- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 8 Apr 1943, p. 456-473
- Woodside, Willson, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The two prerequisites to our big invasion of Europe now provided: the cleanup of Tunisia and the mighty aerial onslaught against the Luftwaffe, the bases of the Luftwaffe's strength, against German war industry and morale in general. A look back to the beginning of this year, to the great Russian winter victory and its effect in determining what Germany can and will do this year. Germany reminding us that we still face a resilient and powerful enemy, one who is supremely resourceful. A discussion of what the Germans might do this summer. The Battle of Tunisia. Enemy objectives in Tunisia. Allied successes in Tunisia. The prospect in Tunisia of a worth while victory in its disposing of the bulk of a quarter of a million Axis troops, their equipment, and a very considerable chunk of German air power. Details of Allied activities in Tunisia. After Tunisia, what? Shipping considerations for a world-wide battlefront. The two main factors in the U-boat war. The formula for success in the U-boat fight. Allied air patrols over the Atlantic. The effect of air power in speeding up the end of the war. Damage in Essen. Usefulness of the current blitz in preparing the way for invasion. The question of invasion: when, where and how. What must be done at the time of invasion. Crucial action. Air power as the key to success. What's still to be done after the European affair is cleaned up. A few words on the Pacific campaign. The concern of our relations with Russia in settling the western world. The Russian enigma and the American enigma. Finishing the job in Germany. Educating the Germans. The job to finish in Canada. Making plans for what might provide employment after the war.
- Date of Original
- 8 Apr 1943
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- Full Text
FINISHING THE JOB
AN ADDRESS BY WILLSON WOODSIDE
Chairman The President, John C. M. MacBeth, Esq., B.A., K.C.
Thursday, April 8, 1943.
MR. JOHN C. M. MACBETH: Gentlemen of The Empire Club: After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1929 with the degree of B.A.Sc., Willson Woodside served as demonstrator on the staff of his Alma Mater, and spent the summers in Europe, and especially in Nazi Germany, where he became interested in social and political matters. He left the University in 1934 and became a free-lance writer and lecturer on international affairs. He is a contributor to Canadian periodicals, to Harper's Magazine, and to Saturday Night, of which he is Foreign Editor. Be is well known as a public lecturer and is best known as a news commentator. His familiarity with many odd corners of Europe, not usually known to the tourist. gives his news commentaries an interest and a zest that are lacking in the commentaries of others.
Mr. Woodside is no stranger to us. This is his fourth visit. First, he addressed us in 1934, after returning from Germany, where he found all the young men doing "sport flying", as 'twas said; second, in 1938, just after Munich, when the triumphal cry of the diplomats was "Peace in our time"; third, in 1942, after Pearl Barbour and the loss of Malaya, and while Singapore, Java, and Rangoon were still in the balance; fourth, today, when Montgomery's Eighth Army is the news.
One of our guest-speakers a few weeks ago made the suggestion that the course in engineering might very reasonably be made the basic course of study at colleges and schools of higher learning, instead of the traditional course in Arts. Mr. Woodside's studies in mechanical engineering have, doubtless, given him that keen analytical approach which enables him so effectively to follow currents and threads, to balance stresses, and even to employ the theory of probability. If he wanted to let us into his confidence, he might even tell us that lie uses the engineer's old friend, the sliding rule, to work out some of his problems. However that may be, I know of no other news commentator who, into the short space of five minute news commentaries, the allotted time, can, in such precise language, compress so much exact information and so much imminent probability. He might reasonably be called a machine-gun commentator. I understand that his five minute news commentaries are made without manuscript. today, we set Mr. Woodside up behind a manuscript, but throw the door wide open as to time.
Gentlemen: Mr. Willson Woodside, who will address us on the subject, "Finishing the Job". (Applause.)
MR. WILLSON WOODSIDE: Mr. Chairman and Members of The Empire Club: It is a pleasure and an honour to be asked back again especially as I live among you. When I think that you can sit at home and turn on the dial, but have preferred to come down here and pay for your lunch, it is really quite overwhelming.
I suppose, if you are in the habit of leaving your radio turned on, you get almost too much of me, but on the other hand, if yon don't, (at least this is my experience), the thing is very often gone before you think of it. A radio talk is a supremely transient thing.
I think, for example, of the big night on which we were to broadcast the Casablanca Conference, and our commentary was to be rounded off by a message from London to come in at exactly 10.30. Through some misunderstanding, it came in at 10.25, and only one person in Canada heard it--the control operator. When we wanted it it was gone. How exasperating and tantalizing to think it was probably moving off somewhere in the neighbourhood of Jupiter!
It is hard enough to think-when one does think of it -of the fate of a commentary which is heard. Carefully balanced statements, facts sifted out and checked with care-and I must say I do speak from a written script when I broadcast-are gone in a few minutes unless the listener has noted down these points immediately. The best one can do in these circumstances is to try and put things in proportion, to present salient facts and correct misapprehensions-which are remarkably widespread.
Now you see what happens when you lift the fiveminute bar from a commentator, so I had better get down to business.
This is a particularly suitable moment to discuss the subject "Finishing the Job". It is a time when the two prerequisities to our big invasion of Europe have been provided. That is the cleanup of Tunisia and the mighty aerial onslaught against the Luftwaffe, against the bases in Germany of the Luftwaffe's strength, and against German war industry and morale, in general.
But before looking ahead I think we shall have to look back a bit, not as far as to the day when Mr. Churchill made that famous phrase, "Give us the tools and we will finish the job"--how far we have come since then!--but at least to the beginning of this year, because the great Russian winter victory is going to have a lot to do in determining what Germany can and will do this year, especially whether she can again take the initiative which is fundamental to all her military plans and thinking.
The Germans, as we have often remarked, are a curious people, subject to almost incredible self-delusion. It is a fact--if one hard to believe--that they did not fully appreciate Russia's strength until the beginning of this year, or more accurately, the middle of December. Goering blurted this out in his speech on the 30th Jannary--rudely interrupted by the R.A.F., which he had "destroyed" so often--when he said that the Russians had staged the Finnish campaign as the greatest camouflage stunt in history. What the Germans didn't appreciate was how much the Russians had learned from the Finnish campaign.
For their latest winter campaign, the Russians have adapted their weapons and used the advantage of the superior hardihood of their men and wedded this to very high class strategy to gain a clearcut superiority over the Germans, which I think it worth studying. They gave their artillery, the best arm of the Red Army, much more mobility; and this year were able to finish off strong points which a year before they had surrounded for months, and in the end been unable to take. They adapted their tanks to winter use. They have, for instance, broader treads on them than the Germans have, for driving over the snow. They carried automatic riflemen on top, and towed armoured sledges behind.
They attacked at night, to the German terror, as they did in the last war, too. (In the last war. a correspondent who was with the Russians told me lately that he had never known them to lose a bayonet fight.)
They developed aero-sleds, propeller driven, which sweep around the German flank and cut their rear communications and destroy bridges, arms clumps, and generally spread demoralization in the rear.
With all this there was the better Russian resistance to the winter climate, and definitely superior strategy. The Russians used this edge to the full, and I think it was only the accident of an untimely thaw which robbed them of a much greater victory.
Still, even after the loss of Kharkov, there is no doubt about it that the Russians have won a very great victory. At the same time, we might note the swift advantage which the Germans took of their first opportunity for a counter-thrust, to remind us that we still face a resilient and powerful enemy, and one who is supremely resourceful.
Now the weather is bringing operations to a halt in the centre and the north, and we are all turning to the question whether the Russians can prepare a summer offensive. I doubt if they have expended the bulk of the offensive power of their central and northern armies yet, as they did that of their southern armies, nor have they outrun their good communications in the north and centre as they did in the south. It will depend on what we do. I think that left to themselves the Russians might prefer to wait until next winter for another offensive. Whether they make the effort to launch one this summer, or late summer-which they could do, although it is yet to be proven that they could establish the same tactical advantage in summer conditions as winter-will depend on what we are going to do.
It is widely suggested that the Germans, instead, may put on a summer offensive in Russia. If they do, I think we should cheer, because I don't see what decisive result the Germans could win. After all, they aren't going to get to Baku this summer, when they didn't last summer. What advantage would it be to thrust their arm out here, to be cut off as it was last year?
There is only one decisive result the v could hope for in Russia. That is, as it always has been, the destruction of a substantial part of the Red Army.
General Dictmar, the well known German commentator, referred rather darkly Monday night to the possibility of "other means" which might be used to destroy Russian manpower and conquer Russia's spaces. These are, I presume, the use of gas and bacteria. I don't think that gas offers great potentialities in the spaces of Russia, but still if the Germans use it, we can expect them to use it in a different way than in the ways which failed in the last war.
If the Germans do, in spite of our argument, launch another big offensive in Russia, then that will certainly insure the opening and, I believe, the success, of a big invasion of ours in the west this year.
Should the Germans, on the other hand, go over to the defensive in the east, could they strike at us effectively in the west or south of Europe? Now, here is a point: it is almost as hard or harder for the Germans to get at us in the west as it is for us to get at them. I don't think that with their present resources they could renew the blitz of Britain on even the scale which they mounted in 1940. Consider that we are progressively forcing them to convert bomber production to fighter production, to adequately defend the Reich and the western territory, by day and night. That is the trend which I don't believe they will ever be able to reverse from now until the end of the war.
It is suggested they might drive through Turkey. Well, that seems to be too late. It was a sensible thing to do last year, when they had one claw of their iron pincers stretched out well into the Caucasus and the other claw to the Nile. But to do it today, with both of the claws completely smashed and bitten off, doesn't seem sensible. Besides, they would be shifting a good deal of their weight away off when they needed it herein the west--to defend against an imminent Anglo-American invasion--an invasion on which they must count from month to month and week to week.
There is a third possibility which has always been the most likely, ever since we landed in North Africa, and that is a drive through Spain. This was one thing which the Germans could do because they were standing on the Spanish border and there wasn't anything adequate to resist them. By those arguments they could still do it today if they chose.
In the first place, however, I don't think they could supply sufficient air cover for a powerful thrust down here. And in the second place, the army which they sent into Tunisia, which two months ago might have supported this strategy, is now being smashed. So Hitler's prospect of turning the tables on us in the western Mediterranean and catching all our troops there in the bag, by thrusting across Gibraltar into Spanish Morocco and cutting our communications to the east, seems to me to be disappearing fast.
Then again there is the strategic consideration that they would be thrusting out their arm down through Spain, and we could strike them on the shoulder across the Channel. Now we come to the Battle of Tunisia. Ever since the probability of a drive through Spain was eliminated by the German disaster in Russia, their affair in Tunisia has been no more than a delaying action. It is true, it has been a successful and even a brilliant delaying action, and we should recognize that.
We were a little too slow, and I think a too cautious, in exploiting our initial success at Algiers to seize Bizerte and Tunis and finish the campaign with a blow. I think that will cost us far more before we are finished too, than it would have to attempt a bolder stroke. Yet, when you consider our almost entirely green troops and commanders, there is a lot to be said for fighting a campaign such as we have, in which the men and their leaders are gaining experience--absolutely vital experience, which can't be gained any other way--in much more favourable circumstances than by leaping across the Channel right into the big show.
Then one can always use the excuse we have had much longer supply lines to the Tunisian battle front than the Axis, which was just a few hours away across the Sicilian Channel.
When all this is said; it should be recognized that the enemy action has been clever, resourceful, determined and successful.
Let us be clear about their objectives in Tunisia. First, they wanted to delay our attack on Italy. If we could have taken Bizerte at once we could have gone ahead very quickly, I believe, to land in Italy and I believe could have knocked Italy out of the war while the Germans were gripped in the disaster in Russia in January and February.
Secondly, the Germans appreciate very thoroughly the advantage in keeping the central Mediterranean closed to our shipping. I have a book on my shelf at home by a German writer, published in 1936, in which he presents an accurate calculation as to the number of tons, of British shipping that would be effectively lost were we to be forced to divert it around the Cape of Good Hope.
This is what the Germans are still doing in Tunisia. Admiral Cunningham has stated we would gain nearer three than two million gross tons of shipping could we free the Mediterranean route. The day we open the central Mediterranean we wipe out a good half year of the best U-boat successes the Germans have ever had.
The final and overall German objective in Tunisia must be to delay the opening of our main front in Europe; to draw into Africa more forces than we had intended to put into what was, to all intents and purposes, a sideshow; to commit more of our shipping to supply our armies in North Africa, and leave less for what must be the main show across the Channel.
I think in all this the Germans may have gained two or three months. But that is all water over the dam. The Tunisian campaign is rolling at last. It is rolling up, as I mentioned last night, rather like a snowball. We are destroying the enemy's planes and armour now considerably faster than he can replace them. We have a greater advantage each day and the enemy is less and less able to give effective opposition, or cover his troops or supply lines. Soon the time will come, as for instance it came in Poland in the opening campaign of the war, when the few landing fields left to the enemy will be simply too hot for him to maintain the remnants of his air force on them.
There is a prospect in Tunisia of a worth while victory in its disposing of, I believe, the bulk of a quarter of a million Axis troops, with all their equipment, and a very considerable chunk of German air power.
This air victory is rolling up very fast. Consider that on Monday and Tuesday we destroyed in the air or on the ground-of course on the ground you don't get the enemy personnel and that is a very important consideration--perhaps a quarter of the front line Axis air power in the Tunisian-Sicilian theatre. We are taking big bites out of the Luftwaffe's strength--a most important and necessary preparation for our main invasion.
It is hardly necessary now to argue that we are certain to win a victory in Tunisia. There is our air control. And we at last have weapons which I think are quite adequate, not only for this campaign but for the decisive campaign. Perhaps the Sherman tank is a little high and easier to hit than the British and German tanks. But it is a very reliable tank and with the numbers we will have I think it will prove quite adequate to finishing the war, if that is done in the next year, say.
Our anti-tank equipment is splendid. We have the new M-7, called the "Priest", because there is a pulpit in it for an anti-aircraft gun. The new M-10 is still more powerful. Our mortars are much improved. Speaking of the tanks, I don't know whether you have heard of the new Italian tank which we have discovered in Libya, with three speeds in reverse, and one forward. Of course, the question is why should they have one speed forward? That is in case they are attacked from behind!
Then we now have some well seasoned Commanders Eisenhower, Alexander and Montgomery. Don't think that Alexander isn't behind Montgomery's successes; he is a very modest man and turns most of the credit to Montgomery. And don't overlook Air Chief Marshal Tedder, who has developed the most effective air tactics which I believe we have seen in this war, and a very broad reaching strategical scheme.
Consider how he is hitting the enemy now from his basic loading port of Naples, through the alternative ferry route across the Messina Strait, the alternative loading ports in Sicily, the landing grounds in Sicily, the convoys of air transport coming across, the landing grounds in Tunisia, right up to the very front line of battle. He is really blanketing, not just the battlefield, but the whole theatre of war as far back and beyond Naples. And there is that grand sea-dog, Admiral Cunningham, too.
Some people talk about a German Dunkirk from Tunisia. But at Dunkirk we had air control and we had sea control. The Germans have neither with which to cover an evacuation of Tunisia. They may get away some of their people, because air transport can cross to Sicily in a few minutes, and cannot always be intercepted. One of the Americans coming back from the big raid, Monday, said "We had twenty-five minutes and we got 31. If we had had another twenty-five minutes we would have got them all."
Speaking of aerial convoys, it is most significant that they are now flying gasoline to Tunisia. If they have lost so many tankers that they are this low it gasoline, then that may decide the whole campaign and fairly quickly.
Now, after Tunisia, what? I have never thought that we would open another important front until we had disposed of Tunisia, and seen that thing to the end so as to know exactly where we stood in regard to supplies and shipping for the forces there. Shipping enters into every consideration of our world-wide battlefront. There are two main factors in the U-boat war, which is a whole subject in itself, and which I shall have to skim through.
The two basic factors are the number of ships which the U-boats are sinking and the number that we are building-always remembering that they are sinking loaded ships and we are getting in replacement empty ships. We lost ground all through the war until last August. Then the tide turned and since then we have had two estimates from Mr. Churchill and Mr. Alexander, which show for the first six months after August we gained 200,000 gross tons of shipping a month-that is, let us say, forty good sized ships--and in the last two months we have gained double that.
We should gain this year, if we can keep the U-boat losses to the average figure of the past eight months, three full armadas equal in size to the one we sent to North Africa last November.
The most encouraging thing about the U-boat fight is that we know the formula for success. We know that when we have the requisite escort ships and air patrols, we can send a convoy through. We sent a convoy of sixty-six ships to Gibraltar, lately, against fifty U-boat attacks, and lost only a very few of the ships. We are getting a lot more escort ships, although one has to remember that it takes months to train new crews in the effective use of our wonderful new anti-submarine devices. Lately there has been news of the numbers of auxiliary aircraft carriers which we are going to have in the near future, to clear up the blind spot in the central Atlantic where the U-boats are now finding their best hunting.
Our air patrols reach about one-third of the way from either side of the Atlantic, but there is this black spot in the centre where we haven't had adequate air cover and where the aircraft carriers and long-range planes, and perhaps helicopters, will help to solve the problem.
Bombing the U-boat bases and building yards in Germany is undoubtedly a great help too. For instance, last night's paper told of the result of the American raid on Vegehack, near Bremen, where they caught eighteen U-boats on the slips-apparently a yard that is accustomed to launching two U-bouts a month. We destroyed the seven or eight U-boats nearest to launching, and damaged the others, and put the yard out of commission, perhaps for three months, it is estimated.
There, at a stroke, is about one-twelfth of Germany's U-boat production put out of commission in half an hour. Of course it took a lot more than half an hour to prepare the way to get the Fortresses there. It took more than half a year. Those are blows the effect of which one can hardly properly estimate.
As our air power grows and grows, and the enemy's shrinks, its effect in speeding up the end of the war is quite incalculable. We are now attacking on a scale of which the Germans hardly even dreamed when they blitzed Britain. Consider that only twice in all their attacks on London did they drop near to 500 tons of bombs -according to the Air Ministry's estimate. These attacks were carried out by perhaps 300 planes attacking for five or six hours.
Now, think of what it means when we drop three or four times the weight of bombs on cities a tenth the size of London, in one-tenth of the time. This is an impact two hundred times as great as the blitz on London. That is why Air Marshal Harris, one of the most brilliant figures of this war, calls his raids now "Thunderbolts".
I have seen the latest photos of Essen, taken in the middle of March after the March 5th and the March 12th raids. There was a series which showed Essen before the March 5th raid, after that one, and then after March 12. When you look at those photos, the sum of your impression is: This is it.
Essen was damaged more, the Krupp works in Essen were damaged more, in those two raids than in all the several score raids which went before. This is a scale of blitz far beyond anything we attained before. It happens that I have been through the Krupp works twice, and also to literally dozens of the other plants that we are busy bombing, the great Siemens Works in Berlin, the big Deisel Works across the Rhine from Cologne, and many, many others.
The Krupp works had, before March 5th, many big buildings still standing, either untouched or well repaired. In those two raids, building after building, the biggest in the plant, were laid absolutely flat, and big chunks of the rest of the works were smashed. Areas of Essen, areas as big as a whole suburb of Toronto, were left without a single roof. Thousands of workers were forced to avacuate and find quarters in some village or town, say twenty, thirty or forty miles away. They will now spend hours coming in to work. Worried about their families, upset, they will miss a few days or, in the case of some of these shops, miss a few months of production.
Our night attacks, it should be noted, are still limited to British four-engined bomber production because up to now, as far as is known, no American bomber has ever taken part in the night raids. But it may interest you to know that in 1942 Britain produced within half a dozen of as many four-engined bombers as the United States.
With these night attacks we have the growing American day attacks. They certainly have their important place in singling out objectives, such as that U-boat yard we spoke about, and in daylight can attain much greater accuracy. In addition, they have been so strongly armed as to be almost invulnerable to fighter approach. For a while the Germans had some success coming at them head-on; but extra guns in the nose stepped that. As the Luftwaffe fades the day attacks will spread further and further into Germany until they reach Berlin. And the Americans are now bringing into production even bigger bombers, which will be suitable for night work and will carry a greater load than the Lancaster, farther and faster.
Perhaps the greatest interest in the current blitz is its usefulness in preparing the way for invasion. All discussion today ends with the question of invasion, when, where and how. As to when, I shan't say much, because I don't know. It will, at any rate, be after Tunisia is cleaned up. And I think it will be well before, shall we say, this Christmas. There is something here that is worth thinking about. That is, we appear to be out of step with the Russians. Their greatest advantage comes in the winter and they may choose to make another winter offensive. We would certainly prefer to land across the Channel in the summer.
When we land it is going to be a very different show from Dieppe. The full use of our air power will insure that. We were saving our parachutists on that occasion. This time we will use them in thousands, if necessary, dropped behind the chosen harbour city. (There will of course be other feints carried out at the same time.) Right behind the parachutists will come the gliders with many more troops, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns; and as soon as this body of troops has cleared sufficient space for transports to land, then the big fellows will come in in an unending stream.
There will be crack-ups, but they will be pushed aside. I should think that thousands of troops could be brought in this way behind the harbour city, to fend off the German counter-attack.
This will, of course, be the crucial action, the holding of the bridge-head, once it is secured, against German armoured counter attack. Let the Kharkov counteroffensive remind us that the Germans will strike a very powerful blow. They will hope, not so much to keep us from ever landing, as to sweep us back into the sea, to do this several times and discourage us into accepting a compromise peace, which is all they can now expect.
To defeat this, our men behind the harbour must be supported to the limit by fighter bombers, dive-bombers, tank-busters, troops-strafers, and medium bombers of all kinds, while the troops landing in front of the place must have the support of our heavy bombers, as they did not at Dieppe.
There seems no alternative but to raze the whole front of the city or cities chosen, to wipe out all the German fortified posts, sparing the docks if possible. The tanks, I suppose, will be landed on the flank, instead of in front of the sea-wall, and there will be smokescreens laid by our aircraft to cover all landings.
Air power should hold the key, I believe, to our success. Indeed, our air leaders are confident, from the lessons of Dieppe, that they can win a great and perhaps decisive victory over German air power during the first few days of the landing. At last the Germans will be forced to come up and fight it out, and that is what we want.
Once we hit the Germans really hard on land, with our blitz still going against their cities and no hope of their ever meeting us again on equal terms in the air, the German collapse might come suddenly. It is not a thing to hope about or think much about, yet nevertheless a person can keep it in the back of his mind.
We are dealing, after all, with the curious and unique German character. The secret of this character is its inner insecurity. This is well expressed in a little story which I have from a man who has come back from Turkey. He told of a. Greek, who had escaped there, who was asked by a German officer shortly after the capture of Athens, who he thought would win the war. The Greek answered at once, "The British, of course". The German was furious. "Why do you say the British? Didn't we just kick them out of here?" The Greek replied, "Because all the time they were here, riot one of them ever asked that question".
What's still to be done after the European affair is cleaned up? As Mr. Churchill has suggested several times, it seems that this may' be achieved a year or two ahead of final victory in the Pacific. I am sorry that I haven't time to go into the Pacific campaign. I will only suggest that the Americans, from the preparations they are making and the blows they are striking, appear determined to recapture Kiska on one flank, and Rabaul on the other; while I wouldn't be surprised if they were to press west from Pearl Harbour to retake Wake Island.
That would put them in a much better position to strike hard aerial blows against Japanese bases and sea power. With the carrier strength which they will have next year, and with land-based air support from Wake Island, they ought to b? able to move another thousand miles forward to Marcus Island-which in turn is only a thousand miles from Tokyo--and force the Japs into a decisive sea and air battle which would leave the long Jap supply lines down to the southwest Pacific to wither away.
I don't think it is believed now that the way to conquer Japan is to retake every territory and every island that the Japs have taken.
Meanwhile, in settling the western world, the greatest concern is our relations with Russia. These have looked brighter in recent weeks. Mr. Eden has apparently achieved a good deal in Washington. He may be expected to go on to Moscow. Mr. Benes undoubtedly will go there this year and put in a good word. Both of these Allied statesmen have a very good entree there. Nor would I be surprised if the gentleman with the long cigarette holder and the big smile should turn up in Moscow sometime this year.
While we are talking of the Russian enigma, we shouldn't forget the American enigma, which must be cleared up, too. That is the question of what American policy is going to be after the war.
Then we have to finish the job in Germany. An important British statesman said the other day in a city not very far from Toronto-I can't name him-that air control would be almost enough to take care of Germany. He intimated that we would deny the Germans not only the manufacture but also the operation of planes. If airplanes fly to Berlin, we will fly them.
Secondly, about educating the Germans. You can't re-educate people if they don't want to be re-educated, and I don't think we can do it with foreign teachers. That leaves the old problem of finding the better Germans and strengthening their hand.
There will be lots of complex problems to deal with. Mr. Eden, in his press conference the other day, stressed several times that we shouldn't miss the forest for the individual trees, that undoubtedly there were difficulties in Europe, but that was a problem for statesmanship to master, and it was one he thought statesmanship could master. We shouldn't get involved in border difficulties at the present stage.
Then we will have a job to finish in Canada. On that, I would just like to say that this beautiful cart of social security which we are building must be pulled by a team of horses-employment and enterprise, or it won't take us anywhere. I don't think that we will build a Utopia here--perhaps not even the Canada that many are dreaming about. But if we make plans--if everybody makes plans, if every individual factory that is now busy on war orders, every municipality, province and city in the Dominion makes a plan, and each one of us makes a personal plan for something that will provide employment after the war; and if we keep up the spirit we have been gradually developing during the war, and I believe will develop much more rapidly as our armies go into action-then I am sure, Gentlemen, we can at least build a Canada much better than we have had so far. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. JOHN C. M. MACBETH: Gentlemen, I stated that Willson Woodside was Foreign Editor of Toronto Saturday Night. Mr. B. K. Sandwell, I don't need to tell you, is Editor of that periodical. On behalf of the Club, Mr. Sandwell is going to thank Mr. Woodside.
MR. B. K. SANDWELL: Mr. President and Gentlemen: On behalf of the Club, and purely as a matter of formality, of which I, personally strongly disapprove, I do hereby formally thank Mr. Woodside for coming here and speaking to us this afternoon.
My own personal reaction is one of complete disapproval of the whole business. I think Mr. Woodside has probably given you in advance the next three articles which he will use in Saturday Night during the next three weeks. All I can tell you is that by the time he has polished them up for Saturday Night they will look so much better than they sounded this morning that you will still want to read them.
Without saying anything complimentary to Mr. Woodside, because I don't intend to do that--I am his journalistic father, so to speak, and it would be most unbecoming in me to say anything of that kind--I do want to make one point about him because it is a point also about my paper. You may not have noticed it consciously, but I feel sure you must have felt that Mr. Woodside was not trying to himself sound as learned as most of his fellow commentators about this war. Did you notice that he never used any of the technical language, either of military, diplomatic or engineering science (about which he does know something). He avoids those things. He talks the language of the common people. He uses the metaphors of the common people. There was hardly a military term in his entire speech. I, Ladies and Gentlemen, am responsible for this. I have been training him for years to talk to the common people from the ground of the common people, because the readers of Saturday Night are the common people, and in the kind of world that we are going to live in, and of which he gave us a glimpse in the last five seconds of his address, I think that is a good line to take.
Once again, I assure you, Mr. Woodside, what I have said for myself is purely personal. The Club itself thanks you. (Applause.)
MR. WILLSON WOODSIDE: Thanks, "Dad"!
MR. JOHN C. M. MACBETH: Thank you, Mr. Sandwell. Thank you, Mr. Woodside.