A Canadian Comes to Our Defense

In my previous post, I mentioned a 1973 broadcast by Gordon Sinclair, a friend from north of the border. I think it’s sufficiently relevant to devote an entire post to it here.

Here’s the transcript of this broadcast:

The United States dollar took another pounding on
German, French, and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in
West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971, and this Canadian thinks it is time
to speak up for the Americans as the most generous, and possibly the least-appreciated,
people in all the earth.

As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to
read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Well who rushed in
with men and money to help? The Americans did, that’s who.

They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges,
and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no
foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan, and, to a lesser extent, Britain
and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of
dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even
the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the
Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the
streets of Paris. And I was there — I saw that. When distant cities are hit by
earthquake, it is the United States that hurries into help, Managua, Nicaragua, is one of
the most recent examples.

So far this spring, fifty-nine American communities have been
flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.

The Marshall Plan, the
Truman Policy, all pumped billions upon
billions of dollars into discouraged countries. And now, newspapers in those countries are
writing about the decadent, war-mongering Americans.

Now, I’d like to see
just one of those countries that is
gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.

Come on now, you, let’s hear it! Does any other country in the world
have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas 10? If
so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American
planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or a woman on the

You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk
about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and
you find men on the moon, not once, but several times, and, safely home again. You talk
about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look
at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They’re right here on our streets
in Toronto. Most of them, unless they’re breaking Canadian laws, are getting American
dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend up here.

When the Americans get out of this bind — as they will — who could
blame them if they said “the hell with the rest of the world.” Let somebody else
buy the bonds. Let somebody else build or repair foreign dams, or design foreign
buildings that won’t shake apart in earthquakes.” When the railways of France, and
Germany, and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them.
When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an
old caboose. Both of ’em are still broke.

I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help
of other people in trouble. Can you name to me even one time when someone else raced to
the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San
Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I am one Canadian who is
damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They’ll come out of this thing with their flag
high. And when they do, they’re entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are
gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are
many smug, self-righteous Canadians.

And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual
meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.

This year’s disasters — with the year less than half-over — has
taken it all. And nobody, but nobody, has helped.


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