- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 1 Oct 1942, p. 30-49
- Vaughan, Robert Charles, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Toronto's and Ontario's contributions to Canada's war effort. Ontario's steam railways. The operation of the Canadian National Railways in Ontario. Toronto as the headquarters of CNR's Central Region. The Canadian railways as Canada's greatest war industry: some facts which support this statement. Demands made upon the railways. Details of munitions of war and other products of industry and agriculture moved by the Canadian National Railway System. The "two-way" nature of the railway service. Canadian National Steamships providing an important highseas link for the movement of supplies to the fighting forces; some vessels turned into armed cruisers. The Canadian National Steamships acting as operator for the Dominion Government of Axis ships seized as prizes of war. The Canadian National System identified by ownership with Trans-Canada Air Lines. Trans-Canada as an essential factor in the speeding up of our war effort—its air mail, air express and passenger services all being directed to serve the needs of the national at war. Salvage efforts. Some examples of the activities of CN. The service ideal. The need for mutual co-operative effort between management and labour, with illustrative examples of how this has been working. The Union Management Cooperative Movement plan. The volume of traffic handled by the railways. Some facts and figures with regard to motive power. Betterments and improvements in operating facilities throughout the system. The appeal to Canadians by the Honourable C.D. Howe, Minister of Munitions and Supply, to forego unnecessary travel for the duration of the war. A look back at the history of the development of Canada, and her railways. A full justification for the existence of the Canadian National Railways in peace and in war. Canadian confidence in our ability to meet any demands made upon us. The nature of Canadians. Standing behind the Third Victory Loan.
- Date of Original
- 1 Oct 1942
- Language of Item
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- Full Text
- THE RAILWAY AT WAR
AN ADDRESS BY ROBERT CHARLES VAUGHAN, ESQ.,
President, Canadian National Railways
Chairman The President, John C. M. MacBeth, Esq., B.A., K.C.
Thursday, October 2, 1942
MR. JOHN C. M. MAcBETH: Gentlemen of The Empire Club: Before introducing the Guest-Speaker, I should like to extend a welcome to the large delegation from the Canadian Manufacturers Association and from the Toronto Board of Trade, and also to express a special welcome to Mr. J. J. Vaughan, who is the brother of our speaker. (Applause.)
Our guest today is an outstanding member of the industrial intelligentsia of Canada. He was born in Toronto and is a product of the Toronto public schools. He began his railway career shortly before the age of 15. His first job was running and his present job is running. His first job was running messages for the Canadian Pacific Railway; his present job is running the Canadian National Railways System.
After some four years with the C.P.R., he joined the G.T.R., and, shortly thereafter, the Canadian Northern, where, in 1904, he was appointed Secretary to the Vice-President and General Manager, and, in 1940, was advanced from Secretary to Assistant to the Vice-President and General Manager.
In 1918 he became Assistant to the President and, in 1920, VicePresident in charge of Purchases and Stores, a Department which became Canada's largest individual buyer, purchases averaging $100,000,000 a year. The size of the Department may be measured by the fact that it purchased one ton of coal out of every five produced in Canada. Right material, right price, right time, became the slogans of the Department. His jurisdiction included the operation of ocean and lake steamers and certain coal mines owned by the railway in Ohio.
When the Canadian Government decided to set up a Defence Purchasing Board in July, 1939, it requisitioned the services of our guest, who became Chairman of the Board on the understanding that he would organize the Department and then return to his position as VicePresident of the Railway. The organization was completed and the Government's Ministry of Supply was established.
On the retirement of Mr. S. J. Hungerford from the Presidency of the Railways and of Trans-Canada Air Lines, he succeeded him, becoming President of the Railways, the Steamship Lines, Central Vermont Railway, and the Grand Trunk Western, and a Director of Trans-Canada Air Lines.
He is President of the Canadian West Indies League; a member of the Technological Institute of Northwestern University; a member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; a Governor of the Montreal General Hospital; a member of the United Church; a married man and the father of two sons and two daughters.
It is of especial interest that, in addition to being President, our guest has just been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Canadian National Railways, an appointment which is effective as at today.
Gentlemen, I have pleasure in presenting to you Mr. Robert Charles Vaughan. (Applause.)
MR. R. C. VAUGHAN: Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Guests and Gentlemen: These introductions are always very embarrassing, nevertheless, I am very grateful to your Chairman for his kind words. I appreciate very much the invitation extended to me by The Empire Club of Canada to speak to you today. As many of you know, I was born and educated in Toronto. I first left here for the West when I was eighteen years of age but subsequently returned to Toronto. My railroad work has taken me to all parts of Canada, and although it is many years since I last lived here, I shall never lose my affection for this city and its people.
I know personally of the magnificent contributions which your financial and industrial institutions have made to Canada's war effort. These have been fully in keeping with Toronto's importance as the chief industrial centre and capital city of the great Province of Ontario which, itself, has done so much to provide the sinews of war in our desperate struggle for the cause of world freedom and for our own survival as a free people.
The resources which the people of Ontario have placed at the disposal of the United Nations have been of inestimable value. Consider what your nickel and your copper have meant to the armies of the United Nations, and of the importance of the gold which you have mined to the stabilization of our national finances. Ontario has also been singularly blessed by nature in forest and agricultural wealth, and in that product of your own skill and vision, your industrial plants. Today, these plants are working at top speed and steadily expanding in capacity for production. Indeed, Ontario has won the reputation of being preeminently an industrial province and, with this in mind, I should like to say a few words at this point upon Canada's railways and their relation to the industries of your Province.
Ontario has in all 10,500 miles of steam railways. The Canadian National Railways operate more than 5,600 miles of this mileage, the Canadian Pacific 3,200, your Province-owned Temiskaming and Northern Ontario 600, and other steam roads approximately 1,000 miles. Thus, the Canadian National Railways operates 54 per cent of the steam railway mileage in the province, and our 25,000 employees provide perhaps Ontario's largest single payroll. The Canadian National Railways last year expended in your province more than $75,000,000 in wages, taxes and for supplies needed by the railway; a substantial sum of money to be put into circulation even in, these days of vast war outlays.
Toronto, as you are aware, is the headquarters of our Central Region, the largest of the regions of the National System in point of traffic and number of employees. Major Bond, who is VicePresident and General Manager of this Central Region, with headquarters in Toronto, has under him 7,500 miles of railway. Mr. Bond's territory extends from Port Arthur in the West to Rivieredu-Loup, Quebec, in the East. Only a few railroads in the United States exceed the mileage of our Central Region.
I do not look upon the Canadian railways as exclusively a unit of transport, vital as this is, but as Canada's greatest war industry. This is a plain statement of fact. We need only examine their farflung mileage and the dependence of the nation upon the service this mileage gives to appreciate this.
Canada's steam railways have a total mileage-exclusive of yards and sidings-of approximately 45,000 miles. These vast steel highways reach out to serve hamlet and city, populous centre and pioneer district of each of the nine provinces of the Dominion. It is over these networks of steel rail that the nation's wartime contribution of materials and men moves twenty-four hours of each day.
The extent of the demands made upon the railways-and which the railways are meeting-can be realized when it is known that last year the Canadian National System moved more than 65,000,000 tons of munitions of war and other products of industry and agriculture. This year the volume of traffic shows a further substantial increase, but our standard of operation is such that it is proving possible to handle this increased freight business with expedition and efficiency. Assuming that we are able to obtain the necessary materials required for operation and maintenance of our facilities, we face the future demands confident that we will give a good account of ourselves.
Without these steel highways that link province to province and seaports to land-locked centres of production, it would be impossible to move tanks and guns, foodstuffs and clothing in any useful volume and our war effort, no matter how willing the spirit, would be ineffective.
It is true that the railways depend in great part upon industry for their existence, but this dependence is an interlocking one; inversely, industry depends upon the railways for its continuance. The requirements of industry demand a "two-way" service of the railways. We must supply the raw and basic materials to industrial plants as we remove the finished products. These supplies are wide and varied. They include the products of mines, forests, agriculture and the thousand and one other materials necessary to make those great, modern machines of war-and they come from all sections of Canada and the United States, and from overseas.
The railways have yet other obligations of service to industry. Where war plants are located at some distance from centres of population, such as Malton in relation to Toronto, we are called upon to operate chartered industrial trains to transport workers from their homes to the plants and back again. We have more than a hundred passenger coaches allocated to this type of industrial war service throughout Canada.
The railways of Canada have a job to do. In peacetime the task was a big one; in wartime our work is not only magnified, but the pace is accelerated. Canada's railways are also the arteries that supply the army camps and the vital British Commonwealth Air Training Depots, and we must be in the position to rush supplies, ranging from foodstuffs to aeroplane engines, to airfields and defence areas at any hour of the twenty-four.
Canada is fortunate today to have her splendid railway systems, so adequately equipped and strategically situated to meet the wartime demands of the nation. As I said to a United States audience not long ago, many in the United States, as well as in Canada, do not realize that there are only three transcontinental lines on the North American Continent, and that they are all located in Canada-two being operated by the Canadian National Railways and one by the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the term "transcontinental", I mean a railroad operated from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast by one company and one management.
The Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific Railway also are the two largest railroads, so far as mileage operated is concerned, on the continent. The Canadian National operates 23,600 miles of railway serving every province of this Dominion, and the Canadian Pacific operates 17,000 miles.
Moreover, Canada's railways operate many services which in the United States are provided by companies other than those of the railroads. These include hotel systems that reach from Charlottetown and Halifax to Vancouver and Victoria, express and telegraph systems, sleeping car services. They own and operate their own coal mines. They operate shipbuilding plants and fleets of vessels on the oceans and on the Great Lakes.
Apart from these varied activities, Canada's railways are actively engaged in war work. To speak directly of the Canadian National's contribution, this has extended from aid in the formation and operation of Government departments for war work, to acting as agent in acquiring property for training camps and air-fields; and from the assisting of industry in locating new sites for plants to the planning of towns to house war workers. The railway has supplied skilled men from every department; engineers, economists, purchasing agents, storekeepers, architects, publicists, doctors, etc.
In our own shipyards we have built large freight steamers and mine-sweepers. In our shops we have made guns and gun carriages and secret devices, and are continuing and extending this work.
The Canadian National Steamships likewise have played a vital part in the nation's war effort. Throughout these difficult and dangerous war years, our Canadian National Steamships have provided an important highseas link for the movement of supplies to the fighting forces, unfortunately not without loss and casualties. Some of our vessels have been turned into armed cruisers.
The Canadian National Steamships also act as operator for the Dominion Government of Axis ships seized as prizes of war. These ships carry munitions and supplies to the United Nations' fighting fronts, no matter how remote nor how dangerous the waters. I should like to tell you of some of the gallant exploits of these ships and men, but for obvious reasons this must be denied me. As I speak to you today, ships carrying the Canadian National house flag are in such remote parts of the world as Bombay, Calcutta, South Africa and South America.
It is a further source of gratification that the Canadian National System is identified by ownership with Trans-Canada Air Lines, that new arm of transport which spans Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It provides fast daily air services between St. John's, Newfoundland, Halifax and Vancouver, flying a main line route of nearly 5,000 miles linking together not only the principal cities of Canada, but linking Canada with the United States. Trans-Canada has proved an essential factor in the speeding up of our war effort-its air mail, air express and passenger service all being directed to serve the needs of the national at war.
Our Trans-Canada Air Lines have also undertaken, on a considerable scale, the repair and overhaul of military aircraft, including engines, propellers, and instruments, as well as Trans-Atlantic and other wartime activities, of which nothing further may be said at the present time.
Although one of the biggest of Canada's war industries and the largest employer of manpower in the country, the Canadian National System has more than 10,000 of its men in the armed forces and the merchant marine. Those with the Navy are sufficient to man nine destroyers; our enlistments in the Army would form six infantry battalions; and the men with the Air Force would establish eleven air squadrons.
I could speak at length upon another of our most important war contributions-salvage. But I shall merely say that on the Canadian National Railways nothing is too large or too small to salvage or reclaim. Last year we salvaged and reclaimed materials essential to the nation's war effort valued at several million dollars.
Perhaps I will be pardoned if I refer for a moment to the kind of operation which has enabled the Canadian National System to meet adequately the enormous transportation demands of a nation at war. The railway never sleeps. Each twenty-four hours of every day tens of thousands of cars and hundreds of locomotives are in motion. To keep trains moving on speedy, dependable schedules, to provide industry with essential service, and to transport materials and men to the ports is an exacting and titanic task. It demands a highly skilled and specialized organization.
And this is the type of organization that characterizes the Canadian National. I am proud of the way our men have responded to the demands made upon them. There has been no drawing back, no shaking of heads. They have given cheerfully of their best.
Indeed, we of the railways look upon our men as soldiers on the "Home Front". For example, consider a section man-any section man-on our Northern Transcontinental line. He patrols his section of track in the burning heat of summer and in the freezing numbing cold of winter, when the mercury drops 40 degrees below the zero mark. In drenching rain or swirling blizzard, he is on his job and his job is an important one: to keep the track in condition so that trains may run in safety. He is but one of a hundred thousand Canadian National men doing their bit for a nation at war.
The far-flung lines of Canada's railways make it necessary that many men must work without direct supervision, and I am pleased to say that, if anything, this stimulates the men to greater efforts. They respect the bond of faith that exists between the supervisor and them; and although their work has increased many fold since the outbreak of war, their ideal of service never fades.
This ideal of service is not confined to the railway workers. It is a part of labour's attitude to the war and it will be a great factor in the winning of ultimate victory. Of course, by the laws of average, there are those in all walks of life who are unable to change their old habits of thought, who would stand by themselves, as it were, while the changing world moves on: but they are few. Such men forget that habits of thought can make or break a nation and that in a war for survival there is no place for the individual who will not cooperate and put his weight behind the common cause.
If we are to survive the crisis which we now face, it is imperative that there be a mutual co-operative effort between management and labour. Such a policy as this has been in effect on the Canadian National Railways for many years. As part of the machinery for carrying out that policy, we have what is known as the Union Management Cooperative Movement, and in our shops and roundhouses, and in our maintenance of way centres, the representatives of 40,000 organized men sit down with the management to discuss their problems and their work.
Forty-seven thousand suggestions have been brought up by the Mechanical Department and the Maintenance of Way Cooperative Committees since their inception, which represents over twelve suggestions per working day, and the majority of these suggestions have been accepted.
In cases where subjects were dropped the sponsor was informed the reason therefore. In this manner misconceptions were removed. The Committees are required to confine their recommendations to such subjects as apply to the advancement of the industry or to the welfare of the employees and to the betterment of the railway's service to the public. It is specified that no subject which would affect wage agreements is to be considered by the committees, nor do the committees deal with grievances which arise about working conditions established by agreements between the trade unions and the management, as other means are provided to take care of these.
At the present time there are 115 committees in operation, and on these committees there is equality of representation between the management and the labour representatives selected by the respective crafts. We can, from our experience, endorse the soundness of the Union Management Cooperative Movement plan, and it has also the warm commendation of those dealing with wartime labour and management problems in Washington and in Ottawa.
We must keep before us the fact that the wheels of industry are turning faster today than ever before in our history. This is shown by the volume of traffic that the railways are called upon to move. Traffic is now double what it was at the peak of the last Great War and 50 percent higher than during those so-called "Golden Years of 1928-1929."
Each day we handle more than 100,000 cars through our Canadian National terminals, and frequently a single terminal receives and despatches as many as 5,500 cars in twenty-four hours.
One reason for the speedy handling of this great volume of traffic is our heavier motive power. The average train load has doubled since the war years of 1914-18, our big locomotives hauling in some cases over 100 cars at a speed increased by 60 per cent. At the same time coal consumption per ton of freight hauled has been greatly reduced, and this is an important saving when it is realized that our locomotives ran an aggregate of 81,000,000 miles last year, and that this year we will require over 7,000,000 tons of coal to move the estimated war traffic.
On the day that Canada declared war upon Nazi Germany the railways were prepared to make an immediate change-over to war operation. One problem, obviously, would be that of equipment unless steps could be taken to meet it. A survey was made of all equipment on the Canadian National Railways that could be reconditioned. It was found that 83 old locomotives were awaiting dismantlement. These were reconditioned for further light service, thereby releasing heavier power for more useful work. Hundreds of cars of various types were rebuilt, including box cars, work cars, gondolas, cabooses and passenger coaches, and over 150 steel Pullman coaches, standing on storage sidings in the United States, were economically purchased and brought to Canadian National shops to be converted into passenger coaches and other needed types of equipment. All these care are now in daily service.
In addition to this policy of rehabilitation, new equipment has been built, sorne specially designed by the Canadian National to meet wartime requirements. These include special hospital cars to serve as medical centres of trains carrying casualties; commissary kitchen cars for troop trains, where mess orderlies may obtain rations to serve men in coaches; "long-table" diners for troops, providing 25 per cent more seating capacity at the tables; cafe cars, coffee shops on wheels; and new types of coaches for industrial trains, with seating capacity of 122 instead of the usual 72 passengers. We have also created special type trains for the transportation of enemy prisoners of war.
Numerous other units of equipment have been put into service; a substantial number of heavy service locomotives likewise were added to our motive power. These locomotives are larger than our big 6100-type and of an equal, if not of an increased speed, and are capable of hauling 100 cars or more on our fast manifest schedules.
Throughout the system numerous adjustments in train operation have been made which have further augmented our motive power. For example, we now operate our big passenger motive power without change on direct runs between Halifax and Montreal a distance of approximately 850 miles and between Montreal and Armstrong and Winnipeg and jasper, on our transcontinental service, distances of 1,000 miles or more. By such methods of conserving locomotives we have further augmented our power for war purposes.
Betterments and improvements in operating facilities throughout the system have been general. Numerous passing tracks and yards have been extended and new terminals constructed. Many such improvements were made in the Atlantic Region, which serves the vital sea ports. There we installed the newest system of traffic control, new engine terminals, coaling plants and lighterage docks, and established a fleet of lighters.
I can assure you that the Canadian National Railways will leave nothing undone to take care of the increasing volume of war traffic.
The Honourable C. D. Howe, Minister of Munitions and Supply, issued on September 25th an appeal to Canadians to forego unnecessary travel for the duration of the war. Mr. Howe said
"We are rapidly approaching the point where railway, airline and bus systems will be operating at peak capacity. Shortages of critical materials make it exceedingly difficult to replace existing transportation equipment, for which reason we must use our transportation systems to the best advantage.
"All pleasure and unnecessary travelling should be ruled out for duration if our transportation facilities are to be available for war purposes."
Mr. Howe made specific reference to conventions. The Minister's advice should be given careful consideration by all thinking Canadians. We have been able to handle the business offering up to the present time but the difficulties of securing additional equipment to carry the ever-increasing volume of traffic are mounting each day.
The vital part which the railways are playing in the present national crisis is not a new one. The history of their development is that of the development of Canada to nationhood. It was their iron rails that took the ideal of Confederation and made it a reality.
The first steam railway in Canada was opened in 1836 in the vicinity of Montreal. The steam road next moved to Upper Canada. It was here, in 1853, that Canada's second railway was opened. It ran from Toronto to Machell's Corners, now Aurora. It was to be followed within the space of weeks by the opening of a third road, located at London. At the same time, the Grand Trunk was preparing to lay its rails from Montreal to Toronto, Stratford and Sarnia, a road that was to be opened three years later and then extended on to Chicago. To men of vision a new era of expansion, of settlement was to hand, but there were those who raised their voice in utter disaster.
But there were men whose minds were not confined within narrow limits. Their vision looked into far spaces. One such man was the late Honourable Joseph Howe, that Grand Old Man of Nova Scotia, of the same stock as our Minister of Munitions and Supply, who is also Acting Minister of Transport. Back in 1851, ninety-one years ago, when there was but one small railway operating in all of Canada, he made a speech at Halifax
"I believe," he said, "that many in this room will live to hear the whistle of the steam engine in the passes of the Rocky Mountains and to make the journey from Halifax to the Pacific in five or six days."
On July 1st, 1867, when Confederation was ushered in by Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Canadas, now known as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the construction of the Intercolonial Railway, as a national project, from Halifax to Quebec, was one of the conditions of union. Thus the railway had become one of the basic structures of Confederation from the first. I may say here that the Intercolonial, together with those other pioneer roads that were welding the country into an economic unit, are all a part of the Canadian National System.
It was inevitable that the steam road would push its steel across the continent and link the Atlantic to the Pacific. Howe, in his Halifax speech, predicted this when he pointed out that his beloved Nova Scotia was but the eastern fringe of a great British North America of the future, and said, "We have a magnificent country between the Canadas and the Pacific Coast out of which five or six noble provinces may be formed, larger than any we have and presenting to the hand of industry and the eye of speculation every variety of soil, climate and resource."
In 1870, British Columbia entered the Federation, with the guarantee of the building of a railway from the East to the Pacific Coast. The construction of the Canadian Pacific cemented the structure of a Dominion that was continent-wide in breadth.
It will be observed that from the first the railways were expected to act as colonization lines. This inevitably created problems in operation and finance. Canada is a country of vast distances. As it was opened up to settlement, its frontiers receded to points more remote and of necessity steel was pushed ever northward. Settlers came after-and the traffic last of all. Both the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railways were essentially colonization roads, opening the northern sections of Ontario, Quebec, and the Prairie Provinces to settlement, and they could not survive the financial disruption of the first Great War.
The Canadian National Railways is made up of these two systems and their properties, together with the Grand Trunk Railway and the Government-owned Intercolonial and the Transcontinental Railway, and certain small lines that have been added from time to time. We had to assume the vast financial obligations.
Our fixed charges alone are approximately $50,000,000 a year, more than double those of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the relationship of fixed charges to gross earnings is higher on the Canadian National than on any railroad on this continent. The only way that we can pay these enormous fixed charges is to receive sufficient gross earnings to enable us to produce the necessary net earnings to meet them. We are now demonstrating what financial results can be secured when sufficient traffic is available. Last year our gross revenues amounted to $304,000,000, and our net revenue to $66,000,000-more than enough to pay all our fixed charges. This year the volume of traffic has shown a further increase and our gross revenues are now more than $1,000,000 per day.
We realize that these large traffic receipts are of a temporary kind and are brought about to a very considerable extend by the earnings derived from the movement of men and materials of war. I wonder, when the peace, which we all long for, comes, if they people of Canada will remember the services performed by the railways during the war, or will they forget those services and return their patronage to competitive forms of subsidized transportation, because if the user of a highway, whether land or water, does not bear his full share of the cost and operation of that highway, he is receiving the equivalent of subsidy. It has been proved time and again by experts in Canada, the United States and elsewhere that if all the factors of cost are taken into consideration the railway is still the best and cheapest method of transportation, except perhaps in the movement of some classes of material for very short distances.
I believe that the Canadian National Railways have fully justified their existence in peace and in war. The system's two transcontinental routes and other lines serving both industrial sections and outlying districts are of the utmost value to our prosecution of the war and our defence, a value which cannot be assessed at its true worth until the full story of our war effort can be told. Many of those lines which were characterized in the past as unnecessary and a useless expense to maintain are today vital to our war plans and to our post war development as a nation. The business of the nation could not possibly have been carried on without them.
More important than the prophetic words that Joseph Howe spoke ninety-two years ago, was the unspoken thought that lay behind them-that to men of vision change is not only inescapable but inevitable. The way that we meet this change will decide whether it be for good or for ill.
It is not a change of our own desire or making, but it is one that will affect not only our economic life but our very way of living. We must face the future with minds and hearts resolute to conquer and remake our world anew.
This is a task not reserved for the few; it is a task for each one of us. Modern warfare is primarily a struggle of peoples against peoples. No group is immune either to services or to danger. The worker stands in the front line with the fighting forces. In the Battle of Britain the civilian population took the hardest blows, and it was the workers, grim and resolute, who rearmed the nation and made their island an impregnable fortress that stood to defy the Nazi conquerors of Europe.
Sometimes we hear it said that we Canadians are not doing enough in the war. It is to our credit that we do not leave it to others to point out our shortcomings. We do that ourselves. We Canadians are an active people. If we had not been, we should never have built this great country in the few years we have been on the job. Even a century is a short time in the history of a nation. As a Dominion, stretching from coast to coast, we are only seventy-five years old. Since the first tiny locomotive Dorchester rumbled along the wooden rails, we have created a complete anatomy of communications-railways running from east to west, down into the United States and into the far reaches of the north; waterways, highways, and airways; telegraphs and telephones. When you think of these things it is well to remember the size of this country. Do not forget the forests we had to break through, the rivers we had to bridge, the mountains we had to climb over or bore through, the muskeg we had to trample down and make solid for our wheels. Building this country took hard work, courage, resourcefulness, faith and vision. Do you realize that we have reached our present position as a grain producing country in little more than thirty years? That forty and fifty years ago our Western plains were for the most part unbroken? When we went into the first year of the last war, in 1914, we had less than 10,000,000 acres in wheat. In the first year of this war we had nerly 28,000,000 acres. In a year now, we produce, in Western Canada, as much as 600,000,000 bushels of wheat, and in addition, 800,000,000 bushels of other grains. That tells you something of the character and industry of the Canadian people. And when I say, "Canadian people", I mean not only the native born-I mean also the great armies of immigrants from Europe who found a new life in this magnificent, free, new land. The same story can be repeated for all our other industries, the development of power and factories, of our mines, our fisheries, our forest products. The story is one of accomplishment out of all proportion to our numbers as a people and out of all proportion to the time we had to do it in. Canada is a big country and it had to be tackled in a big way. We Canadians did it.
We have always been workers and we are still workers. That is one reason why we sometimes feel dissatisfied with what we are doing in the war. Happily, the war has not reached our own shores in any large measure. But we went out to meet it. We lost no time. We were in at the drop of the hat, in 1939, as we were in it in 1914. Our airmen and our sailors have been covering themselves with glory from the beginning, and our army, since Dunkirk, has stood between the Western world and the Nazi horde. Our brave men have fallen at Hong Kong and at Dieppe.
We must have confidence in our ability to meet any demands made upon us. We are the people who built this country, the same hard-working, strong, adventurous, pioneering people. We have not gone soft. We are a modest people-men of action rather than words. But let us believe in ourselves. Let us remember our history, let us take pride in our form of life-not such a stubborn pride as would stultify us and hold us back from developing as we should-for we are not a nation bound rigidly by the rituals of the past-we are a people young in spirit, a pioneering people, who have to find new ways to overcome obstacles. Let us hold fast to the things we have learned by experience to cherish.
But let us realize that we are in danger of losing them. The war isn't won. We are confident it will be, but it isn't won, yet, by any means. Are we doing enough? Sometimes it does seem as if we are too far away to realize fully how serious it is. Perhaps we are not "all out" yet. But I do not for a moment think we Canadians will let ourselves down, that we will be untrue to our characters as a people of courage, vision and hard work.
The least that we can do is to give unstintingly of our effort and of our dollars. We must stand one hundred per cent this month behind the Third Victory Loan. Its success is essential to our safety and our survival as a free people.
As one proud to be identified with one of Canada's greatest industries, I know from personal observation and experience that this challenge, and all the other challenges of the struggle, will be met, and in the fullest possible measure. Labour and management will work as a unit for victory. (Applause.)
MR. JOHN C. M. MAcBETH: The Reverend Dr. Cody will thank Mr. Vaughan for this address.
REV. H. J. CODs, D.D.: Mr. President, it is a very great privilege to voice the feelings that are moving you at this moment. We thank Mr. Vaughan, first of all, because he had a good word to say for Toronto. In many parts of the Dominion if the word Toronto, or Ontario, is mentioned there is a lifting of the eyebrow and a somewhat vague insinuation that we are a people of narrow vision, highly self-centered, without any measure of tolerance or interest in Canada as a whole. That is not true. This is no mean city, and if you judge by deeds, rather than by words, Mr. Vaughan is justified to the full in saying a good word for this city of his birth.
Secondly, we thank you for giving us so vivid a picture of what railways have meant in the building up, the opening up, and the unification of this Dominion. At times we have said we have over-built, that we have overbuilt in some of the outlying parts of the Dominion. If we had not built, where should we be today? In this country, with its vast distances, severed by the great PreCambrian shield that comes down, separating the East from the West, we are inevitably compelled to take risks in railway building. We have taken those risks. It was necessary to take them and because we took them, we have a political unit of the Dominion of Canada.
We thank him further, because he has given us again so marvellous and picturesque an account of what the greatest industry in Canada, the railways, are doing for the war. I am sure we have scarcely realized that, until he has given us in detail and in combination the contributions the railways are making to Canada.
And he has looked ahead and he has challenged us to remember that there are still great problems lying ahead in the days of reconstruction. I am sure that we can all be comforted that when the time comes perhaps for reopening our railway problem, we can feel very safe that a man like Mr. Vaughan is in charge of one of these great systems, the Canadian National Railway. He knows every step of the way, from the bottom of the ladder to the top. He will do what is just and wise,-but that is a problem that will lie before us.
Then came his splendid challenge to us all for which we again thank him. Are we doing our utmost? I am so glad he sounded out that note: We haven't yet won the war. So far, by the great mercy of God, we have escaped being beaten, and we trust we shall win the war, but that Victory will depend on us.
I was very interested in seeing a sort of slogan, and watch word that was being used by many in the old Motherland: "It all depends on me", and I think there should be the very necessary addition, "And I depend on God".
But let us not forget that the issue depends on us, on what each one of us contributes to public opinion, to public service, by way of fighting, by way of paying, by way of helping to formulate wise policies. If we don't go on as a unit we will go under.
No one can read for a moment in these days any first hand reports of what is happening to the conquered nations of Europe without trying to visualize what might happen to us if the Nazis conquered. I don't suppose in the history of the world there has ever been a greater combination of faithlessness and ruthlessness and sub-beastliness than has marked this war. You remember that prayer, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do", but when people know what they do and do it deliberately and in cold blood, as part of their policy, it is called on every one to do more than his best that not only shall our national life survive, but the great Empire of which we are an integral part shall survive, but that a human and decent civilization will survive.
So we thank Mr. Vaughan for giving us these vivid pictures and closing with this magnificent challenge, and please God we shall stand and stir ourselves to go to the limit that Freedom and Justice and Mercy and Decency shall be the common possession of all the peoples of the world. We thank Mr. Vaughan. (Applause.)