frances Hyland, John Vernon. Bill Walker, Toni Weinberg and Howard Eastman, to name only a few, have gone on to make professional names for themselves in Canada, England and Hollywood. So I question the flatness of our cultural landscape. — H. L. FARNSWORTH, REGINA

* Until Eric Salmon arrived in Regina, says Ken Mitchell, our province was a cultural wasteland in the field of drama. That particular field was plowed many years ago. For the past 18 years. Emrys Jones, professor and head of the Department of Drama, University of Saskatchewan, has produced a substantial crop of BAs with majors in drama. And a graduate program was added. Both were firsts in all of the British Commonwealth. Community theatre, nurtured in part by the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and flourishing in many centres, has resulted in outstanding productions.


>k Regina even produced full-scale operas. More recent Regina theatrical history includes the professional Globe Theatre, which tours the province; and the Saskatchewan Arts Festival whose production of Riel played to standingroom-only for two months.


Aha! You smiled, comrade

TV critic Douglas Marshall entirely missed interpreting Pravda’s correspondent at the Liberal leadership convention by saying he was “aloof” and thought the “whole enterprise was ‘a waste of time and money’ ” (Reviews). The chuckling young man, under persistent pressure for an opinion of the hurly-burly, did manage to whump up those ambassa-

dorial words. But it was obvious that his whole bearing belied such staid thoughts. He was just another onlooker agog with the excitement. Who’s different after all?