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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 15, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta American menace is my th pioneer au ny JOSEPH MacSWEEN MOIJTHEAL (Cl'J Tlio American menace is a inylh, viys MiM-rill Dcnisnn, play- The enduring spectre of a Unilcil States takeover of Can- ada arouses ;i sort ot incredu- lous, battled mirth in the 78- year-old U.S. citizen who has lived lent! in both countries and rails liimsclf a North American. The U.S. rests on a delicate balance of power among its member states and any pro- posal to make Canadian addi- tions would cause something close to panic south of the border, in Ihe Denison view. Canada, therefore, could not fight its way into the U.S. at this slage of history. "I don't think Canada has had anything lo fear of a U.S. takeover since said the industrial historian who has v.-ritlen the stories of the Rank of Montreal, the Alas-scy-ilar- ris Co., Ontario Hydro, Mnl- son's Brewery and the Ameri- can automobile industry. "That was the year George Washington called off con- struction of a road from the Connecticut Valley lo St. Johns, Que., over which he expected to launch a major offensive against Canada in 1780. "Ill my reading of history, the U.S." turned its back on Canada then and has never looked this way since, politi- cally." But economically? "If Canadians have nothing to fear politically from the U.S.. they have less to tear economically. They can im- pose any restrictions neces- sary and all they could get in reply would be economic re- prisals." FOLLOWED U.S. LAW Mr. Denison conceded that U.S. companies dominate im- mense sectors of the Canadian economy and in the past have sometimes paid more atten- tion lo laws made in Washing- ton than those made in Can- ada. "I've always been outraged by the extra-territorial aspect of American laws." he added. "I don't think that sort of thini; should have been toler- ated for a single, solitary mo- ment, come to Ibis very im- portant part about the illusion of American political menace has been an escape device for Canadians not realizing UIR strength of their own situ- ation." Canada should take over any enterprise that defies its laws, said the industrial writer, hut he feels that American c o m p a n i e s are often belter "corporate citi- zens" than Canadian firms "Canada's destiny is en- tirely in tier own hands. Can- ada could, I suppose, commit suicide. But the continued presentation of this idea oi an American takeover as a fate worse than death Is purely il- lusory, pure fantasy, both on the present and the whole his- torical background, including the war of 1812." HAS NO DESIGNS Mr. Denison maintains that in that war the U.S. had no designs on what now is Can- ada but sought to clean up "unfinished business" ol Ihe American Revolution and es- tablish certainty over tiic so-called "bloody ground" in westward expansion lo the Mississippi. "It is interesting to note that of soldiers on Ihe Niagara Frontier, all but 1.200 were four-month volunteers who had signed only to defend U.S. soil and refused to cross the Niagara River. "The same thing happened with the vast concentration of men under canvas at Platlsburg, N.Y." It Canadians lack confi- dence, it is partly because they lack an economic and so- cial history adequately chroni- cling the striking achieve- ments of their country, said Mr. Denison. "Canadians have a very un- clear picture of themselves because all Canadian history has been written from the im- perial point of view and few historians have bothered to get Hirir feel wet in Ihe St. Lav.-rencc." Mr. Denison. who 50 years ago was billed as Canada's leading dramatist, recalled Ural he was somewhat dis- mayed when commissioned by the in the early 1930s to do 27 plays entitled Ihe Ro- mance of Canada for a trans- continental radio network. To him, Canadian history texts were "veritable masterpieces of inconsequential confusion." "However, I began reading history again from the point of view of a story-teller, trying to discover what bad been exciting in the Canadian past. "I was interested only in people and in their struggles and Iriumphs, not in the murky convolutions of poli- tics. It was then, lo mv amazemenl, that I learned something of Ihe romantic richness of Canada's past, and something about the heroic people, big and little, who made Ihe connlry what it is today." JIARVELLKI) AT CANAL Mr. Denison's more recent researcli has caused him to marvel at the construction in the century of the St. Lawrence catuil system. "That accomplishment, technically, was amazing be- cause il was done with long- handled shovels, scrapers and wheeled dump carls and it was done extremely rapidly 1M miles of canal lo a depth of nine feet in less than six years. "i3ul it never enters the consciousness any young Canadian to wonder at the Soluritoy, April 13, 1972 THE IE1HBRIDGE HERAtf) 31 old 43 states put lordlier." Mr. Denison said llio wait ot Alaska and Hawaii fur statehood should give Mime in- dication to Canadians of US. attitudes. "Going f n r t her hack, n thing winch lew historians re- late to Canada is the 'majnr- ity ment which divided the wr.f ern territories Into slave ar.'l free on entering statehood. "From lhat lime on I think It would have been Impossible for any Canadian province in- dividually or collectively lo have entered the American union because of the initial ance between the agricultural slave-holding south, and the rapidly industrializing north "The situation regarding balance remains true today The addition of Canada, ever you cut the saiisanc, would mean throwing the bal- ance of power in the U.S. mil the window. You'd almost start another Civil Micer physical stamina of that (cat "The first functioning and profitable steamboat service was instituted by old John Molson in 1B09 on tile Si. Law- be added. There had been two earlier steamboats, one of them oper- ating on Lake Champlain, but they used imported engines while Molson's engine "was machined by mule power back of the brewery." VIEWED WITH I'HIDK "These are exploits lo be viewed with pride and enthu- siasm and to wish lo be iden- tified with. "The capability of the ex- plorers under the French re- gime was almost beyond be- lief and 1 will never under- stand why the French-Canadi- ans have not exploited their heritage. "Heaven knows Canada has had more swashbuckling, ro- mance and heroic all the MONDAY APRIL 17th PERSONAL SHOPPING ONLY PLEASES MAC The Mall that it all" SPIN-ON OIL FILTE .49 bottles I each 1 .49 BkB, 1.49 Hostess Potato Chips Noxzema Mouthwash Kleenex Fiat 5 for 1.49 Downey Fabric Softener 4-PACK Wonder Soft Bathroom Tissue 3 Plastic Housewares 4 ,or 1.49 Tinware Asst. c0ko Pan, cookie 3