Social Notes I, 1932

Original Text: 
F.R. Scott, F.R. Scott: Selected Poems (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1966): 65-67.
Prologue
1"We see thee rise, O Canada,
2The true North, strong and free,
3(Tralala-lala, tralala-lala, etc. ...)
I
Natural Resources
4Come and see the vast natural wealth of this mine.
5In the short space of ten years
6It has produced six American millionaires
7And two thousand pauperized Canadian families.
II
The New Philanthropy
8This employer, who pays $9 a week for a ten-hour day,
9Is exceedingly concerned
10Les Mr. Bennett should adopt the dole,
11And so ruin the morale of the workers.
III
Summer Camp
12Here is a lovely little camp
13Built among Canadian hills
14By a Children's Welfare Society
15Which is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.
16All summer long underprivileged children scamper about.
17And it is astonishing how quickly they look healthy and well.
18Two weeks here in the sun and air
19Through the kindness of our charity subscribers
20Will be a wonderful help to the little tots
21When they return for a winter in the slums.
IV
Xmas Shopping
22It is so nice for people to give things at Christmas
23That the stores stay open every evening till ten,
24And the shop-girls celebrate the coming of Christ
25By standing on their feet fourteen hours a day.
V
Modern Medicine
26Here is a marvellous new serum:
27Six injections and your pneumonia is cured.
28But at present a drug firm holds the monopoly
29So you must pay $14 a shot--or die.
VI
Justice
30This judge is busy sentencing criminals
31Of whose upbringing and environment he is totally ignorant.
32His qualifications, however, are the highest--
33A college course in Arts,
34A technical training in law,
35Ten years practice at the Bar,
36And membership in the proper political party.
37Who should know better than he
38Just how many years in prison
39Are needed to reform a slum-product,
40Or how many strokes of the lash
41Will pout an end to assaults on young girls?
VII
Land of Opportunity
42This young Polish peasant,
43Enticed to Canada by a CPR advertisement
44Of a glorified western homestead,
45Spent the best years of his life
46And every cent of his savings
47Trying to make a living from Canadian soil.
48Finally broken by the slump in wheat
49He drifted into the city, spent six months in a lousy refuge,
50Got involved in a Communist demonstration,
51And is now being deported by the Canadian government
52This will teach these foreign reds
53The sort of country they've come to.
VIII
Treasure in Heaven
54Many ecclesiasts and pious persons
55Draw dividends from this Power Corporation
56Which underpays its workers and overcharges its consumers.
57Nevertheless the sayings of the Master are obeyed,
58For verily there is no rust on a Public Utility privately owned,
59And the moth doth not corrupt its Class A Preferred Stock.
Epilogue
61I love her as my home.
62I honour her institutions.
63I rejoice in the abundance of her resources. ...
64To her products I pledge my patronage.
65And to the cause of her producers
66I pledge my devotion."

Notes

60] "From My Creed, issued by the Hon. H.H. Stevens, Minister of Trade and Commerce, New Year's 1931." (poet's note) Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © the estate of F. R. Scott. Included
with the generous permission of William Toye, his literary executor.