MARCH 5, 1949
CALGARY, Alberta, Canada, Friday—In the few hours that I spent in Edmonton I was always just about as far behind schedule as I was late in arriving. I went directly to the home of our consul, Carl C. Seddicum, and the press came in immediately. After an interview there I went off to two of the radio stations. In one of them I had a short interview, not only with the station representative, but also with a farm cooperative representative. The farm cooperatives are important in a country whose basic industry is still agriculture.
Just now in the Province of Alberta there is a great deal of interest in the new oil development. All through Edmonton one can see new houses going up and one is told that they are, in part at least, due to the activity arising because of the discovery of oil.
There are, of course, large coal deposits also and during the war Edmonton had a tremendous area that was occupied by our young men who worked on the Alcan Highway, for it begins here and goes north.
I was interested to find that Mr. Seddicum sees a good many Americans; Thursday he was expecting visitors from the Interior Department and on Friday from the War Department. He was regretting that the milder weather had begun because he said the Alcan Highway is better from his point of view when the snow is packed hard. Now, he was afraid there might be mud, and later on he said the dust really spoiled the enjoyment of the scenery.
Nevertheless, I gathered from talking with someone in Calgary that along this highway for 500 miles there are new settlers and new farm areas opening up. Our old Army installations now are being used by some of the surplus population, which has a hard time finding housing in Edmonton at the present time.
I was quite late in reaching the tea party given in my honor by Alberta's Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. John Campbell Bowen, and Mrs. Bowen, but the host and hostess were more than kind and understanding. We dashed back from there and I barely had time to write yesterday's column and dress for the dinner, which the B'nai B'rith gave before the evening meeting. At that dinner I sat beside a delightful old gentleman, Chief Justice Harvey, who seems a lot younger than his years. I was stunned when he told me he was 85 years old. He apologized for not coming to the evening meeting, but he said he now found that he could not go out and sit up late and do his work on the bench. He still travels from Edmonton to Calgary for court, and he told me he had just finished writing an opinion on a particularly difficult case.
The meeting in the evening was in the arena which is covered with ice for the ice hockey games, so heavy felt pads had to be laid, on which the chairs for the audience were placed. It was remarkable to me that it could be as warm as it actually was, and the audience sat through the entire speech without apparently suffering from the cold.
At the close I went directly to the train and Thursday morning we found ourselves here in Calgary. After breakfast we had time to unpack and get settled before the usual press conference, which was held at 11 o'clock. A number of the high school students who were present showed great interest in the condition of European students, and I hope that Canadian as well as American students will get in touch with the students of European countries.