Reflections by a West Toronto employee of the CPR

 

The Junction has the only area in the area to not have a candidates debate for the 2018 election, so here presented is a political piece from a resident of 1914.

 

The following is the true text, word for word as printed. Areas of subject matter include railroad and civic ideas.

 

Reflections on the European Crisis With Regard to Canadian Industries.

 

 

Bv H. R. Hamer. Assistant General Foreman. Locomolive Shops. C.P.R.. West Toronto.

Not very long ago, when Great Britain, in common with her allies, declared war on Germany, there were many pessimists in this country who predicted a complete cessation of industrial activities. The pessi-mist will point out that a great amount of short time prevails, but while admitting this statement to be true, the writer would reply that this state of affairs existed long before the outbreak of war. At the same time there is room for great improvement in the industries of this country, and it may be said without fear of con-tradiction, that with Germany excluded from our markets many products heretofore bought from Germany will be manufactured and sold in Canada. Indeed, the tendency (even before the spark which ignited the European conflagration was applied), was toward purchasing more of British. United States and domestic products. This is particularly true with reference to steel locomotive tires, machine tools, tool steel and railway supplies, etc.

The writer—to digress for a moment has endeavored, by direct questioning of men interested in mechanical production,to come at the reason as to why all of the steel locomotive tires are purchased outside of Canada, and was very much surprised to find that the knowledge of this subject was so limited. Surely there is enou,gh demand in Canada for this commodity to warrant the equipment of a plant to manufacture steel tires. Or if it should prove imprac-ticable to make this article in the Dominion,it would be more in keeping with an imperial spirit to open our doors wider to the exports of Great Britain. In the event of Britain not being able to supply the demand, then let us turn to the country with whom we recently celebrated the completion of one hundred years of peace, rather than pour our money into the coffers of a country, whose sole aim for over twenty years past appears to have been militarism. But to return to the main subject. Since the opening of hostilities the united pressof Canada has done much, through the individual papers’ editorial columns, to calm the fears of the small manufacturers, and this, coupled with the national patriotic spirit, has conduced to steadying what other-wise -might have been an industrial panic.

Indeed, one may say, that, with the revival of trade, Canada will benefit, together with the United States, in view of the fact that a wider field of industry will be open to them. Many Canadian produce as are recognizing the fact, in common with their southern neighbors, that this is an opportunity, to be secured only by prompt actiin, and diligent application in commencing at once to build up in their respective countries those lines of industry which the German manufacturers previously monopolized. While pointing out the foregoing, the writer would say that a mushroom growth of trade is not to be expected immediately, for to carry on some of the different Industries new machinery must be built and operators trained to run it. As an instance of this, take the manufacture of toys. While admiring the quantity of work turned out in this direction by the German people (it may be stated that a large proportion of their toys are made by hand), it must be remembered that this work is carried on mostly by female and child labor, which tends to bring the cost of production to a very low figure. The large increase in cost which would attend such a venture in Can-ada would necessitate the finding of means whereby these toys could be manufactured by machinery. Hence the question of new machines. In passing, it will not be out of place to remark on the falling off in the number of immigrants to this country. This is bound to be affected by reason or certain boats of the different shipping companies being taken over by the Government of Great Britain, as a direct repult of the war, but the reader is asked to bear in mind, that with the number of unemployed at present in our cities a decrease in the number of people coming to this country to find positions is to be appreciated rather than otherwise.

In conclusion, the writer would say that, all things considered, Canadian Industries look out on a much brighter prospect today than was the case at the corresponding period of a year ago. Prominent business men and manufacturers have come to tha firing line, with their determination to make business, strengthened by the very fact that adverse conditions appeared to prevail.

With this spirit predominant, our eventual success Is assured, and it may be said with the utmost confidence that, with the return of normal conditions abroad, Canada will be one of the foremost competitors reach-ing out for foreign trade.

 

 

CANADIAN RAILWAY AND MARINE WORLD. [October, 1914.]

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