Canadian Trade Mission Trip to South Africa
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 27 Nov 1947, p. 125-142


Description
Creator:
Berkinshaw, R.C., Speaker
Media Type:
Text
Item Type:
Speeches
Description:
Highlights of the journey of the Canadian Trade Mission, recently returned from a visit to South Africa. First, four pictures which have been projected upon the mind of the speaker as a result of this recent trip. Some background to the Trade Mission and those who went on it. Places visited. Some broad impressions and statistics of the country. The geography. The keystone of South Africa's economic vitality, and the sound foundation for agricultural and industrial expansion in the future: gold. A brief description of the gold industry, with some figures. The diamond industry, also with statistics. Mineral production of South Africa. The great potential for expansion in the mining industry in South Africa, similar to that in Canada. Frequent new discoveries. The agricultural segment of South African industry and the important part that it plays in the productional economy of the Union. Fruit growing. The most spectacular advances in the realm of industrial expansion. Like Canada, the exigencies of war needs, coupled with an inevitable war-time reduction in the import of essential commodities, gave an impetus to industrial production which is being felt even in the post-war period. South Africa's wonderful record of high accomplishment in planned development, with the example of the South African Iron and Steel Corporation. Future plans for this government-controlled industry. Other industries which center in and around the cities of Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London. A summary of conclusions regarding the South African market from the point of view of a Canadian exporter. A subsequent visit to Southern Rhodesia. An opportunity to frankly discuss the trade relationship between Canada and Southern Rhodesia. Impressing upon that government the extent of Canada's aid to the United Kingdom in her time of economic crisis, and emphasizing the difficulties of Canada's own position in the matter of dollar stringency. Impressions and description of Southern Rhodesia, including industrial activity and development. Developments in production at Tanganyika and Kenya colony: striking examples of British enterprise. A great coffee growing development in Kenya colony, sponsored by the British government. Other countries visited (Egypt, Greece, Italy and Portugal). A short visit to the city of London and one or two parts of England. Reference to some words from the Honorable Mr. MacKinnon spoken in Montreal yesterday. Accomplishments of the trade mission. Gaining a deeper understanding of the significance and value of Canada's citizenship in the British Empire, and of that Empire's destiny to guide again the nations of the world into the way of concord.
Date of Original:
27 Nov 1947
Subject(s):
Language of Item:
English
Copyright Statement:
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Contact
Empire Club of Canada
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
CANADIAN TRADE MISSION TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA
AN ADDRESS By R. C. BERKINSHAW, C.B.E., President Canadian Manufacturers' Association
Chairman: The President, Mr. Tracy E. Lloyd
Thursday, November 27, 1947

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

I would like to welcome today our guests from the Canadian Manufacturers' Association and the Board of Trade and it is certainly most fitting that you should be with us when our guest of honour is a past-president of the Board of Trade and is now the President of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association.

It has been my practice to introduce our guests in as brief a way as possible so that our speaker's time will not be used in any extravagant way. However, today this will be impossible as I find there are so many things that should be said about our Guest of Honour and I do not wish to do him the injustice of introducing him in any sketchy or incomplete manner.

Our Guest, MR. R. C. BERKINSHAW, C.B.E., was born in Toronto and was educated in London, England, Upper Canada College, Trinity College, receiving his B.A. degree in 1913 and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1916 and was called to the Bar in that year.

Our Guest of Honour served his country in the First World War as Captain and Adjutant of the 124th Battalion--as Major in the 12th Canadian Engineers and was mentioned in dispatches.

Mr. Berkinshaw, at the close of World War I, became associated with the legal department of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company of Canada, Limited, and in 1920 was appointed Assistant Secretary and in 1926 Secretary and General Counsel-in 1931 Assistant to the President in 1932 Treasurer of the Company and Treasurer and General Manager in 1933. He is also an Officer and a Director of a number of other large industrial organizations and a Director of the Bank of Montreal-Mutual Life Assurance Company, and is active in various philanthropic and social service organizations. He is also a Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Toronto Industrial Commission-President of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association-Vice-President of the Canadian National Exhibition-a member of the Executive Committee of Trinity College-Vice-President Toronto Hospital For Incurables-President of the Citizens' Research Institute of Canada and Director of the Technical Service Council.

In 1941 our Guest was appointed Director-General, Priorities Branch, Department of Munitions & Supply, Ottawa, and Chairman of the Wartime Industries Control Board and his service during World War II was recognized by The King on July 1, 1946, when he was created a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

It was your Chairman's privilege to accompany the Canadian Manufacturers Association on their trip to Banff in June and at that time our Guest spoke in each Capital City of the West and was not only a credit to the Canadian Manufacturers Association, but to Eastern Canada at large.

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce to you Mr. R. C. Berkinshaw, C.B.E., Vice-President and General Manager of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and President of the Canadian Manufacturers Association -a member of our Club and at one time a member of the Executive Committee, who has just returned with the Canadian Trade Mission from its 25,000-mile South African tour and he will now address us on the subject:

"CANADIAN TRADE MISSION VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA"

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen

As your President has mentioned, in his all too generous words of introduction, it was my privilege recently to be a member of the Canadian Trade Mission which has just returned from a visit to South Africa. When you kindly invited me, before I left upon this 25,000-mile journey, to speak to you upon my return, and to give you my impressions of the countries we visited and their potentialities of development as greater customers of Canada, I accepted with some degree of hesitation. Now that I am back again, I am happy to redeem that undertaking to speak to you, but I find that I have essayed a task more difficult than I had envisioned. For we saw so much of great interest, we learned so many things that impressed us, we scanned so many new horizons, we met so many men of high and low estate alike, whose vision, energy, and surpassing faith in the destiny of their country were an inspiration to us all, and we collected such a fund of information pertinent to the purpose of the Mission, that I find it difficult to compress my observations and conclusions into logical form and sequence within the compass of a single speech. Lest that observation may create a fear in your minds that I may exceed the limit of the time allotted to me, I would like to say, quite frankly, that it is my purpose only to touch upon the highlights of the journey insofar as they may influence the widening of trade channels between South Africa and the Dominion of Canada.

But, before I pass to my subject proper, and by way of introductinn, I should like to give you a verbal interpretation of four pictures which have been projected upon my mind as a result of my recent journeying.

FIRST: It has become almost a commonplace to say that time and space are subject to a continuing process of constriction as a result of man's ability to devise new forms of rapid transportation. The great advances already achieved in air transportation have made the world a very small place indeed. Nations which once were separated from each other by the expanse of oceans are now able to regard each other, if they will, as near neighbours, and by the closer extent to which they learn to know each other better are opportunities created for clearer understandings in the field of international relationships, as well as for the development of that inter-commercial activity which is the basis of prosperity. Never has this been driven home to me with such force before. When I recall the fact that it took us only 55 hours to travel by air from New York to Johannesburg--a journey that by surface transportation would take 40 or more days--I conjure up a picture of the time, not so far distant as one might think, when giant planes, jet-propelled, will sail the skies at incredible speeds to bring mankind and merchandise alike within overnight reach of their destinations and markets. Surely we are living in an age so wonderful, so filled with the spirit of progress, that the story of the "Magic Carpet" works no more a spell of enchantment upon our imaginations. Truly, in the realm of aerial transportation, we have seen miracles in our day and generation--with the promise of greater miracles still to come. I can only express my hope, which, I know, is your hope, too, that these same miracles may be applied no longer to the evil purposes of war, but devoted to the perpetuation of peace and consecrated to the healing of the nations.

SECOND: It seems only a few days ago that I stood on a crest amidst that jumbled mass of granite hills, some 20 miles from Bulawayo, known as the Matopos, where, under a wide and silent sky, shadowed by gigantic boulders of solid rock, is the windswept grave of that great Empire builder, Cecil Rhodes. This was the man who was the inspired architect of British South Africa as it is today, a man to whom the British tradition meant more than personal gain or aggrandizement, a man whose memory is held in honour wherever the English tongue is spoken. No great imposing shrine nor massive column marks his last resting place-only a simple tablet let into the rock, with these words thereon: "Here Lie the Remains of Cecil John Rhodes", and, as I stood thereby upon that day, I thought of Thomas Campbell's words

"To Live in Hearts We Leave Behind is Not to Die."

THIRD: It has been well said that the British Empire has always had the ability to produce great leaders in time of crisis and of stress. One has only to think of Winston Churchill as a typical and outstanding instance of the truth of this assertion. So in its formative years, South Africa had its Cecil Rhodes and, in its years of crisis and development, South Africa produced, for the strengthening and the stabilization of the Empire through troubled times, one who has become one of the great men of the world, Jan Christian Smuts. It was my high privilege to meet the Prime Minister of South Africa, and seldom, if ever, have I been impressed with the purpose and the personality of any man as I was by this great Elder Statesman of the Empire. Courteously and kindly he answered all my questions, yet every word he spoke betrayed his vast knowledge and gave emphasis to that quiet authority which seems to be his by right. A great statesman, a great soldier, a great patriot, he has done great things for South Africa and for the Empire of which it is a part, and, I believe, that, if he is spared, he will accomplish even greater things in shaping the future of his own land and of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

FOURTH: But there is one thing that this trip has done for me personally which I cannot refrain from mentioning. It has given me a firmer faith than ever I had before in the destiny of the British Empire as a principal factor in world affairs. Too often, I think, is one's conception of the British Commonwealth conditioned by the narrower horizons of one's own country, and it is not until the opportunity occurs to extend our knowledge and experience by contact with our fellow-folk in other British territories that we begin to appraise our Imperial heritage at its true value. There is an innate loyalty to British ideals and traditions among the citizens of South Africa, as well as an immovable faith in their future within the British Commonwealth of Nations, that when one sees the vast expanses of their land, and feels the pulsing of energy in their great and growing cities, it is impossible not to feel a glow of pride in a common citizenship. I have come back in the firm conviction that the virility, the resources, and the faith of the younger Empire nations will so strengthen and support old England in her hour of crisis, that she and the Commonwealth of which she is the symbol and the centre, will lead the world once more into the paths of peace and international fellowship and prosperity.

So much for my mental pictures. It would be easy to succumb to temptation and to give these remarks of mine the form of a travelogue, describing, with some detail, the places we visited and the people we met. But I think that would not be your desire, and certainly it is not my intention. As businessmen, keenly mindful of the necessity for developing the field of Canadian commerce, you would be much more interested, I am sure, in hearing the whyand-wherefore of this mission; in hearing of the conditions -industrial, agricultural, social, and political--which exist in South Africa; in hearing the impressions which those conditions made upon me as an industrial representative; and of hearing about the results which, we hope, will stem from our visit.

We all know, of course, that one of the great needs of the world in these post-war days is a widening of the channels of trade between nations, in order to encourage a freer flow of essential commodities and to develop a rising standard of production. In some cases, this implies the maintenance of living standards already established at high levels; in other cases, it implies the restoration of war-shattered economies to conditions approximating normalcy. In our own case, we need to expand our export markets as rapidly as possible in order to maintain our totality of production at a level high enough to retain for our people a maximum degree of employment, and make stable the high standard of living which we currently enjoy. In this objective, Canadian industry is receiving the whole-hearted co-operation of the Department of Trade and Commerce at Ottawa, and I would like to pay tribute--at this point--to the vision, the ability, and the directional capacity of the Minister, the Honorable J. A. MacKinnon, who has given inspiring leadership in this quest for new and expanded markets for Canadian goods and produce. He has already successfully headed trade missions to both South and Central America, and this mission to South Africa was undertaken in pursuance of a policy of exploring, at first-hand, the potentiality of promising markets throughout the world. It so happens that South Africa is Canada's third best customer, and while many South African Ministers and officials, including General Smuts himself, have visited Canada, no Canadian Minister had ever returned those visits. It was felt, therefore, that a good-will mission from Canada would not only be an appropriate gesture, but would lead to a greater development of trade between the Dominion and the Union.

Incidentally, the Minister decided, on this occasion, to break with custom, and to invite Canadian industry to be represented in the personnel of a Government mission, As President of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, I was invited to accompany the Minister as a member of the mission-an invitation which I was glad to accept. Throughout the whole of the trip, the members of the mission worked as a team, and I know that the Minister appreciated the friendly co-operation and assistance so freely and readily rendered by the representatives of private industry who accompanied him. They were

Mr. James S. Duncan, President of Massey-Harris Co. Ltd.

Mr. Victor M. Drury, President, Canadian Car and Foundry Co. Ltd., and Mr. Arthur K. Tate, the General Sales and Export Manager of that Company.

Mr. Norman D. Moffat, of Moffat's Limited,

Mr. Paul Bienvenu, President of Catelli Food Products Ltd., and Mr. E. E. H. Wright, Vice President of Welland Vale Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

With Johannesburg as a centre, we visited the cities of Pretoria, Capetown, Port Elisabeth and Durban; the cities of Salisbury and Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia; and many other places of historic, agricultural, or industrial interest. Throughout the whole of our stay, we met with a degree of warm hospitality that could not be excelled, and I shall treasure the memory of our generous welcome and the kindness that was extended to us on every hand.

I find it difficult, indeed, to marshall my impressions of South Africa. Like our own country, it is a land of wide expanses, of varied and vast resources, of pulsing and prosperous cities; of cultivated farm-land and undeveloped veldt; of mountains and of plains. It has a population of 11,392,000, of which 2,373,000 are white, the balance being natives, Asiatics, and mixed. One thing struck me particularly: the standard of living among the white population is as high as that of Canada, and a general atmosphere of prosperity is apparent, especially in the towns and cities of the Union.

Geographically, the Union of South Africa is but a small part of the continent in which it is situated. Slightly less than half a million square miles in area, it is about one-sixth the size of Canada. The southern and eastern coastal belts of the Union are well-watered and fertile, and support a denser population than the drier interior. Yet it is on the uplands of South Africa that the nation's pulse beats strongest, for here the industrial expansion and the development of mineral wealth is challenging the imagination. The keystone of South Africa's economic vitality, and the sound foundation for agricultural and industrial expansion in the future, is gold. From the gold mines of the Transvaal comes approximately 40 to 50 per cent of all gold mined in the world each year, and seemingly fabulous new gold discoveries in the Orange Free State province give rise to the belief that, before many years have passed, South Africa will supply the world with an even greater proportion of its new gold.

The basic contribution which the gold mining industry of the Witwatersrand makes to the internal prosperity of the Union, as represented by the high standard of living among the white population, is evidenced by the fact that, each year, that industry circulates nearly 90% of its revenue-amounting to more than 400 million dollars per annum-within the Union, in purchase of stores, payment of wages, taxation, dividends, and various services. The industry employs approximately 41,000 Europeans and 310,000 non-Europeans, and the recruiting of the latter, their training and care after they are engaged, is quite another industry in itself. As a matter of fact, the average service of non-Europeans with the mines is only 14 months, when the native African returns to his home. It may be of interest to many to know that some of the gold mines of South Africa are nearly two miles deep, one of which we were given the opportunity to inspect. It was quite an experience for those who essayed the descent, for they were lowered and raised in cages which travelled at a speed of 3,500 feet per minute-over 2Y2 times as fast as the speediest skyscraper elevators in New York.

Another basic factor in the industrial economy of South Africa is, of course, to be found in the diamond industry. We were told that during the last World War the production of diamonds in South Africa, both of the industrial and gem types, increased tremendously, and that the mines are now working at full pressure to cope with the great post-war demand. It is estimated that the South African diamond mines are now capable of producing gem diamonds to the value of 64 million dollars a year at current prices, but it must be remembered that the production and sale of diamonds is now strictly controlled and channeled by state legislation. We had the opportunity to visit one of the largest diamond mines and to watch the intricate and careful process of production. So far as is known, no member of the mission returned from this visit any the richer.

The mineral production of South Africa also includes substantial minings of copper, tin, antimony, chromium, iron, manganese, platinum, silver, pitch-blende, South African "jade", asbestos, gypsum, fire clays, lime, marble, mineral oil, salt, sulphur, soda, and talc. Coal, too, is production and ultimately her export trade. We found produced from 23 collieries in Natal and the Transvaal to an estimated annual tonnage of 17,500,000 tons. We were told that government estimates place the coal resources of the Union at approximately 325 billion tons.

The impression left upon the minds of the members of the mission was that the mining industry of South Africa like the mining industry of Canada, has a great potentiality of expansion. New discoveries of mineral wealth in various forms are frequently being made, and the monetary value of minerals produced in the Union will increase substantially year by year.

As is the case in Canada, so the agricultural segment of South African industry plays an important part in the productional economy of the Union. Despite the unequal distribution of rainfall, the Union as a whole produces abundant crops in considerable variety. The chief crop in the Free State and the Transvaal is maize (which we know as corn) and which the Union normally produces in exportable quantities, though this year the crop was short due to drought conditions in some areas. Wheat is also grown, but not in sufficient quantity to meet domestic requirements, and we were informed that approximately one million bags of hard wheat is annually imported from Manitoba for blending purposes and they want more. The important crop in the semi-tropical valleys of Natal is sugarcane, the production of which is normally sufficient to enable the exportation of considerable quantities. The potato also ranks as one of the leading crops of the Union, and tobacco growing is an important industry, both in the Cape arid the Transvaal, and I can testify to the fact that first-class pipe tobaccos and cigarettes are manufactured in the Union.

Fruit growing occupies a very special place in the country's agricultural economy. Deciduous fruits are produced in great variety, and citrus fruits round out the all-year-round industry, which, in normal times, brings to the Union a rich return from overseas' markets. Allied to the fruit industry is the closely-controlled viticultural industry, which produces a fine range of wines and brandies, many brands of which are exported to the North American markets. It may come as a surprise to many to learn that the normal annual production of wine in South Africa amounts to over six million gallons and that the production of fine South African brandy amounts to over 3,500,000 proof gallons. It was our good fortune to visit one or two of the most famous of the wine-producing establishments in South Africa, and I can testify personally to the high quality-and the potency-of their products.

But it is in the realm of industrial expansion that South Africa has made its most spectacular advance. Like Canada again, the exigencies of war needs, coupled with an inevitable war-time reduction in the import of essential commodities, gave an impetus to industrial production which is being felt even in the post-war period. Almost limitless supplies of readily accessible coal, relatively cheap and plentiful electric power, a rapidly expanding iron and steel industry, incalculable resources of ores, metals, minerals and other raw material, harbours capable of accommodating the largest ships afloat, a nationally controlled system of railroads, road, motor and air transport -these are a few of the contributing factors in seeding the development of South Africa's industrial activity.

The story of the steel and iron industry of South Africa is a wonderful record of high accomplishment in planned development. With vast ore-bodies available in strategic locations, many attempts were made, prior to 1928, to interest private capital in large-scale iron and steel production, but somehow they all failed. In that year the South African Iron and Steel Corporation Limited ("Iscor" as it is popularly known) was constituted by the Union parliament, and one of the world's greatest engineers, Dr. H. J. Vanderbijl, was appointed its first chairman. With the backing of Union government, Dr. Vanderbijl proceeded to accomplish a miracle. The "Iscor" steel works near Pretoria came into production in 1934, and are now producing an average of 520,000 tons of ingots each year.

But this government-controlled industry is looking ahead. It has laid out a huge town-site near Vereeniging which has been named Vanderbijl Park, in honour of the man who controls the operation of this huge enterprise. In this town-site a new steel plant is being laid out which will ultimately produce one million tons of steel per year. The area has been planned to provide homes for the thousands of workers who will eventually find employment there, and to provide sites for steel-using industries which will be encouraged to establish plants in the Park. The members of the mission were invited by Dr. Vanderbijl to inspect this vast project, and for my part, I came away with the firm conviction that this enterprise, when completed, will be one of the great industrial achievements of our day.

There are other industries, large and small, but all of importance, mainly centered in and around the cities of Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London, though none of them approximate in magnitude to the enterprise at Vanderbijl Park, or to the mining of gold and diamonds. These industries include automobile assembly plants, agricultural implement plants, leather processing plants, footwear and leather goods factories, chemical plants, oil, paint and soap plants, jam and preserve plants, factories where tires and other rubber goods are produced and many others of lesser size. There is, however, one other industry which must be mentioned, though it cannot be classed as a fabricative industry: it is the production of wool, of which South African exports in 1945 amounted to $42,000,000.

It is possible that you are wondering, at this point, why I have spoken--almost exclusively--of the agricultural and industrial economies of the Union, when the primary purpose of the mission was to explore the possibilities of expanding our Canadian exports into that market. My reasons can be readily explained. In the first place, the purchasing power of any market depends upon its capacity to produce, and it becomes necessary, therefore, to assess a country's ability to pay for the goods it needs by reviewing its income sources. In the second place, one cannot expect to sell goods in any country, unless one buys, in return, the goods which that country normally produces; in other words, to give effect to the dictum "the world-trade street is a two-way street". And, in the third place, it must be remembered that the area of supply in a foreign market is not conditioned by the demand for consumer goods alone, but that industrial and agricultural development provide the need for other commodity classes.

I have ventured to summarize my conclusions regarding the South African market from the point of view of a Canadian exporter, and I offer those conclusions for what they are worth

(1) Though there has been a phenomenal advance in the industrial development of South Africa during the past few years, fabricative industry, as such, is still in its formative stages, and it will be many years before productional capacity and diversification can supply any sizable part of the demand for capital and consumer commodities in the domestic market.
(2) As industrial enterprise expands in the Union, there will be a continuing demand for all types of plant equipment from sources of supply overseas.
(3) The high level of purchasing power possessed by the white population of South Africa offers an an attractive and stable market for multitudinous types of consumer commodities, most of which must now be imported. In fact, the apparently unlimited market for imported goods is only on the threshold of its development, and, in my judgment, there are few Canadian-made products which would not be readily acceptable, and which would command a ready sale in South Africa.
(4) It may come as a surprise to some to learn that the native population of South Africa represents another enormous market for Canadian factories, if only the Canadian manufacturer will put his products in the experienced hands, and take the advice of South African agencies which understand the economics of selling in this distinctive market.
(5) In exploring the possibilities of both white and native population markets in South Africa, Canadian manufacturers would be well advised to negotiate with one of these established importer-distributor agencies. These agencies constitute a recognized and essential part of the market machinery in South Africa, and have an intimate knowledge, based upon long experience, of the peculiar and distinctive problems which both markets present to importers.
(6) But I think the best advice that I can give to Canadian manufacturers who may be contemplating entry into the South African market, or who wish to extend the sale of their products in the Union, is this: If possible visit South Africa in person. Modern air transportation makes such a trip easier from the point of view of time taken, and the personal contacts made and the first-hand knowledge gained will do more than anything else to ease the path of your products into this rich and growing market.

We left the Union of South Africa in the conviction that our time in that hospitable country had been well spent. It is, in truth, a great and prosperous land, proudly conscious of its important place in the British Commonwealth of Nations. Like Canada, it is a land of opportunity, for it possesses vast resources, which as they are developed, will add to the wealth of a land already rich. The hospitality we encountered, the kindness we experienced, and the sense of family relationship we felt during the whole of our stay will make our visit one long to be remembered by every member of the Mission.

We went on to visit the colony of Southern Rhodesia, where we met with a cordial and kindly reception. Our arrival there coincided with the issuance of governmental regulations restricting imports from Canada and the United States; however, this gave us an opportunity of frankly discussing the trade relationship between us, of impressing upon the government of Southern Rhodesia the extent of Canada's aid to the United Kingdom in her time of economic crisis, and of emphasizing the difficulties of Canada's own position in the matter of dollar stringency.

We found in Southern Rhodesia an adherence to British traditions and a loyalty to Britain that was outstanding in the measure of its intensity. It is a land as yet largely undeveloped, but it is richly endowed with coal, iron ore, asbestos, chrome, and many other metals. Gold, however, is, in point of value, its most important mineral, and constitutes the colony's principal export.

The capital city of Salisbury is now in every respect a worthy centre for a progressive and productive country, for it is a city of wide avenues and stately buildings, though it is little more than 50 years since it was founded. The other large city of the colony is, Bulawayo. There is romance aplenty in the story of Bulawayo's growth from the kraals of Lobengula--the Matabele king--to the beautiful well-constructed modern city of 50,000 people it is today--a transition which has taken place in little more than 50 years. Aside from the gold reefs of the surrounding terrain, and the fact that extensive coal deposits exist in the vicinity, the city stands in the midst of a wide tract of rich grazing land. It is also the centre of the commercial and industrial ,activity of the colony, and its industries include railway work shops, steel works, sugar refining plants, flour mills, soap and cement factories. But the chief industry of Southern Rhodesia is agriculture, in which the growing of tobacco is a principal occupation. Both Virginia and Turkish types of tobacco are grown, the production of the former type amounting to 46 1/2 million pounds in the 1946-7 season. It is exported largely to the United Kingdom, but Canada draws its supply of Turkish tobacco from Southern Rhodesia. The territory around Bulawayo is also devoted chiefly to cattle-raising, and wheat, cotton and maize are becoming more important crops each successive year.

In the development of secondary industries, Southern Rhodesia has not yet made any pronounced advancealthough plans towards this objective are under way. The government of the colony has inaugurated an iron and steel industry and a cotton-spinning industry. The output of the former, now amounting to 12,000 tons of steel per year, will soon be doubled when plant extensions are complete. In Southern Rhodesia and, in deed in South Africa also, hope was frequently expressed that Canadian capital would be attracted to their countries for investment. It was strongly felt that economic advancement would inevitably result, in turn, in an expanding African market for many lines of Canadian merchandise.

Though the import of certain goods into the colony may possibly be restricted at the present time, essential commodities will not be affected, and Southern Rhodesia normally offers a growing market, for Canadian lumber, paper products, iron and steel products, and many other manufactured goods, and I am convinced that this thriving and progressive colony will become, in the future, a substantial customer of Canada.

Some of the members of the mission had the opportunity to inspect developments in production at Tanganyika and Kenya colony, and were amazed by their magnitude and extent. They are striking examples of British enterprise. In the former territory the British Government faced with a world shortage of oils and fats, has inaugurated a gigantic undertaking to develop, within the next two or three years, three million acres of fertile land in the production of ground nuts, from which vegetable oils, fats, and a number of by-products can be obtained. It is estimated that the annual production will be between 600,000 and 800,000 tons, and the plan will ultimately give employment to some 750 Europeans and over 32,000 Africans. Incidentally, it is anticipated that the scheme will provide for the production of considerable quantities of cattle cake, after the oil is extracted from the nuts, and that this by-product would contribute substantially towards the increase of milk production in the United Kingdom.

In Kenya colony, too, the British government has sponsored a great coffee growing development. Already the colony has produced some of the finest grades of coffee bean grown in the world, and as more and more territory comes into production the output will constitute a sizable part of the world's supply of fine coffee.

I have no time left to tell you of the visits we made--homeward bound--to Egypt, to Greece, to Italy and Portugal, though the mission found much of interest in these countries in regard to their respective trade positions. I can also do no more than mention my short visit to the city of London and one or two parts of England, and repeat what the Honorable Mr. MacKinnon said yesterday in Montreal-we obtained a feeling that the United Kingkeenly interested in the future.

I have tried, as I promised, to touch upon the highlights of our visit to South Africa, which was, of course, the main objective of the mission. We did not attempt to secure special concessions nor tariff changes; what we tried to do-and what, I believe, we accomplished--was to discuss in frank, friendly and family conferences the trade opportunities opened up by the cessation of war; to ascertain the means whereby the channels of trade between our two countries could be deepened; and to bring about even a closer feeling of kinship and interdependence between the Union and our Dominion.

One thing I certainly gained; a deeper understanding of the significance and value of our citizenship in the British Empire, and of that Empire's destiny to guide again the nations of the world into the way of concord. The United Kingdom may be staggering under the blows of economic circumstance, but that she will rise unconquered to the stature of re-established world leadership, I do not doubt.

One other thing this trip has taught me--despite the hopes of its enemies and the fears of its fair-weather friends, the British Empire is still a long, long way from liquidation.

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit




My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.










Canadian Trade Mission Trip to South Africa


Highlights of the journey of the Canadian Trade Mission, recently returned from a visit to South Africa. First, four pictures which have been projected upon the mind of the speaker as a result of this recent trip. Some background to the Trade Mission and those who went on it. Places visited. Some broad impressions and statistics of the country. The geography. The keystone of South Africa's economic vitality, and the sound foundation for agricultural and industrial expansion in the future: gold. A brief description of the gold industry, with some figures. The diamond industry, also with statistics. Mineral production of South Africa. The great potential for expansion in the mining industry in South Africa, similar to that in Canada. Frequent new discoveries. The agricultural segment of South African industry and the important part that it plays in the productional economy of the Union. Fruit growing. The most spectacular advances in the realm of industrial expansion. Like Canada, the exigencies of war needs, coupled with an inevitable war-time reduction in the import of essential commodities, gave an impetus to industrial production which is being felt even in the post-war period. South Africa's wonderful record of high accomplishment in planned development, with the example of the South African Iron and Steel Corporation. Future plans for this government-controlled industry. Other industries which center in and around the cities of Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London. A summary of conclusions regarding the South African market from the point of view of a Canadian exporter. A subsequent visit to Southern Rhodesia. An opportunity to frankly discuss the trade relationship between Canada and Southern Rhodesia. Impressing upon that government the extent of Canada's aid to the United Kingdom in her time of economic crisis, and emphasizing the difficulties of Canada's own position in the matter of dollar stringency. Impressions and description of Southern Rhodesia, including industrial activity and development. Developments in production at Tanganyika and Kenya colony: striking examples of British enterprise. A great coffee growing development in Kenya colony, sponsored by the British government. Other countries visited (Egypt, Greece, Italy and Portugal). A short visit to the city of London and one or two parts of England. Reference to some words from the Honorable Mr. MacKinnon spoken in Montreal yesterday. Accomplishments of the trade mission. Gaining a deeper understanding of the significance and value of Canada's citizenship in the British Empire, and of that Empire's destiny to guide again the nations of the world into the way of concord.