MARCH 4, 1949
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada, Thursday—It is interesting to find that the people's interest in civil rights seems to be growing everywhere. Tuesday in Regina, Saskatchewan, I was given a copy of an act called the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights act, 1947. In speaking of it one person drew my attention to the fact that in enumerating the discriminations that should no longer exist they left out the word sex.
For instance, one article reads: "Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to obtain and retain employment without discrimination with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such person or class of persons."
The reason given for this discrimination against the word sex was that in the rural areas the men were afraid that if they removed all inequalities the women might forget their rightful place on the farm, and I suppose the men might find themselves occasionally washing dishes.
As I looked down from the plane on these farms they seemed to be rather isolated and I should think equality would have to be granted in principle and in practice, even if not in words. There must be a good deal of pioneer life and spirit still in the women who live in these wideopen spaces.
Farming is, without question, the basic industry here, though there are many other occupations. For instance, there is a horse meat processing company which ships to points all over the world. There also were wonderful greenhouses in one place where we stopped, in which are grown most of the flowers used in this part of Canada during the winter. One of the passengers on the plane told me that there is now a great deal of transportation by air of flowers. Tulip bulbs are flown over in great quantities from Holland. They are kept in one place for a little while and then flown to Vancouver where the early spring brings them into bloom, and they are distributed throughout western Canada almost before the snow is gone.
The meeting Tuesday night in Regina was held in another very large auditorium and the audience seemed as interested about questions affecting the United Nations as were the people of Winnipeg the night before.
Our vice consul, James R. Riddle, and his wife met us in Regina when we arrived there Tuesday afternoon and we stayed with them. They brought us to the State House where Premier Thomas C. Douglas greeted me formally. I was also greeted by the opposition leader, W.A. Tucker of the Liberal party. Then in the library of the State House, which overlooks a delightful park, we had the pleasure of meeting the members of the legislature and their wives and various state officials.
Tomorrow I will tell you of my busy few hours here in Edmonton.