AN ADDRESS BY
MR. MAX W. BALL, F.G.S.A.
Chairman: Mr. E. F. Thompson
Thursdav, March 27, 1941
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: Gentlemen, may I have your attention for a minute or two? Today, in accordance with our Constitution, it is our custom to select a Nominating Committee for the season 1941-42.
MR. J. D. SPENCE, K.C.: Mr. Chairman, in accordance with the Constitution of the Club, I beg to propose the following to be members of the Nominating Committee for the selection of Officers and Executive Committee of the Club for the year 1941-42,-the election of such to take place at the Annual Meeting of the Club
Messrs. C. R. Sanderson J. P. Pratt, K.C. W. Eason Humphreys R. A. Stapells
C. R. Conquergood Hector Charlesworth Sigmund Samuel, LL.D. Dr. F. A. Gaby (Chairman)
MR. A. W. MILES: Gentlemen, I take pleasure in seconding the motion. CARRIED.
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: Members of the Empire Club, Guests, and our Unseen Audience of the Air: We are fortunate in having as our speaker today an authority on oil, and a writer of some note. He has contributed from time to time numerous books and articles on technical and economic subjects. During the past year he has published a book which has been widely read, entitled "This Fascinating Oil Business." Fascinating also, to say the least, is the biographical sketch of our guest, which in activity in his chosen field, the development of oil, is very complete. I am sorry that there is not time to give you the whole picture, but I would like particularly to mention that since graduation from University, where he attained the degrees of E.M., LL.B., and LL.M., he has been closely allied with the oil industry. Among the many important posts that he has filled was that of Chairman of the Oil Board of the United States Geological Survey. He has been President of companies affiliated with the Standard Oil Company of Indiana, and now heads Abasand Oil Limited, of Edmonton, Alberta.
Those of you who drive motor cars well know that you cannot rely on one grade of oil but must vary the grade throughout the year to get the best performance from your automobile engine. This, I feel, also applies to the human machine, as in the case of our guest who, instead of coming from only one stock, has a varied ancestry, consisting of English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch and Swiss. You will be interested to know that the ancestors referred to came to this continent between the years 1620 and 1820.
It is a great privilege to have the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. Max W. Ball, who was born in Illinois, raised on Pike's Peak, and is now the proud possessor of the title, Fellow o f the Geological Society o f America. I give you Mr. Max W. Ball, who will address you on the subject Anglo-American Responsibilities. (Applause.)
MR. MAX W. BALL: Gentlemen: If there is any disappointment as to the subject of my talk today, and as to what I say, don't charge it to me, nor to your Honorary Secretary, charge it to the telegraph company. For once the telegraph company transmitted more than they were paid for and put an extra "f" in a telegram. I wired your Secretary, at his request, that I should be glad to speak on "Anglo-American Responsibilities" or "Germany's Oil Supply." The telegraph company donated "f" and made it read "Anglo-American Responsibilities for Germany's Oil Supply." They happen to be two different talks. I wish we were all twins so that I could give and you could listen to both of them at once. As it is, I have left the selection to your officers and they have asked me to speak on "Anglo-American Responsibilities," so, except for a very brief reference, oil will be left out.
The subject upon which I do want to talk to you involves a review of a generation of Anglo-American relationships and a consideration of the joint responsibility of the English-thinking peoples in the years to come after the war. I am assuming that sooner or later we shall win this war. Both history and economics point to the same conclusion, that Germany has attempted the impossible and that the seeds of defeat are already sown.
If I were giving the other talk, which I am not, I would analyze for you one economic factor, the factor of Germany's oil supply, and because I am not giving it, I will summarize it this far. (Applause.) Giving Germany the benefit of every doubt as to other sources of supply, giving her the benefit of every doubt as to the amount of synthetic substitutes which she can make, giving her the benefit of every doubt as to the extent to which she can restrict civilian consumption within her own borders and within the countries that she has overrun, I can come to no conclusion except that Germany today, Germany and her associates, are running behind to the extent of at least four million barrels a month, over and above her available supplies, including such imports as she has been getting from Russia, and including of course the entire Rumanian production, and making no deductions for what the R.A.F. has been doing, which has been plenty, to her oil plants and refineries. That deficit of at least four million barrels a month must, of course, come out of storage, and although there are many conjectural factors in the amount of storage that Germany may have, it seems impossible that she can have much more than 21 million barrels. From there on you can figure out the answer for yourselves. That is only one economic factor.
Aside from such tangible factors, moreover, I am convinced that the spirit of freedom is unquenchable, and that no combination of powers will be able to rout it from the British Commonwealth of Nations and the United States. Stronger even than this conviction is my faith in a God who will not suffer the defeat of man's aspiration to be master of his own soul. I am sure that all of you share that faith, and that we need not argue it. We can start with the assumption that the war will end in victory.
The subject we are to consider, then, is the relationship of the English-thinking peoples during the conflict, and their joint responsibilities in the difficult days that will follow it.
No talk on such a subject is worth listening to unless the audience knows the background and fundamental beliefs of the speaker. No human statement stands alone; behind and beside and within it are the ideals and the bias of the man who makes it. Because I am a stranger to most of you, I am constrained to talk about myself before I talk about more important matters. The review may be profitable, not because of the subject, but because it may illustrate the evolution of an attitude toward England.
I am an American citizen, born in the United States. All of my ancestors for from five to nine generations back were born in the United States. The most recent migrant to America came from Switzerland when Indian raids were still common in western Pennsylvania. The others were English, Scotch, Irish and Dutch. I have never been outside North America, and never more than a mile south of the Rio Grande.
Since 1930 I have spent much of my time in Canada, and since early in 1937 1 have lived in Edmonton. For several years my principal business interest has been in Canada. I have been welcomed and made to feel that I am wanted, and I feel as much at home on this side of the line as on the other. I am not a full-time Canadian, however; I maintain an office in Denver and my consulting work takes me hither and yon throughout the United States. My son is attending the Colorado School of Mines and says "skedule" and "zee"; my daughter is attending the University of Alberta and says "shedule" and "zed." I am probably as complete a Canadian-American hybrid as can be found.
What, then, about my attitude toward things British? Like most Americans of my years, I was taught in school to think of the British as tyrants, the enemy who tried to keep the American colonies in subjection and against whom they had to fight to gain freedom and self-government. No one told us in those days that the English had for centuries been climbing the ladder of popular government, even though they had not yet reached the height of extending it to their colonies. No one told us that while we were fighting our Revolution the English people were themselves waging a valiant struggle against the abuse of royal prerogatives. All we were taught was that the English had been our oppressors and that we had been compelled to win our liberties from them by force of arms. When we played our boyhood games of war and glory the enemy was always the British or the Indians, the Redcoats or the Redskms; it didn't much matter which; they were equally bad.
Then something happened. When I was a lad just beginning to think for myself, the United States fought its war with Spain, a war fought for the freedom of an oppressed people outside our boundaries. Like most Americans, young or old, I was shocked by the fact that the countries of continental Europe, almost without exception, sided with Spain. Even such a cradle of liberty as Switzerland was strongly pro-Spanish. I used to be astounded at the letters mv sister received from a chum whose father was American Consul in Zurich. But England! Ah, England was different. England recognized that the United States was fighting for something in which Englishmen believed, in the right of man to determine his own government. England gave the United States something akin to what the United States is now giving England-every aid short of war. From that clay forward, to me and to millions of other Americans, England was no longer the ancient enemy of our liberties; she was the friend of liberty and the friend of the United States.
Do you remember the discussion that ran through the States after the Spanish-American war, advocating an Anglo-American union; not necessarily a political union, but a union of collaboration and co-operation? Perhaps it was discussed in Britain and Canada, too; I wouldn't know. I was a boy, with all of a boy's enthusiasm. I became a devotee of the idea. I still am.
Then came the long years during which peace became a normal condition in most of the civilized world, and Anglo-American friendship came to be taken as a matter of course. I studied a bit of world history during those years, and I needed to be no brilliant student to recognize that the peace was a "Pax Britannica," that respect for the might of England was the major factor in preventing one power from attempting the conquest of another, and that the spectre of what happened to Napoleon was a constant reminder of what would happen to anyone who might again attempt to rule the world by force.
Then came the World War. A man with a Napoleonic complex decided that Britain had lost both her idealism and her political judgment and would stand aside while he made himself master of Europe and perhaps of much of Asia. Millions of Americans believed we should enter the war at once. I was one of them. When the then President said, "We are not concerned with the obscure sources from which it has burst forth," we felt enraged and degraded. We felt, as did Theodore Roosevelt, that the sources were neither obscure nor foreign to us; that in a conflict between freedom and conquest we belonged on the battlefield fighting for freedom. I am convinced that if Theodore Roosevelt had been President, as but for a turn of politics he might have been, the United States would have been in the war from the beginning, whole-heartedly, with no more dissent than there was when the country finally went in three years later. When the President of the United States tells the country for three years that a certain war is no concern of theirs, some people will come to believe it, and will continue to believe it after the President has changed his mind. The enthusiasm with which the American people threw themselves into the war when President Wilson finally said the word showed that many of them had thought we should be in it all along.
And then the peace, and the refusal of the United States to join the League of Nations. It is too long a story to review now, but I stand here and tell you that on Armistice Day and for months thereafter most Americans favoured the idea of a League and of full American participation in it. What happened that kept the United States out? Chiefly two things: First, Woodrow Wilson had fought the war as though it were not a war of the American people, but a war of the Democratic party. He handled the peace the same way. The commission that he took to Paris was a Democratic commission; not a Republican was on it, not even the ranking Republican member of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate. The League, God forgive us, became a partisan issue-at a time when the United States was swinging sharply toward Republican normalcy.
The second thing that killed American participation is now represented by the Statute of Westminster. You, yourselves, have taken some time to change your concept from a British Empire to a British Commonwealth of Nations. Is it surprising that after the war, when the concept was new to you, the average American did not grasp it? To be candid, he does not grasp it yet. He still thinks of the British Empire as a unit. So, most of the time, do you. You can imagine the American's reaction, then, to a League of Nations in which the United States would have one vote, the British Empire five. The concept later embodied in the Statute of Westminster may have made Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa free and independent nations, but it helped to kill American participation in the League of Nations. Not all the maladroitness in the handling of the League's promotion was concentrated on the banks of the Potomac.
Even so, the League was not rejected by the American people. They never had a chance to vote on it apart from other and wholly unrelated issues. President Wilson made it an issue in the campaign of 1920 to choose his successor, but it was only a single plank in the platform of his party. The other planks concerned domestic matters, and were not popular. Most Americans, forced to choose between membership in the League and economic policies they feared would be disastrous, forgot the League and vote d for economic soundness. I know how they felt, for I was one of them. A strong believer in the League and in American membership in it, I nevertheless voted against the League-sponsoring party in that election. You can see, then, how far the American people were from actually rejecting membership in the League.
So we come to more recent times. I wish we might pass over the years between the Treaty of Versailles and the invasion of Poland. They contain so many mistakes! They are the tragic years. There are those who will say that the only tragic years are the years of battle. I tell you that the years of battle, with all their bloodshed, are the years of courage and sacrifice, of the upsurge of determination that right shall not be banished from the earth. The tragic years are the years of sloth and cynicism, when men come to prize life and ease above right and liberty. Yes, these have been the tragic years, the years when the good wrought from the last war could have been preserved and the evils of the present one avoided, and they were not.
What happened to us during those years? It seems to me that we succumbed to certain dangers inherent in democracy. Like any other product of man's thinking and evolution, democracy has its clangers. Let us examine some of them.
The first I would name is pacifism. It is an especial danger because it wears a semblance of the ideal of demoracy itself. Democracy exalts man, the individual. It proclaims his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of these three things, life is tangible, material; liberty and the pursuit of happiness are intangibles, things of the spirit. Pacifism seizes on the tangible thing and exalts it as the whole. It makes man's life and man's right to it the sole thing of importance. In pacifist philosophy he should never be called upon to sacrifice or endanger his life for the sake of the spiritual rights such as liberty and the pursuit of happiness, either his own or those of others. I submit that never in all history has there been a more materialistic philosophy, a doctrine that more clearly exalts bodily well-being above spiritual values. Yet this doctrine, so definitely the negative of Christ's philosophy that "Whosoever would save his life must lose it," lives intimately among us in the garments of Christian idealism, the pet of our women's clubs, the favourite of our schools, and the darling of our churches.
We need not theorize about its dangers. We have only to look back over the past ten years. Because pacifism permeated our thinking and war was considered the only evil in God's sight, the Manchurians and millions of Chinese are slaves to the Japanese, the Ethiopians and the Albanians are slaves to the Italians, and the Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Danes, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians, Rumanians, Bulgarians, and French are slaves to the Germans.
The pity of it is that probably war would not have been necessary to prevent all this if our horror of war had not been so great. The watchman seldom has to shoot to prevent the store he guards from being robbed. He needs merely to be armed and prepared to shoot if necessary. If we, and by "we" I mean the believers in democracy, had not told ourselves we must never under any circumstances go to war, and in consequence let ourselves become too weak to fight, we should not have needed to fight. A strongly-armed England, or a strongly-armed United States, ready to use her strength, could have kept Japan out of Manchuria without doing battle. Italy would not have attacked Ethiopia if the British had been strong instead of weak. Germany would still be within her 1930 boundaries, with or without Hitler, if Britain had not permitted her to rearm and to occupy the Rhineland. No war would have been necessary; all that was needed was the willingness to fight. Hitler would not have given battle; he had nothing to battle with.
We gain nothing by blaming the government then in power. The governments of free peoples, and in fact of all peoples, come pretty close to representing the ideals and desires of the governed. The pacifist government of Britain when Hitler invaded the Rhineland was spirit of our spirit. We all feared war so much that we were unwilling to risk a little war to make a big one impossible. We might have taken to heart a sentence from Machiavelli, "Never permit an evil in order to avoid a war, for the war will come and you will be in poorer case to maintain it." But such common sense was out of date in those pacifist years, and the evil was permitted, the war came, and we were in sad case to maintain it.
The second danger of democracy represents a different type of slipshod sentimentality. We assume that because we are capable of governing ourselves after a fashion and of respecting the rights of our neighbours, all men have the same desire and ability. Nothing could be more false or more dangerous. The art of self-government is not an inherent gift; it is the product of long and painful practice. Those of us who speak the English tongue have taken more than six centuries to achieve it in its present imperfect state. Turn back the pages of history and see how slow our progress has been, how many times we have taken the wrong turn, how often the ideal has seemed to be lost, how hardly won each step has been. Self-government calls for self-discipline, a spirit of fair play, a willingness to accept the will of the majority, no matter how much we may dislike it. Is there any way in which these things can be learned except through generations spent in the hard school of experience?
Look over the world and count the peoples who have demonstrated their ability to do it. You can count them on the fingers of a single hand: The English-speaking peoples, the Scandinavian peoples through whom the germ of the idea came to England, the Swiss, the Dutch, and the Belgians. That's all. The Czechs and Slovaks made a start, but only a start, in the twenty years they had to try. The Poles stumbled before they got under way. The French? Not yet, though no nation, perhaps, has stronger aspirations. The Third Republic lasted a little more than seventy years, and in that time had something more than sixty-five governments. Such a history does not indicate that the French have yet achieved the political stability required for self-government.
Why is this easy-going belief in self-government as an inherent gift a danger to democracy? Because it leads the democracies to treat other peoples as though they had the same aspirations and ideals. It is leading the United States and Britain toward two steps that will almost certainly cause suffering and bloodshed to those supposed to benefit-the granting of independence to the Philippines and dominion status to India. After the last war it led to something far more dangerous than India or the Philippines can be; it led us to think that the Germans, the Austrians, the Hungarians, and the rest of the world had the same desire and capacity for governing themselves, and for living at peace with their neighbours, that we have, and so it led us directly to the present war. It is a mistake we must not make again. Somehow we shall have to devise a system that will give other peoples a chance to learn the arts of self-government and international honour, and to reap the benefits when they have earned them, but that will guard against their abusing their privileges meanwhile.
These two dangers, pacifism and sentimentality toward other peoples, find a common expression in a third danger, the derogation of what we have done when the doing of it is over. We have a positive and malign genius for it. The word for it is cynicism. Twenty-odd years ago we fought a righteous war and made a reasonably just peace, but have we told our children so? You know we have not. It has been smart to be cynical about our purposes and our accomplishments. What have our books, our magazines, our teachers, and our preachers been saying for the past two decades? Mainly that the World War was a brutal war, fought by England to prevent Germany from attaining economic equality, that England drew the United States into it to pull her own chestnuts out of the fire; that, whatever its cause, it was a failure and should not have been fought because it failed to establish a perfect world order and a permanent world peace; that the peace treaty was an iniquitous business that wreaked an unjust vengeance and that unwarrantably humiliated a people as proud and deserving as ourselves. Have you read the histories taught in your high schools up almost to today? I looked through those my daughter studied last year, in a Canadian high school, mind you. I found little to suggest that the Allies fought the World War in defence of the sacredness of treaties against conquest and oppression; much to suggest that they were actuated by "power politics" and envious economics. I found that the Peace of Versailles was a vengeful peace, unduly hard on Germany, that not only caused but justified the rise of Hitler.
If such things have been taught in Canada, you may be sure they have been taught in the United States. Is it any wonder that, after twenty years of such teaching, the United States should not be in this war? Considering what we have permitted them to be taught, we have every reason to be surprised that the youth of Canada have responded so nobly to freedom's present cry of distress. We may recriminate all we like, but if any of us, on either side of the line, go reluctantly about our duty of defending liberty, we have only ourselves to blame for letting false and cynical teaching mould the minds of our people through the tragic years behind us.
Well, those blind, blundering, tragic years are gone. What of the present and the future?
As to the present, I do not need to tell you that the people of the United States hate Hitler, his associates, and all they stand for as bitterly as do the people of Canada. The lease-lend bill represents far more than a new statute on the books; it represents the grim will and determination of the people.
Do not be unduly disturbed by the thirty-one votes against it in the Senate. Not all were hostile votes. Some, of course, were cast by isolationists, who somehow manage to make a great deal of noise while their heads are buried in the sand. Some were cast by peace-at-any-pricers, a few by men in whom the hostility of 1776 still lingers, some by men who cannot bring themselves to vote with Roosevelt even when they feel that he is right, but some were cast by ardent and loyal friends of Britain. That surprises you, and calls for a word of explanation.
The lease-lend bill gives the President power to give or withhold aid when, to whom, and from whom he chooses. To the extent that American aid is essential in the war, it makes him the arbiter of its destinies. He could conceivably say to Britain or to Greece or to Canada, "Unless you thus and thus conduct the war," or "unless you promise thus and thus to make peace," our aid will be withheld. There are sincere Americans who feel that such power should not lie with the head of a non-belligerent country, but should rest in those who are giving their blood and sweat to the fight; that Joab in the field and not David in Jerusalem should decide whom to place in the forefront of the hottest battle, and when and for what cause to retire from the attack.
Whether they are right or wrong is a question not before us here. Right or wrong, they are lost in the multitude of Americans who are less concerned with such fears than with quick, effective, and overwhelming aid. The voice of that multitude resounds in the lease-lend bill, and their will will be felt in the aid that follows.
Whether the United States will enter the war as a belligerent, and if so when, I know no more than you, but one great fact stands out: Now, already, today, the English-thinking peoples are united in a common cause.
As to the future, the thing that concerns me most is how we are going to meet our joint responsibilities during the post-war years. On us, the English-thinking peoples, will rest the chief burden of planning and maintaining the post-war world. How shall we plan and maintain it? No human mind can foresee what will need to be done, or how it should be done, but I think we can agree on a few fundamentals.
We should have learned by now that no world order will function safely on international honour alone; not until all the peoples involved have attained, through generations of practice, to common standards of self-government and international honesty. Until that time, the world will need a police force powerful enough to prevent international robbery. Nations are much like individuals. So long as there are criminals and potential criminals there must be police. When private crime ceases and police are no longer needed, then international peace may maintain itself on an honour basis. Meanwhile peace, like personal honesty, must be enforced. Who, then, shall enforce it? From a coldly practical standpoint, the safest and most pleasant world to live in for the next fifty years would be one in which peace was enforced jointly by the English-speaking nations. The British and Americans are not saints nor are they above selfishness, and there would be deviations from strict fairness and justice, but on the whole the policing would be honest, fair, and effective. The mere suggestion, however, would throw every non-English patriot and most English-speaking idealists into spasms. It would be made to sound like tyranny of the worst sort. The idea is so coldly practical as to be wholly impractical.
It is not impossible, however, to conceive of some sort of association to which all people who have shown themselves capable of self-government and who have a reason ably long record of international honesty would be admitted on an equal footing, each having a voice in its affairs and contributing to its joint police force-an association to which other nations might be admitted if and when they have given evidence of the necessary qualifications. Such an association could be set up as soon as peace is achieved. The requisites for its success would be the self-discipline and honour necessary for any form of self-government, plus the adequacy of its police force for any situation and an unhesitating willingness to use it, and a realistic attitude with respect to further admissions. If pacifistic philosophy should weaken its power or its will to use that power, or if sentimentality should lead it to open its gates to a preponderance of unfit, the end would be chaos.
Please do not think I am trying to lay down a plan for a post-war system. I have little faith in planned economies or planned world orders. I believe success in social and political systems comes only through evolution, through trial, error, and never-ending amendment.
My only object in what I have said is to emphasize that after the war there will be a peace to make and enforce, that the responsibility for making and enforcing it will fall chiefly on the English-thinking nations, and that only as they see together, think together, and act together can lasting peace and justice be achieved.
Can we do it and avoid the errors of the past? Let us study again the fumbled years since the Armistice and the pitfalls into which we fell.
We must avoid, if we would save the world, the recriminations that rubbed the sores of the last war. This time let no flamboyant American cry, "We won the war," and let no impatient Canadian answer, "Why didn't you come in before the war was over?" However much we may argue, as argue we shall, over tariffs, trade rivalries and such things, we must hold fast to the comradeship that a common enemy and a common danger have given us.
Britain, let us speak frankly, must avoid even the appearance of acquisitiveness. At the end of the last war there were those who said, with the appearance rather than the substance to justify them, that Great Britain had fought a selfish, not an idealistic war, because she emerged from it with enlarged territories. This time, if Anglo-American unity of sentiment is to be preserved, she must so conduct the peace that no one may accuse her of having profited.
The United States, for her part, must abandon all thought of isolation. It may be hard for you, Canadians, to realize how difficult a task this may be. As citizens of a world-wide Empire you have always been world-minded. The tradition of the United States for a hundred and fifty years has been one of isolation. Because of her vast area and her self-contained economy she has not needed to look to world affairs. Millions of her people have never seen an ocean or an ocean-going ship. For generations her safety and her welfare lay in Washington's admonition to "avoid entangling alliances." She finds it hard to realize how great she has grown and how small the world has shrunk. She is not yet fully awake to the responsibility that her wealth and her strength have thrust upon her. She still wonders whether she cannot live in a world apart, with no participation in the world outside her borders. Yet awaken she must, and live fully in the larger world in which she finds herself, and shoulder her full share of its responsibilities, if she would escape the disorder and turmoil of a world that cannot be organized without her.
Lastly, in the years that lie ahead, we must avoid the stumbling weaknesses of the years behind, pacifism, the sentimental assumption that all people share our aspirations and have learned our lessons of self-discipline, and the cynical decrying of our own ideals and purposes.
These are the requisites for a future of peace and safety. Whatever world system or arrangement is based on them may not be perfect, but it will have a foundation permitting it to grow toward perfection. No system or organization that is based on less will live long enough to grow.
And these, mark you, are the requisites of strength, a strength that, when this war is over, will remain only to the English-thinking nations in unison. No one of them, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, or the United States, will alone have the strength for the task. Peace, no less than victory, will require all that we can give in a common cause.
Thus, inevitably, we come to our final conclusion: If the nations that speak the English tongue continue after the war to work in harmony for their common ideals, the future, despite all the waste and woe of the present, may well be a happy one. If, on the other hand, Great Britain should swing toward a policy of acquisition or the United States return to a policy of isolation, or if pacifism or sentimental idealization of other peoples or cynicism toward their own ideals should again weaken their moral fibre, I shudder for the world in which our children and our grandchildren may have to live.
Let us pray God, then, as we have never prayed before, that not death nor life nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other creature may ever again separate the spirits of the peoples who revere the English tradition.
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: We have another oil authority in the room-the Federal Oil Controller, Mr. G. L. Cottrelle, who has consented to thank the speaker.
MR. COTTRELLE: Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentle men: As most, if not all of you, have read in the papers, a well known and accepted oil authority made the statement when I was appointed Oil Controller, that I was simply another banker that had gone down to Ottawa and got myself a nice easy, soft job, and that I was entirely incompetent. Being easily beaten and looking crestfallen, no doubt, a friend of mine gave me the book written by Max Ball, called "Oil". I read it, and while I cannot say that it gave me the key to the administration of my job, I found it interesting. I recommend it. You will find that Mr. Ball is an authority.
Oil, as you have seen or know, is the life-blood of the army, the navy and the air force. It is an all-important subject, and I think everyone should read Max Ball's book on oil.
When I was appointed Oil Controller, the 28th of June last, I was told there was lots of oil in the West. As a matter of fact, certain people gave me an outline and the suggestion that my first job was to get a pipe-line to Sarnia or the coast or somewhere else. Since that time I have been looking for the oil and it may interest you to know that there aren't enough known reserves in Alberta or in the West to supply the market on the basis of last year's market, for the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and the demands of British Columbia and Manitoba, as far east as Portage la Prairie.
Now, I am looking to Mr. Ball to dig me out of my difficulty. Mr. Ball, with his tenacity and experience will in all probability, and it is my belief that he will whip the problem in harvesting and producing oil from the Abasand in Northern Alberta. Mr. Ball may easily become a well known and renowned authority for having made one of the greatest contributions that this country has had in this war effort.
Your Chairman was good enough to do me the honour to ask me to express the appreciation of this Club to Mr. Ball for coming here today, and I think I would be lax in my duty if I did not make one comment, and that is this The people of Canada, Mr. Ball, are not in the least anxious about the power of the President of the United States. We have every confidence that he will not let us down. (Applause.) But I think I should say that if for any unknown reason the President of the United States should withdraw his support, the people of England and the people of Canada will fight the battle until we get rid of this rat.
Mr. Ball, I have pleasure in thanking you on behalf of the Empire Club for your very instructive address and for coming to us today. (Applause.)